Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hey!

I can't possibly blog today, Crazies! It's Glenna's Birthday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are you a Smart American?

I guess it's helped that I've taught US history several times, both as a class and as a writing subject!




You Are a Smart American



You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.

Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Pause

While I wade through all the pictures from camp and Water Day, head on over to Jessie's blog and read about Kelly's trip to Prince Edward Island!

Jessie is. . . .well . . . Jessie's special, isn't she? ;-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Part Where I Talk About the Bus Ride

We left for camp on Sunday night. Actually, it was Monday morning. At 12:20 a.m., we rolled out of the parking lot and headed for Tennessee.

The plan was to drive all night and arrive in the afternoon. We pretty much did that, but it wasn't without adventure. The goal is to sleep on the bus and be ready for the day when we arrive.

How is one supposed to sleep when praying all night for the drive to stay awake?

We rode up with another church and they put us on the newer bus with their middle school.

Oh no, we thought. Middle school. This is going to be horrible. It would have been horrible, too, if not for Brett and Chico immediately making friends with them! In fact, Brett and Chico were pretty much idolized the entire camp time. We'd here yells of Brett! Chico! wherever we went.

Have you ever tried to sleep on a charter bus? I'm not talking one with arm rests or reclining seats, but nice seats, still. If not, try this:

Line up your dining room chairs, two next to each other. Line up two other chairs next to these with an "aisle" between them. Add a cushion. Now, try to sleep on them.

I was in the back and the youth pastor was across the aisle from me. He spotted an ideal sleeping spot right away when he saw the empty shelf at the back window. Within 15 minutes of stretching out upon it, however, he learned why it was empty.

There's heat coming up from that thing that will cook a pot roast.

It got to be pretty comical with contorting positions, pillows, and a shawl over my face (to hide the fact that my mouth was agape and drooling, of course). Just when I'd find a comfortable spot and fall asleep, the bus would pull over for a potty stop, or breakfast, or something. Or, a part of my anatomy would become numb and I'd have to shift.

I was almost relieved when one of the buses got a flat tire! We had a chance to walk around while they put on the spare.

Still, I learned something about our youth pastor that I really, really like. I mean, I've known this guy since he was in high school, and I've loved him dearly as our youth pastor. But what endeared him to me on this trip is that he instantly takes interest in whatever our kids are doing. If they're singing praise songs at 2 a.m. he doesn't hush them - he makes requests and truly enjoys their singing. If they're doing something crazy he grabs the video camera and makes suggestions for further wackiness. If they have a question he listens intently, deeply, and then searches for an answer. He loves our kids. He honestly cares about what happens to them.

I love that guy.

I love that God brought this guy back home for two of my children to have him as their high school youth pastor. I pray he stays long enough for my youngest child to enjoy him as well, though I know God is sovereign and she'll be fine if he heads off to the mission field instead. I would much, much rather have him in God's will than mine!

So, I'm thankful for the bus ride up there. Instead of driving each other crazy, I think it actually brought us closer. How wonderful.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Checking in

I fell into bed around 1:40 last night, thankful to be in my own bed again! I will be writing about the camp soon.

There were some questions in the comments section of the other posts, so I answered them there.

Since I've been with teens all week - Later, Dudes!

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Haircut

It's a pretty cool feature here at Blogspot that you can schedule when things will post. I have since left for summer camp in Tennessee, so I won't be posting again until at least Saturday (Sunday if it takes me longer to recover).



As you know, our son, Tyler, does this:
Lately when he's been playing, his hair was totally out of control. Tyler inherited the W gene that makes hair get bigger and not necessarily longer. He'd love to have long hair, but his genes won't allow it without major chemical interference.

I'd been doing a pretty good job on his hair since his first haircut at age 2. This rock hair, however, was getting to be beyond my ability. Of course I took him straight to Ruthie! So here you have it, Ty's first haircut by anyone but me!
The whole experience was a bit strange for him. Look how Mr. Twelve Foot Torso hangs off at the shampoo bowl!


I had forgotten to take a "before" picture, so I got one like this. Still, I think it's easy to see how out of control the hair had gotten.


Ruthie walked him through the whole process and let him know each step as she was doing it. She also complemented me on the "guides" I had left in his hair, which made me smile. She did so much with a razor and texture shears and that's what made all the difference. It has been almost 20 years since I've worked in a salon, so anything beyond a little boy cut or a little girl cut is more than I care to do. Besides, I really wasn't that good at it.


This is the mandatory back of the head check. He had never done this with a mirror before, so it was comical to watch him figure it out. In fact, he had never had his hair cut in front of a mirror before!

Yep, I'm liking it already. I knew Ruthie would give us what we were looking for. I had to laugh when Ty said, "It looks just like it did before, except thinner and neater and nicer."

Yes, Son, now you get it. You have to pay to have your hair thinner and neater and nicer!


And now, may I present the coolest picture of Tyler ever?



I guess there's no keeping the ear gauges from Grandma now, huh?

I think he looks great, and totally like a drummer! Thanks, Ruthie!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dress Like a Cow Day

As I said in a previous post, 7/11 is not only free slurpee day, but it was dress like a cow day at Chik-Fil-A.

Here's a picture of our own Bessie.



We stopped in before Ty's haircut since we heard an entire herd would be showing up. Here, Bessie's escorted by her brother, Bubba.

The first of the herd begins to enter. This guy is also named Tyler, but he's not our Tyler. Out Tyler is the one NOT dressed like a cow.




Our Bessie happily joins the other Bessies. What are we supposed to call the bulls? I mean, Bessie is an obvious Cow Name. What about the bulls?


This particular one is named David. David was on the Mexico trip with Ty. Not dressed like a cow, though.


This Bessie is Aleah. We liked her eyes and her crooked smile!


Don't you just love Kelly Bessie's pigtails? I do!


And here's the entire herd! They each got a free sandwich (though I think Kelly got nuggets) and the manager took their picture. They also rang a little cowbell when they ordered.

Some people do anything for free food.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Beach Trip

When I returned from California, I had a great day hauling Kelly and her friends to the beach. Glenna and Bec the Spec came with us, though I don't have any photographic evidence of Bec. Sorry, hon!

This is the trip where I tried to make the Atlantic my friend. This is where I tried to accept the weird differences of north being on the wrong side and a serious lack of power in the waves. This is where we decided to remain acquaintances, instead.

This is also where I had to wear a hat inside the car, since teens think it's great to have the sunroof open. This is also where I had to pay a $25.00 parking ticket because I missed the meter by 22 minutes! *Disclaimer: my car does not have a sunroof. We borrowed a ride from Kate's family so we could all fit, plus the surfboard.





This is an expression Glenna wears often. It's usually sparked by something her mother, siblings, or friends are doing. It is regularly accompanied by the expression, "What are you doing?" but can also be used with, "What are you talking about?" or "What is that?" It's a handy thing to have a multi-use expression.


Kate and Chico are ready for some serious beach time. Who isn't? Chico loves to surf and has volunteered to teach us all. I have body surfed, I have boogie-boarded, but I have never stood on a surfboard.

We got to the Atlantic, and I knew I would not be surfing that day. You see, the thing about surfing is; ya gotta have waves. I asked Chico, "Where are the waves?" His reply was, "Ummm . . . " I don't blame him. It's not his faulty. Still, he's such a great teacher that both Kate and Kelly were able to at least stand and move forward on the surfboard in the ripples! Kudos, Chico!


This is a hilarious picture of Kate, Chico, and Kelly. You know, it wasn't until I downloaded this picture here that I noticed the sunglasses on Chico! I literally laugh out loud every time I see this.


Umm . . . not sure about this one. I threw it in, though. It's Kelly, and she's. Doing. Something. Yeah.




Glenna may have taken this one. It looks like something Glenna would do. You know, every time I go to type her name, it comes out as Gel first? I'm thinking the "e" finger is faster than the "l" finger. I also type "typer" before I can stop myself when typing "type." "I will help Gel typer a letter."



Love this picture. Love, love, lover it. It makes me feel typer. Doesn't Kate have the coolest green eyes ever?


On the way home, we had a serious rainstorm. I was forced to reduce my speed to a crawl at points. I then missed my turn and ended up taking the looooong way home. However, with kids like these around, the journey was worth it!

Sorry, don't have pictures of the actual beach. You can look at these though, and pretend we were there instead.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ridin' Shotgun

At some point, each of my children have progressed from the back seat to the front seat. It was a major stepping stone of growth and maturity. It meant they were now large enough to be safe if the air bag went off.

With this graduation came great power.

What is it with a child in the front seat? Suddenly, they feel free to control all the knobs, buttons, and dials within reach. I have practically not touched a radio in nine years. My AC unit is continually adjusted to the perfect fan power and temperature. Thank goodness the side mirror adjustment is out of reach!

My Kelly is starting to drive, and it's my turn to ride shotgun.

Heh, heh, heh.

Revenge is sweet.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mexico Video

I'm so excited to be able to share this! It's the wonderful video that was put together of their time in Mexico. Enjoy!

Click on the link above to go to YouTube.

For all of you in my area, remember that tomorrow is 7-11! That means free slurpees at participating 7-11 stores.

It's ALSO dress like a cow day at Chik-Fil-A! Dress like a cow and get a free sandwich!

Basically, dress like a cow to get a sandwich, then head over to the 7-11 for your slurpee. Go ahead. I dare ya.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Our Girl's Coming Home!

Today, I drive to the airport to pick up our Kelly. It's been too long without her! She's had a great time at Prince Edward Island, but we're all ready for her to come home.

Do you realize I have been at home for a week? As in, not driving anywhere unless I have to? It's been a nice break, but Kelly's welcome to come rock my world again. She's such a great manager of my schedule. :-)

These pictures are from back in May when we went to the homeschool convention. I should have left the camera with the girls and instructed them to take photos, but I forgot. So, these are the ONLY pictures we have of that weekend!


Here they are, loving the lap of luxury:




And when we went out to dinner. The size of Kate's burger was so ridiculous!



I forget what Kelly was telling me here. I'm sure it was something puzzling that could only be answered when we step through the gates of heaven. LOL


Sorry, BA. The only picture I had of you was eating. Folks, this is NOT to say all she did was eat!

The girls had a blast, and even got caught in the rain with ice cream cones. You should ask Kelly about it; hysterical!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Just Give me a Sign

On Saturday, Himself and I drove to Ocala to watch Evangelin in concert. They did a great job! There were several bands playing that day, but really, we only wanted to hear them. We didn't stay long after they were finished.

On the way there, we read Psalm 73 aloud to pass the time (and since I heard Pastor Hoffmann was preaching on it on Sunday). It led to a great discussion on faith.

If we look simply at the physical world, it's easy to wonder why we bother being Christians. As in Psalm 73, it seems that people with no morals or regard to God are prospering. It seems they have it easy, live in rich homes, take month-long vacations, and drive whatever they please. They don't care about God or trying to live as if eternity matters. They lie, cheat, and steal, and come out smelling like roses.

As Christians, we're called to live according to God's word. This means we make choices daily to do the right thing (though we're not perfect, and we certainly make the wrong choices often enough!) and it sometimes comes at a cost. When Himself was working as a painting contractor, he had to literally make the choice to either cheat with migrant labor to go after the big jobs, or stay a one-truck painter and never be able to support his family. He decided to quit self-employment and use his talents elsewhere.

This meant saying goodbye to the dream of landing big contracts and making lots of money. We see contractors who "cheat," and they're living in beautiful homes, driving beautiful cars, making lots of money, but they're doing it at the cost of conscience.

Actually, their consciences are fine. They don't care about right or wrong, just the bottom dollar.

When Himself began working for others, he had to die to his independence. He had to humble himself and put himself under the authority of others. He was no longer strictly his own man. However, God rewarded his decision by leading him to his current company. We are so blessed! Every need is met (not every WANT, every NEED), a company car is provided, and for the first time in our married life we have insurance. Wow. I hardly know what to do with regular physicals and check ups!

We may have died to big money dreams, but God has more than blessed us with peace and contentment.

Still, there are times when we watch others prosper and we think, "What if this is really all there is? What if God isn't real?" I think all believers have had that thought at one time or another. On our drive to Ocala, Himself was expressing this and he said, "If only we could see some kind of sign sometimes. If only God would let us know the truth in an undoubted way."

He no sooner finished speaking when we saw this:




We laughed so hard! Here's the writing in the sky! Here's the proof, the sign we were asking for.

Actually, Himself is proof enough that God is real. No one, and I mean no one, can change the way he has changed (or the way I have changed) without God. Only God can change hearts. Only God could give us the peace that passes all understanding as we walk with Him daily. Only God could give us this joy! Only God could write a book so amazing, so complex, and yet so perfectly proven through history.

Creation, also, is proof enough that God is real. One cannot study the complexity of biology without knowing someone had to design everything to work together perfectly. There's simply no way all of this could just "happen."

How do you know God is real?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

After going through American History several times with my children and in my English classes, it's hard not to get excited about today. I thank God for the courage of our Founding Fathers!

I thank God for the men an women serving in our military, keeping us free today! (Especially you, Matthias. But you've always known you were a favorite!)

It seems strange to not be on vacation at this time. It was so strange for Glenna that she asked if our tent could be put up in the back yard. Himself complied, and Glenna and I camped in the back yard.

Pictures to come!

Now go out and barbeque something!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Google Reader, Just Can't Beat 'er!

I read quite a few blogs. Not as many as some, of course, because I want to be better than they are with my time.

Hah!

I did find a great tool, though, with Google Reader. I was able to add all the blogs I read, and now I only need to go to one page to see if there are any new posts! I spend much less time on the computer . . . at least less time checking blogs.

Yesterday, we finally spoke to Kelly! After spending (not kidding) 15 minutes on the phone with AT&T wireless to see what it would cost to call Canada (19 cents per minute) we used Himself's phone instead and got to hear her voice. She's having a great time at Prince Edward Island! They were freezing at first, but yesterday was actually hot. Hooray! She'll be in Maine on Saturday and then home on Wednesday.

Not soon enough!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Glenna's Movie

While downloading the pictures from my camera, I found out why it was on the "movie" setting.

I wonder what inspired her to make this? I mean, it was before we found the snake.

Even so, it cracks me up. It's so fun to have an eleven-almost-twelve-year-old around!



video

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