Sunday, April 19, 2009

Backin' Up

Bad back + playing drums on the wrong stool = not so bad.

Bad back + playing golf after playing drums on the wrong stool = better take some meds and ice a little.

Bad back + raking the back yard after playing golf and playing the drums on the wrong stool = we may have a problem here! Better seriously ice down.

Bad back + raking the back yard after playing golf and playing the drums on the wrong stool and THEN putting your shoes on for church = Himself staying home.

Having a laptop and the ability to watch sermons on line . . . priceless!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


One egg.

One piece of toast.

A cup of tea.

Table grapes.

One poptart.

Don't judge me.

(Yes: despite my friend D referring to Poptarts as "poison in a box," I still purchase and consume them.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Ones that Didn't Quite Work

It's no secret that in order to get a really great photo, one must take lots and lots of photos. Us Ws aren't familiar with posing, so we weren't exactly comfortable doing it. Es-Snyder had some great ideas and soon made us more comfortable in front of the camera.

Some of the ideas for poses were ours. This goes to prove we need to leave it to those who know what they're doing!

Himself was talking in this one. Are you surprised? I am definitely not the talker in this relationship!

He did this on purpose. Again, is anyone surprised?

Here he's being serious, but the wind! The wind! I kept telling Es-Snyder that the wind needed to come from our backs, but evidently the lighting was better with the wind in our faces. The result? My hair!

This is where Kelly's hair gathered some tree sap! We were also on the lookout for ant piles.

Es-Snyder probably liked the crosswalk sign, but I thought it out of place with this pretty park picture. Many times he'll look for things like this on purpose, and most of the time I like it.

I loved when the kids were doing something and Es-Snyder kept clicking away. Here, Ty notices that Kelly has something near her eye.

To "help," he simply stuck his finger in her eye. What a brother!

Then there was the posing with inanimate objects:
I have no idea what this means. Feel free to ask him.

One of Tyler's favorite things is to imitate the . . . how should we say this? . . . less than stellar children who would come to the go-kart track.
Here, he had demanded, "I want to pose with the pumpkin! I want to pose with the pumpkin!" [Insert cheesy grin]

Es-Snyder was doing a shot from under a fountain, between the water drops. The kids understood that they only needed to sit there. Himself and I thought we needed to slump down so we could see the photographer.
Like I said, we're new at this!

Is this man EVER serious?
I didn't think so.

This was one of my ideas. What was I thinking?
Singing in the rain? Narnian lamppost? Cute kids in the slums of WP, Florida?

We got some really good shots of this one, then Kelly decided it was time to stop sharing the spotlight with her sister. Here, she was pushing her out of the photo.

Sun a little too bright for eyes to open. Mom's feet in the shot. Drat.

Glenna and Kelly still too squinty-eyed. There's Mom's toes again.
(I think that's the last time I had polish on my toes. I should probably do something about that now that it's sandal weather.)

Note to self: Never, ever, ask a photographer to capture the backside again. Ever.
The End.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

See What I Mean?

Go check out the comments in this post about our dog. Kelly, Glenna and I were laughing so hard after Jessie's last post!


Back in October, our friend, Snyder (or Es-Snyder to our Latino friends) took portraits of the family. I dutifully sent copies to all grandparents, but was unable to upload any to my computer.

Two computer crashes and repairs later, the CD works!

Please note: Himself knew all about the upcoming photo shoot. For some reason, he decided to completely shave beard and mustache two days before these pictures were taken, then promptly grew everything back when we were done. All this to say that Himself doesn't exactly look like himself.

I'm not upset.


I actually kind of liked it and have been dropping hints that he should do so permanently!

Ty's hair was pretty long, here. Now it's like this, but shorter. We like it.

Here's the girl who did pretty well on her ACT test! She'll have to take it again a million times between now and graduation, but I was excited to see her scores this morning. No surprises; I knew exactly which areas she would excel in and which ones would need work before she even went in there.

Barefoot and climbing something. Yep! That's our girl!


Up next: Photos that didn't exactly work. Not Es-Snyder's fault.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

That Dog

Missy, Glenna's dog, is not that large. In fact, she's not even 20 pounds.

She's not a toy breed by any means, but she's definitely petite.

Get what I'm saying? Small Dog.

Glenna took her outside this morning and she eliminated three times.


How on earth could she have that much in her?

Imagine my surprise when, not even 15 minutes later, Tyler comes down the stairs and grumbles, "There's poop by the door."


Saturday, April 11, 2009

And Honorable Mention goes to . . .

. . . Barzillai!

When I continued reading in 2 Samuel, Barzillai's name appeared again. With it went any remaining excuses I may have had.

King David has defeated the enemy and is now going back to Jerusalem. Accompanying him is Barzillai, who wanted to "see him off" at the Jordan. King David invites him to come to Jerusalem with him, so that he could provide for Barzillai in the same way that he met David's needs.

This is the part where we find out Barzillai is eighty years old.

I'm officially encouraged.

A wealthy man, Barzillai provided for the king during his time in the desert, then saw him off as any good host would do.

I also love that Barzillai refused any reward the king was offering. He was an old man, had lived a full life, and he insisted the reward would be wasted on such as he. Instead, he suggests another name on which the king may lavish his gratitude: Chimham.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I know there will be hundreds of blogs writing about this blessed and awesome day. My time has been fully consumed with the yard sale (which went well! Praise the Lord!) so I haven't even been able to prepare my heart for tomorrow's celebration. Just know that it's full and overflowing with God's love and sacrificial gift, all to make me His child!

He is risen.

I can barely contain it!

He is RISEN!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yard Sale Mania

I have never seen so much stuff for one yard sale!

Come on down!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Three Names in History

In my Bible reading this morning, I couldn't get over their names.

Shobi, son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites.

Machir, son of Ammiel from Lo-debar.

Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim.

I had never heard their names before and I doubt they're ever mentioned again, but there they were.

These three men did something any of us could do, and what every one of us should do.

Did they perform miracles in the name of the Lord? Were they tested by a fiery trial unto the point of death? Did they fight a fierce battle on the side of the Lord?

No. Instead, they did something that, to some of us, is just as frightening. They practiced hospitality.

To set the scene, King David is having to flee from his son, Absalom. His son is pursuing him across the Jordan and he has finally arrived in the desert of Mahanaim. The Scriptures read that these three men " . . . had reasoned, 'The people must be hungry, exhausted, and thirsty in the desert.'" (2 Samuel 17:29b)

That's it. They had no hidden agenda, no plan to get on King David's "good side," no other motive. They simply reasoned that there was a need and decided to meet it.

What did God think of this?

These men were caring for His anointed, David, and the people with him. God thought highly enough of this to permanently record not only their names and what they did, but each and every item they offered to God's people.

They brought "beds, basins, and pottery items. They also brought wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, curds, sheep, and cheese from the herd for David and the people with him to eat." (2 Samuel 17:28-29a)

An exhausted, persecuted king went as far as he could into the desert before dropping. Fleeing swiftly from the palace and Jerusalem, he didn't have time to grab even a blanket, much less provisions for all who were coming with him. Suddenly, three men appear with beds, bowls, and food. Once again, the God of David proved His faithful love to His servant, and He did it through three men named Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai.

How amazing would it be to be a confirmation of God's love to someone? How easy would it be to do this through hospitality? To say David was revived is an understatement. The next chapter has him reviewing his troops and sending them out!

I don't know about you, but I'm praying for opportunities to practice hospitality. It's been too long since we've had people in our home.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Yard Sale

We're hosting a yard sale at our home on Friday and Saturday. I thought my little school room was packed with things until Himself went out there, re shuffled, and really packed things into that room!

I kept trying to help, but I must have given out one "ooh" or "aaah!" too many. He kicked me out.

Still, I've picked up a few items! The yard sale has made money already!

I need to state that the profits go toward the Mexico mission trip this summer for our youth. Be sure to come on over Friday and Saturday! There's a LOT of stuff!

(PS when you go to the link above to the Mexico page, the girl holding the little girl's hand in the picture is our own Jess! It was from her first trip two years ago, then she went again the same year Ty did. Kelly's going this year!)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tuesday is Guest Star Day!

I didn't have a post for today until I read this article.

Oh please read it. Please do. Especially if you're in high school or about to be in high school, or you're in college. Or maybe you have a high schooler/college kid/jr. high kid and you want some key information on what your child may be thinking about music. Or maybe you love/hate music.

The author, Bob Kauflin, makes 10 key points. Especially good are points 1 through 10.

Seriously. I want my entire church to read it, but especially anyone who thinks they know anything about music.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Academic and Exhibit Fair

One of the things that concerned me about home schooling was the fact that my children would have to miss out on things such as science fairs and school plays. Thankfully, this has not proven to be true.

Because we belong to an "umbrella" school (private school covering for home school families), we are able to give our children opportunities to display their hard work, give presentations on areas of study, and even put on plays. In February, our kids had their Academic and Exhibit Night.

Glenna is so excited about science. This is the second year she has wanted to display science projects. Here's her DNA/General Science board:

She also displayed the different art forms she learned while studying Russia this year, plus a notebook of short biographies from notable persons in Russian History.

Other students gave presentations and had displays. At the end, our Russia Co-op put on a four-act version of the Nutcracker! With simple costumes and short rehearsals, they were able to gain an appreciation for what it takes to really put on a ballet.

The children have danced about and chased the naughty younger brother who kept trying to spoil their dance.

The godfather enters and presents his gift of the Nutcracker to Clara. Clara dances about.

Clara then falls asleep and begins to have the strangest dreams:

Enter the Sugarplum Fairies! (Neither of the girls had ever danced ballet.)

A leap! What fun!

After the Sugarplum fairies exit, the Russian Dancers run in!

(Here, the Russian Dancers momentarily became break-dancers. LOL)


The Russian Dancers run out, and the Chinese Dancers run in!

The Chinese Dancers have exited. The Nutcracker Soldier comes to dance with Clara.
Himself was taking the photos. He was so caught up in the Nutcracker's sword fight with the Mouse King, he forgot to take pictures!

It was such a simple production, but they did a fabulous job. We contorted their feet into the five different ballet positions, then brought them in to watch You Tube videos of Mikhail Baryshnikov as he leaped into the air and then lightly landed in fifth position. They all walked around with aching legs after trying to dance as the Russians did, squatting and kicking their legs out like in Fiddler on the Roof. Through this, they understood that ballet takes years of discipline, training, and endurance. It also takes great strength - male ballet dancers have powerful arms and legs for a reason!

They also learned that many athletes take ballet to train their bodies in strength and balance. Not for sissies after all, huh?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tyler!

I wish I had a ton of baby photos uploaded onto my computer. I want the whole world to see how cute you were as a baby, and to know how marvelous you are now!

This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

Today, you are twenty years old. I have cherished each day with you! (Yes, even when you were eleven. You were pretty rough then, but you still had your moments of kindness and gentleness.)

I love your playfulness. I wonder if all your friends know about it? Do they know how you stood in line at Lil' 500, even though you've already worked there for three years, and started chanting, "Go karts! Go karts!" like an excited little kid?

Do they know how sweet you are to your sisters? It's no wonder your sisters adore you and would give you the world. I'm so thankful that even when things are tough, you don't take it out on them. Or, if you do, your apology is quick and sincere. They feel so safe with you and are so confident in your love.

It is my greatest treasure.

Do they know how you helped me win at the Mother/Son Road Rally? You coaxed me onto the track (I didn't want to ride in the rain. You convinced me it was only sprinkling.). You saw me take the lead. While I was racing as fast as I could, you were behind me, making sure I stayed in front. I even got to drive a victory lap with the checkered flag! Go Team W!
I am so thankful your tumultuous teens are behind you, though I wouldn't change a day of your hard work and spiritual growth. Every incident shaped you into the man you are today; a man of integrity who seeks the Lord, strives to know His will, and blesses others. Where I am quick to criticize others, you are quick to sympathize. I've taught you so much, but now I find myself learning from you.

My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will indeed rejoice. My innermost being will cheer when your lips say what is right. Psalm 23:15-16

With your father and myself, there is much cheering and rejoicing because of you.

You are greatly loved.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Friday, April 03, 2009

From our Anniversary

I'm finally able to upload all the pictures from our anniversary weekend. Warning: There are a ton of them! We really had a great day and while it's hard to leave my kids at any time, I'm glad we did.

We spent the day at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It's one of the smaller parks but so interesting! The animals and shows are incredible, and they threw in enough rides to keep the younger crew entertained.

Our friend Greg works mainly at this park. He got us in for free. It was hilarious talking to him about the rides (more on that later). We almost didn't want to hear the "insider" remarks! Let us just pretend it's all real, all right? :-D

Animal Kingdom has an Asian side and an African side. Since there's a new ride in the Asian side, we headed there first.

We were there pretty early. There were hardly any people.

One thing I appreciate about Disney is the great effort they put in to make everything look authentic. You can't turn your head in any direction without seeing something marvelous and picture ready.

Every item is purposely placed to look like you're in a village in Asia. The craftsmanship and artwork are amazing. Greg said many items were actually shipped from Tibet.

This is the new ride; Expedition Everest.
You see the wait time is maybe 10 minutes. There was SO MUCH to see in this line (museum quality) that for the first time, I wished the line were longer. We walked quickly past all these amazing artifacts! The ride itself is one you don't want to miss . . . I won't give anything away by describing it.

One hysterical note: While talking to Greg, he told us, "The Yeti isn't working."

"What? What do you mean?"

"Well, he's supposed to roar and move and really reach out to take a swipe at you as you go past. However, his shoulder is broken and the hips aren't moving. Instead of all this fabulous motion, you just get a stiff-armed wave and a roar."

In the four-tenths of a second that we see this Yeti, we never would have known. Since we DID know, we busted up when we saw it.

After Expedition Everest, we walked around the part of Asia where the animals were.

I encourage you to click on these photos to really get a look at them! We were looking at these sleepy tigers when suddenly a little girl was accidentally tripped by her mother and cried out. The tiger instantly woke from his stupor and was on full alert, causing all of us observers to gasp.
We heard a little girl cry out. He heard, "Weak. Helpless. Prey."

In the above picture, he is already "standing down" and figuring that he'll have to wait for dinner to be brought to him as usual. In the picture below, he was back to being a bored animal. For a split moment though, he was majestic.

The entire time we're walking through this area, it's made to look like we're expeditionary hikers in Tibet.

In actuality, we were as touristy-looking as we could be.
Is it wrong to wear a Snoopy hat in a Disney park? I didn't think so, either!

We entered a bird sanctuary. I mainly took these for Dave R., but he has a much better camera and would have gotten better shots. Again, click on the photos to enlarge.

We went to a free-flying bird show. During the show, a handler quietly took his place behind Himself with a hand full of meat. This gorgeous hawk swooped right at us and knocked Himself's hat with his feet! I was too stunned to get a picture; I should have just used vide.

This was a cool-looking owl.

Macaws and some sort of vulture? These were at the end of the show where we could come up and take pictures.

This is the Himself, a flightless bird with a strange ear-appendage. Charming and humorous, it can be found in city dwellings.
The only mar to our weekend was this mandetory conference call he had to take. The bird show theater had emptied so he was on this call. I couldn't believe how politely the Disney staff got us to leave so they could prepare for the next show. The manager came over and asked if we had any questions about anything in the park and asked if he could be of assistance. We chatted for a little bit and he never let on that he was in any hurry or trying to get rid of us.

That's when we noticed that they're all kind of waiting for us to leave and everyone else had gone. Oops!

We found a quiet picnic table where Himself could finish his call. While waiting, he pointed something out to me.

This is the part where you DON'T laugh because I can't figure out how to turn the pictures back the right way. These little girls were staring at something in the bushes.

I went over to get a closer look, startled, then started snapping pictures. Click on the picture, turn your head sideways. Do you see it?

This woman was dressed in . . . ivy. Her face was painted perfectly to match the ivy and blend in with her costume. She moved exactly like a plant would move when you watch an elapsed time video, creeping and twisting herself among the plants.

She's walking on stilts and has poles/canes for her hands. She would stretch herself toward the sun and then stop and freeze, looking exactly like a plant in the middle of the sidewalk.

I cracked up at all the people following her. I wonder how many families have ME on their photos? :-D

Here you can see her head tilted back. What you may not realize is that the "branch" extended above her head is actually her LEG.

This little girl was so adorable! She was so fascinated by this man in native costume (we're in the Africa section now) and she would shyly wave to him. He was obviously as tickled by her as we were.

In Africa, we went on safari. Here the guide is telling us that there are two very important rules we must remember while on safari.
One: Keep your limbs, head, body, inside the vehicle at all times.

Two: I can't remember what two was. But I know it was really important.
Here, the driver said something amusing. When on a Disney safari, it's great how you immediately become friends with the strangers around you. The lady next to Himself is looking at him to share the joke.

African savannah or heart of Orlando? Great job, Disney! There's probably animals in this photo. I told myself I wouldn't take a ton of animal photos. I only took a half-ton.

King Louie! Who else but the Jungle Book characters should be at Animal Kingdom? (Oh, and Lion King.)

I'm sorry, but meerkats are stinkin' cute. They. Just. Are.

Himself checking out the sliverback gorilla.

Here's a sighting that wasn't so rare: Homosapien Exhaustus.

This is where we stayed overnight. Huge and sprawling, it was a nice hotel with plenty to see and do.

Do I even have one photo of him where he's not touching his phone? I'll have to work on that! Seriously, he made a supreme effort NOT to be on the phone this weekend. He was actually snapping photos with it.

Thanks again Greg G, for a wonderful weekend!


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