Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I woke up this morning to the barely audible breathing sounds of someone being v-e-r-y quiet outside my bedroom door. As I slowly drifted back to reality from where ever I was while I was sleeping, I lay there, one with the mattress, with my eyes still shut, concentrating on feigning sleep. The carpeted floor gives a tell-tale groan whenever anyone walks over one particular, seemingly unavoidable spot there, so I didn't have to strain my ears long to be sure that other sound really was someone breathing. Very shortly, the floor groaned again, and I knew the "someone" had left. A few delicious minutes went by and then I heard it again. I was pretty sure it was Emily, 3, checking on me to see if she could crawl into bed for a morning snuggle. Sometimes she is too irresistible to ignore, and I was about to open my eyes to see her hopeful little face. Wait, just another minute of sleep..."Someone" was still there. I opened one eye. It wasn't her. It was my oldest daughter, Alizona. When she saw that I was awake, she walked to my side of the bed and sighed a huge sigh. "What, Alison. What are you sighing about already?" She said, "Mom, I know you don't want to hear this, but our toilet is clogged. I tried to unclog it but I didn't get it, and it overflowed all over the bathroom floor. Gross, icky toilet water."
Are you with me here? I am thinking, "Lord, is this how I have to start this day? Because if it is, I do not want to get out of bed." Well, I am pretty good about being calm over the big things. It is the little things that I have a hard time with. To me, brown stinky sewer water all over the bathroom floor is a big thing, a thing of gargantuan proportions when it is the first thing to greet me in the morning. I tried my meek and quiet spirit on for size, and followed my daughter to the bathroom. In that short distance I had visions. Brown slimy water, mixed with goopy slimy toilet paper remains, cover the floor and stop at the hall carpet. The just-washed bath mat is soaked with it. The trash can and toilet brush holder are floating in it. I am wondering what I should use to clean it up, and whether I can catch some sort of E. coli disease doing it.
And guess what?! The Lord rewarded me royally for giving the meek and quiet spirit a try! It was just a test! And I PASSED!!! He is so good to me. My quick-thinking Alison had had the presence of mind to turn the water off at the valve! So the yucky water was just in a little puddle at the base of the toilet! The bath mat wasn't even close to wet, and there was not a thing floating in slime! It took me one small towel to clean up the mess, while four pair of eyes carefully watched how to do it. (That's so that they could take care of it themselves the next time a clogged toilet threatened to wake me up, right?) Wow. I got that little mess cleaned up in no time, wearing a smile the whole way. I have never been so happy to have something NOT turn out the way I imagined...
I can explain the original description of this disaster by saying my daughter is twelve, almost thirteen years old. "Gross, icky toilet water all over the bathroom floor" was a pretty age-appropriate exaggeration on her part, don't you think? I am proud of her for attempting to use the plunger. Waking me up wasn't in her original plans, at least!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I was tagged by my very own daughter, Alizona. I can't believe it -- she knows better! Daughter! Wouldn't you rather have me taking care of my girls than lose your mother to hours of mental vacation in blogland?!
This is the 8 Things Tag. I don't think I can come up with eight things. Hold on, I'm thinking.... (Do you detect the faint odor of smoke?) Here are the rules:
1).The player starts with 8 random facts about herself or himself.
2).The person who is tagged must post on his/her own blog his/her answers and post the rules first.
3).Then the player must pick 8 people and tag them. Also leave them either a comment or a message that lets them know that you tagged them.
Okay, here we go. Are you ready for a thrill (not)?
Since I really hate being the center of attention, I wanted to elope. My dad kindly suggested that since I am the only daughter in the family, that might not be a good idea. Mom and Dad had done so much for me, I did not want to disappoint them. So we had a real wedding. But I am pretty sure there were friends and relatives in attendance who thought an elopement would have been a better idea for us, lol! It wasn't the happiest day of everyone's life, including mine. (Let me qualify that by saying that I do NOT regret marrying my dear husband!) I still think an elopement would have great, but wait... I don't want my own girls to elope! Hear that, girls?
For a couple of years I attended grade school/junior high school in western NY state. I was on the gymnastics team, sort of -- I went to the practices, but I never competed. No way. Too scary. Every time the coach came by, I would fall off the balance beam on purpose.
While in my sophomore year in college I worked at Target snack bar. (Ick. Awful job!) It was there that I met the subject of my final human interest story for my journalism class, an old lady who had kept and loved 87 physically and/or mentally handicapped foster children. She had come in with about seven of them, to treat them to popcorn. I interviewed her at her home. Too bad I never got around to sending my story to Reader's Digest! (Oh, and I got an "A" on my paper!)
When my husband and I bought a two-acre place on the edge of town, we were really excited to grow our own veggies. Nevermind the fact that we had never done this before. It was an educational summer. We learned the literal meaning of Isaiah 1:8, "And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city." Someone had the bright idea to plant five hills of zucchini and three hills of cucumbers. (It wasn't him -- he doesn't even like cukes.) Yep, the garden got besieged! In short time there were cucumber vines EVERYWHERE. We couldn't walk in our garden without getting our feet caught in vines. Nothing was spared! But the little cukes were oh, so good!! Also, I had heard that if you plant basil next to your green beans, it keeps the mosquitoes down. Well, I beg to differ. We not only had tons of bird-sized mosquitoes, but enough basil to last us forever, as well. Thankfully our property was lined with woods, where all but one of the basil plants was sent to biodegrade, along with several dozen canteloupe melons that were chock full of little black beetles, and the zucchini over-stock.
I was diagnosed with juvenlie diabetes and spent the first week of my senior year of high school in the hospital. The same week, my dad had back surgery. Since there was nothing wrong with me to keep me in bed, I spent a lot of time in his room visiting with him . The nurse thought it was pretty inappropriate for this teen girl to be visiting that middle-aged man so much, and she told me so. (She could have looked at our charts and figured out we were related -- we shared an uncommon last name!)
One of my favorite places on earth was a fire ring near lifeguard station #7 at Huntington City Beach. I have great memories of the ocean. I LOVE the ocean. Too bad so many other people, do, too!
I actually did a cannonball into the lake the other day -- the first time in more than two decades, I think. It's tricky in a WholesomeWear swimsuit! (What? Did you think I would wear one of those microscopic pieces of lycra? You're crazy. What if the Lord Jesus came back right then?!)
Okay, here we go, this is the last one. I knew this would take forever. It takes even longer when you lose your entry... Umm, I never wanted to learn to cook while I was living at home. My mom offered many times to teach me, but I HATED cooking and I just figured I would learn when I got on my own. I made the worst ever batter-fried chicken for my soon-to-be-husband and his brother. The brave man married me anyway, and we have had nearly twenty years of culinary adventures!
Okay, whew, glad that's done. Since this is a tag-free zone, I don't have to follow the rules, right? Who is going to pick up this tag and do it? Let me know, so I can go and see your eight things. Good night, all!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Sincere thanks to all of you bloggers who wished me a happy birthday today!
Daddy and 3 yo. sang Happy Birthday to me at about 8:00 this morning. He took me out for authentic Mexican food for lunch, and then to Dollar Tree, where he treats each of his girls on their birthdays. He picked a birthday card off the rack had me read it, then put it back. That was my card from my husband. The thing is, it said, "Happy 45th Birthday!" I am 44. I pointed this out to him, and he said, "Well, good! We can come back here next year and I will hand you the same card. And the next year after that I can hand you that same card again, and you will be impressed that I still think you look 45!" What a goof!
I came home and opened presents from my girls. Emily gave me a pile of popsicle sticks, a shell, a sand dollar, and a special scribble. I later learned she also wanted to give me some of my own Tupperware lids, but a big sister talked her out of it, lol! (I would have to say, that is better than the pile of carefully hoarded used drinking straws one of my other girls gave their Dad when she was about the same age! LOL!!!) Amy gave me a cute Sculpey creation, two teeny dolls sitting at a huge table, with a cake on it. Plus, something that is my favorite color, another bag of Hershey Nuggets , yay! Alison crocheted a beautiful cotton dishcloth (she really does do a beautiful job) and also gave me an interesting bowl (I say interesting, because it foreshadowed my next gift), which had M&M's all over it. And yes, my next gift was a big bag of M&M's from Elisabeth. Amy baked my birthday cake, and Alison and Mr. Thrifty cleaned up the kitchen and my sweet eldest even scrubbed my kitchen sink! All gifts were made and given with lots of love and affection -- what a dear, special, sweet family I have!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I have come out of hiding, and posted a picture of me. I'm not sure I like it. I prefer to be incognito. Who cares what I look like, or who I am? Ehh, I don't know... The original photo was mural-sized, you know, like it is when your camera is set on simple mode. I had to play with it a while. Wait! I know what I can do....I'll disguise us. There! New avatar! That's better.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I know I am going to eat these words in a few months, but I would love to have one cold, blustery, rainy, fall-ish day. I am weary of HOT weather, that parched, left-in-the-oven-too-long feeling. So I am not waiting any longer.
I have pork chops in the crock pot, a loaf of bread in the bread machine (my, I'm glad I made the SMALL loaf!), and cookies in the oven (not outside, the in-the-house one). The only thing I am missing for atmosphere in this rare, quiet hour is a delicious cup of CAFFEINATED tea (I swore off caffeine, ) in the beautiful new tea cup that my dear friend Barb gave me a couple of weeks ago. This was a special gift -- we have matching ones to enjoy from across the miles!
...It is only 2:30 pm, and we have not reached the hottest part of our day yet, but I am warming things up in the kitchen. Wait, didn't I just say I am tired of being hot? What am I doing??
Sorry about the gloomy photography. Maybe TC could have a Bad Photographer Award. I could win that one! (My bad poetry apparently wasn't bad enough for an award, lol!)
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I'm not the first to do this tag, but this one looked interesting even if I am tag-free.
The rules are: Go to Wikipedia and type in the day and month of your birth excluding the year and hit search. Then choose three events, two births, and one holiday and list them on your blog.
Here is what I found for my birthdate, August 24th (hint, hint!):
I visited Pompeii when I was about six years old. Very interesting place! And soooo sad to see the casts of people buried in ash while they were trying to run away (to where?).
1456 - The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.
Praise the Lord for this event!
1990 - Sinéad O'Connor refuses to perform at the Garden State Arts Plaza in Holmdel, New Jersey if "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played before her show, as is customary.
(Too bad they didn't just ship her back to Ireland.)
1759- William Wilberforce, English abolitionist
1787- James Weddell, Antarctica explorer
Holiday (I think I had about four things to pick from. I guess my birthday is not a big choice for holidays, but hey, I would make it one, don't you think it is worth celebrating?!):
Ukraine : National holiday, independence from the Soviet Union (1991).
Saturday, August 18, 2007
TC is having a bad poetry contest. Here's mine for now... maybe I'll come up with some worse bad poetry later on.
This woman's brain is full of fluff,
And I own way too much stuff.
And I'm not nearly content enough.
But the Lord this gem will gently buff
Until he makes me clear and tough,
For I am diamondsintherough.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Some strange things are going on in my house. Some strange but wonderful things. My three-year-old's brain has been infused with knowledge that is not supposed to be there yet. I don't get it. She has always been interested in books and music. But yesterday she got on Starfall for the first time ever, and READ "Zac the Rat" and several other stories. This morning she was plunking around on the piano, and I said, half joking, "Emily, why don't you play Love Lifted Me?" So she did. I kid you not. Her big sister had to show her the first note, but after that she just played the verse! Someone recently sent us a video of a six-year-old kid who is a prodigy on the piano, and she wants to be like him! What am I going to do with a kid who already knows how to do everything (except use the bathroom)??
More strange and wonderful things:
My seven year old insists this week that she wants to do her OWN laundry, and her little sister's, too.
Child with undisclosed name has an awesome math week in school. I think double division saved our school! It's a miracle.
Twelve-yo has a renewed love and fervor for her violin, and watches video samples from Violin Masterclass over and over again. (It's hard to keep that enthusiasm without a teacher. )
The article I needed to write for my ladies' newsletter came together in one short evening. That has been hanging over my head for a while.
My husband returned the nice shirts I got him from Penneys for his birthday. This is neither strange nor wonderful. The strange and wonderful thing is that he actually EXCHANGED them for something else, rather than just getting a refund. That makes me happy!
And here is the most strange and wonderful thing of all:
I have eaten almost an entire bag of Hershey's Toffee and Almond Nuggets without dear daughter #2, GimmeChocolate, catching me with my mouth full, discovering my stash, or smelling my breath from 50 feet away! Sigh.... it's been such a great week!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I have received a couple of negative comments on my Which Bible posts, which I have had to delete. They were not hateful, but I can't let them sit out here for everyone to read before I get a chance to answer the charges. We have started school again here, and I have less time than I had before to blog, but I will get back to them. I saved the comments to refer back to later. I appreciate the moral support I have received, and even the challenges. I am not interested in holding a forum or a debate over this issue, because for one, neither of us is going to convince the other, and second, according to Romans 1, debate isn't something we should be engaged in. At least, that's the way it is in my Bible. What does yours say? Should we, or shouldn't we? Here we go again...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
"A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'big brother' and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors-- Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.
But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening.
If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I: would often laugh or cry as I watched.
He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn' t seem to mind-but sometimes Mom would quietly get up-- while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places-- go to her room, read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house-- not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.
He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes sugestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger,
As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name? We always just called him TV."
-Told by Keith Currie
That story has been around, but for this purpose I sort of borrowed it from Rosewild. Wasn't that good? Yep, that kind of guest in the house is exempt from the house rules. We have been TV-free in our home since 1988. That is, since we were married. I am sure that we seem to be quite out-of-it when the conversation outside our home involves whatever is in the TV Guide. We don't recognize 98% of the celebrities whose photos are on most of the kids' blogs or on the tabloid covers. But I don't miss it, in fact, I am thankful that we aren't addicted to TV as well as blogging! I just can't figure out where I would have the time to do both.
One of the great benefits I see in NOT having a television (besides the fact that my family is not being fed wordly philosophy and worldly music all the day long) is that my kids don't need to be visually stimulated to learn something. They are able to sit quietly and listen during church (or pretend to, LOL), and can usually answer when questioned about the sermon. I wonder if a TV habit would give them trouble with their concentration. ...I am not going to experiment to find out!
I think it is incredible how much of our thinking comes from Hollywood. We think we just have to have the latest whatever to fit in -- latest hairstyle or lack thereof (for head or face), tattoo or piercing, designer clothing item, or portion of flesh exposed. We are encouraged by the TV-world to express our individuality, but we have to do that within certain limits. You can't be too individual, or you don't fit in. After living as a Hollywood IQ moron for this many years, I'd rather just not conform. It's safer both physically and spiritually, and hey, it's much cheaper! (King David didn't have a TV, either, see? "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." Psalm 101:3)
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I feel that possibly my Bible version series may have prompted a post I read recently about divisiveness. I will be the first to admit I am not the queen of tact. Certainly gentleness and meekness are fruits that I need to have the Lord develop in me further -- and probably will be until the day I die. I do not write my posts with the intention of upsetting people or to boast of my own goodness or scholarship (both are paltry in my life). In fact, I spend a lot of time wording things so that I might say them with as little offense as possible! Pray for me that I might learn to present truth without offending. I would appreciate that very much.
What I see here at HSB, in spite of many differences in beliefs about Jesus Christ, salvation, and godly living, is an "I'm okay, you're okay, we're all okay," attitude, with little concern for what is actually RIGHT. Does it matter? Yes, it matters to me. I know that "right" matters to you, too, or you would not be teaching your own children. If I thought there were many truths, that everything that calls itself "Christian", or "spiritual", is okay, there would be no point in my posts about the Bible versions. My aim is not to change the minds of those who are confident in their beliefs, but to prayerfully teach those who are NOT sure, to those who see the inconsistencies in the English Bibles. My hope is that maybe one person reading my posts will be led to love the Lord Jesus, to love his word, and to have a zeal for that which is right.
If I post something that you disagree with, please do not feel personally offended. I know that many will disagree with me about the Bible versions. I do not wish my blog to be a source of hurt or anxiety. If it is, please, with no hard feelings on either side, simply remove me from your friends list. Please do accept my sincere, heart-felt apologies, and forgive me for saying things in a way that is rude or offensive to you. May the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, be glorified in my blog and in yours.
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.
Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Hey, we're back and I am so far behind in blogland that I give up! We had nine days with virtually no computer (I did check the email once early in the trip), and what peace it gave to my soul. No pressure. The minute we walked back into our house, or rather, the next morning, five people spent most of the day looking into this screen for one reason or another, being basically useless in this household. If this old dinosaur (for which we are very thankful, and it isn't THAT old) crashes, I may not be in a hurry to fix it!
Speaking of dinosaurs, we saw some on our trip. Now, I know, I told you there is nothing to look at between here and the middle of nowhere, but I must have been exaggerating again, because really there is some pretty nice scenery around Flagstaff, and in parts of New Mexico. But most of what we saw looked like this:
And this (notice the dust devil):
The pretty stuff looks like this:
On the first day of our journey we were shocked to see these scary-looking creatures on both sides of the highway:
The girls hollered out to our resident Dragon-Slayer, Dad, to stop the car and catch one for them, so he did. He made chase, drew his sword, and captured one of the beasts! Here the girls are, subduing the creature:
Another interesting sight along the way were these windmills. These things are HUGE. For perspective's sake, see the little teeny thing right in the center of the photo? That is an ordinary-sized windmill, and although it appears to be on the horizon, it is about in line with the second large windmill from the foreground. We have seen these before; their size always amazes me!
While at our destination we enjoyed four nights of music and preaching by my daughters (the music portion) and my husband (the preacher), plus the company of dear friends, one of whom has been inspired to start his own blog, A Guy's View. We were blessed to be in our old church, to have fellowship with our beloved pastor and his wife, and to fill our bellies with lots of good food. We were also blessed with a trip to the zoo, the first time ever for my three-year-old. We saw the usual zoo beasts, hippos, elephants, gorillas, and giraffes:
Oh yes, and BATS! Ugh.
Well, we had a wonderful time, but we are also glad to be home. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the Dragon Slayer's birthday, so we are going to celebrate with a big taco salad (it would be roast beef and mashed potatoes, but it is going to be 112 tomorrow -- not roast weather!), plus a big chocolate cake and French vanilla ice cream, AFTER a joyful reunion with our own church family in the morning. Wish me lots of free time this week so I can keep up with the ever-important, but low-priority, blogosphere!