September 29, 2005

My 100th post here in blogtown....

This is my 100th post!!! It is customary, I am told, to make a list of 100 things about yourself for your 100th post on a blog. I am not sure I know myself that well, but I will try. =)

I had a really hard time doing this. I am not a very intuitive person, so the list may not sound ‘deep’ and thoughtful. But it represents the way I see the world and my life. I am a very tactile, sensing person, so to an intuitive it may sound a little superficial….but I assure you, I do have depth to my personality. It is just very hard for me to express those feelings and thoughts.

The list is in random order, since that is how things came to mind. I hope this isn’t also my most boring post to date!

1. I love and am a follower of Jesus.
2. I like to talk to people about faith, about the Bible…not argue, mind you, just discuss.
3. I am married to one of the dwindling number of great men, Charles.
4. I am mom to Hannah, 18….she moved out at the end of the summer…it’s sad in a way, yet exciting to see her finding her way.
5. I am mom to Bethany, 15….amazing to see God working in her life the past 2 years and teaching her things I never could. She is really independent, a real leader-type and likes projects and goals.
6. I am mom to Emma, 13….an emerging young woman (emerging from tomboyishness…it’s fun to see!), exploring who she is made to be (her personality, talents, gifts), gaining some confidence along the way and learning to trust God…and sometimes her parents…with her worries.
7. I am mom to Maggie, 8…who loves to talk and ask questions…lots of questions. She is teaching me patience and she is trying to learn not to interrupt. She loves her dogs, playing with dolls, nail polish and watching Jimmy Neutron.
8. I homeschool my children. We’ve been doing school at home for 7 years now with one year off to help start a Christian school at our church. It was a good year, my kids greatly benefited from it, but we can’t afford to do it again and so it is back to teaching at home. I would like to support our local schools, but I won’t sacrifice my kids’ education and childhood to do it. Our school here, sadly, is a failing school.
9. I work with youth at church….and younger children sometimes too.
10. I love to teach the Bible to kids.
11. I am a pastor’s wife….. and I like it.
12. I like raquetball.
13. I love long drives in the country….or mountains….or by the ocean….etc
14. I like really good pizza…Pizza Hut, Pappa John’s or homemade
15. I like salad (the more veggies and add ins in it the better)…crunch crunch crunch.
16. I like chocolate…I love chocolate…I need chocolate…*going to find chocolate*
17. I love to study the Jewish feast days and their prophetic meanings.
18. I like to grow things…..indoor and out.
19. I forget to water regularly, so I periodically have crunchy plants.
20. Bugs freak me out….I try to keep my freaking inside though, so my kids won’t freak too….. someone has to remain calm!
21. I am having a hard time accepting being in my *gulp* 40’s.
22. My hair is brown….more precisely Clairol Balsam medium ash brown
23. My eyes are dark green and brown.
24. I hate swimsuits….why can’t we swim without being almost naked??
25. I love jeans…and anything cotton.
26. I make lists. I redo lists because I change my mind. I lose my lists or leave them at home when I go shopping. I think this is because I am very unorganized, yet know I need to be more organized…I don’t think it’s working.
27. I like to channel surf…..this causes irritation with my family. I am constantly wondering if I’m missing something better though.
28. I like to stay up late and sleep til 8am.
29. I like to cook….I try to cook healthy things and bread. I usually don’t make desserts unless we have company.
30. I like to go to restaurants.
31. I like coffee shops…espresso type shops… favorite, hot or cold and blended is a cafe mocha.
32. I like movies….I collect good movies.
33. I like to read, but it bothers my eyes lately and it takes so long to finish anything when you only have snippets of time to devote to it.
34. I have a very goofy sense of humor…..very literal and visual…I picture everything….I think my mind works in pictures… this is usually entertaining, but sometimes disturbing .....I have heard that other people think in words....hmmm.
35. I make up songs….my dogs are the only people who appreciate them. The songs are usually about the dogs. I hope it isn’t a big mistake to say this publicly.
36. I’m an ESFP personality type….this tends to be my excuse for a lot of things I feel I need to explain. =)
37. I’m very curious. I use my Google search engine almost every day to look up everything from a word I don’t know to what I’ve seen an actor in before. I also look up the pictures on my blog with Google image search.
38. I don’t like scary movies….the last one I saw was Secret Window…very disturbing.
39. I would love to be 3 sizes smaller.
40. I hate to diet. I cheat…I’m a cheater and always feel deprived and punished if I’m on a diet…..I tend to whine and be grumpy on diets too, which makes other people suffer when I’m on a diet.
41. I wanted to be a hippie, but was born too late. This is a good thing in retrospect. I still like VW vans.
42. I’ve never taken drugs…have only had a sip of alcohol a few times. I don’t think it’s wrong to drink alcohol sometimes, but alcoholism runs in my family, so I’m not going to even start.
43. I get kidney stones very easily. Because of this I usually have a glass or bottle of water with me.
44. I like cool weather, not hot.
45. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. (which enlightens you on line number 44)
46. I have a BA in Religion and in Theatre/speech. Kind of a useless degree, but I had a lot of fun in college. I took one year of graduate classes at a seminary in Texas….this resulted in an MRS degree.
47. I like banana popsicles and those rocket pops that are red, white and blue….lemonade flavored.
48. I’m a strict mom, but I’m fun.
49. I like home design, gardening and cooking shows.
50. I really like music….right now my favorites are Jars of Clay, Caedmon’s Call, Superchik, Switchfoot, Lifehouse and Newsboys.
51. I just wrote fifty things about myself and I’m bored to tears. I’m going to bed. (that was yesterday)
52. Slurpees…yes….Coke flavor.
53. Bethany’s deluxe Tang….no
54. I like weather…..thunderstorms, snow, fall wind, ice storms, dust storms, cold, freezing, chilly, brisk, even warm….just not hot.
55. I love rocking on the porch with the husband. (in rocking chairs, not to music, don’t be silly)
56. I love being outside.
57. I do not like horseback riding. Horses play mean tricks on me…I have witnesses,,,..unfortunately.
58. My husband gave me an iPod Shuffle this past summer….I love it and carry it in my purse. It has 150+ of my current favorite songs on a gizmo the size of a stick of gum!
59. I have 3 dogs….Millie, an Eskimo-poo, she lives inside the house and likes to boss us around (let me out, let me in, let me out, I need food, I ate my food…give me a biskit, I need water, I need patting, I want you to chase me now, let me out, let me in)…….Joonbug, a sheltie who is old, deaf and stiff, but very sweet…barks too much……Winnie, a one year old American Eskimo…loves to howl at the train whistle (which happens about 10 times a day…we’ve taken to howling along with her….it’s very freeing and primitive…I recommend it), wrestle with the other dogs (who find it annoying) and play with Maggie.
60. I have a hard time just saying something without explaining it. (you may have noticed this)
61. I have good friends I have never met in person….through the internet.
62. I grew up with 3 sisters and 2 brothers and my parents have been married for 59 years.
63. One brother died when I was 10…this affected my life greatly.
64. I don’t think I’ll make it to 100.
65. I like photography.
66. Camping is more fun with a camper. We used a tent for 18 years, with babies, in rain, wind, in good humor and bad, so I know this is true.
67. As an adult I have lived in New Mexico (2 summers), Texas (2 yrs), Oklahoma (2 yrs), New Jersey (10 yrs), and Arizona (8 years).
68. I play practical jokes on my kids.
69. I don’t like practical jokes played on me….I know…not fair…oh well
70. I have never liked to babysit….still don’t. I just went off the church nursery rotation for my first time ever as an adult!
71. I was a preschool teacher for four years before having our first child. Then we had a hard time finding a child’s name that I didn’t have a negative association with.
72. I love drive in movies….lawn chairs, big paper bag of popcorn, blankies, stars. There is still a drive in theater in my hometown, where I’ve taken my kids for movies.
73. My knee hurts. (running out of things now)
74. I don’t like talking on the phone.
75. I don’t like only doing one thing at a time.
76. I don’t like carpeting. Wood floors are best.
77. We keep a fan going in our bedroom year round.
78. I like personality can't flunk!
79. I am almost the exact opposite of my husband personality-wise. (he likes me though…and I like him….it keeps things interesting)
80. I am shocked that I’ve been blogging for this long. (I started 9 months ago…in January) I usually lose interest in things I start.
81. I absolutely hate public restrooms….so far I think California has the worst ever public restrooms.
82. I can’t hear well in noisy places….darn ear phones.
83. I am not a good person to teach driving to my kids….I was called a ‘spaz’ a couple of weeks ago….that’s not nice, is it?
84. I like toasted almonds on ice cream….chocolate ice cream.
85. Ice cream does not agree with my stomach, so I rarely eat it.
86. If I were a cartoon character, I’d probably be Winnie the Pooh…..I do like to say, “Oh, bother”
87. My best colors are Fall/Winter….according to color analysis thingies.
88. My most watched movie: You’ve Got Mail.
89. TV personality I most identify with: Loralie Gilmore…Gilmore Girls. I’m not a single mom, but the personality is about right….I wish I had as many quotes memorized as she does though and could make witty banter so quickly. (If I only had a team of writers doing scripts for me!)
90. I like traditional things, homey furnishings, fire in the fireplace, dog on the rug, husband beside me, kids chattering in the background.
91. I like hanging out with teenagers. I like the teen years better than the preschool years in my own parenting strange is that?
92. My hair gets really freaky curly in humid conditions….it’s my life long fight to have smooth hair.
93. I do NOT like to play board games.
94. I love to play gin on yahoo games.
95. I like the new VW Beetles….a cobalt blue convertible one would be just the ticket! My husband loves those new retro Mustangs.
96. I fear sharing too much of me….which makes me nervous making this list.
97. I laugh hysterically at Jimmy Neutron episodes.
98. I like magazines…..lot of good photos and short, to the point articles.
99. I used to think animating a puppet….like on Sesame Street…would be a perfect job for me…..I could use all my weird voices and be crazy in a socially acceptable setting….and get paid for it!
100. I love to make people laugh. I used to think this was not a very noble thing….but as I live my life and walk through this world, I am thinking it’s just what we need….good encouraging laughter…not the crude, degrading humor you see so much of today. So if you laughed or even smiled while reading this list, it was worth putting it out there.


September 27, 2005

When words are hard to come by.....

Sometimes words don?t come easily. I have never been one to know what to say to someone who has gone through a loss or is going through a time of great darkness. (I don?t think anyone is good at knowing what to say, by the way) This last week, I've talked to two women who went through recent miscarriages. Since I have been in their shoes in that experience, I know that what people say, trying to be of comfort, can just make it hurt even more. So I hugged them, told them how sorry I was, told them I knew, I've been there, only time makes the sorrow lessen.

The recent conversations brought back memories from that dark time. I had lost 2 babies in 2 years, both were during the fifth month of pregnancy. I was showing, wearing maternity blouses, over the sickness of the first trimester, enjoying having another baby, thinking of names...then total tragedy, burial arrangements.... emptiness like I had never known. It was a time when I couldn't pray, words wouldn't come. When I tried to pray, I only cried, all I could say was help, help....please help me. I think it has been the weakest, lowest point of my life so far. During that time, I found some songs, some prayers in the Bible, and prayer poems in some literature a dear friend gave me for mothers who had gone through miscarriage. They were not my words, but they were just what I needed to express from my troubled mind and heart. These materials gave me the words I needed to express those emotions. It was so soothing to have some words to say, to sing even though I knew God could see what I was feeling, what I was needing, what I couldn't express....I know the Spirit intercedes for us in those times.

I have been toying with the idea of creating a prayer page for a few weeks now. The conversations with these friends this week and memories stirred inside me gave me the inspiration to really get it going. I will be adding to it as time goes by. And if you have any prayers that have helped you, please send them to me. I hope it ministers to you as I know it ministers to me to have words to express things I, myself, have no words for...

I started out with the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and future followers the night He had the last Passover with the disciples. I love idea of Jesus praying for us, teaching us how to pray for each other...loving us so much that He preserved His words for us....

Prayer page

September 24, 2005


I had to take a picture of the freshly canned jars of plum jam on my kitchen counter today. It is very satisfying to see them there…the finished product of a long afternoon of stirring, burning my fingers on hot jars and dried out hands from washing all my pots 3 times for 3 batches of jam. This all started a few days ago when I was rummaging through my freezer for some idea of what to cook for dinner. My freezer is a chest type that is very deep (in order to reach something at the bottom, my feet come off the floor), things can become lost in there, lurking at the bottom. So I was pleasantly surprised at finding some plum puree that I had made last Fall! (talk about procrastinating…heh) I looked at it, deciding it wasn’t freezer burned or too old, pulled it out to thaw and went looking for my canning equipment.

I haven’t canned anything in years….between summers here with no air conditioning, busyness at the beginning of Fall when I used to can stuff, and the high cost of produce here, it didn’t seem worth the effort. So when I was given a huge box of plums last Fall, I dove in washing, pitting and dicing plums for a couple of afternoons! Then I promptly put the puree in the freezer, thinking I would make jam when the weather got cooler…enter going to work every day last Fall and you have forgotten fruits.

Like the Little Red Hen, I asked each of my older kids if they’d like to learn how to can…..rejection. Maggie, my 8 year old, buzzed in and out of the kitchen wanting to help, but due to ill timing and boiling hot jam that needed constant stirring, my one willing helper was shooed off…..oh, the rejection. This all turned into a marathon jam event and by the third batch, I was slopping the sticky stuff into jars as fast as I could so I could rest.

I have to say though, that it was worth all the work to see the finished product, all pretty, lids pinging into preserving perfection, all lined up on the counter. My daughter commented that we still had some jars of jam in the cupboard and pulled out about 8 jars with handwritten labels on top: blueberry jam, applebutter, apricot. Now I know that the only jam I have canned since moving to Arizona is the applebutter, so that meant the other jars were over 8 years old! Gross! I threw those out, but let her open the applebutter. It was several years old, I know…but it was still sealed and made the appropriate poof noise upon opening, but it looked kind of iffy. I guess it was fine because she ate some and was fine, but I couldn’t bear to have any myself.

The fruit of my labor years ago was not very appetizing….kinda stale and funky, but there is a fruit that will never spoil and always looks good and pleasant to experience wherever it is cultivated:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5:22-23

September 20, 2005

See you at the pole?


Have you ever driven by a school around 7:30am on a Wednesday morning in September and seen a group of kids crowded around the flag pole? Did you know they were praying…..exercising their religious rights and praying for their school and classmates around the mainstay American symbol of freedom…their flagpole. Tomorrow is See You At the Pole 2005. Christian school kids in every city in the US are encouraged to get together to pray. It is an awesome thing to see, if you take the time to drive by your local school tomorrow around 7:30am. Last year, as a leader in our youth ministry, I decided to take pictures of the kids as they gathered around the poles at our high school and our middle/elementary school. I knew the kids from our youth group were planning to be there…but when I drove up to each of the schools, I saw a large crowd on each campus. Word had spread and there were a lot more than I thought there would be.

See You At The Pole is not a new idea…it’s been around for 15 years, since 1990. On September 15, 1999 our youth met for See You at the Pole…..then that night on the news we heard about a church in Texas, where teenagers from all over Fort Worth were having a rally to celebrate their See You at the Pole day. A mentally disturbed man came into that rally and shot 14 people, killing 7 of them, then killed himself…..all of this in front of a huge crowd of teenagers. A friend I grew up with was the first one shot and killed that night. Read about how that church responded here. What Satan means for evil, God turns into a testimony for Himself.

See You at the Pole is not a meaningless gesture to say, “We’re here.” It is a powerful event….these kids are under attack every day, they not ‘allowed’ to share their faith or pray publicly at school. This event of gathering publicly to pray for their school and declare their religious freedom is not a popular thing from the enemy’s viewpoint. We need to pray for these kids as they make a bold stand this tomorrow…for their protection and that they will hold strong to their faith when adversity comes….because it will. And God will use it for good.

September 16, 2005

Ginger Snaps!

Once the weather gets cool, I consider it Fall. We get Fall weather here in the mountains earlier than normal. So I am already in the Fall mode….thinking about mums in my garden, looking for changing leaves, and rooting out my Fall recipes. Pumpkin bars, apple pie, soups, aaaaaaaaand the ever Fallish of Fall recipes….ginger snaps. We lived in New Jersey for almost ten years and every Fall we would go to the store and see tall stacks of orange boxes at the end of the grocery isles…..boxes of Sweetzel’s Spiced Wafers. By the second Fall we lived there, I had to buy a box of them since there were so many stacked up in every store you went to, that it made you curious as to what was so special about these cookies….well it made me curious anyway. From the first bite, they became my favorite cookie. They weren’t like other ginger snaps…..they were almost black with spices and hard as a rock, so you has to dunk them in your coffee or milk, which just added to their charm.

When we moved to Arizona, I was sorely disappointed when Fall came and there were no Sweetzels….anywhere. A friend of mine from New Jersey sent me 2 boxes of them one Fall because I had talked about it so much…, whined about it probably. She felt sorry for me. =) The next season, I decided I would go on a search for the perfect ginger snap recipe. I don’t know if you’ve made ginger snaps before, but there is a lot of variance in ingredients and taste. It took 2 years and probably 4 bottles of molasses to find a good recipe. And now I’m sharing it with you…cuz I’m so nice. I just want you to have a wonderful Fall and to have the snappiest ginger snaps to lead the way. They are best if you have a tall glass of ice cold, freshly pressed apple cider with them, but if not, use the beverage of your choice….coffee, tea, milk.

Ginger Snaps

3 sticks butter
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sugar (or 1 c brown sugar and 1 c white sugar)
2 eggs
4 cups flour (I use half whole wheat flour)
4 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves (heaping tsp)

Soften the butter. Add the molasses, sugar and eggs. Beat well. Sift together the spices, flour and soda. Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture. Mix well. Refrigerate overnight. When thoroughly chilled, form into small balls about 1 inch in width. Roll the top side of these balls in sugar. Place on greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.

Tip: Use sugar in the raw, or turbino sugar to roll the cookies in before baking. The larger sugar crystals make them look cool.

September 13, 2005

Starting at the beginning...again

I was called a spazz today.

Let me just say…..I don’t think it is a natural thing to let your children take the wheel of your car that you have yet to pay off! It causes serious blood pressure problems. It does not promote good will between child and parent. It causes me to utter loud gutterral noises when I think we have a chance of careening into other cars…or curbs…or people innocently walking on the sidewalk. (when in a split second emergency situation, I cannot speak words…just sounds….not pleasant sounds.)

My daughter Bethany got her learner’s permit a couple of weeks ago. After letting her drive home from getting the permit, I told Charles that he is now responsible for her driving education. He rarely has the time or energy for it though, so it’s been falling to me. Turning her first corner, her first day of driving she didn’t put the connection of ‘we need to slow down’ to ‘step on the brake!’ so we went careening around the corner, nearly giving me a fainting spell. After we turned, we both looked at each other and I said, “the brake…USE the brake around corners.” She said she couldn’t think that fast of what to do….I said I wasn’t getting in the car with her again until she could!

Yesterday we were driving along a quiet neighborhood street, in a school zone, going 15 miles an hour. Bethany spotted a grown man riding a bike on the other side of the street and she slowed down and almost stopped. I said, “What?” She said she wanted to make sure he didn’t dart out in front of her. I covered my face with my hands and laughed myself silly. Had to explain that people did not usually dart out in front of moving cars. People walking on the sidewalk beside the street kinda make her freaky too. And she is a little skittish about the middle line in the street. She likes to stay far, far away from it….we’re talking driving by the curb. Watch for parked cars!

Well I’d better stop…she may read this and then she’ll hurt me!

It’s an adventure….something I’ve done by rote for years and years…now I am seeing it through the eyes of a newby. Each little thing that I do by second nature, I have to remind her of….every time. Brake to slow, gas to go, look before changing lanes or turning, put it in park, turn off the engine and give me the keys when we get home.

Don’t you hate being a newby? Don’t you dread having to break one in? ;)

September 12, 2005

Season of refreshment

It is beautiful Fall weather outside here....high 69, breeeeeeezy, crisp, leaves rustling, faint smell of a fire place in the air...mmmmmmm. It is so refreshing! I am sitting at the kitchen table, listening to Maggie read her story for the day...I'm only getting that it's about a frog and the 'tools' he has to help him swim and survive in water.

Where I really want to be is sitting out on the lawn swing enjoying the day....soon I will be. So I'm taking a minute now to share a new page I've found. It is called The Drinking Fountain. I started perusing it this morning during math time. =) Math time takes forever and it is review, so I was perusing between checking answers. I have been finding the internet a very dull place lately…mostly I check mail, a few message boards and a few blogs. I guess I’m not very good at finding new places to explore. The Drinking Fountain is full of interesting links and blog pages arranged by the personality type of the author….very fun idea! So check it out if you’ve run out of places to explore on the net.

I hope you have some refreshment in your life today….I know it is just what I needed after a couple of weeks of seeing tragedy and horror. Pray for those who are relocating from the Gulf area, that their lives will be refreshed and the places where they settle will be a blessing to them.

Proverbs 11:24-25

One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

September 8, 2005

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup 

3 T butter
3 T flour
2 T grated onion
salt and pepper
8 American cheese slices
1 can chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 1/2 c milk
1 cup cooked broccoli pieces, chopped very small or processed in a food processor

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onion and cook 1 minute in butter. Add flour and whisk until incorporated. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and whisk in half of milk. Tear up cheese slices and alternate adding cheese, chicken broth and the rest of the milk, slowly whisking as you add cheese. Add another can of chicken broth and more broccoli and cheese to make a larger batch. Use real cheese and not ‘cheese food’ and you’ll be happy you did. =)

Tip: Grated onion is a good way to add real onion flavor if you have kids who don’t like pieces of onion in their food. I have a mini food processor that I grate onion up in and it almost liquefies it. You can use this method to add onion flavor to salsa, homemade salad dressings, soups, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, potato dishes, omelets and anything else to which you normally add onion.

September 7, 2005

When I was very young...

I found this meme on Stand up and WalkGo here and enter your graduation year in the search box. Click on the top 100 songs of that year and start crossing and emboldening.
Songs I didn’t like are crossed out,
songs I really liked a lot are in bold,
songs I don’t even remember have question marks after them.

I liked the radio and listened to most of this stuff, but I never was the kind of person to know the names and artists of songs. The artists I mostly listened to at home on my stereo (on albums!!) were Dan Fogelberg, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor. Not really top 40 stuff, but when you see the list you’ll understand….ha! I was NOT into disco…..and unfortunately I grew up in the age of disco.

1. My Sharona, The Knack
2. Bad Girls, Donna Summer 
3. Le Freak, Chic ??
4. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy, Rod Stewart
5. Reunited, Peaches and Herb
6. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
7. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer
8. Y.M.C.A., Village People
9. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward??
10. Sad Eyes, Robert John
11. Too Much Heaven, Bee Gees ??
12. MacArthur Park, Donna Summer ??
13. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Dr. Hook 
14. Makin' It, David Naughton ??
15. Fire, Pointer Sisters
16. Tragedy, Bee Gees 
17. A Little More Love, Olivia Newton-John
18. Heart Of Glass, Blondie
19. What A Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers
20. Good Times, Chic 
21. You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
22. Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart ??
23. Stumblin' In, Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman
24. Lead Me On, Maxine Nightingale
25. Shake Your Body, Jacksons
26. Don't Cry Out Loud, Melissa Manchester
27. The Logical Song, Supertramp ??
28. My Life, Billy Joel 
29. Just When I Needed You Most, Randy Vanwarmer
30. You Can't Change That, Raydio
31. Shake Your Groove Thing, Peaches and Herb
32. I'll Never Love This Way Again, Dionne Warwick 
33. Love You Inside Out, Bee Gees 
34. I Want You To Want Me, Cheap Trick
35. The Main Event (Fight), Barbra Streisand 
36. Mama Can't Buy You Love, Elton John
37. I Was Made For Dancin', Leif Garrett ??
38. After The Love Has Gone, Earth, Wind and Fire
39. Heaven Knows, Donna Summer and Brooklyn Dreams ??
40. The Gambler, Kenny Rogers
41. Lotta Love, Nicolette Larson ??
42. Lady, Little River Band
43. Heaven Must Have Sent You, Bonnie Pointer ??
44. Hold The Line, Toto
45. He's The Greatest Dancer, Sister Sledge ??
46. Sharing The Night Together, Dr. Hook
47. She Believes In Me, Kenny Rogers
48. In The Navy, Village People
49. Music Box Dancer, Frank Mills 
50. The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band
51. Gold, John Stewart ??
52. Goodnight Tonight, Wings
53. We Are Family, Sister Sledge
54. Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy, Bad Company
55. Every 1's A Winner, Hot Chocolate ??
56. Take Me Home, Cher ??
57. Boogie Wonderland, Earth, Wind and Fire ??
58. (Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away, Andy Gibb
59. What You Won't Do For Love, Bobby Caldwell
60. New York Groove, Ace Frehley??
61. Sultans Of Swing, Dire Straits
62. I Want Your Love, Chic
63. Chuck E's In Love, Rickie Lee Jones
64. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges ??
65. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, McFadden and Whitehead ??
66. Lonesome Loser, Little River Band ??
67. Renegade, Styx
68. Love Is The Answer, England Dan and John Ford Coley 
69. Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn ??
70. Born To Be Alive, Patrick Hernandez ??
71. Shine A Little Love, Electric Light Orchestra
72. I Just Fall In Love Again, Anne Murray
73. Shake It, Ian Matthews
74. I Was Made For Lovin' You, Kiss 
75. I Just Wanna Stop, Gino Vannelli
76. Disco Nights, G.Q. 
77. Ooh Baby Baby, Linda Ronstadt
78. September, Earth, Wind and Fire
79. Time Passages, Al Stewart
80. Rise, Herb Alpert
81. Don't Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra
82. Promises, Eric Clapton
83. Get Used To It, Roger Voudouris ??
84. How Much I Feel, Ambrosia
85. Suspicions, Eddie Rabbitt
86. You Take My Breath Away, Rex Smith
87. How You Gonna See Me Now, Alice Cooper ??
88. Double Vision, Foreigner 
89. Every Time I Think Of You, Babys ??
90. I Got My Mind Made Up, Instant Funk ??
91. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson ??
92. Bad Case Of Lovin' You, Robert Palmer
93. Somewhere In The Night, Barry Manilow 
94. We've Got Tonite, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band 
95. Dance The Night Away, Van Halen
96. Dancing Shoes, Nigel Olsson
97. The Boss, Diana Ross ??
98. Sail On, Commodores
99. I Do Love You, G.Q. ??
100. Strange Way, Firefall ??

**Disclaimer** I apologize profusely for the music of my senior year. =(

September 5, 2005

First hand report

I have a friend in Hattiesburg, who I emailed after the hurricane to check on her safety. Not expecting an answer for a week or more, she emailed me back on Friday, four days after the storm, letting me know she and her family were all ok. They had been without electricity until Friday and had 20-30 thousand dollars worth of damages on their home. It was a short note with a promise to write more later. Yesterday, on Sunday, I got this update. She said I could post it on here in hopes that people will gain more understanding on the devastation, even an hour away from New Orleans, and that people will pray, pray, pray for the people there.

To use a word that can most describe what has been going on is almost impossible. The hurricane was beyond anything we could have imagined or prepared for. We started getting high winds around 9 Monday and they finally calmed down around 9 Monday night. We had sustained winds of 100 mph and gust higher for about 3 hours The eye passed over us. Even after being here for Camille, I can honestly say this was ten times worse for Hattiesburg. My kids have now been a part of history. I can honestly say though, we all knew God was taking care of us and that we would live through this to give Him glory for what he has done.

We now have water....muddy though it is, we can't drink or cook with it, but we have now all had hot baths for the first time in a week. There are so very many who are not as fortunate. Two of the men who work with my husband, one lived in Gulfport and the other Pass Christian, have lost everything along with thousands more. The company was able to finally let my husband know they are alive which is a blessing.

The damage in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas is totally unbelievable. For days the biggest hospital had no water or power. Things are getting slowly back to normal for many, but many may be without power for weeks or months. There are so many trees down over power lines and power lines broken.

One thing I want to tell you though. Everyone is screaming the government isn't doing enough. They are here in force, guards are having to patrol the streets because of looting here, so I can only imagine New Orleans. New Orleans is a horrible situation, but a lot of what you are seeing on the news is just like the situation in Iraq. They are only reporting the bad things not the thousands of people that are pitching together trying to help each other. They had told anyone in New Orleans that did not have a way out before the storm, they would put on busses and take them to shelter out of town. Many chose not to go because they wanted to be able to steal and loot, not imagining the flood gates would fail. Now, many stayed because that is there home, just like the many on the Ms. coast. No one could have prepared for this. Complacency played a big part, in that we do get so many hurricane warnings and then they fizzle. We had prepared more than we normally do, because for some reason, we felt it was going to be bad.

We have had 7 deaths here. One man shot his sister over a bag of ice. One has been killed when his car was stolen. Human lives are all important, but what the world needs to know is that mean people are mean people and are using this to rob, steal, and do anything they can because the police are tied up trying to help people provide.

They have no idea when the schools will be going back. Our high school has power, but is being used as a Red Cross Center. The middle and lower elementary schools have so much damage, they just can't set a date. They are all within a mile of my house and like I said, the eye came right over us. The calm of it was very eerie, but a welcome relief. We have pictures and when we get cable internet back (which will probably be months) I'll send them to you. It would just take too long with dial up.

Thank you for your prayers. We are going to be fine. As I told you, keep your prayers for the people who have nothing to start with. I do have a roof over my head but many are sleeping in tents. God is good. 

September 4, 2005

Beloved, let us love one another...

My pastor, who happens to be my husband, was preaching this morning. We have been watching coverage of the hurricane relief efforts and all the media hype that goes along with such a major event. So many people are pointing fingers saying it was God's wrath on New Orleans or they are blaming the government, judging the motives of relief workers, the President and FEMA. He said he thinks it is God's wake up call for American wake up and see the desperate needs of each other and reach
out. We get so caught up thinking of ourselves and our comfort or trying to analyze why so many people are on welfare or addicted to drugs that we don’t help at all. What we
need to do is what Jesus said to the poor, the
downcast...and we don't...we just judge them. So when
this happened, it caused our hearts to be broken for
the poor again and to do what we can to help. This puts us all on equal ground, doesn’t it? The hurricane fell on the just and the unjust. Now we need to help those in need, the just as well as the unjust.

Everywhere I go I am hearing of people wanting to volunteer or 
donate or help in some way. Even as far as Phoenix,
they are offering shelters for the hurricane's
homeless. I hope people are hearing the good news....people everywhere care…our humanity is kicking in. People are doing what they can to help in any way. The police force and forest service people here are taking shifts to come and help in
recovery and clean up also. I think in all of
this...when it's all said and done, that God will be
glorified through His people….through true love that is shown in deeds.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
1 John 2:9-11

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18

September 2, 2005

Drawn in...

I can’t believe we have not yet received information overload on New Orleans and the recovery effort there. We have had the television on to CNN and FOX news channels, almost constantly here, and I am held riveted to it. The news stations are doing a really good job of making this catastrophe personal….all the individuals they interview, the pictures of people walking around looking desperately for their loved ones, pictures of the squalor they were rescued from. The media is our link to the disaster….it compels us to donate, to pray, to feel for these people. The same thing happened when 9/11 and the tsunami in India were reported on. Trying to describe how catastrophic this is to my kids this morning as we had our devotions before starting schoolwork, I got this huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, having a hard time describing it to them out loud somehow made it more real to me.

Before, when we’ve heard about hurricanes that had hit Florida or the east coast or gulf states, it was just a community or just along the shoreline that was destroyed. (I hate to say ‘just’ when it represents people’s lives, but it is necessary to make a point.) This time it wiped out a whole city, more than a million people lost everything…think about that… everything …..and more than one city, it devastated communities all along the coast and inland too. I emailed a friend of mine who lives in Hattiesburg, MS, wondering if they had received damage and if they were alright. I finally heard from her this morning, September 2. She said even though they are an hour north of New Orleans, they have 20-30 thousand dollars worth of damages on their home and everyone around there is in the same shape. She is really grateful to have her family and friends safe, as well as a home and some things left. And today their electric power came back on. I got the impression from her brief report, and because I know her heart, that she was way more concerned about the people in New Orleans, Gulf Port and Biloxi who had lost everything and so many who had lost loved ones than she was about having a damaged house.

Times like these put a more realistic perspective on life for us. I have been feeling pangs of guilt and selfishness when I pour a glass of clean water for myself, take a shower or watch television in comfort. I look at my family and have them all home with me tonight, even my college daughter is home for the long weekend. We really do have so much….so much.

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So no one's rich, nobody's poor
We get twenty-four hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who's under

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a gift you've been given,
Make the most of the time every minute you're living

~Chris Rice, Life Means So Much~