March 29, 2006

Ode to Paint

Ode to paint

Apple green, apple green,
I love to paint things apple green...
it looks so clean,
with satin sheen,
oh how I love this apple green..

I paint it on my ceiling
I paint it in the bath
And when I’m done
I look to see my children shake and laugh

Cuz as I’m painting to and fro
I splatter paint on hair and clothes
On my glasses, up my nose
Even green on my pink toes

I’ll paint it in each of my rooms
You may say, she is writing on fumes!
But I say, Oh no
I just love it so…
Oh, this green with it's sheen,
It's so keen

Tomorrow I will paint with brown
And I’ll think of rhymes and write them all down

March 27, 2006

Seeds We've Sown

Oh, I love posts like this one, over at my daughter Hannah's blog. I love it when God actually shows you the results of something that you had a hand a gardener who sows the seed after the last frost and gets to enjoy the beautiful blooms in July.

Here is an exerpt from her post:

During high school I was a leader/teacher for Teamkids at our church. I did it for quite a while actually, and I loved it. It was a huge outreach for a lot of kids in our town who needed it a lot. We always hoped it would be for the parents too. There was one family with three kids that came for a while, then moved to Flag. These children were pretty little, I think the oldest was 7. The two younger boys were.. they made me smile. a lot. Dey taltet lite dis (they talked like this), and every week when we'd pick them up on the van one of them would be in raptures with this bright green car we'd pass. he called it the "too fast too fuwious tar. it's so tool Miss Hannah!" They also reeked of marijuana every time they got on.

I went to a service at a church I don't normally go to tonight with a few of my friends (yea I finally went. I've been telling my friend Mike I'd go for a few months now... but now I have so it's alright.) Well, I was sitting there talking to someone, and guess who comes in? The kids AND their mom! I almost started to cry I was so excited to see them in church. I talked to the pastor afterwards and found out they'd been coming for a while, and their mom had been baptized that morning.. their dad has even come a few times.. and the kids remembered me!! Praise God, their mom knows Jesus now! What a party in heaven. Well, it made me very happy. Just another reminder that God knows how to take care of people, and I can trust Him with them.

Beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News.....thanks Hannah!!

March 26, 2006

My Bible's Sojourn

I love my Bible.

It’s not just any Bible, it’s mine. It is like an extension of me….. even resembles my personality! I got it almost 16 years ago on my birthday from my husband. It is hard cover bound, so after a year or so, when it started to show its wear, I got a grey tapestry zippered cover for it. Now, after 16 years of use (I wish I could say daily use, but I’m not that disciplined) it has totally come undone from its hard cover, it is dog-eared and has little coffee stains on it. It also serves as a filing cabinet for an assortment of church bulletins and scraps of paper of all kinds, some pamphlets on becoming a Christian and one on grief, along with a few bookmarks (one from a missionary friend in Togo) and momentos.

Almost all of the bulletins and scraps of paper have Bible study notes scribbled on them. They are notes from sermons, conferences, Bible study classes, retreats and personal study. I never plan to take notes…simply because I don’t plan ahead very well, so the notes have to be put down on anything that has a margin to write in….it helps me to listen better, putting it down on paper. I may never look at that paper again or understand what it means if I did look at it, but I learn best through my eyes. So when I write something down while listening, my brain absorbs it better. (may sound complicated, but it’s just a brain thing)

I have thought about getting a new Bible many, many times (because I’m so embarrassed by it’s condition), but I just can’t give this one up. It’s familiar and comfortable to me. I may use another translation once in a while for study or contemplation, but this one is comfortable in my hands. I can find things more easily and have many important little notes jotted in the margins.

So when I came home from our ladies’ retreat, then moved into this new house and I couldn’t find my Bible, I was a little worried. I had a full scale search going through the house, drawers, boxes, cabinets, shelves, cars. I asked some friends who I had ridden with if they could look in their cars. I called my friend who’s house we stayed at during the move to see if she had found it.

Nothing….it was gone….=(

I got out my old Bible from my teen and college years and used it. It was actually my mom’s Bible before it was mine and it has her name embosses on the front. It is also hard bound, but has fake leather-looking material on it that is now crunchy feeling with age….ew. I enjoyed using it, finding my old study notes from those years, learning from my home church pastor, youth retreats, college conferences and classes.

Because I had about given up on finding it, I began looking through the CBD catalog for a new Bible.

Then a little over a week ago, I got a phone call….

“Hello, is this Christie L***?”

“Yes,” I said, thinking it was yet another phone solicitor targeting new move ins.

“You don’t know me, but I have your Bible. And I’m in New York.”

*picture me here with my mouth hanging open and starting to laugh in amazement*

It turns out that my Bible had slipped under the front seat of the moving truck and stowed away, undetected, until it arrived in upstate New York! (funny thing is, I never stepped foot in that moving truck, so I don’t know how it got there) She told me that she had been cleaning out the truck after moving from Phoenix to New York and had thrown away some things, like a few clothing items (which solved a mystery Emma was having about some missing clothing) but when she came across the Bible, she opened it and began leafing through it. Now, you could leaf through my Bible for days without coming up for air, it’s just that way, what with all the notes and cool stuff to look at. And that is just what she did! She apologized for going through my things, but I said I didn’t mind at all. I was glad she enjoyed it and I was so excited that she actually took the time to look for me! After reading various notes, she decided she had to find me. So with just my name and my husband’s name, and knowing we might be in the Phoenix area, she tracked us down. She thanked me for leaving that Bible in the truck and said it had ministered so much to her. Some of the notes were exactly what she needed to hear and encouraged her to get closer to the Lord again and to find a church. (WOW) Then she asked if she could keep it for a few more days, so that she could copy down some of the notes….of course I said yes. I was so amazed that a simple ‘mistake’ (and result of my frenetic disorganization) could turn out bringing someone closer to God. It was all masterfully orchestrated.

My Bible went on a mission trip!!

The last thing I had put in my file…er, Bible….was the notes from the ladies’ retreat I had been on with this new church, the same weekend we were moving. So I pretty much new the notes she was talking about. They were just what I had needed to hear too at the retreat. They were the notes from the Bible studies on Joseph’s life….about how God uses the hard things in our lives to develop deeper character. Then He uses the stronger character in us to serve Him in greater ways. It was a God-inspired type of Bible study that Jan Shrader had led that weekend, and its influence was felt across the country!

When I saw the mailman at my door the other day, holding a large mailing envelope, I knew it was my Bible. I tore it open to find out if there was a letter or anything in it to find out more about this woman who had shared some of my very personal notes. There was no letter, but she had put inside the cover a brand new note pad! Maybe she is one of those well prepared people and likes things organized, so my ‘system’ probably had her shaking her head. Ha…=)

I am so glad to have my Bible back…..but I am so glad to have ‘lost’ it for a while. It did good work.

Buff for Mayor....Woof!

Ok, maybe you've read my post on living in Small Town USA, but here is something new. My daughter informed me that our former town just had an interesting election. The current mayor ran for re-election and there was only one other candidate, a dog named Buff.

Only in a small town!

She is no ordinary dog though. Buff is a town icon. She is owned by Scott, the local photoshop owner/photographer in Williams. Almost every day you can find Scott and a handful of other downtown Williams shop owners having lunch at Pine Country Restaurant, including Buff. Yeah, Buff goes everywhere Scott goes, no leash, just faithful friend. (he does leave the dog outside for church though) Everyone in Williams knows Scott and Buff.

The news in Phoenix even had a report on it.

Congratulations Buff! Even though she didn't win, she did manage to get about a quarter of the votes. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

March 25, 2006

The Line

We rented Walk the Line, a movie about Johnny Cash's life the other day and our house was booming like a low-rider with Charles’ new surround sound cranked as we watched it. It’s an excellent movie…..and just as depressing as it should be. It is a battle between good and evil. The battle is played out in almost every character’s life as the movie pulses on. In the beginning, crossing the line of sin is flirted with, and then dived right into. But as the story progresses each character’s agonizing battle is portrayed very well….including adultery, drug and alcohol abuse, bitterness, family neglect and pride.

It is so elusive these days.....this line of right and wrong. Often there are no visible lines in our American way of life. But here is a very good starting place

March 20, 2006


Have you ever felt like you can't handle one more thing on your plate...or in your head?

I feel that way this past week.

The moving is over, we're all settled in, things are put away. But settling into a new routine, and trying to get used to a new schedule of events is maddening to me. By personality, I am an ESFP. I don't do stress very well or big responsibilities or organizing. And here I am, trying to do my best to get used to new organization in my life.

The ESFP under a great deal of stress gets overwhelmed with negatives thoughts and possibilities.

Sunday was about my last straw. It was fun having our friends from Williams here for church, having an old friend we knew in New Jersey here to visit while searching for homes. (they are moving here in June!) And I think I could have handled that part. But my husband and 3 of my daughters were leaving on a mission trip to Mexico right after the service. I was frantically trying to keep track of our visitors and make plans for later in the day, all while answering about a hundred questions from my family and trying to take orders for what to get them from Taco Bell.

I totally lost track of our friend from New Jersey. I never saw him again after Taco Bell. Maybe he gave up trying to follow me around. This is why I never take positions of leadership. It makes me nuts.......NUTS! People should never trust me to be organized or to be in charge of things.

I was concerned about getting home to meet the pool guy from church who was going to install a new vacuum thingie in our dirty, neglected was raining...did I mention it was raining during all of this? I usually love the rain, but this day it was just tapping on my brain like a very annoying fingernail....taptaptaptaptaptaptap.....ha! I was ready to either burst into tears or maniacal laughter.

I think I am pre-menopausal...did I mention that? (for the past 2 months...pms off and on unpredictably creeping up on me)

Well, the day did settle down after the really cool new pool sweeper thingie was installed and I went to get my niece to come spend the night, since it was just me and Maggie. I put a movie on for the girls in my bedroom and put on my comfy jammies and huddled on the couch for the rest of the evening.....and into the wee hours of the morning actually.

When Charles is away, I usually stay up late, so that I can fall asleep easily. I got a little carried away playing Sudoku online and before I knew it, it was 2am. I fell completely and soundly asleep until I heard knocking at my front door at 8something am. It was the city water department. My head did that little freaking out feeling...I think it's a rush of adrenaline squirting out into your brain or something. I had forgotten that the city was going to turn off our water today to fix a leak in the main in front of our house. heh heh Well, he was warning me that we had 20 minutes before the water was shut off.

Fast gear for me is pretty frenetic....I started rushing around to get my shower taken and pots filled with water so we could wash hands and have water to use. Not a very good way to start off a day that you thought was going to be recuperative from a stressful weekend! So after I fixed the girls their oatmeal with apples and did some morning chores…..

… mom called to remind me that she had something that needed to go to the medical lab today for my dad's testing. (Don’t you love these stories that just seem to go on and on, piling events up til they reach the sky?) Still in high gear from that early (for me) morning adrenaline shot, I packed up the kids and took them to my sister’s house while I ran my mom’s errand, grabbing the phone book on the way out, thinking I might stop by a used furniture store to look for bedroom furniture that we’ve been talking about. At my sister’s we made a list (what a concept!!) of consignment furniture stores from the phone book and I made a plan of attack, noting from 1-6 the most convenient order in which to visit them and make a quick trip of it while she watched Maggie for me.

Arriving at my mom’s, I got the directions to the medical lab, all the information for my dad’s medical history, my mom’s power of attorney papers, his insurance card and the ‘things’ I needed to drop off. And I got another errand….they urgently needed some things from the store….uh, the maniacal laughter with a side of hair pulling almost kicked in.

I got the deeds done in short order (see reference to adrenaline squirting into my head) and may I just say here that it’s really a weirdly humiliating feeling to purchase two large bags of Depends undergarments in a busy Walgreens while being waited on my a 20something woman and being looked over the shoulder by a 30something man. Oiy! I arrived to find my mom having a hard time with my dad. (for reference, my dad has dementia and chronic bladder and kidney problems and my mom recently had hip replacement surgery) So I stayed a while and made them lunch and got them all settled before snatching my leave to run my quick errands.

Most of the shops had the usual assortment of old fashioned and over priced furniture, but I did happen upon a bed stand and a dresser that were just what we needed! (after I prayed desperately for the Lord to help this trip on such a busy day profitable) I enjoyed the time out by myself with no one to distract me from my task….i.e. Maggie. (she’s so sweet and fun, but so talkative and distracting when you’re on a mission!)

I am home now….Charles called to say he and Hannah are headed home from Mexico (about 3 hours drive)…reheated leftovers for dinner and am comfy on my couch blogging away about my burdens.

I can feel them lifting away. I’m relieved to have my friendly husband coming home tonight, along with my girl Hannah, who is home on Spring Break, to have new bedroom furniture to look forward to installing, and to be ever so close to my bedtime!

March 17, 2006


My internet friend, BJ (a minister no less), wrote this true story. With his permission, I want to reprint it here for you. (He’s nuts by the way…this is nothing unusual)

Okay so I go to the supermarket after chat this afternoon and when I was done I started out to my car which was about 100 yards away on the parking lot ...

I have my remote keyless entry in my hand and I pushed the pop the trunk button and the trunk obligingly opened. Unfortunately, just as I popped it, this lady was walking by ...

She startled a little at the trunk popping open. There wasn't anyone around her and she looked both ways and then she reached up and shut my trunk. I thought "Why did she do that?" so I pushed the trunk button again and the woman, again looks both ways and shuts my trunk...

So I popped it open again and she reaches up and slams it down really hard, so I pushed the panic button, which honks the horn and flashes the lights, and I guess she thought she had sat off my car alarm, and she started running back and forth like one of those targets in an arcade shooting game, and then she RAN to her car and got in and drove away really fast ...

By this time I was laughing so hard I could hardly finish walking to the car.

March 16, 2006

Meme as in scheme

I did a meme tonight.

Don’t worry, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. A meme (it’s either pronounced meem or meemee, I prefer meemee, it’s cute) is an internet questionnaire, which is circulated on blogs or in email. The purpose of these fun little thought provoking questionnaires is that you get to know new things about people you thought you knew. Tonight there was one on a blog I’ve recently been skulking around on, Holy Mama. This lady is hilarious! You’ve got to check her out…er, her blog, don’t be weird.

Here’s the meme. (I won’t ask anyone to give answers, cuz I am not sure anyone reads this!)

1. secret talent
2. if you have a blog and a spouse, does the spouse read the blog?
3. fruit or chocolate
4. eye color
5. ranking 1-10 of overall life satisfaction

1. Secret talent: I animate stuffed kids all thought their special stuffed animals were really talking to them til they got older. I just know what they are thinking and say it...well, I say it in their voice. ;) I also like to make up songs with lots of silly rhymes. My kids hate dog loves it!
2. He used to read it but he hasn't made any comments lately. I will have to find out....somehow. Maybe I should threaten to write something terribly embarrassing about him if he doesn’t leave me a comment in the next few days. hmmmmmm
3. Chocolate please. I made a fresh strawberry pie for dinner (had company) and I was wishing the whole time we were eating it that I'd made something chocolate.
4. Hazel: green/brown
5. EIGHT....kinda exciting after a recent move, making new friends, decorating a new house, etc etc, but at the same time it’s a lot of work and lonely at times. (I really miss my Williams friends.)

March 14, 2006

A Living Legacy

When I think about people who have died and gone on before us, my memories of them are tied to something about their life. For some it may be what career they were in, if I knew them at church it may be what their role was in the church (teacher, preacher, hostess, cleaner upper, organizer, leader, singer, encourager), but usually I think of people in terms of who their family was and especially their children. If we're a parent, we leave a living legacy of who we were and what we've passed on.

So when I was trying to think of what beauty there was in my life, specifically tied to me as a person, (not the beauty I see around my life, there is plenty of that!) I automatically thought of my children. There has always been this burning in my heart, it's always in the front of my mind: I am responsible for how these four human beings turn out. I'm responsible to raise them in the Lord and train them. (my husband feels this same responsibility, but I am focusing on how I've lived up to it right now)

And it freaks me out!!

Sometimes I'm quite a slacker in daily devotional times with my kids, often I am not a good example of the fruits of the Spirit, I tend to react instead of respond, but even with all these faults (and that is not an exhaustive list!), I still believe God is blessing my desire to raise them for Him. As far as I know, there are no perfect parents in the Bible, none that I know of in my circle of friends, none of the books I've seen on parenting are perfect in imparting all wisdom for every situation, but God blesses our main desire, our main focus.

A long time ago, I had to decide what our main focus was going to be: to have perfectly obedient children (husband had to tell me to get real), micro-managing their every choice, or to have children who are learning to make good choices for themselves through gentle and timely guidance, gradually gaining more freedom in choices as they grow in age and responsibility. For us as a family, our faith is our life, it's our focus and we talk about it often, applying it to daily events or things we see happening in the world or in our town. We're not perfect and this is not dogmatic parenting advice, but it's how God has shaped something beautiful out of my life.

I am blown away by who they are becoming. Our oldest is in her first year of college now. It amazes me to see her wisdom, good decisions and especially her desire to know God and to be in His will. My two high school aged teens have a heart for God too. In a role reversal, they have started bringing to my notice how God is working in their lives or in their friends lives?or how He is answering our prayers. They are starting to catch glimpses of how God sees them and our world. They're learning to trust Him and their love for God is growing deep. My youngest is just 8 years old, but in her heart felt prayers and in her discussions of the world or of her small life, I hear her compassion and love for people. I can see her heart for her friends and family to know Jesus.

All of this in turn causes me to grow in faith, to trust God more with my children, because I am starting to see how they are listening to Him and choosing to follow Him. It makes me want to let Him lead them without me trying to micro-manage how they behave or the choices they make. It is really hard for a Christian mom to do this, maybe you can relate. I can see so clearly the wisest paths, the safest ways, the obvious best choices. But I have to let them learn to see it, even if that means missing it in a few areas, occasionally stumbling along the way.

I hope someday, when people think of me, they will remember my children and see the beauty in my life.....something really great that I had a hand in. I hope to live a life worthy of His calling, raising four daughters....

March 11, 2006

Raindrops are fallin on my head

It’s raining.

Bummer, you may say….not!

It’s raining ….for the first time in 143 days. (the news weather guy keeps track) We have been in a terrible drought this year, after an abundance of snow and rain in our state last year. Weather cycles are beyond me…’s either la nina or el nino, either way it only makes me crave enchiladas.

I picked up my friend Peggy from the airport yesterday, who was in turn supposed to be picked up by her husband last night…..but he was snowed in! They live in the town we just moved from in northern Arizona, where they have not had snow yet this winter. Normal snowfall is somewhere around 150 inches per winter in the mountains of Arizona. I know that is weird to think of, but Arizona really does have high country where it’s cool in the summer and snows in winter. Anyway, my old hometown got over a foot of snow by yesterday afternoon and it was expected to continue until Sunday night. So Peggy and her daughter Maddie hunkered down with us for a couple of days to wait out the ‘blizzard’ of 2006. =) Parts of interstate 40 were even closed down by this wonderful weather. Wonderful because the slow melting moisture will go deep into the ground and keep forest fires from taking over this summer in the mountains and replenish some very low reservoirs that mountain towns depend on for year round water supply.

It doesn’t snow in Phoenix. But it does rain….and we’ve had a steady rain that began last night while we slept and will continue through Sunday. We Arizonans are so thankful for this rain. One of my favorite Rich Mullins songs is Peace:

And may peace rain down from Heaven, like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise, falling on these souls the drought has dried.

That’s how I feel.…

…blessed rain….thirsty souls and land now being satisfied after a drought.

March 7, 2006

Egypt.....and cheeseballs

Innocently…and I can rarely use that term, so I’m enjoying it today….I signed up to go on a women’s retreat with the ladies from the new church we have recently moved to. I had a fun, enriching time at a retreat with the ladies from our former church just the weekend before. So it was like saying goodbye, then hello, all in a whirlwind week of packing our last things up and moving among a maze of stacked boxes each day. I was glad to miss out on moving out day…I am no help in carrying boxes or heavy furniture to a moving van anyway. And watching my home of the last 9 years being carted off and emptied out would have been…sad. So the retreat was just what the new church ladies had ordered and I went, ready to begin my journey into new friendships and ministry.

The Friday of the retreat, I had planned to spend the day with my wonderful, kindred friend. We started the day early so we could have more time browsing second hand shops and sipping cappuccino while enjoying each other’s company in coffee shops and local haunts we knew of…..I was really looking forward to it and it seemed to be starting off just perfectly. While eating breakfast at the best eatery in our small town, my cell phone rang. We had just been talking about a few things we wanted to do during the day, finishing a really good cuppa morning coffee. It was Charles….we needed to sign the loan papers for the house….IN Phoenix…today. *insert very sad pout* so much for our wonderful, carefree day! Off to Phoenix we drove, two and a half hours to Phoenix. No faxing of signatures would do this time…and then we saw why! The mountain of papers to sign was dreadful….no one warned me about this part….my signature started looking like chicken scratch and I started misspelling my name….silly.

Before driving away that morning for this run down ‘the hill’ (as northern Arizona residents call going to Phoenix…the elevation drop is about 6,000 feet) I had called ahead to a lady I knew was going on the retreat and arranged to ride with her to Prescott mid afternoon. Well it was closing in on mid afternoon, so I called her again and said Charles was going to have to take a detour home and take me through Prescott for the retreat. No, she wouldn’t have it…she wanted me to ride with them and I wanted to also, so she drove around the west valley, picking up 2 more ladies while I signed the remaining stack of papers. We finally got done about an hour later and met her at an interstate exit.

On our way, we laughed and talked, the four of us ladies, like we were old friends. They were fun and easy to get to know…easy to talk with. The rest of the weekend turned out to be the same thing….fun, easy, fitting in and loving it. The speaker, Jan Shrader, was so good, so timely with her Bible study on the life of Joseph. The theme was Survivor, from the *insert adjective* game show of the same name on television. So her Bible study was on surviving our Egypt….how God uses the hard times in our lives to shape us into who and what He wants us to be and do. Heavy stuff, but very well done and lots of humor added from Jan’s self described A.D.D. personality. She is a hoot! And she is friends with a dear friend of mine from back in my high school days.

Then they got a little crazy on me.

Don’t get me wrong, I like crazy….I live there a lot of the time, as my family can testify. ;) So it was an enjoyable ride. We were divided into teams and given challenges…our theme being Survivor. My team won the first challenge and used a little mind gaming in the process, so the other teams were suspicious of us after that. Our prize was a Sam’s Wholesale Club container of cheeseballs. That night, the cheeseballs went missing…and an Amber alert came in with grease stains on it and 2 cheeseballs taped to the paper. I wish I had the original message because we just laughed and laughed. We thought it was over for our little orange friends, but later that night a ransom note appeared, along with a Polaroid photo of our dear, greasy cheeseballs being held at gunpoint (this was the scariest part, knowing someone had brought a gun to a ladies’ retreat….yikes mike!) by a pillowcase ensconced woman. (it was over her head) Her arms showed though, so a thorough search of arms was performed that night in an effort to find the cheeseball nappers. The note demanded a 2 pound bag of plain M&M’s for the safe return of our cheeseballs. We refused to pay the ransom and encourage this type of behavior (cheeseballs are people too, y’know)….besides, we knew from arm inspection and a wisp of blonde hair under the pillow case in the picture who the napper was….although she calmly denied involvement. The next morning all was well, as the dear grease…er, cheese…balls were returned and placed in the back of Shirley’s van to ride back to Phoenix. We thought the adventure was over….we piled our feminine luggage back into the minivans and sports utility vehicles and started back to Phoenix. Very unfortunately (as you’ll realize in a minute) the lady I was riding back with and I stopped to get a large soda on the way out of town. I was sucking that puppy down, being ravenously thirty for some reason. (I’m not sure, but maybe this was from eating salty cheeseballs)

About an hour from Phoenix, we came to a stop on the interstate. Since it is a winding rode through mountainous desert country, we couldn’t see how far ahead the trouble was or see how long the line of stopped cars was. Gradually people stopped their engines and got out of the cars, talking, visiting, wondering. Word came down the line that there was an accident, lots of people ejected and hurt on the road, a baby less than 2 years old killed. So we waited, prayed for the victims, called other ladies from our group on cell phones, wished we hadn’t stopped for a soda on the way…..and I’m talking a large soda. Joy had laminated awards for giving out on field day at the school where she teaches gym….Cheryl, who was stopped 2 cars ahead of us had scissors….so we cut out little laminated running men….lots of little running men. =) My bladder got fussy….I knew a hike was inevitable. The desert, although it was pretty and lots of plants, has very little dense foliage….the kind you can hide behind. It was tricky, but we did it, bringing along my winter coat for a shield. It’s not easy to find privacy in the desert, beside a curve in the road lined with people and cars….and on a hill. Balance and careful planning come into play in a time like this….and making sure your foot, with your cute new Teva’s on is not downhill. (I didn’t have the forethought on that last tip, but I have now and tell you, be sure not to wear cute shoes if one foot has to be downhill to balance.) Poor shoe.

While we waited, a young man came walking up the road and Cheryl and Joy shouted, “Jeremiah! What are you doing here!” It was the son of a church member…..the interim pastor’s son in fact. They had been coming home from a preaching gig and called their wife/mom only to find out that she was at the front of the line of cars, miles away. So being a teenage boy, Jeremiah decided to walk up to his mom’s car. And he was carrying a Walmart bag. And in the bottom of that bag was…..cheeseballs. We squealed and laughed and he thought we were nuts, I’m sure. He didn’t understand (good preparation for becoming a man) why every time he walked by a car of church ladies, they laughed and squealed about cheeseballs. He thought he was just innocently bringing snacks down the line to nourish poor stranded drivers. (He had walked by Shirley’s van and she had given him a mission…nourish the multitudes.) Poor Jeremiah…he is now ‘Cheeseballboy’.

Three hours and fifteen minutes later, we got back in the van and as the sun went behind the mountain and twilight set in, we started back down the road, full of cheeseballs, a damp shoe and another survival tale. It all kinda came full circle, didn’t it?

And I feel fully initiated into the women’s ministry at this new church. It’s made the transition very easy because I have so many connections now with the women. (some will be useful for blackmail, should the need arise) Retreats will do that for you….the atmosphere lets down our defenses and our hair with each other to find we are all on common ground. They are a bit crazy and eccentric and so am I….so I’m fitting right in.

March 6, 2006

Moved in!

This is just a quick update on what is going on. I haven't posted in quite a while, but we've been moving, unpacking, and setting up our household. We are here in Phoenix, trying to get back into a normal schedule with schooling and running the house. The weather right now is so awesome! (although, in a couple of months I'll be whining about the heat!) We have a screened in room on the back of the house, (which is called an Arizona room here) where we've been hanging out when we stop to relax. LOTS of birds winter here in Phoenix and we're enjoying listening to birds singing all day, as well as the pleasant breeze that comes right through our house all day. There is a small pool in the yard too, that we've been trying to get back into shape before it gets hot here and doing some landscaping. So we're having fun!

Yesterday was Charles' first official Sunday preaching at our new church and we He did a great job. He will be preaching in Acts on the early church for a while as we begin our journey with this new group here. Last night they gave us a pounding (food, a plant, a big picture for over the couch, and pool chemicals!) and money tree for our first couple of months of groceries...that sure is coming in handy!! There were also gift certificates to a couple of local grocery stores, Home Depot, Lowe's and Target.

Sometime soon I hope to write about some things I"ve had on my mind....and about the women's retreat I went on with our new church. (which may take several posts!)