October 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday (Thursday Edition): Monstrous sunfower

Click for a larger picture.

***To see more entries or to join in and do your own, go to Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.***

October 30, 2007

Eyes glazing over....

A new time waster!

But don't go if you're gonna yell at me....

Confirmation will cost you...

Twenty five dollars later, it is confirmed now. Maggie does NOT have strep throat. It is a virus and she just needs rest and liquids. Ugh, why don't I listen to myself!? I knew this....yet doubted.

I am home from work today with her though, so it's a little break for me too.


October 29, 2007

Decisions decisions

Maggie is sick. She woke up with a sore, slightly swollen throat....so I sent her to school. Eh...might not have been the best idea. Today she came home with a note from the school that someone went home with strep throat today....someone who was in her vacinity because they said she has been exposed. So I'm keeping her home tomorrow and we'll probably have a trip to the doctor's office and wait for EVER in the waiting room. (I think they call us patients patience because of all the waiting we have to do....waiting in the waiting room, waiting in the cold exam room in the little paper thingie, waiting for the dr to come back after he leaves the room for a 'minute', waiting at the pharmacy.)

And Charles was almost gone tomorrow. I wonder if that is an acceptable sentence....but it's true. He got an email from the AZ disaster relief team the other day saying they were going on a relief mission to Ramona, CA to feed people displaced by the fires. He decided to pass this one up. Then today he got another email. They urgently need 10 more people to go with them TOMORROW morning to fulfill their team needs. So it sent him wondering, pacing, praying and discussing for about an hour. Then he decided not to go. He would have loved to help. He is a member of the team and is trained for it. But our church is having the biggest outreach event of the year on Wednesday night...our Rock the Block party. We feel like it is the right decision, but boy, that can throw you into stress mode for a while.

So quickly things can turn into a whirlwind of activity. Kinda makes you want to go hide under a rock....or something.

October 28, 2007

Things that go bump...or for a walk...in the night

Horrible night last night. Our 17 yr old came home around 10:30pm with a gaggle of youth after a softball game. They were going to watch a movie, she said. So I closed our door and fell sound asleep, nowing they were all home and safe. At about 1:30am I woke up to a bright light shining under my door, so I got up to tell the teens to go to sleep. Only....one of them wasn't there! Her friend, who was sleeping over was there and when I asked her where Bethany was, she said, "Oh she and T went for a walk."

Adreneline went squirting through my body....remember I had already been in a deep sleep.

A....WALK!? At 1:30 A. M.???? In PHOENIX? So I called Bethany's cell phone...it rang in her room...drat. I called T's cell phone...no answer. I went to put on my shoes so I could drive around the block and drag them home, but as I looked out the window, there they were across the street. I stepped out onto the porch and called them in. They had been talking seriously, so I didn't fuss at them then, I just told them they had scared me half to death! So they went to bed. And I went to spend another sleepless hour trying to calm down from the adreneline rush and fall asleep. It made it very VERY hard to keep my eyes open in church today.

This morning when I saw T at church, I made her promise.... no more midnight walks. Bethany I have not even seen yet today except from afar at church.

I also found out they had a guardian 'angel' watching them. A boy who was here watching the movie went to leave and saw the girls take off walking, so he stayed in his car and watched them, opening the door when cars passed by so they'd know someone was there, watching. He left after the girls came back in front of our house. I gave him a hug and thanked him this morning when I found out.

I do hope that life returns to almost simple when they are all past the teens. But I have 10 years til then.

October 27, 2007

As we go along our way.....

I didn't get to sleep in this morning. And after waking up to Bethany whispering in my ear that she was home at 1am, then trying to set the house alarm, only to hear it go off a few minutes later when I was in my bed again, I really wanted to sleep in! It's hard to go back to sleep after you set your home alarm off and have to dash in there to disarm it and then wonder why it went off in the first place! That all started out as one sentence, but I broke it up for you.

Sleeping in is good for the head, but getting up on a Saturday morning to go for a prayer walk is good for the soul. Our church is having the annual Rock the Block party on Wednesday night, the 31st, so we walked around the different neighborhoods in our area, putting doorhangers up about the party and praying silently as we passed each house. (Just rechecking, that is 2 sentences, which is good for me...I could give apostle Paul a close run for being the winner of run on sentence contest.) Ugh, editing takes the fun out of typing.

We walked and prayed and hung hangers for over an hour. We prayed as we walked toward houses. I would notice children's toys and pray for young families, see five cars parked around a home and pray for teens and older, grown children, all kinds of families. We passed a very elderly man, hunched over, thin and frail looking, cleaning out a flower bed! And we blessed him on our way, as we walked. I prayed as we would pass homes that seemed to be oppressive, either by outward signs or by just maybe a nudge from the Spirit, but I definitley prayed that God would weed this neighborhood of anyone who would cause harm or be an influence contrary to God.

And then I couldn't stop it. I guess it gets into your head and heart when you pray like that. So people passing by in cars on my way to pick up Maggie from a slumber party got blessed, people walking around at Sam's club got prayed for and I just in general noticed people a lot more.

I hope the trend continues within me....to notice...to bless and pray and 'weed'. It gives me chills to think of what could happen if we all pitched in and noticed....and lifted up those around us to the Father.

I recommend that you try it. ;)

ps, if you went on the prayer walk today (and read this of course....yes, I see you Cheryl, please share!) and have some snippets to share, leave it in the comments or let me know somehow!

pps: A friend sent me an email today about a new movie that is coming out in December. Please read this Snopes.com article about The Golden Compass. And make up your own informed mind on whether you'll take your family to support it. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of the article about the author.

October 26, 2007

A fall day

Today I came home to bright white kitchen cabinets! A friend at church had them done for us for pastor appreciation month. I will soon have before and after pictures. For now the cabinet doors are not back on, but I got everything put back into the cupboards. It's a good feeling to have things in their place. My kitchen unloaded into the rest of the house was just strange.....and very unsettling. New laminate counters will follow soon....so stay tuned!

It is getting fallish in Phoenix. (since it is almost November.....we are fashionably late each year) There is a crisp feeling to the air and the mornings have been cool enough for a sweater. (although by about 10am, it is shed PDQ) There are pumpkins and scary things in neighborhood yards and a faint smell of woodsmoke was in the air tonight that made my part beaver type husband almost jump for joy. We have no woodstover here (of course, gee whiz, that would be crazy) But we do have an iron 'chiminea' out back that he loves to burn things in.

My puppy is very frisky in this weather. (it's either fall or paint fumes) She runs so fast it makes us laugh and squeal. She takes off at the least bit of encouragement. Maggie was waving pom poms at her in the backyard today and got Maisy running so fast around the yard that I had to make her stop and let the rediculous dog rest!

I've been trying to find my good recipe for pumpkin bread. I think I've found it, but I'll have to bake some to know for sure. There is a barrel of gingersnaps from Sam's Club in my pantry. And I bought half a peck of Granny Smith apples (instead of pickled peppers) to bake a pie sometime soon! And I found this recipe for Caramel Corn online today. What a horrible time of year to need to lose a few pounds that came back with us from Oklahoma! Drat! lol

We went to the high school football game tonight. Well....we went to half time. And that is enough of teenager in the city time for us! Emma was soooooooo cute in her uniform, playing in the marching band tonight. Seeing her out there, among all the tall boys on the drumline, she reminded me of when she was about 5 years old and so serious all the time. She was the funniest little child....always very serious, but she said THE funniest things....and then it hurt her feelings to be laughed at. OH the irony! Tonight she seemed to me about 5 years old again, so incredibly cute and dressed up, yet such a serious, concentrating face. She was the only snare drummer who was able to come to tonight's game, but she did a great job and held her own out there with the quads and the basses.

And that's all for tonight from down here in the warm, dry Valley of the Sun, where the kitchen paint is drying, the dogs are frisky, the kids are cute as can be and the breeze is feeling the slightest bit refreshing in a desert fall kind of way.

October 25, 2007

Chattering Cats

Twice in one evening. I'm running amuck and stuff!

I just checked out the recentness over at Cuteoverload.com though, and I had to post this video! I am a dog person. I have never had a cat for a pet. BUT....IF you could promise me that a cat I would own would be so cute as this, I might consider it.....maybe.

They must be related to R2D2 or something.

The Value of a Life

I have a blogging friend who has a habit of posting on her blog every weekday and somtimes, but not obligately on the weekends. Sometimes it is long, but rarely. Usually she is concise, hilarious and talks about ONE thing at a time.

I can't imagine that.

When I start typing, I usually set in for the long haul and write a novella length post. But anyone can change, right? Well anyone can try to change.

So I am hereby going to TRY to post something every weekday. It is super busy around here these days, so it should be easy enough to put a little blurb on here each evening. Anyway, I am not promising, but I will try.

On Monday, I was talking with a coworker about religion, politics and abortion....HA! All of this within 10 minutes. She is Catholic, but does not agree with their abortion beliefs. Still she is very conservative and only would agree that an abortion was a good choice if it were in the case of rape, incest, life threatening for the mother or if it was a very young child. I didn't have time to say much, just listened to her and tried to hear where she was coming from. Then it was time to clock back in and concentrate on second graders.

That night, my two teenagers informed me that Tuesday, the following day, was "A Day of Silence" silent protest of abortion in our country. They were silent all day, except when they forgot and accidentally blurted out something and except when my 17 year old had to go to work. My 15 year old even went to a band competition night and did not talk! They made homemade t-shirts with slogans on them like, "I am silent today for those whose voice will never be heard." And they wore them to school.

My 17 yr old's government teacher was impressed that she was involved in a political movement. Neither of them had any negative comments. But several people said it was a 'cool' thing to do. And it is. I'm very proud of them both.

We all have our opinions. I do not begrudge my coworker for having a different one than me. She is an intelligent young woman and I could see that she had given it a lot of thought. I also really feel for those women who have had abortions. It leaves deep emotional scars and we should never shame them. Of the women that I personally know who have gone through it, not one of them has come through it without scars, without a deep regret and sense of loss. It is not a simple solution for a temporary inconvenience.

May we never lose the right to have our voices heard....or our silence felt.

October 23, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Monstrous solutions?

I am all for alternative energy solutions...but do they have to hideously mar the landscape?? (click pic for larger view)

***To see more entries or to join in and do your own, go to Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.***

October 19, 2007

Oklahoma, O. K.

We are home from our trip to Oklahoma. It's still there. =)

It was a good visit. Charles' mom is doing well, it was encouraging to see her. AND the two little nieces are now two years old! They are the cutest things, talking and checking us out at all times. I will have to tell their story sometime, they were both adopted at birth six weeks apart! Charles' sister Jan and husband Jeff are having a ball as parents. It reminded me how hard it is to be the parent of toddlers! Exhausting and absolutely fulfilling.

We saw old friends, who have been my husband's 'old friends' for as long as I've known him, so they are starting to feel like my old friends too. We ate out every day. My kids said at lunch today, "Did you start to feel like they were just trying to stuff us like little piggies? We never got hungry, we were eating again before we knew it!" The local Braum's was heavily patronized this past week. We did some work on my MIL's house. Charles and his brother and brother in law replace two huge, heavy glass panes in her back sun room and I made beef stew and chicken and noodles to put in her freezer for future meals. My children did some house cleaning for her, listened to stories of how she got to go to college and got married, then they spent her money at the mall.

One night we went out on the porch and watched a cold front come across the sky. The squall line crept closer, the lightning was far off and then closer and closer. Then we heard the wind a couple of blocks away and listened to it come through the trees, finally making it's way down the street and hit us with a wind that was 10 degrees cooler. There is nothing like that. I shivered and went in while the rain went from spitting from the sky to pouring and pounding the last of summer's flowers.

We slept a lot, ate a lot, played with babies a lot, visited a lot and did a little work. So why am I so tired!?

October 8, 2007

Cloud appreciation

A dragon!

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE the Cloud Appreciation Society webpage? I may join their society someday, but for now I just admire all of those sky photographers from afar. =) If you look through their gallery (click on each picture as it comes up and it switches to the next one), it appears that God is putting on an art walk in the sky everyday in some part of the world.

October 6, 2007

Movie Review: Miss Potter

My daughter Beth, brought home some movies last night and now I have a new one to add to my favorite movies list! Miss Potter is a high quality, beautiful movie with Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. She plays the quirky and loveable Beatrix Potter, struggling to get her children's books published and finding love for the first time at age 32.

You will love it. Rent it. Watch it.

Here's a preview:

October 2, 2007

The life and times of a crickl

I was tagged by Gill at Gill's Jottings for this meme. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged and let me know if you did one!

1. What I was doing ten years ago: Ten years ago I had just had a baby (our last), just moved cross country from NJ to a small mountain town in northern AZ. I had a 10 year old and a 7 year old in public school and a 5 year old who I was homeschooing. I was trying to ease into it and loved it.

2. Five years ago: We lived in that same mountain town and were very happy homeschoolers with daughters who were 15, 12, 10 and 5. We were a little worse for the wear of several tragedies in our world and town. A year later we started to feel God's urging to move on, but we didn't know it would take 2 years for the process to happen. Charles was seeking God's will for future plans and I was avoiding the subject. I wasn't ready to move....but a year later God changed my heart totally.

3 One year ago:We had moved to metro Phoenix, AZ and bought our first home. Our 19 year old daughter had stayed in college in Flagstaff, 2 hours away. Our 14 and 16 year olds were active in school and church youth group. I was still homeschooling our youngest, who was 9. They were finally ready to say that they were glad we had moved and although it had been hard to give up life in Williams, that they could see God's hand in the move and in their lives because of it. Hannah worked at a coffee shop and a property management office and Bethany worked at Chic fil a at our local mall. I was still a stay at home mom. Charles was busy as a pastor of a medium sized urban church...so many opportunities, it's hard to focus on what specific thing God had led us here for. He had been on a mission trip to Texas to help hurricane Katrina victims and was gearing up to go on a mission trip to the Ukraine. We had also traveled to Israel a year before, the trip of a lifetime. We loved it.

4. Yesterday: (Monday) It as a very busy day, as I had begun working last April in our public schools. I am a teaching assistant now for 2 second grade classes and our youngest is going to a different public school (a 'traditional' school) 2 miles away. She is having a difficult time adjusting to the increased work load and strict demands of this school, but it is good for her, she needed some more discipline in her studies, and she enjoys the socializing above all! Beth is a senior, taking one class at the high school and next semester beginning college classes (she now works doing after school care at Maggie's school and loves it), Emma is a sophomore and made the drumline this year, playing snare. She just got her permit to learn to drive and her first cell phone. She is a texting magnificado! Last month she had almost 800 texts. (I'm sure you're very impressed) Hannah still lives in Flagstaff and works full time at the property management place, but may have lots of changes coming up soon. Charles is day by day catching a vision for this new church we are at now. It is such an established church, it was hard to see just what his vision should be, but God is revealing it gradually. He is now preparing to go on a mission trip next summer to Mozambique, Africa.

5. 5 snacks I enjoy: What a transition! lol From deep reminiscing to snacks! Okay, I love:
I'm trying to really enjoy fruit
cheese and crackers
dips of all kinds

6. 5 Things I would do if I suddenly had $100 million:
~I would faint!
~I would tithe on it somehow, or make it a special offering to help remodel our church.
~I would save a lot for our kids' schooling, weddings and pay off our home.
~I might find worthy causes to help like missions efforts and helping send people on mission trips to increase awareness and compassion for the world's needs. I would love to do that.
~I would buy a cabin in the mountains.....or an RV to do some traveling.

7. 5 locations I would like to run away to:
Is this a trick question? If I tell you, then you'll be able to find me. Pretty sneaky.
New England (It's Fall there), San Diego, Australia and New Zealand, western Canada, Montana.

8. 5 bad habits I have:
*staying up too late
*too much computer
*biting the side of my tongue...ouch (I've heard it's a stress reaction)
*saying my thoughts out loud...much of the time very lame, goofy thoughts.
*being grouchy around my home =(

9. 5 things I like doing:
*watching movies with my kids
*holding hands with my Charles
*eating out

10. 5 TV shows I like:
~Cold Case
~HGtv decorating shows
~Gilmore Girls (I'm in denial that it's been cancel....Star's Hollow will go on)

11. 5 things I hate doing:
*cleaning bathrroms
*running errands when it's hot
*doctor visits (boooooo)

12. 5 Biggest joys of the moment:
~I'm in my bed
~Tomorrow is a short day at work
~My pastor's wives friends online
~My puppy
~My wonderful family...I wish it could be that we'll live and be close always, but I am having to face reality that they are growing up and will be moving on wherever God leads them. It is a very assuring, joyful thing to know my husband will still be here with me, even as our children go off to seek their way.