December 29, 2008

Memories from an older generation

Yes, I's sad, not to mention unpredictable.

I'm sorry. =)

I thought this was a sweet holiday picture. While going through an old box trying to find something....details always escape me....Bethany came across some old holiday cards Charles and I used to make for each other. We met while in seminary and we were quite poor, so we used to make each other cards for Christmas or Valentine's or birthdays. I worked at the seminary day care center, so art supplies were on hand. We were also QUITE sappy and romantic, (and so is Bethany) so when she found them she thoroughly examined them and oooed and ahhed and giggled over them. Hannah snapped her in action.

December 20, 2008

So bless somebody will ya?

I got my shopping DONE!!!!! W00t w00t!! At first I was very annoyed about having to be shopping instead of enjoying my home and family this close to Christmas. Then an adam alert came over the intercom of Walmart. My heart just sunk for that mom. They said it over the intercom at least 3 times before he was found. (I saw the little 3 yr old boy with a red shirt with a 07 on it as I went to the registers.) It made me perk up a little to realize they had a happy ending and to get my mind reoriented onto the important things in life. I had just been 'discussing' this with one of my daughters this morning in fact. Important things in life are relationships and treating others with kindness and respect.

So I started smiling at the people in Walmart who were in my way and not moving as I would try to go down the isles. When I asked the fabric department woman to cut some fabric for me, she sighed (she was stocking a shelf). When she came to do it, she THREW a sewing machine box across the fabric cutting table. I guess I had a shocked look on my face, because she appologized and said it wasn't me she was frustrated with, but a coworker. When I left, I wished her a Merry Christmas and hoped she had a better day. She actually looked right at me, paused a few seconds and said, "Well thank you. I really appreciate that....I really do." I said a sincere "You're very welcome." And went to finish my shopping.

And I actually started having a better day myself. ;) It was pretty cool.

Then I went home and was so tired I could just go to bed now and sleep til morning. But I'm not. I have work to do yet. ehn

I need to stop complaining. All my kids are safe, we have all we need and we're all healthy and blessed.

December 16, 2008

Just when you think you're gonna pop....

It seems like the holiday rush has once again taken over my life. I am not sure how to make it more smooth and less busy. With working now as well as trying to fit in our traditions and keep up with church events, I think something is going to give whether I cause it or not. Wish me luck. ;)

I went Christmas shopping for the first time last night. We already have our gifts to the girls, but now I am buying for the grandmothers. It's fun when I am actually out doing it, but thinking about it is giving me a twitch in the eye. Tonight is cookie baking and watching a movie while writing our Christmas letter, as well as working on a project for my kids for Christmas. We are making each other gifts this year. (I can't say what it is because my kids sometimes come here and find out secrets)

Our weekend at my brother in law and sister's cabin was wonderfully relaxing and needed. I wondered how wise it was to go for a weekend away when there is so much to be done. But it turned out to be just what we get away from the bustle and stress for 3 full days! Here is a little slide show of our weekend.

I hope you're not too busy to enjoy the season of celebrating. =)

December 9, 2008

In which you shine like stars in the universe

My husband was preaching Sunday morning from Philippians on what may have been an early Christian hymn about the Incarnation (Christmas). Paul quotes it as if it is a familiar song or reading. Maybe he was a little like Charles in that he would break into song during his sermons too. ;) They really didn't celebrate Christmas yet, but they certainly did know what it was all about.

A Christmas Card from Philippi:

Philippians 2:1-16

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

December 5, 2008

Hope in the Season of Advent

Isaiah 9:2 (New International Version)

2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

The Light is no longer a curious star in a Bethlehem sky. The Light now shines from within us and through us to the the people who are living in the shadow of death.

Have you ever been talking to someone who is seriously discouraged, when all of a sudden you are saying things that did not come from within you? It's as if you are listening to the Truth being spoken as well as the person you are trying to help.

Just one example of the Light (Christ) shining through you. He brings truth and sets people free from burdens as they turn their eyes not onto the dreariness of life, but onto the Hope of salvation, the peace that comes from casting our cares on Christ, who gave His life for us....that we might let Him minister to the hurting through us.

Where is the Hope? He is within us. Let your Light shine.

December 3, 2008

See how much He loves us?

Here is something fun. We were gathering Sunday night for a class at church when Kelly comes prancing (yes, she was) and saying God had a surprise for us, come quick!

Knowing Kelly like we do (and we love her) we just looked at her blankly. "Come on! You have to come and SEE it!"

We obeyed and it was so cool. Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon had portrayed a brilliant smiley face in the sky! I immediately thought of the SHMILY story. If you haven't read it, click the link. It's a very good story.

In short, it is a love story of a couple who were elderly but who still played a little game with each other. They would write SHMILY in different places, to surprise each other. It stood for "See How Much I Love You".

See how much God loves us?

Things to share during Advent

When I read the following gift list over at Chrysalis, I loved it instantly and knew I needed to post it here too. What perfect ways to show God's love and the spirit of celebrating the Incarnation, than to bless others with gifts of love and care. Read through and choose the ones you'd be willing to share. ;)

Inexpensive Gifts for the Season of Advent

1. The Gift of Listening
But you must REALLY listen. No interruption, no day dreaming no planning your response. Just listening.

2. The Gift of Affection
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. The Gift of Laughter
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you."

4. The Gift of a Written Note
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. The Gift of a Compliment
A simple and sincere, “You look great in red", “You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal” can make someone's day.

6. The Gift of a Favor
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. The Gift of Solitude
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. The Gift of A Cheerful Disposition
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank you.

9. The Gift of a Phone Call
Pick up the phone and call (or e-mail) an elderly relative that you suspect might be lonely.

10. The Gift of Gratitude
Notice and appreciate the loving gestures of even the youngest in your circle.

11. The Gift of Song
Sing (or whistle) a few bars of your spouse's favorite song.

13. The Gift of Story
Watch for big smiles as you relive a family outing by telling a short descriptive story of the memorable event. (eta: this could include breaking out the family home videos one night too)

December 1, 2008


The Advent Conspiracy. Have you heard of it? Curious? Watch this....

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

The Advent Conspiracy.

In a nutshell:
Worship fully
$pend less
LOVE all

Are you in?

November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thankfulness is not something God gives us.
It is not a spiritual gift and it is not a spiritual fruit. 

We can receive God's peace, joy and love,
but thankfulness is something that we give to God 
and to others.
It is a choice that we make.
Let us thank Him today with
songs of celebration, 

hearts of strong devotion
and acts of admiration."

[Roy Lessin]

November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving thoughts again

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord."
[Psalm 92:1]

"Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, 

while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns." [Anonymous]

On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.
~William Jennings Bryan

Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.
It's a way to live. ~Jackie Windspear

Thanksgiving is possible only for those who take time to remember;
no one can give thanks who has a short memory.
~Author Unknown

November 25, 2008

More Thanksgiving thoughts

None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude.
Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves,
and spend without fear of bankruptcy. ~Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.
~Author Unknown

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.
They are consumed in twelve minutes.
Half-times take twelve minutes.
This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck

May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!

~Author Unknown

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beattie

November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving thoughts

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you,"
that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men;
but be careful that you do not take the day,
and leave out the gratitude.
~E.P. Powell

As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget that the highest appreciation
is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Let us remember that, as much has been given us,
much will be expected from us,
and that true homage comes from the heart
as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.
~Theodore Roosevelt

November 23, 2008

Those sneaky holidays

Did you notice it is the holiday season all of a sudden? I just realized it. I am feeling a little panicky about Christmas things to be done, but Thanksgiving is covered I think. (I hope) It shnuck up on me this year while life was quickly rambling by. All of a sudden I began seeing commercials for holiday things, a local radio station here is starting their '24-7 Christmas music' early....I think that is not supposed to start until the day after Thanksgiving! But there it was, starting a week before Thanksgiving. I tried to listen to the music the other day, but had to turn it to my regular station as I reached for the air conditioning button in my car. HIGH 80's, blazing sun on my skin, perspiration gathering under my hair. There was no way I was going to listen to carols.

Maybe we are all a little weary of regular life and need to see the holiday season in sight to give us a little hope, a little something to look forward to. I am just hoping that we can turn off the air conditioner some day in the near future. I'm wondering if I will EVER get used to how warm it is here during the fall. It's not helping my holiday mood at all and gee whiz, I do need help this year.

I am so thankful that there is always something, SomeONE to celebrate each year, no matter how good or tragic our year has been. Can you imagine Christmas without Christ or Thanksgiving without Someone to be thankful to? God is a constant in our life. Always there, always faithful, always blessing us.

There comes a point each holiday season when these truths start to brighten my heart and mind. (Then no matter how warm it is, I can listen to the carols and they bring joy.) The way it is ordered is so right. Thanksgiving gives us a season to ponder the things we are thankful for and then begins the biggest celebration of the year, celebrating the Incarnation, then comes New Year's Day, a chance to begin again, a restarting. So this year I'm taking time to really mull over the ways I am blessed and give thanks to God. There is always so much to celebrate and be thankful for when we really take a good look.

November 20, 2008

Old friends and pass the manna please....

Thank you to all who left a message for us on that last post. Things are calming down. Emmanuel is still doing about the same and life is moving on....

Yesterday I got home from work and at 2:30pm looked at the answering machine. I had a message from Karen, who I grew up with. We went to the same church. The father of a dear friend Jonathan, from those days had passed away and the funeral was yesterday at 3pm. She ended up picking me up, then we went to the funeral and to the family's home afterwards. It never stops amazing me how friendships can just pick up again, feeling as tight as ever, even after years of not seeing each other. Karen and I have a little tradition going of attending funerals together now...usually the parents of our old friends from youth group but a couple of times it is one of our peers. She calls me and I hop in and off we go. We made a promise to try to get together at times other than funerals but we'll see. ;)

We all talked a lot of old times and the present, all intermingled as if there was no such thing as a timeline. Old jokes were still remembered. News was shared and when we were just barely getting caught up with each other, it was time to go. It is cool to have people like that in your life....people you have a history with, know where you came from and appreciate who you are today.

As for Carl, Jonathan's father, the funeral was so honoring and it was great to see how many lives he and his wife have touched! They have always had a huge place in their hearts and in their home for international students and people displaced from family. They truly have had a consistent spiritual gift of hospitality and service during their life. People kept getting up and saying how wonderful he was to them, that they felt at home with and loved by him. And that is true, but I kept thinking of his other side. I knew Carl not only from being Jon's dad, but he was also my college dorm caretaker. He had a snarky side to his personality and that is what I remembered well. I was 13 I think when his family came to our church. Carl always called me Cindy....and I always said, no, it's Christie. After a few months of this, I decided I would just call him Chuck. He didn't like being called Chuck so it fit my purpose just right. The whole time I knew him, he would say, "hi Cindy" and I'd snark back, "Hi Chuck!" Then he would just scowl at me. heehee He also helped us kidnap and hold for ransom a certain college professor's recliner from his office during finals one year. I talked him into letting us into his office and the whole time he was doing it, he kept saying, "Well I don't think I should be doing this......I don't know....this is gonna get me in trouble, etc etc" Every time I mentioned it after that time, he would act all scared and nervous and shush me like we had broken into the FBI offices or something. He was a lot of fun and I will miss hearing about his news in his wife's yearly Christmas letter.

I can't help but be a little envious of people I know who have already gone on into the Presence of God nowadays....

November 18, 2008

.......and today is Tuesday.

I'm sorry for all the silence around here. I hope this will be a better week for sitting down and writing. I hope this week will be a better one just in general for the well-being of all we know! We had numerous church members, along with a member of our former church, in the hospitals the past two weeks. The young man from our former church was walking late last Monday night and was hit by a car going 40 miles an hour. Miraculously he was supposed to be released by the hospital yesterday....but wearing a full cast on each leg and an arm cast that has to be elevated.

Another friend from church is in the dying process in the same hospital our other friend just left. He is in his 30's, came here from Ghana years ago to attend a technical school and contracted a common ailment here called Valley Fever. Usually undetected when you have it, sometimes it goes crazy and takes over a person's body. Emmanuel had it badly for 9 years and it is finally affecting his brain. His body is shutting down and soon he will be released from that toxic body to enjoy an eternal life with Jesus. Pray for his family though, this is a hard time for all.

Along with those we had several others who were hurting or had emergencies to tend to. Charles was the crazed hospital visitor there for a while, but it seems to be settling down.

November 13, 2008

Sand Dollar Beach slideshow

I finally worked on some photos from last summer's vacation. These are of Sand Dollar Beach in the Big Sur, California area. It was a beautiful place!

November 10, 2008

You've Got Mangos

What is it about certain movies that just puts you in a good mood? You could and have watched them a hundred times. When Hannah was 17 or so we bought the movie You've Got Mail. It is set in New York City, has a fabulous, quirky soundtrack and it goes through three seasons of the year.....fall, winter, then spring. We used to put that movie on to play whenever we were home and felt You've Got Mailish....which was a lot. A friend borrowed it and kept it for months! MONTHS! I finally got tired of asking for it back and went to get it. ha

We quote parts of the movie and it never gets old. "My head is starting to get ....fuzzy." "I love daisies. They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?" "I'm going to get eucalyptus candles cuz it makes my apartment smell Moss-ay." and of course, "Don't cry, Shopgirl. Don't cry."

But lately I've latched on to an odd sounding quote. "I hope your mango's ripe."

Meg Ryan says it at a place in the movie where her feelings for this strange man are turning from loathing to friendly affection. And it struck me lately that what it means really is "I think I like you." "Thank you for being in my life." or even "Love ya." She says it while saying goodbye to him after a 'chance' meeting and it gets her through an awkward moment of not knowing how to give this time a benediction...because it was a turning pont.

You never really know about mangos, whether they are ripe or not. When they are just on the verge, but not really ripe it is a bitter mango and just turned ripe it is very sweet and smooth. (maybe like life) It is hoping for the best for a person in a very quirky way. I was trying to explain it to Hannah the other day and I've decided it's about the best little quote in the movie. And now you know it too. I looked for that scene from the movie on youtube, but it wasn't there. So...

I guess you'll just have to watch it now.....

November 6, 2008

Sunny Day

I started out the back gate at school today to walk home. A lot of parents were already gathered to walk their children home, the younger siblings playing while they waited. Since the sun is so intense here I get burned really easily and use a small umbrella to shade my face and arms while I walk. Today a little girl who looked about three years old saw me put up my umbrella. I smiled at her as I walked by and then she made a loud comment to her dad. She had very precise enunciation too.

"That la-dy has an um-brel-la. SHE thinks it's go-ing to ra-aain!" Then began intense three year old giggling and a dad's laughter well as mine. I laughed at least half way home.

November 4, 2008

Pa rum pum pum pum

I know I vote vote...yee haw. I'll just be glad it's over, the snide ads and the talking heads are getting on my last nerve! I did vote AND I got my free Starbucks coffee.

My real news for now though is that we went to my 16 year old's band exhibition concert last night and she was so cute! Well, the band was really good too, although she said the drumline was somewhat 'dirty' (meaning not exactly together on every strike). They were much improved from the last time we saw them in early October. AND they are going to the state competition this Saturday, so they are happy too.

At the end of Bohemian Rhapsody (it's better without the video, I decided...ha....not what you'd guess as good marching band material, but it was really great), the band moved back and the drumline moved forward and went to town! So cute, so good. I was proud. =) Now for the pics.

Emma is second from the right, doing her groove thang on the snare, baby!

Freeze well done. Again, she is second from the right.

November 1, 2008

The Fall Harvest

In 24 years of being in ministry at five different churches from New Jersey to Arizona we have seen how different churches handle the holiday of Halloween. Most of them really had nothing in place, so we would instigate a 'harvest party'. I love those. We would invite people, announce it in the papers and then just have our own church kids show up for it. Those were fun times and our children loved it too. When we moved to Phoenix two years ago, our church here already had a tradition for October 31. They go all out and have a huge block party. And it is not just for the church kids! It involves hundreds of attendees from all walks of life.

The church rents several inflatable bouncer houses and a huge rock wall to climb with springy safety ropes and everything. They cook hot dogs and have ice cold cans of Cokes and water bottles for a thousand people. We collect candy for months to give out at the game booths and rides. They have a slide show of the church's events for children and youth playing where people are eating their hot dogs.

Every last thing is free. We advertise it as a block party for our neighborhood as a safe alternative to trick or treating. We go on a prayer walk the Saturday before the block party and pray for the neighborhood by house and leave a door hanger invitation. (we do not knock on the doors) Last year we handed out 700 invitations. This year, the church members rallied and put out 2,000 well as praying for 2,000 homes.

They are so organized. The woman who leads it is a former professional event planner. She has "God Rocks the Block" t-shirts for the workers, policemen to patrol around the campus, and people who swoop in when the party is over and take down and clean up in a FLASH! People leave feeing like they had a fun night in a family setting.

This year my husband got a great idea. He had a team of greeters who walked around the block party welcoming people, talking and encouraging and praying for people who had come. Several people got the chance to actually ask people for some need they could pray for their family about. And no one (that I've heard of) said no. My husband got the opportunity to pray with several people, all who appreciated it and were open and grateful to him, including two adult Jewish sisters. Several said they had been looking for a church or to get back into church and they had wondered about ours.

So now.....tomorrow is Sunday and in the following month after Rock the Block we see a lot of these people come to visit our church. Please pray with us that they will be drawn to Jesus and feel welcome in our church. We are looking forward to seeing the harvest of people that God is going to work in. Every year we get at least one family who starts coming to our church from the party, but this year we are hopeful that there will be more than just one or two.

October 27, 2008

Thankful for the leaders the followers are...uh, following

My 2 youngest are at the kitchen sink gargling salt water. They have sore-throat-itis pretty bad. They feel like they have a slight fever too, but my thermometer has bad-battery-itis. Anyway, the youngest HATES gargling salt water. She was refusing to do it and starting to cry until Emma, 16, started preparing hers. Then Maggie jumped up to do it too....she's a follower apparently.

Now they are at the sink gargling tunes and sounding like prop planes flying low overhead, then spewing it out violently into the sink. I am really hoping it's not something that requires going to the banker doctor.

ps....The picture is from years ago.

October 24, 2008

Just get it over with...

I am so tired of this campaigning 'blah blah blah'. I wish November 4th was over already. Maybe we should just turn off the television......

Although I have to say, the chaos and rage going blah blah blah on our television is nothing *NOTHING* compared to election fighting in other parts of the world.

October 23, 2008

Revenge...tis sweet

This year in the cafeteria, my classes eats at 11:40. My daughter's 6th grade class comes in to eat at about 11:50. My class of second graders sits at the first tables, so my daughter has to walk right by them. All year I've been telling the second graders to watch for Maggie and say hi to her. She just cringes and kind of glances at them and says hi sheepishly.

One of my Georges (we have 2) used to say hi to her every day. But now he's decided that he likes making me mock angry when he doesn't say hi. Yesterday I told him to take 600 points at point time for being so mean. (we work on a point system for discipline and taking 2 points is usually pretty drastic)

Today they really said "Hi Maggie" loudly and enthusiastically. She actually smiled and looked at them. I came over during the enthusiastic part and George just looked over at me with a big smile and said, "I didn't say it!" So I told him to take 600 more points. (then had to explain to another shocked second grader that it was just a

BUT, when my class was leaving I went over to talk to Maggie and her girl friends sitting at the last table by the exit. When George came by I told him to "look at those girls at that table" and they all said "Hi George!" When he turned to them they were overcome with 6th grade female emotion and started telling him how CUTE he is, oooing and ahhhhing. I've never seen his eyes get so big. He walked like a robot out the door with huge eyes and broke into a huge grin when he was out the door. tee hee

I'm glad he's a good sport.

October 22, 2008

Breaking the silence

As I wrote yesterday my two teenaged daughters did a Prolife Day of Silent Solidarity. For a whole day, they did not speak. They each carried a sign for people to read which explained that they were making a statement for those whose voice will never be heard. And they each had a homemade t-shirt with slogans and an explanation on it too. Emma, my 16 year old high school junior, reported that most people responded positively when she was doing her day of silent solidarity in protest of our liberal abortion laws. She had a sign she held up to her teachers as she came to class that explained that she wasn't speaking today in honor of those who will never have a voice. All of them but one responded well. One of them kind of sighed and was outwardly kind of put off by it, but she didn't say anything negative. Her band friends responded well and were even asking her more about it today. One girl told Emma that she wanted to join in the silence, but didn't. (maybe next year) It is always on October 23.

Over 4,000 children have their lives taken each day in the name of choice.

Over 4,000 women are emotionally damaged every day.

Emma did say that one girl kind of put her head down and acted like she was uncomfortable when she was talking to someone about it. So we talked about how you never know who has had an abortion or might be thinking about having one. I told her she might want to include in her discussion about why she did it that it is not to condemn or judge those who have had an abortion, but to keep an awareness out there that it is must be stopped. Abortion is as bad for the women having them as it is for the unborn child. It ruins both of their lives. The guilt, shame and feeling of loss after an abortion is never discussed unless you go to a crisis pregnancy kind of place where they will be honest with you on the effects it has on your emotional health.

I'm really proud of them for doing this. I have to say that I did not have a thing to do with this protest. They did this on their own and I don't even know where they got to information to do this. They just do this on October 23rd, wearing their t-shirts and holding their cards or signs and I'm like, 'oh goody, you're not gonna talk today!' I have my own selfish reasons for appreciating this day too. ;)

Well Bethany is at work until 10pm I think, so I will have to post her thoughts tomorrow. I will add on to this post with hers.

ps: I talked with Bethany today and she said no one gave her a hard time or applauded her silence. She didn't really think people took notice or ummm, cared. So goes community college. Not the most proactive crowd apparently. Still she took a stand and did her part. It is not an in your face kind of protest....just a quite statement in a world that seems not to have time to care either. When an 18 year old will do that and make it a priority I think there is a lot of hope left for her generation.

October 21, 2008

.....for those whose voices will never be heard.

Today is Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity. My two teenage girls are silent today to make a statement for those whose voices will never be heard. I will try to post their thoughts on how people reacted to their silence tomorrow. So far, my 16 year old who is a junior in high school said (in answering my yes or no questions) that she only had positive feedback from other students and teachers. Not one negative response. I will ask my college student how her day was when she can talk.

Since January 22, 1973 over 50,000,000 babies have had their voices silenced through surgical abortion in this nation alone.

That is a lot of lives.

Here is the story of someone who actually survived an abortion. She was not the mother having an abortion, she was the baby they tried to kill.

Part 1 (9:36 minutes)

Part 2 (6:40 minutes)

October 20, 2008

My week off.....a list

Friday, Oct. 10-11 We left the church at about 9am to travel to California for a teen girls' conference called Revolve Tour. And it was pretty fun. Not only the conference itself, but spending a total of 12 or so hours on the road with our teenagers and some other cool lady friends of mine and hanging out in the hotel with them. This is what we were doing for two days:

Sunday, Oct 12- My husband started a special emphasis on prayer that will be life changing if we all do it. We have Scriptures to read and notebooks to write out prayers to God each morning (or whenever you choose). It's made a huge impact on me already and I'm being drawn in again to a deeper relationship with Christ.

Monday-Wednesday- Cleaned house, ran errands, went to Curves, had a couple of nice visits with girlfriends and I spent very little time online. Sorry, I kept promising blogs, but they would not be written. I went with Charles to visit a new couple who have been coming to the church. They live in a spot that is right behind the state fair. The view out of their front porch is the absolutely huge farris wheel, all lit up and spinning.

Thursday morning we got up early and headed up into the mountains. My sinuses felt release in the fresh air and I sneezed and blew them clear after a week or so of feeling clogged and puffy. We spent 2 days lounging around my sister and brother in law's cabin. It was cool there....we brought sweaters! It was quiet....the kind of quiet that makes your ears hiss. We rested, ate, played Christmas music, watched television, had no internet connection and explored their new cabin. I wish I had uploaded the pictures from my camera. It's so beautiful there. (soon)

Saturday, Oct 18- We drove home from the mountains to the smoggy valley and my nose got all stuffed again. ehn I thought about making the Amish Freindship Bread that was ready to bake that day, but then I talked myself out of it.

Sunday, Oct 19 saw answers to prayer in lives connected to our church and also brought in more prayer needs and deferred hope for several who we love and are feeling weary for them in their struggles.

Sunday afternoon some youth girls and boys followed us home and spent the afternoon entertaining me in the kitchen while I baked 8 loaves of Amish Friendship Bread. They were silly and kept me laughing while they read their chapter for their Sunday night class out loud to me. Sarah read in a British accent, which caused me to insert loud Monty Pythonish exclamations at certain points. Then they were singing the book to me and that was hysterical. I'm sorry Gillian for getting them wound up for you. ;)

Earllier in the week, I was thinking I used to keep friendship bread starter in a mason jar, so I transferred the goo into a jar and put the lid on. A couple of days later, I went to shake it (too lazy to stir) and it looked funny. The lid on the jar was puffed up as far as possible so I unscrewed it to let out some pressure. By the time I got done cleaning up goo from the counter, the floor, my shirt, my hair and the outside of the jar, I decided to put it in a larger plastic container with a lid.

Brenda, I just can't keep that thing alive another 10 days, so I used it all up without sharing it or reproducing it. I guess I killed it. (And I don't feel a bit guilty. heehee) I made 4 loaves of regular recipe (cinnamon), 2 loaves of pumpkin friendship bread and 2 loaves of lemon poppyseed friendship bread.

And now I'm done! Amen

So there you have it....a week of blogging in one concise list. I'm back on schedule with working and trying to go to bed early again, so maybe I'll be able to post a bit this week. (but I'm not promising)

October 15, 2008

Days of Elijah

Well I did not post yesterday apparently. I am enjoying a nice fall break week though. So now I'm making no promises. Here is an iWorship video of a song we sang tonight. Our song was done with just a guitar and our voices, but it was grand!

October 13, 2008


I will definitely blog..... tomorrow.

The trip with the teen girls and the conference in California was really great. However, I came back with a serious need for rest and QUIET. Go figure!


October 9, 2008

Out and about

I am out of town until Sunday. Happy weekend to you. ;)

Day of Atonement

The day is ended, but happy Yom Kippur anyway. We can celebrate being forgiven every day now because of Jesus' final sacrifice.

Hebrews 9:26But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hebrews 10:3But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.' "

.....10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Thank you Jesus....

October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Golden City

Tomorrow is Yom Kippur, the highest holy day of the year for the Jews. My Jewish neighbors have family visiting and they have been getting together a lot for the days of awe, the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I am praying they will find the Messianic meaning in their holiday someday. Meanwhile I am enjoying watching them as they go through their holy days. Here is another picture of Jerusalem for Yom Kippur. Click on it to enlarge. It was taken on our trip to Israel in November '05 and without special filters or affects, it turned out to be so pretty and golden. Amazing!

October 6, 2008

October 4, 2008

Autumnish weekend

The high was only in the low 80's today and it was overcast. I hate to get my hopes up that we could actually have fall this year in Phoenix. But for the weekend I'll pretend. The porcelain pumpkin is on the piano with fake leaves around it. I keep putting candy corn in it, but then it disappears. The fall welcome decoration is on the front door and I bought a new fall tablecloth. I can always turn the air down and pretend. ;)

We have lived several places where there is a real fall. Some things I miss:

*punkin picken hayrides at Johnson's Farm, NJ
*frestly pressed, cold apple cider and donuts from a roadside farm stand
*cornstalks on porches and electric candle lights in windows
*driving down main street in Moorestown, the falling leaves raining down on us
*Ivins spiced wafers
*huge piles of leaves in the yard, Charles pitching the girls and the dog into them
*yellow aspens turning the mountains of northern AZ golden
*sipping coffee and visiting townspeople at the downtown coffee shop in Williams
*the drive to Flagstaff from Williams in the fall
*going out to see elk in the meadows and hearing their bellows
*campfires in the woods
*having a blazing fire in our own living room

I enjoy living here in the desert, but this time of year I do miss autumn.

September 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: The Eastern Gate, Jerusalem

The Eastern (Golden) Gate to the old city of Jerusalem, taken from the Mount of Olives.
Prophecy about the Eastern Gate.

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

Happy new year ;) September 30, 2008

Today is Rosh Hashana, the Feast of Trumpets.

The themes of this holiday:
~the beginning of the new year on Jewish calendars
~a celebration and remembrance of the creation of the earth
(birthday of the world in Jewish tradition)
~“Coronation Day” The shofar announces God’s Kingship
~Day of Judgment
~the beginning of a 10 day period of serious contemplation, called the High Holy Days, and repentance in preparation for the Day of Atonement Yom Kippur.

If you're not familiar with this holiday, I hope you'll click these links and discover some wonderful things. God ordained the feast days of the Jews to help His people remember important things and to look forward to things He has promised. Here is a quote from

Most Christians don’t know about the Fall Holidays of ancient Israel; Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles (Sukkoth). If the spring festivals so clearly prophesied the first coming of Messiah, it stands to reason that the fall festivals are also prophetic of His second coming. The way these holidays are celebrated reveals specific information of the way they will be prophetically fulfilled.

It is meaningful and exciting. I hope you'll's right!
An overview of Rosh Hashana.
The Messianic significance of Rosh Hashana.

Rosh Hashana in Israel this year, 5769.

For a sweet new year.

September 29, 2008

God is still worries

"Dow plummets record 777 as financial rescue fails" - do you think that's a sign? I just saw this headline tonight on an AP news release. 777? I honestly think that the Lord is humbling us as a nation, as families, as the Church. Look at the very clear signs of the times and put your trust and faith where it should only and always be. In the hands of God, who holds the future but also cares for His people as a Father for his wayward children. Thank Him for the Hope He gives us and ask how we can communicate that Hope to all the people who are beginning to be consumed with worry about their financial 'security'.

And God help us all as we go through this.

Psalm 4

3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.

4 In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.

5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.

6 Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.

7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.

8 I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

September 27, 2008

Real men

Paul Newman has died after a long battle with cancer. One of the things I really admired about him was also something they quoted him on in the news article on his death:

Newman sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood's rare long-term marriages. "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Newman [said].... when asked if he was tempted to stray

THAT is what being a real man is about. I know several of them myself and hold them in high esteem.


There is a new button in my sidebar at the upper right corner. It is one of those ribbons you see everywhere, in all sorts of colors. It symbolizes that there are people out there who are fighting for a cure for Alzheimer's and Dementia, a cause I really would love to see become reality.

If breast cancer ran in my family, I'm sure I would have a pink ribbon for you to click. But it so happens that Alzheimer's and Dementia run on my dad's side of the family. He died from dementia 2 years ago. His oldest sister died less than 6 months after him. She had Alzheimer's disease for over 20 years before dying in her 90's. He suffered just a few years. I can't imagine 20. His other sister Ruth is in the beginning stages and has had to move to an assisted living center.

Sadly Alzheimer's disease is a slow process of losing your mind along with physical problems. It is usually a long road of suffering, helping, exhaustion and feeling alone. If you have a loved one with any kind of dementia disease, there are very good resources on this webpage, Two years ago even, there were not half the resources that there are today for people caring for loved ones with dementia. Eventually I feel like it will touch almost everyone's lives in western civilization. I hope and pray that they can find a cause, a cure, a reason, an answer, anything. It is such a devastating thing.

If you would like to make a button for your blog or website, click my ribbon. The steps are very easy. Mom, if you want help doing it, I'll help you soon. ;)

One day at a time we walk through this life. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But we can live fully and well today. Don't let busyness make your days fly by without doing important things and knowing the One who gave it to us.

I was going to add Matthew 6:25-34 here and found it with fresh insight in The Message. As well as dealing with tomorrow's difficulty, it is also a very telling insight for the financial crisis our country is in right now. So I'll post the whole thing.

Matthew 6:25-34 (The Message)

25-26"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

September 24, 2008

Alida's thought for the day

My friend Alida has a wonderful Thought for the Day on her blog at Blackpurl's Knitpickings. Go over and see! (especially if you're a teen or college aged type of person. ;)

September 23, 2008

Yeah toast!

My teens keep saying something and I was wondering where they got it, so I looked it up. They keep saying 'Yeah, toast!' in a high falsetto voice with their eyes shut, saying it is from a song about toast.

Just for diversion: The toast song.

So now that I know it's not from something strange or off color or something, I respond to them about 1/4 of the time saying "yeah, toast!"

I was trying to annoy Bethany with it in the grocery store today.....but a small Spanish speaking man gave me a strange look....heh

September 22, 2008

League of pdubs and missionary chicks update

The League of Pastor's Wives page has been relaunched and is now at a new address. Please take note. There is a cute button you can put on your sidebar if you'd like to put word out for these great ladies too. (see it in my sidebar, the code is on the league page) If you are a ministry wife of any kind, you are welcome to send in your blog address there and join us! Your blog does not have to be about ministry. ;)

Also a quick note, our missionary chicks are coming home! They will be leaving shortly and come home. It seems like it's been a long time since we saw them off at the airport. Here is their blog about their trip! It's very interesting reading!

Update 5 from Lilly of the Valley

We got another update from Lilly of the Valley. I will copy part of her email so that you can see how she has to write in code because emails are screened in this heavily muslim country.

As I said before, Heather and I will be living in a concrete house, which is nicer, but it is also better for our situation. The village that I will be living in is known for its sp*r*t**l oppression. It is known as on of the most evil villages in this area due to its strong influence of w*tch crft. It is a place that the last semester girls loved and you can tell because all the people who knew them loved them. It is going to be difficult, but extremely good! The Father has placed me there for a reason. The Father is bigger than anything that Stn can throw our way. His power extends to the ends of the earth and of whom shall I be afraid, whom shall I fear?? A blssng that we are living in this concrete house is that we are not living in our dad’s compound and that we can set our own boundaries and not have to be so much under his authority. We have the most amazing neighbor H. She seems very protective, but hospitable and is a great leader. She would make a great sister…yarp that she comes to know the true road this semester.

On the other side of the village of S there is a little girl and she is crippled. She crawls on her hands and knees and has been this way since she was born. Yarp that she will receive healing. I believe that the Father could do such a thing, even meeting her has caused my f**th to grow. How incredible would it be if the Father displayed His glry through her…just think of the possibility! Yarp that the Father would do His will in that situation!

I do not have malaria praise JC, but I also did not have anything show up in my other tests. My stomach is just NOT ok. B and K’s doctor friend put me on some medicine and I am feeling a little better. It should kill anything that is in me!!! We saw L that day and she was doing much better. By Wednesday L came back to Kollo!!! Which is amazing because B and K can support her better here rather than in the city. Thursday was spent in the bush and was semi-stressful! I believe that the Father let me see a glimpse of the evil that is in this place to make me prepare for it, but there is A LOT of spiritual oppression in our village.. Stn does not want us to be there, but praise JC that the Father does. These people need JC!!

It is so amazing the work that she gets to see, do and experience. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to pray for missionaries out in the world, especially in these semi-closed countries.

September 18, 2008


Aye, tis' talk like a pirate day if anyone cares t' know it


A comment for an old man o'de sea?
Arrr, an' lea'e 'em translated int' pirate talk, ye go' it?
Arrr, just click the link t' translate your message.


Strange but true

I got a sunburn last week that made my forearms pretty tender.

On the weekend I first noticed that the 'sunburn' had turned very red and was becoming raised. The only thing I could figure out, after looking on the internet and asking people, was that I had hives. A friend of mine suggested they could be due to stress. I have been hating, loathing, despising them all week. It was BAD. My arms were RED, they were itching, it looked horrible! I thought I'd never be rid of them.

But listen to this.....Charles left Monday for an almost weeklong trip. And there I was today, driving to the airport right after work to pick him up and I ran my hand along my arm.

NO hives.

I think I'm allergic to not having my husband.

September 17, 2008

Oh my Lilly

I'm either a fount of blogging posts or a dry well. But I have an excuse this time. I haven't felt very well this week.

So I wrote and then deleted a pathetic blog entry.

I actually just got on here to write a quick update about Lilly of the Valley. She is sick and they think she has malaria. That part of Africa is malaria country, so you are bound to get it if you are there for a while. But this will be her second round of illness since she left in mid August. Please pray for her health....and for her team as well. They will be moving into small villages this week to make relationships and do story-telling.

So please lift her up as she is in misery and far from home right now.

September 13, 2008

Weathering the storm

Some friends of ours are in Houston. He is being treated at the cancer center there, and they have been commuting for treatments there, then flying back to Arizona. They are stuck there now. He is in the middle of some intense treatments, so they did not leave. Here is the text message from his wife, L, that her cousin received this morning and then the group email her cousin sent out:

good morning just woke up
very ruf night
we are fine
worse over I think
I will call later
no coffee no power
hot sticky

And about the last call they were able to make before the storm:

When I spoke with her yesterday they were getting ready to hunker down. R had the air conditioner on HIGH, preparing for the heat once the power went out. They knew that they would loose power and cell service – even though they would be able to text. They had gone to Target the day before to get a battery operated radio and butterfingers (the necessities). They had already stocked up on groceries and water. She had packed all of their clothes etc and put them in the bathroom. The hotel had stocked up on food, ammenaties and brought in their own families and pets. They said they would not leave the quests. L said that some members of FEMA were also staying at their hotel; I think that made her feel better. She had even gotten some packing tips from the FEMA guys (she always makes new friends there). I am sure as soon as they get power and cell service she will call – I will let you know ASAP.

Thank you for your prayers....for Houston and all the people who had to stay there, and also for R as he is getting this intense batch of chemo.

Lots to pray about these days I've been noticing.

What Ike looks like to us,

And what it looks like to Galveston, Houston and all along the coast there:

September 12, 2008

Moz report and second grade sentences

Please stay in prayer for our ladies and man in Mozambique this weekend. They are traveling now, going to a village to teach a women's conference. Read their recent reports here! They are having fun, getting quite an eyeful and missing their families. Please pray for endurance, energy and even emotions for them during this time. For the weekend and also for next weekend, they will be staying in camping tents in these villages, using a homemade outhouse and eating unfamiliar foods that the villagers will be preparing for them. (scary) When you are out in a foreign country, at the mercy of the locals there, it can be very intimidating and frightening. They really do appreciate your prayers, even a quick heartfelt one as you finish this paragraph. =) Thank you!

On a lighter note, I was grading homework packets today. The second graders have to write a sentence for each of their spelling words. It always cracks me up to grade these, as the sentences are sometimes quite telling! (the spelling words are underlined)

~My teacher is mean.
~I am tired of this.
~I love my teacher hundred and more.
~I have too much page. (no spelling word in this sentence, I guess they just wanted us to know)
~My dog goes to bed at 9:20. (does it also tell time!?)
~My dad likes to keep his shoes organized. (reminded me of Charles. While my shoes are tossed in from across the room, his are neatly set in pairs. Sometimes I find that the closet elf has set my shoes up right too.)

September 10, 2008

Two things

Two things.

1. Our missionary team to Mozambique has a blog. Click here to read it. They are in Quelimane, Mozambique now and will be reporting back as much as possible.

2. Our Lilly of the Valley, who is also in Africa (until December) is doing very well. She is healthy and good things are happening. There is a mission group there for this week, so pray that much will be accomplished. The missionaries there have about 51 people who are Christians, along with some who are considering committing to Christ. One of these is a leader of the village, and his being baptized and converting may be source for persecution. It is a Muslim country. They will be meeting together soon and want prayers of protection over the believers there and against evil things that are prevalent there.

Thank you for your prayers.

September 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: The little mister

This is my nephew, little mister. He's getting his groove on.

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

September 8, 2008

....stuff I did or thought or bought or cooked today

Well the ladies and their token hubby are well on their way across the Atlantic. I know this because Shirley's husband, Pete, coached my husband in how to find a live satellite feed of their airplane!!!! It is like a drawing, not a real picture, but still! I told him they were stalking those missionaries. Freaky. The mission team should arrive in Johannesburg tonight. Then they will make their way tomorrow to Quelimane, Mozambique to run some women's conferences for the women there.

I went to Walmart today....all by myself. No kids with me to beg me to buy things. So I bought stuff for me....heh heh. I had birthday money left and bought a nice new exercise outfit for capri exercise pants and a lime green v-neck t-shirt. It's awfully cute and was only $12 for the whole shebang. I will be cute at Curves now. The ladies there will be shocked. And they will wonder what happened to that woman in the dumping '80's style brown sweat pants and huge baggy shirt that in a very faded way says, "To my H llfl g r" across it.

As far as I can figure, I was in Walmart for almost 2 hours, by myself even. I wanted to make little greasy tacos for dinner....they kind you make with soft corn tortillas, chicken filling and lots of grease. I don't know why I go to Curves and then fix little greasy tacos for my family, but that is not the point right now....try to stay focused ok? Anyway.....

My friend Joann posted about chicken taco secrets a couple weeks ago, so I was going to follow her advice. She got her advice from her mother in law, who she lovingly calls the Tamale General. She thinks the secret to very crunchy, yummy tacos is using LARD instead of oil to fry them in. I have never bought lard.....ever. I have always seen it there on the shelf by the shortening and loathed it from afar. I have seen it on recipes I've made, but I always substitute canola oil or shortening.

So today I was really going to buy a small bright blue container of lard.....just to see if it really is so different and wonderful. But a very nicely dressed Asian couple were beside me. They had a handbasket (not cart) full of healthy little one or two serving items. I had a cart full of gallons of shampoo, dog clippers, hair dye and some produce for the tacos. I suddenly felt like the elephant in the room, everyone's eyes on me, trying to take in what i would choose from the oil section! I could NOT bring myself to pick up or even glance at the LARD. I found myself quickly grabbing the Crisco vegetable oil and darting away.....away from the thing that might have given me a name like The Taco Queen or something. (okay on second thought, I don't think I could handle being a Taco Queen)

The tacos were half crunchy and half kind of soggy. I got better at timing them toward the middle of the process.

And now I need a shower. I'm a greasy little taco queen. ehn

Sending more out

Please pray for our ladies from church plus one husband, who are flying across the ocean today. They are going on a 2 week trip to Mozambique, Africa.


We saw them off early this morning. They'll be leading women's retreats for the women in Mozambique.

September 6, 2008

Generation gappy

My sisters and I took my mom to see the movie Mama Mia this afternoon. We wondered if she would like a movie that really relates to our generation as far as nostalgia and humor. We went to the "Mama Sing" version of the movie. It had all the lyrics at the bottom of the screen, sing-a-long style. So after the movie, I asked her if she liked the movie.

She said, " was no Sound of Music."

"It was what we used to call bawdy."

My sister, "I wonder what your Sunday School
ladies will think of you seeing it."

Mom, "Oh they've probably all seen it already.
But we'll have something to talk about now."

We laughed a lot today.

September 4, 2008

Overheard in the classroom

Substitute teacher: So after reading this story about all the different kinds of dogs there are, what kind would you want?

Second grade boy: A really big one!

Substitute teacher Okay, why do you want a really big one?

Second grade boy: *thinking* So I can find him if he gets lost.

Me: *cracking up in the back of the room*

September 3, 2008

Lilly of the Valley's prayer requests

I just received another update from our semester missionary from our church, Lilly of the Valley. She is doing much better...she was sick for a couple of weeks when she first arrived. Here are her requests to pray about. She is really seeing God work in their relationships as a mission team together as well as with the people in the villages, also in their language schooling. She said it is like God is giving them supernatural abilities to speak and understand the language there. They can already understand at least half of what people say.

Pray for Lilly and for her team of missionaries there:

~That the Father provided a house in the village of S
~For healing my body of all its ailments
~For the sweet fellowship with my team (and our instant unity)
~That the Father gave us a wonderful language teacher and that we have caught on so quickly
~For the encouragement of the believers here!
~For the people that He will draw to Himself this semester!

Things to lift up:
~The brothers and sisters here that they will have strength to not fast during Ramadaan even though they have great pressure on them to follow everyone else
~That the Father will draw people to himself through this time of Ramadaan and that they will seek the truth
~That the father will give these people visions and dreams of the truth and that they will be obedient to follow Him
~For continued health
~For divine appointments where I can share the Father’s love with the people of West Africa not only through my words and actions but just by my being with them!
~The children that so long for the love that the Father can give!

How you know you are in West Africa:
~When there is a big bug a little bigger than the diameter of a baseball outside your compound and it draws the attention of only the white people!
~When 22 people fit in a van semi comfortably
~When chickens ride beneath the feet of people who pay to ride in a taxi….
~When to get to the market you must cross a mini river of rain water (which has been known to take cars off the road with its force- we crossed it by foot ☺)
~When you go to the lab to have a test done and they give you a film case in which to get a stool sample.
~When you go to the lab and the technician is the person taking the money, running the test and looking at the test results and then handing back the results.

September 2, 2008

As the daze go by

Things I can't seem to get up the gumption to write about:

~Hurricanes. One after the other...yikes. Praying for the southeast.
~Monsoon storms here in Phoenix with hurricane force winds (80-100 mph) last Thursday night.
~Political conventions, interesting things you learn in a political race, and why.....oh, nevermind.
~People going to Africa, Korea, and all those utter parts!
~Second graders who do really funny things....which I can't recall right now, but I do laugh a lot at school.
~Maisy methodically sneaking and stealing paper products from my pantry, then tearing them limb from limb in the living room. She can steal a stack of paper bowls one at a time until the whole pile is gone and in shreds before I come to and realize it!
~A girl in college who freely gave her cell number to a stalker last week.
~A girl who is a new driver, who keeps coming in happily after driving and announcing things like, "I pulled in to the garage all by myself! It's straight! AND I didn't hit anything!" (makes my eyes bug out)
~The instantly sobering feeling lately hearing about gobs of people (who are my age or younger) who are having strokes, cancer, weird new diseases, having fatal accidents and in general scaring the bits out of me.
~Photos I've taken that I could have posted.
~Links to cool things my blogging friends have written.
~'Interesting' menopausal moments.

Yet, here my blog sits, quiet and me lately.

Now that I have that out of my system, maybe I can get my gumption up tomorrow. Does anyone else feel in a daze lately?

August 30, 2008

Schlepping over

The last of the birthday party guests left an hour ago. It is now about 9pm. The girls were really no problem and they had a lot of fun swimming, eating out by the pool and playing Playstation 2 games. They also built a tent with sheets in Maggie's room to sleep under.

At 11pm I sent them to bed. They were talking quietly and sleepily, so I went to bed myself. But before I went to sleep, I started hearing laughing, then squealing and then screaming. So I walked into Maggie's room all serious, and there was Bethany, my 18 year old, on the ground under the tent, being held down and screaming for help. She had sneaked in there and was telling stories with the girls when they turned on her, held her down and had a tickling fest.

I laughed all the way back to bed.

Now I have 3 teenagers coming over after a get together to spend tonight.

Someone please slap me.

August 26, 2008

Slippy cakes make me grumpy

For Maggie's birthday I made a strawberry boxed cake, but replaced pureed strawberries for the liquid. That turned out great. Then I made my 'never has failed me yet' buttercream vanilla frosting. It was not thickening up so I kept adding powdered sugar. I finally just put it in the fridge to see if that would stiffen it up. And put the cake in the freezer to be cool when it was frosted.

After dinner, with my whole family standing around watching me (impatient because the 2 teens had band practice and church meetings so they were waiting for cake) I frosted the cake. It's a 2 layer cake and so I frosted the middle then put the 2nd layer on. It kept sliding over, the frosting was SO liquidy!!! I have no idea why! Finally by the time the cake was all frosted, I was almost having to hold it on constantly so it wouldn't immediately slide off the base. Everyone was cracking up and my hands were all frosted by the time it was all sliced and handed out. It was so very sugary from all the extra sugar I put in, that it made us shudder.

It looked like that song, Someone left the Cake out in the Rain.....except that is not the name of the song, just a line in it. MacArthur Park. Anyway, cake.... slip sliding away ....weird!

I love


Today is Maggie's birthday! She is eleven.

Here is a link to her blog, Doodlebug if you want to leave her a birthday wish!

August 25, 2008

Good medicine

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 22

I was reading another blog today and the writer was telling about the biggest laugh they've had this week. And I have had several, so I decided to share.

I love to laugh. I laugh a lot, even when I'm not supposed to. An overactive imagination helps when having to wait in a line or do a dull task and often I have to stifle a laugh because I'm all alone and someone might call the funny farm. ;) And just so I know I'm not the only person so easily amused, just look here. nyuck nyuck nyuck

Saturday night my friend Kelly and I went to the movies. We saw Mama Mia. We were laughing so hard, tears were squirting out our eyes and I heard a couple of snorts....I'm not saying who, there was a whole theater of ladies in there. Some of the things we laughed at were not even meant to be funny. heh

Then we had to pick up Kelly's poodle from the groomer on the way home. She had asked the groomer to leave a little Foo Man Choo type of beard on the dog. So we laughed all the way there 'discussin' it and all the possibilities. I'm glad Kelly can actually see when she's in hysterics (she was driving) because my eyes slam shut and squirt out tears. Oh, it was silly.....and cathartic! There is nothing like a good hysterical laughing session to not only clear the mind and anxiety of the day, but it clears your sinuses too. ;) We picked up poor Joey....poor Joe man Choo! Poor silly looking thing! His little beard was 2 inches long, at least. I hope she took a picture.

Sunday I had lunch with my mom, 3 sisters and grown niece. There was another hysterics session. We were there talking from about 2pm until after 6pm.

And then today! Today I was eating lunch by myself. All my lunch buddies have different schedules for lunch than I do this year. So I was reading an Avon catalog when I heard this huge "bbbbbbbbbbppppfffft". It turns out that a substitute teacher who was an our school today had fallen asleep in a chair, his chin on his chest, his chest puffing in and out, snoring his uvula out!!! Everyone who came into the lounge stopped, looked at me, then looked at the man and we all cracked up! I would just lift my eyebrows and send the person into hushed chortles. It was quite unexpected, quite at an unsuspecting person's expense and quite entertaining! Oh, I love rare times like that when things fall together in a great cosmic flubba dubba, goof up or oopsie. ;)

Oh and it turns out laughter is good medicine!! Check out that link!

August 22, 2008

Introducing Lilly of the Valley

Here is a prayer need:

A young woman from our church is taking this first semester of her last year of college off to spend 5 months in Africa! I cannot say where or mention her name. It is a Muslim country. Her code name for now in emails is Lilly of the Valley....very fitting! She will be living in small villages in huts or sometimes a tent and getting to know the local people, befriending them and leading into conversations about Jesus. She and her partner will be telling Bible stories in the villages every day.

The people there are apparently very open to listening and she has already made one friend in a woman there who comes to find LIlly to talk with her more about Jesus and the Bible. Lilly is very excited about this semester and all that God is going to do. She obviously is being filled up with a love for these people. You can tell in every word of her email.

Her prayer needs are simply for the people's hearts to be open and for understanding between the languages. She is having a little bit of language training, but not enough to fully communicate. The missionaries there will be helping do some translating.

Also pray that all the missionaries on this semester team will be healthy and strong to do the task they need to do.

I will update when I get an update. Thanks!

August 21, 2008

Thoughts I've been thinking...

~ If the Olympic decision makers have all the women's volleyball teams wearing skimpy bikinis while they leap, fall, spike and kneel, .........WHY do the men's teams get to wear comfy baggy tank tops and long shorts? (just asking) It seems....sexist at LEAST.

~ If I had fresh apples, I would make an apple crisp. I don't, so I'll bake some apple turnovers from a box.

~ My head is going to fall off if I watch Olympics for very many more evenings.

~ And why.....are some people so sad when they win a silver or bronze medal???????

~ This week flew by! This is a good thing when working with brand new second graders who are learning basic things like sitting still and actually looking at the teacher while she speaks.

~ Hannah called today and wanted one of my recipes to make for friends tonight. We also invented a marinade for her chicken over the made me feel happy. =)

~ I really need to paint my red hutch and the wall behind it.

~ Maggie's friends at lunch have gone from staring blankly at me when I walk by saying hi to them, to laughing (at me)? I'm suspicious.

~ My goals for the weekend are: to do some housecleaning, start the painting, trim the doggie so that she looks more like this,

Rather than this:

August 19, 2008

You never know what a day will bring

The small town of Williams, where we used to live, is very close to the Grand Canyon. So when we heard about the flooding and evacuation of Supai Canyon, we wondered if anyone we knew was down there when it happened. I just saw the report tonight that every person who was reported missing after the dam break and flooding was located and safe. Amazing! This is a very narrow canyon in places and I could just imagine the panic and helpless feeling of being stranded there.

It turns out an old friend of ours was in that canyon when it happened. Joel Masson and a group of friends (they didn't give the friends' names, so I don't know if they were other locals) were camping in Supai Canyon as the dam broke and the river started flooding. An interview with Joel and his amazing pictures from that day are here in the Arizona Daily Sun's online news story.

I'm so glad no one was hurt! When this happened several years ago, a couple and their two year old were swept away and died.

August 18, 2008

Who am I?

For your viewing amazement and encouragement. =) This is a very interesting and cool performance. Thanks BJ!

August 17, 2008

A Civil Forum (amazingly enough)

I missed it!

I was meaning to find it on television last night but got distracted and forgot to. (I do have the links to the videos at the end of this post.)

Last night Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California, interviewed both Presidential candidates in his church for an hour each. It wasn't a debate, it wasn't done in a partial way. Both candidates were interviewed in an honest, honoring way and allowed to give their answers without the talking heads butting in and interrupting. Amazing how this never happens. People ask the candidates all sorts of questions, but rarely let them just say things without interruption of their own twist on the ideas. Today I found some links to reports on what happened and how each man answered serious, thoughtful questions. I appreciate Rick Warren so much. He is true to his faith and speaks with respect and honor to people. I really, really appreciate that!

Here is a quote from Warren about the interviews:

"We believe in the separation of church and state, but we do not believe in the separation of faith and politics," Warren said. "I don't happen to agree with everything either of the candidates teach or believe, but they both care deeply about America. They're both patriots and they have very different views on how our nation can be strengthened. We've got to learn to disagree without demonizing each other and we need to restore civility in our civil discourse and that's the goal of the Saddleback Civil Forum."

Read the questions and answers here.

You can watch the interviews on Here is the Obama interview part 1 and there are video clips up to part 5 in the sidebar of that page.

And here is McCain's interview part 1.

I would never suggest who you should vote for, but this interview really helped me to understand more about each man.

August 12, 2008

Quirktitude appreciation day

Here is a fun thing bloggers do to, FOR...each other. heehee They find one of these little questionaires of embarrassing stuff about yourself. Someone tags you and then you must do the 'meme' and follow the rules! All in fun, and I got tagged yesterday by Shasher, a fellow pastor's wife and friend. Her quirks are very interesting! Mine are unspectacular (kinda like the tweens' television show 'Unfabulous'), but here we go....

The Rules!
1. Link the person(s) who tagged me
2. Mention the rules on my blog
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of mine
4. Tag six fellow blogger's by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

As for six fellow bloggers, I will let you decide if you want to join in. Let me know if you do this! (Taylor)

1. I animate things. Anything. When I was in grade school I remember raising my desk lid and pretending my pencils were a family and they had an elaborate life there in my desk. Stuffed animals are my favorite thing to animate, as I've talked about before. Each stuffed animal has it's own personality and voice. And I can't help just happens. I can also tell you what is going on in an animal's mind, narrating them (usually out loud and much to the irritation of my kids) as I watch them.

2. I like to rhyme. My sister once told me that people with certain kinds of psychosis do this. It had me worried for about 15 minutes. Then I started blabbering on about how psychosis is a diagnosis which is quite precocious for someone who doesn't know this. eh heh

3. I like things to match. It used to drive me crazy if my underwear that matched a certain outfit wasn't ready to wear with the outfit. While that may be too much information for some of you, it is true.....and it is there you go. That was in my teens though, and now it usually translates to my home. It is very unsettling to me to have my red hutch in beside the cobalt blues and apple greens in my kitchen/eating area. I must paint it.....soon!

4. When Hannah and I are together, we sometimes start to talk in short and fast quips like on Gilmore Girls. It's so exciting when we get into a long run of quick quips and say funny things. I get so excited that I usually jump up and say, "We did it!" which usually breaks the quiptitude of the moment.

5. I mimic sounds and people. It is not making fun, although it IS fun. I just do it to describe someone, especially my kids at school. When Bethany started working with kids I had the previous year at an after school care, I could describe the kids and their voices or the way they talked or moved when they talked so that she instantly knew who I was talking about.

6. I like words and learning new ones. I like to use new words or invent them. Free Rice is a fun game with interesting words. AND it helps donate free rice to hungry people. I always play to 1,000 grains. If I go over 1,000 by mistake, I play to 2,000. I'm not a perfectionist by any means, I just really like symmetry.

August 11, 2008

Giving it a rest

A friend told me something surprising the other day. "You look so rested!" she said. I was kind of surprised. I didn't realize I was looking unrested. But I definitely felt unrested. Before our camping trip, I was not getting enough own fault from not being disciplined with my sleep habits.

And usually camping trips are not restful for me at all. Like other wives who camp with their families, I usually felt the stress of having to pack, then prepare three meals each day while camping, taking care of child issues (not so much now for me as ours are getting older) and then keeping everything organized, dry and somewhat edible after sitting in an ice chest for days. I didn't feel that way this time though. And I had really been wondering what it was that made me enjoy this trip more than in the past.

As my friend and I talked about it, she said it was hard for her to rest when they go on camping trips because they go in groups with friends and there is always noise: 4-wheelers, people talking, music. I realized that's what it was for me. We love to go camping with other families, and the girls and I love to get out of the campground and go into the towns we're near and window shop or go to a cool coffee place or ice cream shop. But this year we went alone, just our immediate family. And we never left the campground except for one morning when we went to another beach 8 miles away to beach comb. So there was no stress of coming and going, fun as it is to do that. And there were no other families to talk with during the day. A lot of the time we sat in our camp, reading the books we brought or going for walks or hikes, and we sat a lot at the beach, just watching the waves, the birds and some sea otters.

I think the restfulness was from the lack of stimulation. No information constantly being driven into our minds from internet, television, radio or daily interaction with strangers and friends. We rested our minds and hearts. At night the creek lulled us to sleep, so we slept very soundly. During the day, although we enjoy visiting with our kids and each other, we mostly spent our time together silently enjoying nature, our light reading novels and just relaxing.

It was so good to really rest. The Bible talks a lot about resting....a Sabbath rest each week even. And it's this kind of getting away from routine stimulation and stress that the Sabbath rest is all about. I wonder if it is even possible in this this pace of life...with teenagers who want to go, go, go.

It woud be good to try though. It is really going to be needed after this first week back at school for us. I think I'll try. I will report back later. It may not be on Sunday (busy day for a pastor's family). But I will make some time for this.

Psalm 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life:
Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Psalm 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.