Thoughts from me - a preacher's wife, farmer's daughter, mom, and nurse. Posts are mainly intended to help me journal the events of my life - topics will include kids, church, work, marriage, life in general,
and of course my dogs . . . and whatever else I feel compelled to write about.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our December



Basketball games!
Megan showing school spirit.


The first snow!
Scooby dressed to play outside.


Our 2nd annual trip to the Spaghetti Factory!


Shopping downtown!


Brian's first trip to the Superhero Museum!


Look at all the Batman stuff!
I love the expression on his face - like a kid in a candy shop!


Cornerstone Christmas Dinner!


Patch the Pirate Club Christmas Program!
Lauren and Jenny singing Silent Night.


Christian - "Upon this rock I will build my church."



Lily - J is for Jesus



Joy to the World



Tabernacle Christmas Program!
The Ambassadors singing For Unto Us a Child is Born.



Joel - best page turner ever!



High school choir and junior high choir



All girls ensemble singing Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.



Steak and Shake after the concert!



In the car - where we usually are!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Will We Give Him?


Shopping, wrapping, baking . . .
more shopping, more wrapping, more baking . . .

It dawned on me this morning that although I say Merry Christmas, have Merry Christmas on my Christmas cards, and I wish people Merry Christmas - I too have been taking Christ out of Christmas.

Too busy shopping, wrapping, and baking
to meditate on His Word.
Too busy thinking over my grocery lists, gift lists, and menus
to worship Him.

Then while I was baking cookies, I found myself humming a song that the kids' ensemble sang last night.

What will be give Him when He comes?
What will we give the Promised One?
We can feel the time is near.
What will we give Him when He first appears?

Kings will bring Him precious gifts; incense, myrrh, and gold.
Shepherds will bring Him simple things His tiny hands can hold.

We will give our hearts to Him;
we will give our love.
That is what we'll give Him -
when at last He comes.


I put my lists aside and my cookie dough in the refrigerator and redirected my heart and mind. No longer the "stressed out kitty" - I am now putting Christ back in Christmas!

So now I will go on with my shopping, wrapping, and baking - but being careful to keep it in perspective.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ouch!

Joel's head bounced on the gym floor tonight like a ping-pong ball. It's a sick feeling watching that happen to your child - I'm sure it was even a sicker feeling for Joel.

It was during the JV came tonight. Joel was going after a loose ball and so was a guy from the other team. They collided, and Joel hit the floor hard with the back of his head - then the guy landed on his face.

He got up on his own. I don't believe he actually lost consciousness, but he was pretty dazed. His nose was bleeding pretty badly and he left a trail of blood as he was helped to the locker room.

Damage assessment: one banged up nose, one busted lip, and one walnut size lump on the back of his head.

Because he doesn't remember much from right before or after hitting his head, I will be waking him up at midnight and 2am to make sure he's okay.

Needless to say, he didn't get his book report written when he got home from the game.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I don't know about you - but I celebrate Christmas!


Twas the month before Christmas,
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying, Nor taking a stand.
Why the Politically Correct Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a "Holiday".
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod, something was changing,
Something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty, are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!

I didn't write this - it was a forwarded email I received,
but I thought it was worth posting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"That strengthened my faith"

The kids always love it when Bro. Kendrick preaches in chapel. I love it when the they get home from a full day of school and practices and the first thing they want to tell me about is the chapel service from that morning. Today was one of those days.

Bro. Kendrick and his wife served in Africa as missionaries for many years. I don't know how old he is, but he is getting up there in years and yet he can still hold captive a group of teenagers.

Megan said his message today dealt with faith - he would tell stories from his years as a missionary and then end them with "and that strengthened my faith."

Tears ran down my cheeks as Megan retold one of the stories from Bro. Kendrick's message. I will do my best to retell it.

While Bro. Kendrick and his wife, Nina, were serving as missionaries in the jungles of Africa, their baby son developed a severe eye infection. There were no doctors around and no medicine either. They didn't even have any baby aspirin. Nina tried everything available to her - warm compresses and diluted aspirin.

Every night they would rock him to sleep. It was only with sleep that he would quit crying.

One night after the baby had been in bed for a little while, they heard a blood curdling scream coming from his room. Bro. Kendrick ran into the baby's room, ripped open the mosquito netting, and grabbed up the baby. As he looked at him, he couldn't believe what he saw.

In utter desperation to stop the pain, the baby had literally stuck his finger into his eye and his finger was entirely behind his eye ball. Pus and blood ran down the baby's check as he screamed uncontrollably.

Bro. Kendrick yelled for Nina to come quickly. They had no idea what to do, but Bro. Kendrick said he found himself feeling led to go outside with the baby. With the child in their arms, they ran out of the house into the dark of night.

The nearest hut on the compound belonged to an African pastor, and it was over one and a half football fields away. As they ran toward the house of this pastor, Bro. Kendrick was screaming for this man to come help them.

The Pastor ran to meet them outside. When he saw the baby's eye, he cried out that it was utterly destroyed. This Pastor then began to pray a loud and the Kendricks prayed - not just any prayer, but a prayer of desperation. The Pastor called out to God and beseeched him to heal this baby.

After several minutes of prayer, Bro. Kendrick felt the baby push against him and tug and pull at him - but they kept praying. After several more minutes, they responded to the pushing and pulling of the baby and held him up to look at him - they saw two perfectly healthy, normal eyes looking back at them.

Bro. Kendrick cried out in amazement that the baby's eye was healed. This African pastor calmly replied, what did you expect?

"That strengthened my faith," said Bro. Kendrick today.

I want faith like that. I want to pray expecting and anticipating God to intervene.

I want to pray for rain and bring my umbrella.

The same


Me 2007 and c. 1971

Brian says I sometimes still act the same too!
I think he was referring to our discussion about a new couch.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's Christmas at our house!



I love our new Christmas tree!
It is a pencil pine. As our tradition, we decorated
the upstairs tree in gold to represent Heaven.



Brian, who loves all things 3-D, found these cool
3-D glasses at Cracker Barrel. When you look at Christmas lights,
they make the lights look like snow flakes.



I decided to use my year round pines in a Christmas tree collage.
As our tradition, we decorated the basement tree/trees with our
family ornaments.



I think Scooby is dreaming about what might
be under the tree for him!

Friday, November 30, 2007

In focus



I don't know how Brian managed to take this picture and have Levi
be the only one in focus - but I think it ended up being pretty cool.

A boy and his dog



Joel and Scooby

I think they are starting to look alike!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Giving Thanks

On Thanksgiving, I intended to make a listing of things for which I am thankful. Although, I didn't write them down, I did spend time thinking about these things and thanking God for them. I do have much to be thankful for today - as every day.

I took Joel to the doctor today to have him look at a mole on Joel's back. I first noticed it over the summer. Considering in the summer the boys only wear shirts to go to church, I saw a lot of Joel's bare back. But when we went to Holiday World, I found myself staring at the new little dark spot the ENTIRE time we were at the water park.

I always made sure Joel was in front of me while waiting in line so I could "study" it. Honestly, I think I have a problem. Anyway, after much prayer, the Lord gave me peace and allowed me to enjoy the time with my family and not spend the whole weekend staring at Joel's back.

Don't ask me why, but this weekend I found myself waking up in the night worrying about this mole. Oh, I worried about other things too, but the mole made my stomach hurt. I finally decided, for my own sanity, to have it looked at.



Joel is a carbon copy of his dad and therefore has more than a few moles. He has already had one removed (pathology came back fine), and he is quite proud of the scar it left. Today, the doctor gave Joel and thorough inspection and feels the mole isn't too worrisome. But because it is darker than the others and it worries me, we will take it off after basketball season.

I never want to be amiss and neglect to thank God for the provision of health He has provided my family.

Up on my soapbox


For some reason today I am having trouble letting the injustices of the world roll of my back. Instead, they are festering inside me like a gangrenous gallbladder!

Injustice #1 - Health insurance, deductibles, lab fees, high cost of medicine.

Why is it that people who have no income, no health insurance, and don't pay taxes don't have to even consider the cost of their health care - while people who do have an income, do have health insurance, and do pay taxes have to pick and choose what tests or procedures are the most important and often forgo preventative health care because they can't afford to have a lot of things done.

Injustice #2 - Gas prices.

How can the price of gas go up $.15 in one afternoon? How long are we as Americans going to put up with this? In the spirit of Robin Hood, I think we should have a "National Pump and Run Day" - sending a message to the oil companies that we have had enough! United we stand - Divided we fall. Give me liberty or give me death. Where's our courage to stand up and say, "Enough is enough!"

Injustice #3 - Homework, busy work, and what do teachers do during class?

I think homework is wrong. I can understand having to complete an assignment that you didn't get done in class -but that should only be a few problems/questions. A teacher barking out an assignment as the kids are walking out the door, in my mind, is not acceptable. The six hours devoted to school should be enough to complete the work needed. Kids don't have that much time at home. I am SOOOOO tired of Joel coming home with homework in EVERY class.

We constantly question Joel if he is utilizing his study hall and class time to get his work done. He swears he is, but that there just isn't any class time to do assignments and he only has a study hall on Tuesday.

Last night, after basketball practice from 3p-6p and a JV scrimmage game from 7p-8p, Joel had 20+ Algebra problems, 6 questions in Science, vocab/spelling note cards to make, a history study guide to complete, and a 20 page story in literature to read. He got everything done except he didn't finish reading his story in literature. Adrift on an Ice Pan wasn't Joel's idea of a good story. He refused to read any more after he got to the part where the guy eats his dogs.

I don't blame him - I never liked that story either.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Birthday Boy!

Happy 17th Birthday Levi!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Goodbye 16 . . .

For some reason I can't hear this song (Smile - acoustic version by Kutless) and not think of Levi. In honor of Levi's last day being 16 - here's a slideshow with pictures from his 16th year.

video

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lesson from Levi


Mrs. N. assigned to her English 11 class a book report - the book, a self help book. Levi read The Mystery of God's Will by Charles Swindoll.

Last night he asked me to proof read his report for him. Thanks to years of ABEKA grammar, he did a nice job.

But as I was reading his report, a paragraph really struck a chord with me. Courtesy of Levi, here's the paragraph:

He [Pastor Swindoll] leaves four guidelines that will help us when we come upon a closed door. The first is that because God is sovereign He is in full control. Second, because God is in full control of everything He will take full responsibility for what happens. Third, the closing of what may seem to be a good opportunity will open up a better door. Fourth, it is not until we walk through the opened door that we will find out why God shut the other door.

The line that really caught my eye was because God is in full control of everything He will take full responsibility for what happens. When doors that I just know should be open get shut, it is comforting to know that God takes full responsibility and can be trusted in his decision making.

Here's a crazy thought - trust God, He knows what He's doing. Thanks, Levi, for a timely lesson.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Birthday Batgirl!



Happy 18th Birthday Megan!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Communication



Brian and I rely on e-mail to stay connected. If it weren't for e-mail it would be impossible to stay up on all the little things in life - little things but crucial things in making our family tick.

This is my e-mail to Brian this morning.

Brian -

The kids all seem fine health wise this morning - fine except the fact that they were all running late.

Joel needs a pair of dress shoes. He had planned on wearing your brown pair - but you wore them.

I didn't realize that your black wingtips are in such bad shape. Joel thought about wearing those but didn't think they would survive a day at school.

The black pair we got Joel last year are a size 9 1/2 and he wears a 13 now. He ended up wearing Levi's black shoes because Levi went with his more "casual" look today - khakis, checkered shoes, shirt and tie.

They didn't leave until 8:04 which will probably put them there one minute before the bell rings. I have a feeling all will be getting tardies this morning. I just hope it is their first for the 9 weeks.

Megan was crabby and complaining that her cheer leading uniform made her look fat and that her hair wouldn't do any thing. I told her not to ruin her last day of being 17 with a bad attitude. I made her love on Scooby and that seemed to help her.

They drove the Explorer because Megan wants to come home after school to finish getting ready for the game. Levi doesn't want to come home before the game because it makes him lazy. Joel can't come home because he has to be back at the school by 3:30. I told Levi to walk to McDonald's with Joel - he said he would.

They just called - pulled into the parking lot at 8:13. It will be a miracle if they can get to class by 8:15. This was so totally my life in high school - the bell always rang as I was running into the school.

I hope you have a good day. See you at the game.

Love Me


and Brian's response to me -

Wow that is a lot.

Megan worries too much but I am glad Scooby can help.

I can't believe this is her last day to be 17.
Where did it go? Megan said it even seemed
fast to her.

My brown shoes were by the side of the bed
but they are not 13s.

Love you very busy this morning

Miss you

Brian

Monday, November 12, 2007

Feverish ramblings



Had I made a recent trip to an Asian country, I would swear that I am suffering from a case of the bird flu. Considering I haven't been out of state since September, much less out of the country, I must just have good old influenza. You know the one -

I had a little bird,
her name was Enza -
I opened up the window,
and in flew Enza.

Fortunately, I think I am on the tail end of it. Now, if I can just keep the rest of the family from getting it.

We have disinfected all door knobs, light switches, bathrooms, the computer keyboard, phones (I even scrubbed everyone's cell phone with a Clorox wipe - probably voiding any manufacturer's warranty) . . . anything and everything we can think of that might be a possible mode of transmission. Brian and the kids aren't even balking at my insistence that they drink a cup of Airborne every morning. I really think that stuff works - and it must not taste that bad because Megan can drink it without puking.

If I had to grade my energy level today I think it would get about a C+ which fortunately is a huge improvement over yesterday's solid F. Given the improvement of two letter grades, I had determined that today I wasn't going to let this flu get the best of me. I was going to get up and do my usual Monday routine: menu planning, grocery list making, laundry, house cleaning . . . Well at least I had a plan.

I did manage to make a small batch of cookies this morning using a box of Jiffy Oatmeal muffin mix (recipe is on the back of the box). Turns out that Scooby really likes them - almost as much as he likes Twizzlers.

I have watched more television in the last 48+ hours than I can stand. Because it is Veteran's Day, most of the movies are war movies. I saw the last half of Saving Private Ryan - they truly were America's greatest generation. As if my eyes weren't already itchy and red, they certainly were after the movie.

After watching countless shows on the Food Network, I now know 32 different ways to prepare a turkey. I also learned how to make stuffing using acorns, dried leaves, and other things you can find in your yard.

Anyone interested in coming over for Thanksgiving dinner?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rejoicing

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."

Good things always happen when I miss church. That was a rather strange sounding statement. What I mean is that Brian always seems to preach his best sermons when I am not there.

Well whether or not Brian preached a good message this morning is beside the point - the Holy Spirit brought conviction on a 40 year old man. He came forward during the invitation and Brian was able to lead him to the Lord!

He and his wife were back tonight rejoicing in his salvation and telling how excited their friends and family are because he accepted Christ. Brian said that this man testified boldly of his salvation - the first fruit you want to see in a new believer!

I really think that this is a direct result of the prayer that has gone into the church's new visitation program and the desire of those involved to see people saved. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16



Ring the bells of heaven! There is joy today,
For a soul, returning from the wild!
See, the Father meets him out upon the way,
Welcoming His weary, wandering child.

Glory! Glory! How the angels sing:
Glory! Glory! How the loud harps ring!
’Tis the ransomed army, like a mighty sea,
Pealing forth the anthem of the free.

Ring the bells of heaven! There is joy today,
For the wanderer now is reconciled;
Yes, a soul is rescued from his sinful way,
And is born anew a ransomed child.

Glory! Glory! How the angels sing:
Glory! Glory! How the loud harps ring!
’Tis the ransomed army, like a mighty sea,
Pealing forth the anthem of the free.

Ring the bells of heaven! Spread the feast today!
Angels, swell the glad triumphant strain!
Tell the joyful tidings, bear it far away!
For a precious soul is born again.

Glory! Glory! How the angels sing:
Glory! Glory! How the loud harps ring!
’Tis the ransomed army, like a mighty sea,
Pealing forth the anthem of the free.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

He shoots . . . He scores!

It has officially started - another basketball season!

As with every year, the season was kicked off with a JH v. JV scrimmage followed by a Varsity v. Alumni game.

Joel played on JH and during the last quarter switched jerseys and played for the JV, which allowed him to end the game on the winning team - lol!



Joel (#15) started the game playing in a dark jersey on the JH team.



Here's Joel making his quick change into a JV jersey.

The varsity lost to the alumni (which included three of last year's starters - plus several other recent graduates - it was hardly a team of "old" alumni) but not by a large margin. I think the coaches were pretty pleased at how the team played.



Levi (#43) - in the Season Prospectus the coach said Levi
was a real banger and was expecting a lot out of him underneath this year.



Megan and Emily - the cheerleaders had the night off. They officially start cheering on Tuesday!

So once again we start our season of driving to games and sitting on hard bleachers for hours at a time. It makes life hectic - but exciting!



Basketball Mom

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Achoo!



There's nothing like sickness to humble us and put us in our place.

I started feeling bad last night after church - scratchy throat, earache, stuffy nose . . .
By midnight last night I was having it all -

fever,
chills, and
aches.

However duty calls and I went to work today where instead of being in clinic, I helped in the chemo bay. It was very hectic - but a nice change of pace, and it gave me an opportunity to use my hard earned IV skills.

But not being in clinic thwarted my plan to have Dr. S. look at my ears and throat. I ended up having another doctor I don't know so well give my ears and throat a looksy - he said it didn't look "that bad" and I should just "keep an eye on it." Translation - "No antibiotic for you!" Big help he was.

Oh well, I got off work at 3pm and came straight home. Going with the whole "feed a fever/starve a cold" or is it "feed a cold/starve a fever?" Anyway, I -

downed three ibuprofen, a cup of beef broth, and a diet coke;
put on my pink, terry cloth housecoat;
snuggled on the couch with Scooby; and
watched Oprah.

Brian - loving husband that he is - brought home Megan and Joel from practice, Papa John's pizza, and cinnamon rolls!! I love him.

My plan is to go back downstairs and run Scooby off the couch, claim it as mine for evening, and sleep through everybody else watching the Justice League.

Yeah! There is no school tomorrow thanks to parent/teacher conferences, so we all get to sleep in!! Maybe my cozy bed will be all the medicine I need.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Worth a thousands words

We had our annual family cookout at Brian's parents' house over the weekend. The evening ended with all of us around the kitchen table looking at old pictures. Ted pulled out a box of slides from the 70's and 80's that hadn't been out in years.

We spent about 2 hours holding slides up to the light and passing them around. We had a blast looking at them and laughing at them.

Brian has decided to scan these slides as well as other pictures and put them on blog he has aptly titled What My Dad Saw. It will be a nice way for these pictures to be shared with his brothers. http://whatmydadsaw.blogspot.com

Brian emailed me this picture he ran across today. It's funny how a picture can immediately transport you back in time.



This is Brian when he was Levi's age -
17 and a Junior in high school.



I can see both Levi and Joel in him.