Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011 was very nice. More than nice.  For our second Christmas in the Deep South, we were able to once again spend it with family at our house - this time with my family (last year Drew's parents and one sister were with us). My brother and his family along with my parents arrived Friday.  We had a delicious dinner cooked by Drew then opened presents.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing my kids playing and hanging out with their cousins! Such fun!

Drew and I got a portable heater from my parents - which we will use quite often since high school soccer season is during the winter. Even if we are in the Deep South, it's cold at night.

Saturday morning we enjoyed a large breakfast before my brother and his family left for their house. Saturday night we enjoyed the Christmas Eve service at our church then rode around looking at Christmas lights.   Of course, as we were looking at the lights the kids were trying to get us to drive faster so we could get home - yes, they were ready to open presents again!

Of course, we did finally get home and yes, open presents again.  And yes, the kids were happy.

Sunday the kids got full stockings and a few more presents. My mom and I were up first - we were getting our coffee when I got a text from Melissa - "can I go to the bathroom?? I'm about to burst!! SAVE ME!!"

We just laughed! After she returned to her room, she started texting again - "when can I come and see my stockings???" Then she started to text her brother to wake him up! 

After church we had a wonderful dinner with my parents as well as two airmen from Drew's office that have no family in town.  My aunt joined us late in the afternoon.  Later in the evening we did presents with my aunt - if you are counting, that's number four time for presents! 

I think the kids enjoyed all the present time instead of just opening everything at once!

This morning we just hung out for awhile before my parents and aunt left.  Not long after they left, one of Drew's sisters, her husband, their daughter with her husband and baby arrived for lunch.

We love time playing with the baby!!  They only stayed an hour or so as they were driving back to their houses, but anytime we get to see the baby, we'll take it. Oh, and yes. Anytime to see ANY family, we'll take it!

Now, I'm snuggled up in bed with one son and Drew watching the Saints take on the Falcons.

Love that I have at least one football team that knows how to play and WIN!!

Great times....wonderful times!

Friday, December 23, 2011

We Have a WINNER!!

Yes, we have a winner - ME!!!! SO EXCITED!!

A few months ago I won a book from a blog contest - this week I won again!  Last time was from Pantry of Praise a book about setting up a food pantry for those in need of food. I was able to pass along the book (after reading it, of course!) to the director of the soup kitchen we volunteer at.  This week I won a book from Annie Blogs.

The great thing about this contest is that I won two copies of Annie's book - From Head to Foot.  Part of the contest was to list whom you would give the second book to. I said I would be giving the second book to my friend, Tricia, because she teaches tenth grade girls Sunday School class at my church.  Tricia is excited as well!

I have been reading Annie's blog for several years now - read through the post of her writing this book -  I'm looking forward to reading it!

What was also a great surprise is she added a nice hair bow (which Melissa has already made off with) and a Christmas CD of one of her friends - what a nice way to start this weekend!

The Next Great Chef

Here's William rolling out stars to make a cookie tree. Actually, all the kids did some baking last night. see if I can remember to take a picture of the finished product...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Pirate Christmas

Benjamin at his class Christmas party....he's suppose to be a pirate....yeah... I know. Pirates & Christmas don't usually mix, but that's the theme his school picked. It's based on a book - A Pirates' Night Before Christmas. Yes. It's a crazy school.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carol of the Bells

Today it dawned on my that one of my favorite Christmas carols, Carol of the Bells, is not actually about Jesus. That made me slightly distressed. And sad.

So, I decided to reread the lyrics. Sure enough. Not one word about Jesus. But at the end of the lyrics I read this:

Carol of the Bells, also known as the Ukrainian Carol, was adapted from Shchedryk by Mykola Leontovych (1877-1921), which was first performed in December 1916 by students at Kiev University. The original Ukrainian song is based on an old Slavic legend that every bell in the world rang in honour of Jesus on the night of his birth.

While I seriously doubt all the bells ranged - even if there were bells waaaay back then - its a nice thought.

So. No longer distressed. Or sad.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yes, More Books

Today seems like a good day to add some more to my book, here goes!

I know I have posted about 5 Conversations You Must Have with  Your Son & 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter By Vickie Courtney. Both  are good - both gave Drew and I several things to think about. We have a long standing deal with our kids: no tattoos, we'll help pay for college. Tattoos, and you are on your own. (This great idea was from our brother-in-law, Randy - Thanks, Randy!!)  (I also, enforce how painful and how many needles are involved with tattoos - Melissa is a total need-a-phob!! Even at 13 we had to have her held down just to get the flu shot!) This author goes even further by making the suggestion to have a written contract by your college student. In the contract you would list exactly what grades you would expect along with church attendance and involvement in other wholesome activities.  If the student fails a class, they would then have to pay the parents back the money for the failed class.


Not sure if Drew and I will go so far as write a contract, but it did get us (ok, more me!) thinking about how do I want their college life to look like. Written contract or not, I do think we will sit down with the kids and talk about what our expectations are.

Another contract this author had with her children - verbal this time - is that if they ever decide to live with someone before marriage (shaking up here, not just a roommate), then don't be expecting the parents to pay for a big wedding. And if you (or the girlfriend) is pregnant before the wedding, don't except a large wedding.

That, also, got a wow from us.  Wow in in something to think about. This author is very clear and strong in her beliefs. I admire that. While I agree with her Biblical stands, I'm not sure if all these contracts is the way Drew and I want to go.   I guess we want to leave room for grace.

I have, also, finished Resolution for Women by Prisilla Shier.  There is one more week in which I will discuss the last few chapters with my Bible study ladies. I have really enjoyed this book.  This is the book for women based on the resolutions from the Couragous movie.  This book has a lot of good stuff in it! 

One fiction book I read a few weeks ago was the Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. It's about a little  German girl during WWII. What makes this book unique is that it's told from the view point of Death.   Even though there was some depressing parts - after all, its during WWII!!, it was an enjoyable book.

I am now reading Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman - wow. So stinking good! It talks about the different between fans of Christ and true followers of Christ.  I'm only half-way through with it at this moment, but am very impressed.

That's all for now. My current goal is to read the book on my shelf and stay away from the library. Not sure what I'll read next....I have a Billy Graham book on the shelf that has been sitting there for awhile....I think it's time to read it and pass it on!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A New List

Last year when I started to substitute teacher here, I was just stopped dead in my tracks one day with a thought: One of these boys will try to date my daughter one day.

I really did just stop dead. And took a big gulp. Oh. dear.  I'm not ready for this. Then I did the only sane thing I knew to do: I started to pray.

This week I had slightly different thought: I need a list....a list of boys Melissa will NEVER date. 

After all, the purpose of dating is to find a mate. And if you can't sit down, be quiet, do your work, what makes you think will be good husband material???

So, unless you have a "come to Jesus" meeting, please, don't ask to date my daughter.

(Oh, and on a different note: I'm at 7. That would be 7 students I have had removed from my room for disruptive behavior this year.  The good news is word is getting out that I don't take much crap. And when I say I'll call the front office, I really will. They really don't pay me enough to deal with disrespectful behavior.)

Monday, December 5, 2011


These are the best little things! Makes me even more ready for Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Making Memories!

Today around 3:30 Drew decided it would be the perfect time to get our Christmas tree. Ignore the lateness of the day. Ignore the rain. Ignore that the phone number to the Christmas tree farm now belongs to someone else.  But a perfect time for an adventure and to make memories.

So, we did.

Despite grumpy and complaining kids....

Off we went in the rain - thankfully, it was just sprinkling....not a hard rain at all.  We when got to the tree farm we could see two sets of trees. One set was just pine trees - over-grown ugly pines trees. The other side had some beautiful trees - some what overgrown as well. We drove up the rest of the driveway to the house to see how much the trees were...and a got a surprise.

It was no longer a Christmas tree farm....which would explain all the overgrown well as the wrong phone number.

But the house owner was very nice - generous even. She said that while we couldn't have any of the trees from the left side (due to an agreement with the prior owner who DID run a Christmas tree farm that these trees would always be available for her children and grandchildren) we could have any tree we wanted from the right side.

Yeah...the ugly side...but we got out of the van and went to have a look. Oh, the adventure.  It was continued to rain so there was plenty of water and mud to dodge as well as horse poo.

Lots and lots of poo.

I have never seen so much poo before!

But we found a tree - or at least at top of a tree. And to top it all off as we were getting it tied to the top of the van the rain went from sprinkles to a heavy downpour.

Ah, yes, the memories we make when we get out of the house on a raining day!

(Melissa trying to stay dry.)
Saw, saw saw it down!

Draggin' it to the van...trying to miss the horse much poo!

Up on the van.

Strapping the tree the rain comes down!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Funny Kids

Back in October we went to Natchez for Great Mississippi Hot Air Balloon Race. Melissa had such a great time last year when she went with one of Drew's sisters, we thought we would all go this year.  And it was a great time - although, it would have been better if Drew didn't get sick and spend most of the weekend in the bed. On that Saturday afternoon I had the kids on the Louisiana side of the river watching the balloons. Afterwards we were to meet up with my in-laws for dinner, but due to the boys playing actually IN the river, we were not presentable for public viewing.
And they  - the boys - smelled. 

Not good for dinner.

So, I told the kids we would just do drive-thru.  As we were talking about exactly which one, Melissa pulled a flyer off the car windshield.  "Oh, mom! We could go here - it says it's a drive-thru."

I took it from her and knew it really wasn't what we wanted. I asked her. "Really? Here?"


"Hmm - really?  It says it has beer, wine, liquors, snacks and ice. - Is there something there you want?"

"Hmmm well......"

"How about shots, mixed drinks, icee, or cigarettes?"

"No, I don't think I want to go there."

Good choice, Melissa.  Good choice.  Only in Louisiana is there another definition for drive-thru's.

My Pretty Girl

Melissa playing dress-up at Nana's house.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who Exactly is Actually IN Our Family

When William was in kindergarden my Aunt Trish and her friend, Angela, came for a visit.  One of the things they did that week was to bring some books to William's class. When William's teacher asked him to introduced the guest to the class, he said, "This is my Aunt Trish and sister."

Aunt Trish, Angela, and I laughed and laughed over this!  But it made sense.  We never really explained who Angela was - just that Angela was her name. Angela is just one of those good family friends that we take for granted that everyone knows - and knows the connection we have with them.  (The connection being that Aunt Trish and Angela' mom worked together for many years.) 

With that in mind fast-forward to this Thanksgiving....

Last Tuesday the kids asked who all would be at Thanksgiving dinner.  I listed the family members including Aunt Trish.  One of the kids asked if Angela would be joining us as well. I said, "No, I think Angela will be spending Thanksgiving with her family."

Then Benjamin spoke up, "Angela has a family?  I thought she didn't have one and just latched on to our's."

Oh, how we have laughed and laughed over this! Maybe it's not funny to you, but to us it's hysterical!

Then during Thanksgiving afternoon my niece, Ramsey, was talking to one of her cousins from her mom's side of the family.  This cousin asked how exactly does Kelley fit into the family? (Afterall, it's a honest question - you have to remember we have lived far away for many years.)  Ramsey explained that I was her father's sister.  Then the cousin  asked, "Well, then - who is Angela? I thought that was his sister!"

Once again - we find this all hysterical!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A New Experience

Saturday I had a new experience: worked as a Commissioner for an election. Last month when I was working at the soup kitchen, several other volunteers were talking about working as a commissioner. I asked a few questions, but didn't really peruse it any further.

After a few weeks of being unable to go to the soup kitchen due to subbing, I stopped by the soup kitchen to check in and see if I could help out for an hour or so.  One of the ladies told me that they really needed more commissioners and if I was interested I should call. She was serious enough that she gave me the name and phone number of the lady whom I needed to call.

I ended up calling last Monday and making an appointment to take the class. It was really simple - I watched a thirty minute video and then took an open book test. All the information was simple to understand.

But then came the hard part: Be at the election poll at 5:30  - that would be a.m.  Yikes! Good thing I'm a horrible sleeper and a morning person!

It was a long day - I worked until 8:30 p.m. But all-in-all it was a good day.  I worked with some very nice people  (several of which turned out to be relatives of a friend of mine) and I got to see a lot of my neighbors. I am definitely interested in working another election - and will make it apart of our new life here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Life in America

On the cable channel, TLC, it seems that one of their goals is to give us a peek into the homes of different types of Americans. We have seen shows on large families, little people, parents of multiples, new parents, brides, and last year we were introduced into the world of polygamy.  This year they are introducing us into another ladle-ful of this melting pot: the American Muslim family.

In the first episode we meet several Muslim families - some being more devout that others -meaning some of the ladies wear the head covering - the hijab, while others do not. One lady said her faith was "in her heart" and did not feel the need to wear the hijab. The main focus of this show was the marriage of one Muslim lady to a non-Muslim.  While it is permitted in their religion for a man to marry a non-Muslim, it is NOT permitted for a Muslim women to marry a non-Muslim.  This couple knew that and so, the groom who is of Irish-Catholic descent decided to convert.

What I found puzzling, was what seem to be the lack of thought into what this groom was doing. The father of the bride, who was walking the groom through the converting ceremony, talked about how he was accepting something new not denouncing anything.  But  yet, the groom was.

When you no longer call yourself a Christian, but now a Muslim, it seems to me that you are announcing to the world what you believe - and also, what you don't believe.

The trailer's for next week's episodes gave  the impression that several family members as well as the groom begin to realize that he convert solely to be able to marry - not for any true belief he had.

Another interesting point I found in the show was that  it seemed that most of the cast were first generation to be born in America.  As I look through history, it seems to be that first generations do in fact keep many of their traditions that they learned from their parents. But as each generation comes along, many traditions lose ground - and their meanings lose ground.

It'll be interested to see a study on Muslims who are past this first generation. How devout are they? What traditions do they hold on to and what do they let go?

Friday, November 11, 2011


Several weeks ago I joined an evening group of ladies to work through a book called "5 Conversations  You Must Have with  Your Daughter." (I've been unable to continue to attend due to William's soccer games.)  During the opening, the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves, state our children's ages, and what is our proudest parenting moment.

I just looked at my friend - I think we both were totally blank.  I wrote about it here.  But since then, a few things have made me think more about this.

Thursday during my morning Bible study one lady talked about how her father told her once how "honored" he felt when she spent her Spring Break on a missions trip. And how deeply that effected her.  If that "honored" her father, she wanted to do more of those kinds of things.

Then there was today. I was a sub for an eight grade class. For the most of  day, I had great classes. After a few minutes of talking, the students would settle down and do their work.

Then there was fifth hour.

Oh, my.  It's amazing how a handful of kids can ruin a  good day.

I lost count the times I told them to be quiet and get back to work.  To quit passing notes. To quit throwing paper wads. To quit eating in class.  Finally, I had enough. I called the office and requested for the vice principal (who is over discipline) or school police officer to come to my class.  The principal ended up coming and removing five students.

The room was so much better after they left.

As the rest of the day went on (with another great class that did their work), I couldn't help but think about these five students.  I'm sure a few have a home-life that is horrible.  One is probably over-indulged. But none honored their parents today. Whether it's a sub or the regular teacher, when an adult ask student to be quite and do their work, then they should.

Tonight at dinner I talked to my kids about this idea of how they honor Drew and I. Every time they do what they are supposed to do especially when we are not around- then they are honoring us.

And I'm proud. Not of any parenting that I have done, but proud to be their parent.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughts About Penn State

The more I learn about what happened at Penn State, the more my stomach turns. Those who had the most power used it to save their program and reputation instead of protecting the weakest and youngest among them. It's beyond tragic. It's heartbreaking....disturbing....disgusting.

For those that don't pay attention, back in 2002 a then grad student went into the locker room to put some shoes away only to find the lights and showers on and seeing a grown naked man - a former assistance coach - sexually abusing what looked like a ten year old boy.  The grad student then told his father and together they reported what he seen to his boss, the head football coach -  THE NEXT DAY!!  Then the football coach told his boss.  The information moved up the chain of command, but no one called the police or tried to find this little boy. They did forbid the former assistance coach from  bring any more children into the football locker room - which was in no way enforceable.

But here's the kicker: who was looking after the little boy? Why in the name of all things good, did that grad student not step in and STOP the assault? What's even more disturbing to me, is the grand jury indictment says two years before this a janitor saw a very similar event. He told his supervisor, but apparently no one called the police then.

As a teacher I was trained in dealing with child abuse suspensions. If a teacher suspects abuse - bruises, comments made by the child -  they are to inform their principal who then calls law enforcement. That is NOT this situation.  This grad student SAW THE ACT!!! He is a witness of a crime! Why, oh, why did he not step in and stop it!? And why does he still have a job? As of now, this grad student-now assistance coach will be on sidelines Saturday coaching.

It not only beyond sadden me that a man who was to be a mentor took advantage of boys so younger and helpless.  But it also saddens and appalls me that men are more concerned about the reputation of a football program more than a child.

If you don't see college football being treated as a god and this completely idol worship, then please, open your eyes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Week in Review So Far

Sunday: Answers in Genesis spoke during the Sunday school hour as well as during the morning service in addition to two lessons in the evening.  Fascinating stuff!! Several things I had heard before, but maybe the repetition will make it stick in my head.  His first lesson was all about dinosaurs. And yes, there's dinos in the Bible - Job 40:15-18; 41:19. So, yeah. Dinos were on the Ark - at least baby dinos anyway. 

One thing he explained that I had not heard before was about early Bible people marrying a sibling.  God did not outlaw that until He gave Moses the law. By then so many generations had passed and with each one more and more mutations in DNA. But for the first generations, this was not a problem so that is how Cain, Seth, and many others had a wife.

Like I said: fascinating stuff. If you ever get to hear them, DO!  You will learn so much as well as learn how to explain why evolution is based on faulty assumptions instead of real science.

Monday daytime: I cleaned out the house.   In Melissa's room I found four bottles of deodorant - just in her bedroom. More in the bathroom.  Makes me wonder if she has a concern she needs to talk to me about.....  They were all over the place. On a shelf in the closet. Several in tote bags she uses for cross country.

Monday evening: I dropped William and his friend, Harley, off at the soccer field at 4:45 to get ready for their first scrimmage at six.  I took advantage of the time WITHOUT children to Christmas shop. Of the fun!!  I had a few ideas of what to get the kids for Christmas, but wanted to look around some.  Bought a few things....wrote down a few ideas to reach...all-in-all - it was FUN!!!

Monday night: After running through Arby's (which I will NEVER do again - not so good at all!), I arrived at William's game.  I was pleasantly surprised to see William starting! Very happy about that.  Not so happy when I realized that he was limping....badly. He only stayed on the field for about five minutes before he asked to be pulled off. Drew talked to him at half-time. It seems during warm-ups William and the goalie went after the ball at the same time, but the goalie slide feet first instead of hands first. Landing on William's ankle. Of course, the goalie was about double William's size.

Monday late-night: William and Drew got to spend most of the night at the ER.  Just as we thought and thankfully, it's not broken - just a bad sprain.  He's on crutches.

Tuesday: Ben, Melissa and I went to the dentist while the other two family members slept trying to recover their two a.m. ER fun. Ben and I are in the no cavity club.  Melissa?  Yeah. Poor thing.  Just not fair!  She probably brushes her teeth double the amount that Ben does, but she's the one that gets the cavities.  Darn that DNA!  William did stay home the whole day from school - and used the time wisely by finishing his science fair project. So, glad the day wasn't a total waste!!

Tuesday night: Soccer fund-raiser at Pie Works...where William got an apology from the goalie. Too bad the aplogy won't heal the ankle. But we did get lots of rain!!  This area so needed it!  Now, if we could get rain like that every week or so, the drought would end.

Wednesday: William went back to school - had a hard day on crutches, but made it through.  The ankle is still some-what swollen and bruise.  Just gonna take a while for it to heal.   I worked at the soup kitchen for a little while - but they really didn't need me. This week due to the dinning room floor being re-done, they are just handing out sandwiches.  Afterwards, I went to the BX and commissary.  Bought the turkey for Thanksgiving. I haven't cook a Thanksgiving meal in FIVE years, but will this year with my family. Should be lots of fun (and yes - I really do mean that!)

I was planning on lunch at the BX, but all the lines were long so I went ahead to the commissary. The deli sells pre-made sandwiches and has one table so I ate there.  End of meeting two veterans - both fought in WWII.  Very nice to talk to the them and listen to them talk. Nice guys! (Both were just sitting a spell while their wives grocery shopped.)

Tonight we have piano and church.....normal busy Wednesday....but a good busy.  The rest of the week is just as busy - but once again - a good normal busy - Good thing I love my life!

Monday, November 7, 2011


The other day I wrote about rephrasing my thinking - being more positive - being able to do things. Another book has hit me on my attitude as well. It's from  the Resolution Revolution by Priscilla Shirer. This is a book from the Courageous movie. There are 13 resolutions in all, but in the book the first one she writes of is about contentment.  One thing she says is that if we don't have something, then it's because God has deemed it not needed in our lives - whatever the "it" is.

While this is not new thinking to me. I have heard this throughout the years. But this time I applied it to the situation with our rent house. It's been available for rent since the first of September and while we have had several, several people tour the house, no one has signed a lease yet.

Apparently, God has not deemed a renter not needed in our life right now. I'm resting in that.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Change of Thinking

Most of those that know me best, know that I love to study the Bible.  I love to dig in and see what the Almighty has to say to us. It always thrills me.  But sometimes it just blows me away.  Two weeks ago the ladies study group I'm apart of from my church finished up "Brave" by Angela Thomas.  This study was based on a book she wrote, "Do You Know Who I Am?"  (If you have the choice - read the book and skip the study.) While most of the study was "good" or "just okay", one quote totally blow me away.

It was actually from Lisa Terkeurst. "She talked about the dailiness of our lives and how we forget the goodness of God. She said she's re-framing her life with gratefulness and instead of moaning, learning to rejoice with this kind of attitude: Instead of saying, "I have to unload the dishwasher," grateful says, "I am able to unload the dishwasher."

Wow. Blew me away.  So simple. Just a change in attitude really. But in the last few weeks I have tried to phrase my thinking this way...I AM ABLE to do the laundry...I AM ABLE to drive my kids to soccer....or to piano or where-ever they need (want at times) to go. 

I am able.

So many are not. Not just that others can't afford to have their children in after-school activities or afford to have a nice house to clean or a washer/dryer inside the house, but so many are not able due to health reasons.  A friend here is fighting lupus....the next six months will be trying to say the least as she goes through chemo. I know without a doubt there will be some days she would give anything to be able to say "I am able"...

I have no reason to complain. No reason at all.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I Hate Halloween

I said it.

I really do.

It's like a day people think they can be crazy and that's it okay. 

We only had one set of Trick-or-Treat-ers. Rude Little Rug-Rats is what they were. "But I don't like that kind!!" 

Really?  You come to my house and barley even say, "trick-or treat!" and you want to complain about what I give you?  You're lucky I even opened the door!!

Because the plan to not.  I didn't buy any candy - not even to donate to the church's event (bad church member!). But Melissa decided late in the day to not go begging for candy trick-or-treating. She was torn between handing out candy and helping at the church.  While we were waiting for a response from a text I sent to the children's minister to see if she did need help at the church, Melissa  went through the house for any candy she can give out.

She didn't find a lot....some left-over Christmas peppermints, two bags of candy from when we were "Boo-ed".  Not a lot.

Then that little Rug Rat had the nerve to complain? I really should have not answered the door.

But what really drives me crazy are the people who think normal rules are out the door.  As I was driving home from picking up the boys at church (Melissa did help out at the church,but came home earlier), I saw a truck with  several boys hanging out of the run-roof and sitting on top of the truck! 

Free candy should not a license for stupidity.

Questions that Make you Think

Last week in at church the question was posed "What is your proudest parenting moment?"  I was stumped.  Had no clue.

Not that the kids don't make me proud - they do.  But on the spot, I just couldn't think of anything specific.  Then later as I was pondering the question, I still had trouble. 

Yes, my kids are typically good kids. Yes, they do well in school, sports, piano - generally get along with others, but are those things for ME to be proud of?  What exactly did I do that made them that way?

As Drew and I were talking about this, we both felt it was lots of little things we did.  We model behavior we want, we correct and discipline, we're consistent (mostly), we shared Jesus with them, we spend time with them. But mainly we just are being obedient to the Lord in how He has laid on our heart how to raise these kids. 

I'm not comfortable saying that's something I should be proud of - I see it as God's blessings. Are they perfect? No. Do they always make the decision we want them to make? No. But they are somehow wonderful.

Whatever I'm doing right, I pray that I keep doing right.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nasty Little Things!

First it was Melissa with a nasty virus....headache, fever.... A week later it was Ben. Ten days later it was Drew. And those nasty little bugs had the audacity  to attack Drew while we were in Natchez. He spent the weekend in bed while the rest of the family enjoyed the hot air balloons.

On the drive home we even skipped stopping in Monroe so we won't contaminate my family.  But apparently, that didn't help. Dad came down with something this past Sunday. Then mom became sick Monday.  Tuesday she called saying she needed help.

Have I said how happy I am that I'm here in Lou-zee-ana? It's so nice to be able to hop in the car and be able to help within a few hours - instead of days!

Thankfully, she just has a virus as well.  Sadly, she was hit harder than anyone else. I stayed until just before lunch on Wednesday - she is still weak, but was able to keep food down again.

I, on the other hand, am still healthy.  And praying that I stay that way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Moon

A few weeks ago we spent the weekend in Natchez for the annual Great Mississippi Hot Air Balloon Race. We were very happy that we got there in time for the balloon glow and fireworks. Melissa had attended last year with one of her aunts and had a great time - we all were excited to be able to go this year.

After the balloon glow Melissa, Drew, my mother-in-law, and I were sitting outside waiting for the fireworks to start.  At one point Melissa got all excited and said, "Look!! Another balloon glowing!!"

Me:  "Um...babe...put your glasses back on."

Melissa: "Oh, it's just the moon." baby girl has inherited her father's near-sightedness.

We think she's cute and smart looking in her new glasses.  Melissa? Not so much.  But she does enjoy seeing things clearly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Few More Books

I have made it through a stack of books from the library - sadly, only two are worth mentioning here.  The rest I read a few pages of then put down - never to be looked at again.

One of the ones I liked was Barbara Taylor Bradford's Three Weeks  in Paris. Its about four friends reuniting about several years (forgot how many) after art school.  In the weeks leading up to graduation, they all had a falling out and have not talked since. The books tells the story of how each arrived at art school, how each has had success in their own field and how each spent three weeks in Paris leading up to the 80th (or 85th, can't remember that either) birthday of their beloved art teacher.  It's a great read! Enjoyed it.

The other book was actually non-fiction - the life story of the author, Jeanette Wells. The book is  The Glass Castle.  The opening story is of Jeanette leaving her Park Ave apartment for a party, but returns home upset after she spots her mother routing through a trash can. The books tells the story of how they both have ended up where they are in life: one living in a posh Park Ave apartment and the other homeless.  It's a fascinating story   - totally American.  But also sad to know there are still people living in poverty and addictions.

For the most part I have had trouble getting into most books because my mind has been filled with the Bible study I have been teaching.  We have one more week before it'll be over.  I'm not sure what this morning group will do next....if they will continue to meet or take a break until next year like the Sunday night groups will do.  I do have plans to join a Thursday night group that will read together "5 Conversations You Need to Have with your Daughter" - but I will not be teaching.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Can You See Me Now?

As school was starting I received a note card in the mail reminding me of Melissa's annual eye appointment.  After talking to Melissa (who claimed she was having no trouble with her eyes) and remembering the school will test the students, I cancelled the appointment.

One less thing on my calendar.

Then after a month or so of school, Melissa started to complain of having a trouble seeing the board.

Really?  Couldn't you have realized that before I cancelled the appointment???

So, I rescheduled for today.  Incidentally, the school testing was yesterday - which Melissa failed.

Much to Melissa's sadness, she will be wearing glasses again. (She wore them for reading only from 1st grade to last  year, but they did their job and taught her eyes to work together.) I went ahead and ordered them today as well - no need to wait.  They should be in next week.

And yes. She has already asked for contacts.

A side story:  Melissa had to be held down - literally!! - for the eye drops to be put in for the dilation.  You would think at THIRTEEN!!! she would be better at this!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Week

Yes, sadly, another week has gone by without my posting.  Deep sigh.  I guess, I need to fight for more computer time! some of what has happened around here....

...Soccer: more and more practice...a few games...Ben's team won. William's team lost.  More practice. More games to come.

...Cross country - Melissa is starting to run.  She's had two meets so far - one more to go at the end of the month.  She's working hard to get better. The week she ran two miles at 19:37. Not the best time - not the worse time. But so much better then I could ever do!

...Piano.....piano is an interesting topic around this house.  All the kids will say they take lessons because they have no choice and we make them. True.  Until now. Today the two older ones were tested for the school's music gifted program. William is thrilled!  He's the one that truly LOVES piano.  The other two? Not so much. But understand that this is our family and we believe in music education.  Last night as were we talking to them about this test and going over some of the possible questions, Melissa said she hates piano and doesn't want to do this. Okay, said Drew. You don't have to anymore.    She was THRILLED!!!  Jumped up and down and hugged Drew.

Then, an hour later it was a different story!  She had second thoughts about quitting. She talked of how hard she has worked on these pieces of music.  We left the decision up to her - with her knowing that she could quit now and it would the end. But if she went to the testing then she would be making a commitment.  No more grumbling.

She decided to go to the test.

Both of them had to play two pieces then sight-read another piece.  I am THRILLED to say both were accepted into the program!! Oh, YES!! 

Big, big news here!  Drew even took them out to dinner at Olive Garden tonight.

In other news, it looks like Melissa will be back in glasses soon. She has been complaining about not being able to see the board very well at school. Today she failed a vision test given by the nurse. Good thing she has a complete eye exam tomorrow at the eye doc's.

Monday, September 26, 2011

And So It Begins....

The crazy soccer schedule that is.  Both boys are in soccer - William is actually one two teams at the moment....not sure what craziness I was processing to allow that!  Although, I didn't think they would over-lap by anymore than a week.

Oh, how I was wrong.

Today William is to start "conditioning" with the high school team while on a local team.....tomorrow should be fun with two hours of conditioning with the high school and ninety minutes of practice with the local team. Yeah  - some how get his homework done in there some where.  But we'll give it a try for at least for a day or two and see how he does.  He may be missing practice with the local team....hopefully, he'll still get to play in the games.

Ben was to have practice tonight, but came home from school with a tummy-ache, head-ache, throat -ache.  He's been home for two hours and has been asleep the WHOLE time!!  No fever, though.  Hopefully, he'll wake up fine and dandy.

Melissa had a cross-country meet Saturday. It was close to my parents' house, so we drove over Friday night to spend some time with them and stay the night. Over all, she did well - 8:44 for a hilly one mile.  Not the best - but oh, so, much better than I could do! For a first time meet on an unfamiliar course, I think she did great. This weekend her meet will be two miles. She thinks she'll do better at this longer distance.  Hope so - we shall see!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week in Review

It's been a busy week! It didn't really start out that way, but when I work it does.  I subbed for one of the PE teachers here at a local school.  As far as subbing goes, it was an easy day - the kids did all the work and I just called out the time for their mile run.

Sooo glad I wasn't the one running.

I really don't like to run.

Yesterday, I taught Bible study, then meet with a friend to go over another Bible study book. Loved both  of those!

Then ran  back and forth to Melissa's art class. Today  Melissa tested for what they call here "gifted art". Sad to say, she didn't qualify.  Not sure how exactly you qualify, but she did not. She had to take a test of art terms, then finish a few pictures (like half of a box would be there and she would draw the other half) then she was directed to draw hand in the fist position.  She walked out saying she didn't think she made it because it was so hard.

But she will continue to take art lessons from her private teacher. Art is something she really enjoys.

Next week she and William will both test for "gifted music".  I'm really hoping that one or both makes it for piano.  If so, then they will quit taking lessons from their current teacher and I can save some money!!! And have more free time in the afternoons.

Which we need since soccer has started. For both boys.  Busy times, busy times.

The big news here is that we gave the older kids cell phone is last night.  Deep sigh.  I have mixed feelings about this, but I know it was time.

Tomorrow will be just as busy - soccer, cross-country meet, and a girls church event....Thankfully, Sunday is a day of will be enjoyed!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Problem with this World

Hypocrisy. Yep. That's the problem with this world. If people do what they say, say what they mean, and live it - this world would be a much better place.

The  hypocrisy that hit me this morning was what people say they stand for but yet what they celebrate.

Case in Point: Bullying and Glee.

Of late Andersen Cooper has been promoting and asking people to take an anti-bulling pledge.  And rightfully, so! So, many kid (and adults!) have to deal with a bully every day at school or work.  Several have ended their lives instead of exposing themselves to the continued  terror.   Many every-day people as well as celebraties have signed this pledge of Andersen Cooper. I say "good for them!"  None of us should allow another person to suffer at the hands of a bully.

But then there's the other end of things.  What is one of the most celebrated shows on TV?  Glee.  What's one of the most popular characters on this show? A bully.

I watched the first two episodes when the show premiered in 2009.  While I LOVED the music on the show, I was TOTALLY turned off by the story lines of bullies, drugs (sold by a teacher, no less), and the rampant sexual promiscuity. I refuse to watch it any more.

Such a contradictory in this world:  Let's teach our kids not to be bullies, but yet let's celebrate and enjoy a teacher as she makes snarky comments  that degrade students and fellow teachers.

If we (you, me, the world - no matter what faith you practice) actually lived what we believe in where we put our time and money, the world would be a much better place.

I'm done venting now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Seven Days in Utopia

Saturday Drew and I went to the movies to see "Seven Days in Utopia". Wow.  What an unexceptive great movie! While I had seen the name on a list of movies playing, I really didn't look into it or give it much thought until our pastor made a comment about it - which got Drew intersted in it.

While it was about a golf player and how to play the game, the lessons can be applied to life - to anyone's life.  The movie is based on a book and there will be a squeal to the book - not sure if they will make another movie, but I will be read the book. Check it out! So worth your money!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quote of the Day....or Not

Saturday morning as we were getting ready for the day, Drew and I had the TV on. A reporter was interviewing one of the college football coaches - asking him what his strategy for the day's game.

" keep possession and control of the ball and put points on the board."

Drew and I just looked at each other, "Well, duh!!"  Isn't that the main goal of just about all ball games???

Thursday, September 15, 2011

High School Football

Last Friday night Drew and I went to William's high school football game.    We did go to one game last year, but it was not a home game. Several things was very interesting.....

1- Melissa and her friends were all about looking cute and who they could see. I honestly don't think Melissa sat and watched one play of the game. Too many people to see!! Too many people to talk to!!!

2- Ben watched the game intently....until he realized we would not be winning....or all.

3 - Purple cow bells make no sense to me.

4 - Melissa was not the only one who was there to socialize.   I just hope all those young adults (couldn't tell if they were currently seniors or had graduated and were now in college) behaved after the game. 

5 - Love how my boys have no problems wearing their Ole Miss shirts anywhere!  Hotty Toddy!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Proud Moment

This past Saturday night we had some friends over for dinner. It was a really a fun night.  It turns out that their youngest - a 10th grader - has a class with William.  After dinner the adults were sitting in the living room talking while the kids were playing cards at the dinning room table.

I was very pleased at how well our boys got along - especially William. It takes him awhile to warm up to people. Most of the time he would rather read a book than interact with real people.  But he was the one to get the deck of cards out. My boys taught their boys how to play "slap-jack". Sort of like war where  you everyone lays down one card at a time, but in this game when a jack appears, the winner is the one who slaps it first.

Yeah, boys love this game.

Physical violence at every turn of the card.

A little while later as the couple was getting ready to leave, I paid a little more attention to what the boys were playing now.  I could  only hear snippets of their conversation and just couldn't make out what they were doing.  So, I asked.

"21", William says proudly.

Oh, my.

Then I realized that the small clear stones in my centerpiece were what they were using to gamble with.

Oh, so, lovely.

The next morning the family came to visit our church.   In the middle of the sermon, the pastor made some reference to how bad gambling was.

Oh, yeah....proud moment.....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day of Remembering

I never intend to go so long without posting, but frankly - sometimes it's hard to get a turn on a computer around here!!  I love checking my email and facebook on my smartphone, but writing a post?  Not so much.  With a husband and kids that all seems to be on both computers at the same time, I seem to have to fight for a turn. And sometimes, it's easier not to. So, here's what's been going on around here:

1-  Last weekend Drew and I went to Washington, DC to check on our rent house.  Renovations had been completed that we needed to check on.  It looks amazing!  Very happy!  Even with all the reno's, there was still a ton of stuff we needed to do. Mainly, yard work - and I do mean a lot!   I don't think either Drew or I had done that much physical labor in a LOOONNNGGG time.  It hurt and we ached. But in the end, it was all worth it.  We have shown the house two times so far.  Prayerfully, soon we'll get another wonderful family living there. (Wonderful as in paying rent!)

2 - The best part of a weekend in DC?  Seeing friends!! Oh, so good to see their faces!!! I needed a good dose of them.

3 - The bad part of a weekend in DC? Not seeing other friends.  Several we're out of town....bad timing. But maybe this just means I need another trip to DC???

4 - Suzi taking pity on me and bringing me my  Chocolate Covered Coffee beans from Trader Joe's.   I knew that we would not have time for that, but she stopped and pick up four boxes for me. It's just a chocolate coffee heaven. I'm so blessed to have such a good friend.

5 - My parents keeping the kids - love that they love having my kids! My in-laws kept the kids in July and my mom last weekend - how blessed is that??!! Amazing!  After living away from family for so long, Drew and I are so loving being this close to them.

6 - Not only getting to see my parents upon returning, but Drew's parents as well. They were traveling back to their house after seeing great-grand baby.

7 - A huge blessing in our family is the birth of Drew's niece's baby - the first of another generation.  Margot is beautiful  and Drew, the kids and I are looking forward to meeting her soon.

8 - Getting back to work!!!  I was asked three times to sub at Ben's school - I had to turn down the first two times, but was able to teach third grade last Thursday. It was a sweet class. Hopefully, the teacher will call me again in the future.

9 - Teaching Bible study again. This coming Thursday will be the start date.  I have not heard of the author before, but so far I am enjoying the book.  While I was not able to pick the book, I'm hoping that next time either I will be able to or whomever will be teaching will be able to.

10 - Lots of emotions today..... 9/11 ten years later....  I have to admit that I have purposely avoided watching any of the TV shows concerning anything to do with it.  Our life totally changed that day. We still feel the pain.  My husband has missed two Christmas' (and other Holiday's, birthdays, and too many days to count) because of the events of that day. Being a military family with wars going on is heat-wrenching. I don't need a special day to remember, we live it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hump Day

Didn't realize until I logged in just now that it's been almost a week since I posted.  Mainly because the rest of my family has hogged BOTH computers over this last week.  What's a girl to do?

Yep  - Read. Sew.  Good times...until the breaker in the sewing room keeps flipping off. And off. And off - too many times to count. It seems that my iron (you do have a lot of ironing in sew a quilt, by the way), likes to trip the fuse. So. I now will be ironing in a different room.

It's been a crazy week - well, Monday was crazy. Yesterday MUCH calmer! Thank you, Lord. I need a few calm days. 

Not too much going on this morning - meeting with a new friend about a Bible study. I'll be teaching on Thursday mornings and she will teach the same study on Sunday evenings  - both at our  church.  I did not pick out this study, so I'm not too familiar with the author or the material.  Yes, lots of extra studying will be involved.  We'll just have to see how it goes!

This afternoon our crazy Wednesday schedule continues.  Last school year we had piano on Wednesdays just before church - not even time really for a dinner.  I chose to keep  the same day as I know soccer will be on other days, but this time we moved piano lessons up 15 minutes, so this year we have time to actually eat something at a quick pit stop at the house. At least that's the plan.

Melissa and Benjamin are still not 100% sold on piano lessons, but they are surviving. They do love their teacher (even if she made Melissa cry last week - "Feel the music?? How does one feel the music???!!!! - Poor thing. She was so upset!  Hopefully, today the lesson for her will be better.)  William really likes piano - he's at the stage where he's able to play real interesting pieces and see the results of working hard.  But then, he's the one that's always has loved the music. 

I really thought William would jump at the chance to switch to guitar this summer when we gave him the option. But no. He wants to stick with the piano.   I was shocked!! (And admitting upset even.) He had been asking for a guitar for several years.  But I think he doesn't want to go back to simple songs now that he's gotten so far in piano.  

Now Benjamin would love to switch to a new instrument.  And what would that be? The drums.  No surprise really.  Anything that's loud and will give Mom a headache!   But yes, next year, I will say "yes" and let him go into band. For the drums.  I hope the band director lets the students pick the instrument they want....otherwise, it's not going to be a good year.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

As the Week Goes By...

This week I finished two books - was not thrilled with either of them.  The first book,  Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, gave me a headache.  Maybe I just needed to wear my bio-facials.....

It started out well, but then every time a new character was introduced we also got a long back story. So many back stories made me forget the current story.  And I was slightly shocked over the not-so-nice language that was spattered throughout the book.

I, also, read 90 Minutes in Heaven. I did love -LOVE- the chapters that actually told of his time in heaven. But that was only about two and half chapters. The rest of the book about his recovery.  Which was a miracle! But still. I guess I was hoping for more.  But would still recommend the book.

This week I, also, was able start a quilt. I am working on Pick-up Sticks which is featured on the cover of Fon's & Porter's Love of Quilting this month. The magazine shows the quilt in browns, but I am doing mine in pinks and purples. 

This pattern is a perfect scrappy quilt. Which is good. Exactly what I need!  When we had about a year left in Guam, my goal was to not buy any more fabric until I had used two of the three boxes of fabric I already had.  Let's just say I'm still working on that goal.  I'm down to two boxes - which is better than three - but still have a ways to go.  I don't think this quilt will make a huge dent in these two boxes, but every little bit helps.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes -Oh, My!

Crazy day around the country!  Earthquakes in Colorado and on the East Coast....Hurricane Irene comin' for a visit....wars and rumors of wars... Maybe Jesus just needs to come and we'll be done with all of this??!!

We felt our first earthquake in the spring of 1992 when we were living in  Southern California at our first Air Force assignment. Needlessly to say, it FREAKED this Southern girl OUT! In the following weeks no matter where we were at - the store, church, a store, I would look at Drew and say, "Okay, if there's an earthquake while we are here - this is what we need to do." 

It finally got to the point that Drew told me, "If you don't calm down and get over this and quit talking about earthquakes, I'm going to take you to Mental Health at the base clinic!!"

So, I quit talking about least to him....

But over time I have get use to them...somewhat.  After all, we have them for just about half of our Air Force bases...Japan, Guam, California two different bases....  Still not overly fond of them, but I no longer freak out.  (Of course, I will say I have yet to go through a  HUGE one I think the largest I have felt was around 6.5....I may need drugs to overcome a big one....wonder how some of my friends in Northern Japan do it as they are STILL having aftershocks on a many-times-a-week bases.)

One of the last "big" ones we felt in Guam was early one morning as I was doing my Bible study/prayer time.   It was one of the few times I could hear my glasses and dishes rattling.  I was really afraid they would start to fall out of the cabinets. So, I decided to take action!

Instead of getting under the table or bracing my self in a  doorway (all proper ways to ride out an earthquake), I went to the kitchen held as many cabinet doors closed as I could and yelled, "Don't  you dare fall out and break!!"

Drew's response?  "Well, that's the behavior we want the kids  to emulate."

And people say he doesn't have a sense of humor.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review

Thursday required a lot of sitting in doctors' offices, so reading helped passed the time.  I finished Jean Kwok's Girl in Translation.  Another enjoyable book! As I mentioned in another post, it's about a girl and her mother as they make a new life in America after they have immigrated from Hong Kong. I liked how the author told you of the journey without getting bogged down into too many details, but yet at the same time gave great details where it mattered.

You got a great details about the apartment an aunt "dumped" them in, but not daily school life of  the girl.  It was the apartment - and the sweat shop - that propelled the girl to do better - to be better. You cheered for her, but the way the introduction was written, you didn't know if she would make it or not until the very end.  And no, I'm not going to tell you the end. Read it for yourself.

While this book is not an autobiography, it does have many things in common with the author - she, too, is from Hong Kong and migrated to the US as a small child and her parents did start off in the US as workers in a sweat shop in Chinatown.   This is her first novel and  I am looking forward to many more from her.

I, also, finished  Life Lessons from the Hiding Place: Discovering the Heart of Corrie Ten Boom by Pam Moore.  I had met Mrs. Moore last November during a women's conference in Dallas. I had started this book on our Mexican vacation, but had not finished it until now.  Once again, Mrs. Moore gives great insight into the amazing like of Corrie Ten Boom.

Right now I am reading a book recommended by a blogger that I read: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhonda Janzen.  I'm only a few chapters in...but I think I'll keep reading it! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Halfway Thru the Weekend

The weekend has been nice and relaxing so far. We drove over to  my parent's last night. It's always nice to spend time with them. We, also, spent some time with my brother and his family.  So, glad he put a pool in.  Especially in this 100 degree plus heat....yes, the heat just keeps  blasting.   And love playing Scrabble with my mom.  We were able to get two games in - we even let Ben join us in the second game.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Books

This week is going well - nothing major. Which is the way I like it....well, other than the  heat. Here's our ten-day forecast: 105, 107, 105, 103,104, 103, 100, 102, 101, 98. Nasty, isn't?  In ten days, I just may see something under at 100 degrees....but I'm not ready to put money on it....But I am ready for cooler temps...Just stick a fork in me...I just so done with this heat.

But in other news...I've read another book.  Laying on the couch reading is just so much better than doing anything outside. Well, other than going to the library to get more books. I've actually read two this week. Well, one and a half. I did not finish one.  Just wasn't my style.

One Day is a movie that is coming out this weekend. Of course, I wanted to read the book before the movie.  But it was not to be.  I just couldn't get into it.  First, there was the language. I hate having to read bad language.  Then the author jumped around a lot....nothing in the first few chapters seems to be in chronological order.   I just didn't have the patience for it, I guess. So, I skimmed through to the last few chapters and it seems to be more of the same, so I put it down and went on to the next book.

Which I loved.

How to be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway.  She crafted a beautiful story of Japan after WWII as well as modern day American and Japan.  Love it! Very good!  Of course, I love Japan - especially after living there for two years, so the subject and location was an easy sell.  But the author made some like-able characters and wove a great story.  A good read.

Now I'm on to Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. It's about a mother and a daughter migrating from Hong Kong to America. Yes, there seems to be a trend in my reading lately....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Week in Review

It was a good week. All three survived the first days of school - I now have three kids in three different schools. Elementary, Middle and High school.  So far, all are pleased with their teachers, I think.

Drew was gone this week. It was only a week, but glad he's back. While he was at his meetings, he ran into a few old friend and was able to catch up with them. It's always nice to see where old friends are and what they are up to now.

And it's nice to have my la-top back. Drew took it with him and while I  do have the desk-top, I love having my lap-top back. I get to sit in my comfy chair in my room and surf and play.  And blog. Can't forget about blogging.

I was especially pleased this week that I was able to get through my to-do list all the way to sewing.  Sewing does make me happy.   I just working on some "UFO's" - Un-Finished-Objects. Hopefully, I'll get through with them so I can start a few new one projects.  There are several patterns in my quilting magazines I would love to try out.

And also, this week I was able to have lunch with  two friends.  We three are going to try to read a Christian book every month and then get together and talk about it. Should be good times.  First book is one of my favorites: A Women After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.  Would love to see this small group grow...will just have to wait what God have planned.

This week we'll start piano.  The moans and groans you hear are from the two younger ones.  They still aren't all that much into it, but Drew and I have decide to push on. Of course, that means I get to be the meanie and MAKE them practice. (yes, that means nag!!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


From the very beginning of being a parent, Drew and I had people asking us what we were going to call our oldest, William.  Um....William.  "Oh, really?"  Was the usual answer. "Yes, William." Not Will. Not Willie. Not Bill. Not Billy.  William!!! (One funny conversation was with a guy by the name of Bill...whose legal name was was like even HE didn't want to use the name! He kept asking and asking! I finally said, "Well, some times I call him Baby Love."  "I'll stick with William", was his reply. Thank you!)

He's always been William to us...and in many ways he is or has grown into his name. He's a quite and serious person (at least around others! He can be very loud here at the house!!)

For the most part people - teachers, friends, - have called him that. Oh, there's been a few...but they usually change when I pointedly say, 'William'.  Now, his friends in Guam did get to the point to call him "Will".  By then he was a teen, and I felt if it bothered him, then he would say something.

But he never did.  Of course, him saying something would mean he would have to start a conversation...something he really doesn't like to do!

Here in North Louisiana it seems that EVERYONE calls William "Will".  Like they automatically think a name should be shorten or totally discount how someone is introduced to them or.

The other night we were in a car full of people and one was talking about "Will". I could tell Drew  had no clue who the person was talking about. So, I leaned over and said, "Will. As in our son, William!"

"OOOOHH!! Yes, Will! Got it!"

Thankfully, everyone laughed.

The funny thing is we have just about always shorten Benjamin's name to 'Ben'. From the very beginning about half the time we would call him 'Ben'. Or Ben-Ben. Or B. Or BB. (But NEVER BJ or Benji!!). And Melissa has had nicknames as well: Lissie. Lissie-Lou. Lou-Lou. But William?

Never.   Funny how some names just stick to a person.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Emotions That Lie

Many times in the past I have felt very convicted or deeply touched about some spiritual lesson. When that happens, I try to write about in one of my journals.  Sometimes is just a verse that seems clear to me or its a habit or attitude that the Lord is convicting me or. Or I could just write about a comment that another person said that I loved. My journals are filled with all sorts of these writings.  But I have found that over time some things that were clear at one point are not so clear later. Time puts a shadow on feelings....forgetfulness leaps in and make its self at home. 

That's how I have felt lately...maybe even a little lost on some issues.  But over the last few days
I have gone back and reread some of my journals. With these readings the shadows over some lessons have cleared and I can see again the reason why behind the actions and convictions.

Life is good with son-shine, dont' ya think? I can, also, see I need to write more. Writing for some reason seems to clear out all the emotions that are just that - emotions. And many times emotions that have no depth to them. Just emotions for emotion sake and have no true logic or thought behind them.  We need to beware of emotions that lie to us -  that take us on a journey where we really don't want to be. For me I need to stay focused on what I want - a life pleasing to God - not a life filling temporary emotions.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Even though we did not have too much on our calendar for this week, I'm tired.  Of course, I was on my feet most of the day working at the soup kitchen.  Then I had the ordeal privilege of taking two of my kids to the mall to finish up school uniform shopping.

Can you feel the joy?

The girl wanted to buy everything that was not a school uniform and the boy just wanted to not buy anything and go home.

And I get to take the other boy tomorrow. He's already starting to complain.  Oh, yes. It'll be a joyous bonding time, I'm sure.

The other boy did get attend his high school orientation today. He was not all that impressed.  But he is relieved to know where everything is. Why they did not hand out schedules, I'm not sure.  Nor did they talk about the clubs. He claims they just gave them a tour, had one coach list all the sports, they played a few games, ate lunch, and listened to a lecture on how to handle stress.

I'm sure other things were talked about. Just not sure if he listened.

Another reason I'm tired is I argued with TriCare and medical people again today.  The other day they agreed that that I didn't owe anything on Melissa's hospital stay back in December.  Today it looks like we'll get stuck with a $200 bill because they claim they don't cover certain vaccinations.  Lovely. Just lovely.

As I told a friend - it's hard to save for a raining day when it keeps on raining!! I know looking at all the medical we get free I shouldn't complain about $200. But it's frustrating when I'm told that they will cover whatever my doctor says I  - or my children need - but then don't.

Such is life and yes, this too shall pass. Tomorrow will be better I know - no alarm clocks will go off! That's always a  good start to any day.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Very Special Gift

In April of 2008 while I was at the spring ladies retreat in Guam, a dear friend, Nicole, gave me a gift. It was a cross-stitch sampler of Proverbs 31 that she made for me.

I was deeply touched!

You see, I'm usually the one who makes gifts for others. I have made many cross-stitch items & quilts for family and friends since I was a teen. Oh, I have gotten hand-made gifts from a few people - mainly from a few family members, but when I do it stands out in my memory. I think I was just speechless! It was totally un-expected.

And that it's about Proverbs 31? Perfect!  She had heard me talk of my love of Proverbs 31 and the women who strive to please God.  P31B's I call them - Proverbs 31 Babes (which I stole from a friend!)

I had every intention to get it framed right away. But then, we were in Guam. Simple things aren't so simple in Guam.  It was just way too expensive to get framed there - and the selection of mats was very limited. So, I planned to take it with me when I visited the States that summer.  But when I got to the States, I realized that I had forgotten it in Guam.  Then I repeated the experience again the next summer.  Lovely.

As I was straightening up a closet earlier this summer, I came across the sampler again - and told Drew he could get it framed for my birthday.

So, he did.

He was able to pick it up yesterday. Yes, over a month late, but hey! It's done and I love it! He did a great job picking out the mat color and the frame shop did a great job on framing.

It was worth the wait.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Small Things Amuse Me

Small things amuse me....the sticker is in the shape of the state the tomatoe was grown in.

Very cool.

Free Music

Klove is a Christian music radio station that streams on-line - if you've never heard of it - give it a try. One of the best parts I love about them is free music  - FREE music!!  Love it!   Check it out:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This and That

So far this week has been good.  The main event? The kids have cleaned out their rooms!! Yeah! Trash has been taken out and clothes have been organized. I now have a list of school uniforms that they need.

And since school starts one week from tomorrow.

Ugg. Summer is over. Or at least summer school vacation. But not from the heat.  It'll continue being hot for at least another month.

Another great event this week is friends will be in town for lunch tomorrow. YEAH! So, glad. We haven't seen them for about six years. Should be lots of fun.

That's all for today!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Things I learned during my stay in the Mexican Caribbean:

-          Mexican men look better in Speedos than Japanese men. And Russians. But not as good as Michael Phelps and his fellow Olympians.
-          There is such a thing a biodegradable sun-block. Odd, but true.
-          I don’t like haggling.  Just tell me the price. The true reasonable price.  I don’t want to rip you off and I don’t want to be ripped off either.
-           It’s so much easier packing when I don’t to have pack for three kids and their medicines. Love Epi-pens, but not taking those makes for a much less heavy backpack.
-          Love being a mother, but need a break at times….even if I do feel guilty over taking the break.
-          Love having in-laws who want my kids for a week.
-          I miss my kids. I’m like a mother hen that likes to keep them close.  But yet, so needed the break.
-          This is not the week to try a new sun block.
-          I can now mark off seeing Mayan ancient ruins from my “bucket list”. Not sure if it was ever on my list, but I can mark it off.  Just a note: Mayan ruins are amazing!
-          Yellow butterflies flying freely in the jungle are just a wonderful as black ones in Guam’s jungle.
-          Too bad when you sweat from the heat you don’t melt away fat.  If so, I would be a size zero again.  Or smaller.
-          Japanese is in-grain in me. It’s so natural to say “hai” instead of “si” and “dōmo arigatō” instead of “gracias”.  Which is great if you are actually in Japan or Guam or even Hawaii, but not so great if you are in Mexico.
-          Tour buses really should have more than one foot between rows.
-          It seems that no matter the country, bus drivers drive crazy. It’s best not to look head. Just put on your headphones and close your eyes. And pray. Prayer is always good when riding around a foreign country.
-          A Brazilian young lady named Valencia is now one of my heroes.  None of her family or friends would travel with her, but she didn’t let that stop her.  She wanted to see the Mexican Caribbean, so she did. She didn’t just want to stay at the hotel to party and sit on the beach. She wanted to see Maya ruins. So, she did. All by herself.  Amazing.
-           It seems that no matter what country Japanese tourist tour, they still have a very….odd (shall we say?) way of dressing.
-          Still amazed at how some women - no matter their dress size – seem to think its okay to wear a bikini.  If you have a muffin top, you might want to re-think that bikini. Your “girls” may look great, but not the rest of you.
-          There is some amazing food in the Mexican Caribbean.  Really wish the heat could melt the extra calories away.
-          Having a gym at your hotel is a good thing.
-          But having a chocolate option for dessert every night is a great thing.
-          Dolphins….one of the most amazing creatures God has ever created.  And to dance with a dolphins? To kiss a dolphin? Just some more amazing things in this world.
-          It seems that there are very few stop signs in this part of Mexico, but a lot of speed bumps.
-          You must drive with great care when traveling over a speed bump in a golf cart….you really don’t want anyone – that would be me! – to fall out.
-          The beach is always a great place to be.
 -     Celebrating twenty years of marriage is a great and amazing thing.
-          Love having my tropical tan back.
-          Wonder if I can go back in a few months….