Monday, January 31, 2011

Failed Test

Friday William started to run a fever - and he's still running a fever. So, I took him to the doctor today. Until this morning I really thought he had strep. The neighbor boy next door had strep late last week. But when William woke up this morning his throat was much better. But with the fever still hanging around, I still took in to see the doctor.

They went ahead and did a a test for flu and for strep.

He failed the flu test. Or tather positive for B strain.

Poor thing  - yuck! I don't think any of the kids have ever had the flu. For the last eight years we gotten the vaccine. It's somewhere around 70-90% effective.  I guess William fell in that 10-30%.

My prayer is that he gets better soon - and that the rest of us stay healthy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Maybe, Maybe Not

Earlie today I had some great thoughts concerning a blog post.  But I didn't write it I'm tried and ready for bed.

So....maybe I'll have something exciting or excellent to say tomorrow.

Or not.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Working.....Or Not

Part of mine and Drew's marriage contract (not that we actually have anything in writing, mind you) is that when the kids start school, I would work - at least part time.  And I have.  I taught pre-school for two years and substitute taught for the three years in Guam. But even before we even left Guam last year, I told Drew not to except me to work until the New Year. I knew I needed some time to get us all settled into our new life. And I have. And it's now the New Year.

So. Back to work.

In the last weeks I have turned in my paperwork to sub at the kids' schools here - even had my fingerprints done last week.  This week I picked up the "sub card" that shows my fingerprints have come back cleared (Yeah! I'm not wanted for any crimes!).  Yesterday while I was at both school (middle school for an awards ceremony and the elementary to have lunch with Ben - he had a rough morning) I told the front office that I was eligible to sub.

I really thought it was take a few weeks before they started to call me.  With it already being mid-year, I figured they already have their favorites. And so, I was surprised to get a call from the middle school asking if I could work half-day today.

Sure! Yes! I really didn't have anything exciting planned today......other then clean a few bathrooms and maybe do some baking.

I was surprised again when the phone ranged at 7:15 asking if I could come in right away. The teacher I was to sub for needed to be gone all day.

I rushed to get Ben ready and out the door (trying not to yell too much when I found  him at the computer playing solitaire with no socks or shoes on nor his teeth or hair done....well....maybe I yelled some..a lot....) then myself ready and out the door.

The teacher needed to go home to take care of his baby - who was running a fever and so not allowed at child-care.

It turned out to be a great teacher to sub for -easy classes - easy lesson plans.  I was enjoying myself - a great way to ease back into work.

Then during fourth hour I looked up to see the secretary of the school at the door with the thermometer and William not looking so good.

100.3 - just enough to earn him a ticket home.  I finished out the class hour while the front office called in another sub. For this sub.

A nasty cold, two strains of the flu, a stomach bug, and strep are going around the neighborhood and schools. Not sure which one we have at the moment. I'm personally voting for anything but strep.

That's the nastiest thing.

I really just had to laugh! I'm not at all surprised that this is how my first day to work in over seven months.  I'm leaning toward God saying I should just say being a "kept woman".

Life is easier that way.

Oh, and let's not forget that Drew is out of town. Which. Of course, he is. That's how military families work, you know. All is well and right until the military member leaves....but Drew will be back tomorrow. I have already warn him to pick up some extra vitamin C on his way home....or a gas mask.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our Past

A friend sent me and some other friends a message on facebook the other day asking about how much of our past  - our past as in before being a Christian - should we share.  She had a conversation with fellow believer about "does deep or graphic testimony encourage non-believers or fence-riders to engage in or continue to engage in sinful behavior by reinforcing the fact that our Father forgives even the worst of us?"  ( The sitting being in private or church Bible study/fellowship, etc.)

I think the simple answer is yes and no.

The real question is the Holy Spirit saying? There are some seekers/new believers that need to know that God really did forgive you for this behavior and that sin. And not only did He forgave you, but you have moved on into a deeper relationship with the Lord.

But there are some that will see that sin in your past life and that's all they will see. Another friend once shared how she shared once that she use to cuss a lot.  One lady continually brought it up as time went on. It was like she could now only see my friend as how she was in the past - not what and where God had brought her to now.

I am convinced that we women share too much too soon. I have been amazed over the years at how personal the conversation can quickly become with women!  We need to guard our hearts.

Last week in Bible study we studied Hezekiah when he showed the Babylonians all that he had. He was so flattered that this new & up-in-coming world power was interested in him, that he throw away common sense and showed them all his treasures as well as what was in the temple - military items as well. We, too, shouldn't let "flattery" (attention, friendship, etc) get the best of us.

This is where praying without ceasing comes in - if we have that consistent, open communication with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will give us the words that need to be said at that moment.

I don't think at all we should ever lie or cover-up what we use to be, but I do think there is a time & a place for to share our past sins.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Facebook Post

On facebook you never know what will get a lot of comments....other than if you say it's birthday or anniversary - then you can guarantee lots of well wishes. I thought I had just asked an innocent question:  "What do you think of Oprah's new network and do you have any favorite shows?"

Apparently, not such an innocent question.

Several friends had opinions...a few referred her to the anti-Christ. Two dear friends made a point that they were venting about Oprah - not judging me.  Did I feel judged?

Maybe.  After a few comments,  my thoughts were running along the lines of "Wow, I wonder what they think of me."  But that was brief.  Because while I pray that I never give anyone pause to doubt my sincerity and love for Christ or reason to stumble in their walk, I also refuse to live by other's expectations.  I've tried that. It only causes me grief - not others - just me.

So. Back to Oprah. Yes, I do watch her.  And yes, I have found some interesting new shows on her OWN network. (I'm especially looking forward to Lisa Ling's "Our America" a documentary about us - Americans because I have enjoyed Lisa Ling since her Channel One days.) I have also found some shows that I will not be watching such as "In the Bedroom". I'm sure you can guess why.

But what do I think of Oprah herself?  It's a mixed bag. In the past I have, also, jokingly referred to her as the anti-Christ.  There's no doubt the power she holds not just in America, but ,also, the world.  I am very firm in my belief that without her platform and help, Barrack Obama would have had a harder time becoming president. And yes, I agree that at times she has promoted religions and lifestyles that are inconsistent with the Biblical views I hold.

On the other hand, she is an excellent interviewer.  I enjoy that part of her show.  Many days I don't watch - not enough time in my day or her subject matter doesn't interest me.  I have watched her off and on probably the whole twenty-five years she has been on the air. When we first moved to Guam, her show was not on at all. I was admittedly upset. The last year we were in Guam one station showed it - but it was at the 5 o'clock hour - absolutely the worse time for a mom trying to get dinner on the table.

I, also, agree with some of my fellow Christians in the old adage of "junk in/junk out".  Allowing "junk" into my heart and head doesn't help me become more Christ like. Knowing the political and spiritual point of view of a celebrity makes me not want to watch them - this seems to be the same with several of my friends based on their comments on my facebook post about Oprah.

The question,then,is "what's junk?" I personally can't stand to watch most of reality TV - The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, The Real Housewives, the new show Joan and Melissa, and well....too many to list. But I love Amazing Race, Top Chef, and Survivor - but should I be watching them? Are any of them promoting Christ? One friend hates Survivor because of the way the contestants are dressed - or rather not dressed. The same could be said about Dancing with the Stars - they don't wear modest clothing, either. I love - LOVE-  the show Big Bang Theory. But I will freely admit that they don't push one Christian virtue. In fact several characters seem obsessed with sleeping with any girl they can.

What about the music I listen to? I listen to Christian music at least 90% of the time, but there are days I want to rock out with Bon Jovi or Kelly Clarkson or get my county on with Toby Keith or Lady Antebellum.

What about some of the movies that are out? Should  I only watch "wholesome movies? Only G or PG? I know of few people who had that standard in their life, then had a problem when The Passion of Christ came out b/c it was rated R.

The books I read? Are they promoting Christ or not?

While I see we all have different points of view entertainment, we should not judge each other.  In the end we will only have to answer to God Himself.  I do believe that through the Holy Spirit, He will convict us when we allow something harmful to our relationship with Him come into our lives.  But that may be different for me than for you. And that is one thing I LOVE about my Lord!

My relationship with Him is personal. With me. Different from your relationship with Him. There's no "one size fits all" here. What bothers you, may not bother me. What hinders me, may not hinder you.  He meets me where I'm at. He loves me where I'm at - whether I'm watching Oprah or Billy Graham. He. just. loves. me.

Not For Me

The other night I watched five minutes of the new show "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"  It's a reality show about the comedian Joan Rivers moving into her daughter's house.

Within that five minutes they also showed a trailer for an upcoming show.

It's amazing how in five minutes I can be disgusted, offended, nauseated, replused, and sicken.

These two ladies have no respect for each other at all - it's quite sad to see what poeple will do to make money and to stay famous.

I won't be watching anymore.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The other day Drew and I were watching Piers Morgan's interview of Ricky Gervais. I was struck by several things. First Mr. Gervais said he is an atheist.  While he went to church with his parents growing up, at around eight years old he realized that religion was for the rich - not the poor family he was apart of.  I found that very sad. At the age of eight, he can to the conclusion that his parents were only bringing him to church to teach him morality so he would not die in a bar room fight.

But later in the interview he used the name of Jesus as a cuss word.


Why do atheist use the name of Jesus to cuss?  Not Mohammad or any of the number of Hindu gods. But no. People use the name of Jesus. 

Maybe somewhere deep inside they realize that it's the only name that has power.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life Goes On

Monday morning meet us with good news and bad and death.  A 13 year old was hiking in Guam and died. Heartbreaking.

Within an hour we received an email saying our oldest niece is pregnant - this will be the first great-grandchild in Drew's family.  We all are so excited!!   Just thrilled!

But when I think of this family in heart breaks.  Not just for them, though.  Just before Christmas a 9 year old boy here locally died when his 4-wheeler hit a  tree root and flipped over on him.  And this summer an extended family was picnicking at the local river and lost 7 of the grandchildren drown....all within a few minutes.

It's amazing how life is so fragile....and so resilient at the same time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Movie Time Again

This weekend we all went to see the third Narnia movie. We all loved the first two and were waiting for this third. We had great plans to see it the weekend it opened.

Then Melissa was ill and in the hospital that weekend.

We looked into going over the Holidays, but our theater only offered it in 3-D - which Benjamin hates. And I hate paying for the extra cost. And not fond of ducking in the middle of a show.

So. We waited until it was at the theater closer to us that plays older movies - and no 3-D!!  That was this weekend.

Overall, we were happy with the movie. It did make me want to re-read all the Narnia books again.

And it made me want to go to Narnia myself.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


For some strange reason I join thousand (if not millions) of other ladies (and maybe a few men) in watching wedding shows. While  "Say Yes to the Dress"  if probably my favorite, I will watch  "Four Weddings". 
("Four Wedding" is where four brides go to each other' weddings, and score each one in several categories. The one with the highest score wins an amazing honeymoon.  "Say Yes to the Dress" shows brides trying on tons of wedding dresses all in the search for THE ONE.)

Most of the time when I watch these shows, I'm actually doing something else - eating, working on the computer, cleaning, etc. But last week I actually paid attention during "Four Weddings".  It was very eye opening.  I have always been amazed at the prices in "Say Yes to the Dress" - I just can't believe how much some of these dresses cost - but the cost for the full weddings in "Four Weddings"???? Wow.

One was $55,000.

 That's more than the medium annual salary in the U.S.

 I think the show should tell not only how much the whole wedding cost, but how this couple will pay for this wedding.  And how many years will it take??  It's sad to think that some will be paying for the wedding longer than the marriage will last.

Also, the other issue I had with "Four Weddings" was that each wedding had a theme.  A theme. Really?  A theme?  I had a theme - to get married!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Commissary Trip

Today was my commissary day. We were out of several big things like toilet paper, Ziploc, napkins, toothpaste, as well as some cleaning supplies and I was shopping for a two weeks menu instead of one. So, this trip was to be a big trip.  I knew it was going to be a big bill. But when I looked at the computer screen and saw it reading over $700, my heart dropped!

(The first thought was "Drew is going to kill me.")

As I was asking how in the world I spent over $700, I saw that I was charged $444.83 for a bag of carrots. "Um, yeah...I don't want those carrots after all."

The cashier understand totally.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Last night I finished reading Heavenly Man by Brother Yun & Paull Hattaway.  Wow. Puts us Western Christians to shame. He tells his story of being a Christian in communist China. He truly loves the Lord and give Him his all. An amazing story that makes me be thankful for what we have here, but also challenges me to be a better Christian.

Now I'll be returning to a secular book, Water for Elephants  by Sara Gruen.  I hear it's a good read. It'll will a movie in the spring starring Reese Witherspoon - one of my favorite actresses.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Movie Reviews

Over the holidays we watched several movies. I, personally, am not a big movie lover. Drew is. He would rather watch a movie than just about anything else in down time. I first got turned off from going to the movies when we moved from Mississippi to California.

We were paying $3.50 for a new movie in Oxford, MS which is basically twenty minutes off a main interstate - in the middle of cotton and soybean fields.  We moved to Redlands, CA - sixty minutes from Hollywood itself and movies were $5.50 to $6.00. I just didn't understand why it was such a price difference.  Just felt like it was just people lining their pockets. After that  I made a point of going to the matinee where the prices were lower or waiting  till the movie came out on video - now on-demand or even waiting until the library carries it for FREE! (love that word)

First up this Holiday season was Alice in Wonderland.  I had  ever intention to see this in Guam (especially when it was on base), but  never did. I was able to find it at the library last month.  By the end of the movie I was so glad I got it for free and did not pay money!  It just was not my type of movie - too dark.

The next round of movies we down-loaded from on-demand - Wall Street Never Sleeps  &  The American & The Sorceror's Apprentice.
All were Drew's choices. I honestly can't say too much about Wall Street Never Sleeps because,  I did sleep - right through most of the movie - which tells you how gripping the story was...or rather not. But it definitely showed the greed that moves so much of our world. 

While I didn't sleep during The American, it was very boring!!  I usually enjoy George Clooney, but this had no action and a story that really didn't make sense to me.  He was an assassin that was on what is to be his last assignment, but ends up being hunted by someone - you're told that's it someone from a previous assignment that went wrong, but you don't really understand how he was tracked down. I just needed action to move the story along. Would not recommend this to anyone.

I did enjoy The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but it was  little dark - had a lot of suspense.  So much suspense that William had to leave the room. He hates suspense.  But this movie did have a good story line - very much a fantasy movie.

Sad to say the best movies of the holidays for us were two made-for-TV and one cartoon.  I took the kids to see Megamind.  So cute - and a good story of good vs. evil and how a villain can turn into a hero. It was actually our second choice. We all really wanted to see the new Narnia movie, but here it was only offered in 3-D. Benjamin and I hate 3-D. So, Megamind it was. And a good choice it was.

We caught Hallmark Channel's "Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle" &  "Call me Mrs. Miracle" - both were very sweet and uplifting movies. Of course, Debbie Macomber is one of my favorite authors, I'm a little bias. All of us enjoyed both of them.

Drew caught a few other movies - but I either read a book through them, slept through them, or just avoided them all together. Or watched football....we did see several football games...even if our team did not make it to a bowl game...there's always next  year, right?

On this Saturday night, I see more football in our future - the Saints will be on in an hour. But later tonight, I'm sure Drew will find a TV movie for us to watch....hopefully, it'll actually have a gripping - or at least a good - story line. And characters that make sense. One thing I hate about movies is when characters do things that make no common sense.

I'm not talking about fantasy. I'm all for some of that along with some sic-fi. I'm just talking about good-ole common sense.  We once saw The Recruit.  It was about a young  man being recruited by the CIA.  At one point in the story, the  young man realized he was being followed.  He tries to lose this tail - he ends of on a deserted rail-road tracks where a gun fight breaks out and he kills the man following him. This whole scene made no sense to me. When being followed, why go somewhere where no else is at??  To stay safe, you need to stay in a crowd.  You would think that any fool would do that - but not here.  It's like the writers just wanted a gun fight scene.

Common sense, people! It's not that hard....but then again, maybe it is.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Love the Now

Driving back from my parents today, I was entertained as the leaves were falling and swirling down from the trees (yes, here in the Deep South our trees still have leaves on them even though its January). It reminded me of the butterflies dancing in Guam. Several have me if I miss Guam. It's not a simple yes or no answer for me. I miss Guam like I miss all the places we have lived. Each location had special places and people that will always be close to my heart. 

...In southern California I miss the mountains...Drew and I would go hiking alone or with friends no matter the season.  We, also, had an amazing group of friends. We would get together to play cards to the wee hours of the morning. So, much fun.

...In Albuquerque I miss the mountains there as well. We lived at the base of the Sandia's - five minutes from our house we could be at a city park hiking the base of the mountain. With our friends there we learned how to play the Farming Game. Which at times we also played into the wee hours of the morning! I taught middle school in Albuquerque -  at times I miss that as well.

...Next we were in Japan. Wow. What an amazing two years. Living in a different culture than the one you grew up in, in an experience all should do if able. There's no price for seeing the world from a new perspective. And of course, the friends there were great - all had an adventurous spirit willing to explore with us.

...Then we were back in California - central coast this time.  We got so spoiled by the weather! It's a lot like San Fransisco - in the 60's with a strong wind all. the. time. And yes. More friends to  play cards with. And yes, on occasion to the wee hours of the morning - but admittedly, not as late or as often as we had children by this point!

...On to Virginia and Maryland for our East Coast time...both places were places of great spiritual growth as both deployments happened. But God provided there as well great friends to help us through.  The verses that talk about His mercies being new every morning were alive and well with us during these times.

And that brings us to Guam. As I said, I miss the butterflies. I miss the beach. I miss watching the sky turn from pitch black with sparkling stars to the sun shining brightly over the Pacific on my early morning walks. I miss exercising with my where else have I ever been so motivated to do exercise my best. I miss my Bible study ladies....maybe that's what I miss most. I miss the sheer beauty of the place as well as all the places in the area we traveled to.

But I also have no desire to live there again. I know my time there is over - never to be re-lived. And I'm okay with that.  I'm happy here. Is it perfect? No. Do I have dear friends yet that we can play cards with to the wee hours? No, not really. But I know I'm heading in that direction.  I,also, love the fact that I'm close to my parents. Several times like this week, my mom needed help with my dad and I have been able to drive over and help.  No more thinking about time zones before I call... no more traveling for days - yes, days -literally- for a visit.

Life is all about living, but it's living in the here and now - not dwelling on how life use to be or how you want life to be in the future. It's the now.  Jimmy Buffett once recorded a song, "I Love the Now".


Monday, January 3, 2011


Late the other night I finished reading the third book in the  Millennium Trilogy by Steig Lassson The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  Like the first two - 1) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo & 2) The Girl Who Played with Fire - this third book is excellent. (And as I have said before - it's not for the faint of heart as it has strong language and several graphic scenes.)  All of these books were hard to put down - I just wanting to know what happened next!

As I was reading background about Steig Lasson, I was struck by several things. First, how tragic that he died young (age 50) due to an an unexpected heart-attack. And how tragic he was not prepared to die. On a spiritual level I doubt he held a faith-saving belief in Jesus Christ as I do. On an earthly practical level, he did not have a current will. All of the money coming in from these books will go to his father and brother(whom it is rumored that he was not close to) instead of to his long-time partner (or as we would call her in the States his common-law wife).

But it's also tragic that he will not be able to write more.  Supposedly, there are outlines for up to three more books on his computer. Maybe someone will be commissioned to write these new books in his name - and they may be even good books, but it's sad to think they will not be  exactly what he intended.

As I leave this series, I turn my attention to the stack of books I bought/received in Dallas (at the PWOC conference) as well as a few I received for Christmas. First up: the Heavenly Man  -  It's about a leader in the underground Church in China.

Yes, it's a far cry from the Millennium series, but I except it to be just as entertaining - but for entirely different reasons.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Be Relaxed

Last Wednesday Drew and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. Late in the afternoon Drew treated me to a massage at a local salon. The masseuse asked me when was the last time I had a massage.

And I couldn't answer her. I couldn't remember.  I think it was some time last spring while we were in Guam...if not then, then last Thanksgiving when were were in Singapore.  The question got me to thinking of all the places I have had a massage. Eight countries. Wow. That just sounds crazy.

But every time we travel we do try to slip away for an  afternoon of relaxing....and we do enjoy a good massage.

Our first massages were probably at Hot Springs, AR where we celebrated our fifth anniversary. Then while we lived in Japan, we would visit a local Japanese spa.

Japaneses spas are very different from here in the States and is probably our favorite.  It can be a whole day experience - in fact you can say up to 23 hours. There's rooms for enjoying hot tubs, saunas, arcades, karaoke, several restaurants - even a room with tatami mats for a nap.  The hot tub areas are segregated male and female - which is a good thing since you walk around the hot tub area butt-naked.  But the rest of the facility you wear pajamas-like clothing - even during the massage - which is a good thing since all the massages are given in one large room that is not segregated.

Sounds crazy  to us Americans, but works for them.

While Japan was our favorite place for a massage, Guam was my least favorite. Drew loved it, but I hated it. Most places in Guam (that we visited anyway) use the Shiatsu method which I find way too hard and deep for me. Once I left with bruises - not kidding.(And (I could have done without the peppy elevator music)  I prefer the Swedish - relaxing - no bruising!!

Not only have I massages here in the States (CA, VA, AR, LA, MD & MA),Guam, Singapore (where I was offered and fell in love with ginger tea), and Japan, I have also had massages in Australia (where I was told to keep my "knickers" on!), South Korea (where I wondered if they were using the correct hygiene practices), Bermuda and Palau.

Crazy! I never would have thought I would have the privilege to travel so much.  I feel very blessed (and very relaxed!)