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….