Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Quiet Week

The two teens of the house left Sunday night for youth camp with our church. I have only heard from them once. Melissa text (on an adult's phone since their phones were taken up) asking if I could go to Old Navy Saturday morning to buy her some flip flops that would be on sale.  Yes, I was a good mom and went  to the dollar flip flop sale.

Oh, my.

It was sort of like Black Friday.....CRAZY!

Then I was even crazier and went to Wal-Mart on a Saturday.  But only because milk and bread was needed and I knew the commissary would be even crazier!

Anyway. It's been a nice week...not really sure what all we did....not a whole lot. Read some, watched a few movies, sewed, celebrated my birthday with lunch with my parents, chores....just normal stuff.

This was the first time  I didn't have all my kids with me on my birthday. There's been several that Drew was gone, but never my kids. That was different. Drew got me a new lap top. We were in need of one badly as ours was five years old -and acted liked it.

I'm trying to get use to the far, I like it!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Got a Glimpse

One of the things we love most about living here in north Lou-zee-ana is the ability to see family. That was yesterday. My original plan was to stay a few nights at my parent's, but my brother's air unit went out and so he and his family moved in which left me with no bed. But it doesn't really matter, since I think 90 miles is close enough to drive back and forth in one day.

After all, after living literally on the other side of the world and where it take DAYS to get to your parent's house, 90 miles is nothing - NOTHING!

We got lots of rain yesterday - in fact, there were a few tense moments as I was driving over in the in the morning....the kind where you drive real slow and turn on  your flashing lights and PRAY  that the people behind you see you while  you are able to see EVERYONE in front of you (including the fool that had no lights on).

Toward the end of the day I kept a close eye on weather. There was one more bad cell of rain, then it looked like it would be clear - or at least just a drizzle of rain.  While we were having dinner, my dad leaned over and said, "Why don't you stay at my house tonight?"

He was so concerned about his little girl. I said, "No, I'll be fine. There's just one more bad storm, but once it passes I'll be fine."

Ten minutes later Dad says, "Don't you want to just stay at my house tonight?"

Ah, so sweet.  "No, I'll be fine. Besides, I don't have any extra clothes with me."

My mom jumps in at this point - "We'll get  you a night gown!"

What's amazing to me about this story is that my dad noticed the weather, knew I would be driving in it, and he didn't want me to.  Dad had a stroke six years ago and now has dementia. He can't really follow a conversation or a movie or a tv show.  But he knows his daughter and didn't want her driving in bad weather.

It's like a kiss to my soul when I get a glimpse of the real George that's lost somewhere in there.

(After ten or fifteen minutes of driving the rain stopped and I had nice skies with the sun peeking out the rest of the way home.)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Time to Break a Leg!

Last week Melissa and William tried out for a play at the base with Missoula Children's Theater. This is our third time for this camp - once in Guam and once the first summer we were here. While Melissa and William enjoyed the camp in Guam (Ben wasn't interested), it wasn't such a great week for Melissa and Benjamin when we first got here as they did not get parts.  This week William and Melissa both wanted to try out, but Benjamin did not. Being on stage is NOT his cup of tea at all.

From the beginning Melissa wanted to be an assistant director instead being on stage. Good news for her, since that's what she got! She was thrilled!! William did not get a part, but wasn't too upset as he had soccer to keep him busy. In fact, had he gotten a part, there would have been a it all worked out. 

It was a lot of fun seeing how excited Melissa was about being "in charge". These are the times I see a glance of the lady she'll be one day. She enjoys working with the other kids and likes understanding how the whole play works - not just one part.

Wednesday when we picked Melissa up from practice she was in tears.  Once of the dancing trees complained that the dancing hurt her back, so the adults in charge switched her with one of the other assistance directors. Who then pouted about not being an assistance director. So, they then switched the back-hurting tree with Melissa. While she did NOT want to switch, she said she felt like she couldn't say no.

There were lots of tears Wednesday....maybe a few Thursday...but I'm very proud of her for sticking with it. She did think about quitting, she did not talk to us about it....she just did the mature thing and kept going.

Drew and I saw the play Friday night and it went well. Melissa did fine in her dancing tree part. And she's already talking about returning next year  - to be an assistance director for the WHOLE week.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Fiction Binge

For the last month or so I have been on a fiction binge. I usually read one or two fiction books, then something in from the non-fiction side of the library. But with the end-of-school and start of summer, I have just wanted to read and not think for awhile. I found several series and got a little caught up in reading them - all of the quickest amount of time possible it seems.

Two series are from Christian author Denise Hunter and two series are from secular author Nora Roberts. I, also, read one stand-alone from Nora Roberts - these are the first books of hers that I have read in...well...probably close to a decade. I use to read all her books, but then she started to write with a paranormal character went from a man to a wolf....another would have conversations with a fairy. Yea. Not my taste. I have not read any of the vampire books that have been popular lately. Just not me. I was disappointed that in one of these new series that a ghost was in the mix. But by then I was taken in by the other characters.

While I could have done without the strong language and the few love scenes, her characters are very you want them to be real and go and hang  out with them. One series had a set of three brothers. I always love books and series that have a strong family as a major part of the plot. Also, both sets of Nora Robert's books had sets of friends that were unbreakable....friends that would stay together through thick and thin....friends that have known each other for most of their lives and plan to life  out the rest of their lives close by. I missed that being a military wife. I have met some amazing friends in my adult life, but time and distance have left their mark.

The Denise Hunter series was...just fact I really couldn't get into the second series.  Read the first chapter then the skimmed the rest the book. All of these series were more or less just love or romance books. But I did read a Dee Henderson book that was anything but "just romance"

Dee Henderson's latest book, Full Disclosure, was full of twist and turns as the two main characters tried to solve a murder mystery. But she also did something I never had read before -or at least never realized it - she wrote herself into the book and mentioned her other books. It was very interesting. The murder mystery was very interesting, but the romance side of the book was way too cerebral for me. The two falling in-love characters analyzed it to death, I felt like. But I think that was better than Nora Roberts book where clothes go flying off without thought!

I, also, read a Danielle Steele book: 44 Charles Street. She is, also, an author I use to read a lot. For the most part her earlier books had a pattern: they get rich, they get poor, they fall in love, some one dies, they get rich, they get get the picture. This is only the second of hers I have read probably since college, but it was a good read....a little predictable, I  think. Also, most of the characters are rich - who really gets to take the whole month of August off??? No one in my real world.

But I'm done with my fiction binge. On to some non-fiction....maybe  I'll even get sewing machine out to work on a project....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A 21 Day Daniel Fast

Last month our pastor called the church to do a Daniel Fast (eat only veggies, fruit, nuts,  & beans - no dairy, no meat, no breads with yeast, etc - drink only water) as a time to pray for our country, community, church and families. Over the years, I have studied different types of fasting, but had never done a Daniel Fast. I usually just do a water-only fast for a day or so and usually fast alone.  So, this church-wide fast was intriguing to me. Right off the bat Benjamin didn't want anything to do with it! "Nope. Not interested."

But my teens surprised us by being interested and willing to participate with Drew and I. They amazed us! They both had it a little harder than Drew or I because they can't have any nuts or nut products due to allergies and as much as I have tried to get them to like beans over the years, they both HATE beans. Thankfully, they like brown rice, a few veggies and fruit - lots of fruit and oatmeal they ate! We did learn that William gets incredible grumpy when he's hungry....poor thing!

I think out of all of us Melissa was tempted more than the rest of us. She was offered pizza and chips at several end-of-school parties and events. In fact, Saturday afternoon one of her friends was hosting a swim party and Melissa decided not to go. She said," I just can't face pizza again. AND! There's gonna be cake pops....CAKE POPS!!"  So, I took her and one of her fasting friends shopping then they just hanged out at our house. They held strong! Very moving to see the Lord working in our teenagers' lives.

During this fast, a quote from the book The Heavenly Man in which Brother Yun talks about starving in a prison, "...their stomachs become their god..."  You only have to watch a few episodes of Survivor to see what people will do for food - even if it means risking their chance at a million dollars. There's so much in our lives that revolve around food - good and bad. So much celebrations...but, also, so much junk and habits...many bad habits. Doing without my normal food options during these 21 days, has made me think how many times I just eat without thinking....purely out of habit or boredom.  And what I'm eating: mainly junk. It seems that we have traded in wholesomeness and nutrition for convenience in modern day America.

If you had ask me if I could go 21 days without chocolate or coffee or bacon or a cookie or other dessert, I probably would have said "NO" nice and loud!(I love sugar!)  But I did. But only because I had Someone else's strength. Being able to walk passed the cake in the teacher's lounge or not pull out the cheese or not order a hamburger wasn't in my nature. It's the Lord's nature. He gave me strength. He showed me that I can do what I didn't think was possible. He, also, showed me how much I do out of pure habit. Makes me think what else do I do out of habit instead of being intentional.

The Lord is very intentional with us.  I think He wants us to be intentional, as well. Be intentional as we love others - make a point to pass on the love He has showered on us. And make no mistake - no matter how you live, He has showered you with His love.

As we broke the fast Monday, Drew and I have decided to continue  some intentional about our eating - add more fruits and careful about the junk (trash) food we allow in the house. (After all, if it's in the house, we WILL eat it!) I will say, we both thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast of eggs, cheese and bacon! (REAL bacon - not turkey, but REAL yummy BACON!) The teens were so ready to break their fast that they stayed up to midnight to eat! Drew and I like our sleep....I guess we're getting old!

If you have never done a Daniel Fast, I encourage you to look into it. It has been a wonderful way for us to grow closer to the Lord and to feel His strength and love.