Thursday, December 31, 2009

Plethora of Praises: My Gratitude List

I interrupt my year-in-review to jot down here the thanks I've been tracking in my journal.

My mom gave me a lovely journal called Impressionists 2010 for my birthday, which was back in August, but the start date just happened to be Dec. 28, 2009, my anniversary. In most ways I think of my wedding anniversary as New Year's anyway, except that I can keep eating sweets in the name of "holiday celebrations" for another three days.

The journal is really a day runner. Each date has five lines, so I limit the thanks (in writing only, not in reality!) to five per morning.

Getting on with my list:

Dec 28

Paul and our marriage of 23 years
Aunt Linda --her love & inspiration
Stephen's helpfulness with computers
Egyptian cotton sheets

Dec 29

Pleasant date @ Sizzling Bombay last night
The touching card that Paul gave me
Sarah's love for Joel
Ben's accounting internship
Aunt Linda's cyst was successfully removed, and benign

Dec 30

Purchase of a Sleep Number mattress
Good time with Paul all day yesterday when he took off
Caleb Z here to play
Enough dishwashing soap left for one large, smelly load
Encouraging words from fellow bloggers

Dec 31

Ability to anticipate
Meaningful work
Heat and light
Daddy came for dinner while Mama's away caring for Aunt Linda

I am so thankful that God's mercies are new every morning, not just every year. But hallelujah for a new year! Clean slate . New journals. Dreams of people, projects, and places in the next 12 months.

My main hope for the New Year is that I will see God's majesty. I want an increasingly larger view of Who He Is, and be ever expanding my expectations from Him, the Infinite God of the Universe. Is anything too hard for Him?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in Pictures, Post #2: Daisy Girl & Brotherly Affection

In April, Sarah Grace turned 20.

Did I just write that? My little girl, my second child, is how old? Didn't I just bring home that little pink bundle last week?
Anyway, what touches me about this photo is
1) her beautiful smile
2) the flowers that Stephen gave her, and how many questions he asked me about a gift that would ultimately bless her, which told me that he had really grown up, too. How precious that he would honor his sister. I told him that she loves daisies, and that it would mean an extra lot if he delivered them in person to her place of work so others could ooh and aah over them. Chicks dig it, I told him.
3) how Sarah grew up beautifully in spite of the rough start. I didn't feel mushy-gushy when she was born, can hardly remember the first six months except for the crying (hers and mine), and I didn't take nearly as many pictures of her as I did of Ben, our firstborn, but yet God's grace got me through her babyhood. I've blogged ad nauseum about my postpartum depression after her birth, but I hope I never speak more of it than of how God used it to cast me upon His mercy, and the compassion it gave me for women who don't just absolutely love the newborn phase and who feel guilty about that. My daisy girl is a continuous reminder of God's grace.
4) She's working in a job with people she loves in an area of her many giftings: administration.

Post #3 May: Beanie Kitties Play Uno

I had to look up the date when this picture was taken (April) but that's irrelevant in my mind. I just remember that Joel's personality was all over this scene:
1) He likes to wear as little as possible, but if he has to, then make it a Star Wars shirt.
2) He adores cats and enjoys collecting beanie baby kitties. Every time we go to Goodwill, he buys one for two
bucks and just says, "Aww, Mom, aren't they so cute?"
3) He set up his stuffed "friends" with a round of Uno cards and helped each one play his or her hand (paw?). You can't see Molly in this shot, but she was observing the action, lying down, head on paws, almost as if she wanted to be invited into playland. Talk about so cute. I wanted to photograph that, but I was afraid of disrupting the scene as it was.
4) Best of all was Joel's clean, soft skin. The cheeks, the fingers, the legs. All so soft. Sometimes soft skin is the one reason I would consider having more babies. But soft skin covers sinful hearts and takes far more work than I have the energy for. Anyhow, I know the time will come when he won't enjoy (nor would it be appropriate!) for me to touch his soft, clean legs, and his hands will be calloused, and his face will get stubbly hair on it. All too soon this boy will be a man.

I am weeping now as I write this. Time, please stand still, won't you?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in Pictures, Post #1, with (Dare I say it?) Commentary

Would you expect any less? I mean, come on. The self-control it took me not to say
anything on my anniversary post!

As a disclaimer, these pictures really aren't the highlights of my year. The older I get, the more I realize that photos just don't capture the essence of my memories. I remember snippets of laughter and conversation and feelings better than actual events. And the best of my memories have not been photographed at all. They were the ones when I was enjoying the moment rather than trying to capture them on film.

But I will flip back through my pictures and show some that mean a lot to me, or that represent a time and place and people that meant a lot, even if the actual picture isn't so hot.

January's Photos: The Making of a Man and a Closet
So he was 47, unshowered, wearing an old white undershirt and black sweat pants. Paul is most attractive to me when he is 1) fixing something that broke 2) cooking 3) playing guitar 4) praying or 5) making men out of our boys in either a spiritual or practical way.

In this case, he was helping make a bigger man out of our littlest man, Joel, who was almost 7. Together they were transforming Sarah's closet into something she thrives in: a place of organization and vivid color. I just loved watching Joel manhandle the power drill.
The strength. The concentration. The trying-not-to-smile expression of accomplishment when
he finished.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blizzard of '09: "Deep and Crisp and Even"

The best part
was when big
brother, Ben, says
to little brother,
Joel, "Get your
boots on, kid.
Let's go have
some fun!"

The worst part was
when the husband, Paul,
says to the wife, Zoanna,
"I cut my thumb on the
shovel. I think it needs
stitches." (I deleted that picture in the interest of those with weak stomachs.)

"And the snow lay 'round about, deep and crisp and

The snow started late Friday night,
December 19, 2009, and by Saturday night,
we had 14 inches on our lawn. Other parts of
Maryland got up to 24 inches. Malls had to
close. School closed. (Yay! Our break started
three days early!)
Twas a white Christmas after all.

Thank You, Lord, for sprinkling our patch of
earth with the prettiest powder from heaven.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes

Hi, there! Welcome to our home.
Six of us live here, six plus a dog, that is.
We couldn't find the sixth stocking we
bought last year, though. I'm mystified
as to what happened to it. If you've seen
it, please let me know. It beats getting
your loot in a Walmart bag.

Joel just set his latest Lego Star Wars
creation down for a minute so I could get a
picture of it. I love this stage where his little
hands are always busy building and creating.
I will miss the toys.

'Twas a white Christmas this year. Here's
Molly during our recent blizzard. Love
her soulful eyes and patient spirit.

Pardon me while I answer the door.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'd really rather not go ice
skating today. Or any day. I haven't skated since I was a teenager at the Dublin Dell. I'm old now, as old and rusty as this sled the skates are hanging on. But thanks for inviting me. How about if you
come on in for a cup of coffee instead? No one will get hurt that way. "

If you've sent us a card, it hangs here on the
back of the front door. Thank you for taking
time to send us your Christmas hello.

A photo of my parents, 1961.
I'm so grateful they are both
still in my life, happy and as close
as teeth and gums to each other.

More wedded bliss on display
in the dining room:
Paul's parents,
and us.

I moved the greenery right
after the photo shoot. One of those
branches had caught fire. Un petit
feu, but still! It only takes a spark...

My favorite nativity scene atop the kitchen
When I look at the tapestry from Russia, I remember fondly the year Sarah and I went there, and remember to pray for Sacha who is there now for a year, and for our Messianic friends in Birobidzhan.

A basket of silk poinsettias that came from
my sister Jill's wedding. She got married six
years ago, just after Thanksgiving because she
loved being in my Christmas wedding as my
flower girl.

The muff on the piano was what my older sister, Rachel (my maid of honor) carried in my wedding. Joel did this display. Not bad for a
7-year-old, eh?

I usually do a homespun look on my tree, with all the
old ornaments and colored lights, but this year I wanted to go with more of a glamorous one. Copper and gold and lots of baby's breath with white lights. It soothes me every time I look at it.

Candle cluster above the TV.

ettes of snow-
that Joel crafted.
Love second grade
art, don't you?

The Singing Redhead made by my
friends Diane and Sue many years
ago. Seeing this little wooden doll
reminds me of God's faithfulness
in healing Diane from cancer.

Is it sacrilegious to put a nativity
scene in a bathroom? If so, I'm
sorry, but since we visit this room
so often, it's a good place to be
meditating on the Lord, right?
The wooden creche was made
by my friend Barb's brother-in-law.
I put straw on a tray with
pinecones around it.

Can't have too many candles.

That's my motto.

Well, that's our little tour. Thanks for
stopping by our home, if only in pictures.
Do make plans to come by in person.
The driveway has been shoveled for you and
we have plenty of hot chocolate.

I hope you've had a blessed Christmas Day
and will have a peaceful new year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Urgent Care and Ugly Clothes

Paul had been shoveling snow this morning since about 10 a.m., Sarah since 10:30. Ben joined them at 11. At around 11:45, when they had about five more minutes of shoveling left, Paul slipped on a patch of ice, fell, and sliced his thumb open on the rusty old shovel's blade.

It was his left thumb, in the crease, and he wondered how deep it was. To the tendon? It was bleeding pretty badly when he came in saying he had to go to the hospital or Urgent Care or something for stitches. He was hoping aloud he hadn't severed a tendon. He was saying he hoped he could play guitar again, and he hadn't eaten anything all morning, and was getting nauseated.

All this followed an argument Sarah picked with me last night. She was asking me why I give the impression I'm Martha Stewart, and part of that (according to her) means I always have to leave the house looking nice, never in sweats, always with at least some make-up on and my hair fixed.
At the very least, I put on jeans. I just hate to see people in sweats in public except at the gym. It brings me down to look at people who don't seem to care that other people have to look at them, too.

But when Paul came in holding his thumb skin together with pressure, I only whipped a brush through my hair and tossed on a sweatshirt of his. Fighting Irish, grey, boxy, do-nothing-for-ya kind of shirt. And I had been doing laundry in purple sweatpants.

Out the door I headed with Paul, (after taking a picture of his gross thumb, that is!) as Sarah shut the door behind me complaining, "Oh, MOM! I can't believe you're going out in public like that!"

I called back, "Your dad's bleeding and no one looks good at the ER. Not even Martha Stewart."

True to my hunch, no one did (except the receptionists, nurses, and doctors who had planned to be there).

Anyway, Paul got five stitches, but even he razzed me while waiting for the doctor. "Seriously, I can't get over how you're dressed. I had to walk behind you."

I threatened to do surgery on him myself if he didn't apologize. He just smiled.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gratitude List

I'm thankful :

-for my van's heated leather seats and remote-controlled sliding doors
-that my son, Stephen, is at the Campus Initiative Conference in Knoxville. He's always shown...well, spiritual development.
-the promise of snow. Deep snow. As in a foot or more of snow.
-that I am told (as opposed to having it suggested) by God to cast all my cares upon Him, for He cares for me (I Pet. 5:8). What part of "all" don't I understand ?
- for the faculty and staff I work with
-that my husband is okay with my wearing his long-sleeved T-shirts since I have none of my own.
-for the girl and her sister who babysat Joel today and did some vacuuming for a tip
(it's always nice to a job taken off one's list)
-for a heat pump, even if ours is more pump than heat
-for a stack of blankets on my sleigh bed
-for the laugh I got at the grocery store. The guy loading my groceries into the van told me a customer asked him earlier if she could return some of her food if it doesn't snow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook 12.16.09

This was going to be a post featuring my photos for a Christmas Tour of Homes. But I am having technical difficulty (read: my son keeps disappearing) and can't tell if I deleted the folder I created last night with my cropped shots in it.

Once again, the idea for these "daybook" posts comes from The Simple Woman's Daybook. lieu of a photo post, here is my Daybook entry.

Outside my window...
are lovely Christmas lights on my neighbor Carol's house. We didn't do the exterior lights this year, and I'm okay with that. I okay.with.that.

I am thinking...
1) I gave more cash than tresses at the salon last night. Even I can hardly tell the difference.
2) How excited I am for my Stephen who will attend the Campus Initiative Conference in Knoxville starting tomorrow.
3) That I want to go visit the Burmese refugees in NJ soon.
4) I really should post my "I'm Really Not Martha Stewart" pictures of the messy house instead of my "cropped out the clutter for this Christmas Tour" post, just in case you're delusional.

I am thankful for...
my clutter-cropping camera.

From the kitchen...
nada new thing. Leftovers tonight, baby. Paul is at his office party tonight and spouses weren't invited. (Waa.) But he signed up for salad and cole slaw. He made the salad and I made California Cole Slaw which I found on Hope it's a hit. It tasted good to me and looked pretty.

I am wearing...
jeans and a lime green T with a plum top over it. Plum top alone is a bit decollete'.

I am creating...

I am going...
to wrap nice used toys for refugees tonight. All of the toys were donated from our school's children.

I am reading...
one page ahead of my students at this point.

I am hoping...
my husband plans a romantic trip for our anniversary, preferably to a place at least 3 hours away .

I am hearing...
snap, crackle, and pop. It's coming from my neck.

Around the house...
Christmas in its varying stages of readiness. Mostly unreadiness.

One of my favorite things...
is a pretty, new journal and pens. (Wait, that's more than one.) I got both today from my Secret Angel at School.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Just a few? Um...I have way more than a few. Don't you?

A picture thought I am sharing...

A family photo from, I think, 1971.

Daddy and Mama, Rachel on the left, Andrea in the middle, me on the right. Jill didn't come along till '79.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peek into Others' Nests this Christmas

Looking for inspiration or just love to be invited into others' homes, especially at Christmas? Then check out The Nester. Her philosophy is just dandy: "It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to Be Beautiful." A lot of bloggers have joined the Christmas Tour of Homes already, and I love it. Click away and enjoy the scenery.

I've decked my home but haven't uploaded the pics yet. I hope to get to it between picking up Joel from school and keeping a hair appointment. (I'm so nervous about the appointment because my friend Ruth, who usually cuts it in her kitchen, was working too much last week at the ER (woman of many talents) and can only cut it this week on her day off, which is my fullest day, so I said no. (Besides, she lives in the next county and when we get together, it's a girl fest with coffee and chit chat. ) Can't wait another week: I already look like a Papillon when I put my hair up in clips in the morning without brushing it. Anything to keep it out of my eyes. I've already done the Llasa ApZo look. I'm thinking of submitting a head shot to the American Kennel Club and see if they can ID me. Maybe a subcutaneous chip in my thigh would bring me home in case the GPS fails?

Anyway, this post was about the Christmas Tour of Homes, but I can hardly see the screen for the mane. Time to turn my hairdon't into a hairdo.

If you've decked your halls, or house, or whatever, please let us know. I'm a nosy neighbor.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fankful Friday Poem

I'm thankful that Satan,
Though he roars like a lion,
is no match for Jesus,
the King of Mount Zion.

For Sarah's who diligence
made the house neat and clean,
and inspired me to decorate
with red, white, and green.

For candles that smell
like apples and spice,
for baby's breath accents
I've used more than twice.

For Cheryl's new home,
Though moving into it was hard,
has Narnia-type spaces
and a terrific back yard.

For Molly, our dog who,
despite soft, fatty masses,
seems perfectly healthy
except when she gasses.

For scratching our itches
With nails on our fingers,
for massages of muscles,
relaxation that lingers.

For a change of heart
with regard to Hanukkah,
I say, "Light the menorrah
and play dreidel till dawnica!"

For God's protection on Paul
when his car engine went haywire
and now won't exceed forty
though 70's his desire.

For God's giving me stamina
To fold piles and piles
of clean and dry laundry
(I hope it brings smiles.)

And finally I'm grateful
For a nice warm bed
in which to nap now,
to rest limbs and my head.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Okay, So I'm Living Like It's Tomorrow

What a ditz! I wrote my Thankful Thursday today and didn't catch my mistake till just now (11:20 pm). All morning I was thinking today was Thursday, so imagine how stupid I felt when I checked my blog tonight and wondered, "Now why does it say Wednesday, December 9, when the post says Thankful Thursday?"


I've been too in touch with my inner blonde.

Thankful Thursday

Not sure if my inconsistent nature will prove me successful at keeping up with this excellent discipline, but I would like to post today a "Thankful Thursday" list. The
thing I am resolved to do in 2010 is to be more thankful. I normally find myself complaining too much-- inwardly, outwardly, upwardly. Expressing gratitude is a sure antidote for grumbling. Let me try this in couplets today.

Though the weather outside is frightful,
There's no weather inside--delightful!

For pastors who preach with boldness and love
For fellow believers, both here and Above.

For a friend named Bonnie who is using her gifts
Of mercy and admin to give Burmese some lifts.

For jobs all around for my immediate kin
I'm thankful for money that comes steadily in.

For acoustic guitars on which Paul strums
For snare drums on which Steve puh-rumpa-pum-pums.

For snuggling with a soft-skinned little boy,
For the giggles he giggles to let out his joy.

For hazelnut creamer in my favorite ceramic mug,
And paintings by art students of The Grouchy Ladybug.

For bloggers who invite me virtually into their homes
For others who post quotes from uplifting tomes.

For laughter and tears (but more of the former),
For gloves, hats, and heating blankets to make me warmer.

For protecting my pastor's wife during her heart attack,
What relief to know that we get Daryl back!

For forgiveness asked and forgiveness granted,
For adjustments by others when my views are ill-slanted.

For a home that is safe and secure fore and aft,
For Ben's jokes about cycling and recycling, how I laughed!

For plenty to be thankful for, in verse or in prose,
I submit that it's difficult to know when to close.

But that's not a complaint, it's a good problem to have!
A plethora of blessings about which to rave.

No matter how many things I can list
The Lord nods and smiles, "You get the gist!

That you can't outgive Me, I'm Infinite, right?
But I'm blessed when you thank Me by day and by night."



Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ten Grace Notes

In the past two weekends, I've had four major events that required a lot of energy, organization, and emotion.

Noting the grace I experienced in the midst of the busyness:

1. My younger sister, Andrea, flew in from Arizona to share a belated Thanksgiving and my dad's 75th birthday party.
2. All the arrangements and details went beautifully for those events, including the slide show and trophy cake, both of which he raved about.
3. In spite of my assumptions that left me scrambling for Plan B for my Ladies' Breakfast tablescape, God gave me inspiration.
4. Sarah set my table for me while I taught Friday so that I could be free to spend the brief remaining time with my sister.
5. Andrea wanted to spend one evening out to dinner with just me--and treated me to lobster ravioli. Good ole-fashioned sister talk? Nothin' like it.
6. Stephen didn't let the snow and numbing cold keep him from serving at church by putting 30 tables in the storage shed.
7. The play, written by Emily C, moved my heart yet again, to thank God for choosing me to be His child.
8. Ben and Stephen put their arms around my shoulders to pray for an unbelieving loved one today. That meant a lot.
9. Even though my pastor's wife had a mild heart attack this morning, God spared her life and comforted Jim with reminders of His faithfulness. He also gave Jim the strength to preach this morning, at Daryl's insistence that he go to church and preach his prepared sermon on God's sovereignty.
10. Watching my daughter plan, set up, host, and take down (with lots of help) her first-ever churchwide baby shower. Her care group leader's wife, Leanne, is expecting in January. This also is the week of finals, and so Sarah hasn't gotten much sleep, yet remains joyful and is so excited to welcome this baby--and to babysit him someday if allowed.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Roses, Yes. Rose of Sharon? No.

Every year for about 10 years, I have delighted to decorate a table for our church's annual Ladies' Christmas Breakfast. This event is our largest one of the year, and is always filled to capacity, with over half the ladies coming as guests. Some are churched, some are not, some are believers, some are not.

There are about 30 tables and each one is uniquely decorated as a woman sets her own (or borrowed) dishes, napkins, coffee cups, centerpiece, and (if she wants) gifties up the day before. It's a huge undertaking administratively, and I'm glad that's in the capable hands of other people who've been given that gift. Any time a function has more than 12 people to it, I'm overwhelmed. So I enjoy being 1/30th of the table decorating team.

Normally I get inspired for the next year's table right after the current breakfast has ended. If so, I go on a hunt for low-cost elements to pull it together. By June or July, my table is pretty well "set" in my mind.

This year has been altogether different. I wanted roses. That's all I knew. Roses are in my china pattern, but I wasn't sure they were exactly Christ-centered.

Instead, I reasoned, maybe do a nativity scene. Can't beat that for a simple, all-about-Christ table theme. But mine only nativity scene has a stall, which means a few guests would have to sit and stare at the back of a barn for two hours. Not appealing to most women. Without the barn, Mary, Joseph, the livestock, and the Baby Jesus looked completely dwarfed on a six-foot round table. "Lonely and Haphazard" was not the theme I was going for, either.

Back to roses, I was determined. I thought of Rose of Sharon. Isn't that a name of Jesus? I wondered, assuming I knew the answer. I intended to look up the significance a couple weeks ago. But did I? No. Life got busy with Thanksgiving and Daddy's party. So last night I decided to get serious. Found out it's not a reference to Jesus at all. "Rose of Sharon" is the name the Shulamite woman in the Song of Solomon goes by. Sharon is a fertile valley in Palestine.

Okay, so the research was...what shall we say...spicy? But hardly an index-card explanation I wanted to display at church. (Although, if conversation were to lag, it'd be quite a rebounder topic.)

So I prayed, "Lord, please inspire this table. Please be the Center of my table, no matter what. I want to use what I have to save money and so that, if I break something, no one but me will be upset about it." (I'm a klutz.)

The inspiration to be revealed in a future post, complete with pictures . (Maybe by May, knowing my track record.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Few Pictures from the Past

Stephen, ten months old, in Pappaw's arms at Andrea's wedding,

My happy parents at the beach.
Not sure when this was taken, nor where.

My parents' 25th wedding anniversary, 1986.
Paul and I (far right) were engaged. Back then,
it was hard to fathom being married 25 years,
but we're coming up on 23 this year. Wow.

Daddy shoveling after a blizzard at our
old homestead. He had the strength
of a 30-year-old--and borrowed a
30-year-old son-in-law (Paul) to help.
Not that he asked; I'm sure Paul
volunteered. We owned that Dodge
truck in the picture.

Seated: my grandparents, Chet
and Kathryn. This was the grandma
who played baby dolls with me and sang
"His Eye is on the Sparrow" while
sitting beside me as I played it on piano.
(What patience she had!) Back row:
Mama, me, baby Sarah, Andrea,
Rachel, little Jill, Daddy. 1989.

Our beloved horse, Brandy, with
Ben and Sarah on her back, and Pappaw
close beside. Probably 1992.

My parents kissing at Gettysburg.
Her caption on the back of the
photo: This is a battlefield?

Is any job beneath Daddy?
Just floor-scrubbing:).

A personal favorite.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trophy Cake

Anybody suggest how I can make a cake shaped like a trophy? I want it to be vertical, preferably.
The flavor is German chocolate (Daddy's favorite). Gold, silver, black are the party colors. Elegant feel. I am actually delegating the job to my Sarah, the better baker.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Take More Pictures of the Older People

If I've learned one painful thing by going through all these old photos, it's that I've not taken enough pictures of my dad and mom.

-many holidays but not enough everyday ones,
-plenty with background, but not enough close-ups
-too many posed shots, not enough candids

If I could encourage people to make one change to their holiday pictures, it would be to increase the number of pictures of their parents and adult siblings. They may not be as "cute" or entertaining as the teeny crawlers or jumping monkeys, but chances are your hard drives already have a 100:1 ratio of kids to adults if you're a parent.I regret that's the case here.

My resolution for the new year? "Shoot the elderly," and I mean that in the kindest way possible: with a camera.

Need German chocolate cake recipe

So far I've gotten a link to a German chocolate cake recipe through a Facebook friend.

My dad and sister both requested GC cake and I would prefer the taste of homemade over storebought, but I need cake toppers to fit the theme of trophy/prizes (elegant, not cutesy ).

Where do I go for those?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grandma's Laugh Lines

I've been poring over lots and lots of old family photos lately, in preparation for creating a slide show for Daddy's 75th party this coming Sunday.

How good for the soul to flip through old pictures. But it does make me feel a bit weepy looking at some of the people who have passed away before I knew them well.

My Grandma Dauber was one such person. When I was born, my mother got a bad case of phlebitis in her leg. We were living in Baltimore, but Grandma came all the way from Kansas to take care of me for six weeks. Of course I don't remember it, but I am positive that my bond with her formed in those earliest days of my life.

I didn't get to know her until we moved to Kansas when I was in third grade. We lived in Alden, she and Grandpa in Sterling about seven miles away. And though we only lived there two years, my memory bank is full of deposits made by my sweet Christian grandmother. Her sense of humor was infectious. My favorite line of hers: "I love the old hymns. So much of the Bible is based on them. "'

What I remember best were all the times she and I played dolls together in their "fifth wheeler"--a parked metal trailer out back of their little house. Grandma was compassionate and nurturing. She would make sure we wrapped our babies well in blankets, gave them plenty of milk in their bottles (those forever-full toy bottles, remember?) ,and take their temperatures like they were in a hospital or something. I think Grandma always wanted to be a nurse because the babies were always sick, getting sick, or recovering from sickness. She was a worrier in real life and at play, but when she'd say, "Now, Zoanna, let's check your baby's temperature one more time. She still feels warm to me, " I really believed the plastic skin of Baby Wets-a-Lot
did indeed feel fevril . Grandma kept chewable baby aspirin in the trailer for our babies, and once in a while she'd let me take one myself to show Baby it wasn't so bad. (Never did it dawn on me that my babies had no teeth to actually chew their pills with. But, at any rate, I developed a taste for pink chewable baby aspirin early in my childhood. Expensive candy.)

Grandma's hypochondriac and subsequent caregiving tendencies came back to mind as I read a funny one-liner from Barbara Johnson's Humor Me! this morning.

"I've come to realize that most of the things I worry about never
happen--which just proves that worry does work!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Overstimulus Package

I startled awake at 5 a.m today, with the next two weeks of events on my mind. Since going back to sleep was impossible (but fine, since I turned in at 9:45), I got up and wrote out everything I could think of that I have to do between today and December 6th.

The Events:
Tuesday: Parent/Teacher Conferences

Thursday , Thanksgiving Day--just my little Six Pack here because they like having something on the day, namely turkey (extended local fam are vegetarians)

Friday--pick up Andrea from airport, have her spend night

Sunday the 29th : T'giv w/ Daubers at 1:00, Daddy's party at 5 (Jill's house)

Dec. 5th--Ladies' Christmas Breakfast -- I agreed to decorate a table and make a sausage casserole. Sadly, none of the guests I invited can come this year.

Dec. 6th-- baby shower for Leanne for which I am helping Sarah prepare

For Andrea's arrival, Sarah wants to repaint the bathroom. I predict the Mouse/Cookie syndrome will play out. She'll start by painting, and Paul will add to it by replacing the vanity, sink, and medicine chest, and I'll come along and accessorize and take pictures. (I am NOT supervising a home improvement project in the next 2 weeks!)

For Daddy's party, I've decided to do a slide show of pictures thru the years, getting my sisters and mom to contribute photos. I spent yesterday (while talking with Amy) finding clear surfaces and trashing junk from the office. This morning I started in a shoebox called "Before 1999" finding pictures of my dad. So nice to have clean space to work with and almost all my photos organized, thanks to the oomph I had last summer. I'm also making him a German chocoloate cake, his favorite, or order a chocolate one with white icing one if Jill really wants the top to "say" something rather than have stick-in toppers.

For Thanksgiving here and at Jill's, I am making lots of food. Rolls for the Dauber clan, mostly. They love my homemade dinner rolls.

For the LCB, I have decided on a theme.

For Leann's showers, I'm taking orders from my girl. What goes around, comes around, right?

I have renamed my to-do list "The Overstimulus Package."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Special Phone Call

We'd been talking about it on and off in a few emails.

We mutually confessed our reticence to initiate phone calls, yet admitted we'll talk the other's ear off once we get started.

We accepted one another's excuses with perfect understanding and agreed that "when it happens, it'll happen."

And today, my friends, it happened.

She called.

A fellow blogger phoned me a few minutes before 11:oo this morning after getting my hopes up in an email. We talked for an hour and a half.

The most pleasant thing about this call was how naturally it flowed. Through blogging as Christian sisters, we kind of knew each other and didn't have to "start from scratch" with awkward small talk. What a blessing, because I love getting into deep conversations quickly.

So thanks, Amy for making the first move. Talking with you today was the highlight of my day. I'll be returning the favor soon.

PS I keep trying to link your name, but Blogger isn't cooperating.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Damsel in Distress on her Dude's Day Off

Last night after dark, Sarah started to drive the van to care group, but turned around three houses up when she realized the tire was flat. Flat-flat, not just going flat. It was news to us; we had just driven it to the city for lunch after church on Sunday, without incident.

So Paul asked me to call GEICO first thing this morning for emergency roadside service which is covered under our policy. (He'd taken yesterday and today off to do some projects, but the flat was something he could delegate to pros.) I called right away. The driver came later than they promised, but not by much. However, there was a check in my spirit I wished I'd acted on. Paul was here, so I dismissed my skepticism, given that he didn't feel the need to babysit Joe Tow to make sure he did his work properly. The van was parked slightly out of view, so neither of us had occasion to observe the job as it progressed. I let go of anxiety, the guy changed the spare, and that was that.

Or so I thought.

The ride to school wasn't overly disconcerting, but I didn't feel the tire should be so wobbly. It wasn't a donut; it was a full-size spare. Called Paul at a long red light. He wasn't too concerned based on my description ,so I drove on to work.

However, on the ride home, I had Joel with me, and the tire was making a lot of noise, the kind that reminded me of...oh...a wheel about to come off an axle. I put on my hazards, slowed to 30 mph, and pulled over as soon as I could. The tire didn't feel as tight as I would've liked, but I chalked it up to Zo-Don't-Know-Jack-or-how-to-use-one-Anyway. Ignorant of auto mechanics and maintenance, to my shame. I got back in, kept the hazards on, and steadied the wheel in both hands at 30 mph.

Five minutes later I was on a busier road. The noise was growing louder, if not in reality then certainly in my imagination. I pictured the tire rolling into oncoming traffic and causing a horrible accident. So I crept on, praying for wisdom and protection. Once again, I pulled over, let speeding traffic pass, and then jiggled the driver's front passenger tire. I tugged on the lug nuts. They budged a little. Oh, great! They should not do that! I tightened them as hard as I could, which was a fraction of an inch. Then I decided to take a road of slower speed, albeit one with no shoulder.

Up one hill, down another, and it started to feel really shaky--and so did I. Finally I pulled over into a parking lot five minutes from home and called Paul. Once again I thanked God for the perfect timing. Paul came right away, despite wanting to be on the other end of town for a doctor's appointment. (He had 40 minutes to spare--get it--spare?--but he's the type who likes to be early.) We switched vehicles and I watched him muscle the lug nuts with a wrench from his own trunk. He got probably four or five 30-degree turns when he tried.

I love watching him do manly things like that. I don't know what it is, I guess the feeling of being protected and cared for by someone with heart, brains, and biceps. The feeling never gets old. But I digress. (Or maybe I don't. Maybe this is the soul of my post--the feelings that come and remind me of what a wonderful man I married, the guy who, on his days off, takes his son to school, rakes a half acre of leaves, has blood drawn, folds laundry, paints bathroom trim, and rescues his damsel in distress.)

He muttered something that suggested incompetence on the tow guy's part, and tossed the wrench back into the trunk. He then drove the silver horse home, in case it bucked, while letting me and the papoose take the trusty black stallion. I felt protected once again by my knight in blue jeans.

At home I called the tow company to complain about the job they'd done. They apologized. I then called GEICO with the report and they sent out my favorite company to tighten the lug nuts the right way. I'm a big fan of this company; they've bailed us out before and I wished I'd requested them in the first place, rather than settle for the other one.

But then again, had this reliable company come first, I wouldn't have experienced any of the drama of a late-afternoon van ride, nor the ensuing heart-pounding thrill of seeing my prince do what he does best most often--prove his love with wrenches and rakes instead of with roses and romance.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook 11.14.09

My Simple Woman's Daybook entry, AKA my Saturday evening post.

Outside my window...

it's dark. Why do I always post these "day"books at night? Today was grey and cool, but the early evening was refreshingly warmer.

I am thinking...
about way too much right now: how we'll do Thanksgiving; my sister coming in the day after; my dad's party the 29th; family dynamics; wanting a new family room and kitchen.

I am thankful for...
the smell of leaves.

From the kitchen...
came what I call comfort food--Chicken Roll-ups that Sarah made from scratch, with a side of fresh asparagus I popped in the microwave to "help" her. Right.

I am wearing...
a blue Tommy Hilfiger knit top, brown capris, peek-a-boo socks, and tennis shoes. I can't believe I went out in public like this. But I rationalized it by saying I was going to the Thrift Store and didn't want to be overdressed for the occasion. Too bad I decided to swing by TJ Maxx afterward. Oprah would call it a schlumpadinka outfit. The only thing that would be worse is if I were wearing a denim A-line skirt with my hair pulled back in a ponytail.

I am creating...
zip, zero, zilch. I thought about creating a scrapbook for my dad, but my sister advised against it. She convinced me that I'd spend 40 hours making it and he'd spend one hour looking at it. He'd love it for that hour, but we are not sure it wouldn't sit on a shelf for the rest of his life.

I am going...
mattress shopping tomorrow. Paul wants me to do the legwork and let him know when I've narrowed the choice to three. He can sleep on rocks as long as I don't hog all the covers.

I am reading...
Anne's House of Dreams.

I am hoping...
to find inspiration for my Ladies' Christmas Breakfast table. This is the first year I haven't known well in advance the theme I want to use. Any suggestions?

I am hearing...
strains from the movie "Up" coming up from the basement TV.

Around the house...
is evidence of a busy cleaning day, led by my dear husband. How did I get such an organized, industrious man to share a home with? It's almost embarrassing how much more he can accomplish than I can in the same amount of time.

One of my favorite things...
is Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. I get my stash of it at TJ Maxx in the housewares and food aisle. Of course I wanted to buy way more than coffee while I was at it, but opted for using a lot of self-control instead.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
The rest of the week has an hour and 34 minutes left in it. I have no plans except to sip some tea to try to relieve a stomach ache.

A picture thought I am sharing...
Joel did a series of marker drawings a while back. I'm amazed how much he knows about football players and their uniform colors. He's kind of a mini-Ben when it comes to being an NFL guy. My favorite picture is Troy Polamalu in the lower right corner there). Notice all the various action poses all these players are in. His art delights me. So does his humor. At Walmart yesterday, after being told by the customer service lady that they weren't taking returns on Halloween costumes (not even brand new, never-opened one like I had) Joel looks up at me and says, "Mom, you should just have another baby and wait for him to grow into it." He also told me, in the same day, quite matter-of-factly that he has changed his mind about what he wants to be when he grows up. "I did want to be a newscaster, but now I want to be an underwear model."

Friday, November 13, 2009

'57 Studebaker

My dad's 75 birthday is coming in two weeks and I don't know what to give him.

I have been debating whether to make him a scrapbook, or whether he might not appreciate it the way some of us saps would. He's sappy, but I don't know if he'd look at it much after all was said and done.

Would I regret not making one? Hmm.

Would he prefer an antique car instead? Yes! Maybe I'll just pluck a '57 Studebaker off eBay and stick a big ole' red bow on it. Why a '57 Studebaker? Because it's an old joke between us. When I was a little girl riding in the car with him, he would always point out an old car and tell me what year and make it was. But the only answer I remember to the question, Daddy, what's that car?" is, "Oh, that? That's a '57 Studebaker. "
I am sure he knew what almost every car was, so why is it stuck in my head that that was his pat answer to every old car inquiry of mine?

The joke revived itself when my own children were little. Ben would spot an antique car and say, "Hey, Mommy, look! What's that?" and I would say "a '57 Studebaker." He'd be impressed with me, which I had every intention of milking for all it was worth.
After a while, though, Ben wised up and said, "Nuh-uh. It doesn't look at all like the last one you said was a '57 Studebaker. " (Rats! Why do kids have to be so observant?) As I recall, it was about the same time he started asking where babies came from.

The theme of Daddy's party will be old cars.

Any suggestions on a gift? Scrapbook or no?

Or should I just scour eBay for a toy '57 Studebaker and present him with that instead? I wish I had the cash on hand for the real thing. He would so appreciate that and he would take it out and look at it long after the party was over. And who knows, it might do a 360 as a gift someday when Daddy's too old to drive but still wants to go for a ride with his little girl . That little girl will hug him and say, "Okay, Daddy. Wait right here while I get the keys."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


When you haven't quite done a 180 when it's the right thing to do, thank God for the 140 degrees He has moved your heart.

That's where I stand. On the 140 mark.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Somebody, stop the madness!

I'll admit, I'm scared, angry, and feeling overwhelmed. I just read that the Democrat-controlled House tonight passed the health care reform bill.

I am trying to take comfort in the truth in God is in control. He is the one who puts authorities in place, and that includes the formidable President of the United States.

All I can say is, "Lord, have mercy."


Tell me if this happens to you.

You get violently ill at 1:30 a.m. After that you sleep for only six hours, and you wake up feeling like cleaning. Not the bathroom, but the living room, as if the proverbial mother-in-law has just announced she'll be here in two days. But you don't have a mother-in-law, you just have a lot of clutter to deal with. You have 38 library books due on various days, can't see through the windows clearly, and have the urge to rearrange your pretty things and get rid of all the things that don't bring you up.

You are easily distracted, but not as bad as you were 10 years ago, so you realize you've grown. In a good way. For a change. The Windex does wonders for the windows. Guess that's its purpose. The sky is a vivid blue. Azure. "Azure cleaning the windows," you wonder if there's a scientific reason the sky is bluer, or if it's just that the golden trees against it makes such a brilliant contrast. At any rate, you find you love the word blue as much as the color.

And yet, the blue feelings, though slightly less vivid than they were yesterday, are still with you.

It happens every year at this time. I find myself realizing I have so many blessings, yet I feel blue, and I don't want to celebrate anything. As cathartic as it is to give thanks, it doesn't mean you don't still feel a little sick.

Friday, November 06, 2009

So instead of crying

I laughed really hard this morning.

I went in to wake Joel up for school, but thought to have a little fun with it rather than the same old/same mold way. Figured I'd make him think I had fallen asleep beside him and would start pretending to talk in my sleep.

Using a half-groggy, half-squeaky voice, I mumbled, "Elijah is smoking cigarettes and riding horses!"

Joel turned his head. "What are you talking about, Mom?"

I paused, eyes still closed, trying not to crack a smile while making up some other bizarre statement. He flipped his head back to the other side.

"What color is the pizza?" I asked.

He flipped back to me and said, "You are so weird, Mom!" This time I let out a full-out belly laugh.

Sarah came into the room and asked what was so funny.

Joel said, "Elijah is smoking horses!"

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Holding them Back

The tears, that is.
I need a really good, long cry, and an equally good long talk with someone who cares. I feel like I'm losing eveything that's important to me.

And I hate the holidays.

This is my post for today.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My First Blog Post Ever, Revisited

After reading Amy's post on her penchant for pens, I was curious to reread my first-ever blog post by the same name, which I wrote back on January 29, 2005. Wow. Coming up on five years?

I didn't intend for my blog to be named "A Penchant for Pens," but rather it was the title I chose for the first post. In my ignorance, as I told Amy, I didn't know the difference. I thought a blog was just a journal entry, and before I knew it, Blogger told me my blog's name was "A Penchant for Pens," which was better than anything else I could think of at the time. It still suits me fine. As Amy said, it was a "happy accident." I still do have a penchant for pens and suppose I always will.

You can read about it below. Unfortunately the link isn't working, so you'll have to cut and paste it into your browser if you want to pull it up. I remember spending a inordinate amount of time writing and revising it; nonetheless, my red pen didn't catch every little mistake, which always bothers me as much as having a hair in my mouth, but not as much as finding one in my food.

Anyway, this was my maiden voyage on the USS Blogger:

Junior Moment

You're familiar with "senior moments," those times when you forget something so simple, so commonplace, that you fear you've temporarily embodied the brain of a person much, much older than yourself.

Well, yesterday, just the opposite happened in my fifth/sixth grade art class. This is the same class that I'm studying ancient Egypt with. (And yes, I realize I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Fire me.)

We were making Egyptian wigs as our art project. Thanks to Kelly, we had four skeins of black yarn to make generously coiffed hairpieces. (No, we didn't use anywhere near even one skein's worth.)

I went around to each student measuring the circumference of his or her head. Then I asked, "Do you want to make the wig for a man, woman, or child?" Every girl answered, "Woman," and every boy answered, "Man."

One boy said, "Yeh, 'cuz mans are cool!"

I smiled at him and asked, "Mans?"

"Yes! Mans are cool, don't you think?"

"Do you mean 'men'?"

He still looked at me funny. Then that "lightbulb" effect happened.

"Men! I mean 'men'! What in the world made me say 'mans'? Good thing you're my grammar teacher."

I chuckled and thought, "Junior moment."

Monday, November 02, 2009

Memoir Prompts

I love reading memoirs. It doesn't matter one whit if the author has ever been famous. In fact, I much prefer reading snippets from the lives of people I know personally. My dad, for example, filled out a book for me that I gave him for Father's Day one year. It's a blank journal except for a pre-printed question on each page to help the writer recall a specific memory. This book is called A Father's Legacy, and is an absolute treasure to me.

Reading that my dad's favorite author is Albert Einstein came as a complete surprise, more because I don't think of Einstein as a writer, but as a wild-and-white-crazy-haired scientist and inventor. But it should not have been a surprise: my dad is an excellent writer, scientist, and inventor. No white and wild hair, mind you, but intellectually (in my childlike bias, at least) my daddy is on par with good ol' Al. In the last couple of years of my dad's career with the Army Corps of Engineers, he invented a new-and-improved chemical filter for mustard gas. Along with it, he wrote a manual, complete with diagrams and explanations that even the layperson could probably understand, because he's had a major beef about writing with such "-ese" (government-ese) that the average Joe --GI Joe--is left scratching his head rather than using it.

So here's my prompt for anyone who wants to use it: Choose a male in your life (doesn't have to be dad) and ask him who his favorite author is and why. Write a post about it. I know I'll learn something from it. Maybe you will, too.

If you do this, please leave a comment here so we can follow you. Thanks.

(The candid above is my dad playing MasterMind in my parents' loft on Christmas Day last year. I'm sure Joel will always keep a fond spot in his memory bank, recounting many times of playing games and drawing cars with Pappaw. My dad's love of children, his seemingly endless patience, and his affinity for art make him a favorite companion to my little guy--and to me.)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Mini Grammar Quiz on Repeating Adjectives

Which is correct in each pair of sentences?

1. She gave birth to a boy and girl.
2. She gave birth to a boy and a girl.

1. Please feed the chickens and the cows.
2. Please feed the chickens and cows.

1. I would like some ice cream and some sauerkraut.
2. I would like some ice cream and sauerkraut.

Anyone curious for the answers? I'll post soon, with explanation. (By the way, I just discovered the reason myself a couple of weeks ago.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Note of Grace, part 1

God met me today in the pit. I had sunk to a new low in my feelings, discouraged and nearly at the brink of giving up the weight loss. I had convinced myself that I am doomed to be fat the rest of my natural life, and that God gave me talents somewhere other than as a longterm "loser" and that, in the whole scheme of things, the size I am is better than it was six months ago, so just be thankful for that...and just maintain status quo, if God wanted you to be slim, He'd make this a lot easier, blah, blah, blah .

Well, at first I thought I was the only one talking to myself. But then, I thought, "No! This doesn't sound like what I've been saying to myself since April. This is defeating and I've got to hang on to truth. I CAN lose weight. By God's grace, I can!"

I knew those other words were lies from the enemy, the way he counterfeits truth by throwing in just enough Christianese to keep us Christians from immediately recognizing what's happening. I'm talking about lies such as "just be thankful" (as if thankfulness and perseverence are mutually exclusive) and thoughts such as "if it's too hard, it can't be of God. God's all about gentleness and ease." Wait, since when is gentleness synonymous with ease? Oh, Satan's subleties.

I remembered the note I had put in a student's mailbox yesterday. "I see that you are persevering with God's help. Thank you." And then it was as if God was putting a note of grace into my thoughts, my mental mailbox. "Perseverence is not just for them," He wrote.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I feel like I'm going to wake up and realize it was all a dream.
One very, very, very good dream.
My life, from childhood to present, was all a dream,
and the bad parts were redeemed, and the good parts live on
in my children.

I will wake up and realize how good it was to be silly
with my children,
to listen to my husband tell me about work, even though I scarcely understand his professional jargon,
how much I loved the rhythm of our days and evenings,
and how I adored the warmth and softness of one loving dog
beneath my feet at the computer in winter,
and how I loved God more each time I realized His love for me
in the kitchen, though it seemed thankless and mundane too often...
in the car...when He protected me from things I never even saw coming...
in church...when I took the preaching and the people for granted...
in the bathroom...when I realized the difference between health and illness...
in the ER...when I begged God to bring my baby's fever down and give me peace when the doctors had no diagnosis...or when I wondered if this child might lose his eyesight or walk with a permanent limp...
in the basement...when I folded laundry and thanked God for my mom's example of being grateful to have people alive to dirty the clothes she just folded...
in bed...cuddling with a husband whose grey hair is soft and silky, just the way I like hair to feel...or snuggling with a toddler who tells me I am "Comfy Princess" and he wishes he could marry me...

and in a thousand little grace notes of light, I live this life
as if in a dream
and wonder if it's too good
to be true.

But then, the dog poops on the rug, the alarm clock rings, the raw chicken spills all over the inside of the fridge, and I realize it's not a one-hundred-percent perfect dream, but I'd rather redream it with a chance of poop and salmonella than to wake up.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Feeling the Squeeze of Sickness: Addendum

Addendum since yesterday: And how could I forget? My own son, Ben, has had a nasty cough, with aches and general malaise for a week. Stayed home from school twice, which he almost never does.

Like almost everyone, I suppose, sickness and disease are all around and up close.

Please pray for my Uncle Norman. He turns 79 this week and is recovering from quadruple bypass
surgery. My dad will fly out Wednesday, thanks to my sister's generous free ticket, and be with his adored brother for nine days.

My BIL, Trip, has contracted Valley Fever and has pneumonia in one lung. He is covered in a rash.
Can't get out of bed.

My co-worker in the hospital with stomach virus.

Another man is fighting for his life with lung infection, medically incurable

Our God is able and I am desperate. Great combination to recognize.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Marry a Good Speller: It Just Might Save Your Life

I found this hilarious 911 call posted on my friend Kathy's blog, which she got from Girl Talk.

The post gave me reason to be thankful that I married a good speller. Just in case the day ever comes when I'm seriously attacked by a warthog and am not A-OK, I'm glad my street it as easy to spell as "O-a-k."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

History Class on the Playground

If I get permission from parents to post their kids' pictures on my blog, I will. I took my camera to school today for photos of them learning about ancient Egypt. I had them take their sketchbooks to the playground and each one had to draw a certain Egyptian god, goddess, or pharaoh. We talked at length about what a great vizier Joseph was, and all the jobs he'd been given as second in command. "He was a busier vizier than most, "I remarked, which solicited groans from a few, and landed the rest an easy A. (Just kidding.)

We talked about King Tut. Did you know that he himself did nothing great during his short reign? I did not know that till this week, as he has never really interested me before. Come to find out, he became king at age 10 and died at age 19, poor thing. What he's remembered for came centuries later in 1922 when archaeologists found his tomb. His grave had been robbed, but his mummy was still there. (Didn't find his daddy.) From the things that remained in his tomb, we know a lot about how pharaohs lived and died. I commented that 1922 was a revelatory year for archaeologists, as the students should recall from our previous chapter. It was the same year that the city of Ur, from whence came Abraham, was unearthed by Sir Leonard Woolley. (Ur was un-ur'thed, not Abraham; did I make that clear?) Ur was in modern-day Iraq.

Tell me now, since a corny riddle has been swirling 'round my head, if it is original or if you've heard it?

Q: What did the ancient Egyptians have in common?
A. They had Tuthenkamen.

If I Were the Teacher for a Day

Last week I gave my fifth and sixth graders a choice of three writing prompts. They had 15 minutes for this creative assignment. One of the topics was "If I Were the Teacher for a Day." Thought you'd enjoy what one boy wrote. Here's the rough draft.

If I were the teacher for a day the students would have 30 seconds of work. Then we would have recess all day. The students would be able to play tackle football. When they get dismissed I would take them all to Mcdonald's to eat. I would have no rules and nobody would go to the principals office. If anybody hurts somebody, I would make them sit out of recess for 10 seconds.

I made minor corrections on his paper, and wrote, "Where is the wisdom in your fantasy? :) "

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Crab cakes, buttered egg noodles, peas, and artichokes tasted great going down last night.

Unfortunately, they did not have the same appeal coming back up. At "three a.m. in the morning," (as the overkillers around here say), I thought food poisoning demons had
attacked me. Thought it'd all be over and done with in one swell foop, but they came again at 3:30. They laid a warm heat over my head, too, and a chill pack on my legs.

So I think I have a stomach bug.

Thanks to my co-worker, Cheryl, who subbed for me, I have enjoyed blankie time on this 70 degree day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Honor everyone."

Camped out in First Peter, I read this short verse two days ago and have been pondering it since my initial journal entry of thoughts.

It's 1 Peter 2:17 that says, simply, "Honor everyone." (ESV) It's in the context of honoring others (vs. 16-18).

I have my thoughts, and haven't sought a commentary or a pastor's further insight into this verse. I like to meditate on scripture a lot first, and ask the Holy Spirit, and then go to humans.

On this verse I'm at the "ask humans" stage of questioning. Honoring those who live wisely and wholesomely is pretty easy. However--and everyone can think of at least someone to whom this next question applies--

how do you honor someone who, over and over, lives foolishly and dishonorably?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Opinions, please

Still in the dreaming phase
of a family room makeover,
I'm scouring the internet
for inspiration. I like the fireplace, huge clock and all.
(I'm a clock afficionado. Doesn't guarantee I'm punctual; it's merely something I've always liked. Tick tock.)

On the hunt for a fireplace
to be built in our family room, I know I want stones in this color palette. What do you all think of these fireplaces overall?

I am really wanting to do something similar with the built-ins (but stained wood, not white). I'm digging that leather wing chair, too.