Saturday, October 21, 2006
Oh yeah, we are Brownie Scouts and Bear Scouts this year, too! Yay! They still get to hang out with their friends with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Monday, August 14, 2006
The kids are doing well and warming up and remembering all of the fun things they learned last year. So far I give them both an "S". I am sure that within a week or so we will be moving up to an "E" while we finish our review and move on to the new stuff.
I think I might learn a few things along the way...
Saturday, August 12, 2006
To: Commander and Chief Spiritual Armed Forces, Jesus Christ
I am writing this to you to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith presnt my reasons:
I began my career as a private, because of the intensity of the battle you have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and given me a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems.
You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only skills of a private. I realize that you have promised to supply all I would need for the battle. But sir, I must present You a realistic picture of my equipment. My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and blood of those I have tried to assist. The soles of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist and encourage the troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished and chipped from constant battle against the enemy.
Even the book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared. You have promised you would be with me throughout, but when the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear you.
I feel so alone. I’m tired. I’m discouraged. I have Battle Fatigue. I would never ask you for a discharge. I love being in your service. But I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I’ll file the papers or clean latrines. Just get me out of the battle – please, Sir!
Your Faithful, But Tired, Warrior
To: Faithful, but tired, Soldier, Spiritual Armed Forces
Location: The Battlefield
Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present My reasons:
You are needed in this battle. I have selected you, and I will keep My Word to supply your need. You do not need a demotion and transfer. (You’d never cut it on latrine duty.) You need a period of "R&R" Renewal and Rekindling. I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest.
I will remove your old equipment and "make all things new." You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuried. You need to be healed. I will heal you. You have been weakened in battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength. I will instill in you confidence and ability. My words will rekindle within you and give you renewed love, zeal and ethusiasm.
Report to Me tattered and empty. I will refill You.
Your Commander-in Chief, Jesus Christ.
They have made it through the first week of school... and have done wonderfully! I think they are still seeing the benefits of homeschooling, even though none of their friends have started school yet. Our wonderful state's public schools don't start until after Labor Day and don't get out until *shuddering* the very end of June. That is so wrong. JT and T will be done by the beginning of May. My thought was that it would be easier to start them now and let them out when it starts to get nice out rather than trying to fight with them to get their school done when the winter is gone and the days are turning warm and sunny and the outdoors are beckoning. *Taking a breath*
So, today we went and got the rest of their school books. I was so excited about the new books that I tried to convince them to do school on a Saturday. It didn't work. This year we will be learning about US history, how the human body works (occasional gory details involved), astronomy (no, not reading horoscopes), all about dinosaurs and insects (those last four are all included in their Science) and even Spanish. JT is excited about that one. We are also making sure to include the standard Math, Reading, Spelling, Phonics and Writing. They are thrilled... you should see the reaction to the first glimpse of the weekly schedule. One would think some sort of torture is involved. Occasionally I hear the question, "Why do we have to do school at all?" I have explained that ignorance is not an option. They both do get excited when they suddenly grasp a new concept, I think the main problem is that they cannot sleep in until 11:00 and then spend the remainder of their day playing. Oh well. They will thank me someday.... I hope.
Monday, July 31, 2006
We said “ok.”
Then we asked, “Why, God? How long, God? God, we KNOW You have a plan here, but what is it? Um, God, it is getting kind-of warm down here….” We learned a lot along the way and did quite a bit of growing.
Then God said, “Go.” So, we packed up and made ready for the 1200 mile journey home. We started bright and early on one hot and sunny Thursday morning. And made it five minutes down the road. We have to eat, you know. Harbor View Café was calling our names, and so was J’s sister and a handful of other friends that we arranged to have breakfast with and say our goodbyes to. Did I mention that we were already an hour and a half late for this breakfast? It turned into brunch. Tears were shed as we said our goodbyes to family and friends – this seems to be the hardest part – then we were off. And we made a wrong turn. Now, J could turn around with the motorcycle rather easily, but I had a little bit harder of a time, so, even though he realized his mistake as soon as he turned onto said wrong road, we had to go all the way down it to find a suitable place to turn around, thus burning an additional thirty minutes. By now the kids had to pee, so I convinced them that the best course of action would be to do the wiggle until we actually made it to
Now, three very sweet people were looking out for our best interests, and suggested we take an alternate route. One that was “much quicker” than the diagonal, up-and-over-at-the-same-time-common-sense-says-it’s-quicker route. Against our better judgment we went all the way over then straight up. Nope, not quicker. More miles, too. By now it was eight o’clock at night and we were not even out of
While J was checking everything else over, he noticed that the passenger side tire of the trailer was leaking air and really needed to be replaced. We went up to the next exit to find a Wal-Mart and a hotel to stay in for the night. Wal-Mart was not going to be able to fix the tire until the next morning so we figured that J could get up when TLE opened in the morning and get right in so we could get right out. HA! HA! HA! They could not fix the tire until 10:30…. So, guess when we got on the road….. NOON! Seems to be a running theme, here. The rest of the day went by without much hassle. We made it just past
On the road again, just sittin’ on the road again… Today the trouble came in full force. We were driving along, and I rounded a slight corner and… ALL TRAFFIC WAS STOPPED! It was a good time to test the brakes. A little more quick thinking, and when I saw that my truck would not stop in time and I was about to have a BOAT in our laps, I swerved to the other lane which was suddenly and thankfully empty. I past three cars (one towing the boat) before I got the truck stopped, and I just about hit the huge arrow over sign that was sitting in the middle of my lane. My body suddenly felt like I had been drinking ten cups of coffee. One of the cars that I screeched past was kind enough to let me in, and J was now a few cars behind. He called me and I asked in a very shaky voice, “D-d-di-id I h-handle that o-o-ok?”
“Well, honey, did you wreck?”
“Then you handled it just fine.”
He also had to test out his brakes so he wasn’t eating the back of me, then when I swerved over, he had to make sure he didn’t eat the boat. Could have hurt….
A few hours later, J decided that he REALLY needed to... take a break..., and wanted to use the trailer as cover… how redneck. He started checking the tires and realized that the driver side tire had steel belts showing through and need to be changed right away so we didn’t have a blow out. So, I squeezed my arm between the wall of stuff and the wall of the trailer so I could loosen the nut holding the spare onto the side of the trailer. OUCH. J jacked up the trailer, got the tires switched and then put the bad tire back on the side. I then jammed my arm back in to fasten the tire back on. And away we went!
And made it 20 miles down the road. The BRAND NEW spare that we just put on (it still had the little knobby things on the side of the tire that are there when you buy it brand new!) EXPLODED. The truck swerved all over the road and I managed to get it pulled over to the shoulder. We called his dad and couldn’t get ahold of him, so tried his mom. Her response? “God told me that Satan doesn’t want you home.” Hmm, glad we got that one figured out. We had an inkling that might be the case with the FIRST incident… Dad was unable to come for us and we were still out by
And here we are. Granted, Satan has definitely not let up. I didn’t really think that once we made it home he would let up, but I know that we are victorious in Jesus! So, bring it. I am not worried about it. A song we recently introduced in church says it well”
I believe in You
I believe in Your Word
I believe Your promises are true
I believe in You
I believe in miracles
I know I can do all things through You
Cause I believe in You, yeah, I believe in You
And a piece that came to me one Sunday morning and just won't get out of my head,
I will not be shaken, I will not be moved
No matter what the circumstances say
No matter what I see
I will not be shaken, I will not be moved
My God is not a god that lies
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Ethan Patrick. Born at 9:45 this morning, weighing 8 lbs 5.5 oz, mommy says he is perfect in every way... I would say she is a little biased, but, I have the same opinion. Might have something to do with being the aunt, but I personally don't think so. ;) E is doing wonderfully and D is a proud new daddy, both just a little tired. Too bad MS is so far away. :(
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Today another Mayberry tradition was carried on - the annual Summer-fest parade. Several Harley look-a-likes started it off, then came all of the fire trucks from the Mayberry fire company. These were followed by a float of sorts.... a pickup truck with a couple balloons attached pulling a flat-bed trailer carrying Beauty and the Beast... we were not sure which was which... Next came several tractors that had been lovingly washed and polished by their Mayberry owners. Another "float" followed this one advertising the rotary club and stating that" Mayberry rocks." Our humble governor and senator even showed up in a very shiny converatble and joined in throwing candy to all the kids lining the streets. More fire trucks drove through, these from the suburbs of Mayberry, then another float, followed by all of the vehicles from the fire company coming from the town down the road. We like fire trucks here. Another float joined in, this one decorated for Mardi Gras... I don't think this town really wants to go there. Then came the old cars... thankfully, they are NICE old cars, shiny, appear to be in good condition. One unfortunate soul did, however, suffer a small amount of embarassment when he had to PUSH his shiny old car through the parade.
Suddenly, T is jumping up and down, far more excited about this float than about the candy that had been thrown from previous ones... "Bud's coming! Bud's coming!" The Boy Scout's float was coming down the road - pulled by a semi, no less! They all looked so very cute dressed up as little jailbirds. After he passed by grinning ear to ear and waving, we saw... more tractors, and a float filled with rockers and a sign that read "Class of '81 still rocks." They are old enough to need rockers? I am scared... wait, they did all GRADUATE two years after I was born. Yeah, I guess that is old. Another tractor followed and then came a horse driven wagon followed by a handful of horses and their riders. Wait, who is that riding the last horse and bringing up the rear of the parade? Oh yeah, that out-of-town friend of ours who had just mentioned in a not so happy way the Mayberry crap... Seems a little ironic, perhaps.
And to top of my sights for the day, I see a relatively normal and decent looking young man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk... with a full grown golden retriever snuggly tucked into the basket on the back of his bike. I suppose this cancels out the "normal".... I think he was right, we are, after all, really in Mayberry.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
So, we are going to watch a movie and relax and get the tire that was having issues holding air fixed in the morning... then onward!!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
When I woke up, I KNEW this was a dream that meant something, not just one of those brain processing dreams.... That morning, I had to run to Winn Dixie (Hurray! *please notice the sarcasm here*) and on my way home, I took a right out of the road and drove down Railroad instead of taking the left, going onto Jeff Davis and then onto 90 (along the beach) ... after several blocks, I turned down toward the beach, then after one block, turned right again... I ended up driving by the house that we were supposed to have... Hmm... Ended up praying about all of it, just praying that all the finances will be released, that whatever happened will be reversed, etc....
Ok, taking a breath. ;)
Going Home.... We received word yesterday that Johnny's aunt passed away Friday night. So... shortening the rest of the story for you... we are heading out this week - Wednesday, Thursday at the latest... Thanks for praying us home... I had been praying that we would be home by the beginning of July... that has been answered... I have to admit that I would like to see my sister's baby, but that is ok - I am ready to go home... :)
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
We have had two teams in this week. One from Missouri and one from Georgia.... AWESOME and ON FIRE kids. We have spent the most time with the team from GA, and they have been a blast. The last two days we have been mudding.... this involves sheetrock, tape and joint compound... a little something I learned this week. ;) John Tylor and Tanara have been getting their hands dirty as well. Check it out!
These kids have worked SO hard! Some of them have been pulled out of their comfort zones this week, many have grown and all of them have been an absolute blessing to us. It has been a great joy to work along side them, minister to and with them, and get to know these guys. If any of you are reading about yourselves, we want you to know we love all of you and are praying for all of you, by name! Keep in touch, guys. Godspeed.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
I took the liberty of scanning a couple and decided to post them here since... WOW! I'm in them! :) I am normally the one BEHIND the camera, and I thought maybe family and friends might want to be able to have a reminder of what I look like?? ;) Really, I thought that the picture of the "two girls" was a good one - looks a LOT like her mommy!! The other picture is of our sheetrock unloaders, so they NEED to be in there. :) Thanks for your help, guys!!
Friday, April 21, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
We are currently living in a house right on the bayou. I talked about it some in a previous post... the one letting all of you know that, yes, we are still alive. Anyway, this house needed everything but the frame and we have been working on it slowly but surely. We have been helping the owner of the house fix this one and a few of his others and have an "answer to prayer" deal for living in this house. Johnny spent some time praying for favor and for specific supplies for the house. A few weeks ago when we had the SOS team in, we got a phone call and were told to come pick up ALL of the sheetrock for our house (both upstairs and downstairs.) The truck and a trailer were laoded up with the sheetrock, and then with ALL of the tape, mud and paint to finish the walls. While Johnny was loading the sheetrock, the man that orchestrated this told him that our insulation would be in within the next week or so. For those of you that know anything about building, you know that would have been a large cost. This was GIVEN to us. The timing of the sheetrock was wonderful, as well. We were able to share with the kids from the mission team what God will do if you pray! A real life, hands on example. They had to help unload it!!
Last week John went to pick up the insulation. The owner of the house came over and told John that he looked like the Construction Santa Clause pulling in our road with a truck and trailer load of free insulation. We've been able to share with him the power of prayer. Someone asked me why we had been praying for the sheetrock and insulation or other supplies for the house. Wasn't the owner of the house buying all that anyway and it never was going to be an expense for us? This is true, but you know, I will pray for all sorts of stuff to come in and bless this man... he has provided us with some very precious accomodations and you better belive that I am asking God to bless this man's socks off and what if this the thing that brings him to salvation? He came to church with us last week and when an alter call was given asking if we are where we should be with God and would we like to put our lives totally in God's hands and walk away from our old ways, he raised his hand... Keep this man in prayer that God will continue to work in his life and that John and I will have ample opporutnity to minister to him.
Our Sheetrock and insulation... What a beautiful sight! :)
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Poor guy.... Let me just say that he has a MUCH stronger stomache than I do. This "water" (and everything else in it) *insert shudder here* have been sitting in this jacuzzi tub for 6 months and 2 weeks... Gross... I have not personally seen or smelled anything that wretched since we have been down here... or maybe ever for that matter.
He said that he might be holding a cat at that point. Eww...
I am SO glad that he somehow squeezed his hands into MY rubber gloves and did that ... He did say that the gloves cut off ALL circulation in his hands. Ya think?
.... Or "How Johnny Spent His ENTIRE Sunday Afternoon AND Evening."
Ok, I have no ONE picture that could possible do this... event... justice, so you will have to wrap your head around the enormity of what one little kid with one little lighter can start with the minimal help of the pictures included. These are pictures of PART of the damage done by a 400 acre forest fire... Started by a child somewhere between Tanara's age and John Tylor's age. He got ahold of a lighter and headed for the back yard and ended his day with three fire companies fighting this fire for eight-and-a-half hours. John was fighting for seven of those. The fire started back up the next morning, was put down again, and started back up again yesterday and is burning in places still today. The fire was a couple miles away from our house, and the kids and I still spent the day breathing in smoke and watching ash "snow" all around our house. Not so good...
So, lesson for the day... Keep that stuff out of reach... seriously. That little boy's parents are now looking at a very large bill.... and there were a number of houses that somehow managed to escape being caught in that blaze... thanks to the hardwork of all the firefighters there.
Friday, April 07, 2006
*I got to make banana bread IN MY OVEN! IN MY HOUSE!!! :) He is not actually wiring the kitchen in this photo, but you get the idea...
*Tanara was Joe's little helper for the week. :)
*I got another window in my bedroom! :)
*Tanara learned how to ride her bike with NO training wheels with a little bit of help from everybody, but Bud is the one that taught her the all important lesson of how to corner and he has been a great riding buddy ever since.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
We are still alive and well down here in MS and I spent my first birthday away from home AT the BEACH! Now how cool is that?? Normally we are shovelling out snow... I am liking this...
The "new" house is awesome! (We've moved from North of I-10 to down on the bayou much closer to the beach) The rough wiring for electricity was finished Friday and the plumber will be there Monday... after those two things are done and inspected, we can put up insulation and sheetrock. Woo hoo!! In case you were wondering, we are in a gutted house that was under a litte bit of water. (A little bit translates to water up to the ceiling in the second story.) We live on the second (main - most houses there are on stilts and the only a few actually having living quarters on the ground floor) floor and J's cousin and sister and my brother's brother-in-law live on the first level. JT and T LOVE it and get to ride bikes all over the street and adore the owner of the house... He makes a fantastic "great-grandpa" figure.
Last week we had teams from North Dakota in with Sons of Salvation in Florida. What an awesome experience!! It was a Senior class from a Christian school up there and working with them and then having the chance to minister to them at the end of the week was unforgettable. Can't wait to do it again! :)
J is keeping very busy helping people to rebuild... Big project, but taking it one job at a time. There are days that he feels like there is not enough time in the week to get everything done and then days here and there that he remembers to slow down and take a breath. Thankfully, today was my birthday so he was FORCED to take the day off and play. ;) I think it has done him some good. :)
I will be posting again... Keep track... I just won't promise to post on a daily (or even regular?) basis for right now. I'll get pics in here as well.... Eventually ;)
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Right now I am sitting in Cafe Restoration at the Rec Center in Long Beach and I am surrounded by volunteers... it is so awesome!! All I can say at this point is God is awesome and the work being done here is amazing.... It really is good to be back.....
I'll write more later.... Love you all....