Friday, June 30, 2006

Very, very funny piece brought by Jollyblogger on chickens
and their policies for road crossing. It had me laughing out loud.

Addendum. Isn't that a fun word. It isn't exactly a lovely
word, but it is fun. Just try saying it over five times in a
row quickly and you'll see what I mean. Plus, if you use
this word in actual conversation or writing, you feel so
important and grown-upish. It is just all around a great
word.

This is an addendum to the previous post. (There don't I sound
grown-up and importantish?) It was refreshing for me to
get home at 10:30 p.m. from the game-watching in Mayberry,
and to find Joel, our oldest son sitting in the living room. Now,
he has his own home, but he drops by pretty much everyday
and several times a day. His first words last night were, "Mom,
I'm hungry." I love it. What do you cook when it is 10:30 and
people are hungry and there were no leftovers from dinner?

Egg-sandwiches. They work every time. Take two slices of
bread, one slice of cheese, cook an egg easy over and add mayo
or mustard depending on the taste of the intended eater. If you
want to be fancy, toast the bread, scramble the egg and add
salsa.

"Okay Joel, will an egg-sandwich do?" "Yes."
"Kent do you want an egg-sandwich?" "Yes."
"Billy (who arrived home close to 11:00) want an egg-
sandwich?" "Please."
"Mom, I want peanut butter and jelly." This was from
Hattie who isn't into egg sandwiches yet.
"Mom, will you make me one more?" (This from Joel.)
"Now, I'll make one for me!"

Family-life is good and rich and who cares if it is midnight
when everyone is fed and finally in bed.

Last night I returned from a Homeschool Conference in
St. Louis. I brought back with me, along with my dirty
clothes, several cuds to chew. My family ought not to
be surprised today if they see a funny, new cow out in the
field.

It was good, good, good to get home though. Somehow I
really missed Kent and the kids. I was staying at my
in-laws home and they were out of town. Maybe it was
all the quiet that got to me. After dinner Kent wanted to
do some nursing home visitation and I jumped at the
chance to go along. So, Kent, Princess Daughter and I
hopped in the car and tootled along to the NH. We saw
several women there and then jaunted over to the ball-
park where middle son Billy was umpping. You know your
kids are growing up when you go to watch them ump
rather than play. The younger son, who also umps, is at
camp and so we couldn't watch him. We ran into loads of
people we knew and I felt that it was GOOD to be back
in Mayberry again.

I did enjoy the conference, and I had a really good time with
my sister shopping in her closet. I needed some clothes for
our mission trip to Mexico that is coming up in two weeks.
But before we headed to the mall Becky, aka, Philippine-
sister, took me into her bedroom and because she is one inch
taller than I am, and because her legs are longer than mine,
she had several things that do not really fit her but fit me just
fine. Thanks Sis, you saved me money and energy.

I also got to watch my niece play softball. Annie, you look
cute in catcher's equipment, but not as beautiful as you
looked dressed up for your nice dinner at Westminster.

In Acts 11:18 the apostles and the new believers had
a tremendous paradigm shift. It was right after Peter
had gone to Cornelius, and he and all those with him
believed and were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

When they heard these things they became silent;
and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also
granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."

I can just picture their astonishment and their jaw-to-the
floor disbelief. Their whole world had to shift a few
degrees to accomodate this new information. I both
love and hate when this happens to me. I love it because
it is exciting. New, unchartered territory is entered and
anything can begin to happen now. But, it is frightening
because of those same reasons. The familiar is, well just
that, familiar. It is comfortable. I like feeling at-home
with my thought life. When I have to begin to plow new
ground it is hard work and I never know just what will
begin to grow there.

The major paradigm shift in a person's life is that which
takes them from death to life. It is when they comprehend
that they need a Savior, because, on their own, they are
just not able to be good enough. And then, when they begin
to feel settled into that new life, God begins to send them
on a series of adventures that is breath-taking.

One would think that after 30+ years of being a believer the
paradigm shifts would begin to dissipate. Maybe I've come
close to learning all God wants me to learn. Maybe I've got
my ideas lined up perfectly with God's Word now. Fat chance!
God doesn't see it that way apparently. I seem to hear Him
say, not "Okay dear, you may now sit on your laurels, afterall
you've earned them!", but rather, "(small cough) Really
darlin' this is no time for sitting, you've still got a LOT to learn."

Soft sigh. Allright then, bring the shifts on, I'm ready for them.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Psalm 36:5,6

Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
Your judgments are a great deep;
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.

God's wrath is an attribute that we don't like to talk
about very much. I don't think I've ever heard it
mentioned in those services where people are asked to
give popcorn testimonies about the characteristics of
God. It is so much easier and fun to trill on about His
love, mercy, grace, righteousness, holiness, eternity, and
sometimes even His justice...but His wrath? who wants
to even approach it. Unfortunately, in the opinion of some,
God approaches it Himself.

Nahum 2:1

God is jealous, and the Lord avenges;
The Lord avenges and is furious.
The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies;

Through the ages men have sacrificed many things to the
gods in order to propitiate their wrath and bring more
favorable circumstances their way. They've given money,
food, even their children to turn the anger of the gods
away from them. None of that worked.

Only God could pacify His own wrath. He did it by making
propitiation through the vicarious death of His own
beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Now we can rejoice, if we have entered into that place of
safety, the place where the wrath of God can no longer come.
Now we are no longer His enemies, we are His own adopted
children.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tami at Discount Homeschool Supplies is giving away a
FREE microscope. To enter just paste this link onto your
blog and then go leave a comment at Tami's place. Only
100 people can enter, so if you are interested hurry on
over.














Last night Kent asked Princess Daughter and me if we
wanted to go visit Grandma Opal (she's amazing, 95 and
still lives alone). Usually we walk down the gravel, it is
just 1/5 of a mile, but it was raining so we hopped in the
car and drove.

We sat and chatted for a few minutes. Then Princess
Daughter did the two things she always does. First she
wandered into the kitchen, opened up the microwave,
and took out some leftover bacon and biscuits. Grandma
always keeps her leftovers there and my children have
been known to walk in the front door, raid the microwave
and continue walking straight out the backdoor.

Then Princess Daughter, (who is actually named Hattie,
after my grandma, whose real name is not Opal...figure
that one out) sidled up to G. Opal and said, "Wanna play
some cards?" Grandma said, "I thought you'd never
ask." And the competition was on.

Princess Daughter has just recently learned to play High Five,
which isthe family card game. Kent, who is competition focused,
likes it a lot better than Uno, Skippo, Hand and Foot or any of
the other "luck of the draw" games. And really, you can't marry
into the family if you won't play it. Well last night, G. Opal and I
were partners and Kent and PD were partners. PD is still a little
young to the game and while usually she plays very well, last
night she made a few strategic errors which left the ending
score at -15 for Dad and Daughter and 59 for Granny and
Grand-daughter. Boy did G. Opal gloat. She leaned over to
Kent and said, "That's what you call gettin' beat!"

Afterwards PD wandered across the way to her Grand Uncles Jim's
house and G. Opal wanted to play a few hands of rummy. I wiped
up on that, so overall I had a very winning night.

I thought you might like to see one of her quilts.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Psalm 35 is such a grand picture of God as our warrior.

Verses 1-3 are indeed stirring.

Plead my cause, O Lord,
with those who fight against me.
Take hold of shield and buckler,
And stand up for my help.
Also draw out the spear,
And stop those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
"I am your salvation."

Now those are words of strength and comfort. If we have
God fighting on our behalf where is worry, where is fear,
where is the shrinking soul?

I also like these words in verse 10.

All my bones shall say,
"Lord, who is like You."

Ha. My bones often speak to me, but not so often about
the Lord. More often they say, "You idiot, you know you
shouldn't be playing softball at your advanced age!"

The words Summer Solstice ring with magic, the magic of
the longest day of the year and the shortest night. Surely
it is a night filled with the dance of fairies and elves under
the velvety, summer diamond-studded sky.

As a teen and through my twenties and thirties I always
found the Summer Solstice to be the saddest day of the
year. I could actually smell the autumn of the year in its
approach. I looked down the hallway of months to come
straight into the face of deep, dark winter and somehow it
frightened me. I knew I was looking at a winter filled with
short days and dreary skies.

The crazily interesting jobs of wifing, (I was going to put
wifedom-but the cases didn't match) housekeeping,
and children-raising have reduced what once was a huge
mountain in my year to but a small bump in the gravel
road. Truly these busy, busy days are good ones; if only
I could save them to review later...oh, but I can. What a
blessing from God are the memories that are being
built up. I can take them out and dust them off when I
am 89 and sitting on my front porch rocking in my chair
and drinking lemonade.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

OOPS! I made a mistake but have now corrected it.
This weeks Carnival of Homeschooling is up at
Homeschool Buzz...it has a bird theme this time.

The Christian Carnival 127: Voltron Edition is up at
The Bible Archive. There are some very interesting
looking articles listed this week.











Another Works For Me Wednesday is here. I enjoy
racking my po' lil' brain every week to come up
with an idea I think might be helpful to people. I
also enjoy reading all the great ideas others put
forth.

Here is my offering for this week.

















This Onion Keeper really works well for me. It keeps
my onions fresh and keeps the lovely smell contained
within the elegant glass dome. Onions really do have
a lovely smell; it is just that one doesn't want everything
in one's fridge smelling the same.

This one can be purchased from The Home Marketplace
for $11.99. I'm sure other stores carry it as well.

If you, like me, can't conceive of cooking without using
onions, then this just might Work For You Too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thanks to JOLLYBLOGGER for putting me on to
this post by Jennifer Roback Morse on Husband's
Day.

Just listen to some of her inspiring words.

When women marry, we get things that we
want and value. We get the opportunity to
become mothers. We get a home, our nest for
our little ones. What do men get? They get
the right to throw themselves on a live
genade for the protection of their families.
Or, as St. Paul suggested to the Ephesians,
husbands get the right to be crucified.

Most men, with an insignificant number of
exceptions, are capable of this heroic loyalty.
We women can call this out of our men. We
don't achieve this by nagging. We certainly
don't achieve it by competing with them
over who makes the most money, or by
keeping score with them on who does the
most household chores. We need to build them
up, as St. Paul says. Watch them sit up
straighter and taller when we appreciate
and admire them.

Wow...that is good.

Numbly Rambling. That about sums up the way my mind and
body have felt the last few days. This has been a summer filled
with (in my viewpoint) one huge event, short rest space, next huge
event, short rest space....etc.

Actually there are just five big events. But really, isn't that
enough for anyone?

First was the All-Church BBQ we always host at our farm in May.
It was a LOT of fun, but a LOT of work getting ready for and
cleaning up from.

Next was getting ready and participating in VBS. Writing puppet
scripts, putting together the power point, teaching a class and
hauling our computer back and forth each night so we could run
the power point was exhausting. But it was a great week. We
touching a lot of little lives.

Now I have a few weeks to prepare for the next biggie. We are
hosting my husband's family reunion the second weekend of July.
It will be a blast, but, since I am on site, I am in charge of menus,
making sure those who aren't staying in motels have beds here or
at my folks house, and of course the yard has to be readied. If it
weren't for company we wouldn't cut the grass!

Then less than a week after the reunion it is off to Mexico for my husband,
three of our kiddoes, and me. A group of fifteen from our little church
are going on to Cuernavaca for mission work with Campus Crusade for
Christ.

Lastly, at the end of August we will be moving our middle son up to
St. Louis to begin his Sophomore year at Washington University. He
is a hometown boy and is not looking forward to this move. He is
already looking forward to next summer. The academic challenge in
pursuing his Electrical and Computer Engineering degrees is exciting
to him, but his heart is in Mayberry.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I guess my grandma (almost 96) forgave me for not eating
with her in town yesterday. She called me this morning to
come down the gravel and get some some new potatoes she
had dug out of the garden earlier. I also got cucumbers and
some lettuce.

Grandma's recipe for the new potatoes.

Boil them in their skins for 20 minutes.
Put some bacon grease and salt in a pan and heat it up.
Place the potatoes in the pan and rewarm them till they
are good and greasy and salty.
Delicious!

Don't tell her bacon grease isn't good for you. She'd never
believe it.

Out of the mouths of babes. Today Princess Daughter and
I were talking about being wise in developing boy-girl
relationships when you are of an age to. She said, "Mom,
doesn't it sometimes happen, like with the people down
the road from us that a woman who is, say Catholic,
marries a someone from another species?" I think she
meant denomination...but how funny. Men sometimes do
seem to be from another species, at least from another
planet. Seems I've heard that one before.

Quetion: What do softball and the Christian Life have in
common?

Answer: Romans 7

Romans 7:15, 23

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I
will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that
I do....But I see another law in my members, warring
against the law of my mind, and bringing me into
captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

I was voted to be catcher on our church-league team. This
is not necessarily an honor. Nobody else wants the job.
When you have 101 degree weather and you have to get
up and down with every pitch you have just experienced
a full aerobic workout without ever moving anything but
your knees.

I have a little problem with softball. I am afraid of the ball.
That is why I have always volunteered to play outfield.
My theory goes this way, the farther from the ball you are
at the initial point of contact with the bat, the slower the
ball will be going when it gets to you, therefore the less it
will hurt when it actually makes contact with your body.
Why do I play you ask. One wonders, one really wonders.

This year though, no one wanted to be catcher, so I humbly
accepted the honor. Now I have discovered something new,
not only am I afraid of the ball, I am afraid of the swinging
bat. Because of this, I close my eyes when the bat is
swung. This is not really a smart move. If my eyes were
open I could see what was going on and potentially save my
body from being hit by either the ball or the bat. But with
my eyes closed I am in grave danger.

See, my mind tells me one thing, but my body does the other.
I know what to do, but I can't do it. The pull to false protection
is so very strong. The law of my members is warring with the
law of my mind.

Romans 7:24,25

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from
this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ
our Lord!

My career as a world famous softball catcher is on a slowtrack
to nowhere. Thank God His grace keeps me from saying the
same about my Christian walk.

I love living in Mayberry, USA. Yesterday when I was in
town for my weekly errand day and grocery shopping
extravaganza I ran into my mother and grandmother (95).
(Okay, I didn't literally run into them, I met them as they
were driving off from Freds and I was getting ready to
shop at said store.)

Mom stopped the car and jumped out, she asked me to take
the $25 worth of pennies she had just gotten at the bank for
my kids and two of their second cousins for Bible School.
(We have an offering contest between the boys and the girls.
But the contest is which offering weighs the most, and so pennies
is the coin of choice for the kids. The contest lasts all week.
Thus far the girls have won two nights and the boys have won
two nights. Tonight will be the deciding factor for which color
color ribbon-pink or blue-the trophy will wear until next year's
VBS. This year the money is going to help send a team from our
church to Mexico on a mission trip through Campus Crusade.)

Grandma and Mom asked me to go out with them for a lunch
of chicken and dumplings. I had to say, "No," because I had
left Hattie at home in charge of making a dinner of chicken
and noodles. And, though her three brothers and dad were
there to oversee her efforts, I felt uneasy in my mind about
being gone too long. I wish I could have though. One has to
wonder how many more dinners out they will be able to
enjoy with their grandma when she is going to be 96 in October.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nerd Family is hosting this week's Christian Carnival.
Go check it out for some thought provoking articles on
how Christianity plays out in our daily lives.

Notes from around the farm.

We have a new Boer billy. He and our older billy are not
co-existing very well. You might say they are butting heads.
(Pun intended) Older billy is headed to the goat auction
next week, but it will be fun watching them go at it during
the meantime.

We are going to adopt a half dozen old hens this weekend.
It's been a year or so since the fox, coyote, coon, possum,
whatever ate the final hen from our last batch. We are just
pushovers to friends who ask if we can take in their fowls
when they no longer can house them. I guess Tyler will have
to start setting the trap again for unwanted night raiders.

Our grand-kitty is missing. Our oldest son has a cat that we
babysit when he is at work. Now get this, Kent would never
let us keep an animal in the house (except for goats on IV's,
chicks just hatched, and other special circumstances)...oh, but
grand-kitty can come in and sleep on the beds and practically
do whatever she wants. What does this bode for our future
grandchildren. Do you think he will spoil them at all?

The hay is ready to bale. Our problem is that the equipment
is so old it barely makes it around the field one time before
needing to be repaired. Luckily (though I don't believe in
luck), Papa thinks driving hay equipment and repairing it is
"The Life", so we just wait 'till he gets it all done, and then
the boys and Kent hit the field to load hay bales and bring
them to store in the barn. Then they hit the creek and cool
off. It's tradition. The city cousins love haying time, but they
are all growing up and have a hard time getting here for it
these days.











If you wear earrings or have a Princess Daughter who does
then this idea may work for you. Earring trees are unstable
and just don't hold many pairs. Plus I have found that the
earrings are difficult to put off and on.

What works for us is to use one of those hardware organizers
that men use to sort their different size nails, screws, bolts
etc. They have little drawers that pull in and out.
The one Princess Daughter uses has 50 compartments.
She also uses the little drawers for rings, necklaces, lip gloss
and knick-knacks. This is nice because each piece of jewelry
can have its own place and doesn't get all tangled with the
others as they do in her jewelry boxes.

It is not as pretty as a jewelry box, but you can put it under
the bathroom sink if you want. This has helped us a lot in
keeping Princess Daughter's jewelry collection organized.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

If you ever thought you'd be a good contestent on
The Price is Right go check out Owlhaven's challenge.

The 24th Carnival of Homeschooling is posted at
About Homeschooling. It, appropriately, is focused
on Dad.

Monday, June 12, 2006

We know that, as believers in the justifying death of
Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the penalty
of sin. Along with that Romans 6:22 tells us:

But now having been set free from sin, and
having become slaves of God, you have your
fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting
life.

But we also realize that this daily "working out of
our salvation" includes the truth of Romans 6:19:

I speak in human terms because of the weakness
of your flesh.

As parents we love to remind our children of
I Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has overtaken you except such
as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will
not allow you to be tempted beyond what you
are able, but with the temptation will also make
the way of escape, that you may be able to bear
it.


The question is, of course, in any given circumstance,
where is that way of escape? How do we find it? How
do we train our children to look for, find and take
that way?

There are a lot of angles to this question, but one, I
am sure, is recognizing ahead of time some of the
temptations we are prone to fall to and making our
determination not to do so.

Charlotte Bronte has Jane, in "Jane Eyre" make an
incredible statement to Mr. Rochester.

We must keep the law given by God; laws and
principles are not for the times when there is
no temptation; they are for such moments as
this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against
their rigor. Foregone determinations are all I
have at this hour to stand by; there I plant my
foot.

So, we talk with our children. "Tommy, if, when you
are playing with Rachel, she does thus and so, what
should you do in return? The Bible tells us to...."

Our kids can't wait until they are in a parked car to
decide where they stand on certain issues. We have
to guide them into thinking these things through and
making their own determination against what is
wrong. They must learn to plant their feet.

Of course we know that God is always gracious to
forgive when we do slip (I John 1:9.) But working
diligently to keep our feet planted fosters a safe
and joyfilled life before God. Blessed is the man
who walks in such a way.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

When June and a full moon collide it is an excruciatingly
glorious occasion. It rather steals ones breath away.

Let me review some June highlights leading up to
last nights full moon.

1. Princess Daugter got her first (maybe her last?) home-
run this week. Comment overheard by her mom as
Princess Daughter was talking to her dad--"Dad, everytime
I think about it I just get happy all over.

2. I missed this historic homerun because I was at a JOY
Meeting. (JOY is the name of the women's group at our
church that meets monthly to eat and talk.) Comment
overhead by me as I was following my friends Ruth and
Angela out to the cars--"Everytime I tell the people at
work we are having a JOY meeting they think I say I am
going to a jailhouse wives meeting."

3. Same friend Ruth as mentioned in above comment led
me to commit one major Faux Pas. She wanted me to ask
our mutual Chinese friend, Yong, to teach our VBS kids
Oragami. Comment heard by me when I asked Yong to
teach Oragami to kids--"What is oragami?"

4. Yesterday's softball games were played in 101 degree
heat. 19 year old son was being third-base coach. His game
wasn't 'till later. Comment heard by third baseman on
other team as I came up to bat--"Go, Mom." Comment
heard by catcher as third baseman on other team came
up to bat--"You do not look old enough to be his mother."
And he is not even my oldest son. Chuckle. Being 4'9" has
its advantages. Hitting homeruns is not one of them.

5. Sweet comment heard by me after I related above story to
husband--"You do look young, and not just because you
are short." He, however has a head full of grey hair. Am I
that hard to live with?

Life is just plain fun sometimes.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Oh, This is Joy. This is Bliss. This is Felicity.
Quote by Laurie (flavored heavily by
Jane Austin)


Stay, June stay! If we could stop the moon, and June!
Quote by Christina Rosetti

Sometime ago I posted about the different seasons
I've noticed since living in the country. There is
another aspect of nature I notice now that I didn't
before. Actually, my mother called my attention to
it some years ago and yesterday I was telling
Princess Daughter about it as we drove to a birthday
party.

The colors of the wildflowers change as Spring and
Summer progress. In the early spring the wildflower
are blue and pink. This time of year the wildflowers
are predominantly orange and white (Butterfly Weed,
Tiger Lilies, Yucca and Queen Anne's Lace are
everywhere); as Fall approaches the yellow flowers
will take over.

Can you imagine what it will be like if God allows us to
join Him in designing new worlds in eternity?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I've noticed quite a few folks who post a hymn of the week.
So, I thought I'd try my hand at it. I don't think I'll do a
hymn of the week though, maybe a hymn of the whenever
I feel like it.

I don't mean to antagonize anyone, but this has to be the
worst hymn ever written. It is actually in "Heavenly
Highway Hymns." Why some editor in a dark, smoky room
hasn't taken the axe to it over the years is a mystery to me.
It does serve a purpose I guess, it shows how really, really
odd we people can be.

This hymn doesn't have an author (go figure) it just says,
"As Sung by Cook and Whitworth."

Aint It A Shame

Aint it a shame to work on Sunday,
Aint it a shame, a working shame,
Aint it a shame to work on Sunday,
Aint it a shame, (A working shame,)
Aint it a shame to work on Sunday,
When you've got Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, And you got Thursday,
Friday and Saturday, Aint it a shame.

Aint it a shame to joyride Sunday,
Aint it a shame, a joyriding shame,
Aint it a shame to joyride Sunday,
Aint it a shame, (A joyriding shame,)
Aint it a shame to Joyride Sunday,
When you've got Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, And you got Thursday,
Friday and Saturday, Aint it a shame.

Aint it a shame to gossip on Sunday,
Aint it a shame, a gossiping shame,
Aint it a shame to gossip Sunday,
Aint it a shame, (A gossiping shame,)
Aint it a shame to gossip Sunday,
When you've got Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, And you got Thursday,
Friday and Saturday, Aint it a shame.

Aint it a shame to lie on Sunday,
Aint it a shame, a lying shame,
Aint it a shame to lie on Sunday,
Aint it a shame, (a lying shame,)
Aint it a shame to lie on Sunday,
When you've got Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, And you got Thursday,
Friday and Saturday, Aint it a shame.

The best thing I can say for this work is that it
has made us all giggle numerous times. And the
second best thing I can say is no one at our church
has ever asked to sing it.

Do you think the author really means it is okay
to lie, gossip etc. all week long, just as long as you
avoid it on Sunday? Boy, if so, my life just got a
lot more interesting.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006








I know that Vacation Bible School has gone out
of fashion in many churches, but it is still one of our
biggest yearly outreaches. And, for us, it works.
We have had families begin to attend that were
previously unchurched. So, since this VBS idea
works for me I thought it would be a good idea
to add to the queue for Words for Me Wednesday.

Coming up with appropriate crafts for VBS is always
a challenge. But I have one full-proof craft that is
inexpensive and works for almost any age. It is
adaptable, easy, and lots of fun. The group I work
with most are the 10-12 year olds, and they love it.
When they finish their other crafts they'll ask if they
can make this one again.

It takes salt, sidewalk chalk, lots of throwaway
bowls and a glass container for each child. This is
the cheapie way to make sand art.

Pour a small amount of salt into a bowl. Take any
color chalk you want and rub it over the salt until
the salt has the shade you want. Then pour it
into the container and begin anew. You can fill the
salt/sand up to the top and poke with a sharp stick
down the sides to make the mountains of regular
sand art. You can fill it up partway and put a small
candle on top for a candle holder. You can use one
of those small fancy bottles for a cute little knick-
knack. Personally I prefer to use pint canning jars
because that takes lots of salt and because my kids
are never tired of making these.

This goes perfect with any lesson that has anything
to do with a desert or mountains or being the
light of the world or...(I told you it was adaptable!)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mothering an adult child is a task of far greater difficulty
than mothering an infant, toddler or child. It takes
tremendous finesse to back slowly away as time goes
on and to let them be the adult God has been preparing
them to be.

I remember when my now 19 year old son was about 8.
One day he was mowing the grass with the riding mower
when he suddenly ran into the house, came up to where I was
standing in the middle of the kitchen, leaned into me and
burst into tears. "Mommy, I'm so sorry," he sobbed. I
didn't know or care what he had done, he was already
forgiven and as far as I was concerned the issue was over
except for the comforting. His little heart was breaking
and so was mine...and I didn't even know what had
occured. Finally he was able to settle down enough to
tell me what had happened. "I ran over the hose by mistake
and chopped it in half."

Oh, I miss those days with him. The days when a mommy
could make everything all better so easily. The days when
deciding between chocolate or vanilla ice cream was the
dilemma of the hour. Yet, I look at him, so tall, so strong,
so deep in his relationship with Christ, so determined to
do what is right and I glory in today.

We are still adjusting in our relationship to one another.
Now he goes to his wise father and his wise Father more
than to me. It is right. It is good. But when I think of that
little eight year old boy with kissing cheeks leaning against
me and sobbing heartbrokenly, it causes me to have to go into
a quiet corner and weep a little weep. These are the good
new days, but the good old days are worth a nod of
remembrance from time to time.

Creative people breed creativity. One of my delights
over the recent Memorial Day weekend was watching
my niece and my princess daughter. My niece, 12, and
my daughter, 8, decided to make a movie. For years
they have been doing smaller programs. They would
go, along with an older neice, into a room, spend an hour
or two practicing and creating costumes and then do a
dance and song program, or perhaps put on a short play.
Of course we always had to pay to watch these. Sometimes
there were refreshments, sometimes there were not. And
always the closer one sits the more one pays. Typical
charges are 10, 20 and 25 cents.

This weekend though, they put their creativity into, not a
program, but into a production. They decided to
recreate "Narnia". We spent the weekend on the river,
fishing, at ballgames and just hanging out and wherever
we were they had their heads together planning. They have
a huge chest of old dance costumes and clothes to choose
from. They figured out an answer to everything. I am the
"wit*ch". Instead of making it always winter, I make it always
summer, but never swimming time. I ride a four-wheeler
decorated with flowers and wear berries in my head. But
I get to speak as sternly and as meanly as I wish...what fun!

The best, in my opinion, are the beavers. They talked
my 19 year old son and his friend Jen into being Mr. and Mrs.
Beaver. Their costumes are a riot.

I love it when princess daughter and darling neice get
together. Because they are both of a creative turn they
encourage each other and they both become more so.

I can't wait to see the production in its entirety. Edmonette
has only just arrived at the castle of the wit*ch and so it
will be some time before they are finished. We may have
to wait till Labor Day weekend when they will have another
3 days to work on it.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

There is something about an orphan story that is captivating.
A child, hopeless, homeless and alone, suddenly finds him/
herself wanted, loved, accepted and belonging. Think of some
of our best loved books: "Oliver Twist", "Jungle Book", "Anne
of Green Gables", "Emily of New Moon", "Jane Eyre", "The
Little Princess".

The same captivation holds for our story. We were orphans.
We were alone, hopeless and homeless. And then, by the
grace of God, we were made part of a family. We found a
place where we were valued, loved, accepted and at home.
We were adopted.

You can hear John shout with suprise and glee as he pens
these words in I John 3:1.

Behold, what manner of love the Father has
bestowed upon us, that we should be called
the sons of God.

And how thrilled Paul must have been to realize that
he, too, was now a part of God's eternal family.

Galatians 4:7

Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Melinda at Intellectuelle has a good post on the difference
betweent an objective and a subjective Christian relationship.

Last year when we were going through a bit of a trying
time with one of our teens I memorized Psalm 127. As
I lay in bed at night I would repeat it to myself. What a
comfort. It is filled with truth and promise.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early.
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

I would remind myself...He will give me the gift of sleep.
I can find my rest in my Savior. My children are a blessing.
It has become a mainstay scripture for me.

BTW-the teen that was struggling is growing and we are
very proud of him.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

ARGH, ARGH, ARGH, and GROWL. Rezimphretzel.
Is there a right way to spell rezimphretzel? In case anyone
ever wonders what is the MOST frustrating aspect of
being self-employed--I can tell you. It is researching
and choosing your health insurance. Every two or so
years we start from scratch because every two or so
years our premiums go out of sight again. It is so discouraging
to research, and discuss and then feel like you are comparing
apples and oranges. We come out of it just
exhausted. Kent and I are even growling at each other.
This has been weighing on my spirit for a few weeks, but
hopefully after signing the dotted line tomorrow we can
just set it aside again, at least for two or so years.

But there has been a funny side to even this. Yesterday,
after I got the umpteemth phone call from an unknown
insurance agent my boys got to wondering what was going
on. I just sighed and said, "For some reason I seem to have
a lot of strange men calling me these days." Boy did their eyes
open wide, and did their dander stand straight up!