Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cold, callous, uncaring

That's how I feel sometimes, like tonight, when I realized that it never occurred to me to bring up the Samoan and Sumatran tragedies during prayer request time at church this evening.


I don't like dogs, and I really don't like barking dogs!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cold all of a sudden

Too cool, windy, and rainy yesterday, so I never took a walk. Unfortunately, today promises to be worse.

Airfare to Albuquerque for Christmas

Well, I got okay prices for our tickets. The kids and I came to $882, which is about a hundred dollars more than we'd have paid if I'd chosen the option that would have required Tim to miss a few days of school. Doug's is $350 or so - hack, choke - but we knew that he'd pay more because of flying at peak times.

Considering the ages of the kids, and how often we fly instead of drive, this is probably the last time we'll have to pay four airfares, though.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Calvin College

I was looking at their website... it's a Christian school in the Midwest, which makes it potentially interesting for Tim, but YUCK! Maybe I've gotten hypersenstive, but on the front page, they have links to their news and information type stories, and the first one is about all their wonderful diversity.

I clicked on the link, and the first three of four articles were on their diversity, on their 'green' initiatives, and on HIV something or other. Can we get a little more PC, folks?



I wasn't sure how well things would go at the teen Bible study. My kids, Becky especially, are very audio-focused. She loves to listen to stories, but I wasn't sure if these girls would be used to it enough to follow the story line and get anything out of it.

I was pretty impressed. It seemed as if, at the end of the story, each had followed it, and understood the characters and their choices. I enjoyed hearing what they had to say during the discussion. I wonder if I should have made the questions deeper?


Well, the endless search for the perfect chore chart that will make my life easier, and somehow turn my children into responsible, mature, domestically-skilled individuals continues...

The latest twist in the game... no chore chart! At this point, I think they've gotten good enough (for now!) at housework, but could really use some time in the kitchen. Also, I feel like I need to exert some major self-discipline, and control over the housework, because it hasn't been kept in acceptable shape lately!

So, I'll take over all the housework again (oh, joy!) and have them each cook dinner and clean it up one night a week.

I don't really expect this one to be much more successful, but at least we can have some variety in our failure.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


My thinking about this Sunday's teen girl's Bible study has changed. I'd initially been focused on exploring attitudes that would keep them from hearing Jen's words on repentance. It's become a discussion on choices we make in general, both spiritual and practical daily choices.

I want to finish it today so I can give it to Jen tonight to look over. I'm spending a lot of time trying to make it visually appealing... colors, boxes, borders, etc.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze

I wonder if the Lord is calling my generation to listen... so many of the celebrities we grew up with have died recently. Will it make anyone seriously consider our lives are just a passing flower, and we'll stand before the Judge sooner than we think?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fell off the wagon...

Well, for the last couple of weeks, I haven't done as well as I had been in terms of my eating and exercising. It wasn't to the point of gaining weight, but if I've lost any over the last two weeks, it hasn't been much!

I think I'll be able to climb back on though. One problem is this weekly rewarding of each kid with lunch out... I might start taking them out and just getting unsweetened iced tea or something. I don't know if I can lose weight and eat out twice a week or more!


One of Doug's brothers thinks it's time to buy precious metals. It makes a lot of sense to me... I've always understood that if the government overspends and then prints money to cover itself, it will cause inflation. I've also understood gold to be a good hedge against inflation.

All of which does seem to suggest that now would be a good time to follow Steve's lead... BUT, if that were really true, would every single conservative talk show have ads pushing gold? If they companies making the ads really believed that a collapse of the dollar was imminent, would they really be giving us their gold in exchange for our dollars? Wouldn't they be holding them, or at least only selling to those who approached them, instead of spending incredible amounts of money on all these commercials?

What I think might be the best hedge against inflation right now is real estate, but that costs more and adds a layer of complication to life that I'm not sure we want now.

I guess our security will have to be in the Lord!

God is so good

It's a busy Monday morning, but I'm so aware of God's faithfulness and goodness today.

I have a lot of things/people I'm praying for:

Frank S., who has been really sick with pneumonia
Jack M., who may be rapidly descending into Alzheimers
M. family, that God would lead them to a church where they can be blessed and a blessing
Our pastor and his family, who give so much to the church, that God would protect and provide for them
Other M. family, having difficult health, financial, and family concerns all at once

Thanks, Lord, that we can be confident that all these things are working for good to those who love you and who are called according to your purpose.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Busy day

Since Tim's CAP work at the Kent State Airshow meant we couldn't go to DC, I used the time most productively, if not at all 'funly!'

4-5 loads of laundry, cleaning 3 bathrooms, vacuuming the entire house, and hopefully getting the kitchen mopped and picking up a bunch of stuff from Walmart. Not to mention figuring out something cheap and easy for dinner tomorrow night...

Do the next thing, right?

Friday, September 11, 2009


I sure wish I could go to Washington DC for the 9/12 rally.


Becky started at HOPE (Homeschools Organized to Provide Education, or some such) today... she's taking five of six possible classes, so she'll have one hour free. I've been thinking she should use it to get work done, but it might also be a time to get to know some of the other kids. (Although she's in a very small minority in not taking the British Lit.)

I sure hope the kids are nicer than they were at VCA. Some of the things at HOPE seem distressingly 'schoolish' to this determined homeschooler, but these are not kids who are products of a school environment, so they should be significantly nicer than the VCA folks.

And it's only one day a week, so it could never be as miserable as when she was in school all day every day. How can people do that to their kids?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

One more quickie, then off to do laundry!

It's still early in September, so maybe I shouldn't be getting anxious, but I'm having a heck of a time finding good flights at an acceptable price to go to ABQ over Christmas... I think I need to ask God for help on this one.

Lord, you know all the reasons we want to do this, and you know how much is okay to spend on it. Please guide me to the right tickets, at the right time, and give me the discernment to know when I I've found them.



I'm so glad it's raining. I really didn't want to have to water the garden and the outside pots today!

Bad girl!

Not a good weekend in some ways. I felt a little tired and out-of-sorts, looking at the same jobs that I have every other day in the week.

I'm reminding myself to 'Do the next thing.' Stop thinking of all the stuff that needs done that I don't feel like doing, or don't have time for, etc. etc. Figure out what the next thing is to do, and just do it. Don't think about the rest.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I got a good start

on my story for the teen girls. It kept me up a bit late, though, because it can be hard walking away from new characters and a developing plotline.

I have an extra week to finish it now. Jeff canceled church tonight (for Labor Day weekend) so we'll probably move the teen study to the 2nd and 4th Sundays.

Gee... now that I'm thinking about the story, and am conveniently on my computer... I think I hear a kind young man named Carlo calling my name!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Useless compassion

Compassion, uninformed by wisdom, results in mere sappy emotionalism, and is of no value.

Rough start to the day

I had bad dreams all night; I woke up with a headache; and I really just want to take the whole day off... I feel tired and unmotivated. This is the kind of day where I need to lean hard on the sufficient grace of God to empower my weakness with his strength.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Bye, bye, babies!

Wonderful Stefanie, from the Writers' Circle, gave me the phone number of a pet store near her, and they'll take all the piggies! She'll take one, and Becky may keep one to replace Luigi (though I'd really rather she didn't!) The rest we will deliver and be done with tonight!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Health Care

To say that health care is a right is to say that you have a right to the products and services produced by another person's labor, and that, my friends, is slavery.

Church day, I guess

This morning, I went to the UPS store and copied the offering count sheets.

I also wrote a paragraph for the church bulletin about the teen Bible study, and read through Jen's handout on repentance.

And what took longest, I went through the church DVD (with many pauses and rewinds) proofing all the written portions.

Then during karate, I cleaned the church for Sunday.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009


At this point I'm leaning toward doing something on pride, or what the Bible calls being stiff-necked. It seems that ultimately, resistance to repentance must boil down to being stiff-necked in some fashion or another. Sometimes it's not being willing to admit that there's anything wrong with you; or similarly, nothing wrong that you can't fix quite well by yourself. A different way in which pride keeps us from repenting is by making us fearful of others' opinions.

I was thinking about this in bed last night, and there may have been one other way; but if there was, and if it's important, the Lord will have to bring it back to my mind, 'cause it's GONE...

I may write a story about teens in Pompeii. In the weeks and days before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, one or two will see the danger and warn their friends to leave. They'll be laughed at by many, but there friends will have the three reactions above: not believing anything bad will really happen; being confident of their own ability to outrun whatever happens; and being more afraid of being laughed at than of the volcano.

In addition to the story, I may look for good scriptures on pride. There's a bunch in Proverbs, I know. I'd also like to do something interactive, but we only have an hour or so!


I'm not having any luck with the Christmas reservations, so far.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Guinea pig babies

Well, I've just sent an email blast to 19 different families... I hope we can get rid of the babies.

Teen girls

Another project in my life right now involves the girls in our church. Jen and I want to start some sort of Bible study for them. It's definitely where my heart is, but without God's grace, I am utterly inadequate to give them anything of eternal value.

The girls who might be involved are:
Cassie, 18
Sara, 17
Kayleigh L. 16
Izzy, 16
Angelica, 15
Styline, 14
Becky, 14
Jaycee, 13
Melina -- a bit younger, but she really wants to do it and Charis would like her to.... But because she's completely out of the age range, I'm not including her in the calculations.

The average, or mean, age is 15.375. The median, or middle number is between 15 and 16... there are 4 girls 16 and up, and 4 girls 15 and under. There are two modes, or values which occur most often, 14 and 16. And finally, halfway between the youngest and oldest is 15.5.

So, to the extent that I have a particular age in mind to aim at, it will be 15-16. That may end up being helpful to know.

I'm looking at the Harris twins' book, also Eugene Petersen's Run with the Horses. I've also thought about a theme of pride, or Proverbs 31. Jen is going to kick it off with the 1st and 3rd sessions about repentance. I'm not sure what will fit well in the 2nd session, which will be mine to lead, on September 20th.

I'm just praying like crazy.

Why I love the WTM boards

Okay, at 7:27 a.m. Eastern time, I posted the below-referenced note on the college board. In less than an hour and a half, I'd received 5 responses.

Also, on the high school board, which is where I've 'lived' for the last few years (and where I've learned almost everything I know about doing homeschooling high school) these are some of the threads being discussed this morning.

One mom was just notified that her student is a National Merit semifinalist, and has questions about the paperwork. She was able to get answers both from people who'd done it in the past, as well as another mom currently going through it who had been on the phone with the NM folks, and was able to share the info she'd received recently.

Another mom wants to know if a certain calculator is allowed on the ACT test.

Another is sharing a change in textbooks she's making for an advanced or AP physics class and why. There are always lots of discussions related to specific texts and courses.

Several threads are folks either new to high schooling this year, or facing it in the next year or two, questioning everything from what curricula to use, to how to grade, to how to track paperwork, etc. etc.

Movin' on up!

I just made my first post on the WTM college board! I feel like I'm both very ready to be there, and yet not at all prepared in some ways...

I like the constant reminder here, and in my username at WTM: God's grace is sufficient for me. His power is made perfect in my weakness.

Anyway, I explained how I'm going about trying to plan visits to different types of colleges, and a little of why I've chosen the ones I have. I asked for input, both on my general approach and on suggestions of specific schools.

If it works as usual, I'll find a lot of interesting chaff in response, and a few precious grains of wheat!