Thursday, August 28, 2008


The existence of God. Can He/Does He step in and intervene in my very own mundane daily life? Or is my faith simply the psychological crutch some would claim it to be. Yeesh! Where on earth is this blog going?!

You guys know me! With my history of faith in the actual existence of God and His personal intervention in my life, why on earth would I spend any precious time thinking about this topic?

I spent some of my yesterday thinking these deep thoughts and being the devil's advocate, probably literally. I ended up by asking, if it was good with Him, to show up in a big way for me in the near future. Nothing specific was required, but would He show me Himself in such a way that I would see it was undoubtedly Him and so encourage and remind me in my faith. I laid out a fleece.

This morning, God showed up. Yet again, may I say!!

I have been praying for the last two days for a friend whose house was in process of foreclosure and her family was to be homeless in 2 weeks time. They were able to make monthly payments but not make up for the several months they had missed. No matter what avenue she tried, she kept hitting a brick wall and unkind people unwilling to listen or help. And so I prayed for intervention from God and provision. And I prayed she would find favor with the people in the mortgage company. This morning she called with the news that her mortgage company had called her with some new developments. In a nutshell, everything unpaid has been "forgiven" and she has been given a new rate with monthly payments even less then before. This from a company that had flatly refused to work with her and that HUD had warned her to be impossible to work with in her situation.

And so God revealed Himself! I was allowed the opportunity to pray with her and for her personal issues and in the process God reminded me yet again of Who He is and how He works. He is a personal God who cares and specializes in the impossible!

I am not sure why I went through that little exercise of questioning and laying out a fleece yesterday. For heavens sake, I can count many, many times that God has revealed His Presence to me through the beauty of creation and through others life experiences, as well as through His Word made alive in my own life. But for whatever reason, my faith is encouraged and I have been given a reason to praise God. And I pass this encouragement along to you, if by chance you have even stayed with this blog long enough to reach this point, and pray that you too will see a reason to say thank you to God for His existence and His intervention in your own life. Pass it along to someone else and let the Name of the Lord be praised!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Leotards and Ponytails

J. is ecstatic! She broke the exciting news to her Papa (who is visiting in town) and to Big D about 8 times in a span of 4 hours: " I am signed up for gymnastics!! It starts September 3rd at 4:40 and I need a leotard and have to wear my hair in a ponytail."

This has been a dream of hers for about a year, which for an 8 years old is an extremely long time. She went with a little friend to a free session and was raved over by the coach. And we have been hearing about it since. We thought time would help this phase to pass along into history. It has not. We signed her up for basketball, which was fine, but certainly not gymnastics. And so now she gets her very own gymnastics session until January 3rd.

Watch out Olympics 2012!!

I did some gymnastics as a kid. Maybe a year, maybe two. But I loved it and continued to practice even without lessons. For many years of my childhood I entertained the entire watching world with my ability to somersault faultlessly and cartwheel perfectly and best of all, do back bends, back walk-overs and back handsprings in the imaginary Olympics of my own mind. (Oddly, I never could get the front ones down for some reason. ) Anyways, I gave myself a 10 every time!! Except for that one balance beam routine on the tailgate of the old truck in the pasture next door. That earned me a sad 9.4 and a painful trip to the emergency room with a broken arm. Oh, there was also the unfortunate "see how many back hand springs in a row" episode. That too earned me a trip to the emergency room with a broken wrist and worst of all, another low score.

For anyone who is wondering, my gymnastic routines are now only on exhibition for close family and mainly take place on a diving board or on a trampoline. But I am thrilled that soon J. will be taking over my old role and I can live vicariously through her.

Maybe I can become her coach and travel with her to London! Someone has to wash her leotard and scrape her hair back in the tight little ponytail!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Last Saturday and Sunday was spent with my extended family. Extended, as in 2nd and 3rd cousins that I haven't seen since elementary school. My grandpa was the last of his generation in the family, the last of the family to live in Iowa also, and so a grand effort was made to re-unite.

The whole weekend was a series of breakfasts and dinners and times to remember. It was very sweet and meaningful. Some hilarious things came up also, which I know that my Grandpa would have truly appreciated as he had a strong sense of humor.

The memorial service on Sunday was held in a quaint little Presbyterian chapel, but was held in a Quaker style since that is the tradition both my grandparents were raised in. Quaker services are very dignified. They are focused on quiet and meditation and also allowing the opportunity for anyone to stand and share what God has laid on their heart.

So a group of grandpa's friends from the nursing home came to the service and sat right behind me and my sister-in-law. Towards the end of the service during a pause, one of the gentlemen decided he would like to share a memory and slowly pulled himself up. How can I say this delicately? Into the waiting silence, he passed gas. I must say that I am so proud of myself for not falling off the pew in laughter. Honestly, I am not sure if he even knew it happened because he didn't skip a beat. But oh, it was so funny. And I have no clue what his memory of Grandpa was.

Another gentleman shared about how Grandpa in the early years of practicing medicine was well known for his home remedies. He was the town Dr. for 58 years and much revered. But there was one remedy that he took off his shelf, his cough syrup. Apparently it was made of half honey and then the secret ingredient was half scotch. A mother called him one day and said her son had been coughing and so she was treating him with grandpa's cough syrup, but he was reacting very strangely to the medicine. Grandpa asked how much she was giving him and she said one tablesoon every hour. Grandpa was horrified and told her it was supposed to be only one tablespoon a day. And that was the last of Grandpa's home remedy for coughs!

After the service, one of the older ladies came to us and said she had a memory but didn't think it was appropriate to share in the service. She said that one morning at the breakfast table in the cafeteria, Grandpa leaned over to her and with a twinkle in his eye said, "Let's start a rumor!" Apparently, after Grandpa was widowed he became prime prey for the widows at the nursing home. He never even thought of re-marrying but obviously was willing to enjoy a bit of a social life.

Grandpa was quite a person. And I am so thankful he is with the Lord and reunited with his family who are already home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


At long last, my eldest child will be able to truly show his gratitude to me. Gratitude for the late night feedings, the thousands of diaper changes, two years of homeschooling, several science fair projects, scads of basketball practices, a couple scares in ER, and laundry, lots and lots of laundry!

As of Monday, he will become an official barista.

He came home for lunch today and let me know the great news he had just been hired at Biggby's, my favorite coffee/tea hangout with my pals. The only downside, he said, was that he will be called a barista, which according to him sounds a bit girly. For starters: nothing could make him girly and, besides, isn't it just Italian for "revered maker of the coffee"? ( I really have no idea! I don't even know if I am spelling it right!)

And so where does him showing his gratitude come in? He gets a free drink each shift. And, this is where it gets really good, he doesn't like coffee!!!!!!!!!! Or hot tea, for that matter!!!!!!!!


Such a good, good kid is my barista-boy!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grandpa and the Rabbit-Skunk

My Grandpa died 10 days ago at the age of 101.

He went from being a farm boy who drove a plough behind a team of horses to medical school (great grandma mortgaged the farm to pay for it). He returned to Indianola, Iowa after med. school. From his small town medical practice he served his country as a World War II doctor and then came back home again to live for the rest of his days. From Quaker roots, he was always a quiet and dignified man.

Grandpa's memorial service will be in a couple of weeks and we grandkids are supposed to come up with a memory to share. Try as I might, the memory that remains at the top is the story of the rabbit-skunk.

Growing up, when my family would make the 8 hour trip up north to visit Grandma and Grandpa, one thing I looked forward to was how different things were in Indianola, Iowa. This town was the epitome of small town Americana with a square and a local coffee shop stocked with old men drinking coffee and killing time in the middle of the morning. Sidewalks lined every street so we kids could ride the old fashioned bikes we found in the garage all the way past the city park garden to mainstreet to the tennis courts and back home again. But whatever we did, we had to be back in time for dinner!! I can still picture the dining room and the placemats neatly set in place and the fresh flowers beautifully arranged on the table for dinner. The windows might even be open letting the breeze flutter the curtains...completely unheard of in Oklahoma summers.

One evening, after the silent prayer Grandpa always observed before dinner, he announced that he was afraid he had seen a rabbit-skunk in the garden earlier that day and we were all to be very careful to not get too close.

A rabbit-skunk!! Amazing!! We just didn't have rabbit-skunks down in Oklahoma and I very much wanted to see one. I wondered how they looked. I wondered if they sprayed like regular skunks! Did they hop?!?

I can't remember exactly how the devastating news was broken to me that Grandpa had seen what he thought to be a rabid-skunk, and that there really was no such thing as a rabbit-skunk. I just remember the laugh it brought that night and for years following anytime we visited. It was kind of a bond between a quiet and dignified grandpa and his littlest granddaughter.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

VBS Weary

I spent all yesterday weaving my normal daily activities in and out of VBS preparations. I started out working on the supply list for snacks and then cleaned up the kitchen.

I worked through the preschool curriculum and did a little vacuuming.

I made some phone calls and emails to volunteers and put the laundry up and made my bed.

I had the girls and the next door neighbor do a "wet" run on the preschool water games in our front yard while I did some more emailing.

The list goes on...

And it didn't end when my head hit the pillow. All night long my mind tossed through vbs issues like diet restrictions for the preschoolers and oranization of the volunteers. Which means that this morning, I am completely and totally weary of the whole VBS thing.

So I am not going to touch it today. I am going to have to hide it, because if it is out it will call to me and I might give in. But enough is enough and I want to sleep tonight dreaming of anything but VBS!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dilemma's and Decision's

We really shouldn't be surprised. It was bound to come up with our kids just like it did with us growing up. I am talking about movies and the battle with the world over what is and isn't appropriate for a kid to view.

The Movie Dilemma...the ones they are allowed to see appear so lame compared to the "exciting" ones that are off limits.

The Movie Decision... go see the movie the friends are seeing and lie to the parents or just go home and miss out on all the fun.

"I know what you are feeling, and believe me, I hate it for you!"

This is what the movie conversation usually starts with. And it is so, so true! I wonder if they realize how much I mean it when I say it to them.

My sons are older and they have already heard this more then a few times over the past couple of years. My daughter heard it for the first time today. She is 12 and entering Jr. High this next year. I told her to get used to hearing it.

It is a battle. A battle for me to protect her innocence and purity as far as I am able while still preparing her for her future. Her near future as a teenager with a little more freedom and independence. Her distant future when she will be an adult with big decisions to make in a world that is tainted and ugly by the effects of sin.

And so, after a little pep talk, I showed her the website. The boys already know about it and have used it. Now it is her turn. It is just one little tool in our arsenol against what the world says is ok and what the Bible says is ok.

Please, God, help us to parent wisely and well!! Please help our kids to have the strength to stand alone when necessary!! Please bless their obedience in choosing to honor their parents standards!!