Stuff, Some More Stuff, a Contest, and Some Stuffing
What do you get when you cross a twelve year old girl, her brother, two logs, some planks and a hammer and nails? A canoe, of course. Emmiko can now add “ship builder” to her long list of domestic achievements. Her first words were: "Make sure you get some good pictures so Jessi and Uncle Charley can see"
In other news, Maggie the Most Magnificent Hogan sent another tremendous looking scholastic resource in the mail, and since I am not teaching Physics this year, I figured I’d tell you guys about it and put this copy up for grabs And just for the record, Bright Ideas Press has some of *the* best resources ever created. I am still using Mystery of History and we all love it. If you’d like to win this copy, just leave a comment, and you’ll get extra consideration if you tell me how many syllables are in your name. The other night I realized that I had a whopping seven: Jen-e-fer-Ig-a-ra-shi. I bet there aint anybody out there with a first and last name that’s longer than mine. If so, you’ll automatically win Maggie’s excellent physics book. Otherwise, just give me your syllables and tell me one interesting thing that happened to you in your lifetime. I’ll go first: When I was eighteen I took a Greyhound from
In other news, Happy Reformation Day
In other news, last Sunday our pastor taught on Romans 13 again, and I kept almost leaping out of my chair to cheer and applaud. Several times I had to consciously stop myself from giving him a thumbs up. I keep checking to see if it’s been posted, but as of yet, it hasn’t. If you get the chance, check this page and listen to the Oct 28 message. It. Was. Awesome.
Let’s see, what else? I know I’m forgetting something. Um. Oh yeah. But I’m not allowed to talk about that (says Geoff). But it has to do with Coie, a gun, and our dinner tonight. And no, I know what you’re thinking, but it has nothing to do with a would-be suitor. And yes, I made phone calls and this time we did actually fall within the pale of legality… unlike last time, which, uh, I fixed. Ok, time to go make some gravey.
Good luck on the contest! The winner will be one happy duck.
October 31st, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
I'll Take a Side Order of Excedrin With My Pancakes, Please
I’m getting old. I seriously don’t know how people used to have weeklong wedding parties. This girl can’t hardly barely keep up with 10 hours of festivities. I think for every hour of exhilaration I require two hours of recuperation. None-the-less, I daresay that a 24 hour migraine is well worth the grand time we had, and believe it or not, I’m already looking forward to next year.
Saturday was nonstop crazy busy for us. First we woke up and sped over to theBurggraf’s place in Tazewell. After three years of praying, working, and building, they moved into the lovely little home they built (debt free!) on their 262 incredible acres. It was delightful seeing them (and so many of our friends) and celebrate what the Lord has done in their lives. We absolutely love this family and praise God that they are part of our lives
The kids played hard for several hours
here are Bo and Jacob at the foot of the Monster Tire Swing – it looks like they’re planning mischief…
Then we sped home and got ready for the hour and a half drive to Abingdon – but man what a lovely drive. All of Saturday shone spectacularly, and even being in a mad rush, it was impossible to miss the glittering reds and golds that were outlined in fire against the brilliantly blazing sky. It made you want to sit down and write poetry. Too bad nothing rhymes with orange.
These little buildings were across from the dance hall. It felt as if we’d stepped back in time
Poor Bo, all day (and night) he was asked, “What happened to your face?” I told him he should have told everybody that his mom slapped him with a rake when he didn’t do the dishes fast enough, but he stuck with the boring explanation of “I fell out of a tree”
There was a fabulous turnout, maybe a little too fabulous…it made it a little tricky to dance at times! I think next year a bigger facility may be needed
Before the dance and the auction, the Blacks gave a presentation / update of what the Lord is doing in the growing church in
There were three things that came to my heart about ‘What is the characteristic of a missionary?’ Now, of course, we’re all to be missionaries. But, the first thing that came to my mind was that you cannot be a missionary if you do not have a heart full of love for people. For all people. Regardless of their color, regardless of how old or young they are, regardless of how healthy or sick they are, or clean or dirty they are, what color they are, what language they speak, it does not matter. Every single person has a soul who is going to hell unless they hear the Gospel and accept it. So if you want to do mission work, whether it’s across your street or across the world, you first of all have to love people. And of course the LORD Jesus is the greatest example of that. Our heavenly Father says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son’. Love is His motivation.
I have to tell you, I love the Black family. This family has not only financially given substantially and consistently, but they have literally risked life and limb to bring the love of Christ and His gospel to the people of
Becky Lynn, me (huddling under Coie’s coat -it was freezing under that winow!), Julie (our lovely hostess for the evening), dear little Christabelle and her momsie (who is one of my dearest friends), Angie.
Thanks, Julie, for putting on such a fine event! I hope you get a nap today…
October 29th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 17 Comments
Good Mornin' Good MORRRNin'
I feel like a doorknob. Sorry to Linda I – when I linked to you, it went to a comment box instead of your actual page. This is why, when I was younger, every one of my report cards said, “Little Jenny talks too much and she never pays attention to what she’s doing”.
In other news, we still don’t have any change in our car situation. No van fell from the heavens or rolled sparkling up out of our pond. I think God has been teaching me that I can handle a lot more than I think I can — and also that He is truly trust worthy. I really liked the comment that Susan left – it was a great encouragement to me because it reminded me that God works in different ways — and most certainly not always in lightning bolts and grandeur. Her family had to limp along, deal with annoyances and inconveniences BUT all their needs were met and I imagine they were strengthened in the process to step up and deal with things that were harder than they preferred.
There’s this church in town, and they have a tagline under their sign that says: Expect a Miracle and every time I see it, I cringe. It’s bad theology if it’s taken how it’s implied. We are never told to expect miracles. We are to know fully that our God is capable to do anything He wishes, but it is not our place to dictate to Him what we think is best for ourselves and then “expect Him to do something about it”. If I were to put up a competing sign it would say: Math 4: 6-8 “Do not put the Lord God to the test”. He’s sovereign for a reason. So that’s been an interesting train of thought over the last couple of days. Anyhow, I feel silly dedicating another part of a post to a non-working car – which in the larger scheme of things is laughable. Besides, I still get to go to the Abingdon Barn Dance so I am as happy as an aardvark I’ll post pictures early next week.
Also, thanks to my lovely sophistikated friend, on Tuesday, Coie and I spent the evening watching Singing in the Rain. Even better, it was actually raining while we watched it. Cozy, no? And now for the last two days (and nights) I have THIS song running thru my head. I don’t mind, I like it. That was one funny movie, but I didn’t let my boys watch it. Some of the ladies outfits were, um, sculptured.
Lastly, I get Haptoon updates sent to me. Mike Halpin is a dear friend and a talented guy. If you want to be put on the mailing list to get his cartoons, just let him know by sending him an email that says, “Please send me the Haptoon updates”. firstname.lastname@example.org I really love his latest ‘cartoon’:
Scary Halloween Heart Attitudes
What is really scary is that we have all these characters lurking around in our sinful hearts:
We look to our own righteousness and compare ourselves to others.
Even though Christ saved us and forgiven us all our sins, we still willfully sin against Him in thoughts and deeds.
We love and serve the things of the world more than the things of God.
And because of our religious pride, we would rather live by a set of rules than walk humbly before the Living God.
How we need the Gospel. How we need to repent and believe upon Jesus.
He is calling us to walk in the light, even as He is in the light. (1John 1:6-7)
So let us put off the scary old self with his evil ways and put on the new self, which is being renewed by the Spirit into the image of Jesus Christ. -Hap
October 25th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Click. Click. Click. There's No Place Like Home… There's No Place Like Home
All sorts of news happened over the weekend.
Here’s a quick rundown – first we received the horrific news that a dear family in our church was making a hasty trip to NC after her mother and her mother’s friend were brutally attacked early in the morning while they were volunteering from their church (as they did every morning) for the Meals on Wheels program. The mom (Eve) is in the hospital and it is hopeful she will recover, however, her dear friend died from the knife attack. The man who did this was caught. I know they would appreciate your prayers for everybody involved. Here is a link to the report
Over the weekend I also got an email from my friend Linda I (who is also a friend to many of you) asking for prayer for her son, Tristan, who has just been diagnosed with Leukemia. If you get a chance, please head over to her page and encourage her!
Also over the weekend we had another little adventure of our own. Our van died. This was not good for us, especially since Coie and Geoff have three jobs between the two of them and Coie’s little Saturn is not equipped to drive to two different locations at the same time. Yet, happily for us, we are surrounded by people who love us and within 48 hours a dear friend from our church turned over the keys to his car for our use while we try and figure out what we’re going to do. So Geoff and Coie are still able to make it to their jobs (thank God!), but, if any of you have a dear, rich, old uncle who finds joy in gifting perfect lunatic strangers with new mini-vans, please feel free to give him our contact info. Actually, we are thinking about trying to just purchase another little economy car, like another Saturn, and just drive two vehicles if we need to go somewhere as a family. Is anybody out there selling a reliable, workable car for super cheap and willing to take payments? Anybody? Anybody? Anybody?
It’s just been one thing after another since January. Maybe I should take Kristina’s advice and start tithing more … (yes, she was only joshin’)
At any rate, I started feeling better on Sunday afternoon after remembering how futile it is to invest too much energy conjuring up a sense of hope, security and/or real ‘happiness’ in anything offered from the world. It’s not our home. We’re only passing thru and for the Christian, we are promised eternal life – an inheritance that will make the “momentary problems” we face now, well worth the trouble. And we are promised trials (so why are we always so surprised when they come?)
I have a Father who knows well what I (and my friends) need and is infinitely capable of sustaining us through any sort of malady. And the knowledge of *that* is a source of joy and comfort which runs far deeper than any of the dumped sludge we may encounter. Trials are bound to come… the question is, how will we react when they do? We all, every one of us, have access to the same great power and strength that was granted to every great Christian hero and saint that went before us. Incredible when you think about that… isn’t it?
October 22nd, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Snippity Snip Snippity Snip A Dancin' We Will Go
My daughter, Emmiko, is my creative child. That girl has always astounded me with her drawings, color schemes, decorating ideas, etc. So yesterday, I was looking at my boys’ Chia heads and declared, “Good-gracious-to-me-oh-mighty you boys need a good mow down” and Emmiko immediately darted into the room and squealed that she knew she could do a great job and anyways she wants-to-grow-up-and-be-one-of-those,
nails-painted-too. (Jess, you know EXACTLY how this conversation sounded). So I told her, “No Emmiko, you wouldn’t want to have a little section to sell muffins because the smell of hair stuff and nail polish would fuse into the food and nobody would want to eat it”. “However”, I told her, “Go find the clippers and if your brothers will let you, start practicing for your future Hair Salon Empire.
Surprisingly, none of the boys expostulated (they are good sports), and for a first whack at barbarism, my daughter proved quite successful. Here is the Hair Empress and James – her first subject
Not bad, eh? Believe it or not, this may be the most civilized picture of James that has ever been snapped
And lastly, long long ago, back in the
and she even found a stud with the stud finder (I told her *I* was the stud finder and pointed to her dad – which she found entirely unhumorous and a tad bit disturbing) and hung up the lovely prize for me. My heart is glad. Isn’t it lovely? I call it, Petootietwo
And also pictured above is the lovely Ryann, reading yet another missionary book
And lastly last, the following information is a public party announcement:
PS I keep meaning to post this link that Jess sent me. I am hoping to hire that bird to tutor my non grooveable daughter, Coie. I still cannot believe she didn’t inherit any of my Disco genes.
Homeschoolers Together for the Gospel
To anyone waiting till the last minute to register
October 18th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
My Stirring (and stirring and stirring) Weekend
Thanks for everyone who came by over the weekend. Denise, I hope the service went well for Caleb and that you felt the love and support from ‘sisters’ you’ve not met. There were appx 800 visits to the last post, and I can only imagine that a very large percentage of those who visited were praying for both families.
Also over the weekend… it was an eventful time. First of all, ATIC was a smashing success. There was a good turnout and I got a whole set of dishes (HOOORAY!), plus, I got a set of little genuine Tupperware drinking cups. I don’t know if any of you have fond memories of Tupperware cups, but I grew up with them. I always wanted the blue one. Those things last forever, which is precisely how long I’m planning to keep this new little set. So that was also a fun find. But I missed Shay C. It wasn’t the same without her there. Thanks Maria for setting all of that up!
In other weekend news, Ryann’s baptism went well. What a sweet and special time. Ryann did a good job at giving her testimony and was able to (unintentionally) crack the congregation up when she got into the little pool. And I did not know Geoff was planning on saying anything in particular when he baptized her, but he spoke for a few minutes about how it is impossible to force your children to seek after God and what a joy it is to see them exhibit the fruit of the Spirit from a true desire of knowing Him (and being known by Him). Very Special.
Also over the weekend I got a box from my little sister. That girl is the Present Queen. I don’t mean she is “presently the queen”, although I’m sure that would suit her. And she would probably do a fair job of it. Which reminds me, earlier this year,Coie dreamed I was the queen and that everyone took a vote and decided to overthrow the government. I think that child has secret aspirations of rebellion. She told me, “No, mom, it wasn’t that we were trying to be mean, or that we didn’t like you, it was just that you made a really really lousy queen. Even dad voted you out.”
Truth be told, I would make a ghastly royal *anything*. I am not good at being in charge in any capacity what-so-ever. I’m much better at being told what to do, how to do it, and when to get it done. Sort of like a trained monkey. But not as cute.
Ok, where the heck was I? ah! yes, presents.Jess sent a whole box full of presents and a birthday card for me. Why? Because they were doing their taxes, and she thought it would be appropriate seeing how my birthday is April 15th and all. So she sends all this stuff for all the kids, plus some Isogenix stuff for me (yippeeee!) plus – and try to figure this one out – she sends a box of Tapioca. Ok…. Who does that? Tapioca? Who sends a box full of presents and includes a box of tapioca? Jess does, that’s who. And just for the record, this was a lying cheating box of Tapioca, and I feel completely tricked and ripped off Later that night, and it was really late, Bo begged me to make that box of Tapioca, and he finally won me over by pointing out that the box says, “Minute Tapioca”. So I thought, “ok, sure, I have one minute” So I get into the process when it suddenly dawns on me that it’s going to take at least a half hour to finish this stuff (that’s what you get for not reading ahead). So me and Bo stood in the kitchen, while everyone else was fast asleep, and stirred and stirred and stirred and stirred. However, there was still a happy ending; the tapioca turned out swell and the kids ate it for breakfast. The End
October 15th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Out of My League
Ok, so I got this email last night and quite frankly, it left me shaken. I don’t know about you, but sometimes things come out of the blue and really put your own ‘problems’ into perspective. I recognized her when she emailed because I’ve visited her blog – the name always struck me as clever (Viva la Chai) Anyhow, I was at a loss for words after I read it, so I asked Denise if I could share her email with you guys to see if there was any advice, resources or, quite honestly, even any comfort you might have to offer, and she readily accepted the suggestion. I can only imagine what my own sense of grasping would be in this situation, along with the struggle to make sense of what has happened. If you have any thoughts, or comfort or advice, I know Denise will appreciate it.
I’m a frequent blog reader of yours, as well as a
I babysit for a few friends (and friends of friends), and have done so for the past 5 years. I consider them all my "honorary babies". I’m also a homeschooling mother of 3.
Then last week, the unthinkable happened. My youngest honorary baby, 4 1/2 mo. old Caleb, died from SIDS after I laid him down for his afternoon nap.
I’ve always done everything right to prevent SIDS…the only thing I failed to do this time was go back in and check on him a second time. I will have to live with this for the rest of my life, and while each day gets a tiny bit better than the one before, I’m still feeling very overwhelmed with the memories of finding him blue and limp in his bassinett.
I realize that it wasn’t technically my fault, and things have been revealed through the autopsy that solidify the fact that there was really nothing I could’ve done. But I’m a mother. I’m human. And I feel horrible. I feel like a murderer.
Has anyone you know experienced this sort of tragedy?
I’ve decided to never again agree to babysit for a newborn. Not ever. I don’t want that hanging over my head…"What if?".
And no, the family doesn’t blame me or hold me responsible in any way. In fact, that alone is a tremendous answer to prayer. They’ve even been kind enough to come by and check up on me and my family…even asking if I’d like to help with Caleb’s memorial service this weekend.
If you know of anyone, please send them my email address. I need to talk to someone who’s been there, and won’t give me more of the same pat answers.
Thank you for your time and help.
Mrs. Denise Opper
October 11th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Deleted post? What deleted post? Ok, so I don’t get how the whole RSS feed works, but apparently a number of you get an email version of what I post. Despite the obvious question, “why would anybody want the intellectual equivalent of Jello emailed to them three times a week?” I just want to say thanks for the emails and I decided to unpost that entry because, well, uh, just because. But I am feeling *much* better, with special thanks to my daughter who supplied me with a large stash of liquorices jelly beans, chocolate covered malt balls and a bag of Yoders famous ginger snaps. Moo.
Yesterday one of my other daughters was given a copy of a new magazine. I thumbed thru it this morning and was impressed. It is really well done (excellent layout) and fabulous content. It’s called, “bloom!” and it’s a magazine by Christian teenage girls for Christian teenage girls. The tag line states, “Encouraging girls on their journey towards Biblical womanhood”. Best of all, this is a free magazine, and second best of all, one of the editors (Joanna) is a friend of Ryann.
We have the May 07 version and here is a part of one wonderful feature (I hope it’s ok that I’m reprinting this!)
How’s Your Attitude? By Megan Dutill and Joanna Suich
When your Mom asks you to feed your baby sister, you…
a) grumble and complain and eventually do it.
b) Smile obediently and get right to it
c) Agree to do it, but paint applesauce al over your sister’s face
You see an older man trying to open a door, but his arms are full. You…
A) open the door slowly for the man after your mom tells you three times to help him.
B) Rush forward and open the door for him
C) Move out of the way so he can open the door for himself
It’s your turn to make dinner. You…
A) argue you shouldn’t have to make dinner
B) joyfully sing to the Lord as you cook
C) bribe your brother to do it instead of you
Your friend calls to say her brothers are sick. You…
A) tell them to take Dr. Ugg’s Sup Suction Sickness Pills and then quickly change the subject
B) ask her if there’s anything you can do to help
C) tell her to keep her brothers away from you so you don’t get it
You’re having a hard time getting along with your siblings. You…
A) only play with them when you’re absolutely bored
B) pray about it because you know Jesus wants you to get along
C) start digging out old movies to watch with them whenever you’re stuck together so you can avoid their company
There are a total of ten questions, and it ends with an admonition to be others’ minded and encourages the reader with Phil 3:14 – Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God.
Neat, eh? I love how it edifies and shares truth with a lighthearted style. Other topics covered are time management, a Q and A session on why or why not wear makeup, natural health remedies (skin protection), the benefits of memorizing scripture, craft / project ideas and more. This seems to be an excellent resource for girls between the ages of 8 and 18. You can click here for the website and there is a link on the side bar for the free subscription form It’s a pdf form and I had a little trouble trying to download it; I imagine you could also email them to get signed up: email@example.com
Hooray for super finds! And speaking of super finds, you also might want to check out the grand Trivium Pursuit scratch and dent sale. It’s for today and tomorrow only!
October 10th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Super Special Sunday for My Spectacular Salamander. Ok, it's not for a salamander but that's the only descriptive S word I could think of.
It’s still hot. It’s going to hit 90 today. GROSS. But by this Friday it’s supposed to be in the 60’s. That’s more like it. When I was a little kid I lived in
So guess what? My spectacular daughter, Ryann, who is not only almost the wittiest person I know, but also almost the most considerate, helpful, generous, helpful, fun, helpful, person that I know – and she has an important event coming up. Her daddems is going to baptize her this Sunday at our Most Excellent Church. Maybe say a prayer for her if it comes to mind. She is also going to share her testimony and she does *not* love speaking in front of large crowds; she doesn’t like speaking in front of more than one person at a time – maybe she could just meet with everybody individually one-by-one in the pastor’s office. I should see if there’s still time to put in an announcement in the bulletin: “Church Service for Sunday the 14th will be from 10:45 am to 7:15 pm”. We have some dear friends who are also going to come and witness this special event. We are looking forward to it, and I am thankful – SO thankful– that she loves God and truly, sincerely seeks after Him with her whole heart. There is no greater joy than this… I love you, Ryann!
PS Did you read my friend Sarah Small’s entry on Open Windows? Yeeee-ikes. It is an excellent post and her true story about overcoming real fear
PPS have you signed up for the Abingdon Barn Dance? It’s coming up quick!
October 8th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Your Normal Average Bland Non Confrontational Post take 3
Well, those last two posts were, uh, fun. So, um… how about those Oakland Raiders? Anybody want to talk about non controversial green bean recipes? The weather sure has been, er, atmospherically weatherish.
I actually did really enjoy hearing everybody’s thoughts on courtship/dating/arranged marriages/ankle monitors. And now, for kicks, how about we discuss Family Planning and
Ok, before I go back to a question from the previous post, I’d like to take this opportunity to complain. It’s October, right? Well not in TN. For the last week it’s been almost 90 degrees and this next week it’s supposed to be more of the muggy-hot-same. It’s like twenty degrees colder in
Ruth asked a question about differences in opinions between spouses regarding dating. This is actually an easy one. And I don’t address this directly to Ruth, but just to that question in general. I would say to have rational talks with your husband and the ‘why’ behind his views. Tell him why you believe what you believe. And your odds of winning him over may increase if you discuss the matter in a bikini and over a plate of baby back ribs. Ok, I just had a visual of myself doing that and I nearly blew diet coke out of my nose. NOT a pretty picture.
Seriously, tho, it is unlikely that he is going to force your kids to date. “That does it. I love you, princess, but if you don’t find some schmuck to take you to the drive-in by the end of the week, then I’m going to have to take your phone and computer privileges away”. Chances are he’s not going to actively push your kids into dating relationships, so that’s a plus, right? My advice to a Christian woman who has a totally different outlook than her husband (especially with parenting issues) is to simply use the time wisely to instill strong biblical principals in the kids without undermining her husband in any degree what-so-ever, and to pray her head off.
They say “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. You have more influence than you realize – and that is a two edged sword. It is imperative that we ’mother’ with extreme humility and wisdom. We can never use our influence to undermine; rather it needs to be used to compel our children to grow closer to God and to build a biblically solid foundation that they can draw on when it’s time to make important choices. To say, “I try so hard to teach them what’s right, but then my idiot husband comes home and wrecks it all” is simply not true (I’ve known ladies who say things like that). And it may *feel* true … but do you not believe in the power of God? Do you think your sincere godly and virtuous efforts can be undone or overthrown? Do not doubt God’s Word. Commit yourself to the One who holds your children’s hearts (and very lives) in His hand. Do what you’re called to do and trust the One who is truly faithful. Respect and honor your husband. Teach your children truth. And know this… if kids ever hear the mom complaining or see them roll their eyes, or act in a way that says, “Daddy is dumb, Daddy is wrong” it’s doubtful those moms will be rewarded with any good efforts they think they’re instilling. And again, just to clarify, I’m not addressing this to Ruth — she may have been asking a completely hypotheotical question. But just in general, these are my thoughts on what to do when there’s a disagreement with our spouses in philosophy
Lastly, I am so excited. I just got a TON of socks and underwear for my boys, plus the nicest church shirts ever. I *love* love LOVE hand-me-downs. Which reminds me, I can’t wait until A.T.I.C. (our homeschool group’s free rummage sale) If you’re in the area, I hope you are planning on showing up at the
PPS Coie got her ACT test results back and she is a GENIUS. She did quite well, I am proud to say
PPS Coie got her ACT test results back and she is a GENIUS. She did quite well, I am proud to say
October 5th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments