Wednesday, May 30, 2012

History Lessons

Because I didn't have to work at the church office this morning, the kids and I walked out our front door, hiked up to Haus Rohrbach Pension
 and up Tumwater Mountain.  We stopped part way up to have our devotions and then hiked a little farther before settling down to read the about the Battle of Bunker Hill.  It was pretty awesome to be sitting on top of a steep hill and envisioning the Redcoats climbing up to battle the colonists. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How do you deal with people forcing their opinions on you?  I know I am pretty opinionated.  I have been known to make my viewpoint heard but I have not gone as far as forced it on you.  At least I don't think I have. 

We live in a day and age where the government and liberal minded thinking has stepped in to our personal lives and has tried its best to dictate how you and I live. Personally, you can have your opinion about what is "safe" or not but don't force me to think like you and live in your paranoid world.  Oooo...I am starting to get my dander up.....breathe....ok. So, we have met our neighbors just a few doors done and their boys and mine are getting to know each other and like hanging out.  The other day both boys came home with bike helmets.  They were told that they "needed" them.  To be honest I don't know what the law is here on bike helmets.  I have purposely not looked it up.  From what I understand it is a suggestion not a law, but our neighbors feel that we are putting our children in danger and are doing their best to protect my kids. Bryce made a statement as he was walking out the door that I am pretty sure came straight from their house, "Kids with helmets don't end up in hospitals."  I think I can prove that statement wrong.  My communication to Bryce was if you like the helmet and want to wear it, then do. I, however, am not forcing it on my children.   I have a feeling we won't be best of friends with our neighbors, but will be able to be social to one another. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

At eight a.m. I was nudged and told to get up, we were going to the cemetery. 

A quick dress, a brush of the teeth, hair pinned up and we were ready to go.

This Memorial Day we visited the Mountain View Cemetery in Leavenworth.  Our first stop was the grave site of Jim Saunders, Todd's high school friend who he was able to lead to the Lord.  Jim served as a state trooper near Grand Coulee Dam.  One day he pulled over a speeder.  As he approached the vehicle the speeder pull out a gun and shot Jim.  Jim and his wife, Billie, had a toddler and were expecting their second son when he lost his life. 

Not too far away from Jim's grave site are the sites of Todd's grandparents, Vincent and Faye Brehm.  Grandpa Brehm served in the US Navy and the US Army.  Grandma Faye died two years ago.  It was for her funeral that Todd flew out here and was asked to move out here to pastor our current church.

Thank you to all those who have served our country and died for our freedoms.  Happy Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

All In The Name of Science

Yesterday, the deacons of our church surprised us with a rather large toad.  Stretched out from toe to nose he measures about 10 inches.  (I am guessing on that.  I didn't stick my hand in the bucket to measure him when he was frantically trying to escape.)  Todd is going to take the toad to school tomorrow for his biology class.  Yes...Mr. Toad has "volunteered" to participate in biology lab.  It reminds me of my first year teaching at Grace Academy in Chattanooga.  During my free period the head of the science department invited me to participate with the Biology class as they were observing the circulatory system of the frog.  I was asked to pith the frog and then place him on the overhead projector.  We then were able to watch the blood flow through it's veins.  We then cut him open so that we could observe it's heart beating. the way. To pith a frog is to stick a metal probe down the spinal cord to in order paralyze the frog and then place the probe up into the brain cavity and scramble it.  Yes...the frog is now brain dead but the heart is still beating for a little while longer so that you can see it at work. All in the name of science. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

We celebrated Mother's Day at Smallwoods this afternoon.

Smallwoods is a small farmhouse fruit stand that has turned into a fun-filled family center.  Besides selling the fruits and vegetables that they grow, they have a house filled with jams, jellies, preserves, soaps, jewelry, and about every little chotch-key you can imagine.  Then there is the petting zoo, the cow train, greenhouses, chicken coops, pigeons, swings, horse shoes, ball toss, cowboy roping, etc.   You get the picture.  We stopped off and picked up some venison and elk brats and drinks for a picnic and then explored the grounds.  It was fun and relaxing.  A good way to celebrate the day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Maifest 2012

It is Maifest time again...parades, dancing, polka, wrapping of the maypole, and more.

Play Time

Bonnie's play premiered last night.   She did a good job and I was really proud of her.  Bonnie was one of the maids in waiting and was in most of the choruses.  She had a dance number and was also featured as Cinderella in one scene.  
 In case you didn't know, Once Upon a Mattress is the story of the Princess and the Pea.  You know, the story about the queen wanting to make sure the girl her son, the Prince, wants to marry is a true princess so she sends the girl to sleep on twenty mattress and places a small pea under the bottom one.  The princess couldn't sleep all night because of the little lump made by the pea, therefore, declaring that she is a true princess.
 Of course, this play tells the details behind the whole story. The young men and women did an awesome job
with their acting, singing, and dancing.  The set was amazing.  I told you before that a young man who is originally from Leavenworth, but now designs sets in Hollywood, put their set together.  It will be a sad day when the kids have to tear it down and repaint the floors their boring black. 

Curtain Call

Friday, May 11, 2012

Frantic Friday

Frantic Friday, Full Friday, Fun Friday....however, you want to call it.  It's today.

I am still at church watching the clock; waiting for it to hit the noon hour so the kids and I can go home.  I don't know that I got a lot accomplished.  I got part of the bulletin done, the Children's church curriculum is ready for the next month and a half, the T&T Girls room has been cleaned up and reorganized, and I worked on the table decorations for the Ladies' Retreat which is next weekend.  Brian and Bonnie finished their school work, while Bryce still has more to go.  He did complete his math and part of his language, but was having a caniption (is that a word?) about diagraming his sentences. I decided to have him take a break and pick it back up after lunch.  We are all on allergy meds and they seem to be making us all groggy.  I thought the new stuff wasn't supposed to do that.  I might have to switch antihistamines. 

Tonight is Bonnie's play, Once Upon a Mattress.  I am excited to see it.  I volunteered to make cookies and sell them at the concession stand, so I will be busy this afternoon baking cookies.  I think I will make Monster Cookies and Oatmeal/choc. chip cookies.  Yum!  The worst part about making cookies for a group like that is individually wrapping them to sell. Yuck!  Unfortunately, I volunteered to make cookies for three out of the four nights.  I hope people like them.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Idol

Have you ever read a devotional book that hits you right between the eyes?  I mean, the author is speaking right to you and knows exactly what all of your strengths and weaknesses are?  Today's devotional with the kids was like that.  We have often talked about idols and what that means in today's context.  I mean, I don't have a Buddha or some statue of a saint in my house that I pray to or give offerings to, but we all have idols in our lives.  Idols are those things that we spend more time focusing on and relying on for our sanity, our safety, our security, etc. than God.  For some it's money, for others it is power or fame.  For me, well, for me it is self-reliance.  I like to have things in control and know that I can do just about anything myself.  I don't want to be a burden on anyone, so I will handle anything that comes up and you don't have to worry about anything.  I got it under control. 

Today, that feeling of having it all under control was being challenged and I wasn't liking it.  You see, we had a group of people in town visit our church and I arranged housing for them and let host families know what their responsibilities were.  However, the day before our guest arrived changes started being made.  Mind you I had planned out the all the meals, done all the shopping and had everything under control.  Now I had to make adjustments. The little voice in my head said, "Be flexible,"  so I smiled and let go of some of my control.  The thing is when working with groups of people, you can never be fully in control.  Everyone has their own agendas and their own plans. 

These past few days, my challenge to be flexible, and not be in control became a daily ordeal.  This morning was the most challenging when I realized that I needed to be at the church at 8 am but the young men staying next door didn't need to be at the church til 10 am.  Since I am the one feeding them, I had to wait on them.  I asked for them to call me with a time they would like breakfast, but unfortunately, instead of calling me like I asked they tried texting me.  (I gave them my home number, not my cell number.  I never got the text.)  Therefore, I didn't sleep all night because I didn't know when I could feed them.  By 9 in the morning I went over to the house next door to see if they were even up.  We finally agreed to have breakfast ready by 9:30 and by 9:45 they had all shown up to eat.  Let's just say, I was trying hard to keep a smile on my face and be cordial, while all along I was struggling with my agenda versus theirs and wondering if I was justified in my feelings.  All of this is to say, I have to remember to let things go and not worry about having it all under control.  I know I am a people-pleaser and want them to look at me and think, "Wow, she has it under control.  I don't need to worry about a thing,"  But really, who cares what others think. The crux of the matter is who am I doing all of this for?  Is it for me and my ego?  OR is it for the Lord?  I want it to be for God and need to tell my Self to get out of here and chill out.

Ok...just had to vent.  Thanks!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Family Night

The Avengers is out in theaters.

The boys, being boys, wanted to see it.  After doing some research on it (because it is PG-13), we decided that they could watch it.  I don't remember any profanity. There were no sexual scenes or innuendos. It was just heroes fighting bad guys and heroes fighting each other for dominance.  That is it.

Once school was out, the boys and I walked down to the local theater to get the movie tickets for the showing later that night.  If you have been to our town, you might recall that the movie theater is on the opposite side of town from us, probably a few  miles.  Nevertheless, we walked over to it, bought our tickets and walked back home with a detour at the playground.   We were gone for two hours, but it was two hours well spent.

Bonnie's play is this week. We will probably go on Friday to watch it.  I asked her how her play practices here compare to the ones she did in North Carolina with our home school group.  She thought our home school group plays were better organized and more productive.  She said this group has yet to go through the whole play yet and they are performing Friday!  I know it will turn out fine and will get lots of pictures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dad's 70th

 It has been six weeks since we celebrated dad's 70th birthday, but I finally got a device that allows me to get the pictures off my phone.  All the family and friends gathered together at my brother's house in Carmel, Indiana. 
 Mom and Laura decided to have a picture of dad from his National Guard days matted and framed and everyone signed it as they came in the door.
 Jim and Laura did a great job with the food.  All kinds of snacks, sandwiches, cakes, and goodies filled the tables.  So much for our diets.  As Jim would say it was a Blow It Day. 

 Dad had a good time.  His sister, Gloria, put together a video of "This Is Your Life."  Gloria and her husband, Weldon, as well as their son, Travis, are big historians.  They have been tracking our family line back to England and Scotland.  Gloria had pictures of dad from when he was a baby til now.  As pictures came up on the scene, stories began to flow.  Jim and I learned a lot about our dad, especially his wild college days. We had a lot of good laughs.
 Several of dad's cousins came over to celebrate, as well as his sister.  Mom's sisters and brother also came.  Several nieces and nephews (my cousins) and old friends made the trip over.
 Pictured here is dad's cousin, Jerry or Butch as everyone calls him and dad's sister, Gloria.
 Standing with my mom is her best friend from high school and college, Karen.  Karen is the one who witnessed to my mom and shared with her the Gospel message.  Karen's family, especially her father, took my mom in and gave her a second home when mom's dad died.  Mom was 14 when that happened.  Karen was a true and faithful friend, and our family feels indebted to her because her witness changed our lives forever.

After the crowd had gone, mom, along with her sister, Patty, Patty's husband, Van, and mom's brother, Charles  had to play a couple of hands of Euchre.  By the end of my trip, they had managed to teach me how to play as well.  It was so good to be with family for that week.  Mom and dad are still considering moving to Indiana. I wouldn't be surprised if they we settled in over there by this time next year.  All of their family with the exception of one sister lives within 30 miles of each other.  It will definitely make it easier for us to see everyone if they all live in the same area.