Monday, December 31, 2007

So Much To Tell

Last Sunday Scott and I and family left for Maryland. It took us about 9 hours. Virginia just seems to go on and on and on. Even though our trip was a long one it was good. It got dark as we were traveling and a full moon came out. The light from the moon lit up the surrounding farmland. It was beautiful! The family spent most of the next 3 days visiting, eating, and just all around having a good time. We went from house to house celebrating. I enjoyed my time immensely. It is always good to visit with family and make new memories.

After our whirlwind of Christmas festivities we decided to head to Ohio to take care of some house business. On Friday Scott and I drove around the area. We were in Rushsylvania and talked to some of the people that worked at Eversole's. (that is the market, deli, and gas station in town) One thing led to another and we ended up talking to Mrs. Eversole who happens to not only be the owner of the business but is also the village mayor. She spoke with us for I know at least a half hour. (We got many phone numbers and names from her that will be helpful when we begin building.) We were able to learn a lot about the village of Rushsylvania. If everyone in town is as friendly as she is then we will love living there!

On Saturday we were driving around the countryside and admiring the beautiful farm land when Breanna spotted two deer in a field. We watched them and they watched us. All of a sudden they started to run. I mean RUN. I was surprised at how fast they could move. Scott and I had noticed deer prints all over our land when we were out on it the day before. We went by Mr. Daniel Miller's house (the Amish man who will be building our house) but he was not home. We had tried visiting with him on our last trip with no success. (that is one thing about the Amish, one has to be there to talk to them, no telephones or computers) Well, we drove into the nearby town and thought we'd ask around and see if anyone knew him. Our thought was that maybe we had the wrong house. Well, we walked into a little antique shop and there were 4 Amish women in there. I was nervous but approached them to ask about Mr. Miller. They were very kind and helpful. We found out that Mr. Miller is a bachelor so he didn't have any family at the wonder no one was ever home during the day! They suggested we go back around 7 or 8 to speak with him. I laughed when the older lady said, "if he's not there when you get there just hang around and he will show up." (I'm sure he'd not find it strange to have a van of 'Englishers' sitting in his driveway at night.) Long story short, we went back at 7. He wasn't there we left and so we went to the gas station and when we got back there was a flicker of light in the window. He was home! He was a young man, maybe 25? Black trousers, blue shirt and suspenders. He doesn't have the beard as young bachelor men don't have to grow one. (after marriage they grow the beard) He had a woodburning stove in his living area. Boy did it put off the heat. He had oil lamps for light....but Scott and I did find it interesting that he used a hand cranked flash light. (the kind people use for camping) It was amusing that he asked Scott how he found his house, "Do you have the GPS?", he asked. "Those are cool." It was a merging of two totally different worlds. He was a very nice young man. We liked him a lot and he really seems to know and understand all the zoning issues, and permits needed in order to build. He said he would put up our house, "not a problem".

We finished up our trip with a visit to Calvary Baptist Church in Bellefontaine. We really liked it a lot and I think that will probably be the church we will attend once we move. It is only about 15 min. from where home will be in Rushsylvania.

All in all we had a good trip. We were exhausted when we got home last night, but had spent a great week visiting family and working on the details to get ready to build the house.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Anniversary

I am only going to blog for a minute tonight. I will fill everyone in on our exciting trip to Maryland and Ohio tomorrow. Today is Scott's and my 2nd anniversary. Wow. It really seems a lot longer than that. Of course I only mean that is the best sense. hehehe..... Now most couples who have only been married for 2 years would still be in the "what are we going to do for our anniversary, dear?" stage. Honestly, Scott and I (of course because of our great wisdom and maturity) are only interested in getting some sleep and (hopefully) some peace and quiet tonight. We sound old. We had a good trip back home today but 5 people being cooped up in a van together for hours is a bit nerve wracking. I knew it was a long trip when Scott started pretending to be Judy Garland as he sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow. What's even more scary is that I thought he sounded pretty good as Judy. What really had me worried is that he started singing I've Been Working On The Railroad and I started singing back up. I was the "do-wop" girl. What is even scarier than that, is that our children have camera phones. Uhh.....I hope the two of us don't end up on You Tube.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On The Road Again

The Gibson family is getting ready to leave for their 9 hour drive to Maryland. The weather here in Tennessee is kind of yucky and rainy. I think the weather is not supposed to be all that great up in Maryland either. Please pray that we have a safe (and uneventful) trip up the road. I haven't seen my aunts, uncles and cousins in a few years so I'm excited about this Christmas visit. I also am excited that I get to "show off" my new family. Scott will fit right in as an "old school" gamer. My family loves word games so they will enjoy playing with the Boggle king. I'm sure we will have fun. I'm also sure that we will gain weight on this trip. (I'm not going to think about that!) If I don't get the opportunity to blog for a while just know that it is because I'm so busy enjoying Christmas. I'll blog all about it when I get home.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Night At The Theatre

Kendrick and I had such a good time tonight on our "mom-date". After dinner we went to the Old Tennessee Theatre. It was recently remodeled to all it's glory. Wow is all I have to say. Kendrick and I walked into the foyer area after I picked our tickets up at the front window. Huge chandeliers, velvet drapes. It was built during the "gilded" age. Very ornate trim and paintings. Fifteen minutes before the movie started a man rose out of the orchestra pit in front of the stage. He was playing Christmas music on the mighty Wurlitzer organ. He did an excellent job and it was exciting...I mean who hears that kind of music anymore? It was a special treat. The movie was in black and white, and I really felt like the two of us were transported back in time to when going to the theatre was a big deal. It was an event. It was NOT like going to the movies today, when you can go to the mega-plex and squeeze in with half a million other people. As we left the theatre the staff handed out candy canes and wished us all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!! What an awesome evening we had. We walked through the downtown back to the parking lot. The city was quiet and there wasn't much traffic at 10 o'clock at night. It was just the best evening. I know Kendrick will remember this evening we spent together...and that is what really makes my heart happy.

I'm having a vision...

In the wee hours of the morning I had a dream...or a vision....or a premonition....whatever you want to call it. I dreamed that Scott and I had not built, but bought this HUGE house. HUGE. I remember running into one of the bathrooms and dancing because there was so much space. Then I ran into the master suite and danced and jumped around the room and then I took off like a shot down the long hallway. I ran back and forth from one end of the house to the other like some sort of Olympic track star. I was so excited that I couldn't sit down. I was bouncing around like a kid on a pogo stick. It was the funniest thing. Now, my take on this dream is this: We are so space challenged right now that I'm only able to see wide open spaces in my dreams. I have house building on my mind, and so therefore I'm dreaming of BIG houses with lots of space. OR this could just be a premonition of my onset of insanity, where I believe I am a kangaroo and so must hop everywhere I go. You pick. All I know is that in this new house we will have space....glorious space.....and I won't have to trip over boxes or stub my toes on the vacuum cleaner that now sits in the hallway, or dig through piles of clothes just to find what I am looking for in the closet.

Maybe my subconscious is telling me that even though I am living in a small space for now, that it will be worth it because in the not so far future I WILL be able to run from one end of the house to the other and not trip on anything! Hey, I'll let you know if tonight I dream about being an know sticking with the whole space theme.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An Early Christmas

We are going to be traveling over the Christmas holidays so we decided to have the family Christmas celebration early at the Gibson household. The kids were all thrilled with their electronic gizmos and gadgets, clothes and toys. After opening presents they were all in their "virtual world" for a good part of the evening. I bought Scott a huge nail gun from Home Depot, it looks like something Arnold Swartzanegger would have used in his Terminator movie. (that is what he wanted! who am I to say anything about tastes in gifts?) He likes the tools, what can I say? He got me a Kitchen Aid mixer. It is pretty nice. Who am I kidding? This new model does everything but wash the windows and make the bed. It is quite something...of course I had a difficult time just getting the bowl off of the stand...obviously I will need some practice in using such a high tech kitchen device. (Just between you and me I think he has ulterior motives in buying me this gift.) He also bought me a paraffin wax basin that one dips their hands and feet in and it makes them soft. Very nice. Almost spa-like. I made sure to read the instructions carefully so as not to give myself 2nd and 3rd degree burns from hot wax while trying to beautify myself. That would not make for good Christmas pictures if I had to wear bandages from a hand treatment gone bad.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Uh Oh...

Uh Oh...if it's left up to me we might live in a cave! Okay people, now this is serious business. Scott is now talking to me about lighting choices for the new house. What do I like? I don't know! I have to think about it. I have to mull it over. Work lighting. Accent lighting. On the wall? In the ceiling? Free standing light sources? Up lights? Down lights? Oh, good grief! I think I'm getting light headed. I did not realize how many decisions there were going to be in building our own house, and we've barely started this housing journey. Scott had me over at Home Depot tonight. (It seems like we spend a good portion of our waking hours at that particular home improvement destination.) We looked at lights. We stared at the lights. (note: staring at bright lights is not a good idea...I saw spots for quite some time afterwards.) We discussed the lights. We asked one of the guys some questions about the lights. We still have no idea what to do about the lights. We did buy a lighting product catalog to study. Who knew the invention of electricity would cause such a quandary? People had it much easier when there were just candles and lanterns.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Shave and a Haircut...2 Boys!

Okay, I'm weirded out a little bit. Bradley is 16. He is as tall as I am, he's been shaving for about a year now. Kendrick is 12, he is also as tall as I am and his voice is beginning to change. My little boys aren't so little anymore. Sometimes I will disassociate myself from the situation and just try to look at them objectively. I can't believe how fast they are growing. It scares me too. I don't think I'm ready for my boys to start turning into men. I know I don't really have a choice...but I'm just not ready yet. I realize I still have some time left, let's face it they don't seem very "manly" when they are rolling around on the floor wrestling, or making gross bodily function noises and giving themselves a high five for it. Yuck. Then they definitely seem their age! I have such hopes and dreams for them. I long for them to grow up to be the kind of men that others look to for direction . Strong both in mind and body. Kind to those they meet, and always willing to help others. Loving husbands and fathers. I want for them to be men after God's own heart. Men that will desire to study His word and apply it to their lives. Men who have a passion for the Lord. Do you remember the movie Passion of the Christ? One of the most touching scenes of that movie (besides the actual crucifixion) for me was when Mary was having flashbacks of when Jesus was a toddler and then a little boy, then a teenager, and finally she was drawn back to the present watching her son carry His cross. Those scenes pulled at my mothers heart. How must if have been for Mary? To watch her son grow, knowing that he was fully human, yet fully God? When she grabbed his little toddler hand in her own, or washed his dirty face, when she tucked him in at night, or watched him play, when she saw him work with his daddy, or want to go on walks by himself. I guess I got to thinking about all that because Christmas is so close at hand. Christ the Savior was born. Sometimes I get so caught up in the holiday festivities that I don't give full due to the fact that God humbled Himself and came to this earth as a child. That is still so amazing to me. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Psychological Study

A study should be done on the brains of people who dare to go shopping so close to Christmas. Insanity might come up in the report. More than once. Scott and I hit Wal-mart yesterday. Hit is a good word. That is what I wanted to do to the lady in front of me that was moving at the pace of a snail. She was not disabled in any way. She was just too busy chatting with her shopping partner and didn't bother to get out of the aisle. I almost ran her down with my cart. I don't know what came over me. Maybe holiday hysteria. Is that a medical term? She's just lucky I gained my composure before I mowed her down and left nothing but some tire tracks on her back and a few pieces of Christmas wrapping paper in my wake. After I got around her, I was looking for some jeans for my middle son. (Don't worry, he's getting other stuff besides just clothes.) Whoever was there before me left the jeans in a shamble. Obviously, this person was not much of a folder. I had to dig around in what had become a massive pile of jeans. I found the correct size of jeans, but not before I almost passed out from lack of oxygen during the denium avalanche. It wasn't pretty. At this point, I beat a hasty retreat to the electronics department, where I knew that I would find my husband. Yep, sure enough. There he was. I got a few other things and we were out of that insane asylum. The same sort of drama went on at Target,Home Depot and Best Buy. At Best Buy the shoppers are herded through corrals to get to the cashier. I started to know what it is that a cow feels like. By the time one gets to the cash register, she's so exhausted and mind-numbed, that she would gladly sign away the rites to her first born if they'd just give her that stupid electronic gizmo that she's lugged all over the store.

After all this Scott and I were exhausted. We decided we needed to have some sustenance in order to keep our energy up. This led us to IHOP. We were finishing up dinner when we saw a friend of mine that I used to work with at school. She stopped by our table to chat and laughingly mentioned that she has seen us out and about on several different evenings...but never with the kids. Did we do something to our children?? We need to get away from them (and them from us) for a little while. That is one of the glorious things about home schooling and working from home---we are together ALL THE TIME during the day. Sometimes we just need a break. It's good for all of us. Hey, Scott and I need to have some adult time once in a while. This reprieve allows my nervous eye tic to settle down and the muscles in his neck and face to relax a little bit. Then it's all good again and we can go back home.

Well, I'm in for the evening. I've washed the dishes, straightened up around here, and balanced the check book. The kids are working and trying to finish up their school assignments for the day. Scott is working at his computer. Life is calm right now. I take a deep breath. It's so peaceful. Okay, that moment is over. Now what am I going to fix for dinner????

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside!

I'm glad it is cold. It actually feels like Christmas. (I just don't understand how people who live in South Florida or in California can feel Christmas-y in shorts and t-shirts.) I have about 50 bazillion things to do this week. (Do you ever notice when reading my blogs, that when I feel overwhelmed I tend to exaggerate? Really, it's not 50 bazillion, it's more like 30 trillion.) Scott and I have been good shoppers for everyone else so far, but when it comes to our own children we are slackers. I told Scott that we would have to go out this afternoon and do some shopping. Fight the crowds. Scavenge and hunt. Walk the malls. Unload some of our money at Best Buy. Either that or our kids might disown us! Hmmm, maybe that is an idea....... no, just teasing.

Tomorrow I have Bradley at the dentist to get his crown, and Kendrick to the orthodontist to get his braces/appliance adjusted, both are scheduled at 10:30 am. Now, I know I have sometimes pulled off being in two places at once (don't ask questions, just accept it....I've been known to defy science---and no I'm not talking about my cooking!) I'm not superwoman so lucky for me these two doctors offices happen to be right next door to each other. I can go back and forth to check on the boys. I need to do a little more shopping (after today), deliver presents to my school friends, my sister-in-law is going to visit with her two boys sometime this week and we are going to make cookies and hot chocolate, and Friday I'm taking Kendrick out on our Mom-date. We are going to the Tennessee Theater to see Miracle on 34th Street. ( I took Bradley out this past Friday. We had a good time and talked a lot. He is an interesting boy when one can actually get him to sit still and have a conversation.) I do enjoy these "dates" with the kids. Even if they think their mom is goofy. I mean that might very well be true, but that is beside the point.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Living in "Mayberry"

Rushsylvania, Ohio. Population of about 650 people. Future home of the Gibson family. On Tuesday morning Scott and I left the kids to sleep in the hotel room. (we didn't get in until 3 am in the morning, so they were tired) We went to the look at the property. It had snowed and was windy so the cornfields had snow blowing across them. Unknown to me until this trip, Rush Creek Township has some of the highest spots in Ohio. (1200 feet above sea level--the highest spot being 1500) Sooo...there is some wind. We found the land and Scott wanted to get out and look it over. (It is a nice, slightly rolling 6 acres) Being the good wife that I am, I got out too. I had on jogging pants and sweatshirt, a coat, and tennis shoes. I mentioned that it had snowed and was melting. Let's just say that tennis shoes get very soggy, as do the socks and feet in the tennis shoes, when a woman steps into melting snow. I tried to be a trooper and not complain, even though by this point my feet had turned blue and were feeling very much like ice cubes. Note To Self: Buy a nice pair of winter work boots and make sure they are waterproof!

Scott had set up an appointment with some men from a local concrete company. They met us at the land to look it over. They were super nice guys. They are locals and have lived there their entire life. They know everybody--and I do mean everybody! God definitely had his hand on this meeting. They gave us names and numbers of people. They took us to meet their brother who does excavation. We learned a lot about what needs to be done. Then these guys told us about a house that they had just poured for. Would we like for them to take us over there to look at the place? Now, just let me say that going to this mans house was an interesting experience!! We turned onto this country road between cornfields. It was mud and water...and lots of it. Good grief! It was a good mile back this road (more like a mud pit) to the house. By the time we got there Scott and I looked like we had been mudding. The van was literally covered. We could hardly see out the windows due to the mud splashed everywhere. (I took pictures!) This man had a shop that was built similar to what we are looking at. He had Amish men build it. He told us 6 Amish men built that building in just 3 days. (4800 sq. feet) I was incredulous . It was like a barn raising. All that work and with no electricity. All hand tools. Amazing! Of course, if one wants to work with the Old Order Amish one must meet with them in person, as they don't use telephones or computers. The next day Scott and I did go by this Amish man's (Mr. Miller) house, but no one was home. It was a nice drive though, beautiful farmland. You could tell it was an Amish farmhouse because there were no lights on, and in the driveway one could see very thin marks made from the buggy wheels, no big tires! Oh, and that same day we passed a one room Amish school house. The children were playing outside during lunch. There were some buggies parked in back. The kids were interested in the Amish people. Kendrick wanted to know why they wore such dark colors? (We saw some Amish couples in town in their buggies too.) I explained to him that the Amish are very plain people. They try to live very simple lives and they don't feel they need the bright colored clothing, electricity, or other "modern conveniences".

Another funny kids story... When we were out and about in the country side we had taken a wrong turn. We turned around at a small farm. They had some animals in a pen near the road. We couldn't decide if they were baby deer, baby donkeys, or baby llamas. Kendrick said that we could call them the "llama-donka-deer." That is what we did. We had a good laugh about our "new" animals. Have you ever seen a "llama-donka-deer"? Well, we have!!!

The village of Rushsylvania is small, that is true. (I'm learning how the whole town system works in Ohio. It's all new to me.) It starts with the unincorporated areas, they are very small. Then the villages, next bigger are the towns, and then then there are townships which are like districts. Finally, there are cities. So we will have a Rushsylvania address (about a mile out of Rushsylvania) but we still live in the Rush Creek Township. I know that once we move everyone in town will know everything about us probably within a week. That is fine. This is the type of small town that I read about in my Jan Karon books. (Mitford Series) I'm sure I'll have a lot of interesting people and things to blog about.

Well, I guess that is it for now. I'll keep everyone posted about the ongoing building process, travels, and getting used to the small town life. (Well, Bellefontaine --remember it is pronounced Bell-Fountain--is only 10 minutes away, it is the county seat of Logan County. Bellefontiane is there when we decide we need a Wal-mart trip, some good coffee, a home improvement store, or church.) This is going to be an adventure......

Monday, December 10, 2007

Voice of the Martyrs

I get a magazine from VOM (Voice of the Martyrs) each month. It is always an eye opening and heart wrenching experience. As a Christian I never realized how many brothers and sisters in Christ are persecuted EVERY week because they have chosen to follow Jesus Christ. Pastors in Asian countries are hauled out of their homes with no warning and are thrown in jail indefinitely. Unlike our prisons in the states, these jails don't have TV, work out rooms, or decent food. They suffer for the name of Jesus. Young Indian people who are disowned from their families (some even killed by their own family members) because they have "brought shame" to the family name, all because they proclaim the name of Jesus. They suffer isolation or even death because they love the Lord. Middle Eastern families that fear for their very lives. If it is found out that they are followers of Christ they will be killed. They suffer for their faith. Children in African countries that attended Sunday School classes, where militant Muslims chased the children into the fields, then set the fields on fire. One little boy was burned over most of his body--all because he proclaimed the name of Christ. He suffered for THE NAME.

How dare I ever complain about going to church. How dare I say something if I don't like a certain song, or I think the pastor is preaching too long. I drive to church and park without fear of being shot at or bombed. I don't have to sneak into the building to worship. I get to sit in a padded pew with other Christians who shake my hand and smile at me. I can sing as loud as I want without fear someone will hear me. My family hasn't disowned me and my friends aren't spying on me to see if I am a follower. I live in a country where I am still free to worship Jesus Christ.

God forgive me for my complacency. Forgive me for when I become spoiled and ungrateful. I pray for these brothers and sisters who live for You and die for You all over the world. If I were in their place, what would I do? Would I stand up for You? Or would I be too scared to utter Your name? Would I give up everything I knew, in order to be Your child? Would I boldly proclaim the name of the Son of the Living God? Would I suffer profound persecution knowing that it is all for Your glory? Lord, I am so thankful that I live in the USA where I don't have to worry about these things....but what if I did? What if it came to that in this country? What would I do?

But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? ...We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35,37

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Revelations 2:10

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away. Revelations 21:4

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ow! That really hurt.

You ever have one of "those" kind of days? I'm bumping into everything. I'm not a clumsy person, normally. Honest. But you'd never know that from how today has gone! Earlier this morning I was coming down the hallway and I crunched my toes on the vacuum cleaner. Now this vacuum cleaner is a Kirby. It is big, strong, has a headlight and sounds like a 747 taking off. Well, when my toes hit THAT I let out a yelp and went into some sort of convulsing chicken dance as I hopped down the hallway. Bradley, who was in the living room, said, "Mom, are you okay? What happened?!" My toes were killing me and through the moaning and squirming around I managed to squeak out that I think I did something terrible to my poor foot. He did give some momentary sympathy. Next, I burned my hand when getting some lunch out of the microwave. Another LOUD ouch on that one. Finally, I went to open the door in the kitchen, it stuck and I didn't realize this until too late. Whack. Forehead against door.

I think I will go sit in a dark closet and wait for this day to be done. I'm scared to fix dinner tonight. It could be dangerous.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Quotes of the Day

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." ---- Will Rogers

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome." ----Booker T. Washington

"Begin with the end in mind." ----Stephen Covey

"What we obtain too cheap we esteem too little; it is dearness only that gives everything value." ----Thomas Paine

"The best mirror is an old friend." ----Proverb

"Don't be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life." Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stringing Cranberries

Last night the two younger kids and I decorated the Christmas tree the old fashioned way. It was a lot of fun. I had a bowl of cranberries, a bowl of popcorn (that Scott fixed for us in our cast iron skillet) , a bowl of fruit loop cereal, and a bowl of beads. I gave each of the kids a needle and some yarn. We strung the various foods with the beads and made some really pretty strands to put on the tree. We also added some pine cones and cinnamon sticks to the tree. We finished off last nights decorations with tying bows of silver ribbon onto the tree. I think the tree looks very pretty now. It is not going to win any awards for "perfection", but I don't care anything about that. What is important is that we had fun as a family. The tree smells really good too!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Entertaining Angels?

Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

Scott and I had an interesting experience last night. Well, let me just tell you the story and then you tell me what you think...

Scott and I were winding down for the night after a competitive game of Boggle:) Scott had gone downstairs and realized that we were totally out of the cat litter...and the situation was dire. He asked me if I would go to Wal-mart with him to get the litter? Now, I didn't want any cat accidents so I said okay, even though at this point it was late and very cold outside. Well, I thought, Wal-mart is only 10 minutes away, we will run in get the litter and run out. So off we went on a cat litter run. We took the back way to Wal-mart which has some houses on it, but other stretches that have no houses and are very dark (no street lights). There are also some parts that have overgrown vegetation and no shoulder on the road. As we were driving along talking we were practically up on this little girl before we even realized she was walking on the side of the road. We drove by her, as there was no time to stop that quickly. Scott and I looked at each other. What is going on here? She is young. I estimated no more than a little 13 or 14 year old. What is she doing out at 12:15 in the morning, in the pitch black and freezing cold? We turned around and came back. Scott rolled down my window and as we stopped next to her I asked her if she would like a ride somewhere? (Now, Scott and I are not ones to pick up just anyone on the side of the road. These days that can be a scary prospect. This little girl just looked like she needed help.) She did accept the ride and we turned the heat on full blast in the car. All this girl had on was a pair of denium shorts, flip flops and a cotton-knit shirt. She was a very attractive little girl...which made me think, "what if someone with less noble intentions had stopped to "help" her?" I shudder to think. She thanked us for the ride and said she was on her way to Wal-mart, could we please take her? She mentioned something about her parents and running out of gas, and they thought she could walk to Wal-mart. We didn't know if this story was true but, she didn't say anything more. Scott and I got the feeling that her parents were somewhere else. (not nearby) She said she had been walking and couldn't feel her fingers anymore because she was so cold. Scott asked her if she was going to be okay? She said yes and that she was supposed to have a relative meet her at Wal-mart. We watched to make sure she got into Wal-mart.

Scott and I went to get the cat litter. After coming back down the main aisle and after having both come to the same conclusion, we stopped at the junior girls dept. and picked up a fleece jacket and a pair of gloves. We hoped she would still be at the front of the store in the entrance when we got there. Sure enough she was. She was hugging herself and was obviously just cold to the core. So I said to her (Scott thought that  I, as a woman and a mom should be the one to talk with her.) "Hi. Listen, you don't look much older than our daughter. We know you are cold and we just can't stand to see you freezing. We bought you a jacket and some gloves. Please just take them. You know you want them." She smiled and thanked us and put them on immediately. We asked her again if she would be okay. She said yes and and thanked us again. We left her sitting on the bench inside the Wal-mart entry way. At least she was in the store and in a lighted area. We both wished we could help more, but what else could we do? We got in our car and came home, but we prayed that the Lord would protect that little girl and keep her safe.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Home Tours

Breanna and I went out Saturday night for the Christmas Home Tour. We had a lot of fun. These houses were just beautiful. The period Christmas decorations were extraordinary! The people who took on these restoration projects really had "the vision" of what these houses could once again become. Many of these homes were from the turn of the last century. I was amazed at the heights of these ceilings. Many of the homes had butler pantries. A lot of the bathrooms had the antique claw foot tubs. Now, I think those tubs add to the bathrooms, but in looking at them I realized one would really have to be able to lift her leg high to get in the tub. I never realized how deep those tubs are. A lot of the bathrooms were huge. Also many of the staircases were steep and narrow. There was a very heavy set lady on the tour. Nothing against her at all, but watching her on the stairs made me consider the size of people 100 years ago. Honestly, it would have been difficult to maneuver up narrow stairs and under low eaves in many of these houses for someone who was big. I just think it is interesting the way these houses were laid out (esp. since Scott and I are in the process of working out house plans for our own house building project). These houses had staircases that led down into the foyer area. Most of these houses had fairly large foyers. The bedrooms were on the small side. ( I guess back then people only slept in their bedrooms so they figured they didn't need that much space there...unlike today where people like to hang out in their bedrooms and read, watch TV, maybe workout on the treadmill etc.) Something else I noticed was the parlor and large dining area rooms. The kitchens were not very big, but the dining rooms were huge. They could hold a large table and still have a bunch of space. I assume that meal times, esp. with large families, was a big meeting time where everyone gathered around the table. Oh, and as Breanna pointed out there were A LOT of fireplaces throughout these houses. Almost every bedroom and all the downstairs rooms had one. I'm assuming that these were main sources of heat, so each room required one? It's really pretty funny, thinking about all these things and how so much has changed. Scott and I are concerned with energy efficiency, the layout of rooms--creating a "good flow", high traffic areas, flooring choices etc. I wonder if 100 years from now people will look at OUR house and think how quaint it is and how people in 2008 lived:)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Alternative Housing Materials

I was watching FOX news this morning and they had a story about people in, I think it was, Florida that are using steel storage containers for housing material. These storage containers have sat at the harbor and were not being used. Builders are finding the steel to be an excellent material to use in these new houses. Very strong. The houses look "normal" on the outside, but inside all the walls are made from the steel. I told Scott, "Look! They are using steel! Our metal house idea is not so weird." Actually, if you look on the net there are a lot of companies that make metal buildings. Using metal/steel buildings for homes is becoming more and more popular.

Another alternative house was in my December Country Home magazine. A couple bought a 22 acre farm in Wisconsin and instead of living in the house on the property (which was older), they chose to remodel and live in the huge Scandinavian-style barn. Wow! It is absolutely gorgeous. Wide spaces, airy, warm wood everywhere....yet it still looks like a house. I was curious as to how they insulated such a large area. I found out that they insulated with a sprayed-in-place foam from the outside (then residing), which preserved the interior woodwork.

In This Old House magazine a couple remodeled an industrial building that used to be used for making eye glasses. It was interesting because they chose to leave a lot of the industrial/architectural details. It was a lot of work to fix it up, but now they have this really cool loft home.

Scott and I have been looking over house plans for the past few days. We've been discussing options. It is exciting to think about building our own house. There are so many interesting products/materials out there.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Golden Compass

I guess everyone has heard about this movie that is coming out next week. I suppose you've probably also heard about the trilogy of books that the movie is based on. The author, a Mr. Phillip Pullman, is not only a self proclaimed atheist, a hater of C.S. Lewis (and his Narnia tales) but in his own words wants to "kill God in the minds of children." His views are obviously tied up in secular humanism.

I've read several articles about this movie and about the author. I looked up Mr. Pullman and found out a lot of interesting information about him. This all got me to thinking. Contemplating. This movie is but one example (be it Hollywood or the books) of how the world wants the hearts, minds and souls of our children. What better way for the Father of Lies to create more darkness in the world then to steal and corrupt our children? Wrapping the sin of the world up in a pretty package is just what he wants. If we as Christians don't teach our children God's word, then who do we think will? Putting on the full armor of God is no small thing. Nor is it a small battle that we fight. It is hard core, full out, lives at stake... war. Now, I don't know about you but I have no plans on sacrificing my children to the gods of this world....and make no mistake about it, this world wants your children too. As Christian parents we are called to talk with our children daily about God and what He says in His Word. It is to become such a part of their lives that they are able to face the world head on with conviction. No matter what. Am I a perfect parent? No. Do I make mistakes? Of course I do. Being a godly example is one of the most difficult jobs there is, but I am not called to give up. Or to give in. I am called to keep running the race.

There is a wonderful book called Praying The Bible for your Children. It is by David and Heather Kopp. Page 148 of this book has the Armor of God Prayer based on 2 Corinthians 10:4. "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

They go on to say-- Praying Ephesians 6:10-18

Lord, today I pray that You will equip my child for spiritual battles: Help_______ to put on Your full armor so that when the day of evil comes, he may be able to stand his ground, and after he has done all he can do , to keep standing. (v.13) Show my child how to buckle the belt of truth around her waist and how to fasten the breastplate of righteousness in place. (v.14) Fit my child's feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (v.15) Give my child strength to take up the shield of faith, with which he can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (v.16) Assure my child,_____, that she wears the helmet of salvation, and help her take up the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word (v.17) And after my child is clothed with Your armor, may he continue to stay alert to evil and pray at all times for himself and others. (v.18) Amen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hmmm...I Don't Know About That.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.... a famous line, but is it true? Hmmmm....I don't know about that.

I got a name book from the library a few weeks ago. It is very interesting. It contains lists of popular names and what years that they were the most popular. It has name trends and meanings of names. That is where it became interesting. I've looked up everyone that I know. Then I think to myself, "hmmm...does this name suit this person?" I find in most cases it does. I am a firm believer in people living up to their names. That is why it is my opinion that parents should be very careful in what they name their children. I've never understood the silly names that Hollywood stars pick for their children. Apple? Moon Unit? Coco? Satchel? Just strange. I bet they will have strange kids too. When I taught school, boy did I hear some good ones! Precious. Treasure. Princess. Too sugary. Then there are the students with car names like Porshe, Mercedes, and (my fav) one of my former students named ALexus. Not Alexus, but A-Lexus. Named after her mom's favorite car. Puh-leeze people! These children have to live with these least until they are old enough to have them legally changed. haha.

Okay, here is what the book said. You tell me what you think.

Dawn (that's me!) English for Sunrise, New Beginnings ----- I like it. I think I'll keep it!

Scott English for "from Scotland" That pretty much explains itself. He has ancestors from Scotland so that is neat. Also a familiar English form of Prescott.

Bradley English, meaning broad meadow. He does love running around outside in wide open spaces. So we will go with that.

Kendrick Scottish for royal chieftain. His daddy and mommy's only son and the only grandson for a long time. At least I didn't name him Henry V or George VI or something:)

Breanna Irish for strong, virtuous, and honorable. Strong is a good word for Breanna. Stubborn is another. he he he...

Ruth Hebrew for friendship. It fits. She is a great mom and friend.

Dorothy is Greek for gift of God. She is the best aunt ever. She has definitely been a gift to me.

Rebecca Hebrew for tied and bound. Hmmmm.... I would think, like the biblical Rebecca who was bound to her husband. Becky is a good wife so that works. Her husband, Eric, is Scandinavian for ruler of all or English for brave ruler. He is a godly husband and head of his household. Definitely fits. Their girls are Hannah, Hebrew for gracious. Bethany is Aramaic for house of figs. Interesting. She will be fruitful. Lastly there is Abigail, which is Hebrew for father's joy. That says it all.

Christa is the shortened form of Christina (German) which means Christian, annointed. Wow. That is a great name to live up too. A follower of Christ.

Ernest is English for earnest and sincere. Also a good choice. Two great character traits.

Jessica is Hebrew for wealthy. There are many ways to be rich in this life, and having lots of money has nothing to do with it. Jessica is rich in a lot of things that money can't buy. Her daughter,Cheyenne, is a tribal name...and her son Kade is Scottish for wetlands or the americanized version meaning a combination of the initials K and D. Her husband Eddie, is English for a familiar form of Edgar, which means successful spear man. Okay, Jessica you figure that one out! His sons are Dusty, form of Dustin which is German for valiant fighter. Wyatt is French for little warrior. Cool.

Brittany, English meaning from Britain. That speaks for itself. Her daughter Natalie is Latin for born on Christmas day. Her husband is Nathan and his name is Hebrew for Nathaniel, who was a biblical prophet. Stephanie is Greek for crowned and her son is Joseph which is Hebrew for God will add, or God will increase.

So after reading this, do you agree? Names are interesting things.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Work That Makes You Happy

I've heard it said that if you find something in life that you love to do, it won't seem like work. (even if it is!) Now, I did enjoy my teaching job. It was always more about my students then the actual teaching, I guess. I enjoy people so it is only natural that I'd like to teach. Though in all my many years of teaching I never felt I was good enough. Whatever "good enough" means. I suppose I always wondered if someone could teach these children better than what I could do? I tried to make learning fun. My personal philosophy is that learning should be fun. It shouldn't be something that children are "forced" into, but more along the lines of something that they just can't help themselves from...the love of learning that will last a life time. I think people who stop learning are boring. I really mean that. We've all met people like that. The kind of person that you can't get away from soon enough because they haven't told you anything new in the past 10 years. On the other hand, don't you love the kind of people who never stop learning and they are all the time saying things like, " I read somewhere that .......", or " let me show you this cool new thing I found out about....", or " what do you think about so and so....tell me your opinion."

Besides the teaching, another thing I really have fun with is decorating. I've always been a very aesthetic person. I love the way things it beautiful architecture, the morning sun streaming through the window, a perfectly placed pillow on the couch, a well prepared meal, or beautiful children in their Sunday best. I've always loved to decorate. I like to run my hands over the softness of chenille, or the crispness of fine linens. I love to feel the texture of high thread count sheets, or the creaminess of silk. I'm absolutely terrible when I go to places like Bed, Bath and Beyond because I'm always touching things! Just between you and me, I've been tempted on numerous occasions to throw myself head first onto one of those makeshift beds they have there. You know the kind that they display their sheets and comforters on. They always look so fluffy and soft. I just want to try it out. But alas, I've managed to contain myself for fear of them calling security on me. I have a ton (probably literally) of decorating books that I can sit for hours and look at. I also subscribe to at least 3 different magazines that teach me how to decorate. Now you might be thinking to yourself, "Why is decorating important in the big scheme of life? How is decorating going to make the world a better place?" This is true. Good decorating is not going to bring world peace...but it is still fun and I like it a lot. I enjoy painting. I like to refinish furniture. I think stenciling is fun. I believe organizational strategies for the home are a gift from the Almighty. Yeah, I've got it bad. I'd watch HGTV all the time if Scott would let me. I used to subscribe to This Old House and actually managed to get my hands on a copy the other day. I read an interesting article on remodeling a loft in NYC and a good article on engineered wood products. Okay. I admit that might seem a bit strange, but then again I never said that I wasn't strange. It could be worse, ya know. I could want to be a politician:)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I've seen several people around here that have their lawns decorated for Christmas. Now when I say "decorated" I'm not talking a few lights, maybe a wreath on the door. I'm talking about yards that look like the Las Vegas strip. I'm talking about so much blinking that if I was prone to seizures, all the flashing lights might cause me to have an episode. These people had to have bought every Christmas novelty that is on the market. It seems like every blade of grass has a light on it. Reindeer are flying over the house, and fake snow is blowing in those huge plastic snow globe balls. I wonder how long it took to get all this stuff up? I was working up a sweat just thinking about all the work that it would take to pull off this lighting-blinking extravaganza. I do like to take the kids to look at the lights. Certain subdivisions are better than others when it comes to this sort of display. Of course, I wouldn't want to be these people when they get their January electric bills!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Just Can't Help It

Alright, I admit it. I've been having a movie marathon over the past 2 days. I love watching the cheesy Christmas movies on ABC family. I just can't help it. I know most of the movies have very predictable plots, the guy always gets the girl, and everyone is home for Christmas. Okay. Fine. But I still like them. Hey, we all have to have our guilty pleasures. Scott just smiles and shakes his head at me.

Tonight, White Christmas, is on. That is one of my all time favorite Christmas movies. I also love to watch Holiday Inn, Miracle on 34th Street, and The Bishop's Wife. I prefer the old black and white movies, but the new ones are fun too.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's all a part of the plan...

Scott and I have come to a conclusion. The house that we NEED is not any of the houses that we've been FINDING while on our house hunting adventure. I have scanned the internet and spoken with at least 4 different realtors. I have looked at houses until my eyes have crossed. We went on our trip to Ohio and looked at several houses. Nice houses but just not what we really need. So.....we got to thinking about building our own house.

Now keep in mind that this is just in the planning stages. We are going to need to buy land first. We have been looking into steel/metal buildings. Steel is strong, durable, and one doesn't have to worry about rotting or warping wood as the house ages. Metal buildings don't require painting or a roof that needs re-shingled. On the outside the building would be metal, but on the inside it would look like a "normal" house. We could get A LOT more space in this type of building then in a conventional style house for less money. That sounds like a deal to me.

When Scott first mentioned this idea I was a little unsure. Okay, I was skeptical....but I wasn't against it. I had a bunch of questions. Would the house look like a warehouse building? Would people driving by, mistake it for a metal barn? Then the idea quickly started to grow on me. Higher ceilings, much more room, larger spaces, storage areas......yet, we could put up walls inside the building and add all the "expected" house things inside and it could still be cozy. So now I'm excited about the possibilities.
We have also talked about making a small cabin for our family to live in for 6-7 months, on our property, while the house is being built. The cabin would be small, but we could do this for a short period of time. (especially, if I know I'll have a great deal of space in the near future!) After the house is built and we could move in, the cabin would then be used as a guest house. We could have friends and family visit with us in Ohio and yet they could still have their own space (think some privacy) while staying with us. That would be neat, huh?

There is so much to think about, and so much to be done. We realize this. I am sure that Scott and I will have many, many planning sessions over a good cup of coffee. Scott has already called and talked to a man in Clark county Ohio about zoning , just to get an idea. We've been to Home Depot to price materials for the cabin. It sure would be nice if we could have all "our ducks in a row" before spring so we could then get started. The dream is to be in our new "industrial-style" house by next Christmas. That would be so great! I'm sure there will be many blogs about all of this in the future. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends.

May you look back with gratitude and look ahead with a good attitude. Take time to thank God for all He has done to bless.... and forgive yourself for all the rest.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I have a theory...

I have a theory that laundry multiplies faster than rabbits on speed. My theory suggests that for every one piece of laundry that must be washed, 2 more take it's place. If one puts off doing the laundry for a few days than the pile of dirty clothes becomes unmanageable. I found some of Scott's socks trying to sneak off underneath the bed skirt. I caught them just before they were able to completely sneak off under the bed to multiply. It was a close call. My underwear supply is getting dangerously low. I don't like that feeling at all. I mean what if I happen to be in an accident? The rule is that one MUST have on clean undies, I wouldn't want hospital staff laughing at me. I can just hear it now, " Hey Doc, look at this lady! She has on dirty underwear. Didn't her mama ever tell her about the clean underwear rule?" Laundry is such a pain. Gather it, sort it, put it in a basket, get it in the machine, dry it, fold it, put it away. Only to start over again. Ugh!! Yes, I get the kids to help with this unrelenting task, and I do appreciate their help, but I'm still the laundry CEO. The buck stops with me...or should I say the stinky sock stops here?!

Oh, just great! I hear the dreaded buzzer on the dryer. I suppose that means I must get up and go get the laundry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Samson has us trained

Samson is one of our cats. He is a long haired cat with a lopsided ear. He is a blackish-brown color (depending on the light). The thing is this--he is most definitely a cat, but he truly believes he is human. What is really scary is that in the morning I'm the only one up (well, I should count Samson...he's always up when I'm up) and so I am TALKING to the cat while I fix my breakfast and fix the morning coffee. He looks at me and I believe he understands me. (What does that say about me? Either Samson is a very smart cat or I am so pitiful that I've taken to a Dr. Doolittle persona.) He really is a funny cat. He LOVES paper. Anytime there is paper on the floor ( and he is not picky) newspaper, textbooks, a W-mart bag, whatever... He goes and lays down on it. What is his love of paper all about? Just recently he has taken to patting the french doors off the kitchen. He wants out on the deck. I think he likes to watch the birds. Now all he does is sit and stare at one of us until we let him out on the deck. If that doesn't work he gives us a pitiful meow. Right now he is staring at me. I looked at him. He turned his head. Now he is ignoring me. I've been slighted. Fine!! You win. I'll get the door.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dumb Blondes or Dumb Men?

Yes, I realize that this is my second blog for the day, but I just couldn't let this one go.

I just saw a story on FOX news about how men act dumber around blondes. Is that hilarious or what? Now being that I'm a blond twice over (blond throughout childhood, hair darkened in young adulthood---I didn't like it, so I chose to take matters into my own hands and make myself blonde once again) I found this story interesting of course.

Yes, I know there are all those dumb blonde jokes out there (written by envious brunettes, I'm sure) and that some people see blondes as ditzy or goofy, but I beg to differ. All of us know (and yes, as I said, I am a blond) that hair color has nothing to do with ones intelligence. Ladies, let's face it, blonde, brunette, redhead, black, hey even if you have purple act goofy and silly around pretty women regardless of what color their hair is. That is just men for you. This is not big news. This is just the way it is.

Alright, guys before you get mad because I stated you act goofy around pretty women, just get over it. You know I'm right.

Thanksgiving Or How I Am Blessed

Thanksgiving always seems to sneak up on me...and well, here it is again! This Thursday is the big day. I try to think about all the things I'm thankful for and all the ways I've been blessed on a fairly regular basis, but this week I'm especially thinking about it.

There are all the obvious things that I am thankful for... food to eat (never have I gone hungry), a house to live in (never have I had to worry about shelter), clothes to wear (I have a nice warm coat for this cold weather), and good health (yes, I have some health issues, and though they can be a nuisance, they are nothing life threatening).

There are things that I am thankful for that are unique just to me. Things that have personal significance and mean so much, even though on the surface some of these things might seem odd for me to be thankful for.

I'm thankful I was born in the United States.... I've always enjoyed freedoms that so many in other lands do not have. I never had to worry about bombings, oppressive regimes, or starvation while growing up. I've always been proud of the country I live in and think that even though we might have some problems, we are still, hands down, the best country in the entire world.

I was born into a loving Christian family. I had parents that loved me and made sure I was taught about Jesus. (I've always thought my mom is one of the most intelligent women I know....hope some of that has rubbed off on her eldest daughter!) We attended church weekly and I knew that God loved me and Jesus died for me. I'm thankful that in 1979 I made a decision to give my life to the Lord and then to follow in baptism.

I'm thankful for my sister. I don't tell her enough that I think she is a great sister. Sure she drove me nuts many times as we were growing up. She mercilessly antagonized me until I blew up and threatened her life.....but I also remember playing with her, wanting to share a bedroom with her for a while, and having her hang out with me when I was in college and she was still in high school. She is now a great wife and mommy and I am proud of her. (though even now she likes to challenge me and beat me at games whenever she can!)

I'm thankful that I have relatives that lived close by my entire growing up years so that we could get together on a regular basis for birthday parties, holidays, and just to hang out with each other. My cousins were more like brothers and sisters then cousins. I'm thankful for all my wonderful memories from childhood, memories I look back on with an affection that can never be replaced.

I'm thankful I had the opportunity to attend a small Baptist liberal arts college, 500 miles from home. I learned to live on my own. I made friends. I took on responsibilities. I studied hard. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree.

I'm thankful for my very first job in a small, rural town in the mountains of Tennessee. I was an outsider. (Sort of a modern day "Christy".) I grew to love my students and they grew to love me. I'm so glad I started my teaching career in that school system. I learned a lot about people. I learned that poor doesn't mean ignorant, and that community pride is contagious. After that experience, I went on to teach individuals with special needs over the next 15 years and have gained many hilarious, touching, and sad stories to think back on and muse over. I feel like I made a positive difference in the lives of my students and their parents.

I'm thankful that I married when I was 24 to a man that taught me a lot of things about life, and then taught me a lot of things about dying. When he got diagnosed with his terminal heart condition I learned about human nature and emotion and how he dealt with the knowledge of knowing he was dying. Dying can be a difficult, scary and ugly business. (After all, we are all dying it is just that some of us realize this fact and others don't.) It was a painful lesson in many, many ways. I learned that being widowed was not the end of my life--and God is still good and He continued to bless me even during that most difficult of times.

I'm thankful for my son. Due to a medical condition, I wasn't sure if I'd even be able to get pregnant ....but to my great delight after 9 months of a near perfect pregnancy and just 2 days after my 27th birthday I was given one of the best gifts ever. A beautiful, healthy baby boy. I will be thankful to God for the rest of my days, for allowing me the opportunity to be a mommy.

I'm thankful that after 5 years of widowhood God blessed me with another husband. True, we didn't meet in a conventional way but there is no question in my mind that he is the one that God chose to bring into my life. We are coming up on our 2nd anniversary shortly, and yet it seems like we've been married much longer. (is that because we are wiser and more mature this time around, or we just have lost our sanity and don't know any better? The jury is still out on this one:) I love my husband and am glad that he loves me too!

I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to love and be a motherly influence for all of my husband's children and family. There is plenty of love to go around...that is the great thing about love--you can't "out love" someone. The love tank just keeps getting refilled. As much as I am teaching them, they are teaching me too. I'm blessed to have them in my life.

I'm thankful that I was able to resign from my teaching career and become a stay at home mom. I enjoy the new life style of home schooling and am grateful that I live in a country that allows my husband and me to teach our children how we choose.

I am a much blessed and very grateful woman. I challenge you to think of all your blessings. Thank God for all He's allowed in your life, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Are We The Frog In The Hot Water?

We've all heard the story about how if you put a frog in hot water he will jump out of the pot....but if you slowly turn up the heat of the water he won't know he is being cooked and will contentedly sit in the pot until it's too late.

A young Christian girl in Colorado was valedictorian of her class last year. She included a few brief sentences about Jesus in her speech and was told because of this infraction she would not be receiving her diploma. (freedom of speech only as long as you don't talk about your Savior.)

This week I hear on the news that many hotel chains will no longer allow Gideon Bibles in their rooms. (but they are considering adding condoms instead.)

We are told to start saying, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" or to buy the family a Dream tree instead of a Christmas tree.

Some schools in California are allowing students to recite Islamic prayers and to wear traditional Muslim garb to earn extra credit and are calling it "diversity". At the same time any reference to our founding fathers religion or mention of a Creator in textbooks is seen as archaic or at least not necessary.

The Ten Commandments are having to be removed from a lot of buildings. What will be next? The motto In God We Trust?

I don't know about you, but it seems to me every week there is something else on the news about how another part of our Judeo-Christian heritage is being taken away from us. In the name of political correctness, diversity, or tolerance we, as Christians are told not to be so "exclusive".

I just wonder if we will wake up one day and wonder what happened?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hip Home Schoolin', But Still Old Fashioned, Mama

I changed the look for my blog page. I thought it looked cool. At least for now. I might change my mind next week. haha!

I'm glad today is Saturday. It is more relaxed. I am introspective about myself enough to know that I have a problem with relaxing. I'm always thinking that I should be doing something. It is true that there is always something that I could do...but I stress myself out because I will never be able to accomplish everything. I need to rest more often. Honestly, sometimes my perspective gets out of whack... and as all of us mamas know, the laundry and dishes will still be there for us later, right?

That aside, last night I started wrapping Christmas gifts. Now, that was actually fun. I enjoyed it. I've bought just about all the Christmas gifts already and have most of them wrapped. I find it fun to pick out "just the right thing" for those that I love. I've always enjoyed giving gifts. Most years I have "theme" gifts and I try to locate items that go with the theme that I've picked out for that person. Okay, so you can think I'm a dork if you want too. I don't care. (but if I catch you calling me a dork then you go to the bottom of the Christmas list for next year!)

This morning I'm up. I fixed some cinnamon gingerbread coffee for myself, and for hubby who is still asleep! Though, on his behalf I must add that he has been sick for the past two days with a sore throat and a cold. He needs to rest so he will feel better. I've been making him tea with honey, having him eat chicken soup, and drink plenty of OJ.

Yesterday I was looking through Knoxville's Holiday Events page on the internet. I want to take each of the kids out separately to participate in a Christmas activity. (I like to affectionately call this a "mom date". I know the kids smirk at that, but secretly they love it when I take them out and each has my undivided attention....and when I am gone one day, they will have some good memories to look back on.) I think I'm taking Kendrick to the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree and carriage rides. I'm taking Breanna on the Victorian house tour (decorated for Christmas). For Bradley I'm thinking maybe ice skating on Market Square. I want to take all the kids to see A Christmas Carol at Clarence Brown Theatre (with our home school group), and I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to go to the Tennessee Theatre (circa the turn of the last century, that recently has been totally renovated and is absolutely gorgeous--it's like a walk back in time) to see the original black and white version of Miracle on 34th Street. I am very "old fashioned" in so many ways.

Okay, well I better go. Stuff to do, ya know.

P.S. I'm now reading Little Women on my Sony Reader. (the merging of the old and new, huh?)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Help! I'm buried under junk mail.

Yesterday I did some serious throwing out. I had accumulated a ton of mail to "look through later". You know what I'm saying. I might need to buy a diamond ring, join a new book club, buy a new sweater from L.L Bean, go to the sale at a local store, or get a free sample of panty hose. I mean this is important stuff, right? Well, looking through all of this stuff "later" got put off and next thing I know I'm being buried by a ton of paper. It is amazing how much paper is used to send out junk mail. I'm sure I had half a forest in my mail pile. Okay, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist. So as I'm wading through all the paper sludge the kids come into my room. "What are you doing?" Throwing stuff out. What stuff? Stuff I don't need. How do you know you won't need it? I just know...and if I make a mistake and throw out the coupon for a free ice cream at Brusters then I will just have to live with it. (Oh alright, I have to confess, if I did throw an ice cream coupon out in the trash, I might seriously consider digging it back out. I do have priorities you know!)

After much time and aggravation I finally got through everything. I now have papers I need to file. I'm proud of myself for disposing of A LOT of junk. Hey, I'm not bringing peace to the world, but it is one little thing that I accomplished to make my life more clutter-free and organized.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sweet Baby

Last night I went over to my friends house. She is a new mommy. She let me hold her son while he slept. Is there anything in the world more peaceful than that? Holding a newborn baby while he sleeps is so relaxing. He made faces while he slept, and made soft baby noises. I looked at his head full of soft hair, his almost transparent eyebrows, his little button nose, and his slim little fingers balled up in fists. How can anyone not know that God exists when they look at a baby? The verse about being known, even as I was knit together in my mothers womb....and the verse about being fearfully and wonderfully made. Babies are amazing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Colonial Days at Sam Houston School House

Yesterday I took the two younger kids with me on a home school field trip. (Bradley didn't go as he was not feeling well.) I was worried because it was raining when I woke up....but the rain stopped and off we went! I had never been to this location before and neither had the kids so it was an adventure just finding the place on the back roads of Blount County, Tennessee. What a great day it turned out to be! It was a wonderful turn out with home school mamas and their children, who ranged in age from K-12th grades. It was really neat to see everyone together and having fun. Kendrick and Breanna got to see the original school house that Sam Houston taught at. Very interesting. I told them they shouldn't complain. Students in the 1800's got a chalkboard, some slates, and wooden benches. I bet those got uncomfortable as the day wore on for those children. There was a small museum that told all about the life of Sam Houston. (He was the only man to be governor of two states... both Tennessee and Texas. ) The really fun part of the day was the stations that the kids got to participate in. There was candle dipping (they got to keep their candles), corn grinding, butter churning, and sauerkraut making. I was the one that was put in charge of the sauerkraut making. The high schoolers were excellent choppers of the cabbage. Middle schoolers still fine....but the elementary age kids made me very nervous. One of the 7 year old boys said, " I can do this! Just give me the knife!" I told him, "there will be no chopping off of any fingers at my station. I will HELP YOU." He was not thrilled, but I was a tad anxious to let him have the knife. It seemed to me that he wanted it a wee bit too much! We salted the cabbage and stored it in mason jars. The kids asked questions about how long it took for it to ferment? We discussed that during this time period preparing meals was a lot of hard work--and there were no such places like Wal-mart or grocery stores per say. One little boy looked at me, " no Wal-mart?" "Yes, no Wal-mart." "Wow."

Each family had brought food for lunch and we had a HUGE Thanksgiving meal. All I can say is Yum! We even got to use the butter we had made for our rolls.

Kendrick participated in some of the colonial style dances that a lady at the museum showed the middle and high schoolers how to do, and both Breanna and Kendrick played Capture the Flag, after lunch, down in the old schoolhouse yard.

As we were packing up for the day, around 3 o'clock, it started to pour. I was thankful that we had such a good day and the Lord held off on the rain for us until just the right time:)

Monday, November 12, 2007

House Hunting

House is interesting. As most of you know Scott and I took the kids with us to Ohio this past weekend (well actually Thursday-Sunday) to look at the central Ohio area and to begin "getting our feet wet" in the whole house hunting venture. Anyone who has ever bought a house knows that it is both exciting and a pain in the neck at the same time. I thought for today's blog that I would share some of the more interesting parts of our house hunting adventure.

On Thursday afternoon we met with the head/owner of a fairly large real estate group. He was a very nice older gentleman. He personally drove us around to several houses in the Springfield area. Scott had asked him how we ended up with the privilege of having the boss take a personal interest in us, instead of handing us over to one of his many employees? He said that I had emailed him personally (which I did from his website) and that he was intrigued by my email address. (He proceeded to tell us about the Gibson girls of the turn of the last century--which I already knew, but found it interesting that HE knew about them....turns out he is somewhat of a history buff.) So anyway, that got him interested and then once he met us he took a personal interest in our family. During our drives around the Ohio countryside, he would have us stop and tell us some history about the area. (the cedar bogs, the price of farmland during the Great Depression, the limestone basin that is situated under Clark County etc.etc.) We really liked him and think he will be the one that will find us our house. The first two houses he took us too were farmhouses. Fairly normal...but a little small. I have found out that farmhouses at the turn of last century had small rooms and even smaller closets, if any at all. (I guess women didn't have 10,000 outfits and 50,000 pairs of shoes back then.) The area around Springfield is beautiful. So, after seeing these houses we headed north toward Urbana, Ohio, in Champaign County. Another beautiful area...but the house we went to was another story. Now, the realtor had never personally shown this house before, so he had no idea.... Picture this: A dark brown house situated down a gravel driveway in the deep woods. On the way in was a dilapidated log cabin, and an old fishing boat. I didn't think this boded well for us--it didn't present well to say the least. Turns out that this house was originally built by the owner many years ago. He had since passed away and his wife was elderly and moved into town. She wanted to sell the house....... This advertised as a 4 BR, 3 full bath house. The living room was beautiful with a lodge feel to it, soaring ceilings, a fireplace and a new kitchen nook area. Okay, that was the good stuff, from there it was all downhill. The funniest part was that this man had made bathrooms in the eaves of the house. Now this is no lie...I opened the miniature door and peeked in. ( I felt like Alice in Wonderland) He had crammed in a miniature sized tub, a little sink and toilet up under the eaves. Unless you stand 3 and a half feet tall you couldn't fit in there. You'd have to take a shower on your knees, and then hunch over the sink to wash your hands....don't even get me started on the toilet area. Now, I stand at just under 5'7",to sit on that toilet I would have had to do some sort of funky yoga move and wrap my knees up over the sink. I don't know about you but I don't think this would be conducive to good bathroom time. After looking at the munchkin bathrooms I ventured into the connector that ran from the house to the garage. It reminded me of a treehouse. I knew it wasn't good when I took a misstep and my foot almost went through some rotting floor boards. Scary. Long drop down from the skywalk. I thought it might be traumatic for the family if they saw my body splatted on the driveway below. Okay, I'm ready to get out of here!

On Friday we looked at 6 houses. Most of them were nice houses, but small once again. I enjoyed looking at the barns too. I'm into the history of the homes and the barns have a lot of history too. Some of the barns were in better condition then others. It has always made me sad when I'm driving through the country and I see an old dilapidated barn.....I don't know why....I guess it just makes me think of the passing of time and how so many of those barns are unused now, leftovers from a past era. I hate to see them gone so that some developer can buy up the land and slap up a subdivision of McMansions and make lots of money. There was one house that the Dayton realtor (different from our Springfield realtor) took us to in Germantown. (a section of Montgomery County) This house was normal looking enough. Another older farmhouse. As we are looking around Scott and I notice a huge metal hook hanging from the ceiling in the large master bedroom. Now, if you are anything like us you are thinking to yourself, "What in the world??". I'm silently praying that some serial killer has not lived in this house and hung the bodies from the ceiling on a big hook. I'm having flashbacks from watching "A Haunting" on the Discovery Channel about houses that have gone "bad". You can imagine my relief when the realtor informs us that the man is into exercising and the hook was to hang his punching bag on. Thank the good Lord, he wasn't a satanic serial killer. The barn at this house gave me bad vibes. It was scary. I didn't like it at all. Now, I'm no barn aficionado but, I know creepy when I see it. No thank you on this house either. The kids have made me promise that I will do a background check on any house we decide to buy. They don't want any old house that someone has died in, or some awful thing had occurred there, no ghosts or turn of last century spirits roaming around. They don't want to be on the next episode of "A Haunting". I told them we'd check it out!

All in all it was an enjoyable weekend. Scott and I learned a lot about the area, what we are actually looking for in a house and property, and what we would like in a community and church. We also met some very nice people along the way. Continue to pray for us as we search for where God would have us live. We realize that this is a journey. At this point we are not sure where we will be, or even how we are going to work out all the details, but we know we need to go where the Lord would lead us. It is not always easy trusting Him...especially, when faced with moving to a new area. It is both scary and exciting all at the same time. I know from personal experience that God has always been faithful and He will be again. I believe that as a family we will look back on this experience one day and realize that God's plan is always perfect and it was always just our job to follow Him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Well, we are leaving for Ohio tonight. Five and a half hours from here. This is our family adventure. We are checking out the central Ohio area to see if this is where we want to live. Tomorrow and Friday we will be spending a good part of the day looking at houses that I have lined up with a couple of different realtors. This should all be pretty interesting to say the least. Say a prayer for us.....that we have a safe journey and that mom (yes, that's me) doesn't lose her cool, or have a break with reality somewhere along the way. I want this to be a productive trip...I want to learn something about Ohio while we are there. I don't want to have to be forced to pitch any of our children out of the van door---while we are driving. (If I'm honest, that thought HAS briefly crossed my mind on previous trips.) On that note, I've got some packing to do.

Monday, November 5, 2007

No, I'm not a slacker!

I am not a slacker. Yes, it's 12:30 in the afternoon. Yes, I still have on the same clothes that I slept in. Oh, okay they happen to be slouchy sweat pants and a tee shirt. Yes, my hair looks like a bunch of hyperactive birds tried to make a nest in it....Give me a break! I'll have you know that I did brush my teeth and wash my face this morning. So there. I am not a lazy slacker! The REASON that I look like a scary character from Dawn of the Dead (get it? my name is Dawn I look like a zombie....Okay, already, I'll quit with the movie references) ANYWAY, the reason I look like this is because I've been busy. Yes, I said, busy! I have been frantically working on our trip to Ohio. Scott and I decided the other day that we should take a trip to Ohio to "look around". We would like to talk (in person) to the real estate agent that I've been emailing. We'd like to see what the area looks like, how close an ice rink, soccer, or horse clubs would be. We need to know the proximity of Wal-marts, Home Depots, Bookstores, and of course Coffee shops. (Hey, I don't know that I'd turn down a nice house because it wasn't close enough to coffee.....but I'd be tempted!!!) We also want to look at churches and hopefully attend a service. I'd like to talk with someone about home schooling laws in Ohio. Overall, we want to get the "feeling" for the place. So, I've been plotting our course on the Google maps (those are sooo cool!), talking to the real estate agent, and investigating places of interest while we are there. It is a lot of work---and I'm also still working with the kids on their school work! So as you can plainly see, in my defense, I am not a slacker. I instead am just a harried, hurried, and hectic mom and wife. It's almost 1 o'clock. Back to work.

Friday, November 2, 2007

It's already November???

Where is the time going? I feel like I blink and WHAM!! 3 weeks have already flown by. Either that or I'm just in a coma and don't realize the actual passage of time.....wait a minute, if I was actually in a coma I would at least be getting some much needed rest! Maybe it's just that I'm getting older and everything else seems like it is moving so fast because I'm actually slowing down..... Ugh. Okay, enough of that. My brain hurts.

Actually, I am pretty proud of myself. I've been doing a lot of Christmas shopping this week. I bought many presents. It was very strenuous work. My fingers hurt. Yes, my fingers. Not my legs. I shopped online. Don't laugh, this whole shopping online is still fairly new to me. It's nice to be able to "visit" all kinds of stores, browse, choose items, pay for them and have them delivered and never have to move from my chair. Lazy, you say? Alright, maybe a little lazy...I prefer to think of it as sanity preservation. Yes, I used to be one of those mega shoppers out at the mall. "Where can I park?" "Where DID I park?" "What size, how much, this is cute, who would wear that? Get out of my way! Does this come in a set? THIS is the new holiday color? I refuse to pay that price for a hunk of plastic!" and on and on. I liked to get all my shopping done early, less stress that way. Online shopping is the perfect answer for me. This way I can enjoy the upcoming holidays and not be so pressed for time or stressed out. Oh alright, I'll still be stressed after all I live in a house with 1 husband, 2 dogs, 3 children, 3 cats, and a horse needing some pasture land. Hey, that sounds like a song!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Survival of the Fittest

Well, I survived yesterday and believe me that is saying something!

My frazzled nerves are finally calmed down this morning, I have my mug of coffee, and as I take a deep breath I will begin to write. First of all I want to share my cat washing experience. Cat washing, you say? Yes, I say. Cat washing. In my book it is too bad that one can't throw ones pets into the washing machine, add a bit of detergent and freshener and Wa-la have a fluffy, static free fluff ball. Okay, so that is just a dream...... Yesterday afternoon, my dear, sweet husband informs me that he thinks it's time for a cat bath. Hmmm.......a cat bath. I'm thinking to myself what exactly will this entail? Now, let me fill you in....before meeting Scott I was strictly a dog person. Buster was my canine love. He was a handsome golden colored lab/shepherd mix. He had it all. The playfulness and love of a lab, and the intelligence of a German Shepherd. I was crushed when he passed away in 2004. I had lost a member of my family. Now, Scott is a cat person. When we married he brought Joe and Samson with him. They are indoor cats. (I had never had indoor animals before so that was a whole different issue to get used to.) I have to say that the cats have grown on me. They are very loving and sweet. So anyway, back to the cat washing story. It was bathtime for the feline set and I wasn't sure how this whole operation was going to go down. Now, those of you that are cat bath experts will have to just grin and bear with me through this story.....

We decided that Samson, the long furred Maine Coon Cat would be the first. We knew he'd cry and scare skittish Joe so we trapped Joe in the master bathroom while we bathed Samson in the hall bath. Scott was in charge of holding Samson while I applied the dreaded water to the fur. Did I mention that cats are NOT fond of water? Well, let me tell you, they are not. I now know from personal experience. With all the crying (Samson's not mine) and squirming you'd have thought we were trying to drown the poor cat the way he acted. What's even worse, Samson sort of sounded like a baby crying. How morbid is that? Once he was totally soaked and shampooed his fur was plastered to his skin. He looked HILARIOUS! I hope Samson doesn't take offense, but he looked like the head of a wet mop. I don't think he found it nearly as amusing as I did. Scott and I got wet too and weren't looking all that hot ourselves by the time the cat washing was through. THEN it was Joe's turn. Joe looked like a dead cat he was on his way to his execution. Scott and I tried to console him. We assured him that he would look and smell like a million bucks. He didn't seem to care about that. He hated the water as much as Samson, but acted more resigned to his fate. After the baths we wrapped our wet fur balls up in bath towels and dried them off. The kids held them and cuddled. I think the cats forgive us.....either that or they are secretly plotting their revenge.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I call her the Wal-mart Nazi

Okay, so maybe she is not really a Nazi...actually she looks and speaks more like a Russian than a German....but I truly believe in a former life she could have been in the Gestapo. She is tall and slender (but appears STRONG) and wears her black hair pulled back in a severe bun. She does not smile...ever....and she walks around the checkout with her hands pulled tightly behind her back. She scares me. No, I mean it. She really does. So much for my local Wal-mart being a "friendly" place to shop. So much for the yellow "price cutting" smiley faces they have stuck on everything. Forget that. I don't know where Wal-mart found this lady, but she makes everybody quake in their boots as they approach checkout. I've had two run-ins with her and lived to tell the story. I'm going to tell you the story... just in case. Just in case one day I have to run an errand to Wal-mart and never come back home. You'll know why. You'll know the real reason--that the Wal-mart Nazi got me.

The first encounter happened about a month ago. I was going through the line. A sweet little old Korean woman and her daughter were in front of me. The lady did not speak English very well. Not much at all, really. Well, she had a few things and I had a few things and we both put our stuff on the conveyor belt. Now as Scary Nazi woman was ringing up Korean lady's stuff I was perusing the entertainment magazines for a little excitement. (How else am I to keep up with all the illicit goings on of the rich and famous?) Next thing I know Korean woman is excitedly saying, "No, no, no not mine! not mine!" As I glance over I get THE LOOK that made my heart freeze in my chest. "ARE THESE YOUR THINGS? WHY DID YOU NOT PUT UP THE STICK THAT DIVIDES PURCHASES? THAT IS WHAT IT IS THERE FOR!!!" I apologized for not putting up the stick and having to have her put my stuff back and re-ring up the Korean lady. Then she turns on the Korean lady and blast her for having some sort of tax exempt paper with her. I was angry with how she was treating us....I wanted to say something....but was paralyzed with fear, much like the fly trapped in the spiders web. As I looked at Nazi woman I swear I saw red flicker in her eyes. After getting my Wal-mart purchases I beat a hasty retreat to my car and sped out of the parking lot like a Nascar driver during Speed Week.

Well, as we all know, one can't stay away from Wal-mart for too long. I don't even think it is humanly possible. Anyway, this time I was at Wal-mart with Kendrick and Breanna. They were witnesses. They know the truth. They saw Evil with their own eyes. They know she lives and works at Wal-mart. This was supposed to be a quick jaunt to the store to get water. We were out and I was picking up a few gallons. This time I went through self checkout. Quick, easy, no problem, right? Wrong! First of all the young lady in front of me made the mistake of scanning a pair of pants on clearance that brought the ire of the Nazi down on her like a bad thunderstorm. I don't think the poor lady knew what hit her. She was almost ready to put the pants back, so as not to cause any further problem....but I guess she really liked the pants, so she decided to stick it out. After the whole episode she left quickly. Now it was my turn.I scan my water jugs. I pay with cash. I put my ten dollar bill in the slot. I'm supposed to get back $6.47 and I get back $6.05. As I'm considering my predicament, SHE appears again out of nowhere, behind me this time. I've been blind sided. "WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE PROBLEM HERE?" uh.....the machine did not give me the right this point she grabs my receipt and looks it over. Sure enough she sees I am right. She grabs the change machine (and this is no lie I promise) and shakes it so hard that it actually rocked. (and it is bolted to the floor!) At first the change machine spit out another couple of dimes--but not enough. She looked disgusted and shook it again. This time the machine thought better and gave up all the change. I took my change and grabbed Breanna, who was trembling next to me, and Kendrick, who was cowering behind the counter, and took off. Another escape.

I told my husband about this woman at Wal-mart. I don't know if he actually believes me. Maybe he thinks I'm exaggerating. Hmmppfff!!! We'll see how brave he is when he meets her face to face.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Autism is not a dirty word

As many of you might know I worked with and taught people with special needs for many years. (17 professionally as an educator and for 6 years before that as a volunteer, camp counselor and as a house counselor in group homes.) My goodness, have I been privy to some good stories over the years....some hysterically funny,some frustrating, some sad....but all interesting and good learning experiences for me. Well, about 6 years ago I had a kindergarten student enter my classroom. His entering my classroom began an adventure for me, an adventure that I am still on. You see this particular little boy with chocolate brown eyes and with skin the color of latte was my teacher. He taught me about autism by living out his story every day. When he first came into my life he was wild as a little animal. He threw himself to the floor in tantrums, he bit me, he was all the time spitting at me, he smacked me and he cried. I knew he was autistic but I didn't know much about autism back then. I had never had an autistic student before in all my years of teaching. I remember one day in particular. This little boy was having a difficult day. We were getting nowhere. Finally, mid-morning, I told my teaching asst. to watch my classroom. I was going to take this child outside to the playground. I didn't care that it wasn't recess. We needed to get out of the room. He loved the up and down motion of the swing, it soothed him. So that is what we did. At this point I was mentally and physically exhausted. I sank down on a bench on the playground and tears rolled down my face. "God, I can't do this! It's too hard! He doesn't understand me...and I don't think he even likes me at all! I'm tired of the spitting and slapping and school has only been in session a few weeks. I just can't do it." These thoughts continued through my mind as I sat and watched him swing..back and forth, back and forth. Then I heard the voice...well, not audibly, but the voice was just as clear to me as if God himself was sitting beside me conversing with me. "DAWN, HE HAS AUTISM. IT IS PART OF HIM, BUT IT IS NOT ALL OF HIM. YOU WILL GROW TO LOVE THIS CHILD AND HE WILL BE SPECIAL TO YOU. RIGHT NOW I WANT YOU TO ALLOW ME TO LOVE HIM THROUGH YOU. " What peace that came over me. Just like that. Now, those of you reading this might think I had some sort of mental breakdown or something that day on the playground. It's okay with me if you think that.....but I know the Real Truth. From that day forward things changed. Sure, I still got slapped and spit on. There were still tantrums. The thing is something changed IN ME. Days turned into weeks, weeks to months, months to years. I worked with this little boy and he made much progress that other teachers were amazed by his transformation. I learned about autism and figured out his strengths. This child was intelligent in so many ways. His visual memory, and his spelling skills were incredible. He learned better communication skills so he didn't need to tantrum, or slap anymore. He was special to me and to my teaching assistant. Yes, he was even a bit spoiled by us. He had come so far....and so had we. Later on, my supervisors gave me more autistic students because of my success with this little boy. Over the past several years I've become fascinated by autism and what having autism means to a person that is autistic. I've met autistic people, I've read and researched, asked questions, and had real relationships with children that happen to have autism. I've talked with their parents. I've learned a lot. There was another of my students that I also got in my room when she was in kindergarten. Talk about a stubborn little firecracker! But funny...I really enjoyed her in my classroom. She has become quite the artist at age 8 and has made so much progess. Sure, she is autistic....but that is only one thing about her. She's so much more than that label. That girl is going places and I'm very proud of her.

Now, I've been touched by someone in my own family that just recently was diagnosed with autism. He's four years old. He has big, beautiful eyes. He's crazy about movies and he looks mighty sharp in his dress shirt and cowboy boots. His grandfather and I enjoyed spending time with him this summer. His journey is just beginning. It will be a long, hard journey. It is a road that at times will be frustratingly difficult. His parents will want to cry as they get bogged down in the mire of school politics. My heart goes out to them.....but this journey will change them, and make them stronger as they advocate for their son.

Today, one in one hundred fifty children is diagnosed with autism. That is far too many. Hopefully, one day doctors will understand what causes autism. Hopefully, in the future there will be a cure....but, in the meantime we can't give up.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Interview with a Witch

With Halloween drawing near, a news show did an interview with a witch. I was watching this segment and looking at the lady-witch. Her physical appearance was normal. If I'd have run into her at Wal-mart I wouldn't have known. She didn't have on a black hat or a wart on her nose....but she was scary nonetheless. She is scary because she is so very lost and so very blinded to the Truth. She was adamant about explaining her "religion" of paganism. She worships mother and father earth. Honestly, when she said that I had a chill run down my spine and immediately the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" ran through my mind. As a Christian I serve the only God who is worthy of honor and praise. When I say that kind of thing it really puts a burr under some people's saddle. "That is so exclusive. You Christians think you are the only ones that are right. There are many ways to Heaven! What makes you think you have all the answers and the rest of us don't?" Because my Lord said, " I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME." John 14:6

This is truly a scary story. When I worked in the elementary school, one of our students mom's was a self proclaimed witch. ( I assume she still is, as she was very much into the whole thing.) Anyway, this woman subbed at our school often. (public schools are not allowed to discriminate because someone calls herself a witch.) One day my teaching assistant was out sick and so the school office called this lady in to sub for her. She walked into my classroom and all I can say is I could feel an "aura" about her. I knew that she was carrying pure blackness around with her--even though it wasn't seen by the human eye. She told me that she was a "white witch" and that they were good. (good? how is that possible?) .....I prayed to myself that God would be with me and my students on that day and that a hedge of protection would be put around us. It was at that time that the verse from Ephesians 6:12 became real to me. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (v.13-Therefore put on the full armor of when that evil day comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.) At the end of the day, I went to the office and told the school secretary. "Please do not ever put that woman in my classroom again. I would rather be on my own without any help in my room than to have her as a sub." The secretary honored my request and I never had to work with this woman again....but she did sub for other teachers at my school.

Friday, October 26, 2007

KUB and other Annoying Things

KUB stands for Knoxville Utilities Board. Now, I appreciate that KUB exist as they are the ones that allow me to have electricity and running water which I am rather fond of... BUT I do not like what they've been doing to the streets in my neighborhood for the past few months. Right now I am listening to them dig holes in the street, right in front of my house.....with all their big digging machines. This has been happening on and off for a few months now. Evidently, there is some drainage "issue" that they are working on. The street looks like a band of drunk moles has descended on it. Holes have been dug up all over the place and then so beautifully "patched"....which in real life means ugly asphalt slapped into the holes that KUB has created and that will probably break apart when it gets cold this winter, but I digress.... Now, my question is this: Why can't they get it right the first time? Why must they keep coming back to the same area several times? And what does this mean for the street? Am I going to be driving down my street one day and my car drop into a hole that takes me half way to China because some sink hole has been created? I just heard a loud mechanical sounding BANG from outside. Okay, this can't be good.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Asian Man

I was out with Breanna and Kendrick this afternoon when I started getting the question, "Are we going to stop and get something to eat?" I was kind of hungry myself so I gave in. We went to Arby's for some roast beef sandwiches.

The man taking our order at the counter looked to be in his mid 50's. He was Asian. He was the sweetest man. He teased with the kids and asked us riddles while we waited. He had a very thick accent so I really had to pay attention, but I thought what a nice man. I thought to myself, here is a man who is working at a fast food restaurant, but he is helping to make the world a better place just by smiling and being so friendly. It made me want to visit Arby's again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rainy Day Tuesday

Finally, some good rain around here. We need rain! It has been an extremely dry summer and fall. I like gray, rainy days. I guess I'm just weird. (which if you know me, you know that can be the case!) Speaking of sad about the fires out in California. Now, California is known for it's severe (and often catastrophic) weather. Earthquakes, mudslides, fires. I can't say that I would ever want to live in California but, it is still terrible seeing all those houses go up in flames. Don't you hate it when a reporter sticks a microphone in a "newly homeless" person's face and says, "How do you feel?" Well, now let's think about it....How does he think they feel? They just lost EVERYTHING. I mean really, sometimes news people can just be soooo dumb.

Now, once again speaking of weather (can you see a theme today?), I watched Storm Chasers last night. Such a cool show! No, these scientists do not have a death wish, at least I don't believe they do, but wow was it scary! They made this car thingy that looks sort of like a plated tank. It has weights in the bottom of it to make it extremely heavy. The guys are taking wind readings etc. so they drive right into the tornado in this vehicle. The vehicle is shaking and all, but it stands firm. (How do these guys not need a diaper?) Of course, being the practical person that I am, I say to my husband, " I bet they have to pay A LOT for their insurance, if they can get it at all." You know how on insurance forms you have to fill out that section that asks if you do any crazy, stupid, death defying things and that you must confess it to them before they will insure you.....

I love watching videos of the tornadoes too. Of course, as I watch I'm yelling, "What are you doing just standing there?! It's coming! Run for your life! Where's your basement????" Then you hear the person taking the video say something like, "Cool dude. This is like a monster storm. Did you see that farmhouse just get smashed? Oh, man, it's turning, it's coming this way."

I mean wouldn't you hate to be him? His tombstone would read: He thought taping tornadoes would be fun, but here he lies because he didn't run.