Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Under attack

Ok folks, I said I would pass on prayer requests as they came along - well, here ya go!

You may have heard of this little bug going around - swine flu. Ring any bells? Well if you have had any contact with the outside world in the past few days, you know the outbreak seems to have originated in Mexico, has hit hardest in Mexico, and various authorities are advising against travel to Mexico.

Please pray for the people of Mexico and the staff and volunteers of Amor Ministries (www.amor.org, the organization with which they will be working) and other agencies serving the people of Mexico. My prayer is that travel to Mexico does not get officially banned and volunteers do not shy away from serving out of health or other concerns. I pray not only our group, but many others remain able to travel to Mexico and all over the world serving others and spreading love in the name of Christ.

Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Letter from Kaylie, part II

We asked Kaylie if she wanted to add to her part of the Mexico support letter and include anything else, including prayer requests, concerns about the trip people could pray for, etc. Here is her expanded letter:

Dear Family and Friends,
Daddy and I are going to Mexico. We will need to have money to pay for the trip though. Could you send money in? We will need $2,000. Don’t send in all your money though. Just send in some money. We will build a house and live in tents! We will stay July 11th -18th. Please can you help me and Daddy? Thanks!!! Can you pray for us too? Don’t forget Mom and Hannah! I am afraid no Mexican kids will like me because I am a American. Pray for that too. Bye-bye!!!!!!!!

When I asked about her addendum, if this is what was on her heart, or if she was just doing it quick because we asked her to, she said it truly is one of her concerns because she does not speak the same language and so she might have trouble making friends with the children she meets there. (She dramatically adds "the only Spanish word I know is elefante and that means elephant!", but then immediately adds the word for penguin, proving what I already know, which is that she knows more than "elephant") I think she is going to be pleasantly surprised and will learn so much on the trip! I am so excited she is going and going with a heart to serve and love the people of Mexico. Unfortunately we have to wait for July.

Please do keep Kaylie and Jim and all the others planning to go in your prayers as they prepare and then as they travel this summer. From a travel website:

Travel Alert: There has been a significant increase in the level of drug-related violence throughout Mexico with northern Baja California and Tijuana among the worst affected parts of the country. Tourists are not specifically targeted, but any travellers visiting these areas should exercise extreme caution.
Tijuana has a bad reputation that, sure, it partly deserves. Bars, brothels and strip clubs are brazenly frequented, and prescription meds and drugs loudly advertised. Hawkers brashly proclaim to ‘have it’ (no matter what you might be looking for), and if they don’t, they know someone who does.

Just as I do every day, I trust God will take care of them and I know God is always in control and will take care of us no matter what. I will keep passing on prayer requests as the trip nears.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Going Green?

So have you noticed "green" is becoming annoyingly trendy? It seems like a phase that comes around every so often, but right now it is seriously ramped up. I think a lot of it is spin. For example, many companies are trying to cut back, so not sending you a printed statement, or having you put your groceries in your own bag instead of one they provide saves them a little bit of $$. And instead of saying sorry, not gonna do it, they say "Hey, go green!" and it sounds much more positive and PC.

This annoys me. Why? Because I actually like to take care of the environment and behave somewhat responsibly in that area. I hate seeing stuff get thrown away that could be recycled or reused and I want to be a good steward of everything God has blessed me with, including the land on which I live. But I don't like trendy. And I am stubborn. And I tend to worry about others passing judgement on me. I am inclined to not do something I might have done otherwise just because it is now the trendy thing to do. I don't want to buy some dopey reusable bag that every store under the sun is selling now - because every other person out there is buying them and I don't want to be lumped in with some of them.

Now, I don't drive a hybrid car, I don't compost, I don't eat organic foods or grow my own vegetables (they would die horrible, miserable deaths at my hand); I am no hard core activist. But I will carry my empty cans and bottles home with me if I am out and there is no where to recycle them. It pains me to be stuck in a situation where I have to throw one away. I "rescue" scrap paper and bring it home to be reused or recycled. I take things to the recycling center. I talk to my kids about the effects of all the development constantly popping up all around us. And I remind them that God made the world and we need to care of the world just as we would anything else He gave us.

I was talking with my mom the other day about global warming. Not going to start a debate about it here, because I am not educated enough on the topic to do so. But we talked about how much of that we thought was man-induced and if maybe some was just how God made the world. I wondered aloud if because God knew the earth only needed to be around x number of years that was built into the plan from the beginning. The Bible teaches that Heaven is going to last forever. I don't think it teaches the earth is going to last forever. No expert on End Times either, so that is probably all I should say about that.

That being said, I still think we should take care of the earth while we are here. When you hear "environmentalist", the connotation is often of left-wing radicals, conspiracy theories, and Al Gore. But I think we need to be environmentalists of our own breed, behaving responsibly, out of inner desire, not the desire to be "in". Opinions, anyone? Tips?

UPDATE: Get this - we came home from the Earth Day festival with...(drum roll)... four lovely (free) Walmart reuseable shopping bags. Walmart. I hate Walmart. Going to come up with some creative way to cover the big Walmart logo on the side. Oh, and flyers and brochures. The irony of Earth Day. All the paper. I hope people go home and recycle all the papers they were grabbing that they will never read!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Picture of the Week

I love this picture. This is actually from a few months ago at the girls basketball league. They have to raise and lower the nets for the kids based on what age is playing. Well, one of the nets obviously got stuck. What kills me is how typical it is. You have the two men working on fixing it, 4 or 5 men standing around analyzing the situation, and countless men sitting around viewing from afar but itching to get up and go check it out. (you can't see all of them, but they are there) Cracks me up.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Smooth Talker

We were at Bob Evans with our good friends the Breens after church on Sunday. The girls were at one table and we were at another table. Kaylie had finished her lunch and came over to ask Jim something. She starts out talking to Jim about something random and Jim leans over and whispers to me, "Can I have your biscuit?" indicating what he is certain she is leading up to. Sure enough Kaylie asks if "Mr. and Mrs. Breen can come over to our house after lunch" and then without pausing or even missing the slightest beat adds "Can I have that biscuit?" I think she was hoping one yes would cover both questions since she asked them so close together.

I read on another blog about creating a Laugh Book - a journal for each of your kids where you record all the wonderful things they say. (http://alastingfoundation.blogspot.com/) I think I am going to have to stick a notebook in the car just for this because even though the girls are getting older, they still say so much that just cracks me up (especially when they have conversations between themselves), or is really touching but I have trouble remembering it . I wish I had thought to do this 10 1/2 years ago when Hannah was born. :( I have some stories recorded, but not near as many as I wish I did.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Letter from Kaylie

This summer Jim and Kaylie are planning to travel with a group from church to Mexico on a mission trip. We asked Kaylie to write a little letter to go with Jim's support letter. Here is what she typed up all on her own. (I think Jim gave her the "Dear Family and Friends")

Dear Family and Friends,

Daddy and I are going to Mexico. We will need to have money to pay for the trip though. Could you send money in? We will need $2,000. Don’t send in all your money though. Just send in some money. We will build a house and live in tents! We will stay July 11th -18th. Please can you help me and Daddy? Thanks!!!


Jim thought it was hilarious, but inappropriate to include. I think it is sweet and since that is what she wrote and we want it to be from her and it is only going to friends and family, it is fine. What do you think?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hail to the Librarians

All hail my pal Rhonda Tweedy and the other lovely librarians at the Pike library!!

Here's the story:
Easter Sunday, we are milling outside the sanctuary during second service waiting for time for the choir to sing again. I glance at the Lost and Found box as I walk by and lo and behold it looks like one of my travel mugs is in the box! I take a closer look and find not only is it my mug, but there is another in there that is mine too!! It is Christmas in April!!! :)

I had to go back to sing and Jim had to go back to do sound, so I give him the mugs and my "church bag" that has my Bible, library book, and notebook. He puts the mugs in the bag and we go on with our morning. (The library book was due Monday, so I was trying to finish it Sunday morning while waiting for music rehearsal).

We get home from church and I pull out the library book to read and was horrified to find the first several pages of the book and the top of almost all the pages covered in coffee!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Apparently whoever placed the mug(s) in the bin did not empty said mugs first. I tried to blot it up, but it was, of course, a lost cause. (sorry, no photos, but trust me, it was bad)

The book had to be returned Monday, so I very timidly went to the library that evening. God sent the wonderfully sweet Rhonda Tweety out of the back room right as I was coming in. (Maybe you think God doesn't care about library books, but I like to think God put her there at that time just for me. Because God is very groovy that way.) I told Rhonda my story and how I was scared to bring the book back as I had never ruined a library book before and had no clue what they were going to say or do. She was very sweet and encouraging, but at the same time said I was probably going to have to pay to replace the book.

I gulp, walk up to the desk, tell them "I have a problem", and show them the book. Rhonda comes up behind me and says, " And I'm here for moral support." (Did I mention I just love her?) One of the librarian's first responses (after she laughs) is: "Well, at least you know what it is." Which if you did not know it was coffee, it could kinda gross you out if you let your mind wander. Nuff said about that. Since she was laughing at me anyway, I said I have to tell you the whole story and I told them about discovering my mugs and putting them in the bag unawares and who does that when there are coats and clothes and books and Bibles and all kinds of stuff in the Lost and Found?!? And she said....."We won't hold you at fault for that. We are just glad you know what it is." (and kept laughing) Hurrah!! Dance of joy!! Library privileges and wallet are in tact! (Pride a little wounded, but hey, that happens all the time)

So a big shout out of thanks to the gracious ladies at the Pike branch of the library!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Exercising somebody's patience

I switched jobs a year ago last August. One of the "perks" of my new job is that they have a fitness center at the office park where I work and you can have access for a one-time enrollment fee of only $10. (Can't beat that!) You have to actually sign up though, and so I have worked there for what, 20 months, without having stepped foot in the fitness center. Not good, I know. I have no good excuse for you.

FINALLY today I signed up and went to the fitness center. I think they need to have some kind of orientation or remedial training or something because I may not go in for another 20 months after making a total fool of myself.

Did not have a lock for the locker. Duh. Did not even think of it, as last fitness center I used was at my old job and the lockers had locks where you took the key with you and brought it back when you were done exercising. Fortunately asked stupid questions to the other ladies in the locker room, so they knew I was a newbie. This came in handy a few minutes later when I started walking on an open treadmill. One of the ladies from the locker room walks up and says "You said this was your first time, right?" Uh oh. She points over to this big complicated grid on the wall where apparently you are supposed to reserve the machine you want to use. And you can use said machine for 30 minutes max. Apparently this is all intuitive to the more fitness oriented individual or those with more muscles than me perhaps. Fortunately this lady, whose machine I was now using was kind enough to let me use her machine and did not shoot me on site.

I was still confused by the board, as you reserve by machine # and I saw no number on the treadmill I was using. So this muscle dude comes over, starts talking to me like I am a mentally deficient individual and says "Two. You're on machine two." Okay, more secret athlete knowledge. Then he points to the base of the machine where the "2" sticker is. Got it. Now to figure out the board. He says "The red numbers are the machines". I look at the ginormous board. There are 2 sets of numbers side by side, red and burgundy-ish. I start wondering what the burgundy numbers are for and why they didn't choose more disparate colors, when muscle man continues his remedial training for me, again pointing to the board again with the red numbers and machines talk and how you log your time in 10 minute increments up to 30 minutes, yadda yadda. I guess I am somewhat worthy of the idiot treatment, as I am still looking at the board trying to figure out the red column vs burgundy column. I start to ask why and he cuts me off and explains that they have times for all day - they start with the morning going down one side and the times continue down the other side. Apparently is just a fluke that the #s are two different colors. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh. I see.

So then I say, "and what time is it?". He points, and not 6 inches above said board that I have been examining is a clock. :) Oi vey. Perhaps his assessment of me was justified after all. Maybe I should keep to reading in the evenings, as my brain appears to need some exercise too.

May not revisit the fitness center for a while. Or maybe I can wear a disguise...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter dinner

Had a wonderful Easter. Hope you did too.

Church was joyous and wonderful. I sang in the choir this year and, as always, that was AWESOME! I love to sing and we sang some of my favorites and with rehearsal and two services, you get to sing them 3 times!! :) (Not counting a few last minute run throughs of one of the special music pieces in the car on the way to church)

On the way home, had to stop by the market, despite Hannah's observation that "No one should have to go grocery shopping on Easter." We had to pick up a few things for Easter dinner, which was to be pot roast. Had considered ham, or even turkey, but fortunately settled on roast. We were in the store parking lot and I was mentally listing what I needed to do when I got home when I suddenly remembered our oven is not working!! I stopped in my tracks and hollered to Jim: "We can't have roast - we don't have an oven!" Thank goodness for crock-pots! We browned the meat and got it started the second we got home and had just enough time to cook it. :) I was SO glad we had not bought a big ole ham or something!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Wow. I am way, way, WAY behind in my blogging. Now there really is so much to say and so little time!!

For now, some shots of the test run of the tent Jim and Kaylie will use when they go down to Mexico this summer (short-term mission trip). Hard to tell who likes being in the tent more, the kids or the dogs. I love when the tent is clean and we can set it up in the living room. THAT is my kind of camping - restrooms, refrigerators, running hot and cold water, heat, a roof, etc.