Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tagged, but too lazy to tag others

In response to being tagged by Candace, I shall now list 5 weird habits that I have.

1) I drink soy milk everyday and green tea everyday.
2) I like to sit cross-legged on the floor.
3) I hardly ever step on cracks.
4) I collect rubber bands.
5) I pace.

There, I did it, that's the end.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The moon still shines in the sky

Thank you, 47th, for making me one of the tagged. I choose to ignore my tag responsibilities at present, but will post my 5 thingies at another time.

Woke up from a good night's sleep in the peacefulness of the country this morning. We've traveled from Indiana to Texas to visit here for a week over the holidays. I didn't realize until now how seriously I needed a break. Back home (Kokomo) there were so many loose ends to tie up: paperwork for the end of the school semester; arrangements for Christmas; arrangements for the trip to Texas; discussions for our move to Scotland; discussions for Candace's overseas study at the University of Glasgow; discussions for Joshua's overseas study in South Korea. These are the types of topics which are highly interesting to a mom, subjects that call her attention to the most minute details.

I thought we were going to have an eventful year, but I think Josh has us beat. First he's going to come home to Indiana with us for a few weeks, then he's off to South Africa to go on an archaeological dig for four weeks, then he's home in Kokomo for a short stay then off to South Korea for a whole semester of overseas study, then home again in time to be able to go with us to Scotland for a month or so, then back to Texas to finish his last year of undergraduate study at LeTourneau. He then plans to go to graduate school in the field of archaeology.

Next week when Candace is gone to Pheonix on her missions trip and Amy & Ben are off at the RP Winter's Conference for the youth, I hope to cruise the Internet with Josh to learn more about these trips he will take.

As you can see, Candace and Amy and Ben live pretty exciting lives too. :-)

I'll admit that excitement isn't all it's cracked up to be - right now - just give me the quiet country life for a few more days!

Friday, December 09, 2005

My life, at present

::Comes up for a breath of air::


Saturday, December 03, 2005

One-on-one fun

This post is doomed with such a title.

Nevertheless, the topic shall be this week's experiences with my new class and with tutoring.

Finished working on new lesson plans for another class starting up this trimester. I'll teach a new class for the rest of this year in addition to my Eng. Lit and my two Latin classes . This time I'll teach English grammar and writing to a group of middle schoolers. This class will meet twice a week for an hour rather than for one or two hours per week (like my Latin and Lit. classes respectively). Having a class spread out twice every week is, of course, a much better learning situation. This class grew from a need that arose when it became apparent that some students in the Latin 1 class needed more help with their English grammar. Latin has a way of revealing that. I'm pretty excited since I've seen first-hand how effective teaching the Shurley Grammar method along with the Institute for Excellence in Writing can be.

Periodically, I tutor a student who needs extra help in Latin and this week I helped an 8th grade boy with a one-time session. Tutoring is satisfying work with these homeschooled kids, because they want to learn the material and generally just like to learn.

There was another boy I tutored in Latin 1 this week as well. This guy is a 6th grader who was very ill last trimester and had to miss four straight weeks of school. During that time, I kept close contact with his mom and assured her that I would tutor Tyler when he felt better. He's been back in class for about 3 weeks and I've been tutoring him every week since then. One cool thing about going over to their house is that Tyler's grandmother lives with them and she speaks almost exclusively Spanish. It's interesting to hear his mom, grandmother, and siblings speaking fluent Spanish to one another in the background. Yesterday I asked his mom if Candace could come over and converse with them since she is currently working extra hard in Spanish to prepare for her up-coming mission trip to Pheonix. The mom was delighted and Candace is eager too. I'll make the arrangements this week.

As long as I'm speaking of tutoring, I also should mention that I give a young lady a guitar lesson every week, too.

So you be the judge. Did this post deserve such a cheesy title?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A special wish

Happy Birthday, Canny!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A post thanksgiving post

Ah, that's better.
The totally-confounding-to-learn-as-a-second-language,
English, is back in my blogsphere. Thank you, sire.

I guess you could say that we had a very traditional Thanksgiving.
We were at home
with family and friends,
with 18 lbs. worth of turkey,
with 17 lbs. worth of stuffing,

with gravy,
with rolls,
with baked cranberries,
with jellied cranberries,
with mashed potatoes,
with sweet potatoes,
with apple mallow salad,
with apple walnut salad,
with baked corn,
with broccoli and cheese,
with pumkin pie,
with apple pie,
with cheesecake bars,
with hard-times cake,
with iced tea,
with wassail*,
with coffee,
with Rolaids.

The place was a hornet's nest.

Just take a look for yourself.

A friend of our's climbed up in a tree and cut the limb where this lovely abode ... abode. Pretty cool, huh?

Some of my favorite memories from the day will be visiting and laughing, reading from the Bible, singing some Psalms, and being thankful together.

*Nota bene: "Wassail" according to Samuel Johnson's dictionary is from "waes hael" translated "your health" from Saxon and is a liquour of apples, sugar, and ale (ew), anciently much used by English goodfellows.
Thought you'd want to know that.

Oh yeah, and I did spend the day after Thanksgiving ... shopping.
; )

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

First snow

::Shakes head and looks around::

Hum, I'm a little disoriented here. I'm trying to write a post in a strange atmosphere. The tab I'm in says "Crea" and the button I always click to post says "Dubblica post." The save drafts button says, "Salva come bozza." That's silly. Wonder who in the world changed my settings to Italian? Perhaps his highness, L'Ultimo Re? If so, I shall petition him to have it changed back to English.

I just paused this post to take a picture out our front living room window. See what I see? The first snow! Remember what that looks like (Joy and Josh)? Yippee!

Last week was a blur with most of my focus on Amy's recovery after nose surgery. She is feeling much better now. The surgery was on Monday then we went back to the doctor on Wednesday and then back again this past Monday and the doctor was pleased with the way Amy's nose looked and it is healing fine. I'm so thankful.

Last week was also finals week. An English teacher grades essays and a Latin teacher grades minutely detailed tests so that took some focus too. Trimester grades have been computed and new syllabi have been prepared. So I'm in good shape.

Next trimester's going to be great in Eng. Lit. 'cause we're getting into POETRY!! I really like poetry. Poetry's my friend. I imagine my students must also be beside themselves with joy.
: D

Today, we will shop for Thanksgiving groceries and start preparing for tomorrow's grand meal. We're having Thanksgiving here at our house with just our family (Josh'll be with his granny) and a couple of friends.

Well, I need to go start defrosting the turkey in the sink. Hope your Thanksgiving is a blessed one!

Friday, November 11, 2005

A day to commemorate

Amy ordered her senior ring this week. Is it that time already? How time flies! After all, she and Ben are the "youngers" - how can it be that it's time for one of the youngers to order a senior ring? Anyway, it's a beautiful ring and I'll see if I can get permission to show it to you when it comes in.

Leaf raking is on the agenda again today. I'll let you know how that goes.
I have such an exciting life.
I really DO - just not on paper ... er whatever this is.

Robert has gone to the Presbytery meeting today. We alighted from bed at 6:05, Barry appeared soon after, and they headed to Jason's house to pick up their final passenger. The plan is for Robert to be licenced to preach in the Reformed Presbyterian Church today, Lord willing. From my perspective, our Heavenly Father has been preparing Robert for this awesome event for years, and it culminates today. I'm not one for grandiose exaggeration, but no amount of rejoicing in the Lord Who brought my husband to this point would do it justice. He was called to pastor 20 years ago, but I know now it wasn't time yet. God hid us away in our wonderful country home in Texas. He had us raise our children, love each other, learn of His ways, be a part of a wonderful church family in Texas, and in His good timing, He led us to Indiana where we joined with people who we have come to truly respect and love. This is a day to be commemorated before the Lord. I do not believe I'm exaggerating when I say that. All praise be to God for His wondrous ways!

I'm so glad those three rode together. They are such an encouragement to each other. Sometimes it's neat to step back and realize the good friends the Lord places in our lives. Barry and Jason are definitely dear friends of Robert's. Fast friends. Come to think of it, I consider their wives Miriam and Jenny to be dear friends of mine. Miriam's my near neighbor who I wouldn't hesitate to borrow sugar from in time of need (although the 24-hour Kroger is about as close.) There are things that she has that Kroger doesn't. We try to meet in the neighborhood for a walk whenever we can, and we often end up lingering in the driveway or sitting down for a while in my sun room to talk. Jenny and I were volleyball coaches together. That experience helped to cement our friendship - although I'll never forget her and Jason's kindness as they drove us around Kokomo when we were looking for a house to rent and their moral support when Rob was looking for a job. That was just the beginning. I like to spend time with Jenny. She and I hit it off when we talk.

This blog has been very satisfying to write, but it has now run it's course. I must away, methinks. God bless you!

The drink of teens ... I mean kings.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

You go girl!

A couple of nights ago the kids played a mini concert for their father. One selection was the folky, sad tune from "Gods and Generals." Amy cooed out the melody on the penny whistle, then Ben came in with the rhythm guitar, then Candace carried on the melody with her violin (fiddle) and Amy played some wonderful harmonic interplay on the mandolin. The song went full circle ending with the singular penny whistle. Fitting rendition - when you think of soldiers out in all weather playing a few simple songs. It was very moving.

Other items in the news.

1) Root canal's all done, and I'm fine. Still a little sore, but not too sore for a night out with the ladies at a local eating establishment. (Tonight's Ladies Night Out ... with our church, silly.)

2) I raked leaves two days ago and now you'd never be able to tell.

And 3) Here's one of my more famous neices, Nadine. She's my sister (and brother-in-law's) kid who also has the distinction of being a Rice University cheerleader in Texas. Here are some action pics.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Woke up this Saturday morning before all the rest. Morning has a special quality. It's the time of day that doesn't rush you. It doesn't impose high expectations. It waits for you. You can hear the birds creating the atmosphere of a joyful, peaceful frame of mind, and except for the birds, the Saturday morning world wakes up slowly, quietly.

I love to think about and observe the great cycles that the Father God has put in place. Saturday morning is a weekly cycle that one recognizes. Mornings are daily cycles. I need cycles. I unknowingly depend on cycles. Down deep I rest in the confidence that cycles are gonna come back around. Through that God brings peace. A steady life of cycles.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

In the style of James Joyce (uuuhhhh ....... right)

Come-on ... just start typing. Don't just sit there waiting for a flash of inspiration. This post won't get written while you're just staring at the blank blogger form. And it won't get written just staring at the Starfield screen saver either. Just start typing what flows naturally from your mind like James Joyce. Yeah, it worked well for him.

If I had only blogged this morning at Vladimir's during Ben's cello lesson. As a matter of fact I brought the laptop with that in mind, but I worked on a lit quiz instead. Then we had to pass that grievous opstacle on the way out of Carmel. Someone had the audacity to build a brand new Starbucks right on the corner where we exit from Pam's. You talk about a stong desire to turn in. Whew - it's tough. I wish they had built a White Castle instead - then it would it would be a little easier.

This evening's bible study in our home covered Acts chapter 16. It always amazes me the rich discussion that comes from taking the time to study a chapter of God's Word together. I'm thankful for that kind of format - reading, considering, questioning, discussing.

This week's special projects:
- Writing some long overdue letters. ("long overdue" not necessarily "long")
- Continuing to listen to The Chronicles of Narnia on CD. currently: The Horse and His Boy
- Continuing to read Pride and Predjudice with Ben.
- Going to exercise class when I can spare an hour.
- Meeting the other volleyball coaches for a planning session for the VB Banquet at an unmentionable restaurant. :)

Next week:
- Getting that root canal I've been needing.

... I'm serious

... like ... on Monday.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Quiet evening

Been fighting a cold this week. I'm spared from sickness most of the time - but when it does catch up, it can linger for a couple of weeks - just bothersome enough to take away most of my energy and all of my brain. YesterdayI asked my Lit students if they have ever tried to function without a brain. Their reactions told me they had.

Tonight my family has gone to the Fall Party over at the Brookshire's with all the rest of our church. I figure, I can either go be cold and dazed or stay home and be cozy and quiet. Guess which I chose?

Plans for this evening?

- Talk to my sister, Steph, on the phone.
- Clean the house ... some.
- Listen to more of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
- Pick up a couple of things at the grocery store.

Ahh, a restful evening. Interruptions seem to zap my energy. A restful evening for me is one where I can quietly focus on a few things. Different people relax in different ways. Somehow if I can stay a little busy and focus on one thing at a time, after a while I feel rested and refreshed.

Yesterday when my hubby and I went for a walk on Mulberry Street again, I took my camera along to show you what I see.

Our street, Walnut, isn't too shabby either.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A new friend from Scotland

We had an overnight guest in our home last Friday night, Beth Bogue from Scotland. Beth who grew up in Ohio has lived in Airdrie, Scotland for the past five years where she has served as the secretary for the RP church in Airdrie. She came "home" to visit her family and friends and to speak to churches about the work in Airdrie. So I met her for the first time on Friday night as she was setting up the computer for the Power Point presentation at our church.

Trying to initially expell the myth about Scotland being some kind of idyllic Utopia, Beth related the undeniable facts of the hard Scottish lives made harder as the result of living in a land without widespead gospel light. The traditional family unit is slighted as people live together outside marriage and teens have babies out of wedlock. Of course that sounds just like home, but we still have a pretty large percentage of people who at least attend church, while in Scotland the vast majority of people don't even go. They are living their whole lives without being exposed to the Word of God or the God of the Word.

Beth was able to relate some very good news. God is blessing the Airdrie RP church. Andrew Quigley (who Rob and I have met) is the pastor there and is a very visionary man. He and the elders have utilized the members of the church and short-term missionaries from Ireland and the USA to canvas the city with annual flyers. Actually, they're very nicely layed out magazines with greetings from the pastor and elders and testimonies from people who have experienced God's changing grace in their lives. They have passed out these flyers to many, many houses all over the city for many years now and have gotten feedback that people who don't even attend church feel somehow connected to that church. What a great inroad into lives! You can imagine that if some of those people ever hit a crisis in their lives and they want to turn to God, they will probably go to a place where they already feel connected even if it's just through a magazine that they have gotten at their door year after year. I get excited just thinking about it!

There are many other things about the Airdrie church that Beth told us at our church and later in our home before bed. Stories of how God has changed the lives of people through the different outreaches of the Airdrie church, but I don't want to make this post too long.

Let me just say that my heart burns within me when I hear of the great need there and of the great efforts of the Christian workers. They are making progress for the Kingdom of God. I took Beth in our bedroom (even with the clothes flung on the bed) to show her the map of the British Isles we have on our bedroom wall. We brought that map from our bedroom wall in Texas where it had hung for many years. We're weird, I know, having a plain map as the centerpiece of our bedroom, but it keeps that land on our hearts and minds.

So, we met a new friend from Scotland. Another face to have in our minds as we continue to think and pray for Scotland.

And by the way, here's a photo of King Josh on his way home from the Chocolate Factory.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mother of the king

It's up to me - I can see that now. My oldest son is much too modest and discreet to mention what happened to him last week - and so I will.

Any LU resident can pipe in and add to the story or correct any part. I speak only as an interested party far from the events.

Two weeks ago on the LU campus people were preparing for the annual Fall Fest. Josh was gearing up to throw himself into the week long promotion of his floor's queen. (That's what the guy floors do - try to get their pick to win the queen of the entire campus.) While he was busying himself with these type preparations, he received a phone call from a friend. She wanted him to meet her downstairs in the dorm lobby to go over some music with her. When he arrived downstairs, a large group of girls were there to meet him with the surprising news that he had been selected as their choice for king!

So his plans for the following week were drastically changed. Instead he followed the girls' directions and dressed up all week as "Joshua Jones (Willie Wanka) and the Chocolate Factory" since each floor promotes their monarch with a theme for the week. So anyway from my understanding, some of the girls dressed up as characters in the story and they took a series of pictures depicting the storyline to be shown at the Fall Fest last Saturday night. And then, all week long they escorted Joshua with his black shoes and pants and his shiney coat with a pink bow tie and his tall hat with a wide ribbon to all his meals and every class handing out candy bars and generally drawing attention to the spectacle. Those of you who know Josh, can imagine that he must have just LOVED being the center of attention. Yeah, right.

Then came Saturday night, the night of the unveiling of the king and queen of the LeTourneau Fall Fest. Everyone dressed up in formals and the brother and sister floors traveled to the event as a big group.

Guess who was coronated king? You're right - Josh!

I'm still waiting on some really juicy celeb. pictures, but he says that they are forthcoming. (He talks all high-falooten now that he's king and all.) You'll have to petition him yourself to post some royal photos on his blog.

Long live the king!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mulberry street

There was just enough time after I zoomed in from music lessons at 2 and before Chili left for work at 3 to squeeze in a walk.

Gorgeous blue sky overhead, fresh air, perfect temperature, and the fall leaves on Mulberry Street - that's the street next to our street (Walnut).

Specially requested by yours truly, I wanted to soak up the hour. I wanted to walk down Mulberry Street.

As soon as I upload some photos, you'll understand.

Hope you have a "Mulberry Street" urging you out the door.
If so, just go.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My kitchen window

Well, this isn't what I originally planned. My kitchen window pic was being transformed from an ordinary photo into a awesome extravaganza! ::Beethoven's Ode to Joy swells in the background:: I designed nifty text bubbles with sky blue backgrounds on paper and my artist (Ben) was creating it in Photo Shop. You would have been amazed and dazzled at the sight.

Instead (since the big, red Fall Ministry bus took my artist away), we will have to make due with some plain photos and a little description.

Why would I blog about my kitchen window? Why that's a silly question! It's a very special place, you know, and I spend a lot of time there. It's my home away from home - you might say. Long days ago, a place of drudgery, but now a place of pristine beauty affording endless delight.

You've seen my kitchen window before. Ever changing, here's how it looks now.

Exibit A: We sing and work on memorizing a Psalm together every quarter. Psalm 40E expresses intimate heart cries and the tune carries the words - rich and folky.

Exibit B: Melon Melody Blistex - tasty - you need to experience it.

Exibit C: The famous Happy Face Rock - now take a closer look. Isn't it the most amazing natural phenomenon you've ever seen?

Exibit D: Last Sunday I printed, cut out, and laminated every verse in Psalm 119 so that we could meditate on a different verse every day. So far, it has been a wonderful exercise, a blessing.

One more pic. from another window sill - a knife that Chili wittled for me. Nice!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The shadows prove the sunshine

This weekend I had been working on a really cool altered photo of my kitchen window for you. Ben was helping me. We haven't quite finished it yet. I'll have it ready soon.

Apologies for not posting for the extremely long span of a week and a half. A lot can happen in that length of time and it usually does.

Here we go, in no particular order:

The volleyball season is over for my team, the JV. I didn't know what I had to contribute in that area. I did learn that there is a vast difference between being a player (over 20 years ago) and being a coach. Sure, the skills of playing the game came rapidly back, but I learned that there's more to coaching than just communicating my level of proficiency in volleyball. The most important role of the coach, I think, is to keep a finger on the pulse of the team and try to keep the girls' spirits up so they can play their best. I made some mistakes along the way, but that's how we learn and grow. Right? I was pretty nervous before most games, but that feeling lifted somewhat as the season progressed. On paper, we didn't have a very winning season, but I can't help thinking that most of the character-building qualities (the ones that the Lord cares about) happen when you lose. I was stretched beyond my little comfort zone, and also played a lot of volleyball (oh, I love that game!) with some great kids. A rewarding experience.

Today is the PSAT exam. Ben and Amy worked hard this summer and up to the present to prepare for it. Amy took it last year as a sophomore. She'll take it Saturday. Anyway, Ben's taking it now so I pray. (Lord, please bless him.)

There are many ministry opportunities here. I hope the Lord uses me to help. My attitude it to be alert for opportunities. It's funny that I don't ever think that I have anything helpful to say, so it's rather surprising when He does give me something to say, but I guess it shouldn't be. He just wants me to stay close to Him personally, and serve Him in my family, and when the time comes He'll be faithful to fill my mouth with a little of His wisdom. That's how it works.

Homeschool's going well. Of late, I haven't been working with Ben on Algebra because he's been focusing exclusively on PSAT prep. Now we'll be back at it once again. Ben and Amy and I have been reading Western Civ. Let's see ... we're in the Elizabethan era now. Enjoyable to cruise through it once again.

And other current good reads are Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities which Ben and I are reading together and I am listening to The Chronicles of Narnia on audio books. The one I'm listening to now is the Magician's Nephew about the adventures of Digory and Polly and our introduction to the land of Narnia. Everyone in our family hears it playing in the kitchen and if they have time will often wander through and sit for a spell on the purple stool to let their imagination get in on the action.

Chili and I still go on walks most days. It's our time to talk. That's the way it's always been and will always be as long as God allows. Without getting too sentimental, I can say that this special time is among my most cherished. I love talking to my best friend in this world, and I love hearing what he thinks about things. It never gets old. I never get enough. Weird how it can still be that way after 21 years of marriage.

The Fall foliage unveils its splendor a little more each day. Orange, peach, yellow, and red. The sun has allowed the clouds to obscure his view of the earth, but he does that quite often this time of year. I know that I miss the sun because I find myself turning on lights everywhere in the house. I hope I don't try to do that in the house of my soul.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Psalm 119

This morning I read from Spurgeon's book upon the Psalms. Here are some thoughts I gleaned about "the longest Psalm," Psalm 119.

Many superficial readers have imagined that it harps upon one string and abounds in pious repetitions and redundancies; but this arises from the shallowness of the reader's own mind: those who have studied this Divine hymn and carefully noted each line of it are amazed at the variety and profundity of the thought. The more one studies it, the fresher it becomes. It contains no idle word.

Oh, the depths! Yet these depths are hidden beneath an apparent simplicity, as Augustine has well and wisely said, and this makes the exposition all the more difficult.

Sprugeon records a Matthew Henry quote from the biography about his father, Once, pressing the study of the Scriptures, he advised us to take a verse of this Psalm every morning to meditate upon, and so go over the Psalm twice in the year; and that, saith he, will bring you to be in love with all the rest of the Scriptures. He often said, "All grace grows as love to the Word of God grows."

One more quote which lends practical help I appreciated from my study this morning was one Sprugeon shared from J. D. Murphy. The name Jehovah occurs twenty-two times in the Psalm. Its theme is the Word of God, which it mentions under one of the ten terms: law, way, testimony, precept, statute, commandments, judgment, word, saying, truth, in every verse except verse one twenty-two.

May the Lord bless us with His grace as we study as part of His Word which exhorts us to study His Word!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Write well - read more

What a great day! I don't say that everyday but this one was especially memorable.

Our English Lit. class hosted a guest speaker today, the journalist, Russ Pulliam. He is an elder at the Indy RP Northside congregation, and has been a reporter/editor for many years. The Pulliams have six kids who they've homeschooled. Russ also teaches writing classes to high schoolers and kids in Jr. High too (I think.) Barry (our pastor) had contacted me during the summer and suggested that I get in touch with Russ about coming to our school to conduct a writing workshop. So a few weeks and emails later, it all came together. My English Lit. class which normally has ten students ballooned to twenty-five today with the homeschool guests who showed up.

Russ's presentation was highly motivational with encouragement to write well. He said that many times folks may get to know you long before they ever lay eyes on you though your writing. I'm sure that happens all the time in the blogsphere. So you want to put your best foot forward (and never display your shallow wit by using overused cliches.) You are what you write! (I'm so clever!)

Gosh, going to hear him makes a blogger kinda nervous. I guess I wouldn't ever pick up a pen or sit down at the computer if I thought I had to put down every word perfectly. Of course, I don't think that he was expecting writing perfection (if there is such a thing outside the Bible.)

A point that Russ emphasized was that we all should think about the consequences of our writing - especially on the Internet and on email. We should just be careful of our honor and the honor of Christ. As Proverbs 3:35 says, The wise will inherit honor, but fools display dishonor.

Still everyone knows that blogging tends to be conducted in a more casual manner. To me, one of the beauties of blogging is the relaxed, revealing nature of it. It's a place where people get to know each other. That's nice and that's the part of blogging that appeals to me.

Another major point he emphasized was that we all should read at least 20 minutes every day. Some fun reading, some biography/history, and some devotional reading. Good advice. He was speaking to upper high school students and he knows that they're all very busy, but he said that some day they will realize in hindsight that they aren't really busy now. As adults they'll say, "I wasn't busy then, NOW I'm busy!"

Much to munch on.
(Oh, and he would frown upon that dangling preposition there.)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Pretty recent photo biography

Here are some random photos.

We don't call him Ben-JAMIN' for nothing!

Here's a photo sure to please all the badger fans out there.

And of course we need some mushrooms!

Volleyball weirdness.

We went camping this weekend with our church.

We cooked some local cuisine called Bratwurst last night for dinner. Here's what it looks like.

(Better keep the toes away if you want to keep them!)

This morning we enjoyed some camp coffee.

And here are some very perky drinkers ( get it? ... perky? ...)

And finally the best pic of all a baby and her dog!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

woodle woodle woodle

I just looked on the floor here by the computer and spied a sheet of paper with the title of this blog printed repeatedly on over two thirds of it. Don't ask me its significance - I couldn't even begin to guess. Do you realize how strange it is for me, a perfectly rational human being, to live here in a house full of teenagers? I like it and all, don't get me wrong, it's just a little weird sometimes. If you know why someone would print out such a word over and over again, please let me in on the secret. I could even understand someone printing out a helpful word over and over like "study study study" or " clean clean clean" or "mine mine mine" (volleyball players or two-year olds know about that one). But woodle ?

Today I taught the SCA Latin classes. I teach my four second year Latin students right after they finish up Greek class, poor dears. They are real troopers to press on through close to two hours of none stop conjugating and such. I fancy that I see in their faces the same enthusiasm for the ancient language that gushes out of me, but you'll have to check with them on that. Let me live on in my happy Linguistic Utopia.

After lunch I teach the teeming crowd. The dust has settled and I have 20 students in that class ranging from those in the 4th grade all the way through the high school grades. Teaching such a wide age range poses quite a challenge. The hardest part is trying to fit a week's worth of instruction into 50 minutes. I try to end the class at the correct time, but since I have so many students and since I know that a whole week will pass before I'll see many of them again, we continue class out in the stairway. The mass moves to the stairway to make room for the next class who will meet in that room. I continue to answer questions and hand back quizzes and hand-outs until everyone disappears up the stairs. I think every homeschooler involved enjoys being a part of this large class (including me)!

Rob turned in his church history paper today. Please pray that it may be well received, and that he would sucessfully pass this requirement. Man, did I learn a lot from his paper. I guess, I knew many of the details about Convenanting and Covenanters, but reading his paper helped me to put it all together and see the connections throughout history and their relevance today.

Well, I need to clean up around here. I put away piles of laundry this morning before class and I worked out at the Y this evening - so I'm not riddled with guilt at the moment. Of course the main reason I'm not presently riddled with guilt is because of my dear Lord and Savior, but I was only speaking of trivial things. :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2005


This week brought:

Volleyball games,
Maya Angelou poems,
Latin quizzes,
a beautiful moon,
and some good reads from Josh (he periodically sends me some of his writing for school and newspaper articles, per my request.)

I asked his permission to post one of his class essays on my blog. Here it is.

Joshua Jones

Dr. Johnson

HIST 4983 -- “Puritanism”

Sept. 7, 2005

There is no doubt in my mind, both from the week's reading and my own encounters with Puritan works, that Puritanism represents more than early 17th century piety, as the opening line of the Miller reading suggests (64). It is an intellectual system. Though it is nearly always steeped in religious language, Puritan intellectual ideals are common elements both in formal treatises and books, in addition to some preaching.

Miller certainly records a valuable history of argumentation both within and without the ranks of Puritan divines. However, the continuing prevalent misconception about Puritan intellectualism merits a different focus for today's educational needs. Perhaps Miller addresses this issue elsewhere in his book, but on a chapter about the intellectual mind and debates of Puritans, it is vital to include the significance of Puritan thought – their contributions to the American mind and its development (notably in the strong reaction to Puritanism, as other more secular influences came from England.)

Puritanism affected the American mind, first, by providing an intellectual, yet religious tone we still feel today. Though America is devoted to ideals of religious freedom, one cannot deny the specifically Christian overtones present in many of our national documents, including the Declaration of Independence. I find it likely that this respect for ultimate truth in non-religious documents must in part stem from this Puritan precedent: their abundant writing and esteem of higher education.

In addition, Puritanism brought a certain respect and inquisitiveness to the pursuit of philosophy, science and art. Though many people today do not characterize the Puritans as being concerned with these, a simple scan at their widely varied writings will prove Puritanism spawned investigations into numerous fields. These writings often comprise the first American intellectual forays into their fields.

The case is very strong that many Puritans were intellectuals and openly encouraged rationality, argumentation and an open search for truth. Their strong religious beliefs were both a springboard and a justification for what Hofstadter called intellectual “playfulness,” since they heeded a biblical call to know God's creation, as well as acknowledging a beginning and end in the search for truth: God. As John Norton said on page 67, “The end of the Gospel is to be known, the duty and disposition of the Beleever, is to know.” On the other hand, the Puritans' intellectual “piety” was subservient to their religious piety, which would in secular minds limit their respect for truth by making some areas “off-limits” for human investigation.

Simply put, I think a specifically Puritan brand of intellectualism differentiates itself from other movements with its foremost starting point in religion. Unlike other intellectual movements based on a political or educated elite, Puritanism birthed a new and far-reaching intellectualism in America. Other religious movements simply did not encourage intellectual thought and discussion in the way Puritanism did. For over a thousand years, the Catholic church generally frowned upon an open reasoning into metaphysics, though it did preserve much intellectual history, especially in Ireland. The English church also stressed the preeminence of orthodoxy in a different and, I think, more anti-intellectual way than the Puritans. Though the American Puritans did not leave England for intellectual reasons, their very different attitude towards the investigation of ideas made them a distinct and powerful start to intellectualism in America.

I commented to him.

"Your article on Puritanism was right on the money from my observations. The Puritan mindset opened many more intellectual doors than it shut."

And further ... I think that the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most mind broadening stance from which to learn and think (and just think of what He can do for your soul!)

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Now with the first week of school under my belt, I can make some observations.

1) In second year Latin, four sharp students = one excited teacher. Let the conjugating begin.

2) Latin 1 has broken the record for largest SCA class size with a whopping 20 students (not that all the students are fat - that's just a large total population for an SCA class.) We even have some interested moms who are attending the class with their kids this year. Hey, what's not to like about that? I love to teach Latin so bring 'em on.

3) In English literature, we're having a bumpy start as we work through some book issues. It seems that both a compact edition and the "real" 2000 page edition have the same ISBN (BTW: one doesn't have to say "ISBN number" since the word "number" is already represented in the "N" of ISBN - just thought you'd want to know that.) When the dust settles we're going to have a smashing class. This is the class where we get to explore what's out there in the world of literature, what the Bible says (the greatest literature book of all), and work on writing about literature from each individual's unique perspective.

All in all, an exciting year ahead!

And finally, here are some descriptions of Christ from last week's sermon - excellent meditation material.

Genesis – The Seed crushing the Serpent’s head

Exodus – The Passover Lamb delivering His people

Leviticus – The perfect High Priest who enters the holy of holies with His blood

Numbers – The Rock bringing forth life-giving waters

Deuteronomy – The Prophet like Moses giving us law

Joshua – The Conqueror who brings us to land of Promise

Judges – The One like Samson whose own death destroys enemies and brings deliverance to His people

Ruth – The Kinsmen Redeemer who rescues us from our poverty

Samuel – The Son of David who rules over the earth

Kings – The King like Solomon whom the ends of earth seek to behold His wisdom and glory

Chronicles – The One who will build an eternal throne

Ezra – The One like Ezra who rebuilds people on the perfect law of God

Nehemiah – The One who rebuilds the fallen walls of the church

Esther – The One who casts down proud and raises the humble

Job – The One who will truly trust God though he be slain by Him

Psalms – The glorious Shepherd-King who leads His people to righteousness and victory

Proverbs – The One in whom the wisdom of God resides

Ecclesiastes – The One whom brings meaning in this otherwise vain world

Song of Songs – The Groom who sings love songs to His bride, the church

Isaiah – The Suffering Servant who bears the sins of His people

Jeremiah & Lamentations – The Prophet who weeps over destruction of Jerusalem and His people

Ezekiel – The Glorious Lord seated on throne on a sea of crystal

Daniel – The Son of Man receiving the kingdom from the Ancient of Days

Hosea – The Faithful Husband who seeks after His straying bride

Joel – The One who will pour forth His Spirit on all His people

Amos – The Plumb Line before whose holy standard no man's righteousness can pass

Obadiah – The Lord who will ultimately possess even His worst enemies’ lands

Jonah – The One who was raised up on third day like Jonah from the belly of fish

Micah – The One who simultaneously does justice and loves kindness

Nahum – The One who brings wrath on those rejecting His message

Habakkuk – The One who will not spare false professors of faith

Zephaniah – The Victorious Warrior exulting over His people

Haggai – The One who will build the true temple of God

Zechariah – The High Priest who is crowned as King

Malachi – The Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings

Much to think about. Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti."
- Sophia Loren

Yup, that's my secret, too.

Just got up from supper and guess what Amy made?


It was yummy.

You may be asking yourself, "Didn't you all have an awfully early supper?" Yes, we did. We ate at 4:30 to be precise. That's what happens when you leave the house at 8:45 in the morning to go to music lessons, then drop Cabbage off at college around 12:30, then take Amy to the allergy doctor at 1 o'clock, then run some errands, then come home.

You eat early - especially if Amy has spaghetti ready. By this time you're pretty hungry so you just sit down and eat. That's what you do.

Not to say that you didn't eat all day. But sandwiches on the road just don't satisfy like some of Amy's spaghetti.

And besides, Sophia probably ate her speghetti at about 4:30, too. Don't you think?

I know you're just itching to see some photos from our Labor Day trip to the state park. Aren't you? Well, here they are.

Can you guess the name of the park?

Amy takes pictures of the ...


While Chili and the Cabbage navigate,

Ben contemplates.

The kids bravely crawled under this tree even though Candace was being attacked by a bee.

And oh yes here I am after a morning hike
and a plate of spaghetti ...

Good-bye, daaaarling.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Once a week for now - and not very good, at that

I noticed that the last time I posted was one week ago so I thought I better post again to hold up a vague semblance of blogging. Somehow, I truly believe that I will be more consistant starting in September.

Let's see:

We have one more week before SCA starts. I worked on my lesson plans some this morning. I will teach 5 classes either at home or at SCA: Latin I, Latin II, English Lit., AP European History, and Algebra with Benny.

I painted at the church building a couple of days this week. I enjoyed that. (All except for the loud oldie songs that erupted from the stairway the last day. I could have done without that.)

I coached my first volleyball game. We lost, but I was VERY proud of our teams and their effort against a polished opponent. Our gals were brave and gracious - what more could you want?

We're expecting company from Bloomington anytime now so I must go for now.

Have a great week!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Poached eggs

Last night when I caught Benny rummaging around in the fridge for plunder at 11 p.m., he held up a tupperware with some boiled eggs and confessed, "I'm poaching eggs."

Poached eggs. Suddenly I was reminded of my childhood. And with that reminder came a horrible realization. I had never made poached eggs for my family. Imagine that! But I have eaten many a poached egg in my younger days. They were prepared for me by my grandmother. And so I thought to myself, "I need to expose my children to the wonderful world of poached eggs." "I had to endure them, shouldn't they? Wouldn't they grow up all lop-sided without having tasted poached eggs?", I asked myself. Well we wouldn't want that, now would we?

So this morning I went surfing around to find a website that would show me how to poach an egg. Here's the best one I found, and you aughta read it. It's hilarious. If it has the same effect on you as it did on me, you'll probably be talked out of ever wanting to poach an egg!


Here's a clarification on the post before last titled MARS SPECTACULAR which proves you can't believe everything you read on emails.

Mars coming closer, but not closest
The Times-Standard

An e-mail is circulating alerting readers that Mars will be closer to Earth than it has ever been in recorded history. True. But that happened Aug. 27, 2003, when Mars came to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth.

That record is expected to be broken, but not until 2287.

In the meantime, stargazers can look forward to Oct. 30 when Mars will pass to within 43 million miles of Earth, compared to an average distance of about 140 million miles.

With that in mind, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to launch the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) on Wednesday. Because it takes more than six months to reach Mars, NASA says the best time to start the trip is a month or so before closest approach.

NASA says that by the end of October, when Earth and Mars are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m.

To get an idea of how fast Earth is racing toward the red planet, NASA gave the following on its website: “By the time you finish reading this sentence, you’ll be 25 miles closer to the planet Mars.”

NASA adds: “Earth is racing toward Mars at a speed of 23,500 mph, which means the red planet is getting bigger and brighter by the minute. In October, when the two planets are closest together, Mars will outshine everything in the night sky except Venus and the Moon. (You’re another 50 miles closer: keep reading!)”

NASA explained the close encounter:

”It’s simple orbital mechanics. Think of Earth and Mars as two runners on a circular race track, with lanes corresponding to planetary orbits. Earth, running fast on the inside lane, circles the course in 12 months. Mars, plodding along an outside lane, takes twice as long to go around. Every two years, approximately, Earth catches Mars from behind and laps it.”

Here's the source link back to the newspaper article for your reference:

So there you go. This comes from a newspaper so it must be reliable since newspapers always get it right. Riiiiiiight. (There I go flippantly thowing in a universal statement again where it don't belong!)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

This is (for real) Joshua's work car ... I am not delusional!

Here's Josh with the work car that he got to use all summer. He will unfortunately have to give it back next week when he leaves. Nice while it lasted!

(Nota Bene the blog entry for, Monday, July 25th, to better understand this blog title - if you're the curious type.)

Friday, August 05, 2005


The 47th Pea sent this to my email:

Ok Momers, here it is again. And it still looks pretty cool!
FW: A note for your calendar for Aug. 27th.

The Red Planet is about to be spectacular! This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification

Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Ha, ha - fooled ya!

You didn't think I'd post today, did ya? (If you call this a post.)

I was going to end at that, but now that I'm here I guess I'll tell you a little news.

Robert finished his huge, long paper for one of his presbytery requirements. Hooray!

Ben started soccer practice this week.

Josh will be here two more weeks. Boo hoo.

Canny whisked off, all important like, to go to an editor's meeting for her college paper today.

Amy and I are kicking off volleyball this week. She's playing for her second year and I'm coaching for my first year. Looking forward to making them run a bunch of laps. Should be fun.

Let me end with a famous quote from one of those young people's bands I hear around the house.
"I wish we all could make our mothers proud."
(You see I was listening to to words after all. ;-)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Summertime time warp ...

Time seems to warp and bend in the summer. (Einstein probably already discovered this, but leave me alone to my rambling.) Have you ever noticed that you're supposed to have more time during the summer to do all these things you've been meaning to do, but somehow in reality you seem to have less time than ever? How is that? Take blogtime for instance. I seem to never have time to blog these days. I find myself thinking, "I haven't blogged in ages. I need to sit down and do that." And then the time warp kicks in and I find myself carried away into three days into the future. You shake your head in disbelieve, but I tell you it's true!

During the school year, I have much more going on. I'm running down 15 or 20 tracks at a time. I can blog and clean and cook and sleep - all at the same time. No problem. But not during the summer. No-sir-ree. I think there's a scientific explanation for it - something to do with chemistry or physics, or something.

Monday, July 25, 2005

My car

Here's a pic of my sweet, green Jaguar.

There's a story behind this car.

You see the kids and I started seeing this car almost every time we drove to school last year parked in front of the courthouse here in Kokomo. I very much admired it and commented thusly every time I saw it.

Soon my admiration grew into delusion, and I began to believe that the car actually did belong to me. I just never got to drive it. I had other people working for me who drove it for me.

Time wore down the kids' grasp on reality and they started to believe that the Jaguar was mine as well. Each new time we saw it one of them would say, "Hey Mom, there's your car!"
And I'd say, "Yes, I had someone wash it this weekend. Looks nice doesn't it?"
"Yeah, looks real good."

I told my husband, and later, my visiting mother-in-law, and they all believed me.

So it is time to share my car with a wider audience. What do you think of it?

Friday, July 22, 2005

In the hiding place of thunder

(Written earlier this morning.)

Couldn't sleep to the normal wake-up time this morning. My eyes popped open and I knew I had to get up. At 5 a.m., I gave up the fight to go back to sleep. Now the dull light of morning is chasing the darkness away.

::Gets up to fetch her bifocals.::

This is a new thing for me - having pieces of glass in front of my eyes. I've had them a few weeks now, and being a person who's never had to wear glasses, it comes as a sort of absent-minded habit now to sit down to read or write just to immediately get up and find the glasses in order to sit down a second time to begin again. It's my normal routine now. A minor inconvenience of which I'm very thankful.

Out of my living room over the hospital and down the street, the beautiful moon shines. I've been a moon-watcher for as long as I can remember.

I haven't told you about our sunroom yet. It's the breezeway that connects the garage to the house. With windows on either side, this bright room houses some of my larger houseplants. A couple of hanging baskets dot the ceiling. A foosball table sits on one side and a table and chairs sit on the other. I like to sneak out there in the early morning when I can to breath the fresh air, listen to a dove, and read my bible.

Last night, Chili and I sat in the sunroom and experienced a thunderstorm together. You don't just watch a thunderstorm, you experience it. You hear it, you smell it, you feel it. The storm was right on top of us when we first joined it. I came into an encounter with the huge sky last night. This encounter was not visual, but aural. As peals of thunder rumbled across the large expanse of the heavens, I could hear the awesome claps of thunder mark their clear progress across the sky. That was the first time I've noticed that rolling thunder can communicate the expansiveness of the sky.

Not to mention the rain. I mean, the Lord does such a good job of watering the ground. Just a couple of days ago the girls and I were watering the flowers of a friend who is out of town. Last night, the Lord watered those flowers much deeper in less time than we could have done. Our God is an awesome God!

6 o' clock is drawing closer now and I think I'll make my morning cup of green tea and take it and my bible to the sunroom. I hope the Lord will meet me in the quiet of the morning as He did in the thunder of the night.

(Title for this blog entry was taken from Psalm 81:7, "You called in trouble, and I rescued you; I answered you in the hiding place of thunder ...")

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


(Isn't that a famous Charlie Brown line?)

I still don't have time to blog today - but I want you to know that you're still important to me, my precious, and I haven't forgotten about you or forsaken you completely.

We'll catch up later. Bye!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Off to Kentucky

Yesterday was spent packing - so this morning we're ready to go.

Our family is leaving this morning and driving to Kentucky to attend a 5-day conference called Covfamikoi (pronounced ku-vu-ma-koi). The name stands for Covenant Family Koinonia (Greek for Christian fellowship or communion with God or with fellow Christians). It's sponsored by our Presbytery - so people from churches all around the Mid-West and all the way down to Florida will attend. We'll have the chance to get to know a lot of people while we eat together, attend morning classes, play games in the afternoon, and have various activities at night.

I'm going in the official capacity as the Nursery Coordinator. Sounds impressive, huh? We traded our mini van with the York's huge 15 passenger van so I could carry 5 porta cribs and some big wipes and animal crackers, etc. I don't have to man (or woman) the nursery all the time, I just have to recruit others to do it. So I'll make public announcements and comb the dining hall armed with my trusty clip board and sign-up sheet.

Should be a great way to break the ice with new people. "Hello, I'm Suzanne. Would you like to volunteer to watch some cute little babies?" Aught to be interesting.

Talk to you when we get back.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Daily light

Everyday life suits me fine.

You know, I'm not one of those people who has to have an exciting "event" always brewing on the horizon to keep me interested in life. Real life is amazing enough. I mean, just think about it. Every morning, the Lord renews His mercy. He keeps on giving me the gift of faith. I can't think of any thoughts that inspire me more than those that anchor my everyday life. Christ is my center. Christ is my foundation, my source for all things, my fountain of life. My life is so bound up in Him, I have no life without Him.

Just living in this light, this realization, transforms my life into more than everydays.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The remains of the day

Life-saver: Sonic has $1 burgers every Tuesday night. Ahh! Sweet!

My brain makes weird connections sometimes. I was just thinking how blogging is like private devotions. I make myself believe that if I can't commit to it a decent chunk of time, I should skip it altogether. Not a good approach. Both are, I guess, time investments. Of course, the vast difference in the value of these two things makes the comparison quickly looses its effect.

But just writing that intro reminds me of another comparison between blogging and private devotions. I often find that at the start, my mind draws a blank, but if I just make a go of it (respectfully), thoughts will soon start to flow. The hard part is making the initial attempt.

On to other things: Thursday Josh, Candace and I are going up north to check out the University of Chicago as a possible grad school for Josh. Should be a good trip. More on that later.

Other summer pursuits include guitar and Latin lessons. I'm going to teach guitar lessons to a friend this summer, and I'll tutor a girl in Latin for a few weeks too. We'll be gearing up for next year's Latin II class. Really looking forward to teaching two levels of Latin next year, and tutoring this summer will help me get back into the language. I guess I better play the guitar too to toughen up the ol' fingers.

Here are some of our backyard photos:
Like I told you last blog, we had a backyard fellowship the other night. There was a lot of visiting, baseball playing, bubbling, cat petting, and even some attempted pinching. Thought you'd like to know that. You have some fun too.

Not much remaining in this day so I better go.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Little girls and a cat

We had a backyard fellowship
At our house tonight.
Meat on the grill
With friends around
The citronella light.

The volleyball
Flew through the air,
The ladies looking on.
A guy played baseball
With the boys
Round the corner on the lawn.

With waning light the fireflies
Showed forth
Their fleeting glory.
The Psalms arose
From every voice
The everlasting story.

But on this night
I'll hold inside
A special memory
Of three small friends
Who pet a cat
That sat upon my knee.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Center stage

The lights dim. The conductor, well-beloved and humble, speaks the opening words. The audience is put into the right mood.

The orchestra starts to play The Barber of Seville Overture. The music pokes fun at “real” opera. Thoughts of old Bugs Bunny shows freely roam through minds. The players express their fun-loving joy. Rehearsals and practice behind them – now they have just the music. Some play without pause, others stop to quickly turn a page. A silent service.

The reaction from the audience is immediate and sincere.

Conscious of those who come behind. Sliding chairs. Moving stands. Making room. Waiting patiently. Most of the players exit the stage.

A quintet remains to perform a Corelli piece comprised of six movements. Moving from walking rhythms to more lively tunes, the players’ hard work and skill are swallowed up in musical expression. The first and second violinists enter into a lively interplay with one another. Both violists and the cellist enter the frolic as well.

The crowd responds with delight.

Every musician returns to the stage. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 is introduced as a baby grand piano is wheeled to center stage. Three musicians move gingerly forward taking their places at front stage. Joel, a tall, confident high school senior, holds his violin. Next to him standing composedly is Katie, a lovely flutist. Seated next to her is Lindsay, the radiant, graceful pianist. The conductor sets the stage for the music and turns to his orchestra. His hands motion the instruments into playing position. All is ready.

The familiar concerto leaps forth. After the first movement, the audience is not able to contain themselves and claps and cheers loudly. Performance decorum demands silence between movements, but decorum would never do at a time like this. Silence is no response for such wonderful music. The audience too must have the center stage so an involuntary outburst of clapping and cheering ensues. Two more movements round out the concerto and allow the audience to clearly hear the solo instruments.

The final piece to be performed is Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. The performance is powerful and dramatic. The music ends. The audience jubilantly rises in standing ovation. Flowers are presented. The air is electrifying.

But wait. It’s not over yet. The orchestra has a surprise in store for their beloved conductor and his wife. To celebrate the very day of their 22nd wedding anniversary, the players have prepared some waltz music so the couple can dance. The music begins and the lovers dance. Center stage belongs to them now. Smiles are all around. The song ends and the dancers bow. Then suddenly the players begin to play a second waltz. The crowd laughs to see the conductor and his wife’s dance prolonged. They dance again, start to bow only to hear the players begin their third waltz. The hilarity compounds and the conductor pleases the crowd with silly antics looking at his watch, borrowing a cane from an old lady as he pretends to grow old during the dance, and hooking his wife toward him using the cane as his arm’s extension. To the delight and amusement of the audience, the players let the couple complete their dance after the fourth waltz.

Wonderful interplay. Wonderful music. Wonderful day.

This is the true story of Saturday's concert performed by the KASH (Kokomo Area Schools at Home) High School Orchestra. The conductor is John Christenson. Candace, Amy, and Ben are all players.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Supper goes awry

Sisters and email, what can you say? It's always interesting. Like take the past few days for instance. One wrote that she has unearthed a couple of old family recipes of main dishes that we used to eat as kids. So one of them came back later reporting that she had made one of the dishes and it brought back childhood memories. So the other made the dish and reported back too. So I set out to re-discover this lost cuisine, but didn't fare so well. (No pun intended.)

Here's an excerpt from my email to them.

OK, OK, so I realize that I'm the only one who hasn't reported on my journey down memory lane with dinner recipes from childhood, and all, but I guess I'm expecting everything to just fall into place. I had really good intentions today. I mean, I printed out the email with both recipes on it, and I actually got a pan out and filled it with water and set it on the stove to boil to prepare the noodles. Then I really looked at the recipe.

"Hum, pimentos. I don't have those. Oh well, I don't think you really HAVE to have pimentos for this dish. OK, I'll get the cream cheese out of the frig. Where's that cream cheese? It was here yesterday. ... Blast those kids - eating all the cream cheese just when I need it! Little varmits eating me out of house and home!

"Whatever, OK, I'll just scratch the casserole.

"Now for Plan B. No prob, I'll just make the other one. Let's see. Bacon - check; flour - check; mush soup - check; American cheese - hum, don't have that ... but I do have the creamy, yellow cheese stuff in the jar ... reckon that'll work - check; 4 well-beaten egg yolks and 4 stiff-beaten egg whites - well, aren't we picky - check. Why do the old '60 recipes have to be so labor intensive? ::sigh::

"Directions, directions - here we go. It says, 'Fry bacon.' OK. ::cuts open the bacon and gets out the pan.::

"Then is says, 'Drain on absorbant paper.' Well, duh.

::scans through the recipe:: "What the...?! You mean to tell me this takes 55 mins. to bake? Man, they even cooked slower than we do these days! I mean, I gotta BE at my exercise class in 40 mins. Oh well. I'll REALLY do it tomorrow. Yeah tomorrow, that's when I'll make it.

::Looks in the pantry. Spies a can of Progresso Soup.:: "Now, that's more like it!" ::Finishes the last bite when the first kid enters.:: "Where's supper?", says he.

::Thinks about retorting, "You tell me where the cream cheese is, Bucko, and I'll tell you where supper is!" Bites her tongue and with an angelic smile points to the fine selection of soup in the pantry.::

Well OK, so I stretched the truth a little with that angelic smile business. I was just trying to come up with a happy ending.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Early morning in our neighborhood

This morning I woke up around 4:30 and was amazed to see the first dim glow of the morning seeping around my curtains. I took this picture about 4:55 from our dining room to show you that the sun is starting to come up PRETTY early here in Kokomo, Indiana. I don't plan to be up that early in a week on June 21st, the longest day of the year. I'm sure the sun will be up long before I will!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Smothered chops

Back from Texas.

> Canny's grad;
> seeing home folks;
> being back home in the pineywoods of East Texas.

> Not near enough time;
> time flew by;
> wish we had more time.

Tonight I'm going to the Women's Night Out with our church ladies. Yippee! Prayer, fellowship, and eating out! Great combination!

Started to seriously work on Rob's and my reading project this week. I plan to spend several hours each day on the project - he'll end up spending even more time on it than that. It's pretty cool - we go on walks and talk about what we've been reading. I'm reading about Scottish church history and he's reading sermons about the application of Scriptural and historical covenants. We'll both eventually read all the material. Profound subjects. I'll let you know more about it as I soak it up and try to make sense of it. I'm starting out with a lot of questions.

Umm, I can smell the smothered pork chops, ::thinks about cracking a joke about chops, but decides it's entirely too corny:: :::Her readers sigh with relief::: but I can't eat them - have to save my appetite for dinner with the ladies. Poor me. :-(

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sweet summertime

Summer’s here. Gone are the days of weekly school planning, lecturing, grading, and making of lunches. (Well, I guess I’ll still be making lunches – just not before 8 o’clock in the morning.) Sure, I’ll be plenty busy doing just about the same things I do during the year around the house, but I’ll be busy doing them during the summer. That’s the difference. Do you see what I mean?

I have a specific pile of books I want to read. I’m actually going to read the same books my husband is reading about the covenants of God and man. I have been VERY interested in this subject for a few years and this summer I finally get to delve into it and read about it and think about it. It is nice to have a season of personal study on a highly interesting subject without a lot of other mental distractions. I don't normally study theology books (that's more in Rob's line). I usually just want to read books to help assist me in private devotions. But we're doing something a little different this summer. The neat part is that because we'll be reading the same books and thinking about the same things, we can discuss them together. We've done that with one book, but never with a group of books. It will definitely be a syntopical study, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

The main priority now is making the final preparations for Candace’s graduation. Rob and I have already gone over each other’s speeches to make sure we aren’t saying the same things. We’re not. My excitement and anticipation is growing as we approach our oldest daughter’s high school graduation. This is a special time indeed. The time of graduation is the perfect time to look back on a person’s whole childhood. What’s it’s been. What she’s meant to me as a mother, and to her father, and to her brothers and sister. What a wonderful time. I could almost write more oratory right here and now, but I’ll spare you. Just come to the celebration with us if you can!

Tomorrow’s our 21st anniversary! Guess where we plan to eat. None other than Kokomo, Indiana’s Texas Roadhouse! Yeah, we’ve never eaten in that restaurant so we thought we’d give it a try. Nice name.

We had our last regular Wednesday night bible study in our home tonight since we don’t meet for them regularly during the summer. It was very thought provoking tonight. I like it because we go verse by verse and have a format that encourages us to dig a little deeper into a passage. Tonight, we studied Act 13.

I’m sitting here typing in our den which we’ve turned into Josh’s room for the summer. He’s sitting right behind me on his computer. We had to put them this close to share this DSL plug. I don’t know how the boys have it hooked up, but they’ve fixed it somehow.

Well, I need to ready myself for bed. G'bye

Monday, May 23, 2005

Quick note ...

One more day of our co-op school for me. Yep, tomorrow's the finals for the two classes I teach and my final in Hebrew. Both in the college-prep English class and in the Latin class, I've made some dandy four page tests. In Hebrew we will have to translate 5 out of 9 verses from Genesis and parse the highlighted words. I better go study some more or I won't do so hot. Makes me feel like I'm in high school all over again - just the studying for a big test part not the loads of endless energy part. Oh well, better go study.

Oh yeah, we'll be driving to Texas in a week to celebrate Canny's graduation. Yippee!! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Feel like I did a lot of walking today
... and I'm ti-ert.

We'll talk later.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Deja vu

Much has happened since my last “what’s going on with me” entry. I can definitely see how an old person like me can forget the events of the recent past unless it is written down immediately. Now, ask me about say the hubbub that surrounded the release of the original Star Wars movies and I can relate every detail, but ask me what happened seven days ago and I draw a blank.

But let’s see what I can dig up. Oh yeah … we picked up Josh at the airport close to midnight last Monday. Now there was a senior moment. Josh’s dad and I were walking through the airport after just having checked on the TV screen to see when his flight would arrive. We still had ten minutes until his plane was supposed to land. We were hungry so we were walking along greedily eyeing all the closed airport restaurants not paying a bit of attention to the stream of passengers who were filing by us on the way to baggage claim when suddenly, I heard a voice say, “Robert and Suzanne?” I turned and saw our own son grinning behind us. We had walked right by him without seeing him standing there waving at us. It seems we had momentarily forgotten why we were at the airport. Silly us. I smiled a ridiculous smile and hugged him.

Since then, all six of us have eaten meals together (even this is a big event when one member of a family has been gone), we’ve gone to our co-op school banquet together, we’ve watched PTO together, and we’ve gone to our first Sunday service together. Ah! It doesn’t get any better than this. All six of us together again! (Remember about that, those of you who miss your friends back at school, your mom, dad, and siblings like to see your shining face, too!)

This week has had a familiar feel to it as though they were all children and we were living together again. But it’s just for the summer. In reality, there aren’t any guarantees that all of us will live in the same house for other summers to come. And so one of my main goals for this summer is to work on my relationships with my "adult children" (now that sounds like a paradox). I want to relate with them differently than a mother to a child and I want them to relate differently with me than a child to a parent. I mean, I’m still a handy advice-giver, but our relationships must change and adapt to this new adult/adult situation. I’m shooting for mutual respect and freedom of expression. Please pray for both the parents and the young adults as we are in this transition. :-)

Thank goodness we have this summer. I’m going to enjoy every minute of it!