Tuesday, March 29, 2005

New friends

I'd been planning to photograph my flowers in my kitchen window, but this slot of time presented itself so it ended up being a choice between taking the photo, plus getting it ready, plus uploading it - or - typing this blog. I chose the latter. This will just give you the opportunity to grow with anticipation at the thought of seeing my beautiful little plants.

Last night, we had Ginny, one of Canny's new friends, over to spend the night. Sweet lass. Sorta quirky, but aren't we all around here? I like her. You'll see her blog link here soon so I can keep closer tabs on her. Her big, beautiful harp appeared in our living room yesterday causing no small stir. I think she had to perform three mini-concerts before we let her go. Since she was on her way to Indianapolis for a six-week college course, she bedded down with Canny last night. I hope we become a regular hostel stop for her on her treks back and forth. Or anytime for that matter.

It's a funny thing. I consider my kids' friends my friends too. Yeah, I know I'm old enough to be their mother, but I'm also old enough to be my own kids' mother. (Profound isn’t it?) But my children and I have become fast friends (well, most of the time.) :-) What happened is that the wide expanse that used to separate me as an adult from my young children has narrowed quite a bit. My interest in knowing their thoughts has never ebbed but the fact that they can reciprocate with me on a more even plane has definitely changed. With my children and with their friends, our minds can meet.

To become friends with you own children … well …there’s nothing more satisfying for a parent. It's like making a new friend in someone you've known for a really long time.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Satis superque!

Yesterday my hubby brought me an ancient Latin textbook ... from the 1950's. I perused over it pretty thoroughly today. ::thought chirps, "I wonder if they' ll find this exceedingly boring?" ... nah:: It's really facinating to think that most school children studied the ancient Latin language in past generations. Being quite the inquisitive type, I was curious about the approach used in a relatively modern time (relative to me anyway - although I hasten to add that it was written before my time. :-) The title of the text is Latin for Americans, II, a text for second year Latin students. I predicted that it would be infused with cheesy 1950's patriotic flourishes and chalked full of condescending imperatives for the all too eager students. But not so. They seemed to pull off this great balance between readings, photos and artwork (okay that part was a little cheesy), grammar lessons, and study hints. A real gem. Okay, okay, I get really enthusiastic about this kind of thing. But Megan knows how it feels, anyway. :-) Habeas Corpus! (You must have the body!) Oops that's the wrong one. I mean, Satis Superque! (Enough and more than enough!)

The Joneses have a music group again - it's blue-grass this time. We've been getting ready for the Teachers Appreciation Night, an occasion for folks to show their talent. Don't ask me what I'm doing up there. It will be tomorrow night at the church building. Canny will be on the fiddle, Amy on the mandolin, Ben on the chellar, and yours truly on the GUI-tar. Should be amusing. There will NOT be a video for those of you who like to trade performances (although I still want all of your video files). Not fair? Oh well.

Satis Verborum! (No more need be said!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

If I only had a brain

I just cruised around everybody's blog. It's nice to just listen sometimes.

I was wondering how long "Silly Old Granny" would be able to hold out without commenting. It's way too much fun!

Now contrary to popular opinion, you DO have to have a brain to blog. Case in point: let's say for instance a person were not feeling well for a week. And let's say this person had to continue to carry on as though they could think clearly when in fact all the while they functioned all week without a brain? And if that person were a blogger, do you think they would blog that week? Why no, I don't think so. A week like that would require all the person's wits just to make the people living around them think that they were actively engaged in daily conversations. It would be a grave blunder to try to be coherent in print. %^P (I don't know quite what that face signifies, but it can't be good.)

But hey, we all lose a week out of our life every now and then for some reason or another. :-)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Canny's REAL graduation date

Oops. I wrote the wrong date for Canny's graduation on the previous blog. THE REAL DATE IS FRIDAY, JUNE 3RD. More details later.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Peddling and blogging

Haven't been on the stationary ... ::thought barges in uninvited:: "is that 'stationary' or 'stationery' - one means standing still and the other means writing material ... hum ... I'll take a stab in the dark and stick with my first hunch 'stationary' " ::thought bows and exits:: ... bike this week so the blogging fell by the wayside. A week without much exercise makes ME feel bloggy. Regular exercise helps me to have energy and it actually helps me to get rid of excess energy. If I don't exercise, I feel all cooped up inside. So here I am peddling and blogging - a good match.

This week's news:

Plans for Candace's graduation ceremony are going forward in earnest now. The date is going to be Friday, June 6 at First Baptist Church, Alto - the same place we had Josh's graduation. I checked with the Rusk and Alto public schools and they will have their commencement ceremonies the previous weekend so there won't be a conflict. Rob and I surfed yesterday at the site of HomschoolDiploma.com (where we got Josh's grad. stuff). We were designing Candace's high school diploma. Very touching experience. Memories of all those years come flooding into our minds. So many memories. Memories of how homeschooling allowed us as parents to share our daughter's childhood with her. Memories of how we had the time to share ourselves with her educationally and every other way too. This is the stuff you wouldn't trade for the world - precious.

Candace and I also decided about some of her ceremony decorations and made preliminary decisions about her announcements. A couple of months ago over the Christmas break, we took senior pictures of her around our home in Shiloh. The weather was great and many of the pictures look great. They were mostly casual pics and we still need some more formal pics and just more options. I like to have plenty of senior pictures to choose from. A friend of ours who's a fine photographer is coming over Monday to take some inside pictures. I know we'll have to decide soon and get the announcements ordered.

Amy started the March volleyball clinic this week. She will go to the high school two or three times a week for the month of March to improve her volleyball skills.

Ben will start an art class this next week. I'm looking forward to that. Who says we can't live a second life through our kids? ;-)

Josh starts Spring Break today. His grandmother is traveling to pick him up to stay with the grandparents for a few days. Makes me really miss him. :-( But moms must grow up, too. May the Lord bless all you Spring Breakers!

And here's some free Spring Break advice: It's important to have a change of scenery, relax, and have a good time on Spring Break. Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, I had a Spring Break where I didn't make any plans opting just to stay on campus for a quiet week. I soon regretted it. Later I wished that I had gotten away from that place; it made the rest of the semester seem long and drawn out. Of course, that's just one story. I'm sure others could tell of the wonderful experiences they had the time they spent a quiet week nearly alone on campus. But this is my blog, is it not? I get to tell the stories here. Seriously, the Lord is perfectly capable of arranging His little one's Spring Break however He sees fit to work His good in them. But generally speaking, I think it wise to get away for some fresh air, if possible. I don't think anyone will argue with that one!

It turns out that I'm not going to teach swimming at the Y. After helping out there for two weeks and talking specifics with the lady in charge, it just wasn't going to work out for various reasons. A big part of me sighs in relief. I am such a homebody and I was a little apprehensive about being gone from home so much. Everyone in my family leads such busy lives and I like to be here to help the machine run smoothly. That's really what I prefer to be doing. So here I am, back on the bike, blogging!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

News flash: new blogger now available

Hummm ... has any observant person noticed that I have a new blog link in my "fellow gourmet" list? Now who could that be?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Rubber bands

Do you have a need for rubber bands? I do. I sort of collect them. Big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones - it doesn't matter - I like them all. Never want to be without them, you know.

One time years ago, I needed a rubber band and couldn't find one. I searched the entire house looking for one and becoming increasingly bummed-out when one couldn't be found. Later, a whole bag of rubber bands came into my possession and I was thrilled. With this many, I'd never run out again. It never occurred to me that someone could buy a bag of rubber bands. Nevertheless, it's against some inner principle of thriftiness to ever consider buying a bag of bands. It's just a waste of money on a silly little thing.

But now, I make sure never to let my stash get low. If you look at the floor when you're walking through the room, you'll often see one and you can grab it up before anyone else sees it. And you can shove one in your pocket from a newspaper or from some broccoli. There are ways to acquire them if your vigilant. I know you don't ever want to run out of rubber bands either.

But seriously, I'm over emphasizing this. I don't care about rubber bands that much, just ask my family. And what if I did! People have their quirks. I bet there's something you can't do without.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Visions of grandeur

Ben and I played racquetball yesterday for the first time. We said that we would have to look up the rules for the game sometime on the Internet so we would know what we are trying to do. But we decided that for now it's better not to know what we're supposed to be doing. We played the each-man-for-himself-hit-the little-ball-anytime-in-any-direction-version.

My kids gave me the music CD of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera from the '70s (I think) with Sarah Brightman singing the part of Christine. That woman has had an amazingly versatile voice for a long time, and she still does. We've all been walking around the house this week humming or whistling (two of my favorite pastimes) "All I ask of you" or "The Music of the Night." I guess all of us carry inside a few visions of grandeur. ;-)

Also for my birthday, my dear husband planned out and escorted me to the loveliest, romantic dinner in a local restaurant with an upstairs hideaway. The table was shrouded with white chiffon. He kept kidding that it was mosquito netting to keep the bugs out, but I knew better. The whole experience was very sweet and I enjoyed it immensely. Then later in the week he surprised me with a brand new book of quotes. Can't have too many of those around, I always say!

And then my sweet mother-in-law called me with her annual birthday singing telegram. This year's rendition was exceptionally pleasing because it was performed as a duet. She had just let her very vocal cat named "Kokomo" inside her house for a short visit at just the time when she called to sing to me and he enthusiastically joined in the song. This tickled me and I held the phone out for Amy and Canny to hear the birthday song with the loud "meeeooow" piping in at irregular intervals! Not quite Sarah Brightman, but even the cat wants to be a star!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ever present spring of joy!

After having completed his first two weeks as the night chaplain for the Kokomo Rescue Mission, me hubby entered upon this third week. During the first two weeks of his training, he went in at noon on Mon., Wed. and Fri. and at three on T days. So this week, he started his new permanent schedule from 3 to 11 p.m. He loves it and we're adjusting pretty painlessly to the new late evening. I was initially a little concerned about Robert having trouble adjusting, but my watchful eye hasn't picked up any signs of problems. The Lord is very gracious to us.

Rob comes home with stories of the night full of hard times sprinkled with glimmers of hope. I pray that the Lord would open doors that no man can shut and shut doors that no man can open in that place. Our great God has His children in every place. I think that God not only uses his ministers in a place to spread His particular lovingkindness as He saves the lost, but also He uses His ministers in a place to spread more of His general lovingkindness as He reforms even hardened rebels to make better choices in their lives. To save sinners is of course the best of the Lord's acts among us, but also any kind of reforming providence shed upon people's lives displays the Great God's remarkable love upon all human beings. But Lord, please reach down and pluck Your little ones out of the fire!

Things are moving along nicely at the Y. I have now assisted about eight or nine swimming classes on three different days - two Wednesdays and a Monday. Hopefully soon I'll feel
knowledgeable enough to take on my own classes. It's not that I'm unsure about teaching the little guys. I feel right at home teaching. It's just that I want to bring my knowledge of the swimming requirements back up to the front of my brain. Its been a really long time since I've taught a swimming class.

I like it, though. I like being around little kids again, watching some of them in the beginning filled with terror at trying out a new experience and being very dependant and clingy to the grown-up. Then timidly responding to praise at a small step well done, and finally jumping into the pool wildly waving their arms yelling "Geronimo!!!" like a madman. And all in three lessons. Fun stuff.

Candace picked me up from the Y last night just in time to get ready for the Wednesday night bible study hosted in our home. My recent experiences with the little swimmers and one of our study topics last night had some uncanny resemblances.

We were studying Acts ch.8 and got to talking about "happiness vs. joy." The faces of my new little friends were fresh in my mind - their emotions swinging rapidly between fear, elation, terror, dependence, wide-eyed trust, and jumping Geronimos. They were definitely happy at times, but this state of mind did not last. In the bible study, we talked about how happiness is fleeting, but joy abides. Happiness is based on outside circumstances, but joy is based on our constant state of being in Christ. Happiness focuses on self, but joy focuses outside ourselves on Christ.

I told the others that I tend to try to get back to my ground zero emotion of happiness (or maybe I should have said "contentment"). There followed much discussion about whether
there is one right or wrong emotion - happiness being only one of them. Point well taken - although I can't bring myself to admit that it is okay for someone to choose to walk around being righteously angry all the time or terminally sad. There are definitely seasons for one to experience different states of emotion, but I think there also must be some emotional states which are more appropriate for everyday living than others. Any comments out there on this?

Someone brought up the point that even Christ expressed different emotions. He didn't abide unmovable in one emotional state. We would have to admit that He was always abiding in a state of inward joy even when He wasn't happy. He was content knowing His heavenly Father and knowing who He was in relation to His Father.

It was brought out that we can also abide in joy by knowing our heavenly Father and knowing who we are in Him. Our joy can also be stirred up by remembering that we are of great value to the Father as seen in Christ's great love for us. He did sacrifice His own life in exchange for ours.