Thursday, December 27, 2007

If it's the last thing I do ...

I'm going to post this.

Been to Texas and back. I sat in the hammock thinking about how cold it must be in Indiana and how warm and toasty I was feeling sitting in my short sleeved shirt reading a book. But I must admit that it was nice to get home, chill and all.

Once home, we had a wonderful time with our own brand of gift-giving around the tree. Our family with its quirky sense of humor is heavy on mysterious gift labels and gag gifts. I was given toe warmers, others got a children's pirate book, bubbles, remote helicopters, silly string, and a squishy glowing ball. One of the best parts of our Christmas was having a dear friend join us for our gift time, and later in the day, some other friends dropped by to exchange more gifts and gab. Christmas is the perfect time to reaffirm how others are connected to our lives. In the kingdom of Christ, this is pretty natural. And it should be.

Hope you are all having the best of days relaxing with family and friends, resting from normal busyness, and reflecting on eternity. May the Lord bless you in the coming year.

Monday, December 17, 2007


How's about this?

You'd think I'd died or somethin ... and all I did was go back to college after 22 years. Well, let me take a moment to wish you all greetings and inquire about your health.

I have been a very bad blogger, but a good student and teacher and tutor and wife and mother and friend. Or you better ask others about that, but that's what I shoot for anyway.

This morning I wrapped more presents, now I'm listening to Relient K come out of Ben's compy while I type. Relient K kinda grows on me ... strange.

I got a penguin photo holder @ the ladies' white elephant party and my hubby put a message in the penguine's holder. Oh well you'll just have to see for yourself ...

I've been bad. Because its rumored that I'm getting a camera for Christmas and I'm "borrowing" it for a while before, and heck, during Christmas to snap away. Here's some of my handywork:

First there's Canny's birthday:

Ben gave her a bubble machine. Anyone who knows Canny knows this made her very happy.

And when Candace is happy, Amy and Ben are happy:

Guess who's toes:

I prefer to wear socks. That's me - can't you tell?

And finally, Ben, when he had hair:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My brain is toast

Been in the writing lab for 3 hrs and 45 mins. Answered grammar and usage questions. Read dutifully about evolution nonsense, and pscho mumbo-jumbo. Now I deflate. Good for nothing but to be a pleasant grinning, blurry-eyed companion. Nothing to add to a conversation but incoherent ramblings.

Still, life is good. Completed my third week of college; taught my first week of SCA classes; tutored 15 hrs here at the Information Emporium (uh, the library); and started tutoring my two ten yr old tutees. (note alliteration)

Wish I had brought my bible. Wonder if they have a bible in this place? (note to self: put that little bible in backpack)

Meeting lots of new people, learning lots. Some good, some not so good. Glad there's life outside acedemia.

Still rather be at home. The Lord stretches me. Looking forward to walking with a friend tonight. Relish human contact with like-minded people.

Hubby's good. He works a lot too. We keep an eye on each other to make sure we don't stretch too thin. If you look at somebody and they're really not there. You know ... you can see right through them ... well, you need to pull 'em back and ball them all up and make them opaque again.

So be on the look-out for those transparent people out there.

Good talking with you.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Eloquent Example

Yesterday I started a new job tutoring English at IUK. Should be a good way to get me thinking about students and their requirements on the college level. Looking forward to a new challenge.

I told you that I'm starting back to college in the Fall, didn't I? Well, it's true. I will be taking 9 hours of graduate coursework as I kick off my master degree program. A little nervous. A little excited. Please pray. More on that later.

This summer I'm studying material in preparation to teach next year's high school/jr. high English classes. Recently, I came across a quote by Laurence Sterne that exposes our shallow attempts to write and points us to the true source of eloquence.
Thusly it follows:
There are two sorts of eloquence;
the one indeed scarce deserves the name of it,
which consists chiefly in laboured and polished periods,
an over-curious and artificial arrangement of figures,
tinselled over with a gaudy embellishment of words ...
the other sort of eloquence is quite the reverse to this,
and which may be said to be the true characteristic
of the Holy Scriptures;

where the excellence does not arise from a laboured and far-fetched elocution,
but from a surprising mixture of simplicity and majesty.

- Laurence Sterne

The prose and poetry of the Bible have never been equaled.

Let's become saturated in this sea of beauty and wisdom.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

To Texas we will go ...

To Texas we will go,
Weddings, heat, & Java Jack Jo,
To Texas we will go.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The hunt

Um, hello.


Last week, the clothes in my closet were only suitable for indoor viewing so I needed to branch out. How? Goodwill, of course! Everyone knows that the Carmel Goodwill houses the sweetest brand name selection of stuff around. Candace and I set out to Carmel for the hunt, and hunting was good. When we arrived our wildest dreams had come true - the sign on the front of Goodwill said: ONE-DAY-ONLY-HALF-PRICE-SALE! I fell to my shopping with a vengeance.

I've never shopped so hard in all my born days. Armed with 15 pairs of tan pants, I entered the dressing room. Passersby would see flurries of flying tan pants. Then emerging from the struggle with slightly disheveled hair, I returned 14 pairs of tan pants to the racks, lay the chosen one in the buggy* then proceeded to the black blouse section. The hunt continued. The perfect black blouse must be pursued and placed among the other trophies. How do you know it's the right one? You must find the one that ... looks-like-new-and-makes-me-look-sophisticated.

Tricky, I know.

Thinking of it again gives me a raging appetite. Think I'll go get a bowl of cereal.

*("buggy" - Texas word for "shopping cart".)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Life after graduation

Hey, I'm not talking about Josh (recent college grad) or Amy (recent high school grad). I'm talking about ME (recent I'vebeenworkingincessentlynightanddayoneveryone'sgrad

So all that has come to its wonderful culmination, and I will once again blog (as often as I ever did.) I love you and I still want to share my life with you. So stop by and visit every now and then, and you might find a post.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Today's sermon notes

Title: Walking in God's Will
Main reference: Gen. 31:1-21

I. Pay heed to the desire of a yearning heart.
  • God made our hearts full of desires.
  • He gives us the desires of our hearts - but at times, our hearts do deceive us.
  • So, if we delight in Him, He surely does give us the desires of our heart - listen to them.
  • God works through the desires of His people's hearts.

II. Examine carefully the direction of life's pressures.
  • Pressures guide us - like a weather vane points out a direction from the pressure it receives.
  • Don't try to figure out a direction prematurely. (i.e. What career should my little kid have?)
  • Let the natural timing of life apply pressure under God.

III. Pray surely for the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
  • God takes His word and illuminates it to us.
  • We should take the word of God and apply it directly to our lives.
And today - I was talking about the sermon with Ben and he said that lately he has been using specific types of markings in his bible to facilitate ways of integrating the word of God into the lives of others. Does that make sense? Anyway, that struck me as a very good idea that I want to put into practice as I read the bible every day. I mean, I usually think of applying the word of God to my own life, but I need to more actively endeavor to apply the word of God to the lives of those around me. I'm so dense that I need to make a note about a verse as it relates to a specific person or I will never think of it again.

IV. Hold closely the remembrance of former promises.
  • The promises we make help anchor us to God's way.
  • Examples:
  • church membership,
  • marriage,
  • children's baptism,
  • children honoring parents,
  • and all of the moral law.

V. Listen wisely to the guidance of close counselors.
  • Honor your father and your mother. God will use their counsel to guide you. I was thinking that that's easy if you have godly parents, but what about if you have ungodly parents? But in the sermon, the point was brought out that anytime a Christian tries to honor (an even ungodly) parent's advice, God will guide through that (if the advice isn't against the biblical precepts).
  • Find good counselors and surround yourself with them.

(I didn't include all the notes - just the ones that particularly ministered to me.)

I hope to walk with Christ this week. What an audacious thought! But the Lord Himself gives me the nerve to try.
As Switchfoot so eloquently puts it, "You're the only chance I'll take."

Have a blessed day and week!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pull up an armchair let's drink to success

Digging through old photos preparing for Amy's graduation has made me realize that my little barista's about to graduate from high school.

From the very start, she was adorable...

Now she's all grown up ...

Sorry, A, I couldn't resist.
Luv, Mum

Monday, April 16, 2007

This week's western civ quote

After the Allies were victorious over Hitler in WW2, Churchill and Stalin were chummy. They discussed the postwar spheres of influence of a bunch of sovereign countries, and jotted their thoughts down on a scrap of paper.

Win remarked to Joe, "Might it not be thought rather cynical if it seemed we had disposed of these issues, so fateful to millions of people, in such an off-hand manner? Let us burn the paper”.

Then Joe unconcerned about public opinion responded, “No, you keep it.”

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Life is all about ...

I was talking to a friend on the phone yesterday philosophizing big time and I told her that the conversation would make great blog material and she laughed and said that she was honored to be hearing it first before it goes public.

But now 16 hours later since I can't remember a whip of what we were talking about, I'll just give you this week's list:

  1. this morning it's cold as a freezer - (it snowed yesterday for crying-out-loud!)
  2. my African violets look pretty now with the sun shinning on them
  3. I watched our squirrel wake up and stretch and scratch himself
  4. my daughters have both been sick
  5. I went to Harvey Hinklemires and only ate one brownie
  6. Ben and I are reading Proverbs
  7. Hebrews has been quite a blessing, too
  8. I worked on grad preparations for my high school daughter and my college son
  9. I ironed and watched some 20 year olds play a board game with some pre-teens
  10. I edited a paper twice without a brain
  11. did I say I haven't had a brain this week (yeah, I think I did)
Breakfast calls - I love you all still (you know who you are) ... at least I still have a heart. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Glass Menagerie

Ben and I just finished reading it aloud.

Typical tragedy:
  • discontented mother nags
  • discontented son flies
  • discontented daughter withdraws

This is the stuff that stage tragedy is made of. The most dramatic effect of all is that I've been reading GM with my own son.

::Feels an overwhelming gush of sentimentality sweeping upon her. Thinks to herself that this is probably the last time she’ll ever read a play aloud with one of her kids.::

::Comforts herself by recalling that she and her son agreed to catch the next live GM performance that comes to town.::

In the kitchen Ben and I perform our own impromptu version of the play thusly:

Me: rattles off a series of ridiculous demands,
Ben: mumbles that he’s going to the movies now.

Tom's final words on stage reveals a restless heart - the same kind of discontented heart laid bare in many a rock song:

"TOM: I didn't go to the moon. I went much further--for time is the longest distance between two places. Not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoebox. I left St. Louis. I descended the steps of the fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father's footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I traveled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from their branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass. Perhaps I am walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found companions. I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger--anything that can blow your candles out!"

I put in bold the words that struck me. They speak volumes. So many frantically fill up their lives with movement; scared to think of what they'd discover if they ever stop. The chase is all that matters.

But life shouldn't find its purpose in movement. A sedentary life isn't the answer either, but if we could only be guided and moved along with a purpose!

The Lord Jesus Christ does move powerfully in lives. Oh to be profoundly impacted by the the Lord in His Word! Verses like Colossians 3:3 and Phlippians 1:21 point to the One who gives real purpose to life.

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."

and "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Just now, I spied a Morrisons bag from Scotland in my tiny bathroom - reminds me that the present can never quite leave the past behind. I feel the movement as I type in this dark room of mirrors. Right now I'm cold, but content. I smile because my real life is hid in Christ.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Yesterday turned out to be not half bad.

1) I started homeschooling a seventh grade student. Hannah will come to our house twice a week and I'll help her to stay on top of her studies. I love teaching this age. We hit the crucial concepts and work on the study skills. Before you know it, they're ready to launch into the challenging high school stuff. I much prefer to grab a seventh grader and get some things ready for the next level than to finally get a kid in 11th grade and play catch-up. I love ya', Hannah!

2) Met with an IUK professor. More on that later.

3) Went to a belated Valentine Sweetheart Banquet. Romance, friends, and hilarity - what more could you want? Celebrating marital bliss made me thankful for my one true love and the happiness we share, and made me thankful that we were NOT selected to be interrogated publicly in Barry's version of the Newlywed Game. Wheeew!

4) Home late, to bed, then sweet sleep.

That about covers it. Later gator.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Does the devil have all the good comedy?

Click below to find out ...

Don't be mean to butterflies

and don't be mean to cats.

Hilarious as this guy is
- he definitely has some serious issues. :-D

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shake well before use

Quite a poetic phrase from the White Out bottle - don't you think?

Moving along ...

Felt rather puny this morning - flu-like symptoms. Spent the day with a flurry of activity followed by vertical inactivity. Preferring to be busy, my repose super-sized the day making it feel like I got two days for the price of one. I mean this day aughta be over by now, but nooooo, it's only four o'clock. Why couldn't I trade this day in for one of those days where each 60 minute hour lasts only 45 minutes?

The high point of the day? A spontaneous time of thanksgiving to the Lord this morning. Seems that the cold air had seeped into my soul and was I feeling rather like Puddleglum. After giving way to gloomy thoughts, it occurred to me, "Why not thank the Lord for some of His blessings for a while?" The clouds cleared away as my thanks flew upward. You can't stay grumpy and thankful at the same time. It's impossible. Mostly I was thankful for people -or- more specifically what I could see the Lord doing in the lives of people around me. This raised me right out of the dumps.

I needed a little morning shake up. Better than aerobics.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A southerner's forecast

This is all new to me.

I'll grant that when the scenery out the window was wiped out a couple of years ago in Kokomo, I couldn't believe it. I mean it was as if Someone had erased the sky and the ground and the parked cars - everything was white. I just stared out the window.

But this - this is different.
Don't talk to me about global warming or El Niño - nope, you've got it ALL wrong. We are actually entering the next Ice Age.


Here's the proof:

1) It starts with BELOW freezing temperatures - like 7 degrees F.
(I knew you wouldn't believe me, but the backyard thermometer lies not.)

It gets worse ...

2) As the result of toxic fumes (like the fumes of peanut butter toast made by apathetic adolescents all over the world), the warm blanket that wraps the northern part of the United States is wearing thin creating the "refrigerator effect" plunging temperatures to a breath-stopping 7 degrees below zero.

See for yourself.

The following image is not suitable for those with delicate constitutions.

3) Gross! What IS that?
Oh, it's frozen raw egg drippings.
Wonder how it got there?
Perhaps a certain young southern gentleman was overcome with a need for some scientific observation. I can understand how someone from warmer climates would need to know if a raw egg would freeze on contact, but should such a person try his ground-breaking experiment right above the thermometer leaving it slimed for the rest of the winter?

This is debatable.

5) Can't say that I blame the man. I have my needs too.

If you want me, I'll be hibernatin'. See ya'll in the Spring!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Brrrrrr ...

This is how I feel.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Radical new approach

Heavyweight title makes up for lightweight content (see above).

As many of my students know, I like to edit papers. Just this week, I helped a former student improve an essay for her freshman composition class. So when it comes to writing my own blog, I often stare at the blank white page, my brain, a bubble. Wouldn't it be great if somebody would write my blog for me and so I could just edit it?

That's today's brilliant idea.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Indiana snow

Here's what it looks like on our street today. Snow sits in just the right places - on the lawns - not on the street or sidewalks.

How considerate.

(For my little friend, Charity.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

While looking out my window

It's sunny outside - brisk and clear. Ah, winter's brilliant sunlight! The tree branches allow you to peek through.

Perspective. That's what you get on a day like this.

Now I admit, I'd rather not walk out there today. 'Me' and 'cold' don't get along. But to just sit here and gaze at the snow-harboring rooftops
- well, I could do that all day.

This week I caught up with some local friends. Being a jar of clay, my Master molds me. Why is it that adversity produces deeper love? These days I look a little deeper into eyes and love a little deeper. Only God could translate pain into love.

With this morning's homeschool grad meeting behind and this afternoon's homeschool orchestra performance ahead, I'll leave you for now

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bring back my bonnie to me

I love my clothes.

I love my cast iron pots.

Where are you on the wide, blue sea?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Reflections of Scotland

I may not live in Scotland anymore, but I will always carry some of it with me.
These are some of the images/people I don't ever want to forget:

  1. Round-a-bouts.
  2. Expert drivers who maneuver around you with just inches to spare.
  3. Conversing with "the two Margarets" (two dear ladies I got to know at church).
  4. Pedestrians.
  5. Bright yellow reflector jackets.
  6. The twinkle in Charles Muir's eyes when he told a joke.
  7. The city lights of the central belt.
  8. David McCulloch saying "watch this" and then poking the notoriously ticklish Candace.
  9. Hanging with his mom, my dear friend, Kim.
  10. Walking in the rain.
  11. The unbelievable stories I heard of Beth receiving messages from the "mother ship."
  12. People's patience as I asked them to repeat themselves ... again.
  13. The powerful preaching of Andrew Quigley.
  14. Jimmy's flowers.
  15. Tesco shopping.
  16. Straining hard to count British money.
  17. The free flow of insightful exchanges during a MET.
  18. Winston, the wood pigeon.
  19. Holding David and Angie's new baby for whom we prayed so much.
  20. The castles and lochs.
  21. My son, Ben, breaking into dance during lunch breaks at home.
  22. Listening to Karen Reyburn sing the alto line of a Psalm.
  23. Getting to know Harry and Anne.
  24. Learning to appreciate people's passion for football (soccer).
  25. Glasgow.
  26. The friendly honks and waves on the street.
  27. Sam Bell's local stories.
  28. The charity shops.
  29. Christy's Pastry Shop.
  30. Ian Shaw's singing.
  31. The Royal Mile.
  32. Watching Amy act in Macbeth.
  33. Beautiful wee red-headed Bobbi.
  34. Heart-to-heart talks with Susan (Bobbi's mom).
  35. The long days of summer.
  36. The dark days of winter.
  37. Listening to George and Robert talk about theology.
  38. Getting directions by way of pubs.
  39. Visiting with Dorothy.
  40. Celebrating Thanksgiving in our house with fellow Americans.
  41. Ben Gordan playing the guitar and singing only the first half of songs.
  42. Playing a very loud game at the church family weekend and laughing so hard it hurt.
  43. Listening to Rob yell "Cheater!" at the top of his lungs.
  44. Praying for people in our neighborhood.
  45. Hearing Gordan Smith's laugh.
  46. Helping his wife, Carol, work in the kitchen.
  47. The mist hanging on the mountains.
  48. Hearing John describe himself as a man who loved the monarchy.
  49. Talking to Helen about homeschooling their precious daughter.
  50. Tea and busquits.
  51. Writing a Covenanter song as a memory aid for the children.
  52. Hearing the cd of my voice singing my song as it was played before the whole church. (ugg!)
  53. Browsing at a huge flea market in Glasgow with the McCullochs.
  54. Learning new terms for familiar things (cell/mobile, pants/trousers, soccer/football).
  55. Getting to see our old friends Walter and Betty again.
  56. Spending the night with David and Sybil.
  57. Robert fishing with Tim.
  58. Riding the train to Edinburgh.
  59. Spending lots of time in an art gallery.
  60. Robert and Bob clearing brush from an old Covenanter memorial site.
  61. Chauffeuring on a Covenanter tour.
  62. Becoming friends with Dick and Susan Knodel.
  63. Getting to know Christine and her baby boy, the very ones my family had prayed for before we moved to Scotland.
  64. Fish and chips.
  65. Spending time with my wonderful mother-in-law, Joy (her name fits).
  66. Working on needle point.
  67. Hosting several families in our house almost every week.
  68. Singing Psalms with Scottish voices all around.
  69. Designing gospel tracts to hand out.
  70. Hanging clothes on the line.
  71. Running out to fetch the damp clothes when it started to rain (and it always did).
  72. Draping clothes all over the house.
  73. Spending quality time with Fintan and Brogan (two Irish setters).
  74. Celebrating my first Guy Fox Day.
  75. Seeing more rainbows than I thought possible.
  76. Getting to know everyone at Airdrie RP Church.
  77. Saying goodbye.

Thanks for letting me share all that with you. Most of you don't know these people and places, but just telling you about them helps me to remember and appreciate them. These faces and places are forever woven into the fabric of who I am.

I love you, Scotland.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Good memories

Don't let 'em kid you.
Putting pics on a blog is a way to hide a brain with no thoughts.
Well, that's what is happening here anyway.

So here we go

First we have me doing camera exposure experiments while waiting for Candace's Glasgow train to arrive at the Coatdyke station.

Next we have a fine example of confusing Scottish signs.

And finally we have two happy guys on moving day.

That's about all for now.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!
Let me hear a whoop!