Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

My memory is such that I do not remember what we did for Christmas last year. So, I journal blog here that this year was a very quiet day. We went to the 10am service which smelled of cinnamon rolls Donna baked in the church kitchen. The service was on the history of the Christmas songs interrupted by singing some of them led by the teen. Our "lead" guitar soloist/leader was not raised on hymns. And had not bothered to practice. His crew tried to help carry him. He even apologized after the first flub, but flubbed again. And by the third song, the tired drummer and tired guitar leader played musical chairs with one of the gals leaving her standing. This distracting drama raged right behind the pastor...and I was tempted to take said chairless a chair, but my dragging it 10 feet across the stage would have been more distracting than the bad manners exhibited.

We came home and ate leftovers. Done cleaning the kitchen by noon. Spent a quiet afternoon. Skyped with James and Amber and found out they were coming the next day instead of the day after. yay. Had fun contemplating playing with the baby grandson. Bob vacuumed and babyproofed on Monday while I headed to the chiropractor and Walmart for more victuals.

Excitement reined when said grandson arrived with his big smile of cuteness. Seems he likes forward facing carseatedness.

It is strange how most places close for Christmas. We knew of 2 McDonalds open in the area. Which is somehow comforting. But, I found a cute 4 episode series to show to Bob, Lost in Austen, as in Jane Austen. You tube to the rescue to finish the final two shows.

This year I had this desire to concentrate more on Christ's birth. And contrast how Egypt was a place of refuge in Jesus day. Now, Egypt is in full revolt, and anti-Israel and Christian. Egypt will turn back to God when Jesus comes back. So there must be a remnant there. Israel will be surrounded, outnumbered, devistated and looking bleak when Jesus rescues them in a very obvious regathering and renewal. ALL eyes will see, ALL knees will bow.

The sad part of the story jumped out at me, too. Parents of two year olds and younger in the Bethlehem and surroundind districts lost their babies. Evil king herod murdered them. To hold a precious baby grandson, and know hundreds were slaughtered is too sad to take in. A whole generation wiped out. Rachel weeping for her children.

And I never really noticed before (even though the Bible is plainly marked) that the story starts in Nazareth and ends in Nazareth. Joseph considered relocating...but when he heard which evil son of herod's ruled, reconsidered, and then received another dream.

Angel Gabriel appears face to face with Zacharias, in a voice/quiet presence with Mary, and in dreams to Joseph. Another set of threes. And emphasis on the individual needs? How many of us trust our dreams? And yet others were so living their lives on the faith in God keeping His promises to them---Simeon, and the old widow at the temple.

And what of the wise men? Bringing all creation into the story? The stars, and the angels say HE shall be for all people. The Jews are the keepers, the spotlighted ones trusted to keep God's specific instructions down through the ages. And Jesus sneaks into the enemy's camp, and starts taking victories. From fulfilment of the prophecies, to the flight to Egypt, to His earthly ministry, Jesus takes ground. Victory on the Cross and Resurrection with a promise to come back in God's Perfect Time to set everything right, and rule from Israel...oh happy day. There will be no more tears, sin, traffic, violence, injustice...there will be the earth ruled as God designed originally. The Garden revisited. A new heaven and new earth.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

Oh, for courage.

But, what is my motivation? Is this anger? Am I taking it out in the right place, as if I have a right to take it out at all??

We "like" our church.

We especially love the Bible Study on Wednesday night, because God's Word is opened, and read, and pondered, and studied. We encourage each other. We go away amazed. Amazed at the God we serve.

Most Sunday sermons are good, for example, our pastor has been plowing through Judges...and while I noticed he artfully skipped that plow to other furrows in dicey passages, who am I to question what God the Holy Spirit instructed him to serve?


And our church holds all their little cutsey Christmas parties on other nights to acommodate people. convenience. The big "play/musical" is scheduled for the 18th, a week before Christmas, which makes me suspicious that they are going to cancel church Sunday, the 25th. (they did this last time the calendars were thusly aligned, much to my shock).

I don't like nor appreciate the plays, musicals, and/or dog and pony shows. I ususally do not attend those. That is polite. I do not make a fuss. I just don't "play". I don't see them as worship, let alone sturdy teaching tools.

They will probably just slip it in the bulletin. But, if they make an announcement-----which they would do on the 18th when I was not there anyway, to the effect that there would be no church services on Sunday, December 25th, "so that memembers could spend time with their families..." if they said it out loud, in front of me, I would like to make a fuss.

1. What does it look like to the community (as we are called Arlington Community Church) that we are dark and silent on Christmas morning??

2. If one of my children got sick, and our DIL is having health issues, I'd be gone in a heartbeat. (and we have stayed home from church all week, with coughs)

3. If we are putting families above Jesus, then what, praytell does that teach our children??

4. If we are cancelling Jesus' birthday, will we celebrate it in April?? He was probably born in the spring, although Scripture is not specific.

5. Think about the Christians in China---they risk their lives to attend church, what would they think of us shuttering our doors for "convenience"??

6. Why not celebrate Jesus' birthday because that is what it is all about? Not a bunch of loud music, not a bunch of "actors".

7. Why not a simple service where we talk about Jesus??

8. or at least allow our church to be rented out to Mars Hill and show their service on the big screen??

There. I feel better. Do I send a nasty email to the pastor? copy and paste this list?

No. As Christians, especially women, we are to keep silent IN CHURCH. It says to ask your husband at home. Oh, goody. repectfully. peacefully. gently.

And pray. What would God have us do? We celebrate Jesus' birth, life, death, and Resurrection every day. On Easter---the much bigger holiday for Christians, we are especially excited, and thankful.

Mostly, this drives me to study the story again alone. And marvel afresh at the magic, the wise men, the star, the elements in primitive conditions...where God promised, and fulfilled His Promise to come and live with us. Immanuel. He came stealthily. Angels sang to shepherds...not in a church building.




A baby was born with doctors, without technology that saved mine.

A baby was born into a poor family, without conveniences like refrigeration and plumbing, and in comparison, we live like kings and queens.

The kings and queens of the story were bad. Babies died because the king perceived a threat from a promise.

Lord, guard my lips from sarcasm. We get so caught up in the gift things other people do not want, in fact, stuff that will end up in a garage sale unless it is edible.

Lord, point us to how to celebrate Your Birthday. Not for our convenience, not for our benefit, but to stop and pause and remember the miracle of Your coming into this world, marveling at Your Plan to save us all. We do not earn nor deserve the Gift that is You. The commercialism bombards us on TV, movies, even at the stores. We are so blessed. We are so rich. Toys for each child?? Those toys break, and are quickly disgarded. Please help us give our children and grandchildren Your Truth that lasts and lasts. Please help us to honor and encourage each other. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bribing God with what He has given us

It struck me that Benito's giving me one of the flowers from our yard is like our pitiful tithe to God.

I think I have blogged about Benito before. He is eight or nine years old. He has lived next door since he was born. I remember him bundled up in blankets sitting out in the stroller. He was that toddler that chased our kitty in our yard, and peeked into our garage.

We could not even talk to him until he started school and learned English. But, as a little kid, being bored, he would throw rocks into the street, and lob them onto our cars parked in our drive. I used to provide him balls, nerf balls, and bribed him not to throw rocks at our cars.

He became friends, but more like a surrogate grandson. He would show up to visit, and asked only for drawing materials.

For a while, he would "trade" me a flower---roses he got from his aunt or someone in his house, and we would give him a box of juice, a piece of candy, some chips. Then, lately, the flower was a weed culled from our side yard, and now our Wandering Jew plant that is flourishing by the sidewalk. When we were out of town last week, we came home to picked flowers on the brick ledge by the front door.

But, it struck me, that anything we give back to God is something that came from Him in the first place. We are merely facilitators. We can give of our time, money, energy, but these are small, pitiful things compared to what we are given. So, maybe Benito is to keep me humble.

Blasphemy with TSSB (our national anthem)

Or, having fun with the subject line in emails to my sweetie

One morning last month, October 15th, to be exact, we had slept with the windows open. Bob had left for work and James and Amber had gone home after a four day weekend. For some odd reason, James had set the possom trap before he left. He did not bait the thing. He just set it. I noticed that he also likes to close doors and adjust things. For example, to keep the computer cool, I let the door behind the computer stay open. James probably had not guessed why the door was left ajar, and closed it. So, why he opened the door to the trap and set it, is still a mystery to me.

I was waiting for the dawns early light so that I could see into the back yard, as it sounded like something was in the trap. And as it reminded me of The Star Spangled Banner line, "by the dawn's early light..." I put that into he subject line to Bob in an email. Thus began an exchange of emails where I used lines from our national anthem in the subject line to describe the situation of a possom caught in the trap that had not even been baited. (we have since tried to leave it thataway again, but no possom had wandered into the trap again, so we closed it before heading out to see grandkids before Thanksgiving. we did not want to come home to a very stinky "caught" possom.)

Here, copied and pasted, for your enjoyment, is that exchange of emails. As you know, you have to read from the bottom up to get the full effect. At one point, Bob was stumped by my subject line renderings, so his wit is hitherto exposed:

Tue, November 15, 2011 3:55:19 PMRE: (James' possom) catches the gleam...on the stream
From: "Williamson, Bob"
To: Joyce Williamson


Ahhh! I should have recognized it. I know the first and last stanzas, but you had me stumped with that those two lines about the hireling and slave.

From: Joyce Williamson
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 3:11 PM
To: Williamson, Bob
Subject: (James' possom) catches the gleam...on the stream

it is more of the Star Spangled Banner... and have you noticed that if obama knew the last verse, he would not have been stumped about what our national motto is??

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

anyway, the city came and picked out James' patriotic possom, so:

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:

(James' possom will catch the gleam of the morning's first beam from a park, hopefully that has a stream...)

I know it is probably blasphemous to compare James' possom to our flag...but, I just started the first email to you by the dawns early light, and could not let go. Love, Joyceeeeee


From: "Williamson, Bob"
To: Joyce Williamson
Sent: Tue, November 15, 2011 1:07:19 PM
Subject: RE: No refuge could save the hireling and slave

My thoughts exactly. (Sorry, you have me stumped.)

From: Joyce Williamson
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:59 AM
To: Williamson, Bob
Subject: No refuge could save the hireling and slave

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave


From: "Williamson, Bob"
To: Joyce Williamson
Sent: Tue, November 15, 2011 11:28:24 AM
Subject: RE: at the twilight's last gleeming??

I’ve used a shovel to club a possum before, but that would just deprive some fox or cougar of a good meal. If the city dawdles, I’ll just take him up to the Trinity River when I get home.

From: Joyce Williamson
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:21 AM
To: Williamson, Bob
Subject: at the twilight's last gleeming??

well, the city ain't picked it up yet. poor thang is gettin' frantic. how do we propose we do the deed??


From: "Williamson, Bob"
To: Joyce Williamson
Sent: Tue, November 15, 2011 7:52:54 AM
Subject: RE: by the dawns early light...

Them possums ain’t the brightest of critters, is they? Maybe if we baited the trap, we’d have caught three of them. (Such a shame you called the city already; this could have solved our dilemma of what to add to the Thanksgiving dinner at James and Amber’s.)

From: Joyce Williamson
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 7:35 AM
To: Williamson, Bob
Subject: by the dawns early light...

I heard noises in the backyard but I had to wait for the sky to get light...

and lo, James' possom. James set the trap for some strange reason when he was here. I noticed that James likes things closed. set. He kept closing the door between this room and the spare room. I keep it open so I can see the pictures, and to give us a few more inches with the rocker in the doorway. But, James kept closing doors. we keep the door behind the computer open to keep it cool, but James did not know that. funny.

I called the city animal control and left a message. and unlocked the gate.

it is a pretty big possom. big head. talk about stupid...there was no food in the trap. why wander into an empty trap when there is a whole yard of seeds upon which to dine??

Ah, James' possom just yawned. too funny.

Love, Joyce

Did you start here??

Did it make sense?

I did a google search on our national anthem, and pondered the verses we have not sung in ages. Yikes. Deep stuff there. When was the last time you read all four verses? When was the last time you either sang or heard them all ???

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


What if Someone came and lived with us, but we brushed Him off because He was not handsome. In fact, He came cloaked in the disguise of the lowly.

He worked hard. Helped his Mother. But, He did not call attention to Himself. There was this time during his teen years and twenties that He was silent. Observing.

His Mother knew He was special. She had lots of other children to compare Him to, and she knew He never did anything wrong, never complained, never gossiped, never snubbed another. When they attended this wedding, and a crisis occured---they ran out of wine, His Mother sorta pushed Him forward, as Mothers sometimes have a tendency to do. She told the waiters to do whatever He said.

I wonder when His time came, did he tell his Mother that He needed to go preach now? His preaching was not popular with the elites, yet He drew large crowds. The rumors of how He healed sick people, the miracles of the blind to see and the lame to walk...why, He even threw out demons, and called Himself the Son of God. At one point, Mary listened to her other children, and tried to drag Jesus back home because of what He was saying.

Mary stood near the foot of the cross, and watched her firstborn die. She heard Him hand over her care to John. And she was there on Resurrection Morning. So much had been hidden from her, but for so many years she had pondered all the wonders, all the strange things people had said to her, all the strange happenings...

He came disguised, as the lowest of the low. Yet, in His prime, physically able to make it to the cross and fulfill all the Promises. He took our place, He paid the cost.

And I think He wants us to be compassionate to the old, the ordinary, the plain, the fat, the ugly, the hard-to-love. Sometimes He wants us to experience what it feels like.

Pastor Mark Driscoll gave the definiton of repentance: conviction by the Holy Spirit to compel you to Jesus. confession to God, contrition==broken, humble, grieved. change by the help of the Holy Spirit and putting to death the old man, the old sin nature...for arrogance is "natural" in me. and how forgiveness means you can't keep bringing "it" up.

What if you attended a fabulous banquet, but because you were fat or ugly or not wanted, you were relegated to the corner, not included in the pictures, and when you read about it in the newspaper the next day, there was no proof you were even there. You'd never treat Jesus like that...not if you knew Who He Was and Is.

But, Jesus did not come and hide among us as a fat, ugly Jabba the Hut. And even our preacher admonishes the fat for being not disciplined, not _______________. (spiritual?) He does not go that far, but his job is to admonish the lazy, stupid sinners. there is that sin of gluttony. sloth.

Because I am obese, I do not fit on airplane seats, and I saw on the news that the airlines have the right to refuse me service. Because I am fat, I sweat easily, and therefore, try to take lots of baths and showers so that I am not offensive to others. Sometimes little kids cannot help it, or have not been taught, and the looks I get, or the comments. I can't very well explain that God made me this way. Surely not. I must be honest with little kids. God makes some tall, some short...some thin, some fat? No, fat is usually a curse, as sign of failure.

And being obese has hurt my testimony...why believe my testimony, when it did not solve my physical eyesore. Why believe the gospel from my lips when my hips scream out failure? I need a tee shirt or signage to wear: saved by grace, spending eternity in heaven, and eating to get there as fast as I can!

Our pastor pushes us to be friendly, greet people...but, I don't want to scare them away.

Now add incontinence. Going to the grocery store is a challenge. There is the risk of a coughing fit...and filling up a pad. Having an accident. Now add excessive bleeding. Like an old model T leaking oil all the time. I gotta laugh.

Is there someone I am shunning? Is there someone I am avoiding?

Would I care if someone like me came over and leaked on my chair, or broke it?

Am I kind to the fatties?

What about that ten year old taken from their parents for being too fat?

God has blessed me with a kind and gentle husband. He helps me reach places and clean up messes. He knows I am a clutz.

Juanita Martin

I am still too sick to go to a funeral. I was hoping to get to go. Still coughing and dealing with issues at both ends. My ribs do not hurt as much when I cough.

I am thankful to be home, to have access to clean clothing, wet wipes, a washer and dryer, and clean, fresh water. I don't know how Bob slept last night with my coughing. He said he had trouble breathing. I think, running the furnace means dry air, which dries out noses and throats. I bet I got up a dozen times. Tongue all swollen.

When we came home after Thanksgiving, one of the emails gave us the sad news of Juanita Martin's passing. She died early Thanksgiving morning. So, in essence, she got to celebrate Thanksgiving with her Savior. She was such a sweet, kind lady. She and her sister mastered facebook and email to keep up with their kids and grandkids. And I so feel for Janey, her sister, as Janey said that Juanita was her best friend. They came to church and Sunday School together. Juanita would ask about our grandkids. She knew, that grandkids are the best gift.

I never met her grandkids. I am sure many speak today. And I will miss that. You learn so much about people at funerals. Things they might have told you in life, but sweet stories.

Years ago, I would have gutted it out, armed myself with cough drops, and sat in the back. But, no.

I did make it to Walmart yesterday. Got the birdseed, but have not yet loaded it. Bob volunteered last night, but I can do it today.

We are low on bread, so I need to venture out. But, I am feeling sorry for myself. I cannot show respect to a kind lady, and am no help to my daughter-in-law, Lauren until I get over this cough.

And talking on the phone makes me cough. Time to throw another load into the washer. We live like kings and queens. Warm house, chairs, bright sunshine. We are so blessed.

My Dad and Mother sent me an email talking about how forty years ago, they moved to Houston, and now the last of their children have moved away. (my brother Bill and his wife are off to Florida on some venture---that is all I know, as email questions go unanswered)

Forty years ago, I was a sophomore in high school, and moved from Illinois where I was born, to Houston, Texas. Houston is where I would graduate from high school, learn to drive, work for an orthodontist, attend church---where I met my husband.

Thirty years ago, we moved into this house because our newborn needed a yard! We are still in this house where we raised three boys, and the last has flown the nest.

Twenty years ago, my sister's first husband died on Thanksgiving Day. Their son, almost five, is now serving in Afghanistan trying to keep morale up as they go about daily patrols.

Ten years ago would have been just months after 9/11. We would have been deep into all things college and high school band.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What do you Want for Christmas?

it is a trick question.

your answer may reveal your love language.

Would you like to go back to that First Christmas? Watch events unfold? Hear the angels sing? Marvel at the fact that there were no Christmas lights? no trees. no shopping.

So, what do you want for Christmas? Peace on earth? Good will towards men?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What to DO for Christmas

Christmas is about Jesus' birth. Christmas actually falls on Sunday this year. And even though I believe Jesus was probably born in April, December 25 is the time we set aside to remember and celebrate and wonder.

If I got to choose, I'd like a quiet Sunday morning service of hymns, a sermon containing all the elements of the promised Savior, long anticipated. Greeting friends at church. A turkey in the oven. dressing. mashed potatoes.

Then, relaxing at home.

Our daughter-in-law in Houston will probably want to spend this Christmas with her folks, and any gifts we burden them with will need to be shipped/hauled to Alaska for their remaining six months tour there. So, we need to shop carefully. Our almost five year old granddaughter can always use more tape, paper, and drawing materials. The practical side of this old grannie is talking. Clothes. Some clothes for her doll. books. games. I found her a new Veggie Tale dvd.

Our daughter-in-law in Oklahoma may want to keep Christmas just them or with her side of the family. So, maybe it is best to bring presents when we babysit Dec. 10th. We imposed of them for Thanksgiving. Baby James is at the cute age where he will enjoy the boxes and wrapping paper more than the presents. I hope they take lots of pictures.

Our youngest in Austin will probably be he has not acrued vacation time. We will have to visit when it is best for him.

Our thoughts will be with our deployed son...and our deployed nephews. Praying for their protection, and wisdom, and insight, as they do their jobs, lead their troops, and probably not even see each other even though in the same country. I can't wait until they are all home safe and sound. How can I tell one nephew, the Army nurse, that if you run across the other nephew...with a different last name than his momma, will you introduce yourself? talk about how you share the same Uncle Bob and Aunt Joyce?? and under what circumstances? I hope it is a cold and cough and not an injury.

Every Christmas is different. And with all our sons flown the nest, our new normal means travelling to where they are, or hosting them here for visits...but, our house is small. We should knock out the back wall, and add a hotel. That way, our sons and their families might want to come visit. Most days, our house is a refuge, a place to rest and recoup, and eat--a peaceful haven for Bob to come home to after a long day at work. We keep the back yard green...but it will be a few years before the grandkids enjoy playing back there. The bushes need trimming. The windows need washed. And I am thankful everything is on one level. But, man oh man, I gotta learn to pack. I took too much clothing one direction, and not enought the other. I need to make a purse for stops, and a purse for knitting...and a separate bag for the odds and ends. And why don't these cars come with trash bag recepticles? Good grief.

I just remembered my shampoo stash in the car. Left it in the glove compartment. Holiday Inn Express has the best shampoo. Smells great. vanilla peppermint?


I cannot sleep. I have a cold/cough/congestion...

It has been so long since I have had a cold that we are completely out of cough meds. The sutafed I did take a few days ago gave me such horrid dreams. So, I need to be careful of over the counter stuff.

We drove down to Austin to see our youngest son. Enjoying his job, but wanting more cash, he had applied to a pizza delivery job. So, electrical all day, and pizza at night. He posted on facebook that he had worked 52 hours last week including a day off for Thanksgiving. He was planning on going to Mississippi to be with cousins for Thanksgiving, but with the new job, stayed in Texas. Visited friends in Waco, and got fed good. Thank you, Cori for feeding my baby.

When we visited Ben in Austin on the 19th, he showed us around town. Showed us where he worked, and we bought him some new work boots for his birthday. It was hard to leave him, as he seemed lonely. So, I was glad to hear today that Cori fed him Thanksgiving. I owe her!

Then we drove to north Houston, Cypress, to see our daughter-in-law and her two kids, our grandchildren: Abby will turn five in January, and Baby David, who turned one in October. They are waiting on our firstborn to finish his deployment to A-stan. Living near her folks, and aunt and uncle, and grandfather. Our daughter-in-law is having stomach issues. gastritis, h. hernia, and gallbladder acting up. She has had lots of horrid scope and scan procedures...should get test results back Monday. hopefully. We baby sat for her for one appointment. She has lost 14 pounds in a month. Unable, and afraid to eat. Wish she lived closer so that we could help out more, but she and the kids do not need our coughs. Baby David bonded to Bob. It was so cute to see them play. Abby was busy drawing or cuting out things or taping...she has quite an imagination. And she let me read to her day 2.

We drove home and slept in our own bed for two nights, repacked and headed northwest after Bob's dental appointment on Wednesday and spent a few days at our middle son's home. The cold/coughs/drainage had just started...and part of me was tempted to stay home. But, our daughter-in-law assured us she had been sick, too. And Baby James, 10 months, was on antibiotics for his first ear infection. It was fun to see him crawling everywhere. And fun to help wrestle the turkey into the oven. Amazed I remembered to cook it upside down to keep the breast meat moist.

I was ready to go home as my cough was getting worse, but I think Bob would have stayed through Sunday! And I did not want to wear out our welcome. We watched our son and his wife decorate for Christmas. So good to see them having fun together. And we babysat so that they could get some shopping done, too. It was our third year in a row at Fort Sill. No telling where they will be next Thanksgiving. The end of an era. And next Thanksgiving, they will have two babies! What fun.

Maybe this will help jog our memories...and though scattered, our new normal: travelling to where the grandkids are. And trying to be a help. But, knowing our daughters-in-law extend us longsuffering. They'd rather be with their own folks. I was guilty of that when we were young marrieds. My folks lived closer, and dropped in all the time to see their grandsons. Bob's Dad lived way out in El Paso.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the dishrag pattern

cast on four stitches.
knit across
knit two, yarn over, knit to the end of the row.
continue this knitting two stitches, then yarning over and knitting to the end of the row until you have the width you like. 40 or 42 stitches, for example. the yarning over increases your dishrag one stitch per row and gives the nice loop edging.
to decrease: knit one, knit two and three together, YO, (yarn over) knit stitch 4 and 5 together and knit to the end of the row.
continue until you have six stitches left on your needle.
knit one and two together, three and four, five and six until just three stitches are left. cast off. cut, & pull extra yarn through with a crochet hook.

surely, I have written it up before, but someone asked for it, and I thought I could store it here to copy. ha

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today, my "baby" turns twenty-four

Empty nesters are we. Today, my youngest son, my "baby" turns twenty-four years old. 10-27-87. I got to choose his birthday. His was a planned C-section. I enjoyed walking to the hospital that morning, as I knew the drill. I needed the exercise, and it was a deliciously foggy morning. Fog this time of year always reminds me of that morning. My Mom was watching my 14 month old and six year old.

Now he is grown. Flown the nest. Moved to Austin. Enjoying his new career. Working for an electrical contractor firm.

He called me yesterday. His background check came up clean. He was suprised. Ha. The Incident back in Alpine when he was twenty was mysteriously gone. I think he was suprised at that.

Ben recently built a friend a bunk bed set. He showed us the picture on his phone. Impressive. Ben is able to see something and then build it. He is gifted. We are so proud of him for going back to college and working toward an electrical degree. It was over a year of boring classes and challenges, but he stuck it out. He enjoyed the hands on parts. Told us stories and we are so glad his prof recommended him for his new job. The solar industry was dying, and while he enjoyed the challenges of climbing on roofs, and putting systems together, there was no money for it anymore. Government "stimulous" money never materialized. Companies went under waiting for promised money.

If Ben were in town, if Ben were home, I'd bake him a cake. Pineapple upside down cake. My presents run to the practical. Tee shirts, towels...something red or orange, his favorite colors.

Happy Birthday, Benjamin! Love, mom

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fun numbered date coming up

a week from Tuesday, a fun numbered date is coming up:

10-11-11. And in November, 11-11-11. Next year, Bob pointed out, there will be a 12-12-12. But that is it for this century. fun, huh?

Midnight Call

It had been a few days since I had seen a post or remark by firstborn deployed. When I caught myself worrying, I would pray. And it was so wonderful, when I asked firstborn's wife if she had heard from him...he posted a reply. whew. AND a picture. added blessings. Now we can visualize the mustache. And beautiful scarf his wife knitted him. And he got the packages. yeah.

Saturday night, nay Sunday morning---at 12:43am, the phone rang. There was no way i could make it to the phone by three rings. So, I took my time. Got up without tripping or falling, and went to the bathroom, and then wandered out to the living room to check the caller ID thingy. It was middle son's phone. His wife is 16 weeks along, and they have an 8 month old I called him back. He was walking around outside holding wide awake 8 month old. I could not hear the baby, so he was content in Daddy's arms. Enjoying being held, enjoying being outside, and our son said this was his second night doing this. What to do?

I later googled "baby waking up in the middle of the night" and found out that this is normal for this age. And that sometimes night terrors start at this age. So between teething, hunger, thirst, needing a diaper change, practicing new skills, and night terrors...take your pick. Growth splurt?

I felt blessed that our son was not afraid to call us in the middle of the night. Middle of the night calls are mostly never good. This same son was not afraid to call when he was deployed and ask me to go help his wife. These are treasured calls. He reminded me of when he was little, he used the speed dial on our phone at the time to call his Aunt Sally. When asked why he was calling at such an hour, he told Aunt Sally, I can't sleep. When asked why he was not telling his own parents about this, he said, well, their door is shut, and we are not suppose to bother them when their door is shut. Needless to say, we took them off speed dial.

He said he was tempted to call Aunt Sally again, and explain that the baby that shares his name cannot sleep...

I am not guaranteeing that I will even hear the phone ring after midnight. But, I am glad I got that one. I came back to bed and bragged to my deeply slumbering husband, but he did not hear me. But, he was wide awake when I told him the next morning...

Fun times.

Baby David turns ONE on Thursday. wow. They are coming to visit next weekend. YAY

And Baby James turns 9 months on the 22nd. And might learn whether he is getting a baby brother or baby sister this weekend. Hang on!

Courage and Thankfulness

wow. a preacher not afraid to teach what the separation of church and state truly means! and not just on Oct. 2nd, but for two Sundays, and maybe more promised!

we need to learn history. Lutherans in nazi Germany were told to shut up with Romans 13.

we need to go back to the old, 1800 definition of "politics" for the furtherance of morality.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Abigail in the Bible

I Samuel 25:3 The man’s name was Nabal, 3 and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was both wise and beautiful, but the man was harsh and his deeds were evil. He was a Calebite.

We studied the story of when future king David meets Abigail last Wednesday night at Bible Study. It is a small group lead by the pastor. I am amazed how the Bible comes alive when studied with other believers under the direction of the pastor as apposed to when I just read it for myself.

What jumped out at me on Wednesday was the phrase about Abigail's intelligence. Is this the only time a woman has been labeled intelligent in the Bible? I wish I had my old search phrase program on the computer as it would tell you how many times the word "wise" or "intelligent" occured, and you could scroll through them and see.

Or, was she wise in contrast to her husband whose name means, "fool". On the one hand, what idiot parents name their kid, fool? But, sadly, though the guy was very wealthy, he lived up to his name. It does not look like they had any children, but Abigail stuck with him. She even went behind his back and saved his life and stood up to David, who was coming for revenge. David's 300 men armed to the teeth were a clue. Abigail fed them with provisions after her servant wisely warned her about how her husband had blown David's servants off.

Ah, to be wise and beautiful, eh? For all eternity she shall be known.

In the story of David and Samuel and Saul, (king Saul) there is this underlying story of insanity---king Saul tried to kill David on numerous occasions. And David though he was annointed, never felt led nor directed to take revenge. Even after Saul slaughtered the innocent priests and their families.

Maybe God is trying to teach us that to take up arms against another is something so monumental that it must be done prayerfully, under authority, and under God's specific instructions. There are a few times in the Bible when they were instructed to take out whole peoples, and ciminals, and fornicators. Even today, the Jews in Israel bend over backward to preserve life.

And I was wondering about the Jacob wrestling with God story. Was that not the most bizarre?? So many stories in the Bible are a picture of the unseen conflict going on above us. I wonder if the Jacob and wrestling story is a picture of God and Satan? Jacob's name means deceiver. tricker. or is it a picture of the Jewish people wrestling with who will be their God?

I cannot imagine wrestling all night with a stranger. A stranger who lets you. A stranger who seems to toy with you. God could have taken Jacob out at any time. Instead, God touches Jacob's hip---an injury to remind Jacob of that night for the rest of his life, and even to this day, the Jews do not eat the hip joint on Passover. God appears and speaks to Abraham. God repeats His Promise to Isaac. And God wrestles with Jacob. It was not to make him worthy. It was physical, and hands on, and with a man probably close to 80 years old...yet only half way through Jacob's life on earth.

Was it a what if? or, a picture of the struggle with God and satan? God is allowing satan to wrestle for a while, but his end is decreed. done. Jacob's end is also decreed, and yet much suffering and travel, and wonders will occur in that play--as Jacob's life plays out. God wrestles with Jacob before the scary meeting with his brother. Is God showing us a part of His character? No where in that physical only match meet does God warn Jacob that he will lose a son, and think him dead, then gain him back. God reassures Jacob closer to the part where they troop back to Egypt because of the drought.

Droughts are a part of the weather pattern here on earth. God can deliver us through them, or make us wise to prepare for them. And last night we were given a half inch breather. Thank You, Lord. We sure need rain to refill the lakes, but You know what we need. Your Will be done.

Please guide and direct us, Lord to know how to prepare for the coming economic disaster, and to know how to stand with Israel. When to fight, and when to help. Only You, Lord, can turn our country back to You. Seems like half the folks have bought into the lie that is progressivism, liberalism, idolatry. Our ancestors would shudder to see this day where the Bible and even copies of the Constitution are not allowed in some schools and colleges having been labeled hate speech.

Please help us spend our money and our time wisely. Your Will be done.

In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I am slipping

For thirty years, we used one electric company. Bob decided it would be cheaper to change, so he did. For about three months, we got the electric bills, and I wrote out checks and paid them.

We have a system. We put the bills in the basket on top of the microwave which is stacked on top of the oven, and twice a month, I get the basket down and pay the bills. It is a very fancy basket which holds stamps, and receipts to match up to our credit card statement.

Early last summer, one son was going to Afghanistan, and one was coming home from a deployment. Then our daughter-in-law of the currently deployed moved to Houston, and her mail came here while she was intransition.

When our youngest had trouble with his mail at his dorm during the summer, his mail started coming here, too. I set out sacks and boxes with their names, and would either give or mail everyone their stuff.

Then the mail stopped, and I found a tag in our mailbox saying not to deliver any mail here. Everything was being forwarded to our daughter-in-law who had found an apartment near Houston. It was not her fault. The post office decided that her new address was for the whole "family". (the clerk at our post office guessed)

I did not receive the natural gas bill---water heater and furnace---but since we don't use the furnace during the summer, and water in Texas comes out of the faucet already hot, our ATMOS bill was puny. I looked up the address online (it is NOT on the statements, amazingly) and paid ahead guessing what our monthly bill was. We got one last week, and sure enough, my balance was zero.

But, the electric bill fell between the cracks somewhere. I got a card from my aunt in Colorado that someone had used as a coaster to a leaking drink.

So, is the post office not delivering mail? are they throwing it away somewhere? or forwarding it, and because it is an electric bill---not being forwarded? It is a mystery.

The "new" electric company cuts you off if you miss ONE payment. Isn't that lovely? Needless to say, Bob was none to pleased to come home last night, open the mail and see a disconnect notice. Thankfully, we got that! What if they had just cut us off without warning? or what if the warning notice was not delivered?

Bob wanted to know why I had not paid the electric bill. I replied that I had not received it.

Now I have to watch the mail, and make sure we get our bills. I have been reluctant to pay bills online, because sometimes it costs extra, and I don't like funds removed from our bank account. Somehow you have to okay the transactions. But, I bet they involve passwords, and I have a list of passwords longer than I can remember as it is. I don't even try to access the bank account online because of the password.

We did not get an insurance bill, either. So, I need to call them today and spend time in robot phone hell.

When the post office fails, I figure I will be forced to pay bills online. Our bank seems TOO eager to help set us up with online paying. They nag me about it every time I go in. Why are they so eager?

I have had computers crash. I have lost pictures, journals, stories. Can you imagine the nightmare of losing all bills and accounts online when the next computer crashes?? when. not. if.

And what do other "old" folks do that are computer and password challenged like me??

Or, let's say, for example, that we have a power outage for weeks while the power company works to restore power after a storm like last year? Bills would come due on the computer, but we could not access them. Do we need to pay our bills a month ahead so that we have a hedge against computer crashes, storms, power outages, and post office failures?

Just sayin'

I am slipping.

There is an attitude among the American people that electricity is a right. a need. a necessity. Everything we do, all commerce, even buying milk and groceries is tied to electricity. According to Reza Kahlili, all the irians would have to do is detonate a bomb over Kansas to knock out the power of the three major grids. Then we would be knocked back to the century of horse drawn carriages. Cars made after 1980 would not start because computer chips would be fried. We would leave hour homes within weeks and months looking for fresh water and food.

Maybe the small, silly tests of not getting your electric bill is a test to give us a warning. Wake up.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, 25 year old JAMES !!! and Happy Birthday, Mother!

Today, our son, James is 25 years old. I is so fun to see him with his own baby boy these days. That little guy lights up like a Christmas tree whenever he sees both of his parents. It is a delight to watch. Baby James is keeping his folks up at night teething, but he is healthy, happy, and quick to grin and fun.

This is also my Mother's 75th birthday. Let's see if I can download the picture of her and my niece, Hannah having fun in Colorado (facebook picture I found today). Happy Birthday to my MOM! I am so glad she is getting to see her youngest sister, and enjoy some much cooler weather.

Diving into Deuteronomy

Driven back into Deuteronomy

I listen with guarded interest to a certain talker on the radio, but his recent non-violence pact bothered me and drove me back to Deuteronomy. Surely, our forefathers used it as a template for what a Godly nation looks like. Without God, we fail. We self-destruct without God’s laws, God’s way, God’s design.
Deuteronomy 1:8
God, occupy the territory that I, the Lord, promised to give to your ancestors: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to their descendants.
1:10 The Lord your God has increased your population to the point that you are now as numerous as the stars in the sky…may the Lord make you one thousand times more..
1:15 (Our God is one of order, authority, leaders, judges: no discrimination, no fear, no intimidation by human beings, for “JUDGEMENT BELONGS TO GOD” (emphasis mine)
1:32 (Even while God was constantly going before them as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night—they rebelled, only saw giants) God will fight for you just as you saw Him do in Egypt…
1:30 (they did not have confidence/TRUST/Faith in the Lord your God)
1:31 …you saw Him carrying you along like a man carries his son… (brought to mind our son, James, age 25, carrying his baby boy)
God pronounced that none of this generation…so they strapped on their military gear, wept, and god said: DO NOT GO
1:43 God spoke, but you did not rebelled against the Lord
2:5 (respect Esau’s and Lot’s –the Moabites, purchase food and water)
2:14 thirty-eight years for the MILITARY men of that generation to die.
2:16 the Lord eliminated the military men (He could have done it quicker, as when the earth swallowed up the rebellious ones at the golden calf incident, but it is like God allowed this generation, though they had done wrong, to teach their sons the necessary military skills?)
2:24 Get up..Look! I have already delivered over to you Sihon the Amorites and his land. Go ahead. Take it! Engage him in war!
2:25 This very day I will begin to fill all the people of the earth with dread and to terrify them when they hear about you. They will shiver and shake in anticipation of your approach.
2:33 The Lord our god delivered him over to us and we struck him down.
2:34 and we seized all his cities and put every one of them under divine judgment; including even the women and children. We left no survivors. (sixty cities)
(order, authority, God’s direct instructions, specific instructions, and the complete slaughter of all: Divine Judgment: there is a time and place for it, only when God so instructs)
(God gave this land to the half tribe of Manasseh, but: “you warriors are to cross over before your fellow Israelites equipped for battle” Deut. 3:18
3:20 fight until the Lord gives your countrymen victory, then return (to your wives, families, land allotted)
3:22 Do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will personally fight for you.
4:4 remain faithful to the Lord your God. Learn God’s statutes and ordinances
4:9 teach them to your children (responsibility)
4:10 revere the Lord and teach your children to revere the Lord.
4:15 (Be very careful: no form. No image making. No likeness of humans, animals, no worship of nature nor stars, the whole heavenly creation, no idols, no idolatry.)
(and Bob has been relating what his brother, Joel told him about the danger of us creating our own image of God in our heads)
4:20 to be His special people…do not make an image of any kind—for the Lord your god is a jealous God.
(if/when with children and grandchildren you become corrupt, God will scatter you to the nations)
4:29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find Him, if indeed you seek Him with all your heart and soul.
4:30 in your distress, when all these things happen to you, in the latter days, if you return to the Lord you God and obey Him…
4:38 The Lord is God in heaven above an on earth below! There is no other!
5:4 The Lord spoke face to face with you from the middle of the fire. He said:
5:6 I am the Lord Your God. He who brought you from the land of Egypt from the place of slavery…you must not have any other gods besides me. No making of images. No worshipping images.
5:9 punishment 3 generations for the sin of the fathers who reject Me.
5:10 God says: I show covenant fuathfulness to the thousands who choose Me and keep My commandments.
Love the Lord your God with your whole mind, being, all your strength
(I love the constant reminder that God bought us out of slavery—them in Egypt, and us from the slave market of sin)
7:1 When the Lord your God delivers over to you…attack, utterly annihilate, make no treaty, show no mercy, do not intermarry with them (because)
7:4 for they will turn your sons away from me to worship other gods…tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, cut down the poles, burn up their idols (where they sacrificed babies---the abortion of their day)
8:14 do not feel self-important
9:6… understand, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is about to give you this good land as a possession, for you are a stubborn people! (we are all wicked, and sinners in need of a Savior)
Moses reminds them of the golden calf incident in 9:15
(know history, be humble, teach your children)
10:12 Revere God. Obey His commandments. Love God. Serve Him with all your mind, being…the heavens and earth belong to God. Cleanse your heart. Stop being so stubborn…
11:24 even to the Euphrates and Med. Sea!
17:18 (God tells Moses that your future king was to make a copy of this scroll—be responsible for what is written here.) (I think every president, every member of Congress, every judge needs to write it out, too)
17:20 before battle say: Do not be fainthearted…the Lord your God goes with you…to fight on your behalf against your enemies to give you the victory.
(God judged the idolatress nations that were killing their newborns---and eventually, God judged the people of Esau and Lot---we need to take note as a nation, their sin and get back to the morals and principles.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Twenty-four years ago

Twenty-four years ago, we began our adventure and support of the Texas educational system. Twenty-four years ago, pregnant with our youngest son, and holding our year old middle son, I watched as our firstborn climbed the steps and lined up for kindergarten. He did not even look back, as he was an old five year old...about to turn six on September 12th. He was so ready. And he thought his tall, blonde kindergarten teacher was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

Back then, it was half-day kindergarten. And if I walked him to school, I barely had time to get a few household chores done before packing his brother back in the stroller and meeting him when he came bursting out the door.

Now I am sitting here waiting for the youngest to call. This morning he takes his last final at college. He has already accepted a job in Austin at an electrical engineering firm, and been to interviews and orientation.

I took a picture of our boys the first day of school every year...and it seems fitting that Ben, our electrician-to-be installed a new light switch for me over his last picture in the hallway: A light switch for the front porch light.

When I think about all they carried in their backpacks: from crayons to pencils, folders, calculators, and now cell phones...I remember all the permission slips I had to sign. The first week was the worst---sometimes eight forms per son, and them standing over me barking: "just sign it, mom" as they were sick and tired of the rules sheets collected over eight classes.

Weighed down with an extra sack of supplies on the first day, we were required to bring two boxes of kleenex, dish soap, and glue. I never had a teacher ask for glitter, but the kindergarten teacher did boobytrap a thank you note with some. I read somewhere that this year kids are having to bring toilet paper, paper towels, and other essentials to shore up budgets.

I only remember one visit to the principal with firstborn. I think it was first grade: biting. By the time the middle son and youngest started school five years later, biting was no longer a sent-to-the principal offense, sadly. I think it cured him. I know I cried.

I used to make homemade bread when our firstborn was in elementary school. One day he requested store-bought bread so that he could be like everybody else.

School plays, school lunches, PTA meetings, band, music lessons, schedules, tee shirts for sports, band, and spirit days....working concessions, volunteering in the copy room, volunteering in the lunchroom, selling school supplies...I gradually ended up spending whole days at the school once the youngest was in kindergarten.

I'll never forget the call to the loud speaker in the copy room telling me that Mrs. Farnsworth needed to speak to me about my first grade middle son. Every year she had this lesson on "fortunately and unfortunately" where she had the students fold a big manilla paper in half and illustrate fortunately on the front, and unfortunately on the inside. James had proudly drawn: "Fortunately I have a bodm." Inside, he illustrated complete with gas bubbles: "Unfortunately, I frtiid..."

That is why my license plate reads: FRTID... in honor of James. (now a captain in the Army with a baby of his own)

Try keeping a straight face as your son's first grade teacher explains how this in somehow inappropriate. It was all I could do to bite my tongue and wish Bob was at my side to enjoy it with me.

I got the impression, 24 years ago, that the teachers were professionals, and they seemed to say, as we dropped off our children: we will take it from here, and try and undo all the poor parenting you have done thus far. Back then, I was insulted, but tried to instill in my sons a respect for authority, and love for learning. Once I started volunteering at the school, I saw an even greater need to be on site, and help out and keep an eye on whatall they were teaching. Saving the whales and the turtles was about the only thing our sons came home from kindergarten learning. James could spell TURTLE before he could spell his own name. Nowadays, you'd better have them reading BEFORE they go to school, or they end up in the lowest reading group in FIRST grade...setting in motion the struggle throughout junior high and high school for the "upper" math and reading classes who somehow got the better teachers and experienced better class order.

Don't get me started on the push for ritilin when our youngest was in kindergarten. We had to take him to the pediatrician and get written proof that he was not ADHD. And in first grade, his "testing" began. Tested for a learning disability, a label we fought for twelve more years. We had independent testing done, and even in high school aptitude testing in Dallas emphasized his gifts---spacial abilities that serve him well to this day. But, we learned, along with Ben, that not all children learn alike. Some learn better hearing it. Some are more hands on. Classroom modifications in high school helped, but the minute he turned 18, an federal funds were no longer flowing, they had him sign off that he was somehow miraculously "cured" and not eligible to take that two inch folder to college as had been promised. We learned the hard way not to trust the education "professionals" of Lamar High School.

We learned teacherspeak words like: sequencing, graphia and while a UTA aptitutde test showed James that he ought to persue accounting, independent testing in Dallas showed he had poor graphia (ability to scan a page of numbers) and would be a better engineer. (now a captain in the Army)

I always thought that a "bursar" was a funny name. Before the advent of computers, I got to troop down to the bursar's office each semester to help James pay at UTA. And getting Andy's payment in after "registration" was a hoot---checks had to be postmarked early August and first week of January. (when our son was home---not at the actual college---which would have physically made payment a little easier.) By James' final semesters, it was all done online. I no longer had to stand in line at the bursars nor the parking lot line for the sticker so James could park his truck. Paying for parking at college is a way to gouge parents...and give parking lot security folks something to do. We learned the hard way not to pull forward in a parking spot at UTA.

Our sons somehow survived our parenting, learned to drive, and have flown the nest. I find it somehow poignant that the very month our youngest is done, graduated, finished---our first grandchild starts preschool. There will be no break from the prison I call the school year calendar.

We look back and marvel at how every Friday night used to be marching band---then Saturdays saw us traveling down to College Station to see him march in the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band. Good memories.

Ben just got home. 11am. Thursday, August 18th. The end of an era.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Last Birdie Flees the Nest

Our youngest completes his electrical training at Texas State Technical College this week. He has job orientation already tomorrow, so today I helped him haul stuff home. All I had to do was drive the minivan to college. He loaded everything up. And his spacial skills kick right in, and it was packed nice and tight: dresser, shelves, boxes, weights, etc. guy stuff. Even his bowling ball and shoes. (a new hobby he picked up at college)

We hauled it all back, and he unloaded everything, rewired a front porch light, and took off after supper. Gotta get used to seeing those tail lights. The new job is in Austin. I said something about maybe God has a bride down there for him, but he snorted at such an idea. Cynical from too many snooty girls at college towns. But, surely, there is a gal out there who appreciates a handy man electrician...and in God's perfect timing...

I am happy for him, proud, and yet sad. Sad to see him go. But, Austin will mean a clean break, a new start. A new place to explore. And they have a train. Can't wait to hear his opinion of Austin. Most of the state looks down their nose at the most liberal city in the state. The legislature is not in session, so he may change his opinion next year.

Born in 1987. He turns 24 the end of October. He is not much for ceremony. Did not want the gown/robe thing. Relieved to have a job, as he watched the linemen buddies get snapped up first. Probably not safe for electricians to wear class rings, anyway.

So we will be a place with a couple of guest rooms. Ready for visitor, toddler, babies and grown ups. With grown children scattered to the four winds. Our PTA days are over. Now even our college days of tuition, registration, dorm rent, and bursar are done. And the granddaughter starts pre-school in a few weeks.

Our journey with the education system here in Texas---with Bob finishing his degrees at UTEP in El Paso, to Wimbish Elementary, Shackelford Junior High, and Lamar High School for our three boys...I remember walking home from a PTA meeting, and Bob doing the math telling me how many PTA meeting we had to go. Well, we are done.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Exodus 20

Then God spoke all these words, saying:

"I AM the LORD your GOD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your GOD, am a jealous GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate ME, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love ME and keep MY commandments.

You shall not take the name of the LORD your GOD in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes HIS name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your GOD; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LROD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your GOD gives you.

You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Repeated again for the next generation in Deuteronomy 5

Moses repeated the Ten Commandments exactly, word for word.

verse 8: "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth."

"...or any likeness..."

I was wrong to steal the picture and use it on my facebook profile. I was wrong to justify it in my own mind that we are to reflect Christ. Yes, I need to remember that Christ sees everything and knows everything...and to watch my words. But, it is wrong to pretend to be Christ in any form. The "Heaven is for Real" book is wonderful, and powerful, and God is using their test and trials in amazing ways.

Yes, I am tired of the sweet, syrupy hymns about Jesus. Jesus is not pale and enemic. And if He wanted us to know what He looks like, He would have made it known. The way He appears in the future in the Book of Revelation is of a Perfect Man with snow white hair. And we will recognize Him. (see Revelation 1:12-20)

I want to remember what our Pastor pointed out in the Abraham story in Genesis 22:1

"Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham..."

Abraham was not told he was being tested. We are. And we will be tested, too.

Throughout the story of Moses, in the book of Exodus, God gives Moses many signs, words of encouragement, warnings that things will not go smoothly with Pharoah, but God tells Moses that He will turn the cursings to blessings when "...under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land." (Exodus 6:1)

This is so encouraging to me today as our country is facing such tests. I hope and pray that God use them to turn us back to Him. And that our Christian leaders, lean on God, stand up for what is right, and when they are attacked by the press or by the nutjobs, or by the far right or far left, that they remember WHO is in control.

I confess that I have been confused by some of the candidates. One old man seems so bitter, strange, isolationistic and yet has this almost messiahistic following---yet he is evil in that he is against Israel, and anti-Christian, and anti-anything having to do with God and God's standards. I pray God reveal this man's evil in the light of day so that Christians are not confused. And I pray God keep me from apathy, and indifference. And help me focus on what is important.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who entered the eternal state first??

Adam and Eve lived for almost 1,000 years. Cain murdered his brother, Abel. Where did Abel go? Heaven?

Our pastor is doing a study on Hebrews 11 and 12. The faith heros chapters. But, it got me to thinking about who entered the eternal state, and when.

In Genesis, we are given very specific math about how old Adam was when he begat Seth, and then how many years he lived after and how he had other sons and daughters, and even a total. And if you graph them out, it looks like Abel then Enoch, then Adam. And Bob pointed out that Abel was a type of Christ, murdered on the cross for us. And Enoch walked home with God when He was 365. No record of his death, no body, no funeral. A picture of the rapture? or, another type of Christ in that he is a picture of the Ressurection??

a murder.
a walk.
a death.

They did not see death too much before the Flood. Their bodies were so fantastic that they could live and work and build and have big families. Some did not even father children until they were over 100 years old. It will be like that again in the millenium.

So who entered the eternal state first? Abel, Enoch, then Adam and Eve. And then every hundred years or so, the next generation started dying. Someday, in heaven, I'd like to ask whatall they did for a thousand years. We seem to pack in a full life in under a hundred years or so here. Sadly, the generations do evil and need wiped from the earth by the 10th generation, so God puts the task of ark building on Noah. It takes Noah and his sons a hundred years to build the ark, and sadly, only Noah, his wife, and sons and their wives, a total of 8 people, are preserved alive.

We are not told how many believed God's Promise of a Savior before the Flood. We could guess anywhere from twenty to a million or more. But, the first three:

Abel, Enoch, Adam...

It would be like your son being murdered by his brother, then your great-great-great-great-great-great grandson going missing, presumed dead, and then you die. In heaven reunited with the first one you lost and the last one you lost.

My grandpa lived to be almost 100 years old. He buried his parents, but, at the time of his death, all his four children were and are still alive, and all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and great-greats are being born now. One great-great attended his funeral as a six month old. And another great granddaughter was born just after he died. She lives in the same house and on the same farm where my grandpa was born and lived, and has a baby brother.

Cardinals at the Feeder

Cardinals, the birds, are quite the parents! I think the same pair are on their second set of teenagers! And the teenagers are noisy. The birds look like punk rock stars with their feathers not quite all in and in funky colors: not quite all red or muted. They prefer that their parents continue beak to beak feeding. So, they sit in the seed of the feeder and cheap. Too funny. And not just early morning and late evening, but like typical teenagers, they want fed throughout the day. Sometimes they peek in the window at me. It is hard to guess if this is a future male or female.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Free At to clean

On Friday morning, I could not sleep, so I got out of bed at 3am, and poked around on the computer. I took the dog outside about 4am, and hooked her up to the cable. When I reached down to pick up the water dish and fill it, my back went out. I was barely able to put water in the dish, and unwrap the dog, as she had already wrapped herself around the pull up bars. Then, I staggered back inside and crawled into bed. Bob got up and let the dog back inside, made coffee, and drove into work. He had a big presentation Friday, and needed the car with the toll tags. I did not tell him about my back. I did not want him to worry.
I was able to sit up, and poke about on the computer. It hurt to get up and down. Taking the dog outside for a potty break took a while, but I knew Ben would be coming home after lunch. Ben did come home, and helped put the dog on the cable for a while when he was putting his laundry basket in the garage. He asked if I had any projects, but I suggested we wait and vacuum once the animals were gone.
I did not say anything to Bob. His presentation went well. I survived. Going to the bathroom was a challenge, and the pain was so severe at times that I was incontinental. When Bob called, to say he was coming home, I asked him to buy milk and pick up some fish sandwiches at McDonalds. Bob came home, we ate supper, and we watched some TV. Bob asked when did I hurt my back? I told him that I was afraid to tell him because he had the presentation, and was planning on taking the animals down to Lauren on Saturday. I did not want anything to interfere with that. The ice pack helped some, but I dreaded going to bed and having to get up numerous times in the night to go to the bathroom.
When I got up at 3am, (Saturday) it is like whatever had slipped out, had slipped back into place. I could get up and down without stabbing pain. I could go to the bathroom. I was afraid to bend over. But, the day was looking better than I had hoped. I asked Bob if he had prayed.
Bob got up at 4:30am, and made coffee, packed the car, and drove off at 7am with the animals. The boxes, the bags of mail, the bags of food for the animals, treats, leashes, cable, books, sheets and crates, Bob packed it all himself. And got down there before noon, off loaded everything, fetched them some lunch, called me, and headed back. What a day.
For 85 days we cared for Andy and Lauren’s big dog, Tifa, and Emma cat. Bob said they travelled well. Bob is so patient with them. He let Emma cat roam inside the car. He does not like to hear her yowl in her crate. Tifa rides in her crate just fine. Bob said he stopped in College Station for gas, and to give the dog a potty break and water. So, Tifa and Emma have now been to A&M where Andy and Lauren went to college.
For 85 days, our time and schedules have been centered around meeting the needs of the animals. Now we are free. No more watching the dog like a hawk. No more fear of the dog jumping the fence. No more food and water bowls. No more fear of being knocked over. No more making sure the cat was not trapped in a bedroom. No more dog poop. No more cat poop to clean, no more cat puke to clean up.
My friend, Mary could not get over how sweet Tifa was. Sweet personality. She leans on you to be petted. She would crawl up into your lap if you let her. But, she could not be trusted in the back yard alone. She was a fence jumper. Not only would she jump and take off, but she did not know nor care how to get home. She did enjoy playing with our 8 year old neighbor boy. She filled an empty hole in his heart because his dog had had to leave the week before we got Tifa. They would play, then come inside to cool off. I kept the frig stocked up apple juice, and drawing materials set out for Pedro, too.
The irony---now that we have delivered Lauren her dog and cat, she is now trapped in Houston. To come up and visit us, she’d have to bring the dog or put it in a kennel. So, I doubt we see them until January when they head back to Alaska after Andy’s deployment is over. We are back to the long distance relationship with Abby and David. We are thankful for their time here, but it was hard on Lauren having to live out of a suitcase, and be so far from her folks and friends. I hope the deployment passes quickly for her, and that she gets lots of help down there.
We hoped and prayed for our other daughter-in-law, that their deployment time pass quickly and peacefully. I hate time to drag…but, time is passing tooo quickly now as grandparents. Our moments getting to hold the babies are short. I hope and pray that Abby and Baby David are not injured by the big, big dog, or cat with claws.
News via email that a childhood friend has died, and the sad news that Gary Horton’s only grandson was killed in a car accident---my heart goes out to both families. Your Will be done, Lord. Please drive away any demonic influence from our families. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Be a Good Mother-in-Law

Repeat after me:

1. Thank God for this acquired son or daughter.

2. Treat this man and woman as adults with adult responsibilities.

3. Remember your daughter or son now belongs to her or his spouse.

4. Allow them to form a new family---it's theirs, not yours now.

5. Expect this new entity to be different from you and your family.

6. Let the newly formed family do things in their own way.

7. Do not dish out gratuitous advice (which is what I'm doing now)

8. Pray for them daily.

9. Never criticize the "in-law" to his or her spouse.

10. Encourage them in every way you can think of.

My husband's Mother died just after he was commissioned. I never met her, nor had a hands on "mother-in-law". So, with much trepidation, I became one when sons married. I have heard the horror stories. And I desire to be a good mother-in-law.

I think my friend, Nance gave me the 10 point lamenated keeper which I have copied above. Can anyone think of more points to add?? How about:

11. Try to do a good job when asked to keep your children's animals so that maybe they will trust you with keeping the grandchildren.


When to bite my tongue, and when to say something

3:30am Thursday, July 28, 2011
Dear Andy and Lauren,
I don’t know if I will have the courage to mail this to you. I don’t care if you throw it in the trash. In fact, it would be best if you did throw it in the trash so that when some CPS officer or policeman suggests you get rid of your big dog you can honestly say no one else in your life cared enough to warn you.
Bob says I should not say anything. Let the Holy Spirit. Lean on God. But, God gave me eyes to see, and I just want you to consider –think about---the danger a big dog is to you and your children.
Tifa is a sweet dog. She has some wonderful qualities. God has kept her alive and in your possession for a reason. And maybe her big size will thwart any burglar and hence justify her place in your family. But, over the last 75 days, every time she jumped on me, every time her heavy clawed feet walked on me or scratched me, I wondered, what if it had been Baby David? Or Abby? Is it really worth Abby or David losing an eye or finger? Would it truly be “an accident”?
Yes, the danger of something happening to your children exists tripping over a sidewalk, but Tifa is a big dog, and she goes crazy when someone comes to the door. What if Baby David is caught underneath her exuberance?
It is amazing, and I am so glad you, Lauren, found Tifa on Saturday morning when she ran off. (and may I say, I was relieved it was not on my watch, but GrandDad’s) But, I hope you will consider a better home for her where she can run and get exercise, and not be a danger to you or your precious children.
I would not recommend a small yappy dog like Brody, either---the reason I am up at 3:3am is because James and Amber’s Yorkie would not be quiet. Small dogs bite, too. (I actually have scars on my face from small dogs biting me when I was Baby David’s age)
So, consider the source: I got rid of a big dog when Andy was Abby’s age. And I have had cats put down for bad habits. I love you, and hope and pray the best for you all. I just felt that I had to voice my concerns.
Thank you for allowing us to “help” you by keeping your animals while you transitioned from Alaska to Houston. It has been interesting studying Tifa, and figuring out how to keep her in the yard and exercised. I am thankful she never knocked me down. But, again, let me say that your children are so precious. Please put their well being first. And please forgive me for being meddlesome, but when your children engage in risky behavior, I am sure you will speak up, too.
Love, Grannie Joyce/mom

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Grandparents and Great Grandparents

The images in my mind of my great grandparents are like video visits to their homes. And to my great grandfather's office. I was a little girl, but I remember it was neat and clean, and my great grandmother's two story house in Farmer City, Illinois had this wrap around porch. In my mind, the kitchen and dining rooms were huge...full of glass and china, and she had a coo-coo clock. These images are mixed with photos of us spending Christmas there. Huge Christmas feasts.

My Mother's Mom's folks were also in Farmer City at a house across town. They had to all know each other.

Most of my memories are of the grandparents and their houses. My Mother's folks lived on the same farm all their lives. My Dad's folks lived near Rochester for a time when we also lived there. And then my Dad's father built their dream home in Farmer City. Wooden floors, a staircase with spare rooms upstairs where we got to stay...a house built with us in mind.

So, my siblings and I got to experience farm life and city life. With one grandmother, we went with her to the grocery store to buy chicken and vegetables. With the other grandma, we watched her raise her own chickens and vegetables. She only went to town to purchase what they could not make or grown, and she would cluck over the price of chicken in the store.

My grandpa even set aside an acre to grow popcorn. Every year. I did not dare tell the UPS man that the heavy box contained a twenty pound sack of popcorn kernels. We enjoyed popcorn from grandpa's farm

Juggling Animals and Irritating the 30 year old

As our middle son confirmed this weekend--between the babies, dog and cat, it is a three ring circus here these days. I love it. It is a challenge. I have the luxury of time to figure out the big dog, Tifa.

Tifa is not two years old, so she still has puppy qualities. She jumps the fence like a deer to go visit and play with the neighbors dogs if you do not watch her. But, I discovered that if the sprinkler is put in the corner of the yard where she usually jumps, then the sprinkler of water acts as a wall and keeps her in the yard.

Our oldest son brought her to us in June during some pre-deployment training. This gave his wife and kids the freedom to drive down from Seattle without the dog and cat. And it looks like our days with Tifa are numbered, as our daughter-in-law has found a house to rent in Houston, closer to her folks. And the house has a six foot fence which should contain Tifa just fine. I hope the yard has some trees with squirrels, as Tifa loves to tree squirrels.

Tifa is a good dog. She leans into you to be petted, and loves to stick her wet nose between your elbow and side when typing here on the computer for some affection. She is lean like a greyhound, but long hair like a border collie. Her tail can clear a coffee table, and beat on walls in the hallway. It is amazing to see her run. And thankfully, God provided us with an eight year old boy next door who comes over of an evening to help wear Tifa out. Pedro loves to throw tennis and raquet balls onto our roof so that they roll back into his hands. And Tifa and Pedro run and play and fetch the balls. They come inside for numerous breaks because it is so hot. So, I keep the frig stocked with boxes of apple juice. I figure it is a good trade: apple juice for dog exercising. Pedro likes to draw, too. And I found a ream of copy paper at Walmart for $3. Cheap.

(this is the time of year to stock up on drawing paper, spiral notebooks, and school supplies)

Now we were blessed with three boys. Three sons. I gave in pretty early, and caved to the bathroom humor, and let our boys be boys. They made guns from legos. They hated all things pink. I could not even get them to walk down the pink aisle at ToysRus! I would say, "look, paleontologist Barbie" but, there was no way they were gonna look.

Firstborn and his wife had a daughter. Amazing. We had no clue how to do girls. But, I finally had an excuse to buy dolls, pink outfits, and learn. They lived far away, so we enjoyed her when we could and from afar. We are so thankful for skype. Now she is four and a half. And I was told that there are certain words they would prefer I not use. Being a stubborn mom of boys, this is hard.

(had to pause there and put the dog outside, as she was licking the 4 and a half year old, trying to wake her up)

When firstborn calls from A-stan, I ask if he is drinking plenty of water. This is somehow irritating to firstborn. Firstborn has gone from Alaska to A-stan---a hundred degrees difference in temperature. He does not want to be asked how often he is urinating. Guess I could have asked how often he is crying---as tears are another indicator. Oh, well. Getting re-hydrated via an IV will be an unpleasant way to learn, but better than having your mom nag you.

Our middle son had problems with the native food over there. So, I asked firstborn about that, and was again rebuffed. I guess when you hit thirty, you know everything and no longer need a mother. Oh, well. He won't understand until his babies are thirty. Maybe he will parent them better. Different.

For a long time---especially during firstborn's high school and college years, I was a pro at irritating him. So, I strove to take it to new levels. Why not excell at what I am good at??

So, I have asked firstborn for a list of the no-no words: poop, _______, ______

Parenting adults is a challenge. Mostly, we are cheerleaders. Most times I remember to bite my tongue. off. But, sometimes, I like to use humor. And I am thankful that at least firstborn trusts me with his dog. and cat.

And I wish I could talk to my four grandparents. I have such fond memories of them. My Mother's folks were farmers. God-fearing, church going, self-sufficient, generous, sterling examples. I look back on the hundreds of meals, clean sheets, care, love, entertainment they provide me. wow. I was so blessed. They had gardens and canned the bounty. They worked hard from sun up to sun down. They loved me and my siblings and cousins wholeheartedly. Lived to attend my wedding, and the shower of pictures of my babies growing up. My grandma would call and she would be so encouraging.

My Dad's parents were fantastic people, too. But, they liked living large, and in the big town, and they liked to party. My Dad's Dad built his dream house, and worked hard, and insisted I be kind to my sister. But, when he was my age, he fell off that dream house, and died a few days later. My Dad's mom lived until my firstborn was my granddaughter's age. She was a great cook. Loved roses, rubarb, and she bought us new dresses. She encouraged us to dress like ladies. She, too was a great example to me. I watched her care for her own Mother as she lived into her nineties. And my Mother's Mom's mom---I had two great grandmothers until I was in junior high. Care and love and how-to was demonstrated to me daily.

I wonder what they would tell me about parenting a thirty year old....that great grandson they got to know and love. Oh, how fun it will be in heaven, to be reunited and catch up on the stories.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I keep thinking of good blog posts, but then I get scared. I don't want to reveal too much or endanger my soldier sons and nephew.

We have been in grandparent heaven though, this past month. One son came home from his one year deployment as the other cycled over. We were so hoping they'd at least get to shake hands, but no.

Our daughter-in-law in Alaska decided to come back to Texas while her husband is deployed for six months. yay. So, we get to see the four and a half year old granddaughter. And play with the nine month old grandson. They motored on down to Houston to see her folks, the other set of grandparents last weekend, and then our recently returned son and his wife and sweet baby boy decided to make our weekend fun. They are stationed just three hours away. And the baby did good on the trip. He is getting so big. We are so thankful our son is home to be a Daddy and help out with all the diaper changes.

I awoke Sunday morning to running water...our son was giving his five month old baby a bath in the kitchen sink, but no towel...and the water felt kinda cold to grannie. I just love bathing babies. So, I elbowed in and gave him a shampoo. And fetched the towel. And we entertained him for an hour to let his momma sleep.

They scheduled our son's mid-deployment leave for this baby's birth, and while he saw the baby on skype, holding a squirming little guy is much different in person. We are amazed how much this baby is changing before our eyes. Tracking more. Grabbing. And so intense about everything, especially teething.

And the nine month old is crawling everywhere---so we get a sneak peak of what the youngest grandson will be doing in four months.

And what with the huge doggie and is a three ring circus here these days. We are loving it. Bittersweet in that our son is deployed, but cursing turned to blessing in that we get to enjoy the grandkids and the daughters-in-law.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ring Fling

As an old grannie lady, my fingers swell and shrink throughout the day and night. So I have a larger size ring from Walmart to wear when my wedding ring is too tight. Last night, I was grabbing the pillow I prop up my arm with as it was slipping to the floor and heard the bigger ring ping against the wall. Thankfully, it did not bounce far, and I was able to find it when I turned on the bathroom light.

This bigger ring reminds me of a James story. Maybe Bob has blogged about it better, but it still amazes me whenever I think about it. I would not put this past Ben---in fact I won't be suprised to hear Ben do this. But James? no. never. he wouldn't. How could he? Not James.

When Amber was very pregnant with Baby James, her fingers were swollen to the point that she could not wear her wedding rings. I offered to buy her a ring like mine at Walmart, but she wanted to wait for James. She felt funny being so pregnant and unable to wear a wedding band, so when James got home for the birth, they were in Walmart stocking up, and James talked her into getting one. The clerk was not convinced they were truly married. Which in this day and age is too common. But, after purchasing the ring, James GOT DOWN ON ONE KNEE AND ASKED MY SWEET DAUGHTER-IN-LAW TO MARRY HIM. This just confirmed the clerk's suspicions, and was laughably embarrassing to Amber. I can't believe James would do this to her. She laughed. I told Bob that if he had pulled a stunt like that ---he'd be eating yogurt and rice crispy treats for a year. (Bob hates yogurt and rice crispy treats---the only two foods he hates, well, that and sweet and sour stuff at Pei Wei).

It is a funny story. But, Amber lost that ring and looked high and low for it. It rolled under their bed and I am convinced that Brody found it and carried it away. But, she found it last week and was SO thrilled. This ring has a story behind it. Yes, the wedding rings are important, for they represent covenant...and have the dates inscribed.

I was "married" with my Dad's huge bevealed wedding ring. I had forgotten to give the ring to the best man, as it was part of the set, and we laughed and laughed at Bob's face at the "with-this-ring?" part. My Dad had handed his up to be a substitute for the ceremony. Even the pastor, Bob's oldest brother, asked if we had taken our vows seriously because we were all laughing so hard. Being his first officiating, Bob's brother had carefully typed out the ceremony and was sticking to the script.

I'd like to get another ring. One inbetween the sizes of the two I wear. Call me silly. I switch them around all day. One day, the wedding band slipped off and I could not find it. We went through the garbage, as it was garbage day, and I was afraid it had slipped into the huge bag at the street in the cold. But, thankfully, I found it sitting in the rim of the washer by the drain holes. Whew.

Oh, James. I still cannot believe you did that to your dear, precious wife. I am glad she has a sense of humor. And I am glad that is not the regular Walmart she uses. Thank you, Amber for putting up with James. He is Ben's brother, after all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Last Sunday in May

Today I want to worship You.
And just marvel at what You created.
And just be amazed at the miracle of babies.
And just thankful for the gift You gave of children and daughters-in-law.
And I want to think about how You know all about the over 500 souls who died by tornadoes this year.
I have to believe You know and You care about each tiny detail.
You are The God who comforts.
You are The God who judges, and who will set all things right someday.
In heaven there will be no tornadoes. No fear. No lurking in closets and listening to warnings on the radio.
In heaven there will be no mosquitoes.
And we will all be good spellers.
We know a lot about Your character. And everything You wanted us to know is in Your Word.
Creation reveals such exquisite detail, and points to You: Our Intelligent Designer.
But, I have read the end of the Book, and things look so bleak before things get better.
You made the cricket. And the doggy’s mournful howl. You put in nature lessons for us all.
Please put Your song on our lips. Clean out my soul, form in me a new heart.
Please be with all those who lost loved ones in tornadoes so that they are not bitter, but turn to You.
Please help us be accurate and true in teaching Your Word. Please put in our voice the soft love and gentle whisper---attractiveness instead of distain. Let others see we care, and in that care is help, not indifference. I need Your patience, long-suffering, gentleness. On my own, I am critical, judgmental, and impatient. Please mold me and make me like Your Son: our example and Savior. Redeemer and King. For we ask this in His Name: In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Email might want to read it from the bottom up...

(Bob just called to tell me he was on the way to the train station --5pm--and how my email came just as everyone was headed to lunch, but his loud belly laughs caught everyones attention...and then my second one came in, the one about the one leg, and they all died laughing. again. Bob was laughing so hard walking to the train hours later, that I am sure he is a sight to behold. There. I hope I have not ruined it for you nor gotten your hopes up.)

RE: lunch, selfishness, God's sense of humor
From: Robert
To: joyce


My, my, you have had an interesting day.


From: Joyce
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:48 PM
To: Williamson, Bob
Subject: Re: lunch, selfishness, God's sense of humor

I am glad I made you laugh.

But, I would want to know if I had given someone something I was proud of and it had a dead insect in it. I just keep telling myself that it was a dead cricket. (saw blade back leg) (singular) I just hope it was not a dead roach. And was it drowning by hotsauce or cooked in hot sauce? did the cricket come from her pots and pans or was it hidden in the chillies? And I know she uses the blender for some portion of the how did Mr. Jimminey come out so whole? (just missing one leg?) I need to quit thinking about it.


From: Robert
To: joyce
Sent: Tue, May 24, 2011 12:01:45 PM
Subject: RE: lunch, selfishness, God's sense of humor

Yeah, you made me laugh. (I’m so ashamed.) But there was no need to feel guilty about hoarding the hot sauce. I’m not much of a Picante fan. (But I’d also say there’s no need to tell Amber about the cricket. That would just make her feel bad.) Just look on the bright side – it wasn’t a dead mouse.


From: Joyce
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:51 AM
To: Williamson, Bob
Subject: lunch, selfishness, God's sense of humor

Amber made and brought us a jar of hot sauce. She said it was her best batch, as she had finally found just the right chilies. or is it chillies. Anyway. I keep forgetting to offer you some, and since there are fresh avacadoes in it, I have been eating it for my lunch. I insisted she leave it with us, as I did not want her to have to juggle it on her way to her sister's. I was selfish.

I dumped the last of it in my bowl, and took a call from Rachel, your niece (in town next Tuesday, wants to just do supper somewhere) and I was thinking about how selfish I had been. But, I decided to justify it as the avacadoes were fresh, and I did not want to let them go to waste...and in that last bowl was a dead cricket.

Suddenly, I was not hungry anymore. My hot sauce craving was gone. (as was my guilt)

I wondered if Amber was having a cricket infestation at her house.

I wondered if I should tell her.

I wondered if I was being punished, and if only I'd sent the jar with her to her sisters--who would have eaten the cricket?? And would she have told me??

too funny, huh? Are you snorting with laughter at your computer?

Hope so. I hope I made your day. Love, John the Baptist

Friday, May 20, 2011

I want to remember:

I spent forty minutes a week ago composing a Mother’s Day post, and blogspot ate it.
So, I am composing this in Word, and will copy and paste like a good girl.
Mother’s Day was wonderful in that I heard from all three of my sons. James called from A-stan, and sent two dozen roses!!! Rose report---the red ones lasted eleven days! The orange and white pooped out much sooner. So, red roses are best!
On the 14th, the firstborn brought us his animals as he was on the way to the east coast for pre-deployment training. I am so glad they are conferencing with who they replace over there. Whew. He is deploying to one of the most dangerous places in A-stan on my birthday. What is it about my birthday that attracts deployments?? (middle son deployed last year on my birthday)
Our youngest, and college student studying to be an electrician (graduating Aug. 19th) built a kitty door and kitty climbing tower in the hall closet for Emma cat. This gives her a place of retreat and reflection from big Tifa dog. I was told and observed during skype calls that Emma cat was rather standoffish. But, she has warmed up to us and our house so smoothly. She loves the birdfeeder action, and jumping from table to counter. Her favorite place to sit is here on the computer table, which makes reading the screen a bit of a challenge. And she rolls around. Flops—as if almost into my lap, laying her head back on this keyboard. Where to scratch?? Not the ears nor tummy. And the poor thing is shedding as she walks. She is used to Alaska. We keep the AC at 76 degrees---which is comfortable for us, but has the cat stretched out like a kitty thermometer.
Tifa’s favorite game is chase/herd the kitty. So, when I hear Emma’s warning voice, I have to turn and say, unto Tifa: leave the cat alone. Shortened to: cat-lone. (which is what we used to tell middle son when visiting friends with a not toddler safe cat) And he would repeat in his cute little voice: cat-lone.
Tifa is amazing. We had observed her licking and needing petted on skype, so we were not sure how she would do here with boring old folks. She does not bark. I have only heard one deep-from-the-chest wolf for some reason while out driving. Yes. She loves to ride in the car! Fun! We just got back from mailing some bills at the post office and driving through McDonalds for a sausage biscuit for my snack.
Tifa is a big black dog with white feet---border collie markings and the type of hair. With an undercoat which speaks of her huskie mix, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback ridge of hair which makes her look like she is having a bad hair day. But, she is beautiful, friendly, energetic, loving, sweet, with the fastest legs, and body of a greyhound. She can run like the wind. And thankfully, God provided a seven year old neighbor boy to come play ball in the back yard with Tifa. It helps wear her out. Tifa loves to fetch and play keep-away with tennis balls. And I think she was so relieved to see the smaller version of people when she met Pedro.
Tifa does have the attention span of a toddler, however, and has sailed over the fence. Twice. So, she must be constantly watched when in our back yard. It is scary. Because we don’t want to lose her on our watch. She loves to run up and down the fence and “play” with the neighbor’s big dog and little wiener dog, but dogs one more yard over barked one day, and before we could stop her, she had sailed over the fence to investigate. And play. We hollered, and she came back---after a few minutes.
Then, when the new neighbors of the dogs was outside with her one year old baby, and doing a little sandbox play in the green turtle with a lid sandbox, something spooked Tifa, and she sailed over the fence again, and headed STRAIGHT for the baby, as I yelled, and shouted---“she is good with children”. And thankfully, the lady did not freak out. I would have freaked out if a strange dog sailed over my fence and licked my baby on the face. Yikes. The lady even helped push her back over the fence! And Tifa is big. We should have met the neighbors before this---I should have baked cookies. It is not too late, but, oh, my. Those were some scary moments.
So, I take her in the back yard, and try to look for the clues she is thinking about fence jumping. I wish I could trust her out there. I wish I could let her enjoy the yard. She loves to flush birds from the bushes, and examine every bug. She is very co-ordinated. She can use her front claws and paws as hands and investigate a huge black ant crawling up the wall. When we keep Brody, our other daughter-in-law’s little Yorkie, we can let him roam in the back yard, and he will come scratch at the back door, as he loves to be with us.
We will either have to put up an electric fence, or use the shock collar for a while. I don’t know. If we had the super tall privacy fence, that would be the best. Ours is just a chain link. Might as well be a ladder. Ha
We are so thankful that the animals traveled so well, and the airlines were so nice to haul the crates to our car, and since our son was here for the handoff---we got to enjoy seeing him face to face for 18 hours, and his animals then knew we were safe people.
We can’t wait for the next stage: once our son travels to his next pre-deployment training, his dear wife, brave woman, will fly to Seattle and start driving to Texas with her brother and our four year old granddaughter and 8 month old grandson. We are so blessed to get to see them on skype, but what fun to have them here! Here where it is warmer, and where we have more shopping and eating choices. Here, where we can watch them grow up before our eyes for a while. The brave daughter-in-law will probably find a place closer to her folks and grandparents and friends in Houston, but we will enjoy them as long as we can.
Yesterday was like a three ring circus---I had just gotten back from lunch with my friend who lives one street over. She is an animal person, so she had come inside to see Tifa and Emma. I saw the mail lady start up the drive with a box from our daughter-in-law which she had told us contained the treats, brush, etc., but I was not sure how the mail lady would enjoy being licked and jumped up on, so as Tifa charged the door to say hello, I motioned for her to put the box on the step, and the skype call sounded---doodeedoo. Doo. Doo. Dooodeedo, doo. Do. So, we got to see the granddaughter wearing her gossamer wings from her Halloween outfit when she was 2 years old. She was wanting to check on her dog. Tifa so enjoyed hearing their voices, that she felt comfortable enough to go finish off her food. She lets her food sit all day, and then about 10 pm, when we are headed to bed, gives up on getting people food, and eats. I turned the camera so that the granddaughter could see her dog chowing down, but a black dog against a black frig…
What a hoot. Never a dull moment. When you pet the kitty, here comes the dog for her turn. And we bought this huge rope thingy toy for Tifa to chew on instead of the carpet edges by the front door. Ha. It is an old, old carpet. And these kong toys are great, too, to help her with the boredom.
We could not figure out whatall the items in the box were for. The Christmas Vacation ornament is so wonderful ! Cute!!! Halelujah Chorus with lights! But, there were these two rubber and wire thingies, which we thought maybe went with the doggie backpack. Bob tried them on his head, kinda like a hat frame, however. Ben, our youngest, and gifted son---he figured it out quickly when he came home last night. Then we remembered back to how we had remarked to the Alaska folks how treacherous our driveway was when iced over, and working for the power company, my husband can’t call in unless he is dying. After slip-sliding down the drive in his cowboy boots last January, February, March and April---the Alaska folks took pity upon him, and sent him these contraptions that strap over your shoes!!! YAY! Now we are ready for winter…and where shall we stash these things for seven months?? I am all for tacking them to the wall because I am afraid they might get lost in a closet. I guess I could nail them to the inside of the closet where we’d still see them. In our old age we are forgetting where we stash stuff.
More later. But, I shall end today with a prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please protect Israel. Please send bad weather and plague upon the muslims who rush their borders, hate, and insanely think all their problems would be solved if Israel was destroyed. Please give Israel the spine and strength to push the arabs and muslims into the sea. I say, restore the borders YOU promised King David, Moses, and Abraham. Your will be done. Please open obama’s eyes or remove the asshole from office. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.