Thursday, May 24, 2012


Last Sunday, our pastor did an excellent sermon on the subject of joy, namely, The Joy of the Lord, how it sets us apart, makes Christianity attractive.  

The Joy of the Lord is supernatural.  We can't produce it on our own energy or strength.

The pastor related a story of playfulness:  when they were young marrieds, they would race each other to the mailbox.  Sometimes, his wife would shriek---much to the consternation of a policeman one time. 

I asked Bob what was/is our playfulness.  One time Bob read aloud the billboards until I thought it would drive me mad.  I don't know if he was trying to stay awake at the wheel, or what.  He says he was trying to entertain me.  

Word games---thinking of fun words beginning with the same letter.  Last night, we played with "f" and Bob was snoring when I said, (quoting one of our firstborn's first words: "french fry" said with a big breath inbetween).  So, first thing this morning---Bob blurts out "french fry" as if he just thought of it.  Too funny.   I have no proof I said it "first".  last night. 

Making Bob laugh has always been a perk.  Sometimes a suprise.  gravy.  extra.  a blessing. 

Bob's possession of a sense of humor is what drew me to him. 

And as Christians we need reminding to smile, laugh, let the joy leak out.  be playful.

Especially, these days of hormones---when even a slightly sad or poignant story make the tears stream down my cheeks.   Yesterday, when gropping and grasping with a story online, I could not stop crying, and it was funny!  It had to be hormones.  Sometimes I feel chilled and cannot get warm.  Sometimes, I feel tired 'cause I have forgotten to take my iron.   I know:  I need more sun, and more exercise.  Bite me. 

When we have turned off the tv because nothing good is on, and when I snort or laugh aloud at something I then read online, Bob wants in on it.  Sometimes it is a challenge to share in a voice he can understand because I am laughing or crying so hard.   But, it is fun to share.  Fun to have my best friend to share life with---the good, the bad, the questions, the grandchildren, and remember to lighten up and insert playfulness.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How would I explain to my grandparents...

One of my favorite pictures is me sitting on my Poppy's lap eating a sucker.  I was probably three or four years old.  I am happy.  I had lots of fun grandparents.  I was the first on both sides.  My Mother's Dad, Grandpa James even called me Number One. 

Poppy was more concerned about my character.  Specifically, how I treated my two years younger sister.   I remember how I was enjoying beating my sister at croquet a little too much.  He showed me how that was not very kind.  I remember it so clearly to this day.  Standing in his front yard in his beautiful green thin-bladed grass, with a mallet in my hand, and the colorful wooden balls and the precisely spaced wire wickets.  Good times.

Today, I am wondering how I would explain the internet to my grandparents.  Cousin Kenny probably beat me to it.  But, to say, you know how they promised we'd be able to see people on a tv like screen when we talk to them on the phone?  Well. we can now.  And typewriters are tied into our tv/phone screens...

How would I explain facebook?  and twitter?  And how the post office is dying. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

We had phone chatted on Saturday with the firstborn and his family in Alaska, and with the recent Missouri knee deep in diapers son and his family.  And I'd left a message with our youngest in Austin, but I figured he was working. 

Sunday morning, I suggested we drive up to Ranger Hill.  It is scenic, and west, and only an hour or so away.  I don't know why I have had a desire to go to Ranger, Texas.  It had been years and years since we had been up there.  The little towns are dying.  Old stone hewn houses are overgrown.  I wish we had stopped to take a picture of this one stone house where they had carefully used flat rocks to form a star.  The yucca plants were blooming.  sticks of flowers poking up out of the ground alongside the dark green cedar pollen producers, and light green mesquites. 

But, I am getting ahead of our story.  We skipped Sunday School, as Bob was not teaching, and the pickings were mighty slim.  And while last year's message included the story of Hosea and Gomer, Bob was hoping our pastor would one up that message with Athaliah or some interesting bad mother example. 

When our pastor asked or stories about mothers, I was regretting not skipping church, too.  Stories about mean moms who laughed at fathers in pain is not my idea of uplifting stories.  It is our "natural" bent to undermine our husband's authority.  We need warnings against it.  God started in Genesis. 

Clinging to the verse, where God says: "I will be Your God" I was suprised to hear the pastor come up to me after the ending prayer and say, "Happy Mother's Day"---and point to our youngest, Ben who had slipped in late.  We hugged, and took him to lunch as he needed to head back down to Austin.  (Cori called this morning---I am glad he got a nap on her couch on the way back, as he looked tired).  Ben said his friend, S. up here is getting married in a few weeks.  I wonder if Ben is best man.  I forgot to ask.  Ben said the couple yell and argue a lot.  Not his cup of tea...nor does he think that marriage will last.  

Ben talked of being tired, working 56 hours a week, how he pulled wire all day.  There were not enough ladders, and yet pressure from upper management to finish.  Ben even has a term for the upper management folks---shine-eeees.  Their hardhats stay nice and shiny. 

After we hugged Ben goodbye one more time, we headed west to Ranger, Texas.  It was a gorgeous day.  Not too hot.  Cotton ball clouds.   Your ears pop going up Ranger hill.  It was down to one lane, and felt cooler up there.  It is interesting to see Fort Worth spreading out on the west side.  The scenic side.  I hate those signs that say, rest stop---no rest stop for 120 miles.  The whole DFW area is in between for heaven's sake!!  It is a sign that suggests, go here or forget it. 

There had been a wreck just ahead of us coming back on the one lane, and everyone was forced to make new exits in the dirt and motor down the side roads to another entrance.  If we had not stopped for gas, we might have been caught in the wreck. 

Home in time for the Rangers Game.  And the finale of the silly fairy tale series.  And a fun skype call with Baby James and Baby Matthew.   Both babies like singing.  And Baby James is the busiest baby making noises with the back of his hand, fingers, lips.  Moving, grabbing, throwing himself this way and that...jabbering like the E-trade baby.  Too cute. 

I found cute pictures of Abby and David, too.  So cute. 

Here I was thinking Mother's Day once the kids are flown the nest could be sorta boring.  ha 

I talked to my own Mother.   We are all planning on assembling for Ross's high school graduation.  Just like we did Hannah's...three years ago?!   George, Gisela and Ted all graduated from college---facebook pictures to prove it.  There is no way we could have attended those, as they were held in three different states on the same day!  

I shall add Mother's Day to Christmas and Easter---suspect as far as getting good Bible teaching on those days.  Sad, as the Bible has so much material about the sujects, but these days have been hyjacked by bring-a-visitor, guilt-a-relative, and what folks expect that only come once a year.  Athaliah would have been a good choice in order to teach what not to do. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tenticles of Amazon

I dare you to close your Amazon account.  They make it amazingly hard.

I poked around, and poked around on the website.  I finally found a "contact" tab, and asked to close my account.   They sent directions.  I followed them.  they then sent confirmation...was I sure?  And did I realize it would affect 10 other closely associated companies??  yikes.

I got tired of fake emails telling me an order had been cancelled.  And I got tired of Amazon telling me not to worry about them.  No thanks.  And try deleting an address!  People I sent a baby outfit for their newborn three years ago have since moved. 

I got another email from Amazon.  Asking if I'd fill out a survey.  Why were they so hard to contact, but now all of a sudden, I am given names of actual employees??  I prefer a company of people.  Yes, they were convenient.  Yes, they were the book-buying place.  Best if Bob orders his own. 

Who owns Amazon?   the employees sound Indian.  Every day I was getting an email telling me about some antique book that had been ordered and cancelled.  One of these days they were going to be successful, and I might not notice for a month until we got our credit card bill.  And then, the headache of tracking it down.  No thank you.  Amazon has so many tenticles.  And the irony?  They call themselves "customer-centric"  ha.  and world-wide.  I wish them the best.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Post Office Adventures

I hauled three big flat rate boxes into the post office on Monday, and thought I had the forms completely filled out, but alas, no.  The clerk expected me to fill out all the separate poundages.  yikes.  His "guessing" and fussing cost me an hour.  But, they are on the way. 

Today I took in a very, very light, large flat rate box with a mug for my buddy nestled inside layers of bubble wrap.  Thankfully, this was going to Ohio.  But, the clerk fussed that I had used too big a box for just a mug.  I tried to explain that I had wrapped it in bubble wrap.  The clerk offered insurance.  For the first time in my life, I said, "sure".  Well, did I have a receipt??  And didn't I know that it would be a lot of trouble to buy insurance for a $10 mug?  Here, all these years, I refuse the insurance and extras because the packages seem to be making it okay.  Little did I know they don't really want you to buy all that crap because it is extra work for them?  Who knew!  wow.  What a joke.

I don't understand why the post office is going under.  Nope. 

Most days there is no line.  I guess everyone is paying their bills online. 

Whenever I can use the machine, I will.  I should have used it today.  No lip.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Amazed and Thankful

After a much needed trip to the chiropractor today, I ventured into the Kennedale Walmart to work on the list our niece gave us.  It is fun to hunt down what missionaries need, and I consider it a quest.  The list was long and varied, but Walmart is amazing.  And with much prayer and going up and down the aisles, I found everything on the list.  Everything.  Even the sudoku puzzle books.  Even the Dickies work cap---I did not know Dickies made a work cap.  But, thankfully, this Walmart had one.  whew. 

Now to box up everything and mail it.  I have baggies on everything, as they live in a humid climate.  Thank you, Walmart.  Truly, one stop shopping.  Thank you, chiropractor for putting all my bones back so that I could go on the hunt.  And Thank You, God, for directing my steps to find some little things to maybe encourage the hearts of dear loved ones far away.  I hope they don't look at some of the silly things I added and wonder what?!   Please, Lord, let them know we care, and that we pray for them.  Please bless all our missionaries, please guide and protect them.  As this old world turns dark and mean, please infuse them with joy to attract like honey, those who are lost and discouraged.

And prayers for eight year old Cameron, suffering a fever after this last round of chemo, and possibly surgery tomorrow.  Your Will Be Done.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

The Art of Washing Dishes vs The Art of Stacking

With just the two of us, when the dishwasher quit working, I just started washing our dishes.  For years and years, doing dishes was not my favorite activity.  Our silly German made dishwasher takes forever, and I wondered if it even sterilized stuff. 

But, the beauty of washing dishes means you have clean hands, and time to gaze out the window at the clouds.  I read somewhere that you can count on alone time when washing dishes.  It takes concentration not to chip or break all the glass and china, so I try to slow down and focus.  And I am picky about clean, fresh soapy water.  And I prefer to stack the dishes to dry. 

Stacking dishes on towells worked for a few weeks, but I broke down and got a drain board and rack.  I forgot to get the silverware holder, so I am using the old one from either this dishwasher or the one before that I used under the sink to store extra scrubbers. 

I am still working on what to wash first so that it stacks best on the rack.  Some might see more quickly what to wash first, but it is making me think twice about what to use when cooking supper.  Kinda like chess...thinking ahead a few moves.  ha

Someday, I will wait around for someone to come diagnose what is wrong with the dishwasher.  Waiting around for repairmen is not my favorite thing to do.  And in this day and age, it is usually cheaper to replace the whole thing than buy a new computer board here or pump there.  I have already had the board/switches replaced.  Can't expect these plastic parts to last forever.  eh?

It sure brings back memories...washing dishes as a little girl standing on a chair.  My Dad took pictures of me and my sister.  I am sure we made more of a mess than were of any help.  But, my mom must have been sick or something, because my Dad selling us on the idea of washing dishes is my memory.  Reluctant helpers we were.  It isn't until you get married and have your own things that taking care of them means more.  And the after dinner mess was often overwhelming.  Where to start? 

Now I have the luxury of washing them slowly, and in my own way.  And I can do it sitting at the sink and wish the window was a little lower so that I can see out, but as least, I can see up. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Perigee Moon Tonight

Perigee Moon Tonight means the moon will appear bigger as it is a little closer.  And it won't be this close until June next year.  The tides will only be effected a few inches. has a video explaining, and cool shots from around the world.