Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Contest!

My daughter, Karen, is having a contest and offering 3 prizes over at her blog. Please ignore it. Just kidding.



You may enter any of the three that you wish as long as it isn't one that includes chocolate. One of those is definitely reserved for moi. Just kidding again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Today our baby (not to be confused with our youngest, who, incidentally turned 14 earlier this month) turns 21! As a matter of fact, she was born right about this time of the day.

It was so exciting to count all her little fingers and toes. It was music to our ears to hear her first little cry. It was reassuring to know that her little heart was functioning normally. Even though she was taken away from us within minutes after her birth because of the fluids that needed to be drained from her lungs, we were breathing the first relieved breaths we'd had in over 7 months.

We were happy and praising the Lord. We can still say that today.

As you can probably surmise, there were more than the usual reasons why we were anxiously counting fingers and toes, listening for the sound of her first cry, and awaiting the news that her heart was in good working order. That story will wait until some other time. For now, let's just rejoice that the Lord has given the Princess 21-derful years of life and love!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Keeping In Touch

With Lulu away in California - among other things - this seems like the perfect time to broach a subject that has been on my mind recently. I've got a few concerns and questions and I'm hoping you will indulge me by offering your opinion.

I'm a fan of technology. Really. It allows us to keep in touch with one another in so many ways that were totally unheard of even a few years ago. My great-grandparents lived in Wyoming in 1910 and some of their family was back in Ohio. I can only imagine how hard it was for them to keep each other up-to-date on family events. I've mentioned in the past how hard it was even for us when we packed up that rental moving truck in 1985 to move 350 miles south. My parents bore the brunt of large long-distance phone bills so that we could talk once a week.

I still remember how excited I was when we unpacked our first home computer! Wow! Receiving email was the epitome of communication then. It was thrilling when my mom's company added email. Mom would send one each day right before she left her office. I would reply so that she'd have one waiting for her the next morning. We were ecstatic!

Soon I was experiencing the thrill of sharing genealogy information with distant relatives. Personally, it isn't just the hunt of the dead ancestors that makes genealogy thrilling. It is the new relationships I've forged with living relatives. One of my mom's cousins disappeared as a child when his parents divorced in the 1940s. It's a long story, so I won't bore you with the details, but the story has a happy ending.

Then we progressed to pagers and cell phones. Remember pagers? I remember how thrilled I was that Pastor Dad had one back when I was expecting my last two babies. And who doesn't like cell phones? Well, maybe you. If so, you can tell me about it.

So when is enough enough? With the proliferation of things like My Space, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, text messages, IMing, and homepages when do we actually get out and meet real live people anymore? Or is it even necessary to physically meet real live people?

I wonder about this because I decided a few years ago to cut back on my computer time (which was then being consumed by the pursuit of genealogy) to spend more time with my husband and children. We rediscovered biking, walking, gardening, and talking (live-and-in-person talking). We've even gone so far as to disconnect our t.v. from cable/satellite and just watch the movies and programs together that we have on DVD.

Pastor Dad and I have discussed our foray into the realm of "always being plugged in." He likes me to blog. He thinks it helps me (a shy loner) to escape my cocoon. I also have dabbled with Twitter. Pastor Dad is now on Facebook. We both text regularly with each other and a few of our children. We still communicate with others via email. We are definitely not anti-technological communication. But our discussions have led us down the path of asking ourselves some important questions. Things like, what is good and what is a waste of time? Are all our friends "virtual" as opposed to ones we meet regularly? What are our goals? Are we protecting our morality? Are we advancing the gospel? Are we using our time wisely or wasting it? Are we using our financial resources wisely?

I want to conduct an impromptu survey. Here are my questions for you:
  1. Which technological communication platforms do you use regularly? (My Space, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, cell phones, pagers, text messages, IMing, homepages, something else I've not mentioned - please be specific)
  2. Which do you like?
  3. Why?
  4. Which do you not like?
  5. Why?
  6. What social/religious/recreational activities do you participate in that are not computer/cell phone oriented?
  7. What other insight can you offer concerning this topic?
I'm thrilled that Pastor Dad and I can keep in touch with our friends and relatives so much more easily than ever before. I just want to be a good steward of the time and resources that God has given us. I'd like to hear your thoughts. I'll give you my more-in-depth opinion in a later post.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Awesome Award

Thanks to Stephanie from The Hanes Family for this award. I'm sure you began to wonder, Stephanie, if I was ever going to post this. Well, wonder no more!

In accordance with the rules of the award, I must post 7 things that are awesome about myself and pick 7 people whose blogs I find awesome. So here goes...

Seven things that are awesome about me:

  1. I am a child of the King. That is the most awesome thing about me and it also means that I'm not awesome after all. The God I serve is awesome, though, and because of the price He paid and the grace He has shown me I can be His child. Any crowns that come my way will be cast at His feet because I'm covered in His awesomeness.
  2. I'm the only person on earth who is the wife of Pastor Dad. (And I sincerely hope there are no names on a waiting list.)
  3. I'm the mother of three wonderful girls and one fantastic boy, and the grandmother of three wonderful little girls and one sure-to-be fantastic little boy (who will soon be making his long-awaited appearance).
  4. I'm the only child of my parents. I don't know if that makes me awesome, but they seem to think so.
  5. I'm a trend-setter and a trend-breaker. I started a trend of giving birth every 7 years in May. I did this 3 times, which means I have children who turned (or soon will turn) 28, 21, and 14. I'm a trend breaker because I have no child turning 7 and no new arrivals of my own due this month, thankfully.
  6. I've made it almost half of a century without exterminating anyone. No slow-poke drivers, insulting sales personnel, nasty professors, or people cutting in line have been eliminated by the daggers being shot from my eyes. Pretty awesome accomplishment, if I do say so myself.
  7. Since I am somewhat ambidextrous (not to be confused with ambi-obnoxious) I tend to get mixed up when someone tells me to "turn left" or "turn right" unless I am wearing Sesame Street shoes with little l's and r's painted on them and can look down at them quickly. However, I seem to have an uncanny sense of direction when it comes to being the navigator on car excursions. I guess the Lord felt He needed to provide me some type of homing devise since I am so dexterously-challenged.


Seven people who I think are awesome bloggers:

  1. Karin of Yesterday, Today, Forever. Her blog is "awesome" because of the poetry she writes.
  2. Vicky of Project 365. Her digital scrapbooking pages are "awesome."
  3. Donna of Living On The Creek who just became a grandma for the first time: "Awesome!"


Okay, so I either can't count or I'm cheating. Either way, I'm stopping right here to allow some of these ladies to share the love with the rest of you. (I reserve the right to name 4 more at a later date.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAREN!

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAREN!


Stop over at Candid Diversions and leave her your best wishes on her special day. She is 28 years old now! That's quite a feat for someone whose mother is only 29. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Retreat!

I’ve been retreating. That doesn’t mean that I’ve been running away from an enemy – although in some ways it could apply - or that I’ve been away on a mini-vacation known as a retreat – although, again, I did send Pastor Dad on one last week which could mean that I myself got a mini vacation, too. Just kidding! Really!

No, I stayed at home and took a break from my normal routine. That’s why you haven’t heard anything from me lately. After that exhausting 3-weeks-in-1 ordeal I decided to do things a bit differently while Pastor Dad was in Cleveland, OH for the conference at Parkside, Alistair Begg’s church. I was exhausted and in need of some R & R.

Even so, last week was one of much activity. Lulu painted one of the bathrooms (the one that the previous owner sponge painted to look like a hippy’s tie-dyed shirt). Yeah, I know we’ve lived here for almost 10 years. That just shows how much I hate to paint! Lulu did a fantastic job of making this little powder room off the family room and guest bedroom look more like a sophisticated space with its classic grayish-blue walls and gorgeous glossy white trim.

I’ve spent my time reading, resting, praying, and finishing some projects that had been laid aside until such a time as I could find chunks of time to complete them. Things like, oh, gardening, editing and indexing my book (do you know anyone of German ancestry from the Trippstadt area with the surname Jung in their lineage?), and finishing up some DAR work in anticipation of turning over my files to the next sucker officer.

I hope you’ve had some restful and productive days, too. I look forward to sharing some time together. Yes, in my absence I neither wrote my own blog posts nor read many of yours. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been doing in my absence!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Equivalent of Three Weeks In One

Busy days. I've had lots of them recently. In fact, this week has been the equivalent of three usual weeks in that things that normally take place over three different weeks have been condensed into one very busy one. Whew! TGIF!

  • We had achievement tests this week. Our city homeschool group cooperates each year by giving the Stanford Achievement Test at various locations throughout the month of May. The Bear and I avail ourselves of this wonderful way of meeting the requirement as set forth in the Ohio education code. While the Bear is taking his test, I am in another part of the building administering it to another grade level. Testing took place each morning from Tuesday-Thursday. This required us to be elsewhere, clothed, and in our right minds earlier than normal.
  • Our church is having its annual spring revival meeting each evening. This normally takes place sometime in the month of March. However, for various reasons - upon which I will not elaborate - the meeting was moved this year. We've been having absolutely wonderful, Spirit-filled meetings. I have benefited much. I've also had the added blessing of being with the speaker personally each day, which is one of the perks of being part of the pastor's family. On the downside, this means our meal, relaxation, and sleep schedules have been altered significantly. Couple this with achievement testing and you can see that "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." I think the Lord Jesus said that about Peter. He could say the same about me right now.
  • We've endeavored to complete the usual amount of schoolwork. We can see the end of the school year so we don't want to falter now. We got a wee bit behind this year when we slowed our pace for some other important events. Well, I'm not sure how important basketball is in the grand scheme of things, but it was only one of many rabbit trails that caused detours.

On top of the three weekly things mentioned, there was another grand event that took place. Today was the last time that the Bear was so attired:



From this point on he will be wearing a red belt with a black stripe running through it. His rank is now first gup. Being interpreted, that means that the next time he tests for promotion it will be for a black belt. Way to go, Bear!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Down the Home Stretch

She's not a horse, however, I think she feels like one right now. I'm talking about my daughter, Princess, whose first-born is due in about 5 weeks.

She spent some time in the maternity triage unit today. It could have been another kidney stone (she's been abundantly "blessed" with such this pregnancy.) Or it could be the early stages of labor. She's having pretty constant contractions lately. I was always one to labor for weeks before actual birth and would never have made it to the hospital in time if not sent there by my doc. Perhaps she is like her mother.

Either way, the Princess has been having enough pain that her boss noticed and sent her from work to the hospital. Since her boss is also her own o.b. doc, today's trip to the e.r. was because the doc so ordered. The Princess is home now with a prescription for the rock collection. And she was at church tonight for our revival meetings.

If, perchance, Beanie Baby decides to be a May baby as opposed to a June one the doc will let him have his way. That's exactly what his mommy did 21 years ago. She was due on about the same date as Beanie is due. We didn't make it into June. Her birthday is later this month.

Exciting days ahead, people! I can hardly wait!

Monday, May 4, 2009

MORE Family Faux Pas

I can't seem to keep my foot out of my mouth even when words aren't actually coming out of it! I am just as limber in writing as I am while speaking. Am I talented or what!?

About yesterday's second post. You know the one? The correction of a major faux pas. Guess a couple of other faux pas (is there a plural for this term?) happened while correcting the first one.

Ahem.

I always tell the Bear that he was OCD then. Now that he knows what it is - and enjoys the television show "Monk" - he wouldn't be too fond of the designation now even if he does still exhibit signs of it occasionally. At least now he doesn't insist upon wearing the same stinky sandals daily and I don't need to wash the same two outfits over and over again just because they are the only ones he'll wear. I'm willing to concede that this just might be because he is growing so fast these days that he doesn't have time to get attached to certain attire before it is outgrown, but whatever works! And he is no longer obsessed with tractors. Basketball and girls would be closer to the mark. And not necessarily in that order, although, it is nice that he is friends with a nice girl basketball player.

And as for the picture: you have no idea how hard it was to find one with all of his adoring sisters in it. Yes, we look geeky and sleep deprived. So what else is new? We were geeky and sleep deprived. We're still geeky and sleep deprived! Not posting pictures about it doesn't make it "not so."

The Princess is still the baby. Just ask her. No faux pas there.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I Stand Sit Corrected

Yikes! Major family faux pas!

I said earlier that my "baby" turned 14 years old today. That this just isn't true. My "youngest" turned 14 today. The "baby" turns 21 in three more weeks. :)

Here's a photo (yes from his memory book) of the Bear and the ladies in his life when he was just a little cub still in the hospital.


Here he is on his first birthday. He had developed quite a love for "tractors" by that time. He walked at the age of 8 months so if by chance he got out of sight of all of us we'd just look out on the riding lawnmower. He was sure to be there. And he was also always wearing those little Winnie-the-Pooh sandals. He loved them, too. He was quite OCD then about some things.



We were just discussing this "baby" stuff today. The Princess absolutely, positively was not knocked out of her position as the baby of the family when her little brother was born even though she was the ripe old age of 7.

Please forgive me, Princess. My mistake. :)

Happy Birthday, Bear!

I know the title of this post sounds like the title of a children's book. However, it is real. My baby is 14 years old today.

Happy Birthday, Bear!

Where did the time go?!