Saturday, July 31, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Do you feel that you'd do something if you only had more time, energy, and money, or fewer commitments, debts, and people draining your resources?
Yeah, me too.
I've been praying about this. I have the desire to do more for my Lord and have been taking inventory of the resources I have at hand. I don't have much, but I do have this blog. I think that it is time for it to start earning its keep and I don't mean by monetizing for my own personal gain.
What would happen if we teamed up and combined our efforts through this blog?
I'd like to adopt a ministry each month and challenge us (that's you and me together) to pledge a bit of money to it. It doesn't need to be great amounts of money because what YOU give and what I give will be combined to what the LORD gives and we already know about his ability to multiply resources like loaves and fishes. Imagine what He can do with a bit of pocket change!
Here are the rules of participation:
- I'll pick a ministry on the first Monday of each month.
- You leave me a comment stating that you will be sending $$ (minimum donation is $1) to that ministry.
- I will pledge $1 to the designated ministry for each person who leaves a comment naming their pledge, with my own pledge limited to $100 a month. (100 comments = $100 given by Karabeth Baptist Homeschool to that month's Ministry MATTERS recipient, 25 comments = $25 given by KBH, etc.)
- Each person who leaves a pledge (limit 1 pledge per person, not per household) will be entered in a drawing for an appropriate gift as a reward for participating. The winner will be randomly selected at noon Eastern Standard Time (or EDST) on the last Monday of each month.
- I will not be collecting the pledges or checking with the recipient to see if you paid. If you neglect to pay your pledge you will answer to God, but not to me. All pledges are to be mailed directly to the named ministry.
I hope you'll prayerfully consider participating.
I'll see you next Monday with our first Ministry MATTERS recipient!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I've only seen my rearranging efforts backfire once. Several years ago, the family cat went blind and I wasn't aware of that fact. She still maneuvered through our house with ease except for the occasional bump on the head when the dishwasher door was open. And she still caught mice.
All was well until the day I rearranged the living room furniture. The poor feline launched herself into the air expecting to land on a plump couch cushion. Instead, she bounced off the hard shelves of my knick-knack cabinet. Change was definitely painful for our kitty but she soon learned where to find her way to the couch again. And she soon got over losing her favorite swivel chair when it was sent curbside.
I'm currently making some changes here on the blog, too. Hopefully, nothing so painful that you stop dropping by for a visit. But if you hit your head on a hard shelf instead of a comfy couch cushion, metaphorically speaking, I hope you will realize that there is a purpose behind these changes other than just hormonal mood-swings (which should be reason enough, I'll admit).
My blind cat learned to adapt to changes and I trust that all of us will also. I promise that most of the comfortable things will still be here. And I'll try not to make the process too painful for any of us.
Friday, July 23, 2010
You should now see this menu option on your left. If you place your cursor over it two options will appear. It does not matter if you choose "Search the Library Catalog" or "Tips for Searching the Library Catalog" because both are found on the same page. Click on either option and read as much of the instruction material as necessary.
The next step is to choose your search options. Here is where the "tips" selection will come in handy. Suppose you are interested in a certain surname, either of an ancestor or of an author. Type the surname in "the word(s)" field. Choose the options in the "find" and "that" boxes to limit the search if necessary.
As an example, I chose the surname "Critchlow" as my search in "the word(s)" field since this is one of my family lines. I found that if my choices were too narrow (such as author, title, subject, or containing) I had few hits. But by making my "find" option "Anything" and my "that" option "closely match" I receive 12 matches, including manuscripts!
If I were to do the same with the surname "Smith" there would be far too many matches for the report. Therefore, I would need to limit my search options in either the "find" or the "that" box or both.
I can see from the results of my Critchlow search that the library contains items of interest to me. I can save them to a list. I do this by placing the cursor over the check boxes of those I wish to save.
Once I have compiled a list I can work with it even further. At the top of the page are buttons. The ones at the right are used specifically for working with the list. The list can be reviewed or it can be deleted.
For my own purpose, I would click on the "Review List" button. Not only does this bring up my list, but it even makes the items themselves hyperlinks to related material. By clicking on the hyperlinks I find more materials that I might not realize were pertinent to my family. I can then save more material to my list.
After I have compiled my list of desired research materials, my last step is to print it. There is no "print" button directly on the page, but by using my computer's print button I can easily print out a list of the books and manuscripts from the collections in the DAR library that I wish to see.
in 5 short years! Congratulations, son, on your accomplishment!
And thanks are due to his two masters who have invested much time, instruction, and encouragement in him. It was an honor to witness this goal realized today.
I've struggled mightily to get one week's worth of vacation from a month ago down in print and so far we've only gotten halfway. I'm not sure I can even remember the details now.
I've struggled in other ways, too. Specifically, with my thoughts and feelings.
One of those feelings is redundancy. Most things that are reported here are mimicked in other blogs with which I am connected through relationships or friendship with the writers. I think I want to go back to letting them tell our mutual stories.
Another feeling is the aloneness that comes from forced anonymity. I don't publish my name because there are people to protect, both the children and others who wish to retain their privacy. This is getting harder to do. I'm very fearful that something I (or others!) say will give ample opportunity to connect the dots.
Therefore, this blog is undergoing change. Our pictures have been removed from the sidebar. The email address is no longer published. Comments will now be moderated.
Some things will not change. The Bible reading schedule will go on. I intend to still post devotional material and genealogical hints. These are pretty much the things with which I am most familiar.
Those of you who know me by name can contact me on Facebook. As troublesome as it is, the fact that I'm not anonymous there is somewhat refreshing.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
To continue. . .
We checked out of our room in the 'burbs because we only had reservations for 3 nights. Since we had gotten such a good rate online we could not come to terms with the management. Pastor Dad attempted to secure further reservations online but our Wifi mysteriously stopped working. Hmm.
Okay, we know when we're not wanted. But we did some sight-seeing in the area before our departure:
NOT a great picture, I'll admit, but it was an afterthought. An almost-too-late afterthought.
Why do I visit Civil War battlefields, you ask? I don't know. I just do. I'm drawn to history like a moth to a flame. But you'd think I'd stop going to places that make me cry.
Why do places like Civil War battlefields make me cry? I don't know. They just do. To quote a line from the movie The Money Pit, "[I'm] complex." And to quote a line from The Sixth Sense, "I see dead people." Not really. Well, not like the boy in the movie, anyway. But in the moments I spend there I experience the fear, despair, patriotism (of both sides), and confusion of the people who lived the events. And even those who didn't die there are dead now. The pathos and utter tragedy of their stories make me weep.
Just common folks like you and I.
We left there and drove here:
This is the home of a very uncommon person.
The Mount Vernon Ladies' Auxiliary has done a magnificent job of keeping the memory of the Father of our Country alive. And as such, our nation's birth story. No tax dollars are used for the upkeep of this property.
After experiencing the displays on the property and in the educational center I'm loathe to have used the word "complex" to describe myself. If anyone was complex, it was George Washington! He was both a thinker and a doer. A lover and a fighter. An earthly inhabitant and a spiritual pilgrim. A great leader and a humble citizen.
I've always admired Washington, but now more than ever. Even his dying words attest to the source of his inner strength , "It is well," he said as his soul was departing.
After we left Mount Vernon we drove into the city where we had reservations for the last four nights. The hotel was AAA approved but I've considered calling the auto club to complain. It was here that I had nightmares the whole night long. No, that's inaccurate. "Nightmares" suggests "sleep" when actually very little of that happened.
It began from the moment we opened the door to our room and were greeted by a stench like I have never smelled before. We called the desk and were told that a maid would be there soon. No maid ever appeared but I located the source of the problem soon enough. That would be the mouse that ran across the room and stopped next to my open suitcase!
It was too late in the evening to find other accommodations so the manager moved us to another room. I wouldn't let Pastor Dad bring our suitcases in until he had opened and emptied them in the hallway. I didn't care if our tidy-whities were on display for all to see!
Even that wasn't enough precaution to dispel my reservations about our reservations. We cancelled the next three nights and worked to secure lodging elsewhere.
(To be continued . . .)
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Anyway, to return to events that took place almost a month ago. . .
Pastor Dad and I woke up Monday morning a bit sore from walking more than usual the night before, but we were prepared to resume our exploration of the city. But first, there were still more clothes to be purchased for the Bear.
We received a message asking for certain clothing items. I'll admit that I am partly to blame for this mishap. In my quest to make sure that he had all the required business clothes for his week at Leadership Training Institute of America, I forgot to put casual clothes on his packing list.
I take back what I said about Santa having nothing on mothers. I should've made my lists and checked them thrice. A quick run to K-Mart remedied the situation and for a lot less money than the cost of the dressy wardrobe!
After dropping the purchases off at the dorm in Arlington we made our way into DC. The Daughters of the American Revolution website tells how to get to Continental Hall from two different stops on the Metro. Neither is extremely close to the building but we were not adverse to more walking. So that's how this Daughter found herself posing for this picture:
I spent a couple of hours inside doing genealogical research (some hints and how-to's coming in a future post!) while Pastor Dad graciously toured the museum and the period rooms furnished by various state organizations. He showed me around once I had finished in the research room.
Continental Congress convened a few weeks after our visit. I've never participated in one of our Congresses but hope to have that opportunity one day.
For my fellow-Ohio Daughters (Is it correct to call you "fellow" Daughters?) here is a picture of the Ohio room. Ohio Daughters might host a tea while "at home" in the room:
When we departed the DAR we wandered toward the White House. My, but things have changed since I was a kid and 9-11 (two events which were not contemporary with each other, obviously) because the views of the White House that I remember as we drove by are now seen by foot if seen at all.
Perhaps we missed an opportunity to party at the White House! We saw that there was a catering van in the drive:
When it comes to Presidential parties, I wasn't in the mood to discover personally if the staff is any better at "making a list, checking it twice" than I am so we continued our walk. We circled around to see the other side:
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Armed with a new cache of energy we left the motel in the 'burbs and drove 30 miles back into the city to go to church. Neither Pastor Dad nor I had been in DC in oh, say, about 35 years so we had neglected to pay attention to the fact that just because one is armed with a street's name is not enough. One must also know its directional designation in relationship to the Capitol and The National Mall (NW, NE, SW, SE), We didn't know that then but we learned the hard way.
Asking for directions to a certain street will result in having the person tell you that there are 2 streets by that name and in order to help they will need more information. Sort of like me asking, "Bear, did you pack such-and-such . . ." and having two boys answer. Which boy are you asking? Or, for instance, to which D Street do you wish to go, madam? Hmm.
Thanks to being up and at 'em so bright and early we had plenty of time to repent of the error of our ways, get the proper address and directions, and go to church.
Later in the day we bought our passes and traveled around the city via the light rail system. We were scheduled to meet the Bears and their group at their dorm in the late afternoon but since we had plenty of time we made our way to Arlington National Cemetery. The place was packed and people were lined up everywhere waiting for tour buses. We decided to return another day.
We eventually made our way back to meet the group just in time to take the walking tour of the monuments with them. At several locations one of their teachers would give talks (they don't like to use the word "lectures") about the person being memorialized and some of the inscriptions found within. The students would then be led in a patriotic anthem, which would invariably lead to applause from passersby, before being dismissed for several minutes of assigned research and reflection before meeting back together and moving on to the next one.
(None of these people were in our group. But evidently the Lincoln Memorial is a popular location for group "talks.")
It was because I suddenly became aware of the vast funeral-like service going on around me. For all I know it could be like that every day of the year but for the first time that day I remembered that it was Father's Day. Many were there to visit the name of their father on that wall. It would take several posts for me to tell you of the stories I overheard as I passed through there, but I won't. Father's Day was also why Arlington National Cemetery was so crowded as dads who didn't come back from war were honored by their sons and daughters at places where they felt closest to their memories.
The events of the day - the church service, the monuments built to great Americans, the students singing Christian patriotic anthems, the families honoring the sacrifices of their loved ones, and the surging thankfulness in my heart for the privilege of being an American - all made my day blessed indeed.
God bless America!
Friday, July 9, 2010
(Our alarm does not "buzz" or "ring." It chirps frantically as if every bird in the world is waiting for us to get up and feed them breakfast.)
I didn't have any trouble arising despite the fact that I had only had three hours sleep.
(Three hours, that is, if I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow. Which I didn't.)
But getting out of bed was not a problem. Neither was getting up the Bear and the Bear.
(We really did have two Bears sleeping in this house that night. The other boy going to DC with us had the same first name as our son. It got confusing at times as we would say things like, "Bear, did you remember to pack . . .," and both boys would chime in with synchronized voices, "Yes.")
We were on the road by 3:45. Of the two of us, Pastor Dad is the early bird and I am the night owl.
(The trouble was, we weren't sure under whose jurisdiction this insane hour fell!)
Pastor Dad started out driving. For the first hour or so we were on familiar and semi-familiar roads to Columbus, Ohio. I think I dozed a time or two but I've become one of those people who rarely sleeps in the car.
(It didn't used to be a problem, but now I've reached the conclusion that I don't want the prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep . . . If I should die before I wake . . ." to have anything to do with riding in a car.)
As we passed Columbus and made our way east the light of dawn began to appear. I knew from experience that Cambridge had a Bob Evans restaurant so we decided to stop there to fill our stomachs and to allow the sun to rise higher in the sky.
(Just as a finger down the throat causes a gag reflex - or so I've observed in others - the sun in the eyes causes said eyes to want to close. We needed to avoid that happening at all costs.)
After breakfast we hit the road again with Pastor Dad behind the wheel. He drove for about another hour before he was ready "to rest his eyes" for "a few minutes." The coffee he'd had at breakfast wasn't doing much to help him stay awake so I didn't have much hope for the 2 cups of hot tea I'd consumed.
(Oh, ye of little faith! God bless the distributors of "English Breakfast tea!")
As I guided our car down the stretch of interstate before us, Iris - our GPS - was the only voice to converse with me for awhile.
(Unless you count Michael Buble, Billy Joel, Beethoven, Abbot & Costello, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Nicole C. Mullen, and Veggie Tales' Silly Songs With Larry playing on my iPod. I have very eclectic tastes. On second thought, perhaps Billy Joel wasn't one of the voices as I had to skip over "Lullabye: Goodnight, My Angel" for obvious reasons.)
Time and miles ticked by. Occasionally one of the males in the car would murmur a question about our location but otherwise it was me, Iris, and the iPod doing our thing.
(And the cars with kayaks on them, and little old ladies out a day early for their Sunday drives because they knew it was going to take them that long to get to Virginia as slow as they were going, and the occasional state trooper making sure that little old ladies like me remember that there are no awards given for arriving in DC ahead of schedule.)
Early in the afternoon, activity began buzzing around me. The males in the vehicle were awaking for the day. Offers to drive began to be heard.
(That would be Pastor Dad and the other Bear. Our Bear would love to have the opportunity, but alas! he must wait another year before he can make the offer. And have it rejected.)
While it would've been nice to change drivers the chance to do so had pretty much passed. We were on the outskirts of Washington DC and the traffic was picking up something fierce!
(That, and the fact that I had no clue exactly where we were going besides "Arlington, VA" and Iris was picking some very odd routes to get us there. Even I could see that, and I wasn't even sure where I was at the moment.)
After a brief excursion down "Cabin John" beside a beautiful park along an old canal, we made our way into the outskirts of the city and watched for the streets and exit ramps that Iris was hurriedly spouting off.
(My sleep-deprived brain and driving-fried nerves were causing my reading and comprehension skills to be somewhat delayed. "Recalculating" became the parrot-cry of the hour.)
We finally made it to the building where we were to leave the Bears. Construction in that city block, and especially on that specific building, made it seem like we would never get our mission completed.
("First time around the block, you jump out Bear #1. The next time around, you jump out Bear #2. Then we'll throw out your luggage piece by piece as we circle. And if we are blessed enough to get a red light, we'll get this baby unloaded in no time!" was the thought swirling around in my weary head.)
I saw a parking garage just down the block! Yes! Unfortunately, there were no empty spots, which we didn't know until we were inside. I circled a time or two before reaching the end of my endurance.
(By that, I mean that I started sobbing, "I want to get out of this car! I've got to get out of this car!!!! NOW!!!! Bear #1 probably thought, "Hold it together, Mom! Don't embarrass me in front of my friend!" and Bear #2 probably thought, "Our pastor's wife has completely gone off her rocker!")
Thursday, July 8, 2010
First, there was the shopping. Contrary to others' opinions, this was not a vacation. In our family a trip is defined by how many dress clothes one must take along. No dress clothes might* mean a true vacation. Several sets of dress clothes mean that Pastor Dad will be preaching as a visiting speaker and we will be attending each session. On such trips we add as many vacation elements as we can to provide some leisure. Sight-seeing might consist of brief moments seeing what the locale has to offer in way of amusement, cuisine, or historical significance. "Dress clothes required" trips are not to be spurned, but they're not technically vacations either.
(*An exception to the definition: church camp is not a vacation even if we don't take dress clothes! There's always one brave soul who will ask me after I return from a week away at church camp if I enjoyed my "vacation." Sigh! I say "brave" because so far the looks I've given the person have not resulted in injury but I fear there's a first time for everything. )
This trip, it was not Pastor Dad and I that required multiple two-suiters. It was the Bear. And given the fact that the Bear has grown significantly taller in the past few years the pickings in his closet were less than he needed. (More like slim and none.) Therefore, for the price of what it would cost to be hooked up to an EKG machine in the emergency room we bought the Bear a new dress wardrobe. I'm kidding, of course. It's just that when I saw how pale Pastor Dad became when he paid the cashier I began to fear that we were going to be making a first-hand comparison shortly.
Okay, shopping done. On to the next item on the list.
Second, there was school to do. We're still at it. We've been blessed with several "dress clothes" trips this year and we think traveling with Pastor Dad is one of the perks of homeschooling. Therefore, the actual bookwork has to be done at more unconventional times, like summer.
Okay, school work for the week was done. On to the next item.
Third, there was Father's Day to consider. We're very blessed to have our fathers in this area. We were also very un-blessed in that we would be nowhere near this area on Father's Day this year. So that meant making sure greetings were made in advance of the actual day. Cards and gifts were bought and delivered. No dads fainted due to receiving their gifts early.
Okay, done. On to the next item on the list.
Fourth, there was my upcoming family reunion and the genealogy book that I've been writing in honor of it.
Uh, undone, on both counts. I would not be attending the reunion again this year, and the book would not be completed either. But I worked hard to get a partial prototype printed out for viewing. It was all I could do under the circumstances.
Fifth, there was Pepper to take to the vet for her booster shots so that she could go on her own little trip to the kennel.
Okay, done. Keep going...
Sixth, there was Pepper to take to the kennel. She hates this part. I hate this part. Our usual kennel was booked solid so we had to use one that is reputable but definitely not folksy like our favorite. This one treats her like it is their job or something. Our usual one treats her like she's a guest.
Okay, done on Friday afternoon. On to the another item on the list.
Seventh, there was the Bible reading schedules to put on the blog. Since I wasn't sure of the Internet reception at any of the places I'd be staying (or even where I'd be staying part of that time!) I typed them in advance and scheduled those schedules to appear on schedule.
Done! On to the last item on the list.
Eighth, there was laundry and packing to be completed. Making the lists, checking them twice. Santa has nothing on mothers.
Okay, done! The busy week preparing for the trip was complete at midnight on Friday! Time for some sleep before the alarm went off on Saturday morning . . . at 3 a.m!
(Still, to be continued!)
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We had had the chance to be together as one BIG happy family on Memorial Day on the last day of May. That's the picture in my previous post. If you want to know what blessings are, then take a look at that photo again. My in-laws hosted a cookout that was attended by each of their children and grandchildren plus spouses. They host the cookout every year but I think this might be the first time that there has been 100% attendance. Stars on the attendance chart for everyone!!!!
And I was seriously remiss in not thanking Kelly for taking the picture that appeared on the blog. I was in the picture so obviously I was not taking it. And I'm not quick enough for one of those timer thingies. Kelly took many, many shots of our group. Thanks again, Kelly!
The week after Dan and Lisa returned to Vegas we had VBS at church. It was a good week, but not without problems. It isn't unusual for us to have "issues" with children - and we expect that to happen - but this time our visiting guest speaker and family had problems. Our speaker was a missionary back in the States for a few months and he and his family graciously consented to help us out. In other years we've had a different chapel speaker for the older kids each night but thought that a bit of continuity might be nice for a change. It wasn't to be. One of the family's married children collapsed in a distant state midweek and was taken to the hospital. That meant worried traveling for our friends and scurrying around to fill the voids they left when they departed so quickly for us. The good news is that their son's illness was diagnosed quickly and the proper course of treatment was begun in a timely manner. We've heard that he is to be off work for at least another 6 weeks but that he should experience a full recovery.
After the fun and "not fun" parts of VBS we capped off the week by celebrating Fen's first birthday. It was supposed to be a swimming party but the weather didn't cooperate. All the festivities were moved inside. As you can see, the Birthday Boy seemed to have a good time regardless.
Here was his cake:
These next two pictures are of him thoroughly devouring Oscar the Grouch. Thankfully, Fen showed no signs of being a grouch himself as he was a perfectly charming little recipient of all the gifts and attention showered upon him that day.
Soon the little guy was in need of a nap and we were in need of the opportunity of departing for another party, this time for a young gentleman who recently graduated from high school. That party was also to be a cookout/pool party that got relocated inside due to the weather, but I noticed that even bad weather cannot diminish the party spirit when one has achieved one of life's major milestones. So congratulations again to our little Fen and the Bear's friend, Eric.
And that brings us up through just the first 2 weeks of the month. From there, things got even busier!
(To be continued...)
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Oh, wait! I seem to recollect a birthday followed closely by Mother's Day, followed closely by a birthday, followed closely by another birthday, followed closely by Memorial Day.
And that brings me to a photo of the holiday that most think designates the first official day of summer.
I'm not going to put names. Those who need to know, already know.
With one exception: yes, that's our little Sweet Pea turning around in the wrong direction. Since she isn't old enough to read a blog post she won't know. Suffice it to say that in the dozen other photos taken that day one or more readers looked. . . well, . . . unflattering. And I try to be careful not to insult my actual readers. :)
We've reached the summit and have crested the hill. We're halfway through the year already! I pray that reading your Bible this year has brought you many mountaintop experiences.
Someone once said that time flies when you're having fun and I think that should especially be true for God's people. After all, we're the ones who are told to redeem the time because the days are evil, and to rejoice and be glad in the day that the Lord has made. He redeemed me from a life of slavery to sin so surely I can redeem the time by reading His Word each day. Doing it with the proper perspective of "WHO HE IS" and "who i am" insures that each evil day will automatically come equipped with a mountain-top experience!
So don't give up on reading now! You've made it to the halfway mark. Keep going! Keep reading! If you've fallen behind, forget the past and move on. Begin reading with us right here, right now, with this week's schedule. Ask the Lord to help you make Bible reading a top priority in your life.
If it is as hot in your part of the world now as it is in mine, perhaps you've traded a cup of hot tea for a glass of iced tea when you sit alone with the Lord. Bring whatever is appropriate for your physical refreshment but leave the spiritual refreshment to Him. You'll be pleasantly surprised as you "taste and see that the Lord is good."
Happy second half of the year!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Some things have changed through the years:
- He doesn't buy his clothes in the children's department like he did when we were younger, but then, neither does his teenaged son!
- He doesn't go toe-to-toe with small children anymore, unless he chooses to take on one of his grandchildren in those rare moments of tantrum throwing. Why bother? God gave each one of them parents of their own to handle the hi jinks. Sit back and enjoy the show!
- I don't love him like I did when we first met, either. But then, that's because I love him so much more now than I ever imagined possible way back when!
Have a great birthday, honey! You've earned it!
And rest up because those same grandchildren are coming this evening to help you celebrate. And they're bringing their parents, too. :)