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Changes

There are so many changes happening on/at/under/around (you pick the preposition) The Back Deck!  As you can see the appearance has changed!  I’ve updated my look.  I’m not sure I like it, but we’re trying it out to see if the new paint job fits!  I’m not sure how, but my blogroll has been deleted as well as my favorite sites.  I’m in the process of updating them, but I do not have a “list”, so if I accidentally omit yours, please comment and I will try to include it! 

Here inside the house, I’m already planning for our next year’s schooling.  It is a long, but rewarding process!  We are still finishing up our studies from last year, I think we can actually classify us as having school year round.  Although we really cut back on the subjects through the summer months. 

As far as the inhabitants in the house, here’s an update. . . . .

Greg’s full time job continues to be stressful.  They have laid off approximately 50 workers with more being added almost weekly.  A lot of good friends have been laid off and we are continuing to pray for them and asking that God provide for them not only financially, but spiritually. 

Gregory is now as tall as his dad if not taller.  He is growing into a fine young man in which I am very proud of.  He is still playing the piano for our church and loving every minute of it.  (Be in prayer for him, his teacher/mentor/friend is planning on moving out of the state next year and Gregory is very concerned about this!)  He has taken on a new hobby too, running.  He and his dad have been running about 2 miles every couple of days. 

Sydney is taller than I am now and becoming quite the young lady.  Her compassion and tenderness is evident in all that she does.  Her latest project has been an abandoned 1 1/2 week old kitten.  She had to bottle feed it several times a day and do all the things a mama cat does for her babies.  The kitten “Mo”  (short for my favorite Cardinal baseball player Molina) is doing well and is now able to eat from a dish. 

Jordan is rapidly catching me in height too.  (Looks like I’ll be the shortest one in the house.)  She is becoming a red-headed beauty just like her grandmother was.  There is never a dull moment with Jordan around.  She is an energetic, funny, helpful child in which I wish I had half her energy! 

I guess that leaves me. . . . My life is so wrapped up in my family I’m finding it hard to single anything out.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately at the hospital with my aunt.  She is fighting pancreatic cancer and recovering from surgery.  The 19th of June was our annual Relay for Life in which I took part in honoring her as well as the rest of my family who have fought or is fighting cancer. 

Our family has made a couple of trips to Jefferson City in the past few months.  Here is why we went the first time.  The second time was a little more leisurely.  We were able to tour each part of the capital.  Pictures to follow.  Stay tuned!

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Time

 

Close Up of Old Gilded Clock with Roman Numerals

 

Where does the time go?  It seems as if only yesterday I was writing about my blogging hiatus, and it’s been three weeks ago.  Wasn’t it just last month that we moved?  No, we are fast approaching the two year mark living in our new house, Wow!  Then I was sure it was just a year or two ago when we started the adventure of homeschooling.  But when I checked the records, we are coming to the close of our sixth year.  So when I realize we are six years into homeschooling that reminds me that my husband has been pastoring our church for almost 9 years.  Earlier this year I couldn’t believe my baby turned 10 years old.  How could this precious little girl be the same red headed spit fire that  could twirl a pacifier around in her mouth without using her hands?  While we’re on the subject of children, my older daughter is, gulp, 13 years old.  She is no longer a child running around climbing on everything.  She is a sweet young lady which her mom doesn’t quite know what she would do without!  Since we are on the subject of children, our oldest, our only son, is now 15 and has his driving permit.  This is unbelievable.  Wasn’t it just yesterday when he was dancing to his favorite video and falling head long into the television requiring eight stitches?  Could that really have been 14 years ago?  Looking at my children and their rapid escape from infancy reminds me of how things got started.  Are we (my husband and I) really getting ready to celebrate 19 years of marriage? 

Where does the time go?  How do I make it slow down or stand still long enough to not only get everything I need to accomplish in one day done, but to actually treasure and delight in it?  How do I stop the time from flying by so fast that will be able to savor the marriages of my children and the subsequent grandchildren to come (if God so richly blesses us)?  When does time really cease to fly by? 

But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  2 Peter 2:8

I guess I will have to rest in the fact that the Lord is in control of all things, and all things are in His time!

graphics from Art.com

Blogging Hiatus

I cannot believe it has been 70 days since I’ve posted.  So much as happened!  We’ve been extremely busy these past few months!  Here are just a few things that have happened. . . . .

My son finally got his braces off and is now keeping up with retainers and brushing his “slick” teeth about 35 times a day.  He has celebrated his 15th birthday, and we are studying to take his test for a driving permit.  (Add the fact that he is in high school–still homeschooling–and working hard at Algebra II, Logic, Grammar, Apologia Science, as well as other things. )  He is still playing piano for the church and his piano teacher is challenging him in other areas as well. 

My older daughter has celebrated her 13th birthday and is becoming such a help to her father and I.  She is really becoming a godly woman.  She also has now taken her brother’s place in the braces department.  (She had her spacers placed the day her brother got his braces off!)  Her studies are becoming a little more challenging (7th grade) and require more time and effort, but she seems to be excelling as I knew she could!

My younger daughter also celebrated her birthday (nothing like having all three of them within 31 days!), she is now 10 years old.  Wow, the time does fly!  She is in the 5th grade and loving geography this year!  Aside from two loose teeth right now, she’s been amazingly healthy and injury free!

Don’t forget my husband!  Add the three months he  had to travel to St. Louis 4 times per week and the 60+ hour work weeks, another case of shingles, preaching, teaching, and hospital visits. 

You’d think with all of this going on, I’d have something to blog about,

Typography: Question Mark but, I guess I’ve been too busy too!  Hopefully I’ll be able to slow down, take a deep breath, and post occasionally!

Merry Christmas

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Winter in Suburbia" Print

Have a very Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year!

A Christmas Remembered

(Originally published 12/1/07)

How often does our God change our hearts? Why would He care for His own like He does? Are we not rebellious, sinful children? Having said that, let me tell you about “A Christmas to Remember”. It was Christmas Eve, our whole family was home, the children and I were baking and decorating cookies and I had a huge pot of chili simmering on the stove. The night before, the Lord had “blessed” us with about 14 inches of snow. The roads were still covered, the ditches were full, and the car was completely buried in the snow. Sounds like a perfect Christmas to a child, doesn’t it. The only issue was, our tradition was to spend Christmas afternoon/evening with my family. In order to do this, some major shoveling would have to be done. Guess who is elected for the job? My wonderful grouchy husband. Don’t get me wrong he’s normally is a very happy, full of fun, loving man, but not this year. For some reason he was really having a rough day. It had been about 25 years since he had lost his mom, and about 10 years since his father had passed away and he was really missing them (for the entire story, click here). Greg was really down and out right grumpy about this Christmas. Finally he said, “We’re NOT going!”

I was devastated and I said, “Well, you may not be going, but the kids and I are!” (Did I mention to you I had a small problem with submission? I’m getting better, but this is not a shining moment for me.) I then soften a bit and say, “My Mom and Step-dad are not in good health, I really think we need to go.”

Greg knew I was serious, so he donned his coveralls, put on his boots and slammed the door. The kids and I continued to decorate cookies. Let me step back and tell you about my “wardrobe”. I had on a pair of sweats, an over-sized sweatshirt, no makeup, and flour from head to toe, not to mention the rainbow of colored icing from the cookies all over me. Fast forward, Greg comes in after about an hour of shoveling to inform me that across the street a semi-truck had fallen into the snow covered ditch and couldn’t get out. Greg was sympathetic to this truck driver, due to the fact he works for a trucking company (Greg is a bi-vocational pastor). Here I am being compassionate for the poor man alone on Christmas Eve and stuck in the ditch, so I stop Greg from taking off his boots and tell him to take the man some chili and Christmas cookies. Grumbling, he appeases me. Well, the kids and I have basically destroyed the dining room, which is in full view of the front door, we are still icing and decorating away when Greg comes in with a sheepish look on his face. (Remember what I’m wearing, and how I’m looking.) He tells me the gas station where the man was seeking shelter was closing and the clerk’s eyes were pleading with Greg to do something. God breaks the ice which had surrounded Greg’s heart all day, and he tells the man he’s the pastor of the church across the road and asks him if he would he like to stay with us until help can arrive.

Before I can say anything, Greg steps aside, and an older Filipino man steps in. I’m speechless (imagine that!). He is holding his bowl of chili and his cookies and he begins to try to thank me. His English is broken, but understandable when you concentrate. I clear off a place at the table for him to set down and eat his food. He is very appreciative. OK, by this time my vanity kicks in and I’m mortified about the way I look, but this calm quiet man seems not to notice. Our family sat down to join Jun (the Filipino man) in his dinner. He offers to pray, and I have never heard such a heartfelt, Christ-centered prayer over the hospitality of strangers.

During the evening we spent with him (The only tow-truck able to pull out a semi was over 1 1/2 hours away without snow. The truck actually took about 6 hours to get there that day.), we were able to hear him call his family in the Philippians on his cell phone to wish them a blessed Christmas and we learned more about him. About 10:00 p.m. Jun decided he really wanted some time in his truck alone to pray before the tow-truck got there, but before he left, he told us goodbye and prayed the blessings of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob over our home. He also told each of the children what he perceived their “gifts” were. Amazingly, my children were only two, five, and seven, but as they’ve grown his thoughts have proven true. An hour later the tow-truck arrives, Greg goes out to help them, Jun drives off, and we are left contemplating the wonder of the evening.

Looking back, Jun was such a blessing. God used Jun to change Greg’s heart and we had a wonderful time with my family. The following November, my Step-dad passed away. That was the last Christmas we spent with him. Ten weeks later, my mom passed away. We were able to spend one more Christmas with her, but it was not anything like the year before. There was sadness and emptiness over our loss. Had Jun not gotten stuck in the ditch, we might not have had that last happy Christmas with my family.

Each year I reflect on Jun and the blessing he brought to our family. . .  How a man who was alone and many thousands of miles from his family brought us closer to our family.   

Use swagbucks to search on-line and earn prizes/money while doing it!  I don’t know about you, but I’m always searching for something on-line, especially with homeschooling!  But if you use swagbucks as your search engine, you can earn prizes/money while doing it!  Click on the link on my side bar to get more information!

Jennie Chancey at Sense and Sensibility now has e-patterns!  When you find a pattern you like, you can download it immediately.   The wonderful thing about this (Jennie says on her web page), is you can alter the size of the print out.  If you’re really creative and you want to make a doll dress to match your daughters dress, just print out the pattern at a reduced scale.  How great is that!

Check out her website for ALL of the details!