Tuesday, March 31, 2009

When Monday Happens on Tuesday

I should have gotten the clue when instead of sunshine streaming in, it was grey clouds, and the patter of raindrops could be heard on the windows. Maybe if I hadn't tripped getting out of bed, or had a lightbulb in the bathroom blow just as I flipped the switch. Maybe if as I headed downstairs, to get a new lightbulb I hadn't managed to step in a beautiful hairball, still warm mind you..maybe if..just maybe.
At this point it is just after 6am. I clean up the hurk, then head back upstairs to screw in another bulb. Oh yeah, I'm praying.
Taking a deep breath I flip the switch, it works! Praise Jesus! The house is still quiet as Sweetie is at work and the boys are still in dreamland. I'm on a mission. Bible study today fell on "fruits of the spirit". Go figure, that is what we studied in Small group this week.
After Bible study, I've gotta get a resume faxed. Simple task right? Ha, not in my world. The printer I have at home doesn't work, in the trash it goes! So, bright idea, I will go to Kinkos! hmmph! If I'd known how that was going to turn out I would have stayed home!
Kinkos, one person working. No problem, I'm the only one in the store. They open at 7am I was there by 7:08. With as much "happy" I could muster I send out a hearty "Good Morning!" Gal replies.. "it's too early for me". Nice. It's okay, not everyone is a morning person.
My resume and cover letter are on a USB, so I plop down insert my debit card so I can pay .30 cents a minute to use their computers. Well, guess what? The computer doesn't recognize it (the USB). Chickie is on the phone complaining about her hair to someone.. I'm watching the clock count down, as the charges to my card go up.. while I wait.
Bottom line, she couldn't do much but answer phones, and complain. I never could get it to work, download or anything. So I figure I've paid enough for nothing, and cancel my session. I am now ready to make a copy and the machine is still warming up.. SOOO I decide while that is happening I will scan my application. Guess what? yes, it isn't working. Chickie doesn't know how to work it. Seriously?
At this point, I remember I have my stuff on a disc also. No, of course it isn't with me, so I drive home in the rain to go get my disc. Maybe this will work. Back to Kinko's. Now the computer will not read the disc. Try another computer. Same issue. Chickie is on the phone again. Now there are others in the building trying to get things done. Looks like the copier is working...Scanner still not scanning, disc still not reading. I'm done. Yes, my patience is not shining brightly at the moment. I recall our Bible lesson on self control. This keeps me from saying anything on my way out the door for the second time this morning. I consciously decide to pray so my mind won't think ugly thoughts.
Upon praying again inside the car, an idea of taking this all to a friend comes to mind. With a quick phone call, I get that set up. Praising God for helping my cell phone work, and for her to answer. I continue down the road. Sitting at a light on Wilma Rudolph, I hear the squeal of brakes. Instinct makes me check my mirrors..Then the light.. mirrors then the light.. I inch up closer, I know less than half of my car is now over the white line where you are to stop... but I didn't want to get hit.
So this idiot behind me who wasn't paying attention manages to stop inches - if that from my car. I literally saw the hood disappear! The dude next to me who was also watching this, rolls down his window and shouts something colorful to the driver behind me.. he motions for me to roll the window down, asks me if I'm okay.
"Absolutley, they didn't hit me." The light turns green and we are off again.
My heart was still thumping in my chest realizing that this morning could be a lot worse.
I got to my friends workplace without further incident, got the fax sent off and left. In prayer again, I praise God for keeping me safe, and wow what a morning!
Hoping this was just a ka-winkie-dink..I progress with my morning.
Not until around 11ish does my world crash again. Literally. Remember the wind,rain situation outside.. well we got new windows recently. Not all of them have been sealed. (another story) So, I'm talking to my middleschooler in his bedroom doorway and pop! Yes, POP~! The window, the bottom part that goes up and down pops out through his blinds which were closed with a big crash and sounds of glass breaking..OH yeah!
First thought in my head was.. did my kid open that window? The terror on his face tells me that is not the case. I ask anyway. No, he didn't touch it. We were both afraid to look and see what happened, but since I'm the adult that is home at the moment, well.. that would be me; I know I have to take care of it. The window has fallen out of the frame part, as I can see the warped metal. However, it is still hanging in the frame. There is a beautiful replica of the St. Louis arch across the inside glass of the window. The corner that hit on the corner of the window sill (proof to me it wasn't secure) is busted and that is where the glass on the floor comes in. Sigh.
Phone rings! Yes, Jesus? No such luck. This is my friend wondering how my morning is. I think she could tell by my tone, now was not a good time! She got off the phone so I could make the necessary calls.
My window guy, you know the one that hasn't sealed the windows? He comes out and says, "Oh, your window wasn't latched". I feel the heat on my neck. If I was a cartoon character.. there would have been a black cloud over my head!
"I haven't opened this window since your guys were here". Be proud as I didn't bite his head off.. it was a firm reply. (spoken through gritted teeth).
"We will replace the glass in this window. Why didn't you latch this window back after it fell out?"he says.
"okay, it is bent. I figured I wouldn't break it anymore. I double checked the latches on the other windows I found others that weren't sealed either."
If you were an observer at this moment, you would probably laugh as this guy is trying to shove my window back in all the while the wind is blowing rain in on him.
I am handing him tape, so more glass doesn't spill into the floor; the window gets taped shut. With a hammer and screwdriver it is "fixed for now".
Both boys are afraid that I am going to hurt this guy as I see them peer into the room, while the oldest goes," everything alright in here?" They knew how ticked I was. I wanted my windows sealed before this rain came in!
"Yes, son it is. And it will be." is my reply. I have to believe that in order to make it through the rest of this day.
Lord willing, there will be no more calamities. I plan to stay put. For now.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Girls day

Every once in awhile, I am able to get out with a friend or two and spend a good part of a day shopping. This is truly a treat as it doesn't happen often! I'm thinking somehow it should work out once a month for sure! Sweetie and my two boys aren't interested in shopping unless it involves a Best Buy!
My best bud and I hit the road mid morning and checked out a local Pregnancy center and looked around, took pictures and made notes as to what needed improvment around the building. This would be an awesome project for a group to complete for this privately run charity organization.
Just before lunchtime we hit the road. We went to a couple of "must stops" favorite shops ect. and stopped to eat lunch at the Loveless Cafe. Having never been, I was excited! Oh it was yummy. I got the special, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, with fried okra. MMMmmm. They brought some delightful flaky homemade biscuits to the table for us to eat on while we waited. All over the walls are pictures of by gone days, and several celebrities that have visited and left their pic with an autograph. What a wonderful time!I do hope to go back sometime, but was thrilled to mark it as one of the things off my bucket list! (a bucket list is a list of things/places you want to go before you die). We were able to go into a couple shops there, there were many more, but they weren't all open. Weird!
OH, funny thing. I was walking into one of the stores with my friend when a member of my small group hollered across the parking lot to me. Just knowing that there must be another person around with my name, I didn't turn around, but when I heard the more insistant tone in my name, I twisted around to see who it was. Fun stuff! See, this is why I can't ever sneak off, somehow I always manage to run into someone I know, no matter where I am! Funny stuff! It's even happened in my travels overseas.
Next on the agenda was a bridge she wanted me to see on the Nachez Trace. Since I've never been there either, it was fun! Big bridge! wow! The arches on it were neat. We took each others picture there while we were at it!
Onward to a couple more stores and we were finished. We really didn't buy that much. Less than $100, Sweetie was thrilled to see. For dinner, we splurged. We went to the Melting Pot. It is a fondue restaurant. I've never done that, either. How fun. Mind you, don't be in a rush! This is a 2.5 to 3 hour event. For the meat you cook your own food! Fun!
I'm already looking forward to whenever the next girls day comes around!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Preteens part Deux

Skating.. I hadn't skated in awhile. How fun! This time I was referred to as the old one. Ha! OLD! I am pleased to say that I was one of only maybe three host home old people on the floor. And those three didn't stay on the floor near as long as I did. I love to skate! I would ice skate or roller skate until I ache if allowed to. (I ached a little Saturday night, but so did the college kids, hee hee)Oh, and guess what? I can still skate backwards!
It was fun skating with the boys, mine and my adopted bunch. They were impressed. I was too!
Then on toward home we went. IT was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was shining and it was about 68. We set up tables and grilled burgers and hotdogs. The kids had chips galore and a cake to eat too! They continued to play manhunt and some other games involving cap guns. In no time they were stuffed to the gills and ready to head back to church for another group time.
Since we got there early the boys learned how to play silent football. Its neat! The kids sit in a circle and use hand signals to throw the ball, block the ball, catch it & something else. I didn't pay huge attention. Remember Im going on little to no sleep. I was just glad they were being quiet, having fun and not bothering me.
THe next game we involved 7th grade boys. Some sort of sheep bomb game. Basically you have to be in a big circle and wrap your lips around your teeth so no teeth show. Then one person starts by saying "sheep" to the one to his right. (without laughing) That person can either turn to the next person and say "sheep" or look back at the original person and say "Sheep bomb" which means now they go in the opposite direction. WHen someone is talking and can't use their teeth it sounds so funny. When you laugh and show your teeth, you start by shaking one hand, if you get caught doing it again, you now have to shake both hands, if a third time you shake your head. By this point everyone is laughing and it is just a big mess.
The boys loved both games and I knew I would be hearing "sheep bomb" many times in the days ahead. And I have.
Once the singing and the speaker finished, most of the boys were nodding off. They drug their sleepy bodies into the various cars and we went home. Upon arriving at the house, they had re-energized. They bounded out of the cars and out into the backyard, squealing all the way. Mind you it is after 10:30pm.
When I come into the house one of the leaders tells me that the band is on the way to the house to pick up one of the college leaders. Okay, no biggie. The band came in from Virginia beach, VA.
The band shows up around 11ish. They are ready to go until they see I have a piano and drums and well, long story short, guitars come out and we have a grand time praising Jesus! The windows were open and the neighbors got an earful, but I stood in the yard to see how bad it was, and it wasn't. So beautiful! The light wrapped around these precious young people as the music poured out the windows, their love for their Savior poured out too! My heart was filled to overflowing!
That overflow lasted until they left and the kids just kept singing. Nate, our Highschool senior pulled the kids away from music so they could have a final devotion time together. It was bittersweet as the kids realized the weekend was coming to a close.
It is now past midnight. There are three kids that ask if they can go to bed! (Again I send up a prayer of thankfulness to Jesus). The rest want to stay up to watch a movie. We get the kids divided up and they settle in to watch the movie. Most didn't make it to the end. I tried to sleep, but have a hard time when there are little people I'm ultimately responsible for. Why wasn't sweetie in on this? Well, he had to work, so it was my deal! The last kid fell out around 2ish.He was still fighting to stay awake. I had enough and told him the TV was off and he was going to bed. He asked if he could still watch it. I said,"no,and I would be glad to cut off all electricity". He smiled and laid down. At this point I figured if I could sleep by 3 then I could sleep for almost 4 hours as I didn't have to have the kids up until 6:45am.
6:30am I came downstairs and prayed for each of the kids, I had grown fond of their little quirks. Then I played some praise and worship music with a beat, and as the kids got up I prepared them for the morning schedule.Half were to shower, while those were showering, the others got their belongings together. I wanted everything out on my porch by 730am. This worked well. (Ya know you have to give boys one command at a time as anything more would be overload..)
The kids did well, and we headed for church at 815am, they were eating breakfast by 830 and we all sat together for church service. It was rather fun. The best part was when our pastor was about midway through his sermon. Those little heads were nodding! hee hee! I know a couple fell asleep. They had to be the best kids ever at home that afternoon evening as I know they slept like a rock!
I will make up my sleep over the next few days. An investment in children, of any age, is storing up treasure, and shaping our future generation.
I'm commiting today to pray for the kids we will host next year. I loved it!
Ya know, I think I know what I will do one day..be an active volunteer in a childrens home. I support them now, but hope that my home, and my life is never absent of the sound of children's laughter.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekend with Preteens

Wow! With Mountain Dew surging through my veins, I am now awake and able to take on the avalanche of middleschool boys surging through our home. Usually by 10:30pm I'm snoozing my way into dreamland at a steady pace. Last night.. ha! Bible study didn't start until 11, so we had the 9 boys come in and drop their stuff. Then they were hungry and thirsty.. so yes, we went there. Then they jelled in devo time.. next activity? Outside! Yes, no matter that it is 36 degrees and 1240..its time to play outside. Armed with flashlights and jackets they decend upon the clubhouse and turn our quiet backyard into mayhem. (I warned the neighbors!)
Thanks to the cold they weren't out there long. Next comes a fooseball match. This lasted best out of three, then best out of nine.. can you see a pattern developing here?
1am. I'm feeling the tired. The kids are winding down, praise GOD! The leaders are actually more tired than the 6th graders! (leaders being my highschooler and college kid)By 1:30 the leaders were asleep, and the kids were just into the whispering/calling girlfriends, texting..listening to IPOD's.
Sweetie marches downstairs and tells them final lights out.
Somewhere around 2ish I fell asleep. 5:20 someone gets up to use the bathroom, so I'm awake. Its okay Ive got breakfast to make.
The kids are up and showered by 7am. Our fearless leaders are still in bed! ha! wow.
8 am we are eating our massive breakfast. 9am is small group time. What an awesome God time that was! These kids have no problem praying aloud or sharing.. it is something. Deep stuff was discussed in a mature manner. (could be my delerium)No, seriously they were great. They rolled up their bags, stacked them, helped clean up.. wow!
We had a moment for the kids to all gather around the piano and praise music just sounded up and down the street! GOOD STUFF!
Off to church we go for morning group...great speaker in from VA. Kids gel again and its pizza time! I counted 30ish pizzas! Our group hoovered 7..by themselves.
1pm we are heading back to the house for some group "manhunt" game..I don't know ask the boys. I have some awesome pics I will download.
Now I'm waiting on devotion time again and 2:30 we are taking the kids skating. This will last til5pm then back here for dinner. Plan is to grill out burgers and hotdogs. Ive got a lot of soda pop and chips and snack stuff for them to gorge themselves on!
That is the point in time.. Im in now.. so the rest for later!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Varying Shades of Grey need to Go Away!

Looking out the window from my office chair, I see proof that there have been some nice days. Trees are budding! Yay! There are some really pretty colors going on out there. The color I'm trying to ignore is the grey.
Grey... Its not black, its not white.. its in between. If I step outside the door, it is 20ish degrees cooler than yesterday.
This weather is wonky. I feel for the flowering trees and bulbs that have been seduced into sprouting, just to be frozen tonight and tomorrow.
I was starting to feel as if I was sprouting also. A part of me comes alive when I can work outside, and feel the warmth of the sun on my face! I love it when the weather warms up. It gives me a chance to get my hands in the dirt again!
The weather, just like our lives, changes daily. How we roll with these changes says alot about our character.
Today reminds me to not only send up praise to God in the sunshine, but on the grey days also.
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
Psalm 138:1-3
" I give you thanks O Lord, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. As soon as I pray, you answer me; and you encourage me by giving me strength. NLT

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekend Work

Weekend? What weekend? Wow! This weekend was warm and mostly sunny! Translation?
Outside projects.
To start this off right.. Saturday I promised a family friend that the boys and I would be by to help her get some yardwork done. Man! We got all kinds of stuff done! I got a bunch of plants dug up so that they can be placed somewhere else in her general plan of making it look like a Japanese garden area. Bushes were trimmed, and the boys moved rocks and have started a very nice rock wall! Looking good! Oh, I raked too. I mean I raked, and raked, and then we all raked again. This house has a lot of trees around it, and I am sure that several leaves from surrounding neighborhoods blew in also! WOW! I actually have more raking to do! Anyway, after a portion was finished it sure was satisfying to see the raked flower beds,and the raked driveway! We can see fresh green grass in areas where decaying leaves once lay. Awesome! We unearthed some flowers that were poking their heads up! Yes, we were sore! Ohh! With our tired, achy, sunburned bodies we waved goodbye to our friend and went home and melted! Showers, and a 45 minute nap for me and all was better again. (we had a dinner to attend, so I had to be perky!)
As a family we decided it was time to buy new windows for the house. We have an older home with single pane windows, so the heating bills and air bills are not a pretty sight! Cha-ching! Yes, but we were smart and scouted around and found a great deal! Friday I had the vinyl guys at the house replacing rotting wood and putting up vinyl covering so we don't have to paint! Whoo hoo! Well, and it just all around looks better. I ended up painting anyway as our gutters were all pulled down. Why not? Snatch that opportunity, right?
We found out our columns on the front porch are also rotting. Ick. Anyway, to look at our porch now we have one column to keep it from coming down and some two by fours proping up the other end of the porch. New columns are on the way. Windows & shutters have been measured (we have rotting wood shutters too!), vinyl has been installed. Now we wait for the columns to come in so that the porch is no longer jacked up. You wouldn't believe the attention our house got by neighbors this weekend. Just do a little work.. and here they come! Maybe this will start something and we can improve our streets curb appeal!
Sunday after church, the boys and I painted gutters, mowed the grass and pulled weeds. So, all in all a very productive weekend!
My hope is that this project of ours is finished before 20-23rd of this month. Reason? Our church is putting on a weekend for middleschoolers/highschool kids where they "get away" and experience God. As a host home we are part of that "get away". I'm expecting a house full of sixth grade boys, two teenagers and another set of parents to help us/me out. (I say me as Sweeetheart has to work a 12 hour weekend shift Saturday and Sunday). This means late, late nights and a full house, but most of all, being able to hang out with some awesome kids! I am looking forward to it! There will be devotionals and trips around town,snacks,cookouts,whew! To top it off the kids are involved in a Sunday skit our church puts on monthly called, CrossStreet Live. That will be a FULL weekend!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Today, like any other day; I opened my email and started responding to those I knew, and sending to the trash the ones I didn't know. My email screen has been changed permanently. Meaning. Previously I had it where it took up half the page..the other half if your mouse was laying on the email it would show you what was in that email.
Well.. let me tell you!
I was horrified! Smut! I was sent smut, like pornographic smut. From someone I knew years ago. Haven't physically (or for that fact, even emailed this person in years) commuicated with this person in a long, long time. Kicker is... this person sent a very neat slideshow laying out the plan of salvation first. I hadn't clicked on the second email yet as I was just finished with the slideshow. However, in my brief recess from email, when I came back to it.. there it was smut on my computer!
The boys could have walked in, had they not been very involved in a game of dodgeball in the backyard with neighbor children. I was so embarassed!
I promptly sent off a polite note to this person to please not send any more emails. I have no desire to even read "the good stuff" he is also capable of sending.
Ick! The very idea I had to see that was an invasion of my mind, and I am angry!
What's worse, did this person think I would truly think this was neat or cool?
I'm truly hoping it was an accident!