Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Second, I needed someone to watch the boys. I thought about asking my parents because they were the only people I knew with relatively free schedules. They are retired and they live in a 40ft. motor coach. But I felt like this was a lot to ask and I hesitated.
Finally, I needed about $800. This was to cover the cost of the hotels, plane flights, and food for the week. I knew we didn't have more than $200 we could afford to chip in, so I was going to have to ask friends and family for money. I wasn't looking forward to that.
The passport part was easy. I just went and got a new picture and then headed over to the courthouse to file my paperwork. It arrived in only two weeks, which must be some kind of record.
The other two needs were answered prayer. I did not have to ask anyone for anything.
My parents called me one afternoon. Hubby had told them about the trip. He had not asked them to come watch the kids, either. But they were calling to offer. I couldn't believe it! Not only that, but my dad said he'd do Caleb's schoolwork with him!
My parents also told my grandmother about the trip. She is a wonderful lady who supports missions all over the world. She called me and offered to pay whatever my church didn't. Just like that.
If I had doubted Whose voice was telling me to go to Cuba, I didn't any more. God had opened the way for me to get there.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
It was a Sunday morning in August 2003. We had arrived late to church, again. This is pretty much expected of us and I suspect the pastor would fall off the platform if he ever saw us sitting in the congregation before the start of the service. Anyway, we slid into a pew during the offertory and I picked up the bulletin to read the announcements.
One of the announcements was new that week. It said, basically, that Tim F. was looking for people to go on a missions trip to Cuba in November. As I read this announcement, someone whispered in my left ear, "You should go."
There was no one sitting next to me.
Now, you might think, as I did for a split second, that this was just my own brain saying something I wanted to hear. I quickly realized that first of all, when I talk to myself, I don't say "you," I say "I." Second of all, I did not want to go. Then that voice came again, quieter this time, almost soothing. "You don't have to go. But you should."
"Okay," I thought. I tapped hubby on the arm and pointed to the announcement in the bulletin. He nodded. After the service, he said, "You'd better go talk to Tim about that." So I did. I expressed an interest. He told me basically that we'd be carrying teaching materials to a Christian group in several locations around Cuba. Spanish would not be required because we'd have a guide.
I told him I'd let him know. The following week, I confirmed I would be going. It was a major leap of faith for me. I had three kids who would need someone to watch them, and hubby had no vacation time left that year. It would cost several hundred dollars we didn't have. But I knew if God wanted me to go, I didn't have to worry about any of that.
More to come!
Monday, August 29, 2005
Caleb is in fourth grade this year. I need to spend some time catching him up on his math. He understands all the concepts we've covered, but he has yet to memorize his basic facts. I'm not worried though. He wasn't reading at the end of first grade, so I repeated first grade language arts with him and now he reads at a 7th grade level.
Joshua is in first grade now. He is still learning phonics, but has already begun to apply what he knows and can read quite a bit on his own. He says math is his favorite subject, but he also loves art, particularly when we paint. No doubt he'll be creating many masterpieces this year.
And Noah, of course, is concentrating on learning to walk. He's cruising now, walking from object to object while holding on. It's only a matter of time.
And one of the really nice parts of homeschooling is I didn't have to buy new clothes or pack lunches.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Maybe if I tell them bedtime is at 5 p.m., I'll get a little peace and quiet in the evenings.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Yes, passion fruit-flavored Almond Joy. They also have Pina Colada, Key Lime and Chocolate Chocolate. I have only tried the Passion Fruit because they had a bag of the snack-sized ones on sale for $1.59. All I can say is, what is Hershey's trying to do to me? Don't they know how much trouble I have just walking past the normal Almond Joys?
Then I came across this picture of the New Products division at Hershey and all was explained.
Isn't he handsome? Those are our two middle boys, Joshua with me and Isaac on hubby's shoulders. This, incidentally, is the night Joshua fell asleep during dinner. He looks like he's almost asleep already.
Have a great Friday, everyone!
Thursday, August 25, 2005
You're The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!
by Douglas Adams
Considered by many to be one of the funniest people around, you are
quite an entertainer. You've also traveled to the far reaches of what you deem possible,
often confused and unsure of yourself. Life continues to jostle you around like a marble,
but it's shown you so much of the world that you don't care. Wacky adventures continue to
lie ahead. Your favorite number is 42.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Anyway, I figure it fits the Going Places theme. You know, boldly going etc. So let me know what you think.
Oh, and I switched to Haloscan comments because I couldn't get the Blogger code to work. So I haven't erased my previous comments, I have just changed the comment system.
Enjoy the new template, and let me know if there's anything you think I should tweak.
May the Force be with you!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
- bent on success (yes, I suppose that's true)
- the major goddess of the janarra (bow down and worship me)
- destined to be one of the stars of this unstoppable force (no autographs, please)
- a proxy server providing internet access via a single modem (then why am I having so much trouble getting online lately?)
- heel veel in een (huh??)
- 5'6" (that's true)
- right-handed (also true)
- a multi-talented bundle of energy (oh, stop!)
- taking a rest (don't I wish?)
- an artist that is starting to grow on me (get her off!)
- witnessing the whippings (an almost daily occurrence)
- what most people would call a model student (no argument here)
- a very special female (thanks, I'm blushing)
- very involved in prayer teams (of course)
- known for her fascintation with collecting stuffed wombat toys (wanna see my collection?)
And my favorite?
Jana is 100% correct. (It must be true, it's on the internet!)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
First off, have you checked out Oceanic Airlines' website? There are hidden messages all over the place. It's pretty cool.
And have you heard that someone else is going to die this season? But I heard it hasn't happened yet, so hopefully it's not Sawyer. Sawyer is too cool to die.
There are so many questions I hope they get around to answering this season. What happened to Jack's wife? What exactly did Kate do that got her arrested? How did Locke lose the use of his legs? Who built the "monster" on the island? Where are the other survivors ('cause you know there are some)? Who are these creepy guys who took Walt? Where does that ladder go?
And what are they putting on the DVDs of the first season that will give me clues to all these questions? You know they've put all kinds of hidden information on those DVDs. You know all the hardcore fans will be scouring every minute of the extras for clues. You know I have no money and the curiosity is eating me alive!
If anyone is looking for an early birthday gift for me, I'll take Lost: Season 1.
Monday, August 22, 2005
As if that weren't enough, this is also the week that Krakatoa exploded, killing 36,000 people. This page has the scoop on that one.
So I'm thinking this is a bad week to plan that trip to the volcano you've been thinking about. And I guess if you already live near one, you're out of luck. (Sandy - you don't live near this one, do you?)
Friday, August 19, 2005
However, let me assure you that three boys plus 2.7 million toys (I wish I were exaggerating) is one whopping recipe for stress. Sometimes I can't even look in their room. And once I was in there this morning and began looking around, I saw this:
That's their $100 train table, covered in toys. I appreciate that they cleaned up the floor; they did a good job and they got a reward. But scenes like this just stress me out. And look at the bottom bunk:
Poor Joshua hasn't been able to sleep in his bed for weeks! I look at this and I can just feel my heart pounding faster and my blood pressure rising. And after looking in their room, this is how I usually feel.
Have a great Friday!
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The movie itself was really good. If you haven't seen it, go rent it. I liked all the adventure and sword-fighting stuff, and I teared up at the end. My kind of movie. The cast was excellent, too. Peter and Wendy were just perfectly cast, and Jason Isaacs was deliciously dastardly as Captain Hook.
Now, in case you didn't know, today is bad poetry day. In honor of this day, I have written the following bad poem. Please feel free to add your own putrid poems in the comments.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
In case you can't tell, it's a cap made of some shiny gold and black threads, woven with shells. I think it was something I begged for when I was 10 or so and we were in a gift shop somewhere. I just know that I had to have it.
Here's the side view. Isn't it lovely? I think I actually wore this once. On Halloween.
At least now I can see what it would be like to have a girl.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Imagine what we could have done with all that money.
- Hubby could get a new car
- Or, we could go to Disney World
- Or, we could all take a cruise
- Or, we could get that hi-def TV we've been talking about
- Or, we could pay someone to finish our bedroom
- Or, I could have the world's most awesome DVD collection
- Or, we could build a great playground for the kids
I could go on and on. But instead, we have ear tubes (one of which fell out six months after insertion) and lots of fillings (all in baby teeth which will fall out in the next couple of years). Money well spent. Or is it money: well, spent.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Mr. And Mrs. S
Somewhere in the Mountains of Colorado
Dear Mr. And Mrs. S:
My name is Pumpkin "Killer" Katt. My "friends" have told me that you need someone eliminated. I am supremely qualified for the task. My resume is attached.
I will be available for "the job" starting Monday, August 15. You can forward my retainer to my address via Pony Express. The remainder of my fee will be due upon completion of the "job". I have never failed to eliminate the problems you're experiencing, but there's no guarantee of success.
My fee is simple: $1000.00 before I even get on the plane; first-class air fare round trip to Denver, limousine service to your abode. I will be paid $500 per hit, payable on demand. The balance of my fee, $2000.00 will be paid before I leave your home.
My other requirements: I get to sleep with the lady of the house. And I will expect to be petted, coddled, obeyed and, should I fail to catch any mice, be fed three delicious meals each day - preferably Meow Mix Seafood Medley. At the "termination" of this "contract" you will hire a limousine to take me back to the airport at Denver.
Resume of Pumpkin "Killer" Katt
May 2004: born to Mrs. Bell Katt
August 2004: completed training in "elimination" process
September 2004: completed training in "mooching" procedures at neighborhood motorcoach.
May 2005: learned to tolerate new "kids" on the block - my cousin's cats
June 2005: systematically began eliminating "rodent offenders" in my household, a job which I maintain to this day. (I will continue to draw my current salary of $850 per week while "on assignment" in Colorado.)
Should you need references you may call 1-(800) I EAT MICE. I look forward to receiving my retainer fee tomorrow. See you Monday.
P. K. Katt, esq.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
This is my favorite chair. I don't know how many sofas I sat on to find the perfect one, but this is it. Just the right amount of squishiness.
Sometimes the plot reveals a surprise.
And sometimes there is a shocking turn of events.
Often, I get so relaxed, I take a quick snooze. But the kids are never far away to wake me up.
And now, a gratuitous kitten picture.
"I heard tell of a mouse around here somewhere."
Thursday, August 11, 2005
The things these penguins go through just to have one baby are unbelievable. If humans had to go through all that, the race would die out. It makes me ashamed of all the complaining I did about pregnancy! Sure, I was tired and my feet hurt, but at least I didn't have to walk 70 miles and not eat for 4 months straight!
If you go to the website, you can see short clips from the film and get an idea of what it's like. It's beautifully filmed and edited, and you won't believe how close the film makers got to these penguins. Also, if you're homeschooling, this is a solid hour and a half science lesson. You will come away, as my dad said, knowing "more about penguins than I ever wanted to know."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
The woman was Mennonite (black car, long dress, prayer cap) and had no phone, so I offered her mine. Little did I know she was going to call all her acquaintances! I think she was on the phone for twenty minutes! While she talked, I had a chance to survey the scene. The man's car, a Saturn SL2, was a bit smashed in front. But the headlights were not broken, and the car was still running. The airbag hadn't even deployed. I don't know if this is a testimonial for Saturn or not. It seems like if you smash into something with the front of your car, the airbag should deploy. Then again, maybe it's good that it didn't when the accident wasn't very serious.
While I waited for the man to find a piece of paper for me to write down my name and number in case he needed it, I glanced into the back seat of his car. There was a carseat, but thank goodness, no child. I asked him how old his little boy was and he looked at me as though I were psychic. "How did you know?" he asked. I should've said, "Elementary," but I didn't. I just said, "I have four boys and my back seat looks just like that." There were toy cars everywhere. It doesn't take a rocket scientist!
Anyway, eventually I told the woman that I had to go and she gave me back the phone and some money to pay for the calls. I was really impressed with the two people involved. The man was completely calm - he didn't yell or scream or curse or anything. The woman was apologetic, admitted it was her fault, and had already arranged for a loaner car for the man while his car is being repaired within 5 minutes of the accident. I hope I could be that calm in a situation like that.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Now, I expect this from the older three. But I never expected the baby to start so soon. He has started pinching me. It's usually when I'm nursing him, but he does it other times too. He puts his little thumb and forefinger against my skin and then squeezes as hard as he can squeeze! It reminds me very much of the time I was pinched by a crab. If I grab his hand, he pulls it free and pinches again. And if it's while he's nursing, he's pinching a very sensitive place, let me tell you! I look like I fell chest-first into that lobster tank at the grocery store.
So if someone has a solution for pinching babies, please share! I'd say I want to nip this in the bud, but that just sounds like more pinching to me.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Hubby and I had been hearing a lot about the TV series 24, so we decided to order the first three seasons on DVD. Ever since it arrived, we have watched nothing else. Keep in mind, I'm talking about 72 hours of television, and that doesn't include any of the special features! We are thoroughly enjoying the shows - we just started season three last night. However, I couldn't help but notice a few interesting things.
There are the obvious things, of course. For example, when do these people eat? Do they really go 24 hours straight without food? Or do they gobble their meals while the cameras are elsewhere? You never see a bathroom break, unless someone is going to the bathroom to make a secret phone call. And it goes without saying that no one sleeps in 24 hours.
Then there are the bigger things. Why don't these people look like they've been up for 24 hours straight? Jack Bauer looks just as fresh during hour 18 as he did during hour 1. In the first season, the kidnapped wife and daughter look none the worse for wear after an entire day in a barn. I guarantee you if I wore the same clothes for 24 hours straight, you would be able to tell.
I imagine this show's concept is a nightmare for the continuity people. I mean, you have all these actors shooting an episode over the course of a week or so which take place on screen in only an hour. Everything has to look as though only an hour has passed. And I imagine that's why they next thing I'm going to mention has been ignored: the men on this show do not grow facial hair. Unless they've already got a beard at the beginning, no one gets one. There are no five o'clock shadows to be found. I know it's totally a continuity thing; it's easier to pretend they have no facial hair than it is to make sure every actor's growth is the same from day to day. Still, it's funny to think about in the show's context.
"Mr. President, there is a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles."
"I'll be right there as soon as I shave, Jack."
Having said all that, I still am thoroughly enjoying this show. It's definitely edge-of-your-seat entertainment. I would recommend watching it on tv, though, as opposed to the DVDs. It's really hard not to watch the next episode when it's right there in front of you. And the next, and the next, and the next...
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
I am not sure why my head looks too big for my body. But my 9 year old did a great job of taking these pics for me! Mmmm, good!
Head to Katy's to see the other players.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Smoky is a little gray kitten. He's three months old. We plan to keep him as an indoor/outdoor pet. The indoor part is the problem.
At first, Zelda (our dog) was just curious. She tried to sniff him. I'm sure she recognized him as a cat, and the sniff was more "I've gotta smell this thing 'cause I know my masters wouldn't bring a cat into my house!" But she's old, and she never tried to chase him or even bark at him. And Smoky tolerated her once-over with barely concealed terror. He even walked around her and sniffed at her a few times. All was going well.
But something has changed. Now, whenever Smoky sees Zelda, he freezes. His ears go back. His tail bends into some sort of weird crooked shape. His fur puffs up in that "must make myself look big" way. His cute little kitty mouth opens and a cute little kitty hiss comes out. And if Zelda gets too close, he spits, which makes a sound so loud that last night hubby said, "I think the cat just exploded."
And Zelda will not be deterred. She is just as determined to get close to that cat as she was the first day. Only now, she doesn't want to smell him - she wants to taste him. She has nipped at him several times, though she never actually bites down. It's sort of a "Look kid, I'm 10 times your size. Quit the macho act," kind of a nip.
So when the kids want Smoky to sleep in their room at night, we have to shut their door to keep the cat in and the dog out. Which is a whole other set of problems. "Mommy, we want the door open!" To which I reply, "Do you want Zelda to eat the cat while you're sleeping?"
I guess we just have to keep working at it until both animals accept that the other one isn't going anywhere. Or until Smoky gets so worked up that he actually does explode.
- A good book and a quiet place to read it.
- A steaming hot cup of black coffee.
- Cold weather.
- A new DVD.
- Roller coasters.
- Seeing my kids enjoy learning.
- Traveling to new places.
- Chocolate ice cream.
- Finding a bargain.
- Smelly feet.
- Dog hair.
- Looking at the number on the scale.
- Toys all over the house.
- Filling out the tax return.
- Stupid people.
- Bad grammar or spelling.
- Pulling weeds.
- Temperatures over 80F.
I will have to think about who to tag and get back to you.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Clearly, this guy is delusional, but it did make me think. Do I have a crappy blog? I mean, my parents love it, but they're a little biased. I think I'm pretty interesting, but I'm even more biased than they are. I know there are days when I'm not up to my top performance, but I'd say for doing 6 or more entries a week, my average is pretty good. I make a conscious effort to find something interesting to talk about every day. And even though I started this blog to keep family and friends informed about our lives, I also enjoy making observations about life in general and finding humor anywhere I can. I have not entered the Battle of the Blogs, however, because of this nagging feeling that I don't have what it takes.
So, if you are cruising through on BE, please take a minute to rate my blog so I can get an idea of where I can improve. And to my faithful readers, MWAH, big kisses, I love you! My dream has always been to be a writer people read, and you have helped make that dream come true!
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Plus, with my parents here, the kids will want to be out in their coach, which means the house might actually remain clean for a while.
(No, I am not shirking my duties. This was typed one-handed while nursing the baby!)
Monday, August 01, 2005
Luke 18:15-17 (King James Version)
15And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
16But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
17Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
Luke 15:10 (King James Version)
10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Saturday night, hubby and I had the awesome privilege of leading our six year old, Joshua, to accept the gift of salvation! Join us and the angels in rejoicing!