Saturday, January 31, 2009

Important Celebrations

Countdown of the week, starting today:

Day 7--Saturday, January 31--our 39th anniversary.
There's a lot to see in this photo:
Our love letters and first years' memories are contained in the album on the right, and that's us, yes, a long time ago.
The album and the quilted wall hanging are early creative pieces by our recently awarded Kreative Blogger, Just a Southern Girl, my own SIL!
However, I took this picture because I am in total disbelief that the dresser and, in fact, the entire bedroom have remained clean and tidy for two whole weeks already. This has to be a record. Could it be we are turning over a new leaf?

Days 4 - 6 : Two Snow Days and a 2 hr. delay
Heavy snow, drifting, not this much since 13 years ago they say.
I don't mind. I quite enjoy staying home and looking out the window at the glittering snow.
In winter I can see two neighbors' homes through the trees. Can you?

No pay, tis true, but TIME to catch up on lesson plans and paper work. Even so I feel so scattered. Will I ever get a handle on this new job?

No photos for Days 2 and 3, only work, work, work; long days, 4 schools, many kids.

Day 1, Sunday, was far from being the Day of Rest, but a GOOD Lord's Day nevertheless.

Jr. Church, Six for Kicks, and a birthday party...

In Jr. Church we talked about how God blesses those who fear Him, both small and great, the story of Gideon who was feeling very inadequate to the task yet obeyed and with a very small army and the most unlikely weapons won a resounding victory.
Our Six4Kicks fellowship group met for dinner a last time. What an uncommon gathering, much like heaven will be--a retired professor now crippled by Lou Gerig's disease, his loving care-taker wife, another retired couple, a widow and veteran missionary, and two Ritas! Sooooo many stories of God's grace!

We had just watched the story of Lou and Eleanor Gerig: A Love Affair, a very inspiring story. Our own friend's acceptance of his condition and ever cheery disposition is exemplary and encouraging.

Jay's message, based on James 4:7-10, was especially meaningful to me: we are human AND spiritual beings; the world we live in is broken and exerts such a pull. I worry about our grandchildren growing up in this mess. My prayer for each is that they seek God first. A special quote by A.W. Tozer, stuck with me: Every Christian has to choose between two pains: the pain of double mindedness or the pain of being crucified.

Finally, a birthday party for 4 year-old grandson with his little preschool friends. This was the dramatic pose after each bowling session.

Birthday prayer for Elijah:

Father of lights in whom there is no variation or shadow of turning, thank You for your good and perfect gift to our family.

Elijah has been dedicated to You. Keep him from the pain of living a double life. Like Elijah of old may he clearly and boldly follow You and speak your words.

Even at this early age may he open his heart to you and learn trust daily.

For Jesus' sake. Amen.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekly Happenings

I'm still hangin' in there with this photo project!

The cat in the window keeps hangin' 'round looking in longingly. (Did someone drop her off in our woods? What shall we do?) Our master, Brutus the cat, lives a posh life indoors, but does go out often to hang out with and protect her. (Anybody want to adopt a cat, or two!?)

Another every day occurrence: the deer romping through our woods. One morning they were kind enough to pause and pose.

I so enjoy the sun gleaming through the trees.

The long-needled pine we brought back from Canada has grown so tall and beautiful.

Another regular occurrence of late: Mike throwin' a pot or two at the potter's wheel. He finds this new hobby very relaxing. Like all of his many previous pursuits, he researched and read and studied and practiced and had a few mishaps but kept at it and prevailed! He is getting quite good. The shelf is filling up and soon there will be enough pieces to warrant firing up the outdoor kiln. (Photos in future blogs)

I've shared about Monday Night Meals. The first item to appear on the table is the huge kettle of chai along with an array of colorful mugs. We all sip contentedly and chat while Chef and his assistant finish food preparation.

One unique mug conmemorates Stephan (Chef)'s first of four marathons!

This morning I discovered 2nd Cup of Coffee's Ugly Mug Contest. Do I dare enter with the following photo?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let it Snow...

Arriving home, it’s tricky getting to the mailbox.

And some drivers are afraid of our driveway.

Introducing Brutus, the cat that owns us and the reason we cannot let another one in.

Monday night meal at chef son’s: venison curry over basmati rice, delicious!

And the out-of-the-oven bread! Well, let’s just say that those of us who don’t normally eat bread MUST have some, especially with Grandma-jelly--a variety of jams from consuegra (Karen’s mom)’s kitchen.

No internet at home and the repairman can’t come for another five days! I was forced to go to the local WiFi access hangout (Payne’s Custard and Coffee Shop) and order the special--African Lentil Soup!

Saturday lunch at Payne’s: Walnut Brie Salad

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day by Day--Misc. Pics

Mike's hanging garden

Finally something to show for the months of designing, engineering, and building!
You can see things sprouting. Will let you know more after the first harvest.

It was back to school this week. (For those who don't know, I am a bilingual specialist in three schools, soon to add another!)

The first ones I see are the little kindergartners. They are so sweet and welcoming.
First thing was a group hug!

This is supposed to be an H.

Some other groupings I see only weekly. They really look forward to this time. This week the theme was: el Día de Reyes. The 6th of January, Epiphany, is typically when LatinAmerican children receive gifts. I used a very colorful children's book to talk about this custom. They loved the story and the pictures. Surprisingly, none of their families celebrate the tradition here in the USA. The kids had never heard about it.

The state office sends us books to distribute. I chose this week as an appropriate time for regalos.

Several of my little ones are either loosing old or growing new teeth.
Isn't she adorable?

A peek into Monday Night Meal (MNM)

Son Stephan (most call him Chef) and wife Karen host a meal for any and all who show up. It is a delightful time to look forward to fun, much laughter, meaningful sharing, and great food!

This week in particular, I feel compelled to add an older cherished photo memory that happened three years ago.

Christmas of '05 we included a very special Nativity photo in our yearly letter featuring all seven young ones in various roles. On January 4th the "wise men", the three little foster grands, were removed after 16 months of being part of the family. We will never understand why the agency made that decision.

When pastor urged us to truly soar in 2009 by allowing Christ to heal memories, the first and most painful that came to mind was the loss of the little ones.
Today I read the Lord's words to Abraham when he was asked to send his son Ishmael away and couldn't bear the thought. God said, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight..." By faith I claim that healing for all of us and believe that God, who loves the children more than we ever did, is looking after them, growing and blessing them.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Four For Four

My little customer at Muncie New Year's Eve community event.

Road kill at the Children's Museum, a reckless teenage driver.

Young ice carver apprentices at the Indiana Ice Studio.

The ice sculptor himself.

As agreed by taking on the 365 Project challenge, every Sunday I will be posting the choice photos of the week, aiming for one a day, but not bound by any legal requirement nor phear of phailure, just photos phor phun, people! Don't need to be perphect either.
(I think I prefer the Spanish spelling: fotos, es más fácil!)

Meemaw Days and More

I may still be recovering from two grandma-days. Is that why I had to take a nap upon arrival yesterday and slept in this morning?

Friday--visit to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis with all four nietos (grandkids) + la hija (the daughter) Leah. She was such a help, I'll never go without her!

Saturday--the robotics kickoff, a most exciting event for all the FIRST teams, when they watch the simulcast, find out about the new game, and receive their kit of parts! Then they go into cybernation, robot-mode...well, whatever it is they are doing, it is off in their own world for six weeks until they ship Robot X (no name yet) and emerge once again pale, bedraggled, brain-drained, ready to collapse. Actually it's not that bad: they enjoy every invigorating minute together, even the all-nighters towards the end.
Only the older boys went with me to watch the presentation of the new game--Lunacy! It would appear that the game gets harder every year. Warning: the participants may all end up lunatics.

You may hear from me more often as Mike is en la luna, increasingly involved in this moon project. However, I go back to work tomorrow and may have forgotten how absorbing and consuming that can be.
Meanwhile, I have today.

P.S.: Did I forget to say I took the grandboys to see uncle Stephan's new ice studio?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


estreno = premiere; opening; wear for the first time.

The NYE ball dropped in Muncie was a first for the community and for the robotics team. They spent countless hours designing, programming, assembling, soldering, testing, redoing, correcting, and many more ...ings. Those who understood the inner workings were a bit nervous about how it would behave in the cold. The batteries were outfitted with hand warmers and we held our breath.

It performed beautifully displaying all the many light patterns as programmed! Good ball!
Family members present enjoyed the event!