Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Are You Okay?

This was the title of the email awaiting me in my inbox from a dear Looper friend two days ago. She was concerned because I hadn't joined in the conversations on Loopers for awhile and my previous blog post had her concerned. Isn't that sweet? I love Loopers, she really made my day.

In case you too are wondering, here's what has happened.

We planned on leaving for vacation on Sept. 16th. Lowell, the man about whom my previous post was written, has been battling cancer for years, but recently has been getting worse. My husband visited him both on Friday and Saturday and called his wife on Sunday before we left. He wasn't doing well, and neither was she. He didn't know for sure what to do and we ended up driving to the hospital allowing my husband to visit Lowell one last time and also chat with his wife, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. Then we left for vacation. That night Lowell was called home to his Father in heaven.

My husband had arranged with another pastor in the area to arrange the funeral and he would come back to officiate, then return to vacation. He left Thursday evening to arrive home for the Friday funeral. Unfortunately, he got sick during the night, was able to do the funeral, but then went back home to bed and slept all day. By Saturday morning, he sounded worse, and I'm in tears on vacation wondering how I'm going to get myself, the kids, and all our stuff home. Our friends who went on vacation with us, helped me locate a vehicle to rent, took me to pick it up, and we all cleaned up our cabins, loaded the vehicles and left for home. The kids and I arrived home late Saturday night.

I had called my in-laws and they had arrived at my house late Saturday afternoon, to bring their son some food and company. On Sunday after service (which due to the fact we were suppose to be on vacation, members wondered why the kids and I were there worshiping), they helped me get the rental van back to the right place, bought us lunch, and then had to head home.

Monday morning, my husband wasn't any better, so off to the doctor. Diagnosis: strep throat. He often has sore throats and swollen tonsils, but it is never strep throat. We're sort of relieved it is this time, because now, on the medicine, he is improving.

That's life in our home so far. Oh and my sister called on Sunday evening, her husband is in stage 4 liver cancer. Death is always drawing nearer.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not the day I thought

I was going to be busily and happily preparing for our adventure, helping the children finish their New World Explorer projects, cleaning and straightening the house, but now it seems all sort of pointless.

Impending death does that. Especially the impending death of a loved one or a dear friend, or a dear church brother.

Merciful Father, God of all truth, we commend Lowell into Your gracious keeping, for You have redeemed him. Guard and shield him from all the powers of darkness as he walks through the valley of the shadow of death. Grant that he may fall asleep in peace and awaken to the bright joy of Your eternal presence; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Lord, let at last Thine angels come.
To Abr'ham's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me,
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What's that I hear?

There are new sounds coming to my ears. Here is the source;

Our oldest had her first violin lesson yesterday. She was so excited. She did well, for getting a lot of information from the teacher in the first day.

I feel incredibly lucky to find this teacher. I had found someone else originally. But when she sent the lesson schedule, she included a note saying she wouldn't give lessons beyond December due to expecting her first baby in January. Why didn't she tell me that when I talked to her in August? I scrambled looking for someone else. Mrs. Stangler was recommended and upon talking to her, would gladly teach Hannah. This turned out even better for us than we could have hoped. Mrs. Stangler, a mother of 10 children ages 35-15, is charging two dollars less and is 14 miles closer to our home than the first instructor. She has lesson hours for homeschoolers in the middle of the afternoon, and I was able to pick one that would work best for us.

Now I'll keep in mind that she also does piano lessons, so if the new piano teacher doesn't work out, I'll switch to Mrs. Stangler for that as well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just One More Thing....

I love Columbo. My husband loves Columbo. Good friends love Columbo and bought us Season 2 shows on dvd. They have Season 1 and we switched to watch each other's. I love the way Columbo solves the crime. I think about Columbo a lot during the day.

As I'm teaching and we're nearing the end: "Wait, one more thing, before you leave."

As I'm getting ready to leave the house, I think, "Wait, one more thing I need to get, or do."

As we're cleaning house, "One more job before you're through."

As the kids come into the office while I'm at the computer, "One more thing first before I answer your question."

As I'm planning for a trip, "Wait, one more thing I should pack, bake, or clean before going."

I think I need a brown trench coat, and to take up cigar smoking.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Home Schooling Treat

Every year the local children head back to their respective school buildings the day after Labor Day. And most years that week happens to be nice, hot, and sunny.

Perfect days for this:
Yes we have the pool mostly to ourselves. It is one of our favorite treats; to go swimming while all the other munchkins normally splashing about in the pool are sitting at their desks in a (most-likely) too hot, sweaty and stinky room.

There were two other children there, but they had to leave about five minutes after our arrival. Another couple, who was camping came and enjoyed the pool, then left after about a half an hour. Then another mom and her daughter, who have a seasonal site at the campground came about five minutes prior to us leaving.

But even with those few other people, it was most like our own pool. The kids enjoyed the water, I enjoyed getting in, getting wet, and then sitting on a lounge chair reading, Emma, by Jane Austen while drying off, getting hot and repeating the cycle all over again.

If you're worried about the education of my children, stop it, they're not yours, that is for me to worry about. But if you must know, today we accomplished:
Latin, Math, History, Reading, Home-Ec (cooking and cleaning up lunch, and helping me freeze 5 one gallon bags of whole tomatoes) and then 2 hours of P.E.:

I wonder if tomorrow will be as nice? We all hope so, this will be the last week the pool will be open, and so we'll want to take advantage as much as possible, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


This is Bob with my two oldest daughters. Bob and his wife Brenda own 6 Arabian horses and for the last several weeks have been teaching the girls all about horses one night a week.

The girls are really enjoying their time. David has been taking them, but last night, he had other obligations (he had to draft his fantasy football team), so I went with the girls.

Wow, what great riders they are becoming. Bob and Brenda are very knowledgeable and are doing an excellent job of teaching the girls what it means to own a horse. Normally they have the girls help saddle the horse, and then off down the trail we walk. Bob and Brenda will use lead ropes and then after awhile, take them off and let the girls learn to be the master. But Bob and Brenda are there just in case and are constantly teaching and telling them what to do and what not to do.

Last night the mosquitoes were exceptionally bad, so the horses did not want to be walking on the trail. So after just a short walk, we turned around and went back home. Once there, the girls took the horses into the round pen and practiced. Bob was the "Show announcer" and they had to have their horses perform his commands. They did a great job of having them "walk," "turn," "stop," "trot," and "back-up."

I thought how graceful they looked. Not just the horses, but my daughters. They both have good balance and are learning how to be assertive to the horse but also to listen to it as well. After they were done, they helped take off the saddles and walk them back to the pen. Then we went in to Bob and Brenda's home where we enjoyed cake and a concert! Their daughter plays the harp, and her boyfriend, the violin. They were practicing for an upcoming wedding and graciously gave us a brief concert. What a nice treat!

Here are a few other pictures from past week's horse riding lessons. Enjoy! I know my girls are!

Isn't the view on the trail beautiful? They ride at sunset, simply lovely.

This is one daughter brushing DeeDee.

This is the other daughter brushing Starfire.