Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
You know how it is when you're "new" somewhere and you don't want to say anything controversial? I've been here for a few months now and I've not posted a lot of substance because I realize that written words can easily be taken the wrong way. Particularly when it's matters that are dear to us.
I have many blogs that I read daily. And by "daily" I mean the days that I get to sit down and read blogs. ; ) A least a couple of times a week usually.
Some of the blogs are from women close to my own age (40) but many are women that are much younger. I'm not really sure why this is, except that younger people tend to be online more I suppose. I've searched for blogs of older Christian women, but the majority of blogs that I've found are younger women.
I suppose that at my age, I've learned that there is wisdom to be found everywhere you're willing to look. So I really enjoy many of these young women's blogs. There are sometimes in very different seasons of their lives and it brings back some sweet memories.
And many of these young women have some strong ideas on things. Strong ideas are wonderful. And I suppose I was very similar when I was their age. But we all have things to learn. None of us know the right answers to every question. And some questions may not even have "right" and "wrong" answers.
This brings me to Halloween.
I do allow my children to participate in Halloween activities. I always have. Most of the activities are either at our church or the church that we have Girl Scouts. But we also have a little get-together at our house every year where all their friends come and they go around the neighborhood together. It's a great Halloween neighborhood.
We do not dress in anything scary. We are not celebrating anything other than this kid holiday of dress-up, fun and candy.
We walk up to houses that have lights on, doors open, and pumpkins glowing. The elderly neighbors really seem to get joy seeing all the little kids all dressed with faces shining. The adults walk with steaming mugs of cider or cocoa and fellowship. The girls get an evening with their friends.
And let me say here, that I totally respect your right and opinion to NOT celebrate Halloween. Certainly if I (or my husband) felt convicted to not celebrate, we wouldn't.
And I wouldn't need any other reason. Not a single one.
But please understand that we don't go "begging for candy". We don't force people in the neighborhood to participate if they don't want to do so. We don't celebrate anything evil, ever.
So please, let your words (even the written ones) be gentle. You may feel in your heart that something is wrong for you and your family, but that doesn't mean that my family has the same convictions.
And it doesn't mean that either of us is wrong.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I only have a minute, as usual, this morning. Jillian has to be at co-op in a little while and she has her second science test. She's studying right now. It's so sweet to watch.
Last week was our first week teaching at the YMCA. My girlfriend Brooke and I signed up to teach one of the classes for the LITs (Leaders in Training, which is the 11-16 year olds). We're teaching a class in Environmental studies and we have 5 more weeks (one hour a week) to define an environmental problem and solve it.
I told them last week that we probably wouldn't be doing anything about space litter or anything on that level. It's amazing what kids that age want to accomplish when given the reigns. It's heartening.
Brooke, who is a certified teacher, was out of town on the first day. I had a bit of anxiety about teaching the class all by myself (there are 18 kids!) but it turned out *so* *incredibly* *well*.
The homeschool coordinator "sat in" (read: watched my every move) to make sure things went well. Talk about feeling graded! But the kids made it so much fun. The boys were great, and they're sometimes NOT great. The conversation flowed and we all learned so much! I had TONS more material than I could possibly get through, so that was good. Not much worse in a classroom setting than running out of things to say. They can turn on you pretty quickly! ; )
After class was over (and time flew so quickly) , the instructor came over to me and just beamed. Said that it was far better than she had anticipated and she was so pleased. And this woman is a bit stingy with the compliments if you know what I mean.
I was happy for the rest of the day.
Words...they mean so much.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I know I've said it before, but it's worth repeating, I LOVE my church. How we got there is a story in itself, and I'll try to remember to tell it soon.
Today our preacher was out. He's an amazing man with a talent for speaking directly to the hearts of all who listen. His daughter got married yesterday out of town, so we didn't really expect him to speak today. We went to church anyway, though honestly, we'd have preferred to stay at home.
Once we sat down and opened the program, we were a bit surprised. Our speaker today was going to be Chris McDaniel. Formerly of the country/rock band Confederate Railroad.
So he got up there and started singing, and playing the keyboard and it was *amazing*. He was so good.
And then he started to speak.
He spoke of his life, his upbringing, his relationship with Jesus, his whole life. He told stories of life on the road and life as a child in a small southern town. He talked of his children with awe and love. He didn't hide the ugly parts of his life. He laid it all out. And told how God had welcomed him back home.
In between stories, he'd sing and play the keyboard. Songs that told us stories every bit as much as the words he spoke.
How glad we were to have gotten the opportunity to hear this mans great story. How humbling and inspirational. I only wish our preacher could have been there.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Thankfully, the girls are out of the YMCA program this week. Starting next week, I teach (I co-teach actually, my friend is teaching, but she's out of town the first week, so technically, I *do* teach next week) until the end of the year. We're doing an environmental studies class, which should be fun!
Last Friday we had a GS activity at a farm about 45 minutes from here. Mike decided to go with us. It was a really nice family time.
Here is Julia, Jillian and Mike with this creepy thing that was walking around and moving it's weird arms!
This is Jillian and her dad with a dancing something.
There was a campfire and they let you make smores. There were adults dressed up passing out little boxes of candy. And it was chilly! Jillian took my vest because I at least had on long sleeves. The place was set up pretty kid friendly. Not too scary. We don't like scary much here.
On another note, the weather is *fabulous*. Warm days and cooler nights. If it weren't for the allergies this time of year, I'd love it to stay this way for at least 9 months of the year.
Monday, October 02, 2006
My Julia (12) is such an amazing daughter. I can't even express what it's like watching her grow into the woman God wants her to be. She's at the age that mommy can't always "make it better", and that makes me sad at times.
She told me a story last night that was on her mind. I have no idea where she heard/read it, so if anyone knows please let me know so that I can give proper credit.
'Cause I'm gonna share it here.
A young girl was walking home one evening and it had gotten later (and darker) than she had thought. She had to go through an alley. She got a little way into the alley and saw the figure of a man on down the way.
She felt creeped out and scared. She had to go this way to get home, but she didn't want to walk past the man.
She started to pray. She asked God to keep her safe. She continued her walk and when she got close to the man he looked at her. She nodded and continued on her way.
After she was out of the alley she felt a little silly. She had obviously let her imagination run away with her.
The next morning her mother came to her and told her that a girl had been attacked and assaulted in that very alley that she had walked down the night before. Had she seen anything? She said that she had and so her mother took her to the police station. They had a man in custody and asked if she could pick him out of a line-up. She thought she could. And she did.
The police thanked her for her help in a dismissive way. She asked if she could speak to the man before she left. They said that was an odd request, but yes, she could.
She had questions that were bothering her. Why someone else and not her? She was alone, afterall.
She was placed in a small room with the man and a guard over by the door. She asked the man why he didn't attack her the night before when she was walking down the alley.
He said that there was no way he would have touched her with those two large men walking on either side of her.