Friday, January 28, 2011

the pit

(An old pastor of mine used this story at least twice that I know of.  I couldn't find it exactly the way he read it and have no idea who this is originally from but I love it.)

There was a man who fell into a very deep pit. 

A Hindu said, “You deserve to end up in a pit for your past life.” 
Confucius said, “If you had listened to me, you would not be in a pit.” 
A Christian scientist said to the man, “You only think you’re in a pit.”
Buddha said, “Your pit is only a state-of-mind.” 
A geologist said, “Appreciate the rock strata of the pit.” 
An evolutionist said, “You are a rejected mutant destined to be removed from the evolutionary cycle, which means you will die in that pit without producing any pit falling offspring.” 
A construction inspector came by and said, “Brother, you got a permit for that pit?” 
A self-pitying person said, “You haven’t seen anything ‘til you’ve seen my pit.” 
A positive confessor said, “Just say this over and over again:  ‘I am not in a pit.  I am not in a pit.’” 
An optimist said, “Things could be worse.” 
A pessimist said, “Things will get worse.” 

A follower of Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

date night

Tuesday Kevin and I went to see Ride the Divide. This is a captivating film about an underground race down the continental divide. The race begins in Bnaff, Canada and ends at the Mexican border about 3 weeks later. There is no support provided. You bring or purchase along the route everything you will need. Many nights are spent alone in the wilderness in the sleeping bag that you have carried on your bicycle. The racers encounter many bears along the route. Not my cup of tea but the movie was unforgettable.

On the way to the movie we grabbed a quick bite to eat at The Hot Dog Inn. A very interesting place, if you have never been there I advise you to check it out. I recommend one hot dog with everything and some FRIES!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

dancing in the minefields

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin

'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

Friday, January 21, 2011

a visit from classic infulenza, type unknown

Poor Jacob has not left his bed since Monday.  He has been running a constant temperature from 101-103.  The strep culture came back negitive and since all the other symptoms of classic flu are there, that's what we're calling it.

In between the times when he is moaning for tea or more Ibuprophen, he has watched almost the entire first 2 seasons of "The A-Team" on my iTouch Netflix app.

I've been hearing people for years say, "I was out with the 24 hour flu," or "I had a touch of the flu." HA!  I am not sure what virus they had but it wasn't this!  Real ful symptoms lasts 7-10 days and comes with a high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, cough,  sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches (in Jake's case he can not lift his arms they hurt so bad.)  Vomiting and diarrhea don't even need to be present but is more likely found in children than adults.

No one in my house has ever had this before.  Now I understand how so many people die from this. 

Wash your hands, people!  It's flu season.  YUCK.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

open arms

My favorite long sleeved mustard colored Gap tee is now decorated with Glidden (Another Paint Co. That Is NOT Sherwin Williams How Dare They ;) "Sherwin Williams Festival Green SW 6923."

In early June our church announced the undertaking of a major project.  The reorganization, demolition, and construction project was named "Open Arms".  The sermon introducing it was based on the "let the little children come unto me" verses.  It was the last one we heard before Macy's death.  :(  Don't miss the painful irony of those last two sentances.

This is an undertaking of MAJOR proportions.  Basically we are changing the way space in our building is used.  We used to use the school classrooms for our children's ministry spaces.  This made a lot of sense but it didn't give the church kids any of their "own" space.  The new space is going to be spectacular.  All the rooms have their own themes.  There will be big bold color and eye catching features all around.  All designed to make it welcoming and fun.

It is a great deal of work.  A HUGE deal of work.  Done mostly by volunteers.

In addition to giving financial support, over the summer our life group cooked for the volunteers.  Until now that has been the extent of my own involvement.  Last month when the children and volunteers were invited to put their own painted handprints up to decorate the entrance hallway to the new space, they had a list available of many little mini projects.  I decided to take ownership of the trim in the rainforest room. 

Yesterday, while George was at school, was my first day on the job.  It might take a month of a few hours here and there but I'll get it done.  And if Jesus doesn't come back for us soon, my prayer while I paint is that kids will be getting to know Him in that room long after I'm gone.

And that is how my favorite Gap tee became adorned with an inferior paint company's version of Festival Green.  I don't even really mind because my treasures are in heaven, not in my closet.

Monday, January 17, 2011

bridesmaid adventures part one

A close friend who is dear to my heart has finally found her groom.  On Yahoo Personals of all places.   Same place I met mine.  :)

Today I completed the first of my bridesmaid's duties by helping her find a dress.  This is my first serious experience as a bridesmaid and I'm kind of getting excited about it. 

I spent the better part of the day in David's Bridal Salon lacing her into layers and layers of silk, tulle, taffeta, and chiffon.  I still don't feel confident I have the lacing job down pat.  You wouldn't think it's so hard getting the ribbons to lie flat.  After a day of working at it, I would only give myself a solid "B-".  Either she hires Holly, her David's consultant, to come lace her up on the big day or I have to put in a bit more practice.

Holly suggested we initially bring 3 dresses into the room with us.  Dress number two was a serious contender but the store only stocked it in white.  Kathy wanted off-white. 

Then as she stepped out of the dressing room in dress number three her eyes popped and her mouth fell open on spying a fellow bride on pedastal in "her" dress.  She knew right away.  She couldn't take her eyes off that dress.  Even to the point she was ignoring her own reflection.

Bridezilla took major offense when Kathy commented that she wanted to try her dress on.  "You can have "MY" dress when I'm done wearing it!!"  She didn't even have the same size that Kathy would need.  Soon after the other bride was gone (without making a purchase) and Kathy stepped into her own dream dress.

It didn't even matter that the dress happened to be marked down because it was discontinued.  She would have taken it at the full price. 

Sticker shock didn't set in until she realized she would be paying the same price for the headpiece and veil that she paid for the dress!   How is it they get $200 for a couple feet of tulle?  I'm in the wrong business.

After taking a break to have a bite to eat and talk things over at Clementine's, we returned to David's once again where she put down a non-refundable deposit on all three pieces.

I came home exhausted to a feverish 12 year old Jacob.  :( 

How did you spend your MLK day?

Friday, January 14, 2011

george quotes

Yesterday I picked George up a personal pan pizza while we were out doing errands.  I took a slice out and let it cool on top of the box on his lap.  After about 5 minutes or so I called back to him, "I think you can try to take a bite out of it now."  He scruched up his face at the steam that was still rising off it in the cold car and said, "Mom, I can't.  It's still spitting smoke!" 

I have a sebaceous cyst on my thigh that I am under strict doctor's orders to soak in a hot tub daily.  That, along with a strong antibiotic ointment seems to be working.  Tonight as I sat in the water he barged in to the bathroom and said in an excited voice, "Mommy don't worry if your assist doesn't soak off, I will pray it off!"

"What comes after a trillion?"  "I'm going to ask Luke!"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

teenage rebellion

A friend's status update in my FaceBook newsfeed this morning:

Jane Doe "is in the middle of teenage daughter rebellion years. But then I get word that an old friends son has stage 4 cancer and now everything is in perspective...."

I am thankful that God uses circumstances like this to adjust our outlook on things.  And I'm so very sad for this family.  :(  A family near our neighborhood has also recently been told they will be losing a child to this disease.  My heart breaks for all of them. 

Losing a child is the worst thing.  Beside that, everything else looks like no big deal.

Even teenage rebellion.

Looking back from the other side of my first experience with it, I wish I'd trusted in the Lord MORE and worried a lot LESS.  He loves my children more than I ever could. 

And I'm thankful that:
1.  as big the storm seemed at the time, my God is much bigger.
2.  it's a bit like the pain of childbirth, easily forgotten when it's gone.

grandma comes to stay

This Christmas we were blessed to be able to host a visit from Kevin's mom.  She is currently staying in a group home for grandmas that a family runs out of their own residence.  It is licensed and she is well cared for but we thought it would be nicer to be with family for Christmas and I think...for the most part, she agreed. 

So with plenty of preparation, she arrived with Kevin directly at church for the Christmas Eve service.  She tends to wear out rather early in the day and he didn't want to give her the opportunity to say "no" to church. 

Afterwards, as is our custom, we got Chinese food on the way home.  She has adult onset diabetes so Kevin needed to give her a shot before all her meals.  The initial shot went smoothly, if only just a few minutes late.  She's supposed to have it before she eats but was quicker to tuck into her dinner than Kevin was with the syringe. 

With dinner finished, I offered to help her get into her pajamas but she made herself comfortable on the couch watching DVR'd episodes of Jeopardy and her son busily wrapping the last of the presents. 

Finally deciding she'd had enough, she wondered aloud if she should sleep on the couch.  I led her into the front room to show her the air bed Kevin had inflated and made up with warm flannel sheets and the racing T-shirt quilt she had made for him so long ago.  The huge smile that lit up her face made me genuinely thrilled.

Another tradition we have at Christmas is taking turns opening up the gifts.  That way everyone gets to see what everybody else got and it lasts a little longer.  Grandma did not have the patience for that.  She went along with it once or twice but soon opened her things one right after the other.  She got word finds, a cardigan, a blouse, a pair of slacks  and a stocking filled with odds and ends.

When Kevin was done cleaning up after lunch he asked her if she wanted to go home then or after dinner.  She decided she was ready and quickly put on her shoes, new cardigan, winter coat, grabbed her purse and marched out the front door.  All before her son had his shoes on. 

Although her shots at breakfast and lunch went along the same lines as the first one, she seems to have come through the whole visit none the worse for wear.  We would like her to come to stay for good but when Kevin asked her about it on the way home she said, "Not as long as I can stay on my own!"

Not sure what to think of that.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

the decision

Emma will be graduating this June so we have been enduring the whole college selection process.  Initially she wanted to accept the full 2 year scholarship to Lorain County Community College that was offered to her, but Kevin and I encouraged her to consider a few 4 year colleges and universities. Her grades are really decent and so are her test scores so her options are wide open. 

Together, we have taken tours and feasted in the cafeterias of Baldwin Wallace, Mount Union, Case Western Reserve, John Carroll and Cleveland State University.  She has gone with friends to Ohio Northern and Bowling Green. 

She wants to stay in the area because of her deep affection for Cleveland that only other Cleveland Lover's can understand. 


Ohio Northern: too small
Bowling Green: bad vibes
Cleveland State: too many commuters
Mount Union: too far away, application process too inconvenient
Baldwin Wallace: applied and accepted, 13K renewable academic scholarship
John Carroll: applied and accepted, 15K renewable academic scholarship
Case Western Reserve: applied and deferred

After all that she's decided to take the full 2 year scholarship at LCCC and enter their diagnostic medical sonography program.  After only 2 years of school and she can be making a desirable salary with a career that can be flexible enough to accommodate additional schooling if it's what she wants or possibly a family someday.

Congratulations on your decision Emma!  May you always shine like the stars. Phil 2:12-16a

Monday, January 3, 2011


Emma turned 18 yesterday and celebrated by getting "Love is all you need" tattooed in script under her right arm, winning $10 on lottery tickets she purchased herself, and getting her ears pierced.

All things she can do on her own now that she is a "legal" adult. 

I repeatedly cautioned her about the tattoo.  Even to the point of her accepting that her hypothalamus will not be developed until she is 25.  She would not be dissuaded. 

Today she opened a checking account and that made her feel the weight of adulthood more than any tattoo, lottery ticket, or earrings ever could.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

le petit artiste

When the boys got xbox kinect for Christmas it gave me the perfect excuse to relocate our television to the basement and rearrange the family room to accent the fireplace.

Emma assisted with the heavy lifting.  We moved the chest that formerly held the tv into a coffee table position.  I pulled lightly on the black construction paper that George had recently posted there.  I assumed he'd used tape.  When it didn't come off easily, I peeked behind it and that old saying about the word "assume" came quickly to mind.

My darling son had used Elmer's glue stick to post his creation onto my heirloom Lane chest.  :( 

Guess what I'm googling this afternoon....