Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 2/10/17

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

I prefer having other posts between the FFF posts, but maybe if we would have a regular week around here, that would be possible.  Right now I am doing my best just to keep everyday things going around here.


1. My father is doing some better after being hospitalized early yesterday morning with pancreatitis.  It's been a rather long week what with doctor visits, doctor phone calls, waiting on MRIs, waiting on MRIs to be read, and on and on.  Just glad he is doing better.

2. I am thankful for modern medicine, which provides for serious conditions to be treated successfully.

3. I am thankful for ambulances, which get people to the hospital quickly, with proper care, and straight to the emergency treatment rooms without doing the sit-out-in-the-waiting room routine.

4. I am thankful for school administration that has been very understanding of my need to be absent, last week for the situation with our nephew who passed away, and this week for the situation with my father who has been very sick.

5. Finally - a little levity.  I'm teaching pronouns right now.  This would be a great bulletin board.  Maybe I can find time to put it up (with corrections for the bad grammar).

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 2/3/17

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

I am going to go ahead and do a FFF, but it will be different than usual, because this was a very different than usual week.  A great-nephew on my husband's side passed away this past Sunday, and it was especially sad because he was only twelve years old.  We did not know him well, but were with him from time to time at family functions - most recently on Christmas Eve.  His father was a fixture in our home when a young boy (kindergarten age) himself.

So here are my FFFs:

--My daughter and her boyfriend took platters of Chick Fil A up to the hospital last weekend, and according to family who were there, they couldn't have come at a better time or with a better gift.  No one wanted to leave to get food, but when they saw the chicken platters, they all realized how hungry they were.  I am grateful for my daughter's and friend's sensitivity to the situation and their generosity in going the extra mile.

--All of my husband's siblings were able to come from around the state to be a support to their sister and family, and many of them were able to stay for several days.

--The boy's organs were donated.

--I was able to take a personal day off due to the circumstances.

--Prayer and the peace of God are invaluable in such situations.

So if you are reading this, and you know the Lord, please say a prayer for William's family.  Thank you.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday's Fave Five - 1-27-17

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog 

1. Mike has gone back to work today after a 7-day break.  He wasn't on vacation; this kind of break just happens from time to time when he works weekdays one week, and weekends the next.  So he was home all week.  He cooked breakfast most mornings and was generally a big help.  We had a nice week all around, and that is always nice.

2. We're reading Cyrano de Bergerac in my sophomore English class, and having the best time.  They do very well at such things, and reading plays aloud is great fun if the group is enthusiastic.  I rarely have to prompt anyone, and the students are reading with a lot of feeling.  They're also seeming to get the lessons from the play.  That makes teaching so fun!

3. I am so glad to have some cold weather back.  I don't like warm Januarys.  If it's winter - let's have winter.

4. Last Sunday I made dinner for my dad's birthday (it's actually this week, but Mike will be working, so we celebrated early) and daughter and her friend and said friend's dad all came.  I don't feel like it was my best attempt (don't tell Dad, but I accidentally left the oatmeal out of his favorite meatloaf), but the brownies at the end with icing and cool whip were killer.  I've been thinking about them all week long and resisting making more.  :-)

5. We have new neighbors down the street, and they happen to be the new youth pastor at our church and his family.  Their children ride bikes on their driveway and yard in the late afternoons, and often see me driving home.  They are always happy to see me, and run up the driveway, waving.  Our street is not busy, so I sometimes stop and talk with them.  Amazing how children can brighten one's day.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Little Nostalgia

Yesterday Mike cleaned out his closet, and came across a box of nostalgia, mostly things from the kids when they were younger.  

Andrew painted this football player as a kid and gave it to his dad.  No idea why he picked the Green Bay Packers as we have never been particularly great fans.

ML:  "When I grow up I want to be a beatiful young artist."

In 1999, ML made her own "calander."  This is just one page.  She actually used it all year and checked off the days as they occurred.  As you can tell, each month was appropriately decorated.  June was very important!  Birthday month!!

And finally, this.  Probably also around 1999.  Typed out below for ease of reading.  My kids!!!

Dear Dad,

You are the best dad in the whole world!!  (Even if you are my only one.)
You have done so many things for me, that you deserve a note, and a poem:

Thank You

Thank you for when you have made my bed,
And thank you for the money that buys us bread.
Thank you for teaching me God's holy power,
Even when sometimes, you seem sour.
Thank you for spending time with me;
Instead of being a drunk, you see.
These and more, have all you done;
Especially in God's eyes, you have won!

Happy birthday!

Love, Andrew

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Camouflaged Birds

I was looking through the bird pics taken during our winter storm a couple of weeks ago, and found these two that both show well-camouflaged birds.   The snow is the final touch.  Hope the reader enjoys them!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 1/20/17

 LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Just finished this little hat at about 5:00 Thursday afternoon, to go along with another present for a dear friend who was in school with my son, and was the honoree at a baby shower last night.  I work with her mom, who is also a dear friend.  These little loom hats are fun and fast to make.

2. I am thankful for a smooth and peaceful transfer of power for our government today.  I love the pomp and elegance of an inauguration ceremony.

3. Lunch today was brought in by Mike, who was off today.  A chicken salad sandwich on toasted sourdough bread, with provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  No, he didn't fix it, but he did go get it, pay for it, and deliver it.

4. This is a day over a week, but I didn't get a FFF up last week.  We spent a lovely evening with my cousin Cleve and his wife Kathleen last Thursday night.   They're on their way to Florida and stopped by.  Always nice to see them!!!

5. And finally - after our dinner out last Thursday, we went back to my folks' house for awhile.  This little video was part of the evening.  On Facebook it gained almost 2000 views.  It's really sweet and worth 30 seconds of your time.  My father and my son!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"You Will Want to Control"

One of the best pieces of advice I got as a young mother was from my dear friend, a wise woman as well as a wise mother.  She said "Don't let your little girl boss her older brother around.  Girls like to be in control, and it's not good for her to be bossy to him." 

I thought of that advice this week, when reading Janie B. Cheaney's column, "Quite Contrary," on p. 14 of World magazine, 1/21/17.  The gist of the article is about translation "kerfuffles" (great word) that have occurred over the years.  (She uses examples of Chinese to English - which brought back quite the memories of traveling there.  The example she gives is "Loveable but pitiful grass is under your foot."  The first one that I remember was reading in the Air China literature, "Our chefs come up with recipes to make your taste buds sparkle!")

Anyway - she discusses the understanding of Genesis 3:16 in the KJV - "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee," and the fact that more recent translations give a stronger interpretation of "thy desire shall be to thy husband" by saying that what it means is  essentially "You will desire to control."

Her last paragraph is so good:  "The curse on Adam and Eve affects what is central to each of them:  occupation and relationship.  Sin's desire for them is possessive and unlawful, reflected in Eve's desire for her husband.  If we women are honest, we should acknowledge how easily our yearning for relationship is twisted into manipulation - just as men must realize how natural authority slides into tyranny.  By submitting to sin's desire, our first parents locked themselves in a permanent power play that won't be solved by fairness or equal rights - only by God's desire to save us from ourselves." 

I realized early in my marriage that there were times that I attempted to manipulate my husband into various decisions, a manipulation that could be so subtle that I didn't even admit it to myself.  It took conscious effort to work out of that mindset and to be straightforward about things.  It is still a temptation at times.  

It is also easy to see how men's natural role of leadership can morph into control, and even abuse, if they do not guard against that, and if the Holy Spirit is not directing their lives.

I think that "You will desire to control" is a good explanation of "Thy desire shall be to thy husband." I would like to see that teaching to young women be more prevalent.  My good friend's instruction in that area was new thinking to me at that time.  It needs to be more commonly taught.

And Janie B. Cheaney, once again, caused me to think, with another home run in her column.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Last Saturday, we were driving down a fairly busy road near our house, a side road to the interstate, when my husband glanced off the side of a bridge, into a marshy area, and said, startled, "What are those?!"  I didn't even see what he saw at first.  (His eye and ear have always been much better than mine.)  We turned around and drove slowly by, a couple of times.  We couldn't just stop because the road was too busy - not hugely, but almost always a car coming in the distance.  I pulled out my camera and felt fortunate to get this shot, because at that level of zoom it's hard to hold the camera still enough, without a tripod, to get a decent picture.

They are sandhill cranes, a species that does not flag on eBird as "rare" in our area (it does in the eastern part of the state), but nevertheless is unusual.  We are to the east of the easternmost flyway of this huge bird.

We saw hundreds of these birds at a wildlife refuge in Alabama a few years ago.  They are easily identified by the red on the face.  They are tall, grey birds - much more common overall than the very rare whooping cranes, just not common in our area.

A few years ago we saw a Ross's goose at the edge of the lake we live near.  I was sure that's what it was by studying the field guide, but was insistent that "They're not supposed to be here."  Mike patiently reminded me, "Ann.  They are wild birds.  They can go wherever they want to go.  They're not bound by field guides and range maps."  Well, yes, I guess he's right.

That's why sometimes rare and unusual birds hang around for weeks at a time in various places; other times, they are spotted once and that's it.  That's why the farm ponds where we love to go observing are sometimes filled with ducks and unusual birds - and other times, even in mid-winter when they should be very busy, are very quiet.  The birds aren't saying "Oh, it's January - we should be there."  They go where they want to.  They're wild.

Sometimes it would be nice to be a bird.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 12/30/16

 LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. We had a very nice Christmas in Atlanta, at my brother and sister-in-law's new townhouse.  My dad got this jacket from us.  Anyone who faithfully supported the Cubs as long as he did, deserves a jacket to proclaim the World Series victory everywhere he goes.  :-)

Mike got this mug for my mother.  He said he wanted to get it, found one on eBay, and it was a great and funny Christmas present.

2. I have really been enjoying my new recliner.  It is very, very comfortable!!  I do have to remember that leather is a little colder on the legs in the morning than cloth.  Other than that minor, easily-remedied thing, it is a great purchase.

3. Sleeping in.  I woke up at 7 this morning, got up for awhile, and then did something that is usually impossible.  I went back to bed!!!  Until 10:00 a.m.  And it was well worth the investment of time.

4. This photo.  It probably doesn't make sense to many people, but the latest craze for youngsters is flipping water bottles.  I thought it was just at our school, until a teacher friend from long ago posted this on FB.  Apparently it's going on at their school too, and is a phenomenon that is widespread.  (Probably from some movie that I have no idea about.)  Anyway - it's always obvious at school when the lunch period has lasted a little too long, because the water bottles start flipping.  The object is to flip the bottle and have it land straight up.  The other teachers tease me because my nerves are the ones to go first.  :-)  I am truly tempted to order this shirt!!

5. Finally - I can't post any pictures for security reasons.  But last night we were honored to host a pastor from China, his wife and son, and his wife's sister, who is instrumental in Christian work in their home city.  I met the sister briefly when visiting Andrew in China.  She is well known for her innovative ways of getting the gospel out in a closed country.  To have them sit around our table, tell of their salvation, and share their stories with us - The only way to describe it is to say that it was a great honor.

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 12/23/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Christmas baking.  Accomplished yesterday and today.  I like to make small plates for neighbors and friends, and always end up taking big plates of sweets to the family gatherings.  (They're unhappy if I bring sweets, and unhappy if I don't.)  :-)

 Thumbprint cookies - a new attempt this year.  I saw on FB that my cousin made these, and it made me nostalgic.  Maybe Grandma used to make these?  I don't really remember, but decided to try them.

This is what happens (first batch) when you double all the ingredients but accidentally quadruple the butter.  Rich - rich - rich.

Fudge - always part of the Christmas plates.  Always.

And Russian teacakes - also always part of the Christmas plates.  But these three things are all I'm doing this year.  And they have to ALL be out of the house by the time of the last Christmas celebration.

 2. This morning I had to take Mike's truck to the tire shop to get a flat tire repaired.  Afterward, I made a stop at K-Mart.  Oh my.  All their Christmas items were at least half off; some things more.  This is how we stock the Christmas store at school, for the elementary students to buy Christmas presents early in December each year.  So I called the lady in charge, and she said yes, BUY as much as you can.  So I did!!  Here are two pics of the purchases.  For example - Those dishtowels were $6 for a pack of two.  They were half price.  So I got a dozen two-packs, will split them, which makes them $1.50 each.  We add $.50 to cover costs and provide some funds for the teachers.  These will be stored until next December, then the towels will be sold at the Christmas store for $2.00 each.  A bargain for the students, and make a little for the teachers for their classroom needs.

Blanket throws - Ribbons already around them.  $2.99 this morning!!

3. I wrote here about making a weighted blanket for my son.  Daughter-in-law put it on the bed.  And this morning I got a text:  "We both slept great!"  I really hope it helps.

4. Mike and I usually don't exchange gifts at Christmas.  We like to take a nice trip every so often, and that's plenty of gift for me.  But - it looks like I may be getting one this year.  This is for sale by some people that we know, and we've told them that we'd like it.  It's a good price, it will fit in the den really well, and - it's so comfortable I don't want to get up out of it.

5. Our children and we exchanged gifts last night.  It's so rare that the five of us all get together any more, that it was a nice treat.

Merry Christmas!!