Saturday, August 25, 2007

Energizer Hibiscus

I am still amazed at the beauty of this plant. It just does not quit blooming. Last week we thought it might be done, and then this is what it looked like this morning.

If you need some beauty in your life--get a hibiscus!

Friday, August 24, 2007

He is There

We took Andrew to college tonight. He packed all morning and paced all afternoon, waiting to go. He was absolutely beside himself with excitement. He doesn't understand why some of his local friends are going tonight to check in and then returning home for the weekend; his take is "I'm going to college--I'm staying!!" His "friend who is a female" from another state arrived there today also and they saw each other very soon, so that was exciting for him too. He unpacked the car in leaps and bounds. He will not sleep much tonight--in his new dorm bed!!--because his adrenalin level is so high.

I remember carrying him home eighteen years ago as a tiny baby and now today walking with him out the door as a grown man.

Tonight my heart is empty and my heart is full.

Another Reminisce--Brother and Sister

This was from a year ago, when the "Ladies of Virtue" hosted a medieval banquet to which they invited the "Men of Valor." It was a huge success and all the teens who participated in the two summer activities thoroughly enjoyed it. And it was one of those pivotal moments when Mom realizes, "My kids are growing up."
Well, what he didn't have on the ballfield in raw talent or even determination, he made up for with enthusiasm!

We take Andrew to college tonight at 6:00.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reminisce Week Continued

Not much to say about this one, is there?

My nephew, niece, and Mary Lee and Andrew at one of the "slumber parties" at Aunt Mary's house from years ago.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another reminiscing picture--

Note the yellow shoes. Andrew loved unusual shoes like that, and he loved wearing Chuck Taylors because his dad used to wear Chuck Taylors.

Expect to see several reminisces this week. I'll get over it after this week. :-)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Reminisce Week

Andrew goes to college on Friday so this is Reminisce Week.

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of my two children. It's enough to make me wish they were little again so I could squeeze them both.

Last night at church Andrew sang a solo in the choir number and as part of a quartet--the last time before he goes to college. Tonight we go to Wal-Mart to get all those last-minute necessities.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New (or old) camp idea?

Those who have read this blog know that I like the work of Doris Coffin Aldrich, writer for women and mothers who died in the late 1950s in a car accident. This summer on eBay I found another book she wrote of a different type, called The Firs of the Lord (written 1945), a history of a Christian camp and conference center in Washington state. This place was instrumental in the life of Isobel Kuhn and other members of Hudson Taylor's China Inland Mission, and I remember hearing it referred to in Kuhn's writings.

Here is the first part of the first chapter:

"It was quiet in the room as they sat there before the fire. The soft light shone on the faces of the young people nearest the hearth. Many were back in the shadows but all were one in their earnestness before the Lord.

"No one urged them to speak but first one and then another voiced the thought of his heart.
  • 'I never knew before what it meant to be a Christian. I want to accept the Lord as my Saviour tonight.'
  • 'The Lord has been so precious to me at this Conference. And as I go back to my work I'm going to live for Him more faithfully.'
  • 'My family aren't saved. And will you pray for me as I go home? I want to be a real witness for the Lord.'
  • 'Tonight I gave my life to the Lord for whatever He wants me to be or wherever He wants me to go.' . . .
"It seems as if the very walls of the room enfold and shelter the work of God being done there that night. And the great tall fir trees outside point to the heavens and the stars. . . .

"They close with a word of prayer and after saying 'good night' they go out, out through the fir trees and under the stars to their cabins or tents, there to dwell with thankfulness on that good work which the Lord has wrought in their hearts that night.

"They are not aware of how far-reaching will be the results of that meeting. But there are hundreds of young people who are in full-time service at home or abroad, who made their decision in that very room. A missionary here, a Christian worker there, a businessman, a busy mother, could all give testimony as to the blessing received through the Conference work at The Firs. And many have been born again in that firelit room and have gone away rejoicing in God their Saviour.

"The world draws its groups of young people together and with hilarity and excesses holds them. And what a contrast in this group, meeting together in the Name of the Lord! Young and old, little children and grown men, babes in Christ and stalwart Christians--all have been blessed and refreshed as they have gathered in His Name at the Firs."

The book in other places gives examples of how the conferences were set up.

My question is this: Would any of our Christian camps ever give consideration to having a conference where the emphasis is on extended time for personal communion with the Lord? Every one I've been to has been highly structured. What if a conference were billed as such:

"There will be a preaching/teaching service at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel of the camp. Attendees are then free to find a quiet spot anywhere on the campsite, or do as they please. The afternoon will be set aside for recreational time. In the evening the chapel will be open to all who wish to come for a time of unstructured singing and testimonies."

I think such would be well received. Then again, maybe our society--both Christian and at large--is so busy, busy, busy now (after all, this was in 1945) that people wouldn't know what to do at such a conference. But I suspect that what Christians need most is time for quietness and reflection, just to let the Lord speak to their hearts.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Jeep is Gone

The jeep is gone. Mike sold it last week. We're going to put a screened porch on the back of the house to replace the rotten deck, so he said this was his contribution to home improvements. It was hard to see it go!!!
Mary Lee created this bulletin board a year ago in the church hallway. I liked it so much I saved it when it was time to come down, and put it up in my room this year. I think it's beautiful.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From 0 to 100

Whew. Last week my pace was 0 and this week it's 100. Meetings all morning. All I have to do this afternoon is finish two bulletin boards, finish up other odds and ends in here, coordinate getting the room done for my good friend who can't be here today, take Mary Lee to work, get home in time to make Mike's supper before he goes to work, do paperwork, move materials for a new course, pick Mary Lee up from work, and go to church tonight. That's the rest of today.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

From the Beach to the Books

Tomorrow I start back to school. That's why this post is printed in black. :-)

This makes my twenty-eighth year in education as a teacher. That is a long time. I am an old battle-axe by now, like it or not! Since the fall of 1961, every year of my life has been defined by the back-to-school time of the year. That's almost sad. . .

I will be teaching chemistry this year and am not real excited about that. But somebody has to teach it, and since I've done it three times (though the most recent was eleven years ago) I'm the obvious person. Maybe it will be much better as we get into it. After easing mostly out of the sciences and into the English field over the past few years, this will be a big transition again. I'll have the same group of students, the juniors, twice a day. Chemistry 2nd and 3rd periods, and English last period of the day. 1st period will be eighth grade earth science, and 4th period will be senior English.

One bad thing about going to the beach the last week of summer vacation was that I didn't get ahead in my classroom as some years. So, although some teachers will go back tomorrow morning to a room that is completely ready to go. . .I won't be. Oh well. It always gets done by Friday night, one way or another.

p.s. I took the chemistry book to the beach. I brought it home from the beach. And that's all.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Birds and Hobcaw Barony

It's so nice to be at the beach.

We've seen a couple of the beautiful birds (painted buntings) pictured in the previous post. That is always one of the highlights of coming to this place. We now know where they usually "hide out," and they are so beautiful that it is always a treat to see one. (Mike and my mom got the best look at one three years ago--it is a reclusive bird to some degree--but we usually see at least one when we are here.) Other than that, the temperatures are so hot that there isn't much to see.

Yesterday we (Mike, Andrew, and I) toured Hobcaw Barony, the 17,500 acres of private land right next to DeBordieau that has a rich history--deeded in 1715 as a reward to a baron of King George, later carved into 11 rice plantations, and purchased in the early 1900s by Bernard Baruch, a self-made wealthy financier who was a counselor to presidents from Wilson to Kennedy and who was a SC native (that's the important part). His daughter Belle, who later purchased his land, deeded it to a foundation for research, so it will never fall into the hands of developers as so much beach land has. The land is rich with natural habitat of many types, and contains much history.

As part of the tour we went through Hobcaw House, the large home built by Baruch for use from November through April. We saw the room where Franklin Roosevelt loved to stay, Winston Churchill's favorite chair, and much other historical memorablia. The guide told us how the guests to the home would get up and hunt ducks until late morning (sometimes bringing down 100 per person per day), come in and rest awhile, then go to a nearby plantation and hunt quail, and worked into all this was fox hunting and deer hunting also. I could see Mike wistfully imagining what this kind of lifestyle would be like. I poked him in the arm and said "Too bad you weren't born into fabulous wealth, isn't it?" He immediately shot back, "Or at least married into it."

Sorry, buddy, you've got who you've got!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Teenagers in the House

I've been thinking about the things I like - and don't like - about having teenagers in the house. It's a good stage of life in many ways.

++Teens are old enough to talk about many things on an adult level.
--Sometimes teens don't want to talk about many things on an adult level.

++I can send my son on errands in the car.
--My son wants to take the car. A lot. To spend money he doesn't need to spend.

++I can say "Please clean up the car," and it gets cleaned up well.
--I get into the driver's seat and all the controls have been adjusted.

++Teens can fix their own food, snacks, and drinks without bothering me to do it.
--Teens don't clean up like I would.

++I'm only going to have one, not both, with me at school this fall.
--We start to pay a college bill this fall.

++Teens love to have their friends over.
--Teens love to have their friends over.
(Actually, it's fine and I'm happy to host them. It was just funny to put it that way. As long as I have a laz-y-boy in my bedroom I can go to and read when they're out in the den, I'm glad they want to come here!)

Overall, I'd have to say. . .I enjoy the teenager years more than the toddler years!!! Although it would be nice to have a little one climb into my lap once in awhile. . .

Wednesday, August 1, 2007