Saturday, August 30, 2008

Beautiful Balloons

We had quite the action at our house tonight. There's a balloon festival in town, and at least 50 balloons came directly over our house about 7:00 tonight. They landed in the shopping center parking lots that are about a quarter mile from here. It was a beautiful site!

This picture, taken from the driveway, is of balloons directly over our pool house.
Ginger has fits whenever she sees balloons! I think she thinks she is protecting us by her endless barking. . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Pardon me for a little grousing, but I am tired of the word AMAZING. Seems like everything is amazing these days. Teenagers use the word endlessly, but as I was thinking about this on the way home, Sean Hannity was going on about the amazing inaccuracies at the DNC in Denver. I heard three testimonies at church not long ago and in those three heard the word amazing at least a dozen times. When everything is amazing, nothing is amazing.

Off my soapbox!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good advice

Last week a man in our church, who happens to have reared four outstanding children, shared some advice he had been given as a young man: He told his children,

"If you see me going some place, you may go there too."
"If you hear me saying something, you may say it too."
"If you see me doing something, you may do it too."

I've been thinking about that all week. I especially thought about it when I took something to eat in the den even though we don't eat in the den. The ramifications of example are the best teacher there is.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Daughter is a Senior!

We are picking out baby pictures for Mary Lee to submit to the yearbook. With a smaller school, each senior gets about a third of a page in the yearbook and includes a baby picture as well. We also are buying an ad in the back - a tradition for senior parents to do. (They get your money every way they can!!) Another childhood picture can be included there. Mike wrote the letter for Mary Lee's ad since she is such a daddy's girl. It's beautiful - another example of his eloquence when he writes a letter - but anybody who wants to read it will have to wait until the yearbook comes out in May!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Science Changes

One of the things I teach (or try to teach) students is that science has limitations - it is not the solver of all the world's problems as some would have us think. For example, science cannot make value judgments - it cannot decide if abortion or euthanasia is right or wrong. Science is limited to models in some areas because some things are too big or too small to study directly. Science cannot study spiritual things because they are not observable. Science can't prove a universal negative because man cannot be everywhere at once. Science can't adequately study origins because they are not observable - no one was there.

The rapidly changing path of Tropical Storm Fay has borne out three other limitations of science.
  1. Science changes - it is workable but not permanent.
  2. Science is fallible - it makes mistakes.
  3. Science cannot change God-ordained restrictions. Scientists cannot change the direction of a tropical storm just as they cannot change the speed of the rotation of the earth or the speed of the revolution of the earth around the sun. There is absolutely nothing they can do except attempt to predict which way the storm is going to go.

As of right now, it looks like Tropical Storm Fay will not really affect our weather. It changed directions greatly over a twenty-four hour period. It's a disappointment that we probably are not going to get the hoped-for rainfall. But it makes a great example for use in my classroom right here at the start of the school year.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Misc.

My room was reasonably ready by Wednesday afternoon this year, but I still didn't get everything done until Friday afternoon. Either I had more to do than usual, or work expands to fill the time allotted, but it took me all week. I have four new students in my homeroom (juniors) which is unusual once students get that far along in their educational careers.
The orange room is really different--for the first time our rooms were painted colors this summer, instead of the usual blah pale yellow they used to use when they repainted. It is not quite as intense as this picture would make it look--it's actually a pretty shade. The painters made a mistake at first and painted it pink. I didn't mind it too much but everyone else who looked at it said it was way, way too pink for a classroom. My principal said that if anyone at school got sick to their stomachs, he could just send them to my room and they'd be inside a Pepto-Bismol bottle. So everyone else, at least, is relieved that it is now orange.
The lantana did unbelievably well this summer in spite of the drought. These are just two plants! Today Mary Lee was on the porch talking to a friend on the phone , and saw a snake slithering up the metal post of the screen. Unfortunately, she said it was brown, not black - which means we may have a copperhead looking for water or a cool place. We'll have to keep a close watch when we go outside.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Open House - New School Year

Well, open house is tonight and the school year starts again on Monday. So my time for completing a thought about anything other than "What do I have to get done next?" is over. I relaxed more this summer than for years. With both offspring driving I did not spend my summer carting people all over the place, and it was nice. I was also able to be at home alone more than in the past.

But now my room is done, and five sets of lesson plans are in place for next week, and tonight I will meet new students and welcome old students back and just generally be gushy. I can do that just fine, but it's not as easy as it used to be.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pool Party

Had another crowd here last night as Andrew's college and career class came after church to swim. At Andrew's request I made lasagna - THREE of them to be precise. And they all got eaten along with corn, garlic bread, and ice cream and peaches. They just about splashed all the water out of the pool with all their belly flops and antics. I'm always glad when young people have a good time in a good way.

Mary Lee was not here - she is in Cleveland visiting her friend from art camp. I talked to her briefly on the phone today - she wants to move there. :-) She flew alone yesterday for the first time. It's kind of hard on a mother to watch her teenage daughter disappear through security at an airport knowing there are all kinds of crazies out there.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


- Inservice starts Monday. I'm actually ready to go back this year, at least as much as possible considering I don't feel so great.

- Andrew goes to see Ernie Haase and Signature Sound today. He's been thrilled about this for weeks.

- A group of teenagers were here Thursday night. They swam and then played a rousing game of Monopoly. It always blesses my heart when good kids can get together and have good, clean fun.

- I went to a yard sale this morning and got seven hats that would be perfect for the play "Our Town" if we do it this fall. Maybe that's a sign?!!

- Two people made the peach muffins recipe posted below. One said "yummy" and the other one said they didn't quite turn out - were a little gummy. I do remember that happening a time or two, and wonder if humidity might have something to do with it? Or maybe they just need a little more flour.

- The Olympics opening ceremonies (what I watched - I went to bed at 10:00) were an incredible display of technology and pageantry. Each segment was fascinating. However, during the segments about the "spirit of harmony flowing throughout" etc., and similar ideas portrayed several times, I couldn't help but think that paganism doesn't have to look dark and black - it can be displayed in beautiful and entrancing forms such as what was shown last night. I always think of what my dad said about China after spending eight weeks there - "If the world is dark, then China is abjectly dark."

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Tonight I went to the visitation for our former pastor, Dr. Russell Rice. I don't think there is anyone who ever knew Dr. Rice who doesn't smile when they think of him. He was a people person extraordinare. Tonight he was dressed in his best "preaching suit," with his hands crossed, his Bible in one hand and his glasses in his other, and he looked so natural that he could have just gotten up and gone to the pulpit.

I remember telling him once that I needed 15 minutes to discuss some missions matters with him. Two hours later, I finally had to get him to stop telling stories as the kids were out of school by then! Or when Mike was in the hospital with back surgery, and he was telling stories so intensely that he didn't notice when Mike's supper tray came. . .and the food started cooling. . .and got colder, and colder. Dr. Rice was oblivious, he was having such a good time talking to Mike and me one on one.

I remember Dr. Rice's love for the Monterrey missions work, and will never forget watching him hand out Scofield KJV study Bibles to a hundred or so Mexican pastors during the Bible conference in 1998 that we took about 30 people to Mexico to participate in. People were his love, his heart, his ministry. He had no need at all to extol his own virtues and was not out for himself. He was a great man.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Peach Muffin Recipe

Okay, I've had two comments on the last post and both have requested the recipe for peach muffins! So here goes (BTW, only my mom, sisters, and Illinois family members would probably know what the Rassi cookbook is.) :-)


1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups peach puree (5-6 medium peaches pureed in blender, including skins)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, then peach puree. Add in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and vanilla, and stir just until well mixed. Line 12-muffin and 6-muffin pans each with paper liners. Fill until all batter is gone. Bake 350 for about 20 minutes or until slightly brown along edges of liners. Makes 18 really, really good muffins and something very different from the usual peach recipes!


Last week of summer - Day 1. Makes me sad even though it has been a very relaxing summer for me. Today I took care of some ripe peaches - made them into peach muffins. They were a favorite of Andrew's when he was a child . . . because they didn't have "humps."

First you blend the peaches - skins
and all.

Then you make the muffins using a Peach Bread recipe from the Rassi Cookbook which calls for two cups of peach puree. They might not be real dramatic to look at, but they are delicious. They're flavored with cinnamon as well.

My family likes these so much that I put up several freezer bags of peach puree each summer so that we can have peach muffins several times during the winter as well.

And there's fresh peach jam behind the muffins as well - made last week. It's been wonderful to have peaches this year. Last year there were none, and we missed them.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Reading and Reading!

Well, I have been reading voraciously lately. That's one advantage to being a little under the weather and not really feeling well enough to do much else. It's also something I'd better do this week as. . .school starts for me next Monday. I don't usually read much fiction but have consumed three novels in the last few days, and two of the three were really, really good reads. Will share more in detail about them in the next couple of posts.

I've also found a website called Faithful Reader that has wonderful book reviews, and one reviewer in particular, Marcia Ford, who has very similar thoughts to mine about books. For instance, about one author who wrote one particular novel that I thought was better than her previous things I'd read, Marcia Ford comments on an award the book won, "It's certainly the best, or among the best, from [this author] and the accolades it has received should encourage her to maintain the higher standard she set for herself with this book."

But the neatest thing was what happened when I finished a book this evening called The Mending String by Cliff Coon. After finishing the book and then reading the acknowledgements, he thanks the members from his writing critique group - and one of my old roommates from college, a good friend over the years, was mentioned! I'm sure it's her because he lived in the same town. She's been interested in writing for sometime, but I didn't realize she'd gotten her name into something put out by Moody Press! My claim to fame!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Packages and eBay

Packages are coming in every day with the things I've ordered for the library. I have always loved this opportunity in the summers. The $$ has been more limited this year due to a very tight budget at school, but someone very kindly gave $100 to extend the resources. With those extra funds I was able to replace a number of DK Eyewitness books and add several that we don't have. The elementary students especially love those DK Eyewitness books, and they are a good set of books for them to concentrate on.

I'm trying very hard to get resources that are educational, not just time fillers. That's why it was good to find things like animated cartoons of a number of famous classics; also a set called "Liberty's Kids" that shows two child "reporters" who are reporting on the history of our nation during the Revolutionary time period. Also there are a lot of NOVAs, National Geographics, and History Channel Modern Marvels out there if one searches. Some of the Modern Marvels can be very interesting - we're getting Candy, Fireworks, and Computers, for example. I try to get DVDs where possible, but if a VHS is available really cheaply, it is sometimes an option.

It's just very heartwarming to see new resources and books being used once the school year starts. It is a "ministry" for me.