Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 2/26/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five blog

1. I am getting a daughter-in-law!!  Last Friday evening my son proposed to his girlfriend...and she said YES.  Andrew has been beside himself ever since.  We are looking forward to this great event in our family!
2. The ring that Andrew gave to Teah is a family heirloom.  It was one of Mike's "picks" from his father's estate.  It's nice to know that she will be wearing a ring that has sentimental value to the family.

3. Andrew met Teah via Skype, over which they talked with each other for a year before meeting in person.  She was doing the same thing in Poland, that he was doing in China - teaching English as a means of ministry.  Andrew's best friend is Teah's sister's husband.  So Andrew and his best friend will be brothers-in-law!

4. In other news:  On Sunday, Mike was working, so Mary Lee met me at one of our favorite meat-and-three restaurants for lunch after church.  We have not seen very much of her as she has been extremely busy with the second-year evaluation program for teachers in our state system.  She and I had a lovely lunch!

5. Mike had a big test at work yesterday and passed with a 92.3%.  I'm always proud of him when he does so well on these written tests he has to take several times a year.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 2/19/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Mike and I were both off last Friday through Monday.  He was actually supposed to work, but took vacation since I was going to be off.  We didn't go anywhere, but still had a good weekend.  On Friday night we went out to eat with dear friends whom we don't see as often any more, but it's always good to be with them.  And on both Saturday and Monday, we drove out to the farm ponds to see if there was anything interesting  there.  On Saturday, we watched a white goose at quite a distance, and never could decide exactly if it was a Ross's goose (rare for our area) or a snow goose.  The two are similar, but would have been easy to figure out had it been close to us.  And on Monday, we saw a big variety of ducks in the pond.

2. I made a new roast recipe last Sunday when my folks came for dinner.  It's called a Mississippi Roast, and it's all over Facebook and other places on the internet.  It's cooked in the crockpot, with an envelope of au jus mix, an envelope of Ranch dressing, some pepperoncini peppers, and a stick of butter on the top!  No water.  It was good, especially for those among us who love hotter foods.  

3. I finished crocheting this blanket, as written about earlier, and last night worked out details for it
to go to my friend in Mexico.  It does look Mexican!
 4. During a faculty prayer meeting, my dear friend ended her prayer with the words "the great crowd of saints who have gone before us."  That, along with the words "Be still my soul, the day is hastening on, / When we shall be forever with the Lord" (from the last verse of "Be Still My Soul"), have been a source of meditation to my heart this week.

5. And finally, a little lighter - I downloaded this some time ago, and had it printed onto large butcher paper at Staples for a very reasonable amount of money (black and white).  This week I pulled it out and made it into a bulletin board.  The students love it and can't believe that an "old lady" like me could be on top of texting.  Little do they know.   :-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Over the four-day winter break from school, I finished reading The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver.  Not only finished it - but could barely put it down in the process.  Kingsolver's format in writing about the Prices, missionaries to the Congo, is to tell the story through the eyes of the five women in the family--the mother and the four girls, one voice speaking in each chapter.

This fictional Southern Baptist family went to the Congo in 1959, and the story is epic in that it covers the next three decades of their lives.  The overbearing, disconnected, and abusive minister father causes great and lasting harm to all of the family members.  The heart of the story covers the first couple of years of their tenure in Congo, although the repercussions continue throughout the rest of the book.  The events of the Price family parallel the events of the liberation of the Congo from Belgium in that time period, as aided by the U.S.
Many reviews have been written about this book, which was an Oprah's Book Club listing in 1998.  Most reviews written from a conservative perspective include the problems with the secular philosophy in the book - men are bad, women are good, native people are happier if you leave them alone, missionarying is wrong, etc.  I saw all of that.

However, what I really saw in this book was yet another example of the concept that everyone writes according to the laws of God that are written on our hearts, whether we acknowledge them or not.  Kingsolver in no way writes as a Christian author.  Yet her book illustrates these principles:

  • Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath.
  • Husbands, love your wives.
  • Pride goes before a fall.
  • A father's responsibility is to protect his family.
  • A husband and father who treats his family with disrespect and abuse will lose them.
  • Deep wounds can cause a lifetime of regrets and sadness.

. . .and many more as well.

Kingsolver is a master of characterization, and each girl spoke with a distinctively individual voice.  There were a few small objectionable elements; however, a mature reader could get past those issues to see the deeper issues that make reading this book worthwhile.  I could not easily follow all the historical information about the Belgium/Congo/US issues; however, I found the book to be gripping and moving, mainly due to Kingsolver's outstanding writing.

And this one is done

And this one is done!!  And I am glad.  A blanket with lots of monochromatic color is just too boring to keep me interested.  :-)  I also don't care for the stripe-style yarn, and learned that through making this one.  (The striped ends are actually even - it looks a little off due to the angle of the photograph.)  Furthermore, this was meant to be a boy blanket, and yet  the stripe yarn has pink in it.  It looks like I need to find someone from Mexico to give it to.  But--at least it is done.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 2/12/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

A lot of nice things happened this week!

 1. Last Friday night, we went to the nearest Apple store, about 40 miles away, and I got a new MacBook Pro!!  It is a wonderful new toy.  The old MacBook I'd been using was S-O-O-O slow.  This thing races along.  It should serve me well for a long time.

 2. Last Saturday morning we had a brunch in honor of my dad's 86th birthday.  This pic is of my parents, siblings, and spouses.  Several grandchildren were there also.  My youngest sister did most of the cooking and it was a great spread!
 3. This wasn't actually me, but I love it.  Mike was able to go to our daughter's classroom this week and do some demonstrations about electricity for them.  He drove to his work and got a lot of demonstration materials from the training center.  Daughter said the kids loved it - not surprising.  I'm just so proud of both of them!!
 4. Andrew's been working in Columbia all week, so one night Mike drove down and the two of them went to a Gamecocks basketball game.  It turned out to be a very exciting game and they had a wonderful time together.  Mike just stayed in Andrew's hotel room that night, so it was an enjoyable time all around with no pressure to drive home late at night.  (And I enjoyed the peace and quiet at home. . .)

If you look carefully in the picture below, you can see the two of them cheering.  I snapped this off the DVR recording when Mike found the two of them tonight!

5. WINTER BREAK.  I had Open House last night, and the trade-off is that we get Friday and Monday for a long weekend.  I'll take that trade-off any week!!  I am so looking forward to getting some rest as have been about half under the weather this week.  And we are supposed to go out with good friends for dinner tonight--always nice.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fifty Years

With my brother
With Aunt Louise & younger sisters
Last weekend I realized that  Saturday, February 6, marked 50 years since I became a Christian.  That is a notable date to be remembered.  

I was eight years old - old enough to understand clearly that I was a sinner and that only Jesus, through his death and resurrection on the cross, could rescue me from hell.   I never doubted that Jesus saved my soul that night in the old Landersville church.

Granted, later in life I had to make another decision about whether this salvation decision was going to rule my life or not, and I have never regretted living my life openly for God.

That night saved my soul and sent ahead a reservation in heaven.  However, fifty years of being a Christian have provided many other rewards than just being "fire insurance."  Salvation at an early age also protected me from much riotous living and addictions that would have brought a lifetime of regrets.  It gave me guidance to spare me from some bad decisions.  It allowed me to have a fulfilling career of working with young people in Christian school settings.  And salvation at an early age gave me many great Christian friends from every era of my life.

I'm still a sinner, doing wrong things that need forgiveness and having to face the consequences of any sin.  But salvation at age eight was a protection for life as well as for eternity.  God's mercy and grace are boundless.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 2/5/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Host Blog

 1. We took my dad out to his and my mom's favorite restaurant, overlooking the lake, last night for his birthday.  Great food (their fried shrimp is the best), great service.  Nice night.

2. This big heart on the wall in our high school hallway.  The Bible teachers put it up.  Students and teachers can write on a small heart how they have seen Jesus in a classmate or someone at school.  It's really an encouragement to read some of the things that students have observed and written down.

3. Last weekend, in five minutes on Saturday morning, I watched fourteen species at our bird feeders.  It was a riot of activity and looked like a bird airport, there was so much coming and going.  It was a big treat to watch.

4. Almost done with a child's blanket that I am ready to get finished.  Don't know whom to give it to yet, but at least it will be done and I can start on another one.  I know better than to crochet a blanket with mostly one color of solid yarn.  That's boring.  But I broke my own rule this time, and am eager to get it done.

5. Several nice times of being with my sister this week, who is visiting from Texas.  She's always glad to just fit into what's going on around here, and I've enjoyed being with her the last few days.