Monday, September 26, 2005


Some days surprises are good things... blessings.... some little random thing that brings a smile to your face. Other days surprises are ugly reminders of past failures, sins forgiven but still bearing consequences, petty inconveniences. How easy it is to lose sight of the fact that Almighty God is my Father--He desires to give me all things right & good. I have the sweet presence of His Spirit to uplift & encourage. So today, I'm passing on some reminders & surprises that I've received of late.

On the topic of surprises, here's a Xanga to read: (no longer public). Personally I think that post leads well into Jack's song text post. So... if I had any question in mind as to God's ability to use struggling believers, I think I've been answered, again! =)

Then there were my own "little" surprises of the last 2 weeks.
  • I had a good time on our mammoth trip!!!
  • Gas is as cheap in New York as in Virginia... and it's all the same price or cheaper than gas in SC!
  • The son travels well. So well in fact that he only cried three times while we were gone. No kidding!!
    1. I smashed his arm between my shoulder & a door I was trying to open--bad mommy!
    2. His head got cracked with a cousin's head.
    3. One major gas attack, first one in about 4 months--his mom's fault again, too many weird things in my diet.
  • The critters all died while we were gone... well, except for the fish. They seemed especially glad to see us last night.
  • I'm allergic to my house! I was starting to come down with something before we left. It went away while we were gone, but now that we're home, it's back again!

So... I'm off to blow my nose..... again....

We're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

Yeah!!! Umpteen kazillion miles & too many little kids to count later, we're home again. 'Twas very sweet to sleep in our very own bed last night.

Now to wade through all the stuff that we've been carting around in the bed of the truck with us, distribute various items (inc. a HUGE tin of TH coffee to my dear LJ), find the packet of mail that's been held for us, chase out all the critters that decided to move in while we were gone.... yanno, do all that "just home from a long trip" stuff.....

THEN I'll curl up with the book I never read while we were traveling, sip a big mug of my very own TH cocoa, and rest a while!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Entering non-cyber space....

Well, sometime later this morning we're off to New Jersey for the last major leg of our 'tour de norte americana.' Alas, my parents have not entered the computer age, so there will likely be no more posts until we get back home. Oh well.

Sunday Sept 18th
We left at 8:30am to drive 2 hours to the little church my brother-in-law has just been called to pastor. Anyone ever heard of W_ville, NY?? It's remotely near Ithica, and is actually very similiar in feel to the area where they currently live (Red Creek). Don't these "town" names tell you something right off the bat? I do use the term town loosely as they have one stop sigh each. W_ville must be a bit larger though, because it has its own post office!! ANYWAY......

Sermon was good, then the folks had a luncheon for us all.... saying good-bye to the intern who's been there for close to 10 months & welcome to the new pastor (my B-i-L... aka my husband's sister's hubby, hence my brother-in-law). Good food. Baptists sure do know how to do pot-luck dinners!! After lunch we checked out the parsonage, took pictures, etc., then loaded back up and headed to choir practice at the B&S-i-L's church. Why they're going to choir practice on their next-to-last Sunday there, I dunno. I guess some people are just dedicated. =) We got stuck after church b/c their pastor had announced that this was their next-to-last Sunday so everybody & his brother wanted to tak to them. Can't blame 'em. The B&SiL are pretty cool.

Monday, Sept 19th
Hubby & B-i-L took a big load of stuff down to their new place in W_ville. Kids hung out and watched Pinochio like 2 1/2 times in a row. T'was a get stuff done day.... relatively quiet, 'cept for yelling kids & yelling parents & screechy old dryers (sounded like it's in desparate need of like 5 cans of WD-40). Anyone know why it's called WD-40?? I heard once.... but don't remember......... I let go of my boot strap & my brain wandered off.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

New York.... New York....

Actually we're nowhere near the city. We're much nearer Lake Ontario & the Canadian border. Had rain today, so the chillin's spent most of the day tearing around inside. Well, actually it cleared up a bit this afternoon, so they were outside for a while. Grammy & Grampa V came out from CT for to see us all today. That was cool. Haven't seen them since the little dragon was just 2 months old, so he's changed quite a bit!

Speaking of the babe.... he's making waves as usual... He fell asleep in less than 5 minutes (and QUIETLY) for each of the 4 naps he took today. (Yeah! Proud momma!) Only one major whack on the head.... I was holding him so one of his younger cousins could see him/entertain him by jumping up & yelling "Hi K!" Naturally I leaned over with the baby *just* as his cousin was jumping up... so they both got quite a whack on the head. I heard skulls meeting..... sigh. Kid is fine, he was really more startled than hurt. Got a hard head, that one! (like his mom & dad!)

Well, church is tomorrow... need sleep before then! Hard to be in the right frame of mind for worship when I'm short on sleep!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Early New York Posting....

Ha!! We're staying with Posts, so it's kinda funny somehow. Maybe it's just the cumulative effects of 6 nights in strange beds, but I'm tired!!!

Wednesday, Sept 14th... Slept in. Had blueberry pancakes with *real* maple syrup on them. Hung out with our hostess who works PT for the Gideons in Canada. Went to the wedding rehearsal at 5. Well, it was supposed to start at 5pm. We got there at 5:30 and the matron of honor and flower girl as well as the bride's parents were all missing. Once everyone showed up, it all went well.....
Rehearsal dinner afterwards was a HUGE pizza party at the brides parents' house. Cool. Hung out yakking & catching up til midnight. Found out it's illegal to park on the grass in Guelph. They'll actually ticket you if they're in the mood. No, we didn't get a ticket even though we had parked on the grass. Apparently they saw the out-of-country plates on our pick-up truck, assumed we were red-necks with shotguns, and left us alone.

Thursday, Sept 15th. Wedding day (no, not mine). Slept in again. Had omelets & toast for breakfast. Was introduced to "Map-O-Spread," a processed sugar spread that tastes like maple syrup. Sweet, strange, if you ate too much you'd understand how Edmund felt after a box of Turkish Delight. Hung out at the hosts house. Tried to find the cousins who were driving up from Chicago.... Hotel they were supposed to be at had no record of them.
We got to the wedding (at 4pm) with 10 minutes to spare. Just long enough to toss the kid into the jail-like crib in the nursery then get to our reserved seats. Being cousin of the bride does have its perks.

Reception was an old-fashioned sit-down dinner that started 2 1/2 hours after the wedding started. Good food. Had chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Didn't hold a candle to LJ's though!! After the reception, we went back to the hosts place & crashed since by then it was after 10:00pm & baby dragon was TIRED!!!

Friday, Sept 16th. Driving & Kids day... Driving kids day.... Kids driving day... Kids driving me.... well.... you get the picture. Last day with my family in Guelph, ON, Canada. Got up & packed this morning, then headed over to my aunt & uncle's place (bride's parents). They had graciously invited the entire world over for breakfast. Actually, just the cousins who were in town for the wedding. 7 cousins in all, responsible for 9 "little cousins" all under the age of 9. Had brunch with them all, then hit the road for Red Creek, NY again.

Took about 10 minutes to cross the border. Guy asked our citizenship, where we were going, where we'd been; then waved us through. Didn't even ask to see photo ID, much less proof of anything else. Oh well. 3 hours post-border crossing, we arrived to another house-load of kids. This time we had supper with a total of 7 kids (nieces and nephews) under the age of 9. My poor baby dragon, the only one common to both groups, was looking a little shell-shocked by bedtime. I think he'll sleep well tonight!

Speaking of sleeping well...... it's that time. Before too long there will be the patter (or stomping) of 5 little pairs of feet on the floor above us, so I'd better sleep before they wake up... for it's certain there will be no sleeping after they awaken!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mid-Canada Posting

Well... when we left on this trip, I was hoping to do a post a day. HAHAHA.

Saturday we had a great trip up to the mountains of Virginia.

Sunday we had a great little church service, picnic lunch with the folks from church there, then on the road again to northwestern New York... arrived at 1:30am Monday...... fished the spare key out from under a carpet in the back porch & let ourselves in. Schweeeet sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... But anyway!!

Later Monday we drove west on NY 104 straight to the Canadian border & were across in 10 minutes. An hour & a half later, little BD #1 got to meet another one of his 3 namesake Uncle K's.

Tuesday we slept in (yessssssssssssssssssssssssss) had a HUGE breakfast (sausage & eggs & toast & coffee & juice) cooked by our air traffic controller host. Cool guy!!!

Well....... nieces are all in bed, so it's time for the adults to have their pie & ice cream. YUM!!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Pre-Trip Posting....

Kinda sounds like I'm planning to OD soon... No fear.... well, at least not of my doing drugs any time soon. Anyway...........

Today we embark on an 8 state, 2 country trip... in excess of 2000 miles--which may explain why I've been obsessing about gas prices. Given that gas prices are up because of Katrina though, I think I'll just shut up & count my blessings.

As we leave, I'm wondering how many species of critter will decide to take up residence in our absence. Haven't seen too many mice lately, but I think I have an explanation for that. Monday I got to see my dear friend the king snake staking his claim in the wall by the water pipes for the washer. Hopefully he will continue to monitor & keep the rodent population in check while we're gone.....

So... we leave today for Virginia. Then it's on to Red Creek, NY and Guelph, ON... back to Red Creek, then to Ocean City, NJ..... I can see the lines on the highway flashing by already!! We have miles to go before we sleep......

Speaking of which, I need a wink or two before we depart. Will try to update occasionally while we're gone... lest I forget what's happening from one day to the next....

Grace & Peace & lots of Love... and if you want to come feed my fishes, see LoroJoro!

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Grace, part 2......

"I wanted to read it cuz I am often at a loss when trying to understand people that use the term "grace" just a little too much (IMO)..." If you care to read the context of that comment, see my parenting post.

With all apologies to you dear three who are currently in her direct line of fire, I want to re-phrase my question about grace a bit. I kept the little slip of paper because I vehemently disagree with that definition of grace.... but I can't explain properly (or at all at this time of a.m.) why I disagree.

Yes, her comment reminded me of the little slip of paper about grace.... and yes, I chuckled at her comment because it reminds me of my own reaction when I hear "all truth is God's truth" for the umpteenth time in a month... buuuuuuut anyway!

I think there's a connection, isn't there, between a person's view of God and their view of grace? Between a person's view of grace & their perspective on their fellow believers? (Mote & beam, etc.) I say to myself (after spending a bit of time talking to LR last night about a certain e-mail from her), I wonder if her being "at a loss when trying to understand people that use the term grace" has anything to do with her propensity to argue that anyone with whom she does not agree must "defend their position" and/or "prove from Scripture" that their position is a valid one?? I do agree w/ LJ that there's a worldview difference at play here... man, I hate being a Johnny-come-lately in good discussions.....

Anyway... so.... what say ye? What is grace? Is it over- or under- used/utilized??


As a believer, how do you define grace?? This morning I went looking for a slip of paper on which I'd scrawled a definition of grace I once heard. (I'll forgo mentioning where and by whom the comment was made.) I wrote it out for the specific purpose of questioning its validity.... here it is.

Grace: God's enabling power to do what He expects. *????* Accurate? Valid? True definition? Thoughts... Comments... Alternative/replacement definitions??

**In the years that have passed since this was first posted, that definition has been modified. First to: God's enabling power to do His will. Later to: God's enabling power and desire to do His will. Now it stands as: God's enabling power to do what the flesh cannot. My questions still linger. Is this a valid, Biblical definition of grace?

Monday, September 5, 2005

Grace-Based Parenting?


Yes, I know... That's a weighty topic with LOTS and LOTS of angles, takes, depths to be plumbed, arguments to be made... in general... a controversial topic... but a topic with which most married couples must grapple at some point.

As a relatively young parent myself (my first is only 5 months old), I have no advice to give, but I do try to keep an ear to the ground for those dispensing advice. Funny thing.... advice is always easier to dispense than to accept, no?

Anyway, I was visiting with friends this evening and had the book Grace-based Parenting recommended. Actually none of us had heard of the book before, but the book was recommended to a friend... Before we go spend $20 on an "advice book", just wondering if anyone else out there has heard or or knows anything about the book. I did go look it up on-line (hence the link) but thought I'd pose the call for testimonials.... if anyone out there has any........... Thanks!!