Thursday, September 27, 2007

To The Fair

We took time from working on the house to take the kids to the county fair. They got to ride an elephant, see pygmy pigs race, the turkey stampede, a Llama, the goats play, three newborn calves, a 13 foot alligator, a 1,000 pound pig, and a little lamb and many sheep. Seeing the animals has always been their favorite part of the fair. Bryn got enough nerve to pet the goats, calf, and elephant. Of course we couldn't resist the cotton candy and carmel corn.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An Amazing Woman

The one resolution, which was in my mind long before it took the form of a resolution, is the key-note of my life. It is this, always to regard as mere impertinences of fate the handicaps which were placed upon my life almost at the beginning. I resolved that they should not crush or dwarf my soul, but rather be made to blossom, like Aaron's rod, with flowers.- Helen Keller

I don't need to add anything. This woman was absolutely incredible, and what a statement!

EDIT - Monday evening, Sept. 24. I actually did add a thought to this in my comment section with my response to Carol and Karen. Check it out to give me your thoughts on applying this quote to your spiritual life.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Got Tile? I Do Now

His name is Javier, and I do believe he is the best tile layer I have ever seen. He worked fast and with perfection. It is a porcelain tile that resembles stone and the grout is not porous and will not stain. I think I am loving it. For all of you who have said prayers, lit candles, and crossed your fingers, I say thank you. There is now what seems like miles of tile in my house and carpet layers are here as I speak. I think I feel a shout comin' on!! Maybe by tomorrow I will have a picture of carpet. Carpet should be finished this weekend and then the contractor's team will return Monday to install new baseboards, replace vent covers, and touch-up any needed areas. If my feet weren't so tired, I think I would feel like dancing!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Balancing Service And Love

Recently, I was speaking to someone who has encountered some struggles in their spiritual life. During this conversation I felt impressed to share a thought and I want to pass it along to you. Our relationship with the Lord should be much like a happy marriage but, what makes a marriage provide happiness? Two things that one must give in a marriage, is service and love. Normally, service does not bring the greatest happiness, but rather love. I serve my husband when I make his bed, do his laundry, and serve him a home-cooked meal. This service is appreciated, but my husband desires my love more. Often times we serve God, but forget to love Him. We offer service to Him when we teach a Sunday School class, drive a bus, clean the church, play an instrument, and the list can go on and on. Yet, more than all the service we willingly and cheerfully give, He desires our love even more. How do I love Him? When I enter into His presence, I pour my love and adoration to Him through worship. I brag about Him to others and make known He is the love of my life. Many have learned how to serve, but love seems to be something foreign. For others, their time to love is eaten by their service. To strengthen your relationship with the Lord, evaluate your time of service and love and make sure it has a healthy balance.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Praise On The Mountain

Saturday was Praise On The Mountain at Six Flags in Valencia, California which is an annual concert sponsored by the Western District Youth Department. The venue seats nearly 3500 people, and long lines form early to get a seat close to the stage. Featured performers were the Merced Choir, Holy Hands of Tulare, the WAY Quartet and WAY Choir. Opening with the "Star Spangled Banner," Merced Sanctuary Choir displayed talent superior to any I have ever seen. Their band was tight, the harmony, diction, style of the vocals superb, and the energy of the anointing was strong. WAY Quartet was missing one of their quartet, but the director of WAY Choir stepped in and filled in the blank. Of course, everyone did a fantastic job.

This was my first time to take Bryn and she had her first roller coaster ride. If you look real close, you can see a speck of flying, red hair in the 4th car. (Click on photos to enlarge.) She also met some characters including Porky and Petunia. Blake, now tall enough to ride the big rides, disappeared with friends and I didn't see him nearly all day. When the concert was over, Blake and Bryn were ready to get to the car, put on their p.j.'s and fall asleep while we drove the two hours to home. Bright and early the next morning, Bryn awoke and said, "Mommy, are we going to Magic Mountain today?" I think we will wait until next year. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another House Update

Finally, we received 1/3 of our insurance monies to help further the progress on the repairs of our house. It has now been four months and a week since the house flooded, and frustrated can't really begin to describe how we are feeling. This past Friday, tile was installed in the two upstairs bathrooms and painting began in the kitchen. Hopefully, we will have some carpet being installed by the end of this week. The pictures above show a portion of the living room. Why don't you pull up a chair and sit on the floor with us. :) Bryn decided to strike a pose and you can also see the plastic sheeting covering things they don't want to get paint over-spray. Thankfully, the light is getting brighter at the end of this dark tunnel.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Girl, Talking 'Bout My Girl

A favorite time at camp, is hearing the children while they are playing throughout the day. Laughter, squeals, skates clanking, bikes squeaking, and the high pitch of glee. Bryn loves being at camp more than anything else. My challenge, is to keep her hair out of her eyes. Believe me, I really do try. There are ponytail holders, scrunchies, barrettes, but alas, they disappear and the hair is in her face once again. My friend, Mervi, snapped some pictures while she was playing and, oh, well, you know where I'm going - - - another brag moment. I think she is beautiful even with hair in her eyes. :)
P.S. Thanks, Mervi, for taking this pic and giving it to me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Take Courage

The direst foe of courage is the fear itself, not the object of it, and the man who can overcome his own terror is a hero and more.- -- George MacDonald

Today, many remember the tragic events of 9/11 with solemn tears, grief, and fear of a reoccurence. In the face of terrorism and evil, it is of utmost importance that we remain the courageous, strong people our reputation has earned. Fear will steal courage from our very being, but to overcome our own terror is heroic. Let this day serve as a reminder we are a strong nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and speak and act courageously - speak and act truth, speak and act love, speak and act peace.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fear - Not Of God

You are all so sweet to think of me and my situation, that none of you answered the question I posted at the bottom of "Say 'No' to Countrywide." So, I am going to try again and see if any of you want to share a moment of fear you may have had in your life. Have any of you ever looked fear in the face? Scripture tells us that God has not given us the spirit of fear, yet there are times in life we face fear. How do you react? Do you face fear with confidence and bravery? Is there a certain fear you have difficulty putting behind you? Did you have a fearful situation that made you stronger, more courageous, or confident? Below is the quote that caused me to think about fear.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.- -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Pursue Purpose

A life without purpose is a languid, drifting thing; Every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves: This day let me make a sound beginning, for what we have hitherto done is naught!- -- Thomas A. Kempis

When I read the above quote, I was immediately challenged to pursue purpose and reminded that I cannot be comfortable with past accomplishments. Have you ever known someone who set out to achieve a certain goal and after reaching it, they lost interest in maintaining the achievement? I know people who have reached the "top" and then did not strive to reach for more. Jane, the lady who I consider to be one of the greatest influences in my life, has three sons who are all successful in their individual ways. One of her sons, has performed so many different jobs and followed so many dreams it would take pages (literally) to list them all. Yet, at pushing 60 years old, he continues to seek knowledge and chase more dreams. If I need information on any subject, I can talk to him and it is like having a live Internet search engine. He does not live on yesterday, but works hard today and pushes for a better tomorrow. Yesterday's achievements have passed and I must now push forward.