Tuesday, January 27, 2009


We actually have snow today and more than just a flurry. School wasn't cancelled early enough, so I was up and ready. But my dear children, who complain every day when I wake them up that it's too early and they need to sleep longer were up WAY before time for school. They had no idea school was cancelled. I had hoped for several hours of productive time before the requests began. That didn't happen. We are only supposed to get an inch or two, not a huge amount, but enough to close everything down. Tomorrow we are to get ice in the morning turning to rain in the afternoon. I guess that will put an end to our snow. The boys had tomorrow off anyway for a teacher work day. Sam is headed outside, Fred and Ben have already tested the snow. Ben is on the way to a friend's house since you can't stay home when school is cancelled. I'm not sure what the rest of us will do today, but whatever it is, we'll do it in the snow.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Have you seen the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed? If you haven't, you need to. We saw it Tuesday evening. Ben's comment was, "It was better than I thought it would be." It made Fred angry. The other two weren't sure they understood the whole thing, but I hope that they got the gist of it. Kudos to Ben Stein for being brave enough to take on the academic establishment in our country. His goal was to explore the lack of freedom to have any view of creation other than evolution in the scientific community. Chris was disappointed that the scientists on both sides did little to present arguments for their views, although there is a hilarious segment where a scientist seriously suggests that cells came alive on the back of crystals and then scorns Ben Stein for not understanding that. Richard Dawkins is featured as well. This all started when Stein heard that people in academia were being fired for even suggesting that there might be an intelligent designer. Whether or not you believe God created the earth, there should still be the freedom to express different theories without reprisal. Apparently there isn't in our country. In a powerful segment, Stein, a Jew, goes to Germany to explore the role evolution played in Nazi Germany--a rather large one it turns out. Things are changing because the next generation refuses to tow the party line on anything. I hope it does change and that my children can be part of that change. It was another reminder about the war we are in.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm Here

I didn't fall off the planet! It has been a busy four days. Friday we had 3 friends spend the night and then the day with us Saturday. It was a lot of fun. Fred played basketball Friday evening, and Peter had a game Saturday. All of us went to see them both play. Since the weather was so cold outside, we decided indoor activities were the thing to do. Saturday the kids braved the cold and went skating on the pond. The high on Friday was 19, so it was frozen solid. Still no snow here, but ice worked for the day. Sunday was church and meetings and Bible study. I am teaching the high school girls, and we are going through the book of 1 Peter. They are a great group of girls, and I'm so glad to get to know them better. Monday was MLK Day. We had dinner with friends and played games--a great thing to do on a cold holiday. Yesterday we watched much of the inauguration in the morning and up to the swearing in. It was amazing to see so many people crowding the mall and braving the cold. Metro said they transported almost 900,000 people yesterday. I have to admit that I was sad to see the Bush's leave. I know he's not the most popular guy right now, but I love the graciousness and kindness he has displayed to the Obamas. Yesterday was also the day I realized that some of us have mid-terms this week. Some spent some time studying yesterday, but not enough. I'm hoping to be better at this! Oh well, I guess there needs to be some responsibility on the part of the guilty parties as well. It looks like we'll be studying for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Where's the Snow?

Growing up in Ohio, I never felt the lack of snow. Usually the first flakes appeared around my birthday. I could trust that there would be enough snow to go sledding down the hill or tubing at the neighbors. Not so Virginia! We haven't had a good snow for a long time. Last year they gave us a token snow day. I think we had an inch. People here panic and things close for the threat of snow. I was teaching last year when one day it started to snow around noon. The kids were so excited that they were going to send us home. I kept telling them that there was no way they would send us home early for this. I was wrong! They were plannning on sending the students home, but the sheriff's office called the school and asked them to keep the kids until bus time. The students would have been leaving during the worst of the "storm," and the event was to be over by the time the buses came. Living in the south in winter is very strange. I kept the few students who were left busy until they released us for the day. When I walked downstairs at lunch, I was shocked to see a line of parents going out the door who had come to pick up their little dears so they wouldn't be out in the snow! I think the attendance woman said over 50% of the students went home. How insane! But I digress. I miss snow. I hope that we are up for a huge--12 inch or more--snow like the one that Ohio and Pennsylvania got last weekend. Two years ago it snowed quite a bit, and the boys were off the entire week of Valentine's Day. We had so much fun. The sun would melt the top of the snow during the day, but it would re-freeze at night. The boys had a blast on our hill with their sleds and snow boards. I'm envying those of you farther north right now. It looks like snow outside. It's dreary and gray and cold. But the clouds are empty. We still have another month or so, and in the hearts of my children hope springs eternal for that awesome snow fall.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

No More Metal

Notice the beautiful, straight, metal-free teeth! Fred got his braces off yesterday! Hooray! He got them on the day after his 13th birthday, so it's been a while. He hated the orthodontist office and would sometimes growl as we drove by. They are very kind and do everything they can to make the experience fun, or at least bearable. When they called him back yesterday, two of the technicians came out singing "You get your braces off today--Hooray" a la Chi-Chi's birthday song. It was hilarious. They gave him this nifty balloon and a bag filled with things he wasn't supposed to be eating with braces on--caramel, tootsie rolls, popcorn and assorted candy. I'm sure the dentist would be pleased! NOT! So our saga is over for now. He has a retainer, of course, which he hates, but not as much as the braces. Peter gets his retainer on Saturday to move some of his teeth to, hopefully, avoid braces in the future, so our account with the orthodontist continues. (The balloon is deflated because before I could get a picture with it, Ben had poked a hole in the back and started sucking out the helium. At least he asked Fred first!)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

I love New Year and the expectancy that it brings. (There's that word again). I know that many don't like this time of year, but it has always brought me excitement and a sense of purpose. At New Year's I can believe that I will be able to keep up with my exercise routine, be purposeful in my relationships, clean and refresh my home, and on and on. I don't suffer the discouragement of goals not met and promises to myself not kept. Those disappear on January 1st. The slate is wiped clean. Realistically, I know that I could do this in October or June as well, but it just doesn't feel the same. And, realistically, I have God's new mercies every morning to start again, according to the Bible. There's just something about January 1st that makes it all seem possible. So what are your resolutions or goals for this new year? I will be turning 40 this year, so I would like to make this a year that counts! I want to finally get "buff," at least in some kind of aerobic shape. I'd like to go on a mission trip somewhere. I want to memorize some significant part of the Bible. I'd like to maybe go on a retreat with God. I'd like to read the Bible to my kids at least 5 days a week. I have found that if my goals aren't specific then it's too easy to fudge, so I need to refine these into measurable goals. But this is a good place to start. I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing. You are keeping me accountable,which makes goals oh so much easier to keep.