Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday from my 18 year old son

Ok, it's not so wordless... my son Sam is taking an astronomy class and is doing a project on light pollution. He borrowed my camera and tripod, and came back with some stunning pictures, although some are kind of surreal, like these. These are both pictures of the moon, taken Friday night, November 23.

That was before this happened though:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The only thing worse...

than getting in a car accident is when your kid gets in a car accident. When you're at work. And you work for 911. And your coworker stands up and says "Connie, I've got your son Sam on the line..." It's an awful awful feeling I had hoped to avoid. But, he's ok, and that's what's important. The other driver is too, and he didn't even flee the scene. He even had insurance, which is kind of a rare thing here.

But, the child has a 1994 Toyota Corolla, and it very well may be totaled. The front axle is definitely bent and there was something leaking, so, it doesn't look good. He only had collision coverage though. The thing is, the police made him vehicle #1. So even though he wasn't cited, it means he caused the accident. Even though he had a green arrow to turn left. The other driver says he had a green light too, and since there were no witnesses, they can't prove he didn't. So Sam failed to yield to oncoming traffic before turning left. What good is a green arrow at all if you have to yield to buffoons who run red lights?? Anyway... I'm trying not to freak out and worry, because if the other guy's insurance doesn't pay for it, I don't know how we're going to fix/replace his car. And he pretty much needs one. But, God has gotten us through worse than this. Way worse. So, I'll choose to trust...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Wordless Wednesday from DQ

My 15 year old took this picture last weekend.

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart

This year, for the first year since 2004, it's just going to be us for Thanksgiving. It makes me a little sad that we're not getting together with the friends that we have for the past few years, but it will still be a wonderful day. We've got a traditional meal planned, along with this yummy looking cheesecake, and since I'm off work tomorrow night, I can spend most of the day playing with the kids. Maybe we'll go to the park after dinner. Maybe we'll go to a movie. Maybe we'll just lay around being more stuffed than our turkey was before we got to it. But whatever we end up doing, thankfulness for all God has provided will never be far from our minds. But you know, we don't need thanksgiving to be thankful. I've learned it's necessary to be in a constant state of thankfulness no matter what the circumstances. For even the breath that I take, I am thankful. Because I've discovered through the past 3.5 years that it's really hard to be mopey and down in the dumps when I am thankful and praising God. Simplistic? Maybe... Maybe I'm just easily pleased. But when I stop thinking about how difficult life really can be (which is a focus on self really,) and start focusing on just being thankful, things aren't quite so hard.

My prayers this Thanksgiving is that we all can find blessings in simple gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I have officially lost my mind

I've suspected it for a while, but now there is no doubt. The proof? The fact that I willingly invited 3 children who are not mine to spend the night, and it's not even anybody's birthday. So, right now I have a 7 year old, two ten year olds, and two 12 year olds in my living room. 3 boys and two girls. 3 rambunctious loud boys, and 2 squealing girly-girls. My 18 year old says he's not coming home tonight, but I can't imagine why...

Saturday morning update: Yes Rebekah, we did survive the night, but just barely! I finally made sure they knew the address in case they set the house on fire and had to call 911, and locked myself in my room. I made sure to tell them in case they had to call, not to tell the operator they knew me. Actually, they're all having a really good time. The extra girl that's here is the only girl in a family of 6 kids, so she's having a great time with Sassy. Soon I'm going to give the girls some beads and string while the boys are busy with video games. My major complaint is that they don't eat anything. And then my kids don't eat while they are here. So last night for dinner I gave everybody the same amount that my kids normally eat. We wasted a LOT of food, then a half hour later, they were begging for something to eat. Other than that though, it's loud, but it's all good.

A must-read blog

Through following links, a couple weeks ago I came across a blog that has been constantly challenge me to think of God and faith in new ways. If you have a moment, go check out Prodigal Jon. From one of his posts:

Before I became a mailman I had to watch a video about not going on a crazy shooting spree. Honestly, part of our training was watching a news story about some mailmen that had done that. I always wondered why that was. Why was the phrase “going postal” something that had made its way into our vernacular? After a few weeks at the post office I had my answer.

The facility I worked at was a hub for other post offices, with tons and tons of mail filtering through it every day. The layout of the room I worked in was basically just a factory with standing cubes that you hand sorted the mail into. It was all pretty normal, except for the ceiling. Into the ceiling, covered catwalks had been built with black windows that looked down on the mailman. Inside those catwalks were the postal police, that secretive group that keeps mailman from stealing birthday cards or social security checks. The postal police were no joke. They had their own separate entrance and were like phantoms. I knew guys that had worked there 15 years and only seen a postal police officer once. They were constantly monitoring your every move. The brilliant thing is that because you couldn’t see into the tunnels suspended from the ceiling, you could never tell when they were there, which meant in a way that they were always there.

It sounds dumb, like having someone above your head that was waiting for you to fail would be something you could just brush off, but it was difficult. The sensation of having that hovering presence of condemnation became palpable. I wasn’t stealing mail, but it was still intimidating to have an unseen force watching my every move.

I didn’t know it then but that’s who God was to me. Separate from my daily life, he was floating above, unseen, unspeaking, waiting for me to mess up. He had me on his radar but it was only when I failed that my little light would start flashing and he would descend to punish.

I never saw him, but I could feel him up there. Watching. Watching. Watching.

I still think he does that, still think he watches me, but my understanding of what he is looking for has changed. It was actually a used car dealer that helped me change it. He told me in the midst of a project that when people come into get a loan, he looks for the good things in their credit history. He already knows they have bruised credit. He’s not surprised or shocked by that. But what he wants to do is sit down with the person and find the good in their life.

I think God is much more like that. He expects that failure I stumble through now and then on days that end with “y.” He knew I was capable of that. He doesn’t need to watch me to find that. In fact, he sent his son because he knew how desperate I would be when my mistakes caught up with me.

No, instead, he is standing next to me, watching. Waiting, creating even the good in my life. Pointing out the things I’ve missed, the moments of love and happiness and joy. He is not keeping a checklist of my mistakes, he is storing my tears in a bottle and unwrapping love upon love for me.

How are your ceilings? Is there a silent God stalking them? As you head into the weekend, will your neck hurt from craning up to see if he is there? Or will you let him show you the good you might not even know exists?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Can I just complain a little bit?

It's 8:02 am. I got home from work and taking the kids to school about 15 minutes ago. I want desperately to go to sleep. But I can't. Why? Because the next door neighbor is warming up his truck. Like he does every day right at the time when I want to sleep. It's been running in his driveway since I got home. It's the loudest truck I've ever heard in my entire life, and it's not even a semi. Complete with squealing belts and everything. See, their driveway is right next to my bedroom, so it's really really loud. For the past year or more, I've been tempted every morning to call the police for a noise disturbance, but because I work for them, I know the truck will leave before any officers can get here, and I really don't want to have a bad relationship with my neighbors. I like them, they are nice people, I just hate their stinkin truck! The thing is - this is ARIZONA! It's not even cold outside!

There's a really big problem with vehicle thefts here, especially when people leave their car or truck running and go back into the house. I hear it almost every day. I can almost guarantee you that this truck will never be stolen this way. Why? Just because it's so darn annoying!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

She's back

I was just sitting here with kids, when I started hearing a faint meowing. I told Sassy to go see what Zorro (our black kitty, the most awesome-est cat ever) was going on about. He was sitting in the window sill just chilling out, so then we opened the front door, and found the source of the meows. Chloe, the gray and white kitty, was sitting outside meowing incessantly. Sassy is thrilled, of course. She's the only one in the house. Well, maybe she'll be better if she's an outside cat. I just don't know how much more I can take of our clothes getting peed on at any chance she gets. Ugh.

I kind of like this one

But can't remember for the life of me where exactly I took it!

Friday, November 02, 2007

The gray and white kitty

Got out. It was a few days ago, Tuesday I think. We haven't seen her since. She had been an indoor cat, so she wasn't used to be outside. I'm kind of worried about her, but I can't say I miss her. If she found a basket with clothes in it (which happened more than I'd like to admit) she peed in it, and the thing even went on Sassy's backpack. Even still, Sassy (the 10 year old) is the only one in the house who could even touch the cat, but poor Sassy. A couple years ago we had a cat that was the same way, it was decidedly Sassy's cat, and that one died. This one was also Sassy's cat, and now she's gone too. She's taking this one well, but I think she's just being brave.