Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pictures From A While Ago

Occasionally, I like to stroll (jog, meander, walk, ambulate) down Memory Lane and look back at what our family was up to in the previous year. Here are a few pictorial memories from January and February, 2009.


Sarah ready for Tacky Day at school. Or was it Wacky Day? I can never remember. How 'bout if we just call it Tacky Wacky Day and be done with it?

Sarah and Steve enjoying an infrequent North Carolina snowfall.



The Chicken Soup for the Soul book finally arrived at our house! (If you're a newly arrived reader, the Cancer Book included a story that I wrote about Sarah. You can find out how to order an autographed copy by scrolling down the right column.)


And speaking of autographs, Sarah has signed a ton of them!

Last February, we met up with a few new blogger friends in Atlanta. Our family was in town to pick up Nathan at the airport (he was returning from five weeks in Jerusalem) and we had the great joy of hanging out with some of the best bloggin' buds on the planet! (Or at least in Georgia.)

While we were at the restaurant, I got the phone call from Nate saying his plane was on the ground. Woo-hoo!

Sarah and I enjoying the evening.


On the way to Atlanta, Snowy decided that Steve's body would make a lovely lounging area.

Sarah spent a couple days at Victoria's house in Charlotte.

Steve and Sarah went out for dinner and a movie one night. (Leaving Snowy and I home. Alone. Bereft. Lonely. Discombobulated. But we're not bitter.)

Sarah's message to the world!

One more test in a long line of tests.

Sarah goes country

Nathan goes to Israel

And your screen . . . . goes . . . . blank.

I'm done!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Meagan Doing Redeemer (re-posted)

A request was made in the Comments section earlier this week asking if I would re-post the video of Meagan (Nathan's girlfriend) performing "Redeemer." The video I posted originally didn't have real great sound quality; I'm hoping that this version (performed at our church in Manteo) does a little better.

There's a little "jump" in the middle of the video since I have a video camera that isn't able to zoom in unless you stop taping for a minute. So I apologize for that bit of "unsmoothness" midway through. (And yes, unsmoothness is a word. I just created it!)

Steve is sitting on the platform behind Meagan as she performs and occasionally, you will see him raise his hands. Just in case you're wondering what that is all about, there's a 60-second theology lesson posted after the video. (And there WILL be a test!)

The lyrics are posted below the video. Enjoy!

video



REDEEMER

1. Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean, "You can only come this far?"
And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Chorus:
Well, I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives


2. The very same God Who spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Chorus:
Now I know, my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know
My Redeemer

Bridge:
He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives
Forever I'll proclaim
That the payment for my sins
Was the precious life He gave
And now He's alive and
There's an empty grave

And I know
My Redeemer lives, He lives
I know, My Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer lives



THEOLOGY LESSON

The book of Psalms refers many times to raising hands in worship and so many churches make that a part of their worship experience.

And to make the concept a bit more understandable, think about what football fans do when their teams scores a touch down. Hands in the air. Think about the audience's response at a big concert. Hands in the air. Think about your reaction if a criminal sticks his gun in your ribs. Hands in the air.

And so briefly, hands in the air represent worship, exultation, surrender. Simple as that!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Few Questions. A Few Answers. Forthwithly. Sort of.

I've got a few questions to answer from the comments area, so I shall just go ahead and launch into that endeavor forthwith.

Just so you know, I have always wanted to use "forthwith" in a sentence and now I have done it! In a forthwith-ish sort of manner.

However, in going into this long explanation about how much I've always wanted to use "forthwith" in a sentence, I think that I have actually kept myself from doing what I said I was going to do, which was to launch into answering questions forthwith.

And now, sadly, it's too late to answer the questions from the Comments section forwith-ly because one can't do something forthwith-ly with three entire paragraphs between the announcement of the intention to do the forthwith-ish action and the actual doing of said action. Because, by its very definition, forthwith means "to do something immediately." It does not mean, "To do something after three paragraphs."

Sigh.

Is life really that complicated, or is it just me?

It's just me? Oh. Okay then. Maybe I should get on with it. In a forthwith manner, of course.

By the way, I've also always wanted to use "forsooth" in a sentence. So humor me for just a moment. Here I go. Ready? Ready.

"Forsooth, I am about to answer questions forthwithly!"

Now wasn't that fun? This is obviously my day for making all my word usage dreams come true!


Q. Anonymous asked, "Any word on the people who looked at the house the other day?"

A. Our realtor called and said that the people liked the house but were more interested in two other houses that they had seen. (Sigh.)

Q. Ann asked if Nathan and Tricia were one of the pastoral couples we had over last week.

A. No, (unfortunately) they weren't but we will be seeing Nathan in a couple weeks at a gathering he's putting together at his church!

Q. Anonymous asked if I would re-post the video of Meagan doing, "Redeemer."

A. I'm working on it! I was going to re-post the one I put up earlier but when I listened through to it again, the quality was so bad I hesitated to do it. I've taped her more recently (when she did the song at our church) but am still working on jumping through all the hoops it takes to get something posted. I hope it won't take much longer

I hope I have answered your questions in as forthwith a manner as possible. If I missed any (or if you have any other ones, feel free to leave a comment.)

Alrighty then! That's it for now.

Forsooth! Forthwith! Finis!

The End.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Small Town Snapshots

After spending almost twenty years living on the road as a full time travelin’ gypsy (doing concerts around the country) I have developed an intense appreciation for small town life and small town community.

And so out, out of the abundance of that intense appreciation, I thought I would share with you a few small town snapshots.

Snapshot One

Last week, one of our new neighbors came over with homemade, warm apple dumplings. She said, “Anytime you need to come over and borrow a cup of sugar or something, please feel free!”

There’s even a pathway between our houses (reminiscent of Jan Karon’s writing) where we can just “pop through the hedge” whenever we want to. Popping through the hedge sounds like such fun and ever since reading Karon’s books, I’ve always wanted to try it! (I wonder how many calories hedge popping burns up?)

IMG_1217

Snapshot Two

Yesterday I went through our bank’s drive thru (it’s been around since 1910—the bank, not the drive thru) to make a deposit and to get the five thousand dollars in cash that I spend on clothes every week. (ha) Just as I was finishing my transaction, the branch manager came by the window, waved and said, “Hi, Becky!” He’s a member of our church, sings on our worship team, and his wife teaches Sarah’s Wednesday night class. Nice to live in a small town where I actually know my own bank manager!

Snapshot Three

Monday night Steve and I went saw “Invictus” at the Pioneer Theater. We each paid $5 to get in and bought two bags of popcorn and a box of candy for a whopping total of $3. (The most expensive concession stand item is $1.) The theater has been in existence since 1918 and it’s a wonderfully quaint, down-homey place to spend an evening with ones sweetheart.

pioneer

Snapshot Four

Yesterday, I stopped by our small town thrift store (a mere block from our house) where I found a shirt (with the tags still on it!) for a certain small town pastor who I’m acquainted with.

Ain’t it nice? Ain’t he cute? Dontcha love a bargain? (Small town, or otherwise?)

IMG_1216

Snapshot Five

And of course, I’ve already written about the small town school that Sarah just started attending.

IMG_1149IMG_1155

I’ve mentioned that the Resource Officer at her school attends our church; it’s really nice for Sarah to know someone from church at her new place of scholarliness.

However, since I last wrote about him, I’ve been thinking that it may be a good idea to start offering him a $20 bonus every time he uses his Official Resource Officer Persona to run off any young man seen speaking to Sarah. (Or even standing within three feet of her.) Think that might be a good plan? Hmmm . . . something to consider.

Snapshot Six

When Sarah’s friend, Victoria, came for a visit, one of their outings included this trip down to the harbor front area. How “small town lovely” is that?

IMG_0834

Snapshot Seven

And my last snapshot of the day is comprised of this most delightful hair salon, owned by Linda, another member of our church.

Linda cut Sarah’s hair yesterday and I was ever so entranced by the way she’d decorated her shop. (She also did the angel paintings and she makes belts and pocketbooks that she sells. AND she did the decorating of our church for Christmas. Sigh. Ladies like that make me feel just ever so slightly inferior. My only “crafty talent” in life is . . . um . . . is um ---well, it seems that I don’t have any crafty talent. Shall we move along?)

IMG_1168 IMG_1172 IMG_1178 IMG_1192 IMG_1196 IMG_1199

It's Royalty

Of course, I was especially entranced by this particular customer Linda had in her chair when I took the picture.

The best small town snapshot ever.

IMG_1209

I added this note after posting:

There was just a comment left asking if I was going to show Sarah's hair cut. Actually, it wasn't really a hair cut, per say, just a hair trim. So I'm afraid there's nothing too terribly dramatic to show. (Her hair looks short in the picture because Linda had pinned her hair up in the back while cutting.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Posing Pooch. Posing Parson.

We’ve always said that Snowy poses for pictures. Because it always seems like he does.

But then we thought, “Naw. A dog wouldn’t pose for a picture. Dogs just don’t do that sort of thing.”

Ahem. We now have pictorial proof that our pooch is a poser.

In this first series of pictures, I noticed Snowy sitting in the sun, thought he was darling (I know, I know, I’m a doting mother) and snapped a few photos. Please note the direction he is facing with Nathan’s bedroom behind him.

IMG_0297 IMG_0289 IMG_0291

At this point in the poochie pictorial process, I decided to move to another room in order to get a different angle on my second son serenely sunning himself.

Snowy actually turned around to face me when I moved. And posed again.

Yes, folks, he IS ready for his close ups. I’m such a proud mama. Sniff.

IMG_0311 IMG_0307 IMG_0309

Um. Before I go, let me just say that we not only have a posing pooch in our family, we also have a posing parson. But let’s not go there.

IMG_0316

Monday, February 1, 2010

Welcome To Your Journey Through the Jumbled Jungle of Many Muddled Topics

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls--we have a lot of ground to cover today because:

  • Some of you want to know how Snowy is doing after his Saturday morning misadventure
  • Others of you want to know why we are making a ten-year old dog take obedience classes.
  • And still others of you want to know how our pastor’s luncheon went last Thursday.

Whew! You guys are really going to give my fingers and brain a workout! (Although I’m quite positive that no calories will be harmed in the writing of this post. Sigh.)

Since I have so many topics to cover, I have decided to be an extra nice blog person and provide you with a few little headlines all along the way, to assist you on your journey through the jumbled jungle of my many muddled topics.

Snowy’s Recovery

Here is our little buddy, in full recovery mode late Saturday morning. He just slept and slept. (And slept!)

IMG_1106

Of course, he was carefully watched over in his sleeping activities by his loving big sister.

IMG_1104

After had had done a sufficient amount of lolling and laying around the house Saturday morning, by Saturday afternoon he was suddenly all about zipping and zapping; zigging and zagging; eating and drinking; partying and playing. I’m sure he was thinking, “Snow crisis? What snow crisis?”

We are still overwhelmed by the fact that he actually made it home to us after being out in those weather conditions for so long. He is one blessed doggie. And we are one blessed doggie’s very blessed doggie family. (Or something like that.)

Obedience Class For Snowy

And now to address the question some of you asked as to why we are taking our close-to-ancient dog to obedience classes.

We actually asked the trainer that same question—can a ten year old dog even learn anything?

Steven (Snowy’s teacher) said that older dogs are great at learning new stuff. Obviously it’s better to start a dog in training when he’s a puppy but he said a dog is never too old to learn. AND, since Steven was offering the classes at a relatively inexpensive winter time rate, we decided to go for it!

Actually, Snowy is making pretty good progress in class, despite what the pictures I’ve posted seem to indicate. (Those pictures were mostly posted for comedic effect.)

His biggest accomplishment is that last Thursday, he hung out with his fellow doggies for an entire hour and emitted nary a bark, woof, or a whine. That in itself was worth the whole price of the classes!

If you’ll recall, on our first night of class, Snowy morphed into The Excitable, Panic-Stricken, Yipping, Yapping, White, Bouncing, Leaping, Barking, Hyper Doggie whenever he came within ten feet of any another canine creature. To see him walk into a room with other dogs and remain calm and happy was a wondrous sight.

He has actually learned the “sitting” and “laying” commands pretty well. We’re working on “heeling” but that’s taking a little longer; it’s very much like trying to take a strong willed toddler for a walk. Very frustrating and very entertaining, all at the same time!

This is not really a high pressure, “official” sort of class, where there’s any sort of formal graduation. We are quite certain that Snowy will never turn into a bold, brave search and rescue dog, and we know that we will never officially train him for things like dog shows. (Now THAT would be a funny sight—Snowy at a dog show!) These classes are just a fun outing for our family and a fun outing for Snowy, too. The poor little guy gets bored having to hang out at our house all the time so this is a great big adventure for him and gives him a chance to learn to “play well with friends.”

Unrelated Topic

By the way, on an unrelated topic, our new realtor called yesterday and said that our house would be shown at 2 pm today. Since Smithfield (where our house is located) got tons of snow and the schools (and some businesses) are closed, she thought these people might be pretty serious if they’re willing to look at a house under less-than-wonderful weather conditions. So we’re glad to have at least a little action in that area.

Next Subject

Okay. I am now about to ramble on to my next subject. If you’re still reading, I invite you to ramble on over to that subject with me. Are you with me? Okay. Let’s head on over to . . . the Pastor’s Luncheon.

Oh wait. I’m not ready to ramble over there quite yet. Because if I do, I’ll forget to mention Nathan’s blood work results and my 47-year old brain will go into a spasm of non-rememberment and I’ll never, ever remember to mention it again.

And so, here are . . .

Nathan’s Blood Work Results

We found out from Nathan’s doctor that he does indeed have low thyroid function; however, the level has come up a bit from when it was tested in Smithfield three months ago. Unfortunately, though, it still hasn’t come up enough to be considered normal. So when he’s home for spring break in early March, he will have more blood work done and then the doctor will either put some sort of treatment plan in place or else just opt to watch it for awhile.

So there’s THAT news! Whew! I’ve meaning to write about that for two weeks but forgot it every time I sat down to write. What a relief to know that it is finally out of my brain and safely on the page!

And now, let us all wander on over to the topic of . . .

The Pastor’s Luncheon

Since the luncheon actually was a potluck, the menu was nice and varied. I provided the soup and other people brought a lettuce salad, fruit salad, bread, drinks, and dessert. (The dessert was a chocolate/Heath bar cake which called my name. Ever. So. Loudly.)

Although Steve and I didn’t organize the gathering, when we were invited to attend it at a local restaurant, I volunteered the use of our house instead. It’s just so much easier to get to know people in a quiet home, rather than in a place where the waitress is coming and going and there are people everywhere.

We spent over two hours talking, eating, and telling funny “pastor stories.” And believe me, pastors have some of the funniest stories EVER.

The whole event was really special because we weren’t all even part of the same denomination; we just felt like it was important to support each other and encourage each other, regardless of the name over our church door.

And what’s better yet is that we’re going to keep getting together for lunch on a monthly basis. Steve and I are so excited about this chance to hang out with other couples in the ministry.

Just another thing to love about living in Manteo!

The End

Um. Well, except for the part where I answer Questions From the Comments Area.

Questions From the Comments Area

Nancy asked what Steve’s reaction was when he found Snowy.

Well, let’s just say that relieved is not a strong enough word. Thankful is not even strong enough. He was relieved and thankful with a whole lot of other happy words all mixed in!

Lesley asked the purpose of the squirt bottle that the dog trainer was holding in some recent pictures.

The bottle just had water in it; the trainer used it to get a dog’s attention if he was misbehaving, or to distract him from doing something he shouldn’t have been doing. It’s really pretty effective; all we have to do at home now is bring out the spray bottle and Snowy instantly falls into line.

I mean, how scary can a little ol’ squirt of water be? Obviously, for our canine friends, it’s pretty stinkin’ scary! (smile)

Anon asked what rooms Steve was painting (mentioned in a previous post) and why?

Steve is still working very hard at getting our former house in Smithfield ready to sell. A couple of our bedrooms sported some very distinct, bright colors so Steve is in the process of painting the rooms to make the house more marketable.

The End. For Real.