Saturday, March 29, 2008

Great Day of Community

Today was another first at Agricola Baptist Church. It was called the Great Day of Community. Click here to see an explanation on Dr. T's blog, along with pictures of one venue. My girls M & L were at the Quick Stop pumping gas and washing windshields.

It's really neat to be in the presence of people who know how to get things done. Our group was working on the house of an older couple in the neighborhood. Two of the guys in our group are builders by vocation. Robert and Mark arrived with all the tools they needed. They had tool belts for holding nails and hammers, and they had saw horses and nail pullers and little things that lifted the upper row of siding so you could slip the lower one under it. Mr. H and I had hammers and Mr. H brought a miter saw and 2 extension cords. Mitchel had a pickup truck so we could tote plywood and a roll of roofing felt. It's hard to do a good job if you don't have the proper tools or the proper know-how. My job was following orders and making a shopping run to Agricola Hardware. We didn't have quite enough siding to finish the job today, but we're ordering more to go back and finish later.

Mr. Frank was so glad to see us drive up this morning. He told us about the house, built in 1953. The rose bushes on the north side were planted the same year. They still bear white roses every year. He also showed me his garden: Collards are big with pretty yellow flowers on top, butterbeans and peas are just peaking through. And then he asked if I liked onions. He pulled up about 5 handfuls of onions for me to take home. Mr. H made french onion soup for dinner tonight. It really was a great day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Teachable Moment

The other night we were watching television when a certain commercial came on: the Carnival Cruise one with the ladies in Europe. There is a shot of the ladies looking at a statue and one of them reaches up and pretends to pinch his bare backside. One of the girls said, "Eeew, she is pinching his behind!" Mr. H commented that Bathsheba thought it was worth pinching. That launched a discussion of the statue being David (the same David they knew Bible stories about); Bathsheba was that woman taking a bath on her roof while King David was on his roof; David having Bathsheba's husband killed so he could marry her himself; Michel, his first wife, not thinking his backside was worth pinching; and ending with a song that was inspired by David's comment to Michel when she complained about his dancing before the ark: "I'll Become Even More Undignified than This." Art history, Bible history, and Contemporary music lesson all in one. Not bad for a commercial break!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Lighter Closet

The G.A.s from our church are going to the George County Clothes Closet tonight. I'm not sure what else they're taking, but my closet and L's closet are both much lighter.

About L: I'm not sure what she's been wearing lately, but after we took out all the clothes that didn't fit, there wasn't much left. Granted, most of the dresses were worn by one or both of her older sisters. They just kept moving them down to the next youngest's closet. One of the dresses that moved on was the one I made for my eldest's first day of school. Believe it or not, the stretchy headband made of the same fabric was attached to the hanger! And yes, it had been worn. My eldest never lost a Barbie shoe until her little sister came along and dropped them all down the floor vent!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Star Gazing

Well, not exactly gazing at stars, but if you didn't know what you were looking at, you might think they were stars. Mr. H, our 2 younger girls (M & L) and I just stood out in the yard looking at space hardware. First we saw Jules Verne, the space truck that resupplies the space station. Then we saw the shuttle, and finally the International Space Station.

It was really neat to see them moving silently, steadily across the sky, then disappear into the shadow cast by the earth. You can find more info here. Look for the Triple Flyby Alert. has lots of neat stuff.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Giant Jellyfish Invades Church

We were blowing up balloons for Mom's Day Out and they were popping when they hit the ceiling. We put them in big gray garbage bags which eventually started floating. You can see the little yellow tendrils hanging from the bottom. I think this one started to get tipsy from all that helium. It kept turning sideways, threatening to spill its guts, which, luckily, were really just balloons.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Office @ 5:30 pm Wednesday

I had to come to church early tonight: my girls are in Bible Drills and the make-up church drill is tonight. One is trying a 2nd time to make it to the next level, and the other made it and is here for moral support for a friend who is trying again. They are in a different part of the church. I'm in my office. The youth praise team is getting ready on the other side of my wall: drums, guitars, vocals. I love the fact that they are willing to use their abilities, that for some of them may not be perfected and for others may even be brand new, to lead others to praise the Lord. Sometimes the only "skill" our Lord is looking for in us is the willingness to be used by Him; the only ability He truly needs is availability. The song is coming together, now, and it's one I know. I can hear the vocal: "...Just the sound of Your Name is a beautiful thing and I love You, I love You, I love You." When I hear them DOING things for God at the ages of 15,16,17, I realized how much time I wasted waiting to "grow up."

Well, L just found out she didn't make it and she's taking it pretty hard. At 10, it's hard to accept that 'school skills' like memorizing and reciting don't really make or break you in life because they do seem to in school. And when you have more school ahead of you than behind you, it can seem hopeless. I wish I could make her understand what I know: the people who do really well in school don't necessarily do 'well' in life and just because you can't pass a test doesn't mean you can't make a happy life. I think the bright side is that by this time tomorrow, she'll not give this one thing another thought (until next year.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blessing of the Bikes

Mr. H and I rode down to Gautier for the 8th annual "Blessing of the Bikes." We had never been before. (Last year at this time, Mr. H wasn't in any shape to ride and no longer had an operational bike anyway...see the posts about that here, here and here.) It is held at First United Methodist Church in Gautier, across from Singing River Mall. If it gets any bigger, they may have to find another location. I don't think they could have squeezed many more bikes in there. It is a great event.
There were people of every age, gender, shape, color, and clothing style!

There was a live band playing contemporary Christian music ("I Am a Friend of God" and "Breathe" were 2 I heard and remember.) They served breakfast and gave away door prizes. I happened to win a really neat tote bag with an insulated compartment in the bottom. And it matches Mr. H's summer jacket. There were biker games: a race in which the last one across the finish line wins and 2 contests for 2 rider entries. In one they give you a fishing net on a handle and you scoop up stuffed animals (whoever catches the most wins). In the other, the rider picks tennis balls off the top of traffic cones and then on the return leg puts them back. The cones are about 5 feet apart, so slow and steady wins the race.
We saw all kinds of bikes: some old, some new, some with unusual trailers!. There was one guy there that had something I'd never seen before: a handicapped sticker on his bike. He was missing one arm from about the elbow. A prosthetic arm was permanently attached to the handle bars of his bike.
The last thing on the agenda was the actual blessing. Several men made their way through the crowd praying for individuals or groups of bikers. You could tell that these men rode themselves because of the specific way they prayed: for the rider to be visible to those in traffic around him, for the rider to be alert to everything that may be going on around him, for safety. I was surprised by my reaction to the prayer that was delivered up for the two of us. It was so personal. I think this event is on our calendar for years to come.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Porch Swing

I put my front porch swing back up this afternoon. We had to take it down during all that bad weather a couple of weeks ago. It's right outside our bedroom window. When it's really windy at night, it bangs up against the house and keeps us up. L asked me to put it up. She's my most outdoors kid: likes to ride her bike and jump on the trampoline with her buddy down the lane. If I didn't have my eldest home (who wants to go shopping) or have to take my van to get door handles or have Mr. H coming home at noon, I'd probably spend the day in the swing. I think it's supposed to rain anyway!

Foggy Day

When I got in my car to leave the house this morning, I couldn't see the end of the driveway. It was like that for most of the drive into school. I thought what neat pictures that would make, with about 10 feet of visibility. Wouldn't you know it: as soon as we got close to the school, we came out of the heaviest fog. When I got to work, I did take some pictures, but they aren't nearly as foggy as my house was!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Singing in the Sun

There is a mockingbird on top of the utility pole just outside my office singing every song he knows.

This morning at 6:00 there was not a cloud in the sky. (I was checking humidity levels for a daughter with curly hair. It makes a difference!) At 7:00 when we left the house for school and work, the sky was covered in clouds. Now they have all vanished again. Where did those 7 a.m. clouds come from? They must have been lost.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Voted

I voted in the primary today. I voted Republican, but not for McCain. Yes, I'll probably vote for him in November, because he is a better choice than Clinton or Obama, but he doesn't represent me. So for the primary, since I had to choose a party to be identified with, I chose Republican. But I didn't choose McCain. I was very pleased to discover that all the original candidates were still on the ballot. I was even more pleased to note that Alan Keyes was a candidate at one time. He apparently dropped out very early, but he is someone I would not be ashamed to support. Some may say that I wasted my vote. But my reasoning is that I CAN'T support any of the Democrats, and there are several things about the Republican "nominee apparent" that I strongly disagree with (immigration, most of all). Hopefully, Senator McCain will get the message if enough conservative Americans don't support him in the lead up to the convention.

What a Week!

Wow, have I been busy! You never realize how much the phone rings around here until you're the one answering it. Our church secretary has had to be out to take care of family members (my last week was Nothing compared to Hers!) I haven't really done any of her other work, but after answering the phone and doing mine, there's not much time left!

Our Eldest is home for spring break. Last night was Poetry Night for L, and band contest is coming up for M. Mr. H flew to Cincinnati yesterday. Personally, I'm glad it snowed up that way because it convinced him not to ride his motorcycle. That would have kept me up at night until he was back home.

We had to order door handles for both back doors on our minivan. They'll open from the outside, but not from the inside: rather like child locks without the option to turn it off. The handles are in so now I just have to work in time to go to the dealership in Mobile. Hopefully, the eldest and I can make a day of it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Full Service

I love living in a small town. I had to get my brakes fixed today. I got a friend to follow me the 12 miles to town, so he could bring me back to work. I was really dreading asking him to take me back again to pick it up this afternoon. That's a lot of gas!

My four pastors went to a minister's conference in Lucedale today. It went a bit long, so they are all going to eat lunch in town. Right after they called to let us know they'd be a bit later coming in, I got a call that my vehicle is ready. I asked them to stop by and one of them drive it back for me. I'll go by and pay for it when I make another trip to town at 5 this afternoon to pick up one of my girls from band practice.

Small town folks understand you don't just run to town everytime you turn around. I love the fact that we still trust our neighbors to do the right thing.