Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I've Learned So Far at Orange

Tonight Reggie Joiner spoke. He had a picture of a family: mom & dad & 2 kids, all smiling and hugging. That's the picture we all have of the perfect "church" family. But not every family fits that picture. Some are missing a mom or dad. Some have kids that are NOT smiling or are not even present. Some have an unexpected grandchild suddenly added to the picture. What do we do? We want to turn them into that perfect picture when we can't.

It's not about the picture.

It's about God's big story. Everyone is a part of that story. How can we (as the church) let them know about the story and then take their part in the story, no matter what their picture looks like.

And here's what hit me: What if my picture DOES look like that perfect family? What if I LOOK like the perfect church family, but I'm not telling God's story. What good is the picture if the story isn't there?

It's not about the picture: it's about God's big story. Do you know your part in it and are you telling it?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Meeting

According to Mr. H, this is the very spot in front of Patterson Hall where we were introduced for the first time (by his roommate, whom I was dating at the time!) I honestly don't remember the introduction. I do remember seeing this guy before I knew who he was.

We were both in the band at State. He was in the sax section and I was in the flute section. It was the Superman show, I think. A line of saxophones marched toward the 50 from the left, turned to the press box side right in front of a line of flutes and sousaphones, and we followed them across the field. The guy that turned directly in front of me was definitely noticeable. I followed him across that field in September of 1979 and, as far as I know, I've been following him ever since.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday at last

As with most Saturdays, we were out the door running errands. First up: retrieve the television from the repair shop. While it has been nice and quiet the past several weeks, we haven't been able to watch movies. It is nice to be able to turn the news on tonight.

After we brought the TV in and hooked it up, we made our weekly trip to Lowe's. Driving across the spillway at Big Creek Lake, we saw this up ahead of us. Tell me when was the last time you saw one of these on the road?

I felt like a stalker, trailing them with my camera. It ran very quietly and had at least 5 people in it. Reminded me of the movie "Cars."

At Lowe's, we bought a new, all glass, storm door. We've been meaning to get one for a while, and finally did it today. The solid door was stained with a gel stain that has not held up well. Last week we bought paint (red-called Burning Bush), but realized that it would be easier to do with the door open, but didn't want the cats escaping or the dog coming in. I think I'll wait until the new paint is on to post a picture of the door.

In hanging the door, Mr. H discovered that the strike plate of the door needed shimming and called for a 2nd trip to Lowe's. Em went with him and I sat on the front porch reading. The basket of flowers at that end of the porch has a nest in it. Actually the other one has a nest with 2 eggs in it now, but the one close to where I was sitting has 4 noisy babies in it. I think the parents are trying to get the babies to fly. I saw lots of flapping among those flowers this afternoon. The mom and the dad kept perching on the chain and the basket hook which made the babies chirp in chorus. I had to move very slowly to get this picture of the mom. The dad was more cautious and I never could get his picture.

I leveled the birdbath this afternoon, too. This bluebird liked the fresh water I added. I keep hoping for an indigo bunting to show up (notice the thistle seed sock hanging next to the bird feeder), but no luck so far.

This last picture is about the extent of my gardening ability. I planted these flowers yesterday in this old pot we had. They are still alive today and that's all I can ask!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

RA Races-2009

It's that time again!!
RA Race night at Agricola Baptist.
The trophies are ready to go to their rightful owners.

The track is in tip top shape.

The racers are putting wheels on and making last minute adjustments. Here is Mr. H putting the wheels on his golden beauty before the race. Notice he brought his box of tools. (Beside him is a CERTAIN nameless racer.)

The cars are all lined up and ready for inspection. (There are CERTAIN PEOPLE who have a flagrant disregard for the rules, but they shall remain nameless!) Mr. H's car is the golden arrow to the right side of the white car with eyes.

Some cars look like they have corporate sponsorship.

This slick red one is gorgeous, but the racer learned that the weight of all that beautiful coverage carries a price when it comes to speed.

The black car with lightening bolts on the right side of this tray was one of the coolest cars at the track. It was built by a gentleman whose name I don't know for Webb Smith to race. Webb is the young man seated under the maroon MSU blanket.

I can't believe that I captured an actual launch with my little camera. The cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are held on the track by a string that runs through 2 eyes on the underside of the cars. The launch is initiated by computer and each heat is timed and clocked for speed. I believe there was one car that made the trip in under 1 second, but it didn't survive for a 2nd heat. The top speeds were over 40 mph.

Mr. H's Golden Arrow went head to head with Mark's (also golden) Brick, as Mr. H called it. Mark tried a different technique this year: hollowing out the inside of the car from underneath instead of shaping it from the outside. Rather a sneaky move, I thought, but it didn't quite work as well as he had hoped. Mr. H smoked him.

We had a pretty big crowd for the event. Hamburgers and hot dogs, along with drinks and cupcakes were appreciated by all.
I think this dog was waiting for someone to drop something.

All ages were represented in the crowd. Certain age groups were more interested in each other than the racing, though!

I wonder what these guys were talking about...

This bunch had the most fun of any group, I think. They were busy filling their drink bottles with lovely red dirt. I suspect there were several red bathtubs in Agricola last night!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Em's Concert

The Middle School band concert was last night. Em was a busy girl. In the picture below you can just see her white shirt behind the orchestra bells (right side, very back). (You should be able to click on the picture to see a larger version.)

This year the Middle School band is a bit smaller because the 6th graders stayed at the elementary schools. (El's concert was last month. I thought I took pictures, honestly, but I can't find them.)

This next picture was taken while she was playing her solo "Amazing Grace."

And here's another picture of her playing the orchestra bells. She played the gong, too, which is right behind her. She was switching hammers and mallets pretty quickly, so I never actually got a picture of her hitting the gong.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quicksilver Afternoon

Have you ever been driving on a rainy afternoon, and then the sun comes out?

The air is full of water and the sun is shining on all of it.
The road is wet and the sun is reflecting off every inch of it.
The sky is light, but not blue: it's rather silver.

The entire adventure is a bit like driving through quicksilver.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a Great Hat!

Mr. H has a hat he got in Arizona several years ago. It is a crushable felt cowboy-style hat. He wears it in the winter and when his head might get wet, like yesterday. I took this picture last night, but against the dark night, it rather gets lost. Click here for a better look.

One of the first places we went was the bookstore on campus. Boy, was it crowded! The girls were looking for "cute hoodie sweatshirts" so he went to look around by himself. At some point I spotted him and noticed a squealing bunch of older teen girls headed in his general direction. I was thinking that he was about to be boxed in by this bunch, when I discovered that HE WAS their destination! I saw him have his picture taken with each of them and then the squealing bunch ran off somewhere else.

They were on a scavenger hunt and had to have their picture taken with a man in a cowboy hat and his was the only one I saw all day. It was about 15 seconds of fame!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Forgotten Joys of Dorm Life

I think

(in my memory)

I had put

a mental fence

around all I remembered

about communal showers.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Agricola's Got Talent

(The above title was probably not what I was going to call this post but I just watched Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent and that's how my thoughts went...)

My El was in the paper this week with some of her friends. If my experience holds true for her, these will be the people she spends the most time with over the next 6 years.

In all, George County 6th graders (from Agricola Elementary, Benndale Elementary, Central Elementary, Lucedale Intermediate, and Rocky Creek Elementary) brought home 86 Superior medals from Solo & Ensemble contest. Wow!

I hope all these kids are encouraged to stay in band through Middle School and High School. They are learning skills (and not all of them musical) that they can exercise the rest of their lives: leadership, teamwork, time management, not to mention the music itself.

Good job, people. And a special thanks to Mr. Terry Slayter for all the miles he puts in!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baker's Dozen

Yesterday, El informed me that the bonus question on their math test this week was to give the origin of the term "baker's dozen." She could write it down and take it with her to take the test. So last night we looked it up.

The term goes back to the 13th century, when King Henry III of England instituted the Assizes of Bread and Ale. It was to set up standards of measure for commerce. Apparently the consumers of the day were being shorted on their pints and loaves. After the Assizes, the penalty for shorting the customer could be severe-loss of limb!! Keeping your hand was apparently worth an extra bun in the bag.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Blessings

I'm in the kitchen getting everything ready for lunch.

Mr. H is in the other end of the house getting ready for the service this morning: he's singing and playing the offertory.

I hear the end of "He's Alive." He's alive and I'm forgiven, Heaven's gates are open wide. He's Alive!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Life Is Good

You know life is good

when you pass

a good looking man

on a motorcycle

and he waves at you

and you realize

it's your husband!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

my first knitting project

While I was attending the Women of Faith conference last weekend, I was inspired in more ways than one. One of my travel companions was knitting a shawl. I sat next to her for several hours in the back seat, watching her knit. I taught myself to crochet in college, but knitting has always eluded me. After watching her, I decided I'd give it another shot. I had a pair of knitting needles and lots of yarn from crochet projects. I even had a book called "I can't believe I'm KNITTING!"

Here is the result of my first recent attempt:

I was pleasantly surprised at the result. To give you an idea of the size, those needles are 10 inches long. The whole thing is about 15 inches in length. (I knitted until my ball of yarn ran out.) Mainly, I was just trying to figure out if I could do the stitches. I think casting on is the hardest part. That's the first step, where you get the yarn "loaded up" onto one needle. In crocheting, the beginning chain is just about the easiest part.

Below, you can see the 2 basic types of stitches. The left, center and right sections are done in what's called garter stitch. You do the same stitch on the right side and the wrong side and it looks the same on both sides. The 2 sections that look like little v's or zigzags are the classic knit stitch, which is called stockinette stitch. It's created by doing a knit stitch row followed by a purl stitch row. There are more complex things like ribbing and cables, but I'll leave them for a later attempt.

In the meantime, I think I'll use this piece to cover the table under the front edge of my laptop. The table is always cold, and this makes a nice warm place to rest my arms. My next project is a shawl like my friend was making. It uses lots more yarn (3 or 4 skeins) and bigger needles. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

After the Storm

You would never know by looking outside now that a severe storm came through here a few hours ago. Everything is so clear and green.

Winter has
put on
the pale green veil
of spring

Look at all that green grass!

You know spring is here when the pecan trees start to bud. They never get caught by a frost.

I got 2 hanging baskets of white impatiens last week. One of them is beautiful.

The other has been invaded by a nesting house wren: rather droopy, don't you think?

In the bottom right hand corner of this picture is the top of my sweet olive bush. Mom would have been proud to know that it's doing well and smelling so sweet.

A Different Age

All of my girls have digital cameras. Even the 11 year old. And they take a lot of pictures. This was brought home to me recently as I was looking at FaceBook. A large percentage of the old pictures (from high school and college days) of my friends are formal pictures: group shots of certain clubs, bands, choirs, etc. Not so with my children's pictures. They are taken everywhere. And not only are they taken everywhere, they don't have to be taken anywhere to be visible. They are instantly available on the camera itself and shortly thereafter are on a computer, in a digital frame, and only occaisionaly on paper.

I remember waiting 2 weeks for pictures to come back when I was a kid. When same day development became available, we were thrilled. Some of the options today just blow me away. Last summer, I missed seeing El in a pirate musical when I was out of town with my mom. The eldest took some pictures, uploaded them to an online site for 1-hour prints to be printed at a store just around the corner from the hospital. I went to pick them up and was able to frame one for Mom to set on her bed tray in just over an hour. Wow!

I also love the fact that if a picture is bad, out of focus, has unflattering expressions, or whatever, you can just delete that sucker and never have to have it floating around in an envelope of pictures. And getting prints of the 5 or 6 pictures that you really want is ever so much more economical than printing all 28 or 36 on a roll of film, only to find that none are exactly what you wanted.

Our kids don't know how good they have it!!