Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yes, Merry Christmas late

Christmas was our best ever, I think. All the kids were home, with spouse/significant other and one without, for the first time in a few years. The grandkids were here; we met one of them for the first time. We took a lot of pictures and ate a lot of food, which was prepared by everybody pitching in! We took the grand-boy sliding, which was a blast.

We went to church together twice, which was wonderful. My kids were raised in this church which gave them a great faith background. The people here are so genuinely supportive and friendly to the kids that I know that they feel especially welcome when they attend.

Grand-boy was excited about "Jesus' birthday" and doesn't know a thing about the fat guy in red, so we kept it that way.

My oldest may well be ordained in the new year, meaning she will be working on Christmas from now on, so getting home this year for Christmas was especially important to her.

And, yes, we had a white Christmas! Hooray! But the Christmas letters didn't get written (again x 4). Maybe I'll have New Years Letters.

Friday, December 21, 2007

What was it like for my mom when....?



We will be going from empty nest to having three adult children plus a son-in-law, plus son's girlfriend, plus two grandchildren, home for Christmas, if the snow storms don't mess up the driving. This will be the first time that all are home at the same time, and the most we've ever had here for several days.

We are quite happy with our usual solitude in this house, so having everybody here will be an adjustment. If they all pitch in, even the meals will go well. Of course that means that certain adult children can't revert to childhood patterns. :-) In any case, it will be an "adjustment."

My own mom isn't up to traveling these days, so she'll be alone. I started to think about her and my dad, and what it must have been like when I came home from college (and reverted to some childhood patterns!) Or later when she was a widow and we came home with the kids. She was about the same age I am now when I had my first child and when we had three, she was pushing 70 already.

I'm sure that I had NO CLUE in those days that any one had to adjust when we breezed in. We just took it for granted that if we said we were visiting, all was well. Oh, the obliviousness of youth!

My prayer for our family and for yours is that you will be aware of the blessings of togetherness, that this will be greater than the work involved in caring for all who come home for Christmas, and that you make many good memories together.

Mis-Googling

I follow a couple of blog analysis sites to see what gets people to my blogs. I'm sometimes amused and sometimes a bit perplexed at what constitutes a key phrase to steer someone in my direction. For example, a commenter might use one word or phrase because of disagreeing with me, so my blog comes up when Googled. Other times, a person making the inquiry neglects to use quotation marks around a slightly long phrase. The individual words, but not the phrase, matches several words in a blog post and in my side bar.

Today my blog got a hit because of the phrase Nude--amateur--photos. The post that was referenced was about how I look at the sky each morning. The word starting with N wasn't even in the post. Probably not in my whole blog. I'm hoping that putting in the dashes will prevent further hits. Probably not.

It might be fairly easy to comment on blogs so as to steer unwanted traffic in that direction or get someone on a list of unwanted associations.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Evil doesn't pay - or - You always get caught if you don't pay attention to God's gift of snow.

This made me laugh. And sigh. How stupid can some people be? Haven't these kids ever played outside before?

The local news reported this morning that the security alarm went off at a local house. The police were notified. The officers were able to trace the footprints 2 1/2 miles through the fresh snow to the home of one of two juveniles who admitted that they had tried to break into the house!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Essays on Africa

Well, between "catching up," following up with some things we promised our Ugandan friends, and the visit last week from Mr. Flu and all the other hustle and bustle of the holidays, these will have to wait until after the New Year. Don't give up on me yet. Anyone who wants some links to lots of my pictures can email me for that.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Funeral crossing the boundaries of denominations

This news article, about the funeral of slain Youth with a Mission missionary, Tiffany Johnson, relates that the service took place in the Catholic Church in Tiffany's hometown, conducted by an Assemblies of God Minister, and her home church in another city is the Cedar Valley Church.

Praise God when groups can cooperate in the face of tragedy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rural, Private, Primary School in Uganda









More pictures, description in the other 12/06/2007 post.





Pictures of a rural, private, primary school in Uganda












I've been meaning to write some essays about our trip to Uganda, but, well, you know how it goes. These pictures are of an Seventh Day Adventist primary school in rural Uganda. The pictures speak for them selves. We were at the school for about three hours.

Only a short amount of that time was spent looking at their three buildings for about 90 students.
The church building, the brick buildings, and even the one with just the boards, were classroom structures. The "kitchen" was the lean to structure.

The rest of the time, the children entertained their Dear Visitors. Their singing and dancing was extremely well done. One thing I can say about the Ugandan school system is that they train leaders.

These pictures are not of the Royal College of Kamuli. See the side bar link for that school.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow and Music


Our daughter, the last child, in her last year of college, was part of the choir this past weekend at her college, one of the great ELCA colleges. We traveled quite a way to attend Christmas in Christ Chapel. This is the annual worship/concert, held in the beautiful center building of the campus.

We had to leave home on Friday evening, driving part way, because of a predicted snow storm. This allowed us enough time on Saturday to have lunch with our daughter. Driving to the Chapel was challenging because of the snow. During the service, we could see that the snow had ceased. What we couldn't see was the freezing rain that was falling. We had to scrape our car and drive quite slowly to our daughter's apartment. She didn't get home until 4 hours later, as there was another performance, 5 total for the weekend.

On Sunday, it took at least 30 minutes to scrape the ice off the car before we could leave and about 8 1/2 hours to drive home due to slippery roads at times. We didn't attend church. I had been scheduled to give the Stewardship Talk in my home church. Synopsis: If you are spending money and giving gifts just because it needs to be done, consider giving a gift of money to our home church in honor of your giftee. There, that was short and sweet.