Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Calling All Cheap I Mean (Ahem) Bargain Shoppers!

Melissa is as excited about gas prices as I am:o) Apparently prices in her area have dropped to $3.00, while prices in my area have dropped down to the low, low price of $2.23 (for now anyway). I know this good thing can't last forever, so I'm planning on taking advantage of it while I can.

But what I would like to know is this: in your neck of the woods, wherever you hang your hat, or pillow your head, what are prices like? Are they touching $3.00 or hanging out around $2.00? It would be interesting to see the responses. But here's the catch: you have to respond and let me know what the prices are and what state/country you are from:o). Oh, and if you know me in *real life*, go ahead and tell me the prices you found... remember, I haven't traveled too far from home in a while:D. I'm not sure I know what's going on in the next town:D. Perhaps I'll just have to come visit you... and pick up a bargain along the way!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I finished reading "One Shenandoah Winter" (T. Davis Bunn) on Saturday and pondered the following:

As they were walking down the hospital corridor, Nathan was suddenly struck by a thought. "I forgot all about Brian."
Poppa Joe followed him over to the pay phone in the hall. "The pastor?"
"I promised I'd come by this evening." When the operator came on, he asked for the number for Reverend Brian Blackstone of Hillsboro. As he waited he went on, "He was going to give me my first lesson in the Bible."
As Nathan fished for change to pay for the call, he glanced up. "What's the matter?"
For the first time that exhausting day, Poppa Joe was genuinely anxious. "I took you away from getting to know the Lord?"
"It's all right."
"No, it ain't." The old man looked stricken. "It ain't all right at all."

In the book Poppa Joe was saved, and Nathan was not. But the part that hit me was that Poppa Joe had cancer and went to the hospital to get the lowdown on it, but became extremely bothered when he realized Nathan (his backwoods doctor) didn't have an opportunity to do a Bible Study because of him.

Which got me thinking. Do I tremble when I prevent a lost person from having an opportunity to hear about my precious Savior? Do I count my life as nothing in order for that soul to experience everlasting life? Here's a quote from the book "Stepping Heavenward" (Elizabeth Prentiss):

~ "If it is true that God notices every little thing we do to please Him, He must also notice every cross word we speak, every shrug of the shoulders, every ungracious look."~

God has noticed all those cross words, shoulder shrugs, and ungracious looks I've given out. Makes me think of the verse that says every idle word will be accounted for one day.

Search me, O God, and know my heart today.
Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me.
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
(Words by J. Edwin Orr)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's The End Of The Week...:)

I came home from work Tuesday evening and groaned, "It's only Tuesday and I am dead tired!" I love my mom, for her response was so typical: "Well dear, just keep at it." No matter what, huh?

Let me take a moment and explain how a typical week goes for me and tell how I'm (gainfully I hope!) employed:). Here it is... a typical week: BUSY!!!!!!! While that is true, it leaves out all the details of why I love what I do.

I am: the correspondence Bible Study secretary, the hands-on worker for Challenge Press (I put the books together from start to finish), a supervisor in our ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) Christian School, the volleyball coach, the gym teacher, a babysitter on Fridays (starting in two weeks), a student finishing up Bible Institute, and hopefully a friend, guide, helper, and an encouragement!

While that is a little more detailed than the word "busy", it still leaves out a lot of stuff! For instance, this week found me at HBC on Monday night, visitation Tuesday night, church Wednesday night, a volleyball game on Thursday afternoon, the Ruth Ladies Missionary Group Fellowship with the Heinz family ~ home for about one more month before heading back to Chile ~ on Thursday night, and a volleyball game this evening.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about all of it again:) You know, as I sat at the volleyball game today, I noticed a player of mine who was really bothered by a play she had made. Granted, it could have been better, but I don't expect perfection. So I cheered out, "It's ok! Just shake it off and get back in the game!". Later in the huddle I told the girls I had noticed that they seemed to be really taking to heart the mistakes that had been made. So I mentioned, "The point is lost; we can't get it back. Why don't we just go back in there and start afresh?". That seemed to work, because I noticed the teamwork and unity amongst the girls improved. While we didn't win, it helped to put it all in perspective.

Later this evening I thought about what I had told Jill. Shake it off. Hmm. I could probably put to use some of my own advice. When a week just seems to be so overwhelming and I'm bushed before it's half-way over and there were some problems that occurred that I wish I could fix, I just need to remind myself to shake it off. At the end of every game, or almost every game, we have a team huddle to "break". The girls will ask me what we're going to say and I always say, "'All for God', because in the end, that's what really matters." One girl commented today she knows I'm going to say that every time and she loves to hear it, but I want to make sure these girls know that. I have an opportunity to use it as a "teaching moment". The volleyball game we played today probably didn't have much eternal value, but it might've helped shape a girl's attitude and spirit. Even as I sit here thinking back on my week, I see a week that is now only a distant memory on a past calendar page. It can't be redone. But the one redeeming factor is, to quote Anne of Green Gables, "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it... no mistakes yet." I like that. Tomorrow is a brand new day...

"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
~Lamentations 3:22-23~

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Batting A Thousand.

Tonight I walked into the Junior Church room and got some puzzles out of the closet and onto the table. Since no little kiddos had arrived yet, I decided to put my organizational skills to the test by tackling the books in the closet. After that was finished, I stared across the hall as the 4's & 5's classroom filled up with kid after kid after kid. Meanwhile, I sat on a kid-sized chair waiting for a kid to show up for my class. Just one. That was all!

Finally one kid did show up and began to work on the puzzles. The next one was a not-so-happy visitor child who would much rather stay with Grandma and Auntie rather than me. But she suddenly changed from not wanting me to wanting my lap. I suppose the clown puzzle won her over;). After that, it started rolling. Joshua, usually so very happy, started this crying/poochie lip/"I want Daddy..." thing; Margaret wasn't too happy with Kaysha or I; and the Joeys (yes two of them:D) didn't want to leave their Mommas right away. Finally one kid would settle down, but then another one would take a look at either Kaysha or I and start bawling.


We had a few kids try to outdo each other with the whole crying thing: first Joshua, then Margaret, and then back to Joshua. Aiy-yiy-yiy-yiy-yiy! We were definitely batting a thousand! Eventually we got to the story time about the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking what must he do to go to Heaven. So I stopped the story, and asked, "When you die, where do you go?" and Joey answered so nonchalantly, "hell". Oh. Ok!

Next I asked several kids if they loved Mommy & Daddy. After shaking their heads or answering "yes" I said, "God wants you to love Him even more than your mommy or daddy." So I turned to one little boy, and asked him that question: "Stephen, do you love your Mommy & Daddy?" He sat there and said after a long pause, "Ummm..... no." I recovered quickly and asked him what he did love and he replied, "my truck!" Oh wow! I think we were rapidly heading down hill:).

There were a few other "incidents" tonight, like one little girl telling me her daddy got unclothed (she forgot to mention he had a swimsuit on!) or one little boy who came running out of the bathroom missing his clothing from the waist down but proudly proclaiming, "I went potty BY MYSELF!" But you know what? I love teaching junior church. It adds so much life and laughter to my day, and it is so sweet to have the opportunity to be a guide for these little ones.

It might not seem important to most people, but I guarantee you this: just unleash the junior church kids and let them sit upstairs in "big church". All it would take was one service (perhaps two if a few people are hard of hearing!) to realize that junior church is important! I'm so glad that I get to be one of their (many!) teachers. I think back to the first class I taught; now many of those kids are in 4th and 5th grades! It is special to have them as babies in the nursery; teach them as toddlers and pre-schoolers in junior church; and work with them in the elementary. Of course I'm gonna start feeling really old when those kids that are in 5th grade now graduate from high school! But that day is a far away day. Until then, I look forward to teaching the 2's & 3's come Sunday morning in Sunday School. Each time is special; each student a joy. But I'm ready for more laughs as a result of childhood innocence!

Monday, September 18, 2006

An Excellent Spirit.

I told Bro. Gable I would be posting this little *commercial* here, so if you are an LVBCer or are in the southeastern PA area, I encourage you to go up and visit this week! You can choose from Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday nights... it's probably a good idea to be in your own church on Wednesday;). There! Now on to the post:o).

Bro. Paul Morrison is preaching a week of Revival Meetings for Haven Baptist Church so my co-worker and I decided to drive the 45 minutes tonight to attend services. It was a blessed evening to be in the house of God and to fellowship around God's Word with other believers. I was especially blessed to hear the harmonica special on "The Old-Fashioned Way", which is the only way! That was the first time I ever heard a special done like that and it was very nice. God's way never changes!

Anyway, Bro. Morrison is doing a series through the book of Daniel for this week and the verse he spoke on tonight was Daniel 6:3 ~
"Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm."

What a verse! Bro. Morrison noted that in the previous chapter, the queen even noticed Daniel's excellent spirit and mentioned it was greater than knowledge or understanding (which Daniel had as well).

I liked what Bro. Morrison said:
1- "Daniel's spirit was right regardless of the situation"
2 - "It's better to have an excellent spirit than an excellent performance"
3 - "When a man lets God affect him, it will be known."

I think the preacher hit the nail on the head tonight when he mentioned we often think the Bible characters were super heroes. He used the passage over in James 5:17 where it says that Elias was "a man subject to like passions as we are" and yet he had a very effective prayer life. Why? Because he allowed the Lord to lead him and guide his spirit. So if God is God (and He is), and Daniel was human (and he was), then I too can have an excellent spirit because God is not a "respecter of persons". He wants me to have an excellent spirit as much as He wanted Daniel to have an excellent spirit.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I am a big fan of bargains! Whether it is finding the best gas price or using coupons and club cards to buy items at the grocery store, I get excited to see money saved, even pennies. I have a cupholder in my car that gets all my spare change, and that spare change has often paid for my frequent trips down to Philly courtesy of the PA Turnpike (which is, by the way, the *only* maintained road in PA, or so it seems!)

But anyway. My latest find is from Chadwicks. I was asked by my friend Gina to be in her wedding, which was originally set for June but now is moved up to January. You see, in May I joined a group from Maryland and visited Gina in the Czech Republic and it was during that trip that Gina began a courtship with a young man from Metropolitan Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

Fast forward to July when she asked me to be in her wedding and to start saving for a bridesmaid dress. Now I've been in three other weddings before this, so I know how costly dresses could get. I paid over $120.00 for my sister's wedding and $100.00 for my friend's wedding and the sad part is that I've only worn each dress once since the weddings.

So when Gina told me to save for a dress, I had a pretty good idea of the cost. Today she called me and told me to go to Chadwicks and look in the Clearance section. In an instant, my ears perked up! I like *clearance* as long as you can find something that suits you! I'm not a big fan of buying just because it's a bargain and then you never even wear the *bargain buy*. It totally defeats the purpose! So she told me what the dress was and then she dropped the price.

"The dress is going to be $20.00, and make sure you buy it soon, since it's in clearance."

Oh wow. I was very happy with that price! So after figuring out the right size and realizing that a bonus was I can wear the dress to church, I happily zipped around the website just looking around. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted "Specials Today Only" so I decided to check it out. Here the same dress that Gina wanted was on sale for $15 and when I went to check out, they offered me a 20% discount since I was a "new member"! So instead of paying $27.00 (shipping included), I got it for $17.98:o). Plus I called Gina and told her to tell the other girls to get theirs today, so hopefully they'll save some $$$ too!

*Sigh*. I love bargain shopping!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another Game Today!

Go EBA Knights!
Win or lose, we'll have fun:o)
Edited later...
My girls played hard today and it showed! The JV team (the girls in the bottom two rows above) won both of their sets (26-24 and 25-17) to win the game!!!!! The V team (the girls in the top two rows... yes, the middle row is on both JV and V:D) lost the first set (25-15), won the next one (25-20), and lost the last two sets (25-22 and 25-19)! We were *challenged* by the guys' soccer coach to win today... only thing was, Mr. Rogers didn't say how many games we had to win;). So we turned around and challenged the boys to win their soccer game next Friday;). The whole team was pretty pumped up about beating Bensalem... one of our toughest teams:). At any rate, it was a really fun game and I always enjoy being with the kids. But I sure was itching to jump out on that volleyball court with the girls... oh well:o).
"Let's go Knights! Bump, Set, Spike!
Go, Fight, Win! All for HIM!"

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Just in case you were wondering, or if you care:), this is who I was with this past weekend:

And these people... (my siblings and their spouses:D. My brother - to the right - was in between an "Anne" sandwich, as he likes to call it)...

And this little cutie pie..

It was a fun, but busy 5 days. We started it off by going to Shady Maples last Thursday night. It's the best and worth the long drive! My sister and brother-in-law (from Florida) don't get to eat PA Dutch food, so this was a real treat;).

The next two days were spent just hanging out together. We only see our "southern" family a couple of times a year, so we don't need much to "do", other than sit around and talk or play games together. Of course with a toddler there, we were kept in stitches as Bayley did one funny thing after another! Plus if you just start to touch him, he bursts into giggles... so we giggled at his giggles;). Unless you have nephews and nieces, you won't know what I'm talking about:D.

The rest of the time just flew by... which is the way it always is. You know what I mean; it seems like your time together is just beginning when it's time to say good-bye. Makes me think of Heaven where there will be no good-byes.

It might not sound like a whole lot, but it's a memory I'll keep tucked away. Family time is so sweet, especially with little ones rolled into the mix!

Towards the end of my sister and brother-in-law's visit, the girls I coach had a volleyball game. While we didn't win, we DID come close to it in the last game. Valley Forge beat us 25-22. That's for all of you former EBAers who remember the countless times EBA lost, and the one time EBA WON! We still have a chance yet! Anyway, to see pictures from the weekend and from the game, go here.

I had a great weekend, but I was reminded of how things pile up when I neglect them! That's just the way it is though, and I wouldn't trade the time spend with my family!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pocket Full Of Popcorn

I love junior church... the kids say the funniest things and do the cutest stuff! This week was my second week into my month of working down there with the 2's & 3's. Rachel was supposed to be helping me, but decided Bible Institute was a leeetle more important than junior church:o). That's ok... if I hadn't taken the class already, I would have joined her too:D.

So then Kay helped me last week but got sick this week. After going through a list of about 15 girls (no lie) and realizing that they all were either a.) in the Bible Institute class or b.) always helping out with Sunday School or other Junior Church programs, I finally pleaded with Katie to help me... and she agreed:) Thanks a bunch Katie!

It was a nice evening full of fun. In order to get the 2 year olds to sing, I promised to give out stickers to the loudest singer. I kid you not, every kid, all the way down to Joey P. and Abbi R., were singing their little lungs out! I don't know what the 4's & 5's teachers thought of our little concert, but Katie and I sure enjoyed it:o)

Later on, at the snack time, I gave out some popcorn for the kids to munch on. While they ate, I read them a story. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Isabel's popcorn disappearing at an alarming rate. After the story was over, I sauntered over to her where she said, "I'm done with my popcorn! The rest I'm saving for my mommy!"

Here she had stuffed her little jumper pocket full of popcorn! :D While the idea was good, it got a little amusing during "Duck, duck, goose" because as she ran, she left a trail of popcorn... can you say "Gretel"?

When her mommy came down for her, the first thing she said was, "Mommy, I saved my popcorn for you!" (Insert collective awwww here!)

Her mom didn't scold her for keeping the popcorn in her pocket, but rather thanked and praised Isabel for thinking of her. I thought, what a sweet reminder of what God does for me. He doesn't scold me when I show Him something small that I saved for Him; no, He thanks me for it and blesses me even though I just offered Him the equivalent of Isabel offering her mommy a pocket full of popcorn.

Ahhh... you gotta love Junior Church. The kids are such great teachers!

Saturday, September 9, 2006

From The Great Commonwealth of PA.

Just a little post about my wonderful state! The ones in italics are the ones I am most familiar with and often guilty of :o)

You know you’re from Pennsylvania when…

You've never referred to Philadelphia as anything but "Philly." And New Jersey has always been "Jersey."

You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA."

"You guys" is a perfectly acceptable reference to a group of men & women.

You know how to respond to the question "Djeetyet?" (Did you eat yet?)

You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre, Schuylkill, Bala Cynwyd, Duquesne, New Tripoli, Tunkhannock, Punxsutawney, Tamaqua, Susquehanna, Allegheny, and Monongahela.

The first day of buck and the first day of doe season are school holidays. (Not for me, but for a lot of people I knew in school!)

You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" and not even bat an eye.

At least 5 people on your block have electric "candles" in all or most of their windows all year long.

You know what a "Hex sign" is.

You know what a "State Store" is, and your out of state friends find it incredulous that you can't purchase liquor at the mini-mart. (I don't purchase liquor at all, but some things you just know about after reading it in the paper)

You own only three condiments "A-1, Heinz 57 and Heinz ketchup".

Words like "hoagie", "chipped ham", "sticky buns", “pop", "shoo-fly pie", "pierogies" and "pocketbook" actually mean something to you.

You can eat cold pizza (even for breakfast) and know others who do the same. (I've done this lots of times:D)

You know several places to purchase or that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage (Lebanon Bologna), and Hot Bacon Dressing.

You don't think people from Philly or Pittsburgh talk funny.

You consider an exotic vacation to be a trip to Ocean City, Virginia Beach, or Myrtle Beach. (I know better than that;)

You think very little of an Amish buggy on the road.

You learned long ago how to "step carefully" around the buggy tie-ups in the supermarket parking lot.

You can go 2 weeks in winter without sunshine and think this is normal.

You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Virginville, Paradise, Mars, and Slippery Rock are all PA towns.

There is no such thing as a "Philly Cheesesteak". It's just called a "Cheesesteak."

You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you know that it comes in several colors: Red, Blue, White, Brown, and Gold.

You know what REAL potpie is.

Your turkey has "filling," not "stuffing," and most certainly, NOT "dressing."

You consider Pittsburgh to be "out west," and you know the fastest way to Philly is the Turnpike.

When it snows, they put cinders on the roads instead of sand.

You know that a green pepper is not a pepper at all but a "mango".

You have an uncontrollable urge to buy bread and milk when you hear the word "snow." (I don't; but almost everyone else does and then traffic gets all messed up because it *might* snow!)

You live within two miles of a plant that makes potato chips, corn chips, pretzels, candy, or ice cream, or that packages turkeys, beans, or bologna.

You can stop along the road to buy fruits, vegetables, or crafts on the "honor system."

You know that chicken corn soup from a fire house is the most nearly perfect food on earth.

You say things like, "Outen the lights," "I'm calling off today," and "They're calling for snow."

You've heard of distelfinks and hex signs.

You only buy your soda by the case.

You think the roads in any other state are smooth. (I know it's true! I can always tell I'm in PA, not by the "Welcome to Pennsylvania" sign, but by the "ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum" sound from the roads!)

Hearing horses clopping down a paved street doesn't bring you to the window to see what's going on outside.

You never see any Confederate Flags, except on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

You prefer Hershey's Chocolate to Godiva.

School closings due to snow take the radio stations a half an hour to finish, because just about every town has its own school district.(This was always bad because invariably, I missed my school by about 2 letters, so I had to wait for them to read the entire list again before I found out if school was closed or not! 45 minutes later, I usually found out we were off and went back to bed... what a morning!)

Frequently go "with," e.g., "You going to the market? Mind if I come with?"

Refer to something as "a whole nother," e.g., "That's a whole nother issue."

You REALLY HATE antiquers. On Sunday mornings you would scream "Go back to Jersey!" at least once on the way to church. (Maybe not antiquers, but definitely Sunday afternoon drivers on Tuesday.... argh!)

You know the expression, "Hey naw! Watchya dewin'?"

You love the Phillies (unless they stink) in which case you love the Orioles (unless they stink) in which case you solemnly swear that you've never even liked the Phillies or the Orioles, but have always been a Penn State fan.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Pennsylvania. :o)

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Guess Who's Coming?!?!

And guess which Auntie is so excited to see Mr. Bayley-boo:)... Hey, I grab the time I can get! It's been 9 looong months since I've last seen them, and I didn't have an opportunity to make my yearly trek down to Orlando yet. I'm looking to go for Christmas; THAT would be a nice treat:D

Poor little guy is sure gonna be tuckered out come Tuesday! There's a whirlwind weekend just ahead of him and lots of hugs and kisses from all sorts of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins!

So....... in case you wonder why posting's going to be slow around here for the next few days....

... here's why! But I'm sure all of you will understand;)

Sunday, September 3, 2006


I recently watched my high school graduation video... a recent *find* after not knowing where it was for 5 years;). The first thing I did was laugh when I saw our school choir from 5 years ago... what a difference! The boys were short and the girls had "unique" hairstyles:D.

As I listened to our senior class sing "Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful..." I thought about the fact that most of my class is still faithful. Faithful to the Lord Who saved them, changed them, and gave them direction. I don't know about one of them for sure, if he is saved, but most of the class has stayed true, even after all these years. A good test for any high schooler who says "I'm going to serve the Lord" is just observe if he's in church one year after graduation. Sadly, I've seen too many walk away after graduation. And while I noticed the short boys and the different hairstyles on the girls in the choir, I also noticed the ones who aren't here today. I can't believe that almost every single student that sang in that choir is now graduated (and the last two boys will graduate this year). And while it is sad to see those who have chosen to walk away from God, it's exciting to see those that have stayed faithful.

Bottom Row: Josh Smith, Dan Garcia, & Dave Rettig

Top Row: Josiah Kuenzi, Aron Davies, Sara Dotson (now Street), Anne Hammond, Bobby Pierfy, Matt Beckman & Chris Gable (kneeling)

Josiah is married and is the daddy to Dillon. Matt is married, living in Texas (he's in the Air Force) and is the daddy to two little girls with one on the way. Sara is married in New Jersey. Aron just recently began teaching in a small Christian school in Maryland. Chris is on full time church staff. Dan is at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Bobby graduated from Penn State and has a good job now. Josh is finishing up college right now while going to another Baptist church. Dave lives up north and goes to a Baptist church. I'm finishing up Bible Institute and working full time on church and school staff as I now give back to the school that invested so much in me.

When my class graduated, we were the largest class to graduate (up until that point). I'm so glad I can look back 5 years later and see most of my fellow classmates still keeping on.

"Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful..."

Saturday, September 2, 2006


Pamela has posted a walk down memory lane... at least for me, anyway! As I read over the list, I remembered most of them and most of the childhood memories associated with each of them. Come on, do you remember scrunching down your socks, Oregon Trail day at school (that's when computers were just starting to become popular!), or my personal favorite: Syke! My brothers, sisters, and I used to do that to each other: "Daddy's home, daddy's home! SYKE!" (I know you remember Michelle:D). Go on over and enjoy the walk...:)

I spent a big chunk of my day today cleaning. My goal was to do all the fall cleaning between today and Monday. I hit a few roadblocks that I wasn't planning on though. My sister and her family will be up at the end of this week (yay!) so I started on the spare bedroom. TWO HOURS later I finished organizing, cleaning, and throwing stuff away. Sheesh! My brother moved out of the house a YEAR AND A HALF ago; I think we can safely say the closet can be rid of his stuff!

Next I organized what we simply call "the open area". When our house was originally built back in the 30s or 40s, it was just a summer cottage so "the open area" was really the attic. Well sometime in the 70s they added three bedrooms and a bathroom down the hall from this room so it really can't be the attic anymore because we walk by it several times in a day! But when we moved from my grandfather's house 10 years ago, we moved all of his furniture and all of our furniture with us, so all the excess furniture that couldn't fit in the dining room and sitting room wound up in the open area.

Anyway, there was an extra chair in the spare room that I wanted to get out, since Mr. Bayley-Boo is going to need to sleep in a pack-n-play and there wasn't enough room for two chairs, one futon (opened) two nightstands, and a bookcase in the room! So I had to organize "the open area" in order to fit an extra chair out there.


My dad is such a collector of everything that, literally, our house is one big pile after another. My room is the only room free of "piles". I try my best to keep clutter out of the kitchen and the sitting room. I'm the type of person who loves organization which I get from my dad. He loves organization too, and he says his piles are all *organized*! So I wait until "someday" when he'll have time to go through it all:). Every so often I'll even go through my stuff, just to make sure that I'm not holding onto anything unnecessary:D.

Anyway, in order to add another chair out there, I had to first rearrange all the furniture, books, papers, and everything else. Thankfully we have three closets that are under the slanted roof part so (shh! don't tell;) a few things went in there. I cannot even begin to imagine going through all this stuff someday. If I got tired after barely touching the surface in one room, I can't even imagine the whole house.

After I dusted, cleaned, and organized the room, I went downstairs to the sitting room for one thing and saw: more piles. My little organized heart couldn't stand it anymore, so I sat down and began to sort through it all. My dad built this massive bookshelf 30 years ago (I'm talking between 15-20 shelves and two cabinets underneath! It's a booklover's dream:D) but all this stuff was on the ledge, so I began to sort. In order to put those books from the ledge in one of the cabinets, I had to first clean out the cabinet. I found this box that said "very fragile", so I assumed it was from our move ten years ago. Here the poor box never got unpacked, but was just shoved in a hiding place. Inside the box I found two gorgeous clear pitchers that I never knew we had (I claim first dibs on them!) as well as these really old dishes I recognize belonging to my grandmother and great-grandmother. It was like going yard saling or Goodwill bargain hunting without spending any money:D. So I set one of the dishes away for my hopechest and I'm gonna ask my mom what she wants to do with the rest. I wouldn't feel too bad giving them away because we already own 4 or 5 complete sets of dishes;). No guilt here!

After I was done with the bookcase, I turned my attention to the big record player table. Folks, I am not exaggerating when I say we are the owners of five of these antiques. Tiffany can confirm this! And the kicker is that only one of them works... the rest are there in hopes of one day getting them repaired, I think. We've had them for years, so I'm not holding my breath.

Anyway, on top of this rare commodity, I found a huge (what else?!?!) pile of childrens' books. It was at this moment that my creative juices kicked in. I sorted the books into 5 piles: mine, Mary, Phil, Michelle, and books that were given to all of us kids. I don't know why, but I didn't find any for Tom. Strange. Hmm. Anyway, since Michelle only comes up from Florida once or twice a year, the idea popped in my mind to give her the pile of books belonging to her as a child, give everyone else their books, and divide the group books up amongst the five of us. Brilliant! And it gets rid of one pile... yay!

Now I'm off to do some more cleaning... hopefully I don't encounter too many more piles along the way:).

Friday, September 1, 2006

Belly Laughs...

My little nephew Trevor came shining through with a good laugh for his auntie...

A week ago my friend Paula had asked me if I had talked to Kim (my s-i-l) within the past couple of days and I told her not since Wednesday. Paula then said I hadn't heard the *church* story.


If it involves *church* and *Trevor*, I'm sure it means two things: 1. a funny story is about to be told. 2. Kim almost died. From embarrassment:).

Apparently Kim had placed Trevor on the end of the pew to sit during the church service. Now up to this point, Trevor had been behaving so well in church! So in a moment of not thinking, Kim let Trevor sit on the end. Bad move. Kim kept her eye on him and he didn't make a peep. She turned away for a quick glance at her other kids, and when she turned back, Trevor was halfway up the aisle heading for the pulpit! Apparently he eluded the poor usher that made a frantic grab for him and wound up right smack dab in front of the pulpit in the middle of the service.

I could just imagine all the thoughts swirling through that auditorium (and believe me, it's big! Nothing like having your issues aired before 300 people!) I'm not sure how Jack and Kim gracefully or ungracefully got Trevor back to his seat, but I do know this: next time he will most likely be set in the middle of the pew with lots of people barring him from any escapes:).

My niece Tiana started school on Monday at the Academy. For most kids, this wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. It was a shock for Tiana though since she has been homeschooled from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Well, one of the rules of the school is no talking in the hallways. You talk, you get a demerit. So Tiana was trying to obey the rules by not talking.

On Tuesday she was heading to her next class that was on the first floor... or so she thought. When she got to the classroom, it was empty. So she turned around, lugged her suitcase, I mean bookbag, back upstairs with her to the class where her friend Brooke was and asked Brooke about her next class. "Oh you have to go upstairs for that class." So Tiana grabbed the ball and chain (a.k.a. bookbag) and headed upstairs. She got to that classroom and found....... nothing. Knowing Tiana, she was probably slightly frustrated at this point. As she entered the hallway, she saw plenty of people heading her way, but it didn't matter because she couldn't talk in the hallways. Back down the stairs Tiana went where she was told to go to a third room. She goes to that room, meets the teacher who then decides that class was going to be taught in the original bottom floor classroom that Tiana visited!!!:D Heeheeheehee

Today one of the girls was proofreading the Sunday bulletin that the main secretary does every Friday. As I sat at my desk, I suddenly heard Katie laugh. She rolled over to my desk and pointed to one of the announcements:

"EBA News: Volleyball practice is on Tuesday from 1:30-3:30. Soccer practice is on Thursday from 3:30-5:30. If you have room for this, you can put in there that EBA Picture Day is going to be on September __. The forms can be picked up in the school office."

Once I realized the mistake, I started laughing! Apparently the school secretary had "chatted" the church secretary with this announcement and apparently she just copied and pasted the chat right into the bulletin...:D. Heeheehee. We found other evidences of "copying and pasting" scattered throughout the bulletin:). Good thing she had us proofread it;).

Aren't you glad for belly laughs?!?! It's always good if you can laugh at your own blondeness, er, stupidity as well:D

As you head into your weekend, remember that "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones" ~ Proverbs 27:22.

Don't forget to stop and enjoy a belly laugh!