Thursday, December 11, 2008
I have a deep longing and feel it necessary to have an orderly, clean home. Usually, at some point in each day, it is orderly and clean. However, at the same time I am disorganized, absent minded, and if I start a project... whoa, it just gets spread all over the room. (I like to see everything I am working with...) It is like nature vs. nurture having a battle inside me every day! My nature is chaotic absent-mindedness, but I have been nurtured to be a neat, organized person!
For example, I am a chronic list-maker. It is a habit embedded in me from an early age. I can remember (most every day of my entire childhood) walking into the kitchen and seeing my mother drinking her coffee and making her list for the day. This was not just any list, though. In IMPECCABLE handwriting, the yellow legal pad was divided into 3 sections: To Do:, To Go:, Call:
(Just as an aside, when I say impeccable... my mother's handwriting, even her signature, were too neat even to forge... we didn't even attempt copying hers... it couldn't be done!)
Now for the dilema... although I am a chronic list maker, I spend WAY too much time looking for lists that I have lost! It has been almost comical... I could have completed several projects in the time I have spent looking for my "master list" in order to remember what I was supposed to be working on! I realize that part of my problem is that I will scribble my list down on completely random scraps of paper and put them in completely random places (so I won't forget where I put them!)
I am giving an entirely too long of a preface just to say I am dedicating a post to my "MASTER LIST." I don't care if you read it (some things will be in code during December), but it is not entertaining or even interesting. Purely functional. Surely I won't lose this list, and now I have several friends who will at least be able to remind me where it is if I start looking for it... sounds ridiculous, but I promise it is a possibility. (My mom calls me "wonder woman" because I am always saying, "I wonder where my keys are...")
cover dining room chairs
paint bath chair
Ha ha those are the only things I can think of right now... but I know there are a bunch more things... maybe if I remember, I can remember where to go and write them down!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Wednesday afternoon Scott skipped football and came home to gut the deer for us. There is NO WAY I could have done that on my own. Not so much for the gross out factor, but because I would not have been able to do what needed to be done by reading a page of directions printed from google. I did go outside and help, and all of the kids watched and got an anatomy lesson. I could post some very detailed pictures, but I realize some of you still live in the city! (ha ha, just kidding!)
Thursday was Hannah's 10th birthday. She opened her present from us in the morning, which was a new bathrobe, and she stayed in it all day! She got to skip a lot of school and pick a yummy dinner. We also got out our Christmas decorations and put up our tree. This coming Friday we are going to my mother's house to celebrate it again. I am sure she will post about that next week!
Saturday morning we had the Excelsior teachers' brunch. Kathy Strevel spoke about the fullness of Christ. I wish I had her notes or had been able to take notes while she was talking, because it was very helpful. One thing in particular that she mentioned was the thought that if we are full of Christ, we won't be full of all the other "stuff" of this world. Or, on the other hand, if we are full of other stuff, we won't be full of Christ. Not necessarily worldliness, but also things like busy-ness... (This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately) I think this is such a trap for the Christian, because on top of all the NECESSARY things to be busy with, there are so many other GOOD things that we can get caught up in.... but good isn't always best, and that is VERY difficult for me.
Last night we took some tasty deer stew to a family we enjoy spending time with. We had a lot of helpful conversation about adoption. They have 10 children, the youngest of whom has been adopted in the last year. They are open to future adoptions, and this family is an example to us in many ways. They have a gift of love that they are willing to share, and it is shared at no little cost or sacrifice. Christy, Ellen, and Emily all have blogs that I like to read regularly.
This week we will be finishing up school and I will be working on Christmas gifts. I have an order for 11 aprons that I need to finish today (speaking of being too busy to be full of Christ, I will not be sewing for others during the school year after this), and then I need to get started on gifts for family members. I probably won't be on the computer too much until I am caught up...
So, have a nice week from the Duleys!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I was not raised in the country, but I always wanted to be a "country girl." In fact, I recently found a list of goals I had to make as a senior in high school for a leadership thing. Ranking in the top 5 was "marry a cowboy, move to Texas, and live in a house with a front porch." I romanticized (key word, here!) what it would be like to live on acreage, live off the land, etc.
BUT, like I said, I was NOT raised in the country.... quite the opposite! I was raised in Germantown, TN and went to a high school with a graduating class of 500 students. So, sometimes I can't help but laugh out loud about where I am now...
Last night Scott went deer hunting and shot a doe right before sunset. He didn't find it before it got dark, and he came on home when searching became fruitless. Before bed he asked if this morning we could all go out and search the woods for it... he knew where it had entered the woods, and it was cold enough last night to be ok....
I agreed, so this morning we bundled up and left the house about 7:30. We (all 4 kids and I) loaded up on the 4 wheeler and rode out to the spot. We fanned out and searched the woods for about half an hour. Finally, I discovered our "deerest" close to a thicket at the bottom of a steep wooded hill. Now for the fun part...
I called the girls to me, and we tried several times to lift it and make our way up the hill. FYI, dead deer are a bit bulky, awkward to carry, and slippery when you are wearing gloves! :) No success. I went up the hill, got the 4 wheeler, and made my way carefully down to the deer. We all five managed to load the thing up on the front and get it tied down.
Let me mention that during this time, there was much crying and frustration for not being able to lift it (me included), distress over the blood coming out of the nose and mouth, and Josh in particular decided to wail as if in mourning the whole time I was getting the 4wheeler... he was under the impression that he brought his rope so that he could personally tie it up and drag it out of the woods... It was definitely necessary to admonish everyone to "bow up" at this point.
I then began the ascent up the steep wooded hill with a deer precariously tied to the front grill. (I am laughing at myself even at this moment... maybe it was a ya had to be there moment, I don't know)
This part ended up taking at least 30-40 minutes and included several stops to re-tie the deer and cut down small trees that its poor head kept whacking into...
Finally, we made it to the road and got it to the house. I called Scott at work, and what does he say? "Great job, baby... do you think you can gut it for me???" Silence on my end of the line... "Ok, maybe that's asking a bit much... I'll do it when I get home..."
After we got off the phone, I thought, "OK, I want to be a farmer, I can do this..." I googled "how to gut a deer" to see what I had to do.
I changed my mind... step 1 was "cut a ring around the vagina and the anus...." I noticed other cautions about cutting too deep and puncturing the bladder, etc and chickened out. Instead, I got all the ice out of the freezer, covered the deer, and am waiting for Scott to get home. He is skipping football to come "string her up" for us.
So... homeschooling took on a bit of a different form this morning... I think it could definitely count as science?!
When I wanted to marry a cowboy and live on a bunch of land, etc... I never, ever thought it would involve what transpired this morning, but I love it! :)
Our Duley Deerest...
Monday, December 1, 2008
Our Savior is so kind, though. I have become the woman who cast herself at the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair and tears, and he does not refuse me. His faithfulness is abounding, and when I think about it, my LACK of faithfulness, spiritual adultery, and straying from Him are so inexcusable and ridiculous. WHY? Why would we leave the side of our Savior and pursue happiness in other things?
John mentioned on Wednesday how sin is a mirage, and he is so right.... we think that certain ideas of things will make us happy, but they are only ideas... not reality. We chase after things that don't really exist, adn when we get them, we are left empty. The insane part is, I have been left empty and just chased harder rather than repent. How prideful is that?! In reality, Christ is the only One who satisfies, and no relationship, physical appearance, material possession, nothing can replace Him.
Christ is called the Prince of Peace, and it is true that He is the only one who can give us peace. I have been reading in Romans 5 and 6 for the past few days, and this morning I was given some clarity and the beautiful truth of the words was opened to me. So many phrases and verses all together around this theme... Christ died for us while we were in our sin! What an amazing truth! Now, just as amazing... we do not have to be slaves of sin any longer! If it were only as easy as typing in the letters, but Oh, how we must rely on the Holy Spirit!
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ....
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.... but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us
How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life
Our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jeus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Heavenly Father, help me to trust in you to fulfill me, and help me to seek you alone. Do not let sin continue to have dominion, but help me walk close to you and reckon myself dead to sin and alive to you. Help me to not walk any longer in sin but rather to walk in newness of life. Thank you for sending Your Son to die for us when there is nothing in us that merits saving, and thank you for your patience, kindness, faithfulness, and the peace you give your children.
Friday, November 28, 2008
How do I know all this?
A very sweet family made me wonder if there really is a Santa Clause this week by sending me this really cool watch. It is a Garmin GPS watch with all kinds of running capabilities that I will not bore you with.... I am eager to continue training with my new "virtual partner," as I am shooting towards a marathon in April.
My family calls it my secret agent watch, because I said it is my spy gear/ mini-computer... I've told them that I only pull out the laser beam on special occasions! :)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I never really liked the name, though, so I changed it... I do like alliterated things! Maybe it will stick, maybe not... any better title ideas? Definitely open to suggestion!
If you ask my children what my favorite color is, they will immediately tell you, "Rainbow!" I love bright colors and all the colors of the spectrum together... hence the new background! It makes me happy!
Speaking of happy, Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
Today Scott's sister and family are coming into town, and tomorrow my parents, Scott's dad, stepmom, brothers, and some people from church will join us for a feast. I think it will be about 25 in all. So... I need to get movin' and clean my house! :)
Hannah fencing with pastor John
Will discovered chess at the feast, and spent most of the activity time in this tent with Mrs. Sandy learning to play.
Robin Hood and the wood splitter
Fair ladies and archery.... notice my friend Laura cringing, and I don't even have the bow strung! :)
This is probably my favorite picture from the event... the knights and woodsmen protecting the maidens! It was so cold that Sarah kept her cape wrapped up around her, and we never really saw her dress!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I still intend to post feast pictures, because I got some good ones. However, we are at my mom-in-law's house and I am without my own computer. They live on the gulf coast of Mississippi in a little town called Kiln. (Home of Brett Farve, football fans!) It is about 10 minutes away from the beach, and very close to good, fresh shrimp! Shrimp pasta, fried shrimp, shrimp gumbo, and best of all SHRIMP PO BOYS!!! Scott's step-dad does his best to make sure I get my fill when we come down here, and he usually succeeds in sending me home about 5 pounds heavier than when I arrive.
This morning we went to the library and to the new exercise trail. The local news station was filming a piece about "Let's go Walkin', Mississippi," and a lady asked my mom-in-law to come and bring the kids. We got filmed trying out all of the equipment, Hannah and Will got interviewed, and then he got a cute shot of everyone walking up to the camera saying, "Let's go walking, Mississippi!" It will air on Thanksgiving day here, so Kay will record it and send it to us. How fun!
For dinner we went out to eat seafood, and I got my fill on shrimp for the trip!
We leave early Tuesday morning, and then it will be finishing up Thanksgiving preparations!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
We participate in a homeschool co-op, Excelsior, that meets once a week in Tupelo. Different moms teach different classes, and give students assignments to complete at home during the week. Some of the classes are Latin, Bible, History, Grammar, Literature, Science, Art Appreciation, and Geography.
We operate with the "classical" philosophy of education. I could give you a long explanation about what that means, but here it is in a nutshell: We study history chronologically. As we go through, we integrate literature, art and music, etc. History is sort of the centerpiece of the subjects, and Latin is started at an early age because our English roots are in the Latin language.
This year we are studying the Middle Ages, Rennaissance, and Reformation. SO... our fall get together is a medieval feast!
I started this post last week one night, and now the feast has already taken place this past Saturday night. The feast went beautifully, and I will post pictures next time. I am somewhat relieved, however, because now I have time to catch up on "normal" things and get ready for the holidays!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I think part of the appeal of blogging is that we can create a perfect little snapshot of our family for others to see. You know, we don't take pictures of our kids when they are snotty-nosed or being disobedient and post them; we take pictures when they are being cute, clever, diligent, or helpful! We post our thoughts that might amaze or encourage others, but those thoughts that might reveal our struggles with sin, wavering faith, or less than submissive attitude..... well, we just don't blog on those days!
This might not be a bad thing... it isn't always best to be completely transparent on the "world wide web," but we mustn't do two things:
1. "escape" to our little world on the web, where we try to portray everything as perfect and hope everyone sees us as so.
2. Be naive enough to think that everyone else is perfect and we are not
I had been thinking about this yesterday, and then I read a post this morning that was very encouraging... we don't have to have it all together or be perfect. We are called to humbly serve the Lord, in whatever situation we might find ourselves in. A lady that I knew in Kentucky posted about a week that many of us can relate to, but not many of us would post about! Check out Laura's blog... we are not alone!
"So does this mean we won't get to have Christmas presents anymore?"
"If he takes all of our guns, how will we slay deer?"
Last, but definitely not least... also a summary of the dangers of socialism....
Will: "Is he going to take all of our money and give it away? We don't have any money!"
Reply: "actually, we are in a tax group that will probably end up getting money, but we still don't agree with the plan."
Will: "Ok, good, so why don't we just try to stay poor?"
In this time (as in any time) we do need to be faithful to pray for our nation and for our leaders. PLEASE check out Kurt's post about this... It is a call to prayer and some Christ-centered, biblical examples of areas in which we can do so.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Gas Money from New Albany to Clinton.... $40
Meals on the road for me and the girls......$30
Watching Austin Epting win state his senior year.... PRICELESS!
Austin, Hannah Walker, me, Richard Feist
(Tuesdae was there but off on her 10 miler!)
In 2002, Scott and I started a cross country program at East Union Attendance Center where he taught. It is a small, K-12 school out in the county. We had a great group of kids that turned into a great group of runners! The first season we did not do much, but the second and third seasons we had the boys' state champion, got state-runner up as a team (boys), and had a few girls get all-state. Best of all, the kids began to love the sport!
The first year we coached, Austin was a 7th grader. I was taller than he, and he probably weighed 80lbs. He was always a good listener, did what he was told, and worked hard. In fact, although he did not have the most natural ability, his hard work paid off exponentially over the years. We were there for three years before moving to Kentucky, and got to see him make huge strides in improving his times. While we were gone, Austin continued to improve and do very well each year. He is a very earnest young man who is quite determined. Most notably, it seems as though the Lord is really working in Austin's life. I have seen a humility and gentleness that is very encouraging. I believe he is planning to go to Blue Mountain next year, where he will join Richard and Tuesdae, two of my other kids from the beginning.
I debated as to whether or not to go this weekend... gas prices, plans that evening, would it really even matter, or was I just sentimental... However, I am so glad I went!!! I wouldn't trade the hug and thanks I got after that race for anything! WAY TO GO AUSTIN; I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Two things I want to remember...
When we get together, how much time do we spend talking about the goodness of the Lord compared to the time we spend complaining about how hard or crazy our week has been? Are we a thankful people, always aware of the constant goodness of the Lord to us?
Whoa... this was right after a long email I had sent making excuses for not getting school work done and listing all of the hectic factors in my week. Not just that, but I realized how much I complain just to make conversation... I have often lamented over my difficulties in turning conversation to a spiritual nature. This would happen a lot more naturally if I would make it a point to make conversation about things I am thankful for rather than things I am grumbling about!
John also made it a point to address the children in the sermon just after reminding parents how dependent we are on God's goodness for the salvation of their souls. He suggested that they entreat God based on His promises in Scripture.
I remembered that a friend of mine had given me a little thing called "The Bread Box" a year ago or so. It is a little plastic loaf of bread with cards sticking up that have Scriptural promises on each card. I pulled it off my windowsill (where it looks nice, but doesn't get used often enough), and put it in the center of the table. The kids remembered that part of the sermon, and we all decided that at each meal we would read a promise and pray in that direction.
Changing the subject... but thinking of things to be thankful about....
This morning dawned cold!!! The weather has changed! Sarah went and gathered some sticks, and we lit our first fire of the season. It only lasted about 3 minutes, because it was made up of twigs, but our chimney draws very well! The kids and I went out this afternoon and sawed some small logs to build another fire. We timed it so that when Scott got home, we had the house clean and a fire roaring in the fireplace (This fire lasted about 15 minutes!) This weekend we are going to get to choppin' and work on our woodpile!
Sarah and her fire
It will be such a treat to have a fireplace to enjoy but not depend on! One thing I am SO thankful for is to have a home with central heat! (Our home in Kentucky was 100 years old and heated with two wood stoves... we could see our breath downstairs some mornings! BRRRR!... )
Last night we had the families of some of his buddies over for a hayride and hot dog roast out at the campsite. Mama kinda dropped the ball on the hay, however, so we had a "hypo-allergenic" hayride.... that is, a trailer ride! :)
My parents, grandmother, and sister's family also got to come. We opened presents and had cake at the house, and then we headed down the trail. At the campsite, everyone roasted hotdogs and marshmallows, played with glow sticks and flashlights, and ran around in the woods. Josh had a blast, and I think it went quite well!
I decided to run in this one also, and I am very thankful to Olivia. My goal was to be able to see her at the finish line (secretly, my goal was to be within throwing a softball distance at the finish line), but we worked together during the race and I finished right behind her. She did a PR, and I ran a little faster than I have in a while... 21:45. I'm not a Spring chicken anymore, so I was pretty satisfied with that!
After the awards, we went to the Johnsons' home to cook hot dogs and visit. The kids all had a great time playing and hanging out one last time. I decided to do awards this year, so I passed out the MVP, Most Improved, Bow Up, and Fitness awards.
The JV girls gave me the sweetest, most thoughtful surprise...
Oh, yeah, just in case you were wondering... "You're lookin' at the best coach ever!"
The team also gave me a super generous gift that will allow me to get some running clothes and pay my registration fee for the Memphis 1/2 marathon. It has been such a pleasure to work with these kids this year... I am already looking forward to next season!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Today I checked email and blogs, and then went to facebook. I don't know about your "friends" on facebook, but it seems mine are all political activists. The funny thing is, I have about half with liberal views and half with conservative. When my page comes up, each day there are links from about half a dozen people... some bashing McCain and making fun of Sarah Palin... some claiming that Obama is not a citizen and Biden is a hypocrite.... some promoting the constitutional party.
I had just finished reading a very swaying email in favor of McCain when I saw some links and digs about the Republicans on my facebook page. Impetuously, I wrote on their walls encouraging them to read what I had just read. All afternoon I was kicking myself for speaking out. These were people I haven't seen or spoken to in person in years, and here I am accusing them of not caring for the unborn!
I don't know what I was expecting as a response... you know, they are democrats... :) Anyway, I received two kind replies with explanations about their beliefs.
It struck me as I read the responses how we gather people around us who think just like we do. This is not always bad, but it is helpful to hear things from a different perspective... especially not the media's. These people are democrats, but are not pushing an agenda, and definitely not as evil-intentioned as many conservative talk shows would lead you to believe! I am not saying I agree with them! However, I think many of us conservatives have democrats in a box created based on the positions of the ultra liberal outspoken media.
The abortion issue is primary in many conservative hearts. Until now, I thought the other differences were as simple as good vs. evil. (Just kidding... ) I mean, differing fundamental opinions of how government should be approached... Control everything or not. Now I see that those are the fundamental differences, but really there are kind-hearted people who want more government control out of concern for the poor and helpless and the economy, and there are kind hearted people who want less government control because they feel it is our Christian duty to help poor and helpless people and that things can work themselves out without excessive gov't spending. I realize that is over-simplifying both sides and doing both sides injustice... it is 11:30, and I am thankful for clarity of mind... it just doesn't seem to be translating to paper!
Well, I am thankful for the little things that the Lord teaches us throughout the day. His reminders to me to be merciful and gentle are most welcome.
Monday, October 20, 2008
First of all, he mentioned that a person can go about her day, making godly decisions, living the Christian life, etc... and not be actively aware of God's transcendence, omnipresence, or omnipotence. However, we can not make decisions or obey or be close to Christ and NOT be aware of his goodness. (which can be an umbrella term describing his grace, kindness, mercy, etc.)
In other words, all that we do that is in any way considered obedience is directly from the goodness of God, because apart from Him, we are not good.
I know this sounds basic, but it is something I must preach to myself. My tendency is to forget... leading into the second thing I want to remember...
One practical way we despise the goodness of God is by not recognizing His goodness and/or taking it for granted. Instead of being aware of it continually and being motivated to love and holiness, we can take His goodness for granted and become presumptuous.
CHRISTIAN PROGRESS by John Angell James
I have been reading this book too long (I started it b/c it was small and thought it wouldn't take too long!), but I just finished this morning. This was a very helpful book which addressed the necessity of progress in the life of the believer. His other book, The Anxious Inquirer was instrumental in my coming to know the Lord. He also has written a book called Female Piety which has been turned into a pamphlet called A Woman's Mission... very helpful as well.
I want to post some quotes from the book. It is definitely worth reading!
Be thankful, then, for "the day of small things:" despise it not. But be not satisfied with it. Religion must be a shining and progressive light.
We should grow in our knowledge of the character of God, that we may resemble it; in the perfection of the law, that we might be conformed to it; in the example of Jesus, that we may be more like it... A desire merely to know, is curiosity, but a desire to know in order to do, is sanctity.
Be more insensible to the world's favor, frown, or smile.
And what is the crowning grace, the finishing stroke of beauty, and the brightest ray of glory in the Christian character? HUMILITY.
Do everything as if God did nothing. Depend upon God as if He did everything. Hence, do all in a spirit of prayer. Prayer is the golden thread that is to run through all our actions, stringing them altogether, and suspending them all upon the hand of God.
From this book, I can say that I do not want to be a lighthouse directing other ships on course, but staying stationary myself! Each chapter has a (sometimes painful) very pointed address to the reader at the end. Here is a piece of one:
Am I really so anxious to grow in grace as to be using all of the means necessary for that purpose? Am I serving my soul as I do my body, that is, by being careful about my spiritual health, and adopting all proper measures, and diligently employing them to promote it?
Do I really want to grow?
Do I hunger and thirst after righteousness?
Do I take pains for this self-cultivation?
Do I most constantly and seriously attend means of grace, public and private, week days as well as Sabbath days?
Do I constantly, devoutly read and study the Holy Scriptures, not allowing other books to supplant the Bible? And do I search them to be made more holy?
Do I feel my need of the Holy Spirit's influence, and am I constantly wrestling with God to bestow it upon me?
Saturday morning the runners participated in a 5k in Corinth, MS. Everyone did very well. Last week I had to give credit to the girls' JV team, but this week it goes to the boys' varsity group and our elementary participants. Forrest and Zack ran their PRs of the season by quite a bit... low 18's! The elementary runners did great, also. Many of them ran the whole way, and everyone improved their times.
I ran with Sarah to encourage her. My 8 year old turned out a 26:39 5K time (3.1miles)!! That is a good deal faster than a 9 minute mile pace! She felt good while we were running and enjoyed looking at all of the pretty historic houses along the route and me reading the historical markers to her. This was her best time by over a minute... way to go! (Don't worry, some of you... I do not push the elementary kids to race competitively or do superfluous mileage at a young age...)
NOW for the UGLY....
Friday night the Dawgs lost (again) to Pontotoc. This, however, was not just any loss. We were ahead 14 to 7 in the 4th quarter. With about 5 minutes left, they tied the game b/c of some TERRIBLE calls. Ok, I realize this is said all the time, but really, there were at least 3 particularly blatantly wrong calls. I mean sickeningly wrong calls that led to their touchdown.
In MS high school football, overtime is sudden death. We went into DOUBLE overtime. The second time we scored a touchdown to put us down by 1. We went for 2 to win the game, and made it!!! BUT, the ref (the same ref who had been making the stinky calls from out of position) said NO GOOD!!! Then, the refs took off running and left the field. We were flabbergasted... it was so obvious that we had scored!
That night when Scott got home, he said that they looked at the film, and the calls in the 4th qtr were as bad as we thought. He also said that Kareem's 2pt conversion was definitely good on film as well. What a heartbreaker!
I know some of you might be rolling your eyes and saying, "it's just a game!" This is true, but I now have a lot more sympathy for coaches and parents of athletes. It IS just a game, and Christ is still King and ruling over all. On the other hand, when you know how many hours these coaches are working, how hard they are trying, and how hard those boys are playing, it really is difficult to get beat by poor officiating.
This is our last week of cross country season. Tomorrow is our annual shaving cream race day (pictures to come), and Thursday we will have our Ultimate Frisbee Challenge! Our last race will be the Race for the Cure 5k in Tupelo, and then we will have a cookout at the Johnsons' home.
This week is also homecoming week at the high school. Today my husband went to class (decade day) with his jeans rolled up, loafers, and a white T-shirt! I don't know what the other days are, but I need to take pictures! Thursday night is the big parade and pep rally, and then Friday we play Saltillo. Hopefully we will increase our record to 2-7...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
When I was younger, summer was definitely my favorite season. I loved the heat, swimming all summer long, and NO SCHOOL!!! Now, the heat doesn't bother me too badly, but more than it did. These days swimming is fun with the kids, but hanging out in my bathing suit all day is not quite as appealing. Finally, there are clearly positive things about summer break, but I am a closet nerd and actually enjoy school. I think I am learning way more than my children, and loving it!
This year for my birthday, my sweet husband gave me the perfect anniversary gift. Not flowers, not chocolate, not a fancy dinner... Oh yeah, he made me a cross country trail around our property! (I am sure this does not surprise some of you who know us well!) As I was running yesterday, I delighted in the slight changes of color in the trees, the cooler air, and the padding of fallen leaves underfoot. During the course of my run, I thought about the changing seasons and how much I have appreciated fall this year.
First of all, fall is cross country season! There is something energizing and stirring about going to a cross country invitational and seeing runner after runner strive to complete the course, especially when the air is crisp. In addition, running on a fall day when it is chilly and drizzling... can't get any better as far as exercise goes!
Next, and more in keeping with my mother, I love pumpkins and fall colors. It is so easy to remember the glory of our Father when we see His handiwork and detail in all creation! I also love bonfires, hayrides, going to the pumpkin patch, dressing in layers, and I get to pull out my knitted and felted bags! Which leads into...
Finally, after cross country season (there is still some fall left), there is knitting to look forward to! When the nights start earlier and earlier, I love lighting a few candles, snuggling up on the couch, and working on a knitting project. During the Spring and Summer I usually keep a project going, but I have had a 2 hour dish rag on my needles since July! I think first in line this year is going to be a shawl for Hannah and then for Sarah. Our church is quite chilly, and the girls have been wanting a wrap for worship services.
It is drizzling outside while a cold front pushes through, and I am thankful that fall is here!
I can't figure out how people turn the blog blue and it makes a link directly to the blog... any help?
Another blog entry to note is my friend Christy Baumberger's... she lives in Evansville, IN. She had an interesting post about a comment Obama made about pro life issues. She's a very sweet girl with a sweet family... one of the things we miss about Kentucky is not seeing them! Www.thebaumbergerblog.blogspot.com
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Wednesday- Sweet potatoes, salad
Thursday- Pizza Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad
Friday- homemade pizza or spaghetti
Saturday- Sausage & Pancake bake (b'fast casserole)
Healthy/inexpensive lunch idea: I will often slice up an apple very thin for each of us and put about 1-2 Tbsp. peanut butter on the side. It takes so long to eat this lunch that we are all full by the time our apples are finished! The peanut butter adds a little protein to stick with you, and putting it on the side keeps you from going overboard with it.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
All of my teams did great today, but I want to spend this post bragging on my JV girls. They did so well today at the Tippah Lake XC Invitational. Saltillo was there, and Coach Covington has a large group of girls running. Other teams included New Albany, East Union, Kossuth, and several others. In the JV meet the girls ran 2 miles, and there were no class divisions (it was 1A-5A all together).
We have been working on pack running all season, and Catherine Snyder and Courtney Crampton showed me that they have been getting the message. We had 4 girls in the top 10! It was obvious early on in the race that it would be close between the Spartans and Saltillo; in fact, I think Coach Covington was even a little nervous!
Julie and Olivia Johnson finished first and second... they have done such a good job this year and really motivated the other girls to work hard. Catherine and Courtney finished 4th and 8th, and our number 5 girl, Sarah Gunnells made a major step up today. Sarah has been mid/back of the pack, but when I told her we needed her, she really picked it up and got up there! Martha and Margaret Chunn and Hannah Baggett all did very well also.
It ended up that we tied with Saltillo for first.... the first Spartan victory!!! They gave us second, and it took me until right now to realize why. I thought it was b/c Julie is really only 6th grade and technically shouldn't have counted; however, in xc a tie breaker goes to the #6 runner, and Saltillo was quite a bit more stacked than we were.
I am sure the Spartans are thankful that I did not realize what had happened until now.... because I conceded to jumping in the lake!
We all headed down the hill, I jumped in, and then the whole team ended up in there with me. I couldn't just let our #1 and 2 girls stand back and watch, though, so I threw Julie in, and Olivia joined her... sorry, Roan.
What fun- I am so proud of their hard work! Check out the Joyful Johnson blog, and Roan will probably have pictures posted!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Tomorrow we have our last cross country meet at Tippah Lake north of Ripley. This is my favorite course, because it reminds me of my home course when I was in high school. I have made a bargain with the runners... if one of the teams wins their category, I get to jump in the lake. I am not too terribly worried, because I think Saltillo will be there. BUT... I did just pack a towel and change of clothes.
In cross country the scoring is like golf; the lowest score wins. The runners are given a number as they finish, and the first five numbers from each team are added together to make the score. In cross country meets the winner is often determined by the 4th and 5th runners. Many teams will have a couple fast runners, but it is a challenge to get 5-7 fast runners. Tomorrow I think this will be the case. I am confident in our first 3 girls, but if our numbers 4 through 7 can hang and work with the pack, we might pull it off!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday- Crock Pot
Friday- Homemade pizza or nachos
Saturday- Breakfast for dinner
Sunday- Popcorn, Cereal, Ramens.... fend for yourself
This week has not gone according to plan so far... see previous post...
Thursday- we are actually going to stay after practice and picnic at the park, so I don't know
Friday- Nachos before the football game
*I usually open a can of black beans, mix on stovetop with mozzarella, pour over nachos, broil for a few minutes, then add sour cream and salsa
Saturday- This week it's good ole country breakfast... Bacon, eggs, biscuits n gravy
My mother-in-law sent us two cast iron biscuit pans to make her husband's world famous biscuits in, so we are all looking forward to this week's breakfast!
It is so nice to have internet at home now! I need to work out a schedule for the kids b/c they are just as excited as I am. I will probably work increments into our school day... How do some of you work that out?
Some of you have read Hannah's blog recently, but we have had a busy few days. On Monday morning Christine (the family that has been staying with us for a while but has just found a house) was using my van take Brayden to school, and she was rear ended by a woman. Christine was stopped at a RR crossing b/c a bus was oncoming with its sign out, and a woman rear ended her going 40mph. She and the kids were ok, but had stiff necks. Later that afternoon I was taking her to the chiropractor because Hannah had an X ray appointment, and we got rear ended again in town!!!
I have spent the last few days on the phone with insurance, taking people to the chiropractor (we all had headaches, too), and all of the things that go along with an accident.
Today we cleaned the house I do once x week, went straight to Dr. Martin's office, drove from NA to Oxford to get an estimate and get the rental van, and then home for supper. When I went to get the estimate, the man said the van might be totalled out b/c it looked like there might be structural damage and there was a LOT of visible damage. I am not sure how that works, but I hope that does not mean they will try to give us a check for $9,000 or whatever they deem the present value of the van to be. Our rental reimbursement was only enough for a compact car, but I had a meltdown and the insurance guy softened and made sure we could get a van. So, now we just wait a few days and find out what is going to happen.
In the meantime, I am pooped! Tomorrow I clean a different house early in the morning, Josh has a Dr. appt. at 11:30, we have to drive to Byhalia to pick up Will, and then there is XC practice at 4:00. Friday is school and then football game, Saturday race and clean the house... I might not post again until this weekend.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Ok, so the Riverfest craft booth was kinda like a free puppy... It wasn't free, I lost a lot of sleep over it, and it turned out to be way more work than it was worth!!! I actually have gotten some orders after the fact that have pushed me up from the red into the black, so at least I didn't lose anything, AND, we all enjoyed corn dogs and funnel cakes!
Because I pulled an all-nighter Thurs. night, I just ran the 5K with Sarah to encourage her. She did a great job and finished in 27:43. Hannah did well also, especially for a child who really dislikes running. 9yrs. old, 3.1 miles, 35 minutes, intense dislike for the sport... I am satisfied!
The weather was beautiful, and despite our total slowness of sales, we all really enjoyed the day. It was to be the last day Hannah would enjoy on two feet for a while, though...
Sunday night the kids were at some friends' house and Hannah broke her foot! She had a dress on, and as she jumped over a barb wire fence, it snagged, pulled her backwards, and she landed on her foot.
I intended on copying several of my "friends" and doing "Menu Monday," but we were in different Dr. offices all day. When it was all said and done, Hannah came home with crutches, a moon boot, and antibiotics to keep staff out of the gaping wound on her foot. YIKES!
They aren't for sure that it is broken; it was right on a growth plate, and there is a chance it is a tendon that has pulled off her ankle. However, it was swollen and discolored enough that he wanted to be cautious and told us to come back in 1 week for another x ray.
Tuesday was spent cleaning house from dawn til way after dusk, and yesterday we did a marathon school day to catch up from our two days off!
Here are a few pictures from the weekend:
Friday, September 26, 2008
I have been making aprons all week... (Why did I decide to do this 2 weeks ago and wait until the last minute to begin sewing???) and sleeping very little.
The girls have also decided to participate and make some stuff. Sarah has been making some little fabric rag dolls and Hannah has been weaving coasters with strips of fabric. They are hoping to at least earn enough for corn dogs and funnel cakes!
Secretly, that's my goal, too! :)
Seriously, I am thinking that I am not a business savvy individual. I need to find something requiring less time and giving a larger profit margin. But it is just no fun to keep making the same thing over and over! Part of the fun of sewing is picking out cute fabric and trying new patterns! (this doesn't always go so well at 2:30 am, though!) If I break even, I will be pleased... if I profit enough for a corn dog and funnel cake... Hey, that's gravy!
In the next few days I will post some pics of the stuff we made and the kids at the booth.
As you think about a baby shower, it is obvious and natural to think about new life. I thought about speaking on our duties as mothers or the aspect of servanthood in mothering, but I have been in Colossians in my QT for a few months now, and the thought/phrase “new life” kept bringing to mind different passages from Colossians.
A few weeks ago someone prayed during prayer meeting, “Lord, let us help us to be a happy, holy, and humble people.” That seemed to fit so well with what the Lord has been teaching me lately. I really can’t think of anything as mothers or grandmothers or future mothers that would benefit our children more than for US to have new life in Christ and to walk closely with Him. When I am unhappy or discontent, lacking in holiness, and having a proud heart, it is so obvious to see how the little lives God has entrusted to me suffer, and so in a way, this really could be considered a talk on parenting.
We read these verses and know what true joy is, and our lives are transformed. As a result of this transformation, we now truly have the potential to be happy, holy, and humble.
This summer Sandy spoke about love one night, and the Lord began to open my eyes at that point about the direct relationship between love and other out workings of walking with God. So, the more we are loving God and others and are aware of that love that the Father must have for us, the more naturally happiness, holiness, and humility flow.
Likewise, it seems that pride and these things have an inverse relationship. The more we allow ourselves to be consumed with self, the less we will be able to see true love, happiness, humility, and holiness in our lives.
I heard someone make a remark not too long ago about what an unusual thing to see a happy Calvinist, and it bothered me! When we have new life in Christ, there is much to rejoice in. I am not going to split hairs between happiness and joy, but I will mention that when I am consciously making an effort to count my blessing and have an attitude of thankfulness, I find myself being happy! For this reason, I am putting a few verses about thankfulness under happiness.
In the first chapter Paul tells the Colossians that he has been praying that they would be filled with the knowledge of the will of God and to be strengthened for the purpose of having patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance o the saints in the light.
Paul mentions later “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you,” (1:24) and you might think “rejoice?” “sufferings?” But the reason is that he understands the riches of the glory the mystery, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (1:27)
I realize that that last verse did not say anything about happiness, but thinking of that mystery… that Christ is in the believer, and THAT is our hope of glory… that really makes me happy!
These verses are all intertwined and flow with each other, because as we think about these things and are thankful, not only do our lives reflect our joy in Christ, but they increase in holiness and humility.
There are so many verses in Colossians that speak towards leading a life of personal holiness. Chapter 4 gives several practical applications like our speech, submitting to our husbands, prayer life, and how we spend our time. It is so important for us to bear in mind that our holiness is only straight from Christ.
Col. 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
That is a great blanket statement. This verse also summarizes how we should walk in holiness:
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord; so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. (Col. 2:6-7)
At first reading, these verses went into my category of verses for holiness because they are a good reminder to walk in Him and be established in the faith. On second thought, it would just as easily fit in with the thought of being a happy people because they remind us to abound in thanksgiving. Also, leading into the last point, they could easily fit in with the thought of being humble. The first of the verse says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord.” When we remember that the way we received Jesus was by coming to God empty handed and fully trusting in His mercy through Christ, we are truly humbled. In this same way are we to live our lives… remembering that our holiness and all walking in Him comes only through Him and not by anything good in ourselves.
As we think about who we are apart from Christ and what Christ has done on behalf of sinners, we have no reason to be anything other than humble.
As Anita prepares to celebrate new life, I thought it would be helpful for us to think about our new life in Christ. When we have new life in Christ and walk closely with Him, happiness, holiness, and humility are evidences of Christ’s work in our life.
I just want to close by reading this last passage from Colossians:
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him. (3:12-17)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The sermon was very helpful, and if you would like to check any of them out, I think our website is www.christchurchnewalbany.org. Just as helpful as the sermon were the hymns this morning. Some of you know that our church uses what many of us call "the funny little red hymnal." It is a small red book of hymns, but they are all written as poetry rather than with the music notes and divided into lines. (I am totally un-musical, so I don't even know what you call that...) Aside from Daily Light (see link), the hymn book is my favorite companion to the Scripture in my quiet time. Because it is written in the form of poetry, it is wonderful to read the words and really contemplate the truths about Christ that the hymns convey.
I thought I would post a few verses from one of the hymns we sang this morning... what a picture of the preciousness of Christ to the believer and how in Christ obedience from love is a joy rather than a chore or something to check off a spiritual list! #475
Come ye souls by sin afflicted,
Bowed by fruitless sorrow down,
By the broken law convicted,
Through the cross behold the crown;
Look to Jesus;
Mercy flows through Him alone.
Take His easy yoke and wear it;
Love will make obedience sweet;
Christ will give you strength to bear it,
While His wisdom guides your feet
Safe to glory,
Where His ransomed captives meet.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
This morning our homeschool cross country team competed in a large area invitational. There were over 900 runners competing in the 6 different races, so it was definitely an experience for some of the families who had never seen the difference between a 5K and an XC invitational. The runners did well, several improving their times.
I am particularly proud of Zak Priest, our top boy finisher, and the girls' team. Zak stepped up and pushed ahead of where he has been running lately. I am hopeful to see him running under 19:00 by the end of the season. The girls showed the beginning signs of working together and pack running, which is GREAT to see. I love to see improvement, and now we have a great place to jump from.
Next year I am planning on coaching again... I know that last year I said no more and then once again committed, and I am regretting that lapse of time terribly now. SO, we will definitely get a good start on a training plan in June and not wait until August to begin.
I really need to go run and then head upstairs to sew. Next week is the Tallahatchie Riverfest, and I have been given a free booth. My sister is coming from Memphis with her wooden signs that she paints, and I am planning on some major sleep deprivation this week in order to make and sell aprons. Hobby Lobby had some CUTE fabric, and I am hoping that the masses in New Albany think so too!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I just received an email about Sarah Palin with a link to a poll asking Christians to turn the percentage around and say that we really do think she is qualified to be VP. As I looked at the list of names in the Fwd block, and considered all of the hype Christians are making over this woman, I feel the need to cry out, "What are we thinking!?"
I understand that she is pro-life, anti-gun laws, and holds a firmer position than even McCain in a lot of areas. However, it seems that we as Christians are going to be willing, even eager, to overlook Scriptural principles on the roles of women.
When I told our children who she was, my daughter's first comment was, "if she has that many children, does she really need to go to the White House and be VP?" Another friend of mine commented something along the lines of, "it seems as though we do not want our daughters to become feminists, but we are willing to make an exception if it is something as big as the presidency."
It seems so true! How many godly mothers who have taught their daughters to be submissive and under the husband's leadership are presently campaigning for a woman to leave her children, take leadership over her husband, and do the opposite of what we are teaching? (All in the name of Christ...)
It just seems to be lacking in consistency.
Ok, Ok, I know some of you might be thinking, "Oh, wow, this person has gone off the deep end and has turned radical on us..." NOT TRUE... I am not saying I am going to cast my vote for Socialism; I am confused, and I am troubled that no one seems to be feeling hesitation over this matter. There it is, I suppose that is the thrust of why I am so bothered... It is such a weighty matter, and it seems that the conservative Christian community has just jumped on the bandwagon without pause because we are supposed to be Republicans.
I will attempt to step down off the soap box... one more thing... I am not sure what I think about the whole situation, so please do not accuse me of being a Palin basher or a door mat to my husband!
As I step down off my soapbox, I realize the root of why the poll email stirred me up so much... I have had a cup of coffee after 9:00 PM and that on top of a VERY troubling experience at our local library today.
I have heard statistics about internet pornography and other things, but the truth of those things and the reality of them being present in our small community was very clear this afternoon.
We have been having internet woes (for the last 6 months), and I finally decided that I would just take the kids to the library a few days per week to allow them computer time. My reasoning was that we could spend 30 minutes, everyone could have a turn at once (with high speed internet), and it wouldn't be a big deal.
This afternoon, many of the computers were full, so the librarian plugged my children into computers spread around the little area (we like to get 4 in a row). As I stood setting Josh up on PBS kids, I realized that the woman directly to my right was looking at pornography. Josh was engrossed in Word World, so he didn't see anything, but I quickly held up my hand and asked her to please stop. As if I had made a very unreasonable request, she changed the image and tilted the screen away from me. I continued to glare and give my "nonverbal" that I am so bad about doing without realizing (although it was definitely intentional today), and she logged off and left a few minutes later. When she was safely out of the picture (literally and figuratively) and a young boy (about 10-12) was in her place, I went to check on Sarah. As I logged her onto her email, I couldn't help but see that the MAN next to her was scrolling through pictures of BOYS. Determined not to jump to conclusions, I thought to myself, "maybe he is looking for his cousin or friend or something..." THEN I realized it was match.com, and he was signing up to be the "secret admirer" of several of these boys. At this point, I knew it was time to go, so I began to round up the troops. As I was getting Josh off his computer, he realizes that the boy next to him is playing games much more exciting... there are realistically animated men with machine guns killing people and leaving them in pools of blood all over some dungeon. AAAHHH!!! Would the nightmare never end! I turned in the girl, and the librarian knew who she was... turns out she sits at the computer regularly for lengthy intervals. Hopefully they will be able to stop her... but I can't help but be concerned for young boys who might be preyed upon by the man, and what about the boy who is getting ample virtual practice with automatic weapons...
My friend summed up my feelings when she mentioned that our "Fair and Friendly City" is not all we think it to be. Really, the Lord has been opening my eyes this evening to how much our community needs HIM... not just the Southern religion, but CHRIST. If I ran across that much sin and hurt in a 20 minute span, how many more out there are hurting just as badly? Oh, I pray that He would give me the wisdom and understanding to deal with this!
In the meantime, my children will not be using the computers in our library!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Hannah's blog (which will undoubtedly be updated more often) is www.hannahduley.blogspot.com and Sarah's is www.sarahduley.blogspot.com.