Saturday, May 29, 2010

Do You Know...

... the National Anthem?

We sing the first verse at all kinds of events, but Francis Scott Key wrote four stanzas after the battle of Fort McHenry.

Read it carefully...and, as you read the 4th verse, say a prayer for all our men and women who serve our country at home and abroad...especially those in harm's way.

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Smile for Today...

I think most of the folks who stop by here also visit Bring the Rain, as it's one of the few links I've actually managed to put up on my sidebar (someday there will be more! Really!).

But even though you may have seen this already, I've just got to post the link to today's BTR post.

They've walked through a's an amazing testimony. If you don't know the whole story, go back to the beginning of the blog and read through.

Make sure you've got a box of tissues handy. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

RD - The One Thing List

How does Linda keep coming up with these? Click the link to see other posts or link your own!

1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?
chicken/broccoli casserole, baby carrots, deli bread and brownies. That's usually the 'carry in' meal if I have to take food to someone.

2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)
I'd say 'cell phone', but I have walked out without it too many times. Given my rather forgetful nature, I'm not sure there's anything I wouldn't leave home without...INCLUDING purse and license (yep - left those at home more than once, too). Sad, no?

3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?
Turkey Run State Park, Marshall, IN. Or the beach.

4. Share one factoid of your family's history.
My brother farms the same ground my grandfather farmed; it's one of the 'Hundred Year Hoosier Farms', or something like that. It's been in the family for over a hundred years. My grandad built every building on that farm himself...except for the new house that my brother had built about 10 years ago...from lumber milled from the trees on the farm.

5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ...."
...wrote a play. Now I don't know what to do with it.

6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be?
either meat or gasoline. Either one would free up a sizable chunk of the family budget.

7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...."
I can wiggle my ears

8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?
A two-pack of Reese's Cups, and I'll save the change.

9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...."
The Muppet Show

10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?
Eat according to plan. Which means I won't be spending my dollar.

11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?
It would please my hubby if I cleaned off the bathroom counter.

12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?
The last day of school. This year's been rough; I'm ready for a break. Even though the part time job diminishes the break least the mornings will not be so hectic!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The RD Addiction

Addicted. That's what I am. Linda writes such interesting random questions...and it *is* fun to see how other folks answer them. The icon will take you to her post where you can find everyone else's answers...or link your own!

1. Please share one memory of your high school graduation. Pics would be great!
Cut me some slack, here. It was 33 years ago...and the thing that stands out the most to me was that I got so hot I was lightheaded. You cram three communities worth of folks into a gym...even a Hoosier-Hysteria gym meant to hold crowds for those varsity basketball games...and it gets a little warmish. Specially to the ones wearing those cheap poly gowns.

2. What is one "emergency use" item you keep in your vehicle at all times?
A Dell's Book of Logic Problems and a pencil. I never know when I'm going to need to be distracted from the passage of time whilst waiting on someone to get done with something.

3. In your region, do you celebrate graduation open houses? Addendum: (If so,) how many open houses/bridal showers/weddings are on your upcoming events calendar?
I grew up in Indiana, with the Graduation Open House being part of the whole end-of-the-school-year ritual. Graduation was on Sunday afternoon, and all the seniors had open houses. You just make the rounds, spending 15 - 20 minutes (or less) at each place.

But don't try that outside of the Hoosier State. My older son was valedictorian of his class, but, in the assembly-line graduations we have HERE, one right after the other in the Civic Center Arena, his high school happened to be the LAST one scheduled on Friday. So we did his open house on Saturday afternoon, rather than at 10 PM on Friday, which was when we got home after grad. NOBODY CAME. Three of his good friends from other schools showed up, but NOT ONE of our friends from our church, our previous church, or our previous neighborhood. It still smarts to this day...but I have to chalk it up to differences in customs.

We ate a lot of cake that week.

4. Tell me one truth you believe about motherhood.
When a child is born, an arrow is planted in the mother's heart. Every time something unpleasant or unfair happens to that child, and every time that child makes a bad decision, some unseen hand grabs the shaft of that arrow and twists...hard.

It hurts...but the child never sees it and can't begin to even contemplate its existence.

Until said child has children and finds an arrow in his/her heart...

5. What was the last thing you broke?
Um, hm...the yolks on the eggs I was trying to fry over-easy on Saturday. We ate blueberry pancakes w/scrambled eggs for brunch.

6. On average, how many pieces of junk mail do you receive daily?
Wayyyy too many!

7. Do you like to shop by catalog?
Sort of. I'm not much of a shopper period, really. But I do like to look through catalogs from time to time. I don't know why.

8. Is lawn maintenance at your house a "his job," a "her job" or "his/her job" or "that's why we have teenagers" job?
When we bought our first house back in 1982, and consequently got a lawnmower, I stole one of Erma Bombeck's lines and stated, 'That's cute! What is it?'.
My Sweet Baboo was sole lawn maintainer until The Artist got old enough to push it. He held the job until he left home for Master's Commission and handed it off to The Actor. Now that the Artist is home again and not particularly employed, he's been cutting the grass again while the Actor is at school. Not sure who's going to end up with the job once school's out.

9. Which room would you like to redecorate in your home?
I'm a decorating KLUTZ. I wouldn't even know where to start...we moved into a house with the World's Worst Paint Job, but we didn't discover it until after a bit of time had passed and the paint started flaking off the walls. Investigation revealed that, in their earnest effort to make the house look as nice as possible as cheaply as possible, the previous owners had pulled down all the wallpaper, then painted over the residual glue with expired base paint they'd picked up at Big Lots. Now that paint is blistering and cracking and falling off the several rooms.
How could I possibly pick one?

10. Do you read a newspaper regularly, or do you read most of your news on line?
I scan the headlines on both the newspaper and the internet blurb pages.

11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
I believe all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. But 'good' there is not our definition of 'good' (happy, healthy, prosperous, etc). It's God's definition of 'good'...which means we are conformed to the image of Christ. I think everything that happens can, if we allow God to work through it, make us look like Jesus. Takes a lot of trust and submission.

12. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Aaaiiieee! This is a great question which I can't absolutely answer. I wish I could say I worry about doing the right things right, but I think I worry mostly about doing things right...and hope they turn out to be the right things.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Last Concert

I'm just a little wistful tonight; we went to The Flute Player's Last Band Concert. She's planning to do the theater magnet in high school, which means she will not have room in her schedule for band. Life's full of tough choices...

But tonight, she played the flute...
And the piccolo...

...stood for to be recognized as a departing 8th grader...

...and was one of two 'Outstanding Musician' recipients...

She commented tonight that there was *one* good thing about The Last Concert...she won't have to wear the tux shirt again!

HOWEVER, she *does* know how to play a flute...which is, in terms of compatibility with, say, guitars and keyboards, A Very Useful Instrument, as opposed to, say, a clarinet (*ahem* the instrument I played in band), which can't play in the same key as the piano and guitars. She knows enough to play for her own enjoyment, at the very least.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Trying to focus...

I have a nice little purse camera that I got for Christmas. It automatically picks out what it will focus on; I don't have to adjust anything. Point and shoot. Simple.

The only problem is that sometimes I have a hard time getting the camera to focus on the thing I'm actually trying to photograph. I keep clicking the shutter button lightly, trying to get it to put the little square on the face or the bird or the detail...and it keeps suggesting other things. Now I know the camera probably knows more about getting pictures than I do, but I really don't appreciate that it refuses to focus on the thing I'm trying to get it to focus on.

Y'know, right now I feel rather like my camera...and God keeps tapping that button. Because I have a number of things I'm trying to focus on, none of which are the thing HE wants me to focus on. Somehow, I seem to think I know what needs focusing, what needs attention, and I forget to check w/Papa.

No wonder life gets blurry.

Methinks I need to spend some time with my camera manual...but first I need to pull out God's Manual and have some time there...

If I don't get a chance to post again before Sunday, Happy Mother's day to everyone who's raised kids, mentored kids, prayed for kids, or loved a kid! Great is your reward in heaven...