Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's amazing....

...what just one night away from home, kids, responsibilities, and chores can do. This is where Eric took me Friday night to belatedly celebrate our anniversary. On the actual date of our anniversary, July 5th, I was in New York state with the kids and Eric's mom, and Eric was down here in Georgia. So on Friday his mom and dad took the kids for an overnight, and we went on an overnight of our own. It was great--I didn't know where we were going, and Eric had it all planned out. The River Street Inn is right on Bay Street in Savannah, overlooking River Street on the back side of the hotel. The river was just outside our windows. It's in an old building that was once one of the cotton warehouses which comprised the bulk of Savannah's business in the 1800's. We went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant, ate way too much (thali meal for those of you who know Indian food,) and then just enjoyed being in a nice hotel (with bed turn-down service, plush robes, and chocolates on your pillow!) As much as I dearly love my children, it is nice once in a while to have some alone time with my husband. We went to pick them up on Saturday feeling relaxed and refreshed.

On a side note: When we left the hotel on Saturday, there had been an accident just a few doors down with pretty impressive results. We walked down to see what was going on, and some German tourists asked us if it was part of a scene for a movie. (Savannah is used quite a bit for movie-making.) We had to tell them that no, this was reality. The lady driving the car took out my favorite statue in Savannah, a terra-cotta lion which was made in the mid-1800's. It's irreplaceable. Sad.

My Two Very Different Daughters....

Caroline is a Marianne Dashwood, and Mary is an Elinor Dashwood, despite their birth order.

I know I said in the post on school that we always know how Mary feels, but I should have qualified that by saying "about school." She loves school and learning, and isn't afraid of hard work. We usually have very little idea what she's thinking or feeling about everything else. She has very deep emotions that she keeps well-hidden. Only occasionally does she "let loose" and cry or get angry. On the negative side of this, Mary seems to have a harder time showing affection, hugging others, or being sympathetic to others' pain. I'm not saying that she's cold or unfeeling--she's NOT--just that she doesn't usually let her emotions show.

Caroline, on the other hand, wears her emotions on her sleeve...and on her chest...and on her back...and all over her skirt...She tears up easily, gets angry or upset fairly often, but also shows great sympathy for others easily. She is extremely affectionate and it hurts her to see others in pain. She is learning to watch what she says and not let her emotions rule her, to stop and think before flying off the handle.

Those of you who have known me all my life already know that when I was Caroline's age, I would have scored as Marianne. But the Lord has taught me through my life's circumstances how to be an Elinor. Learning self-control is a hard lesson, but I think God has brought me to a place of knowing how to balance my emotions with reason. It's something I still pray about every morning.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Which is Which?

A challenge for those of you who know my daughters well (actually, even if you just barely know them you can probably guess)AND have some knowledge of Jane Austen novels.

They have both taken the "Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?" Quiz (see sidebar to take it yourself.) One of them came out as Elinor Dashwood, and the other as Marianne.

Which is which?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ten Months of Slavery Followed by Two Months of Jubilee

That's how Bobby described school Monday morning when it was time to start. He sure has a way with words. His statement also shows how little he really knows about slavery and its horrors. Home schooling is like a party compared to what his life could be like! Yesterday actually went quite well despite his prophecies of doom. Caroline began 10th grade, Mary started 6th, and Bobby was propelled unwillingly into the 4th. By this morning he had decided to get with the program, and was up early doing schoolwork along with Mary. We're (meaning I'm) excited to be back on a more regular schedule, and to be learning new things. I took a few pictures yesterday to commemorate the start of the school year.
Caroline looking totally bored as a teenager doing her Algebra 2 (this was a posed picture):
With Mary you always know how she really feels:
With Bobby we never have a doubt, either:
But I did get them to pose for a nice "First Day" shot:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Current Happenings...

This past weekend was our church's Homecoming Sunday. Saturday we had a church clean-up day to spiff up the grounds and inside. Lots of people showed up to clean, straighten, landscape, set up, and fellowship. We worked for about three hours. While we were all doing that, the Cub Scout Pack that the church sponsors had a fund-raising car wash in the front parking lot at the church. It was really hot out, but those little boys worked hard and raised over $400 for their activities.

Saturday night we had a hot dog supper, and then a Gospel group sang for us. There was a lot more sweet fellowship.

Sunday morning we had about 230 people at church (we usually have 140-150.) Eric preached a sermon called "You're not a good person, and neither am I." He laid the gospel out there, and now we are praying for it to take root in the hearts of those who were there who are not saved.

After the morning service, what do you think we did? Ate, of course. We are Baptists, after all. We had a HUGE covered dish dinner, where everyone ate plenty/too much/enough for an army.

So here's what I've been thinking: There are aspects to Homecoming Sunday that are kind of sad. Seeing people come to church who have left for some reason, knowing they may not come again until next year--that's sad. Knowing that there are some people who won't come back for Homecoming because they had their feelings hurt in the past--that's sad. Realizing that there are church members missing this year because they went Home to be with the Lord--that's sad. Oh, wait, that's also happy! And it leads me to this: there are plenty of happy, joyous, wonderful things about Homecoming Sunday. Family members get together, old friends are reunited, everyone worships together and praises the Lord for His goodness, and we have a big feast. Does this sound like anywhere else to you? It makes me long for heaven, for the ultimate Homecoming of which all believers will be a part someday. The great weekend we just had here on earth is nothing compared to the fellowship, worship, and feasting that will take place in the presence of God.

While we're waiting for that Homecoming, the special Sundays here on earth are a great reminder of what awaits us.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We're Cool....

We are back in normal temperatures in our house, thank God. A nice man came Thursday morning and fixed our AC unit, HALLELUJAH! We got out of here while the house cooled down and took the kids bowling and to Chik-Fil-A for lunch. I haven't posted since Wednesday night because I couldn't get online here in the house and was too lazy to walk over to the church to do it. But this morning the internet is up and running here in the house, also a reason for praise. If it's still on later, I'll post about the great weekend we just had. Right now I have to leave and take Mary to the neurologist for her annual check-up.

For Shannon, Renata, and Chandra: Thanks, my wonderful sisters, for your comments on the last post. I miss all of you a lot! Wish I could teleport and suddenly be with people I miss...but that's a subject for another post.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

90 Degrees

That's how hot it is in our house tonight. Our AC unit is not working, and it was 102 today in Savannah. So here we sit, sweating....

Tomorrow we're going to get out of here and go somewhere air-conditioned. I hope that someone can come fix this tomorrow. What a spoiled American I am, expecting to live in a comfortable 76 degree house all the time. How dare the AC unit quit on us!!! At least I can imagine what it's like for our friends that have lived through the heat season in northern India. Although they deal with 115+ degrees over there, so this isn't anywhere near as bad.

It's too hot to keep holding this laptop on my lap. More tomorrow...