Friday, June 26, 2015

Rambling Thoughts for Friday

3/5 of the family has been in another state the last couple of days. JM and I have remained here so that we can continue with our summer classes and make progress in getting everything ready for JT to leave for his trip on Saturday. JM and and I went to McD's last night for supper, and watched Wheel and Jepoardy! afterwards. He had some homework for class working with those Mendelian genetic square-thingies. I think we spent about an hour or more working through the problems. JM will tell his professor he had "help" from me--although I really don't know how much I really helped. 
I am very grateful that JM has had a good time with this course. It has been very intensive, but that has been good for him and his work ethic. The class is taught from the Biblical perspective of Creation--and we are more grateful for that than you can imagine. Science is a gift of God, just like the study of History, language, music . . . all given to challenge our minds and bless our hearts. Only man can mess up these gifts.
I do not want to hear any more news this week. More SCOTUS decisions are coming down here in the next few days--and they don't promise to be anything that honors God and His Word. 
I am ready to stay in my house with the news turned off. I do look forward to everyone returning home today, although we will be going separate ways again on Saturday (JT will be gone for 2 weeks). 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

For My Friends At the Beach (and You Know Who You Are)

For my sweet friends frolicking at the beach this week! If I had known, I would have saved this picture entirely for you!  I hope you are being sensible like these young ladies in your choice of bathing attire! Have fun!
the other Janis

Family Fun

Last night was a great night. We had a later supper, but that was fine. Virginia cooked for me while I did a little housework. We were able to spend a little time together after the kitchen was cleaned up.  We are working on the Book of 1 John in Sunday School. I just so happened to have some BEAUTIFUL copywork pages with that Book of the Bible. They are so pretty. So, we prepared to sit down and work on them together. As you can see, we were joined by a couple of other members of the family--Gertie and Dad!!
Michael was so funny--he came to the table before we sat down--he brought his Bible and his latest issue of Sword of the Lord.  He said, "well, if you all are going to sit here and color . . ." He had a good time with us and we were thrilled he joined us. My father-in-law is happiest when is surrounded by his family. They don't necessarily need to be talking to him--he just likes to have them nearby. I think his son is shaping up to be the same. 
We finished a couple of pages, and Dad finished his crossword puzzle. He lives to get his Sword of the Lord  in the mail. 
Adding to the fun was the package of Keebler Simply Made chocolate chip cookies. They really are wonderful. 
Sweet times . . .

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thoughts for This Day

After the concert yesterday, we went to Sonic for supper. I had made supper in the crock pot, but it will be fine for today. Everyone was hot and parched, so we just pulled into Sonic. It was great. Nothing like a Route 44 Sprite Zero when it is so hot.
When we came home, Virginia went out into her garden.  She and her dad staked her tomato plants. Her garden is beautiful. And a dear woman from our food distribution program at Church brought her a ton of strawberry plants for next year. After we came in, Virginia fixed her dad a glass of lemonade--his favorite way to combat the heat after yard work. Like the headline in the newspaper above, I feel like we are in the midst of a heatwave (and I grew up in Florida!).
For a short time, we have everyone back home. Later this week, 3/5 of us will run up to Tennessee to attend the funeral of a most godly man--in fact our oldest is named for him. Heaven is even more wonderful now with Brother Bethel there. I think I will be remaining her with JM--his summer classes are wrapping up, and he will be taking a final exam at the end of the week.
 On Saturday, our oldest son is leaving for his trip to England to study in a special program at one of the schools in Oxford. He will be gone for two weeks. 
I worry about Michael being so tired and running around all over the place with all of our busy-ness and his own. At Church, we have had several families with health crises, and he has been involved more and more with helping them and picking up the slack at Church in their absence. 
I would love the luxury a week off from life . . . . I suppose most people would!

Friday, June 19, 2015


Dear Daughter was asked to participate as part of the "worship team" in this morning's service. She is third from the left or the second singer from the left. I think she looks cute in her little capri pants!
Special thanks to our sweet James Martin for finding this for us this morning. 

Growing Up is Not Easy

Michael and I have been almost as excited as Virginia has anticipating this summer camp experience. She has been disappointed in other camp situations with the way young people have acted, and we had high hopes that some of those issues would not be in this camp. It has been much better than some.  But, she is in a room with 3 girls who are all 2 years younger than she is. They stay up all night on the phone texting, skype-ing and talking with guys in the camp. She kept saying on the phone, "they are disrespectful to the Lord!"  She had to get up last night and sleep in the chair in the room.  The classes she is taking are very intense and she is probably one of the most serious learners there. The teachers are stellar in their skills, and the camp is organized better than any I have ever seen. I can't say enough about the individuals involved in administration and teaching.  The good FAR outweighs the not-so-good. These experiences are all part of growing up and learning how to be accommodating and kind. But last night, she was crying because she is so tired and discouraged. Where there is fatigue, discouragement is always a half step behind.
She suffers from true migraine headaches, and we have noticed that they seem to be triggered by sleep deprivation. I just want to get all of this wrapped up so she can come home and sleep . . .
and so I can hold her in my arms. They feel so empty. Our  poor boys have had to endure lots of extra TLC from both mom and dad the past couple of days. I think they have enjoyed it . . .
I know that what she will remember will be the 99.5% of the wonderful experiences, and she will be crying because the next camp is a year away!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Heaven's Gain and a Glorious Reunion

Over the years, I have treasured the teachings and writings of Elisabeth Elliot. She has ministered to women of all ages for so many years. Most know about her first husband, Jim Elliot. Jim lost his life on the mission field in Ecuador in 1956. Elisabeth wrote about those times and losses as well as other aspects of her walk with Christ.  My favorite of her  books is The Shaping of a Christian Family wherein she talks about her own growing up years with her parents and siblings. 

Elisabeth Elliot was my companion on the radio in Tennessee over the years when I drove many miles to my teaching job. The year Virginia was on the way, I taught at three different locations for the college.  Michael was pastoring full time, and we did everything we could to keep the boys home with us. It was an amazing time. Sometimes we would get discouraged, trying to stretch two full-time jobs with part-time pay into a budget supporting soon-to-be-five. The Lord made it work, and He blessed me with the ability to hear Elisabeth on those drives. She would always begin her broadcast with 
"You are loved with an everlasting love, and underneath are the everlasting arms . . .
This is your friend, Elisabeth Elliot  . . ."

She was and is a friend to many of us--we'll never know this side of heaven how many lives and hearts she blessed with her encouraging messages. 
She survived her first two husbands, Jim and then Addison Leitch.  I thought yesterday how wonderful it must be for her to be reunited with her beloved parents and these men whom she loved so dearly. 

Elisabeth Elliot spoke and wrote about her experiences on the mission field, but she also wrote about life and the values a Christian should have. She was no-nonsense about how Christian women should dress, behave and treat others. How we need her voice today!  I am grateful that BBN is rebroadcasting all of her messages (at 11:15 eastern) on weekdays.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dinosaurs Like Cookies, Too!

Saturday night, usually our Gunsmoke night, we went to DeSoto Springs State Park for a picnic. As you can see, we had the essentials:  chips, chicken and Chips Ahoy!  What a great night. We took our beloved family mascot, Gertie, with us. She came to be a member of our family some time ago when we purchased her at the Creation Museum, another of my favorite places on the planet. She stays in the van most of the time.
We had a great time. We enjoyed our chicken and the fellowship with one another. For this to be summer, we have certainly been tooooooo busy. Now, everyone starts their camp trips. I know these things are good for them, but Mom sure does cherish the time we are all together.