Sunday, November 30, 2008


Yesterday was just one of those days - not really bad but everything my kids did got on my nerves. How hard is it to turn off the light, close the door, or flush the toilet. Well yesterday it was virtually impossible for any of them to do anything.

I had a Pampered Chef meeting to attend in the late afternoon and I decided to "run away" after it. I just left a message with Tom saying not to expect me for dinner and I would be home when I got there.

After the meeting, I went to church. Now I have in the past, and I guess being that I still have the keys, still could taken sanctuary to get away from the world at my church. But being that it is closed I didn't feel right doing that. One of the churches that we visited - the first one in fact - had started a service at 6pm on Saturday night. The time is awkward, but I did want to go sometime. And last night was the perfect opportunity so I did.

Today in the church we have been attending for a while now we sang the song "Sanctuary" and it was then that I realized that sanctuary was just what I was looking for last night. And I realized that I found it too. It wasn't the building or even the service but just that time to go away and be with God that filled me and set me straight again.

I love my family. We are together just about all the time 24/7. I am a very introverted person and at times, I just need to be alone and that was what I did last night. But it wasn't til I heard the song in church this morning that I realized that I wasn't being selfish or wrong, but I was just doing what I needed to do.

So here is a lesson learned I need time for sanctuary and it is not wrong to take it once in a while.

Monday, November 24, 2008

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

And today was a day for good byes.

Today is the second anniversary of my dad's death - which is still a good bye that I occasionally struggle with. With his passing I became the oldest member of my immediate family. I usually don't think about it, but on days like today, I can't seem to help but be reflective.

Today was also the day I had to say good bye to a very close friend. This friend has been with me through thick and lots and lots of thin. I will truly miss the godly cousel that was a trademark of his.

So today was a time for good byes and now I look forward to what is the next purpose under heaven.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

It has been ages since I have had a Pampered Chef show - and I was not happy about it, but if I was being honest with myself, I could have tried harder. So I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself and did something about it.

I have been on the phone all week and didn't have a whole lot of success. I did manage one show, but that was a small accomplishment considering all the phone calls I had made. I decided to work a craft fair this weekend and that went much better.

At the fair I made a number of new contacts and I can't wait to get started again. If all goes well, I will have another fair next weekend so between the two, things look like they are up and running again.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So much life

Life - that is what has been happening and being fairly new to blogging, and not yet set in my ways, the blogging has slipped - but I am catching up (at least a little) now

In my defense, I went about 2 weeks without a computer or access at home to the Internet - neither of which are conducive to blogging.

On October 16 I was zoning out and watching the only show I watch on TV - CSI. I noticed that the light was flickering. I figured that the bulb was just burning out. Then I noticed that the light was flickering in the other room too. As I was looking around I noticed "fireworks" in the back yard. That was just before the transformer on the pole shorted out leaving us powerless for the rest of the night and putting just too much strain on our computer and killing it.

We were a week without the main computer so we were living in survival mode. I used the lap top for school, but that was about all I was able to do. We got the computer back on the 19th and live was good again.

It didn't stay that way though. Another transformer on the same pole decided that it too was time to die, but unlike its predecessor it wasn't content to just send out a few sparks. No, this one actually sent flames up and down the phone line. So n0 the 20th less than a day after getting our computer back and running, the phone lines were burned. So although we had a computer, we couldn't do anything with the Internet til that was fixed. We finally got back and completely up and running on the 24th. Well of course there was alot of catch up to do - Tom with work and the kids with school. So there was not opportunity to blog for me.

Add to the above scenario scouts, awana, and a trip to the art museum and my days were pretty full. But now, at 4 in the morning, I can finally get on the computer and do what I want to do - and blogging is it.

AND the reason that I started the blog was to chronicle our search for a church. We began at the start of the month going to The Orchard. This was a second time back and we wanted to give it a month or so and see how it feels. Well, we are giving it more than a month. We are not committing to anything right now long term, but we will be here through the rest of the year. Emily was asked to be in their Christmas program and Eva is working on a project with the youth group so we will stay long enough to give the kids an opportunity to do what they want. I figure after months of being dragged from church to church letting them actually get involved is not a bad thing. So with a few planned weeks off, we are staying at The Orchard through at least the 14th of December.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Souper Sunday

We visited the Orchard again this week. We visited there last week as well, but I didn't have a chance to post about it last week so I will start actually last Saturday.

We are for the moment, like many others, in a very tight financial situation. The pressure was really getting to me. And even more than the money I was really feeling separated from everyone I know I can go to for support - my church family. In prayer, I asked that God would lay us on the heart of someone who could help. My quiet time is right before I go to bed so after making my request I settled in for a my typical restless nights "sleep"

We decided to visit the Orchard again. We have friends and acquaintances there, but no one knew that we were coming. Indeed, Timothy and I were both fighting colds so I didn't make any plans because until we got up and I said that I did feel up to going to church. Much to my surprise someone said that the Lord had put on his heart to help us and he was so glad to see us there and offer what he could.

I was just astounded. Yes, I had asked God for just that. I don't know that I doubted that he would do it, but i don't really think that I believed it fully either. It was just to stunning and wonderful to witness His faithfulness even in the face of my less than perfect faith.

This week we visited there again. I will say that it was much more enjoyable when I wasn't sick. the minister teaches Emily's SS class and she just loves it. Timothy and Eva are both in the youth class and love it as well. The sermons are good and the people are great. Right now they are meeting in a local high school so I can't say much about the facilities, because other than a plot of land they really don't have any.

I know that there is no such thing as a perfect church - and even if there were if I joined there, it would no longer be perfect. But one thing that I just don't care for is the adult SS. I think that part of it is the subject matter. The book that they are studying is not one of my favorites which doesn't make me want to jump right in. Also the man that is teaching it has not been well and I think that might be why he has taken such a subdued approach to teaching. So I am not exactly eager to jump right it.

So those were our weeks there and we are planning to spend a few more there - probably through the end of the month and then we may check out another one an "park there for a while.

Today was the second Sunday so we had our monthly service at our church that closed. Every second Sunday we have a pot luck and get some fellowship and a really good sermon. One family or group makes the main dish and then everyone brings sides. Tonight we were the family that made the main dish. Tom and I each made a HUGE pot of soup. I made cream of potato and tom made Italian wedding. I also make home made dinner rolls. All of it was well received.

Now at last I are home from a LONG day of being on my feet, and the bathtub is I am off to relax after being up since 5:30 this morning.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Min - Album

I didn't make this blog for the purpose of scrapping. I have quite a few online galleries and that is where I post most of my pojects. Occasionally, I will post scrapping stuff here. This is one of those occasions.

This is a mini album I made for a cybercrop. I had never really made one before. Because of that I seriously considered not doing the challenge. What are the odds of a first timer winning? I don't think much especially when I really didn't know what I was going to do. This was the final challenge and I thought that it would be rather anit climatic to do all the other challenges, and not finish - so this is my attempt at a mini album.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Every year, for as long as I can remember fall meant apples in my house. We would always go to an orchard and pick several bushels. Then we would come home and make home made applesauce. I remember doing for years and years. I remember my Granada coming to our house and helping my mom. After Grandma died, I helped a little more ever year as I got older.

Mom got sick in 2005 and wasn't up to making the sauce, so that was the first year that I did it alone, albeit at her house and under her supervision. I was so glad that I did because I really learned what I was doing then. And that was very lucky because in Jan of 2006, mom died and I was left on my own to keep the tradition alive.

So today was the day that we headed out to the orchard. We picked 2 bushels of apples. I would have liked to pick more, but at $22 a bushel 2 was all I could afford. I guess this year I will not get to be as generous with it as I like to be. Everyone seems to love a pint or a quart of canned home made applesauce.

Now, however, I beginning to reap the rewards. I have peeled and sliced half a bushel and they are as I type being cooked down to the soft sweet and spicy sauce that is our family tradition. The aroma of apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger now permeate the house and there is nothing like it in the world. I don't know if my kids will continue when I no longer can, but I hope they do because there is nothing that can compare to the taste of home made applesauce

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Decision

We have been attending the same church for 3 weeks in a row now - which for us has been a record. There were others that we wanted to go back to, but we decided to park at this one for a few weeks.

Well, we are done parking. We have left the building, and are not going back. I don't want to give the impression that there was anything wrong with the church, but we agreed that it was just not for us.

The Sunday school for the kids was super. The preaching was very good. The music was by far the best we have heard in the whole search. There are 3 services so we could go just about any time and get to the service. But that is really where the pluses ended. The Christian Education for the adults although varied was not what we had hoped. And in the whole time of attending the church with over 1,000 members there on Sunday morning, only a few in the adult classes spoke to us, and no one in the worship service ever acknowledged our existence. It is just too big and too impersonal. It was definitely not the family that I want and need.

So one of our "maybes", is now a "No". And the search will go on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is it Just Me?

I have been wondering lately, am I really the ogre that I seem to be acting like of late? Yes, I have been spending more than my share of time recently ticked off, but I wonder if it is just a streak of bad luck or if I am being unreasonable.

Last February I began looking for a Cadette Girl Scout troop for Eva. I called the council, I went to meetings, I asked for referals. It wasn't until I got mean that someone finally paid attention to me. I started at the same time looking for a Daisy toop for Emily - and so far, we have nothing.

I don't need to start on the school again. If you have questions about that one, check out my post from the first day of school. I am glad to say that they have improved, but we started on 8/28 and I am still waiting for books. I feel like I have at least a little bit of justification at being ticked

Our insurance - or as we call it, our noninsurance, insurance - is next on my verbal hit list. I got the bill from the dr. for my surgery. They didn't pay ANYTHING! Please, can someone tell my why we are paying insurance, if they don't pay any bills? They have yet to pay a penny this year. It is not like we don't submit things either. We have almsot $400 a month in medications alone.

Last night the Awana club that Emily belongs on became the most recent to be added to my infamous "list". She loves Awana and, like her sister has been gifted with the ability to memorize and understand scripture. There are 47 sections in her handbook this year. Each one of those need to be reviewed and then there is a workbook that she wants to finish. This year they have taken up the habbit of only letting her recite one verse a week. At this rate, she won't even finish the book. I am not asking for special treatment. I just want her to work at a rate that will allow her to do what they ask all the kids to do.

So that is where I sit, ticked at the school, the insurance, scouts and Awana....Who wants to be next on the list>

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Homesick

It seems as if it was ages ago but in reality it was not that long ago when our church had an early morning service as well as the regular service. At that time I was working in the nursery during the second service so I got to attend the first one. One of the things that I liked best was the contemporary music. There was one song in particular. "The Cry of my Heart" that Jim would play on dull grey mornings - which in Cleveland, we get more than our share. This arrangement was very upbeat and had a steel drum solo. That song more than any other is the one I remember from those services.

Today the church we attended used that same song, but a different arrangement. I was in tears with homesickness. I just want to be at home in my church. I am tired of looking for a new church. I am tired of not fitting in. I am tired of not knowing any one. I just want to go home!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My not so little girl

Today Eva bridged to Cadettes. She has been in scouts since she was 5. She started as a Daisy. In Brownies she made it her goal to earn ever try-it (the brownie badges) there was. She earned everyone in the book and additional ones besides. Because her birthday is at the end of September there has always been a question as to what year she should be in. In the winter of 2006 she bridged to Juniors. It was becoming apparent that she was just at a maturity level far beyond the girls in the troop - part of that having to do with being a year older than all of them.

So in the spring of 2008 she decided to leave the troop that she had been with for 7 years who wouldn't be joining Cadettes for another year. Being Eva, of course, she couldn't do it without first earning all the awards that she could. Many troops will work on the higher awards - the Junior aide, the leadership award and the bronze award (the highest award a junior scout can get) together. Eva, not having time to wait for the troop conquered them all, alone. Tonight she received the last award - her bronze and she was bridged to Cadettes. It was touching to see the relationships that were made and how much she meant to not only the girls but the leaders as well.

So this is a Congrats to Eva, my Cadette scout.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This was more like it!

Today was a good day in the search for a church - and that is much appreciated and needed!

We went to another church that I found online. It is a very big church, but it doesn't seem to have the mega church mentality that I soooooo dislike. That, in my definition, is a big church that as soon as you get there wants to break you up into small groups.

Well this church is big - there is no denying that. The complex itself is almost too daunting. The fact that I found 3 different welcome centers is evidence of that fact. I had done a mystery dinner for their youth group a few years back so I had at least been in the facility but they had expanded it since then. Really the feeling I got was like the first day in High school where you never really know where you are going or how to get from one place to the other.

Tom went to drop off Timothy and Eva in the Senior and Junior high classes respectively. It was not that we didn't think that they could find the way, but we wanted to know where to meet them after Sunday School so we could all go to church together.

I went to drop off Emily. I like the idea that there are about 10 kids in a class. I think that is really neat. That way they are not one of a crowd, but they have kids to interact with - and being that mine are home schooled, church is a big place for that to happen. I like the idea of that number of kids but this was a class with 10 first graders. This puts it in perspective if every year has around 10 kids, this will give you an idea of the scope of the church.

Tom and I went to the adult class. That was such a pleasant experience. There are no shortage of adult classes, but when I was dropping off Emily someone invited us to this one and we went. It was great! There was prayer, learning, and an honest discussion. I didn't realize how much I missed that. And the really great thing was that the kids all liked there classes as well. Even Timothy who has said the same thing every week. "It was Ok." said today, "It was really good" and in teenspeak that is a reasoning affirmation.

There are 3 worship services on Sunday morning and we went to the last one today. It was great too. The music was all contemporary but the other services have different musical styles. The minister was just starting a new series so for once we didn't come into the middle of something. It was an excellent sermon on God's love - a message which many minister I have heard sadly gloss over. We are looking forward to going back next week.

We are not ready to make a commitment right now, and there are places we still do want to go back to but at least for the next few weeks, we are going to explore this church and see where the Lord leads.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Take 2

If I have counted correctly, I believe we have visited eight different churches since ours closed. Generally, the fall into one of three categories: we will visit again, it was OK, but nothing great, or wild horses couldn't drag us back. We have been very blessed that with one small exception, we all agree that a certain church fits into a certain category.

I don't think that what we are seeking is that outrageous in a church, but I am finding myself proven wrong. We have many things that we think would be really nice in a church - music styles etc. - but we have boiled it down to 2 essentials. They must have Christian education for everyone in the family including Tom and I. They must have a time where the family can worship together. So as I have found out this is rare. There are very few churches that have that. Most will have Sunday school during the church service. That kills both of our desires - but at least it is easy to cross churches off the list of where we want to visit. All that needs to be done is to look at the Sunday schedule.

We met with some friends from our old church on Fri. We had a cookout and celebrated Tom's birthday. When we got home, I discovered that I had left my camera at their house. So it was that mistake that settled where we were going to church this week. We went to their church - which was one on the "visit again" list so I could get my camera.

The first time we were there, they were trying something different. Today wasn't much better. They usually meet in a local high school gym. They have property on which they will eventually build but for now it is just land with a house that serves as the office. Today was their picnic and the service was to be at the property. The problem was, it was raining. They quickly moved the service to a local retirement community multi-purpose room. After the service it has quit raining and we moved back to have the picnic on the property.

So we still have not seen a "regular" service, but what we have seen still warrant another look. I just want to make sure that they are not in the habit of doing something "different" every week. I need some stability in my life and I want it from my church. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I don't' need every service to be the same, but I do want to not have to guess what we are going to be doing this week either.

I know that we will eventually find a home sooner or later - I just wish that it was sooner. I want a place that I can call home, and I haven't really found it yet.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


If you have read any other posts here, you know that this is a personal blog. I am chronicling things that happen in my life - the search for a new church or my kids school. Certainally they are not the only things I do, but they are the things I do that are mine. I have seen other blogs that follow sports, cars or scrapbooking and this is not one of them. But I do interact with the rest of the world (at least occasionally) so now this blog is, at least for today, stretching out to what else I do.

So I am attempting to post a layout here that I made for a challenge at ASF. I am just so pleased with the way it turned out that I want to share! Timothy took this picture at Camp Koinonia this summer. I loved the picture, but I just didn't know quite what to do with it. Then something hit me - a path - the way. Jesus said, "I am the way" well after that the layour virtually flew together.
It was then that I noticed how my life is so much like my layout. I stumbled around in the dark for year - thinking everthing was just fine. Then, I found him - Jesus - my Savior. I certainally have not reached my destination, but now I KNOW that I am on the right path - and that I am not alone. Please, come along with me on that journey.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It was the best of times...It was the worst fo times...

That was the church we went to this morning. This was one that I pass every time I go to work. It has a great location - easy to get to and fairly close. So far things are looking good! A friend of ours who although does not attend there had visited and recommended that it might be a place to look at. So taking his advice we did.

One of the things that I really liked at our old church was the mix of music. It is a personal preference but I like a mix of traditional music (hymns) and contemporary. It is just that a preference. There is more to the church than the music and I know that. However when we walked in today and they had that mix down perfectly. It felt just wonderful. It was musically, by far the best church we have visited all summer.

I was feeling positive. Then there was the announcement time and the feeling started to fade. They were pushing (and I mean pushing) all the new stuff that is going to start next week. They even had a promotional video sketch to promote one of them. (Personal peeve - just because you can to show a video in church doesn't mean that you should) I guess it wouldn't have been quite so bad if they had not had it ALL already listed in the bulletin - and that was all that was there. No listing of what was going to be sung, no listing of what scripture was going to be used for the service just lists and lists of what else you can do.

Next was the part that clinched it: the "sermon". That was indeed the worst of times. I quickly found out why there was no scripture listed in the bulletin - scripture was almost totally unnecessary to what the preacher was talking about. It might have been a nice speech at a Kiwanis's club, but its reference to the Bible was passing at best. He was saying that we all need to change the things we are doing (which was true) but gave NO instruction as to how that could be done. It was definitely the gospel of works.

I remember when I was in high school and I heard about people who wrote to each other every day. I just couldn't understand that - what was there to talk about? When I was in college I met Tom and then I understood. I didn't intend to write every day but before long I was in love and I wanted to write every day. The same has been true with my relationship with God. I did pray the perfunctory, "Please bless so-and- so" or "Thank you for this and that" or "Please help me I need...." but that was it. Then I really got to know Him and all that changed. I can't wait to talk to him. The idea that I wouldn't spend time with Him is ridiculous. I love Him and with Him is where I want to be. I am looking for a church that has the same attitude about him that I do. Today was NOT it.

The sermon was from that first self -centered strength perspective. You need to do this. The point was missed entirely. It is not what you do or don't do. It is based on a relationship with God that makes you want to do it. Just wanting to by yourself will get you no where - the entire Old Testament shows that. To have a real and transforming relationship with God, you need, well, God.

When I left and I was very disappointed. I was so hopeful at the beginning. It started out so well and then it just flopped. But as I sit and write this now, I feel something even worse. There were so many there, who because of this sermon - and others like it, feel that if they just "try a little harder" that they can get "right" with God and in so doing only looking at themselves and miss him entirely. It is now where I really feel sad for those people.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First day Fiasco

Oh, where do I start - I guess it should start with a warning. I am on a rant - and I am going to put it all in writing and all right here. So if you are not in the mood or if you are squeamish may I suggest one of my other blog entries for your perusal. But for now on with the show.

I guess I will begin with the whole idea of going back to school before Labor day. In short, I am against it. I really don't see that there is any point in going to school for a few days just to have a long weekend and have to start all over again. I just know that when I was homeschooling, we never started before Labor day and we were always done before the public schools.

Those were the "good old days". I mean the days when I was true homeschooling. I had my own curriculum and I chose what we learned and when we learned it. Those days are gone. I had good reasons for choosing to use a virtual school, but after days like today, I really question those motives. It is days like this that leave me scratching my head wondering why I ever left.

Today, August 25, was to be the first day of school. This was announced and publicized before school ended last year so it should take no one by surprise - especially the school who had the idea. But it seems to have done just that. We were to receive book shipments before school started - and we are still waiting. I will deal with the high school specifically later but Timothy has a few of his lit books, his lab supplies and a Latin/English dictionary. Emily has all of her lit books and a map and globe - neither of which are truly necessary to teach the class she has. Poor Eva has not received any books at all.

Strike one: school started, no books

However this is a virtual school. That means that some of the classes are online, specifically science (as long as they don't need the lab book for that lesson) and Emily's history is on the computer so even though we didn't have the books we could get started with those. I tried to take heart that at least they did something today. That little hope did not last long though.

Now comes high school. The school, Ohio Virtual Academy, (yes, normally I try to be very generic in what I write about to not hurt any feelings or step on any toes - but I am so mad at OHVA right now that I would love for the whole world to hate them as much as I do) has decided that it's students are all idiots. Rather than giving them their books (see above) and introducing their teachers and getting down to learning they have devised a 2 week "introduction" period. That period today started at 8 am where all the high school students had to log into the same virtual classroom. But it is not the students alone who have to suffer. All the high school teachers were to be there too. In the school's epic wisdom (note: sarcasm) they did not have enough moderator positions available for all the teachers. So the teachers in addition to attempting to exert control over a failing site had to compete with each other for a chance to run their part of the program. Even if they say that they didn't know how many students were coming, I would think that they at least know how many teachers they have - but I guess not. Then: DISASTER! So with around 900 students and teachers to no great surprise - except it seemed the schools the server crashes.

STRIKE 2: Virtual school crashes

I received a letter later in the day (through their internal e-mail which is another rant altogether) saying that they were not expecting so many students and that the introduction would be rescheduled for 1 this afternoon. HELLO - if you tell all the students to be in one place, and you have not provided any books so that they can do anything but be there how can you say that you were not expecting it?????? The trouble with this is that even at 1:30 when I was finally able to get back on the system I couldn't get to the classroom where they were until after 2pm.

I want to make it clear that I do not hold the teachers responsible for these mishaps. I am sure that they have been yelled at all day by irate parents like myself (I made it a point to address my concerns to the principals and not the teachers). I have really liked most of the teachers that I have met - actually feel sorry that they have to work within this ill conceived and unrealistic system.

I know that on the first day of school not much learning really takes place but I can assure you that NONE took place today. And the really sad thing is, I don't see much of a change for tomorrow. We still do not have any books and I have a feeling that even though the site crashed today they thought it a fluke because they have asked us to do the same thing for tomorrow. I will try - for the sake of my kids - but if there are technical difficulties tomorrow it will be strike three and I will be out til September 2 (Oh, I forgot to mention - they expect the high school students to be in school on Labor day. I know that at least one of them will not be)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A lesson learned

It was 10 years ago this summer that I found my last church. I had watched the church I grew up in dieing for years. Leaving that first church really wasn't all that hard. I searched for what seemed like forever at the time, but in reality was not long at all. Finally one Sunday I opened the phone book and put my finger down and that was going to be the church I was going to that week. That was it that was my church. I suspected it when I walked in, and I knew it as soon as I heard the minister speak. I was at last at home.

That church became so much more to me than a place to go on Sunday morning. There are people there who are friends. I have shared some of my happiest moments (like the birth of Emily) and some of my saddest ( like loosing both my parents in 10 months) with them - and you just don't forget or easily walk away from people who have been through things like that with you. But that formal connection is now gone. And I am once again looking for someplace that isn't a house where I live, but rather a family and a way to live, that I can call home.

The search has not been that difficult if I am honest. So far we have visited several churches. Some were where friends attend. Some were places we had wanted to "check out" and some were just places that caught my eye as I drove by. During the week, I just need to check the web or call the office to make sure that we have the right times, then show up on Sunday morning. Like I said, not that hard.

BUT, It hasn't been easy either. I realized today that I will probably not have the same experience. I don't think that I am going to walk into anyplace and feel "home" like I did before. Then I remembered something that I had read in a Janette Oake novel. She was referring to a character that had lost her first husband and remarried. She learned to love her second husband as much as the first, but in a very different way. The first love came with bells and whistles and butterflies in the stomach. The second love came softly and over time. I have had my bells and whistles and that was what I had known. That is what I was looking for again. Although it may happen that way again, more than likely it will not. This love will be one that comes softly.

So with that lesson at last learned, we headed off to a church of our choosing today. I stumbled across it driving home from picking strawberries. If you didn't know it was there, you could easily miss it. But I didn't. Emily attended VBS there this summer. And even after that (seeing how they run their VBS program has turned me off to more churches than I can list) I still wanted to go back. They had Sunday school for all ages and a friendly congregation. They have a well spoken minister who speaks truth from the Bible. So today's church is one of 2 we attended this summer that will warrant a second look sometime

Friday, August 22, 2008

NOT a happy camper

I had my surgery on 8/12. I think I can call it a success. My wrist is doing much better. I still am having issues with my tennis elbow, but I have heard that this takes a long time to heal. So to comfort myself as there is so much I can not do (get my hand wet and not pick up anything heavier than a quart of milk are the two that are the most limiting) I console myself by scrapping.

I was scrapping this morning. That in itself is a good sign. For years I couldn't even think of picking up any scrapping stuff til after 10 in the morning. My hand would just not function before then. I was scrapping at 7! I was feeling really good - and really enjoying myself until Eva came along.

Just about a year ago Eva broke her toe. There is really nothing that can be done for a broken toe other than to stay off of it and let it heal. So for 6 weeks I enforced what the doctor had said and wouldn't allow her to run or jump or take games at Awana for that period of time.

This morning, it came back to haunt me. I had just finished a page - a page with stitching on it none the less! I showed it to Eva.

She said, "You just had surgery on you wrist 10 days ago. You shouldn't be scrapping. You wouldn't let me run for 6 weeks."

Now I don't know if I should be scrapping or on the computer at all. The doctor didn't say anything either way so I am just playing it smart. I try, and if it hurts I stop or if I get tired, I quit. And there is NO WAY that I could go 6 weeks without scrapping.

I was not in a great mood after my 11 year old was playing the mom card on me. Then the doctor called. I was to go in on Mon. to get the bandages off and see what progress I have made. I can't wait. Just to be able to wash both my hands and get this frayed and grungy wrapping off my wrist is what I am looking forward to the most. That was til the doctor called and said that he had to cancel that appointment, could I come on Wed. instead. That means another 2 days of not being able to bathe or get dressed without assistance. As I said, I am NOT a happy camper right now.

I think I need to go scrap to let off some steam...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Eat or Meds?

It is bad enough when I have to make that decision for myself. (I was forced to stop taking my meds about 6 months ago because we couldn't afford it) But I HATE to have to make that decision when it involves my kids. Timothy is ADD and has used meds through the school year. He didn't take them over the summer but now that school is starting back up, we need to start with them again.

Being that he has grown (alot) I had to take him back to the dr. to get a new RX. I also made a point to ask for a cheaper med. The $125 per month was really putting a strain on our budget. She gave me a new med and when I checked on the price of that one, it was $25 more per month. I was just about in tears. I called her and asked to give us the original RX back. I don't know how we are going to manage that but I guess we will try somehow. I know that he will only get them on school days - NONE on the weekends or holidays. Maybe that way it will last a little longer.

As my grandmother used to say, "It is no crime being poor, but it is a damn inconvenience"

Sunday, August 17, 2008


We began our search for a new church in July - which is summer and admittedly not the best time to look for a church. But we have had some of the worst luck looking. We have yet to see a "typical" service. Either the minister is on vacation that week or what has been more likely is that there is something "special" going on. The funny (and rather sad) thing is, when we hit these special Sundays almost everyone apologizes for them. To me, if they decide to do it, do it but if you feel you need to apologize for it, then maybe you shouldn't do it.

Ok enough of my soap box for now. We had another one of those "special" Sunday services today. But at least they were excited about it and didn't apologize.

The church we visited was one that was not new to us. I visited that as a child. I visited the Awana program there too. It was because of that I knew about Awana and were able to send my kids there - where they have been attending for 10 years in the fall. So to sat this was a new church is not accurate. The church split about 5 years ago and many of the member left. So we have been attending the Awana program longer than many of the current church members. No, new is not one of the names I would call this church.

One of the things that we are looking for in a church is Sunday school for EVERYONE on Sunday morning. To me Sunday school is where I have learned most about my faith. It is smaller and unlike in a sermon I can ask questions. I find that has been a BIG help in my spiritual journey. I am just astounded at the number of churches who don't think that adults need it. They have kids Sunday school, but unless you want to go to women's group on Wed, or men's group on Fri, or Bible study on Sat. morning there is no adult religious teaching. I don't think that these things are wrong, but I just don't want to have to go to church 4 days a week for the family to attend. Another pet peeve of mine is that there is no Sunday school in the summer. Maybe I am wrong, but I don't' remember anywhere it says that Satan goes on vacation from Memorial day weekend to Labor day weekend.

This church did have Sunday school - quite a variety. The kids went to their age appropriate classes and Tom and I chose from about 5 adult classes the one on James. Now James is one of my favorite books so I was really looking forward to it. That was till class started. I felt like the class was being taught by Professor Binns from the Harry Potter series. This man just droned on and on for an hour. I couldn't wait to leave. So I know that if we ever go back, I will not be attending any of his classes again.

The real surprise came with the worship service. Evidently they have had a series of messages on marriage. And today was special because during the service anyone who wanted to could renew their marriage vows. So with no planning afore though we did. It was really rather sweet and moving, but I think had we known we were going to do it for more than 15 minutes before it happened we might have got a little more out of it.

I will say that it was one of the better messages we had heard and that was a nice change so some. And maybe we might go back (besides when Awana starts in a few weeks). I am sure that given enough time I might even feel comfortable there, but I just don't feel the spark that is totally undefinable that says "this is home". I felt that in my last church and I am aware that just like true love, there may only be one, but at least for now, I want to keep looking.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One MAD mom

That is what I am mad and scared!

The house that is next door is a rental property and with one exception the people who have lived there are the type that I would not choose to live next to...the crazy bi-polar woman, the juvenile delinquent, the shoplifter, the people who owned 13 pit bulls, and the drunk. Not a parade of high society - but I at least tried to be friendly to all of them, and at this point, I would gladly take any of them back as opposed to who is living there now.

Our new neighbor is a convicted rapist and a child molester. He has served 8 years in prison for raping 2 girls - ages 6 and 11. THOSE ARE THE AGES OF MY DAUGHTERS!!!!!!!!

I would love to pick up and move, but that is not an option. I am hoping that being that it is a rental, that maybe he will not be there that long. But til then how we live has totally changed. I can no longer let my kids play unattended in out fenced in back yard. There will be no leaving them at home while I just run to the store. Just at the age where they were gaining some independence I have to take it all away for their own safety.

I know that he has "served his time". And I know that everyone has a right to live somewhere. I just wish that he were not right next door to me. We have another offender on the street and though I don't like it, they are not next door so I just live with it.

So here I am, scared and angry and not sure what I am going to do.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just a click away

And at present clicking is about all I can do comfortably. I am happy with my rate of recovery but there is no denying that it is slow. I won't see the dr. again til Tues at the earliest so til then it will pretty much be hunt and peck typing - which is not really efficient to post much - but doubt many read this anyway.

I have been told no housework - which breaks my heart -NOT so I have spent most of my convalescence either sleeping or just clicking away on the web. I did add a slide show and a few links to the blog so I feel like I have maybe accomplished something.

But I am at the end of my typing rope so this is all for today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Surgery today

I am not giong to be posting much...very hard w/ 1 hand.

I had my LONG awaited CT surgery. All went well. The nurses were impressed that I could even tie my own shoe. (pathetic, a grown woman excited about tieing her own shoes) Pain is not bad but typing is a bit of a hassle so hopefully I can do more later.

Thanks to all for your prayers

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One day, One preacher, two churches

Today we went to church. Our Pastor, Jim, was preaching at our sister church and we went to hear him there. I came from a Caucasian congregation on the west side of Cleveland. I don't know exactly how it originated but we have a sister relationship with a African American church on the east side. We have over the years done Lenten studies and pulpit switches. And for reasons unknown to me as to why Jim was preaching at Affinity.

Jim is a very gifted preacher and in the weeks of searching for churches we have all missed hearing him speak. The kids, who had never really heard anyone else, have realized how blessed we were to have him. So when the opportunity arose to hear him again, we went.

Although we have ceased regular Sunday morning worship at our church, we have a pot luck for a time of fellowship and a message every second Sunday evening. So we went there too. It was nice to see the people who were there - and to hear Jim preach again (yes it was a different message) But it also felt very odd to be back. I won't say that we have made a total break with that congregation but mentally we really don't belong there any more either. The hard part is that as of yet we don't belong anywhere else either.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Doctors and Dragons

I was not impressed with the way the day started but fortunately it ended much better than it started.

I noticed that my arm was hurting about the end of April. We had a beautiful day and went to the park. We took Lady with us. I held her most of the time and she was pulling on my arm. After that, it just wouldn't stop hurting.

So the middle of May I went to see our doctor. She said that the pain was most likely from my carpel tunnel syndrome - which I have had for years, but had just begun to get worse. She gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and said come back in 2 weeks.

Two weeks later was the end of May. I went back and she gave me a recommendation to see a neurologist. The earliest appointment was for the beginning of July. So what choice did I have but to wait. Which I did. So July 8 was my test. What a surprise - it showed that I had carpel tunnel syndrome. I knew that from the test I took 7 years ago! The neurologist said that he would send the results to my primary doctor in 7 - 10 days.

Fourteen days later I called the neurologist again to ask where my test results were. The answer was lost somewhere between doctor's offices. I had them mail me a copy that I received the next day. So with results in hand and the day before I was to leave for DC I went to my doctor to get a recommendation for a different neurologist to do the surgery.

My doctor called the second neurologist and made a tentative appointment for August 4. I was told that the Doctor would call and confirm. Knowing that we would be on vacation I gave the cell numbers. I had now been waiting 3 months and I was not going to miss the call.

Of course, no call came. I though that there might be a message on the machine at home - but when we arrived home, no such luck. I figured that I would just call my doctor and get the information for the neurologist. Except that she was out of town, and wouldn't be back til Monday. That was cutting it close but what choice did I have?

So Monday morning dawned and I called my doctor -who was still not back! I knew that the appointment was on the 4th, and I thought it was at 11:00, but all I could remember was that the neurologist's name started with a P and I had never known were the office was. It took 6 phone calls to my doctor's office, her answering service, and finally the neurologist to confirm the appointment and find out the details.

But now only 4 months after going to the doctor, I finally have my surgery date set for next Tuesday. And the reason I went to see the doctor was because my elbow hurt. Yes, my wrist hurt, but my elbow hut more, was only half caused by the carpel tunnel syndrome - I have tennis elbow too.

So after the morning's odyssey of doctors and stuff I needed a break. I went shopping for scrapbook supplies. I was very pleased to find an album that will be perfect for my vacation pictures. So I am off and scrapping (at least as much as my arm will let me)

Todd has been asking when we wanted to role play. It has been years since I had done it, even longer since Tom played, Timothy is just getting started and Eva had never played at all. August is a slow month for all of us so Todd came over last night and we rolled up characters and started a new game. I remember playing an how much I enjoyed it. That had not changed. When I put a halt to the game at midnight I think we had all had a great time. We are playing again tonight too.

But what was really amazing is what I learned afterwards. I went upstairs for my time with the Lord after playing. I had a great time, but after just a few minutes with Him, I realized a new perspective. As much as I like to play the game, when scheduling gets tight or other things come up, I can leave the game and really not miss it much. What I realized is that is how I felt about the game, but that was NOT how I felt about Him. No matter what, I will not miss or give up my time with Him. It was just another realization of just how much I have come to love and depend on Him - and that was something that I was not thinking about. I am glad that I made the discovery.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Are you the Pastor?

We were greeted with that when we walked into church this morning. As it seems our luck all summer this was not a "typical" Sunday. Their Pastor was on vacation. They knew that the substitute was coming and had kids so when they saw us, they assumed that Tom was the sub. It seems no matter where we go someone wants us to serve.

After the initial shock wore off we settled in. The service was very nice. It was a different denominational style than I am used to, but I liked it. (Yes the substitute pastor was very good) The music was only contemporary, and although I prefer a blend of traditional and contemporary, I could learn to live with it comfortably.

We also saw a friendly face - which was a nice surprise. There was a family that attended our old church for a while. They were attending that church now. It was good to them. We really liked the service - and that is too bad.

There are many children (10 and under) in the church but there is NO middle school of youth group. And with Timothy 14 and Eva almost 12 that is one of the things that is a very high priority for us. So even though we liked it we will not be going back there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Greetings from DC

We are currently still enjoying our vacation. We have been busy, but that is what makes it fun. It also doesn't leave a lot of time for computer stuff - I prefer to live life not just blog about it so that is what I have been doing.

We set off for George Mason University on Sunday morning. The drive was peaceful and other than long we got to the university without any trouble - but it was then that the trouble started. We were at the wrong campus!

We got directions to the correct campus and dropped Eva off there and then set off for our hotel in Alexandria. We got settled in an just vegged the rest of the evening.

Monday morning dawned early as Emily started to cough at 5 in the morning. I got her up and we went to the hotel lobby as the guys were still sleeping. After a little girl time we got them up and had breakfast. We took the hotel shuttle to the Metro station. The most pleasant surprise of the trip lay in that ride. When we got into the van, the local Christian Radio station was on. And they were actually playing music, not just ads or talk! What really moved me though was the other family all began to sing as well. We were all singing and praising God. It was wonderful. We had, for the first time in ages, not attended church We were still able to get some worship in even if it was just in a van.

I took a few pics (imagine that) and we went to the air and space museum at the Smithsonian. What a lot to see! But as Emily and I had been up since the crack of dawn we decided to go back to the hotel. The hotel has a shuttle to the Metro and we waited for quite a while to get on it. When we got back to the hotel we realized that it was the wrong shuttle. They kindly took us back to the Metro station and eventually we ended up back at the hotel. Tom and the kids went swimming and I took a nap. We just grabbed a pizza and made a fairly early night of it.

That brings us to today. Tom arranged for a tour of the capital - which was pretty good. We also drove today. MUCH cheaper. The metro was $31. for 4 of us to ride and we are at the mercy of their schedules. Today we only paid $20 for parking and were literally just blocks from the White House were we met one of Tom's friends. We arrived when we wanted and left when we wanted. It is definitely the way to go.

We are meeting another friend tonight so I am off again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I did have plans for this week. It was to be a fairly quiet week. I was going to get ready for vacation. There are plans to finalize, people to talk to, laundry to do and clothes to pack. Those were my plans for the week.

So much for my plans.

Beverly who usually does the puppet shows with Todd pulled a ligament in her knee. This is the busiest week of the year. There are 4 different day care shows the Summit County Fair and a birthday. None of which you can do easily when you can't walk. So being first on the sub list, I am doing puppet shows this week. I know that when it comes pay day, I won't mind. I also know that I still can do what I need to do, I just need to do it a little smarter. But for now my plans don't count for much and I am off to the fair.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The search goes on...

We visited another church today - We agreed that this one doesn't even warrant another look. friends of ours go there and invited us and that is why we went. They obviously love it, but it is not for us.

One of the first things that is very important to me is Sunday school for all ages - all year round. I don't object if the programs are a little limited in the summer but it seems to me that if you have a congregation which was well over 300 that it wouldn't be that hard to get some substitutes over the summer - I was able to do it with a congregation of around 50. Satan doesn't take the summer off so I don't see why learning about God should.

Also one thing that was completely missing was worship. We were herded in like cattle and as soon as everyone was seated, the sermon started - no welcome, no announcements, no music just a sermon. The sermon itself was good enough. We agreed that it would have made a terrific Sunday School lesson, but as a sermon, it was lacking worship and thin on the teaching.

After the sermon, they had collection and then sang 3 (0nly 3) songs and that was it. I think I preferred the somewhat limited music of last week to the poorly led music this week. As I said no real invitation to worship and the sterility and size certainly didn't promote it either. We will not be going back there.

I am glad that my friends are happy there, but it is not close to home, and it is not for us.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The better to see you with...NOT

I have sadly come to the point in my life when I know that I am getting older. It is not the occasionally grey hair - I have had them as long as I can remember. It is not the spreading waist and the slowing metabolism - hate these but I can accept them. No - what has ticked me off is that I need bifocals.

So as if being dragged into middle age isn't bad enough Now I can't see anything. Partially I blame fashion. I mean really, how is anyone supposed to be able to see with the lenses the size of a grain of rice that is all trendy now. Maybe if I had a decent size frame they wouldn't bother me so much. But even getting the biggest frame I could the entirely if my vision includes the frame. And what is the worst is that right in the middle is that line for the bifocals. I actually like being able to see what I am reading. And the distance is about the same - but it seems as if where it is natural for me to look is exactly where the line is.

I am not happy, but I am not giving up this quickly either. I know that it will take some adjusting. My biggest concern is the migraines that this adjustment will cause. Things about my vision always trigger them - and what a surprise, getting bifocals has the same reaction. Or, maybe it is the tears of frustration that are doing that...

Monday, July 14, 2008

VBS at Olmsted Falls

Eva is at camp. Timothy is 14 and going into 9th grade in the fall so he is too old for most VBS. But this one is Emily's second. Although Olmsted Falls is not exactly next door, when I passed it I just got the feeling I should check it out. So I took Emily there for VBS.

I will say that it was an emotional time. The first person I came face to face with was Kim Fitz who was my mom's Hospice nurse. I could barely keep back the tears long enough to get the form filled out. For the most part I am at peace with my parent's death, but when something like this pops up unexpectedly I don't do so well.

That was not the end of it either. I went to Pacific Junction to check on Carolyn Carson who I used to work with ages ago at Jo Ann's. She and someone who I should know the name of because I worked with her at Reehorst opened a shop there. Mom and Dad also worked at Reehorst and the fist thing she asked was how my parent's were. So twice in a half hour I felt as if I had been hit in the stomach. I hope those experiences are done for today.

On the better side, I was able to talk to the minister there. He seems really nice (and to be honest is really cute). I also did a little snooping around the church and it definitely looks like a place that I want to take a Sunday morning to check out. They even have an Awana program there - but I am not sure how the kids would feel about leaving the one that they have been attending for 8 years. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another Sunday...Another church

The church which we have been attending for 9 years closed June 29th. That was a very sad day for us. It was also the start of formally looking for a new church home. Today's visit was to The Orchard.

Sojkas began attending this church about a year ago and have invited us to come many times. This was the week we came. As it seems with just about everywhere we have been we are greeted with the same, "Oh, you are visiting...Well this week we are doing something different" So we have yet to see a 'regular' service anywhere.

The sermon was good. I noticed that there are several kinds of sermons. There are the 'fluffy' ones that barely have anything to do with the scripture. I definitely do not want that kind. Then there are the 'meaty' ones. Very true to scripture but basically factual. That was what today's was. Then there are the ones I have heard over the past 9 years which were a wonderful combination of both. They were strongly rooted in scripture, but there was a personal element which made it easy to connect the facts and apply it to everyday life - not in an abstract way, but in a personal way. But I realize I may not be able to get that, so 'meaty' is something I am willing to work with.

They are in the process of constructing a building, but for now they meet at a auditorium of a local school. I don't have a problem with that in theory, but in actuality, I end up looking around and being distracted by the stage and the catwalk. Where as a sanctuary helps me focus on why I am there, an auditorium distracts me from it. Once again I know that is not a permanent situation so I am willing to work with that too.

The biggest strike against it, is the music was awful! The regular pianist was on vacation and I didn't think much of the musical ability of the substitute. I like praise and worship songs. I like the traditional hymns. What I can't stand is where everything sounds like a funeral dirge - and that is what it sounded like today. If everything else were 'perfect' I guess I could eventually get used to it. However we were told that it is usually much better than this. I hope so.

All in all this is definitely worth another look, but that won't be for a while. I have a few other commitments and hopefully, by that time, they will be back to normal.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So why Paper Roses?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am mommysews - so why the name change? Well the answer is obvious...that was already taken so I was left to be creative and this is what I came up with, and a little as to why.

First of all the paper - It seemed fitting most of my hobbies involve some sort of paper. Scrapping: TONS of paper; Reading: books are made of paper; Sewing: I use paper as patterns. And in my work I aim to earn paper - in the form of a check paid to me to use for all my other paper addictions.

Now the other part, the roses. I like them. They are one of my favorite flowers and I grow them in my garden. But that is not why. I have come to associate roses with my Heavenly Father and just seeing them reminds me of Him. So of course, I had to include Him on my Blog.

So that is why I have paper and roses it is about what I do (work with paper) and who I am ( His beloved child)