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.