Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today I Got Out My Angry Face..

Today I got out my Angry face.. I don't usually do that.. I really try hard not to get myself angry.. it doesn't accomplish anything.. and in my case, it usually makes more problems..

We have our Place in Ky.. where my front porch lives... well this afternoon we got the call from friends, that someone had broken into the house and had ransacked the place..

We have an idea of who may and I stress the word May.. be involved.. it was more then one person.. we think.. they got in the back after numerous attempts at other windows.. they went through and dumped out our garbage can on wheels.. I keep all my bedding in there so the mice don't eat it up.. and filled the garbage can with assorted treasures.. our treasures.. 

now they didn't take the usual stuff.. nothing that had name brands or identifying marks.. like the TV, VCR, power tools etc.. nope they left those for now. I think they came on foot.. so they needed the garbage can to carry their loot home.. grrrr..

nope they took the antiques.. specifically some that are very precious to me.. they are worth money, yes, but they were worth so much more to me.. My grandmother's and great grandmothers old cast iron bean pot... grt. gran cooked with it over the fireplace before there was a stove in the house.. it was one of only two things I had from my grandmother..

they took all the antique kitchen stuff.. most given to me by friends.. or bought as remembrances on trips.. they took the kerosene lamps. not the old ones, but the newer ones my dear husband bought for me for my birthday and Christmas.. they took more too.. they took my peace of mind.. they took my security.. and they took my happy day away..

They have caused me to again see the evil in men... they made my face angry.. and that makes me sad.. My first thought was to find them and kill them.. then I thought if we could just find them and chop their hands off like they do in other countries when they steal..

I thought about setting some contraption up that would electrocute anyone who tried to get in through the windows or door.. ya, fry their butts.. I want to smack them.. I want to punch them.. I want to know why.. I know it was for some quick bucks.. for beer and or drugs I'm sure.

Husband is beside himself.. with his health issues he tends to get upset over minor things.. this is major for him.. his idea.. sell our place and get out before they come back to get the rest.. with his health issues.. we have not been to our place as much as we normally do. We are talking of going down in a bit and making a list of items and worth for the State Trooper who came.. I am hopeful that maybe someday I'll see my things again.. but I know they are probably already gone and sitting in someones home..

I hope they take care of them.. and have the wonderful memories I have of them..

My angry face didn't stay to long.. now my face and my heart are sad.. Sad that someone, likely a neighbor, (we found out others have been broken into.. and others have had things stolen out of their yards, gas, batteries, air compressors and the like) would do such meanness..

Sad that our home has been gone through.. every drawer, box, and outbuilding.. looking to see what can be taken later on.. that bothers me the most.. the idea that what they took won't be enough.. most likely they will return and see what else they can take..

My Christian self says I need to pray for them.. I really want to.. but today I can't.. oh I want to pray for God to get em.. then I think what I really want is for God to get a hold of them.. I want Him to bring them to justice.. I want Him to make them sorry.. And I want Him to make them change their evil ways.. I'll pray for them.. tomorrow..

I know it's just stuff.. and things could have been much worse.. I am thankful for friends who discovered the break in today and know that it had to have happened sometime between thursday evening and this morning.. Saturday.. I'm glad they stayed at our place and waited for the State Trooper to come.. I'm glad they cleaned up what they could and have already fixed the window for now..

 We have some ideas about that to.. We'll make it harder for the next time.. I figure I had to work to get the stuff .. you need to work to steal it from me... I'm thankful for friends who have already offered they're love and hugs.. And for friends who are keeping an eye and ear out for more information.. it's a small community, but a tight one.. everybody eventually knows everything.. I like that..

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm cutting out Boomerangs and Sheep..

I'm cutting out Boomerangs and Sheep today.. I've got one day of Bible verses and the Sheep already finished. I'll be making railroads tracks.. or something that resembles a railroad track, I hope, this weekend.. oh and I have to make my poster, and make another game, and cut out another 200 boomerangs with Bible verses on them, and I have to finish cutting out some really cool Bible Verse reminder card thingys.. only 100 of them.. and finish making up the stickers.. Wooo It's Vacation Bible school time again. Can you tell.. Can you smell the elmers glue and the snacks?.. Isn't it grand.. I love this time of year.. I love the running and preparing and trying to think like a 6 yr. old and like a 14 yr. old.. LOL I try anyway.
This year our setup is a little different.. We usually have classes for the respective age groups.. homerooms so to speak.. the kid's would go to Worship Rally, then to the "home room" for the Bible story and an activity.. then would go on a rotation to "missions", snack, crafts, and music. They would then return to "Home Room" for the final 15 minutes and there would be activities and questions to re-enforce the Bible lesson of the day.. This year We are doing the Worship Rally and then all the kiddaroos (giggle) will be rotating to each area, Bible story, crafts, snacks, missions, and music.. Even the young ones will be rotating.. just like the big kids.. Fun, Fun, Fun... So Each Bible study teacher only has to learn a story or two and then plan some activities for each group of students.. This will be fun and challenging.. I haven't taught 5 yr olds in Bible School for years.. and youth, never.. I wonder if teenagers like to hop like kangaroos around the room? or play toss the boomerang? I'll find out.. I have the Story for 2 nights.. I am Blessed with wonderful helper teachers who are preparing to dress in character and tell the story.. I just have to do the activities to go along with them.. I have found some fun things to do. I'm glad.. hopefully the youth will still speak to me after next week.. Bible school starts on Sunday night..
(July 19) oh my, Bible school starts on SUNDAY NIGHT... I still have Bible verse stickers to make (my idea) and railroad tracks to make.. I sure hope they look like railroad tracks... my talent is slim to none in the decorating/cutting out duties...
Our Theme, did I tell you? Is the Boomerang Express.. We will be in the OutBack of Australia.. learning that "It all comes back to Jesus"... I have searched high and low.. I have not one thing that is khaki or looks Outbacky to me.. I thought about trying to do an accent.. I'd be good for a while especially with the "gooday mate" but then would loose my train of thought and revert to something that sounds like midwesterner lives with hillbilly..
LOL I love to get into character.. and since I won't be one of the Bible Story Characters I have come up with a plan.. I'm going to be a safety Official at the train station.. Our Bible Study room will be decorated like a train station.. our passengers will be stopping by on their way to other areas of Australia.. I bought a really cute and obviously popular florescent orange and yellow (with reflective tape) vest.. I have an equally attractive old straw hat.. I'm hoping that will help me remember who I am.. the first night of Bible school I'll have to have the kiddaroos help me remove sheep from the tracks.. (why I need to make train tracks).. both nights I'll have the kiddaroos help me watch for some special guest riders... Peter, and Rhoda... Safety first you know.. safe to Ride the Express train.. and Safe in the Arms of Jesus.. Safety involves being aware of the dangers (sin) and making sure that you follow the rules (God's way) to stay safe.. the best way to do that is to Follow Jesus..
I'm still working a few things out.. but that's the gist of it.. My favorite night, Is when as part of our teaching, I get to share how We can follow the ABC's of becoming a Christian..
Accept (that we are all sinners) Believe (that Jesus died for us, took all our sin on himself, and that God raised Him from the dead) Confess (repent of our sins and ask Jesus to come in our hearts and be the boss of our lives) It's an exciting time to share with children about the great love God has for them.. My favorite part is always sharing with the kids who want to know more.. or have decided they want to follow Jesus and accept Him as their personal Savior.
I guess Vacation Bible school holds a special place in my heart.. I came to accept Jesus as my Personal Savior through a neighbor asking if our Susan could go with them to Bible school.. that was 27 years ago.. through vacation Bible school I got involved in attending Bible study and Worship.. within a couple of months of my first attending, my brother Keith died in a fishing accident.. the one thing I knew that I needed the most.. was to Know, not just hope. I needed to Know that when I died I was going to Heaven.. I had heard bro. Bob preach it every Sunday for 2 months.. "you can know that when you die you are going to Heaven" I wanted to know that .. I told God right there in the Hospital chapel that I needed Him.. I needed to Know that I would be in Heaven with Keith someday... I attended Church on that next Sunday.. hoping it wasn't to late for me.. I didn't know everything.. but I knew enough to know I was lost with no hope of ever getting to Heaven on my own.. I walked the aisle during the Alter call/ invitation and asked for help so I could accept Jesus as my Savior..
Today my our daughters and their children are all Believers... All because of Vacation Bible School..
yep, I love it.. every hectic, glue filled, child laughing, koolaid smiley faced, singing, Bible story telling, Childing accepting Jesus as Savior, Minute of it...
Look for Vacation Bible school.. get your kids involved.. get aquainted with the folks there.. you never Know.. God may just get a chance to show YOU how much He Loves You.. Got to get back to my boomerangs and sheep..
Good on ya, I'll see ya there mate..

Happy 40th anniversary Apollo 11...

It was July 20, 1969.. I was 11 years old and all was right with the world.. The summer was warm, I was in Ohio at a family reunion.. most of my papa's siblings and their kids were there, along with some of the youngest grand kids.
Most of Papa's family members didn't have TV. They still don't.. some days I think they really did have the right idea.. their kids don't spend countless hours in front of the tv or video games.. they read, and play and use their imaginations, they even play outside.. yes, shocking, I know.. but it's true.. anyway.. My Aunt Vi and Uncle Romie had a big farm in Ohio.. They raised a few sheep, and grew acres of the best peaches in the world.. anyway.. they had a TV... Of course it was never on when there were guests at the house. I'm not really sure now exactly how it all came about.. but Uncle Romie was right on top of the news and I'm sure knew that the moon walk would be on that day.. all us kids were outside playing.. some kid game I'm sure.. I don't remember now, but I do remember being called into the house with all the other kids.. Us kids all gathered on the floor in front of the TV. The adults did a huddle too. I remember the old black and white set.. that little box where you could see such amazing things.. We were all about to see THE most amazing thing.. A man walk on the moon. You could have heard a pin drop.. I think we all held our breaths as that first leg came down on the ladder then the other one.. not long after the foot that touched the Moon and those famous words.. "One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind".. It was truly Amazing.. I'm not sure how long we all sat there... not long I'm sure. I know the adults talked about it the rest of the day. Us kids, well we went back to our playing.. I remember Uncle Romie telling me I could have a lamb to take home. I just couldn't understand why I could not have a lamb in town. I knew it wouldn't get any bigger then our dog.. LOL I remember watching that footage of the walk over and over.. that and we watched all the stuff.. riding in that cool moon vehicle, (can't remember what it was called right now) , and the golf balls being hit.. LOL it was something..
Husband's Great Uncle Dewy was positive that the moon excursions never took place.. "they had just taken the stuff to a big movie lot somewhere and staged the whole thing" he would say.. I was surprised to find out that some folks really believe this.. Me, I believe men walked on the moon..
I can remember as a little girl looking at the big moon.. my Papa would take me up in his arms and tell me the moon was made of cheese.. that or he would have me wave at the "man in the moon"... either way.. I loved the moon. it was so pretty and bright.. comforting in it's own way.. This spring during an especially beautiful day.. I could see the moon, so big and so close and in the daylight.. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots.. I waved at the man in the moon.. told him not to eat all the cheese.. and I remembered the "one small step for man, One giant leap for mankind"... and a Sunday in 1969 in a living room, with the family.. watching a miracle.. an amazing thing.. man walking on the moon...

Monday, July 6, 2009

"The Picnic".... An American Tradition..

Isn't it funny how some things just seem universally American.. Well, to me they do.. I'm sure there are picnics at the lake, beach, park, etc all over the world, in many countries that we all could name.. maybe in some we couldn't.. but still to me, in my world.. I just see Picnics at the lake/beach as American.. Maybe because our favorite picnic is on the 4th of July with Family..
It's quite a ritual, our favorite picnic day.. Not necessarily for us... but the following is always done.. the names sometimes change from year to year.. but someone takes over these duties..
1. Someone must cowboy up and be at the lake, crack of dawn, to secure picnic tables and our traditional spot.. That someone is usually an early riser and happy to be out at the lake while it's still cool ... (NOT)
2. Someone has to call all the family members with the "chosen Meat" so appropriate side dishes can be volunteered or assigned to each family.. Some family members have a "dish" that is a must for them to bring.. I broke the tradition this year. Our resident Baked Bean maker was sick from an abscessed tooth... so I volunteered to take on the traditional picnic dish.. there was little complaint.. LOL unlike the year I decided to take on the potato salad .. that was a fiasco in the making.. I thought I would cut corners and save time.. I made the sacred dish with instant mashed potatoes.. very unacceptable as I was to find out.. Not because there were complaints.. we are way to sweet for that.. no one wants to hurt any one's feelings.. there were just a few, "who made the potato salad".. when I said " I did, and can you believe I used Instant potatoes"... there would be a sweet smile.. then an almost imperceptible "turning up" of the nose.. I was to soon learn that "cutting corners" on timeless, traditional favorites was NOT a good idea...
3. Someone usually tries to remember to bring all the stuff we forget we will probably need..
tablecloths aka: the best clean sheets we can find on short notice, serving spoons, ice, radio, tire pump for inflating beach toys, ice, grill, charcoal, ice, condiments, ice, band-aids, ice, assorted beach toys, ice, onions, extra beach towels in case someone forgets one, and ice...
4. Someone usually tries to make the kids a special, fun, beach type dessert.. usually depends on how hot it's going to be...
5. Someone usually the same person, makes sure all our favorite games (for the adults) are brought out and set up.. it use to involve a volleyball net, ball, horseshoes, and a Frisbee... now that we are all older, it involves a "hillbilly/ladder golf" set.. no one wants to see us running and jumping up in the air to spike the ball... we are afraid if we tried to jump in the air, our support hose would fall to our ankles, our fat would fly in weird directions.. and well, to be honest.. we are afraid something would break..
We all meet up eventually... kids are suited up and slathered up with sunscreen... adults are hosed down with bug spray.. allergy meds are taken and the blankets and jackets are at the ready for anyone who is a bit "chilly".. As soon as the brother's... my dear husband and his brother get set in their chairs.. the stories begin.. all of us listen.. the younger ones talk of jobs, their latest college classes, where they are heading on vacation, if the gardens are growing, and what new movie the kids want to see...
We all catch up on what's been happening since the last time we were with "the family" for some it's only been a few weeks.. for others it was Christmas, or the "Family Picnic" last year.
6. Several Someones usually make sure to get some really funny pictures.. there are threats of posting them on facebook or some other social networking site.. but they are idle threats.. We just pass them around at the next "family" function...
What a wonderful American Scene.. I see it repeated countless times over the summer..
all my "friends" pages are full of picnic poses, and adventures... I can't begin to imagine how many hot dogs, brats, and burgers, will be grilled out at "the lake" this summer.. or how many giggling kids will take their first steps into that "chilly water". or how many Dads and Mom's will spend time trying to blow up that" favorite" water toy.. or finish the last bit of the sandcastle..
who could ever count the many times the "ole fishing pole" will be baited up and sent out with a kid or three... bucket in one hand, worms in the other.. trying to catch a "big un"...
There will be countless games of volleyball, Frisbee, and gator golf... Buckets of sun screen will be applied... and many will still need to "put something on the sunburn"... Boats will be set in the water.. the Brave ones will attempt to water ski, some will ski like pros, some will think they just "drank" the entire lake.. some, will wish their suits were tied on better.. (big grin) you know who you are...
Yep, a totally great American tradition.. "The Picnic" at the lake, in the summer... with the family.. and friends...
I hope you get to experience one soon...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I'm A Yankee Doodle Dandy...

I'm a yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle do or die. A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam's, Born on the 4th of July."  Well born in March. 
I find that as I become Older; I'm more and more aware of all that Living in a Free country means. I hear it said a lot these days. "Freedom Isn't Free". I've learned over the past few years how very true that statement is.
A few years ago I found myself writing a letter to the Troops I had adopted from the Troop Support group I belong to. Over the years I've tweaked it for the passing of time, but it still conveys what's in my heart. It's as true today as it was then.  If you are serving, or have served, in the Military; this Thank You is also for you. Grab your coffee, your Flag, and let your eyeballs get a little wet. 

~~~ Dear Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, Guardsman, 
"Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hail at the twilight's last gleaming". This is one of my favorite Patriotic songs. I was just listening to my favorite Patriotic Music CD and started to tear up a little. You may not know this, but I'm a big Crier and as usual I started to tear up just a little. You see I think the Flag and what it stands for becomes more and more precious to me.

I remember as a little girl seeing it in my kindergarten classroom at school. Every day our Teacher would show us how to hold our litle hand over our hearts and then we would say the Pledge Of Allegiance. I was so proud that I was one of the first ones to memorize it. 

Later, as a teenager, I would stand with my Papa and singing at the top of my lungs, "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Detroit Tiger baseball games. Hand over my heart watching my Papa with his hat and hand over his heart. He told my brother, Keith, and I how it was very improtant to always show the up most respect for our Flag and the Freedom it represented.

Years passed and I didn't think much about freedom or the flag. Then my grandmother died. Grandpa had died when I was little. I received the letters he wrote home to his Father and brothers during the first World war. I read each one. How precious they were. Then, A new thought. My Grandpa had been in the war. He hadn't gone overseas, the war had ended just as he had been scheduled to leave. Still, my Grandpa had served our Country and Stood beside the Flag. He conveyed over and over in each letter the pride he felt serving his community and his Country. 

I later married. My husband Ken was a Vietnam Vet. I never knew what that meant until I experienced his first nightmare, the startled looks when a firecracker went off, the anxiety he felt when there were to many people and no wall to keep his back against. I came to understand more at a reunion with 2 of the men Ken served with in the Jungles of Vietnam. That day was when I realized that war forges a bond of brotherhood that can never be broken. And I also realized that the Soldier can leave the war, but the war never leaves them.

Later I watched as three of our Nephews joined the Military. They were making a career of it. We were so proud of them. There was the Flag right next to them in those photos they take in Boot camp. We had other photos like that. Ken's brothers and a few cousins. All Served.

A few more years passed, and I heard that my cousin Tommy was in the Marines, and his brother Greg was serving in the Navy. We all talked about how great it was for them to the training and the schooling that the Military offers. 
Then the Gulf war began. Tommy was sent to the Gulf. His wife, and both families were planning a huge "Welcome Home" party. So was the community of Milford Mi; where Tom had been in contact with one of the elementary school classes there. Tommy came home, but not to a party. 

Lance Cpl. Thomas Robert Tormanen made the ultimate sacrifice. The Flag covered his casket and was gently folded and given by a "Grateful Nation" to his widow and infant son. 

Now that old Flag had the Blood of one of mine. Those red stripes were more then just a colored piece of cloth. They were a sacrifice that was very real to me. The letters from Tommy to the class at the elementary school in Milford were full of stories and always included how important fighting for our Freedom was to him.

Time moved on and a New Flag emerged for me. That Flag was raised by some Fire Fighters after Sept. 11th. I was honored to become part of a group who sewed one of the Nation's largest flags as a memorial to all the people who had lost their lives in terror attacks. The Flag is now displayed at a memorial museum in Oklahoma City. I stitched 4 squares each holding a name for that Flag. 2 from the Towers and 2 from the USS COLE. 

Then came Iraq and Afghanistan and I was able to fold little pocket flags for our Troop boxes along with others who are members of the Troop Support group I belong to. I've been honored to be part of dozens of things our community has done to show love and support to our American Heroes; Our Troops. 

There was yet another Flag photo for me to see. My brother enlisted in the Army when he was almost 30. We joked that boot camp would probably kill him. LOL  It didn't. He was assigned to a Calvary unit and was deployed to Iraq twice. A photo of him next to that Precious Flag sits in my home and is on a pin I often wear.

Not long ago I stood outside a Funeral home holding our Flag in Honor of another of our Heroes who had made the Ultimate Sacrifice. I looked at one of the other Flags that was being held that day. The breeze had caught if just right, and the sun was shining on it . My eyeballs got all wet and I got all filled up with pride. that old Flag, those stars and stripes, they have come to mean the world to me. They remind me that I am Free and it also reminds me there is a cost for that Freedom.

I just want to thank you for your service and for the sacrifices that you are making everyday. They do not go unnoticed. ~~~ 

I know we all have our stories and memories of our Flag and those who have served under it. I hope today you remember those stories. Share them with someone. Then look at our Flag, and let your eyeballs get a little wet. Remember the Vision that our Forefathers had to make a Nation that was Free. Remember those who gave Everything they had to make that dream a reality.

Today Say a prayer for our Troops. Thank God for our Flag, our Country and our Freedom. 
God Bless America and God Bless you.....