Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Favorite Scriptures

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27 (

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29: 11-13 (

These scriptures have been on my mind a lot in the last couple of days. They have both been of great comfort to me in the past as I faced the death of my husband and many other major changes in my life. Now as I consider other possible changes I find myself meditating on these again especially during the times when I struggle with fearing those changes. I am so thankful for the promises of God and for His wisdom and guidance. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God does have a plan for me - I don't see the entire plan but I know that it's a good plan and I can trust Him to lead and guide me.

Fall Break Recap

I promised my sister I would try to update this morning. It's been a week since I wrote last - wow. We really enjoyed fall break overall. Both boys did fight a fair bit but that's pretty normal for a long weekend. They don't do overly well when their schedules are disrupted and we stay home. The potential trip to Chicago fell through due to illness and finances. I was glad to not have the pressure of leaving and it did allow me to get some outside work done. However it would have been good to see family. I was able to get my irises replanted - still have some to do but got most done. I also did some weeding around my strawberry plants and perennial flowers. The exciting thing about that is that I haven't broken out in poison ivy bumps!!

Friday I got a much needed massage - yeah! From there I went and cleaned B's place then brought his son home with me. He only had a half day of school both Thursday and Friday. My boys enjoyed having a playmate. B came over for supper Friday evening - we just grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. It started raining later in the evening.

Saturday was a TaeKwonDo tournament that I'd promised Son2 he could compete in. It meant for an early morning as we had to drive to South Bend and be there by 9:00 am. Opening ceremonies seemed to last a long time - and it almost seemed even longer until Son2 got to compete. However there were over 20 different "rings" with competitions going on in most of them so there was plenty to watch. Watching the Extreme TaeKwonDo demonstrations was a lot of fun as was watching the black belts. Son2 was in a group of other color belts that were 11-13 years old. After the belt rank and age grouping was done the kids were grouped by size. That way there wasn't really small ones competing against much bigger ones. Son2 was up first to do his form - he ended up doing really well and placing second. Guess that's a really unusual combination. He was able to get his trophy signed and meet some of the higher ranks, etc that were there. We got home around 5:00 pm and spent a quiet evening at home.

Sunday was church in the morning. After lunch and a short nap we headed up to B's for the afternoon. The younger boys spent time on a paddle boat on a lake while B and I took a canoe around. Son1 opted not to do the paddle boat thing - he got tasked with going the half mile back to the house to find transmission fluid for the truck. He was able to drive a 4-wheeler back to the lake - he enjoyed that. After the first lake we dropped the boys off back at the house and went to another lake to spend more time canoing. That was most uneventful until we didn't tie the canoe down onto the truck for the ride home. It ended up falling off in the road - doing 360's before coming to a stop. It brought the nearest home-owners running out. The funny/amusing thing about that is that one of them turned out to be one of my former students from my career center bus route. He was a pretty good kid but chose to hang with some not so good influences. Anyway...I recognized him immediately so stayed in the truck (yes I was being a coward!). B mentioned my name and I could tell that the kid remembered me. His reaction was funny to watch as he spun around away from me and said something to his girlfriend and mother. I very much doubt he remembered me with fondness.

Monday we were still off school - I actually got to sleep in. The boys and I stayed home all day - that was very nice. We had a bonfire, burned leaves and trash. I also did my irises mentioned above - am still wanting to move some crocus bulbs and put in some tulips. Inside I did laundry and worked on some cleaning and organizing. Son1 cleaned his room thoroughly - it looks really nice at the moment. Son2 cleaned off his dresser top so he has a nice place to display his trophy from Saturday and previous ones he's won.

Enough rambling for now. I am very thankful that overall we had a good weekend and decent weather. Sunday and Monday both were beautiful - sunny and clear.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bus Route Changes

The past two days have been much better on the bus. Monday afternoon I was so discouraged I was about ready to resign. Yesterday afternoon I refused to leave the school until the students were quiet - completely. Then I told them I expected the quiet to continue for 10 minutes - the consequence for talking or noise before that time was an additional 5 minutes added on. We ended up having a silent bus until I had only 2 stops remaining - and even then I'd told the students we were starting off this afternoon the same way. Today the silence was not quite as absolute - I did add on a total of 10 minutes before we were done. However once I was half empty the time was up and I allowed the students to talk quietly. I don't kid myself that my challenges are completely resolved but I am encouraged that I'm making progress. I did still end up escorting one student into the office this morning - I had just turned in a conduct report on him yesterday and he was breaking rules again this morning. (Probably my most absolutely strict unbreakable rule is silence at the RR tracks - until we are completely across. Just because my door is closed and I'm moving does not mean it's ok to talk or make noise yet - the silence has to continue until the radio comes back on.) If all my students ride in the afternoon I'm pushing 70 students - that's including the 4 newest riders. I would be over-full if I hadn't had 3 students transferred off.

On a different note - this weekend is fall break. We are out of school Friday and Monday. I am rather looking forward to the long weekend though our plans have changed. I had thought about going to the City for the weekend as we'd be almost half-way there as a result of Son2's tournament on Saturday. However due primarily to some unexpected expenses this week we are not going to go. Instead I am anticipating being able to get some yard work done. I would like to get my irises replanted, do some other transplanting and trim some trees. Hopefully the weather will be nice enough to allow me to work outside - I would like sunny and somewhat warm.

Last night the sunset was absolutely glorious - all reds, golds, pinks...the colors were amazing. I wished I had my camera handy to take pictures. Son1 had a Gospel Choir concert at the high school so I didn't have time to run home and grab the camera either. The concert went well I think though I could tell he was much more nervous than he is when he does special at church. I am rather hoping for something similar tonight but it's pretty overcast at the moment. Anyway...those colors make me so thankful for the beauty of God's creation. The leaves are turning - they seem to have more color this year than they did last year - that's fun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's a beautiful sunny morning this morning - cool but not too cold. The sunrise was gorgeous - reds and pinks. Of course that made me think of the old saying "Red sky at night, Sailors delight; Red sky in the morning, Sailors take warning" Forecasters are predicting rain for this afternoon so we will see. Before the sun came up, while I was waiting with the boys to see the bus come I saw at least two shooting stars - that was cool. Son2 saw one that I know of. The boys get on the bus while it's still very dark out - just 15 minutes or so later when I actually leave the sun is starting to come up.

The weekend was overall a good weekend. I missed church yesterday morning - dropped both boys off where they needed to be then went home and back to sleep. I slept until 1:00 pm so must have really needed the rest. I felt like I could sleep some more when I did get up but knew that if I did I wouldn't sleep last night. I was still in bed and sleeping by 10:30. I'm awake now - weary still but that's normal. Yesterday afternoon we went to B's - he started teaching Son1 how to change oil, filters, spark plugs on the car. The spark plugs had never been changed - that was wild - they needed it really bad. The oil change was also overdue. We had dinner there and watched a movie - the kids finished it, I only saw part of it as I spent time visiting with B. We also took care of getting the corn he burns for heat - that was fascinating to me. I'm realizing again how much I love living in the country - I am definitely NOT a city girl.

Saturday Son2 and I had lunch with a friend from Grief Group - we hadn't seen each other all summer so it was good to get caught up. From there we went to watch the Semi-State Cross country meet - that was a lot of fun. We were late getting there - missed the start of the girls race. However due to the fact that I was willing to "run" we saw them run past the first mile marker - I enjoyed the run though I probably paid for it later. None of our girls progressed on to the State Finals but as we have a young team overall and this was their first time there they did excellently. We picked up Son1 from there and headed on home. I had a date with B that night.

I'd better scoot for now - have a lot of cleaning and catching up to do since we were gone most of the weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another One?!

Last night we had our second major fire in this area in the space of a week. This one was a livestock barn just a mile or so down the road from where we live - I could see the glow in the sky from behind our barn. It started sometime after dark and crews were on the scene until around 2:00 am. There were 3 fire departments, the local sheriff department and EMS that responded. Sometime this morning it re-ignited and it smoldered pretty much all day. During the day the owners were chasing down their cattle that had wandered off after being released from the barn. At one point they chased 5 cows across our place - I wish I could have seen it. Instead I saw someone on a 4-wheeler go behind the house and someone else go in front of the house. Something to be thankful for is that the owner's home did not burn and there were no injuries.

I certainly didn't get much sleep last night - between the fire engines, the traffic on our normally relatively quiet road and then a power outage. I would be very interested to know what the cause of these fires was.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This morning is a gray, gloomy, rainy day - it would be perfect for staying home inside in pajamas all day. But it's a school day so I don't get that privilege. It's the kind of day I really enjoy on the weekends - at least when I don't have plans to work outside in the yard. However I'm having a hard time getting motivated to accomplish much of anything inside today.

Yesterday turned into a busy day - felt like I accomplished a fair bit. I got a start on dinner for tonight (due to a change in "menu plans"), got to dig in the dirt for a bit - went out and started weeding one flower bed and worked on clearing space for another one. I have plans to put some of my irises just outside the dog run along the fence. The grass grows really long in that area - it's relatively easy to pull out and I think it would be better to have perennials along it. Last night Son1 and I went to the middle school to hear the 7th & 8th grade choir concert. I was able to catch up with his girlfriend's mother to find out how things were going since the fire. They have been blessed with an abundance of clothes to replace what they've lost. The outpouring of love and support has been amazing - and she is rejoicing that they are able to have a witness through this of the goodness of God. There are still needs there but I know they will also be taken care of.

Other than that not too much is going on - it's time for me to go make a phone call so I'll write more later.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


So far this morning has been an emotional morning for me. Last night Son1's girlfriend's home burned to the ground - it's totally destroyed. She called me and thankfully I was able to go see if I could do anything to help. She ended up spending the night at our house - Son1 gave up his bedroom for her. I was able to be strong last night but this morning has been rough - probably partly due to fatigue and the fact that I know I'm still sick - can't shake the cough that I've had for about 3 weeks now. I've got a doctor's appointment for that this afternoon. I'm taking the afternoon off my bus route as well as my kindergarten shuttle off. Anyway...

I took a few minutes this morning to have a cup of coffee (3 or 4th) and read my Bible.

The reading was from Matt. 6:31-34. So do not worry saying "What shall we eat?" "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" . For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own."

When hardships come, a person's heart is prone to feel anxious and unsettled. But believers do not have to feel this way; we can be at peace even in the worst of times. The Bible says that God loves us and will be our rock in a constantly changing world. (Ps. 18:2) This means we are not left alone to face our painful situations. When we trust the Lord's assurances, we can be calm, no matter what the situation may be.

To lay claim to God's assurance, we must put our faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, because we cannot know peace if our eternal security is in question. Once we have become believers, it is vitally important that we make a regular practice of confronting, confessing, and turning away from our wrongs. Otherwise sin will disrupt our fellowship with the Lord. (Ps.66:18) Sin and peace cannot inhabit the same heart.

Similarly a heart cannot hold both anxiety and peace, which is why Jesus encouraged His followers to be concerned only with the needs of today. (Matthew 6:31-34). Worrying about a troubling situation and seeking a solution apart from God leaves us in a state of unease. But when we focus on the Lord and trust in His provision, anxiety and doubt fell. "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because He trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3).

Early light: A pure restful heart is a valuable asset in this crazy world. Situations will arise that shake us up and cause grief. But Jesus is close by to soothe the soul, quiet the mind and bring peace to the heart.

This was taken from "In Touch" the October issue on today's date. It really struck me - both on this issue and others that I'm dealing with currently. I'm so thankful we serve an awesome God - there is no peace without Him.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sectionals and Stuff

I started a post yesterday morning then got too sleepy to finish it. Instead I ended up taking a very short cat-nap before I had to run out the door to do my trip. I drove the cross country team to Sectionals last night - it turned out to be a fairly late night - we didn't get home until 8:45. So once again today I was sleepy. However I lay down for about 30 minutes this morning and it did seem to help. So far today I've done laundry (one load in the dryer, one in the washer), found Son2's jeans for this fall, cooked lunch (I usually just reheat something), run my shuttle route, made a grocery list and disposed of one of our kitties that was killed in the road last night. Unfortunately it was the "tamest" of our toms so he will be missed.

Sectionals did not go overly well for our teams. Son1 did not run as he's not one of the top 7 runners on the team. Instead he got to video tape the runners - he found that almost as much of a work-out as running would have been as he didn't get to stay in just one place. The boys team did not place at all - that was a big disappointment for them as it means they are done for the season. The girls did place 3rd so they will be moving on to Regionals this weekend. (Only the top 15 runners and 5 teams get to move on - the 15 runners don't have to all be on one of the 5 teams I don't think). If Coach takes the entire team this weekend they will need a bus - if not they won't. I'm waiting to hear if I will be driving or not. I almost would rather not as I'm running as it is. However the extra income is always nice.

Son2 did not go with us yesterday. He was able to stay and attend elementary cross country practice followed by TaeKwonDo. A girlfriend picked him up from there, fed him and brought him home about bed time. That was a huge help to me and a load off my mind.

My little "seat belt student" is doing better - at least he's no longer fighting wearing it. I could tell that he hadn't had to wear it yesterday afternoon. But he did put it on this morning - even if it was a bit slowly. We will see how this afternoon goes. I just about have a seating chart finished - I'm thankful for that. Will try to get it implemented tomorrow.

Other than that, not much is going on. It's cooled off dramatically today - this morning the sunshine against the colored leaves was just glorious. I wish I could bring my camera on the bus some days. I really do miss all the deer I got to see last year - I did see 3 this morning on my way home.

Where I'm From

I first saw this on my sister's blog several months ago and have been mulling it over ever since. It was fun to do - to think through but also much harder than I thought it would be. If any of you readers decide to do the same leave me a comment so I can come read it.


Where I'm From

I am from flip flops, from Ovaltine and elephants.

I am from the house of windows overlooking the ocean waves and the cargo ships coming in out of the harbour.

I am from the hibiscus, the bougainvillea, mangoes, red mud, sandy beaches, ocean waves, heat and desert.

I am from wringer washing machines, line-dried clothes and running outside when a storm threatened to bring the laundry in.

I am from 5 times daily calls to prayer, rugby, boiled water and windmill produced electricity.

I am from the Equator where the length of the days and nights stays the same year round - where within the same country you can visit the ocean and be 7000 feet above sea level.

I am from lamp post Christmas trees and blond hair, from Bakers, Millers and Benefiels.

I am from perfectionism and poetry.

I am from a belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior and no other way to heaven.

I am from Somalia, Ireland, England and Germany, from mangoes, custard apples, chai and goat meat.

I am from the Dad from Canada who went to Africa as a single missionary to meet the Mom from America as one of the line of single women he had to meet - both following God's call to ministry.

Here's the link to the original template - I found it helpful to know what types of things I was filling in the blanks with. Where I'm From

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bus Route

This morning went much better on the bus - the route went smoothly and my "seatbelt child" wore his seatbelt without argument. This was in stark contrast to yesterday where he was "quietly defiant" and absolutely refused to put it on. I wasn't really willing to put it on him myself as I wasn't sure how he would react to that. I had another chat with his mother last night - she says he is to wear it for the rest of the year. That will be something to possibly reconsider at a later time but for now he will wear it. I did end up calling a couple of other parents as well - for other students who were unable to sit down and keep their hands to themselves. This route is very very challenging - some days I struggle with feeling like a complete failure.

Today is Son1's last cross country meet of the season - we will be going to it as there is an early dismissal this afternoon. It will be a long day though.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Playing Hooky

I am playing hooky from my shuttle this morning - another driver is doing it for me. It was a gray gloomy morning and I woke up very achy and tired. I've had a nap, started some laundry, loaded some dishes and am not aching quite so much. It feels really good to be home rather than running out again. At some point this week I want to go to the craft store but guess it won't be today - unless Son2 and I go right after I get done driving this afternoon. Otherwise I will try to go Friday evening - that will depend on what else is going to happen that night.

Tomorrow is Son1's last cross country meet of the season. The Varsity team will be moving on but he will be finished. The team as a whole will be going out to eat after the meet - family included. This should be interesting. Son2 does not want to go but I am not giving him a choice. He would rather go to TaeKwonDo class.

Other than that not much is going on. I did see 3 deer this morning on my bus route - that was fun. None of my passengers saw them though. And my student who can't sit still and keep his hands to himself is not at all happy about having a seatbelt he has to wear. He wanted to not wear it this morning - he lasted all of about 30 sec. before he was up and turned around. So we had a discussion when we got to school.

Monday, October 1, 2007


It's been almost a week since I've written - wow! It's a gray cloudy Monday morning - we had thunderstorms earlier but those seem to have moved out of the area. Today is supposed to be cooler then it will warm up later in the week again. The leaves are all turning though - and many are already falling.

Last week I dug up one batch of my irises to divide and replant. They didn't bloom well this past spring so I thought this might be the answer. I still have several to replant but am not exactly sure where I will put them. Those are still sitting on my table on the deck. Unfortunately while I was working outside I apparently got into some poison ivy again - am broke out in the itchy blisters. I didn't see any in the main area I was working but guess that doesn't matter. So...I'm not sure what that is going to do for my ability to do yard work - it seems the sensitivity to the stuff is getting worse. That's frustrating because I really do enjoy yard work - I find it rather relaxing to get out and "play in the dirt".

The bus route is going much better overall. I'm still having a few issues but they are decreasing. I did have to walk another student into the office today - he's been in trouble a couple of times already. The principal immediately started talking about transferring him off to a special needs bus - his sister has already been transferred. I told both her and my boss that if possible I want to keep him on my bus - we just need to come up with a set of consequences that will be effective. We may also need to have him strapped in - that is not my favorite option but it's better in my book then having him transferred off. He's very good at admitting what he does wrong - just can't seem to control himself. I would be more frustrated if he denied it - in my book the ability to admit it and therefore realize that it's not a good choice is a benefit. I just need to figure out where to go from there. One person did tell me they used to keep a notebook on the bus - when they had issues they would move the student up front, pass them the notebook and have them write out what they did wrong and what a better choice would have been. I kind of like that option.

Yesterday I had company over after church - we spent most of the day together. I fixed pork chops, baked potatoes and a veggie for lunch. Then for dinner we had pizza. We watched "The Gods Must Be Crazy I & II" - I had honestly forgotten how much I enjoyed those movies. I laughed and laughed. Personally I enjoy the first one more but a friend of Son2's who was here thought the second one was better. So what are your favorite comedies?

Son1 spent the day yesterday with his girlfriend at her home - went to her church in the morning. He didn't get home until after youth group last night.

I'd better scoot for now - got stuff I've got to accomplish.