Saturday, September 25

It's Alive!

History Comes Alive!
Well, I've just completed a veeeery long week.  I participated in the Parks department's annual program, History Comes Alive.  We host several fourth grade classes from various area elementary schools, and have six hands-on learning stations for them each day.  The university here in town participates as well, by sending teaching students to help us man our stations and do some of the teaching along with us.  I don't think I've been this tired in a really long time!  It is exhausting to have to teach 6 sessions every day--and the classes were only a half hour long!  My station consisted of teaching the kids how wool would be turned into clothing, as well as how dyeing was done, and what kids their age would wear in the 1840s.  I am now entirely confident that I did not miss my calling as a teacher!!  I do enjoy sharing my knowledge of cultural history with others.  However, there is a huge difference between the attention span of children and the attention span of adults/families that visit the house for our programs.  Parents usually, well, parent their children.  I was surprised, and rather disappointed, at the lack of discipline and control that the teachers and chaperones showed during the class time.  There were some good teachers/chaperones who did pay attention to their class's behavior, but most teachers apparently thought that we were entirely in charge of their classes and they had a day off.  I even had a teacher who talked on her cell phone just outside of the barn building where we were having our class.  As if I needed any more reasons for supporting home schooling!

Finally, Some Good News!
Well, it's hubby has a new position at work!  He found out this week.  He will finally have a normal hours, five day a week job!  Home at night and on the weekends, and it works out great now since I'll be starting my new job as well.  We both begin on Oct. 4.  It'll be wonderful to see him again!  And thank you to everyone who has kept him in your prayers.  It has been a trying month, to put it lightly, and we have both appreciated the prayers.  They have made a difference!

This Bud's For You
We had a unique opportunity to see something that you don't get to see everyday: the Budweiser Clydesdales!  They were at the local Oktoberfest here in town, which we had to chuckle at: it was at the local senior center, and it was just a large beer tent with the Clydesdales as the other main attraction.  I've never been to an Oktoberfest, so is there usually more to them than just a beer tent?  Anyway, the team was so impressive to see, and beautiful, too--they are huge but gentle.  A gentle giant, you might say.  They were all harnessed together, in their show attire, and impeccably groomed, as were the drivers and the dalmatian that sat with the drivers.  I was so glad that hubby and I were able to see them before they left town.  Check out the photos and video clip at the end of the entry!

There is always a reason for the trials in our lives.  God allows us to endure tests--some small, some large--to strengthen our faith in Him.  James 1:2-3 &12 says it best: "2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance...12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."


Thursday, September 16

What Is Love?

I have the urge to write about love, partially due to the movie Becoming Jane, but also because I feel so incredibly blessed every day to truly love another person and to know what that love feels like in return.  I cannot imagine my life without my husband, and I hope he knows it each and every day.  Love cannot be defined by any one word or phrase; even the Bible has many words that only attempt to describe it.  I believe it is, ultimately, undefinable by anyone but the lover, because it is different for each person.  But to me, it is an emotion as well as a commandment, and it is not the same thing as being in love.  To me, love is what I feel my entire life toward my spouse (or, at least, I should!), but being in love is more akin to the beginning infatuation with another person.  For me, love is being unable to imagine what my life would be like if my husband were no longer in it, and the thought of such a notion brings me to tears.  Love is knowing that his happiness is more important than my own, because we share joy and we share grief--when one is affected, the other is touched as well.  Love cannot be forced, although many have tried to do so over the years: royalty married for power, poor women were married to wealthy men for status and security of her family, wealthy men arranged the marriages of their daughters, and so on.  In some cultures, it still happens today.  Can you imagine what that would be like?  It's a horrible thought!  I'm so grateful to have been able to choose freely the one man who understands my personality, sense of humor, and mood swings!  There is nothing better.  No amount of money in the world can buy what God has created between me and my husband, and no amount of money will make our relationship stronger or better...that can only be done by hard work, as well as complete and total devotion to the other person.  Thankfully, we both have a relationship with Christ, and while that doesn't assure an easy, stress-free or "discussion"-free marriage, it does allow us to work through things upon which we may disagree.  I am blessed with the kind of relationship with a man that I always secretly hoped for but never dared ask God for, and I don't know why I was given such a great gift, but I know better than to ever take it for granted.  When I imagine what my life would be like to have never married, or to have settled for someone else, it makes me so sad...oh, all that I would have missed!  And, heaven forbid that it should all end tomorrow, I like to think that I would live with the comfort of the love that I had for a short time, content that I had experienced the kind of relationship that so many others can only dream about, being married to the best friend that I would ever know.  There is no other relationship that can be substituted for that!  Thank you, my husband, for the privilege and honor of being your beloved and devoted wife.

Wednesday, September 15

What A Weekend!

New job!
I was hired!  I won't start for a few weeks, but I'll be a part-time secretary for a Methodist church about 20 minutes away.  The people there seem really nice, and I'm looking forward to working again.  Not that I haven't enjoyed my time as a housewife, but housewifery doesn't pay well at all :)  There are three other part-time employees there, and besides assisting them, I will be doing basic secretarial tasks, like church bulletins, announcements, answering phones, filing, etc.  I am looking forward to earning a paycheck again!

Hubby's Interview
Well, now that I have a new job, I think my husband needs one too!  He had his interview on Friday.  He thinks that it went well, even though he had no sleep beforehand (he had just finished working midnights that morning, and had the interview at 3 in the afternoon).  We should hear one way or the other if they offer him the job in two or three weeks.  Please keep praying that it might be God's will for him to get this job!

This weekend has been a bit, well, trying.  There was a little of everything!  I know that everything happens for a reason, and that if looked at through the correct perspective, can be used to give glory to God--even when we don't see the beauty in it!  Romans 8:28 states: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."  If that doesn't make me feel better about the good and bad events in life, then I don't know what will!

Friday, September 10

Sunny September

Finally, Cooler Weather!
It's so nice to finally enjoy some cooler weather.  It's been beautiful outside lately!  I keep hoping that one of these nights we will be able to enjoy a fire in our outdoor firepit.  It's one of those little things that I really like to do with my hubby--we sit outside as the sun sets and the fire blazes, playing cards or a board game, or whatever we want to do, and when it gets too dark, I bring out my oil lamp and we use it to continue our games.  I just love spending time like that with my hubby.  No television, no distractions, just a quiet night together by the fire!

Our TV Drama
Speaking of television, we finally have ours back!  It was a long and frustrating six weeks (that was supposed to only be two).  We purchased a warranty back when we bought the TV at Best Buy while still in Kentucky.  Lately we had noticed a problem with black/dark spots on the screen, which my hubby looked up online and found to be a defective panel.  The television being four years old, and a rare LG model, we doubted that it could be repaired or replaced, but we were told by Premier Electronics here in Ohio that they had ordered a new panel for the TV.  We were right, and the panel was unavailable, but Premier lied and told us otherwise.  It was the first of many problems we had with them, and so now we are spreading the word that they have horrible customer service there.  If Best Buy wants to use them for a repair, don't let them!  They service Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.  You've been warned!  The good news is that, because they weren't able to fix the problem, we got a brand-new television, which is actually bigger and better than the one we had.  But it still would have been better if we had not worked with incompetent repair people to begin with!

History Comes Alive
I have the opportunity this year to help the annual History Comes Alive program at the McKinnis house.  It is a week of 4th grade students from all around the area coming to the house to do hands-on learning activities about pioneer life.  I'm manning the clothing station, where we are teaching kids how to card wool, spin it into thread, and turn it into fabric that eventually becomes clothing.  I'm a little nervous about dealing with kids every day for an entire week, but I'm honored that they would consider me for help with the program.  We can't volunteer for it, we can only be asked to help.  It's coming up fast, so I'll fill you in on the details in a few weeks.  PLEASE PRAY FOR ME!!!

Fall Decorations
With the change in weather and holidays peeking out from around the corner, I'm looking forward to decorating for the fall and winter.  I love decorating and changing things around the house.  It kind of refreshes the look.  It's something I look forward to every year!  I think I get it from my mom, who also loves to decorate for the seasons/holidays.  Her house always looks so nice and festive.  Maybe part of the reason I love it so much is because it reminds me of when I was younger.

My Sister's Dog
I have to share with you a picture of my sister's new dog, Ninja!  She is so cute.  She is a Corgi, and apparently very well-behaved.  My sister and bro-in-law adopted her from a shelter in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and they can't praise adopting shelter animals enough now!  I'm happy that they got such a good pet.  I am looking forward to meeting my doggy "niece" hopefully sometime soon!

Reminder: Husband's Interview
Tomorrow is my hubby's interview.  Please be praying that God wants him in that new position!  I have also had two interviews now with an area church for the position of part-time secretary.  They are going to decide who will get a third and final interview over the weekend.

There are so many things in our lives right now that seem up in the air.  I know that God has a purpose and a reason for each one of us to be where we are right now and to be going through the things we are dealing with right now.  No matter how disappointing or difficult the events are in our lives, I always need to remember to praise God for what we are going through.  Nothing is impossible to deal with when we have a relationship with Christ.  I try to remember that praising God in the midst of our troubles, while sometimes very difficult to do, is essential, and I find comfort in the following passages, Philippians 4:6-7: "6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Friday, September 3

It's Friday!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Well, it's the end of another week.  It seems like time just flies by anymore.  Where has the year gone?  I suppose it only goes faster with age.  I guess Fridays don't mean that much to me, especially when hubby works that weekend.  This holiday weekend marks the unofficial end of another summer...and I'm okay with that!  I'm really ready for cooler weather, sweatshirts, jeans, bonfires, and so on.  It will be a perfect weekend for anyone that has outdoor plans this holiday weekend, and if anyone is grilling, eat some for me and my husband!  Maybe we'll be able to grill on Monday.  Mmmm, steak on the grill!

 A Thank You To Men
My husband is working this weekend.  I always know to expect nice weather when he is seems like that's the way it has gone this whole year.  Or, this past winter, he had to go in right after every snowstorm we had, but before the roads were plowed, of course.  Whenever he's had his days off, or vacation time, the weather has not cooperated.  I feel so bad for him.  He does it to provide for us, and we're both certainly grateful for a stable income, but I know that there are nights when he would much rather stay home, and tonight was one of them!  I want him to know, and I want all providing men to know, that your wife appreciates it more than you can know.  Having that dedication to do something that you don't always enjoy is, in my opinion, something that only God can give you.  It's a testament to your faith in the Lord, if you are a believer.  Even if you are not a believer, it's still true that God has given you the ability to go out and provide for your family, and they might not say it or even realize it, but they do appreciate it.  Thank you to all of the men willing to go out and provide for their family every day!

Last Garden Update For The Summer
Well, the garden has come to an end for the year.  It is, after all, September now (despite what the heat says)!  I will be pulling up the remaining plants this weekend and taking advantage of the beautiful weather that is forecasted.  I think I may leave my tomato plants until the frost gets them, but the beans, peppers, herbs, and border flowers will all be gone, and I will have to start prepping the beds for next spring.  I'm already looking forward to it!

Don't forget to check out my Recipes,  Regional Events and Things For Sale pages.  Feel free to forward my blog address if you know someone who might be interested!

We've all had to do things in our lives that we have not really liked or wanted to do.  When times like those come along, my husband always reminds me of I Corinthians 10:31-33:"31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-33even as I try to please everybody in every way.  For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved."  Whatever we do, we should do it to honor and glorify God!