Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I think it is interesting to learn things about people that you might not know naturally. The thing that most people might not know about me is that I try to keep up on what is happening in space. I certainly do not understand everything, but I find it extremely interesting to learn more about what is happening in the "great beyond." I would venture to say that the average person does not realize how much the study of space benefits us in our daily lives.

One of the great advantages of living in south Florida is that we can actually see the rocket take off into the sky. I receive e-mails from NASA when a launch is upcoming. It is so neat to find out their mission and follow how things are going. When it actually gets to launch day, I log on to live NASA and go behind the scenes to see everyone getting ready for the big event. I find it fascinating to see how much preparation and details goes into this kind of thing. I watch them get their space suits on and strapped into their seats. I don't want anyone messing with the computer when it gets close to countdown. I have been known to turn the live TV on hours before and just listen to them talk as I go about my day. I can check the screen if there is anything I want to see. When it gets close to take-off, I gather the family around and we all watch. After the blast-off, we go outside and hope to see the real thing in the sky. If there is no cloud cover, we can watch it for a few seconds and then it disappears into.....space. It always blows me away when I walk back into the house and resume the news from NASA. They explain that they are 300 miles from earth within 1 minute of launching traveling at a speed of 17,500 miles an hour. I just saw them a few seconds ago. INCREDIBLE!

We also had the privilege of hearing them come back to earth one time. That was some experience. When they broke into the atmosphere, I thought they had landed on my house. I talked to people latter that said they thought there had been a train wreck or something significant.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I love to read. I have an excellent book about space that will be required reading for my kids, especially by boys. The title is HIGH CALLING. I came across this biography by Evelyn Husband. She is the widow of Rick Husband, commander of Columbia. I remember that sad day when they did not successfully re-enter the earth's atmosphere. When I read this book, I developed a new appreciation for space and for this dear family. Rick was a devout Christian and devoted husband and father. He was good friends with Steve Green who came to watch his launch. It was so neat to gain a better understanding of what a person has to go through to be an astronaut, learn what their family life is like, and most importantly, see how God is carrying them through the tragedy of losing someone they dearly loved.

By the way, Discovery is scheduled to launch this Saturday, May 31st, at 5:02 p.m This mission is to deliver the Kibo science lab modem to the International Space Station. If my memory serves me correctly, it has taken 3 missions to get all of the equipment that they need to complete this project. Oh, and did you know that Phoenix has successfully landed on Mars? This robot has touched down on the surface to study water and the possible conditions of life. It traveled at 12,000 mph. It was a 10 month journey and over 400 million miles of travel. (And here I thought it took a long time to get to Kentucky from Florida)
I guess it is so neat to think that God is beyond our comprehension, yet he chooses to know us in a personal way. It truly is awesome. We can enjoy learning more yet we only scratch the surface of what is really out there. Did you ever wonder what heaven will be like? Absolutely more that we could ever imagine!!

This is what it looks like from our front porch.

Up, up, and away!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Ouch, My feet hurt!!"

I know we just came through Mother's Day and we have all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings about our positions as moms. I do have one thing that gets on my nerves--MY KIDS STEP ON MY FEET!! Am I the only mom out there that always seems to get her feet stepped on? I have tried to figure out why. I am very much of a fix-it type person. I have looked at the size of my feet. I don't think this is the problem. I am 5'6" tall and my size 8 shoes seem an appropriate foundation for my frame. I can't come up with the reason their feet seem to keep coming in contact with mine.

I know there is probably a mom out there right now that is saying with a tissue in hand. "My kids are gone and oh, how I wish they would come back and step on my feet once again." Well, I am not there yet and I am trying to understand how I could miss this part of motherhood. Please tell me they don't do this when the are wearing a size 12 in men's shoes. Don't misunderstand me--I love my kids dearly, but this hurts!! It wasn't a real issue when the kids were small and they had those cute little soft shoes. That has all changed. I usually wear sandals or flip-flops and when you put a heeley on top of my bare foot, it is not a song of praise that comes out of my mouth.

It seems to be a real problem in church. We are all sitting there as a cute little family and someone needs to go to the bathroom or change places to get closer to the crayon box. There are a few inches between my knees and the pew in front of me. Invariably this a guarantee that my feet will be stepped on. When this happens, there are several things that immediately take place.I want to scream, "You just stepped on my foot!" Since that would not be the brightest idea during the sermon, I silently grab their arm to lift up on the kid to ease the pressure that is building a bruise on my poor foot. Guess what happens next..the kid thinks I have hurt them by grabbing their arm..now they start crying. I try to keep them quiet so everyone around me doesn't think I have hurt my kid. What I am tempted to do is raise my foot up in the air and show the crowd that I am the one hurt--see the boo-boo on the top of my foot. I know this would not be a good idea, so I suffer in silence and try to worship.

One thing that complicates this problem is that I naturally have flat feet. I really have to shop to find shoes that fit me. Most of the sandals I try on look hilarious--my foot slides right on through. Since I refuse to wear shoes that have my toes hanging 2 inches off the toe with 2 inches of free space in the back, I pick my sandals carefully. I told my kids a few days ago that if they keep stepping on my feet, I would not be able to wear shoes. I thought I saw a gleam in my husband's eyes as he looked at my full shoerack. I went on to tell them that if I could not wear shoes, they could just buy me a pair of envelopes to waddle around in like a duck. For some reason, they laughed.

Well, I still refuse to wear steel-toed combat boots to church, so I will have to deal with my problem. It has helped me just sharing with you, my blogger friends. It was good to let you know what was on my heart--I mean my feet. Take care and watch out for those kids in roller blades.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mother's Day Celebration

I know that Mother's Day was several days ago, but we had some computer problems that prevented me from posting pictures. I will not bore you with those details, but everything is fixed and I am back in business. I had a very nice weekend celebrating with the man and kids that made me a mother. I feel so blessed to have the title of mother. I can not imagine life without kids. It is such a wonderful privilege to be given children from God to bring up for His glory.

I want to pay tribute to my mom. She is such an inspiration. She made motherhood look like the grandest thing under the sun. She is full of wisdom and laughter. She is young at heart and loves to try new things. She is a blast to be with. I can remember many problems being solved on the porch swing with a glass of tea in hand. (Mom and I don't go anywhere without our tea.) Mom always had time for me. Even though we are thousands of miles apart, I talk to her every day on the phone. She is a Godly example to me and I love her very much!!

I also want to pay tribute to the mother-in-law I never met. Doyle's mom died the year before we met. Everything I know about her has had to come through those who knew her in a personal way. She was a lady that always thought of others. Her children rise up and call her blessed. I owe a lot to this woman who raised my husband to have some of the same character traits that she had. I was reminded recently of how her influence lives on. A few years ago, Doyle's brother bought a set of timpani for the school in memory of his mother. They had the same plaques put on the timpani that is on her gravestone--a cross with the the word "Others" written on it. I looked up during a concert and saw my Julianna playing the instrument that her uncle Joel had paid for, with the plaque in memory of her grandmother, playing in a band directed by her dad. I was near tears.

I also want to share a special story about this lady. After Doyle and I were married, his sister gave me a beautiful pink nightgown as a gift from his mother. I was so shocked. She had bought it before she died to be given to her son's wife. I cherish this special gift from the woman I never met. Doyle tells me that his mom would have loved me and that makes me feel very good. I look forward to catching up in heaven.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fun with Family

A few weeks ago we were privileged to have some very special people come to our home for a visit. My aunt Erma, uncle Marvin, and my cousin's daughter, Brittany came from Kentucky to make some Florida memories. Although the visit went by very fast, we had such a nice time together. We were able to take them to some of the attractions here close-by.

Here are 3 of the kids conked out on the loveseat. Joseph was still going strong.
We allowed our kids to stay up and wait for them to come since I knew they were too excited to sleep, or so I thought. Joseph saw an airplane go over and said that Erma wasn't in there. I asked how he knew that. He had an answer--he said that the plane went past. I guess he expected it to come to a screeching halt in my front yard.

One of the first places we took them to was, of course, the beach. Here the kids wait for another wave. They were all wet and sandy from head to toe but they had a blast.

Erma, Brittany, and I.

Erma enjoying the beauty of the ocean breeze.

Brittany is collecting a few shells and ready to get warm.

They also were able to take a tour of the Jupiter Lighthouse. Here Marvin begins the long climb to the top.

They made it!!

We all went to Lion Country Safari on Saturday. Here is one of God's neat creatures.

A nosy zebra. It is so neat to be so close to the animals as you drive through the park.

I love this picture of Lydia and the ostrich that kept pecking at our window.

Here they are in front of the waterfall.

The petting zoo.

Oh no, Samuel has been eaten by a lion!

Julianna pets the giraffe.

Brittany gets close to the gentle giant.

Brittany feeds a Lorie bird.

Marvin, Erma, and I take a rest.

We all went on paddle boat rides. Here are the boys with Doyle.

Brittany in front of a purple bougainvillea.

Samuel gets a new hairstyle.

The girls saying "good-by" before going to school.

Brittany took Joseph on a little picnic before she left. It was so thoughtful of her to think of that. I know he enjoyed his time with her.

Thanks to Tim and Patty for letting Brittany take that long first plane ride with her grandparents to make some special memories with us. We loved having all of them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Lydia turned 7 on the 28th of April. I am just getting around to posting her party. The day after her birthday, we welcomed family down for a week-long visit. We have had so much fun together. I will be telling you about that in my next post. This is how we helped Lydia celebrate her birthday "Little Pony" style.

Lydia with her cake.

Close-up of cake.

All ready for the guests to arrive.

The kids playing a Little Pony Memory game.

A friend enjoying Lydia's collection of ponies.

The Birthday clan.

Time for lunch.

Let's open the presents. She got so many nice things from her friends.

Craft time--busy little bees.

We had the party the Saturday before her actual birthday. We took cupcakes into her classroom on her real birthday.

We also had a family time on her birthday evening. Here Julianna proudly gives her a couple of gifts that she made herself.

We finished the day by reading "Happy Birthday to You" by Dr. Seuss.

We called it a day, went to bed, and prepared for company to arrive.