Sunday, December 29, 2013

Random end of year thoughts

I've had some thoughts banging around in my noggin so I owe it to all four of my loyal readers to share.

1.  I did not watch "The Sound of Music Live."  I have a few reasons for this.
First, it is my favorite movie.  Of all time.
Second, Julie Andrews is my favorite singer. Of all time.
Third, I like Carrie Underwood.  She is a fantastic performer and I want to keep liking her.

2.  My schedule this semester and the upcoming semester is pretty rough - two new (out of three preps) which means little down-time during the day.  My goal this break was to read a book that didn't involve education or math, but I wound up cooking a lot instead.  But I cooked some AWESOME food.  AWESOME.  You would have benefited from trying it - it was that good.

3.  I really don't like things as gifts.  I like time from people.  However, my family blessed me with some well thought out gifts this Christmas, and I'm pretty happy about that.

4.  We don't sing together as a family quite enough.  We did the other night when my dad was in town and it was great.

5.  While I don't know if I'm ready for my break to be over next week, I do love my job and my co-workers and I miss them when I don't get to see them.  One came to church with me today and I was so happy to see her.  I work at a great school.  Can't wait to see the kids again either.  So... maybe I just contradicted myself?  Hmmm.  But really, I'm not ready because I still have planning to do to be ready for Monday.

6.  I don't really like football unless my team is winning.

So, I hope you enjoyed reading the random things banging around in my noggin.  I hope you celebrated the birthday of our Savior last week and have fond remembrances of 2013.  Come on 2014.  Let's make a great year!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The gift of time - it is good.

Yesterday was unusual.

First, Leah and I decided to skip Sunday School and sleep in.  There was no lesson and we were tired.  Went to church and lunch like normal and headed to the mall.  It is the weekend before Thanksgiving - it couldn't be that crowded, right?  Wrong.  I can't imagine what it is going to be like next weekend.

After lunch, we shopped for the next four hours.  We have NEVER done that before.  It was a productive trip.  Yes, we found some cute stuff for ourselves, each other and the boys in our family, but we had a long time together.  It was good.

When we got home, we changed into pajamas and decided to forgo the plans we had for cleaning the kitchen thoroughly and straightened it instead while we put together our most girly dinner - broccoli and cheese dip with tortilla chips, grapes, strawberries, brie, and some chilled roasted pork from a previous meal.  Our guys would never buy into this meal.  Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets was also on the menu.  It was good.

We rarely get this opportunity for uninterrupted time, but the guys are in Jamaica on a mission trip right now.  We do miss them, but I am not going to waste this opportunity to be with my daughter.  Yes, we have cleaning and more shopping to do to be ready for Thanksgiving.  Yes, her guy will be joining us tomorrow for a few days.  These three days have been ours - and I am off for the entire week!  It is good.

I remember my kids when they were little.  Wide-eyed and excited for the next adventure.  They both have new adventures ahead of them - both will graduate in a year and a half.  L will head to seminary and other life changes - moving out! - and A will head to his college of choice - yet to be decided.  G and I will learn how to live without taking someone somewhere to do something and be empty-nesters.  We will probably have to decide whether it is time to begin planning the retirement nest... It will be good.

Until next time, faithful readers,  make your time good.

Monday, June 24, 2013

On campmeeting and answered prayers

In the history of my denomination, campmeeting is significant and important.  It was a time of preaching and singing.  Of fellowship and friendship.  A time when the church body would move to a campground and "tent".  They brought their ice blocks, livestock, and all other items necessary for living.  As time passed, many campgrounds ended their meeting time in the summer, and other things changed.  Like electricity and plumbing.  Our local church campground, now has electricity in the "tents" (cabins), although no air conditioning - thank goodness for the invention of the box fan - and there is a bath house with toilets and showers.  But with automobiles, most of the congregation now lives in their homes and drives to the campground each night during the meeting time.

This is the week of campmeeting.  Since 1832 this meeting has occured annually - with the exception of a year or two during the Civil War.

The preaching is special - visiting pastors.  The music is special.  It is a time of introspection and renewal as a church.  And also personally.

I can recall several times kneeling at that altar and having friends surround me with their hands and their love and prayers.  I can recall answered prayers and the peace that followed - and sometimes it wasn't peace, but it was at least an answer.  I can recall being one of those people surrounding a hurting friend.  But answered prayers don't just come kneeling at the altar.  It can come sitting in a chair on the stage right before singing.  It happened to me last night.

Last night, I had a solo in the second choir piece of the evening.  It is one I had sung before and I knew it very well.  Right before the offertory prayer, my head started to throb.  So much I thought I would faint if I stood up.  Folks, this is 5 minutes before singing.  I didn't even hear the offertory prayer - I was praying silently to God to help me be able to stand up and sing that solo.  Right after that, the beautiful lady sitting next to me grabbed my hand and held it during the remainder of that prayer.  I don't know that she knew I was hurting but I knew she was praying for me and that it would be okay.  And it was.  My head was still hurting but I am fine and grateful to the Lord for praying friends.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I've realized something:  parenting is hard.

Especially when it is your own parent that needs parenting.  Boo.  I knew this day would come someday.  It came a lot earlier than I had hoped.  It actually started around 2002 or so when my mother's health really started to decline.

Now my sister and I are in the position of making care decisions for my dad.  Since she lives with him, little sister gets the brunt of the burden.

He tells us he is glad we now get along... um... we have gotten along quite well for a pretty long time.  Guess he didn't notice.  But if we agree on a care decision, we are "ganging up" on him.  OOOOO KAY then.

We are doing the best we can and I think we can be proud that we are honoring him by not leaving him to fend for himself.  Improving the health of a 76 year old with cognitive issues, a very enlarged prostate, an iron will, and no appetite for real food is proving to be a challenge.  Thankfully, the rehab center where he is staying is supportive of our decisions and honest about his challenges.

It has been a day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Music through my son's eyes

So Andrew and I are at AtlantaFest this week.  This kid loves Christian music.  It is his passion - I actually prayed about this a few years ago.  Let me explain.

We are a family of introverts.  We like people but in short bursts and we have to charge up before and recharge after by being alone.  When you combine being an introvert with also being shy (me and Andrew), you become a great people-watcher that other people just can't quite figure out.  On the outside we may look uninterested and aloof, on the inside we are doing cartwheels.

Oh yeah - I was going to explain about the prayer.  Andrew doesn't get real excited about anything - or he doesn't show it anyway.  He is VERY good at a LOT of things, so his options career-wise are pretty good when he makes up his mind what that will be.  A few years ago I began praying that God would give him a passion about something.  Anything.  I also prayed that God would bring him a challenge.  He did.  But that's another post.

Andrew learns very quickly.  Lucky him.  I envy his nearly photographic memory.  But he showed a great aptitude for music and a love of performance of any kind - stand up comedy, concerts, MC of shows, drama.  But the passion is contemporary Christian music.  But not just the music.  He wants to know about the artists, their beginnings, what instruments they play, where they live (that sounds stalkerish but it really is just how he processes info).

So, I've been sitting (in the back safely away from the crowd) with Andrew at AtlantaFest, learning about his music and listening to some music that I definitely will learn to love.  I can tell he gets excited when he pulls out his camera :)

I know this isn't my mother's style of Christian music, but I know she is in heaven jumping for joy over the fact that she has a grandchild who loves the Lord and the music he inspires.

My kid is a Jesus Freak and that is so cool.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time with my son

I'm getting some really nice time with my son lately.  He is 17  and some months, gifted academically and musically, a good friend, and has an incredible memory for the things he is interested in.  Like me, he is an introvert and pretty shy.  He LOVES the stage - put a microphone in his hand and watch him go.  Not singing (yet) but he can improvise like crazy and keep you interested.

He hates driving.

Maybe "hate" is a strong word, but it has taken pressure, guilt, and manipulation to convince him to learn to drive.  That, and his permit expires in October.  So he has decided to bite the bullet and learn.  Surprisingly, he has not taken to it.  He has been harder to teach than his sister, but in the end I think he will be okay after he gets his license and inherits DH's old pickup truck.  So driving lessons has given us some great opportunities to learn from and more about each other.  He has relaxed in the last two days and his driving is much much better.

He has this passion for music.

He loves contemporary Christian music - many genres of it, too.  He knows more worship music and more ABOUT worship music than anyone else I know.  So, today we are going to AtlantaFest and have a 4 day pass.  I am going into his world of music and hopefully will learn something from him.  Pray that my heart is softened to the messages I will hear and to my dear son's passion.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tap, tap, is this thing on?

Hello to all both of my readers.  Thought I'd update you on some things:

  • I made the show choir.  Now to memorize music and accept the challenge.
  • My pastor of 12 years has been moved to Nashville, TN.  While sad, I feel that this is definitely of God and my new pastor will be able to shepherd this flock.
  • I went to Washington, DC.  I loved it.  Cool city and just did not have enough time to do the things I wanted to do.  Mount Vernon was my favorite day of the whole trip.
  • The idea that teachers do not work in the summer is a myth.  I have a stack of work I have successfully managed to avoid.  So, I will have a couple of mega-work days in order to be ready for day 1 of pre-planning on July 31.  After six years, I will not be teaching Calculus, but I have two new classes to teach, in addition to one I taught last year.
  • I haven't had my vacation yet.  No, DC was not vacation (for me).  But it is coming and it will be in the mountains.
  • Teaching my son to drive is way harder than teaching my daughter.  
  • Gluten is not my friend.  I'm not super sensitive to it, but I cannot lose weight if I eat it.
  • My dad has been in the hospital and is now in rehab.  He must gain weight to go home.  
So that's the update.  Tune in - I might actually write something again someday.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I am taking the first step to do something I have never done before:  audition for a Show Choir.

Thus:  O.M.G! (G for Goodness, gracious... )

I have sung my whole life.  But I have never sung in this kind of setting.  Do I have what it takes?  I don't know but I'm going to go way out of my comfort zone and give it a try.

Tonight I'm just sitting in an open rehearsal, and if the director likes what he hears (and if he needs my kind of voice), then I'll be invited to audition.

So we will see...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What's in a name?

A lot.

Let me explain.  I'm an amateur genealogist.  I love unravelling the puzzles of my family history and my husband's too.  His is a doozy, lemme tell ya.

I have a double name.  Very traditional - very southern.  I like it but I've quit being called the middle name for quite a while... something like 15 years, so if someone calls me the double name, I know they are either family or have known me for a long, long time.  And I'm okay with being a double-named Southern traditionalist.

Okay back to genealogy.  It's a sometime obsession for me.  I'll work on it for hours and hours and hours and not sleep for a few days while I do research ( and let me say thank GOD for online records - as much as love going to the Archives, it just isn't convenient and they just won't let me bring coffee in next to their microfilm machines) and then puzzle and moan and groan and make the family miserable with my stories of new discoveries.  Then I won't work on it for a long time, usually due to my paying work.

Okay what is my point anyway?  Oh yeah.  Names.

One letter can change a name.  One branch of my family has a name that end with an "s".  That name ending with an "r" is a completely different thing.  It's a different family.  So folks who read census records ASSUME that the one ending in "s" is wrong and make it the more common "r".  Why is that important?  Well... I can't find my great-great-great grandmother's daddy and it's driving me batty.  But because I have corrected the information that these two surnames are really different families, I can rule out a bunch of potential fathers for Marinda Joines Waller.

So this week I had the opportunity to travel and see where my family first lived in Georgia.  I found Waller Rd.  How cool?  (For those who don't know, Waller is my maiden name.)  I found Daniel New Bridge.  He was my great-great grandfather and was a Baptist preacher.  I found the homeplace of my great-great-great-great grandparents, Richard and Nancy Lightfoot (which is an English name, not Indian).  I took a lot of pictures of graves and then came home and did some research and wished I had taken about 200 more pictures of other graves.

Part of my fascination with genealogy is I feel a connection to these people.  Weird?  Maybe, but these are the people who shaped the people who shaped the people who shaped me.  Some of them have tragic stories.  Some of them are courageous.  Like Caterina Wessinger Kleckley who was captured by the Creek Indians in South Carolina, but was released because she was so stubborn.  I like her.  Like my Kleckley ancestors who fled Germany due to religious persecution and came to a place where they could worship freely.  Even my Scottish descended great-grandfather who had some sort of feud with siblings and changed the spelling of his last name to separate from them.    I see my green eyes and ears from my Big Daddy who died two years before I was born, and the crazy sense of humor I've been told about from my Granddaddy who also died two years before I was born.

I look at these pictures and visit these places and wonder about their lives, their homes, their faith.  And I thank them.  And thank God for them.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sabbath Rest

As a church kid - and by church kid, I mean my mother worked for churches - the Sunday nap was a regular event.  We all enjoyed our Sunday nap.  If I didn't actually sleep, I read books, which was one of my favorite activities as a little girl.  I could be so engrossed by a story that my parents would have to shake me to get my attention.  I have always loved the escape of a good story.

As I grew into adulthood, I still enjoyed the Sunday nap.  When my kids were young, it meant all four of us piled into my bed - which was the only time the kids were allowed to sleep with us.  We would all go to sleep pretty quickly, but I would get up first since DH tends to snore loudly.  DS sleeps very soundly so he would continue to snooze and DD would get up after I did.  She would say, "Daddy is honk-shooting and I can't sleep anymore."    "Honk-shoot" was her description of snoring and I suppose if you could make the sound of a snore a word, it would be "honk-shoot."

I don't nap much anymore on Sunday but DH does still.

I still do enjoy the "no agenda" on Sunday - although I do tend to do some work, but it is at my leisure and more restful than my desk at school.  So, maybe it still qualifies.

Whenever your Sabbath rest happens, make it meaningful.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


It is really difficult dealing with negative people.

I am recently having an almost weekly encounter with some serious negative attitudes.  Besides being a downer, it saps my strength.  As a math teacher, I am very accustomed to people who do not appreciate my subject, but rather than walk in closed-minded and deciding the topic of the day is unnecessary to their existence, decide to do their best.

Is this post a major gripe?  You bet it is.  But where better to share my disappointment with the World Wide Web?

Because the fact is - I'm not angry.  I'm extremely disappointed.  Disappointed in a generation that would rather complain about their discomfort.  Disappointed in a generation that does not appreciate learning for learning's sake.  Disappointed in a generation that thinks that voicing their opinion at the moment is more important than respect of an authority figure.

Youth of this world - wake up!  You are missing so much learning because of your selfishness.  It is time to get over yourselves.