Thursday, November 6, 2008

Change is in the Air

If you're reading a blog, then you're not hiding your head under a rock. So you must know by now we have ushered in a new era here in the United States with the election of Barak Obama.

I will post my political opinions right now and say that the economic principles that Mr. Obama appears to condone do not "sit right" with me. His party's platform and beliefs in the woman's right to choose abortion goes against every grain in my body. His support of marriage as an institution between homosexual couples is distasteful to me, and goes against what I believe the teaching of the Bible is.

THOSE THINGS BEING SAID, I got chills as I heard a local resident describe her grandfather's laughter of joy when he heard that Obama had won the election. Chills of joy to imagine how happy he was that an African-American has been elected to the highest office. I think the record of the United States as a whole shows a horrible mistreatment of slaves and freed slaves in the years following the Civil War. I know the years of Jim Crow laws in the south fostered resentment and anger. It is a blot on American history. Although I do not participate in discrimination, I hear it around me still today - and it disgusts me.

I hope that America is on the path to becoming color-blind; we are all created equal in God's sight.

As a Christian, I am praying that this country does have change: a change of heart and search for God's will in all areas of life.

As a Christian, I am praying for the upcoming administration and the government. In 1 Timothy 2, the scriptures command us to pray for those in authority over us:

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, andit is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

And so I will pray for this leader and for those he chooses to advise him in the direction he is taking this country in.

As I said in my devotions to the teachers at my school the other day: It doesn't matter who's in Washington - it matters Who's on the throne! God is in control and I trust in His unfailing promises.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Car Troubles

Let me tell you a little about our driveway. In the driveway on a typical evening are three vehicles: one blue Astro van (my baby since last December), one Ford Explorer (my mother-in-law's vehicle), and one Ford Escort (my husband's "baby" - that hasn't moved - in a year - and will take $800 dollars to fix- if he would fix it - but he hasn't yet...)

And now, the Ford Explorer has a problem - we think it's the fuel pump. Which, of course, is in the gas tank. So the hubby can't really fix it. So off it goes to Firestone.

I hope it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I need those appendages.

Thankfully, my coworkers are giving me a ride to school. So we're covered with that. God provides.

What fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008


So, my doctor has let me go off my medicines because I am losing weight. So the weight loss is good for my health.

Several people have noticed the 14 pound weight loss and commented on it. That's good, I suppose.

But I want my motivation to be pleasing God - I wanted to be motivated by living in obedience to His word. I haven't been doing well in about a month, and it shows. I have used the excuse that I don't have an accountability partner.

The only accountability partners that matter are God and me. I don't need to change my eating habits for anyone else. I want THAT to be my motivation. So, here we go - again.

Sometimes I wish not eating was an option - but I know it's not.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Day off School

Thank you, Mr. Columbus!

But seriously, I am enjoying the day off. We had Friday off too; it was our fall break. At least I didn't fall and break anything.

I am at the local library making this post. I was surprised it wasn't closed today! But I needed to come here to email some stuff from my son's jump drive, so I'm thankful they are open.

I just submitted three sample articles, a cover letter, and a resume to one of the local newspapers, The Northern Virginia Daily. They are searching for freelance writers to cover community interest stories, etc. I am excited about the possibility, because I enjoy writing. When I have an objective to get across, I am usually articulate. (I know, hard to believe from these rambling posts.) I'll keep you up to date on the progress.

Dale graduates from Marine Combat Training on the 21st, and we have not heard from him. Just one brief phone call that must have been on someone's borrowed cell phone. No letters or phone calls, but they have spent 6 days a week in the field training, so I can understand. He will be next going to a base in Maryland for Combat Photographer training. So he may get to be home for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I am now in a post-migraine fog, having woken up with one this morning. I am blessed that I don't suffer as some do for days with a migraine; it usually takes three tylenol and a healthy dose of caffeine to take it away. But that "fog" hangs around all day. Bleh.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Debate

We watched the debate last night, and I have one thing that is eating at me. I know I went into the debate with preconceived notions - knowing who I am voting for, etc. So this opinion is obviously biased - but I wonder if anyone sees this the way I do?

When the candidates were asked whether health care was a right, a responsibility or a privilege, Obama responded that it was a right, and shared the story of his mother in the hospital fighting about coverage.

She was receiving care, wasn't she? The question was paying for it, but she was receiving the care. The question is - is the access to FREE or "affordable" health care a right? I don't think it is one of those things guaranteed in the Constitution.

As I said, I'm biased - I know that.

(Spoken by a woman who has health care benefits and is very glad about it!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life in General

Hello, blog friends (all three of you!)

Life has been interesting in my neck of the woods. Let's begin with school, shall we?

School is a sad place right now. Because of the economic difficulties, we lost 50 students this year. Loss of students = loss of funds. The school board had to make the hard decision to let our support staff (assistants) go. We will miss them dearly, for our school is not just a school; we are a family. These ladies (and one man) are our sisters (and brother) in Christ, and we are hurting for them. We will be making many adjustments around the school, and it means more work. But I am thankful for my job, and I feel all of us are.

Dale is at Combat Training in North Carolina. He enjoyed his ten days of leave with us - visiting friends, playing video games, sleeping in and eating. It was sad to see him get on the greyhound bus to take off, but it's what we've raised him for. When he is finished there, Dale will go for combat photography school. He will be stationed in Maryland for that, closer to us, so we may get to see him for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Joshua is, well, Joshua. I am sitting here having time to type this because HE is sitting at the computer in the same room working on a report that is due - you guessed it - tomorrow. He is becoming a social butterfly, and I love to see him interacting with his friends.

Church activities are keeping us busy. Roger and I are coaching Bible Bowl together ( a Bible quiz team.) This Saturday, we will take a team of four kids to a nearby church to compete with other kids over material from the Old Testament. I played Bible Bowl during my high school years and loved it - I could actually win at something (because it wasn't athletic - LOL!) It's been good for Roger and I to spend time together working on these things.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dale in the squad bay. He has changed so much!

The family and Dale's girlfriend after graduation.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

South Carolina Bound

It's hard to believe that the time has come to go and see my oldest become a Marine. How is it possible that the little baby, that I held in my arms, tiny fingers, tiny toes - how did he grow up? Where did the time go?

I haven't seen myself as aging - except for the fact that I can't read small print any more without reading glasses (it's a concession I'll make.) But my little boy has become a man, and I just don't know where the time has gone.

We've made a lot of mistakes raising this young man, but with God's help, we did a lot of things right. And now it's time to stand aside and watch him shine. I feel very blessed to have held that young baby in my arms - and I will feel blessed when I hold the young man in my arms very soon.

Graduation is Friday!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Finding Titles for Blog Posts

Finding titles for blog posts is really a difficult feat at times. It's probably because my mind is bouncing around on so many things.

Dale finished his first day of testing today. He tests for two more days and then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is the "Crucible." The crucible is 52 hours of very little sleep, very little food, marches with full packs, and general simulated battle situations. Please pray for him. We are looking forward to graduation on September 12 (if Hurricane Ivan doesn't interfere with that!)

School will get into full swing here tomorrow. I am teaching a sign language class on Wednesdays, and I'm looking forward to that. My schedule is now full with supervisory things and teaching. I'm glad - the first week of school was a little quiet in my classroom.

This weekend was Winning at Winchester, a three-day rally at the church where I teach. Singing and lots of preaching filled Friday night, Saturday and Sunday as well. What I enjoyed most was seeing people I haven't seen in a long time - people from the church we used to attend and people who had gone to other churches as well. The southern gospel music was good - it's not something I would buy a CD of necessarily, but I enjoy listening to it live.

So far, I've lost about 20 pounds with my new eating/exercising routine. It's really not about the weight loss, though; it will probably be two weeks before I weigh myself again. Tonight was the first night I really wanted to go back to my old ways and just eat and eat. Instead, I made hot tea.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School Days, School Days

School has started and things have been going fairly smoothly. I am working with a smaller number of kids this year, but I'm working with some kids who really need the extra help. So I'm excited about that.

Eating intentionally with God's help has been going well. THINKING before EATING - what a novel idea! It takes time to do it, but there is a website that is really helping keep track:

Cool spot! Try it if you wish. It keeps track of nutrition and exercise.

I'm also a member of Anytime Fitness.

Even though I am not a morning person, I have gone to the gym and walked on the treadmill in the mornings. But I like that I can go any time (and I like to watch the tv on those cool treadmills.)

With God's help, I've lost 15 pounds so far. I'll keep on working on it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Stuff

So, the busyness of getting ready for school has started and I haven't stopped by here in a while.

The book I'm contemplating will be entitled "ABC - Amazing Bible Characters." What I'm planning to do is write about characters, both "good" and "bad", that begin with each letter. I will be writing about the lessons we can learn from each one. My prayer is that I might use these lessons in a new endeavor at church that I'm still waiting to see if it's indeed meant to be. I have an outline for the book and I intend to get working on it after school starts on Wednesday. I really should do a timeline...

Another endeavor I've been trying is eating more in accordance with what God wants me to do. In other words, my body is suffering for eating MY way for many years. I'm trying now to take better care of what God has given me. In short, it means I'm trying to eat with INTENTION, instead of mindless eating - which I have been so good at. I'm not even necessarily worried about weight: I want to be healthier so I can do the things I want to do. Eating Intentionally - that's the goal.

Let's see - graduation from Marine boot camp is coming up soon. Sept. 12 is the date and we are taking a four day weekend to enjoy the event and visiting with Dale. Dale will come home with us for 10 days of leave. Then it's off to more combat training. It will be good to see him. I've missed him.

Monday, August 18, 2008

So Long, Summer

Yes, I know there is still almost a month of official summer left. But tomorrow starts our teacher work days and freedom as we know it has come to an end.

My room is basically ready - I need to get the paperwork done for all my classes. Oh, I'm sorry - didn't you ask what I had been doing?

I'm also making a large granny square with many colors. Why? Because I can!

The big news in the Marauder household: Joshua now has an acoustic/electric guitar. I told him I'd spend some money on him out of my summer school pay, so today we found one at a pawn shop. He loves music so much. I'm looking forward to him learning how to play.

Then maybe he'll teach me...

Next up on the blogging agenda: talking about writing a book. Ohhhh, are you intrigued?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yeah for Computer Geeks!

We had a visiting computer geek come to our house last Thursday: our "adopted daughter's" boyfriend. He brought a cpu and switched out all our stuff. Now our computer will actually stay on for more than 10 minutes!! Yeah!!

Our adopted daughter has gone back to college and so now things are quiet here. School starts in a week and a half. It will be a quiet place around here until Dale comes back for 10 days after graduation from Boot Camp. September 12th is the big date and we're looking forward to traveling down to South Carolina to see our little boy become a Marine!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Poison Ivy

Yes, it's true. I've gotten poison ivy for the third time in my life. I just don't think to look for it when we go geocaching. Let's face it - my eyes are looking for the prize, not the "leaves of three, leave them be."

Oh well. I'm putting stuff on it and I'm sure it will go away soon - I hope...

Got a letter from the Marine Recruit today. He is about half-way through training and we will be going down September 12th for graduation. The drill instructors are tough, he says, but he's holding it together.

Tomorrow evening, we are going to the drive-in and then Josh's friend is coming to spend the night. I should get to bed so I'll be well-rested...

Friday, July 25, 2008


Today was a fun day. I slept in and then my summer daughter and I went geocaching. We drove south and searched for 12 geocaches. We found 9 of them. If you don't know about geocaching, you should. It is the most fun I can have while sweating profusely and exercising. Check out this website:

We came home and the kitchen sink is messed up. But the husband is handy and will fix it tomorrow, I'm sure. One of Dale's friends called tonight for his address at boot camp. He really enjoys getting letters from folks. My buddy Shelina and her daughter dropped him a line. Dale says thanks!!

Tomorrow the youngest will come home from church camp. It will be nice to have him around again! He's been gone for basically two weeks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cleaning, Day Two

That is to say, today will be Day Two, once I get started. It is almost 12:00 PM, and all I've done is washed some dishes. It drives me crazy when everything is helter-skelter and I can't find things I want/need. But I'm not doing anything about it. So, here are my goals for today and I will report how I've done tomorrow:

The desk: my desk is a dumping place - I have never sat at it to get any work done. It really is a confusing place. I think it may take 1 1/2 hours to sort through and then find reasonable homes for all the things.

Goodwill run: I have several boxes of books that need to go somewhere else - not to mention clothing and other things. It will only take loading up and driving over, but I need to get it done.

Shelina asked in one of the comments about going to the dump. We live in the county here in Virginia and we don't have any public trash service. We could pay a company to come and take it away, but it's cheaper to do it ourselves. There is a "convenience station" about a mile away, so it's not too bad. There we can take household trash and recyclables. The dump is about five miles away and we can take other trash there.

So there are the details. I could write more, but that would mean I wouldn't be cleaning...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cleaning Day

I'm starting on the computer first to hopefully get it out of my system. This is the last thing I'm planning on doing on the computer. Oops, just thought of one more thing...

There will be a lot of trash to take to the dump - why is it that I wait and not clean as I go? I may go back to Flylady, but that just means more time on the computer...

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again

Going away is nice; coming home is great. Yesterday, the youngest came back from Scout camp and today we took him to church camp. He'll be exhausted but will have had fun.

South Carolina was good; lots of teacherly ideas to ruminate on before next school year. I am teaching a class of Fundamental Math, seventh graders. I want to make it fun so I've gotta think of a theme. Any ideas from blogger land?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hello again from down South!

Today it is warm here in Columbia, South Carolina, but not too hot. I know it could be worse. We have been attending different classes and keeping busy today - but now we're free until 5:00.

One of the most profound things that I heard today was not even one of the main points in our opening session. You wouldn't have found it on one of the power point slides, and I'm not even sure if it's a direct quote from someone or not. (I just googled it and it is often a phrase that is found in sermons - so who knows who said it first? I know I didn't!)

Most Christians live life where Christ is prominent, but not preeminent. I want to live a life where Jesus Christ has the preeminence, has FIRST place in everything I do and say. I am so glad to have the quiet of this week to consider how God is speaking to me, to listen to what He is saying through His word and through His people.

Monday, July 14, 2008

South Carolina Living

Hello, friends! I am in South Carolina this week at a Christian Educators conference. Even though the entire campus is wi-fi, alas, I do not have my laptop here. So I am sitting in the computer lab monopolizing this computer and typing blog entries.

The youngest is at scout camp this week, so it's quiet on the home front for sure. It's been interesting so far down here, and we will be leaving on Friday (I'm here with five other teachers from my school.) I'll let you know if I learn anything really deep!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Musings

Hello to all. Today is a day of packing. Joshua's going to Scout Camp next week and so he needed to get all that ready. He is almost done. I am going to South Carolina next week for a Christian educators conference, and so I'm making my list and checking it twice.

Today is the third day of my all-liquid diet. It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be and it will definitely be a jump-start for some lifestyle changes. When I go to South Carolina, I will be replacing the evening meal with a shake and eating lunch and dinner with a goal of staying at 800 calories a day. It seems a little extreme, but my doctor agrees that this is a safe level to get the weight off. I am tired of being overweight and all the complications and inconveniences that go along with it.

I can't remember if I posted it or not, but Dale is doing okay at Marine Boot Camp. I have to write him a letter today. He has 10 more weeks to go, I think. He's finished on September 12.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We had a blast over the weekend camping near Cairo, West Virginia. The first two days were filled with rain, rain, rain! But the last two days were nice. We got a carriage ride with the kids and had a fun time with my sister, her husband, and two of her neighborhood "grandkids".

Tomorrow is outside work day. We have weeds that are almost as tall as the house.

I went to the gym tonight and walked - wait for it - a whole mile and a quarter!! But that's more than I've been doing and so it's a start. It helps that they have treadmills that have TV's on them - LOL!! Although it would probably work better if the TVs were powered by your walking!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Report on the Marine Recruit

Hello, all! We received a real live hand written letter from Recruit Morgan yesterday. He said it is hot, hot, hot and they are doing a lot of marching. He sounds like he's doing well.

We are busy getting ready for our camping trip. We have to go to Wally World and get some supplies tonight. What fun!

Thanks to Shelina for letting me know about the bouncing email issue. I think I have it straightened out now.

Have a blessed evening!

Monday, June 30, 2008

From the Ashes

No - this is not a blog post from my family (my maiden name is Ash.) It's just about time I did some blogging and telling what's been up with our family since apparently, December.

The oldest Marauder has just finished his second week of Marine boot camp. I haven't heard from him yet, but I assume he's still alive! The house is not too quiet yet because we have a summer "boarder", a girl who used to go to our school and is a family friend. She's staying with us until she goes back to college in the fall. So she and the youngest have been goofing off with each other.

We have a busy summer ahead with camping and I have a week-long conference. I hope to get back into blogging, because I have a lot to say and no one wants to listen to me around here!