Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here, There, Back and Off Again

Well, the F family and I arrived safely back in NE early Monday morning of last week. We were all, as Mr. F put it, completely thrashed. I realize the rationale for driving through the night- the kids sleep through the whole trip. But I am not a kid, and I just can't sleep in a car. Or a fifteen-passenger van. But it was a fun trip, and I'm glad I could go.

I leave tomorrow for Arkansas and a week long campaign trip. I'm really excited to be back on the campaign trail after nearly a year without any campaigning. This will be my exercise/tanning session for the spring. At all other times of the year I shun exercise and don't have time to sit in the sun, so if you notice my skin is the fainest tint darker next time you see me, it's thanks to our candidate Reynolds.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It's been interesting to notice some small comparisons between this short one week trip and my ten-week trip to Ft. Bragg.

There's a huge difference in how Mrs. F and Ms. O dealt with having me in their household.
At the O house, especially towards the end of my time there, there were times when the Os would go out somewhere while I stayed home to clean. I wasn't part of the family: I was Cinderella left home to clean the carpet and scrub the laminate flooring. I shouldn't have been Cinderella, though- I should have been a servant("But in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses...." 2nd Cor. 6:4). Wow, though, it's really hard to have a servant's heart when you're under-appreciated. It takes work!

Mrs. F has a totally different attitude, very respectful and considerate of my desires/needs. Very few people treat me so much like an adult as she has. For this short time the Fs have endeavored to make me feel like part of their family. That makes servant-hood so much easier!

Another funny happening is the Fs going to Medieval Times. When the Os and I went to Myrtle Beach, it was a possibility for a short time that we might go to the Medieval Times there. It ended up not happening. Almost-promises led to disappointments, another example of poor communication.

Now during this trip, Mrs. F actually apologized that I wouldn't be able to go, and explained she didn't feel her younger boys ought to go, so that's why they planned to have me stay with them. Her attitude and communication makes a huge difference, and I am fine with not going. It also probably helps that though Medieval Times was a big deal back(way back) in high school, I've got over it by now. If it was Colonial Times, though, nothing could keep me away!

I was too cowardly to confront Mrs. O about our struggles, and either she was just too emotionally stressed to maturely deal with it, or the hardships in her past kept her from being able to handle communication. I think she expected me to be like she had been: A single woman confident in being on her own. Mrs. F, though she doesn't currently have the stress of deployment like Ms. O, encourages openness and evaluation and understands the completely appropriate need for me to be part of a family.

I don't mean to make Mrs. O look like the evil stepmother and Mrs F like the fairy god-mother- they both have faults and so do I. Mrs O, despite her degree in counseling, didn't understand how to fit me in to her family, and Mrs. F does. Getting a grasp on the Biblical place for adult single women makes a world of difference.

On to a different subject; it's markedly different from Nebraska to see so many black people everywhere, with such a distinctly different culture, and it's good to see it and learn. It's positively amazing what some black ladies do with their hair! It's also kind of creepy to see groups of young black men in this neighborhood who apparently don't work, because they walk around during work hours. You know that style of wearing pants too big for your waist so your underwear shows and you have to actually hold your pants up so they won't fall down completely? It's really in here. I despise that style.

My Room-mate

He wakes me up every morning talking to himself, and he's very cute(as you can see).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Out to Tea

Today we ladies went to tea here in Georgia- great food and a pretty place. Following tea time some of the party went to a nearby clothing store. I took a walk to a nearby cemetery I had spotted, and I have to say that made my day. I was really wishing to visit a cemetery in GA, but there wasn't any free time to find one. So this was perfect timing and a providential blessing for me!

I thought this stone's inscription was funny- I can just hear it in a southern drawl: Laaaawd, have mercy on poooor me!

There were others stones I'd like to post, but it's my room-mate's bedtime. If I remember I'll post a picture of him too- he is sooo cute(and don't worry, he's only two).

Monday, April 12, 2010


The F family and I started out our journey by leaving NE at 7pm and driving through the night, and arrived in Atlanta around 3:30pm the next day, rather exhausted. On Sunday we searched for a like-minded Church Mr F had found on a website. Upon arriving, we discovered the church was no more, so we went to a nearby church called "The Lighthouse". There were six people in he congregation, so we more than doubled their size. It was perhaps not the BEST sermon I've ever heard, but it was an interesting experience.

Atlanta is really big. Six lane interstates, full of cars- I am glad I'm not driving. Just being a passenger in a 15 passenger van is exciting enough.

On Monday we all went to the Atlanta Aquarium, which is reportedly one of the biggest in the world. I have to say the neatest display was the huge Ocean tank, with 6 million gallons of saltwater! There are three whale sharks and at least one huge 12ft stingray in that big tank, along with other smaller fish.

Our 15 passenger van qualified as an over-sized vehicle.

I hate to say it, but this fish looks stupid to me.

The tropical and reef fish were very pretty as well. I have to say, though, that the whole aquarium was really noisy, with music in the main court and lots of people, and all that plus the changing lights made it really overwhelming and overstimulating. There wasn't much educational information posted along the way, either- but I am very grateful to the Fs for taking me. Fish are amazing.

This is the big ocean tank with the three whale sharks.

Turtles are just cool looking creatures, the sort that would look good in sunglasses.

So that was Monday, and Tuesday was ladies' tea day while the guys went to the Coca-Cola museum, and today is babysitting day for me while the others are at Medieval Times and Competition Orientation. Fun times!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Here, There, and Everywhere

I'm leaving tomorrow for Georgia for a (fun) nanny trip during the LEGO World competition

Then soon after I get back I'll be leaving for Arkansas for a campaigning trip

Then after that we'll be traveling as a family to Illinois for a sort of family camp(Presbytery 1020!)

And following that, we have a family reunion at Ft. Robinson, NE

I feel busy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Taking the Plunge

As of today Dad has officially started a new job, and no, this is not an April Fool's Day joke. I've been meaning to post about this for a month now, since it became public knowledge back in January. Most of my close acquaintances know that in January Dad was approved by our Church congregation to become a full-time Elder, a sort of administrative pastor. Since Dad wanted to finish up a school session before leaving, he waited to give notice at the University until early April; his last day there was a week ago.

We've known that Dad would probably take the new job since last November(Big Changes Ahead), but it's still hard to grasp that Dad actually quit the job he's had for seventeen years, most of my lifetime, and is moving on to something new. Very few Dads over fifty with half a dozen children at home do such things, I think. It's an exciting and a bit scary step into the uncharted future, and it's Dad's dream job. I've no doubt it was brought about in God's perfect timing.

Besides the obvious change for Dad, there are several (seemingly large though perhaps insignificant)changes for the rest of us as well:
  1. Due to the new schedule, we all have to get up an hour earlier in the morning. Before, Dad always left so early it really wasn't humanly possible for all of us to be up for breakfast and Biblestudy before he left; but now he's leaving later and we don't have that excuse/reason anymore.
  2. So now we're also eating breakfast together and having morning Biblestudy as well. Before this, breakfast was a find what you could and be done by nine sort of thing. Shocking, isn't it? I'm on the lookout for cheap, healthy breakfast recipes that can be made in bulk. There aren't many.
  3. Later nights. Since Dad is leaving later(even though we're getting up earlier) he'll be getting home later as well. You'd think that getting up an hour earlier would translate into going to bed an hour earlier, but so far no such change has been observed.
  4. Since we're on a roll with schedule changes right now, we're cutting out Sunday movie nights. We've kind of kept it hush-hush that we watched movies on Sunday, since while it may fall in the "restful" category, it may not fall into the "spiritual" category in some people's convictions. I'm sure it's for the best, but Sunday evenings seem pretty empty right now.
  5. I've also decided, for the sake of my overall health, to give up all kinds of chocolate.

April Fools. I could never give up chocolate.

Now we really are a pastor's family. Now I can see if that vague stereotype in my head of Pastor's families is really true: living on the brink of poverty and always eating beans and rice while running a hospitality hotel with a strong trust in God. I wouldn't mind the hospitality; though I might get tired of the beans.