Wednesday, October 31, 2007 and night...Nehemiah 4:9

One of our church members handed a tithe and offering envelope to The Man last Sabbath. Usually tithe envelopes are dropped in the offering plate so he was a bit surprised, especially of the bulkiness of the envelope.

Inside he found one walnut. That was one-tenth of their walnut crop for the year. We pray they have a bigger crop next year ;-).
Sunday The Man worked in the ER. We had a fairly non-eventful day here at home until I decided to go to our local small-town market to pick up a few baking supplies. The kids were already in the van as I walked outside and saw that someone had left his bike on the lawn. I informed the children we weren't leaving until it was put away properly. S jumped out of the van and went to retrieve his bike. As he was heading to the shed with it, he decided to go straight there, rather than going around the hammock stand. Unfortunately, as he went over the metal tube bottom of the stand the bicycle bounced up and the metal part of the handlebar hit his eye...the same eye that he injured three weeks ago.

He cried. There was blood. The Man wasn't there.

It didn't look too bad to me, but since it looked like he split open his recent injury (and I didn't know how bad that was) I decided that we would visit the big supermarket in the city right after we went to the ER.

After examining S in the parking lot, The Man said at this point it will scar no matter what we do, so we just bandaged it. He was feeling just fine when we got home...and I did make him put away his bike. Carefully, please. Of course he wanted a picture taken of this owie also.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Be content...Hebrews 13:5

It's been over two weeks since my last post here...and I started out October so well! The last few weeks have been rather crazy. It still is, and will continue to be, but right now I'm enjoying a few days of doing nothing but eating bon-bons and watching the children and dogs frolic on the lawn. Well, ok, I haven't had any bon-bons, but the children, dog and I have had a wonderful, blissful time hanging out with some friends while The Man takes a certification course. Thank you K, T, and J for hosting us! We're having a wonderful time. K and J took us to a neat museum where the kids got to climb a wall, make fake pizzas, and play grocery store. They had a blast.

Our friends are even allowing us to use their super-fast internet connection. I keep telling myself to "be content with such things as [I] have," but I think our dial-up connection at home will be going bye-bye. I was able to upload all 150+ school pictures I took of the kids last month in the time it would have taken me to do 2 or 3 on our dial-up. I think I see a satellite connection in our future.

Here's another picture that was on the camera.

This was taken a few weeks ago when a co-worker of The Man offered to take him and M up for a ride in his Cessna. M was thrilled. He was given the opportunity to do a bit of the flying. I don't think he will be content with just the flight simulator now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ink...Jeremiah 36:18

Computer seems to be acting just fine today. I've actually turned it off and on a few times and it is acting normally. At least all of my important files are backed up now.

We went to music lessons today and the violin teacher sent a unicycle home with the boys to try out this week. Oh, oh, oh! (To quote
Sacagawea reading her Dick and Jane books).

We stopped by the ER on the way home to visit The Man. He got the unicycle out of the van. He wanted to keep it there at the ER to play with tonight, but I made him put it back in the van...he's the only doctor there, what would happen if he got hurt? That wouldn't be good! Maybe I'll get some pictures of all the boys playing with it tomorrow. I sure hope The Man is able to get some sleep tonight.

We then went to
Wal*Mart to pick up a few things. One of the items we really needed was a new ink cartridge for our printer. We usually pick up a 3-pack at Costco of 2 color and 1 b&w, but we haven't made it up to Costco lately. Besides, we tend to use more b&w than color anyway. I was just going to pick up a single b&w when I saw it...the ink refill kit.

I'd never used a refill kit before. I had heard they were messy, messy, messy and they would ruin the printer. Well, since our workhorse of a printer is out of warranty anyway, I thought I would give it a try. It wasn't that messy, and so far it is working fine. At 1/4 the cost of a new cartridge, we might just be going this route for the future.

It was a bit time consuming to do all the little steps like covering such-and-such contact with tape, inserting the cartridge, removing it, inserting it, etc. It would have been a lot better if I'd read the last step carefully and turned the printer off and on like it told me to. That would have saved a bit of anxiety. It wasn't quite as easy as just swapping with a new cartridge, but it sure saved some $$.

So, do you swap or refill? Any helpful tips?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A copy...Deuteronomy 17:18

This post is a public service announcement.

Have you backed up all the important files on your computer lately? Hmmm? Photos? Word documents? Important e-mails? All of them?

No? STOP. Go do it NOW. I will wait.

All backed up now? Good.

You never think you'll lose your stuff...until it seems you have.

I'm writing this post from the laptop as our other computer is otherwise occupied with backing up all of our photos. When those are finished I'll work on the other data that we wish to save for posterity. When that is done I'll check and see if the computer has fully recovered from whatever was ailing it this morning.

Although yesterday was sunny and warm, it was very windy. The power blinked off at least five or six times. The computer was left on overnight, but there is no indication that the power went off during the night. All other clocks and electrical appliances in the house were behaving normally.

When The Man got up this morning the computer was simply telling us that Windows wouldn't start, and none of the available options seemed to make a difference in that opinion.

After a quick call to the free computer tech line (aka, The Man's brother), it was suggested our problem might have something to do with yesterday being the second Tuesday of the month. Okaaay. I got out the system restore CDs that came with our computer. I had to use an unbent paper clip to force the CD drive open, inserted the first CD, forced the drawer closed, and BINGO, the computer started acting like it was at least trying to be cooperative.

The computer claimed a few files were corrupted and finally entered safe mode. After getting Windows to start in safe mode I went to retrieve the laptop. By the time I returned the screen looked like its normal self. I immediately grabbed some blank CDs and started backing up the photos. I had started that job several months ago, but, well, I kind of wanted to delete some first. I didn't want to save all the blurry shots, nor all 216 school picture rejects, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. Faced with the prospect of losing everything, I'm now backing up everything. CDs are cheap enough. Besides, some of those school pictures with goofy grins may be fun to have around 10 or 15 years from now. I just set the last batch of pictures to copy. All the digital pictures we've taken since we got our camera in April of 2004 will fit on 8 CDs. Yes, they are cheap enough.

It just occurred to me that we bought our computer in December (?) of 2002. Maybe it is time to start thinking about a replacement.

Please leave a comment to let me know that I'm not the only one who was not up to date on my backups. For those that were already backed up, what do you do to make sure that is done systematically?

An update on the pastor who died following a car accident last week...The weekly newspaper reports that he told the officer at the scene he was reading his mail and missed the corner. He was reading his mail.

When you are driving, please drive safely. Thank you.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Built on a rock...Matthew 7:25

A very tragic accident occurred last Friday. A minister of two churches here in our valley died following a car accident. A few years ago The Man had preached at one of his churches and last Friday he was asked to fill both pulpits yesterday for the Sunday services.

One of the churches started at 9:00 a.m. here in our little town and the other started at 11:00 a.m. in the little town where The Man's clinic is.

The Man spoke on Matthew 7:24-29...The wise man built his house on the rock. The foolish man built his house on the sand [which is bits and pieces of crushed rock]. When [not if] the flood came, the house on the rock stood firm and the house on the sand went splat.

You never know when the flood/trials/tribulations of life will come, but if you build your life on the rock of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, it doesn't matter. Your house will stand. It can't be built on sand, or just bits and pieces of the rock, but on solid rock. Matthew 4:4 [Jesus gave us the example of using the Word of God to overcome], 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 17, 1 Peter 1:22-25, and Isaiah 40:1.

Please pray for the people of our valley as they deal with this tremendous loss.

Watch in the night...Psalm 90:4

Hi! How are you? Just thought I would ask. We've received many phone messages over the weekend that we haven't returned yet because we really didn't think you would like us to call you back in the middle of the night. Let's see, we won't be home tonight either...maybe you could try calling again tomorrow.

Saturday afternoon we drove down to see the new property and house of the The Man's brother's family. The kids all enjoyed exploring the house in the midst of renovation. The cousins enjoyed showing off all the (now not) secret passages.

Later in the evening we went to a vespers program at a church down there. M & J played some special music for the program. Afterwards, the children went outside to run around and play. A few minutes later I saw S being escorted inside... crying... with blood streaming down his face.

Did I run to my 3rd-born child to see if he was ok? Nope. He was walking. I was sure he was just fine. I called The Man away from his conversation, pointed at S and said, "Blood. You deal with it."

A few minutes later The Man announced that the wound could probably use a stitch, so he, S, a local doctor who was also present at the meetings, and others who wished to watch, went to the doctor's office to stitch up S. I was told he was very, very brave and didn't cry a bit during the procedure. Although he did get to hold his piano teacher's hand. He now has two stitches and a black eye.You have to watch out for those sprinklers lurking in the dark.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance...Proverbs 15:13

Here are a few miscellaneous pictures from the past week...

We were driving along on the way to a Sabbath afternoon hike when we saw this monstrosity hanging in the tree. It was about 12 inches in diameter. S was glad that its occupants were safe inside their home and he was safely in the truck with the door carefully shut. For some reason he has had great respect for stinging insects lately.
This pair of common "red shafted" flickers flew through an open screen door and spent the afternoon trying to get out of our screened-in back porch. I opened both of the screen doors and tried to encourage them out with a broom, but all that did was terrify them. They stayed until The Man came home. He caught them with his hands and took them outside. They were very pretty.

September 24 we started a depression recovery program at our church. We had 28 participants the first night. This included about 10 people from our church that were there to help, observe, or be a part of the program. Last Monday we had another 12 new people that either couldn't be there the first night or were invited by family or friends that attended the first night. Our fellowship hall was packed. We got amazing feedback from the attendees. We are so glad people in our community are being helped and blessed by this program. The program will continue every Monday night through November 12, so that's where we'll be spending Mondays for a few weeks.

While I was passing out the church newsletters last weekend one of our church members noted that I would be at the church 5 days next week. I truly hadn't noticed. You would think I would notice things like that since I had made up the calendar, but no, I hadn't. Upon closer examination I saw that on two of those days I will be there in the afternoon and evening. That makes seven times. I suppose I'll also have to find some time to do school, music lessons....

Music lessons are going well. The violin teacher will be pleased that the book he requested we get for M finally arrived. I don't think he will be impressed with its condition.
We think the markings on the envelope are tire tracks. However, we did get our passports. It only took 2 weeks, not the 8-10 the postmaster promised. Hooray! We're ready to travel.

So, if you don't hear from me again, it probably means we're hiding out on a remote island somewhere...or, we're just very busy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Reap the harvest...Leviticus 19:9

Just a few pictures of our gardening and preserving update for the year...

I originally planted 3 rows of green beans. They didn't come up (old seeds?) so I replanted one of the rows. We got several pickings off of that. Not enough to freeze, but enough for us to enjoy them for several meals.

I picked 2
Anaheim chilies. Hey, better than nothing!

The cucumbers had a problem so we didn't get anything edible. However, we were blessed by the bountiful gardens of friends. We didn't go
cucumberless this summer.

After our frost last week I picked off the eggplants from the two plants. I fried up a casserole dish full of breaded eggplant. We all enjoyed it immensely.
Before the frost we...ahem...The Man and the kids built a wall from some old bales of hay around our row of tomato plants. We'd picked a few small cherry tomatoes, but we had a bunch of green tomatoes of various varieties we wished to try to save.

We've been covering up the tomatoes with a tarp every night and uncovering them almost every day (oops). They are
slooooowly ripening up.
I had been hoping to have enough tomatoes to can this year. Some church members who had a better-producing garden offered their surplus. About 6:00 a.m. the morning of the raccoon, about 40 lbs. of tomatoes appeared on our front porch.
I was able to can 7 quarts and 5 pints, with plenty left over for eating. I can't remember the last time I canned tomatoes. It had been at least 6 or 7 years.
Last week I was also able to dry some pears that another church member gave to us. We dried and canned apricots earlier in the summer when The Man's mom was here to help.
We also put a few quarts of apricots in the freezer. The Man and kids went out blackberry picking a few times this summer. Most of those are in the freezer.

That will probably be it for produce...unless we go apple picking. We need to put up some applesauce to last S through the winter.

There were plenty of volunteer and kid-planted sunflowers around the garden this year.

I planted some "flower garden in a box" seeds out by the well house this year. They still look pretty although the frost has killed off the zinnias.

Rise up early in the morning...Exodus 8:20

It was that time of year again! The hot air balloon fair came to town several days ago (...and I've been too busy to post since then, blah, blah, blah, et cetera and so on...).

S, M, J and Sacagawea enjoyed taking Grandma along this year also. Here are the kids in the obligatory "turn your back to the camera for a picture for the blog" shot.
We got a slightly later start this year. I couldn't remember what time we left home last year. I had to check last year's blog post...I knew this blogging business was good for something, if only to help out my faulty memory.

We arrived right as it was beginning to get light. Perfect timing. Here's J getting a good look at the inside of a balloon.
The weather was perfect so all the balloons got to lift off on Friday morning. Here comes the sun!

Up! Up! And away!
The next day wasn't quite so beautiful. It was cool and windy. The boys thought it was perfect weather to bring the kites outside.
M got in on the action also.
Due to power lines, they couldn't put the kites up as high as they would have liked. Although it was breezy, the wind wasn't consistent enough to keep them up in the air very long.
They did get some air time in before the raindrops fell...although there was some "Ben Franklin" talk...hmmm.

Grandma brought the dirt babies with her for a visit and a hair/grass cut.
Aren't they cute?