Friday, September 30, 2011


We have always celebrated the kids' birthdays by giving them a day off of school. Traditional schools take off for Washington's, Lincoln's and Martin Luther King's birthdays, so why not celebrate our own instead? That has been our custom since our first kindergarten years in the mid 1990's. Each and every year the kids tried to convince me to take my own birthday off as well. Anything for a free day, right? No. I was adamant. I LIKED teaching! And what better way to spend my birthday than doing something I liked!

I don't remember if it was last year or this year, but Holly figured out that with Gabriel and Hannah being gone she didn't get the same number of "school holidays". So she convinced me to take off for my birthday and John's too. She's always been my little negotiator. Gabriel and Hannah now have to attend classes on their birthdays. Hannah hardly gets to even celebrate hers because it comes right in the middle of mid-terms!

This morning I enjoyed sleeping in late (until 7:30), uninterrupted devotions, and some quiet time to myself. Holly does have a co-op class today, birthday holiday or not. She is taking high school art this year. Later John, Holly and I will go see the new Sherwood Films movie Courageous. It opens today! I don't go to the theater often but this is one film I want to support. After the movie we'll have one of my favorite foods - Pizza!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Contest Winner!

I decided to go with the old fashioned drawing a number out of a hat - or a bowl in this case. Holly was my helper and my mom was my photographer and witness.

And the winner is . . . .

Comment number 2 - Camelia Howey! Congratulations!!!!

For those who didn't win or even enter, you can purchase My Memories Suite 2 now at My Memories using this code - STMMMS42260 The code will give you $10 off the price of the program and a $10 coupon to use in their store!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking Program Giveaway!

I have loved scrapbooking for years. It has been something that I have been fairly successful with, unlike tole painting, decoupage, cross-stitch and everything else that I have attempted since macrame. Just recently I have delved into the world of digital scrapbooking. I like it just as much as traditional scrapbooking, maybe more! I am pretty much a novice in the techno - scrapping world but I'm having fun! (And that's saying a lot since my kids say I'm a "techno-peasant."). Here are just a few things that I love about digital scrapbooking:

  • Everything is on my computer or the internet
  • It's easy enough for a techno-peasant like me to figure out
  • There's no mess to put away
  • My dining room table is not cluttered (at least not with scrapbooking supplies!)
  • If I need a new embellishment or background paper, it's an easy download at My Memories. No need to make a special trip to the store.
  • If I only have a few minutes of time, I can work on a page without dragging out a bunch of supplies.
Here are just a few of the projects I have done. You can also look at some other blog entries that I have posted recently here and here.

Now for the good news - My Memories is giving one of my blog readers My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbook program FREE! To enter my contest to win this program, all you have to do is visit My Memories ( and then leave me a comment on this blog entry telling me what your favorite digital scrapbooking kit is. This is the only mandatory entry. For extra entries you may do the following:

  1. Tell others about my contest on facebook/twitter/ your blog (up to three entries)
  2. Follow the My Memories blog
  3. Follow My Memories on Facebook
Leave an additional comment for each extra entry! Contest ends Saturday morning. Winner will be by a random drawing. And if you just can't wait until the end of the week, you can purchase it now at My Memories using this code - STMMMS42260

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My 9-11 Story

My September 11 story began in June of 2001. We were missionaries to Romania on furlough. We were in New York trying to raise support to return to the field. We had a day off and decided to go to the Statue of Liberty. This was my first time there; the kids too. I remember standing there looking across the skyline of New York City. I had always wanted to go there. I made up my mind right then and there that we would go on our next trip to New York which was coming up in September. Ten year old Gabriel didn't seem as impressed as I was with the skyline. One comment about the world trade center buildings was, "They're not twin towers. One has an antenna on top."

Three months later we found ourselves in New York again. We were busy visiting several churches and spending time with John's family. John asked at one point, "What do you want to do on Tuesday?" I forgot about my determination to go to New York City. I forgot about the Empire State Building and the Twin Towers. It never occurred to me that we would be only an hour away on Wednesday and it would be a very feasible trip on Tuesday. All of that completely slipped my mind. Instead I said something like, "I don't know. I think it would be a good idea to stay at the mission apartment and do some homeschooling with the kids." And that is exactly what I did. John had heard about a preachers' meeting going on that day and so he left early to do that. I was there in that church apartment, prophet chamber as it was called. We pulled out our books and I was so glad to get some much needed school work done.

It was a nice place to stay. There were two bedrooms and a bathroom. There was an old TV on the dresser. The kind where you pull the knob out to turn it on and it takes a while to warm up. We didn't bother turning the TV on. We had school. Did I have a cell phone? I don't remember. I would say probably not because John had not contacted me. Neither did anyone else. We were pretty much in our own little world that day. As far as we knew, it was just your run of the mill average day. How very wrong we were.

It was about 2:30 PM when a lady from the church came over. She was also a homeschool mom and we had made plans to fly kites together that afternoon. She came into the church kitchen with a distraught look on her face, "Have you heard what happened?" she asked me. By her facial expression, I knew it was serious. I had no idea that it was an event that would forever change all of our lives. As she shared the impossible news, I wondered what had happened to our country. How was it that our security was so lax that so many planes could be hijacked?

We went to the room with the old fashioned black and white TV and pulled the knob to turn it on. It wasn't hard to find a channel broadcasting the news. By that point, both buildings were long gone and they showed over and over how they had collapsed. It was then that I saw the antenna on the one tower - and I remembered! I remembered Gabriel's words on how they weren't really twins. I remembered my desire to visit the city. Oh how I had wanted to go! And that was our free day, the day that it would have been possible to go - and I had forgotten.

Why did God spare us, and not others, from possible death and certain calamity? (Just being in the city that day must have been a nightmare.) I am sure I will never know as long as I live on this earth. For His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. We are blessed by His mercy and His grace. Our hearts are grieved by the tragedy that touched all of our lives. I hope that as Americans we will never forget what has happened; that we will continue to be a strong nation that will fight for our freedom. And I pray that as Christians, we will love God with all of our heart, soul and strength and share His mercy and grace with all. May God bless America!