Mongum is walking on streets of gold now. You see, she ran into the arms of Jesus this morning (Friday, Jan., 30) at about 8:30. Boy, will we miss her, but we sure wouldn't ask her to come back. Are you kidding? She's in no pain. She can walk. As a matter of fact, the kids say she's doing cartwheels. The other night before they went to bed, Carl talked to them about how the end was near for Mongum. They were pretty upset, and I just hated that he told them this right before bedtime. I wanted them to sleep peacefully without worry, so I told them that everything was going to be okay because Mongum will be able to turn cartwheels in heaven if she wants to. This put a smile back on their little faces, and we all laughed through our tears. I was glad that they could go to sleep with a happy thought.
As soon as I got off the phone with Carl this morning to tell me about Mongum, through tears I told the kids. To my surprise they didn't cry. They looked at me with such excited eyes, and said, "Mama, she can do cartwheels now!" That put a smile back on my face.
The above picture is of us with Mongum on Christmas Eve. That was the last time we saw her looking like that. She went downhill from there. We will cherish this photo along with the wonderful memories we have of her.
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the 2009 Women's LIfestyle Evangelism Conference with my mom and some other ladies. It was such a blessing, listening to all the speakers as they challenged us to share our faith. One speaker (Kim Hardy) informed us that she's a big chicken, but God has been helping her. She was sitting in the salon getting her hair done, when she felt the Spirit's prompting to share with the hairdresser. Of course, she did what most of the rest of us start doing - making excuses. She finally gave in and shared Jesus with this lady and led her to the Lord. That afternoon at home she noticed something coming across her tv screen. There had been an awful accident. She thought the name that rolled across her screen was that of her hairdresser from that morning, so she called the salon. They, through tears, confirmed to her that it was the hairdresser. It just goes to show you we just don't know what lies ahead for some. To know that just a few hours before this lady would have been bound for eternal damnation, but now she was in eternal bliss is nothing short of a miracle. We all need to be ready.
Another lady (Maria Owens) shared her testimony of how she married her HIV positive boyfriend after he had rebelled against God. He passed away several years ago, but now she lives in Columbia with her husband Ken and their 8 year old son.
Liz Curtis Higgs had a great sense of humor as she shared.
JoAnna Ward also shared her testimony with a twist of fitness. She was on the hit tv show Survivor: Amazon several years ago, and would sing "Hallelujah" at different times during the show. She let her light shine in the midst of the jungle.
I have photos, but they are still on my camera, so I'll load them at a later time.
Okay, I guess photos will have to wait as my computer and camera don't seem to be communicating. I don't know what's going on with them, but I wish they would get things worked out. :o)
Today was Chinese New Year, and we had a day of celebration. Having a daughter from China, I try to do something with it each year since it's the biggest holiday in China. Our school lessons revolved around China and The Great Wall. We read several books about China and Chinese New Year. We learned to count to 5 in Chinese and drew the Chinese numbers for 1-10. They seemed to enjoy it, and I did, too, as I like to throw in a little variation of the "same ole same ole" from time to time. To top the day off, we had lunch at our favorite local Chinese restaurant with the kids donned in their spiffy new Chinese duds. (Hopefully, I'll be able to upload photos.)
Plans tonight were for me to cook some Chinese, and I did (one dish), but S. has a fever and is not feeling well. She's also had a couple of very bad nose bleeds. I guess we'll be making a trip to the doctor tomorrow. I'm kind of worried, but I try to dismiss those thoughts.
In Science yesterday we studied about how God gave dogs a strong sense of smell to track down "scents," and in History we put that to practice by having a man hunt. The kids had to follow the trail with the correct scent (peppermint extract) without being thrown off by a different scent (vanilla extract). It was not a problem until they reached water, and they lost the scent. :o)
What a blessing it was listening to Dr. James Dobson tonight coming home from church. He played a previously recorded conversation with Coach Gene Stallings. Coach Stallings had a son named Johnny who lived for 46 years and was a blessing to all who met him. Johnny was born with Down's Syndrome and brought such happiness to his parents' life. I can't remember all that was said, but I know this father's love for his son was very evident. One thing he said was, "Johnny had a one way ticket to heaven." I had never really spent much time thinking about that, but when he said that, my heart smiled.
At the end of the broadcast I wept. I wept over all those babies who have been killed because their parents didn't want to be "burdened." I wept over those lives who will never spread joy like these special children do. I wept over our President who sees nothing wrong with killing these babies. And I wept over our nation, how we have come so far. I don't mean that in a good way, but in how far we have come from the God who created us - the God who knit us together in our mother's womb - the God who rejoices over us with singing - the God who calls us each by name - the God who loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die such a cruel death so that we may live with Him forever. I hang my head in anguish, and my heart is heavily burdened. Why would God ever want to bless this nation?
As if the inauguration of our new President and Senator Ted Kennedy having a seizure today was not enough excitement, C. decided to becme a "Muppet" and entertain us for a bit. I thought it was funny and rather creative of him. K., I figured N. would appreciate his effort. Please make sure he sees the photo. :o)
Because we were so disappointed over not getting ANY snow, we decided to "lift our spirits" at Cici's Pizza tonight. I'm hoping we'll see some before winter's end, God willing, of course. I think it's so beautiful. I love stepping out into the quietness of a fresh fallen snow - so pure, peaceful, and calm. I've got to quit talking about it or I'll have to eat another piece of pizza. Ha! Ha!
Oh, the mention of the word "snow" excites me. It always has. When I taught in the public school, just the mention of that word would cause me to run back and forth from window to window just in case it was snowing in the front yard and not in the back yard. :o) Things haven't changed. I still do that, and now I have two snow hounds in training. They get ALMOST as excited as me.
One of my childhood memories growing up was one time my dad came and woke me up about 3 or 4 in the morning just to tell me it was snowing. We turned on the back floodlights, stood in the bathroom, and watched the flakes coming down. It was so beautiful!!!!
I hope we will see some of this absolutely beautiful stuff that God created tonight or tomorrow.
We had a nice, short visit last night, visiting with some family and friends. We appreciate Leap of Faith's in-laws allowing us to crash their party. It was so good to see all of them, including some friends we rarely get to see now.
Charlotte died today. Maybe you know Charlotte. She's the little grey spider that saved Wilbur's life. I know it's kind of corny, but I actually teared up as I read Charlotte's Web to my children today during school. Maybe I just got so caught up in the storyline. Maybe I know how precious friendship is. Maybe I'm getting older and appreciating things more. It doesn't matter that I've read the book many times before, but this time it tugged at my heart.
I blame E. B. White. He has such a unique way of presenting the conversations between Charlotte and Wilbur. I got attached to Wilbur and admired Charlotte for wanting to stick up for her friend, going to great lengths to save his life.
Well, tomorrow Charlotte's babies will be born. I guess 514 little grey spiders will begin their mission then. :o)
We had a special service tonight as we placed names of those lost family members and friends at the foot of the cross. We will be praying for these to come to know Christ. As I prayed tonight, I was reminded that my daughter's name was placed on that cross this time last year by myself and a friend of hers. God answered that prayer and she gave her life to Christ in May of last year!! It was our last day of homeschool. What a way to end a school year!! My sister-in-law's name was on there last year, too, and she was saved about 3-4 months ago! Does God take these names seriously? AMEN!! Do we take these names seriously? I pray we do.
My daughter made a prayer list of her own this year. These are the names she put on her list: C. (her brother) Tyler Diana Lily She is expecting God to do something in these people's lives. I was touched that she put Lily on her list. Lily is only 1 year old, but I couldn't tell her that Lily doesn't understand. Instead, I praised her for committing to pray for those names. God knows her heart, and I'm proud of her for doing this. She also told me that next year she'll add Peyton to her list. Peyton is 8 months old right now, so in her eyes, when he's one, he'll be old enough for her to pray for him to come to Christ. :o) How sweet! To have the faith of a child is what is pleasing to our Father. I know she has touched the very heart of God.
On another note, we had some sad news tonight as our Youth Minister resigned from his position. He doesn't have another church to go to, but felt like God was telling him his time was over at the church. We will miss him and his wife, but we also want them to be obedient to God. Please be praying for them.
I didn't even mention this yesterday, and I regretted it today, so I wanted to make a whole separate post of how my 2 wonderful children took care of me yesterday while I was sick. I never asked them to do anything for me. We were able to have our school time. I fixed lunch for them, and I laid out on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. Every now and again S. or C. would ask if they could get some Sprite for me or if I needed anything. It was very sweet, and I feel very blessed to have 2 caring children. I heard S. tell C. one time (when he was playing with his rather loud police car) to take it to his room because "Mom is trying to rest." :o) I'm thankful that they took care of me. It gives me hope that when I'm old and gray they may be willing to change my Depends. Ha! Ha!
This is how it all started. C. had a virus while we were on vacation. The day we came home, Carl had a touch of it. Then, Sunday S. had it. So today we are on round 4 of it, as I have had it. Thankfully, Carl nor I either one had the same effects as the kids, but felt pretty bad. Hopefully it's made it's rounds, and we are on the upside of it.
We were not going to church tonight because of me being sick anyway, but as Carl was on his way to church from work, he received a call from a member saying they had cancelled services because the power was out. The wind has been horrible today - very strong, violent in some places, but God has taken care of us. Praise Him!
All work and no play makes for a very boring day. Isn't that how the saying goes? We hit the books again yesterday, trying to get back into a routine after the whirlwhind of a holiday.
I absolutely love the curriculum we use. It's called Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory. I love it because... 1. It's Christ-centered. 2. It's all laid out for you. 3. It uses items that are typically found around the house. 4. It's fun!
Let me elaborate on the fun part. Take a look at the photos above. We made ice cream today in school, and our children were delighted! (Of course, Mom and Dad were excited, too.) It was a real workout on the hands, though. :o)
My daughter woke me up this morning about 4 AM, telling me she was sick. If you have a weak stomach, read no further.........
She had thrown up in her bed, and it was in her hair, bed, and on her floor and clothes. We had to shower her, it was so bad. It must have been a 24 hour virus. Our son, had it Thursday night while we were in the mountains. Needless to say, we missed church.
I'm going to try to get up-to-date in this one entry. I believe I left off with all the blue lights flashing. New Year's Day my mom, brother, and niece arrived in the mountains, so we all spent New Year's Day in Dollywood. Our plan was to come home today, but Mom graciously offered us a place to stay since she had the family suite. We couldn't resist. We all had a good day, riding rides and watching Babes in Toyland. We had soup for lunch, and it was good. It was so good, we ate the bowl - the bread bowl, that is.
So, then comes Friday, we're packing up to leave before heading to Dollywood with the entire crew, and my dad calls me up, offering to pay for another night, so we could all spend Saturday together in Dollywood. He was going to ride up with my brother and his family later on that evening. Carl and I talked about it and we had enough clothes, so we took him up on his kind offer. For lunch we dined with Aunt Granny. She had collards and black eyed peas - yum. Unfortunately, I only ate a pinch of collards because I'm a little afraid of them with my kidney stones. My comfort was that they weren't as good as Mama's. :o) We rode some rides and saw other shows. Supper was at O'Charley's. We arrived back to the motel, and transported our belongings to another room across the hall. Shortly thereafter, Daddy, T., T., L., and P. arrived.
Saturday, we departed for home, but not until we spent some part of the day at Dollywood with everyone. It turned out to be colder than what was predicted, and it came a rain shower a few times. We arrived home about 9, and tucked everyone in bed.