Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family Fun Day in Greer

Have you ever been to a cute little mountain town?  The kind that has one building that serves as Post Office and library and central hub?  The kind with little mom and pop restaurants that have breath-taking views?  That's Greer

Teachers were invited to a special luncheon called "No Child Left Indoors".  Right up my alley.  I'm never in my classroom.  We are always outside doing science experiments.  Or on the playgroud "burying treasure".  Or walking on a field trip to the gym, post office, grocery store, fire department, library, or police department.  Or planting a letterbox at Fort Apache

Instead of spending the day away from the family, I brought them along.  We were going to do a letterbox hunt at Sunrise, but there was so much new snow.  Instead, we stopped at a cinder pit and went sledding.


The boys dropped me off at the Community Center, which has gorgeous views, by the way.  They then went fishing at the Greer Lakes. 

They caught fish.  Yes, they caught fish!  Joe baited the lines but the boys caught the fish.  Jack's pole had been sitting there for awhile and Joe suggested he reel it in to rebait it.  As Jack was reeling it in, Jack said, "Dada, I think I have a fish!"  Sure enough, when he got it closer to shore, there was a fish.  Joe said it was 14 inches.  Joe couldn't take pics because he was busy releasing the poor thing. 

Then, Joe baited Josh's line and cast it (uh I'm a little afraid of my 3 year old casting a real lure).  As Joe was setting the pole, he got a bite.  He gave the pole to Josh to reel in.  He reeled it in all by himself and that one measured 8 inches. 

As for me, I had a great time too.  The luncheon was for educators, but sadly, only 4 of us were there (3 in my posse alone!).  We had a great lunch catered by Molly Butler's Lodge.  Various presenters taught us ways to get our kids in the outdoors and incorporate outdoor ed. 

Since only a few teachers attended, there was a plethora of posters to giveaway.  They were literally piling them on our arms.  I got some great posters for my classroom.

On our way out, they did door prizes.  My friend Reba was hoping to get the Arizona's Gift: Capital Christmas Tree bag.  Well, low and behold, I won it.  I did what any friend would do: I gave it to her.  A few door prizes later, they called out the name for the $25 gift certificate to Red Devil Italian Restaurant (this is the restaurant we went for our anniversary).  It was Reba!  She quickly handed the certificate over to me.  Is that the sweetest thing, or what?  I tried to protest (albeit not very hard) and she insisted. 

Overall, it was a great family day in Greer and the perfect way to start the season on outdoors and fresh air!  I love the White Mountains.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Never Thought It Would Happen

I have an addiction.  If I don't get my drug of choice, I start to think about how to get it.  I usually make sure there is some hidden in the house.  There is even some in my classroom.  And if I need some on the road, I have my favorite spots to score some. 

What is my addiction?  No, it's not alcohol.  It's not cigarettes.  It's not elicit drugs.  It's soda. 

There is nothing like a big glass of ice cold soda.  Those little bubbles dancing in the glass.  That straw that elevates it to another level.  Ahhh, soda.

I was able to quit while pregnant (with Jack), but quickly fell back into it.  Like I said, I had 12-packs stashed under the bed so Joe wouldn't drink them up too fast.  I had 2 sodas stashed in my classroom in case of emergency headache.  And I know who has the best soda, who has the best straws (yes, it makes a difference), and who has the best price. 

I know.  I know.  You are thinking of all the horrible effects of drinking soda.  Rotting teeth.  Unnecessary sugar.  Osteoporosis.  Diabetes.  Weight gain.  But none of that mattered.... until now.

I mentioned previously that I weigh the most I ever have (excluding pregnancies).  I didn't mind the number so much.  I didn't mind the belly bulge so much.  I just didn't like the listless, slothlike feeling.  I noticed that my posture was horrible when I was standing.  When I was sitting, I was slouched. 

Now, I'm not a dramatic person and I wasn't about to start a diet.  Heck, I wasn't even going to exercise.  I wanted to see what would happen if I just quit soda. 

I lost that sluggish feeling.  I find myself sitting up straighter.  My bulge is gone.  And........... I lost 4 pounds! 

But I already told you that I'm not one to fly off the handle.  I didn't want to give up my addiction so fast.  So, today at lunch, I thought I would treat myself to a soda.  You know what?  It tasted horrible!  I never thought it would happen, but I don't want to drink soda anymore. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Susan Kathleen Bridges

Today is my birthday. I thought it would be only fitting to share the story of "me".

Disclaimer:  Content may produce tears.

A long time ago, like in the 1960's, my mother was a missionary.  Can I just say, I think that's the coolest thing ever.  She asked members of her church to help sponsor her.  A few did and gave her the funds she needed.  One gentleman even sent her letters while she was there, in Trinidad.  When she returned to the states, two years later, their friendship blossomed and soon they were married. 

I don't know if they were told this, or they just thought this, but they believed they could never be parents.  So, they just had fun.  They hiked all over the place (remind you of anyone?).  A few years later, they were expecting...me.  This was way back in the days before ultrasound, so they didn't know who I was going to be.  My father almost passed out when I was born (remind you of anyone else?).  My mom thought I was a boy when she saw my full head of hair (both Jack and Josh had full-heads of hair too).  When the doctors told her I was me, she almost jumped off the bed, she was so excited.

They doted on me as most new parents do.  There are many pictures of me, laying on a blanket, with our 2 huge dogs watching over me.  There is a precious picture of my dad hiking, with me on his back.  Everything seemed perfect, until.........

My dad was an accountant and had his own business, in the home.  My mom worked at the state hospital and worked nights.  The routine was that my mom would go to work and my dad would feed me dinner, give me a bath, and put me to bed.  One night, when I was fourteen months old, my dad fed me dinner, bathed me, and put me to bed.  And then....... he had an aneurism and died on the living room floor. 

A neighbor came over to talk with my dad, but instead, found him on the floor. 

My mom was called at work.  An ambulance was called.  Life changed.

I have often thought about that night.  First, why did God allow them to have a baby if He knew that my dad was going to die shortly after my birth?  Then, I think, wow, God had the whole night orchestrated.  My dad could have died while he was feeding me.  He could have died while he as bathing me, and I would probably have died in the bathtub.  He could have died while holding me and carrying me.  But he didn't.  He did his job and I was probably the last thing on his mind before he died. 

So, the next question is: why then God?  Why am I here?  I must have asked this question one thousand times.  Not the whiny "why am I here?" but the purpose-driven "why am I here?".  I think I have a better answer to that question now, and I'm sure it will continue to adapt with the chapters in my life.

Happy Birthday to me and can't wait to see you in heaven, daddy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Story Cookies


To be made the evening before Easter




1cup whole pecans

1tsp vinegar

3 egg whites

pinch salt

1 cup sugar

zipper baggie

wooden spoon

tape

Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don't wait till you're half done with the recipe!)



Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.



Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.



Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.



Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.



So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar.



Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.



Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.



Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.



Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.



GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.



On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fungus!?

Joe had his Kidney Doctor appointment yesterday.  If you remember, Joe needed to gain weight and get healthy in time for this appointment.  The doctor wanted to start Joe on chemo meds that would compromise his immune system.  We started the Biggest Loser contest in our house, to help Joe gain 12 pounds and for me to lose 12 pounds.  Whatever!  I guess we are a bunch of losers.  We can't gain or lose to save our lives.  I admit, I have only lost 2 pounds.  Darn it.  Valentine's hit me hard this year.  I still have candy stashed in my desk at school.  I have been bribing the students with it but it's like the 5 loaves and 2 fish.  I still have candy! 

But, this is about Joe.  He gained more than I lost.  He gained 4 pounds.  And let me tell you, he has been serious about his eating.  The guy never stops!  Soooooo not fair.  His cold and congestion did go away.  But the doc won't start him on chemo meds until he gains more weight.  So, what does the doctor prescribe?

Fungus.  Yeah, I know.  What?!  It's some pill that is made from the fungus family.  It's supposed to help his kidney function.  I'm not sure of the exact name as I can NOT read the prescription.  My 4th graders write better than that. 

So, here we are.  A few pounds lighter or heavier.  But not enough.  I'm actually happy he's not on the chemo meds because I have heard that it knocks you out.  Keep praying as his next appointment is in May.

where Glory meets my suffering