OUR PLANS MULTIPLIED
Monday, August 30, 2010
The catch is, she never carried troops. The ship was put in standby once during the Cuban missile crises in 1962, but otherwise she was never used in all her capacity by the U.S. Navy.
Instead the SS United States became a luxury liner for presidents, heads of states and a variety of other celebrities who traveled on her during her 17 years of service. As a luxury liner, she couldn't carry 15,000; instead she housed just under 2,000. Those passengers could enjoy the luxuries of 695 staterooms, 4 dining salons, 3 bars, 2 theaters, 5 acres of open deck with a heated pool, 19 elevators and the comfort of the world's first fully air-conditioned passenger ship.
Things look radically different on a luxury liner than they do on a troop carrier. The faces of soldiers preparing for battle and those of patrons enjoying their bonbons are radically different. The conservation of resources on a troop carrier contrasts sharply with the opulence that characterizes the luxury liner. And the pace at which the troop carrier moves is by necessity much faster than that of a luxury liner. after all the troop carrier has an urgent task to accomplish; the luxury liner, on the other hand, is free to casually enjoy the trip.
When I think about the history of the SS United States, I wonder if she has something to teach us about the history of the church. The church, like the SS United States, has been designed for battle. The purpose of the church is to mobilize a people to accomplish a mission. Yet we seem to have turned the church as troop carrier into the church as luxury liner. We seem to have organized ourselves, not to engage in battle for the souls of people around the world, but to indulge ourselves in the peaceful comforts of the world. This makes me wonder what would happen if we looked squarely in the face of the world with 4.5 billion people going to hell and 26,000 children dying every day of starvation and preventable diseases, and we decided it was time to move this ship into battle instead of siting back on the pool deck while we wait for the staff to serve us more hors d' oeuvre.
(excerpt from the book Radical by David Platt)
Sunday, August 29, 2010
That reminds me of several years back, Alyssa told people that we studied pig Latin for our home-schooling language. I had to correct her that it was just Latin - no pig!
My Tori funny story of the day happened tonight at the church picnic, baptism and swim. The kids were lined up going on the diving board. Tori took her first turn ever - she jumped and was swimming straight to the side, when the life-guard got concerned and jumped in for her. I told the life-guard that she was fine, but she told Tori that she needed to jump, come up for a breath and then swim to the side. Tori looked at her seriously and said, "but I don't like to breathe.
Just for fun, here's a picture of the two of them together two years ago. They were one and 2 1/2.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, because I'd love to be on their today adventure. My today adventure has been cleaning a kitchen, two bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming and laundry. Oh, to be young and carefree again............
Friday, August 27, 2010
We woke up all the kids, except Elijah, at 6:45 to see Gabriel and Alei off. Although Elijah was up late last night, he woke up at 7:00 in time to hug Gabriel good-bye. I was happy too, because I love this picture of my oldest and youngest son!
They have already made it to Knoxville, TN, where they are spending the night with a friend of mine. Then tomorrow they are driving to my parents in Memphis, TN.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Debs is a wonderful adoption supporter; it's nice to have local family admire the commitment that we have made to additional children. Debra has experienced much in her 29 years. Although I'm not going to get all these right, she has spent one summer in India, she has taken mission groups to Mexico, she studied language school in Papua New Guinea and hit China for additional language training. She taught school in Afghanistan for three years before returning to Virginia; she was a fabulous help home-schooling my kids that year and it provided an opportunity for her to teach without fear of being shot at. She is currently the main writer for Calvary Chapel magazine which circulates all over the world. Debs is still drawn to evangelism of the Muslim people and manages to make Muslim friends that live in this area.
We don't know what the next years will bring in Debra's life, but we are assured that they won't be boring and that they will make a difference for the Kingdom of God. (We just hope they don't include her movning away!)
(picture taken mid-singing. Julia's really belting it out!)
Happy Birthday, Deb - thanks for sharing it with a simple dinner at our home.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I snapped a few new pictures of him yesterday.
Julia showed up during our shoot; I love Gabriel's look in this picture.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. - Psalm 31:24
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Alei took the last shift on Julia's hair this afternoon; poor Julia fell asleep sitting straight up!
So, we got her a pillow, plopped her head down and kept on working.
They sure did look cute when they were all done! It's nice to have them matching for a change.
I told them to look at each other for me to take the picture, and that just cracked them up for some reason.
My sweet girls. It amazes me how often people tell me that they look just alike. I don't think they could look much different really - beautiful in their own ways.
Julia has really lost the toddler look the last several months. They have grown so fast!
Monday, August 23, 2010
We have saved a ton over the years cutting the boys hair ourselves. I honestly also think it's faster than driving and waiting at a barber shop.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
This is Gabriel's last weekend at home. It's exciting to see him venture out into the world, but kind of bittersweet. Julia starts crying every time he tells her that he is moving to Colorado. It's also going to be very hard on Elijah, who just isn't old enough to understand it all yet.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
So, I have things to do for tonight's party. Teens don't seem to be very good at RSVPing so I don't know if we'll have 30 kids or 60 kids, but it'll be fun either way. I'm preparing food for the masses (with Moriah's help - she's my best kitchen help.)
We are off to Food Lion for the grape sale. Pictures later.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I'm glad I'm getting all this sickness nonsense out of the way now, so we can all be healthy all winter :)
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
No one could swim for over a week because the pool steps broke and we had to order new ones. They were happy campers when the pool reopened! This shot may be the only time that the kids get their Dad in the pool this summer.
Elijah only enjoys the pool if no one splashes his face; which is difficult in this size pool, with this number of children. A bigger pool is on our long-term want list.
Julia thinks she swims better than she actually does. She dives and "swims" and never wants to wear her swimmy vest. It's kind of nerve-wracking to watch!
Check out the fit of those goggles; I should send it to Speedo to see if they want her for a goggle add.
The boys started soccer camp tonight. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the location to find out that it was inside and air conditioned.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The next purchase was a car for Alei to drive. Before you are too impressed, let me state that the mower cost considerably more than the car! Alei isn't to impressed with it's station "wagony" appearance, but it came from a friend and was a great price. Of course, it needs work, but JD has proven himself in that department over and over.
(We also bought a new grill and some over-priced knives, but that would be just embarrassing to admit, so I'll stop now!)
My garden has been the high-light of my summer. I'm just so thrilled that it's grown so well and can't wait to double its size next year. We have lots of cantaloupe ripening and they are so good.
I want to expand my cherry tomato numbers next year too. I only planted three plants, but we get a cereal bowl full every day. I never thought it would happen, but Julia actually turns them down sometimes now - I didn't have any idea that she could reach that point! At first, she just hosed them and ate them straight off the plant everyday, but now James and I get some too.
The new chickens I got each faithfully lay an egg everyday, so we are getting at least a dozen a day. Since Alyssa gathered early yesterday and Julia and I gathered late today, we had 26! (Like Julia's flip-flops?)
Julia asked if I could make her some eggs out of the eggs.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
So, in the last 15 or so years, we have moved the freezer five times and it has never faulted. Over the years, it was often near empty, but now that I have such a big family and buy meat by the 1/2 cow, it is often so full that I can barely cram it all in.
It's been such a good freezer that I'd recommend Montgomery Ward appliances if they hadn't gone out of business years and years ago! So, what's my freezer problem around here? Operator error -you wouldn't think it would so difficult, but it has been a challenge for us this year!
First freezer crises was the night before our big beach vacation to Charleston. At that time, the freezer lived in the barn and I sent Ben out to put something in it. He came back in and told me, "Mom, when I opened the door, the ice-cream fell out and flew all over the place." That statement stuck fear in my heart, as ice-cream really only seems to take flight when it's pretty melted. JD went to access the problem, and sure enough........someone had left the door ajar. So, the night before vacation, JD and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning cooking tons and tons of meat to avoid throwing it all away. I am still blessed with two enormous containers of pre-cooked steaks.
Skip forward to this morning.... I had plans, I had a lot to do. Thankfully, the freezer now resides in my new laundry room, which is more practical and I can keep an eye on the door. I opened it to throw in a huge bad of chocolate chips from Costco, when I realized that it wasn't cold in there. Upon closer examination, I realized that lots and lots in there had already thawed! I checked the plug, I checked the down-stairs circuit breaker; my conclusion was that the old freezer had finally died. I called JD and left a message with the bad news. Then, I had the incredibly unpleasant job of cleaning and cramming as much as I could that wasn't thawed into the upstairs freezers. After that, I started cooking pounds and pounds of thawed meat. I also prepared big trays of steaks that JD will be cooking tonight on the grill.
When I was nearing the end of my hours of handling bloody meat, JD came home early. Upon closer examination, he found out the the upstairs circuit breaker for the generator, that isn't used yet, but is hooked to the down-stairs circuit for the freezer was turned off. Who would have done such a thing? Me, when I flipped the circuit for our AC that is broken and only turns off by flipping the circuit. Oh, Man!
For lunch we had an enormous pile of barbecue ribs; dinner will be steaks galore.
Anyone know any brilliant ideas for pre-cooked and re-frozen steaks? I sure have a lot of them!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Ben was quite pleased to have a stabbing scene.
Alei was deep in lines as Lady Macbeth -
It made good memories of learning with friends; they may tackle another production in October.
At this point, we have 100 things to do before we send Gabriel off on his over 1,300 mile trip to Colorado; Alei is planning on driving with him and then flying home - but they've never been on a road trip before. There are 1,000 things I could be concerned about and it's overwhelming that I have to repeat this stage another eight times down the road! As my husband reminds me, it's one kid at a time, one day at a time.
We are supposed to begin our new school year tomorrow, but I still haven't ordered all my curriculum. I guess I'm starting with what I have and getting my order ready tomorrow. Now we are off to a drive-way performance of Macbeth that my kids are doing at a friend's house.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
There are just days that I feel grossly unqualified for my job.
(Tori racing cars at Chuck E. Cheese - which again has nothing to do with my brief post!)