As I think about the new year and all the things I want to change in my life one thing is clear, I need to spend more time with God. I have tried to read my Bible everyday and I try to pray everyday but this year I fell flat on both. I read all but the last 30 days of my Bible. I do pray every day but not the meaningful walk with God kind of prayers. God wants me to read my Bible and spend time with him. I have enlisted my husbands aid in this quest. I have asked him to read with me and pray with me. This accountability should help a lot plus we will get to spend spiritual time together too.
What does Christmas mean to you? It used to mean getting up at the crack of dawn and watch two little girls tear through their presents, then loading everyone up to go to Grammy and Papa's house. Now it means something different. Josh and Jessica spend Christmas with Josh's family. They drive up on Christmas eve and come home usually Christmas night late. Cassie and Gary spend Christmas with Gary's parents. Jerry and I spend Christmas with each other. This year it has been spent putting in a tile floor and kitchen cabinets. It will be so nice to be able to cook real meals and wash dishes in my own sink with my own dishwasher. I am making chili in the crock pot but it just isn't the same as having a kitchen. Gary and Cassie came by to say Hi. Maybe next year we can sit in the living room and talk. This year we stood in the dining room and talked.
Please don't think I'm complaining. I am so very thankful for everything God has given us. A new granddaughter, a new home, new jobs, new friends, and a wonderful new church family. We are so grateful and happy. We feel so fulfilled. We so love teaching our Jr. Church and we love our Preacher and his family. We have learned so much about faith and prayers and needs. God has taught us so many lessons this year I can't even begin to list them.
God has given us such a wonderful amazing gift. When we die we know we will go to heaven and all because on this day over 2000 years ago a baby was born in Bethlehem. Thank-you God for your sacrifice.
I am so excited. We just figured out that Jerry gets two three day weekends. That means we get to spend some time together over my Christmas break. Today we took my car in and had a remote starter installed. This is my Christmas present from Jerry. It will be so nice on those cold Illinois mornings. I will be able to climb in a nice warm car.
I was able to get all of my Christmas shopping done today and I even bought me a present.
Jerry nearly has the kitchen floor done. We should be able to get the bottom cabinets and counters in this week end. I might actually have a kitchen done this week.
Tomorrow Dish network is installing our dish. It will be nice to watch the news again.
When Jessica and I went to Ladies Spectacular I expected to hear all sorts of deep Biblical truths that would change my life. What I actually heard was something that really shook my mind. Satan can't read our thought so the only way he knows what we are thinking of is by our actions and by what we say. When we gossip we give him a window to our hearts and he can see what we think. It suddenly dawned on me why gossip is wrong. Not only does it hurt people but it also hurts you and it helps Satan. It really made me think. I always knew that gossiping was wrong but now I know why. I have been praying and asking God to help me to be a better person.
Well, I am back now. We finally got internet again and I am only working 1 job now so I think I'll have time to blog more. I won't fill you in on everything tonight but I will post again soon and give you all the details. I am going to start a new weekly post about things I've learned teaching kindergarten. It will be about something my kids have taught me this week. I will also post one a week about something I have learned either from my Bible, sermons, chapel, or listening to sermons on cd. I will also post once a week something I've learned about being married. These are just some things I've been thinking about in my down time. I figure if I have specific things to write about on specific days I will be more diligent about writing. I will be back soon. Have a great week-end.
For my birthday my husband wanted to have the jacuzzi tub hooked up and running so I could sit in the tub and relax. He worked so hard and even got the bedroom carpeted and ready for us to move in to. Unfortunately the sewer line seems to have a problem and the tub couldn't drain. He rented an auger and spent most of Sat. trying to clear the drain. He couldn't get it cleared so now we are going on to step 2. We have some chemicals that will help clear tree roots from the line. If that doesn't work we will have to hire some professionals to come out and try to fix it. Poor Jerry. He was so disappointed and upset about me not getting my tub running. I really don't care it was for sure the thought that counted. I love that man. God sure did bless me.
For the third year in a row I was able to go to Ladies Spec. I always have so much fun spending time with Jessica and the girls. This year we only went Wed. night and Friday morning but it was worth every minute. Thursday we had planned on going to Kina's to have a photo shoot for the girls. Kina had to cancel so we spent the whole day together and then went out to eat with Josh's family. We got to see Johnny and Michelle's new house and got to see the changes they are going to make to Josh's Mom's apartment. It will be so nice when it is done.
We ran into Mrs. Vicky and had a wonderful but sad conversation with her. The loss of her mother and brother are still heavy on her heart but still she made us laugh.
I loved hearing Mrs. Young and Mrs. Schaap teach. I got the cd's for Mrs. Cowling and Mrs. Wolfe. I learned so much and truly enjoyed myself.
As always it is still nice to come home. Got home late Friday night (stopped for the photo shoot with Kina on the way home). Swung by McD's and got a McFlurry. It didn't set to well and by the next morning I realized I was sick. No Saturday date with my hubby for me. Fever and upset stomach all day. Feeling better today but not 100%. Pretty sure I'll be able to go to school tomorrow.
I know I keep repeating this but I am so glad that we moved here. I love that I can drive to Ladies Spec and Pastors school. I love that my daughter can go with me. I love that it gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer. I love that everyday I can see my family or not see them if thats what I want. God has blessed us so much and I am so very thankful for everything he has done for us.
School is going great. We are having a blast and all the kids are starting to read pretty well. It is very interesting watching the kids learn. Each one learns in their own special way. Some are fast. Some are slow. Some struggle with math, some with reading. It is so fun to see how they each look at things and react. I am a very strict teacher. I want them to understand the rules and expect them to obey. Once they learn their lives will be so much easier.
Tonight Jessica is having a New To You Party. Everyone brought clothes, shoes, jewelery, and accessories that they don't want anymore. Then we traded. She also had a hair stylist, a nail technician and a massage therapist was supposed to be there. It is truly fun and everyone got new stuff and new hair.
This year I am embarking on a new journey. I will be teaching kindergarten/1st grade. I am really nervous about this because I think that they are the most important grades. Kids learn to read in these grades. I have been teaching now for 5 weeks and I am excited to say all is going well. The 1st graders were already pretty good readers and the kindergartners are still learning their letters. So far it has been a rewarding and challenging experience. I have decided that the main thrust of my class will be reading. The rest the kids can catch up on if need be. If they don't learn the basic reading skills they will struggle forever. I have 7 kids in my class. I have 3 kindergartners and 4 1st graders. Of the k's one has had pre-k, one is pre-k, and one is new. All of the 1st graders read. 2 read really well and 2 struggle a little more. So far my biggest challenge is behavior. We have now settle all of those issues and have settled into a great routine of school work and fun.
Now to top everything off I am sick and have missed 2 days of school. I think that we will be able to pick up where we left off when I get back.
The other day we were taking Kyndra to Lakeland Park to feed the ducks. We went by the church to get some loaves of bread that were left over from food bank. Jerry ran in the building and I sat in the car with Kyndra. I was filing my finger nails and Kyndra said, " Mema, I don't like that noise." I replied, "I'm sorry Kyndra." and kept filing my nails. After a few seconds she said, "Mema, Bepa doesn't like that noise either." So smart for such a little girl.
We have been having such a wonderful time. The weather has cooled down a little and the humidity has let up a little. School has started and I teach from 7:15 to 2:00 everyday. So far 4 days a week I am working at Kmart. It keeps me busy but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. The kids are so cute and are very well behaved. We are getting into a routine and the kids are doing great. Work at Kmart has been very good also. Not too many hours.
Jerry starts at Cat on the 7th of September. It is a temp job with no benifits. It is also 2nd shift. He will be making the bottom of the pay scale but it gives him an in at Cat. The worst part is that due to our schedules I will only get to see him when he comes to eat lunch with me at school. I will be asleep when he gets home and he will be asleep when I leave. We will get to spend time together on Sat. and Sun.
Jerry has been working on the house like a mad man. Won't be long and he will be mudding and taping. He is the most wonderful man I know.
Today Jerry bought a little electric 4 wheeler and a little go cart at a garage sale. Kyndra is anxiously awaiting her Bepa to fix them so she can drive them.
Tomorrow is my favorite day of the week. Sunday. On Sunday morning we get up and go to church. We set up our department, print the bulletins, and go to our Sunday school class. Then we rush downstairs to get to Jr. Church before the kids. Each week is a new adventure. We have the best workers anywhere. Our adult workers all arrive right away. Then in come the kids. Somewhere during all of the huslte and bustle our teen workers arrive. We average about 16 workers every Sunday. 6-8 are adults and the rest are teens. Our department is a training ground for church workers. We run between 30-40 kids between 3rd and 6th grade every week. Many of these are bus kids. Lots of them are crazy. We have so much fun with all of them. Every week a different adult worker preaches. We have specials and learn hymns. We have games and prizes. It is the highlight of my week.
On facebook there are sights that tell you when there are good sales at different retailers. They also tell you how to match up coupons and sale prices to save even more. Sometimes they have a link to the coupons you need. There are also sites that list Sweepstakes and instant win sites. In the evening TV I have been playing some of the sweeps. So far in the last 2 weeks I have won a six pack of Snapple, a Rockstar, and at the Sobe site if you don't win the prizes they still give you a BOGO coupon. CVS (a local drug chain) has Sobes BYGO this week. I have so far gotten 16 free Sobes. The biggest and the best thing that I have won is a $500.00 gift card for Office Depot. I entered the sweep as a teacher and I can't wait to use it (or some of it anyway) to set up my classroom. I plan to use the rest to buy paper and supplies for the church. My 2 favorite facebook sites are : Freebies 4 Moms and Sweets Sweeps. It is really fun and I can't believe I have won so much already. I must truly be God's favorite.
I'm sure you have had it happen to you. You think, I'll do it later and somehow you never remember to do it. I can give you all the excuses, I've been busy, I didn't have time, I forgot, but the truth is I just didn't do it. I now have to make up for nearly a month of inactivity.
Starting with VBS... VBS was so awesome. It is held in the evening form 6:30 to 8:30. The buses drop off the kids at the church at 6:30 and they are divided into the different age groups. They are taught a lesson and then color a picture. Then they go outside and get a snack. They run around for awhile and then everyone goes to the auditorium where we see a skit that has Sheriff Ogle and his loyal deputy Cactus. They battle Mr. DeVil The story continues each day ending with the HAC tour group singing and helping Sheriff Ogle defeat Mr. Devil and his gang. We had 248 children on the last day. All together we had over 1100 children visit our church that week with 50+ salvations.
The next week Josh and Jessica went to youth camp and youth conference. They spent 2 nights camping with their teens and then went to the youth conference at First Baptist. Many hearts were touched and a good time was had by all.
The next week we took off and went to ST. Louis for 2 nights. We had a wonderful time at the zoo there. It is 90 acres and free.
Now we are caught up to this week. I found out that I am teaching kindergarten/first grade. I am really excited about it. I will start working on my classroom this week. I want to paint it and figure out how I want to decorate it. School starts Aug. 17 TH.
August 15 TH we are having a carnival to raise money for our youth conference. Jerry will be in the redneck dunk tank.
On August 20-21 our church is sponsoring a youth conference. We have 2 speakers coming with over 100 confirmed teens coming. We have volunteered to help in anyway we can.
I am still working at Kmart and when school starts I will be working 2 jobs for awhile. We are able to purchase medical insurance from Kmart at a good price.
Our house is coming along really well. Jerry has been working so hard and I am so proud of him.
Our friend and Sunday school teacher just got the news today that he does not have cancer. God is so good.
We have been truly blessed. God has continually answered our prayers and we are so very thankful.
I am so excited. I got a call from Preacher the other day asking me if I would like to teach this year. Would I like to teach? You've got to be kidding. I LOVE to teach. I will still work at Kmart because I get benefits for us through them but, I will probably only work 12 hrs a week there. Jerry has been diligently working on our house and I know we will be moving in in just a few months now. I wonder what it will be like to us the water without turning on a pump or going to bed without having to climb a ladder? I am so thankful for everything God has given us. I know that when the time is right Jerry will find the perfect job for him also. Meanwhile we will just keep doing what we are doing. Every time we do a little thing for God he just rewards us a whole bunch. Can't beat that.
I love the 4Th of July. My whole life it has been special to me. I think that maybe part of it is because my Mom is not a citizen and I am so thankful that I was born in the USA and I am a citizen.
Friday we went to the dump in Macomb. It is about an hour from Canton. On our way home we passed the "From Sea to Shining Sea" bike riders. I later looked them up on the Internet and learned more about them. There are between 25-30 disabled vets who made a decision to prove to able bodied people that nothing is impossible. They are riding across the USA on bicycles. Some of them are missing limbs and some have other problems. Many other Vets have joined them for part or all of the ride. They started at San Francisco 6 weeks ago. They reached Canton on July 2ND. It brought tears to my eyes as we passed them. They made such huge sacrifices for our country and for us. People all along the rode were lined up with flags cheering them on. There were miles and miles of people spread out. The riders were saluted and and people stood at attention for them. The American people are unique in this world. We have freedoms that other countries don't have. Yet over and over again we have proved that we will stand up for what is right. We will help the weak and the helpless. We will risk our lives and our own freedom to help others gain theirs.
Have you ever wondered about what would have happened if you took a different path? For example: If I had married the guy I dated in high school or gone to college to become a teacher.
I used to wonder about those things sometimes but I have to admit I haven't even thought about it for a long time. I can't imagine a different life than the one I have now. I am so content with everything. My husband, my job, my church, being with our girls and their families. God laid out his master plan and for once we just followed it. We trusted him to take care of us. I have learned so many things about myself. Things I used to think were important just aren't anymore. I am happy in our motor home with the man I love. If we never get out of here I'm ok with that. I have learned to live with what God has given us. I now understand that there is no such thing as security. The only security I have or want is in God. I am so sorry that it took us this long to get to this point. We must have disappointed God so much. We have decided to do what we can to make it up to God. We will serve him to the best of our ability for as long as we can. Thank-you God for all that you have done for us.
This is my loving Mom, Maria Ganger. In order for all of this to make sense you will have to read the previous posts about my Mom. While we were on vacation I picked her brain and we added the following to the story I have already posted
In a castle in Prague, Czechoslovakia there was a children's home. When the Russians came they loaded the kids up to take them to Austria. There were 300 kids loaded into a cattle car on the train. by the time they reached Austria there were only 33 kids left alive. They had been bombed on the way by the British. Once they reached Austria they hid in a basement across from a German Army hospital that became a American army camp. For the first 2 weeks the kids watched the Americans load the Germans up and haul them off in trucks. The kids snuck out at night and crawled on their hands and knees to where the camp was because they could smell the food the Americans were cooking. They were afraid of the blacks as previously blogged. They put chocolate out to lure the kids in. Also little cans of ration food. They never did anything to the kids they just fed them.
Mom was about 12 or 13 at this time. Then Mom was sent to a farmer in the area. He and his wife kept Mom for a year. At first Mom couldn't eat because she had been starved for so long. The farmers wife made her cream of wheat and she could finally keep it down. Mom had first communion there and they bought you a communion dress.
The Red Cross was trying to locate every ones parents then and they came and got her and took her to her home town in Essen. They told her there was nothing standing. A man took her to her Aunt's house (Aunt Finchen). She was her Mom's-moms-sister. She found out that her Mom and Dad were divorced because of little baby Evelyn who was not her Dad's baby. Her Aunt opened the door. Her Dad was at work. When her Dad came home from work she jumped out from behind the door. Her Aunt gave them a room in her apartment to live. Later her Dad's mom came and lived with them, her name was Maria also. Now 3 of them lived in the same room. One day her Dad took her to eat rabbit at a restaurant. They were enjoying their meal when Mom needed to use the rest room. On her way to the ladies room she had to pass the kitchen. There she saw cats hanging in the kitchen in various stages of preparation.
When the war was over Uncle Paul, Aunt Sophie, Cousin Ruth, and Cousin Ferdie Kischlat came from Poland to live with them. Uncle Paul was high up in the Nazi's and Hitler must have sent them to Poland during the war. Uncle Paul died of a heart attack 2 weeks after he came back to Germany. If he wouldn't have died he would have been tried at Nuremberg. The Aunt and Uncle stayed in another room at the apartment. Ruth stayed in Mom's room with them. Ferdie was a Professor at a German university so he mostly didn't live there.
When Mom was looking for her Aunt's house she also looked for her Grandpa's house. His house was gone. When someone left a forwarding address a stake was stuck in the ground with the information on it. There was no stake at her Grandpa's house. Mom went to the bakery one day and in walked her Grandpa (her Mom's step-dad). He didn't recognize her because he hadn't seen her for so many years. She walked up to him and said Hi Grandpa and he started to cry. He had been looking for them also. So she took him home with her and after awhile he asked her Dad if she could go with him to work on the farm in where he was working because food was so scarce in town. Her Dad said yes.
So then Mom went to Bavaria. They had no food and rode on a train. Essen was in the British sector and they had to go through the French sector to get the the American sector. At every sector they had to get off the train and the train was searched. Grandpa asked on of the solders if he could leave the train station to go find a loaf of bread because they hadn't eaten for 2 days. The solder said no. Then he saw Mom standing there and told him that if he left mom there he could go. He found a loaf of bread and brought it back for them. Then they got to the farm the farmers wife took her in. Grandpa and her shared a bedroom with straw mattresses. One day you were working in the field and there was a thunder and lightning storm. Lightning came down and hit one of the helpers on the farm. He was holding onto a big metal plow. He was killed instantly. No one would tell Mom where her mother was. Not her Dad, not her grandpa. Somehow she found grandmas phone number in some of grandpas papers. She snuck out and used a neighbors phone to call her mother. Her mother wanted her to come visit. She went back and told her grandpa what she had done. He was really mad but finally agreed to let her go see her mom. He put her on a train. That is when she found out she had a sister. She stayed with her mom for 1 month at old lady Klotsbucher goat farm where they had been evacuated after their home in Essen was bombed. Along with her mother were her two brother Hans and Mario. Hans and Mario have a different Dad than Mom. Their Dad was my moms Dad's best friend. My moms Dad learned this during the divorce proceedings.
Mom returned to farm with her Grandpa where she stayed until she was about 16 and then you returned to Essen because her Grandpa had coal miners lung and was getting sicker and sicker. There you found out that your Dad was getting married. Mom's new stepmother drank a lot and she hit your grandma Mom thinks it caused a stroke. Grandma died shortly after. The aunt told moms dad about his wife hitting grandma. Mom had never seen her Dad so angry. She thought he was going to throw his wife down the stairs. Then Grandma sent a letter to mom saying that she was leaving for America.
Mom went to a trade school to become a nurse but she got sick at the sight of blood so then she learned secretarial skills. She then married Hans Heyn. They were married for two years and then decided to come to America. She didn't tell her Dad that she had put in for her papers to come to America because she didn't want to hurt his feelings. When she finally told him he was very upset. On the other hand he understood.
When they got to America her husband went to work driving a garbage truck in Oregon City. Mom worked at her Moms restaurant. Mom says that mostly they got married because he wanted to come to America and she had a sponsor. They had to be in the US for one year before they could get a divorce and when the year was up they did. Mom lived with Grandma and her husband Earnest. Mom worked in the restaurant form 7 am to midnight. She went home and checked on the kids in the afternoon and made sure they did their homework.
No matter where I go or what I do I end up being around teens. My husband and I were the Sunday school superintendents the teens at our church in Oregon and we had about 50 teens every Sunday. Because I get summer jobs every year I tend to work with teens who are also doing summer jobs. Since we moved here and our son-in-law is a youth pastor we spend time with teens. Every Wed. I drive a group of teen girls to go soul winning. I taught teens in school this year. I once again work with teens. And yes I hate to admit it but I love them. Every problem they have makes my heart hurt for them. The teens I work with very often have poor home lives. One girl who was 17 and not yet graduated from High school told me that she lived with her boy friend at her parents house for 2 years before he moved to Florida. A young man told me that he had been kicked out of high school and was going to an alternative school that lost its funding. He had just been accepted to a GED program at the local community college. He was living on his own (with his girl friend) and supporting himself on a part time job so he would be able to study. I don't know what lead to these circumstances and I don't know what kind of relationship these kids have with their parents. I don't know if they have pushed away the authorities in their lives and now have to deal with life on their own or if their authorities let them down. All I know is that these stories break my heart. I try to picture the kind of adults that will be produced by these lives. Then I realized...the lives aren't all that different than mine. Many of us had rough teen years. Many of our parents let us down or we let them down. We made mistakes. We messed up. We showed how immature and irresponsible we were. And guess what...we turned out OK. Sure we didn't have an easy go of it. We did learn from our mistakes and grew and eventually we made it. I just hope that I have an opportunity to share the gospel with these young people. I know my own life would have been easier if I would have found the Lord earlier so maybe I can help them that way. Please pray for me.
Every year at this time of year I feel a little let down. I am relieved that it is almost summer vacation and I won't have to do lesson plans and report cards and disciplining children but, I am also sad that I won't be spending time with people I have grown to love. I love teaching. I think that that is kind of funny coming from someone who until I had my own kids didn't even know it I wanted any. I have discovered my passion in life. I like the order in it. I like watching their faces when they finally "GET" something they have been struggling with. I like teaching them about responsibility, hard work, dedication, and fun. I like teaching all ages. I have worked in daycare and taught 2 1/2 year olds. I have taught High School. I have taught 3-12Th grades. I like teaching everything except English. I don't like teaching English because I just don't get it. This year I got to teach at Calvary Baptist Academy. I taught math and literature. I have only taught since February although I subbed some before. As graduation rolls around I start to feel sad. Sad that some are leaving and sad that school will be over for summer. Today they had a teacher appreciation meal for us. It was wonderful. I have taught for 14 years now and never had a meal given to me before. I enjoyed every minute of it. Then Preacher gave us a end of the year bonus. That was another first for me. How exciting.
On the brighter side. Jerry and I are now teaching Jr. Church. It is so fun. The first week we had a big day at our church and we had 70 in our department. That is 3rd - 6Th grade. Last week we had 30. Once again I love watching their faces as they learn new truths and hear stories they haven't heard before. I like teaching them songs and playing games. Jerry is wonderful with object lessons and keeps them enthralled while he teaches. We have many workers in our department and each of them brings their own special type of talent. We are in the process of planning for the summer. We want to get the kids excited about God and what he can do in their lives. Please pray for us as we work on this project.
Josh and Jessica went to a Youth Conference named Our Time. It is held at Marion Ave. Baptist Church by Bro. Joe Brown. At the conference Josh was honored and received the Carrying The Torch Award. He gave his testimony and then they awarded him a traveling trophy and a plaque he gets to keep. What a wonderful honor for such an amazing young man.
Today was Calvary Baptist's 30Th anniversary. It was such an awesome day. Preacher had decided that Jr. Church was getting to big so he asked Jerry if he would be the leader of the Jr. Church for 3-6Th grade. Today was our first day and boy was it crazy. There was 145 kids in Jr. Church and they were supposed to sing in the main service. We practiced and practiced and then about 1 1/2 hours into the service we took all the kids upstairs to sing. They did a great job. When we came back down stairs we divided into our separate rooms. We ended up with 71 kids and we were blessed with 14 workers. They were so good and our workers did such an awesome job helping. Next week we will be able to have a schedule and kind of keep it. After church all the bus kids went to the zoo. The rest of us got to go and eat bar-b-Que pork sandwiches, beans, potato salad, and desserts. It was wonderful. There were many, many visitors and 170 on the buses. I know for sure there was one baptism. So So So great!
My husband has put up 11 sheets of sheet rock up in our house. He has all the lighting in the bathroom done and will soon start on the floors. He's been working like a mad man.
I have started working at K-mart. I will work about 12-20 hours a week. So far I like it.
Jerry is thinking about applying for a job in Pekin. I'm sure he would like it but it's 3rd shift. He's going to talk to Preacher and pray about it.
Friday night we went to a base ball game in Peoria. The Chiefs are a semi-pro team. I have never seen a ball game that was as fun. The Chiefs won 4-0 and the pitcher was an Oregonian. It was so fun. All of a sudden the heavens opened up and buckets of rain came down. WOW!!! I don't think I have ever seen it rain that hard before and I'm from Oregon.
Kayla rolled over for the first time at 4 am (according to Jessica). Kyndra is talking more and more. She makes so much sense when she talks now. She is growing up so fast.
Wow, last week we traveled to Boilingbrook, IL to attend the wedding of a very sweet young lady we met about 9 years ago. Her name was Kina Fink. She was Jessica's room mate in college and they have been friends ever since. She spent spring break at our home one year and we had such a great time. She was in Jessica's wedding and then came to visit during Cassie's wedding when Josh and Jessica were home from China. Whenever she was at our home she was a delightful person and we are so glad that Jessica and Kina are friends. She had the sweetest wedding we had been to in a long time.
Kina's father is Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Lockport,IL. We went there for church Sunday morning. What a loving and friendly church. Pastor Fink didn't preach while we were there. His new son-in-law's father did and it was really good. After the service the Finks invited us over for lunch. We had such a wonderful time of fellowship with them. They are such nice people. Now we know why Kina was so sweet.
We own a time share in Orlando. While we were moving we forgot to bank our week so we have to use it this year or loss it. We found out we could go to Myrtle Beach, SC so we booked a condo for 1 week. We figure it will take us 2 days each way to drive there. We invited Gary and Cassie to go with us but they just couldn't be gone that long. My wonderful husband called my mom and told her we would fly her out her so she could go with us. I am so excited. She will come the week before we leave and stay for a week after we get back. She hasn't seen Kayla yet and the last time she saw Kyndra she was about 4 months old. Can't wait for her to get here.
I have applied for about a million jobs since we have moved. I applied at the local Kmart when we moved here and I had an interview. They didn't hire me then. Tuesday I had another interview and they hired me on the spot. I will be working 12-20 hrs a week which is just perfect. I get Sundays and Wednesday nights off and I can have the time for our vacation off. I will also get Medical Benefits. I don't know all of the details yet. Tomorrow night I will start my training so then I will know more.
Bro. Darrel "Chainsaw" Cox preached for us Monday and Tuesday night. It was so awesome. He is a very powerful preacher. We certainly felt revived by his preaching. Tonight our Preacher preached and we all love to listen to him. He told us that another church was getting new pews and they thought that they had their old ones sold. The deal fell through so they offered them to us for free. Their church seats 500 so we will have lots of extra pews. God is so good to us. What a blessing. :)
This week my husband has been gone. He went back to Oregon to finish up some business and visit family. I couldn't go because I'm teaching and because the tickets were just so expensive. A couple of weeks ago he was at Pastors School. I missed him then but since Josh was also gone Jessica and I spent a lot of time together and did some girl stuff. This week it was just me. I popped in the house and said Hi once in awhile and I ate dinner with them but mostly I was on my own. I really really missed him.
This morning I was sitting by myself in church. It felt really odd to be alone. It reminded me how very fortunate I am to have a husband who goes to church. I thought back to all the ladies I have known over the years who's husbands didn't go to church with them. How they had to negotiate church activity time with their husbands. How they tried to raise their children for the Lord but their husbands weren't on board. Even if their husbands weren't against the church they sent a message to the children that church wasn't important. God tells us not to be unequally yoked. I never really thought about it before but this week made me understand. As I was sitting there my friend who's husband died 4 years ago came it. She was looking for a seat for her and her daughter. The church was pretty full this week so I motioned her over. She came and sat by me and I have never felt so thankful in my life. I realized that every week she has to find a friend to sit with. Her husband can't sit with her anymore. In the pew in front of me a sweet older man in our church sat by himself. His wife has been very ill and isn't strong enough to come to all the services. He still comes faithfully and sits all by himself every service.
These people are my HEROES. It is so easy for me to go to church. They have to be by themselves and are still faithful to our Lord. I'm sure that God must have very special plans for them.
Thank-you God for giving me my wonderful husband to sit with.
Well I finally got time to finish writing about Mom. The stories get all mixed up in my mind since I have heard bits and pieces my whole life. I remember Mom talking about after the war. The Red Cross put all of the children on trains to take them back to their families. They told Mom that her family was all dead. The train stopped in an area close to where her Aunt had lived. She wanted to get off the train and go check her Aunt's house. They told her there were no houses standing in the area where the house had been. Mom snuck off the train and found her Aunt's house. When she knocked on the door her father answered.
There was very little food in the area that they were in. Grandma and Grandpa divorced and Grandma took all of the kids and moved out to a farm where they lived and worked for the farmer. They slept over the goat barn. Mom said she woke up at night and there was a rat eating my Aunt Evelyn's hair. Grandma had twin babies. I don't know the sex of both of them because one died at birth. The other was my Uncle Mario. He was really, really small and couldn't drink cows milk. That's why they lived on the farm they lived on so he could have goats milk. Uncle Hans had really bad asthma and nearly died when he was a child also. I think the lady who owned the farm was Old Lady Klutzberger (spelling). After I was an adult my Mom said something about being terrified of lightning storms. I told her I never knew she was scared of them. She said she had been ever since she was working in the fields with some other people and the man right next to her got hit with lightning. I know this all happened when she was a teenager.
Some how my Mom's Grandfather was there. He would take my Mom out for special times. He took her out for rabbit at a restaurant. Mom had to go to the bathroom and as she walked down the hall she saw cats hanging in the kitchen. My Mom never again would eat rabbit.
My Grandma met and married an American service man. She went to America with the other 3 children. Mom was living with her Dad and Step-mother. Mom wanted to go to America also but she wasn't old enough to go with out her Dad's consent. He would not let her go so she married a young man who was going to America. When she got here my Grandma had a restaurant in Oregon City. Mom and her husband lived in Oregon City and my Mom worked at a huge hotel that used to be in West Linn. She was a waitress. The Americans made fun of her because she couldn't speak English so she learned English and would never again speak German. Mom says that Grandma interfered in their lives so much that her and her husband got a divorce.
Mom then met my Dad and after 6 weeks they got married. 10 months later they were blessed with me. My parents were married for 12 years and then they too got a divorce. Mom married my Step-Dad Tom about a year later. They were married for 31 years and Tom passed away.
Mom will be 77 years old in a couple of weeks. She is one tough lady. She has never given up and works from sun up till sun down. She was the best Mom she knew how to be. She took good care of me and loved me and did everything she could to help me to grow into a responsible adult. I am her only child and I feel bad that we live so far from her now. I think someday she will move to Illinois with us. Love you Mom!
I have wanted to write this for years but somehow just never got around to it. I've asked Mom to do it and she hasn't done it either. Her story is amazing and tells a lot about her. I'm not sure if I will get it right because Mom seldom talked about growing up and as a child I seldom asked questions. What I'm going to write is what I remember of stories I've heard or been told.
My Mom was born in Essen, Germany, on April 18 1933. She has 2 brothers, Hans and Mario, and one sister, Evelyn. Her first day of school WWII started in Germany. She told me she remembers someone boarding the windows of a church up and setting it on fire with all the people in it. I think it was the Nazi's and the church was a synagogue. As the war progresses Hitler took all the pure German children away from their parents and put them in orphanages so they could move them around and try to keep them away from the war. Mom was taken from her family and raised in the orphanageuntil the war was over. I can only imagine what it must have been like being raised in such a place. There were food shortages due to the war and I'm sure that there was illness too. There couldn't have been much nurturing and loving for these poor kids. Mom tells one story about when the Americans came. None of the German kids had ever seen a black man except at Christmas. At Christmas St. Nicholas came to the door of each house and asked if the children had been good. If they hadn't his black assistant would spank them. I don't know if the assistant was really black for just painted black. When the Americans came there were several blacks in the group. The children were all scared of them. The soldiers would put chocolate out to lure the children to them. Since they were half starved and hadn't had chocolate in a long time this tactic worked. Mom said that one time they were being bombed. The children were learning to knit when the bombs started dropping. The children were all running for cover when Mom felt an excruciating pain in her rear end. She thought for sure she had been shot but somehow with all the confusion she had been stabbed with a knitting needle. Well I will have to come back and continue my story later. Just writing this reminded me how thankful I should be for the life the Lord has given me. Thank-you God.
My biggest struggle in my Christian life hasn't been giving up old habits. I admit that when I smoked I would have said it was quitting smoking but, when I actually quit it was pretty easy. My biggest struggle has been forming new habits. Maybe it's because I was so old when I got saved. I didn't have good habits and it's harder to form them when your older. I really think that I am just making excuses. I struggle over and over again with reading my Bible everyday and praying. I don't mean before meals but the kind of time with God that helps you grow.
One thing that has really helped me is buying The One Year Bible. There is a date and a section from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Each day you just read the dated passage. I admit that I still get behind but, then I know exactly how much I need to read to get back on board. Another thing I started doing was to post a Bible verse on Face book when I am done reading. I ask the Lord to shown which verse from the daily passages that I should post and then I do it. I look forward to the Lord showing me the verse and sometimes I get a lot of responses from it.
I really don't understand why praying is so hard for me. I love spending time with God and I love walking in his will. I think that I just feel awkward. I have decided that the best way to deal with my prayer problem is to set a timer on my phone and pray for 15 minutes at a certain time everyday. When I do that consistently I can add more time. Of course I can pray any other time I remember too.
When we were waiting to hear about our house we parked across the street and prayed for it at least once a day. I pointed out to Jerry that we hadn't prayed for jobs at Cook once. So now every time we drive by the building we pray. I know that God knows our heart but, he also likes to hear from us. I Jerry went all day and never told me what he was thinking or what he wanted I would be a little upset. I want to KNOW him. And after 32 years I do know him pretty well but I still want to talk to him and spend time with him. God wants to hear from me and spend time with me.
What has been your biggest struggles? What steps have you taken to overcome them? Have a great day and God bless you.
Today I helped Jessica spring clean her kitchen. We took everything out of the cupboards and wipped them out. We reorganized them and threw away stuff that she didn't need or want anymore. Then we put Liquid Gold on the doors. It looks so nice. I am also doing some reorganizing in the motorhome. I am digging spring clothes out of the garage and putting winter clothes back out there.
Josh and Jerry are at Pastors School. Jerry has never got to go before and I am so excited for him. We had to buy him some new clothes to wear to the conference. He has lost over 20 lbs since we moved here. Funny how doing physical work instead of sitting behind a desk can shape you up.
Jessica and I have been going to a Zumba class. It's really fun although I'm not very good at it.
After spring break I will be teaching a Literature class to the high schoolers. I am very excited about it. I love reading and hope that I can encourage my students to love it too.
Jerry is going to go to Oregon in the begining of April. I can't go because of work. He's going to help Chuck get the mustang running and go to the swap meet. I'm sure he will visit Les and Bev and my Mom. I just bought his tickets today.
There are a lot of pictures of our house progress on face book. It is easier to post them there than here. Jerry has been working hard and we now have some walls going back in.
Wow. That's all I can say. Bro. Schaap was here Monday night and Tuesday night. I love to listen to him preach. It's like he is telling you a story. It was an awesome conference and I loved every minute of it.
The week before Bro. Schaap came Preacher and Mrs. Ogle went to Mississippi to be with their daughter Rachel while she had her first child. The doctors said she would have the baby last week no matter what. Well Preacher ended up coming home on Friday and there was still no baby. Late last night close to midnight Rachel had a healthy little baby girl via c-section. Mrs. Ogle will be coming home in a few days after Rachel recovers from the baby. While Preacher was gone we had a church work day. It started at 2pm on Thursday and ended sometime on Monday before Bro. Schaap arrived. The lunch room and the fellowship room were painted. The whole church was scrubbed and cleaned. The floors were scrubbed and polished. Wood work was completed, snow removed, porches cleaned and so much more. The church looks fantastic.
I am really excited about one thing. Mrs. Ogle taught Math 76 and Algebra 1/2 and English. She has been having some health problems and preacher didn't want her to teach anymore this year. I am now teaching again. Well not English. We are going to do literature instead. I am really happy. Not that Mrs. Ogle has health problems but that I get to teach. I have also been subbing whenever they need me. So much fun.
Jessica's basement is offically done. Tomorrow an inspector will be checking everything out. It looks so amazingly good.
My new grandbaby is so beautiful. Kyndra is adapting very well and Josh and Jessica are just a little sleep deprived.
I have been really sick for the last couple of weeks so Jerry didn't want me working at the new house. We also received a blessing from God in the form of a new granddaughter as you already know. Jerry has been working so hard on our house and he finally took the camera with him the other day so I could post an update.
We found some termite damage when we were ripping the walls out. It is amazing what a few hungry bugs can do. This damage was expected since parts of the house were built in the early 1900's. Jerry has been busy removing the damage and repairing it.
The following pictures are of the finished repair work.
This is our new closet door that Jerry installed.
This is one of our beautiful new windows that the Brannan's installed for us.
Gary and his dad also installed our new front door for us.
These boxes contain all of our new kitchen cabinets and counter tops.
I have had a cold for about a week now. Due to that I haven't spent as much time with Kyndra and Kayla as I wanted. Last week Josh's family was all hear visiting so I stayed in the motor home so I wouldn't share my cold. Sunday I went in for a little while to see the girls and we took these pics.
I feel pretty good during the day but at night I start coughing and can't stop so I haven't been getting much sleep. Wednesday we loaded Jessica and the girls up and went to Peoria to go thrift store shopping. We had a lot of fun.
I realize I start a lot of my blogs with, "Boy it's been along time since I've written in my blog but....". This time I have the best reason in the world. Our new granddaughter Kayla Joy was born on Feb. 8th at 1:50 in the afternoon. It isn't that we were so busy with the birth of the baby it is that we were so busy taking care of Kyndra. Josh and Jessica stayed at the hospital until Wed. and then they came home. Josh's brother, sister-in-law and mom came on Wed. night. Jonny and Michelle left Thursday evening and Friday (this am) his sister Amanda came to see Kayla and to take his mom home. On top of everything else I have a terrible cold. I thought it was just allergies but it is now in my chest so yucky.
Wed. we went with Gary and Cassie to Springfield so Gary could buy a really cool car. It is a blue Mazda Protege. It is beautiful. We had a wonderful time and got to go to a new Restore and did some other shopping.
Today I stayed home from church to take care of Kyndra because she and Jessica are sick. Kyndra came out to Mema's house and we watched Little Einsteins and colored. She helped me pick up and then we went back in the house and she went down for a nap. I am so thankful that we can help in times like this. We never had anyone to help and if I was sick Jerry either stayed home from work or the kids ran wild.
I need to tell you how good God has been to us lately. Jerry wanted to put glass brick under our jacuzzi tub when he installed it. We saw a floor that was elevated a few inches and had lighted brick along the edge and ever since then he has been talking about putting them under the tub. They are very expensive and I kind of figured we just wouldn't be able to do it when it came right down to it. How dumb I am. Even after everything God has done for us I still doubt. Well not really doubt. I just figure it's not that big of a deal either way. We went to Restore (it's a kind of Goodwill for building supplies run by Habitat for Humanity). I found $100 worth of glass brick for $15. I was so excited Josh thought something was wrong. Then we went to Goodwill looking for Western wear for our Valentine's banquet and Jerry found $160.00 worth of drain pieces for the tub for only $20. Now these items were all brand new. Also years ago we bought a TV Guardian for Josh and Jess at GVCA's school auction. It was ruined when they were in China during a lightning storm. We found a brand new one at Goodwill for only $10. I told Jerry that even if I don't feel like reading my Bible everyday or praying several times a day or go soulwinning or go to church I'm going to do it anyway just because I'm so thankful for all he has done for us.
We have been so crazy busy. We have ripped all of the walls out of our house and Jerry and the Brannan men put the front door in today. It looks so cool. They delivered our kitchen cabinets and counter tops today. Now we have boxes of stuff all over the place. We still need to rip up the underlayment on the floors but we took part of the week off to work on Josh and Jessica's basement. It is really starting to look great down there.
Monday and Tuesday nights we had the Sons of Thunder conference at Calvary Baptist Church. Bro.'s Scott and Bob Gray Jr. were here and we had the best conference. They also preached Tuesday morning followed by a lunch. What a wonderful time we had and what a blessing they were to all of us.
My favorite story this week is: Kyndra was in the motor home and I had gone into the bathroom to change my clothes. When I came out she was totally engrossed in Little Einsteins and I snuck up behind her and said "Boo". She jumped and turned around, Mema,go potty. You scared me." Precious memories.
The teens are doing an activity tomorrow. They are visiting Senior Saints and helping them around their homes doing activities they need help with. Several girls came over to Josh and Jessica's house Thursday night to bake cookies to take to the Saints when they go. Jessica gave Kyndra her first cookie dough beaters. As you can see she really liked them.
Kyndra has come up with several new sayings. One of the funniest is very very yucky. Everything is very very yucky. Her milk was very very yucky because is was very very cold. When I was watching her the other day she tooted in her diaper. She looked at me and said, "Oh, oh. I pootey booty". She counts 1, 3, 4, 7, 9. It is such a joy to be here and hear her say all of these cute things.
Her favorite TV show (and the only one she watches ) is Little Einsteins. She really loves it. When we were watching the other day she made me get up and dance with June. The picture above is of her and Bepa watching Little Einsteins in the motor home. She loves to come to Mema and Bepa's house to visit.
She will not be an only child much longer. Kayla Joy is due in just a few weeks. A lot of changes are in store for our family in the next few months. We almost have our house completely stripped. Then we can start building. Hopefully we will be in our house in the next 6 months. Can't wait but I have to admit a little part of me will miss living in Josh and Jessica's driveway and seeing them all everyday.
Josh and Jessica have a silly little dog named Gilligan. He is a Skipperkee. He was already grown up when they got him and he has a few odd habits. He will not eat any kind of dog treat. He thinks hes to good for them. He barks at me every time I go in the house even though he knows me and sleeps on the bed with me when ever he can. He loves Jerry and Gary and any one who will pet him. He will not stay in his yard. This morning I heard Jessica calling him back to the house. I then heard her apologize to some kids who were waiting on the corner for the school bus. Gilligan had stolen a piece of pizza from one of the kids. It might have been their breakfast or their lunch. Just think some poor kid went to school with out breakfast or lunch because the big vicious dog, Gilligan, stole it. I can just hear them telling their teacher that a dog ate their lunch.
Today we started stripping down the walls in the dining room. Above are pictures of the before. The picture on the right shows the kitchen beyond the door. The picture on the left shows the kitchen also. The middle picture is the door to the master bed room. The left side of the stripped down pictures shows the mater bedroom beyond the wall.
All we have left to strip down is the living room, kitchen and half the small bedroom. When we are done there will only be 1 bedroom in the house. We are making the bathroom bigger and a huge walk-in closet.
Today we started knocking out sheet rock and plaster lath. This is the before and after of the master bed room. Jerry worked there from 9 am until 5 pm and then went back at 6:30 and stayed until 9 pm. One of Gary's renters was in need of work so Jerry hired him to help. I helped for about 1 hour. Today we got 8 walls stripped down with 13 to go. .Once the walls are all stripped down we can probably safely stop wearing masks. I hate the masks because they make my glasses steam up. I am so thankful that I have a wonderful husband who can do all of this stuff. The furnace is working but since several windows are broken out it is still really cold in the house (ice inside the windows cold).
We have decided that after living in 200 sq ft for several months, being unemployed, moving across the county and then remodeling a house if we don't kill each other we should teach a class on marriage. So far so good.
I will keep you all informed of our progress as we go.
We have been calling our motorhome Our Little Igloo. It has been really cold here. I mean really cold. -4 at night. Our motorhome is covered with icicles some that hang almost all the way to the ground. There is also about 6" of snow on top of the motorhome.
We have been working on the furnace at our house. Jerry finally got it going today. Even with the furnace working there was still ice on the inside of the windows. We knocked out walls today in the master bedroom. I helped for a couple of hours and then Jerry brought me home and went back and worked a couple more. It was just to cold for me. It is just so nice to know that we are finally starting to get something done. I will take pictures and post them soon. I forgot the camera today.
Josh and Jessica went to Hammond for Bro. Kalapps funeral. They got to see the Conners and spend the whole day with them. They were so glad to get to see them. Jessica said that Bro. Schaap came over to talk to them at the graveside service and Kyndra handed him her sippy cup and said, "here ya go." Leave it to Kyndra.
I have decided to do a Bible study. I have never done one before and I'm not sure how to go about it. Mrs. Fink has some on her blog page so I copied one and will start on it tomorrow. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me. Thanks Mrs. Fink.
I love New Years! I like starting over. It's a chance to fix things you have done wrong last year. I always make all sorts of plans for the new year and every year I get a little closer to meeting my goals. I want to read my Bible everyday. Most days last year I did. I worked really hard at it. I want to have meaningful prayer everyday. Not just, "Thanks for the food" but, the kind that makes you closer to God and closer to what you should be. I want to work out everyday. I signed up for a class 2 days a week and I have a work out plan for the other days. I can do it. I know I can. Okay lets go for 4 days a week. That sounds reasonable but if I aim for everyday I will probably make 4. I want to say something nice to somebody every day. I want to be kinder to my husband and more patient. I want to be less OCD and more lets have fun. I want to spend time with my girls and their families. I want to find a job that I like and be a good employee. I want to rejoice in the Lord alway and continue to rejoice when things aren't great. WOW! What a list. The thing is I probably can't do all of these things but, writing them down and sharing them with you will help hold me accountable. Even if I don't accomplish everything 100% I will have improved myself and had a great year.