Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Center Retreat

Today our entire Center was on a one-day retreat. The location was a large Baptist camp not many miles south of Dallas. It was a time of fellowship, teaching, and prayer, some of it outside in the still-100 degree temperatures. One of the best parts was listening to us sing--several hundred voices singing in gentle acapella harmony.

We were called together by a blast on the shofar. Our ethnomusicology team takes their job seriously.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I'm Having a Ball

I'm cleaning out a closet. For some unfathomable reason, Rachel told me today she wanted to jump rope. I thought we had an official jump rope, so off I went, delving into the unknown depths of the front closet. I know there are coats in that closet, waiting for a less-than-100 degree day, should that blessed event ever occur. But I was quite unaware of all the other things in that closet. Here is what I found while looking for the jump rope:
  • 22 tennis balls
  • 21 golf balls
  • 12 wiffle balls
  • 3 hard rubber bouncy balls
  • 2 soft rubber world globe balls
  • 2 black tension-reliever squeeze balls
  • 1 cricket ball
  • 1 Panther Pride mini football
  • 1 Panther Pride mini basketball
  • 1 uninflated Mavericks basketball
  • 1 nerf football
  • 1 street hockey ball
  • 1 hard foam ball
  • 1 hard rubber egg
  • 1 pompom from a UofM ski cap
  • 1 marble
  • 1 beanbag
  • 6 shuttlecocks
  • 1 very large bat bag full of baseball stuff--baseballs, softballs, bats, gloves, helmets

There were also numerous tools for hitting these balls, but I won't go into that.

I wish the story would stop here, but alas, I hang my head in shame to tell what else I found. I found about 30 pieces of bubble gum that had been there since my married son was in 10th grade (you do the math). And if that is all I found, it wouldn't be so bad. The trouble was that there were numerous pieces of this gum with the, well, gum missing. The waxed wrappers where still mostly there, somewhat shredded by something--I hate to think what.

And after all that, Rachel said the jump rope was too short. So I gave her an extension cord, and that worked just fine.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Are You Coming Home Or Not?

The latest answer is not.

I've been talking to David, who lives in Houston, to see if he was going to leave the city and come to Dallas before Hurricane Rita hits. At 8am he said he and his housemate would come "later today." At 1pm, he said, "We'll leave within the hour." At 3pm he said, "Nope. Too much traffic, and no gas is for sale in all of Harris county. We're going to stick it out."

He said he went grocery shopping yesterday, so has non-perishable foods. He hadn't thought of candles and a flashlight, so he may not be staying up to read when the power goes off.

Gary is in Michigan and we'll see if his flight home on Saturday night is disrupted.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two Silly Things I Heard Today

  • "You've never heard of a phone date? That is when you and your date both watch the same TV show on your respective TVs and then you discuss it with each other on your respective phones."
  • "Do we have any barbed wire? I am going to put barbed wire on the dresser so the cat won't sleep on top of all my stuff or push it on the floor."

Monday, September 19, 2005


I've just returned from a memorial service for a friend who died Friday. She was younger than me. I was sad, but holding it together until I saw her husband raise his hands in praise to God while singing "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Old Family Photos

my parents' wedding, Lyle and Vivian Dennis, July 29,1952, Crystal, MI

I was so happy to get an envelope from my childhood neighbor with a handful of black and white photos of my family. Her parents had been at my parents' wedding, and Carol found a few old photos they found when cleaning out. I was happy to get them.

Haven't heard much from Andrew and Laura this week except that they got their contract signed in the town of Awassa and the TV reporters were there to film it.

Talked to David who has just finished his first block of classes (they have blocks instead of semesters). He gets some time off this weekend, but said it was too expensive to buy gas to drive home for a visit. He did buy a pass to the UT-Houston gym, so he can start working out a little bit. His girlfriend phoned from a borrowed cell phone the other morning--that made him happy.

Rachel continues to do scanning about 3-4 hours per day. We are nearing the end of the materials to scan, but it is good money while it lasts. She has joined the church choir and is attending two different singles' groups during the week. Her latest set of fingerprints were accepted by the Texas board of Education, but still no word on her Review of Credentials.

Gary is doing OK, except always always too busy. He goes to Michigan for a few days at the end of next week for a paid consulting job. It has been many months since he has had one of these opportunities.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Playing in the Rain

Who says you're ever too old to play in the rain??

We haven't had much rain this summer, in fact I think we're over 6 inches behind the normal rainfall totals. And it is still hot here, so playing in the rain was kind of like a warm shower.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Dirty Cat

Sigh. The bulldozer went through the woods yesterday, preparing the way for the drilling rig. I walked back there this morning and these words from the Prophet Isaiah came to mind:
"Prepare in the wilderness a road for the Lord! Clear the way in the desert for our God! Fill every valley; level every mountain. The hills will become a plain, and the rough country will be made smooth."

On my way back from my tour, I found my formerly-white cat following me.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Not In My Backyard!

This sight in one's backyard cannot be a good thing. But, at least we were warned. Presently they are doing preliminary drilling to determine the exact location of the escarpment. If we're fortunate, the escarpment will prevent building.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I Win!

I wonder how many brothers and sisters he has?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Outsmarted by a Rodent

When we went to Andrew's wedding we had someone looking after our house, but we decided the cat could live outside during the week we were away. While the cat was away, the mice came in to play. I'm assuming these creatures must be small, judging by the size of their calling cards (isn't that a cute euphemism?). And while cleaning a couple days ago, I found nine pecans in my sewing drawer. Did I put pecans in my sewing drawer?? I asked myself. Why did I put them there?? After considerable cogitation on this matter I finally realized that no, it must be a critter about twice the size of the pecan who put them there. What industrious creatures.

So last night I set a mouse trap. I used peanut butter and put one of those pecans beside it just to make it look even more appealing. Today the peanut butter and the pecan are gone, the trap unsprung. I'm a failure.

Friday, September 02, 2005

They Arrived Safely, But...

...not without problems. Andrew and Laura got delayed in Minneapolis due to the NWA mechanics' strike, thus causing them to miss their connection in Amsterdam. So they waited there eight hours, flew to Nairobi, waited there five more hours, then on to Addis Ababa. They eventually got to the baggage claim to find that their four bags had actually made it, but not before Laura's passport was confiscated. Andrew had thought she could buy a tourist visa in the airport in Addis, but they discovered you can only do that if you are from one of 23 countries, and the DR is not one of them. Pray for them as they return to Immigration on Monday to try to get things sorted out.

When Andrew phoned us this morning with this information I could hear Laura in the background asking how to turn the hot water on in the shower. I'm sure a hot shower felt good after all those hours of travel.