Tuesday, September 30, 2008
When we got home we had to hurry in order to get ready for our dinner reservations at a local steakhouse. Rich and I weren't that hungry since we had lunch at the Centerfest. But this worked out well since David ate his food, half of Rich's and part of mine.
For Rich's gift we got a fire pit. Rich has been wanting one for a while and I thought it would be a perfect gift. David is always so excited about gift-giving that we had to give Rich the gift a couple days early so that David wouldn't spill the beans.
Many friends sent cards and we are so thankful for the many wonderful friends that we have.
Friday, September 26, 2008
As the politicians fight in Washington about how best to get our country out of the mess that they helped to create, we wait to see what it will cost us. Some of them, I think, are trying to look out for the best interest of the citizens. But, as others try to add on money for the pet projects that the lobbies are paying them to endorse it makes my blood boil. They were elected by the people to look out for us, not to get rich off our misery.
The many politicians who have taken lobbyists' money to help finance the mess should be made to deposit that money into the government coffers. This would help reduce the amount we would need to pay as working Americans. The bigwigs that have run their companies into the ground should lose all their retirement and bonuses. After all, many retired people are holding their breath to see if their money will be there for them after trusting these people.
He received the dreaded e-mail saying that more lay offs are coming due to the economy. More than 10,000 are expected to be let go over the next week or so. Because of the division he is in, we are hopeful he won't be one of them.
As we go through this I wonder where non-Christians get any peace. I know that all I have comes from God and I am in His hands. Now, as I have learned in life that doesn't mean that there aren't hard times ahead or that Rich won't lose his job. I just know that there is a reason and God is in control.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I had several people approach me on Sunday to say they have bottles that they are still filling. We had one family that took their children out into their neighborhood and filled their bottles that way. With four children they were able to do a great job. From the older members to the youngest, everyone has gotten behind this project.
Monday, September 22, 2008
This weekend we stayed close to home and went down to the city market. We arrived late so many vendors were packing up, but I think this may have helped get me a great deal on a pumpkin.
We thought about heading to one of our favorite places for lunch, but decided to try a new place. We had seen this cute little place sitting on the edge of the river many times and always said "We really need to check it out. It looks so interesting." Well, we finally did try it. "Texas Inn" is open 24 hours a day and is only closed on Sundays.
David ordered three chili dogs, Rich had a cheesy western and a "funny" which is a hot dog bun without the dog but with all the fixin's. I ordered two hit dogs, only had one and a half (David had the other half.) I also ordered an orange cake which all three of us shared. I was amazed at how well the waitresses kept track of all the people at the counter.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Several months ago we began inviting a young married couple to our home on Wednesday nights before church. This was a time to get together, but also a chance to help provide a meal when we suspected their finances were low. This has grown into a larger event with several college students that serve the church and must be there early on Wednesday nights. This gives them a warm home-cooked meal while not making them spend their money. We have never requested that they bring anything because, though we get pleasure out of it, we look at this as a way to serve our church family.
Our guests usually arrive between 5:00 and 5:15 and have to be across the street at the church at 6:30. So there really is little time to socialize. It is more about meeting their needs and offering our friendship. In fact this past Wednesday David and I did not even get to sit down and eat until after everyone else had left. We also do not have enough kitchen chairs for nine people. On top of this we don't have a dishwasher, so everything must be hand washed by me.
I had recently gotten the feeling that when another adult member at church heard (not from us) about this he was upset. My suspicions were confirmed last night when we got a phone call in which we were berated for not inviting him. We explained that we have only invited young people who have very little money and that many of them may crave a home atmosphere. The caller could not understand why he was not invited to the "party."
It's probably a good thing I was not the one who answered the phone. My answer would have been along the lines of "it's time for you to grow up."
Instead of assuming the worst in others by thinking we were purposely excluding him, it would be better to think the best of others. Instead of letting this fester for the months that we have been opening our home, why hadn't he just asked us why he wasn't invited. As Christians we need to be looking for ways to meet other's needs and not for ways that others can meet our wants.
I am hoping this is only one person's attitude so that we don't have to eventually discontinue this because too many feel that they have a right to be included.
Posted by Kim at 2:36 PM
Last week I let you know that we had made a good start on our church's fundraiser for The Liberty Godparent Home. This week I was very happy when all the change turned in puts us at a total of $36220. Since last year's total raised was $410, we are just under that with three more Sundays left!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This week has been a bit busy, if you hadn't already guessed.
First, still no one-on-one for David. This is very upsetting and frustrating for all of us. The school has tried to send an aid as much as possible and I am thankful for this. But, since it is not a consistent one-on-one I am not able to have an on going dialog. This is so important so we know when problems occur and don't learn about them two or three days later after more problems are then piled upon the first issue. Since the one-on-one is not listed in his IEP they are not required to get one in there immediately. The reason it's not listed is due to the way school issues are paid for. If it was written in the IEP it would have to be funded through the cities special education money. Since this is a service funded by a FAPT team it can't be written in the IEP. Aargh!
Yesterday we began our home school civics class with David in earnest. We had already used the wonderful "School House Rock" DVDs last week to teach him how a bill becomes a law and also the preamble to the constitution. I still remembered these songs from my own childhood so I know how well it works. After I mentioned the fact that all the School House Rocks were on DVD she went out and bought them too. She said she hadn't even thought about it, but the kids love them.
Last night we had a great group over for dinner. We served nine with homemade pizzas. Actually we made and rolled out the dough and they were required to assemble the pizza with what they wanted. I went to the city market and got fresh veggies. We had toppings for them to make whatever they wanted- except mushrooms. Rich and I are both highly allergic to mushrooms so that was not on the menu. The two young ladies that have just started their first year of college were so happy to have a home cooked meal. The newness of leaving home for the first time is wearing off a little.
I have been busy planning Abigail's baby shower. Though her baby isn't due until December there is so much that is going on then we felt it was best to go ahead with it. Abigail's baby is due the same time another girl at church is getting married so we also have her shower to plan. We also wanted to keep both showers away from Thanksgiving. Abigail and Joe do not know (or at least are not sharing) the sex of their baby so the theme is "An old Fashion Childhood." Rubber ducks, Little Golden books, Dick and Jane books and building blocks. My friend Stacy is making the cake and I can't wait to see and taste it.
I also have been busy with the Liberty Godparent fund raiser. I will share our total with you tomorrow.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Last year we took David to the Virginia Transportation Museum in Roanoke. We finally made it back there this past weekend. David loves to call it the Train Museum because of all the trains that he got to climb over. The museum holds old cars, a huge model train and real-life trains. There is a section that is dedicated to space exploration, but that has not been open due to issues with construction problems with the roof.
So on the fly I was looking for something else to do in town. I didn't want to waste the trip to Roanoke since it was the first trip there this year. I found a brochure at the museum that gave me a few ideas. Most of the featured activities were geared for younger kids (zoo) or adults (vineyards)or just too far away. These wouldn't do for David so we would have to decide on which of the remaining activities we would do.
I found Grandin Road, a 1930s restored neighborhood. When we arrived (after getting lost due to wrong directions) we were a little disappointed. We were expecting something more along the lines of Occoquan, Virginia. (Occoquan is a quaint little town with several blocks of cottage looking shops located near where we used to live in Northern Virginia.)
We hit the used bookstore first"Too Many Books." This was the best of the best kind of used bookstores. Lots of wonderful books everywhere in the shop. Little tables with books displayed and lots of tall shelves well-labeled in categories. The books were all in great shape. There were old books and newer used books but all were in great shape and had good prices.
The lady who ran the shop was a major asset who knew what she had in stock and where to find it quickly. She even gladly took the time to give David directions to a shop we wanted to go to next. She even wrote down the directions when David had asked her to. We bought quite a few books.
We walked past the Grandin Theatre, which is a restored movie theater. We had hoped to catch a movie here but there were not movies we were interested in watching. The theater was beautiful and we would have liked to explore the experience. Maybe next time.
With full tummies and happy hearts we headed home. I am so glad that we could turn the few disappointments around and make it a great day together.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Last year our church raised $410.00 for the home. This money came in handy when their washing machine went out. I really want for us to cross that $500.00 mark this year.
I am pleased that after just two Sundays we have raised $177.86. This has been a great start since we have three more weeks to up our total.
I will be keeping you all posted on how well we are doing. But for now I am very confident that we can meet this total.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Just seven years ago today a tragedy brought our nation together. People all across this country came together to help each other. It didn't matter weather you were from the North, the South, a city dweller, a country person, a Liberal or a Conservativewe were all Americans. We stood together.
The tearing apart of this same nation due to the upcoming elections is upsetting. For this one day I am glad that both candidates want to put politics aside in order to remember those who lost their lives that day.
One of the most upsetting aspects of this election to me is the interference of outside nations. On many blogs and in the entertainment industry many British citizens have been pushing their views on who we should elect as our next president. My question to them is "Why should you have a say when you don't pay taxes? There was a little thing called the Revolutionary War when we kicked your butt since you taxed us and allowed us no say in the government." Yes, I have traced my ancestors that fought against the British.
My own father was in the Pentagon when the planes hit the twin towers. He had gone to his old office at the far side of the building when the plane hit his side of the Pentagon. As reports came in about the Pentagon I was able to get a call out to my mother. She had not heard from him. In fact it would not be until late afternoon that we heard from a co-worker of his that he was fine. It wasn't until late evening that he arrived home safe.
My husband had been sent home from his office in a sky-rise building in Northern Virginia. As he tried to get to us he watched as the tanks and military trucks headed up I-95 to respond to the attack.
We knew and worshiped with people who would work as firefighters and in the military that would not return home for a week in order to dig among the rubble of the Pentagon.
My father had planned to work for several more years after the tragedy, but within the year, he left his job to retire. He hasn't spoken much about that day. The only time he does talk about it is when someone speaks ill of Don Rumsfeld. My father saw first hand how when Mr. Rumsfeld was running the opposite direction from all the others that were evacuating. Even when he was encouraged to leave he remainedleave no man behind. My father did lose friends in the attack.
David was a first grader and had a hard time understanding the events (didn't we all.) He couldn't understand why we were so sad because Grandpa was fine. I explained that those who did die were other American's fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. So the following Saturday we took David to see the aftermath of the attack. A Washington Monument with only a handful of tourist with the flags at half mast. We also showed him the Pentagon with smoke still coming out of the gaping hole.
I'm proud to be an American!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This morning as we were walking out the door to take David to the bus (yeah suspension is over), we found a visitor waiting for us. A very sad but beautiful border collie was laying under the house's overhang. I'm not sure how long he has been there but it looks like he has been on his own for a little while. There is a collar around his neck but without any tags. He looked like he was well cared for but now he is cold, hurt and hungry.
We took a towel out to cover the dog and gave him some hamburger buns. The buns were downed quickly. Then we pulled out a hamburger pattie from the freezer and after defrosting it we gave it to him. The pattie and some more buns went down just as quickly. He is now much more active and is now wagging his tail.
David would love to keep the dog, but he looks very old and has cataracts. An old dog with problems getting around would not be a good pet for David. We have had several dogs that we had to return within a month of getting since David's energy level has worn out even puppies. This dog needs a calm home where it can just lay and be pampered.
I have called animal control and left a message so that we can get the best care for this visitor.
UPDATE: It is just before 11:00 am and Animal Control just left to take our guest to the vet's. His hind-end has lost almost all his fur. They think he may have just roamed and "plum gave out" before he could make it home.
It has been very interesting to see our rabbit Roger's response. Even though the dog never came in the house, he did lay right outside our window to be near us. I had never touched the dogonly placed food in a bowl for himbut Roger hardly ate since the dog arrived. He also sat back in the corner of his cage and didn't interact with us. Now that the dog is gone Roger is running around his cage and playing with his toy ball. Jealous little bunny.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
People see God every day; they just don't always recognize Him.
March 29, 1918 – August 17, 1990
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday as tropical storm Hanna threatened our area we went on a field trip. First we hit the local farmers market. Very few ventured out to the market as the weather reports called for flash floods. However, we are made of sterner stuff or had a stronger desire to just get out of the house. We also planned to visit a wonderful used and new book store on our way home.
So we decided to make a learning detour. We headed to the Old City Cemetery. It was our first get-out-and-walk-around visit since the first time we just drove through one Saturday when it was very busy. Now, most cemeteries, when they are busy, are due to the loss of loved ones. Not so for this cemetery. This one has a two hundred year history as the final resting place for the great, good, bad and unknowns of the area. Of the bodies buried within the walls of the cemetery, three-quarters are African Americans and half are children.
A little further down and to the left we found a large headstone with "Mammy" written on the top. The grave is the home of Anica Mitchell and the stone states she was "faithful and beloved" domestic servant to the family of Israel Moore for over 40 years.
Continuing on, we arrive at the Confederate section, which contains over 2,200 Confederate soldiers from 14 states and, yes, there are only Confederates here. The union soldiers were dug up long ago and sent to Petersburg to be reburied there. They have recently discovered there is a "negro row" in this section, however they are not sure where this row is located.
As we rounded another corner we saw a spot where the towns first public hanging occurred in 1830. Thousands gathered to watch the hanging. However, there was a problem, the rope broke when the trap door opened and the condemned man fell to the ground. He was given a drink of water while they replaced the rope, then he was made to take that long walk back up the gallows. Just to make sure he did die this time they left him hanging for an hour. People were so appalled that there was not another public execution for 30 years.
As we continued up the hill to our right was a large tree on which a swing has been hung and tables have been scattered for people to enjoy an afternoon picnic. Yes, we are still on the grounds of the cemetery. We spent a lot of time at the swing while we saw lovers walking hand in hand as they explored the cemetery together.
And just in case you thought we lost our appetite exploring the dead, you're wrong. We headed downtown to a wonderful restaurant that used to be a train depot and ate so much we only nibbled at dinner.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I am to list six things that make me happy. I have to admit this week does not lend itself to happiness, but here goes.
|1.||I am happy that my salvation is based on God's work and not my own.|
|2.||I am happy that I am married to my best friend for 22 years.|
|3.||I am happy that God chose us to be David's parents.|
|4.||I am happy that I am in good health (I think too often we take this for granted).|
|5.||I am happy that I am an American.|
|6.||I am happy that I can become friends with other women and moms around the world through blogging.|
I am to send this award to six more blogsthat I will have to think a little harder on.
Posted by Kim at 4:27 AM
Friday, September 5, 2008
Late last week we found out that the one-on-one had not worked out and we began working on alternate plans. I was very upset with the agency that was contracted with Lynchburg City to provide services for David. They called on Friday and told us they had no idea who to get so we may need to look for another agency. Even though I feel this might be a good idea since overall they have not provided consistent service it does frustrate me about all the time I have dealt with them over the summer.
It is now a week later and after a lot of calls, e-mails and meetings it looks like a new one-on-one will begin on the 15th. Only this help comes too late since David received a three day suspension yesterday. Everyone agrees that David needs this support right now, but when the adults around him fail it is David that gets the short end of the stick.
The new one-on-one will be through another agency, which means hours upon hours of paperwork that I already completed with the old agency will need to be re-done. It also means many meetings to try to communicate what works and what doesn't work with David.
The old agency called today to see how it's going. Needless to say I wasn't interested in spending any time going over what's been going on since they just dumped him. I am planning to write to the board that funds this to let them know they need to dump the agency like they dumped us. If they can't provide service for a child they already have a contract with they do not need to be given any more contracts for new children.
Today has been very difficult since even though we know David needs a one-on-one we still hold him responsible for his behavior. So David is not allowed to play while he is suspended. We have him reading books and having to give us a synopsis of them. While Rich and I love to read, David has never enjoyed it. I am hoping that by reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer he will begin to see how wonderful books are.
So this has not been a very pleasant week in our home as we deal with adults and a child that are not doing their jobs.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
While my husband is the political fanatic in our family I find that since the naming of Sarah Palin I am more interested. Maybe it's because she's the mother of a special needs child or that she has stood up to the system that tried to quietly shut her up.
I am appalled at the attacks that are occuring on her. When it is announced that even her social security number has been stolen and released I wonder where the madness will end. The news even had someone who stated that the public has a right to know this information. Oh really, then why have the other candidates numbers not been released?
In looking this up I found the blog for Meghan McCain, the 23-year-old daughter of John McCain. In it she tells of life on the campaign trail and her years of being a politican's daughter. In one of those interesting quirks of life the abortion question has plaqued this young lady for the last nine years. Meghan writes, "When I was 14 years old, a reporter questioned my father about me having a hypothetical abortion, had I been pregnant at 14. This reporter's question single-handedly changed my life. This story comes up in almost every profile written about me and in almost every interview." Why would this continue to follow this young lady for so many years since this didn't even happen? This just goes to show how long mud can stick, even when the mud should not have been thrown in the first place.
Yes, we have a right to know each candidate's character and how they have acted in the past since this may indicate how they will act in the future. But there should be the same amount of scrunity and standards on all the candidates. Hearing the question "Can she be a good parent if she's vice-president?" I can not recall anyone asking Obama this question. Were George Bush or Bill Clinton bad parents because they were presidents? No, they are good or bad parents based on their character and how they parented their children.
I will continue to watch the events unfoldluckily, I will be doing so from the sidelines.
Monday, September 1, 2008
John McCain's running mate is being condemned by many for this recent announcement issued by Sarah Palin and her husband Todd.
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support."
Second comes to my mind that if we are going to use this standard of judgment on parents maybe we should look to the Bible first. God created Adam and Eve and was the perfect father for them. He taught them right from wrong and was a perfect example. And guess what Adam and Eve did. They made a bad choice and sinned. If God's children aren't going to make perfect choices I know mine won't.
And the timing of this announcement coincides with the kick-off of the Liberty Godparent Home's baby bottle fundraiser. We had guests from the Godparent Home yesterday to meet and speak with our congregation. These young women find themselves in the same situation as Bristol Palinonly without the family support that Bristol has. I spoke to one of the young ladies yesterday that just gave birth to her little angel. She has taken responsibility for her actions and, even though she knows she has no family support and it will be hard on her own, she is raising her daughter. I am glad that the Godparent Home and other Christian homes are supporting her in completing her education and starting her on a path that allows her to parent her daughter. As our church's liaison with the Home, I am hoping to top the amount we raised last year for them.
My prayers are for Bristol Palin as she faces the world media at such a fragile time in her life.