Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31 – “Mush brain”


Today was the first day back to school for teachers at Seaside Christian Academy.  We got together at nine for a staff meeting.  It went really well.  Everybody seems willing to cooperate and be a team.  It's a good thing.  If I have to keep on as interim for much longer, I'm going to need all the team I can get. 


Once again I found myself falling victim to my old malady of not being able to stay focused from one "urgent" task to the next.  I'd start distributing curriculum and realize that I was sitting in front of the computer trying to figure out how to operate in Windows Vista.  That proved to be a losing cause time after time.  I ended up making a list of things I couldn't do on the computer at church.  That gave me "plenty" to do when I got home.  Only problem was, by the time I got home my mind was pretty much mush.  I couldn't even concentrate enough to make a list of what I needed to prioritize.


I promised Chris I would call my neurologist this morning.  I read them the list of symptoms she wrote down.  Ten of them.  Pain in both elbows.  Pain in all my fingers to the extent that it really hurts to shake hands.  A place in one of my fingers that feels like a nerve is rolling over a little knot.  Fatigue.  Both big toes throb and are numb.  My lower back aches and sometimes has stabbing pain.  Sometimes the pain wakes me up at night.  I forget the others.  The lady laughed when I told her my wife made me call, but she read back what I had said almost verbatim. 


Jachin and Micah were here when I got home, and Cailyn came over, too.  I played with them for awhile, but ended up falling asleep in a chair.  The neurologist's office called back not long after I woke up.  The first thing they said was to stop taking celebrex and motrin.  That seemed odd - no scary – to me.  If I am honest, that's what's making it possible for me to keep going every day, especially in the afternoons.  But she kept talking.  Instead of those medications they were calling in a different one.  Looks like for the next nine days I'll be on steroids.  I told Chris I guess I should start working out.  But right now I sure don't feel like it.  Right now I feel like mush-brain.  Hope this entry makes some sense.


Tonight we took a walk with Mom and the mosquitos.  She made it all the way to the end of the street and back.  I was proud of her.


2 Peter 1:5-9 says "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins."


Father, here I am again.  Can you use a mush brain?  Amen.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30 – “Even a Chinese …”


This morning at church we focused on Communion – the Lord's Supper kind as well as the fellowship kind.  I put a table in the center of the room, and after the teaching, I carried the bread and juice to the table to symbolize God's presence being in the midst of his people.  Then they had to come to the table to show we have to receive God's presence in our life.  It went pretty well.  After church a lady who obviously had an Oriental heritage asked for the name and address of the church and a phone number.  She just wanted to go to a marriage conference we are pushing.  But she bubbled all over about how she liked the service.  She told me my teaching made it possible for "even a Chinese person to understand."  That was incredibly encouraging.


This afternoon we went to a birthday party for a six-year-old.  It was at a park, but we sat under an awning and it was just off the beach, so it was actually pretty cool.  We haven't seen these folks in awhile, so it was good to be there.  The hot dog was OK, too.


Our little tree named Nutchez still looks bad.  Chris has gone into super-TLC mode, though.  She will do whatever is possible now to save it.  I don't know what all that will be, but she will find out.


Fishing would have been nice today.  The water was flat as a lake, and the bait were working pretty close to shore.


Chris' Mom called this afternoon.  She fell again in the bathroom.  Now she has a big goose egg on her head and a scrape on her arm to go along with her other problems.  Chris goes back Wednesday for an appointment she has Thursday morning. 


Tomorrow will be a huge work day for the still – interim headmaster of Seaside Christian Academy.  School starts in a week, and we need a math teacher and an English teacher for high school.  We have a few leads on English, and we got one lead on a math teacher today.  I'm scheduled to meet with three people tomorrow to sign up their kids or pay tuition or sign their teaching agreement.  The teachers are also supposed to be there to begin their planning sessions.  I have to gather together the curriculum for each student and determine class schedules and times.  I have to call the volunteer PE teacher, but I did talk to her husband today, so maybe she'll call me.   I need to get the Bible curriculum to that teacher as well. 


So much for less stress.  That was one of the things Chris and I discovered on the arthritis website.  I'm supposed to avoid stress.  My neurologist told me that too.  So did my wife and my mother.  Maybe someday I'll have time to pay attention to them.


1 Peter 5:6-7 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."


Father, there it is.  Humble.  Cast your anxiety.  Help me do that.  Amen.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29 – “Sick Tree, Fixed Lock”


We had to squeeze in a little last-minute shopping before we left.  We began at the local nursery.  Josh and Christi are just beginning to landscape their back yard, and they wanted some pointers from Chris.  We walked away with a silver bush of some kind.  I think he's planning to get three or four more just like it.  He was also looking at a monster size oak tree that was $700 regular price, but was on sale for 70% off.  Still too steep for their budget, though.


Our second stop was at a local antique mall.  We didn't really intend to buy anything.  Chris was just looking around for a cabinet to display Precious Moments in.  It was fun to see stuff that we have – or at least had – and see how much people are trying to sell it for. 


Our final stop was lunch.  We went to a little local restaurant that is famous for its pies.  They were out of what Chris and Mom and Christi wanted, though.  Chocolate peanut butter pie.  Josh and I had key lime.


The trip home was relatively uneventful.  We brought back the rest of our photo albums and the two boxes of baseball cards that Josh and Christi had been babysitting.  The car was really packed again.  Brought back not-too-happy memories.  I finished reading the novel I started after we got there.  It was interesting, but definitely not worth recommending.  We got a call from home before we left to remind us that the interstate would be closed between Galveston and Houston.  What we didn't know was that even the feeder roads would be closed.  That meant major detours.  Since we knew ahead of time, though, we took the 288 to Highway 6 route and it didn't take much longer at all.


We got another phone call on the way home.  It was from April.  We first thought it was about Cailyn.  She's been sick and has been to the doctor.  It wasn't about Cailyn, though.  April had been watering our tree while we were gone.  The call was to warn us that in spite of her best efforts, the tree didn't look too good.  Sure enough, when we got home, it looked pretty weak.  We're going to try some TLC and see if we can bring it back.  I wonder if it's under warranty.  But at least our back door lock was fixed while we were gone.


1 Peter 1:13-16 says, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'"


Father, thanks for the safe trip home.  Could you help out our new little tree?  Amen.

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28 – “Dora, Diego, Taco”


The funeral was this morning, and the church was packed.  The guy who had been Richard's pastor for years flew in from New Mexico to do the service.  He kept everyone laughing, even the four or five grandsons.  We rode to the cemetery with some friends we haven't seen in awhile, so it was a great time of catching up and sharing funny stories.


I didn't last long this afternoon, though.  I was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch.  When I woke up Chris and I looked up some info on line about arthritis – rheumatoid and osteopathic, or some such words.  I found out that the pain I have been having in my elbows, hands, wrists, and knees that started in earnest about a month ago, combined with the fatigue that I can't seem to shake and the general weakness I have been experiencing all may be symptoms of more than just being an old guy.  Chris finally got me to agree to call the doctor Monday morning.


One of the highlights of our day came when we went to the city park at Zakary's invitation.  He really wanted to go to a pool, but there wasn't one readily available.  So off to the park we all went.  Mom sat on a bench most of the time as Zak and Caleb ran around, got Daddy and Mommy to push them in the swing, and slid down the slide.  Actually Caleb didn't run around.  He's just getting the hang of crawling, and his Mom doesn't go for the dirt thing, so Caleb got to ride in the stroller.  Speaking of the stroller, we also went for a walk in the woods.  This park had a trail through the woods.  Quite a trail.  All concrete.  Wide enough for a car to drive down.  But Mom even went with us.  And we ended up walking almost half a mile.  We sure let Mom know that that was roughly equal to walking to the end of our street and back in Galveston, so that's what we expected from her.  She wasn't exactly convinced.


Anyway, the highlight of the excursion came one of the times that Zakary was swinging.  The children next to him started counting, "Uno, dos, tres."  Not to be deterred, Zakary took up the chant, proving that he too had quite the command of a second language as well as a three-year-old's grasp of the world of Saturday morning cartoons.  His version?  "Dora.  Diego.  Taco." 


1 Peter 1:3 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"


Father, thank you for the cool evening in the park walking with family.  Amen.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27 – “Y’all party, too”


Today Josh and I went into the back yard to check out the patio they are putting in.  Josh is doing it himself, so he is meticulously going over the details time after time.  We went to Home Depot to buy the materials, but ended up just getting some of them.  He's going to go back Saturday and rent a truck.  He'll get some of the kids form church to help him unload the 78 pavestones and 15 bags of sand among other things.  The guy who helped us out was wearing a Home Depot apron with "Dios es vida" written on it.  Josh didn't know what it meant, so I struck up a conversation with the guy about it.  It means "God is life."  The guy got really excited to be talking to some fellow believers.


We also went to meet the teacher day at Zakary's preschool.  He starts next Tuesday.  His room had a bunch of frogs all over the place.  Not real ones.  But he and his MeeMaw were in "frog heaven."


After lunch at a Mexican restaurant named Cha-Cha's (No, really.  That was the name of it), we went by the church for a surprise party they were having for their pastor.  He made a wisecrack about me on my Facebook page back when it was my birthday, so I looked forward to the opportunity to return the favor.  He made a comment about being 49, so I innocently asked, "Again?"  It was effective.


I got my hair cut this afternoon.  I went to the same place I went to last year while we were evacuated up here.  They asked for my phone number and then casually asked if I wanted it cut the same way as last time.  The computer hadn't forgotten me.  I just as casually answered, "Sure."


This evening was the visitation time before the funeral tomorrow.  When we drove into the parking lot, a friend was leaving.  She rolled down her window and warned us that the place was packed.  She was right.  But it was a really big funeral home.  The atmosphere was very joyous.  The guy had been a Christian for many years.  At one point another friend came up to Chris and said he didn't understand this whole thing.  He had never been to one of these where people were so … happy.  Chris had a great answer.  She said, "Do you mean this party atmosphere?  David, that's how Kelley and I want it at our funerals, too.  See, we're going to be partying where we are, so we want y'all to party, too


1 Peter 3:8-9 says, "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."


Father, Thank you for the party going on where you are, welcoming Richard home.  Amen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26 – “Tooth”


We left this morning and made the five-hour trek to Mansfield.  Actually, I don't really know how long it took.  I slept a lot.  I remember starting a crossword puzzle as we pulled out of the driveway.  I don't remember the causeway at all.  In fact the next thing I do remember is Chris asking me if I wanted to stop for lunch in Huntsville or go on to Madisonville.  I asked if we were in Huntsville, and she said not yet.  I guess I stayed awake for awhile after that.  I remember waving to Sam when we passed his statue.  And I started a movie – Congo.  I got it off the cheap rack at WalMart.  It wasn't bad, but the book was much better. 


We had lunch at Texas Burger in Madisonville, and hit the road again.  Chris is an amazing driver.  She can go forever.  After Congo I started a modern-set Pilgrim's Progress remake, but it put me right to sleep again.  When I woke up this time we were somewhere just south of the 287 turn off.  I knew that put us fairly close, so I tried again.  This time I put in a tape by Mark Lowery, a Christian comedian.  That is one I will recommend.  He's pretty funny, and he can sing.


I got a call about the time we were heading up to Josh's church for supper. The lady who called last week and left the garbled message had stopped by the church and made a connection.  She has a kindergartener and is also interested in pre-K for a three year old.  I'll touch base with her later on.  I wish the headmistress had been hired last night.  There is so much left to do.  We still need a math and English teacher.  I haven't heard from the science teacher about whether or not he'll teach a PE class.  Most of the curriculum is here.  The teachers are planning to start work Monday morning.  And somewhere in there I need to work on the sermon and pray and, well, be a pastor.


I forgot to mention yesterday that we found out where the tree came from.  My younger brother posted on my Facebook page that it was a gift from Dr. Escudier (his wife) to the post-Ike survivors.  I never would have guessed them.


Big news from the home front via text message from April.  Cailyn has her first tooth.  Bottom one.


1 Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed."


Father, thank you for exciting bench marks like new teeth.  Another time to rejoice.  Amen.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25 – “The Tree – Revealed”


Chris was great fun when she got home last night.  She was extremely tired as she drove into the driveway and parked right next to the brand new resident of our front yard – TheTree.  Or as Nathan named it from the garbled inscription on a tag near the bottom, Nutchez.  We found out later that it actually said "Natchez" which is a type of tree.  In fact the best of the crepe myrtle strain from what we read.  But Chris never saw it.  Her eyes were glazed over as I walked outside to greet her.  She said a weak "Hi" and I kissed her hello.  She began telling me about her drive home as she rose from the front seat, never glancing to her left.  So I started moving.  And her eyes followed as she talked.  And then, there it was.  She noticed the tree.  And the only words that came out of her mouth for the next three to five minutes were, "We have a tree in our yard," or some variation thereof. 


I had a pain-filled night last night.  I kept waking up, I guess any time I rolled over.  My back was sore.  My toes hurt.  My elbows hurt.  My knuckles hurt.  I almost got up to take more motrin, but I was also mystified by the dreams I kept having.  None lasted long, but they were all about real people I knew.  None were bad.  In fact most were kind of funny, best I can recall.  But Chris and I have a pact that whenever we dream about someone and remember the dream, it means we will pray for that person.  I spent a lot of time praying for people last night.  I just hope I didn't keep Chris awake with my tossing and turning.


We found out this afternoon that a friend of ours died in Arlington.  We decided that we really needed to go to the funeral.  His daughter and her husband are very close friends, and they were among those who came to Galveston to help with our house and the church.  We plan to leave in the morning and come back Saturday. 


The second interview with the potential headmistress went well.  She had done her homework, and once again had a lot to say.  When Mike finally asked what it was going to take to bring her on board, she said, "How about a house?"  She lives in Houston right now and wants to move back to Galveston.  Mike's answer was, "Well, that gives us something specific to pray for.  Let's see what God opens up."  Anybody out there have a little beach house on the West End our headmistress can live in?


James 5:13 says, "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise."


Father, we're not actually in trouble, but we could sure use your help here.  Can we use one of your houses near the school?  Amen.

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24 – “The Tree”


Isn't there some kind of famous poem about a tree floating around out there somewhere?  Well, there was also a tree floating around out there somewhere until sometime this afternoon.  It found its way to our front yard.  I was checking in textbooks to see what we still needed for Seaside Christian Academy this afternoon when the doorbell rang.  I didn't recognize the guy, so I opened the door.  He said, "I have your tree."  Honestly, I thought it was a joke.  I almost said, "But I didn't lose one."  But he didn't laugh.  All he did was hold out the delivery form.  He asked if that was me and was that my address.  I said it was, but that I didn't buy a tree.  I asked if it was paid for.  He assured me it was.  I tried to call Chris to ask if she snuck out and bought it, but she didn't answer her phone.  Finally I said, "OK.  Bring it on." 


Then he got me a second time.  He said, "Where do you want me to put it?"  Now, I knew Chris wanted another crepe myrtle tree.  And I knew at one time where she wanted it.  But that was a long time ago.  She has toyed with three or four places since then.  I asked if he could just put the pot over by the porch.  He answered, "No, sir.  I'm supposed to plant it for you."  What?  By now I was really laughing.  I finally directed him to that original spot Chris had chosen back when we cut the big tree down and had it mulched.  I hope it's somewhere close to where she wanted it.  She is due home any minute, from Bay City, so I guess I'll find out.  Maybe she knows where it came from.


I didn't hear from our contractor today or the back door lock guy or the chimney lady.  I did a lot of headmaster stuff, so I only had a little time to work on the kids-size rocking chair rocker.  I did some serious sanding.  Even used my dremel when my arm and thumb gave out.  I think it'll work if I get enough glue in there.  While I was on a roll I also began sanding one of the other chairs in the garage.  It's a little one that we've had for a long time.  It looks really fragile, but it has held up for a long time.  Sometimes things just aren't as they seem on the outside.  Kind of like a lot of Christians.


Romans 8:5-6 says, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace."


Father, I give you control the best I know how.  I crave your peace.  Amen.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23 – “A Little Rocking Chair”


Church this morning was quite eventful.  I announced a marriage seminar for the first time.  It's not until the end of September.  But one couple signed up right after church.  I mentioned that we have a second interview with a potential headmistress Tuesday night.  After the service I had a lady volunteer to lead a PE class for high schoolers.  She's a personal trainer and used to be a competitive body builder.  And her husband offered to teach a course in Art.  So some things are coming together. 


I found out that a wedding I had scheduled to do in October no longer needs me.  A brother of one of the couple just found out he could come from Alaska, and he is a minster, so he will perform the ceremony.  However, I added a rehearsal for the other wedding I had in October. 


Someone called and left a message on the church answering machine.  The entire first part was completely garbled, so I had no idea who it was or what their phone number was.  But then suddenly the message became as clear as day, "…so I really want my daughter to go to school in Jamaica Beach.  Please call me."  Now if anyone knows who that was, please tell her to call back.


We had lunch with Rita and some of the students at Tortuga's Mexican food.  I had cheese enchiladas with cheese sauce on top.  I really like cheese.


Chris left for her Mom's again this afternoon.  Looks like her Mom will probably have her lungs drained again tomorrow after an ultrasound. 


After she left, I cleaned up a small table we brought over from our friend's garage.  It fits well as a bedside table.  The one we were using was too small.  I moved it to the end of the hall.  I don't know where Chris will want it.  I also started making a replacement rocker for a little kids' rocking chair we had in the garage.  That's some hard work without the proper tools.  I had to cut a piece of two by four with a scroll saw.  Not an easy task.  Then I had to rip it down to just over an inch and a half wide with that same scroll saw.  The drill part was no problem.  I had Kel's drill and he has a set of bits with almost the perfect size attachment.  My next problem is sanding the whole thing down.  My drill sanding attachment drowned, so until I get another one, I'll be sanding by hand.  That rocker will take awhile to finish.  I still have two other chairs out in the garage to sand and refinish, and several chairs inside that need the same thing.  But we need them inside right now.


Tonight I have been watching the Miss Universe pageant with Mom.  For some reason she has always liked that sort of thing.  Anyway, we made a game of the whole thing.  Of the ten semifinalists I chose USA and Australia to make the top five.  Australia did, but not a single blonde made it, so no USA.  There's got to be some prejudice in there somewhere.  None of them made a whole lot of sense in answering their question from the judges, so I didn't know who to pick.


Psalms 97:10 says, "Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked."


Father, that verse was new to me today.  We can be bold in confronting evil because you are our Guard.  Amen.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22 – “The Other Party”


This morning began with clean the church day.  The students had a fund raiser last night for camp.  That's right.  For next year's camp.  We plan to go to Ridgecrest, North Carolina, and we want to charter a bus, so fund raisers are definitely the order of the day.  So, the fund raiser was a Parent's Night Out.  Parent's drop off their kids at 6:00 p.m. and come back at 11:00 p.m.  Our students provide the child care and the parents donate whatever amount they can to the cause.  Usually popcorn and a movie are integral parts of the Friday evening experience for the kids.   This one was no different.  They weren't too messy, though.  It has certainly been worse.  And they unstacked all the pews for us.  That was a huge help. 


We left the church and headed over to our friend's garage to bring home some more of our stowed stuff.  The idea today was to clear a better path to the mattress and box springs that are in there.  Christina's Mom needs it, so she is coming in Monday or Tuesday to pick it up.  We plan to tell her she can also have the little table, the stuffed chair, and the microwave that are also there. 

We did get a truckload moved out.  It was mostly boxes with books and stuff from Mom's house that we have to go through.  We didn't really have time to go through it all.  We planned to weed eat the back yard when we got home, but I was really hungry, and didn't have enough energy to go any longer without food.  So we stopped for lunch.  Hey, it was already almost two o'clock. 


After lunch I went in the back yard and instead of using the weedeater, I started pulling up the offensive weeds by hand.  Well, by hand in glove.  The evil weeds with those tiny little seed pods that stick to your leg hair were taking over back there.  I was determined to get rid of as many as I could.  Problem was, you can't pull it out by the roots because it breaks off too easily.  Chris came out to help, and we got a lot of it pulled. 


That ate up a lot of time, though, so we had just enough time to shower and head for WalMart.  We had to pick up some chips and dip for the other party of the weekend.  This one was at my brother's house in Tiki Island.  We made it in plenty of time.  The food was great.  Barbequed chicken and sausage as well as fajitas.  And then a huge chocolate cake for dessert.  The cake turned out to be a birthday cake for Mom, me, and Chris, and an anniversary cake for Kel and Christina and Stan and Sue.  I think there were more celebrations, too, but that was all I could keep track of.  Christina and Jachin went for a kayak ride on the canal.  Micah settled for a pretend hurricane on the floating dock.  I got to sit in my brother's "make your back feel good Portable Chair."  He said if I look miserable next time we come over, he'll get it out for me again.  Guess I looked worse than usual.  But the chair was really comfy.


Psalms 97:1 says, "The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice."


Father, thanks for the brief times of respite you bring into our weird world.  That chair was mine for the day.  Amen.

Friday, August 21, 2009

August 21 – “The Party”


My first task this morning was to follow up on a note left on the door at church praise team rehearsal Thursday night.  Come to find out there were two more kids interested in attending Seaside Christian Academy.  I emailed them the registration packet and encouraged them to sign up soon so we could order their curriculum.


Speaking of curriculum, the first batch arrived today.  There were just four of thirteen boxes delivered.  They each held an elementary packet – one first grade, two pre-K, and one sixth grade.  We'll see what makes the next truck.


We did some more painting today.  Chris worked on the white trim closest to the roof.  I did the same thing I've been doing for the last few days – touch up blue.  I think we have finished most of the front of the house.  We need to buy a roller so we can do the underside of the eaves.  The sides and back of the house are another story, though.  We need to touch up the white strip closest to the blue before we can do the final blue touchup.  We haven't done around the windows in the back yard either. 


After lunch Chris started sealing the grout in our bathroom.  So I went in the back yard and started cleaning tools.  It's been awhile since I tackled that chore.  It went pretty fast, though.  I actually finished two buckets.  That just leaves the one with all the sockets and several with big tools.  My Dad had quite a few really large wrenches that he used on the boat where he worked. 


I decided to be a Galvestonian today while we were working.  I took my shirt off.  And now I can feel it just a little bit.  I thought I would be burned pretty badly.  It was that hot.  I couldn't get that song out of my head.  The one that talks about praising God when the sun is shining down on me.  It was appropriate.  And it was better than the one from yesterday.  Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  Not the whole song, mind you.  Just that portion of it that plays when my phone rings.  Over and over and over.


Kel called this afternoon and officially invited me to the party at his house tonight.  It was really nice.  Nathan and April and Cailyn came, too.  We celebrated birthdays for me, Chris, and Mom.  I got a few gifts, too.  Cailyn (and her parents) gave me a picture frame is already labeled "Grandkids."  Kel's family gave me a great picture.  It is a reproduction of what Galveston looked like back in the 1800's.  He said our walls looked bare.  Chris' gift was the best, though.  She got an antique kids' potty chair with a plant in it. 


Psalms 91:1-2 says, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  2 I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'"


Father, thank you for your rest.  I sure need it.  Amen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 20 – “Happy Birthday, Mom”


Today is Mom's official eighty-third birthday.  Jachin made a comment last night that not many people should get to be ninety years old.  We told him his MeeMaw was 83, and he was a bit taken aback.  I think he just can't comprehend someone being that old when it takes him so long to count that far.  We are planning a birthday celebration tomorrow at Kel's.  At least they are.  Tuesday at Luby's I asked what time, and Kel told me I wasn't invited.  Hope they have fun.


We took the Explorer in to have the oil changed this morning.  It was way overdue, but with Chris driving so much from Galveston to Bay City to Houston and back, there just wasn't any time.  He's also going to check the air conditioner and the motor that operates the front window.  It's hard to order at Sonic when the window won't roll down.


We did more painting today.  This fine tuning type trim painting is driving me nuts.  I used a half-inch wide brush on the outside of my house.  That's like using a toothbrush to groom an elephant.  I think I finished the front porch.  I'm not sure how much Chris did.  She was on a ladder around the corner working on eaves.  At lunch Mom asked if we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I answered – probably a bit too quickly – no.  But Chris echoed it.


The tile guy came just as we were finishing lunch.  He had a loaded caulk gun in his hand and a little bottle of something in his pocket.  The caulk was the same color as our grout, so he filled in the cracks that had formed.  The little bottle was some kind of sealer mixed with restaining agent.  It turned the areas of grout that had gotten really dark back to its original color.  Now we don't have to seal the floor of our shower.  And he was only here for twenty or thirty minutes.


The call finally came from the mechanic.  Oil change was no problem.  He did some checking on the other stuff.  The AC looks like some minor low pressure switch, so he disconnected it.  If it still works, that was it.  The window, on the other hand was a problem.  The motor that operates the electric windows is dead.  So is one in the back seat.  Cost for replacing each is around $290.  We'll make due.  That's just some of the sacrifices associated with owning a 1992 Explorer.  And I just heard today that we missed out on the government's cash for clunkers program.  They're out of money.  I guess we'll bandaid what we have for a few more years.


We finally decided on a date for our Hallelujah Party.  This is more than just a housewarming.  We're celebrating one year since Ike.  We plan to invite our neighbors and the church and, well, anybody.  We'll cook burgers and hot dogs in the front yard and let people walk around and look at the house if they want to do that.  Of course, all that is contingent on one minor detail.  That there is not another storm in the Gulf heading our way.  I don't know anybody who plans to stick around this time.


Psalms 89:14-16 says, "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.  15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.  16 They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness."


Father, I'm getting the hang of your love and faithfulness.  Not doing so well on the righteousness and justice.  Please forgive me.  Amen.