Thursday, January 31, 2008

Classical Harmonica

Until today, I was unaware that there was such thing as a harmonica virtuoso. I took the fifth and sixth graders to the Louisville Orchestra today since we had studied the orchestra and all its instruments in class. Today in addition to a Brazilian group of pieces and a Brahm's Concerto they did a concerto for the harmonica. Robert Bonfilio performed the harmonica solo. It was AMAZING! The kids were watching with their mouths hanging open. I never knew that someone could make sounds such as he out of a harmonica. WOW! Besides getting to hear some wonderful orchestra pieces, and being able to open the world of something different to a group of children, I learned something amazingly neat! I love it when unexpected things like that happen! I was aware there was going to be a harmonica involved today, but was unsure what to expect. Of course, he played three encores which were all blues pieces and the kids really ate it up! However, in the meantime, they were exposed to some wonderful orchestrated pieces. We were able to do this at just $9.00 a child. It was such a fantastic experience. I have decided that when I am "retired" from teaching I will make it a point to attend more of these "coffee concerts" as they call them. Anyone want to go along? I am off to the iTunes store to see if Robert has anything I can download. Amazing!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

piano lessons

I have started teaching piano lessons again. I am excited. I didn't really how much I missed it. I have only two students at this time. They are doing great! I have found I am a different teacher since Ben took Suzuki. I know I am not a trained Suzuki teacher, but I am using some of their thoughts and ideas. My two students saw their mom reading my blog, and mentioned that they thought I was "fancy" since my picture was on the internet. Well guys, now you are "fancy" too! Keep practicing!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Not as Planned

Isn't it funny how you spend your time planning, and one little twist turns everything upside down. As a pastor's family, this happens often. You get used to it. But, when I have things all planned out, I am unhappy when it all changes at a blink of an eye.

Today's plans were as follows:
1. Go to Sunday School
2. Worship at 10:30 a.m. Divine Service
3. Make breakfast for lunch for the family
4. Attend the funeral of a member at St. John's
5. Take Ben to Youth Group
6. Go to a planning meeting for a group Disney Cruise in 2009

Ben woke up with the gunk that I had been dealing with all week. I think he maybe has it worse. I didn't have the green stuff. EWWWW. So.....we did not attended Sunday School or the Divine Service. I ran to the funeral home while Rich was home for about and hour. I picked up some meds. for Ben on the way home. We all got our own lunch. Rich had soup, Ben had toast and applesauce, and I had leftovers of this and that. Not the yummy breakfast I was planning.
The rest of my day will be spent at home. I have made some cards that will be put in sets of homemade cards that will be given away at the Katie Retreat (Our IN district Pastor's wives retreat) I fixed some broken jewelry for people and made some things that they ordered. I put together kits that deaconess Pat Nuffer will be using during her talk at the Katie Retreat. I will soon be working on catching up at putting my grades online.

Soon, the funeral will start at church. The bells have just started ringing. I can see the tent all set up for the burial right outside the window from where I am typing now. I will probably watch the graveside service from here, and offer up prayers of strength for the family. Is it strange that I watch? I usually do if I am at home and not at the funeral, which isn't often.

I guess it is not an awful day. It will be productive. It just isn't what I had planned.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Star Lab

Today was a cool teaching day. Yes, they are all cool, but some are more cool than others. Today was an exceptional day. Today we enjoyed the benefits of the Star Lab. It is a portable planetarium that tours schools. We had it on loan for a few days. It is blown up by a fan and is really quite large. This afternoon we had 40 people inside, although most of them were smallish! The children crawl in through the long tube you see shooting out. Inside there is a light upon which a cylinder is placed. There are several cylinders to choose from. One shows the constellations as the Greeks explained them through their stories. Another shows the constellations as the Native Americans saw and explained them. They are shown in a sort of "connect the dot" fashion. Then, you put on the cylinder that shows the night sky as we see it, no lines giving outlines. It is great fun. Mr. O., our 3/4 grade teacher is great at telling these myths. He explains everything so well. He begins by telling the kids that if they are outside, and want to find out which way is North you have to first think of where the sun rises, that is East. Now where it sets, that is West. If you are standing pointing to the East and West and it spells "WE" the way you are standing, you are facing North. If it spells "EW", you are facing South. I had never heard it explained that way before, but I won't forget it. So, we go into the lab. It is set to show the night sky as we would see it here in Southern Indiana in January. Very cool. He shows the "connect the dot" constellations to lay it out for everyone. He tells the Greek mythology, even pointing out how J. K. Rowling uses them in her books, and then shows the constellations without the dots. He hands to pointer to the kids and has them show where things are. So fun. But, I am sure you will find it hard to believe, came my favorite moment when we all sang, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" while Mr. O. changed cylinders. The acoustics in that dome are so great. It sounded wonderful! It was a fantastic ending to a cold and ill week. Thanks Wilson Center for the use of the lab. Thanks Mr. O. for amazing teaching skills! Thanks kids for your fabulous singing and constant wonder and amazement as you learn something new!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Idol" Chat

I am a big American Idol fan. The first few years I teased the people that watched it. Then, season 5 rolled around and I was hooked after the first audition. I had Taylor Hicks picked from his first audition. I know he hasn't made it as big as Kelly, but I loved his soulful sound and originality. I hated it when Simon told him he looked like he was drunk at a wedding. We had a party for the finale for two years now and are having one at the beginning and the end this year. It is like the Superbowl for those of us who even have a clue how football is even played!

Well, today I want to write about the auditions. I was bothered by one contestant last night. His wife is in labor, her water had broken, and he would miss his audition. Okay, what was he doing at the audition in the first place? He had no business getting himself involved in something that was going to take him away from his new baby for months! What is the problem with these people? Is it more important to have your 5 minutes of fame than be with your new family? He wasn't wonderful, but he wasn't bad either. It was not like he there just to get a laugh and say he made it onto TV. I really believe he thought he would make it. On top of that, he seemed like a pretty down to earth guy. I mean, he wasn't wearing fake fingernails or paraphernalia that says how much he loves Simon....just a normal every day guy who was willing to miss the first few months of his daughters life to give it a shot at fame and fortune. Well, he already has his fame and fortune, a new beautiful baby girl. She was beautiful too! But what in the world were they doing taking her to Idol auditions a day after she was born? What has this world come to?
Finally, would it be so wrong to be allowed to hear a few of the contestants that made it through? Why won't they let us hear what they call "good"? I am tired of the craziness. A little is entertaining, but why does the entire show have to be about laughing at people and making fun of them? Again, I say, what is this world coming to? Do Americans really find more joy in seeing someone humiliated rather than listening to a great performance?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Small Family Blues

Please don't let my title send the wrong message. I love my family very much, but I always thought our family would be bigger. I am amazed by large families. I love to watch the way they work. One family in our community has become good friends of ours and I just love to be invited over to their home for an event. It is usually an event whenever we are there, no matter what the occasion. There are lists by all the bowls to tell what needs to be done to fill them. I love that. I just step in and start helping. No one has to tell me what to do. I don't have to ask if I can help. It is just assumed that everyone will just look at what needs to be done and do it.

I wish that we would have been able to have more children. I KNOW Ben would have loved a brother or sister. I have come to peace with the fact that this is what God had planned for us, and it is not for me to understand, but I do, from time to time, long for more.

On a much more shallow note, I would love to make a large dinner and not have to eat it for days. I am not big on leftovers. I know, I can share, and I do. I just think it would be fun to sit down for a meal with a large family to eat a big dinner where there are arguments on who gets to finish the last bit in the bowl. No, I am not a bad cook. In fact, I think I am a pretty good cook. I love to do it. There are just not enough people in our house to eat it all without having leftovers for days. This goes for baking too. I would like to bake more often, but then the three of us eat more of it than we should. Okay, you are right, I could share or freeze. I know, I know. I just wanted to whine. Thanks for letting me!

You can invite your family to my house if you like! It would be nice to not put leftovers in the fridge! When do you want to come?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow Day

We awoke at 5:30 a.m. to the phone ringing. It was my principal. She called to inform us that school had been canceled for the day! Yes, you are right, you are not looking at the picture incorrectly, there is about 1-1/2 inches of snow out there. I knew we would be on a delay due to the time of day the snow arrived, but I was not expecting a day off!

Ben is thrilled! He is currently outside pretending that there is MUCH more snow that there really is. He is attempting to make a small snowman and enjoy what is there before it melts away. He has been dying for snow. He would prefer a lot more of it, but he is taking what he can get.

I am frustrated. Our first grade teacher and I put a lot of time and energy into planning a special celebration today for the 100th day of school! We had many parents coming in to help with the big day. Now what do we do? Getting all those volunteers back together tomorrow will probably be impossible. We will have are day, but we will just have to amend it. Bummer.

I will take advantage of the day though. I have already enjoyed some "comfort in a cup". It is a lovely blend of cinnamon and vanilla tea. I have graded some papers and I have begun thinking about what to make for supper. I think I will make the coconut and almond chicken we so enjoyed at Disney! I was lucky enough to find coconut milk at the Jay-C store! I will take another day to get healthy. I was out yesterday with a viral infection. I was worried that it was strep-throat. I was thrilled that the tonsillectomy is doing it's job!

Enjoy your day, wherever you are!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Yelling at the TV

I have never been one to yell at my TV. My Uncle Wayne always yelled at ballgames, but my dad was never into it like that. Maybe a few rare moments I have. Maybe at Simon on Idol. That is a possibility. But this is a rare thing for me to do. Well, I yelled at my TV last night.

I watch ER. I should stop. Their left winged political agenda always makes me so very angry. I've been watching it since it started though, and I just cannot give it up. Last night they hit Religion. They have this wacky "chaplain", if that is what you want to call her. She believes that everyone has the right to believe whatever they want. There is a higher power...whoever you want to think that power is, well goody for you. She makes me angry. She makes my husband furious. (Check Higher Things in a week or so and I bet there will be an article about this particular episode!) Well, last night this man has cancer and is dying. He used to work at a prison. His job was injecting the drug to those who have been given the death penalty. Well, I won't address my feelings on the death penalty right now, but he was dealing with major guilt for what he had done. He killed one man who ended up being proven to be innocent. It took two rounds of drugs to kill him. He believed God was trying to send him a message and he didn't listen. So, he is needed forgiveness, but he cannot seem to be able to accept the forgiveness that God is so willing to freely offer to us. Anyway, the "chaplain chick" comes in to talk with him. She starts this whole mumbo-jumbo about some god out there. He becomes furious with her! He tells her that he won't listen to her "new age, god is love, buffet of higher beings" junk. (this is not a direct quote) I am shouting, "You go!" Then, this "chaplain chick" talks about who can have any certainty about absolute truth. I am yelling, "I can, I can!" Man, what a show! They just get crazier all the time. I guess it is just giving us good opportunity to witness about our faith! Check out Higher Things next week, I am sure my husband will address this whole episode much more eloquently that I!

Have a great weekend everyone! We are off to St. Louis. Pray for our safety!

Thanks for taking my class Angie!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I am not sure there are many people who have as much stuff as I do. Okay, that is probably an over exaggeration, but I DO have a lot of stuff. Ask the person who is currently cleaning my house, she will tell you that I have a lot of stuff. (Yeah, I know. This is a luxury that I will soon have to give up when I am not pulling in the $$$$ and have no excuse for not having the time to do it myself. Actually, I won't mind doing it when I have the time to do it.) Anyone who has been in my studio will say that I have enough stuff to open a craft store. When my cousin Amy came and helped me redecorate my kitchen she would "go shopping" in my basement. Yes....I have a lot of stuff.

Currently I am trying to downsize. This is a BIG task! I am working to organize my studio. It is CRAZY! But I cannot wait until it is tidy and a more efficient place to work! I cannot go to sleep because ideas for organization are swimming in my head. The other night I forgot about trying to go to sleep and went in and worked in there. Now, it has caught up with me! I am exhausted. One of my students looked at me today and said, "Mrs. Heinz, you look tired." Pretty sad huh? Well, tonight I have to give up working in there because I will be cleaning so my cleaning lady can come tomorrow. Yeah I know. Crazy. Soon I will post the mess that will someday in the near future be a lovely studio that I will be proud to take anyone into!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Major Life Change!

I informed my school board last night that I will not be returning to teach next year. This is something that Rich and I have discussing and have been praying about for quite some time. It has been a difficult decision, but I do believe that God is leading us in this direction. Not that it is necessary to share reasons, but here are some anyway:
1. It will give me the time to really give attention to my health
2. It will give me the time to be the Pastor's wife I really want to be
3. I will have more time for the study of God's word.
4. Ben won't have both his mom and dad around every corner at school
5. Rich and I will not be working at the same place every day (has both positives and negatives)
6. I will get out and travel off of St. John's Church Road more often. (it is a lovely road, but it will be nice to leave it from time to time.)
7. I can dive into the bead business a bit more

And so on, and so on......
I told the board that I would still be very interested in teaching music and possibly aiding in some way. I also offered the possibility of doing some public relations work. I don't want to work more than two days a week though. I will also take on some piano students again.

Anyway, I thought I would share with all of you. I am very excited and a bit scared. I hope things will work out financially. We will see how it goes. I know the Lord will provide. Keep us in your prayers along with the school. I pray they will receive a called teacher.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Want Some?

They call this a start for Amish Friendship bread. I believe they call it this because after you have mushed it and fed it for 10 days it becomes your friend! If you have never heard of it, here is how it works: You get a start from a friend. For several days you give it a squeeze a day. On the fifth day you feed it with sugar and milk and stuff, then for a few more days you squeeze. On the last day you feed it more goodies, divide it into baggies to share with others or keep for yourself, and then you use a portion to bake some yummy bread. They really gave it that name because you share a "start" of it with friends after you have taken some out to bake so that they can bake some great bread too. It is really WONDERFUL bread. I often freeze it for when company comes. It is work though...trying not to forget to mush it, or finding friends who want a start of it. Do you want some? Let me know! I will be ready to share on Friday!

Friday, January 11, 2008

They're Here! They're Here!

Okay, there is only one reason to be excited when the holiday season is over.....yes, CONVERSATION HEARTS! These have been one of my favorite treats since I was a child! I just love them! Of course, I was unable to enjoy them this evening because I had 3, yes 3, birthday treats brought into my classroom today. I did not eat them all, but enough that I cannot indulge in candy hearts tonight. But don't they just look so cute? They are just one of those small joys! I don't know about you, but I think there is nothing better than eating an orange one and a white one at the same time! Yumm-o!

I suppose that is somewhat of a random thought, so while I am at it I am going to add a few others. Thanks for reading! Just a few silly things to share.

Tomorrow on my to-do list is putting Christmas photos into a scrapbook. This year I cheated. I bought a pre-made Christmas scrapbook at the Hallmark store at the after sales for 50% off! It was worth every penny! Each year I make a small book of the pictures we received in the mail in Christmas cards. I just love looking through them from year to year. It doesn't take much time, I don't get too fancy! I thought some of you might think it was a fun idea!

After we have put the photos in a book we put our cards in a basket at the kitchen table. We will pull a card out each time we sit down for a meal and pray for the family we got the card from. This is an idea I got from my dear friend Marie. She is SO full of practical and wonderful ideas! I have learned a lot from her over the years. Maybe you can use one of our traditions to start a new one in your house! Share yours with us! I always love starting a new tradition!

Next I have to vent! Tonight we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. We enjoy going there on Friday nights for their fish. It is really good. We had a gift card that was given to us by a thoughtful member, it had been a long week, so we went! I LOVE their fish, but I have to have it a dark golden brown. I cannot enjoy it if it is all anemic and soggy. I tell them this every time. I say it nicely. They NEVER do it! I always have to send it back! I don't like sending things back. It makes me feel bad. Why can't they just do what you ask? The poor waitress has to deal with it, and it wasn't her fault. It is always yummy the second time they cook it for me!

Finally, I will end with a funny story. Last night our family was sitting at the kitchen table. Rich was working on the new computer the church got him. I was working on my laptop downloading jewelry pictures and finishing up my report cards. Ben is on Rich's old laptop working on his report on Argentina. All of a sudden I get an e-mail. It is from Ben. He has sent an attachment with his report on it and is asking me to read it and see how it sounds so far. I am sitting right across from him! What is happening to our family :0) It was too funny. We all got a good laugh out of it!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks for reading! Thanks for all you new bloggers letting me know you have stopped by! It is always fun to hear from people who are reading what you write! Thanks!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Red Thread Bracelet

This is one of my newest creations. I have made this bracelet in honor of my friends who have and are in the process of adopting from China. All of their stories are so moving! My hear goes out to the dear children in China who are waiting for parents, and the parents here in the United States who are waiting their children.
There is an invisible read thread
that connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place or circumstance.
Although the thread may stretch or tangle, it will never break.
Chinese Legend
This red thread saying is known in the adoption community. I made it so that it can be a reminder of the celebration of the connection between mother and child. It is full of crystals, glass beads, red threads with glass beads, and lady bugs which remind us of our many blessings.
The red thread cha-cha bracelet can be given to those who are in the process of adopting to help them to celebrate in the journey and serve as a connection between them and their future child!
Hope you enjoyed viewing it! I love making these cha-cha bracelets! I have a new Valentine bracelet posted in my shoebox too. There is also a 23rd psalm bracelet and a Life bracelet that can witness your commitment to the protection and sanctity of life. Check them out!


Rob's mother, Jan, was called home last night. We thank God that she will no longer be in pain. We pray for Rob, Amy, and her friends and family as they morn her loss. We thank God for the wonderful mother that she was to Rob. We thank our friends for keeping them in their prayers also. May God grant them peace and understanding during this difficult time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lord Let at Last Thine Angels Come

Rob and Amy at Thanksgiving

My cousin Amy is one of my dearest friends! She lives in St. Louis and I don't get to see her NEARLY enough! She understands me so well! She and I have so many similar interests! She and her husband Rob are two of the kindest, most compassionate and generous people I know.

Just a few months ago we found out that Rob's mother had cancer. It has been a very rapid and vicious form of cancer. Currently she is awaiting her Lord to come to take her to her heavenly home. On Monday evening they took off her i.v.'s. The doctors explained that this was the best thing for Jan. However, it has been so very difficult for Rob. Rob is an only child who has been raised by a loving single mother. His mom has been so supportive of him all his life. Rob is having such a difficult time dealing with the fact that his mother is soon no longer going to be with him here on earth. I can understand why. Although Jan is currently still on this earth, small pieces of her have been fading away. I pray daily that Rob will feel God's peace and be able to find comfort through this time of suffering and loss.

When my father passed away I was terrified to be with him when he died. I dreaded the day. When the phone call came that we needed to get to the nursing home, I was trembling. I did not want to step into the room. I did not know what to expect. I have to say, although it was one of the most difficult times in my life, it was also a time that provided enormous peace and understanding. I thank my God that He gave me such great peace through my father's death. My dad whispered the word "home" while he was departing with His Lord. I KNEW that the Lord had folded him to his breast, there within His arms to rest. It was amazing. I pray that Rob is able to see that peace, to know that his Mother, by angel hosts attended, will be folded to her Father's breast, there to peacefully rest with Him in heaven.

I ask that you join our family in praying for Jan, Rob, and Amy. Also keep Rich in your prayers as he prepares the Word of God that will be preached when Jan is finally called home.

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abr'ham's bosom bear me home
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me,
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O son of God, Thy glorious face,
My savior and my fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

LSB 708 "Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart" vs. 3

Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday, Monday

Our beautiful Fontanini nativity set that my beloved started before we were married and we continue to add to. (This is just a small portion of the set.)
My hutch of adorable Christmas dishes from my cousin Jill!

These cute little penguins are a new addition this year!

Gord snowmen from a former student and my cousin Amy.

Well, I knew I would say this, but the day went better than I had anticipated. My troop was all happy and ready to share about their Chrsitmas! It is always amazing to me how much they grow in two weeks! Amazing!
It was good to be sitting in morning opening, praying together, reciting chatechism, learning from our pastors, it is a very good thing! I am still kicking a bit about going back, but it was nice to be with the kids.
We began our unit on China and the giant pandas today. I love this unit! Our internet system is still down at school so we were not able to go to the live panda cam.....hopefully tomorrow. They always love that.

It is now time for the dreaded taking down of decorations. I thought I would post a few of my favorite items before I take them down. I will have a little bit of Christmas on my blog all year!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality

So, after two weeks of break, it is time to go back to work! I just am not ready for this! I love my kids, but I am just not ready. I SO enjoyed the time off! It was wonderful to be home with Ben and Rich when he wasn't working. I loved cooking, playing on the computer, making jewlery, and enjoying our time together! I hope I will be able to keep up my blogging.

The past three days have been enjoyable. On Friday we took Ben to Barnes and Nobles and Build a Bear. He had a ball! He got several books and has already finsihed reading one! He got some adorable pajamas for his Elephant Meso and also a jean jacket hoodie. I could have spent a ton of money there! What a fun place!

Saturday we just hung out as a family. I spent time working on report cards and jewelry. Ben sat nearby reading. Rich was busy all day on the computer. We had a lovely fire and enjoyed the day!

Tonight we went to the circuit pastor's Epiphany party. It was lovely. We spent a lot of time visiting. I made plans to carpool with several others to our Katie retreat in February. I love the pastor's wives retreat. It is so relaxing. I will be leading a workshop on making 23rd psalm bracelets.

So, now it is time to hit the sack and come to the realization that tomorrow is coming wether I like it or not. I am sure it will be great once I am there!

Happy Monday to everyone!

Friday, January 4, 2008


So do you have this mess? After Christmas it seemed as though cords had invaded our home! What was I going to do with them all? How would I know what goes to which electronic toy we had? Camera? Computer? Ipod? Nintendo DS? PSP? New Electronic Key chain? I bring my dilemma up to Sarah, a college student and counselor for our junior youth group. "Well, I used my label maker and made labels for mine." Of course she did! Why didn't I think of that? So off I went!
The labels were a nifty idea, thanks Sarah! Now what do i do with them? I mention this to my friend Jessica as we had dinner the other night. She said she was going to get a basket to put all of their cords in. What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that one too? know me....I have a few baskets around the house!

So, here they are, my cords neatly labeled and put into this lovely Longaberger basket! Now, if I can keep them there and organized when they are not being used. Hope this helped you!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A year of good health!

2007 was a tough year! I had a root canal, two surgeries, and the scare of a possible third!

Last year's Christmas was disappointing. We were supposed to go to St. Louis to celebrate with my family at my cousin Amy's house. On Christmas Eve I ended up at the Urgent Care Center with strep throat. So, no solo on Christmas Eve, no playing the piano for the choir, no directing the hand bell choir, and no trip to St. Louis.

I actually got to attend the Easter services, but that afternoon before going to my mom's for Easter dinner I had some terrible pain. I finally told Rich that he as going to have to take me to the ER. Come to find out, I had a 19 mm gall stone! They said it needed to be removed surgically. It went well besides being put out and coming to. They waited FOREVER to put me out and I had some terrible chills as I came to. Overall, it was an easy surgery.

In June I came down with another case of strep throat. For the second time in a year I had to have a shot AND drugs to get rid of it. My doctor said it was time to look into having my tonsils removed. I visited an INT and he said it would be wise to have them removed. So, on our 10th Anniversary, out they came. I was TERRIFIED of this surgery. Every time I told someone I was getting them taken out I got an "oooooooh". But everything went beautifully! So far, I've done great and have not even had a sore throat!

Then, in October, I was at the doctor for an infection. Come to find out, my blood sugars were WAY out of whack. My doctor put me on some new medication and took some blood samples. From those tests he found my thyroid counts were off. He ordered some tests for me. I was terrified that it could be cancer. My Aunt Marilyn had thyroid cancer. When I went for my nuclear pill the lady that gave it to me convinced me that I was going to have it removed with nuclear radiation and that I would have to be in a room by myself for about 11 days. I just knew that was how I was going to spend my holidays!

When the tests were finished they decided things were not NEARLY as bad as it could be and all that we need to do at this point is watch and do a series of blood test. On top of that, my blood sugar is improving every day! My endocrinologist will be keeping tabs on things and will possibly take me off of some of the diabetes medications.

So, we are praying that 2008 is a healthy year for me! I am working hard to make that a reality but making good life choices! You all can help keep me on track if I seem to slip! Thanks.

Thank you Rich, my dear sweet husband, for being so patient and heplful through all of this drama. You are WONDERFUL! I could not have done it all without your love and support. Ben, thanks for understanding when I didn't always feeling like doing fun things with you. You are the best boy any mom could dream of! I love you both!

Share with me your hopes and goals for 2008!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Luther Rose Bracelets

I have been wanting to design a bracelet based on the Luther Rose for some time now. The difficult part has been finding the Luther Rose charms. I have found them, but they are not cheap! The bracelets will have a Luther Rose charm hanging from it. It will be attached to a card with the Luther Rose on it and an explanation of what the colors and symbols stand for. Which design do you like the best? I just cannot decide. I like one a bit more than the others, but I am wondering what everyone else thinks.
I will be at our Katie Retreat (Indiana District's Pastor's Wives Retreat) and I want to debut them there. I am also hoping to get them into the CPH catalog. I am not so sure how that will go, but what do I have to lose?
Tell me what you think! Thanks!

My Second Favorite Gift This Year!

The first kitty in the picture is Elle....which Ben named because he is big and gray like an elephant. We have had him for about 5 years now. Hard to believe. He is a really nice cat. He doesn't get into anything and is quiet, but he is not loveable. He WILL NOT sit on your lap and let you pet him. Occassionally he will hop up on the bed and let you pet him, but that is about his limit. He is VERY independent.

I was longing for a lap kitty. I wanted a sweet kitty that would sit on your lap and let you love it. I had asked for one for Christmas. I had actually been asking for one for months. I was pretty sure Rich did not have it in his plans to get me a kitty for Christmas.

In late November this sweet little orange cat started showing up around church and school. He would follow everyone around. At first I thought he probably belonged to someone who lived on our road. There are a lot of cats out here in the country. Weeks went by and you would see him around at all hours of the day. He would greet you as you came to school in the mornning, he would greet you as you left choir in the evening, he would be back by the dumpster when you threw out the trash, he was always around. One night, after choir, we decided we would bring him home and put him in the garage because it was going to be very cold that night. He let us pick him up right away. He was not afraid at all. When we arrived home I brought him in to give him some attention. He sat on my lap for over an hour and let me pet him. He was just so very sweet.

We then decided to keep him and named him Luther, although Ben was the only one that called him that, Rich and I call him Orange Kitty. He is quite plump and very soft. I began to wonder if we were wrong, that this cat may be a girl. I invited our friend and fellow teacher over to take a look. He knows a bit about all animals and most plants too. He agreed that it was most likely a girl. This puts the Luther name out of the running! Ben decided we should then name it Katie since it was a girl and that was Luther's wife's name. We agreed, but we all still call her Orange Kitty!

She is sweet and will let you pet her for hours. Elle and she irritate each other. Often she lays in front of the door to the room where the food is so he cannot get in. He will chase her endlessly so that she cannot relax in "his" spots. They do seem to have fun together too. Elle enjoys the company I believe. Orange Kitty seems very happy to have a family!

Now, we must get her to the vet and have everything taken care of. We are pretty confident she is not pregnant. She is getting smaller instead of bigger. I believe she had just put a warm layer on to keep herself warm. I also believe that her size had a bit to do with the hot dogs she was given after basketball games and the sandwiches the janitor was sharing with her! I pray she is not a momma....I wanted a new cat, but not new cats!

I told Rich she was sent by God to our church so I could have my Christmas wish. He says she was dumped by someone that felt guilty getting rid of her and knew someone at the church would have a soft heart! Whatever the case may be, I love her and she is a favorite gift this Christmas!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Sky is Falling!

We just got back from shopping. While we were out it snowed. A whopping 1/4 inch I would guess. The people here are FREAKING OUT! It has cracked me up for the 10 years we have been here in Sunny Southern Indiana. People were going about 30 mph on the interstate. Craziness! I suppose, in their defense, there are a lot of hills and twisting roads, but come on! If we weren't on Christmas break, I am sure that we would be tuning in to the TV to find out if school was going to be canceled in the morning. I am confident we would at lest be on a 2 hour delay. I will never forget the winter when we had a snow day because it was supposed to snow! No kidding! It never snowed. These southern folks just don't get snow. I miss Chicago! I really do. At least in the winter. Sorry southern you all...but that is just the way it is!

My Favorite Christmas Gift This Year

My favorite gift this year was from one of my students, Kassi. First of all, Kassi is a cool kid! She hums all the time. I am confident she knows all the words to EVERY Christmas carol. She carried my class in the Christmas Program. She is just neat!

On the first day of school I always have my second graders bring a bag to school with three items in it.
1. Something that shows what they did over the summer.
2. Something that shows a hobby or interest they have.
3. Something that shows what they would like to be or do when they grow up.
We look at the items and try to guess who the bag belongs to.

One of the items in Kassi's bag was a beautiful large shell that she had found on the beach in the Carloinas. She was very proud of it. She said no one else had found a shell that big. I mentioned that I was going to have to take a trip to the beach to find some beautiful shells like that because I was in the middle of redecorating our bathroom in a beach theme.

So, on the day of our Christmas party, there are gifts under the tree to me from the students. I ask every year that they don't do it, but they always do. One of the gifts is wrapped, a loose term here, in a piece of our classroom graph paper. There is TONS of tape, and my name is spelled wrong :0) Kassi proudly hands it to me and tells me it is from her. I cannot imagine what it could be, but Madison informs me that I am going to LOVE it. I open the crumbled graph paper to find THE shell that Kassi had brought on the first day of school. Tears immediately sprang into my eyes. What a wonderful gift! I couldn't have loved anything more! I told her that she did not have to give it to me, but she insisted I have it. I was touched and will cherish it always!