Saturday, November 28, 2009


The Thanksgiving holidays have raced past much too quickly, and I don't think anyone in my house is ready to start back to school on Monday. We put the books away for an entire week and devoted ourselves to family fellowship, fun, and consuming lots of food. The boys enjoyed deer hunting, shooting skeet, tossing the football around, and horseback riding. And the girls? We FINALLY made hoop skirts for a country dance. Yay!!!!

Here are my two young beauties wearing the new additions to their wardrobes. They strolled leisurely about the yard in their long skirts, enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures as they chatted and laughed. They practiced walking and sitting while maneuvering hoops. They took turns perching carefully on the piano bench to practice their recital pieces. And of course, they danced - long, bell-shaped skirts are irresistible for swishing, swooping, and twirling!

Martha pushed furniture out of the way, put on a CD of Irish whistle music, and led Helen in a merry do-si-do.

Happy feet, happy hearts, happy times!

(On a different note, we had the opportunity to see pieces of some football games on TV over the Thanksgiving weekend, while visiting with family. The television cameras zoomed in on some of the cheerleaders at one point, and the question was asked, "Why are their cheerleaders wearing clothes?" One of kids replied, "Oh, that's a college team. It's only the professional teams' cheerleaders that don't wear clothes." This mother is SO VERY GRATEFUL that her girls would rather play "ladies" than pretend to be Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. I hope they always aspire to be pretty girls, instead of Shake-'Em-Loose Sallys!)

Friday, November 27, 2009


In the midst of Thanksgiving weekend festivities, I am reminded of the words of a wise older friend: "Extended family is the crucible where our sins are ground out and exposed...always plenty of opportunities for repentance during a family reunion!"

How many of you can relate to this scenario - You try to be a deliberate, conscientious parent, with rules and standards of behavior for your children, rules intended for their health, happiness, and spiritual growth. Then, you pack the family off to the grandparents' house for the holidays, where it is officially announced upon your arrival by a respected member of the older generation, "None of your Mom's rules apply at Grandma's house!"

I have a friend who is eagerly anticipating her first grandchild. This friend has commented on several occasions how she plans to "spoil this baby rotten", adding that she's not ever going to discipline her grandkids. Parenting her own children was hard work. For her, this baby is going to be all about happy times and having fun. And if he gets cranky or unpleasant, she'll just pack him back off to his parents.

Now, I can understand the sentiment behind these comments. Parenting IS hard work, and it's fun to think about having a fresh new generation to enjoy without quite so much pressure and responsibility. But, grandparents who indulge in such selfish, unscriptural behavior do a huge disservice to themselves, their adult children, and their precious grandchildren.

When Israel stood on the brink of the Promised Land, after 40 years of wandering around in the wilderness as punishment for their earlier disobedience, Moses reminded the people of their covenant with the Holy, Sovereign God who ruled them. Commanding them to obedience, Moses said, "Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children...." (Deut. 4:9)

I am at the stage of life where my children are mostly grown, just beginning to leave the nest. My job as a parent is in many ways much easier now than when my kids where younger and parenting was more labor intensive. Truthfully, I have thought to myself, "Hey, I'm almost done! WooHoo! In another couple of years, my hard work of training the next generation will be over, and I can finally start doing some things for me!" But the passage from Deuteronomy hit me like a slap of cold water recently, as I considered the delightful possibility of having my own grandchildren in the not-too-distant-future. I am not almost done - my work has just begun!

God doesn't command parents to "train up" their children....and then clock out for early retirement. He commands us to train up our children....and then train up our children's children. This does not mean that my role as a grandparent will be the same as that of a parent. But it does mean that I will be more concerned about the salvation and spiritual growth of my grandkids than I will be about whether or not they think Grandma is a fairy god mother who makes all their wishes come true. God commands children to honor their parents - as a grandparent, I should be deliberate about encouraging my grandchildren to keep that command. My relationship with my grandkids should never undermine the authority and responsibility of their own mom and dad.

And so, yes, I've had to repent of the desire to "be done" with this parenting thing, to shift from hard work to party mode. I do think grandparenting will be a delight, and I hope my future grandkids will think of me, my home, and my relationship with them with pleasure. But, I also have a responsibility to lace the parties at this grandma's house with instruction, training, and much prayer. Scripture encourages me - obedience to the calling to train my children, and my children's children, will honor God and will bless my children and grandchildren.

I want my grandkids to know that Grandma loves them, but that God loves them infinitely more. That I desire their company, but that God so desires them that He pursues them and woos them even across a chasm of sin. More than a weekend at Grandma's, I want my grandchildren to eagerly anticipate a family reunion with Jesus. Bring on the grandbabies - I'm ready to bake cookies, and to talk about the feast and the fellowship that await in Glory!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


After a three month haitus, I am so thrilled to be blogging again! These past few months have been crazy-crazy...two trips to the hospital and several to the orthopaedist and heart doctor, three funerals and three births within our church family, fraternal projects and conventions, an eventful road trip that included a vehicle malfunction and rescue by a Handsome Prince, and numerous other frustrations and absurdities which my brain has no doubt repressed to prevent some kind of nuclear meltdown. And, stirred in with all that excitement, the mundane business of regular, school, laundry, school, blah, blah, blah.

But, all that time away from the computer has not been wasted, at least not as far is blogging is concerned. During my absence, I have been learning from several of my favorite young bloggers. The Hurricane Report has a new look and a new layout, and now credit must be given where credit is due.

First, THANK YOU, Emily and Ashley, for fresh inspiration and for reminding me how much fun this blog thing is, both as a blogger and as a reader of blogs. And, THANK YOU, Jenny, for new ideas for tools and features - you inspired me to boldly blaze new trails into the technosphere. And so far, I haven't blown anything up on my computer, either!

And finally, THANK YOU, Thomas, for the awesome Tech Support! The old saying is true: "You can't judge a book by its cover."

Don't be deceived by appearances, Dear Reader. Thomas is no ordinary redneck, hillbilly type. Beneath that suave exterior lurks a superb techno-geek and talented artist. Thomas dedicated the better part of a day to redesigning The Hurricane Report, including adding that awesome shot in the header taken from our front porch. He created a fresh new look for The Hurricane Report that has me eager to start writing!

(And, no, that picture is not posed. Just outside the boundaries of this photo, Tom's three brothers are fleshing a deer hide. Tom decided to provide a little musical entertainment for them as they worked, while giving OB a break from the kennel. Sister Martha managed to snap this shot before Tom became wise to her.)

One last note: Thomas has also agreed to provide some of his fabulous graphic art/cartooning for future blog posts. You are going to love Alpha Man!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving....and I'll see you back here, SOON.