Saturday, December 6, 2008

Visit My New Place

Click here to visit my new place of blog.

Working on a Fresh Start

I have to say that I am working on shutting down this blog, and moving to another site, which already exists, but I am not ready to tell you about it yet.

The reason for the change is that I have really grown out of the season of my life which generated "Shealyisnottheantichrist." My novel will actually be about that season in my life, and so I think it fitting that I move on to something else. It helps me compartmentalize my life experience enough to begin to write about it.

No worries, faithful blog followers, I will let you know as soon as I am ready to make the switch.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Remember my study room that I cleaned and organized and prayed through last week?

Last night, Ryan added a laptop to my desk, all set up and ready to write my novel.

Can you believe it?

Believe it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Love This

Here is more JJ Heller. If you are tender-hearted, get Kleenex.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Contest Winner Is...

R. won the contest that ended on November 15th. I will give more details tomorrow. I need to get to bed.

You Will Like This Very Much

I am all for free and encouraging and creative beauty in the body of Christ. That is why I am giving you this link to listen to a song for free. You can even download the album that goes with it for free. It is part of something from a site that helps emerging artists get music coverage on the internet, instead of say Letterman or the Antichrist's daytime show, Oprah.

Here we go:

I am attempting to give to a link to the site which will allow you to download the entire album for free, if share your blog name with them.

Click Here to visit the website

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Wanted To Be A Scholastic Monk Who Wasn't Fat and Made Great Spaghetti Sauce

I may seem as is I am rambling today because I am sorting out thoughts. Sometimes thoughts are like socks in the dryer when you pass forty because random ones disappear, and you cannot find them anymore. You know they were there once because you are looking at the result of the thought, i.e. a post it note or some unknown item that you purchased and stowed away for a special occasion which never occurred. This is probably why I keep a gift box under my bed. Sometimes I re-gift things which I have received and did not want to various individuals, and sometimes it seems like I am re-gifting when it is only the first time I remember ever seeing it.

Today, Mr. Sinta is off four wheeling with the neighbor, and I spent my extended off day prayer time praying and cleaning the spare bedroom where I generally read and pray. Then, I started praying about rearranging my life, and simultaneously started rearranging the room. Probably that made it a prophetic act, if you talk to people in the know. My prayer cell needed a reduced spider population, clean floors and general rearrangement, but so does my life.

Life can sometimes be evaluated by the decisions that we make at key times which influence how we spend individual days which make up the seasons of a life. As I was on my knees killing arachnids and scraping up dots of white paint, I pondered my new bookcases again. I got a great, super and fantastic deal from Mandi on some big green bookcases that I keep in my basement. They are so loaded with possibilities that I was overwhelmed, and I have done pretty much nothing with them.

I think that I know now what I am going to do. I am going to use them to get an education. Education ranks really high on my list of important things, and at various times I have pursued it on a full time or part time basis; I am referring to university study. However, as much as I want a degree, there is no money for it at this time. Period. End of story. I am taking classes at church for a year, and I will eventually graduate with a year of non-transferable credit at a ministry school, if I can keep from getting kicked out. I love it. I am learning a great deal. It stretches me and makes me think.

However, it is not the kind of Western civilization studies combined with the best of English literature education which constitutes admitting one to life's great conversation that I want. I am admitting to you that I want exactly that. At the library cheap shelf the other day, I bought a book I have wanted for years and years. I have actually copied pages and pages out this very book because it was a reference work and could not be checked out. For some reason they were discarding it, and I got it for 50 cents. It is: The Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman. My explanation is that God provides a way when He gives a desire like that.

I will be rearranging my shelves and my life to work on this season of my life. I already have a lot of the books. The truth is that in order to accomplish this goal, I need to thin out the books that I have. Initially, I am going to throw the thinned books into a box for at least a year. Some of them, I will give away. It is going to be like a intellectual marathon, and I need to throw out the junk books.

The funny thing is that I was getting rid of a book on the minor prophets that I really felt contemptuous about, and I gave it to a really good friend and confidant who is an evangelical, since it is an evangelical book. I explained to her that I despised the book because it was so incredibly shallow. I think of it as shallow because I compare it to some Catholic commentaries on the minor prophets that I own. I do not agree with their assessments of the Scriptures, but I appreciate the incredible amount of time that they have spent evaluating the Hebrew, and the light that they are able to shed on what the words actually mean. They compare how words are used in different contexts in the same book, etc. They do not have a grip on literal interpretation, but I can glean enough from their research to come up with my own ideas of what God was actually saying by the prophets. I have read some of them, especially Amos, again and again. I do not believe that the evangelical book referred to any of the detail or beauty of the original language at any point, and drew really just a few thoughts from each book, condensing them almost in comic book style. I love my friend, and she was not at all offended that I was giving her a shallow second rate commentary on the minor prophets. She is not shallow or second rate in any way, but she is a lot more humble than I am, and she can learn from just about anybody. The most helpful thing in the book I gave her was a page with a one sentence summary of each book of the minor prophets. I kind of wish I had made a copy of that one page. It is really good that I was never a monk because we still would not have a complete copy of any manuscript. Too many decisions.

I am also working on losing 50 pounds so I can make another stab at a marathon next fall. Without disclosing my method, I will simply say that I plan to consume less, eat healthier, and stick with it until I meet my goal. I am giving up running, this sounds like sacrilege to some of you, until I can lose a significant proportion of that weight because I believe it is hard on my body to make it carry that much extra weight. Trust me that I want to run. I will be walking in the meantime, just three lousy miles a day.

I also want to write. I have a novel in my head and I am ready to start it. All the current ideas fit on a four by six card. When I get it actually going in a week or two, I will let you know more.

The other thing that I really want is a Biblically renewed mind. I want to really think and live and believe and act just like God intends. I think that somehow all of these goals are kind of tied together. It is time to start a new season, in which I am concentrating on hard, but doable things, things within reach. I trust that as I am a faithful monk, or monkette, or monkess, if you prefer, that by putting one foot in front of the other on a disciplined daily basis, that my life will get cleaned and rearranged, just like I prayed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Heck, I Already Blew It

I already blew it on my eating today, so I am not going to wallow in that. Breakfast is wicked!

Abby communicated to me her complete irritation with the grammar program that we have been using to kind of 'nail down' her senior year English education. It is from the good folks at Canon Press; don't buy it.

In an effort to find a sequential, builds on review kind of curriculum quickly, I went to the basement and dug up the old records of the Shurley Method. For some reason, I saved the Level 6 Teacher's Manual, so we will review with that for now. I grabbed Aimee's Level 6 student manual, and for your blog entertainment, I will reproduce some of her original sentences for you. You may note that they are all correct; Aimee is a very correct person. We call her the perfect child. The entertaining part is the subject matter. Horses weigh heavily in almost all of her thoughts!

I have a horse. Do you like horses? The wild horse almost ran over John! Bring that horse here. (Declarative, Interrogative, Exclamatory, and Imperative)

The angry horse reared quickly.
The beautiful horse ran quickly by the stands.
The beautiful horse was running at the jump because he loved jumping.
The gentle horse walked quietly.
We know nothing about riding.
Do not ride on the icy path in the woods.
Were the beautiful palomino horses ridden yesterday?
Today the town sheriff met the bandits.
Several angry dogs barked at the boy on the fence.
The little puppy ran around happily.
She is riding today at Bob's stable.
The horses whinnied loudly outside.
(You get the idea.)

Here is an original 3 point paragraph by Aimee.

My Favorite Breeds of Horses

I have three favorite breeds of horses. They are Arabians, Morgans and Pintos. My first favorite breed of horse is the Arabian. I like Arabians because they are very fast. My second favorite breed of horse is the Morgan. I like Morgans because they are strong. My third favorite kind of horse is the Pinto. I like Pintos because they have beautiful spots. I am fond of many kinds of horses, but I like Arabians, Morgans, and Pintos best.

Inserted, almost parenthetically, in her daily sentence log are a few fun facts about the family, like the following:

Hooray! Abby can do a front walkover.
Mom bought a new sofa.
I asked, "Who gave you that candy bar?"
"Woof," said Randy.
Abby walked Randy, and I walked Sassy. (The dog next door, now deceased.)
Abby rode Sundance, and I rode Simon. (Simon and Sundance have passed on as well.)
Abby was sick; however, she went outside. (The need to report is strong in a middle child.)

There were a few horse bloopers:

When the horse stopped, I fell off.
After the horses ran away, we rode cows.

Some complex sentences:
When the music played, the dog howled, and the cat turned green.
The next day:
When the music stopped, the dog turned green and the cat howled.

I could go on for quite a while, but I will finish with another 3 point paragraph.

My Favorite Animals
by Aimee

I have three favorite animals. They are horses, dogs and cats. My first favorite animal is a horse. I like horses because they are fun to ride. My second favorite animal is a dog. I like dogs because they are fun to play with. My third favorite animal is a cat. I like cats because they are graceful. Although I like many animals, horses, dogs and cats are my favorites.

I think she may have changed her mind about cats. This was their lone mention in the entire level 6 workbook.

Enjoy your children today. Now Aimee is old and married and writing another novel this month and presenting a paper next year at a conference in Boston. I doubt she mentions cats in either one, but I would not be surprised if she managed to squeeze in a horse or two.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Well, last night I woke up at about 3 am and could not sleep. I wasted time on the computer, and fell asleep about the time that I should have been getting up. The day continued in that same vein of not doing the right thing first, so although I got things done, I probably wasted a great deal of time. Late in the afternoon, I remembered to check to see if I had a class tonight, and I did. I had just enough time to take a quick shower, and make supper before running out of the door. I came home and ate leftovers and watched a PBS show on seal rescue. Interestingly enough, it mentioned Pier 39 in San Francisco, which we visited last month.

I am certain that I could have done without the seal melodrama, as it turned out to be. Always humans are the bad guys, especially humans who excrete waste. Is there any other kind of human?

If you do not have enough bad news, my bil, Joel, relayed the thoughts of a Russian thinker who believes China and Russia will eventually run the international banking system. When Gog and Magog take over, I am hoping to be leaving shortly...

I did get some Christmas shopping done today, cleaned the first floor of the office, picked up the mail, and bought my Lies Women Believe book. Also, the Rostrons are coming for Thanksgiving. Hooray!!! Of course, the house is filled with leaves that the dog has dragged in, and if I vacuum them up, he will drag in more just before I answer the door on Thursday. I love my messy dog.

On the good side, I am not all upset about everything. I have decided just to stop being so intense about things that I cannot fix. However, I have no one to blame but myself for my weight, so I am going to work on that---Tomorrow, of course!

Monday, November 24, 2008

In between beatings...

In between times of telling myself that I am going to lose 40 pounds and do it RIGHT NOW, and other times of telling myself to get off my butt and get out there and run, and other times of telling myself to get out of bed right now because IT IT TIME TO PRAY...then I think to myself that I need to get re-motivated or start rethinking my approach to life. What I am doing is not working for me.

Today, a great thing happened. I got together with a faithful-prayer-partner-friend- mentor-person, and we are going to meet once a week for a few months to go over the Nancy De Moss book, Lies Women Believe.

There is something about accountability that really helps me to get motivated and get things off of the ground.

It is probably a great deal like telling your kids to make their beds vs. telling them that you will be in shortly to check on their made beds.

We had a great weekend in Reno watching the Broncos beat the Wolfpack. That was a stressful, exhilarating game with loads of really fun fans, even the one behind me who accidentally poured beer down my back and later bonked me on the head unintentionally. I kept telling her, "This is not a problem. We are packed in here like sardines." :)

I have to say that it was a thrill to feel the cold beer on a brisk day outdoors when we were in the nosebleed section of the stadium. All of us survived, and a long hot bath did wonders for body and soul that night.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Rhetorical Question

Is it possible to see yourself in the process of decomposing while you are still alive?

The last couple of days have made me want to just pull my own plug, and turn in my Believer Card to my Maker.

"Here I am. I am done. I believe in You. Please take me into Heaven because a. You are merciful b. You love me more than life itself c. It looks like the country is taking a turn for the worse very shortly, and I did not vote for it, pray for this to happen, donate to the wrong people or even watch Oprah, who evidently is the new Antichrist. d. Relationships with church people are driving me to the brink of (Insert something desperate, but non-violent in here, thank you.) e. All of the above

Running away never solves anything, even running to Heaven, although I hear the shadow is a great place to be. (Psalm 91) The truth is that as we stay and face up to our own insecurities and the blatant insensitivity and ungratefulness of the body of Christ is when we are being most Christ-like, and most God-like. In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that his Father is kind to the ungrateful et al.

Being like Jesus, means that I am going to die to some/all, depending on the day, of my personal goals and ambitions because how I treat people is more important than how they treat me.

When people in the body of Christ engage in activities and speech than is offensive to us, and we take the time and care to approach them to deal with the offenses because we care about maintaining relationships, a value that is high on God's list as well, (Keep your offering until you make things right with your brother.) and we are scorned, disbelieved, rejected, lectured, and dissed, there is some dying in that. We get to die to our ideas of what great fellowship looks like because sometimes there is blood on the floor, and we find out it is ours. We get to die to our illusions that our spiritual leaders are really sensitive and compassionate, because we find out that they not only have feet of clay, but that the reason they have so many problems getting along with people is that they do not have the people skills of a Kmart cashier, despite their great spiritual gifting or calling.

Oh well. I am staying on earth. And I am dying to a few things this week, and probably decomposing a little more next week. Somewhere in all of this will turn up life. It's on the back of my Believer Card. He who loses his life will find it. Doesn't say where or when, but will. Maybe in Reno...maybe in Boise...but it will happen, just like the sun coming up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blew It

I did something today that I have not done for a long time. I blew it. I was mad that no one did the dishes while I was gone last night, even though I made all the food and set the table for them. I was mad that they used my best cookie sheet to stick some BBQ'd chicken in the oven and have apparently ruined my cookie sheet. I have guarded my two best cookie sheets for years from pizza and assorted things that would ruin the finish, and now this. I was mad that Abby got up 2 hours later than I did and then said that she was ditzing on the computer instead of doing school because she had to wait for me. I was mad because some other people, not related to me, seem to have presumed to direct and control my plans. Those who know me, know how much I just love that. Other things, which I am not mentioning, have been pretty stressful as well. So, I blew it. I yelled. I stormed. I said I was taking today off of school. I pushed a stool with a brisk squeaky action with enough strength to make it crash a little, although it didn't do any damage. I told Abby she was doing all of her work by herself today. So there.

I went to the basement to do someone else's laundry, and talk it all out with the Lord. He is the only Person in the universe who is not threatened by angry women who have absolutely had it. The Red Cross had the misfortune to call and want my blood at that moment. The Nerve. I politely let them know that I would not be giving them any more blood. I am off the list.

When I started praying, and unloading everything with the Lord, it occurred to me that I am really weary in my soul. I thought about the marathon and how wearying that it turned out to be, how I felt completely overwhelmed when I was on the last fifth of the race. That's when my friend, Lynn B., came and parked her car and ran the last five miles with me. There was no glory in it for her at all. It wasn't even a good work out for her because I was going so darn slowly. When I thought about how weary that I was, and how much I appreciated her sacrifice for me, it made me cry. Suddenly it dawned on me that it was so touching because she was acting like God does. He does that for us. Doctrinally, I know that He is always with us, but sometimes when we are just weary in our souls and want to quit, we just need a good dose of His presence to make us good to go again. Patient endurance can come just from being encouraged at the right time by a Friend who wants to see you succeed by not quitting. A very gracious Friend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ryan's Tender Heart

Yesterday Ryan started telling me about a elementary aged boy in northern Idaho who was being beaten by his parents and was removed from his home and put with a foster family. Eventually, the boy went before a judge, who wanted to place him with different extended family members, his grandparents. The boy said that they would beat him as well. The judge suggested an aunt and uncle. The boy protested that they would beat him as well.

At this point I explained to Ryan that when a family is so dysfunctional as to beat a child in the way that this boy had been beaten, that often the violence is rooted in the extended family. As I waited to hear the conclusion of the story, I felt kind of a sad anticipation, and wondered if the reason Ryan was bringing this up was that one of our friends was taking in this young boy.

Ryan added that the judge asked the boy where he wanted to be placed, if he could choose any place. The boy answered, "I want to live with the Idaho Vandals, because they never beat anybody."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, People Are Coming

I am not sure why, but we are having a terrible time trying to make friends at church.

We usually make friends by spending time with people at church, a.k.a. Sunday school or small groups, but this church does not have those things. I tried to make friends by serving, but I only became acquainted with the secretary because the building was empty, no big surprise here, when you are cleaning it. I worked in the nursery for the Saturday night services this summer, and also came up empty. There was never more than one child at a time in there. Well, once I had two children, and talked to one of the moms who hung around a while, but they did not stay at the church. They were just visiting and trying to decide whether or not to leave their old church. Total strikeout.

Another way we have of making friends at churches is by having people over for dinner. Everyone whom we have gotten to know in this way has left the state. One left the country; she moved to Australia. She sends me fascinating emails replete with photos of all that they are doing and experiencing, and sweet personal notes and encouragements that she is praying for me. Alas, she is an email friend. We need some flesh and blood friends.

Our final way of making friends is by having parties. We are supposed to have one tonight, and I think that it may have bombed before it even started.

Hey!!! The phone rang. Aimee and Brent are coming...It may be a fun time after all.

I will let you know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Non-conformist is a label that I give myself when I realize that my opinion differs with everyone else's opinion, and my opinion, which I am usually passionately ready to die for, is likely to be very unpopular.

Having a label for myself like that insulates me a little from small minded people who disagree with me. Not all people who disagree with me are small minded, but I have run across quite a few. They want to make me unhappy, in addition to being unpopular, because I disagree with them. It is an emotional power play. Thinking people resist all such small minded attempts to force us to conform. I think that I learned this when I was a preschooler. I have practiced.

So, when other people call me a name for being different or disagreeing with them, I automatically insert the word 'non-conformist' in its place, so their label doesn't float around in my head and weaken my position.

I was caught off guard on Tuesday night, when a class mate called me unorthodox. To his shock and chagrin, I replied that, "Yes, I am." The implication being that he had to just deal with it because I had no intentions whatsoever of entering into the "What can I change to please you?" mind game.

Today, I looked up unorthodox and discovered that the first definition had to do with not conforming to established doctrine, and the second definition dealt with being unconventional.

It made me mad, but I got over it.

However, I thought that I should come up with some snappy comebacks, in case it ever happens again.

"Yes, I am unorthodox, but I don't recall ever hearing an original thought come out of your mouth."

"Unorthodox, sure I am. I bet that the last time you thought outside the box was when your mom got a new refrigerator."

"Unorthodox? Thanks. I didn't realize I had made it to the top of the heap."

What did I do that was so unorthodox? I asked a question. Actually, I asked permission to ask a question about a text we were reading outside of class. Of course, it was a question over a doctrinal point that I disagreed with, but he had no way of knowing that.

I am glad I am over it.

I am so over it. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things I Lost At the Marathon

I meant to put this in the other day, but, "Oh, well."

The City of Trees Marathon was on a pretty brisk day for Boise, so I wore a t shirt over a tank top with a pair of shorts and a belted waist fanny pack for runners with a water bottle. I wore sunglasses. Woo-hoo.

I bought the fanny pack on the day before the race because I was afraid that they would not have enough water stops. That freaked me out, so I did what no marathoner is supposed to do. You are never supposed to ever change anything the day before the race. You ONLY do what has already worked for you. So...I broke the rule, and I am glad that I did. There were no bad consequences. It is really a good rule for marathoners because even wearing a different t-shirt than you normally do can cause major grief for you.

For instance, I had to buy a product at the running store called Glide, because when I put on long mileage days, just the rubbing of my tank top on my arms made very painful red welts where the skin had worn off in just one practice run. When you are repeating the same motion, over and over, you have to be careful of little things like that.

At any rate, I was happy for the extra t-shirt. It was an ugly green one that Mr. Sinta had not worn for years, so he donated it to the cause. On about mile ten, every article of clothing that I had was already soaked through with sweat, so I discarded the t-shirt. I did not want to be a trashy runner, so I gave it to a person who was directing traffic and asked them to dispose of it as I was running past. Amazingly, she assured me that she would not put it in the trash, but would donate it to charity. This is Boise's North End. They are an amazing bunch. I recycle. And I donate things to charity, but I live on the Bench. Roughly translated, that means if you hand me a sweaty t-shirt at a marathon, I am going to put it in the nearest trash can. This is not a slam on the North End. It is an observation. They are different. They care about the environment more than you care for some of your relatives.

I have had a change of heart toward the North End since I ran down Harrison Blvd. This is one of the richest streets in town. You probably don't live there unless you inherited the house, or you own quite a bit of a Fortune 500 corporation, you are a physician or you are on the board at Micron. Nevertheless, when I ran by, an old overweight solo runner who was so far back that I could not even find the trash that the pack left behind, they came out in their front yards and cheered and clapped for me. It was a very humbling and uplifting experience. I even high fived a two year old. I love you, North End!

Okay, so what did I lose? When I took off the t-shirt, I forgot that my sunglasses were on top of my head, and evidently they dropped into the street. That accounts for two losses, the shirt and the sunglasses.

The third loss is kind of gross, and if you have a weak stomach, you may want to skip this and come back another day. You were warned.

When I took off my shoes at home, I could see that one of my toes looked deformed. It had a very huge blister underneath one of the toe nails. I will spare you the details, but later this month, that toenail fell off. Isn't that strange?

The positive side is that I got to wear one of my Hello Kitty band aids for a few days. I love Hello Kitty.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Latest

In order to stop feeling guilty about all of the days I have missed blogging, I will attempt to give brief concise descriptions of things so I can move forward on another day without guilt.

The Marathon: I ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran some more. Various people in the North End cheered for me as I ran all by sweaty tired self, way behind almost everyone else. My husband rode his bike and encouraged me on Crescent Rim. My friend, Lynn, drove around in her car and gave me wonderful Gatorade at various times, and also ran the last five miles with me, or I do not believe that I would have finished. I hurt so much that the only way I could keep running was to sing my goofy Barry Manilow love song, Can't Live Without You to the Lord again. It honestly actually helped me to run, but poor, poor Lynn had to listen to me! She said that she had never seen (or heard, I imagine) a singing marathoner before. Since I sang it when we were running together, I briefly considered that the soccer players in the park would think we were lesbians, and decided that I was going to just concentrate on running the race and let other considerations go. I was so emotional that I had to stop singing from time to time or I would have sobbed. As I crossed the finish line, and they placed a medal around my neck, I had one big sob and then held back the tears. Mr. Sinta thoughtfully brought me a COLD DIET COKE for which I bless God!!! He also brought me some warm sweats to slip over my shorts and tank top because suddenly I was very cold and all my muscles started to seize up and if I thought I was in pain during the race, it was only a foretaste of that pain which was to come after the race. :)
I crawled into the truck, and went home and stood in the shower for at least an hour. I am not kidding! Then I made a big mistake and sat on a low sofa with no arms for about 3 or 4 hours, and I could not get up. I had to crawl to a doorway and a desk and pull myself up. Feeling 88 instead of 48 lasted about 3 days. I won't tell you how hard it was to get on and off of the potty, but I will just say that it was REALLY hard. I am very, very glad that I was able to run the marathon, it is something that I will remember until I die. I might run another one next year if I can lose 40 pounds first. I have no intention of every carrying 40 extra pounds over a finish line again...I took a month off from running and finally made it out today for a short and slow 3 miler. I am very happy to be on the road again. For some reason without much trying, I have lost about 13 pounds already. We theorize that it was because I was eating like a pig when I was training, and the loss of some muscle weight. I have determined that I will not run another marathon without an iPod because it is just very difficult to maintain the mental discipline if you end up running by yourself. I honestly do not have any idea why I ran a marathon. I asked myself that while I was running it. Wouldn't it have been prudent, you say, to have asked myself that before the race? Yes, but it never occurred to me.

The Election: I thought Mr. BO would win, but I was wishing and praying that he would not because he is a death sentence for the unborn. He also will not be doing any favors for the middle class, small businessmen, people who own guns, people who go to churches that he does not agree with, people who think logically, people who don't like having terrorists blow up their country, people who buy food at grocery stores or anyone who is not a Oprah fan. I am glad that the Marriage Amendments passed, glad and amazed.

My Novel: I am planning on beginning to write a novel in the next few days. It will be a private novel until I figure out what I am doing. Then, I will release it to the masses, travel around to Borders nationwide doing book signings and hire only photographers with special lenses which make me look skinny. Oh yes, when Oprah calls, I will be too busy to do the show.

My Dog: He is very, very cute and sweet and seems to have chosen me for his best friend. He follows me everywhere. I think that everyone else in the house is too busy for him, so he has adopted me. He also has seeds in his fur, and needs a thorough combing. He has managed to stay on the right side of the law, since the last time, and I have stayed out of court. For this, I am extremely thankful.

The School of Ministry: I would never have anticipated enjoying this as much as I do, but it is true. I really enjoy it. We just finished our second month. We are tested monthly in three subjects. So far, I have 6 A pluses.

All for now. In the near future, I can sign in with short snippets and write without guilt. Thank you for waiting for me, faithful readers. I am sorry for taking so long!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Calendar

I was advised to take 26 days off from running after the marathon. Evidently, a day per mile is recommended for some reason. I was so beat up afterward, that it sounded good to me. Today is Day 25, and I am now looking forward to Saturday's run. I have noticed myself kind of flagging lately, both physically and emotionally, and I am anticipating the lift that comes from running outdoors on the Greenbelt.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Had Another Dream

Okay, so I am being extremely lazy, and not posting about the Marathon. Someday, I will do that...

I had a great dream last night. In the dream I had my own pet fish. I know it was MY pet fish because when I left the house to go somewhere, I reached my hand in the tank and took it out. I carried it with me everywhere and also talked to it quite a bit. When I got back home having completed a number of wonderful adventures which I am sadly unable to recall, I put my fish back in the tank. I remember really loving my fish, and believing that he was a faithful and supportive friend, although we lived in two entirely different worlds. Inexplicably, Mr. Sinta took my fish out of the tank when I was not looking, and I could not find him anymore.

I woke with the sensation of having had an absolutely terrific fish for a pet, and also the sadness of a friendship lost.

I am thinking it would make a great book for children who have an offbeat sense of humor, and aren't PETA members. Sensitive, unbalanced young conservatives could appreciate that kind of thing. The problem would be finding a way to market to the 7 or 8 sensitive, unbalanced young conservatives in the English speaking world.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I had a dream

I had a dream last night that I once again owned a cat, and that Mr. Sinta worked at Sears, which he has never done. Mr. Sinta took us both, me and the cat, to a couples' retreat, where we did not know anyone, because he thought that I wanted to go. Someone admired my cat, and my cat bit the someone. This was not a good way to make friends. We left at the first intermission to get ice cream. For some reason, Abby was with us, probably it was the mental association with ice cream.

I am glad to be home from the San Jose game, where it turns out we were on ESPN several times, and the Broncos won. We spent a day tooling around the wharves in San Francisco, touring and shopping and eating at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was great!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We Wish We Were Sarah Palin

While none of us wants her schedule, her exposure, her critics or her stresses, let's be honest. We all want to shop like her!

I saw an article yesterday by a photographer who kept documenting Sarah's shoes. She has an awesome pair of red ones like Abby, who is in the shoe business and got them on sale at Dillard's!

Today, it was revealed that the GOP spent scads of money on her at Neiman Marcus and at Macy's in Minneapolis just before the Convention, and also bought some cool stuff for Todd (known in Alaska as First Dude) at Atelier's.

Does this make me upset? No.

I guess I am wondering why no one covers the expense account of Michelle Obama?

Ryan showed me a Saturday Night Live excerpt that featured Sarah Palin. She was excellent, and it was really funny.

All for now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I have been out on a long walk, thinking and listening to worship music and pondering things that trouble me which I can do nothing about other than pray and comment in my blog.

You may thank me, dear readers, that I am going to spare you my frustrations, and my ventable feelings.

I will render this opinion, unrelated to the rest of my meditations, Phil Wickham, the worship leader rocks.

God bless Abby who reprogrammed my iPod so I can listen to his album as much as I want! Every house needs a teenager nowadays!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I would like to announce a contest that will be coming up in the month of November on my blog. Here's the gist of it.

Think of the twenty most famous and influential people who never lived. You will need to come up with the names of fictional characters who have shaped American/Western culture. These characters may not have been in books. They may be non existent in other media. On November 15th, send me your list. The person with the most correct answers will win.


The short story is that I finished within my goal time, and I am thankful and happy and sore. For the rest of the story, I will need another day. God is good to me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Witch Surprise

Imagine my shock today as I went to the Post Office to pick up my mail to find two packages. One was graduation photos for Abby, and I assumed the other one was the checks that I had ordered. After arriving home, I dutifully opened the checks only to find that it was a gift copy of my favorite novel ever, The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

Thank you kind Book Sender, whoever you are!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Group Trip

I rode my bike to the library and bought a used copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

I also went to Winco and picked up supper, since I am the only one here. Mr. Sinta comes back tonight from CDA, Abby is at work, and Ryan is on an ROTC weekend. If you must know, I was curious as to what Barbado looks like from the book's description, so I googled it.

Very impressive.

I am thinking that a group trip to Barbados is in order to do book research.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Yesterday, I was able to go on a 3 mile run, which was the recommended mileage for the team. Only the vestiges of The Great Sickness remain.

I plan to run the whole thing on October 5th.

God is so good!

The next big goal will be losing the extra weight that I have been carrying around in my training. Oink, Oink!

Monday, September 22, 2008

That Attitude Thing

It seems that at times, I can go for months without attitude problems. Then, suddenly I am besieged with a long overdue attitude rodeo and roundup in which all of the horses somehow got loose on the trail.

I have been battling a crappy attitude all week. I have stayed up at night, coughing and hacking and repenting and hacking some more. Spiritual onslaughts sometimes seem to be timed to hit with physical challenges. Isn't it easier to crank out some nasty comment if you have a sore neck,or your head hurts and you can't remember the last good night of sleep that you had, and by golly everyone ought to get out of my way. I know that I am not the only one who has been in this arena.

Since I am a woman, I want to get to the root of my attitude, and deal with that root so thoroughly that I can be assured that I am not repressing emotions, but training them so that I never have to face this particular problem again in this lifetime, or at least until next Thursday when I will be tempted to give in to it one more time. (Thank you God that I am not a man, and can be a real person and have thoughts and emotions and can consider football to be an optional part of life, and hunting to be totally unnecessary.)

Secret sins always come out to whack us on the head when we are just about to ascend into heaven, translated like Enoch, just whooshed from earth to heaven in a heartbeat during our morning quiet time. Bitterness, anger, jealousy, the desire for recognition, and the demand for something more or even just something different are all areas in which I have to scout out and recover my own soul daily.

Actually, for the last 18 months, I have been tempted in the area of discontent more than anywhere else. Letting the status quo be good enough when the status quo makes me want to run screaming from the room has been a huge issue. The All-Sufficient One. That is one of God's names for himself. It is not that he gives us a lot of stuff or sends us to the Bahamas in a jet because he loves us so. (If you disagree feel free to send me an H is for Heretic in my comments.) No, he, himself, is more than enough for us in any situation. We don't need to scream when we know that he hears even a whisper or has all of our heartbeats counted. So many horses can be rounded up all at once if I just take the time to really focus on him, understanding the he is present, he is listening and he is responding

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sick and Raining

Well, after an entire of week of being sick, not running, not walking or even riding my bike, I topped it off by missing the Saturday ten mile run because I was too sick to run and because it was raining.

Since I have never trained for a marathon before, I have no idea what this does to my chances for actually completing it on October 5th. I have to believe that taking a rest will be good for me in the end.

That's what I'm hoping.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick

Mr. Sinta gets home tonight. He left Monday morning for a project in another city. It seems like he has been gone a decade, not five days.

Almost as soon as he left, RT became sick with the feverish, headachy, congested, coughing flu. I ran to the store to get some of his favorite things: Mountain Dew and Funyons and other miscellaneous things that have no nutritional value at all, but might cheer up a sick person and keep them from losing too many electrolytes.

Then, I became sick, but I went to school anyway on Tuesday and Thursday. Abby also became sick, so the three of us have been miserable together, and have still all been attending most of our classes. Well, I don't know about RT. We have a don't ask/don't tell policy with things like that with him. At 21, he does not need to have a mother hounding him, and I do not need to sit around wondering if he will ever graduate or just live with us until we throw him out.

One night I took NyQuil and actually slept pretty well. My lungs were even more congested the next day, which is exactly what Grandpa Bob says always happened to him. It lets you sleep at night, but then you are more sick the next day. It is a nasty cycle, and at some point you have to decide if you want sleep more or if you want to recover more. Last night, I opted to recover, which meant that I was absolutely miserable all night, but I feel some better now at 1 p.m. I slept from about 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Two things are worth mentioning in this terrible week of battling the crud.

One is that Aimee brought me a Cool Whip dish full of Brent's homemade chicken noodle soup. He even makes the noodles. It was excellent, and I felt very cared about, but still sick. It is nice to get little assurances like this from time to time that Aimee is well taken care of. Let's be honest. He spoils her royally. He dotes on her. I like seeing that.

The second funny thing is that last night as I was laying in bed, not sleeping, there was a knock on my door. RT came in quite distressed. If you have a weak stomach, at this point I would suggest that you do not continue reading my blog today because what I am about to say is really, really gross and disgusting.

Wow. You are true fans. Okay, here it is: he was distressed because he had just had diarrhea and it was bright neon green. Not being content to share this information with me, he absolutely insisted that I had to come and see it. He also assured me that it did not smell.

I care about each of my children passionately. I want the best for them. I want to protect them from tragedy, but I told him that I was not willing to come and see the contents of the toilet. He insisted again. He was sure that he was really, really sick with something really, really dangerous.

I assured him that I totally believed him that his diarrhea was bright neon green, and I did not need to see it for myself. His testimony was enough for me.

He insisted yet again. Again, I declined and explained that maybe this could result from the infection working its way through his body and also by his consumption of 2 two liter bottles of Mountain Dew and/or Lime Tostitos.

I remember that eventually I convinced him that a. I was not coming to see it, and b. he was not dying.

My own dilemma is that after the 22 mile run, I have not taken a step for 6 days, not even a walk, other than walking to the BSU game. Tomorrow I am supposed to run ten miles. Perspective is a funny thing. Ten miles seemed like a short run on Sunday, and now it looms large on the horizon, nearly overwhelming. I have to keep adjusting my sights, and just take it one run at a time.

I have been thinking lately about how preparing for a marathon kind of mirrors different seasons of our lives.

My sister in law, Sharon, has her hands full at the moment. Her husband is working out of state for the next few months, and will be in Dubai after the first of the year, and her mom is battling cancer. The doctor cannot tell them what the right answers are. They have to make decisions, and no one can tell them what the right decisions are. She is single moming it at the moment and has a lot on her plate. I would say that she is running a spiritual marathon. When you pray today, take some time to pray for Sharon and her mom to run wisely and well in the race that is before them. Thank you true fans!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Psalm 118:5-9
Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered me and set me free.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

Instead of looking for a person or a leader whom I can trust in stressful times, I need to learn to call on the Lord because that is far better.

I can choose to put my trust in men, who may or may not disappoint me, or I can take refuge in the LORD. What kind of refuge can a man provide, compared to what the LORD provides? The LORD not only listens to me, but he answers me and takes action on my behalf to set me free. He promises to be on my side, not as merely an observer or a witness, but as my helper.

Tomorrow's results will bear out today's truths. The LORD is with me. I will look in triumph on those who have united to defeat me because of hatred, not because a man or a leader helped me out, but because the LORD helped me out. My enemies might be able to intimidate a man, but they can never intimidate the LORD. Some men might be good to help out in our distress. It would seem that men in positions of power or authority might be more helpful than just a common man, endowed with no power. The point of the verses remains that whatever help men or leaders may be able to lend us, to trust in the LORD is always a step above; it is better.

Take, for instance, the very concept of refuge. The LORD does not say that He will make a refuge for me somewhere, as a man would try to do. The LORD Himself becomes my Refuge, which is far better.

The rub is that we cannot have both. We cannot add trusting man to trusting God and have an equation that equals refuge, freedom, triumph, answers, provision and help. Men may allow it, but God does not. He does not share His glory with anyone. In this Psalm, it is presented as an either/or proposition. If trusting in men and the LORD were a possibility, it would certainly be listed here. There is another reason why we cannot have both; it is the heart of man. The heart was made to focus on one thing at a time. A heart that constantly flits from one source of help to another cannot enter into rest or refuge; a double minded man cannot receive anything from God because it is not in a position to do so.

To enter in to what is better, we begin by calling on the LORD. We continue by affirming our faith in Him, and maintaining our focus on Him. We are finished when He Himself becomes our Refuge.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Emotional Ruler

Today was an emotionally draining day for me. I wish I were a spiritual giant who had life in all of its complexities figured out, and never spent a moment feeling insecure, inadequate, purposeless or afraid.

Here's a thought: even John the Baptist, one of the greatest men who ever lived, had his doubts after six months or more in prison. When he worked through his doubts with a little help from his friends, he was beheaded for telling the truth.

Things could look up for you, but then again...maybe not.

Oh well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday's Mileage

Saturday turned out to be my longest running day ever since I clocked in 22.2 miles in preparation for the Marathon. It was only supposed to be 22 miles, but I missed one of the mile markers on the last leg of the run. Oh well. Since we walked to and from the BSU game that night, I told Mr. Sinta that I think I actually did the full marathon distance over the course of the day.

The first 18 miles included a 9 mile run to Lucky Peak swimming area from Municipal Park, and the return trip. I did not think I would have a running partner, so I brought my iPod, complete with newly downloaded Phil Wickham worship music, which is free from his web site if you want it. Instead, I was able to run with my coach, Lynn, a Christian whom I have known for years. We are both home school moms, our daughters are friends, we have military sons, we used to go to the same church, and our birthdays are exactly two days apart. Now, I will be concise: it was the shortest 18 mile run of my life because we had so much to talk about, and the scenery was beautiful. She was not prepared to go the extra 4, so I ran out an additional 2 (or 2.1) by myself, and then ran back.

Yes, I got kind of goofy during the last four miles. I think that the blood leaves my brain to somehow assist my legs. At mile 21, I started singing the Barry Manilow song, "Can't Live Without You," to the Lord and I was starting to breath in great choking sobs while running because of how emotional I became. I really do love the Lord, and I think it is great to be emotional in our worship expressing that to Him, but when it was all over, I wondered if even the Lord thought it was a little over the top. I will say this in my defense, unlike David, I kept all my clothing on.

I think that part of my extreme thankfulness was because I was actually quite afraid to attempt a 22 mile run, and had begun to doubt that I could do it. The follow up would be that if I could not do a 22 mile run, that I could not do the full 26.2. in October. Finding out that I was able to do it, although I am admittedly very slow, was really a moving experience, no pun intended.

When it was time to bike home, I was a little disoriented and had to back track. Lynn offered to drive me home, but I assured her I would be fine, which I was, once I was headed in the correct direction.

Thankfully, we are now slowing down our mileage in anticipation of the big race, so I only need to go 10 miles next Saturday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Different Kind of Party

My friend and mentor, Mrs. S. turned 81 this week. The significance of the birthday is not the number of years, but the fact that this was her last birthday. She has terminal cancer. In lieu of that, I wanted to give her a surprise party, so I invited her over for brunch, and began phone and email sleuthing in order to invite some of her oldest friends.

Although she did not expect a party, she was very happily surprised to see everyone when we came in the house. Actually some guests came later, and people had to come and go a little bit, but she was honored that people took time to remember her.

Abby helped me extend the table to its largest, and the counter in the kitchen served as our buffet, holding an amazing amount of food. I didn't really plan any activities other than talking, eating, singing happy birthday and eating cheesecake. Yes, we took pictures. Abby surprised us and played her guitar; it was something amazing that was spread out over five pages. (Villa Lobos?) The ladies really, really liked it.

Mrs. S. is clearing out her household and moving to a small apartment Oct. 1. She gave me some beautiful things to remember her by. One is a hand-painted ceramic plate that is mostly blue and yellow and hangs on the wall. She also sent 3 beautiful matching china tea cups and saucers. We have spent many hours together drinking tea and eating cookies and praying and talking. She has been my dear friend, prayer partner and second mother. She has mentored many intercessors. I told Abby that Mrs. S. is to intercessors as Yoda was to Jedi Knights. She will not be replaced. She also gave me her coffee maker, a very nice one. This is interesting because neither of us are coffee drinkers, but we both love to have dinner parties, and make coffee for guests! Last, but not least, Mrs. S. asked me to take any books that I wanted from her collection that she was discarding. Of course, I have all the Ministry School books waiting for me, and books I already had that I am trying to finish and now, a new and incredibly interesting stack.

It has not really registered with me yet that Mrs. S. is dying. Her oncologist estimates Jan. 1 as her last day. I do not have what it takes to handle this information. Mrs. S. is quite happy and content to be going to be with the Lord, but I cannot say that I am happy to let her go.

Another runner told me recently that so much of distance running is mental that she decides before she starts her run how many miles that she will go. Whenever she gets to that distance, be it 5 or 15, then she is out of energy because that is what she had mentally planned on.

Somehow, I need to be like my running friend and decide in advance that I am going to be able to run the distance with Mrs. S. so that I am ready to let her go, but each time I think of it, I dissolve into tears.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Good Recovery

I have to say that the half marathon run was an okay run, but because of our schedule that day, I was,"rode hard and put away wet." I felt bad for days.

Yesterday, I put in 20 miles with Lana, my normal running partner. It was a tough run, and if she had not been there, I would have quit early and flagged down a car or something. No kidding. The muscles around one hip began to seize up and cause significant pain so that I doubted that I could run at all. We walked for a while, and then decided to try a little faster, easier gait, and when my muscles warmed up again, the problems went away. However, then the knee of my other leg started hurting quite a bit. We gritted it out and actually made the whole 20.

This is really a case of Solomon's, "Two are better than one."

I think the real problem was that I was not mentally geared up to go 20 miles since I had had such a miserable experience the week before, as far as recovery, and I had been questioning why I ever wanted to train for a marathon in the first place.

The truth is, I can't remember; I did it on a whim.

The other truth is, I'm not turning back now.

Lana can't run with me next week, and the marathon pack seems to have thinned to me and one other runner with whom I cannot possibly keep up. Next week will be me, my IPOD, and trusting God is merciful to 48 year old first time marathon runners because we will be doing our highest mileage ever, 22 miles. After that, everything decreases before the actual marathon.

I feel good!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Half-Marathon Story

By all rights, I should be washing my car, but I am devoted to you, dear readers. Know that in my life's priority system, you rate above dead bugs. You're welcome.

First of all, near disaster on my first long distance running event was averted when I remembered to pack my new running shoes. For some reason, I almost totally spaced and left them at home. My excuse is that I usually dress for a race at home, and don't have to bring anything to a race. I packed my water back pack because I fully intended to carry it in the race, and of course, my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of gum mi bears. I was really feeling stressed about the race. I do not know why because I had already decided to run it as a training exercise, and not try to go on an ego trip although I was enticed by the fact that there were only 8 or 9 women in my age group running the half. I could imagine myself placing and becoming Pocatello (Idaho) famous. That is a little different than world famous, but just as good in a small town.

The trip from Boise to Pocatello took longer than we planned because all traffic stopped for a fire that was trying to cross the road, and a car that did a serious roll across the median. Eventually we met the Race President at the Red Lion Hotel. He was passing out bags of potatoes and gave us four really cool burlap tote bags filled with raw potatoes and dehydrated hash browns. You gotta love potatoes in this state. The natives are friendly and generous.

I think that I got a total of four hours of sleep before we went down for breakfast. My body is on strike, and does what it wants sleep wise. I seem to have no control over this, other than drinking Diet Pepsi to stay awake in the day time. Yes, I have gone back to caffeine, the drug of choice of sleep deprived women.

I decided at the last minute not to carry my water pack, but to trust that volunteers would provide water, but for some idiotic reason I carried my gummi bears and peanut butter sandwich for the entire 13.1 miles. I don't like the Goo product line, so the gummis actually were very useful energy boost, but the sandwich ended up completely squished and unrecognizable by the time that I tossed it to Mr. Sinta near the end of the race.

Mr. Sinta dropped me off at the bus stop for the runners where I met up with some of the members of my team. The bus drove us for a gruesomely long time. I kept thinking to myself, that this absolutely has to be much, much longer than 13.1 miles. The buses stopped in the middle of nowhere next to a row of about ten potties. If you ever have to go to nowhere, you can take comfort in the fact that they will have plenty of potties. I ended up about tenth in line. When I was second in line, the bus officials told us that there were three minutes until the race started. If there had been a bladder race, I could have won. That is all I will say. My running partner and I made it to the start line with about 45 seconds to spare.

We ran the country course along farms and up and down rolling hills in relatively humane temperature, but with constant sunshine. The only shade in 13.1 miles was the .1 at the end. A special unplanned feature of this race was the pair of turkeys in the middle of the road at about mile 3. Before this, I did not know how LARGE turkeys could get. Only they know why they were in the middle of the road. One lane was reserved for the runners, and the other lane had plenty of cars in it, so we maneuvered carefully around the birds.

TR and I ran together for about 90% of the race. Both of us were missing our actual running partners who did not travel to Pocatello. Our coaches advised us to run only as fast as we could run and still talk. In order to keep a good pace, I make conversation while I am running. Since I ask a great deal of questions, I get to know the people that I run with fairly well, at least on an informational level. I did not know TR at all, so I asked her to tell me about her life. She was pretty brief, a trait I know that Mr. Sinta has wished for 28 years that I would develop. When she was done, TR asked about my life. I was able to share my experience with Jesus, how I was born again. I also had the opportunity to clearly share the gospel, that when Christ died on the cross, He did it for all of us, to pay the penalty for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life in Heaven with Him when we die. She was politely interested and even asked a question before we moved on and talked about other things. It is funny to me that I did not orchestrate or even expect an chance to share something of so personal a nature, but I enjoyed talking with her, and hearing about her life as well.

Mr. Sinta drove my yellow car and parked beside the road about halfway through the course to cheer us on. While he was waiting for us he was embarrassed by how many women told him that they liked his car. He pointed out to all of them that it was his wife's car. In Idaho, men are not supposed to drive VW bugs. They drive big man trucks, like Mr. Sinta.

When we got to about mile 12, TR decided to walk, and I did not want to walk, even though I was running to train, so I got ahead and crossed the finish line first. I have no place to boast about this race, but I did run the race and finish the race.

A very kind-hearted photographic service took all of our individual portraits as we were running across the finish line, and it is on line for anyone to see. I could down load it for free. I won't because I do not look like marathon runners are supposed to look, and it is too disappointing. I guess that I thought that anyone who could run a half marathon would be really trim looking. It is just not true. As long as you are willing to carry an extra thirty pounds over the finish line, there is no one there to stop you! Sad, but true. Fat people can run.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Very Brief

Abby and I were running around like crazy on Tuesday to get ready for the Home School Graduation meeting. She was madly searching for AA batteries for her camera because they went out just as we desperately needed to print a portrait for her file. I sent her to the drugstore. She was not very happy with me because she expected me to just "have" one. In this household, AA batteries are harder to keep than fresh flowers. I won't list any names, but I think RT eats them for lunch. They simply do not last.

I was running around the spider-webby basement digging through old boxes trying to find a baby picture of Abby for the yearbook committee. In all of my scrounging, I came up with two. Too late, I realize that most of Abby's baby photos contain her brother and sister because they were always together. Sometimes I think that I did not really give birth to her, but Ryan and Aimee somehow cloned her. I do remember bringing her home from the hospital. They were thrilled to have her! I should remind them.

I grabbed the photo that was in the best condition realizing only later that it was a portrait studio shot from Penney's, and they committee would require a signed release. We will have another go at it another day.

I have said all of that to say that the real find in all of my digging was the Beanie Baby Wedding Album. Yes, in 1999, two of our beanies were married in full dress with a beanie pastor, and actual wedding guests. Grandma and Grandpa were the only guests, but hey, they were really good sports about it! They always are. They are awesome. Anyway, I have photos of the whole thing. Aimee put it together with captions etc., and it is really cute. I laughed and laughed when I found it.

The really funny thing about it is that her own wedding was only 9 years later! How fast they grow up. She and Brent had a real pastor though, and not a beanie pastor. And once again, Grandma and Grandpa came and posed with the wedding party. Having them around makes everything always seem more official. It is nice to have them close enough to do stuff with us.

I should head for bed. I actually slept last night. It was wonderful.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My New Excuse

I finished several partially read books in the last few days in anticipation of starting the School of Ministry. Tonight was our first class, and I received a huge stack of books for the year. I was supposed to run 9 miles today as part of training for the marathon today, and I didn't even get out of the house in my running shoes! I feel a little overwhelmed, but needless to say, I am begging off of blogging for the space of a few more days. I have so much material to blog about that it is difficult not to stop everything else and just blog! Yes, dear readers, you are my captive audience, and I miss telling you the funny and inane and off beat things that dot the landscape of my life.

Okay, so I will give up some sleep since I am having hot flashes anyway at the moment.

After the race, Mr. Sinta and I had to drive from Pocatello to Boise without delay because we were trying to make it back for the Idaho State Game. I had to potty and actually felt a little sick. I needed a bathroom fast so I talked Mr. Sinta into stopping at absolutely the first place, which was an Albertson's.

I love you, Mr. Albertson for having bathrooms and sharing them! However, when I went to the potty, it was taken. Actually both the men's and women's bathrooms were occupied, and a man was waiting. It turned out he was waiting for his girlfriend who was using the men's bathroom. I guessed she did that because the person in the women's bathroom was taking so long. I was right.

I knocked on the women's door. She affirmed her presence. I have cleaned men's bathrooms a lot. I did not want to use one. Eventually, I knocked again. She again affirmed her presence. She took so long that I thought Mr. Sinta would be worrying about me. When this individual finally made her exit, I thought to myself that she was most likely mentally ill. She was middle aged, rotund, red haired with an odd hair style and wore a strange hat which she pulled down to her eyes. In a very odd voice, she told me that it was not very pleasant in the bathroom.

In an act of Christian charity and love, I refrained from any comment.

Now, of course, I can laugh at my predicament, and there are probably dozens of really funny things that I could have said. However, I am tired, and nothing laughable is coming to mind.

Must get ready for bed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Apologies

I have been very busy lately and can't seem to get it together to write. I am sorry, and I plan to have something eventually, probably next week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summing It Up

Well, add together not getting to sleep last night until about 4 a.m. plus getting up and biking to running practice at 7 a.m. plus going 18 miles and factor in being middle aged, and I am tired tonight. The weather was great, and I refueled with gummi bears instead of runner's goo. All in all, it was a happy day, and I was very happy with my time for the mileage, but I am beat.

I went to a great restaurant to celebrate our anniversary this evening with wonderful Mr. Sinta. We cannot believe that the years have passed so quickly. Mr. Sinta wondered if I would do anything differently if I had it to do over. I said that I would, but I could not think of anything at the time. Now I have had time to reflect on it, and I think I would be a better wife, and a nicer, less demanding mom, and I would hope that I would eat healthier and not be so fat. All things that I can still try to improve on while I am among the living.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Okay, My Big News

I was accepted at the School of Ministry at my church for the upcoming school year which means I will be attending classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and reading selected books on the same topics. Evidently there are monthly tests as well, and I will need to wear casual business attire and have good attendance, character and attitude.

Mr. Sinta will not be attending the classes with me because he is out of town frequently, and they do not accept auditors.

My friend, Jessie, who wrote my letter of recommendation, told me to keep an open mind and be teachable. This is amazing because she is not even charismatic, but I plan to listen to her.

I have no plans whatsoever of going into ministry. I look at this as kind of a bridge year from being a homemaker/home school mom to actually starting a new life when Abby goes off to college almost exactly a year from now.

I will not be doing BSF this year which is a little sad because they are studying the life of Moses, and I love Moses and the ladies at BSF. They were loving and caring and studied deeply and commented thoughtfully, called me every week and prayed for me everyday. I will love them forever.

That's my big news.

Also, I got new running shoes and went nine miles today without any big pains even though I had never even walked in these shoes before because I needed to get in some mileage and break in the shoes in a hurry because the half-marathon draweth nigh!

My shoes are basically the same model as before only I could only get them in red and black so now I have Spiderman running shoes. They don't have Spiderman on them or anything, but they are the right colors and look a little webby across the toes.

I also got a cool product called Glide which will keep my clothes from the very painful chafing and irritation that I have experienced of late. Unfortunately, I forgot to put it on today. Did you know that your skin can talk to you?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Lakeland Revival and My Struggle for Control and Organization

I would suggest visiting Mark Connor's blog (see my blog list), for information on a recent turn of events concerning Lake land. I found the article by Charisma magazine to be surprisingly self-inditing. Without passing judgment on anything in Florida, I would like to give a comment on life. When I have stumbled over offensive things in the body of Christ, it has always been because there was a weakness in my own life that needed to be brought to light.

I wish I could say that I have in any way solved my book problem, but instead I cleaned out another kitchen cabinet and unfortunately ate a partial bag of the oldest and driest and stalest mini marshmallows that I have ever encountered. Why didn't I just throw them out? I do not have a good reason.

Here is a little secret: I am hiding things in the window seat. I keep accumulating more stuff that I don't want, and I hide it all in there until I have time to 'gift' it to some worthy organization. The only problem is that it is almost completely full.

Will I ever reorganize my books, or will I just keep cleaning out my other miscellaneous storage spaces? Stay tuned here folks...

This evening I messed around in the linen closet and asked myself why I am saving so many things that I am never going to use. I did not have an answer for myself, and then I changed the bed clothes on Aimee's old bed because the loud Hawaiian print is kind of disturbing to look at, especially with the Van Gogh framed print in there. I changed it all around, and I still don't like it, and now I see I need big changes in the linen closet.


I want a simple life. I want less stuff. Surprisingly I need wisdom to get there. I thought any one with at least half a brain could downsize. It is harder than it looks.

For those keeping track, I went 16 miles on Saturday with a very sore knee. I was running with my coach who was helping me try to change my form etc., so I could keep going. I found out that even people in great shape, like my coach, sometimes have to run in pain and tough it out. In a way that I can only explain as God's grace, I am fine today, not hobbling around or sore at all.

Also, my coach told me that I should not need my camel pack at the marathon because they have so many water stations. She said I will also run faster without it. She also said that she thinks I will do great at the half marathon because we are running much longer distances than that (13 miles) now. I am thinking that my coach is also a sign of God's grace, which I do not deserve and cannot fully explain, in my life.

I am sorry for anyone who feels misled by today's blog title. Feel free to leave suggestions for better titles today.

Tomorrow, I will share a piece of surprising personal news.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Home Library Problem

Everyone has a dream; some people have many dreams. Lately, I dream of organizing and downsizing my life.

Mr. Sinta and I often talk about when all the offspring leave home, and we are left with a house that is way too big. This house has always been way too big, except when we had our business in our basement. The problem is not really the size of the house. The problem is that in the 15 or so years that we have been here, our possessions have grown to fill the house. This represents exponential growth because we have an amazing amount of storage space.

When I spent quite a bit of time boxing up Aimee's stuff and delivering it to her new house, it dawned on me that we have way too much stuff that stayed here. I am not referring to her stuff that we are storing, but to everyone else's stuff.

Lately, when I open up my favorite book cabinet(we are blessed with lots of built in cabinets), I say to myself that I have way too many books, and if I were really wise I would be able to discriminate between them and eliminate so many books that all of my favorite books would fit into one cabinet. Soon after that my will to eliminate any books at all crumbles, and I close the cabinet and move on to some other activity.

Purging. That is what I want to do. I want to begin purging the books with little value, beauty or usefulness. The only problem is that I feel like I am parting with dear friends.

Joanna B. is a real life good friend whom I respect a great deal. We no longer attend the same church, but we make sure that we get together for lunch at least once every summer. During that lunch, we typically talk for hours and catch up on the last year. She is awesome.

Some books are Joanna B. books. I mean that I may not refer to them every month, but life would be poorer without them. They lend a perspective that I need to have from time to time, just like I need Joanna B's perspective on my life. She makes the low places not so low and the high places seem more honorable. Her opinion strengthens my hands for the work I have ahead of me.

That is the door-closing dilemma. Books are my friends.

Feel free to comment and send me your list of ten favorite books that are like friends that you could not bear to part with, and also one book that you should toss and why.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What I Learned From Watching The Olympics

Yikes. Did anyone else see that women's gymnastic team last night in the pre-lims? Shockingly, they lost one of their top performers to an injury just moments before the round started, and had to go with an alternate gymnast. Because they already had one injured player, this meant that there was no buffer zone for big errors. (Usually they have the option of dropping a score.)

As I watched the alternate gymnast perform, forgive me because I have no idea of anyone's names, I said to myself that I should really do whatever I do as unto the Lord, and then when life's outrageous opportunities come along like that, I would be ready.

I am not a gymnast, so I am not exactly sure how it applies to my life which does not look chock full of opportunity at the moment, but I did clean my house today! Most likely, no one will notice, but me. Oh well. There is something really great about starting your week with a clean house. It is just that the networks were not here to cover it.

Ryan's twin friend, Richard, came over today and they were doing something on computers together in Ryan's room. Randy, our dog, walked in his room, looked at them, barfed on the floor, and walked out.

I am sorry for my dog not feeling well, but I think that is hysterical.

Did I mention that Ryan brought me a chocolate cigar? That is almost as good as a network contract and winning a medal. I have to share it with Abby, so I am eating my part first.

I am sure that I learned something else from the Olympics, but I do not know what. Okay, so now I remembered it.

I was watching the men's 150 mile bike race, and noticed that at the very end that the guy from France stood up on his bike and pedaled like mad with his bike kind of weaving from left to right. I learned that even world class Olympic bikers sometimes have to really kick it to win. The absolutely fascinating corollary is that I rode my bike (with a new basket on the back) to the grocery store today and brought home the goods.

Watch the late night recap with Bob Costas and me at 11. I will share my ice cream on network television.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I went 14 miles today, and although I enjoyed it, I am bushed. Usually my legs cooperate totally and just tool along never saying ANYTHING! They are great legs for distance, but today they spoke up at about the 12 mile mark just letting me know that they exist, not complaining or anything.

Mr. Sinta has started a side business and offered me a special energy drink with extra b vitamins (when I got home), and I learned some new information from the team trainer about how and when to eat even on regular training days. Evidently there is a 30 minute window after you run in which your body is especially open on a cellular level to refuel itself, and I am supposed to have an energy bar, or even a pbj sandwich during this time, and she said that it should help with the fatigue that I have been experiencing. I was up at 3 or 4 in the morning again today which was not good since I had to be up at 6 to get to a 7 a.m. run, but oh well! She said that it would be very difficult to discern if the sleep disturbances were from menopause or from exercising outside the zone (65-80% of maximum heart rate).

There was only one bad moment today, and that was when I was biking home over a footbridge that was a little full with bikers and pedestrians, and suddenly one of my legs decided to consider having a charlie horse. The muscles just kind of suddenly painlessly seized up for a second or two, while I was trying to quickly go up the slope of the bridge so I slowed down and changed gears, and my legs were happy campers once again. You gotta be nice to your legs. Your legs are really nice to you!

Also, I asked our trainer what they meant on the schedule by strength training because I have never really done a push up in my life, and I was am a little reluctant to begin at 48. She said that it meant strength training for our core (that is a trainer word for your abdomen) and for your legs doing lunges and squats etc. That was a huge relief. I started doing sit ups this week, and I will not tell you how many because when I proudly revealed to Abby my number of sit ups, she laughed! Then we did some together for fun, and she was not able to double my number, but did more than 1.5 times as many as I did. I comfort myself that she is a 17 year old former gymnast and we are not supposed to compare ourselves to one another, the Bible says.

There was an additional reward to doing sit ups in that it forced me to look under the bed where I keep my exercise mat. (Weenies don't do sit ups without a mat.) I found a graduation present for a friend's daughter that I jettisoned there on the day that Aimee and Brent got married because we were in a hurry to get out of the house and I used the gift bag to hold my make up and miscellaneous stuff. So now, I have an extra gift in the gift box!

Also, on the mind front, I was so happy this week to discover two items which I thought I had permanently lost. I found 3 cloth grocery bags in the closet which I had been missing for months. I am sure I put them there at wedding time to clean out the car when I loaned it to the honeymooning couple, and Abby 'fessed up that she had taken my new bike water bottle to work and left it there. These sound like small things, but they were significant things to me, and I feel better knowing that my mind is functioning well enough to handle shopping and drinking water.

Speaking of water, I used up everything in my water back pack by the end of 14 miles, so I will need to re-fill it on Marathon day around mile 13. I am needing a shower in a serious way, so I am off. Sorry for errors and typos.

Also, I asked the trainer how to train so that I could eventually do a push-up. She very kindly, and without any condescension whatsoever (This is amazing because she is in perfect shape.) explained to me how to get your arms in shape in stages so that I could eventually do a push-up. I intend to do it, since I am doing my (mystery number) sit-ups each day.

Book notes: I am truly enjoying Lucy Beckett's book. It is a huge tome, but I intend to finish it. I also finished an interesting book yesterday entitled, The 33 Laws of Stewardship which was not exactly a late night page turner for most people, but I enjoyed it a great deal. It is not written by prosperity preachers but by associates of John Maxwell, the Christian leadership guru. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the subject or is involved in leadership of a local church or other Christian non-profit.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Great Book Meeting

It was a great book meeting, and Amy B. brought great pie. I did not know she was going whole hog, so to speak, so I brought bread and cookies. A little abundance lifts the spirit.

The final analysis of Heart of Darkness is that is was a dark, depressing book.

We are off to higher and better things, Meditations. I just have to get a copy, but while I was at Mandi's house, I found an awesome volume, by Lucy Beckett. Here is a quote from the back cover: "She masterfully guides us through Sophocles, Plato, Augustine, Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky and many others. With selections taken from poems, plays, essays, letters and diaries, she deftly demonstrates each author's worth as a bearer of truth." It looks interesting, anyway. However, I don't see anything Christian in Plato...

Other news, I applied for a job at the local university doing manual labor in the evenings about 30 hours a week. The hours sound as if they would work out well. I am waiting to hear about an interview.

Ryan comes home tonight!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

White Chocolate

I have to report back that I made the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and it is gone. It would have been easier to make brownies to go with lasagna, but I was afraid that would be too much temptation for Mr. Sinta's blood sugar. He does not really like cheesecake, but everyone else did. I sent the extra slices home with guests so that I did not get too tempted myself. Actually, I saved one slice for myself, but Abby found it and ate it before the guests even left. She gave me a bite of it.

Honestly, I could not even taste the white chocolate part of the cheesecake; it just tasted like cheesecake to me. We may get adventurous and try it with real chocolate chips or better yet, dark chocolate chips when Aunt Laura comes later this month. Of course, that might be too much cheesecake for a month.

I used the new spring form pan that I got for Christmas, and it worked great. Nonstick! The right size! I loved it! Cooking is so much easier with the right pans and utensils.

Ryan comes home Friday. The house has been really quiet, not that he is a mega noise generator, but we miss his funny comments and unsolicited advice. We've grown accustomed to his face.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two Disappointments

On our way home from the dentist, Abby and I picked up some groceries for tonight's dinner. Specifically, I needed some white chocolate chips for a raspberry cheesecake. When we arrived home, Abby informed me that Rebecca S. said that white chocolate chips are just like chocolate chips without the chocolate. Instantly I checked the ingredient label. She seems to be correct. If only I had known, I would have bought the chocolate ones instead. That was the first disappointment, and admittedly, it is a ridiculously small disappointment. One of life's little blips. It will be forgotten by tomorrow.

Other disappointments are not so quickly forgotten.

This morning Abby and I were competing for shower time because I had come in from running, and she had just cut the grass, and we both needed to be presentable. Graciously, and because I am a very slow showerer, I let her go first, and made myself something to eat. The phone rang, and my long time friend, mentor and second mom was on the phone asking if I had found a job yet, and wondering how Mr. Sinta was doing. I asked her about the results of her MRI. She was so happy and chipper and unselfconscious as she told me that she has cancer again. This time it is the spleen, and she will be having treatments once a week.

"I'm 81," she said. "I don't want to live to be 90." She is selling her house, and dividing up her belongings among her daughters.

"Why are you so happy?" I queried.

"Because I will be going home, and that is a good thing," she returned.

No little blip on my life screen. This won't be forgotten by tomorrow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So Sorry

I have not been posting much because I was really tired, I am rethinking about my blogging, and I have discovered Scrabulous on line. There is a really cool version where you get your own board and four minutes to play all the letters you can while playing against others for total points who have their own boards. I highly recommend it, especially since it was removed from Face Book. Also, I read a book and went out for yogurt tonight with my girls, and Ryan called home and he is back from his ten day trip. We should see him Friday night!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Book Problem

I am guessing that some of you are like me, and you have a book problem. You have too many books, and yet there are more books that you want. I actually have a stack of books that I am discarding. Prudently, I will try to sell or trade them first.

A wonderful friend gave me a gift card to Barnes and Noble, and I was ordering two books today to use it. Did you know that if you order more than $25 worth of books that they will ship it to your house for free? Yes, it is amazing. They did not have my books in stock anyway, so they are sending them to me. This is a triple delight: the gift card, the new books, and a box delivered to my house. I love opening gifts and I love getting boxes in the mail, even if I know what it is because I ordered it! Also, there is a little money left on the card which I can use at the B & N coffee shop the next time that I am there. Yes!!!

Also, I am reading a list of Sherlock Holmes mysteries for the book club on Thursday. I am actually enjoying them. I found a collection of them at the library. I really like the idea of having a deadline for book reading because then I make it a priority of sorts, and actually get going on it. I should have gotten going on it sooner, but at least, I am going. Next time, I will work on getting going on it a little sooner.

Afterthought: I did not collect any money for the airplane fund, and this gift card was totally unrelated to that appeal for funds. It was given to me by a friend as a thank you for our hospitality when they came to town. My dear regular readers would already know these things, but one never knows who reads your blog. After my BIL's experience with the FAA reading his blog, I thought that I should make clear that the airplane fund was a total spoof for the FCC. And for the FAA for that matter, since it was supposedly, "an airplane fund." Also, I did not cross state lines or commit a felony, that is for the FBI. Additionally, I did not use any points: that is for Weight Watchers. If the Statesman is reading this, you can speak with my attorney, Mr. Peters. Of course, he will charge you on an hourly basis, as he should.

What was I doing 30 years ago today? I was wearing an ill-fitting dress at Meadowdale Methodist,as my sister's bridesmaid. They are still married.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Power of Spiritual Alignment

This sounds like a new age book, but it is not. I just wanted to clarify that for you, dear reader. The subtitle is: Living According to the Seven Firsts of Jesus.

First, seek the kingdom, aligning your priorities
First remove the log from your own eye, aligning your attitudes.
First, be reconciled to your brother, aligning your relationships.
First, bind the strong man, aligning your authority.
First, the greatest commandment, aligning your heart with God's.
First, cleanse the inside, aligning your inner world.
First day of the week, aligning with his body.

I like the ideas that I have encountered so far. Mr. Sinta looked over the introduction and said that some of his ideas are a stretch. So far, it has been helpful for me, but this is summer, and I read a novel this weekend, Sagebrush Ranch which is about a young woman sent from San Francisco to live on a ranch in eastern Oregon in the 1880's. Eastern Oregon is desolate now. I cannot imagine it then. Probably in the dictionary under "desolate" - there should be one additional numbered definition that simply says "just like an Eastern Oregon ranch."

I was so tired on Sunday that when we rode our bikes up the Capitol Blvd. hill, Mr. Sinta had to wait for me at the top, and he just had a heart attack. I took 2 or 3 naps and was generally wiped out. I think it was the run Saturday coupled with a 35 minute bike ride to and from where we were running that got me in the end. Today is a day off from training, and I am glad.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Today was a big day for me because I am training for the Pocatello Half right now. I think that a half is about 13 miles. Today I met with my coach and my team with the plan to go seven miles. My furthest distance previous to this was 10 K which I think is about 6 miles. Anyway, it went very well. I have been riding my bike to work and to church and other places this week. My coach said bike riding uses different muscles than running does, but those muscles are supportive to running. In other words, biking as a cross training activity will strengthen me for running. Hooray! God is good. I wore a gray tank top when running; I think it was a fashion f.p. (mistake) because you can see every sweat mark. Of course, I wore every sweat mark happily all the way home on my bike.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Feeling Stupid

Tonight Mr. Sinta and I went on a walk in the neighborhood. Our neighbors,pyromaniacs, told us to walk over to the side of the street because a very large homemade firework in a very large pop bottle was able to go off. We obliged them and walked in their yard to go around. Just as we got to the corner, it went off and traveled about 100-150 feet in the air. It looked like it was coming down right for us and of course, I screamed and tried to pull Mr. Sinta away to protect him. I did not realize it, but I have become very protective of him since his heart attack. The incendiary device ended up landing in the top of a tree, and came absolutely nowhere near us. I felt very stupid. I guess I am a little afraid of fireworks, especially illegal ones, and I hate them.

The walk had a happy part because we ran into Mr. and Mrs. P., our old friends who have become pastors at Vineyard Boise. We were able to talk and catch up on each others' children's lives. They were pushing 2 of their 4 grandchildren in strollers. I told them that Aimee does not plan to have children for 5 years. They laughed and said, "It is nice to have plans."

Maybe sometime we will have someone to push around the neighborhood. There's a thought.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Airplane Fund

I am in kind of a hurry, but I would just like to thank everyone for donations to the Airplane Fund. For those of you who have procrastinated, you still have time to send in a donation of any amount. I promise you will not be disappointed. Totally and completely, ALL DONATIONS will do directly to the Airplane Fund.

Thanks again!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Change Your Life

Do you ever watch those movies in which the main character wakes up one day unhappy with his/her life and vows to make big, dramatic changes?

I think that those are generally illogical movies because the thing that frustrates the person is the actions of others and how they inter-relate or fail to relate in a healthy way. Basically, they vow, not to have deep interior authentic change, but to move to a new set of circumstances, unaware that they are taking their troubles with them.

I had one of those "Aha - time to wake up" moments last night in my small group meeting. I am not moving to Des Moines to start over. I feel I must tell you at this point that Des Moines is French for Void of All Life, just in case you are at a crisis moment and thinking of making a big, dramatic change. If you are thinking of moving to Iowa, someone needs to grab you by the shoulders and shake you until your brain becomes connected to your nervous system once more.

With my revelation came the knowledge that I need to lean more in the direction of faith and trusting God, and less in the direction of pessimism and unbelief. My negativity has made me quite the critic in ways that are not synergistic to say the least.

Also, would you like to send donations to my Airplane Fund? It seems like when Christians make big life changes that suddenly they start stumping for some non-profit cause and insisting that everyone should give them money. Since I am making a life change, and you do stand to benefit because you read my blog, you should consider sending an envelope filled with money to my home address. Mark it, "Airplane Fund."

Monday, June 30, 2008

Things I Am Grateful For

Last week was a very hard week because of Mr.Sinta's heart attack.

This week has been very stressful for different reasons which I will not reiterate. I will relate the following stressful story which has a happy ending.

Tonight, when I was really stressed, I left the house for the grocery store. At one particularly busy corner, I was stopped for a red light when a biker pulled up beside me. He appeared to fall down in front of my car's wheels, and I thought my car lurched forward slightly in the interim. My engine died. This is mega stress. I honestly thought that I had accidentally run over a biker who was already on the pavement. As I was getting out of my car, he stood up. I had not done anything. His chain fell off, and he bent over to try to adjust it. As he did so, he lost his balance and fell off of his bike right in front of my car. He was embarrassed and not stressed at all. I told him that he scared the bejeevers out of me. He assured me that he was absolutely fine. I must have imagined my car lurching forward. I was now headed to the grocery store stressed and thankful that I did not kill another human being at the same time. This is the happy ending.

It is a little different than the wedding driving story. Cars are stressful.

So, in lieu of doing something else, I am going to give thanks to the Lord. You may hang out with me and give thanks or go watch Nerf Office Wars again. I am not insulted.

Dear God,

I am thankful that I am alive, and the power is on because I am no good at journaling.

I am thankful that each of my family members is alive. Today, Mr. Sinta found out that the window washer's daughter died tragically last year. Please comfort this man; he is still grieving.

I am thankful that I am healthy enough to train for a marathon.

I am thankful for a house to live in, and for food in the refrigerator.

I am thankful that the oven works even though it was too hot to use it tonight.

I am thankful for a bike to ride to work, and that I did not accidentally run over it while backing the car out of the garage because I forgot to put it away after work.

I am thankful that I was able to reconcile four bank statements today, and everything balanced.

I am thankful for the many Bibles that I own, and for my church home. Thank you that I am not being excommunicated, or in trouble with the pastor in any way. Thank you that he even came to the hospital and prayed for Mr. Sinta last week.

Thank you for Bob and Shirley and how much they came to see us last week. I felt really cared about, and I really needed to feel cared about.

Thank you for the small group of ladies that I meet with each week.

Thank you for my prayer partners who are so supportive right now.

Thank you for my hard working husband who takes us to church. I have friends who only dream of those things.

Thank you that my mom is alive and that she likes me. Teresa's mom is alive and hasn't spoken to her for 20 years, and now her grandma, who speaks to her, is dying. Please give her special grace as she goes back to hopefully see her one last time.

Thank you for lots of friends.

Thank you for the cars working.

Thank you for smart, hard working kids who hug me sometimes even when I don't deserve it at all, and rarely mention my 18,000 parenting mistakes that they could mention each time we are together. Thank you that they still speak to me at all, and that they have not gone on Oprah to do a home school expose.

Thank you for being my Shepherd and leading me even when I don't understand. Thank you that understanding is not a necessary part of obeying, or I couldn't.

Thank you that You are God. Always Faithful. And I like Your white horse. If it were up to me, I would make You wear a cape because You seem to rescue me so often.

Thank you for commanding us not to worry because then we can go to sleep knowing it is okay not to be worrying about things.

Thank you that Your mercies are new every morning or we would be burnt toast in our beds when we wake up tomorrow.

Good night.