Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

On Christmas, my father, and my two sons posed for a picture. My younger son is holding his new "guitar hero" computer "game". My older son is standing next to his grandfather.

Tonight, New Year's Eve, is shaping up to be a quiet evening. Originally I told the boys they could have some friends over. We discussed movies and what to buy for soda etc. Then my youngest was invited over to a friend's house to spend the night...and attend the Rose Parade tomorrow. Not long afterwards, my oldest got into a major disagreement with his dad, and roared off in his car. He will not be home tonight.

I don't mind the quiet evening...I just wish things weren't strained with our oldest.

My husband has been down lately. Can't seem to pick himself up. Today is difficult.

In the New Year, we are going to be on a fast and wild ride with our oldest. Situations are arising where guidance will be needed. As soon as the New Year begins I am going to look for counsel. It's so hard to find...I've tried before. But I have renewed hope that I will find some help, because I feel God prompting me to go.

I pray a lot for my sons and husband. Today as I prayed, the spirit within me prompted me to go a step further. It's time to thank God for his answers. As I began to re-focus my heart and thank God for what he IS DOING, I felt a solid calmness. I felt reminded that every bad thing that happens...God CAN USE. And then I remembered something our pastor said.

God has already won the victory.

Satan is already defeated.

And although evil still fights in and around us...we can proclaim that God is going to win in the end.

I'm looking forward to my quiet evening.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice, Mars and the Moon

A few nights ago, at 3:00 a.m. a bright light woke me up. Someone was shining a light on my face. I sat up quickly saying "what's that!" My husband continued to snore—he can sleep through anything. I turned around and looked back at my pillow, and it was illuminated by a bright light with straight dark lines going through the light. The rest of the room was completely dark. I looked toward the windows. It was the moon shining through the blinds! I tried to go back to sleep, but it was hard to sleep with a glowing pillow. I finally got up, and closed the blinds tightly, but the moonlight still fell across my face.

Later, I wondered if God was trying to get my attention. He knows I am always looking up into space.

Speaking of is Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. And tonight, I had an adventure in space. My parents and I were at a family Christmas party. When it was over, we jumped into my dad's lemon yellow truck and drove to the next town to see Mars.

Once a month, at every quarter moon "sidewalk astronomers" descend on the park. Tonight the astronomers put in a special appearance because its almost Christmas, and Mars is looking very bright out there. The earth is close to Mars right now. The orange planet is one of the brightest objects in the sky. Check for it between 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. toward the east...(California time)...Northern Hemisphere.

Merry Christmas...and don't forget to look up. I wish I could go back in time and see the Bethlehem star!

Friday, December 21, 2007

He's Back

My son is back. Things are still very difficult. I am at loss for what to do. So I pray and pray. My husband feels one way, and I feel another way. What does God want us to do?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Journey Into the Unknown

Our son left home in a swirl of anger this morning. His father helped him pack.

I knew things were coming to a head, but I hoped we could make it until Christmas. I wonder if he will come home on Christmas. He might. He has no money and the clutch is about to go in his car. That was his Christmas present. A clutch.

This has been a painful week or two, as things were escalating. Now...I almost feel a sense of peace. Maybe he will learn something out there. Maybe it will change him in some way.

This morning (before any of this happened) I prayed over each room of our home. Then the day unfolded, and the result is out of my control. God's permissive will—that's where we're at. Maybe that's why I have a peace. This is the path God wants us to walk. There is no going to the left or right, or backwards. We plod forward into the unknown.

Part of the reason I stopped blogging for awhile is because I didn't want all my posts to be about dealing with my son. But if I'm going to start up again, It will probably be about him. He is always on my mind.

Maybe it will help someone out that is going through a tough time with their son. My good blogging buddy Diane, calls sons like this "Miracles in Progress". Maybe there should be a MIP club. We can support each other! Diane's blog is "Partners In Prayer for our Prodigals."

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! (I might be back here before Christmas!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Blogging Break

Hi....rough days involving my son.

Pray he will be able to find a job.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Strings of Light

I'm outside on a ladder putting up our Christmas lights. Three strings will take care of the front edge of the roof.

Our Christmas decorations are in 2 plastic bins in our storage shed. I couldn't get to them before now because of all the things piled on top of them. Finally my kind husband came out and unburied them. I'm just putting out a few things, but it should be a fun day decorating.

(Hours later) I'm checking in again. I just discovered I put up the Christmas lights (along the edge of the roof) backwards. The end of the wire that comes into the house is flat---I should have the prongs coming into the house to plug in. I have to take them ALL down tomorrow, and start over. It's time to swear...the other alternative was to blog. I'm so glad I have "you" (whoever is reading this) to complain to.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On Life's Path

I went for a hike a couple of days ago just to get above it all.

(click on picture to make larger.)

My hiking friend couldn't go, so I went alone.

But then I remembered I wasn't alone.

God was with me.

We turned into a canyon.

The path became bumpy. Just like my life at times.

God—why are you leading me on such a dangerous path?

To bring you to this restful place...he seemed to say.

We walked in peace for awhile. My energy was renewed.


God—You've got to be kidding. I can't do this!

Keep going. Don't give up...In time you will reap a harvest of righteousness.

(Click on this picture. Can you see trail we are walking on?)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Love my Men, but...


(Oh--this is the Thanksgiving picture referred to in the previous post...the better of two.)

Back to the topic. My husband and I have been discussing the possibility of me increasing my hours at work to full time.

I've been telling my husband that life is going to change around here, if I go to work full-time. (currently I work part-time) He and the boys are going to have to help with the housework, laundry, cooking, dishes, etc, etc. Of course he says, "sure". But I'm not so sure.

My men are pretty dependent on me. It's probably my fault. It's much easier to do things myself and get them done faster and neater.

I'm not sure if I will end up going full-time---but just in case, I'm going to begin re-training my men.

My oldest son, already does his own laundry. He wears everything he owns...twice. Then he tries to stuff everything in the machine. (I had to talk to him about that because it threw the drum off the track during the spin cycle.) Then he forgets to put it in the dryer. of two weeks ago the boys are doing the dishes. The oldest on M W F and the youngest on T TH S. (Sunday everyone helps...or we eat out.) So far I've noticed that the frying pan, or any large apparatus doesn't get done. Or it is "soaking". It "soaks" all night and greets me first thing in the morning. Last night, I helped one boy clean the kitchen. One hour later the other boy made nachos and salsa for "dessert" and left grated cheese on the counter, salsa in the sink, and his plate in the living room.

I'll keep you posted about the training.

Any helpful hints from you working moms (or dads) out there?

My mother always gives great advice.

"Keep your sense of humor."

Have a nice day!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Picture Perfect Thanksgiving??

Here is my mother's Thanksgiving table. She always makes it look so nice.

My sister-in-law brought her puppy Maggie. It was fun to have a puppy around, even though she did chew off a section of my mother's agapantha plant, along with tearing a hole in a bag of golf tees, and a few other things.

The turkey didn't get done when it was supposed to. We finally figured out that the thermometer had slipped, and it was barely in the turkey. So we stuck it in--firmly and VIOLA--the thermometer now registered the turkey as OVERDONE.

I was looking forward to getting a picture of the 4 of us, but my husband and oldest son got into a disagreement shortly before picture time...which made a very interesting picture. I'm going to have to try for another picture at Christmas!

However, we did have a nice time. I was able to visit with my Great Aunt Elsie who is pictured in the post below. She is 95, and she told me she has a friend who is 102. My great-aunt is actively involved in her church and gets together with her friends often.

My oldest son became bored after dinner so he went downstairs into his grandfather's workshop and started to weld.(!)

Speaking of my dad's workshop...the large paper-mache giraffe is coming along. He's working on the tongue. Next time I'm down, I'll give you a picture update.

I did the dishes with my dad. Due to our turkey fiasco, the turkey bag broke and the juice cooked onto the oven. My dad decided to try out the oven's self-cleaning capability. When he turned it on, all the lights in the house dimmed. When we checked it later, nothing looked clean. Dad kept tinkering with it most of the night.

In all the hub-bub we didn't realize that Maggie had disappeared. Maggie lives three hours from this neighborhood, so if she got out...she would certainly be lost. Thank goodness she was found...outside...taking a walk under the block away.
In conclusion, we had a great day.

And we really enjoyed the pumpkin, pecan and cran-apple pies!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Great Aunt Elsie makes the best gravy! She's 90-something. I'll see her on Thanksgiving, which will be at my parents home this year.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Southern California Autumn

Welcome to our street. I wanted to show you that we have seasons here. least on our street we have them.

I might mention it was 90 degrees today. But only for about an hour.

The view...standing in front of our California cottage. You'll notice it's trash day.

Click on the picture and you will feel like you are here.

...even the beach has seasons. Where is everyone?

I live about an hour from the beach...but I managed to get down here a couple of weeks ago...on my way home from the Dead Sea Scrolls experience.

It's kinda nice being alone at the beach.

to think...

to pray...

to breathe

I love to watch the waves.

And collect shells.

Hold still...aim the close will he come?


I must be going soon.

It's so hard to leave!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

God Can Do the Impossible

It has been a rough Sunday morning.

It's spiraling downwards.

Lord, if you can put the stars into place,
you can put my son in the right place.

If you can place the earth in just the right spot,
you can place my son in the right spot.

If you can truly heal our physical and spiritual being,
you can heal my son.

If you are truly a Shepherd, you will not rest until my son is back in the flock.

If you are truly a Savior, you will save him.

I choose to trust you...right

and tomorrow

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Over the Wall

My 85-year-old friend and neighbor, who recently passed away, is responsible for a traffic jam on our street today. Her two daughters held an estate sale. Jean has lived on our street for 55 years.

(Here is a picture of her back yard)

I was up early this morning, as our bedroom smoke detector started chirping at at 5:00 AM. With a flashlight and a stepping-stool I extracted the battery and went back to bed. So much for my one morning a week to sleep in!

Since I had told Jean's daughters I would help with the sale, I headed next door fairly early. I was given an apron with big pockets and told I was in charge of the glassware and kitchen misc. in the backyard.

Three long tables held a crockpot, stoneware, colored glass bowls, frying pans, stemware, muffin pans, serving spoons, flatware, plastic flowered plates, cake pans, roasting pans, and this and that. Neighbor Felix, who actually grew up across the street (he's now 55) decided to be in charge of security. He kept the early bird customers on the lip of the driveway until we were ready.

Equipped with a calculator, a tablet of paper, pen, and wads of cash in my pocket I nervously waited for the dam to break. Felix finally stepped aside and everyone charged up the front walk and into the house. Several went straight out the back door and came face to face with me. My first sale was to a male customer who wanted the ceramic mother duck and her 2 ducklings standing under a shrub. I checked to see if they were for sale--yes they were--$3.00 please. He also wanted the 2 foot ceramic deer standing by another shrub.

A male customer, about 30 years old, stepped past the typewriter, the laundry sacks, hard blue luggage, and lace doilies. "I feel like I'm in a time warp." he said.

This would be a perfect post for pictures, but I was a little busy....yet actually, I did think about taking pictures, but I wasn't sure how to explain why I was photographing the yard sale. Many of my neighbors would not be familiar with blogging. And if they did visit my blog, what would they think about being the main "characters" in my neighborhood-novelette?

Later, when things slowed down, I returned to my side of the wall and began to water my very dry garden. Suddenly some small fingers appeared on the top of the wall, then a head bobbing up and down.
"Hi! What are you doing?" said a little girl's voice.
I had met Jill, Jean's great-grand-daughter, for the first time earlier that day at the yard sale.
"I'm watering."
"Can I come over?"
"Okay," I said. I grabbed a nearby ladder, drug it over and leaned it against the 5 foot wall. I helped her over. She stared at my tree swing.
"Would you like to swing?"
Then...another set of hands appeared on the wall. Jean's great-grandson's head appeared.
"Can I come over?"
"Sure." I walked over to the ladder.
" I don't need any help."
"Okay." I said as I watched him climb half way down the ladder then leap onto the dirt.
They wanted to "help" me. So they pulled some weeds. (Mostly the tops). And every 5 minutes they made a trip over the wall and back.

Well....this is what life's all about. Great-grandma Jean has passed on. But she has left many good things behind. A wonderful family...neighbors...and for me...I've got 2 new friends—not to mention a metal colander, 2 muffin tins, serving spoons and a cheese slicer.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Grandma's Old Blue Book

When I was a child, my summer days were often spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s house—a little white house with sweet peas growing along the front path. Sometimes I visited for an afternoon, and other times for a whole week. When my parents had a meeting or a trip, I would be deposited on the front steps along with my roller skates.

In the morning Grandma and I would water the azalea garden, then sit on the lawn chairs, as still as statues, about six feet from the hummingbird feeder. If we held our breath long enough we were rewarded by a buzz of tiny wings and soon the feeder would be hovering with miniature “helicopters.”

But the best time of day came in the afternoon when Grandpa took his nap. Grandma said that we must be very quiet. So we cuddled up on the soft tan couch and read one of Grandma’s favorite books, Alice in Wonderland. She had a very old copy in blue. Although I could barely read, we would take turns—each of us reading a page. Grandma patiently listened to me sound out my letters and stayed right by my side as I made the long journey from the top to the bottom of the page.

I thought the book was a bit odd with its peculiar creatures and talking playing cards. But reading “Alice” with Grandma was fun. When she read, the characters blossomed to life, as if they were standing right next to us. After sifting through page after page of little black letters…how exciting to finally arrive at a colorful glossy picture!

When the day was over, I would retire to my father’s former bedroom which now had white lacy curtains and petunias on the walls. Grandma and I knelt beside the bed to say prayers. After I climbed into bed and pulled the crisp white sheets up to my chin, Grandma blew me a few kisses and disappeared just like the Cheshire cat. I would lie awake thinking about rabbit holes and what I might do if I fell into one. And if I couldn’t go to sleep I would slip out of bed and sneak down the hallway. If I carefully peeked around the corner, I could see Grandma and Grandpa sitting by the fireplace—Grandpa in his green easy chair working crossword puzzles, and grandma reading her Bible.

Alice in Wonderland now sits on my father’s bookshelf. Someday the blue book will rest in my home. And when I’m a grandmother, I might slip the blue book from the shelf and curl up with my grandchildren and take a journey down a rabbit hole.

Although Grandma’s favorite book will always hold a special place in my heart, I’m thinking about coming up with my own book to pass down to my grandchildren—a big green book. We will patiently plow through its pages and be swept away to a place called Middle Earth, where we will meet another set of peculiar creatures—dwarves, elves and hobbits.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm Entering a Carnival

I love to visit Janey Loree's blog Mustang 'n' Cowboys. I love the stories of how her sons train wild Mustangs. But oh dear...her two boys just moved to Texas and took their horses with them. Janey misses them dearly, but on the bright side, the boys have been taking pictures and Janey posts photos of their adventures.

Janey is hosting her first blog carnival! The "Authors go GONZO! Carnival" and its slated for November 5, 2007. Janey says, "Share about the book(s) you have written or are in the process of writing. Who is your favorite author and/or what book series holds that special place on your bookshelf or what book based movie, in your opinion, is not as good as the book!" Everyone is welcome to enter!

I will be entering a post entitled, "My Grandmother's Old Blue Book." It will be posted here in a few days!

Unusual occurrences happen in blog world, and Janey and I have experienced this! Shortly after I stumbled upon her blog Notes that Touch the Heart (by way of Pieces of Me) I found myself reading a post by Janey which described an area in Arizona connected with her roots. My husband had roots there too. And it turned out both of our families had land there...and then we found that some of her family members and my husband's family members had the same last name. It turns out that Janey is a cousin!—related to my husband by the marriage of her grandfather! That was a nice surprise!

Okay—back to the subject at hand. If you enjoy books, authors and writing, stop by and visit the carnival on November 5th. And if you're feeling's not to late to enter!

Monday, October 29, 2007

What Would Jesus Do on Halloween?

It's time to talk about writing.

I'm excited that my Halloween article just came out in LIVE magazine. For those of you who are interested in writing, I'm including my query letter. Queries should be short (editors are busy) and should convince the editor that your piece is worth reading!

Dear Editor:

The article,
What Would Jesus Do on Halloween, will put a smile on the face of anyone who has ever wondered what to do on Halloween.

Summary: This true story begins when the door bell rings on Halloween night. My young sons and I dive onto the living room floor and pretend we are not home. But Jesus had a different plan for us. When we discovered it, Halloween became an unforgettable adventure.

Need for article: There are not many articles written for Christians about Halloween. Christians need encouragement and guidance. They are curious about what other families do on Halloween. This is a story that will inspire your readers and make them feel good about whatever they do!

Thank you for considering this piece,



Ding Dong!

“Trick or Treat!” called a choir of high squeaky voices.

“Quick! Hit the floor!" I commanded as I scrambled to turn down the T.V. "Let’s pretend we’re not home.” My two young sons and I lay as still as possums until the voices on our front porch drifted away.

“Can we move now?" asked Cody.

"I'm hungry," said Dylan.

“Yes, but I hope no one sees us through the curtains,” I said, glancing at the white lacy fabric.

Cody crawled underneath the window toward the kitchen. As I watched his younger brother scoot along after him, I thought, What am I teaching my kids? I knew that something wasn't quite right. This couldn't be the best way to spend Halloween night.

Recently I had read an article on Halloween’s history, causing me to feel uncertain about its shadowy past. Our Halloween traditions are partially connected to an ancient pagan festival commemorating the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. Pagan customs included rituals and practices centering on death and the afterlife. Should Christians be celebrating a holiday preoccupied with themes of darkness and death? I decided the safest thing to do was to ignore the holiday altogether. So I rented a movie for the boys, drew the curtains and turned the porch light off.

But now, in the darkness of the living room, a thought came to me. “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14, NIV) In the same passage Jesus explains we shouldn’t put our lights under a bowl, but instead place them on a stand so everyone can benefit.

Were the children and I hiding our lights? As I pondered the question, I wondered what Jesus would do on this night. He certainly wouldn’t be sprawled on the living room floor, ignoring the children standing outside in the dark. Instead, he’d have his porch light on. I could easily imagine him standing outside on the steps smiling and talking with the young costumed visitors and their parents.

Before the next Halloween approached, I called a meeting with the boys. Showing them the verse in Matthew, I explained how Jesus was counting on us to shine our lights in this dark world.

“Last year we covered up our lights,” I said. “We need to come up with a new plan.”

“Like what?” asked Cody.

“I don’t know—what do you think Jesus would do on Halloween?”

When I shared with the boys how I had imagined Jesus on his front porch talking with visitors, they looked at me warily. Striking up conversations with the night’s masked wanderers was not something they felt comfortable about. We talked about other activities Jesus might do on Halloween night.

“He might go to a harvest festival,” I began.

“—or a party,” added Cody.
“He might make hot chocolate,” said Dylan.

“Good thought,” I smiled. I could picture Jesus in his front yard serving hot chocolate to weary Halloween travelers.

We came to the conclusion that wherever Jesus was, whether attending a party or walking the streets, he would be shining his light and loving lost people. Eventually we came up with an idea that fit our family. We would compose a letter to give to our visitors and include some great candy. This is what we wrote:

It's dark out there! But you don't have to feel afraid. There is a light that will always shine for you. It's the light of Jesus. Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." It's easy to follow him. Just talk to Jesus like you'd talk to a friend. He'll hear you! And he will help you in your life. He will love you and forgive you for any wrong things you have done. He'll be your best friend!

A few days before Halloween, we busily prepared our letters. As we worked together I found myself actually looking forward to the upcoming evening. My boys were excited too! We rolled up the letters, tied them with ribbon and put them in a basket with the biggest candy bars we could afford. Cody carved a “Jesus loves you” pumpkin for our front steps. On Halloween night we hovered near the front door.

“I hope someone comes!” Dylan peeked out the front door.

Cody squeezed out the door with a flashlight. “I’ll be hiding in the bushes. If someone is coming, I'll signal you! "

Dylan ran across the living room and stood by the front window.

To see my boys enjoying their first experience of sharing Christ warmed my heart.
Moments later, the flashlight blinked behind the bush.

“Someone’s coming! Someone’s coming!” called Dylan.

Suddenly I realized I had forgotten to do something important. I reached over and turned the porch light on.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cookies in My Kitchen

I thought I'd bake cookies today (Sunday) to give the men in my life some cheer. Yes, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, they say.

My cookies came out too soft--like cake. I have just found this fascinating article on how to make chocolate chip cookies come out EXACTLY how you want them to. Check it out.

I'm happy far...the cookies are perking everyone one up. Better moods already!

As I am baking, I look through the kitchen window and see my neighbor's home next door. Jean passed away about a month ago, at the age of 85. Her 2 daughters are sifting through their mother's things, and boxing up belongings. It seemed like it would be a good thing to bring them cookies. As I stepped over there, another neighbor man, Felix, stepped out of the garage. He is over to lend a helping hand. Now they are all eating cookies.

Back to the kitchen. I still have a big bowl of dough to bake.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sitting here thinking...

When I held my first baby in my arms, I never dreamed how hard parenting him would be. I never imagined the pain he would put us through. I never dreamed how deeply I would love him.


Two-steps forward, then two steps backwards.

I'm learning that I'm not alone. There are many hurting parents. God's desk must be inundated with requests for wayward children. Oh God...hurry and help us all.

The bottom line is: my son needs to turn his life over to his maker. Only then, will he make progress.

I pray daily for this.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The area where we live is safe. But today our blue sky slowly began to turn colors. In the morning we saw grey and orange streaks in the distance toward the fire areas. Our local mountains are not on fire. But their purple peaks gradually disappeared into a smoky haze and they became dark grew shadows. It was almost 100 degrees in our area today.

The school where I work canceled P.E classes so the children would not inhale the bad air.

Four hundred homes are destroyed in the Lake Arrowhead area, where we like to ride our motorcycles. The last couple of riding posts are in that area.

I continue to pray for the fire fighters and for the people who have lost their homes. I'm sad that our forests are burning up. Each year California's wild fires are increasing. People blame it on global warming. I'm not sure what the answer is, but we haven't had much rain the last few years, so everything is incredibly dry.

Some of our larger pine trees can withstand forest fires, but they cannot survive these flames.

In a way, this pulls everyone together, and people become more sensitive to one another's needs. I don't like these fires, but in some ways...difficult circumstances bring out the best in people.

(The Dead Sea Scroll post is below.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dead Sea Scrolls Day

There are 12 to 15 fires burning in Southern California. But fortunately the area where we live is fine. Keep the firefighters and people in threatened areas in your prayers.

It was 80 degrees with clear blue skies in San Diego on Saturday, the day Carole and I went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. After seeing the scrolls, we left the area Saturday afternoon and traveled north toward home. Apparently some fires broke out the next day affecting some of the areas we drove through.

So how were the Dead Sea Scrolls? Amazing!

There were no parking places left at the San Diego Museum of Natural History at 10:15 a.m. I had to park waaaaaay down the street. Do you see the plane in the picture?

After passing through an outdoor security check point, we were able to enter the museum. Notice the black "Dead Sea Scrolls" sign on the left.

The first room held large breathtaking photographs of Israel. portraying beautiful shorelines, rugged deserts, miles of fertile fields, canyons, and wheat colored hills strewn with oak fact it looked a lot like Southern California. And it looked BIG. I always think of Israel as tiny, but not anymore. I mean...even the Dead Sea (which looks like a drop of water on the map) was gigantic!

This picture (above) was intriguing.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were in a cool dimly lit room. They were under glass. Actually framed in small glass frames (that they traveled in). These small frames were placed into large 4 feet by 4 feet glass tables--one table for each scroll. But the display only consisted of fragments. There were no complete scrolls. I suppose it would be hard to display, for instance, the entire scroll of Isaiah. It would take several rooms to do that!

Here is a list of some of the scrolls we saw. I am using the old dating method because its easier to understand. But the exhibit used the designations BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era)

Paleo-Leviticus (comprised of the last six chapters of Leviticus) 1—50 A.D.
Deuteronomy (3:14-28 and 5:1—6:1 and part of chapter 8) 125—75 B.C.
Isaiah (5:15-28) 75—1 B.C.
2 Samuel (various parts) 50—1 B.C.
Zephaniah 3:9—Haggai 1:2--They believe this scroll fragment is part of a complete scroll of the twelve minor prophets. 150—125 B.C.
Genesis (7:10—8:13) 50—1 B.C. Includes excerpts from the flood.

Psalms had the biggest most readable fragments. When I stepped over to see it, I was surprised that my eyes misted over. Psalms has meant so much to so many 'pilgrims'. A sign on the wall notated that the book of Psalms has been passed down with incredible accuracy. As I looked at the first century A.D. Hebrew writing, I thanked God for his gift of the discovery of these scrolls. He knew these would be an encouragement to us—knowing that our old testament scriptures are the same today as they were 2000 years ago.

The scrolls were much smaller than I had imagined. They were only about 7 or 8 inches from top to bottom. The writing was very small. One of the visitors looking over my shoulder mentioned that animal skin can shrink over the years. All of the scrolls were parchment (animal skin) except for one papyrus scroll, a linen scroll, and a copper scroll (letters etched into copper). This is the first time the copper scroll had ever been displayed. The Copper scroll is non-Biblical and cites some 64 locations where over 100 tons of gold, silver, scrolls and priestly items were supposedly hidden. (25—75 A.D.)

We weren't allowed to take pictures. In order to keep the scrolls from deteriorating, the scrolls can only be exhibited for 3 months. They just removed the scrolls that were exhibited during the summer, and put in different ones for the months of October, November, December. The room must be cool and the light must be dim. The animal skin has yellowed and darkened, making it hard to see the black writing. But the text is still clearly legible.

It was hard to leave. I just wanted to stand in their presence a little longer. But Carole was freezing cold, and I was tired. I didn't mention that they let TOO MANY people into the exhibit at one time and it took a lot of patience to wade your way up to a glass table to see a scroll. Before we left I quickly turned and threaded my way back to the Psalms scroll, squeezed through some people and stared at it one more time, etching the moment into my memory.

Then Carole and I stepped out into the warm sunshine. We snagged a security guard to take our photo.
There's Carole (left) and myself (right) happily thawing out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sharon Lynne News

The Home Front

My youngest, recently bought a game system with his own money. He won't let the oldest play unless the oldest treats him with respect. They've been squabbling all week. It's interesting to watch. I've never seen the older one submit to the younger one. (and I'm seeing it.)

We are purchasing some property in another state, and it hasn't been easy. We are closing this week or next...emails, notaries, lenders, interest rates, escrow, insurance, taxes, etc., etc. has been keeping our minds busy.

I'm still reading the Bible to my family at dinner.


I wave to my neighbor Ben when I see him. He is gone a lot. This is good—as I think he must have a regular job.

Yesterday, very early in the morning I crossed paths with another neighbor. He doesn't speak English very well. I said, "Have a nice day." He smiled wide. The next morning as I was climbing into my car I heard his voice coming over the wall, "Have a nice day."

A couple of days ago I went to a store to buy a belt. Outside an old homeless woman was eating out of trash can. How can I buy a belt when someone else can't even buy food? I bought her a meal...and told her God cared about her. This is not something I normally do...but God is showing me what he would do. (and I did buy the belt)

My Job

Working with children is always rewarding!

My Writing

Can't seem to get myself motivated to re-write 2 articles that I need to send out. Daily life is too strenuous on my brain at the moment.


I'm going to see the Dead Sea Scrolls on Saturday! I'm picking up a girlfriend and drivng to San Diego. I'll bring my camera and tell you all about it! Here is a link to an article I wrote: Dead Sea Scrolls

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Still Hanging On

My vegetable garden looks a little haggard, but it's still hanging on.

I have yellow peppers.

And various types of red peppers.
These are too I just let them decorate the bush.

These are good!

Tomatoes are still dangling.

Oh! What's this!
An article sitting in the pumpkin plant.

It's a peek at my article "What Would Jesus Do on Halloween?" that will be coming out on October 28th, 2007 in a magazine called LIVE.

I will post the article soon—after October 28th!

Hope you are all doing well out there...still enjoying the change of season and living ONE DAY AT A TIME! (I've found that makes things easier.)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Best Kind of Food

My husband is composing music tonight. Later he will come in and watch some tv to relax.

My youngest son is watching tv already, and my oldest son is on the computer.

I'm reading blogs and then I'm going to browse through some children's books.

I'm thinking...I should be reading God's Word. For some reason it always gets put off.

Why do I put off the most important thing I could be doing?

And what about my children? Every day they are bombarded by the world's voice...and the world's opinions through tv, computer, I.pods, and etc. Do they hear God's voice?

What to do?

So I took a small step. I put an open Bible on the kitchen table.

A few things happened. Just small things. When I'm home for lunch, I find myself reading a few verses. Then, at dinner, after a prayer of thanks for the food, I read a few verses to the family.

I tell the family it's their spiritual food.

We haven't had any earth shattering conversations or conversions, and often the verses get derailed by interruptions. "Hey! He just took the biggest piece of cheese bread!" But I'm hoping seeds are being planted.

Sometimes I read just one proverb. Or three verses in Matthew.

And on some nights, it just doesn't work. Like tonight, my husband was unusually talkative about his day. I thought it best to let him talk. The Bible doesn't have to be forced. It will still be here tomorrow.

Now the Word of God is powerful...sharper than a two-edged sword. So I won't doubt.
I'll try not to be discouraged when the interruptions hit. The Word of God will do its work. It will seep into their lives.

...just as the media has.

But now, they have a sword to fight with. And a way to measure the opinions of the world. A contrast.

I pray they will begin to read God's Word on their own.

Psalm 119: 165 "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Anniversary Ride

On September 29th, 2007, the day of our 28th wedding anniversary, my husband asked, "How 'bout going riding tomorrow...just the two of us."

I needed a change of scenery and being alone with my husband sounded like a fun thing. So we left the boys at home and went out.

Well...this was a pretty long steep hill. The picture doesn't reflect the slant of it. I kept thinking..."I'm almost at the top! I'm almost at the top!" But the top never came.

You can see the trail winding up in the background. I was climbing and climbing, and trying to avoid slipping into periodic long deep ruts here and there in the road. Suddenly I didn't make one of the turns and my bike rolled over a log and fell. Since this ground was tilted, and my bike weighs 225 pounds--my husband was not thrilled. Fortunately another guy came up the hill and helped him pull the bike out. I hiked up the rest of the hill on foot.

At the top we sat down on a log and rested. It was hot--about 88 degrees. (Hot for climbing hills in that outfit!)

Sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy.

But I do love the outdoors. Yet I think I would rather meander along a nice dirt road through beautiful countryside. But when you ride with a man, the chances are...that you won't meander. Try..just try...going riding with a man and NOT climbing a hill...bouncing over rocks...zooming around burms and spinning doughnuts.

Actually we had a pretty good time all in all. We rode 50 miles through the mountains! No more crashes the rest of the day (Oh...He did take me out to a nice dinner the night before!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bible Study in the Neighborhood

My friend comments about an interesting experience relating to her neighborhood. She writes...

"Your story about Ben speaks to me, because we have a situation on our block where a new resident has turned his front yard into a repository for broken-down restaurant equipment and other junk. He seems like a nice young guy when we talk with him, but nothing has changed in several weeks. Some neighbors have called the city code enforcement to report him.

Meanwhile, this past Monday morning the fall neighborhood Bible study began. Since early 2002, this group has met for typically three studies per year, taking off during the summer and end-of-year holidays. Another woman hosts, and I lead the discussions. As I have done in the past, I circulated an invitation to every home on the block a couple of weeks in advance.

As we gathered that morning, some of the usual attenders began catching up on news from the summer. The topic of our new neighbor came up, along with critical comments on the state of his front yard. A few minutes later, guess who showed up at the door to join the study! I trust he didn't notice our red faces.

We welcomed him. He had brought his Bible, and he participated in both the discussion and the prayers afterwards. His prayer "in Jesus' name" sounded very
sincere. I hope he comes back next week.

God is teaching me not to judge people's character by external evidence that may be unrelated to the kind of person they are. I don't know what reasons my neighbor might have for not yet doing something about his junk pile, but I want to be forgiving and compassionate in the process of seeking resolution. I think this kind of approach would get better results anyway. It seems almost ironic that our topical Bible study for this fall is focused on "caring for physical needs"--including needs for practical help. Instead of being confrontational, maybe our group could offer to haul things away for him--or at least help move them into his back yard!"


Yes, it's a little slow over here. I generally post twice a week.
It's quiet over at Ben's house. Maybe I'll run into him this weekend.
Talk to you soon! A writing post is coming up...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

God's Day in the Neighborhood (Part 2)

Continued from previous post...

Thanks for checking back for an update on the memorial service and Ben. It warmed my heart that some of the neighbors reached out to Ben in small ways. Nothing earth-shattering...but a good day...and a good start—for Ben—for us—for the neighbors...and God.
For this post to make sense, you should read the previous post first.

* * *

I looked aross the street and Ben's dented car was gone. Did he forget about the service? We had to leave in an hour.

"If he forgets, and doesn't show...we'll have to leave without him." said my husband.

About 15 minutes later the front doorbell rang. I swung open the door and there was Ben standing in a pair of tan slacks and a rumpled but clean white shirt.
"Oh I'm so glad you're still here!" he said. "I ran out to get a hair cut."
"You look nice," I said.
"Thanks for telling me I look nice."

Just then large rain drops plopped around us. I ran inside to grab some umbrellas.
Ben said, "Oh I have one I can bring!" He hurried back across the street.

As we rode to the service, Ben pulled his umbrella out of a dusty plastic wrapper.
"I've never used this before—it's still new."
(In Southern California, we haven't had rain for about 150 days!)

We arrived at the little chapel and threaded into one of the pews. A neighbor passed a program up to me...but not to Ben. It was nicely done with pictures of Jean and a beautiful prayer. I wished Ben had one. A few seconds later, this same neighbor returned with a program for Ben.

A Lutheran pastor conducted a meaningful service. The soloist sang "How Great Thou Art" and several other hymns. He sang from the heart as if he truly believed the words. The soloist looked familiar to me. Ben mentioned the same thing. (more about that later)

As we stepped out of the chapel to the graveside service, the rain stopped and the sun spilled through the clouds. (and I took the picture below) As my husband and I talked to some of the neighbors, Ben stood quietly to the side of us. One of the neighbors reached out and shook Ben's hand.

When the Pastor lead us in the Lord's prayer, I could hear Ben's voice saying the words quietly as if he had known them for years.

The soloist closed the service with several uplifting songs. As we climbed back into the truck, Ben mentioned that when he was young, he had gone to the Lutheran church.

"The songs made it nice, today." he added.

We began to discuss the familiarity of the soloist and figured out, to our surprise, that he was a clerk in the garden department of our local Home Depot store (!) Ben remembered meeting the clerk one day at the store. "He struck up a conversation with me," said Ben with an amazed tone in his voice.

The day ended inside Jean's home with a small feast and many assorted relatives we did not know. So the neighbors found themselves congregating at one table. Soon my husband and I had to leave...but Ben stayed. He was talking with the neighbors.

As we were going out the door...the Home Depot soloist who loved to sing about the Lord, entered the house. I hoped he would end up at the neighbors table and strike up another conversation with Ben. I wondered if God would use him in Ben's life.

If you have time...pause for a moment and say a prayer for Ben...that he will walk toward the light of Jesus Christ.

Well...I don't think this story is over yet. Ben left his umbrella in our truck.

Friday, September 21, 2007

God's Day in the Neighborhood (Part 1)

My dear next-door-neighbor and friend, Jean, passed away this week. She was 85 years old. We would often talk over the side-wall that runs between our homes. Sometimes we would sit and talk in her kitchen. She always had time for me.

Jean's passing has awakened the neighborhood. Suddenly the neighbors are talking with one another. Even tonight, the door bell rang. It was Tim, who lives across the street, bringing us directions to the service. My husband and 2 other neighbors have been asked to be pall bearers. Afterwards there will be a reception in Jean's backyard.

We have one home in the neighborhood who everyone complains about. The man who lives there doesn't keep his place up. He has a drinking problem. But he has known Jean since he was a young man. Jean has often told me about his history. She knew his parents, before they both passed away. She said they were quite irregular parents. Now Ben lives alone there, but not in the house. The house is a shell...because he started remodeling/rebuilding it and ran out of money. So now Ben, about age 65, lives in the little back house. Ben would also make his way over to Jean's from time to time to sit in her kitchen. The neighbors do not like Ben. They complain about him and call the city to come and make him clean up his property.

I was standing in the street with Jean's daughter, when she was telling Ben that her mother passed away. I could see the sadness on Ben's face and I heard myself inviting him to come ride with my husband and I to the memorial service. His face brightened and he thanked me heartily.

Yesterday when I saw Ben, he said, "God Bless You." Ben doesn't attend church, and he doesn't strike me as religious. But I have often prayed for I have a son who is going through difficult I'm sure Ben did, when he was young. But Ben fell through the cracks...somehow...perhaps no one to support and help him through the rough waters...and he ended up on the wrong path. Compassion. I feel compassion. Maybe I'm feeling God's compassion...not mine.

As various neighbors have found out that Ben is coming...and riding in our car, they stammer a bit and roll their eyes. Even my husband wasn't thrilled.

So tomorrow should be an interesting day. I feel its the Lord's day...his day to work in the neighborhood. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Solid Rock

As I shared my anxious thoughts with my mother, she responded, "Your family will be fine. You've built your home on a rock...not on the sand."

The truth in her words touched my heart with immediate comfort.

How could I have forgotten...

My husband and I have built our home on Jesus Christ. We stand on Him.

..."And the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." (Jesus) Matthew 7:25

I thought about these things in church this morning as we sang...

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand
All other ground is sinking sand..

Take courage, dear friends, our homes do not sit on the sand. They are built on a rock. And we will come through all of life's storms intact. We will overcome...because we have built our lives on Jesus Christ..the solid rock!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Moments in Time

At the public school where I work, today, 9/11, the children gathered for an assembly outdoors on the grass. Teachers and students, dressed in red, white and blue stood beneath the warm morning sun. One of the teachers led the students in a song. One thousand kindergarten through 6th grade children sang "God Bless that I love..." acappella. It was an awesome moment.

Pray for America's children...may they come to know their Creator and know they are loved by Him. May the their natural fledgling faith not be suffocated by "the ways of the world" which will rapidly surround them...just as weeds creep around tender plants.

I just took a walk catch the last glow of light before darkness. I saw the first star come out. Actually it was the planet of Jupiter. I prayed for different friends who are struggling. The grass felt prickly under my thin rubber flip-flops. Fall is coming, but the air is still warm here. I'm still waiting for that first crisp morning.

As I watched a few leaves flutter to the grass, the words of some of my blogging friends came to my mind..."Fall is a time that nature rests." I love this thought. I want to rest, too.

May I place my trust in Him...and rest.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Counting My Blessings

I had a nice 24 hours the other day. I went boogie boarding at the beach, then spent the night at my parents. I went on a nice bike ride. It was a refreshing and restful change.

Then I came home...and school started...and my job. That's today. It was actually nice feeling to be back and greet old friends.

Counting My Blessings

Sometimes I must remind myself to stop and count the blessings I have in my life. I think my Father in heaven would enjoy that.

If my children only complained, pleaded and were constantly anxious...about my ability to care for them...parenthood would be dreary, indeed.

Dear Father in Heaven---thank you!


my house

my husband

my boys

a job that I enjoy

parents who know you...and live a few miles from a beautiful beach. (a restful spot for me)

my friends

my writing critique group

my moms-in-touch group

Sunday morning lifestyles class at church

Nice neighbors

extended family relationships are healthy and "in you".

thank you that my oldest son really likes his new college classes--auto and welding

thank you that my youngest son is doing well

I'm thankful that my husband loves me

Thank you for the nature I see every day...the mountains, the sky, the plants, the birds, rocks, dirt, breezes, trees...oh and the stars, planets, moon, and beautiful universe!

Thank you for your Word.

Thank you for listening to my prayers.

Thank you for forgiving me, saving my life through the death and resurrection of your son and preparing a home in heaven for we can be together forever.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sizzling Hot

Hey...thanks for those funny captions on the previous post about Miss Maggie. They brightened my day! You, friends, are creative! I'm not good at thinking of captions.

It has been so hot here the last few days. Yesterday the power went out for most of the day. Today we have had some surges, but basically the power has stayed on. Today it was 112 degrees. Our voltage is very low right now, so I must get off soon. It's in the 90's at night. Whew! We've been going without the air conditioner most of the time. (to save money, and to save voltage).'s time to remember that there are others in the world with worse situations.

At least we have water! I've re-discovered the joy of playing in the sprinklers. How it happened was...tonight I went out to the front yard to turn off the sprinklers and some of the spray hit me. It felt glorious. So I ventured out on to the lawn and stood in the middle of the tall wet blades. (Our lawn needs mowing) The sprinklers sprayed water every which way. Every few seconds delightfully cool drops showered over my head, and clothing. Oh the simple joys!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Miss Maggie says...

What did Miss Maggie get into today?

The stamps!

Miss Maggie Mae is my puppy-niece and camping companion. See post about the trip!

Just for fun...Can you think of a caption?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Deep Valley

We just slid into a deep dark valley with our son. The three of us will be here awhile.

We will walk on this cold slippery path week after week.

Oh! Our son just lost his footing and tumbled deeper. He stands on another path below ours. We reach down...and he reaches up. Our fingers touch but we can't grip his hand. He cries out.

Then I saw the Shepherd quickly climb down to our son. He stood beside him. Turning his eyes to us he said, he must walk a deeper path. But I will not leave him or forsake him.

So we walk. We watch. We see our son. We see his pain.

The Shepherd gently uses his rod and his staff to guide the young one through the dark places. He quietly says, this is the way.

This is the way that leads to life.

This piece is dedicated to all the prodigals and parents who are journeying through the valley.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007


This morning the parrots* were swooping across the sky, squealing with delight, at 7:00 a.m. Good thing I was already awake. I reached over and shook my husband. "Hey! It's time to get up--it's Christmas!"

Today my husband is leaving for a well-deserved vacation. A short time later, my husband and I stood in the front yard waiting for his friend LT to arrive. The parrots continued to play. Several hung upside down on the power line as LT rounded the corner in his silver truck. Three motorcyles stood in the bed of the truck and trailing behind was LT's house on wheels.

Camping, motorcycling, and a little fishing all crammed into 4 days——a man's dream!

"Oh don't forget the CD's."

"I brought my laptop, and the helmet cam" (video camera that one can hook on a helmet)

"Oh...I accidently left the frozen hot dogs out last night. Do you have anymore?"

*Oh yes...the parrots. We have wild parrots in our skies. There are several stories of how they got here, but the main story is...In the 1940's someone brought two dozen or so parrots here in cages (not a cage...there is another word——can't think of it.) Somehow...during an earthquake...a fire...they got out. They've multiplied and now there are about 200 in our little city—and a few hundred more in nearby cities. They are the kings and queens of the sky, as even the crows will submit to them.

So I'm on my own for a few days...along with both my sons. Due to circumstances, I need to stick close to home this week. I wonder what the week will entail?

I want to be clean out closets or get the paperwork off my desk.

While writing this post---
I just got a phone call reminding me my neighbor, who is recouperating from surgery, is in the hospital and needs a visit. She's a sweet older lady. She's mentioned in one of my first posts. I have fun tossing oranges into her yard...(see post)

I will go and see her.

That's the most important thing for me to do!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Twenty Years of Motherhood

Today is my oldest son's 20th birthday!

Here he is many years ago, helping his brother hold a string of Trout caught at Sotcher Lake, near Devils Post Pile in the Sierra Nevadas.

After graduating high school in 2005, he decided to try working...rather then going to college. After some difficult experiences, he has now decided that he'd like to try school, and work PT. He has signed up (on his own) for a welding class (74 hours of lecture and 290 hours of lab) and an automotive class. He also has been looking for a job.

It would be so appreciated if you could keep him in your prayers regarding these new endeavors.

The ride of parenting has certainly been more of a white-knuckler than I anticipated. But as C learns and grows through his expereinces, I learn and grow also.

Today I'm secretly commemorating TWENTY years of MOTHERHOOD!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Miscellaneous Thoughts

I've been back for almost a week and I miss the mountains already!

It's hard to imagine that just over a week ago I was rowing out into Rock Creek Lake. I like looking at the shoreline from the water. A fresh vantage point. And it's quiet out there.

So what's going on around here? After church, my husband, and his friend L decided to go riding. Our oldest son, who is supposed to be looking for a job...said, "Can I go?????" So Dad took him too. This is the one thing that still connects father and son. When I hadn't heard from them at 9:00 p.m., I called and couldn't reach their cell phone. Were they lost? Did they lose daylight? Just got a call. Everyone is in one piece. They're on the road home.

My youngest son, age 16, played with his new PS3 today (game system). He bought it with his own money. He's been saving his money since he was about ten for something...but he didn't know what. We weren't too happy about the game system. as we've been trying to tone down the video games. Not all kids get addicted to games, but my sons will play them most of the day if they could get away with it. Therefore my husband and I have a strict time limit rule.

Since part of the family was gone today, I decided to do something I rarely do. Watch a movie. Let's see...what movie to get? One that the guys would NEVER want to see. I settled on "Miss Potter". A nice calm movie about the author of Peter Rabbit, which includes light romance. Perfect. It was so nice to settle back and not worry about anyone getting blasted, blown-up, or murdered.

The movie was not too exciting...but it was enjoyable. I loved the English countryside, the water color pictures of animals, the clothes, observing the manners and customs of the early 1900's. After the movie was over, I googled "Beatrix Potter" to read more about her. I purused some sketches she did as a child, found out she kept a journal written in a special code, and she raised sheep!

I am very interested in sheep. I'm working on a children's story about a flock of sheep. I'll tell you more about that soon!

Have a very good week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Resting in the High Places

My youngest son and I joined my sister-in-law and brother-in-law in Little Lakes Valley for a camping adventure. Now don't pass that link by! Click on it...because I want you to see the awesome beauty of the area. (We hiked that trail.)

right to left
my son, me
Samuel (6 month old Huskie)
Miss Maggie Mae (6 month old Cairn Terrier)
my sister-in-law
my brother-in-law

Are we in Narnia?

Awesome beauty everywhere.

Rock Creek is just a few steps from our camp.

Can you see the trail?

When I first set foot on this trail my eyes misted over, as it reminded me of how "Much Afraid" walked with the Shepherd through the High Places in the book, Hinds Feet on High Places.

My son took up a new sport. Extreme Rock-Hopping. He found several creative routes of crossing the stream...putting his life in danger...(he only brought one pair of shoes!)

He coaxed me into taking one of his routes. I made it...but my heart was palpitating! I didn't like the pointed rock section.

"Just keep your momentem going, mom, and you'll be fine."

I prefer logs to rocks.

Dylan is walking Samuel. The two puppies were discovering the world outside their backyard, for the very first time.

Samuel (the Huskie) chased the sticks we tossed into the water. Maggie chased Samuel into the water! Suddenly the ground dropped off and she started swimming! She loved it!

Samuel's first step into the water.

Uncle K watches as Maggie and Samuel play at Heart Lake.


Bunk Beds.

Maggie and Samuel are crate trained. Each evening, at bedtime, they easily entered their crates and seemed happy for a rest after a long active day.

God's Christmas decorations.

Beautiful peaks.

Red Rock Canyon

Dylan, who loves to eat, took this picture. Tri-tip!

My siser-in-law with Samuel and Miss Maggie.

Thank you, M and K for a great trip!