Friday, July 31, 2009

On The Road Again

Becca Joy is on the road again...

Going places that she's never been before...

It's true. 

I am. 

(My parents used to sing that song to me when I was just a wee bairn.  The thing is back then we only went two places.  To see Grandma and Grandpa and back home again.  So, I didn't really go places I'd never been before...)  But, I digress. 

This time we really are headed places I've never been before. 

We're pulling out at 8 am on the dot!  (hopefully)  and driving to Boston, and then on to New York, from there to Canada and finally home to Wisconsin.  10 days or so.

I'll be around and updating you all whenever I have internet which will be mostly at the beginning and end of the trip and not much at all in the middle. 

Everyone have fun!  And be good!  :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Bible camp this year was all about  Moses tabernacle in the wilderness.
We (obviously not, ME, other VERY talented people in my church) built a 1/10 scale model of the tabernacle.
Exodus 26 and 27

Outer Court  

Holy Place and Holy of Holies

We even went on a journey in the "wilderness."  By tribes.  :)  Gotta love Moses' shades. :)
Aaron the High Priest and John the Baptist smile for the camera.  
Yes, I know John the Baptist is New Testament and Aaron is Old Testament.  But, I promise you.  They were both sitting in the cafeteria that night.  :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Campers

Every year my church hosts a 4 day Bible Camp for Kids.  It's a time of fun, and learning about God's word.  It's the best week of the whole summer. :)
We sing!
We learn
We have relay races
Running, jumping, twisting, etc.  (or, "what to do with 70 campers when it rains all day") :)
We learn about Jesus in interesting ways.  Chemistry for example.  :)  If you look close, you can see Jesus blood vanquishing the darkness. :)
We laugh and make friends
We meet interesting characters.  Like, The Woman at the Well :)
We have a LOT of fun!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Home again, home again

Home from camp!

Actually we've been home since Thursday afternoon, but between one thing and another (and another, and another, and another)  I've been too crazy busy to even think of updating my blog. 

I have plans to show you all some cute camp pictures, but, honestly I haven't even seen them all myself yet.  My sister took...  I don't even know how many pictures.  She filled every SD card she owns.  Do you know how long it takes to go through 10 GB of pictures?  Mercy. 

Anyway, Friday was supposed to be a relax/catch-up-from-camp day but turned into some stress.  I did my laundry and cleaned a little but, the climax of the day was about 4:30 when we got hit with a hailstorm.  The whole town lost power.  I'm not even slightly exxagerating when I say that my yard was literally COVERED in marble sized hail.  The long hailstorm was followed by more thunder and heavy rain, tornado spottings, etc.  Needless to say the storm took up the rest of the day. 

The next morning I discovered two broken windows.  My garden is half destroyed.  And the plants in the front yard look like someone took a machine gun to them.  Some of my hostas are ripped in shreds.  :(  Very, very sad...

So, Saturday morning saw my family heading three different directions involving 2 weddings and a family reunion.  We were all home by 8:30 at which time we all colapsed. 

Sunday morning I went to a going-away service and luncheon for a dear co-worker of mine who's husband is retiring from the ministry and moving away.  Also, VERY sad. :(

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my computer (which decided to do scary things), and cleaning out the garden to assess the damage.  Then I headed out to Menards to buy something to make my yard look better.  I came home with a hanging geranium, a potted petunia and 3 hail damaged perennials for $2 each. 

I did a little reading.  Talked on the phone with mom and then settled in to watch a movie and FINALLY relax. 

Monday morning, I'm back to work soon. 

Looking forward to vacationing next week! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cultivating Sibling Relations

You have the Opportunity to make the best friends of your life.  Your siblings will always know you better than your friends because they see you day in and day out, good days and bad.  They are the people you don't put a good face on for.  Your friends will come and go, but your family will be there every day of your life.  Don't waste the opportunity.    Below is a list of tips to help you make the most of your friendships with siblings, along with some of my personal experiences and findings.  If you have any ideas I'd LOVE to hear them!

  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Rule #1 in cultivating ANY relationship.  Ask yourself "Would I like it if my brother said this to me?"  "What could my sister do that would totally make my day?"  And then DO it!

  • Learn to cook
It has long been my philosophy that the way to ANYONE'S heart is through their stomach.  It's something of a family joke.  I have fond memories of my 3 year old brother coming running into the kitchen the minute he heard me start to cook and then climbing up on a chair to watch the entire process saying "yum, yum" the whole time.  Now that's devotion.  :)  The sweet thing is that that same brother (who is now 15) has developed a similar interest in the kitchen... er, FOOD and we now bond over cooking together.  :) 

Feeding people is one of my favorite ways to take care of them.  And everyone LOVES the hand that feeds them.  :)

Plus, you will have the wonderful advantage of being able to make them they're favorite food when they've had a rough day (or week... or month).  There's a lot of truth in the phrase "Comfort Food."  (In Katie's case this is Chocolate Chip Pancakes, just FYI) :)

  • Give them privacy

Growing up in a big family privacy was a treat.  I CRAVED my privacy.  I was jealously protective of it.  We need to realize that our other siblings feel the same way. 

  • Listen
One sure fire method of making people not like you is to ignore them when they're talking.  Have you ever had this happen?  You're talking to someone and before you're done they've either lost interest and walked away, or turned to someone and started talking.  It's happened to me.  And, it didn't make me super excited about starting another conversation with that person, either.  Be available.  Listen.  Take what they have to say seriously.  Or, humorously, if they're telling a joke. :)  (This is especially useful with little brothers.  If they tell a joke, LAUGH.  Even if you totally didn't get the punch line, because they told it in the wrong place, or forgot it altogether, or ONLY told you the punch line and forgot the rest of the joke.) :)

  • Share
While I am a firm believer in the sanctity of personal space and respecting other people's belonging, I also believe that there's a trust and comradery that grows out of sharing.  By this I do NOT mean that you should look at your siblings belongings as your own.  My personal pet peeve is people borrowing my books.  Without ASKING.  Oh boy.  I'm completely willing to lend my books to siblings.  But, I prefer them to ask first.  :)  So, maybe I'm still working on the sharing thing.  :) 

  • Find common ground and build on it
You must have SOMETHING in common.  You have the same genes!  You probably have a LOT more in common with your siblings than you think you do.  Find something, no matter how small it may seem and make the most of it.  My sisters and I enjoy doing many things together, but we haven't always been that way.  We've learned from spending oodles of time together what similar interests we have.  And we make sure to make time to do things together that we all enjoy. 

  • Depend on them
Learn their strengths and show them you depend on them.  I live with two of my sisters in the bottom floor of a house.  And I'll be the first to admit that they have strengths I do NOT.  For instance, I'm completely thumbs when it comes to doing anything "handy."  Stephanie and Katie have installed light switches, hung curtain rods, fixed windows and doors and I don't know what all...  They're my "little" sisters, but I've come to terms with the fact that they are always going to be bigger and stronger and better at that kind of thing than I am.  My 15 year old brother knows more about computers than I do, even though I've been using a computer since before he was born... 

  •  Ask for their help
This goes right along with 'Depend on Them.'  I love feeling useful.  Most people do. 
  • Laugh together
Have inside jokes.  It's totally ok. 

  • Remember the good times and try to forget the bad
If you live with someone for most of your life, you're GOING to have little squabbles.  It's bound to happen.  The trick is to let the hurts go.  Concentrate on the good things, instead of holding onto grudges. 

  • Don't hold grudges
Don't hold grudges.  It's so important.  If your sibling said something that hurt you, let them know that it hurt.  And if they apologize, accept it and let it go at that.  There's nothing worse than a squabble in which someone brings up a 10 year old grievance. 

In my line of work (flower shop) I deal with a lot of families who have recently lost loved ones.  One thing I've noticed is that grief brings out the best or the worst in a family.  Some families come into the shop to order flowers and can't stop fighting.  Others rally together and console each other.  Do your best to make your family one that sticks together in tough situations and grows closer because of them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Good-bye For a While

I'm off to Bible camp!

I'll be back late next week, so see you all then! 

Have a great week! 

And if you're going to be at camp... have an AWESOME week!!

ok, people that aren't at camp can have an awesome week too. 


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am Persuaded...

 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:35-39                

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Adventures

The kids had fun climbing around in a "Huey" last Thursday night.

These things are amazing.  I didn't count the seats but I'm guessing they carry about 15+ soldiers.  Elaborate strapping in systems.  Luke didn't get his all the way hooked up.  It was complicated. 
Joe left his sunglasses on because (of course) it raises his coolness level.  Just kidding.  Well, maybe. 

Here's a picture of one.  It's not the one we saw.  The Huey we saw was for display purposes only.  We did not fly in it.  It COULD fly, but it's one of the helicopters they use just for flying to places to be on display.  It was SQUEAKY clean and snazzy looking.  The soldiers on duty there answered any questions we had and encouraged us to climb around in it.  They promised we wouldn't break it.  :)

Seriously.  The Rotator blades on this thing were HUGE!  It was really interesting to see. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

At the Wall

The Vietnam Moving Wall Memorial is near us this weekend.

We are honored and privileged to be able to view it.

The amazing thing about this Moving Wall is that it is entirely the idea of one man.  According to the website "When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication in Washington, he felt the positive power of "The Wall." He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington."

I'm really glad he had the idea.

Last night we attended a ceremony dedicated to the wall.  We watched veterans crying as they found names of their brothers-in-arms.  We saw flowers and memorials left at the wall in memory of loved ones.  It was truly inspiring. 

As we walked the length of the wall and saw the names, name after name stretching out in front of us I couldn't help but think of all the people who must have grieved over every single name.  58,195 men and women.  Twice as many parents.  Siblings, Friends, Husbands and Wives.  Children.

I fought back tears. 

And I sort of wish all the War Memorials had moving replicas of themselves.  Even though I've been to Washington D.C. and seen a lot of them, it's a whole new feeling to have it right in your backyard.  The whole town is draped in flags and bunting.  And the local veterans are pouring out of the wood work.  They congregate and tell war stories.  Seeing their pain and their pride makes me feel it too. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Have I Mentioned....

That I LOVE Charles Dickens? 

I recently re-read Nicholas Nickleby.  Which you already know if you read my June book list. 

I'm re-re-reading it this morning.  Parts of it. 

And I do love Charles Dickens.  Everyone should read Dickens.

His novels are long (Nickleby is 700+ pages)  But totally worth it. 

I'm interested to know who out there reading my blog has read Dickens.  If so, which novels and which are your favorite?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Book Haul

On Sunday I went mall shopping with some of my sisters. It was a long anticipated trip. Originally we had planned to go Tuesday but I got sick so then we thought about going Saturday... guess what... I was still sick... So, when I was sort of miraculously feeling better on Sunday afternoon we decided to run across the highway to the mall.
The main shop to be visited was Borders. Of course. :)

Here's what I got:

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers 
I haven't read this one yet, but I love Harriet Vane, so I'm looking forward to getting into it!

Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers
Another Lord Peter.  I'm building my collection. :)  I want them all.  :)

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch by Donald J. Sobol
Ok, this one isn't for me :)  Luke is doing the summer reading program at the library this year.  He has to read/have read to him 1,000 pages!  That's a LOT of pages!  Anyway, he just finished his first chapter book a month or so ago, so I thought I'd get him another one.  And it's on his favorite subject.  Baseball. :)

The Mysterious Benedict Society Trenton Lee Stewart
This one come EXTREMELY highly recommended by my librarian sister.  So, I picked it up.  It better be good, Lyds.  It was like, $7.  :)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
 Reviewed it HERE
Awesome.  You should definitely check it out.  It's pricey but well worth it.  Otherwise I'm sure your library will have it.  I didn't even get it home with me yet.  I've lent it to one of my sisters.  Who will pass it on to my brother.  Who will pass it on to another sister...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

June Book List

64.  The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers- (***)  I'll admit this book took me a LONG time to get through. 2 weeks?  Not my favorite Lord Peter book so far.  There was a lot of things going on in the plot and I think I would've followed it much better if I could've gotten through it in a shorter amount of time.  Say, my usual 3 or 4 days instead of 2 weeks...  Anyway, it was still good.  And I still love Lord Peter.

65.  The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis- (****)  When I first read the Chronicles of Narnia, The Silver Chair was not one of my favorites.  But, this time around I like it a lot more.  Who couldn't love Puddleglum? 

66.  The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye- (*****)  I absolutely love this story.  It's becoming a comfort read for me.  When I'm feeling a little blue and need a pick-me-up, I can polish off The Ordinary Princess in 2 hours and feel much better about life in general. 

67.  The End by Lemony Snicket- (*****)  Oh, so sad that the series is over! 

68.  The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis- (*****)  I absolutely love this book.  It's spiritually inspiring to me.  Further up and further in!

69.  All About Spiritual Gifts by Gordon Lindsay- (*****)  Very insightful and informative.  Clearly written and explained. 

70.  At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie- (****)  Kind of weak plot and the mystery isn't particularly in-genius.  Actually, it's very unbelievable and highly improbable. :-) Somehow, though, that doesn't matter.  I still polished it off in two days.  Couldn't put it down.  The same plot written by anyone else probably would've failed as a book altogether.  But, as usual Agatha Christie can make anything work. 

71.  Murder in Retrospect by Agatha Christie
- (*****)  This was a really good Christie!  Normally I'm less interested in mysteries that are old.  Like, the murder actually took place 15-20 years earlier and Poirot comes in to solve it long after the fact and long after the convicted murderer died.  But, did she really do it?  That's the question.  So, like I was saying, ordinarily these kinds of mysteries are not as exciting as the edge of your seat can-the-detective-out-think-the-murderer-before-he-strikes-again type.  But, this one was really well handled.  I enjoyed it. 

72.  Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens- (*****)  I love Nicholas.  What can I say?  This is one of my all time favorite Dickens novels.  I have very fond memories of a certain trip to Florida in Dad's Explorer with the engine threatening to overheat.  We had the heat on full blast trying to get the heat off the engine, all of the vents directed up towards the sunroof.  We were sweating bullets and I was reading Nicholas Nickleby outloud.  For 22 hours.  And I still love this book.  Now that's sayin' somethin'!!!!  Favorite Characters: Smike (*sob*), Fanny Squeers ("I do SO palpitate!"), Mrs. Nickleby, Kate, Mr. Vincent Crummles, The Infant Phenomenon (who has been ten for the past 8 years), Pyke and Pluck ("Change the subject Pluck"), Newman Noggs, The Brothers Cheeryble, and of course NICHOLAS!  Duh!  Seriously, though.  One of my favorite ever Dickens novels.  I love this one.  Of course I also love Great Expectations... and A Tale of Two Cities... um...  ok, I love them all.
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