Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heidi's and Tiffany's Visit

A couple of weeks ago I was trying to sign into my Home School Alumni account and it didn't work the first time (it never does, I always have to try at least twice). The second time I entered it went to the profile page and said I had a new message. I opened my inbox and there was a message from my friend Heidi. I thought it was a bit odd to have a message from her but I opened it and started reading. Right away I noticed that something wasn't right and this message wasn't for me! I glanced down and realized it was in reply to a note from Beckisue. I knew right away that I had spoiled a surprise! I was so upset about it but I couldn't go back and change it now! What had happened is when I signed in it went to Beckisue's account because she hadn't signed out of an other window. I hadn't noticed it was hers. I felt so bad about it for two reasons, one because I knew Beckisue would be disappointed not to be able to pull off the surprise, and two because I was disappointed that I couldn't be surprised. I finally mustered up the courage to tell Beckisue what had happened. As I knew, she was very disappointed. She asked me how much I had seen, and I told her. What I didn't tell her was that I *highly* suspected that Tiffany (a close friend of mine who lives near Heidi) was coming too.
The time passed before the party. Everyone decided that it was a good thing that I knew Heidi was coming for many reasons. The biggest was that my brother and sister-in-law went to Michigan and said I could go along. There is no way anyone could have convinced me to stay home. Everyone knows I go to Michigan every time I get a chance!
The day for the arrival finally arrived (sorry, bad pun). Heidi called along the way to tell where she was. When she was just about here I went up stairs like a good sister and hid away so they could "sneak" Tiffany in. Though, by this time I was getting kind of scared that she wasn't coming after all. The night before Amanda had mentioned "Tiffany would have loved the tea party if she could have been here." That one threw me. I had seen through everything else but I was a little iffy about that. Anyway, when Heidi got here they yelled up stairs and told me she was here and to come down. I went in to the kitchen and we chatted a minute while everyone was putting the rest of the stuff on the picnic table. I asked how the trip went and she said "Fine, we - I just wasn't paying attention and had to turn around a couple of times." Then I KNEW Tiffany was there some where. We went out to the picnic table and everyone started singing Happy Birthday to me. I expected her to come running up behind me while they were singing but I *fought* the urge to turn around and look and just smiled at everyone. Then we sat down at the table and still no Tiffany. Grandma prayed, and we started eating. Still no Tiffany. Beckisue started looking around so I was about to burst trying not to start grinning like an idiot and just carry on a nice conversation with Heidi and everyone else. Then I finally saw her running around the corner of the house yelling "Surprise!!" I quickly got up to give her a hug. I had planned not to tell anyone that I knew she was coming but she asked me if I was surprised so I had to be honest. Everyone kept apologizing like it was going to make our weekend less enjoyable since it wasn't a surprise! Well, if it made it less enjoyable I don't even know if I could taken that much fun! We had (as Tiffany would say) a jolly time!
It was a beautiful day for a picnic! We enjoyed our tea and sandwiches under the trees on moms new picnic table. When we finally pulled ourselves away from there the girls went to take a short nap while the rest of us cleaned up.
We took the girls to Hap's, one of our many ice cream shops, that afternoon. They thought it was adorable, as does everyone! Amanda, Stephanie, Tiffany, and I decided on the "Big Dish" (I think that is what it was called). It was eight scoops of ice cream, two toppings, cool whip, and a cherry! We each picked two kinds of ice cream and shared it all. You should have seen it! It was quite comical. 
The girls gave me gifts while we were at Hap's. Heidi gave me a beautiful afghan/shawl. It is so beautiful and soft! It is just the right size to snuggle with on the couch.  Tiffany gave me a mattress caddy (I think that is what she called it). It is the cutest, handiest little thing. It tucks in under your mattress  and the part that hangs down has pockets in it to keep things that you might want by your bed, like tissue, chap stick, a book, etc. She gave me all those things already in it!
We went to South Bend that evening to hear the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team. That was wonderful! We have many of their CDs and I love their music but I had never heard them in person. I am so glad it worked out that Tiffany and Heidi got to see them at the same time I did! It was the "Irish Sacred Concert" night so that made it even better. I love Irish music!
Saturday morning we got up late and just took our time doing stuff around the house. Monica curled Tiffany's hair. Tiffany *loved* that. She has very straight hair and she is always bemoaning that. :) She loves to play with Beckisue's curls and say "Envy rots the bones, Tiffany, Envy rots the bones!" She is absolutely hilarious! Anyway, Monica finished curling her hair and it looked beautiful! I think she always looks beautiful, but I guess she doesn't always agree. ;)
That afternoon we went to the KohKohMah reenactment. We got to see all the people in costume doing their "thing." It was a lot of fun. Only bad part was some of the men were dressed way to authentically as indians! Yikes! 
Right before we left we got to see someone get married. It was so neat. They were all in their costumes and the ceremony was a very old one (you don't hear Christian ceremonies like that very often now!). At the end of the ceremony the couple took the Lord's Supper. I am so thankful we were still there to see all that. We just stood at the top of the hill and looked down at everyone.
When we got home we were all too tired to do anything big. We decided to watch a movie. We watched Move Over Darling.  They both enjoyed that. It is such a funny movie!
At the end of the service Sunday, Tiffany played her guitar and sang. We all enjoyed it. I had never heard her play or sing until Saturday night. She is really good. She and her sister used to have a bluegrass gospel group when they were teenagers.
Sunday afternoon brought the time to say goodbye. :( That is always the sad part of a visit! We have lots of memories and *many* pictures to remember our visit by. Between Amanda's, Heidi's, and Tiffany's cameras we got lots of pictures. Tiffany has a very nice camera and she told Stephanie she could take all the pictures she wanted. Stephanie was on cloud 9! I have no idea how many pictures she took! But alas, you all still don't get pictures. None of them have been loaded yet and most of the pictures are on Tiffany's camera.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Birthday

I am at a point right now that I don't think I will ever get caught up on my posting! I have so many things to tell about. Right now I don't feel like doing any of it but if I don't start I won't ever get any of it done! (that was profound, I know!)
I enjoy blogging but I really don't like posting pictures... So I decided for this post I would let you all look at my sisters' blogs (Steph, Amanda).
I will just tell you about it.
Mom took Amanda and me shopping for our birthdays (Amanda hadn't gotten to go since we left for MI on her birthday). We left SOO much later than we were supposed to we didn't get a lot of time to shop. But it didn't really matter since I found what I wanted as soon as I walked in to Jo-Ann's.
When we got home Dale, Michelle, and Heather were at our house. We didn't mind leaving shopping early since we knew they were waiting for us at the house.
We had roast beef, green beans, salad, and mashed potatoes for supper. It was very yummy! And we had the best birthday cake I think I have ever had! It was a peach dump cake made with fresh peaches and not pie filling. It was sooo good! When I got my cake and ice cream, I was sitting on the trampoline in the living room and Heather came and sat in my lap because she wanted to eat some too. I was feeding her some of the "cream" as she calls it. At one point I stopped feeding her for a minute and she grabbed my arm and started guiding the spoon to her mouth. I thought my mom was going to die laughing. Of course, the funniest part was when I was being mean to her. I got a bite on the spoon and took it right PAST her mouth into mine. It was so funny! She dropped her mouth open and just followed the spoon trying to get it. Aren't I a horribly mean aunt???? I have such fun teasing her! Like last year on mom's birthday when she was begging for food off my plate. She wasn't old enough to eat any of it but she was very insistent. So I finally dipped my finger in the honey mustard and stuck it in her mouth! That cured her. She dropped all the other food out of her mouth. That was a blast. I told you all I was mean! She loves me anyway. When we drove up to church yesterday she was on the side walk and yelled "Rhona" as soon as we drove up!
I am supposed to be posting pictures of all my gifts. I will get around to it some day. I have to take them first. I promised Chrissy a picture of the wall-hanging quilt that Amanda made me. It is absolutely beautiful.
One day I will get caught up on all my posting (or maybe not!).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Mom! Hope you have a wonderful day! I love you!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Aunt Rhonda is a Very Bad Influence

This should probably be part of my birthday post but it was so funny I thought it deserved it's own.
One of my gifts from Beckisue was a necklace charm. It is music notes. After I finished opening my presents Heather found the charm and decided she wanted to wear it. The only problem was it didn't have a chain. SO! I do not know what possessed her but she pulled up her shirt and started putting it up to her belly. So I, being the horrible aunt that I am, decided to have some great fun and told Amanda to toss me a roll of tape. I took the charm off the card and taped it to her belly. It was soooo funny. At least we all thought it was. I am not sure if Dale and Michelle thought it was all that funny! ;)

Just in case anyone wondered when I said I was a bad influence... I only have two piercing, one in each ear. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strange Happenings

This afternoon my mom took my sisters and me shopping for my birthday. We walked into Jo-Ann Fabrics and I found fabric that I love almost immediately. I decided I would go back and look for a pattern. While I was looking there was a mother with a girl about 7 years old looking for a Halloween costume. The little girl decided that she wanted to be a witch. Her mother said that she has been a witch every year and didn't she want to be something else? The girl told her she liked witches. They went on for a few minutes and then the little girl says again "I only like witches, devils, and vampires." I about flipped but went calmly on looking through my pattern book. But things only got worse from there!
A woman sitting on the opposite side of the table says "Now there's a girl after my own heart!" Lady #1 (the mother) says "Well, she (talking about her daughter) lives in a house decorated for Halloween year around." At this point I knew we were getting into some serious stuff here! And then Lady #1 looks at Lady #2 and says "OH! You are Pagan!" (she was wearing jewelry with symbols on it) Lady #2 said "Yes!" One of them mentioned that you don't find to many around here and I thought "Thank God!" And then the conversation began! Yikes!!! They started discussing going to Witches Balls and Spirit Gatherings, etc. Finally I was like "I am out of here!!" and went to the other side of the store.
It was a very strange experience. One I hope isn't repeated!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Giving Blood

Monica and I went to music lessons this morning. My teacher didn't have any students right after us so the three of us went to lunch. It was really nice.
We went straight to give blood from there. I always dread giving blood. I don't know why I keep going back every six weeks! We got there took our numbers and waited a while. Monica finally decided she couldn't wait as long as it was going to take because she had to get to work. So we left and said we might be back later.
We went back about 5:30 this evening. I was dreading it as always. I think it was the easiest time I have ever had. The questions and paper work always take forever, but from the time the needle was put in until I was done was only 5 minutes! I was very happy. The only bad part was she missed my vein the first time and had to hold it there while she waited for an other girl to come over, get her gloves on and find it. They twisted it around and stuck it a little further in and finally found it. It wasn't as bad as it sounds or as I was expecting. The girls told me to keep breathing! I said "With a needle hanging out of my arm???!" But I got over it. I guess it is the same as it is with the ladders. I really hate it at first but I keep doing it anyway and eventually get used to it.
So, tonight I am exhausted as I always am when I am done, but I made it through giving blood an other time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Window Painting (finally!)

Yesterday, Mom decided that while the ladder was up against the house (from when Jonathan was tuck-pointing) the half-circles at the top of the windows needed to be washed. Amanda volunteered me for the job since she hates ladders. Have I ever mentioned that I don't really like ladders either??? Well, after several minutes of making sure the ladder was locked in place I finally climbed up and washed the window. When I got back down I mentioned that what really needed to be done was the trim painted. I guess we decided that now was as good of time as any. So I went and changed my clothes and mom got the paint and I started. I didn't have any idea how much harder it was to paint brick than anything I have ever painted. It took forever! But by the time I got to the second window everything was much easier because I had gotten the hang of the painting and I had gotten over my fear of the ladder. I am always afraid of ladders when I first start a project but I soon get used to them. I guess I should use them more often!
The windows look SOO much better. Mom and I decided that they probably hadn't been painted since the original paining 140+ years ago. Now for the second story windows... I don't know who is going to do that! I am not. That ladder doesn't extend that high and I wouldn't climb it if it did! And then for the trim at the top of the house... Yikes!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How Well Do You Know Me?

Just for fun I thought I would see how well my friends know me (or how observant they are). I won't make it too difficult.

I'll start with easy ones.

1. What is my full name?
2. How many siblings do I have?
3. How old am I?
4. How tall am I? (you'd better get that one, Anna)
5. What color eyes do I have?
6. Name two states (besides Hawaii and Alaska) that I haven't been to.
7. What is my favorite movie?
8. What color are my bedroom walls?
9. What instrument do I play? (anyone misses that one and I will disown them as a friend)
10. What states have I lived in?
11. How many times have I moved. (I'll be shocked if ANYONE gets that one)
12. What year did I graduate?

Twelve questions is probably good enough. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bethany and Me

Here are a couple of pictures taken the night after Bethany's graduation.

Are these any better, Bethany? Our eyes are all the way open. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Bondservant of Christ

I read a book when I was about 14 called "Not My Will." I still consider it to be one of the best novels I have ever read. In that book the author tells of a sermon preached on being "A Bond Servant of Jesus Christ."
Several years ago my dad preached a sermon by the same title. Of course, this being a real sermon and not just part of a book it was a lot more detailed. 
My dad has been preaching from Ephesian for several months now on "Who we are in Christ." Today he preached from Ephesian 3:1. "For this cause I Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ..."
I got to thinking about all this today and just wanted to say a little about it.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 1 Corinthians 7:22-23

We have been purchased. We are called to be a "living sacrifice." Christ has bought us and called us out to be His own.
So it is with great joy that I tell you I am a servant! For my possessions, talents, and very life belong to my Master. 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

When Jonathan came home for the Summer, he taught us this song. I was amazed at the powerful words when I heard it. We learned it for the ELC conference, and each time we sang it I think it became more beautiful and more amazing. We can't even begin to comprehend.

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocing voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that helf Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Graduation

I had the great blessing of making an other trip to Michigan this week. My friends Bethany and Lydia were graduating. I wanted to attend so badly and at the last minute it worked out to ride with some friends. We left Friday afternoon. On the way up we stopped at a restaurant just north of Grand Rapids. The funniest thing happened. We had just been seated and these two ladies got up from a table near us. I was looking down at the menu and I noticed one of them walk up to our table. I looked up as this girl said "You went to the Home School Alumni Reunion." (I was wearing my t-shirt from the reunion.) I was totally surprised to meet some one from there. It was so much fun. We chatted for just a few minute and we exchanged HSA screen names.
We arrived at our destination about 10:00. Since surprises were everywhere I wasn't to see Bethany until Sunday. I got to stay with Tony and Hannah. I greatly enjoyed it. They were so kind to let me come barging in on them for the weekend. (and even keep them up until all hours of the night)
Saturday we went to Tony's parents house and spent the day. Tony and his dad cut wood and the three ladies spent the day talking, playing games, talking, cutting jalapeno, talking, fixing lunch, and talking. :) We had a wonderful time together.
Sunday was the big day. When we arrived at church Bethany was sitting on the railing outside the fellowship hall door. I walked up behind her and tapped her. She turned around and started laughing and then gave me a huge hug. It was a success. My coming was a total surprise. She told me later that the day before she had gotten to thinking that it was too bad that no one had thought about me riding up with Cyndy and Sandy which is exactly what I did! :)
The graduation ceremony started at 1:30. As soon as it started I was I knew just why I wanted to be there so badly. I was so thankful to have been able to make it. The ceremony was wonderful. Both girls and their parents giving such a testimony of their love for our Savior and a great desire to glorify Him.
After the ceremony everyone ate and talked. The ending of every activity. :) I enjoyed getting to spend time with so many friends.
When everyone went home I went down to Bethany's house. That evening the whole group, 14 people I think, went to get supper. We got our food and took it to the picnic tables by the lake. It was an other great evening. Even if I kept sinking in the ground because I still had my heels on. :) There were several ducks that came to visit as soon as they discovered there was food around. Brad and Jessica's (Bethany's brother-in-law and sister) kids had a blast feeding french fries to them.
With Monday morning came the sad part of every trip, having to say good bye. Though I would like to have stayed longer I was so thankful to have been able to go I couldn't complain about anything! All in all it was a wonderful trip.