Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Heat--Sizzle, Sizzle! (Or Not??)

It has been so stinkin' hot here lately, and we are in a severe drought situation. I can't keep up with watering my plants, they seem to need a drink every day. (I don't even want to guess what my water bill will be this month.)

We went to one of our community pools recently. For just Honey, the boys, and me to go, we were charged $8 for admission. And it was super crowded there. No room to really move around, no chairs to sit in, and we were constantly getting bumped and pushed by strange children with no manners. It was not as fun as we hoped it would be. We think the pool was so crowded because the city just remodeled it, and everyone in town wants to go to it because it's still "new." Hopefully it will clear out when the novelty wears out. We were disappointed because this pool is an easy walking distance from our house, so that's the pool we'd want to go to most often.

We broke down and bought a vinyl-sided pool for our backyard instead. It's 12-feet in diameter, and 2-feet deep. Just big enough for all of us to get in with room to move around and cool off. The boys can both stand up in it, although they MUST have some sort of flotation device on them at all times. We have a swim ring, water rings, a swim-training life vest thingie, and a raft with leg holes. They change their minds on a minute-by-minute basis about which floaties they want to wear. We have already gotten a lot of use out of the pool. It's paid for itself from the admission prices we've saved by not going to the city pool. (The chemicals--chlorine, pH adjuster, shock, etc. will be an ongoing expense, but it's not as much as I predicted it would be.)

We get outside almost every day to hose down the dog, too. She loves to chase the water stream as it comes out of the hose. We have a covered back patio, and lots of shade trees where she can get out of the sun. She loves to be outside, but most afternoons she wants to come inside to be in the A/C for a while.

We've already had at least 3 days of temps over 100 degrees. Normally we'll have three days for about the whole summer, and those days are usually around mid-August. I'm beginning to wonder if there's something to this whole global warming business.

However, scientists are now predicting that the reduced sunspot activities might suggest that the sun is going into a "solar minimum" cycle that would mean cooler temps here on Earth. The doomsdayers that enjoy keeping us frightened about everything from chemicals in our shampoo to the rollover risks of SUVs are now predicting that Earth is not actually experiencing "global warming," but "global cooling" that will put Earth into a Mini Ice Age similar to the Middle Ages. Some scientists predict we'll only experience cooler temps of .1 to .3 degrees Celsius, such as New Scientist . However, the US National Solar Observatory (NSO) and US Air Force Research Laboratory seems to paint a more dire scenario.

All I know is that  all these so-called scientist "experts" can't agree on much. But I know that God Almighty flung the stars in space, and now He holds them there, right where He wants them. He coordinates sun spots, He keeps comets flying, He made rings around Saturn, He makes Earth's ocean tides from our moon, and who knows what else? The Hubble telescope has taken pictures of cosmic glory we are just now discovering: Hubble Photos

If God can make these stunning sights from His voice alone, what makes us think He can't control our climate? Here we are, arguing about little things about Earth's temperature, but My God has promised in Genesis 8:22: "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (my emphasis)

So yes, it's uncomfortably warm right now. When winter comes, I'll probably post about how many blankets I'm snuggled up in, trying to keep from freezing. It all evens out in the end.

God makes it happen that way.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Prayer Life is Going into Turbo Mode...

...because my daughter passed her driver license exam this afternoon!

AGH!!! I don't know whether to curl up in fear, or to be a proud Mama. I know that she's got the skills to be a good driver, but she's still very inexperienced. The logical side of me knows that experience will only come by letting her get out on her own, but the protective Mama side of me wants to shield her from all the "what ifs" my imagination conjures up when it runs wild.

Mary Ann at church once told me that I wouldn't know what a true prayer life was until my children starting driving cars. Boy, was she ever right!!

On a completely unrelated note, my 2 year old has been having trouble sharing all his little brother's birthday loot. His temper tantrums have increased exponentially! Here is a picture of his mean self:



It's so hard to keep a stern face when he is "mad" like this. I just want to crack up laughing!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy First Birthday!

Daughter made Beach Cupcakes to match the "beachy" theme of the party.
The rocks are actually chocolate, and she made beach balls out of gum paste. The sand is crushed graham crackers. Inside the blue cake "water" is a Swedish fish, which the kids thought was a neat surprise. Even the adults wanted to eat these cupcakes, even though Daughter also baked a plain two-layer cake in case someone didn't want to eat a cupcake.

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The Birthday Boy!

He's ready to play outside in the sprinkler and kiddie pool. Too bad he got grouchy and needed a nap before his guests arrived. Then, when he woke up, the kids were ready to come inside. He missed out! (But he got a much-needed nap!)



About to smash some cake. Bring it on, Mom!



Oh yeah, this is the good stuff! Big sister spent a long time decorating the cake. It took only two minutes to smash it up!



Let's open some presents! Friends wanted to help.



A little overwhelmed with all the good loot.



Friends Bill and Martha helping to explain the toys. They were never able to have any children. As a result, they've adopted my kids as their own. They spoil us rotten!!



Who robbed Toys R Us? This is a crazy amount of gifts!



Bill and Martha on the left, Wyatt and Irene on the right. My 2 y.o. boy's middle name is Wyatt in honor of this wonderfully sweet and funny man. He and Irene had two little baby boys who died shortly after birth, so they're bittersweetly partial to my two little boys. It's so sweet how they dote on them!



The big present from Honey and me: a sand and water table. It was a hit! (Too bad he was taking a nap through it all. Friend Sophia and big brother had fun breaking it in, though.)



We knew that monstrous hill in the back yard would come in handy someday. Slip and slide for the older guests!



With Miss Irene



A neat activity cube he received from Grammy. This toy is so nifty, with lots of things to keep him busy!



To my sweet baby: what joy you've brought us. We love you more than you could ever know.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Misplaced Priorities

A man studied the Bible and found a little-known loophole that would allow him to take a sackful of his earthly treasures to heaven with him. So he informed his family that when he died, he wanted to be buried with all his gold. Although his family was unhappy with his decision, they reluctantly agreed. The man then spent the remainder of his life working to buy material wealth. The more he accumulated, the more money-hungry and greedy he became.

When the man died, he showed up at the pearly gates with an enormous sackful of his gold. Saint Peter welcomed him to eternal bliss. But then he noticed the large sack the man struggled to carry.

"Whatca got there, friend?" he asked.

"God and I have an agreement. He said I could carry this stuff with me. It's mine, he said I could have it!" He said gruffly.

"Okay, okay. Don't get angry about it. If God said you could bring it, it must be all right. But can I see what you have in there?" Saint Peter asked.

The man held his sack close to him and said, "It's my gold, you can't have it!"

Saint Peter chuckled to himself. "Gold, you say? You have gold? Please, may I just have a look at it? I promise I won't take it away."

The man grudgingly opened the sack for Saint Peter to have a peek. The man was confused when Saint Peter looked into the sack, then started laughing a hearty belly-laugh that made the pearly gates rattle.

"What's so funny about gold? I worked hard for it. My family disowned me because they said I spent too much time at the office. My neighbors called me crazy and unsocial because I didn't have time to attend their parties. They didn't understand. I was just working to get more gold. They didn't have a good work ethic like I did, and my reward is that I get to bring it with me!" The man argued.

"But Sir," Saint Peter calmly replied. "Up here, we don't call that stuff gold. We call it Asphalt!"

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We can spend our lives building material wealth that doesn't matter in light of eternity. Or we can spend our days sharing the love of Jesus Christ so we can spend eternity with the people we love. People are priceless!