• 15Nov

    It happened.  We were hit by Hurricane Sandy.  I had relatives calling from FL to see how we were doing instead of me calling them.  Sort of a switcharoo.  Of course, we didn’t get near the damage or water that NJ got or half their problems either.  But let me recap and fill you in on our exciting week.  =)

    My in-laws were visiting that weekend so there was a total of 12 kids (10 and under) and 3 adults in my house.  We heard the storm might be coming and Monday morning we did a bit of research and decided it would be best if the in-laws hung around rather than rushing to try to make it home before the storm hit.  I’m glad they stayed.  I filled some jugs with drinking water and we battened down the hatches in preparation for the high winds that were expected to hit us that night.

    We were warned that the storm would cause power outages (not surprising) and so I thought we would go ahead and do our major cooking meal that evening, hopefully before the power went out and save some of the less work intensive meals for later.  Ha!  We were getting ready to cook it when the lights went out.  But never fear the back-up plan was the grill that we had moved into the garage (with an open window).  So, armed with flashlights and cooking utensils we moved our cooking out to the cold, rather dark garage.

    Inside the house the kids were warned about flushing toilets, new hand washing routines, don’t knock over candles, placement of flashlights for emergency purposes, and bedtime arrangements were considered.  Candles were lit and placed strategically, the two kerosene lanterns I had available for use were lit and placed in the kitchen and my heavy duty flashlight was dug out from its hiding place (so the kids don’t wear out the batteries).  The kids all thought this was great fun.  =)

    Then during the cooking of supper I heard something that did not sound good to me.  I was looking out windows trying to locate the source when my sister-in-law came in from the garage and informed me that I had just lost my pavilion (which is connected to my shed).  Time for some damage control.

    My first thought was the shed.  I ran out for a quick check and discovered that the pavilion had also taken a bit of the roof of the shed with it.  Not a lot of rain and too much wind so I didn’t bother trying to cover anything.  I just shut off all the breakers in the breaker box and ran outside quick to see if I could find out where the pavilion had gone.  Thankfully it was blown into the field behind us and not over into the house.

    Nothing else to do so I headed back to the safety of my house.  The wind always makes an awful noise up here on the hill so that didn’t really worry  me.  We did end up putting the kids in the basement to sleep so that if something did happen with windows and the like they would at least be safe and away from the mess.  Praises to the Lord again for making that precaution unnecessary.

    By the adult bedtime the wind had died down (although they were predicting that we were still going to get hit by the back side of the storm) and I felt reasonably sure that the worst of it was over.

    The next morning was interesting.

    We have a water barrel system that collects rain from the shed roof and I was planning on using that for our water supply (that’s a lot of people using toilets), but we really hadn’t gotten a whole lot of rain and the wind that took the pavilion also removed the gutters which meant no water in the rain barrels.  So we began a water collection system from the gutters of the house (which sustained no damage) and I put the big boys in charge of that.  They thought it was great fun and kept us supplied with water till Thursday when the power finally came back on.

    The in-laws left Wednesday morning which actually cooled the house down considerably (not necessarily a good thing) so we kept our wood stove going full blast.  We drank lots of hot drinks, put on sweaters, hung up a few blankets, played downstairs rather than upstairs, and enjoyed what sunshine we got as long as we could.

    What was funny was that at the beginning of the school year I promised my kids that at some point we would have a pioneer day like the Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie” and I would turn off all the electricity and we would cook on the wood stove and all sorts of fun stuff like that.  My plans did not include a lack of electricity for half a week! =)  But we had fun.  We even heated water and gave them all baths in a big plastic tub that I have.  They learned why the pioneers went to bed when the sun went down.  They realized just how much we rely on electricity which the pioneers didn’t have.  And they got a smidgen of an idea of how much work went into a pioneer’s day just for survival . . . or at least Mom did.  =)

    So, all-in-all Hurricane Sandy was kinda fun.  The in-laws here for half of it made it more interesting and enjoyable, the stuff we learned was great, and my appreciation for dishwashers, washing machines, working toilets, and electricity in general has been bumped up a notch or two.

    Thanks to all of you who thought of us and prayed for our safety.  It really could have been so much worse.  God was and does continue to be good.

  • 06Sep


    I look out my bedroom window and down into the valley.  I have a marvelous view, but it doesn’t seem right somehow.  It seems narrow and pieces are missing.

    Then I travel down a floor and the length of my house and pause to look out the dining room window.  That’s better.  That’s more the view that I expect.  There is a broad overlook of more of the valley.  I can see more houses and more roads.  But even here my vision is hampered by trees and I am looking out across the valley more than I am looking down on it. 

    My perspective has changed.  But even though my perspective has changed I still can’t see the whole picture.  Reminds me of life.  Something happens in our life and in the whiplash of emotions surrounding us we see a very narrow picture.  Sometimes we struggle to reach out and wipe away the trees that hide the view from our eyes.  We question what God is doing and yet we know in our hearts that He has a plan.  And then something changes, maybe we accept God’s will in our life, maybe our position changes, or our hearts calm and we are ready to face the days challenges.  That is when our view changes as well.  Our vision is less obscured and we can see a larger picture that satisfies us, or at least comforts us with the familiar.  But in reality we still can’t see the whole.  Only God can fill in all the missing pieces.  But in the mean time we need to be content with what we can see and continue to do our daily tasks with the joy of the Lord and the peace of God that passes all understanding.

    God is faithful.  His plans do not change just because we cannot see.  Our job is to continue on.

  • 15Apr

    Thank you, Lord, for your help this day,

    For all the stupid things I didn’t say.

    Thank you for the energy you gave,

    And the asprin that I didn’t save.

    Thank you for your saving power,

    I’m sure I use it by the hour.

    Thank you for your love and grace,

    I think I need it in this case.

    Thank you lots for loving me,

    Despite the sin and pride you see.

    Someday, someday, we’ll see you soon,

    Oh, happy bride!  Oh, happy groom!

    ‘Til then, in your arms I’ll rest,

    And trust that You know what is best.


    Good night.

  • 24Feb

    I’m sorry, Dan.  I’m failing you. 

    I watched you try so hard to avoid this particular pitfall and here I am, up to my neck in the mud.  You saw and felt the pain this could bring and you were determined that you would do better.  I didn’t think I had anything to fear.  That’s pride speaking.  Pride is a nasty, subtle beast that steals its way into the heart and mind of its victim and slowly penetrates to the very core and spreads it’s venom in ever widening circles. 

    But for the grace of God, there go I. 

    Why aren’t you here to snap me out of this and push me on?


    We’ve heard “pride comes before a fall”

    And that’s the reason why,

    When proud folks fall flat on their face,

    They’re served a “humble pie.”

    Its taste is bitter on the tongue,

    And brings tears to the eyes,

    But once accepted and digested,

    It makes the eater wise!

    232844_m Learn more about this author, Nan Keltie.

  • 16Feb

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  • 25Jan

    I know the Bible says that we are to meditate on the Scriptures day and night . . . I’m having a problem.  I can read a verse in the morning, apply it to my life, and think, “that is so neat!  I need to meditate on that today.”  But within half an hour I can’t even remember the concept much less the verse.  There are so many things bombarding me at any given point throughout the day that remembering things almost requires more work than my laundry room.

    I do better when I write things down, but then I have little notes all over everywhere and they are never where they need to be when I need to read them.  Or I have a note here and a note there, but I forgot about the note over there and so I’m missing part of the information needed for that decision . . . and I’m sure you get the gist.  I’m thinking I need to get a ‘brain’ like my Dad’s.  He’s got a PDA he takes with him EVERYWHERE.  We tease him about losing his brain if his PDA is too far away, but I’m beginning to think that having a brain on the outside of my head could actually be useful since the brain on the inside of my head seems to be having some trouble functioning.

    No comments from the peanut gallery please.  =)  I’m sick again and tired.  I have an excuse.  =)

  • 05Dec

    Dassy (4) asked me the other day

    “Mommy, When are you going to die?”

    I looked at her funny, like-where did this come from?

    “Are you going to have another birthday?”

    I told her my birthday was after Caleb’s.

    And then she finishes up her train of thought with, “I want to go live with someone else now.”

    So there you have it.  My 4 year old is trying to kill me off already.  She’s tired of living with me so she wants me to die so that she can go live with someone else.   I’d be hurt, but I’m considering the source and I figure that if I can just get the rest of the kids to agree with her that there won’t be anything else keeping me here.  (That’s “Longing” speaking, not “Depression”, just for the record.)


    This is my Dad’s take on the idea of me dying.  =)

    You must file a permission form 3 years in advance of said action and the review process is anticipated to be equally long.  Hence, you are looking at a minimum of 6 years before ‘right of death’ privileges can be processed.  And then you can’t be sure you will receive approval of your intention to die.

    But not everyone is comfortable with the thought of dying.  It is a fact of life, and if you know Jesus like I do then it’s nothing to worry about.  If you don’t know my Saviour, then PLEASE ask.  It’s SO simple and SO worth it!!!!!  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Give your family and friends the chance to see you again.

  • 04Nov


    Here are slide shows prepared for the open house back in July. They show the house from planning through to near completion. Look at each short slideshow or else skip to the Condensed Slide Show at the end of the list.

    01 Introduction
    02 Preparation and Well
    03 Excavation & foundation
    04 First story
    05 Second story and roof frame
    06 Roof sheeted
    07 Basement
    08 Garage
    09 Rough plumbing & electrical
    10 insulation & drywall
    11 siding & sidewalks
    12 stuff from WV
    13 Interior finishing
    14 Sewer System
    15 Driveway
    17 Lawn Seeding
    18 Other things
    19 Starting to look finished
    20 Condensed Slide Show (You don’t need to watch this one if you’ve seen all the others.)


  • 07Jul
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on Fireworks

    July 4, 2009

    I find myself somewhat restless in spirit tonight.  This is a day that holds quite a few memories for me and the kids.  The older ones all remember Daddy setting off fireworks in West Virginia.  Dan was something of a pyromaniac and loved to play with the fireworks.

    But it doesn’t seem to be the memories that are making me restless.  I am quite tired, so maybe a trip to my bed will help.  I just keep hearing the boom of distant fireworks echoing off the sides of the mountains around here. 


    I’ve been led to pray, but I’m not really sure what for.  This is our country’s birthday, but my prayers for my country, that I love with all my heart, are tainted with fear.  How bad will it get?  Am I going to be called upon to serve as a witness for my Lord in even more difficult times?

    The fear of my children’s futures is enough to almost make me turn tail and run.  It’s that fear of the unknown that we often avoid.  So I must focus on what is known.  I know my Lord loves me, and I know He knows it all and is in control.  It is enough.


    But enough fireworks for one night.  I need some sleep.

  • 21Apr

    I am so incredibly grouchy and emotionally sensitive today that I am almost afraid to write for fear of what will come out, but as a little mouse put it, “my public needs me.”  It is probably more likely that I need my public’s prayers.  The emotional strain must be starting to take it’s toll. 

    Sunday night I played a piece for special music that was very difficult to play. 

    I cried. 

    Monday I took the kids to Wal-Mart to get family photos and a three month picture of Caleb.  We used Dan’s jacket and hat as props. 

    I cried again. 

    Today I was already on edge and then I decided to go pick up a couple of groceries.  Maranatha (2) was quite tired and whined the whole way through the store, they all wanted to drive the cart, small aisles, small cart (only holds baby and one more and barely any groceries), too many kids and then to top it all off, Dassy (3) STEALS a lollipop from the store and tries to walk out the door!! 

    I did the only safe thing I could think of . . you guessed it . .

    I cried. 

    I did manage to hold it in till after Dassy got a partial scolding (we will finish that conversation later when Mom is a bit more rational and less inclined to do something drastic), and we were on our way home.

    Unfortunately, not once during those crying sessions have I felt comfortable just letting it all out.  So the emotions are still there boiling away, just waiting for me to lift the lid.  And it all just hurts so bad that I just keep putting the cork in the volcano and hoping that someone will turn off the heat so that I can deal with things when I am a little cooler.