Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Zoo, FaithWriters, and Felons

I have been running around like a madwoman since last weekend and I'm not seeing a reprieve in sight! I had hoped that Thurs. and Fri. would be "free" days for me, but they're not anymore. Apparently, Ben some "olympics" thing tomorrow at Simpson college. I was JUST called about it this morning. I'm not sure what it is - it's not affiliated with Special Olympics, but area sp. needs kids get together and do sporting events. At any rate, I have to go. And I just arranged to visit an older friend on Fri. so David can do his service project for Camp Coins. It has just been non-stop this week! But Sat. morning is my "Spa Day" over at Valley Church so that may be a chance for me to slow down for a bit!

This is us last weekend at the Omaha zoo. It was a nice day, weather-wise. I really enjoyed myself. It sure was a lot of walking, though! My knees were starting to protest by the day's end. Then that night Paul's parents had company - a family from their church. But the odd thing is that this family is younger than us and we were friends with them long before Paul's folks. So it worked out well to see them. Then Sunday we visited our old church and went out to eat with Paul's folks. Then we spent that afternoon visiting Paul's grandma and then we had to pick up a radio for Will's car at Paul's brother's -in-law house. It was just a lot. We got home in time that night to hear the news that Bin Ladan had been killed.

I guess I could pontificate on that more. But I'll just limit myself to saying - justice was done. And there's nothing wrong with smiling when that has been accomplished.

My mom had eye surgery on Mon. morning. Other than getting lost on my way there (stupid Mapquest) everything went well. The surgery was quick and the surgeon is confidant that she'll now be seeing better. In fact, in the recovery area we could already tell that things were working better. So, I was glad I could go sit with them and be involved.

I have some really good news - I'm going to the FaithWriter's conference!!! And the even better news is that my friend Kristi in CA is going too! I think I wrote last week about how I didn't know if it would work out. Well, my brother had told me he'd check on flights for me just so I'd have an idea of what it would cost to go. He called me Sun. night as I was hurtling down I-80 and told me that he had some airline miles he had earned and he didn't think he was going to be able to use them before they expired. Could I use them? Could I?!! So, anyway, he managed to book me a flight from Des Moines to Michigan for only $10! I have a 2 hr layover in Chicago, which is fine. I'm so thrilled! I'm excited to go, but I'm excited about the plane rides, too. I will have 6 hours each way of nobody talking to me, nobody needing anything, no whining - it's going to be Heaven on, in the sky.

So, I had emailed Kristi to let her know that I definitely was going now so knowing that spurred her to decide herself to go, too. So we're going to finally meet face to face and be roomies for 3 nights at the conference!!! August cannot come quickly enough! We were on the phone for almost an hour last night, chatting this whole thing up. It's going to be so fun!

So that's been my happy news all week long. And speaking of FaithWriters, I have to write another story tonight. But I know what I'm going to write, so it shouldn't be that difficult. I've gotten a couple of nice comments on last week's story. I went for more of a humor angle this time and I think it turned out well.

Now something not so fun..Friday night as we were heading to Council Bluffs we stopped in Mingo to get some supper. We had planned to stop in Anita and eat at this steakhouse I read about in "Our Iowa." But the highway was closed both directions when we got off the interstate for construction - totally bummed me out! So, we ate an A&W instead. As we were leaving, I glanced at the front page of the CB newspaper they had by the door and on it they had a photograph of a scuzzy looking guy in an orange jumpsuit, with his hands shackled, sitting in the witness box for a trial. I saw that his name was "Woolsoncroft" and he was on trial for murder. The name stirred something in my murky memory bank and I asked Paul, "Hey, don't you have some relatives with that last name?" He shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know. You have to remember that Paul has a huge extended family. His dad is one of 17 kids, his mom is the oldest of 11. His grandma is also one of 11 and the majority of all these people still live in SW Iowa. Paul is just lucky he didn't accidentally marry some relative! Well, the next day Paul tells me, "You remember the paper you were looking at?..." He asked his mom and it turned out that the guy on trial is Paul's 2nd cousin! I won't get into all the details but this is the son of Paul's gr. aunt and uncle that won all that money in the IA Lottery last year. I suppose that's being eaten up my legal fees now? The whole case has to do with a meth addiction. Paul's cousin did not directly murder a young woman who died, but he was involved. Ugh - just makes me shiver!

Ok, there's got to be something better to write about! Ben has started talking about being baptized. He seems to be giving the right answers when we question him, so maybe he is ready. At our church, people who desire baptism have to go through a little workbook first. So I emailed our pastor and asked him for one. I figure we can go through the book with Ben and when we get done then we can determine better if he truly understands the importance and reason for baptism. He's been asking a lot of questions lately about eternal security and keeps asking me to remind him of the verse that promises that nobody can snatch us out of the Father's hand once we are saved. He is also beginning to sense the need for personal Bible reading and prayer. He told me that once he graduates from high school he plans to spend a lot of time "studying God's Word." I told him he didn't have to wait until then! And he did tell me last night when I went upstairs to tuck him in that he had just prayed by himself. So he's getting it! He has a good example in his brothers. Both Will and David are so good about Bible reading. I've never forced them to do it, or even suggested it, I don't think. But it's something they have both picked up on their own. Praise the Lord!

I had an unexpected compliment yesterday afternoon - just have to share because it kind of tickled me, being old and slightly overweight now. I was at Walmart, buying some more allergy meds for the boys. The stuff I get for them has to bought behind the counter because of the scourge of meth addictions in the midwest, like I mentioned earlier with Paul's relative. Pseudophedrine is an ingredient used in the drug, so now you can't buy it unless they run your driver's license first. So I did that and I got rejected. My first thought was that it was because I've bought too much of the stuff and now I'm on the "alert" list! But it was just something with the computer. So, the clerk asked for my license back and said she was going to hang onto it for a couple of minutes in case the computer rejected it again. Then she joked, "But I'm not going to steal it and pretend to be you!" I laughed and said that was possible. She replied, "Oh, no, I'd have to be a lot taller and prettier to pass as you!" It's probably pitiful the way small compliments can totally lift my spirits like that!

Well, my house is a mess and the boys are all outside playing ball. I suppose I could force them back in here to work. But, it's such a nice day out and they're only boys once, so...guess I'll go do some cleaning!

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