Friday, 27 February 2009

day to day

Yesterday Bob decided to work out at home (instead of the gym) before going in to work, which meant we were all up and dressed by the time he left. So I took him to work and had the van for the day.
We went to the self-help store and got potting soil, compost, and wood chips for the garden. Took that back home. Went to the hospital for a minute to fill out paperwork, went to the commissary. I had a very short list of items needed, but there was quite a selection of marked-down meat, so I got a pile of that. And a few other things were on sale, like Capri Sun drinks for $.99 (that's for a 10 pack; the children think they make a nice treat when we are picnicking). I did forget bathroom cleaner, and I did talk myself out of both ice cream and candy.
Came home for lunch and naps, and went back to get Bob about 4.

A few other notes of ongoing issues:
To get the fence VAT free, we have to go to the VAT office and pay them cash, and they write a check to the company. But before we can use the VAT office we have to get a ration card. Huh? Ration cards are for alcohol and tobacco, so we never bothered to get one. But it makes an extra step in the process, so it all makes sense.
The openreach guy came out Wednesday and asked where I was digging. He said all their lines are under the sidewalk, so we wouldn't have any trouble.

We are actually getting paid more than we thought we would last month. See, in January, we got a partial payment for housing, but our mid-month pay was the full amount. So our end-of-the-month pay was short to make up for it. Now that it is balanced we aren't feeling the pinch like I anticipated. Praise the Lord.

We still haven't settled up with the landlord, as every time I email with a question they wait a week or two to respond.
We are reading about Jacob at night, and I feel like he did when he was working for Laban; they have "changed [our] wages 10 times." But I end up feeling sorry for them, because the last time a company deliberately swindled us, they went out of business within 6 months. Sometimes I'm really glad I'm on the Lord's side. :-D

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Is it just me?

I know I gripe a lot, and I apologize to my regular readers. But this time I actually want some feedback as to whether I'm right or not.

As we were preparing to leave our old house, I knew there were the utilities to switch/cancel. BT (telephone and internet) required a phone call, so I did, and you have heard about that. The electric and the water both had online forms to fill out, so I did those. I got the electric bill in a couple of days and that was easy to take care of.

I waited for a water bill, and it didn't come. So I emailed the company to ask when the bill would come, and how much would it be (I'd called first, but it isn't a toll-free number, and I was on hold for 20 minutes when I gave up). They wrote back a few days later (their response time is 10 business days!) and said they would close the account as of the day of the email, and the amount would be X number of pounds. They also said I didn't give them a forwarding address so they would send the bill to the old house. In waiting for the response, I'd done some digging in the file cabinet and found a fact sheet or whatever from the water company. On that paper, it said that they would automatically give 20 GBP if they didn't provide me with a bill within 10 days of requesting one.

So, I answered the email and reminded them that I DID leave a forwarding address when I filled out the online form more than 10 days ago. So, I asked for the bill to be sent to me minus the 20 GBP good faith promise thing, AND I wanted the bill to reflect the original date requested in the moving form.
They wrote me back and said I never filled out a form - they didn't lose it or ignore it; I didn't do it. Therefore, the 20 GBP would not be applied, but they would be nice and bump back the date for me.

So a couple weeks later I got the bill (by the way, more than 10 days after the email). The date was bumped back by 18 days, but the amount was the same. Since they do "estimated" water usage instead of meter readings, and there is a daily "standing charge" it only seems logical to me that the amount of the bill would be based on the days of the billing period.

So I wrote them again asking for the bill to be reduced proportionally to the reduction of days billed for, plus the 20 GBP for them being so late. They wrote me back and said to ignore any previous amount I'd been quoted and just pay the most recent bill, and that I wouldn't get the 20 GBP because the created the bill within 10 days of my email.

I wrote back again explaining myself more clearly, and am waiting for a response.

Am I wrong? Their company policy says they will "provide [me] with a bill" within 10 days, or pay 20. Even without the online form, it was more than 10 (business) days from the emails to the day I got my bill. They say since they processed a bill within the 10 days they are clear of the obligation, but that is not the language in their policy.
Also the bill amount. ? The had to have "upped" the estimated water usage to make up for the lass in daily charges to make the bill end up the same amount as it had been before they changed the dates.

This is a total of 36gbp that I'm asking for. It wouldn't break them, but would make me happier.

So, is it just me? Or should Anglian Water do something here?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Time to brag on Riah a bit.

Riah is a heavy sleeper. Bob had accused him of being lazy and peeing in his pull-up because he didn't want to bother going to the toilet, but we've since learned differently. On the airplane over here Riah slept very soundly from just after takeoff to just after landing. He wet himself. Once at church Riah fell asleep in his chair and wet himself.

So anyway... At 5 years old, he has now been dry at night for a couple of months. Yea!! He's had 2 accidents since he started sleeping in his underwear, but over all it has been a BIG improvement and we are proud of him.

AND... Riah can read. We've been doing phonics off and on for awhile now, and we finally got to the point of putting letters together to read words. Later that day Riah was in the other room looking at his new bike (from the auction) and he shouted to us, "this says, 'next.'" He sat there and sounded it out, upside down and backwards. The next day he was in the den, sounding out the words in a book. Sob, sob, my baby is all grown up. :-)

Monday, 23 February 2009


Yeah, I know I rant a lot. But the whole of England is awash in red tape - it's like the military every where I go! SO I just wanted to walk you step by step through the fence saga.

1.We went by the fence/shed building place.
a. There were two or three buildings about; no signs; no people. We randomly picked a door to knock on and found a person who looked surprised to see a customer.
b. We asked for prices, she took our number.
c. they called to schedule an appointment for the fence guy to come measure and give an estimate.
d. The guy came, measured.
e. They called back with a price.

2. I went to the housing office for paper work to get permission.
a.I was given a sheet to fill out and a sheet of instructions, which included going to two places and getting signatures and then bring it back.
b. I found the first place and it wasn't too bad.
c. I found the second place after scrounging a base map. Once in the door, no one had ever heard of the person I needed, but one took me down the hall to someone else who knew. He took me up stairs and through a maze to a guy who looked very surprised to see me. He signed off, but said I needed to call somebody else first about phone lines. He wrote the number on the paper that I had to turn in to the housing office.
d. I went back to the housing office.
e. They said I had to go somewhere else, too.
f. Obtaining directions from a fellow customer, I went there. The front door was locked so I went around back, walked down the hall until I found somebody, and he took me to the guy. He signed the paper.
g.I went back to the housing office.
h. They signed the paper and I was good to go.

3.I looked up another fence company online and called them for a quote. They made an appt over the phone.
a. The guy came out.
b. They mailed me a quote.

4. We've been waiting for Bob to get to the VAT office online to see if the mailed quote will do for getting the fence VAT free.

5. (this the reason for my intro rant) I got to thinking about the phone lines.
a. I looked at BT's website, but they had nothing.
b. I called their main number. There were no options for what I wanted, so I just picked something.
c. I told the lady I wanted to find out about buried lines so I could dig in the garden for a fence.
d. She transferred me to tech support in India.
e. The man thought I wanted to have a line put in. No, I want to know where the line is. Oh, he said, I have to call another number.
f. I called the other number. It was for reporting faults. I clicked through the menu a couple of times and got a recording telling me to call a third number, or email.
g. I called that number, clicked through the menu, got a recording telling me to email.
h. I emailed. They answered! and said, Oh, you need to call Dial Before You Dig. (duh!) and gave me that number.
i. I called that number. clicked on the "dial before you dig" option. The lady answered the phone and said, "can I help you?" I said I wanted to put up a fence. She said, "a sign?" No a FENCE. Oh, she says, what do you want from me? Um, well, I thought you knew where the lines were; I need to know where the lines are. Oh, certainly, she can do that. (Why did she think I was calling?) So she took my details and said a guy will come mark it next Monday.

Why was that harder than pulling teeth? I bet they'd have found me in two minutes if I'd dug first and cut a line. grrr. I don't know about here (since our military TV is from Germany) but they say in Germany if you interrupt the phone service, you are liable for all expenses (implied that you have to pay the customers for loss of service, as well as repair to the line). But people act like you are an idiot for trying to do things right. How else would it get done?


Saturday dawned bight and warm. Very Spring-like.
We went to Bury to return Bob's new lens. It just wouldn't focus properly. They didn't have our next choice, so we went with the refund (it hasn't shown up in the bank yet, though).
We also walked through the market. I wasn't hanging very well for some reason, so I didn't get any produce. We came back to the base for lunch, and then I dropped Bob and the children off at the playground while I went to the commissary for a few needed items. Then we came home and put the babies to bed.

For dinner I made Pampered Chef's spinach carbonne pizza (use alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce; top with cooked spinach, garlic, and bacon) and a salad with strawberries and homemade dressing.

Sunday we made it to church early! It was cloudy and cooler again, but the season is turning. I can feel it.

I have a lot of unfinished business hanging over my head, but I don't think there's anything I can do right now for any of it (deposit, fence, visits, days off, gardening, etc). So I'm trying to focus on being a good Mama and sticking to the schedule. Which means less time on the computer. :-)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


err, let me start with Friday, so I don't interrupt myself.

Friday Bob went to the Dr for a checkup. He was told that his heart rate/blood pressure is normal, but he has a named medical condition that causes his heart rate to drop (sometimes dangerously) when he has abdominal pain (usually caused by needing to use the toilet), and this is why he has passed out in the bathroom a few times. It also explains why he cannot think any sort of logical thoughts when he needs a toilet - there just isn't the blood flowing to his brain.

So, Monday.
Sunday night we decided we would try to get to the science museum in London. We'd tried to get down there on a weekday before, so we were a little better prepared this time - I'd looked up directions to 2 other tube stations on our side of town, with parking lots. We checked Epping first, and the lot there was full and barricaded. Knowing from past experience that there was no other parking in town, we went on to the next town - Loughton. It's tube station parking lot was full and barricaded, too, but it was right next door to a grocery store with a "pay and display" lot, with many empty spots. So we went in there and checked the rates. For over 3 hours, the charge was 9 GBP - about $13. Crazy. But we were committed to going, so swallowed hard, went in the store for change, and paid and displayed.

Got on the tube with no trouble and headed in. I happened to discover (that morning) that the most logical station for us to change at was closed for repairs, so I found another option, and that worked out okay. (Carry the double stroller up the stairs, cross the hall, carry the stroller down the stairs.) As we got closer in to town, the tube got more and more full, as it has on previous trips. But I started to notice children. Lots of them. And I began to wonder if this was the "half-term break" I'd heard once, in passing, that was coming up.

We got off at South Kensington station, which has a pedestrian subway right to the front door of the science museum. We followed the signs easily enough, as did all the other massive hordes of people that poured out of various trains at SK station. We shoved and herded and mooed for a good 1/2 mile, including two flights of stairs. The first flight actually had a line - a mob, really - standing at the foot waiting for a chance to get up the stairs. There was a man directing traffic flow, so that some people could get down the stairs, too. I had to help Bob carry the stroller, so I got the older children to hold hands, two and two, and told them to stay together no matter what. At the top of the stairs Naysha and Riah were right behind me, but Taryn and Cedwryck had fallen behind a bit, so I stopped there and waited for them and they made it.

When we came out of the tunnel we turned left (the crowd going right) and stopped to catch our breath. After an hour in the car and another in the tube, we all, including Bob, needed the toilet. Which, as you now know, means he was having a hard time mentally. But we pulled it together a bit and took stock of our surroundings. The entrance was, as advertised, right next to the entrance of the pedestrian subway. However, there was a barricade up there, and two uniformed people waving the crowd down the street. It took a while to figure, just because of the massive number of people, but the line to get in actually began a block away. Not a single file block-long line, but about 4 wide. We said, "This is nuts" and began looking for a way out. There wasn't a street crossing there, so we walked down the street past the line. At the corner, there was another line, headed the other way. It went down one block and around another corner and halfway down that block to the entrance to the Natural History museum. And there was another line coming from the other side of that one, also going into the NHM. NUTS!!!

We crossed the street at the corner and began to wander aimlessly, longing for a toilet. Somehow we ended up back at the main exit/entrance to SK station, and we thought to look in there, but no luck. I asked a man in a shop, and he said go out and turn right. There is a toilet there - a single toilet about the size of a phone booth, but it was closed for construction going on there. So Bob asked another place and they didn't know. Cedwryck was getting desperate, and as he did have an accident in London before... I hate to admit it, but I told him to just go. He was between two trash bins, out of sight, and where no one would step in it. We peed and peed and peed. I thought sure I would get arrested before he got done, but he finally finished up and we went on. I'd seen a hotel and suggested we look there. They might even have a restaurant. But no. So we kept looking.

Surprisingly, the area there had several restaurants/cafes. After trying two or three, I spotted a "gentlemen" sign through a window of one. Bob and Riah went in while I read the menu in the window. Sounded good. So when the boys were done we all went in and sat down - there was a table for 8 open. It was an Italian coffee shop, but they had some hot dishes too. We all got bacon sandwiches; Bob had his with egg, on a croissant; the rest of us had wheat bread. They were really good, the waitress filled our water pitcher twice in spite of being busy, and we all got to use the toilet. Yay!

After lunch we all felt much better and Bob had brain function once again. I got to thinking - Kensington: Kensington Gardens: children run and play: Bob take pictures: everybody happy. I figured it would be close, but didn't know which way, so we went back to the station and bought a map. Of the 4 or 5 styles of map, this was the only one that was both close in enough to see the street names, and big enough to tell how to get from one street to the other. We also got some cookies for the children. Named "melts" but they were very hard and crunchy.

So we headed over toward the park. Kensington Gardens are actually just across the street from Hyde park, and we ended up being on the Hyde side, so we actually went through Hyde park instead of KG. Saw the water, ducks, Diana's memorial "fountain," and walked through and up to H.P. corner - there was no one speaking - and got onto the tube there to head back home.

So yeah, we spent probably a total of $70 to walk through a park. But I enjoyed just being there, and the children think the tube is exciting. Bob is the only one who really didn't enjoy the day at all.

We did stop at Epping on the way home and had dinner at McDonald's while the children played in the indoor playplace. Bob and I have sore legs, and Bob's shoulders were stiff from carrying his camera backpack all over. Taryn hasn't complained from carrying the diaper bag.

Next time we will definitely check the school schedule first, somehow. And take the map. Ah, next time! I'm glad we aren't just here for a week.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

oh yeah

I forgot to mention... We didn't go do pictures yesterday because they postponed. The sisters wanted to go to London and see sights, so the couple decided to wait until next time she comes over from Germany without her sisters.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Today we went to an auction. There is an auction barn (literally an old barn) about 3 minutes from our house; we were told about it way back when we took the newcomers bus tour; they have an auction every Saturday, and we have never been until today.
For those who don't know me well, this may not sound like a big deal. But when we lived in Texas we had developed quite a *thing* for going to auctions. There was the local twice-monthly, the seasonal weekly, and all the special event auctions. Consignment, police impound, store liquidation... We were there. We got to know the auctioneers and the customers by name, and they knew us and our children. And then we moved, and we stopped going to auctions. I'm kind of hoping we haven't started a new regular habit, but it *was* a lot of fun.

The auction starts at 10; we arrived at 9:30 for the viewing. Bob and I went in to scope it out; we walked all around and wrote down some items we were interested in, and then Bob walked me back to the car. We decided, since it was cold in the barn, and there were no chairs, to come up with a game plan.
(Am I the only one who hates to make a list with less than three items? I'm still trying to think of a third reason!)
I was to take the children to a playground for awhile, and then come back and check on Bob. When we started the car, the low fuel light came on, so I decided to get gas first. Onto the base for gas, and then to the playground. I had my camera with me and took about 100 pictures of the children. They had lots of fun. After at least an hour I herded them back to the van. We stopped by Burger King for 12 plain cheeseburgers. The order-taker asked 3 times if I really wanted 12. Then back to the barn, where I left the children to eat and watch a movie in the van while I took Bob his burgers. He was doing well, but his feet were cold, and it would be awhile longer.
So I took the children to the house and we just hung out for about an hour and then went back again. I haven't mentioned yet the mud. The driveway in and out of the auction site is dirt (no gravel) and with the recent snows, it is really gooey sloppy mud. So every time in and out we got more mud on the car, on my shoes (and once again I'm looking for a third muddy item!). Every time I worried more about getting stuck in the mud. Bob was freezing, and the auction didn't have much longer to go, so I stayed with him (the children, again, watching movies in the van). I was surprised (having watched British auctions on TV) to find the auctioneer pretty personable, making comments about some of the items and their descriptions.
It was finally over about 2:00. Their credit card machine was down, so we went into the village to get money from an ATM (or Hole in the Wall as they are called here). The first one didn't "recognize" my card. The second one took a moment to "deal with" my request, and then gave me the money. So we went BACK to the barn, paid, collected the small items, took them home. Unloaded the van, folded the seats down, and Bob went back again. I stayed outside with the children, tidying up and watching them play.

So, what did we buy?

A sundial with a French inscription, dated 1805
A Book of Common Prayer (church of England), dated 1745
flower pots
bicycle for Naysha
bicycle for Cedwryck
Dremel tool
Dremel tool accessory set
two chests of drawers and a mirror (came all together, for 3 GBP!)
And... drumroll, please... a solid oak dining table. I am very pleased with it, and the price we paid for it. No chairs. There were some chairs I considered, but they went a little high.

Aunty JC, you better send me your list - I saw a couple of doggy things there. The only thing with a Scottie on it was a whiskey advertising pitcher.

When we finally got all home we put the babies to bed and sat around warming up and falling asleep. I got going at 4pm to make omelets (no, not the fruity ones) and coffee cake for dinner. Yumm.
The children are always wanting our main course to be a surprise for someone. Yesterday, as Bob was sitting down at the table he "guessed" what the meal was going to be and Cedwryck started crying that the surprise was ruined. So today when someone mentioned a surprise, I stuck with it. No one knows what we had for dinner; it is still a surprise. We had surprise yellow stuff and surprise crumbly stuff. It tasted good; that's what matters. :-) (Now I'm wishing I was a good writer so that I could make that part as funny as it was in real life. Oh well.)

Now my fingers are sore and you know what we did today. Fair trade?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

How's about an update?

Saturday we went to Orford Castle as planned, and it was a good time. The day was cold (and windy at the castle) but clear and bright. Basically Bob took lots of pictures of me to test possible settings for his job this coming Saturday. I felt pretty positive about the results, but he is quite worried about it. Turns out we won't just be doing the engaged couple, but her 3 sisters as well.
I made it home in plenty of time for my neighbor's Pampered Chef party. Taryn went with me while Bob took the little ones to the BX for pizza. The party was fun, and I really liked the romaine/strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing. I was semi-prepared with a list of things I wanted, and some things I wanted but wouldn't buy because they were made in China. Spent about $50, including shipping. I wonder if I'll have a party again some day...

Sunday was pot blessing after church. I took a big crock pot full of chili (plus Fritos and shredded Cheddar to go with), and a chocolate Bundt cake with peanut butter filling and a choc/p.b. glaze. The chili pot was scraped clean, and there were just 2 small pieces of cake left. I had a piece of apple crumble with hot custard, which I am told is "very British." (I hadn't realized that the two went together, and was just going to have some custard.)

We went home ready for naps, and some of us got one. That evening we did something, but I can't remember what.

Monday Bob had a grumpy day at work. Wait, I lost a day somewhere! Hmmm. Cause Monday was a full day at work, Tuesday Bob got off early and we went to Bury, Wednesday I dug the garden, and today... But today is Wednesday. So let's revise a bit. I guess it was Monday he got off early. hm.

So one day this week Bob got off work early and we went to Bury St Edmunds. We made a beeline (Haha - Bury is full of one way streets and pedestrian zones) for the camera store, and he bought a new lens. Sigma 24-70 F2.5 (I think) for those interested. He's been wanting a new lens ever since he got the full-frame camera. Then we went to the warehouse clearance superstore and I got some seeds, and some strawberry plants and onion sets. So I guess that was our fun money part of the tax rebate. We went to the commissary for sandwiches on our way home.

One day this week I finished de-turfing and papered and manured the front garden bed, and then I went out back and dug up the bare dirt the children have been playing in. It is a bit rocky, and no earthworms, so Bob is worried it may have poison in it; either things will grow or they won't.

Last night Bob went to a spinning class (no, it's not how to make yarn; it's exercise bikes). He's worried about passing his PT test next month, as he's been dieting strictly and hasn't lost a pound.

Today I took the children outside and we planted the strawberries, onions, and garlic. They thought that was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it, too. I was surprised that things should be planted so early, but that's what the info says. Hopefully some of it will live.

This afternoon another fence company will come give us a quote, and then we get to get started. And I think that's us caught up.

Friday, 6 February 2009


No, I'm not; but I got a few things done.
This morning I made chili for Sunday and rearranged the dining room so we can use the back door. Then I got a bright idea and asked Bob to come home so we could take him back to work and use the van. I was thinking we'd do some errands, go to the bowling, finish up errands, and maybe get something for dinner.
First stop, housing office. According to the list I had from them, I had all the signatures needed for putting up a fence. So I showed up; they took a look and said I still needed one more signature. After 30 minutes or so of waiting, that is. So I got directions to the other office, went over there and got the guy to sign the paper, and went back to the housing office to have them file the paperwork. At least we get to skip the pre-inspection, because Bob already talked to the inspector when he got the keys to the house. We still have to do a post-inspection, to get them to see that we really did put up a fence.

By the time I was done in there (the first time) it was time for bowling to start, so I decided to skip it. I'm glad I hadn't got the children worked up about going. I also went to the self-help store for more wall hooks (the houses are made out of cement blocks, so you can't just stick a nail or a tack in the wall - but they give away the special hooks), paint for the kitchen shelves and trash can (we got a new, bigger can, and it has to have our house number painted on it), and a door mat. I thought about getting compost and potting soil, but couldn't because the back of the van was full of moving boxes.

So then I went to the recycle center to drop off the boxes. Except they were closed for the moment in order to empty the bins. So I came back home.

Got home about 2:30, put the babies to nap and tried to get dinner started. I'd just about got a recipe picked out when Bob called and said he was ready to be picked up. So I woke the babies up and we all put our coats and shoes back on, and we went to get him. Since I hadn't cooked, we ate at Taco Bell. We also filled up with gas, which is now $2.11 per gallon. WooHoo!

Other good news: with a little bullying, I got the landlord to come down on our repairs from 2215GBP to 800GBP. I also noticed (last night when I went out for groceries) that some prices are coming down. Bananas are down to $0.69 a pound; brown and powdered sugars are $0.64 a pound instead of $0.72 that they were; apples were lower, and I got a few things on sale (like King size butterfinger ice cream bars for $0.09 each).

And I need to change a diaper. :-)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

I'm still here

After two days of cold and clear, it snowed again last night.

I've been doing the rounds with my insurance, old landlord, and the checkbook. The landlord conveniently came up with a list of "damages" to the house (including painting the whole thing) that equals (within 3 GBP) the amount of our security deposit plus the amount left in our heating oil account. Grrr. My insurance only covers $1000 worth of "damage to personal property" - the $100,000 liability only works if the whole house goes up in flames. Whatever. The base housing office said they will mediate between us and the landlord if necessary. I wrote the landlord back, going through the list with what we agree to and don't agree to; we'll see what they have to say.

On the up side, we got our tax refund today. Pretty exciting to see the savings account balance jump up so much at one whack.

Bob hasn't had a chance to work on his car, so he's still driving the van and we are stuck at home.

Tomorrow is the homeschool bowling day, but unless we get up at 5:30 to take Bob to work, we will have to miss it this month. Saturday we are going out to Orford to work on portraits we are doing there next week, and plan to be home in time for my neighbor's Pampered Chef party. Sunday is pot luck after church, so I'm cooking meat for chili now. I'll whip up a cake Saturday night.

Be blessed.

Monday, 2 February 2009


Yesterday as we were leaving for church it was quite cold - Bob said it was 34* according to the weather site. I looked at the clouds and said, "Snow?" Bob replied, "tomorrow."
About 2 minutes later, the flurries started.

It snowed off and on all day yesterday, last night, and so far this morning. I guess it has been more off than on, as it hasn't accumulated much. But the children did go out this morning and made a snowman. Maybe I'll get a pic on my Flickr later. Fun stuff.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

misc church stuff

A couple other things I wanted to mention about church today.
The children behaved pretty well, so I was able to pay attention. :-)

There is a woman at church; I met her at the Christmas dinner but I don't know anything about her other than she is always there, and has twin boys, about 1 1/2 years old. She doesn't come with anyone else - I don't know if she's married or not. But most Sundays one of the boys will get fussy on her, and I feel so sorry for her, but every time another lady will go and offer to hold one of the boys for her, and help her out. And I am proud of my church, that they offer needed help and make it possible for this lady to come to church.

And pastor said a couple of things that I really enjoyed.

1. When God wants to use you, there's no need to make excuses. God won't be surprised to learn that you are weak, or stupid, or faulty. He already knows that and He chooses to use and bless and grace us anyway.

2. The Spirit and the Word agree.
The Word without the Spirit dries up.
The Spirit without the Word blows up.
The Word and the Spirit together grows [us] up.

3. He says this all the time:
All means ALL. You are not the exception. One size does fit all, and if it pinches, lose some weight.

Our internet connection is pretty pathetic here, but if you have time, you can go to our church website and listen to sermons there.

Go potty

How's that for a title? :-D As a break from my usual dribble, I thought I'd share some thoughts from church this morning.

Pastor's main point was taken from 2 Kings 4:3 and 6. For reference, here's the text:
2Ki 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
2Ki 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
2Ki 4:4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
2Ki 4:5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
2Ki 4:6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

So he was describing the situation, the boys bringing in all the pots for the oil, and there were pots everywhere; she was "going potty." And the idea is (based on the main sermon text of Isa 54:2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
Isa 54:3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.) that we need to go pot-y and make room for the breakthrough. And not only make our home, our vision, our territory larger, but to strengthen the stakes (tent pegs) - to make the house stronger. (We need to build according to God's plan, not just any old way.)

So that's what I got from the sermon.