Monday, 30 March 2009


Yesterday was my parents 40 year anniversary. Congratulations! I can't believe Granny still has a piece of your wedding cake.

Also, yesterday, Riah lost his first tooth. It had been loose for over a week; I was surprised to see he didn't obsess about wiggling it out the first day he noticed it was loose.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

private property

I know I complain a lot on here; maybe that's why I don't have a huge following, but I have to let it out somewhere.

So we now live in "base housing" (but not on the actual base)... Our house is on the corner of two streets, thus at the end of a row of connected houses (5, I think). Maybe that's why, but we get a lot of uninvited guests. One Saturday I was in the kitchen, and as I watched out the window 5 separate groups of people walked by, and every one of them cut the corner and walked through our yard. Adults, even. Several would see me and move on to the sidewalk. I guess I'm not supposed to care because it's not really *my* house.
On 3 or 4 occasions, people will drive through our yard to load or unload something to their back door. Now, if they'd asked, we'd say yes. But they didn't ask! And the thing is, we are responsible for having grass in our yard. When we move out we have to make sure all those tire tracks are covered.

Thanks for the vent.

We had a lovely dinner tonight of Meemaw's chicken casserole with salad and cucumber, followed by a "pudding pie cake" with oreo crust, peanut butter in the cream cheese layer, and homemade chocolate pudding. WOW! I cut small pieces. :-)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

what Taryn wrote

This is what Taryn wrote for her display today. Maybe we'll get a picture of the completed project later. (This was her first "paper.")

Hello, my name is Taryn. I am 10 and I am in 4th grade. This year while I was studying about Australia I found it very interesting that the seasons are different in Australia than in Great Britain.

The earth is divided into two hemispheres. The top is the northern hemisphere, so that makes the bottom the southern hemisphere. Australia is in the southern hemisphere. That means that Australia is south of what we call the equator (the equator is really the middle of the earth). And Great Britain is in the northern hemisphere. That means that Great Britain is north of the equator.

The axis of the earth is tilted, therefore when the north is tilted toward the sun we get summer and Australia gets winter. So when the south is tilted toward the sun it’s the other way around.

I hope you found this interesting also.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


We have ants in our house. Bob put poison around the perimeter and they slowed down a bit. Today I looked up some natural solutions and picked the most pleasant; I sprinkled ground cloves across their trail.
We are also being more diligent about vacuuming (2-3 times per day), and keeping the dishes washed. Speaking of which, a big thanks to Bob for whipping the kitchen (and the girls) into shape while he was off work last week. So anyway, we will see if they slow down any more. Otherwise I can try to find diatomacious earth and sprinkle that around.

The garden is doing better than I expected. The strawberries appear dead in the dirt, but the onion and garlic are coming on nicely, and the lettuce and peas are sprouting well. I have more stuff to put out front, but haven't got around to it yet. The weather has been very changeable, with some bright days, and then cold and windy. It has been very dry for Spring, but we got a nice shower yesterday.

Right now I am waiting for a delivery from Tesco, and then we need to go get a poster board so Taryn can make a thing for the History and Geography Fair tomorrow. Yeah, yeah, procrastination. She's doing a report on the difference of seasons between USA and Australia, as that was something that interested her in her book this year.

We sold our little fridge yesterday. The fridge that came with the house was MUCH bigger than the one we were lent for the rental house, plus it's not that big a deal now to run back to the store if we run out of something. So we cleaned up the little fridge that we'd bought soon after moving out to Cheveley, and Bob listed it for sale on the base website (the one I can't access from home), and we got a call the first day. The man just gave me his first name on the phone, but when he emailed Bob his rank came up - he's a Lt Colonial. Yikes! We don't normally run in the same circles as Cols. :-) They had just got here from the states and were setting up house.

That's about it for now.
We are thinking about asking a man at church if he'd give Taryn some piano lessons - he plays for worship sometimes, and sits behind us most of the time and has been rather friendly, so Bob thought we might ask about it. We have a keyboard and Taryn is very good about picking out notes to songs she knows. William is also a budding pianist - he really gets emotional about his playing. :-D

Happy Wednesday.

Friday, 20 March 2009

less frequent

I'm not quitting or taking a break, I'm just blogging less often because time spent on the computer seems to make me feel unwell. Also, I do need to spend more time with the children. They need leadership as well as supervision.

Anyway, today Bob had off for a "goal Day" so we puttered around. Went to Mildenhall to the market, and then to the base for lunch. But we noticed the thrift store was open, so went in there first. Then we went to eat, but when I got out of the car I noticed my billfold (which was in my pocket at the thrift store) wasn't there anymore. We looked all over the car, and then high-tailed it back to the thrift store, but it was gone. No one turned it in there, or at the police station next door. So we had lunch, checked back again (still no one had turned it in), and headed home to call the banks.
On the way I was making a mental list of things lost: credit card, bank card, check book, other bank card, military ID, Texas drivers license, USAF drivers license, card to prove I can buy gas on base, grocery club card, English Heritage membership card...
We got home, I put the little ones straight to bed, and wasn't even back down the stairs yet when the phone rang. It was the thrift store, saying someone had brought in my wallet. Praise the Lord. So we headed back over there and it was waiting for me, all contents intact.
I am so grateful to the man who found it, the store workers, and my good God who kept everyone honest.

Monday, 16 March 2009


Sorry, I can't think of a title.
Bob took some time off work to study and relax before his promotion test. Thursday and Friday he read all day, and by Saturday he was ready to do something. We'd been looking for a "minibus" so we'd have more room in the car when my parents come to visit. We found a dealer on Ebay, near Colchester, so we planned to go down there and check 'em out.

We wanted to have cash in hand, so if we liked one we could go ahead and buy it, rather than go back again to finish the deal. Our US bank will only allow a few hundred $ in ATM withdrawals each day, but our local bank has teller services and we can withdraw as much as we like. But our money is in the US bank. So First thing Sat morning I transferred some money to the local bank. Then we looked up some other things to do in the area, and got ready to go. We went to the commissary first, as Bob had promised himself doughnuts if he passed his PT test, and also got bread and bananas for a sack lunch. Then we went to the bank, but they hadn't processed the transfer yet, so we couldn't get any money. sigh.

We came back home to call the man and say we wouldn't make it after all, and think what to do next.

We decided to go to Isleham to visit the Priory church there, and then go on north to see something else. Isleham is only 20 minutes away or so, and we got there with no trouble and even found the priory church. It was right next to the auto mechanic. There was a dilapidated information sign out front that we managed to read most of, and it said the key to the building was at Mrs. so and so's house, #18 something road, and an arrow pointing. Okay, we'd come this far... So we started off down the road to find the key. The road we were on wasn't the right one, and neither were the next two roads that turned off. So we just went in the parish church and looked at it.
That was pretty nice. There were tombs dating from the 1200's, angels on the ceiling, and a scrap-metal menorah made by London Jewish boys who lived in the church during the bomb raids of WWII. We bought a guide book for 50p, and it tells me the present building was completed in 1331. One whole side of the church is known as the Peyton chapel because so many of the Peyton family are buried there. Apparently they moved to America following the English civil war.

The road out of town led us around in a loop and back south, not the direction we'd planned to go, but it didn't seem worth bothering about so we headed back toward Mildenhall. We had a late lunch there and came home for naps.

Sunday was lovely and warm and sunny in the morning, so after church we got chicken and had a picnic in the park. The little ones ran and played until it clouded up, and we went home to nap again. The big ones played out back with the neighbor children until supper time.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

new recipe

I got a free sample in the mail a while back of Kashi fruit and granola bar. It was pretty good, but our commissary doesn't sell them. My ever-evolving diet now contains healthy snacks throughout the day, and I thought of those bars that I can't buy.

So I looked on and found a couple of promising recipes. I combined and healthified them, and came up with this:

Fruit-filled oat bars
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
Combine dry, cut in butter. Press 1/2 (or more) in a 9x13 pan that has been foil-lined, and the foil sprayed with oil.
8 oz cream cheese
1 egg
1/4 c sugar
Beat til smooth. Carefully spread over crumbs.
10 oz jar black cherry all-fruit spread (sugar-free jam)
Warm slightly in micro, spread over cream cheese.
Top with remaining crumbs.
Bake at 350* 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool before slicing.

Mine is still warm, but I tried a bit and it is very nice! Only problem is, it's a bit dry/crumbly. I think I will try it next time with a little applesauce added to the crumbs - maybe reduce the sugar and the butter some more.

(The original recipe that I'm mostly following called for 1 c sugar and 3/4 c butter. The recipe that had the cream cheese layer mixed in a can of sweetened condensed milk! Both suggested using fresh berries, cooked down in sugar, instead of the jam, but listed jam as an alternative.)


Yea! Bob passed his PT test. While he did "run out of energy" part way through the run, he didn't feel sick or even completely spent when he came home.

We celebrated by going out to eat and ordering fried food - with soda. Ack! But we are planning to stick with our improved eating habits and workouts. We need to be in better shape to glorify God in our bodies.

(BTW, with all my blogging about weight loss last year, I lost a total of 22 pounds, and then gained back 15 over the holidays. Since we have renewed our commitment to diet and exercise I lost 4 of that. What's a girl to do? Bob hasn't lost any this year, even though he eats less than I do now, but he did lose 3 inches on his waist measurement.)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Saturday we had a full day.
In the morning I dropped Bob off at the "travel fair" to collect brochures and enter to win. Then I went to the post office to mail my red envelopes and check the mail, to the bank to pay the water bill that I finally got settled, and to the commissary for a few things (that turned into a lot of things, since diapers, butter, and Bob's favorite cereal were on sale). Back to the travel fair and Bob was about 2/3 of the way through, so I finished the tour with him (the children watching movies in the van).
Then we took the groceries home, then back out for lunch. After lunch Bob and Taryn went to the park to take pictures. Then we went out to West Stow, to the Anglo-Saxon village. They were having an open day - free admission. We met two other homeschooling families there, and visited while the children ran and climbed. We stopped at the playground on the way out, but weren't there too long when it began to rain.
(The day started off cloudy, the sun was out by mid morning, then the wind picked up, the clouds came back, it got clod, and finally rained. Gotta love it; no matter what was forecast, it was right.)
So we came back home, had supper, and started cooking for Sunday's lunch.
I made BBQ chicken wings (in the crock pot - I don't recommend it), Heather's caramel oat bars, and Tam's grape salad. Yum.
Pictures are on both my and Bob's Flickr pages.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Things they don't tell you

If you compare 2 Kings 2 and 3 with 2 Chron 21, it will appear that Elijah was not indeed, permanently transported to "heaven."
I read a bit about it in an article on WND (link on this page, to the right), but it was vague enough, so I looked it up. It takes a bit of fishing, but if you go by the "dates" of the kings taking over and the rebellion of Moab, etc, it is plain enough that Elijah's letter to the king was written after his trip in the whirlwind. So it would seem that he simply went away, as the prophets thought at the time.

ETA: I didn't dig far enough the first time (sorry, blushing) because it was Moab rebelled in Kings, and Edom rebelled in Chronicles (when Elijah wrote the letter); apparently this was even later than I first thought. Definitely after the whirlwind incident.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Why do we keep our children in church

In an age where evangelical churches, at least, are defined by the size, variety, and success of their children’s programs,
Why do we keep our children in “big church” with us?
I could cite the secular or even humanistic beginnings of Sunday school and children’s church as we know it, but that isn’t a good reason, because if anybody can take a thing that started off wrong and make it a good thing, it’s God.
I could say it’s our personal preference, but that is open to debate and could change with the seasons.

Are we just naturally confrontational? Are our children extra shy in public and couldn’t handle it? Do we distrust the church or the teachers? I do enjoy a good argument, but I like it better in the semi-anonymity of the web. So the answer to all those is a big “NO.”
Well, then? Where do we find our reasons for anything? The Bible of course.

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
It is the fathers who are to bring up the children.
Mar 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Some argue this verse as a reason for children’s classes, but in my view having the children sent away from the church meeting is a lot like sending them away from Jesus.

Deu 31:11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
Deu 31:12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
Deu 31:13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

Do I even have to add emphasis on “and children?” To me this is a key verse because it doesn’t just tell how things were, but it tells how things ought to be.

Ezr 10:1 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.

The children were there.

Joe 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
Joe 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

Again, this is an instruction, not just a narrative. And it’s very specific about a solemn assembly with nursing babies present.
This is an interesting article that I used to help find some of the verses. The author points out that children in church as a normal thing can be inferred from the passages in Eph and Col (letters meant to be read during church assemblies) that address the children specifically.

So that’s why. I’m sure you can all rest easier now, knowing we have a good reason. :-D

Monday, 2 March 2009


Saturday was another bright Spring day (so is today!) and we couldn't stay in. We drove down to Clare, where we walked around and took pictures. Then we went on to Braintree where we had lunch in a very busy McDonald's that didn't take the card with the magnetic strip, and to the outlet mall there. Bob bought some new shoes, Taryn got a coat, we all got candy at the Cadbury outlet, and I got red envelopes at the stationary store. Why? I'll tell you in a minute. I looked in 6-8 stores, and I have decided that fat women must not wear coats. If they do, I guess they grow them at home, because they sure can't buy one at the store.

After the shopping we headed back home, stopping at Halstead to look at their redundant church, and again in Icklingham where only Bob got out to photograph their redundant church.
We had copcycat Red Lobster biscuits for dinner, with shrimp alfredo for Bob and spaghetti for the rest of us. Then I went to the commissary to spend my coupons that were expiring that night, while Bob took the van to the car wash.

Sunday was church of course.

Today is so pretty and sunny.
We picked up the whole house except the girls' room (they started on it), vacuumed, moved a few boxes, did laundry and dishes. While William was napping I walked briskly for 20 minutes on the cross trainer. Then the children watched a video while I took a shower, and when that was over it was lunch time.
Now they are outside and I am addressing my red envelopes.
I joined the red envelope Facebook group and am sending 50 letters to Mr. Obama. (I refuse to call him President because he refuses to provide me with proof he's eligible to be president.) In addition to the text on the campaign page, I am including a quote from Obama himself, at the National Prayer Breakfast, saying, "There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being."
It really sickens me to know how many babies have been slaughtered while the church, for the most part, has done nothing. I know there are many reasons for having an abortion and I don't condemn the individuals who have made that hard choice (or been forced into it). I just want it to stop. Education, help, laws, proper use of public opinion, speaking up: these are all needed. So I'm doing something, however small, now. I just pray Mr Obama gets to see even a portion of all the envelopes that are being sent to him.

Tomorrow is knitting club, Wednesday I have an appointment, Saturday we are doing pictures at Orford, Sunday is pot blessing at church; next Tuesday Bob does his PT test, and the Wednesday following is his promotion test. Then there's all the loose ends like fence, deposit, ration card, passport, parents visit, ... I think I need to go outside and get dirt under my fingernails.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

the boy can talk

William is beginning to talk. He doesn't say little words like "Mama" and "nose" but he is starting with phrases.
This morning William was climbing up on a storage tub (it's his way of getting onto the couch), and he slipped and bonked his head. He cried a bit, rubbed his head and said "hit my head." A few minutes later we were getting into the car and Cedwryck hit Naysha because she got in first, and I reminded him that boys don't hit girls, and William said "hit head" and rubbed his head again. :-)

Then, prepare for real warm fuzzies, as we were tucking the boys into bed tonight William said "bess oo" (bless you). As I was telling Bob that he'd said it, he said "uv oo" to Bob. And then he said "uv oo" to me. AS he was pointing out his finger in an imitation of sign language "I love you." I'm still glowing.

Other words he says are:
every time he stands up after changing his diaper he says "ta da!"
"Puh" for up when he wants me to pick him up.
"woof woof" whenever he sees a dog.
"down" and "no."