Thursday, July 24, 2014

They're Back!

Well, actually, they've been back since early Saturday morning. The mission group met with a series of unfortunate events on their trip, including a couple of vehicle breakdowns. They spent some time at the repair shop, and had a five hour layover at the Wendy's in Murphy, NC, but they also received the kindness of strangers. The manager of the Wendy's gave them Frosties, the local Baptists bused them to Waynesville, and a couple ladies from the Christian school in Sparta (which is somehow connected with our church) drove the school bus all the way to Waynesville to pick up our poor, stranded missionaries. Instead of making it home early Friday afternoon, as expected, they got in around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. 

They had a marvelous time, and apparently they did quite a lot of good work. They painted and stained several houses and helped build a deck and a wheel chair ramp, and they also got to go white water rafting, swimming, and marshmallow toasting. Good stuff. Travis, rather unnecessarily, brought home a nasty sore throat and, even more unnecessarily, shared it with Katie and me. He is now recovered, and Katie is back to her perky self. I'm over the sore throat but have come down with noodle-limbs and a woozy head -- not really a problem, as long as I stick to the couch. Still, the children have mercifully done their bits of math, etc. with little fuss, so I can lie back and read and they can.... well, do things they find amusing. Boxes checked and everyone is happy!




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Missing My Kids, Enjoying My Reading

We picked Katie up at camp last Saturday (She had an Absolutely Fabulous time! Lots of friends, no mean girls, oodles of girlie activities, and they had The Dance this year, and all the girls went without dates, which we consider a plus at this point!), and then both kids left with the church youth group for their mission trip on Sunday. They've called every evening so far (hooray!) and are apparently having a marvelous time. They've painted a house, stained a house (unless it was the same house -- the phone reception isn't great), and, last I heard, were going to build a wheelchair ramp. They've also eaten some great meals, gone swimming in a river, and today I think they were going tubing. I trust that they are reflecting the love of Christ out like crazy and bringing lots of Tennessee heathens into the fold.

I've been reading. I thought about cleaning the fridge, but then realized I'd rather read. I finished Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy, which was excellent, and also Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora (also excellent -- lots of action, more profanity than I'm used to but not intolerably so). And today I read Jonathan Riley-Smith's What Were the Crusades? Again, quite good (though not as poetic as Boethius or as entertaining as Lies). I'd rather have the kids, but I'll admit that having hefty stretches of uninterrupted reading time is very nice. And my sweeties will be home some time tomorrow! I'm So ready to have them home!

(Here's my "to read" stack. Am I lucky or what?)

(Here's Katie on Saturday, when we picked her up. Unlike Travis's, her tan didn't wash off in the shower!)



And here the kids are up at church on Sunday, after loading up the cars. Oooh, I do miss them!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Quiet

The house is quiet this week. Way too quiet.
When Travis is away we miss him terribly, but he is generally so silent and low maintenance that his absence doesn't significantly affect the conversation/noise level in the house. Katie, however, is quite chatty, and without her the house is silent as the tomb. The cats' snores are actually a comfort, though Travis, out of sympathy, is putting extra expressiveness into his "hmmm"s this week.

Speaking of Travis, his box of goodies from the E3 Convention, which he won in a sweepstakes, arrived today by FedEx. I had expected that he would get a t-shirt and maybe a poster or a couple of bumper stickers, but it actually turned out to be a very impressive haul! He's got it spread all over the dining room table, and I'm planning to let him keep it there -- he looks so darned happy, standing there caressing all his pretty video game merchandise!




 (He got three hats -- the two in the picture, plus a baseball hat.)




 (He got five new t-shirts. So, with the two we gave him for his birthday, I guess he's pretty well set for a while!)
 (I'm told this is a very fancy mouse!)
 (The red and white box is a game system. NES/SNES/Sega Genesis emulator system. Sounds useful!)
 (Cool poses!)



 (The sweatshirt is quite nice, and Lord knows we could use another in the rotation!)


 (The book really is called Jesus for the Win. And yes, Jesus is holding a game controller.)


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Missing My Girl


 We dropped Katie off at camp this afternoon. Her chattiness sometimes makes me a little crazy, but I'm already missing her "Do you know what I think?" It will be a Very quiet week here!



Saturday, July 05, 2014

Sixteen

 My darling little boy is now a darling sixteen year old boy. Hardly seems possible, but there it is. He is amazing -- brilliant, funny, sweet -- and I love him so much. Happy birthday, sweetie!







 (Here he is opening the basket of "surprises." He never asks for anything, but we twisted his arm until he gave us a few suggestions. Then he mentioned that a surprise would be nice, so Katie and I picked out some different sweets and a couple t-shirts. He was delighted with everything!)







And here he is opening the Big Present. The really exciting one, from Granny and Paba.

It was almost too much.


And Katie decorated his cake. Beautiful, eh? Travis was effusive in his praise.





The beautiful new monitor, in action. Travis now has three monitors on his desk -- one for the Minecraft server, the one on the laptop, and now the beautiful new one with amazing resolution. He had set them up so that the new one is an external monitor and he can drag and drop files and view them on either screen. Pandachute looks pretty fabulous on the new screen!