Some Things I did Today

January 22, 2018
  • drove Gary to the train station so he could go to jury duty (he did not get chosen, but he did run into an old friend on the train)
  • dumped stuff at the paper recycling
  • posted help wanted flyers all over the center on behalf of the church.  They need a new nursery worker.
  • got Gary an eye appointment at the Low Vision Clinic so he can get a form to renew his driver’s license before his next birthday
  • got me an eye appointment because things are just not a clear as they once were
  • packaged up an old computer, two ballasts, some brass nuts, and some soda cans for recycling
  • went to Taco Bell for lunch.  Not as good as Taco Bueno.
  • made sandwiches for the homeless
  • picked Gary up from the train station
  • decided to sing at Carnegie Hall
  • reconstituted the terrible macaroni and cheese that I made for yesterday’s potluck into something slightly edible for dinner
  • made headbands for Rachel’s class
  • helped Gary make bookings to go to Germany in Feb



David and Bathsheba

January 21, 2018

I’m teaching Old Testament history to my Sunday School class, 5th-6th-7th graders. We started in Genesis and right now we’re up to 2nd Samuel. We’ve learned about David becoming king and today we learned he was a creep.

Yes, that is what my kids called him after we read the story of David’s voyeuristic activities in 2 Sam 11.

I started by talking about the movie rating system we are all familiar with: G, PG, PG-13, R. They didn’t really know the meaning of the term “X-rated.” Then I explained that even though the Bible is God’s word, the stories are not all G-rated.

Next, we did a review of the 10 commandments. We use a cool finger play that has helped us memorize them and we reviewed that. Then we read 2 Samuel chapter 11 out loud, going around the room. As we proceeded, they listed which commandments David had broken. Turns out there were quite a few:

  • #6–Do not murder another person.
  • #7–Always be faithful to your husband or wife.
  • #8–Do not steal.
  • #9–Do not lie.
  • #10–Do not want what others have.

This story was unfamiliar to these kids, and were genuinely shocked at it.  The last phrase of chapter 11 says, But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.”  That they understood.

We went on and also read chapter 12 where the prophet Nathan comes and tells King David an allegorical story.  They figured it out.  “David, you are the man!  the rich man who has everything yet you had to steal the poor man’s best thing, just because you could.”

The story doesn’t end there and we read the rest of the chapter.  David admits his guilt, asks for forgiveness and Nathan assures him he is forgiven.  But wait–forgiven doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences.  David’s illegitimate child dies in spite of a week of David’s prayers and fasting.

In other Sunday School news, here’s a short video of an exercise to learn the books of the Old Testament.

Relax, Put Your Feet Up

January 18, 2018

I’ve wanted a loveseat recliner for a decade. I hoped to get one for our 40th anniversary. As our 42nd anniversary was approaching I said to myself, “Self, if you wait until you have enough money to buy a good one, it may never happen. So just get a cheaper one. Afterall, you may die before you feel free to spend a ton of money on an expensive recliner!!”

So, I listened to myself and ordered one on the internet. It came in two boxes and cost less than $500. It was easy to put together, and we love it!  I should have had this talk with myself sooner.

Moving Rachel’s old loveseat back to her end of the house was the hardest part.

This is what we spent our Christmas and anniversary cash on, and we love it!


In a related story, my mom also needed a new reclining chair this year.  When we visited her in September we noticed the old one was showing signs of wear.  I talked my kids into chipping in and we all got her a new chair for Christmas.

My First Visit to Ikea

January 16, 2018

A new Ikea furniture store recently opened near us. No way was I going to go during the Christmas rush, but we did manage to go on MLK day.  I kept having a weird deja-vu while there as I kept feeling like I was in David and Sarah’s Houston house.  Apparently they bought quite a few household items there.

We had lunch at a very large cafeteria in the middle of the store.  Gary and Rachel had Swedish meatballs and I had veggie “meat” balls.  On our way out there was a second small cafe where we bought cinnamon rolls and drinks.  No furniture.

After we got home we had a big winter storm.  Some schools were closed today 🙂

And lastly, I broke the lid to a teapot we use at the office and I was quite sad about that.  But hey, missionaries improvise, right?  This jar lid and random magnet work perfect!

Long Weekend

January 14, 2018

I thought I would have to save the chore of installing a new light in the laundry room for Monday, but it turns out we managed to do it on Saturday. If this sound familiar, it is. We did this same exercise in the kitchen just over a month ago.

The hardest part is getting the old one down.  I started the process, then Gary finished it.

Why is the ceiling black under this light?  Well this room used to be a darkroom, back in the days when they were developing films for the typesetter that was used for printing NTs here.

Yay, it works.  This one had fewer wires and was easier to do than the kitchen one.

And you can see that we are finally getting around to starting our Christmas puzzle.

We got to have a little video chat with Micah and Emma today who are in the midst of a Lego surge.  Looks like they were coming up with the pretty cool things.

Tomorrow we may or may not venture out to the new Ikea.  I’ve never been before.  Swedish meatballs for lunch if we make it.


Cold Again

January 11, 2018

OK, I know I don’t really get much sympathy from family members who live in the northern reaches but it has gotten colder by the minute here today. I found this photo of Miss Rachel’s door decorations to be quite appropriate, and cute too!  I had three different sizes of cupcake liners for her to use and they worked out pretty well after we ironed them!

The furnace guy came today too.  He comes twice a year since we have a service contract.  He replaced something on the ignition system, and told us to use the gas part of the unit, not the heat pump part, when it gets cold like this.

Did anybody remember that today is Andrew’s birthday?

A few minutes after he was born.

I guess they didn’t require car seats on the ride home from the birthing center.

We were so poor he slept in a box.  (Not really, Gary and Judy assembled and finished a cradle for him.)

With his great-grandma Olive.

Wearing an outfit crocheted by his great-grandma Shinabargar.


New Socks

January 9, 2018

Auntil Carol made me another new pair of socks. See how nicely the two socks match? How does she do that, and more to the point, how does she do that while watching football on TV??

In other news, Gary is sick.  Probably the flu.  He has had a fever for a couple days and a bit of coughing.  Wouldn’t you know that the one year I talk him into getting a flu shot it is only 10% effective??  (at least that is the number I heard somewhere).

Rachel has gone back to work after a long Christmas break.  She has spent the last few days working very hard to prepare her materials for teaching her kids and getting craft projects ready, etc.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

January 6, 2018

Today is the last day of Christmas in the church calendar and today we took down our Christmas decorations and packed them away until next year. This year we put labels on the boxes–how novel!  And to top it off, Gary planted the Christmas tree!!  Yay!  The one planted a few Christmases ago is now 10 feet tall.

Yesterday was a blur with finishing our last cake–really three cakes–for Sara’s wedding. Sara is the girl next door whose parents finished the translation of the Lau New Testament that we had started.


We turned the cakes in at noon, then went to Taco Bueno to celebrate.  Then I spent the next 2 hours cleaning up the mess.  We had cake stuff strewn about in 5 rooms!

Who Knows Everything about Everything?

January 4, 2018

There has been some discussion of this question in our house over the years, but apparently Gary’s Christmas present has finally settled the matter:


In other news, this morning I delivered cake order #4 out of 5 in a 10-day stretch:

Now a mad dash to finish the last order:  three half-sheet cakes for a wedding by noon tomorrow.

Wedding Cake #1

January 3, 2018

The girls on Sarah Drive are getting married this week. Well, not our girl–she’s busy helping me make wedding cakes for two others!

Family #1 asked for a very large carrot cake with cream cheese icing, but only minimal decorations so they could decorate it themselves. The bottom tier was 14 inches diameter–first time I’d ever made one that large. The finished cake weighed 29 lbs including the wooden cake plate!

Gary grated 300 grams of carrots for each of 6 recipes

I engineered a cake cover out of cardboard (using the long reach stapler that Auntie Norma bought for us 40 years ago).  It went around the cake board, clipped together at the top with a big binder clip and then a cloth over the top.  This was not airtight of course, but did protect the cake from dust overnight.

I found giant zip lock bags to use to store the tiers in as I worked on the cake and when I put parts of it in the freezer.

A new type of sugar lace, this version worked much better than previous attempts.

This is what we delivered to the venue for the sister of the bride to decorate. 

This is what the final product looked like.  Today the bride’s sister returned my equipment and sent me a photo to see how she had decorated it. Rather striking, wouldn’t you say?