Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Looking for Work

It is surprising to re-enter the job-searching world again, and the method has changed (of course) over time. Now, you surf the internet for jobs and thousands are listed. You are supposed to apply for them online by filling out an application and attaching your resume to it. You don't see any people, or talk to anyone either. So, you have to look really, really good on paper. Well, now that's a trick, isn't it? How many different ways can you explain your work experience, without tone or emphasis, but hopefully with personality and integrity? How can you explain that this job for which you are applying really isn't in your field - at all, but boy, I am willing to train and learn how to do it! Is there anyway to say - hey, I will show up; I will work hard; I will learn whatever you want to teach me; and I will give you your money's worth! Oh well. It is so nice to know that the Lord is in charge of all these things, and He will manage my work schedule ever so perfectly. Perhaps, His plan is for me to stay home, which I must say, sounds better than everything else put together!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Job Searching

I found out this past Friday that Faith Academy is closing here in Iowa in December. It made me very sad for so many reasons. I have really enjoyed working here and have built relationships with students along the way. I have watched students that were failing in the public schools graduate. It has been a joy to go work. I am very sad for all the students that won't be finished yet. Faith is offering a mail-order system to some of them, but many of them thrive on the personal contact, and the individual tutoring that they receive.

All to say, I am back in the market for work in a time when jobs are hard to find. It is such a good thing that the Lord knows exactly what we need, and orchestrates all these things. My job is only supplementary, though it has provided in past for our children's schooling. We have other choices we can make, but once again, we desire to make the best choices, and are wondering what that looks like.

I know that Adam and Mary Kathryn are dealing with much more serious income issues than we are, so we are continuing to pray for them daily!

We have seen our Lord provide some of the most difficult and complicated things for our good, and now is another opportunity to trust Him completely!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Long time no post

This morning I have a few minutes to blog. Last night I was working on my ACT prep class here at Faith, and stayed very late, so this morning I am quite tired. I am excited about the class though. We have two students, which is all we needed to make budget! Any students after this are extra $, which is good.

Jathan is now working washing windows, while he continues to try and find a job in the medical field. Washing windows is a good job, and he will have work for at least 8 months with it. He bought a Mustang (red) which he is very happy about too. He has been coming to worship with us in the mornings. He will be watching Aleya this afternoon while I teach my class.

Kesse is visiting Kyrie Jo this week at Grove. I know that they are having a great time there. I am sure that it is a good thing that they are NOT at the same college - but it is fun to experience both places.

The three that are home are just working on school as usual. Lorien's last volleyball game is tonight. Aleya is doing well in school and making some good friends, for which we are very thankful. It is a good class.

The Knerrs came to visit this past weekend, and we had a wonderful time with them and the Dudleys and Luceros. The Knerrs are reformed baptists, and it is always interesting when the topic of baptism arises. Amanda Lucero is ready to send them Riddleberger (sp?) tapes! Yes! We so wish that the Knerrs would move back to Iowa, but will just wait and see what the Lord has for them in PA. They were going to try and stop to see Kesse and Kyrie Jo on the way home.

We've really enjoyed the Luceros. Jody is the pastor of the URC church, and Amanda is his wife. They have three very fun children with lots of sweet personality and interest. Lorien and Aleya are always delighted to have them around. Owen is 7, Ava (sp?) is 5, and Mongi is 3. Their family is young and vibrant, with lots of energy and enthusiasm for serving the Lord. We have very much appreciated Jody's preaching and counsel to our family. It is always encouraging to see how the Lord is working in many different places.

We continue to pray for the Christiansens every day as Adam seeks a call. We were heartbroken to hear that the church he is in is not going to work out. We are looking for churches for him, and praying!

Well, I need to get ready for school.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Praying at the Pole

This morning, Lorien and Aleya went to school early so that they could gather with other Grandview students and pray for the nation together. I was glad that they wanted to get up early and go, but was so encouraged to see 40-50 students gathered around the pole praying together. All ages were there, but most of them were in high school.

School seems to be going well for Lorien and Aleya. It is always very busy, with lots of trips to the east side. I usually make two trips per day, but sometimes end up with three. I would love for Lorien to drive :)!! Then, of course, she would have my car, which I would not love quite so much. Oh well.

Jathan had quite the weekend. His time with Sonya was wonderful, and he got to spend some more time with her family, but his trip home didn't work out very well. I didn't get the whole story, but the result was that he now has a cracked windshield, a flat tire that is taking several days to fix (lug nut problems), and a check engine light on. He was disappointed with all of that, but Lord willing, he will get a couple of interviews this week for jobs, and be able to get his car fixed.

I am working on the basement these days. I have a couple of coats of mud on the walls right now, but need a couple more before I texture. I was trying to think of lots of ways to make the textured top of the wall match the untextured bottom of the wall. My boss has an air compressor, and a sprayer and Lord willing, on Saturday, I will try my hand at texturing. We'll see. My boss is confident that I can do it - rather easily actually. He maintains that the trickiest part is understanding the machine. So, we hope it will go well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I started a new post last night, but wound up fighting an episode of vertigo. Whew. That stuff will get you! Bravo for updated medication and helpful children! Truly, for me, it is gone within an hour, and life gets back to normal. I am very thankful for that!

Today is my long day at work. Now, I only work Mon, Tues and Wed, but Tues is from 8:30 to 6. I will try to get as much tutoring done as possible.

I am working on developing another class that might bring in a dollar or two, DV.

Well, work has started, and I never finished this update. More later - Lord willing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Okay Kesse - we have all tried to get back to you on Dad's birthday! It's February 23!

I am trying to type with nine fingers this morning, and finding that it is rather frustrating not to have my index finger on my left hand! I am hitting lots of wrong letters, so this will probably be short. I broke my index finger using a disc grinder on the "railings" on the front of the house. I was trying to get the old paint and rust off, and managed to get my finger caught in the grinder. Yuck. Spiral fracture. I have an orthopedic appt on Fri.

Jathan has submitted several applications for EMT work. He hasn't heard yet.

Oh - my typing is arduous. Maybe more later!!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Well, Jathan got home last Friday, and this Friday he is moving into his own apartment! This seems to be a great moment in my mind. Writing that sounds like I don't want Jathan home. On the one hand, of course I want him around. He is a joy and as his parents, Tom and I welcome him into our home anytime. But on the other hand, he is grown up now. He is a man. He is supposed to find his way and forge a path of his own.

The joy that Tom and I have today, is the joy in watching our son take responsibility for his life. He has a car, an apartment, and some income while working on getting more. This is all good! We continue to pray for him as he chooses the most important things in life - his church, his wife, and his vocation. But, I am just thankful this morning, for the grace of God in his life, to bring him to this point. What a blessing to have children who know Christ! Then, when they are on their own and making all their own choices, we have the peace of knowing that their hearts belong to the Lord, and He will direct their paths!

Please pray for Kesse this morning, as she had a fall a week and a half ago. She hurt her arm, and while it isn't broken, it seems that she needs physical therapy. I do believe that it is crunching her studies a bit, but as always, the Lord uses such things in our lives. She is having to ask others for help!

Kyrie Jo got a visit from Aunt Debbie this past week, and that was fun! I envy Debbie for having seen Grove. I have yet to make it there. I hope Kyrie's semester is going well. My impression was that this one would be hard!

Kayren is moving right along in her studies, as is Lorien and Aleya. They all are adjusting to new teachers, which is interesting to watch.

Tom is doing fine. He had kind of a yucky day yesterday. He had several nasty meter changes (and Kim - yours was NOT one of them)! One in particular was a basement where the owners had let the cat use the meter location as its litter box (yuck!) and didn't clean it out before Tom came. I truly don't know how he does his job, but he is a trooper! I know that I couldn't do it. He had another meter that he had to change under pressure, so he was drenched and stinky two hours into his shift. He comes home tired and feeling grimy and just needing a shower and some sleep. I know that there are days that he wishes he did something else for a living :) !

Well, I need to get some things organized before work.

I do get to move ALL of Jathan's things out of the basement! Hear that son?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things are busy

It is such a relief to know that the Lord is in charge of everything. Life changes so quickly from one day to the next.

Just like everywhere else, our hours have been reduced here at Faith Academy. It is no surprise in this economy that private education would be something people might not choose to do if they are short on funds. So, we are scrambling to work out the details in our personal finances as well.

I do have a tutoring possibility, and then a couple other part-time office positions that might be available. We are praying that we will be able to keep the girls at Grandview, but are unsure of whether that is possible. It is a high priority for us, so we are leaving no stone unturned. We even thought of moving for a while, but that looks like a very risky and unwise option at this point. (Sorry girls! All my girls were very excited about the idea of moving! How crazy is that! Aleya commented that she has only lived in one house all her life.)

Jathan comes home tomorrow night at 7. We get to pick him up at the airport. Sonya should be rolling in about the same time. We are very excited about see him after all these months. I am sure that he has lots of stories to tell!

Liz Gardner's son, Curtis, is also coming in town for a business conference of some sort. I believe that he is staying with us as well. It will be busy!

We are thankful for God's continued grace to us. Life is so complicated. We are grateful for His mercy and for the knowledge of His sovereignty over all things.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where did all the pictures go?

I remember a day when I used to post pictures on this blog. Hmm. It's been such a long time though! Sorry about that. I hope to get back into taking pictures. My children do confiscate the camera often, so I don't usually have the means to post pictures.

However, the update for the moment is:

Lorien is going to Breakaway for the next two days, which is something of a camping trip for all the high schoolers to start off the school year. It is lots of fun and she is excited about it. She should be back, Lord willing, tomorrow afternoon.

Aleya is getting used to her classroom, and her classes, and liking it very much. She has a delightful teacher, and we are thankful for the situation thus far. She seems to really like the history and the reading.

Kayren begins DMACC tonight - for sure! She tried to start on Tuesday, but classes hadn't yet begun, so tonight when she drives out there, she should actually have a class! She is taking Spanish.

Kyrie is packing things up today and tomorrow and setting back out for Grove City early on Saturday morning. She starts classes again, DV, on Monday! She is excited about getting back to school, and away from work.

Jathan is set to come home on Labor Day weekend, and we are excited about seeing him for the first time in several months. Sonya is hoping to visit that weekend too, which is great!

Kesse is settling in at Bryan. She was sick at the beginning of the week, but hopefully is doing better now. I haven't heard that she is better, but usually that means that she is :)!

Tom is working his regular hours, and just stays steady in his work. I am thankful that he has a good job.

I am learning students' names, and working on labs, and trying to get to know my students for the year. I am praying that they may come to know the Lord while at Faith.

Well, I need to get to work, but I hope to start posting pictures again. I need to get that camera back!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Short Post

I don't have much time to post this morning, but wanted to let you all know that the girls are doing well at Grandview so far. They have good teachers and good friends. Aleya seems to have a really good class.

Anyway - we are grateful that they get to go this year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My sweet husband

I know that blogging is out there for the world to see, but sometimes, you just want to stand up and let the world know something that it on your mind.

I just want the world to know that I have one of the kindest and most thoughtful husbands in the whole world. He would probably not relish the thought of me blogging that sentiment, but in a time when people can be so mean - even fellow Christians, I am blessed with a husband who is caring and kind. It isn't just something he does for me and others, it is something that he is in Christ. To hear of his past without Christ, he didn't used to be nice. But the grace of God changes us - thankfully, and we become new creatures in our Lord.

I have never known the unbelieving Tom, so I don't really have anything to compare him to, but he is such a wonderful blessing now!

I love you Tom!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick news from Iowa

I am on lunch break at the moment, so I only have a minute, but I thought I would let you all know that we are sending Aleya and Lorien to Grandview - at least for the first semester. The financial aid was big enough to have us reconsider, and there were many good reasons to try it.

Please pray for them as they begin this coming Monday.

I had to laugh as my husband whacked me sometime in the middle of the night last night. He was dreaming about fighting an ostrich that was chasing him and pecking at him. I don't know if he was flailing, but I know that I would have been. Where do these dreams come from? I was musing at the expanse that our brains cover, even when we haven't been to the zoo recently, or had dinnertime discussions about huge, ferocious birds that peck at you in the middle of the night. Hmm.

Jathan's spider bite has healed, so it wasn't a brown recluse! Yea!

Kesse made it back to Bryan for the fall semester.

Kyrie will be leaving next Saturday morning early to go back to Grove City.

That leaves Kayren, Lorien and Aleya. Aleya moved upstairs, to have windows and a lighter place to study, and also some oversight to make sure that she does :) !

Kayren is taking her first college course this semester. She'll be taking Spanish at DMACC. Lorien has a full schedule and hopes to play basketball again. She'll need to do some running first and get into shape!

Faith Academy started last week, and is doing well so far. We are thankful for all our students.

While we have been so saddened to leave our church family at Grace for a time, we have been encouraged to find a Bible-believing, reformed church where we have worshiped these past few Sundays. Jody Lucero is the pastor, and he is a good preacher. We are learning a lot about the Heidelberg Cathechism and the three forms of unity, and it is always good to review what you believe and why. We are trusting that the Lord is working out our church situation for His glory, and are thankful for His grace.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I love to come to work, drink my coffee, and read the blogs of my family and friends as a morning ritual. This morning, however, when I was reading the blog of my sweet sister-in-law, I was so saddened by the willingness of an anonymous writer to be mean.

I have been astonished to see not only the willingness of people to be mean through e-mail and other electronic messaging, but the extent of their meanness. In the end, the electronic age has given us a means of writing the depravity of our thoughts, with anonymity and forcefulness, and just downright ugliness. Mostly, I have been surprised by the commonality of this pattern in the church. What people would never say in person, they will say in an e-mail. They justify their writing, claiming that they are simply stating "truth." Somehow they are missing the biblical command to say such things in love. Perhaps, such things needn't be said at all. If we were honest about what we are writing and why we are writing it, we might find that we are simply satisfying our sinful desire for striking back, or getting the last word, or better yet - to somehow masterfully set our opponent speechless with our impressive verbiage. I have seen some justify their meanness by signing their name to their nasty letter, and "standing by their words."

A couple of weeks ago, we heard a wonderful sermon on James, talking about the tongue and the relationship between our words and our hearts, especially in the process of sanctification. How amazing it is that James so succinctly shows the bridling of the tongue as evidence of maturity and growth in Christ.

RC Sproul aptly renounces the children's rhyme "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me." He laughed after he quoted it, and said, "My mother lied to me!" Words not only hurt, but they can hurt for a long time. James spends a lot of time talking about our words and our responsibility to manage them biblically.

I have only known one person who thought he wasn't responsible for the way that his comments are received. He objected to censoring his comments because he thought that the sensitivities of others would overrun productivity and truth. James is clear however, and commands us to bridle our tongues. James 4:11, "Brothers, do not slander one another."

Shall we consider the impact of our words before we write them? Shouldn't we consider the person to whom we write, as made in the image of God (James 3), and worthy of our care and kindness?

An OPC minister recently noted that of all the qualities required to be an elder in the church (over 20 qualities), only one was doctrinal. I Timothy 3:2 and 3, "Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money." And that is not the whole list!

Gentleness, kindness, and compassion for others are evidence of the believer's heart which has been changed by the Holy Spirit, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, and made clean through Christ's righteousness imputed to him. Shouldn't we examine our e-mails and blogs and see if they show a humble gratefulness for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives?

I am sorry for the unkindness that Mary Kathryn had to read this morning. Perhaps the anonymous writer will consider his thoughts more carefully next time, and realize that his words, in voice or pen, are laid before the Savior, who loves His children dearly.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Long time no blog!! Again -

Was it really June when I posted last? Wow. Time flies. I am already back at my desk at work with ten minutes to spare before I need to quit doing my personal stuff, and get to the math.

We just got back from a wonderful vacation with the Robinsons, Christiansens, and Louisville Keisters. It was short but delightful! We were wined and dined the whole time we were there, with amazing breakfasts of homemade scones, homemade cheese danishes, elaborate bacon and eggs and toast, Mama's homemade bread, tilapia (one of Tom's favorites), and a wonderful pedicure with Debbie while Tom went to the bookstore. Believe me - he was just as happy as I was!

The kids had a great time and are so thankful for time with aunts, uncles, counsins and grandparents. It was a great trip!

Kesse is leaving on Saturday to go back to Bryan, and in God's providence, she was able to earn enough for another year! We are so very grateful for that. Kyrie too managed to earn enough for this coming year, and the two girls will be able to continue their education for another year. God is so gracious! We are thankful.

Jathan called yesterday and asked for prayer for Sonya ( his girlfriend), who was in a car wreck yesterday. She is okay, but the car was damaged, and it was the car that she was to take back to college with her this week. She was shaken up, but Jathan thought she was okay. Also, Jathan got a spider bite on his arm that might have been by a brown recluse. He is going to the doctor today to see. Later in the evening, he said he thought it seemed very localized, but needed to get it checked out all the same. He is supposed to come home in about 3 weeks.

Kayren starts school today, and Lorien kind of does. I am starting her on her Faith Academy stuff, even though she might be going to Grandview. We haven't heard yet whether she will be getting financial assistance or not.

Anyway - the school year begins! Wow - what a quick summer!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

God's Gracious Goodness!

How thankful we are for God's grace! He provides for us over and over.

We are rejoicing in several items of prayer that the Lord has graciously provided.

One of Kyrie's friends from college's Dad, has been severely sick with a brain stem tumor. We have been praying for him this month in our family worship, and found out yesterday that he is actually improving. We are so thankful!

Kyrie and Kesse have been struggling to work to get funds for college, and as far as we can tell, it looks like they have enough for another year!! What a blessing!

Jathan is thriving in the military and has been given a position of authority there. He is doing well on his tests - PT and academic, and really enjoying his training. Also, he was so encouraged by a wonderful visit from his girlfriend, Sonya, this past weekend, and her mother. They had a great visit!

Our church has a new group of believers that have been visiting and asking lots of questions, and we are so excited to have them with us! They are refreshing our souls for the truths of the Gospel, and it is always so exciting to see what the Lord is doing in the lives of His people.

We continue to pray for Adam and Mary Kathryn as they seek permanent work. We are thankful for their willing faithfulness in very difficult times, and are praying for God's continued blessing in their lives.

How thankful we are, for God's faithfulness and goodness to us! Even in our sorrows, His grace is our hope and comfort. But what a beautiful blessing to see His work in the lives of His people around us!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer School in Full Swing

We are ending week two of summer school today. This session is amazing! 6 weeks goes by so very quickly, and we have so much to cover. Every day almost seems desperate to me, in trying to work with the students so they will understand the material. There is so much to do!

We have had an odd June for Iowa. It has been raining a lot - though not like last year with the floods, but the temps are staying rather cool. We only turned on our air this past week, and I cannot remember a June that cool since I have moved here.

The girls made it home from Mexico this week, and it was so good to see them, and have them get home safely. There was a "skirmish" in a gas station parking lot, and a lady accidentally turned into our car, taking out the front headlight and blinker. We can't seem to keep our cars out of the shop! Everyone was fine, but this lady, who was more apologetic at the time, decided to rescind the truth to her insurance, and the damage will be ours to cover. Bummer. It is good that the Lord knows these things because He works out the details of all of that. Perhaps she saved a couple of dollars because she lied, but, in the face of the bigger picture - before God, what has she gained? I am trying to place this all in the context of living for Christ with the girls, because there are times on earth when it seems that the unrighteous get away with their theft and lies, but the Lord is faithful, and He is gracious, and He is in charge. He will work out our situation, for His glory, and for our good. Maybe our attitude could be a witness to her someday. After all, she doesn't know that one day, she might see us again knowing what she has done.

All to say, the Hyundai will need to go into the shop this coming week. Sigh. At one point Lorien said, "It's illegal to drive without working headlights?" Great -

Life is moving faster than I am these days. There are so many things happening. Our church is starting our first ever, VBS in July, and I am working on the music for that. Whew. It is a lot of work, but I am experimenting with several ideas and excited about the possibilities! Also, Susan's son Will is getting married on August 1, and we are helping with the rehearsal dinner for that, as well as some music there too. We are trying to fit in a trip to NC to see Robinsons before the fall semester too.

Please continue to pray for the girls for school this fall. They are working very hard to try and earn the money to go, but both Kyrie and Kesse understand that it might not work out. We are just going to take it semester by semester, and trust that the Lord is working out the details for all of their schooling. Lorien also may not make Grandview this fall. Each semester, we re-evaluate, but we must be faithful with what we have, and what we don't have. I am thankful that the girls have good attitudes about their situations. It would be very sad for them to have to postpone their college and high school, but, we don't know all the possibilities that the Lord might have for them. I was telling Kyrie yesterday that the Lord might just have her take a little bit longer so that she can meet a future husband:)!! Who knows? He has a perfect plan.

Well, I need to get going for school.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Life is very busy these days, which is why I haven't posted much, but there seems to be so much to report.

First - Kyrie and Lorien called from Mexico to say that things are going well on their missions trip. In fact, Kyrie got the opportunity to present the Gospel Tuesday night - in Spanish. She was funny though. "Mom," she said, "I don't really know what I said! I hope it was right!" They are getting lots of work done, and Dad and Arne are sufficiently arguing about which is the right way to accomplish the construction :) !! Yesterday they were supposed to go to the river, and today they are back on task.

Jathan is doing well these days. His girlfriend, Sonya, and her mother are coming to visit him next weekend, which he is really excited about. I am hoping that their platoon doesn't blow it for that visit! His studies are going well, and he is recovering from a bout with some sort of respiratory junk.

Kesse is working her heart out - 10 - 12 hours a day, trying to get enough money to make it back to Bryan in the spring. She has enough for the fall semester. I think that this may be the toughest work schedule she has ever had. She has to do telemarketing for 6 hours a day - yuck! She is holding up, but I think that if she never did telemarketing again, it wouldn't be too soon.

Aleya has had lots of fun while the girls have been away. She spent last week with her good friend Rachel, and this week she got to play with Emma Seyler, and spend the afternoons with Bridget. She is not suffering! I think that they are going to the pool today.

Tom is working lots of hours, but finished up his Sunday school class this past week. He is thankful for that. We are starting a new study with another couple in the church that looks to be very interesting. I am looking forward to that.

We have lots of students - and I have lots of math students. It will be a very busy 6 weeks.

We are thankful for all the Lord is doing. Please continue to pray for Adam and family as he looks for work!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Iowa in June, 2009

It is actually cold!  We have yet to use the air conditioner this year - which is surprising.  I cannot remember another spring/summer where we hadn't turn on the air in May.  We are still having lots of rain and very cool weather - 50's and 60's with occasional 70's.  

The three girls and my Dad made it to Louisville, and Kyrie called yesterday to say that they had made it to Jackson last night early enough to get some rest.  They were having a good time.  The "Kayren" incident - which I cannot help but mention because it is so "Kayrenish" -  was that on their way to Louisville, they were playing a riddle game that must have been rather intriguing.  Kayren was driving, and she managed to leave the interstate on an exit and get on another interstate - without knowing that she had done it!  At one point my Dad asked, "Kayren, did you take an exit?"  Kayren emphatically answered, "No!"  Kyrie and Lorien both chimed in, "Yes, you did!  You just took that last exit!"  She wasn't convinced until they saw the interstate sign that showed that they were on the wrong interstate.  But, they made it, none-the-less.  

Lane called this week to let us know that he has been writing songs for all his nieces, and had finished his piece for Kyrie Jo.  It is fascinating!  He was able to record it, and post it on youtube, and we were able to bring it up and listen to it.  It is just a beautiful piece.  I am going to try and post it on my blog.   Anyway, he wrote it in the flavor of Chopin, and it is just a lovely piece.  I don't know if Kyrie has gotten a chance to hear it yet because she has been on this trip, but I am hoping she can get the music and learn to play it.

Well, I tried several different ways to get this to load, but couldn't get the video to load.  Maybe this link will work.  It's on youtube, so you can try it!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Off to Mexico

Well, my Dad, Kyrie, Kayren, and Lorien are on their way to Louisville, and then to Mexico for the annual mission's trip there. This year they are doing a lot of construction and building.  It's my Dad's first year to go, and he is excited (and nervous!)  I hope they have a great trip.  

Kesse is working lots of hours in two jobs - telemarketing (yuck) for Muscular Dystrophy, and then at HyVee.  The hours are long and the work is pretty miserable, but she is trying to earn enough money to make it back to Bryan this fall.  Please pray for her this summer.

Jathan is settled into San Antonio.  He was able to attend church this past Sunday and he said that the service was much better than the ones in basic.  He was encouraged by that.  The study is challenging, and he is thankful that he has had lots of the information already in some of his college classes.  If you fail combat medic training, you will end up driving a truck or cooking in an infantry division.  He is motivated to pass!  He has an address now:

Specialist Thomas Robinson
E Co 232 Med Bn 7th Platoon 10th Mt
2950 Koehler Rd, Bldg 1350
Fort Sam Houston, TX  78234

He would love any mail or packages you all want to send.  He can get good stuff now!

Aleya is having her friend Rachel over each day this week, which she enjoys.  Lorien normally provides babysitting, but since she is gone for these next two weeks, I get to substitute this week.  Aleya is happy that she didn't lose time with her friend just because Lorien went to Mexico!

Tom is finishing up his Sunday School class this next Sunday and then our church takes a Sunday School break for the summer.  This will give Tom more time on the weekends.  He spends most of Saturday (along with several evenings) working on Sunday School.  

My school starts back up on June 8, and just from the phone calls, it looks like we might have quite a few students!  We are praying for a record summer this year, and we might get it.

We are excited about Philip's graduation and acceptance to Covenant College!  I hope he has a great time there!  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Long time no blog

Well, it's been ages and ages since I've blogged. We have been very busy. I hope you all were able to go to Kesse's facebook and see the graduation pictures from Jathan's graduation. They were lots of fun!

This month, we were finishing up school with everyone, bringing the girls home for the summer, going to Jathan's graduation, and back home for Faith Academy's graduation too. It has been very busy.

Today is supposed to be my last day, but I still need to record a lab, so I will need to come back over sometime.

Lorien is finished now, and she was the last one! Yea! On to the Mexico trip. Kyrie, Kayren and Lorien are going this year. It was on hold for a while because of the H1N1 flu, but it looks like it will be safe for June. The girls are just sending out their support letters because of the flu virus, so if anyone is interested in donating to this trip, it would help to go ahead and send the money now, if you can.

Checks can be made to Redeemer Presbyterian Church and mailed to our home address. We will provide receipts for any donations since they are tax deductible. Thank you! The girls leave on June 2, with Grandpa Keister (Dad), who is going with them this year. I think that it is going to be a great trip.

In July, our church is beginning a VBS program for the first time. We will be busy with that then.

Susan's son is getting married Aug 1, so the end of July will be busy with wedding plans.

Then, we are hoping to include our trip east for the first week of August. We are uncertain of how all this will work, but that is our summer itinerary. I also have school from Jun 8 through July 16th. Whew!

We are so thankful that the Lord provided work for the girls! Kesse will be working in customer service full-time for 6 weeks, and Kyrie was hired by Cracker Barrel. What a blessing in today's economy. We are praying that they will be able to earn enough money to go back to college in the fall.

We are ever thankful for God's blessings in our family. He is ever gracious and kind.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We stayed on the seventh floor.  This is looking down from our room.

This is looking up to our room. I was taking these from my phone, so they aren't very good.

We got to go to a Royals game, which was fun.  The Royals got creamed but the Detroit fan sitting next to us was very excited.  It was his 59th birthday.

This guy caught a foul ball.  He was just across the isle from us.  He was very happy!

This is how close we were sitting at the Kansas City Royals vs Detroit Tigers game.  What fun!

Tom and I had a wonderful anniversary trip to Kansas City this weekend.  10 years!  We had an awesome hotel for two nights, the Union Station, the Crown Center, and a Royals game.  We went to a fun OPC church in the morning, and got home this evening.  How wonderful to be married to such a great guy!  We had a great time - I love you Tom!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Cindy died this past Tuesday at 3:30 in the afternoon.  It was a very sweet and precious story, because one of our pastors was reading Isaiah to her, while Don (her husband) was holding her hand.  At one point, she opened her eyes wide, and smiled at Don, and then took her last breath.  

Friday was the funeral.  The church was very full, and the service was one of the best funeral services that I have ever attended.  Two of Cindy's relatives sang, "O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus" and "It is Well With My Soul."  It was just beautiful.  The congregation also sang "Smitten, Stricken and Afflicted" and "I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art."  Sonja played every so beautifully, and Rodney and Chuck did an excellent job.  Most of us just wept all the way through, knowing that Cindy is perfect now, and glorified, and happy, but sorrowing so deeply for the family, and for us.  It is so hard to manage the surge of emotion that rises in both joy and sorrow, side by side, for such a good friend -lost to us and to her family, and found in Jesus.  

Probably the hardest thing to do was to walk by the casket at the end, and see the sorrow of the Fryes.  The agony of losing wife and mother is so very deep.  The comfort and hope in Christ will fill them, and that is our comfort and hope.  

Please continue to pray for them.  These next weeks and months are tremendously difficult.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Cindy had a tough night last night, but they were able to give her some morphine, which calmed her down and let her sleep some of the night.

Please continue to pray for Don and the family. These days are really tough days.

We look to our God for all strength and comfort.

Kyrie Jo's Birthday

Happy Birthday Kyrie! You are 18 today!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My good friend, Cindy Frye, has been admitted to hospice today.  Susan and I will go and visit her tomorrow.  She hasn't swallowed much for four days.  Our tears swell for the suffering of our good friend.  Please pray for her, and for her family.

Also, my brother and his wife were 20 weeks pregnant, and they lost their son this past week.  They named him Immanuel Christian Keister.  Please pray for them, too.  

Such great sorrows of this world, but with the precious comfort of our Saviour, we are able to yet serve Him another day.  

He is risen, and He is faithful.  

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday - April 2

I am so thankful for my hard-working husband, who will work until 3 in the morning every Wednesday night for our family. Last night he was sick with a bad cold, but he worked anyway.

Jathan is doing well. Every letter we get is positive and encouraging. He obviously doesn't have lots of time, but he loves getting all the letters that he has gotten, and is very thankful for that. He seems to be doing very well in the military.

Kesse is loaded with projects this semester, and apparently received a concussion of some sort. She is supposed to go to the doctor on Friday and have it checked out. Until then, she is wrestling with headaches and some vision issues. Please pray for her. She wrote a wonderful letter recently that just let us know some of the things the that Lord is teaching her this year at Bryan. We are thankful for all the Christian influences that she is blessed to have. She has great friends who love the Lord and encourage her to live for Christ.

Kyrie Jo continues to be busy at Grove City. I am hoping that she got to hear Derek Thomas this past weekend when he went up there. Derek was speaking on John Calvin and would have been great, I am sure! Kyrie is always very busy, but loves Grove.

Kayren had a super trip to Grove to be with Kyrie. She noted that Kyrie has wonderful Christian friends there, and a good church. All that is very encouraging! Kayren is chomping at the bit to get started. Slow down - girl! She has a couple of years to go!

Lorien is enjoying Grandview as usual, and is starting a Bible study/prayer group at lunch with a group of girls there. They just decided to start one on their own. They are going to try and help each other.

Aleya is probably too busy for her eight-year-old self. She is very social and likes doing things with her friends from church. She seems to be growing up so very fast.

I sat with Cindy last night. Debbie Smith and Susan Lynch were with me, and we just visited together. At one point, we sang some hymns together. Cindy used to love singing. After one favorite of hers, she smiled. It was such a blessing. She seems to be in pain sometimes now, and is really struggling to eat, and she is so very thin. We are thankful for the time that we get to spend with her.

Well - I need to get to work.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday -

It's Friday, and I am glad. We have a busy weekend ahead of us, but it is a different kind of work.

This morning, Tom will welcome the washing machine repair man :( - to fix our washing machine. Then, he will be taking Aleya to a friend's house for the day (and night). Then, he heads for work.

We are cleaning out our stuff for spring cleaning this weekend (yea!), and putting it all on the curb Monday night.

Tom is working on Sunday School tomorrow.

Kayren is in Grove City visiting Kyrie Jo.

Jathan is doing well, though the church service isn't very good on base and he isn't allowed to leave base. Please pray for him spiritually as he seeks to be constant without a lot of encouragement from the base church.

We are trying to make Jathan's graduation (May 15th). Anyone who would like to come would be welcome. It will be at Ft Knox. If you want to come, please let me know. I need to send you a copy of the letter that allows you to get on base for it.

Our Lord is faithful and gives us strength for the upcoming day. I am very thankful for that!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tom left yesterday morning for presbytery in St Louis.  They traveled until 4 or 5 I guess.  They were able to attend a conference last night on John Calvin.  Tom said that it was excellent.  Mr. Vennema gave it, and Tom was so encouraged by his balanced view.  I guess Mr Vennema pointed out that Calvin wasn't perfect, and gave lots of history about him.  In the end though, Tom said that you appreciated Calvin's example as well as his writings so much more because of some of his struggles.  Today, the men start with the presbytery business.  They work from 8:30 in the morning until 9 at night with two short breaks, and one lunch break.  Sometimes it sounds like it would be a vacation, but I think not.  It is a long meeting about important things, so dozing off in the middle isn't kosher.  Anyway, we are praying for Tom today.  

At home we are tying up the loose ends of spring break projects.  I'll be making a trip to Goodwill, the bank, the post office, Faith Academy, and then around town to return children to their homes.  I also need to go grocery shopping.  Hmm.  The list is building in my mind.

School starts back on Monday, and our schedules will return to normal.  Normal is nice though.  It seems easier sometimes to be in normal mode.  

Please continue to pray for Jathan at boot camp.  Write him, too, if you get the chance!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break

Spring break continues today, and just gets busier and busier.  Today, Lorien is babysitting a young boy - Curtis.  He will be spending the next three nights with us.  It has been a while since a four year old boy was around the house!  Kayren is babysitting Lilly today and tomorrow, and Aleya is having her friend Rachel over to spend the night.  Tom left for presbytery this morning, too.  Back to six kids - but without my husband.  

Somewhere in the back of my mind, it has occurred to me that spring break is supposed to be a break, but I haven't quite figured out how to make that happen. There are far too many things to do!  This morning, the furnace was not working correctly, so I had to call a repair man to fix it.  We are trying to get all the spring cleaning items ready for the one day a year that we get to throw away anything we want.  There is painting to do too, but I don't think we will manage that this time.  And, of course, the basement needs to be finished.  Ahhh.  

There is the spring paperwork - FAFSA and taxes.  It makes me think that I would like a break.  
We are very thankful for God's provisions.  He has given us so much.  Stewardship keeps us busy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break

I just love spring break - especially when it actually feels like spring.  We are getting 50 and 60 degree weather this week!  This never means that winter is over, but the warm temps let us open windows and just bring in a wonderful freshness to the house.  

We are cleaning this week - closets, junk drawers and the garage.  Sigh.  It always feels better after it is done, than while I am anticipating it.  We get the joy of knowing that we shed ourselves of more useless stuff.  How come some stuff seems important enough to keep for so long?  Then, suddenly, it is ready for the trash.  Hmm.  I am certainly in the throwing away mood - which is good. 

Lorien got to spend the night out with a friend from Grandview.  I was glad that they were able to get together.  Lorien is babysitting a boy at the end of the week for three full days (overnight, too!)  She'll be busy.

Kayren is working on her schoolwork because she is set to fly to Grove City at the end of the month to visit Kyrie Jo.  What joys of having a job with few bills to pay!  Traveling is so much fun!

Aleya got to spend the last two nights with her friend Rachel, and she should be coming home this morning.  I am always so encouraged when the kids have formed godly friendships.  

Jathan is thriving!  He loves boot camp - how odd!   He met up with a fellow soldier who is asking questions about the Lord.  This man is now reading through his New Testament, and has started coming to church with Jathan.  

Kesse just finished her spring break with Arne and Debbie (thank you very much guys!)  She called to say that she got there, and called to say that she got back to college - soooo, I am assuming that she must have had a great time, else she would have written more.  

Kyrie is working non-stop to get all her work done (or as much as possible) before Kayren comes so that they can have a good time.  Grove City has been quite challenging, and she is working very hard on her studies.  Please pray for her!

We also are thinking of Grandmama Robinson today as she celebrates her birthday.  Happy Birthday Grandmama!  We love you!

Tom took the week off, but is working the night shift dispatching.  He is helping me on my projects :)!   He is also going to presbytery at the end of the week, so we just get Mon, Tues and Wed together. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jathan's Address

Jathan's letters came yesterday and we received his address:

Specialist Thomas Robinson

3rd Platoon, Warriors

Echo Company, 1/46 IN BN

Fort Knox, KY 40121 - 5728

There is a list of things that he is NOT allowed to receive:

Please don't send candy, soda, cookies, magazines or newspapers. In fact, do not send food at all.

He is doing well, but he would absolutely LOVE to get some mail.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It was a long weekend for many reasons, but probably the hardest reason is that Cindy, of whom I wrote earlier, is no longer able to swallow very well. We are praying long and hard for the Fryes this week. We are sorrowing for the agony of the family, and the grief of losing a good friend. Please pray for them.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Aunt Carol

Mom just called a few minutes ago, and told me that my Aunt Carol was in a car wreck. She has sustained some pretty severe injuries and was taken to Syracuse for surgery. I know that she broke her pelvis, and perhaps her feet. She has had other health problems, so surgery will not be a small issue. Please pray for her.

Also, a good friend in our church is in the hospital with a minor stroke. I would ask that you pray for her as well, as she seeks to recover.

Thank you !

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is Jathan surviving?

Yes! He is surviving! We received a letter yesterday that he had written on Sunday. They were still processing at the time, but were supposed to begin boot camp this week sometime. There was one point where he was regretting having joined, but seems to have gotten past that and is liking learning how to be a good soldier. He has very little spare time, but would love to get letters from everyone. He hasn't given us his address yet, so we are waiting on that. As soon as we get it, we can post it, and we can all write him!

We heard from Kyrie Jo, who just got back from a Gospel Team Tour. She had a wonderful time, but is having lots of studying to do now. Please pray for her as she tries to get everything done.

Kesse must be busy too. When she is swamped, she doesn't write too much, and we haven't heard from her in a week or so. She did post some very nice pictures on FB, which we really enjoyed!

Kayren, Lorien and Aleya are eager for spring. They are enjoying the warm weather, seeing the grass, and walking outside without gasping for breath. I do love the spring too.

We are ever thankful for God's blessings in our lives.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jathan called!

Jathan called this afternoon - for 2 minutes.  He told us everything that he could in 2 minutes.  He is doing well.  The first day was crazy.  This morning the sergeant made them stand at attention for over an hour, just because he could.  He is doing well now, though they haven't started basic yet.  They have only been in reception so far.  He will be moved to basic in a couple of days, and then he will send us an address.  He said that on Sundays during basic, they are usually allowed 20 minutes of phone time.  Today, it was literally 2.  

It was great to hear his voice and know that he is doing well.  

I didn't even get the chance to tell him that Dordt had sent his deposit back.

Keep praying!  I am sure that next week will be a bit ugly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boot Camp has begun

Well, Jathan called last night about 9 pm from the bus. He was not far from Ft Knox and when they were going to get off the bus they would have their cell phones and personal items taken. He asked for prayer since the plan was to keep the newbies up all night processing. He probably wouldn't get to go to sleep until tonight.

He probably won't get to contact us for at least a week or so. They apparently have "phone time" when they return cell phones for ten minutes or so, because they don't have enough pay phones for all the men to use. Then, Lord willing, he can provide an address.

Tom looked online and Ft Knox says that the only thing the men are allowed to received in the mail is letters, photos, or magazine articles (not magazines!). Anyway - please pray for Jathan today when you think of it. He will have a tough day today.

I thought of sending some scripture verses for encouragement. He might not have much time to read for the next two months.

Welcome to the military!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar hides under the piano whenever someone is playing.  He seems to like the vibrations of the piano.

Lorien is getting into Facebook now.  She is enjoying it VERY much!

This is the very beautiful plant that Jathan gave me for my birthday, and also just because he was leaving for a long time.

These are the roses from Tom from Valentine's (red) and for my birthday from friends at work (yellow).  They are not quite as fresh as they were, but they are still lovely!

And they are Kayren's beautiful flowers.  This is our way of pretending that spring is here, even though it isn't and won't be for a while!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday fun!

Well, yesterday was my birthday, and today is Tom's. What fun! We both got all kinds of birthday wishes from friends and family, and had a wonderful day. We received phone calls (wow - every brother remembered!), and a card from Grandpapa and Grandmama Robinson. Mom and Dad sent a lovely hummingbird feeder that we will both enjoy (pictures later). The Deatsches also gave us a lovely card. Our girls that are home got us a "date" for Applebees (yea!). Jathan got a beautiful plant for me. Kyrie called from Grove City.

The wonderful thing about birthdays is the opportunity to see how all your friends and family are doing. What a sweet blessing to have a loving family and great friends! Tom and I are so grateful for you all!

Thank you for a wonderful day, and for all the love and care that you have shown us.

And - I am 45. It is Tom that is 46!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is a picture of Lilly, taken by Kayren.  She is working on creating different photo images in art class.

This is our neighbor's house and just a bit of the snow that we have seen lately.

These are the beautiful roses that Tom got me for Valentine's day!

This is Lorien texting.  Hmmm.  Common scene for her - ahem!

And this is Sonya with Aleya having fun! Sonya and Jathan just left to check out Des Moines.  She hasn't ever been here.

Sonya Kuiper and Jathan on the couch.
She made it today!

Here they are playing Quiddler with all of us.

Sonya wondering if ax is spelled with an "e".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday - February 19

The cold has settled in, but we missed the ice, which was very nice.

Last night, I spent the evening with a lady in our church who has Pique's disease, which attacks the front part of the brain. She has become totally dependent at this point, and her faithful husband cares for her patiently and lovingly. He likes to go to pray with the deacons every Wednesday, so several ladies in the church offer to sit with Cindy while he is gone.

Each week that I spend with Cindy, I am struck by so many emotions all at once. There is the sorrow of knowing that I will not hear her voice tonight because she cannot talk to me. I deal with the questioning of whether she understands anything that I am saying to her. Does she hear me read to her? Can she understand the music? Is she comfortable? What does she need? How can I know? Where is she? There is the sweetness of her squeezing my hand - though it is never in response to anything particular. She just squeezes it. Her eyes seem to want to talk, but are too tired and she no longer shakes her head either in affirmation or negation. So, we sit, and I find that I am tired from the lack of knowing what to do. We usually end up watching a Rosemary & Thyme or Foyle's War. Soon she falls asleep and naps for a bit in her chair. Then I play Twirl or go on Facebook or blog. Last night when I left, I squeezed her hand and said, "Goodbye Cindy. I love you." She looked right into my eyes and her mouth quivered a bit. I wanted to call it a smile and think that she understood me. Then I go to the car and cry because I miss her, and because I feel so helpless to know how to be a good friend.

This morning, I still ache for Cindy - and for Don, her husband. He cares of her everyday and I am sure he struggles with the same things. I pray for her, and for him. I am so thankful that she is God's child, and He is caring for her soul and keeping her for Himself. She has the peace of belonging to Jesus. Whether she realizes it now or not, He keeps us all in His hand.

Mental illness is amazingly difficult. I cannot pretend to compare it to all the sufferings of this world, but it certainly ranks for me as one of the most difficult trials of life.

Please pray for Cindy and Don today if you have the time. The road is long and difficult, but the Lord is faithful. He is faithful to them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday - Feb 18th

Jathan is a mere 6 days away from shipping out. He is busy in the meantime however, as he is teaching today and Monday, and Sonya will be coming, Lord willing, for the weekend. We are looking forward to meeting her.

The weather report was predicting ice and snow for the morning commute, but we were blessed to have it pass by. The streets are just wet - for now. My Friday afternoon trip home was amazing, as it took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get half-way home. I took a long break to get out of traffic, and finally headed home a couple of hours later. So, I was thankful to avoid such this morning.

Kayren is planning a trip to Grove City in March, which is very exciting for her and for Kyrie Jo. Everyone loves company at college!

Well - work is calling. Lord willing, I can post photos this weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday - February 12

We are having moderate temps today - mostly in the 40's, with a forecast of a large snow storm coming tomorrow at noon. We are expecting somewhere between 6 and 12 inches of snow. I was able to get the floor mats in the car this morning to prepare!

We are praying for Mary Kathryn and Adam as Adam looks for work since his contract was not renewed for the fall. I was asking about Faith in Atlanta, but the economy has effected private schools such that Faith is not needing any more teachers at the moment. We will see what the fall brings.

Tom and I are ever thankful for our jobs, and that the Lord has provided for us to keep working. I suppose that everyone needs water and Tom's job is probably pretty secure, however, most companies are tightening their belts in one way or another. We are thankful for each day that we continue to be employed.

I so enjoy watching Kayren work on her art projects. They begin with a thought and it is fascinating to watch as the idea becomes tangible. One project has been to take black and white pictures and to fill in subtle color with markers on the picture. While this sounds odd, the effect is very interesting and beautiful. She was showing me several pictures that she was working on last night. I really like her style. She has a black and white photo of Aleya and Lilly (Susan's granddaughter) walking hand in hand, with the footprints enhanced. I'll have to see if I can post them sometime.

Lorien still loves going to Grandview and she has some wonderful friends. I am thankful that she gets to go. Each year is a challenge. I understand Mary Kathryn's concern for sending her children to Statesville when they have to pay partial tuition. It's quite the bill.

Aleya is discovering the telephone and calling a good friend from church EVERY night and talking for about an hour. What do they talk about? We are going to need to limit her time, but we are thankful for the friends that she has as well.

Tom is working extra this week and next. It wears him out, but we are thankful for the overtime.

I still love working at Faith. And, Susan came back from Florida! Yea! I sure do miss her when she is gone. My exercise plan kind of evaporates when she is on vacation. Yikes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday in Iowa

Well, the 50 degree weather has turned around and the sleet is taking over. Back to winter in Iowa. Oh well. We weren't really expecting that it was over!

Well, the van is gone. We had to make a decision regarding the van since our mechanic didn't think that it was worth fixing. We got 175,000 miles out of it, and it was a great van. I was sorry to see it go. However, we were able to trade for a bargain Toyota that is much smaller, but will get great gas mileage. The girls really like it (which is good, because they are the ones that will be squished in the back!) We downsized about two years too soon, but in God's providence, we thought it was the wisest choice that we had. Lord willing, this car will last a long time.

Financial decisions are so "iffy" these days, and you wonder if you are doing the right thing. We are glad that the Lord is in control of the economy and not Obama. I could spend lots of time worrying about all the socialistic laws he is imposing, but am trying to rest in the knowledge that God is working out His will. I am glad that the government is not the answer to all our ills.

Jathan found that he is likely to deploy after his training, unless his unit deploys before he is finished. We'll see how that turns out.

We get to meet Jathan's girlfriend in a week and a half when she comes to visit. We are looking forward to meeting her. Jathan got to meet her parents last weekend and he really enjoyed her family.

Well, work is calling. In the face of all the world issues, we have the work of today, with the individual students that we will have come through our door. We pray that we might get to present the Gospel to them, and they would come to know Christ. It would be great if they understood math too!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday morning in Iowa

45 degrees! Can you believe it! The forecast includes RAIN today. Wow. I didn't wear a coat earlier - just a sweatshirt. It is beautiful outside.

Lorien doesn't have school today, and there is a birthday party at a sports facility for all the kids in the church, so no one is having school (except me, of course). They get to play instead. What fun! Jathan will take them over and have a great time, I'm sure.

Lorien's last game was great! The girls didn't win, but they were playing a very seasoned team that had done very well this year, and our girls just kept plugging along. Lorien drove 4 times (wow!). She was blocked once, fouled once, and made two of the shots! Bravo, Lorien! She's working out of her timidity and into a much more confident player. She gets lots of rebounds, but has been cautious on offense. I brought my camera to take pictures, and the battery was dead! Ahh! Lorien did end up with a couple of bloody lips at the end of the game. She was trying to save a ball from going out of bounds, and ending up kind of smashing into the wall. She was still smiling at the end of the game though, so the battle wounds are not substantial.

Well, it's almost time to get to work.

Kesse and Kyrie Jo - I've been so busy this week, but I will try to e-mail, or call this weekend.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pictures at last!

Here is Oscar, enjoying Aleya's coat!

Aleya and Kyrie Jo at Christmas!

Kyrie at home at Christmas.

Kayren studying over Christmas break - give me a break!

Lorien with her favorite toy!

Here are a few photos from Christmas. I couldn't find the ones that we took as a family. I will have to look for those. I think that I downloaded them onto the other computer. Anyway - there are some of Kesse and Jathan and Tom there.
Lorien's last game is today! She isn't feeling too well, so I hope things turn out okay.
Busy day today - and I need to get started on school.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

8 Degrees

Oh, Iowa can be cold. I never really get used to it. You would think that after Alaska, anything would be warm - and that is true for the most part. But when you go outside and it hurts to breath - well, that's just too cold for me.

The trial went to the jury yesterday. Unfortunately for the prosecution, all of the main witnesses lied at one point or another, and kept changing their stories. I think it would be very difficult to determine what really happened because these people told the police one thing, and then changed their story and told something else in court. Forensic evidence didn't seem overly conclusive either. We'll see what the jury thinks.

Lorien's last game is tomorrow. She has so enjoyed basketball! I'll try to get some pictures.

Mama Robinson's latest report was very positive, and we are so thankful for that. It seems that she has some more appointments and some treatments, but the spot on her lung wasn't going to be a problem. We are so grateful for that!

Please pray for Jathan as he gets ready to go to boot camp. It will be a rough couple of months!

The girls have piano today, and youth group tonight. Jathan is working here, and Tom is working late. Wednesdays are so busy.

We are so thankful to the Lord for His gracious goodness to us, as He gives us each day.

Monday, February 2, 2009


February began yesterday, and I can hardly believe that January is gone.

Kayren had a wreck on Saturday, but we were very thankful that it was minor, and it wasn't her fault. She was sitting at a stop light and someone rear-ended her. Unfortunately, that means that the back hatch of our van doesn't open now (sigh), but we are thankful that everything else is fine, and the van is still driveable. We do get a little tired of all our cars heading to the scrap heap with alarming speed. All of them have had little incidents. The blessings of teenage drivers are that you cannot become overly attached to any vehicle that you have - which of course, we shouldn't be anyway. I'm just partial to having vehicles that run, and don't make all the wretched noises that keep you from having a conversation while you are driving. Maybe those cars come after the children leave home :)!

We are starting a new, busy week, and ever thankful for a wonderful day of worship and fellowship yesterday at church!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I keep forgetting to post pictures! I need to take some more and brighten up this blog a bit.

Well, today we are nearing the end of our fourth week of school. Lorien only has one more week of basketball. She has two games next week. Upwards basketball will keep going until March.

Jathan is now less than one month away from shipping out.

Kesse and Kyrie should be rigorously in the college schedule.

Kyrie is looking at possible medical missions this summer in Mexico. She is trying to find an option that might provide credit for college as well as the experience. She is interested in working for a longer period of time this summer and is talking with MTW to see what her options are.

I enjoyed Mary Kathryn's pictures of Covenant so much! So many memories there! I know that the college is very different now that it was years ago, but it is still so beautiful! Lookout Mountain was a wonderful place to grow up!

It is good to hear that Mama is healing and able to get about fairly well. We continue to pray for the total eradication of the cancer.

Watching this trial from the news has made me so thankful for our precious Saviour, who has blessed us in so many ways. So many have not grown up with the blessing of a Christian home, and have not experienced God's saving grace in their lives. Surely God's grace keeps us from going down the same road. I cannot even imagine where I would be without Him.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jury Duty

Every so often, you might hear of someone near to you that gets a letter in the mail from the court system requiring jury duty. I have gotten several while living here in Iowa, and recently I received another. This time, the jury duty was for the county court system, and on Monday, I was required to show up for the possibility of serving.I find myself very interested in the process and certainly willing to provide whatever I can for the benefit of living in a country where we get the benefit of the doubt - presumed innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt that one is guilty.

This selection was different that any prior experiences that I have had, and I was musing this morning on how our system works in the framework of a sovereign God. Probably at least 100 of us were chosen initially for a "high profile" case. 75 of us were lined up in a particular order, and filed into a courtroom with the top county prosecutor - John Sarcone, his assistant, two defense attorneys, the defendant, two guards and the judge. The beginning of jury selection included allowing hardship cases to leave for family difficulties, financial difficulties, job jeopardy situations, and health reasons. Then, the Sarcone began to interview each potential juror - "tell me about yourself," he asks. Then he methodically takes each person through the perfectly worded questions that he is using to eliminate anyone that he thinks will compromise the verdict he wants.

"How do you decide if someone is telling the truth?"
"When is violence lawful?"
"Can a citizen use deadly force? When?"
"What is your knowledge of the criminal justice system?"
"How did you get your knowledge?"
"What criteria did you use to buy your home?"
"Tell me something about you that you think I should know."
"Can you sit in judgment of another man?"
"Can you be fair and impartial?"
"Where do you work?"
"Do you like your work? What would you change about it, if you could?"

He spears probing questions into the fabric of our lives, exposing our personal and intimate thoughts before 100 people that we don't even know. It was daunting. After day one, he has only completed the interviewing of about 25 of us. We come back for day two. I was probably number 28, so I was able to answer on day 2, after some thought about what I might say to these things.

I found myself pondering the enormity of sitting in judgment on a man's life. We had been told that this was a murder trial. This man was on trial for murder. He was accused of murdering a 7-month old baby girl, 9 blocks from my house. How horrible to be charged if one was innocent! What despair and desperate anxiety for want of justice for one who is charged with so heinous a crime if he did not do it! Then again, if he is guilty, how pressing it would be to deliver the guilty verdict. I knew nothing of the case and was willing to listen to all the evidence before deciding, but pressed to be sure of my decision, and to do my very best for the justice of this case.

I found too, that the thought of sitting through a trial with all the disturbing pictures and videos would challenge me emotionally. How devastating to see a lifeless baby girl. But, I found that even more, I wanted to do everything that I could to promote the truth - to deliver justice. On day two, Sarcone gets to me. Interestingly, he is not asking me the same questions that he asked others. He notices that I work for Faith Academy, and he hones in on that.

"What exactly is Faith Academy?"
"What do you do there?"
And then, the telling question, "Are your students required to take Bible?"

Wow. I knew immediately that I had been eliminated because I taught school at a Christian school. Sarcone would (could) never say that he was prejudiced against me because I am a Christian teaching at a Christian school, but it was quite obvious.

I wasn't too disappointed that I wasn't chosen. The pictures and trauma of that trial were to be life-changing and very difficult, and in God's sovereignty, He spared me that. However, the sad idea that Christianity creates negative value for the juror is something that our forefathers would have never considered. But, here we are.

I was allowed after dismissal to look up more on the case and found that the defendant, Michael Elliott, was a student body president for Drake University 8 years ago. He was head of the Republican Party on Drake's campus, and was part of the presidential campaign for Mitt Romney. In 2006, Elliott was convicted as a sex offender, and on the night of the murder, he was violating his parole by being in the company of the 16 year old mother of the baby.I could see why Sarcone didn't want conservatives on the jury. I wouldn't have prejudged however, and knew nothing until I was released. His loss was the possible juror who was willing to listen to everything first, and judge later. I was willing to deliver whichever verdict I thought was just.

Long musings for a Wednesday morning. Oh well. Back to math. The world presses on us at times, and brings us to unusual places. I will think about this trial all week, I am sure, and follow the outcome. I'll pray for justice and for the right verdict. It is good to know that our Lord is sovereign. I'll let you know what happens!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday in Iowa

Titles are fun - "Thursday in Iowa" for instance. You might think that something new and exciting was happening because it is Thursday. Well - not really. It is a regular Thursday, and in fact, a regular day in Iowa.

Lorien has a home game tonight, which is always fun. We love to watch her play and see the girls improving their skills. It's nice to be with a group that doesn't overemphasize winning. The game stays fun.

We are continuing to pray for close friends in the church, whose younger brother's health is failing. He is not exected to live much longer. If you have the time - please pray for the Neelys.

I have so appreciated Mary Kathryn's blog about her pastor's wife. These are tough times.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Iowa Update

Mary Kathryn has snow! What fun! It was great to see snow in North Carolina.

I need to start taking some more pictures, but first I need to get my camera back from Kayren. She has been using it rather faithfully, and I really don't see it much.

Today is so busy - Jathan will be working here at Faith. Lorien has school, b-ball practice, homework, and youth group. Kayren is working today. Aleya will need to come to Faith too. All the girls have piano and youth group, and I am supposed to sit with Cindy Frye tonight. She is my sweet friend from church that has Pique's disease. At this time, she cannot walk or talk, but not knowing what she is able to absorb, we still read to her, and sing, and just talk. Tom is working until 3 in the morning. Wednesdays are so busy!

My wonderful friend Susan has placed her house on the market. She will try and sell it so that she can move into something that is more manageable. Her house is 50 years old and needs regular maintainence, and has a challenging back yard that is quite steep to mow. I have so loved having her across the street, and will miss her so much. But, I cannot bring myself to discourage her from moving. It would be so much better for her to have place that doesn't need all the work and money that her present home needs. So, please pray that the Lord would work out a wonderful situation for her. She needs low maintainence!

In the meantime, we are just plugging along, focusing on school and church. Winter doesn't allow for too many projects, so we spend most of our time trying to work with the weather and still get things done.

Kayren is driving well - thankfully, and we are grateful for her willingness to help out. She has picked up Lorien a couple of times. So far, I have insisted that they drive silently - lest they argue about something and Kayren wrecks. But they seem to think that they are able now to drive with slight conversation! We'll see. I don't have any way to check this problem, except to see how they operate at home. They do seem to be improving. I remember arguing with my older brother in the worst way, about things that really didn't matter. We get along splendidly now (at least in my view - Arne?) and I have high hopes for Kayren and Lorien!

Well, school is about to start. How grateful I am for all the blessings that the Lord has given!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold Weather in Iowa

The cold is back - as if it would leave for too long. But, we had a wonderful snow before the cold, so the white snow sparkles in the sun, and looks inviting, even though it really isn't.

We are celebrating the birth of a boy this morning as one of my co-workers had her fourth child. She had three girls, and this one is a boy! We are so excited for God's grace in providing a safe birth and healthy Mom and baby this morning.

On the other hand, my boss will be attending his mother's funeral this morning.

The sorrows and joys give our emotions a ride. We are praying for both families this morning.

I haven't heard anything from Mama and Papa Robinson, but we are praying that her surgery went well. Lord willing, we will hear from them today!

Kyrie will be job-shadowing a physician's assistant today, and seeing what goes on there.

The girls are working on school, and Jathan is trying to avoid a cold.

Tom is busy trying to figure out our car situation, since we are down to one at this point. This is rather challenging, and I don't know what we would do without Jathan's generous willingness to take us all over the place when we need rides.

Time for work!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A new blog

I just thought I would let everyone know that Jathan has started a blog now, to journal his time in boot camp. He isn't sure that he will get lots of time to do so, but started it now just in case. What's fun about younger people blogging is that they are so wonderful at keeping things updated! So - it's called A Journal of Reflections, located at jathanrobinson.blogspot.com.

Yesterday, Kesse set off for Bryan but she only made it about an hour down the road before she twirled off into the median. God's grace is always amazing, because in the midst of knowing that she is stranded on the interstate, she did miss the bridge abutment and the railing. She also didn't fly into oncoming traffic. And she wasn't hurt. We drove over to dig her out, limped the poor Toyota home, and switched vehicles with her and sent her back down the interstate to try again. This time she made it to Arne's with a tired body, a little bit of caffeine, and a big heart of relief. The weather has not been very nice for driving recently!

We are praying for Mama and Papa Robinson today as Mama is having surgery. Please pray for her today. We hope to hear how things went later.

Well, school is starting soon, and I need to do a couple other things.

We are so thankful for God's blessings!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

News from Iowa

I can't remember the last time I updated this blog. It seems likes "years" ago! Anyway, all the kids came home for Christmas and we have had a wonderful time. I just love having them all home. It is so relaxing to hang around, watch a movie together, or play games. Sometimes we just sit in the living room and read or play "fantastic contraption" on the computer. Jathan introduced us to this addictive, but delightful (free) internet physics game. Aleya loves it! Anyway, after lots of food, and fun, Kesse returns to college this weekend. Kyrie goes back next weekend.

Jathan joined the army reserves and leaves at the end of February. He is working for Faith Academy and teaching the science for our science teacher who is on maternity leave. He is having a great time writing labs and using power point and internet examples. His plan is to join the military, become a medic and get 750 hours required medical experience, take two classes, and take the MCAT during the next year. Then, he can apply to DMU med school, and if he gets accepted, the military will pay for his med school, and he will owe them three years. We are encouraged by his plan, but ask you all to pray for the challenges that the military will bring, especially spiritually. He is excited though.

We are praying for Grandmama Robinson as she is attending to a medical situation with her arm. We hope that her recent appointment went well.

Iowa is so cold in the winter, and this morning is no different. The snow remains on the ground, kind of dirty and grey, with treacherous ice patches that jump up to surprise you when you least expect it. I am not sure that I will ever get used to it.

School has begun, and everyone is working on getting back in the groove. January grinds slowly though. Maybe it's the cold that boxes in our motivation.

We are eager to hear from Mary Kathryn who is taking her trip to Europe this month.

We are rejoicing with Lane and Sarah who are expecting their fourth child this year.

Well, I don't have time to update on all the things that I have neglected posting, but I will try to keep this up more regularly now.

We are ever grateful to our loving Lord for His grace and goodness, and persevering strength to live each day with our eyes on Him.