K.I.S.S.--Keep It Simple, Stupid

A woman's walk through marriage, parenthood, servanthood and the family of God.


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Monday, June 30, 2003

Megan was baptized during the 11:00 service yesterday. She was too shy to read her testimony to the congregation so I read it and the scripture. She did an amazing job of writing it and I was crying and so were a lot of other people. Sometimes she just blows me away with the spiritual depth she has.......when you can get her to sit still and be serious for more than half a second. Anyway, Tim got to baptize her so that was really special. We had a party afterward with about 25 family members and friends. The last of them left at 7:00, so it was a long day.

Tim's brother told us about a deck that he and his partner romoved from someone's pool this past week. It is sitting unused and if it will work with our pool, we can have it! Yea! A free deck! Puts the pressure on, though. I somehow ended up having Tim's whole family coming here for the Fourth and his sister wants the deck on. I admit it would be nice.....it will be a huge party. All of Tim's family, including his sister from Alabama and some aunts and uncles, some of their friends, my family and some of our friends (to offset their friends). I'd like to have more of our friends, but I know there will be beer and most likely some serious drinking going on (not us) and most of our friends wouldn't be able to handle it with diplomacy. The atmosphere would get a little judgemental. On the bright side, I told Tim's sister that there is no way I can afford to foot the bill right now and she worked it out to where all we are providing is the location. The rest of them will do all the food and we are planning on everyone being outside so the house doesn't get trashed.

Tim started the new job today. He was very excited. For the rest of us.....a day of cleaning up from the party and relaxing.

posted by Stacy at 10:18 AM

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Great meeting of the outreach committee last night. A bit of debriefing on this month's block party (successes and needed changes duly noted) but the majority of discussion centered on The Rock Show, a large two day venue featuring Contemporary Christian Rock artists. Why are we discussing this? Because we are the ones putting it together! It is intended to be a fundraiser for our coffee house, The Threshing Floor. If it goes as well as hoped we could raise as much as or more than $20,000 and eliminate the need and worry of more fundraising. Also, if it all comes together, as it appears it will, The Rock Show will be the biggest indoor Christian music festival in Pennsylvania. Plans are already in the works for future festivals. Who would have thunk little ol' Latrobe could do this? Not me. Just goes to prove once again the power of God!

Check out the web site at: www.therockshows.com

posted by Stacy at 11:42 AM

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Wow. Somebody actually wants to read what I write. I just got confirmation today that I'm going to have my own "spot" in an e-newsletter I've been getting that's devoted to homesteading and simple living. Apparently it's of interest to some that we try to do this stuff while living in the suburbs. I'm tickled pink. It's been a long time since I've written for a publication and it feels good to be getting back to it. I'm also feeling a bit nervous. The newsletter goes out weekly to somewhere around 15, 000 readers, I think.

posted by Stacy at 10:15 PM

Saturday, June 21, 2003

It's official. According to the news this morning this is going to be the wettest June in Southwestern PA since they began keeping track of such things.

Tell me something I didn't know.

posted by Stacy at 3:27 PM

Friday, June 20, 2003

I forgot to mention how it went on Wednesday when I was distributing Bibles with the Gideon's Auxillary. I don't know the total count, but we did pass out all the full size Bibles and personal medical worker's testaments we had. I enjoyed seeing and hearing the reactions of those we encountered. It ranged from cautious acceptance to enthusiastic reception and encouragement to nervous excuse making for why Bibles were declined. Interesting too to see how many of the places who had refused Bibles in the past now accepted them and vice versa.

An update on Scooby: He is now professionally groomed with his dignity salvaged as best it could be. After the hack job I did on him even a pro couldn't do much. As for his boo-boo (where I carved him like a Thanksgiving turkey), I bought some of the new liquid bandage stuff by Band-Aid. Two applications of the stuff seems to have "glued" him back together and hopefully he will heal without much scarring.

posted by Stacy at 6:52 PM

Thy Mercy

Thy mercy, my god is the theme of my song
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue
Thy free grace alone from the first to the last
Hath won my affection and bound my soul fast

Without thy sweet mercy I could not live here
Sin would reduce me to utter despair
But through thy free goodness my spirit's revived
And he that first made me still keeps me alive
Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart
Dissolved by thy goodness I fall to the ground
And weep to the praise of the mercy I've found


Great father of mercies thy goodness I own
And the covenant love of thy crucified son
All praise to the spirit whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine

All praise to the spirit whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine

Written by: music by Sandra McCracken words by John Stocker (1776)
Album: In the Company of Angels
Performed by: Caedmon's Call

posted by Stacy at 6:39 PM

Do you ever struggle with days where you wonder what the point is? Like, what am I doing with my life to make it all worthwhile? Today is one of those days. For no particular reason that I am aware of.

Poor Scooby. The mutt has been a mess of matted, knotted fur since we had him neutered because we were unable to bathe or groom him when he got so sick afterward and nearly died. Last night I got the bright idea to take the scissors to him to remove as much of the mess as I could, then I would take the clippers to him. All in the name of saving $50. Well......let's just say it didn't go well and today Scooby is the most pathetic pooch on the planet. I did manage to hack off most of the matted hair. I also managed to hack some flesh off his shoulder....which put an immediate end to my dog grooming career and sunk me into a pit of guilt. I've mutilated my puppy!! Anyway, after that little incident, I got out the yellow pages and found a groomer willing to squeeze in a mercy grooming today. We just have to hang in there till 1:00.

posted by Stacy at 7:48 AM

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Matt got a job! After the historical society's tea party (which was actually pretty nice) we took the applications he'd completed and went to return them. Wendy's was our first...and last...stop. The manager interviewed and hired him on the spot. He seems like he will be decent to work for from what he told Matt. Can't work Sunday's because of church commitments? No problem. Going to camp for a week next month? No problem. None with volleyball or any youth event, either. I'm impressed. For the summer Matt was told he will be working 10-4 six days a week. Not a bad schedule. Not too early, not too late. He will still be able to see his friends.....and Holly. Better than jumping all around. They will adjust it when school starts. I just hope he does a good job and sticks with it. Follow through is not one of his strong points.

The news on Tim's sister is good. I haven't heard for sure, but she was supposed to go home around 9:00 last night. They just needed to get the level of blood thinners regulated. She seems to be her old self with just a few quirks....like she isn't able to add. Hopefully those things will return with time and therapy. The doctors believe the clot developed when she sprained her ankle last week. It traveled up to her heart where it passed through a hole (that she has apparently had since birth without knowing it), which was a good thing because there was no damage to the heart, and up to the brain. It should all be covered under workman's comp because she hurt her ankle at work.

Well, I need to go wake the sleeping dragons (you wake them up and see if the description doesn't fit) and try to get them moving so we can go work on getting Matt's working papers and physical. The sooner that's done, the sooner he can go to work. After that I may break down and let a couple of cousins come over. They have been nagging and their mother's been pushing. Might as well get it over with.

posted by Stacy at 8:49 AM

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Saw Tim's sister last night. Other than a killer headache she seems to be recovering nicely from the stroke. Nearly all of her mental abilities seem to be intact. Very good news.

Something new this morning. I'm off with the Gideon Auxillary to place Bibles in doctors' offices and give personal testiments to the office workers if possible.

This afternoon the kids and I are attending a tea at the historical society. My Aunt Peg is giving it and since it is her birthday..... She wants Megan to serve the food. Hmmm. Not sure that is one of her best ideas ever, but we shall see. Matt is not thrilled about going, but since he is currently grounded figures it's better than staying home again....which was his other option.

VBS is going great. I'm not sure of the head count since I'm not working this year, but in dropping Megan and her friends off and picking them up I've noticed that probably at least a third of the kids and parents I'm seeing are new faces that haven't attended anything at the church before.

Well, got to run or I won't be ready to go.

posted by Stacy at 7:58 AM

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

A good news/bad news day.

The bad news? Tim's oldest sister had a stroke yesterday. She is 46, I think. She collapsed at work and they took her to a local hospital to stabilize her then transfered her closer to home. There is no paralysis, but a lot of confusion. She "thinks" she recognizes her husband as being her husband, but she doesn't know his name or anything about him and she doesn't know who she is. Hopefully most of that will fade with time as is often the case with a stroke. Not sure what this will do to them financially. Their daughter is grown and gone so at least that is not a worry, but the husband is much older with a lot of health problems of his own. He just got out of the hospital and was laid off from his job while he was in. He is in the process of seeing if he qualifies for disability. I know they were counting on Sally to be working for many more years.

The good news? Megan is getting baptized on the 29th!! She has thought about it for a long time, but (and this impresses me to no end) knew she shouldn't do it until she really understood what it was all about and resisted pressure to do it when all her friends at church did. Good girl. Anyway, she met with the pastor yesterday and is ready. She has to write her testimony, which I'm going to read to the congregation. Tim will help to baptize her. We're inviting the families and plan to have a bit of a cookout afterward with cake and all to celebrate.

posted by Stacy at 8:45 AM

Monday, June 16, 2003

We attended two graduation parties this weekend. One for a nephew and one for a girl from the youth group. What a contrast. The family party consisted mainly of middle-age beer drinkers singing karaoke and getting sexually suggestive on the dance floor. Definitely a party that was planned for the adults to enjoy rather than the graduate, who stayed outside with his girlfriend. We were dubbed party poopers when we left early, but we wanted to get the kids out of there. What a difference at the other party. Held at the family home, the grad had lots of her friends present and the celebration was about her. The adults all enjoyed talking (and actually being able to hear each other) and no one had to make a horse's rump out of themselves to think they were having fun. Imagine that. Anyway, all of it has us thinking about what we will do when Matt graduates since it is just two short years away.

Sunday was spent relaxing as a family. My mom and her husband were here for dinner and we went to the local flea market. Megan had a couple of friends over to swim in the evening and Tim took Matt driving. All in all, a nice day.

posted by Stacy at 6:40 AM

Friday, June 13, 2003

Attended the bus company's driver appreciation dinner last night. B-O-R-I-N-G An absolutely endless and uninspired awards ceremony made worse by the catty women at our table who loudly and rudely criticized everyone and everything.

posted by Stacy at 8:51 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2003

I've been to the movies twice in less than a week. Very unusual for me. Saturday evening Tim and I went out BY OURSELVES!!! and saw "Bruce Almighty," the new Jim Carey film. Then yesterday I took the kids (and Matt's girlfriend) to see Eddie Murphy's "Daddy Daycare."

On "Daddy Daycare": It got a PG-13 rating, but I don't know why. The language was surprisingly mild for an Eddie Murphy movie and I can't remember an moments that caused discomfort because my 10-yr-old was watching. It was a cute, funny, suitable for the family film.

On "Bruce Almighty": I'd heard a lot of flack about this movie in Christian circles because of it's blasphemous nature. I don't think those "reviewers" ever saw the movie, but based their opinions on the commercials for it. There is some profanity and yes, Bruce does curse God (but can't we find that in the Bible?) and there is a bit of Carey's sophomoric humor evident throughout. But on the whole, I would have to say they handled things pretty well. Bruce is given God's power because he has cursed God and questioned him. God has lessons to teach him. Bruce struggles (and fails at first) with the corrupting force of all that power. He learns that free will can't be messed with and that he can't make someone love him. As God tells him, "Welcome to my world." He learns that yes isn't always the right answer to prayer. He learns the power of prayer and how to pray and about true unselfish, Godly love. In a very climactic scene at towards the end, Bruce falls on his knees and tells God that he gives up, that he surrenders to God's will. In short, I was blown away by how well the movies themes were handled and just how profound and truthful it is for a movie aimed at the masses. I'm hoping to take the youth group to see it. There is so much to discuss in it.

posted by Stacy at 8:20 AM

Thinking of growing webs between my toes to better navigate the property thanks to all the rain.

posted by Stacy at 8:04 AM

Monday, June 09, 2003

The first day of summer vacation that actually feels like vacation. The sun is shining, Tim is working closer to home so we got to sleep later and after a very busy weekend there is nothing to do today but normal household stuff like laundry, pulling weeds from the garden and caring for the "livestock."

Friday night's block party seemed to be a great success. Trying to get a count of visitors was something akin to trying to count swarming ants, but best guesses are between 350-500. The weather held out and a great time was had by all. People still can't get over that we do this all for free. We don't even put out a jar to collect freely given donations. That makes a huge impact. Nice to see some faces there that though they aren't attending church yet are becoming familiar as they get to know us and us them through various outreach events. Good, too, to see a face or two from the crowd in church yesterday. The block parties are without a doubt the best outreach the church has done in years.

News for some of you that know some of the church history here in Latrobe: a certain couple that has served faithfully for 60 years has "retired."

Checked out a new blog this morning. Do yourself a favor and take a look. It's called The Mission and is written by an American priest serving in the Dominican Republic. He is an interesting writer. www.frgee.blogspot.com

posted by Stacy at 7:08 AM

Friday, June 06, 2003

Home for lunch and then it's back to the church till late tonight. We're setting up for our second annual community block party, which begins at 4:00. Four bands, food and games all for free just to get ourselves known in the community. We've eliminated some things from last year and tweaked others so that I think it will be better run.

I detest getting up to speak in front of large groups, but tonight will find me out there leading upfront games, contests and spoofs. This is just the first of many activities planned to grab the youth and bring them in. The drive to be "cool" and market ourselves as the place to be. Is it because we want to introduce them to the greatest friend they will ever know? Or is it because, as was reported at the congregational meeting, the youth program has fallen short of projected growth (meaning numbers, not quality programs, lessons, etc.) So, for now I'm doing my job. I hope that if we pull them in with fun and games that we will later be able to reach them. I kinda wish someone else with a personality more geared to "entertaining" would join the program. I am not the type to be like that. Especially not all the time. Occasional flashes I can muster if I must.

I pray that I will be able to find the balance between growth and discipleship with any teens that come under my care and that when called on to be "entertaining" the Lord will provide what I need.

posted by Stacy at 1:34 PM


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