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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Sunday, February 29, 2004

Having My Say

The intentional interim pastor the church hired is conducting interviews with anyone who is willing. He's trying to get a handle on what happened, how people feel about it, where we are now, what needs to change, etc. He's a recognised expert on church renewal. My interview with him was yesterday. I didn't know what to expect. In fact, my big fear was that it would be like the scenes on television when someone goes to see a psychologist and the doctor doesn't say anything, just sits there waiting for the person to spill their guts. Thankfully, he had a list of questions to get it rolling and we built off of that. Most of it was pretty much about my take on the health of the church and the leadership. I get the feeling there are two sets of questions....one for those in leadership and one for the rest of the congregation. He also asked me some questions that went beyond all that because of my place in "the inner circle" of church life. Two things happened during the interview. One was that for the first time I got to open up and share what the pastor had done to me and my family. Through all of this Tim and I have strived to keep our personal issues out of the picture and base our actions on what was good for the church. It didn't change anything, but it felt good to get it out and be heard and have someone in authority confirm that I have a right to my pain. It also was good to hear him say that because of the way we handled ourselves through this he never would have suspected the depth of our personal hurt at the hands of our pastor. The other thing that stopped me in my tracks was one of his questions. He asked me who I currently look to in the leadership for spiritual leadership. My answer? No one. Many of the leaders are not spiritual at all and those that are? Well, I am viewing them as hypocrits these days. The walk does not match the talk. They all wear these masks for public view. None of it is real. Advice always seems pat, not from the heart. I make them uncomfortable because I sometimes try to push them beyond that. Most people aren't quite sure what to do with me. I think they are glad the intense, crazy lady works with youth rather than with them.

posted by Stacy at 6:59 AM

Saturday, February 28, 2004

self-disclosure saturday
This comes from Clarity Amidst Chaos.

The instructions:Copy this list into your blog and place in bold the things that you have in common with me. For the items that you do NOT bold, replace them with a fact about you. Leave a link in comments.

I love Vanilla Coke.
My zodiac sign is Leo.
I love Pepsi.
I love to read.
I read every day.
I don't fret a bit if I don't have something in the house to read -- I'll just go to the net or the library.
I don't smoke.
I can't stand to be around smoke.
I don't understand why people smoke.
My current jobs are school bus driver, wife, mom and volunteer youth director.
I like broccoli.
I love Chinese food.
One of my favorite game shows is "Jeopardy!".
I live next door to my mom.
I have lived in Florida.
I can't eat puppies because I think they are tooo cute to eat.
I have Nana left as a grandparent.
I live with 2 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 chickens and 2 hamsters (kinda got a Noah thing going on).
I've never been to Jamaica or Bermuda.
My favorite colors are yellow, green, lilac and blue.
I am a John Denver fanatic.
I rather be the driver than the passenger.
I enjoy a variety of musical styles.
My chief creative outlet is writing.
"Trading Spaces" is one of my favorite TV shows.
I think chocolate is overrated.
I love meeting new people.
I love my family.
Fall is my favorite season.
I'd rather be cold than hot.
I don't know how to sew, though we have a sewing machine in the house.
I don't own a digital camera.
Our kitchen walls are tan.
I love to try new foods.
I love learning new things.
I had four years of French and about all I can do is sing the French National Anthem and tell you that Ann is at the pool with Phillipe.
I loathe trying to figure out how to work new equipment....just show me how, please.
I like little containers for stuff.
I don't mind 'messy,' but I can't stand 'dirty.'I am 39 years old.
I LOVE blogging.
I hate telemarketing phone calls.
I don't use the word "hate" loosely when it comes to people.
I am curious about people, especially about how other people live.
I'm a pretty traditional person.
I love to watch other people dance.
I can dance enough to get by.
I love, love, love, to sing on road trips. Loud, belting, 80's music. It's safe in the car where no one else can hear me.
I stink at ice skating *so* much.
I love board games.
I don't like liver.
I really enjoy thoughtful gifts, even if they cost nothing.
I have grown to love canteloupe.
I would never have a pet snake.
I loathe liberalism.
I love lying in bed and talking with my husband about life.
I really enjoy having "me time" occasionally.
I am a kind of a blogging junkie.
I go to church often.
I believe in God.
I'm smart enough to know that there's lots of smart people and others who just think they are.
I have been known to procrastinate on occasion.
I don't think procrastinating is my friend, and yet I'll dance with her if I'm not thrilled about the alternative.
I always try to be a good person.
I have a hard time saying no.
I have two children.
I have been married for over 19 years.
I strive to do what is right. Sometimes I mess up.
I am decent at word games.
I could eat Chinese food every day.
I like to people-watch.
I love getting handwritten letters.
I prefer sending emails.
I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of photographs that aren't labeled or in albums.
I'm not a touchy feely kind of person.
I enjoy cooking and like trying new recipes.
I love the smell of fresh baked bread.
I like candles more than incense.
I am so not the perfectionist, except in little things like my CD, DVD collections, and blogging.
I have never been arrested.
I have one fish.
I love really cheesy movies.
I love to watch movies.
I don't have any learning disablities (other than thick-headedness), and I don't know my IQ.
I love being dirty -- If I'm playing a sport or working, but that's the only time.
I wish all the people I love lived close to me.
I like salty.
I am very easy going.
I am a planner only when I absolutely have to be.
I make lists, but rarely stick to them.
I have loads of freckles.
I would love to own a 1967 Mustang convertable.
I love to shop for other people, even though I rarely know what to get them.
I never saw the movie "Moulin Rouge."
I don't speak computer. I need Computing for Morons.
I appreciate honesty.
I cannot stand it when someone lies to me.
I have 8 nieces and nephews.
I love to help people.
I love to give people gifts.
Summer is great.
I would buy more things for people just because ~ if I had more money.
I love to travel.
I'm not crazy about hotels.
I like eating out occasionally.
I am the quiet observer.
The smell of Vicks Vap-o-Rub totally gags me.
I like free samples at the grocery store.
I prefer showers to baths
An extra big salad with steak and fries thrown in is my favorite meal.
Jesus rocks!

posted by Stacy at 4:11 PM

Family Updates

First, the big news. Tim told me last night he's returning to church. He's going to go tomorrow. So, thank you to everyone that's been praying and thanks especially to God for His faithfulness. One thing, he says he is going to resign as an elder even though the others feel he shouldn't. I am ok with that if it gets him back in church and he has wanted to step out and take a break for years. He just kept bowing to pressure to remain.

Another huge praise is that Megan is back on Straterra for her ADD. I haven't mentioned it too much but some of you know what a struggle she's been having with school and with her emotions. Talk about a roller coaster ride! It's been extremely stressful for the rest of us to live with her and have to try to relate when no matter what we said or did she'd go ballistic. Her pediatrician has learned more about Straterra (it was new on the market when we tried it in September) and now Megan takes the same dose as before, but she takes it in the evening with supper. That way the drowsiness doesn't affect her as much and taking it with a large meal eliminates the upset stomach......and we have our beautiful daughter's true personality back. She is a totally different person emotionally. She's expressed how much better she feels and how glad she is that she can control the outbursts. The rest of us are relaxing a bit and don't have that walking on eggshells feeling.

Lastly, both kids had eye exams this week. Both kids are getting glasses. Matt is having problems seeing at a distance. It isn't bad and the doctor said it's really up to him if he wears them or not....except for driving. He is not thrilled. Megan's prescription is so small she doesn't really even need it to correct her vision. She needs it to compensate for an astigmatism. She told the doctor reading gives her a headache. The doctor said that is the symptom. Meg will have to wear her glasses only for reading. Now if I can just get Tim to go. I strongly suspect he needs glasses, but he refuses to even consider it. He's "always had 20/20 vision and can see just fine." In case you haven't figured it out, there is not a more stubborn person when it comes to their health.

posted by Stacy at 11:01 AM

Friday, February 27, 2004

Blogger Idol, Week 6
My Top 5

1. Clarity Amidst Chaos

2. Cliff Between the Lines

3. Harmless Thoughts

4. Silent Tribute

5. Travelkitjones

posted by Stacy at 8:02 PM

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Road Rage

It made an appearance in my life this morning. No, I didn't go berzerk on the bus (film at 11:00). It did happen while I was driving the bus, though.

I was stopped at a stop sign that is at one end of a high, arching and curved bridge that spans 4 sets of railroad tracks. From there you can see traffic that is about to go up on the bridge and traffic that is exiting the bridge, but not traffic that is on the bridge. With that in mind I am always extremely cautious there.

Today I could see another bus followed by 2 cars coming up on the bridge and one car turned off. I sat at the stop sign and waited until the bus and car had passed. I was keeping watch and made a point of looking again and didn't see anything so I pulled out into a left-turn. Right as I did that, a pickup came flying off the bridge. I did not see him aproaching the bridge and like I said, you can't see what's on the bridge. My guess is that he came out of one of the roads right at the base of the bridge and hit the gas (the speed limit on this road is 35, but there is a real problem with people going 60 or more). I was already diagonal across the road. He hit his brakes and everything was fine. No one was hurt, no vehicles even came close to hitting. Everything was fine.

Except that the driver of the truck called the school and the bus company and reported me as a reckless driver. He said I ran the stop sign and was all over the road. My boss was waiting for me when I pulled up to the elementary school. He asked me if I had had a problem that morning. I told him what happened and he was ok with that. He believed me (thank goodness he had just rode along with me two weeks ago and given me a perfect driving evaluation) and told me not to get upset that stuff like that happens from time to time and that it was just the other driver over reacting. I know he's right, but I have to admit it's bugging me. I hate having people, even people I don't know, upset with me.

posted by Stacy at 11:48 AM

The Passion

I didn't go see it last night, but I've certainly been hearing/reading/seeing a lot about it this morning. It seems to be what everyone is buzzing about. I think that's a good thing. It means Jesus is being thought about this morning.....probably by a lot of people who don't normally include Him in their thought process. Now the job falls to those of us who call ourselves His followers not to drop the ball. Normally it can be a bit "tricky" to talk about Jesus. Right now it isn't, so talk!

As for the extreme violence of the film, I'm glad for it. Crucifixtion was not a pretty way to die. My savior died a horrible death. I don't ever want to forget that or take it for granted. I want always to remember the depths of His love for me. I think maybe that is what Mr. Gibson was trying to do.......keep we believers from becoming complacent and to jolt the unbeliever into realizing what serious business this is.

posted by Stacy at 11:35 AM

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


There was an incident at work a couple of weeks ago that I was witness to. A woman put money in the candy machine and nothing came out (not an unusual occurance). She put more money in thinking two would come out. They didn't. So she shook the machine and banged it around a little. It's a table-top dispenser and that usually does the trick. That time it didn't. Apparently desperate for chocolate, the woman used her feminine wiles to convince one of the men present to turn the machine over so her candy would fall out. It did......along with about 20 other candy bars. Everyone there started grabbing them. They figured everyone could have at least two and a few would get three. They all seemed to feel it made up for all the times the machine ate their money. I told them I didn't want any. They kept pushing. I kept saying no thanks. Finally one of them stuffed one in my purse and said "you gotta take at least one, they're free!" That's where I screwed up. I stopped fighting and just left it go. I never ate the candy, but I didn't report it either.

This week the candy guy came to fill the machine. The same guy who can't figure out that his machine screws the drivers out of money all the time instantly saw that he was getting short changed and reported it to the bus company. Enter my supervisor who has to get to the bottom of things. He's been questioning people all week and slowly piecing the story together. Today was my turn. I was the last one he talked to.

I'm not in trouble with him and I don't really think anyone else is in real trouble either, but he kept asking me about the others (he knows this isn't my style). He just couldn't believe they saw nothing wrong with what they did and kept asking me if they did, I think in the hopes that I'd tell him they did have a moment of conscience. Sorry, they didn't. All I could tell him was what happened and why I didn't report it. Reason being that I have to work with these people and if they are going to hate me and make life miserable (as they are doing to the person they believe told) then it's going to be over something big.

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty uncomfortable in my skin tonight. I knew it was wrong, I didn't participate, but I didn't do anything about it either.

posted by Stacy at 6:13 PM


You're To Kill a Mockingbird!

by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have
changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've
also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to
persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you,
but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you
whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

posted by Stacy at 11:23 AM

Tuesday, February 24, 2004



I like cheesy 80's movies so I thought I'd test you on some trivia this week. Catch the other entries over at Livingroom.

80's Movie Trivia Quiz
(Answers are at the end. Don't peak.)

1. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wrote and starred in what film?

2. What movie featured characters named Mikey, Chunk, Mouth and Data?

3. Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze starred in Dirty Dancing, but it wasn't the first time the pair had worked together. Can you name another film they both starred in?

4. What song is Ferris singing to during the parade scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
5. Can you name at least one of the three actresses who played the Heathers?

6. Not always an officer and a gentleman, he caused a stir when he bared it all.

7. Christopher Lloyd drove something with a bit more zing than a taxi in this film.

8. Catherine O'Hara plays the mom in Home Alone, but first she played step-mom to Winona Ryder in this film.

9. In 1986 Lea Thompson meets an unusual alien and helps him save the world from the evil Dark Overlords. Who is this alien?

10. Name at least two of the actors/actresses who play Tom Hanks' neighbors in The Burbs.

11. Who got revenge in 1984?

12. St. Elmo's Fire starred virtually all of the Brat Pack (it's actually where the name got started). Can you name them?

*BONUS: How did the musical group Blues Traveler get its name?

1. Ghostbusters

2. The Goonies

3. Red Dawn

4. Twist and Shout

5. Shannen Doherty, Kim Walker and Lisanne Falk

6. Richard Gere

7. Back to the Future

8. Beetlejuice

9. Howard the Duck

10. Bruce Dern, Corey Feldman, Henry Gibson, Gale Gordon, Rick Ducommun, and Courtney Gains

11. The Nerds!

12. Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Andrew MacCarthy, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Mare Winningham and Andie MacDowell

*BONUS: The Blues Travelers are fans of Dan Aykroyd (and he of them, hence their appearance in Blues Brothers 2000). Blues is taken from Blues Brothers and Traveler is taken from Gozer-the traveler, one of the ghosts in Ghostbusters.

How'd you do?

posted by Stacy at 1:21 PM

Monday, February 23, 2004

For those of you who have been praying...

Tim didn't go to church yesterday, but he did meet with the interim pastor, the other elder and the council president. We weren't sure what it was about when he went, but it turned out to be totally about convincing him to stay at the church and to not resign as an elder. I think it was an okay meeting for Tim (though as usual he isn't saying a lot). He was in a good mood when he got home at 11:00 and he has promised to give them a final decision by Wednesday. I am really trying to convince him to come to church no matter what his decision about being an elder. Something he said last night leads me to believe a lot of this is fear......fear that people will still treat him the way they did when everything first happened. I don't think they will. Enough time has passed that most people can be "nice" even if they don't agree. Every week I've been approached by people asking about Tim, expressing concern and support and letting me know they are praying for him. The ones who were the nastiest are no longer part of the church. I really feel he would be pleasantly surprised if he would just come back to see.

Youth Group

Attendance is holding steady at about 8. It's never the same 8, though, so if I could get them all to come at the same time there'd be a group of 12-15. Megan has been an unofficial part of the youth group for years. That's what happens when your mom's the leader, but she's been coming officially for three weeks. I'd let other 6th graders attend (if there were any) because the church doesn't have any other ministry for that age right now. Anyway, it's been a few years since I've had young ones come into the group and it's great having her there. She has a level of excitement and enthusiasm that's worn off a bit with the others. Last night she brought her first friend along.

Interesting Sermon Illustration

Hamo over at Backyard Ministries compares the likelihood of someone outside the church considering coming inside to a Christian going to a nudist colony. Sounds warped, but it makes a good point.

New Blogs Added

Here are some long overdue additions to my blogroll. Stop by and check them out if they are new to you.

Rodney is another good Aussie blogger and his offerings are found at The Journey-Taking the Road Less Traveled.

Cliff of Cliff Between the Lines is emerging as one of the premier writers in the Blogger Idol experiment.

Violet of Seasons of Violet is a most interesting lady with an adorable and talented pooch (that my poodle is pursuing an on-line relationship with).

Last, but far from least, is Emily who gives us Em's Random Thoughts. Emily is an exceptionally talented photographer and the lovely bride of Jamie over at Be Church.

posted by Stacy at 11:07 AM

Sunday, February 22, 2004

What is it with Sundays and sleep?

This crack of dawn thing on Sunday mornings is getting old. I need more sleep. On the bright side, I have lots of time to catch up on blog reading and posting while I'm trying to be quiet and let everyone else in the house sleep.

We've had a pretty good weekend so far....though after Friday's sunshine and high temperature of 61 the return to cold and snow is kind of hard to take. If the ground refreezes it's going to make it tough for Tim tomorrow. There is a drainage pipe that runs underground all along the front of our property. We arrived home Friday evening to find it plugged and water backing up into our neighbor's driveway. Not good. Tim rented an auger yesterday with the hope of being able to open the pipe up that way but it didn' work. Tomorrow he's going to have to borrow a friend's backhoe and dig up one section of pipe and replace it. It'll mean digging up the end of the driveway. Wonderful.

We spent most of yesterday at a home show. We had a coupon for buy one/get one adult admissions and kids under 12 were free. We protested but they waved Matt through as a child, too, so it only cost us $5. Lots of neat stuff to see. We're major homebodies so anything to feather the nest, so to speak. The coolest thing we saw? A sofa that looked like the back of a 1950's pink Cadillac, complete with fins and lights. What we bought? A book about the Pittsburgh Steelers signed by the author for my mom's husband's birthday in June, a water cooler and a big pepperoni stick. Mostly we came home loaded with bags of information.

Steve and Barry's is the most awesome store! Do you have one of these? Westmoreland Mall just got one this month. They sell licenced college jackets, sweatshirts, and a huge collection of cool t-shirts among other things and EVERYTHING is $8.95 or less! Tim, Matt and Megan all got jackets. I got t-shirts I can wear for work.

I don't think Tim is going to church again today, but he is supposed to have that meeting with the interim pastor, the other elder and the counil president tonight so please keep that in prayer if you think of it.

posted by Stacy at 7:49 AM

I subscribe to a service that sends me a poem every day. It's a nice treat. Today's is so unusual that I've got to share it. I love the title. (I think I experienced the same thing back in college on the mornings after a frat party)

I Felt A Funeral In My Brain
Poem lyrics of I Felt A Funeral In My Brain by Emily Dickinson.

I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.

And when they all were seated,
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb

And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead, again.

posted by Stacy at 7:04 AM

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I'm Bored....

so thought I'd do this thing I've seen all over the place lately. If you read all the way through it, you'll probably be as bored as me.

Name: Stacy

Nickname: Ace, Gamemaster, Donut hole, Space, Haggette

Astrological sign: I am Leo, hear me roar!

Age: 39 and not holding........yet

Height: 5'6"

Level of Education: 2 years of college as a journalism major. Quit to collect my M.R.S. and figured I'd go back. I didn't.

Occupation: Paid-school bus driver; volunteer-youth director

Birthplace: Erie, PA

Marital status: married

How many children: 2

Do you drink (alcohol): No.

Do you smoke: No.

Favorite outdoor activities: Gardening, beach-combing and flea marketing/auctions.

Favorite indoor activities: Reading, internet.

Favorite colors: Yellow, green, blue, orange, red......I just like color.

Favorite type of music: Any kind at all, but I usually like something with a beat that makes me want to get up and move.

Favorite musical groups/performers: John Denver, Outkast, Train, Matchbox 20, Relient K, Newsboys

Favorite soundtracks: Grease, Dirty Dancing, Shrek and Top Gun.

Favorite song at the moment: Hey Ya

What?s in your home CD/Casette player right now: Nothing.

What?s in your car CD/Casette player right now: Nothing. I'm on a radio kick.

Do you play an instrument: No....there isn't a drop of musical talent in my blood. A cruel joke because music is the one thing I wish I could do more than anything else.

One pillow or two: 1

Have you ever had your appendix or tonsils removed: Nope. Just my gallbladder.

Do you make fun of people: Yep, we tend to take ourselves too seriously....but I try not to be mean about it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up: Marcia Brady, an architect and an archeologist (not necessarily in that order).

What would be your dream job now: If I could combine a ministry with teens and getting paid for it, that would be a dream come true.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime: No.

Places you'd most like to visit: Chincoteague, VA; New Mexico; and Australia/NZ.

Your first car: 1980 Pontiac Grand Am....big muscle car. My grandfather refered to it as the Pimpmobile.

Dream car: 1967 Mustang convertable, cherry red.

Toothpaste: It's generally a good idea.

Shampoo/Conditioner: Pantene Pro-V (Don't hate me because I'm beautiful)

Favorite season: FALL, FALL, FALL!!

Favorite holiday: All of 'em.

Favorite board/card game: Life, Trivial Pursuit, Spoons.

Favorite hobbies: Blogging, latch-hooking, raising chickens, gardening.

Favorite sport to play: Mini golf.

Favorite sport to watch: Football.

Least favorite sport to watch: Tennis.

Do you have any siblings: No.

Do you get along with your parents: Not particularly.

Favorite place to chill: on the sofa with a good book.

Favorite place to visit: Chincoteague

What is your bad time of day: Afternoon

What is your good time of day: Evening

Favorite perfume or cologne: Calgon's Hawaiian Ginger

Favorite scent of candle: Banana Nut Bread and Macintosh.

Favorite subject in school: Astronomy

Least favorite subject in school: Math/Algebra/Geometry/Calculus (are you seeing a pattern?).

Favorite magazine: Country Decorating Ideas

Favorite movie you have seen recently: It's been a while.

Favorite movie of all time: The Great Outdoors with John Candy and Dan Akkroyd.

Favorite TV programs: American Idol, Trading Spaces, Everwood

Favorite cartoon character: Eeyore

Favorite food: Shrimp scampi and Chinese chicken w/ broccoli

Chocolate or Vanilla: Strawberry.

What is your bedtime: 9:30 or 10:00 (hey, I get up at 4:30).

How many rings before you answer the phone: Probably 3 or 4 by the time I find it.....the kids rarely put it back.

The first thing you think of in the morning: Think?? First thing in the morning? You've got to be kidding.

Favorite thing to do when you're home alone: Read or play on the computer.

Thunderstorms - Cool or Scary: Way cool!

Pen or Pencil: Pens. I like sharp points and have to keep sharpening pencils constantly and they don't last too long.

Do you like to drive: Yes.

What is on the walls of your room: Paint. Oh, and prints, candle sconces, photos.....depends on which room you're asking about.

What words or phrases do you overuse: I don't think so, Skippy.

Coolest things anyone ever gave you: An electric typewriter my sr. year of high school. Time. Encouragement.

If you could pick one super-human power, what would you choose: Web-slinging.

posted by Stacy at 11:15 AM

Praying for Her

I have a hard time hating Brittany Spears. I will grant you that her behavior leaves a great deal to be desired most of the time. I will also grant that I am greatly relieved that my daughter is not a fan. Still, most of the time when I hear of Brittany's lastest exploits I feel sad for her. She is so young and has had the world lain at her feet. People of far greater maturity than she posesses would likely fall to the temptations she has faced. I also suspect that even though she is famous, incredibly wealthy, talented and surrounded by people, she is lonely and wanting to be loved.

Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own choices and Brittany was raised in the church. She knows better, but she has a lot of company. Everyone messes up (maybe not to quite the degree she has managed). I've heard she gives an incredible amount of her money to those in need. I take heart in that and when I think of Brittany I usually send up a small prayer that she will find her way back to her roots. So today I'm wondering.....has God answered a prayer? Read here about Brittany's recent response to an alter call.

posted by Stacy at 10:21 AM

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


....and back to normal. All of the kindergarten drivers are healthy and on the job so I'm back to having the middle of my days free again. I have to admit I'll miss hanging out between times with the other drivers who have become my friends.

Today's Crisis: Locking my keys in the car. While it was running. With my purse (therefore my extra keys and cell phone) on the seat. With 15 minutes to get to work on time. I didn't make it.

Blogger Idol


I hadn't really planned on writing anything for Blogger Idol this week. Mainly because I couldn't think of anything for the Picture This theme. Maybe this little gush of enthusiasm I took the time to write down will help you to picture why we're going to Chincoteague Island for our vacation.

Childhood Dreams Live On

I am 9 years old. Horse crazy. Mrs. Slater, my 4th grade teacher, has introduced the next book the class is reading. Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague. I am enthralled by the tale of wild ponies and the even wilder place they come from. I become a reader of all Ms. Henry's horse books, but it is the stories from Chincoteague that inspire my imagination and capture my heart.

I am 10 years old. Still horse crazy. It is the last day of school. The private school I attend always ends the year with an afternoon of movies. This year it's a documentary. Boring...... No! Wait! It's about wild ponies. It's about wild ponies on Assateague. It's true! It's really true. Misty is real. I am floored. And a dream is born as I wrap my child's imagination around an island and its ponies. Chicoteague becomes in my mind the closest thing to heaven this side of death.

I am 27 years old. Not so horse crazy. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail. A friend is getting married. That's nice. But what's this?! The wedding is to be held in...........Chincoteague! Can it be? After all these years? Yes. I pack with trepidation. Chincoteague has existed in perfection in my mind all this time. How can it ever live up? It's a short stay. Just two days. The wedding is lovely. There are ponies outside the hotel. We rent bikes to see Assateague. The ponies! I see the ponies! Look, out in the ocean. Dolphins! It is so beautiful. I am not disappointed. Another dream is born.....to return again.

I am 39 years old. The children are 17 and 11. This coming summer may be our last chance for a vacation with our son before he is out on his own. It becomes very important to have an incredible vacation, but where do we go? Funny, you asked. Chincoteague. The children will appreciate it. Yes, Chincoteague it is. Rent a cottage. Reserve a fishing charter. Book a Back Bay Expedition. Read the books with the kids. Watch the movie. Research the island. Learn lots of facts. Thank God that this vacation is already giving us good times together and it's still 5 months away.

Somewhere there's a 10-year-old girl who still dreams of the wild ponies even though she's not so horse crazy anymore.

posted by Stacy at 6:43 PM

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Ever have one of those days.....

when everyone in the family seems to be.....prickly? That was us today. A bunch of porcupines staggering around, occasionally bumping into one another and getting in our best jabs. Not exactly a day to be proud of.

Not sure what was going on but emotions were running high (as was my blood pressure, I think) and every little thing seemed to set one or the other of us off.

My own foul mood aside, it was another Sunday that drug my emotions through the wringer. Tim did not go to church, which I expected, but it still upset me. At church I had to deal with answering questions about where he was, how he was, would he mind so-and-so calling to talk, etc. On top of that, it was the associate pastor's last day. He didn't preach so much as talk to us to thank us, encourage us, and try to point us in the right direction. Even he broke down crying and the service ended with blessing him and his wife and everyone going up front to say goodbye. On top of that, God was really working on me during the service. I felt God calling me back to Him so strongly. All the hurt, resentment, anger, frustration and more weighed down so heavily on me, breaking my heart and finally falling away and allowing me to fall at the feet of my Father. It's been a long time since I've really felt I came into His presence and it was so awesome! God is so awesome!

Tim met with the interim pastor tonight while I was at youth group. He was with him for about an hour and when he came to the fellowship hall for the kids and I it was obvious he'd been crying. I didn't ask him about it until later. It was a good talk. The interim tried to assure Tim that he did do the right thing in being the leader in having the pastor removed. He said he knew even more things about the pastor than we did and told Tim that everyone from local leadership clear up through national leadership felt it had to be done. He talked to Tim about his feelings about things and about being an elder. He made it clear that he doesn't want Tim to resign and thinks the church very much needs Tim's kind of leadership right now. He's asked Tim not to make any decision about resigning or leaving yet. Tim's agreed to sit down with him, the other elder and the council president next Sunday. Please pray that everything will go as God would have it.

Heading off to bed now. Both kids are away for the night and there's no school tomorrow so maybe there is a great deal of sleep in the picture for me. I need it. I have been burning the candle at both ends and the flames are about to meet in the middle if I don't get some serious rest.

posted by Stacy at 11:01 PM

Wish I Was Sleeping...But I'm Not

Stupid dogs.

I know they are small dogs with even smaller bladders, but....sheeesh. You'd think they could at least make it through the night and let a person sleep until the sun rises. Just once.

On the bright side, I've washed two loads of laundry that really needed done. Matt will have clean pants for church. Always a good thing.

The kids and I will be going to Sunday school and church this morning. Nothing in the way Tim's been acting/talking leads me to believe he will be joining us. The interim pastor the church hired wants to talk with him and so far he's been avoiding that, too. I have to admit I'm really struggling with the whole situation and knowing how to handle it. Tim wants me to leave him alone as far as church is concerned. He will ask about the youth group or some of the people, but other than that he doesn't want to hear anything. I think he's gotten too comfortable with lying around on Sunday mornings and am afraid that if I don't stay on him to some extent he will not come back. On the other hand, telling Tim he needs to do something tends to make him dig in his heels. Then there is one other small issue......am I worried for the right reasons? Of course I'm worried about Tim's relationship with God, but is that taking second place to my own discomfort (and the kids, too) at having to deal with the looks and comments that vary from judgement to pity to disgust to real concern?

Youth group is meeting earlier tonight. One of the things the kids mentioned last week was that they'd like youth group to be longer than an hour and a half. We were meeting from 6:00-7:30. I really didn't want to go later on a school/work night so we're going to try starting at 5:00 and running till 7:00. I'm going to ask Matt to plan a game. That is an area I said I'd like them to help me in and they were all willing and liked the idea of being part of things. For the lesson, I'm going to work out of Youth Specialties inductive study of James. I'd started using it with the Wednesday night study group before it fizzled out. We'd only gotten through two lessons and the two kids who had done them said they wouldn't mind going back over them with the whole group. The lessons were taking about an hour and a half to get through. I'm going to break them down over two or three weeks for this setting. I think it will be good.

Well, I've killed enough time that I can get showered and get ready for church now. Guess I'll go do that. Have an awesome Sunday!

posted by Stacy at 7:18 AM

Saturday, February 14, 2004

FRIDAY FIVE (on Saturday)

1. Are you superstitious? No. I don't believe good or bad things happen because of some ridiculous ritual we perform.

2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition? Back in high school I was at a friend's house and while sitting on the sofa I noticed a large white spider dangling from the lamp next to me. I killed it. My friend's mom freaked out. Seems white spiders bring good luck to a house and this one was allowed to live and spin his web in peace. Ewwww.

3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition? Eating pork and sourkraut for good luck at midnight on New Year's Eve. At least I get to eat something yummy.

4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual? Not since I became a Christian. Life doesn't just happen by chance because my Lord knew me before I was formed and he has a plan for me. These days I've got outfits that I love and make me feel more confident so I do better. Back in the day when I played sports I went along with all the goofy superstitions atheletes get caught up in. I played softball and basketball and I wore number 9 for both. In fact, at the beginning of each season I'd claw the eyes out of anyone that tried to grab my number. Then there was the basketball season when we all started wearing different colored shoe laces. Somewhere along the way we took one out and traded with someone else so we all had two different colored laces. We always kept one of the original laces and it was always on the left foot. Did it help? Nope. We lost every game that season.

5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not? No, because I just think it's silly to believe that where the stars are in the sky is going to influence my day. On the other hand, I'm a Leo and in the Chinese calendar I was born in the year of the dragon. A lion and a dragon. Two fire signs. How cool is that?

posted by Stacy at 6:57 AM

Friday, February 13, 2004

Just Me, Myself and I

So, I finally found the time to get my hair cut tonight and I took Megan with me. It's a new salon in town and pretty trendy. Megan loved it and allowed the stylist to help me convince her to get her hair cut (it's been over a year since she's even allowed a trim). Four inches off and her hair is still well below her shoulders but it has some style and shape and surprise!.....a little bit of curl. She is spending the night at a friend's so the stylist glammed her up a bit just for fun. Wow. She looked a lot older than 11. Same old cut for me and I have a "date" with Miss Clairol tonight.

Tim and Matt went to the mall. I begged off. It will be good for them to spend the time together. They are getting some dinner and Matt wanted to check out a new store that sells really cool clothes for under $15. Actually, it's been a good father/son day for them. Tim worked half a day so he could get home and take Matt to take his driver's test. Unfortunately he failed. The instructor told Tim he did everything perfectly except for bumping a barrel when he was parallel parking. Too bad.

Driving the wrestling team to the section qualifying tournament tomorrow morning. It is going to be one long day. We leave the school at 9:00 a.m. and according to the paper the championship matches aren't supposed to start until at least 7:30 p.m. Good thing I like wrestling.

posted by Stacy at 7:43 PM

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

152 DAYS TO GO.....

Tim made the reservation for our vacation today. We're renting a cottage on Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

I am so excited. I'm worse than the kids.

posted by Stacy at 5:27 PM

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Good News!

I announced at church today that there would be youth group tonight. And then I worried. All afternoon. About how many kids would be there. About what kind of spiritual condition the ones that came would be in.

I really ought to know enough to trust God by now.

Tim went down early with me and helped me move everything the youth group owns back to the old room. It's long enough that I set up the ping-pong table and fooseball table and can leave them up all the time. Seating-wise it's a bit more cramped but it's a much cooler space and one that is totally the youths'.

Seven kids turned out and had a great time hanging out in the "new" space and using the tables. I didn't have a lesson planned. It's been a long time since I've really been involved with them and it's been since before Christmas that they've met as a group. I just wanted to reconnect with them and find out what they're thinking and feeling. We sat around and I listened to them share their ideas for the future of the group. It was great. I feel hope for the first time in a long time. The kids who came are still so on fire and they want to share that passion with others. If we are diligent about seeking God's leading in our undertakings I can see this group playing a key role in the rebirth of the church and being excellent examples to the adults. We closed with a time of prayer and consistently they asked for God to lead us and show us what He wants us to do and to give us opportunities to share. Way, way cool.

On a different note, please continue to pray for Tim. He did not go to church again today. Not even to the farewell dinner for the associate pastor. I really don't have a clue how the situation is going to go. I am hoping that some time off will allow him to think through things and find his way back.

posted by Stacy at 8:35 PM

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Catching Up

It's another snowy day, but thankfully it's the weekend and I don't have to worry about driving the bus. We didn't have any more snow days after Tuesday, but the roads were not that great Wednesday morning and yesterday we had mild flooding to contend with in the morning and heavy fog in the afternoon.

I've just been hanging out doing a lot of nothing today, but I'm going to have to drag myself out soon. There is a farewell dinner for our associate pastor tomorrow and I need to figure out what to take.

I did have a long talk with the president of the church council about being the youth director. We worked out a loose job description. He wanted it loose enough to give me a lot of freedom, because he feels I know what needs to be done more than anyone else. On the flip side, it has enough structure to serve as a guideline for not only myself, but any future youth director and pastors. I wanted a clear list of duties so I (or anyone who follows me) wouldn't have to deal with being over-run and pushed aside again. It also gives me some accountability in that the council will at least know what I'm supposed to be doing. I feel a lot better about things. Mr. President even wants to set up a checking account for the youth program and either have a lump sum deposited at the beginning of every year or a set amount each month, rather than me having to chase after the treasurer for every little thing. That would be great!

posted by Stacy at 2:43 PM

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Today was another snow day. Matt spent some time playing around on the computer this morning and when I checked my email this afternoon this was there (please don't tell me if I'm going to go to jail for breaking copyright laws by posting it):

Artists: Linkin Park
Song: Crawling
Parody by: Matt A.


crawling in my sin
these things i cant conceal
sin is how i fall
confusing what is real


there is something inside of me that pulls beneath the surface
the pain of my guilt, i fear is never ending
controlling/ i cant seem

to find the truth again
my fate is closing in
(without a sense of purpose and i am convinced there is just to much guilt to take)
i have felt this way before....
so insecure

crawling in my sin
these things i cant conceal
sin is how i fall
confusing what is real


this ignorance has pulled itself upon me
against his will i stand beside my own maker
its haunting how i cant seem

to find the truth again
my fate is closing in
(w/o a sense of purpose and i am convinced that there is just to much gilt to take)
i have felt this way b4...
so insecure

crawling in my sin
these things i cant conceal
sin is how i fall
confusing what is real

(slightly faster)

and as i stand here b4 him
i realize i should have known him
how could i have been so blind
that i couldn't find the answer to my problems
so blind/ so stupid

(brief instrumental)


and i have felt this way b4...
so insecure
crawling in my sin
these things i cant conceal
sin is how i fall
confusing what is real
confusing what is real

(end of song)

posted by Stacy at 3:39 PM

I've been to 49% of them.

This is just a little something that's floating around. I've seen it several places, but today it was at Josh's site.

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

posted by Stacy at 10:02 AM


This week's topic is "A Day in the Life..." and you can check out the other entries over at LIVINGROOM. It's a good way to check out some new blogs and the entries so far have been really interesting.

So, without further ado...here's my entry.

A Day in the Life.....of a wife/mom/school bus driver/youth leader.

4:40 a.m....groan...doggies out...husband fed...lunches packed...husband hugged and kissed...husband gone...shower taken...kids awake...day's instructions given...car scraped...on my way...Dear God, keep the roads clear today...6:30 a.m....bus checked...Pepsi downed...driver greetings exchanged...on the road...Dear God, keep us safe and give me opportunities to talk to the kids about important things...flashing lights...stop signs....open door...Good morning (insert name)! How are you today?...repeat 85 times...drowsy kids...9:00 a.m....kids in school...bus parked...errands to run...youth group things to do...phone calls to make...11:00 a.m....back to work...kindergarten home...P.M. kindergarten picked up...lunch...time to sit...relax...talk with co-workers...2:25 p.m....back to bus...school's out...kids awake now...Sit down!...No, you can't change seats...That's so cool. Did you make it? ...Watch the language!...Have some respect for yourself if you don't have it for anyone else...Don't do it. It's not worth getting into trouble over...I said to sit down...No, I can't throw her off the bus just because you think she's annoying...Stop throwing that!...The lights are on, that means no talking...Good job being quiet!...Is (insert name) back there?...I'm sorry about your grandma...You didn't want him touching you, so don't you touch him...What's going on back there?...Thank you. I really like that. I'll hang it up on the bus...Don't cry. Mom and Dad are probably just running late. You stay on the bus with me and we'll come back by your stop in a little bit. I'm sure they'll be here then...Bye (insert name)! See you tomorrow!...repeat 85 times...4:30 p.m....bus parked...Thank you, God, for seeing me through...5:00 p.m....home...dinner cooking...homework checked...hear about kids' day...husband home...practices...meetings...church...9:00 p.m....email...television...bed...zzzzzzzzzz.

posted by Stacy at 8:17 AM

Sunday, February 01, 2004

We didn't go to church today. Tim is still struggling with some issues and didn't want to go. I packed the kids off to Sunday school and opted to spend the time with Tim. We picked up some stuff to make tacos for lunch and talked a little. I think he's okay with his decision to stay at the church, but being an elder is weighing on him heavily. He wants to resign. I can understand that with all we've been through over the last 4 or 5 years. He's been an elder and in the thick of all that's gone on for all that time and longer. Before that he had a different council position. The man just needs a break. What I don't understand is that anyone else can say they need a rest and it's okay, but when Tim brings it up he gets major pressure to remain on council.

I'm gearing up to jump back into my youth director position. The associate pastor hasn't had a youth meeting since before Christmas. I plan to put an end to the dry spell next Sunday. I have a rough idea of what I want to do......hang out, reconnect with the kids, draw them out, hear what they're thinking about the future of the group and pray with them as a group. We are much in need of God's direction. I may be getting ahead of myself. There is a council meeting tomorrow night and for all I know they may have other plans for the youth. I want to let them know that I am still willing to lead the youth if they want me, but I also want them to give me a clear job description. I've never had one before.

No Super Bowl plans this year so we've had a kind of anti-Super Bowl day. We rented a stack of bad comedies from the 80's and early 90's....both Brady Bunch parodies, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Summer Rental, 2001 A Space Travesty and a couple of others. It's been great. We also narrowed the search for a rental cottage for our vacation this summer down to three and emailed for information. How long till July?

posted by Stacy at 9:12 PM


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