Friday, December 31, 2010

Think Tall in the Mall

I admit it. Just in case you hadn't noticed. I am short. Getting shorter, according to my most recent physical. Had the nurse check twice, but she said the same thing both times. No longer 5'2 and 3/4", but a solid 5'2". (By saying solid, I am not referring to my weight - that is a whole different pound of worms.) So, I am short. Let's say petite, since it sounds cute.

Over Christmas vacation, we used a large variety of dishes from different stashing places around the house. Lucky me, I have a wonderful husband who most usually cleans up after dinner. And puts things away. Out of my reach. Remember I am barely two inches past 5 measly feet tall.

On one certain occasion, date to remain unclarified, the love of my life was, again, putting things out of my reach.

"Honey, could you please rearrange those so I can reach them?" I asked nicely.

Honestly, he thought he was putting them within reach. But he is 6'2". He can easily grab ANYTHING in our home, while I have to fall back on my non-existent engineering degree to safely stack chairs and clamber up to get what I need.

"When you put things away, think short!" I said (only a little whine). "Think how far I can reach, and then put them there."

Nicely, at least for that moment in time, he obliged my request. That was that.

Fast forward a day or two. We went to the mall to run a few errands. Being short, (5'2" and nothing more), I zipped in and out and around crowds of other mall goers, often leaving my honey stuck under a kiosk or several families back, wondering where I was (6'2" people can't duck under and around like little wizard-y short people).

Upon reaching the end of the mall, he caught up to me. "Think tall," he said.

"What?" I wondered if he had eaten a few too many Fruit Loops.

"In the mall, think tall," he said, peering down at my short head. "I can't speed around people the way you do. I just smacked myself at the kiosk."

Cricking my neck WAY back, I gazed into his gleaming eyes. "HAH," I said. "Ok, at home, think short. At the mall, think tall."

We'll see if it holds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Someone's Been Eating My Porridge

Ok. I know someone's been eating my porridge. Not too hot, not too cold...just right.

I'm trying to tune up and oil my sewing machine, which has been mostly neglected for the past four or five years. I would go so far as to say it is desperate (!!!) for some attention. It actually attempts to eat fabric at this point, as a frantic cry for lubrication and de-fuzzing.

After successful cleaning (who knew dust bunnies multiplied inside a sewing machine?), and several unscrewing and replacing of screws complete, I reached an impasse. One screw was particularly in love with it's location and refused to come out. (I was the last one to do this service, so I must have been stronger back then.)

Screwdriver number 1 - broke. Twisting in it's shank, doing squat.
Screwdriver number 2 - too short.
Screwdriver number 3 - even shorter.
Screwdriver number 4 - a close twin to the short ones.

I had to resort to my massively disorganized and PERSONAL tool box. I said personal, as in 'it is mine, my territory, my stuff...'

What is there? ONE even shorter screwdriver! I know I am short, and shrinking, according to a recent visit to my doctor, but I do not need ONLY a short (two inches???) screwdriver.

Hummph. I know who took it. Not Goldilocks. It was one of the two big bears. The furry taker of tools to work on miscellaneous vehicles that reside outside. And then I am sure the screwdrivers I need stayed in their new home refusing to come back home. All grown up and out on their own.

I'm blaming the bears.

After the porridge is recovered (or purchased anew) I will lock up the cook pot.

Now. How to finish the sewing machine before dinner?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Cat

She loves Christmas. Especially the wrapping paper, trees, and general mess ready for her attack. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without her gnawing on the curling ribbon or hiding beneath wrapping paper or helping ??? wrap presents. Sure, it takes longer, and cat hair is in everything! But what fun, oh what fun, to enjoy the festivities sneaking past or looking for the hiding feline.

Beware the toes. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Fifth Advent

Joy to the world! The Lord is come! (Feel free to sing along.)

Welcome to the fifth advent - the Christ Child candle. Light all of the five candles on this day, Christmas Eve.

"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David." (Luke 1:68-69)

"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." (Luke 1:32-33)

"For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

Nothing is impossible with God. Everything is possible. Hope was born that night, long ago in Bethlehem. Hope was born in an animal dwelling, with its only spotlight that of his parents focused attention and the heavenly shining star. Interior decor was farm and country. The audience consisted of livestock, human parents, celestial beings, and Father God. Musical accompaniment was provided by a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and singing a new song. This holy night was one for the Book, a night to remember and celebrate for all eternity.

A new song for the way for all things to be made new. An end to the Old Testament. A beginning to the New Testament. A new covenant and a fulfilled promise.

I'm glad that after the reminder of Christmas and what it means, I get the chance to start fresh. A new year, clean beginning, energized hope for coming times.

Silent night, holy night. Joy to the world!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tree Catching

tree catching: definition - hunting in the woods for the perfect sweet smelling evergreen for the completion of decking the halls in anticipation of Christmas Day (Note: after purchasing the appropriate tags and paying correct fees)

required equipment: tree tags, hand saw, rope, 4x4 vehicle, winter clothing, ceiling measurements

outcome: We won! Bagged our trees with only slightly soaked clothing and boots (melting snow inside your boots definitely makes you appreciate indoor heat and dry socks). We avoided slipping off the edge of the steep road, did not hit other vehicles, found beautiful trees amidst the snow covered hills, and the male assistants offered minimal complaining. ;0 That in itself was pretty awesome.

benefits: pine scent filling the house, plenty of extra drinking water for the cat (note to self - refill often), beautiful addition to our decor that sets off the special ornament collection displayed on its branches, another Christmas adventure for the memory files

The ceiling is somewhat shorter than my estimated measurements. Even after making my guys stand beside the trees for a guess-ti-mate. Worth it anyway.

The Fourth Advent

My, how quickly time flies, especially the days leading up to Christmas! Last Sunday, we celebrated the fourth advent. On this day, we remember the Magi, or the Wisemen, and the part they played in the Christmas story.

Fourth Day of Advent - (1-Prophecy, 2-Bethlehem, 3-Shepherds and Angels, and then 4-Magi). The Magi, also known as the Wisemen, came from the East and followed the Christmas star to where it stopped over the house where Jesus and His mother and father lived. Not only did they travel MANY miles,...but they also brought expensive gifts for the King, God, and Sacrifice. Gold for the King, frankincense for God, and myrrh for the Sacrifice. The theme song for the fourth advent tells of the gifts they gave to the Christ Child. Light the fourth candle after relighting the first three.

Read Matthew 2:1-12. And then sing, "We Three Kings"...

Oh, star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright! I love Christmas!
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day - the fifth advent...stay tuned.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Not What I Expected

Expectations. We have many great ones, but an expectation is not a guarantee. Just something we think is going to happen.

Take for example, a recent Christmas gathering I attended. There was the usual buffet of high calorie/high fat/high sugar finger foods (READ: This is not a good time for me to have my yearly check-up blood work, which occurs next week). White elephants were dancing around the room, and for once, I managed to snag a really cool thing on the final steal (strike 3 - changes of hands - you're out and you get to keep it). And then gifts were handed out by various people. I expected to receive a certain thing, yet I did not. Many others did. But I did not.

Expectations faded into blankness. Surprise. It wasn't a guarantee. I just thought I knew what I would get. Now, I know, 'getting' is not the most important thing at Christmas. Giving is much better. But in this situation, I assumed the conclusion of the event, but my assuming was along a different route than the actual outcome.

Many gifts still changed hands. Delight was evident and shared by all, as well as holiday joy and camaraderie. But the great expectation did not occur as expected.

As I was pondering expectations and how that impacts all sorts of things, I began to think of the Christmas story. Actually, I was thinking of many, many years BEFORE the Christmas story. Prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah, and the new King who would save His people, Israel, and be the Savior for His chosen.

Generations of scholars and descendants from the line of David studied the scrolls and Scripture and wondered about the coming of the Messiah. They prayed and waited excitedly for the Messiah to appear. They anticipated a wondrous event. Each generation thought the Messiah might come on stage during their lifetime. They had great expectations for what they imagined the Messiah would look like, how He would live, and what He would do to help the people. Great expectations.

Centuries later...

Lo and behold, the Messiah came. But He did not come as expected. Instead of an adult, fully grown King and Holy Leader ready to set the world in order, a tiny baby was born. Quietly and in the most lowly place possible. God with us. Surely that was not the plan? How far off could expectations be?

A Messiah? Yes. In the expected format? No way. Actually, the Messiah was so different from what was expected, many refused to believe that Jesus was He, the Promised One, the Messiah as foretold. And then, after the Messiah arrived, most people did not know it was Him until He was 30 years old. Even then, the Messiah, God's Son Jesus, was not what was expected. He did not raise up armies to defeat the enemies and lead His people in triumph.

Quite the opposite. He allowed Himself to be defeated (to all outward appearances), even to the end of dying on a cross in a cruel and humiliating experience.

Again, lo and behold. The Messiah arose from the grave. Fully Messiah, fully God with us, and fully human, once dead, but now alive. Was He as expected? Certainly not. He was much better than expected. Jesus IS much better than expected. He IS the Great Expectation.

Would I have mis-expected how the Messiah appeared if I had lived back then? It's pretty easy to look back in time when I have a complete Bible detailing the full story for me (plus a great concordance and study notes). Since God had such a wonderful surprise for us when He sent Jesus, I probably would have been in error with my expectations.

I know the story. I believe what happened. If I believe that Jesus is the Messiah, then I must also read the end of the Book, and more expectations are in order! Jesus, the King, the Messiah, will come back again! He is coming!

Another Great Expectation. Probably not exactly how I expect it, but it will be a wondrous surprise that surpasses all that we can expect.

Keep expecting.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Third Advent

Already!?! This Christmas season is going amazingly fast. The winter storm that dumped upon us oodles of heavy snow was awesome. Really feels more like Christmas when there is snow falling or piling or causing difficult driving.

Today marks the third day of advent. Light the third candle, which symbolizes and reminds us of the angels and the shepherds and the part they played in the first, original and true Christmas. (The REAL reason for the season is the birth of Christ, contrary to a current anti-Christmas ploy by unbelievers.) The story (as in true life account) of the birth of Christ is non-fiction. It happened.

"And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased,"
(Luke 2:8-14).

Which shall be for all the people...that is all the people of the entire world, past, present, and future!

You and I. Us and them. These and the others. ALL people.

What excellent news the shepherds received that night! And they went and told all they had seen and heard.

Join together as we praise God and give Him glory for His indescribable gift, one that came in a tiny and unexpected package. Looked for, but not in the way He arrived. Willingly and humbly, Mary and Joseph accepted the role God had for them to play.

Yes, another reason to give glory to God. Amen.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top Ten (Ways to Use My Books for Christmas)

Per suggestion I recently read: TA-DAH! Welcome to
Angie's Top Ten Ways to Use Her Books for Christmas.

10. Can you? Read I Can Do It. Look at the different things Meiying does to be on mission (live like Jesus and tell others about Him). Look at the Chinese writing on the sides of the illustrations. Take the book with you and go to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Reach out in love to the servers. If you have Chinese servers, after the meal, choose one of the pages and ask your server to read it in Chinese for you. Try to repeat the words. Ask how to say Thank you and good-bye in Chinese. Repeat the words as you leave the restaurant. Mmmm. This makes me hungry!

9. Make sure that your child's teacher has a copy of Families on Mission, Ideas for Teaching Your Preschooler to Love, Share, and Care. If she does not have a personal copy, buy her one for Christmas. Before you wrap the book, help your child print his or her name on the inside cover. Choose one of the chapters and look at the activities. Help your child highlight an activity that he or she would like to do. Place a sticky note to mark the page. Wrap the book and let your child hand deliver it to the teacher. Offer to help prepare or do some of the suggestions in the book. You will be a favorite with the teacher!

8. Read I Can Pray. Purchase a large desk calendar at an office supply store. Let your child decorate the borders of the calendar. Think about people you know that need prayer. With your child, print one name on each day of the month. Make sure to list a person on the date of his/her birthday! Display the calendar near the dining room table. Choose a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and create the daily habit of praying for the listed person at your chosen meal. Model how to pray aloud and let your child echo your words or think up and say his/her own words. Your child can draw a heart or star or squiggle on each day you remember to pray. Continue for each month of the year (repeat names as often as you like). BTW - my birthday is November 20th, if you want to add it to the calendar! I could always use prayer. ;0

7. Does your child's classroom have any of these books (see list at the bottom or past posts to my blog)? Donate a complete set. Let your child do the giving. Volunteer to host a weekly read-aloud. Read a different book each week and provide a simple 'after reading activity' (see the back of each book, or any part of Families on Mission).

6. Does your school have an auction? Donate a set to be auctioned off as part of the fund raiser. Is your doctor or dentist a Christian? Suggest these books for the waiting room. Provide information on how to get them, or get them and give them to your provider. If you are in the northwest, get in touch with me, and maybe we can do something together centered around one or more of the books. ;0 Have a stash of the books on hand and include a copy for new parents or give a copy for a birthday gift when your child is invited to a party. The possibilities are endless!

5. I Can Give has many ideas for ways to give to others. Not all giving activities need to mean 'give money.' How about giving some time to a shut in? Sometimes visiting brings more cheer than any gift. If you have a friendly dog, perhaps your family would like to give some time to a local nursing home (always check with the facility before taking children or pets). Maybe you would like to collect toys and necessities for a women's and children's shelter. Many people write notes and send mail to our military personnel in December, but how about writing or making Valentines and sending them in January? Shoveling snow, helping with chores, surprising mommy or daddy with a special treat (dinner, bed made up hotel style with a chocolate and a love note, cleaned bedroom, I love you! banner), donating gently used or outgrown items to a thrift store...teach your child to look around her/him for ways to help others. Make it a game. Everybody wins!

4. Read I Can Be More Like Jesus. Look through a children's Bible and find examples of what Jesus was like. Point out how Jesus treated others (loving, forgiving, friendly, helpful) and think of one thing your family can focus on to be more like Jesus. Make it a goal to work hard on that idea during the Christmas season. Read the book again on January 1st and check to see if you were successful.

3. Picture walk I Can Give. As a family, think of an extended family member or neighbor or friend who would benefit from your special attention. Plan and implement a giving project to help or show love to that person. Some ideas could be: invite them to dinner, bake cookies and deliver them secretly (ring the doorbell and run), decorate their door for Christmas, wash their car, use old magazines to make a collage card of friends/family (write a mushy note inside), go for a neighborhood 'see the Christmas lights' walk and have hot cocoa afterwards, greet them with a smile and hug each time you see them...). I know they will love the attention.

2. Put the books in a paper sack. Let your child reach in and pull out a book. Read it with your child. Or let your child read it to you. Choose one of the extra activities at the end (or any part of the book) and do it together. Take pictures of you reading the book together and doing the activity. Put the books on a coffee table and tuck the pictures inside the book cover. Do this with all the books. Go back and reread the books and look at the photographs. Fun times! Don't be surprised if you have requests for repeats.

1. The top ten way to use my books - ;0 - buy them! Give them as gifts! Drop by and I'll autograph them. I'll even use my best writing so you can read it! (PS - I always draw a little cat's face on the books I autograph, just for fun.)

Thanks for letting me be silly and talk about my books (again). Merry Christmas!

*Books by Angie Quantrell:
I Can Pray
I Can Give
I Can Do It
I Can Be More Like Jesus
Families on Mission, Ideas for Teaching Your Preschooler to Love, Share, and Care

*Available at any of the sources listed at the bottom of this blog.

Monday, December 6, 2010

While You Were Sleeping

Disappointed to miss the second half of an interview with Casting Crowns on K-love, I drove out of my coffee stop (a girl's got to have her morning joe, right?), and started listening to a song in progress. I hadn't heard it before, but suddenly, the lyrics caught my ear. Something about 'philosophies that save the trees and kill the children' (hurts to even type those words). Later on I found the words were on Casting Crown's new Christmas CD in the middle of the song "While You Were Sleeping." Quite a wake-up call for all of us.

Back to the story. As I was trying to figure out the lyrics and what they meant, and then started thinking about the bride disappearing in the night, taken by the Bridegroom, I got excited about being caught up in the air and seeing Jesus. Did I mention I was driving?

As I reached the next traffic light (usually a very heavily trafficked intersection, but not so bad at 6:30 am), I saw the light turn green. I continued on, dividing my brain into thinking about what was on the radio and driving. Then I noticed that there was quite a bit of traffic lined up in front of me, facing me. Hmmmm?

As I blew through the intersection, I suddenly realized that the traffic was waiting for some idiot to stop for the red light. (clears throat) That would be me. They had the green light. I thought I had green, but no, it was the turn lane's green. Not mine. (hyperventilate) I was thinking about Jesus coming back to get me, when I was a hair's breadth from going to see Him instead! I am so ecstatic that those cars patiently waited for me (mumbling I'm sure, but they waited).

(Deep cleansing breath). Now. Focus on what is most important at the time. Driving was definitely most important. "While You Were Sleeping"...title of the song. Wasn't sleeping, but I'm sure I appeared to be. Sorry, very kind drivers.

Now, I must remember that I, too, can drive horribly and be more patient when others mess up. No mumbling. (think, self, was me last week, it was me last week). Sigh.

And back to the song, "While You Were Sleeping" by Casting Crowns:

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we're lying in the dark
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

Something to think about. Now, keep your eyes open for me when you're out on the road. I'll be NOT going through red lights.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Bethlehem Candle

Today marks the second Sunday of Advent. Light two candles, one for last week (prophecy) and one for today (the Bethlehem Candle). We read and think about Bethlehem and the importance this little town plays in the history of our Lord.

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:1-7

If you live in the Yakima area, the Journey to Bethlehem is excellent! The setting of Bible time Bethlehem, including Roman guards, smokey market stalls, lepers, beggars, Jewish customs, taxes (nothing has changed, here, huh?), live animals, authentic characters, is awesome...This seasonal family event is highly recommended!

Read more about the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18-25. And don't forget to sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Three-eyed Baby Jesus

The first time I heard a question from a student, I passed it off quite flippantly.

"Mrs. Q., why does Baby Jesus have three eyes?" asked one boy.

"Well, I don't know." (In my mind, I'm wondering what in the world?). "Maybe one is for the Father, one for Jesus, and one for the Holy Ghost."

I know. Not a good answer for inquiring minds.

Again, later. In fact, several laters...days later...again and again..."Why does Baby Jesus have three eyes?" "Look, Baby Jesus has three eyes." "Oh, did you see Baby Jesus and His three eyes?"

Honestly, the comments or questions ALWAYS came when it was time for something else or time to be quiet or time for lunch or recess or chapel...I didn't spend three extra seconds pondering the mystery of Baby Jesus and His supposed three eyes.

Until yesterday. Again, the 'three-eyes Baby Jesus comment.' Inside, my mind finally decided I need to take a look. Even if these 48 year-old eyes don't see as well as 8-10 year-olds. I need to use my cheaters and check it out.

Well, LO, and behold. Baby Jesus DID have three eyes. Who in their right mind gives Baby Jesus three eyes? And why had I not noticed it the year prior, when I purchased the nativity set?

Certainly, Jesus does not need three eyes. He can see everything and know everything and do everything and be everything without eyes at all. But maybe I need three eyes, so I can pay attention to tiny details and inquisitive minds and potential opportunities of spreading a little Light in the hearts of children with unboxed-in minds, ready to hear and believe.

Ahem. "You're right," I said, peering through my reading glasses. "Baby Jesus DOES have three eyes."

I think it may have been one of the few times all eyes and ears were on my radio station, not channel searching on their own for something interesting besides math, language, spelling, or history.

"I guess the artist who painted it made a mistake."

Quite a letdown. But all seemed to accept the answer, and I haven't heard another inquiry or pointed comment about the still three-eyed Baby Jesus. Without question, they accepted the fallibility of human work. Second and third graders make mistakes daily, even hourly, in their job of learning. It doesn't take much to imagine that adults make errors in their jobs.

Regardless of how many eyes Baby Jesus has, the real Jesus is perfect. He has the correct number of eyes. And He loves comments, questions, inquiries, loving hearts, open minds...and He accepts us as we are. Mistakes and all, without counting (not even extra eyes).

I am looking for flesh colored paint. I don't know if I'll paint over the third eye. I do know that I will be more sensitive to the little moments when Jesus has young hearts ready and receptive.

How many eyes does your Baby Jesus have?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Peace and Goodwill

I don't always want to offer peace and goodwill to others. Especially if they drive too slow (or too fast), cut me off, smell funny, give me a weird look, dress differently, believe differently, are too loud (or too quiet), live in that house, drive gas guzzling cars (or rust buckets), don't recycle, are late (or way too early)...

Really, there's no pleasing me, is there? Probably depends on the day, the weather, the position of the moon in the night sky, how much chocolate is in my system...But there it is. Right in several Christmas songs..."peace on earth, goodwill to men." Well, you can't believe everything you sing, can you?

What about read? Can I believe everything I read? Well, not all things. Definitely not tabloids or junk mail or spam. But the Bible? Can I believe the Bible?

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on
whom his favor rests.'" (Luke 2:10-14)

Hmmmm. The angels were even singing about peace to us, upon whom God's favor rests. That's pretty awesome. Us. Imperfect people. A Christmas gift of peace and good will, His good will for us. A baby, just for me. Me and my roller coaster 'can't please me' and 'I sometimes don't feel like extending peace and goodwill to anyone.'

Can I believe the Bible? I choose to believe the Bible as true. I believe it all happened just as it was written. For me. And you.

I guess that means I get the free peace and goodwill and Baby Jesus from God. I guess that means I need to choose to share peace and goodwill with everyone else, even when I DON'T feel like it.

Chocolate or no chocolate.

Peace and goodwill. To you, and you, and you...

From both of us,
May the peace and goodwill of God's love become apparent and real to you this holiday season!

Monday, November 29, 2010

What's Right in Front of Me

I am a person who tends to over analyze...almost everything. Just over the last two days, I have had the same thought presented to me, in totally different ways. Interesting, as it deals with taking care of today, not worrying about tomorrow or yesterday.

I love reading books. I'm rereading "DragonSpell" by Donita K. Paul. Sounds magical, but it really is similar in style to "The Chronicles of Narnia" and C.S. Lewis' writing technique. The main character, Kale, has recently discovered that she has a calling from Wulder (God) and is loved, in spite of her faults and ignorance, by Paladin (Jesus). Kale obsesses over how much she does not know about what she is supposed to do, what she should've or could've done prior to her current situation(s), has endless questions, and worries constantly about not being able to fulfill the task set before her...thinking always of her imperfections.

As Kale recovers from many harrowing adventures, she gets to visit 1 on 1 with Paladin. The entire scene is filled with the above issues. Paladin tells her (again, I believe) to only worry about right now, what is before her right now. Let Wulder work in the future and take care of all that stuff. Just take care of today and the immediate tasks required.

The next morning, upon reading my devotion in "The Daily Bread," the author (unrelated to Paul) has the gall to discuss the same subject! Instead of focusing on the past or uncertain, scary future, the author reminded me to think instead about what is right in my hand! Right in front of me? What circumstances do I have right now to take care of? Well, then, take care of those. Let God handle everything else.

Fine. I don't know who else will tell me the same thing. I thought I had been doing pretty well about staying 'in the present.' Guess I need to work a little harder at it!

To top it off, one verse from Matthew pretty much says the same thing:

"Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

Ok. Today. Get ready for bed. I can do that.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Shopping?

Have I got some great ideas...all books, of course, since I LOVE books. These books are available through the links posted at the bottom of my blog. Please feel free to check out these resources. Happy Shopping!

By yours truly:

I Can Pray (my very first hardcover book for preschoolers/children; English)
I Can Give (some Spanish phrases)
I Can Do It (some Chinese phrases and characters)
I Can Be More Like Jesus (some French phrases)

For parents, grandparents, teachers, and childcare workers:

Families on Mission - Ideas for Teaching Your Preschooler to Love, Share, and Care

Numerous other excellent gifts and resources are available. What do I love? I love giving gifts that share a message, whether it's a book full of creative ideas, deep thoughts, or an inspirational story. I hope you'll check these out.

Many blessings on your Christmas season. May it be filled with the love and light of Jesus!

The First Advent - Prophecy

"The people who walk in darkness will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them...

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:2,6)

Celebrate the first day of Advent by reading again the Scripture in Isaiah. Truly appreciate the prophecy for the Christ child, and the fact that He came, as prophesied. He died on the cross as prophesied. He will come again - as prophesied.

It's true!

Go ahead. Light the first candle. Sing "Away in a Manger," a lullaby for the baby Jesus.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Paddle Broke

No, it's not what you're thinking! Not a whoopin' stick. The butter paddle, as in churning butter. Sigh.

Fade back a few days. Prep time for our big, annual Thanksgiving hot lunch at school. Each class was assigned an item to prepare for the meal. Second and third - homemade butter. You got it. Well, as homemade as heavy whipping cream from the store...not milk fresh from the cow, homemade cow, that sort of thing. That's God's department.

Heavy duty clay butter crock. Check. Wooden paddle and handle. Check. Lid. Check. Sheet to spread on the floor for splashes. Check. Clean hands and 8 students. Check.

Pour. Churn. Churn. Churn. Churn. Taking turns. Churn. Churn. Churn. What???? Where'd the paddle part go? Inside the messy partially churned heavy whipping cream.

Dig it out. What else is available? A wooden spoon or a black plastic slotted spoon. Uh, let's go with the slotted spoon, since it covers move space in the cream. Stir, churn, stir, churn, tired arms, tired, restless students, 1 1/2 hours...NO BUTTER!

Fast forward. Mrs. Quantrell at home. Potato masher. Churn full of resting cream now. Churn, churn, churn for 1 1/4 hours longer. FINALLY, butter chunks. Whew.

Could not feel arm and shoulder. Splashes everywhere. Butter everywhere.

But we had homemade BUTTER at our feast. Oh yeah. It was delish.

Now to fix the churn paddle before next year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Thankful Heart

Thanksgiving is around the corner - actually around 2 corners...Today is Tuesday. Two more days, and the turkey will be in the oven (thawed, I hope), the squash will be cooked, the table set, the family coming...

Many, many things to be thankful for this year. The son is home from Iraq (his fiancee' and his family are extremely thankful for this); the daughter and son are dedicated to raising our delightful, hysterical grandson; we both have jobs; we have a warm home, clean clothes, and food in the pantry. Spending Thanksgiving NOT giving thanks would make me so uncomfortable, I would squirm and not enjoy a single second of the celebration.

Living in a free country, able to worship as I choose, go where I wish, work in my chosen career, purchase what I want, be who I dream... One could dub America as the 'Cornucopia' of the world; a horn of plenty!

How can I show my thanks? How can I give back? Certainly, when I am full of gratefulness, my heart overflows and desires to give back, to reach out to others and give them some of what I've been blessed with.

Thinking...thinking...thinking...not to jump holidays BEFORE we are out of this season of thankfulness, but as is told to Scrooge, (paraphrased) "Mankind is your business!"

Mankind. That's us. The humans. The heart and hands of thankfulness can reach out to touch and help mankind. There are certainly many that could use an extra hand or resources or a genuine smile.

Mankind. Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thank You, Veterans, from the Superstars

Thank you! Superstars from Harrah Community Christian School send a huge hug and thank you for what you have done for our country. Enjoy the acrostic written as a class project in dedication of veterans. Know that students at H.C.C.S. regularly pray for soldiers and their families.

Veterans Day

V - Veterans of our country
E - Ever protecting America
T - Thank you for fighting for our freedom
E - Eager to serve
R - Really important
A - Amazing sacrifices
N - Not forgotten, but noticed and needed
S - Soldiers of our military

D - Dedicated to help
A - Awesome and admired
Y - You are loved, appreciated, and remembered

Not Forgotten

This year (and last) has given a personal and close link to Veterans Day. With our son safely home from Iraq, we deeply appreciate and respect the hard work, sacrifice, and personal cost given willingly by the soldiers who elect to serve our country. Thank you, veterans. Regardless of the political climate, elected officials, or media viewpoints, you are loved, remembered, appreciated, loved, missed, awesome, prayed for, cherished...Don't forget that we know the cost and embrace what you have given to us.

It seems too simple for such acts of unselfishness, bravery, sacrifice. But, from the depths of our hearts, thank you.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I had time today. Time to take a walk. C'est fantastique pour moi. Refreshing, brisk, fall-ish (my favorite season). Not to mention I really need the exercise. I've missed the full trees of blazing color, but a cornucopia of autumns' bounty is strewn and piled deep along the road, wet and gooey, crunchy and fragrant.

Encountered wildlife - watchful quail,
chattering and chasing squirrels,
squeaking finches,
noisy crows,
startled woodpecker,
puffed sparrows

Time. Take a walk.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Pumpkins Have It

Lovin' those pumpkins.

Love pumpkin spice-as in latte', pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread (looking for pumpkin donuts), pumpkin deco...It could go back to the days, like yesterday and many years previous (wish I could find the photo of me wearing a lovely white and orange houndstooth double knit pantsuit; just picture it), where I was known for loving the color orange. Still love the color orange, particularly in trees, leaves, flowers, bushes, and produce. It's probably tied in to loving the cool weather of fall, the crunches of autumn walks, the seasonal skies, wet weather, and the promise of even more cold and Christmas around the corner. Love it when the newspaper, almost every year, shows pictures of the zoo animals having a fall treat of floating, smashed, or tossed pumpkins.

Pumpkins are in a league of their own.

Yes. The. Pumpkins. Have. It.

I vote for pumpkins.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shouldn't Have...

Shouldn't have eaten that last donut! No longer a size 7.5.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

New School

What a blessing from God! A brand new building, beautiful environment, spacious rooms, fresh views, wonderful students, awesome staff, rural location, excellent curriculum...What more could one want?

"Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the LORD;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."

(Psalm 146:1-2)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

pas de souci

New school. Boxes. Piles and stacks of teaching supplies. Blank walls. Unassembled things. Old school. More stuff. New rules and guidelines. Revised procedures. Lovely building. Expansive playground. Fresh paint and carpet. Empty lesson plans and grade book.

The clock spins ever faster. Ah, my aching neck and clenched teeth.

No worries. Pas de souci.

All in good time, each task will be completed at the right moment. I don't know why I worry, when I really do know that God will get me through everything. He has never let me down, even when I work myself into a frenzy of tight muscles and knots. Sigh.

Note to self: He. Will. Take. Care. Of. Everything. Everything!

Our help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 124:8)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


"Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair."

Susan Polis Schutz

Saturday, August 14, 2010


My sunflowers are growing! And blooming. That's the important part. I planted a packet of jumbo seeds (one plant needs to be staked to the roof, it's so top heavy), plus another of sunset colors, hoping for a variety of burgundies and reds. Finally, they are appearing and the bees are high with excitement, trampling the little flower heads to collect and spread pollen.


That must mean fall is around the corner if sunflowers are showing their colors.

The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
(Song of Solomon 2:12)

(That sounds exactly like my neighborhood!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Molly Meets the Missionaries

Check out this new book by my friend and editor, Rhonda Robbins-Reeves.

Molly Meets the Missionaries is a delightful, inspiring book. Preschoolers, children, families, and teachers will enjoy using this resource to show what missionaries do as they serve around the world. Real life photos and awesome graphics make each page a work of art. Bible thoughts that teach and reinforce biblical concepts are highlighted. Recipes, a song, and cut-out paper dolls of Molly and Mikey are included for playtime fun and extension activities. All in all, a fantastic book!
Way to go, Rhonda and WMU!

Visit: to see more. Order a copy at

Tell people about Jesus (see Matthew 28:19).

Thursday, August 5, 2010


There is a reason chains are used to keep trains hooked together. The engineers want to keep all of the trains connected, going the right direction. Chains are pretty strong, and mostly indestructible. The steel welded pieces can stand tremendous strain and weight. Knowing that our train car was extremely unlikely to come loose and roll back down the mountain was a good thing to think about as we traveled from Skagway, Alaska, over White Pass into Canada.

The chains that bind us to sin can be just as strong. The chains hook sin to our souls, and quite opposite of the train, sin wants us to get off the track and go in as many directions as we find. Nothing we can do will break those chains. We are eternally enslaved.

In fact, there is only one way the chains can be broken. By the blood of Jesus Christ, the chains binding us to our sins are forever broken. All we need to do is accept His sacrifice.

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace

"My Chains are Gone" by Chris Tomlin

Amazing grace!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Need a lifesaver?

Lifesaver. Lifesavers. Life Savior.

1. Lifesaver = Floating life ring, necessary for rescuing when one is thrust upon (under, into?) water over one's head. Could be stormy weather, calm water, murky, muddy, clear water. Regardless, assistance is needed NOW. The one tossing the lifesaver is rescuing the floundering, waterlogged person. Pulling in the rope, the rescuer establishes the struggling on solid ground.

2. Lifesavers = Candy, shaped like a rescue ring, but full of sugar and tasty, mouth smacking flavor. Tart, sweet, fragrant...Tossed into the mouth of someone who needs a sweet word or two, energy, and attention. A form of 'instant sugar' for individuals suffering from low blood sugar. At times, a lifesaver could prevent more serious health issues. Side effect: relaxation, smiling, and juicy mouth.

3. Life Savior = The (Everlasting) Life Ring, not tossed, but graciously given free of cost, for those floundering in life and the stormy seas of daily events. Without this Life Savior, rescue will not happen. Disaster is sure to follow.

Grab the Ring. Let Him tow you to shore. He is the source of all rescue, assistance, firm ground, energy, attention, and eternity.

Go ahead. Grab a Life Saver, Lifesaver, and Life Savior.

Smile. Relax.

Now, about life jackets...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thoughts of love

"As high as the sky is above the earth,
so great is His love for those who honour Him.
As far as east is from the west,
so far does He remove our sins from us."

Psalm 103:11-12 (Good News)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Square Flying-Flies

They're weird. Square flying flies zip around, turning sharp angles, forming squares, hexagons, triangles, and other shapes with corners. Unless another square flying fly actually accidentally travels into the sharp shape of another. Then a brief buzzing battle ensues until they quickly break apart into their own shape patterns.

Usually, these square flying flies do not bother people. They just fly their holding patterns.


Not all flies do this. Some are very annoying and consistently and persistently attack faces, eyes, ears, and food of humans. (They do the same to animals, but that doesn't bother me as much.) Regular flies are available to land on windows or doors or walls where one can smash them with a swatter. But not square flying flies. Can't get them to land on something for the purpose of termination. They just hover in mid air, flying their sharp angled shapes.

Hmmmm. For why are square flying flies frequently flying familiar formations? Food for fun focus of fact finding.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

3rd Harvest

Nothing smells better than fresh basil. Well, maybe cilantro freshly diced comes close. But out of my garden, fresh basil tingles my olfactories with hints of flavor to come. There is just something about picking herbs wet with recent rain. The fragrance swirls around me and coats my fingertips. The chef-du-soir, Mr. Q., had the kitchen window open, and immediately commented that the scent was wafting into the house. Mmmmmm.

Bargain of a deal at Trader Joe's - $2.99 a plant (bushy and good sized). Can't beat it. Perfect for psghetti, pesto, pasta...

The cat thinks it smells great also.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The journal

At the end of the day, after the aforementioned butterfly feast for the birds, I read the daily journal entries. My favorite was from a second grade boy, who says it like it is.

I'm sad.
I like butterflies.
I don't like the bird.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Butterflies are NOT snacks.

Did you know that on day 34, when you release butterflies that you have hatched and grown from wee little caterpillars, that on day 34 of caring for them, and you let them out, and the whole school is watching, that there will be some birds that will swoop in for a snack and eat them right in front of you?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mailing My Son

I'm (we're) so proud of him and how he has matured and grown. He is delightful to be around, hysterical, opinionated, caring, loving, unique, focused (all on engines and vehicles, thank you). We very much enjoyed his 2-week R & R trip from overseas and the hot zone.

For the second time, we had to ship him back. After a too-early drive to Seattle, lack of shut eye, and a melancholy drive, we mailed our son. Airmail. Watching him walk down the tunnel to the plane was bittersweet. The wonderful time with him was at an end.

And we stood there, looking quite crestfallen.

But the next time, it will be a happy moment. And the last of these type of trips. Thank you, son, for preserving our freedom and protecting those in need.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spaghetti Salsa

Last weekend, I made my "Spaghetti Salsa," famous in Taylor's mind. Maybe Chelsie's...Several were interested in the recipe. The trick is crushed peppers and lots of patience. Just remember, if there ain't no heat, there ain't no spaghetti salsa!

Angie's Spaghetti Salsa

finely chopped garlic (close to one head - lots!)
one large onion, finely diced (more if you like onions)
olive oil
Saute' the garlic and onion in olive oil until onions are translucent and garlic is a little crispy.

6-15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
3-15 oz. cans of Italian stewed tomatoes
2-3 small cans of tomato paste
Add sauce first. Pour stewed tomatoes into your hand and crush them as you add them to the sauce. Add paste and use a whisk to break up lumps. Stir well.


3 T. Mrs. Dash (regular flavor)
1 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper (preferably fresh ground)
4-5 bay leaves, whole
3 T. crushed basil
2 T. dried parsley
2 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed pepper (I like to add 1 T. when my parents are not eating with us)

Optional: sliced black olives
Sides: hot garlic bread, green salad with vinagrette dressing

Stir all ingredients together. Cover and simmer on low to medium for a minimum of two hours, stirring often. When it is time for dinner, make whole wheat pasta noodles following package directions. Do not dump noodles into the pan of sauce. Instead, place a serving of pasta on a plate, and top with sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Cool and store leftover sauce and noodles (separate containers) in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, heat some sauce in a frying pan, add some noodles, toss, and reheat.

Freeze leftover sauce. This sauce is nice to have on hand for chicken parmesan, last minute spaghetti, lasagna, or whatever else needs an extra spicy sauce.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Do you love to Auction?

Yes, I used auction as a verb...

If you love the thrill of the hunt, bid, and win, then Friday night is for you!

Join community members and valley residents at the annual Harrah Community Christian School Auction. The fun (competition?) gets under way at 5:30 with a silent auction. The live auction will take place later on in the evening. Students of the school will sing 2 inspirational songs. Besides bidding, winning, looking, listening, visiting...eating? Roast beef sandwiches on the house. Yummers for all of us.

See you there - May 7, at the warehouse on the corner of Harrah Road and Branch - next to the RR tracks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And Voila', A Double Rainbow

A rainbow - the sign of a promise and of hope (my theme yesterday, on a beautiful, about 78 degree day, clear skies, wonderful). I posted a rainbow photo, taken a few years back when I was traveling through Yellowstone.

This morning, I walked out of the house to find black clouds and rain. Gone was the lovely weather (unless you love rain as I do). At about 6:20 am, driving through the rain to the morning coffee and on to school, a rainbow and an echo rainbow (a brilliant one and a lighter one) showed up against the dark clouds.
Yes, I was driving, but it was too gorgeous to ignore.

Digging in my bag, I hauled out the camera, and clicked away. Between the rain, the wipers, the other cars (who were cramping my freedom to use both lanes) and buildings, I was quite pleased to get at least one decent, although somewhat blurry, shot.

Just for me. A reminder of a promise and a hope.

And after yesterday's volcano treats, a phone call today, and the boy is on the way. Despite world events. :)
A promise and a hope.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Incovenience of Volcanoes

Did you know, Aunt Angie,...??? Just an observation, but volcanoes disrupt lives? All of that awesome, scary, amazing power and energy, bursting forth, or oozing out, or blasting off tends to impact lives nearby. Or right now, in many cases, lives are at a stand still all over the world.

Take the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State. I was in high school. The majority of our problem was the tons of ash that covered everything, I mean everything. And school was out for a week. But seriously, is that really a problem? Nope. Still have my jars of Mt. St. Helens ash complete with peeling, yellowed, and disintegrating handmade labels.

Jump to 2010 (I know I'm skipping a few volcanoes in there). A mostly under ice volcano in Iceland, vibrantly active, spews ash in clouds that interrupt flights all across Europe, and consequently all around the world. Millions (according to news reports) of travelers are stranded, unable to get home or back to work or leave for vacation.

Personally, my baby, due to be home for his two-week r & r before finishing up his deployment, due to leave TODAY and be home very soon, is stuck on his FOB, no way to get anywhere, no place to go, no room where he needs to go to link to flights and home, backed-up people everywhere.

He is not alone, I know. Schools opening in parts of Europe, but missing teachers and students who are on holiday, and stuck on holiday. Officials postponing big talks. Businesses losing massive amounts of money due to inability to ship freight. Airlines laying off employees. No planes, no income, no payday. What a mess!

Despite my inclination to whine a bit, I know my baby is safe (don't let him know I call him that). It is safer to not rush the schedule if ash is in the air...I'd personally like to know how 'they' convinced pilots to test the airplanes in the ash to see if it is safe and if the planes sustained any damage. ??? A teensy thought, but you cannot spend overtime or hazard pay if your plane hits a cloud of ash and stops working. Hmmmm.

So, Aunt Angie, well, you know that God made the volcano. Yes, he did, nephew. I guess we will just have to leave it in His very capable hands. In His time, all will be sorted out.

Until then, I'll face each day with hope and His promises. It's gonna be fine. Hang in there, baby of mine.

(not a volcano, but signs of hope and a promise)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Dark Side

Speaking of quandary's, the last week has been interesting. And rife with visits from the dark side.

During the beginning of the week, we had special visitors from the Lower Valley (we thought a lower state at first) who were going door to door. Not door to door to sell or tell, but to see who was home and then permanently borrow items that had good resale value from absent residents.

No dog, no alarm (unless you count the overweight, old, and terribly chicken tuxedo cat), no one at home, no neighbors around...perfect recipe for 'help yourself.'

The evidence? A neighbor on the next block over noticed something fishy and started his own patrol. Footprints on the dust on the bench beneath our kitchen window. Removed kitchen window screen. Opened trunk by the back door, with a doll taken out and posed on top of the lid. Torn cat door flap and broken off piece of the vinyl (yes, dear, they did go for the cat door - but did they get in????).

Fortunately for us, the patrol neighbor scared them off, and the police were on the scene within minutes. Report filed.

A week ago today, as we were making lunch, we heard a weird noise. "Gunshots," said the honey. "Maybe it was the stove," said the wife.

Ok, this is the only time this year, but he was right. Gunshots. Right in front of our house. When the crime scene was taped off, the casings were about 3 feet off of our driveway. Yes, dear, you were right. But could it have been something more positive?

Police on the scene in minutes. Report filed.

Honestly, we tell the neighbors, who have come out in force to keep watch over each other, we do not know these miscreants of illegality. They are not related to us.

The neighbors, in reply, reassure us that these happenings are RARE. Nothing like this ever happens in our area. It's a great place to live. Really.

We believe them. Granted, last week, the house was almost back on the market.

But now, the dogwood is planted, and we are starting to put down good roots.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 'Almost' Sunrise Service

Happy Easter! A blessed day for believers worldwide, anticipated and celebrated with joyful reverence. As we watched the 'in advance' egg hiding across the water channel, our small group gathered for an Easter 'almost' sunrise service. Due to recent weather upsets (see previous entry), we decided to at least see daylight and what weather conditions applied before we headed to the park for worship. We met almost at sunrise...or slighter thereafter, to worship the King.
No snow. Sigh. But plenty of cool, crisp air and bright sun combined with blue sky gave us a beautiful setting to remember the day that Christ arose from the grave after dying on the cross for our sins. With the birds singing, the ducks on the pond quacking, and the serene (if somewhat cool) setting, we enjoyed a lovely fellowship experienced between brothers and sisters in Christ.

The fresh, spring park atmosphere reminded me of another early morning garden, when One thought dead, was alive again. The foundation and turning point of our faith.

He is alive!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Surprise! It would have been funnier yesterday, April Fool's Day. But today is the white sky date. It is more of a surprise if one doesn't watch the news, and is therefore shocked when an early spring snow shower occurs. Studs are gone from the tires, trees are budded, some seeds are deposited in the ground, flowers are abundant and beautiful. It's Good Friday. Easter is Sunday.

Welcome snow!

Despite the wintry appearance, the temp is mild, and the ladybug wellies are plenty warm enough to slosh through the mush.

But even now, the snow turns to rain, and sky is brightening, and water pours down the gutters and sidewalks.
Grateful irrigation of the lawn, but sad loss of my beloved snow.

Spring will return.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Where has the time gone? I can't believe my last post was in November. For crying out loud. That is how my time has been going. At this rate, I will never unpack the boxes in the garage, which have been in there since we moved into the new house...Granted, we did move in over one weekend. Before I know it, summer will be here and gone. And I'll be back in school.

I'm already a Nana. It seems like yesterday that I was a mommy. And before that, a honey. And previous to that, daughter. And earlier, a gleam in my daddy's eye.

My time flies.

The Quandry of Time

How is it that time spent doing paperwork and dishes and cleaning and waiting for exciting events stretches, at times, into agonizingly long chunks? While those other times, the cool times, like recess and lunch and sleep and vacation zip by as fast as a glimpse of lightning. Just wondering, if perhaps, time flows that way for anyone else.

Back in the old days, a younger me,
Carefree and filled with exuberance;
Long summer days played out
Unending joy, imaginative adventures
Horses and friends,
Ice cream and books,
Travels and family,
The summer kept on, hot, dry, windy.
Time to do everything,
Or nothing.
School loomed speck-like on the distant horizon
Learning a faraway adversary.
Ah, sweet summer, and endless days
Filled with simple joy.

but now...

The graying of me, the faster time goes.
Summer vacation's a blur and a blip.
Lists numerous, jobs to do,
That fast old clock ticks double sometimes triple time,
And the space in between the things to get done is
Than ever before.
The lists stay as long, the days fly by fast,
Bedtime rolls around before much is done,
The eyelids fall shut on the book.

Then BEEP. click.
Time to get up. Start over again.
Tackle the day, ever shortening day,
The clock moving steady and quick.

At the end of the week, work's still to be done.
Never a rest, or time just to be,
Not time to do everything,
Or nothing.

Picture the clock
Of life
Instead of winding up and keeping true time,
Not going slower at all.
But the watch ever tightens and turns
It's spin of each day
Hurtling faster and faster
Stealing the still moments of time.

Will it always be so?
Less time and more to do

A grand task -
Cut out the fluff
Keep the good things
Time to do everything
Or nothing