Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This and That

Well, I'm really having the hardest time lately knowing what to blog about.  Nothing seems of interest.  Is there anyone out there who is really interested in all the day to day stuff that we do in our home?  I have had several tell me over the years how much my blog has helped them, but then I can't figure out how sometimes!   I really don't normally have anything profound or deep to share.  Then again, my blog has allowed me to meet other women all over this country, and some have become friends.  
   I did make a decision about the MS trip.  We are doing both.  James and I have center 4th row seats to the opening night of Briana's musical!  Yay!  And, a date night at that!  My sister and her 2 girls are going to be at my parents' house that week on their spring break, so it's going to be a packed house of not only granddaughters and adults, but FIVE inside dogs, a cat, and a parrot!  Thank goodness it's only one night.  LOL.  All the people I can handle.  All the barking (including the African Gray Parrot...yes, he barks and sounds *exactly* like my dogs.  He has 2 different barks!  Sometimes he barks, and I think it's the dog.  He can also do an awesome cat.)  is what will make me crazy!!  Anyway!  We will drive over there that afternoon, James and I go to the musical that night while the cousins play, get up and drive the next day to MS, and go to the Scout dinner that night.  And, Belinda, it would be wonderful if I had children who slept in the car!  Daniella used to sleep great in the car up until the last couple of years.  Marissa will doze off on occasion if she's tired enough.  We'll have Sat. and Sun. to pretty much laze around if we want to recooperate, though.  We will visit my MIL and granny Sun-Tues.
I have a house full of sick girls this week.  Briana actually started it when she was here a week and a half ago.  She had a cold, which passed to Ashley the first of last week.  Thursday Daniella started with a fever for a couple of days.  She was getting better, at least I thought, over the weekend, but has now started with the real head cold symptoms, and she's started running a low grade fever again.  I pray it doesn't turn into a sinus infection.  Marissa has fought it off, and I thought she was out of the woods until last night she started complaining of a scratchy throat. Sure enough, she woke up at 7:00 this morning with a fever.  I've had trouble keeping it under 102 today.  Had to put her in the tub at one point.  Now Ashley is feeling yucky again today.  We're not really sure what the problem is, and praying it's not going to turn into anything again.  We have been doing all the preventative.....vit. c, echinaccea, silver, garlic, an herbal biotic for the little ones.....
I know I've mentioned FB a lot, but I've got to tell the coolest thing.  I guess I lead a sheltered life, because this is so entertaining to me!  LOL.  First, this week my sister noticed that a lady she knows in her town in West TN is friends with the girl that grew up across the street from us in central MS.  They were sorority sisters in AK.!!    The same day, I was on the FB wall of the sister of my friend Sheila.  Her sister's name is Cathy.  So, I notice that Cathy, who lives in TX, has a friend there who just discovered Cathy was from our hometown in MS.  The friend, Dorothy, tells Cathy she didn't know she was from MS, and that she grew up in this other small town about 30 min. away.  Seemed like a small world thing.  Well, that small town Dorothy grew up in is the same town my MOM grew up in and where my granny and most of my relatives live!  Not only did she grow up in the town, and not only does she know all of my relatives, she went to the same small church with them, knows as much about them as I do (LOL), and she is related to my great uncle by marriage.  If that's not enough, it turns out that her brother married a girl I was friends with in school, and he was at my wedding!  As Sheila said, it's amazing how small the world gets with technology! 
Okay, thanks for humoring me.  No one seems as impressed by that story as me! 
On the homeschool front, other than today, we have accomplished some things this week inspite of sickness.  We read about Paul Revere and did a project about him, read about "the shot heard round the world", and Marissa and I wrote a "newspaper" article about the battle.  We finished up the 3rd book in a series we had started a long time ago~ The Adventures of an Arctic Missonary series by Gloria Repp.  We loved it, even though we did take a long break between book 2 and 3.  We wanted a book 4.  That was also a great series to have discussions about lots of subjects~ wilderness survival, airplanes, geography and topography, amulets and shamans and worshiping nature, and lots more.  We started another Box Car Children book for Daniella's benefit, plus her math and spelling, along with some crafts.  Marissa has done a great deal of independent reading, and James has read more to Daniella.
I'll leave you with a picture of Mokoi and baby Ashley (my daughter's namesake).  If you didn't read my last entry, baby Ashley died about 2 weeks ago.  Please lift Mokoi up in prayer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two Big Events

....on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Our big news yesterday......Briana got a part in her very first musical!!!  We are so excited.  Remember back in July, just before she was supposed to start college, majoring in interior design, she had, what we call, her "meltdown"?  It was a very emotional few days for her, and ultimately me, as she made the decision, faced the fears, let go of some things, and embraced that it was okay to pursue what she loved. 
Of course, she won't have a speaking role.  Those go to the professionals, but she is thrilled to be in the "ensemble"....extra characters, singers, and dancers.  The play is Shenandoah, which is set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the Civil War.  This is also right up her alley, because she has been dying to get into Civil War reenactment, but lacked someone to do it with.  I'm so excited for her. 
It was all very fast.  This theater obviously does things quickly!  She is at the theater for classes 5 days a week, but only found out about the audition 3 days prior.  She had a monalogue and song ready, so then it was just a matter of her nerves as this was her first audition other than ballet.  She auditioned Friday, came home for the long weekend, went back yesterday (Tues.), and just as they were driving back into town, she got a call on her cell asking her to come to a rehearsal that night.  They acted like is was a call back, but when she got there, they told her her part, and she stayed for rehearsal.  The play opens on March 19th, so they only have one month of rehearsals.  It will run through June 14th, which also means she won't be home any, except maybe once at the end of May!  (She is also hoping for a part in the next play which starts June 17th.) 
Other than obvious thing, I have a problem!  Someone tell me what to do!!!  LOL.  Opening is March 19th.  Openings are usually big deals.  I'm her mom.  I REALLY, REALLY want to be there for her opening.  I"m supposed to be in Mississippi.  sigh.  We are supposed to go on Tues. that week to visit my grandmother who is in a nursing home and James' mom ~both of whom we haven't seen since Jan. 2007.  But, the reason it's planned for that week is that James is having a Scout reunion (he's an Eagle Scout) on the 20th and 21st.  He's really been looking forward to this, and not going is not an option.  I am considering and praying over changing the dates some, going to the opening on the 19th, then getting up early and driving to MS the next morning, and going to the Scout dinner that night.  It's a 6 hour drive, so it's doable.  I just know we'll all be really tired, especially the little girls.  Then, we could do the family visits the few days afterwards, since we don't have to have Briana back to classes on Monday.  The reunion had fallen on her spring break. 
Big thing number two~
For about 10 years, we have sponsored a young girl in Orbit, Kenya.  This is through a missionary who we know personally, so we have been able to have great communication and pictures of her, send her clothes and school supplies, etc.  We've also been able to help her mom a little over the years.  It's a great ministry and great program that I highly recommend!  Anyway, Ashley has become very close to Mokoi over the years, as she is the one who has written to her.  She calls her her African sister.  Almost 2 years ago, Mokoi was raped and became pregnant.  We greived so for her.  At first, she was going to place the baby for adoption, because she was still in high school, and they are very poor.  Ultimately, her mother told her that she would help her take care of the baby so that she could graduate, and they kept the baby.  They named her Ashley.  Our Ashley was so honored, and loved that little baby.  We got news 2 days ago that baby Ashley died that day.  They believe it was malaria.  She had just turned a year old in Jan.  Ashley is so heartbroken for Mokoi and herself.  She has longed to go to Africa soon to meet them both and play with her namesake.   She wishes she could be there now.  Would you please pray for them both? 
You know, it's hard to be so excited and happy for one, while you grieve with the other.  Like I said this morning, being a mom is like a rollercoaster for the mind!  Joys and sorrows.  Some days the mind feels overwhelmed with it all, but the Lord is steadfast. 
Thank and praise Him in ALL things!! 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Around Our House

Well, it certainly has been a hectic couple of months around here.  Never many dull moments!  I went into Christmas a little befuddled.  My mind could not wrap itself around Christmas---no pun intended!  Maybe I should rephrase.  It certainly has been a hectic 8 1/2 months!!  We've had lots of changes and major events in that time.
  I think life is settling least for a couple of weeks.  I'm thinking maybe I should cringe now that I've said that!  We left on New Year's Day to go to Disney for 14 days, then I was at home for 12 days (washing clothes, unpacking, and trying to get down Christmas decorations...all but the pitiful tree, which still stood in the corner, with ornaments dropping off of it.).  That's when I went to stay with Briana for 10 days.  I blogged part way through that very restful trip.  However, Tennessee decided to snow that week!  We had 3 or 4 snows and some ice, I think that week.  Nothing like KY, but enough to shut down TN!  All but 2 of Briana's classes got cancelled during that week, and I ended up having to stay an extra day because of ice on the interstate.  She and I had a nice, peaceful, restful week together, though. 
Fast forward one week, and those negative 5 wind chills turned into 70 degrees.  The girls have had the BEST time playing outside.  They ran, jumped, climbed, swang, rode scooters....all day long, every day.  They went to bed exhausted every night.  : )  I don't know if it was the warm Florida weather when we went to Disney that made them stir crazy or what, but they have had serious cabin fever.  I did sneak in a little school work, and we did some of our reading and history out on the deck, which we love.  Of course, now the cold air has settled back in, but it was a wonderful break. 
James went Sat. morning and brought Briana home for the weekend, so we've enjoyed having her here.  With today being a holiday, we get to keep her an extra day. My mom and dad took off to spend the long weekend at the beach. 
In about 30 min., Heidi will be calling me.  This will be the first time I've ever spoken to her "in person", and I'm so excited.  We barely missed meeting each other twice in Oct. and Jan.!  She is actually calling to interview me for an article on adoptions that will be in the summer issue of TOS.  I'm so excited!!  I just hope she can understand my southern drawl.  LOL! 
Tonight we're going to watch Fireproof, and, hopefully, just have a normal week this week!  This Sunday, I am looking forward to going to our Bible Fellowship group for the afternoon.  Between it not meeting most of the summer, and me being gone so much, I've only been once since May.  I really miss it. 
So, that's my very rambling blog entry.  Just stuff.  Good stuff.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How Do You Pronounce My Name?

Since I have a lot of new blog friends over the last year, I was thinking I should repost this.  Then just this past week, one of them asked me this very question.  So here is a repost from 2006, with a few changes.
A few months ago, one of my friends here asked me how to pronounce my name.  Still it didn't occur to me that I should tell everyone else.  I'm not sure why.  You would think after spending my whole life being called everything you can imagine, I wouldn't just assume that my friends here would know what my name is.  So for the ones of you who have never heard of the famous etiquette expert, Letitia Baldridge, I'll clue you in.  I guess phonetically, it would be----
Luh-Ti-sha  (any of you that know me have any better pronunciations?)  Don't drag out the "uh" sound too much though.  I'm southern, but not *that* southern!  Just run it all together.  The "i" in the Tisha part is pronounced short "i" like in "igloo".  My whole life, one of my grandmother's pronounced that "i" like "ee"  --Luh-Teesha.  Don't like that one! 

Growing up, my family and friends called me Tish or Tisha.  My family still does.  Part of this update is that I recently joined Facebook, and it has been really funny getting used to many of my old school friends calling me Tish again!  Fun, though.  Of course, there were the weird and annoying variations like Tishee that some family members came up with.  A few guy friends in high school decided I was Mortisha (Adams Family) in order to tease me.  One even called me Tush.  LOL.
It's interesting that I've always gone by my full name since being an adult.  I'm good with either.  You can call me Letitia or Tisha---and my friend, Sheila, can call me Tish! 

The name Letitia comes from the Latin laetitia, which means "joy".

So there you have it.  Now my question is--what have YOU been calling me in your head all this time as you read my comments?! : )

(that's Luh-Tisha!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Moose Tracks, God is Good, Homeschooling is Good, Being a Mom is Good

Well, I'm sitting here eating Moose Tracks ice cream.....okay, for the SECOND time today.....and wondering what to type that would be of any interest.  I have been at my mom and dad's house for 8 days now, and will be here for another two.  I am here with Briana, and all of my other children are home.  James brought them over for 3 nights, and they left this morning.  It has been an interesting combination of really missing them all, and enjoying quiet time with Briana.  I know there are some of my blog friends who will think that is horrible, but......  Anyway, it was their choice to stay home so that they could go to AWANAS and Daniella to ballet.  We've had 2 pretty good snows while I've been here, and one of those I got to enjoy with Marissa and Daniella this morning.  They, James, my dad, and I had a snowball fight. 
It's the next morning now, and I am looking forward to a day of scrapbooking.  I have a table set up in the living room, and have been able to keep everything spread out all week.  I do have a burden today for some of my old friends.  One in particular the Lord put on my heart in Dec., and it is deep last night and this morning.  He calls himself a Christian, but lives a lifestyle of sin.  The thing is that he does seem to really love God, but his lifestyle is totally against scripture.  It's so sad to me.  Honestly, this was not a burden I wanted.  I told God that in Dec., and he very clearly said to me, "You are the only person in this world who is praying for him in this."  And, that settled that.  Somedays I don't know what to pray, like last night, but we have a Father who hears the cries of our hearts, even when those cries are not audible, understandable words.  And, so, I cry out for him, some days with words; some days with nothing but an aching heart.  And, then I see all of the old friends who don't seem to mind or find any problem with his lifestyle.  Some are quite supportive.  So, then, I have a burden for them last night and today, too.  I love my old friends, and it has been so fun and great to catch up with them on Facebook.  I am hopeful that a friendship that was "lost" for 20 years, can be renewed.  But, one thing I didn't expect was that being on FB would ignite the prayers.  Isn't God good?
So, as you can see, I've given you a break from Disney pictures.  LOL.  Unfortunately for you, there are more to come when I get back home.  : )  Just one more post, I promise!
Our homeschooling has been virtually non-existant since mid Dec!  I was gone all but 12 days during the month of Jan!  When I get home, I've got my work cut out for me, getting us back on some kind of schedule.  Isn't homeschooling great?  We can take the the time to do things our family needs and wants.  I am not one to worry about missing lessons.  There are lessons to be learned everywhere.  When I said "virtually non-existant", I was referring to sit down learning.  I, by no means, think we haven't learned.  We had great geography lessons while we traveled.  We also had great talks about orange groves, peanut and pine tree farms, photography, airplanes, pecan trees, human nature, health, physical science, grammar, and much more.  They also read, were read to, and played some thinking and observation games.  LOL.  This morning they learned some lessons as they were trying to keep the sled under control and from crashing over a little embankment while they were out sledding without their dad!  We're looking forward to digging back into our history lessons when I get settled in, as well as picking our read aloud back up.  
 Tonight I am going to watch Briana in her tap and modern classes. It just happened that parent week hit while I was here for part of the week.  Ballet and pointe got snowed out last night, and I was disappointed to miss it.  I think she was, too.  I have to leave before the next one.  It's been great to spend the week with her.
So, I'm off to my scrapbooking, and hope to accomplish a lot on it today.