Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sunshine is 15

Grandma C got to hold my 3rd sweet son on the day he arrived at 8lbs, 4 oz & 19.5 inches tall at 12:59 p.m., a Tuesday. Dr. Dooley was surprised at his size since the scheduled c was a week before Caleb's official due date. His hair was was redder ( that's NOT a word? How about I say instead, "more red". Happy now?) than his brother's had been so I thought we might get a fire engine like Uncle Jim or Aunt Dee. Caleb Thomas slept most of his birthday. The nurses came to get him around 11 pm so I could get a good night's rest. Ha!

I knew something that they didn't. Stan had been working evenings & had been "playing with the baby" > read "training him to be AWAKE" around midnight when we hit the sack.

I told the nurse that Caleb would be wide awake within about an hour but she was welcome to take him to the nursery if she wanted. She gave me the "you don't know what you are talking about" look & rolled his bed away.

My phone rang about 12:15. In the background I heard angry newborn squalling. The nurse said, "You sure know your son. Do you want me to bring him to you?"

Of course I did! My precious baby wanted his mama. :-)

Down side: He kept up that 2 hour awake/alert time between 2 & 5 a.m. for the first few months. I'm not sure how long exactly. I hear that sleep deprevation causes memory loss...
I love the pictures of the big guys checkin' out their new little brother. They were so welcoming. I don't think they poked him in the eye even once. On purpose.

Here's the traditional diaper baby picture.

Funny story: I was changing a diaper in the middle of the night & had turned my back on day's-old Caleb to get clean jammies from a drawer. In the dark from Caleb's direction I hear "Mama?" I about jumped out of my skin! He TALKS? No, it was Andrew who had crept in unseen in the dark. Oh, my heart.
Why is there a photo of Jacob & Stan in a treehouse when I'm blogging about Caleb's birth?
I'm glad you asked.

Stan took off work for a week after Caleb was born. He said it was to help me. What he did was build this treehouse. I remember doing laundry while hearing the hammer pounding. I'm sure he helped around the house too, I just don't remember that part.

It was a great treehouse. 2 story. It was built the end of September/beginning of October. By April we had moved to another house, and unfortunately, treehouses just don't move well.

You can see that his homeschooling education began early with eager tutors using the real books approach.

Right after his first Christmas we went to TN & AL. His Pawpaw Alex could really make him laugh.

While on vacation he got to bathe in Grandma R's sink.

Even when stuck in a basket, he kept his sunny disposition (thus the nickname) until he turned two. But that's another story.

Happy 15th Birthday, Caleb!

But we don't handle snakes...

Dan the Animal Man provided a Christian view of creation on Wednesday night: "Creatures glorify God by doing what they are designed to do very well." He brought four live, wild ("these animals do NOT live in my house")& unique animals from all over the world, pointing out some of the special physical features God designed for their survival in the environment for which He created them. Link to Dan Breeding's Wild Animal Encounters. Link to Creatures of Creation.

I was so upset that I forgot my camera! But Alice had a much better seat (not to mention CAMERA) so here you have it:

I found this slideshow featuring Dan on Youtube.

What touched my heart the most as I listened to Dan glorify God's perfect design and creativity in animals awa in people, was Dan's own testimony: "I am the product of a failed forced abortion attempt using animal steroids >irony!< in a vet clinic before Roe v. Wade. At that time one in ten failed." PTL for that "failure"!

Praise the Lord for His marvelous works! For this life that seeks to glorify Him through His creation. For having His Hand of protection on Dan from the beginning. Oh Lord, protect all the unborn humans for they are precious in Your sight. Change the abortion permissive laws in this country. Open the eyes of the providers of death so they will mourn over what their hands have done. Forgive our land for allowing the slaughter.

And thank you for the Dan encounter.

Friday, September 26, 2008


See You at the Pole on Wednesday, dark and early, was beautifully photographed by my friend Alice:

Seeing other homeschooled families there supporting our public school kids & teachers has been a blessing to me every year, almost as much as seeing the faculty and student leadership. We just don't usually get up & go somewhere THAT early - one of the perks of home education. Many of us have not seen that time of day since last year's SYATP!

Every year as people arrive they sorta circle-up but also bunch together with friends > could be to keep WARM< until one of the event leaders organizes the group. This year it was, "join hands and circle the flagpole."
Looking across the football field, I noticed a gap in the circle making it incomplete. Then I saw a husband & wife team from church, Grandparents, step into that gap. They are on the photo's right edge. He's in a cap, having battled cancer for several years now. See how closely together they are standing? How they love.

Then I remembered Ezekiel 22:30 "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none." Joy! Here are TWO and MORE. PTL!

Help us, Lord, to stand in the gap for our schools awa our country. Thank You, Lord, for the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that was read twice at the ceremony: "If my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

And thank you, Lord, for praying grandparents.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I'm newly there!
I have reconnected with some folks I grew up with. I have found area friends to keep closer tabs on> next time I WILL KNOW when Alice is in the hospital.
But really, the best part so far?

It enables me to better provoke my on-the-edge-of-the-nest eldest son. He recently posted a photo wearing arm tattoo hose designed with snakes & skulls, stating that he just returned from the parlor.

Contrasting emotions immediately flood my mommy brain (is that where emotions go?):
UGH! that's my BABY!
And "that kid just cracks me up!"

As you can see, there is a bit more emotion attached to one train of thought than the other.
Blame me? Yes, yes, I'm grateful that they are not the real thing & that he has no apparent piercings. Even so.

Crossing my eyes & sticking out my tongue, I write on his wall, teasing him about wearing HOSE - but we both know it's not the first time.

Speaking of hose (here's how my wierd brain works: hose> support hose> election candidates need support> oh, I just found those group thingies!)

If you are a face-booker too & a McCain supporter there is a group:

There's also one for folks in my area supporting Charlie Van Zant for FL House Dist. 21

So there you have it: Facebook group-up with candidates you support but remember you don't have to wear hose or tattoos on your arms or your face. Got that? Good.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jeremy's Unfinished Ride

On Wednesday Stan told me that two police cars, lights flashing, sped past him as he was driving home. When he caught up to them he saw that they were working an accident, that a truck had hit two bicyclists. He said one was standing and the other was sitting up. We were glad no one died & prayed for those involved.

Today he showed me a newspaper clipping containing the rest of the story:
Bicyclist Hit While Completing Charity Ride
Article from their local paper

Stan Bippus and his nephew Jeremy Winkelman, who has cerebal palsy, had ridden all the way from San Diego, leaving there on Easter. They were one day away from reaching their St. Augustine goal for a trip totaling 3,100 miles.

The paper said Stan B. is in the hospital & as of Thursday, in critical condition.

Here'e the blog addy:

LYDIAS, Bearded Ladies and Chuck Norris

Last Sunday the call went out for help for the LYDIAS, the wonderfully talented and creative sewing group at church who make costumes, banners, etc.: "If you can sew on a button, come help sew rings on one of the Easter Pageant backdrop curtains." Yes, it's not even Christmas & we've started on Easter.

Rachel & I can sew on buttons so we helped ring the curtains on Monday. There were 19 volunteers present. I believe everyone except us were senior adults. All female except for one of their husbands who was there to do the lifting/carrying and use man-tools like pliers, you know, do the "man-things" that senior adult females do only if there isn't a male around to ask.

We had a great time & I hope blessed them as much as we were blessed. Rachel said, "I'll be glad when we're old enough to be LYDIAS."

Did you notice? She said "we". As in "she and I" are young compared to THEM. As in she didn't say that I was OLD. :-) Doesn't always take much to make my day!


Choir practice Monday night was riotous. I so enjoy my church family!

We are working on Relevant Hymns Volume Two, the whole book, for a special "Night of Praise" service on Caleb's birthday. They are even having a fellowship that night just for him. Oh, wait. Maybe it has something to do with Bro. Scott's anniversary at the church too...

Ahem, there are 5 sopranos on the third row who are funny troublemakers. I think it's because they have to listen to those back row basses sing in their ears all the time. (Van!)

In"All Hail the Power of Jesus Name" there is a section where the sops do NOT have the melody! I know, it shocked me too. (Alto joke: Altos are sopranos who can read music.) The guys sing the melody. Bro. Scott has started reminding the sops to "just say NO to the melody" when we head into that part.

Monday night the five were ready for him. By the time the words were out of his mouth, they had beards. The beards looked like brown fake-fur cloth held onto the chin by elastic bands that went around the head. Very cheesy looking. We were ROTFL.

THEN the church secretary in their midst started making excuses while Bro. Scott laughed & disbelieved her.
"I'm just doing like I'm told! It was NOT ME who planned this." and finally "I promise on my mother's grave it wasn't me"
What??? Her mother sits on the front row so had to stand-up to chastise her daughter. Too funny.

We did settle down & get more practicing in until it was time for Jeanie's solo in "Rock of Ages". The fab five pulled out white hankies & started waving them & dabbing at their eyes: Vestal Goodman copy-cats.

Jeanie said she was so glad her back would be toward them for the performance. But you know what she'll be thinkin'!

A couple of days ago I was messing with Jacob about his helmet topper making him conspicuous everywhere he went, that there were people spotting him like he was "Waldo" in the children's books.

His reply, "Chuck Norris knows where Waldo is. Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding."

And then, with no advance warning, the kids were off of a Chuck Norris joke fest:

When CN pops a Pringles top, the fun CAN stop.

CN can tuna fish (tune a fish, as in you can tune a piano but you can't tune a fish).

CN solved pi to the exact decimal place.

CN can eat only ONE Ruffles potato chip.

CN can teach an old dog new tricks.

The boogie man checks under his bed for CN.

CN knows where Carmen Sandiego is.

CN can lead a horse to water AND make him drink.

CN can divide by zero.

Superman wears CN PJs.

CN's face will NOT get stuck that way.

CN can speak braille.

Now, aren't you glad I shared that special teen time with you? And you didn't even have to put on a cheesy beard.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

the 70s & 80s

A challenge fulfilled: Scanned photos from the 70s & 80s.

What I notice the most is how THIN I used to be! Four children and (mumble) years later...

This one was made when I was in the 10th grade. Long hair. Feathers. Huge glasses. And that fashionable top! I was stylin'.

Shoulder length was my preference during my senior year; actually similar to how I wear it now.

A couple of weeks before graduation my mom took me for a haircut. After the haircut, Mom asked, "Is that all you're going to cut off?"
The stylist recut my hair.
It was SO SHORT I had to part it on the side to get it to feather. I CRIED.

It was still short when I met Stan. Shorter than his!

This one was made on my trip to show my family in TN & AL that I was still alive after my bad car accident in '85. The fro helped cover the hair loss from the head injury - not that my little cousin Traci was impressed!

Glamour Shots attempted to make me look like a fashion plate as an anniversary gift for my hubby.

Just what every husband wants: Scary eyebrows!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Economics Lesson for Obama

E-Mail Advertisement

Wanted: An Elephant

Hi, I am looking for a pet elephant for my son to play with. If you have one laying around that you aren't playing with anymore, I'll take it!

My kids raised an elephant as a 4-H project. It took 5 years and $100,000 but Jumbo is now grown and happy. He requires a very large yard but is pole trained so you can tie him up with kite string. He eats more fruits/veggies/grains than the state of Rhode Island & can drink dry an in-ground pool in under a week so be sure you have adequate financing & live on a lake. He is litter box trained but you may want to consider the purchase of a forklift to haul the box outside. The kids love to ride him and he makes a wonderful diving board. He did, however, break the trampoline and has squashed more than one basket ball. He makes a great guard but tends to foul often and is a ball hog. He makes paperdolls with Rachel but does not like her hamsters one bit. He likes to help out so lifts the furniture when we vacuum (has only torn down one ceiling fan) and takes the trash cans out to the road. The garbage men have complained about him waiting for a tip but I really think that applause would do just fine.

Please let us know when you can come get him because the kids are wanting to raise penguins next.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny Valentine

Do you ever have something "normal" (yes, that is a relative term!) just tickle your funny bone?

A couple of days ago while reading in my reading room, I happened to notice that the latest brand of TP bought by my dh was decorated in hearts.
Maybe I just don't get out shopping enough to notice these trends. I thought that was a strange place to find hearts!

Purchased by dh, was this a special message for me? "I (heart) you?"
A reminder that we "heart" having TP rather than old Sears catalogues? > My mother's memory not mine, although I do remember using my Gma's little house on the hill with the moon on the door.

Perhaps, I so (heart) that we aren't out of TP?


I wonder where a heart design may turn-up next. Kleenex? Ugly friend products? Are they already on baby diapers? (" I love that this baby will smell better soon.")

What other decorating schemes will invade my reading room privacy? Butterflies? Teddy bears? Smiley faces ("LOOK at that!")?

Will they be marketing cartoons or action heroes? I can already hear the comercials: "Wipe-out evil with batman..."

Manufacturers could make a killing with sports teams: "Send your competition to the toidy!"

I guess it really doesn't matter in the end, as long as it's two-ply.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brief Tirade & Prayer

Thank you, Aunt Louise, for this campaign link.

Dear Mr. Obama

As a military brat who loves America, I approve this message.

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends."

Our military lay down their lives for their family & friends AND for people they don't even know. They stand in the gap for our freedom. In the case of some "Americans", our military lay down their lives for their enemies here. What great love of country and what great sacrifice.

If I Die Before You Wake

Heavenly Father,
Please protect our soldiers. Please comfort their families while they are apart. Please make opportunities for Your people to shine Your light in places missionaries could never go. Please bring them home safely.

Remember Me

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy 20th Jacob!

Here he is, all 9 lbs. 14 oz. & 21 inches, having arrived way too early in the morning after giving me a couple of truly miserable & exhausting days (not to mention the nights), but I'll spare you the details.

It would have been so nice to have had a good digital camera 20 years ago. As it was, I enjoyed capturing special moments of this cute, happy, rolley-poly kid with my 110 until we could afford a decent 35mm.

As you can see, he was musical even way back then. I have a note written on the back telling that he was singing "La la la la" even though he wasn't yet talking. Does that explain for Bro. Scott some of Jacob's creative lyrics? :D

Now, here is a professional shot purchased for his first birthday. What a sweetie.

When he gets home from a full day of college & Maryn-ating, looking forward to his favorite meal of shrimp etouffee (maybe I'll give you the recipe) and the requested rich chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting (grandma's recipe but I could share that too), I expect him to robustly serenade me: "Happy birthing day to you! Happy birthing day to you! Happy birthing day, dear Maaaaaaama! Happy birthing day to YOU!"

But he can leave off the "and many moooooorrrrreeeee" part. :D

A Reason to Vote

If you have ever chosen NOT to vote because one choice seemed as good (or bad) as the other, or have voted with the mindset of voting against something/someone, I am excited to actually have someone to vote for.

This video appears to me to have been recorded as part of a commissioning, graduation or recognition program at Wasilla Assembly of God , occurring well before Governor Palin was contacted by Senator McCain about running as VP:
Sarah Palin speaking.
Warning: The quality is not very good.
Warning #2: The heart attitude brought tears to my eyes. If your heart breaks for our country, you may want to get a hanky before watching. "Lord, turn the hearts of the people back to You & protect Your children."

While I was not wholeheartedly behind McCain, expecting to be voting against platforms rather than for someone, I can say that I am for this team.
>I have added this link to my listing awa the Vocabulary Free Rice link.

Here's another interesting site with (as you may notice by the name!) election articles:

Gotta run.
I'll fill you in on yesterday's mtg & Sunday's Truth Project segment asap. In the meantime, consider the questions:
Who is man?
Why is there evil in the world?
What is evil?

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Price of a Picnic

Have you ever done something & just known in the back of your mind that you shouldn't but didn't take the time to make it right?

That describes me NOT applying sunscreen while at the Titus 2 Home School Group sponsored picnic at Camp Good News on Saturday. I planned not to be in the sun for very long - it really wasn't all that long. I planned to keep a Tshirt on while swimming. I even brought my sunscreen - just left it in the bottle. I had a super time at the picnic. The weather was beautiful. There were fun activities, good food,
nice people, no major injuries - everything you could ask for. The water was GREAT. And I guess I stayed in for too long...
Now I am paying the price. Owie! Sunburn City. Not pretty. Not fun.

Reminds me of sin & consequences. If we felt the pain of the consequence BEFORE committing the sin, wouldn't we be much less likely to commit that sin?


I've had sunburns before & knew what was necessary to prevent this outcome. I just didn't "flee" that temptation.

Next time: RUN! Resist! Step away! Remember the pain!
Here's more picnic photos:

When we started coming here several years ago, my guys & the Freeman boys started this game called the peaceful hermits. Strange name for "king of the dock". The peaceful hermits were "friends". If you weren't one then you got pushed, thrown or bumped off the dock.

I believe this year it was mainly a family thing with just about all the other kids facing off against my 2 biggest guys along with gutsy Rachel & changing "teams" or sitting out periodically.
There were occasional questions: "Are you okay?" "Ready to go again?" But mostly just a lot of grunting and happy screams (is that an oxymoron?).
They acted like they enjoyed having Jacob throw them off. He was sure sore yesterday. Plus he had some major scratches bestowed by one boy who had long nails.
Andrew found some fellow sports-a-holics with whom to toss a football & shoot some hoops.Rachel had some friends to hang-out with also.

Everyone enjoyed the water slide. I just realized I have no good photos of Caleb - most were on the water slide & he goes so fast they were all very blurry.

That's all I have for now. We have a big day today with our first home school support group meeting of the year which is always a bit crazy. If I get too busy to post about it right away, feel free to ask me how it went but please, please, no hugs.

Remember: Suncreen is your friend.

Time to apply more green goo.

Friday, September 5, 2008

But wait, there's more



Not much but every little bit counts!

Parade of Hurricanes

The alphabet is going by more rapidly (and memorably!) than usual.

Fay brought some blessed rain to us and no damage.

Gustav bypassed my neck of the woods. Lord continue to help those effected by Gus.

Hanna-Banana is today providing an overcast sky, some breezy wind and cooler weather. Lord, help those in the path of this on-again, off-again hurricane.

Next in line is big bad Ike, who I heard described earlier today as Katrina on steroids. Scary. Lord, help us all.

Josephine is still waaaaay out there but has some predictors projecting that she plans a Florida vacation also.

One of my TN cousins blessed me with this link:
It's one of the best I've seen for keeping track of where these swirling storms are spinning & spreading. At least as long as we have electricity!

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Maryn's website

Here's the link to Maryn's recently created website:
There is a nice photo of her working on a painting of herself with her most favorite of my sons.

Springing into Fall

Here's those pictures I promised.
Rachel gracefully soars through the air. Notice Molly hanging out in the shade under the trampoline. After she gets bopped on the head a time or two, she'll learn to move when the kids get on.

Andrew decided to play around with Caleb while I photographed. It took quite a number of shots to capture a few unblurry photos. Three cheers for digital photography!

Andrew does this bounce on his hands then flip thing that looks pretty cool.

Notice the open area behind him: our lake. At one time the water came nearly to the pine tree you can see on the right. The Beast awa the burn pile would have been in the water. The trees in the distance are on our "island".