Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Texas Drivers, Y'all Listen Up!

"Have cell phone, will travel." If that's your motto, take a minute to punch this number into your cell phone book: *DPS (*377).

The Texas Department of Public Safety established this number to be used for non-life threatening situations. So drivers who witness a hazardous road conditions, dead animals, suspicious activity at rest stops, or who may be stranded with car problems can dial *377 to summon a DPS rep for roadside assistance.

Customers of Cingular/AT&T, ALLTEL, Nextel, and Verizon Wireless can dial this number free of charge anywhere in the state of Texas. It is available 24/7.

Remember, this does NOT replace 911 as an emergency number. In a previous post from last May, I mentioned a local Dallas number that I called when Sandi and I had a flat tire on I-45. *DPS covers a whole lot more ground, and it's easier to remember.

Like umbrellas, which you never need until you forget them, you probably won't ever need to use this number if you add it to your phone book. But if you don't...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Routine Happenings
This evening, I was reminded that this blog is actually read by a few people. Primarily by my good friends whose proximity I vacated when we moved. Thus, an overdue update...

It's been a few weeks--nay, more than two months--that we've lived in Anna now. The family has entered into something of a daily rhythm, though it is still filled with "new house," "not feeling at home quite yet" sorts of tasks and emotions. For instance, just about every Friday, my hubby and I ask each other, "What do we want to accomplish this weekend?" We're talking house stuff--hubby installed attic flooring and five ceiling fans last weekend. The weekend before that my mother was in town visiting, and we successfully shopped for and draped several windows that desperately needed curtains. So, we are project oriented these days, and that's not our usual nature. But it works for now.

My weekday routine: while John gets ready each morning, I awaken Nate, brew my coffee, fix Nate's breakfast, pack his lunch (all in that order), then see them off before heading for my own shower or maybe a short quiet time. That's all before 8 am. After that, Jack and Maggie are up needing food, drink, and fresh diapers (not in that order). Then there is absolutely no routine until 1 pm when Maggie naps and Jack tries not to. We then pick Nate up from school, head back home, play, fix dinner, read with Nate, do the bedtime routine, and collapse--all by 7 pm.

I am so grateful that I am able to stay home with the little ones. I can't imagine having to work full-time right now. Don't get me wrong--there are days I wish I could hand them off and escape to a creative meeting for writers and editors. Or attend a training for a new part-time editing gig. Or have lunch (sans kids) with a friend. But for the most part, they are my delight, my purpose, my cuddly cuties :).

Interwoven in the "routine" I just described are the freelance jobs I must work through and complete. So far the most time-consuming task is grading two on-line classes for DTS. Every couple of weeks I get a digital stack of papers to grade and conversations to evaluate. Bread and butter, not a burden.

I also have a book to finish writing with Sue Edwards and Henry Rogers--the "Men and Women as Brothers and Sisters in Christ" book. We hope to wrap that up this spring, but we have several heavy-duty meetings ahead of us to make that happen. Lots of editing, I predict!

Speaking of editing, I've also contracted with Wycliffe Bible Translators to help edit a commentary that will be used by "mother tongue translators" to help them translate the book of Mark from the English Bible into their own languages. I'm on a steep learning curve here. Four different authors will write the Mark commentary, and I will attempt to unify their styles. This has already begun and should go through the summer off and on. A helpful source of income, I might add. It will probably pay for all the childcare I'm going to need as I work on these projects...

In book news, I have been approached to help write a book on orphan care. A DTS grad who has worked with international orphan support and adoptions wants to share the principles of James 1:27. I get to help! He did not know this when he met me, but my in-laws adopted three sisters from Russia almost 9 years ago. My relationships with "the girls" helped draw me emotionally to this project, which is still in proposal stage. More on that later as things start to happen.

Sue and I submitted a proposal for a fourth book, early last year and were content to let it sit while we worked on book #3 (see above). We just received word that the proposal has been accepted. Moody Publishers is writing up the contract now. We have 15 months to get it done.

I feel like what I think a CPA feels like in January. Uh-oh.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Artsonia

My son's elementary school participates in an online art museum for kids. I think it's very cool, as do many young artists, since it displays artwork painted, colored, drawn, and otherwise created by school-aged children. What's also fun about it? Individuals (listen up, you homeschoolers!) can register their children, scanning or uploading digital images for select viewers to see. Click here to check it out.

Each child gets a screenname, much as we all do at Blogger. The parent controls who can join his/her fan club. So if you want grandpa, auntie Em, and cousin Barb to see your prodigy's creations on a regular basis, sign them up or show them how to join the club. It's very simple. Once your fan club members are registered, they will receive automatic updates whenever new art is added to your child's collection.

So far, my Nate only has two pieces posted. If I could find his other masterpieces, hidden among the piles of school work and drawings, I can scan them in to join his current work. But if you'd like to see his current work, search for "Nate324," his screenname, and the site will direct you to his page. Leave a comment if you wish. The kids get a kick out of knowing that others have enjoyed their art. And if your school doesn't participate, maybe you can email the art teacher :).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

a present from my Father



"Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb.

I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing.

You knew me thoroughly; my bones were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb.
All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll
before one of them came into existence. "



(Psalm 139:14-16)



I figure that if He created me in such an intimate fashion, ordained my days from beginning to end, and knows me inside and out...he remembers my birthday. Which is why I delighted in taking this picture of my house yesterday. What a cool birthday present!





(The house is nice, but it's the snowflakes I want you to notice. You'll remember I live in Texas...I know, the date on the picture is wrong by a day, but I'll always remember the real date. :) )