Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rowin' on the River

This picture of Tim is the background on my iphone for several reasons. First, it's a great picture of my "Sweet Baby". And it brings back memories of a fun day we spent together a couple of months ago and a funny incident that happened that day.

This picture was made on the Little Red River at Heber Springs. We love Heber Springs. We have been blessed to travel to most of the states and several foreign countries, but no matter where we roam, Heber Springs, "where the Delta meets the Ozarks," just a little over an hour from Little Rock, remains one of our favorite places on God's green earth. Now if you're looking for upscale shopping and fine dining, Heber Springs is probably not the place for you. But if you like to get out on a big lake and go tubing (or in my case, ride in the boat and watch others go tubing), or if you like to float down a cold trout stream while fishing for rainbow or brown trout and watch the eagles, herons, otters and other wildlife, Heber Springs is your kind of place. There's shopping, but it's mostly boat stores and Walmart. (However, Heber is home to Aromatique, and they have a neat little outlet there called Panache.) Most of the dining is family-style places or mom and pop cafes.

Tim and I have been going to the Little Red for years. In summer it's the only place we know of around here where we can actually be outside in August and get cold enough in the evening to need a jacket. We sit on the dock as the cold mist comes drifting down the river and hangs over us, and it's so refreshing after 100 degree days.

On this particular day, we put our canoe in the river in the early afternoon. We planned to float about four hours, fishing along the way. We got off to a good start. There were a lot of fly fishermen in the river near the landing where we put in, and we had to navigate around them and a few rocks, but then we were on our way. The fishing was good. We were both pulling in some nice trout as we drifted slowly downstream. There was not as much current as we were accustomed to, and Tim had to row quite a bit, but he said he didn't mind, that it was good exercise. (We only had one paddle, but that's another story.) At one point near an island, the fishing was especially good, and Tim was ready for a rest from the rowing, so we tied up to a tree trunk on the island. The canoe is nice and roomy and has nice seats, but they have no back support, so I had been sitting in a small, and by that I really mean, child's, collapsible canvas chair. Tim had brought along an adult size chair for himself, but did not think it would be safe while traveling down the river, so he had stowed it under his seat. When we tied up, He decided to set up his chair in the canoe. He hadn't been sitting in that chair but a few seconds, and over he went. The canoe was rocking; I thought for sure it was going to capsize. I fully expected to be thrown into the water. But, after Tim hit the river, the canoe righted itself, and I was left sitting nice and dry. Oh, the look on Tim's face as he plunged into, then came out of the icy, cold water! Once I knew he was safe, I began to laugh. How I wish I could have captured his look on camera! Even though he was soaked, what he was really concerned about was his iphone. His old one had broken, and he had just got the new upgrade the day before. He had put it into a plastic bag in his pocket, but he didn't seal the bag. When he pulled his phone out of his shirt pocket, it was fine; he had folded over the top of the bag, and the phone was just a little damp. At first, he thought I had been rocking the canoe, but when he realized I hadn't, he had to admit that the chair caused his center of gravity to be too high. Thus, the overturn. So the chair went back under his seat. He dried quickly in the warm sun, and we contined our journey down the river. It went much more slowly than we had planned because there was virtually no current by this time. Tim got waaaay more exercise than he bargained for. He rowed and rowed and rowed. It seemed we would never get to the landing. I had to laugh aloud when he said, "I didn't realize we were going to go fishing in the Dead Sea."

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We made it to our landing before dark. Tim cleaned our trout, and we headed back to the farm, which is about a half hour away from Heber. We prepared dinner together and laughed about our adventures on the river. The trout were delicious!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lilly and her Purple Plastic Purse go to Career Day

Today was career day in the K-5 class at Calvary Acadamy, our church school. I was invited to come and talk to the children about being a teacher. When I arrived, I found a darling group of excited children. They were dressed as firemen, policemen, a baker, a train conductor, a veterinarian, a preacher, and there was one teacher in the bunch. Because I teach Sunday school, and we follow a rotation program, I know many of the young children in our church well. However, I had not worked with this group before, and they were a joy to get to know. They were so eager and bright.

They gathered around me on a large rug and I introduced the book to them. I chose Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse because Lilly is such a funny, captivating chararcter and because in this book, she loves her teacher, and she wants to be a teacher. We talked about the terms author and illustrator and went through some vocabulary I thought might be new for them and then settled in to enjoy the story.
Lilly loves school, and as I said before, she loves her teacher. One day after going shopping with her Grammy, Lilly takes her sparkly, new, movie star sunglasses and her new purple plastic purse, which contains three shiny quarters, to school with her. She is so eager to show off her exciting new possessions that she simply cannot wait until recess or sharing time. That's when the trouble begins.

The children enjoyed hearing about Lilly's antics. Lilly is a character I never get tired of. If you have a child, be sure to check out the books by Kevin Henkes. He has a number of books for children of different ages. And if you don't have a child in your life? Hmmm. These books are too good to miss. I bet you can find a child to share them with. Or just read 'em yourself. There's a little bit of kid in all of us.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ELEVATE Girls Night Out

Last night the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls from our church came to our house for a girls night out. The official name for this group of boys and girls is ELEVATE. Tim and Lauren, their group leaders, asked me to speak to the girls about "acting like a lady".

This is one of the moms, Lanell, and Lauren. Lanell and two young married ladies, Janet and Hannah were Lauren's helpers. They came early, prepared and set up the food, and went to the church, picked up the girls and drove them to our house. The girls arrived about 7:15.

There were 17 girls. I knew who some of them were, but this gave me the opportunity to get better acquainted with them and to get to know some new ones. They ate and visited first

Then we gathered round and had a chat. In order to prepare for this talk, I dug around in my library to see what I could find. All I could come up with was this.
This has been around since the 60's and has been revised several times, but the last time it was revised was in the 80's. I actually went through this program in a Sunday school class when I was about 14. Although much of the content is still good, some of it, along with the pictures, is so outdated. I found one page from it to copy and use but decided I needed some updated material. That called for a trip to the bookstore.

Speaking of bookstores, I had three options: Mardel, which is a Christian bookstore and would probably have something geared for Christian teens. Books-a-Million. And Barnes and Noble. Hmmm. Where to go first? I was out running errands. I was hungry for a snack, aaand I just happened to remember that last fall the Starbucks in Barnes and Noble had pumpkin cheesecake! To which I became seriously addicted. So, which bookstore do you think I decided on? Of course, it was a no-brainer! And yes, Starbucks did indeed have the pumpkin cheesecake (it's made by The Cheesecake Factory). So, I fortified myself with a hefty slice and a cup of tea, and I was ready to begin my search.

The lady at the helpdesk tried, but she could not find any etiquette books for teens. much less Christian teens, in stock. She showed me to the verrry small etiquette section. It was next to the wedding section. While there were lots of books on wedding etiquette, there were very few general etiquette books. Does this say something about our society? I hope not. This is a large store. I couldn't believe how limited the selection was. However, I came away with this gem of a book.
The first two chapters provided a springboard for what proved to be a lively and interesting discusssion. Although I provided a blank piece of paper at the end of the handouts for the girls to write questions and turn in for discussion, they didn't use them. Instead, they spoke up. While I got some insight into being a young teen in the 21st century, many of the challenges they face are the same that most of us faced at that time in our lives. They wanted to talk, so we did just that for a long time. They left about 10:15. after hugging me and thanking me repeatedly for having them to my home. Made me feel pretty special. After all, a 51 year old woman seems old to a 15 year old. They are special girls. I pray that God will keep them in His care and guide their steps.
Lauren, Janet, and Hannah stayed to clean up and we sat around and talked until almost 11:30.

I enjoyed every minute of it.

Janet and Hannah

It seems a good time was had by all.