Wednesday, April 29, 2009

perspective seems to be my favorite word...

Our city is consumed with all things Derby at the moment. Frivolous activities fill our calendar and the rich and famous are descending upon our city to join in the party. Local newscasts are filmed at the Downs and it seems that every story focuses on track side events. The newspaper is a plethora of articles on fun things to do during the seemingly endless celebration. Ordinarily I would be right along with them, chronicling the great bed race, the run for the rose', the great steamboat race, the balloon glow, glimmer and race itself and countless other "party games" that Louisville hosts to make the Derby an unforgettable (and endless) event.

But for some reason, I can't get this out of my mind.

All week I have followed these people as they are halfway around the world, as they work to make a difference in the life of such precious children.

I'm having a difficult time getting past the idea that a place does not name orphaned babies because "the Lord takes so many home."

Or children who don't know what they want to be when they grow up because they can't fathom the idea of growing up.

Children who treasure a page of stickers because it is one of the most prized things they own.

Children who may never hear the words "I love you" from anyone other than their Compassion Sponsor.

It makes it hard to get the party vibe going.

Maybe it's time to shift priorities a bit. That's not to say that I won't be blithering on about the Derby at some point this week, it's just at this moment I'm too busy trying to find some perspective. Too busy praying for these beautiful children.

If you have a moment, take a listen at these girls singing. Hearing the words, "let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich" gives me goosebumps. Then, if you have the means, would you consider sponsoring one of these children? (there were 429 children waiting for sponsors on Sunday. There are now 317 waiting. Praise God.)

It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters. -- Mother Teresa.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Finding hope...


In case you hadn't heard, the Compassion Bloggers headed off to India Friday. Like so many, the work that Compassion does touches my heart in so many ways. (Just as it breaks my heart to know that it is necessary to have groups like Compassion. Oh how we long for the day when every child is fed, clothed, taught, happy and healthy.) I have thought a lot about the phrase "finding hope in Calcutta." Americans spent a good part of last year hearing the word "hope" over and over. Hope that gas prices would go down. Hope that someone would pay their house payments. Hope that jobs could be found. Hope that incomes might go up. Hope that we might be saved from whatever was believed to be wrong with our country. I often got the impression that the word "hope" was associated with whatever we felt we wanted our fairy godmother to bless us with.

Meanwhile, in India, about 836 million people (somewhere around four out of five) make less than fifty US cents a day. The number of malnourished children is among the world's highest. About 60 million children are underweight. This morning there were 429 children waiting for Compassion sponsors. (taken from Compassion's website.)

Wikipedia defines hope as a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. To hope is to wish for something with the expectation of the wish being fulfilled.

Of the two nations, which do you think has less reason to hope? And which of the two needs it more?

This next week, we have the opportunity to follow the Compassion Bloggers as they walk the streets of Kolkata, India, bringing hope to the children there and perhaps, just maybe, helping us rediscover the true meaning of hope as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One ring to rule them all...

We pray that this ring may be to us a symbol of the past...
May this ring be to us a pledge for the future...

My boys...being goofy as usual. Something about rings of power? At least they waited til after the ceremony was over.

I wonder if they got tired of everyone asking to see their fingers? Probably not yet. I wonder how many rings have been misplaced already?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swiftly go the days...


Will a certain someone's mother embarrass the living daylights out of him by weeping and wailing "my baby" while trying to clutch him to her chest?

Will she embarrass him by belting out her version of "bread and butter"?

Will she bring enough kleenex to last the entire ceremony?

Will she make unique and interesting comments to the young woman who has caught her "baby's" attention?

Perhaps rather than singing "bread and butter", she might lead a mother's chorus of "sunrise, sunset" instead. (I actually heard that song somewhere this weekend. Huh.)

Stay tuned for more details on the day!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I am a working mom. I have always been a working mom. My children know of no other life. They are used to me working days, nights, weekends, whatever comes along. I enjoy my jobs, both as a mom and as a LifeWay person. And, for the most part, both jobs coexist peacefully.

Most of the time.

However, there are times when they don't mix so well.

Today is one of those times. The weekend started out normal enough. I worked Saturday and then came home, fixed dinner, helped Jessi with her hair and caught up on a few chores before Thunder time. After Thunder, I did a few more things and then headed off to be awakened an hour later by a sick husband.

A very sick husband.

We were up all night.

And all day.

Of course, this would happen to be the day that we were supposed to go and watch my sister-in-law and niece dance but Josh was in no shape to leave the house. So, Jessi and I went.

And enjoyed ourselves.

However, we did leave after my SIL finished dancing because I felt uncomfortable leaving Josh for so long. On the way home, Jonathan called. His back had been hurting him for the past couple of days (he's been working on the spring musical, setting up, moving stuff, climbing, and whatever else one does to help put together a theater production) and he was in so much pain that he could hardly speak.

Asking for medication.

Which is a giant red flag right there because that boy hates pills with a passion.

Anyhow, for whatever reason, his back had gone from bad to "I can't stand up and I can't move."

So, we spent the rest of the evening Lysoling and running and fetching and soothing and "there, there"-ing and fixing jello cups and praying and warming heating pads and rearranging pillows and keeping dogs from jumping on the sick/injured. (Oh, and contemplating going to the ER. Can't forget that.)

Fast forward to morning.

It's a work day.

The sick and the injured are still sick and injured. (although not quite as sick and still about the same on the injured.) It's obvious that there will be no school or work for these two. And while I am a working mom, (and believe me, the last 31 hours have been work) I am a mom first. Once the doctor's office is open, we'll be getting an appointment or two. I suppose that's what family sick days are for. In the meantime, we'll be passing out jello and advil.

(We have a very busy week here at the heigh ho house. It's ring ceremony week and the play starts Thursday. We'd appreciate your prayers for mercy, healing, good health and just saying "no" to passing around whatever bug Josh has.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

a night of memories...

We have been watching Thunder for a very long time. Back before it was "thunder" we would actually go and watch the fireworks firsthand. As it grew into the humongous event that it is today and hordes of people attended, we began to stay home. Thunder is broadcast live each year and my claustrophobia prevents me from staying sane in crowds like that. (there was an estimated 700,000 attending last night.)

Some of my earlier memories of Thunder past include sitting upstairs in bed with Jonathan as a toddler, with his head buried under the covers and the sound muted so he couldn't hear the booms. Jessi and her dad would be watching downstairs with full sound. (by the time she outgrew her fear of "big booms", Jonathan was old enough to start his. Neither child was a fireworks fan in the beginning.)

As they both grew older, we have always (with few exceptions) gathered in the living room at Thunder time to watch the fireworks together. We spend 30 minutes singing the songs, critiquing the musical selections, laughing and admiring the technology that can produce such marvels.

Last night's Thunder was the ending of an era.

Next Derby time, Jessi will be married and living in another house somewhere else. So we sat, enjoying the moment, with me all the while storing up memories in my mental scrapbook.

Here's a clip of the hoopla last night. Or, if you are a huge fireworks fan, you can go here and see the entire thing, complete with soundtrack. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Up, up and away

If you are an air show fan, this is the place to be this afternoon. We'll have the Kentucky National Guard parachute jumpers, C-130 Hercules Kyang Tribute, , Lima Lima T-34 Aerobatic team, F15C Eagle Air Force Jet Fighters, , F-16J Air Force Viper East demo team, FA-18C Super Hornet demo team, B-18 Lancer Air Force strategic bombers, -10 Warthog Air Force Jet Fighters, F-4 Phantom Jet Fighters, F-22 Raptor Air Force Stealth Jet Fighter demo, Apache Attack Copters, Army CH-47 Chinook Copters, and many more. (of course, I have no idea what these are other than some type of air planes but I'm sure they will be impressive.) Here's a peek from last year...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Down Thunder Road

It's that time of year again. Other than the Derby, this weekend is probably one of the most anticipated weekends in our fair city. This will be the 20th year of Thunder. Tomorrow, hordes of people will descend upon downtown, hoping to get the best seat for the air show and fireworks display that is Thunder over Louisville. The air show begins at 3 p.m. and the fireworks start at 9:30. However, fireworks doesn't really seem to do the event justice. The 28 minute show requires 8 tractor trailers filled with almost 52 tons (52,215) fireworks shells. There are 250 tons of launching tubes, 2 million pounds of sand, around 700 miles of cable included in the package. They will close Clark Memorial Bridge until Thunder is over (it's a part of the fireworks) and parts of I-65, I-64 and I71 will be closed to traffic to keep people from "fireworks gazing."

Here's a sample of last year (and yes, this makes me cry too. I don't know why.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

because we are weird...

Yesterday was the 37th annual "Run for the Rodents" here in our fair city. (Actually, I kind of think that statement might say it all.) This year's theme (?) was CelebRaty with names like Hannah Ratannah, Robert Ratford and Ratalina Jolie. Eleven rats participated, racing down the red carpet for a chance to wear the garland of fruit loops and take home the golden rat statue. The winner (pictured above) was Ratalina Jolie. I'm not sure if she is being retired and put into a breeding program after her win or if she will go on to race again. Festivities prior to the race included a parade featuring pirates, a mini cooper dressed in rat ears and Elvis. And, in case you'd rather see than read about it, here and here are a couple of clips of the event.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

black jack

Black Jack is modeled after the riderless Morgan horse in President Kennedy's funeral procession, complete with leather boots reversed in the stirrups, which symbolizes a lost warrior. There are images of the President along with his funeral caisson painted on his sides. Black Jack rode in the funerals of not only President Kennedy, but also Presidents Hoover and Johnson and accompanied one thousand soldiers to their graves in Arlington Cemetery. The artists actually broke three of the legs on their model and recast them so that he would have his feet on the ground in proper military stance.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a fascination of all things Derby...

Josh went down to Churchill Downs this weekend and took several pictures of the Gallopalooza horses. I knew that you would be as fascinated with them as we are so I decided to share. The horses will leave the Downs today and go to their respective temporary homes. From this point forward, derby visitors (and locals) will get gallopalooza maps and go on a kind of scavenger hunt, trying to find each of the horses.

This was one of Josh's favorites. A gigantic gumball machine.

Who wouldn't want a pretty pink pony?

My nephew(in law)'s submission for my sister-in-law's accounting firm.

a trojan horse. each one of these doors open to reveal a famous Louisvillian.

Fun stuff!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6

But your iniquities have separated you from your God;your sins have hidden His face from you,so that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2

The day will come, says the Lord, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them. In those days and at that time I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. Jeremiah 33:14-15

But He was pierced for our transgressions,He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has RISEN!
Luke 24:5

“Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song with these words:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing.”

And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:
Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
Revelation 5:5-13

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Gallopalooza horses are done! Check this out if you want to see some of the finished results. (Be sure and check out my nephew's entry as well!) The horses go on display from April 9th to April 11th at Churchill Downs and then I think they go out in front of various businesses in the city. Oh, Derby, how exciting you can be...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One of the wonderful things about living in a city that has an annual worldwide event is the fact that at least once a year they try to give it a good spring cleaning. This year has been a bit of a challenge though because of all the tree debris from the ice storm 73 days ago.

Apparently it takes a lot of effort to clean up 3000 miles of roads.

Anyhow, our local residents are thrilled that the mayor hired outside help to complete the task before May 2nd. The only problem now is that because of the quantity of debris, it takes large machinery to pick it up and haul it away.

Large machinery blocks roads.

Last week, when I was taking Jessi to the doctor (and we had left in just enough time to make the 30 minute trip), we found the road blocked with a backhoe, dump truck and other assorted items for tree removal. After waiting a few moments, I finally turned the car around and sped off in an alternate route.

However, I found myself in a slight quandary.

I couldn't decide if I should be irritated by the inconsiderate little men who blocked the road or thrilled that someone was finally removing the large piles of brush gathered at the side of the road. (Seriously, it looks like a bundle of beavers have moved to Louisville.)

I finally decided to be thrilled. I did feel bad for all the soon to be homeless beavers in our fair city though. Oh well, I'm sure there's a spring storm just around the corner.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

an update...

If you look closely, you'll see something new added to my wardrobe (which was fancy enough already. Not.) Something that goes with words like "bruised" "strained" "sore" and "ouch." Kudos to my daughter who took me to the doctor and picked up my pain meds and many grateful thanks to Lawson who agreed to work for me tonight. Now if I could just learn to walk without falling down...

New SpringWidget

the list

As you go about your busy day today, would you mind taking a moment and praying for some of the people who have been on my heart lately?

Brother Freddie and his fellow friars as they not only minister to the earthquake victims but also deal with their own losses.

Baby Stellan and his family as they prepare for possible surgery on the other side of the country.

Beth and her family as they prepare to adopt Maria from Guatemala.

Sheryl and many others who are dealing with job losses in their families.

And honestly, in light of the other more serious issues, I hesitate to even mention this, but I fell yesterday. Again. (the second time in six weeks. Just call me Grace.) Anyhow, while I know I did not break anything (other than my pride), I am having some issues lifting my arm today. And, um...I need my arm. It does lots of things with me. So I am ice-packing, heat applying, ibuprofen swallowing and whimpering about it and hoping that it heals quickly. Because I miss it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

what I did on my spring break...

1. I worked the first two days.

2. Cleaned out and up the "tornado" closet.

3. Cleaned out underneath the downstairs bathroom sink. Ick.

4. Took five (out of 81) tropical plants outside. (warm weather)

5. Brought five (out of 81) tropical plants back inside. (frost) Repeated later in the week. Brought back in on Sunday because it might SNOW.

6. Set some new boundaries for a seventeen year old boy.

7. Bought 25 hurricane glass pieces, 4 giant crystal goblet thingies and 2 crystal vases for some one's wedding.

8. Found storage for 25 hurricane glasses, 4 giant crystal goblet thingies and 2 crystal vases so they don't get broken before January.

9. Got unhappy news from the doctor.

10. Cooked. Cleaned. Rinse and repeat.

11. Considered taking the dog for a walk. It's a good thing the dog cannot read minds. He might have been disappointed.

12. Read six books.

13. Took books to the used book store so they could be sold. Bought more books thereby negating any space or monetary gains.

14. Got a nudge from God, made a decision.

15. Cleaned over, under and in the fridge.

16. Pondered the Dairy Queen Truffle Blizzard. I'm happy to report that my thighs and I resisted. So far.

17. Washed every dish in the state of Kentucky. Or at least it felt that way. Oh, what is that I see? More dishes? Yippee!

18. Read my Bible and thought about the fate of the Israelites. Wondered if I remind God of the Israelites.

19. Ran errands with my daughter.

20. Went out to eat with my husband.

21. Put some things on Craig's list for my brother-in-law. Anybody know anyone looking for an antique surrey?

22. Got ready to go back to work. (how quickly the days pass. In the beginning I tend to procrastinate, thinking I have so much time. Then, suddenly, it's Monday morning. Oops.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


You will teach me how to live a holy life.
Being with you will fill me with joy.
Acts 2:28 NCV

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

LPM Scripture Memory Verse 7

Can I just say what a wonderful thing this is? Or how many times I have found myself praying a particular scripture or reciting them over and over when I am struggling, fearful, or even joyful? I hope you are finding what a blessing the Words of the Lord can be as well!