September 20, 2009

I would have slept well . . .

    So I talked to my husband who is doing training with his soldiers in the field on base.  It was about 6 p.m.  He said they were rolling out for night fire exercises, and that he expected it wouldn't take long, and they'd get to actually have some decent sleep that night.  After the call, I finished our normal evening routine, and everyone went to bed.

    About 12:30 a.m., I was awakened by... was that thunder?  I didn't think we were expecting any rain or storms for another day or two.  I noticed the blasts were shorter and closer together than thunder rumbles usually sound like.  Then I heard my 2-year-old wandering around.  She had heard the noises too.  Then I wondered, could it really be the firing exercises on base?  We live East of the ranges, and I had heard noises from there before.  Sure enough, I looked out the window, and straight West of the house, over the top of our neighbor's rooftops, I could see, in the distance, flashes of white going off.  I think I counted about 60 seconds before hearing the accompanying noise from each blast.

    It was a strange connection to my husband I hadn't seen for a week, and I considered calling his cell phone to ask if they could keep it down a bit so we could sleep.  (Not seriously.)  They went on for about 45 minutes, then my daughter and I got back to sleep.

    Yep, no thunderstorms even on the horizon.  The stars were out in a clear night sky.  Really neat to see.  I'd rather have been sleeping though.

September 05, 2009

What I've learned in the first 3 weeks of 2nd grade

As many of you know, I am teaching my oldest daughter 2nd grade this year.  I have learned a lot in the first 3 weeks of school!

Did you know that a Viking explorer, Leif Ericson, was probably the first European to discover North America about 1000 AD?   This is 500 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.  I had heard of Lief before, but didn't remember or know who he was.  There is archaological evidence on the North tip of Newfoundland that Vikings had a settlement there.  Fascinating!  By the way, Leif later became a Christian, and took a priest and a teacher to Greenland to spread the Gospel.

Did you know that during the Dark Ages, Benedictine monks played a very important role in preserving writings and knowledge that otherwise would have been lost?  They also provided several services to needy people, including food, lodging, and education.  Out goes my previous view of monks as hermits who don't want to interact with the world for fear of being corrupted.  Seems like they served more as lights in a dark world.

Did you know that there is an island off the coast of Naples, Italy called Capri, and in one of the coves is a tunnel called the Blue Grotto?  We read a fictional book about it called "Red Sails to Capri", but the place it's set in is real.

Ok, raise your hand if you know the smallest country in the world.  Anyone?  The answer is Vatican City.  Where is Vatican City you ask?  It is in the middle of Rome.  It's where the Apostle, Peter was buried, and St. Peter's Basillica is built.  Maybe if I was Catholic I would have known this before I was confirmed.  However, I'm Protestant (though I wouldn't say I'm protesting anything) and I went to public school, and if I ever learned this stuff, I didn't retain it.

There are more things I learned these last 3 weeks in 2nd grade, but I don't remember them right now. . . so I may be repeating 2nd grade. . . again.

Enhancing Your Marriage

Last Spring semester, a friend and I led a group of ladies through this wonderful Bible study on marriage, "Enhancing Your Marriage" by Judy Rossi.  It takes 12 weeks of 5 days/week of work to get through the study, and I recommend doing it with a group, to help you stay motivated to keep at it.  If you have ever done an in-depth study such as one by Beth Moore, or "Experiencing God", you will know to expect to look up a lot of verses in the Bible, and do a lot of writing and note-taking in your book each day.  The rewards are worth the work! 

What I specifically appreciate about this study is how much time she spends on leading the reader to study who God is.  If you understand His unlimited power and ability and love, you realize any issue in your marriage, big or small, can be handled with His help.  I am currently going back through the first five chapters where she discusses the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, because it was a lot to take in then, and I want to soak it in more slowly.  Hopefully I'll retain more this time through!

The ironic thing for me in this study was, while the book asked questions to apply principles to my marriage relationship, I found myself being convicted more in the area of parenting!  It happened over and over throughout the class!  I'm sure it had to do with the fact that my husband was deployed to Iraq for the first two months of the class, so he wasn't too hard to get along with then.  But also, my husband is quite mature and patient with me, so even with him home, our marriage issues often stem from my own shortcomings!  So her newest study, "Raising Responsive Children" may have to be my next venture!

This study is applicable to any married woman, whether newlywed, married for many years.  It could also prove helpful to a single woman or engaged woman looking forward to marriage in the future, or even a divorcee, or widow hoping to remarry.  Judy Rossi also does an excellent job of making the material applicable to Christian women who have unbelieving husbands.  This is a very common situation, and she handles how to act in this type of marriage very well.

With marriages under so much strain, and being considered so easily discardable by so many, this study is a valuable resource for any group of women looking to enhance their marriage.  I highly recommend it for all!