Thursday, October 21, 2010

BYOC Part 2

It's now Thursday and I will finish my story! The cookout went well. It was beautiful weather, the fire was hot and mostly calm, the tables were loaded down, the kids were happy, the adults actually got to talk.

Then, Tori and Lane took 6 of the 7 kids back into the orchard, they picked apples, and picked apples, and picked apples, 8 grocery bags full. Granted, they had to work hard for them! They were the left overs from what the migrant workers missed or discarded. The HUGE TALL guys were climbing the little apple trees. I almost had a fit. (they are not our trees and I didn't want them broken as our landlord would be VERY angry!)

Then, just as we were getting comfortable, the wind came up, the cups blew away, the napkins started flying, the chips began floating off the plate! So, we cleaned up and came inside where the last child, a 1 year old, proceeded to take apart my house, one video, one DVD, one book at a time. Then one game, a shelf of books, a stack of videos and DVDs. I began looking at the clock! Frequently! I chased SOMEONE ELSE'S kid. I picked up books, videos, DVDs, games, and looked at the clock again. Several times.

Then the kids came back cold, and wet and hungry. They took over my kitchen, they exclaimed over their apples, they begged to stay. (horror of horrors!) The baby was crying, I was getting a headache. Finally, they got into their Suburban, with ALL their apples and children, and I very nicely said, "Thank you for coming, I had a good time! Next time the party's at your house!" and they drove away.

Whew, we made it! Orville and I went into the house and crashed. We agreed that it was a good thing we didn't have the full party we had planned to have, that they were(are) really nice people, but NEXT TIME, WE FOUR PEOPLE WILL INVADE THE HOME OF THOSE NINE PEOPLE!

Oh, and yesterday, Tori comes home from school and informs me that one of the boys (HUGE, TALL boys) wants to come home with her every Wed and go to church with us!? What's up with that? Not a problem, I guess. Oh, and can he have more apples? He'll pick them himself! NO, NO, NO! Do I make myself clear?!

It was definitely an interesting experience!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We are having a cookout with a family of NINE! Whatever posessed me to invite them HERE?! We are having a baked potato bar, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and dessert. What we won't have is an adequate amout of chairs. Therefore, BYOC. Especially since 3 of the 9 are HUGE, TALL men! I feel like a dwarf standing or sitting next to them. This shall be an interesting afternoon. I'll keep you posted. For now, this is Rana Woodhull signing off.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best Way to Go Back to Work

You know, being off work for so long, it is hard to be motivated to go back. Once I get back, it won't be so bad, but it's the getting there that is bad. I think I have come up with strategy that might work.

First, I applied for the job I want at Grand Rapids Community College to teach Office and such. Second, I am applying at some retail stores for the holidays. Here's why. The job I want will most likely not be available until after Christmas or New Years and possibly not until Aug. Second, the holiday retail will get me out of the house and moving and in the habit of getting out again. Plus, we could use the money for Christmas, I could get an employee discount on much needed professional clothing (most of mine is old, doesn't fit, or out of fashion!), and I could replenish the kid's clothes. Mostly, I need to get out of the house and get "doing".

Once I finish school, in 8 more weeks, I will be at a loss as to what to do with myself. You see, once I get back in the swing of cooking and cleaning for the family, I won't have anything to really DO for most of the winter, which breeds depression and anger and demotivation. I can take up and finish a few projects that are sitting around waiting for me to have more time, but, once those are done.....I will be spending time learning Office 2007 inside and out (can't teach it if I don't know it or use it.), finishing cross-stitch projects, maybe some sewing(to make Tori's clothes more acceptable...why is everything so low-cut?), and try to get back to doing some baking and more healthy cooking! We shall see. I definitely need to get on a schedule! I also want to get more involved in my church. I've missed that since I've been in school.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Green Tomatoes

What do you do with green tomatoes? I have to get them all picked as all my plants have now been frostbitten. My MIL told me to make fried green tomatoes or green tomato pie. Evidently, green tomato pie is supposed to taste the same as an apple pie. Hmmmm. Whatever I do, I need to do it soon, or they will all rot on the vine. Any other suggestions on what to do with them? If so, please send a recipe with the suggestion so I can try it out.

Today, I go babysit 5-7 small children, most of them under the age of 2 at church for the Women's Bible Study. After 2 hours of that, even with help, I am wiped out. I don't know how mothers with lots of kids do it. I would be crazy doing it full time! As it is, I can barely handle getting up at 515 am to get my own kids off to school. I feel like the walking dead until about 730 - shortly after the kids get on the bus. Then it is usually get around or go back to sleep, depending on how dead I am!

I recently moved 2 of my bird feeders up onto my porch railing so I can see the birds better this winter (and remember to keep feeding them) and it has been really cool. I see a flock of birds fluttering about right outside my window! I am surprised that the cat hasn't eaten them all yet. It's kind of fun to watch, he can't quite reach them with his paws stretched out. they are about 4 inches too far away! To jump would be to jump off the porch and into a bush, which could be pretty painful, I imagine!

So, how do you get a kid to bring home all the necessary papers for parents to fill out? Or even bring home their homework? Or how about get them to stay after school to finish up with the teacher? I now have begun to email the teacher directly with all questions and requests! I hope they don't get sick of talking to me, but I NEED the info! I love it that so much more stuff is posted online and I can print at least a few of the worksheets from home. (Then there is no excuse for not having it done!)If all the teachers could get onboard with this function, things would go a lot smoother. Anyway, a few of them are getting there and that helps.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Down to the Single Digits

No, not the temperature, though that is coming soon, I suppose. No, I am talking about how many weeks of school I have left. As of today, I have 9 Mondays left, then I'm done. I was beginning to wonder if this day would ever come!

Here's what it took to get here. 17 months of hard work, tears of frustration, long, agonizing hours over a computer, around 300+ pages of typed papers of assorted topics, but all relating to business turned in, 5 reams of paper wasted, and uncounted cartridges of printer ink went into this program.

So did the kid's complaining and whining about all the time I didn't spend with them (not that they REALLY wanted me), strange meals of unbalanced nutritional value (primarily pasta, soup, and "cook it yourself, kids", and on the go snacks.) Who has time to cook?! I also gave up social interaction with other family and friends, church activities, and vacations. Now that I'm nearly done, I have to start thinking about how to get back to normal life, oh, and look for a job!

I wonder what life will hold for me now? It all seems like such a dream!

Monday, October 4, 2010

SWOT analysis

What is a SWOT analysis you might ask. Well, it's an analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for whatever business or activity you may be involved in. That is what I am working on. This one is hard, as I am doing it on my church. The question becomes, how do you position or market your church competitively against other churches? Are we supposed to be competitive? The only thing I see as acceptable competition is between winning souls to Christ or losing souls to Satan. The rest of it is how we do just that. So, how are we competitively placed in the marketplace, locally, domestically, and globally. Do we need to do it better than other churches, denominations? No, we need to do our best of course, but we need to be doing better than Satan. Where do you want all the masses of people to end up in eternity? How are you going to make sure you do your best to influence them for Christ. In the end, it is the choice of each individual, but we are called to do what we can to be a guiding factor. We are in competition for souls, not marketshare. Okay, some churches do compete for marketshare, but is it for their glory or for Christ's glory? It is a sad day when Christians in diverse locations and denonimations pirate each other for the sake of status. Now, that looks like a threat to me!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Friends Make All The Difference

Friends, the people around us who treat us kindly, who share a special interest, or spend time with us, because we are worth it. Not enough can be said about the value of friendship. Stories have been written, songs sung, poems quoted about the special value of friends in our lives.

My daughter, who struggles to make and keep friends is a prime example of the value of true friendship. She recently made a new friend through our church and who goes to school with her. This friend is accepting, kind, compassionate, polite, and easy to get along with. This friend is able to accomplish what her mother, who has tried for years and years to accomplish and failed. This friend can ask a question in such a way that sets my daughter on the path to improvement and striving for excellence. This friend can get my daughter to do homework and make it fun. (the added benefit is better grades!) This friend has made my daughter laugh and giggle, to look forward to going to school, to look forward to going to church. This friend is my new best friend! This friend makes my life easier, if only for a little while. This friend just may be the healing balm that my daughter needs to become a young lady and a successful woman, to learn and acquire social graces, to "become." How I thank God for this friend.

At 14, a friend is closer than a "brother." The trials of adolescence are made unbearable by mean and vengeful people, but made so much better by a good friend who loves you.

I propose a toast to all good friends everywhere.