Posts Tagged ‘church’

Training Your Kids NEVER Ends!

March 6, 2017

My 18-year-old son, Keeve, did not get my storytelling-gene… at all. I feel I have not trained him in good faith as his mother in this area. #momfail2277  I offer this story as evidence and my solemn vow to work with him on his retelling abilities. Pinky swear.

Crosby_Keeve_senior.jpg(Photo credit: Monica Hortiales, Youth Pastor and fine storyteller)

Our tale begins with some backstory: it was a Wednesday night. Keeve left for church at 4:45. Nora and I left at 6:00. Rick was supposed to leave at 6:20. Austin went straight from work to church.

Upon arrival at church the sweet greeter lady hugs my neck and relays, “Your son handled that like a trooper!” I smiled. I had no idea what she was talking about… nor which son she was referring to.

Nothing else was mentioned until we were getting in the van to drive home. My husband reached down between the front seats and grabbed a piece of paper and scotch tape, saying, “I’ll be right back.” I still didn’t know what was going on… OR if this had anything to do with the other stuff I didn’t know was going on.

Upon Keeve’s arrival home that night, his dad asks him, “So, what happened?” Here is Keeve’s entire story, “I got pulled over. The license plate on the car was stolen.” THE END. I inquired a bit further and discovered the paper and scotch tape were for the temporary plate that Rick printed off at home and brought to the church.

FOUR DAYS LATER…. we had our youth pastor over for lunch and got the whole truth. She was in the church, looking out the windows when Keeve pulled in, followed by, not one, but four police cars. Keeve was told to stay in the car as one cop approached his side of the vehicle. Then SEVEN MORE armed officers of the law got out of their vehicles and surrounded my innocent baby boy in his car…. in front of the church! Yeah, he forgot to mention backup.

The officer at the driver’s window asked if Keeve knew why he was being pulled over. NO! He proceeded to explain that the license plate on the car was a stolen plate and he needed to see Keeve’s license and registration. Another officer was removing the hot plate as they spoke. The remaining officers were casing the joint, because our church is in an industrial strip-mall of sorts…. perfect cover for a chop-shop to steal cars and paint them and switch out license plates and deter the law.

At this point, the youth pastor came out of the church and was waving her cell phone, mouthing to Keeve, Do you need me to do anything? Keeve simply smiled his shy smile and shook his head back and forth.

Next the kind officer asked Keeve, “What is this place?” My Keeve… hahaha… “It’s my church!” More inquiries, “Why are you at church at 5:00 in the evening on a Wednesday?” My son explained, “I’m in the worship band and we have practice right now.”

Eventually they let him get out of the car, and questioned Keeve about the damage on the driver’s side door handle. He explained the vandalism that had taken place in October when someone tried to break in. Made me think we should possibly visit a chop-shop???

“Do not move this vehicle until you get a 3-day temporary license plate,” the cop instructed Keeve. Hence, the call home to Dad, that I didn’t know about, and the printing of the temporary plate, and my husband’s late arrival at church.

Who knew thugs steal license plates? Now we know. And storytelling lessons will commence with embellished details as a side option.

 

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Happy 18 Years!

January 27, 2015

As of this past week, we have lived in the USA for 18 long years. Here’s the update on the past 216 months.

We came from Canada with two kids, ages four months and three years. Now we have four kids ages: 21, 18, 16 and 11.

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We have lived in five places since arriving: one month at my parent’s house, 16 months in an apartment, 6 years in our first house, 6 months in a rental house and now almost 10 years in our current house.

Our eldest went to a charter school for kindergarten and grade one. We are in the middle of our 14th year of homeschooling. Now our eldest is a junior in college.

Rick has worked in credit card processing, flying for FedEx, had a janitorial business, a bug business and has been flying for the State of AZ for 14 years now.

We went to our first church for 18 months and then helped start a sister church where we attended for 11 years. We have been at our current church for five years five months.

I have been heading up to Prescott for scrapbooking retreats for 17 years.… but now they are just relaxing retreats.

We have been serving on the board of Arizona Families for Home Education for 4 1/2 years.

We love Arizona, but we do try to be gone for 3-6 weeks every summer. :o)

This was a First for ME!

March 30, 2014

Toilet paper is apparently a current topic in my life.  Some of our children’s friends TP’d our house a few weeks ago and due to the extremely pokey trees we have in the yard, there are remnants of the prank still waving at us. Even our tall son and his hockey stick couldn’t remedy the situation. My extremely frugal husband was thrilled to find five rolls of TP with 3/4 of the goods still on the roll! We have been saving money left and right from this yardly joke.

This morning after church, I was visiting the ladies room and when I arrived in my chosen stall, I noticed a huge white rose where the toilet paper should have been. I did see the elderly lady who left the stall before me, and I wrongly assumed that it was a silk rose to clip in her hair that she inadvertently left behind. Upon closer inspection…. not so. The sweet dear had taken the time to make a toilet paper rose…. FOR ME!

toilet paper rose

Never in my life have I seen a TP rose! It made me smile. The thoughtfulness of that little lady. All for me. I feel the need to find a how-to-make-a-TP-rose video on youtube so I can pay it forward.

Wasn’t that nice of her!?!

Goodbye Butterflies!

January 12, 2014

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My grandmother gave me this butterfly quilt years and years ago…. probably 25 or 26 years past.  It was filled with that old fashioned batting that made the blanket hug you and keep you warmer than the average quilt.  At one time the colors were vibrant and cheery, the sweet soft pinks, turquoises and lavenders of the 40s.  The pea-green backing was less than my favorite color, but hey, it was on the back.  This quilt was well loved! Several times over the years, before it was completely shredded, I thought of re-doing the blanket stitch around each butterfly…. but that task never made it high enough on my daily to-do lists. So the butterflies slowly flew away as did the days of the quilt’s life.

chickens quilt 006

It became my son’s favorite blanket that he used on his bed for years.  It was under a presentable comforter so I didn’t care how ratty it looked.  Then he went on a church camping trip and took it as his only blanket…. making us look worse than homeless people.  I tried to simply talk him down from using it, but NO!  This was the coziest quilt in the galaxy.  I waited to confiscate it until the dark of the night when it had fallen off his bed and he was snoring.  Hidden under my bed is where it remained for several years because I was not sure if I could throw away the quilt my grandmother handmade and gave to me.

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Yesterday I was obviously low on nostalgic sensibilities.  The quilt came out from under our bed and I seriously took in each butterfly, analyzing if they were still redeemable.  Some had no wings.  At all.  The ones that did have wings also had holes that could not be repaired.  Rolling up the shabby blanket as I headed for the garbage can I realized that if I didn’t take a picture the memory of the butterfly quilt would fade.  Hence, the photo and the story written for posterity, so my grandchildren will know the tale of the pea-green, vintage quilt that they never got the pleasure to wrap up in.

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Goodbye butterflies!  You served us well!

P.S. O.K., after writing this, I went and got it out of the garbage and cut out and saved a few of the butterflies.  I figure I could frame them for the laundry room or for my future sewing room.  I guess I have a bit more nostalgia today than yesterday.  Thankfully it wasn’t garbage pick-up day!

My Heart is STILL in Colombia!

November 24, 2012

It’s true.  We have been home from Cali, Colombia for 23 months with our little Colombian princess.  The adoption journey has had bumps and twists that we didn’t expect, but it has been so wonderful and rewarding.

Tomorrow is GOTCHA DAY number two!

TWO YEARS!!!  Hard to believe it has gone by so fast.  Sometimes our month in Colombia seems like forever ago… and sometimes it seems like last week.  I miss the lush greenness of Cali, the vast array of mystery fruits that were scrumptiously yummy, the glimpses of the Andes when the fog lifted, the bamboo forest we drove by to our villa, the coconut ice cream bars, the afternoon rain showers, the neighborhood boys who would come and ask,  “Is Austin Rick’s son?”, the sweet smell of the flowers, arepas filled white cheese, the stickiness of the night air and the pee-po pee-po LOUD evening serenade of the coqui frogs.

People often ask “Why Colombia?”  Quite a few factors lead us to the beautiful and tropical South American country.

1.) My husband, Rick, went to Valledupar, Colombia for a summer to build a church when he was 17-years-old.  He grew to love the warm-hearted people and the countryside teeming with unknown vegetation, never imagining that he would return to meet his daughter twenty-something years later.

2.) We have three bio kids who do not look like Rick AT ALL.  Ok, one does a little, but I was expecting little chubby, black-haired Indian babies when I married a Cree Indian.  Didn’t happen.  The Irish and Finnish genes dominated and we got two blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids and another slightly darker. So, when we had chosen an adoption agency, I looked through the pages for the countries they worked in….   I held up the two pages and announced to Rick, “El Salvador and Colombia are where the kids look like you.”  “Colombia,” he replied.  And it was a done deal.

3.) Not that I was anywhere near proficient, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking Spanish… back in the day.  Larisa also had Spanish courses and was mastering her second language quite nicely.  So a country in South America seemed familiar… somehow.  (Not distant in my mind, like, say, Kazakhstan… or China.) I related to Ellie from the movie UP…. her dream was to visit South America.  She tore pictures right out of a library book of the fascinating country.

I am as American as you could get.  I LOVE my country… the anthem brings me to tears.  Studying and teaching the history of our great land is a deep passion of mine.  But I have to say that my heart beats in thirds… a third for the USA, a third for Canada, where I spent my college years and the first 10 years of marriage, and now a third for Colombia where I fell in love with my daughter’s people and homeland.  My heart is still in Colombia. <3

Churchy Lingo

June 18, 2012

As we were sitting in church this last weekend, Nora was with us in big church because we were running late and didn’t want to take the time to run her all the way over to kid’s church and check her in.  Our services are one hour… if you are ten minutes late, you miss the whole music section!  She watched as her daddy wrote a check and stuck it in an envelope.  She asked what he was doing.  I explained checks…. the same as money, but you don’t have to carry the money.  Then I explained tithing… giving your money to Jesus.  She was aghast… “You have to give ALL your money to Jesus?”  No, if you have ten dollars, he asks us to give one dollar back to him.   Her eyes squinted slightly and she stared off into the distance while the wheels were turning in her little brain.  Finally she asked me in a whisper, “How does Jesus get the money? He’s in heaven, right?”  Yep.   :o)

An Evil Scheme

June 7, 2012

No, my house hasn’t been super clean lately due to our crazy schedule and cram-packed calendar.  And I wasn’t particularly caring about the pile of “stuff” on the dryer, the dust on the blinds in the family room nor the split in the side of the couch cushion.  THEN my sister called…. from Washington.  Seems there is this band of great guys from their church who have been touring for a couple of weeks and they are passing through Phoenix TODAY… and were in need of a place to stay.  “How many in this boy band?” I inquired.  Five.  Perfect.  Of course they can stay.  What?  Two nights?  Sure!  Bring on the band!

So I awoke today with a vision of cleanliness that did not match my current surroundings.  And why is it that you realize all the pillows in your house are stained or lumpy on the day company is coming?  When did EVERY bathroom towel get pulls and snags?  Needless to say, I did MANY loads of laundry today to be prepared for the band.  I sewed up the hole in the couch cushion.  I pulled out the hide-a-bed and vacuumed UNDER the couch.  I added a foamy mattress to the fold-out couch to make it appear to be comfier than it really is.  I even vacuumed the dog hair off the front of the couch where the dog rubs her head.  See?  Just like June Cleaver!  I just needed a pocketed apron with cherries on it.

A Walmart run was conducted… three dozen eggs, another gallon of milk, bagels, cream cheese, four lbs. of ground turkey, two loaves of french bread, etc. etc.  I cooked enough burritos to feed…. well, a band. (plus my family)  Then as we sat down to eat I got another call from my sister in Washington.  Seems there was some miscommunication between the band members…. they are staying somewhere else in Phoenix.

I’m tired and my back is sore. I had two extra kids today.  Another one of my kids barfed three times today. Another one of my kids laid in bed half the day holding her stomach.  So why in the world do I feel like inviting people over for a game night tonight???  BECAUSE THE HOUSE IS CLEAN!  That’s why.

Just you watch.  No unexpected visitors will drop by for at least a week!

The Alliance

September 24, 2011

Yes, it sounds like a movie title but in this case it’s not.  The Alliance is a group of age-old homeschooling families who have walked in their own moccasins for more than twenty-five years and have come together to support homeschool state leaders.  They put on a conference, to which my husband and I attended this week, sort of like a family reunion but we were just meeting the family for the first time. I haven’t mentioned here on MSJ that my husband and I are on our state’s homeschool board, partly because I don’t feel worthy to be there half of the time… and the other half of the time I can’t figure out why they let us on after hearing my husband’s stories.  (Yes, he did it again.)

We were invited to a “refresher weekend” in January so the current board could get to know us casually over a buffet lunch and some chat time on a Saturday.  All went well until my dear husband started telling a biking story as we were moving from tortellini to cheesecake.  Rick and I were sitting next to each other in the middle of a rectangular table.  He was speaking to one end and I was speaking to the other.  I kept one ear on his conversation the whole time in case I needed to run interference…. but as the forks went into the cheesecake, realization hit that I was too late to save the day. Mercy sakes alive.

The story went something like this…. we were attending a new church that had Saturday night services.  Rick and our son went on a bike ride Sunday morning in the direction of our old church.  Rick has been going to church on Sunday mornings for 44 years… if he is out bike riding on a weekend morning, in his brain it is Saturday, even if it is Sunday.  So Rick and our son agree to meet at our old church, as our son needed to pump out an extra 10 miles without killing off his father.  So my husband pulls into the packed parking lot of the church and sits in a patio chair out front… in his biker stretchy shorts.  He visits with a few friends and keeps asking what is going on that brought so many people on a “Saturday”.  Many people told him that it was for church.  He didn’t get it.  Finally our son pulled up right as the main service was getting out.  A dear friend finally explained that it was Sunday and approximately 300 people would be leaving the building soon.  Rick minorly freaked out and ran to fill his water bottles, jumped on his bike and they peddled out of there as fast as they could.  The story simply sounds funny at this point.  If only he had stopped there.  He continued telling the homeschooling board members that after he arrived home he discovered holes in the back of his stretchy shorts……(story still sounds mildly okay)…. here was the clincher… he finished by laughing and saying “and we go camou under those shorts.”  Yes, he meant COMMANDO, but I was not about to correct him at that point.  It was an out-of-the-body experience for me.  Why, oh why, did that story seem appropriate at that moment??  I have no idea!

They smiled and said goodbye nicely, like there was never a holey-bike short story ever told…. and they said THEY would call us. (Like ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you.’) I assumed that if God did not want us on the board, this was his way of working that out.  Lo and behold, no call came the first month.  No call came the second month.  THEN a call came!  Unbelievable!  Maybe they forgot the end of the story!  We were invited back for another round of questions and the rest is history

Back to the Alliance.  I thoroughly enjoyed the conference, especially being surrounded by like-minded people who are sold-out on homeschooling their kids and/or training the next generation to stand strong.  It also made me realize that there is a whole other level of politeness, respect and love that can cross generations and keep families tight.  It was like coming home… all over again.

Once Again…. I’m Not Sure I’m Ready!

September 26, 2010

My brother and his wife went away this past weekend to celebrate their anniversary up in the cool mountains.  (Side note: it’s STILL supposed to be over 100 ALL week!)  BAH!  Anyway, we have had their boys, ages 5 and 11, for some of the weekend when they weren’t at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  The five-year-old is almost six… so he’ll be very close to the same age as his new cousin, our little Colombian princess, who will be 5 or 6.  It was a good reminder for me to have him stay here, to kick-start my “Oh yeah, I’m going to have a 5 or 6-year-old child again” thinking. 

We went to church and I was NOT prepared with a purse full of fishy crackers and gummy worms, like a good Auntie should have been.  I had gum, three colors of pens and the back of a printed piece of paper to color on.  (I did have a Nintendo DS, but I didn’t show that to him.) He managed just fine.  Before we went into the service I asked him if he had to go to the bathroom.  He said, “Well, we better, just in case.”  Good idea.  Then we stopped in the cafe and bought him some orange juice, just in case too.  I grabbed a tidy little package containing a fork, spoon, knife and napkin, just in case too. 

Five-year-olds ask the best questions!  He asked if spoons cost more than forks because they are a “dinky bit” bigger?  He asked why I didn’t pay for the utensil package.  He asked if I could hold his juice bottle because it was too cold for him to hold.  He asked how we were going to find Uncle Rick because it was dark in the sanctuary when we eventually arrived.  All valid questions.

He didn’t open his juice at all in church.  He just colored with three colors on the back of my printed page.  He didn’t stand for the “singing part” because he was “just fine sitting.” 

It all got my mind a-wandering again.  Will our girl be able to sit in church quietly?  Will our huge church be overwhelming for her?  Will I be sitting in the five-year-old class all year?  Will I remember to take her to the bathroom before we arrive? Am I too old for this?  Am I ready for this?  I’m not sure at the moment, but I’ve been known to rise to the occasion more than once in my life.  {smiles}

This is referral call week.  Bring it on!

My Bucket List

May 30, 2010

Tonight I pulled out a journaling book that I started in 2007… it has in it, among other gatherings of words… my Bucket List.  One hundred things I want to do in my lifetime.  It’s been at least a year since I went through the list… that only goes up to 72 at the moment.  When I accomplish a listed item I highlight it.  There were eight lines highlighted already.  Surprisingly, tonight I highlighted three items from 2009 that were accomplished. 

I read somewhere long ago that if you write down your goals your brain grasps onto them subconsciously and even if you’re not remembering them… you are drawn to accomplish them.  I’m not sure if I believed that until I was married about 14 years and came across my scrapbook from my senior year of high school.  There was a page for 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals.  What 18-year-old has any clue what they will be doing when they are 28???  Please.  Unbelievably, all the goals that I wrote down had been successfully completed… without me remembering that I jotted them in my scrapbook in 1984

Back to tonight and my Bucket List.  In case you live in a cave, a movie came out a few years back called the Bucket List and the premise was about two old guys determined to live out life’s wishes before they kicked the bucket.  I never saw it.  Anywho…. I highlighted three lines on my list tonight.

#10.  Take the kids on a missions trip.  Larisa, Austin and I went to La Mision, Mexico last summer… and it was Austin’s first time seeing an impoverished city.  It changed him, as I knew it would.  My 11-year-old son still is on the list to go, but I highlighted it anyway.  I firmly believe every American kid needs to see poverty, desperate need, and the happiness that is still available in spite of living conditions.  We are so spoiled blessed.

#51. Live close to the church.  For more than 10 years we have driven 30 minutes to church.  When your kids want to get more involved… an hour round-trip is a long way.  When gas is over $3 a gallon, every little trip counts.  Little did I know that we would be changing churches in 2009 and the new one is 8 minutes away.  Glory!

#61.  Publish a book for married women.  Last September my book Learning to Laugh in the Midst of Marriage came out.  Sweet! The book was not even started when I made the list!  See…. subconsciously!

Some of my other entries include traveling to far away spots on God’s green earth that I have studied and long to see.  Others involve helping others, teaching the kids new tricks, taking an emergency truck ramp…. quit laughing… they are so tempting,  learning a few tricks myself and reaching many for God’s kingdom.  I believe 2010 will bring at least three more highlighted lines… maybe more!

Do you have a Bucket List?