A two week internet fast has been imposed on the S household. Things with K are getting out of hand again, apparently. I told C that I would support her and D, whatever they decided they had to do.

(Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy or boast, is not proud, does not behave herself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, keeps no account of evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...)

That being said, I'm still frustrated. Frustrated with the fact that this affects me too... and she probably doesn't even care. As usual. Lord, give me patience... I hate this hard heart of mine. I want to be an encouragement and support to all those in my family.

How am I supposed to work on this ministry God's given me without the necessary tools?! *Sigh* I guess I'll just have to do things the old-fashioned way. At least it's not like summer camp-- no phone AND no computer!

So I will. I will support C and D as they struggle to lead and guide that poor willful child. Lord help us all...

She really doesn't realize a lot of things. I need to remember that. It's not like she's sadistically plotting to throw monkey wrenches into our lives. She just doesn't think through her actions, and she's gotten a taste of something she likes, so she's running with it, heedless of the heartache that attends her every step... and the heartache and ruin that lies before her. She thinks she's sampling freedom, but she's swallowing a slow poison. Oh, girl... if you would only listen to us, so much stress and tension and needless trauma could be avoided. But, no... you have to do things your way. I really, really hope that it doesn't take a complete collapse of your life for you to see reason. I hope you'll stop simply going through the motions in an attempt to lull us into a sense of security you can use to cloak your actions.

I hope you come to.

And I hope you don't ruin our lives in the process.
E: Embarrassing Moment

Who doesn't love to hear about the misadventures of others?

While I don't have anything super juicy to share off the top of my head, I will share a moment from just today.

The whole reason I moved up to Idaho was to be a Bible Worker for two churches in this area. Although they're about an hour apart, they're still in the same district, which means they share the same pastor and everything. Well, about 5 months into my term, my housing situation fell apart. My houseparents in both towns decided that they couldn't have me staying with them anymore (it wasn't anything to do with me, it was just life and other things happening). In one town, I rented a duplex from a couple for one month. After that, I ended up living in the other town (with my current family) and commuting for the rest of the time I was Bible Working.

I cut the owners of the duplex a check for the rent and utilities for that month, but they never cashed it, to my puzzlement. Since they live in California, I wasn't really in contact with them, and it was never really resolved.

Today, while unpacking my things from the summer and sorting through my other belongings, I came across my old check book... with the rent check still inside.

D. U. M. B.

So I just shot off an email to them, apologizing for never sending it, and asking if they still wanted their rent money. (I'm sure they will-- what sane person would say no? But I need to have my conscience clear.)

The funny thing is, though, while writing the email, I got a rather nagging sense that I had sent them a check of some sort... Huh. I'm not sure. We'll see what they say. They're honest folks, so they'll correct me if I'm wrong... I hope!
D: Day in the life of Me

Well, that's kind of hard to figure right now, since I'm still in transition mode, settling into the routine that will more or less carry me through the next year, at least.

Usually, I wake up around 6:30 or 7, whereupon I sit up and grab my Bible and devotional book for this year, Jesus Calling. I usually have worship for half an hour or so, then it'll be time to eat breakfast. If it's my turn to cook breakfast, I roll out of bed around 6:30, just in time to start the meal :) (That means I have my worship time a little later in the day.)

After breakfast comes Family Worship time, followed by cleanup (if I'm not the one that cooked) and getting ready for the day (insert personal worship after Family Worship if I'm the one that cooked).

The actual day's activities vary by weekday. Mondays are spent preparing produce and other things for Market the next day. Tuesday afternoons and evenings are spent at Farmer's Market. Wednesday is kind of up in the air for me right now, but since I'm back home to learn gardening, I imagine I'll be spending it helping D, my "dad". Thursdays will be the same, with racquetball in the evening. Friday is cleaning and laundry day, and whatever other preparations we need to make for Sabbath. Saturday, Sabbath, is church, perhaps potluck lunch at the church, or maybe invite someone over for lunch after church. Sundays are, well, Sunday... anything could happen, from a youth group activity to a community event to working in the garden or working on a project at home...

Somewhere, I'm going to be fitting in my support group, but I don't know what days or times or whatever any of that will be. I'm still praying for a facility to hold the meetings in.

Depending on the day, I may have lunch prep or cleanup. Then comes evening, and we gather for Family Worship again, usually just before bedtime. We sing, pray, read a little bit of a book, etc. (Lately we've just been praying and going to bed, really.)

My life... mundane, compared to some, but happy. I believe I'm where God wants me, and that lights everything up with peace.

Oh, yes, and scattered throughout the day are phone calls and letters/emails to and from friends and family. That's always nice.
Wow, am I EVER glad for Sabbath! It's been adventure followed by adventure followed by crazy experiences.

This last week, my adopted dad's mother stayed with us, up from SoCal. She stayed in my room, but the tricky part is that she arrived the same day I got back from driving across the country, which means that I got to live out of my suitcases for one extra week. Not that I particularly minded, I am just tired of not having a little bit of elbow room. It's easy to get disorganized when it's all suitcases.

Now, however, I've got my room back! I still haven't had a chance to unpack (that should come Sunday), due to cleaning and youth group and all that, but I did switch out the "guest room" quilt/blanket for a quilt that my friend from church had made for me (without my even knowing about it!). Mom had gotten me a dark grey sheets and pillowcases set, and it matches the quilt just perfectly. Grey is my favorite color, so I'm enthralled.

I guess this means it's officially "my room" now. Even the bedspread is different. The walls are covered in photographs and sketches and framed quotes and magazine clippings. There's a set of end-tables-doubling-as-bookcases in the corner that weren't here until I bought them. There's a golden curtain cascading down the front of the closet door. There's a crystal dreamcatcher hanging from the ceiling fan pull. It's... well, it's my room. What a blessing to have a home, and a room to myself.

It's been a challenge adjusting to family life again. I'd gotten used to being independent, especially on that grand road trip. My schedule was all I had to consult, really. Now I have to coordinate with FIVE other people! As the time wears on, it should get easier, especially as I'll be home much more this year. My main focuses are the garden and the abuse survivor support group. Oh, yes, and youth group. I'm going to begin praying about the direction God wants me to take that... Racquetball is still going, but the devotional section has died out, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Do we need it? Is it enough to simply gather for recreation and fellowship? Or should I insist on bringing back that little God-centered time? I don't know. Maybe I'll just start reading a book like Bruchko, a section at a time.

My adopted dad, D, has found out that his cancer has come back. The only treatment for this type of cancer is surgery, so he'll be going under the knife sometime soon. We're going to try to make some adjustments in our eating habits, to curb the cancer growth as much as possible (i.e. cutting out sugars, which the cancer feeds on readily, not cooking in oils, more whole foods and less processed foods, juicing, etc.). It's just scary to think that, after I've come to trust and love this man as a father... he could be gone, and there's nothing I can do about it.

Is there anything I can truly, truly trust that won't crumble under my weight?

I'm having a problem with D again. It's been almost 2 weeks since we've had a phone conversation, and for the last week or so, there's not even been a text, or a response to my texts. It's like he dropped off the face of the planet, and I can't figure out why. It was seriously bothering me-- a really tempestuous emotional storm-- but I'm practicing trusting God. He's the one that set this relationship up, he's been walking us through it, and if it's to end, then it's to end. God has something better, if that's the case. It's just been hard to not hear from D, especially since the phone is the only connection we have, him being so far away and all.

K abuses the internet, so it's only on during certain time periods a day, about 2 or 3 hours. The problem is... those hours are the ones I'm usually doing something like cooking, cleaning, or running an errand. I miss out on it a lot, which is a bummer. I know I can blog and then copy and paste, but the font size is always a little off when I do that and, quite frankly, it bugs me.

Tonight, we're going to have sundown worship on the porch, and us girls are going to play our instruments. We're trying to put together another CD, so we need to start hammering out songs. Not an easy feat with J headed back off to college. I'm sure we'll make it work somehow, though. Last year, we did it all during Thanksgiving break, and that may be the case this year. I think we're going to take CD cover pictures tomorrow afternoon, after church some time.

Oh, yeah, and I got to see pics of my friend's wedding, which put me in the mood for wedding stuff... and I was talking to H, who will be my wedding planner someday, and we came up with some great ideas for my future wedding! I had found some beautiful dresses that I liked, but were too small for me, but in attempting to find the pictures to show her, I stumbled across a really cool dress that I like. (I sometimes feel stupid for planning all this stuff out in advance, but it's fun for me, and will save a lot of hassle when the time comes. Plus I like beautiful things, and weddings are supposed to be beautiful.)

It's on Etsy somewhere. J thinks that I should save up and actually buy a dress, if I really like it and know I won't be able to find it again sometime in the future. The nice thing is, all the dresses I'm looking at are like, one hundred to two hundred dollars. But I think it's kinda silly to buy a dress without the threat of an imminent wedding looming.

I think my dal is about done cooking. I feel better now, just having blogged. It's been nagging at me... You like to blog. Why don't you do it anymore? You really need to process through some of the stuff happening right now... You should just do it.
A dearth of internet, or opportunities to use the internet, or somesuch. In any event, it seems as though I can't quite catch the internet while it's on, or when I do, I am lacking either the time or inclination to blog.

Life goes on, with or without the internet.

I just wish that I'd hear something from D. It's been almost 2 weeks. I hope he's alright.

Home Again

I'm settling back into the home routine after my long journey across the country and back (4,000 miles!). It's different being part of a family again, since I was "independent" there for a while.

The internet's only on 2 hours a day, to help K learn to manage her time and not spend it all on the internet. That's proving to be a... challenge... since I have to orient my schedule around those hours if I want internet at all. Now that I'm doing the support group thing, it may prove to be more of a challenge that I had initially anticipated when I found out about the time limit. We'll see.

I'm just grateful for sweet Sabbath rest. I'm still recuperating from those long drives with little to no sleep.

I missed Juneaux. He was so sweet and lovable to me when I came home-- he didn't forget me! (That was a fear of mine.) And he's been his usual unique, lovable self with no qualms. Oh, how I missed him! *sigh*

I'm going to go write a letter. That's a habit I picked up this summer, and I rather like it.
Well, delayed leaving by a day because R checked out my car and my brake pads are worn down. It's not *bad*, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you know? Plus, I'll get to learn how to install brake pads on my car! Hello, Proverbs 31 points! :)

Plus this'll give me an extra day to prepare and pack, and I won't be hurried and rushed (as I was this morning. Sabbath ends late, and I didn't have much time to prepare before I was overwhelmed with sleepiness.)

C: Cars... talk about your first car, the car you have now, any accidents, driving pet peeves, etc.

I've only had two cars, and I still have the second one. My first car was Betsey, the "Google" car. (She was a Pontiac 6000LE, but my friend misread the name, thinking it said "Google"!)

I got her my first year at Bible college, when I needed a car to do door-to-door work for one of our practicums. I affectionately called her "the tank", because she never broke down and never gave up. Even when other people ran into her, there was nary a dent or a scratch.

Inside, though, she wasn't exactly the ideal car... The driver's seat did not recline anymore, but was permanently stuck. Since it was reclined back farther than I liked, I simply rode around with a pillow between my back and the seat. The AC didn't work, which wasn't usually a problem, except when I was driving around in the desert. (I almost got heat stroke one time coming home on break.) At least the heater worked! (...constantly ^_^) The seatbelts in the back were rusted to the point of uselessness, and there was a giant hole in the seat from some acid of some sort. I just kept it covered with a blanket. Oh, and the dome light didn't work, because my great uncle had tinkered with it and tried to rewire it somehow.

Outside of that, she's cherry. Not bad for a first car, and great for a free car! (She was a direct answer to prayer.)

Then came Shenandoah.

Quite the upgrade, no? Betsey got sold down in Mexico. I hope they enjoy her. (The lack of AC could prove to be problematic...) Shenandoah was part of God's preparations to send me to Idaho. He knew Betsey would never make it.

This is the car I have now, I and I really enjoy her. Did I mention that Betsey didn't have a cd player? She did have a tape deck, but Shenandoah has both! It's nice to have music when I travel.

As far as accidents go... I haven't had any in Shenandoah, nor did I have any in Betsey. I did, however, have one in C's truck once. (That's a funny, slightly embarrassing story...) I was trying to park in a parking garage so that I could go and have an interview with the Sheriff's Department. I was nervous, I was still a new driver, and I wasn't very used to the truck yet. The spot I chose was too tight, but I didn't realize it, and I got hung up on the huge white truck to the right. I carved a huge dent into the side of C's truck, but the other truck was okay. To further the exasperation of the situation, I locked my keys in the truck as I was trying to brush my paint off the other truck's bumper. (The interview went okay, though.) I called C, and his dad gave him a ride over. Turns out his dad (a Sheriff's Dept. employee) works with Sgt. M, and knew that it was his truck right off the bat. Sgt. M is the guy that would be administering the polygraph test as I got farther into the hiring process for the Sheriff's Dept. Great.

Sgt. M's truck was fine, and it was all off the record, but that was highly embarrassing for me. (A few months later, while I was a waitress, two Sheriff's Dept. guys came in for supper, and as I was serving them, they figured out who I was by our small talk-- "You're the girl who hit Sgt. M's truck!!" Embarrassing much?)

Oh, and one other time, I borrowed J's car, and as I was parking, the wheel slipped in my hand, and I dinged the car next to me. I ended up paying out of pocket so my friend's insurance wouldn't take the hit.

Hmm... Pet peeves.... Oh, yes. Use your blinkers, people!! That's what they're there for! How am I supposed to work harmoniously with you if you won't let me know what you're doing?

Another pet peeve is driving under the speed limit... in the passing lane. I'm here because I want to pass someone else who is going under the speed limit. Blurgh. 

I think that's it. I'm sure I'll realize something that annoys me when someone does it. :)

I'm going to go pack, now. I want to be ready for tomorrow morning when I have to roll out bright and early.
B: Best Friend

You know, I've never been exclusive in my best-friendicity. I've not had that BFF that some have- my best friends have changed over the years.

There is one person, JF, who I've been friends with since I was about one. She was my babysitter, and after we moved away from Washington, she kept in touch by phone and letter, even coming down to visit me on my birthdays throughout the years. Once I got old enough, I went up to see her a couple of years in a row, but we've both been too poor to make it the past few years. I did get to see her on my way up to Idaho last year, though. When we see each other, we pick up right where we left off, even though we don't do much upkeep on the relationship.

Then, around 3 1/2, I met JD. We were inseparable for the next 8 years, and we're still friends, but the tumultuous teen years have a way of growing distance between some people. Our moms hoped desperately that we would fall in love and get married, but we've since broken the news to them that it's a pretty unlikely future.

Throughout grade school, LL and I were best friends for a long time. OG, a kid from the neighborhood, was my best buddy outside of school hours. He was practically a part of the family. Actually, our family is one of the big reasons he learned English!

I had some "best friends" that weren't good for me- manipulative, controlling, etc. I didn't know any better. I just wanted to be liked.

In high school, I didn't have a best friend until about sophomore year, when I met C through a good-not-quite-best friend M. He (C) became my very best friend in the world, and his best friend B became my other best friend. We were a friendly triangle :)

B and I are still good buddies, but C and I no longer talk on a regular basis. I still see him when I visit Y, but that's about it. (And the lack of communication is for obvious reasons... you can't remain best friends with your ex-fiance.)

Throughout canvassing, my year at academy, and my two years at Bible college, AG and I became quite close, and she was definitely a best friend, although I can't quite consider her that now. We're still good friends, but... you know how those things go.

Bible college brought a lot of good friends, and out of those years came my roomie JR, who is definitely a "bestie", even currently. Then came Idaho, with the S's, H, J, and now D.

I am blessed with many, many friends; many good friends; and several best friends.
I really just haven't felt like blogging lately. Maybe I'm still lethargic from my long days of sleep-deprivation, or maybe there's not enough going on to really feel the need to talk about it...

I made it home, safe and sound. The kids had no idea I was coming, so when I arrived just after midnight, I waltzed up to the front door and rang the doorbell. (Everyone was still awake- that's how our family operates in summer.) Mom called out, "K, one of your friends is here for you!" She was in bed not feeling well, though, and didn't come to the door, so J did. She didn't recognize me at first (glasses and short hair- a little different than the last time they saw me!), but after a second look, she launched into loud exclamations of surprise and joy, as did the dogs, and my brother. It was great :) I was tackled in love (mostly by the dogs) and slobbered on (that was all the dogs' doings- we don't slobber on each other around here!)

So we've all just been kinda hanging out. I've adapted myself to their schedule, so I'm not going to bed until somewhere between midnight and 2 a. m. (which is anywhere from 10 to 12 my time). It's okay, it's only for a week. I don't really like it, though. I mean, I won't be continuing it when I go home. I've realized that I actually prefer to be up and about in the mornings (not too early, though!), which is a dramatic shift from my previous night-owl preferences.  I mean, I kinda like staying up late, but I don't want to continue it over the long haul.

The first day I was here, I was very lethargic. We sat around and watched movies, mostly. I made my first batch of chicken noodle soup, and it came out excellent. I got to talk to D (another bonus to staying up late-- since he's 3 hours earlier, it's about midnight here when he gets off work), which was nice. He got my letters. Interesting conversation ensued from that... he's seen my ups and downs, my fears and anxieties, my anger, my elation, my moodiness, my pain, and... as he said, "I don't want someone better than you. I want you." Awwwwww.....  He told my mom that he really likes me. Sigh. I'm turning into what I always despised and feared. Ironic, isn't it? But, yes, I'm smitten. Bother.

Yesterday we took J, the youngest, shopping for "first day of school" clothes. She wanted a special outfit to make a good first impression. I ended up walking away with 2 really cute "shirts"/shrug-thingies myself, and today I had to stop by Goodwill to pick up a bathing suit top, and I got a couple more really cute things. Quite feminine. Lacy, and all that.

Mom got her colonoscopy done today, and it showed everything as normal, which is extremely frustrating, because she's in such constant, intense pain that she needs 2 Vicodin just to be able to function normally... every couple hours. They have no idea what's wrong with her, and it pains me to see her in this pain, because I understand what it's like to live in chronic pain. It sucks. I mean, it really, really sucks. It wears you down, it saps the joy of living, it eats you alive. It's not fair. And... we're all helpless to do anything about it. Grr. R, more than anyone else, feels this frustration. He's an in-command guy, a military man, used to getting stuff done, fixing things, accomplishing, and now, he's helpless. That must be awful, especially when it's the one you love the most that you are powerless to help.

When she recovers from the anesthesia, she's going to show me how to apply makeup. I don't wear it very often, but I wanted to play around with some colors and techniques, and I asked her to help me. We're going to pull out her old, unused makeup and play around. It'll be fun! Like a girl's date night :)

Good news- I've been eating healthier again, and being active/exercising, and I'm slimming down again. Whew. The acne, though, is as bad as ever. Mom's taking me to her doctor tomorrow to see if there's anything they can do to help. I'd like to have clear skin. It's been like, 10 years, and with this worst-ever outbreak, I think it's time to do something more drastic than "let's avoid the foods I'm allergic to and hope it gets better" and "let's try this soap!" Sunlight seems to help as well, so I'm going to be more proactive about baring my skin (when people aren't around!). Working in the garden might be just the ticket. I did sunbathe today before the sky clouded up, so hopefully that will help. (That's what I needed the bathing suit top for.)

My time here is basically going to be vacation- watch movies and TV with the kids ('cause that's pretty much all they do), play games together, walk the dogs (I'm going to bust out the rollerblades tonight, I think), just be around. Yup. So unexciting, yet so... nice. I couldn't live like this every day, though. I guess that's why it's vacation. :)