We are back to work this year for our second round of volunterring at our local County Fair, which is why things have been rather sparse around here.
We've all been busy getting tables set up, accepting entries and organizing them, proofing the judging sheets to make sure all is in order, clerking for the various judges (guiding them through the entries and keeping track of their decisions), then making sure that everything in the judging books are in order before the judge (and me!) signs the bottom of every sheet so that it's official, getting a place sticker on the appropriate items and Best Of ribbons on the appropriate items, "decorating" and getting the judged entries off the tables and out into the room so that we are ready for the next round of entries, which will all get repeated three times total before the Fair opens later this week.
Today will be busy but it will mostly be paperwork. Finish proofing the judging sheets in readiness for judging Monday, and then make sure that everything else is in readiness for our back to back days of Horticulture/Food entries Tuesday with judging Wednesday and the opening of the Fair on Thursday. Not a whole lot of time to breathe between now and then.
It has been great this year. A few new people working, but really capable and willing to do whatever needs doing, which is so great. Since the children volunteered with me last year, this year we have many more young people helping out, which really is a help. (Workers bringing their own children or another mom who drops off her older son and daughter to help.) There are so many little things to do - fetch and carry items from one place or building to another, pick-ups, attaching tags, sorting entries by entry number, help carry larger items (for our young men), and a particularly appreciated benefit is helping teacher's bring in their entries from the car to the building especially when that teacher has a whole school worth of entries!! And what a testimony that is, too. Several of the teachers have asked, of course, where the children go to school. Most of the time they ask the children, who always readily answer "HomeSchool." "Do you like it?" always seems to be the next question, which is answered with a smiling, "Yes!" By the time the children have helped sort, tag, and carry off the entries to their proper place, the teacher will usually say something very nice to me about how helpful, well-behaved, courteous, etc. the children are and how nice it is that they are homeschooled. One teacher, in particular, this year asked me right off the bat if my children were hoomeschooled. Now this was after the children had made almost a dozen trips to and from her car bringing in all of that schools' entries! I answered "Yes," and she smiled. "I knew it!" She said there are several homeschoolers in their church and she can usually tell them apart from the other children because the homeschoolers talk to everyone - all age groups - whereas the public school children (and this is interesting because she herself was with a private Christian School) only talk to their own age group. She then said she was at the gas station a few days ago and while pumping gas another car pulled in and all the children got out of the car and started to either pump the gas or help with washing the windows of their car. The thought that came into her head was "They must be homeschoolers!" ;-)
On a practical note, being gone from home for 8-10 hours a day has forced me to really plan and focus my energies. Obviously we are not able to do all of our regular chores, so in the few hours I have in the morning (so thankful that the Holy Spirit is still waking me at 6:00 a.m. each morning!) I do what is necessary, and not much more. A few loads of laundry, general pick-up, and get dinner started before we are out the door. I have been relying on my Crock-Pot and bread machine for fresh, hot dinners and it has been a blessing. We've had a Posole (Mexican Soup), and a big batch of Saucy Sausage Sandwiches, with Crock-Pot Lasagna and Chicken Ole' coming up this week. (I've been doubling or making a recipe and a half so that we have leftovers either for dinner or lunch the next day.) On those days where my husband will be home, then casseroles are the answer. Tonight we'll be having Taco Casserole which husband will put into the oven about an hour before we get home. I made a huge bowl of Taco Salad last week for our lunch one day, and it was GONE! Will definitely have to make that again! When life gets back to normal - about the second week of June - then I'll post my recipes and add outside links for others recipes.
From I Thessalonians chapter 5:
17Pray without ceasing.
18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19Quench not the Spirit.
20Despise not prophesyings.
21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
While reading tonight, I was in I Timothy 2 and came across verse 4, but I'll quote the whole passage for context and complete thought:
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
I have heard verse 4 used many times by those who try to reason that all people will be saved and go to heaven - because God desires it. Yes, he does desire all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, but we need to remember that he is also a righteous God who cannot let evil/unrighteous deeds go unpunished.
Ezekiel 18:23-32 explains this beautifully:
23Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
24But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
25Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
26When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
27Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
29Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the LORD is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
31Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
32For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
Lori Jessop cried when she and her husband, Joseph, were reunited with their daughter and two sons. "The little boy just grabbed for his daddy," when CPS workers handed him over.
Also, now that the 3rd Court of Appeals has made its ruling, others are jumping on the bandwagon and weighing in to defend the way the FLDS families were illegally treated by Texas law enforcement, the Department of Family Protective Services, and the San Angelo courts.
Directly from the FLDS website, Truth Will Prevail, here are their own Court Updates. The ending of the piece titled "Underage Marriage" ends with a wonderful quote and something for each of us to consider --
There is an old saying: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The beautiful, well-behaved and well-adjusted children of the YFZ community were not produced by parents who practice or condone child abuse in any form.
Discovered this on Tulip's Blog and is it ever fun! There are only 2 people in the US with my birth/maiden name and what is even better is that both of my parents are the only ones ( according to their search) with their names. We're unique!!
Played around with it for a while and found 261 people who share my married name (bleh! - about sharing it with that many people, NOT the name! ;-) and 14 and 12, respectively, have the names of DS2 and DS3. 239 people share a name with DD, and - again, according to this site - no one in the US has the name of my Angel, DS1. I know these aren't totally accurate but it is interesting.
When you do your name search, it will give you a ranking such as " There are 401,430 people with this first name - This name ranks 140th as the most popular name."
This article from the Salt Lake Tribune details only some of the conditions and heartbreaking situations that were witnessed by trained and seasoned mental health workers who were contracted by Texas CPS to help them in the days following the wholesale kidnapping of 400+ children from the FLDS.
Please read the actual letters written by these workers in the box "The floor was literally slick with tears . . " These mental health workers were under a confidentiality agreement, but were so disturbed by what they saw happenning to these women and children that they wrote anonymous letters of their experiences within the shelters so their own employer, Hill Country Community Mental Health/Mental Retardation Center, would know what was happening and possibly be able to do something about it.