Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things Are A Little Boogered Up Around Here

As you have probably noticed, things are just a little boogered up around here. First of all, my blog background has disappeared without even a civil word of farewell. I had one day with a little box that said to click to visit The Cutest Blog On The Block for details regarding my background & the warning that it would disappear on July 23rd. Delinquent blogger that I am, I didn't take the time to click that little box & voila! the background ran off & got married. Or something. All I know is that it is gone. I tried to download another one but the computer at my work doesn't have a current version of Internet Explorer & I just don't know if I'm allowed to update it. Is that silly of me to worry about? Who knows, I just may do it here in a few minutes & straighten out this booger-y mess!

Also, does it totally crack you up that I copied & pasted a sample graphic so that I could have a nose-picking graphic for this post? Is that illegal? I sure hope not.

In addition to the blog getting all boogered up, my schedule is all boogered up this week, too. Yesterday I went in to work at 7 a.m. (the normal time). Today I came in at 6:30. Tomorrow, Thursday, & Friday I will be reporting for duty at 3:30 a.m. I'm a little nauseous typing that out. I can't believe that anyone can expect me to handle radioactive material at that time of the night/morning...which is it? I have worked the 3:30 shift before, but I have never worked it three days in a row. Oh my heart, it's gonna be painful. Please pray that I don't oversleep. And that poor Mike doesn't oversleep because I will not be there to pinch him, pull his hair, spray water on his face - you know, all the usual it's-time-to-get-up-and-go-to-work-honey stuff.

But there is good news. There is always good news. Since I'll be going in so early, I'll be getting off early, too. I will be able to go swimming with Beth & the kids one afternoon. That will be a lot of fun. I will feel like I have a jump start on the weekend, too. That is ALWAYS a good thing.

And there are plenty of lovely things happening this week. We have flowers blooming. We have had yummy fresh garden produce to eat. I got to help Mike put some paint on our new kitchen shelf so we have made some progress there. I got to meet up with an old friend from junior high last night & go for a long walk. Can you believe that, junior high! All made possible by our little friend facebook. And the super wonderful refreshing thing about it is that she is exactly the same person now as she was then. I love people like that. Definitely a good way to wrap up a Monday night, catching up with an old friend.

Sometimes I definitely feel overwhelmed by the boogery-ness - so much to do! so many places to go! so many miles to get in for my training! so much cleaning/laundry/folding/putting away! weird computer things happening that I have no control over! the endless list of projects that I really want to get done!

And we don't even have kids yet! That is a wonderful adventure that I may never survive, if we get to go down that road. I'm sure some of you mommies that read my blog (I thank you so much for taking time out of your busy days for me! You're swell!), probably think that I need to get a grip & realize how easy I have it...I know, I know...

So in the midst of my swirling sea of overwhelmed-ness, the Lord gently reminds me of all that I have to be grateful for. Surely His timing with those little nudges is absolutely perfect. For example, Sunday night Mike & I were both dreading Monday morning & the inevitable return to work. As we were flipping through the channels we saw part of a news show where they were interviewing people who had been unemployed long term. We were both convicted & convinced that God should be thanked for our regular employment. Every time I feel frustrated or bugged by the messy house or the laundry or the dishes or the grocery shopping that must be done I feel that little nudge - thank God I have such a cute little house! and so many clothes! & we must have had a nourishing meal to produce all those dirty dishes! & we have money to spend at the grocery & a selection of groceries to go to that are fully stocked!

My cup overflows. Every day. Lord, help me never to take Your provision & care for granted.

How have you been counting your blessings lately? Please share & we can encourage one another!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hi There

Just popping in this afternoon to say hi. I went to find a clip art pic of a girl waving & there were some really cute ones out there. I picked this little girl because she looks like me. I have big feet. But I would never wear a skirt that short. Just saying.

Anyway, I've been thinking that I needed to get on here & just blog, blog, blog. I've got some pics at home that I need to load up. I tried to email a couple of pics to a friend on Sunday night & the whole situation melted down into a terrible failure. For some reason, my ancient dinosaur of a laptop can't seem to upload images from my camera. And our desktop doesn't have some of the pics that I wanted to send. I was trying to send some from the laptop & some from the desktop & my head was spinning like a top & nothing was working so I finally got so mad I went to bed without brushing my teeth. It's true.

Therefore, I haven't tried to upload any pics since then. I'm afraid of what it might cost me in emotional strength.

And I kinda feel like I don't have much to say.

I know some of you are shaking your heads in disbelief because MaryAnn's ALWAYS got a little bit of something to say.

And it's true because I just thought of two things I'd like to say:

1. Mike's work shift changed this week. He used to work 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. This is almost the exact same schedule I have. It was nice. Now he works 5:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. This is a little rough. Neither of us are morning people. We are stay up foolishly late people. So we are trying to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. & we get up at 4:55 a.m. *ouch* I could stay in bed & let him get himself off to work, but I don't like to do that. Before you decide that I'm stupidly sappy about my man I will have to admit that I'm very afraid of oversleeping. I have to be at work at 7:00 a.m. & it's too super easy for me to snooze my alarm for hours. So I get up with Mike. And I have found that extra morning time to be super productive. I eat breakfast. I read my Bible. I get to take a normal shower instead of a major multitasking 4 minute deal. I can work out. I can make the bed. One morning I even had time to wash dishes. But I'm a little tired. I keep telling myself I'm just getting adjusted to a new schedule. Next week ask me how I'm doing *grin*

2. When I looked at my blog before I started this post there was a box in the corner saying that my blog design will disappear this Friday & to go to The Cutest Blog on the Block for more details. What is THAT all about? I feel the same way about my blog as I do my cell phone ring tone - once I find one I like I keep it. Forever. It's almost the same level of commitment as marriage. I am not kidding.

That's all I have to report. If you made it this far through this post, you are a champ & I love ya!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Anniversary Vacation Day Four

We slept in Monday morning. I think we were both kind of sad realizing that our vacation was almost over. It just flew by so fast!

We finally got up & got moving. I called the plumber & desperately begged their answering machine to consider our situation an emergency & then we headed out to another antique shop in town that we had not visited before. It was huge & packed full of treasures. We spent a big chunk of time in there wandering around. Then we headed to an old favorite antique place. Mike's mom had found some plates there she thought we might be looking for. When we got to the store we called her & it was a hilarious game of treasure hunt trying to find them by her directions. We never did find them so we assumed they had been sold. Wrong. She went there the next day & got them for us. Either she gives bad directions or Mike can't follow directions. I'm not going to make the final decision on that one!

We went home & Mike got busy planning some of his woodworking projects & I made some zucchini bread & marinated some pork chops. We had decided to stay in for dinner & grill. It was a nice relaxing afternoon of cooking, cleaning up a bit & getting ready for the next day's work. Really, I have a nice job & I have nothing to complain about but Mike has kind of a miserable situation. I spent some energy Monday night trying to keep his spirits up. I don't like to see my man down, you know?

We grilled our pork chops (a new grilling food for us), homemade mac 'n cheese, & cauliflower. Followed by some zucchini bread, we weren't hungry anymore. We went for a drive that night & I had to make a quick trip to Walgreens & then we closed the curtains on our Anniversary Vacation.

I used to take such big trips - Hawaii, Europe, the Carolinas, out west...these days I don't really care where I'm going as long as I can head home quick & be with Mike the whole time. I think I've grown up.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Anniversary Vacation Day Three

Day Three of our Anniversary Vacation was our For Real Anniversary!
I can't hardly believe we have been married for a whole year already...sometime I should sit back & ponder that. Reflect on what I've learned, what I'm grateful for, what the Lord has blessed us with...yep, I should do that.
Hopefully I will...sometime.
This picture is actually from Day Two. We spent so much time driving I thought I should catch a picture in the car. No matter how many shots I took I couldn't get rid of my double chin. Maybe it's there all the time & I just don't know about it. If it is there all the time, please don't tell me. I want to live in ignorance.

We got up early Sunday morning & headed down to Nashville, Indiana. We rented a cabin near there last year for our honeymoon & so we decided it was where we wanted to be on our first anniversary. Maybe some year we will see if we can rent the same cabin that weekend. That would be fun & gushily sentimental, wouldn't it?

On our way out of town we stopped at a gas station so I could get some coffee. I know, I know, it's an addiction. I'm ashamed. Anyway, the gas station we stopped at was giving away free coffee & fountain drinks all day! Yeehaw! I got a very large coffee & some donuts (bad idea, I know) & we hit the road.

The drive to Nashville is all two lane highway. We were behind a Sunday driver, for sure. At one point I counted 18 cars in front of us & behind us, all waiting on the same guy. I had to pull out all the stops to soothe Mike's road rage. Really, it can be quite embarrassing to sing & dance in the car while you are driving down the road. But a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do to keep her husband out of jail :-) It really wasn't that bad, but poor Mike was getting really frustrated.

We got to Nashville & hit the shops. We have been there enough times now to know which ones we really love. We always stop at the pottery place. We picked a bowl that will match & 'nest' with another bowl that we bought last year. I bought a pair of Teva sandals that were sweetly on sale & we just browsed & browsed.

When we had our fill of shopping around, we hit the road for Columbus. On our honeymoon we went there several times of an evening. They have a Taco Bell so we had to stop there (we are such food snobs, aren't we?). On our way back we hit a huge antique store & wandered around in there for probably an hour. I love trying to find things that my mom or my grandma have. And we both love looking at the furniture. If we had a bigger house we would have bought some major furniture on this vacation!

Thank God we have a small house or we'd have some massive furniture buying debt! :-)

We headed home after that. Neither of us really wanted to be home so we stopped at a Dairy Queen *yum* & then made our stops by the parents & went to Lowe's. With the anniversary gift my parents gave us we bought some wood for Mike to make a cabinet & wall shelf for the kitchen. I can't wait for him to get those projects whipped out! Don't worry, I'll be sure to share some pics *grin*

And that was Day Three. A great day. I love being married. I have so much more to celebrate, somehow. AND we marked two more activities off of our list. We know how to get stuff done!

Only one day left, *sniff, sniff*

Anniversary Vacation Day Two

Here's the exciting scoop on Anniversary Vacation Day Two!
Thank you very much for pretending to be interested.
I love you all very much :-)
First of all, we did what we do best - we slept in. Once that important work was done for the day, we got up, threw some water bottles into a cooler & headed out!
Saturday was our official Hiking At Turkey Run Day.
I *heart* Turkey Run.
Can I just say that it was HOT.
I'm not sure what all trails we did. We just wandered around for a couple of hours.
It was great. I was able to enjoy two of my most favorite things:
Michael's company & the great outdoors.

And there was another covered bridge!

My pictures totally don't do the wonderful scenery any justice.
The more I blog, the more I want a better camera & the
more I want to take better pictures.

This could get expensive.

After we exhausted ourselves hiking & after a post hike dirt/mud check, we decided it was time to head to Crawfordsville to check out the Home Depot.
I'm sure you are wondering why?
Because we are nerds. Nerds who are up to their necks in wood working projects & DIY home improvement projects. And we don't have a Home Depot in our town.
We had to see what we were missing.
Apparently not much because we didn't buy anything :-)

After swinging through a Taco Bell drive thru, we headed home. I was dying to get cleaned up. When we got home I went straight for the shower. After a few blissful moments of hot water & sudsy soap I heard The Dreadful Gurgle.
The Dreadful Gurgle occurs when our sewer begins to get blocked by tree roots. Ugh. We have this problem repeatedly. Sure enough, by the end of my shower the water wasn't draining. Thus began our daily trips to the parent's houses to use their functional plumbing. It was a little sad to blow the we are not really here aspect of our staycation but it was nice to see the parents. We have some great parents.
They have some great plumbing.

We consoled ourselves with some stuffed crust pizza & another movie.

Two more items checked off of our list!

Now on to day three...

Anniversary Vacation Day One

I believe that sometime before I left for our Anniversary Vacation I mentioned that I had compiled a huge list of things we could do. Here is that list:
  1. Hike at Turkey Run
  2. Have lunch at George's Cafe
  3. Go antiquing somewhere new
  4. Go to Clay City Pottery
  5. Go to Cataract Falls
  6. Go to Shakamak State Park
  7. Go to Bloomfield
  8. Go to a minor league baseball game
  9. Watch a movie
  10. Ride our bikes
  11. House project
  12. Yard project
  13. Go to Brown County State Park
  14. Go to McCormick's Creek State Park
  15. Go to Ikea (wherever the closest one is)
  16. Go to Nashville, IN
  17. Go to Home Depot in Crawfordsville
  18. Go to dinner at Bobe's in Sullivan
  19. Go to the Mall of America
  20. Cook/grill something new
  21. Try the new BBQ place in town
  22. Go to Vincennes
  23. Complete all my training workouts

I think it might be obvious that I like lists & that I don't like sitting still for too long!

So...what all did we get done? A whole lot more than I thought we would!


We started out the day at a leisurely pace; our first stop was a gas station so I could get a cup of coffee. Right across the street we noticed an antique shop we had never been in before. We headed right over. It was a gem of a find. This particular shop had an abundance of furniture & it was all labeled as to what style it was. And the shop owner had a love of opera. We browsed while listening to Puccini. It was interesting & educational :-)

Then we went to George's Cafe for lunch. It's a wonderful Lebanese restaurant that I will have to blog about in more detail later. We ran into Mike's mom, sister, aunt & cousin who were also there for lunch. It's a family favorite. I tried falafel for the first time & it was delish!

After lunch we set out to find a couple of antique stores in a nearby town. We were just driving along & not paying too much attention so we didn't actually find them - lol! So we just took a turn south & headed to Bloomfield by way of Clay City Pottery.

Mike & I have a terrible weakness for pottery. Especially pottery that is made locally. On our way home from our honeymoon we stopped at Clay City Pottery so we decided to make it a bit of an anniversary tradition. We found a couple new pieces to add to our collection & I found an excellent birthday present for my dad. Very profitable shopping!

Then on to Bloomfield...Mike's dad is a lay pastor in a Wesleyan church. When Mike was growing up his dad was assigned to a church in Bloomfield. That's where they lived every weekend for many years. Mike has a lot of fond memories of the place so a couple of times we have driven down there so that he can show me some of his old haunts. On this particular day we drove out in the country to find the nearby covered bridge.

When Mike was a kid they had closed it & wouldn't allow any car traffic. Evidently it has been restored & is now open.

It might come from being raised in this part of Indiana, but I love covered bridges. They seem so full of history...

We probably looked like total nerds taking our pic by the bridge, but I had to have at least one shot!
After our Bloomfield tour we headed home. We stopped & rented a couple of movies. We decided that it would be a great idea to pop in a movie & eat BBQ from the new restaurant while relaxing on the couch. Turned out to be an excellent idea! We watched "When In Rome," had a couple of laughs & some great food.
Much later that night we weren't really sleepy so we headed out for a drive in the country. We took some crazy winding roads & it got really foggy but it was fun. That's what I love about being on vacation - if you get a crazy idea late at night you can run with it & not worry about getting up in the morning - ahhh...true relaxation!
Yeehaw! In the first day we knocked SIX items off of our list! And it was so much fun!
Stay tuned for Day Two...

I'm Back!

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden...The consciousness of loving & being loved brings a warmth & richness to life that nothing else can bring.
~ Oscar Wilde
We had such a lovely, relaxing anniversary weekend (with a bit of hilarity & what next?) thrown in! Hopefully I can upload some pics tonight & get a post up very soon to let you know what all we were able to mark off on our list.
It's back to the real world today & I thank God for a soft slide into reality.
He's good to us like that.
More to come soon...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Countin' It Down!

In just a little less than two hours, I will be clocking out & starting my FOUR DAY WEEKEND!

I'm just a little bit happy about it.

Mike & I will be celebrating our one year anniversary this Sunday & we thought it would be a super great idea to take a little extra time off from work & find some fun things to do.

I made a list yesterday. It has 25 possibilities on it. I went a little crazy.

I will try to take some pics & then fill you all in with the weekend's festivities when return to the real world.

Until then...happy weekend to you all! just a little early...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Almost Complete Photo Failure

A couple of weekends ago Mike & I were asked to accompany the youth group on a camping & hiking trip. We decided it would be a great way to spend our weekend. Mike declined the camping part because of his work schedule & because he could not be convinced that it was fun to work eight hours in the sweltering heat & then camp out & sleep in the sweltering heat that night. What a wimp. (heehee) He joined us the next day for hiking in the sweltering heat.

I was scheduled to work at 3 a.m. that morning & I figured it would be an excellent way to wear myself out enough so that I could actually sleep on the camping adventure. That didn't exactly work out according to plan & since the teens went to sleep late & then decided to get up about 5 o'clock the next morning, the sleeplessness was putting some major hurt on me by Saturday night. I'm sure that's why I didn't really get very many good pics of our trip.

Ethan is trying his best to duck the camera while Matt just plays it cool by ignoring me altogether. Pam in the background was my tent buddy & we had a great time chatting by flashlight.

Renee was one of the early risers & bless her heart, she made good use of her time! She made pancakes & washed dishes & put out the fire. Bruce & Chad helped too but I didn't get pics of them so do we really know that they actually helped? There's no proof...although I did get the last cup of the coffee Chad brewed & I needed it EVER SO MUCH!

Here's Abel, frolicking through the poison ivy. He had endured some major dental work the day before & he was on some pain meds. I think he might have had more fun than anybody else *grin*

And here is Anna & Amelia. Anna had an LED light that would blind you for a year. Amelia was my corn hole buddy.

And here is a glimpse of our campsite. We had a walk in spot that was just great. I'm not a big fan of parking lot style camping. Seems a little weird to have your tent open up to a stranger's tent door, you know?
And sadly, that all the pics I got. I have no shots of the marathon smores making session or the late night flashlight tag or hiking the next day. You'll just have to take my word for it that there were lots of teens there, we all had fun, & Bruce flipped some of the best whole grain pancakes I've ever tasted.
I'm ready to go again *grin*

A Little Slice of My Style

Used to be, I never left the house without a watch on. And by some standards, a lot of jewelry. Now I'm lucky to remember to put my shoes on before I go screaming out the door.
What has happened to me???
Anyway, I was looking for a watch to wear the other day & it occurred to me that I don't wear a watch very often anymore for several very good reasons. This is what I found in my 'watch box'.
This is my simply elegant Movado bangle. I bought it back in the day when I was working at a jewelry store. Back then I had extra cash to throw at silly purchases like an expensive Swiss watch. It totally helped that my discount made it possible to purchase it under cost. I used to wear this one almost every day. It's mirrored face came in handy when I needed to apply lipstick or do a teeth check.
I love dual purpose jewelry.

But this is what it looks like now. I am missing one of the pins that attaches the bracelet. I would get it fixed, but that involves sending it in for repair which is probably an automatic $50. Not happening anytime soon.

This little watch was another jewelry store purchase. It's also missing a pin for the band. Do you sense a trend here? Not an expensive fix, but it does require me remembering to take it to get it fixed. Gotta work on that memory thing.
Incidentally, it has a matching Gent's watch that I sold to both my uncle & my pastor while I was a jewelry sales girl. They have impeccable taste in watches *grin*

Then we have this little beauty. I purchased this Fossil watch with one of my first paychecks after I graduated from college many years ago *sigh* It has a dead battery. Once again an easy fix, but I just gotta get it done. Until then, it sits in the watch box.

This is my Baby G. It has a light that lights up red, green, & yellow while a dolphin swims along the bottom of the watch face. It's cool.
I bought it in Waikiki after my first Baby G got stolen on the beach. The first Baby G had a dancing man instead of a dolphin. The dolphin is fitting for Hawaii, don't you think?
Anyway, I love this watch but I don't wear it much because it has been worn on too many runs & on too many race days. It's a little, how should we say it, sweaty. Not stinky, but sweaty. Which we all know is one step away from stinky & I'm just trying not to go there.

So, this is all that's left in my watch box, & incidentally it's the watch I wear the most. Not real feminine, I know. It's actually one of Mike's watches. He was wearing it one day when we were dating & I mentioned that I really liked the red & black face. The next day when I saw him he had sized it down to fit me so that I could wear it.
So I do. I like wearing his watch.
That is totally high school of me, isn't it? If he had a letter jacket or a class ring you'd better believe I'd be wearing them right now!

A Recent Conversation

Recently I had a conversation with my dear Mike that went something like this:

Me: Baby, is there a reason why you haven't been taking your apples to work in your lunch this week?

Mike: No, baby. Why do you ask?

*I feel I must apologize to anyone who may EVER read this post. Yes, we do call each other "baby" all the time. It's very unoriginal & makes us sound like one of those bickering couples from "The Amazing Race" but we just can't help ourselves. Please forgive.

Me: Well, they are just sitting here in the fruit bowl getting ready to rot. It just seems like an awful waste to me.

Mike (with wide eyes & an innocent look): How 'bout you make some Apple Bread, baby?

Me (with a stern look): Are you letting your apples get overripe so that I will make Apple Bread?

Mike (quickly turning away to leave the room): I don't know what you are talking about.

So, guess what I did? I made some Apple Bread *grin*


Here's the recipe, if you are interested. WARNING: Even though it contains fruit, it is not good for you. And if you accidentally leave out the baking soda & salt it will not taste good. Don't ask me how I know.

Apple Bread

1 cup oil

2 cups peeled & diced apples

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

3 eggs

2 cups sugar (feel free to reduce this amount; I usually put in two underfilled cups & it always tastes wonderful)

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

3. Pour batter into two ungreased loaf pans.

4. Bake for 60 minutes.

It's super good warm right out of the oven. Enjoy!

Another Way Of Looking At Things...

Exactly a week ago this was the facial expression I was using on a young boy & his brother. A couple of little boys that I had never met before were making me more angry than I have been in a very long while.

It was about 8 p.m. & I was at the local middle school track. It's a place I love to go to get my miles in. It's nicely maintained & usually there are quite a few people around walking, running, playing tennis or basketball; it feels safe. The evening was just like countless others that I have spent at the track. It was a little hot & humid but the sun was lowering just enough to make it bearable. There were two men walking together, another girl running by herself, a man running by himself, & a couple walking together. I felt like it was a busy night at the track but that doesn't bother me at all. I got my warm up laps in, stretched a little & settled into my pace for a two mile run.

As I came up to the top of lap three I noticed two boys, probably about 11 or 12 years old, ride into the track fence on their bikes. I don't know why, but immediately I wondered if there was going to be trouble. They ditched their bikes in the corner & flopped down on the grass. I rounded the top of the track & headed back down the straightaway. Several seconds later I felt a hard *thwack* on my backside. I yelped in surprise & stopped in my tracks. Sure enough there was one of those little guys on his bike zooming away from me, the other right behind him. I kind of laughed & commented, "You guys are funny!" & thought that was the end of that. Until on my next lap I felt another *thwack*. At this point I am no longer laughing. I fixed the boy with a hard stare & told him to STOP TOUCHING ME. He laughed, mocked, & started cursing at me. At this point, I am shaking with anger, frustration, embarrassment, a whole host of awful feelings. I turned my ipod off & removed my ear buds. I was determined that he wasn't going to be able to sneak up on me & hit me again. So we played the dodge 'em game for four more running laps & two walking laps. This whole time he mocked & cursed at me & threatened to knock me over & kick my head in. Mostly I ignored him. I just was flabbergasted. I had no idea what to do. Quite literally I kept praying, "Jesus, if You were here what would You DO?" I thought about going to my car, getting my cell phone & calling the police. But I knew they would ride away before the police got there. I wondered why my distress wasn't igniting any kind of response from the other people there at the track. Not one person offered any kind of help or intervention. There were four men there who totally ignored my plight. That made me very sad. The whole thing made me feel like I was back in fifth grade again, getting made fun of for being a chub-a-lump. I didn't do anything as a child; as an adult I was doing nothing again.

I was quite determined to stay at the track for my whole run. I managed to get my miles in & then I headed home. As I drove my anger dissolved into tears. I just felt helpless & intimidated. Somehow I had the illusion that being an adult insulated you from experiencing that same old playground bullying junk. Obviously not.

Maybe I overreacted, but the whole scenario played through my mind quite a bit in the following days. What should I have done? How could I have handled it better? I went around asking family, friends, & coworkers what they would have done. Ultimately, I asked the Lord why He allowed it & what was I supposed to learn from it?

I'm not sure I have many answers for all of my inquiries. The main consensus from the family, friends, & coworkers was to have my phone with me at all times & call the police immediately. Several of the guys said I should have knocked him off his bike. I wish I could have done it (isn't that awful of me?). But I'm no fighter. I tend to roll up like a potato bug at the first sign of trouble. Try to be invisible is my motto.

I know the Lord allows things in our lives for very specific reasons. I think maybe part of the reason for this happening in my life is to remind me of how rotten we all can be. Part of our sin nature is to be mean, ugly, & to bully. These boys are no worse than I am. They deserve the compassion & love of Christ just as much as I do. I just kept thinking how could they not know better than to act like that? how do they get the nerve to harass a stranger like that? And the only answer I feel sure of is that no matter what their behavior, the Lord loves them. And maybe they don't know that. So I guess the lesson I've learned is that I will pray for those boys this summer. I will pray that they come to know the love of Christ & accept Him as their Savior.

And learn not to be big mean bullies.

And I will also pray that I won't run into them again (although I have already seen one of them again - yikes!). I'm afraid they live in my neighborhood.

Which means I'm learning another lesson - I HAVE to trust God. I have to trust Him to take care of me in whatever situation He may allow. He's more than capable for the job. I can't sit at home afraid to go run because I don't know what might happen.

I just hope He gives me super powers to run fast if those boys show up on their bikes!