Saturday, December 13, 2008

English Bible Class

Just a quick update on my English Bible Class. We had our Christmas Party on the first Friday of this month and had a record attendance of 50 people! I am so excited! Yes, they did all fit into my house and the game of naughty Santa took light years, but it was incredibly fun. I didn't really teach this time, but rather just told the Christmas Story and explained why it is so important to Christians. Lots of this students are coming to our Christmas Musical (the reason behind my deserted blog!) and I am so praying and hoping that something wonderful is going to happen!

Questions about God

Today we were sitting in church during the worship time and Ethan got to thinking about Jesus. He suddenly got up, came over to me, and began asking questions.

E: "Does Jesus wear clothes?"
Me: "Yes, he did."
E: "At night, does he put on his PJ's and go to sleep in his bed?"
M: "Yes, he did put on his PJ's and go to bed."
E: "What kind of bed did he sleep in?"
M: "Well, maybe he slept on the floor on a mat with his blanket." (yeah, I was guessing, but it sounds good!)
E: "How did Jesus go up when he went to heaven?"
M: "He just rose up like this." ( I picked him up a little to demonstrate) "And when you get Jesus in your heart, you can maybe go to heaven like that one day too."
E: "Will there be a big ladder for me to climb up all the way to heaven?"
M: "Nope, you will just rise up like Jesus, maybe."
E: "I'm gonna get Jesus in my heart and get baptized. Could Jesus baptize himself?"
M: "No, remember the story from Sunday School about John the Baptist baptizing Jesus?"

And that comment got him to thinking about Sunday School and Lord only knows what else. Just when you think that they are totally not getting anything from Sunday School, your kid pops up with questions like this. Since I am one of his teachers, I know just how much he tries to goof off in class! It seems most of the time that he is more focused on sitting by the right person (Amber) or not sitting by someone (Amber again, their relationship is complicated to say the least! I'm going to blog about that soon!) than listening. So tell me, really, could Jesus baptize himself?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

To friends and family,

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you all have a wonderful day full of turkey, pies, friends, and goodwill because you will need the extra calories and goodwill if you decide the hit the stores tomorrow. Seriously, if you haven't taken the time to tell those people that mean something to you that they do indeed mean something (and yes, I am talking about something good!) do it today. Time passes so quickly and honestly, are you really going to have time to write that meaningful of a message on your Christmas cards? Personally, you are lucky if I write all the names of everyone in our family instead of "The Bracken"! So, Thank you for reading this blog and for being my friends even after you read it and to all the KUPC people who read this: I LOVE YOU! You mean a lot to be because you give me a creative outlet (through this blog) that I need to keep from becoming a dull little girl. Okay, not little. Especially after everything I ate today. But you get the idea. God bless you all!

P.S. The picture above is of the little pumpkin cakes I made for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The headless saints and other funnies

As you may already know, I am one of the teachers for the 6 years old and under class. We always have tons of funny things happen in our class, but Evita and I usually manage to somehow keep the class going and not laugh. That was not the case a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember the lesson she was teaching, but she had given all of the children two finger puppets each. (She had made these, just like all of the puppets we use in our class.) Well, she had the Jesus Puppet and he prayed for all the other puppets. Some of the puppets were sick and some were old and some just had a nasty cough. Well, of course, after "Jesus" prayed for them, they got better. Or so we would have wished. As she continued her story, one of the kids suddenly held up her puppet and it's head had fallen off! Something about having just prayed for them and then the puppet's head falling off just hit us as being so funny. Evita and I lost it laughing. Then the other kids realized they could take the heads off and ALL of the puppets lost their heads! Poor Evita! She gave up on the lesson because we couldn't stop laughing and just collected the puppets and their heads. On days like that, it is best to just go to snack time. Here's a picture of the puppets with their heads reattached:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Show me!

The other day someone gave Abigail some stickers and didn't give any to Ethan. Which is perfectly fine, in theory. Ethan wanted Abbey to share and she didn't want to share her stickers because "I only have 8, momma". I thought we had the issue settled, but in typical sibling fashion, the next day Abbey pulled out her stickers and started showing them to Ethan. Then when he wanted one, she firmly denied him. Well, since the rule is that you can't tease, we told Abbey that if she showed the stickers to Ethan, she had to give him one. This sounded great to Ethan, because in the middle of the discussion, he immediately began yelling, "Show me, show me!" And the yellow smiley face sticker goes to the yelling brother. Case solved.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Abbey's Birthday Party

This year, I had this great idea. We always have family celebrations for birthdays, but thought it would be fun to have some of Abbey's little friends come over. It started out as a simple idea. A little princess party, a few snacks with the cake, maybe a game or two and that's it. However, it grew faster than the Veggie Tales' Fib from outer space. Abbey went into church on Sunday inviting everyone to come to her party. (Note to self, next time plan a surprise party.) And so you can see how it grew from there. I also had this dream of making her a castle cake. Ethan had a dog cake on his birthday and she wanted a castle. I didn't sleep the night before the party, but she had a castle. Here's a picture:

I had also read somewhere about this idea of making sugar cookies on skewers and the end result looks like wands. It sounded great, but I had no idea how long it would take to make them. However, I was really pleased with the end results.

And please don't forget the castle for all the kids to color and decorate!

Overall, it was loads of work, but she was really happy. I doubt I will have the energy for another one for about 6 more years.

Catching up.

Hello to everyone of my dear friends that reads this and has wondered if I was dead or alive. I am alive. This month hit our household like a runaway train and I now have a great admiration for bloggers that stay faithful. I mainly appreciate them because I have been reading their blogs instead of writing mine! But, I am happy to say that a writing spirit is on me and I am going to use it before I lose it. Before we get to the stories, here is a little of the latest news. Abbey is now six years old! (There will be a blog more about that!). The last English home group swelled to 33 people. Abbey has started kindergarten and Ethan and I are still adjusting. We had a wonderful leaders retreat last weekend and a teenage girl got baptized on Sunday. She had previously gotten the Holy Ghost at our ladies conference. The temperatures have dropped to the glorious land of the low 70's and I am lovin' it! We are hoping that it will hold out through the holidays so we do not have to turn on the air conditioners while we drink our hot chocolate. So, now that you are caught up, on to the details!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The mystery of Air Conditioners is solved...

Where we got our first electric bill after moving back to Taiwan, Chris took one look and started issuing edicts. Our relatively comfortable life of not sweating had come to an end. One of the ways to off-set the cost was and still is to turn off the a/c in the middle of the night after the room has cooled down. Also, right after we moved in, the a/c in the kids room broke. It started out sounding like a B-52 bomber was flying by their window. In the final death throes, it sounded like the B-52 bomber had landed outside of their window. Our most kind landlady replaced it with a new one. We didn't tell the kids that we were turning off their a/c in the middle of the night, we just did it. So, Abbey started to notice that there was a problem. She came and told us that her a/c was broken again. When I ask what was wrong, she said that it kept turning off and making her hot! I let her in on the secret and told her that it wasn't broken, but that BaBa had been sneaking in at night and turning it off. A couple of nights later I was in their room tucking them in when the a/c clicked off (It is set to turn off when it reaches the desired temp and turn on when the room heats back up.). Keep in mind that the lights were still on. Abbey heard her a/c turn off and said, "See! BaBa already sneaked again!". Yep, BaBa and his cloak of invisibility strikes again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Holy Ghost is for everyone... almost

Last Sunday, in Sunday School, our lesson was about receiving the Holy Ghost and how is it for everyone. Evita (one of the best Sunday School teachers in the whole wide world! Check out her blog of our Sunday School here -> ) had made a big tree and put it on the wall. Then she had apples with faces of different people on them. The object was to ask the children if "grandmas with curly hair could get the Holy Ghost" or "girls with green eyes could get the Holy Ghost". Then the students would take turns putting the apples on the tree. A great visual lesson! Well, remember that everything in our class is bilingual. She is talking in Chinese and I am repeating after her in English. So, Evita excitedly says, "Can Aunts get the Holy Ghost?" and I say it in English. All the kids are shouting "YES!" except one. Ethan turned around and with an incredulous look said, "Ants can't get the Holy Ghost!" To which I replied, "Little ants can't, but aunts like Aunt Anna or Aunt Charlene can."
"Oh, okay. YES! Aunts can get the Holy Ghost!" Ethan then shouted to Teacher Evita. Maybe in the English language, we need to come up with or steal a few new words to make everything a little more clearer!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

English Bible Study

There is something really great going on that I want to tell you all about. For about 4+ years now, we have been having an English Cell Group meeting. We have had good attendance at times, enough to keep the meeting going, but never more than 13 on a regular basis. We stopped having it consistently while I was in the States on deputation because it is just too hard for one person to do everything involved in a home meeting alone. Also, if you are going to call it an "English" cell group and you live in a foreign country, it is best to have a native speaker of English at the meeting. Everyone here wants to practice speaking English, especially with a native speaker, so this has been a selling point for the meeting. Anyways, enough history. We restarted this meeting in September. We meet in my home and I teach a bible story disguised as an English lesson. Free English and free food at the end. At our last meeting, we had 30(!!) people attend! We started with 25 and have been increasing each time. Praise God!! Of this group that we have coming right now, over half of them are not Christian nor do we have any other contact with them other than the English cell group! They are so open and want to know more about the bible. We just finished the story of Ruth. At the end, it mentions King David. Now they want to know why David is special and hear all about his story! Below is a picture from the last meeting. We could only get about half of the people in this picture.

It is really awesome that God provided us with a house that has a large living room/ dining room! Please help me pray for these young people. It is an incredible opportunity!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Big Overnighter!

This past Monday Abigail and Ethan passed a major milestone in their lives! It was their first time to stay overnight somewhere. And of course, Ye-ye and Nai-nai were the host. Every Monday morning, Chris and his dad have a meeting. At the same time, but a different location, his mom and I also have a meeting. It seems that the kids got tired of never getting a word in edgewise at our meeting, so they started asking Nai-Nai if they could have a meeting with her. Alone. Because "momma talks too much". So, off they went to Tainan for the night for many meetings and trips to the park and splashing in the pool and trips to the toy store and trips to 7-11 and gum and coke and loads of story time whenever they wanted it! Just like a trip to your grandparents should be! Chris and I stayed home wandering around in circles, delirious with our free time. They did really good, albeit Abbey did better than Ethan. It seems that he did great until it was time to go to bed. Before leaving, he was so excited about "sleeping in Ye-ye and Nai-nai's room on my little bed with the rainbow blanket". But at bedtime, he wanted to "call my momma. I want to sleep in my own bed. I don't want to sleep in this bed. I don't like this bed. I like my bed at home." They eventually talked him into giving the bed a chance. The next day when we went to get them, the responses was so typical of their personalities. Ethan ran to see us and told us that he had missed us! Abbey cried because she didn't want to go home. I can't blame her though, I can remember crying several times as a child because I didn't want to leave Grandma's house either.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Would you hate me?

Okay, one more post for today. I am trying to catch up!

Would you hate me if I added ads to this site? Or a link to Amazon? I signed into my home page of Yahoo this morning and there was an article about bloggers making money from their sites. I guess that some are making a cool couple thousand a month from people clicking ads or buying from Amazon via a link on their blog. Amazon pays the "associate" 15% if someone uses their link to go to Amazon and buys something. Sure I would love to be paid to do something I love doing and already do for free. But the struggle is, would I be "pimping" out my site? Would my friends and family hate me for the helpful ads? And since the ads are suppose to be relevant to the blog, what would they advertise beside my "Potty Post"? Get your potty at Home depot? Charmin for all your potty needs?

Everyone, can you give me some feed back on this? (Would a comment like that invite an ad for your local co-op?) The comment section is open to everyone without needed to sign in, so tell me what you think!

News about my Mom

Hello everyone! I haven't posted anything about my mom in ages. So, here's the 411. She finished her chemo treatments over a month ago. Less than a week after her last treatment, she got to go back on her MS meds. She said that she has never felt this good since her first MS attack over 14 years ago. There is an experimental treatment right now for MS. The patients actually take a short regiment of chemo treatments to treat their MS symptoms. From what I understand, they feel that the lack in quality of life during the treatments is worth the extreme benefits afterwards. Okay, well, that is pretty much how cancer patients feel. She has started her radiation treatments, but feels that they are a breeze. She is driving herself everywhere and according to my step dad, giving the teenage boys in the house a run for their money at the table.

Can you excuse me while I make a plug for Aflac? No, they aren't paying me, but I wouldn't be opposed! My mom has this insurance in addition to her other insurances. If you aren't familiar with Aflac, it is an insurance that pays directly to the family set amounts for different treatments. The theory behind it is that it will help you cover all of the out of pocket expenses involved with being sick. When you sign up, they encourage you to go get a mammogram and if it comes back okay, they pay for the mammogram and give you $70. If you do get a cancer report, they pay you $5000- 10000. Then they start paying you set amounts for the operation, chemo, and radiation treatments. My mom has other insurance that cover her medical bills, so she has been using this money to do some much needed repairs and renovation to her house. This has been a great distraction during everything. It has given her something else to think about and dream about and plan for while she has been sick. Almost like a reward for making it through everything. If everything goes as planned, I think they will be done with her house at about the same time she will finished her last treatment. It is going to look and feel like a whole new house! And hopefully, she will feel like a whole new person. Isn't God so amazingly thoughtful?

Little Mr. Distraction

Ethan is only three, but don't be fooled into thinking that he doesn't know exactly what is going on. The first time I really got to hold him in the hospital, I looked down into his newborn eyes and he looked straight back at me as if he were saying, "Oh, there you are. Finally. You should check out the nursery downstairs. I've been working on my Chinese while you were in recovery." He never had that dazed look that a lot of babies have for the first month or so. In fact, I often thought that he was possible recording info and planning to remember it later. This is also the baby that would nod his head yes or no at six months and surpassed his sister in language skills at about 18 months. So, believe it or not, I was surprised when he tried this little trick the other day. We're still potty training and yet again, he didn't take his business to the right bank. Since I believe that he understands the theory, but just doesn't want to stop playing and "make a transaction", I was fussing.

"Ethan, you have to go to the potty! You are three years old and I know you know how to use the potty. Why didn't you get up and go?"

E: "What street is our church on? Jhong Jheng?"

T: "Ethan, don't change the subject."

E: "Well, don't change the area."

T: "The area? What are you talking about?"

E: "Not the area, the ariel."

T: "The ariel? What is that?"

Abbey: "Momma, that's the yucky princess without enough clothes on."

T: "Wait, Ethan, this isn't important. What we were talking about was important. You have to use the potty in the potty."

At this point, he is milling around the room and totally unfocused on what I am saying. And 3 points go to the three year old team! He wins!

Some days, you just have to let it go.

Oh, he's so in trouble!

We were headed out to Costco the other night to do a little shopping. As soon as we got into the elevator, Abbey asked her Baba if we were going to eat. (I don't know about your kids, but when we leave, they want to immediately go eat. When we get back home, they come in the door looking for food.) Anyways, their little dialogue went like this:

A: "Are we going to eat?"

B: "We are going to Costco to get groceries."

A: "And we are going to eat."

B: "We're going to Costco."

A: "To eat!"

B: "To Costco!"

A: "Well, we can eat at Costco toooooo!"

B: "Nah."

Since this was all in fun and Abbey knew it, She looked up at her Baba out of the corner of her eyes and said:

" I know you're my sweetie boy." Translation: "You're wrapped and I know it and you know it!" Like I said, He is so in trouble!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Say What?

Everyone in Taiwan knows at least 2 phrases in English. A great deal more know more about English than your 5th grade English teacher did. The top two phrases would have to be:
  1. Hello (sometimes pronounced ha-low)
  2. How are you?

Sunday, walking from my car to the church, I met a guy who had learned a third phrase. I was walking by a construction site and men were up on the second level working. One guy saw a foreigner lady and just knew this was the perfect time to practice his English and ,perhaps, show off for his fellow workers. So he yelled (mind you, yelled!) down to the street this little ditty.

"Ha-low, how do you do? Kiss me!"

Kiss me? Thanks, but no thanks! I can't write this without laughing. Of all my time in Taiwan, that is the first time someone has practiced that phrase on me! I can only guess that he learned that from some American movie. Kiss him? Well, I know which street to avoid until that building is finished!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Motorhome- It's for sale!

Check out this slide show of our Motor home. At the top, there is an "info on/ info off" button. If you can't see the descriptions, click this button. We loved this motor home, we aren't loving the payments now that we are back in Taiwan (No deputation= No Moolah!). So, take a look see and tell all of your friends to take a look see, too! Any questions you may have, you can post in comments or e-mail me at Thanks everyone for your help!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Camo Cat

Before we begin the story, check out this picture!

I know the picture isn't clear, but can you see the "war paint"? Well, guess who was "recruited"? It all went down like this. I had some oil based crayons in my Sunday School bag. Ethan knows that good things lurk in that bag, so he went exploring when I was busy in another room. I finished whatever it was I was doing and discovered that the kitchen was locked. I could hear movement and the occasional meow, so I demanded that "whoever is in this kitchen, open up now!". Can you see where this is headed? Ethan opened the door declaring that he didn't do it, it was his sister. Said sister was not in the kitchen, she was reading in her room. Jango shot out like a bullet and made a clean getaway to her safe haven (my room). When I checked her out, I discovered that all of her white parts had been painted blue and green. After "PrincessGate" (remember that incident from a few weeks ago?), maybe she is trying to recover her image!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mom and Dad B's new house

Last week, we got to go up to Mom and Dad Bracken's new house. We saw it right after they bought it, but since then, workers have been busy putting in ceilings, wallpaper, painting, and furniture. Here are a few picture for you all to see. In these pictures, she had not decorated yet. That was mainly because they had been moved in for two days at this point! Here's the tour!

This is their front yard. I realize that in the US this would be funny, but after 27 years with no yard, to even have a little bit is extremely exciting!

Here is the 1st floor. The back is a garage and this is going to be their bible study/ guest receiving room.

We are now on the 2nd floor in the family living room. The second floor has the kitchen, dining room, and living room. That one wall behind the couch is almost completely a window. Great view of tree tops!

Here is their dining area. Please excuse the toy mess! Abbey and Ethan were making themselves at home at Ye-Ye and Nai- Nai's house!

The kitchen! Oh, I want this kitchen! It is about three times the size of a normal kitchen in Taiwan. That island is unheard of on this island! And notice the dishwasher!

This a shot of the guestroom up on the fourth floor. Yes, we climbed four floors every time we went up to our room. It was great for our legs and I just need a week's vacation there to really get into shape. The 4th floor also includes an exercise room.

The 3rd floor has the master bedroom and the office. I would have taken a picture of the master bedroom, but the Caped Door Locker (He has struck our house so many times that we have two sets of keys to every room in the house!) had struck again and they were going to have to call a locksmith.

If you aren't familiar with the prices of things in Taiwan, then you might not know what a miracle and a blessing it is for them to buy this place. About 6 years ago, God opened the door for them to be able to buy. Since then, they have started a new church in Tainan that was about an hour from their home. Because travel is expensive, they needed to move to the city they were working in. So, through more blessings from God, they were able to sell their place in Kaohsiung for a good price and buy this new place. We are thrilled for them and just wanted to share it all with you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Caution: May contain some form of English

I just got some new markers. They are from a Japanese company, made in China and marketed in Taiwan. I do not know who provided the "English" on the back, but it wasn't the USA. I thought you might enjoy when they had to say. So, here it is:


  • The children may put it into the mouth, please note. (Yes, indeed, please note!)
  • Please keep it with the lid must be closed after use.
  • Don't keep the goods under the direct rays of the sun and the hot place. (Umm, I don't imagine that there will be a very big market for markers in "the hot place"!)
  • Please do not use this product for other intended purposes instead of writing. (What other reason would you be buying markers if not to write?)

Crayola never had it this good!

Stutter Steps and tips

I have come to realize that I have developed a new talent since I became a parent. I privately refer to it as a "stutter step". It goes like this: You are walking normally, when you feel your foot start to press down on something you do not want to step on (a leggo, toy car, Polly Pocket shoe, cat poop (Ok, that last one has only happened once and if it ever happens again, I will have a nice cat rug!) ). You immediately push back up on your tip-toes with that foot and continue to walk normally with the other foot. Therefore, there is a "stutter" in your stride. Your body kinda teaches itself this trick after enough pain. You know, writing this makes me think about parenting books and the major problem with them. The writers almost always wait until their children are older and they have more time to write their books. I secretly think they wait until they are pretty sure that their kids are not going to because axe murders so as to not look embarrassed! But by that time, they have forgotten some of the little details that would be helpful. Ergo, here are a few of my tips from the "heat of the battle":

1. When you are getting ready to go somewhere, plan an extra hour. If your schedule is tight, kids know it and drop into "turtle mode".

2. If you just bought a big package of tiny army men, do not, I repeat, do not get up for a drink of water in the night. Trust me, it is better to be thristy.

3. Check everyones nose before you go to church. That is better than them checking it after you get there.

4. Expect your every word and action from home to be repeated in Sunday School.

5. Never ask your kid quietly in the ear at church if they just pooted. The word "pooted + a little kid= Major giggles.

Okay, that is my five tips for today. Read 'em and learn!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Steam rollers and skin

I am always trying to encourage my children to drink water. I personally have wished that someone would have been stricter with my diet as a child so I could have formed good habits then instead of trying to do it now. One of my plugs for water to Abbey is that it makes your skin look smooth and pretty. (It really does! Only drink water for three days and look at the glow and healthiness of your skin!) So, today as she came back to the table with a cup of water, she began to tell me how water makes her skin beautiful and smooth. Holding up her arm, she said, "See how smooth it is!" Ethan has heard this before, but today his brain made a new connection. "Momma, our skin is smooth like the road?" he ask. "Like the road? What do you mean?" I replied. "You know, like Roley the steam roller smooths the roads in Builder Bob. Our skin is smooth like the road if we drink water?" he expanded. "Uh, yes, in a strange way, our skin is like the road." (If you have never seen a Bob the Builder book, the road are made out of putty or play dough, so they are indeed incredibly smooth!) Granted, I only have two children, but I am thinking that if these two were both girls, we might have never realized the connection between skin, steam rollers, and roads!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I am forced to tell this....

Sorry everyone for so many post in one day. I just want to get these things down before they are gone from my head. And one more thing. The following story needs a few disclaimers. 1. My father-in-law ask me to post this after I told them the story, 2. I have never said the first phrase to Ethan. I have said I was proud of him, 3. Yes, I normally wash his hands, but that day he didn't touch anything, 4. And finally, that's my disclaimers and I am proud of them!

Abigail, Ethan, and I went out to eat a couple of Sundays ago. After our food arrived, Ethan needed to be excused. I didn't want to get all of us up and gather our things and find a waitress and tell her not to take our food, so I left Abbey at the table. The bathroom was nearby, but I was still a little uneasy with the situation. After Ethan finished, to speed things along, I told him that we weren't going to wash his hands, just mine. Let me mention again, he had not touched anything! I turned the water on and of course, Ethan stuck his hands in the water. Well, I became a little grumpy with him and was fussing about telling him not to get his hands wet and how we had to hurry because Abbey was alone. Ethan then looked up at me scowling and said, "Momma, I am so not proud of you and I am feeling a little angry." So not proud of me? And a little angry? What three-year-old says that? I'm telling you, when he has your number, he isn't afraid to dial it!


I just want to go on record as saying that the guy who came up with the whole WWF/fake wrestling thing had cats. Probably two and the cats were siblings. I am guessing perhaps a sister and a brother. And the get-on-the-ropes-and-jump-off move, I am pretty sure that he infringed a cat copyright.

Hide and Seek

If you are playing hide and seek, never let your little brother hide with you. If you do, he will yell out the the seeker, "We're in here!". You will try to keep him quiet, but he will escape and go find the seeker. Then he will lead them to you, no matter how much they try not to follow. Next time, just make him find his own hiding spot, that is, if you can escape him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Trading in her fur coat...

I found Jango looking like this the other morning.

Now, I understand a little girl wanting to dress up her pet. I can even understand a dog liking the clothes. However, I can not understand a cat who wears her pink, princess dress all day long and purrs every, single time you look at her. I grew up with cats and have more experience dressing them up than you can imagine. But, as an adult, I now understand why my grandpa didn't stop me. He fully enjoyed seeing the cats tumble and fight their way across the front yard leaving a trail of baby doll clothes. Cats hate clothes. They rank right under water and baths. But, I guess that isn't true of all cats. There is at least one cat that will purr all day if you've got the right dress. The only consolation is that it is Jango and not Vader.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Childhood Confusion

Tonight, the kids and I were in the car going somewhere. We were listening to kids music and Abbey was singing her little heart out. The song was "Love Never Fails". Abbey was singing "Love Veggie Tales". I call out to her and tell her that the words are "love never fails". "Oh" she says, "Okay" and continues singing. "Love never tells. Love never tells. L-O-V-E will never tell on you!" I was completely losing it in the front trying not to laugh out loud. Then the next song came on. "Peace Be Still" is the original version. Abbey had a little personal take on this one, too! "Please be still, please be still. You always have and always will hafta please be still!" I think deputation is having a lasting effect on her!

The other confusion among the children was solved before I realized that it existed. Abigail and Ethan were sitting down looking at their Veggie Tales story time book.
"Look, he's a tomato."
"And he's a cucumber."
"Momma, what's Junior?"
"Oh, he is an asparagus."
Then Ethan proclaimed, " There is a lot of vegetables in this book!" To which Abbey replied, "Yeah, it's like everyone in this whole book is a vegetable!" I did explain that veggie is a short way to say vegetables, but I am thinking that is one "Big Idea"!
(Just in case you don't get this joke, Big Idea is the company that produces all of the Veggie Tales stuff!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hey Pretty Girl...

Last Monday, Mom Bracken was talking to Abigail. I wasn't there for this conversation, but it needs to be shared!

Mom: "Abigail, you are a pretty girl. Did you know that you are a pretty girl?"

Abbey: (smiles and nods yes)

Mom: "Does your Baba tell you that you are a pretty girl?"

A: (still smiling, shakes her head no)

M: "Oh, your Baba doesn't call you are a pretty girl? What does he call you?"

A: "He calls me a Pei- Den" (pronounced pee-don which means literally in Chinese "rotten egg". It is common phrase used for kids that are constantly getting into mischief. The closest thing in English that I can think of might be saying to a little kid, "You little booger".)

Later, when we were laughingly telling Chris about this conversation, he corrected the situation by telling us that he actually calls her a "pretty pei-den". Yes, I can see how that makes it better. "You're a rotten egg, but a pretty, rotten egg!"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Guess who's three!

Last Saturday Ethan celebrated his third birthday! When I think about it, I can't believe that his is three already!

Thanks to Vivian for this picture. He looks so old in this picture of him playing the drums.

Both of my children have their own little endearing traits and Ethan's just happens to be that he is so, so sweet. He has this game that he made up. The first part is pretty common. He says, " I love you." I say, " I love you, too." He replies, "I love you three" and so on until we run out of numbers he knows. This is where he has expanded the game. Then he will start saying, " I love you camel" and we will go through the animals. The last part of the game is Ethan saying something like this, " I love you five, green elephants". Five, green elephants. That is a whole lot of love!
Before Ethan was born, I wondered how my love could expand anymore. I was and still am, so in love with Abigail. I enjoyed our little excursions out doing things and playing together and just spending time together so much, I was slightly worried about this new baby, a baby I really wanted, interrupting our time. Three years later, I can't imagine our lives without Ethan. I wonder at how I thought he might be a little interloper. Of course, then, I didn't have any idea of what a sweetheart he was going to turn out to be.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Losing it and hanging on- My mom

As most of you know, if you have been keeping up with this blog, (God bless all the faithful readers!) my mom is going through chemo treatments for her cancer right now. She has finished two of the four required treatments. She doesn't still have cancer in her body, but without the chemo and radiation treatments, she has an 85% chance of getting cancer again. The percentage is high because of her age, medical history and being pre-menopausal. So, these treatments are a necessary evil. Right now is especially difficult because she has begun to lose her hair. We didn't expect her to lose her hair because she only needs 4 chemo treatments, but, and I am guessing here, her body was already so weak from the MS that the chemo is having a stronger effect. As any Pentecostal lady can tell you, we have such a strong attachment to our hair. It is our glory, our power with the angels, our sign of submission to God, His word, and our husbands. We do not cut our hair. We do not damage our hair. A part of our lives is dedicated to protecting our hair. So, to lose your hair is painful. Of course, in this situation, it doesn't mean you have lost your glory or are no longer in submission. But even though you didn't choose what happened, it doesn't lessen the pain. If you are choosing your hair or your life, well, the choice is simple. One is replaceable and the other isn't. After talking with my mom, I can see that that the diagnoses and the surgery were the easy parts. The treatments and their side effects are much harder to deal with. On week one, you have a chemo treatment. You feel horrible with no appetite until the middle of week two. About the beginning of week three, life starts to look up. You have a little more strength and food starts to sound good again. But at the end of week three, you have another treatment. So, what I am asking from the readers of this post is for your prayers for my mother and if you are from the Florence area, please spread the word that she is losing her hair and might be seen in a black or blond wig. (These are the only colors that the cancer center had available for free.) She hasn't willfully decided to cut or color her hair. She is worried that people will think so. And thank you for walking this journey with me. It helps tremendously just to put this on paper. (well, kinda on paper...)

The blow dryer, leaf blower, and the vacuum

Dear Friends, I apologize for not posting last week. Life got in the way life a slow driver when you are late for work. Annoying, but unavoidable.

I recently bought a new blow dryer. My old one had gone out in a flash of fire and smoke. I prefer to buy my blow dryers in the States because here there seems to be just two choices. There is the iffy brand that is cheap or the American brand that you need a credit card to pay for because no one in their right mind would go out in public with that much cash on them. I bought the iffy brand. It seemed innocent enough when I brought it home. It wasn't until I turned it on that I realized the makers of Mr. Iffy had included a few "extra" features. For one, the front could be used as a leaf blower. Just turning it on sends the cats into hiding and makes you feel like you just stepped outside in a category 4 typhoon. Meanwhile, the back is masquerading as a vacuum. It delights in sucking up pieces of stray hair and frying them to tiny bits. If you haven't seen my hair down in awhile, it comes to my hips. Thus providing the blow dryer with lots of "stray pieces" of hair. The first time I used it, I think I lost about an inch off of my hair. I have gradually come up with a difficult if not workable solution. Position the blow dryer, turn it on and dry that spot. Turn it off and re-position. Repeat steps until you give up or your hair is dry. So, my advice to you, never buy a "Mr Iffy" blow dryer unless you are wanting a cheap leaf blower and not a hair blow dryer.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What's in a name?

Recently, Ethan has been really into names. He told me that he knew his Nai-Nai and Ye-Ye Bracken's names. When I ask what they were, he said, "Tommy and Tommy, wait, no, Tommy and Sandy." And the other day, I called him and he answered, "My name is ETHan, not EAT like food." (This comes from the "th" sound being kinda hard for Chinese to pronounce, thus, he is called "E-ton" a lot.) The real kicker came today. He has been practicing my and Chris' names. Chris' is pretty easy for him to remember because they share the middle name Josiah, however, mine is proving to be more difficult. My mother had a creative streak when I was born and named me Tiffany Elisha. My middle name is pronounced, E (A hard E sound)-lish (rhymes with dish)-ah. Consequently, it has been said wrong many, many times. But Ethan now holds the record for the most distortion of my name. Keep in mind, this is the kid that just corrected me when he thought I said his name wrong. Today, he called me "Tiffany Delicious Bracken". That is not a missionary name.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Plague

There needs to be a quarantine sign on our door.
Because we have been struck with the plague.
Because it's the "why" plague.
Because to every statement or order I give, he ask why.
I'm not sure.
I don't know if he is questioning my authority or is just curious.
Because it is an automatic answer.
I said , I don't know. Ask Ethan.
Because he is the only one that will know.
Because he is the one that ask why! Now go to your room, I'm tired of talking.
Because I have been answering all of your questions, that's why. Now go.
Because I said so, that's why!

Did you ever wonder why your parents said that? Now I know.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pickled pig's feet

Last Sunday, Chris came home announcing to the world that he was going to bed and really didn't want to be woke up. Abbey followed him into the bedroom and watched as he sat down at the computer. I believe he was going to do a quick e-mail check before he "checked-out". Abbey, leaning over the arm of the chair, got a little too involved. "What are you doing?"
Nothing from Chris, he is focused.
"Hey, what are you looking at?"
From a distracted dad, "Pickled pig's feet".
Abbey: "Well, pickled pig's feet, I thought you were going to bed."

I'm telling you, she gets that sassiness from her Baba.

Pick of the litter...

Yep, when we got ol' Vader and Jango (the cats) we sure got the smartest ones in the bunch. Last night they proved it. They were wrestling around on the end of the bed when Vader suddenly became aware of another cat in the house! He crouched down in attack mode and all of his fur stood straight out. (He has a much similar reaction to a blowdryer.) Jango came over to see what all the fuss was about and then she saw it! There were TWO new cats in the house! Now both cats are crouched on the end of the bed, ready to get those intruders. There was just one thing stopping them. The other cats were also in attack mode and that seemed a little frightening. Keep in mind that a toy poddle could eat both of these kittens in one fell swoop. Jango decided to be the brave one. She lept off the bed and went for those cats, but THEY DISAPPEARED! Vader could still see one of them and remained on stand by. From safely on the bed, I might add. Jango slowly circled the base of the mirror sniffing and meowing because those cats had to be there somewhere. I don't know how long she would have searched, but I think I distracted her with my howls of laughter. Silly cats...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A month of blessings

I can't believe that we have been back in Taiwan for almost a month now. Where did the days go?

Yesterday, I was thinking about something and practicing a totally useless habit of trying to figure out how God was going to answer a prayer. You know what I mean, don't act like you don't. After you have prayed, you start to think, "God could do that and it would solve this whole thing, or he could do this and that would work out great too." But in the middle of my musing, I started to think about what God has done this month.
* We got a great apartment for under $300 a month, when the owner was originally wanting $400 a month.
* An insurance that my mother was suppose to be too late to apply for accepted her and will pay all of her co-pays for her chemo and radiation treatments. She pays $30 per month and they pay $1000 per treatment.
* The precious saints in our church blessed us with an offering when we got back, and for the first time in my life, I was able to go out and buy furniture I needed for my new house.

When I think about it, as amazing as it is, God didn't use any of my ideas to answer my prayers. He exceeded my expectations on every one. So, it turns out I'm not so great on solutions, but you know the saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know."

Look what we got!

Guess what? We finally got our new kitten.... uh, make that kittens! Believe it or not, but Chris surprised us and said that we could get two cats instead of just one. (If you know Chris, you know what a miracle that is!) They are so incredibly small. Right now, they fit in the palm of your hand.

I have posted a couple of pictures of them. The orange one is Jango and the black one is Darth Vader. (Take one guess at who would name a cat after an evil villian! Now I know why he wanted us to get a black cat if possible.) They are brother and sister and are about 1 month old.

Here's a picture of Vader sneaking up on the wrist strap of the camera while I am trying to take his picture.
Abbey and Ethan are so excited to have their first pets. The night we came home from the animal shelter, Abigail was leaning on my shoulder watching the kittens. She looked up at me and said, "Momma, this is so cool." And while I am thrilled to have a cat again, that right there is the reason why her Baba now has a house full of kittens.

Monday, May 19, 2008

They took my car!

Last Sunday night, I came out of church to discover that my car had been towed. It seems that I was slightly in the red area when the "vultures" came and they towed me. In Taiwan, parking can be a challenge and the tow trucks are always circling the city to tow illegals and then charge you to get your car back. And they got me. While we were calling the place to find out where my car was and how much to recover it, Abbey realized that "her" car was gone! She began crying and crying for "my car with the cherries!" I told her that it wasn't gone forever, but that someone had taken it and that we would get it back. That explanation was not good enough. I kept trying to answer her questions about what happened while we were getting in a friend's car for a ride to our house. (Chris was going to recover the car.) After going over the how, what, and who, Abbey sit back to think about this towing business. In a few minutes, she said in a low, mad voice, "Those Chinese people took our car." Well, I lost it laughing and once again, told her that it was my fault for parking in the wrong place. After a few more minutes of questions, she came to the conclusion that we had wasted money. Somehow, that conclusion wasn't near as funny as the first one.

"Where you come from?"

The kids and I were in 7-11 the other night. A 50ish man, more than slightly drunk and his girlfriend were drawn to my kids. The man, wanting to practice his English, started talking to Abbey. Here's how it went:

man: "Where you come from?"

Abbey: "Where I come from?" (hands up beside her shoulders)

Man: "Yes, where you come from?"

Abbey: "Where I come from? I, I come from here! Taiwan and China! What you mean, where I come from?" (Don't you just love her "Chinglish" here?)

Man: "No, what I mean is, where you come from?"

Abbey: "Huh?" (looks are me in confusion)

I then explained to the man that she was born in Taiwan so she really did come from here, but her passport is American. This is the first time that someone has questioned Abbey about her nationality since we returned from deputation and she just couldn't get what he asking. I started to explain to her that the man was asking that because she looks different, but then thought, "You know what, her Dad says he is from Taiwan also, so why get into the nationality issues with her?" These Third culture kids!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home sweet home.....and an update on my Mom

We are home! We made it back to Taiwan! Hot, busy, wonderful Taiwan! There are smells here that you can't smell anywhere else. Sometimes that is a good thing. We have been back for about 10 days and are 80% moved into our new apartment. This time it took 2 missed flights, 11 bags checked and 7 carried on, 8.5 hours in the St Louis airport, 1 broken airplane, 12 hours in a hotel room (courtesy of American Airlines, reason for one missed flight), 11 bags of lost luggage, and 3.5 days to get back to Taiwan. As for the lost luggage, they had lost it by the time we got to L.A. and found it by the time we got to Taiwan, so it all worked out. Thank God I do not have another trip like that anytime soon.

As always, when the pastor is going, there is a lot of work for him to do when he returns. But it is so great to be involved again. To worship with your church family. To see their growth and to know their stories. To just be back in your place in the puzzle. I don't know if I am describing this so that you can understand what I am feeling, but it is just so right for us to be here right now.

Some people have been asking about my mother, so here is the latest report. She went to see the oncologist last week and he said that she will have to do 4 rounds of chemo and 7 weeks of radiation. Believe it or not, this wasn't the bad news. To do the chemo, they have to take her off of her MS meds. Those medications are what help her to function normally on a day to day basis. They slow down the effects of the MS and keep the MS from growing. Also, her insurance will not cover all of the cost, so she will need to pay $1000 USD each time that she takes a chemo treatment. That is a lot of money if you aren't prepared for the cost. Please, please keep her in your prayers for the next three months. She will have the chemo stretched out over three weeks, then a two week break and then the seven weeks of radiation. It is hard to know I will not be there to help her, but I know a God that can send her help and give her strength during this time. This isn't a challenge for God, but merely an opportunity. But we do desire your prayers during this time.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's been many moons since we chatted...

Hello to all you good people who read this blog. I do deeply apologize for the recent lapse in stories. I HAVEN'T been lazy, I promise. Here is the brief timeline:

5 weeks ago: My mother had a biopsy for breast cancer. Due to the mercy of God, we were traveling in AL and TN during this time, so I was with her for everything.

4 weeks ago: The report came back that she did indeed have breast cancer and more test were ordered to see if it had spread.

3 weeks ago: The cancer had not spread and the doctor told us that they could just remove the lump and some radiation treatments afterwards would solve the problem. God is faithful!

2 weeks ago: She went in for outpatient surgery and had the cancer removed. One lump node was removed and tested in the OR for cancer. It had not spread to her lump nodes. God is merciful!

Currently: She is still recovering from the surgery. Because of her MS, it is taking longer for her body to heal, but she is up and doing things, just still experiencing a lot of soreness. (I have tried to make her sit down, but it isn't working. If you do not believe me, you are welcome to come and try for yourself!) In the middle of all of this, we have been trying to finish up deputation, pack up the motor home and sell it! (Which, by the way, if you know someone who is looking for a motor home, we have just the one. It is 30 foot long, with one slide out, V-10 Ford engine and in great condition. It is appraised at $36,000, but we are wanting $30,000 for it. We might even take a little less!)

So, that is the update for the past month or so. Life is busy, but God is great. Sometimes, you think about circumstances and think you wouldn't be able to handle that happening. Then it does happen and God gives you such a calmness in the storm. I know I said it earlier, but God IS faithful!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A pet what?

Abigail and Ethan are at the age where they are fascinated by pets. Every place we go, if they have a pet, Abigail or Ethan will cry when it is time to leave. Not too long ago, after a crying session, Chris promised the kids that they can have a pet when we get back to Taiwan. Anyone who knows Chris knows that he isn't fond of animals. But for cats, there is a special lack of fondness. When Abigail heard that they could get a pet, she immediately said that she wants a "little, bitty, baby cat". Ethan quickly replied "NO!" I saw the look on Chris' face that said, "That's my boy! He's not going to put up with this cat stuff, he wants a dog!". Then Ethan continued, "I want a BIG cat!" I promised them that sooner or later, they would both get their wish. Chris promised to have a home office where the cat is not allowed to visit.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Snow to sweat in 5.2.......days

Last week, we woke up to Abbey joyfully yelling that it was snowing. My first thought was that we are in Louisiana in March and there is no way it was snowing. But it was. The ground was covered and great, lazy snowflakes were steadily making their way to earth. I got the kids dressed in just about everything they own (that's what you do when you are raised in Alabama where 2 inches of snow closes schools and government down and causes a serious run on milk at the grocery story) and we headed out to play. All of Abigail's Ladybug magazines lately have been featuring snow and kid's playing the snow, so it was a dream come true for her. She didn't have to be told how to make a snowball or a snow angel. Ethan didn't have to be told to attack her while she was on the ground making the snow angel. I guess that is just hardwired into little brothers from birth. Yes, it was snow in March, but it was magic for us.

This week, my compressor went out on the jeep and I am sweating to death. But such is life on the road. Now, I am off to look up the symptoms of a heat stroke and tape them to the jeep steering wheel.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Next time, I'm going shopping alone.

The other day I was being checked out by a nice lady with an extremely bloodshot eye. During the course of our chatting, she mentioned that her contact had torn and scratched her eye. My cute kids were there, thus a story developed. The lady leaned over to say hello to Ethan and the next few minutes went like this:

"Hi, what's your name?"

"You're ugly" (I am too horrified to react quickly and am hoping she didn't here that!)

"Humm? What did you say?"

Abigail covers Ethan's mouth with her hand and replies,

"He said you're pretty"

And just like that, the pendulum swung from severely honest to lying. As you know, we have been working with her on saying things that aren't polite, but I would like to mention that we never taught her, nor even hinted that she should lie. Actually, less talking was what we were hoping for! Unfortunately for all of us, the dear lady did understand Ethan's superb English and fell over the counter laughing at my kids. My mother-in-law has said that kids keep your feet on the ground and boy, is THAT true!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Honey, call the repair man.

One day this week, we got up and got ready to head down the road. Chris went to turn on the motorhome and nothing. Uh, uh, uh, but no varoom. We look at each other wondering what could be wrong. He tries again and I head to the back to pray. We want to sell this thing soon and don't want any monkey business from the engine area right now. Still there is no varoom. I hang around long enough to see that I am in the way and then gather the kids and head off to Wal-mart. Chris found a mechanic to come look at it and he puzzles for a bit. "How many miles do you have on this?" "About 20,000" "Well, your fuel pump shouldn't have gone out, but gas isn't getting to the motor." "Can you check that here?" (We were in Walmart parking lot! Great for me, not for Chris) "Nope, you will have to towed to my shop and I will have to take the back of this off to get to it." The mechanic goes around back to look at where the fuel pump is located and gives the gas tank a good slap. "Son, this sounds empty to me." And yes, yes it was empty! The 6 hour delay, the prayer meeting, and the stress were all because the gauge stopped at 1/4 and the tank didn't.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let's get serious for a minute

Last week, we were in a Spanish service. Everything was in Spanish, except for the preacher. He was in English with a good mixture of Chinese. We have been living on the scripture that the steps of a righteous man are ordered of God, but I have to admit that I thought that someone had missed it this time. "Missionaries to Taiwan and China in a Spanish service? Okay... we might have a hard time connecting, not to mention conversing." But, as it turned out, God knew what He was doing. (Amazing? Well, maybe not.) There was such a wonderful move of God's Spirit in that service. The pastor and his family started this daughter work about three months ago. If the enemy is consist, and I am sure he is, right now, that family is probably being fought pretty hard. I remember how it was right after Chris started pastoring and I thought that I was losing my mind. The attack was so personal for me and I felt and still feel such a burden to pray for this family. They are Pastor and Sis. Luna in Austin, TX. If you will, dearest reader, (I sure hope someone reads this thing) let's come together in prayer for them and the work they are starting. They never hinted that they were facing any problems, but I feel so strongly to pray for them. Oh, the power there is when prayers bind together!

Things that go bump in the night

Ever notice how things just do not add up? Since we are protecting the innocent and/or guilty, (In this case, Innocent!) we will just pretend this happened. Let's say that someone is driving a cheap jeep behind another nameless in an expensive motorhome. And they stop at a red light. Someone looks down because "EEK, IS THAT A BUG IN MY DRINK I JUST BOUGHT?" Her foot slips in her distraction and she is brought back to the present rather smashingly. The motorhome quickly develops two "earthquake" cracks in the back and a light covering falls off. Someone jumps out of the jeep and puts the covering back on. Then she looks to see what happen to the cheap jeep and there isn't one little scuff. Shouldn't the cheap jeep have the cracks and the expensive motorhome be scuff less? And since nameless and someone pay for the insurance on both vehicles, whose do they file on? Somethings just do not add up!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We don't say...

Do you ever remember, as a child, your mother telling you it was rude to say certain things. Maybe, as in my case, you had just ask your aunt why she always borrowed your mom's clothes and never returned them? And perhaps, you had added that your mom was pretty hot about it. I remember the feeling of trying to find the path of politeness in this great big world and I am trying to keep that in mind as I guide my children. Politeness can be overwhelming. Let's say that you want to wear jewelry and your parents tell you that God made you beautiful just as you are. In fact, jewelry is "ugly". Then it would be natural to see someone wearing a ring and to comment on how "ugly" rings are. Well, in the past month, there seems to have been so many times when we are telling Abbey that we do not say such-and-such. This came home to me the other day when yet again we were telling her what not to say and she began to review. "And we don't say their teeth are green, momma? And we don't ask how they hurt their leg? (Said leg was missing!) And we don't tell the Pastor that we would rather go to Chili's? And we don't tell them that we would like some toys? Momma, what do we say?" Being the supremely intelligent parents that we are, we gave her pointers on how to talk about the weather. Because, after all, we want her to seem like a ordinary five year-old.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Quick! The Chinese are coming.

We recently had three Chinese sisters from Taiwan to visit us on the deputation trail. The seven of us shared 1 thirty foot motorhome for three days. That equals to 4.2 feet each if you do not discount length for the motor. God bless them for their patience. In all reality, it was so wonderful to have them here. It only deepened our anticipation to get back home. I have missed Taiwan, but I haven't felt that morose sadness for Taiwan until I saw them off to the airport and had to stay behind. But, for three days, we got to hear and speak Chinese (I mostly realized how much I had forgotten!), talk about the church in Taiwan and the brothers and sisters, and snack on dried seaweed. The church leaders are holding strong without a pastor and we are trying to hold strong without a church. And I highly recommend the seaweed!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kids... keeping it real.

I have discovered that kids are kids. Take them where you want, dress them how you please, but when it is all said and done (and the afore mentioned kids will make sure it is all said and all done!) there is still a kid lurking underneath. MKs (missionary kids) included. I have a front row seat to observing this daily since two such kids populate my household. That moment when you want them to be perfect little angels or will even settle for well trained monkeys, someone will be picking their nose. So, in retrospect, I shouldn't be surprised that we have stories concerning our kids while on deputation. What better chance with them on display sometimes up to five times a week? And, without further ado, here are a few I have the bravado to record.

Someone, who shall remain nameless in the blog, felt a call to preach one night at church. It happened to be a large church with 700 or so people. That equals to roughly 1400 eyeballs trained on the missionary family. After the kids were introduced, I took them back to our front row seat and nameless began to struggle in my arms and crying with a very, very loud voice, "Let me go! I want to preach! I want to preach! WAAAAAAHHHH!" And off I go trudging toward the back. If nameless does become a preacher one day, he will not have to ask for "more monitor, please."

At yet another church, we were getting ready to leave and I was rounding up the kids telling them to get their stuff so we could go. Another nameless, having made some little friends and, rightly so, not wanting to leave them began to pout. Instead of enjoying those last few moments together, nameless sat down alone with arms crossed and teary eyes. The pastor, having a very gentle heart toward children, ask nameless what was wrong. According to those around, it seems nameless told the pastor she was sad because she didn't have any toys! Trust me, my kids have more toys than they can play with in this motorhome. A secret part of me hopes that she said something else and was misunderstood, but the chance of that is probably slim to none. The end result was a trip to Walmart with the Pastor and a parental threat.

How it all started...

I guess the best way to begin is to start closer to the present rather than at the beginning since the beginning is full of monotonous details that no one really cares about. Here we are, currently in our 5th month of deputation across America. We started in Florida, crossed over to California, back to Alabama for Christmas, and are now in Texas. I haven't seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, but I have seen the deserts of America.

Why have a blog about driving? Well, actually, this is more about the stops. Don't worry, the name are changed to protect the innocent and/or guilty. The locations are changed to keep you guessing and this is not in real time, so eventhough I am in Texas, the stories might be from just about anywhere. You won't read about anyone you know. But I do promise that they are true. And what's funnier than fiction? Real life!