Monday, April 28

an HP relay

Last night ended a series of Harry Potter viewings. We have a nice little clasped case that holds five years, an interactive game, HP bookmarks, bonus DVD and more. Prior to this I had only seen most of one. We still have to go through the 'extras' on the DVDs.

The husband came across "Harry Potter and the Way of Jesus" in the Banner, published for the CRC by Faith Alive Christian Resources, a member of the Associated Church Press and the Evangelical Press Association. I confess although I linked it here for reference, I haven't read the article yet. According to the husband however, as part of his sermon this past Sunday, the author J.K. Rowling is a christian. I wasn't aware of that. I recall all the hoopla about the books not to long back and the question of whether christians should even entertain this fantasy around sorcery. I leave that for a christian grounded in the Word, like myself and the husband, to decide for themselves. I know that some so grounded would conclude differently than I, some aligning it with the stuff one should flee. I constantly examine the issue, aware of how seductive things of darkness can be, especially for the children. If in fact you cannot prepare or arm, protect! FLEE!

While the husband and I participated in the relay, we waited until the youngest was indisposed to view it. Of the mind that we should not so much shield our children from this world, but arm them for it, we nevertheless feel that he'll need to reach a certain age of readiness to prepare him for all that the realm of sorcery entails and how its role in this 7-book series. Probably before the final two years become films, he will be ready.

So the two of us watched years one through five - The Sorcerer's Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, and The Order of the Phoenix. As the story follows Harry Potter in these years at academy, like his age they become increasingly sobering. They deal with loss of loved ones, of aloneness, of friendship - the bond and its strengths and its struggles, of abandonment, of responsibility, of the triumph and trump card of love, and the usual good and evil, and so many of the things a child may experience as prepares for an adult life. There were some intensely spiritual moments. For these reasons and because it was so very well done, I thoroughly enjoyed the DVDs. Each one always captures your attention in the opening segment of the story. The serial does an excellent job of maintaining characters and introducing new ones, developing a story that is consistent while intertwining into the lives of this array of people in Potter's world.

I hope that you have a chance to read the article, I know I'll get around to it, and to enjoy the the Harry Potter series in one form or another. For me, its similar to the likes of the Lord of the Rings lore, and Lewis' Narnia - I love good storytelling. For the sure-footed who enjoys fantasy genre, this is 'good stuff'. I look forward to sharing it when the young one develops feet of doe. Meanwhile, we'll settle for the Prince Caspian premiere in a few weeks.

Sunday, April 27

Let the games begin ...

Ever since the eldest and SIM introduced us to Settlers of Catan, the husband and I have been on a tangent. They having also given the youngest The Settlers of Canaan, we've acquired a taste and penchant for this type of game. Reading up on all of these games, we took a chance on Ark of the Covenant and were delighted. Ark does not have add-ons and, because of that, leaves you wanting still to play. It ends far too quickly.

We researched more and found ourselves wondering about the source game. These games were fashioned after Carcassonne, a game with many, many add-ons as is Catan. At boardgamerevolution, I found the bundle of a lifetime and the husband quickly maneuvered to get it as soon as possible - the basic game and river expansion as well as the four major expansions: Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders, Princess & Dragon, and The Tower - for nearly half of the going price, needless to say far less than buying each separately. If you like board games, check Carcassone out. If you like this type of strategy game, the add-ons expands the appeal to whet many gaming appetites. We are looking into getting even more expansions. You can't beat what Boardgamerevolution offers.

The husband and I played this weekend starting with the base game and the river. Wow! We added inns and cathedrals. Woah! Then we added the princess and the dragon, and played that one with the youngest. The only one we have left to play is the tower. The game is designed for 2-6 players age eight and older. Finally so far we added traders and builders. Each expansion adds new dimension and playing time to the game. It requires intensive concentration but not beyond the abilities of an eight-year old. It has the element of chance as well as mental challenge. It whiled away hours in which I was experiencing unrelated physical discomfort. It was a delightful if not sometimes exasperating diversion. It was great to be able to put my mind on something else.

We've become passionate Carcassone addicts! We'll be playing for years to come! If I'm not blogging, answering my emails or phone, I'm probably gone ... deep into the roman and medieval southern french city of Carcassonne!

For tonight though we'll be pottering away at our Harry dvd collection. Stay tuned for the update. Toodles.

Saturday, April 26

continuing in prayer ...

continue to keep our dear friend lifted up to our Holy Physician!

Blessed be the name of the Lord-when the sun is shining down on me and the world is all as it should be, Blessed be HIS name. Blessed be HIS name on a road marked with suffering and when the darkness closes in on me still I will say 'Blessed be HIS name'.
Have you all heard this song? I echo it and sing it often.
This week I have had to put it into practice as I received the results of my scan. It was not what I expected. Dr. called to say that this scan showed 'activity in the liver, not longer a negative scan rather a positive, must stay on this two types of chemo. that I currently have been on.' As you can imagine this was a blow to me, as since my battle began I have always received good news after every scan. My emotions were raw and I felt shock, denial, frustration, disappointment and great sadness. But only for a day! Then my dear patient husband, my best friend, my angel Lili, and my incredible parents picked my spirits up and allowed me to cry but get back on track with HOPE IN THE SAVIOR. I am now able to look at the positives again. The good news is that my CEA count is still in the normal range, the dr. said there are no new growths visible in the CT scan which correspond to the activity visible in the PET scan, and he did not suggest that I need to return to the heavy intense chemo I was on originally. So those are all things I can be happy about! I also have an appointment with a liver surgeon this Monday. Erik will go with me and we will see if I am a candidate for that or not. I see my chemo. dr. on Wed. and will have an infusion on Fri. Soooo lots of opportunity to ask questions and get opinions. I would sure appreciate prayer for guidance as it is hard to know how much confidence to place in drs. We know our LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST is truly our only hope and I know HIS healing is complete. I extend to all of you my eternal thanks for your continued support and prayers. I would have given up if it were not for the incredible love you have reached out with to me. I am actually feeling great and am blessed with energy to work, take care of my darling five, and spend time with family and friends. The kids are all well, playing baseball so we are busy with practice and games, schoolwork.... Life is happy here and we are keenly aware of how much grace God has given us in response to your steadfast prayers. God bless each of you!!

Friday, April 25

Take the Youngest to Work day

well child wise, there's only the youngest left - and he hadn't been to 'Take To Work Day' yet. He had severe stomach upset the day before, but he was feeling a little better that day. It was a good thing he did, because he had a wonderful day.

First we arrived about 6:15 a.m. We went to the cafeteria to have breakfast. He had ham and eggs and a donut, while I ordered a breakfast croissant. Guess he was feeling better. He made the first pot of coffee for the office, and threw out grains during the day. He met our section engineers. supervisors and managers, our support group for them, my supervisor, and manager.

There were things for the kids to do from 9:00 to 10:30. My secretary took him and four others around. I tried to catch up with them with yet another charge. The section was having a safety walkthrough which might not have been as stimulating to participate in. Instead a Mars rover rolled over him and he participated in a stage show about liquid and ice and how light bounces off of them, etc. to name a few.

He went to the employee store and saw all the things available there; my secretary came back with a bag of stuff for him. My secretary had him typing on a typewriter - he had never seen one - wow! He communicated with his B-I-M and dad on my computer. We picked up lunch at Panda Express and gased the commuter van returning to the office to share our meal. It was a busy day at the office for the youngest and his stomach was beginning to stir again. Home just in time!

Family tree branches

spring blooms...
  • The Giant is engaged - yes, its true! The young lady lives in our community and will become his wife May 10th. She's excited, to say the least. They'll have a celebration of the event in the area later. Meanwhile, it's Whidbey for Mother's Day weekend.
  • The oldest nephew has a new one to this world. My great nephew is quite a cutie.
Life finds a way

Vices = Virtues Corrupted

Went to a "The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian - A Ministry Tool" presentation for church leaders by FCS. The movie opens Friday May 16th and I'm very excited about seeing the movie now, and excited to extol the christian themes. There were trivia questions you probably know the answer to - what name did C.S. Lewis go by? What was the name of the group of writers he hung out with? I discovered the next movie will be "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader".

The most important point was that this second Narnia film will be another great opportunity for ministry. FCS had an excellent video presentation; I was particularly impressed with
  • gaining a more in-depth understanding of who the author was
  • A segment featuring Lewis' son, Douglas Gresham
  • the discussion of his late in life short-lived marriage due to her early demise and the resultant publishing of his "A Grief Observed" by his friend T.S. Eliot, an unadulterated insight into his process of loss.
  • A trailer of the movie - which looks very captivating and brings familiar and new characters and places.
On May 3, Family Christian Stores (FCS) will be featuring a sneak preview of the movie, which you should take you children to. There are always prizes at these events. As a matter of fact (winking at Nicole), I left with two very good prizes from this presentation; one called "Following Prince Caspian" and the other "Believing in Narnia"!

They will be featuring Narnia and many C.S. Lewis books and materials over the coming month. There are coupons and discounts at these events and throughout the months as well. If you sign up for their mailing list, you'll receive them regularly. With a 25% discount I purchased a wonderful "Chronology of Narnia" and the Lewis work on grief. I also purchased from a varied selction, a 2" thick handbook on "What the Bible is all About" for the member price of $5.00. Membership has its privileges :-)

I encourage you to take advantage of making the most of "Caspian" for yourself and those you encounter. Gresham describes vices as virtues corrupted reminding me that when Adam and Eve were in the garden; their lives were afterward spent outside of it due to corruption. See the story unfold the faith, hope, and love, and other virtues in its characters and how those virtues can become corrupted. Then take what you receive to another level and read the other classics of and deeper works of Lewis.

Happy Narnia travels!

Sunday, April 20

We ARE the Ones!

My friend and hairdresser sent me this, because we are the ones ...

She noted that Zoe Kravitz is daughter to Joe Kravitz and Lisa Bonet. There are a host of other 'well knowns'in the video too.

By the way, did you see Michelle Obama on the Colbert show - she IS a classy lady!

Thursday, April 10

Please keep our friend in prayer. Her husband and mine have been friends since childhood; they have 5 children. She is courageously walking in faith in a valiant battle with cancer.

Hi Dearest Ones,
How are you enjoying life in this gorgeous season of Spring?! I am drinking in the warmer weather and smiling at every flower and little hummingbird I see. God's creation is magnificent and it is all around us.
I am happy to report that our GREAT GOD is continuing to graciously heal me! I saw dr. today and my cea count registers at 1.4 which is normal for a healthy person. He calculated how long I have been 'in remission' and it is 9 months!! I asked him if he could start weaning me off of the chemo. and if that was a wise thing to do. He said at this point it is very hard to know what is wise because we are in 'uncharted waters'. He then said in light of the 9 months of negative PET scans he would like to give me a 'chemo. vacation'. WOW!!! He said the results of this next scan will be huge and will indicate what we should do next. This scan will be next Friday, April 18 soooo please pray, pray, pray for me. I am confident in God's mercy and firmly believe this scan will prove HIS healing power. I can't even imagine how it will feel to not be on chemo. drugs after 14 months of taking them. Needless to say I am very excited about that possibility :)
Though the dr. says we are in uncharted waters, I know my God is the captain and He is charting my course through these troubled waters. I am not afraid as I have learned to trust HIM in new and deeper ways. 'I will fear no evil for thou are with me...'Psalm 23
Thanks a million for your steadfast prayer support!!! The prayers of the righteous are very effective and I am blessed to have soooo many righteous people praying for me.
Praise God with me! Love always, Barbara
The war she wages is found at

Friday, April 4

poem - commitment or contentment

I did it my way ...Lord help me not to say...

(The poem on commitment read in last Sunday's sermon)


I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord.
Real service is what I desire.
I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord.
But don't ask me to sing in the choir!

I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord.
I'd like to see things come to pass.
But don't ask me to teach girls and boys, Dear Lord.
I'd rather just stay in my class.

I'll do what you want me to do, Dear Lord.
I yearn for your kingdom to thrive.
I'll give you my left-over change, Dear Lord.
But please don't ask me to tithe.

I’ll be what you want me to be, Dear Lord.
I long to see the church alive.
But don’t ask me to come out at night, Dear Lord.
I’m always too worn out and tired.

I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord.
I'll say what you want me to say.
I'm busy just now with myself, Dear Lord.
But I'll help you some other day.

author unknown to me


Fitness Footnote

'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey