Saturday, December 18, 2010
Brianna's Year In Review
This is the second 'year in review' - here is Corban's if you have not read it yet.
Even though I miss my family and friends at times (especially my grandpa), I am very thankful that we moved to Missouri. There has been a lot of opportunities to learn new things and we have had some neat experiences. I praise God that He has showed us the way here – He is so faithful in leading but we must be willing to follow. One of my favorite hymns says, “Where He leads I’ll follow, follow all the way.” Amen.
One of the neatest things I’ve been able to learn is how to take care of babies, children, and housework. Honestly, changing a baby’s diaper used to sound very intimidating to me, however I’ve done so many now that it’s not a big deal! Dishes, laundry, bathing babies, baking, and general clean up are now a normal part of my life. One of the families here have twin girls that are about half a year old. The twins are usually very happy and get lots of love from four big brothers and one big sister. Their big sister was very excited for two little sisters :) and is learning how to be a good help to her mom. Another family I help a lot has three boys and three girls; I always enjoy playing with their children, reading lots of stories, and doing all I can for their mother. I have learned that caring for children and babies provides a lot of opportunities to practice patience, longsuffering and self-denial. Things that used to bother me [like being ‘pottied’ on!] do not bother me any more. I am thankful to have these learning opportunities and it’s a blessing to be able to help busy mothers.
Two other things I’ve learned is how to make pies and how to sew. For the last few months I have been wanting a lemon pie. Well, I finally made one and it was so good! I never made a crust before and was using course-ground flour, so it was hard to make. The next time I used unbleached white flour, so it was much easier to work with. I have also sewn a few dresses for myself and mom, and a lot of baby dresses that I will try to sell; mom is planning to make me a simple website as soon as she has time to figure all that out.
Another thing I do is visit widows. One of them is Larna and she is 90 years old. Last winter Tylor and Corban went around to shovel walks and knocked on her door. She was so thankful they came, that after they shoveled her walk she had them come in and drink hot chocolate and took their picture! She told the boys she was lonely a lot and would like company; we have been visiting her since. Sometimes we can all go, sometimes just one, two or three of us can go. She lives about four blocks away so it is a short bike ride or walk over there. One woman (Vana) has cerebral palsy; she just lays in her bad all day because she can’t talk, walk or hardly move anything. We go and sing for her, talk and read her stories – she really likes that. Before visiting her I never would have thought about how I can put my shoes on and walk outside, eat my food, run, play the piano, sing, and so on. But now I realize that I took a lot of those things for granted. We visit several other widows and elderly people, and they are all a blessing to me. With all these grandpas and grandmas it’s kind of funny because you never know what you will come home with next! Sweaters, food, treats, slippers, miscellaneous things like wind chimes and tape players, bags of random paper items [party hats included!], and more. We make sure all the stuff finds a good home.
There are a few things I have been doing for work. One is mom and I clean houses and a business together; sometimes the boys help too. One of our clients, Grady and Jean, are an elderly couple that have become like a ‘grandpa and grandma’ to us. We enjoy visiting with them each time we clean their house. I really appreciate mom having cleaning jobs because she can take me with instead of leaving me at home like she would have to do if she had an office job . Mom says she appreciates the help! I have also started to teach art class to some children here at church; I enjoy that quite a bit. When we lived in Omaha I was able to help my former art teacher [Sharon Hofer Hidden Acres Art School] with her younger class; I learned a lot while helping her, but now I know it’s much different being the teacher instead of the helper. It’s neat teaching different children and different ages … they all have their own minds and their own ways of processing information. Some will get it right away and some it takes quite a bit of explaining. Also, the same way of explaining will not always work for each child, so I have had to learn how to meet the individual needs of each child. Since this is my ‘guinea pig class’, I am not charging money, however if it goes well, I might offer classes to homeschoolers for a small fee.
A few things I’ve really enjoyed this past year is riding horses and visiting Roaring River with my grandpa. A family here has several horses that I’ve been able to ride a few times. If it were up to me, I’d ride them a lot more! I really enjoy riding horses. Part of Mark Twain National Forest is about 20 minutes away – it is very beautiful. We went with my grandpa there when he came down to give us a car; on the way there it gets so hilly that my ears pop! Roaring River has a lot of different things to do, like fishing, hiking and camping. They also have a hatchery and a spring. The spring is so blue and the sky is not even reflecting on it!
I have eaten many interesting things this past year! The boys went fishing and Brian made us fish-head soup. Yum! Mom never knew there was so much meat in the fish head and felt bad for all those fish heads she and her family threw away over her whole life growing up (they used to go fishing a lot). David V. and the boys killed a 4 ½’ long snake, skinned it, breaded it and fried it. It tasted like chicken! The boys went frog gigging a few times and we had deep-fried frog legs; they were good but tough. Brian made us a Peruvian dish called Caviche – basically it’s a raw fish salad with sweet potatoes [he used salmon]. Raw fish may sound gross, but it actually tasted like canned salmon. One time when I was helping with the twins we had cow tongue and cow heart for supper. I did not care for the heart but I didn’t mind the tongue. My dad would be happy to know that it was his example (about 3 years ago) that made me brave enough to try the cow tongue; he told us there was nothing better than cow tongue … except sardines! Mom can’t stand the smell of sardines and I don’ t care for the taste but will eat it if I have to.
Even though Bobby is no longer with us, we still talk to him quite a bit (he even called us on our birthdays – that was very sweet of him); he lives in Washington D.C. The other day we asked him, “Railroad crossing without any cars, can you spell that without any R’s?” It was funny because he got it right away! I am so thankful that he is in our lives – he has done so much for us, especially the year before we moved here. He supported us, but he did not have to … he did it anyway because he loved us (and still loves us!). We hope to see him soon.
The brothers here at church go street preaching every Friday and Saturday night. Every first Friday of the month there is something called “Art Walk,” and our family goes with the brothers there. We usually sing some songs that warn of judgment to come and also songs that talk of following the Lord. We sing for about an hour, and then stand and listen to the brothers talking to people on the streets. Sometimes girls/women will come up and ask questions to mom about women’s roles and things like that. I really like to go because I learn a lot; it is sad though to see all the lost souls on the streets.
I really appreciate our pastor/elder (David Keeling). David is a good person to go to if you ever have a question. He is very wise concerning scripture and life in general. If you ask him a question sometimes he gets his point across in a very funny way … like using a witty/clever comment. A few funny responses I’ve heard from him are: “A lot of mosquitoes in Missouri weigh a pound”, “Mosquitoes in Missouri sit on trees and bark”, and one more, Q: “What do you do when you run into a copper head snake?” A: “I practice my math on him – I divide him, and then multiply him.” One time he threatened to send mom a chocolate chip cookie recipe … but that’s a long story!
Here are a few verses I appreciate:
Mark 13:35-37 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
I need to make sure I’m ready when Jesus returns or calls me home. If I am not serving Him and living my life for Him then I am not ready.
Luke 9:23-25 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
The last part makes me think of:“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” Also, we must take up our cross daily. Even though it’s not an easy road, He has given me every minute of my life and I need to give every minute back to Him.
Thank you everyone for your love, support, phone calls &/or prayers.
Love in Christ,