Archive for December, 2012

“You deserve to burn in hell!”

So said Player A to Player B in our family game of Wizard this evening, when Player B played a card that was highly distasteful to Player A.  At first, we all stared in shock at the audacity of Player A to say such a thing, but, as Player A grinned, we all realized the truth of what had been said.  Of course, the timing of the comment, delivered with such vehemence, made it humorous, but not only was it true of Player B; it was and is true of all of us.

What a great and gracious God we have!

A man who is facing an incredible financial trial, and who, short of God doing a miracle, risks losing everything he and his family own, in order to obey God, said to me about their situation, “In a hundred years, it won’t matter at all.”  I thought, and did not say, “True, but it probably will matter next year.”

I have not had to exercise that kind of faith.

Josiah just walked through, saw the title of this post, and said, “Thank God he doesn’t give us what we deserve.”

Not only does he not give us what we deserve, he gives us way more than we do deserve.  His combo of mercy and grace is overwhelmingly, overpoweringly, incredible – literally.

It’s been a tough day emotionally for me.  Today I was reminded of my “creature-ness,” in that I am going through, and am watching my kids go through, tough situations about which it seems that I can do nothing except pray.  I was told that I’m not omnipotent, I’m not omniscient, and I’m not omnipresent.  Of course, I already knew all that, but it did hit home hard today.  My response was, “Some people get no respect, but I get no omnis.”

I am very glad to be reminded that when I am weak (and feel powerless, scared, and alone), he is strong.  And even though I do deserve to burn in hell, Jesus went there so I don’t have to.


She walks in beauty

This morning, she walked in the beauty of misty light rain/snow!  It’s enough that the shoulder (of the road, not the walker) is slushy.  A snow plow passed me twice.

I haven’t dared to look at the forecast, but maybe it’ll turn a nip colder and whatever’s coming down will morph into snow.  = )

Found a game we all like!

This is almost as difficult as preparing food that we all like.  Robertses are unique animals and we all hold our individual preferences deeply.  This afternoon, it was my turn to pick a family activity.  Since it was in the upper 20s and windy, I decided to forgo my first choice:  walking to the low water bridge and playing Poohsticks.

Instead, I sought an indoor game, and, being a person who tends (too much) to try to please others, I asked Katie for her input.  I had been thinking of possibly Wizard.  The first thing she said was that she’d play most any game except Sequence or Wizard.  Together, we then came up with a list of of other possibilities that we intended to run by Josiah.  Bear in mind that Josiah generally dislikes all card and/or board games, although he will very occasionally play bridge if twist his arm hard enough.  Arm-twisting = the provision of bridge mix.  He much prefers games played standing up, like tennis, ping-pong, pinball, or ping-pong.  He also likes ping-pong.  We offered him the following:

Rummikub (although turn-taking is too long and slow for Andrew)


Dutch Blitz

Five Crowns




National Geographic

Phase 10

He heard us out on all those and then said that Wizard (which we hadn’t even mentioned to him!) and National Geographic would be the least distasteful options.  Hmmm. . .

I went into the playroom to try to dig out National Geographic and review the rules.  While bent down under the counter in there, I spied Scattergories, so I brought them both.  It turns out that Scattergories was a winner!  I think everybody liked it pretty well, and Josiah and Katie tied for first place.  I’ll keep that one in mind for the future.

The guys against the girls

My mom and dad have been here visiting for a couple days, and we have done a lot of talking, eating (especially yummy cookies!) watching, pin-balling, and yes, playing pool.

This afternoon, while a couple members of the gang refreshed themselves in cozy slumber, Dad, Scott, Katie, and I played a best of three eight-ball tournament.  We decided it would be the guys against the girls, and our teams ended up being fairly evenly matched, possibly due to the fact that one or more of the guys was not at the very top of his game.  = )

I clearly am lacking the “physics and angle calculation” department.  My problem is that I look at a certain ball and think, “Well, I obviously need to make my cue hit on the left side of the six, to make it go to the right” (and hopefully into the pocket), but I actually have absolutely NO idea how far on the left side of the six I should aim, or even how to go about figuring out where I should aim.  Then there’s the whole issue of actually executing the appropriate shot, but since I don’t even know how to think about the appropriate shot, I’m clearly a long way from carrying it out.  My dad helpfully reminded me that the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection – a fact which I did, in fact, know – but in banking a ball off the rail, I still couldn’t come up with any approximation of where on the rail I should be aiming it!  Scott and Dad, and I guess Katie, however, just eyeball the thing and adjust their stick till it matches some magical image in their heads and fire the ball the into the pocket.  Well, most of the time.

It ended up that the guys won the first game, we girls won the second game, and we girls lost the third game.  The shot that sank the eight ball was perfectly spot on; it’s just that the cue ball was also perfectly spot on . . . into another pocket.

Good games, guys!

The mercy of God

God showed off today.  My folks arrived at 2:30 PM for their annual post-Christmas visit.  Our family is weird, which is no news to anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time.  We really treasure our immediate family time on Christmas day, and my parents have for many years come to visit for a couple days, usually on the day after Christmas.  Sometimes it’s more than a day after, depending on when Christmas falls, but this year, they were planning to come on Wednesday, December 26.

It snowed in Little Rock and most of northern Arkansas on the evening of December 25, and, as mentioned in an earlier post, my parents got NINE INCHES of snow! Something like 100,000 people are still without power and could be out for as long as a week.  Not a good ending to Christmas.  The snow pretty much shut down major portions of Arkansas, and my parents had to postpone their trip till the roads (at least Hwy 65) were clear.

They got here, and an hour later, it started SNOWING!!!!  Here!  In Walnut Shade!  It snowed for lightly but steadily for several hours, and in the end, we had a dusting on the ground.  Not enough to cover the grass, but enough to make footprints if you press hard.

We all witnessed it, so we can remind each other that it really did snow here on December 28.  We also shared a good meal and had a grand time exchanging gifts with Grandma and Grandpa.  God has been merciful to us today!

Biz Cazh

Between the eight to five dress code at Patrick Henry and the standard dress code at ANPAC, Josiah gets to live in business casual fairly frequently.  One might assume that this would involve a great deal of ironing, but Josiah’s work-arounds have been notable for many years.

He has learned that a totally ratty-looking (but clean) shirt or pair of pants can be made to appear tolerably presentable in a fairly short amount of time by soaking and wringing out whichever dish towel is hanging in the kitchen and throwing that, along with the desired item of apparel, into the dryer for about 20 minutes.  20 minutes is obviously not be long enough for Josiah to shower – he has requested that showering be added as an Olympic sport – but given a computer, he is well able to occupy himself while his clothes de-wrinkle themselves.

What I like most about this procedure is the term Josiah has devised for it:  “tenderizing his pants.”

So this morning, as I completed my walk and saw him airing up the rebellious left front tire of the Honda so he could drive to work, I looked at him standing there, looking dashing in his pea coat and in-progress beard, and I glanced at his pants, which did have decent creases (along with a few very light wrinkles), and I said, “Did you tenderize your pants this morning?”  To which he replied, “I did.  And I was preparing to iron them as well. . . but I decided against it.”  (big grin)

The man told the truth.  The ironing board was set up in the dining room, backwards.


Hope deferred

It makes the heart sick, you know.

It wouldn’t have mattered if there had been no snow in the forecast.  There have been many non-white Christmases.  Indeed, sad to say, there have been many, many, many, many non-white days every winter.  It wasn’t that we especially wanted snow on Christmas, although that would have been very nice.  It wasn’t even that we wanted snow at all, although we do always want snow in winter.  It was the stinking fact that we had been told by the meteorological powers that be that we could expect six to ten inches of snow on the evening of Christmas, and then the whole glorious thing had the unmitigated gall to up and move 200 miles south!

Here in balmy Walnut Shade, we had, instead of six to ten inches of glory, not so much as one measly flake or even one single flurry of snow.  It’s been a cold sunny day in the upper thirties, and all the snow that we didn’t get has now moved off to the Ohio River valley.  I lived the first ten years of my life in the Ohio River valley, and I know it snowed there back then.  I’m assuming it still does.  Sigh.

While we were having nothing to sled in, nothing to look at, nothing to play with or photograph or make ice cream with, my parents in North Little Rock got nearly nine inches of snow!  Nine inches of white beauty in a place that almost NEVER gets a decent snowfall!  When I was a kid, Little Rock had one good ice storm every year in the second week of January and maybe a dusting of snow a time or two.  Three inches would have been a rare cause for celebration, and nine inches? On Christmas?  Well, that’s the (white, frozen) stuff lifetime memories are made of!

Dad sent us some lovely pictures of his deeply buried yard and driveway.  I appreciated that, but told him that I am truly green with envy.  As I mentioned above, it’s not so much that we got no snow, as that we expected lots of snow and got no snow.  If our hopes hadn’t been pumped so high, we could not have fallen so low.

Ah, well, at least we know that when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  I just hope that particular tree’s branches are heavily laden with snow.