Monday, December 27, 2004

Yesterday (Dec 7th), Grace competed in a Lincoln-Douglas debate practice tournament. Lincoln Douglas is a one on one debate and the students are debating values. This year's resolution is "The restriction of civil rights for the sake of national security is justified." Each debater is to prepare to argue both an affirmative and negative case.
It was a family affair:
Grace did great for her first time debating
Katie video taped a number of rounds
Michael was a timer
I was a judge
Dan was sleeping after working 3 nights (7pm-7am) in a row.

Grace is a member of the southwest FL "Fusion" Speech and Debate Club and has been welcomed in by the wonderful group of young people.
One of the benefits of participating in speech and debate is to become a more effective communicator. In 2 Timothy chapter 2 it states, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." What a wonderful training ground for our children.
Of course, I am now completing this post 2 weeks after the fact but it is an important post. I will keep you posted about other tournaments and happenings within this group. CM

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Floridian Christmas and random thoughts
This is our second Floridian Christmas without my sister-in-law, Kelly. For a number of years we had talked about going to Florida for Christmas. Well, Kel if you are reading I am 2 up on you now and I miss you. We have had a wonderful week of getting together with friends and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It has been a great week. Our little Christmas at home happened a little earlier than we expected as Dan managed to get out of work at 4 instead of 730pm today. All of us were very grateful.
"Pounding" My friend Chelo was given her daughter-in-law a "pounding" for her new home. I said, "A POUNDING?! Are you going to beat her up? I am confused. Chelo laughed so hard. A pounding is when you usually give a new bride a lb. of this and a lb. of that.....flour, sugar, butter, bananas, oranges, carrots, potatoes, etc.

There was something else but it has randomly left my memory bank. Good night one and all. May peace, joy and love fill your hearts.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine
Grace found this quote through my favorite puzzle in the Boston Herald. (Cryptoquote: letters which represent other letters and you have to figure it out.) My Mum sent Grace all the Heralds from the Yankees/RedSox ACLS series and the World series. This week is RedSox week in Ft. Myers. Dan and Grace did go down to City of Palms Park but did not have 3 or 4 hours to kill that day to wait in line for tickets or a picture with the World Champion Trophy.
Please don't take this quote the wrong way. We are fairly new pilgrims and we were settlers for many years. Now as we journey on we are in a way dependent upon the settlers of whatever community we find ourselves. In Virginia, The Coons, the Merkles, and Ms. Emily Smith; in Tilghman Md. The Cummings, in Florida, The Dalis', McGuires, Wheatherheads, Southwicks have blessed us and met our needs as travelers.
Our journey from Virginia was uneventful and for that we are grateful. To all the settlers who welcome us pilgrims we can not thank you enough for your gracious hospitality and friendship.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Packing is nearly done
We will leave VA Beach some time tomorrow - head south to the sunshine state. Gave thanks with our friends Emily, Lee and their other invited guests, broke bread and remembered our Lord Jesus together.
Later, under a moonlit sky I strolled down to the beach, it was windy probably close to 40 degrees, deserted and breathtaking in the moonlight. The ocean roared and I bid farewell to a place I have enjoyed and feel the nearness of my Creator. Signing off....until next time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Those who Travel tend to travel more
This past Friday my children and I traveled to Washington DC about a 3 1/2 hour drive from VA Beach 8 days before moving back to southwest Florida. Some may think I am crazy and perhaps I am but making the trip was worth it. Our destination the National Museum of American history for The Price of Freedom Americans at war exhibit. War is a part of our life, not one that many of us like but this is a reality that I hope never becomes a TV show. Our military history is significant and worth learning about the conflicts, the impacts and of course, the cost.
This was a very sobering display of military history. There were not a lot of children. (at the entrance there was an advisory concerning the graphics of some displays) It was pretty quiet as so many were reflecting and taking things into their hearts and minds. I was moved on a number of occasions.

Our country was birthed through the pains of war. The first part of the exhibit had a combination of film, statutes and actual muskets among other things for the Battle of Lexington. I believe the film was from the Lexington Concord reenactments which I had been to as a kid with my Dad and siblings. (I grew up in the neighboring city of Woburn) Michael was fixed upon this scene intently and I intently upon him from a short distance. Our boy has talked about serving in the military. Some may think we ought to discourage him but I want Michael to be able to follow his heart and his Lord. I was praying that he would see the high cost that so many pay to serve in such a way.

Shortly after entering the Civil War section there is a circular exhibit with a great big picture of Lincoln (if you would like to see our pictures online send me an email and I will send you a link) and next to it his Gettysburg address. (Grace has always loved our 16th president, if you want to know anything about Lincoln ask her) Grace read it aloud to me at my request. Those powerful words say to me, there are some things worth fighting for and dying for...... it was a most tremendous loss of life but those veterans were honored.

Katie brought me to the Medal of Honor exhibit. "Mum," she said, "there has only ever been one woman to receive the medal of honor." We read about Dr. Mary Edwards Walker who during the Civil War was a nurse and surgeon. Her Medal was rescinded but she refused to give it back. It was however reinstated in 1977.

Vietnam, the war that I still don't understand brought me to tears. I have a friend back in Marlborough who is still suffering from his tour of duty over 30 years ago. Some of the photos showed me why the pain runs deep and wounds have a hard time healing. There were items that were selected from thousands of personal affects that have been left at The Wall of the Vietnam Memorial over the years. The most moving part of this was the video of a nurse who rescued an abandoned Vietnamese baby girl who ended up being adopted by an American couple and were recently reunited. The nurse has a classic Boston accent and it made me miss home and she also had a heart (haht) of gold. She remarked that this little girl was one of the good things that came out of one of the most horrendous wars.

Each major conflicted that the USA has been involved in was shown in this exhibit. Steel columns from the 17th floor of the World Trade Center from 9/11, a laptop, ID tags and a cell phone from an embedded newsman from NBC who road with a crew in Iraqi Freedom. Nothing was omitted. There is a time for war and a time for peace. There are different reasons for wars. The war on terror that we are in now is not easy to define or understand. The question is are we justified?
Signing off from VA Beach. The next time I write will probably be either on the road or from FL.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Remaining Teachable
Dan and I had a rare day of going to a museum with just Michael. Today's visit was to Naticus, The Naval and Maritime Museum in Norfolk VA. It was a fun educational day for us all. The traveling exhibit right now is Playing with Time. One of the features was how things grow over time. When Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980 nearly 200 miles of the surrounding landscape was changed forever. In the exhibit they show 9 years of growth in a high speed 42 second film. "The first plants to emerge from the ruins were the pioneers. These plants can grow under harsh conditions. They set the stage for other plants by providing shade, containing moisture and converting raw material into nutrients." Initially, I thought about those radical homeschoolers who started in the late 70's and early 80's. They really set the stage for the rest of us. Opening the way for us to choose a better way of life for our family (if you know me than you know how bias I am :-). The thought of this is still ruminating in my thoughts.

Following up on the Home Education theme. Another exhibit demonstrated to us one of the ways our brain works. We have what is called persistence of vision. "Our brains are really good at filling in any gaps." The experiment to test this persistence of vision actually shows how the brain fills in the gaps through our vision. It was fascinating. Of course my brain thought of the parents who are educating their children at home who are worried about leaving gaps in their children's education. If our brain can fill the gaps for our vision by design, don't you trust that the Lord will fill in the gaps that may be in our children's education? I am trusting in Him!!

Lastly, the three of us went to an interactive presentation where we got to be a part of a design team for building battleship X. We had to vote on certain aspects of the design of the ship. Michael took a thoughtful approach to the matter. He is a very logical thinker. To say the least he was a slightly astonished by the other kids in the room who are probably his age who were fooling around, voting joinly with their friends (when it was suppose to be an anonymous vote), and just not respecting the process. These group of kids were not very respectful and Michael notices.
To our delight Michael was thrilled to have his Mum and Dad all to himself. Exploring, learning, laughing and having sweet fellowship together. We pray that God will fill in the gaps where we falter in our parenting. Yes, we are very aware of our need for God's grace in this area of our lives. Thanks for letting me continue to cherish this day with our youngest who is in the later half of his 12th year of life and on the verge of entering the teen years.

May my heart and mind remain teachable. CM

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Still Rockin' On
Steve Tyler singing the National Athem for the Boston Red Sox. He is still rockin' on and I believe he may even be old enough to be my father, if not him at least Mick Jagger is. Well, last night I found myself rockin' on at The NorVa ( with Grace. It was suppose to be with K too but she got sick so it was just Grace and me. Headlining for the evening Switchfoot. The band from San Diego CA who rock with meaning. The bands who opened for them definitely had lead singers who were Steve Tyler wannabe's. We tolerated them.

The NorVa has a 1500 person capacity, the majority of which is a dance floor that allows the kids to pack in like sardines. Grace wanted to be a sardine and I did not. We split up. Grace found some fellow Switchfoot lovers simply by being packed in, actually it was the kids who we sold our extra ticket to - go figure. I was glad that I gave them a deal which simply means I made my money back. I was not out to make money off a teenager. I went upstairs where they had tables and barstools where the majority of parent-loving-teenagers were hanging out. There were 2 ladies sitting at a table with 2 extra barstools. I said May I join you? They said sure. Kim and Sharon were wonderful company and they were there with their kids aka sardines.
As some of you know I already saw Switchfoot this year in West Palm Beach. I had no desire to go but I wanted K to be able to go with her sister. It just didn't work out that way. The Lord helped me to adjust my attitude and both Grace and I had a good time. Switchfoot needs our prayers. They have made a place for themselves in this world now let's pray that the world does not make a place in them, that these guys would maintain their integrity and stick to their message. Life is hard, and in their own words, "in a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt, I was trying so hard to fit in til I found out - I don't belong here - it is The Beautiful Letdown" They ask the hard questions, "are you who you want to be?" "What's it gonna take to slow us down, to let the silence spin us around?" Their declarations of hope, "We want more than this world has to offer." "I want more than just okay." "Life is more than hundred dollar bills." "Life is more than money. Time was never money." "One salvation"
Experiencing life along side my kids but mostly experiencing life. CM
Part II
After I initially put up this post I started talking to Grace about what was going on upstairs. There were moms resting their heads in their hands, others yawning and one of my compadres noting that it was after her bed time and Switchfoot had not even come on yet. We laughed about back in the day bc (before children) when 10 pm was early, the night was still young. The great thing is that there are other parents out there that want to be there for their children.

Another great thing was Grace being sure of who she is in Christ. I know that she was bummed about K not being able to go but it didn't stop her from going. It was OK that it was the 2 of us and it was OK that we both split up. We made friends for a night of enjoyment. What a testimony of forgetting about ourselves and just being in the moment. God is so good, growing us up in the places we wouldn't think of planting ourselves.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Less Boxes, more maps
Didn't I just empty these boxes? It seems that way our time here in VA is drawing to a close and today I started packing. We will definitely have less boxes this time, as the pruning process continues in our lives. Traveling can be an art form and it is really a much more with less. Learning to live with less things is a good lesson for us.

For right now we are heading back to FL which actually doesn't require more maps at this time since we are returning to where we were last winter. More maps will be needed once we leave FL for a destination yet unknown. We have somewhat of a welcoming committee of friends and relatives who will make us feel at home once we arrive. Florida has become somewhat a home away from home. Hopefully we will get some more visitors in FL this year.

Maybe I will get another box packed before the evening is over. CM

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Someone is always watching us
Grace and I just returned from a Communicators for Christ (CFC) in Indiana. CFC has 2 websites and check them out. This trip was to prepare and inspire Grace for being a part of a speech and debate club in FL. Mission accomplished and much more.
CFC says you must communicate well and that you can. All of us communicate something. As Christians we have a beautiful message to communicate and we want to be able to do it effectively. No matter where we go, no matter what we are doing or saying someone is watching us. When we identify ourselves as Christians someone is watching to see what message we are sending. Let's be willing to grow in our communication skills as witnesses of the Living God.
.....much more. This past week with Grace was a building block in our future friendship. ( Dan and I do see ourselves becoming friends with our children as they grow and mature. ) Our time together was precious. Having an extended time with just one of my children is a rare thing and we made the most of it.
We walked into a crowd of friends we had yet to meet. More than friends, these people are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Grace and I were welcomed and accepted. It was fun being from MA via VA Beach and meeting people from California, Louisiana and Michigan on the border of KY and IN on the IN side. There is a quality about these people that I want for my children. The Lord is continuing to prepare and equip us as we continue to journey on the pilgrim highway.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Always holding on to Hope
Last night I showed my age and I couldn't stand to stay up and watch the Yankees Red Sox game. I think I retired sometime in the 8th inning. In the 4th inning Michael said "Mom this game is going to go into extra innings." At some point I awoke to the sound of 2 of my 3 children cheering. I thought RedSox did something right....I resisted the temptation to get up and find out what was happening.
Why did I go to bed? I am tired of heartache....I can't take it anymore. 2003 ouch, 1986 wince, 1975 so close.......the heartaches before that are probably before my time or at a time that I was too little to care. The temptation to want to read Stephen King's Novel Faithful is great. Is it even out yet?
I don't think I have lost my grit (Hearty New Englandah that I am). Fiercely, we hold on to hope in most situations. The Spirit of RedSox Nation is one of perseverance and determination. These are good qualities. We press on.....sometimes we forget to be gracious. The thing is to be firm and unrelenting while minding your manners, while caring for others, and remembering that Yankees' fans are people too. One of my favorite people in the whole world is a Yankees' fan(my beautiful redheaded daughter). We can be fans of different teams without being rude. In our home we are The Mullaneys first and family is first. This is a great lesson that hopefully will carry into other areas in my children's lives. When we find ourselves in circumstances with our backs up against the wall we still hold on to hope because we know the One who holds the future.
Life is a lot like being a RedSox fan. There are ups and downs but you keep your chin up. You don't give up. We never stop reaching to be the best. This is how life is to be lived. If you get knocked down, you don't just lie there, you get back up. You look ahead, forgetting what is behind, we press on to the goal. For the Sox that is the World championship, for us as warriors of the Most High, King of Kings it is life lived to the fullest knowing one day we will be with Him. That being said, I will now rise to the challenge of watching game 5 to the very end.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Sometimes we need to be reminded about where it is we are going. Life is a journey and none of us really know where it will lead. There are bends and twists down the road that we don’t see but the One who leads sees the beginning from the end. We can trust the One we follow. I don’t recall if I shared this on my blog.
The Lord gave us two messages from the scripture. The first is from Psalm 84.

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

The other is from Jeremiah 35
"We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: 'Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine. 7 Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.'
17 "Therefore, this is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.' “18 Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Recabites, "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.' 19 Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.' "

At times we do not understand why we are doing what we are doing but we do believe we were called for a time to be traveling. This is an act of obedience. It is both exciting and knee-knocking. Living in different places, not owning any property but in a sense always having a place to rest our heads. Some have even ventured to say that the world is our oyster.
I needed to remember where my strength comes from and whose word it is to obey. Thanks for reading. CM from VA Beach

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Knock a little louder with presidential authority
Today we were true participants in the political process. We went door to door with some literature to inform voters of where President Bush and Sen. Kerry on National Defense, Taxes and Health Care. The front of the hand out said "Virginia is Bush Country." Dan and I believe that our President is the man to support to continue to lead our country. Dan admires Mr. Bush's character and his values. I agree with the President on the fact that if we want to remain the freest nation in the world then we need to maintain our sovereignty as a nation. His opponent on the other hand wants to be buddy buddy with everyone around the world. It is one thing to have allies but quite another to trade our security for a world-wide likeable reputation.

It is a good feeling learning and doing with our children as more Americans ought to do. Yes, we are voting with our absentee ballots. There is definitely work involved. Anyone who may be making their decision based on a movie or sound bites may want to check out their facts at Those of you who are voting I hope you will make an informed decision as we elect the next President of the United States, the highest office of this land.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

In the child rearing years there is not a lot of time for leisure but I believe it is healthy for us to make the time for it at least on a semi-regular basis. Noah Webster 1828 dictionary gives this for its second definition of "leisure" "convenience of time."
Golf is considered to be a leisure activity. Yesterday, Dan and I took the time to participate in a golf tournament to benefit Patrick Henry College ( located in Northern Virginia. It is a school started by Michael Farris one of the modern-day defenders of home education. We had an opportunity to support an institution that could be a part of our future or at least the future of one of our children.
The day however was not all leisurely because we decided to make it a one day thing (we missed it by about 5 hrs. Our day started at 5 am and ended right before midnight.) We drove to the northern part of the state west of DC where both the school and the golf club are located. It was worth it. We had a gorgeous day!! Not a cloud in the sky and about 73 degrees out. We were paired with a couple of hackers so we didn't place as far as a score went but we did enjoy playing, being together, being outdoors. (I also beat out 11 other ladies for the longest drive contest - I guess I still maintain that competitive spirit in some arenas)
It was how we decided to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary(which was last Friday). I am just way to young to be married that long, which is what I will probably be saying for my 20th, 25th and even my 30th God-willing. From VB. Signing off.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Time marches on
We haven't been too busy and I guess that is probably why I haven't blogged much lately. I am back to equipping kids, enjoying the beach, meeting up with people and praying for our Floridan friends and relatives.
This past weekend. Grace and I went to a party at a friend's beach house. I was the oldest and Grace was the youngest the rest were in their mid 20's and most of them are law students. We were a part of the earlier quiter crowd (everyone stop laughing now). The party was really starting to wind up just as we were leaving. It was good to be there with Grace and meet some of our friend Emily's friends.
Grace also had a date with her dad. They went to hear Tom Brokaw speak at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Grace would have loved to have Uncle Paul Dalis along with them.

I am currently reading out loud Prince Caspian book 4 of the Chronicles of Narnia to Michael. I read the whole set out loud a number of years ago. Michael has been reading them to himself but he asked if I would read this story aloud, gladly I am. The girls ease drop on occasion but don't tell anyone. We invited them to join us but they declined.

Usually we memorize some scripture together but this time we decided to memorize the Prayer of St. Francis of Assi. Since writing it helps us to learn I had the kids write it in their journals and I thought that I would type it here.
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love
That where there is wrong, I may bring the
spirit of forgiveness
That where there is discord, I may bring
That where there is error, I may bring truth
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith
That where there is despair, I may bring hope
That where there is shadows, I may bring light
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather
To comfort than to be comforted
To understand, than to be understood
To love, than to be loved.
It is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Letting another Home Educator speak for me
(As published in The Washington Times earlier this month)

The Washington Times
September 3, 2004
Washington Times Op-ed — Deregulation Places Trust In Parents
by J. Michael SmithHSLDA President
Every four years, we elect a president. Education is an issue the candidates must address because it affects so many people. With about 50 million children of compulsory attendance age (generally between the ages of 6 and 16 or 18, depending on the state), this represents a very large percentage of the population that is interested in kindergarten-through-12th-grade education.
At least 85 percent of all school-age children are being educated in public schools. Not only are parents interested in seeing that their children receive quality education, but all citizens have a vested interest in education.
One of the major reasons that education has received so much attention in past elections and in this election is because a significant percentage of our children are receiving less-than-high-quality educations, resulting in functional illiteracy.
This is happening despite the fact that the government is spending more money on education than ever before. When federal and state dollars are combined, public schools are receiving, on average, $9,000 per child annually, according to the Heritage Foundation. Many citizens are beginning to say that more money is not the answer.
As academic performance of public schools continues to spiral down, a segment of the education population has been producing high academic performance - the homeschool movement.
For more than 20 years, homeschooled children who have taken standardized achievement tests have scored 20 to 30 percentile points above the national average. Last month, ACT Inc., which produces the ACT college entrance exam, released figures showing that the average homeschooler scored 22.6, compared with the national average of 20.9.
This is happening without any government support. Homeschool parents have said "no" to government schools, believing that they can do a better job themselves. So far, the results indicate clearly that they can.
Despite this success, some, generally in the public school establishment, still are calling for more regulation of home education. This stems from the skepticism that parents could be successful when they haven't been professionally trained. In other words, they are not certified by the state.
Homeschoolers respond that not one scientific survey supports the need for teacher certification for someone to be able teach children, especially in a tutorial setting. There is no evidence to support the assumption that obtaining a teaching certificate guarantees teaching success.
Virtually all teachers in public schools must be certified. Yet the overall academic results of public schools in America are unsatisfactory by objective standards.
Another reason advanced for more regulation of home educators is their lack of accountability. Those seeking regulation would argue that homeschool programs need to abide by a specific day and hour calendar, submit to curriculum approval, show that teachers have some minimum educational requirement and undergo measurable evaluations on a regular basis.
The Home School Legal Defense Association has resisted these efforts because we know that the success of home education is the ability to individualize education. In other words, the homeschool parent can take an education program and mold it to his or her child. This is in the child's best interest. On the other hand, the child in the classroom must be molded to the education program being offered.
You cannot compare the results of an education received in a tutorial setting with those of classroom learning. This is what is meant by the slogan we hear many times from homeschoolers: "Don't take the classroom into your homeschool program."
This slogan is powerful. It simply means that you have the freedom to explore all kinds of creative ways to teach your child. Governmental attempts to standardize home education will destroy the genius behind home education and will detrimentally affect the academic achievement of home educators.
In addition, home educators can demonstrate that it is not necessary to regulate them. Every state has a different way of addressing homeschooling. Some states, such as New York and Pennsylvania, overly regulate home education. Others, such as Idaho, Texas, Illinois and Indiana, don't even require homeschooling parents to initiate contact with the state.
According to research done by the National Home Education Research Institute with thousands of homeschool students across the nation in both low and high regulation states, there is no appreciable difference in the results of nationally standardized achievement tests between those categories of students.
What this proves is that you can trust homeschooling parents to provide a quality education that meets the individual needs of their children. The next logical step is to deregulate homeschooling in states such as New York and Pennsylvania to save taxpayer dollars spent on bureaucrats' interaction with home educators.
Deregulation continues to be one of our goals at HSLDA. We know you can trust homeschool parents to do an outstanding job of educating their children without the "help" of the government.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

After reading quietly for the last 45 minutes to themselves Katie and Michael are going out for some much needed P.E. I have had a few of interesting conversations recently about educating children at home. I need to remember that our experience at home in Massachusetts and on the road since March of 2003 is our experience and no one can really refute it.

Each family is unique and each family has decisions to make about each child. Some families operate in the same way some school systems operate - this is how we do things each child is treated the same, each is given equal opportunities to the resources available. Some people try to live life that way. They need to have everything be equal, fair and right and they do that with absolutely no regard to the individual. Each of our children are fashion as a one of a kind. Dan and I are doing our best to be students of these young people who are each wiggling out of childhood into young adulthood. Some decisions are not easy to make but we are doing our best to seek wisdom and counsel. Laws and justice require more than just knowledge to execute effectively they also requires wisdom in order for a balanced judgment to occur.
So there you have it from the Beach.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Ivan the Terrible
As many of you know we had the wonderful experience of living in Southwest, Florida this past winter. We have both family and friends there. Please pray for all the Floridians and that Ivan will be reduced before it reaches Florida.
When you get to know and love people these disasters aren't just some news story, they become more personal.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon
Lenoure Mullaney due to an injury was unable to run the 1/2 marathon this year but she was able to bring a friend, Sharon to compete and be her cheerleader. Today, Sharon ran the RnR 1/2 marathon in VA Beach. We were so happy for her that she finished, strong and that we were here to be her host and provide comforting hospitality. It is a pure 1/2 13.1 miles. It was a good day for running, slightly overcast and not too hot. (see for more info) This was a case of everyone who crossed the finish line is a winner. It also made me think of the proverb, "finishing is better than starting." Hopefully, my kids were thinking of that too.

Sharon is a very interesting woman who was born to American parents, raised by them in the UK, has gone to school in Switzerland and in DC and lived on a kabotz in Israel in her early 20's. This is part of my children's education as we meet new people and they share their experiences with us.
Lenoure is Dan's oldest niece and is also a person who has had international experiences. She lived in Togo (a west African country) as a peacecorp volunteer for 2 years. In high school and college Lenoure lived in France. Currently, she is living in the DC area.
Since, we were in the presence of world travelers we played a game of Geo Bee Challenge by National Geographic. Grace won, Lenoure and Sharon held there own. I am so glad they came to visit us this weekend. Our time spent with these ladies has enriched our lives. We couldn't seem to bring the world to us so we are going to the world and making wonderful discoveries in Our Father's World.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Nauticus with Michael
Yesterday, the Naval Museum, Nauticus celebrated their 25th birthday. Michael and I went down to Norfolk to celebrate. We enjoyed part of our afternoon there and of course we boarded the USS Wisconsin which is a ship in reserves (so she still could be deployed). It is both scary and exciting to me to be here with Michael for a second time (both of us have been 3 times all together - we are planning to return with Dan who has never been before we continue on to FL) He is very interested in the Military. Uncle Paul Dalis (Michael's grand uncle) is a WWII Vet and calls him Capt. Michael. Uncle Paul would like to live to see Michael go to West Point. It will be interesting to see if Michael does serve our country in the Military.
It is nice to be back in Hampton Roads and we are now moved into our apartment.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Virginia Beach, VA 2004
The unpacking is almost finished after a very long week. Tuesday, we did get into our apartment and I won't even bother to go into the rest of our glitches......anyone out there watch the Olympic hurdles?....that was the Mullaneys just after we thought we had got over the last hurdle another one was in our path. (No one said that this traveling business was going to
be easy :-)
All 5 of us really like VB. We have already seen a couple of friends that we made the last time we were here. Who knows? perhaps we may end up back here. It is good to be here and Dan is working days and coming home with more humorous stories from Maryview Hospital. Time will fly here so I best get to bed. Perhaps I will make sunrise down at the Oceanfront tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The James Madison Hotel
a Clarion Hotel in Norfolk, VA
Again we have yet to find any routine in our travels - it is always an adventure. We arrived in Norfolk at 9:30pm Friday (August 20th) night. Thursday afternoon we found out that our apartment would not be ready until Tuesday. Oops!
Sine we were all set to roll out of Tilghman for Friday - RN Network would be putting us up in a hotel from Fri - Tues.
Our housing person mistakenly booked us at a place that didn't allow pets. So at 945pm we started making phone calls. God seems to always be upgrading us to compensate for our "troubles." (I put that in quotes because I know that life usually doesn't go as planned and compared to some troubles, our are just mere inconveniences.) At 1130pm we checked in and hit the hay.
We are staying at The James Madison in historic downtown Norfolk. Originally built in 1906 as The Lynnhaven Hotel, Norfolk's first high-rise with a "lift." It is a little tight in the room but we will, as usual, make the best of it. (Katie came across a great quote, "Flexible people never get bent out of shape.") Michael camps out on the floor and we generally are able to manage our living quarters with a big dose of humor.
I must say that I was a little bummed about having to go to a hotel this time since we only had just over 200 miles to travel. Today, is Katie's 13th birthday and we got another upgrade this afternoon being moved into an even bigger room with 2 w.c. (bathrooms ie water closets) and not tripping over the dog and one another constantly. Thank God for these blessings.
Yesterday, we did have the opportunity to drop off our boxes to our new apartment and we look forward to getting in on Tuesday. Our children are truly fellow pilgrims.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Leaving Our Mark
Maryland like other places we live do things within the county. Talbot County is the one we have been living in for the last 3 months. Like each place we have gone, we search out the area for the Library. Talbot Free Library has 3 branches one on Tilghman Island, one in Easton and one in St. Michaels.
St. Michaels' library has been temporarily housed at the old fire station down by the harbor. The friends of the library were helping raise funds for the new building by having patrons be able to buy bricks to be laid in the courtyard. At first we were thinking about doing just one big brick for our family. Then Dan and I got to thinking about doing a brick for each of the kids and not telling them. The library is nearly finished and the construction guys let us bring the kids onto the site today. We will be leaving before the grand opening at the end of the month. So, our children have a permanent mark left here. Each of their bricks have their name, the chapter and verse of the scripture we use for each of their blessings and the words "fellow pilgrim." It was something fun to do, surprise the kids with and at the same time give to the community. Hopefully we have left the mark of Christ in this place as well upon the people we have encountered here.
Moving on
Just a few odds and ends to pack up. Most of the cleaning done. Mullaneys will be pulling out of Tilghman, Maryland on Friday. The children have been more and more helpful with each move. Right now they are next door at Maria and Kevin's taking a much needed break in the pool.
Yesterday, I had a great visit with Maria. It was just what the doctor ordered. I believe that our conversation was a divine appointment and it is so helpful when people are just straight forward and honest about life. I am just sorry that I didn't spend more time with Maria. She is a real sweetheart. A new friendship begun and we will stay in touch. Time to chill out and get ready for bed. Good night.

Monday, August 16, 2004

On August 11th I wrote the following: (I realized that what we experienced is practically nothing to what our friends and relatives in southwest FL are experiencing now)
I am sitting here in the dark. It is Grace's 15th birthday and we had one doozie of a storm that has left us without power. My laptop has a battery so I am using it. Everyone including Dan has gone to bed. The children are bunking out in Grace's room. We will be leaving here in just over a week. The packing is coming along.
'we just returned from York, PA where we visited with my cousins, aunt and uncle. It was good to be with them. We really did enjoy fun, food and fellowship and fireworks. Shelley even had fireworks for us the first night we were there. Aren't we special?!!
I think I will hit the hay too. I will write more later after changing my address with different folks and packing some more oh, and finishing the birthday shopping for Katie.
BTW I am not old enough to have a 15 year old, right?
Dan celebrated his 41st bday in PA, today Grace and Katie will be on the 22nd.

Monday, August 02, 2004

The City of Brotherly love!! Well, I failed to mention that when my mum was here, Dan and I went to Philadelphia for a couple of days. As we approached I was like a little kid (only behind the wheel - Dan hates to drive in the city and he is not fond of being a passenger either), the sun was setting as we neared the Ben Franklin Bridge with the cityscape in the background made my heart pound with excitement. I was ooing and ahhing and Dan was saying will you please pay attention to where you are going. It was so good to be in a city. There is a certain humm to a city. It was very relaxing. Nice to just be together. While we were away, the children took very good care of Nana.
We did visit the historic district which now is equipped with its post 9/11 security. I really look forward to taking the children there some day.
Time to get packing.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Mornings with Lady (our Miniture Schnauzer)
Usually, I am the first one up so since we have been on this adventure I take the dog out for a walk which we both enjoy.  Here in Tilghman there is a park next to Knapps Narrows Marina.  I imagine that at one point this park was beautiful.  The only upkeep done is mowing the grass.  It use to have a majestic view of The Bay at one point.  The back of the park has a deck type structure, an overlook on top of a hill but the weeds and such have grown up to such a point that you can not see much of the Bay. 
This has become our regular spot.  There are a few other dog owners that have made it their regular spot too.  I only run into them when I get up or get out late.  Early in the AM it is just Lady and me.  The other things that crabs my attention are the boats that are dry docked at the Marina.  My favorite name of a sailboat is "Panic Knot."  My imagination takes flight, the captain of this vessel is perhaps an Englishman who is calm and stern, in the midst of high winds he may cry out to his passengers, "Panic Knot, I am at the helm and I have everything in control." At the very moment that he says the word "control" he is covered by the wave that has swept over the deck.   Anyway, I let you in to one of my morning musings. 
I do hope that I get to go back out on the Bay in one of the vessels around here before we pack up to go.  Yes, it is almost time to go....we are doing a short stop here (we are headed south...more on that later.) After we do FL from Nov. to May we will be doing shorter assignments hoping to get to see more of this great land together with our children, while they are still children. 
Have a wonderful day unless you have other plans.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

"Where would I find cocoa?" 
This question and ones similar to that are upon my lips to the grocer in whatever town I find myself on any given day.  One of the challenges of traveling is learning the new grocery store.  I do my best to remain teachable and I do enjoy learning how to get around town find the short cuts and local favorites but what aisle is the tuna in...... (I want to know but I don't want to have to learn) 
The other day I went shopping and I was saying to myself, why am I dreading going to the grocery store?  It came to me as I was driving in the truck by takes me twice as long to shop because I am still learning where things are.  So, if this is my biggest challenge as a traveler than I will be doing great, don't you think?  And I will not starve my family . . . maybe I need to take one of the kids with me in the next place we move to so we can go for a trial run the first time, just get acquainted with the store and perhaps picking up a thing or two and map out the store.   
This is real life.....and no I don't want my own reality show.  Living it is enough for me.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Oh Captain my Captain!!!
Skipjack Rebecca with Capt Wade Murphy on Tuesday 13th of July, 2004   Michael started to hoist the sail but it soon became quite a work, a man joined him and moments later I found my hands upon the ropes.  It was a fine day for a sail.  My mother and Katie were among those enjoying the history/science lesson being giving by Capt. Wade while Mr. Dick took the wheel.  Soon we were sailing along.  Learning about Osprey and the Coastguard, the eco system of the Bay and the oyster crisis, global warming (sic) and the depopulation of the famous blue crab.....we had no idea that this waterman wanted us to know as much as he could tell us about what he knew concerning this body of water and the life in it within 2 hours.  I think he didn't talk for the last 10 minutes.  Michael took the wheel for the last leg of our journey.  Capt Wade was going to let him dock but since Michael had no experience he asked the captain to take over the wheel.  It was a relaxing trip and I hope we get to go out on the water again before we leave this place.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Annapolis MD part II
My mum came to visit.  Arriving on Saturday July 10, 2004 I failed to remember that I was living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the summer time.  Well, there was a 10 mile back up at the Bay Bridge to get home.  So we took a detour to Annapolis for lunch.  It was Katie, my Mum and me.  Since, there is really no rush on the ES, there was no rush to get over the bridge.  We dined at the Middleton Tavern and enjoyed some of Maryland's famous blue crabs.   Then it was back to the Kinte-Haley Memorial.  My mother appreciated this historic detour and once we got back on the road the traffic was much less congested.  Some of our best trips are the ones that our not planned and this was one of them.  

"Behold the only thing Greater than yourself!" Omoro Kinte

Do you remember the miniseries, ROOTS on TV in the 70's? .....I guess there is still controversy concerning this film today. Alex Haley the author of Roots died in 1992 and in 2002 the Kunta Kinte/ Alex Haley Memorial was dedicated in Annapolis MD at the city dock.

About a month ago we watched ROOTS with the kids. It is not easy to watch but it is a part of our history. This slavery business shows us how life has never been perfect and never will be.  Does not every nation and culture have things that they are not proud of and as human beings there are things in our own past that we are not proud of?  Some of us as individuals have things that are quite overt, no doubts.  Most of us have the more concealed faults of the higher nature, those are what Henry Drummond calls the "sin against Love may seem a hundred times more base"  than drunkenness, s-xual immorality and murder.  Nevertheless it is a part of our history.   We are molded and shaped by our experiences both the good and bad. 
Hopefully, we learn from our own mistakes but we are to also learn from the mistakes of others.  The old saying goes, "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  The only things that I know about public education are a few facts from relatives and also from reading books by John Taylor Gatto (former public school faculty member in NYC, 30 years and teacher of the year).  What I have heard is that real documents, real books and the truth are NOT included in the curriculum.  History is rich, dramatic and gut wrenching at times.   
Kunta Kinte was a proud African who never lost sight of where he came from or who he was.  Why did he run?  Freedom was taken from him and he would not go down without a fight.  He was a free man in Africa and he remained free in his heart and his spirit.  He was able to live above his circumstances and he past on his heritage to his child and an oral history had begun. 
To Annapolis we went.  After a quick stop at the Visitors' Center where we ran into one of Dan's co-worker from Westborough State, we headed over to the oldest state house in the Union.  The skies opened up on us as we approached the building, which way do we go?  We ended up at the locked back door and it became torrential.  We huddled under the porch together.....after Michael and Katie got soaked.  As it let up we ran to the other side and they let us in even with our 2 aqueous adventurers.  Squeaking and dripping on the marble floor we took in the history, art and architecture of this historic building.   
Then we made our way down to the dock.  It was a somber occasion.  A story of pain, perseverance and fruit of not just one man's work but of thousands of men, women and children who endured passage to this country in a very inhuman way. 
What an opportunity........briefly the Kunta Kinte - Alex Haley Memorial starts at the Compass reminding us to remember where we come from, then to the statute of Alex and 3 children to remind us to tell our personal history to our own children as well as others and lastly The Story Wall which is to be a place of healing.  There are 10 sculpted-bronze plaques with words and images from Haley's Roots at the Story Wall.   (

I loved the feel of this city and just getting to places where we can learn and grow as a family.  The world is truly our classroom and experience is the more prolific teacher.     

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Independence, Freedom, American
For 10 years Karen Mullaney and I celebrated our nation's birthday together with our kids. Usually Dan and Jimbo were working so we would go to Grandpa Mullaney's on Mellen St. Needham for breakfast, then the parade and flea market. It was a tradition ...we stopped doing after Grandpa sold his house...our last 4th of July in Massachusetts we went to Susie and Grandpa's for dinner followed by the Needham fireworks with Karen, Jimbo, Billy, Kelly and all the kids. It was good to be with them again on the fourth not knowing it would be perhaps our last in MA.....Last year we were on Virginia Beach, it was very patriotic...............this year we went to Easton which is one of the 8 best small towns in USA. We were thinking small town America, small fireworks NOT! It was one of the best fireworks we have ever witnessed. The grand finale last 20 minutes. We went in the evening, there was live music with the Vogues ( they played oldies mostly from the 50's, 60's and 70's (which my kids remind me these are the old oldies). They were excellent but there final song was from the 21st century, with God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood. Grace turned to me and said, this is the only country song I like....we started singing together and with many others we stood up to sing. This song was written to remember those who died on September 11, 2001 and those who would go on to fight in the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq and now we can also remember all those who gave there lives from the Revolutionary War onward....Grace and I locked arms singing this song....the police didn't stop us, in fact if you looked closely you could see the tear glissoning in his eye in the twilight as he remembered those NYC police officers who died that day in fact, he was singing along with us.
Grace and I listened to focus on the family yesterday where they were talking about Americans who have failed to registered to vote and even some of those who are registered fail to vote and that is to our societies detriment. Some people wanting to 'delete' God from the Pledge of allegiance....whether we like it or not our country was founded by majority of God reliant men. Who knew that without the hand of Providence, they were doomed to remain colonists under British rule.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." AND "It must be felt that there is no security but in the nation's humble acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence."

We not only have the right but also the responsibility to participate in the process of our representative government. It is our failure to act that has gotten us where we are today. The program talked about the failure of the churches and their pastors to encourage us to be salt and light in this world. (by the way, I am a registered voter in FL and I will be voting via an absentee ballot)
I will not forget this fourth of July in smalltown America 2004. Nor will I forget that we are free to celebrate being America, anywhere in the USA. Traveling with our children, meeting watermen and eating blue crab on the Easternshore of Maryland. We are living in unsettling times and we are appreciating the freedom we still have.....

Sunday, June 20, 2004

While our dear Lenoure was visiting with us, she said can we do a puzzle together. Well, of course. We chose a puzzle that we had started with Lenoure last year during hurricane Isabel. We didn't get very far, it is one of those puzzles that is shaped. It was too hard by candle light. A shaped puzzle is more life like.....most of life does not have sharp angled edges, clean and easy to see. Most of us don't see clearly what our life will look like at the end of 2004. What shape it may take. Our project "Lighthouses of USA." Our border is in the shape of a lighthouse.

It is human nature to want to have some semblance of control over our lives. We do not know where we are going come late August as we didn't know we would be in Tilghman until 2 days before we left Florida. Sure we can have plans, make them and prepare for them. Are we ready to adjust those plans, change them or just out and out do away with them? Its funny....the thought occurred to me, no one really knows for sure where they will be - come the end of August. We may have an idea but no one really knows for sure. (it has been said, "there are only 2 things in life that are guaranteed death and taxes"....I would add a third: joy, the joy of living if you are not careful) Just like we did not know if we would finish the puzzle this time.
We started the puzzle late Friday night, it was really just a start. On Saturday we started on it in the late morning then we took a break returning to it later in the afternoon. Each of us looking at it from different positions, to begin the work we started sorting out the pieces. Most of us start strictly by looking at the picture on the box. Others of us use the shape of the pieces along with the colors, others step back and take a look from a distance and offer to be of assistance to the other puzzlers, taking part in a more consulting way. There are those who give up easily and move on to other things. A few become very territorial, "I was working on this, this is MY lighthouse" They are not afraid to take on a place and be responsible for one section. These are also the same ones who are very neighborly, coming across a piece of someone else's "shore" or "window" and hand it over, saying "is this a part of yours?" More than half way through we become hunters, our mission is looking more and more like a picture and less like a puzzle. There are pieces we need to complete it. Sometimes if you stop hunting for a piece and just sit back, it almost seems to present itself without any effort on our part. This is what life is like, sometimes we must hunt without finding and have acceptance that it has not been found and trusting that it will come to us in due time. Like the old wise man said, 'for everything there is a season.' Some puzzlers will see it through to the end...everybody's work counts toward the completion. We pressed on and encourage one another and before we knew it we were finished before supper. It was a family effort. In life we need one another. We need people cheering us on, offering help, finding a piece that fits in our path and offering it to us. We need to find something to work on and work hard at it and see it through to the end. If it is not a fit for us we need to recognize that too and have the courage to move on.
These are just some reflecting thoughts....I hope they are not too puzzling ;-)
Claws, bellies and pokers
Yesterday we went to the Seafood Festival on "the Island" as the locals call it. Dan was working so it was Lenoure, the kids and me. Lenoure Mullaney is visiting us for the weekend. The kids biked over and since Lenoure has a bum foot at this time we drove over. The festival is to support the volunteer fire department of Tilghman.
Since I have been in Maryland nearly a month, it was about time I tried some Blue Crabs. I was told that if you like lobster you will like crabs. It has also been said, that if you grew up on lobster you will like lobster better than crabs and vise-versa. They were delicious but I am still partial to the larger crustacean.
Downhome kinda function...there was no fightin for a parking space, no pushin in line, everyone being helpful, plenty of crabs to go around. I know I have already said this before but I can't help it...Tilghman is small town America. The simplicity of life is a beautiful thing. No one around here is in any hurry. They just take life as it comes. These folks know how to live the principle, don't sweat the small stuff (or the big stuff either, for that matter).
What did we do besides eat? Some of the people there (probably the majority) enjoyed a live honky tonk band named Bird Dog and the Road Kings. I don't care for country but they are a very tight band, fine musicians. Michael entered the crab racing contest...his crab went the wrong way. When Michael tried to encourage his crab, the crab snapped at Michael's hand. There was no bloodshed. The girls and I just kicked back and mingled with some of the locals. It was a really relaxing afternoon down by the Bay. Later on Michael was in the parade on his bike with his friend JT.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

City Girl in a Rural Town
Most everyone in Tilghman owns a pick-up and a dog, we are no exception but that is merely coincidental. There is no traffic here and this morning I woke to the sound of birds chirping outside my window. It wasn't long before I heard this distant sound of pick-ups getting on there way, some to church and others out crabbing and fishing.
This morning out on my constitutional (which I have neglected for the past 10 days) I walked down a lane, which was probably once a dirt road and now is gravelled. The first thing I spotted was a wild turkey and then a deer prancing through the field. I knew that this lane would lead me to a different view of the Bay. What a view! As I approached the top of a small hill, there overlooking the water was a small family cemetery, the Lomax family to be exact. It reminded me that there is a definite southern flavor to the easterner shore (or DelMar or DelMarva if you prefer). It looked to me that the most recent burial was in 1975. These people lived together and were buried together.
On my return home I spotted another deer, it may become as regular as seeing the Aninga in FL each morning. The state bird, the oriole also made his appearance this morning and I was grateful for the company of the creatures that God has created along with the morning sun, gentle breeze and the occasional pick-up passing by.
City Girl in a Rural Town
Most everyone in Tilghman owns a pick-up and a dog, we are no exception but that is merely coincidental. There is no traffic here and this morning I woke to the sound of birds chirping outside my window. It wasn't long before I heard this distant sound of pick-ups getting on there way, some to church and others out crabbing and fishing.
This morning out on my constitutional (which I have neglected for the past 10 days) I walked down a lane, which was probably once a dirt road and now is gravelled. The first thing I spotted was a wild turkey and then a deer prancing through the field. I knew that this lane would lead me to a different view of the Bay. What a view! As I approached the top of a small hill, there overlooking the water was a small family cemetery, the Lomax family to be exact. It reminded me that there is a definite southern flavor to the easterner shore (or DelMar or DelMarva if you prefer). It looked to me that the most recent burial was in 1975. These people lived together and were buried together.
On my return home I spotted another deer, it may become as regular as seeing the Aninga in FL each morning. The state bird, the oriole also made his appearance this morning and I was grateful for the company of the creatures that God has created along with the morning sun, gentle breeze and the occasional pick-up passing by.
Life Goes On
Declining 2 invitations for yesterday's date was hard for me. The first invitation was to the wedding of our dear Floridian friends' son's marriage to his dear maiden. These are friends we made while we were in Ft. Myers. It is always a great time for Dan and I to attend a wedding celebration. First, it is a wonderful time to remember our own wedding day and our ongoing commitment to one another. Second, we both love music and a reason to rejoice.
The second invitation was to our niece, Jamie's high school graduation party (in Massachusetts)!! Jamie is the 3rd oldest grandchild on Dan's side and it also means that our Grace is not far from this occasion herself. Not only do we always have a great time at a Mullaney gathering but we still haven't met the newest member of the clan, Joseph William Mullaney, firstborn of Barry (Dan's brother) and Mary Mullaney.
Last night we took the kids out to dinner and acknowledge our missing these two occasions, the former 1100 miles to the south of us and the latter around 525 miles to the north of us. So it is a good feeling to know that we are thought of and our presence is missed while we are traveling. It is actually more than that - - it is being loved by both family and friends.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Free to Be
Grace, Katie and Michael rode their bikes to the Tilghman Library which is found in the Tilghman Elementary School. I would have loved to have ridden with them but K's bike is out of commission so she had my bike. Their ride was so carefree on this sleepy little place on the Chesapeake Bay. On the way home I made it over the bridge before they did. So, I pulled into the parking lot on Camper Circle (the street we live off of) and I waited to watch them come over the bridge - all 3 of their faces indicated their happy surprise to find that they could still beat me home. "Let us go by you Mum!" Michael yelled out. Of course, I did. As I pulled out behind them, the tears welled up in my eyes. In my heart I asked the Lord to bless them with the memory of riding together onto Tilghman Island and Mum close by. Then I asked Him to etch this moment in my mind - soon they will ride off into the adult world with their Heavenly Father watching out for them instead of me.
These times are precious and are flying by. This place in MD is helping me to slowdown and drink in the moments that I am having with my children. Hopefully they are enjoying these closing days of childhood on a big adventure with Mum and Dad.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Tilghman, Maryland
Driving up route 50 we entered Talbot County, "Welcome to Talbot County" I read the sign on the side of the road, out loud. "Here is where we will be living." We drove through Talbot County into Queen Anne's County over the Bay Bridge to the Baltimore area. Dan needed to go into Baltimore to get his nursing license. We stayed the night and then it was back over the bridge to our new place. A house on the scenic penninsula of Tilghman is where we are doing our 'fancy camping' for a least part of the summer.
Our last 2 assignments were in good size cities, not unlike where we came from, but now we find ourselves in a very different place. In a small town in the Chesapeake Bay, smalltown America, beautiful,quiet and where you need to plan what day to go into town to do your shopping and do your best not to forget anything.
It was really hot when we arrived. The house has central air and we had it cranked until it quit on us. Our landlord sent someone out the very next day and they were able to fix it. Then a strange thing happened that does not occurred in the ratrace pace of Metropolitian America - the guy stayed for 1/2 hour visiting with us, he showed me pictures of his daughters and grandsons and then he was on his way.
There is not one traffic light in Tilghman. We have to go to St. Michaels to go to the grocery store. The nearest WalMart is 45 minutes away and the cell signal is very weak here.
By God's grace I got a different phone plan this time because there is no cable internet here. Instead we have DSL. So if you want to reach me by phone, email me ( and I will send you my new phone number. You can leave a message on my cell if you want and I will call you back.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Riding the Road
Since setting out from Ft. Myers Florida I have logged over 3,000 miles on my MPV 97 Mazda (often mistaken for a SUV, it is actually a Multi Purpose Van). We arrived home late last night. Home is wherever the 5 of us lay our heads together. I was thinking that some who actually say I am crazy may be right. Actually, it is just extreme willingness to go the extra mile (pun for your pleasure and comfort, to know that it's me).
We were hoping to be in Maryland the week before we were but that did not work out. So, we moved in on 20th of May and I pulled out and headed for Massachusetts on the 26th. It was great to see those of you who we had a chance to visit and for those who we didn't see hopefully we will see you next time.
Grace participated in Teenpact and thoroughly enjoyed it. Michael, Katie and I attended the one day Teenpact class (or "Teeniepact" as our friend Jerry Stobbe calls it) that includes parents. It was my first time touring the State House of Massachusetts...I am starting to see a pattern here. Last year, we visited Nantucket while visiting our dear friends the Marlborough Grays and we had never been there before either....hummmmmm
Learning about how our government works and how we can play a role within our system was just as much for me as it was for our children.
I observed some leadership qualities in Michael that I knew were there. Of course, I made him do Teenpact but he ended up loving it. Michael and 3 other young men dominated the time used to debate some bills in a mock hearing. It will be interesting to see where these qualities will take our son in the future.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Grace on the plane to Boston
I have never put one of my little ones on a big yellow bus, and I have no regrets about not participating in that part of American culture. Today, I put my daughter Grace on a plane from Baltimore to Boston. She is almost 15 and it seems the days with her in our home are flying by....(punn totally intended)
Grace is growing into a beautiful young lady. She was hoping I would be able to go with her but I could not, so we trusted that she would be well. Her 2 aunties (Shosh & Ellen) will be picking her up and she is going to have a whirlwind of a week with visiting and Teenpact. I can't wait to see her again. Katie, Michael and I will be driving up to MA in a few days. I am looking forward to returning to MA.
Part of my spiritual journey this year has been to write a devotional instead of reading one that someone else has written. This goes along with what seems to be the theme of our family life, learning to listen. It is Spirit led, no formula, no overall view of the year laid out before me, just reading His Word and doing my best to hear what the Lord is trying to say to me. In fact the proverb from which I was reading today says, "There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death."
Today I will share mine online here with all of you.

20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD .

21 The wise in heart are called discerning,
and pleasant words promote instruction. Proverbs 16

To take instruction is still hard for me. I am strongwilled and hardheaded, which is not all together a bad thing. It just makes it difficult sometimes to listen. Humility does not come easily. Having been humble in many situations, I have learned that being humble enables me to be teachable and it is in this place I am ready to receive instruction. I want the Lord to continue to train me and instruct me in His ways. It is exciting and at times difficult, but it is fruitful. Each time we have to pack up and go, I am seeing how there are things we don't need. I came to the conclusion yesterday, that as much as I love books, we need to not have soooo many on hand. We will have to do something about that once we get to MD. If we lighten our load, traveling will become easier not just in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense as well. Lord, continue to give me a teachable heart today.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Time to finish packing and cleaning. I will let you all know when we have arrived safely on the eastern shore of Maryland. Lord bless all our fellow pilgrims and an extra blessing for those settlers who welcome us in from the road.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

On the Road Again
I really have not defined my blog, nor do I really intend is what it is. Although, as I sit down to write this afternoon, the thought has been going thru my head all day. "Now, this is a rugged faith" We are leaving Ft. Myers, FL next week and headed for Easton, Maryland with no address just needing to trust in the fact that our Heavenly Father is preparing a place for us. Are we crazy? Well, let's just say we are out of our minds for Jesus. Different things come up, unexpected things. Each move has been different and I have had this expectation that we will settle into a routine of some sort. The light is dawning that settlers do the settling, while pilgrims keep moving and routinely do not keep the same type of routines as their counterparts. My expectation is being smashed as I find myself learning to live one day at a time in a new way.
Believe me, we love those who are settled and have a place that they call home. It is where we often find refuge and we are blessed beyond words for those of you who have opened both your hearts and homes to us.
As the time draws near to pack up our gear and hit the road once more, I can't tell you how much it means to us to have people along the way to love and care for us. The Lord continues to smooth over those jagged edges in me by calling me to be on this journey. It is definitely a faith building process that we as a family find ourselves in the midst of.

Friday, April 23, 2004

This morning I was listening to one of my daughter's CD's. It was kind of loud but I just kept the volume high enough for me to listen to the words. She is listening to some good stuff. It touched me and made me really think. The song said something to the effect of Dad, I am sorry that I am not perfect. It is a song about wanting your parents', approval, acceptance and blessing. I cried out to the Lord, I don't want my children to not know how I feel and think about them.
My children Grace, Katie and Michael are each so precious to me. I want them to feel like they are our treasures, only lent to us for a short season. Yes, I know they will always be my children because I gave them birth but it is God who gave them life. I also am very aware that they will not always be children. We are seeing the signs as both of our girls have become young women and Michael is not far behind. Right now they still need and want our guidance; (the wanting is there in most children, ours are just not afraid to admit it) our provisions, our care and most of all our love which is continually growing....painful at times but it is growing.
Back to the CD, it is by Switchfoot......a modern/alternative rock revival band (christians cloaked).....the music is a little hard for me to take (I say I am young at heart but my tolerance for loudness has waned in the last couple of years. Anyhow, I will listen a little more so that I can find out more about my girl Grace and let her know that she has pretty good taste. More than she knows.

Monday, April 19, 2004

We have been off line for almost a week. Grace has been in withdrawal. It has been more of an inconvenience for me. I do enjoy using our computer but I actually needed the break from it. So many things scream for our attention. We spent a couple of days over on the eastcoast of Florida to relax. We started at Boca Raton and made our way a little bit north to Palm Beach Gardens. We took the scenic route (that is pronounced root) on 1A through Palm Beach and West Palm. Majestic!!

In Boca we met Dan's recruiter, Michele Kluger, a wonderful person also from the North but living here full time. She treated us to "StirFry" a chic Chinese restaurant. RN Network has been good to us and Michele is the front runner for finding Dan his assignments. The rest of that afternoon we browsed the mall and then drove up north. After settling in to a place, Dan and I went to a BBSS meeting when we ran into 3 friends from MA. It was great to be with them.

Today is Patriots Day!! April 19th 1775 shot heard round the world!! Paul Revere's Ride! It is only a state holiday in Massachusetts. Shouldn't it be a federal holiday? I said Happy Patriots Day to people around here who were from NewEngland and they didn't know what I was talking about in the least. America has been dumbed down. Most of us no longer value our history never mind the freedom that we enjoy that was bought with the blood of not only the patriots of the Revolutionary War but also the patriots of each of our wars. Let us remember!!

Monday, April 12, 2004

"When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That's if you want to teach them to think."
--Bertrand Russell

Each person whether they realize it or not has a philosopy of education. It dictates how you decide to educate your children. Some people don't take the time to ponder what they believe and why they believe what they do about education. I have run into people who when asked "why do you send your children to this or that school?" their answer is something like, "that is what you are suppose to do." If that is true then you believe in the public school's system and not only their philosophy of education but also their philosophy about life, who children are, the importance (or lack thereof) of the family. An unthinking generation of parents produced some rebels who did not want to go along with the status quo. Perhaps that rebellion started out on a destructive path but when our own children came on the scene it took us to a new place. A place of questioning the methods, philosophy and control the state attempts to have over our children and ultimately our family life.

My children are thinkers. They question things, they want to understand things, not just accept them because I say so or you say so or as I heard one of their cousins say yesterday, "that's what they taught us in school." I am so grateful that my philosophy of education has been revised and continues to be revised through various means in my experience. I do see my children are miles ahead of where I was at their age, that is in the way they think. As a family we are learning and living differently.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Making Connection via Virginia
This past week Grace and I attended a speech and debate tournament in Naples, Florida. Grace's friend Anne Corda from Louisiana was competing in some individual events and debate with her brother Ben. Grace did not participate :-( but I did get to judge. It was great to be there and for Grace to get inspired and desire to pursue this area of rhetoric. Monday and Tuesday I judged Lincoln/Douglas Debates. Wednesday, Grace and I got to hear some Original Oratory speeches and we heard one Team Policy debate. It was great time.

Today we met Anne, Ben and their mum, Shirley at The Bean on Sanibel Island. We had a great time visiting over coffee and ice cream getting to know one another a little more. Katie and Ben who both had been seated at either end of the table got to skateboard in the Parking Lot. Initially, Grace met Anne at TeenPact Judicial in Virginia Beach and Anne told us she was coming to the tournament in Naples.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Blessed Passover to one and all!
Last night we celebrated The Passover. It was a Seder Meal with all the fixing and all the fathers present leading us through the questions and the combined stories of the Israelites and Moses in Eygpt and Jesus willing to die for the sins of the world. It was most likely Jesus' last meal. Jesus was raised a true Hebrew and I am quite sure that he celebrated the Passover Feast every year. Wouldn't it be interesting to know how many years before that fateful day that he broke bread with his disciples that it went through his mind, "some day I will be the Passover Lamb that takes away the sins of the world."

It is important for me to recgonize that my Savior is Jewish, a Hebrew. My spiritual heritage is jewish. I do not label myself, evangelical, catholic or an manmade definition of a religious person. I do not consider myself religious. A person of faith and doing my best to live in a trusting relationship with the God of the Universe, I identify myself as a everyday follower of Jesus Christ.


Sunday, April 04, 2004

Ft. Myers Florida will only be our home for another 6 weeks. The winter has flown by and we can hardly believe that it is coming to a close. We don't know where we will be living come the middle of May but there again is where the "rugged faith" comes in. God is preparing a place for us. We are believing that God will provide a place in the greater New York City area. It is exciting to be living on the edge and to see where the Lord will take us next.

This afternoon Michael had baseball practice. We are so pleased to have Rich King as his coach. This is a guy who knows and loves the game of baseball and he wants to pass it on not just to his own son but also to all the boys on his team. Dan and I are enjoying being of assistance to Rich. Dan has done quite a bit of umpiring and I keep score for our team. Michael is learning and growing by being a part of the team. He really enjoys playing 2nd and 3rd base as well as pitching. He is starting to relax a little bit and developing as a player.

Dan and I would love to comeback to Ft. Myers next winter. The potential for becoming snowbirds is very great. Cape Coral Hospital would love to have Dan back and it would be great to have a second place to call home. We would love to spend time with a number of people that we have connected with in this area.

Friday, March 26, 2004

There is a Palm Tree outside my window and I haven't seen snow all winter long. It is strange being such a baby snowbird. Speaking of snowbirds, the younger snowbirds in my nest have really missed the snow, the cold, the warm hearth of being trapped inside with family and friends. You could say we have strong New England roots.

I am finishing up my annual Newsletter that I usually send out at Christmas time but decided to wait. I am looking forward to getting it out and I am also trying to get a little more adept at using this blog. It is simply a matter of learning how to use the application. Over and out for now.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Almost 1 year and 100 years for Dr. Seuss

In honor of Dr. Seuss and in celebration of being on the road almost a year now, I have adapted Oh the Places you'll go. I hope you enjoy this little poem Dr. Seuss style.

Oh the Places we've been (an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' Oh the Places you'll go by Catherine Mullaney)

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.”

So on March 24th, 2003,
Dan hit the road with the kids and me.
We headed south of the Mason Dixon line
Good bye New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts that ol’ state of mine.

Conventional is not the way we operate
Don’t you know us by now ?
Our route to Virginia was through the back gate.
First we went and spent a week with Grandpa and Suz,
With plenty of time to take an afternoon snooze.
Escaping the winter, the snow and the ice,
Leaving family and friends was a mighty high price.

Ending vacation without returning home was the strangest of sensations to a nomadgozome.
The highways and byways that lay ahead would lead straight through Norfolk, Arlington and Nagshead.
An Apartment in Virginia Beach,
With the ocean not far out of reach.
Sunrise at the Atlantic would rule
But the kids would rather hang at the pool.

Michael’s 10th birthday trip with Dan,
Would give him the facts that one day he’d be a man. Williamsburg was their little retreat, where a couple of guys could kick up their feet.

Home education became road dispensation, as we travel along for a greater exploration. MacArthur’s Memorial Museum, Cape Henry Lighthouse,
Naticus, DC , Jamestown and Nantucket too as we had made a trip north to visit some you.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


Sunday, February 15, 2004

In January of 2003 I got a laptop computer in anticipation of our beginning to travel. Here we are. We were able to get email addresses with Earthlink for free for 6 months, we just finished paying for 6 months and now we will go to a new format starting next week. We have created our own domain and got 5 emails to go with it. If you are with us we will be sending out our new addresses soon. It is all a learning process. No need to be paying for the access that cost more. Our new addresses are the least expensive you can get next to having free email addresses from Yahoo and the like. Continuing to learn how to live wisely.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Writing in Cyberspace
This year I am feeling the real pull to write and journal as I walk along this pilgrim highway hand and hand with my Lord Jesus. I am not alone. God has given me a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children. We are journeying together in the truest sense of the word. At the moment we are in Southwest Florida. It is like a dream for a native NewEnglander during the winter. Here I am making myself known on this thing called the internet.