Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Bell House

My mom wrote: "The old Bell House sits on a corner lot, just out of the pic to the left. This is Nevada St. We skated and road bikes for hundreds of hours around this culdesac. Almost where I'm standing to take the shot is where I fell off my bike when I was seven and drove my chin into the asphalt exposing my chin bone. It required seven stitches to unexpose. (I bare the scar to this day.) Paul and I used to fly kites on this street. I don't remember if my other three siblings did or not. We'd weave the string through those Chinese Elm leaves ever so skillfully and watch as those paper diamonds with tails grew smaller and smaller. We got pretty good at it. Once in awhile a kite would get caught in a branch and we'd lose it but more times than not we were able to bring it down to have it sail again. (I once fell out of the second Chinese Elmon the left. I was hoisting myself up with a rope. It gave way. [I wasn't very good at knots.] I landed on my back with a resounding"whomp!" I had almost made it to that first limb. [It was lower then]. Knocked the wind right out of me. The "whomp" was so loud the neighbor lady came running out of the house to see if I was ok...I lived to tell you about it.)"

My mom wrote: "Dad is sitting in the dining room. We enjoyed many a turkey dinner averaging about 25 family members in that room. We had tables that ran from the china hutch in the dining room to the couch area in the living room. The china hutch with those beautiful leaded glass doors has been removed. Wooden shelves with a teapot collection now take up the space."

My mom wrote: "A wider angle view of the dining room while standing in the living room. You can see the shelving that replaced the china cupboard. The floor heater that Karin waffled a pattern onto the bottom of her little feet is still there. The bookcases were removed. Dare I tell you about the time I was in the backyard and my mother was in the dining room looking out the window at us kids playing. I was about 5. Scott Adams was over playing with me and Paul. He dared me to pull down my shorts. After much teasing and daring, I did. (Gasp!) My mother (unbeknownst to me) had been watching. She came flying out the back porch door and put a good blistering on the part that I'd exposed! (Don't gasp too loudly, I kept my undies on. Just the shorts came down.) Her two favorite behavior modification implements were coat hangers, wire mind you, and wooden yard sticks. Oh. I almost forgot. There was a third. The flyswatter! I don't recall her tool of choice on that particular occasion. It could've been her loving hand. She came out that back door awfully fast. After the dreaded instrument was applied Scott Adams was sent home and me and my warm buns were sent upstairs."

  • In the third picture on the very right is where my gramma's chair used to be. I would kneel down beside it and watch her work on her crosstiches. I was fasinated by the thread making pictures on the fabric. She would be watching Murder She Wrote with Angela Lansberry while she worked. I am sure this is where my love of sewing was born. I do remember that the house was a lot cleaner than in this picture! :)


Yesterday I was reading BlueBerryPatch (a blog) and MrEddie brought up insects that come out in September. This reminded me of the critters that tend to come out around here in August and September, SPIDERS!! We do have spiders all year round, but the ones that come out in later part of summer or absolutely disgusting!
There are two kinds actually. There are these ones that are orange and black spotted and they have a huge, round rear-ends. They make their webs in the most inconvenient spots and I am usually the one to walk face first into one. The worst part is when the spider in on the web and then he starts crawling all over you. I do a crazy dance and eventually get him off. And then of course I have the heebie-geebies the rest of the day. Any little itch that I might have I immediately think, "SPIDER!" and I do the dance all over again. The worst time is when I don't realize there is a spider on me. I am calm and collected as can be and then I see IT out of the corner of my eye crawling up my leg. There goes my serene day!
Then there are the huge long brown ones that are hairy. They are not as big as a tarantula but still they are pretty big for around here. They always seemed to show up in the bathtub. I would wake up all groggy and pull back the shower curtain. I was awake in an instant. I would then recruit my mom, dad or brother to then kill the spider. Of course I hardly ever asked my brother to do it because he had the tendency to throw the spider on me after he had smushed it. My beautiful shower was then ruined as I was on the lookout for anymore. The worst was when I wouldn't have my contacts in and I would climb under the nice warm water and then right next to me head on the wall there would be one of those MONSTERS!! Again, a scream would ring forth and I would come flying out of the bathroom (with a towel, of course) and my family would decide who would be the one to kill the spider this time.
There have been a few times when I would get out of bed in the morning and feel something soft under my foot. I wouldn't think anything of it and then later on that day I would find a smushed big brown MONSTER on my bedroom floor. (I also did it once in the living room. I have no clue haw I managed to step on so many without knowing it but it creeps me out to think that there were that many in the house!) I would get the heebie-geebies realizing that I had killed it with my bare feet! Then there were those two times that I climbed into bed and then remembered something I needed to do. I would come back to find that I had laid down on top of one of those MONSTERS!! And thus again the heebie-geebies would begin. Those nights I had a really hard time falling asleep. I would rip all the covers and sheets off making sure there were not anymore and I would do that for the next several nights, just in case.
Now that I am married I have my husband to kill the spiders, but unfortunately he gets creeped out from smushing them. So we both stand there staring at the spider arguing who is going to kill it this time. I will say that he is usually the one who ends up with the gruesome task! :)

A Special Valentine

I found this really fun idea for Valentine's Day. If you want to do something really sweet and inexpensive for your Valentine why not send them a valentine from Valentine City. (There are also other cities.) Click on the link to see how! :)


Monday, January 30, 2006

The Bell House

My mom took these pictures when she went down to L.A. this January. They went and visited the house both my gramma and my mom grew up in. The lady who lives there now let them go inside and walk down memory lane. My mom took pictures and I will be sharing them with you along with my memories of the old Bell house. It is located in Bell, California.

My mom wrote: "Judy is the gal on the right, my writer friend. Mrs. Leva (the lady on the left) is the lady that has lived in the house for the past 16 years. She bought it from my folks. She graciously let us in to look around. All the windows have been replaced with new, modern ones. The Levas use the front steps by the car. We always went up the steps by the kitchen (to the left of the car-out of the photo.)...The bedroom I had just before I married Tim is the one on the second story, you can see the dormer windows. (I won't tell you about the green smears on the wall in that room when Phil had it. We had such a hard time getting him to use a kleenex. Boys!)"

My mom wrote: "I think this pic of my mom is fast becoming my all time favorite that I have of her. She is in the hallway that leads to the back porch. We used to have a chalkboard where the flowers are behind her. (I was playing around in Photoshop and sepia-toned the pic.) All three photos were taken with my 50mm lens before I dropped and broke it. Sniffle,sniffle. Boy it could take sharp pics. Tim's comment when I told him, "You get what you pay for." (It was a cheapie.)"

I actually remember the chalkboard that my mom is talking about. It was a little green one with a wooden frame. I remember the little hallway that led to the back porch that was also a sun room. There was a couch that had duck pillows all over it, and you had to keep the pillows on it in order to stay comfortable because the back of the couch was really hard! And then there was also the washer and dryer out there. I had a little blanky that I took everywhere with me. One day my gramma told me that it needed to be washed. I could hardly bear to part with it but she told me it was "icky" and she put it in the washer. I could not stand being apart from it from it for that long so when my mom pulled it out I asked if I could have it. My mom told me that it needed to go in the dryer, but I insisted and I walked around with a damp blanky the rest of the day.

Getting Ready...

This last week I got my first Fit Pregnancy magazine in the mail! Reading it really got me all excited for a baby. There was a lot of information about nutrition before one is even pregnant, I found it really helpful.
They talked a lot about being overweight and pregnant. I learned that if I were to get pregnant now I should only gain 15 pounds. Hopefully though I will have lost my goal of 25 pounds by the time I get pregnant. They said that a woman only burns an extra 300 calories a day being pregnant. I would have thought it was a lot higher. That will definitely help when I am pregnant. I also learned that I should be taking lots of folic acid now. They didn't quite explain why but they did say that I should be taking up to 5 milligrams now and then continue taking that much through the first trimester to prevent neural-tube defects. (I have heard that not having enough folic acid causes spinabepheda, spelling?)
So, I really enjoyed reading the magazine. Seeing all the pictures of cute babies was fun too! :) Well, I am off to the gym!

Ways to Be His Valentine

Since Valentine's Day is coming up I have been trying to think of things to do for Rue. In A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George she gives a list of 26 things that we can do. And these things don't even have to be done on Valentine's Day. I am going to strive to be doing these things for my sweety on a regular basis! Here are few ideas she gives.

  • Amorous words are not outdated. Write your husband a poem, sing him a song, buy him a romantic card.
  • Drive the next time the two of you go somewhere, and lethim relax and enjoy the . scenery.
  • Enumerate his fine qualities, using this modified line of ElizabethBarret Browning's: "Why do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Tape the list to his mirror.
  • Hide encouraging scripture verses or personal notes in his coat pocket,his wallet, his sock drawer or on the pulpit.
  • Old, cherished wedding pictures can help you to remember whenyour love was new.
  • Prepare his favorite meal.
  • Quips and cartoons can lighten his day. Cut them out and give them to him on a day he needs a lift.
  • Uphold him in prayer.
  • Yes, let's do it! Make that your answer when he suggests things to do - a walk, watching the sunset, taking a day to ski, whatever.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I'd Rather Have Jesus

I'd Rather Have Jesus

I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or land;
I'd rather be led by His nail-pierced hand:

Than to be the king of a vast domain or be held in sin's dread sway!
I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.

I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than world-wide fame;
I'd rather be true to His holy name:

He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He's sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He's all that my hungering spirit needs -
I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead:

"At the age of 23 George Beverly Shea (1909 - ) had a hard decision to make. He could accept a job offer in a secular singing position in New York City with a great salary and wide respect; or he could continue singing in churches and for Christian radio programs. While sitting at the family piano, he started to prepare a special hymn for the Sunday service. On the piano he found a poem by Mr. Rhea F. Miller. He immediately began to compose the music for the poem and used the song that same morning in his father's church service. He also used those words to direct his life and has shared his song, "I'd Rather Have Jesus" with audiences around the world."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Who wears the pants?

Yesterday morning Rue woke up, showered and put on a fresh clean pair of jeans. He thought they felt a little different than they usually do, but whatever.
I was in the kitchen and he came walking around the corner. I noticed how nice his pants looked. They really looked good.
I sauntered on up and gave him a kiss and told him how much I liked those pants on him. He said he liked them too but the pockets weren't very deep. He said that he wasn't going to be able to put anything in them.
Well, we both went about the rest of our day. I went to work and Rue chilled at home because it was his day off.
That evening, after I got off work, I met him at his parent's house. (We were going to a concert that evening and he had dropped Daisy off there.) When I got there I noticed he was wearing a different pair of pants. He said "Oh yeah, you remember those pants I had on this morning and that you thought they looked so good on me, they were your old pants!!" We both started cracking up! No wonder the pockets were so shallow!
The only regret I have is the fact that my husband fits into MY pants! I guess this brings me some more good motivation for losing some extra pounds. :)
Oh, and his last comment to me about it was, "Your not going to write about it on your blog are you?"
I love you sweety!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A Mighty Fortress is Out God

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow'r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth is His name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And tho’ this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim - we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still,His kingdom is forever.

"On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther hammered into the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, his 95 theses against the Roman Catholic Church. Among the things for which Luther became famous:
1.The scriptures to be translated in the common languages of all men
2.The doctrine of salvation by faith alone
3.The birth of congregational singing
The hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" was written by Martin Luther around the time when the term Protestant was first heard. This hymn became the battle cry during the Protestant reformation.
Thank God for men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldreich Zwingli and others who led the way during the reformation and gave us the basis for our evangelical faith.
The hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” written by Martin Luther, was the battle call for the Protestant Reformation. It is based on Psalm 46. Luther said of music, “After theology, there is nothing that can be placed on a level with music. It drives out the devil and makes people cheerful. It is a gift that God gave to birds and to men. We need to remove hymn singing from the domain of monks and priests and set the laity to singing. By the singing of hymns the laity can publicly express their love to the Almighty God.”

Mary Beth

My mom sent this picture over e-mail. This is what she wrote:

"My sister Karin has a mirror hanging in her entryway. On the mirror is a very old photo of a Koontz ancestor or friend who is sitting and knitting by available light. It is a beautiful photograph. Mary Beth and I had fun trying to replicate it with a tungsten light. This is the modern version we came up with."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Make sure you're potty trained!

This picture was taken at Long Lake County Park, Fall 2005. :)


Today I whined! I whined so much that my dear sweet husband left the house to get away from me! When I woke up this morning I felt cranky and grumpy and decided not to deal with it. I sat down to do my devotions but because I felt cranky I decided to not continue! Big mistake! That was the one place I needed to be, looking to the Lord to help me rid myself of my grumpiness. So then when my husband got up all I had for him was a whining spirit. I knew I was wrong. I feel so bad that I treated him that way. I finally did sit down and had my quiet time with the Lord, and what do you know, my whining went away. Rue came home before I left for work and I apologized. He is so wonderful because he always forgives me. I found this article at christianitytoday.com called Delilah. Click on the link and then put Delilah in the search engine on the website. I want to put into practice her advice about holding your tongue until you have something nice to say. Sometimes it is probably best that I don't talk at all. I know the Lord is working on me though as I continue to seek Him He will continue to weed out all the sinful habits of mine. And again I will say that I am so thankful for my husband who continues to love me even with all my sin!
Hamster and snake best friends at
Tokyo zoo
"TOKYO - "Gohan" the hamster was supposed to be dinner. But now he and a rat snake are best buddies.
Zookeepers in Tokyo named the dwarf hamster Gohan as a joke, because it means "meal" in Japanese. It was put in the snake's cage in October for the reptile's supper.
Zookeepers say the critters have been sharing the cage ever since. The snake shows no signs of eyeing its furry little friend for dinner. The hamster even climbs onto the four-foot-long snake's back to take naps. "
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Associated Press

Monday, January 23, 2006

Linda Nelson Stocks

I came across some paintings by Linda Nelson Stocks. I think they are so pretty and cozy. I just want to step into them and spend the day in those quaint places. :) Click here to see her paintings.


On the back of my couch is a quilt that my gramma made me for my 18th birthday. I also have a gorgeous, huge king size quilt that the ladies made at our church as a wedding gift. They also had people write on the back of it little messages to us. I will cherish it forever. I think that having quilts around the house makes it fell more cozy. I am actually working on a nine-patch quilt right now. On our honeymoon Rue graciously let me shop in a quilt store in a little town on the coast of Oregon. I bought a bundle of reproduced vintage lavander fabrics. They all have a different pattern but are all lavender. (And lavender is my favorite color.) I don't get to work on it much, but when I do I enjoy it. I love to see how patterns and colors can fit together. Just this morning I went to the scrapbook store and looked through all the pretty papers. They have them all sorted out already by color and pattern. I almost wish they would just mix them all up because it is so much fun trying to find patterns and colors that match.
Well here are some quilts I found pictures of that I thought were beautiful. You have to have great talent to make quilts like these.

The Calico Garden Quilt

The Clarissa White Alford Quilt


The Elizabeth Green Quilt


The Sarah Johnson Quilt


The Pincushion Quilt


The Tooth Fairy

This picture was taken by Josh Suko from my church. (He and his wife took our wedding pictures.) He can do amazing things with photoshop. This was taken the night his daughter Rachelle lost a tooth. He took a picture of her sleeping and then photoshopped the fairy in. I guess the next morning she almost believed that the tooth fairy had really come when he showed her the picture. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Isaac and Gabe

Here are some pictures that were taken right before Christmas this last year of me and the 2 little boys I watch. These are Isaac and Gabe. Isaac is three and Gabe is one. They can be a handful at times but they are great kids! I love them to death! :)

Sorry, the pictures are a little messed up. I think it is the scanner I used. :)

We're Marching to Zion

We're Marching to Zion

Come, we that love the Lord, and let our joys be known,
Join in a song with sweet accord, join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne, and thus surround the throne.

Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God,
But children of the heavenly King, but children of the heavenly King,
May speak their joys abroad, may speak their joys abroad.

The hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets
Before we reach the heavenly fields, before we reach the heavenly fields,
Or walk the golden streets, or walk the golden streets.

Then let our songs abound, and every tear be dry,
We're marching thro' Immanuel's ground, we're marching thro' Immanuel's ground,
To fairer worlds on high, to fairer worlds on high.

We're marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion;We're marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God.

"Because of the controversy between singing of Psalms and the singing of hymns, the church decided to sing Psalms at the beginning of their service and then after the preaching, they would sing hymns. Many people who were still against the hymns would get up and leave the service at this time. Isaac Watts wrote the hymn, "We're Marching to Zion," to refute this practice of people walking out during the hymn singing. Just reads the words especially stanza two."

Vanilla Pudding

Well, I made the vanilla pudding today and it is yummy!! Of course it doesn't taste like the instant pudding but it still tastes really good. It kind of tastes like tapioca pudding but without the frog's eyes. I also used lowfat milk so it doesn't have as much fat, but it still has sugar in it. But that's okay because it doesn't have preservatives and all the extra stuff. The color is pretty bland, but that's no big deal. So I would definitely recommend this recipe!!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Vanilla Pudding

Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs, blueberrypatch, and he wrote about all the ingredients that go into instant vanilla pudding. You should read it!
I hunted down a recipe for homemade vanilla pudding. Tomorrow I am going to make it and see how the taste compares to instant vanilla pudding. Here is the recipe:

Vanilla Pudding

1/3 cup white sugar
3 tbls cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add vanilla and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Pour into individual molds rinsed with cold water; chill until firm and unmold.


I am sure that we have all been to one home or another and seen a Sampler crosstitch. It generally has the alphabet and maybe numbers also along with some type of picture. I was never even curious about why these samplers are so common. Then today I was looking at antique crosstitches on the internet and came across the history of Samplers. I never would have known they went so far back in time. One of their uses was to practice different forms of stitching. To read about the history go to www.greencastlemuseum.org

Fresh Apple Walnut Cake

It was my turn to bring the snack to Bible study yesturday. I found this cake recipe in Woman's Day magazine. I wouldn't say that it is a dessert cake but more of an "afternoon-with-a-cup-of-coffee" cake. :)

Fresh Apple Walnut Cake

Good served with sweetened whipped cream

2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp each baking soda, cinnamon and salt
1 1/2 cups oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, but don't flour, a 10-12 inch bundt pan.
2. Mix sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until blended. Stir in oil, eggs and vanilla, then apples and nuts.
3. Bake 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack before inverting on rack to cool completely.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Getting Ready...

Today has been a good day. I haven't worked out and that is because I had Bible study this morning and then I had to go to work and I am working late tonight. Bible Study this morning was so good. We are watching sermons taught by John Piper. (I highly recommend his books.) He was talking about having joy in the Lord. He asked the question: "What is your default activity when there are no pressures on you?" Things like watching tv, gardening, sewing, reading, eating etc. Do we find more joy in doing those those things than we do in the Lord? This was a very convicting question for me. Those things might satisfy us for a moment, but they in no way give the joy and satisfaction that the Lord does. So I was thinking about my issue with food. Do I delight more in eating sweets than I do in the Lord. He has said that self-indulgence is wrong. So I guess the answer for me is Yes, sometimes I do delight in food more than in the Lord. I am very saddened by this fact. I feel awful that I would behave like that. I am so thankful though that the Holy Spirit has brought this to my attention and convicted my spirit. Now that it has been brought into my full view and attention my next responsibilty is to do something about it. For me not to would also be disobedience on my part. Today has been a good day because instead of looking to food to give me happiness I have turned to the Lord instead. My prayer everyday is that I will fight to have joy in the Lord!

Here are some books by John Piper:

"Strengthen your relationship with God simply by enjoying him! Now revised and expanded, Piper's classic reveals how delighting in God can motivate us to glorify him through worship, stewardship, loving our neighbor, rejoicing in suffering, and other "duties." Discover how to lay a biblical foundation for a life of celebration by truly desiring the Lord!"

"Is your soul so stuffed with worldly desires that you have little room left for God? Piper invites you to turn from the dulling effects of materialism, and sharpen your appetite for God through prayer and fasting. His exploration of fasting will help you understand how this ancient biblical practice can nourish your spiritual life and satisfy your hunger for God. "

"To see God is to be changed by Him. The weight of glory is a happy burden. Thus God is the happiest Being in the universe. To know Him in His pleasures is to see Him as He is - and to have a fresh encounter with His transforming presence. If you are hungry for this deep delight, consider the gladness of His great heart. The things that make God glad are the measure of His greatness. Christ and the cross. Choosing His people and bruising His Son. Creating the world and revealing His worth. The gladness of His people in the greatness of His glory. "

"Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. This book will warn you not to get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. It will challenge you to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion. If you believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain, read this book, learn to live for Christ, and don't waste your life!"

You can also visit his website at www.desiringgod.org

Stair Sledding

Last night a workI heard the two little boys I watch (ages 1 and 3) laughing hysterically. I went to see what was so funny and as I walked up Isaac (3) came sliding down the stairs on his stomach, feet first, which in turn made Gabe (1) belly laugh. I think that a baby belly laughing is the cutest sound in the world. You can't help but laugh right along with. But then Gabe turned around and did the exact same thing, belly laughing all the way down. (There mom actually had told me they liked to do this and it was okay as long as I was there watching them.) So I stayed and watched them doing this for quite a while. Plus it was almost bed time and then were using up pretty good energy climbing up the stairs.
Shortly before bedtime, Isaac said his tummy hurt. I pulled up his shirt and looked and sure enough he had a bright red carpet burn! Gabe had been wearing full zip up pj's but Isaac had been wearing pj bottoms and a top. I didn't even think about a rug burn. So I grabbed some neosporin and put it on. Even though there was a small injury they had a great time.
I told the story to Rue and he told me about the stairs at his grandpa's house in Montana. When they lived there with their grandpa they had a grand ol' time sliding down the stairs. (Rue has 2 younger brothers and a younger sister.) They would grab a large baking pan, sit on it and slide on down. The only problem with this though is that when you got to the bottom you just kept going until you hit a wall. So they decided to hold up pillows in front of them to protect themselves from injury. Down they would go and smack into the wall. Rue said at one point pictures starting falling off the wall and Bonita came and put a stop to the stair sledding.
I am sure we all remember one time or other when we discovered that even when there is no snow outside the stairs were a perfect way to get the same type of experience as sliding down a hill of snow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Zhenya Paliy

When I was 17 I went on a 5 week mission trip to Ukraine with Rachel Suko from our church. (She is now married and a full time missionary in Ukraine.) While we were there we visited many fellow believers many of whom had been persecuted during the Soviet Union. One sweet man we met was Zhenya Paliy. He has 3 daughters, one is about my age. We ate dinner with them a few times during our trip. I remember that he seemed very quiet and gentle and he loved the Lord dearly. He preached a sermon once while we were there. About a year or more ago he started to have some severe health problems and just this morning he went to be with the Lord. Here is what my pastor said in an e-mail he sent out:

"Today we received news that Zhenya Paliy passed into the presence of the Lord earlier today. He was about the age of 50. Zhenya was a work of grace in middle-life.
We first met Zhenya and Olga about 10 years ago when they visited services we were involved in at our sisiter church in Makarovo, Ukraine. Zhenya had been a local communist party secretary, worked with the police and was an agricultural engineer. After the fall of the USSR life became much more difficult. When we visited he came to the church to hear what the Americans had to say. Believers began to witness to him. Soon his wife Olga became a believer.
The Lord used respiratory problems to bring Zhenya to trust Christ a year or so later when he became very sick. Just then John Taylor, a local ABWE missionary, visited just in time to offer needed transportation to a hospital which saved Zhenya's life. He saw this as God's hand so he believed and was baptized. We heard his testimony at a wonderful dinner in his home when we visited later.
Whithin three years he was preaching actively in the church and took the office of the church evangelist. When we visited the nex time he was preaching in various villages around Makarovo area where other churches had started.
His funeral will be on Friday."

The Bathing Machine

I was looking on the internet for vintage bathing suits and I came across something called the bathing machine. I had never heard of it before and thought it was very interesting. (I got my information from www.wikipedia.com.

The Bathing Machine
"The bathing machine was a device which flourished in the 19th century to allow people to wade in the ocean at beaches without violating Victorian notions of modesty. Bathing machines were in the form of roofed and walled wooden carts which would be rolled into the sea. Some had solid wooden walls; others had canvas walls over a wooden frame.
The bathing machine was part of sea-bathing etiquette which was more rigorously enforced upon women than men, but was expected to be observed by people of both sexes among those who wished to be considered "proper".
Especially in Britain, men and women wishing to enjoy the sea were usually segregated into separate areas, so that nobody of the opposite sex might catch sight of them in their bathing suits, which, although extremely modest by more modern standards, were not considered proper clothing to be seen in the general public."

Using the Bathing Machine

"People would enter the small room of the bathing machine while it was on the dry beach, wearing their street clothing. In the privacy of the machine they would then change into their bathing suit, placing their street clothes into a raised compartment where the clothing would remain dry.
The compartments of bathing machines had no windows, as their purpose was assurance of privacy. They were notoriously dark inside. A writer in the Manchester Guardian of May 26th, 1906 wondered why bathing machines never had a glass skylight in the roof to allow in a bit of light.
The bathing machine would then be wheeled or slid down into the water. The most common forms of bathing machines had large wide wheels and were propelled in and out of the surf by a horse or a pair of horses with a driver. Less common were bathing machines pushed in and out of the water by human power. Some very popular resorts had wooden rails put out into the water for the wheels to roll on; a few had their bathing machines pulled in and out by attached cables propelled by a steam engine.
Once in the water, the occupants would debark form the machine out the sea side down steps in to the water. (Many bathing machines had doors at front and at back; those with only one door would either be backed down into the sea or need to be turned around in the trip.) It was considered essential that the water be entered in such a manner that the machine blocked any view of the bather from the shore. Some machines were equipped with a sort of canvas tent which could be lowered from the seaside dor, sometimes capable of being lowered to the level of the water, giving the bather an added area in the water with greater assurance of privacy.
Presumably some such bathing machine arrangements granted enough privacy that bathers could bathe nude, but if this was done it seems not to be generally mentioned in contemporary accounts.
Mention should be made of the practice at some resorts to employ a person called a "dipper". This would be a large strong person of the same sex as the bather who would assist the bather going into and out of the sea. Some dippers were said to rather roughly push the bathers into the water, then yank them out. But thus was considered part of the ocean bathing experience.
Bathing machines would often be equipped with a small flag which could be raised be the bather as a signal to the driver that they were ready to return to shore."

History of the bathing machine

"According to some sources, the bathing machine was first developed about 1750 by one Benjamin Beale at the resort town of Margate, Kent. Other sources say they did not come into common use until some decades later. However, in the Scarborough Public Library there is an engraving by John Setterington dated 1736 which shows people bathing and appears to be the first recorded evidence for the use of bathing machines.
Bathing machines were most common in the United Kingdom and parts of the British Empire with a sizable British population, but were also used at beaches in France, Germany and the United States, and some other nations.
Legal segregation of bathing areas in Britain ended in 1901, and use of the bathing machine declined fairly rapidly thereafter. By the start of the 1920's bathing machines were almost extinct, even on beach resorts catering to an older clientele."

Getting Ready...

I know I haven't posted recently on my weight loss efforts, but I am doing pretty good. I have been working out everyday! I was beginning to think though how I really want to cultivate self-discipline in my life but I wasn't including the Lord in on it. I was seeking Him in other areas of my life but I wasn't handing over to Him the issue of my weight. The reason I should be cultivating self-discipline is because that is what the Lord wants of me, not just for me to be thin. In cultivating self-discipline in the area of my eating and health then it will help me to cultivate self-discipline in other areas as well. I am reading A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George right now. (Can you tell I like books by Elizabeth George?) In two chapters that I just read she talks about having self-control and self-discipline. "Personal discipline can be as simple as the two-letter word NO! Christ didn't say, 'Indulge yourself.' Instead He said, 'Deny yourself.' (Matthew 16:24) So just say NO!" Matthew 16:24 says "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself...'" I shouldn't just try to lose weight to be thin, but lose weight because Christ wants me to have discipline. He doesn't want me to be self-indulgent. When this was my focus yesterday I did so much better in regard to food. If I went to reach for one more cookie I thought about the fact that to eat it would be self-indulgent and Christ says that self-indulgence is sin. Wow, that was pretty motivating not to eat that extra cookie. He doesn't say I can't enjoy a cookie, but when I go back for seconds when I know I shouldn't then that is what makes it wrong.
And cultivating the self-discipline in this area can have far reaching effects on the rest of my life.
"...we can greatly minister to those younger than ourselves if we are temperate and disciplined and restrained. As women with even-keeled temperaments and self-control, we provide excellent models to our children and to our younger sisters in the faith." I know that this won't happen overnight in my life, but if I continue to give it to the Lord and ask that He change my heart, then I know He will do that.

"It has been well said that the future is with the disciplined, and that quality has to be placed first... for without it the other gifts, however great, will never realize their maximun potential. Only the disciplined person will rise to his highest powers." J. Oswald Chambers

Baby Shower

On Monday night we had the baby shower for Hannah and Gabriel. There were 5 newborn babies there from our church and two more ladies are pregnant now! Hopefully I will be next! :) We had a good time! :)

This is Nancy Suko (our Pastor's wife) with her two new grandson's. Gabriel is on the left and Levi is on the right. She bought them matching oufits for the occasion. (Sorry the picture is a little dark.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tuesday's with Mary Beth

I was able to graduate a semester early from high school in December 2001. In February of 2002 I went down to L.A. to live with my grandparents and to see if I could stay there a year, get residency, go to a community college (their's are $22 a unit compared to around $300 a unit here) and then go to Biola University. So there I was in sunny Southern California. I got my first job ever at a Farrell's Teacher Supply store. My days off were Sunday and Tuesday.
One Tuesday, not long after I had started working there, I went to pick my cousin Mary Beth up from California High School. (She was a junior at the time.) She is tall and slender with gorgeous strawberry blond hair and fair skin. She climbed into my great grandpa's Buick Century (which I had purchased from my Gramma for the gracious amount of $400) and she adjusted the vents so she could feel the Air Conditioning. We headed on over to Starbucks. At the time there were only a few in that area. Going to Starbucks always reminded me of being back home in Washington because here there are Starbucks on nearly every corner. She got a Chocolate Brownie Frappacino and I got a Caramel Frappacino. We sat outside for a few minutes chatting away. Then we headed over to the scrapbook store. One thing that Mary Beth and I both like to do is scrapbook. We hung out there for a while and we each bought a couple things. Then we headed to Uptown Whittier. This is the cutest part of Whittier. I guess you could say it is like being in the downtown of a city except for the fact that it is uptown. Maybe that's because you go up towards the hills to get to it. We stopped at the L.O.B., The Little Old Bookstore. They have all kinds of used books. We enjoyed scouring over the piles and bookshelves looking to see if there were any we might like to read. I found 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was only about $3 so I grabbed it. (I loved it so much that each time we went back to the LOB I would get the next one in the series. There are 4 total.) After that we headed back to Mary Beth's house.
From then on, every Tuesday, I would pick her up from school and we would do the exact same thing. (There were probably a couple Tuesday's in there when it didn't work out.) I loved those times with her. We became really close while I was there. I went home in June for graduation and after that I ended up coming back to Washington, but that is a whole other story. But when I think about the time I stayed in L.A. I always think about Tuesdays with my dear Mary Beth.

This is Mary Beth on the right, she is with her sister Eva- Karin, who we lovingly call EK. :)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessing all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided -
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

"Thomas Chisholm was born in 1866 in the state of Kentucky. He wrote over 1200 hymns, such as: "Living For Jesus," and "O, to be Like Thee." But the hymn we remember the most is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." Chisholm did not write this hymn because something great and miraculous had taken place in his life. No, he wrote this because over his entire life he had learned to see the greatness of God. At the age of 75, he wrote:
"My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.""

Come, Thou Fount

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount-I’m fixed upon it-mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wand’ring from the fold of god;
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wand’ring heart to Thee;
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.

"Robert Robinson (1735-1790) was saved under the ministry of George Whitefield. He even entered into the Christian ministry, but he still tended to wander from God. He wrote the hymn “Come Thou Fount” as an autobiographical sketch. His heart would get out of tune, causing him to neglect God. In stanza two he tells of his conversion. And stanza three he admits that he has a daily debt to Grace and asked God to help his wandering heart. One day, in his latter years, while he was on a stagecoach, a female passenger wanted to share her faith with him. His actions that day spoke as one not knowing Christ. She quoted this hymn saying, “These words might help you as they have helped me.” He sobbed, “Madam, I am the poor, unhappy man who composed that hymn many years ago. I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.” "

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Love of God

Hymns are my favorite thing to sing at church. Choruses are nice but they do not have the depth that hymns do. Hymns teach us about the Lord and what He has done. They turn our gaze upward to Him. Here is one of my favorites(and I have many favorites) and some of the history behind it.

The Love of God
by Frederick M. Lehman

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.


O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.


"Author and composer Frederick M. Lehman wrote a pamphlet in 1948 entitled History of the Song, The Love of God. It tells about the origin of this beloved hymn.
While at a camp-meeting in a mid-western state early in his ministry, an evangelist climaxed a message by quoting what became the last stanza of this song. The profound depths of the lines moved Lehman to preserve the words for future generations. Not until he had come to California did this urge find fulfillment, and that at a time when circumstances forced him to do hard manual labor.
One day in 1917, during short intervals of inattention to his work, he picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against a wall, with a stub pencil in his hand, he added the first two stanzas and chorus of the song.
What became the 3rd stanza had been found penciled on the wall of a patient's room in an insane asylum, and the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity. But in reality, the key stanza was written nearly one thousand years earlier by a Jewish songwriter. Here is part of the original Jewish poem as written in Aramaic by Rabbi Mayer of Worms, Germany in the year 1096:

Were the sky of parchment made,
A quill each reed, each twig and blade,
Could we with ink the oceans fill,
Were every man a scribe of skill,
The marvelous story of God's great glory
Would still remain untold;
For He, most high, the earth and sky
Created alone of old. "
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Romans 8:35

Getting Ready...

Well, I didn't post how my efforts went yesturday, so I am doing it this morning. I got up early yesturday and after I had my quiet time I headed to the gym. I worked out for about 40 minutes on the elliptical. I still have not done weights yet so next week I plan on starting that on Monday. I went grocery shopping yesturday and picked up a lot pf produce. I also picked up my dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses! Rue took me out on a little date yesturday to the Olive Garden for lunch. Instead of feeling guilty (for eating tons of pasta) I counted it as a blessing to get to have a date with my sweety! :)

Helpful Tip

Eliminate Eat-More Foods!

"Want to cut your appetite? The secret is to reach for foods that satisfy, instead of ones that leave you hungry for more, experts say. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that some high-calorie foods — like bakery treats — not only don't leave you full but actually trigger your appetite! In fact, participants who were fed a meal of such foods ate twice as many calories over the rest of the day (3,000 in all) as those fed a low-fat, low-calorie meal! Now, that's calories out of control! So reach for foods that fill you up and turn off your hunger switch, the experts say. For example, instead of a cheeseburger, have a sandwich made with whole-grain bread, a lean source of protein, lettuce, and tomato paired with an apple and a cup of tomato soup. Or eat oatmeal with fruit and milk rather than a doughnut and coffee. You'll feel fuller for longer, without skimping on the size — or taste — of your meal!" -- Denise Austin

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Getting Ready...

I just got back from the gym and had a good workout. I did the elliptical machine for 1 hour. I am pretty tired but feel really good. I will definitely sleep good tonight! :) My nutrition was better today but not as good as it could have been. I find that when I mess up once I figure the whole day is ruined so why keep trying. Today though I didn't let myself do that. I was saying to myself "Well, you didn't make very good food choices so you might as well not go workout." But then I kicked myself and reminded myself that that attitude is was got me here in the first place. I thought about how good I would feel after I worked out. And now that I am back from my workout I am so glad I went! I'm working on it! Thanks to all of you who are giving advice. It is really helpful and encouraging!

Counting Blessings, Not Calories

My mother-in-law Bonita posted some great advice on losing weight on her blog. I found it so helpful! Here is a link: www.flitzyphoebie.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Getting ready...

Today I did really good with exercise. I got up nice and early and headed to the gym. When I got there there was no one in the women's only workout room. So I had my pick of the machines which is always nice. I hopped onto an elliptical machine and worked out for an hour. Rue gave me an iPod for Christmas and you can put movies on it. So while I was working out I watched Cheaper by the Dozen. It was kind of hard at first watching a screen half the size of a playing card, but I got used to it. It helped to make my workout go a lot quicker.
But, my nutrition on the other hand wasn't so good. I didn't plan my meals out so I pretty much just ate whatever. So I am going to start planning my menu for the day the night before. That way I can see clearly what I should be eating and not be as tempted to stray off my plan. Tomorrow I plan on heading to the gym at the same time as I did today. I am really excited because I felt so good after I worked out. Endorphins are really nice! :)

25 days and counting...

Today marks the 25th day of rain straight here in the Puget Sound. Some people might moan and complain about how terrible the weather is. It is kind of funny when you watch the news because the reporters seem to complain about the weather no matter what it is like. If it is raining then it is bad weather. If it is cloudy it is bad weather. If it is snowing it is bad weather. If it is really cold then it is bad weather. If it is sunny and really hot then it is bad weather. The only time the weather is good is when it is sunny and 65 degrees. But where is the fun in only enjoying the weather when it is "perfect". I remember something my pastor's wife said a couple years ago. "The sunny weather is wonderful for going outside, working in the yard, swimming, hiking, camping and all the great things that go along with it. Rainy weather is wonderful for staying warm and cozy inside and getting all the things done inside that you don't do when it is sunny." When she said that I realized that I should not complain about the weather. No matter what the weather is like there is always activities that will go along with it. So, I am really enjoying all the rain we are having. I love to hear it pounding on the roof at night, lulling me to sleep. I love to curl up with a cup of coffee or tea while the ran is pouring down and read a good book or watch a movie and work on my crosstitch. I just don't feel right watching a movie in the afternoon when it is sunny outside. But when it is raining I feel no guilt at all. Another fun thing that I love to do is go walking in the rain WITHOUT an umbrella! If you have never tried this then I highly recommend you do.
So the next time you want to complain about the weather, stop and think about all the things you can do when it is raining, snowing, sunny or hot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Getting Ready!

Well, Rue and I have been discussing for a little while and we decided in June to start trying for a baby! I am really excited but also a little scared since this is something totally new to me. But I am mostly excited! I went to the doctor yesterday to make sure I am healthy and also to ask questions on what I need to do physically to prepare. She told me that I should begin taking pre-natal vitamins and a calcium supplement right now. (I am already taking a multi-vitamin everyday so I am already in the habit.) The hardest thing though to have to deal with is my weight. I am heavier than I should be and so of course this isn't good because once I get pregnant I will gain more weight. So I am going to do something pretty scary and tell you all my weight! I am 5'4" tall and weigh 181 pounds. That is much to much weight for my height. So, my doctor and I discussed how much weight would be best for me to lose by June. She suggests losing no more than 5 pounds a month. This is healthiest for my body and will also help me to keep it off in the future. Then she said that once I get pregnant I should only gain between 20 and 25 pounds. This will ensure that I can lose the baby weight a lot easier.
So my plan is to lose 5 pounds a month until June. I am hoping that posting my efforts on my blog will give me some good accountability. I will post how I do each day, every evening. Once a week I will post my weight.
So here is my plan for reaching my goal of 150-155 pounds by June:

4 times a week--cardio on elliptical, bike, or treadmill for 45 minutes
(any extra physical activity, like hiking with Rue, will be considered extra)
3 times a week--strength training on weight machines for 25 minutes

1. Wait to eat until I am actually hungry.
2. Eat only a true portion size. (Good rule of thumb: my stomach is only about the size of my fist.)
3. Drink 6-8 cups of water a day.
4. Eat 3 cups of vegetables a day.
5. Eat 2 cups of fruit a day.
6. Drink 3 cups of low-fat milk a day.
7. Limit sugar to a once a week treat.
8. Pray before EVERY meal!

My biggest struggle with food is when I am all by myself. I tend to munch away. Not good! So in order to combat that bad habit I plan on having a "to-do list" for when I am tempted. Having those things to do will help keep my mind off food.
If anyone has any other helpful tips for me please feel free to share them! Also please pray for us as we are preparing for this new addition to our family. We so much want a family that brings glory to our Lord and Savior! :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Country Boys

Country Boys
on PBS
January 9th, 10th & 11th @ 9pm
"For everyone who remembers what it was like to be young -- when the whole world seemed to stretch out before you while you were stuck in your own backyard -- this special FRONTLINE series tells the story of Chris and Cody: two boys growing up in a hard land, determined to beat the odds against them, and struggling with who they are -- and who they can become.
David Sutherland (creator of the acclaimed documentary “The Farmer's Wife”) wrote, produced and directed this compelling chronicle of Chris Johnson and Cody Perkins, Kentucky teens coming of age in the Appalachian hills."

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Lord is My Shepherd

This morning I was reading more from Powerful Promises for Every Woman by Elizabeth George. In the chapter today she describes a shepherd's rod and staff. So many times in the Bible the Lord is described as a Shepherd to His people. In this book she looks at each aspect of what a shepherd does and then parallels it with the believers relationship with the Lord. We, like sheep, tend to often times want to go our own way. We need someone to gently pull us back with the crook of his staff. And the Lord does that with those of His sheep who tend to wander. Also sheep can fall into a crevice and the shepherd does not rest until he finds his sheep and gently draws them out and then gives them comfort. The Lord does the same with us when we slip and stumble. I remember reading in another book about how sometimes there will be a sheep who is constantly running away from the other sheep and the shepherd. This sheep always seems to head towards trouble and danger. The shepherd will go and bring the sheep back. And he will do it again and again if the sheep keeps wandering off. If the sheep never learns then the shepherd will break one of the sheeps legs and then help the sheep to mend. After this the sheep never wanders off again. We can sometimes be like that sheep and the Lord must discipline us because we just won't stop doing what we are not suppose to. But after He disciplines us, He bandages and takes care of us until we have learned what we need to. And then there are the sheep who stay by the shepherd's side and they know they are safest when they are with him. They have constant "fellowship" with the shepherd. May we be like these sheep who know that it is safest to be walking by the Shepherd's side and having constant fellowship with Him.

The Rod of a Shepherd
"It's an instrument that hangs by the shepherd's side or is sheathed in a long narrow pouch attached to his cloak. Most generally, it's made of oak and is about two feet long, coming from a carefully chosen straight young tree. After tearing up the oak tree, the bulb at the beginning of the root, which is about the size of a man's fist, is trimmed to make the head of a club. Next a hole is carved through the rod so it can be tied to the shepherd's belt or hang from his wrist like a riding whip. Sometimes two-inch metal spikes are driven into the club so that with one blow with it can kill an attacking animal or snake.
Most of us know that sheep have no defenses. God didn't make sheep with claws, nor horns, nor speed, nor tusks, nor spines, nor shells, nor fangs. No, all that the poor sheep has for defense is the shepherd and his rod. Armed with this instrument of protection and death, the shepherd can lead his sheep through tall grass, swinging the club back and forth to frighten any enemies, and prepare the way for his sheep. And with his tool of defense, the shepherd can beat off the enemies of the flock- eagles, snakes, wild animals, mountain lions, bears, wolves coyotes, even robbers."

The Staff of a Shepherd
"It's a much longer stick than the rod, more like six feet in length. It enables the shepherd to climb up and over rocks to survey their stability before leading his sheep there. With his staff, a shepherd can check out crevices and caves for snakes and scorpions that could harm his sheep. And his staff is also used to prod loitering sheep and to separate those that are fighting.
A shepherd's staff also has a crook on one end, much like the end of a curved walking stick. For centuries, the staff with its crook has been used as an instrument of guidance and restraint, and has come to symbolize the wise control of a shepherd over his sheep. For instance, the crook can slipped around a sheep's neck to restrain it or guide it. The crook can also keep a sheep from falling. And this marvelous device is also wielded to rescue sheep. If a sheep falls, the shepherd can twist the crook until it hooks into the sheep's wool and then lift the sheep until it is once again on sure footing.
Oh yes, the staff is most invaluable to the shepherd as he cares for his flock. He can use it to draw the flock together and to keep them from wandering. He can use it to restore the little lambs to their ewes. He can count each sheep when night falls by gently tapping each one on the head with the staff as it enters the sheep fold. And the shepherd uses his staff to communicate with his sheep as they trek and amble along their many paths together. A touch of the staff becomes a gesture of intimacy while walking, even though the shepherd towers over the sheep.
And yes, the staff is also used to coax the sheep to follow. For instance, a tap on a back leg brings a sheep into position, and a tap on the head of the lead sheep makes it lie down so that the others will follow."

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow

of death, I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff they comfort me."

Psalm 23:4

"I am the good Shepherd; and I know My sheep,

and am known by my own."

John 10:14

"He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs

with his arm, and carry them in His bosom,

and gently lead those who are with young."

Isaiah 40:11