Friday, May 29, 2009

Mercy abounds....all around

Last Saturday night Kevin and Patrick were returning home from running a couple of errands. Less than a half mile from the house, a lady coming toward them turned front of them. Kevin slammed on brakes and cut left trying to miss her, but the collision was unavoidable. Here are the results:

So here's a reminder: Wear your seat belts and thank God for airbags. I had never seen how the dash just rips open, but there it is.

Thankfully no one was hurt badly, though two passengers in the other vehicle were not wearing seatbelts and were transported to the hospital for neck/back trauma.

And on a much happier note, mercy abounds in our home, and Patrick and I were able to get away for two nights at The King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It's a sentimental place for us having spent our wedding night there, dined there for various anniversaries and escaped there for a night away once or twice over the years. We had a wonderful time enjoying each other without interruptions (well...except for the phone calls to Gieco...see above). The kids did well on their own and a special thanks to Mark and Chrissy (my wonderful sister and brother-in-law) for hosting Victoria. I am blessed beyond measure to have a devoted, loving husband!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drum Roll Please.....

Hannah has started a blog. I'm a little nervous about this adventure...there's no telling what she'll tell you, but here it is

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Patrick: 20 for our 20th

Twenty short years ago we embarked on a journey, and what an amazing odyssey it has been! Since that hot, May afternoon when we said "I do", we have traversed waters we never dreamed existed, and have created a beautiful life.

I'm stealing an idea from my sweet niece and in honor of our 20th wedding anniversary am presenting 20 reasons I am blessed to have YOU for a husband.

1. You have an amazing gift for loving people! People make me crazy...but your patience and compassion have no limits.

2. You are a man of the Word! I can hardly remember a day passing in 20 years that I haven't seen you with your Bible open (or seen you scrolling down your Palm). Truly, you set an incredible example for the kids and I.

3. You are one of THE punniest people I know. Though I often groan outwardly...secretly I love your jokes.

4. You watch Jane Austen movies (over and over again) with me...and I even think you like them.

5. You love baseball. And I love baseball. Doesn't that work out swimmingly?!?

6. Despite my grandmother's prophesy to the contrary 20 years ago, you still open the car door for me...each and every time we go somewhere. Chivalry is not dead! You are my knight in shining armor!

7. You let me have whatever I think I need for homeschooling...and never complain about how much it costs. You are a prize!

8. Similarly, you don't complain that our house looks like a library (albeit a messy one) and books are everywhere!

9. You are amazingly understanding when the laundry gets behind or the house stays cluttered. If you think ill of me and my homemaking skills, you never let on. Thanks...I'm trying, really I am.

10. You have the most astonishing connection with teens. I love your heart that sacrifices your time to communicate God's truth to them. This county and school system are incredibly blessed to have you here!

11. You see value in everyone's life...even pre-born lives! Carenet and LifeSteward Ministries found a gem when they found you! This country is blessed to have you here!

12. You have a heart for the nations! You aren't afraid to give up the normal conveniences of life in America to go to the nations and preach the gospel. The world is blessed to have you here!

13. You eat anything I cook with nary a complaint. No matter what my latest food quirk just eat what's in front of you. Thank you for making my life easier.

14. You take care of yourself physically and are in great shape. You are a runner...and runners amaze me. Seriously, I hate running (but you know that) and I think it's great that you can crawl out of bed ridiculously early, take the dog and run. Keep up the good work!

15. You can fix anything! Your tinkering used to scare me, but now I have complete confidence in your abilities.

16. Similarly, you are a computer genius. I am in awe of the breadth of your knowledge of hardware, software and host of other things about which I am completely ignorant.

17. You are a terrific father to four of the most beautiful children to ever grace the planet (I'm the I can say that). From birthday lunches to the rotating Friday breakfast dates, the kids know that they are valued by you and that you always have time for them.

18. You love me. Many days I don't know why or how, but you do. You have loved me through times of incredible grief and times of great happiness. Your steadfast love is a comfort to me.

19. You watch musicals with the girls and I. From funny ones like Hello Dolly to more serious ones like Fiddler on the've seen them all, and you tolerate us singing the songs, over and over when they get stuck in our head.

20. Marrying you has made me a better person. In the words of a song from Wicked (a musical I have yet to share with you), "I do believe I have been changed for the better" just by having you as my husband. I can't imagine my life without you.

You are a treasure...and I'm blessed to be your wife, friend and lover. Happy 20th Anniversary!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flashback Friday

I've recently become a bit nostalgic. A couple of weeks ago, we turned on our main computer to see a message to this effect: A hard drive failure in imminent. The short story is the hard drive failed and despite hours of effort and several hundred dollars, nothing was recoverable. Our entire life on the computer - evaporated. Lesson learned...back up computers, even new ones.

Anyway, I'm quite thankful for the pictures and memories that have been recorded on my blog since mid 2007. In an effort to have all my blog in one place, I've decided to slowly but surely copy my old blog at xanga into Imitating Steventon here at Blogger via Flashback Friday. Each Friday (Lord willing) I'm going to import a post from my old blog to this one here. Here is my first post dated

Tuesday, 17 April 2007


Are you wondering about the name...Imitating Steventon. To be proper, it should be Imitiating Steventon Rectory, but I liked the sound of it w/o the Rectory part. Steventon Rectory was the childhood home of Jane Austen. I love the quote by one of Austen's family members about "the home conversation being rich with shrewd remarks, bright with playfulness and humor," so I have incorporated it into the name of my blog. I'm sure Steventon Rectory was indeed filled with witty dialogue and mischief. The Austens had 8 children AND took in boarders from Oxford and Cambridge. No doubt there was never a lack of lively conversation. So, while we don't plan to add boarders any time soon, we do aspire to have a home with lively and loving conversations. As the kids and I read in our devotion today, we desire to follow Paul's admonition to "let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Col.4:6)

Patrick always refers to our house as Stately Eades Manor...maybe I'll start calling it Steventon Manor. I prefer my home be named after Austen than Batman...don't ya think?

I guess I just lose the comments...maybe someday someone will figure out a way to import xanga into Blogger.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sometimes I just can't help myself. My compassion and mercy run roughshod over reason and good judgment. Two weeks ago, the center director (not the executive director...the one I am married to) at the Brunswick Carenet asked me to speak to a group of soon-to-be moms about babies and caring for newborns. Of course I was delighted to do it. Well, before the evening was over, I had fallen in love with the girls and heard myself offering to teach the parenting portion of group for the next 6 weeks or so until it is time to begin the Lamaze/medical portion of the class. What was I thinking? I need one more commitment like a drowning man needs more water. But, the deed was done.

The girls and their boyfriends/husbands/mothers attend the class, hopefully become more prepared for labor, delivery and parenting, and accumulate Dedication Dollars that they can redeem for maternity and baby clothes, diapers, cribs and all kinds of baby paraphernalia in the Carenet Baby Store. The girls range in age from 15 to 26, and most are having their first baby. Most are outgoing and most of my attempts to hold the discussion to the topic at hand often prove futile. I challenge them to eat a little healthier than they did last week, drink a little more water and a little less Code Red Mountain Dew, and think about parenting as a long term proposition. I want them to see that small decisions add up to big consequences in the future. Often taking the easy route with a 3 or 6 month old will make parenting a little harder with a 9 month old. Most of them seem to love the mother figure nurturing them...I guess what remains to be seen is if they actually put any of our advise and wisdom into practice.

After last night's class, one girl stayed late to talk to the other leader and I. Despite having just found out she was pregnant last week, she and her fiance have kicked their preparations for marriage and parenthood into high gear. She pulled out her Bible and a Bible Study book that she had recieved at Carenet last week and showed us how she and her fiance had nearly completed the study questions. Then she inquired, "Do you think I could have another Bible so my fiance could have his own while we do the Bible study together?" Doesn't that request just make you smile? While the week has hardly begun, I knew I wouldn't find a better quote of the week than that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Dreaded Gaps (and my Quote of the Week)

I have tried to avoid typing this blog entry because it's not very, correct. But you know, I've noticed LIFE is not always politically correct, and this is just way too funny (and sad?) not to share.

Homeschooling. So many times I feel like a failure; like I'm ruining my kids for life, and their future success or failure rests solely on my puny shoulders. I confess, my kids have gaps, huge academic gaps in their education. I'm often shocked at what they don't know, and some days it's downright discouraging. The one thing I have never worried about, but is foremost on homeschooling opponents' minds is the "s" word: socialization. I think our kids are very well adjusted and can hold their own (and sometimes dominate) conversations with peers or adults. But much to my dismay, this past week has revealed several gaps even in their social skills. Man, the one area in which I was formerly worry free!

Patrick has the distinct privilege of speaking to every 7th, 8th and9th grader in the Glynn County School system during their respective health class. He encourages the kids to look to the future and make good choices, specifically in the area of relationships and sexuality. Based on the feedback we get when we are out in public, the kids love him AND his somewhat unorthodox presentations. On Wednesday, he had two 8th grade "shadows" - you know, kids following him around all day to see what his career is like. Funny, his shadows from one middle school had to go to another middle school and sit through a whole days worth of repeat performances...but I guess they didn't mind. Part way through one class, he was interrupted and asked to come and help break up a fight between two girls in another classroom. He found one girl holding the other by her hair, er - uh her hair extensions (also know as weave), and attempting to pulverize her. Patrick did help break up the fairly fierce cat fight and eventually returned to his classroom. Before picking up where he left off, one girl raised her hand and timidly offered this: "Mistah Eeeeades, I don't know if I should tell you this, but you have weeeeave on your elbow." Gee, one of the casualties of breaking up fights, huh?

After a full day of his shadows patiently enduring multiple presentations, he treated them to Chick-fil-a. As they were dining together, one shadow quipped, "You know what the problem in the school is? They got too many black kids in those classes?" Shocked to hear such non-politically correct speech, Patrick questioned the statement. "Yeah, you put that many black kids in a class and you're gonna have trouble," clarified one of the two African-American shadows.

So, let's see if I have this right. My girls have failed to learn how to physically fight (they prefer verbal lashings), and possibly none of the kids have fully developed their prejudices.

So if the previous two gaps were not enough, Kevin brought one more to light. He has joined the Braveheart drama team, and on Friday had his first experience speaking to the kids in the public schools. While enjoying the delicious cafeteria food (hmmm...maybe he won't complain about leftovers any more), he witnessed a boy attempt to sit down at a table with his tray of food. The kids already seated informed him that he could only sit there IF he gave them his bread sticks (which he did). Drats, it had not occurred to me to teach my kids proper and effective bullying techniques.

So, just when I think I am free and clear in one aspect of home schooling, the dreaded gaps identify themselves right before my eyes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One Blessed Mom

The Laundry Maven

The past three Saturdays have been consumed with yard work. Patrick and Kevin tackled the installation of border boards to keep the St. Augustine grass from creeping into the rest of the landscape. I have feverishly been weeding, planting, fertilizing and spreading mulch - four pick-up truck loads to be exact. Okay, so to be fair, I haven't exactly done that ALL by myself. Patrick and Kevin did most of the heavy shoveling. :-) So, while I work outside, you might think everything inside the house lies neglected.

Thankfully, I have wonderful daughters to prevent that from happening. While Alyssa seems to have escaped the yard frenzy by miraculously being scheduled to work every Saturday morning and afternoon, the other girls have risen to the occasion. Last Saturday Hannah swept and mopped the entire downstairs. No small feat! The feeling of coming into a clean house after working outside all day was incredible. Thanks Hannah!

Up until yesterday, I'd been a bit of a control freak about me being the only one to do the laundry. While I think all the kids know HOW to use the washer and dryer, I don't generally LET them. I guess I don't want them to ruin any know....have something red accidentally go through with the whites. I'll leave that faux pas to me. But yesterday, it all came to an end. I was woefully behind before Saturday morning rolled around, and I knew we would all suffer if the washer wasn't humming for a major portion of Saturday; so Victoria took on the giant. While Hannah and Kevin worked outside, Victoria set up shop in the laundry room. At one point she could have been found sitting on top of the washer and dryer, folding clothes and watching a movie on Alyssa's laptop. She dutifully kept the washer and drying spinning all day and diligently asked advise about whether this shirt or those pants were permitted in the dryer. Amazingly enough, when I came inside mid-afternoon, the laundry room was void of all dirty clothes AND clean clothes. All articles had been taken to their respective rooms. The mountain of dirty laundry (and even a mound of clean that had been thrown on top of the washer and dryer) had been transformed into neat piles on my bed and in each kid's respective clean laundry container.

I have such amazing children. That is, after all, the best Mother's Day present they could ever give me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It Takes all Sorts

Don't you love how differently God made each of us? I have a dear friend who is an incredible woman of God, faithful Carenet volunteer, pastor's wife, and one of THE funniest people that I know. She is also super organized. She is a calendar/planner/menu freak! She IS what I want to be when I grow up. Today she posted her latest menu effort on her blog . Not to be outdone, I posted mine too. If you scroll down on this page, you will see today's menu on a button just below my "Currently Reading".

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Katrina, the Wonder Dog

Wonder dog, you ask? For those of you who have ever visited our house, you think I've lost my marbles by calling her that. You've been greeted by the vicious beast who has yet to respond to any of our attempts at bark training. Yes, we've gone through every kind of bark collar known to canine owners. Nothing has helped. But other than that little (okay, giant) behavior problem, she is every child's dream dog. Just this week the younger girls decided to purchase a harness so that she can pull them on the garden cart. Amazingly enough, she loves it. Well, if she doesn't love it, she's a good sport about it.

So, despite the fact that I often wonder why we have a dog, another creature to clean up after, I am continually amazed at how much joy she brings to all of us, but especially to Hannah and Victoria.