Friday, October 12, 2007


Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I'm a few branches over on the tree, but I can only imagine the relief felt by a mom and dad who've lived for almost two years without their youngest daughter, or by a sibling whose heart has been wrenched and torn out by the criminal (and inhuman) acts of this man. My heart breaks for the girls, to struggle with the knowledge that their mother was killed by their father. My heart breaks for my husband, and also for his mother, who struggled to protect someone without really even knowing the threats she faced.

I'd like to think I'm not the type to revel in someone else's pain or misfortune, but there's something deeply satisfying about seeing someone face the consequences of their horrible behaviors. After two long years of seeing the suffering of those left behind while the guilty one went on with his life and reputation relatively intact, it's truly satisfying to imagine what must have gone through his mind as he began to watch it all crumble around him.

And at the same time, I know justice isn't always served-- not on earth anyway. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, victims wait too long to report, or evidence is destroyed, or fear is employed to buy their silence for a time. Sometimes, sadly, we can't see the perpetrator fully and publicly punished for what they've done. In those times, we just have to rest in the knowledge that deep in the heart of most people who commit heinous crimes is the knowledge and full understanding of what they've done. They carry with them in their spirits the secret anguish and guilt over what they've done, the inability to confess such sins tearing them apart inside day by day. No matter where they go, they are never, and could never be, free.

And the ones who don't have that conscience... Not much to say about that.

I hope Tim Tillman gets the legal consequences he deserves. Only then can those who loved Janet begin to work on forgiving him, and praying for his soul. It's hard to forgive someone who refuses to admit or apologize or pay for their crimes against the innocent.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Back to School Whirlwind


Yep, I definitely feel like I'm on a rollercoaster right now, which is why I haven't posted an update in a while. And as for real, fabulous, chunky, meaty substance, this isn't going to be much of a post, either. But it's going to be an update. Take it or leave it. ;-)

Hmmmmm... Where to begin?

A) We have been visiting new churches recently. We had found a church that we thought denominationally met our needs and had been attending since October of 2006. But, it was very, very big. Big, as in too big for us to even get a call or card from anyone when the babies were born. Big, as in corporate enough that there didn't seem to really be any need for new volunteers, since everyone kind of had their thing going on already. Big, as in, well, just too big for us to feel at home. We've become weirdo country folks over the last few years, and like small town living, and the small town feel. Which brings me to our second problem with the other church-- it's in the main city almost a half an hour drive from where we live now. So, that basically limited us to Sunday morning participation since we don't head into town every day. Something in our town (which is actually about a five minute drive since we don't technically live in town anymore) would mean we could do Wednesday nights, Sunday afternoons, and more. And then there's my third problem with the old church-- it is very much a "we are the only right way" kind of denomination that isn't very good with ecumenical interactions. As much as I liked the church and its beliefs, I kind of have a hard time believing that any of the other Christian denominations are heading to Hell en masse simply because their flavor of Christianity isn't the right kind. Shoot, I don't think I completely believe that people of other religions than Christianity are definitely going to Hell en masse, for that matter. So, if being an exclusivist Believer is a requirement, I'm really going to be a crappy church member. Anyway, we believe we've found a new church home in our own little town, and we really like it. It's a small church, with lots of room to grow and opportunities to serve, and the people are fabulous. We'll see how it goes.

B) We've begun our homeschool year, and all the activities that come along with it. We started back to our year on September 17. We've also started the boys back to Cub Scouts (one is a second year Webelos and on track so far to have the Arrow of Light award, as well as every possible Webelos badge, and the other is a Tiger Cub), and Sassy Pants started back to American Heritage Girls. We're doing Scout popcorn sales and AHG candy bar sales, and I have to say that once again, I remember why I hate fundraisers. The two oldest are now in a homeschool Chess Club for 3rd grade and up once a week, my Webelos boy went to his first Boy Scouts campout over last weekend, and I took the four youngest munchkins on a field trip to an upstate farm. At the campout, big guy learned how to canoe and much more, and at the farm we learned about beekeeping, sheep herding, and got to eat goat and emu chili. We start our science unit on astronomy tonight! :-)

C) The babies are fabulous! They're now rolling over, trying to sit up, talking, cooing, and beginning to interact with each other. They weigh almost 17 pounds each at almost 5 months, and are in size 6-12 months clothing. As much as people made fun of us for wanting a 4th child, and as much as I almost had a heart attack when the sonographer told us it was a 5th one too, I can't imagine life without both of them. They're both very easy and very sweet babies; the only part that is sometimes hard is that there's two of them.

D) The house is coming along great. I got it all organized (at least well enough to have company) before Sassy Pants's 7th birthday party on September 22. It gets DARN COLD in there early mornings on cold nights. Winter is going to suck a fat one. Luckily, some friends from our new church have some farm land that needs clearing, so we'll be able to get boatloads of firewood one day in October when we go to help clear it out. Hopefully we can use the wood stove and bedroom space heaters wisely enough and avoid a killer gas bill this winter.

E) I've begun work on writing the book I've always threatened to write. I'm almost done with the introduction, and will occasionally post updates here about how far I am. The goal is to write about 10 pages a week. And no, self-centered, self-absorbed, manipulative crazy person, it's not about you. So get over yourself. ;-)

F) The hubster took a second job a couple of weeks ago. We really want to be able to buy this house, which will require getting ahead financially. We've been doing a so-so job of treading water and making teeny progress towards paying off more debt, but that won't get us where we want to be when we want to be there. So, we're going to continue to live off of job #1 for our regular expenses, and use 100% of the money from job #2 to pay off debts and begin to save up towards a downpayment on the house. If I could find a job I could do without abandoning the kids and giving up the SAHM and homeschooling, I would do that. We're just about ready to get radical if it gets us out of debt faster.

G) What kind of space cadet makes snotty comments to someone who OBVIOUSLY believes in having a big family about thinking that big families are bad? Seriously? It's been over a month now since someone offended me and the hubster-- someone we both care about very much-- and it's still a sore spot with us. The person was drunk at the time of the offending comments, so hubs and I were both wise enough to refuse to take the bait or try to engage in such an important conversation with someone who was obviously enebriated, but it definitely ticked us off. I'm going to update the family philosophy page of this blog to reflect what we believe about family size.

That's about it for the updates for now. I was going to add in a few pictures to the post, but time and technical constraints force me to save that for another post. :-)