Sunday, July 26, 2009

Strange letter we received yesterday

I was out for a lot of running around preparing for VBS yesterday and when I got home, my hubby told me to come into the kitchen. He had something to show me. It was an envelope from someone we don't know and he had opened it and handed me the contents. The first thing I saw was a car payment for my minivan that I had before the one I have now - dated July 15, 2001!! It was the envelope that I had mailed - or atleast I thought I had mailed. It was stamped but not cancelled (did you know that first class stamps are now 10 cents more expensive than 2001??). Then there was this letter:

Hello Mr. Snider,
This will certainly be an unusual letter. We purchased our car, a Sonata and my son found this under the front seat of the car the other day. Amazingly enough we've cleaned the car many times since the purchase. I hope it would be safe for me to assume this attempted payment was resolved. I thought it mght bring you some closure to where you thought you might have lost it.

On another note, this gave me an opportunity to share Christ with someone who I may never meet. Christ is Messiah dear friend, the Bible is truth, please read these tracts and if you don't know Christ has chosen to save you and grant repentance to you may He richly bless you with His gift of salvation. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." "...God commands all men everywhere to repent" "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." "...unless a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven." "The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren, Him you shall bear."

Your friend,

How cool is that?? It's going to be fun to let him know that he contacted a pastor - but I'm sure he'd love to know that he actually introduced someone to Christ. But we'll send him a letter letting him know we got his letter and that he and my husband are brothers in Christ.

Just thought that was very interesting!

Friday, July 24, 2009

God still amazes me!

Next week is our VBS at our church. 450+ kids, 170+ workers and I get to feed them all. So this week and this weekend is the preparation and shopping so I've been super busy. In addition, I need to set up the computer for each day of VBS to project the song words, the videos of the missions project, Bible verses, etc. So, needless to say, I've not been online very much. I've been on a computer, but not online for my fun.

So anyway, I got a call from a young woman at our church who's deaf (there is a service that will take a video phone call from a deaf person and will then translate it to a hearing person that the deaf person wants to speak to. It's a pretty neat thing). She wants to help me in the kitchen for VBS and I told her to call the staffing person just to be sure that this is the best department for her (I thought it would be since working with the kids would be hard when she's deaf and none of the kids know ASL). She called me back twice yesterday saying that she couldn't get a hold of the lady and what should she do? I called her and told her just to come to the kitchen on Monday - it's great if she can help us out. Now this young lady reads lips really well - but she has a hard time communicating to the hearing so I was a little worried abour our communicating but I know a few bits of sign language and there's a big white board in the kitchen that I can use to write notes. Things will work OK.

At our "dry run" (the final meeting of all VBS staff before VBS), one of the ladies was saying that she wished she could take the coffee that I was about to dump home because she had house guests and they like coffee but this lady didn't have any coffee maker. So I told her that I had a spare and I'd bring it over that afternoon. I went to her house to deliver it and met the house guests - really nice couple with 3 kids. The mom asked if she could help in the kitchen too since her kids would be attending VBS and their hostess would be working with me too and I said "Sure!" Many hands make light work, right? So I finally said that I needed to get to church to set up the computer for the deaf church and the houseguest wife seemed surprised. "You have a deaf church??" and I explained the situation. She thought it was so cool because her own parents are deaf and her dad is a pastor. He'd love to have a church to lead like that.

"Wait. Your parents are deaf??? That means you know ASL." says I. "Yeah, I do" says she. Me suddenly yelling in triumph, "YES!!!" Everyone was shocked - until I told them that just an hour before I told a young deaf woman that she can work in the kitchen with us even though I wasn't sure how we'd communicate. But here God provided an interpreter - from clear across the country! How AMAZING is that???

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A review of my day "Off"

Well, it was a glorious day - rain and all. I felt SOOOO unpressured, so unhurried, so .... calm. So what did I do on my day "off"?? I went through 12 years of homeschooling supplies, 3 bookcases were organized, children's September books are all set in the bookcase, and about 1/3 of the books that I don't need are listed at VegSource, with the rest to follow over the next few day. I did run out to purchase some Greek salad and a spinach pie (I've been craving them for days so I figured "why not??") and some things from the drug store but otherwise I was home. It was wonderful.

But of course all good things must come to an end. Today will be super busy and a day mostly out of the house. I need to go to my ob/gyn's office (there's a billing issue with my old insurance company), church (need to get a cash advance for VBS), Target (Lauren stepped on Robby's favorite Bakugon so she's going to buy him some more - and we all need some new undies), Costco (buying for VBS's "dry run" tomorrow), supermarket (again for dry run). Tonight I need to go to church to do some training on the new computer system (I do NOT like being the only one who knows how to run it - we need more people!!), so dinner will be early. I'm thinking of purchasing dinner at Costco - a rotisserie chicken and salad would be yummy and cheap!

So, back to the real world. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A day "off" for mom!

I don't know how summer is for everyone else but at our home, summer is BUSY. Our church really ramps up for the summer with lots of activities for the kids so I find I'm running all over all the time. There was youth week to start (teens out all week at activities and the nightly meeting), then we went on vacation for a week (lots of planning, shopping, loading stuff on the boat, etc.). As soon as we got back, we went right into MiniDOZ which is the dance/tambourine worship camp for the girls (my two older ones were teachers and my little one was one of the campers). Now this week is a week "off" but it's the week before VBS which is a busy week for me since I feed all 450 kids and 160 workers. We also have dry run this Thursday so I need to have food ready for that. Next week will be VBS, then we have a few days before we go on our 2 weekk vacation which of couse means more planning, shopping, loading stuff on the boat. Once we get home, I'll have about 13 loads of laundry to do, will need to get school stuff ready to go, and just get ready for the fall. So my summer is quite busy.

So in all of that, I started feeling REALLY overwhelmed last week - almost to the point of tears. I decided that today, Tuesday, would be my day "off" of any responsibility. My plan was to not even leave the house but I think that I may go to a new Greek place for lunch with hubby. But otherwise, I'm not leaving the house and I'm not even going to make dinner! Hubby will bring home a great dinner from a Mexican place we love and it's cheap - only $20 which will feed all 6 of us easily with leftovers. What's really funny is that because I'm home, I'm motivated to get things done! I never feel motivated to do a lot of stuff around the house when I'm out of it all the time but today? I've got a to-do list a mile long but I'm not pressuring myself to get it done! What freedom!! I love it!

So I'm off to enjoy my day "off". I think I'm first going to clean off the homeschool bookcase and put in all of the new books that came yesterday. I'll toss in a load of laundry too. Ahhhhh - I'm loving life today. Oh! And God gave me a gift! It's cold and rainy today - so no guilt about not taking the kids to the pool! LOL

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Praise in the Park

We had a WONDERFUL day today for our church's "Praise in the Park". We rent the gazebo in the village park and do worship, have some creative arts stuff and promote our VBS too. It was wonderful to worship the Creator on such a gorgeous day (low 80s, no humidity and right on the water - PERFECT). Here are a few clips to share with you.

This is my hubby (in the white polo playing keyboard) leading worship:

These are the little girls who did the tambourine worship camp. It's amazing watching these little ones learn the patterns - which each have a verse and a purpose for the movements and the girls needed to learn all of this stuff too! These are kids from Kindergarten through high school (the high schoolers are the teachers in the green - those are the girls who do this stuff in worship)

Here's another worship song. My daughter is the singer with the short dark hair. :)

Finally, the funny skit for promoting VBS. These guys will be doing the skit in VBS each day. "Buff" is a youth intern (works in the youth department with the youth pastors), "Dan the Man" is one of the youth pastors, "Gordo" (the dorkey guy) is a character that was in our kids' program during the year - he's a kid going off to Moody Bible Institute to become a pastor, possibly to the deaf. Finally, "Chanel" is a young woman who'd studying the arts and is a big help in dramas during the summer. Her mom is the head of the "DOZ", the tambourine worship.

Finish to a busy week

MAN was this week ever busy! We had 2 camps going on at church - MiniDOZ (a tambourine praise camp for young girls) and basketball camp. We thought this would be a nice easy week since our oldest is now driving but were we ever wrong! It was still running here, running there, hospitality, scrambling for dinners, and just a lot of chaos, IMO. I don't like chaos. I also don't like being pulled away from home all the time. I MUCH prefer to just be home and do stuff around here. My poor house has suffered this week and I have tomorrow to clean it up. SIGH

But we also had a lot of fun this week. Early in the week, we took our our guest pastor from last Sunday on the boat and we had a wonderful visit. The weather looked like it was going to be really bad (very windy) but it turned into an evening with a wonderful sail and lots of great food. We then took out another crew on Wednesday afternoon and again, had a wonderful time. This time was with a man who was helping at our basketball camp and two friends of his. This guy was a former Harlem Globetrotter, so he later in the week showed Robby some of his tricks. VERY cool. I had a great time on that sail because he brought his 2.5 year old daughter with him and she was ADORABLE. She was so funny - wanting to do "siwwy" things (silly). It made me ever so slightly think "Hmmm - another baby??" LOL

This week was also a time to watch my two older girls be mentors/teachers/spiritual "older women" to the young girls who were in their care. Both girls are leaders and had to deal with some situations that really showed their maturity. My 17 year old had a young girl (she had first graders - girls going into first grade) who didn't want to learn the patterns for the dance because she wasn't going to be there at the end on the last day. My DD explained to her - and to the other girls - that it's not about performing but about worshipping the Creator and even in how we do our practice and learning will be a form of worship to Him. The little girl "got" it and my DD told me that her entire attitude changed and now she was wholeheartedly learning the patterns so she could do it easily and then focus on God. How awesome is it to see our children walking in the Light! :)

Well, I'm off to church now. This afternoon, we will be in our village park with our worship team (DH leading it), the young girls doing one song and some other skits (promoting VBS) and drama. Should prove to be an amazing day and I thank God for the absolutely PERFECT weather we have for today. God is so good, isn't He?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Oh the best laid plans.....

Sunday - steak, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad
Monday - chicken picatta, angel hair pasta, green beans
Tuesday - wine-braised Italian sausages, salad
Wednesday - hot dogs, burgers, grilled onions, salads
Thursday - Indonesian pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, peas
Friday - 5 cheese mac and cheese
Saturday - chicken sausages on the grill, black bean and corn salad

I had a good start for my menu planning on Sunday. I went food shopping on Sunday and we're all set with food. Then the week started. Last night was supposed to be the chicken picatta but we had a guest pastor in to preach this week and we took him out sailing instead. I picked up Subway footlongs and a bunch of deli salads so that's what we had instead. We had the chicken picatta tonight and it was yummy anyway. :) We'll see how the rest of the week unfolds. We're taking someone out on the boat again tomorrow at noon - and I'm not sure what time we'll be back. Maybe I'll get everything chopped and ready to go so we'll have time to eat before we all need to be at church.

It's nice to be able to be flexible though! AND it's been a pleasure to get to know some new friends. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Well, our vacation is over - although the memories (and laundry) still linger. :) We had a wonderful time with the trip and were surprised by the very cool weather! Thursday's high was just 67 degrees - unheard of as even a low for July on Long Island! We went on the 4th to New Haven, CT to see fireworks (it was a very industrial area - not a fun destination except for the fireworks but it was fine), then we headed to our favorite harbor - Hamburg Cove, CT. Hamburg Cove is off the Connecticut River about 8 miles up from Long Island Sound. It's a fresh water cove so we did a LOT of swimming despite the cool temps. We stayed there two nights and then headed down the river a mile to Essex where we stayed at the Yacht Club and had a nice dinner at the Grizwald Inn (even though it POURED as we were going there and were soaked as we ate dinner). After Essex and it's rain and thunderstorms, we headed back to the Island and Greenport where my ILs live. We stayed on a dock there which was wonderful because we had wifi and full electric so we ran everything including the 3 computers we had on board! LOL We stayed in Greenport Wednesday and Thursday nights then headed to Port Jefferson, NY for our last night and were home by 2PM on Saturday to our mooring. As I said, now it's time to deal with the aftermath but it's not too bad since this was only a 1 week trip. Now our 2 week trip? THAT creates a lot of work afterwards! LOL

So without further ado, I leave you with some pics:

We bring all of our own food so that we don't have to take a family of 6 out to a restaurant (easily $150 no matter how frugal we try to do it). Here's what our galley (kitchen) looked like as we left the dock:

Here's my bed with all of our duffles:

Robby and JoJo processing their duffles and stuff. We put it all away in a locker (closet) on the left. I don't like to keep duffles out because it just seems to make more of a mess.

Robby, JoJo and I looking at something - don't know what it is:

Robby, the First Mate, navigating for the captain.

Here's JoJo swimming in Hamburg Cove:

Bob and I at the Griswald. My FIL graciously treats us to dinner here each time we're in Essex.

Lauren and Nicole at the Griz:

Robby and Joanna at the Griz: