Sunday, December 21, we attended church. Because special ed classes are only provided for one hour, I came home after Sunday school and finished preparing lunch. Wanting a bread to go with our pot roast, I decided to try a new biscuit recipe. It was yummy!


Friday was pump the flat tire day as I picked up Sarah from school and Holmes from the airport. Sarah and I had lunch at Chipotle. It was pretty good--I like Cuca's better. Then we talked all afternoon and evening.

Today I mostly rested--did a little laundry, sewed a skirt for Noelle and did some alterations on Bethany's clothes. We didn't get the day started until 9:30am. On some days, naps are my favorite things! Sarah, pictured, demonstrates napping.


Today is the 18th day of advent. ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS! I have gone full circle. The house is fairly picked up, but I must clean up the kitchen! All the presents are wrapped and under the tree. I only have two gifts left to purchase or make.
Jon and Sarah will be coming home tomorrow, but they will eventually show up tonight to watch movies--with friends of course!

Wednesday, December 17, I spent getting ready for GA. As usual, I thought of a complicated craft to do for our Christmas party. Since it was complicated, I did most of the work ahead of time! So the house is a mess, but the girls loved the cupcakes, Christmas goodies and the craft. Now I look forward to cleaning house and wrapping gifts!


We did our Ga program at VLMHP tonight! The girls were great! Since not all the girls came, I spent my time juggling girls around and figuring out who was wearing what costume. Mary and Joseph didn't make it to Bethlehem, so I had to find substitutes! At the end, we sang traditional Christmas carols that we don't sing much in church anymore. I don't know how many people were Christians at the program, but they all loved singing the songs--Joy to the World, Silent Night, O little Town of Bethlehem, and Hark the Harold Angels Sing.


Ahh, Monday! My normal day to put the house in order . . . Instead I made more mess and Bethany helped! With the GA program at Valencia Lea on schedule for tomorrow, I made and improved costumes. Dad left for N.C. early this morning. Slow and steady, a cold rain has fallen all day, leaving a chill in the house. Even though I want to turn up the heat, I resist, knowing the high priced results.

Bethany screams . . . again. Some days are not happy days for her. Today is one of those days. Happy advent day 15!

Ham-flavored and spicy, the pinto beans we had for lunch yesterday were surprisingly yummy. I don't normally like them. Our Sunday included Ben and Kris. Dad wrapped a few presents. And that was advent day #14.


Blogging everyday is difficult! Thursday, Noelle and I celebrated the 11th day of Advent by going to the dessert theater at church. Yesterday, I addressed, signed and mailed our Christmas cards. Last night we watched "Elf", a light-hearted Christmas movie. Today(December 13), so far, I've made chocolate chip cookies and sent a package of goodies and gifts to my Dad in N.O.


On the tenth day of advent . . . we taught our last writing classes for the year and attempted to make them more fun than usual. Writeshop I included deciphering extremely wordy titles for Christmas songs. Writeshop II incorporated a round robin with a Christmas theme. To top off the day, GA practiced our Christmas program for next week at Valencia Lea. And then, I came home and crashed!


Today marks the ninth day of advent. An ipod, a camera, and a computer dominated my day today. Yes, Bethany is now the proud owner of an ipod! We will use it to replace our broken CD player, but she will get first priority in its use.

More gifts came in the mail today. Dad attempted to buy Christmas lights for the house--the new led lights that don't use much electricity--but the stores are sold out. He did find three strings, so we'll decorate a little. Last year our electric bill was enormous from the use of our lights, so we will do with less this year.

I talked to Pops. He is disappointed that we won't be there for Christmas. I'll miss being there too, but I do like being at my CA home as well.
The kitchen is clean! Hooray! On the eighth day of advent, I wrapped some Christmas presents and tried to find the name tags I mislaid.


The first week of Advent is almost over. Today, Sunday December 7, was truly a day of rest. I rested until I had to warm up leftovers for lunch. After lunch, Noelle and I went shopping for fabric and a few other items, and then we came home and I took another nap! I think I'm finally ready to tackle the kitchen again.
On the 5th day of advent, Dad called and said he had a lady friend! That was the highlight of that day. But, however, and in addition:

Well, December 5 and 6 went by in a blur of activity as I worked on cleaning house and buying groceries and feeding and feeding and feeding Bethany. Thankfully, on Saturday afternoon, Susan took Bethany off my hands, so I was able to get ready for our SS party on Saturday night.

So on the sixth day of advent, we invited our SS class over for a potluck and fellowship time. We had a good turnout--filled up two tables, and most everyone brought dessert! We had Nedra's pumpkin squares, brownies, cheesecake squares, oreo cookie cheesecake and custard pie. To top off all that dessert, we made homemade whipped cream! Yum! I cooked ham and roast beef for our main dish. We sang Christmas songs and watched Butch's homemade dvd---it had Jon's guitar music playing in the background. Noelle played a Christmas song on the harmonica.

I got to talk to Marco's wife and found out that she is caring for three handicapped children. Her life consists of going to work and then taking someone to the doctor. I'm glad to be caring for only one handicapped child!


On the fourth day of advent, I looked at my messy kitchen and decided I would eventually clean it. In spite of empty Christmas boxes cluttering the living room, I made the decision to grade writeshop papers. With a dirty picture window staring me in the face, I thought about making Christmas cookies. Tomorrow. . . tomorrow. . . tomorrow. . . .


On the third day of advent, I didn't clean the kitchen, although it does need it. Instead, I taught two writing classes, decorated t-shirts for angel costumes, and bought the movie Prince Caspian. Teaching GA comes next on the list.


It's the second day of advent. Today I cleaned the kitchen again and put up some of our Christmas decorations, leaving a huge mess of empty boxes to clean up.

Actually, I already cleaned up most of the mess!

I accidentally took this picture, but I like it.


It's the first day of advent! I'm celebrating by cleaning up the kitchen. How are you celebrating?


Happy Thanksgiving!
And what do you have to look forward to if you come to my house?
Let me just say that it has something to do with a flooded bathroom and ruined carpeting.
And it is all my fault for not babysitting the toilet.
Beware, because the man of the house is on the rampage.
I bet you can't wait to get here!


Kung Fu Panda! It was awesome! Entertaining and funny, even Noelle giggled through it. If you like lighthearted cartoon comedy, you should definitely see it.


Reflecting on politics, I really like what Victor Davis Hanson has to say. We live in interesting times! Our Republican party seems to have lost its way.



Well, we welcome in November, 2008. Halloween fell a bit flat in the Bryan household this year. Dad left for Latvia, Noelle joined her college siblings for the evening, and I passed out candy to three whole children! I haven't heard much about the Harvest Festival at church, but I assume all went well there.

Maybe we should start a Reformation celebration. I think it would be fun. Maybe I'll research it this year. If you have ideas, let me know.

I liked Doug Metzger's message this morning, a challenge to make a difference in the world, but my favorite part was the story of the young man with Down's Syndrome. Challenged to make a difference in the store where he worked, Johnny decided to write down a "thought of the day" and place it in the bags of his customers as he bagged their groceries. Soon, Johnny's thoughts became so popular that all the customers lined up in his line at checkout. The store manager couldn't talk anyone into switching to a shorter line! There was much more to the story, but the point is that anyone can make a positive difference in our world.


The problem of pain: I injured my shoulder while shampooing the carpets. Lifting and turning is a major problem. Bethany and all that I need to do with her makes life difficult. Pray for quick healing!


Well . . . Noelle and I watched Ghostbusters tonight. A silly comedy, it reminded us both of Napoleon Dynamite. I'd recommend seeing it for a good laugh. I don't think Noelle cared much for it. She was looking forward to a scary movie!



Holmes and I took a short trip up to Forest Falls today. It was cold with a brisk wind, and we didn't dress for the weather! The wind and clean air cleared our heads though. After freezing for a while, we decided to head down the mountain and stop at the picnic area near the bottom of the hill. Surprisingly, I liked this spot better than Forest Falls. We took a trail down the steps from the parking lot across bogs, logs and rocks until we came to the creek. It was a fun adventure and would be even more fun in the summer when it is hot--then you can get your feet wet!


In the great scheme of life, I really should have posted something earlier, but here goes.

Ben and Kris were married Saturday--a beautiful wedding. Mixing black tuxes, sky blue dresses, movie music and a beautiful bride, the wedding went off without a hitch. The minister, Anthony was funny and refreshing. We wish them the best!

Dad is leaving tomorrow after having to extend his stay because of hurricane Gustav. He finally gets to go home. He doesn't have any idea what he will find, but he can't wait to get there.

Jon and Sarah, our two philosophers, left for college yesterday. I already miss them both.

Today we started Writeshop II and GA. Both went very well. We have 17 students in our writing class. Nine girls came to GA--I hope we have more.

Ever the organizer, Noelle wants to start school next Monday because she wants to do a full weeks' schedule of classes. I can't say that I blame her.

Bethany obviously needs to see a dentist. Hopefully we can see one on Friday!

That's all folks.


Amazingly, I was able to cut out and make Noelle's dress in one day. All I need to do is sew ribbon on it to add the last finishing details. (I have to buy the ribbon first!) Noelle has a unique ability to pick out coordinating fabrics and colors. She'll wear her dress for the first time for Ben and Kris' wedding.

Today, I am avoiding cleaning house. Alas, I can't put it off too much longer!


I finished painting my room! Hooray! It only took two weeks--the hardest parts were figuring out what to keep, what to throw away and where to put things. All the woodwork took forever.


Bits and pieces of life:

Well. . . yesterday I served taco salad for lunch. This morning at 5:00am, I figured out that I had forgotten to provide lettuce for the salad! I had seven people eating it, and no one said anything about whether we had any lettuce. Oh well, life goes on.

Today was the first anniversary of the day we said our final goodbyes to my Mother, and she went on to glory. I think of her everyday--she was so organized and so busy doing for others. Dad still sends us cards she had made ahead of time--it is so precious to get that remembrance of her.

We are discussing Romans 9 at the house right now. What a difficult passage to understand. I need to do much more study. Why did God make people when he knew they were bound for hell?

On prayer: our pastor preached a sermon saying that "God does nothing except in answer to believing prayer"-- a quote something like John Wesley said. We disagree with the premise, but do agree with the need to pray.

I finished my skirt! Now I need shoes and a purse to match. It never ends.

Tomorrow I'll do Bethany's therapy and prepare the next wall in my room for painting. Maybe I'll paint it too.

I'm reading three books right now. I'm reviewing Love the Lord with all your Mind by JP Moreland. I'm also reading Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges and CS. Lewis' Letters to Malcom. I've appreciated CS. Lewis' down to earth thoughts on prayer. I especially like the thought that you pray where you are mentally, physically and spiritually. Start praying where you are comfortable. Praise and thank God for the things you see right around you. Don't try to be someone you are not as you pray. God know us better than we know ourselves!


I finally finished altering Ben's suits! Hooray! I am half finished painting my room. More wonderful posts to come soon.


Happy Fourth of July!

I'm listening to Dennis Prager this morning. I like this quote from him:

First tell the truth, then give your opinion.


Funny Quote of the Day

From Laura Ingram's show--Tammy Bruce was hosting.

"Change is for parking meters."


The school year is winding down. Noelle is finished with school this year--except for testing the next three days. GA is over tomorrow night. Summer will be filled with preparation and planning and surgery for Bethany.

Sarah is going to paint my room. Hooray! Life is good.


I'm "soaking up poetry lessons like a sponge". I've never had such fun learning and teaching as this study of poetry. This week we are learning about poems of comparison and our focus is metaphor poetry. This poem has some built in structure which makes it a little easier to write. The student is required to write a simile or metaphor in each line with the exception of the first line.

Here is my poem:

The Healing Stream

As I gaze upon the frothing white of the rushing, tumbling stream

First it is as savage as a roaring tiger

Then it is as swift as a speeding train

And then it is a milky white stallion plunging forward, his sides heaving with sweat

And now it becomes a mighty bulldozer hurling boulders over a massive waterfall

Changing into a jewel-encrusted cave, emerald and sapphire

Forming a cool, peaceful hiding place

And it is a meandering minstrel, happily humming

And now it flows gently, a prayer whispered quietly . . . peace, be still.


I am teaching poetry in my writing class this month. Poetry is not my forte', but I can at least teach the basics. Most of my students outshine my abilities.

I just wrote a quatrain poem. I like it, so here it is.


Cheerfully, the bright morning greets the day,
Cheerfully, the sunflower faces the ray,
Cheerfully, the sun unfolds its glorious light,
Cheerfully, a warbler trills with delight.

Cheerfully, the doorbell jingles and rings,
Cheerfully, the radio plays and sings,
Cheerful is the coffeepot---but cheeriest of all,
My mother's smiling face lighting up the hall.

Quote of the day:

I'm a "fine person" collector. Well. . .

fine persons and maybe a good pipe.

Dennis Prager--Salem radio talk show host


Proverbs 17:22 (Amplified Bible)

A happy heart is good medicine

and a cheerful mind works healing,

but a broken spirit dries up the bones.


Quote of the day---

All food that is good for you tastes bad,
so you should eat something that tastes bad every day.

by Teresa Bryan
Mother of a picky eater


Quote of the day

Flowers are happy things.

P.G. Wodehouse


Quote of the day:

From the Scott and Sam show--KSGN

Normal is kind of a relative term.


Well, we've had a little excitement tonight! I came home from Costco and the door was standing open with only Bethany in sight. It turned out that Holmes and Noelle were in Sarah's room trying to coax a cat out. Apparently we've had an injured cat living in the house under Sarah's bed. I was wondering why the cat food was disappearing so fast! So now I have more cleaning to do--I'll be shampooing carpet tomorrow so Sarah doesn't end up sick from cat allergies.

We got the cat out--now we will try to keep it out!


Ben's girlfriend, Kris, among 1000 boxes!
Two of our GAs who came to help
Last Saturday, we filled boxes with food for
San Bernardino City Mission.
Christa and I put together some of the boxes.


Well, this hasn't been the best week. I've had the flu since Monday. Holmes is coming down with it now. Fortunately, I'm feeling much better! It feels like a dark cloud hangs over the house, bringing sickness with it. However, I just traveled outside the cloud all the way to the grocery store, and the sun still shines! I'm praying that Bethany and Noelle stay well.


If John McCain wins the Republican nomination, will you vote for him? Why or why not? If not, who will you vote for instead?

I'm voting for McCain. I'm also going to follow Rush Limbaugh's advice, and look for conservative candidates in local and state office to support. And then I'm going to pray!


Nine Watson and one Bryan waiting for the trolley car in New Orleans. Can you find the Bryan?


Well, I've made my decision. I'm voting for Romney. I listened to an interview Michael Savage had with Jim Demint. Senator Demint has decided to vote for Romney. He thinks he is the best choice to bring all conservative values together. I respect Demint and like what he stands for, so I am basing my vote based on his recommendation.

See website: www.johnmccain.com
McCain, known as a maverick--He votes as a conservative republican most of the time (83%) according to Christian Coalition, but occasionally he joins with democrats to pass liberal legislation.

The most hated legislation among conservative talk show hosts is the McCain Feingold bill, which changed who could contribute funds to politicians and would-be politicians. It also restricted free speech by limiting ads by groups within a certain time period of an election. Some say that this bill is an abuse of the first amendment of the constitution.

Dennis Prager, conservative talk show host, says that he decided not to run for the senate because of this law. He says it keeps people who are not rich from running because they can't easily raise enough money to run.

Rush Limbaugh doesn't like him, but many people have endorsed him, including Trent Lott, The New York Times, many other newspapers, and a number of governors and congressmen. Michael Medved, another conservative talk show host, enthusiastically endorses him. For information about McCain's view, issues and endorsements, go to his website.

The other concern about McCain is his stance on illegal immigration. He seems to speak out of both sides of his mouth on this issue. His hispanic relations director, Dr Juan Hernandez, has dual citizenship in US and Mexico and is an advocate of open borders. McCain says he is for securing the borders, however. http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmI4OGJhMjE2Y2ZkYzU5ODNiNGQ3ZTE1MjJiY2EwZTg=
Rebuttal on Medved's show: Dr Hernandez is a respected doctor, and he is only a volunteer for McCain.

Positives: McCain is a Christian, strong on foreign policy, experienced in politics, usually a fiscal conservative. He would say that he is an American first and a Republican second, and that is why he doesn't always vote for Republican bills. According to Trent Lott, he is 100% conservative on social issues.
Negatives: May not pay enough attention to the details of the constitution. A Washington insider. Age: probably not a big issue--McCain is a high energy guy.


Previously governor of Massachusetts--he either lowered taxes or raised them, depending on who you listen to, and he enacted a state healthcare policy. He is a wealthy businessman and is considered strong on economics. His website listing his issues and policies, shows that he is a conservative in all areas. He will do well as a leader-- he speaks well, looks great, has a nice family, has nice hair, etc. He sounds and acts in a presidential manner.

Negatives: He has changed views on issues such as abortion in the past few years, so his record shows him more liberal than he says he is now. For some people, his Mormon faith is an issue. His experience in public office is limited. He doesn't seem to have clear convictions--easily changes his mind.

He is enthusiastically endorsed by Hugh Hewitt, conservative radio talk show host.

My opinion? I'm undecided. Both of these men have good and bad points. When I listen to Medved, I'm for McCain, and when I listen to Hewitt I like Romney. Since I am not in a "winner take all state", my vote counts in my own district so I may vote for someone else.


My blog on presidential candidates is a work in progress. I may do some editing as I learn more.

Mike Huckabee
Social conservative--pro-life, pro-God, pro homeschooling, traditional marriage

Economically--his website says the right things. Practically, as governor of Arkansas he raised some taxes, lowered others. He grew government during his tenure as governor and imposed moral incentives and guidelines regarding healthy behaviors--reducing personal freedoms and choices.
The above blog lists all candidates and their economic positions and policies.

War, Terrorism--he hasn't had experience in this area, but his ideas and policies seem good.

Mike Huckabee is a decent candidate. His economic policies may be a problem for some. His outspoken beliefs regarding his Christian faith will keep some people from voting for him.

Ron Paul
Pro-life, strict constitutionalist, Lutheran background, libertarian, limited government

The summation below is directly from the Club for Growth website. The difficulty with Ron Paul is that he wants perfect law and perfect changes. He won't accept positive changes that are good. If he can't have it all, he votes for none. He often ends up voting with liberal democrats because new laws are not exactly what he wants.


When it comes to limited government, there are few champions as steadfast and principled as Representative Ron Paul. In the House of Representatives, he plays a very useful role constantly challenging the status quo and reminding his colleagues, despite their frequent indifference, that our Constitution was meant to limit the power of government. On taxes, regulation, and political free speech his record is outstanding. While his recent pork votes are troubling, the vast majority of his anti-spending votes reflect a longstanding desire to cut government down to size.

But Ron Paul is a purist, too often at the cost of real accomplishments on free trade, school choice, entitlement reform, and tort reform. It is perfectly legitimate, and in fact vital, that think tanks, free-market groups, and individual members of congress develop and propose idealized solutions. But presidents have the responsibility of making progress, and often, Ron Paul opposes progress because, in his mind, the progress is not perfect. In these cases, although for very different reasons, Ron Paul is practically often aligned with the most left-wing Democrats, voting against important, albeit imperfect, pro-growth legislation.

Ron Paul is, undoubtedly, ideologically committed to pro-growth limited government policies. But his insistence on opposing all but the perfect means that under a Ron Paul presidency we might never get a chance to pursue the good too.

Ron Paul has the most unique perspective of government among the candidates. I personally agree with him on many issues. According to his website, he would be more of an isolationist--staying out of other countries and avoiding war.

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani made excellent economic progress as mayor of New York city. He turned a crime ridden city around with tough standards and laws. He was impressive in his work after 9-11. He would be good with foreign policy and fighting terrorism. He believes in God. I don't know his specific faith.

Cons: May be difficult to work with--personal life shows this--he has been married 3 times and divorced 2 times. He may not protect the constitution, although he says he would select conservative judges. He is the most socially liberal of all--most pro gay rights. Even though he is personally opposed to abortion, he doesn't believe the government should ban abortion.

(more is coming--I have to go to church!)


Thursday, February 02, 2006

birthdays and anniversary by month


1/5/95 Rachelle

1/13/59 Aaron

1/13/95 Noelle

1/16/94 Wade


2/15/91 Marisa

2/18/54 Holmes


3/1/92 Jennifer

3/23/82 Benjamin

Anniversary March 28, 1992 Nathan and Michelle


4/3/98 Mallory and MacKenzie

4/11/62 Laura

4/26/95 Ashley


5/28/62 Brian


Anniversary- Brian and Cheri- 6/1/84

6/1/85 Jonathan

Anniversary-Teresa and Holmes 6/11/77

6/11/55 Teresa

6/22/87 Sarah


7/9/97 James

7/18/30 Pops


8/1/95 Scott

Anniversary--Mom and Dad August 21, 1952


9/8/62 Cheri

9/16/90 Bethany


11/26/30 Mom


Anniversary--Aaron and Laura 12/7/85

12/10/63 Nathan

12/20/65 Michelle