Dear family:

Iím going to see if I can jot off this letter. Ben has been invited over to the Plowmans for this Sunday afternoon, so I have a little extra peace and quiet. Sundays are different than the rest of the week, but not necessarily filled with free time. By the time we get home from church and have lunch, it is well into the afternoon. Then we usually call Daniel and I also call Ethel Houck. There is the Sunday paper to read, and before you know it, time for evening church. In the evening I try to get things set up for the next morning, and the week begins again.

This past week began with about 17 inches of snow. Peter had two days off from school. I try to keep Stephen and Christopher working some on snow days just so we donít get behind, but Stephen did spend most of Monday outdoors. It was a very wet, heavy snow.

On Tuesday mornings I take Ben to story time at the library. While he is listening to the stories, I collect the material for my MAFA lesson. From time to time, and this week was one of those times, I discover a serious hole in the libraryís collection. My topic was Prussia, and the library had nothing. (They are weak on almost all European history of the 17th/18th century. So I ended up getting my material off the web at home, and joined Ben for story time. The subject was supposed to be hats, but as a special treat, the Tooth Fairy came in full costume and talked about the importance of brushing, etc. It didnít go over very well because the children of this age group have not lost any teeth yet, so donít have any knowledge of the tooth fairy, and they were vocally disappointed that time ran out and the stories about caps and hats didnít get read.

We discovered this week that Ben has taken to wandering up to the office when no one is there and phoning the Badorfs in Philadelphia. They are the bottom button on Davidís speed dialer. He loves to talk on the phone and often asks to call someone. Iím sure he was delighted to figure out how to do it on his own. David had to put a firm stop to that!

I got a hankering for Momís Chinese cookies, so I made a batch for the RSF study Wednesday night. We began to wonder if anyone would show up, because throughout the day David was receiving emails from students who said they would have to miss because they were sick. The cold/flu is sweeping through the campus, and just about everyone has a symptom or two. We ended up with a full group, however, as some new students came and some showed up who probably should have been in bed. A second Bible study is starting for students who canít make Wednesday nights. David also has his weekly leadership team meeting well under way, so added to the Sunday School class he is teaching, he is quite busy preparing these sessions. The students wanted to do a social event each Friday night, but that has not been as well attended. Lehigh is probably one of the few campuses where a Bible study draws more people than a social event!

This weekend is Pacing Break, and David invited the students who stayed on campus to come for dinner Saturday night. We had four of them over and then "the men" all went out to see a movie. It would be nice to have students over for dinner more often, because they are very appreciative of a family meal. David said they probably would have liked to come back to the house after the movie, but he was tired and needed to prepare his Sunday School lesson. Unfortunately, he found that his brand-new computer hard drive crashed, and the printer also wouldnít work. Computer problems have been a dominant frustration and time-waster this semester, a real curse. We need to pray that we solve these problems once and for all (if thatís possible). Itís particularly essential to have reliable email because that is about the only way the students communicate these days.

Another problem is, Iím sure, Godís sense of humor in humbling us. As a teenager I remember laughing at what I thought was the silliness of some prayer requests in the Saturday Night meeting. The ultimate, I thought, was when someone requested prayer for their big toe. Well, David woke up in the middle of the night because his big toe was causing him great pain Ė some infection had gotten under the nail. He put on a drawing salve and that helped, and since then some friends have suggested effective home remedies, but I must say that I remember my youthful scorn with sheepishness now.

Peterís Bible teacher asked David to come to the high school and teach his classes tomorrow, to introduce the students to the Greek language. David called Dad to get some advice about what to cover in a one-shot, 45 minute class period. I think Peter is just hoping that David doesnít embarrass him too much. I told the boys about the time I came twenty minutes late to my college mythology class, only to discover that my dad was substitute teaching! So Peter had better not decide to cut class. He did get on the high honor roll again, by the way, even with the sickness interrupting his semester exams. Since he is not working at KFC now, David has hired him part-time to do work in the office. The office badly needs attention, and I was very encouraged to see piles in Davidís part of the office being organized Ė that is, until I saw that they had simply been moved out to be piles on the floor in the front office! I think David needs to hire secretarial help that will be considerably more ruthless Ė like me!

I had a surprise on Thursday when the national director of MAFA walked into my history class without any advance notice. As I mentioned before, my topic was Prussia (Frederick William, the Great Elector; Frederick I, Frederick William I; Frederick II, the Great). I must admit that I knew next to nothing about them ahead of time, and it took me quite a while to sort them all out (Frederick I was at first Frederick III, for instance, and Frederick William and Frederick William I are not the same person but grandfather/grandson). So it wouldnít have been the subject I chose to be my showcase lesson. Nevertheless, I did find the material unexpectedly interesting once I got into it, and the class went well. I am struggling with whether or not I should continue teaching next year because of the amount of time it takes, but I confess that I am learning a lot that I either never knew or completely forgot.

Christopher, Stephen, and I went to see The Glass Menagerie at Moravian College this week. I think the last time I saw or read the play was in high school. It was unnerving to discover that seeing it now as a middle-aged mother myself, I was much more sympathetic to the mother. Yikes!

On Friday nights Stephen and Ben go to Awana, a Bible club. This week we took along a church friend of Stephenís who then spent the night. He is a very keyed up kind of boy, and my nerves were pretty frazzled just being in the car with him! Then they were loaded with sugar as the Awana club celebrated Valentineís Day. Benís class had a giant pinata and fully half of his class was out with flu, so he came home with a big bag of candy.

I was very happy to escape the next day to the genteel atmosphere of a fabric store, where I went to view the prize-winning quilt that Phyllis and Charlene (Coleman) made this past year. It was not only beautiful, but very creative and original in its design. Phyllis came in from Ohio for this local showing on its national tour, and the Colemanís hosted a lunch so I was able to visit with her and Charlene afterwards. Thatís the week in review!



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