30 November 2010

Remember how I went to New York?

I thought I should finish up about our 7th and 8th grade trip to New York.
The week before our trip we had a photographer/friend come to speak to us about principles of photography in the hopes that our students might be able to "make" (instead of "take") some meaningful photos of their learning time.  This week we'll be gathering their photos in order to present to the rest of the school about our trip and what we learned.

29 November 2010

Monday Mourning

The Monday after a vacation is always the most painful.  I certainly felt the despair as I dragged myself from the warm recesses of my nest this morning.  It just seemed so dark and cold and lonely and did I say dark?

  Continuing the list of ways in which the Father blesses, as we move into the waiting season of Advent.

#1062  cold clear nights
#1063  cold clear mornings
#1064  lots of leftovers!
#1065  my brother playing left hand and me playing right hand - Christmas carols from the hymnal
#1066  all those piano lessons
#1067  boys in the yard with a football
#1068  football weather!
#1069  lots of blankets all over the house from lots of people sleeping here!
#1070  cozying up with visiting dogs
#1071  oldest son looking so handsome for church (and without a fight; that was the best part)
#1072  slippers and jammies
#1073  praying to remind myself that I'm not an orphan and that God is THERE

28 November 2010


Theo's profile changed over the weekend.  Must have been all that pie.

I know it's Advent now, but...

I haven't posted about Thanksgiving yet!
We had such a wonderful day of cooking and cleaning and baking with family!
This year we had ALL of John's family and also my brother and his girlfriend, Robin.  Our dear friends from church and their CUTE chunk of a baby also joined us.
It was a great day of thanks and celebration and being together.

The grown-ups' table

The kids' table

Cool banner I got on Etsy!

My brother, Clayton, is a very gratifying person to feed.  He eats a lot and loves it all!

FOUR pies!!  I made apple, pumpkin and NUTMEG MAPLE CREAM PIE (the very emperor of all pies).  Clayton and Robin brought a pear/cranberry pie.

That's baby Jack and his cute mom.  Jack's even cuter when he's not blurry.

I think I might be cuter when I'm not blurry, too.  ANYWAYS...here's our family with Clayton and Robin. 

Here is the whole clan on John's side!

26 November 2010

Free Day at the Museum

Wednesday was Community Day at the Museum of Fine Arts.  The MFA has just opened a new wing, called Arts of the Americas.  We decided to go check it out on a cold, blustery day.  
Even better was that we had Uncle Derek, Tia Luz and the grandparents with us.
While overall the visit was wonderful, we did have SEVERAL trying moments with complaining kids, hungry kids, fighting kids which resulted in grumpy and contentious parents.  My my my, there's plenty of sin to go all around, isn't there?
So glad for a God of grace. 
Sculpture by Cyrus E. Dallin.  I love his work; there are several of his pieces in our town.

Where o where is my baby?

On Tuesday our little girl turned five.
I don't know why but five seems so old to me.
I feel sad to see the baby days go.  But I also feel profoundly grateful that God made Lucy a very snuggly girl, who still loves her blankie and loves to be held.  Such a gift to her mama!
With her birthday in Thanksgiving week, Lucy will be doomed to family-only parties, unless I can get it together enough to give her a party a few weeks before the actual day. At least this year, we had so much family in town that it really felt like a party.

Lucy's requested dinner was "breakfast for dinner" and that meant bacon and waffles.  
Imagine eating a nice meal of bacon and waffles.  Now imagine someone slicing you a nice piece of birthday cake. 
Sound unappetizing?  You're right.
I think maybe two of us ate an obligatory sliver of cake.  The birthday girl herself didn't even have any!

22 November 2010

The wonder drug?

This article may confirm the things that we've been learning in the Gratitude Community!

Because a Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

So go the immortal lyrics of Veggie Tales' "Madame Blueberry".  
The children are watching said video on Netflix as I type and I am reminiscing about the toddler/Veggie Tales days.  I'm so grateful for that time.

I wanted to update about my big birthday bash that was a little over a week ago.  
The party was SO FUN...that we didn't take ONE.  SINGLE.  PICTURE.  I'm not kidding.  Not even ONE of me on my 40th.
But that's okay, because we had such a good time with lots of friends, good food and drink and time together.
Instead, here are some picture of the aftermath:

Yep, definitely afterwards.
Oh wait, this is actually before anyone got there.

Oh wait, I lied about not one picture.  This one is actually DURING the party.
This is what happened after the shouting.
  This week is a special week to give thanks, and so our list continues to grow.  I'm especially grateful to Ann and the rest of the Gratitude Community.  We began our list last November.  What a difference a year makes in one's outlook when one is looking to the Giver of all good gifts!

#1047  grandparents
#1048  toast
#1049  dogs
#1050  making do
#1051  Veggie Tales and Madame Blueberry
#1052  Tia Luz and Uncle Derek are here!
#1053  November full moon - makes the darkness at 4:30 pm a bit more bearable
#1054  time for our kids to see their best friends
#1055  talking with family about faith
#1056  the timeless themes of God's Word
#1057  remembering my Grandfather - Samuel Douglas Cornell, April 16, 1915 - November 12, 2010
#1058  fall flowers on the table
#1059  family.  HERE.  WITH.  US!!!!
#1060  sad and happy - my baby will be FIVE tomorrow - sniff.
#1061  a thankful heart is a happy heart - it's true

21 November 2010

Early Christmas Present

The dear grandparents gave our family an early Christmas gift last night.

We are so excited!
Theo said, "Hey Mom!  You know how I want to take piano lessons?  Maybe I can use this for the lessons!"
He's so clever, that boy!

Thanks, Manka and Papa D.  We love love love it and are so grateful.

17 November 2010

For such a time as this

Sunday church service.

We slide into the pew behind friends and one extra who I happen to know is one of our congregation's missionaries.

We're in time for all the singing.  I sing loudly.  Sometimes I sing harmony if I can.

After one song, the missionary turns back to look at me.  I give a sheepish smile.  I wonder if I was singing too loudly?  
Oh well.  I love to sing loudly in church.

At the passing of the peace, we introduce ourselves.  
"You sing so beautifully.  Are you a professional?"
Oh my, that is hilarious.
"Oh no, I've done a bit of singing in the past, but I don't sing much these days," as I gesture to my four beauties (for whom I gave up singing very much).
"Well, I was wondering if you had an album!  I would buy it!"
Things are getting funnier by the minute.

I ask how we can pray for him and his family.
"Oh my, well, how much time do you have?"
He asks prayers for strength, endurance, perseverance as they serve in a land dying of thirst for God's saving water.
I say we'll pray.

After the sermon I sing loudly again.

As we greet again at the end of service, he says to me "Listening to you was worth the price of admission!  Let me know when you have a recording."

I am touched by the compliments.  But much, much more, I am touched by the Lord's sweet compassion and weaving together of the body.
I have the sense that He has somehow used a gift He gave me to refresh another soul.  In the weekly singing of hymns and songs (loudly), He is there.  He is ministering.  He is caring for His own.  He let me serve in a small, small way our missionary.

It almost seems like nothing, like there is no story here.  Yet I sense He was and is at work, generously using us for each other.  Will we let Him? 

16 November 2010

NYC 11.10

Our trip to "the City" was wonderful.  Traveling with others always provides a special bond.  
The two main attractions for us were the Tenement Museum (on the Lower East Side) and Ellis Island. 

We stopped by this car on the street and all the kids started snapping pictures.  In fact, others began to stop to see WHO was standing next to the car.  Someone famous?!?  Nope, just our headmaster.

We did a bit of walking down Spring Street and the kids were eager to get some shopping in.  I think their spending money was burning holes in their pockets!

 No pictures are allowed in the Tenement Museum (boo!), though images are available on their website  

An anonymous benefactor helped us all go to see "The Lion King" on Broadway.  It was such fun to come up from the subway and see the kids' jaws drop as they stepped into Times Square in all of its gaudy glory.

"The Lion King" absolutely blew me away.  I've heard for years that it is a "must see", and to be sure to see it in New York.  The brilliance of the costumes, the set, the swelling music and puppetry of the opening scene moved me to tears.  I MUST bring my family some day!

More to come from our afternoon on Ellis Island and other reflections!