31 January 2011

Monday comes but once a week

What the heck does that title mean?


Anyway, it's time to count the ways that God shows His great and merciful love for us.
Yesterday Clayton asked me about a line in a hymn called "The Love of Christ is Rich and Free".
"Mom," he asked, "what does it mean, 'He'll love His own to endless day'?"
I explained that when the new heaven and the new earth come, we will have Jesus for our light and will no longer need the sun and moon.  We'll have endless day.
"It doesn't mean He'll love us til then and then stop.  It means He'll love us THROUGH until that time.  He'll go on loving us til we get to the endless day, and then He'll be our Light forever."


I'm so grateful for that promise.  That hymn always makes me weep for the comfort of the promise.


#1142 - 1154


* ice skating and more ice skating!  they can't get enough!
* sleep in my bed
* an email cry for prayer to community group and their immediate response
* children loving each other...it actually happens.  sometimes
* just praying, "Jesus help."
* dear encouraging friends
* new books
* making ice cream with ice from outside!
* ramen noodles
* Chuck Norris jokes - know any good ones?
* delighting in new babies
* soup and saltines for sick ones
* "He loves through every changing scene, nor aught from Him can Zion wean; not all the wanderings of her heart can make His love for her depart"
*  this video:
video


Give thanks with me this week.  Maybe start your own list?  Just for today?  



29 January 2011

Weekend update


 Remember this sweet little bicycle shot from back in December?  I think I was documenting the first snow of the season.
Here's the bike now.  I am NOT even kidding.
 The amount of snow around is absolutely nuts.  It's fun and amazing and kind of hard to deal with all at the same time.
This fence is waist high on me.  So you can see how deep the snow has drifted.

Here is Lucy on a recent morning in our kitchen.
A great delight this week has been the ice skating rink that our neighbors have in their yard.  We've spent two fun nights with them and their kids skating under the twinkling lights.  Such a great way to get out and move and enjoy the winter.  
Of course, our neighbors are Canadian.  So they really know how to enjoy winter, right?


In other unrelated news, we had what I think was a VERY helpful meeting with Theo's teacher and principal and are praying that we will be able to encourage this little boy as he moves through his academic career.  It's been a very hard couple of weeks for him on many fronts.


Still haven't had a full week of school since Christmas break.  So while we are MOSTLY back into the swing of things, I still have discombobulated moments.  But it's all good.


Hope your Saturday has been great!

27 January 2011

Question

I'm just wondering this:
Why do Nerf guns need seating?  Why do they seem to always be on the sofa?  Or the comfy chair in the living room?  Why am I constantly removing them from where I want to sit?  
Also:
Do they sell gun racks for Nerf weaponry?  Because we are going to need one.
Oh see the nice Nerf gun in the comfy chair.  So warm and cozy by the fire.  So glad it's being taken care of.
 

26 January 2011

Ups and downs

I'm having a struggle and I wonder if anyone else has felt this.
I usually get home from picking up all kids at school around 4 pm.  From 4 to 4:30 is one of the GRUMPIEST times in our house!  It's as if we all cannot stand each other. 
I'm trying to get to the bottom of why this is a hard time.  Here are my thoughts:
1.  Some of us have just been in the car for about 1.5 hours (Lucy and me) by the time all is said and done.  That makes me crabby.
2.  When we all get home, it's like we're ALL having to adjust to each other again.  If our kids just walked home from the public school, I could have myself all ready for their arrival -- snack, a nice welcome, etc.  As it is, we all scramble for snack and I'm immediately irritable.  Hrumph.
3.  After having spent the day apart, we require a time of re-entry into the life of the home.  This takes time and care.  Care is something in short supply when I just came in the door at a tired time of day.


So, what I'm thinking is that I need to come up with ways to make the coming home better.  There is no way around the driving for now.  But I could, with much effort, have a snack ready to set out when we come in.  What are the ways I can make our late afternoons more peaceful and loving?  I welcome your ideas.  And prayers!

24 January 2011

Thanks on a cold Monday

Keeping my list of the ways in which the Father shows His love.  He is so so kind.  
Would you consider keeping your own list, too?  I promise, it will change you.  
It's made me see Mondays in a whole new light.

#1127-1141

* popping logs in the fireplace
* Compassion and praying for our kids
* my crazy, messed up house full of Legos, Nerf darts, Barbies, books, papers, and boots.
* mouse traps (uh, yes, I've used two with success in the past week!)
* frosted window panes
* mittens knitted by my mom
* shearling mittens!  THE BEST!
* my weakness, because it drives me to Christ
* sick day with 8-year-old and time to snuggle
* 12-year-old who loves to stay up late with us
* cold and bright days; today the radio said, "It's sunny and seven!"  Degrees. Fahrenheit. At 2 in the afternoon.
* script writing with my 7/8th graders
* the prayers of the people
* extra fine point black roller ball pens.  I'm not particular.
* anticipation of reading Ann's book; have you read it?  Are you going to?


Thou bruised and broken Bread,
My life-long wants supply;
As living souls are fed,
O, feed me, or I die.
 - John S.B. Monsell, 1866

22 January 2011

Why to blog, with thanks to Billy Collins

Sometimes I see something - a sunset, an image of my children, a picture of objects in my home, a setting outdoors - and I want to capture it in words.  
I struggle with trying to put the words together, the ones that I think will paint what I see.  I'm never really satisfied with my attempts, and usually settle for words that don't satisfy, or relegate the thing I wanted to share to my own memory and/or my gratitude list.
Yesterday, as we sat by the fire during a snow day, I was reading Billy Collins (who I really enjoy for the images he creates and the way he makes poetry about everyday life).  In his poem "Night Letter to the Reader", Collins describes getting up in the middle of the night and walking outside to cure his insomnia.  He says this:

and there was something else I wanted to tell you,

something about the warm orange light
in the windows of the house,
but now I am wondering if you are even listening

and why I bother to tell you these things
that will never make a difference,
flecks of ash, tiny chips of ice.

But this is all I want to do --
tell you that up in the woods
a few night birds were calling,

the grass was cold and wet on my bare feet,
and that at one point, the moon,
looking like the top of Shakespeare's

famous forehead
appeared, quite unexpectedly,
illuminating a band of moving clouds. 

That is why I want to blog and keep track of the things I see and the things I think.  I disagree with Collins on the point that these things don't matter; they matter because they communicate the ways the Father is pouring out His grace all the time.
I wish I had better words, better ways of telling you (and telling myself) the things that I see.  I'll keep trying.   

20 January 2011

Cherubs

Is this not the cutest tomato container?  And the name on the lid...Cherubs.
Oh, and they were SO delicious that we ate them all up in one dinner.
Yum.

18 January 2011

A day

 Had a sloshy, slippy, slidey and scary day of driving all over creation today.  Lord-a-mercy!  Glad that we are all safe at home now.
Ah, the adventure.

What?!

Why does this particular word keep showing up on my fridge?!
Despite my efforts to replace it with more respectable words, like dad and dog and sad, this word keeps appearing.
The funny thing is that the little toy will read the word and then sings this song to you:  "The word POO is what you made!  You made that super-duper excellently!"  Yay!

15 January 2011

Feel the love

This morning I was having some attitude problems.  As in, every one of my children was annoying me.  Every little comment, every sound of chewing, every tiff.  Oh it was bad, bad, bad.  
I thought maybe a good, protein-filled breakfast would help us.
So I set about making egg-in-the-hole.  Not really part of my regular repertoire, but I thought, "Maybe if I serve them with love, my heart will change."
So I made these.  You know, maybe that little heart-shaped cookie cutter would do the ole trick.


Turns out it takes more than a cookie cutter to change your heart.  No big victory for me today -- just a realization that MY heart is what ails me.
Hope you all had a great Saturday!
 

13 January 2011

Snow Day Take 2

School was out again today!  Thankfully John could stay home with all the kids so I could keep my hair appointment.  The hair appointment is paramount; snow cannot keep me from my date with the other man in my life, Erik.
Here's the scene around our place today.  As you'll see at the end, all that snow play was so tiring that Lucy just made herself a little nest right on the landing and fell asleep.  Little lovey!














12 January 2011

My hometown

My hometown, Tucson, has been in the national spotlight ever since last Saturday when a crazy person opened fire at a gathering at a local supermarket.  I'm sure you know all about it by now.
I hate that my town is getting so much attention for such a horrid crime; I hope that the name "Tucson" is not forever sullied in the public's mind because of this atrocity.
Here is a short piece done by a former schoolmate of mine.  She was in my brother's grade, and her older sister was in my grade.
Hope it gives you a better picture of the town I remember and love.

11 January 2011

Essentials

We are expecting a snow storm tomorrow.  A snow day has already been declared (I mean by the actual schools; not just by me). 
So I went out to get the absolute essentials for the day.  You know, the things you MUST have in order to not perish while the roads are impassable.
Never mind the fact that we can walk to many stores if need be.

I think we're going to be okay.

10 January 2011

1.10.11 Thanks

It's Monday night and time to link up my list of thanks for all the ways God the Father showers love to us.
We made it through the first week back to school after vacation.  I'm grateful for the love and prayers of so many friends, as I've truly felt buoyed up and hopeful instead of hopeless.

#1112 - #1126

*  Monday nights, church community group and loving each other (is that 3 things?)
*  walking through friends' adoption journey
*  friend with long-awaited little baby in her belly!
*  Sunday naps
*  snuggling with my little girl for naps
*  encouraging phone calls with friends
*  ice
*  red berries against snow
*  ice melt
*  walking along with Lucy, watching her skipping and eating snow along the way
*  Saturday night with friends of the heart
*  hoping in prayer for great things! 
*  simple dinners
*  laughing with my husband as he irritates me on purpose!
*  how Jesus KNOWS us, our infirmities and weaknesses and LOVES us

09 January 2011

Lord's Supper Reflection

Q:  What do you believe about the work of God?
A:  We believe that God - who is perfectly merciful and also very just - sent his Son to assume the nature in which the disobedience had been committed, in order to bear in it the punishment of sin by his most bitter passion and death.

Q:  And what do you believe about the work of Jesus Christ?
A:  We believe that Jesus Christ presented himself in our name before His Father, to appease the wrath with full satisfaction by offering himself on the tree of the cross and pouring out his precious blood for the cleansing of our sins, as the prophets had predicted.

Q:  Why did he endure all this?
A:  He endured all this for the forgiveness of our sins.

Q:  What comfort does this give you?
A:  We find all comforts in his wounds and have no need to seek or invent any other means to reconcile ourselves to God than this one and only sacrifice, once made, which renders believers perfect forever.

 - from the Belgic Confession, articles 20-21

08 January 2011

Today is the day

Today is the day that all of this is coming down.






I know, it's two days after Epiphany.  
I love our Christmas tree.  I'm going to miss it.
Goodbye til next year, my lovely Christmas friends.  Hope the attic isn't too cold for you.

06 January 2011

Drama

We have one particular child who is very dramatic.  He's always been like that.  Even when he was a very small child, everything was either SO EXCITING or TERRIBLE!  
Case in point:
Here he is being coaxed to eat his vegetables the other night.  You might have thought was being forced to eat pig slop or worse, the way he carried on.
If only he wasn't so dang funny.
see how very amused I am








04 January 2011

Presenting...

our new kitchen chairs.
Me gustan.
That means I like them.  
They are pleasing to me.
You like?
And we even got one for EACH person in the family.  We're nice like that.

 

03 January 2011

Monday medicine

Today most of us start back to school.  I find it so hard not to dread getting back to the early mornings, the work, the pressures.
  
I am a homebody.  I like being at home.  I like not having to leave early in the morning.  Sometimes the mornings threaten depression and severe melancholy.

Last night as we were about to sleep John prayed for me and he prayed that I would find gratitude instead of dread this morning.

Thank goodness it's Monday and I can join with Ann and the others to remember the ways the Father loves me...even on a dark Monday morning when I have to think again about making lunches and lesson plans.  He has already been here to light the way.

#1101 - 1112

*  hot coffee early
*  new kitchen chairs - red and cheery and bought with birthday money
*  grace, grace - when I expect condemnation, there is grace
*  loving on each child in the way he or she needs
*  husband who prays for me
*  moving muscles and limbs
*  my preacher-man husband and his preaching!
*  decorating cookies together
*  friends dropping by with Christmas goodies
*  talking to my mama and dad on the phone - I miss them
*  our fish, Pastor Rick (yes, he's named after our pastor) - this morning I thought he had expired - whew, he's okay!
*  being able to pray right on the spot