30 June 2011

Green Monstah

If you're a Red Sox fan, the title of this post probably conjures up the huge green wall in Fenway Park.  
If you're not a Sox fan, maybe you think it refers to a furry green monster from some children's TV show.
To me, these days, it is neither, as I've been consuming a Green Monster smoothie most mornings.  I recently came across this blog post at Simply Scrumptious, and decided to jump on the bandwagon.  
The basic recipe I use is as follows (same as on the link):
   *  1-2 cups of raw baby spinach
   *  one banana
   *  1 tablespoon of flax seeds
   *  enough almond milk to make is blend
   *  ice
Doesn't sound that appetizing, does it?  But I'm telling you, the banana really is sweet enough to make it quite enjoyable.  I did try it with frozen mango, but it was not quite as yummy.
I've got to do whatever I can to make sure I get my leafy greens!
Let me know if you try it, and we can compare notes!

29 June 2011

Where the boys are

They're at camp!  For two weeks!  I really miss them already!
Theo had a bit of a hard time when we left him, but we feel pretty sure that he got over it and is having a great time.  Of the three boys, he was the most excited to get to camp, even though it is his first time to attend.
Here's what getting ready for camp looks like:
Sunday after church we drove them up to camp.  Of course, we had to make a stop at a certain place because we still needed a few items.


 We arrived at camp, had all the boys checked out by the nurse, dropped their stuff at their cabins and then they went down to the water for the swim test.  I was able to get Theo and Clayton all set up in their cabins, with sheets on the bed and their clothes stored on the shelves.  Walter, however, was on his own, so who knows if anything will actually be taken out of the duffel bag?!
Each boy has at least two friends in his cabin, which is amazing!  It should especially be a help for Theo, being new to camp.
Theo shed a few tears when we left, which I think was mainly due to being tired and worried about his swim test.  Just say the word "test" and it makes poor Theo a bit anxious.  He so badly wants to do well and please everyone, including himself, and he can be very hard on himself.  But he bravely walked over to join his cabin-mates at the first official camp meeting.





 So in a week and a half we will go pick up our Badger, our Porcupine and our Beaver.  I love that they have this time away, this time to experience things that are purely their own.  But I will be SO glad to get them back (and all their stinky laundry!!).



27 June 2011

Woooo boy

I keep meaning to update this here blog and yet...and yet...somehow I haven't done so in over a week!
There's been a lot going on.  We have some dear old friends in town from Switzerland, and we had the pleasure of hosting one of their daughters for a few days last week.
We checked out the aquarium.  





Yes, you can TOUCH the sting rays and even SHARKS in this new touch tank!!
Then we played in the cool fountain down the street.




I really really love our city in the summer!  In fact, I love summer in general because I get to see scenes like this:  two kids snuggled on a sofa on a lazy morning, reading and relaxing.  The only not-so-great part in the picture below is the need for the fuzzy bathrobe and the woolen quilt.  June in New England...it's hit or miss. 

19 June 2011

Celebrating Papa

 We celebrated our Papa today with our inaugural grilling for the summer, and a fun gift. 
However, as John is not actually MY dad, I want to take a minute to say that I have the best dad on the planet.  He is the MOST patient man I've ever met.  He is a great writer, a good friend, and would do pretty much anything for his kids.  I'm so grateful for his influence in my life, and his influence in my children's lives.
My dad is also kind of big deal.  He would never ever brag, but he's a professional musician, has made records and you can read all about his amazing travels in his younger days in this book

So here is the inside of the card we made for John today.
Father’s Day Interviews
with Your Children
June 19, 2011

1.  Papa is really good at __________________:
   Lucy:  reading and I hope when I’m a grown-up I can     read just like him.  And he’s really good at math.
   Theo:  cooking, especially steak and fish.
   Clayton:  making steak and being nice.
   Walter:  cooking steak and identifying music.

2.  The best thing about Papa is _____________:
   Lucy:  he’s good at preaching and I hope someday he’s done with his job and then can get another job.  I think he should be on TV so he can be famous and have a cooking show.
   Theo:  he’s awesome.  He’s really friendly and he socially interacts with people.
   Clayton:  he’s really nice and friendly and loving.
   Walter:  he’s funny and he’s my dad.

3.  If I could give Papa anything in the world, I would give him ___________________________:
   Lucy:  something from my room that I don’t play with.
   Theo:  a vegan cookbook and a doggy.
   Clayton:  a motorcycle because they are cool and I think he wants one.
   Walter:  a gigantic, really nice grill (but not a gas grill).

4.  Papa is like ___________________:
   Lucy:  Uncle Clay because he is very silly.
   Theo:  a dog because he is so friendly.
   Clayton:  horseradish because he is smooth but also rough and spicy.
   Walter:  a Papa.

5.  My favorite thing to do with Papa is _____________:
   Lucy:  go to the mall and get me stuff and get Chick-fil-A and snuggle.
   Theo:  eat out and watch a movie.
   Clayton:  go shoot guns and play football and eat steak.
   Walter:  play catch and eat and go to a movie.






We love you, Johnny!

17 June 2011

It's the...

last day of school!


The end-of-the-school-year influx of "really important papers" and also a lot of junk. 
Today we will drag our tired boys to school for one last morning of 3rd and 5th grades.  We will attend a final assembly just before lunch, and the students will be released.  Then I'll probably drag two boy to go chop off their long locks for the summer.  We'll pick up a little Father's Day something for John and THEN...THEN...we will be on summer vacation!  Let the NO HOMEWORK begin! 
Oh, AND please note that yesterday was my last day of making school lunches (until September).  Woot!
Happy Friday, friends!

14 June 2011

Lucy's End of Year

Last week Lucy finished up her year of school.  She loved it so much.  At dinner when we would each report on our highs and lows of the day, more often than not she would say something like, "My high point was...everything.  And my low was...I didn't have a low." 
She is really such a ray of sunshine, that girl!
She had a wonderful, soft-spoken and patient teacher, who led the class through so much amazing learning this year.
Toward the end of the year, the kindergarteners did a learning expedition on Noah's Ark.  They read, they studied, they drew, they re-told, they sculpted, they memorized, and they colored.
Here are some pictures of their exhibition night, where they shared their learning with all the parents and the rest of the school.
I'm so grateful for a great year for our girl.  It was a real joy to be in the same school as her, to see her during the day and to interact a bit with her and her classmates.

Can you see that monkey sitting back there?  That's Lucy's sculpture.  She became a monkey expert for this expedition.



video

12 June 2011

Church

Church today was awesome.
It didn't start out very well, though.  
Theo was freaking out because his jeans didn't feel right and his freaking out was so frustrating that I was beginning to get angry with him.  John was away preaching in Rhode Island, so it was all on me to talk Theo down.
After some tense moments and cajoling to go to his Sunday school class, he calmed down and was able to get through the morning.  But I was left a guilty mess for my harshness with him and my deep investment in my own comfort and will.
The confession left me wiping away tears.  I was longing for some kind of hope in the sermon, and most definitely in the Lord's Supper.
Why is it that I always feel like my sin is hanging out for all to see when I'm at church? 
Anyone else feel that way?  Is it just that church is a place where we tend to keep up appearances?  I feel sure that I have no appearance to keep up.  I'm a wreck.
The sermon, from I John, just about undid me.  During this sermon series, I keep hearing the voice of the apostle John, as he writes this letter as a very, very old man.  He has seen it all.  He was there at the foot of the cross; he has had the vision while on the island of Patmos.  Now he is writing to the believers so they would be sure of all they know about the Lord.
Here's the part that really got me.
I John 2:1a  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. 
Okay, stop.  I'm already in trouble.  Because I?  I sin.  I sin every day and I'm having a really hard time stopping.  But now hear this:
I John 2:1b But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Oh blessed relief!  We have an advocate for anyone who does sin!  And we know that an advocate argues on the basis of justice for the accused.  A lawyer doesn't come into court and say, "Your honor, actually my client is guilty.  But would you just please have mercy on her?  She's really a pretty nice person."
Ridiculous!  A lawyer says, "My client is innocent.  And here is why."  
I John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
If we are in Christ, we are declared innocent on the basis of JUSTICE.  God is not doing us a favor; if we are in Christ, then Jesus Christ the righteous is our advocate and makes us innocent.
As we sang this morning in a hymn, "Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me."
Such deep truths are almost too much for me.  I feel like I need to keep telling them to myself because I so easily forget and begin to despair.
Be encouraged, friends!  The Father knows our weakness and has graciously made a way for the likes of us.  
May that thought carry us through the coming week as we abide in Him!

11 June 2011

Inspiration

Last year, just before school started, I found this picture in a magazine, and put it up in my classroom.
I just really liked the look of it.  Mmmm, ice cream...waffles...ice cream....sugar.


Well, my students spent the WHOLE school year staring at this amazing creation.  I promised them that we would replicate it on our last day of class.
I was true to my word.  It was delicious and very fun!