Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Leah, watching It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World for the first time: "They would've gotten there first if they'd just drove normally!"
Jesse - clearly his father's son - after walking in the house after the final travel of the final Christmas party: "VACATION!"
Delaney, filling her plate with the cut-up veggies I'd set out when we got home today: "I'm not eating another piece of candy or anything with sugar for a week. Maybe 3 months. Maybe till my birthday."
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Top 5 Christmas Albums
- I can't bring myself to rank them, so "no particular order".
- I don't like all the songs on all the albums, but there is no way I could do "top 5 Christmas songs", so just consider this imperfect. Favorite Songs have an *.
- I could go on with disclaimers all day long; you know that, right? : )
#5. Amy Grant: A Christmas Album
One of the first cassette tapes I owned myself. Best played while cooking or decorating. Top songs: A Christmas Hymn*, Hark! The Herald Angels, A Mighty Fortress, Praise the King.
#4. Barlow Girl: Home for Christmas
Close to my favorite. Crisp, clear harmonies that ring out through the speakers. Best way to start the Christmas music season, or to wake up the kids early in the morning. Top songs: Go Tell it on the Mountain, Carol of the Bells, O Come O Come Emmanuel, and Hallelujah (Light Has Come)*.
#3. Transiberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve
By October we are all itching to play it. We hold off until after Eric's birthday and this is one of the few Christmas albums he can take the whole season. We pick and choose among all their Christmas albums, but this is the one we discovered first. Top songs: Wizards in Winter, Anno Domine, Wish Liszt, Christmas Canon Rock*.
#2. Harry Connick, Jr.: When my Heart Finds Christmas
Ahhhh, Harry. Smooth. Best played while working on computer or doing schoolwork or having a party or driving around looking at Christmas lights. Top songs: I Pray on Christmas*, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, The Little Drummer Boy.
#1. Anne Murray: What a Wonderful Christmas
Purely nostalgia. I can hear it playing on the record player while we decorated the tree growing up. Who can do The Coventry Carol like Anne? Or It Came Upon a Midnight Clear? Beautiful voice. Other top songs: Silver Bells, O Come All ye Faithful.
Any of Michael W. Smith's Christmas albums
The Chieftains: Bells of Dublin (LOVE. Could've been on top list. I Saw Three Ships, The Rebel Jesus)
Randy Travis: An Old Time Christmas (*God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)
Vince Gill: Let There Be Peace on Earth*
Martina McBride: White Christmas (Best version of O Holy Night*)
Sara Groves: O Holy Night (Cradle in Bethlehem*, Toy Packaging)
Toby Mac: Christmas in Diverse City (new, but quickly becoming a favorite; love Mary's Boy Child)
Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb
I leave you with our favorite original Christmas song performance of this year. This young Christian was inspired by this song and bringing what we have been given and laying it all out for Jesus. He played all the instruments in this arrangement and produced the video with help from his sister. He has totally inspired us here.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Me: Yeah, you're right. I never noticed.
Levi: Yeah, except for our family.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
But we will eat together, and I will not miss the stories, the games, the time.
I will miss my grandma. My first Thanksgiving without a living grandparent. Their traditions, their steadfastness, their ever-present love.
But we will make her noodles, and pile them on mashed potatoes, and make a ham instead of a turkey, and remember her in each bite.
I will miss my "boy"...his willingness to hold my hand in public - or any motherly PDA; his boyish features; my slight advantage in strength....all have been fading, and with this, the 12th birthday, are disappearing.
But we will eat his All Boy birthday menu on his Thanksgiving Day Birthday (who else gets to eat corn dogs on Thanksgiving Day? Anyone? Anyone?) and sing to him and be so thankful for the boy he is and the man he is becoming.
I will miss the "way things were" - I've always been bad at change - but I will embrace the "way things are" and remember the One Who Always Is - He is my Rock.
And I will eat...
"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live."
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
And have no where to go.**
I can take it for years/
And have nothing to show.
I'll wait for you/
Now more than ever.
I see it's true/
Now more than ever.
I'll wait for you, now.
Sara Groves, Invisible Empires
*How big would the font have to be (and soooo big to hold all the irony) to make "WAKE UP PEOPLE!" actually cause some to just. stop. the. madness? Why do we insist on storing up "treasures" that will rust and rot and that have no value in what really matters?
** "....not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord." Zec. 4:6
Thursday, November 10, 2011
You are a real man.
Sometimes I can't stand you. I take all of my exhaustion and undone dishes and undone repairs and undone goals and undone responsibilities and I pile them up on the easily accessible corner of my distorted mind called Your Fault. You did not sign up for this. You do not fight back. You do not blame back. You don't do the same thing to me because you know I would crumble under the accusation because my patience-meter is always hanging by a measly thread. You wait. You hold no grudges when I regain my senses.
You are a real man.
Sometimes you mess up. Or get lazy. Or ignore consequences we agreed upon for the kids. Or let depressing thoughts control your actions. You are not perfect.
You are a real man.
Sometimes (All The Time?!?) you are faced with career detours. Oh, that long-lived goal of being an engineer has been fulfilled - probably, in reality, when you were born. But life and poor decisions and good decisions and opportunities seem to arrive like a weekly package. I love your dreams. I love your ideas. Don't stop.
You are a real man.
Sometimes friends, family, strangers, restaurant patrons compliment our well-behaved children. How wonderful and sweet and quiet and mature. They assume - oh the irony! - they assume because I'm home with them that it's because of me. I, the Lord, my family, and you, know the truth. You defy every misguided stereotype this world places on a father. You are so strong, and so gentle. You discipline with the long view. You have always seen them as the people they are becoming. They know, deep in their hearts, that you enjoy being with them and always will.
You are a real man.
And I pray that your 41st year is real and good and blessed in a way that only the Lord can do. I love you.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Me: So, in John this morning...."He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Leah: Mom. I have an interesting question.
Me: (smiling) Lay it on me.
Leah: So, how do you know if you actually love Jesus?
(Maybe we should move Bible lessons to a different part of the day...!!)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
In my current life: whether to stay up later and read OSU game recaps online, or just get to bed
Former: whether or not to play Christmas music or wait until Nov. (ok, that's still a debate)
Current: keeping track of what month I'm in
Former: whether it was worth it to pack up 4 babies/toddlers and all their stuff to go try to keep them on a blanket for an hour while the 4-year-old played soccer.
Current: whether I can ever get to the place again where I can sit with 4 of my kids and watch 1 play.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
If I were my sister, I would've done this for my husband a long time ago. If I were Lisa or Pam, I'd have headed to my backyard farm for these 36 eggs, instead of the $1.59 per 18 deal I got at Kroger.
If I were my husband, I'd be up early and hard at work each day designing machines and solving problems, providing for our family. The least I can do is give him some breakfast!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Well, the construction equivalent just happened. Counting, measuring, math, power tool instruction, years of patience with "helpers", and more have just come together. Daddy's tearing up. : )
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
And now the baby - henceforth known as Evan! - is here. And the trip is done. And the other kids' week with Daddy is done. And we're back to the routine (except for the yearly excitement of getting the Barn Sale ready, which has not quite kicked in because it keeps raining). For DK and I, it was such a great trip to bond more closely as she heads into a different phase of growing up. The fun of experiencing her first airplane ride with her was a privilege (Said as she put her shoes back on after getting her bag scanned and the body scan: "I was all like, 'tight', and now I'm just like, ahhhh, and let's get on the plane!"). She absolutely loved every minute of the plane ride, and had her face smashed against her window during the entire take-off. Priceless.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
...tons of hugs and kisses...
...they made my bed...
..."Interviews About Mom" videos with each kid answering questions and sending messages to me. Best. Gift. Ever....
...Originial songs written and sung for me...
Here's one of the interviews. You can see in the clothing question that I have passed down the sarcasm gene completely intact.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I thought I might start to flesh some of that out here...feel free to add on, weigh in, disagree, etc. Brainstorming is on the agenda first, as all good students know, and since there is not much in my brain, I'll stimulate my thinking by seeing what others have to say.*
"There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live." - John Adams
"If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it." - Erma Bombeck
"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'" - James 4: 13-15
*Fine print disclaimer: just words that make me think...not necessarily an endorsement of the sentiment.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
We started to sing. Then the roosters started to sing, and before our eyes the greenhouse lit up like someone had flipped the switch. We kept singing, about the One who flipped the switch, who rolled away the stone, who lives today and forever. We talked about how the darkness has not won, and will never win.
On the other side of the world, though, our brothers and sisters did not get to leave their gathering and go eat ham or baked beans or cake or relax with their families. They tried to gather and sing, and pray, and talk about the One whom we celebrate this day; they were arrested. Some are in various jails, others are in unknown locations.
I do not take for granted my freedom to gather and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, and I will not forget those who are without that freedom.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
After the sun had started turning our skin pretty red, and the sand had made it's way into every thing we brought, we headed back to the resort (again, through crazy-slow Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News traffic) to shower and get ready for The King's Ball. All the families were dressing up (either in period garb or just nice clothing) and putting our newly-learned colonial dance skills to use. Sara was nervous from Monday until Friday at the ball, worried, she told us, that she might forget some of the moves for the dances, or not remember their names and that she knew them. She really, really, liked the dancing. : ) Levi asked me to dance - so sweet! - and Delaney, yet again, rejected invitations from young men to dance with her. She is going to be a tough one for some young man someday.
We weren't too great with our cameras Friday night, but I have a few pics, plus the "big reveal" - pics from Monday night including the parents' and grandparents' outfits!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Tuesday's hands-on history wasn't done, however, as the retreat organizers had planned a girls/mothers tea and a militia drill for the boys/dads in the afternoon back at the resort. Our outside picnic/tea was cold but absolutely beautiful in its set-up and planning. Each lady got a custom-made mug with raspberry lemonade plus wonderful "crumpets" in a basket.
The boys had their replica muskets and LOVED the drill instruction time. We had quite the time the rest of the trip getting them to stop "drilling" and remember that the dear people of Virginia Beach/Norfolk/West Virginia/Ohio did not know they were pretending to be minutemen.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
b. Yes, our outfits were 100% authentic and everyone complemented my exceptional sewing skills.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Well, too bad, because we're going to do positive highlights and happy pictures.
This Williamsburg retreat has been going on for about 10 years through an email group of which I am a member: MOMYS - Mothers of Many Young Siblings. You have to have at least 4 children within 8 years to be a member; we are one of the smaller families, and in fact, had one of the few minivans in the parking lots. Most were 12- or 15-passenger. My mom and dad joined us on the road when we were heading to Williamsburg, and the kids happily separated into 2 vans. : )
While waiting for check-in time, we took the Colonial Parkway and hit the "beach" on the James River. Similarly, we found no gold.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
So, considering we took one day and saw the Smithsonian American History museum, Union Station, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Senate and Supreme Court buildings, and the Botanical Gardens, what do you think the kids' favorite memory of D.C. is? Only if you guessed the mode of transporation that took us to all of those places (or if I've talked to you) would you have the correct answer! Yes, they love the Metro. Seven one-day passes to ride the subway was money well spent, let me tell 'ya. The rest was just icing on the cake for them.
The excitement of the day produced well-seasoned Metro riders.
What are we most interested in at the Smithsonian? Hmmm... I blame Eric.
No taxation without representation!
We really, really want this Liberty Bell replica to ring.
The irresistible urge to touch the cactus was only magnified when the mother said, "No, for goodness sake! Don't touch the cactus." The Botanical Gardens was an unplanned (Dad, looking for a shortcut) but very lovely stop.