Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Piece of History

"After supper my family and I went out to Penfield to see Grampa Plotzker who has cancer in his lungs. He is thin and weak and in very much pain. There is little hope for him, although we have faith in God and the grape cure that he will come through o.k. and will be able to go fishing with me again.
Alfred Leslie Plotzker"
(July 24, 1947- Thurs.)

I wonder if my father ever thought of his grandpa as he struggled with his own disease. My father's diaries usually leave me smiling, but this entry left me wondering instead.

Many Thoughts...

Many thoughts have been traveling around my brain this past week...

I grew up in a home that I never thought unusual. I had a mom and a dad who loved each other and their children. I had two older brothers, one who bossed me around and told me to "go play marbles on the freeway" and another who lived away from home due to a mental handicap. I had two younger sisters who I played with and fought with. We lived in a small house on a quiet neighborhood street, went to school on the bus, and attended Sunday school each week. We had many friends; at church, at school, and down the street. We rode bicycles and played in the woods, dressed our baby dolls, built block houses for our Fisher Price little people, listened to our dad play his guitar and sing, and said our prayers before climbing into bed at night.

When I listen to old hymns, the words and music bring a sense of peace to my heart. The church is a place of refuge and Bible verses comfort my soul. I know there are those who quote scripture without understanding, never giving a thought to living the words of the Book; I know there are those who claim Christianity but never seek to emulate Christ; I know there are those who sing the songs and sit in a pew every Sunday but don't care a speck for the hurting people in the world. But that is not the home I grew up in, and sometimes I forget that old hymns, Bible verses and Sunday school can bring to others feelings of pain, sorrow, anger and rejection. Sometimes I forget that "the greatest of these is love".

So, I am seeking to understand a world that I am unfamiliar with, looking to love those who are different than me, and searching how to accomplish this without compromising my own faith in a God who loves me and sent His Word to tell me so. He loves me enough to shine His light into the darkened corners of my heart, to scrape away anything that is not of Him, and to fill me with a renewed understanding of the scope of His unending love. He has a better way not only for those who I am seeking to love, but for me too, and He is changing me every day as I give my life over to Him.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Out and About

After getting my hair cut this morning, I stopped by Rachel's house. She happened to mention taking a ride out to the Craft and Antique Co-op and I thought maybe she had read my mind. I think maybe it's becoming an unspoken holiday tradition with us. We walk around looking at the booths and displays, leave with little to nothing, and buy a Frosty at Wendy's on the way home.

I had to smile when Rachel was going through the checkout. One of the women wrapping purchases on the next register looked very much like some of the people in some prints and paintings we had just looked at. Of course, many artists paint and sculpt figures that look very much like themselves and Diann Dengel is no exception. Her paintings always make me smile. I do believe the figures in this display are also her creations. How fun it must be to see these people and animals take shape.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I think pumpkin pie makes a very good breakfast, but today I had scrambled eggs and waffles instead. I nursed a sinus headache on Wednesday and didn't make any pie, and therefore have none left over. It is just as well as I find it nearly impossible to resist the allure of homemade pumpkin pie. I can try to console myself with the fact that I did enjoy a nice piece yesterday afternoon and one will very likely show up again in my kitchen one day very soon. It's my favorite.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another Day Of Thanks

We shed some tears shed this Thanksgiving, but we have much to be thankful for. Though we have bid farewell to a much loved and cherished family member this year, we have new little people to love and cherish; little people who will one day carry the torch their great grandpa, my dad, has passed on to us.

I continue to be blessed by my own children and am double blessed by my grandchildren. I hope their great grandma, James' mom, will enjoy this little video of them enjoying a little music with Uncle Nate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Chicken Speaks

(I think I may have stolen that line...)

The last few days have been rather emotionally draining. Family tensions have been running high online. Sometimes differences can be celebrated and sometimes they are nothing less than painful. There is pain on both sides right now with no apparent solution outside of God's intervention. Of course, He is a God of miracles. He has a way of taking what we cannot change, working with what we cannot understand, and doing things we thought impossible. When we give up, He takes over and He must take over here because we are helpless before Him.

The chicken? Oh yeah, that was me. Not one to stir the already bubbling pot, I spoke (actually I typed...). Sometimes we have areas where we cannot back down, even if that would be easier; even if it would appear to promote peace. Sometimes we have to tell the truth, because it is the truth that sets people free. I must learn to stand for truth while there is still truth to be shared. Honestly, the truth does hurt. It hurts me too, but it doesn't change what it is. Besides, this doesn't really come as a surprise to anyone, it's just that they don't want to hear it. Ugh!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Growing!

"That very day in Martha's room a garden grew..."

After three months and little progress, a rather distressing weekend, and a schedule that never seems to slow down, I was ready to give up, buy a gallon of flat white, and paint over my living room garden. It was a silly idea anyway. Why would I even have considered such a task? I don't even know how to paint flowers!

I caught my daughter on Facebook this morning. "Do you have any leftover paint?" I asked her. Bethany was not pleased with my readiness to give up on the flower garden. She wasn't working and had nothing pressing in her schedule today, and so showed up at my door an hour or so later ready to take on the task. I was feeling intimidated but she was undaunted.

Bethany has a little bit (or maybe a lot) of her Grandmanita in her. She is not afraid to tackle a job head on. She picked out some green paint (Seminole green), found a suitable brush, and started to paint. I have to admit I was inspired. I picked out some paint, found a suitable brush, and... started to paint... over the fence. (It did need a second coat...) Okay, I painted some very sad looking little flowers. Ah, I guess they look okay from a distance.

So, the garden is beginning to grow once again. While the girls and Joshua took naps, Bethany and I painted. It was good time spent together and I am encouraged by the appearance of foliage. I'm looking forward to when the flowers bloom and the bugs and butterflies come out to play. Maybe we'll even hang a birdhouse or two.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Marble Game

Every night before going to bed Mom and Dad played "The Marble Game". Dad had never been a big fan of board games, but somehow he came to enjoy playing this one which is really just a variation of Parcheesi or Aggravation. Mom and Dad had played the game with some friends and had such fun that one Christmas Dad decided to make each of us a game board too. The boards were unpainted with holes drilled where the marbles moved around. Priscilla took to painting some of them, including Mom and Dad's. They are beautiful.

One night in September, when I stayed over with Mom and Dad, I took their picture playing the game. They always sat in the same place, always played until one of them won two rounds, and always had a little bit of ice cream to eat afterward. (Or was it before?) Two weeks later Dad was too sick to play Marbles anymore. I'm glad I took the picture.

The Warning System

When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Ezekiel 3:18-19

I find this verse to be sobering. In a world were there are no absolutes, where right and wrong are decided by the individual, and where the laws of God are hidden away in a back room, how does one warn of God's anger and judgment? Why should people even care what God thinks if they don't even believe He exists? Does love accept all actions regardless or does it send out a warning? If love never sends out a warning is it truly love?

I have to admit that I would truly rather overlook the wickedness of most individuals, including myself.
Sometimes it would be easier to accept all lifestyle choices and religions. It would be easier to defend my children when they steal, lie, or cheat. It would be easier to say that alcoholism or drug addiction are diseases. It would be easier never to confront anyone with their need for a savior, to pretend there is no hell or judgment, no God to answer to. Sometimes it would be easier to look the other way...

Why should I want to subject myself to ridicule or hatred, to be called arrogant and demeaning because I care about someone, to live with broken relationships? There are no easy answers in this world, but to love does not always mean accepting any and everything. It does, however, mean loving and accepting people and laying our lives on the line for them. Sometimes that means sticking your neck out to tell someone they need Jesus. "God, help me learn how to accomplish such a task."

Saturday, November 21, 2009


My dad had a habit of seeing the potential in people and situations. He reached out with words of love and kindness, always offered a smile, and often a helping hand. He accepted people where they were at, but sought to point them in the direction of the Savior, the one who takes broken lives and makes them new again.

The old barn lay in ruins back in the late sixties, a useless heap of broken boards and beams, but Dad saw the potential. He had a plan. With permission from the land owner he slowly and painstakingly disassembled the the pieces, loaded them onto his little trailer, and hauled them eighty miles home. He made several trips before the job of hauling was finished and then began the real task. He cut and fit the old barn boards to cover the walls in the new addition to our house, the "country room".

Those old boards weren't always kind to my sisters and I. Though they looked pretty in their new home, for many years they had some terribly rough edges called "slivers". We had plenty in our years of growing up, so many in fact, that those old boards now have no slivers left to give. I can run my bare hand over those once rough boards without a worry.

Jesus knows our potential too, after all He is our creator, but all too often we deny what He has intended for our lives and turn the other way to do our own thing. We end up tired, discouraged and used up. Sometimes it appears as though there is nothing of potential left in our lives. We crumble and fall a ruined heap. But He doesn't want to leave us there, He has a plan.

Had my dad not seen the potential in that fallen down barn so many years ago, it either would have rotted away or been set ablaze. Instead the old beams and timbers grace the walls and ceilings of my parent's little home. They have sheltered many guests through time and brought a sense of peace and comfort to friends and family all because someone was able to see their potential.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Little Music Man

Lucas loves music. He likes to listen, he likes to dance, and he likes to make it himself. He finds our piano quite irresistible. Unfortunately Grandpa wanted to eat his lunch without the piano banging in the background. Don't know why...

The weather is becoming more unpredictable. One day it is warm and sunny and the next is rather nasty. It looked like a good day to take a walk but now that the hunters are out I don't want to be traipsing about in the orchard. Bethany and I both needed groceries and, since I had only one little girl today, we decided to take a walk at North Ponds Park. I don't know where that brutal wind came from but I quickly wished I had worn a heavier coat, my warm woolen mittens and a hat. I survived the one mile walk around, climbed back into my van where my ears could thaw out and we headed over to Wegman's. The grocery shopping is done. Hopefully I have all I need for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There's Nothing Like the Face...

Remember that old song? "There's nothing like the face of a kid eating a Hershey bar, Nothing like it you'll ever see, A face as happy as it can be..."

Several months ago I was given a bag a Hershey's Bliss milk chocolate and now I am hooked. Chocolate kisses will never be the same. They just cannot compete with the thick, creamy goodness of these little nuggets. (I hope Hershey doesn't mind me borrowing their photo for this advertisement.)

Yesterday I took Hannah out so she could buy some items for an Operation Christmas Child shoe box and I decided to buy a bag of chocolate for "Miss Stephanie" who is one of the preschool teachers. We once had a discussion about chocolate and I thought I'd surprise her with a bag. I didn't expect the reaction I got; a few unexpected tears, a hug, and "How did you know it was a bad day?" in a cracked voice. Of course, I had no clue, but there is Someone bigger than us who knew one of His own needed a little encouragement on a difficult day. "Sometimes chocolate helps," I said in her ear. "Chocolate and prayers," she answered.

I smiled and remembered a day in the September when I needed that little bit of encouragement. The One who holds me in His hand sent several things that day; a card in the mail, a telephone call, and a box of love from a faraway friend. I'm so glad He knows.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Old Stories

I sneaked another peak at one of Dad's old diaries last night and found he had been hospitalized as a teenager because of some abnormality with his heart. He spent a week in the hospital while they ran tests and did x-rays and another week in bed at home, after which this entry was recorded in his diary... Wed. December 1, 1948- "The doctor came to see me and told me I can't go hunting, tramping, take gym, play mouthorgan, work, and just about anything else for a few months." Ten days later was this entry... "Sat. December 11, 1948- "This afternoon Arthur (his brother) and I went out to Victor in the Model A and started home after dark. On our way home we decided to follow the unfinished Cloverleaf highway (dirt and high). We rode a few miles going about 50 or more when we came terribly near to going off a high drop-off onto a railroad track where they're going to put a bridge in. Arthur swerved the car around on two wheels, blew a front tire, crashed through a pile of iron bars and tore one running board in two. If we'd gone over the bank we wouldn't have had a chance. When we got home Mother, Dad, and I went to a show and saw "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid" and "A Southern Yankee". So much for taking it easy! Whenever Dad told this story I could see him heave a sigh, shake his head, and wonder in disbelief that he and his brother survived so many boyhood antics. He never laughed when he told this story. Note- As best I can tell the "Cloverleaf Highway" refers to Interstate 90.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Cloud of Witnesses

James and I attended the memorial service of an old friend this afternoon. He was much like my father in many ways. An encourager and a lover of people, Clif left behind many who will long ponder his life and words and miss his presence. Though we were neighbors for just one short year after his return to the area from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, the impact he made on our lives is undeniable. Probably the most talked about event was not the time one of our sick children threw up in his shoe, but the time we knocked on his door with a theological question. We wanted his opinion and he answered with a verse of scripture; Titus 3:9 (or was it 2 Tim 2:23?). We returned home to look it up and smiled at his wisdom.

Today we heard testimony from others who knew him. He reached out to the hurting, helped those in need, opened his home, loved his family. He loved Jesus and wasn't ashamed to admit it. He prayed for his grandchildren daily and preached the word. He will be sorely missed...

I found my heart grieved for a church fellowship that once had the opportunity to offer Clif their youth group. He was excited and had plans for the teenagers there. Some of the kids were excited too, but there were others who decided he wasn't quite what they had in mind when prayers had been offered for a new youth leader. He was too old and didn't fit the picture of one who could "relate" to teens and so rather than accepting what God sent their way, they rejected him as a youth leader and offered him a senior citizen ministry instead... The wisdom of a life lived, of Bible knowledge gained, of experience with people was brushed aside and Clif moved on to bless others instead.

I have to wonder how often I have prayed, God has answered, and I have told Him, "That's not good enough" never realizing the value of what is before me. Sometimes it isn't the blesser who misses the opportunity to bless, but the needy who refuses to accept what is offered. Jesus offers eternal life to all, but there are many who will never accept what he has to give. Somehow, without ever tasting, they have already decided it isn't good enough.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Smiling Faces

So I have taken a stab or two at photographing slides and come to the conclusion that I need sunlight. Once in a while one turns out clean and clear (like this one), but mostly
they look yellow and fuzzy.
So, this is/was my big brother and this is my parent's front yard. It makes me smile because Mom still lives here today and photographs show just how much everything has changed. The carport in the background is an enclosed room and Mom's sidewalk was taken out years ago... And, of course, the people have changed too. Oh, some, like Mom, are still there but many folks have come and gone through the years including my big brother. I wonder how his reunion with Dad went?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sliding Along

Sometime soon I will be sifting through the family slide collection in search of treasures. I have discovered my camera can take fairly good close-ups and with the right lighting and a can of air, to spray off the dust, I can get some pretty good copies. The last time I went through the box, I was looking for pictures of myself and my sisters. This time I am looking for pictures to put with some of the stories I've heard my parents tell, and also photos to go along with some of the tidbits I've read in Dad's diary, things like, "Martha climbed all the way up to the attic today."

More Goodbyes

It feels as though God is collecting; gathering His own. Though death calls each day and the "silver cord" is loosed, this fall has seemed especially full of farewells. Since my own father's passing I have witnessed several friends and acquaintances saying their own goodbyes. Two weeks ago a local pastor gave his dear wife into the Lord's arms and today I see that another old friend has also made the journey.

Back in 1984 we lived in a small two bedroom townhouse with our two little boys. That spring the apartment next door came available. When Clif and Ava moved in it was like we had known them for years; the bond of faith undeniable. They never looked on us with judging eyes, but loved, encouraged, and challenged us. Each afternoon my apartment filled with the smell of good food as Ava cooked lunch for Clif. One day the smell of food turned my stomach and I knew I was pregnant. We met their children and grandchildren, and shared stories of faith. There was once a concert in Clif and Ava's living room; a couple of young Christian guys who loved to sing and play together.

Clif had once been a youth evangelist. He had a heart for young people, and it showed, but mostly he had a heart for people. He had a dry sense of humor; he once told me I looked swell but then again, I was pregnant. Clif's wife, Ava, died of cancer sometime after we had both moved away from the apartment complex. When a friend, in her grief, had asked "Why you?" Ava had replied "Why not me?" I thought of her and those words when my own father was diagnosed. Clif leaves behind a second wife and a hurting family, but goes on ahead to those who passed before. Yes, he has been gathered also, and heaven smiles.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'll Take a Vanilla Frosty

Thick frost coated the world this morning. I neglected to think ahead and, when I went out the door to take the girls to preschool, found my van in need of a good dose of sunshine. I started the engine before rearranging the car seats and luckily the windshield was clear by the time I had the girls out of the house and buckled into their seats. Only the back and side windows needed scraping.

Although my mind is getting prepared for winter, my hands are not. The freezing temperatures and icy door handles send a burning pain through my fingers. The thought crossed my mind that a cold Hell could be just as much a torment as a burning one. I pulled on my warm alpaca mittens before putting my hands on the cold steering wheel. By the time I dropped the girls off and came out of the building, my van was frost free. Maybe next time I'll try parking where the morning sun can reach the glass.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sixteen Candles

Happy Sixteenth Birthday, Benjamin!

I know how much you'd love to get behind the wheel of the car, but I'm afraid that won't be happening for a little while yet. I hope the bowling party with your friends was a success and I'm looking forward to pie and ice cream with the family sometime this weekend! I love you!

Silver Strands

The sunlight dipped its fingers
through the window pane,
pointing to the jewels
basking in the morning glow.
Silver strands, some broken,
others holding fast,
stretched across open space.
I saw no silk-spinners,
only silky strands of silver
on potted plants of jade.

A sad little story... I found the spider webs, though undesired, somewhat beautiful. I thought the "silver strand" spoke of life and death but couldn't find that definition in my search... maybe it was the silver cord... Ah, yes! That was it!

Some Day the Silver Cord Will Break
by Fannie Crosby

Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing,
But, O, the joy when I awake
Within the palace of the King.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

Some day my earthly house will fall,
I cannot tell how soon 'twill be,
But this I know, my All in All
Has now a place in heaven for me.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

Some day, when fades the golden sun
Beneath the rosy-tinted West,
My blessed Lord will say, "Well done!"
And I shall enter into rest.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

Some day— till then I'll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Saviour opes the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

"Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed..."
Ecclesiastes 12:6

Number 8- I am thankful for old hymns full of faith and hope.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Butter Brickle

I ran and found a brickle bush,
I hid myself away,
I got brickles in my britches
But I stayed there anyway...

Monday, November 09, 2009

November Apples

Practically naked aside from apples, the trees stood waiting silent and still . I began to doubt the pickers would show up to
relieve them of their burden, but yesterday the tractors rumbled in leaving empty wooden crates between the heavy laden trees. This morning the apple pickers arrived and by this afternoon the fruit had been picked, collected in bins and hauled away. The harvest in this particular area is late this year. Last year they picked in early October while there were still leaves on the trees.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Flying Cloud

One of my dad's all time loves was the water. Put him in a boat and he was happy. As a young boy the lure of the Irondequoit Bay was more than he could resist. Almost any punishment was worth a day by the water. As a teen, Dad and his friends built a pontoon boat but unfortunately had to leave it marooned in the creek at a nearby park. When they returned for their vessel the following day, they found it had been vandalized by pirates. (Or is that pirated by vandals?)

A good many of Dad's drawings were of ships. Each rendition included sails and riggings and all the stuff that a little girl would never remember. I was always somewhat enchanted by his drawings, but never felt the lure of the sea. Being in a boat for more than half an hour left me feeling queasy and my best bet was to find a place to lay down and close my eyes.

When he came of age Dad joined the naval reserves and found himself on a ship headed for Cuba. Somewhere mid-trip the ship's doctor noticed Dad's polio stricken left leg and threatened to ship him home at the next port. Not to be outdone, Dad talked to someone in higher authority and finished his tour without incident.

So anyway, this morning our pastor happened to mention in his message a ship called the "Flying Cloud". (He grew up in Philadelphia by the river and across from a shipyard.) I missed most of what he said as I was on my way out to the ladies' room, but it sparked an interest and I checked out Dad's drawings once again. I looked for pictures online too and found this. I think Dad did a pretty good job with his drawings.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Light in the Window

Just thinking...

The hinges are of leather and the windows have no glass
While the board roof lets the howling blizzard in;
And I hear the hungry ki-yote as he slinks up in the grass
`Round my little old sod shanty on my claim.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Where Do You Live?

It was morning. I was in the kitchen visiting with James. The girls were in the living room playing. It was still early and they hadn't quite gotten everything out yet, but they were working on it. I can't recall what caused the conversation but it made me smile. "We're living in a pile of books!" they said. Yes, there they were, living in a pile of books. The books were set on end, balanced like walls; "Roxaboxen", "Curious George", "Ira Sleeps Over", "Bread and Jam for Francis", and even a very old copy of "The Saggy, Baggy Elephant". What fun to live in a pile of books!

#6 and #7- I am thankful for books and little girls.

Skywatch Friday?

Hannah had an appointment with her doctor Tuesday morning. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a physical and a meningitis vaccine. We opted for no flu shots and no more HPV vaccines either. I am more leary of vaccinations every day. I know what they are supposed to do, I know what is supposed to be in them, and I know I am supposed to trust my doctor, but in actuality I have no clue what is in them, neither does my doctor, and they don't really know what they will do to me (or my daughter).

So anyway, I found the new "skylight" in the exam room quite intriguing. The sky was bright and blue, the clouds white and puffy. With the sun shining outside, one could almost believe it was a real skylight. Actually it is a cover panel for the fluorescent light. I've decided that if I ever want to put in a skylight, this may be just the one. No dirty glass to clean, no leaky seals, no hole in my roof. I wonder if they have panels with twinkling stars?

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Happy Birthday, Rachel!

I am thankful for you. (That's number 5.)

Completely Incomplete

Projects, stuff we start and rarely finish. I have several, maybe even thirteen...

1. The garden on my living room wall. No new leaves have sprouted since September, no new flowers have grown.
2. The little table and chairs I had planned for my play area.
The chairs are started; we did sand and paint a primer coat, and just this morning I gave them another scuffing.
3. Ceramic figures. These are still hiding out in Barn 2. I don't know if they will ever get fired and finished, but there remains that possibility.
4. My mom loves blog books. I need to catch up on this project (this year's is partially done...) or she will severely disappointed come Christmas. Last year's turned into a gift at Dad's birthday.
5. My puzzles! I think I did finish this one... but I had planned to make a few as Christmas presents. Will it happen?
6. Paint projects. Will I ever finish that last Nativity puzzle? Can I find all the pieces?
7. Apples. I have to do something with those apples that are sitting in my kitchen. We'll never eat them all before they start to go bad, not unless I turn them into something yummy.
8. The other day I bought a pattern and some fleece to sew Hannah some pajama pants. (Like I don't have enough projects started) So far we have cut the pattern.
9. I am still working on putting Dad's music together on CD's. I have no clue how to work the programs and my CD burner has decided to be difficult and refuses to open.
10. I had a plan in mind to make a photo album for my uncle. He has such wonderful Fourth of July picnics and I have so many great photographs. I even bought an album, but then I filled it with all the pictures from Dad's memorial service.
11. Another project in my mind; a family book filled with things family members have written, drawn, or said throughout the years. Sounded fun, but I sure do wish I hadn't put it off..

That's enough unfinished projects. I know there have to be a least a few more but I'm getting tired thinking about it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Apple Dance

What is it about babies and apples? Lucas was quite certain this was a very nice ball. He threw it about the kitchen floor until it was nicely bruised. After chasing it around for several minutes, he decided to take a bite and was very pleased with the result. (Note- Apple peels must be removed from child's mouth to prevent choking. For safety's sake, I covered the box of apples with a nice thick blanket.) Sofie was more than happy to consume the discarded apple peels. She likes all kinds of fruits and vegetables, but does not care much for carrots or celery... but I digress. Last fall it was Josh who was into my apple supply. He wasn't much bigger than Lucas but had a lot less hair...

Thankful #4

(Yes, I can count. Number three is at the bottom of the last post.)

Today I am thankful for internet because I get to see my lovely niece, Tori, and her beautiful new baby boy. He arrived safely yesterday morning around 9 am. I hope someone made him some nice soft booties to keep his feet warm during that long Montana winter! Maybe they'll just wrap him up in a blanket like a little burrito. That should keep him nice and toasty.
Welcome to the world, Beckett! You're too far away for me to snuggle. I'll have to settle for imagining it in my mind... Mmmmm, you smell nice!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wreckless Leaves and Miracles

I watched them dance through the yard, swirling and twirling, happy and carefree. Without warning they ran straight into the road in front of my van, doing cartwheels as they went. If they ever looked both ways I didn't notice. The smiles, I'm sure, never vanished from their faces, and as I swished by they leaped out from under my tires and into the air behind me, shouts of laughter and excitement escaping their lips...

I suppose the end of life is just as exciting for a leaf as their new beginning in the spring. I wonder, do they yearn to be free from the branches that hold them all summer long? Do they close their eyes during thunder storms or shiver on dark scary nights? Imagine the excitement of fluttering down from the highest branches, catching the breeze, floating upward again then spinning round and round on the dizzying descent! What wondrous stories a single leaf could tell...

But enough about leaves! Just today I have heard news that some of our good friends have plans to move back to the area. Though they will return minus their two eldest children, both daughters and friends of my Bethany, and partly minus a college-aged son, who is friends with Nathan, they will still have their very special, smiley youngest son who was just three years old when they first moved here fourteen years ago. It's likely we will no longer attend the same church or plan children's birthday parties together, but I'm hoping for a grand reunion and a day or two here and there to spend with Heather. Maybe we can work on scrapbooks, go shopping, or bake cookies. Too bad that house next door isn't up for sale...

PS. Thankful #3- I am thankful for friends, old and new!

Thankful #2

Today I am thankful for children, especially babies. I have a new great nephew born just this morning!

(Check out Bethany's post to see Josh's birthday song.)

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Forgotten Holiday

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 107:15

Christmas trees are sprouting in the stores and loud speakers are beginning to leak holiday tunes, but somewhere in between that awful celebration of death and the wonderful promise of life is another day to remember. It's called Thanksgiving. It does not come with the same materialistic mayhem that surrounds our remembrance of Christ's birth, instead it is a day to gather with friends and family, share a feast, and recall all the blessings our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. Thankfulness can not be bought at the store, wrapped up in a box, or given away; it comes from deep within and therefore is difficult to market to the general public. This month I want to celebrate thankfulness.

1. Today, no surprise to you, I am thankful for my dad, a man who not only taught me about Christ, but lived out those principles before me. If only I can follow in his footsteps.