Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cameo Appearances

Here she is, ready for her close-up.


Who is this?!?

He's ruining my shots!

Awwww... Pretty wittle pink tights!

What a beautiful dolly!

Work it, baby!


Well, I never!

Can't you goofs be serious?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Little Solutions

Before church this morning, I played through the hymns to prepare for the service.  Nathan was working in his office, Jonah was reading, Eleanor was lying on a blanket, happily kicking her feet and babbling to her hands.  The little boys were lining up all the hymnals on the pews, but I wasn't paying attention to them, so I didn't discover that until later.  For the time, all I knew is that they were quietly busy.

This is often a very meditative time for me.  As long as no one needs me presently, my mind is free to follow the music.

 Built on the Rock the Church doth stand,
Even when steeples are falling;
Crumbled have spires in every land,
Bells still are chiming and calling,
Calling the young and old to rest,
But above all the soul distrest,
Longing for rest everlasting.

As my fingers wandered over the keys, my mind wandered over the people in our church and other family and loved ones and some ongoing problems they and we have had.  I thought about apathy and sickness.  I thought about struggles and pain.  I thought about loneliness and isolation.

We are God's house of living stones,
Builded for His habitation;
He through baptismal grace us owns
Heirs of His wondrous salvation.
Were we but two His name to tell,
Yet He would deign with us to dwell,
With all His grace and His favor.

I thought about our country and the disturbing loss of freedom and difficulties of making a living in this world. I thought about blessing and abundance.  I thought about want and hardship.

I thought about all the things I've been praying about for so long.  The things that distress me.

 Now we may gather with our King
E'en in the lowliest dwelling;
Praises to Him we there may bring,
His wondrous mercy forthtelling.
Jesus His grace to us accords;
Spirit and life are all His words;
His truth doth hallow the temple.

These things all floated through my mind.  And then I thought about my children.  Sometimes I'm alarmed and frightened by the world they have to live in.  The task of raising them up to live here seems impossible, and I pray for wisdom in that job every day.

Still we our earthly temples rear
That we may herald His praises;
They are the homes where He draws near
And little children embraces.
Beautiful things in them are said;
God there with us His covenant made,
Making us heirs of His kingdom.

Then I remembered an article I read the other day.  This quote really struck me:

"I believe that when God sees the need for changes in the world, he does something really special. He sends down a baby. A little person with just the right talents, tendencies, interests, passions, and strength of will to change the world. And in times like ours, well, I’m pretty sure He’s been sending down a bunch of babies like that."

So here I've been, praying for changes and improvement in the things that bother and distress me.  Certain matters have been heavy on my heart for years.  And I'm not seeing any change.  But I know that God doesn't work on my limited time-table. So here I'm praying and praying for change, and God sends babies.  And a thought navigated through my mind as my fingers navigated the keyboard.

Maybe I'm raising the solutions I've been praying for.  Maybe they're right here, under my nose.  The change I was asking for is already in my home.

Lord, let me not ruin this opportunity.  Help me not loose this chance.  Because that's all I'll do if left to myself and my own means.

Here stands the font before our eyes
Telling how God did receive us;
The altar recalls Christ's sacrifice
And what His table doth give us;
Here sounds the Word that doth proclaim
Christ yesterday, today, the same,
Yea, and for aye our Redeemer.

 Grant then, O God, where'er men roam,
That, when the church-bells are ringing,
Many in saving faith may come
Where Christ His message is bringing:
"I know Mine own, Mine own know Me;
Ye, not the world, My face shall see.
My peace I leave with you." Amen.

(The Lutheran Hymnal  #467  Text: Eph. 2: 19-22 Author: Nicolai F.S. Grundtvig, 1837)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

If You Carrot All For Me...

...My dear, we cantaloupe, lettuce marry!  

We are just having the most bountiful garden this year!

It's such a wonderful blessing, after a couple of dry, lean summers.  

But if I think about it too much, I verge on a panic attack.  There's just so much to do to get the harvest in AND take care of house and family.  So I try not to think about it, take it one task at a time, and keep refocusing on enjoying the summer and my sweet, funny, little people.  And fall into bed aching and well-tired at night.

I have to say, the garden is so much more enjoyable now that I have kids to enjoy it with.

They just love to be out with me in the garden.  They're happy to work along side me, however helpful or not helpful that may be.  It really is delightful (most of the time) to have them with me, so excited about everything they find.  And it's just so much less intense and more peaceful outside than inside.

They're even more happy to eat all our pickings.  The boys are just overjoyed at the nearly unlimited apples, carrots, cucumbers and green beans they get to eat these days.  The other night at supper, I actually heard Nathan tell Evan to stop eating so many cucumbers and eat some on his main dish.  What kind of crazy parents are we, anyway, that we have to tell our kids to STOP eating their vegetables?  They could happily make a meal of sweet corn and fresh milk.

As tempting as it is for me to let them live on green beans and dropped apples, I realize that they actually need some protein from time to time, thus the panic attack when we come in from the garden at 6:18 and there is no supper yet.

And then there's this sweet little apple dumpling whom I can pretty much characterize as "negative helpful" but that's okay, we love her an awful lot anyway!

And lest you should (for some strange reason) think that all is perfect in paradise, here is a picture of my herb bed.  Yeah, what herbs?  I weeded it quite soundly a month ago.  But then I got busy picking beans and making pickles, and when I turned around again, I couldn't find the herbs.  It's pretty disgusting, and I need to stop thinking about it now before I have to go find a paper bag to breath into.