Friday, October 30, 2009

It's a date!

All the kids have plans for tonight....SOoo - my husband seized the opportunity by asking me out!...on a dinner date! ... Tonight!

Hmm ...

What to wear?

What to order from the menu that I won't end up wearing?!

What will we talk about? The past? The present? The future?...
The kids! :)

I'm SO excited! Can you tell?

I wonder if he'll pop the question ....

"Would you marry me - again ... if you could?"

There's no doubt in my mind what my (three letter) answer would be...but it could be fun to string him along a bit ... ya know --- make him sweat. But after all the time we've spent together, he can see right thru' me. It wouldn't work - I know it it wouldn't work. I can barely keep his birthday presents & Christmas gifts a secret long enough to allow them to be the surprise they were intended to be - let alone keep a secret this big.

It's only just after 8AM.... I still have
all day yet to wait -- for my date.

After 23+ years, you'd think I'd be over this adolescent phase!...but honestly --- I hope it never goes away.

i love this feeling

A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I noticed the verse on my sidebar today & it reminded me of a "For the Kids" lesson I shared at church one night. How fun(!) it was to share w/ them what God was teaching me - in hopes that it would give them a big headstart!

Meeting Madame Butterfly

Butterflies & Worship

Romans 12:1 & 2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The Greek word for “transformed” is MetamorphoĊ - to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. From it we get metamorphosis & we tend to think of caterpillars & butterflies!

W/ the understanding that God has revealed Himself to us both in His Word & creation, I’ve learned to try to figure out what God might have been wanting us to better understand when he created certain things – & I really believe we can better understand God – what He’s like & what He wants us to be like – by studying butterflies (or anything/everything else He made)

You may have heard the story about a man who found a chrysalis. One day a small opening appeared. He watched the butterfly for hours as it struggled to force its body thru' it until it seemed it could go no further. Finally the man decided to help – so - he cut the chrysalis to allow the butterfly to emerge easily, which it did. The man continued to watch. He expected the wings to enlarge & expand to support the body, which would contract in time, but neither happened - & in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body & shriveled wings - & never was able to fly.

The man didn’t understand that the restricting chrysalis & the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the butterfly's body into its wings so it would be ready & able to fly (freedom!) when the time was right.

The transformation caterpillars undergo while in the chrysalis is amazing. When they come out they’re so very different from how they used to be.

Christians kinda metamorph too. When we confess & repent of our sin & accept Jesus as our Savior, we’re instantly changed from eternally dying to eternally living & that’s no doubt an amazing transformation! And from that point on, we should then become more like Christ - which can be a long - & at times, difficult(!) process.

When the man tried to help by cutting the chrysallis, he did free the butterfly - technically - but it was crippled for the rest of its likely shortened life - & most, if not all, the butterfly’s time from then on was likely spent focused on itself - out of necessity - as it struggled just to survive - b/c God’s way had not been followed. According to God’s perfect plan, the butterfly had to go through that struggle - to the end - in order to become & do all that God intended - & to beautifully display His splendor as it enjoyed true freedom, the way God intended.

Taking it a step further - Flowers need to be pollinated & God created butterflies in a special way to meet this need of certain flowers. He also gave those flowers jobs too – one is to feed those butterflies. I think this a beautiful illustration of what it means in Romans 12:1 to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy & pleasing to God – b/c I think it means we should use our bodies to care for other in Jesus’ name & use those times to share what He’s done for us & wants to do for them. We can do this in many different ways... by praying w/ or for someone, sharing the Gospel, giving money or food to the needy, helping someone help themselves, or doing work for one who is unable to do it. These all involve using our bodies & some sort of sacrifice - but - did you ever consider them to be worship?

It’s true - worship often involves sacrifice – but often it involves sacrificing abilities & things God has generously blessed us w/ to begin w/ for that very reason. When, in obedience, we use anything He’s given us - our talents, abilities, energy, money, time, etc., to serve others in His name & w/ a grateful heart, that’s worship! And often we’re blessed in return in ways that are so satisfying - much like when the butterfly, in time, becomes what it was meant to be & does what God created it to do for the flowers, & in turn the flowers feed the butterfly. They enjoy a special relationship & both elegantly display God’s splendor b/c this is their way of life .

And - just as the butterfly must struggle first - to be & do all that God intended - sometimes God allows us to endure certain things (struggle!) to help us become more like Him & so to prepare us to be & do what he has planned for us. Sometimes people want to put really difficult times (struggles) behind them & try to forget whatever happened, but - when they use what God taught them thru’ it all, they’re able to help certain people that many others might have no idea how to help. By doing that in Jesus’ name &/or for His sake, that’s worship! & with practice, it should become as it was intended to be... - a way of life

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Around the World in 180 Days

Strike & I recently started an Around the World in 180 Days class in our home w/ other families. The course is designed to study each of the seven continents with a group of students of various ages. It covers History, Geography, Culture, Religion, Current Affairs, etc. In the end students will have compiled a fat/full(!) World Notebook (or a separate smaller notebook for each continent) packed w/ maps, info, art, reports, etc. & perhaps we'll have gone on a few field trips &/or watched some movies together as well.

Africa is first - which is timely since we're planning the "field trip of a lifetime" to Africa in the spring. Strike's done most, if not all, her bookwork (vocab/research questions/map) already & I give her the freedom to hone in on areas that particularly interest her & to choose what types of projects she wants to posters, lapbooks, book reports, artwork, cooking, etc.
Perhaps that's why she's enjoying it so much -- & why I am too!
So far we've watched:

click the pic above for more info
& the pic below for a larger/clearer image of few "R" rated movies I encourage my kids to watch...
I figure that when the truth is "R" rated it should not be watered down.

the natural state of man is instead freedom - & the proof
is in the length which a man, woman or child
will go to regain it. Once taken, he will break loose his chains...
decimate his enemies....try & try & try against all odds
- against all prejudices - - -
to get home.

- my paraphprase of John Quincy Adams Words -

We're awaiting these from Netflix:

The Hidden World of Africa


AFRICA - The Serengetti - IMAX

And we're getting ready to read this together:

The adventures of an ingenious Egyptian slave girl who undertakes a dangerous assignment as a spy in the royal palace of Thebes, in the days when Queen Hatshepsut ruled. via

And now I want to read this...

...after reading this over here:

"...any time art touches your life with tears, whether through a story, song, film, or painting, it was wise to pay attention to those tears because your tears could help you find your heart. And if you found your heart, you found what was dear to God. If you found what was dear to God, you found the answer to how you should live your life."

- excerpt From Ashes to Africa,
quote originally by Ken Gire, The Reflective Life

Hmm - While I'd much rather really travel around the world...I'm so very much looking forward to doing it from from the comfort of my own home along w/ the others who are joining us :) ... & to sharing some of that journey here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This pic doesn't really do the scene I tried to capture justice...but the sun was shining just right on these trees in our neighborhood the other night & does it not look like fire?! :)

You're invited ...


to read & "discuss"
A Lineage of Grace
- - By Francine Rivers - -
& to post some of your thoughts
on Thursday, December 10
on your


I've mentioned before that I belong to a book group w/ a neat group of women who have all become dear friends. Our group started by reading this first book of the Yada Yada Prayer Group Series by Neta Jackson (which inspired the name of my blog) - & the first book of each new year that we read together is the next one in that same series.

Thru'out the year we take turns choosing the next book & hostessing the group in our home. With that said, I'm next in line (yeah!) - which means I have the pleasure of hostessing our group at Christmas time this year - & I've chosen... (insert drum roll here :)

In this compilation of the five books of the best-selling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose--Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary--even scandalous--challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. (via: CBD's Product Description - click on the pic above for more info)

It just seemed timely w/ Christmas fast approaching. I thought it would be a great character study of some of the major feminine characters who each contributed, in their own unique way, to The Greatest Story Ever Told. For a very brief summary of that story click
here :).

If you do decide to read it, please let me know here - & then perhaps you'll share some of your thoughts on your blog on December 10? :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I - made this?! :)

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

I expected to have to practice - to learn by trial & error to make a loaf of oven baked yeast bread that turned out like this.... - which is why I'm so tickled w/ my first loaves.

I'm SO hooked!....on the sense of accomplishment, the aroma & what a special treat it is to share with others warm & fresh from the oven.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:35

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dance Lessons

These just in .... hot off the press ... taken just before the happy couple left for homecoming. "D's" dad, who sent them our way, must have snapped them as Strike was helping Playmaker brush up on her dance steps last minute. Really, these pics depict progress! I so wish I captured the Kodak moment when Strike helped her big sis walk in those same heels by holding her hand to steady her when she tried them on for the very first time at the mall :)

Dancing is wonderful training for girls,
it's the first way you learn to guess what a man is going to do
before he does it.
~Christopher Morley, Kitty Foyle

Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did,
but backwards and in high heels.
~Faith Whittlesey

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
~Kurt Vonnegut

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How do you spell Freedom?

note/edit: if you're reading this post for the first time, you might want to start a ways down to the black print & then return here:
"Ironic" (I use that term loosely) - that I found myself viewing AMISTAD w/ my girls today (after publishing this post earlier) as part of Strike's study of Africa. Excellent movie. VERY difficult to watch in some parts - but I highly recommend it. There are few "R" rated movies I will allow my girls to watch ... this is perhaps the only one I've encouraged them to watch ...out of a sense that I owe it to them & to those who have gone before us in the fight against slavery. I was struck (awestruck really) as John Quincy Adams read from a passage written by one of his contemporaries at that time (James Calhoun - I think) war & antagonism are the natural states of man, so to slavery -- as natural as it is inevitable.

John Quincy who fought (& thank God he won) the Amistad "slaves" case at the Supreme Court only shared those words w/ the court in order to create a platform for himself from which to argue that:
the natural state of man is instead freedom - & the proof
is in the length which a man, woman or child
will go to regain it. Once taken, he will break loose his chains...
decimate his enemies....try & try & try against all odds
- against all prejudices - - -
to get home.

& "it all" has brought to mind this verse:

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Is 61:1

Our nation's founders spelled "freedom" out in no less than 1337 words in the Declaration of Independence - first read to Bostonians here on July 18, 1776:

However, I (who am directionally challenged) spell it much more just three (count 'em!) letters ....

G.P.S!! :)

I suppose my husband gave me one of these trusty little gadgets right before"M" visited from AZ bc I'm so well deserving of one (given how many times I've gotten lost!) - or ph bc he didn't want to be bothered w/ incessant phone calls at work from a panic stricken wife who had no idea where she was ...but - who expected him to figure it out for her - NOW! ... - or - mb it was just bc he loves me & was afraid I'd get myself so lost w/o one that I'd never find my way home?! :)

Knowing I could go ANYWHERE (well almost...the maze of tunnels beneath Boston was one exception :) &, even if I got turned around, I wouldn't get so lost that this little piece of amazing technology couldn't "recalculate" & get me back on track pronto (& minus the usual panic) was so liberating! .

I particularly appreciated the freedom to enjoy interstate travel without government oversight or interference as together "M" & I galivanted all over the New England map...

Leaf Peeping
Kangamagus Hwy
New Hampshire

gotta love their license plate motto

York Beach & the Marginal Way

Cape Cod & Martha's Vineyard
even the local bank is beautiful in
a unique "Vineyard" sort of way.


Historic Lexington & Concord

(Rich history here - where the shot was heard 'round the world - & freedom was achieved via much spilled blood red "ink" before it was ever written onto parchment, declared
...& has been defended ever since)

Tho' my old friend & I had great fun going here, there & everwhere,
my new friend (w/ the initials "G.P.S") quickly became a trusted companion & already has me convinced that indeed...

all roads lead to home :)


Edit: Some of these pics are mine & some were taken by my friend "M" ... We pooled most of our pics together & would you believe we ended up w/ around 400 after a week of touring New England!?

13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Genesis 9:13-15

ROY-G-BIV ... is an acronym I learned to remember the order & colors of the rainbow.

As I was busy playing both tour guide and tourist this past week,
I compiled a collection of color from around New England.

Autumn's array is a splendid(!)
spectrum this time of year.









Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Ezekial 1:28

Pink Thursday

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3

My friend over at Shells And Bells - Flowers And Showers inspired me to join w/ others & post something pink on Thursdays in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Now that October is almost over, I'm finally(!) posting my first one ... better late than never I suppose.

This pic hangs in my corner of the world (or is it the corner of my world?!) ...I've said before that sometimes I just want to jump in & be there! :) ... esp. mid winter here in New England!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Playing Tour Guide

Just checking in to let you know I haven't checked out...I just have a friend visiting from AZ & am enjoying playing New England tour guide. So far we've been leaf-peaping on the Kancamagus Hwy & enjoyed the Maine coast yesterday. Today we're off to Cape Cod.... anyhow I'm looking forward to catching up w/ y'all after she leaves Wed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Homecoming Pic

& here's one of li'l sis helpin' big sis get ready