Thursday, December 20, 2012

it's beginning to look a lot like ...


C*h*R*i*S*t*M*a*S ....
Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland 

...and the stockings were hung by the kitchen sink w/ care
 (my makeshift Christmas curtains : )



Sunday afternoon father/mother/daughter project
 




Festive table to usher in the tree trimming to follow.

The most appropriate attire for this particular party just so happened to be brand new P.J.'s
 I'm thinkin' this may become a new tradition -  as  I have visions of adorable grandbabies years from now  pitter-pattering around in pj's for just such a party as this! :) 

IBC Reinbeer  has a  jolly happy soul effect on all who sip it.

We had a BIG helper for tree trimming :) 

This year our entire tree is simply covered in sparkling snowflakes and stars ...

...with the exception of one special ornament I found in our mailbox recently.  I placed it in plain view bc it whisks me back to the warm Arizona sunshine where I  grew up in the desert with my friend who made it.  She has a rather unique way of warming me up from the inside out w/  her melted glass he-artwork.  After Christmas I'm adding this to my collection of ReAlLy warm stuff! :)
This fella emptied the dishwasher for me the other day! 

Santa's Workshop ...
sleighs & canedeer here on the assembly line
and more reinbeer to be manufactured momentarily


Ugly Sweater Shopping
We searched high & low & I don't think there's a sweater out there that would look ugly
 on either one of these two beautiful girls :)

and

 judging by the crowd of cars at the Salvation Army ...

I can't help but wonder if  the person who invented the ugly sweater party had any idea
what a huge revenue generator it would become for charity thrift stores?! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

snapshots of the season (Winter)



Yesterday pretty much eVeRyThIng outdoors was encased in an icy crust.  For anyone who stopped even a second to see past the stress from slow traffic, slick roads & slippery parking lots, the sheer beauty was simply stunning.  Just imagine how it would have sparkled if the sun were shining :) 



Our lawn








Monday, December 3, 2012

treasuring & pondering privately but with great joy




After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 


When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.




It's early in the morning as I begin this post snuggled on the sofa with the star lit overhead and barely illuminating the Nativity scene Justine, her daddy and I enjoyed making together yesterday. And here and now I find myself, on some miniscule level, closely relating to Mary in the wa-ay back there and then setting these carvings attempt to convey.

A week ago yesterday (Sunday) my husband and I ventured out to the ocean's edge in the wee hours of morning to watch the star at the center of our solar system rise at dawn above the defining line where the vast expanse of heavens above unites with the earth below.  

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.


Little did we know how timely and almost prophetic the "speech" the heavens proclaimed would be for us personally. Just hours later and only a little further up the seashore our daughter's utterance of the word "y-e-s", in response to a question proposed to her, transformed her best friend into her fiance' right before her eyes.  

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises  at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of it's warmth.


The two shared their news that evening with those they wanted to tell personally and followed that up with brief status updates on facebook - and, well ... good news travels f-a-ast!  



When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.



I'm so very pleased at what we've seen and been told in this regard. Yet these past several days I've withdrawn to some degree from social circles in order to ponder these good tidings of great joy privately and to treasure this time when Alexis' dreams are becoming reality and she begins to plan and prepare for the future. 

And I can't help but wonder,  ... should I be surprised at how this child of mine came to me at dawn of this very day (even as I was writing this postand, at such a time as this, ...

The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride.



shared her desire to unite her hand in marriage with that of her groom during a sunrise ceremony?!


But Mary treasured up all these things
 and pondered them in her heart.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

the hands of time - revised ... for such a time as this



Just revisiting & revising this entry I posted over three years ago (April, 2009) because I have no idea where the time has gone, but it s-u-r-e has a way of changing things ...



*



Distant Past
(In the previous edition this was simply "Past")

This is one of my all time favorite pictures.


*


Recent Past
 (Previously this was "Present")

This is a card David made with help from his parents and gave to Alexis for her 15th birthday. The first time I posted this back in 2009 was the first time David was mentioned here on my blog as Alexis' boyfriend. I cut, pasted and polished up a bit below some of what I shared back then in regards to this photo:

As I'm traveling back & forth thru' time this morning, I can't help but remember that I was 15 when I met my best friend ever/the man I would marry and while I'm in no rush(!), I can't help but wonder if/when daddy and daughter eventually walk hand in hand down the aisle, whose hand will he give hers to in marriage. And I realize that from this day forward...I should be praying - for him. So please excuse me while I go do that - now.

Now fast forward to what has transpired (in what seems to be no time at all - but in reality has been three more years in the making) into the ...



*


Present

and sure enough


... while David and Alexis were celebrating his birthday just this past weekend, David asked Alexis for her hand in marriage. A picture speaks a thousand words so click on the photo above if you'd like to link to their sweet engagement story. There is something though that one might not realize unless someone with access to the inside story told them :) That being how beautifully this precious stone reflects the sparkle in Alexis' beautiful blue eyes when she and David are together. It's simply stunning. 


*


  And as to the 


Future


Well, it's all becoming much clearer now but ...


 still

 so 

 much 

 remains 

 to be

  seen


It's been said though, something to the effect that the past is always re-viewed with 20/20 vision. And with the advantage that 26 years of hindsight affords my husband and I, even we still can't help but wonder what our life together might have been like if we'd done some things differently in the beginning. I was 15 when we met. He was 22 and I was just barely 18 on our wedding day. When I look at our wedding photo I see two kids(!) making a lifetime commitment.




Fast forward 

to 

Here

 & 

Now

There is no doubt we've made some sacrifices doing things "our way" - but isn't sacrifice at the heart of true love?!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And what if we grew up first instead of growing up together? The only possible advantages I can see to that are that we might have always had more than enough money & maybe we would have made less mistakes. There are certainly some things we'd go back and do differently if we could, but within them is where we did so much growing up together. 


We've always had enough 
of everything but time together.


And knowing now

what I didn't know then, 

 I'd marry the same man

over and over and over again 

in. a. second.


And in growing up together Jeff and I learned so much we couldn't have possibly understood nearly as well any other way, and were therefore able to gently (& sometimes not so gently) guide and encourage this delightful young couple toward becoming much more mature in ways that we were not, ...




for such a time as this.


*

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And she said ...



Sunday my best friend (my husband) & I woke at 4:30AM and headed out to the ocean to watch the sunrise. Some might say we skipped church.  I think not ...


1 The heavens declare the glory of God;

   the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech;

   night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words;

   no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,


   their words to the ends of the world.



Psalm 19:1-4a



From there we drove the scenic route up the coast to Portsmouth.

Ironically  (I use that term loosely) our daughter and her best friend (boyfriend) had planned a trip to Portsmouth on the very same day to celebrate his birthday. She hoped to find a gift for him there. And so-o ... off they went - albeit about five hours or so behind us.  Just after we left Portsmouth, they arrived there. The two had fun ...



But they didn't find a gift and Alexis was a bit discouraged. Little did she know that no amount of money could ever possibly buy what David re-e-a-lly wanted.

On their way home they too went to the beach. Alexis wanted to go where her Daddy and I had been earlier but David instead stopped a short ways from there at a beach familiar to them both.  Together they walked until David got down on one knee in the very same spot where the two exchanged the words "I love you" with each other for the very first time while celebrating her 15th birthday, and asked Alexis for what he wanted for his birthday.

And she said ...  


YES!



And 

then

(I l-o-v-e this part!) 

they 

prayed

 together 

.


 And now it is my pleasure to introduce you 

to the future


Mr. & Mrs!


*


In retrospect it occurred to me how the beautiful scene my husband and I so enjoyed watching unfold before our eyes at the crack of dawn was almost prophetic in regards to those two young lovers coming behind us and what would transpire later on. In essence it was only the first of two beauty-full sunrises we would have the joy and privilege of witnessing together in that one very. special. day. 




In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,

   like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens

   and makes its circuit to the other;

   nothing is deprived of its warmth.



Psalm 19:4b - 6




C*o*N*g*R*a*T*u*L*a*T*i*O*n*S

David & Alexis!



“‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, October 1, 2012

meaning-full words in black & white


I've been gathering and keeping an ever increasing number of meaning-full words on a Pinterest board - but this weekend I displayed a few choice words in a personal and creative way. I had so much fun! And ... the fun isn't necessarily all done! - as  I can change it up for holidays & special occasions if I want to :) 



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook - Sept 20





I'm thinking...about how much I miss writing on my blog. I have the desire to write but can't really think of much to write about nor have I had much time to write these days.  

I'm thankful...for a quiet morning and for the harvest from our garden.  The garden is officially done. We closed it up even before the first frost. The peppers and eggplant might have continued producing but we have much more than enough of both and not enough ways to use them! :) 

In the kitchen...I spread a toasted wheat bagel w/ peanut butter and topped it w/ a slice of Honeycrisp apple for breakfast. And I'm gonna give this Chocolate-Zucchini Cake recipe a try later today. That should help to cozy up the place.




I'm wearing...A lambswool sweater & fleece slippers. That tells you a bit about what it's like outside my window.

I'm creating...A thank you gift for our friends who gave us the beauty-full gift of the garden. The sunflowers were beautiful at the garden this year so we're going with that theme :) 






I'm going...to visit my brother and his family in Colorado soon! Yeah! Looking forward :) 

I'm wondering...If I'm gonna be able to hold off until October before donning my long johns?! It's getting really chilly - especially in the mornings. I just might be able to hold out since I'm heading out of town soon! :) 

I'm reading... Well -  I just bought two new books. 





 & 






Truman was on both my wish list and the bargain rack at the same time!  ... such a good deal for soooo many pages! :) 


I'm hoping... that someday soon both the desire and the inspiration to write will meet me in a quiet time and place and that somehow we will all collaborate on the childrens' book(s) I want to write.

Around the house... We've repainted/rearranged/redecorated three bedrooms and the downstairs family room. Now - so much stuff to get rid of! Working on that :) 

I'm pondering... how some early Christians became obsessed with legalism and others took their Christian freedom too far -and how I've found myself at both ends of the spectrum at different times. Pondering which is worse? And how does one achieve/maintain the "perfect balance?"

A favorite quote for today...‎"Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." -Robert Frost 

One of my favorite things...


Honeycrisp Apples


A Picture from my day.  I was going to skip this but then I heard Mak chewing on something and found him chowing down on an eggplant that had rolled onto the floor ... Poor eggplant :/ Silly dog :)







Tuesday, September 11, 2012

community



We try to make community more complicated than it needs to be. But really all it means is being there. Not hiding. Not believing the lie that someone else could do it better. Not even waiting for someone to reach out to us. It’s just making ourselves available. Being willing to be messy–whether it’s our hair or our hearts.


Holly Gerth

Friday, September 7, 2012

Do you know what the first liquid poured & the first food eaten on the moon were?



"I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements." - via COMMUNION IN SPACE By Buzz Aldrin - Guideposts, October 1970:

 ***


 “I am the vine, you are the branches. 
 Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit;
 for you can do nothing without me”
(John 15:5)



Re-enactment:







Monday, August 13, 2012

...all nature sings & 'round me rings the music of the spheres



For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The heavens(A) declare(B) the glory of God;(C)

    the skies(D) proclaim the work of his hands.(E)
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.(F)
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.




Last night my husband, Strike and I headed outdoors to look up! ...  in order to view the Perseids meteor shower. What fun! Between the three of us and within about an hour or so we saw probably  10-12 shooting stars! And Strike woke me up around 4:30AM  to go back out again - but I think it was just a bit too late to see any more meteors as it was juuust beginning to get light out again. The sky was so-o clear tho' and Venus, the crescent moon and Jupiter were aligned in a straight diagonal line overhead. Beautiful! Even my husband got outta bed a bit earlier than usual to enjoy the view with us before heading off to work. 

It all reminded me of a presentation the girls and I prepared on the solar system back when we all were homeschooling  (I say "we" because I learned so much right along with them!!) . Back then I was the one waking the girls up in the wee hours of the morning to view such fascinating celestial events while much of the rest of our world was fast asleep - but now it seems the tables have turned given that Strike was the one who came and woke us up for "such a time as this" eeaarrlly this morning.  Anyhow - I revisited that report.  A-mazing information when you really stop to think about it! ...


The Solar System
Genesis 1:14 – 19 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning the fourth day.
You probably know that our solar system is the sun and all the planets that travel around it. …butdid you know that about one million earths would fit inside the sun?
And --- did you know that the planets are aligned in such an amazing way that they actually hold the earth in place and keep the earth from moving too close to, or too far from - the sun?
Psalm 104:5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Did you know that without the sun there would be no color at all?
Did you know that Mercury is the closest planet to the sun – but it’s not the hottest!
Venus is the 2nd planet from the sun and it is actually the hottest planet in the whole solar system..
Venus rotation is strong evidence that the universe did not begin by a big bang because it spins in the opposite direction of most planets.
Earth is the only planet in the small area around the sun where life can exist.
Earth is the perfect distance from the sun to keep life on it from burning up or freezing.
*Earth has the perfect mass! - That’s important! - because mass determines the amount of gravity. Because of this, many dangerous chemicals rise up out of the atmosphere and into space, leaving our air cleaner and safer to breathe.
*Earth has the perfect rotation! It’s perfectly timed for our need to rest – and it keeps the earth’s temperature in balance.
Earth has the perfect atmosphere! – with oxygen we need to breathe. It protects us from extreme temperatures and it protects earth from falling space rocks – sometimes called shooting stars.
*Earth has the perfect tilt! Without it we would not have seasons so food and plants would not grow well – if at all.
Earth has the perfect land! Some planets have no land.
Earth has the perfect magnetosphere! It pulls many harmful particles from the sun away from earth. Without it, we could not live!
Isaiah 45:18 He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited..
Mars is called the red planet - and it has bluish sunsets. Imagine that!
Between Mars & Jupiter is an asteroid belt.
Did you know that all the other planets in our solar system could fit inside Jupiter? -and Jupiter has a big red spot twice as big as earth that is a giant storm --- like a hurricane.
– and Jupiter is like a protective mother to earth. She has a very strong gravitational pull that pulls most comets and asteroids into her…keeping them away from earth!
Saturn is a lot like Jupiter. They’re both made of gasses and we have known that Saturn has rings --but recently astronomers discovered that Jupiter has rings around it too. They weren’t seen until a spacecraft got close enough to take a picture of them.
Did you know Saturn is the only planet that would float in water!
Uranus looks like it’s lying down because it’s north and south poles stick out the sides……… This makes it look like a rolling ball traveling around the sun --- and it has rings that make it’s rotation and orbit look wobbly – it also spins in the opposite direction of most of the other planets.
Neptune is the brightest blue planet in the solar system! and it’s the farthest planet from the sun. Did you know ---- that some astronomers think the rain in the storms of Neptune are made of diamonds?! Experiments show that in the conditions some think exist on Neptune, methane can be turned into diamond dust.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Pluto used to be considered the 9th planet – but just recently, scientists have said that it is not actually a planet after all…..
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.Proverbs 18:17
The girls have shared with you tonight - both from Scripture and from what research has shown us about creation….we hope you have a better understanding of how God has lovingly created this very special place we call Earth, with us in mind --- in such a way to meet our every need and to help us get to know Him better – and we hope we’ve helped you to understand that just as people could learn a lot about you by looking at things you’ve written or things you’ve made……we also can learn soooo much about God by studying His Word and His Works.