Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I have this theory...

let's just say you have a dishpan of leftover water which has set out all night and as you go to wash your hands before preparing breakfast the next morning, you are mysteriously and wondrously greeted by a bubbly soap heart. When this happens, my theory is...it's going to be a good day. :)

This theory has yet to prove itself since the day is young, but I have this tiny little feeling that it is going to "pan" out (sorry about the pun...I had to). Even if it is only a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak, that works for me. That silly little memory of a perfect soapy heart has left a smile on my face.

I believe we should look for Christ and his work in our daily lives (1 Cor. 10:31-as we should do so we should also think) and this little heart is no exception. This seemingly silly heart has left me dwelling on heavenly beauties; on the ultimate sacrificial love of the Father in sending his only begotten Son (John 3:16) and the gift of His beautiful Son in laying down his own perfect life in return for his inheritance... the souls of the nations of this world (Dan. 7:14) in which he amazingly and graciously has chosen me. Meaning, I am his and he is mine (Song of Sol. 2:16). Praise be to God in the Highest!

I am so grateful to the Lord, that even though I fight and kick against His will at times (too many times), he sends me a bubbly heart to brighten my day and remind me that I am his because he first loved me (Eph 2 !). How amazing is our great God?!

May the Lord bless you and bring you to a knowledge of Him and His perfection if you don't know Him or encourage your heart and faith in the mercy of our loving God, if you do know Him!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We've Moved

I can't believe it's been about a month since I posted last. Moving is time consuming to say the least, but we are settling in here in Lewiston. Just a few pics to share with you which Ann took, actually. I still have mine to upload and don't have the time right now. :)

The top pic is a great view of Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA. Lewiston is on left side of the large river down the middle of the pic and Clarkston on the right. For those who care, that large river down the middle is the Snake River which I personally think is so very cool. I love Ansel Adams photos and he has this amazing photograph of the Snake River. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I found out we were going to live so close to it. ;) The smaller river in the pic is the Clearwater and it runs into the Snake which runs into the ocean. Obviously, our area was named after Lewis and Clark and will be great to explore (pun intended :P ) the history of our area in detail in the coming months.

The middle pic is taken from the top of the bluffs north of Lewiston (I believe...correct me if I'm wrong Ann) ;) Just about anywhere you drive in Lewiston these bluffs are in view; they are beautiful. Presently, they are snow-covered and spectacular.

The last pic is the front of the house we are renting. I am still trying to adjust to living in town, but Lewiston is not a city city (a great blessing) though it has a population of 30,000. It is spread out and thankfully, the view of the bluffs which can be seen from my kitchen window is a great help. As my friend Ang says, you just need to imagine the houses away. Apparently she is better at imagining than I am.

I truly am grateful to the Lord for the house he has provided and pray for contentment. Easy to say hard to apply. ;) Reminder to self: our possession is not of this world, but of the world to come. Our inheritance is filled with all matter of spiritual treasures; treasures that will not pass away.

Daniel 7:14- And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

What a blessing! Praise God! He is so amazingly gracious to choose his people for himself that we may serve and bless his name always.

I hope and pray you are all well and I look forward to posting soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Scene from the Holy Grail

Since it is election time and the topic of politics is a hot item, I thought I'd post this clip from You Tube. While we may have the freedom to vote, I don't think either candidates are winners. So we get what we get...which puts me in mind of this portion of the skit. The sad thing is, while in the Middle Ages, the divine right of kings was the rule, it doesn't seem like we are going to get much better than that...a dictatorial monarch. The other sad thought is...the choices we have really gauge how far gone our country is.
At any rate, this is one of my absolute favorite scenes from Monty Python's, The Holy Grail (note:I wouldn't recommend every section of this film!).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Revisiting Memory Makers

This month and last, the boys and I have been visiting some of our favorite places here in our area and taking pictures so that we have hardcopy memories, so to speak. My memory bank has gotten so full over the past few years that writing down thoughts and taking pictures of what we do helps me remember what we've done. Brilliant, no? lol What can I say? I'm a little slow. ;)
I have become a minimalist when it comes to traveling or going out which means I often leave the camera home. I've realized that this is not good minimalism hence my new practice of packing the camera and making photograph memories.
Here are some pics of a revisit to the Latte Lounge. It sits right off Main St. and has a very comfy atmosphere. The kids and I love to go here and just sit and talk. Lately, we just get drinks to save on money, but sometimes we'll have bagels and as Annie and I have found out, they have some awesome cheesecake. :)
And...understanding that I'm not a good minimalist when it comes to words, written words that is (unfortunately I'm a *very* good minimalist when it comes to spoken words), I'm going to practice good minimalizing and stop talking and start posting. :)

The guys on the Latte sofa

The 'architectural' window(the sofa sits right behind it)

Through the 'arch' window starring Sir Gregory the Goof

This and the following are storefront pics from the inside

The 'fix-it counter'

The pick-up counter

The following are Main St. pics

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Safe Arrival

Psalm 145 1-3,5,8,20a

I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
The LORD preserveth all them that love him.

My dear friend and her children arrived safely in Lewiston last night. I can hardly contain my excitement. Seeing her and the kids again will be just like being home. Ang is such a special person that knowing her has helped me to understand myself. To quote Emerson, "The only way to have a friend is to be one." Ang has not just been a friend, but almost an extension of my own soul.

Ang and I were introduced through a mutual friend about 4 years ago and she has been a sweet balm of encouragement, joy and healing during some of the most difficult times of my life.

This sister is one of my heroines of the faith; she is a Berean, if you will. I am constantly challenged by her yearning and seeking the truths of Scripture. The Lord has used her to strengthen me in my faith for which I am truly grateful.

Please be in prayer as she seeks work and housing to support her family.

Psalm 107 1-7
O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For the Redheads and Bethy-boo :)

My beautiful, sweet sister, Kristie, who has the most intoxicating laugh. I miss you like crazy!

These are her three girlie-poo's.From L to R:Julia, Kennedy and Bethany who I also miss like crazy!

The Glengarry Bhoys are one of my favorite Irish bands. I am posting these in honor of my beautiful red-headed sister and neices. Miranda is the fiddler. About half way through the first clip she gets crazy on the fiddle. If the beginning is boring just skip into it a bit. ;)

This next clip is quite shaky since it was a non-professional taping, but Miranda dances while she plays. She's nuts! She's amazing! :) Hope you enjoy it, gals. :D

Beth, the Irish dancing is posted for you and Jewels. Love you girlies so much!

Love This Version

Love Jack Johnson and these guys sound great together. Love the harmonica.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Tuesday Outings

Around here, Tuesday is wash day. I don't know too many mom's who find laundering exhilirating. Under the right conditions I find it relaxing, but in a real home those "conditions" don't often exist. ;) I really don't have anything to complain about though. My piles definately don't add up to those of my sister's (she has 7 kids) or my cousin's (who has 13 kids). Laundry anyone? ;)

Nevertheless, I try to keep our laundry down to a minimum by having the boys (parents, too) wear their clothes for more days in a row than I am going to admit on this blog. This practice helps keep the laundromat costs down. As my guys live indoors mostly at this point (except for wrestling and stick fighting time, assuming it isn't raining), they don't get terribly dirty and smelly. They do take showers, but unfortunately at this point in their lives, it is only because I tell them too. ;) What can I say? their boys.

Being homeschoolers, if we go out before their school is done for the day, school goes with us. So, it being Tuesday Washday, we prepared to go to the laundromat to do some laundry. We always get looks and comments, but thankfully I haven't encountered any negative ones. This is where a great big "thank you" goes out to my sons for their obedience and diligence. Hooray for great sons! I love 'em.

My 3 sons! ;)

Greg's excited smile because he was on his last pile of flashcards. :)

Micaiah engrossed in his book The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by G.A. Henty

Jackson is a pacer. When he talks on the phone or is memorizing, he paces. Makes me nervous, but it seems to help him. ;)

The ever intellectual Jackson. Actually, we are hoping his intellect kicks back in once the hormones die down a bit. ;) Here he's working on memorizing William Bradford's writing about the Pilgrims. I just happened to catch him in one of those 'thoughtful' moments like, "How does this apply to me??".

All that to say, I decided to take my camera with me today. I am NOT a photographer; just trying to capture memories. I don't take enough pictures of our everyday lives so I've been trying to keep my camera handy. Just what you all wanted to see...school and laundry. The very necessary and scary elements that create the best horror flicks. Hope it doesn't frighten you away for too long. Have a great evening. I intend to. My laundry's done. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

To My Mother

I love you Mother for your quiet grace,
For that dear smile upon your kindly face,
For marks of toil upon each loving hand,
That worked for me ere I could understand;
For all time's touches on your hair and brow,
For never were you quite so dear as now:
I will be loyal, faithful, loving, true,
For, Mother dear, I owe so much to you.
Clara Simpson

Today is the birth-day of a most special woman; my mom. My mother has devoted her life to her family. She has been the faithful wife of a faithful man. From these two have come 5 living children and 14 grandchildren.

If you were to ask her where her passion for being at home was learned, she will tell you that her mother, who was a single mom, often remarked that all she wanted to be was a wife and mother and be at home. Having this instilled in her from a young age and understanding that to be her scriptural role, she gave her whole heart to it.

My mom believes with all her heart, as Spurgeon stated, "Home is the grandest of all institutions." Because of this, as children, we had a home that was filled with a mother's sacrificial love. My mom is not only a devoted mother, but mother-in-law and grandmother. Because of her faithfulness to the Lord, she has been and continues to be one of God's most constant and effectual means of leading her children and grandchildren to the Lord.

Proverbs 14:1 says, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." My mom is a wise woman. She is a virtuous woman. She has looked well to the ways of her household and has not eaten the bread of idleness. Her husband safely trusts her that he will have no need of spoil and that she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She has used wisdom by her words, in her purchases, in her caring for the needy, and the opening up of her home to those that the Lord brought in her path. Because of this, I arise and call her blessed!(Prov. 31)
My mom never thought that "the increase of culture, money and refinement was to decrease homespun frugality, domestic purity, and the fear of God". (Theodore Kuyler)

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American poet who lived from 1850-1919. In her poem, The Need of the Hour, she asks, "What does our country need?" The answer? "Women, strong of soul, yet lowly, women whose lives are pure and clean and holy, whom all little children bless; Brave earnest women, helpful to each other, with finest scorn for all things low and mean; Women who hold the names of wife and mother far nobler than the title of a queen. Women who, worn and weary, ask no greater glory than making some young soul the home of truth; who sow in hearts all fallow for the sowing the seeds of virtue and of scorn for sin, and, patient, watch the beauteous harvest growing and weed out tares which crafty hands cast in." Ella Wheeler believed that "these are our country's pride, our country's need" and I heartily concur! It was/is my mother's desire to be at home to instruct, love and care for her children and husband in the Lord. She knows that it is her God-given role and she unapologetically fills that role with joy and thanksgiving.

My mom loves singing. I remember her singing as she went about her work in the home. They weren't the songs of the world. Not that all 'worldly' songs are sinful, but her thoughts were directed towards the Lord. They were songs of praise, of requests and of humility before the Lord. I can see her now at her kitchen sink, head raised slightly as unto the Lord, and her mouth filled with song. One of my favorite songs is one that was sung by the mother in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. My mom used to sing it to my sisters and I when we were young. It is called the Sabbath Prayer.

My mom's passion is to fulfill Phil. 4:8 by thinking on whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. If there is any virtue or praise in something she thinks on it and encourages her loved ones to do similarly.
My mom truly is a woman whose price is far above rubies. In this I rejoice and thank the Lord because I have a godly model set before me. Not just any model. A model who loves my very soul and the souls of my family.

The following poem exemplifies the godly, faithful mother and it is to mine, that I dedicate it.

Two Temples

A builder builded a temple,
He wrought it with grace and skill;
Pillars and groins and arches
All fashioned to work his will.
Men said, as they saw its beauty,
"It shall never know decay;
Great is thy skill, O builder!
Thy fame shall endure for aye."
A mother builded a temple
With loving and infinite care,
Planning each arch with patience,
Laying each stone with prayer.
None praised her unceasing efforts,
None knew of her wondrous plan,
For the temple the mother builded
Was unseen by the eyes of man.
Gone is the builder's temple,
Crumpled into the dust;
Low lies each stately pillar,
Food for consuming rust,
But the temple the mother builded
Will last while ages roll,
For that beautiful unseen temple
Was a child's immortal soul.

Hattie Vose Hall
Thank you for everything, Mom! I love you forever and always!

For those of you who don't know...

this is a long post.

Oh, and we moved. Yep, we traded our countryside home in Unadilla for main street living in Oneonta (coping...barely; more whining to come ;) ). This is a picture of my chiropractor's office and right above his office, on the second level where you see the railings, is our apartment. I will be posting more pics of it soon. (soonish?)

And...in about 2 months we'll be moving again though this next move will be a little farther; we'll be moving out of state. Come the end of November it's on to Lewiston, Idaho. I think it would be a safe assumption that if someone has moved 18 times in 15 years folks would likely think one of two things; either they're military or they actually enjoy moving. I wouldn't say I despise moving, but I definately wouldn't go so far as to add it to a list of my favorite pasttimes. :)

Being raised in southern California built into me certain prejudices against every other state in our country. ;) Over the years, the Lord has worked on humbling my silly pride (in many areas...ouch!) by showing me the beauty that he has given each state (and province) we've lived in. I am thankful to have not only 'seen', but experienced living in each of these places.

I never thought I'd survive in climate below 30*F. North Dakota winters proved that theory wrong. The first time I visited ND, I went from a balmy 70* in southern CA to 50 below. Just a mite chilly. The Lord gives grace for every situation though it didn't necessarily come in the abundance I thought I needed. I didn't think a little 'global warming' right over the state of ND was asking too much. ;) All the more need to look to Christ which, I believe, was/is His intention. He was teaching me to "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."(James 1:4) While conviction is painful and challenging, it is a blessing to know that the Lord does not leave us to our sinful selfish selves. Praise the Lord for that!

Our reasons for moving are two-fold. While New York may have some of the most beautiful scenery around, there is far too much negative legislation. The state wants its hands in the home, the pocketbook (I just said pocketbook! I mean wallet.) and more. Besides this, most of my family is either relocating to this area (for similar reasons) or has relocated already. We have gone from a household of 14 to 5 as our family members have moved on and we moved out of our home last month. So while another move is an unpleasant task in and of itself, we are looking forward to reuniting with our family. Our move will also put us within a day's drive (a long one though it may be) of both my sister and her family in Canada and my inlaws in North Dakota.

Family is very important to us because it is important to God. It is His first 'institution' of learning, leading and instructing. Out of the family comes our society. What folks believe and how they choose to raise their children is what we will see in the future since our children are the future. Family is what Theodore Kuyler calls the "fountain-head of society". He states that, "Both the commonwealth and the church grow out of the family. They both take their character from the family. The real seed-corn whence our republic sprang was the Christian households, which stepped forth from the cabin of the Mayflower, or which set up the family altar of the Hollander and the Huguenot on Manhattan Island or in the sunny South. All our best characters, best legislation, best institutions...were cradled in those early homes. The home rules the nation. If the home is demoralized it will ruin it."(emphasis added). And something our country and it's leaders need to hear and understand is that "No statesmanship or legislation can save us, if once our homes become the abodes of ignorance or the nestling-places of profligacy."(T.K) Our country cannot save us. Not it's economic bailouts, it's schools, afterschool programs, etc. Our only hope and saving can come from the Lord Jesus Christ and His Spirit working in and through our lives as a family. Not until the Lord of the universe is Lord of the homes within our country will we see the change that needs to be made.

We see this move as clear leading from the Lord. Much prayer and asking the Lord's will led us to seek this move. If He didn't want us to move He wouldn't have sold our house. Not only did we battle finding a buyer in a tough economic market, but finding one who wanted to live in the 'country'. This was the third year we had the house on the market. Most folks wanted more privacy and wilderness (we would have too! ;) ) or they wanted to live closer to Oneonta which is where the main business happens around here. The Lord not only provided the right seller (and the only one who made an offer!), he provided a job for Larry that helped to cover a good amount of what we lost on the house. This job is also an answer to prayer as it will reduce the hours Larry has to work. This is something that our family looks forward to.

So, all of that to say, we're outta here in a while so look out Idaho, here we come!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Proverbs 23:15

"My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine."

Jackson is 14! Yep, that's right...I have a fourteen year old son! Is it possible that time has flown by so quickly? I realize this is a common refrain for moms, but I'm amazed nevertheless.

I think most men look back to a particular summer that they remember fondly as the making of who they have become. I remember Larry telling me about one summer he spent with his grandparents and the great spiritual influence his grandfather had on him. I think this last summer will be Jackson's. It was a summer of physcial and spiritual growth.

We had the priviledge of having my parents, sister, brother, sister-in-law and children live with us for about half a year. They were a tremendous help in getting our home ready for the market and helping me maintain household activities during my health problems. I am grateful for many blessings that came out of this arrangement, but one in particular is the influence my father and brother were able to have on all of my sons spiritual growth.

This summer, Jackson seems to have shot up inches and his voice went from a boy's to a young man's. He painted decks, learned how to fall trees, dig up two garden spots and reseed one (don't ask..haha), garden, make real sourdough (details to come) and care for little ones. Many kids who come from larger families learn this one earlier, but since the Lord hasn't blessed us with any more precious babies since Gregory, his learning has come later. He loves his little cousins and misses them greatly. He misses Addie's "fa-fa" when she's had enough and her little knowing smile when Jackson wanted to give her a good morning kiss. Jackson is gentle, kind and gentlemanly to his mom which has been such a comfort. All these have helped him to grow in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

Most of all, the Lord has blessed him with a tender heart towards Himself. For this, above all, I am most grateful to the Lord. For from this, all the others will flow as the Holy Spirit convicts and challenges Jackson. I love you Jackson, my blessed firstborn!

Proverbs 23:24 - The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things
This command is quite a challenge. I love it and rejoice in it. It encompasses every area of life; the parts of our lives that it is easy to be applied to as well as those areas that we struggle with the most. It is my hope that our hearts and minds, our very lives, will be filled with these characteristics all done in the name of Christ. If we are obedient to Christ's commands it will overflow into our homes.

May we run the race that is set before us, not being conformed to this world, but being transformed by the will of God that we may present our lives as a living sacrifice; holy and acceptable unto God. (Rom. 12)