Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings, and Suggestions: September 19, 2015

I had a busy Saturday morning going to the Rochester Public Market and the grocery stores getting stocked for tonight's dinner with friends.  Now, I am finally enjoying my "morning" cup of coffee with a fresh cannoli I treated myself to at Market.
Last week, I was out with my sweetheart celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary.  One of the fun things we did was visit a State Park we haven't been to since our dating years.  I am often amazed at the beauty that surrounds us in the state that most outsiders assumed is all skyscrapers, pavement, and hurried people.  (You can read about the rest of our anniversary in Thursday's post)
Now that I have all the necessary ingredients for a yummy dinner, I need to get my house in order and start cooking.  But, that can wait until after my time with you here...and after my cannoli is eaten!


"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers  in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
I Timothy 4:12

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content...and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."
I Timothy 6:6-8,11b



Children's Book: We Are in a Book!

Just about everything from Mo Willems is brilliant. And funny.  Brilliantly funny.  I must say, at this time we do not actually own any of his books.  But, every time my younger children and I go to Barnes and Noble, we look at this guy's books.  We Are in a Book is my current favorite.  You have to read this with expression.  Warning you,'ll not get through it without stopping to laugh.  And, let's face it, laughing with your kids is necessary.

Good Reads for Adults:  One Thousand Gifts

  It's feeling and smelling like autumn here in Upstate New York.  With that comes pumpkins, corn, scarves, and attitudes of gratitude.  This book is perfect for the season.  I have read it twice, so far, and plan on cracking it open again this week.  Two words I don't use often:  Life changing.

So, we know this guy who ran 6 marathons in 6 continents in 5 days.  Don't believe me?  See it for yourself.

First, watch this.  You might cry.
Then.... this.  You will cry.
Then, watch the song again.
One of my favorites.

So, two years ago some college students released a weather balloon with a GoPro camera attached.  After several minutes soaring above the earth, it crashed into the Grand Canyon.  It was recently retrieved.  Two thoughts:
1.  Amazing footage from the stratosphere.
2.  That is one tough camera!

Well, the cannoli is gone and time is passing.  I pray all have a marvelous weekend.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

21 years

Wednesday, September 9th was our 21st wedding anniversary.  Back when we first got married, I thought it thoroughly unromantic when couples would just go about their normal, hum-drum lives on their anniversary.  No card, no gift, and no date equated no love in my young mind.

How appalled my 21 year old self would have been to have travelled into the future from September 9, 1994 to September 9, 2015.  She would have seen the couple who got married with stars in their eyes and mush in their hearts living a seemingly ordinary, if not chaotic, life.  She would have seen her aged self sitting on the couch at 9 am with 6 of her 7 children around her each sharing what they got from their Bible reading, singing hymns and reading a Christian hero biography.  A few hours later, she would have seen her true-love walk in the door for lunch, but because her older self was involved with homeschooling, very little would have been said between the two.  Around evening, she would see the entire family get into their huge van and go to church.  She would have seen she and her beloved at the front of the church again, but not as a bride and groom exchanging vows, but standing hand in hand in the midst of their children happily singing hymns with the rest of their loved congregation.  After that, she would have seen a crowd of people back at their yard - some dishing up ice cream from cartons set out in a wagon, some around a campfire, some playing basketball in the dark, and some playing hide and go seek.  An anniversary party?  No...a get-together for some old friends who were leaving town.  She would have seen her 42 year old self across from her 45 year old best friend, not next to him.  She never would have seen a card or gift passed between the two.

How utterly unromantic!!!  How did we get this way?!

But, wait.  If my younger self had looked closer, she would have seen the soft eyes that said so much.  She would have seen the smiles shared quietly.  She may have even seen the card tucked in a book ready to give, but forgotten.

What I realized that day, was not how unromantic our life is, but how our love and romance has brought us to this point. Our  house is full of children, our hearts are full of love for each other and our Lord, our home and yard are often filled with friends we have made along the way, and the ability to share our love and joy with others - children, family and friends.  Oh, our life is far from perfect, but even in the day to day duties, trials, and exhaustion, there is love.

Our actual anniversary was spent concentrating on other while being aware of each other's presence. 

Not completely resigned to neglecting our special day, we made plans to spend the entire day together the following Saturday.  I got up and dressed, did my hair and makeup and tried to look practical enough for hiking, but cute enough for a day with my sweetheart.  He tells me he loves me with or without makeup, etc., but I think the fact that I make the effort makes him feel pretty good. ;)

How wonderful it was to get away for 16+ hours and drive and explore beautiful areas around us like we used to do in our early days.  We had a rough plan of what we were going to do but left enough flexibility in there for spontaneity.  There were times of much conversation and times of much silence and, in both, we felt very comfortable and happy.  We walked in pouring down rain wearing tacky plastic ponchos - something I never would have done while we were dating.  Yet, after 21 years of marriage, never once did I worry about what he thought because he is the one person in my life that sees beyond the wet hair, ugly attire, and blotchy makeup (as well as a lot of character flaws) and still loves me.

Saturday was spent concentrating on one another while putting others aside for a bit.  We came home after a day of sun, rain, and long drives happy we had spent it together.  So very much like our life.

Looking on it all, our love has become like that walk in the rain on Saturday.  We have many sunny days when we are looking and feeling our best and have time to really talk and enjoy one another.  However, some days, we get rained on with responisiblities, schedules, sickness, trials.  We don't look so good, we are covered in dirt (literal and figurative), and we are passing each other by.  However, we know that the sun will come out again and that we will be able to replace the nasty poncho with our dress up clothes. The hair will be combed, the face cleaned and (in my case) the makeup done. We know we will dry off and reconnect.

In short, we walk hand in hand in all the elements of life, loving each other all the while.  This is romance.

Not sure what my 21 year old bridal self would have thought, but this 42 year old wife is happy and satisfied.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings, and Suggestions: September 5, 2015

Good afternoon!!!  I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning fellowshipping around a campfire and then had some errands to run; therefore, I am writing my Saturday morning post when it is almost noon.  
The kids and I began doing a bit of school this past week.  While it wasn't a full load, I will say it was a successful week.  I am looking forward to getting into it full-swing this week.
Walking in the store today, I saw apples and apple cider at the entrance.  Even though it is so humid outside that you break a sweat just sitting, there is no doubt autumn is right around the corner.  I LOVE this time of year - hot apple cider, wagon rides, campfires, pumpkins, crunchy leaves, and beautiful colors.  Makes me truly love New York!
Right now, be blessed, edified, and smile.  I promised you some videos this week....and I came through.  Enjoy!


Keep thy heart with all diligence: for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23

But as teaching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another...And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you..."
I Thessalonians 4:9,11 
 (perfect verses for the beginning of our homeschool year!)



Laura Holt and her husband Stephen are missionaries to Sierra Leone - one of the most areas most plagued by ebola over the last year.  Due to the disease, Laura came home in August of 2014, but Stephen has remained in Sierra Leone ministering to those around him risking his health and life to minister to those dying physically and spiritually.  Stephen and Laura are modern-day missionary heroes and at Gather the Fragments you can read the ponderings of this dear missionary wife.  
(The blog is a portion of their entire website, so feel free to check out their ministry while you're there.)

Children's Literature: Lentil

Robert McCloskey is one of my favorite children's authors.  His drawings and stories are real enough to be believable, but fiction enough to be fun.  This is the story of a boy who couldn't carry a tune through song, but through constant practice, he mastered the harmonica.  How he used his talent to save the pride of his town will make you smile....hey, it made sour Old Sneep smile! ;)

Good reads for Adults:  Peace Like a River

My brother gave me this book and it sat on my shelf for so long I forgot it was there.  Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.  When I finished it, I gave it to my teenagers to read.  This was Leif Enger's first book and it topped the charts...and for good reason.  It's the sometimes-sweet, sometimes-sad, sometimes-unbelievable, most usually gripping tale of a seemingly ordinary family in which quiet miracles often happen in the midst of their biggest trial.  

Oh, c'mon!!!! Tell me this video doesn't make you smile!!!!  

Maybe you've seen this before?  Watch it again.

Celebrating Labor Day weekend?  Here's why.
(Interesting that today is September 5th.)

Wishing you all a very happy Labor Day weekend.  Let's squeeze all we can out of this last official weekend of summer!  See you next week!