Monday, May 31, 2010

Blessing Day

The staff smile as soon as they see my children coming. They know that they usually have a special blessing to brighten their day. My husband looks down through his office window and catches a glimpse of his kids and is proud that they're caring for the people who work so diligently for him. He jumps up from his desk and finds us meandering through the aisles of perennials or shrubs, seeking hungry workers.
Every week (or a couple of times a week, depending on the heat), we take special treats down to the staff at our nursery. On very hot and busy days like today, we fill little paper cups with lemonade to give them some relief. We bake cookies, bring licorice or timbits. We've done this for a few years now and we tell the staff that it's Blessing Day--a day to bless them and to let them know we appreciate them.

So, as we bless others, I am thankful for my blessings from the One who inspires it all... (360)
361. for the ability to bless others with joy in their day
362. for my new licorice tea I found (yummy)
363. for the energy to plant almost all my annuals today!
364. for the ability walk down to the nursery and bring home whatever plants I need
365. for sweat and hard work
366. for Grandma sleep-overs
367. for yard-sale-ing sisters and mom (and bro-in-law)
368. for an emailing aunt and uncle who keep me in the loop with so many things
369. for a tree-planting, pencil-pushing, people-interactive husband
370. for precious bloggers who inspire my life, encourage my writing and bring tears to my eyes over and over with their beautiful stories
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy." Philippians 1:3

holy experience

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Afternoon At The River

Big cousin Jake making a fishing pole for Oliver

Oliver is thrilled and sits for a long while with his "weight" in the water.

Brooke, fishing under the bridge

Molly relaxes on the river bank.

Auntie Hilary does too.

Oh, and so do I.

Caleb digs for treasures in the water.

While Eden and Emily hunt for clam shells.

Meghan is determined to catch a fish.

Emily catches one!

A proud girl displays her fish before she throws it back in.

Oliver is not too sure he likes the one Uncle Aaron catches, and he also has figured out that there's something different about everyone else's fishing poles.
Ever paused awhile at the river? There's little else close to the peace and enjoyment found there.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rainbow Pants and Flying

She searches the dirty laundry basket and finds them wrinkled and stinky at the bottom. She pulls them out and slips them on anyway. She doesn't go many days without wearing her rainbow-striped pants. Sometimes her "fluffy skirt" goes on top, sometimes, it's another item but by any measure, it's always those pants. Dressing up helps her to fly, she says. Flying has been a great desire of hers since she was three. Two years of attempting various ways of accomplishing this have left "Rainbow Girl" a little frustrated. Nevertheless, on rainy or sunny days, it's always those pants.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Beginning Of A Season

We've joined a fantastic Christian soccer league, complete with devotions by the coaches! We love it because all three girls practice and play on the same evening and on adjoining fields. My husband and I travel from field to field to field, making sure each of the girls know we are watching. Oliver is in tow, wondering where his uniform is :)
Standing with new ball in hand.
"Now what do I do with it?"

Stretching before the game.
At this age, you can stretch really close to teammates and there's no awkwardness :)

Get it, Meghan, get it!

Setting up for a head-ball.

Running with the "pack".


"I'm so good, I can do this with my eyes closed."

"Good game!"

My three tired, very hot, but satisfied, little girls.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Picture Of Marriage

We read lips and sometimes thoughts. We finish each other's sentences. It took years. It took trials. It took God. And here we are, resting in His promises and knowing that we are becoming a picture of Christ and His bride. Oh, we're a far-cry from the true picture--but He's showing us, little by little, what this picture is like--what it should be. The details that were fuzzy are becoming clearer and He uses us--how humbling!--as an example of this great love. How we mess up this picture and lead others astray from His design, from what the Great Lover and His people should look like. Thankfully, it's not all up to us, Terry and me. Thankfully, when people see us falter they can envision the grace and forgiveness of Christ, a Lover who loved so deeply, He kept taking back His adulterous bride. And, we are blessed when we can watch and follow the pattern of mentors in marriage who are steps ahead of us and making the picture even clearer by their example.

(photos by Meghan)

holy experience

Jammies And Sparklers

Ah, springing into summer. It's been warm here and the days are getting longer. Do your children cry that it can't really be bedtime because it's so light outside? I love the long days but the mornings are light as well and that means that they wake up at the crack of dawn even after a late night. So, here they are, all cozied up in their jammies, but hardly ready for bed in their minds :) We let them celebrate the day with some sparklers and silently prayed they'd soon drop onto their pillows for a an epic slumber. Mommy and Daddy are tired.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Molly Turns Eight

Molly Magoo, you're our sweet ball of energy. Your sad mood can be turned around with a tickle or a joke. You are open and real and live out loud. Everyone loves your happy personality. People are drawn to you and I think it's because you radiate sunshine and SONshine. I can't believe you've been mine for eight whole years! It seems like yesterday when the doctor handed me this gorgeous little one, whom I already adored. Here you are now, loving beaded jewelry, ice cream, painting, picnics, and biking. I can't wait to see the young woman you'll become but at the same time, I want you to remain little for as long as possible. I can still scoop you up into a small package in my arms.
You are full of compassion and are quick to say, "sorry" and "I love you". Can I even express my love for you, my tiny dolly? I'm not sure. Words are not enough and yet, I will try to tell you everyday. My prayer for you is that you walk with Jesus all the days of your life and that you draw others to Him through your dynamic gift of friendliness. May the Lord richly bless you on your eighth birthday!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hugs For Haiti

An earthquake sent an already destitute land into a tailspin of tragedies. Among many difficult circumstances, Haitian children sleep on wet dirt floors. My Mother-in-law, along with some other ladies in her church, is crocheting milk bags to make mats for them. I'm awestruck at the outpouring of love and benevolence I've witnessed and, short of hopping on a plane, I'm pondering how to help myself. My children save our milk bags for their Grandma and we've donated in whatever way we could but my heart aches for the Haitian people. We talk about them, pray for them and read about them. The tragic photos don't scare my children, they elicit compassion, which is exactly what we are to feel. Compassion should drive us to action.

Any ideas of how to give Haiti a big hug? We'd love to help. If your family or one you know is doing something special to relieve their suffering, please share your ideas.

Gratitude List Continues...

345. for living in a country with rich resources and wealth (sooo want to share!)

346. for a our single, 29 year-old female neighbour, who happens to be an electrician! (she came over and installed our oven and microwave--no more camping for awhile :)

347. for a little boy who looks for crosses on every steeple

348. for USB drives... whoever invented them is a genius

349. for the excitement of the veggie harvest we will have in a couple of months

350. for the excitement of the soul harvest I'm anticipating this year

351. for the faithfulness of God when His children have decided to "hit the road"

352. for weary soldiers who remain faithful even when they face terrible circumstances

353. for kids' music that lifts up the name of Jesus... and they think is pretty cool

354. for fireworks! Victoria Day has always been a favourite memory and holiday because of my childhood experiences

355. for Sunday strolls in the woods

356. for fresh flower pots my husband places on my table almost weekly

357. for a day of pure sunshine

358. for the healing of Anna's little adopted baby, whom she doesn't have in her arms yet

359. for clean kitchen floors

holy experience