Monday, October 29, 2012

What are these??

 

We have this vine that has grown up within this other bush we have. I don’t have any idea where it came from, and now it is producing these very interesting “fruits”. Can anyone identify them for us? I want to know what it is before we consider taking it out.

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Anyone?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

So Grateful!

 

Wow! Ever have one of those days where you just feel completely blessed? I just had one today.

The Lord blessed me over and beyond my expectation with an incredible amount of energy as well as blessing the work of my hands (It felt as if he slowed time or added more hours to my day!).

My plan was to paint one wall in the dining area today (the one with the shutters) . . . but my real painting day was going to be next weekend. I just thought, “Why not do a little and get a head start since we’re home? It’s a small job.”

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But by lunch time I was done with that wall (and I didn’t even start till almost 10:30!), so I began to look at the other wall. Hmmm . . . (my poor husband)

Why not??

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They were such good sports and so helpful too!

Annie and Jonathan loved having all the furniture and stuff moved around (I guess it looked like “adventure” or “excitement” to them. I actually got shot by nerf darts while making biscuits for dinner – they were enjoying all the crawl/hiding spaces!), and Molly helped me with the painting. It was true Team Miles in action today!

By 4:30 . . .all of the painting was finished! Whew!

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We’ll put the shelf back up tomorrow after church and hopefully get all the room back in order before school on Monday. I can live with the “disorganization” for one night, I think.

While I was busy painting, Earl was busy in the garage hanging bikes, and organizing so the kids could actually have some “living space” out there. I don’t have any “before” photos, but this really is a HUGE improvement. I love my man!

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I’m still in awe of all that was accomplished today . . . and I’m almost ready to call it a day.

Now next week . . . the real fun begins . . .

transforming our master bedroom into a haven. We’re going to use some money we got from our anniversary to buy some new window treatments, etc. and do some painting before getting the bed frame that belonged to my grandparents. Whoo hoo!

With all this work looming before me on my “to do” list, I was seriously wishing that someone would just show up on my door step ready to do it all for me, ‘cause I just couldn’t figure out when I was going to get it all done. But now . . . I’m so glad for the opportunity to have been able to do it myself and to work with Molly. I’m glad for the experience of seeing God bless on my behalf and overwhelm me with His goodness. No, I didn’t get any school work/planning/grading done today, and I know it won’t happen tomorrow either. But that’s ok. I’m trusting the Lord that He’ll make time for that as well.

He is so completely worthy of my trust . . . and adoration!

A Wedding Charge

 

Back in May, Earl officiated at the wedding of a gal who used to babysit our kids and who we have watched grow up. These weddings are always a joy for us to be a part of.

One of the things I love about Earl, is that he takes each opportunity during these weddings to personalize the wedding charge to each couple, in a very unique way.

This particular bride grew up watching The Princess Bride with her family and chose to come down the aisle to “Once Upon a Time Storybook Love”, which is the theme song to the movie. So, along with imitating the “Impressive Clergyman” at one point and eliciting laughs and reminding us that laughter was fitting for such a joyous celebration, he made the movie the theme of his charge.

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Here are some of the highlights from his notes (There are certain perks of being married to the officiating pastor):

* True love is powerful and enduring

“The Bible affirms the blessing of love between a man and woman in marriage.” (Song of Solomon 2:4, Song of Solomon 8:7)

It is a picture of . . . “the nature of the love of Jesus Christ for His bride, the Church, as revealed in the cross.” (Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:16)

* Marriage should involve healthy competition

“Have you ever considered the call to love in terms of a holy competition?” (Philippians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, 1 John 3:16, John 13:34, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8)

“ . . . pursue the ‘true love’ reflected in the cross of Christ through a friendly and godly competition, so to speak, to outdo the other in gracious, sacrificial, Christ-exalting love.”

“The Lord Jesus calls you to love each other like He has loved you. And He died to take away the guilt of your failure to love each other that way. And He died to enable you more and more to love each other that way.” (1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 2:24)

“So may you look at each other with the heart of Christ, in the good times and in the hard times, when you feel love and when you don’t, when the other blesses you or when they sin against you, whether you find yourselves . . .

on the cliffs of insanity,

or in the pit of despair,

or in the Fire Swamp with ROUS’s (Real Obstacles of Unexpected Seriousness)

or in getting use to disappointment,

or in fighting giants,

or in the inconceivable battle of wits to the death,

or even at the end of hard days when you feel ‘mostly dead’,

“May you look sin in the eye and all that threatens your relationship to God and to each other and say,

‘Hello, our name is the Bride of Christ. Almighty God is our Father.    Prepare to die!”

“And as unlovely as you may be at times toward each other, may you look at the other, with the cross in the rear view and the crown in the front window and say, ‘As You wish . . . Lord Jesus!’ and then love them to the death  . . . or even to the pain!”

“May God’s grace be with you . . . and may you have holy joy stormin’ the castle of despair and unbelief for your greater joy in marriage and in God.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tidbits of Life

I’m dropping my “baby” off tomorrow morning at a local high school to take the PSAT test. (Mixed emotions on this one.)

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I’m still contending with tendonitis (since end of June). Just finished physical therapy and now trying to finish the healing process at home.

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I sat with another of my “babies” in the barber shop today while he took care of getting his hair cut. He only needed me to get him there (well, and pay, of course).

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We’ve been following the presidential debates (and vice presidential debates) and having lots of conversations in our home. It’s exhausting trying to stay informed and we’ll be glad when this season of political rhetoric is over and we hopefully can see some “promises” put into action.

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Algebra 2, Biology and CA History . . . O my! We are 11 weeks into our school year and the kids are doing GREAT. This mom seems constantly exhausted this year (I’m sure it has nothing to do with being 46), but the kids are learning and having fun (I think). We are enjoying being back with our “Irvine friends” on Fridays and attending field trips and service projects and fun classes.

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Annie is still “symptom free” of what we were finishing up contending with this time last year. She seems healthy and energetic and hasn’t suffered anything more than a runny nose in the last year. We may never know what all the “fatigue” and “nausea” were from.

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We are looking forward to having Earl’s mom and sister out for Thanksgiving. I’m desperately trying to find time to finish up my painting projects in the house (right!). The trick is figuring out a way to “do school” and tear up the house to paint at the same time. Don’t think it can be done in one Saturday. I’m really wanting to work on the master bedroom where Earl and I can get away and be refreshed.We’ve bought two chairs, we’re looking for a small round table, my sister is passing along to me our grandparents’ bed frame that she isn’t using, I’m wanting to put up new window dressings, and design a “family wall” of black and white photos, etc. etc. I’ve had all these ideas swimming around in my head for over a year now . . . just need to make it happen.

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Just felt the need to “touch base” . . . too busy to formulate any deep thoughts or lengthy posts these days. But hopefully I will get to that soon. Let me leave you with a few snapshots. Here is some of what is currently on the card in my camera . . . unedited.

(I love listening to Emily and the others practice their piano these days. Their selections of songs are beautiful to listen to.)

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(We’ve been doing a lot of bike riding lately . . . )

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(This is how I found Jonathan one morning while David was trying to practice his piano. He absolutely loves his older brother! And David gives him reason to.)

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(David celebrated his 14th birthday this month with homemade cinnamon rolls and apple slices.)

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(Above is his “nice” smile.)

(Below, is the inherited, mutated gene known as the “Miles smile”. Only he and his dad and his aunt can make it. We’re blessed to know these guys!)

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(David was excited to try out his birthday gift from his sisters, especially since he had to wait 2 days for it to arrive in the mail.

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(Can you tell what he got?)

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(He has had a lot of fun target practicing in the back yard.)

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(He thought this shot was “cool” because I caught the bullet in motion. Couldn’t do that again if I tried, I’m sure.)DSC_0062

(One happy dude!)

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