Friday, February 24, 2012

SNOW DAY!!!

Snow has been pretty sparse in Michigan this winter...and, to be honest, I've been totally fine with it.  But as today's winter weather warning winds down, I have to admit it's been a pretty cool (pun intended) day!

As homeschoolers, "snow day" doesn't mean a break from schoolwork  But the kids did sprint outside between subjects to build up their toboggan run off the deck as the snow continued to fall.  When the Hero was done with work (thankfully he worked from home today), we all gathered together to enjoy "Mr. Popper's Penguins".  And we were blessed with the arrival of these snow birds.

 
They were first named Mr. and Mrs. Snowbird...then they were just called Dad and Mom.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Eve Has Nothing On Me

I was reading the daily page from a devotional book given to me by a dear friend..."A Cup of Comfort: A Women of the Bible Devotional".  And it was about Eve.

Eve is such an interesting historical figure to consider.  I often waffle on my feelings about her.  I honor...or, maybe, the correct term is envy...her privilege of a close, intimate, personal relationship with the Creator in the setting of the Garden of Eden.  I respect her as the first wife, the first mom, and all the other experiences that I share in common with her that she had to weather first, without the benefit of her own mom, sister or a best girlfriend on whom to lean.   And when I consider all that happens in the world today as a result of the fall of man at the foot of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I get mad at her.  Because she succumbed to the temptation presented by Satan, in the form of a serpent, to know as much as God, the door was opened for sin, sadness, hunger, illness, death, poverty, greed and any other ugly thing you can imagine to enter the world (Genesis 1-3). And as a twenty-first century armchair quarterback, I may boldly claim at times that, if faced with the same opportunity, I wouldn't have made the same choice.

Give me a break...

Eve lived in the perfect place...had a perfect marriage...a perfect life.  And yet she still wanted what she didn't have.  Eve has nothing on me.

I can look at my perfectly comfy and warm home, furnished to the brim with many modern conveniences, and wish that I had a new living room set.  I can look at my closet filled with clothes...many I'm not even wearing at this very moment...and claim I have nothing to wear.  I can type away on my laptop right now...and wish that I had a newer computer with a faster processor or more memory.  I can take advantage of social media platforms...that are FREE to me...to keep in touch with loved ones, and get mad when it doesn't work like I expect it too. I can snap pictures on my camera, forgetting how excited I was to have it at one time...only recognizing what it can not do.  I fall into the trap of looking at what I don't have, rather than focusing on what God has so mercifully provided for me.

There are a few lessons in the life of Eve for me.  The first is to be content with what God has provided for me.  The Bible instructs us to be content (Hebrews 13:5). It doesn't mean that we can't have nice things...but that can't be where our joyfulness rests.  The second is to obey God (Acts 5:29).  He instructed Eve, with her husband, to leave that tree alone.  When we disobey God, bad things happen.  The third is to not judge (Matthew 7:1-2).  If God had cast me in the role of Eve, my life and choices are evidence that I probably would not have made any different choices than she had.  And, even given the benefit of Eve's experience...that disobedience of God leads to bad happenings...I still manage to find many creative ways to disobey Him.  Just a few ways in which my waywardness is evident... it's on full display when I judge others...when I choose impatience and anger as a response...when I set my heart on worldly things rather than the heavenly...when I turn away from those in need....when I audit my actions/words/thoughts against man's measure instead of God's...and the list could go on and on.

So...when I am caring for a sick child...when I am mourning the death of a loved one...when I am angry at the injustice so prevalent in this modern world...when I mentally berate Eve for those troubles she brought onto women specifically...perhaps I need to focus a little less on Eve and her actions which made these troubles possible...and focus instead on how my own actions continue to give these troubles life.  

E-motion Sickness


During our weekday lunches, it is not unusual for the kids to throw a DVD on for our viewing pleasure.  It will often be a DVD recorded at our homeschool group's talent show or maybe a play.  Today's choice was something that I haven't seen in almost 5 years...when I burned it for my daughter.  It is a collection of videos and pics taken by my daughters, their cousins and friends in 2007 using my eldest's video camera.  While there were certainly plenty of moments when I needed a motion sickness remedy due to the filming method of the videographer...there were times I experienced E-motion sickness too...a real roller coaster ride between joy for my many blessings...and sadness over the times forgotten...and laughing at the girls' antics...and disbelief over the haste with which time flies.  

As I sat there, I saw my toddler sitting at the dinner table making farm animal noises at her sister's prompting.  There was a long video of the girls touring the Detroit Zoo's reptile house with their dad...all voices, shoes and reptile habitats.  There was loads of video from my kids' annual trip to Torch Lake with their grandparents and cousins that summer...and some featuring the eldest's karate class.  I sat watching them...mesmerized by these young faces, toothless smiles, diaper-padded bottoms.  And a special treat...a video featuring my grandma (affectionately known as Granny) who went to meet Jesus face-to-face two years ago this month.  

What a special treat this was today...and I didn't even know it was coming when I started my day!  This collection is something that I will forever...and ever...treasure.  Here's just a sampling...you may want to make sure you are sitting down...or at least have a view of the horizon...and a tissue for me.


video

All three girls playing Ring-Around-The-Rosie


video

Filming herself practicing her cartwheels


video

Look at her artwork...on her legs.


video

Love her hat!



video

Granny

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Perfect Day for Soup

With a few packs of short ribs to use up, my eyes have been on the hunt for some recipes.  I found a recipe for beef, barley and leek soup via Pinterest and tackled it a couple of weekends ago.  Some of my changes...I added fresh mushrooms (sliced); I sauteed the leeks and mushrooms in some bacon drippings (I keep a jar in my fridge); I chose to use beef stock; I made sure to remove as much fat as I could from the short ribs after cooking for three hours and cooling; and I increased the barley.  Today, I was so happy that I had put some away in the freezer...the perfect meal for a wintry Michigan weekend.  I've already received a request for it for the coming weekend.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Favorite Homeschooling Tool

One of my favorite tools for homeschooling is Google Earth.  After reading about ancient civilations in Mesoamerica this morning, we woke up the laptop, did a quick search for our desired destination and traveled from home to far away lands. We've zoomed over the Great Pyramids...tracked down the Colisseum and explored the length of the Nile...all done while we remained in our PJs.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

One Reason He's Lucky To Have Me

I grilled burgers tonight for dinner...and I stuffed them with blue cheese first.  I took a bite of my sandwich before the Hero had even finished piling his with fixings.  I went ahead and said a preemptive "You're very welcome"...because I knew he was going to be very thankful.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Rite of Passage

Today the 6-year-old got her own library card.

She's so excited!!

She could hardly wait to show her dad.

As she took possession of the card, the librarian told her she could check out up to 100 books at a time on her card..."Really!"

I looked at the lady...then looked at the 6-year-old...and broke it to her..."You'll have to carry them."


Note:  What's up with the picture?!  It was oriented correctly when I grabbed the file to insert here.  Huh...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ZZZZzzzzzz.....

I love naps.  They are treasured "me" times.

Napping is one of my love languages.

If napping were an Olympic event, I'd totally be a contender.  I would love the training regimen!

During my sophomore year in college, my roommate and I were voted the floor sleepyheads.  We were worthy.

I am not a "power napper"...someone who only needs a twenty minute snooze.  Twenty minutes would only  make me grump...-ier.  I am happiest when I can visit the Land of Nod for two hours...at least.  I guess you could say I'm a long distance napper, not a sprint napper.

My fave time to nap is on Sunday afternoon...after a morning of worship...during a football game.  Meaning that I nap during the football game...not that the worship is during a football game.  I mean...well...hopefully you know what I mean.

I recently confessed that I expect to leave this temporary earthly home with one regret...that I did not eat more guacamole.  As I ponder my love for naps, I now believe that I'll have two...the second being that I didn't appreciate the napping opportunities in my youth way...way...more.


Note:  The above picture is not me.  There is no way I would publish a picture of myself napping.  This is my youngest who had the nerve to crash one afternoon...after getting up before 5:30 a.m.  I did not get to nap.