Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Madeline!

Madeline was 11 on Sept. 20th. Wow. She pooled all her birthday money to buy a Nintendo DS lite. It's the first piece of high tech equipment owned by one of my children. I read an article recently about how 'tweens are demanding more high tech toys. And I realized that I now have a "'tween". Hmm. I'm glad to be a young mom. Most people think that Sam is my oldest, and they're surprised when I tell them I have two other older daughters. It's kind of fun, actually.

On another note, I got a part-time job as assistant to the children's ministry director at church. We have worked together on nursery things before, so I know we work well together. I haven't actually started the job yet. I'm thinking things will start in October. But its a new page in my life that I'm looking forward to.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


This spider has definitely been the most popular thing on my blog for a long time. William could not resist getting another photo for my appreciative audience. Here's lookin' atcha.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Things Are Bigger in Texas

At the end of July we discovered this spider in our backyard. We had seen few others on the bushes near the pool, and had marveled at the size and color. I put my hand there to give a sense of proportion. You can see a look of slight concern on my face, although I'm sure this is a harmless garden spider. The size is just creepy. And so are the bright yellow markings.

But, I will say that more bugs have been fun for the kids. Abby and Sam love to catch crickets and grasshoppers; Abby is quite fearless about grabbing them. We also have been seeing decent sized toads at night, along with flying bugs we've never seen in California.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fall Snap

Today was the first day with a cold snap in the air. This morning, instead of the usual 85 degree plus weather we've been experiencing, it was 65 degrees. I opened the windows for the first time in about 5 months, and am really enjoying the fresh fall air.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Taste of New Year's Day

You can check Erin's blog later, but I will announce that her baby was born today at 12:30pm. Congratulations Erin and Jim! I'll let them give the rest of the facts on their blog.

I was cleaning out my refrigerator yesterday, and I found a container of bleu cheese that had no purpose. I saw that I had the rest of the stuff for a cheese ball, so I made three small ones last night. Today, I sat down with a mound of cheese ball and crackers for lunch. As I tasted it, I had the immediate thought, "Tastes like New Year's!" It is so wierd how a taste can take you somewhere. We only made cheese balls at New Year's, so to eat one in September is like time travel. Yummy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Some Good Books

I found a mystery series that I'm enjoying. It's called the Dame Frevisse Medieval Mystery series, by Margaret Frazer. The main character is a Benedictine nun. They are set in medieval England in the 1400's. Besides great writing and character development, I'm enjoying the prayers that Dame Frevisse thinks about through out her day. It's almost like reading a devotional sometimes. Each story takes place in a different realm of medieval society, so I'm learning a lot about that culture. Anyway, I highly recommend these books.

The other series I'm enjoying is the #1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith. I've read most of them, and when I'm in the mood for Africa instead of medieval England, I just switch books. His other series, The Sunday Philosophy Club, and The Portuguese Irregular Verb books are also very good. I love the fact that one Scottish author can write so personally about Botswana, Scotland, and Germany. Each series has its own feeling; the characters are different from each other, but the things that make Alexander McCall Smith good are there in each one. One theme in all three series is what it means to be an individual as part of a larger community. He also does a great job of exploring moral choices in relationships, and the dynamics of relationships in general.

Portuguese Irregular Verbs is the funniest little three volume set. It describes the misguided exploits of a relationally clueless bachelor German professor. He is always getting into embarrassing situations, but half the time he’s not quite aware of it. Everyone around him is responding appropriately, but he thinks they’re the ones with the problem. When he is aware of his relational mistakes, he is in agony trying to fix the problem, which usually leads to more problems. They are fun reading.

Last but not least, I started a new Beth Moore bible study last night called “Believing God.” In her opening lecture, Beth talked about the gap between our theology and our reality. She said that faith, or believing God, is the bridge that crosses that gap, and connects our theology and reality into an authentic experience. I was so blessed by the last study I did, and I’m looking forward to this one.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Bride of Christ

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be the Bride of Christ...personally and corporately. I've made friends with a Lebonese woman in my town. She is really beautiful, and I feel like she is the closest match I've met that might fit into the Song of Solomon poem. I never really got the references to Pomogranates and flocks of goats and so on. But for some reason those words make sense next to her.

She showed me her wedding photos last time we met. It was great to see the entire 24 hour process captured, with the traditional ceremonies and dancing and so on. She said that they bascially start saving for their weddings at birth, and when they hear about how much celebrities here in the US spend on weddings they laugh, because proportionally, it is less than the usual Lebonese wedding. It was really lavish, with jewels and silks and glittery makeup and expensive everything. Lots of food and dancing, with my friend the center of the celebration as the bride.

Seeing the wedding got me thinking about what it means to be the Bride of Christ. For some reason the Lord chose to express His heart to us through the middle eastern culture, with the Jews as His chosen people, and the Bible being culturally based there. As I ruminated on what I'd seen in current times, the ancient words began to hold more meaning. The bride is so valued and lavished on, and Christ sees the Church that way. It's all about the Bride.

I used to see myself as a tool of the Lord. I believed that my purpose was to be used by him for his purposes. My needs and growth were less important than being useful to the Lord. Over the years, my view has changed, and now I see myself (and each Christian) as the main point. I am not here to be used, I am here to become exactly the woman that I am destined to be. In that process, I get to do the good works that have been planned since the beginning of time. I believe those good works are specific for each person. They fit who we are, and it's less about doing lots of good, than it is doing exactly the good that is specifically planned for us. It's about Trust and Obey.

When I think about the Church as the Bride, I see a whole new level of value. We aren't just a bunch of people who believe certian truths, who are saved from hell, who behave, who gather each Sunday. We are a living body that is being fashioned into a bride fit for the King. How different to hear the King say, "You are beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, majestic as troops with banners." (Song of Songs 6:4) And His banner over us is Love.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Old Home Details

We've been doing lots of things to our house. We've been here for about 13 months now, and things are getting more refined. One of the few things I don't like about my kitchen is that it doesn't have any windows. The wall where the window would be has the stove on it, so that's that. I realized that the newer houses here tend to have less windows than the old houses I've grown up in. I'm sure it because we have to heat and cool the house pretty much all year, so it saves money. Here you can see my latest brain wave: Hanging old windows between the livingroom and kitchen. I found them at a Habitat for Humanity warehouse where contractors take their old home parts and dump them instead of a landfill. You can find just about anything that used to be in a house. And in the back was a big pile of old windows. They were $2.50 each. Obviously no one sees any value in them. I've been thinking about how to get a few into the house somehow for about a year, since I saw them last summer.
In this photo of me and the kids last Sunday morning, you can see the shelf behind me, which Dan DeHart installed for me last summer. I've put a bunch of the things that I never had a spot for before, including a collection of old kitchen utensils from Uncle Elmer. I guess my goal is to make my new house look as old as possible. Its kind of working.