"In the Bible clouds are always connected with God. Clouds areI guess I'm not there yet, because I'm having a very hard time with this. I canceled school today because I just didn't feel like I could do that as I work through this. Thanks for your prayers, both for Elizabeth and Ed, and also for us, as we grieve the loss of a precious baby.
sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to
dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that God is teaching
us to walk by faith. . . . What a revelation
it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come
along with God. God cannot come near without clouds, He does not come in
clear shining. It is not true to say God wants to teach us something
in our trials: through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn
something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our
relationship to Him is exactly that of a child--God and my own soul, other
people are shadows. . . Unless we can look at
the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging the character,
we do not yet know Him."
Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Yesterday was "cape-making day". We hit the jackpot at WalMart a few days ago when we found this great shiny purple fabric on the sale rack for only $2.00 a yard. This fabric SCREAMED "capes"! In fact, when the guy was cutting off our length of it, he said, "Let me guess--you all must be making capes". The boys were astonished at his perspicacity. So yesterday I cut it all into cape lengths for varied sizes of children, and the boys of course had to wear them all afternoon. That was when I realized the capes weren't going to make it to the party without unraveling if I didn't attempt to do some kind of sewing. Now I haven't used my sewing machine for years. I remembered it having all sorts of problems and something being broken when we were in Ohio, but Bob seemed to think we had fixed it. I went off to the dark recesses of our basement storage room to find it and bring it up to our dining room. We had some troubles getting the bobbin wound,but eventually we would up with enough to start. It worked fine for a little while, but then it got all tangled up inside the bobbin case, which is what I always remembered happening. I was so frustrated, but I decided to just try raising the bobbin thread again, and miraculously it started working agian. I was able to completely hem all 4 of the capes for my boys (yes, this took me several hours!), and now I am actually thinking of just hemming the bottoms of all the other capes. That seems to be where they unravel the fastest, and since I am not what you might call a "good seamstress" (my hems are not, technically, "straight"), I have no desire to sew everyone's all the way. I'm sure any other mom would actually do a much better job, so they can feel free, if they so desire! Plus, I think it would take me the rest of the time to finish it all, and I still have lots of other stuff to do! We also want to finish building our model castle out of boxes, and we need to finish making the little catapults. We're going to use them to shoot dried lima beans over a pretend cardboard castle wall for a game. So things are coming together, and the boys are all really excited about the party. Hopefully it will be a lot of fun for everyone.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Most of us would like to do something special in life, something to distinguish
us. We suppose that we desire it for God's sake, but more likely we are
discontent with ordinary life and crave special privileges. When Israel asked if
they should offer some spectacular sacrifice--thousands of rams, ten thousand
"rivers of oil," a firstborn child--the answer was, "He has showed you, O man,
what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to
love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Mi 6:8 RSV).
There is nothing conspicuous about those requirements. It is not a "special" service for
which one would be likely to be decorated or even particularly remembered. But
it is worth more to God than any sacrifice.
Lord, deliver me from the delusion of imagining that my desire is to serve You, when my real desire is the distinction of serving in some way which others admire.
Monday, July 25, 2005
So, as a summary, there was a lot of drinking and smoking. In fact, Uncle Mark has rigged up this refrigerator in this outside shed connected to a nice covered covered patio area with a beer spigot so he can have cold beer on tap. He just drilled a hole in the side of the frige, and then there are tubes inside to the keg. But people were not rowdy and drunk, so it was a nice time. It just smelled like beer and smoke, whick was hard for a newly pregnant woman! There was lots of food. I brought my spinach strawberry salad, and it was almost completely eaten. I also brought my cookie-dough brownies, which have a layer of cookie dough spread over the brownies, and then a layer of chocolate frosting. They are very good, and they all went too. So at least people think I'm not a bad cook! They also have some different traditions at these things. One is a gift pass event, sort of like a cake walk, except that everyone is sitting in a row, men on one side and women on the other. Then each side gets a present, and they pass it up and down the row until the music (polka of course) stops. Then that person takes of the first layer of wrapping paper. The game continues for about 15 more layers of wrapping paper, and finally someone gets to the box itself and gets to keep the present. There also is an auction where everyone donates some peice of junk they don't need anymore. People bid up these things to raise money for the meat, etc. at the reunions, and you also have to take home the junk you bought. I'd really rather just pay a few more dollars at the get-go! Bob restrained himself and only bought a set of 3 car air fresheners for $1.00. We brought 2 very cheap and ugly little Christmas towels that don't match, and each one got around $3.00. Believe me, they were both not worth half of that together. I also got to talk with several of the women, and they even asked about homeschooling, so we talked some about that. We also told people we were expecting again--always nice to be able to do that in person, and we certainly got better reactions than over the phone with Bob's family! Next year it will be at Aunt Peggy's house. Maybe I'll have some more of these relationships straight by then.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
It turned out that I had a good time. Bob and Nathan and Luke went one time before, but it was nice to have us all out there. We stopped after about 2 1/2 miles at this playground that is a little off the trail, and that's where we had our adventure. You have to go across this little narrow bridge to actually get to the playground, and Bob misjudged how widely he needed to turn to clear the trailer. So the trailer hit the wooden side of the bridge and stopped completely, but Bob didn't! He hit the handlebars (but didn't fall off), and the momentum totally made his front tire all crooked. Totally unusable. Fortunately he was riding his old bike that he's had since way before we got married, so without too much angst, he just left it by a trashcan in the park. He moved the trailer to the new bike that I was riding, and I volunteered to walk back. It was a long, hot walk back, but I actually enjoyed the time to myself. You can notice so much more when you're walking! There were a lot of wildflowers beside the trail that I was able to get a closer look at. Also I saw tons of blackberries. The boys would ride ahead, then double back, so they never got too terribly far ahead of me. We were all so hot when we got back to the car, though. A/C sure felt good! Maybe when we get another new bike, we can do this again. (Maybe in Autumn?!)
Friday, July 15, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Sunday, July 10, 2005
I saw lots of homeschooling friends from here at the convention and even met some people from the Well Trained Mind Message Boards! I've never met anyone from there in real life before, so that was neat. Elizabeth and I were able to go out to lunch too. She and Ed just announced on Friday that they are expecting again, so we had lots to talk about! We were all pretty excited to hear their news, but it seems like the person who is most excited is their youngest, Amanda. She hopes it is a baby sister, since she's been praying for one for a long time! Elizabeth is due Feb. 10, and we all know what a great month February is. Luke and I are hoping to have a February birthday buddy!
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
We came back home, and Bob grilled steaks and hot dogs. Then all the adults stayed up late talking--my favorite part of having company! Rose left early the next morning but the rest of us slept in a little later. i put sop on the stove, then we went swimming for a little while. The day was overcast, so the water was appreciably cooler than it has been, so we didn't stay too terribly long. We came home, ate lunch, then the boys took naps while we got ready to go in to D.C. for the national fireworks. We went with (who else?!) our friends the L's, who had been last year. Let me tell you, this is NOT something we would ever have attempted on our own! We left a little after 5:00 to drive to Rosslyn, near the Iwo Jima Memorial. We wandered through the streets, trying to find parking. Thankfully Ed used to work down there, so he knew places to try. We saw a continual stream of people walking past us, which made me worry that we would have to park about 10 miles away and still have no place to sit! But my worrying was for naught, and we found great parking fairly close in the Hyatt underground parking garage. We trundled all our assorted picnicking supplies over to in front of the Netherlands Carillion, where there is a great view of all the Washington and Lincoln Memorials, as well as the Capitol. We found room for our blankets and had a nice picnic, trying to stay relatively cool. There was a "misting room" set up, which was a tent-like thing that sprayed you with a fine mist--sort of like being a vegetable in your grocery produce section. Very refreshing. After the sun set around 7:40, it got a lot more comfortable, although still plenty humid! Some of us went to look at the Arlington Cemetary, which is right next to where we were, and also to the Iwo Jima Memorial. I stayed behind and read a book, so the evening was very nice and relaxing for me! The firworks started at about 9:20 and lasted 25 minutes or so. They must have been so huge because they looked big to us and we were on the other side of the river! A very impressive display indeed, with lots of different types that we had never seen before. I guess D.C. gets all the new firework technology first! I was glad we were so far away though. It was not too loud where we were, but I know the little boys would have been scared by the noise if we would have been right under the fireworks by the Capitol. Afterwards, we and several thousand of our fellow Washington D.C.ers made our way back through Rosslyn, completely jamming the streets. When we left the parking garage, we found out the parking was free! Wow, our opinion of Hyatt just jumped a whole bunch! Bob did some creative driving manuevers to get us back onto the freeway, and we were home by 11:00. That was late, but the boys did fine, and it really was a lot of fun. Ed brought the kids these "glow sticks"--you bend them and then they glow different colors. You can connect them to make bracelets, necklaces, crowns, etc. They boys had a lot of fun playing with those, and then they wore them when it was all done so we could see them in the crowd. It was a great idea, and it kept them occupied quite well! Today will probably be a day of early naps and early bed though. We have had some crabbiness this morning, which is to be expected! Ann and Wally left this morning, so now we can really settle back in and get back into our normal routine. We did some math review this morning, and we'll keep on reviewing this week, then get back into school next week.