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Showing posts from October, 2007

Backyard Habitat

Tiny living things we've found in our backyard in the last few weeks.

"Look Mom! There's a tree frog.""Where? I don't see it.""Right there."Can you find it?
Toads LOVE our backyard."Mom! Mom! Come quick! We found these insect eggs under a leaf on a vine!"

We brought the leaf in and set it on the window sill in the kitchen. We spritzed it with water from time to time. The egg cases turned orange and a few days later we watched little red and black bugs hatch. They look like tiny lady bugs but I don't think they are. Any experts out there who can identify these?

Rediscovering Traditions in the Kitchen

We are on a quest to eat food that nourishes. This is a hard thing to accomplish given the fifteen aisles in the grocery store that offer soybean oil, red # 40, high fructose corn syrup and enriched wheat flour in two thousand brightly packaged varieties. I’ve stiffened my resolve and we skirt around the edges of the store dashing into the middle for dog food and olive oil. The kids and I are turning this into a challenge. How many aisles can we bypass? How many things can we make ourselves with whole, healthy ingredients?

It’s busy in my kitchen tonight. The food processor whirrs and shreds. Charlie feeds the hungry machine zucchini that Claire has cut into slices. Faith writes ZUCCHINI on a freezer bag and tucks one cup packages of the shredded veggie into the bag and carries it out to the freezer. Lauren rinses cranberries and we chop and add them to our colorful pile in the freezer. I slice and process onions. Claire tries to stay and watch because she doesn’t like to miss a thing …

Entomology Artwork

Predacious Diving Larva and Beetle by John
Lots and Lots of Ladybugs by Claire
Mrs. Mosquito by Faith
Atlas Fritillary by Lauren

Seven Pairs of Shoes

This weekend we went shoe shopping. Click over to 4 OR MORE for the story that goes along with these pictures.


Not Quite Like the Pumpkin Patch

The Pumpkin Patch sits on top of Signal Mountain tucked safely behind Walden Town Hall just outside of Chattanooga. It’s our favorite playground. Ever. There are zip wires, little slides, bigger slides and the daddy of all slides. There are four or five swing sets, play places for little ones and big ones, a covered picnic area, drinking fountains and a bathroom. It was forty-five minutes from our house when we lived in Tennessee and we scaled the mountain from time to time to play under the shady trees. We miss it.

We had been scouring the land for a good playground somewhere near Smallville for about nine months when an acquaintance asked me if we had discovered the wooden playground just a few miles from Stuart’s work. We hadn’t due to the intricate road layout in the Land Flowing With Milk and Honey.

"You should definitely take the kids there. It's a great playground."

I had her repeat the directions a few times and on the next grocery day we traveled a few minutes off …

The Transformation of John: Part Two

John calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved in the Gospel that he penned. For years I thought this was perhaps false modesty on John’s part. Why couldn’t he refer to himself in the first person like some of the Greats before him? Men like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Why choose such a wordy title when I, me and my would suffice. But do they?

The disciple whom Jesus loved are words that have been weighing on my mind for the last week. John writes the best known verse in all the Bible, For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever shall believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. As he stood at the foot of the cross John was the only disciple to actually see how much God loved the world, to recognize how much Jesus loved not only the whole world, but more personally John himself. He couldn’t help but call himself the disciple whom Jesus loved and to be changed because of his certainty of Christ's love.

JOHN: NEW AND IMPROVED

GENTLE:

Reflecting on John

We turned the final page of the Gospel of John this week. We’ve been traveling with him since mid-July and I am sad to part ways. The kids and I have discussed in detail how John didn’t tell everything he knew. He relayed only what was important. The kids have been writing bug stories this week and we have edited ruthlessly so that only the ideas that tell the clearest story and create the best word pictures have remained. They get it. They have enjoyed the richness of John’s writing and they see the value in emulating his style.

This is my first time studying John in depth and the beauty of this book and the genius of his writing have overwhelmed me. He writes tightly. He writes with a purpose and must leave much of what he witnessed in his time with Jesus out of his work. This enables him to pack a solid punch. All that is included in the twenty-one chapters supports the first sentence: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John is a book of s…

Writing for 4 or More

In the midst of this writer's block, I received an e-mail from lotsofkids.com asking me to write for their new blog 4 or More. I had sent them a link to my blog several months ago to be considered for this writing opportunity. Little did I know that when the time actually came to participate, my mind would be frozen solid! I'm still waiting for the thaw.

So I wrote an introduction about our family for 4 or More. It took me three hours! Three hours to write a few simple sentences about people that I spend every waking minute with.

Here it is:

Stuart and I were married fifteen years ago today in front of God and family and an entire class of balloon-clutching kindergarteners. Looking back, I guess it's appropriate we started our married life with a church full of kids as witnesses because our lives have since been overflowing with children...

The story continues here if you care to read further.

We Interrupt this Program...

It's been quiet here on this blog. Boring even. I want to write but not about chores and laundry. I want the ideas to flow freely from my brain to my fingertips but they will not come. There is an inky blackness. An overwhelming lack of creativity and coherent thought. God is teaching me in this. All that is good here in this space comes from Him. He is the generator of my ideas. He puts my words together. Now He chooses to be quiet and so must I. When I hear His still, small voice once again, I will be back.

Waiting For Lauren

We went to a local craft fair where Lauren was lured into spending two hours sewing a tiny leather pouch. While we waited for her to finish, the rest of us took turns with the dulcimers.