Showing posts from February, 2013

Dawning of Spring by Priscilla

The sun is shining today, and water is dripping from the garage roof.  Snow is on the ground with a shovel and hose lying around.  Skies blue.  No freeze, slight breeze.
It's peaceful today.

Birds chirp and I wonder, "What are they saying?  Maybe they're saying, 'Mother, can we have an after school snack?' 'Of course, my little chicks!  Would you like a big juicy worm?' 'Oh yes!' 'I will go get you one to share.'"

There are many other sounds around besides birds.  Dogs bark; bells ring at two o'clock.  Why are dogs barking?  What are they saying?  Do they see a cat, or want to chase it?  Who knows?  Maybe they're hungry and want to come inside to eat.  Whatever they're doing, they sure are noisy!

It's really peaceful today.  I hear airplanes every once in a while.  When I take a deep breath, I feel and smell the fresh spring air - moist, mossy, damp dirt.  I also hear cars whipping past on busy streets.  They sound a l…


In Language Arts for 5th grade today we are doing observations to build into an observation essay.  I was showing Priscilla what observations are.  So I did one on bread, and will post it here to whet your appetite :)

Bread Observations

Wafting fragrance of yeasty air
Golden flaky crust eager to break with the serrated blade
Warm and squishy, tiny sacks wait to spring on my tongue
Crisp, firm, outer.
Soft, moist, inner.
Sweet honey-butter smoothly spread
The first bite
Gentle to teeth
A slight crunch
Then the melt
Sweetly blankets tastebuds that, like sponges,
Soak in the gooey goodness.

Trying to make your marriage work?!

...Well, there's good news and bad news.  Bad news First:  You can't make it work.

Good News?

You'll have to follow this link to read further:

I Can't Make My Marriage Work! But...

Parenting Book Reviews - Very Brief overview

A friend recently asked us for some ideas for parenting reading material.  I shot off a quick email summarizing some of the books we've read, appreciated and used.  I am not promoting any of these, just throwing out my comments for your interest:

We started out using 'To Train Up a Child' by Michael and Debi Pearl. It requires wisdom to sift out some things we felt were just too radical.  But some situations call for 'radical'.  It was a good read, but I wouldn't use this as my sole 'go to' book - nor would I follow it rigidly. Reminder: every book we read (other than the Bible) needs to be sifted through the lens of Biblical wisdom. 

Our other 'go-to' was Shepherding a Child's heart by ...Tripp.  Again, this is a favourite for many parents we know and seems harmless enough.  I can't fault the book except it being longer and tedious reading.  Some great concepts laid out and I appreciated that the focus is the heart of the child and lett…


I've kept this blog pretty non-political so far - on purpose.  Because I know I have readers on both sides of issues, so I tend to shy away from making this a political soap-box.  However, on this issue I am an unashamed, openly pro-life advocate.  At the same time, I also tend to try to see things from all angles.  I like to get other perspectives on any and every issue I take a stand on.  I am not going to add anything new to this debate here, but I will throw out a few thoughts since they do buzz around in my head on occasion.  Especially because I get what both sides say, and wish sometimes I could answer the arguments I hear on the radio or elsewhere.

When I was pregnant for the first time I began to appreciate the pro-choice element a little better.  It was a miserable predicament for me - physically especially!  I would never have dreamed of ending the life of the pre-born baby within me, but I did come to think about how I might feel if I didn't have these conviction…

The Three Gives - Lent and Life beyond it...

Today I have a guest post from Ryan Guerra who is Worship Pastor at our Church (Water's Edge Bible Church in West Chicago).  I wanted to write some thoughts on Lent, but after reading his I decided not to!  Thanks Ryan, for sharing with us!

The Three Gives
Let’s do Lent better. Let’s redeem it more fully. Let’s consider it Biblically. Instead of Lent being a time of simply “giving up,” make Lent a time to “give of” and “give over.” (Isaiah 58)  Make it a lifestyle.  I write this primarily as a reminder to myself; someone who does not practice Lent religiously, but loves the potential  spring board of Lent to encourage us toward a life that is increasingly committed to God and His Kingdom.
Whether during Lent or any other day, if we “give up” without resolve to also “give of” and “give over” then we are only partially fulfilling the call to be imitators of Christ. (Phillipians 3:10, Ephesians 5.1-2)  Christ became a man when He humbly GAVE UP what was rightfully His in order to place…

How I Met Sam - Thanksgiving

Sam was able to take a day off work and he came and began to help with the immediate clean up - pulling out carpet, hacking ruined furniture to take to the dump, lugging things up and down the hill to the dumpster.  Friends came to help - there was no way to adequately clean the place - covered with smoke everywhere.  Dishes that were in cupboards were coated - everything needed to be washed.  Very quickly all of us were covered with soot.

This was the middle of November.  My parents were returning from their trip to the U.S. in just a few days.  We wanted to get some semblance of order so it wouldn't be so bad for them returning.  Still - I'm sure there was nothing that could prepare them for walking in to their home post-fire!  It was a week until Thanksgiving.  Mom was determined to host as she had always done.  So we planned and cleaned as best we could and worked towards celebrating Thanksgiving with true hearts of gratitude.

We gathered with friends and spent time shar…

How I Met Sam - After the Fire

I know it's taking me a long time to get this written... but I'll remind you that this was less than a week after getting engaged, which was five weeks after witnessing and dealing with the burglary, which was only three weeks after getting clobbered on the head with a break by nasty neighbours.  I was beginning to feel as if this was going to be the new normal - highs, lows, crazy, chaotic events - what was around the corner next?  I began to have a sense of dread, wonder, adventure, amazement, angst - all wrapped into one.

Coming into our house with it burned out seemed to sum up how I felt inside - burned out.  I had the hope of marrying Sam to look forward to in the future.  But at the moment I looked around at the devastation that a fire brings - smells, charred things, water an inch deep - and realized yet again how fleeting are the things we hold as dear.  My greatest sadness was looking at the piano, where I had taken lessons and practiced and played ever since I was …

Marriage: Beyond Love and Respect

Today I blogged over at A Biblical Marriage.  I'll put the link below.

I've read and gone through the 'Love and Respect' curriculum.  I'll reserve comment on it for now, BUT, I do want to address what I think lies behind the concepts it presents - and a far greater challenge than just to love more, respect more etc.  The Bible is clear in its call to husbands and wives to love and respect.  I don't deny that!  I just think there is more than reducing marriage issues to these two elements!

Beyond Love and Respect

How I Met Sam - Post Engagement

So the first week after we got engaged was just a whirlwind of fun, excitement and the drudgery of everyday life - which seemed laborious in comparison with the heightened emotion of planning a future together.  My friend Melissa was visiting and she wanted to take a visit to China to see where Sam lived and worked and where we would eventually be living together once we were married.  We planned the trip for the following Wednesday and were going to spend the night and return the next day.

We got to the factory compound where Sam lived and worked and took a tour - it was really quite impressive.  Full tennis courts, gated entry, polished marble flooring, a grand piano, two cafeterias, a ginormous kitchen...

We enjoyed the evening together and went to bed since Sam would have to be at work early.  Around 5 or 6 a.m. (long before I or anyone was going to be up!) Sam received a phone call.  It was Lincoln - the neighbour who I had run to on the night of the burglary.  He asked to spea…

How I Met Sam - Our Engagement 5

During the 7 minute interval, Sam prayed and waited, and just as the clock was to hit 2:40 (his designated time to give up waiting), a particular van pulled up and Sam noticed the delivery company name marked on the side.  It turns out they had the time wrong or something and neither of them could speak any English.  The men motioned for Sam to give them the package and address to deliver it to.  Sam reached over to the van door, opened it and stepped inside.  They looked bewildered and confused.

Communication was a problem.  Sam pointed at himself.  He pointed at the box he was holding.  They were puzzled.  Finally, Sam pulled out the ring and drew a picture of what he was planning to do.  With smiles and understanding nods, they went on their way.

Sam told them to drive past our house so they would know which doorbell to ring.  At first they stopped in front - but Sam motioned them on so I wouldn't see a suspicious-looking van lurking in our driveway.  At the end of the row of …

Pictures of Hannah...

Enjoy!  (We're enjoying her - can you tell?! :) )

   Feigning innocence...

Playing with Mr. PotatoHead glasses...

  "Who are you pointing that camera at, Mommy?!"

            Laughing, crying, smiling...all at once!!!

Childlike Faith

Tucking Timo in tonight, he asked, 'How long is it until I die?'

I told him only God knows - it can be a day, a week, a year or 100 years!  But the Bible tells us that every day of our lives He already knows and has planned for and He will take us home and help us when that time comes.

Then he said, 'I wonder what it's like to die.'

I guess we all wonder that.  And I wish we all gave it a little more thought, because even the wisest man ever (apart from the Lord!) said it is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of partying.  It is good for us to consider our end rather than squander our days without giving a thought to what is to come - for good or bad!

Even so, Timo pressed on: 'Will the world ever end?'

He's 6 by the way.  In 1st grade.  He's wondering if there's school tomorrow - because of a potential strike.  But he lumps those questions all together - school, death, the end of the world.  You know, your normal, run-of-t…