Sunday, October 31, 2010

jack o' lantern

Pumpkin carving is a favorite tradition at our house. Dad is the designated carver, so he sets the rules, which can pretty much be summed up as "keep it simple." I am always impressed by the incredible artwork that some people are able to put on a pumpkin. We don't even try. It's the same every year: two eyes, a nose and a goofy grin with maybe a tooth, but we have a blast anyway.

Admiring our finished project.


Once the pumpkin was done, we toasted the seeds, made caramel apples and watched the "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Good times.

Fall Fun

A few weeks ago, we spent an afternoon at Hog Wallow Farm near Dana, Indiana, enjoying a perfect fall day and some pumpkin patch fun.

Katie is driving, of course.

Elijah & Eleanor led us through the corn maze.

Throughout the maze, there were markers with trivia questions.

Very odd trivia questions.
With poor spelling.

There were a series of these questions, specifically concerning pigs, chickens, sheep, turkeys, rabbits, calves, and so on. While the answers were never posted anywhere that we found, some of the other signs did spell "slaughtered" correctly, so that was a relief.

While the older kids puzzled over the quantity of livestock killed in our country, Constance enjoyed drinking everyone's cider that they left on her tray.

Petting Zoo

Hog Wallow Farm has a great playground area with several big and unique slides. Constance was not sure about the slides at first, and there was a bit of tongue clucking as she watched the other kids.

But as usual, once she saw them doing it, she decided that she was up for a ride down the slide, too.

Signing and saying "more"

Constance even got brave enough to go down the big slide alone.

Mackenzie would take her to the top, and then she would wait until Mackenzie got back down to the bottom to catch her.

Here's the proof:

My eighteen-month-old adrenaline junkie.

Just before it was time to go home, Eleanor helped us pick out the perfect pumpkin for our family jack o' lantern.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Luke 8

This morning I read Luke chapter 8, and there is so much wonderful in it that I had a hard time choosing what to write about! I am always moved by the scene where the woman who had been bleeding for years touches Jesus' cloak and is healed. What she did was so incredibly bold, and also in her culture very offensive. Jesus was on his way somewhere else with very important people, but instead of chastising her, he calls her "daughter."
We don't have to be afraid to bring our brokenness before our Savior. He has the power to restore us, and will never turn us away.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall pictures

As I have for several years, I took advantage of the beautiful fall colors and dragged the kids out to Centennial Park for an amateur photo shoot yesterday. Katie wasn't with us because she was busy carhopping at the Frostop. Constance was with us, but managed to fall on piece of playground equipment not five minutes after we got there, bruising her head and ruining her mood to have pictures taken. So, pictures of Katie and Constance to come later...

Here are a few of my favorites of Mackenzie, Elijah and Eleanor:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Luke 6:20-26

Reading in Luke chapter 6, verses 20-26, Jesus outlines what what is a blessing to us and what is a woe. He tells us we are blessed when we are poor, hungry, weeping, hated and rejected for his sake; and woe to us when we are rich, well fed, laughing and spoken well of by men. This totally contradicts what we would usually think, but how often do the things we think of as blessings actually distract us from our relationship with God. Our Heavenly Father has more in store for us than we could possibly imagine. In this life, we are blessed when we live a life fully dependent on him.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

new posts...

I have added some new "old" posts. They are some of the thoughts I have shared with the dear ladies in my email accountability group. My purpose in doing this is two-fold:

First, this is the closest thing I have to a journal, and I want to be able to look back and see what the Lord has been teaching me. Secondly, if by some remote chance anyone ever read this blog, I would be glad if he or she were encouraged by my humble musings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Exodus 4:13

Today I read in Exodus chapter 4, where God appears to Moses in a burning bush. How often have I wished that God would speak to me in a burning bush and tell me so specifically what he wants me to do! But even with all the assurances and signs that God gives Moses, he makes excuse after excuse, and finally in verse 13 pleads "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
I suppose I am really no better than Moses. God may not speak to me in a burning bush, but he has revealed his will through his word. If I am honest, I think often when I claim I don't know what he wants of me, the truth is I just don't want to do what I know he wants because it seems too hard. O Lord, please send someone else to do it!
I pray that I will become more of a Mary than a Moses!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Luke 1:38

Today I started the books of Exodus and Luke. I love the book of Luke because it has the Christmas story in it! Today I marveled again at Mary's trusting servant heart when Gabriel told her she would conceive and bear a child. No excuses, no complaining, no demanding a sign, just "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Luke 1:38
How I hope someday to mature to a faith like that!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Genesis 50:20

I finished both the books of Genesis and Mark. In the last chapter of Genesis is a verse that has been very significant to me. After Jacob dies, Joseph's brothers were afraid he would seek revenge against them for the way they had treated him in the past, although he had already expressed his forgiveness. When the issue came up again, he answered them, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20
A few years ago, we were very hurt by some family members whose actions cost our immediate family dearly. I grieved our loss terribly, and my heart broke as I saw the pain that Dan and the kids were going through. It was so very hard to forgive, but as I look back now I can see that where we are now could not have been without going through that trial. It has been a huge lesson in forgiveness, in trusting God in all circumstances, and remembering that He is in control of all things. Even when it appears that the wicked are winning, nothing is accomplished outside of his perfect plan.
On to Exodus and Luke...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mark 14

This morning, I was reading Mark 14, and was particularly moved by the scene in the garden where Jesus is praying, "Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
How many times have I prayed "take this cup" when faced with a trial? (and usually the trial is a situation of my own creation) But Jesus, when faced with the worst possible fate-the wrath of God against all the sin of mankind-is able to say "not my will, but your will" because he loved us that much.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Surfer Girl

Constance was very timid around the ocean at first. She liked digging in the sand, but the surf coming at her was a little troubling. The first couple of days she spend a lot of time running from it and "clucking" her tongue at it, which is something she does when she is scared or upset. It was much better to have Eleanor fetch her water in a bucket and pour it on herself than to get near the waves herself.

She liked watching her brother and sisters on their boogie boards in the waves. And since she thinks she's as big as they are, and anything they can do, she can do...

but then again maybe not.

But finally, the day before we left, she got wet. Once we finally stopped trying to convince her to get in the water and just left her alone, she got brave enough to let it touch her and discovered that the ocean is, in fact, quite enjoyable.

And since the ocean was not scary anymore, she thought she'd give surfing a try. No kidding.

As you can see in the following video, I was not initially convinced that putting an eighteen-month-old on a boogie board in the Atlantic Ocean was good parenting.

I have to say, however, that after I watched her ride the surf over and over and over again, it may not have been good parenting, but it sure was cute !

My brave little surfer girl.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and when it was finally time to put the boogie board away and go inside, surfer girl was heartbroken.