Sunday, February 24, 2013

Signs of spring

I'm always ready 
for winter to end.  

Impatient for that 
first short-sleeve, bare-foot day, 
I await warm rain, 
budding trees, 
fingers in garden soil.  

And so it is with great joy that I share my finds here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Old Words, Yet New

We are reading our way through the Middle Ages in our history lessons.  Today, the kids and I read about Bernard of Clairveux, a 12th century French monk.  His story is inspiring, but his writing even more so.  He wrote this hymn in 1153.
  1. O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
    Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
    How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn;
    How doth that visage languish which once was bright as morn.

    What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
    Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
    Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
    Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

    What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
    For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
    O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
    Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

    I have watched one youtube version after another, weeping.  I am a big fan of Fernando Ortega, so I chose his version of the song to post here.
If you get hooked like I did, you might want to watch some other versions as well, like an acapella version by Mitch Fewell or Amy Grant, the King's College singers or this (impressive) church group.
Something about these words, 
nearly 600 years old,
 written by a man of such service to God,
moved by his love for Christ,
and Christ's immeasurable love for us. 
I hope you are moved, too.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Theme Dinner

Well, it's time for our annual Valentine family dinner! 

 The kids and I have so much fun planning this and, if I may say, we really outdid ourselves this year. They did all the decorations. We came up with the food and menu lists together, then I did most of the cooking.  (One of these days, I need to transfer more of that over to them, too.)
Ellie's menu
Marian's menu

Our menu:
Don't-break-my-heart biscuits
XOXO carrots
Sweety sweet tea
Give-me-sugar cookie

The carrots were so named because I cut them in sticks and coins so that together they could form X's and O's.  The biscuits were supposed to be cut in heart shapes to make them fit the celebration.  However, I switched over to auto-pilot at some point and cut them in the regular circles.  Oops-- better luck next time!  Nevertheless, we all enjoyed our special meal!

I am so glad to share our family's little tradition.  Do any of you have a neat Valentine tradition?  

Happy Valentine's Day

Just taking a moment to brag on my dear husband! A delivery truck came by this afternoon with a big package for me... 18 beautiful roses!  Surprise!!

The funniest part was when Andrew asked me, who did I think sent them?  I assured him that it had to be Daddy even though the note had not been signed.  He just couldn't be sure until he gave Dwayne the third degree when he arrived home.  I just wonder, who else did Andrew suspect would send me flowers? :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Total YUM!

I tried a new recipe last night-- something I am prone to do quite often.  It was out of the park!!  It's like a Philly Cheese Steak.  I started with this recipe.  I'm not sure if this is an authentic Philadelphia Steak Sandwich or not, but I'm telling you, it's good!

I didn't make it exactly as the recipe indicates (do I ever?).  I omitted the wine, and we did not want horseradish or mustard on the bread.  Also, I
didn't cook the peppers, onions, and mushrooms in the slow cooker-- just the meat with broth and seasonings for about 4 hours.  I sauteed the veggies on the stove right before supper and served them on the side just to make it kid-friendly.  I didn't have any French bread, so I made some simple yeast rolls.  The sandwiches were so-o good!  Definitely a do-again... soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Redemption in Chess!

Okay.  This is probably totally unsporting of me.  But I WON!!  Against Dwayne!!  Checkmate!!  This isn't likely to happen again, so I'm posting it here for all posterity.

Monday, February 11, 2013


We are right in the middle of a great basketball season with our PTO league at the local public school!  Ellie, Andrew, and Marian are hustling up and down the court every weekend.  We win some and we lose some, but we are so proud of our budding hoopsters!

Go, Ellie!!  (back row, standing by Mr. Coach)
Go, Drew!!  (second from the right, back row)
Go, Mar!!  (seated, far right, front row)
 Dwayne is coaching Marian's and Andrew's teams, so Reagan is my buddy in the bleachers.  Three games every Saturday proves to be a little hard for this two-year-old to weather, but he does quite well with a few Legos, matchbox cars, and, of course, snacks!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chess, anyone?

Game on!
Future Chess Champ
We are learning to play chess.  

We dug out this interesting chess set from my mom that was a gift to her some years ago by an exchange student from Mexico.  All the pieces are Aztec figures.  The knights are dragons.  Reagan loves to play with them.
Deep in thought

So we've started simply, just playing with the pawns, kings, and queens.  This week, we'll add the rooks.

I used to play a little chess when I was a teenager-- just me and my friend next door.  I was no genius, but apparently I have forgotten all I thought I used to know.  My 6-year-old beat me this past weekend.  A humbling experience.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Let it snow!

Marian's Snowman
 We've had a few inches of snow this weekend so the kids have made the most of it.  Marian, with Ellie's assistance, made a snowman.  I was really impressed at what a good job Mar did!

Reagan rocked the pink snowpants!

Andrew and Reagan had fun sledding.

Ellie and Reagan made snow angels all over the yard.
Angel in the snow
Andrew, Ellie, and Reagan played all kinds of make-believe out in the snow.  I wish I had a video of some of the pretending I watched from the window.  It was hilarious... and magical.  I'll just have to save those scenes in my memory.
Andrew, sledding on our relatively flat yard, had to take a running jump into the sled each time in order to have the momentum needed.  He had a great time!

My One Word - 2013

So I've been thinking about the One Word challenge, a challenge to choose a single word that sums up what I would ask God to do in me this year.  Ever heard of this idea?
Well, God's been whispering a word to me for a few weeks now: roots.

Roots go deep.  Roots are the means by which a plant receives nutrients, life.  Roots provide support and stability.  God has been showing me how I need to be more rooted in Him, His Word.  There is no other source of daily sustenance, no other way to stand steadfast, no other way to "Good and faithful servant" status.

Psalm 119:133 says, "Establish my footsteps in your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me."  Or as God highlighted it for me, to me, "Root me in Your Word so that sinful habits cannot sway me."

I've heard it said, "Either the Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Word."

So this year, I want my roots to grow.  Deep and long, pushing sin out, pulling the Word in.

And you?  Do you have one word?