What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Among the daffodils, this elaborate lady unexpectedly popped up. All of the yellow ladies cluster about, daily whispering to one another about the gaiety and elaborate beauty of the newcomer.

My brother-in-law (but loved as my own very dear brother) Nate, shared an abundance of bulbs with Linda, who then lovingly potted some away for me to enjoy out here. And do I ever. Anyone who visits Renaissance surely knows this, as I have noted the progress of them since the first green broke through the bit of potted earth.

After weeks of eager anticipation, they have peaked in glory this week.

The once empty pot is now quite full of sunshine.

I am enjoying every bit of it.

To break up the monotany of flower talk, I have something to share with blogdom.

Something I am ALSO enjoying every bit of...

In exactly 11 days, the children and I are going on a grand adventure. The adventure of our lives, really.

Monumental things happen every single day, to all sorts of people~but it is a rare thing, indeed, to notice them as they happen. When you do, though, you realize how wonderfully changed you have become by them.

My mother's dearest friend, Mrs. Bibby, decided it was high time for her daughter-in-law, Jean Marie and I to meet. I have grown to know and respect Jean Marie through the computer and am just thrilled that I will finally be able to meet her in person, and give her a bonafide hug-something I have wanted to do on countless occasions!

Mrs. B has invited me (and the children) into her home for a WEEK, disrupted her own schedule, did all the legwork for me about airfare (having only flown once, and then having my hand held by the newly-mine husband; I know next to nothing about ANYTHING airport related.), has become the soundingboard to my many questions and concerns and has gone out her way for me...why? One reason. Because she loves Jean Marie.

Has anyone EVER heard of such a wonderful thing being done for them? Let alone, by a MOTHER IN LAW?

Aren't mother-in-laws supposed to be evil? That is the stereotype anyway. Well, I am here to loudly proclaim that to be false. Not ALL mother-in-law's are such. In fact, some are just downright amazing.

Mrs. Bibby, in one fell swoop has shown her love for Jean Marie, graciously given of herself for me, and has shown me what it is that I want to look like, when I myself become a mother in law. Mrs. Bibby~if she reads this, she is likely to pishaw this post away, I am sure. But the truth is, this is a monumental thing and I am taking notice. You are an inspiration.


In the days leading up to our trip, I am eagerly anticipating and busily preparing for take-off.

Monday, the 10th, with two children and one big 'ole camera bag in tow, I will tearfully bid Matt farwell until the following Tuesday and bravely make my way to the two seats reserved just for us-awaiting our journey into the clouds. Then, our adventure begins.

I am nervous, let me tell you! There is a layover in Cincinatti and the thought of missing my plane or getting lost just about throws my body into fits of convulsions. What is working to keep me calm is concentrating on all the photo opportunities I am going to have, that I NEVER have. Oddly enough, thinking about those things squashes out the trepidation and fills the void with bubbling excitement. The way I see it, it could go one of two ways: I come back with the most amazing portfolio of cool airport/plane shots ever OR, they never get taken because I get so nervous I forget-or if I do manage to take a few, that my hands are shaking so much that they are all blurry. :-)

As hard as it will be to be away from Matt for so long, I can't even begin to imagine all the fun I am going to have! I am just so thrilled and excited. And very, very thankful for the opportunity.

The countdown began the day it became official, but each day it draws closer, my thoughts are more fully consumed by it. You'll no doubt be hearing more about it as the days draw closer!

And now, once March 10 rolls around and there is no sign of life on Renaissance, you'll not wonder what happened. I am alive and well, and living it up in Indiana!

Well, that is, if my plane doesn't crash.


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I bought these for myself. *GASP*

I needed some loving after a malicious pregnancy test gave me a false positive. Horrible beastie.

I am enjoying watching each little bud unfurl and waiting in eager anticipation for them to start perfuming the air. Hyacinths are lovely, one of my (many) favorites, in large part due to their scent.

The hyacinth visits frequent now, replacing those eager daffodil visits now that the daffodils are in bloom, and give me something exciting to look forward to each day.

I do so LOVE flowers.

This is how it all looks on my windowsill. The monstrosity toward the left is actually an Easter Lily that decided to pop up and grow, despite my uncaring toss into the woods. When I saw life despite my neglect, I thought the poor thing deserved to be brought in. Don't know if it will blossom or not, but it will certainly get an "E" for effort...
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I don't often write about anything of real import on this blog, mainly because I lack the time to organize my thoughts well enough to do a good job of it. That is not to say my mind doesn't churn out the thoughts, though. I *still* lack the time to make a proper go of it, but I am afraid if I don't get some of these things out, I might implode, and NO one wants to see that.

So-here are some haphazard thoughts, happy to be free from my ruminating soul.


"Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats


From one of the many audio cd's...can't remember which one...

"What we teach our children to love and desire is more important than what we teach our children to learn."


Some thoughts I have been chewing on for a while:

The third commandment teaches "You shall not take the name of your God in vain". I was not brought up to curse, so I am good on that one, right? Wrong.

If you reject, criticize, or speak down upon others (especially your brothers and sisters in Christ) you are rejecting, criticizing, and speaking down upon God's creation (we are His created.) and worse yet, His very image (we were created in His image.)

In the same way: if you dwell too much upon your flaws, if they hinder you, if you are overly insecure and ashamed of your features~you reject the image that God has given you, that is a reflection of himself.

This thought has hit me like a mac truck, because I am one of those horribly insecure beings who thinks terrible thoughts about themselves. Putting those thoughts into perspective had me down on my knees in no time.


Somewhat related to this (that is, being insecure), I often rely too heavily on Matt's opinion of me. Of course, as a wife, we ought to have the highest regard for how our husband's perceive us...but for me, I depended upon it as I would upon LIFE. I ask him, "Do you love me?" "Do you think I am pretty even though I have gained so much weight?" yada yada yada, ALL the time.

It occurred to me, though, that I was making an idol of Matt's opinion of me and by doing so, breaking the SECOND commandment, Thou shalt not make for yourself an idol." I still ask Matt these things (because I like to hear them) but I realize now, it is MORE important what God thinks of me than anyone else (even my dearest half). God doesn't think in terms of physical beauty but beauty of the spirit, of the heart.

Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Sam. 16:7)

Rather than find false assurance in Matt's love and devotion to me, I needed to focus my eyes on the HEAVENLY Father, the one whom I live to please. Only when I focus my eyes on God's view of me, can I appreciate Matt's view of me and thus, my view of myself.


And some notes from a sermon too good to pass up:

Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

~We must not have higher expectations than we do for ourselves. We know that we sin, we must expect our children to sin. We know that Jesus came to free us from bondage, and in doing so, He also frees our children. We ought not say: Jesus died for my sins, because I am a Christian. But YOU-you might grow up to be a covenant breaker, so I just don't know about you yet.

~We don't expect our children to eat portions comparable to Papa's at the dinner table. Don't be discouraged if they don't take in the 'meat' of the sermon, or as much as adults would. The Lord nourishes to our capacity, He knows our frame.

Covenant Status does NOT equal Covenant Faithfulness. Two great temptations of the church: Covenantal presumption or Morbid Doubt...both ditches on either side of the road. Both are dangerous.

Marriage is an objective institution, just as baptism is. If you are married, you are not all of a sudden void of the sin of adultery. Rather, BECAUSE of that ring on your finger, adultery is made possible in the first place. Being baptized means you are covenantally attached to Christ. That doesn't mean you will not sin, or that there is potential to screw everything up in rebellion later on. It means you will be rebelling against God. You will BREAK covenant with God, because you are IN covenant with God. You can not break a covenant if you are not IN one in the first place.

When our children sin, if we automatically question assurance of salvation, we are preaching DOUBT-not FAITH. We are teaching them to WONDER, to question, to be discouraged. Teach FAITH.

Say "BECAUSE Christ is in your life, this sin has to go." Not: "You sinned. Maybe you aren't saved."

If our children are weak in faith they need to be ENCOURAGED, not discouraged.
If our children stumble, we need to pick them up, not kick them down again.

If Christ and Sin are inconsistent in our children's lives, banish the SIN, not Christ. Don't banish Christ from your children. In relation to worship, this means INCLUDE the children in all of it. Worship is geared to be edifying to ALL God's people. Children are also God's people. This means, children need to be taught that everything that God gives to his people is for THEM too. Anything they can reach. any way they can participate makes God happy. If they sing out in church, God is pleased-even if it is off pitch. If echoes of little amen's follow the Amen of the congregation, God is pleased-even if it sounds more like "A-bas". If they can reach the food and the drink, God is pleased for them to participate-even if they aren't capable of full understanding. Every good thing that God has reserved for His people ought to be given freely to His little people. Covenantally Faithful participation is PLEASING to the Lord. We do not say: "When my child is strong and healthy, I'll feed him" and then, when he dies of starvation say "Good thing I didn't waste any food on him, because He was going to die anyway."

Jesus says "Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give ye rest." He doesn't say, "Come on down if you are strong and can take it." He calls for the weak, the tired, the immature, the small. Children are weak. Children are small. Children are included. They qualify.

~Joshua says "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Don't question, "Johnny? Do you want to love God?" Say: "Johnny. WE love God because He first loved us." Tell them they are Christians and then teach them how to BE Christians. Teach them how to pray, how to praise, how to love God; MODEL it for them."

The question is always raised (and the one I have always struggled with personally) : "But, WHAT IF our children grow up to become covenant breakers?" Then...treat it as what it is: rebellion. Deal with rebellion as rebellion.

Don't deal with ignorance or WEAKNESS as rebellion. Don't take your weak, small children and treat them as if they are in rebellion. They are not.


Don't get your children to conform to the standards...teach them to find DELIGHT in them. Don't teach your children to obey the commandments or else, rather, teach them to LOVE the commandments of the Lord and, if they do, they will WANT to obey them and find delight in doing so.


*I realize that there are many different people that visit my blog, from all different walks of life. The scope is from professed athiests to all different denominations and backgrounds.

I realize that not all will agree with all that is said, or even SOME of it. That's okay. I didn't write it to preach to anyone other than myself.

I typed these things out with the SOLE purpose of squirreling these notes away where I will be able to look back upon them, rather than have loose bits of paper all about the house, just waiting to be lost.

That's all.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Making a Day of It

Last week Friday, Matt got the notion in his head that we ought to go to a Brewery. Anyone who knows Matt, knows he likes beer. He likes to make it, he likes to drink it, he likes to talk about it. So, I shouldn't have been surprised we would do something like this SOMEDAY. I was surprised by how excited it made him at the thought.

All week he talked about it, and always with a twinkle in his eye and a smile playing about on his lips.

Saturday morning came~and we were off.

I played photojournalist for the day while he sipped and sampled free beer. We were both in our element.

Here are a few artsy shots I liked. But if you like to make beer, drink beer, or talk about beer...or just would be interested in learning more about it, go to Matt's blog where that is THE subject going on. While you're at it, give him a shout out!

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Now, for MY turn.

After the Brewery tour, we headed to the State Capitol building. It was just a few miles down the road.

It was a bleak, gray day, the sky was one massive cloud looming above. It never did shed its contents (be it rain OR snow) and for that I am thankful. It was nice to stretch our legs stretch them we did. We marched our way around the whole building, trying to take it all in.
Of course, THAT was impossible.

We never did make it inside, it was closed to tourists, though admittedly, the outside alone kept us busy!

I posted all the photos I took so that I can find them again someday. I really go overboard with photographs. I am just SO thankful I have a blog and can avoid printing costs. We couldn't put food on the table if I printed all the photos I take, of THAT I am certain.

Let the show begin...

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The Big Picture

The front of the capitol building takes your breath away. The doorways carved, lampposts refined, the green-domed top the icing on the cake. But, the carvings guarding both sides of the door were what took your breath away.

But then...I saw the BACK of the capitol building.

Nothing could have prepared me for that. I was awe-struck.

Webs of staircases zigged and zagged visitors to the door. Hundreds of stairs, most barracaded off due to snow.
Acres of concrete squares, fountains, statues, pillars; all with the one task of drawing you into the building. They were captivating, they did their job.
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Little Miss Corynn

Corynn was in her element, from the moment she spied the 'BEeaUUUUUU-tiful building with the green top" to moment we waved it goodbye on our journey home.

She buzzed about, living out her dreams of castles, princesses, and all other wonders evoked from such a place. Occasionally, a few 'pretends' were not as grandious as the place. Above-she was returning from a wonderful visit at Gram's house.

Here, she followed a road to China.

And here, ah, here... She cracked both Papa and I up when she said "Pretend I am a woman who doesn't have a car, and I am going to wait for the bus." The look on her face says it all. She really gets into character.
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Why I love my Telephoto

This is a Golden Lady and this is why I love my telephoto lens.

Might I give you a reference as to where I was standing?

A magnifying dream come true.
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~The carvings on the doorways were amazing. Intricate details were wherever the eye rested, amazing.

I loved how she was holding her baby Laura's hands.

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Oh yeah~I was there too. :-)

It's a shame we were unable to go inside the building, but there is no question in my mind that we WILL be back. There were several other places I would like to visit, The State Museum, The National Civil War Museum-and most of all, I want to tour the INSIDE of the Capitol, which I am told is home to a Waterford Crystal chandalier that weighs as much as two elephants and sports mosaic flooring in the shapes of all the state insects, flowers, birds, etc. Oh-to see such grand sights!

America, the BEAUTIFUL
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Friday, February 22, 2008


I am ready for the lamb, but it seems the lion is not ready to give up his reign.

This snow fall is one that I don't mind though. The flakes are more like powderpuffs falling from the sky. The wind has decided to be kind and only very calmly reminds us she is there on occasion. There is no noise but the teeny fairy pit-pit of snowflakes falling on your jacket, and only that if you open both ears, stop breathing, and make wrinkles of concentration on your brow.

The air is mild, the snow is bright, walking isn't trecherous, and frostbite isn't a concern on the tips of our noses.

It's a fresh feeling, and a welcome one.

Even in winter, I get bouquets!

Corynn thought it would be a good idea to bring her umbrella and then, immediately pawned it off on her brother to hold while she picked up the 'treasures' she found, this particular time, snowflakes.

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