Thursday, August 30, 2007
The 1st baby came at 9:27 and she weighed 5.5 oz. (Chocolate)
The 2nd baby came at 9:53 and he weighed 3.5 oz. (Wilbur)
The 3rd baby came at 10:27 and she weighed 5 oz (Vanilla)
Sorry about the redness of the pictures. We had the heating lamp on and so it turned everything red.
<---Morning Glory muffins.
<---It was really foggy that morning. I absolutely loved it!
<---Their dirt road. I also LOVE dirt roads!
<---Walking down the dirt road.
<---He's holding my hand! :)
<---Looking over the sea of beans.
<---Spider man shoes!
<---Their absolutely adorable puppy!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
But when the sky grows darker and courage turns to fear,
My anxious voice cries upward with words You long to hear.
Lord, I need you when the sea of life is calm.
O Lord, I need You when the wind is blowing strong.
Whether trials come or cease, keep me always on my knees.
Lord, I need You. Lord I need You.
Lord, help me to remember I'm weak but You are strong.
I cannot sing apart from You, for Lord, You are my song.
Although I'm prone to wander and boast in all I do;
Lord, keep my eyes turned upward so I depend on You.
Lord, I need you when the sea of life is calm.
O Lord, I need You when the wind is blowing strong.
Whether trials come or cease, keep me always on my knees.
Lord, I need You. Lord I need You
WORDS: Ron Hamilton, 1950-
MUSIC: Ron Hamilton, 1950-
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The surgeon saith,
Suffer awhile this irksomeness of pain;
This broken limb shall soon be well again;
Yea, what is more,
Be stronger for all service than before.
So come I, broken heart,
To ease thy smart,
With promises the future will make good.
Bear thou in patience Sorrow's solitude,
For she, at length
Will lead thee forth in manliness and strength.
Yes, and in strength unknown
When joy alone
Held thee within her nerveless arms, until
Thou hadst lost courage, lost all force of will.
God will restore
That which he brake, and give it strength the more.
Will make thee strong and wise
For thou wilt know to soothe, with tender hands,
The sufferings thou hast learned to understand;
And to the weak
What words of inspiration thou wilt speak!
Thou wilt be strong in love;
Soft as a dove,
Yet hovering as on eagle's wings around
The spot where loneliness and grief are found,
And healing bring,
In grateful memory of a broken wing.
Thou wilt have strength unpriced
To work for Christ!
To testify of Him whom pain alone
Could to the human soul Himself make known;
To watch and pray,
Stronger upon each morrow than to-day.
-Elizabeth Prentiss, Golden Hours, pg. 54-55
Friday, August 24, 2007
The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect
the dress underneath, but along with that, it served
as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven;
it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on
occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying
eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to
be finished in the warming oven. When company came
those old aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids
and when the weather was cold,
grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,
bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling-wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls.
In the fall it was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road,
it was surprising how much furniture that old apron
could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out on the porch
and waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in
from the fields for dinner.
It will be a long time before anyone invents something
that will replace that old-time apron.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Looking through the eyes of an artist - As the story goes, one day a colossal cube of marble was delivered to Michelangelo's art studio. He walked around it several times, at first surveying it from a step back, then looking at it closely. He touched it with his hands and even pressed his face against the cold block of stone. Suddenly he grabbed a mallet and a chisel and swung mightily. Blow after blow caused small chips of marble as well as large chunks to fly in every direction.
Watching in awe, his apprentice screamed above the noise of shattering stone, "What are you doing? You are ruining a perfect piece of marble!"
With the passion of an artist with a vision, Michelangelo answered, "I see an angel in there, and I've got to get him out!"
Looking through the eyes of the Master Artist - My friend, God looks at you with the same kind of eyes Michelangelo looked at the piece of marble. God sees in you the image of Christ, and he wants to set the beauty free. The "process" is freeing that "angel." In the words of Jeremiah, the process of life involves plans for good and "not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV)
From time to time, you and I may - like Michelangelo's apprentice - cry out to God in bewilderment and terror, "What are you doing? You are ruining a perfect piece of marble!" Such a cry reveals our failure to understand the Artist, His vision, and the process of His work. God picks up his hammer and chisel and, acting out of His infinite love and wisdom, starts chipping away at the piece of marble that is our life. He carefully knocks off the unimportant, the meaningless, and the excess. His chisel cuts away the flaws and removes all that is ugly. While at times the process may be puzzling and even painful, we can be secure in the knowledge that it is for good, not evil. God wants to make us Christlike and perfect. He wants to make us His masterpiece!
Learning from the old masters - For a perspective on these puzzling and painful times, consider another example from the world of art. To give depth to a painting, Old World artists would first wash their white canvases with black. Only by beginning with black could they later achieve the contrast, color, dimension, and depth they desired. After all, no painting is a masterpiece that possesses only one color or one intensity.
When the canvas of our life seems to be washed with black, we can remember the promise of Jeremiah 29:11, that the end will be good. We can let God's Word enable us to stand secure in the hope that when God completes His good plans, our lives will have greater depth, more interesting dimensions, and remarkable intensity.
-Elizabeth George, Loving God With All Your Mind, pg. 233-234-
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
"Oh, it's too bad," sobbed Lucy, "they might have left the body alone."
"Whose done this?" cried Susan. "What does it mean? Is it more magic?"
"Yes!" said a great voice behind their backs. "It is more magic."
They looked round. There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"Oh, Aslan!" cried both the children, staring up at him, almost as much frightened as they were glad.
Aren't you dead then, dear Aslan?" said Lucy.
"Not now," said Aslan.
"You're not-not a-?" asked Susan in a shaky voice. She couldn't bring herself to say the word ghost.
Aslan stooped his golden head and licker her forehead. The warmth of his breath and a rich sort of smell that seemed to hang about his hair came all over her.
"Do I look it?" he said.
"Oh , you're real, you're real! Oh, Aslan!" cried Lucy and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses.
"But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
"It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still that she does not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead. The Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards. And now-"
"Oh yes. Now?" said Lucy jumping up and clapping her hands.
"Oh, children," said the Lion, "I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!" He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high above their heads and landed on the other side of the Table. Laughing , though she didn't know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hill-top he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind. And the funny thing was that when all three finally lay together panting in the sun the girls no longer felt in the least tired or hungry or thirsty.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
. . . The whole of that vile rabble came sweeping off the hill-top and down the slope right past their hiding-place.
. . . As soon as the wood was silent again Susan and Lucy crept out into the open hill-top. The moon was getting low and thin clouds were passing across her, but still they could see the shape of the great Lion lying dead in his bonds. And down they both knelt in the wet grass and kissed his cold face and stroked his beautiful fur - what was left of it - and cried till they could cry no more. And then they looked at each other and held each other's hands for mere loneliness and cried again; and then again were silent. At last Lucy said,
"I can't bear to look at that horrible muzzle. I wonder could we take it off?"
So they tried. And after a lot of working at it (for their fingers were cold and it was now the darkest part of the night) they succeeded. And when they saw his face without it they burst out crying again and kissed it fondled it and wiped away the blood and the foam as well as they could. And it was all more lonely and hopeless and horrid than I know how to describe.
"I wonder could we untie him as well?" said Susan presently. But the enemies, out of pure spitefulness had drawn the cords so tight that the girls could make nothing of the knots.
. . . Hours and hours seemed to go by in this dead calm, and they hardly noticed that they were getting colder and colder. But at last Lucy noticed two other things. One was that the sky on the East side of the hill was a little less dark than it had been an hour ago. The other was some tiny movement going on in the grass at her feet. At first she took no interest in this. What did it matter? Nothing mattered now! But at last she saw that whatever-it-was had begun to move up the upright stone of the Stone Table. And now whatever-they-were were moving about on Aslan's body. She peered close. They were grey things.
"Ugh!" said Susan from the other side of the Table. "How beastly! There are horrid little mice crawling over him. Go away, you little beasts." And she raised her hand to frighten them away.
"Wait!" said Lucy who had been looking at them more closely still. "Can you see what they're doing?"
Bother girls bent down and stared.
"I do believe!" said Susan. "But how queer. They're nibbling away at the cords!"
"That's what I thought," said Lucy. "I think they're friendly mice. Poor little things - they don't realise he's dead. They think it'll do some good untying him."
It was quite definitely lighter by now. Each of the girls noticed for the first time the white face of the other. They could see the mice nibbling away; dozens and dozens, even hundreds, of little field mice. And at last, one by one, the ropes were all gnawed through.
. . . They felt colder than they had been all night. The mice crept away again.
The girls cleared away the remains of the gnawed ropes. Aslan looked more like himself without them. Every moment his dead face looked nobler, and the light grew and they could see it better.
In the wood behind them a bird gave a chuckling sound. It had been so still for hours and hours that it startled them. Then another bird answered it. Soon there were birds singing all over the place.
It was quite definitely early morning now, not late night.
. . . They walked to and fro more times than they could count between the dead Aslan and the Eastern ridge, trying to keep warm and oh, how tired their legs felt. Then at last, as they stood for a moment looking out towards the sea and Cair Paravel (which they could now just make out) the red turned to gold along the line were the sea nd the sky met and very slowly up came the edge of the sun. At that moment they heard from behind them a deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant's plate.
"What's that?" said Lucy, clutching Susan's arm.
"I-I feel afraid to turn around," said Susan; "something awful is happening."
"They're doing something worse to him," said Lucy. "Come on!" And she turned, pulling Susan round with her.
The rising of the sun had made everything look so different - all the colours and shadows were changed - that for a moment they didn't see the important thing. Then they did. The Stone Table was broken into two pieces by a great crack that ran down it from end to end; and there was no Aslan.
-C.S. Lewis, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, pg. 153-158-
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
A great crowd of people were standing all around the stone Table and though the moon was shinning many of them carried torches which burned with evil-looking red flames and black smoke. But such people! Ogres with monstrous teeth, and wolves, and bull-headed men; spirits of evil trees and poisonous plant; and other creatures whom I won't describe because if I did the grown-ups would probably not let you read this book - Cruels and hags and Incubuses, Wraiths, Horrors, Efreets, Sprites, Orknies, Wooses, and Ettins. In fact here were all those who were on the Witch's side. . . And right in the middle, standing by the Table, was the witch herself.
A howl and a gibber of dismay went up from the creatures when they first saw the great Lion pacing towards them, and for a moment the Witch herself seemed to be struck with fear. Then she recovered herself and gave a wild, fierce laugh.
"The fool!" she cried. "The fool has come. Bind him fast."
Lucy and Susan held their breaths waiting for Aslan's roar and his spring upon his enemies. But it never came. Four hags, grinning and leering, yet also (at first) hanging back and half afraid of what they had to do, had approached him. "Bind him, I saw!" repeated the White Witch. The hags made a dart at him and shrieked with triumph when they found that he made no resistance at all. Then others - evil dwarfs and apes - rushed in to help them and between them they rolled the huge Lion round his back and tied all his four paws together, shouting and cheering as if they had done something brave, though, had the Lion chosen, one of those paws could have been the death of all of them. But he made no noise, even when the enemies, straining and tugging, pulled the cords so tight that they cut into his flesh. Then they began to drag him towards the Stone Table.
"Stop!" said the Witch. "Let him first be shaved."
. . . Snip-snip-snip went the shears and masses of curling gold began to fall to the ground. Then the ogre stood back and the children, watching from their hiding-place, could see the face of Aslan looking all small and different without its mane. The enemies also saw the difference. "Why, he's only a great cat after all!" cried one.
"Is that what we were afraid of?" said another.
. . . "Muzzle him!" said the witch. And even now, as they worked about his face putting on the muzzle, one bite from his jaws would have cost two or three of them their hands. But he never moved. And this seemed to enrage all that rabble. Every one was at him now.
. . . At last the rabble had had enough of this. They began to drag the bound and muzzled Lion to the Stone Table, some pulling and some pushing. He was so huge that even when they got him there it took all their efforts to hoist him onto the surface of it.
. . . When once Aslan had been tied (and tied so that he was really a mass of cords) on the flat stone, a hush fell on the crowd.
. . . Then she began to whet her knife. Then just before she gave the blow, she stooped down and said in a quivering voice,
"And now, who has won?"
. . . The children did not see the actual moment of the killing. They couldn't bear to look and had covered their eyes.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
praise his name - I'm fixed upon it - name of God's redeeming love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by the help I've come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, bought me with his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee:
prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O, take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
-Robert Robinson, 1758, alt.-
Saturday, August 11, 2007
½ C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 Tbs. corn oil
½ C. all-purpose flour
½ C. cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 large Granny Smith apple (peeled and chopped)
1 C fresh or frozen raspberries without syrup (do not thaw frozen raspberries)
Heat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, corn oil, and egg. In another bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix slightly. Carefully fold in the raspberries and apples. Fill greased muffin tins. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes before removing the muffins from the tins. Serve warm. Makes one dozen muffins.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Not because I am successful at what I am doing,
Or because the people near me appreciate me,
Or because circumstances are easy,
But because God is, and he is my Father.
To look at the morning any other way
Is to believe a lie.
To live in hope is to live in truth;
To live in truth is to bring him glory;
To bring God glory is my daily living
Is the highest form of worship.
-Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp, How People Change, pg. 221-
Thursday, August 9, 2007
. . . In awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God; you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the "lord of terrible aspect," is present; not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, not the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist's love for his work and despotic as a man's love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father's love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes. . . It is certainly a burden of glory not only beyond our deserts but also, except in rare moments of grace, beyond our desiring.