Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Apple of Your Eye

"Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me in the shadow of your wings,
Psalm 17:8

Monday, October 29, 2007


Michael was out of town for church business a few days last week so we were happy to have Mrs. Glasheen and then Grandma here at our house to help. The children had lots of fun doing all sorts of activities.

One day the house was filled with butterflies, bees, and moths and these creatures performed a darling little play for us, beginning with a scene at "Starbugs".

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I found this quote today and really liked it:

"Simplicity is the
ultimate sophistication."
--Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, October 25, 2007


A friend brought us an IKEA catalog today! We don't have an IKEA near to us, but a friend away at college is close to a store and we might just be able to convince her to pick something up for us sometime.

The catalog brings back so many memories. When we lived in Scotland, we got a number of things from IKEA for our little house. The best memory is of us travelling to IKEA by public transport.

We didn't have a vehicle of our own in Scotland, so we learned to get places by various means. One Bank Holiday we decided to head for IKEA. We set out on foot from our house and walked about half a mile to the train station. There we boarded a train for Glasgow. Once in Glasgow, we walked part way across town to the banks of the Clyde river. There we got on to a boat taxi that took us about 45 minutes up the Clyde to the Braehead shopping area. Leaving the boat, we manoeuvred our way across several large carparks to the entrance of IKEA. We made it!!! And, we even randomly met some friends there from our little town.

After our enjoyable walk round IKEA, and a cup of tea in their restaurant, we started the long journey back by foot, boat, train, and foot once more. It was definately a fun day out. I think staying home and shopping by catalog will be a lot easier this time around. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Remains of the Day

My Mom arrived yesterday with a great big handful of leaves for me to "oooh" and "aaah" over. The kids later stuck them between wax paper and brought some up to put on one of my windows.

The day is gently fading away as I write. Last night a bright glow out the window caught my eye. The scene outside mesmerized me. There stood the autumn-colored treetops, set on fire by the light of the sun, against a slate-colored backdrop of sky. The only things lit in the whole picture were the rich orange leaves of the trees. Somehow the sun had managed to shine only on those spots.

I sat there in awe of this beautiful scene and watched until the light faded. I turned away, but then was swept back in as a huge rainbow appeared between the trees, shooting up into the heavens. All I could do was just sit there, wide-eyed, drinking in the extra-ordinary ending of a very ordinary day.

I am reminded of that deep desire in us to create, to bring beauty out of bits of chaos, to capture what we see in nature and share it with others in a myriad of forms. It is a mark of the Creator on his creatures, reminding us that we were made in His image.

And what gifts these displays of God's handiwork are -- bringing encouragement to our hearts, just when we need it.

We watched "March of the Penguins" last night and it was absolutely amazing! I can't believe how hard their lives are and all the sacrifice they go through to raise their young. I highly recommend this documentary.
And here is Baby Cakes after enjoying his dinner the other night. What a mess! He is all into noises just now and loves to get a book and sit in a lap and imitate animal noises.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bits and Pieces from the Week

Here are the boys, all dressed up for church. It is very hard (with no energy) to get a good shot, but here's the best of the lot. :)

James told me tonight he is getting me a PT Cruiser for my birthday. The next thing he said was that he would "tow it here." That doesn't sound so good.... He also indicated he'd be having 10 children when he grows up. :)

My sister Christina took the kids on Saturday after Andrew's soccer game. My other sister Emily casually mentioned in conversation later in the day. "Yes, I guess Christina cut David's hair." "What?????????" Thanks for clueing me in AFTER the fact! My poor baby, losing his little wisps of baby curls. "Did she save a piece?" I asked. I think Emily thought I was nuts. But, I think I do have a piece from the very first little bits I had to cut off months ago. Anyway, thanks, C, everyone's hair looks great, and David's really did need to be cut. :)

Yes, VICTORIA is back! Can you believe it!!!! We all felt it was a bit early for Christmas, and didn't feel in the mood. But, we are happy to have the magazine back and can't wait for future issues.
One day this week Rachel was bored, so I suggested she make some greeting cards. I gave her some of my cardstock and stickers and the idea to put a Scripture verse on the front. She brought me back her first creation which definately gave me a big smile for the day. I quietly read to myself, "Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays [the] simple." Job 5:2.

I told Rachel what a great job she did and off-handedly suggested she try the book of Psalms for the next few cards. :)

Here is another "View from Bed". I am so thankful for the beauty of my bedroom (even though it's not really decorated yet, just painted and furnished).
And here is my big girl! A friend passed on some clothes and we were all delighted with this outfit. What a precious gift Rachel is. The Lord knew I needed a capable little girl to help me with all that I cannot do.

Quote of the Week:

"When the goodness, joy, and glories of life cease to be perceived by our five, physical senses, our only remaining means to know such things is through our faith -- that which we know to be true by revelation rather than personal experience or observation."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lead Kindly Light

Lead Kindly Light
Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
lead thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
lead thou me on;
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene;
one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus,
nor prayed that thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose, and see my path;
But now lead thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long thy power hath blessed me,
Sure it still will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent,
Till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since,
And lost awhile.
Lead kindly Light.
by: C.H. Purdy

Friday, October 19, 2007

Books To Read

A Shepherd's Watch by David Kennard
The Dogs of Windcutter Down by David Kennard

I am so enjoying these books! They tell the story of the life of a shepherd and his family in Devon, England. Since I love reading about farms, and England, and country life, these books hit big points for me.

A Shepherd's Watch goes through the year, season by season, telling of the tasks and activities of the shepherd and his sheepdogs. I haven't gotten through it yet (I read the other first) but am really enjoying it, as well as the beautiful pictures.

The Dogs of Windcutter Down tell the story of how the shepherd tries to recover from the outbreak of foot and mouth, take care of his sheep, and look for ways to make extra income. It is very endearing and beautifully written.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I just finished reading this for the first time! (Is that hard to believe!) It was such a relaxing book to read -- to let my mind wander back in time and enjoy the romance of the age without the harsh realities of what life was really like back then (especially for the not so wealthy). And, as always, the right men match up with the right women (at least the good men and women). Sometimes it seems a little too good to be true, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

Alison Weir is a very well-researched author. This is her first historical novel, she normally writes historical biographies. This book tells the story of Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for eight days following the death of Henry VIII's son. It is so well-written, and so close to history, and very gripping.

I believe the picture above (if I remember right) is looking out the window from where Jane was held prisoner, overlooking the sight where she was to be executed.

Next on my list by Alison Weir is The War of the Roses. Children of England was the first book I read by Weir and it was very good.

Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser

I don't trust Antonia as much as I do Alison Weir, but I do feel as though I got a much better understanding of Marie Antoinette from this book. It's hard to know - the English hate the French and the French hate the English and the French hated Marie Antoinette -- so how can we get to the bottom of the truth? (Fraser is English)

Reading the book I felt such pity and admiration for Marie Antoinette. This is the book off of which the movie is based. The movie, surprisingly, follows the book quite closely. Although, it can be debated whether Marie actually had an affair with Fersen. Antonia Fraser admits evidence can go either way -- Fraser wants to think Marie was unfaithful and had a wonderful fling with Fersen. I prefer to think Marie was faithful to her husband. Okay, her husband was not the greatest by any means, but he was determined to be faithful to Marie after seeing the havic wreaked in his family by all the mistresses.

Anyway, the book is a bit thick, and hard to get through at times. But, with time on my hands, I was glad for the education it gave me and I was glad to get a bit more of a sympathetic view of Marie Antoinette than the one they gave us at Versailles!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Last of Summer

Mom brought these on Tuesday and said they would be the last of Summer.
I just love pink zinnias!
My latest "trick" is teaching Baby Cakes to "smell" flowers. Michael was surprised the other day when I showed him that David could smell (and not grab) the flowers.
I didn't quite catch the sniff.
This tiny garden may not look great, but it was a very pleasant surprise. When I went to bed this summer the plants were about 2 inches high. I gave up on them, knowing the soil was horrendous and the watering outside of my responsibility. How surprised I was to look out the window in September and find the flowers in bloom!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Keeping Up With The Jones'

Michael and I had a good laugh this morning. Despite my being confined to bed, I still seem to be keeping up with what is happening with the neighbors.

Several years ago I spent 9 months on the couch, looking out the window observing the five houses I could see from where I lay, and their occupants. I was not acquainted with these neighbors, but got to know them in my mind as I imagined their lives from their comings and goings. I even figured out a mystery or two by the time we moved.

In my new neighborhood, I've been narrating events to Michael concerning the house I see out to the right of our bedroom window. So far, the short story is:

When we moved in people were living in the house. One day, some of the contents moved out, and I assumed perhaps there had been a divorce. Several months later the house became totally vacant. With some other sleuthing, I determined the house was up for sale by the bank. Recently it has been painted inside. With a bad hail storm this summer I saw an inspector come out and mark the roof. I assumed his findings were: not enough damage. This morning a man and woman team arrived to inspect again and I watched the woman mark the roof with chalk. I decided she had found more evidence and determined: enough damage to warrant a new roof. So, now I'm just trying to determine who sent which inspector. Most likely the next show I'll be watching is the installation of a new roof. The entertainment one can find from a second story window!
Here are the roses again after they've opened up. I'm certain God sent them straight from Heaven through my friends, to me, knowing I needed that visible encouragement from Him.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall Has Arrived!

The winds of Fall have blown in and with them came a very unexpected delivery -- 36 mini roses to our doorstep!Friends from church had ordered flowers for me to help cheer me up and bring a bit of Autumn beauty to our home.
There were two bunches of flowers expertly packed with florist foam at the bottom keeping the stems hydrated.
Here they are in the vase that came inside the box. They've opened up just a bit since I took these pictures.
I am captivated by the speckled roses -- I've never seen them before and they are just gorgeous in real life!

I must say I was so blessed by these lovely flowers and the sweet thoughts from our friends. I can count on one hand how many times I've received flowers delivered, so this was a big deal. (Lest you think poorly of my husband, he is very thoughtful and likes to bring me flowers when possible -- in Scotland flowers were cheap and easily accessible, so Michael brought them home a lot. We just have not indulged much in "delivery")

I have this memory as a young child of about 6 of my Uncle Bill sending me flowers for my birthday -- all done up in an arrangement and delivered by the local florist. I suddenly remembered that today and thought how nice a thing that was to do. Think how grown up and important that made me feel!

Now, I shall have to save my next post for tomorrow, or whenever I feel up to it. I'm anxious to create a post all about the various books I've been reading....

This is a Story of a Pumpkin

Rachel loves to write stories. It seems every time I turn around she has another little book to show me. She wrote this story of a pumpkin recently and sent it home with Grandma to illustrate. Here is the final version:This is a story of a pumpkin
Once upon a time there was a pumpkin patch
One day one pumpkin rolled away into the woods
A man found it. He took it home.
He cooked onions and tomatoes
then ate the pumpkin for dinner

the end.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Where is Fall?

Everyone is wondering what has happened to Fall, here in the Midwest. (This picture is from last year.) We've had temperatures in the mid to upper 80's for nearly a week. Rumor has it that cooler weather will be arriving at the end of the week. I just am lamenting the fact that as soon as we can turn the air off and open the windows, we'll have to close them to keep the heat in.

I'm not sure anything very exciting happened here over the weekend. We did get a surprise call from my Mom on Saturday wondering if we could use some help. Her boss told her she could leave 3 hours early from work. I had been praying all week that God would send someone to do the ironing. Michael had no trousers or short sleeve shirts left by Saturday, but I was still praying. I was so thankful for Mom's unexpected call and for all the ironing she did.

Baby Cakes is growing up and becoming more willful. He's figured out how to scream when his siblings annoy him. He has ceased to be that sweet little thing that smiled all day long. (He still smiles and does very cute things, but he also can scream now.) Today he insisted on sitting on my lap, or on the book, or on Andrew while we tried to do school. He says, "Uppum."

I suppose those are all the ramblings for now. I haven't taken many pictures recently.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Color Change

I've been wondering about colors on my blog. I chose the black originally so the photos would stand out, but was wondering if that was too harsh on the eyes. So, I switched to green, but now am wondering if that is too bright on the eyes. :) Maybe my dear artist readers can help me out -- what color is good for the photos?

12 Chairs, 10 Stories

For some time I've had in mind a series of "stories" to publish on my blog. The stories are about the acquisition of the various chairs around our home.

A number of you read the Eyes of Wonder blog that we all loved so much. Interestingly, it was that blog that got me interested in blogging and introduced me to many of the blogs I now read. I know many of you started journals similar to what Jewels showed on her blog. My sisters and I had an afternoon of pure fun getting ours started and then I never got to writing in it until I was stuck in bed. It's funny how much I found to write in my journal when I was doing nothing but sitting in bed all day!

Anyway, as you will notice in some of the sample pages below, I seem to have a thing about chairs. I noticed I kept being drawn to chairs and found them pasted all over the pages of my journal. Maybe a chair symbolizes rest and relaxation and that's why I like them so much.
Then I mentally looked around my house and realized our house is covered with all sorts of various chairs, each with an interesting story. And that's where I got the idea to tell some of the stories behind the 12 interesting chairs we have right now.
We moved home from Scotland nearly two years ago with 13 pieces of luggage and 30 boxes (20 being books). We had our wedding presents in storage, with some furniture that amounted to Michael's desk, our bed, and a few dressers. Friends so kindly donated any bits and pieces they had and then we started keeping our eyes out for odds and ends at garage sales and thrift stores.

This chair, and its twin, sits at the far end of our kitchen/dining room. There are five windows surrounding this area and the light that comes in makes the room so cheerful and inviting.

One Monday evening as we were taking the garbage out to the sidewalk, Michael noticed a wicker chair sitting by one of our neighbor's curb, quite obviously meant for the garbage. We decided to give it a home (that night we also acquired another chair I'll mention some time, a coffee table and a garden hose winder). It took a bit of work to clean the chipped paint, and a spray can or two of white paint, but then we had a nice wicker chair for the kitchen.

Several weeks later Michael was driving into our development one Saturday and saw ANOTHER wicker chair in front of the same house. Since it wasn't garbage night yet, he decided to knock and ask about the chair. The owner heard Michael's story and was so pleased we wanted the chair, and delighted we had the first one too! So, down the street came Michael with the wicker twin which we then cleaned and painted.

Early in the summer I managed to find some material I really liked at Walmart and got two pillows sewn for the chairs. I still have plans to sew cushions for the seat bottoms.......

So, that is the story of the first two chairs. When I feel like it, I'll put up another story. :)