Saturday, June 29, 2013

Random Life

My garden is just gorgeous this week! Lilies are blooming everywhere we look or drive.

The roses continue to do well and I am thankful for several storms this week that kept the garden well-watered!

The newest rose has finally bloomed. It has a lovely scent and is a pretty lavender color. I hope the bush will grow quickly and the blooms will be even bigger next year.

We are keeping in touch with Daddy via cell phone. It's so cute to watch Laura talk. She keeps asking if Daddy is still driving.

 The cone flowers are blooming now and bees are buzzing everywhere. I bought a hummingbird feeder and now we have the hummingbirds feeding on our back patio. I just love watching them. They are too sweet.

This back patio is making me SO happy! It is right off the kitchen and several times a day I walk outside just to observe the flowers and plants and see what is happening.

We have one tall sunflower already blooming and this one is growing in the patio garden. Birds LOVE them.

The kids went to VBS this week. This certain VBS serves dinner before the sessions. How nice is that!? We ate dinner there twice and I appreciated not having to cook!

Laura thought VBS (which she called BBS) was so fun! She actually learned some important things too!

My mom came over one day to help me with some "summer house projects" and made pizza for us in the evening. Here is the gluten pizza.

We all love watching storms roll in and find the clouds amazing. Very thankful that there has been no storm damage!

Well, it is the final hours of the week. A few more things to tidy and straighten up. Dinner to cook. Maybe a pool trip to fit in? Definitely some audio books and maybe an episode of All Creatures Great and Small. Happy Weekend to you!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Words and Wool

I finally picked my sweater back up again and have made some good progress. I'm not a big sweater knitter because it takes determination and patience to get to the end of such a project! I'm definitely more into smaller projects such as shawls or doll clothes!

I have taken to keeping a very easy shawl project by my quiet time chair and in my purse. I finished the first one this week and it is blocking. It is the perfect color for fall.

As for reading, I did finish up several good books this week:

The Life and Times of Call the Midwife: The Official Companion to Season One and Two by Heidi Thomas is a beautiful, photo-filled book about the making of the television series Call the Midwife. I find the series very gripping and emotional (in a good way) and this book added in little details and behind the scenes glimpses. I'm looking forward to Season Three!

  Uprooted: A Guide for Homesick Christians by Rebecca VanDoodewaard is an excellent little book on the subject of homesickness. Rebecca covers such topics as: What to do before you leave, What makes homesickness worse, What makes homesickness better, Homesick with kids, Homesick and single, Staying in touch, The good side of living far from home, and Helping others with homesickness.

Until reading this book I hadn't thought that much about how homesickness may have affected me over the years. Having lived in 16 different places since my birth, I never looked at myself as being homesick. In fact, as a child, I loved moving because it was a new adventure. But, I think looking back, I've struggled with this all along. Not that I want to up and leave where I am now. (Please, no more moving and saying goodbye!) But, I think there is something healthy about realizing that it is normal to have holes in your life from where your soul was torn away from people or places that you loved. For Christians, this reminds us that someday, in heaven, we will be home forever and every single ache and pain of things "left behind" will be filled with the presence of God Himself.

I'm taking away from the book a few lessons: don't deny that moving hasn't hurt but also remember the memories I have that would have never come without moving and, be aware of those around me who may also be struggling in this way. In a way, I think I'm just a bit fearful of going back to Scotland for a visit and then repeating the goodbyes and heartache of leaving all over again. I probably need to keep this book closeby!

Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore is the book we used in my Bible study this spring. It couldn't have been more timely for the things going on in my own life. This book is all about God's providence -- His using the sticky, messy, ugly, seemingly random as well as the beautiful to work His purposes in our lives. So far, this is my favorite Beth Moore study.

Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle by Mary MacLeod is a book I just dived into. A take off of Call the Midwife, this book will be stories about life on a remote Scottish Island and Mary's work as a district nurse. I'll let you know more.....

For more ideas on knitting and reading, check out Ginny's Yarn Along.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Mondays are for Grace

"Our mistake is to think of grace as deliverance from problems;
in reality it is the ability to persevere in the midst of those problems."

-- Relationships, A Mess Worth Making

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Garden

My garden is bringing me so much joy this year! It's been perfect weather for roses and this miniature rose bush has been covered in roses.

I think this is the third year for my patio garden and it is finally looking really nice and makes a very inviting place to go and sit if the sun and shade are right!

 The daisies under the bird feeder have grown so huge! Hmmmm.....maybe there is a reason why.

I'm not being so ambitious with my vegetable garden this year. To get lots of things from it I would really need to invest a lot of time and nutrients into the soil and I'm just not. So, I've focused more on herbs, volunteer tomatoes, pole beans, volunteer sunflowers and a few cucumbers.

My Queen Elizabeth climber is looking beautiful!

And the side of the house is one long, huge, full garden of perennials. I just love it!

For some reason zinnias haven't come up well for a number of people this year so we'll see if I get many of those. I'll have to take more pictures of the front and other side sometime. Nothing too exciting at this point but each season will have something lovely.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Tea Trolley

We had berry cobbler and tea with an old family friend this past week.

For Father's Day we found Michael a new teapot to take on his journeys. Rachel decided to knit a tea cozy for him and, since Michael is spending his summer studying Hebrew, she adorned the tea cozy with the Hebrew word for father.

Rachel's Bible study night finds me at Starbucks with a friend, drinking something hot and sharing knitting and books.

We had the treat of old friends returning to town for a visit this week and we shared a morning of tea and scones together. It is always fun to see how much kids have grown and hear news in person instead of just on Facebook.

Well, it's the first day of Summer! Probably about time I started trying to drink some iced tea! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Painting with Mom

Last Saturday my mom and I participated in Zionsville's Plein Air Paint Out. It was a very special day!

I never met my maternal grandparents and lived most of my life far, far away from other relatives. Thus, I think I am particularly conscious of what a privilege it is to have my mother alive and nearby! Learning from her art talent is something that I have always wanted to take advantage of and the only way it is going to happen is if I try to hard to make a priority of it.

In the four hours that we had, we managed to paint 3 different scenes around the village. Our favorite scene was 180 Main street -- a bright blue house with white trim and pink flowers. The best thing was the owner was so friendly and gave us a tour of her garden, fed us cold water bottles, and sat with Christina on her porch and talked knitting while mom and I worked.

Emily popped by to say hello and Christina walked around with us. (It used to be that Christina and I were always mistaken for twins. Now it seems that it is Christina and Emily who are the twins.)

It is not easy attempting art when you have a mother who is so talented (however that has everything to do with my own pride and nothing to do with my mom's). However, I finally realized I needed to throw that aside and start from the bottom up. I find it sadly humorous that so many of the lessons I need to learn in art are the same ones I need to learn in life: smooth the edges, values (dark darks next to light lights and a bit of the in between -- as in life, to be beautiful, has to include both the deep hardships and the great joys, often right next to each other), simplify, etc.

Here is mom's rendition of a back gate:

The back gate:

 I chose this view:

And came up with this:

At 2 p.m. we came back to the town center to post one of our paintings each for the art show.

Mom's painting is in the middle and she won second place in the amateur category!!!

People could sell their work too. This painting had $495 on the price tag (???)

We met the nicest artist and here is one of her paintings. It won first place in the amateur category:

This was mom's favorite in the show:

It was so fun to do this together!! Mom used to do this kind of thing with her mom all the time, so it kind of gave me a glimpse into their lives. I am always trying to paint my grandmother in my mind from the bits and pieces of information I have gathered over the years and this was another little part. It was a great day out!