Monday, November 28, 2011

Multitude 11.28.11

Matthew 1:20 "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

This passage gives me great hope. "But while he THOUGHT on these things..." Sometimes you just have to mull stuff over. When life doesn't go the way you assumed it might. When facts are confusing and gut-feelings can't be calmed. When you are in a period of "thinking on things", "BEHOLD"! Look out! Take Heart! God can show up.

And this is the message He speaks...

I know you.
I know your name.
I know where you come from.
Don't be afraid.
I know what's on your mind.
Do not be afraid.
I am working in this situation.
I'm in it and through it and over it:)

Then you step out in faith and watch the Truth unfold.

Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...

the chatter of children and dull roar of road noise as we journey toward togetherness
sliced turkey on wheat rolls in a big zipper bag --to be passed back at just the right time.
heads tilted against the window, mouths sprawled open, drool sneaking down the cheeks
good back seat sleep
five hours sitting near my man...updating, deliberating, dreaming big.

birthday celebrations
honest, healing hugs
cold night air
photos from the deer lease
cookie cake from the mall

the warmth and tidy comfort of my bedroom
the afghan Gramma Iona crafted
the extra large heating pad
the small pile of bedside books promising to lull me to sleep at just the right moment
the hidden basket of cough drops, tissue, and to problems within an arm's reach

opportunities to forebear and forgive and show grace...again and again
forgiveness for when I lose sight of the riches
knowing when to yield and when to stand strong
learning how to trust and obey
Truth as it unfolds


Monday, November 21, 2011

Multitude 11.21.11

Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...

Ardyn harvested her first doe yesterday....emotional, yet triumphant.

Ashlin held Elizabeth's hand really tight as they walked down the steep staircase at church.  Mari scolded Ash for "yanking Giz's arm off".  To which Ashlin offered, "Would it be better to have a sore arm, or crash down the stairs and break your face open and die?"  With little hesitation, Mari clarified, "Well, if you've accepted Jesus as your Savior, I guess it would be ok if you crashed and died."

Landen sat with his little sisters in church while Philip worked and I played the piano.

Luke sat at home with Elizabeth - waiting out the 24 hours without fever.

Overtime pay for Philip's emergency work on Sunday's.  I'm pleased that his company realizes there IS a difference in that set apart day.


We'll be able to see my mom and 3/4 of my brothers this week.

I anticipate a bubbling brew of togetherness --

sibling jabs and belly laughs,

hugging cousins with books & toys

Grammy and her coloring books

cooking and cleaning...a dance of generations skirting around and about the kitchen

late night conversations...dim lighting, hushed tones, going deep with/for lifelong understanding

morning coffee with bad hair, puffy eyes, and comfy smiles

 real-time, face-time updates and status alerts

the relaxation of laundry deferred.



Life more abundant


Marvelous Grace



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Filth & Fowl

From the backseat, I hear Ashlin say, "I wonder what Aunt Kathy will make for Thanksgiving." 

To which Mari confidently announced, "Oh!  She is fixing a gorgeous turkey with spinach leaves and oranges all around!" 

I turned to see where she got that information.  She shrugged her shoulders and said, "You SAID the picture on the front of your magazine was for Thanksgiving."

Time to hide the November issue of Good Housekeeping.

Aunt Kathy may not be planning to serve an extravagant bird, but we can be assured the food will be fresh and tasty.

Not like last Sunday's lunch.

For the first time in months, we went to a buffet as a family. The restaurant was NOT very clean and we were wondering about the freshness of the salad bar. Just then, Landen hypothesized,
"It tastes like somebody spilled sprite in the peaches."

Ok. Forks down, everyone!
And.....we're outa here.
Hand sanitizer and Pepto for dessert:)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zipper Bag Omelets

This is a reprint from years ago.

The kids requested it, so we made them again last night and remembered how much fun it is! 
We think it's a wonderful holiday idea for family gatherings...morning, noon or night:)
Ø  Set out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, potatoes, spinach, salsa, etc. (You can even use frozen onions, peppers, hash browns, and mushrooms)
Ø  Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Ø  Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into each freezer-zipper bag.  Zip & shake to scramble.
Ø  Each person adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shake. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up.
Ø  Place all the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling waterJ
Ø  Open the bags and the omelet will roll out easily. Be prepared to be thrilled & amazed.

I posted this recipe a couple years ago after receiving it in a world-wide email. ZipLock will not endorse this recipe, but Glad has no problemo. We've done it several times and the bags never melt or break. I guess there could be some kind of weird chemical breakdown of the plastics at boiling temperature...but the same myth concerning microwaves and plastics has circulated as well. We don't have a microwave, so I suppose if plastics are harmful at high heats, our statistics are still pretty good...even WITH the occasional omelet.

PLEASE write me if you think I'm putting my family in danger. This is NOT my goal:)  Someone call Christina!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Multitude 11.14.11

Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...

I'm so grateful for my family....this strong handsome man and these half dozen darlings.  For today's "multitude", I asked them each privately to share things for which they are grateful.  I was pleased with their quick, easy responses.  I found it interesting that they each share gratitude for many of the same things, but express it through their unique personalities.  This brings me joy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top Ten but Better:)

Today is 11/11/11. 

And I am a pattern NERD, so today is lovely by very virtue of it's recorded date.

So...for today....

Eleven ways my kids amuse me:
muffled chatting & giggling of roommates behind closed doors
the littlest one ALWAYS says "thanks for a great lunch, Mom"...she has heard it all her life.
when they gasp at my hair-do...45 seconds before I'm REALLY done.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Last week Philip and I attended STOMP in concert.  It was a great show.  Very impressive.  If you've never heard of them, here is a sampling.

STOMP video

This ensemble of shabbily clad musicians fill the auditorium with percussive rhythm...and ne'er once resort to conventional instruments.  Match boxes, brooms, paint cans, and inner tubes are fair game.  One particular selection was performed with the use of a large garbage bag, a plastic grocery bag, and a paper lunch sack.

One of the most impressively synchronized numbers of the night involved Zippo lighters.  Amazing.

As I marveled at the talent represented on stage, I wondered what disciplines - or combination of such - would lead an artist to THIS concert tour?  I would guess that dance (tap and modern), drum corps, and tumbling??  Perhaps even a study of history and tribal celebrations.  Such an intrigue.

It was wonderful to spectate for almost two hours at the seamless, continuous sputtering of precisely executed and artfully blended sounds.  But the music educator in me was thrilled by the lead performer's ability to involve the audience.  Hundreds of us echo clapped on his NON-verbal command.  He said nothing.  Just animated facial expressions accompanied by exaggerated body movements.  He clapped twice.  We clapped twice.  He clapped a passage of syncopation.  We echoed his line almost perfectly.  I was amazed.  With no spoken instruction or direction he was able to clearly communicate to a vast audience.  We collectively varied our volume, our tempo and one accord.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Kids Say

Ardyn made Blini - Russian Pancakes.  They are very similar to the crepes I made for French class in 9th grade.  As Luke tried one, he commented on the unfamiliar texture.  "They're kinda I think I could use this to open a jar."


Mari Alice has been on many 'dates' with Uncle JW to the duck pond behind the ETBU field house.  Donut Shop and Duck Pond go together like uncles and nieces.  Saturday as I pulled up to collect Luke from the last ETBU home game, Mari Alice shrieked from the backseat, "You mean they play football at the duckpond??"


Elizabeth Anne is a parrot.  She copies whatever she hears.  With two roughneck fellas, a mommy prone to pared-down expletives, and 3 older, sassier sisters, this activity can prove problematic.
"Stop it right now!" she spews.
"Seriously??" she tarts.
After missing a hole in one on the wii, she grunts, "Oh, dangit!"
"Hush you mouth!" works for the dog AND pesky siblings.

We have each made a fresh commitment to clean up our mouths (which we need to anyway) and offer her the opportunity to follow our example wholeheartedly.

Over the summer I learned to cook fresh green beans in a skillet with coconut oil and sea salt....until they are caramelized and yummy.  Last time I got out the skillet and beans, Ashlin announced to the household, "Uh-oh, guys, Mom is making burnt green beans again!"


Ardyn was at my bathroom mirror noticing how much she and I look alike.  With default levels of self-loathing, I muttered, "I know...I'm really sorry."  And with her characteristic redemptive love, she cheered, "Why are you sorry?  I think you're beautiful!  I'm glad I look like you!"

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Come Thou Fount

Last weekend was rough.  There are no hormones to blame.  Mere depravity.

As hard as I tried to be grateful and see things through Kingdom perspective, I failed. 

Honest wounds held silent then shed their coat and became fertile seeds of bitterness--finding deep rest and consistent nurture in the dishonest garden of my soul. 

Plants sprung overnight.
Wiry and wild --aggressive weeds of passivity and thorns of disdain.

In silence and false submission I kept trying to get over it.  I kept trying to move on.

I kept trying.

Then I had to stop.  Stop trying.  Stop murmuring.  Stop raging.  Stop.

And start over.
Confession.  Confession of sin, one with another.
Confession of hurt, perceived as real.
Confession of hope, claiming what forgiveness and abundant life might offer.
Confession of intent, a reformed resolve to trust harder than I try.

And in this grassy ground, this freshly weeded soil, I build my "Ebenezer" - my stone of help. (1Sam7:12) A reminder of God's faithfulness up to this point in the journey. (Joshua 4:4-24)

The foundation of this monument: Christ, who gave Himself up in every way.
And each small uttered stone, lain upon each other....words of grace to remember this place.

"Thank you for sharing your heart.  Thank you for your heart."
"I'm sorry and I want to be forgiven."
"I forgive you."
"I will do a better job leading this family so you don't have to run it."
"Dear Jee-thus, thank you for the dead deer. We love you. Amen."
"Dear God, please, please, please help us find my Momma's wedding ring." -A soul-honest prayer innocently offered through quivering lips.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,

Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Multitude 11.07.11

Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...

whole-hearted devotion
the end is never in question...despite the current confusion

conflict leading to resolution
the rupturing and repairing of relationship
strength training

harvested venison
the hope of hearty meals to come

financial planning
finding the beauty in "trust and obey"

corporate worship
Spirit circulating through the Body - promoting health, providing healing


generous folks who share in the extravagance
Sunday visits with friends from afar

bicycles of every size
balls of every color
open season for fun
impromptu family pow-wow in the bed of the truck

squash soup & spice bread
sugar powdered mouths and shirt fronts from Russian pancakes- sharing the sweetness with a delightful history project for the 5th grader


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Meditation on Colossians 1:29

"To this end
For this purpose:
Christ in you,
the hope of glory...
to present every person completely mature in Christ
(Colossians 1:27-28)

I labor,
I do His work...
I proclaim
I admonish
with all wisdom
not by might, not by human strength
but by His Spirit, I am driven toward productivity and completion (Zechariah 4:6)
struggling with all His energy,
vigorously striving
equipped with Divine adequacy (2 Corinthians 3:4-6)
which so powerfully
with perfect capacity and capability
in such an overwhelming outpouring of wonder-working grace (2 Peter 1:3)
acts and operates effectively
accomplishes His plans (Proverbs 19:21)

in me."
in this broken vessel
when I die to myself
and live in resurrection abundance. (John 10:10)

God will not be mocked.
If we toil in our flesh, the harvest is corrupt.
If we sow in the Spirit, we will reap eternal life.
I will not grow weary in doing good. (Galatians 6:6-9)

I will treasure my weaknesses
In my weakness, His strength becomes perfect. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Colossians 1:29

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Week of Wardrobe

What a big crazy week!
Not only did the girls have to sport a costume to AWANA this week, the boys had a different theme to dress for each day of school.  "Wear Red Day" was pretty self explanatory and simple. 

Tuesday was "Silly Day"..