Monday, March 31, 2014

2 Days in My Life

This year my birthday was a little different in an entirely good way.  Every Thursday, Mom, Faith and I volunteer at the Pregnancy Resource Center's Clothes Closet.  We have many friends there, and one of them, dear Kathy Brandt, has a birthday just 1 week before mine (and exactly 60 years earlier!)  We had planned a little party for her and I.

We made a carrot cake.  Mumsie and I and had much fun shaping and decorating the cake.

This darling little Duckie was the end result! :) 

 We had a delightful party, although sadly Kathy Brandt was not feeling well and couldn't make it.

I am very blessed with wonderful friends and family!! 

Friday morning started out rainy but warm and wonderful, with decadent crepes filled with Strawberry/Blueberry sauce making up our breakfast. 

Later that day I took my Ducklings out for a dabble in the mud.  It was their very first outing out back, and my first walk in our back yard since I tore my MCL.

{When fashion is beaten by practicality and comfort. :P}
It was a lovely time outside and I am so grateful for the warmer weather.

That evening we had a party! Josh, Theresa, and Grace joined us. 

Turkey Cordon Bleu, Oven Roasted Squash, Canned Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, and Raspberry Pears!  Delicious and filling.

Our dessert that evening strayed from the normal Birthday dessert for 2 reasons. We had cake the day previous (and Cake and Ice Cream after dinner is always too much for me) and I LOVE Ice Cream Sandwiches.  So, I made them! :)  They were awesome! 

 {Flowers: they know me well}

I am so grateful for having been placed into this wonderful, real life, unique, wise, down to earth, farming family.  I also thank God for the 22 years of life He has given me, and pray that I might use the next year to His glory!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Passover Seder

This past Sunday we were blessed to be able to participate in a Messianic Seder meal that our Aunt Carmen and Uncle Tim's church puts on every year.
Mom, Faith, Josiah and I planned to attend, and we arrived early to help out in the kitchen.

We peeled 3 dozen eggs, peeled and chopped 3 bags of apples, and washed and picked parsley.

Josiah helped out in the hall setting up tables and putting all the place settings where they belonged.

Rabbi Glen, the speaker at this event, is a wonderful energetic man, a Messianic Jew with a heart for proclaiming the story of his Creator and Savior!

Glen took us through the Passover, pointing out so many Messianic symbolisms.  It is almost overwhelming and so thrilling to see Jesus Christ woven throughout.

Different parts of the Passover: parsley dipped in salt water, Haroset, boiled eggs, and "bitter herbs" / Horseradish.

It was a wonderful re-enlightening time, and we enjoyed the fellowship and the ability to serve.  Hopefully we will be able to do so again next year!


The Cute Coot

Recently we have had a few unique visitors to our temporarily enlarged pond.  First there was a gaudy pair of Merganser Ducks.  My ducks were not at all sure about these intruders and wanted to chase them away, but the Mergansers just dove out of the way.

But the next little bird that investigated our waterway was much more friendly, and not quite as brilliant as the Mergansers, but oh so strangely adorable and loveable!

He is the American Coot, or as we call him, our "Cute Coot".  He looks like an odd combination of a chicken, a duck, a dinosaur and I am not sure what else.

He is not shy and so curious, and at this point Josiah has made friends with him; the Coot will come pretty close for treats.  We are thrilled to be able to closely observe such a unique and mesmerizing part of God's creation.  Coots are fascinating.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Bits and Pieces of March

 The weather this March has been bouncing from freezing, to just above, to a glorious 40 or 50, then back down below freezing.  This has created for some beautiful landscape, including a week ago when we had a dump of 3-4 inches of snow, and that combined with the wind made some lovely patterns that were beautiful to see.
Just a few days later, we had a warm up (anything above 30 is a warm up here) and my ducks were thrilled with all the puddles it created!!

The "warm up" was followed by a few freezing single-digit mornings which formed some absolutely marvelous frost formations.

Another fun bit of March.. is... Ducklings!!! 

They just "happened" to be on sale at a TSC I walked into (to be honest I called a few of them to find if anywhere had a sale on them).

So 4 darling little Runner Ducklings came home; one of them has the most ridiculously adorable crest (Topsy) and they all have riotously hilarious personalities.

March also means starting seeds and looking forward to gardening.

"The love of dirt is among the earliest of passions" ~Charles Dudley Warner

Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower.

"The love of gardening is a seed which once sown never dies." ~Gertrude Jekyll

Yesterday was (according to the calendar) the first day of spring.  It didn't quite reflect this optimistic statement outside, but nevertheless we believe it is coming, and to celebrate this fact we had a wonderful evening as a family watching one of my absolutely favorite movies, and definitely THE spring movie of all time "The Secret Garden". 
At the moment I am unable to get out and check on how spring is coming along due to an accident early this week which has left me couch bound and crutches reliant.  But hopefully as I sit inside, outside.. spring is coming.

"Is spring coming?" he said. "What is it like? You don't see it in rooms if you are ill." 
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth."


Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Amazing Sadie Rose

Here is the amazing volley ball playing dog!! :)

The Little Warm Up

The weather has been teasing us with little bits of warmth, which we are attempting to enjoy to the fullest and be sincerely grateful for.  Here are a few pictures from the last warm up we had.
{Sadie Rose makes an excellent book rest :) }

{Sadie and her "friend" Foo-foo (don't judge the name) our Angora Rabbit, who took an airing on a warm day}

{The gorgeously elegant Miss Foo-foo}

{The duckies are so happy when it is warm enough for them to go swimming out back}

{Ebony, one of last years bunnies all grown up}

Also with the bit of warmer weather, the maple trees have started to run a little, so we have begun tapping.  Maple Syrup, here we come!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Snowy Day Thoughts: The World's Problem

{Some thoughts that came to me while out in the snowy bitter weather this past week}

When "Straight" no longer refers to a direction, and "Cool" has nothing to do with temperature, when something is "Sick" and it doesn't mean it isn't feeling well, and "Gay" no longer means you are happy, and when "Sweet" is not a taste,  you know there is something very much wrong with your language.

There are times when I very much wish I could go back to the day when you were greeted with a "How are you?" (that was sincere) in place of "what's up?", when having holes in your jeans meant that you had worked long and hard, not that you paid an exorbitant amount for them custom "ripped" off the rack, when people said thank you and meant it, and were answered with a polite "you're welcome," instead of "no problem" or "don't mention it," when the elderly were respected and cared for, not despised and neglected, when you spent quality time with someone not just "hung out" on your respective electric social devices, and when children were cherished and trained, instead of being "an annoyance" and left to raise themselves.

But, then after wishing all that, I realize that it wouldn't solve the problem at all. After all, that is where this nation started (and I understand that there is a LOT more to this than the somewhat trivial, surface items that I have used for example here) and look where we have come.  Obviously there has to be something more than making an effort to go back to the morals standards and polite culture of yesteryear, because being fallible and fallen human beings we would just slide back again... and then it hit me.  That is it, we are fallible and fallen humans, and this is the world's problem....

The reason we have corrupted our language is because we have forgotten the One who created language. Why our morals are almost non-existent, stems from the fact that we have rejected the One who put rules and morals in place. The fact that the ethics that once ruled our nation are no longer in place, just might be because we have chosen to ignore the One that gave us His book from which to formulate our ethics.  And why we have ceased to respect and cherish life, is because we have deliberately and studiously, turned our backs on the One who not only gave us physical life, but also sent His son to earth who lived a perfect, righteous, just, honest, compassionate life.  And in order to reconcile His fallen, sinful, imperfect, unholy, dirty creation, He voluntarily gave up His life, and died on a cross, not just as a statement, but to completely and satisfactorily, once and for all, pay the debt for sin, those He had chosen for His own, owed.  A debt that no going back to a moral way of life could pay.  What wondrous love beyond comprehension.

But, that was not the end.  He didn't just die, but He lives!! The grave could not and did not hold Him, and now through Him, cleansed of our guilty stains, we too can live.

Because the problem with the world is not our twisted language, or our lack of morals, our problem is our rejection of redemption, which is our only hope.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Party Time!!

 Saturday was party time at our house.  Celebrating Grace's 28th Birthday!
This year there have been some amazing workings of providence for Tim and Grace as an opportunity came up for them to live in the apartment of Banbury Cross Tec. where I work, and Faith and I both volunteer.  It is wonderful to have them closer, and is such a perfect situation for them, being able to have their very own home and getting to work for their rent!  (plus Grace is happy to live on a horse farm :)

We were super happy that Aunt Carmen and Uncle Tim were able to drop by for dinner (they just happened to be driving by at the right time!!).

Shine (Grace's dog) joined us for the party... and used her brown eyes to their fullest potential, attempting to beg tidbits off anyone who would look at her.

Grace opted out of the traditional cake, and asked for a large chocolate chunk cookie pizza, to be cut into wedges and served with Ice cream.  (not a bad choice :)

We are so grateful for what God has done in Grace's life recently, and pray that He will continue to bless and guide this beautiful, talented, hard working, artistic, lady for many years to come!!

{we love you "Tookie"!}

Julian was super happy to be able to see his Uncle Dewey again and followed him around like a shadow. 
We finished the night by watching Grace's all time favorite movie ever... "The Black Stallion".

So the party ended.


Monday, March 10, 2014

He came

It is rather ridiculous really, how worked up grown, rational thinking, (at least most of the time) mature adults can get over the arrival of a bird.  A bird, who is so full of himself it is surprising he stays on the branch he had selected to settle himself upon while he announces vociferously of his advent. But worked up we were, voices escalated, shouts were heard, feet pounded, cameras were fumbled for, all to try to capture a look at the little black bird perched on the top most branch of our Maple Tree.

Yes, the Red-Wing Blackbird does cause quite the stir at our house upon our first sighting of him. But while we do love the birds themselves, with their gaudy yet cheerful red and yellow epaulets, and their raucous but harmonious Oak-a-lee, the real reason for our excitement is what the bird means to us.  The Harbinger of Spring they have been called, more so then the Robin who tends to be more fickle and will sometimes be spotted in the middle of winter, for once the you hear the call of the Red-Wing Blackbird you know that Spring cannot be to far in the distance.  Therefore it has become an event at our house which is noted and recorded for further years.

In other news... the daffodils are popping up!!