Thursday, June 10, 2021

Grandma's Birthday


"You have created each of us, O Lord, to bear your image
in unique expression, reflecting a facet of your glory
in a way that no other person in all of history will,
so that by knowing one another, we might also know you better."

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

First Week in June

Last week began with Memorial Day.  We weren't traveling to a church over the weekend, so we had time to make a beautiful torte for brunch and to top it with pastry stars.  Since we returned to America, we've been slowly reading our way through "The Mission of the Body of Christ" during breakfast.

I love our hometown.  The local cemetery, where my veteran uncle is buried, held a short memorial service on Monday morning to commemorate veterans.  I'm so grateful to belong to a community whose mayor shared about how important it is to focus on the Lord and on service to each other.

Our family pulled out the badminton set and discovered how rusty we are as we lodged both birdies and rackets in the pecan tree above us.

Olivia had all four of her wisdom teeth removed (we're still working our way down that long list of medical needs), and she is recovering beautifully.

I started "Same Page Summer 2021" for my daily Bible reading and got my fingerprints taken as the last step in renewing my Arkansas teacher's license.

Reconnecting with old friends continues to be a source of joy for us.

Sarah Kate is a former cello student, and she has a handsome new baby.

Catching up with her and snuggling her son brought much delight to my afternoon!

We also got a surprise text from a friend we've known since middle school.  He was in town briefly and reached out to spend a few minutes with us.  It's so much fun to look back and see how God is working in each of our lives, weaving our stories for His good and His glory.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Last Week in May

Sarah and Benjamin spent a few days visiting us to help celebrate my birthday.  

Somehow, the kids contrived to blow up forty-seven balloons after we went to bed, so I woke up to balloons and streamers all over the house.  What a great way to start the day!

Sarah made one of my favorites for breakfast...blueberry cream cheese coffee cake.

The boys went to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and girls and I went shopping at a vintage clothes store downtown.  This elicited one of the most hilarious text conversations I've ever seen.

Sarah made a big and beautiful strawberry trifle from the berries we had just picked.  She also rearranged the letters of "Happy Birthday" which I didn't realize until the trifle was set before me.  I spewed my coffee.

Having all of the kids around the piano singing made my heart sing, too.

And staying up late to chat while propped on the hide-away bed was totally worth the loss of sleep.

But the week wasn't all about my birthday!  I started teaching strings lessons again this week.  One of my favorite things to do.

We also reconnected with some friends that we've known for a long time.  Grant's dad was our calculus teacher, we went to their wedding, and when they honeymooned in central Florida, we had just moved back so we got to spend time with them there, too.  Sweet friends who love Jesus and who left us feeling encouraged.

A wedding showed for my cousin finished off our week.  The highlight of the shower was the game of spicy Uno that brought much joy and laughter to the church's' fellowship hall.  I love being close enough to family to celebrate special days!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Sarah's Graduation

So much joy in celebrating Sarah and her four years of wise investments with her time and energy.

We're proud of her not just because she graduated summa cum laude,

but also because of the people she invested in along the way.

Her church family, her professors, her fellow students.

She chose to pour herself into people as well as into her studies.

Let me be in this school, even in small ways, 
a bearer of love and light and reconciliation;
which is to say, let me in humility, be your child.

...God grant this child knowledge and understanding.
Lead me to truth.
God bless the labors of this new season.
Shape me for your service.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Third Week of May

Sunday morning found us on the road again, this time to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

Visiting this sweet church always feels like going back to Grandma's house.

The week also included attending our favorite group classes with our gym buddies,

making this German apple torte and remembering our precious German colleagues in the Solomon Islands, 

beginning piano lessons again in preparation for minoring in music at JBU this fall,

listening to the tornado sirens go off while snuggling in the hall closet,

and enjoying a quick visit from some seminary friends, Russ and Crystal, who have worked hard to stay in touch over the fifteen years since Aaron graduated.  So many sweet gifts!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Second Week of May

We made a quick trip up to Siloam Springs to celebrate Mother's Day.

Some frisbee golf

paired with lots of laughing

and learning how to play Seven Wonders

made really sweet Mother's Day gifts.

We continued to attend to medical needs

and we delighted in the single peony bloom that grew on our new plants. 

We also made a spontaneous bike ride that involved my knight in shining armor repeatedly fixing my bike chain,

a ride through a part of town that we had never seen before,

and a picnic lunch at the airport to break up our twenty mile trek.


Sunday, May 30, 2021

First Week of May

The first week of May, we began to take full advantage of our nearby strawberry fields.

And for the first time, we dehydrated strawberries.  I'm experimenting with the best use of energy and space, trying to steward both well.  Since dehydrated strawberries don't require a deep freezer or lots of space, I think we may focus on dehydrating more and more to keep my favorite fruit handy all year long.

On Star Wars Day (May the 4th), we celebrated by watching Episode 4 with my brother and sister-in-law while also enjoying Taco Tuesday.

We continued to get all of those medical things checked off the list.

May boasts so many birthdays, so we began with a bang.  A huge strawberry trifle with two candles, one for me and one for my birthday buddy.

The birthday bash finished with a rousing game of our new favorite game, Goat Lords