Friday, April 20, 2018

Graduation announcements are ordered.  Senior pictures have been taken.  His final high school concerts are in full swing.  And our second one is getting ready to stretch his wings and fly.  Well done, my son.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

This girl is blossoming with all of the music she is soaking up this year.  I was puttering around the house and noticed that Katherine was playing some of her cello pieces on the piano, but it didn't sound quite right.

Then I realized that she was playing the cello part.  With her left hand.  And making up an accompaniment with her right hand.  Surely, she is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

As a family, we're reading through "The Daily Bible" during breakfast this year.  Recently, we read in 2 Samuel about Absalom's revolt against David.

Immediately, Benjamin reminded us that Eric Whitacre had set this text in a powerful piece of music, so we paused and listened.  And worshipped.

Monday, April 16, 2018

East End Baptist Church

We were thrilled to visit with East End Baptist Church last weekend.  They have been sweet partners in the Lavukal translation project, and it was a joy to spend time with them.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ice, Ice, Baby

We are having crazy weather for April in Arkansas!  Last week we covered our veggies and azaleas because of sleet.

And we're expecting a freeze again tonight.  I think the azaleas will be left to fend for themselves, but I really look forward to my tomatoes and peppers this summer, so we'll have to get the sheets back out of storage.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

"Every single thought matters....But a barreling life leaves little room for evaluating these unfettered thoughts.  It leaves little room for letting God's rest and His peace seep in and His truth invade the cacophony in my mind."  ~Sara Hagerty, "Unseen"

It's about to be a wild ride around here.  And as I navigate my brother's wedding (yippee!), multiple concerts ('tis the season!), AP tests and graduating senior details (go, Benjamin!), and an orchestra trip to Chicago, I don't want to live a "barreling life".  Prayers appreciated as I seek to make pockets of space for God's rest and peace and truth to "invade the cacophony in my mind".

Beautiful Gatlin Park is nearby our home.  This time of year, the ground is covered in "Spring Beauty": tiny pink wildflowers that are beautiful as well as edible!  I recently discovered that this flower's pollen and nectar only attract a certain species of mining bee.  According to the Bug of the Week website, "Newly minted adults emerge each spring coincident with the appearance of spring beauty’s’ blossoms." 

A God that can coordinate the timing of hungry bees emerging to find their only food source blooming can certainly coordinate the pieces of my life and provide a source of nourishment for me amidst my hectic schedule.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter Sunday

Our Resurrection Cookies always turn out better in America, I think it's the drier air.  Hollow cookies and an empty tomb - He is risen indeed!

These guys make my life so much better.  Benjamin and Aaron both keep me smiling with their antics.

Sarah makes everything around her more beautiful, including her sister's hair.

Have I mentioned that we laugh a bunch when we are all in the same space?  We could hardly get a good picture because we were laughing so hard.  And when I handed over the camera so Aaron and I could get a picture together...

this is what ended up on my screen.  Olivia makes the most hilarious faces.

Sweet memories captured as we headed out the door to church to blend our six voices in song on this gray Easter morning.

And a sweet feast awaiting us when we returned home.  Our traditional, albeit tweaked, coconut cake, hand-crafted by my Sarah before she left to go back to college.

"He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has." 
~Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, April 2, 2018

Sad Saturday

Around our house, we've named the day before Easter "Sad Saturday".  We always make Resurrection Cookies to help us remember Christ's sacrifice.

 This video reminded me of just how much our kids have grown and how far we have come as a family as our circumstances have changed over the years.

No matter what changes around us, I'm grateful that God doesn't change.

One thing that was different this year was that Katherine leaned a little too far over the mixing bowl and got her hair stuck in the beaters just as stiff peaks had formed.  I really don't want this to become a family tradition!  Benjamin patiently untangled her hair and helped her rinse out all of the goop.

Having all six of us underneath the same roof brings me such joy.  We laugh so much when we're together!

Maybe it's easy not to be sad on this day before Easter because we know the end of the story.

Benjamin had us absolutely holding our bellies with laughter as he helped "clean up" the dishes.

We sealed the tomb/oven in great anticipation of what we would find on Easter morning...

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Good Friday

After a discouraging dentist appointment (seems like my teeth don't like the non-fluoridated rain water and infrequent dental checkups when we are overseas), our family took a picnic to a nearby park to enjoy the gorgeous day.

Somehow our holiday traditions all revolve around cooking.  Maybe it's because when we are overseas, we have limited resources, but maybe it's just because we like to eat.

On Good Friday, we really enjoyed having Sarah home again.  If you had dropped by our house, your senses would have feasted:  Dense, rich chocolate Easter basket cupcakes to taste, Bach's Passions and our favorite requiems (like Berlioz, Mozart, Rutter, and Faure) to hear, windows open with a fresh breeze to smell.

We still lick our fingers around here, too, because Shakespeare recommended the habit.

Our day finished with a lovely, dark Tenebrae service at a nearby church.  When Aaron and I walked into the sanctuary, we both breathed in the smell of a building that has been housing worshippers for over one hundred years.  We've both really missed the opportunities to worship through good music, and this service was exactly what we needed.