The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6


Friday, July 25, 2008

Inexpressible Joy

Oh, that we may live life with this kind of abandon. This inexpressible joy!

On second thought, I think the screaming is expressing his joy rather well!

video

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Memories

Despite being a hard day full of tears and sadness, we are rejoicing in our Lord for His good gifts:

(11) A furry friend to love and cuddle with.


(12) A cute and loyal companion.


(13) A dog who was always there. (This one from the heart of my 11 year old boy-man.)

A Time for Tears


Thurston Howl
January 20, 2002 - July 17, 2008

We will miss you so much, buddy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Snatching at Praise

Things have been tough here for the past few days. Our dear, dear beagle Thurston is in the doggie hospital with kidney failure and we are not sure that he will come home. Despite the fact that I am really not a "pet-person," I am finding myself very, very sad. We, the kids and I, went to visit today and he just looked so sad and pathetic lying there all hooked up. Poor little guy.

I have been reminded frequently, however, of my gratitude journal. Praise the Lord that He is good all the time, and never ceases to bless us innumerably every day, from the simple to the magnificent. Here are a few praises I snatched out of our simple days:

(6) Simple hats that bring big (sticky) smiles.


(7) Visits from old home-town friends.


(8) And the gifts they bear. (If only one could smell through the screen!)


(9) Victory! Kurt wins his 1st ever battle against Nutella!




(10) The joy of a five year old "reading" his very own Bible.


Our three big children have a time of personal Bible reading every morning after breakfast. Well, this morning my little boy-man Gabriel, nicknamed Sparkles because of his sunny disposition, asked if he could do his Bible reading next to me while I was answering email. He then proceeded to "read" from his Bible:

"God created everything in the universe. He made the first two people and they were very good until sin poured into the world. Then they had to go away from God."

I loved it. And he was so proud.

He's gotten to be so funny with his speech. The other day during a phonics lesson he said, "I know, that's a 'b', and that must be a caffeinated 'B'!"

Of course, he meant 'capitalized.'


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gratitude

I have been contemplating (why contemplating?) beginning a gratitude journal as Ann speaks about over at Holy Experience. But the quote she used yesterday by J.I. Packer did me in:


"The life of true holiness is rooted
in the soil of awed adoration.

It does not grow elsewhere.

That which grows elsewhere is not true holiness, whatever else it is.
No blend of zeal, passion, self-denial, discipline, orthodoxy, and effort adds up to holiness

where praise is lacking
."


~ J.I. Packer

Praise has been lacking here as of late, while I focus internally and miss entirely the comforting touch of God. May a new found focus on praising Him for unmerited gifts stretch me into a more holy creature. May I feel the warm soil of awed adoration squish between my toes.
" The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will extol Him." Exodus 15:2
Father God, I praise You for:

(1) The life-giving Word of God, without which I would not know my Savior.

(2) Good friends, sisters in Christ, who pray for me.

(3) Quiet Saturdays to rest and recharge.

(4) The delighted squeals of my french-fry loving toddler.

(5) Sisters giggling and enjoying one another's company.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My dear friend Karen has tagged me to reveal six unremarkable quirks about myself. Since there is so much unremarkable about me, this is a particularly difficult assignment, but I'll do my best to whittle it down to six:

(1) When eating a PB&J, the jelly just HAS to be on the top. I can't imagine what it would taste like if the jelly were on the bottom. Blech.

(2) I have never gone into labor on my own. It required copious quantities of pitocin five times.

(3) I am a closet writer. I have started more journals, books, and stories than I care to count. My issue is my lack of follow through to actually complete any of them.

(4) I can't mix my fruit. I really don't like juices/yogurts/pies that mix fruit in them. Just give me strawberry or banana, but please, no strawberry-banana.

(5) My brother is 16 months older than me. My sister is 13 months younger than me. My mom had 3 children under 2 1/2. She's Wonder Woman.

(6) When I was in high school/college I acted and sang (even tap-danced!) in all kinds of musicals. Somehow I always managed a starring role. I was pretty sure I wanted to be on Broadway. Then I realized that you can't be on Broadway and have stage-fright at the same time.


OK, so now that you know all of this new information about me I'm supposed to tag 6 fellow bloggers, 'cept I don't know 6 who have not already been tagged by Karen. Sad, I know. Come on friends, y'all need to start blogs so that I have someone to tag!

How about I just leave you with some adorable pictures of our new kitten, Sushi:




Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Birthday Celebrations

June is a busy birthday month around here, as Lillian turned 8 on the 11th and Gabriel turned 5 on the 24th. Lillian had a great birthday on our vacation and enjoys being 8 very much.

Five is one of those birthdays that seems a huge milestone to me. It's the difference between being a little guy and a big guy. It's the difference between being a preschooler and a kindergartener. It's a big deal. Gabriel wanted only 2 things for his birthday and he's been talking about them for months. He wanted a Bible of his very own and he wanted a bow and arrow.
And that's just what he got! He's very excited because he's learning to read right now, and he's eager to read his very own Bible. He also loves shooting anything and everything with his new bow. I guess you can say he is well-armed, physically and spiritually.

As is the tradition in our family, Gustav takes the day off of work and we engage in some family fun. Lillian and Gabriel both wanted to try out Universal Studios, so we spent the day there. We had a great time (although it's no Disneyland!) and were thrilled that the heat wave broke just in time. It was only 80, as opposed to the 110 degree weather we had been having!

The hit ride of the day was most definitely the Jurassic Park ride. Gabriel went on it FIVE TIMES! It was all well and good but you get very wet. Very, very wet. And well, I guess that's how you know you've gotten older...when getting very, very wet on a ride is no longer enjoyable. But I was happy to get repeatedly drenched for my big five year old. Here's a picture of Gustav and the kids the first time through:

Speaking of getting wet, Kurt had a blast in the Curious George little kids play area. Here he is in the fountains. I actually have a video that I will share that is completely hysterical. Of course, seeing as his favorite pastimes at home are emptying the dog's water, splashing in the toilet, and spraying himself with any squirt bottle he can find, regardless of its contents, I should not have been surprised that he enjoyed splashing in the fountains so very much!

For those of you praying for my dad, he has a new pacemaker and is resting at home after being released from the hospital. We are sad that my parents had to cancel their trip out (they were scheduled to come today) but we are so thankful to the Great Physician for his healing hand!

I will put up that video of Kurt as well as pictures of our newest addition...our kitten, Sushi, very soon!