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

Monday, July 27, 2009

Multitude Monday

holy experience

Gratitude to Ann over at Holy Experience for reminding me to keep my eyes open to His goodness, and to soak myself in thankfulness.


(35) Stunning blooms and busy bees.

(36) The promise of banana bread.

(37) A box full of local organic produce. God's provision.

(38) The twitter of my birdie friends at the feeder. I am always startled by how pleasing I find that sound.

(39) Brothers.

(40) Friends + water + really big balls = FUN.

(41) Pretty cupcakes.

(42) Young ladies playing shower games. A Mom catching her breath that one day all too soon this will be real.

(43) My beloved reaching for my hand during Sunday's message.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Funny Things

There's nothing like a little humor to keep a mom on her toes. Here's a sampling from my home this week (and it's only Tuesday!):

*This morning, upon opening the refrigerator door I was greeted by a plastic cup full of what looked like fruit punch. Taped to the front of the cup there was a sign which read: "DON'T DRINK! Red paint and water." Um, thanks for the heads-up. I'm not sure why the shorter Hoyers feel compelled to refrigerate their paint in drinking cups, of all things. Ah, best not to ask.

*My dear friend Karen and I managed to bang out about 67 details via email in a ten minute span of time this morning. Who needs phones? All this while she was preparing for a dinner party for 30 and I was washing sheets, dusting, and answering a scary-long queue of email. And they say multi-tasking is a myth. Ha!

*Again this morning (it's been a funny day, I guess) while I was out talking to the landscapers who are still trying to get the irrigation right in our yard, my darling two-year old comes gallumphing out wearing nothing but Thomas the Tank Engine underwear and orange Crocs. On the wrong feet. Nice.

*Gabriel has been trying to train Oliver (the dog) to follow some basic commands. Sit. Stay. You get the idea. While working so hard on this endeavor I hear Gabriel say, in all sincerity, "Now Oliver, close your eyes..." Apparently, he's trying to help Oliver find his inner puppy.

*Nicholas returns home from Camp Pa today. He will be bringing with him 20 new pairs of socks which Pa bought him. 20! My father-in-law hasn't had kids in a very. long. time. Can you imagine if all seven of us had 20 pairs of new socks? We'd have to add on to the house.

*Oliver lost a tooth this week. We had to put it in a plastic baggie, which has been on my kitchen counter for 48 hours. I like to think of it as a diet aid. I go in the kitchen to get a snack, see the bloody puppy tooth, exit the kitchen with no snack. It's brilliant!

*This past Sunday night I was forced to break out the vacuum to vacuum up copious quantities of skin on my carpet. Why, you ask? Seven people of northern European descent + 7 hours at the beach on the 4th of July = lots of nasty, peeling skin a few days later. My children were obsessed with pulling the peeling skin off of their arms and shoulders and tossing it on the floor. Gross. Ew. Yuck.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Multitude Monday

holy experience

More blessings from His hand...

(26) This challenging thought from our worship leader: "How many perfect days, laced together in this world, would it take to balance out the rest of eternity in hell?" Praise God that I need not know the answer.

(27) Hours of uninterrupted conversation with my beloved. Holding hands. Reconnecting. Falling in love all over again.

(28) Loving family in Christ, gathering in our living room to learn more of Him. Love Him more.

(29) A little rest.

(30) Flowers that take my breath away with their beauty. Glory to God Whose creativity is magnificent!

(31) Another candle.

(32) Phone calls from my boy-man so far away. Unprompted "I love you's" and "I miss you's."

(33) Sibling love. Raw and real.

(34) Funny toddlers doing funny things. Reminders that God's ways are far above our ways (for we were not "planning" to have another.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

There's no place like Home

Gustav and I recently spent some time back in my wee little hometown of Barre, Massachusetts. As we drove to my parent's home, I marveled, mouth agape, at how GREEN everything was. I mean, it looked like AstroTurf to me. Really.

I guess I have been in the Land of Brown for too long a time now to have forgotten how lush this little pocket of Earth is.

This was the longest I had ever been away from my hometown. Just shy of three years. My parents, being the stalwart and steady New Englanders that they are, still live in the same little house I grew up in. The bedrooms are still known as Beth's room and Mike's room, despite the fact that Beth and Mike haven't lived there in over fifteen years. The basement smells of earth and moisture and my grandmother, dead so long now.

My hometown is small. Full of names and places that have been there, in some cases, for hundreds of years. Drawn to Barre as a young man to work in the wool mill, my father's father planted roots, married, and had two boys. There have been Cranstons living there ever since.

There is a simplicity in small town living that I find charming and that I miss very much. Familiar landmarks. Familiar faces. Last names that you recognize. And, oh, the green. It just rolls and waves and soaks up the sun. Lush fields. Stately forests. Everywhere.

Here are the fields in which more than one inflatable sled met its sad end on Mr. Steven's barbed wire, somehow sparing the rider every time. Where walks through the tall grass revealed the adventurer's course in the trodden path left behind. Fields to cross in order to find the sparkling lake hidden behind the trees, and the playhouse hammered together by someone else's children a generation before. "We promise not to scare the cows," we would tell Mr. Stevens, who always seemed to be smiling. Of course, he told tales that made us fear these slow-moving cud-chewers, so that if one even looked in our direction we high-tailed it out of there, thankful to be alive.

This small town where aged signs warn passers-by of children long since grown with children of their own now. I wonder how long that sign has been propped against that tree? We used to joke that the sign was letting all know just how "slow" we all were.

Fences laced with poison ivy, easily scaled by brown, calloused hands on lazy summer days. The same rails hammered on generations ago, by rougher and more calloused hands that ours. But with the same surname as the farmer who lives there now. This farm, perched so perfectly and serenely on this hilltop since 1774, always in this family. While hands constructed this rugged old house, a defiant Continental Congress was meeting 200 miles away. Such rich history.

There is nothing like that warm late-afternoon sun streaming through the lush canopy, casting long shadows which beckon home.

We spent time on the town common, where a farmer's co-op was in full swing; farmers undaunted by the trifling fact that it was too early in the season to have grown anything here in New England. They sat around and chit-chatted about this family and that. Gossip, some might call it. A way to pass the time, others may say.

We parked in the old town library parking lot to steal some WiFi. Because it was not during the 4 hours that the library was open that day, and well, my parents don't own a computer. And with no Starbucks anywhere near, it sufficed.

I didn't realize how much I missed Barre until I was back there, visiting with family and old friends like it was yesterday, when I was a skinny little girl climbing fences and picking wildflowers and riding my "Blue Angel" bike with the banana seat down Steven's hill with no hands. The days of jumping huge rolled hay bales, and fishing derbies, and drinking Shirley Temples, and walks down the old cart path to the cemetery with crooked gravestones and dates in the 1700's. When things moved slowly and life was simple.

You know, there really is no place like home.