Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

365 little days. This year, I am unemployed at Christmastime and New Years. Last year, we were basking in the faithfulness of God and the thought was, who will clean up the mess. This year, there is no less of God's faithfulness, although the rug of expectation has been pulled out. God is no less God, when the arguments change from, who will do the dishes, to who has blessed us, today. We are very blessed. Blessed in employment and in unemployment. Blessed in the city and blessed in the field...etc.
The birth of deciding to bless the name of Jesus, when He accomplishes the unexpected, through difficulty is painful. We are choosing to bless His name, in the arguments about priority and in the selfishness that is uncovered in these times. God's mercy is everlasting. God is faithful to complete His work in the crevaces of unbelief that we have left molding in our spiritual "fridge".
Divergent priorities are wrestled through, in ways, we could not imagine, when we were in prosperity. Private praise, becomes public praise, when God comes through in a food card at the supermarket. Praise God, that we live in a country where poverty is not the last word over your soul. God is the God of the land of milk and honey. Pride keeps the head hung low, because we are on "foodstamps". Trusting God is able to hold the head high and praise God that we are in a land of plenty, where the most of us lay up for the least of us. That is not communism. That is brotherly-lovingness.
En and I went to the store and filled a cart with necessities. We couldn't imagine that we could afford all of it. We looked at eachother with unbelief. Count it up, Mom, he said to me. I said we are supposed to use the card and there is enough on the card, I think. It was 191 dollars of food and veggies. Collards and apples and oranges and sprouts and even my specialty coffee creamer and chips were in the cart. All of it was paid for by the food card. We praised God, out loud in the store. No, I didn't do my praise dance, in the store, but I did say Thank you, Jesus. It was all on the card. God is good, in want and in plenty. This is want and plenty at the same time.
It is a shame that my pride hits and shame crushes my joy, sometimes. God is greater than my heart. He is faithful in all things.
My heart is overwhelmed and my joy is full in my weakness. I can't talk about it. I can only write. Please forgive my silence.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Homesickness breeds the best dreams.

I dreamt of Grandma Ruth, after watching this video yesterday. She was driving a very beautiful and fast sports car and then she and I spent a long time working on a building and cleaning project and the trip home was an adventure. I woke up missing her and you guys and in a frazzle. Giggles and Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Service, was so delightful!

God inhabits the praises of His people! He promises that where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He is there. We gathered. We sensed that this season is about more than the packages and bows. We have little of the sundries, that accompany the day, but much of the love that Christmas is about.
I am thankful for the dear husband and children that I am blessed with. I am thankful for the neighbors and friends that have prayed for us in this season. I am thankful for the Church families that have adopted us into their beloved. I am thankful for Christmas, where it is not out of season to tell others that you love them.
As I hold my children close to me this Christmas, I am remembering the loved ones who I miss and who cannot be held. I love you and wish you the blessings of Christmas, Today and all year long!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today, I am remembering the grieving 90's for me--

Thank God for gospel music and praising God. Christmas 96, when this came out kept my eyes upon my Savior, who was above the griefs of life. God is Good!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the First Day of Christmas...

I got the most beautiful concert that my son has participated in. He finally got that clarinet to play more than squeeks and squalls. He's not a virtuoso yet, but Mr. Partridge is whipping those middleschoolers into band members. I love it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Aunt Gwen and Uncle Johnny came over on Saturday!

Bearing gifts and food and news of the other half of the family, it was delightful to see family. We hadn't seen them since last Thanksgiving. They live in Ga. now and stopped at our house halfway between their house and Johnny and Lez, on the way to NY. We have an underground Walker railroad all the way up the coast now. Every 4 hours you can stop at a brother's house on the way to NY. Well we got the call at 9 on Saturday that they would be there at noon. I am glad that Ben wasn't home. He gets so excited that we wouldn't have been able to do anything else. We were about our cleaning the house ritual, with some diversions for entertainment purposes.
I thought I had time. I cleaned the bathroom and started vacuuming and then I found, our church cantada online. I got completely distracted. Enoch and I set out to try to videotape the cantada from the online source(something we hadn't done before). We have time, we thought. As soon as we got the tape completed and finished our praise dance for being so resourceful, Aunt Gwen drove up. AHHHHHHHHH! Oh no! We are not ready for her! Daddy loves to lay out the red carpet for Aunt Gwen, she is a dignitary at our house. Uh oh! We failed on that account. Nevertheless, it was a comfort to see her and to hear the great news of the ever growing Walker family. She brought us a new variation of Grandma Rosie's Thanksgiving Turkey recipe and a sample, which I promptly got drunk on. It was spectacular! I loved it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Frost on the ground this morning gave us a taste of Christmas Spirit.

Our beautiful neighborhood is aglow with Christmas lights. We have a few across our front porch. The chill of winter being missing makes Christmas seem a funny holiday to celebrate with 60degree temperatures. This morning, we woke up, really cold. In the house the thermometer said 67 degrees. That is freezing down here. Our house never gets below 70, even with the heat off. We turned on the heat, to warm the house for the wake up crew. It wa 28 degrees outside and we can tell that Christmas is bringing a little chill to our town, to make an appearance for the memories of the children.
Ethan is going on a class trip and very excited to go see the mummy exhibit at the Discovery Place. He is very hard to contain when he is excited. The glasses broke again, right when he is going on a trip. We had to tape him so that the mummy won't be a blurr in his memory. He complained all the way to the bus. I love his outspokeness. I love his spirit. I am excited at the challenge that he is as a person. Ezra is on his heels constantly. Like Annie Get Your Gun, "Anything you can do, etc." They are destined to provoke eachother sorely. It is fun to watch. The teenagers are always trying to control eachother's PR. Facebook, Youtube, Don't be to obvious, seems to be their motto. How can you not be too obvious? They are always buffing eachother's light, to keep them from being too obvious. Obviously, what? happy? Sad? excited? They seem to want to remain unemotional and unnoticeable. I don't like that semisullen, unemotional persona of the teenage people. When they are at home, they have personality and then on the way out the door they elbow eachother to get the smile off their faces for school. Such is life.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Almost One Week into 50

50 looks alot better, a week into it, than it did the day of. My sisters' box of treats were delightful. I meant to take a picture of the cake, but I gobbled it up, so as not to have to share it with the "natives". I did share with a select few. We had two cakes. I ate almost all of the chocolate cake and maybe a third of the birthday cake. Today, I have indigestion, of course.
When the box of sister treats came, they were packed with 3 bags of dry ice and solid as a rock. The veggies came in 2 pound bags and the chicken came in 5 pound bags and the pot roast came in a box. We haven't touched that yet.
We still have one 5 pound bag of chicken and a bag of veggies and the pot roast(that is for Sunday's dinner) I usually don't like cooked carrots, but these were so fresh that even after we cooked them, they kept their raw taste. Oh Wow! I am burping between sentences. The older you get, you can't feast, like you used to. (burp again) I don't think I will ever eat like that again. A whole week of whatever you want and have it in the fridge. If I don't eat for the whole year, maybe I'll get back to my Thanksgiving Day weight by 51. LOL

The Broccoli with Cheese and the chicken made a delicious spaghetti mix on one of the nights this week and the other days we ate potatoes and rice with the chicken. I think there were about 10 or 12 breasts per bag. It was like the loaves and fish for us. I told you, that we still have another bag! I will never be 50 again and I am glad I lived to talk about my delightful eat fest. I am feeling a little better and now for thinking about Christmas. ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Now I am 50!click on the link for my reminiscince

Since my firstborn was six, I have been compiling and "poetry-ing" and keeping and losing more memories than I can count. Attempting to do for them what Milne was able to do for Christopher Robin. He set the memories to verse for him. Each season of age 6, with each of my six children passed with my Milne and my poetry. Now I am 50 and hopefully the next years will help me compile the remains of my attempts into something.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Once upon a time, when I was 5 years old...

My mommy and daddy bought me the album of Hans Christian Anderson's stories. I devoured every one of the stories. I remember standing next to the ironing board looking at the book and watching the record go around and around and my imagination seemed to travel into places that I had never seen. Hans and I became great friends and companions through those albums. My absolute favorite was "The Little Matchgirl". She died in the cold, in the arms of her dearly departed grandmother, who had come from heaven to take her out of the cold cruel world. What a beautiful story and how, my 5 year old mind could imagine the cold and the freezing limbs of this poor orphan and her loving grandmother warming her, in carrying her to heaven. I had that kind of loving grandmother and I always looked at her with longing eyes like that. Our gaze into eachother's eyes always said, I will come and get you, if ever you are dying in the cold, alone. Neither of us were alone or destitute, still love was the theme of our relationship. When you love someone so much, you long for more of them. More time, more understanding, there is never enough grand-time for a doting grandmother on her grand daughter, I suppose.
Today is my Grandma's birthday. She would have been in her 90's, maybe 93 or 95. I loved her so much and she gave me so much of herself. Beautiful and glamorous, she was. Always full of some lesson or another, that was pragmatic and useful.
Such a beautiful and loving woman in my life and I will always love her.
This is a youthful picture of my Grandma Monica

Audiovox recordings of Hans Christian Anderson, at this link

Friday, December 9, 2011

Adventures in Cooking with Jayne

Oh, sometimes you have a delightful idea, that turns into an unimaginable disaster, or almost.

I had decided, sometime earlier in the year that this Thanksgiving, I would try my hand at grilled turkey. I did so enjoy the flavor at other people's houses. I wanted some for Thanksgiving.

Sometime about April or May, I started sowing the seed to my husband that the decorative propane grills that don't work were "early ghetto" and needed to be replaced with the new futuristic(LOL) charcoal ones.

He suspected that I had something up my sleeve. So, I had to keep the entire process secret until the very day. Each time that I even hinted that we might think about grilling something or other, I met with fierce opposition and directives to think twice about such a thing. Had I thought twice, I never would have done it.

Thanksgiving was delightful, in spite of my episodes, we were invited to Elyse's friend's parents' house in the mountains. So, I didn't have to cook.

The Turkey was burning a hole in my mental freezer for the weeks following.
Yesterday, was the day that it occurred to me to grill that turkey. I want my husband to come home to a surprise Thanksgiving feast, I thought.

Out of the freezer came turkeypoo. I tossed him in the microwave and defrosted for about an hour or so, turning and tossing as directed by the microwave. Finally, it was soft enough to handle. I tossed it from the microwave, into the sink for the last part of the thaw. While working on the thaw in the sink, I took out the charcoal(pre fluided, of course). Please note that I have been spoiled these many years and nearly never have to start the grill myself. I have a doting husband who usually takes this task on for me.

Well, it was certainly shocking the amount of flames that comes out of one of those little bags of charcoal. My one, precious and very loved castiron pot was my dream to put on the open flames. A rinse or two and shaking the last of the ice out of the bird and into my precious pot.

No Grandma Rosie, I will not be massaging this bird with you, as usual. Every year she and I have wonderful conversations over the massage. I renigged on the yearly enjoyment. I'm flying this bird solo, I told her. She closed her eyes and said, C'est la vie.

For some reason, I had forgotten that turkey was that heavy when you put it in the pot. It was over ten pounds, very large and very heavy. That's okay the flames should cook it very well, I thought. A little oil and salt and pepper, on the skin was all that I thought to put. The flavor will come from the grilling process.

My grill was having technical difficulties at this point. I took the shelf off the grill and then it didn't fit back on properly. Maybe, it needs the weight of the turkey to hold it down. So, I brought my wonderful castiron bottomed turkey outside to meet Mr. Grillipoo. I did have on my Berkies to protect my feet and potholders to protect my hands. When I placed the turkey on the shelf it started to lean back and the weight of the turkey flew back into the grill and the flames engulfed the entire thing. I tried to close it to lower the flames, but it was too hot. By this time, Grandma Rosie(visiting from heaven) and Emily and Ethan who was home from school, because of a fall were laughing at me. It took about 40 minutes or so for the flames to die down enough to close the grill.

What do we do? Emily kept asking. We kept looking at it, thinking that it was sure to explode on us. The flames were sweeping out of the 6 inch space that was created by the shelf that wouldn't sit right. Kind of like a seesaw thing was happening because of the weight of the turkey. Elyse said later, that if I had added one of the bags of clothes to the soup, I could have blown up the house. (LOL) So much for the confidence of my children in cooking the turkey without incident.

I went upstairs to take a nap and asked Emily to keep watch, in case it exploded and we needed to call 911. The adventure was a little too much for this woman, nearing 50. As I sunk off to sleep, I heard, what sounded like an explosion to me. I ran down the stairs. Nothing looked different, but Em said she had heard it too. Em said that bird is in the coals, I just know it. When I put on my fire retardent berkies and went outside to check on the process. I saw a beautifully browned bird roasting and leaning in the coals and looking greatly cooked. It would be hours before it was ready, of course, but it turned out all beautifully browned and luscious to the taste. I am grateful for the lessons learned, but I am not sure I'll be grilling a turkey ever again.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Thoughts---Christmas is about the ultimate gift

The first gift that I am thinking about that is exemplified and symbolized in the season of Christmas is the ultimate gift of God.
It is the gift of Himself.
God put on flesh and came to us in a time when we could not find Him.

People knew about God, before Christ came, but people could not be in closest communion with Him, until Christ came to redeem the lost.

If we celebrate Christmas through all eternity, it could never show the beauty or the splendor of the magnitude of how great a distance the Lord of Glory came to become man and be born in the greatest humility.

He kept saying throughout His life on the earth that the sorriest people are the people who think that there is no need to be reconciled to God. Those who know the most about God without redemption in Christ cannot know communion with Christ. It is very clear throughout the Old Testament, that the "Children of Israel" were given private access (so to speak) to knowledge about God to point them to the need of a Savior. It was clearly impossible
that the blood of bulls and goats could atone
for sin and give access to the eternally perfect God. God wrapped the perfect present in the skin of humanity and gave us Himself. Halleluia, What a Savior.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby sister!

I remember the tech expert, in our house growing up was Jackie. Tech in our house was very important, because something was breaking everyday. Jackie was the one that taught us to use the channel changer for the tv when the knob broke. She was the one who rigged up the antennae from a hanger for us. She could change a tire at a very early age and I hear that she discovered the internet. Believe it or not we didn't have internet as it is now, we used grapevines. Jacqueline was the grapevine. She invented the silent treatment and other forms of sisterly coersion that were non-violent, as well as some of the violent ones.
What a fun and crazy childhood we had. I am happy that I got to spend so many of my early days with my Jackie. Have a great one, sister!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shake Your Baby Booties?

Years ago, I titled the day after Thanksgiving-"Shake Your Baby Booties Day". In my mind, I imagined being able to have a family reunion-type celebration (Before the grand-ladies were admitted to Trump-Pavillion)Dancing through the years and hopefully shaking some of the pounds off.
Year after year, the elders started to leave us and I lost the dream of ever being able to host such an event in our family. My children accomodate me in recent years, in our home, as we celebrate it, more as a holiday than a dream that never materialized
This year, we started in the 1930's with Guy Lombardo. I told them about Honey and Bunny and Uncle Larry and his humor. None of my children remember uncle at all. We whizzed by the fifties and concentrated on the mambo and the dances that my parents would do. Tito Puente delighted them. They had also never heard of him, either. For the sixties, they were very familiar with my preferences, having heard the Jackson 5 stories entirely too much. So, this year I concentrated on the Saturday Night Fever generation and the things that were different for me, in highschool than at home. We danced the Hustle and that led us into the line dance craze. After every song, eight year old Ezra insisted that we must be up to his generation now. We skipped alot of pertinent dances and cultural events from the family and jumped to the Hoedown Showdown, which is still outside of my range of ability. The "Cupid Shuffle" and the "Electric Slide" were more in my ability range. We had a blast, reminiscing. Finally, we were at Ezra's generation. Sonic! Those fellows moved their baby booties, like I hadn't seen them do. It aged me to see the speed of their Sonic dances. Looks like progress is happening, if you look for speed vs. accuracy. We were more than breaking a sweat, by the time we got to the present day, from 1930.--Tempus fugit:)

Friday, November 25, 2011

"And driving down the road, I get a feeling

That I should have been home yesterday!"

A friend of Elyse's invited us to the mountains for Thanksgiving. The mountains trampled my homesickness, for a moment and I met new friends, ate very well and came home with a new respect for my old John Denver albums that introduced me to the mountains before now. He did much to put the unspeakable privilege of discovery of the mountain beauty, from a crass urban perspective, into words. I don't feel that I can say it any better than he. Just to converse with the reality of the beauty of having sight to see such things.
It seemed Heidi and Grandfather, met me in the mountain, in my imagination and they escorted me through my fears into this unknown territory. It seems that the higher elevations take you above the stories of the plains into the stories of the higher love stories. Heidi and Grandfather's was on the top of the heap, in my mind. I saw the beauty of their story from a new perspective, looking from that elevation and I loved them all the more. I saw more mutuality in the story than I had seen earlier. I saw more in Grandfather than an old curmudgeon. I saw the embrace of the mountain and the love that can keep you up there, as though the stars were your Macy's Day parade and the dances that they do to entertain were more spectacular than the Rockettes.
I met real friends there, not just the fictional characters that I had learned to love in the mountains of my imagination and they were all the more precious, for having invited us to break bread and feast sumptuously of food and enjoyments.
As I inferred before, the mountains' feet stomped my homesickness and I felt that I "should have been there yesterday"?
Oh, I was there yesterday, it wasn't just a dream.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I almost always start Thanksgiving Week thinking of my favorite presents that I got yearly from my parents...

As I often tell it: The stork came yearly or so to our house to bring me a new playmate. I loved them very much and I learned to love the stork for bringing them to me. We didn't have a boy, though. This week marks the week that the boy came to live with us. I remember kissing Mike on his little bald head and bidding him farewell and wishing to Heaven that God would give us a boy in Mommy's tummy. Her tummy was already big, as it usually got, when the stork was coming to our house. This was the week that I remember the Christmas that came in November. The bunch of us girls were gathered in the room, looking out of the window and wishing. It is November 24th, God must be sending us a boy, this time. We got 2 boys from God, before it was all over. An amazing providence and the entire school jumped with cheers when they announced it over the loudspeaker at school...
"Peace on Earth, Good will toward Men and the Boddens had a boy." The most unusual occurrence in a decade. And I got to tell about it, to our principal.
What a Happy Thanksgiving that was!

The bunch of us, a little after the boy was born--fourth playmate Amy is on the right corner
Third playmate, Jo
me and my first playmate, Ju!{I was mothering her, even then}
Second playmate, Jackie

Friday, November 11, 2011

Amazing Grace on Veteran's Day-11/11/11

Mahalia! There is nothing else to say!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Speaking of Bedtime Stories---...400 weeks ago today,

After a short, nine month pregnancy, I met a little girl who changed my whole life. She was pink and grey with a few black spots in various places. My dalmatian baby grew into her color rather quickly and became a dear, dear daughter. We grew in knowledge of the Lord's comfort together and nightly for a long while we sang this hymn before bed. She would snuggle and daddy and mommy and Elyse sat under the comforting care of the Lord, in the most special way. We hid in the Lord and now, 25 years later we are still comforted and aware of the presence of God in our life, in difficulty and in blessings. I am ever grateful for a ministering daughter who is, now a dear, dear friend.

Hiding in Thee

O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
So sinful, so weary, Thine, Thine would I be;
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.

Hiding in Thee, Hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages,"
I'm hiding in Thee.

In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow's lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o'er me its pow'r;
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like seabillows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crazed Mother goes to bring lunch and sundries to disheveled preteen

I have been in a weakened physical state. I have had to limit my social exposure and my physical exertion, for pain's sake. My precious daughter volunteered to take me to rescue the son of my womb, in his dilemma in Math and Spanish and Lunch. I love his middle-school attitude. He is truly, more my son, than any of the other. He has no maternal help. His mother and father have more to do than to be able to help him in his work. He doesn't want that help, these days, even when it is offered. But, on the day of delivery, he needs a bailout package. We printed the final documents, with the help of our dearest neighbors and barrelled down the road to deliver them.
The wrinkled and motley genius met me in the office. That boy looks just like me, I giggled. More inside the brain than outside the brain. Color coordinated? Not! Concerned about his work and inventions? Always. No question about his lunch. Here is your lunch and your papers and your contribution to the party. No thanks, really. I kissed his disheveled forehead. I saw my mind delivered there into middle school. I saw my mind walking around in that little fellow's body. We are a strange and motley family. We are curious and learners, not masters, but intellects, just the same. God loves us, in spite of ourselves. Usually, the joke between the Ethy boy and me is-- we look into eachother's eyes and shake our heads and say "Only a mother could love". We do love eachother.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

He Brought Me Out!

RC Sproul was preaching it today. He illucidated the components of the faith that we accept and that is the full working of God in our souls. Sometimes the devil uses reasoning to lasso your soul to call truths into question for the justifying of some sin of unbelief. The real truth is not afraid of being broken down into components. We are not saved in a vacuum. We are the fruit of generations of believers, who have set down studies that can be profitable for the growth of our souls. We often are held accountable in our unbelief for not making use of the studies of the generations before us. I believe that the more technology enables us, we will see this coming to bear upon us. If we neglect the histories that are ours, through grace and faith, we often live to repeat the same pitfalls of the former generations. We have these lessons to grow us and to shape us into conformity to Christ as His Bride the Church. I was rejoicing that it seemed a little thing for RC Sproul to break down some of the very heady elements of doctrine into bitesized pieces.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Scare anybody with your mask today!

The sky was far more distant, when I went outside this morning. My little dipper was alot higher over my neighbor's house, than it usually had been last week. Two weeks ago, the handle of the dipper seemed to lay on the ground on the street beside our house, but this morning it was high in the sky and it didn't even tempt me to reach up to it.
The teenagers came down first. I begged for kisses and they begrudgingly accomodated me. I felt it necessary to remind them of the Reformation celebration of today. It is the 494 anniversary of the posting of the 95 theses by Martin Luther. Yea, Yea, the unenthusiastic teenagers have nothing of the excitement of the first two waves of teenagers that I had. The earlier ones had ideas and desires for sharing the story on such a day. Not these two. I sang the Proverbs 31 song to them and I saw a little light in Enoch's eyes of familiarity. Then, I played the Judy Roger's songs. Mom, you didn't make that one up? said Evie. No way. What a bummer, she said, I thought you had made the song of the 7 things the Lord hates up. anyway, I like how you sing it better. Thanks Ev, I appreciate that. I said it is Halloween, you know. Ev said, I know, I am going to school as a Black Girl. LOL. I said Don't scare anybody with your mask. We giggled, {the absolute most that you can garner from this unemotional teen group}
The joke didn't go too well with the middleschooler, Ethan. He took a long time to get the joke. What are you trying to say, mom? Nothing, Ethy. Don't take it too personally. Ezra was whistling a Mighty Fortress and They Will Know We are Christians. And we are grateful for the opportunity to laugh and rejoice on the day, today.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reformation Sunday celebrated in style.

I was sick and at home. God timed my sickness to coincide with the beautiful celebration of the Reformation at 10th Presbyterian Church. I was awed and blessed at the tremendous and spectacular praise and worship that I was privileged to enter into by the blessing of the live webcast. I am grateful to them for sharing this beauty with the world. What a gift to me. I will never forget and I am planning to try to make it to Philly for the 500th anniversary of Luther's theses in 2017. A Noble Intention!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

There is water running, I thought...

It was the rain outside. It was pouring outside and I didn't have to worry that somebody had left something running. Yesterday, was cloudy, but we didn't get a soaking that we got last night, or this morning. I hope, for my flower's sake that it rains the whole day. No matter how frazzled I get. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

80 degrees yesterday and 59 degrees this morning

What a fickle morning it is? I went outside in the morning hours and my dear friend the little dipper was not in it's spot. Just to the left of my view from my back door and over my neighbor's house, where it usually sits in the morning. No stars were out there. Just a grey and overcast sky. A sense of closedness struck me, we are under the clouds was an alarming thought to me. I know that they are up there and I know that God is above it all, but the change was dismaying. We are grateful for the rain and we are grateful for the sunshine and we are grateful for the weather trends that are our NC experience.
Trusting God in the vicisitudes of life is our ambition.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today, I am thanking God for the boys--Ethan and Ezra!

I often find myself thanking God for the elder children in the house. They are not as much underfoot. Nor need they be prodded much, for the most part, at making themselves useful and helpful. Sometimes, I do find myself wondering at the wisdom of having a large family, though I repent quickly, when I do.
I do remember, when I was expecting Ezra, Aunt Gail reminded me that I would find much joy in the younger children, as Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Bob did with Robby and Paul. The thought of children born, as it were, out of turn, is something that is not a taboo subject in our family. We are unashamedly prolife, as a family and we are aware of the providence of God, in His timing of precious surprise packages into our family.
This morning their waking and the path to the bus was especially blessed and a precious reminder of the days before they were here. I remembered homeschooling and reading about a precious set of boys that were provoked by eachother to dress and wash and where everything that they did was a contest of firsts. The boys were at it. Our dear border collie is constantly nipping at them not to hurt eachother. They are in constant competition with eachother. This morning, I set the timer for them to get washed and teeth brushed. Ezra {our heel-catcher} was swiftly on the ball for this contest. Ethan didn't even flinch. Unusually, the job was finished before the teens got on the bus. I remembered closing my eyes, when my heart was smitten with grief that I hadn't my baby Ben and wished for two boys to do just that and when I opened my eyes there they were. Here and in the flesh, like Pinocchio. I was rejoicing out loud at God's reminder of this precious gift that I was enjoying. Evelyn said, you mean you wanted boys like Fritz and Ernst in Swiss Family Robinson.
That led us on a journey of the Ernst that I knew. I said, I did not remember that Ernst was in Swiss family Robinson. She said, not only that they fought and fought. I said, I know. I started introducing the children to the Ernst that I knew and loved...Dr. Lang. I said, he was thin and walked like this. "Dr. Laaaaaannnnnng!" he answered the phone and the chill of the stethoscope on our bodies. What is a broken hip says Ezra? Why did he walk like that? Don't ask that question. Not 10 minutes after the story was over, he fell down the steps and then banged the front part of his hip on the corner of the furniture. I said that is your hip. Perhaps you will be a hip doctor, I said. We jested that the good Dr. couldn't let him go to school today not knowing where his hip was. LOL.
Daily mercies and protection and guidance we are grateful for.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Brrrrutiful Surrrrrprise!

I love NC, if only for the length of summer for us. We've enjoyed the taste of autumn and the trees are changing color. My corn that I planted in my 3ft.x3ft square spot of ground didn't make it. No okra, this season, like last year and the one pumpkin that I got was green and one inch big. So be it for the green thumb that I am cultivating. Snap and Ginger are hanging on and Diva and Prima Dona, do need some care if they will make it through the winter here. Those are my trees.
This morning, though amidst the chill of the cold morning, peeking its head above the heather and euphoria, that are crying for lack of care, a pretty blooming flower made her appearance. An autumn taste of summer. I think that I stuck some sunflower seeds in the euphoria beds, just for future possibilities and here she is, in October, making her debut. I was dumbfounded and pleasantly surprised. I do love her!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Another cold day, in North Carolina? We simply do not know what to do with ourselves? It is as though we are on our way to the pool in swimsuits and old man winter jumps us.

Where are your parkas? Where are the long pants and long sleeve shirts? We shouldn't really be surprised. It is October.

The house didn't cool below 70 overnight. So we still don't really need the heat on. It will warm up to the mid-sixties by early morning, but it is 38 outside. What sissies we have become from the North Carolina spoiling. The pool in our neighborhood closed on Oct 2nd and It was really too early, we thought. It stayed warm until yesterday.

We were ready. The Walker bear cubs were ready for the chill, somewhat. Ethy went out without a coat, but his bus will carry him to the school and we will pick him up, if there are any problems.

I do love the technology that makes less of the usual school mishaps. ie. Ethan started a big hullaballoo about a paper that was lost and due in his pre-Algebra. I will get a zero. We were both, Ben and I, in the middle of the speech about remembering to put your papers where they belong, when he said. I thought the teacher would email you the assignment. I told her that I had lost it. Sure enough, there it was in my email. "MY-bad" {as they say}. The trauma was lessened by a teacher who saved the day. The assignment was finished in "Charette-style" and bearcub in bed at a semidescent hour. I love technology!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I came downstairs, this morning and the chill of 69 degrees in the house was, quite a surprise, if not a shock from the warmer temperatures that we have been accustomed to. It was 45 outside. I did put on a little heat and the fireplace to warm the downstairs, but left the upstairs to itself.

It is difficult to pry the Ethan fellow, {now a middle schooler} out of his bed on these cold mornings. I had to bribe him into the shower, offering my warm robe for his cold body, after the shower. I didn't have to say that twice. He was off to the showers, like a trooper. All was well that he made it to the bus, though, I don't know if he got a bite of grits before he flew off.

The teenagers made it and Ezra was very disoriented by the cold. His brain seemed to have a bit of cobwebs stuck to them this chilled day. He ate and had loads of stories of this and that, before he went out to the busstop.

It is supposed to warm into the 60's today, a chilly one for the week. The blanket of Autumn seems to be creeping up over us. We are so spoiled with 80 degree weather, we don't know what to do when the house chills down under 70. We could, all eight of us snuggle to warm the house, but the largeness and the sweetness of our family would melt in the snuggle. We keep our distance and turn on the heat and peace prevails. Thank God!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ladybug is 16 Today!

What a woman? Enough said.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday Boy is Eight!

It seems yesterday that he was a five pound premie, hardly squeezed into the carseat with pillows and blankets to fill the spaces that he couldn't and here he is a big boy. Still with the same gleam and joy of life in his eyes. Happy to be here, everyday is great for him. He looks into things far deeper and far sweeter than the rest of us. He seems to understand the depths of grace more than the rest of us at the same age. When we are glum for one reason or another, he seems to be able to find the silver lining. Why is everybody so blue? is his constant question. He could be in trouble, or just have gotten a spanking for some misstep and he still smiles and says the day was just great. How was your day?
The smile at being eight was bigger and wider than any of the other ages. He shows me, everyday the joy of being alive. Watch out world, he seems to say, I am eight and I am coming through. What a beautiful life to get to watch?

Title- The Studious One!

Title-  The Studious One!
artwork by Elyse

Of biscuits and syrup

Of biscuits and syrup
tasty treats

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday!
a day at the Raptor Center.

Widdle Emmie in outer space school

Emmie jumped on the bus and off it flew out into the atmosphere. There was a set of clouds with turbulence right above the house and it took a few minutes for my Emmie to buckle her seatbelt. They hit the bump hard and it knocked my Emmie out of her seat and she bumped her head. The video camera came on and the monitor looked through and stated, Ms. Emmie, where are you? You are not in your seat. Where are you? I am alright I fell because I hadn’t buckled correctly. Well jump up Emmie we have a long way to go and you have to be buckled there is entirely too much turbulence in the stratosphere for you to unbuckle now. As soon as we are through this weather system there will be straight sailing but right now you must buckle. Emmie scrambled into the seat with intensity and purpose now. She watched every cloud pass her window and her nose was pressed to the window trying to see the top of the house as it drifted slowly out of sight. Soon they were not only out of sight of the house, the sun came out brightly and just as quickly they were putting on the atmospherical breathing apparatus and the outerspherical lights. The ABA and the OL. These precautions were to make them appear to be satellites to the radar as they were out in the ionosphere. Emmie knew all about this now. She had gone to the orientation and had a good breakfast and it took them 20 minutes for her to get out past the atmospherical pull and to feel the zero gravity. It would be 15 minutes before the gravity simulators would take effect, a glitch in the system which was being worked on. Until then, they enjoyed the couple of minutes of floatation, while being connected to the seats by belt. The first thing they saw everyday was the strataflotsam. The items which had been dumped into the atmosphere by earlier generations. What would their generation do about this ecological waste area that remained floating above their heads? This was a question for the generations. For now it was the area that they had to guide through on the way to school.

Midnight at the OASIS

Midnight at the OASIS
Sunset in Huntersville

My little Emmie

ran to the bus on the first day of the last year of school. 2 buns on the side of her head. She kissed me and ran at dawn to the bus. She was starting the adventure of a lifetime. I would never see that little girl again, she was going to woman school!

My Father and I 1989

My Father and I 1989

to the tune of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme


Are you going to Mary Immaculate?

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Remember me to the one who lived there,

He once was a true love of mine,

Tell him to buy me an acre of land,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Between the muddy Hudson in Jamaica Bay,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to sow in it seeds of pure cream,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And build Ice cream mountains and buildings of whipped cream,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to reap them with sickles of M&M’s,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And chew bubble gum and eat till we’re done,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine.

Tell him to run it off down the motor parkway,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

After your done 50 pushups

and jog down the West Side Highway,

Then he’ll be a true love of mine…

(Don’t wait for me today dad, The kids are sick again, My tummy’s bulging again, My heart is aching again, And now there’s no love there…)

He once was, a true love of mine….So, Girls, I do beg you don't miss your Daddy,Apricots, Chocolate cherries and Pie,You have one short chance to see him on this side, Go visit him and let your light shine.