June 30, 2008

Print Awareness

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

tender 4

Punkin, my three year old, has a passionate attachment to this train. He loves his Gordon and Gordon's coal tender. His brother Buddy has the Edward engine (in the background of this picture; number 2 tender). They are competitive and loyal to their favorites. I could not tell them apart until I realized how important the distinction was to Punkin.

The Brio trains are hand-me-downs from my oldest son. We have a huge collection of tracks. Buddy is asking for an electric train for his birthday and I am thinking of getting these "smart tracks". I discovered you can build your own tracks online here.

Punkin gets engrossed in putting the track together and setting his train up on the dining room floor. He has an intense concentration and emerging understanding of how to lay out the track. I think he is better at it than the other two boys were at this age.

The other day we were in the kitchen and Punkin noticed the numbers on the microwave panel. "Hey! That's my Gordon!" he exclaimed, pointing to the number "4". I congratulated him for recognizing the number and gave him the correct name for it.

When he got chicken nuggets yesterday he saw the 4 on the box of nuggets. He said, "Hey! that's four! I have four on my Gordon!"

He knows the first letter of his name and his brother's names and often pulls them out of the print environment. He can "read" the names of our favorite stores and calls my attention to them on signs. I think there is a connection between the train play and the language development.

June 29, 2008

Did not our hearts burn

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” -Luke 24:30-32

figs in rain

Lilian has some luscious photos of Brazilian fruits from her last visit. I thought I should share how beautiful my fig tree is in the rain.

figs in rain

figs in rain

These won't be ripe until mid July. Then Buddy and I will be in stiff competition to see who gets to eat them; he wants them straight off the tree, I want to make fig cookies. It looks like we will have more this year than last.

June 28, 2008

I shall be satisfied

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

little dresses

Yesterday I attended the funeral of an old friend. We were in the same book club for years. She taught my son in kindergarten and I taught her daughter in kindergarten. She died of a sudden heart attack. The memorial service was heartbreaking. Listening to her family and closest friends remember and mourn her loss was wrenching.

Her brother shared that he had just attended the ivy league university graduation of her daughter. At the ceremony there were over a thousand graduates and not enough chairs set up for all of them. He was complaining that if it had been his neighboring famous engineering school graduation the engineers would have made sure there were enough chairs. She just quietly said, "Well, arts and sciences people just go get more chairs."

He also said that he knew she was looking forward to joining her late husband in heaven. He read us a portion of her diary where she had written about visiting his grave last March. She wrote how much she missed him still, ten years after his death. They are together now, in peace in the presence of Jesus.

June 26, 2008

He Loves Me


For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from God.
God only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
-Psalm 62:5-7

June 25, 2008

Cement Truck

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” -Luke 22:31-32


There's a spot in the dirt under the tree swing where they like to dig and play with trucks.

June 24, 2008

Raspberry Sorbet

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” -Luke 22:17-18


Raspberry sorbet

3/4 lb. fresh raspberries
1 1/2 c. sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. cranberry or other red juice
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 c. cold water

1. Combine the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate covered at least 1 hour.
2. When ready to freeze, add the red juice, corn syrup, and water and stir gently until blended.
3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturerer' instructions.

Makes 1 quart.

The recipe I am following (Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book) calls for 1/4 c. dry red wine. They say:
"The combination of red wine and raspebrries is so stupendous that we always drizzle a little extra wine on top of each scoop. A generous shot of Chianti over raspberry sorbet creates a truely synergistic effect."

But since I am serving to little kids I substituted red juice for the wine. Delicious and refreshing!


raspberry sorbet

June 23, 2008


But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. -Luke 21:18-19


My parents got a brand new trike for Punkin to ride at their house. Buddy has a second hand two wheeler that he is also delighted with. We picked raspberries and climbed the holly tree yesterday when we went to see them after church.

June 22, 2008

Green tomato

green tomatoes

The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.
So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar's.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent. -Luke 20:19-26

June 21, 2008

First Day of Summer

"Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’" -Luke 20:13

impala fountain

The weather was perfect. The zoo was packed. The polar bear was in the water playing ball.

This is the first time I've ever uploaded a video. I took it on my little Kodak Z730, shot through the glass. It turned out pretty well, considering.

June 20, 2008

Red Tea Pot

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! -Luke 19:41-42

tea pot

I bought this plastic tea set 18 years ago, when my oldest son was 2. It's still a favorite poolside toy.

June 19, 2008

Day lily

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. -Luke 19:1-6

June 18 011

June 18, 2008

Summer Breakfast


When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. -Luke 18:22-23

June 17, 2008

Sun room chairs

"He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” -Luke 18:2-8

sunroom chairs

My first summer project is done. I recovered these chair seats so we can have breakfast and lunch in the sun room. I bought these chairs and table eight years ago at a house sale. The vinyl seats were ripped and splitting the seams. I have wanted to fix them for a couple years but I didn't know how. Two of my aunts know a lot about refinishing and reupholstering furniture so I knew it was something I could learn.

I went to the fabric store and asked the clerk a bunch of questions. I bought the canvas she recommended and went to the home improvement store to get the staple gun she told me to get. I asked the clerk in the home improvement store what kind of staples to get. I love when the clerk knows how to help you figure out a project. On their recommendations, and based on how I imagined it would work, I duct taped them back together and covered them with stain-guarded, outdoor canvas. I didn't cover the back panel because they are not ripped, although they are pretty well worn. I didn't want to fuss with sewing fitted covers. I could have painted the wrought iron frames too but decided to leave that for the next time the covers need replacing. I like how they look now with fashionablely distressed paint. I cleaned up the sun room too and threw out a bunch of old toys. I moved the table and chairs to the other side of the room so the sun won't fade the chair covers.

It's a sweet spot to sit with morning coffee reading my Bible. It is so nice to get up before the boys and look out at my garden, listening to the birds sing.

June 16, 2008

Swing chain in late sunlight

swing chain

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin." -Luke 17:1-2

June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in God's temple.
-Psalm 27:4


rotor saw

Yard sale shopping in my parents neighborhood yesterday. We scored a box full of kid's toy power tools. Grampa just happened to have some wood scraps in the shed that needed work.

June 14, 2008

Newborn feet

"And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'" -Luke 15:31-32

newborn feet

This is Bella, an infant who is staying with my parents for a little while. She's about a week old. Just think how far these feet will take her.

June 13, 2008


“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” -Luke 15:8-10


At the end of the year family picnic Punkin's class sang the ABC song, Twinkle, Twinkle, and I'm a Little Teapot. We had a great time.

June 12, 2008

Daddy Long Legs

daddy long legs

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
-Psalm 16:11

June 11, 2008

My library is in the hallway.


"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" -Luke 13:34b

June 10, 2008


Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. -Luke 13:10-13

June 9 018

June 9 025

June 9 030

9,350 books
490 boxes
253 shelves
10 rolls of package tape* (ran out 3/4 of the way packed)
3 teenage boys
2 days
1 ipod
1 dozen donuts*

*= could have used lots more

June 9, 2008

Memory Quilt

"Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more." -Luke 12:48b


This weekend I finished a couch-size quilt for one of my sons' daycare teachers. Miss Heather has been in the toddler room for longer than my boys have been in care there. She is one of those wonderfully loving, patient, sparkling teachers that you never forget. She really enjoys being with the kids; finds them funny and interesting and amazing even when they are exasperating. Punkin adores her and sometimes the only thing that helps him get through the morning goodbye transition is a hug from Miss Heather.

She is in her mid-twenties and hoping to finish school and get into the medical profession. She got a job in a hospital lab so she is leaving the daycare. We will miss her so much! I thank God both my little boys had the benefit of her TLC over the past three years.

The quilt is nine-patch squares in shades of blue. The kids are going to put their hand prints all over it with blue fabric paints. Then everyone (adults and kids) can sign their name with fabric pens.

June 8, 2008


“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." -Luke 12:32-34


At the end of the year my students shower me with lovely gifts. This year I received a picnic blanket with a water-resistant side and a soft fleece side. We decided to have a picnic in the backyard yesterday to try it out. We are in our first heat wave of the season but that didn't keep us from playing out in the backyard for hours.

It is the cutest thing in the world to hear Punkin's little lisp trying to say "Mama can I have some more lemmonanon?" (lemonade) When the answer is "yes" he hops for joy and sings "Yippie!"

June 7 058

June 7, 2008

Dinner Bell

"Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” [...] And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” -Luke 12:13, 15

June 6 023

I bought this bell in a thrift store about ten years ago to use in my first grade classroom. The group that year was particularly exuberant and distracted by novelty so I collected as many different types of attention-getting tools as possible.

Now I use it to ring my kids in for dinner. When I was a kid my mom had a bell she rang for dinner and every kid in the neighborhood knew that it was our mother calling us for dinner. I like the way you can see the traces of paint in the etchings on this one. I can almost imagine what it looked like new.

If you click the picture to link through to flickr and see it large you can just make out my reflection in the blue pot.

June 6, 2008


While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. -Luke 11:37-41

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June 5, 2008

When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light...

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body." -Luke 11:33-34a

June 4 013

June 4, 2008

After School

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. -Luke 11:9-10

after school

June 3, 2008



But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary." -Luke 10:41-42a

June 2, 2008

He likes to make skid marks

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” -Luke 10:23-24

June 1 002

When you see this on your kid's bike tire, what do you do?

June 1, 2008

May Mosiac

May 2008

I missed about a week in the middle of May when I left my camera out in the rain. Fortunately my son Buster has connections at a camera shop where he used to work and he got it cleaned out and fixed for me.

I took a lot of flower photos this month. Last night at dinner I told Buster "I think I'm getting tired of flower photos."

He said, "Start editing them with cool effects. Try black and white or something. Take photos of something else like buildings or people."

Maybe I'll try that. Problem is I don't find buildings as interesting and beautiful as green plants and flowers. People I love but I don't like putting faces on my blog. Maybe I need a new theme like hands and feet... or toys... or food.... hmmmm

Anyone got a theme idea for June?


And all were astonished at the majesty of God. -Luke 9:43a

may 31 017

This is a miniature rose I bought last summer in a pot at the grocery store. This is the first bloom of the season. I planted it in one of my sunny spots but then we planted pumpkin seeds right next to it so I am going to have to move it or it will be overwhelmed. I am trying to find another good sunny spot but those are in short supply in my shade-loving yard.