March 31, 2008

Dazzling Daffies

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. -Mark 1:35

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I'm going overboard with daffodils this weekend. The yard is full of them. I love looking out the kitchen window and seeing them cheerfully nodding at me. The boys were playing baseball in the backyard and ran some over so I went out to pick a bunch. A host of golden daffodils sat on my dining room table soaking up the late afternoon sun. Very early this morning when I came down in the dark with a sick and feverish boy the house was filled with their strong sweet scent.

Last week Punkin was sick; this week I guess it's Buddy's turn. Thank God Grammie and Grampa can take care of them while I go to work.

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See more in the Flickr set here.

March 30, 2008

Forcythia

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In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

-Mark 1:9-13

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March 29, 2008

Narcisis

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Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
-Psalm 148:1-2

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March 28, 2008

Drizzled Daffodils

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Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
Psalms 177:1-2

March 27, 2008

Red Maple Tree Flowers

red maple tree flowers

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge God,
and God will make straight your paths.
-Proverbs 3:5-6

March 26, 2008

First Cherry Blossoms

ornamental cherry

“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
-Psalm 39:4-7

March 25, 2008

Zoo Day

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“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers."
-Psalm 39:12

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Spring is the best time to go to the zoo. The weather was mild; breezy and sunny. The crowds were small and every one was relaxed. We had a great time. My favorite way to take the zoo is with just one child. Punkin was a delight; bopping around in wide-eyed wonder.

The zebras and giraffes were posing for the camera.

These elephants will be moving to another zoo soon because there is not enough room for them here. This might be the last time we see them. More photos at Flickr.

March 24, 2008

Dressed for Church

.... and waiting for mom. Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday 2

Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
-Psalm 118:19-24

March 23, 2008

Easter and Punkin's Birthday

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
—John 20:1-18, NIV

third birthday cake

Yesterday we had Punkin's 3rd birthday party. The cake is gluten free, chocolate, with my cream cheese frosting. Punkin picked out the flowers himself. They are not the kind I would have picked but they turned out perfect for the party.

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Alleluia the Lord is Risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Happy Easter!!!

March 22, 2008

Kiwi

kiwi in sun

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!
The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;
the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
The LORD has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24, NIV

March 21, 2008

How to keep a 3 year old Busy

vacuuming

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
-Psalm 9:1-2

March 20, 2008

City Mural

“And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’-Acts 22:12-16

city mural

I spent a very special day in the city yesterday. My five year old Buddy and I went to the natural history museum to see the dinosaurs. We rode the train in and had a fabulous time.

March 19, 2008

Catkin

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
-Psalm 34:1-3

catkin

The other day I found the book Photographing the Natural World by Heather Angel on Buster's bookshelf. I read it straight through and I think I picked up a few tips. She talks mainly about using film, not digital, but what she says about using natural light is very helpful to me.

"Use backlighting to increase the vibrance of colorful petal or leaves viewed against a neutral background or a shadow area. Late in the day, front lighting can be very dramatic. It also enhances warm colours."
I have noticed the catkins on this bush outside my window several times. I think it's a Black Willow but I'm not sure. This is the first time I was able to go outside and take a photo right when I noticed them looking remarkable. This was late afternoon on an overcast day.

March 18, 2008

Purple Haze

violet sunshine 3

Purple haze all in my brain

closeup golden crocus

Lately things just dont seem the same

sun and shadow on crocus

Actin funny, but I dont know why

violet sunshine 6

scuse me while I kiss the sky

March 17, 2008

Tulip leaves; flames of fire

tulip leaves

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the
Lord shakes the wilderness;
the
Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,

and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

-Psalm 29:7-9

Andromeda


This is a Japanese Andromeda (pieris japonica) growing in my backyard. I didn't plant it, the family that lived here before us did. I was just tickled to find it blooming in my backyard the first spring. When I looked it up I was pleased to discover we share the same name! It is an evergreen shrub that likes partial shade and blooms in early spring. Some people call it "Lily of the Valley" shrub.


March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

yellow

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” -Zechariah 9:9

“Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” -Matthew 21:9

The days of Holy Week:

"It is this dimension that is well served by Holy Week observances, as they call us to move behind the joyful celebrations of Palm Sunday and Easter, and focus on the suffering, humiliation, and death that is part of Holy Week. It is important to place the hope of the Resurrection, the promise of newness and life, against the background of death and endings. It is only in walking through the shadows and darkness of Holy Week and Good Friday, only in realizing the horror and magnitude of sin and its consequences in the world incarnated in the dying Jesus on the cross, only in contemplating the ending and despair that the disciples felt on Holy Saturday, that we can truly understand the light and hope of Sunday morning!" -Dennis Bratcher

March 15, 2008

The Color Purple

crocus 3

Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord,
give praise, O servants of the Lord,
who stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
-Psalm 135:1-3

crocus 4

March 14, 2008

Still life in sun

tomatoes & banana

Yesterday I left school early to go to the doctor. I've had this cough for a month and been to the dr. already but it's not going away. She calls it bronchitis and has me on an inhaler. She did a test for pertussis yesterday and said to keep doing the inhaler. It's one of those irritating coughs that the body takes a long time to heal. She thinks it doesn't need an antibiotic, just sleep and good food and fluids.

I went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of fruit and veggies. Then I went home and photographed tomatoes and blue glass sitting in the afternoon sun. The house was quiet because the boys were still at daycare. I need a little more of this.

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"For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him."
-Psalm 18:28-30

March 13, 2008

Spice Bush

These are the spice bushes growing beside the parking lot.

spice bush

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Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For God commanded and they were created.
And God established them forever and ever;
God gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!"
-Psalms 148:5-9

March 12, 2008

Depression Glass

depression glass bowl

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is God served by human hands, as though God needed anything, since God gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. -Acts 17:24-25

Yesterday I photographed a blue sherbet cup sitting on this same dining room table in the last of the afternoon's sunshine. Today is cloudy and I took this photo about an hour later in the day. The lighting is so poor the image is grainy. I lightened it up in Picasa but I am still disappointed with the quality of the image. These two photos show the limitation of what my camera can do. It's really only excellent in bright sunshine.

March 11, 2008

Cobalt blue

cobalt sherbet dish

On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
-Psalm 138:3, 8

March 10, 2008

Parsley

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"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” -Acts 16:25-31

March 9, 2008

Lilac buds & Crocuses in rain

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O
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
-Psalm 8:1

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March 8, 2008

Blue Madonna

blue madona

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

-Psalm 103:1-5

This Madonna is carved from yellowish soapstone. Buster bought it for me for Mother's Day a few years ago from Ten Thousand Villages. I've been trying to take a good picture of it for a year. The light is always wrong. This time I played with it in Picasa, making it B&W and then adjusting the "color temperature" slide to give it blue tints.

It amuses me that the baby Jesus looks like he wants to get down and run around. Mary looks a bit resigned. She's got a wicked grip on his thigh so he can't kick her.

I took the photo with the camera on a short tripod in "fireworks" mode so the shutter would stay open a long time. The lighting is candle light and overhead light.

March 7, 2008

Spring Sunrise

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Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
-Psalm 37:3-4

This was the sunrise about 6:15 yesterday, seen from my attic window. On Sunday we start Daylight Savings Time and spring forward one hour. We'll be back to eating breakfast in the dark and watching the sunrise while we drive to school for a month or so... but the daylight will last into evening. We can play outside longer in the late afternoon!

March 6, 2008

Food and Gladness

wooden spoons

"Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” -Acts 14:17

grammy's sugar jug

This week we've rushed away from school to sign Buddy, my five year old, up for swimming lessons at the YMCA on Tuesday and Soccer club on Wed. Today we go to a make-up swim lesson right after school and tomorrow I run an after-school knitting club. Usually I look forward to going home and cooking a good dinner. This week it's been catch as catch can.

These cannisters sit next to my stove. The green wheat sugar jar was my grandmother's. It's a kind of pottery called yellow ware, from the kind of clay used. It was common in the 1920s and now they are collectables. I ought to be more careful with it.

March 5, 2008

The Shoe

Every morning on our way to school we drive past a small manufacturing plant. One morning last September my five year old son Buddy noticed a pair of sneakers left on the side of the plant's driveway. He was full of questions about whose shoes they were and why they had been left there. Every morning he looked for them and they were always there. After a month or so one of the shoes disappeared. Now we started making up stories about who had lost their shoes and who had found and taken away one of the shoes. Why was the other one left? Why did no one throw it away? How long would it stay there?

Buddy and Punkin know that I take photos every day for my blog. We often talk about what I will photograph and they help me look over the day's photos to chose the best one for the blog. Buddy started asking me to take a picture of the shoe along about November. I always told him we were late for school and I didn't have time to stop. I told him if we could get out the door early some day and the shoe was still there we would stop. I didn't think the shoe would last the winter. It did. I never thought we would manage to get out the door early. We finally did! Yesterday we were ten minutes early so we stopped and photographed the shoe. That's my car in the background with my boys sitting in it waiting for me to take the picture.

road shoe

This may not look like a spring photo, but for me it is a kind of victory celebration. The shoe survived. We got ourselves together. Sure it's going to get cold again and we might get more snow. Last year we got about 5 inches of snow around St. Patrick's Day. But. Winter is passed.

Doesn't this just fill you with questions? Whose shoe was that? Why was it left? What happened to it's mate? How long will it last? What happens next?

road shoe 2

"Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man (Jesus) forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses." -Acts 13:38-39

March 4, 2008

Spring Fever

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Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers. Barnabas, Simeon who is called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. -Acts 13:1-3

"Prophets and teachers in the Antioch church are an internationally, socially, and ethnically diverse group. Barnabas is from Cyprus, Simeon is Black, (Niger is Latin for "black"), presumably African, Lucius is from Cyrene, a city in northern Africa, west of Egypt, Manaen was brought up with Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee, Saul is from Tarsus in Cilicia." -commentary from the NRSV Study Bible for Women, Baker Books, 1985.

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Yesterday about 2:30 in the afternoon I went for a hurried walk looking for spring photographs. It was about 60 degrees and windy. The sunshine was warm on my shoulders but everything around me was still brown and dull from winter. I got to the edge of the woods with only a few minutes to spare before I had to turn back. Just above the creek bank I came upon this wash of bright yellow wildflowers. Glorious! When I got up close I could see bees busy hopping from bloom to bloom. I don't know what these flowers are called. Does anyone know?

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March 3, 2008

First crocus

purple lawn crocus

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
-Psalm 67:5-6

helleborus blooms

Here is the helleborus in bloom (second picture). Yesterday afternoon's sunshine brought out the first crocus blooms (purple, pictured above) scattered over my neighbor's front lawn. This is the sign that we made it through another winter. I've finished writing the mid-winter report cards at school and from now on it is all downhill to summer. Thanks be to God!