Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday's Fave Five - 1-27-17

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog 

1. Mike has gone back to work today after a 7-day break.  He wasn't on vacation; this kind of break just happens from time to time when he works weekdays one week, and weekends the next.  So he was home all week.  He cooked breakfast most mornings and was generally a big help.  We had a nice week all around, and that is always nice.

2. We're reading Cyrano de Bergerac in my sophomore English class, and having the best time.  They do very well at such things, and reading plays aloud is great fun if the group is enthusiastic.  I rarely have to prompt anyone, and the students are reading with a lot of feeling.  They're also seeming to get the lessons from the play.  That makes teaching so fun!

3. I am so glad to have some cold weather back.  I don't like warm Januarys.  If it's winter - let's have winter.

4. Last Sunday I made dinner for my dad's birthday (it's actually this week, but Mike will be working, so we celebrated early) and daughter and her friend and said friend's dad all came.  I don't feel like it was my best attempt (don't tell Dad, but I accidentally left the oatmeal out of his favorite meatloaf), but the brownies at the end with icing and cool whip were killer.  I've been thinking about them all week long and resisting making more.  :-)

5. We have new neighbors down the street, and they happen to be the new youth pastor at our church and his family.  Their children ride bikes on their driveway and yard in the late afternoons, and often see me driving home.  They are always happy to see me, and run up the driveway, waving.  Our street is not busy, so I sometimes stop and talk with them.  Amazing how children can brighten one's day.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Little Nostalgia

Yesterday Mike cleaned out his closet, and came across a box of nostalgia, mostly things from the kids when they were younger.  

Andrew painted this football player as a kid and gave it to his dad.  No idea why he picked the Green Bay Packers as we have never been particularly great fans.

ML:  "When I grow up I want to be a beatiful young artist."

In 1999, ML made her own "calander."  This is just one page.  She actually used it all year and checked off the days as they occurred.  As you can tell, each month was appropriately decorated.  June was very important!  Birthday month!!

And finally, this.  Probably also around 1999.  Typed out below for ease of reading.  My kids!!!

Dear Dad,

You are the best dad in the whole world!!  (Even if you are my only one.)
You have done so many things for me, that you deserve a note, and a poem:

Thank You

Thank you for when you have made my bed,
And thank you for the money that buys us bread.
Thank you for teaching me God's holy power,
Even when sometimes, you seem sour.
Thank you for spending time with me;
Instead of being a drunk, you see.
These and more, have all you done;
Especially in God's eyes, you have won!

Happy birthday!

Love, Andrew

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Camouflaged Birds

I was looking through the bird pics taken during our winter storm a couple of weeks ago, and found these two that both show well-camouflaged birds.   The snow is the final touch.  Hope the reader enjoys them!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday's Fave Five, 1/20/17

 LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Just finished this little hat at about 5:00 Thursday afternoon, to go along with another present for a dear friend who was in school with my son, and was the honoree at a baby shower last night.  I work with her mom, who is also a dear friend.  These little loom hats are fun and fast to make.

2. I am thankful for a smooth and peaceful transfer of power for our government today.  I love the pomp and elegance of an inauguration ceremony.

3. Lunch today was brought in by Mike, who was off today.  A chicken salad sandwich on toasted sourdough bread, with provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  No, he didn't fix it, but he did go get it, pay for it, and deliver it.

4. This is a day over a week, but I didn't get a FFF up last week.  We spent a lovely evening with my cousin Cleve and his wife Kathleen last Thursday night.   They're on their way to Florida and stopped by.  Always nice to see them!!!

5. And finally - after our dinner out last Thursday, we went back to my folks' house for awhile.  This little video was part of the evening.  On Facebook it gained almost 2000 views.  It's really sweet and worth 30 seconds of your time.  My father and my son!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"You Will Want to Control"

One of the best pieces of advice I got as a young mother was from my dear friend, a wise woman as well as a wise mother.  She said "Don't let your little girl boss her older brother around.  Girls like to be in control, and it's not good for her to be bossy to him." 

I thought of that advice this week, when reading Janie B. Cheaney's column, "Quite Contrary," on p. 14 of World magazine, 1/21/17.  The gist of the article is about translation "kerfuffles" (great word) that have occurred over the years.  (She uses examples of Chinese to English - which brought back quite the memories of traveling there.  The example she gives is "Loveable but pitiful grass is under your foot."  The first one that I remember was reading in the Air China literature, "Our chefs come up with recipes to make your taste buds sparkle!")

Anyway - she discusses the understanding of Genesis 3:16 in the KJV - "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee," and the fact that more recent translations give a stronger interpretation of "thy desire shall be to thy husband" by saying that what it means is  essentially "You will desire to control."

Her last paragraph is so good:  "The curse on Adam and Eve affects what is central to each of them:  occupation and relationship.  Sin's desire for them is possessive and unlawful, reflected in Eve's desire for her husband.  If we women are honest, we should acknowledge how easily our yearning for relationship is twisted into manipulation - just as men must realize how natural authority slides into tyranny.  By submitting to sin's desire, our first parents locked themselves in a permanent power play that won't be solved by fairness or equal rights - only by God's desire to save us from ourselves." 

I realized early in my marriage that there were times that I attempted to manipulate my husband into various decisions, a manipulation that could be so subtle that I didn't even admit it to myself.  It took conscious effort to work out of that mindset and to be straightforward about things.  It is still a temptation at times.  

It is also easy to see how men's natural role of leadership can morph into control, and even abuse, if they do not guard against that, and if the Holy Spirit is not directing their lives.

I think that "You will desire to control" is a good explanation of "Thy desire shall be to thy husband." I would like to see that teaching to young women be more prevalent.  My good friend's instruction in that area was new thinking to me at that time.  It needs to be more commonly taught.

And Janie B. Cheaney, once again, caused me to think, with another home run in her column.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Last Saturday, we were driving down a fairly busy road near our house, a side road to the interstate, when my husband glanced off the side of a bridge, into a marshy area, and said, startled, "What are those?!"  I didn't even see what he saw at first.  (His eye and ear have always been much better than mine.)  We turned around and drove slowly by, a couple of times.  We couldn't just stop because the road was too busy - not hugely, but almost always a car coming in the distance.  I pulled out my camera and felt fortunate to get this shot, because at that level of zoom it's hard to hold the camera still enough, without a tripod, to get a decent picture.

They are sandhill cranes, a species that does not flag on eBird as "rare" in our area (it does in the eastern part of the state), but nevertheless is unusual.  We are to the east of the easternmost flyway of this huge bird.

We saw hundreds of these birds at a wildlife refuge in Alabama a few years ago.  They are easily identified by the red on the face.  They are tall, grey birds - much more common overall than the very rare whooping cranes, just not common in our area.

A few years ago we saw a Ross's goose at the edge of the lake we live near.  I was sure that's what it was by studying the field guide, but was insistent that "They're not supposed to be here."  Mike patiently reminded me, "Ann.  They are wild birds.  They can go wherever they want to go.  They're not bound by field guides and range maps."  Well, yes, I guess he's right.

That's why sometimes rare and unusual birds hang around for weeks at a time in various places; other times, they are spotted once and that's it.  That's why the farm ponds where we love to go observing are sometimes filled with ducks and unusual birds - and other times, even in mid-winter when they should be very busy, are very quiet.  The birds aren't saying "Oh, it's January - we should be there."  They go where they want to.  They're wild.

Sometimes it would be nice to be a bird.