Archive for September, 2007

Little family

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

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The children and I standing in our current front yard (before it was a front yard) a bit more than 18 years ago. I’m holding baby Kayla, then the children from left to right are: Sarah, Michael, Laura and Philip.

Rick brought me to look at this property when Kayla was a little-bitty newborn babe. It was a fairly forested piece of property. Though it was wild, it had almost a park-like look to it. We both must have been very pleased with it, since we purchased it immediately, and then Rick set to work, building a home for us. He was working as a log home carpenter at the time. He would do that extremely demanding work all day, grab a quick bite to eat at a restaurant, and then come out to the property and keep working. I tried to bring the children out to the property fairly often so they could visit Daddy and see what he was up to. Once the basement was poured and the subfloor in place they figured the house was ready to move into, since it had a “roof”! I remember that they enjoyed riding their tricycles in that big, empty basement.

That all seems like it was an eternity ago, since the little ones in the photo are now grown up, and living in their own places! What a wonderful time it was, though, full of much hard work, but work to which I gave myself joyfully. I am blessed!

Brethren, dwelling in unity

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

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(This painting is entitled Brotherly Love, and is the work of Pierre Edouard Frere, 1885.)

From The Psalms in Metre, Scottish Metrical Version

Psalm 133

Behold, how good a thing it is, and how becoming well,

Together such as brethren are in unity to dwell!

Like precious ointment on the head, that down the beard did flow,

Ev’n Aaron’s beard, and to the skirts did of his garments go.

As Hermon’s dew, the dew that doth on Sion’ hills descend:

For there the blessing God commands, life that shall never end.

The commentator Matthew Henry has many edifying things to say about Psalm 133. Here is a notable quote:

Those that live in love and peace shall have the God of love and peace with them now, and they shall be with him shortly, with him for ever, in the world of endless love and peace. How good then is it, and how pleasant!

I am especially thinking of love to the brethren, and unity with them, because today is a very special day. Today we were accepted into membership at the Bellingham United Reformed Church. It is our earnest desire, not only to receive blessing from them, but to be a blessing to them as well.

As I think about dwelling in unity with our Christian brethren I’m also reminded of I John 2:9,10:

He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

Also, I John 3:14,18:

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

And, then, just a bit more from I John 1:3,4 regarding our fellowship with one another in the Lord:

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Long time no post

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Our internet service has been on-again/off-again for the past several days. I’ve barely been able to check my mail. A very sorry state indeed. So, I’ve had some ideas for posts which have come and then, sadly, gone.

Additionally, a big change has occurred in my day-to-day life. I accepted a part-time position as a paraeducator at my children’s Middle School. I am mainly responsible to support the teachers in the sixth grade math classes, by circulating among the students to answer their questions and keep them on-task. I’m very excited about this work, but I am also EXHAUSTED after my first day at work, followed by an hour and a half of orientation. Whew!

I love working diligently, no matter where I am, but being in a new setting where I yet have so much to learn before I totally fit in, really drained me emotionally. I can’t wait for work to feel normal.

Here is what I love about this job, so far:

  1. My supervisor is a special education teacher whom I have known and admired for six years. She was instrumental in aiding our daughter who has some learning issues with the great successes in the language arts that our daughter has achieved. This supervisor was also one of my instructors at the technical college when I was studying to obtain certification as a paraeducator.
  2. I’m assisting two phenomenally competent teachers as they teach math concepts to sixth grade students. Their competency helps me know how to fit in and complement the work they are doing.
  3. I know so many of the teachers, paraeducators and administrators – thus increasing the COMFORT factor – since I have volunteered at this school for the past five or six years.
  4. Two of my children attend this school, so I would be spending hours volunteering here anyhow.
  5. Things have been slowing down so much for me at home (Five of the children are grown and gone elsewhere.). The four children left at home are so helpful that I am not at all overwhelmed with work, and was spending rather too much time on the Internet. 😛 So, this job helps me to feel more useful and productive.
  6. My husband says that when I’m working I won’t be shopping!
  7. I am hopeful that doing something outside my comfort zone will promote brain growth and stave off mental decline. It might help, you know!

So, I will try to keep up with everyone’s blogs, and post on my own blog, but my main focus is going to have to be truly ministering to my family’s needs as I attempt to add this new responsibility to my life.

More Good Mail!

Monday, September 10th, 2007

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A BIG THANKS to Karyn, my Good Mail friend, for her fun gifts! (Karyn made the card.)

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These are the fun things she sent. Of course the chocolate was the first to go, but I DID share!

Just Pennies Casserole

Monday, September 10th, 2007

6 beef hotdogs, thin-sliced (like pennies)
4 large cooked potatoes, diced
1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
¼ cup melted butter
1 cup cooked peas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Cover and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serves 8.

If you wish to start with uncooked potatoes, just peel and dice them, and cook them in a small amount of salted water until almost tender, 15 minutes or less. Cook frozen peas on top of the diced potatoes during the last five minutes of cooking.

(This recipe is from My Favorite Recipe Cookbook published by the Lynden Tribune in June 1988. The lady who submitted this recipe, Gay Weidkamp, says, “This is a great way to use leftover boiled potatoes and vegetable from last night’s dinner.)

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Spinach Dip

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

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2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 ½ cups dairy sour cream
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1 cup finely chopped green onions (with tops) OR finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon salt
½ to 1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 or more cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced finely

If you are pressed for time, you can thaw the spinach by steaming it lightly. Be sure to press as much moisture as possible out of the spinach.
Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve with rye or rice crackers or raw vegetables if desired. Makes about 5 to 5 ½ cups dip.

(This recipe is a modified version of the dip recipe from my Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.)

How to Listen to a Sermon

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

There is an article in the Boundless Webzine entitled Four Habits of a Pulpit Critic by Rachel Starr Thomson. The article isn’t about being critical at all, but is more about being an active, engaged diligent listener when God’s Word is being preached. Here is an excerpt from her article:

In looking to see “what’s really there,” we shouldn’t be driven by pride or a critical spirit. Instead, eagerness to know God and seek truth should be our primary motivation. Becoming a pulpit critic shouldn’t make you a pastor’s worst nightmare, but the fulfillment of his role. We need to take what we hear seriously enough to follow it up.

Engage with the truth — though its teachers are human, it is divine, and truth only will set us free.

I found the referral to the Boundless Webzine from the ladies at titus2talk.

Double Ditch kids

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

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In the Double Ditch pictures I posted earlier, I was expecting the little one wearing the striped hat you see sitting in the sand box, so this is a bit of skip. Sarah is the one running, and Laura is perched on the lid of the sandbox. The older child is Philip, of course. If we estimate that Michael is one year old, that would make Laura and Sarah about 2 1/2 years old, and Philip about 4 years old.

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In this picture, taken on the same day as the sandbox shot, we see, I believe, Sarah to the left of baby Kayla in the stroller (who we can’t really see) and Laura to the right of Kayla.

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This picture, taken inside the Double Ditch house during the same period of time, is of Laura, Philip and Sarah hugging one another. This is one of my very favorite pictures! Philip was so pleased when the girls grew up enough to be playmates. He was quite unimpressed with the newborn baby girls who obviously did not arrive “ready to play”.

A little further back in time

Friday, September 7th, 2007

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This photo is from our first year of marriage. I believe this was taken at the Rathbone Road home in Ferndale, and this is our doggie, Emily Postum.

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Here Rick and I are on an outing at McClure’s beach near Inverness, California during our honeymoon!

Another backwards glimpse

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Well, I’m glad I stumbled upon those old pictures. I’ve been reminiscing about those long ago, lovely days when our young adult children were toddlers and babies. I was wondering, as I looked at the pictures I posted yesterday, why I left Philip sitting in that high chair after his haircut. As I sorted through the rest of the photos, I found my answer, and here it is:

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Lunch time!

Here’s a closer picture of the little girls at play:

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I believe that’s Sarah on the left and Laura on the right.