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29 October 2012


Schoolwork- finished.
Mountain of laundry- conquered.
Early ballot- cast.
Gas tank- filled.

Farm to Market 508 to County Road 1420, windmills as far as the eye can see, hardly another car in sight.


I skipped breakfast to leave on time. We crossed the border and what really sounded good was pan dulce.

27 October 2012


Soccer concession stand, south Texas-
corn with mayonnaise, chile and Mexican cheese,
bbq beef sandwiches,
agua frescas,
rice krispie treats on a stick,
caramel apples coated with chile.
and hot dogs too, of course.

26 October 2012


Let all that I am praise the Lord.
O Lord my God, how great you are!
You are robed with honor and majesty.
You are dressed in a robe of light.

You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
you ride upon the wings of the wind.
- Psalm 104:1-3


If you look really closely, you can see our little guy, the gecko, posing on Bear's arm...
The kids suggested the pumpkin might melt sooner than later. Hmmm... we've never had that problem before.


“Behind Nat someone chuckled. Nat turned. Dr. Bentley was looking at him with a twinkle. "Is this a political argument?"

Nat shrugged. "No argument at all. Ben's got an article there that talks against the President. I said I didn't want to hear it. I said that sort of thing ought to be stopped."

To Nat's amazement, Dr. Bentley shook his head. "No, Nat. We can't have freedom—unless we have freedom."

Nat stiffened. "Does that mean right to tell lies?"

Dr. Bentley smiled. "It means the right to have our own opinions. Human problems aren't like mathematics, Nat. Every problem doesn't have just one answer; sometimes you get several answers—and you don't know which is the right one.”

- from Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham


I remembered back to when playing under the lights was a
Really Big Deal...

22 October 2012


thankful for Mondays and not leaving the house until 430 today...


a lot of driving, a little bit of game,
a Jamocha shake.
And a lot of music. Loud music.


Having little kids visit the house is a hoot.

19 October 2012


Quite possibly the only leaf changing colors in my neighborhood...

18 October 2012


a sunny, hot, so hot that it felt more like July than October, day turned into severe thunderstorms by late afternoon, and the day turned to night. 


Photos I can count on if I get to the end of the night and haven't had a shot all day-
1. food
2. dog
3. teen boy playing guitar

17 October 2012

Teens and Parents and Grace

Parenting infants and toddlers and preschoolers is physically exhausting.
Parenting teens is mentally exhausting. (and it uses up a lot of gasoline, besides!)
There have been times recently when I have been tempted to surrender. It seems the only thing of which I am certain is that I don't know the words to pray as I should. Finding the article below came in good timing...

(from "Parenting Teenagers in Grace University" on HeadHeartHand Blog, 15October2012)
Anonymous post by a concerned parent.
I’ve learned a lot about grace since being married – mainly in receiving it. But I’ve never learned so much about grace as I have in parenting teenagers – mainly in giving it.

•The grace to love them when they don’t want to be loved.

•The grace to love when they are not very lovable.

•The grace to keep giving when it seems I can never give enough.

•The grace to keep giving when there’s no giving in return.

•The grace to forgive when I know the sin will be repeated again…and again.

•The grace to ask forgiveness even when most of the sin was on the other side.

•The grace to say “Sorry” even if I will not be forgiven.

•The grace to communicate when there’s no communication in return.

•The grace to offer help when help is not welcomed.

•The grace to give advice, when the advice will be rejected.

•The grace to say “Yes” when they deserve a “No.”

•The grace to be resented for my love.

•The grace to be viewed as uncool rather than ├╝ber trendy.

•The grace to not let the sun go down upon my anger.

•The grace to explain when I could simply demand.

•The grace to never be told, “Dad you were right and I was wrong.”

•The grace to be thought of as an enemy for trying to be a faithful friend.

•The grace to rejoice in their successes even when there are serious failings elsewhere.

•The grace to pursue reconciliation when I’m the wronged party.

•The grace to accept that I’ll never be the super-parent I wanted to be and others seem to be.


God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways,
the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!
Search high and low, scan skies and land,
you’ll find nothing and no one quite like God.
The holy angels are in awe before him;
he looms immense and august over everyone around him.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who is like you,
powerful and faithful from every angle?
Psalm 89:5-8 (The Message)

I started taking pictures of the sunset, and 20 minutes later, the glory truly did fill the sky. My camera wasn't even close to enough.
You'll find nothing and no one quite like God.


75 cents for a Monday movie!?

14 October 2012


prayer. sunday school. worship. lunch of leftovers. soccer. phone call. dinner in the crockpot. amazing race & family and text that makes me laugh out loud.
blessed. thankful.


at this point in my life, participating in garage sales feels like playing a part in an episode of Hoarders.
But, it was pretty fun to bargain in Spanish...


God is with me every single day. He’s nearer than my own skin. He loves me, not because of what I can do or what I can offer Him. He loves me just because He wants to. He’s made my life immeasurably rich with all kinds of people whom He also loves. He uses everything to teach me that He is enough.

That is a grace sweeter than anything.

- my friend, Julie, on her blog

12 October 2012


by the end of the day, I wasn't moving either.

10 October 2012


"Cockle doodle moo who?"
Oh Snorta!
Just listening, even one room removed, caused me to laugh out loud!
But mostly, I was thankful for a houseful of kids that laugh together.


I walked under the blood red moon
At night when wolves gather ‘round
And I’ve spent some time with the Devil
But never have I found

Another one like you
Oh Lord

And I’ve tasted too many temptations
And I’ve been chased by a demon hound
Lord I just can’t be satisfied
Because never have I found

Another one like you
Oh Lord
And your love

- "Never Have I Found" from Jacaranda by Josh Garrels  

I sat in the car in the parking lot and drank hot coffee with the windows down on a fresh morning and made the shortest grocery list, mostly for the excuse of sitting in the car and drinking hot coffee with the windows down on a fresh morning.


Lately, when I've wondered if I had any more energy to spread around, I've been especially dependent on the strength that only God can give. I've started praying for the ability to welcome my guests as Christ, in the tradition of the Benedictines. Their rule states that "all guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say; I was a stranger and you welcomed me" (based on Matthew 25:35).
- from Real Love for Real Life by Andi Ashworth

08 October 2012


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27 (ESV)

"The expression peace (Hb. shalom) has a much richer connotation than the English word does since it conveyed not merely the absence of conflict and turmoil but also the notion of positive blessing, especially in terms of a right relationship with God (Num. 6:24-6; Ps. 29:11, Hag 2:9, and also, as a result, the idea that "all is well" in one's life). This may be manifested most clearly amid persecution and tribulation; see also John 15:18-19; 16:33."
- notes on John 14:27 from the ESV Study Bible

(photo: Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico)

06 October 2012


Saturday chores-
lawn mowed,
cars washed,
laundry finished.


It started hopeful, but some days are hard. After a while, the hope meter sat at empty. Finishing the day lying on the bed, listening to baseball on the radio surrounded by girls, definitely helped.


It seemed like the entire day was spent coming and going,
science class,
Bible study,
senior meeting,
student council,
back home,
Young Life banquet...
In the end, it was good to hear the testimony of a high school girl and be reminded, the God of the universe always seeks after His people at just the right time.

(photo: Jackson Street, downtown Harlingen)


Fall colors,
south Texas style.


The best part of science labs is definitely the fire.

01 October 2012


By lunchtime, it looked like chaos. What didn't show was the week's agendas ready, and my girls gathered around for Psalms, and meeting outside on the porch for memory work, and mapping the Triangle trade route, and discussion on the Portugese slave traders in West Africa, and the unfortunate half point that changed the science grade, and a morning that causes me to remember, this all goes by so quickly!


I had my guesses, but I never was completely sure...
I admit, I did feel a little bit better when the other ladies I asked didn't know either.