Friday, September 10, 2010

Grocery Shopping

Grand opening is scheduled for first week of November. "Soft open" is tentatively scheduled for my son's 21st birthday. He will celebrate by buying an adult beverage. I will celebrate by buying peanut butter and apples.

Absolom's Death

from chapel yesterday

The story of the coup runs from 2 Samuel 15-18. King David's son slowly won the hearts of the people away from his father. He took over. David and his family and loyal servants skeedaddled out of the capital city. Prior to the battle for control of the kingdom, King David instructed that no harm be done to his son Absolom. When Absolom was caught, David's general killed him. When David heard the news of his son's death, he wept and mourned. Even though David's side won the battle, they returned to the city in mourning as though they had lost.

Joab, the general, was disgusted. He went to the king and told him to knock it off. He reminded the king that many people supported him, and that the king was making them feel worthless, like as if the king cared more about the death of his unfaithful, rebellious son than he would have cared if all his faithful servants had died.

Joab makes some good points: the king needed to encourage his followers. But what Joab didn't understand was the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15). King David shows us (albeit imperfectly) in so many ways what Jesus was like. Here we have a father who loves his son, who wants that one saved and restored to him, almost to the point that it's like none of the others matter because his love for the one lost sheep/son overwhelms his mind and heart.

Think on that: that unreasonable and all-consuming love of David for his son. And our heavenly Father's love for me (and you) is so much more intense.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


We attended the Cardinals game on Tuesday night. Our seats were near a church-group of really nice folks. One of the guys from the church had gotten free tickets from the gas station (same as we'd done) but he collected way more receipts than he needed and got lots of tickets, and then set up an outing for friends from his church. I think it sounds like a great idea! It was an unusual game insofar as a coach, a manager, a player, and a fan were ejected from the game, all in separate incidents. I've been to five Brewers games in a little over a year, and it was kind of hard to root for the Cardinals against the home team. I'm becoming a cheesehead.....!

The tomatoes seem to be done. On Katie's walk home from work today, she noticed that everybody's tomatoes have the same fungus and wilt. I'm glad mine started producing early. With last year and this, I'm beginning to see that frost isn't the end of the tomato season -- now it's fungus that does the tomato vines to death.

The winter squashes are almost ready to bring indoors for storage.

Today we started ripping out the rest of this year's strawberry plants; that's where next summer's paths will be. The new plants have nicely filled in the empty rows we created in July.

Katie has an after-school babysitting job. The two little girls like it when Alia comes along. Katie says Alia is a nice distraction for the girls.

After two unusual weekends of company, Nathan has begun to adjust to working third shift and has also begun to adjust to the fiberglass dust at work. However, a different job would be a very good thing.

Choir has started. Happiness -- our introits and graduals will be out of New King James this year. Also, it's sweet to be back to having chapel every weekday again.

I took Andrew shopping yesterday to buy new shorts; it's clearance time. No wonder his shorts were falling off him -- one pair we bought was 2 sizes smaller than what he owned, and the other new pair was 3 sizes smaller! There's only so much cinching a belt can do when a fellow loses that much weight.

I've been having a hard time blogging the last month or so. There are all sorts of things I want to write about but they just don't flow out onto the keyboard the way they did before. And with certain projects (including lots of salsa-making!) and trying to get school restarted and with an overbooked calendar for mid-September, it's not easy to make time for blogging either. This should be remedied.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Learning Names

I don't know if Alia finally just got old enough to start talking, or if being with Lydia several times recently gave her the incentive to speak up. But boy oh boy, she's doing a good job of using verbal language instead of just sign language or pointing!

One fun experience was when Nathan was trying to get her to say "Yes." She really likes the word "No." Katie said Alia carefully practiced the word "No" with her toys so that she'd be an expert at saying it to her parents. And believe me, she was quite adept at saying "No" with all clarity! That one morning, Nathan said "Yes" and Alia said "No," back and forth, back and forth. Silly Grandma sang a tweaked Beatles song: "I love you YEAH YEAH YEAH; I love you YEAH YEAH YEAH; I love you YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH." Pretty soon, she's saying "Yeah yeah yeah." Never one "yeah" -- always in triples. Funny and smile-inducing! But it did cross our minds that we needed Victor (from Miss Congeniality) to teach Alia to put an Sssss on the end of her "yes."

When she moved here, she'd already been saying Momma and Daddy clearly for quite a while. Gumpa was the first name she used for one of us here. But then Andrew was called Gumpa too. I figured it was a generic word for Adult Males In The House Who Are Not Daddy. But then she called me Gumpa a few times too. Hmmm; do I look that masculine? She tried an abrupt grown-up-sounding "Mum" on me twice, both times in the wake of hearing Maggie, Andrew, and Katie call me "Mom." We think there's a name for Maggie -- something on the order of Aggie. When Matt and Rachel visited on Sunday, she learned "Mott" very quickly. Last night Nathan said she came up with a "grandma"-sounding word and then tore down the hallway to attack me in the kitchen, so I may have a name soon too.

It's so much fun to watch a kid during his language acquisition! Last week, when we first realized that Alia was beginning to copy almost any word we would tell her to say, Andrew decided to teach her to say "robot." Robot? Ah, come on! If you're going to teach her words, teach her something good, something useful! So the next thing I hear from around the corner: "Alia, say 'justification.'" (Can you see me rolling my eyes??? LOL!)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Homeschooling with Toddlers in the House

Sorry, no tips here. Just extolling one big benefit.

My older kids all had younger siblings around during their homeschooling days. There were little people in the house playing with Legos or drawing or making messes or being distracting in a gazillion different ways. But you did what you had to do, read what you had to read, etc.

The two youngest kids never had that. They were the interrupters, not the interruptees. Now there's a toddler in the house. And they cannot pay attention when we're doing schoolwork: Alia might do something cute that they'll miss! Yoo hoo!!! Tune in to the history lesson and let Alia play trains or dolls or whatever!!!

So next time you bemoan the fact that you can't do a good job homeschooling your 10-yr-old because the 3-yr-old is being distracting, just remember that there's a lesson the big kid is learning that's far more valuable than dividing fractions or studying the Boer War.

"My Father's Business"

Our Bible story today was about the boy Jesus in the temple. When Mary and Joseph found him after three days of searching and worrying, they asked what on earth He thought He was doing. He answered, "I must be about My Father's business." I betcha you, like me, have always heard that He meant He had to be busy hearing and speaking God's word.

But this morning, Pastor made the point that He was also "about Joseph's business." Joseph and Mary had been teaching their children God's word, teaching them to pray, teaching them to worship, teaching them to listen to the promises of the Lord. So when Jesus is in the temple doing that, it's not just the Father's business but also His father's business.

Oh, blest the parents who give heed
unto their children's foremost need
and weary not of care nor cost.
May none to them and heaven be lost!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego

Three times in this story the Bible runs down the list of "satraps, administrators, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all officials." It's almost like Daniel (chapter 3) was trying to whop us upside the head with how very much everybody was against the three young men ... in the same way that everybody was gathered against the Christ to do Him to death.

In this story, it was the Chaldeans who accused the Jews because they refused to bow down and worship the false god. How different this is from the Chaldeans who came from the East to Bethlehem five centuries later, that they might bow down and worship the newborn King of the Jews.

Not a hair of their head was harmed. There was not even the smell of smoke on their clothing. Such a picture of Christ, of whom it was said "You will not leave My soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16)!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Septic Fun

Alia thinks the hatch to the septic tank makes a great little table to play on! And the electrical box that operates the alarm is her little chair for the "table."