Monday, September 24, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (3361-3381)

pumpkin cinnamon rolls shared with a friend
her hearty laugh
and teary tender eyes
lemon-fresh Lysol sent of clean floors
outside projects wrapping up for inside projects

summer covered up till next year
rains ushering in fall
the sound of geese
birds along electrical wires
a date with a rescue dog

good homeschool days
library trips
Penelope's gentle eyes
and how she wanted to get into the car with us
love you's and goodbyes till Thursday when we pick her up for good

pizza day at the co-op
Amy unexpected outside of church
dual birthday celebrations with Anita
encouragement from a sister by email
and coffee in thought over scripture (thank you, friend)

a neighbor dog's bark on a fall evening that brings smiles

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hand me down

I opened Erin's pajama drawer. Two miscellaneous summery shirts inside--and there was a chill in the air from afternoon opened windows.

I opened her closet to get the bin that held all of Lanie's hand-me-downs. I pulled out several pair of fall and winter-weather pajamas--adorned with images of gingerbread men, snowmen, and candy hearts. I read the labels: 6-7.

Erin was excited to wear something "new", and Lanie squealed, "Hey, I remember those!"

So did I. And it seemed like just yesterday Lanie wore them. I remember her in them, and the big girl she was. And now my little girl is in them.

I rolled the sleeves up one turn, and tried not to let it get to me, that the girl who still says "L" like "W" is growing up so fast before my eyes.

I hugged and kissed her goodnight.

Monday, September 17, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (3333-3360)

good first days
expectations set free
a hand full of flowers

bluest skies
long sleeve shirts
fuzzy slippers gifted from a year ago
mums for sale
to give away

unobstructed views
how somebody loved Mr. Hatch and we all learned about the power of love (and words)
lessons around the table at Panera
a husband who loves mustard hearts (and me)
good messages at church on ordering our lives, numbering days

his yes to my question
an application completed and emailed off
the joy in waiting
frisbee in the field on a Sunday afternoon
black cherry soda on the farm

early birthday wishes from a sister in Christ
a call from a neighbor ... to chat
risking love--in the giveaway
inappropriate laughter in the car--long and loud

a packed house
holding hands with my daughter
and hearing her sing
Chipotle burrito bowls

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September Sunday

It's nice to get a day off, all of us. Enjoyed leftover pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Opened windows. Read up on dog training and introduction of one into a home. Frisbee in the field for four. Our laughter the only sounds. A country drive. Running into family of friends and getting directions to a farm.

All in all, relaxing.

finally caught Lanie on camera!

And exactly what we needed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Like a drummer

I was texting back and forth with a friend one day, discoursing something, and I made a comment about the drummers at church. Some really get into the music. So passionate about it--it's a full body expression, even their faces are completely committed.

"Do you think I look like that when I write?" I mused over morning quiet time for 66 Books. Worship by keyboard.

She LOL'd.

Wouldn't life be richer if we all fully invested--lived out passionately, full-bodied, right to the life-sized grimaces and contortions of our faces.

I want to live like that.

I want to live like a drummer.

With everything. 

Lanie and me at the Hillsong concert

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pocket full of posies

Great first day. Coffee made. Internet checked. Kids dress and packs readied. I could see Erin's nerves in a forced smile. But Lanie was ready. She told me she has always wanted to be in fourth grade, because all the characters in books she reads are in fourth grade.

It was my first day in kindergarten as the language arts and math maven. For weeks I've been reserving books for our fall studies in kindergarten, days mapped out with plans of all things good.

But good plans were halted over first-day restlessness. Kids used to running free, captive. So we broke early for cloudless skies and playground. In single file we walked outside, smiles broad and beaming. A fun break.

Afterwards we lined up to return to class. One girl handed me a flower. And before I knew, nature gifts filled my palm, flower after flower lovingly planted in my hands.

Good life.

One thousand gifts and still counting (3310-3332)

for Kathy's kindness
and how she called me by name
lunch boxes stacked for first days
the excited chatter of two little girls looking forward
and that I look forward eagerly too

a friend's engagement

my awesome God and Your great plans
for a church family that loves
concert tickets (Lanie and I get to see Hillsong!)
accompanied by two good friends

how my community has grown in the after
demolition days with Shane
an afternoon swim with friends
joy in this heart
blueberry muffins in a basket

Linda at dinner
how You multiply greatly with so little
clearer glimpses of before
a Tuesday group book study
gorgeous fall skies

windows open
words that grip

Sunday, September 9, 2012

All packed up and ready to go

Tomorrow is our first day of school. We are part of a co-op in our new neck of the woods.

"I wish you were my teacher," Lanie said.

"I am your teacher. Just not there," I reminded.

Both kids are scrubbed up and readied for bed. I hope they sleep well. Lanie wanted a fancy hairdo for school, requesting lots of braids for wavy wonderful.

"I have a headband that looks like a belt buckle. It hurts when I wear it, but it looks good," she told me. She has her clothes all picked out.

Two backpacks and a mom tote are packed to go by the door.

Four lunch boxes are stacked on the counter to be topped off in the morning.

A banner waits to welcome my kids when they come down for breakfast. (I think I got the banner template from a link through A Holy Experience.)

Sweet dreams, all.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The breakfast table

I awoke to a cold, pointy finger pecking at my shoulder. I rolled over to see Lanie, who whispered a malady in my ear about her throat.

The day began.

At the table drinking coffee and perusing Pinterest, I reminisced how my mornings always began with Lanie, punctual, and her daily finger poke on my shoulder in the before. What I saw in retrospect would forever change with her words:

"It just didn't feel right downstairs without you there."

Shane and I talked about patio remodels and demolition and a one-day wish list. Lanie offers:

"I know that doctors don't really pull lollipops out of your ear."

"What?" I asked.

"They sneak a lollipop in their hands so you don't see it, then touch the wrapper to the ear and pretend to pull it out."

Life's mysteries, solved.

"What do you mean? Shane, did you hear this?!" I said in mock surprise.

"Doctors don't pull lollipops out of your ear? What about quarters?" he asked.

Lanie sighed. "They sneak a lollipop in their hands so you don't see it. Then they touch the wrapper to the ear and pretend to pull it out. Kaelyn told me her dad pulled a quarter out of her bottom."

We chuckled.

"That's a neat trick. I wish I could pull quarters out of my bottom," Shane said.

If I had had coffee in my mouth, I'm sure I would have sprayed it across the table.

Commenced inappropriate laughter.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The hot-air balloon

We used to live in a big, open field neighborhood. Very regularly, hot air balloons would drift overhead or, at least, nearby. I have lots of pictures of them. Even a video clip from the old back yard. It was one of several things I felt I'd miss about living there.

Friday night, I was fixing dinner and Lanie was outside on the swings. She comes running in, shouting for us to come out.
"A balloon! A balloon!" she yelled.

I figured it must have been far up and away, because we live in the woods, and we've never seen balloons travel this way. I went outside, not really expecting to be impressed at all.

"Look!" she yelled. I stepped out onto the driveway to fix my gaze far away, only to be shocked at the enormous balloon directly overhead.

"Shane! Hurry!" I called.

Then I laughed. I could see the faces of the passengers inside. We made eye contact and smiled and waved to each other. Shane snagged a picture with his phone, but it doesn't even give the true effect of how close it was to us.

Absolutely surprising.

God surprises me beyond my imagination. I thought I'd never see balloons like we used to, and he brings one right into my back yard. I'm so glad we didn't miss it. (Thanks, God!)

Monday, September 3, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (3281-3309)

a family day away
(and a day off for Shane!)
Schoolhouse Rock in the car ride
caffeinated smiles
cloudless skies

funny videos I'll never publish
a family portrait on the flume ride
baby chicks
park lift ride next to Erin at five
hefty ice cream scoops

school room set ups
a hug from Jen
praying friends on Friday
accompanying a friend to court
shared prayers and protection

an afternoon with Kellie
concert tickets to worship
love notes from Anita
soft, swingy hair
and a visit with my stylist (I haven't seen in a year!)

Saturday night church
Sunday video cameras
opportunities to serve
the cries of baby birds
a third day off for Shane, oh holiday weekends!

gifted cookies from Jodie
66 Books
running into friends in the church lobby
becoming uninvisible

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lights, camera, action

So, I've been trying my hand behind the scenes at church.

I like stuff behind the scenes.

I've been working with the video team on Sundays. The first time, I was grateful the feed was down because I mistakenly would have taken a room full of worshipers on a roller coaster ride into someone's face as I attempted to focus, not realizing my camera was live.


Other times, I've been working on controlling tension in zooming in and out.

Today, I worked on Camera 1. Towards the end of the service, the director told me, at least what I thought I heard him say was, "Camera 1, go blind."

My mind raced at what that meant. Go blind. Go blind. Was this a fade-to-black kind of thing? Was my camera capable of that effect? I was stumped. Time ticked. Maybe they'd just move on to another camera.

Again, "Camera 1, go blind."

I spoke into the head set, "I don't know what that means."

"The window!"

Oh, the blinds!

I start to pan over.

"Go faster!"

I whip it in place.

"Stay there. Taking Camera 1."

After the service, and the people filing out, a man walked up to me smiling and commented on the blinds. I guessed that he was the director today, or maybe another camera operator. His big smile put me at ease, because I was sitting in my spot wondering if they'd let me come back for another go.

I smiled with him. "I thought you were telling me to go blind, and I had no idea what that was!"

I went to hand over my head set at the command center, apology ready on my lips. I'm glad these folks are so loving.

"Did you think it was a new technical term?"

Laughter, all of us, their words encouraging.

"I'm so thankful you keep letting me come back," I told them.

And I am.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

From the archives: scones

... because coffee and tasty treats and talking with people you love make life richer.

Cream Scones

2 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup of whipping cream
Optional...coarse sugar on top of wedges before baking

Don't over work dough or it gets tough.

You can make two small circles and cut into wedges or one large one to cut into wedges. Up to you how you make/cut them. If you make two smaller balls, you can make two different kinds.

You can cut the wedge open enough to put a couple fresh raspberries inside (frozen will be too wet, only do fresh. Strawberries would be too wet too.). Another good alternative is to fold in some mini chocolate chips or fresh blueberries in dough.                                                                                                                                                                                       
Bake at 425 for about 12 minutes.