Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kaleidoscope. . .

Kaleidoscope: a continually changing pattern of shapes and colors-beautiful!
And so it was-our lovely visit in July with the Goodnoughs in Tacoma, Washington. . . Ronn and Elizabeth, our dear friends for 10 years-
our July Kaleidoscope included food around the little backyard table, breakfasts and lunches- tasty, textured, colorful (agreed, Goodnoughs and Newtons take pictures of food!), a walk to the neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant. . .
refreshing, earnest conversation very late in the night about life-joys and struggles, work, family, children, schooling, the church, the Saviour. . .together we watched the movie Bella and talked about adoption-and the heart of their adoptons.
Play-bicycles, parks-green, tree filled parks-and water everywhere!
Children-perhaps the highlight of our Goodnough visit-the delight of watching our friends shepherd the hearts of their sweet girls, Brielle with fuzzy dark curls and Elaina with yellow springy curls. . . we prayed for them and now we know them-

Sunday on the drive to church I sat beside Brielle, chatting, "Mrs. Newton, what is your birth mother's name?" she asked so sweetly.
And the week after our visit in Tacoma, Ron and Elizabeth flew to Seoul, Korea to bring baby Titus home- Imagine the rejoicing!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

it doesn't get much sweeter . . .

yesterday Gabrielle gave birth to our grandson, Landis Arndt. . . life doesn't get much sweeter than this- welcome to the family, little man!

. . . early yesterday morning I approached the stately entrance to University Hospital, sloshing through the rain in my trusty Dansko clogs, I felt emotion swelling up. . . suprising for me, a woman not prone to quick emotional responses.
I'm going to this place to be with my son and daughter-in-law for my grandson's birth. . .this place where my own son works everyday, caring for patients-women, babies, families-imagine that?
I passed thorugh the automated doors, massive hospital, crowds of people, found my way to elevator D, the 4th floor, labor and delivery; there in room 8, I found my family, smiling, anticipating, laboring. . .

and Gabrielle persevered in the hardest work a woman ever does-
and I was there-on the other side of the pushing (a first for me) to watch his head crown, to hear his first little noises. . .
to watch my son cut the umbilical cord-routine for him, perhaps, but this time it was his son-
to hug my sweet daughter-in-law. . .and of course, with emotion.

Grand Papi meets Landis
The Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations (Psalm 100)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

knitting blue

So, I'm knitting blue these days-lots of little boys (and their mothers) in my life. Here's a blue sweater I worked on during the summer road trip . I wasn't sure if there would be enough blue yarn (Classic Elite 50% cotton 50% microfiber), so I added white sleeve stripes-I like it!

baby Aaron is the sweet recipient of the blue and white sweater-he was born in January, weighing 1 lb. 15 oz.-keep growing little man; soon the weather will be cool enough and you'll be big enough to actually wear the sweater!
Aaron's mom, Kate, and I have almost finished our study of Trusting God by Jerry Bridges.
Kate and I are growing too. . .

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the day I took the bus. . .

I've been thinking about Paul's epistle to Philemon-
"I have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you."
hmmm. . . I want to be like Philemon, who refreshed the saints -so, how does that look in my life? Am I quick to refresh even when it means a personal inconvenience? Sometimes, Sigh. . .
But last week I had an opportunity--my friend had invited me to join her at a local restaurant to celebrate her birthday- and to celebrate the end of her 2 month house confinement with a broken leg. Indeed, I'll be there!
However, the day arrived and the Jetta's transmission was in pieces on the driveway. . .so, the dilemma (one of countless in our daily lives, right?)
John suggested the bus (the inconvenient bus). . . so the next morning at 8:15, I boldly boarded the bus a block from home along with a crowd of neighborhood highschoolers in purple and khaki uniforms, and with head phones. I put my money in the slot, A transfer, please! and I remembered this humble phrase, I don't often ride the bus, I need help!
I waited with a bus stop crowd downtown and finally boarded bus#2 with more confidence; bus #2 took me north, north, north-with help from the very kind bus driver, I got off at my destination at 10:00! Next I hiked a mile to the restaurant, which was fine (walking shoes would have been better than party shoes!)
And I was there for my friend, just in time; she was delighted-
- me too.
Will I ride the bus again? Sure, and next time perhaps I'll have conversation with the bus crowd, who knows where that may lead?
So, this post is dedicated to my lovely girls in Pamplona and London, Rachel, Naomi, and Abigail, who ride the public bus everyday. . .and refresh the saints.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

little blue book in my bag

Here's a good picture book-Pelle's New Suit, by Elsa Beskow; perhaps you can imagine the story line from the picture on the cover: Pelle, a little Swedish boy, had a lamb of his own-the lamb grew, Pelle grew, the lamb's coat grew longer but Pelle's coat only grew shorter! So one day Pelle took the sheers and cut off all the lamb's wool. . .

Then he took the wool to his grandmother, "Granny dear, please card this wool for me!" Of course this good grandmother cheerfully agreed and she also gave Pelle a job, "that I will do my dear if you will pull the weeds in my carrot patch!" (I would be that kind of grandmother who plants carrots and pulls weeds!)

Then Pelle went to the other grandmother, "Grandmother, please spin this wool into yarn for me!" the other grandmother gladly agreed to help her sweet boy AND she gave him a job to do, "if while I am spinning, you will tend my cows." (oh, to be this grandmother with a great bundle of keys on her belt, unlocking secret rooms and treasure boxes. . .)
So, the story clips along. . . dying the wool blue, weaving the cloth, sewing the suit, and for each one who helps in the process, Pelle, in turn, completes the requested job.

I love the story, the illustrations, the memory of hearing it as a child and reading it to my children. I remember a library copy, rectangular with large pictures; so when I ordered the book for my grandchildren on, I was disappointed to discover that the new edition is very small and the pictures, sometimes two to a page have been reduced considerably. I'd prefer the older edition!
Hmmm. . .I love the grandmother part in Pelle's New Suit- how the grandmothers both shared in the suit making endeavor. And so it is in my world-I share grandmothering with my friend Martha; how we dearly love our sweet grand girls (and the tiny lad we're about to meet)-and I think we bring a bit of variety to the role. . .Amaleah says that I am the knitting grandmother and Martha is the sewing grandmother-nice, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

just us two in Mendicino

I love the Mendecino coast, north of San Francisco, a meandering drive from the Pacific to the Redwoods and back to the ocean. And the journey up the coast seemed especially sweet in July since John and were alone together, just the two of us. We stopped at a little grocery and picked up lunch fixings, had a picnic with the seagulls, just the two of us. We were looking forward to gatherings with lots of great folks in the Seattle area, but for now it was good to be just us two.

After a stop in a Redwood grove (my husband had to hug a very big tree!), we pushed north, hoping to pitch our little tent at Patricks Point State Park-for you see, we have a memory . . .

many, many years ago, our family camped one night at Patricks Point, a lovely wooded park-I remember there were four big children in one tent and four little children in the second tent with John and me; it stormed fiercely in the night, thunder, lightening, pouring rain (I hate tent camping in a lightening storm!), crashing tree limbs. . .and in the morning we unzipped the tent flap and discovered a sturdy tree limb-flush against the corner of our tent, inches from where sweet 5 year old Josiah had been snoozing.
Hmmm, such a memory causes a woman to reflect on God's eternal purposes, don't you think? Lord, Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Ps 139).

So, this weekend John and I will be with Josiah on his 25th birthday! we'll be rejoicing, for Josiah loves and serves the Lord who wrote his name and the days of his life in the eternal book.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

things that are orange. . .and a memory

I can't say that Orange has ever been on my favorite's list. . .however it's looking better and better; I love to sit in my friend's cheery orange kitchen-an orange Kitchenaide mixer sits on the counter! So, during our summer trip I was on the look out for orange. . .
In July the nastursiums were blooming profusely on the California coast-bright orange. I've always loved these little flowers and their flat round leaves which don't seem to grow in Texas-Californians pull them up like weeds, imagine that?

And in July we visited my family in Northern California-Mom, my sisters and their families. Tom and Teri came from the valley with two boxes of California peaches, juicey ripe, tangy and orange. So, I was slicing a mountain of fragrant peaches and Beth said, "Remember the August we moved to 73 Laburnum Rd (early 60's)? Remember the peach trees in the backyard and how Dad taught us to eat fresh peaches for breakfast?"

Hmmm, indeed- I remember. . . California Freestone Peaches, two mature trees that we called our orchard; our Dad ate them peeled, and sliced in a bowl with milk poured over, no sugar-and we did the same, just like our Dad.

Thanks girls- for the peaches and for the sweet memory.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

praying for them on the 1st. . .

September 1st. . .there's something fresh, expectant about the first of the month, don't you think? I like to read Proverbs 1 and Psalms 1 on the first day of the month-no special significance, merely my habit-and it's good; today, I'm also starting up the book of 2 Peter-it's a day of firsts!
Reading today. . . .I thought of this little group, my youngest-20, 22, 24 years old, growing up. . . I know, I know, legally they're adults, but as I see it, growing up is a process and they're on the path. . .
So, my dear young adults, I prayed for you today-

  • that you would delight and desire the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night, bearing fruit for your Savior, fruit in it's season! (Psalm 1:2-3)
  • that you would remember- the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom- remember to cultivate a teachable heart, to hear and acquire wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5)
  • that you would remember the Savior, constantly-for He has given you everything you need for life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him! (2 Peter 1:3)

Hmmm, I love ya'll - have a good life. I'll keep reading. . . and praying. . .