Monday, July 23, 2012

in Tennessee and beyond. . .

In Tennessee we rode bikes, picked figs, walked on the bluffs above the mighty Mississippi, worshiped with the church, pushed Gwyneth in the stroller through the neighborhood.
We got to be a part  Josiah and Lindsey's family culture-nice.
And we hope they invite us back.

Together, John and Josiah rode bikes. It makes me smile to think about it. . .how John asks the boys to ride with him, Nathaniel, Josiah, Noah; they beat him every time (they're young),  he needs a nap, but he keeps asking-happily

So, now we're home again in Texas, taking care of home stuff, repacking. . .
Thursday we go again, this time by plane-to Mexico City, Imagine that?

Friday, July 20, 2012

a boy in Ohio-just like mine

This post has no picture-- but there's one in my mind. . .
Six year old Caleb, blonde with a dimple in his chin, chatters brightly at the 6:30 breakfast table; he bites into a huge nectarine, juice squirting out, running down. . . then he talks.

Last week we left Brett and Rachel in Bowling Green and drove a few hours to  Jeremy and Sarah's house for the night.  We've known Jeremy since he was 6; we met Sarah  during their college days, celebrated their wedding--now they're parents of three sweet children. . .we're old enough to enjoy the panorama.
After lunch Caleb announced, "Including you, my mom will feed 8 people for dinner tonight!" (sweet boy)
The men and children played at the park and Sarah and I made spinach mushroom lasagna together in her little kitchen-plenty of time for girl talk
Were you ever fearful of  childbirth pain? (yes!) 
Were you ever fearful that your children would reject Jesus? (yes, yes!)
I love this woman--and her honest questions.
Later I followed Caleb around with my camera-no pictures. Caleb talked.
After dinner and stories, the children slept; Sarah and Jeremy asked, "What did it look like when you discipled your children?"
I think we bumbled through the answer.
But in my mind I see Caleb, biting into that nectarine, juice running down his chin, taking a breath- to talk; his dear parents remind him to listen too-that's good.
(And today I'm remembering that I had a boy just like Caleb. . .)

Monday, July 16, 2012

assistant to the chef. . .

We stayed a week in Bowling Green with Brett and Rachel- enjoyed a picnic on the Maumee River,  blueberry picking in Michigan, and we cuddled Ivan. We cooked and invited people in to eat, baked and invited people over for coffee-Rachel was the executive chef and I- the assistant. . .
Every morning Rachel tried a new scone recipe and  on the last day,muffins-I love these muffins, the combination of tart cranberries, browned butter and zesty lime is exquisite!
I'm not baking much at home these days; maybe somebody could make this recipe and invite me over for coffee?

browned butter cranberry lime muffins
(makes 12 muffins)

7 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar (topping)

So. . .melt the butter over medium heat; cook til brown bits appear, crackling will lessen and butter will brown. remove from heat.
Combine the first 6 ingredients and whisk in the butter.
Combine dry ingredients with butter mixture and gently fold in cranberries.
Divide into greased or lined muffin tins and sprinkle with sugar before baking at 350 for 15-20 min.
(thanks Joy the baker!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

a story from Ohio

We're in Ohio and it's hot, perhaps hotter than Texas!  Afternoon coffee at Brett and Rachel's looks like this. . .the milk is for John, of course.

When I visited Ohio in April, I met Steph; she dropped by with a gift for baby Ivan, and Brett and Rachel invited her to stay for dinner. Steph is the women's golf coach at the university- she loves Jesus and she loves the women on her team. We washed dinner dishes and I heard  her story.
So-this week on Sunday we worshiped with the church, and ahhh, there was Steph! 
Sunday afternoon a delivery man knocked at Rachel and Brett's door and handed us a flat bakery box.  Peeking inside we discovered 6 huge, warm cookies from a local bakery, and taped on top a note scribbled on a napkin, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16
No name-but we knew the special delivery came from Steph.
Now she's off again, recruiting for the BG golf team. . .being intentinal, investing in the lives of women for the kingdom.
I love that girl.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

to search out a matter

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Prov 25:2

When I come to Syracuse I visit Abigail and her sweet sisters-in-law.  We have dinners and afternoon tea and family visits in the yard.  I catch up on their lives, listen to their prayer requests-
We share our stories from the past year-  I remember that God's ways are beyond my comprehension.
It is  the glory of God to conceal a matter. . . (I need to let him be God that way.)
But wait, don't stop there! . . the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
I've been thinking about the search, about how I pursue it. . .searching out the mind of God in his Word, crying out for wisdom.
 hmmm, I need perseverence and courage (sometmes I'm lazy, discouraged.)
 And it's good to ask, How, then, does God's character apply amid this mystery?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

always good. . .

Last week in New York, we had a morning excursion to Skaneateles.  Living in Texas, a state with city names like Nacadogches and Gonzalez--I love to say Skaneateles; the locals say "Skini. . .Skineateles".  Imagine that?
Nathaniel and John biked around Skaneateles Lake while Abi, little Florence and I poked around the village, got coffee and sat on a bench beside the lake.
"Did you ever think that one day you would visit your children in far away places and experience different family cultures?" Abi asked me.
hmmm, I never thought about it much then, but now I do-and I evaluate my responses.
 Sometimes  the unease of change and difference give me a window into my own heart. . .it's stretching and good-when I choose to remember that God is up to something good in my life, always.

Monday, July 2, 2012

travel snacks and peanut shells

We drove 550 miles on Wednesday, from Missouri to Ohio- our longest travel day. 
And at the same time Abigail and Nathaniel were driving from North Carolina, home to New York with little Florence; we planned to meet the next day in Syracuse. Abi and I texted,  comparing travel notes: 
 in our car I was knitting, navaigating by map, reading to John; I'd accomplished a good phone conversation with a friend in Michigan.
 in their car Florence had slept a bit but awoke sooner than expected; she'd eaten her snack- what next?
John and I remembered all the travels with our kids, road trips in the VW van, in and out of Mexico, Texas to California. . . 
Remembering. . .Why did I buy 2 kilos of peanuts in the shell from the Mexican market before a road trip?  What a travel mess, all those peanut skins and shells stuck to little bodies and everywhere else.
Florence is a modern, civilized baby- she eats fruit snacks from a  little bag when she travels--tidy, but not quite so tasty.

my favorite picture of Florence taken by her sweet mom