Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Soggy but Safe!

This week we've had the pleasure of surviving the threat of a forming tornado just half an hour away from us, and five separate thunder storms (one of which actually left our window panes rattling as the lightning flashes still flickered through the blinds... yikes!)

It's been a stormy week, but we're so thankful to be safe and dry in a warm and sturdy home!
Well, mostly dry. :)
You'll have to excuse their outfits (or lack thereof). I had already changed them into their jammies for the night, and I didn't want them getting their pants all soggy. (Random, I know. It just seemed easier at the time! Hah!)
Downpour after powerful downpour has turned our yard into a giant slushy puddle, and the boys couldn't help but enjoy it. (Between storms, of course!) And, along with our pond-like grass was a back alley turned river.
[Ankle deep!]
Thats a lot of water!
On the plus side, I don't think I'll have to water the garden for awhile!

Book Review: Life Together

I'm constantly reading. I absolutely love filling my mind with goodness and truth, whether directly from the Scriptures or from other wise men and women that have blessed the people of this world with their written thoughts. While I enjoy fiction, it tends to suck me in and turn me into a horrible housekeeper (haha!), so I tend to avoid it. Instead, I soak up as much nonfiction as I can in the limited time I have to myself each day!

I used to keep a book journal, writing about each book I read when I finish it, with a few thoughts about it and maybe a favorite quote or two. It's excellent motivation to actually finish the book, which is something my scattered brain needs. *wink*

I decided to switch from the journal idea to writing about them here. It's quicker to type, and easier to look up my thoughts on here than in a cluttered journal. Also, I'm able to share my favorites with anyone who happens to wander over here to my blog! Who knows, you might just pick up a book you wouldn't have otherwise! I'll try to keep them short and sweet... :)

So, onto my first book: Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

"Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ... that in Jesus Christ we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and united for eternity."
Isn't that just beautiful?

I actually finished this book a few months ago, but I loved it so much that I wanted to be sure to record it. I like to read with a pen or pencil nearby, and I underline bits that really stand out to me, that resonate with me, or that I want to be able to find again later. I think it was a pointless exercise with this book, as about 98% of it is highlighted!
Good luck finding that one quote on morning devotions I liked...

This book is focused on dealing with the common struggles and temptations that arise when living together in Christian community, whether in the home, the church, or the greater body of Christ. And, in turn, makes sure to point out the blessings that come with this community also. It was absolutely full of little bits of practical wisdom, and really helped me understand and notice temptations of my own.
It challenged me, convicted me, and blessed me each night as I read in bed, giving me lots to contemplate as I drifted off to sleep.

There is so much practical advice in this short little gem. Bonhoeffer provides excellent encouragement to become a morning person, aptly defines the difference between human love and spiritual love (human love being Godless, and wholly dependent on our own strength-- inevitably failing us), practical tips for daily devotion and worship, confession and repentance, learning to listen more than you talk (woah-- convicting!), and what truly loving your neighbor looks like.
I would highly recommend this book to any Christian!!
It's not long, it's not expensive, and you can get yourself a copy HERE!

And I'll leave with one last favorite:
"We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

House Tour: Kitchen

One of the features I immediately fell in love with when first seeing this house was its sweet little farm style kitchen. The cheery white cabinets, vintage style knobs, hard wood floors, and big kitchen window just make me smile. 
I could spend all day in here! (And I often do!)
Few things in life make me more cheerful than a clean and tidy kitchen... especially when there are fresh tulips involved!
 An old picture of my sweet grandparents, and always some bundle of fresh stems make my coffee corner happy. (Usually I have the evergreen branches that you can see to the left of the sink here, but they got the boot when the tulips arrived!)
And here is a pretty print my parents got me after they saw me drooling over it in an antique store.
Oh, and my ever-ready canister of disinfecting wipes.
 Here's the entry to the kitchen. You have to round this funky little hallway to enter, leaving lots of space between me and the noisy ruckus happening in the living room! Haha!
(That door you can see leads to the laundry room, which is currently *not* clean!)
 The bistro table was in Riley's Grandma's kitchen, and while I had originally intended for it to sit in the little mud room/ sun room next to the kitchen, I found it never got seen or used out there, so I moved it in. I love having the little bit of extra counter space, and also a place for the boys to sit and color (where I can keep an eye on what exactly they're coloring! Just paper, guys. Only paper.)
I am in love with our old, squeaky, hard wood floors, and they make me happy every time I walk in here! (Even when they're covered in flour and crumbs!)

 We drink water from a Brita pitcher, since Farmville tap water ranks pretty poorly in quality, but lately I've enjoyed filling this canister up with the filtered water for daily use! It's great, because the boys can now fill their cups up without assistance!
 These curtains came with the house, and were a lovely shade of yellowish brown when we moved in. I had made curtains for our previous kitchen that would have worked, but I loved the light simplicity of the lacy white, and so I washed them and they brightened up nicely!
I also love that school house light with the old fashioned pull string, and my big farmhouse sink.
It's my dream to one day have one of those huge, white enamel farm sinks, but this big stainless sink is a very happy substitute for now!

Well, I cleaned the kitchen today, and thought I should go ahead and document it while it looked good! 
On a normal day, you can add to the mental picture a pile of unwashed hand washing to the left of the sink, some miscellaneous crayons and scissors in front of the KitchenAid, and an overflowing trash can. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Good Providence

Providence Church
God has been so kind to place us in this body of believers.
I love these people so much!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fun Times with G&P!

Gramma and Pappy came to visit!
As the years go by, it seems that each time they visit the fellowship grows sweeter and sweeter.
The boys were absolutely giddy about their arrival for the whole month leading up to it.
When are Gramma and Pappy coming?
How many days until Pappy comes?
I can't WAIT to show Gramma and Pappy my new room!
We had lots of fun doing the Farmville thing...
 ... and the Appomattox thing... 
[A beautiful day at Little Kingdom Farm!]
[Swinging and riding and splashing in the creek!]
... and the Lynchburg thing!
[There's a Pappy in the middle of that pile!]
 We were sad the day we had to drive them to Richmond to wave goodbye!
(But we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, first!)
I had to remind the boys (and myself!) the wise words of Dr. Seuss,
Do not cry because it's over,
Smile because it happened!

We love you, Gramma and Pappy!
Thanks for coming!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[So we can remember]
Other things we did...
Walks around the neighborhood and around Wilck's Lake, Miller's Country Market, Green Front Furniture, Pizza and Pop Friday, Pappy to Friday School with the boys, two visits to the Weizenecker's farm, Two trips to Lynchburg for church and fellowship, Gray's birthday party with the Fletchers, visit with Riley's parents on Gray's birthday, drive through the beautiful Hampden-Sydney College campus, zillions of house projects with Dad, dinner on the porch, Pappy wrestled and steam-rollered the boys, bike practice out front, watched the blooms burst open with new life everywhere, gorgeous weather, warm sunshine, and a perfectly wonderful good time!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Happies

He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!
And we had a Happy Resurrection Day, indeed!
Easter has this tendency to turn unbearably cute...
[Who needs to dye eggs when you can get these beauties from the Weizeneckers?]
And speaking of cute... these guys!
Then we had the blessing of feasting with dear friends (who have become like family over the years) on Sunday afternoon!
The food was... wow. Worthy of the occasion! :)
And our celebration wouldn't have been complete without a massive Easter Egg hunt! (Including some neighborhood children, I counted 17 little egg hunters! Chocolate everywhere!)
Happy Easter!!!!
* * * * *
p.s... somebody is 16 weeks!!
Baby is the size of an avocado, and I'll hopefully get to feel him or her moving around in there soon!
So thankful that this little baby keeps growing and growing.
And I'm also so thankful for the promise of the Resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting, where we will be once again reunited with the darling little one we lost last year, and the other saints we love and miss that have gone ahead of us and are worshipping their Lord in His presence now.
Resurrection Sunday, what a glorious day!
Thanks be to God!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Puddle Jumping Party!

Somebody turned three years old this month!
His favorite thing in the world is to be outside jumping in puddles, so we decided to celebrate with a puddle jumping party!
Gramma and Pappy got to be in town for the festivities, which was wonderful fun.
We also invited friends from church, the Fletchers, as Gray loves them and has begged to go back to their house ever since they babysat the boys for our ultrasound appointment! Since we love them too, we thought we'd invite them to ours instead! :)
There were rain drops and rain boots and bubbles all over the place!
Gray's favorite food in the world is pancakes, so we served a big brunch. 
We played a couple of games, and it worked out perfectly for each child present to win a prize!
Pass the Rain Boot
And Puddle Jump (think cake walk, but more... jumpy!)
While we didn't do any actual puddle jumping, Gray opened a bubble machine from Pappy and Gramma, and the kids had a blast chasing the bubbles around the yard!
Happy birthday, sweet Gray!!
You add a splash of joy to our lives each and every day!