*happy birthday to my son*

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Fourteen years ago I was holding my healthy newborn baby David in my arms and now look at him!  He wants to be taken places like Home Depot.  So that’s what we did…..armed with a list of things he needed, the two of us did some shopping.

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He is endeavoring to make a “Mini Metal Foundry”.  His Uncle Dave already mailed him the first item on the list, a “clay graphite crucible”, just big enough to fit a soda can.  (He’s been collecting them and has a whole bin ready to melt.)

He says once his operation is set up his “crafting abilities will increase by 30 percent.”

(I’ve been laughing about that one for days)

What are you going to make with the melted metal, I ask.

“Well, I could make metal signs,” he explains…….”and other stuff.”

I felt anxious in the Home Depot with the list.  I felt like a fish out of water.  I don’t know where anything is.  David was kind of amused.  However, we were able to find everything we needed except for the five quart big mouthed bucket.  Thank you to my husband for answering a few questions (via texting) we had about the drill.

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Isn’t he a nice boy?

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Happy Birthday, Dave!

We headed to Panera for lunch and guess who met us there?

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Big brother Jake.  :)  He was able to drive over after his class at college.

These two have a great relationship.  David does as much stuff with Jacob as he possibly can.  If Jacob is going someplace and asks if anyone wants to go along, David will always say yes.  I’ve noticed that David has a lot of love and adoration for his three older siblings, but nothing but minimal toleration bordering on annoyance for his three younger ones.  Interesting.

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Just to show you that he is indeed taller than his Mom.  (Panera was in the mall)

He thanked me in the car for his nice birthday things.

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He took a selfie wearing his new hat and shirt.

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He couldn’t wait to get to work on his project.  He is currently outside on the patio mixing up plaster of paris, wearing a dust mask and no shirt.  Every once in a while I can hear him singing to himself as he works.  He knows what he likes and he does it.  He keeps himself busy learning and doing.  06111d7d5720dfdc2c4ff29368131612

 

monday

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On my way to let out my flock of hens, I saw a Solitary Sandpiper on the edge of the pond.  This is the first time in 10 years I’ve seen one right here on our property, and according to my bird app, this bird is “rare” for our area.  It bobs up and down when it walks and peeps now and then.  It’s so cute!

I was highly annoyed when my cat ran after it, scaring it away before I was ready to say goodbye.

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“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21

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There was a scar on yonder mountainside,
Gashed out where the cruel storm had trod;
A barren, desolate chasm, reaching wide
Across the soft green sod.

But years crept by beneath the purple pines,
And veiled the scar with grass and moss once more,
And left it fairer now with flowers and vines
Than it had been before.

There was a wound once in a gentle heart,
From which life’s sweetness seemed to ebb and die;
And love’s confiding changed to bitter smart,
While slow, sad years went by.

Yet as they passed, unseen an angel stole
And laid a balm of healing on the pain,
Till love grew purer in the heart made whole,
And peace came back again.

from Streams, by LB Cowman

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I let the chickens out, and as we have two rabbits in the coop, I went down to the edge of the pond to gather fresh clover for them.  I dropped my handful twice in order to take photos.  This spider web was a tiny perfect work of art.  The spider was about the size of a grain of rice.  I was careful not to pull up the clover which surrounded it’s beautiful web.

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My cat the bird chaser now started bothering the fish.  It was pretty neat, actually, to see Mr. Fish come close to Mr. Cat….and then get swatted for his efforts to be friendly.  The fish followed him all along the edge of the pond.

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I was happy to find a Solitary Sandpiper feather covered in dew.  I brought it home in my pocket, along with two eggs from the chicken coop.

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He froze for a photo and then jumped quietly off the rock, and then under it.  I imagined a cozy home for frogs, just right, with lots of dampness.

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gossamer upon flowers and grass; more spider art

The bunnies received their salad with joy and I headed back for the house.

It’s been cool this morning.  I did some weeding, and texting with my Mama, family laundry was hung out to dry, I picked smooth tomatoes from the garden, and a pumpkin.  Inside the house, there is a gray cat curled up in a ball on a red velvet cushion next to me.

I’m thinking about my son David, tomorrow is his birthday.  He requested a cheesecake so when the Schwan’s truck came earlier I bought one from them.  Now I just need to make sure we have 14 candles in the house.

Happy Monday!

You are loved.

“God is there to meet you in the center of each trial.  And He will whisper to you His secrets, which will bring you out with a radiant face and such an invincible faith that all the demons of hell will never be able to shake it.” E.A.Kilbourne

 

flicker

I want to blog every.single.day.  If I don’t blog, it’s because I have writer’s block, I’m sick, or I’m too busy…..even now I only have fifteen minutes.

I just love sitting here with my laptop, typing and sharing my photos.

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I took this picture of a spider and then noticed a butterfly.  (or is it the other way around?)

Yesterday I went for a walk and a pair of old friends pulled up next to me in their car.  They had brought us vegetables from their garden, including a turnip the size of a bowling ball.  Oh it was such a happy, quick visit.  They asked about the children and we stood out in the hot September sun, by their car, chatting and smiling.  When they left we hugged each other and then the Mr. stopped and said, “I hear a Flicker”, while looking up into the treetops by my house.  Nothing.  The Mrs. and I heard it too, but we both thought maybe it was the squirrel we saw.  “No, it’s a flicker, remember, we had one at our place the other day?” he said to his wife.

We looked for it, just for a moment, but then it was time for goodbye.

We’ve almost eaten all the watermelon, and it’s that juicy and pink.

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Today I did something for the first time.  I’ve arrived late for Doctor’s appointments, I’ve completely forgotten Doctor’s appointments, I’ve showed up for the wrong day, but today was the first time I was exactly an hour early.   I could not believe it.  What a mother I am (this was a check up for Grace).  We had time to leave and go to Barnes and Noble (double discount days for members!).  She had a hot chai and I had a hot cider and we spent some time browsing the nice books and magazines.

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We went to get Cassandra to bring her back home with us, and we made chicken enchiladas for dinner.

(Have you noticed the bug theme?)

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After my vegetable friends left yesterday I wandered around with my camera and it was like a dizzy dream…..the sun was soaking into my bones…I was tired…buzzing sounds filled my ears….the smell of wild plants was the best potpourri ever imagined.  The stinging bees and hornets and wasps were busy all over the place, they got along just fine as they each found a spot to gather from the flowers.  They especially love the goldenrod.

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I like to lean in very closely and just observe.  They have such interesting ways, wings, eyes, legs……movements, every where I looked there were more and more flying insects, crawling, working, such tiny things almost unnoticeable unless a person stops to look for them.

The sun continued to bake everything under it, including myself.  You know that feeling when you first get into a hot tub and you say “ahhhhhhhh” and close your eyes?

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The experience was like a lullaby and I became so tired I lay back in the grass for a minute or so.

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Looking up, I saw a bird way up high in the dead tree.

It was a Flicker.

 

praising

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This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

For almost a year we have been taking our youngest child to doctor’s appointments for what began as a UTI that kept coming back.  Because of the UTI, we were sent to a specialist and learned (after tests) that by the age of five, she had a large amount of kidney stones in her right kidney.  She endured an 8 hour robotic surgery in January to have them removed, then another procedure a month later in which she was asleep for 2 hours to remove the stent they had placed and to check to make sure every stone was indeed gone (they were).

A month or so later, during an ultrasound follow up visit, we were told she had hydronephrosis of that same kidney, which may or may not have occurred because of the stone removal surgery.  However, two of the doctors had also been questioning why that kidney ended up with so much stone and believed that she had an intermittent blockage and/or kink in the ureter.  So we went for more tests.  The MAG-3 (in which she was put to sleep) showed that the right kidney was at 14% function, while the left was at 86%.  We also learned from another test that she had reflux on that same side.  Therefore, another robotic surgery was necessary, to remove the part of the ureter that showed the blockage.  She had this surgery, which was about 6 hours long, on July 6.

A month later, we went in for another “magical sleep” so that she could have the stent removed which was in place after the surgery in July.  While talking to us afterwards, the doctor was optimistic, but very cautious, with her report– leading my very vivid imagination to imagine the worse (although hoping, in a very small degree, for a good outcome).

We got a call two days ago telling us that the doctor who performed Sarah’s surgeries had  left the hospital to pursue a private practice and I was absolutely floored.  We had formed an attachment to her and I never dreamed she would “vanish”.  I almost cancelled the follow up appointment because I didn’t want to see a doctor that was unfamiliar with our case.  There was an opening for next week with another doctor that we’ve seen many times before, but I was so anxious for the results of the appointment that I decided to go ahead with the unfamiliar Doctor.

It turned out for the best (God) because low and behold this Doctor had indeed been there for us–the very first time we had walked in the doors of the medical center with the “UTI” issues.  Although I did not remember her, she remembered us.  We had come full circle because this time, instead of passing us along to the Surgeon, she was able to give us much better news.

THE KIDNEY LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She wasn’t able to see all the images from radiology, (which was the first time she had this “glitch”), but with shining eyes she showed us the one image she had — and also shared with us the words from the Radiologist who had studied ALL the images, “It looks so much better”.

I spent the rest of yesterday exhausted from so many months of anxiety suddenly gone.  Happily, tearfully, radiantly, thankfully, exhausted.  After the appointment, Sarah and I went, as is our habit, straight to the gift shop and the cafeteria right there in the hospital.  Then we went shopping at the mall where she selected things with sparkles and glitter on them.  We held hands.  I texted Rich, Mom, and Dave to give them the report, but I didn’t proclaim anything from the rooftops (so to speak) because the Doctor had said she would call me after she had seen the rest of the images, and depending on how she thought things looked we would be back in a month or three months.

She just called.

Everything looks great and we don’t have to go back for three months.

Everything really does look great!!!!!!!!!!!!!

((Will Sarah get another kidney stone?  Probably.  She is definitely a “stone maker” but with the kidney draining properly she is more likely to pass them before they get to be a big huge problem like last year.  She’s drinking a lot more and they also told us to give her an orange a day.))  

Sarah was nothing but a bouncing bubbling little girl after her appointment.  She’s only six but she knows happy news when she hears it.

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I’ve been taking photos of these early fall days;

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shades of light pink and deep pink

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The whiteness in the berry cluster in the middle is a spider’s nest….what a nice place to live.

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mushroom

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brown moccasins & wool socks

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the stream is low and shines like a mirror

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Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

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Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

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another creature home; is your door surrounded by lovely green moss?  I wish mine was!

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orange rainbows on a dead log

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food for the birds

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chickadee on a sunflower

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Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

this is my story
this is my song
praising my Savior
all the day long

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“He who gives you the day
will also give you the things necessary for the day.”
Gregory of Nyssa

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recipe = yum yum!!!

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A nice whole grain, nutritious, and flavorful salad~

First of all, you need to cook your wheat berries by combining 1 3/4 cups water with 1/2 cup rinsed soft white wheat berries and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a pan.  Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour or until tender.  Drain and set aside to cool.

((I used Bob’s Red Mill wheat berries, and this is the recipe on the back of the bag.))

Wheat Berry and White bean Salad

Salad:  1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 cup cooked white or navy beans (I used one whole 15oz can of white beans)
1/2 cup green onion, chopped (I used regular minced fresh onion)
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup tomato, diced (if you’re still trying to use up summer’s bounty, you can increase tomato)

Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 T. lemon or lime juice
2 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. chopped parsley
1 T. honey mustard (I used 1 T. honey plus a half teaspoon of mustard)
2 T. minced shallot (I omitted)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients with a whisk or blender.  Add the salad ingredients and mix well.  Let chill several hours or overnight.

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I’m not the only one who liked it; my sister in law asked for the recipe, & Rich liked it, too.
The four of us went to Sturbridge this afternoon to get coffee and visit the Yankee Candle seconds store.  It’s becoming a yearly trip for us and quite fun.  Fall weather is beginning here in New England, the air is clear and hot during the day,  chilling down at night.  We also visited a few other quaint shops, too.

Now we are home.  Isaac and Cassandra left and Rich and I are reading on the porch.  I’m wearing soft wool socks which feel extra comfy after a day in flip flops, a pair of sweat pants, and a gray shirt.  Hair up in a ponytail/bun.

Caleb is frying hamburgers for himself and the kids– and I can smell them through the open window.  The neighbor boys just left with hamburgers in their hands.

There is a cool breeze and over in another chair is our cat busy giving himself a groom.

Rich is reading a book about Revelation.  Our arms are touching.

I heard an owl hooting!  Every few seconds it does it again, it’s off in the distance in the woods and I wish I could see it.  There are quite a few birds in the garden taking seeds from the hanging sunflowers.  I wish owls liked sunflowers seeds.

I should go get my camera and take pictures of the birds.

Make the salad!

xo

reading out loud

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Sarah and I have about 15 minutes every morning to ourselves because out of the five children, her bus comes last.  With the remaining time, as we wait, I have been reading out loud to her.  We just finished this one.  We enjoyed it so much that we read it in the evenings, too.

Littles to the Rescue, by John Peterson.  Published in 1968, purchased from a library book sale.