be amazed!

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First of all, it’s been a joy and a delight to watch kitty-kitty Walter (our new pet) get used to his new surroundings.  He is curious and “literally plays with everything”, says Dave.  You see in the photo that he is being tempted by Sherlock’s twitching tail.

Second of all, it’s 8:07 in the morning and I’m the only one awake!!  Seth NEVER sleeps past 7 and most of the time is up even earlier.  I just found him sleeping in the addition on the couch.  He spent the night in there because of the air conditioning.  So I wonder, is he still asleep because 1) he didn’t sleep well? or, 2) he COULD finally sleep peacefully out of his hot upstairs bedroom?  Whatever the reason, it’s nice to sit here and type………….

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“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”  Psalm 16:11 (thank you, husband, for sending along the verse)

I was thinking this morning about the enjoyable fruits of the Holy Spirit, those only-from-above giftings of God to our souls.  In those oftentimes rare/unnoticed moments of deep spirituality when we find ourselves really able to love outside of ourselves in a mysterious way.  We have joy,  and it is unexplainable, gentleness toward every living creature, peace, beyond comprehension!  And, patience like our *big brother* Job.  These beautiful character qualities/fruits aren’t from us (we cannot muster them up, they cannot be faked) and are the Holy Spirit within us, given to us, and no reason for pride or boasting.

….the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22

For in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28

Alas, sometimes it’s just simply hard to breath “down here”.  And this is the reason we pour over the Scriptures as much as possible, and remember, and think of Him, and pray, we do these things to stay connected, to stay reminded.  To stay breathing.

“But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.”  ~CS Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia

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Home on Earth, real Home “in the sky”……….

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We have had such hot days lately, it was pleasant to sit with my latest Newbury medal winner (I’m attempting to read them all) while the children swam in the pond……..

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….and to have Jacob walk down the hill to show me a cool caterpillar.  Thanks, Jake, for grilling us all a nice lunch yesterday!!!

At my house yesterday there were all these people:  Rich, myself, Michael, Jacob, Ethan, Caleb T, Grace, Kylee, Brittnee, David, Caleb, Jack, Seth, and Sarah.  But not all at once.  Some came for a while and then left.  Some worked all day and then came home.  🙂

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Yesterday afternoon on the couch, David helped me identify a bug using the internet.  It didn’t take us long, but seeing the different insects online filled me with the desire to go back outside to look for even more bugs with the magnifying lens attached to my camera.  It’s such fun to stand over the flowers and plants and search for insects with your eyes……….at first you see “nothing” but little by little you see 100’s of creatures……and much activity.

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This was a small moth, about the size of a fifty-cent piece.  But with my lens I can get a nice close-up.  It’s amazing to see the details.  Observe.  Study.  Be amazed.

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These pretty little white flowers grew in clusters along a thin vine-like stem.

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Meanwhile, Dave was looking in the pond for a big snake but had to make do with a little frog (sitting on his leg next to his thumb for size comparison).  He sat nicely for his portrait.

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This plant has been tearing the skin on my legs my entire life.  It’s just a tad thinner than spaghetti and grows plenteously by our stream.  One direction of the plant doesn’t scratch you, but the other direction, oh it sticks so tightly to your legs and scratches them terribly.  I’ve never identified it’s name, there is a small white flower that grows on it, maybe I can look it up in my flower identification book today.

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a cluster of silvery eggs……so beautiful!

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The band on his tail makes him special.  You can see Ambush bugs to the left of it.

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THIS IS THE BUG I JUST HAD TO FIGURE OUT.  AMBUSH BUG

The other day I saw one gripping a yellow jacket.  The yellow jacket was upside down and dead in its front claws.  It was a sight to see.  And these ambush bugs are all over the flowers right now (especially Joe-pie weed and goldenrod).  I beg you to read the link, you will be amazed.

In a nutshell, it sucks the bodily fluids out of its prey.

As my brother Dave says, “its horrifying”.

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“slurp”

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It would take me a long time to identify all these insects but I sure would like to do it.  Each one has fascinating characteristics and wears the nicest bug-clothes.

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Another ambush bug!

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And this one!  I’ve never seen it before, it was so tiny I only noticed it because I was photographing another bug nearby and saw it waving around first one tissue-paper wing and then the other.

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This bee posed so nicely, I felt as if it was just WAITING to be noticed.   Yes, you’re lovely.

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After I breathlessly captured this photo (I thought it would fly away before I could get close) I talked to my friend Lea Ann and then took the kids to music lessons and football practice.  I spent time walking around the cemetery next to the fields and then met my husband for a quick trip down town for strawberry sundaes, just the two of us, before practice was over.

When we got home, David made a chocolate cake from scratch …….

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……and we had a rain storm.  I sat on the porch to watch it for a while before bedtime…..

If you watch carefully you will see the world light up in a quick flash of lightening.

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And now it’s Wednesday.  Good morning!

You are loved.

a good report for Sarah

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*****

The nature photos are from the ambling walk I took yesterday evening after dinner (chicken parmesan) and Rich had fallen asleep on the couch….

*****

Worry weighs a person down, an encouraging word cheers a person up.  Proverbs 12:25

Good afternoon!  This is the first chance I’ve had to sit and blog today because first thing this morning Sarah, Seth, and I got ready and went to another one of Sarah’s follow up appointments for her kidney.  Remember last year she had surgery?  Well, I am happy to report that after an ultrasound today on her kidney everything looks great and they don’t need to see her in the office again for a year.  (She will be taking a 24 hour urine collection test next month to see if we have been able to increase her water intake and her citrates.  But they will call with the results).  We are praising God for this news!

waiting room selfies

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Isn’t it fun when you’re put in an exam room and left to wait and wait?  No, we didn’t think so, either.  But we did read a book and color and count the change in my purse and that was sort of fun.

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As soon as the doctor came in Sarah became anxious, had a threatening face, slapped a high five as hard as she could, and HISSED.  The man said he used to be a marine and he could take it and was very patient with Sarah.  Sarah was a little less anxious when the women came in.  (She had three appointments back to back; radiology, nephrology, and urology).  It was interesting to see that she still had some fears lingering from her lengthy experience a year ago, but all in all she did very well today and of course any doctor’s appointment with “no shots” is a good one in her book.

Visiting the gift shop is always a treat after her appointments.  They each picked out a fidget spinner.

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And then we ate lunch downstairs in the cafeteria where Sarah got a hamburger, Seth a slice of pizza, and myself a salad.

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Last but not least, a stop at the store and then at the farm stand to get a dozen ears of corn, “Corn AGAIN?” Sarah asked.  Yes, I’ll be buying it constantly while it’s in season!  It’s so good this time of year.

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd;  he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”  Isaiah 40:11

“It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace.”  Hebrews 13:9

HE LOVES YOU!

 

 

 

 

1, 2, 3

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And the third?  Coming soon.  😉

*****

I liked this quote:

“I never saw my mother sleep.  In fact, she only sat down during dinner and later for about three minutes in the tub of our one bathroom.  Although Mom was perennially pregnant, she was always on the move–a blurry blue Sears housedress topped by a wavy blond perm and supported by two sturdy speed-walking legs.  She had bulging varicose veins that grew with each child, and I was always worried they were going to pop, but they didn’t.
“On any given day, Mom could be found in one of two places:  the outside landing, where she hung the laundry, or the kitchen, where she jogged between the ironing board and the oven.  It seemed my mother could do a hundred things at once, all the while keeping at least one of her blue eyes on her ten children.
“‘Watch yourself, Eddie!’ she’d shout down from the landing to my oldest brother in the side yard.  ‘Remember, you’re a born leader and all the boys are watching you!’  Then she’d vroom down the fourteen wooden steps, hip the laundry basket through the banging screen door into the kitchen, and dump it onto the table.
“‘You’re the absolute best helper, Ellen,’ she’d say as my eager sister did the folding, ‘You’re going to make a wonderful mother!’
“Shortly after noon, Mom would begin preparations for dinner, served nightly at six o’clock sharp, ‘Barbara Ann!’ she’d yell down the basement stairs as she peeled potatoes.  ‘Come on up here and take Florence, Tommy, and Mary Jean.  They need some entertainment and if you’re going to be a star, you’ll need to practice.’
“And that was my mother’s genius.  She kept her house going by putting her finger on the special gift she saw in each of her children, and making each and every one of us believe that that gift was uniquely ours.  Whether it was true or not, we all believed it.”

~Barbara Corcoran, in her book Use What You’ve Got

 

 

 

music and slideshow

(MUSIC)

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We took so many photos that I thought it would be fun to put them in a slide show along with music to listen to if you would like, while you look at the pictures.

We had the party at my parent’s house “up on the hill” where mom and her sisters grew up.  We all have deep roots in this land, farm land, quiet country, woods, blueberries, birds, so many memories….all of it.

We had chicken BBQ (thank you Dave and Maria for all your work to make this happen!)

Kids played together as a pack; croquet, football, chalk on the driveway, running wild.

Mom was overcome with emotions a few times, just so happy to have all the people she loves the most with her.

One of my favorite memories was when sister Amanda and I were off by ourselves lost in conversation and Mom appeared wanting us back with her.  “You’ll have to leave soon and I want you with me!”

Cousin Erika made the birthday cake, I sure wish I had a piece with me right now while I write this post.

All she wanted for her birthday was her family.  And that’s what happened!  What a great day for a great lady.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful Cindy, Mom, Sister, Grandma, & Aunt.  You wear many hats and we’re thankful for who you are in our lives.

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(with a photo of her first birthday)

you’re part of my heart

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SUMMER
VACATION

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We went to the playground.

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The boys had friends over to play baseball, football, video games, fishing, swimming….

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If we should be so lucky
as to touch the lives of many, so be it.
But if our lot is not more than the setting of a table,
or the tending of a garden,
or showing a child a path in the woods,
our lives are no less worthy.
Kent Nerburn

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Grace and I went for a long walk through the woods, visited Sam-cat and the chickens.  She read to me the medicinal values of yarrow and elderberry, she chewed yarrow even though she didn’t have a tooth ache and said it made her tongue numb.  Mountain Laurel is in bloom and almost done.  We ate wild strawberries and sniffed deeply of wild roses.

I think this is how we’re supposed
to be in the world ~
present and in awe.
Anne Lamott

We went together to take our small visitors home and then to the grocery store where she is getting ready to work this summer.  I made chili and pasta for dinner.

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It’s fake blood.

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I sent Sarah upstairs to play while I worked in the kitchen.  When I went to get her for dinner I found her on the floor…fast asleep.

Summertime, fun and exhausting!

How was your day?

dishes n’ daisies

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I’m posting these photos today because my Aunt Colleen came home from an amazing cross country roadtrip with a bag all the way from West Virginia for me!  Guess what was inside of it?  A fiesta daisy plate!   She gave it to me when I was at her house this weekend and the first thing I did when I got home was tuck it in my collection; just right.

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Thank you, my friend!

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Wild daisies are just coming in bloom here in Connecticut and it’s hard to say which is my favorite; a handful of daisies or a fiestaware daisy plate.

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It was fun to take a few minutes to play with these colorful dishes in the midst of a busy morning.

“I will go pick daisies
and have a happy heart.”

 

at the present time

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“forever is composed of nows.”  Emily Dickenson  

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Now:  recovering from a mild concussion, “pink shorts/don’t care”, having fun with a neighbor-friend (who arrived wearing his shirt), fried chicken party from mom in the kitchen, swimming in the pond, lacrosse in the yard.

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Now: another summertime for romance

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Now: with a little adoring sister who loves her, too.

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Now: freedom to soar, to fly, to play

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to laugh.

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Now, with a faithful furry friend or two.

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Now:  time for graduation parties, a dear cousin, a loving family, and yummy food.

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Now, sisters.

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Now:  contemplating a secret recipe, sleuthing, enjoying.

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Now:  for oops and for trying your best to recover what you lost.

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Now: innocent childhood, cousins, holding hands, exploring magical places.

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Now is the time for youth, skipping stones, bare feet, a mama who adores you.

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Now:   a tire swing hung from an old apple tree,  and glow stick bracelets, and soft green grass.

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Now:  a trip back home to where your Dad grew up, climbing trees, flowers in the garden.

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Now: for memories, for listening, for fathers and daughters.

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Now; driving four hours to get back in time to watch your boy play baseball.

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Now; cheerful friends, watching the boys play, music, blazing sunshine.

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Now time to go home and fall into bed with that delicious “by God’s grace I did it all” feeling, and “it was very good”.

*****

And now it’s time for me to do lots of laundry in a ponytail, shorts and bare feet, with a dear son at home, thinking of the children at school taking finals, planning a graduation party, looking forward and not backward, reading and praying, talking to Jesus, a song or two, thankful always, with love all around. . . . . . .

Philippians 3:13   “… I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on. . .”