Saturday, March 28, 2020

Enjoying the Simple, Quiet Days

    Though we are a homeschooling family we still normally have a fair amount of coming and going at our house. We have church twice a week, the boys and Debora were in Theater this Spring, We had volunteering at the nursing home and at Rotary, Music students coming and also us going to friends and friends coming to us and more. But like everybody else around the country (and actually the world) that came to a screeching halt recently. The last play practice was on the 11th and the show has been delayed. Debora's last day of school was the 17th. The 15th was our last time at church and that was a pretty light crowd. Rotary's last meeting was the 16th and it was super small. We have mostly just stayed at home.

     We love being at home but to be perfectly honest we also like going places and we love to spend time with others. So though it hasn't been completely easy (as I am sure you can relate to) it has been a time of peace and joy and lots of fun too. We are trusting that those making the decisions about the stay home orders have done their research and are acting wisely. Most of all we trust that God understands exactly what is going on, and as long as we seek His will He is going to work things out for our good.

   So I thought I would share some of the fun things we have been doing....
 Celebrating! For St. Patrick's Day we wore green, decorated with green, ate potatoes, Irish Stew and Irish soda bread. For the first day of Spring we also set the table prettily and then did some more decorating such as my mantle below.
Painting. The girls and I had fun painting one night and now have some decorations for our mantle this spring.
Outdoor Time. A lot more time has been spent outside. Here the boys were checking out the river and how it was opening up as it came to us. They are out on the ice but standing over top of a log that is down in the water.
Music. Debora is learning to play the Ukulele and others of us have been creating quite a bit of music as well.
Log Splitting. Aaron has made it nearly all the way through the pile that needed to be split.
Recording Music. In the last post I shared "Consider the Lilies" the result of this recording session. Megan had a cold and had lost her voice so she wasn't a part of the music making. Aaron, Debora and I did that this time while Jonathan with some assistance from Megan did the recording, the filming and the editing.

Reading. Lot of reading has been done which is really fun. Megan has been catching up on some old magazines.
Campfires. They are peaceful and fun.
Kayaking. Yes it is still quite early but Aaron tends to be impatient about that. He uses ski poles to push himself in the kayak across the ice and then has fun paddling in the open water.
Story Writing. Megan has been doing a lot of writing lately and her current project has been a long story set in Finland that she and Aaron have been working on together.
Sewing. Debora learned to sew making cloths masks for a local place that was wanting them. She and I had fun working together on that. I am modeling one down below.

Swinging. The boys had a lot of fun this week creating a new, big swing. They have a platform that you climb on and then jump off while on the swing and the swing has to catch you. It is a bit of an adrenaline rush. That has been a highlight of the week.
I like these pictures that I caught of Aaron. Jonathan made a video of the swing in use too:

So that is some of what has been going on at our place lately. I would love to hear from all of you and hear about the fun things that you have been doing as well.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Consider the Lilies

Because we are staying home more with the Corona Virus outbreak we had time to work on a new music video. Aaron, Debora and I made the music while Jonathan filmed with Megan as his assistant. I thought this song had a message that was truly fitting for this time we are in. We also did it to honor my Dad who turned 70 today. This song always makes me think of him as it is one I remember him singing and playing often as he was learning to play the Mandolin when I was a child. I hope it blesses you.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Perfect Peace which leads to Praise!

Some eagles that I saw the other day. It looks like they are getting together but practicing social distancing too. :-)
  This world is just a bit crazy right now it would seem. We are living through something that none of us has ever seen before. There is the virus that is uncertain (how many people will it really infect, how far will it spread, how long will it last, will we get it???) but beyond that so many have jobs that have ended or changed, routines are off, so much that people have worked long and hard for has been cancelled and we don't even know for sure that we can find the normal things we need at the store.

  I am so thankful for the perfect peace that comes from knowing and following JESUS! When we follow Him we know that He has all of this in His control. Also we can live with an eternal focus realizing that truly all that matters is what effects where we and others will spend eternity. I admit to feeling a bit worried for a moment as it seems like there had been some exciting things happening in our church and I was afraid this virus might really put a damper on progress that was being made. I have had to step back and realize that God has this in control. He is allowing things to be shaken up a bit and who knows what all good may come from that. He can work out everything for His good!

  I did truly miss attending normal church services this morning but we had a truly blessed day of focusing on Jesus anyway. We joined the Live Stream for Forest Park Church of Christ  (from Crowley, LA - our good friend Jason preaches down there) and then We did facetime with my mother-in-law while we sang, prayed and had communion. Then this evening we listened to a sermon that Mike from our church here had recorded. As I looked on my Facebook feed I saw that we were not the only ones connecting with various churches from all over the globe - many were doing that. How encouraging that was to me to see that seeking God is what really matters to so many.

   I want to share a scripture of encouragement that Mike shared with us:

Habakkuk 3:17-19
"Though the fig tree should not blossom
and there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food,
Though the the flock should be cut off from the fold
and there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my Salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet
and makes me walk on high places."

  So, even if we are facing disappointments or even very scary and genuine trials let's look past that and see the work that God is doing in our lives. Let's praise Him over and over and over again. He is worthy!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Happy Spring!

   I hope you are having a wonderful first day of Spring! We have actually had the feel of Spring around here a fair amount lately - before it actually was Spring which is a little unusual for this area. But now that it is Spring by the calendar we have more snow falling, but it is a lovely Springy sort of snow. :-)

  I thought I would show you some pictures of things that have been making me think Spring lately...

Tapping Maple trees. We did that last week and then added some more this week. The first day we went out I had lots of fun helpers, Buirlen and Aaron (above) and Megan and Matthias (below). The weather was just lovely that day too. Nice and warm and the sap was truly running. It then did get a little cooler but this week when Dad, Jonathan and I went out it was lovely then too and it was cold enough though that we could fully walk on top of the snow which makes getting around sooo much easier.

 Little rivers showing up in our driveway are a sure sign of Spring. As a child I loved to play in those little rivers and I'll admit I am still a little tempted to try damming them up or rerouting them, sending stick boats floating on them and such like. It is just so fun to be out in the Spring.
 I always love watching the water pour out of the gutters as the snow melts off of the roof.
 Aaron, Debora and I were able to go on a bike ride. That definitely felt like a Spring activity!

 This morning I had flowers arrive as I am doing some training with a lady who is wanting to learning how to arrange flowers more. Flowers truly give me the happy Spring feeling.
 Since I don't often do flowers for wedding during the winter (they just aren't real common up here in the North Country- winter weddings that is) I was feeling a little "flower hungry". I even decided to use the rose leaves that I would normally discard and make them into a wreath to brighten up our house a little.
For Breakfast I tried to think of something that made me think Spring - so I ended up making boiled eggs and muffins which I served on a cute Spring Tray that my college roommate had given to me. 

  With all the uncertainty in our lives today It is lovely to remember this verse: "As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” Genisis 8:22
Spring can remind us that God is still the same and He is still watching over us.
Just thought I would share our view today. You wouldn't automatically think Spring when you see it but there are signs of Spring here too. Do you see the holes in the middle of the river and how it looks dark and thin? The river has been working itself open and is almost to our house now. That is one of my favorite things about Spring - the opening up of the river and getting to see all the wildlife that comes with it - Swans, otters, eagles and more.

I hope you have a lovely Spring and that you will see the steadfastness of God throughout all the changeableness of life. If you are staying home a little more (as many of us are just now) I hope you can enjoy it and be able to celebrate the simple things - like Spring!

Friday, March 6, 2020

Introducing Debora - (and Winter Fun)

We are excited to be hosting Debora a Rotary Exchange student from Brazil. She moved in this past Saturday and will be here until some time after her graduation in May. Rotary exchange students generally have 3 families for their school year.

    We are having a lot of fun learning more about Brazil. We haven't learned any Portuguese yet however. Debora had never seen any snow before coming to Minnesota so their are a lot of things that are new to her.  

 Skiing included. She was a little nervous about that one but made a great effort to give it a try. I don't know that she will want to do it again but she survived the evening so that was good! :-)

 On Sunday we found out that she hadn't been out on our ice covered lake yet so we took her out there too. Something that you need to do if you are in northern MN in the winter.

I am guessing you will hear more about our adventures with Debora.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin