Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Do Not Forget

General Order
No. 11

Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic
Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.
By command of:
"If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remains in us." - that sentence always gets me. Eyes have dulled, hands have grown slack, hearts have cooled. Memorial Day is now, for far too many Americans, just another holiday. A three-day weekend off work and school, an excuse for stores to flood your inbox with "patriotic" sales - which are the same as "Cinco de Mayo" sales, but with a slightly different color scheme -, a day wherein following tradition means one merely hangs out a flag and hosts a big barbecue. What has happened to the noble purpose of Memorial Day? Too many have forgotten. Let us not forget.

I praise my King who has bestowed upon me the gift of growing up in such a country. On this day, I honor the men and women who have fought so desperately, so sacrificially, to defend and protect this land.

God bless America, land that I love!

Source: http://www.suvcw.org/logan.htm
Photo Credit

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Saw God Today

The line of crowding, hungry people stretched as far as the eye could see. Little ones whimpering for their dinners, women calculating how many mouths they had to fill, men impatiently shuffling from one foot to the next - all waiting for the food, wherever it was coming from, to materialize before them.

At the front of the line, standing tall and resolutely behind the three food tables like so many soldiers - and in truth, they were soldiers - the servers cast apprehensive glances, one to another, each reminding his neighbor to be frugal with the helpings. The meal was far from plentiful.

Scurrying around in the kitchen, the cooks were a smattering of mixed emotions. While some bemoaned the lack of food and the surplus of people, most reminded each other, in hopeful tones, that God would provide.

And they knew He would. For there, standing in a corner of the gym; and there, stirring a crock pot of gravy in the kitchen; and there, peering through the doors at the thick, unyielding line of hungry individuals; were the prayer warriors. As their eyes roved to and fro over the crowd, these faith-firm soldiers prayed blessing after blessing down on those who came seeking food. They asked that those lining up for dinner would come to crave the true nourishment of the Word. They asked that those being offered a free meal would have their ears opened to hear the ultimate offer of free and eternal life. And they asked that, if it would be to His glory, the Lord might provide for all 300 people who sought their evening fare at the "Lord's Gym" that night.

And provide He did. It was with amazed and awestruck giggles of pure glee that I, after helping prepare only two-thirds of the normal dinner amount, and serving it to nearly twice the typical number of guests, filled and set aside seven spare containers of chicken-and-gravy. Yes, the stuffing, salad, bread, and dessert were gone, but we still had leftovers. Leftovers. Left. Overs. Extra.

"Well," said Grandma Vi, Queen of the Kitchen, and one of the many people I must do a post on one of these days, "I asked the Lord what to do about having too little chicken, and he told me to put in extra gravy, and that it would all work out if I did. And it did."

God provides in miraculous - and such amazingly cool - ways! It boggles the mind to think of how He intervenes for us, doing it in such a way that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was His hand which saved the evening. Not our foresight. Not our ability to collect resources. Not our hard work. Not our time spent. Not our ingenuity.

It was our King, the Ruler and Creator of the universe, interposing His will on our circumstances.

I saw God today.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dear Blogger,

There is so much I would say about--
But I can't.

I want to tell you--
But I can't.

I was thinking--

I agree with--

Nice job on--

That's so cool that--

Interesting info on--

I really wish that--

Please let me--

Your Patient User,

Photo Credit

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Watch-It Wednesday: A Picture of Faith

Have you ever found yourself sitting, minding your own business, when suddenly the urge to do something rather ridiculous...or at least unconventional...pops into your mind? Go buy that well-dressed lady's coffee for her. Run over and see if that young mother will let you bounce her fussing baby. Ask the older lady if you can walk her to her car. Sometimes the urge makes sense - Is the mother clearly frazzled by her Little's inability to calm down? - and sometimes it doesn't - Why would that designer-dressed lady need me to buy her coffee? This short video (stollen copied from mama's blog) convicted me heavily for ignoring the seemingly "random" promptings I am given. No matter how strange or insignificant the prompting may appear, stepping out in faith always brings glory to the King.

"To hear with my heart,
To see with my soul,
To be guided by a hand I can not hold,
To trust in a way that I can not see,
That's what faith must be." - "That's What Faith Must Be", Michael Card

Monday, May 23, 2011

This is Me Right Now...

No, I do not have a bald spot - it's just my fingers showing through my uber-thin hair.

...because playing around with skirt designs is a frustrating pastime. Actually, because I hate when things don't turn out exactly how I planned them...even when a potentially cuter alternative comes along. "Maybe," mama said with a grin, after listening to my lamentations, "God wants you to get used to it - remember Benjamin Franklin?"
"It was Thomas Edison!" I burst out, after a moment of surprise, and so I laughed which makes many things better - mostly. But I still needed some help, so I had some comfort food....

Fresh sourdough bread!
And smelled these lovely roses my students gave me...
They've been perfuming my room all weekend!

And got out this movie to watch as I finish the ironing...

Pretty much my all-time favorite animated movie
And remembered that, in the big scheme of things, it won't matter a whit if it takes me a couple more days to work out the quirks on this skirt. In the big scheme of things, it will simply matter that I stopped and smelled the roses, tasted the sourdough, laughed at the silliness, and learned the patience and flexibility I tend to so not have time for! in my own mind.

O, to patiently learn patience...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pre-Recital Jitters

This morning at 8:45:

*phone ringing*

"Hello, this is Sarah."


"Hi! Who is this?"


"Hey Johnny, how're you doing?"

"Good....I have a couple questions about the recital."

"Ok, what's up?"

"Do I have to play my arpeggios for the recital?"

"No, you are just playing 'God is so Good'."

"Good, so I don't have to play my scales or anything?"

"Nope, just the one song."

*gasp of relief* "Good - goodbye!!"

"Bye. See you this evening!"

So cute! I remember asking those types of questions... :)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why I Missed My Monday Post

My spare moments have been rather preoccupied with this...
and this...
and, most especially, this:
So much to be done! Count me as a stranger to blogland until after Friday. See you then!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Car Story...Kind Of

It was inevitable. As soon as I opened my big mouth, volunteering to do daddy's "errand," I knew it was a mistake.
"Great!" he said, "I need you to go to Les Schwab, have them patch up the tire with the nail in it, and get inner tubes on the tractor tires."

Ok, I get the part about the nail (see here), but...um...inner tubes on tractor tires? Aren't inner tubes those things in which you slide down mountains or skim over water?

"Um, ok?" was my tentative answer, "I don't know what exactly I should say when I get there."
"I'll write you out a script," he rejoined, mock-rolling his eyes at me.
"Yes. That would be good."

And so, script in hand (really!), and juggling the two front lawn mower tires, I found myself strolling into Les Schwab about twenty minutes later. Almost as soon as I entered the building, the tractor tires were whisked away from me, with the...uh...Les Schwab man (what do you call those guys? Store attendants? Waiters?) calling over his shoulder for me to "make sure that they get rung up."

O...wait...that's not in my script - and you just stole the first part!

"Hi, I just brought two tractor tires in to get inner tubes put on, and I have my van out there that has a nail in the..." remember the script "...front-passenger-side-tire." Gracious, I hope that was right.

"Ok, is the tire leaking air?"

"Uh...." I assume so, why else would we need it fixed? Is this a trick question? What changes if I answer incorrectly?? "I think so. My dad just told me to bring it in and have it fixed." Great, now I sound like a totally clueless, ditzy girl. No secrets here.

To his credit, the...LSG2 (Les Schwab Guy 2) didn't even chuckle at me.

"Ok, great. So it's the green Ford van out there?"

"Yes." Ok, that wasn't in the script, but I can go with it.

"Do you know what year it is?" LSG2 queried, but even as he looked up at me, my dismay must have been painfully evident (I've always been told I have a terrible poker face), because he immediately grinned and answered his own question: "You probably don't, do you?"

Year? I have to know the year of the car? I demand a new playwright! "Uh, no, sorry, I don't."

"No problem...
Do you have the key?"

"Yes!" thankful dad had reminded me to have the key ready, I handed it over and went to go sit down, breathing the smell of new tires. Have you ever noticed what a nice smell they have?

I was fine until I was again called to the counter to pay for the services.

"Fifteen dollars," LSG3 (but it could have been LSG1 - I don't know) informed me.

Fifteen, huh? Daddy said it wouldn't be more that $50...I wonder if LSG3 is counting the mower tires, and the van tire. It would be better to find out now, I suppose. "Ok, is that counting the two mower tires I had fixed?" I asked, trying to sound like I new what I was talking about.

"Yeah, I put them in the van - that's where they came from, right?"

"Yes, well, and I had the tire fixed on the van too..." Why am I trying to convince this guy that I need to pay more?


"Well," clears throat, "so I had the two things done, inner tubes on the tractor tires, and the nail fixed on the van."

Finally, LSG3 understood what I was trying to say - which is good, because otherwise we would have been there all day - and, looking suddenly tired, and a cross between exasperated and amused, he explained, "We don't charge for fixing the van tire, because it's our tire."

"Oh. Great!" Yeah yeah, I new that. Was that what dad mentioned about "free"? Finally convinced that the bill really was only fifteen dollars, I slid him my card, and got out of there before anything else could happen.

So, maybe I have some things to learn in the car department. Like, can a nail be in a tire without leaking air? What year are the cars I drive (and why does it matter)? And, most importantly...what does one call a tire shop guy?

Monday, May 9, 2011

How Many Blondes Does It Take...

...to squirt whipped cream onto a milkshake? At least two, though these would have drastically benefited from a third!
It was a yummy Mother's Day. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

So Many Saturday Smiles!

Today was a simply lovely day. That's not unusual, I'm loved by a God who spoils me rotten, but the last smile just filled my cup to the overflowing, so I had to share them all!

1. Fort Vancouver!
Behold the multiple layers and pounds I get to don on a Fort Vancouver day:
Of course, there are some layers that are not visible, as the dear ladies from the 1840s would be spinning in their graves if I showed "small clothes." (Actually, I have shown some of them, because the bright red is a flannel petticoat so enormous that five of me could fit in it if the drawstring went missing.) Anyway, I had a wonderful time teaching in the sewing department!

2. Quote!
When driving home from the Fort, Benjamin gave me quote from a man he had been talking with. I don't have the verbage exactly right, but here is the gist of it:
"Living with God is like walking backwards. You hold His hand, take each step in faith, and see in hindsight how perfect the path is."
3. Twinkles!
After driving home accompanied by a rainbow, I was greeted by these sweet Littles - I just love 'em!

4. Jenny!!!!!!!!!!
Not taken today, but...

19th century clothing isn't very practical for pizza in a modern kitchen, so when I got home, I slipped in to some sweats. It was a little early, but it felt silly to get all dressed up for a couple hours, only to change later for bed. "Are you sure you want to wear that right now? It's kind of early." Daddy informed me. "Well, I'll change if you want me to..." was my response, and daddy just shrugged, but a few minutes later I found out the reason for his question.
"They're here!" James shouted, banging open the door. I had no idea who "they" were, but I sure high-tailed it upstairs to change! Jo, Jonathan, and JENNY had shown up unexpectedly as a surprise for dinner and games! I didn't even know she was going to be home for the weekend...seeing her made me so happy!!

And so, I smiled all day long!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Watch-It Wednesday: Battle for Skandia

Ladies and Gentlemen! Presenting, for your viewing pleasure, the professionally-filmed video of "Battle for Skandia", conducted by Benjamin Coder!

Disclaimer: the quality of the performance is in no way connected with the quality of effort put forth by cameraman, composer, or conductor (these persons are perfect, and of course, leave nothing to be desired); and as such, the afore-mentioned persons should not be held accountable for any aspect of the performance. This includes, but is not limited to, the intonation, energy, and precision of the musicians. However, if any of the performance is offensive to you, there are no persons available to sue. Sorry.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Tiny, fairy-formed pink china,
Encased in front by glass,
Allowed this sheltered glimpse of life
Continu'lly whirring past.
Until the o-so-special day,
Pulled from her shelf, and used in play.

photo credit