Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Watch-It Wednesday: If I Stand

Have you noticed that "Watch-It Wednesdays" are more frequently "Listen-To-This Wednesdays"? I considered re-titling them "Wordless Wednesdays," but then I'd feel compelled to not write anything and, well - we all know how much I like to talk, right?

This is an old song. An old song raw with a time-transcendent longing for heaven. An old song fresh with the realization of who we are before Christ. An old song marveling at the mystery of beauty around us, refusing to be enraptured even by the "good," in the precious hope of the perfect.

If you stand, stand on the promise. If you fall, fall on the grace. If you sing, sing for the Lord's joy. If you weep, weep with longing.

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Quick Note from a Mildly~Distracted Blog Negleter

Dear blog,

I have missed you! Rest assured, I am doing well, but am, quite simply, spinning out of Thanksgiving and into Christmas - just as I felt I was settling into the fall schedules!!

It's been a good couple months, though. In October, I ran the color race with Benj - a new experience, and one I definitely hope to have again! Additionally, the month held hikes, cider pressing, and a trip into Portland to visit Powell's with two fellow book addicts, JT and Jacob!

November (Yikes! Can you believe it isn't November anymore? Scary...) marked the beginning of the craziness fun. Our annual Girls' Weekend to the beach was, once again, "the best ever" (how can that be true every year? But it is...). I am sorry I didn't bring you along, but Mikaela brought One Bright Corner, so you can catch up with her there. Suffice to say, stormy weather, Bleak House, tea by the kettle-full, shopping, laughing, crying, and studying the Bible together combined to define our four days, and brought us home encouraged and refreshed (if a little sleep-deprived)! Then, of course, there was Thanksgiving! Cousins, gingerbread houses, hikes...we are just coming out of a special weekend, and find ourselves in December! Yesterday afternoon we went tree-hunting, and now our garage smells like pine and our house resounds with Christmas music!

Which brings me to today, the first Monday in December. There's my symphony concert coming up, a studio recital & New Year's ball to plan, concerts and parties to attend, friends to see, Christmas shopping & wrapping to do, Christmas cookies to bake, Christmas letters to write, and a miraculous event that happened quietly and virtually unnoticed 2000 years ago to celebrate with every thought and deed.

It's going to be a good month.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Watch-It Wednesday: Nothing!

I just got back from a fabulous day of babysitting some super-fun kiddos! What do you do for eight hours with five children, 10 & under? Oh, "Nothing!"

...which, of course, translates to "Have a Ball!"
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Watch-It Wednesday: Apples R Us!

Let the games begin! Step one of Operation Cider has been accomplished: retrieving the apples. Our entire garage now smells like an apple pie, and it's the season of feasting on apple fritters by day and apple dumplings by night! I can hardly wait to rent the press and begin our good, old-fashioned, cider-pressing day! Complete with fellow apple-buying friends, contests to recognize the fastest pressing team, sticky hands, savory cider warming on the stove, and a bonfire - yes, it's a time to anticipate!!

Have an apple-licious Wednesday!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

I woke to a typical, grey, October Friday. I woke with the standard cold that is going around. I woke with hopelessly sad, shower-needing hair that didn't have a chance. I shrugged at the idea of dressing "nicely" and wore a boring jean skirt. This morning I had errands to run, preparations to make, and people to drop off.

Today was, in a word, ordinary.

Checking out at the craft store with some needles and thread, I found my eyes preoccupied with my purse, wallet, and receipts. As I finished my purchase, I realized I had yet to even really look at the girl across the counter from me. Taking my bag, I looked purposefully up into her eyes with a smile. She was dressed for an ordinary day, too: chunky sweater, comfy scarf, her apron covering up most of the rest of her outfit, counting out change for yet another customer in her morning (me). "Thank you so much! Have a good day!" I said. Suddenly, her entire face lit up. "Thank you! You too!" She answered, and, as I walked toward the door, "And your hair looks really pretty, too!"

My hair was a tired, dirty-looking braid, but suddenly, in the light of the smile, her eyes saw something ordinary as beautiful. She was the picture of an ordinary work day, but in the light of her exuberance and kind comment, she became beautiful in her encouragement to me. Walking out of the store, I couldn't keep the smile off my face - both because of her sudden, brilliant reaction, and because of the reminder it gave to me:

As the light of the world, I have the responsibility to dispel ordinary days from those around me. What an extraordinary mission it is!
Five Minute Friday One word. Five minutes. No edits. It's Five Minute Friday!

Disclaimer: This particular post I was writing for a little more than five minutes...but it still is just a "rough draft"!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Watch-It Wednesday: (Talent)? Night

I know ya'll are probably sick of hearing about how wonderful our church Family Camp is, but necessity demands that I bring it up {at least} one more time. One of the most hilarious, memory-making, quote-generating evenings of camp is Talent Night. "Hilarious," because, contrary to the delusive title, no talent is required to participate. "Memory-making," because whenever a whole group of people who love the LORD and each other get together to have fun, memories must be made. "Quote-generating," because, well, you will see that for yourself...

Imagine the dire consequences, then, if even two people are missing from the evening. They wouldn't know the jokes, they wouldn't know the laughs - in a word {or, rather, two} they miss out.

Thanks to Miss Reagan, preserved for all posterity are a few choice video selections from the evening to give a clue to the absentees of our time.

To begin with, there was some real, amazing talent present...

...and then there were the ever-abundant blonde jokes...


...followed by the set-ups...

...and the skits.

(part I)
(part II)

Have a talented Wednesday!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October in the Northwest!

October has begun,
And with it now has come
The days of golden light.
The Autumn now has come,
And with it has begun
The days of family hikes!

On Friday, we began our annual Afternoon-Hike-Family-Pizza-Movie-Night October tradition ~ and the weekend responded nicely with some stellar weather! Smith & Bybee Lakes were the walk of choice (that is to say, since option #1 was closed due to fallen trees), and we were awed by the incomparable beauty of the place we live! Great blue herons, white egrets, and various ducks (seen from a distance) floated on the lakes, and the deep, October sunshine warmed us right to our toes. It is on days like these that I wish I could soak the sunshine deep inside, but alas, I am not a flower.



As we walked through the high grass, a sudden serenade of music exploded behind me, which I recorded and now present to you as the sound of the Coder Boys in their natural habitat:

To really put a seal on our awe of God's amazinglybeautifulspectaculartherearenowordstodescribeit creation, yesterday afternoon was again lovely, and we set off as adventurers to a new hike: Latourell Falls! Kaytch joined us this time, and as we marched through the trees up to the falls, the woods resounded with laughs, songs, and "would dad count this as a trail?" (which translates to "can we go exploring here, or not?"). It was equally lovely, and the sunset at the end, shall see...

See? Totally unequalable! I love the Northwest. :)

What are you doing with your Autumn weather?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Things They Say

Some of the biggest smiles in my life are Littles. My own three youngest siblings, the students who march through my door each week, and the cute kiddos I see at church and babysit ~ these are the ones that keep life hopping and happy. Besides the fun of teaching and playing with them, their constant stream of silliness (intentional, and otherwise) keeps me chuckling, no matter what the day has held. If you don't personally know the truth of this, here are some conversations that have taken place around here, lately...

Zach: "I was just breathing through my ear!"
*Various Siblings*: "That's impossible."
Zach: "No, really! Air was coming in and going out!"
Gracie: "You have an eardrum there, you can't breath through it!"
Methinks it's time for a discussion on air flow & anatomy.
Meg: "If actions speak louder than words, then they also speak louder than words in 'Whack'! Shouldn't that be true??"
Thanks, Meg! Now I have a logical defense when I find myself tongue-tied & have to just point at someone.
Me: (Placing supper on the table) "Ok you guys, time to eat!"
Little #1: "But...but...but...where's my fork?!?"
Me: "You don't have one yet. Run and get it!"
Little #2: "I have to go get my fork, too!"
Me: "Yep! Go for it!"
Little #3: (while sliding his fork back & forth across the table, yet in dead earnest) "I need a fork, too!"
Ahh, peer pressure, how young you start.
You know that part in The Pacifier when Murney has to play Mother Superior for The Sound of Music skit? We were suffering through watching it w/the younger kids, when Zach suddenly blurted out, "Wow! I never knew Mother Superiors had such hairy legs!"
...which causes me to stop and consider: Do Mother Superiors shave their legs?
Oh the things I would never wonder if it wasn't for Zachary.
Me: "Meg, put this away."
Meg: "Ewww!"
Me: "Big whoop. It's just clean underwear."
Zachary: "And if your a girl, you wear it every day!"
"If you're a girl"?? I don't even want to ask.
Then there's the list of instructions I had to give Maddy, all in one afternoon of knitting.
Please tell me, are these instructions rocket science? 'Cause she seemed to think they were...
"Maddy, you may not put your knitting needle in your nose!"
"Maddy, don't scratch your face with your knitting needle!"
"Maddy, get your knitting needle out of the chip bag!"
Note to self: knitting needles are complicated tools of {apparently} ambiguous purpose. So much for the explained-by-the-name theory.
What would we do without Littles?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Watch-It Wednesday: 10 minutes X 5 days

Unquestionably, Family Camp is the best, most-looked-forward-to weekend of the year! Those of us happily possessing schedules which allow us to go up early enjoy 5 days ~ and still, the time shrinks each year.

Two weeks later, I have a slideshow, using some of everyone's pictures of camp. Ten minutes may seem like a long video, but considering that I started with 1,000 pictures, it's quite decent. ;)

I cannot wait until we all get to heaven, and can enjoy the fellowship like this for eternity! Have a blessed Wednesday!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Life Lately...

Hello lovelies!


Wait, was than an echo I just heard?

Yes, it's been a while. Poor little blog has been abandoned for far too long, but I'm turning over a new leaf as they begin to fall, and things should look a little more lively around here, now that all beautiful things outside are beginning to die {albeit, beautifully}.
But take that with a grain of salt, 'cause life is crazy.

Anyway, as I madly edit pictures and put together posts from Europe {which will appear here by the end of the month - hooray!}, life has continued to fly by, in that predictable, frantic style of summer happenings. What has been keeping me busy since my feet returned to Battle Ground soil nearly two months ago? Yes. I know. This question has stalked your days and haunted your nights, so in the name of community service, I have set out this morning to bring peace to your tormented minds. {In other words, by many words, I seek to eliminate the echo of words, since this blog-journal of my words has been lacking in any words.}

1. Deiter 100!
Styled after "The Amazing Race" {of which I know nothing...}, in celebration of their collective ages being 100, the Deiters hosted an all-day event of clues and scavenger hunts which immediately set the bar high for "fun things to do" in the month of August! Each team was encouraged to a team, and the team of yours truly tied for the prize!
The other winning team: Snow White, Prince, & 7 dwarves!

2. Clark County Fair!
Free pancake breakfast on opening morning, sheep shows, judging, auctioning, and fun...and one late night of bright lights, high rides, and elephant ears. We love our county fair!

3. Cleared-Out Room!
As soon as I got back to my room, after two months of living out of a backpack, I knew it was time to get rid of some things. Armloads of clothes, knick-knacks, etc, exited en mass. The only thing I couldn't let go of? My books, of course! In true all-or-nothing style, I pulled out & re-organized all 235 of them. And, as I had another one on the way in the mail, sternly instructed myself to go easy on the book-buying. I mean, some are in boxes in my closet, some arranged neatly under my bed, and all my bookshelves sagging. Fate was against me, though, because two days later...
Some of the mess... :)

4. Girls' Day in Ptown!!
Ahh, it was lovely. Tea lattes, Anthro, Salt & Straw ice cream {like...yums}, and...the infamous Powell's Bookstore. I'm afraid to say my resolve evaporated the minute I walked through the doors. I came away with *ahem* 3 books ~ but oh, such books!! :)

5. Music on the Lawn!
Being gone for 2 months during the summer sounds like a prime opportunity for "while the cat's away, the mice play" in studio~land. Of course, I wanted my wonderful violinists & pianists to have a bit of a break, but I also needed some sort of incentive for them to touch & play their instruments over the summer. The answer was: give them a piece to learn, on their own, for a performance. But it's summer. We didn't want a formal deal with dressing up, solemn concert hall, etc. So we hooked up a sound system, pulled out the keyboard, threw down some picnic blankets, and had a whole gang of people bring & eat their picnic dinners, while being serenaded by some great music! :) After supper & music, we cleared up, set up the volleyball net, and played until dark {and a little beyond}.
They gave me a super "sweet" card, that they all had signed!! :)

6. Family Camp!
Don't get me started. Family Camp is The. Best. Weekend. of the year. Hands-down. Volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, talent night, game tournaments, campfire singing, baptisms ~ this fun is nothing to the fellowship with wonderful brothers & sisters. I was even more grateful for my wonderful church family this year, after being away from them for 2 months. {Now we just need Jesse and Nathan to come home!}

7. Sunriver!
Our annual family vacation spot: Sunriver, OR! The last two years were the first years we hadn't gone since Ems was born (19 years ago), so we were ecstatic to return to the high desert, pine trees, and endless bike trails! G'ma and G'pa came this year, and it was a lovely, too-short, 5 days.
2013 Christmas Picture??

Megs & I during a biking break!

Beautiful Benham Falls

Deschutes River!

It's been a busy summer! So fun-filled and beautiful, it makes me ready to jump into schedules with extra gusto!

How was your summer??