Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Insolence of Deer

Tate and Gunnar both have hunting licenses and deer tags this year.
Gunnar went out last weekend, on opening day, with Grandpa.
They saw no deer.
Nothing.  Zilch.  Nada.

Tate will be going out today, and Gunnar again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I looked out my window and saw this...

Yes, right out our back gate...

That's a five-point black-tail buck.

We can't shoot him.
Not here, in the city limits.

But Gunnar wanted to "practice" with an air-soft.
Of course, it's not very realistic,
because these deer KNOW they're safe.

After Gunnar stung him a few times, he shuffled calmly off to the other side of the bamboo.

The insolence of deer!

Later that day, making dinner,
I noticed the evening sun dropping below the clouds,
making some beautiful colors light up.
Looking west...

Looking east...
Oh, look.  In the neighbor's yard...

Why, yes, that would be two more deer,
a doe and her fawn,
probably born this spring.

And up in another neighbor's yard...

... another doe.

The fawn was only slightly wary of me.

I got within about ten feet of him...

when he decided he'd better get closer to mom.

He has NO trouble with the fence that is taller than he is.

And guess who was sticking close to that doe...

Seems a bit early to be in the rut,
but he wasn't letting her out of his sight.


And what are the odds the boys will see ANY deer while they're out hunting?

Monday, October 19, 2015

At Sunday School Yesterday

One of my little preschoolers leaned over and whispered confidently to me:

Jesus IS God.
But there's two.
It's tricky.

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, October 19, 2015

Outside my window...
cool gray skies.
Gunnar and I went for a walk this morning and if I hadn't had glasses,
I wouldn't have known it was raining lightly.
(The rain lands on the lenses.)
The cooler weather motivates me to cook more :D

a very quiet house.
Kerry is working out in his office,
Wyatt and Tate are at school(s),
and Gunnar is reading.

how good it is to have a "normal" week
between our comings and goings,
and wanting to get a lot done without feeling rushed.

* Breanna in Myanmar recovering from surgery
* an older friend at church with a broken leg
* Wyatt has 25 hours of work this week, besides school
* for a peaceful and productive week

* so very thankful for the friendships formed and strengthened last week in Arkansas
* for a kind and generous church friend who hosts card-making parties and blesses a lot of people that way
(at her get-togethers and with the cards :D )
* for Kerry, hard at work, and that he HAS work to do
* for the older boys' jobs
* for our church family - after enjoying visiting another church, being back to ours was all the sweeter
* for my Sunday school kids' tender hearts as they prayed for Breanna and baby Lena
* for this last year of full-time homeschooling (bittersweet)

about to shower and get out of my grubbies...
probably jeans and a sweater :D

I have three friends expecting babies (happy!)
and Christmas is coming soon..

* to pick Tate up from school (too dark in the morning to ride his bike safely)
* to get the laundry caught up
* to make eye appointments for Gunnar and Tate

a bunch of Jamie Langston Turner books,
not really a series, but the characters overlap in fun ways :D
I'm just starting Sometimes A Light Surprises.

Looking forward to...
another week away!

In the kitchen...
shepherd's pie for dinner

In the learning rooms...
Tate works so independently, I sometimes forget what he's actually working on.
He'll be starting a new unit in chemistry and we'll have to decide if we need to call in reinforcements.
Gunnar was not happy to realize that it's time to do a book (and oral) report.
It's not so much the doing of it that bothers him,
but the fact that it came up right now
and I told him he should be working on it while I'm gone next week.
Clearly, he had anticipated an entire free week
to stare into the Eye of Mordor (aka play computer games).
Not that I would have let him anyway.

Gunnar had an experiment to do.
We submerged a battery in epsom-salt-saturated water
and inverted salt-water-filled test tubes over the battery terminals.

Do you know what we were collecting?

The energy from the battery actually breaks the water molecules,
so the test tube on the left (over the positive terminal) caught oxygen,
while the test tube on the right (negative terminal) caught hydrogen.

Guess which test tube caught more gas?
If you know the composition of water, you'll figure it out ;D

Around the house...
When is the contractor going to come finish the window trim?
I seem to remember it being promised for THIS MONTH,
and THIS MONTH is nearly over.

The Mother Load...
Oh my.
It's onto two pages now.
But I'm color-coding it,
for things that have to happen before we leave.
Like finishing/wrapping birthday gifts for Saturday's party :D

Noticing that...
the days are so much shorter.

Something to remember for later...
Gunnar still tells me (repeatedly) how much fun he had on the camping trip.
Must do this again next year :D

A favorite quote for today...
From John Piper

I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves.
I start to fit in.  I start to call earth "home".
Before you know it, I'm calling luxuries "needs"
and using my money just the way unbelievers do.
I begin to forget about the war.
I don't think much about people perishing.
Missions and unreached people drop out of my mind.
I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace.
I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first
to what man can do, not what God can do.
It is a terrible sickness.
And I thank God for those who have forced me again and again
toward a wartime mind-set.

One of my favorite things...
good quality colored pens

A Bible verse / devotional thought...
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
Isaiah 33:6

A few plans for the rest of the week...
rehearsal tonight,
Gunnar's violin lesson tomorrow,
CAP tomorrow night,
and I THINK that's it.
Other than the usual (school).
Sounds good to me!

A peek into my world...

Out the school-room window this morning.
I love the low-angle sunlight.
We only had it for a few minutes,
before the sun got "above" the clouds.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I'll Fly Away - Reprise

Some bright morning...

you wake up in one state,
and end up in another ;D

We weren't in any hurry to part from our friends,
but our time was winding down.

Doesn't Katherine look cute?
A brown-haired Pippi Longstocking :D

Love that front porch and the porch swing,
but love that family even more :D

When Joanna asked what we wanted to see in Arkansas,
I really had no idea and was content to leave it up to them to plan our activities.
But Tate and I did think of one thing we wanted to see...

Little Rock Central High School.

We've read about the Civil Rights Movement in our history studies,
but it seems so distant to us and so foreign to our worldview,
but in the South it's all right there in front of you.

The high school itself is still in use,
but the National Park Service maintains an interpretive center
just across the street from the school.
Well worth the visit if you're in the area...
and free!

The Hibbards were able to meet us one last time
for an interesting and educational morning.

I can't imagine the courage and determination it took
for those nine students to forge a path like that,
to attend school faithfully while contending with so much hatred.

For some reason a lot of the information was presented via old-style telephones -
a novelty for kids that only know cel phones.

Tate :D

See, it WAS an educational trip!
Well worth missing a couple days of school!

They also played a movie that must have been produced in the early to mid sixties
which featured several of the "Little Rock Nine".
In their own voices, they told what they were doing with their lives.
I believe all nine went on to college, though one chose to drop out to be a wife and mother -
a choice we support :D

This visit was even more meaningful to Joanna,
as her grandparents were teaching in Little Rock schools at that time.
She tells a little about that here.

When homeschoolers go to the gift shop...

School was in session, but we snapped some photos outside.

Love these sweet friends!

Time for one last picnic
at a park next to the school
(which you can see through the trees).

We sure loved Sarah's home-made bread!

All too soon we were saying our good-byes at the Little Rock airport.

Someone really didn't want Tate to leave.

Though they offered to stay with us,
we guessed the Choates might be ready for some family time
without any extras,
so we headed off through security.

So glad to have a travel-buddy with me!

After our "little adventure" coming through Dallas,
Tate and I were looking forward to a calmer layover in Houston,
with an hour and fifteen minutes to transition to our next flight.
Because that works, right?
And there might even be time to grab a bite of dinner, right?

Until life happens.
See our plane?
See it sitting there, with no one getting on?
That's because it was
delayed a half hour for mechanical difficulties.

Here we are,
happy to be ON IT and MOVING toward home,
albeit unsure about our next connection...

Good bye, Little Rock, it's been fun.

Aaaaaand, hello, Houston.

I don't know that I've ever seen a hotel right in the middle of a huge airport.
You'd think the rooms would be noisy.

But really, Houston was just another blur,
because planes that take off a half hour late
tend to land a half hour late,
making our planned hour and fifteen minute layover...
not so much.

So, yes, our frantic dash through the Houston airport was
just as relaxing as you might imagine it to be.

But here is a happy sight:
the inside of the airplane that took us to Seattle.

Aaaaand, once again we were the very last people on the flight.

Like the celebrities we are ;D

This shot of the airport (because isn't that what you're all dying to see?)
serves to remind me how far we had to run.
Because Tate or I could point to the gate where we landed,
and the gate where we took off from,
and the multiple terminals we raced through.

I need to remember so I don't make the same mistake again!

All that aside,
Tate and I had a fabulous time.
We made wonderful new friends
and had fun adventures.

But about this time I felt like Dorothy...
there's no place like home!

One last gorgeous shot out the window,
compliments of Tate.
I think I can see the curvature of the earth.

Then take me home, and put me to bed :D

The End

Home, Sweet Home

I'm a home-body and don't mind admitting it.
I do love to travel and explore,
but I love my home.
So when I found out that my migratory missionary friends
had bought their first home,
well... a little house-warming would be just the thing!

Joanna loves historical/traditional things.
Okay, she loves old-fashioned things :D
So to go with their historical home,
I picked a traditional quilt pattern -
a triple Irish Chain.

For some reason, the photos I took outdoors "read" very black and white,
when the actual colors are much warmer.
Well, if blue can be "warm"!

Here's an indoor photos of the blueberry fabric for reference.
It's got some darker nearly-navy blue,
some periwinkle (almost lavender) blue,
greens, and an ivory background.

What looks black in the photo below is actually a navy blue
that works well alongside the blueberries.

Since it's big enough to cover a queen bed (about 83" square)
there was no way I wanted to do the actual quilting myself,
so I hired that out to Jo Baner at Quiltography Studios.

I love what she did!
Though the quilt is very traditional,
I picked a non-traditional swirly pattern
that appealed to me to go along with the little round blueberries.
Her quilting is so beautiful,
I consider it a reversible quilt :D

It fits right in, in the Choate's bedroom.
Don't you love all those windows?

I had wanted to do a bit of a variation on the Irish Chain,
and make the strips look woven,
as they do in this computer mock-up...

... but I didn't want to use so much green,
so the effect wasn't as visually obvious as I'd hoped.

I don't think Joanna minded, though!

When her family isn't visiting "home" in the US,
they alternate living in several guest houses at their mission "base" in Honiara
and living in their village house on a small island in the Solomons.

I admire their adventurous spirit and their willingness to be so migratory.
They bring to mind the (Amy Grant version)
of the old hymn Anywhere with Jesus...

Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go
Anywhere He leads me in this world below
Anywhere without Him dearest joys would fade
Anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid

Anywhere, anywhere, any little fear I'll never know
Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go

Anywhere with Jesus I am not alone
Other friends may fail me, He is still my own
Though His hand may lead me over dreariest ways
Anywhere with Jesus is a house of praise

 Anywhere, anywhere, any little fear I'll never know
Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go

Anywhere with Jesus I can go to sleep
When the darkening shadows round about me creep
Knowing I shall waken never more to roam
Anywhere with Jesus will be home, sweet home

Anywhere, anywhere, any little fear I'll never know
Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go