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Tag: outside

A Pounding…

A Pounding…

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Late last night, an evening rainstorm turned nasty.  Eventually the pounding of hail on the roof woke both kids, sending them looking for comfort and reassurance as the heavy barrage continued.  It was really hard to soothe my crying daughter when, on the inside, I was feeling sad and angry myself.  I hate hail because it makes me feel so powerless and trapped, and it is so destructive at a hopeful “growing” time of year.  I didn’t even want to look out the window this morning, so Than went out to survey the damage first before I could bring myself to check it out in person.  This isn’t the first time my garden has been pommeled, and I am sure it won’t be the last.

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An event like this fills me with questions.

Why do I plant a garden when I know it will probably get damaged?

Why do I get so sad when things are destroyed, even though it happens every year?

Why does God allow such destructive storms?

What right do I have to be upset when the yard is purely for beauty and pleasure, not something my family depends on for sustenance?

What right do I have to be upset when, just a few blocks away, the hail was so deep that a front end loader was needed to dig out the cars?  (Check out these photos-unbelievable!!)

Does this help me to be more compassionate to others in “crisis” or is it presumptuous to even begin to compare 30 minutes of suburban hail to natural (and man-caused) disasters around the world?

I know petunias are not nearly as important as people, but is there room for sadness about temporal, physical, “minor” losses even though the big things in life are going right?

What is the point?  What should I learn?

Will the sun ever shine for more than 48 hours this summer?!!!

Am I going to stop whining and finish this blog post?

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I don’t have good answers.  All I know is that we will clean up the yard (when the rain gives us a chance) and more plants will survive than I thought, although more are damaged than I would like.  It is National Donut Day, so we celebrated in style, and time goes on regardless of what is happening outside.  Heave a big sigh, munch a fresh free donut, and say thank-you to God for so much that is good.  Eventually my feelings will catch up with the logic of all of that!

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He is Risen!

He is Risen!

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Has it only been just over a week since Easter?  Seems like a lot longer than that!  We enjoyed a joyous celebration, characterized by lots of the typical activities of the season–our Good Friday service and meal, special music at church (I even got to play in the orchestra!), bright dyed Easter eggs (3 dozen this year), a full table of family and new friends for dinner, egg hunt in the backyard, kids dressed up in nice clothes–so many ways to mark the importance of the resurrection day.  Here are the pictures:

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On the Street Where You Live

On the Street Where You Live

“I have often walked down this street before…”

(Now that you have a song from My Fair Lady stuck in your head, you can read this post.)

Sometimes I forget how good it is to just get outside.  A few weeks ago I took the kids for a walk, spurred on with the promise that they could photograph anything they wanted while we were out.  We need to do more of that–everybody had fun.  Here’s what we found on the streets where we live…

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Snow Angels

Snow Angels

We could always use more snow here in the mountain West, but every once in a while we get a really good one.  While Than and I cleaned up Christmas decorations, our kids went outside and dove in.  Snow angels galore covered the yard.

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After a brief fight involving ruined snow angels, snow in the face, and other items of that nature, they figured things out and enjoyed some more good times before coming in to melt.  Hooray for God’s gifts of snow, warm coats and snow pants, and kids old enough to get dressed and undressed and play outside by themselves sometimes!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Litany of Thanksgiving, from the Book of Common Prayer

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.  We thank you, Lord.

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For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ, we thank you, Lord.

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For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends, we thank you, Lord.

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For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve, we thank you, Lord.

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For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play, we thank you, Lord.

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For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, we thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice, we thank you, Lord.

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For the communion of saints, in all times and places, we thank you, Lord.

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Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord; 

To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

(Thanks to the What’s in the Bible blog for bringing this prayer to my attention.)

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

The leaves have fallen, we’ve had some snow, but I realized I forgot to share these beautiful fall photos from October.  Than and the kids went on a hike with Than’s parents and brought these memories back with them.  Enjoy!

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Victory!

Victory!

The sight of a half-eaten tomato, left in the middle of the patio, means only one thing–SQUIRRELS!!  After fuming for days about the rascals who ate my first, second, and third big ripe tomatoes, I think the humans have finally gotten the upper hand.  We borrowed a dog for a week, which helped, and perhaps the combination of readily available sunflower heads in the garden and wet weather keeping the critters away is the reason that the rest of the tomato harvest seems to be mine.  Phew!  BLTs, here we come…

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(In case you are wondering, the super cute measuring spoon set that I used for size comparison is a birthday gift from my mom.  Aren’t they fun?)

Butterflies

Butterflies

Nathan received a butterfly habitat as a birthday gift.  When we returned from all our vacationing, he excitedly filled out the order form, paid the postage and handling, and received a cup full of caterpillars in the mail!  Although they looked kind of gross, we did enjoy watching them for a few days until each one formed a chrysalis and hung from the lid of the cup.  We transferred them into the butterfly habitat, waited for about a week, and then they began to hatch!!

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Oh, the surprise when that first one appeared!  We didn’t actually get to see any of them push their way out, since most of it happened at night, but Nathan did enjoy getting a closer look with his official spy magnifying glass and having an excuse to use the new iPad to do a little research about how to tell which ones are boys and which are girls.

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We made our own “nectar” to put on some flowers in the habitat and gave them some orange slices.  After 5 or 6 days, it was time to say goodbye.  

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Nathan waited until he had a friend over to play and then we let them go.  Each one fluttered out in its own time.  Some went straight up into the sky, others just headed for the closest leaf and rested a while before moving on.  

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We’ve seen one or two orange butterflies in our garden since then, so maybe a few of them stuck around!  In any case, it was a well chosen gift that our whole family enjoyed.

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Random Quote

Random Quote

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Random Quote #200

If you want to be happy for a year, plant a garden; if you want to be happy for life, plant a tree.  –English proverb

Thank you to whoever planted the trees in my yard.  The one in the center that shades my patio was perfectly placed many years ago, and it makes me happy all summer long!

Fairy Garden

Fairy Garden

Inspired by a gift to Katya from my grandmother, we finally got around to making our own fairy garden.  (And yes, I know that fairies aren’t real and so do my kids, it is just the perfect name for a tiny little created world!)  I’ve wanted to do this project for a while and it was fun to get to it.  We started with a big rolling planter, also from my grandmother now that I think of it!

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After putting in some fresh soil, we added some plants from the nursery, transplanted others from around the yard, stuck in a few decorations from last year’s gnome dish garden (thanks, mom) and made sand paths.  Once the kids got over arguing about who would do what, we had a good time imagining together.

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Katya’s inside fairies came out for a visit, as did a few other tiny toys.

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The kids have played with it several times since we started.  Katya likes to collect roly poly bugs and set them loose to wander around.  Both kids decorate it occasionally with nature finds from the yard–a few snail shells, a ladybug shell, some bright pink flower petals.  We will add different things throughout the summer and see what grows.  Hopefully I will get Than to take some better photos of it later on.  For now, these will have to do.  Why are tiny things so much fun?