Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Elijah turned 8!

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I cannot believe this boy is 8 years old!  We celebrated his birthday (which was the 29th) with lots of laughter, food, family, and of course, creme brulee.

My big 8 year old - showing off his newest gap.

Here is Eli with the AT AT he built.  This was by far the most complicated LEGO set he's ever done. He did a fantastic job on it, and was very proud.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours.  May the joy of the birth of Jesus overwhelm you this holiday and into the new year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


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Chris is teaching this semester - an upper level statistics course containing a lot of actuarial content.  His least favorite teaching task is grading.  This semester, he has 103 students, and his final consisted of 13 questions - you do the math.  Watching him grade is always interesting.  Daniel's physical stance in this picture represents Chris' internal stance.

I do not like finals week, even now.  Take a look at the piles and piles and piles of tests.  He uses 4 forms of the final, each printed on a different colored paper.  No word on how his students are doing so far.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pressure Cooking

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My mom used to pressure can a lot of things when I was a child, and that canner and the noise it would make would scare me to death.  I have gotten past much of that, and have been using a pressure canner for a few years to can things.  Tonight, I am finally experimenting with pressure cooking food - a beef roast.  At 15 pounds, we are hearing some crazy noises.  Not as bad as the when I was small, but loud.  My kids didn't even bat an eye, and all asked me to lift them up so they could see what was going on with the vent valve and the dial.  I explained what I had put inside of the chamber and asked Eli what was causing the valve to stay up - he almost immediately responded, "Pressure!  The steam is creating pressure."  Smart boy.

I hope this works out - I didn't thaw my roast in time, so I'm hoping this will method will correct for lack of cooking time using my normal methods.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Creativity and Imitation

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Daniel is the child I have observed most closely transitioning through his stages.  That may seem a little odd, but due to the very close spacing of the first three, I felt like I was in survival mode much of the time.  I missed a lot.  Since Daniel is almost 3 years younger than Isaac, and the other kids are off at school, or in Isaac's case, very independent, Daniel is who I hang out with now.

He has always been a creative child, evident in how he talks and the things he points out.  But recently he entered a stage which I absolutely love!  And no, it is sadly not the "potty train by yourself so mom doesn't have to do anything" stage.  Still waiting on that one.  He has started constructing pretend scenarios and scripting his attendees.  We've seen pretend play in him for quite a while, but this is definitely something different.  Here is an example:

The Ogre, T-rex, and triceratops were placed in this configuration.  He set up their chairs around the box, his "table."  So far today, he has offered them scrambled eggs, and most recently he asked them if they wanted to play Tokyo.  Daniel watches Chris and the big kids play a game called King of Tokyo, and it must have left a huge impression on him.  He is using a handful of variable sided dice as eggs, by the way.  Purple eggs.  I love it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BIG Tree

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Our friend Linda gave us her old tree this year.  Our previous tree looked like it needed to eat a few cheeseburgers, so it was a welcome addition to our house.  This one is taller, and much, much bigger.  The kids absolutely love it, and I am very thankful for the gift.

Here are some pictures of our decorating fun.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lost Tooth

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Sophie's first tooth has been loose for a while.  She's not the kind of person who tolerates such things, so this tooth has been causing a little bit of drama around here.  I tried pulling it out one day - it was so loose that it bent completely forward, but she shrieked and I really didn't feel like it was worth it, so I told her to deal with it on her own.

Yesterday, she asked me for an apple.  I handed her a giant red delicious about the size of her head.  She complained that I didn't cut it into pieces for her.  Oh child, I know exactly what I'm doing.  So she heads off to eat the apple.  I rub my hands together like an evil genius.  Soon, there will be no more complaining and whining about how the tooth is hurting when she eats yogurt.  Seriously.

So she comes back up about 10 minutes later and tells me she can't finish the apple, it's too big.  I look in her mouth, and the tooth is GONE!!!  I asked her where it was...she produces an utterly horrified look and bursts into tears.  Plan backfire.  So now I have drama because the tooth is out!

I inspected the apple - no tooth.  We searched her clothing, the couch where she was sitting, the floor - no tooth.  So, Sophie literally lost her first tooth.  It's gone.  I'm just glad it's out.  Hopefully the one beside it will wait a little while to loosen up.

She is in a much better mood about the situation, so here's her showing off her gap - you can already see the adult tooth coming up behind.  Donations for our orthodontia fund are always gladly accepted.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Eli's First Performance

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One of the things I love about our school is that they put a big emphasis on "specials."  Art, Music, PE, etc.  Eli has been practicing with his classmates for his first special performance, one themed for Veteran's Day, in music class.  It was a short performance, with 3 of the second grade classes participating.  I was very impressed.  The kids were clearly having fun and loving the performance aspect of music.  Eli was thrilled when he got done.  He was proud of himself, and knew that they had done a good job.  I clearly remember performances on the East Elementary school stage when I was in elementary school.  I have been trying to gently push him toward singing and loving music, but I feel like I've been striking out.  I hope this performance will tip the balance.

Since this was a Veteran's Day program, the kids dressed in red, white and blue.  The Captain America "costume" became useful yet again.

Friday, October 31, 2014

TOT 2014

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Last night our locality held Beggar's Night (or what I grew up calling Trick or Treat, though nobody else appears to use that term).  I've been hearing from friends all over that it is very odd not to celebrate Halloween on the 31st, but again, I've never know anything different.  We had fairly nice weather, and the kids had an absolute blast.

Let me tell you about Daniel, though.  Daniel dressed as the "Itsy Bitsy Spider," which is one of his favorite things in the world.  A lot of stores this year used spiders as themes for their Halloween area, and now each time we go into a store, he yells for the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  Kroger had enormous inflatables - and as a result is now his favorite store.  I'm wondering how long it will take him to realize the spiders are hibernating until next year.  Anyway, we walked down to one of our neighbor's houses to start.  The other kids run ahead, TOT!, and come back.  The adults are encouraging Daniel to come and get some candy.  He walks halfway up the driveway, and when I tell him to go ahead and get candy, he takes his plastic pumpkin and hurls it at them.  I was mortified!  Daniel is a very happy, calm, friendly kid, but boy, that temper flares up when I am least expecting it.  I am sad to see my kids growing up, but I will be glad to be out of this toddler stage for many reasons.

The other kids had an absolute blast.  We saw so many neighbors and I got to meet a few of the kid's classmates and their parents.  I could take or leave Halloween - it's not something I even really think about much, but it is such a great way to connect with the neighborhood.

Here are a few pictures for you:

The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Captain America, a minion, and a ballerina.  
My "fire pumpkin" as Daniel calls it.  You can't tell, but this
pumpkin is huge!  The lady at the local nursery still had some
as of yesterday at noon, which is when I got around to buying
one.  It was carved at 4:30 and on the porch just in time.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

2014-2015 School Pictures

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Opening up a packet of school pictures is a little like opening - well, I really can't explain it.  The element of surprise is definitely there, along with the expectation of nothing amazing.  I hope for eyes open (all the way!).  Bonus for a smile.   Sophie came home from Kindergarten today and told me there was an envelope with 4 of her heads on it for me in her backpack.  The moment of truth.  She is a very photogenic kid, so I wasn't expecting it to be too bad.  Eli's will be the true test, but he isn't home yet.

Here is Sophie:

Update: As predicted, Eli's are pretty bad.  We will be doing a retake for him.  I'll update when I get the second round back.  Thankfully we are doing family pictures soon, and I know those will be great!

Monday, September 15, 2014


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When I was young, one of my many creative aunts would decorate amazing cakes for her children's birthday parties.  It left a huge impression on me.  As I got older, I worked on cake decorating through 4-H projects with my mom, and sometimes displayed cakes at the county fair.  I still like to decorate cakes - I try to make each kid a fun cake for their birthday.  But I cut it off at age 5.  While it's something I like to do, it takes too much time!

Here is Isaac's 5th birthday cake.  His final decorated cake.  He will join his siblings in thinking of new desserts to choose when his birthday comes around again next year.

The request was for a red dragon.  He didn't notice that it didn't have wings.  I'm not actually sure if dragons are required to have wings or not, so this was a wingless worm.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday, Isaac!

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There is so much joy and excitement in our home this week!  Today we celebrate Isaac's 5th birthday!  Funny and passionate, determined, energetic and brave, and very sweet, this boy blesses our home and our family with who he is and how he lives.

I am glad that he is home with me for this last year before he starts school!  I keep trying to convince him to stay little forever, but he doesn't want to.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Sophia!

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Today, our sweet girl turns SIX!  Our family's caretaker, confident and quirky, gentle, compassionate, kind and caring.  I love that God gave us this girl, and am forever thankful.

She didn't catch any fish on this trip - mostly due to Daniel launching rocks into the stream, but partly to blame is the fish being blinded by the neon pink top and sequin skirt - a new trend in fishing attire.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sophia's First Day of KINDERGARTEN

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I think it was possible to scoop up some of the excitement this morning and hold it in your hands!  Sophia was all smiles as she got ready, ate breakfast, and waited for the bus.  She missed the district cut off to go to kindergarten by about 6 weeks last year, so she has felt ready for this for some time.  This is always a difficult milestone for me - I know these kids are growing up and I love to see it, but I feel deep loss with this one like no other.

Here are some pictures - 

So excited!!!

Eli has been providing coaching all week.  :)

"The bus is coming!!!!!!"  

Doesn't she look like such a peanut next to these huge second graders?  

I am praying that Sophie will adjust quickly, continue her deep love of learning, and make some amazing friends.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day of Second Grade

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Here is Eli, ready for his first day of second grade:

 Eli is my late sleeper, but he was up early this morning, very excited and ready to go!  

I know he's a big second grader now, but he still seems small in many ways.  

Pray for Eli's school year - that he will be challenged, that his learning will be fun and exciting, that he will grow in confidence, and that he will make great friends!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Newest Mess

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Er...project.  When we moved into this house a few years ago, there was a paver patio in the back.  It was sunken in the middle when we moved in.  But over the past few years, especially after the deep cold of this past winter, it has really started to sink.  The steps are sinking with it.  Thankfully, nobody has ever tripped, but it's starting to become somewhat of a safety concern.  

I asked my neighbors if they remember it being built, and one told me she couldn't believe how badly it had held up.  Looking at it, I had assumed it was put in place shortly after the house was built and had settled with the land.  My neighbor said it was built less than a year before we moved in!  If anything, the steps have to go and be built in a way that is level and safe.  I pulled up the patio pavers right up to the steps just to see what we were dealing with.  Those paver steps are parked right on top of....DIRT!  ha!  No attempt was even made at any kind of foundation.  It figures.  

Not to worry, we have called in the help of an expert, so tomorrow our construction foreman, my dad, Tom, will arrive to help consider the options and attempt to make repairs.  If you are bored this weekend, and are thinking that it would be super fun to lift up, move, fix, and replace multiple tons of pavers, gravel, sand, and concrete, come on over! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Big Accomplishment

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Next time you see Eli, please ask him about his bike.  I took him out on Tuesday with his training wheels still firmly in place.  I couldn't figure out how to transition him away from them, and he was pretty scared.  He seems to be on the late end of learning to ride his bike from what I have observed with his friends and other kids in the neighborhood.  So Tuesday I took them off, and we went over and over and over and over trying to get him balanced.

The change in the past 48 hours has been really amazing.  He has figured out how to get himself started, and can ride for over a mile without falling off, or getting scared and putting his feet down.  I am so very proud of him.  More importantly, he is proud of himself, and that makes my heart very happy.  :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


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I haven't been to a PYO (pick your own) farm in a loooong time.  I can't even remember last time I went.  This morning, a friend posted that a local PYO had ripe black raspberries ready to pick.  I got this crazy look in my eyes, and I said, "Get your shoes on kids, we are leaving NOW."  I love black raspberries.  LOVE them.  I almost never see them in the store, which is sad.

Now, let me tell you how motivated I was to get these berries.  I didn't look at the weather.  Rain or shine, we were getting black raspberries.  I didn't pack lunches.  I grabbed water and sunscreen and ran right out the door.  The trip there was fine.  As we pulled into the parking lot, Daniel,who has apparently started to suffer from motion sickness in the past few weeks, vomited everywhere.  I thought about just stripping him down and wiping out his car seat, but it was too much of a mess.  So home we went, got him re-clothed, and wiped down the car seat as best as possible.  And then we turn around and drove right back out there.  As we are getting out of the van, Sophie developed the most ridiculous nose bleed I've ever seen, and we waited it out.  It finally stopped, but not without a pretty fantastic mess all over her clothing.  If you are going to bleed all over yourself, doing it right before you are going to be covered in bright red berry juice is a good idea - nobody will ever know.

So we finally made it out to the fields, and were able to pick 9 pints of of black raspberries.  They are wonderful.  The lady told us to eat as many as we liked while picking, which Daniel, on a now empty stomach, considered a personal challenge.  He probably ate a pint on his own!  Eli ate 1 berry and said they didn't taste good.  I can't even understand it.

These boys are great berry pickers!


Sophie loved picking as well, though she was far less
tolerant of the fact that berry bushes have thorns.
 Also, she forgot a hair band, and all I had was a clothes pin.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Twosday!

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Today is this sweet, lovable boy's second birthday!  I cannot believe two years have passed since Daniel joined our family.  There is no way to overestimate the joy he brought when he joined our family and continues to bring.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


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...and soon to be pesto.

Can you identify these?  It's my first year growing them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cobb Salad

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My good friend Tami came over for dinner last night, and she said I should put a picture of what I made her on my blog.  :)  So here you go -

I used the Cook's Illustrated recipe, which was great!  If you want it, message me.

Friday, June 6, 2014

MS Follow-Up

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Chris and I headed up to the Cleveland Clinic today for my bi-annual follow up appointment.  This visit was a little different than the last as it included MRI testing.  The best way to determine the progression of MS and the efficacy of disease modifying drugs is to compare MRI's over time and look for changes.  I will have MRI's yearly forever.  This doesn't make me particularly happy, though honestly it could be worse!

So, the fantastic news is that my MRI showed absolutely no change in over a year.  Which means that the disease is stable and that the medication and the prayer is working!  I am very thankful!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Best Kind of Vegetable

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I've constructed the perfect definition for "the best kind of vegetable."  Ready?  The best kind of vegetable is the one your kids won't even let you take into the house because they want to eat them as soon as they are picked.  In this case, and right now at my house, the best kind of vegetable is sugar snap peas.  I have to agree, they are delicious.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A fun visit

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It's been a long time since we were brave enough to make a drive over 3.5 hours (the distance to the farthest Grandparent's house).  Isaac turned 1 on that last long trip, which was in 2010!  Chris' sister Katie and her family moved to Chicago a year ago, so we decided it was time to visit.  It's about 6 hours (or 375 miles, for those of you who live in parts of the world where distance is not measured by time!  ha!), which really wasn't too bad with the aide of a ridiculous number of silly car games, story telling, artistic endeavors, and finally, when we couldn't take it any longer, Kindles all around.  Daniel was an absolute champ.  He's generally easy going, and for as young as he is, he did really well!

While in Chicago, we took the Metra downtown and visited the Field Museum, which has been on Eli's bucket list for a while now, and saw their fantastic dinosaur exhibit. We also visited a great garden called Morton Arboretum, which I probably could have easy wandered off into and not come out for days.

We had a fantastic time visiting with family.  It's so fun to watch little cousins playing together and becoming friends.  My kids are already asking about the next trip to see Ellie and Jack!

Buddies.  Most of the time.

This little peanut still fits snugly in the Ergo!

The gang minus Daniel. 

LOVING the arboretum!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


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This tulip wins my "favorite flower this year so far" award.  :)

Today I am working on expanding our front flower beds.  My neighbor has been recommending I do it for a few years, and the neighbor on the other side's lawn service guy just did hers, so I guess now is the time.  I'm really excited to dig up hundreds of pounds of clay and rock.  ;)  Updates to come!  If anybody near me wants to donate any perennials, I'd be glad to adopt them!

Monday, April 28, 2014


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There are just a few things left that I have not learned to make myself.  As a result, they rarely come into the house.  This weekend, I finally worked on making bagels.  I ordered some malt powder from Hoosier Hill Farm in Indiana, and went to work.  First round was whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagels, which is a favorite of everybody but me.  I used a Cook's Illustrated recipe, so message me if you'd like it!

As far as the process goes, this is really easy.  The mixer does most of the work, they sit in the fridge for 18 hours, and then it takes about 20 minutes to boil and then bake them.  Next up is WW blueberry, MY favorite!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


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There is a very intense backyard baseball game being played in the neighbor's yard.

When the ball comes over, he yells, "BALL!!!  BALL!!!" until the ball fetcher gets it.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Table is FINISHED!

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As I posted here back in the fall, I planned to make a farmhouse table for our kitchen.  I promised Chris I would wait until the spring to undertake this big project, and 2 weeks ago I started.  It was nowhere near as horrible as I thought it would be.  I had some snags along the way, but it turned out well.  I wanted a big, heavy, stable table, and that's certainly what it is.  Aside from having a friend cut the legs for me, I did every last bit of this table by myself!  I'm getting much better with the circular saw and the drill.  I plan to make a bench for this table, but right now I'm taking a break.

I used Ana White's farmhouse table plans.  They were super easy to follow and everything worked perfectly.

I have absolutely no desire to do carpentry on a regular basis, but I like being able to make things we need for pretty cheap.  If I never have to sand another piece of wood in my life, I'll be happy.  I'm hoping this holds up to 4 growing children who are not too gentle with furniture.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


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Really, who has time to wait on a garden to grow?  You can eat the compost the seeds are growing in and be just as happy.  People need to re-evaluate their standards.

The compost was organic, not to worry.  

Monday, March 31, 2014


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Bear with me, please.  Our local Christian radio station gave what I would consider to be a glowing endorsement of the movie Noah, which is now in theatres.  They did so based primarily on the idea that this would be a good way to start a conversation about the Word of God.  Director Darren Aronofsky called his movie “the least biblical biblical film ever made,” The Telegraph reported.   OK.  Let us begin here.  This movie is not a bad movie.  But it follows the biblical account so loosely that it is fair to say the only thing that ties the two is the occurrence of a flood that destroys the entire population of the earth except for those humans and animals aboard the ark, and a character named Noah.  The filming is impressive.  The story line is interesting.  But it's not God's story.  It's not Noah - not God's Noah anyway.  It's not God's intent, not his heart, not his purpose, not his redemption.  It's the director's own story, and has virtually nothing to do with the account in Genesis.  If you are not tied to that account, if you don't care what is done with it, this movie will be OK for you.  If you are, or if you go to this movie expecting to have a launching point to discuss the actual event per scripture, you will be starting from scratch, and the majority of your conversation will be pointing out what was wrong.

I'll just post the actual text, from the book of Genesis, chapters 6-9, though by his own admission, the director was not making any attempt to follow it, and in almost all cases attempts to portray people and events are exactly the opposite.  The worst aspect in my opinion?  Nephilim as rock monsters.  

Wickedness in the World

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Noah and the Flood

This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around.  Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.  Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.

And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.  The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.  Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.  Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.  Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth.Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down,and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

God’s Covenant With Noah

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.  The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.  Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. 
“Whoever sheds human blood,
    by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
    has God made mankind.
As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:  “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.  I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:  I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,  I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Laughing Thief

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Elijah is the laughing thief!  I noticed recently that his perfectly fine laugh, which I love very much, had vanished!  It was replaced by a neighbor kid's laugh.  Chris tells me that this kind of assimilation is normal, that kids tend to act like their friends.  As a person with a ridiculously loud laugh that does not appear to take on the nature of anybody else's, I am baffled.  And sad.  I hope his laugh will return.  I tried prompting him for a while, pointing out when he was using his friend's laugh and not his own, but nothing worked.

Recently I started reading again.  This, after more than a decade of reading almost nothing but textbooks.  I personally do not find textbooks all that interesting to read.  I actually think they damaged the part of me that loved to read - drove it deep inside where it took years to emerge again.  In November, I started reading again.  One of the series I started was the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan.  Now don't judge me too harshly for reading a middle-school series! They are super quick reads, and are very clever.  If you've seen the movies and not read these books, you're doing it wrong.  I have yet to encounter a movie that was better than the book it was based on, but these movies are especially horrible deviations.  You'll want to start with The Lightning Thief if you decide to read these.

Here are some grown up books that I really liked as well.  :)

Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings, #1)

Lynn Austin's series Chronicles of the Kings was fabulous.  These books begin when Hezekiah was a small boy, and progress in five volumes through the redemption of King Manasseh.  These books are based on scripture and are historically accurate as far as customs of the times, so if you have previously skimmed over the evil that is warned against in the Old Testament regarding child sacrifice and idolatry, you will encounter it here, and it is not observed from a distance.  Just a warning.

The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel

The next one was also great - it's basically the Bible in story form.  It's called "The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel" by Walter Wangerin, Jr.  While this is a novelization, it sticks very close to the scriptural account.  This book will take the events from the calling of Abram through Jesus and put them in order for you in story form.  It's very well done and very easy to understand.

The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1)

The final series I'll tell you about is Shannara by Terry Brooks.   I love Tolkien, and all things fantasy, so Chris recommended this series to me.  I started with "The Sword of Shannara" and am currently reading my tenth book in this series.  I love them.  If you like fantasy, check them out!  The allegories in this book are very interesting, and it is continually clever writing and characters.

I've read some other books, but I don't believe they are worth mentioning.  I'm not sure that I'd recommend them, anyway.  If you stumble upon them, it won't be because I directed you there!