Friday, May 30, 2008

Whisper or Brick?

This was in an email I received this morning...

God whispers in your soul and speaks to your mind. Sometimes when
you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice:
Listen to the whisper or wait for the brick.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Special Day

Last Saturday, I met up with one of my dearest and longest-known friends at Forest Park in St. Louis for a fundraising walk. Tracy was walking for NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and Stephen and I walked the 3.1 miles with her. It was a great opportunity to visit and enjoy the company of a super special friend.

The walk was well organized and well attended. Here's a shot of a very small portion of the walkers:
After the walk, we went to the zoo for a bit. Stephen was tired, so I carried him in my wrap. It was great for him, but my hip didn't make it long with the extra weight. We made it through the River Walk portion of the zoo, and saw neat things like Giant Anteaters:
And Asian Elephants:
Then Stephen and I headed for home and Tracy enjoyed the zoo for a couple more hours. But before we left, some nice young ladies took our picture for us. Can you tell Stephen is tired? ;-)
Thanks for a wonderful time, Tracy!

Home School Field Day

This was our first year to participate in our area home school field day. I think all of us were glad we went - it was a great experience.
Here are some random shots...

Josiah tree climbin'

Katie's the furthest little sweetie carrying water in this relay.

Barak and Davey playing Capture the Flag

Kate, Ellie, and Stephen relaxing

Grace, too!

Super Cute

Don't you think?

With Love

7 Things about Random Me

Yes, I think it's supposed to be 7 random things about me, but if the shoe fits...

1) I am a birth nut. I think that the process of pregnancy and birth is one of the most amazing of God's creations. To carry and give birth to my children has been an honour and a privilege.

2) Logging hours is the bane of my existence as a home school mom.

3) I want a tattoo. Not just any tattoo, but a specific one. It will be my reward when I reach my goal weight.

4) I twirl my hair. My Mama twirls her hair (though not as much as when she was a little girl like me). My daughters twirl their hair (and started to when they were too young to have been imitating). I believe hair twirling is genetic.

5) I love road trips. Even with 7 kiddos!

6) I would like to visit my birth city of Valencia, Spain. That's near the top of a long list of overseas travelling I'd love to do.

7) I'm rather claustrophobic. Caves, semi-trailers combined with concrete guardrails, even small spaces in movies or computer games. And having the blankets over my head. I'd better stop; I'm getting twitchy.

I realize this is horribly cheating, but if you haven't yet been tagged, consider yourself tagged now. I think most of you who read my blog have already done this. If you haven't, get busy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I haven't blogged since last Thursday. It seems ages ago. We faced a bitter disappointment in the Missouri legislature this year, which came to a head on Friday the 16th, the last day of session. I'm not going to be blogging much about it, but I've been doing a lot of processing - internally, verbally with Jonathan, and by phone and email with other leaders in the Missouri work to legalize professional midwives. And in lots of conversation with my heavenly Father!

The phrase "bitter disappointment" seems quite cliche, and I apologize. It fits, though it's a bit understated. I thought I had dealt with all sorts of disappointment, but our experience this year has been different than any other in my life.

So, I'd treasure your prayers as I process, seek to learn what the Lord has to teach me through this, and work to establish future direction in this area.

And I'll try to get back to blogging. I still have lots of pictures to share, though I got many posted during my hours of waiting by my computer for the next task in the last week of session.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fun with the folks on Mother's Day

We so enjoyed having my parents here with us for almost a week! We were given a terrific excuse to have them for a visit when Mama was invited to speak at the Mother Daughter Tea and Papa was asked to speak at the chapel on Sunday.

We are blessed that our folks are some of our best friends, and we had a fun time playing Rage with them on Sunday night.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BBC Mother Daughter Tea

Last Saturday was our chapel Mother Daughter Tea. It was quite the family affair this year, as Jonathan's mom planned it, my Mama spoke, and I sang. It was really lovely, and we had a great time.

Here's our table:


More friends:

And still more friends!

I did my best with this song

And Mama's talk was a blessing!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Birthday Pool

On a cold and drizzly day in May, the Blessings' birthday present from Papa and Gramma Byrd arrived - a virtually indestructible pool (aka stock tank)!

And a few days later, on a slightly warmer (and sunny) day, some of them got in!

Our own little Polar Bear Club.

More Kitchen Work - The Header Goes Up

When you take out a support wall, you have to put up a header in its place.

I honestly don't understand how these studs:

can be replaced with this header:

I'm just thankful it works, because it makes it possible for me to have this extra space in my kitchen! The refrigerators and stove are where the basement stairwell used to be.

This is by no means the final arrangement for the kitchen. We're going to be working on developing the big picture of where we're headed with this project, then as money becomes available, we'll fill it in piece by piece. And don't look at these pictures too closely, because I am in dire need of cleaning my appliances!


He loves the water!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Jesus Loves Me!

An EBC friend posted the lyrics to this Michael W. Smith song today, and I had to go find the song on youtube.

Though the video is not impressive, the song was a blessing. It reminded me of this precious hymn:

I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

Though I forget Him, and wander away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His dear loving arms I do flee,
When I remember that Jesus loves me.

Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”

Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;
Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!

If one should ask of me, how can I tell?
Glory to Jesus, I know very well!
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,
Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me.

In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blessed;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Kitchen Work

But first... Happy Mayday! I have fond Mayday memories from Holiday Weeks at High School camp at KBC. Fun times.

The last couple of weeks have been picking up with our work for Lowes (praise the Lord!), so it was odd when we had no work at the beginning of this week. Hindsight reveals that it was for a good purpose!

Monday, Jonathan worked on taking the cabinets off of this wall in the kitchen/dining room area so that he could drywall (and recut an air return vent that we took out when we tore down the wall between the two rooms).

We moved a couple of them into the kitchen temporarily so that I would have a place to put some of the stuff until we got to our big kitchen project.

Later that day, I came upon Jonathan gazing thoughtfully at the section of wall that now was bare studs. I noticed his gaze wandering over to the kitchen wall slated to come down at some later date, and I cautiously asked, "Whatcha thinkin', Babe?" To which he replied that he didn't think he could do the drywall for that day's section until we tore out the kitchen wall and put up the support beam... "Oh. Okay." (Laurel smiles what she prays looks like an encouraging smile, and thanks God for the grace to not flip out but be thankful for progress)

To give a bit of explanation, our basement is non-usable for the most part. We decided a while back that we would use the current basement stair space for our kitchen remodelling, since the basement is a mostly unusable space that is accessable from an outside door. If we're here long enough to build an addition, it will have an accessable, usable basement.

So, on Tuesday morning, the kitchen wall to the basement stairs started coming down. Oh, the beauty that panelling has been covering up!

Jonathan's favorite part of remodelling work - the demolition!

And, viola! Hours of work later, the walls are down. Note the conflagration of wood that makes up that one stud in front of Jonathan.

Here's Jonathan hard at work putting in supports for the new floor. And it was hard work. Aged hickory is no picnic to pound nails into, from what I hear.

Woot! The supports are all in!

And the subfloor can be put down!

Jonathan put in a Really hard day's work on Tuesday, and got a ton accomplished. Once we get our socialism check, we can get wood for the support beam, get that up, take out the rest of the studs, and think more about the next step in our eco-friendly kitchen redo. That "eco" would stand for economically, mind you. No (more) debt, pay as you go, and all that good stuff.

P.S. - Sorry about the grainy quality of some of the pictures. We were trying a setting on our camera that we will no longer be using.