Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Young Love

All the preparation is done. The anticipation is growing. The long awaited moment is here. The wedding day.

The mother's light their candles and think about the symbolism and the reality. Their child will now belong to somebody else. Yet, this is what they wanted for them. To have them be joyful in the love of another. It is loss and gain at the same time.

The groom and his attendants wait for the bride and her party to arrive.

Finally, alone, together, before God and these witnesses. To take vows that will last a life time, with God's help, heartfelt commitment, a lot of hard work and thick skin. The bridal couple are sure that this is the happiest day of their life. It may well be. If they work hard at loving one another it may be just the beginning of a long life of blessing. Yes, all you single people, marriage is HARD work. You have to decide to love and respect your spouse no matter what, and that is not always easy. You are called to do what is right irregardless of the other person. There are times your spouse disappoints (those unmet expectations can be real relationship downers!) or neglects or is unperceptive of your feelings. There will be times you say things that you regret, because they were hurtful, untrue, or just plain mean. You must learn to overcome human failings. You are living with a son or daughter of Adam after all. Yet with God's help and a lot of perseverance marriage can be the best thing in the world and can get better and better as the years pass by. You think back on your wedding day and think about how little you truly loved your spouse back then.

Hard times will try a relation. That "in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer" stuff really does happen, and it is hard! Yet if you stick it out you grow to appreciate and love your spouse even more through those hard times. You almost feel sorry for the princess that "lives happily ever after." How weak is that. It certainly isn't the way it is outside of books.

Most young married couples will have a good disagreement on their honeymoon. They will get to start right from the beginning learning to forgive. They must learn to forgive. Marriage is not just about feeding each other cake or kissing. Marriage shows us how selfish we really are. And most everybody I know is selfish. We want our own way. It is hard to give in to another on a daily basis. Yet we must, or we will be, of all creatures, most miserable. We must learn to forgive and not let hurt feelings grow into bitterness. On the wedding day, who thinks about forgiveness and bitterness? It will quickly be required as marriage is reality. Most people take off the rose colored glasses after marriage. What was cute when dating becomes highly annoying when you have to live with it 24/7. Really, rose colored glasses should be donned on the wedding day and left there the rest of your life.

Families rejoice at a wedding. There is sadness at the changing of relationships, but their is rejoicing at the gaining of a new sibling and more love in a family.

Little girls dream of the day when it will be their turn to walk down the aisle in a spectacular dress into the arms of their Prince Charming . (I don't know if little boys think much about it at all, except for the treats to be eaten at a reception.)

God ordained marriage as a picture of Him and His bride the Church. We await our bridegrooms coming. We look forward to the Marriage Supper of The Lamb. When there will be a perfect marriage between God and His bride. We need to think about that picture as we live out our marriages. Working to have that beautiful marriage that we will experience with our heavenly Bridegroom.
PS. To all the newlyweds: work hard at your marriage and it will only get better and better as the years pass by. I know this from experience.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creation Museum

June has been a busy month for us. We have had weddings, graduations, a going away party and 3 birthdays. I am probably forgetting some other things as well. This past weekend we were in Cincinnati for a wedding and took the opportunity to see the Creation Museum. It was worth the time. We were blessed to have passes given to us. Otherwise, it is pretty expensive.

The museum is pretty interactive. They start you out with a movie, "Men in White" which is a satire that sets up the purpose and vision of the museum. It is a special effects theatre and you need to be prepared for a few surprises.

The museum is organized according to the 7 C's of history. There are a lot of cases of interesting fossil exhibits outside the main hall.

The museum is very even handed in explaining how reasonable people can look at the data and can come up with two totally different explanations depending on their world view. Recently a group of 250 atheistic scientists came through and were impressed with how respectfully both viewpoints were shown, although the creation side is obviously the focus. This is a first rate museum! All their displays are very professionally done.

The children enjoyed it. They were a little disappointed at how little they learned that was new. I guess that is good. We spend a lot of time studying creation and the origin of the universe.

Here is Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall.

One of our favorite scenes was the Noah's ark display. It is full scale of 1% of the ark. There are a number of workmen (amazingly lifelike, but plastic) that talk about building the ark and their opinion of Noah. You can see it from the outside as well as walk inside.

They also have a scale model that shows you the probable construction, and how the floors were set up. In the next section, they have 'Noah' tell you how things were done. I think 'Methuselah' and 'the ark and flood section', were my favorite parts.

Here we are, resting, just before we had lunch.

There are a number of eating options at the museum. They are pretty reasonable. We had packed our lunch and found a picnic table, with an umbrella, outside to eat on.

After lunch, we went back in to finish seeing the rest of the museum. The AC was sure nice! We toured the outside afterwards. It was blazing hot! Close to 100 degrees with about 100% humidity. Wow! We had to make sure we drank enough water.

Can you tell what these are?

Have you seen these before?
They have a swamp in their outdoor display that has Venus flytraps, the top picture, and different varieties of pitcher plants. How do evolutionists explain flesh eating plants?

To explain the difference between types and species, they have 'Zonkeys' ( a cross between a zebra and a donkey) and

whatever you call a cross between a horse and a zebra in their petting zoo. They also have a number of interesting Bible animals. The children could buy food and pet and feed the critters.

I learned something here. I have fed many horses and cows and their lips feel like velvet as they 'muffle' the food off your hand. I expected the same with a camel and was very surprised. Their lips felt like a cross between sandpaper and a guy's face who hasn't shaved for a week, Kind of scratchy and rough, yet still gentle. It was a strange sensation.

My DH and some of the children hunted up small pieces of shade wherever they could find them. It was so hot and very crowded.

One other very fun thing they have in their outside displays, is a number of pontoon and suspension bridges. The children enjoyed the bumps and jolts they got as they experienced the ups and downs, and swaying with movement. For the more timid or elderly, there are alternate routes to avoid the bridges. The museum is handicapped accessible, as are the gardens.
If you are in the Cincinnati area check out the Creation Museum (which is technically in Northern Kentucky)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Five Year Old Funnies

Elizabeth is definitely a child of the computer age.
This evening, I was giving Mr. Boots a Chiropractic adjustment. My Chiropractic table goes up and down and Elizabeth loves to ride up and down on it. (Trust me, it is not very exciting!) I had the table all the way up while working on Mr. Boots and Elizabeth wanted to ride down with him. She asked me to let her know "when I was going to scroll him down." When we all chuckled, she tried to correct herself and asked me to let her know "when I was going to 'put him down'." That got a bigger laugh, as I informed her that I was planning to keep him around. She didn't know the veterinarian meaning of 'putting something down."
Having a five year old around does keep you smiling.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sugar, A Mind Numbing Substance

Most everybody knows that eating too much sugar can trigger type II diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes. Type I is juvenile diabetes,and in that form the body stops making insulin. Type II is characterized by insulin resistance. The body still makes some insulin, but the receptors that it is supposed to work at, are basically burned out from over use. Type II is reversible with the right dietary changes. God made the human body to know how to heal itself, when we quit abusing it.
Why is an elevated sugar level a problem? When sugar becomes elevated it cross reacts with proteins and damages the tissue. This is why diabetics have so much of a problem with tissue healing.
But what about the "mind numbing" part of the title? I was at a seminar a couple weeks ago and some cutting edge research was presented on a new discovery. An organ can have localized insulin resistance while the rest of the body has normal blood sugar levels. Adult acne, for example, is known as 'diabetes of the skin'. The new research shows that there is localized insulin resistance of the brain as well. Scientists took mice and injected them with a drug that causes insulin resistance to them and sure enough they develop Type II diabetes. They took other mice and injected this drug into their brain. The mice developed diabetes of the brain, and the major symptom was dementia. On autopsy, they discovered that the brains of mice with this 'diabetes of the brain', and brains with Alzheimer's disease were identical. Although it is probably premature to say that eating sugar causes Alzheimer's disease, there is a strong enough reasonable correlation, to make one want to think twice before reaching for that piece of dessert.
Just something to think about...

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Brevity of a Life

Birthdays make me realize the brevity of a life.
Our family has a tradition that at the June birthday party that all the grandchildren line up in order of age along the back sidewalk at Grandma's house for a picture. This is the ninth year I think we have done it. T-Bob and Katie were the youngest back then. In the first pictures, the children went up like stair steps, now it is jumbled. The oldest two grandchildren are now adults working out of state and can't come.
Time is passing rapidly. The days are long, but the years fly by. Be intentional in how you live. Put your time and effort in things that have eternal value, like people. You will never regret investing your life in your children's. Train them up in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord. The Lord desires us to faithfully train up our little ones for His service.
It is sobering to think that I am in the second half of life. I see the strength and energy of our children in contrast to my own. I want to finish strong. Not just physically, but spiritually. I still feel like I have so much to learn. I have so much growing up to do myself.
We want to hear, "Well done, my faithful servant!" as we cross the finish line of this life. We need to make sure we know the One who is the Judge, and have accepted His payment for our sins.
Remember, this life is just the beginning of eternity. Make sure you know where you are going to spend it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy 15th Birthday Michelle!!

This is the big birthday week at our house. We have 3 birthdays in eight days. Michelle leads it off. She was 15 this week. It was a quiet day as only Michelle and T-Bob were home in the morning. Everybody else was working. (Even Elizabeth went to work with Joan). T-Bob, Michelle, and I spent the morning playing games. Michelle won almost every game. T-Bob and I just served as her foils.
We have found a beach on a lake that lets people bring their dogs. We have been wanting to take Dallas swimming. He was afraid when we first tried last summer. Now he's a 'manly' dog and has no fear of the water. We picked Mr. Boots and Thomas up from work and grabbed a couple of the neighbors and went to the beach. This beach is quieter than many. There is no life guard and no official swimming so it is less crowded. Dallas tried to make some new doggy friends, but his wild puppy style of friendship seemed to annoy the older dogs. They didn't want to play.

Somehow they still managed to get wet from toe to top. They climbed the local hill and played 'sharks and minnows' in the water. Everyone seemed to have a great time.

In the evening, we had supper and played some more games. The game of the day was "For Sale". It is quick ( about 20-30 minutes) and is an easy auction style game. It is about 40% luck, 60% skill. It is a good filler game.

Michelle made and decorated her own gluten free carrot cake. She is quite a cook. The cake was delicious. We have lots of gluten free recipes that we like. We used honey instead of sugar, if anyone was wondering.
It was a nice day for a nicer young woman.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Square foot gardening: Update

Our garden is doing well. We have had very timely rain in not overwhelming quantities. Here you have our broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, and the two skinny beds are our pole beans which still need the fencing put up, so they have something to grow up. Our paths need to be weedwacked, but the beds themselves have been weeded. If you look closely you can see the string that marks out each square foot section.

The herb bed is doing well. In another week or so I will have big enough basil to make pesto. That is the highlight of my summer. I love pesto!!!! The bed in the background is out tomatoes which are well staked. I am working hard at keeping them tied up and all the suckers pulled off.

The lettuce is thriving. We have way more than we can eat. I cut a little dill and parsley into the salads and that takes them to new level. Delicious!!! We picked our first zucchini today. It was so pretty. I know I will be tired of them soon, but the first one is special.

These two tall sections are our peas. They are astoundingly tall. They really thrived!

This particular variety had beautiful purple flowers on them. They could almost be grown as an ornamental. (Yes, the Japanese beetles are out in full force already. The traps go up tomorrow.)

The peas are hanging heavy. I just wished this batch tasted better. They are too stringy. We have gobs of less than tasty peas. Bummer. I will try and figure out a way to use them. Any ideas? They taste OK, but are tough. They are supposed to be snow pea pods. I am thinking of shelling them and using the peas as peas.
Enjoy your garden!
"The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world."
Charles Dudley Warner
My Summer in a Garden (1871)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day Darling!

I am blessed to have a godly husband. He is loving and patient and gives the family 'more grace than we deserve."

He loves the Lord and teaches the children to enjoy being hospitable by setting a great example. He does what needs to be done. He lives beyond his comfort zone.

He works hard and teaches the children the importance of hard work.

He enjoys spending time with the family. He has taken the boys to work with him since Mr. Boots was a toddler. He teaches by example.

He is a manly man. He is stronger now than he was at 25. He can find a quiet place on a rock to rest. He is a good Daddy and I am thankful to have him as my husband.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lily Update

Our friend, Lily, ( The young girl who was struck by and ATV last fall and had her foot/leg crushed, internal injuries, etc) had a GREAT visit with the doctor this week. She had very poor bone healing up to this point. We were praying that this time would show more healing. It was Awesome! There wasn't just bone healing, IT WAS HEALED. She is now able to be up and weight bearing on her very snazzy new crutches. We are praying now that she would be strong enough to go to camp this summer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Shade Garden Faithfuls

Our back yard is very shady with lots of clay. It is really tough to convince things to grow back there. Here are some things that have worked well.

Dianthus is a delicate flower that comes in shades of pink from white to red. It is often labelled an annual, but it is really a perennial. I like to have things that I don't have to replant every year.
These flowers are considered edible, although honestly, I have never eaten any. The girls do like them to wear in their hair. They are pretty. Mine have had a hard life recently as Dallas likes to run through and dig where they grow.

Cedum is another plant that does fine in the shade. They have a broad group of lilac or pink flowers that bloom in later summer. They are also perennials.

Hostas are the shade gardeners best friend. You can't kill them. If you go to a nursery they are expensive. There are over a hundred varieties. The leaves have different shades of green, white and yellow. Some on the inside and some on the outside. Don't buy them though. Find a friend that has one you like and just split off a piece of the plant and root. It will start and grow splendidly.

In July or August, depending on your location, the hostas send up a spike which blossoms with purple flowers. Each year the plant gets larger.

Hostas are great perennials. You can't hurt them. The basic green leaf variety spreads almost like a weed. If you want some of the basic green ones. Let me know. If you are nearby I will happily share mine with you.

What have you found that does well in shade and clay?
"My garden will never make me famous
I'm a horticultural ignoramus.
Ogden Nash