April 29, 2009

Beauty and the Cutie

Motivated by my friend Sarah and an article in Parents magazine, I've been taking lots of pictures of the kids to try to get some good ones. I love the digital age! Here are a few worth sharing:



I'm just using our Canon PowerShot SD1100. Someday maybe I'll make the time to learn how to use Colin's cool Pentax Digital SLR. For now, I should probably read the manual for the little camera and get better at using it to capture these kiddos in action.

Do you have any photography tips to share?

April 28, 2009

On Doing Good

I've been reading through the Narnia series with Elizabeth. I'm enjoying them immensely; they are such lively tales!

A while ago, I read these sentences from The Horse and His Boy. The background: Shasta has just rode a horse/walked across a desert and run himself ragged helping his friend to escape a ferocious lion. Almost immediately, he's told to RUN on (without his even more weary companions) to give some crucial news to the King of Archenland. Then the text reads:
Shasta's heart fainted at these words for he felt he had no strength left. And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.
I bent the corner of a perfectly lovely library book, to make sure I could find the quote later.

Pondering it caused me to think of this passage from Galatians 6, most specifically verse 9:
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Lewis' observation is right on. There are times that, in my own energy, I can manage to do some good things: make a meal for a needy family, give someone a ride, talk to a new person, etc. But to continue doing good, when I'm tired, grumpy, or just plain into myself, THAT does not come naturally or easily. I'm grateful that we're called to do this kind of ceaseless good AFTER we're given the Spirit, the only One who could sustain us in doing good without growing weary. I need to remind myself, when I'm feeling weary, when I'm lacking love, when I'm indulging the sinful nature, that the Spirit is willing and ABLE to transform me. In this we die a little more to self and we enjoy a little more of what it means to walk with God, who did us the ultimate good in redeeming our souls from a pit of eternal death! So it looks like this maybe? Jesus died because we could never do enough good to save ourselves ... but then calls us and enables us to do good without getting weary, to the praise of His glory.

I'm always wanting to be recognized for doing good. How about you?

I've had this post in the works for ages, and decided I should finish it up and post it. I hope it's coherent! Does anyone else resonate with these lines from Lewis? Do you think it's a normal part of growing up? How about you folks well over 30 who read this blog? What do you think?

Oh yes, and what's amazing in the story is that Aslan gets Shasta to his destination. He's been directing his path all they way from where his journey started, in fact! Jesus, thank you for always being near.

April 25, 2009

Take a Hike!

This morning we took our first hike as a family of four at the Blue Hills Reservation, south of Boston. We planned this event with the McFadden and Radbill families 2 months ago, and never imagined we'd have the gorgeous weather that this weekend has to offer! Please enjoy these photos and then (if you're in the North East) get yourself outside to soak up some sun.

Brian's first ride in the carrier


Crossing the street to get started on our adventure

Me and Jenny

Boston, from the top of the mountain

Elizabeth and Jack

The whole gang

Brian's photo shoot


Maisy Dog


It was warm enough to wade in the pond!


Baby race up the beach


McFaddens and Radbills, I don't know about you, but we'd love to do it again sometime soon! Anyone else interested?!

April 21, 2009

You Kin Do It ... for 50 cents

Drop by a Dunkin Donuts today and get yourself a 50 cent small iced coffee.

Not only can you "bring yourself back" from the post-lunch slump on the cheap, but ten percent of the purchase goes to support "Homes for Our Troops" - they build handicapped accessible homes for disabled veterans. (I realize that's on 5 cents/cup, but every penny counts!)

Happy Dunkin Donuts promotional Tuesday!

April 20, 2009

Vote!

Colin and I were talking about burial several nights ago. As a result, I'm trying my first poll there on the right. For some reason the color of the text is really light and I don't know why or how to change it. But your two options are cremated and burried.

Vote now! I'm excited about my first poll; it ends in two days. Be counted!

April 18, 2009

Baseball Fever ... Catch It!

This morning we embarked on E's first experience with a team sport! Earlier this week at a friends' house, I saw a flyer for the West Cambridge Baseball program, which includes Tee Ball for kids 4-5. Turns out there is also an East Cambridge league, so we went this morning to check it out. Perhaps my girl will end up not enjoying ball playing, but I (really, really, really) hope that she does and can enjoy girls softball as much as I did growing up. If it's not for her, I promise I won't force it on her. What follows is a photo/video journal of the morning.

Elizabeth tried to find someone to play with:
first stop, home plate.


She managed to get the organizer to give her the ball he had.
I made her share and play "catch" with a couple of other kids.
(She didn't really want to share, but it worked out.)


Elizabeth, Charlie, and Justin.
Charlie lives at Westgate
We knew Justin from the library.


When things got organized, they began with some base running. The kids all lined up and ran to first, then back to the end of the line. After that, they ran to second, and back to the line. Then third to the line. And, finally, they all got to do a full run around the bases. A great way to start, especially for Elizabeth. She loves to run!
video


Running to second base.


It was picture day, so they got their hats and t-shirts!


Brian spent the first little bit sleeping,
then later liked watching the kids run around the bases.
(I can't get enough of this baby in jeans!)

Last night at dinner Elizabeth expressed concern about playing tee ball. I asked her why she was feeling worried. Her response was something like this: "I'm afraid that I'll hit the ball really far and hurt someone."

And I thought she was feeling nervous! Ha!

April 15, 2009

Easter with the Ashes

The morning started with this snotty nosed baby and his meager Easter basket.







Elizabeth woke up a little later and explored her basket.





After church, we brunched with some friends from Westgate.
(L to R: Hordur, Gyda, Colin, Emil, Nara)

(L to R: Bjarney, Elizabeth, Leila, Farah)


Margie/mom/gramma sent us flowers to adorn the table.

Gyda and Hordur brought an Icelandic egg.

Inside it was full of goodies!


Following our meal, the dads hid eggs for the girls to find.
It was really fun;
MIT dads have creative hiding skills!


video


Brian was not feeling well, so he slept through most of the fun.
But he joined in toward the very end.

April 14, 2009

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I like the sayings that come along with spring. As you might remember, we did a little weather charting in March to see if it "came in like a lion and went out like a lamb." This year, the weather was pretty true to the adage.

Now it's April and I found this little activity. You record sunny and rainy days. I added the two pictures to extend the initial project time a little and to help her memorize the saying. As you can see, we've had a pretty sunny April. This week is particularly good for the sunny part of the graph. Next week, the forecast calls for some rain almost every day. New England weather, never get your hopes up too much!




I close with this:

If April showers bring May flowers, then what to May flowers bring?


(pause)


Pilgrims!

Thank you, thank you. (bow) I"ll be posting again soon!

April 13, 2009

Anything You Can Do ...

Brian could not be outdone by his sister; he, too, has an ear infection! I had the doctor check his ears at Elizabeth's follow-up appointment this afternoon. Ironically, it's not in the ear he's batted around the last couple of days.

So both of our children are now enjoying the delights of bubble gum flavored meds. And I'm looking forward to some nights of sleep without interruption. Bring 'em on!


Here's the sick man a couple of days ago.

April 12, 2009

Opening Day!

The Pirates home opener is today. We will not be there, but we do have the gear. The girls in the family have red jerseys and the boys have grey. (Yep, I have mine on today, too!) Thanks for hooking us up, Gramma!

Our Miniature Baseball Fans


Right now the Bucs are at 3 & 3. Let's hope today makes it 4-3!

Happy Easter!



Christ is risen;
He is risen indeed!
Hallelujah!

April 10, 2009

A Solemn Day

Though today's weather was glorious, I was prompted several times to pause and think about what Christians around the world are observing today. Today is "Good Friday", a day we observe our Lord's death, a cruel, horrible, merciless one. As our pastor commented last night in a short meditation, during this time in Jesus life, all the fellowship, love, relationship, delight, glory, etc. he'd know with his Father were completely removed. Imagine your darkest days a bazillion times darker, and maybe we're approaching the experience of Jesus that day. We'll never really know. What a time it must have been: Jesus, bearing the wrath that mankind deserved; his followers, confused by the horrible situation; God the Father and God the Spirit, pouring out the punishment for all sin ever on God the Son.

What?! Can I even continue to type? It's holy ground, but at the time it must have just baffled the Jesus followers, who had such hopes for the King of the Jews.

But Jesus was dealing with their real "issue." Our real issue. And in the only real way with which it could be dealt. Is sin really that bad? Yes it is. Yes, an innocent man had to die, and not simply innocent, a perfect man.

It is a solemn day. A day for contemplation. A day to consider. A day that changed all of history.

It makes me eagerly look forward to Sunday morning. It is a victory worthy of the most joyous of celebrations!

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, o my soul
and forget not all his benefits -
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103: 1-5

From Bundled to Baseball Caps!

It was beautiful here today. My spirits were soaring as we enjoyed the sunshine and warm temperatures. Elizabeth, though on a 10-day antibiotic regimen spent the afternoon running around as any healthy child would. There was all kinds of wild pretending and running from boys hissing like snakes.







Brian enjoyed the warm weather, too. Though he also has a cold and got cranky after a while. Post dinner he pepped up and was his usual self. Maybe he was cranky because he was hungry....






Isn't this one below just too sweet?!
I'm so excited we've been able to get outside this week.
Spring, you are very welcome here!!