Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Playing House

What fun to set the table when flowers
are blooming in the yard!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

All in a Day's Work

There was much happening at the farm today.

Lynn mowed and trimmed.

The barn bank was leveled.

Bob cleaned the carpets.

I got up close and personal with the apple tree.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Buzz on Birthday Blessings

If you celebrate a birthday for a whole month, should you age faster? Here’s hoping that it does not work that way. I was planning on ignoring this birthday and did a pretty good job of it immediately. However, any excuse to eat with my dear neighbors and converse and enjoy friendship works for me.

Dear cousin Lynn, sent me this sweet devotional book and other themed gifts. Scattered throughout the book are “Bee Facts.”

Honeybees . . .form societies with division of labor and cooperation. Cooperation in most species requires some kind of communication, and the honeybee dance communication provides the archetypic example. A single worker bee (all workers are female, by the way) finding a rich source of nectar flies back to the hive. A short time later dozens of fellow workers make beelines to the nectar site.
~ Stephen Hart, The Animal Communication Project

As a field bee gets old and her wings begin to fray and wear out, when she is no longer able to fly great distances and carry heavy loads, she may be permitted to work inside the hive again, as she did in her youth.
~ William Longgood,
The Queen Must Die and Other Affairs of Bees and Men

One researcher now claims that bees have their own form of loafing or resting; after a foraging trip, he says, a field bee crawls into an empty cell [of the honey-comb] and snugs in for a half-hour siesta; she is quiet but it is not known if she is asleep . . . or merely resting. Upon arousing herself, apparently refreshed, she again takes off for the fields.
~ William Longgood, The Queen Must Die and Other Affairs of Bees and Men

So here is my lesson from the bees today.
  1. The desire to share good things with others is part of the nature that God created in bees and me. Unfortunately, the comparison ends there as I am a very poor dancer and not always very good at communicating either.

  2. Even though I am getting pretty frayed, there is still a job for me to do. Whew!

  3. It is okay—good—to pace ourselves. Power naps are good for production.
One more thing . . . on my birthday, Jim posted a video of bees bringing in pollen. We have been observing this at our hives, too. It is such fun to watch. This is for those of you that do not have a hive outside your back door to observe.

Rejoice in this Beeeeeautiful day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

That's What Friends Are For . . .

Three of the four of us have April birthdays.

These old friends friends for a long time, remember my first hubby, saw me pregnant, and say that none of us look our age.

No wonder I love them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kindred Spirits

Morgan did not have school on Friday afternoon so she arrived right after lunch to plan the Anne of Green Gables weekend. When the boys came for a Star Wars overnight, it was all business—food and movies. With girls, life is just more complicated.

As Morgan sat down with pen and paper and so much “scope for imagination”, she quickly came up with a plan, including a photo shoot, what to wear, when to get into pj’s, what to eat, pedicures, mini mysteries, a craft, a tea party, watching Jessica’s soccer game and obviously movie time.

The food menus required the most planning. Of course, Morgan knew that we needed at some point to have some raspberry cordial (raspberry Juicy Juice) and so we worked on making it look authentic in an empty vinegar bottle. The other items required interesting names as well so we soon had labels for Marilla’s meringues, frosted scones, layered crumpets, burnt ginger snaps, current wine (sparking grape juice), Prince Edward Island Shells (Mac & Cheese shells), and Rachel’s sticks in the mud (carrot sticks and dip) . I am sure that I am missing a few more items but you get the idea.

We barely finished our grocery and craft errands and then it was time to pick up Jessica. First the dolls needed to be dressed, and then the photo shoot completed. I imagine that Jessica resembles Anne in looks with her reddish hair and in her thrill of adventure. Jessica would have gladly and successfully accepted Josie Pye’s dare to walk the ridge-pole of the kitchen roof. It was Jessica that suggested to the dismay of Morgan that the photo shoot should be done in Grandpa’s climbing tree.

Morgan resembles Diana in her beautiful dark hair. However, her flair for the dramatic, her imagination, and her ability to talk constantly make Morgan a kindred spirit of Anne.

Aunt Kathi soon arrived. Our overnight began. Kathi and I enjoyed exchanging knowing, loving, delightful, amused, kindred spirit glances as we interacted with these charming little girls that love dolls but teeter on the edge of becoming young women.

We watched six hours of movies. We watched the first part of Anne of Green Gables on Friday evening and completed it on Saturday morning. We watched the first part of Anne of Green Gables, The Sequel on Saturday afternoon and that was as far as we got. The favorite part for all of us was when Matthew went to the store to buy Anne a dress. It is just so cute how he had such a hard time getting to the point. I especially love the part when Anne goes to the barn to thank Matthew. That always makes me cry. We laughed at the part where Anne finds a dead mouse in the pudding sauce! It is a great story!

Ready for bed

Jessica scored three times!

Someone that works that hard deserves a bit of pampering.

Tea Party pictures

Morgan demonstrates the correct way to hold our tea cups.

Time to go home sporting our new flip flops.

At the tea party, I decided to give a little blessing before we began. I nearly lost my voice as I thanked God for these girls. As the adoptive grandma, I identify with Marilla and Matthew. “It was Providence, (My marriage to Bob and gaining his dear family.) because the Almighty saw I needed them, I reckon.”

Friday, April 17, 2009

My firstborn’s firstborn turns four!

We fell in love with him from the beginning.

Ryan Dale surprised us all by arriving a bit early in Richmond, Virginia. His parents lived in Vancouver, BC at the time and had just gone to Washington DC for a wedding. After spending a day with friends in Richmond, mom and dad were expecting to travel back home. Instead, Ryan came. Here he is swimming in a little preemie outfit.

We were concerned how to get this fragile little guy back home but God provided a special leer jet. It was an amazing story.

Ryan, sometimes Ry, sometimes Ryno—reminiscent of the 1983-1991 Cubs second baseman, got his middle name from Grandpa Dale, who died when Ryan’s daddy (Andrew Dale) was just twelve years old.

Ryan is a very special little guy and brings us much joy!

Happy Birthday, buddy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Real Cinderella Story!

Susan Boyle! Words are inadequate! It was just so touching! I immediately googled because I had to find out more about her. In case you have not watched the video, take the time to see it—more than once.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Sunday!

I woke up with a joyful heart today. Easter music fills me with such gladness. I loved singing Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Crown Him with Many Crowns, In Christ Alone and more wonderful hymns and praise songs! I loved the choir and the orchestra music. I am so grateful for what Jesus did for me, for us! Death has been conquered!

I love the traditional Easter greeting. Lynn G. spoke as I entered the sanctuary, “He is Risen!” Gladly I responded, “He is risen indeed!”

It was wonderful to walk into the church and see so many coming to worship. I loved the beautiful flowers, the cloth on the cross and behind and above it. The sanctuary had been transformed from the dark of the Good Friday services! The contrast was stunning.

I loved sitting between Kent and Jessica and hearing their sweet, clear voices. I looked down our row and saw the others and heard Patti’s lovely singing. Once again, I thanked God for setting me in a family! (Psalm 68:6)

Our text today is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, John 20.

  • I like that Mary Magdalene was the first to go to the tomb.
  • I like that John tells how he won the footrace but Peter entered the tomb first.
  • It takes my breath away when I think of Jesus softly saying, “Mary.” I can imagine if it were me and Jesus said, “Brenda.” That sends shivers up my arms to my head. Yet, I am amazed that He has called my name!
  • I love the testimony of Mary Magdalene, “I have seen the Lord!” I am challenged and awed and my heart resonates, “Yes, I have seen the Lord!”
  • I am so glad that Jesus knew some of us would have a hard time believing.
  • I love verse 31, "These are written that you might believe . . .

I loved that Susan and Morgan used the resurrection eggs before dinner to go over the Easter story. I loved talking with four year old Seamus about the Easter story. I loved hearing his sweet prayer before dinner.

Dinner was delicious. Fellowship was sweet. Games were fun. There was sunshine and flowers and warm temperatures.

In John 20, I am thankful that Jesus said, “Peace be with you.”

And also with you!

In Christ Alone

This song stayed with me all day. It ran through my mind and blessed me over and over. I must share the words.

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;

From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

"In Christ Alone"Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart TownendCopyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bringing Home the Bees

Sadly, last year all of the bees being brought to Stillwater on the first load died. It was quite a complicated story, involving a snowstorm, an accident and then the final demise from overheating. Transporting the bees seems to have become an adventurous and dangerous journey. This year our bees were held up on the highway because of a hostage situation and then after finally arriving, a black bear decided to investigate the situation. However, when we arrived last night to pick up our precious adopted little ones, they were safe and secure. I can’t help but show you once again the sophisticated sign that marks the pick-up location.

The whole crew was out—ready and willing to help us load and leave.

It always makes me chuckle when beekeepers tell what the bees are thinking. How do they know that? Last night, one beekeeper was warning me to be careful walking around the bees in my black fleece. She said, “The bees think you are a black bear and might come after you.”

Doesn't look like much but that is about 80,000 bees that we are bringing home to hive.

In celebration of my birthday, we took the time last night to dine at Nacho Mamas in the gorgeous and quaint city of Stillwater, MN. The food was yummy! I will probably pay for it all week. Yes, yes, I digress. . .to continue with the bee story. . . we arrived all intact.

Kevin met us and was a big help. Installing the bee packages is sort of a messy job. The bees are like children so eager and excited to be out and free and able to fly around and explore their new homes. They’ve had a long trip from California where they last were free to fly. For more on installing the packages, see here.

No bees got in our bonnets but plenty were on them.

I love our bee yards. Tim and Nancy’s is particularly beautiful, a real paradise for bees—and for people, too.