Something So Big

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Journey with Jesus

It's Holy Week and a time to reflect on how much our Lord and Savior truly loves us. Pastor Mark boggled my mind the other day with his message that Jesus died for ME, with MY sins from 2010 on his mind. Head-to-the-heart knowledge is always a challenge for me, as I often intellectualize* everything. (Not that I am that intellectual, but I do have a tendency to get caught up in words and books and don't always internalize the meaning of things.)

So when I took the time to consider this, it's so true. Jesus is God, and God is omniscient (all-knowing) and omni-present (transcending time). God died for my sins back in 33 A.D. My sins of 1970 to the present...and beyond. It is mind-blowing, kind of like the "Back to the Future" movies if you really think about them. Because there IS such a thing as thinking about stuff too much.

Anyway, this past month in Sunday School we've been learning about Jesus and his final week leading up to the Resurrection. We split the kids into five groups, each led by parents who helped the kids re-enact that last week.
We cried "Hosanna!" and waved palms as Jesus entered Jerusalem...

...sampled unleavened bread as Jesus celebrated the Passover (His Last Supper) with His disciples...

...watched as Peter, James, and John fell asleep despite Jesus' urging to keep watch and pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane...

...visited the foot of the cross where Jesus was crucified and died for the sins of all...

...and rejoiced in the surprise of an empty tomb on Easter morning.

This week is gut-wrenching, a roller-coaster ride of emotions for Jesus and for all of those who believe in Him. Considering the brutal beatings and death that He went through for me (who would not appear and start messing up selfishly until 2000 years later), it is humbling/devastating/awe-inspiring to me. Praise God for the promise of Easter!

*not sure if this is a word, but hopefully you get what I'm thinking/feeling!

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."--John 11:25-26

A Stroll and a Roll

We had a half-day of school last Friday, and Mark was gone to the state coaching clinic. Since I had to run an errand in Dubuque, I took the kids to the arboretum. I'd never been there, and it was a nice little excursion. The kids especially enjoyed the koi fish and this little "elf house" as they called it!

After a stroll through the botanical gardens, we took a quick tour of the gift shop and had the kids' picture taken with Mr. Snuffleupagus.

On our way home we stopped at the big park in Dickeyville. In between swing pushes, ziplining, and jungle gym climbing, I managed to snap a few shots. These are some of my favorites.

This park has a massive hill. Cy got us going with, "Let's roll down this hill, guys!" I took some video and laughed my butt off as my offspring went tumbling down the slope.

Good thing we hadn't eaten for about 4 hours!

I told the kids about my childhood hill-rolling days, way back in the 70s. Mom would stuff Marla, Julie, and me into these huge, puffy snowmobile suits at Brian's football games. (Guess I know where I get my compulsion to over-dress my kids from!) I don't remember much about the football games, but I remember the swish-swish of the suits and the manic, cyclic motion of rolling down the hill at Belmont High School. It all came back to me on Friday afternoon as I took my own roll. Quickly I remembered to
a) Close my eyes, and
b) Tuck my arms in.
I was on a roll -- literally -- going for the record in speed and straightness...until I ran into Paige. Fortunately there were no head collisions or tears. Just lots of giggles.
Wynne got about halfway down the hill and didn't vomit, which was a major accomplishment.

Paige and Shae kept turning sideways on the hill, and Cy was constantly critiquing his sisters' rolling ability (or lack thereof).

Ever the athlete, Ally worked on her technique and got up some pretty good speed.

But it was definitely Cyrus who earned the gold medal in hill rolling that day, as he put his money where his mouth is and showed us all how it is done.

Note the determination and gritty effort. If only I could see that look doing chores or homework!

If practice makes perfect, then Cy earned an 11 out of 10. I think this was his 7th or 8th roll. Keep in mind, the kid weighs 100 pounds already and has a lot of momentum! (Homeschoolers would be proud of me; we talked about inertia and potential energy!)

Like a typical boy, Cy milks every last inch out of his roll...anything to get to the bottom of the hill.

And again, like a typical boy, he stumbled dizzily up the hill for more.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.--James 1:12

Birthday Boys

Last week we celebrated cousin Trevin's 5th birthday with a fun splash in a local hotel pool. Here's the birthday boy in his Spider Man suit in the very warm pool room.

And here's what he looks like when the camera isn't fogged up! (flanked by his sister Brooke & Paige)

A few days later it was our Jack Russell terrier's birthday. Happy 12th Birthday, Mickey!

This is what happens when you try to get your dog to pose with his birthday cupcake.

Happy Birthday, Boys!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adventures in Sewing

Move over, Martha Stewart!

Just kidding. This pink bucket hat is store-bought. I tried to make a pattern from it. Here's what happens when I try to sew:

See that fine, even stitching? Yeah, me neither.

But look what a little button can do!

Or how about this cute little denim number? (See, I knew there was a reason I didn't throw out Cy's old jeans.) Actually, I kind of like how this hat took on a life of its own, naturally turning up at the brim. You can't really call it a "bucket hat"; it's more of a cloche ala Olivia Walton. Denim and daisies, I kinda like it!

Cindy had her choice of hats before those darn girls showed up for the party. I think the first one to get snatched up was what they called "The Cat in the Hat Hat" she was wearing. (I just thought it would be fun to see what 3 different colors would look like, sewn together.) Shae took the pink sequined one right away. (See Mark; this is why I have a hard time throwing stuff out. That gem fell off of a plastic dress-up shoe and I just couldn't part with it. Good thing I didn't!)

In between sewing 13 little hats, I got bored and switched over to curtains. I cheated and just turned 2 thrifted valances into 3 (because the twins have 3 windows in their room). Then I took the scraps and turned them into little chair cushions for these doll chairs I found at Goodwill. (Yes, I know the cushions are a little too small. Maybe next time!)

In a brief shining moment of sewing glory, I managed to whip up this festive party banner. I think I'll put it up for everybody's birthday and special days.

I have to admit; I didn't sew anything here. But hey! I did use my sewing scissors and iron!! That has to count for something, right?

Okay, back to my Adventures in Sewing. For months I have had this idea to make bathrobes for the girls out of towels. The twins needed bathrobes (they get cold in their pajamas before bedtime), and I thought "Let's kill two birds with one stone; I'll make them a robe out of towels that they can use to dry off at the pool!" So I searched and searched online and found a few blogs from crafty moms who thought the same thing I was thinking. Only those moms have actual sewing ability, and the patience to use bias tape for its intended purpose. At any rate, I went to Goodwill and bought 4 towels; 2 for each robe. Here's the wild red one for Paige, my hot-tempered, spunky bugger.....

....and here's the groovy 70s gold ones for Shae, who's a bit mellower. Note that I had to sew two towels together to make a large enough piece to start out with. Also note that I was supposed to cut a t-shaped piece of fabric (actually, 2) for the robe's back and front. You can tell I cut them a little too skinny.

As you can see, the robes are a little ratty looking, but the girls were thrilled with them. Even if they can't quite wrap them around their torsos. That's what the belt is for, right kids??! (Also note that the belts are still inside-out because I haven't figured out a way to pull them right-side out. Remember I have very little patience.)

The sweetest thing I think I've ever heard was when Paige said, "That's okay, Mom. You made them yourself, and that's the best present of all!" And Shae said, "I love my new robe, Mom!"

Suddenly all of those days of frustration, threading, re-threading, seam ripping, and neck aches became worthwhile.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
...A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak--Ecclesiastes 3: 1,7 KJV

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sing It, Bing!

I loved listening to Bing Crosby's voice when I was growing up. He was my favorite male vocalist, next to my dad. Somewhere along the line, in fact, my dad started calling me "Bing". So you can imagine the shivers of pleasure I felt, walking down memory lane the other day on You Tube, listening to old movie clips as Bing crooned in "Holiday Inn", "White Christmas", "Bells of St. Mary's", and "Going My Way", among others. I was looking for the lyrics to "Easter Parade" because I've been singing it a lot lately since we made these pretty little things at the girls' birthday party!

In one of my prouder crafting moments, I discovered what a little hot glue, flowers, rick-rack, and lace can do to a dust mask.

Easter Parade (music by Irving Berlin)
In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade

I'll be all in clover and when they look you over
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade

On the Avenue
Fifth Avenue
The photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're
In the rotogravure

Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet
And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter parade

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." --Matthew 28:5-6

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cute Things They Say, Near Spring Edition

Just a few before I forget...

"I better get my hair done 'cause it looks CRAZY!!"--Wynne, age 3 going on 33

"I'm a good forgetter." --Paige, age 7, when asked why she doesn't do Accelerated Reading Testing on longer chapter books

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

7th Heaven

Turning 7 is especially wonderful when you come home from school, it's sunny and warm, and Dad plays basketball with you!

You even get to toot your own horn!

Big sister buys you snazzy sunglasses... get a new bathrobe that makes you feel like a princess...

...and it's okay to strut your stuff for one day.

And the best part is, you get to share your birthday with your Best Friend.

The only other person who understands and tolerates your inner Crazy!

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.--John 10:14