Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Birds and more

Our orioles and hummingbirds have arrived and I make home-made "juice" for them.

The oriole syrup is 1 part sugar to 6 parts water.
I boil 1 cup of water and dissolve 1 cup sugar in it.  
Then add 5 more cups of water.

I also give the oriole an orange half and grape jelly.

The hummingbird syrup is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.
No need to add red food coloring as they used to do.
Some claim it is harmful for them.

The robin's nest is done and I've seen the robin in it, but upon climbing a ladder to peek inside, there were still no eggs.

The red-bellied woodpecker is able to snatch the peanuts but this birdfeeder keeps the starlings out.

Red-wing blackbird

On our evening walk around our pond, we saw "Willard" again.
We lovingly have named our great blue heron after an elderly gentleman in our church.

This kitty was sneaking up on a little bird.

One of our neighbors, Joan, likes to take Miss Big on a walk.  
Miss Big is getting a little old and sometimes she just needs to take a ride.

Our pond is used lots by many walkers, joggers and bikers.

Grackels beginning to roost and settle down for the night.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Young moms

For the past 8 years, my friend Sarah and I have led a young mother's Bible study group.

Every year we have some new girls;
several have been with us for many years.

 Silly photo!

We had a breakfast feast for our last morning before the summer break.

We end each year with a night out.
This year we went to Jason's Deli.

And went to see the movie, Miracles From Heaven.   We all bawled our eyes out!

It was precious getting to know these young moms!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Claire days

This past school year I have had the joy of watching Claire each Monday while mommy does her grocery shopping in town and also teaches some piano lessons for some homeschoolers.

Each week we have a preschool lesson.  Usually it is a repeat of what I taught my Sunday School 3 year olds at church.  Because Claire attends another church in another town, this gives me the opportunity to teach her Bible story lessons!

She loves craft time!
"I'm totally making something new...
this is going to be beautiful flowers, flowers in the sky!"

Sometimes we go out to eat....other times I fix dinner for her.
She LOVES rice with "sprinkles" (or furikake, Japanese seaweed and sesame seeds)


She is highly allergic to dairy (breaks out in rashes and boils) so I have to make certain she has no dairy products.  No fishy crackers allowed.  And no more Drubers donuts, one of our favorite places to go.  Sad.  I did find this dairly free mac and cheese!!

How she loves the outdoors!

Sometimes we go to the park


I have this centerpiece I put out for the spring.
But Claire thought the birds were sad so she wanted them out of the cage.

 She likes to imitate me.

How she loves the piano! 
One day she may play like her sister, mommy and my mother!
(just noticed that Claire put the bunny and the little flower pots on the piano.)

Claire and I were talking about storms.  "I don't like lightning."
I told her I enjoy watching lightning in the sky.  
        "Lightning is selfish!"
                 "What?  Why is lightning selfish?"
            "Because it hits people."
Oh, yes, I guess that would make it selfish.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

After the storm - Cleaning windows

The day after the storm was a perfect day to wash my windows.  Can I even say that?  Can you use the word "perfect" and "washing windows" in the same sentence?  Who likes to clean windows??  But there was no breeze and it was a nice and crisp day.

And my windows were really needing a cleaning.  

With company coming both Wednesday and Thursday evening, that was pretty much the motivation I needed.  I am not a neat freak but the windows were spotty and dirty.   When you have people over, you have them over to have fun together, not to impress them about your house!

I can still remember before I had children that a friend told me she felt intimidated having me come to her house.  She had a toddler and her house, she felt, was always messy.  I didn't have children at that time and when I cleaned, it stayed that way for a long time.  I assured her that I didn't care.

I once had cleaned the house before my friends came over for Bible study.  As we were visiting, I noticed a big dust web hanging down from the ceiling.  I just had to laugh!  So, would you bring it to everyone's attention, or be so embarressed that you would just be silent and hope no one saw it?

I love these new windows that I can clean from inside.  When we lived in another neighborhood, my neighbor and I helped eachother clean windows.  We had those old fashioned kind that are so hard to clean.  

She would do the inside of her house while I was outside and we worked on the windows together. Then she'd come to my house and I'd do the inside windows and she'd do the outside.  This way we could tell eachother if we'd see streaks.

I don't use fancy store-bought window cleaner.  I find that even if it says "streak-free", it isn't!  My wise, older friends have told me just a dot of Dawn and vinegar in water is all that is needed.  Wash down the window and wipe with a lint free cloth.

See the difference??
And so clear now to see outside!

Cleaning windows means cleaning the blinds too.
Not the most fun thing in the world.
Why does dust have to collect like it does?


I climbed the ladder and realized that I'd left my phone inside.

At my age, if I'm climbing a ladder, it is a good thing to have my phone on me so that if I fall and break a hip, I can call for help!  I know someone that happened to and it was hours before someone found her.   

So I put my phone in my hip pocket while I climbed up to do this window.


Loving the clean windows!

As I was cleaning, I got to thinking, Who is it that does the washing of the windows?  Can the window wash itself?  Does it strain and grunt to keep itself clean?  Of course not.  On its own, the window can't be clean.

Often people try so hard to be good (clean) people.  They feel that if they can just be clean enough, that God will accept them.  But God accepts us "while we are still sinners", while we are just "dirty windows".   It is His job to clean us up and He did it through the cross.  That isn't to say that we aren't to live clean lives.  But we can't get clean enough except through Christ.

"You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to a new heaven and a new earth - the day of God......In keeping with His promise we are looking forward to this home of righteousness.  So then dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him."  1 Peter 3:11-14

Ephesians 5:25-27 teaches that the result of the sacrificial death of Christ for us is 'to make her holy, cleansing her … and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.' This is the effect of Christ's death, not the effect of any striving on my part.   

He sees us as already clean when we look to Him to be our "window washer"!

Let His light shine through!