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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Changing times

Last year at Easter, we were in Jerusalem worshiping at the Garden Tomb

with people from all around the world.  Spectacular!
A little glimpse of heaven.

Below are some dear friends we made on that trip!

This year, we drove to the home place on Saturday to celebrate the day with our family.
This summer, Al's brother plans to add on to the house so it will look different.

 We were a smaller group this year.  I think it might be the first time in many, many years we have actually had a sit down, rather than a buffet style dinner.  And the first time not to do an Easter egg hunt when we got together!

These kids think they are too old for it and none of the little kiddos (grandkids) could make it this year.

Susie and Jared are both graduating from high school this year!

Lots of laughs - we do that a lot!
We went to the basement for a little nostalgic tour.
I guess farmers need lots of hats.
 Would you believe that the folks got this refrigerator when they got married in '48?  And it still works!!
They do NOT make appliances to last these days.

 The laundry shoot.  Al remembers throwing all kinds of things down it - not laundry.
 The old pantry for canned goods.  Such a pretty glass window!

This was hanging on the wall.
Can you guess what it is?

 Back in 87, the round top caught on fire by a spark and this was all that was left of the lawn mower!  You can see the plug in the middle of that melted mess.  (Sarah F., you should have Luke take a guess at that!)

Now for a little rabbit trail....  Here are a couple pictures of them building the round top, back in the late '40's or early '50's.

Then here is a picture of the round top in the left side of the back ground.  It was a great place to store tractors, farm trucks, and several antiques.  Luckily, I asked the folks if we could have the 3/4 size bed that was in the loft.  We refinished it for the kids to use.  So glad we got it out or it would have burnt up too.

And here is the picture of it after the fire.  The fire was so big, they could see the black smoke clear to Wichita and Hutchinson, half an hour away!  For awhile, Al's dad thought Sid had perished in the fire when he tried to drive a tractor out and Dad had gone inside to call the fire department.  It was a very scary time until the fire could get extinguished.

Back to the present day...
still in the basement - the high chair that all the kids used.

The family shower used to be in this spot.  The kids would soap up the floor and slip and slide all over. Laughing over memories.

A beautiful evening to sit on the porch.

The seasons of our lives are changing.  We are getting older.  The young families are having their own celebrations.  That's ok.  A time will come when we will be too old to get together too.  My parents are not able to be with their siblings much anymore.  And Al's parents are both gone from this earth.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  Eccl. 3:1

On Easter Sunday morning, the Easter bunny (aka Mary Ellen) came to church!

She was pretty sure that she was the most important thing about Easter but the children in the audience quickly relayed to her that she wasn't!  Dave's sermon, entitled "Beyond the Bunny" was excellent!  You can listen to it here.    Hoppeluia!

Looking forward to the next series!!

Al and I both worked the nursery 3rd service then left to have Easter dinner with my parents and also with Aunt Belva, my dorm parent in Japan when I was in the 1st grade.  She lives in the same complex as my parents.

A wonderful time!  My heart is so full with His presence, His love and His rescue!

Enjoy this sweet cartoon!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bird Walk

I read in the newspaper that there would be a walk for birdwatchers this Saturday morning.

I woke up at 5:30.  It was going to be a beautiful day for it!

I drove to the museum where we were gathering.
There were enough people to form 2 groups.  
One group took off to the north and my group went east.

The trail is 1/5 miles long and is just north of the college.

I really do like this trail!
 Even before we were out of the parking lot of the museum, our guide was hearing bird calls and telling us which birds were making the calls.

The birds would be so high but our guide could easily tell them by their shape and by their call.
We heard a starling imitating the sound of the western meadowlark.

I'm a novice.  So I have a lot to learn.  There were some in our group who were even more "novicer" than me, but it was so fun to learn together!
 Here are some pictures that I cropped to be able to see the birds.
 I was the only one with a camera.  I don't know that it did much good to bring a camera along.  They are so hard to catch!

They flit and fly so quickly.  Couldn't get it in focus soon enough!

 As the trees leaf out more, they will be almost impossible to see.
 We were supposed to keep any talking to the minimum.
I'll have to come back some time and explore this path that we didn't take.

Home of a wood duck

We met the other group coming from the other way.

When asked what bird had this nest, we were told that this was a squirrel nest.

He said that nests made of twigs and leaves are generally squirrel nests.
Hmmm.  I thought they lived in holes in the trees.

Our guide heard 27 different species and we saw a few of them. 
Here is the list of what he wrote down.
Mallard  1
Blue-winged Teal  12
Double-crested Cormorant  4 (flew over just before the walk started)
Turkey Vulture  4
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Killdeer  2
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
Mourning Dove  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker  11
Downy Woodpecker  3
Blue Jay  4
American Crow  2
Purple Martin  4
Black-capped Chickadee  9
Tufted Titmouse  2
Carolina Wren  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  22
Brown Thrasher  1
European Starling  23
Louisiana Waterthrush  1
Chipping Sparrow  1
Harris's Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  18
Red-winged Blackbird  3
Common Grackle  5
House Finch  2

It was probably more a bird - listening walk than a bird - watching walk!  Ha!

I learned several knew things, like that the brown thrasher mimics calls by 2 repeated sounds whereas a mocking bird repeats it 10 times in a row.

When we got back to the museum, we saw a display of various birds' nests.
 and were served drinks and birds nests treats!