Sunday, July 10, 2016

Planting and Building

I am working through a Kay Arthur Bible study on 1 and2  Corinthians, and it is wonderful. I love her inductive Bible studies, and she has a whole series designed to help you mine some gold in just 15 minutes a day. Perfect. 

In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul is talking about planting and building. These are metaphors about our work in sharing the gospel. One plants, another waters, but God makes it grow. 

Paul says we are all God’s field, His cultivated land. That means, technically, we are all ready to hear a good Word from the Lord.

He mentioned that one lays a foundation and another builds on it. The foundation must be Christ, in order for the building to succeed. Any other foundation will crumble and nothing will survive when it is examined by Christ one day. 

In both of these cases, we are rewarded—paid wages—according to what we plant and what we build.
So, what are you planting and building?


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Landscaping. Finally.

We have lived at this home for seven years now, so it's about time we put some landscaping around the front.

I tend to want to just get things done all at once, and quickly. But having lived here for a while, we've taken the time to really think about how we want things to look. If we'd jumped right in, we'd have put in symmetrical shrubs (a look that works well with a Colonial style home, such as ours, but one that I'm not crazy about). Thankfully, a little time wore down my husband's desire for that look and now I have a nice mix of mostly flowers. :)

Red knockout roses, and a butterfly and blueberry bush are on the side. We bring the fuzzy lawn ornament in when it rains.

 Pink roses, hydrangeas (my favorite!), holly shrubs, daylillies, and delphinium and hostas grace the front.



 Stella Doro (yellow) and purple Daylillies that the deer ate the blooms off because our stinky liquid fence washed off in a deluge of rain

 Fuzzy curly-tailed photo-bomber

Delphinium surrounded by Hostas

I hope to fill in spaces with some annuals, but will wait to see how these do first. It was seven hours of butt-kicking labor in the hot sun, raking all the rock and weeds out, laying new landscape fabric, digging and filling holes with proper soil, and putting it all back. But it looks good now! And I have prayed fervently for God to bless our efforts because I don't want to do this again any time soon. I definitely enjoy the end results better than the journey (even if I did keep telling our kiddos that the hard work builds character! ha!).  :-)

Next on the list for this summer is replacing the outside front entry doors and surround, the rear sliding patio and laundry doors, and adding black shudders to the windows. Our home is over 30 years old, and the doors have had it. The front gets lots of lovely frost on it in the winter. On the inside. (Yep.)

And the sliding door's track is wonky so the door regularly jumps the track and becomes an upper-body workout to close. Plus the lock is broken again, after being replaced twice, so we have the door barred with a piece of wood.

All of this, combined with some break-ins that have happened around here, make replacing our doors a wise next step.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happy Birthday to Kyla -- Sweet 16!

My sweet baby girl turned 16 on June 21, so I'm late (shocking, I know) getting these pictures up.

We began her birthday celebration with a day of shopping at various places in Bridgeport, on the Saturday before her birthday. Kyla had fun telling her dad that she got her nose pierced while we were out shopping. The fake nose rings came with a choker set that she wanted.

She is an amazingly gifted artist (talent she does not get from her mother). So, in wondering what to do to make "sweet 16" extra special, I decided to have a surprise party for her and some friends at Davinci & Dessert. 

And she was surprised -- even though her younger siblings inadvertently found out about it. :)

On her birthday, Kyla had a lunch date with her dad (because he's braver than mom) at Fujiyama where she enjoyed her sushi rainbow rolls and mochi ice cream (green tea and red bean...I know you want some. lol)

Later in the afternoon, she was wondering when we were going to have birthday cake. I just smiled and said something about not planning to have any since she went out for lunch. While trying not to giggle at her crestfallen expression, I told her she and I were going out later.


"You'll have to wait to find out."

"But I need to know now."



We left the house at 5:30 and she was feeling tentative, since she's not crazy about surprises (hee, hee) and she likes to be in control of everything (wonder where she gets that from??). When we pulled into the Big Lots Plaza, she says, "Oh...I know exactly where we're going." (In a not-very-excited-bordering-on-smarmy way.)

After a brief exchange regarding how it was going to be weird and lame with people she didn't know telling her what to do, we walked inside. Her friends blew on the the (lame) party horns I bought from Dollar General and pathetically yelled "Surprise!" (haha) It worked out well, though, because Kyla might have actually started crying from nerves, if they'd yelled in a more coordinated and louder fashion.

Kyla painted our lab, Daisy

The girls painted "Love Tree"

They went on to paint, eat pizza and ice cream filled cupcakes, and Kyla opened her gifts. It was a great evening -- even Kyla said so! (Those of you know that when a 16 yr old says it's good, it must be good. :)

Our beautiful, sweet Kyla is such a blessing to us. As hard as it is to look at pictures of her through the years and see how she's grown, it is equally hard to wish her to be little again, since every stage of her life is exciting to watch.

May God continue to bless you and to use you for His glory. We are thankful that He has given us the privilege of being your parents. We love you, Kyla!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thy Will Be Done

This song is for everyone who felt they made a decision to go where God was leading, but then confusion came because it didn't (or isn't) going the way you envisioned (or want).

Be encouraged. God sees and hears you. Even if you are confused (like I am), He is still on the throne with a glorious plan. He is wise and faithful. We can trust Him. We must choose to trust Him.

Click here to listen to this music video, if you can't see it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016