Monday, November 10, 2014

An Autumn Ball of a Bygone Era

I contemplated naming this post "A Ball in the Fall" but somehow it didn't seem elegant enough. Anyway...

Once again, my dear friend Libby hosted another Civil War Ball! Valerie, Stephanie, Laura, and I all went up to visit for the weekend, and had a wonderful time.

Thanks to Hannah (and Noah, for filming) for this video of the square dancing we did at the end. Lincoln and Jed are calling. I can't believe how good they are getting! Hannah also has two other videos uploaded: another one of the square dancing, and a contra.
Most of the dances were contras, but occasionally Mr. S. would put on a waltz or a polka.

 Valerie and Laura doing a polka 

Andrew and Amanda, Libby and Jed

"Wagon-wheeling" (when several squares merge into one big circle)

That's the fun way to do an allemande left!

 Valerie and I - we didn't know we were being photographed!

Lexi and Laura
Valerie, Amanda, and I
Hannah and Libby
~ the four sisters ~
Amanda, Libby, Hannah, Lexi, Jed, Lincoln, Paris
Little Dagny - at the last ball she was just a baby and Shelby was the one sitting at the piano!

~And a few bonus pictures from the farm~
Sunset - see the old school bus?

 Visiting with "North" Dakota (not to be confused with the IL horse we know named Dakota)
Aurora smiled for the camera

Laura and Stephanie reading in the living room
Aurora and Sierra in the store
 Baby Elizabeth

Monday, April 21, 2014

Church is like an onion patch

For my writing class, I had to write two similes to describe "church". Last night I had a fit of inspiration and stayed up till midnight writing. This was the better of the two. Enjoy!

 (Not my picture)

There’s a plant in my garden known as a walking onion. Where we got the first one, I have no idea, but that one plant has become a patch measuring several square feet. Walking onions are used in cooking like other green onions. Its narrow, hollow stalks resemble large chives. Whenever I desire to use some in the kitchen, I simply step outside and pick whatever I need. 

It seemed to me that the church is rather like these walking onions. It grows in clumps, each bulb sending up several poking fronds. Seeing this reminded me of a family, and seeing all these “families” growing alongside each other reminded me of the church. The reason for the name “walking onion” is because when the plant comes to maturity, it bears fruit, in this case, onion bulbs. These bulbs are not like the big Vidalias you buy at the store, nor do they grow in the ground like those. These grow as a cluster of thumb-sized bulbs at the very top of the stalk. Eventually, the bulb cluster grows too heavy for the stalk to support. Whomp! The bulb pulls the stalk to the ground, taking a “step”, claiming new territory for the cause of onions. The newly fallen bulb plants itself in the ground, and will become a new plant the following year. 

Do you see how we are sort of like those onion plants? Not only are we growing alongside each other, but as our lives bear fruit, we are step by step gaining ground for the kingdom of God. Our usefulness is accomplished by bending, humbly accepting the will of our Lord. We are available as His servants whenever He needs us, even if that means being consumed. Like the onions’ distinct aroma, we bear the aroma of Christ. We are stronger (smelling) together! To some the aroma is pleasing, to others completely unappealing. Although we may spend our whole lives rooted in one spot, serving in the same region our parents did, we also may be transplanted by the Gardener to spread our kind in new and distant soil. As we grow, it’s not due to our own power and self-sufficiency. We are dependent on the One who gives sun, rain, and all increase. (1 Cor. 3:7)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday: A Spoonful of Sugar

Sometimes it's just nice to have someone to tie up the loose ends. This morning, David was making Orange Stuff for Michael's birthday dinner, but didn't have time to finish it before homeschool co-op. I agreed to finish making it for him. After they left, I found this on the table:

 Can you read it? It says: liz for makeing orange stuff
Made me smile!

PS: At age 11, David is one of our best cookie dough makers.

7 Home Alone 2

We had one week to pull it off, and I have to say it was only by the grace of God that we did. Considering that we did the last one in 24 hours, you'd think it would've been a breeze, but no. Drama, you know. Still, it was a lot of fun. Love these people! Anyway, enjoy our sequel...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Can I brag on my clubbers?

I love these people.

Yessiree, those are first-place ribbons for our first-time-ever first-place Sparkies. Yeah! I had so much fun being on the line as a coach with them. They are just precious.

And these people...
...did so well! 
The competition was so tight between all 4 teams, that even the 4th place team (us) won quite a few games. The girls did especially well. Look at Laura, halfway between clubber and leader. During practices she was gracefully coaching the younger players. She makes me proud.

And speaking of people I'm proud of, two weeks prior...
David, Maddie, and Emma knew their Bible quizzing material forward and backwards, and proved it! Second year in a row as 1st place winners!
Since we didn't have any other Book Four people for Laura to quiz with, she teamed up with two other girls from two other churches. They were the best of the best. Laura made family history by finishing out her fourth year of T&T with her fourth Bible Quiz medal! When she wore them all at once my dad nicknamed her Clackety. *smile*
All our Quiz teams. Brian also did very well, with a perfect paddle score.

A big thank-you to Commander Dave, Mrs. Cory H., Mrs. Peggy N., and all the other leaders and parents. Your support was invaluable!

This Saturday is our Grand Prix (Awana's version of a Pinewood Derby). It will be our 9th consecutive week of extra Awana stuff. Whew! The practices were worth it, though. Not only did the clubbers perform better, we got to develop deeper relationships with them. I'm happy to say I can now tell the twins apart (both sets). :)

And I didn't even write about Summit, which was right in between Quizzing and Games. Well, in case you were wondering, I'm very proud of Stephanie too. That deserves a whole 'nother post.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15