Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the flowers fade and wither....

I need weeks like this...
 a week full of beauty... 
a week to focus on Jesus and his sacrifice... 
a week to focus on loving others... 
a week to lift my hands and believe again...

Earlier today I was thinking I needed Holy Week every week. It's true...I do need to focus on Jesus every single day. But there is something special and sacred about times like advent and lent and Holy Week. If it happened all the time, it would lose it's appeal.

As I walked through the park this week, which is in full bloom, I began to wish the trees were always pink. But then they wouldn't be special and I wouldn't appreciate them as much. This week, I am enjoying a daily stroll through them.



Same with Mt. Hood....it's a good thing we can't always see it, because when it appears, it's majestic and beautiful.


And the tulip fields... so pretty. I look forward to them all year.



These things will pass. This season, this holiday, these blooms....they will all pass. Even we will pass.

All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord stands forever. 
I Peter 1:24-25



Monday, April 14, 2014

A Few Ideas for Holy Week

Here are some of the things we'll be doing this week - to keep our focus on Jesus and his sacrifice for us


daily devotions around our cradle to cross wreath






time for response as we draw and listen to music about God's grace




worship God through song - both listening, singing and playing
the girls will be learning to play "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" on their violin



earn beans by loving God, loving our neighbors and having a good attitude
They can also earn beans by doing acts of kindness (extra chores) and we'll likely have a "bean blitz" every day as part of school. During the "bean blitz", we turn on some music, set a timer for 15-20 minutes and see how much housework we can get done. Then I reward them with extra beans in their jar. These beans will turn into jelly beans on Easter morning.





make and deliver lemon poppyseed bread to our neighbors



learn the story of Jesus' last week through creative means
Ever heard of resurrection eggs? We've never used them until this year. I wanted a creative, fun way to teach my 4-5 year old class at church and had the girls help me put these together. I think the putting them together impacted my girls in a big way. They had fun finding things to represent the parts of the story and can tell the story themselves. 

1. donkey and palm leaves for Palm Sunday  2. silver coins to represent the 30 pieces of silver Judas earned for betraying Jesus.   3. bread and wine (lego) to represent the Last Supper    4. scroll to represent Jesus' prayer in the garden     5. whip to represent Jesus being whipped     6. crown to represent the crown of thorns     7. nails to represent Jesus being nailed to a cross    8. dice to represent the casting of lots    9. spear to represent Jesus being pierced in the side    10. ribbon to represent Jesus being wrapped in linen     11. rock to represent the stone sealing the tomb    12. empty egg to represent and empty tomb




make and deliver a meal to a friend in need


create an Easter garden
This has become a tradition for us. We make one in our yard and roll away the stone on Easter morning.
I've also started make a potted version for our church entrance.

 I even made kid-friendly ones in my 4-5 year old class at church yesterday. 
We used a plastic gladware  container filled with dirt. I planted a pansy and alyssum, used a plastic egg as the tomb and made a cross out of sticks (you could use popsicle sticks).



paint a batch of "spring" rocks for our front garden 
the neighbors and passersby pick them up and take them with them
(we did this last summer and more than 100 rocks were painted and given out)



I'd love to hear what ideas you use to teach your kids about Holy Week....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Whatever is Lovely


…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy –
think about such things.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday ~ Stretch


giving my brain a workout today
writing this post in phrases of 
six words using the theme stretch
sharing five random thoughts with you


1. tulips stretching as far as the eye
can see...row after row planted




2. still thinking of all the ways
the trip to Thailand stretched me...
It's always good to get out
of our comfort zones and experience
life in a different way and
see things we don't usually see.





3. Right now I can think of 
many ways God is stretching me...
as a mom, wife, sister, daughter...
creatively, spiritually, intellectually, musically and more!



4. Stretching your body and your self
can yield great benefits....I find 
that the act of stretching prepares 
me for the work of growth.



5. if you devote your heart and
stretch out your hands to him, 
if you put away the sin 
that is in your hand and 
allow no evil to dwell in 
your tent, then you will lift 
up your face without shame; you 
will stand firm and without fear. 
job 11:13-15




Linking with Six Word Fridays, Random 5 Friday 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April


taking a moment to find joy in the little things

{pretty}
I love all the phases of spring.
You have the early blooming trees and flowers,
followed by the next phase, and then the next....
right now there is no lack of beauty






for more "pretty", check out my instagram photos
spring is in full bloom here in the Pacific Northwest






{happy}
We've had some fantastic weather this week - we took some time to play in the garden



and one day I looked out the window and saw my girl reading her Bible in the yard




{real}
I really can't believe it's almost Easter....every year I want to have a grand plan for Holy Week but I just haven't taken the time to figure out what I want to do this year. 

We've been very slow at re-entering our regular life and schedule since returning from Thailand. First it was major jet-lag and lingering gi issues from the trip. Then 3 of 4 of us have taken turns being sick (sore throat, cough, runny nose...). Is there such a thing as normal?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Black and White ~ A Simple Weed


"A weed is but an unloved flower."  ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Even though I moan when I see them growing in my yard, there is something attractive about dandelions. They can add so much color to a pasture and when they've gone to seed, they are begging to be picked and blown. 

I live in a pretty mild climate, so dandelion season starts early. I snapped a photo of a dead dandelion the other day and then decided to edit it in black and white. I also decided to crop it differently than normal and think the result is pretty striking.

What do you think?


Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday 


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flowers of Thailand

If you know me at all, you know that one of my favorite subjects to photograph is flowers. I was in photography heaven in Thailand, with all new flowers to capture.

Enjoy....























The following were taken with my iphone and posted to instagram, so most have a filter of some sort.