Sunday, July 20, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ July 20, 2014

Let's dive right in, shall we?

{Pretty} and {Happy}

I have such trouble separating the {pretty} from the {happy} each week, and today I'm not even going to try.  Beauty gives me joy, which isn't exactly the same thing as saying pretty things make me happy, but we'll just go with it, okay?

We are still getting settled in to our new living space.  Each day we make a little more progress.  I think the major tasks in the house (as opposed to the garage, yard, etc.) are completed.  We are now down to finishing touches (assuming a house can ever be really finished. . .) and soon I will be able to show pictures.  But here is a preview:

The flowers are from the property and include horsemint, phlox, Queen Anne's lace, and black-eyed Susans, plus some sort of grasses.  I do like wildflowers, don't you?


Last week, Dave was at the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education conference on the campus of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  The Concordia campus is so pretty!  He took a series of pictures of the four separate windows commemorating important Lutheran theologians.  These windows, from left to right, are for someone whose name I can't make out, then Paul Gerhard, Martin Chemnitz, and Philip Melancthon, all three Lutheran giants.


An insurance company which has its headquarters in our town maintains a large garden which is open to the public.  It must keep two or three gardeners very busy in good weather!  We had such nice weather last week that the evening after Dave returned from the conference, we headed to the gardens to soak in some beauty and evening sunshine.  Here is just a sampling:


This weeping Norway spruce is the funniest-looking tree I ever saw!


For various reasons, I didn't get to go to the educational conference last week (boo hoo!), so I didn't get to hear Dr. Gene Edward Veith, author and provost/literature professor at Patrick Henry College, speaking on George Herbert, Anglican priest and poet.  Dave did, though.  At least I get to see this picture, right?  


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Sunday, July 13, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ July 13, 2014

Joining Rosie at Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr} . . .


It's July, so of course, I have pictures of flowers.  My in-laws always encouraged wildflowers on their property, and now we are reaping the benefits.  The first is the ever popular black-eyed Susan (though Dave says they are brown-eyed Susans.  Is this a legitimate difference?  I don't know . . .)  I'm not sure what the second one is.  It's rather thistle-like, isn't it, but I don't think it is a true thistle.  Maybe we should ask Eeyore.


In the midst of the big events this spring, some pots of half-filled with soil were left on the deck underneath the bird feeder.  At first, we just left them there because we were busy with more pressing things and hadn't gotten around to moving them yet.  Then we noticed sunflowers were sprouting!  The messy birds had scattered some seeds and they took root.  So now, thanks to the birds, we have four pots of beautiful sunflowers smiling at us from outside a dining room window!  This method of "gardening" is proving so successful that I think I will "accidentally" leave some more pots of soil in the same spot next spring!


I've been deep in the throes of cleaning out and reorganizing the laundry/sewing room.  I'm almost finished and will share pictures soon.  I found this little fellow in a cupboard, secured in a plastic bag along with a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit.  I knew right away it must have belonged to my husband or his brother.  There was quite a (friendly) dispute about the bear's identity and ownership (Was it Dave's bear, Shostakovich?  Or his brother's bear, Pooh?) which was only settled by appealing to the highest of authorities, their mother.  It is indeed Pooh.  Isn't he a sweet little guy?

This bear is definitely Real!


I hardly ever break things, but this past week I broke two things on one day!  So sad!

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ July 6, 2014

We are still in the process of settling into our new quarters.  This week I tackled the books (which was no small undertaking, let me tell you!).  I really want to show you the house, but it is far from ready.  Moving into a house that still has all the contents of the previous tenants completely intact means that before we can unpack any particular box or arrange any particular room, we first have to go through what's already there. (By way of reminder: we are living in my in-laws' house after the death of my father-in-law and my mother-in-law moving to assisted living.  We moved here to be near her.)

Anyway, on to the pictures!


About a month ago, I shared some pictures of paintings and a hooked rug hanging in the house that were made by Dave's maternal grandmother.  His maternal grandfather, Luman Kelsey, was likewise an artist~ a painter, sculptor, and potter.  There are so many of his pieces here that I can't show them all, but I'll share a few favorites.

St. Francis is carved from wood and the children
from stone of some sort (?).  Soapstone, perhaps?
The lamp base was also made by Dave's grandfather.

Maybe this girl is throwing a kiss.

These pictures are done with pencil and watercolors.  There are a total of eight depicting scenes of life in the Virgin Islands during World War II.  The family had gone to visit when my mother-in-law was very small and had gotten stuck there for two years because of the outbreak of World War II!  She says she never understood the song, "Yes, We Have No Bananas," because in the Virgin Islands, that was about all they had!
I apologize for the poor lighting.  They are in a back hall with no natural light.

"The Gossips"

"Crop Time"
I plan to have these framed in such a way as to better preserve them (I hope!).


The son of some long-time friends is coming to the University of Missouri in the fall, and they were here for freshman orientation last week.  They came for dinner and a general catch-up.  It's such a blessing to see young adults that we knew as small children grown up and taking their places in the world and living for Christ.  The daughter has just graduated from college and has an excellent job in her field.  My prayer for them and my own children is that they may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom they shine as lights in the world. (Phil. 2:15, adapted from the ESV).


This also makes me happy!

It's the pantry, obviously, all freshly cleaned out and organized!  See the canning jars on the top shelf grouped by size?  See how like items are gathered together?  See how there is room to stock up?  Be still my heart.


This next picture is from a couple weeks ago when we were visiting Lizzie, Justin, and Arane.  I guess this is what happens when a mathematician plays sidewalk chalk with his little girl:


Dave's office/guest room~

There is so much to do in here, including the building of bookshelves.  We had sixty-five boxes of books!  They have all found homes now except for a few strays and what you see in these boxes.  Someday I'll show you a picture of the finished room . . .

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 22, 2014

Lots to show this week.  A particular little granddaughter had a birthday recently, so we made a trip to help her and her parents celebrate. We had lots of fun, and it was nice to take a break from unpacking!


Here's the birthday girl.  Isn't she darling?

Arane turned two years old, and she is a sweet little imp. So funny and inventive! My mother, Arane's great-grandmother, made the trip with us.  Arane didn't remember her from the last visit, but it didn't take her long to warm up to Great-grandma.    It was a blessing to have four generations all together!

I hope I look this good when I'm eighty-four!


Birthday hats, a sprinkler and friends to play with, cupcakes and ice cream . . . what more do you need to have a successful birthday party?

Aunty Hannah was {happy} to see everyone!

We also celebrated Father's Day together.  Dave was thrilled to get a replacement for his beloved, defunct popcorn popper.

And Justin had a little help opening his present.  After all, she had spent a good part of the days previous practicing her present-opening technique.


When it's bath time for the stuffed animals, the most propitious way to dry them is to hang them by their ears on clothesline.


Sometimes when you try to take pictures of a perpetually moving toddler, all you get is the backside of her dress . . .

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ June 8, 2014

I didn't post the last two weeks because we were deep in moving mode.  We have been here one week, so I'll share some pictures of the beauty and the chaos.

We are living in my in-laws' house.  My father-in-law died in April, and my mother-in-law has gone, at her request, to an assisted living facility.  We moved to be near her and watch over her and are living in her house, again at her request.  It is a beautiful, peaceful place in Dave's hometown and our beloved Midwest. Missouri, to be precise.


As I write, I'm sitting on the screened-in sleeping porch off of our new bedroom.  This is what I see:

The house sits on a pond and, except for a moderately sized lawn, is otherwise surrounded by trees.  I just heard a fish splash in the water, the birds are singing, and the peepers are peeping.  I feel so blessed to be here!


You know how after you move there is just so much to be done?  All at once?  And it all is screaming for attention?  So practically the first thing I did was plant flowers.  I must have flowers.  No matter how disorganized the rest of the house is, if I have flowers, I feel in control.  It's my way of planting our family's flag in the new land, of staking our claim.  "This is home,"  the flowers proclaim.


Both of Dave's maternal grandparents were artists, and this house is chock full of amazing original paintings, sculptures, and pottery pieces.  Here are a few paintings done by his grandmother, Dorothea Kelsey.  I think these are my favorite, though it's hard to choose!  (This link tells a little about Dorothea, though there is more about her husband and Dave's grandfather, Luman Kelsey.  I'll show some of his work next week.)


Boxes and boxes and more boxes . . .

It's a good thing that smashed one in the middle is labeled "pots and pans" and not "good china"!

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 18, 2014

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr} . . .


I haven't taken many pictures this week (more on that in a minute), so I snitched this one from Lizzie.

This little sweetie will be two years old in less than a month.  In about three months, she'll be a big sister!  People always say grandchildren are a blessing, and you know what?  They are absolutely correct!


Now we are skipping straight to {real}, the reason being that we are moving!

Moving was not something we had planned to do in 2014.  I mean, it was not on our agenda for the year, but events transpired to bring it about.  First, Dave's father died in April after a rapidly progressing illness.  Then, out of necessity, his mother went to an assisted living facility.  On a scale of retirement apartment to full-out nursing home, it falls somewhere in the middle.  We explored other options, and this is the one she chose.  But we will all be happier if we are close by.  So it's off to Missouri where we will be living in her house and keeping an eye on it and her.  

It's hard to leave the congregation we have grown to love these past three years.  Two congregations, really, as we added Sunday afternoon services at a local retirement home eighteen months ago.  We have met some dear people who have enriched our lives, and we will miss them. Our last Sunday is next week, and we will head to Missouri at the end of the month.

Ministry opportunities in our new home are already in the planning stages.  It is not possible for my husband to be anywhere and not be spreading the Gospel and caring for peoples' souls.  And I'm blessed to be right there beside him, helping and encouraging as I can.

So now we are packing up our worldly possessions, and there are boxes everywhere.  We are in the "chaos" stage of moving, which I decidedly don't like but which I know we will be in for awhile yet.  Prayers are coveted. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ May 11, 2014

It's time for {phfr}!


Our little apple trees bloomed recently.  We planted these trees three springs ago, so they are still very small, but the blooms are lovely!
Is there anything lovelier than an apple blossom?

I always enjoy the initial exuberance of dandelions in spring.  They don't take turns to bloom; oh, no, they all burst out at once.  A poem on this phenomenon from my mother-in-law, Sylvia Spotts~

Spring Puzzle

Who threw all those
big yellow buttons
on our yard?
And what's that curve
of funny colors
on the sky?

They weren't here before.
I know, for I was
on guard.
But now, here they are.
Who did it, I wonder--
and why?


I am happy I finished this dress for my granddaughter.  I used Simplicity's New Look A6578.  Is it just me, or is sewing clothing much harder than any other kind of sewing?  The minimalist instructions included in patterns are little help to novices like me.  Thank goodness for Youtube!  


This was my first experience with interfacing, and I tackled my very first buttonholes with this dress.  They turned out pretty well, but I'm glad the buttons cover them.  They are functional, and that's the main thing.

Now tomorrow I'll put this in the mail for her.  I hope she likes it!


Speaking of growing things, our old rusty pick-up had some remainders of compost and soil in the bed leftover from the fall.  When the weather got warm, this happened:


Sorry for the awful light.  It was dark when I took these.
The last thing I did to the aforementioned dress was to sew on the buttons.  I was absolutely, positively sure I had two striped buttons.  But then I couldn't find the second one!  So I used a polka-dotted button instead.  The mismatched buttons are cute, right?  Right??

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