Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blood, sweat, and tears of joy packed away

Packing up the Danforth Christian Academy today. The familiar melancholy revisits my heart as it faithfully does at the end of each year as a teacher. Bittersweetness runs through my brain as I file away meticulously colored pictures of the Mayflower, joyous brushstrokes of flowers in fields, homework splattered with tears of frustration, crayola colors of hunting with Daddy, coffee-spilt arithmetic, crinkled and wrinkled memory verses, stacks of sight words. I have loved you, year of 2011-2012. I have loved each moment of homeschooling my babes. Thank you, God, for this year of sweetness, this year of richness, this year of depth with these little souls entrusted me. I trust you know I've done my best with the gift of your grace. I look at these little desks, these little chairs, and reflect on the hours we have spent in this den of learning. A treasure in my heart forever...these hours of brain expansion, of character building, of Mommyness when I didn't think I could do it. 
Thank you God. Your gifts have been good.

Inventions of a 2nd grade something

Elaina's creative side has taken over now that school is out.  Here's a sampling of just today's creations.

Necklace for Mommy.

Spicing up plain Jane barrettes.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Beyond Organic" Farms

Saturday... a perfect day to visit and support several local organic farms.  The Strawberry Hills farm claims to be "beyond organic".  They are experimenting more and more with companion farming, so, for example, they plant basil next to tomatoes and the insects that are normally drawn to tomato plants are deterred by the basil.  Loved it.

They play classical music for each section of farm land.

Companion Gardens 

Sam teased this gobbler by calling to it.

And it called back :)

Experimenting with Yellow Jacket traps

We held an experiment of our own.  Abrielle cut up beets from the "beyond organic" farm and beets from a local store.  We tasted each and voted on the better tasting ones...unfortunately the local store won :)

What my kids ate, what I ate.

Here's what my kids ate for supper the other night.  What kind of mother makes this combination?

 Here's what the adults ate.  Half-priced sushi...sounds scary, but we survived!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God..."  Acts 2:46-47

This is the description we get of the foundation of the early church.  The fellowship was deep, the atmosphere joyous, and the result was spiritual growth and awe.  Last week in Iowa with our family and church family was deep, joyous, and spiritually impactful for us both.  How GOOD it was to be back, breaking bread with our family and home church body and to hear of how good God has been to the people we love and how our friends and family have perservered in faith while we have been away.  At times, our topic of conversation was sobering and at times truly joyful.  All the time, however, it felt so GOOD and so RIGHT to hear their stories of God's faithfulness in their lives and to share our own stories.  Scroll down and check out some of the super joyous times!
Uncle Sam and Uncle Josh team up to give the Cousins a thrilling night ride in the pasture!

Water balloon launcher!
Crazy Father's Day Photo Scavenger Hunt
Raspberry picking for the scavenger hunt
Crazy Danforths!
We are so excited about the beautiful bride God provided for Grandpa.
Flower Girl cousins
Ring Bearer cousins

We met our nephew, William!  What a cutie!
On Father's Day, Caleb formally shared his testimony of how God has done a 180 in his life this year.
Truly one of the most incredible and meaningful things for an older sister to hear from the lips of her younger brother.
Ahhhh, and friends, sweet friends.  Grace Brethren welcomed us back; some with tears, others with bear hugs.
So loved.
Geocashing :)

Loved loved loved seeing smiles we have missed!

Super sweet fellowship with as many people as we could squeeze into a week.

Sam and Karen even fit in a ping-pong challenge :)

Thank you, sweet friends and family, we loved being reunited with you each!