Thursday, December 30, 2010

After a Day of Fun

After running, packing, shopping, swimming, resting, going down the slide, swimming again, snacking, swimming again...little Elliot just couldn't finish his pizza.

A little video of what many of us might feel like after the holidays...

He eventually fell asleep in Brian's arms, and then slept on Aunt Suzanne's lap until it was time to take a bath and get PJs on for bedtime.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow on Snow

In the Bleak Midwinter, Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
1. In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

2. Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

3. Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

4. What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Building a Pond

The kids and I went to watch their uncles and grandpa build a pond on great grandpa Ferguson's pasture. This time of year we like to look for reasons to get out of the house as much as we can, even if it means lots of dirty clothes and muddy vehicles (inside and out). Getting ready to leave for anywhere can take up to 30 minutes of putting on boots,outdoor gear, and getting into car seats. Next winter Ezra will hopefully be able to dress himself, but for this winter, it is quite the process to get anywhere. The process of getting ready is an event itself.

Grandpa is building up an old drive way with dirt taken from inside the pond.
This fence row at one time had a wild plum tree that Grandma Ferguson and I picked plums from to make jam one summer. I remember her standing on a five gallon bucket to pick them, and handing them to me.

The valley where the upper pond will be. I grew up on a farm on the other side of the hill on the horizon. Grandpa and Grandma Ferguson lived just a mile away.

Uncles Mark, Mike and BJ getting their "core" of the pond approved. I don't know a lot about dirt work, but I've learned that this has to be made with clay (as opposed to top soil) and deep enough so that the pond doesn't leak.

The boys in their car seats. It is a tight fit!

Riding with grandpa.

Once the core of the pond was approved, uncle Mike started pushing clay on top of it to build up the dike of the pond.

The boys are in the tractor with grandpa, and Uncle Mark is filling their scraper with dirt.

Uncle Mike and BJ building up the dike on the upper pond. You can see the lower pond below is already built.

Zachary with uncle Mark in the back hoe.

Uncle Mike driving dozer.

The boys like watching home videos just as much as cartoons and movies. Here is a video of Grandpa, Ezra and Elliot stuck n the tractor, while Uncle BJ pushes them out with the dozer.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Sabbath from Sabbath

This morning we get a break from our normal Sunday routines, due to the blizzard conditions, which also created a beautiful sundog in the sky.

Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

-Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pie & Friends, Younger & Older

Pie goes well with anything, especially this time of year, and especially with friends. We've had the opportunity to share pie and coffee in the past few weeks meeting new friends, younger and older.

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving we enjoyed helping host the first ever Sully CRC Turkey Bowl: a council vs. youth group football game. Though it was intended to be a backyard-style friendly game, the competition was fierce. (Well, at least from my husband, who was determined to give the youth group a good run). Afterward we enjoyed pumpkin pie and coffee with other spectators and cheerleaders. Ezra was singing the Cupid Shuffle the next day, so I think the spectators must have had a good time too.

This week we've hosted three morning coffee times in our home for widow and widowers, and had the chance to get to know 20 older friends over pie and coffee too. We heard lots of funny Christmas memories, shared a nativity story from the Jesus Storybook Bible, and a Christmas duet (Selah's O Come O Come Emmanuel) from Brian and I. The pies, made by servant-hearted volunteers who agreed to help, were amazing. And babysitters and a friend in the kitchen helped everything go smoothly.

We could always go for another slice of pie, so hopefully we'll get to participate in these events again next year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

May Be in Them

The following video was played during our worship service at Sully CRC yesterday, finalizing a study on scripture passages about "Life Together."

The scripture text is John 17, Christ's prayer for the church shortly before being arrested and making the journey to the cross.

The funny logo on the screen (which wasn't in the worship service!) is due to going from power point, to a video format, to a media down loader, and finally to blogger.

It is powerful to see the gospel of Christ at work in our lives every day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

From the Word to the Heidelberg

Both Brian and I enjoy thinking of new ways to teach the Heidelberg Catechism that are meaningful and relate to life. It sometimes seems like this document is becoming something of the past. We are passionate that it defines our identity as a church, and are always looking for new ways to learn from it.

The other day one of our friends from seminary sent this link from Sovereign Grace Ministries.

You can also download it here.

I'm not planning on making my kids memorize questions and answers (Q & A), but I think this song might be on our "Ochsner Fam Play List."

"The Heidelberg Cat has been around but now it's seem like it is coming back."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Taking a Break

Wise quotes from Winnie the Pooh:

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"”

“When having a smackerel of something with a friend, don't eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out.”

“Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Karl and Kristin Got Hitched

We had so much fun at Karl and Kristin's wedding last weekend! We have enjoyed getting to know them, and I am excited to have five brothers married to wonderful sister-in-laws. This was also Brian and I's last sibling to be married.

Brian served as both the pastor and brother-in-law at this wedding. Kristin is a member of Sully CRC and was one of the folks who passed Brian's name to the search committee over a year ago. This weekend we celebrated a wedding, Ezra's three-year birthday, and the one-year anniversary of our first interview with Sully CRC. It was a very special weekend. And, it was handy to run across the yard to grab things from home, since the wedding was at Sully CRC!

We were also blessed to have Brian's mom and dad around to help us out over the weekend.

Rachel and Amelia showing off their "Karl and Kristin got Hitched" koozies.
I was honored to be a bridesmaid with her sisters and friends. Emily, on my left, is also one of my sister-in-laws, since my younger brothers married first cousins! If this is confusing, I understand.

Taking pictures in the back of the sanctuary.

Me and my handsome boys.

Brian and the couple at rehearsal.

Ezra and his cake at rehearsal supper.

Another Four Wheeler Driver

We've got another four wheeler driver. At first, Ezra was excited. Then he decided it wasn't fun to share a pretty special toy with a little brother, Elliot.

You can see Ezra's first four wheeler drive here

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Karl Can Home Video

Here is the video that I put together for Karl's wedding this weekend. It is fun to see how little Kurt and Karl were at one time.

Growing up on a farm provided a lot of unique experiences for us, and a lot of risky situations. I'd like to point out that, yes, Kurt trips over a dead hog on the "Karl can... climb a grain bin" clip. And yes, that is them jumping off of a dresser. I think this is funny, but I'm sure if you didn't grow up taking a lot of risks, it probably isn't. Now that I'm a parent of boys, I'm making decisions about how much risk I let them take.

Parents are surrounded by warning labels and contraptions that help control children. I agree with Teddy Roosevelt, "Far better is it to dare mighty things than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Movie: Babies

I'm curious if anyone has seen this movie. It is fascinating to see the different cultures on the film trailer. The beginning, when the two kids are fighting, makes me laugh. It reminds me that kids can be raised in such different cultures, but still have the same problems, except maybe the goat drinking out of the bath water. :)

If I had time, I'd love a TV channel of this! It is beautiful to see the children, and reminds me how we are a part of such a big world.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three Month & Three Year Pics

I shot three month and three year pictures last weekend while in Grand Rapids. The backyard of the Buys' house was beautiful, and the boys were too. :)

Michigan Vacation, Part 3

We stopped by our first home, which was just a few houses down from where we stayed, and took a few pictures in the Ginko tree leaves on our old front yard. We were glad to see they weren't rakin' the leaves off the yard any quicker than we did.

In 2007, Ezra was born when the Ginko leaves turned yellow, and by the time we made it home from the hospital the front yard was full of them, so began the tradition of taking pictures in the Ginko leaves. If we were to ever plant a tree, this would be our first choice!

Here is a little photo journal of each year. It is fun to see how much Ezra grew each year!

October 2007
(notice his blankie is brand now has all four corners chewed off)

October 2008

October 2009

October 2010