Saturday, April 30, 2011

Packing, Packing, Packing

Since I've taken it easy this week, today is a full day.  I'm packing for the next week, for a quick trip to Mom and Dads' and for an indefinite stay in Indiana.  Piles here, piles there, laundry going, lists posted everywhere, plans to be made, people to call, partly-finished projects waiting for my attention, letter-writing materials covering my desk, lunch waiting to be eaten...  Then, I look over at the easy chair in my bedroom, and this is what I see.

Mighty tempting!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Musical Afternoon

While writing music is interesting, it is also time consuming, challenging and often frustrating.  There's nothing like listening to the finished product to make it all worthwhile.  Kim and I spurred each other on this afternoon with few concrete results.  We enjoyed the process anyway.

Kim in Creative Mode
(Or is it Ponderous Editing Mode?)

Royal Wedding Party

Well, I was amongst those crazy enough to get up at 3:00 in the morning to watch the royal wedding on YouTube.  When I got the invitation earlier in the week, I thought it was a joke.  First of all, I have been so out of touch that I had no idea that the wedding date was here already.  Second, I couldn't imagine hauling myself out of bed in the middle of the night to watch two people I've never met and likely will never meet say, "I do" or "I will" or whatever.  However, I set my alarm, got up when it went off, drove a few blocks to the house of our hostess and joined a small group of ladies that had likely gone through all the same thought processes through which I had been.  Turns out, it was fun!  There was something kind of magical about the whole thing.  I hope everything goes well for them and that they can weather the storms that they are sure to face in their life together.  Now I believe it's time for bed!

Lunch with Kim & Jennifer

Rose made a lovely lunch for four today - swiss steak, baked potatoes, asparagus, jello salad.  Kim and Jennifer will head for Brownstown convention grounds tomorrow and then on to their fields for the next little while.  Nice to see them before they take off.

Rose, Kim, Jennifer

Rose, Kamela, Jennifer

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's Ahead

While in Missouri, I received an e-mail telling me that I would be heading to Indiana at the beginning of May.  I will be in the west central field with Janet Nicol.  I don't know how long I'll be there nor do I know many of the friends in that area.  However, none of that really matters.  I'll go prepared to stay for however long I'm needed, and at the end of my time there, I will know more people than I know now.  Glad we can feel at home no matter where we go.  It's a wonderful family!

A few Special Meeting gems

We had wonderful meetings and visits on our rounds.  There was too much for me to retain, but I'm thankful for some special impressions left with me.

  • A blind man graciously allowing others to help him with the smallest of tasks
  • A teenage girl helping her mother without being asked
  • People welcoming me, a stranger, into their home and gladly sharing all that is theirs with me  (There were 180 people that I met by being in their homes if I counted correctly.)
  • A couple telling stories of life in the country they had been forced to leave and living joyfully in the present because of what is in their heart
  • A man caring for his wife and all the household duties saying, "I don't know how she did it all those years."  Her response was, "You're doing just fine, honey."  A beautiful picture of mutual appreciation
  • A man who directed the dinnertime conversation to the testimonies of the workers seated at the table
  • Costly messages shared in meetings by those who had labored to have bread
Just a few thoughts from our meetings:
  • We want to separate ourselves from things that don't belong in the presence of God.
  • It's not so much about what we do for Jesus as what we do with Him.
  • We are not responsible for others; we are responsible to others.
  • God reacts not to the mood of a situation but to the need of the situation.
  • Peacemakers can go anywhere and be a help.
  • We can give people our light; we can't give them our oil.
  • You don't sing, "God Save the Queen" in America; it's not the right anthem.  You can only sing that song in England.  We can only sing the songs of Zion when we're in Zion.
  • We dare to invest our living, our time, our affection, our trust, our all in God's Kingdom because we believe He's coming again.
  • Pointing fingers doesn't lift any burdens.
Amazing days!  Lots to do now!

Napkin Folding 101

A nice addition to any table is a fancily folded napkin.  Professor Julie taught me two different ways to turn an ordinary napkin into a piece of art.  

A rose

The learning process

Teacher and student hard at work

 Bird of paradise

And at mealtime, it's even okay to use them!

Supper with Stephanie and Elisa

Notice how many of these posts revolve around eating?  That's not a coincidence.  That's what seemed to occupy a great part of our trip.  Once all the rain stops, I absolutely must start waddling, I mean walking.

A fancy table

Close-up of the stemware ornaments

Topping off our supper with a trip to the ice cream shop downtown Kirksville

Thanks ladies!  It was great!

A Donut Stop

When your hosts own a donut shop, your breakfast is secure.  Liz and I made a trip in to the Donut Stop while Julie stayed home with the baby.  Making donuts is an interesting process, and this particular shop is quite popular.  If you're ever in St. Louis, I highly recommend that you stop by for a mouthwatering treat.

Liz custom makes a special caramel custard donut.

I'll have one of these and one of these and one of these and...

A stop worth making!

The Feeding of Caelyn

Everything begins well.  Caelyn is enjoying her green goop.  (Sorry, Liz.  I don't remember what it was!)


What's going on back there?

Ummm.  This is starting to get old.

"Open wide," says Julie.  "Like this."

Oops!  "Here, I'll help you clean the tray."

 All cleaned up and ready for some post-supper exercise.

Gateway Arch

Julie Harthorn and I made a quick trip to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, making us slightly late for our supper engagement.  Thankfully our hosts were very forgiving.

 Lewis and Clark

 Not a whole lot of room for an entire family and all their belongings!

Julie, my partner in crime

A Beautiful Walk

Taking a little walk in the country near Marble Hill, Missouri was just the ticket before the Wednesday night Special Meeting at Friedheim.

One of my walking companions

A great place to sit, relax and think



The road back home

Another sign of spring



Lots of babies around!  These puppies were pretty cute as well.

I did at least change out of my meeting skirt.


What could be cuter than kittens?

I named this guy Marco Polo.  He was more interested in exploring than in being held.

Spring comes to Arkansas

Dogwoods in bloom