closer to the clouds

31 October 2007

Mulling it over

I have been mulling over something for a few days... opportunity.

This past weekend we watched the movie Evan Almighty. The movie makes the suggestion that when we pray for something God doesn't necessarily provide what we have asked him for (ie. patience) He provides the opportunity for us to choose to be patient.

Opportunity is a word that has a lot of scope and for vision and hope. This idea (from Evan Almighty) came to my thoughts again this morning as I continued my journey through the early part of the New Testament. Specifically, I was reading the story of the burning bush and Moses' responses and arguments back to God. God certainly gives Moses the opportunity to act through his fear; as well as many other opportunities at character building. In the next chapter the whole thing blows up when Pharaoh asks "Who do you think you are?" and the Israelites wonder why he ever came back to them and he says to God, "You haven't even begun to rescue them!" Opportunity...

How does that old saying go... "when opportunity knocks..."?

I am anxious to see how God continues to stir my heart over this whole idea... wondering what His specific opportunity to me will be ... and for the grace to accept it as His invitation to something greater in Him, with Him... like Moses (and Evan!).

Any thoughts on opportunity?


29 October 2007

Apple Tale

I finally got my apple sauce made for the year. It was so difficult to find apples in a large quantity at a reasonable price. We have come to rely on the fruit/veggies I can during the summer for the winter months. So, it was hard to think about not making any applesauce especially since I wasn't able to do peaches or pears or tomatoes this summer. Audrey was glad to make sure the apples were tasty enough for sauce.

Don't you love it when you get a special blessing from God that you know He gave to you because you would understand would know He had it in mind particularly for you? Well that happened when I went to get the apples at Target. They had honey crisp apples on sale for $.99/lb. These apples are amazing and they are usually at least $4/lb. So I decided to try apple sauce out of these. I usually use golden delicious. Anyway, we went to Target and I asked if they would give me a deal if I bought a whole box. She agreed and took me up to check out. We had agreed on $30. When they tried to ring it up the most it would register as was $11. So, the produce gal said, "just give it to her." Amazing... $11 for 40 lbs of the most amazing apples.
That was awesome, but it got better.

The sauce turned out incredible but for multiple reasons I only ended up with 8 jars of apple sauce. (Not good!) I felt doubly blessed when I realized that not only were the apples God's special gift to me, but also his protection. It would have been a terrible use of our resources to spend $30 on apples for 8 jars of apple sauce.

I felt so loved by him and I will worship and love him each time we crack open one of those 8 special jars of apple sauce. You might say, "It's only apple sauce." But, I think it is much much more...being known and loved and cherished and romanced and fought for... being His.

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The fun of it

I deal with some tension about halloween. There is so much fun to be had during this time of year, but the scary side of it is really scary. We have found some of the fun of it over these last few days.

The Denglers came down for dinner and a fun fall festival called Neewalloh Palooza. It was hosted by a church that our friends attend. We all had a great time even though the noise level was insane and the emcee was a little hopped up on sugar.

S'mores - yes, it was last minute


25 October 2007


Today we went to the library. Since we have such a love of books and reading this was a very welcome place to find ourselves. This was the scene once we returned; truly one of my favorite sights...

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23 October 2007

Leave of Absence

It is amazing to me that a week has gone by since my last post.
I had planned on being a better blogger but our house got hit with some crazy virus that ate us alive - well, not quite, but we did lose a few days.

So, last Wednesday was my birthday.
It started out wonderful and ended terrible.

It began with a lovely sunrise walk, a delicious hot breakfast and a pumpkin spice latte (in my favorite mug - thanks Dave) from the most handsome and charming barista on the planet. (It was Mark! I can't believe you thought...)

A couple hours later an old and a new friend, along with their children, came for a day of fall treat making... gourmet caramel apples, pumpkin rolls and chocolate dipped marshmallows. (My kids aren't in any of these pictures because they were either sleeping,watching "Between the Lions" or throwing up. But, my friends kids are cute too!)

Mason, the taste-tester

"Where is that end?"

sweets for the sweet

Within an hour of their arrival Ethan began to throw up (do you remember Audrey's Target episode from my last blog, well I guess she was contagious.)...what a way to greet friends. "Hi, I am so glad you are here. Can you hop over these steps, my son just barfed on them?" So, I spent the next few hours trying to balance my company in one hand (yes, they stayed!) and a barf pail in the other (poor thing). We did get our treats made and some soup for all of our dinners but by late afternoon I noticed my stomach wasn't feeling normal. Ethan wrapped up his episode around dinner time and I started at about 7pm.

Mark got the kids all to bed and helped me while trying to put in his last hours of study for his 1st mid-term exam. His study buddy (Joel, what were you thinking coming over here?) showed up with grape soda and redbull to add to the con queso and chips for a night of cramming. This got cut short - or did it? I think they were done! - when Owen started throwing up around 2am.

Thankfully, that was the end of it and by Friday afternoon we were on the mend (Except for a fluke episode for Owen - again at Target - where I was able to display my sharp vomit catching skills for the dressing room attendant. I don't think he was impressed, only nauseated.)

In the midst of it, Mark and I enjoyed a much needed and appreciated (thanks Denglers) day to ourselves in the mountains. We hiked a favorite trail of ours and got some valuable face time. I think our delight shows...

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16 October 2007

Snips and Snails

You know that saying about boys...

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of !"

What does that mean anyway?
Well, this little boy is much like a puppy these days. Mark and I have been referring to the boys as pups. They often are more like puppies than human beings... getting into things & "scrappin". Anyway, besides being very puppy-like he is completely cute!

Last night Owen picked out these new slippers...

I know, they are completely impractical and large and he has a funny walk when he wears them, but I have a soft spot in my heart for my second born (Yes, I am a middle child too!). He is the lucky receiver of quality hand-me-downs from his dearest older brother (who is mostly mean to him these days! when does that stop?) and his opportunities to receive something new are slim to none. So, when it was time for him to have a pair of slippers I decided I would interfere little in his choice (within reason). These were approved because of the price and that he could put them on himself.

I took this picture this morning just after he woke up. I had taken the tags off the slippers and set them in the living room for him. He was the first one up so we were able to enjoy a little "Lightning McQueen" worship together. Owen LOVES the "Cars" movie and most of the characters. He put on his slippers, stood up and said, "Mama, these look good." Can a 2 year old be vain? I don't think so...just cute (most of the time)!

Target was also the lovely starting place for the beginning of 4 hours of throwing up, Audrey style.
She seems ok this morning... really thirsty and having no trouble eating her toast.

I have been wondering about a milk allergy - since I weaned her and she has been on milk full time she has had REALLY messy diapers - and Mark shared his ice cream at dinner. But no fever. Thankfully she was done with the dry heaves by about 11pm and had a good night of sleep.

On a side note, this is mid-term week.
Please pray for Mark...
...that he will be able to focus and accomplish when it is time for focusing and accomplishing
...that he will be able to rest when it is time to rest

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15 October 2007

Nana and Papa Days

We had a wonderful time having nana and papa here for a few days.
Here is some of the fun...


Celebrating Audrey

our big girl's birthday...


13 October 2007

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday dear Audrey...Happy Birthday to you!
My baby girl is one today - officially at 10pm.
Amazing... her, and that her first year is over.
God has been so good.
Thank you Jesus for the precious gift of a daughter.

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12 October 2007

update to present

Thought I would make an attempt to fill in the gap between my last blog and this one...

T 10/2 - Nothing to report...can't remember that far back.

W 10/3 - Had a wonderfully refreshing coffee date with my friend Robin... we talked each other's ears off... lovely.

R 10/4 - in our attempt to make the situation God has blessed us with in Mark's work we felt we should take the next step in pursuing whether or not we should move (to decrease housing expenses)... we went to see a duplex... felt the Spirit said... "stay put...moving would be very disruptive...make it a last resort" Ahhhh... what a relief...

F 10/5 - Great day at home.

S 10/6 - Mark had a study group for mid-terms all morning. The kids and I visited a parisian outdoor market looking for apples, came home empty handed. Overall, it was kind-of an upsetting day... for many reasons.

Su 10/7 - Went to Ft. Collins to visit with Denglers (my s-i-l's family) and to pick up Mark's parents who came into town on Thursday for a visit. Came home to watch "da' BEARS" beat Green Bay. nice...

M 10/8 INSANELY FRUSTRATING DAY!!! Window installation at our house, flat tire... you can imagine. SOOOOOO thankful for the presence and help of mom and dad.

T 10/9 Went to the zoo. Literally, 1/2 of Denver was there. Couldn't understand was Tuesday for pete's sake.

W 10/10 Waited around to take Mom and Dad to the airport, went and had lunch with Mark at a job site. FINALLY, finished mailing all my ebay auction items... ugh.

R 10/11 Recovery day... wishing someone else could do my job... Holy Spirit reminded me that a change of occupation wouldn't fill me up... only He could do that. Ahhhh...

F 10/12 My never-ending pile of laundry is done! HALELLUJAH! Now, it needs to be put away. Mark and I get a date tonight (finger's crossed) if he is done in time. A gal from the seminary offered to watch the kids. We hope to go climbing at REI and drink pumpkin spice lattes.

And, here is something pretty for your soul...

Taken in RMNP July '07


02 October 2007

Food Story

I decided to add our menu to my blog.
It is like a story... our food story.

Mark said, "Why?"
I don't know why.

Maybe I want you to know what we are eating.
Maybe I am hoping you will tell me what you are eating.
Maybe I need more to do.

I love how food makes you think of times and places and people and things.
I love how the weather affects my taste for certain foods.
I love how some food tastes better when you eat it outside.

What is your food story?


Tinker Creek

Mark got me a wonderful book for Mother's Day called "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek".

It was just before Mother's Day that our world began to be "shaken , not stirred" with all the impending change... so, I am still reading the book. Actually, reading may not be the best way of describing how I am enjoying this book. I can only take in a page or so at a time. Her writing is very different from anything I have ever read. If you have you read this book I would love to hear your thoughts...

Currently, I am in this section about...well... beauty, scandalous extravagance... I am mulling it over... feasting on it, and others like it...celebrating...

"Why so many forms? (referring to created things) ... The creator goes off on one wild, specific tangent after another, or millions simultaneously, with an exuberance that would seem to be unwarranted, and with an abandoned energy sprung from an unfathomable font. What is going on here?... Freedom is the world's water and weather, the world's nourishment freely given, its soul and sap: and the creator loves pizazz."

"What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scroll work, means that there is the possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek."

" 'Nature,' said Thoreau in his journal, 'is mythical and mystical always, and spends her whole genius on the least work.' The creator...churns out the intricate texture of least works that is the world with a spendthrift genius and an extravagance of care. This is the point."

Alberta Falls - RMNP 9/22/07

PS - Thanks to Wes for the extravagant and lovely use of the "..." Using it frees me to blog with the grace of a slow thought, formed over time with plenty of pause.


To post or not to post

I feel like posting today, but find a restlessness in my spirit that keeps me from gathering my thoughts in a way that makes much sense. So, bear with my ramblings... if you want to...

...We were supposed to have new windows installed today. The installers didn't show up and when I called the company the lady asked for my name and number and said "I will call you right back." Big shock... I still haven't heard back. Anyway, this has kind-of thrown me for the day. I was expecting to have a strange kind of "be creative at making home-life work" day. I haven't done well at adjusting to a "this is a normal home-life" day. THAT is crazy.

...The boys have been playing together today in ways that are so sweet it almost makes my heart hurt. While I was folding laundry I overheard them playing "duck, duck, goose"...yes, just the two of them. Eventually, they began to include imaginary opponents. They were cheering each other on and directing each other about where to sit. At one point I heard Ethan say in a semi-exasperated tone, "Owen, you keep picking me." Even now it makes me laugh.

...Audrey is certainly becoming one - that is, one year old. October 13th it will be official, but these past few weeks I have been seeing how she won't TURN one, she is BECOMING one. She is ... well, she is Audrey. I have been feeling so utterly blessed to have a little girl.

... Mark and I are brainstorming with God about how to make our financial situation work (ie. stay out of debt) and maybe more importantly be the most honoring to the ways he has blessed us through this process of moving/starting new work/starting school... ways we can "live well". One thing we are doing is getting rid of more stuff, mostly on ebay. This week I feel lost in ebay land. I enjoy the fairly easy money, but I find myself spending WAY more time looking at a computer screen than is good for me (which is why I haven't been blogging). I have often considered an ebay business, but this week I decided it would kill my heart in some way. I am looking forward to finishing up this round of auctions and being able to move on to some other way God would have me be a part of this "living well" process.

... not to be overly general or share "unspoken requests" but please pray about a couple of significant changes we are contemplating regarding our transportation and housing... as well as, continued direction for us regarding Mark's schooling.

... Mark's parents are coming in for a visit at the end of this week. Among other wonderful things it means we will head to the mountains this weekend. I wait in great anticipation of this. My soul is somehow more free in the hills. I truly desire that our vocation/ministry in the future (or RIGHT NOW if God so pleases) will be "housed" in the heights. There, I feel more like my truest self.