Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn at The Beach House ...

Hasn't Autumn been gorgeous this year? The colors! What is your favorite autumn color? I can't make up my mind about it personally, and have come to the conclusion that it is the stunning combination of ALL of them that really thrills me.
I was raking leaves Monday afternoon that were almost knee-deep in my tiny yard. My across-the-street very-elderly neighbor poked his head out of his place and asked me if I wanted to utilize his leaf-blower. Well … why not? 
It certainly saved me a lot of time and shoulder strength, and I felt like Rambo-woman in the process! 
It did a very nice job of blowing all of the leaves out to the edge of my lawn where later in the day ... 
… the LEAF-inator gobbled them up and took them away!

Brendan, Dylan, and Michal play soccer ...

Trust me, I realize that this is not a profound or momentous post … but if you are a grandma, you will understand that it is a precious little memory to journal so that some day when I am old and infirm, I can look back at these photos, remember, and smile.
I was visiting Dylan, Kelly, and Brendan Tuesday evening over at their house. Dylan had been telling me that Brendan was spending more and more time getting to know the little doll I had purchased for his 2nd birthday (almost a year ago now!). His doll's name is Michal. 
Brendan is quite fond of Michal and carries him around with him, sharing his activities with this little friend. 
Dylan adds to the fun by enabling Michal to be animated and somewhat verbal! 
Brendan decided it would be fun to play ball with Michal, so a game ensued ... 
It was SO CUTE to watch Little Fellow interact with Michal! 
Brendan had entire conversations with Michal about kicking the ball, throwing it … and then giggling himself silly! 
I. LOVE. this. little. person. 

Kelly and Dylan purchased a used couch from a friend, one of those huge wrap-around bulky kinds of couches. Brendan loves it and finds all kinds of interesting things to do with the cushions. 

 It's very bouncy, so mostly, Brendan uses it as his own personal trampoline and mountain to climb.

Brendan is at such a perfect age right now ... 
He is interested in every little thing there is ... 
He is learning new words everyday ... 

Being a grandma is a very wonderful thing … such a gift from God!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A few weekend photos

Saturday was Game Seven, and the final game of the rocket football season for Chris. It was another home game: Comstock Park vs. Martin Luther King Park. The game ended in a 20-20 tie, giving Chris's team a perfect .500 for their season: 3 wins, 3 losses, and one tie. It was 44 degrees Saturday morning and the game began at 8:30, and it was very windy, making the cold seem all the more cold!
We decided we were too cold to sit in the stands and watch the game! So the kiddos and I walked around for a little while, but then we wimped out and sat inside my car to get warm for awhile. 

 Katie-girl was very pleased to be out of the cold. She explored my little car, every single inch of it, while we listened to happy music.
The back of Katie's pony-tail (above). 
We thought the game was OVER, so we left the warmth of my car and returned to the stands only to find out the 4th quarter was just starting. Thankfully, there weren't many flags or time outs ... 
… but our little Kaity lady was cold enough to allow herself to be zippered into Jesse's coat to stay warm. 
I'm glad I got to at least see a little bit of each of the seven games. Chris is a very enthusiastic football player, and this has been very good for him.

Sunday afternoon, the three older kids came over and hung out at The Beach House for awhile. I had picked up one of those Rainbow Looms at Michael's last week so that the children could make bracelets and other crafts with brightly colored rubber bands.
Emma made me a "ladder" bracelet using green and yellow (the Comstock Park colors) … it turned out very nice, but I neglected to take a picture of it.

Emma really does a nice job with crafts, partly because she is so patient, as well as mechanically-oriented. This loom did not pose a challenge to her at all. 
We had a lot of fun together doing this, and the boys joined us a little bit later and worked on projects as well. 
But mostly, they played together in the back room ... 

 Emma and I got on-line and watched an instructional video about how to use the loom to make the ladder bracelet. I'm going to have to watch a few more in order to do it without Emma's help.
We enjoyed a nice meal together with home-made brownie's for desert. AND THEN … it was time for our Bible story. This week, we learned about Peter and Cornelius. 
 Cornelius was a Roman Centurion, who loved the God of Israel. Our story was about how Peter was given a vision from God about how God loves all people, not just Jewish folk ...
 We talked about Peter's vision, and the vision that Cornelius had, and how they met each other, and how Peter told Cornelius and his family and friends all about Jesus.
Peter's vision about the unclean animals
and how God told him that nothing was
unclean anymore ...
 I was able to share with the kiddos that this story takes place in Caesarea and how I had visited that port city on several occasions. I showed them some of my pictures of it.

We had another wonderful story time. I love teaching the grandchildren the wonderful stories of God. The Bible tells us that God's Spirit came to Cornelius, his family and his friends, just like He had come at Pentecost, and that God's love is for everyone who believes. The children are keeping all of their colored pages in a special file here at my house. Emma says that when we have finished doing all of the Bible stories (!!) she is going to make her pictures into a children's Bible storybook.
I showed the kiddos this hunk of marble that was found on the beach at Caesarea that probably dated back to the time of Herod the Great!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A straight path ...

I've been a part of Monday Night Bible study over at Calvary Church for almost three years now. This semester, we are studying Joshua. Each week, we've been asked to memorize an assigned Scripture verse. I don't memorize very well! I find that unless I think about the verse for a long time, look up and define the words, and almost dissect each sentence, I can't begin to memorize it. I need to make it personal first.

Our first verse, however, was VERY familiar. I had memorized it as a child! But … had I ever really taken it apart … looked at it carefully … tried to figure out it's meaning … meditated on it? 

Trust in the LORD
with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways
acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart." What does the word "trust" mean? It literally means: "To lean on, be confident in." Webster defines it as "Assured reliance on the character, strength, or truth of someone or some thing; confident hope." So, who am I to have confident hope in? Who can I rely on? Myself? Other people? Friends? Family? Politics? Government? None of these are mentioned!

I am to lean confidently on the LORD (all caps). Not "a" LORD (one of many, nondescript, nonspecific), but the LORD. Who is this LORD?! He is Jehovah: literally, "He who IS". Not He who was (although that is true), not He who will be (although that is also true), but "He who IS." The One who transcends time, because He always existed! And I am to confidently hope in HE WHO IS with ALL my heart, not just a percentage (either big or small), but ALL of me.
"Lean not on your own understanding." Well, basically, my own understanding is pretty limited! How many times do I say to myself: "This world just doesn't make sense!" And when I try to figure it out, all the sadness and ugliness, the evil and pain, that comes around in our lives -- life is so hard sometimes, isn't it? For some reason, though, when I remember that the LORD is worthy of my trust, that He has everything under control, that He is completely GOOD … well, then it doesn't matter any more whether any or all of it makes sense or not. 
"In all your ways acknowledge Him … " In some of my ways? In most of my ways? No. In ALL of my ways, leaving out nothing, every single one of them! And what on earth does it mean to "acknowledge Him" ?? The word acknowledge means: "To recognize the rights or authority of; admit as true." I think it means to defer to His authority and control, because of who He is! Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14.6). Jesus, only Jesus!

" … and He will make your path straight." What is the promise given to me if I rely on the LORD to support me even when my heart is broken, when life is so messed up? Proverbs says that He will "make my path straight." I'm not sure what that means! I would like my life's path to lead directly to Jesus, without road blocks or detours! A nice straight pathway … all the way to His strong and loving arms. I hope that's what it means!