WELCOME

I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...

WELCOME TO THE FEITNER ADVENTURE!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ouchie

Alex has a cold (apparently he inherited my proneness to get them). So, last night Alex and I stayed home while Aaron and Harrison went to small group. Not long before they got home Alex went upstairs to get his jammies. In retrospect, he probably shouldn't have been wearing his snow boots and playing with some chopsticks (we had Chinese take-out for dinner) while he was coming back down. He took a tumble - down the whole flight. Poor little guy! At first I thought his arm might be fractured (just above the wrist), but I think it's just a bad sprain. Since it was almost bedtime, we wrapped it so it wouldn't move and hurt so much while he slept. He thinks the bandage is so much fun that he's had it on all day today too! Hopefully he'll be as excited about his first pair of crutches when he gets them one day.....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Penelope

My college degree is in English Literature, but two of my roommates were art majors. My taste in art ended up drawing from my love of literature. I'm not really into contemporary books, but absolutely love older literature. My favorite artist is John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) who was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter most famous for his paintings of female characters from mythology and literature. He created more than 200 paintings, and was one of the few artists to attain fame and fortune during his lifetime.

I've shared at least one other of Waterhouse's paintings with you already. Here is another of my favorites. Penelope and the Suitors was painted in 1912.In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope is the faithful wife of Odysseus (the king of Ithaca), who keeps her suitors at bay in his long absence and so is eventually rejoined with him. (His character was known as Ulysses in Roman mythology.) She has only one son by Odysseus, Telemachus, who was born just before Odysseus was called to fight in the Trojan War. She waits twenty years for the final return of her husband, during which she has a hard time snubbing marriage proposals from 108 suitors. On Odysseus's return, disguised as an old beggar, he finds that Penelope has remained faithful. She has devised tricks to delay her suitors, one of which is to pretend to be weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus's elderly father Laertes, and claiming that she will choose a suitor when she has finished. Every night for three years, she undoes part of the shroud, until some unfaithful maidens discover her chicanery and reveal it to the suitors. Because of her efforts to put off remarriage, Penelope is often seen as a symbol of connubial fidelity.

(note: descriptions taken from Wikipedia)

Busted!

When I was a little girl I frequently wondered how my mother knew what I was doing even when she couldn't see me. Now that I'm a mom, I understand. You learn to recognize even the quietest sounds. The other day my mother and I were sitting in the dining room, and I thought I heard Alex by the steps playing with my camera. So, I called to him that the camera's not a toy, and for him to put it down. He quickly responded, "I'm not touching it, Mommy." Well, I just downloaded the pictures and videos from the memory card, and guess what........

ALEX IS BUSTED!
video

Cake Treasure Hunt

Alex turns 4 in a week, and we're having a small party with just family. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't still be tons of fun for him! We're doing a pinata (his very first!). I've also decided to do a treasure hunt to find the cake (a girlfriend found this idea online, and I loved it!). Since the theme is Under the Sea, I've cut out fish, and on the back of each is written each next clue. I've just finished creating them.

The cake is missing! It's hidden from view.
If you want your dessert, then here's what you do:
Follow the clues, they'll lead you to more.
To find your next clue, look by the front door!

Go fast as you can - there's no time to slouch!
You'll find your next clue by the living room couch.

The next clue is simple, it's not hard at all.
Look in the closet in the downstairs hall.

A clue - a clue - where can one be?
I think there's one hidden by the big t.v.

It's not a trick. It's not a trap.
Just look where you give your food a zap!

You've listened so well to what I've said,
That I'll make this quite simple - the clue's in the shed.

It's a clue you want, a clue that you seek.
Go to the pantry and take a peek!

Get moving now - quick as a crab.
Look on the treadmill, and it's a clue you'll nab.

When you're in the office, there's a closet you'll see.
And that's where the next clue will be.

You've reached the last clue - it's dessert you deserve.
You'll find the cake on the table - ready to serve!

Friday, January 23, 2009

No more excuses

I got this as an email forward,
but thought it was worthwhile anyway....

The next time you feel like
God can't use you, remember:

Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced,
more than once

Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer, and
Lazarus was dead!

Now, no more excuses!
God can use you to your
full potential!

Are my kids the only ones who....

... at 10 months old CHASE the vacuum
(Harrison)
... but at almost 4, still run and hide from it!
(Alex)
... drink with a spoon
... hate climbing trees
... use Daddy's drill to play "shooting gun"
... think every pile of laundry is a mountain
to be climbed and conquered
... beg to wash their hands, but ONLY if
they can use the soap in the kitchen
(they both smell the same!)
... at 3 1/2 can still fit into a pair of pants
he wore when he was 6 months old!
I LOVE MY KIDS...
...IDIOSYNCRASIES AND ALL!

Whatever

...whatever is TRUE,
whatever is NOBLE,
whatever is RIGHT,
whatever is PURE,
whatever is LOVELY,
whatever is ADMIRABLE
if anything is EXCELLENT
or PRAISEWORTHY
—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Casualties of War

Last week illness struck the Feitner household.

Alex was the first casualty - vomiting and uncontrollable diarrhea that lasted a week. Twice during the week we thought he was over it, but they were false alarms. Poor kid. Luckily he's just fine now (although two pounds lighter).

Next it struck Harrison - but his only lasted about 12 hours.

Next Aaron was blindsided by this crippling bug. It hit him hard. It hit him fast. I think he's okay now (we haven't actually discussed it, though). I'm not positive ... but ... the Imodium and Kaopectate bottles are finally starting to build up a slight layer of dust on them.

And then ... without warning ... this crafty bug pulled together its top military strategists, and realized that the best way to bring this family to its knees in submission was to attack MOMMY. 'Cause once mommy is sick everything grinds to a halt! Just five hours of my first "attack," I phoned a girlfriend (it was 2 am) to come watch the kids. Aaron had to take me to the ER. I'll spare you the specifics, but I had lost enough fluid that I was in danger of some pretty serious heart problems - because of electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. The ER staff kindly gave me a room with its own bathroom, and hooked me up to an iv that dripped in VERY slowly to make sure I didn't develop cardiac overload (not quite sure what that entails, but it didn't sound good). I also took some pills to replace some of the stuff that my blood work said was too low. I was released by mid-morning, and my mother came to town later that day to take over the house and kids. I spent three days on the couch (that is when I wasn't visiting Mr. John). Finally today (Thursday) I feel almost like myself again - and mother's planning to leave tomorrow.

My goal was to write a post once a day for January. But this week I didn't have the energy to type one let alone think of what to say. So, guess I have some make up work to do. Not tonight though. It's late and I'm headed to bed. But for now - at least you know why I was so silent this week. And even though it was a long, tough final battle. The Feitners have finally won the war!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I love you, darling!

Seven years ago we had our first date.
Simple dinner and a movie.
It was the amazing conversation that made
both of us wonder if this might be "the one."
Six years ago you got down on one knee,
and my heart did flip-flops in my chest.
Five years ago we professed our love in front of
75 guests on a snowy winter evening.
Then onto our romantic honeymoon
just outside Vail, Colorado.
Four years ago we welcomed our first son...
and our lives were forever changed.
Three years ago you got your first big promotion,
and I quit work to become a full-time mom.
Two years ago we were getting ready
to buy our first house.
One year ago we welcomed our second son...
and life changed again.
And today - I love you more than ever!
Happy 5th Anniversary, darling!

Around the Farm

A beautiful flower on Virginia's kitchen table.
Alex watching the busy bird feeder while
he warms up from a jaunt in the snow.A vibrant amaryllis.Icicles at dusk.And no farmhouse is complete without
a cool painting of a cow!

Fun with Grandpa

We got snow a couple nights ago. Aaron was out-of-state on business. I don't have the energy to go outside and play with Alex - the cold (or heat) make it hard for me to breathe. So, we packed up and drove to my in-law's farm (1.5 hour drive from here). The whole family (except Aaron) was getting together that evening there to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday anyway. We just got there several hours early.

Alex had a wonderful time playing outside with Grandpa - that is until the frigid temps became too much for him.... He LOVED Grandpa pulling him around on his new sled (thanks Aunt Jen for the wonderful gift)! They even went down a real hill (though by that point I had taken myself and freezing Harrison inside)!

Wonderful Grandpa Quentin...
made sure Alex had nothing but smiles...
and even gave Harrison a ride...
But once Harrison's spit-up froze on his chin,
it was time for him to go inside...
And Alex even had a chance to practice his snow angels!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Encouragement

Several months ago I was starting to get discouraged. You know the cycle - one discouraging thought leads to another, and if you don't "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5b), then before you know it you've spiraled downward into depression. So, I decided it was time for a personal intervention. I looked up lots of verses that had special significance with my health problems, but more importantly with the promise that God gave me that morning last February - the one that said that "this will end." I typed the verses and posted them above the light switches around the house. Tacky? Perhaps. But the constant encouragement I received each time I turned a light on or off - it was remarkable!

Here's a sampling of some of the verses I chose:

- Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)


- Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)


- Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)


- "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20


- I believe! Help me with my doubts. (Mark 9:24)


- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)


- There hath not failed one word of all his good promise. (1 Kings 8:56)


- But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)


- I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. (Psalm 118:17)


My Bible verses are still posted around the house. It's been probably 6 months since I hung them up, and they're still giving me daily encouragement. Do you need some encouragement today? What are you doing to make sure you get it?

The ABCs of Friendship

This morning I'm so grateful for all of my friends! They've helped me through some rough times - times I wasn't sure if I'd make it to see another sunrise, times I doubted myself (though never my God). They've lifted me up in prayer when I didn't have the strength to audibly mouth a prayer myself. They've stepped alongside my family and done laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, and even cared for and loved on my children. Thank you friends - you know who you are!

A Friend....
(A) Accepts you as you are
(B) Believes in "you"
(C) Calls you just to say "hi"
(D) Doesn't give up on you
(E) Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F) Forgives your mistakes
(G) Gives unconditionally
(H) Helps you
(I) Invites you over
(J) Just to "be" with you
(K) Keeps you close at heart
(L) Loves you for who you are
(M) Makes a difference in your life
(N) Never judges
(O) Offers support
(P) Picks you up
(Q) Quiets your fears
(R) Raises your spirits
(S) Says nice things about you
(T) Tells you the truth when you need to hear it
(U) Understands you
(V) Values you
(W) Walks beside you
(X) X-plains things you don't understand
(Y) Yells when you won't listen
(Z) Zaps you back to reality

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's the little things

So, I'm sure you've heard of the five love languages. If not, basically the idea is that there are five ways that people can show love. How you perceive being loved isn't necessarily the same as how your significant other does. So, once you figure out how they feel loved, you know better how to show love to them so they can better receive it. (If you're having a hard time figuring out someone's love language(s), then pay attention to what love method(s) that particular person DOES - we automatically try to show love by how we receive it best.) So the five love languages are (in my own words): verbal affirmation, touchy-feely, gift-giving, unexpected acts of kindness, and meaningful time spent together. My love languages are the last two: unexpected acts of kindness and time spent together.

Yesterday Aaron came home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers! It was such a thoughtful gesture - especially since unexpected acts isn't one of his particular love languages. The fact that through the course of his day he thought about me, and decided to do something special to show me that he was thinking of me ... it meant so much!Last night was ... short ... rough. Alex is sick - we didn't know it until we heard him crying for us at 1:30 am. He woke up several times during the night with diarrhea and vomiting. Poor little guy. Once again Aaron showed that he loved me through this unpleasant experience. Each time he got up first to go clean him up, and then if it was a HUGE mess, he called me to come help too. But the fact that he got up first so I could rest a little (not that I was actually sleeping - I was waiting to hear him call for me) ... it meant so much!

It's the little things that say 'I love you.' It's the little things that show you care about the other person more than yourself. It's the little things that help to strengthen a marriage. It's the little things that add up to a very big thing. It's the little things that mean so much!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Mom, can I have the keys, please?"

It seems like just yesterday that we found out we were pregnant for the first time. I had thrown up several mornings in a row, and even though I was on the pill, Aaron was sure I was pregnant. I thought he was crazy. So he HIMSELF drove to the grocery store to buy a test since I wouldn't believe him. Though I definitely wanted kids at some point, having only been married for four months ... I almost threw up again when I saw the + show up on the stick! I'm so happy that I'm a mom, even though I didn't feel old enough or like I was ready for it. I'm learning to look at life with fresh eyes - the excitement of waking up to unexpected snow, the simple pleasure that can come from an empty cardboard box.

It's both amazing and a bit saddening how quickly our kids grow up. I've been going through our closets (aka storage) this past week and this morning finally tackled the one in Alex's room which has old diaper boxes filled with his clothes from each former size. I remember when I put the very first onesie in the very first box, and now Harrison's already worn and outgrown the clothes in two of the boxes. Originally I wanted four kids. Because of my health problems I'm finished at two, and I've finally come to terms with that (I think I have, anyway). So each fuss, each poopy diaper I try to think, "that's the last one I'll hear/have to change of a child this age." Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not excited when it comes time to wrangle my active 10 month old, in a futile attempt to wipe his tush before he flips and crawls away at lightening speed. It's just that I'm awestruck that the time is going by so quickly.

December was a really busy month for us - as I'm sure it was for you too. Last night we finally found (or made) the time to do our final Christmas gift exchange with some friends. It had been a long time since we'd gotten together - far too long. Alex absolutely adores one of the gifts he received in particular - a blow-up car with balls in it. This morning when I watched him playing in it again, I suddenly had a flash-forward (can I make up that word?) of him when he's 16 and asking for the keys to our car, or begging for a car of his own.

He's going to grow up so quickly. I need to make sure that I MAKE the time for him now - the time to nurture him, to love on him, and to ignore the dirty dishes while I just PLAY with him. I'm sure there will come a time when he doesn't want me around - it's called being a teenager. But I want him to have the good memories of us having fun, of us bonding, of us talking about how our days were (at work, at school, etc.). I want him to WANT to come back and continue having a meaningful relationship with his parents. I don't mean that I want to be his "buddy" - I'm his mother. But I want to do what I can now so that I'll stay his mom, not just the woman who birthed him. I don't want our life to reflect the song "Cats in the Cradle."

Friday, January 9, 2009

In Honor of Eva G. Schock

On the morning of January 9, 2008, my only remaining grandparent, Eva G. Schock passed away. She was a young 94. My Grandma was the most sincere, generous person I have ever known. Her love of family and friends, as well as her personal relationship with Christ were to be admired and emulated. Since I lived just a few miles from her house, and wasn't employed (I'm a stay-at-home mom), I was privileged to spend a lot of time with her in the last couple years of her life. Alex and I were also able to visit with her almost daily in the hospital during the final week and a half of her life. I respected my Grandma's wisdom and experience, and she is greatly missed. In honor of her memory, I'd like post one of her favorite poems.

"The Man in the Looking Glass"

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgement you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might think you're a straight-shooting chum
And call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway for years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hope for the Hopeless

A song keeps playing in my mind over the past week or two (the words and music are by Don Moen). It's a song I've known for years, but never really took to heart. It started when I was praying for a friend who's going through a rough time. I kept praying for her intermittently for the better part of the morning, and each time I did, the song popped in my head again. (When I wasn't praying for her the song I heard was Pink's "So What" - not Christian in the least, but I heard it on the radio as I was flipping stations, and it stayed with me all day.) Since it (the nice song) kept popping into my head every time I started praying for her again, I figured it was meant for her. So I emailed her the lyrics.

But since then, the same song keeps coming to mind when I'm praying for other friends too. At first I thought it was just because I was associating it with hurting friends. I no longer think so. We all have pain in our lives - either currently, or previously, or in the near future. As Christians we can cling to the promise "...that IN all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). Even our insufficiency, our brokenness, our pain, our mistakes (even the BIG ones) - God will somehow use for GOOD in our life. But this is only a promise for those who who are trying to follow His will (or who had been once, and then truly become repentant).

I've had some rough days (emotionally) over the past year. When I was first hospitalized last February, I was relieved that someone was going to find out what was wrong with me and be able to fix it. But when the doctor came in and told me that he didn't think I'd live to see my son born (I was 33 weeks pregnant), my world came crashing down around me. But God brought me through. There is no earthly fix for what I have - except an eventual double lung transplant, and I'd only have a 35% chance of still being alive 5 years after the transplant. But just before that doctor "told me like it is," God, in His generosity and love verbally spoke to me and told me that "it will be okay. This will end." Since then He's confirmed over and over again that it WAS His voice I heard. I don't know how long I will be struggling with this terminal illness before he chooses to miraculously heal me, or what hard times I'll have to go through in the meantime. Nevertheless, I clung to those words through through the weeks of agony in the hospital - during the times when I literally was fighting for each and every breath - and during the months since while I'm struggling to regain a "normal" life - for me and for my family.

In Isaiah 46:4, it says "... I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you...." How reassuring to know that St. Augustine's "Ultimate Being," the Creator of the entire universe wants to and will sustain ME. He will CARRY me when I don't have the strength to take one more step, or even to stand. It is when I fall to my knees (in prayer, humbleness, submission, exhaustion, etc.) that He will gently pick me up. It doesn't say He will "hold me," it says "carry me" - He won't let me stay where I am, in my "dark place" (as a hurting friend recently so eloquently phrased it). He will move me to a place of safety, a place of comfort, a place of growth and even love and forgiveness.

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way He will make a way

By a roadway in the wilderness
He'll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and earth will fade
But His word will still remain
He will do something new today

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way He will make a way

Setting Sun

so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
men may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:6 (NIV)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Little Treats

Lately I have been allowing myself treats - like hot cocoa with whipped cream - almost daily. I know that with my weight I shouldn't be taking in the extra calories. But frankly I only have so much energy (physical or emotional), and stressing over my weight isn't fitting into the scheme of things right now. The fact that walking up a flight of steps still leaves me a bit winded does make exercise a bit difficult (though not impossible). And I'm just not willing to deprive myself of food at the moment. But that's neither here nor there. The point is that I've been having yummy treats. Why, you might ask. ... Now is where you say, "Why is that?" (Thanks for becoming an ACTIVE participant in my blog!). Well - let me tell you....

I have been extremely productive the past week or so. This past year has been very difficult for our family, and now that it's a new year (though not quite a year since I was hospitalized) it's time for a new start. Aaron and I both feel the need to purge. We've been going through our closets which are basically our only storage (5 done, 2 more to go) and throwing out what we really don't need or use. Tomorrow's trash pick-up includes things like the cards I received when I graduated from High School and candles whose scent I loved, but the wicks are all used up. The things that can be appreciated by other people (like the shoes I wore when I was 9 months pregnant with Alex and my feet were swollen a whole size bigger) are being passed onto friends or the Salvation Army. There's a cool website I found that lists the value you can ascribe to donations. We get a blank receipt from them, and then we list what was donated and the value. It comes off our taxes! If you donate more than $5000 a year there's extra paperwork needed, but anything less than that just needs a receipt from the Salvation Army / Thrift Store. Check it out sometime: http://www.goodwill.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=102123&name=DLFE-2302.pdf

We've also been purging some non-tangible things in our lives, and making some changes individually and as a family. We have a vision of what we want our lives to look like 1 -3 - 5 - 10 years from now. So, anything that doesn't help us get there is being eliminated (or added to our routine if needed - like daily devotions). I spend quite a bit of time conversing with God daily, and over the past year have learned to hear His voice. But I don't spend specific time reading the Bible daily. This is an area in need of improvement for me.

Next week begins our normal routine again (Bible Study, MOPS, etc.), and I'm hoping that I can stay as productive has I have been recently. The fact that Aaron took of work from Christmas to New Years, and was around to help more with the kiddos definitely helped me stretch my energy further. There are so many projects I want to tackle, that I'm hoping my energy holds up. I'm also enjoying my daily hot cocoa, so maybe looking forward to that will help keep me motivated too! But just in case I get tired of the cocoa, do you have any suggestions of another little treat I could try?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Love Letter

"The Soul of the Rose"
by John William Waterhouse

Written by Ludwig van Beethoven...
(Excerpts)

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. ...

Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Winter Wishes

Aaron wishes he was doing this right now...

Or maybe a little of this...

I'm sure he'd settle for some of this....

But instead he took Alex to do this yesterday...

For two whole hours (WAY PAST Alex's bedtime)!

video

And they had an ABSOLUTE BLAST!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Promise Remembered

I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
Psalm 118:17 (NIV)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chess Lesson

“Avoid the crowd.
Do your own thinking independently.
Be the Chess player, not the Chess piece."
(Ralph Charell)

New Years at the Farm

Every New Years Day, my in-laws have an open house at their farm. It's a standing tradition, and pretty much everyone's invited. So, depending on their friends' schedules, there's always a different (and very interesting) group of people gathered. Today's collection included some quite musical ex-hippies, a couple young wannabe hippies, a scattering of church friends, family members, entrepreneurs, a professional photographer, etc. After everyone filled their tummies and spent some time chatting, they found themselves out in the shop - participating in a jam session.There was a piano, violin, mandolin, drums, several guitars, bongos, maracas, tambourine and lots of foot tapping and even dancing! Though I can appreciate various styles of music, I have no innate talent. So my participation included ... (you guessed it!) toe-tapping and (what I'm better at) - taking photos.Alex even got involved - playing the drums (though I didn't hear him, I was told he had good rhythm for a three year old!), the mandolin, and the maracas. What he really wanted to play was the violin, though. Even before he could walk, Alex has shown a preference toward the violin. One of these days we're going to have to sign him up for lessons. Maybe this next year.I'm not the best at distinguishing some music styles, but I think today was bluegrass or maybe folk? They played songs like "Turkey in the Straw" and "Shove That Pigs Foot a Little Further in the Fire." Yeah - you read that right! Crazy title, eh!?! Being at the farm today was such a memorable and fantastic way to welcome in the New Year. With my medical crisis, 2008 was a rough year for us - hopefully 2009 will be a bit easier. But whatever it brings, we welcome it with arms wide open.