Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy 16

Today Fred turns 16! Happy birthday, Fred! Fred continues to grow into a godly young man. I'm so proud of him. He works very hard at school, at home, and in sports. Right now he's balancing a very difficult schedule and baseball that goes until all hours each day. He's spending his birthday playing a baseball game. He'll have a party in a month when it's warmer. I enjoy seeing who he is becoming as he figures out what he believes. I cherish our conversations and look forward to many more. So far, the hardest part of teenagehood for me is staying up late enough to be awake when he gets home from games. It's so hard to believe that he is not a little boy anymore!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Week at a Glance

Peter's view from the bus as we toured D.C.
Peter trying to steady the wind surfer at the Natural History Museum.
*Grocery shopping consumed all of Monday, but since Chris was sick and couldn't work, he came with me and we got to have lunch together at Costco.
*Sam has been running a fever since Tuesday with stomach upset and now scratchy throat, so he's been home all week.
*Wednesday I spent the day (until 5:30) with the thrid grade at the Smithsonians--American History and Natural History, as well as a brief bus tour of the monuments.
*Ben brought his Language Arts grade up from a D+ to an A just by completing papers and putting his name on them (this is the key), and ungrounded himself in just 2 days.
*Fred made a beautiful, laid out, ESPNews worthy attempt at a ball at the game last night. He also received a letter that he has been accepted into the National Honor Society. Mama's so proud!
*I led Bible study Friday morning on John 9 and 10! Awesome! and then danced the night away with Peter at the family dance at school.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Flying buttresses (Fred's new favorite words)

Mosaic above the alter in the Resurrection chapel

Stained glass window above the main alter

This started out as a 10 foot wall of limestone. Two men came in to work one day, and someone handed them chisels and said to carve something out of that stone. It's amazing. The crosses are all covered in purple for the Lenten season.

This is the creation window at the back of the cathedral. It changes colors depending on the time of day and the weather.

Today we visited one of my favorite places in D.C. The Washington National Cathedral. Before we had so many children and moved to Virginia, we would go pretty regularly with guests to wonder at this amazing building. Since none of my children remember ever being here, it was a new and awe-inspiring visit for them. We took the tour, as we have in the past, and each time I learn something new. Each docent has different stories to tell. My favorite by far was the man who told us about all of the hidden details of the cathedral: the cannon on the door leading to the Canon's office, the block of wood that would be Judas but was left uncarved because of his betrayal, the Darth Vader gargoyle. I just love that stuff! Fred especially can't wait to go back. Me either!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My friend Donna and I went to Virginia Beach for the weekend. This was the view out our balcony. We were able to watch the sunrise both mornings right out the window. What a great time talking, walking, praying, thinking. It was an oasis before the craziness of spring sets in. The weather could not have been better. It was an amazing weekend. I couldn't believe the number of people on the beach Saturday. There were people with dogs, bikes, skateboards, roller blades. There were surfers, swimmers, people lying on the sand. It didn't feel like a summer day, but you couldn't tell that from the people there. We decided to try a little cafe called "Our Daily Bread." It was about 10 blocks from our hotel, so we walked and talked in the sunshine. Ten blocks is a long way when you are hungry, and by the time we got there we were both famished. I had to get some food in me. The windows were dark, and there were no tables inside! And the nearest restaurant was called "Dough Boys California Pizza." Being gluten free, I wasn't sure that would be a good option. So we crossed the street to find a vending machine at the Day's Inn. The woman graciously changed a $50 for vending machine cash, and I eagerly gobbled my Snickers (protein and sugar). We walked back to our hotel and enjoyed the food we had packed for dinner that night. Being away was such a treat and, hopefully, the effects will be lasting.
Post script: I was feeling awful Friday morning, just sick to my stomach. I prayed earnestly that this wouldn't last through the weekend. All weekend I felt great. Then Sunday night it hit again and resulted in stomach flu! God spared me that weekend. I rejoiced in His kindness to me as I suffered Sunday and Monday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

I have been indulging in a guilty pleasure lately. I've read about it for a while, but never took the time to follow through. Our library offers an on-line account with net library. I meant to get my account at the library some time ago, but never remembered while I was there. Finally I gave it a try, since I received an MP3 player for Christmas. I love it! I have downloaded two books already--Riven by Jerry Jenkins, fair but a little slow, and Pride and Prejudice, always engaging. I've spent the past two plus weeks listening while I work, while I ride, while I wait. Can I say again how much I love this? Having a good story in my head gives me great joy. My problem with it, though, is the same problem I have with books. It's hard to put them down. I keep reminding myself that I cannot listen to them when there are people around. I'm afraid that my quiet time is much diminished by the noise of a book being read to me. Nothing can replace reading a great book at leisure, but for my stage of life, this comes in a close second. I'm still basking in the glow of Elizabeth's and Mr. Darcy's first meeting at Pemberly. Funny, I never cared for Jane Austen's books in college. Now I wish I could read them again for the first time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Isn't he adorable--2003 Still cute---2008

Today my baby is 9! It blows me away that he will be double digits next year--a conversation we've had numerous times lately. This little boy is full of joy and love. He has a sweet disposition and a soft heart. How can he be 9? He's very excited that he got to stay home from school on his birthday because of snow. He's spent the day playing in the snow with friends. Tonight we'll eat gluten free caramel cake and corn dogs. I'm so thankful for this little boy! Happy birthday Peter!