Friday, March 03, 2017

more winter






































As I look through our photos for January and February, I realized how very few outdoor photos I took. I know why. The construction outback along the river totally hampered my usual winter treks to check on the river, the ice and the wildlife. And when we had a bit of thaw last week, the mud that appeared in the work area was overwhelming to someone hoping for green.  And now winter is reminding us what season it still is, so ice and snow flurries have covered over the hopeful grassy areas. But a trip to my parents in Pennsylvania last month gave me some foliage therapy. I will post photos from that trip as I wandered around their property and neighborhood absorbing all the goodness of a mild, mostly green winter.

But before that, we took Seth and Laura with us to a Reliant K and  Switchfoot concert held on a campus theater of a local college.  We brought ear plugs for Laura, but she seemed to prefer wearing her winter hat and even had a short and unlikely nap during one of the songs. But she recovered and joined in the clapping and cheering and has talked about the concert and the songs we heard repeatedly. I have posted some of the videos I took at the concert and some lyric content in another post if you are interested. This was her second music show and Seth's third.

Our swallowtail caterpillar cocoon hatched into a butterfly last month and it was our next-door neighbor girl visiting on a snow day who noticed. It must have happened over night and during the morning while we worked on our lessons, because she came inside to play after lunch and said, "Wow, your butterfly looks cool." And we were like, 'what'? We all laughed over how she was only in the house five minutes and noticed something that we all had missed for hours. I'm guessing our warm house made the butterfly think it was good to go, but alas, he/she remains in captivity being fed sugar water while we wait for warmer weather to come our way.

We celebrated Valentine's Day with a few homemade cards, some chocolate, video game coupons from 'Mom', a new laser printer(it was my idea) and three awesome hand drawn cards from my in-laws for each of the kids. Aren't they amazing? The guinea pig is in the likeness of a beloved stuffed animal who has developed a strong persona over the years and is the source of much entertainment in our house. The cards were a hit and my father-in-law definitely needs to keep drawing and sharing his talent.

of music and poetry

At the beginning of this year, Shane implemented a family study in music, poetry, and theology using the songs of writers and musicians that he enjoys and has named "The Song of the Week". It often happens on a Saturday night.
He hands out a printout for all of us with the song lyrics along with several discussion questions he has written and begins the time by having us listen to the song of the week. The songs are often already familiar to some of us, but not always, so the follow-up discussion may start off with familiarizing ourselves with the song writer and the message of the song. 

Here are a sample of the questions he used in the song Dare You to Move by Swtichfoot which you can find both the full lyrics and video concerts by scrolling to the end of this post. It is one of their earliest songs as a band.

1. What are we welcomed into when we are born?
2. What is the tension and what can it lead to?
3. How does the author challenge us to deal with this tension in the chorus?
4. How does the author encourage us in the bridge?

Shane loves music, but he likes good song writing perhaps even better.

One of his favorite singer/song writers is Jon Foreman from the above mentioned band Switchfoot. Here is what Jon Foreman said about the meaning of the band's name as quoted on Wikipedia taken from an interview. The name "Switchfoot" comes from a surfing term."We all love to surf and been surfing all our lives so to us, the name made sense. To switch your feet means to take a new stance facing the opposite direction. It's about change and movement, a different way of approaching life and music."

The idea of switchfoot echoes the idea of repentance. A change in the way you do life.

Jon Foreman has also done some solo work which has some of my favorite songs because the poetry captures the imagination and the music makes the heart soar. While not everyone may enjoy the rock-and-roll style of music, the content and the intent is for everyone.
I have included the lyrics and Youtube vidoes for three of their songs, which we recently saw performed in concert. The first video of every song is the official video released by the band. The second videos are the ones I took at the concert last month. If you don't want to listen to the music, you can at least read through the lyrics and understand the message.


Where I Belong

Feeling like a refugee
Like it don't belong to me
The colors flash across the sky

This air feels strange to me
Feeling like a tragedy
Take a deep breath and close my eyes
One last time

Storms on the wasteland
Ark clouds on the plain again
We were born into this fight

But I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive

Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Where the weak are finally strong
Where the righteous right the wrongs
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Feels like we're just waiting, waiting
While are hearts are just breaking, breaking
Feels like we're fighting against the tide

I wanna see the earth shaking
I wanna see a generation
Finally waking up inside

Until I die I'll sing these songs
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

This body's not my own
This world is not my own
But I can hear the sound
Of my heart beating out
So let's go boys, play it loud

On the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong

Where I belong

I still believe we can live forever
You and I we begin forever now
Forever now
Forever
I still believe in s together
You and I we're here together now
Together now
Together now
Forever now
Forever now

Forever



Love Alone is Worth the Fight

I'm trying to find where my place is
I'm looking for my own oasis
So close I can taste this
The fear that love alone erases

So I'm back to the basics
I figure it's time I face this
Time to take my own advice

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight

And I never thought it'd come to this
But it seems like I'm finally feeling numb to this
The funny thing about a name is
You forget what the reason you were playing the game is

And it's all an illusion
A 21st century institution
So I'm headed down the open road unknown

And we find what we're made of
Through the open door
Is it fear you're afraid of?
What are you waiting for?

Love alone is worth the fight, woah
Love alone is worth the fight, woah

We're only here for a season
I'm looking for the rhyme and reason
Why you're born, why you're leaving
What you fear and what you believe in

Why you're living and breathing
Why you're fighting it and getting it even
Let's go headed down the open road unknown

And we find what we're made of
Through the open door
Is it fear you're afraid of?
What are you waiting for?

Love alone is worth the fight, woah
Love alone is worth the fight, woah

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh, oh

Here we are, here we go
Where the road is our own
Hear it calling you home
Here we are, here we go!

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight



Dare You to Move

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here

Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift
Yourself up off by the floor

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here

Between who you are
And who you could be
Between how it is
And how it should be yeah

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift
Yourself up off by the floor

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go? Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself
To lift yourself up off by the floor

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before



Thursday, February 16, 2017

winter days
















I have had these pictures lined up ready to go for several weeks now and too many other things have claimed my attention instead. But this record-keeping goes on, and my efforts to keep track of our days are rewarded by seeing these photos of how our time has been spent.
We have ample time for our lessons these days as we have no extra-curricular activities until spring comes. Kate is seeing her OT once a month now and has started with an SLP for speech every two weeks. She happily spends one morning a week with dear friends who take her sledding and dog-walking and feed her lunch and give her bubble baths. It is a gift that they generously provide for our family.

January did not bring many sunny days, but February has made up for it both in sun and snow. I have been doing a ton of online reading, and some pre-reading for Seth's Term 2 books, but hardly any of my shelf books and only a few library reads. In the evenings, I have opted for watching British television movies and series.
I just finished watching three seasons of something I found unexpected at the library called The House of Eliott which follows two fashion-designing sisters and their love stories in London in the 20's. It was very enjoyable, although the final season didn't wrap up the storyline very well as the show was unexpectedly canceled by the BBC. But I would watch it again, even knowing that the end hangs a bit. I don't usually watch this much television, preferring to read, study or catch up on Instagram or Pinterest in the evenings, but I have enjoyed the stories so much, I feel little guilt.

I have ordered some of this year's garden seeds from my usual place, Terra Edibles, here in Ontario.
I always order the Bronze Arrowhead lettuce, yellow wax beans, yellow zucchini and peas. This year, I also added in some Chantenay Carrots to try. I have been growing rainbow carrots, but decided to go back to traditional long orange carrots as my soil gets loamier and looser each year.
I plan to buy all my cucumber and tomato plants this year and not grow them from seed at all. I did save pea and bean seeds from my garden, but I don't trust them yet, so I bought extra just in case. I will try my saved marigold and zinnia seeds but won't feel as let down if they turn out to be duds.

Next week is the Annual Book Sale at a local church. I think this might be my tenth year going. Our family library owes most of its existence to this book sale, not counting our theology books and other non-fiction titles. But our classics and all ages of children's books have been found by combing through the boxes and tables at this sale. I actually dreamt the other night about being at the sale and I gasped when I realized that I had missed going to the children's classics shelf; I hurried back into that room and then woke up without seeing what was on the shelves.
I would say that falls pretty darn close to a nightmare.

This teetering stack was from 2012.

P.S. Yes, you may have noticed that we finally replaced our old black leather couch with a new pull-out bed one from Ikea. It came in two boxes, one of which weighed a ton that we managed to get into our SUV with bungee cords to hold the back gate down. (It was a little breezy on the way home but we just cranked the heat a little bit more. January cold can't beat a new couch purchase!)
Then with a small handtruck and a very strong husband, he and I traipsed it all the way to our front door and wrangled it inside the house, and finally trucked the old one out to the curb for garbage night with help from two pajama-clad kids. (The other pajama-clad kid was already fast asleep in her bottom bunk and none the wiser about what was happening. I put her on the new couch in the dark the next morning and she realized right away it felt different. The look on her face when I turned on the light was so great.)
Next on the purchase list is a new dining table, and yes, it might be from Ikea too.