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Friday, August 31, 2012

Milestones

Just a few big events going on 'round these parts...

First Day of School.




First Day of Ortho. 

Many more to come.  On all counts.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Countdown to the first day of school: T-2 days

With only two days remaining until school starts for our Indian Princess, we're partying hard core.
Today we went to the Central States Fair.  We had never been before.  The girls had a great time.

We could have spent the whole visit at the mirrors.  
Dang I love when I get to experience something with them for the first time.  
They were giddy. 

Their never ending request for a pet was NOT silenced by the bunny and poultry barn.   
In fact, they are now plotting how to buy a farm so we can have some animals.

Daddy had some wise words today,
"Everyone likes to be scratched behind the ears."
I think the donkey agreed. 

Rides cost a small mortgage payment. 
We gave the girls $5 each and told them they could chose a ride or a snack.
They chose rides.  
And they actually got to ride twice for $5.
The giraffe was just My Littlest Girl's speed. 

 My Indian Princess was ready for something a little more adventurous.

 On our way out, we headed back to the science corner.  
They played with some fun games,
and I was very happy to see them just as entertained there as the carnival part.

My Indian Princess, passed out on the way home.
After bubblegum ice cream at Armadillo's.
That 30 minute ride home has been the catalyst for so many naps.
(Why they don't sleep on 10 hour trips is an enigma wrapped in a mystery.)

All in all, a very successful day.  I'm going to start saving my money now so I can buy them wristbands next year.  Maybe then I won't have to take out a loan for them to ride all the rides.

In the meantime, we're counting down to 1st grade...


Sunday, August 19, 2012

What Not To Wear, Part: I've Lost Count

Before
 Mom's intervention.


After.
You're Welcome.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fire

We had a fire in the fire pit last night.  The girls like to pretend we're camping.  We get out the marshmallows and s'mores are not long to follow.  I love the nights we get to do that.

You see, I'm a bit of a pyromaniac.  Ask my husband.  I've almost burned the house down a few times.  Not intentionally, of course.  I'm not one of those kinds of pyros.

So last night, the girls had gone inside to take their baths.  Hubby was inside helping them.  I was alone.  Staring into the fire.  Mesmerized.  We have an apple tree in our backyard.  I tossed some apples in the fire.  I haven't ever watched apples burn.  They turn shiny.  They glisten.  And then their skin starts to turn black as their internal protective moisture is dried out by the heat.  Soon, they are shriveled and scarred as they succumb.

After the apples, I threw a small stick in the fire.  I like the small sticks.  It doesn't take long for them to burn.  This stick initially glowed and sparked and radiated bright bits of fire.  Then it turned an amazing snowy white color.  The fire had completely transformed it into something beautiful.  And then a weak piece of the branch broke.  And the rest crumbled into ashes.  Indistinguishable from the rest of the fuel that had been used.

As I sat and watched the objects transform from something beautiful, to something completely destroyed, I realized that fire has a lot of power.  And it reminded me a lot of sin.

When we first start sinning, we are usually mesmerized by it's appearance.  Sin is rarely ugly in the beginning.  Satan wins us over with shiny things.  Things that look good.  From the outside, we are transformed into something different then we were.  Something beautiful or radiant or amazing.  At first we don't realize we are being changed.  We look amazing at the same time our very being is being demolished.  We bask in the beauty while our protective essences are being sucked right out of us.

In the end, sin can completely destroy us.  Make us indistinguishable from the other remains of Satan's battle with our God.  Sin will consume us.  Completely.

And then I think about the song, "Refiner's Fire."  The second verse says, "Cleanse me from my sin.  Deep within."

So will sin completely destroy us?  Or will sin refine us to be more holy?

I think it all depends on what our internal protection is.  If we have the Holy Spirit with us, if we are children of God, we can use sin to refine us.  To incinerate the things that grieve God.  And what's left looks more like God, because hopefully, He's all that's left in our lives. Another way to be set apart for the Lord, as Brian Doerksen wrote.

If we don't have God as our protection, we will be consumed by that same sin.  We may live a spectacular looking life, but we are being destroyed from the inside.  And soon we will be no different from the rubble that has burned before us.

If I am going to fall into sin, I want there to be an ultimate purpose.  One that benefits myself and my God.    I don't look forward to the process, but I do look forward to the end result.  I want to be holy, set apart for you, Lord.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gummy Snowmen

We have guests coming in a week.  Ones that are paying to rent our house.  So I have been deep cleaning like I've never done before.  (Flashdance, people.)

One of the things that I resigned myself to doing was taking off the stickers that my Indian Princess placed on our windows at least three years ago.  Back when I let them put stickers on things other than paper.  
Needless to say, these stickers were sun burned on to the windows really well.


This guy had a partner in crime.  I had already scratched him off with a razor blade.  
You can see his remains if you look hard enough.  
This window, by the way, is on our front door.


These butterflies graced our living room windows for at least as long as our snowmen.

Before:

After:
(Yes, that is my awesome scooter in the front yard.  Be jealous.  Very, very jealous.)

I'll miss these tokens of toddlerhood my girls had created.  
But I don't think the nine men that are staying here will be quite as sentimental.