"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a twenty day fast

The colors of autumn.  
Orange, gold, brown...

The colors around me are turning . The atmosphere is charged with the energy of change.  Winter lurks around the corner and with it the anticipation of earth's slumber.  A much needed rest.  I'm going to be gone for 20 days.  I look forward to this time of fasting and praying.  I look forward to the change that may come about for my obedience.  An improvement in my soul's hearing.  A 'slap upside the head' that says, "open your eyes and weep!"  And then for my crying out in desperation, a change *here.  

There are people who are so lost and in so much pain, it breaks my heart.  So, for 20 days I will join with the '40 Days For Life' team of central Oregon.  Many have been fasting for 20 days already.  I was stubborn and knew that I was being called to fast from right here.  I'm to give up blogging for the final 20 days so that I can focus on the cry of desperate people in the overwhelming place of making a choice.  For the next 20 days I will simply put up a reminder of what I'm doing for those of you who would join me in offering a prayer each morning.

*This type of music is NOT my style.  But the suffering in this message needs to not be dismissed based on artistic preference.  It's beautiful.  Please listen and weep.  There are real people living in this real world with real problems that may or may not look just like us.  EVERY person is loved by God.  Every person aches and longs for love and answers.  Pray with me.  I'll see you in 20 days.

Blessings, Debbie

giving and receiving

Today we worked on our Bible memory verses (Proverbs 3:13-18), spelling, math, typing, and journals. The history notebook in the first photo was a grand idea... we didn't get there.  We had a deadline you see. A sweet 7 year old friend was stopping by so we could give her her birthday gift.  The girls crafted accessories for Charity's A.G. doll as well as an undersea birthday card in keeping with the theme of the birthday party she had this weekend.  They worked on this as I read aloud from Uncle Tom's Cabin.

I choked my way through Tom's final morning with his family and the beginning of his transport (feet shackled) with the slave trader.  The most difficult for me was when they stopped at the blacksmith shop to have the handcuff size altered (just in case Tom decided to get uppity).  As Tom is waiting alone in the wagon he is surprised by a final goodbye from the son of his former Mas'r.  The boy is appalled, full of praise for Tom and threats for the trader.  Tom in his kind, Christian manner reprimands the boy and lovingly admonishes him to live purposefully.  He is instructed to love and respect his father and his mother and to be a good man.  (Choke, choke, sob)  "Come on mom, keep reading."

Somewhere in the middle of this difficult passage the mail lady knocked at the door with a package.  Sweet Jacqui, The Barefoot Crofter sent me a lovely gift...  When she read this post she thought that I would appreciate a book she owned and generously decided it would be mine.  Inside the book was a wool bookmark and along with it was a lovely note concealing a knit heart.  I look forward to perusing it more deeply tomorrow morning with my coffee.  I just love gifts, both the giving and the receiving... O.K., especially the receiving.  Thank you so much Jacqui!!

Blessings, Debbie

Monday, October 17, 2011

68 candles

Chapter 68~

Finally the peaks and valleys of life are becoming less precipitous.  The youthful vigor that fueled worldly passions has resigned itself quietly but willingly to the wiser, more mature direction that seems to come with the title Grandfather.  The physical and emotional energy banks are maintaining a more consistent balance ~ there may not be as much in savings, but the account is less volatile, more static.  Perhaps it's responding to the rhythm of purposeful living.  Looking back, he thought he had it all.  Seeing now, it was just a shadow of sweet things on the horizon...  Another year.  A good year.

Blessings, Debbie 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

eternal flame

We're coming dad.  And I'll bring the cake.  How many candles?  Dad, I asked how many candles... dad?  Ignoring the question doesn't make them (birthdays) go away!

Love, Debbie

Friday, October 14, 2011

our distinguished guests

As I said yesterday, things were not quite ready for our guests.  We had hoped to do a bit of  painting, maybe lay carpet and make some curtains.  But after a long flight (they came straight here from their visit in Canada) they were exhausted and assured us that, "it's exactly to our liking, just the way it is."  They really are the sweetest of guests!

After retiring to the parlor, Toad and Mole invited us in for tea.  The ever industrious Ratty had a hankering for some fresh butter on his scones (just like he eats them back home on the river) so he worked tirelessly at the churn so everyone else could chat... What a guy!

Long into the night we were regaled with tales of the travels and trials of these 3 comrades.  Toad had us on the edge of our seats while kind Mole lulled us back to safer positions with his quiet manner.

All that churning seemed to take it's toll on Ratty.  He was the first to dismiss himself to softer accommodations with Toad and Mole soon following.  As for me?  I had a hard time falling asleep.  I found myself deeply concerned for Mole.  He seems to be fanning a secret flame.  Someone he left back in Canada... Deborah?

Oh dear, I promised Mole that I wouldn't tell Pom Pom, I hope she's not reading this!

Blessings, Debbie

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the adventures begin

When we heard that friends would be arriving for a brief visit, preparations began.  I don't know about you, but 3 adult guests take a bit of rearranging and revamping if everyone is going to be cozy.  Well, they arrived quicker than I expected and so of course we will be making do and just settling in to enjoy sweet fellowship.  Of course, they couldn't be kinder and keep reassuring me that everything is perfect.  I love friends!  Tonight we will all get a good night's sleep so that we are fresh for the adventures planned over the next few days!

Blessings, Debbie 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

precursor to an apple marathon

I'm not quite ready to commit to canning or freezing but we girls were more than eager to dig into the box of apples and fill this house with the aroma of fall.  Some of the crisp, juicy Jonagolds and Melroses were peeled, sliced, cored and set to simmer with sugar and cinnamon for a thick applesauce, while a crust was prepared to recieve the rest.  We coaxed our boy over with the promise of dinner and pie if he would bring the ice cream.  Now I sit at this computer feeling deeply satisfied.  Satisfied that comfort food really is a comfort, that my girls are going to be rockin' wives and that we are blessed with appreciative men (you know the old adage, the way to a man's heart...).


Monday, October 10, 2011

Mirror, mirror...

Note: the next series of steps were NOT on the dance card.  Brothers are accustomed to breaking into spontaneous embarrassing acts at any given moment... just ask Audrey.

I could have danced all night
I could have danced all night
and still have begged for more...  

O.K. apparently there is a limit.  Cory hit his around 11:00 and Audrey just shortly after.  The lyrics above could have only been sung by Erin.  Her father and I had been sitting in a glazed stupor for quite some time.  The Ball is not for wimps.  In fact, it's a very good thing that our coach was not really a pumpkin as we would have been sitting in the middle of the highway 15 miles from home when the clock struck midnight.  Will we do it again?  Next time will be our 4th (here is a little something about our first) and I think Larry and I can finally be taken off of the novice list.  The kids have been pros since their second.  Yes, we enjoy this family workout too much to take it off our to do list!  

Is this something that your family does?  What do you think about the complicated steps and the fast paced workout?  Am I totally showing my age when I say that I can only dance every other dance because I need a rest?!

Blessings, Debbie

not an apple picking frock

This weekend was just beautiful.  A couple of ideal autumn days.  The evenings were crisp and cold, the days in the mid 70's and offered that fabulous end of summer hurrah.  It was perfect weather for picking apples, which we did.  We drove 40 minutes to a beautiful apple orchard that offers u-pic organic apples for .40 cents a pound just 1 weekend of the year.  So, even though we were exhausted yesterday we trekked on for our 100+ pounds.  Even though our feet and our bodies ached, we still enjoyed romping, picking, hefting and heaving between rows of 30 year old apple trees.  "Why were you exhausted, and why did your feet and bodies ache?", you ask.  Here's your hint... Audrey didn't wear the dress in the above photo apple picking... but she did wear it this weekend!

Blessings, Debbie
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