Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Bearded Bard

A friend (Lance Lohstreter) introduced us to a new musician earlier this summer. Josh Garrels has quickly moved into my top rotation. Just one piece of lyrics -- on it own -- fells me. I am so intensely glad he is writing, making music. You can get his latest album free from his website. He's done a number of albums...a few of them are on Rhapsody. He's on Pandora. You can find him on YouTube (I like putting in "Josh Garrels" and then setting the filter -- upper left, for those of us just getting used to such things -- to "playlist" and then just letting it play for awhile). His voice and style is some surprising mix of Jeff Buckley, Lauren Hill, (sometimes) Dessa, but with these lyrics that are God-honoring, deep, weighty. I have committed myself to memorizing the lyrics from SISU (continued below...)

By the word and command, mortal man can stand, son of man is the manna manifest
In the flesh and the blood, and the bones and the rocks, in the valley of the dead
The dry bones are gonna walk and talk
To the rhythm of the saints y'all, to the rhythm of the saints
And I paint it red to remember the dead, who layed down their lives for the truth
And the seed that is buried takes root, and this ignorant world will have proof
I remember the sins of my youth, the path and the madness of unrestrained pleasure
The heavier trip it made the heavier debter
In the deepest of dark without a wing or a feather,
The spiral closed in like a cage, like a cage
A maze that's amazing for days turns to rage if the page it refuses to turn
And the hopeless will hope the book burns
When the lesson it returns, but the lesson is still unlearned
See I yearn to discern if a life can be earned or is given as a gift to the dead
I read and I bled and I fed to the full my soul on the sickest of sickness
Seeking the light of a saviors witness, a way that one day that I might forget this
But slave master wont permit this
Cause I'm a hooker I'm his mistress
And when I look for freedom he puts more chains on me
Strangles my hope so that I live like a zombie
What masters house can this be, that when I look for freedom he still deceives me
If there's a God I screamed, "Answer me!" 
I didn't expect an answer to be received, He said
You must die, to be set free, living in the kingdom of God eternally
Open up my eyes so that I can see, and die with a cry revolutionary
Every man and woman is a witness, and we will never forget this
Undiluted, undisputed, never to be substituted, or uprooted, fully suited for the war
It's a modernization of a timeless metaphor, and
By the boomerang we bring the beats back more
What for man, do we work exterior to core, or begin it in the spirit of the Lord
Now you could pull the chord, but the people still sing it acapella
Marching to the beat I hear their feet are in the cellar
Fear not the world cannot stop what must begin within you and me
A fire wind, holy hymn, beautiful diadem, hidden within positively pure prism refraction
Every colors broken down, harmonize with my eyes spectrum
In the end bleeding into the One, to the source, to the beautiful father of light
All the pressure and pain, produces perseverance
It's purged by the flames, without interference
Produces a hope, In the glory of God
My God I am your son, and I know that you will finish the work that you've begun
Homespun, grassroots, spontaneously suits the purpose, and we don't deserve this
He said
You must die to be set free, living in the kingdom of God eternally
Open up my eyes so that I can see, and die with a cry revolutionary
Every man and woman is a witness, and we will never forget this

The above song is more in the style of Dessa (sorta hip-hop sliding mellowish) -- not really my yen area, but he's so varied that I feel like I don't tire of rotating around through his albums. Then there is this song which makes my inner core just leap with longing for Christ's all-perfect, sure-and-coming reconciliation and restoration of all things heaven and earth, inside and out.

Stand on the shores of a site unseen
The substance of this dwells in me
Cause my natural eyes only go skin deep
But the eye's of my heart anchor the sea
Plumbing the depths to the place in between
The tangible world and the land of a dreams
Because everything ain't quite it seems
There's more beneath the appearance of things
A beggar could be king within the shadows,
Of a wing

And wisdom will honor everyone who will learn
To listen, to love, and to pray and discern
And to do the right thing even when it burns
And to live in the light through treacherous turns
A man is weak, but the spirit yearns
To keep on course from the bow to the stearn
And throw overboard every selfish concern
That tries to work for what can't be earned
Sometimes the only way to return is to go,
Where the winds will take you

And to let go, of all, you cannot hold onto
For the hope, beyond,the blue

Yellow and gold as the new day dawns
Like a virgin unveiled who waited so long
To dance and rejoice and sing her song
And rest in the arms of a love so strong
No one comes unless they're drawn
By the voice of desire that leads 'em along
To the redemption of what went wrong
By the blood that covers the innocent one
No more separation
Between us.

So lift your voice just one more time
If there's any hope may it be a sign
That everything was made to shine
Despite what you can see
So take this bread and drink this wine
And hide your spirit within the vine
Where all things will work by a good design
For those who will believe

And let go, of all, we cannot hold onto
For the hope, beyond, the blue

Said I let go, of all, I could not hold onto
For the hope, I have, in you 

and this one:


Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves 'em both
We're all cast-aways in need of rope
Hangin' on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I've seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin' that line back home

So much more to life than we've been told
It's full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you've done
Forgiveness alright

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin' for my soul
And I've got no place left go
'Cause I got changed by what I've been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin' on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I'm free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I'll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluffs
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
'Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the Son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we're the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Crafty Morning!

Yesterday morning I decided to try a craft time with the boys. Miraculously! it went not just well but awesomely -- an hour and a half of drawing, cutting, stickers, imagination, happiness, ideas, fun for all of us. Hooray!

Dietrich is so unsure of himself when he draws. I was so excited that he spent the whole time until lunch drawing and actually verbalizing what he was trying to draw. Usually he just clams up, scribbles and throws away his pictures (if he even starts drawing in the first place).

I think it is so interesting that he so often picks super light colors like yellow to draw. Even his colors are unsure. I turned the drawing into black and white so you could see it.
One of first stages -- Aren't his faces great!?

I wrote what he dictated to me.

Lincoln -- that kid!

Yes, that is a pacifier. He hasn't used one for months and months but we found one while organizing my sewing area and he commandeered it for an hour or so. 
Atticus being specific and self-directed. He has made a machine that turns people into super heroes.

Before he added clothes and sticker adornments

Dietrich added electric current along the top, snakes (not pictured) and wanted a super hero boy and his mother on the side. He drew the faces and described what their hair and clothes were supposed to look like.

Lincoln's creative time devolved into marker deconstruction.

I got the boys all situated with drawing stuff before I put Thea Belle down for her nap -- until then she scooted around eating markers she found on the floor.

After drawing, the kids added stickers to their pictures and then decided to make tickets with individual stickers on each one. I found some little envelopes for them and then we went outside and they sold tickets for the dinosaur movie. They even went next door and asked our neighbor Melissa (who is between Atticus and Dietrich's age) over to see it. The front steps were the ampitheater.

Dodge-ing: The Issue

Brad has taught the boys dodgeball and has now become their favorite After-Dinner-Dad-Is-Home game. Dietrich is wildly competitive and competent at it. He is quick and wily and is wont to do a lightening curl-up to narrowly avoid a direct hit. Atticus, as seems to be his style, thinks the whole thing is so funny but will place himself three feet away from his dad and do silly taunts begging to be hit and then collapse laughing hilariously only to get up and ask for more. It is pretty annoying to Brad that Atticus has so little competitive spirit in him. But A. does love people and games and can be fast and skilled when he wants to (which is probably why it is more annoying for Brad). Anyway, Lincoln just wanders around watching happy to be part of whatever everyone is doing. And Thea either stays safely in with me while I clean up from dinner, or she scoots around outside eating grass and sticks.

Changes for Mr.C

So when we were outside playing on the front sidewalk we found a cicada. I thought it was possibly deformed because it had no wings. We watched it for a long time, then the boys asked to put it in a jar for awhile. This sort of thing keeps happening and I never remember to pick up a small terrarium...So we put this guy in a vase with a stick, some leaves, and a drywall sanding screen over the top just in case he decided to crawl out. I told the kids we'd have to let him go before dinner so he wouldn't die. Then I put the three younger kids down for naps leaving Atticus upstairs reading on the couch. I roused myself from getting Dietrich and Lincoln to sleep, walked into the kitchen, checked on this little guy, and Lo! -- He has shed his skin and was displaying some lovely frail wings. Amazing. And what timing!! I called Atticus down and we watched for awhile. Then we let the other boys and Daddy see him before letting him go on a tree in the backyard. Hooray!

Bionical Helmets...and Other Things

Atticus has many opinions about clothing. He regularly comes downstairs already dressed -- having an affinity for vests, button-down shirts, and pants that are way too short for him (found in his brothers' drawers). Last week, he came down like this...plastic visor from one of their Buzz Lightyears masking taped to his head...Pirate pants and kerchief from the  costume bucket replete with shield and sword. This would be fun and funny on any level, but he wore this from  in the morning until 7 at night. He never took off the visor. Even at the park, on a walk, riding his bike, eating meals, reading books in his afternoon quiet time. Brad was quasi-horrified -- mostly wondering if the tape could be good for his skin for that long. Anyway, here he is at the end of the day with his own special poses.

He insisted on including this one and the one below.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thea Belle!

A week ago Brad and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. Brad asked his folks to come up and watch all four kids all day the Saturday of our anniversary so we could have an ALL-DAY date!!!! Since Tom & Nancy came all the way up and Tom has to come up again in the next couple weeks for work, they decided to celebrate Thea's first birthday a couple weeks early. I love how she is just surrounded in brother-ness.

Look at those eyes...Seriously.

Hi, Dad.


Funny Daddy.
What is my dad doing?

Uh...kinda strange here...

Take me Momma...

Oh, he's so cute...