Monday, March 31, 2014

Blue-Eyed Princess of Mine

Lincoln Carver Turns 5!!!

Lincoln Carver is my St. Patrick's Day baby. We celebrated his actual birthday with a slow, stay-home-home-and-play day (his favorite kind) and a family dinner with cake in the evening. Then we had a birthday breakfast for him with friends the Saturday afterwards.
Lincoln found this hat at Target and loved it so very much and ask so very sweetly that I couldn't resist. It suits him.

At the breakfast party our friend Eric Berget had his brother and sister-in-law visiting from out of town and as a birthday treat, David performed some entertaining magic tricks for the kids (he's a developing professional in this craft (-:). It was great and the kids (and grown-ups) loved it. Thank you, David!



Aunt Julia and Owen!
Artena & Shannon!
At their request, David showed Dietrich and Atticus some card tricks...
We love you so very much, Lincoln. Proud to see you grow so much more confident and self-controlled this year. Excited for all the new adventures this coming year, especially kindergarten!

Things to Do When Winter Lingers a Little Too Long...

Turn your children into toilet paper mummies...

The T.P. Houdini!

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Cousin Lisa...

At the end of January Brad and I headed to Chicago to celebrate my cousin Lisa's 40th birthday. Lisa and I grew up together since we were preschoolers. We lived on farms a couple miles from each other (close enough to ride bikes to, once we were allowed to cross the 2-lane highway). We were in the same grade together at our country school -- 4 of us girls, all farmers' daughters, and Lisa and I cousins (that's small). We went to the same church together from 4th grade on. We both had younger brothers. We both took drawing lessons -- if I remember right, I think we even both drew Queen Esther for 4-H club one year. We both had horses for awhile. We both wanted to be female Indiana Jones for two years. We are very different and yet we both love beauty and love reading and love understanding people. And we both love Christ, our strong-headed, back-boned husbands and lively children (Lisa's two and my first two are almost exactly the same age!). We both love to travel (though Lisa has far out-stripped me in that department! (-:). I am thankful for this friendship that has covered 4 decades and so many changes and drama (not between us but in each of our lives). I am thankful for having a friend who remembers playing in soybean wagons at harvest-time and finding kittens in the haymow and being geeky 4th grade Steward Eagle cheerleaders in black and white saddle shoes; for desk-chair races in the Ashton Bible Church basement and exploring falling down old houses and vbs songs (input, output...what goes in is what goes out) and Timberlee Camp. Lisa, I love you. And I am so proud of the woman you have been and have become. xo

Carolyn Ackland (my cousin and Lisa's mom) on left and Teresa Beach-Shelow (our friend from childhood and church growing up) in between Lisa and me

Brad in his new suit!

My fancy dress and highest heels I've ever owned: Both from Banana Republic. It's pretty awkward to show pictures of yourself taking your own picture -- especially when it's to show your outfit. But I almost never get to dress up and it was very fun for me!

God Save the Queen

Dietrich drew this yesterday. It is the Queen on vacation with sunglasses. And there is a tornado in the upper left corner. And there is a forcefield around her to protect her from the tornado.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

40 Years

I can't let this 40th-Year milestone pass without thanking God for the way He has so faithfully, steadfastly held onto me. I am thankful for Him making me His before I even remember anything of my life. I am thankful that as a child I learned and saw God as my Artist-Creator and as the High King, Resplendent and Terrifying and worthy of my deepest fealty. I am thankful that my home was filled with stories, music, beauty, books, books and more books. I am thankful for growing up in wide open spaces with wind and sky and seasons and growing things. I am thankful for tiny perfect strawberries from the garden and the first asparagus and sugar snap peas broken off the vine and young sweet corn. I am thankful for flat land and enormous skies that deliver storms and sunrises and winter stars like none else. I am thankful for thousands of piano lessons (and the occasional transcendant music performance that I was able to experience living inside/having my fingers give) and fairytales and lambs and baby chicks and horses and fabric and thread and paper and pencils and paints and scissors and tape and glue and cardboard and contraband kitchen knives for cutting. I am thankful for hikes in the woods and having wildflowers and mushrooms and trees and birds shown and named. I am thankful for cross-country trips to see mountains and waterfalls and lemmings and mountain goats and geysers and wonderfully hokey Corn Palaces. I am thankful for trips into the Big City (Chicago) to see the Moscow Ballet and Broadway plays at the Auditorium Theater. I am thankful for bike rides on loose gravel roads and four-wheeling on muddy dirt roads and wild roses and tiger lilies growing in ditches. I am thankful for college and the people I met who hunger and thirsted for Truth (lower and upper case), beauty and goodness. I am thankful for the Shawnee National Forest and Mammoth Caves and windy mountaintops in the Appalachian Mountains. I am thankful for tidepools on the English coast and poppies in Italian fields. I am thankful for Bald Knob Cross and God's severe and kind mercies in my despair and doubt and anger and great devouring sadness. I am thankful for all the loneliness and all those writers who held my hand through questions and longing. I am thankful for the letters that reached out to me from friends that God gave me at perfect times. I am thankful for Truth manifested and deliberately hidden; I am especially thankful for the books of Proverbs, Romans, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Colossians and Philippians. I am thankful for C.S. Lewis, Elizabeth Elliot, Jerry Bridges, Madeline L'Engle, L.M. Montgomery, Annie Dillard, John Calvin, Dorothy Sayers, G.Campbell Morgan, Thomas Brooks, George MacDonald and teenage adventure novels. I am thankful for beauty in all her dresses and permutations. I am thankful for colors and lines and texture and physicality. I am thankful for faces and hands and bodies and walking and dreams about flying. I am thankful for Brad...for him asking me to marry him. For his courage and boldness and enthusiasm and optimism and realism and guy-ness and backbone. I am thankful for his steadfastness and steadiness and faithfulness. I am thankful for the sensuality and creativity of pregnancy and the heart-expanding meeting and knowing of our four children, Atticus Robert, Dietrich Lewis, Lincoln Carver, and Thea Belle Adelai. I am thankful for this full, three-dimensional, intense, heavy, normal, too-much, always-changing, inscrutable life that I am living. God has been and is kind to me. It is too much. I am so thankful that I can rest inside it, be needed, love and be loved, know and be known, see and be seen, learn and always be learning...and I don't need to utterly understand this, this my life or these, these my people. I can live this unfolding story inside it without omniscience and yet, still know something of it, and be learning ever and always. I am thankful that light eats darkness -- that love eats up fear -- that companionship and communion eat up loneliness; and there is more light, love, and communion and less darkness, fear and loneliness as year follows year. Thank You, King. Thank You, my kind and steadfast and strange and terrifying and beautiful God. Thank be continued...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rock, Paper, Scissors. Swede-style.

So the Saturday after my birthday we made it to the Swedish American Institute, a.k.a. the Turnblad Mansion. I've wanted to see inside this house since I moved to Minneapolis 10 years ago, and to sweeten my birthday fulfillment, the museum has a special exhibition of papercutting. I have always heard this craft called Scherenschnitte but apparently this is the German term for it (means "scissor cuts") and different cultures have other terms for it. This mansion is one of many built along Park Avenue around the turn of the century. Swan Turnblad and his wife Christina had one daughter, moved into this when the daughter was in her mid-twenties. The daughter never married. When the wife died, father and daughter moved into housing across the street from the mansion and donated the house to the American-Swedish Institute which had apparently been Mr. Turnblad's plan when he  designed and built the house. (p.s. Neither Brad nor I have any Swedish heritage. I am just interested in beautiful things and especially love well-made houses. And I love our city and enjoy knowing the people and culture and history that made it what it is. Also, in general, I appreciate much of the design and aesthetic that comes out of Sweden.)

The mansion with the new modern addition.

The mansion has 11 tile stoves, or kakelugnar, shipped from Sweden.

Lovely, wonderful bookcases in the original family library.

A loom, not originally in the house, but part of a Swedish heritage exhibit. This photo is for my mom who had a loom very similar to this in our dining room growing up -- in her sheep/wool/spinning/weaving stage.
Turn of the century Swedish Bibles, hymnals and communion cup.

Cheerful embroidered daisies...Hooray!

The papercutting exhibit was spread through-out the museum and was primarily the work of two artists, Sonja Peterson and Sonya Padilla. I have their work all mixed up together in these photos. Terribly sorry! You can tell Peterson's by the organic-looking "roots" on the bottoms and the colored paper backdrops.