Aptly Spoken

Love for God is not natural to us. Even in the redeemed state our souls grow cold and we experience feelings of indifference toward him. When we pray, our minds wander and we indulge in woolgathering. In the midst of corporate worship, we are bored and find ourselves taking peeks at our watches. How dissimilar this is to our behavior when we are in the company of those we dearly love.
--R.C. Sproul, What is Reformed Theology?


Psalm 30

As for me, I said in my prosperity,
"I shall never be moved,"
By your favor, O Lord,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cried,
and to the Lord I made supplication:
"What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be my helper!"

You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.



We returned home safely Saturday, along with 1 half-gallon fresh skim milk, 1 half-gallon fresh 2% milk, 1 half-gallon fresh whole chocolate milk, 1 quart fresh eggnog, 1 package locally made smoked swiss cheese, and 159 locally grown apples. Pictures definitely to come. Right now they are neatly arranged in rank and file on our table, and they take up over half of it. . .and our table is pretty big.

This morning I had pumpkin muffins and eggnog for breakfast, so I feel that fall and the holiday season has definitely arrived. The temperatures have dropped markedly over the past week, as well, and it feels like fall. Tonight I get the water bath canner for which I searched all over the area before finally ordering through a store, and tomorrow (hopefully) I start making applesauce and apple pie filling!

In the meantime, we're still looking for a house. No news there. We have, however, pretty much settled in a church, and that's very nice. The families we went with on Saturday were very friendly and helpful. They've even volunteered to help us if we buy a home that needs some TLC, with expertise, equipment, and actual labor! I'm very thankful that God so quickly provided us with "family." It's good to know there are people we could call in an emergency.

There's the weekend report, folks. Pictures of apples when I remember to bring the camera downstairs. . . .


Pumpkin Day

Today I completed my annual pumpkin cutting, cooking, scooping, pureeing, and freezing. Four years in a row is enough to call it an annual tradition, isn't it? My pumpkin weighed about 16 pounds, and I ended up with a little over 15 cups of pumpkin puree. . .more than enough for this year's pies and bread, I hope.

I discovered a new trick this year. In the past, I've really struggled with the cutting. Pumpkins are not an easy item to dismember. In fact, I've even had Kevin or, one year, my dad cut them for me so as not to wear myself out with the very first step. Yesterday, however, I read that one should use a serrated knife when cutting pumpkins. Amazingly, it made a huge difference. I cut that pumpkin up in no time, and it wasn't even taxing! Good to know.

So now my house smells like pumpkin, which smells like squash, if you don't know. Yesterday it smelled like bread; I think that was preferable. Tomorrow, hopefully, it will smell like the season's first loaf of pumpkin bread. And Friday, maybe, I will make it smell like pumpkin pie, because I want to make ahead and freeze some pie crusts for Thanksgiving anyway, and, mostly, just because I can.



the number of weeks in half a year.
thirteen times two.
in December, the day after Christmas.
Friday's date.
the number of rolls in two baker's dozens.


the number of years I've been inhabiting this sphere.



Top o' the Mornin' to ya

It's barely 8 o'clock here on the east coast, which means it is barely 7, 6, or 5 where most of you are. Early. K has left for work, and I am gathering my energy to actually begin the day.
Checking e-mail, I noticed a steady stream of visitors last week through my ShinyStat counter. Well, stream might be a strong word. . .let's try trickle. Anyway, steady is the right word, and now I feel guilty for not answering loyal reading with loyal posting.
I typed up a nice theological musing to post before we had internet, but, as is often the case after the heat of the first impressions have gone, I now hesitate to actually put it up here. Maybe later this week. Suffice to say I was reading Hawthorne, which always make me reflective. . .and vastly influences my writing style as well, I fear.
We looked at 6 houses (well, 1 house, 1 duplex, and 5 townhomes) this weekend. A couple of them may be contenders, but we want to look more first. We met several new people at the church we've almost decided to stay at, and they recommended a couple different communities we had glanced past and offered to advise as to the fitness of any neighborhood we found. That's so very helpful, so we are going to look there as well.
We were planning to go backpacking this coming weekend, in honor of my birthday. But a group from the church is going on an excursion next Saturday, so we're changing our plans to go with them. I'm so excited; I can't wait! We're going apple-picking(!!!), then for a picnic to one of the state parks, then to a dairy/creamery for homemade ice cream, and maybe to buy some organic, fresh milk or eggnog! The apple orchard sells fresh-pressed cider, as well!
Speaking of organic milk, we've started buying it. I had started buying it for Kevin before we moved up here (yes, we buy two kinds of milk. . .we're both spoiled, I know.), because he wanted to try it. And he liked it. And, truthfully, it stays good twice as long, so we wind up not throwing any soured milk out, which is good. Then we moved here, and Maryland doesn't carry the one brand of milk I would drink. (Again, I know I'm spoiled. I don't like milk anyway, but one particular brand of skim tastes less like milk than any of the others, so I always bought that.) So I had to try something else, and I opted for the organic. I actually like it. This bodes well for my bone structure and our future children.
I went grocery shopping last night. You know the frustration of going to a different store than your usual, and not being able to find anything? It's ten times worse when you move across the country, because on top of being in a new store, the local area dictates an entirely different arrangement of products (at least in OK, usually, stores were somewhat similar, especially in the way they grouped items), AND they carry different products to begin with. So going grocery shopping is an ordeal, and it makes me feel very lost. It's nice to shop where the staff are nice, though. Last night, I was looking for a little 4 oz. can of green chiles. Apparently they don't carry them here. I looked with the Hispanic foods. The cannned peppers in jars. A couple other random places (all on different aisles). Someone asked if I was finding everything, and I said no. So he started looking. He asked someone else. And someone else. I went on shopping. Next thing I know, I hear the 3 of them calling to each other from neighboring aisles, still looking. . .and chasing me down 3 aisles later to see if a particular product is what I was looking for. Isn't that nice? (I bought a fresh yellow chile pepper, and then the bag of dried red chiles he brought me. Any advice on which I should use?)
I should get busy now. Today is laundry day for sheets and towels, and I need to get some cleaning done so I can unpack the computer on our new desk and have dinner ready early enough for us to go look at houses tonight.
I do hope you appreciate the lengthy ramblings of this post, and that it makes up for a couple of the days you've visited and found nothing new.



I think I just saw one of these in my basement, in the (unfinished) laundry room. Unfinished means there are wooden beams visible above, etc. . .and one of the websites about this ugly thing helpfully says it likes to hang upside down from wood. And another says it jumps on people. And. . . uggggggggghhh. Don't tell me it's harmless. I did read the page I just linked to. I can deal with plain old crickets. Fine. No problem. But this monster looks a whole lot like a spider. And I don't deal with spiders. Irrational or not. I don't care. Do you think I could get a big lizard and let it live down there and it would eat them all? Do I have to go down and put my clothes in the dryer? Laundry just got a lot more painful.

Internet!!! . . .and Marriage

Woo-Hoo! We're connected again! We bought a new computer desk yesterday, and we've ordered a futon for our media/guest room, so hopefully I will soon be able to post pictures of our unpacked and settled temporary home for you! Tomorrow, we're going to look for a permanent home. There's a scary thought. It's somewhat disconcerting to unpack in one place while simultaneously looking for a place to move.

In the meantime, here is a collection of 4 short articles expressing various perspectives on courtship, dating, and marriage. Food for though.


Naomi's wedding, Part 3

The wedding was beautiful, and the reception a great celebration. It had Naomi's fingerprint on it, through and through. I hope you guys enjoy the pictures.

Naomi's wedding, Part 2

Naomi's wedding, Part 1