Friday, May 24, 2013

see you soon, friend!

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the path of righteousness
For His name sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed me head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Dear friends,

I apologize for my absence. These last few days have been ones of grief and sorrow. Our beloved friend, Megan, recently went home to be with the Lord. She has blessed my life and so many others in such incredible ways. We miss our sweet, energetic sister, but know she is rejoicing in the presence of our Savior! One day we will be reunited again!

It's been difficult to move on, but we know Megan would want us to live the remainder of our days well and for His glory. Her life is our inspiration to love deeply, to serve others passionately in the name of Christ, and to laugh hard every single day! Some people live their whole lives without such an amazing friend. I'm incredibly thankful to have been blessed by the gift of her friendship in my life! Meg could light up a room with her smile and loud laugh. She had a magnetic, joyful personality and was truly one-of-a-kind!

I ask that you join me in praying that the Lord continues to be close to Megan's family, friends, and students while we walk through this valley. We are not without hope that this is not "goodbye," but "see you later." We will see our precious Megan again!

Someday soon I will pick up my "pen" and begin the blog posts again... Until then, prayers are appreciated.


Monday, May 13, 2013

hello and goodnight

Persimmon pudding, four loaves of challah, chicken salad, espresso brownies, french toast with peach maple syrup and whipped cream, chocolate covered strawberries, fondue birthday dinner...just some of the culinary madness that happens when Mother's Day collides with the Hubster's birthday. 

Tonight has been declared an evening of recovery in our abode. Leftovers. The couch. An early bedtime for this exhausted and blessed wife/daughter/sister/friend/foodie/nanny. Tonight I'm off the clock. 

P.S. Old window re-do post coming later this week! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

news from the book nook: frogs and bogs

Exciting news: I heard the spring peepers (aka tiny frogs) recently! I literally stopped halfway in and out of the car in the Trader Joe's parking lot and exclaimed, "Listen! Hear that?" Poor hubster - he has to deal with his wife's strange antics on a daily basis... But seriously, this is a big deal! Every year I listen for the happy frog chorus usually coming from the swampy forest (yay, a rhyme!). Their voices are a sign of warm air, bright sunshine, mud, rain showers, and all other forms of spring happiness!

Note: If the prior paragraph makes absolutely no sense to you, please YouTube "spring peepers song." If you still don't get it, then please just consider it an odd characteristic of a zoologist's daughter and we'll move on...

To the real reason for this post: frogs, bogs, and pollywogs! No better way to celebrate the arrival of the peepers than taking one of these books along on a picnic. After a delicious lunch of tuna fish salad, hard boiled eggs, brownies, and lemonade (maybe this is only my childhood memory), begin the search for squirmy pollywogs and jumpy frogs! Fact: a day spent splashing and wading in gurgling creeks is good for the soul! Just remember to pack plenty of towels and a change of clothes!

A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson and Joan Rankin
A repetitive, fun story about the squirmy delicacies a frog eats. Each page "the frog grows a little bit bigger" until the frogs finds out that the half-sunk log he's sitting on isn't a log at all....

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan
It's an oldy, but a goody! A storytime favorite that will have the kids screaming JUMP, FROG, JUMP! with the turn of each page.

Jump! by Scott Fischer
Simple illustrations and text with a silly story line! Great for teaching simple rhyming sounds to preschoolers and kindergartners.

Too Many Frogs! by Ann Hassett
A fun way to introduce counting to a preschooler. An outrageous story about a woman who simply wants to bake a cake, but keeps getting interrupted by too many frogs. She listens to her neighbors' suggestions about how to get rid of the frogs, but they just keep multiplying!

The Wide-Mouthed Frog (A Pop-Up Book) by Keith Faulkner
Not just an awesome pop-up, but a great story! Sadly, if you are looking in libraries it might be difficult to find - pop-ups never fair well under intense circulation. Perhaps a great birthday gift instead!

In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
If you are looking for bright illustrations and simple text for a toddler, Denise Fleming's books are always a good option. The pond is full of critters that wiggle and waddle, splitter and splatter. Denise Fleming has a wonderful gift of introducing challenging vocabulary in an accessible format for the youngest kids.

Big Frog Can't Fit In: A pop-up book by Mo Willems
What children's book recommendation list would be complete without a book by everyone's favorite, Mo Willems?! A fun, silly book by arguable one of the best children's authors ever!

P.S. If you live in my general area Peace Valley Nature Center trails take you to prime frog, turtle, and crayfish territories!  My campers loved field trips here - much to explore and tons of rocks to overturn during the search for the elusive blue crayfish! But be warned: your car will smell like a swamp afterwards :)