Monday, March 31, 2008
To facebook someone is to contact them via Facebook.
To beth is to take fresh ginger and turn it into gingersnaps. To be bethed is to arrive at the Pinckney home one day and see fresh ginger sitting on the counter and to arrive the next day and be served fresh gingersnaps.
That last definition supplied by John S. in a conversation last night with the guys at our house about verbifying nouns. I am pleased and humbled by his definition. You should expect, John, to be bethed soon with fresh ginger and coffee beans made into the best sandwich cookies ever.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
43. Early morning twittering of nuthatches and chickadees as they make their first forays to the feeder.
44. A light breeze, the sound of drops on leaves and then the feel of drops on my face.
45. The barely discernible brightening of the sky and a break in the clouds to reveal patches of blue.
46. Good bread and real marmalade.
47. A new book to read at breakfast (back in January - now finished) the story of a faithful woman, Helen Roseveare.
48. The delightful imaginary play of a four year old who has the MOST expressive eyes I've ever seen.
49. The most accomodating, sweet and also imaginative fifteen year old who played happily with the four year old for over an hour and was even willing to be called "Alicia" (thanks, Matthew)
50. Rain! (and there's been more since for which to give thanks).
51. The completion of college applications for the fourth time (back in January and now waiting for one more school to reply and then the weighing and deciding).
52. Four long, great weeks with Jonathan. I am so thankful for a son who desires to follow Christ and asks hard questions, not content with easy answers.
And for today, March 30...
53. More family time yesterday. Erin and Luke came back from the beach and we got more time with them. Every minute is precious.
54. Painting in watercolors. We've been saying we were going to do it for a long time. Yesterday, on a slower than normal Saturday, we did. Thanks, Gary. I'm encouraged and want to keep going...
55. Healing - my shoulder is better. It was a joy to be able to do mundane tasks like washing the kitchen floor, running the vacuum, and cooking a nice meal yesterday.
56. A rare slow Sunday morning. We are having a joint worship service with another church this morning so we don't have to arrive early to do our normal church plant set-up today...and their service starts at 11. So, I have time to slowly rise and drink coffee, read and write, and see my loved ones off.
57. Running into a friend in the grocery store yesterday afternoon. It's a small thing, but I am thankful when I have points of connection with friends in the normal course of daily life.
58. A son who blesses family and friends with excess from his job - good bread all around today.
59. Two baptisms this afternoon.
60. A day to worship in freedom and a heart more ready to worship this morning.
let us rejoice and be GLAD in it!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
It's not Memorial Garden but my own front garden has a special charm this spring thanks to a gift from my sister last fall. She gave me a box filled with over a hundred bulbs - daffodils, tulips, crocuses, anemones, alliums and more. Not all of them have bloomed yet. The alliums come later, but there is a lovely little garden vignette in the front bed this year, thanks to Annie's lovely gift.
This is one of the challenges in which I desire to live with God exalting joy. But, honestly, I don't feel like doing that today. I feel like sleeping (I didn't do much of that last night) and sitting. I feel like grumbling and complaining. But then, I think of Linda, my dear friend who died last February. Linda battled cancer for seven years and in the three and a half of those years that I knew her, I was constantly amazed at her capacity for joy in the all sufficient love of God whose goodness she never questioned despite surgeries, chemo treatments, fluid build-up in her abdomen, and much, much more. Her life verse was Psalm 16:11:
- You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Matthew had drama class this afternoon and since he has his permit, he was able to drive. I sat in the passenger seat, thankfully resting my aching arm. When we got to Concord, he headed to the theatre and I took a slow walk to the library to return two small books (easy to carry), then to the tea shop for a cup of iced raspberry green tea, and then to Memorial Garden with my tea to sit and read. When I got there, my thoughts sped from this painful arm to the beauties of the garden. The pale yellow tulips with pink stripes they planted this year are stunning! The large tulip beds by the fountain are not blooming yet, but many other flowers are in their spring glory right now; pansies and many other varieties of tulips, hyacinths, Lenten roses, some of the azaleas, and ornamental cherry trees. I walked to the columbarium and found a bench near the fountain and spent an hour reading, sun on my back, water cheerfully gurgling over the bricks of the fountain, bees buzzing, quiet visitors walking through admiring the flowers. Oh, it was just what I needed.
My shoulder is still hurting - a lot - tonight. I'm still frustrated with the inability to move my arm without pain. But my eyes were lifted up from my pain this afternoon and I remember that the Lord who gives gladness in happy times like this past weekend also gives gladness in pain. Praise Him.
I wrote "remembered and celebrated" because Pastor Fred reminded us that Easter/Resurrection Day is not just a holiday to celebrate with special food, special clothes, and special activities, but it is a day to remember Christ's sin defeating victory over death. So we remember and ponder and reflect - how do I live out this resurrection reality day by day? And we sing...
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.
Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.
AND we celebrate! With family and friends, sharing food and stories and laughter. The whole afternoon was golden for me from the mandatory picture taking while the rolls finished cooking...
... to the rolls coming out of the oven and into the basket...
to savoring the food prepared by Mama, Anne, and me; to cleaning up and then relaxing on the porch while some of the boys went to the park...
to dessert together when they returned; to an evening of togetherness and more routine things (for this house!) like haircuts...
and Dutch Blitz.
I am so very thankful for my family and for the opportunity to be all together. I am thankful that my children love the Lord and each other and that our home is a gathering place for many. Dear Lord, may it always be so as we live out resurrection life in the joys and in the sorrows and challenges of life. This weekend was one of the great joys.
There are a couple of reasons I was delighted about Thomas' offer. One is that it is very gratifying to see your son really get excited about a subject and begin to think seriously about pursuing it in his studies. It is confirmation that somewhere along the way, a love of learning kicked in and a bent toward a particular subject matter began to flourish. This is particularly delightful for me because I was a Biology major in college and love the more macro side of biology ecology, anatomy and physiology, botany and more. Thomas seems to be tending in this direction as he considers an Environmental Studies major. And this, even as he struggles along with a less than stellar professor this semester. He's not crazy about the professor and the way he presents the material, but he's loving the subject matter and gets excited in discussions about the material and labs with classmates.
The second reason I was pleased with his offer is that I got to stand back and watch two of my boys working together - one leading and explaining, the other following instructions. Those of you who know Thomas may see a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving, rambunctious, sometimes loud kind of guy. Not a serious bone in his body, you might think. But I know better. And I was encouraged to see him guiding Matthew through the dissection with confidence.
This was one of those treasured moments for a homeschool mom who, like all homeschool moms, wonders if what she is doing is enough or right or making any kind of lasting impression.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Of course, with all the visits I've had very little time to blog so this morning, I'm doing a little catching up...
Ski Day 2008
Last Tuesday we took our annual trip to Appalachian Ski Mountain. We arrived early in the morning to beautifully groomed snowy slopes practically devoid of skiiers. It was the first time since we've been making these yearly treks to AppSki that Jonathan has been home so it was his first downhill skiing experience. His three experienced brothers were excellent teachers and he was soon gliding down the longest slopes, with only a few falls here and there. There were so few people there on Tuesday that the boys never had to wait in line at a lift so they got in a very full day of skiing.
We love March skiing in NC - hatless shaved heads don't get cold...
unfortunately they do get sunburned!
from top to bottom, left to right, Joel, Matthew, Jonathan, Andrew
for some reason this picture reminds me of an old Tintin comic book picture
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The Tsamala girls and Angela came over for lunch. These beautiful young women are so honest and so free and so sweet and so funny and so needy. I love them and I don't pour into their lives nearly enough. Whenever I see them, though, we hug and in their African way, they call me "Mahmee." They have grown so much in the past two years and all of us at church are amazed and humbled by their growing grace and maturity. We are thankful and encouraged. In addition to the girls, one of the boys' friends, Shawn, who is over often (we call him an HP - Honorary Pinckney), and Jacob, home for a while from Southeast Asia but minus Karen and the kids today, shared our meal and contributed to the conversation around the table. It was a cobbled together lunch...we made turkey sandwiches, heated up left-over spaghetti, pulled out left-over sweet potato salad, made tossed salad and a really yummy grape salad with cream cheese and sour cream, opened the big bin of pretzels and sliced sourdough bread. There was plenty to eat!
As always, we went around, youngest to oldest, sharing one thing we remembered from the sermon. The ones who helped in the nursery during church talked about their Sunday School lesson. Whenever we do this, various ones will jump up and search for their sermon notes and thus armed, contribute their reflections. It is always interesting to see what strikes each one of us and what we take away from the morning's preaching.
After lunch, the soccer crowd headed off to the park. A smaller than usual group gathered on the muddy field. But it was an international group - China, Vietnam, Congo, the Philippines and the USA were all represented on the field. I love it...soccer, the international sport.
Those of us who stayed home mostly napped! Two of the girls opened out the futon and one of the them snuggled on the porch swing under a warm blanket. I curled up on the loveseat and slept away. MMMMMM!
Meanwhile, Jonathan (who got home for spring break on Thursday) spent about three hours teaching Jacob the Arabic alphabet. Every once in a while, in my dozey state, I would hear Jacob imitating the sounds Jonathan made and trying to figure out the Arabic words Jonathan had written. Jacob, the linguist, has an amazing facility for and love of languages. I enjoyed listening to my son, the Arabic student, teaching him. They both had a great time and I hope they'll take time for more Arabic "lessons" while Jonathan is home.
After naps and soccer, Rita, home from the field braved the pool...for a very short time. In fact, she jumped in and was out almost immediately. Her scream alerted those of us inside that she had actually taken the plunge!
This evening after brownies, Andrew took the girls home and the rest of us sat around the table for a long time, savoring conversation with Jacob that ranged from linguistic theory to movies to cross-cultural life.
I love Sundays like this. Easy going, no big production but enough good food to satisfy, visitors who make themselves right at home, help in the kitchen and happily nap in my family room, lots of laughter and rich conversation. And now, after a full day and last night's late night, I am VERY ready for bed!
When I got up this morning, I had a reply from Erin:
It's 2:45 and we just got home - it did take a long time for the foal to stand and he still hasn't nursed on his own, but he got over 20oz of bottled colostrum in him, some of which we had milked out of Bella, so he's full for now. It took him so long because he's very big, has really long legs, and his front fetlocks are slightly deformed, but they will straighten out within a couple of days. He's getting up and down and walking fine on his own now, so nursing shouldn't be a problem.His name is Bailintin, which is an Irish name and means "valiant" - it fits him already, because he tried so hard to get up and didn't give up! We'll call him Bailey for short. He's absolutely adorable and gave a couple little whinnies that just melt your heart! I could've stayed and watched him all night, but we're going to bed now so I can teach Sunday School in the morning, then we'll probably come home and sleep some more!
And on the webcam this morning, I have watched Bailey and Bella, baby and mama, and they look just fine! He was standing on long wobbly legs and nursing and she looked like a beautiful, calm, attentive mama. I hope if you take a look, the webcam will be on and you'll get to see this valiant little foal and his mama.
Two Sunday School classes, one at an old country church in NY state and one at a church on a college campus in NC, will have sleepy teachers this morning!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Way to go, Bella! At long last...a foal!
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Teeth rattling, face grimacing cold...
A friend who was over this week noticed my smile as I prepared dinner one night and remarked that I really like it when my house is full. Yes, I do. I love the activity. I love having these young men, these fine young men, who are thoughtful and polite, serious and funny, around the house all week, helping with the dishes, playing games together, having long conversations, acting like they belong here and saying they'll be back. They just fit right in.
One night this past week we had 14 around the table. Another night 13. In addition to the two extra "sons" for the last ten days, we had lots of other company - cousin Kennan for two nights, and lots of others, Albert and Sky, Amanda and Jeff, Michelle and Vera, Gary, Rob, Josiah, Jedd, Kaye, Barbara, Sara, and more...a pretty constant stream flowing through the house all week. Oh yea, it's gonna seem so QUIET next week!
Monday, March 03, 2008
There is a webcam on the mare so they can check on her during the night without driving through the cold up to the barn. I've been watching a little this evening and hoping for some foaling action! Take a look. (it may not be on during the day when people are at the barn).
Hurry up Bella so Erin and Luke can go on vacation!