Colorful fall orchard

“A man is old when he can pass an apple orchard and not remember the stomach ache.” ~ James Russell Lowell

The orchard trees are now dormant, and the few freezes we’ve had have knocked off all their leaves. However, it is warm and wet enough for the grass to grow.

American Heritage Girl

“I promise to love God,
Cherish my family,
Honor my country,
and Serve in my community.”

~ American Heritage Girls Oath

My daughter participates in AHG instead of Girl Scouts, a growing trend among Christians and conservatives who think that the Girl Scouts have gotten too liberal. It’s your basic God, country, and excellence program focused on civic service, citizenship, and character. Sofia loves it. Here she is receiving her badge for participating in Operation Christmas Child.

Sidewalk moss grid

Give me the man who will surrender the whole world for a moss or a caterpillar, and impracticable visions for a simple human delight. ~ Bruce Frederick Cummings

I thought this was a nice contrast of colors, and animate v. inanimate.

Winter vineyard

My lover is like a sachet of myrrh
lying between my breasts.
He is like a bouquet of sweet henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En-gedi.

~ Song of Solomon 1:13-15 (New Living Translation)

Kinda depressing! Dormant for winter.

Winter grapes

I went past the field of the sluggard,
past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.

I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.

~ Proverbs 24:30-34

This is what vineyards look like here in the winter.

Sermon Notes

“A good sermon should be like a woman’s skirt: short enough to arouse interest but long enough to cover the essentials.” ~ Ronald Knox

The first step in sermon prep, after choosing a subject, is to create it in your mind and heart, and then splurge out the outline. I use a white board for that. Here’s an example. Next, prepare the PowerPoint, go over it a few times, refine PowerPoint, then create secondary materials.

Funny!

“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The puppet show at our friend’s birthday party was funny – cf. this photo.

Sharks and dolphins and whales, O My!

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ~ Albert Einstein

In case you can’t recognize these three creatures, they are a shark, a dolphin, and a whale, according to my 4 year old boy. Gotta love the imagination when the electronics are turned off!

Ice cream makes me KWAYZEE!

Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.  ~Don Kardong

Tuesday nights is dollar scoop night at Baskin Robbins. We go even during the winter because it gets us all out of the house instead of being cooped up, and it’s festive to get ice cream. Here’s my youngest mugging for the camera.