Thankful Thursday #130

* because I love this girl and all of her faces!
3043. sunshine
3044. vitamin D
3045. warmer weather in the forecast
3046. road
3047. planning for a visit from overseas friends
3048. books in the mail, a package I always love
3049. letting go...of a lot
3050. new window coverings being ordered
3051. a freshly groomed Polo
3052. snow melting, love the sound 

Thankful Thursday #129

* Love Husband Jared
3033. teenagers that still like to snuggle
3034. four Things all to myself this week
3035. girl talk
3036. book club, grin
3037. sweet niece turning one soon
3038.a full journal
3039. teenagers that share their hearts
3040. courage
3041. cozy chairs in front of the fire place
3042. prayers whispered on the way to school


Not sure where to start this post.  I had a post written, edited and ready to be "published".  Then as I read it quickly before clicking the button I just thought to myself I can't.  It was another light hearted post about the weather here and it just seems so insignificant.  While I don't know anyone that was running in the Marathon and I myself can not even imagine running 26.2 miles there is a connection amongst runners.  Novices, intermediates and professionals alike.  So when I lace up my shoes and prepare for my training today I will be thinking of them. 
When I saw the BREAKING flash across my screen I stopped to look.  Bombing at the Boston marathon , two dead, many injured.  What?  Then I continued reading about the  horrific sights that bystanders, supporters and runners alike experienced after the loud blasts and booms.  Then their world was different.  In a matter of seconds.  Much like running.  It changes one step to the next.  The cadence. Breathing.  Panting.  Just like that.  Senseless.  Heartbreaking evil alive in this world.  Walking or maybe running amongst us.  And now, what should have been a celebration of accomplishment and commitment, dedication and sacrifice is now swallowed whole in tragedy.  Loss and devastation.  What is to be noted though and commended are the people.  The ones that ran toward the chaos and didn't stop.  Helping.  Selfless.  Uniting.  Saving.  That is notable.  Commendable.  They are heroes. 

Evil is present and active in our world.  In moments like these, when there is nowhere else to look I lift my eyes upward.  Toward the only  One I know I can trust fully.  Not looking for an explanation I pray.  Offering words for Boston.  My heart is heavy.   

Mill City

It was Spring break last week and although the temps didn't feel very Spring like we were in need of a family outing.  Since we had taken our vacay a bit earlier in March we were home bound for the break.  Which was completely fine with all of us.  We slept in, had slow pajama mornings, Husband Jared and I worked, we played at parks and then we took a family field trip.  Mill City Museum had been on my list of "sights to see" so we headed to downtown for our excursion.
Mill City Museum sits in Minneapolis and was home to what once was the world's largest flour mill.  It is known as the "most explosive museum" due to a massive flour dust explosion that demolished most of the building.  The museum sits on the Mississippi river front and has the most scenic views of the city landscape with St. Anthony falls right across the way.  The original mill was shut down in 1965 and what remains of the structure is now home to the museum complete with interactive displays, a water lab, a bake lab and the ever prominent and informative elevator tour.  Taking you through all eight floors of the building each level complete with machinery and a brief history of the mill as told by former employees.  Fascinating and educational.  Just what this Mama likes. 
View on the 8th floor of the machinery

Flour mill across the way, the Mill City museum was home to the Washburn A mill.  This photo was taken from the 8th floor viewing balcony.

The lovely docent offered to take a family photo of this six, how could I refuse? 
That my friends is the lovely city of Minneapolis and the mighty Mississippi River behind us.  If you look closely you will also see the Stone Arch bridge.  It is only open to pedestrian traffic now but was once an active means of crossing the river for trains and extremely vital to businesses.
Three Things in the water lab. 
These tubes were demonstrating water pressure, up to twenty pounds to be exact.  The Things held their hands at the bottom attempting to stop the water flow.  They certainly had to use their muscles!

Baking lab
Thing 3 and I were looking for yummy recipes in the collection of cookbooks and Thing 2, well, she was just being silly!  On the kitchen counter in the lab there were small bowls filled with the various types of grain and the docents in the lab offered explanations.  Even sharing  the differences in cooking with each type, why they stopped bleaching, how it's ground, etc.  Not to mention there is fresh baked bread for sampling.  Needless to say the Things were immediately drawn to that. 

Dust vacuums on the 8th floor
These large funnel like contraptions were party responsible for transporting flour dust and other things in and out of the mill.  A bit rusty but some of the only original machinery left after the explosion and fires.  I just love the lighting in this photo.  It intrigues me. 
Thing 4 attempting to haul around a forty pound flour sack
I'm assuming the museum left these sacks lying around the old train car for just this reason.  Curious minds.  This boy thought he would toss the sack on his shoulder and haul it to the train car, no problem.  Ahem.  He tried.  I stood posed with my phone ready for to take the picture.  Then he tried again.  Unsteadily he told me, "I'm ready".  And then he wasn't.  Third try he got it!  With a little more muscle, legs bent and his pride in tact he threw that sack on his shoulder and posed.  Telling me to hurry a little as I stood there and snapped away.  Trying not to giggle at just how cute he was!
This was a superb day and an informative and fun museum. Our admission included the exhibits in addition to a nineteen minute history film on the state of Minnesota and the eight floor elevator tour.  Inquisitive minds can find out more details at this site

Thankful Thursday #128

Cousin Love
3023. watching football matches together, all snuggly
3024. book dialogue with a soul sister
3025. outside runs
3026. poetry being memorized
3027. hot tea before bed
3028. snow falling, soft and quietly
3029. reminders of love all around
3030. progress
3031. afternoons spent at the library with all four
3032. watching them learn


So you know upfront this is a post where I might be inclined to rant about the weather.  Or maybe write an angry diatribe of words.  I'll throw in a few pictures for photographic evidence and then you all can be the judge.  In the words of Thing 2 this morning as she looked out the window after breakfast, "is that really snow out there?"  To which I replied, "don't look, pretend it's not there".  Denial.  That's healthy parenting, right?
It is April 10th and we do live in a geographic location that has lovingly been referred to as the "ice box", the "frozen tundra", the "great white north".  Truth.  And yes, I knew all this when I signed on the dotted line and all.  I was ignorant.  Stupid even.  Winter is more like a 7 month season in these parts.  Believe the people when they tell you that.  We have a winter storm warning through tomorrow morning.  While other parts of the country are enjoying 70-80 degree temps, we here are barely breaking 35.  Here is what outside one of our windows looks like this morning. 
While all this cold weather tends for more snuggles and an abundance of warm, chocolatey drinks I am ready for Spring.  Remember that season?  April showers bring May flowers?  Not April's snow. It is time to shed the layers, bare some skin, even if it's just the short sleeves, and soak in some vitamin D.  I heard that it might be just as good for the soul as it is for the body.  Maybe a rumor.   
Pardon my sarcastic tone.  I don't want to complain.  Truly.  It's not my nature.  At least I hope not.  I have much to be grateful for this I know and life is good.  I am full of joy.  Unspeakable joy.  Yet this spell of winter has crept under my skin and seems to have got the best of me. I, like many fellow sojourners are OVER the cold.  Jack frost can take his ice elsewhere.  Pretty please.  And I will continue to defrost.  And maybe even my attitude as well.

Collage of Sorts

Anyone who knows me is well aware of my technological ineptness.  Truly.  Thankfully I am married to a man who "gets" that and I have four Things all of whom are much more gifted in that area than I.  So, while I'd like to put together an organized, whimsical collage for you of some of my favorite photographs from the beach I will once again just place them, centered here on the page.  Work with me people.  I am missing this place today and hoping for warmer weather here soon.  Which brought me back to my photo albums of beach pictures and thus inspired me to inundate you all with more photographs. 
Autumn girl

Sibling love

Quiet time in the Word, every morning
Finds from the shore

Helping Autumn

Husband and Thing 4
At the end of the day

The Cousins

A boy and his skim board

Aunt Natalie

Thing 2, love

Thankful Thursday #127

* last night of snow boarding for the season, I was just a spectator
3013. long training runs accomplished
3014. being stronger than I think I am
3015. a new book that causes pause
3016. Spring break
3017. new pen from Husband Jared, so much fun to write with
3018. our house full to the brim
3019. art being created
3020. music playing always
3021. driving with the eldest
3022. green starting to peek through

Special Weekend

The weekend began early Friday.  Four Things home from school.  A church service planned for the evening.  Moving.  Somber.  Watched the "Passion".  Reflective.  A Good Friday. 
Then there was Saturday.  We ran.  There was contemplation.  Quiet time.  Egg dyeing, cookie making, hair cuts, bike riding and a family dinner out.  Hope for Sunday morning and an empty tomb. 
Sunday.  Resurrection rolls.  Serving.  Early morning worship.  Worship throughout the day.  Family nap time.  Family game time.  Family. 
And some photos of our celebrations all weekend.

 The finished eggs and their creators

Finder of the golden egg and winner of the prize money

Nana's Easter cookies

Easter baskets waiting, some traditions I cannot quit

After church

Me and m Things in the kitchen, love

The eggs

What's Been Happening

A visit from cousins and an Aunt.  An informance(music showcase), for Thing 4, science fair for Thing 3, endless friends joining us through the revolving door that is our house, impromptu dinner with another family, the last snowboarding adventure of the season.  And Husband Jared and I love it all.  Well, usually.  Here are some moments captured behind the lens from the past two weeks. 
Thing 4, reciting his part for the informance
Thing 3's science experiment, cookies baked with essential ingredients
intentionally left out


Cousins at lunch after church

Thing 4 snowboarding

From Despair to Hope

There was Friday.  With all it's gloominess.  Rain and thunder clapping.  Drops hitting the window with fierceness.  Then the sky opened and it was done.  Finished once and for all. 
And I sat with that for a moment.  A long moment.  Well into Saturday.  All day Saturday.  Long and weary.  Ten miles running.  And I was still thinking.  Lingering with the tomb.  Heavy and dark. 
Wondering just why.  Just how.  Asking when he sweated blood from his brow why they didn't stay awake.  One hour.  That was all he asked.  I don't stay awake.  Sit in the grief.  Ponder the pain that needs to consume my heart.  Only so that I may hope.  Hope in one greater than I.  
So much greater that He said in the midst of the excruciating beating let it be so.  When the nails pierced His flesh He forgave.  When His mother looked at Him and tears ran down her cheek He told her, "See, I make all things new".  He does people.  Truly.  On this Easter Sunday, Resurrection day. we have hope because of Him.  He was pierced for our transgressions.  By His wounds we are healed.  To the core.  Grace washed over us.  Red blood spilling out.