Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Westward Ho!

Dear Friends...

Tomorrow (Lord willing!) the children and I will be taking a road trip through the wide open spaces of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho. We're going to be visiting friends and family for a couple of weeks, and everyone is soooo excited! 

We'll leave you with a few pictures of some of the country through which we'll be passing, and we'll "see" you when we return.



Ye saints who dwell on Europe's shore
Prepare yourselves for many more,
To leave behind your native land,
For sure God's judgments are at hand.
For you must cross the raging main
Before the promised land you gain
And with the faithful make a start
To cross the plains with your handcart.

The lands that boast of modern light
We know are all as dark as night
Where poor men toil and want for bread,
Where peasant folks are blindly led.
These lands that boast of liberty
You ne'er again will wish to see
When you from Europe make a start
To cross the plains with your handcart.

As on the road the carts are pulled
'Twould very much surprise the world
To see the old and feeble dame
Thus lend a hand to pull the same.
And maidens fair will dance and sing,
Young men more happy than a king,
And children will laugh and play
Their strength increasing day by day.

And long before the Valley's gained,
We will be met upon the plain
With music sweet and friends so dear
And fresh supplies our hearts to cheer.
And then with music and with song
How cheerfully we'll march along
And thank the day we made a start
To cross the plains in our handcart.

When you get there among the rest,
Obedient be and you'll be blessed
And in God's chambers be shut in
While judgments cleanse the earth from sin,
For we do know it will be so,
God's servants spoke it long ago,
We say it is high time to start
To cross the plains with your handcart.


For some must push and some must pull
As we go marching up the hill;
So merrily on our way we go
Until we reach the Valley-o.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

All on a Midsummer's Eve

Twas the night of Midsummer, and all through the place,

Thoughts about fairies were seen in each face..

The tables were set in the garden with care,

In hopes that the wee folk would visit them there.

The foods and drink were the finest delights~

Surely the fairies cannot resist them tonight!

Sure enough, in the night, the fairies they came

And left a wee treasure for each child to claim.

Dear Friends,

A merry summer to all of you, from all of us at Birdsong Cottage! There is something magical about midsummer's, that can be felt in the sultry air of evening. Anything can happen on such a night, and surely the wee folk are never far away from those who believe.

We prepared our annual fairy feast, and read from "Mabel on Midsummer Day" to help us remember to be extra careful on the longest day of the year.

May this summer be full of magic for all, and of dreams that come true.



Monday, June 18, 2012

 "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." -Isaiah 60:1

Dear Friends,

These sunflowers seem to be obeying Isaiah's words, do they not? There is something delightful about the face of a sunflower, and their smell is of earthy chocolate (especially the dark brown ones). They speak of joy and hope, and we always have planted them, since we were first married (and have measured our children's growth by them). Whenever we're driving around town and see a few sunflowers in a yard, we feel that we have found a kindred spirit, and are happier for it.

(Senora thinks that sunflowers make great playthings, too!)

My wonderful mother surprised us by sending rhubarb from our old home~
" Hey, bambina! Vieni ad aiutarmi buccia di questo rabarbaro!"
We found this nest on the ground while going for a walk~ It's perfect and petite, and we think it might belong to a cardinal.

One thing's for sure; this baby bird didn't hatch out in it!



“Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.”
Frances Mayes,
Under the Tuscan Sun

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Audrey!

 Dear frends,

Yesterday we celebrated another birthday. Our dear Audrey turned 13, making us the parents of two teen-aged young ladies. And what a pleasure it is to watch them grow into caring, hard-working, and creative people who love the Lord and seek to please Him in all they do! At the same time, we look and see how much more we want them to know before they are old enough to begin their own households, in just a few short years.

Audrey, AnnaMarie, and Tasha helped a friend prepare to move after Audrey opened her presents yesterday, and when we went to pick them up we stopped at a beautiful community garden nearby.


Later in the afternoon we went to our favorite nature area, where Audrey tried out her new binoculars~

(She was excited to spot these cowbirds there)

 . . . And we found a thicket of black caps, whose juice looks  a lot like that of mulberries! :)

Thank you for sharing Audrey's birthday with us, and may you have a blessed week.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Flowers in My Garden

 Dear Friends,

I've been out admiring the flowers in my garden today. As you can see, some of them are a little more "wild" than others. . . .

. . . but they clean up real nice!

Rebecca is posing by a beautiful poppy that I planted and can't remember the name of. I was planning on saving the seeds to share with my friends, but you know how two-year olds are with flowers~

 So we get to enjoy it as a cut flower, instead!

Here are some lovely Bright Eyes Flax blossoms. . .

. . . and Shirley Poppies that Rebecca can't reach.

The pansies are still blooming sweetly in the onion patch. . . 

. . . And the celery we started from a grocery store plant  is growing happily, too (of course we know that celery is not a flower).

 The Asiatic day flowers are beginning to bloom all around the yard. They are quite tasty in salads, and we love the leaves in smoothies.

Senora just can't get enough of the garden these days (or is it the chipmunk that resides therein?). . . 

And the sunflowers are getting to open their beautiful faces, much to the goldfinches' delight!

 Have you ever been feeling down or discouraged, and read just the thing that pulled you up higher, and let you breathe God's fresh air again? We found such words on a tin at the thrift store, and thought we would share them with you. May we all be freshened and encouraged through God's words, and may we treasure the gifts that He has given us (even those that come wrapped in sandpaper!).

Love to you all,


p.s. I just uploaded a video of my lovely self demonstrating what to do with the things you harvest around your yard. Cheers!