Sunday, May 27, 2007

Preach...Jonah 3:2

The Man is working in the ER today so I went down to the field this evening to move the irrigation wheel line. At first I couldn't see anything, but as soon as I lifted the cover many little blackbird beaks started waving in the air. Too bad I didn't take any regurgitated worms down there with me.

On the mover...

A close up...

I decided to leave the wheel line alone for the evening. I'll let The Man move it tomorrow.

Here's my oldest baby. He preached his first sermon yesterday. In the interest of fair reporting, this is
not a picture of him preaching. I ran the video camera from the back of the church and didn't snap still pictures. After the service M got back up at the podium and posed for me.

He spoke about Jonah (how he ran from God) and Elijah (how he ran from Jezebel) and then about how Noah and Abram did what God wanted them to do even though others did not understand. It was a wonderful first-time sermon and nobody complained about getting out of church a few minutes early.

I was so busy running the video camera that I completely cut out the part of the service where S played "Holy, Holy, Holy" on the piano. I'm not sure how I managed that, but I did. Fortunately he performed an encore for me last night which I did get on video.

He was mildly annoyed with me. "We can't put the people singing in church on the video also." True. However, the people did enjoy the youth service yesterday.

Last week, in anticipation of the service, we pulled out old videos of The Man giving some sermons when he was in 9th or 10th grade...about 22 or 23 years ago we were guessing. The man that did the children's story for one of those church service decades ago is a member of our church up here. He's in his upper 80s now and he had signed up to tell the children's story yesterday. How appropriate and wonderful that was!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

With musical instruments...1 Chronicles 16:42

Ah, the recital! It went well. It was a very enjoyable way to spend Mother's Day. We're still trying to find a quick & easy way to get the video from the camera, but it will be forthcoming to those that can't wait to see adorable little children try their best to perform their practiced works in front of a live audience.

S was definitely the biggest surprise. It didn't occur to me until after I snapped a photo and was checking the camera's screen: He is so grown up now. When did that happen? This is one of his favorite shots. Since I wasn't using a flash, the slow shutter speed makes it looks like he is playing
really fast. He's actually playing his "California Mountain Lion" version of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
M & J both played "Ode to Joy" on their violins with their teacher playing the piano accompaniment. I have to say that I was a bit worried hearing them practice that one at home. Since The Man usually takes them to their lessons I wasn't aware that the teacher would be accompanying them. Whew! It sounded so much better with the piano.

J had us all on the edge of our seats with his long pause during "Lightly Row." M was accompanying him on the piano for that one. J says he hopes to do better next time.

The kids' cousins, who live 1 1/2 hours away, have the same music teacher (she lives 45 minutes from each family). So, we got to enjoy their vocal, piano, and violin talents also, in addition to others.

Their next public performances will be this Sabbath at church. We're having an all-kids service where M will give the sermon, J and others will have prayer, S and others will read scripture, and A will help take up the offering. In addition, the boys will contribute to the music portion of the service. Yep. We'll take the camera for that one also.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Make its nest...Job 39:27

Do you see the killdeer? It's about halfway down in the picture, in the middle on the left half.

We had seen it running around our church's parking lot and assumed it had a nest nearby.

The next time we went to the church, The Man watched where it was before it hopped up and starting running. We found the nest! The concrete blocks were added by us to keep people from running over the eggs. Obviously Mr. & Mrs. Killdeer didn't choose the site on a Sabbath morning! Here is a picture of the four eggs, right in the center.

It's been two weeks since we noticed them, so in another week or so maybe we will see some baby killdeer running around.

It has been a few years since The Man has used his bike helmet...actually, it was probably the fall of 2002 when he participated in a mini-triathalon. It is hanging in the bike shed, just in case.

Given the white "evidence" on top and the grass sticking out the bottom, maybe it is time to retire this helmet. The kids told me this nest had two eggs inside.

I'm curious. Bad. I know. I really do know better. I really do. I'm so sorry.

The mama flew off, so I thought I would c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y take the strap off the nail and have a peek inside.

I'm curious. Bad. I know. I really do know better. I really do. I'm so sorry. Really, really, I am. Had I known that there were two eggs inside AND two tiny, scrawny, barely-fuzzed babies I NEVER would have touched. I really do know better. However, since I had done the deed, I snapped a picture before carefully returning the helmet strap to the nail.

I'm sorry the picture quality is so bad, but I'm not going back for another picture! The two eggs are on the left and the scrawy birds are in the middle. One is kind of laying on top of the other. Mama bird DID return to the nest. Whew!

We finally got a new motor for our wheel line mover.

Look through the big hole in the cover and you will see the new motor is a pretty yellow.

If you look through the small hole you will see that a blackbird assumed this up-until-now unused space was a safe place to build her nest.

Five eggs inside! The mama did return to the nest after we were done moving the wheel line. We will see if the vibrations will affect the eggs/babies, but for now, the mama is dealing with us moving her nest every day. It truly is a mobile home.

Here is the nest of a smarter blackbird. This one is in a clump of mistletoe in the oak tree beside the kids' fort.

These baby blackbird pictures were actually taken 2 years ago in tumbleweed in our fenced garden area. Aren't they some of the cutest/ugliest things you've ever seen.

Here are some eggs that S collected from the henhouse yesterday afternoon.

Since these are headed for the refrigerator we don't expect them to hatch ;-). We did have one hen that was acting broody a few months ago. She was laying her eggs separate from the others. We waited a few weeks to see if she would start laying on them to incubate them, but she never did.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Whatever your hand finds to do...Ecclesiastes 9:10

J had a loose tooth. Right before bed he decided that it needed to come out or he might swallow it during the night. This time, he thought he would do it himself. He ran and got his pliers.

Maybe with the lovely teeth genes we gave him he should consider a future in dentistry. He seemed to enjoy the whole ordeal a bit too much.

Players on instruments...Psalm 87:7

The boys have their very first music recital coming up on Sunday afternoon. We finally got a camcorder to preserve the event. We'll see if we can figure out how to use it so everybody else can see it also. The hard drive in the camcorder is 50% larger than the hard drive on our computer. Time to upgrade? At least, we need to get a DVD burner to save the video to.

Although S has only been taking violin lessons, he has picked up on the piano from listening to M practice. He figured out how to play "Jesus Loves Me" with both hands. He loves sitting down and playing on the piano whenever it is free. I do have to remind him to wash his hands before playing.

Obviously, I should remind him to wash his feet also.

The Man told him he probably shouldn't play the piano with his feet at the recital "because not everybody is able to do that, and you might make them feel bad."

"Yeah, some people's toes are too big."

The way of the serpent...Proverbs 30:19

We've started putting in the garden. It is still a few weeks before our last frost date, but I couldn't wait. We only planted a few rows of peas and a row of my seeding plants. Two plants each of two kinds of tomatoes and two kinds of peppers went in a row surrounded by old bales of hay. We put some old windows and shower doors up resting on the bales of hay. We open the windows and doors during the day and close them at night. That should keep things safe if we have a light frost between now and June 1.

Our friend pictured above has been hanging out in the garden. He (or she? I'm not checking) will take care of any mice, moles, or even ground squirrels that decide to devour our garden. He even has a few other friends that we've seen around the garden. They are a bit smaller, but this gopher snake was about 6 feet long.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Two are better than one...Ecclesiates 4:9

Disposing of the trash isn't as simple as it used to be. When we lived in the city we could just run out the door and drag the cans to the street when we would hear the brakes of the trash truck. Now, we can't even hear the truck from the house. We usually take the trash cans down the 1/4 mile driveway to the road the evening before trash pickup.

Trash cans? Check. The Dog? Check.The Dog, always eager to hitch a ride, loves taking the trash to the road. If M is outside, The Dog is usually with him. Whether it is taking care of the chickens, feeding the horse, or just taking the trash to the road, The Dog is right there with M. Actually, The Dog has even been known to wait outside the bathroom door for M.

That's the '83 pickup that we just got back from the mechanic's (we're still waiting for the '76 to be repaired). The squirrel-chewed wiring was fixed and now it is our back-up vehicle when one of the others is taking a rest. It is perfect for hauling wood around the property, taking the trash to the road, and for young men to drive.M is quite proficient at driving around the property. The best part is that he
loves taking out the trash now. The truck has a cracked windshield and temperamental turn signals, but M doesn't seem to mind. We'll see if the truck is still functional when M is legal to drive on the open road. Maybe M will even let The Dog ride with him inside the cab.