pictures, part 2

22 03 2010

Kajsa's new easel


a "bridge" in the woods behind our house... and wearing her boots for the "gooey mud".

laughing with Daddy

playing with beans... pouring beans into her plastic cups and bowls, then pouring them back into the big bowl.

Kajsa-pictures, update, etc.

22 03 2010

It’s hard to believe how much Kajsa is talking, advancing, growing up.. then again it’s not that hard to believe. It’s natural. But watching it right before our eyes is so amazing. I commented to Jim the other day how much fun it is to have conversations with her. She frequently has something to say. She loves exploring, watching her favorite TV shows,

enjoying the outdoors

Dora, Diego, Handy Manny, Ni Hao Kai Lan), playing with dry beans, art stuff–anything to do with coloring and painting and paper… being in her “car” outside, pretending to be in “gooey mud”, swinging, reading reading reading, arranging her stuffed animals in a train, Hide-and-Seek… stickers… stickers… stickers. Wow does the girl love stickers.

A little funny story. The other day she walked up to me, put her finger up to her cheek as she does when she says, “right back”.. she said, “Mommy, I go to get gas for my car. I be right back.”

“Ok”, I said… “Where are you going to get gas?”

sitting in a box (that the toddler bed came in) to play Kajsa's "Match Game"..the Kajsa way.

“Uh” she paused. “Maine.”

“Maine?” I asked… “Why Maine?”

“Uh.. I go get gas. Right back.”

Then yesterday afternoon we were outside enjoying the nice weather. I was sitting on the driveway watching her. She was playing with her Little Tikes Car. She got out of the car, walked up to me and said, “Mommy.. I go to get gas for my car.”

having a "pickwick" outside with pudding... (picnic)

“Ok” I said, expecting a repeat trip to Maine… “Where are you going this time?”

“Two stations…” she said, carefully holding up two fingers. “I go two stations to get gas. Right back, Mommy.”

does tie-dye go with sparkly pink shoes?

“Catch-Up”: Thursday… filled with laughter

20 03 2010

filled with laughter

Originally uploaded by cathyse97.

Psalm 126:1-3: “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.”

“our mouth was filled with laughter”. Kajsa is often filled with laughter. And her laughter often fills me with laughter.. even if I don’t feel like laughing. Often, I say. Because there are times when she’s simply stalling from doing what we’ve asked her to do. But mostly, Kajsa’s laughter is contagious. And it reminds me of what restoration feels like–restoration thanks to God’s work, God reversing fortunes.. God doing great things for us. Where does that leave those who don’t know this feeling? or feel this, when things are going better? Sometimes laughter is possible, but mostly it’s discouraging, when others get to laugh from the pure joy they experience.. and when some aren’t able to share that.

What’s the answer? I don’t know. I’ve been in both positions. And of course I prefer the laughing, because of God doing what I consider to be great things in my life, or the lives of others. Of course. But I also am discouraged at the amount of continued chronic pain that others (and myself, at times) experience…. how long, O God? How long until they, too get to be filled with laughter…?

joy… celebration… spring?

10 03 2010

Spring seems to have arrived-almost. Enough that even I, full-fledged-snow-lover, am ready for Spring. I got a taste of the warm weather and sunshine last week, and it was beautiful. The spring-like fever grew for me as I noticed the lambs (I think) at the farm behind our yard/the church parking lot.

Wed., March 10th

I actually saw them from my office window yesterday, but paid more attention today. And took some photos. These three lambs jumped, ran, ran into each other, leapt over things I couldn’t really see.. they were so full of fun and joy, that I felt joyful myself. I felt like praising God, just by observing the frolicking lambs. Even the miniature horses seemed to be playful and joyful today.

Psalm 32:11 says, “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” This follows verses about living righteously, trusting in God, confessing our sin to God. While I don’t subscribe to the theology of “Trust in God, and everything will turn out well for you”, I do believe that when we are honest with ourselves, others, and God… (confession), when we praise God, when we trust in God despite what’s happening.. when we do these, God gives us the strength to be joyful, to trust, and to keep being faithful.

It’s easier to think these things on a spring-like day, when lambs are jumping, when the weather’s warmer, when I’ve seen the emus, when we had fun swinging with Kajsa, when it was overall a good day. But even if it was a bad day, hopefully I could be glad in the Lord, and rejoice.

Lenten disciplines…or whatever

20 02 2010

Whatever you call it.. whatever you don’t call it. Or them. Whatever we do –or don’t do–for Lenten disciplines, practices… I find these practices fun, exciting, engaging… at first. Then, it gets hard. Drudgery. Not yet, for me, although even this photo-a-day practice is already a bit hard for me. I’m taking the photo each day, but am already behind on posting them. (this is the photo for Friday). Regardless, I like the idea of a discipline. I like the practice of it, when I’m doing it. But keeping up when life keeps going at full speed is hard.

Like the swings in this photo… as much fun as it is to swing (and it is!), we have to leave the swings behind to get on with the rest of our to-do lists, and obligations. We can’t swing all day. I can get off of the swing, but when the swings keep moving, it’s so hard to not get back on them. At least it is for me.

Hopefully the Lenten practices will be less difficult for me. or hopefully, if they are difficult, I will still engage them despite their difficulties–not for the sake of practicing a disipline, but for the sake of growing closer to Christ. Granted, swings are likely a lot more fun than some Lenten practices. But these moving swings remind me of what I’m trying to experience this season.

“Really Really?”

17 01 2010

Really. This is one of Kajsa’s latest phrases. “Really, really?” to just about anything… we’re going to church now, we’re taking Abby outside, let’s go play with your blocks, let’s go eat lunch… frequently the response is, “Really really?”

Kajsa under table

Another Kajsa story: yesterday I saw her chewing oddly, stick her tongue out, and try to take something out of her mouth. She was holding a Kleenex in her other hand. “What are you eating?” I asked her. “my Kleenex.” She said. “Kleenex?” I asked… “why are you eating your Kleenex?”  Another pause..then… “Um… Abby eat paper!”

She keeps us laughing. And busy.

Kajsa and Jim at playground

On another topic, our backyard has been enjoyable. Our  yard (which is the church yard/church parsonage yard) backs up to a small wooded area, which backs up to two cool places: Stewart’s Bird Farm, and a photography studio that also houses some sheep. The bird farm also has farm animals. I thought the big birds we’ve seen were ostriches, but, as it turns out, they’re emus. Two emus. The emus have occasionally approached the fence when we’re walking with Abby, but never too close, and never appearing that interested. Abby has given the occasional protective growl, but mostly, they ignore each other.


But yesterday, Abby paid more attention.  I was a little ways off, with Kajsa, so we quickly approached the fence to see what was up. Abby was intent on watching the fence…. And on the other side, one emu (no sign of the second one) was pacing, growing nervous. I grabbed Abby’s leash, and she, Kajsa, and I cautiously approached within a few feet of the fence. (Did you really really expect anything less of me?!) I wondered what the emu was protecting, then I saw them… two gorgeous eggs! Have you ever seen one?

Emu Eggs

I’ve now seen two, and will post a photo. I ran back to the house, hollered for Jim to come out and grab my camera, so he could hold Abby back while I photographed… from as far back as I could so I wouldn’t make the emu more nervous.

the Daddy Emu (we think) sitting on the eggs

a little vocabulary

21 05 2009
her "baba".

"baba"= baby

"ou-dide".. and the tantrum when we go inside...

"ou-dide, ou-dide..." and the tantrum when we go inside...

"O-da-da"... = "Go, Cubs, Go.."

"O-da-da"... = "Go, Cubs, Go.."

a-wa (more or less) = water

a-wa (more or less) = water

uh-oh.... which Kajsa thinks is to be said when she does anything intentionally, as well...

"uh-oh".... which Kajsa thinks is to be said when she does anything intentionally, as well...

"up-uck"= look up, duck! (said when we're washing her hair.. because she washed the rubber duckie's hair once, and we had just told her to look up... so she told the duck the same thing.

"up-uck"= look up, duck! (when we wash her hair, we tell her to "look up" so she won't get soap in her eyes.. then she sometimes washes the rubber duckie's "hair" and tells it to "up-uck".

Church Canceled

17 02 2008

100_8658_branch.jpgYep. Canceled. Last year, church was canceled, but we were up north for the Retreat, so didn’t feel the effects of that. So after consulting the other person who arrives early-at-church-each-week, and our church chair, we concurred that canceling was the best option. After that decision was made, it turned out that hundreds of churches have canceled. (scroll down to “Church”). In fact, just about anything in Madison, WI is canceled today–except for a grade school chess competition, apparently. (Sandie’s kids are in that, and last I heard, that had not been canceled!) It is so icy outside, and soon, apparently, it’s going to be turning to heavy snow. Woo hoo!! It’s a skating rink outside–and not an evenly-zambonied skating rink, either! I went outside and took some photos of our yard, driveway, etc. So… today will be a good day to hang out, watch TV, play with the dogs (inside!). Maybe even catch up on some housework. Ha. We’ll see.




Photos.. of ordinary birds

6 12 2007

I should have posted these yesterday. I actually took them before I wrote the post. oh well.. here they are today–and they’re not my photo for the day. Still need to look for that shot.



Ordinary Birds

5 12 2007

Jim bought me a bird feeder last Christmas. If you know me more than a little bit, you probably know that I love animals.. birds included. I thoroughly enjoy watching the birds fly about our backyard, back and forth between neighbors’ yards and bird-feeders, and picking up the dog fur outside to line their nests.

So a few weeks ago when our neighbor added new food to his bird feeder, I was so excited: the woodpeckers, cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, and others flocked to his feeder, and to our trees… The other day Jim put up our bird feeder, and added some new food he bought. And though this new food is obviously an improvement over last year’s variety, it has only attracted ordinary birds. Sparrows, wrens… that’s about it.

I like ordinary birds. I have nothing against them. I love to watch them going crazy over the food, and am thankful that Jim put the feeder up just in time for the ice storm. But is it too much to ask that a “pretty” bird would stop by?

For a moment I feel shame. Shame, because I want to see pretty, colorful birds, not just ordinary grey ones. Shame because I should be happy with the flock of birds that are enjoying our food. And then I realize: I love these birds–yes, the ordinary ones. I am content with providing for ordinary birds, content with all the photos I have already taken of these birds flying around our yard. And, I remember that my whole life, I have been an “ordinary bird”, often wishing I was more colorful… And throughout my life I have been thankful for the people in my life who look at who I am, rather than at appearances.

Again, shame. I should know better–from first hand experience–than to wish for prettier birds. But I quickly release that shame. (I have enough to do this week without worrying about the shame I feel for backyard birds.) And instead I focus on the joy God gives me throughout the day, as I get to watch God’s ordinary creation outside my ordinary backyard. And I give thanks that we can help them out in these cold, snowy, and icy days.

Thanks be to God.