Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Note from Georgia

We're in GA for the weekend on a spontaneous trip to see family.  Until we can get back and upload pictures of perfectly coated candied apples, southern "snow", and Levi exploring down South, I'll share a positive moment from our tiny kitchen recently.

Over a pile of dishes a week or so ago, I grumbled to the Lord about the bad attitudes I carry sometimes and questioned verbally where impatience comes from.  "Why would You have allowed for selfishness and impatience to have a place in humans?  {And I literally said this to Him...}  I know the Sunday school answer with satan and the fall but that's not cutting it.  Where does it come from in Your children?" 

I then heard the voice of God because the answer shocked me with it's brilliance. 

"It comes from My absence." And just like the incredible Jesus answers we read about, here was an answer containing both the problem and the solution.  It's an answer I've shared with many people in the last two weeks and wanted to share with you.

As I've remembered this and come to God with many deep things lately, His answers have been sweet medication for my needy soul even to the point of being the most healing words in scripture that He could have set before me at the time I needed them most.  He is good and wise and better to us than we could ever deserve.

I pray your seeking Him leads you, too, to sweet answers your soul has been needing to hear.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


It's 5 am and I've been up for some time on the couch with Levi who has ceased full night slumbers. We're blaming two traumatizing shots from a week ago since they directly coincide with his regression.  But I am happy to report that he has been sleeping for hours beside me complete with leg slung over my belly and hand clasping my arm.  Sweet moments hours.

Before my eyes become any blurrier and my chances of overcoming the Saturday nap urge disappear, just wanted to share a few pictures of our weekends.  In some form or another, the last four weekends have been wrapped around retreats.  Some were getaways and others had specific purpose.  Last Saturday we were up early for Jason to saw down a tree before starting a day of festivals and outdoor excursions with extended family.  And for many of the latter pictures, we thank Cousin Alicia who joined us with her family hiking to waterfalls, attending a pumpkin festival and driving down winding roads to an incredible overlook.

Now for a bit of sleep before this weekend officially kicks off with a Coats for Kids Auction and some afternoon apple picking.  In all of the travels and searching the past few weekends, we've noticed the sad reality of the increasingly endangered candied apple.  And hopefully after tomorrow's harvest, we'll do our part to bring these precious Fall treats back from the brink of extinction.  Photos of that blessed event to come!  :)

Happy weekending!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kitchen Tales

Once upon a time (a time not so long ago) in a town located equally between two large cities, a girl was enjoying a new full-sized, glass top stove purchased as a surprise from a darling, thoughtful, incredible (are you reading this, husband?) boy.  It was the first full-sized stove she'd ever had in six years of marital bliss.  And today this stove would perfectly cook homemade dinner rolls and a delectable chocolate cake for dinner with some friends.  But cocoa and milk and butter boil quickly and during the process started spilling on the glass top.  Somehow the girl was surprisingly quick removing the pot, turning off the burner and using water to stop any burning.

And all was well.


Lurking just behind her shoulder high up on the wall, a plastic bloodhound barked out the cry and soon the message traveled to EVERY bloodhound in EVERY room of the whole five story building.  "Trying to cook?" their ear-piercing "bonk, bonk, bonk" mocked with flashing lights to seal the discovery.  And soon, voices yelled from the stairwells as students filed like ants.  And because the cocoa-induced fire drill with students on the lawn was not enough, the voice of the bloodhounds traveled all the way into town.  And minutes later, with maintenance men running to and fro, the Mac Daddy bloodhound cried out with loud bellows all the way from the fire station to the, now empty, five-story building with sirens and lights blaring the whole way.  And the boy in the story, remember the darling, dashing, super wise, ever-compassionate boy, discovered that men riding in Mac Daddy bloodhounds do not like false alarms nor do they sympathize that milk and cocoa and butter boil quickly.

And with that, the girl hid in her kitchen while the brave boy took care of the chaos outside.  And she did not let the stove top leave her sight until the chocolate cake was delectable and the homemade, pull apart rolls were perfect.

And that they were!  Perhaps even more-so after the almost thwarted effort by a gang of plastic bloodhounds hovering eager to sound the cry of something gone awry.       

Photo Courtesy of Country Living

And, if you'd like to thwart the plans of your own bloodhounds, 
try the cake for your family and friends here

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Milestones: 14 to 17 Months

He's walking, babbling with intonation and showing lots of personality. Like these recent screen shots at Nana and Grandpas.

We've been capturing developmental milestones over the past few months and are happy to share a self-feeding, high-fiving little toddler.  But the latest milestone may just be the greatest of Levi's accomplishments.

While we treasure every milestone, sleeping through the night is HUGE and just after we'd concluded prayers for children to sleep were on the "no" answer list. At almost eighteen months Levi had slept about ten nights ever through the night and never more than two consecutively. Last Friday night on a retreat in a one-room cabin with our RAs Levi slept so horribly that Jason drove over two hours just to take him to the grandparents. But Sunday night as we returned, gave him his bath and tucked him in bed beside his mini zoo of bears, he slept. All night. And every night since.  Thank you to the grandparents for pulling out the magic sleep dust.  The world is a brighter place at 7 am after a full night's sleep and life is better for everyone at Tegen Central these days.

Also, we wanted to thank everyone who voted for our new night sleeper!  While it doesn't look like we won, some really cute kids did!  We'll look forward to seeing the official winners later this month.

For tonight, we're sprinkling some dust on our own pillows as we'll be up early heading to the mountains {it's Fall break} to enjoy some cooler weather, mountain thickets and plush hotel rooms.

Hope your week goes well!