Michalskis in the Word

You can also visit us at michalskisintheword.wordpress.com, where we relate God’s Word to our daily surroundings, through scripture and photos.

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Christmas Day (December 25)

…this do in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:19, KJV)

Each year, we celebrate Christmas, remembering that remarkable time when the Word was made flesh and born into the world of a woman…It’s a celebration that began in our family simply because that’s what our little section of the world does, and we celebrated it largely as the world celebrates, but year after year, we have continued to celebrate with less and less of the world and more and more of the Lord…

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord…(Romans 14:6, KJV)

Jesus did not instruct us to celebrate His birth – He instructed us to remember Him in the breaking of our bread – and yet, as long as we first obey His instructions, we may also celebrate His wonders and miracles in as many other ways as we may faithfully honor Him!

And so, contemplating that incredible series of miraculous events that announced the birth of a Savior, taking time in these winter months to celebrate them and instill this beautiful chapter of God’s story into our family, makes Christmas, still, a cherished celebration in our home!

We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders. (Psalm 78:4, NLT)

And so, once again, we decorated the house for celebration, with lights, and ornaments, and with lots and lots of paper snowflakes! Snowflakes are another chance to study God in the glory of His creation, and each year, we study and learn a little bit more about their six-axis symmetry, their individuality, their formation, their incredible sensitivity to every little variation of temperature, humidity, and air pressure along their journey from the heavens to the earth…Such a vast impression of the God of the universe is wrapped up in each teeny flake!

And, of course, it’s just fun to spend a little time living always in the middle of a blizzard!

There’s a storm coming!

And we also celebrated with gifts, remembering that first “Christmas”, as it were, when the three wise men, after seeking the Lord diligently and following His miraculous star faithfully, arrived to worship their Savior, bearing gifts. We seek to honor the Lord with the work of our hands, making all of our gifts for each other, to which we sometimes have a few additional odds-and-ends to add…This year, we added a reading nook, which we opened on Sunday before Christmas! One hammock for each child, and new reading materials for the whole family (Dr. Doolittle’s adventures, the Five Little Peppers stories, the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, the complete Matthew Henry Commentary and the complete works of John Bunyan) will make Sundays a cozy day of rest, indeed!

And on Christmas morning, I heard the delightful little cries, not of, “I can’t wait to open my presents,” but of, “I can’t wait for you to open what I made for you!” And it was certainly most enjoyable, one after another, to see the little creations unveiled, drawings and boxes, a laptop tray, a toy knife with leather sheath, a carved and painted wooden star, a wooden doll, a slingshot, a toy pegboard, a carved candlestick and pillows and blankets and a woolen hat…If I do the math, I realize that comes to 20 handmade gifts, 5 little Michalskis, each making a gift for 4 others, how fun! 🙂

And we feasted and we sang songs (including Vivi’s original, “Merry Christmas to you, Merry Christmas to you, Merry Christmas dear everybody, Merry Christmas to you!) and we prayed and we read the Bible and we began to enjoy all of the new things that we had just unwrapped…

Snuggly blankets (sized for years of growing), wooden crates (to keep all of their favorite things, and to double as bed-side tables) and a cotton rug for each (from Mimi) pulled everything together for a complete bedroom makeover, neat and tidy and comfy and cozy!

Each year, I am humbled by these beautiful gifts, by the delight of making and giving and receiving in love, and by the greatest gift of all, a Savior for our souls!

Kids and Winter (December 21)

It was the kids’ idea…

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14, NIV)

They wanted to know if it would be possible to get the chickadees to eat out of their hands…And Joe said, “If you stand out at the feeder with bird food in your hands, and are very still, they’ll probably get used to you and come to you.” And they did! And it was delightful! The kids had swarms of chickadees eating out of their little hands! And so, of course, we had to try it, too! It’s really a wonderful feeling to have their little chickadee-feet curl around your finger, to see their little sparkling chickadee-eyes looking up at you, to hear the drumming flutter of their little chickadee-wings buzzing all around you!

And I realized that this was not something that I would have been very likely to do if the kids hadn’t wanted to do it first!

And I would probably not have been out playing ice-hockey and ice-soccer on a little frozen pond if the kids hadn’t asked me to…

And I might have missed the ruffed grouse in the apple tree! The kids are often the first ones to notice delightful new visitors…They are noticers, they are window-gazers, and they sound the alarm when there is something wonderful…”Mom! Dad! There’s a ruffed grouse in the apple tree!”

And we all herd to the window to get a look at this funny little bird, which I have begun calling a “winter chicken” because of his chicken-y personality, his funny little head-bobs, his excitable, random movements…He looks rather elegant and lovely when he’s captured here in a photograph, high in the branches, lit by the afternoon sun…But he’s a different character in person, nibbling his way along the tiniest apple twigs, looking incessantly this-way-and-that for signs of trouble, sometimes startling himself completely into panicked flight as he ventures onto a twig entirely under-rated for all his glorious plumpness, and it suddenly snaps beneath his weight!

And I would probably never have built a marble-run out of wood, but Spencer, with a workshop at his disposal, and a Daddy who helps and encourages and delights in him, got a cute little idea in his cute little head, and embarked upon several hours of diligent effort, cutting and trimming and carving and boring track pieces, whittling little wooden marbles, and laying out the whole thing for marble fun for the whole family!

I most likely never would have tried to melt silver out of a piece of rock…But Asher, with a wood stove at his disposal, and some kind of little cast iron ladle that Joe rescued out of the rubbish around the house because he had a hunch it might prove interesting, and a Daddy who helps and encourages and delights in him, got a cute little idea in his cute little head, and set about heating a piece of rock up in the fire until it got so hot it dissolved into its individual elements!

No silver in this rock, but the separated minerals were incredibly beautiful to look at under the microscope, and all of this I might have missed if it weren’t for Asher’s interest…

Wherever we go, the kids are on the lookout for something amazing, and sometimes that means looking in the funniest places! At the ice rink, the kids had noticed how the ice was full of beautiful tiny bubbles, frozen in long streams and curves and swirls and spirals…But at the vernal pool, the ice was crystal-clear! You could see every vein of every leaf frozen within…And when Joe said, “Hey look, I see something moving down there!” three little munchkins were instantly on their bellies, searching out all of the unexpected signs of life beneath the forest ice!

Funny little shrimpies and isopods, wiggling and nibbling their happy ways around all of the organic material under the shelter of their thick ice ceiling…And so, there we all were, spread out across the ice, searching out all of the busy life in the pond ice! And I couldn’t help but laugh – of course, this is what happens when you take five Michalskis out into the forest and show them a frozen vernal pool!

Outside the window one day, I noticed my sons collecting icicles off of the roofline…Time passed, and two excited boys came tumbling in the front door…”You gotta see this, it’s so cool!” They had jammed their icicles into their igloos, with the original intent of creating spiky fortresses of doom (of course), but had inadvertently discovered something wonderful! The icicles reflected sunlight in through the roof of the igloo, and so the boys switched modes from mighty warrior to delighted explorer, and set about creating beautiful displays of sun-lit ice gems!

Of course, to appreciate the wonder, you had to find a way to cram a full-sized human into a kid-sized doorway…

But it was worth it! The view was magical!

Each icicle reflected the sun’s light into the ceiling of the igloo in a range of brilliant sea-glass hues, like a starry night beneath tropical waves, or like northern lights twinkling across a snowy expanse, yet one more thing I might never have experienced if it weren’t for the wondering eyes, the curious minds, and the seeking hearts of these children of mine!

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” (Matthew 21:16, NIV)

Table Tour (December 15)

“I said, How I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me.” (Jeremiah 3:19, ESV)

Most often in the winter, we drink our cup of coffee by the warm, cozy woodstove…But you can’t always stay inside, even in the winter, and sometimes it’s time to take your coffee on a tour! 

And, in all seriousness, I sometimes realize that I have become narrowed in focus, confined to the certain things that figure prominently in my daily activities, sometimes forgetting to lift up my eyes, broaden my view, to remember how many, many more beautiful comforts and delights and enjoyments that the Lord has graced us with in this pleasant land where He has placed us…And if I don’t take the time to remember them, to honor them, to specifically enjoy them with gratitude in my heart, is it possible that I might forget them, might neglect them, might slowly take them for granted, and eventually begin to take for granted my Father, Who lovingly, thoughtfully, generously gave them to me? God forbid! May I ever appreciate this pleasant land, this beautiful heritage, and call Him My Father and never turn from following Him! And so I proposed a table tour, for fun, and also to honor the many gifts the Lord has given us on this property, for which I continue to be so grateful!

All around the property, as we work, Joe likes to leave behind little nooks and shelves and tables, little spots where we can take a moment, enjoy a refreshment, and take joy in what the Lord has given us…And today, we took our coffees, and our cookies, and set out on a quick circuit to visit a few of them…

First stop, out the back door, next to the bird feeders, busy with happy chickadees, is a little table with a view of the forest, the forest where we play hide-and-seek, the forest where we’ve gathered so very much of our firewood, the forest where we find salamanders and blue-bead lilies and spring ferns and vernal pools…

On the other side of the house, the stump of an old white poplar has been carved into a series of steps, a perfect spot to sit and look out over the kids’ garden, the garden that they so diligently tilled themselves, clearing weeds and saplings, pulling roots, gently planting sunflowers and tomatoes and squash and corn and peas, weeding and watering and tending their little plants, where they experienced the joys of growing plants and the tender sorrow of losing them and the renewed and stubborn hope of looking forward to the future, the kids’ garden that will be even better next year, with more sunshine and more mulch and more tilling…

A flattened waist-high stump holds a coffee cup or two, a place to stop and contemplate the beginnings of farm beds, and the next steps for next year…When we began this season, this section of our land was completely overgrown with a jungle of small trees and shrubs overflowing a few old apple trees, but little-by-little, over many a pleasant day of family-of-five trimming and lopping and clearing and pulling and chipping and tilling, it is becoming open farmland and orchard; from a land of briars and brush, a land of fruits and vegetables is slowly emerging…

And here, upon the remains of the largest tree we have yet taken down, I look forward to a future farm table, where we will one day bring our harvest to wash it down…And I look back with joy upon that day when Joe said, “Let’s build a little low-dam and see if we can fill this up for an ice rink!”…And I reflect upon all the skating-and-impromptu-hockey fun that has already taken place on this little stretch of ice…And I laugh at the remains of the kids’ work efforts, loppers, shovels, blocks of ice, a regular harvesting-and-mining-operation, obviously recently abandoned as something even more wonderful caught their attention…

At the end of the driveway, we stopped at the very first stump that we left in-place, the very first time that we thought, “Maybe we’ll just leave this here for a spot to have a cup of coffee sometimes,” and I remember this beautiful maple tree in all of its autumn blaze of glory, the many fall Sundays when we have sat on a length of tree trunk and watched the kids jump into piles of leaves, the delicious run of sweet sap, the sweetest of all our trees so far, the simple pleasure of 5 Michalskis with 5 mugs gathered around this one stump…

Not exactly a nook or a shelf or a table, but this time, a tee-pee! From many days of clearing, many, many branches piled up, and in that way that he has of seeing fun in the midst of work, Joe suggested that the kids lean all the branches up around an old apple tree to make a tee-pee, and as we chipped up mulch in the fall, Joe suggested that the kids pile up a thick layer in the bottom, and so now we had the opportunity to enjoy our cup of coffee gazing out upon the surrounding orchard and farmlands through the branches of a winter tee-pee!

One last table for the tour, a funny little table, a remnant from the demolition and disposal of the old mobile home (and oh the runaway-train-full of memories that sets in motion!), mounted on one of the lovely old apple trees that we are slowly rehabilitating, nestled between the forks of the seasonal streams that bring sparkling running waters in the spring, frogs in the summer, a rich source of clay for kids’ projects, all manner of ice sculptures in the winter, where the summer birds flock and chatter overhead, and the squirrels gather autumn apples that are bigger than their heads, where our cups of coffee progress through spring and summer and fall and winter, where we look back at what we’ve done, look ahead to what we’ve yet to do, look around at all there is to see, smile at all the kids find to do, and look inside at all the Lord has given us, has planned for us, and calls us forward into, step-by-step…

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…(Psalm 103:1-2, KJV)

Rivers of Snow (December 18)

Every now and then, (okay, maybe fairly regularly), there is a moment, a moment where I say, “That looks amazing! Do you think you can pull off?”

And then, I might look like this for a few minutes, while Joe shakes his head and laughs at me and takes pictures from inside the warm car…

But I couldn’t help myself! It was amazing! There was a cold wind whipping across the lake, which had recently been covered in snow, and that golden afternoon sun was slanting across…

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. (Psalm 104:1, KJV)

Fox Pond, East Hancock, ME

And, as so often happens when I stop to admire God’s beauty, there was something more…There were rivers of snow! The wind-whipped snow brought a stunning illusion of movement back to the surface of the frozen lake…

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8, KJV)

It was beautiful. I stayed watching the flowing, rippling, tumbling currents until my fingers went numb, then said a reluctant good-bye and jumped back in the truck to share my delightful discovery with my warm family!

Winter Fun (December 9)

Although it is a little early this year, it does seem that winter – and all the fun that goes along with it – might have just settled in to stay!

We’ve had so many lovely little visitors to the bird feeders, reminding me constantly to consider the birds, and the Heavenly Father Who feeds them! (I mean, how do they even figure out that we’ve put birdseed out unless He tells them – we are far from consistent! This is truly one of the delights of winter…In the summer, it is a delight to see the birds gathering their food all throughout the forest…In the winter, it is a delight to attract them to our window 🙂 

Of course, our most frequent visitors are furry rather than feathered, that’s just a price we pay!

And, indeed, the squirrels provide a different type of entertainment than their flighty friends…The feisty little stinkers! As though there just weren’t enough room for two!

It is also holiday craft fair season, and having done one, the kids were excited to do more! They still had inventory from their first round, and decided to add one new project each. For Genevieve, I found instructions for an inflatable origami heart, and the boys came up with a design for rubber-band guns! Asher built rifles and Spencer built pistols, and this time, they got to learn the process of developing a design, making a prototype, adjusting and fine-tuning, finalizing a template, and then making a batch each!

And after two more craft fairs, they sold almost entirely out! 

What a fun way to honor the Lord with the works of their hands, and a great encouragement to their little hearts for working diligently and trusting in the Lord to guide their steps! It was a microcosm of life, as one craft fair, one item would be very popular, and the next time, that same item sold nothing while another item sold completely out…One sibling had the most sales one time, and another the next…And each time, to simply ask the question, “Did I do my best to honor the Lord with my efforts? Yes! Then, whatever the outcome, it is according to the Lord’s good will.” Praise Him for this lesson that I continue to learn everyday, and hope will one day become as natural to me as breathing!

And though there is snow on the ground, harvest continues to come in! And so, occasionally, Joe looks out his workshop window and says, “What is she doing out there? Oh, getting carrots, of course!” 

Our carrots and parsnips are storing right where they grew, and we just gather them as we go! I continue to look forward to these cold winter days with fresh veggies for stews and soups!

Wood stove cooking is a great advantage, no propane cost – it’s so nice to put a pot on in the morning and have a stew ready for lunch and dinner…And as Joe continues to improve the finer points, we’ve enjoyed some delicious baked potatoes, and can now even make loaf-bread! He’s the real brains behind the cooking – once he gets a method figured out, I can take it from there, but he’s definitely the one who continues to expand our range of capabilities in cooking this way!

The impromptu ice-rink has continued to be popular for skating…

… and ice-hockey, or “puck”, as the boys call it, where they chase a log-slice around with two sticks! (This I expected.)

And the sledding hill has taken on a new twist, as Spencer had the idea to use slices of pond-ice for sleds! (This I did not expect!)

It’s not very durable, but it’s fun while it lasts!

And every now and then, you get one of those days, when you look out the window, and the sun is shining bright through thin, fast-moving clouds, with no chance of precipitation in the forecast, and you realize – it’s snowing! This winter version of the sunshower is even more delightful, and a touching reminder of the God Who holds it all in His hands! 

It’s these kind of adventures, making their own ice rink, playing hockey with whatever’s lying around, making their own craft fair products, making their own ice sleds, these innocent eyes that look around the world and say, “What can I make? What can I do? What is that amazing creature?” that remind me that, while God has placed us here for purposes for my husband and I, He has also greatly placed us here for purposes for my children…In what other childhood is such innocent delight and discovery and working and learning the actual reality? It seems to me that this type of childhood, which I have read about in Little House on the Prairie, was rare even when I was growing up, and grows only rarer…And maybe most people will never miss it, as there are certainly challenges that accompany the delights, but I am ever-grateful for a Creator Who keeps bringing us back to His simple pleasures and purposes!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11, KJV)

Happy Birthday, Spencer! (November 27th)

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Spencer, happy birthday to you!

As always, in the Michalski house, Spencer’s 10th birthday began in song! And with a very sensible special-request-breakfast of hot chocolate 🙂

birthday breakfast

And then, of course, a birthday tradition! I snuggled Spencer into my lap and told the story of the day he was born…You know, the story that begins with, “So, there I was, with an eeeeeee-NORMOUS belly,” and ends with, “And we brought you home, a brand-new baby brother for Asher!” It’s always a hit 🙂 And we got down the “Spencer’s First Year” book, also always greatly enjoyed, as siblings gather around to laugh at baby pictures and first-year adventures!

a birthday tradition

Spencer opted for birthday presents during morning hot chocolate, and so we all gathered by the fire…

happy birthday boy!

And unwrapped some very sweet hand-made gifts. Asher made his brother a leather wallet, with two pockets, and a little notepad…Vivi made him a birthday card, and a pencil-and-eraser holder…I made him a set of waxed-canvas journals, where he can keep his notes and ideas, and the many stories that he enjoys writing…And from Mimi, by particular request, there was a “Godly book about animals!” (an instant hit with all three!)

 

And the grand finale, from Daddy, was…a pile of sticks? Guesses, anyone, on what the pile of sticks is for? Skis? Nope. Snowboard? Nope. Sled? Nope. Building logs? Nope.

 

Monkey bars, of course! And so, after a little installation, our little monkey was monkey-ing his way across the house!

of course, monkey bars!

He was, in fact, monkey-ing even more than I had imagined!

 

And I certainly never expected that the monkey-bars would become his new snuggle-spot…He’s the only one in the family who can get into it!

After birthday-breakfast…

 

It was time to see if I could bake a birthday cake…Propane stove…Check. Cast iron griddle…Check. Cast iron cake pan…Check. Turkey roasting pan…Check. Oven thermometer…Check. What could go wrong?

this is how you bake a cake at our house 🙂

And, happily, nothing did go wrong! One cake, complete, with minimal-blackening on the bottom!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…

 

…happy birthday dear Spencer, happy birthday to you!

 

Oh our dear little man! 10 years old! And what a lovely day – though it was raining outside, an amazing variety of birds were visiting the feeder, right outside the window, as though all of Spencer’s little forest friends were joining in his special day – blue jays and gray jays and chickadees and nuthatches and juncos and pine siskins and grosbeaks and sparrows, and our feisty little squirrel…Inside it was warm and cheery and bright, singing and swinging and monkey-ing and cake-and-ice-cream-ing, just a good-old-fashioned wonderful way to turn 10!

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, NIV)

So Thankful! (November 22nd)

There is, of course, a great deal to be thankful for everyday, but it sure is nice to spend a day remembering it 🙂

Here are some odds-and-ends of things I’ve been thankful for over the past couple of weeks…

The winter weather has taken an early start this year, and you may find yourself beginning to ask….Can you still have fun when it starts getting cold? Well, of course you can!

For one thing, not every day is cold in Downeast Maine, even when the winter weather sets in! Sometimes, you still get a sunny day in the 50s and 60s…On such a day, as the Lord would have it, we were able to celebrate three rewards for diligent little students…You see, one of our learning tools in homeschool is a website called Khan Academy. We have each child spend 30 minutes a day working through the grade-level mathematics courses offered online. And when they finish a grade, they get to choose a reward…And all three recently finished a grade…And each one chose a reward…Asher wanted to visit Eastern Knubble Preserve, and do a little rock-hunting through the remains of a silver mine. Spencer wanted to visit Mowry Beach in Lubec and look for clams and seaglass and rocks and other treasures…And Vivi wanted to go to a playground…And, wouldn’t you know, one warm day, and one big loop, was just enough to accommodate all three!

You can also start a special project to have fun when its cold outside…In his wonderful blend of hard-work-and-good-fun-and-always-God-first leadership of our family, Joe had a great idea…We have a small seasonal stream that makes its way across our property, and runs through a culvert under our driveway. As we finished our harvesting, Joe enlisted the kids to build a little low-dam just in front of the culvert…So, as the autumn rains fell, it flooded the low spot around the stream…

Consider the beavers, how they build… 🙂

And as the winter winds came, it began to freeze…

…and with the first winter storm, it was a skating rink! Now that’s fun!

When a winter storm is coming, the rain will be switching over to snow, and that means…more firewood! There are few winter sights more homey than a stocked firewood pile, and few things that inspire such simple gratitude as starting a fire on a chilly morning…

In these northern climates, we grow ice out of the ground! Every year, every time, I am amazed by it…It’s called frost heave, towers of ice literally growing out of the ground in this amazing process by which water is drawn up through the soil, expanding and freezing and siphoning and evaporating, and resulting in the most amazing crystal structures! Entire forests and castles, springing up everywhere that there is moist soil, and amazing to behold!

And, always, there are these funny little surprises, like sprouting mustard seedlings under the eaves, while snow blankets the rest of the landscape…

mustard seedlings
mustard seedlings

The first snow, itself, is always something we are thankful for in the Michalski house. There is much cheering, much excitement, so many snowballs to throw, so many snow-things to make…

And every year, first snow always inspires me to take pictures of my hot beverages…It just never gets old!

One day, Joe asked the kids to get dressed and go dust off the truck, to get ready for an errand…And I look out the window to see Vivi, who put her coat on top of her jammies and pulled her boots on…Yeah, she’s a northern girl now…And I was thankful for these wonderful moments, these great outbursts of laughter, in this funny family!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And so today, on this Thanksgiving Day, I found myself thankful, as ever, for simple things…The lovely morning light streaming in the window…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The fact that it was winter outside…And summer inside! (Oh, that girl!)

And smiling faces and a big Thanksgiving dinner, thankful for so many days past, thankful that the Lord holds all of our days in His capable hands…Most thankful that, when our days on this earth end, we are invited into eternity with our heavenly Father and our eternal family in Christ…Thankful that God is God, and God is good!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5, KJV)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sabbath Rest (November 4th)

Psalm 92. A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day. It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High…(Psalm 92:1, NIV) 

This Sabbath day began with a song, and with three recently-trained little pancake makers at work in the kitchen!

Pancake making is still a great adventure for them, as they like to make as many shapes as they can think of! Birds and crosses and boys and girls and dogs and swords and stars…

And, of course, a personal letter for each member of the family – how else will you tell which bowl is yours? D for Daddy, M for Mommy, A for Asher, S for Spencer, V for Vivi, ready-to-eat!

And after a good breakfast, it was a lovely day to head out to the shore, just to see what a little windstorm might have blown in…

There were, of course, the usual beach treasures…lovely sand formations and sand-scoured shells and beautiful beach pebbles of all shapes and sizes…

And, surprisingly for a nearly-winter-day, there were babies everywhere! Beach babies! Well, at least, clam and snail babies!

And the best way to wrap up an afternoon at the beach is with a hot chocolate at the beach!

Mmmmm….It just tastes better with the waves crashing in the background…

Hey – you already had your turn!

A beautiful day, a beautiful time, a beautiful sabbath rest…

…proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…(Psalm 92:2, NIV)

Oh, it is good to praise the Lord!

Rainy Days (November 3rd)

This autumn is very rainy!

sun shower!
sun shower, our home, Columbia, ME

Two years ago, it was a dry autumn, and we worked on this little house of ours every day until we finally moved in on December 18th, just in time for the winter. Last year, it was a dry autumn, and we worked outside every day, clearing land all through November, getting ready for farming in the spring. This year, it’s just raining all the time! But we don’t mind, because we have lots to do inside 🙂

I always find the timing to be so amazing for our family – whatever the Lord has for us to do in a season, the weather cooperates…And the part that I find really neat about that is that I know we’re not the only ones in the world, and He’s making the weather be just what it needs to be for all the works He has prepared for all of His children, everywhere, all the time!

And so, we mulched our last brush pile…

And headed indoors! And what, you may ask, is happening inside during these rainy days? Well, there are always odds-and-ends of little household projects that Joe has in-work – I call them “upgrades!”

New hat-and-glove-storage-for-five in the entryway…

New winter-laundry-line-by-the-woodstove (oh my goodness, this simple rack makes my laundry-life so much easier for the winter!)…

A new set of shelves in the bathroom, for all the daily essentials…

And, of course, so many other little things that just happen to pop up! But mainly, Joe has set up Santa’s workshop, hanging a large tarp around his workbench so that he can work on birthday and Christmas gifts for all the good little boys and girls in the Michalski house! The kids are in Santa’s workshop mode as well, with an assortment of projects to work on for the holiday season…

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…(Ecclesiastes 3:1, KJV)

If I expected this year to be like other years, it would have been very disappointing to have so much rain when we still had so much to do…But, in truth, we will always have so much to do, inside or outside, rain or shine, for as long as we live…Praise God, He knows the seasons, He knows the time for every purpose under heaven, and so I am content to spend a rainy autumn indoors!

 

 

 

 

 

Hide and Seek (October 21)

What could be more fun, on a cool and misty autumn day, than a good-old-fashioned game of hide-and-go-seek!

I was the first seeker…”98, 99, 100! I hope you’re ready, ‘cuz here I come!” As I began my slow circuit around the in-bounds area, I was struck by the beauty of the gentle autumn landscape…

I listened carefully for rustlings that might betray hiders, looking intently into brushy hollows, searching for signs of protruding arms and legs behind tree trunks, peering up into treetops…Hey, there’s one!

i see you!
i see you!

Not exactly the one I expected to find up a tree, but I was glad of the company as I searched for the other three!

Meandering my way through the apple orchard, I came upon the giant branch-pile that was all that remained after our recent “Tiiiiiiimberrrrrrr!” activities, awaiting a clear and dry day for chipping into mulch…”Hmmmmmm,” I said to Joe, “Do you think any kids are hiding in this enormous brush pile?” He just looked at me, very innocently, very poker-faced-ly…And I looked at the giant brush pile…And I looked back at Joe…And I looked at the giant brush pile…And I resigned myself to patiently begin poking around, branch-by-branch, in search of one-or-more little burrowing creatures…

Yep! There’s one!

And another!

spencer's burrow
spencer’s burrow

And another! Three little burrowers, all in a row!

asher's burrow
asher’s burrow

We each took turns as seeker, and one delightful hiding place unfolded after another…The crook of a giant tree root, tucked in with the shaving horse, underneath the blue tarp that covers our firewood stack, underneath a lumber pile (that’s next year’s front porch, if all goes according to current plans, and also a great place to munch on a delicious late apple!)…So many fun places to huddle into!

During Genevieve’s turn seeking, Joe had a great idea, and he let me in on it – we climbed into the truck and laid low as Vivi made her way to-and-fro, passing often nearby, but searching away again, never looking inside…as I lay comfortably, enjoying the view…until…one time…she did! “Ma-maaaaa!

An old favorite, a simple pleasure, hiding-and-seeking-and-laughing-and-playing, a happy Sabbath with the Lord!

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing…The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. (Psalm 126:2-3, KJV)

yep, that's hide-and-seek!
yep, that’s hide-and-seek!