Musings from the Threshold

Category Archives: Parents

A “Wish List”

I’d never done this before, but I’ve added several things to my Amazon Wish List, and besides posting it here, I’m adding a link to it on the side of my blog.

I’m usually the person that, when asked what she wants for Christmas/birthday/etc, doesn’t have any ideas. But right now, there are quite a few things that I could rattle off to someone interested in my interests, and I thought I’d make it easy for them. You’re welcome, Mama! There might be others who would like to know about such a list, so I’m doing something out of the ordinary and a bit uncomfortable for me and posting it.

/deep breath

Thank you, and have a lovely day.

What a Week!

Monday, I planted 49 tomato and pepper plants, as well as the winter squash. I also got a whopper of a sunburn on my upper back, due to wearing the tank top part of my new swim suit. My arms and face have gotten a lot of sun this year already from working in the garden and running, but I kinda-sorta forgot that my back hadn’t seen sunlight in who-knows-how-long.

Tuesday, we had fun at Grant’s Farm with Mama Byrd, Dad & Mom Smith, Aunt Joyce, Sarah & her Blessings. It was a beautiful day, and there weren’t many people, so it was very relaxing.

I also learned a lesson Tuesday about sunshine and shirts. When you already have a sunburn, a t-shirt doesn’t keep it from getting worse in the sun. Tuesday night was much more painful than Monday night had been, and on Wednesday I actually felt ill and spent a good portion of the day in bed. The burn is finally starting to feel a little better today.

Thursday was the last day that we got to see Papa and Mama Byrd before they left to go back to North Carolina and Florida. Aunt Joyce very sweetly brought Mama out to the house while Papa worked in St. Louis, and he came out in the evening.

One fun thing that Mama and I have enjoyed this visit is looking through old slides together. When they were missionaries in Spain (where I was born), it was much less expensive to get slides than to have pictures printed. In my memory, I had never seen pictures of me as a newborn, and only a few as a small baby. I also had seen few pictures of the city of my birth, Valencia, Spain. So it was a thrill and a delight for me to see pictures of where we lived when I was born, of our family at the hospital when I was a newborn, of the team of missionaries with whom they worked, of a time when my Bubba still thought I was wonderful and cute, etc.

Something high on my technological wish list is the gadget they’ve come up with that can turn your slides and negatives into digital images at home. It’s not in the budget yet, though, so I contented myself with taking a few pictures of the slides on the wall. I’ll post those separately.

Last night, after a yummy supper of quiche, we let the kids stay up late playing and reading while Jonathan & I and Papa & Mama played Scramble (speed Scrabble). We all had a great time savoring those last hours together for a while. I feel so blessed that we are good friends with both sets of our parents and we thoroughly enjoy spending time with them. This was a sweet visit, and I’m already back to missing them. Love you, Papa and Mama!!

A quote

There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.

~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

Stephen’s Late Christmas

On January 5, I was chatting with Mama via google chat.  She asked how Stephen had liked his Christmas present from them.

*puzzled pause as I tried to remember what they had gotten for him*

*Kodak moment as the light bulb goes on in my head*

*mad dash to the living room to look in the back corner of the boxes of books stacked in the future reading nook*

I sheepishly reported to Mama that I had totally forgotten about Stephen’s present hidden away back there, and proceeded to fetch him to open it. 

Present opening is serious business for Stephen.

But he likes them a lot!


I have at last uploaded some pictures from December to my Picasa albums. Click on the slideshows to see them individually, etc.

The Byrd Visit:

The Bloom Visit – did I even mention this?!? It was such a treat to have John and Ruth in town for a couple days! We ate together and played Rage at the chapel on Saturday night Dec. 20th, then on Sunday John shared about Immanuel Mission as well as sharing a very challenging and encouraging message about being a Refresher. They joined us for lunch on Sunday and visited some more before heading in to St. Louis. We were so blessed to have them with us – they have been such an important part of our lives over the years, and they are refreshing people!

Christmas Day:

And New Year’s Eve at Believers Bible Chapel:

The Byrd Visit

When we abruptly went off line in mid-December, some of our favorite Byrds had just gotten into town. Actually, Beka and The Cousins were on their way to Kansas City for a visit with family there. We enjoyed having Papa and Mama with us on Thursday and Friday, and Beka and the kids got back to our area on Saturday evening. We treasured every moment until they left on Tuesday morning!

Saturday night, we had seafood chowder for dinner, at the special request of Beka and Ethan. Seafood chowder became something of a hobby (obsession?) for Jonathan and I this last year, and Beka and Ethan were eager to taste the fruits of our experimentation. I think they liked it! I’m working on cutting down the recipe to a reasonable size so that I can post it on Love You Can Eat. For now, here’s a teaser…

Sunday morning at chapel we got to show off Beka and The Cousins; then Sunday evening we also got to show off Papa and Mama (they went to meeting in St. Louis in the morning). We don’t usually have a Sunday evening meeting, but Dec. 14th was our Christmas Supper and Program. It was neat to have some of the Byrds with us for this special evening. One of the highlights from the Christmas program (at what would generally be considered a pretty conservative church) was the Henkel twins playing their electric guitars. They played their own arrangement of a couple of Christmas classics. I couldn’t get the video upload to work, or I would share it with you.

As always, it was such a joy to see our kiddos enjoying their time with their cousins. The deep down, soul-satisfying kind of joy. My brother and I didn’t have cousins our ages with whom we could really fellowship, and it is a delight to my heart to see my children play with Ethan, Isaiah, Abigail, and Chloe.

I haven’t done a good job of capturing the “little moments” in this post, but I’m so thankful that Papa and Mama came to visit, and that Beka decided to come as well with The Cousins. I wish Eric could have pulled away from work and come, but we are all so thankful for the time we had together. And I’m thankful that they didn’t let the possibility (which turned into the reality) of them getting sick from our leftover germs keep them from coming!

Here are some more pictures (you can click on the slideshow to get to the pictures individually/download the full sized files, etc):

The Joys of Motherhood

~ The adoration in your 18 month old’s eyes as he flies across the room to your arms.

~ The hilarity of listening to your 7 year old read knock knock jokes to you that she doesn’t understand.
~ Sharing moments of genuine companionship with your 11 year old.
~ Enjoying the affection of your still-huggy 9 year old son.
~ Girl talk with your 10 year old.
~ The beauty of your 5 year old’s heart shaped face – and of her lovely heart.
~ Enjoying a good laugh with your 12 year old.
Please note:  Cleaning up vomit is not on the list.  If you have a means of communicating this to my children’s digestive systems, please let me know!

Happy Father’s Day!

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Papa and me. It is so reflective of us.
In the late night hours of this Father’s Day Eve, I’ve been thinking about (and missing) my Papa. On Mother’s Day, I had the privilege of enjoying Mama’s presence – what a treat! I didn’t really have the opportunity for a thoughtful post about her at the time (but I’ll get to you too, dear Mama).
I don’t know for sure when the above picture was taken, but I will admit that I snagged it from the KBC photo album many years ago. I love Papa’s smile. And when I look at my face here, I see complete and utter trust.
They say that your relationship with your earthly father is a significant influence as you develop your view of God, our Heavenly Father. Not only did Papa teach me Biblical principles that were foundational to my theological understanding of God, but he gave me a living example of God’s love and faithfulness that deeply influence my view of God relationally.
A few things for which I’m thankful about my Papa…
**Papa lives by principles and taught us how to apply Biblical principles to every day living.
**He showed me what it was like to be treated like a lady… and pounded it into my head that as a child of the King I should act like a lady and be treated as such.
**He helped me to understand the sovereignty of God on a deep and personal level (though I don’t claim to “get it” entirely!).
**He gave us an incredible of example of patience in parenting. If I were half as patient as Papa, my children would be so blessed.
**He shows us a living example of what “husbands love your wives” looks like with skin on. This is a great accompaniment to Mama’s example of “wives submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.”
**He does a terrific monkey impersonation! Which leads to the more general fact that he’s a whole lot of fun.
**He prepared me for a husband who loves trouble! 😉
There’s so much more, but I’d best get some sleep.
Happy Father’s day to the Papa side of the best parenting duo I’ve ever seen!
Love you!