Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wolverine Spirit

The cable guy came and fixed our connection outside, but the next day, it didn't work again! But life goes on...

I have always remained a faithful Ohio State Buckeye fan even though I have lived in the land of the Michigan Wolverines for 26 years. Yet somehow, these kids that come out of my womb are popping out as little wolverines. Yesterday at Bridget's school, they had the "Great Divide" where you have to dress up for either Michigan or Michigan State, whichever is your team. Bridget LOVES any opportunity to dress up and show spirit. She won the award for the Best Wolverine in her whole class! Her hair was sprayed blue, but this is the end of the day.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007


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At work the other day, Sharon brought me these flowers and now I have another living thing in the house to take pictures of!! There had been an episode in our driveway involving a cable guy and a fender and a teenage driver and a whole tumbling sequence of events, and how I wished I could take just that one second back as in any accident, and I was at work preoccupied in thinking about the meaning of the universe-type questions, why does bad stuff happen, etc. These flowers took my mind off of the sometimes random chaos of life and back to the God who is in control.

In the meantime, John seems to have fixed things so they are not SO SO bad. Husbands and friends are the greatest!

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Monday, February 26, 2007

For the Beauty of the Earth

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Last evening, we had the privilege of attending Edward & Maria's orchestra concert at South Christian. Since Edward is always in the front row with his cello, I am able to get his picture from the audience. For the first time ever, the orchestra and band performed in the same program with the choirs. At the end, the choirs and the orchestra did the piece "For the Beauty of the Earth" which they had been practicing, but never together. At the end, they got a standing ovation which I think was more for our Creator.

For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour, Of the day and of the night;
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r, Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

We left the concert with that beautiful song vibrating in our hearts. Soft, thick snowflakes were floating from the sky and I wanted to hold it. We arrived home after 10 pm, and Edward left to go on his run. Our conversation went like this:

Mom: Enjoy the snow.
Edward: What?
Mom: Enjoy the snow.
Edward: Oh yeah, it's good to run on.
Mom: No, I mean just look at the trees, it's beautiful.
Edward: Oh... yeah, I know.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Tree in Our Backyard


All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. "'I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.'" Ezekiel 17:24

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Daughter, the Seamstress

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The Sewing Gene evidentally has skipped a generation and gone from my mother to my daughter. It didn't like it in my body very much. I watched my little Maria save up her money several years ago to buy a sewing machine and I wondered where she could have gotten such an idea. She amazed me. And last night, she was almost a blur as she asked me for a sheet and soon was twirling around in this little dress she made for her Odyssey of the Mind team's skit. She doesn't sew that often - she uses it mainly for costumes and crafts and mending - but she does sew more than her mother.

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Demonstrating the twirl for the OM skit

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Warming Trend

Spotty internet connections this week have forced me to take another sabbatical from the blog. On the bright side: this week it has warmed up considerably - to about 40 degrees - which has enabled me to once again have dominion over the road when I take my walks. I no longer inch timidly along the ice, half-frozen, one half step backward for every step forward.

Picture taken of the flowers on my table while on sabbatical

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kitty Showdown

So I'm back after my one day sabbatical. Last night, we were visited by this little wild green-eyed kitty who just sat there for over an hour watching us through his wild green eyes.

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Leo made a a lot of those deep growls like this: "mmmrrrrrooooowwwwwww."

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But the wild, green-eyed kitty stayed.

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Leo was mad, but we kept reminding him that he was the indoor kitty here. So in other words, get over it.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Yay! I couldn't wait to push that ugly picture from yesterday down the blog. I am happy to present these lovelies from last evening:

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Maria went to the Homecoming dance at South Christian with some of her friends. A father of one of her friend's prepared and served them a lovely supper of chicken cordon bleu with candlelight. I made them cheesecake and stopped over to take a few pictures.

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Edward also went - I loved his style of going to the dance which started at 8 pm. At about 8:15 pm, after working all day, he said to us while I.M.-ing his friends, I wonder how long that thing goes... So I quick got him together a shirt and tie and shoes and pants he could wear, and he took off to meet, I think, the friends he had been I.M.-ing. Just before midnight as I was falling asleep, I listened to their happy sounds coming home.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Little Blog!

It's hard to believe - Kingdom Jewels is 1 year old today and this is post # 336. I felt like I was posting every day, but evidentally, I wasn't. The first post wasn't very funny, so here's one to make up for it. This picture was taken by one of my kids about 5 years ago when I weighed about 93 pounds and wore glasses.

This is not a self-portrait.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stir Crazy

So, it's probably time for some cat pictures. This has been a very cold winter, and because of that, Leo hasn't been able to stay outside very long. Just this morning, he woke us up meowing at 4:30am. John got up twice to let him out and each time he just looked outside to see if the snow had somehow disappeared overnight. Five minutes later, he meowed and I got up to let him out. But the snow was still there. Five minutes later, John got up and tossed him out.

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He loves to be right there in the morning when we are trying to get ready.

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This is the ledge 10 feet above the ground where he likes to chase his tail.

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It's always exciting to watch the water swirl down.

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He loves how Maria's notebook matches his eyes....

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...he just wishes Maria would pay more attention to him than Church History.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Heart You

This post is dedicated to my e-relationship world: I wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day and wish you a fun celebration with your real people! To those who live at the intersection of my e-world and real world, I also wish you a happy Valentine's Day.

John, who hopefully won't read this before he gets home, is going to get a new shirt and tie from me!!! It's a necessary evil for him, as in, I can always use work clothes, arg! Edward, Maria & Bridget were excited when I gave them conversation hearts and valentine-themed Nerd candy this morning. When John asked me what I wanted, I said ,"How about a 500 gigger?" Does anyone even know what that means?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


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"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king."

I liked this poem I found and how it speaks of hope like when you see the light and shadows on a sunny day in February.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Have You Ever Wondered What is on Dutch TV?

My parents just returned from a trip to the Netherlands where Dad was filmed by a TV station in Groningen for a TV show about his family's emigration from Holland in 1952. Dad was followed by a TV camera for 3 days - they shot hours of footage which will be condensed into a 30 minute program (in Dutch). In the following pictures Mom sent me, I was thrilled to see the places which John & I visited with Mom & Dad in 2003:

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The Christian Reformed Church in Bedum. Dad is talking about the 1944 split in the church.

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Top of the dike at Noordpoulderzijl. It is very windy and scenic up there. That is a mighty tall Dutch lady there seeing as Dad is about 6 foot!

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Dad is being interviewed in front of the car dealership in Bedum which his father owned. He is next to his cousin Aaf whose father took over the dealership in 1952

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Candlelit breakfast at the B&B where they stayed.

Leviticus: What Would Jesus Eat?

Leviticus is a book of laws for the Jewish people and chapter 11 is specifically about dietary laws. God gave His people the law to guide them toward righteousness. In comparing the law to righteousness, the pastor today gave us the example of how righteousness is like playing a piano. Even if you get all the notes right, you still may not get the music right.

Of course we believe that since Jesus came and died for us, His righteousness was imputed to us. The Bible is so much more to us than a How-to manual - it is the story of redemption! We know that in Christ, nothing is neutral: everything matters. God should be involved in everything we do. We are no longer under Old Testament Law, but God still cares about the same things - even about the food we eat! He wants us to be people who show His character, His holiness. He wants us to stand out and to be noticeable. And now, we do this because we are thankful for what He has done for us. John Calvin said that the reason for the law is to show gratitude to God. Leviticus always reminds me how hard it would be to keep the law and because of this, how great Jesus' sacrifice was.

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Still snowing...

Saturday, February 10, 2007


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Yesterday morning, my schedule worked out so that I could take an early morning walk. I was walking with a couple of friends, so I took this picture rather quickly. I love the promise of a sunny day with the clear sky as the sun was coming up.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Flash Back Friday 5

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I asked Maria to pick out this week's flash back picture and she came up with this happy memory from our trip to California to see John's dad. When we were eating lunch, she had a leftover pat of butter which she put in the front pocket of her overalls to save for later. You can see the grease stain above. We always used to say when our kids were little that they liked butter because they were born at Butterworth Hospital.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Above all these, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together perfectly;
and let the shalom which comes from the Messiah be your heart's decision-maker, for this is why you were called to be part of a single Body. -Colossians 3:14-15

I love how this verse reads in the Complete Jewish Bible. The commentary that goes with this translation says that Shalom here is more like "wholeness" than "peace." The Messiah's wholeness or "oneness", His interest, is to do the judging, deciding, controlling and ruling in the heart of believers.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Keeping Warm

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Stampot Mouse: I realize this photo would in no way qualify me to be a food photographer.

Today, after work, I was sitting there getting my boots on and almost dreading my daily walk. It was 1 degree on my way to work this morning and now it is just over 10 degrees. My head has been feeling unusual during the past week - sort of a frontal-lobe-pressure-sharpish-pain and I've been exceptionally tired. I told Sharon at work that I might be dying of a brain tumor and she said in a monotone, no you can't do that right now, we need you here. We kind of have little laughs like that all the time at work. Then she told me my headache was probably from the changes in atmospheric pressure, so now I am going with that theory.

So back to my walk. I started wondering what might cure this malaise. What is it that might warm the inner recesses of my physical body? And suddenly, I thought of Stampot Mouse. This is a winter time dish that is made in the Netherlands. My dad ate it growing up, and my mom then made it for us. Edward actually requests it sometimes, but the girls - not so much. It's so easy to make: You boil about 6 large potatoes with a can of kale and sausage for about 45 minutes. Then you mash the potatoes with the kale and butter and put the sausage on top. At this point, you can put it in a warm oven till supper thus giving you leeway as to when you actually eat supper. I can almost taste it now.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Coffee Talk about Snow

Another snow day...

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"Growing up in a place that has winter, you learn to avoid self-pity. Winter is not a personal experience, everybody else is as cold as you, so you shouldn't complain about it too much. You learn this as a kid, coming home crying from the cold, and Mother looks down and says, "It's only a little frostbite. You're okay." And thus you learn to be okay. What's done is done. Get over it. Drink your coffee. It's not the best you'll ever get but it's good enough." -Garrison Keillor

Monday, February 05, 2007

Winter Wonderland

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The size of the kid to the size of the snowman is inversely proportional. ie. When the kids were little, their snowmen were much bigger. This is a good use for those mini carrots.

I think our house looks like a blue & white gingerbread house under the snow.

These next 4 pictures are of that cool drift on the front of our roof. If you can't tell, I will tell you: I find it very fascinating.

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This morning, as I rode to work, our car thermometer said -5. I don't remember ever seeing the negative sign on that thermometer, so this I also found fascinating. The kids had another snow day today.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Great Blizzard Adventures of '07

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John's car shut down on the highway yesterday during the blizzard, but he was followed by Edward & a cop. (His car is pictured above at the auto repair place where we went later to drop off a key.) It continued snowing and blowing through the night, and today, most church services were cancelled. I made it outside this morning for my 2 mile walk in 2 degrees and some astronomical wind chill below zero, and talked to many neighbors who were out shovelling their driveways and maybe longing for contact with real people from the outside world. I tried to help one neighbor push his car out of a snow bank, but I'm a weakling. Soon, John came to the rescue! He also picked me up from my walk and took me out for a cappuccino which in itself is an adventure.