We headed to the NC state fair and had a great time seeing many garden displays, animals, and eating our fill on fried foods. It never makes sense to me why state fairs are all about frying. It certainly doesn't seem pastorally simple like the way I envision a farming community would enjoy their harvests. But I guess that goes to show what a city girl I am or maybe that the organic movement hasn't really reached the state fair crowd yet.
The only time daddy could ever be called a butterfly. It reminds me of a break-up quote from an OLD movie called Bringing Up Baby.
Preserving the state fair giant theme...we have the biggest vegetables, animals, and....ah yes, our greatest feat...chairs!
My brothers will like this pic. These guys are made out of construction barrels.
Candyland garden exhibit. It was more fun in real life than what you can see here.
Eying the grand champion. He was really aggressive (the turkey, not Alden).
Back at home we continued our tradition of not celebrating Halloween. I think it confuses people when my kids say, "We carved a big daddy pumpkin, and we have baby pumpkins too!" and get greeted with blank stares when my kids are clueless about trick or treating. Oh well. I do enjoy redefining the day in a way that focuses on Jesus (the pumpkin carving being about how He cleans our hearts from the icky sin and puts His light in us to shine in the darkness). It was cool how this week our Bible verse was about how even the night will be light about us because of God's care and involvement in our lives. "Random" coincidence. We really aren't trying to be legalistic or hard core or unfun. But we do want to live lives that are meaningful, thoughtful, and full of truth in a way that is full of joy and enjoyment of God's good gifts to us. We want to teach our children that God defines all of life and, yes, all of our fun. And that it's a GREAT thing, and an exciting thing, and a very fun thing that is worth celebrating.
Cleaning out the "piles of gooey" is not always a pleasant or easy process.
But the end result is worth it!
We had our nursing home visit, probably the last one until at least spring, since winter is a time of sickness for kiddos. It was the neatest time. Our musician was late, so I was doing the "hello" song on my own, and one of the residents started accompanying on the piano all on her own! As I've said to many who prayed for us, it just goes to show how little inconveniences and setbacks can really be God's plan to bless us all in a special way. I am so thankful for that reminder!
We traveled once again to Charlotte to see some really neat missionaries while they are here on HMA. I am struck by how difficult it must be to be a missionary. The life is difficult and often dangerous there, fruit is often slow to come, calling and ministry is often unclear, support can be lacking or unfelt, and then you have to come back "home" which isn't really home anymore, travel all over the place and tell about it all often with kids who find it difficult as well. Thankfully, that's my picture without God's hand, but with Him, somehow that kind of life can be a real joy and confirmation of the faith and purpose He's given those who call on His name and find satisfaction in Him.
On our free morning, we went to a cider mill/orchard down the road from Wally's parents' house. We were given the honor of feeding the calf his morning milk.
It's amazing how quickly he downed it and how strong of a pull he had. It made me think of the story in Winnie the Pooh where Tigger almost swallows the spoon as he consumes Roo's "strengthening medicine". I feel sorry for mommy cows.
While there, Alden was popular with the chicken crowd. They followed him everywhere. I was amazed to see that many of them were almost as big as he was if they stretched their necks up high. Perhaps this is why chickens are Alden's "favorites". He also got to feed the chickens at Grandaddy's and to collect the eggs they laid.
Back at home working on "Thankful Tom Turkey" who will get feathers added each mealtime as we write for what we are thankful. Tonight's were:
Rhianwen: I'm thankful for gourds.
Alden: Winnie the Pooh.