Friday, October 31, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
First, Rachel drew an elephant rear end on tyler's forehead, in exchange for him getting to help them paint at the carnival.
Then Tyler drew Eyes on top of Kenny's real Eyes.
Our Pumpkins! From the top step down: Kelly's little tiny music notes, Bran's demon (complete with horns! how Martha Stewart of him...), and Kenny's duck. Second step down is Jen's Bear holding a Shark, and mine, which had one angry face, one smiling face, and one face that is puking pumpkin guts. Then on the last step is Tyler's rabbit, and Rachel's awesome city-scape.
After a long night of fun and friends, Bran and I enjoyed the warmth of a fire in our living room.
Mom - I'll post pictures of the pies when I download them!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
This week has been really nice - Bran and I spent Monday and Tuesday getting some things done around the house, and then he had work on Wednesday, which meant that I got the house to myself all day Wednesday. There's really nothing else to do when home alone except bake, so I made these Pumpkin Cupcakes, which, as Bran and Kelly can tell you, were awesome.
It's been nice having the place to myself, but I miss house dinners and getting to hang with Jen all the time. It will be good to have them all here again :)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
As another Halloween approaches, and as many of us are working on building alternatives, I wanted to take the opportunity to offer a few thoughts and pastoral suggestions.
Here is the background. First, November 1 is All Saints Day. The All Saints festival was first established during the times of persecution in the early church when the number of martyrs accumulated to the point where it was no longer possible to commemorate them all. In the time of John Chrysostom, all the martyrs were remembered on the first Sunday after Pentecost. In 608 A.D., the Pantheon, a former pagan temple to all the gods, was dedicated in Rome as a Christian church. The date of that dedication (May 13) became the day of "all saints." The day was moved to November 1 in 741 A.D. with the dedication of the Chapel of All Saints.
Second, in the British Isles, the day was known as All Hallows Day. The "eve" of that day, the night before, was known as Hallowe’en. In the minds of simple people, the night before the day of the holy ones was thought to be a last ditch party on the part of unholy ones — devils, witches, fairies, imps and so forth. With this kind of superstition, of course, we have nothing to do. Obviously, the custom of kids dressing up in order to play trick or treat did descend from this view, but the thing that is objectionable here is not the dressing up in itself, or the consumption of candy, but rather the dressing up as wicked creatures.
Third, Reformation Day is on October 31 and commemorates the posting of Luther’s famous theses, which is usually regarded as the inauguration of the Reformation. It is frequently honored by churches on the last Sunday of October. As it happens, Reformation Day is also Halloween.
Fourth, and the bottom line for us, is that both of these two days belong to the Christian church, and not to the pagans. And the days have been ours for many centuries, despite certain pagan encroachments of late. We should keep the days, and fight off the encroachments. And so . . .
Here are a few things to do: We are encouraging parishes to hold Reformation Day/All Saints Day parties and gatherings. The mood should be festive and filled with rejoicing — an exhibition of our gratitude for the faithfulness of the martyrs of the early church and the martyrs of the Reformation. This obviously can (and should) include kids dressing up and getting boatloads of candy, but I would strongly urge that no one have their kids dress up as members of the other team — witches, ghosts, devils, imps, or congressmen. We do want to urge a high level of celebration, but we don’t want to take our cues from the surrounding culture. So if you take your kid around to grandma’s house dressed up like a red M & M, or like Theodore Beza, don’t have them say trick or treat the same way some ghost or witch would. Of course, repent or perish or sola fide probably wouldn’t work either. Let’s do this differently, and intelligently, and still have fun. So have them say trick or treat the way a cute M & M would.
What to avoid. We want parish parties, not pious parties. So when neighborhood trick or treaters come to your door, I would encourage you to give them more candy than unbelievers give, as opposed to a glare and/or a tract about the fires of hell. We want to behave during this time in such a way that their celebrations are revealed as far more anemic than ours (not to mention twisted and gross). We do not want our parish parties to be a cheesy alternative, a sort of faux-Halloween. It should be a true All Hallow’s Eve, a true Reformation Day blow-out.
On a related note, there is no way to do this without kirkers differing among themselves about what is appropriate. This is reasonable — up to a point. We know the general direction we want to go, and we want to get there together with unity of spirit. This means learning to lighten up on details. So don’t freak out and rebuke someone if their kid goes over to an aunt’s house dressed like John Knox, but he cackles evilly instead of saying soli Deo gloria. But feel free to be concerned if someone from the Night of the Living Dead shows up at the parish party.
Friday, October 3, 2008
So since things have been so rough recently, we decided to treat ourselves by going out to dinner. I can't tell you how excited I was when I found out that Spokane's newest restaurant is The Melting Pot!! So that's where we went, and it was wonderful.
We had a great time, and got to enjoy spending lots of time together. It was wonderful.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
As hard as this whole experience has been, I am thankful for so many things. I have found comfort in the Lord and his providence, and the fact that our baby is with God now, singing his praises. I have found comfort in the fact that my miscarriage was not a "difficult" one, meaning I was not far enough along for it to be physically painful, and I'm thankful for the emotional strength of my husband, who has encouraged me and been like a rock for me through this whole thing. At one point he even told me that he wanted to make sure that I knew he was sad and grieving, but that he has his own ways of coming to grips with things, and these involve making sure that I'm ok.
When Bran and I were reading about the causes of miscarriage, we found out that one occurs when the baby is not healthy. It is the body's way of preventing an unhealthy pregnancy and birth. We believe that it is also God's way of protecting our child. He knew that our baby was not developing here on earth so he brought him or her up to heaven where he could care for and protect one of his children. We have faith that our child is with the Lord in a beautified state and will be waiting for us.
Trials like ours make me so thankful for the Moscow community. It was very hard not being near our families (and the difficulty went both ways - us wanting them to be here, and them wanting us to be there), but our Moscow family has been here for us every step of the way. I babysit for the Andersons, a young family who were friends with Bran before we moved out here. They went through a similar experience with their first baby, and were able to relate to our grieving, and also encourage us to look to the future and the blessings God will surely have waiting for us. They now have a beautiful 4 month old named Evangeline. They brought us dinner and fellowshipped with us on Monday night.
Other friends have been just as supportive, bringing meals and flowers and encouragement. I am so thankful for everyone we have gotten to spend time with.
I am doing very well, and can talk about what happened without crying finally. Bran and I both took today off to spend some time together, and to get some actual rest, since Monday, which is usually the one day we both have off, wasn't restful.
Please keep us in your prayers.