September 28, 2011

The BIG Day!

Are you getting ready for an extra special event?

Make sure you have all the bases covered:
a regal venue,
an experienced, tasty caterer,
perhaps a florist
maybe an event coordinator,

and an experienced professional musician!

One who can provide a high level of quality music at a competitive price,
who regards customer service and satisfaction as a high priority,
who can help you choose the right music for your special occasion,
who can impress your guests,
who reflects your excellent judgment in choosing entertainment,
who can add class to your event, large or small,
who is flexible in terms of schedule,
and can give live music samples!

Meggan Anderson can provide what you need.

Contact me by submitting a comment on this post
or email me at

September 27, 2011

New Violin!

After saving up for months Jeramy and I bought a new violin! We traded in the old Doetsch that I've been playing for 15 years(!) toward the cash purchase of this new one. When I say "new" it really isn't new, it's new to me - an upgrade. The previous instrument was difficult to play well. The sound was scratchy and muddled. With extraordinary effort I would do my best to make a nice sound. It's like a professional painter painting a home with only a paint brush, whereas a paint sprayer, roller & extra large drop cloths would make it easier for him to produce a fine product with the level of skill & craftsmanship he already possesses.

I purchased this instrument from Atlanta Violins, with a new Bobelock case made of heavy plywood. It is strung with green label Eva Perazzi strings (about $80-90/set). This unlabeled, likely German, 1880-1920, violin produces a great sound, audibly legible and is very playable. Notice the detailing on the pegs, tail piece and the unique Egyptian carving on the back. The craftsmanship, especially in the scroll carving, allows for the educated guess of the time in which it was built.

The transition was very easy as my old Doetsch was German also (i.e. the length is identical). French made instruments tend to run on the short side, making it easier to play in the upper register, fingered octaves, etc. Overall, I'm very pleased with this intermediate step up to the instrument my skill level might dictate. And I'm more enthused to play now that I have an easier time producing a high quality sound. I'm very thankful for all the hours Jeramy and I put into obtaining this instrument. In the future, we may trade it in for another upgrade at Atlanta Violins. It's a great shop and I highly recommend it to anyone in the market.

September 26, 2011

Bubble Breakers

September 25, 2011

Snake in the Den!

Late Friday night, after putting Shiphrah down to sleep, I saw what I thought was a broken shoe string on the floor. When I got closer I saw what it really was! Click on the picture to see it larger. It was probably about 8 inches long.

Jeramy killing said snake with a 10 ft. pole, no shotgun.

Yep, it's dead now. But anxiety still looms. I'm sure there are others out there, ready to enter our home. And how did it get in? We only have best guesses.

The LORD God said to the serpent,

Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Genesis 3:14-15

September 24, 2011

September 23, 2011

Sweet Sisters

Don't sit TOO close! :-)

September 22, 2011

She's Standing!

The past three days Shiphrah has been standing for longer periods unsupported! I can tell that she's getting more frustrated by the inconvenience of not walking because she crawls with one foot flat on the floor while holding an object in one of her hands -- sort of like a half-way crawl. Then she will push our little chairs or her walker around all over the hardwood floor just to get from one place to another. When I've been walking with her I'm only holding one of her hands as I previously held both. She turned 13 months old last week and I'm hoping that she will be walking before she reaches 14 months. Moriah and Lily were both walking by their first birthday so I'm a little anxious for Shiphrah to get on board. I don't have to worry about chasing her around when she starts walking because she'll be the one chasing her sisters. :-D

September 21, 2011

got peppers?!

The deer cleverly avoid eating these. It's too bad because we would love to see their reaction to a mouthful of cayenne pepper! They have completely decimated the foliage of our green garden. It literally looks like a pile of standing bamboo sticks. Next year we intend on building a chicken wire fence about 6 feet high and keep all our vegetation for ourselves. :-D

September 20, 2011

Murder She Threw

This is unbelievable! Highlights from a post by R. Albert Mohler on the case of Katrina Efferts and her "fourth trimester" abortion! Read the two original articles HERE and HERE. Now there is nothing to stop parents from brutally murdering their own children at any age. We cannot look to legislation to determine what is morally sound - only the Bible can provide the foundation for truth and teach us how to view God and treat each other. We must also look to God for retributive justice, because we will not find it in this physical realm.

Mark Steyn hit the nail on the head when he accused a Canadian appeals court of allowing for a “fourth-trimester abortion” — that’s right, the killing of a baby that is already born!

The case emerged from the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta, where a judge faced the fact that a woman had been convicted of strangling her newborn son and then throwing the baby’s body over the fence into her neighbor’s yard.

A CBC News reported, the woman was given a three-year suspended sentence and will spend no time in jail for the killing of her baby. Katrina Efferts “will have to abide by conditions for the next three years but she won’t spend time behind bars for strangling her own son.”

The moral dishonesty of the entire tragedy comes down to the fact that, in legalizing abortion, liberal societies claimed to be making a bargain. We will not protect unborn life, but we will defend all those who make it to birth. Of course, the dividing line was always dishonest. Are we seriously to believe that human personhood is a matter of mere location, inside or outside the womb?

Now, this judge [Justice Joanne Veit] has simply extended the logic of abortion, and catastrophically so. If the “onerous demands” of parenthood justify killing one’s own child, there is no logical reason to confine permissive infanticide to newborns, or even to younger children.

September 19, 2011

Hell in Leviticus

I've been reading through Leviticus and it has been more exciting and convicting than one might think. This book is filled with the Judaic laws in reference to worshiping God in the Tabernacle. Last night I was reading chapter 6 and was hit with the picture of hell and God's wrath demonstrated there and in the animal sacrifices. The sacrificial system was set up as a precursor that pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross. It is impossible for the blood of animals to take away sins. The people needed to see the effects of their sin and understand the requisites for God's justice for forgiveness and removal of guilt.

In verses 8-13 of chapter 6 there is such a strong emphasis for the fire on the altar to be kept burning continually because of it's repetition.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering: the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it. 10 The priest is to put on his linen robe, and he shall put on undergarments next to his flesh; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire reduces the burnt offering on the altar and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it. It shall not go out, but the priest shall burn wood on it every morning; and he shall lay out the burnt offering on it, and offer up in smoke the fat portions of the peace offerings on it. 13 Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.
In the Hebrew, Jeramy told me that the negative (NOT) is the intensive form of the negation as opposed to the passive form. It called to remembrance what Christ teaches about Hell in the New Testament. He repeats Isaiah 66:24 for emphasis also.
If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 45 If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 46 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 47 If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 48 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED. (Mark 9:43-48)
Imagine worshiping in the Tabernacle and meditating on God's holy justice that requires death as a consequence of sin since the Fall. I considered that this picture of the altar is an image of hell in the Tabernacle, that a perpetual atonement was needed because of God's eternal, infinite nature. Imagine your body continually burning in fire on the altar! And being reminded of that every time you sin! But how is it possible to atone for one's own sin and receive God's forgiveness at the same time? That's why Christ came - to be the substitutionary atoning sacrifice in our place that we might receive forgiveness and live as God intended: free from the bondage of sin.

September 17, 2011

HUGE Getty Sale!

Keith & Kristyn Getty, the modern hymn writers are having a mega huge clearance sale for their USA customers. You get 10 products for $20 total! That's $2.00 a piece for a CD or a songbook or any combination thereof!

This is HUGE!

Hurry the sale won't last! Stock up now for Christmas and save a boat load!

September 15, 2011

C/S Trip Day 6: Sweet Reunions & Grace in a Screw

Monday morning we left Mt. Vernon, Illinois after our complimentary continental breakfast for our final day of driving. We chose not to fly (I was adamant I was not going to fly) because of the ridiculous TSA security procedures. I will not willingly submit to being personally violated through expensive X-ray photos or aggressive physical searches. Nor would I allow the gamble of purchasing expensive tickets with the hopes of avoiding these measures. Driving is just fine, thank you.

We crossed into Kentucky and then Tennessee. We met our friend Channing outside Chattanooga for a late lunch at Cracker Barrel. We love Channing. We all met in Louisville while mutually attending the Southern Seminary and have remained friends since. Channing is ministering in a Baptist church in Whitwell preaching, teaching & counseling. Being fully systematized in His theology, he addresses the serious implications of dangerous worldview philosophy from a Biblical framework, just as easily as he wins people over with his redneck charm & humor. He plays guitar, enjoys hang gliding and ballroom dancing. He is searching for the right woman.

Finally we arrived back across the Georgia state line. As we got closer to Atlanta the sky grew more and more threatening with dark grey/black clouds and rain. The wind began to pick up acceleration also and motorists reduced their speed significantly. As we continued to drive I noticed that those same black clouds appeared to be dipping down toward the earth in the distance on either side of the highway. I've never seen real tornadoes before and I was growing more and more concerned that I might be seeing them now! Then we crossed a point on the highway where a tornado had certainly passed through because the trees on both the right and left sides bore an obvious path of destruction and we had just missed it by about 5 or 10 minutes! That's less than 3 miles at the speed we were driving. Scary.

We finally arrived back to G'Wanda's house to pick up the girls. I was so thrilled to see them! After reading about the Edwards' and having a significant time of refreshment, I felt eager and energized to return back to my role of motherhood. The girls were somewhat distracted when we entered (Dora the Explorer). Moriah was the most exited of them all. "Hey Mommy!" She said quickly with a smile then her attention turned back to the TV.

Shiphrah was on the kitchen floor amused with the plastic storage containers and looked up at me as though I were a faint memory from somewhere that she just couldn't put her finger on. Either that or she was really thinking, "Oh, Momma! Where have you been?" Her expression was just an open-mouthed worry. I did my best to comfort her, though she did not cry or refuse for me to hold her. It took about 30 minutes for me to get her to laugh and smile again! Note to self: Don't ever leave my babies for six days again!

Lily was so preoccupied by Dora, she wouldn't even look my direction! When Dora was over, she finally acknowledged our return and after a little coaxing came over to give me a hug and kiss and sit in my lap. I guess some people just can't compete with a cute little Latino cartoon. :-)

We ate dinner and Jeramy replaced the car seats and loaded up the girls stuff only to notice that we had a flat tire! A screw had become lodged in our rear passenger tire at some point along our journey! I had not noticed it before, neither was I looking! We drove through our fare share of road construction, but we had no idea when or where we picked it up. We drove along in complete ignorance as to the condition of it. And we had just as much uncertainty as to whether we would make it home without an immediate repair (at 8:30 p.m.). We pumped it back up and prayed the whole way home and arrived without any problems. Can you imagine that tire blowing out in the middle of a storm or some other state far from home? God certainly showed us a great deal of grace on our journey!

September 13, 2011

C/S Trip Day 5: Heading Back

Sunday morning we began our long drive back home. We left Colorado, then Kansas, then Missouri and after a long day, we settled in a hotel in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

So, what did you do on the long drive?

We passed the time talking about almost everything. We spent a little time listening to music. It may have been more time, however our CD player is broken and batteries for a boom box are expensive. There was plenty of passenger doze off. Jeramy did some Hebrew/Greek flashcards. And while Jeramy drove, I would read aloud.

A few weeks ago Jeramy bought a book for me at my request, Marriage to a Difficult Man, by Elizabeth Dodds. This is somewhat of a double biography of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards in relation to normal married & family life. It is endorsed by many influential evangelical leaders of our day: John Piper, Doug Phillips, Don Whitney and R.C. Sproul just to name a few. This is an excellent marriage book because you can see how two sinners saved by grace covenanted together in marriage with 11 children made it work 300 years ago. This is a powerfully encouraging book because the reader sees their daily example. It's not just a typical marriage book that outlines 7 keys to marital bliss, but here you see their struggles, pressures, concerns, trials, triumphs and short comings. This is a very real couple. We were blessed to read and discuss almost half the book together on our trip. I highly recommend it for every married couple.

September 12, 2011

C/S Trip Day 4: Forest & Garden

Saturday morning Jeramy took me to Pike National Forest for a 2 mile hike down to the reservoir. The forest was very much secluded from the city, driving up into the mountains away from all the busy-ness. It was beautiful! No paved roads or constructed buildings here. The pale green grass was long and wispy. The tall and thin aspen trees abound here. There were plenty of inviting spots like this where sunlight peeps through the forest canopy with partial sun, partial shade.

Notice the steep grade!

I must be truthful and say that there are no restrooms here. (Duh!) And so I was a little concerned about meeting a bear while finding a spot to relieve myself. There are also elk, birds & squirrels. Snakes are not as abundant, but they have been spotted.

Along the beaten trail.

Pretty fuzzy purple flowers

After 2 miles of hiking downhill we come to the reservoir. Currently the level is low, but that will change when the snow comes and melts later in the season. I counted about 5 other small groups of people out here fishing & hiking, which is very busy for any one time.

Then we hiked 2 miles back, up hill.
This picture doesn't do the view justice.
(Nor do any of the ones I've taken.)

Finally, one together.

The sign, marred by bullets.

The following pictures are on the descent from the Forest. Notice how it looks so desolate. It is so peaceful there. You feel like you're alone, in the middle of nowhere. At first you're overwhelmed at the vast expanse, the splendor of it all. It's very humbling. God, the Lord, who created all of these things just out of the word from His mouth and it all came to be. And it's as if this great work were of no effort for Him. And how is it that God, who made all this marvelous wonder, would bother to create humans, as small as we are in comparison to all this?!

O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:1-9

THESE are mountains.

After leaving Pike's Forest we set out again for The Garden of the Gods. I'm told that the name, "Garden of the Gods," comes from the old Indian name (Cheyenne?). It is kind of peculiar when you see these natural rock formations. The relative landscape around it is somewhat normal hilly, then suddenly giant, bare, red rocks jut out of the ground like sky scrapers. (Remnants of the worldwide flood.) This is one of the more tourist type sites.

Here is a view of The Garden from the highway.

The Balanced Rock.

The Garden has a Trading Post where we grabbed lunch, two Bison burgers made to order, and good souvenirs. I found this cedar plank very appealing.

After the Trading Post we visited the American Neumismatic Headquarters & Museum where they are currently displaying many Civil War relics and old coins. Jeramy found it especially interesting. We saw the old mint printing machines and balances. It's hard to believe that something so massive is needed to make such a small coin.

We ate a kingly dinner with the Bishops, including 1" thick grilled steaks, parmesan-crusted baked potatoes, sweet corn on the cob, and crunchy broccoli salad (with bacon, raisins & sweet onions). Jeramy and Paul enjoyed a cigar outside with peach cobbler a la mode while Jenny and I played Wii bowling & Mario Kart and watching Hello Dolly! the musical. We all had a lot of fun.

September 11, 2011

C/S Trip Day 3: USAFA

Friday morning Jeramy took me to the Air Force Academy. The Academy sits on several thousand acres at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs. Labor Day weekend has historically been "Parent's Weekend" where families come and visit after Basic Training is completed. There is a beautiful view of the campus and a beautiful view of the Rockies from the campus. The high elevation of this training facility makes physical activity especially difficult which is advantageous at lower altitudes when the body can produce better results with the same effort levels. One morning I went to run (on a straight away) and I found it more difficult than usual. The weather was gorgeous, moderate 70's, windy with wonderfully clear blue skies and scattered clouds.

This first picture is overlooking the Academy.

The dormitories were restricted to Cadet families, however the public was free to view the new Chapel. Here is looking from the rear to the stage/pulpit area.

This is the ceiling looking straight up. Stained glass shines like neon lights through spiked steel surfaces.
This is the vertical walls.

From the front of the Chapel, looking back, this is a picture of the grand pipe organ.

On the large platform in front of the Chapel.

We walked a long distance on and around the Academy and I couldn't help but notice all these beautiful wild mountain flowers. Daisies also grow wild and abundant.

After visiting the Academy we drove through The Garden of the Gods and ate at a comfortable local restaurant, The Mason Jar. They had a wonderful Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup which, after praising to our server, she gladly offered me the recipe! Whooo doggies! (Imagine my excitement!)

We left the restaurant right at about 3 p.m. when it rained. Jeramy says that you could time your clock by the afternoon rain. We walked around the eclectic souvenir shops in Old Colorado City before heading back to the Bishop's home for dinner. Jenny prepared a succulent Chicken Piccata - a lightly breaded chicken breast pounded thin, smothered in a light lemon butter & caper sauce, served with rice and garden peas. Yummy! After dinner we went to Culver's for ice cream.