This and that.

This week has been a good one!
Dennis is home, all of the Eastmans are healthy, schooling went smoothly, attitudes were correct, and everyone seems generally happy and content.
Thank You, Lord! It is only because of You that any of this is possible!

My stationery drawer is full again!
My stock was running dangerously low, but thanks to birthday presents, a gift card, and the $1 section at a certain store, I now have enough paper to send notes for the next three months. Yay!
(If only stamps could be found in the dollar bin as well! hehehe)
I have been on the receiving end of some hand-written cards in the last two weeks and, as usual, they made my day!
The power of the written word!

~~~ Do you ever feel like every time you read Scripture the words/passages either thwack you between the eyes or provide exactly what you need to hear, just when you need to hear it?
That is what I have been experiencing these past few weeks, and I have to say - it is WONderful!
There are times my Bible reading feels mechanical - reading for the sake of obedience rather than going before the Word of God EXPECTING to be encouraged, challenged, and changed.
God promises His words "never return void" and that Scripture is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
If Scripture is judging the thoughts and intentions of my heart while I read, then it doesn't matter one bit how I "feel" during the process! Refreshed, convicted, encouraged or robotic ... God is at work and I am being changed. Praise Him, Praise Him for such a truth!

The littles were inspired by D's travels to set up their own airplane in the backyard and pretend to fly
around the world.
It had been unusually quiet in the house, and just when I wondered what they were doing I happened to look out the kitchen window and witnessed this scene. I was not sure what they were doing until I spied the luggage and heard Josiah say, "We will be landing in 20 minutes, ladies and gentlemen." HA!
I love when kids use their imaginations! Who needs TV, iPads, and battery-operated toys when you have a mind that can create a dozen different adventures every day?

I have a new obsession. It's wrong, I know. And yet ...
You see, we have six children. Two of whom are the size of grown men, one who is about to shoot into teen-size, and three little ones who are no longer toddlers weighing in at 30 pounds apiece.
These six children are sitting in the back of a minivan - not next to each other, but ON each other.
Though the van model we have boasts "eight seats," this is not actually true. There are six true seats, and two half seats. These half seats cannot accommodate a child's car seat or the back end of an adult body, which is why we are now bursting at the seams in our faithful van.
So this beauty is what I have my eye on!
Isn't it lovely?
The best part? It has TWELVE SEATS! Twelve! And even if each row contains a half seat it doesn't matter because they can remain empty!
Imagine - an entire two feet of space in between each set of children.
I swoon at the thought!
The rational, mature side of me says, "Who cares if they are squished in like sardines? It forces them to learn how to share, sacrifice and adapt to frustrating circumstances."
The fleshly, annoyed side of me screams, "If I have to listen to ONE MORE argument about who-is sitting-where-and-touching-whom-and-not-being-able-to-fit-in-their-space I am going to blow a proverbial gasket!!!"
Dreams are nice things to have I suppose. <smile>

Dennis and his colleagues were able to visit an amazing place during their stay in Cambodia: Angkor Wat. It is a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world.
Dennis sent me a note after his visit which read, "The only thing that would make this place better is if you were with me!"
His passion for history and historical artifacts is quite strong. When he has the opportunity to explore a new place - especially one that is hundreds of years old - he grabs hold of it and absorbs every drop of the experience.
The photos do not do it justice, I am sure. Every time I look at them I am awed by the splendor, and find my eyes drawn to the gorgeous, clear, brightly colored sky. The world contains so much beauty! All because of the creative work of a loving God who designed the universe with a word. How great is our God!

~~~ We have an entire weekend ahead of us, and not one commitment! (I know you cannot see me, but my face is BEAMING!)
We have learned the hard way that we need an entire week to recover after Dennis has been out of the country. Just because he comes home, he is not accessible. He is exhausted (they put in 12 hour days while there), off schedule, and goes right back to work the day after he returns. He needs time and space to acclimate to his normal routine, and we need to give him both.
Once he is rested he is back in action - entertaining, engaging, and bringing life to our home.
This has been the easiest transition yet, so we are eagerly looking forward to a weekend of fun, laughter, and good conversations as we debrief about all that took place since we parted.
Three days.
No commitments.
Just us.
Thank You, Lord, for such a gift!

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