Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a];
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Yes, I know that it hasn't rained in many a day.
And that seeing the mercury climb into the triple digits has become the norm.
But we've got to have a vision to keep us going.
And this is mine...real, true, creamy, thick French hot chocolate at Angelina's in Paris. I'm going to knock the thermostat down a couple more clicks and just dream a little.
What's keeping you going until fall, until autumn makes a blessed appearance? Share with the group...
Labels: angelina's paris
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Every month starting in mid-April all the way through the first week of August, we celebrate seven birthdays for the OctaTribe.
My record for throwing big ol' birthday parties each month has waned. As in, I haven't been. Throwing big parties.
I used to. Can I rest on that resume? That I used to throw big Disney themed extravaganzas complete with homemade cakes and costumes and 27 preschoolers at the house?
I really did.
Back in the day.
And I really believe in making Mike and the kids feel special on their birthdays because they are special and I'm very very thankful for the days that commemorate when they came into this world.
I'm just not very good at throwing a fully loaded shindig for said commemorations.
Part of it is the time of year all these seven birthdays occur, smack in the middle of end-of-school year activities and recitals and MiMi and PaPa camp and travel. We were on the road for dance nationals when 6 of 8's birthday came around...
We were at the hotel, pockets of time between performances. Several of 6 of 8's dance friends were able to meet us at the hotel pool and 1 of 8's precious friend from Paris/Dallas brought a beautiful cake. 6 of 8 was able to blow out some candles and splash with some friends.
And that was the party.
(for the record, the Amazing Nick is crouching significantly in this photo...)
(and this is the un-posed pic of Nick standing at his full height. Fer realz.)
And we just celebrated 4 of 8's thirteenth birthday. We had tossed around some various party ideas, but at the end of it, she chose to spend the day with 1 of 8, shopping, going to lunch and heading to the theater to see a movie. She seemed to thoroughly enjoy her day, even though the fanfare was kept to a minimum.
We have one more of the summer birthdays to celebrate next week. And we'll have a dinner with our amazing neighbors to sing happy birthday to 6, 4 and 5 of 8. And I'll probably fry some chicken for everyone.
But there won't be any Chuck E. Cheese or Disney princess or superhero fare. And I'm hoping that's okay. Because these simple celebrations do seem so sweet.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
She's in love with an older man.
Is she ever.
7 of 8 set her sights on a lofty goal. The dreamy LQ.
LQ is the younger brother of 2 of 8's dance duo partner, KQ. LQ also dances and he is the darling of the dance crew.
7 of 8 nursed a secret crush on LQ through many a dance performance.
And it turns out that LQ is made of magic. Because he took notice of 7 of 8. And hauled her around the pool. And talked to her. And played.
And got her to work more diligently on her left hand. And got her to work harder to swim. And made her feel oh so special.
We really like that LQ around here.
It reminds me again that while, yes, the formal therapy we do with 7 of 8 for her stroke recovery is so important, it's also SO critical to have an environment of friends around her who remind her of her goals and make therapy items feel more like play. And it doesn't hurt to have a raging crush on the person who is making you work hard to strengthen your left side.
LQ is a master at pushing 7 of 8 to new levels. 7 of 8 has long been terrified in the pool because her buoyancy in the water makes her left side weakness more pronounced. My running partner JT got 7 of 8 to finally be comfortable in the water, to be okay with putting her face in. And LQ has gotten her to jump in, to go down the slide, to jump with him off a higher platform.
I'm actually stunned at how brave 7 of 8 will be for him.
And LQ has come up with something else that's pretty genius. He asks 7 of 8 to do these tougher physical things that take courage. And then he has her 'pinkie promise', but she has to extend and use her left pinkie.
She does it. She makes the pinkie promise, a la left hand. And then she tries really hard to do what she has pinkie promised to do.
That's the moral to this May-December love story. Yes, pursue those professionals who can coach and guide and advocate for your kiddos, no matter the issue you are working on.
And then inventory your extended world of family and friends. Because sometimes, just sometimes, a little puppy love can microwave a bag of therapeutic goals into full glory.
Monday, July 25, 2011
This little event was at the top of the list.
It was my gift to Michael, my souvenir to him.
You may recall a post from last fall, when 1 of 8 sent me pictures of a tradition that is played out on the bridge that crosses the River Seine over to Notre Dame. Lovers entwine locks on the links of the fence of the bridge, a declaration of romance.
I knew that the sentimental sap in me had to participate.
So I had 1 of 8 take me to the uber-cool Parisian version of Target, called Monoprix. And I purchased a lock for my love.
I was giddy, absolutely giddy to place mine and Mike's lock on the bridge, somehow feeling that our love story was made more epic when basking in the sunshine of a beloved and ancient city.
Not that it makes sense when I actually type up those words. And yet...
I realized once I got to the bridge to put my lock in place that I had chosen a very diminutive lock as compared with the more bold choices made by other couples.
But ours still looked very cute.
For a lock.
After I placed my lock and 1 of 8 and I snapped some more pics, we made our way over the bridge to wander through Notre Dame and the surrounding neighborhoods in a blaze of French sunshine.
And I brought home the keys to the lock and gave them to Mike.
Because no matter the bridge or the continent or the tradition, Michael holds the keys to my heart.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
James 1:22-25It's the piece that makes all the difference.
The piece I all too frequently leave out.
And it's such an obvious thing that even secular advertisers recognize the truth of it.
Just Do It. The book of James from the Bible, as quoted by Nike.
I start the week in praise and worship and in hearing strong teaching. I peer into the Word each day. I myself teach and speak throughout the days. I research and listen and learn and process and write.
And then there is that piece.
That piece that James reminds us of, the piece that must occur for true transformation.
For many years I worked jigsaw puzzles with my kids. We would open up a fresh box, pour out the pieces, the fragrance of the printing dye still clinging to the thumb-size pieces. We would turn over each one, looking for corner and edge pieces, organizing like colors together. We would put together the outside 'frame' of the puzzle and then begin to fill in.
And it seemed, inevitably, as we got closer to finishing the whole, even as cautious as we were, even as thorough as we would try to be, at least one piece would go missing. We would search the carpet beneath the table, check the creases in the chairs, look under the puzzle box.
Even though most of the puzzle was complete, even though you could generally see the total picture, there was still something so unsatisfying, so incomplete until that final piece was located and put into place.
And so is the puzzle of our walks of faith.
"But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it~he will be blessed in what he does..."
All my listening and studying and puzzle-solving will be shortchanged if I don't implement this step. Doing it. Doing what I've learned. It's where I see people get stuck, come just shy of true transformation in their lives. There is diligence and effort and heart put into the acquisition of the wisdom of the Word.
It's in the application that things can fall short.
Just Do It.
If a company that sells shoes has figured out, how much more so should we...
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
I don't think.
I don't think Latin is dead. But I really don't know.
1 of 8's aptitude for languages? It didn't come from me. I traffic pretty well in English. But I can barely speak baby talk. And I can only muddle through a tiny bit of French, even after four years of classes in high school and college. And I did do a stint in Latin.
But it just made me better at playing vocabulary games.
The Rosetta stone I ain't.
So riddle me this, you language gurus.
That picture up there is of a foundation stone on one of the interior columns of Notre Dame. And I'm simply fascinated to find out what it might say. And at first blush I thought it was in Latin, but I think it may be in antiquated French. Which means I could probably just ask 1 of 8. But I thought the photograph turned out to be so neat. And I knew you might want a chance to show off your language skills.
So any takers? What does it say?
And if you come up with something from the DaVinci Code, we'll need to re-evaluate....
Thursday, July 21, 2011
You're the winner of the Tiny Prints Giveaway!
Girl, you were one determined entrant! And according to Random dot org, that persistence paid off! So email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help you collect your loot!
And keep those Bat Channels tuned to Octamom, kids. More giveaways are to come!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I seem to be a bit obsessed with taking pictures of door knobs.
And chairs and benches.
So I suppose it should not surprise me that I once again found many a picture on my camera card of pews and benches and chairs from my time in France.
Those pews above were at a beautiful church near the Pantheon called Saint Etienne.
So were these little chairs...
And then there are those pieces that are original.
And it's all gorgeous.
This next one is amazing. It's the chair that goes with the dressing table of Napoleon III's wife, completely gilded and bling'd out...
Last chance for the Tiny Pics giveaway! I'll be selecting the winner tonight!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
And some of them are over six feet tall. Significantly over six feet tall.
The homemaking/organizing/decorating books don't cover having to accommodate 11 people, some of who are giants, and the groceries/laundry/toiletries/auto needs of said population.
I wonder what kind of market there might be for the lessons I'm learning this summer, this summer of eleven. 2011. And 11.
I am learning this..
I made 1 of 8 take me here. That scene was filmed in Paris under an honest-to-goodness French bridge, just down the river a bit from the Tour Eiffel. And when necessary, I can return to this bridge and dream. But without the random stabbing by Leo's deceased-maybe-not-deceased-in-the-dream wife.
And it's been useful. To return to the dream. When this square footage state side proves a bit more confining than the open air climes of the Inception bridge in Paris, scaling the Seine...and realilty...
And hey! Hey! Click on over and enter this great giveaway! Only a little bit longer and you don't want to miss this one!!!
Monday, July 18, 2011
I don't know if that amazing house up there has WiFi. It might. It has just about everything else you could ever want.
Except for central air conditioning.
That's the Grand Trianon, the smaller palace just down the road from the monstrously big Versailles. It was built for Louis XIV's secret wife.
I'm telling ya, Henry the VIII of England, he of the multiple wives~head chopping~annulment fame has got nothin' on the French kings. Now there's a reality show for you.
Back to Louis the XIV's secret wife. Her name was Francoise d'Aubigne. Her life story is quite fascinating, even before you get to the part that she married one of the most influential French kings. Their marriage was not officially recognized because she was of much lower class rank. But married they were and the Grand Trianon is the home Louis XIV built for his wife, an exquisite piece of architecture just a short walk from the enormous and gilded walls of Versailles.
I'm nothing if not practical when choosing my chateaus....