April 20, 2014

He is Risen Indeed!

We played this song at my mom's memorial, and I listen to it often.  I find the power of Christ's resurrection means so much more than before--he has conquered death, not only for himself, but for all--for my beloved mom, for me, for you.  Happy Easter!  Rejoice!

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD 
by Matt Maher

Let no one caught in sin remain*
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely you bled, for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bow to none but heavens will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold you down
In strength you reign
Forever let your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
The glory of God has defeated the night!

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he's alive! he's alive!

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Rise up from the grave...

February 13, 2014

Way, way behind

Lincoln and I have taken to pizza art:
I've knit a few things:
Lincoln has gone sledding:
We have done some crafting:
We welcomed a tiny nephew:
Lincoln worked on writing his name and drawing silly people:

And suddenly, it was the middle of February!







December 26, 2013

Christmas Crafting


The gifts are all distributed, so it's time to share what Manda Claus crafted!
I made Mr. Cool a new red hat:
I made Lincoln a slightly off Spock Monkey,
And Mr. Cool and I crafted him a Lego table:
For my dad, nephews, and friends I made fancy pillowcases--the blue cowboy fabric was one my mom and I had made together:
For all my related ladies and friends, I made Chapstick cozies:
I made ornaments:
I knitted bracelets for my knitting posse and sister:
I knitted a hat for my ninth nephew:
Stuffed some stockings with play dough building kits:
I crafted Cinderella sculpture hair bows for my niece, and sewed her Cinderella aprons:

Whew!  Manda Claus is tired!

December 15, 2013

Ramblings on my Mom's birthday

Today would have been my mom's 63rd birthday--I loved her birthday as a child because it meant only ten more days until Christmas!  I don't think mom necessarily loved having a birthday so close to Christmas, although it did lead to her name, Joy. Today in church we lit the candle of joy for advent--I misted up quite a bit--it felt like a birthday candle, and a reminder of her deep belief.
A friend passed along this picture from my parents' wedding invitations--I love how young and gorgeous mom looks.
I have a little tree filled with ornaments mom made--this time of year feels very filled with her presence.  Decorations, recipes, and dates are intimately connected with her.  I think this will always be true, but hopefully the bitter will continue to leach out, leaving only the sweet.
I have been sewing lots of gifts on my mom's Bernina (sewing machine) this month--she was so amazing at sewing, and I am improving.  I miss having her help, and admonition for my corner cutting.  It is lovely to sew on her machine, though, to have a connection to something she touched and created with.
I have seen almost every sunrise this year--sometimes I wake up and watch them and then go back to bed--and every one is a burst of hope and renewed joy.  I love you, mom--thank you for the joy of Christmas and life that you nourished in me.

November 25, 2013

Our Fall Adventure, Part 4: Capulin Volcano National Monument

On the advice of Mr. Cool's brother, we made a fairly short detour from Raton, NM to visit Capulin Volcano.  I had no idea that that part of New Mexico had been rife with volcanos--and we had a great hike--we had the volcano all to ourselves!  The volcano had a lovely shelter built in the 1930s, and a winding road initially carved out with plows and livestock.  We managed three stamps in our National Park System passports this trip, and each one was amazing in its own right.  I'm not sure if Lincoln will remember this trip, but hopefully we can show him the stamps and trigger a faint recollection!
Lincoln near the top of the volcano--overlooking the vent (and parking lot!)
View from the top of Capulin--you can see Baby Capulin, a smaller cinder cone volcano.
Volcanic rock near the vent.
The 1930s era shelter, built with bricks of volcanic rock.



November 23, 2013

Our Fall Adventure, Part Three: Scottsdale

The main part of our trip was spent relaxing in the best place to relax:  a spot known for retirees!

We spent a lot of time in the pool--Lincoln swam for ten straight days!

We commemorated our trip to Arches in Lego.

We visited the Phoenix Children's Museum--Lincoln loved the forest made of pool noodles!

We rode a train and carousel!

We enjoyed our time as a family--this was our first long trip that was just the three of us, and while we did get a bit tired if each other, we also had a lovely time!  And we got to eat this lovely thing at Oregano's!


November 14, 2013

Our Fall Adventure, Part 2: Montezuma's Castle National Monument

I remembered stopping by this beautifully set cliff dwelling when I was a little girl traveling through Arizona--and I was pleased to find it as simple and lovely as I remembered.  
This is the main building that remains--not huge, but well-preserved.  And the ancient peoples who lived here picked a gorgeous place to live--and we were lucky enough to visit before all the sycamore trees had lost their golden leaves.