Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Bakers



Taylor and Tessa would cook/bake every day if I would let them. A few days ago, after much plotting, they made their Dad breakfast in bed. Mom didn't cooperate because she couldn't sleep past 5 a.m.. They made completely by themselves, eggs, peppermint tea and green onion soup! Mike said 7:30 was a bit early for onion soup. Then they made me an omlet (I turned it over), peppermint tea and green onion and cucumber soup! I have to say I've never had cucumber soup, but it wasn't too bad. Elissa got Taylor a cupcake set for Christmas and invited them over to bake. They came home at the end of the day with many many cupcakes. The next day they had a tea party with some of the cupcakes and the rest are going to a New Years Eve party tonight. I just hope they love to cook ~this~ much when they are older!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cadie

video

Cadie was very talkative today so we shot some video after lunch. She will be 3 months old tomorrow! Isn't she the cutest thing you ever saw?

Monday, December 8, 2008

One Night in Bethlehem








Last night we took the twins to Fair Oaks to a local church that had constructed the village of Bethlehem. You started off by signing the census and receiving a denarius. If stopped by a Roman soldier you had to present your denarius. There were fruit sellers, wise men who gave them gold, Nicodemus, a story teller (the story of Daniel) a bread stand, jewelry sellers, a wood shop, a leather shop, a couple of inns (no room), shepherds, perfumers with frankincense and myrrh, the stable with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, a potter and a petting zoo. It was very realistic and we happened to be at the potters when a Roman soldier came demanding taxes. From that point on the twins were scared of the Roman soldiers. There was also a woman begging for alms and the twins promptly gave up their denarius to her. It was a cold night, but well worth the trip.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Connor's 3rd birthday




Our entire family went to the San Francisco Zoo for Connor's birthday November 22nd. The weather was great and we had fun. I think he enjoyed chasing the seagulls most of all! After the zoo we came back to our house for presents and cupcakes! Happy Birthday Connor!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Church family




Saturday was our annual Thanksgiving dinner with our church family. We filled the building and had a wonderful time. It is one of the wonderful outreach programs our body is involved in. The twins sang with a group of their friends and our family sang a couple of hymns. Here's a few pics.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meme and Papa









My Mother and step Dad graciously followed/led Lane home from York College and stayed for a quick 3 day visit. We packed all we could into those days and ~had~ to go to Apple hill. I'd just been telling my Mom that they needed to come out some year during apple hill days......... We went to Able's Acres for donuts, Boa Vista, where we enjoyed the crafts and ended at High hill for fudge, caramel apples, pears and apples. They enjoyed meeting their new great granddaughter and we all enjoyed having them here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Apple Hill time





Last Thursday Carol and I took our girls to Apple Hill. Those of you who live here know ~why~ we picked Thursday.........for those of you who don't traffic is a nightmare on the weekend. We started off the day with an apple doughnut from Able's Acres then went to Plubells and spent most of the morning there. We walked the nature trail, fed the animals, tried out the tire swing, picked out pumpkins and they all got their faces painted. On the way home we went to O'Hallorans for apples and apple butter. All four of the girls had a wonderful time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family time





Last Thursday began a long weekend of loads of family time and tons of eating..... Thursday night we made homemade Chinese- egg rolls, beef and broccoli, sweet and sour, egg drop soup and rice. Friday all of us minus Loran and Lissa got together for homemade pizza (an Anderson tradition for Friday nights), and Saturday we all had burgers and brats on the grill. Sunday we were minus Derek's family and after our usual roast beef dinner the twins and I took Lane back to the Sacramento airport. It was so good to be able to have Lane home but the time flew.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Grandchildren



Two weeks ago today Cadence Hope Anderson was born at 8:34 a.m.. What an awesome day. Connor and I had stepped out of the room moments b/f Cadie was born. What an awesome blessing grandchildren are. What an awesome God to plan people to begin as babies.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rooster for free



A couple of months ago we acquired a rooster off of freecycle. He was "sooooooooo cute" (one of the twins's favorite sayings). Anyway I think I blogged about him being henpecked. We got to see that in action daily. Well he's bigger than the hens now and he's not going to take it anymore! He has become very aggressive to one particular hen (Moss- a buff orphington) and had pecked one side of her head to a bloody mess. We isolated her from him and he began picking at another hen (Meadow). Oddly it was our other buff orphington. Now we are separating TWO hens from him. I'm sure it is only a matter of time until he chooses a new target. So for the last couple of weeks I've been trying to convince the twins that maybe it is time for Roosty to find a new home. After a few tears they have both finally consented. The suggestion for rooster soup did not go over well. Then one of them suggested that he be "released into the wild". NOT fine with the other one, who said "something will EAT him". So we are waiting for someone to respond to emails I've sent out to give him a new home, hopefully with a dominant rooster. He has served his purpose of introducing the twins to reproduction and we really hoped to raise some chicks but he's crossed the line with me and has to go. So, any takers?????

Blessings and Curses

By all outward appearances, Kenny George has been blessed with the perfect basketball player’s body. The University of North Carolina – Asheville athlete stands 7 feet 7 inches tall. He weighs in at 360 pounds. His wingspan, fingertip to fingertip, is nearly 8.5 feet. Special order basketball shoes have to be made for his size 26 feet.

But the same physical attributes which offer such potential blessings can also be a curse. His extreme size has put greater stress on his joints and has led to several injuries. Common, everyday tasks that we take for granted are a trial for him. Another writer notes that “…he is too tall to fit into a driver’s seat, so he does not have a driver’s license and must ask friends for rides. When the semester ends, his father drives the 650 miles from Chicago, his hometown, to Asheville so George does not have to squeeze into an airplane seat. “I don’t hate it, but there are times when I wish that I weren’t so tall,” George said.” (Anne Katherine Clemmons, nytimes.com, January 9, 2008).

Christians with roots in the Restoration Movement have been blessed with a strong emphasis on biblical truth. The Bible certainly stresses the importance of truth (Jn. 17:17; 8:32) and, thus, we were taught early to love, honor and respect the truth. We have always placed a premium on learning and knowing the Word of God. We have expected all teaching to be grounded in “book, chapter and verse.” Kept in proper perspective, these are all blessings.

But a strong emphasis on truth can also become a curse. How so? An emphasis on truth can become a curse when it is used as a club to bludgeon other believers. An emphasis on truth can become a curse when it fosters ungodly words and attitudes. An emphasis on truth can become a curse when it blinds us to other facets of our mission for God.

We must remember that the Scriptures are not our source of life, but they do point us to the Life-Giver (John 5:39-40).
God loves you!
Mike

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beware Of The Railroad!

When a customary or traditional way of doing something is challenged, we often react strongly, perhaps even irrationally. Don Humphrey, in his book Hearts On Fire, provides an excellent illustration of this tendency by sharing a letter written by Martin Van Buren to President Andrew Jackson in 1829.


“President Jackson: The canal system of this country is being threatened by the spread of a new form of transportation known as railroads. The federal government must preserve the canals for the following reasons: One, if boats are supplanted by railroads, serious unemployment will result. Captains, cooks, drivers, hostlers, repairmen, and lock tenders will be left without means of livelihood, not to mention the numerous farmers now employed in growing hay for horses. Two, boat builders would suffer and towline, whip, and harness makers would be left destitute. Three, canal boats are absolutely essential to the defense of the United States. In the event of the expected trouble with England, the Erie Canal would be the only means by which we could ever move the supplies so vital to waging modern war. As you may well know, Mr. President, railroad carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by engines which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock, and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel as such a breakneck speed. Sincerely yours, Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York” (pp. 71-72).


Looking back from the perspective of the year 2008, Mr. Van Buren’s opposition to the railroad seems almost absurd. His reasons for resisting the railroad are centered on fear. He even claims God as an ally. Sadly, some modern opponents of responsible spiritual change and progress use the same tactics. They, too, prey on our fears. And they are usually quick to claim that God is on their side as well.


When others look back on us after 179 years, will they see “railroad proponents” or “railroad opposers,” spiritually speaking?

God loves you!

Mike

What Do You See?

As our family traveled recently, I was impressed, once again, with the wide variety of landscapes which a traveler encounters as he moves from west to east across the middle of our great country. The evergreen forests of western California soon give way to the arid, high desert landscape that stretches across Nevada, Utah, and most of Wyoming. As you descend out of the Rockies into eastern Wyoming, the scrub brush recedes and you begin to encounter the vast grasslands and wheat fields of the high plains. As you journey into western Nebraska, you begin to see more and more evidence of irrigated agricultural pursuits. By the time you reach central Nebraska, irrigated farmland fills your view as far as the eye can see.

I confess that I still find the scenery in Nebraska to be attractive. The state has been blessed with adequate rainfall this year and it shows. Maybe it is just the “farmer\rancher DNA” that still resides within me, but row after row and acre after acre of healthy corn and soybean fields are still a beautiful sight to me. Seeing fat, sleek cattle grazing in green pastures still appeals to me. But others can experience the very same landscape and speak of how utterly boring and dull it is. I guess it just proves the old adage: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Thankfully, God sees something beautiful within each and every one of us. Our lives may seem to be dry and desolate, but God can take even the smallest spark of life and create a beautiful work of art. Our lives may seem to be common and boring, but God has always used common people in uncommon ways. God looks past our failures and flaws and finds something attractive. God looks past our “warts” and sees someone of great worth and beauty. We are beautiful in the eyes of our Beholder. May we learn to see each other in the same way that God sees us.

God loves you!
Mike

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Home away from home






Here's Lane the day we moved him into his dorm room at York College. His roommate never showed up so he has a room all to himself!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Marathon Mentality

The 2008 Olympic women’s marathon was won by Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania. To win her gold medal, she ran for a total of 26 miles and 365 yards. She ran, non-stop, for 2 hours, 26 minutes and 44 seconds. And, to put an exclamation point on the feat, she did it at 38 years of age! As I watched the television coverage of the race, I was reminded of what it takes to win a marathon.

First, it takes stamina. As the race progressed, pain and exhaustion became more and more evident on Tomescu-Dita’s face. Her lungs and muscles had to be crying out for her to stop the torture. And yet, her training and determination enabled her to push through the pain and on to victory.

Second, it takes concentration. At about the half-way point of the race, Tomescu-Dita began to put some distance between herself and the rest of the front-runners. She increased her lead until, at one point, she was at least a full minute ahead of her competitors. But I never saw her look back over her shoulder until near the end of the race. Marathons are won by concentrating on the goal ahead of you and not by worrying about what is behind you.

Third it takes encouragement. The Beijing marathon course was arranged in such a way that the stadium which was home to the finish line came into the runner’s view when they were still over a mile away. Commentators spoke of the boost of adrenaline that sight would provide to Tomescu-Dita when she could finally see that her goal was within reach.

The Christian life is much like a marathon race. If we hope to be victorious, we will also need stamina, concentration and encouragement (Hebrews 12:1-3). When Tomescu-Dita entered the stadium for her final lap before the finish line, the entire crowd rose from their seats and cheered her on. Faithful saints of all the ages are cheering you on to spiritual victory. Are you determined to finish the race (2 Timothy 4:7-8)?

God loves you!
Mike

Listen To The Coach

The American Olympic boxing team suffered a bitter defeat this past Tuesday (8\12\08) in Beijing. Greg Beacham, an AP sports writer, shares his perspective on the bout with us: “While Lee Ok-sung got his glove fixed with 35 seconds left, Rau’shee Warren turned in his neutral corner and searched for a clear voice in the cacophony of shouted advice. Warren swore he heard somebody in the stands yelling “Move! Move!”, meaning the world champion flyweight had the lead and should simply avoid getting punched to win. His coaches were screaming the opposite message from their ringside seats, because Warren actually trailed 9-8 and needed to attack. In a painfully perfect illustration of what might be the U.S boxing team’s biggest problem, Warren listened to what he thought his friends, family or teammates were telling him. It cost him a chance at the medal he waited four years to hand around his mother’s neck” (sports.yahoo.com).

We live in a world that competes for our attention. Our family says one thing. A friend says something else. A co-worker offers a totally different perspective. And like a confused boxer in the final seconds of a crucial bout, we struggle to sort out all of the various messages we hear shouted at us. But what is the best advice in times like that? Listen to your coach! In Proverbs, Solomon warns his son against heeding the call of the adulteress (7:6-23). Instead, he coaches him to listen to wise counsel: “Now, therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths” (7:24-25).

With his Olympic dreams lying shattered at his feet, I’m sure Rau’shee Warren wishes now he had paid attention to his coach instead of the crowd. But sadly for him, it is a lesson learned too late. May God help us to listen to Him as we seek to win the spiritual battles in our own lives.

God loves you!
Mike

Monday, August 18, 2008

Time marches on


When I was in my 20's and early 30's there were days when I thought I would be a mom to young children eternally. Now I am a few short weeks of being a grandmother for the second time and my 4th child is off to college this week! What happened? In my mind I am still 25, but one look in the mirror dispels that notion. It's a reflective time where I have spent a lot of time in prayer and thinking about or dialogging with friends of mine who have walked where I am walking. Saturday Lane and I went shopping for the entire day. It was good day and I told him there is something very satisfying about successfully raising a child. Don't get me wrong though, he is not gone and my heart misses him already.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Words

“The old man had died. A wonderful funeral was in progress and the country preacher talked at length of the good traits of the deceased -- what an honest man he was, what a loving husband and kind father he had been. The widow, meanwhile, was ever so slightly shaking her head as she intently listened to the preacher's words. Finally, the widow leaned over and whispered to one of her children . . . "Erica, honey, go on up there and take a look in the coffin and see if that's your pa in there”” (crosswalk.com).

Oh, if we could all live up to the good words that will be said about us after we are gone! The word “eulogy” literally means “good word.” When we gather to pay our last respects to a departed loved one, it is to be expected that we would focus on the positive instead of the negative. After all, who would want to focus on the bad at a time like that?

As much as we might value the good words that will likely be spoken by our family and friends following our passing from this life, there is another assessment that is even more important. That appraisal will be made by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ It is his perspective that will determine our eternity. After considering our lives, will He speak good words, such as: “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Mt. 2523)? Or will he have no choice but to utter far more chilling words, like: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Mt. 7:23)?

The child of God who is living by faith, regardless of any stumblings and imperfections, doesn’t have to fear hearing such words of disapproval from the Lord. The faithful disciple has every reason to confidently expect only good words when the time comes to stand before the Master.

God loves you!
Mike

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

God's Incredible Grace

Last week I read a book entitled Dark Journey, Deep Grace, written by Roy Ratcliff with Lindy Adams. The book was subtitled “Jeffrey Dahmer’s Story of Faith.” It is the story of how one of the most infamous serial killers of modern times came to have saving faith in Jesus Christ. Mr. Ratcliff is the one who studied the Bible with Jeffrey Dahmer in prison and baptized him into Christ.

The book is interesting from several different angles. It provides some insight into the thinking of a man who committed some incredibly evil acts and yet came to profoundly regret them. You can read of Dahmer’s immediate family and of the difficult relationships that existed among them, both before and after his crimes. Mr. Ratcliff also shares some of the struggles he experienced as one who reached out to a serial killer. The book reveals that not everyone was convinced that Jeffrey Dahmer was worthy of receiving the grace of God.

As evidence of the last point, Mr.Ratcliff provides the following words: “Once, when I was visiting Jeff, a guard told me about the controversy I had caused in his church as the members were having a hard time accepting the idea of Jeffrey Dahmer as a Christian. Sometime later, I visited a man in the hospital who recognized me from the press coverage. He was a Christian college student at the time of Jeff’s baptism. The thing he remembered most was a comment by one of the instructors in a hallway. It probably captured the sentiments of many: ‘If Jeffrey Dahmer is going to heaven, then I don’t want to be there’” (p. 84).

How can a child of God even entertain such thoughts? If the grace of God can’t reach Jeffrey Dahmer, then what assurance do I have that it can reach me? While it is true that Jeffrey Dahmer doesn’t deserve to go to heaven, the fact is, neither do I. Heaven is a place for the worst of sinners. And it is only by the grace of God that any of us will make it.
God loves you!
Mike

Sunday, July 20, 2008

First eggs!



Friday afternoon the twins came screaming and jumping (literally) into the house. Each had a little bitty chicken egg in their hand. Saturday brought two more and today three so far, one being almost regular size. The only problem is they are laying them under the chicken house, which is not a problem for the twins, but a big problem for the mom. Once "gathering egg fever" wears off I need them to lay in the carefully constructed laying boxes that Lane built off the ground inside the chicken house. So today we put chicken wire in their ground nest and two dummy eggs in the laying boxes. We'll see how quickly they catch on. Here are the first two eggs. The third was delicious!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

God's Gym

“For those of us getting along in years, here is a little secret for building your arm and shoulder muscles. You might want to adopt this routine. Three days a week works well. Begin by standing outside behind the house, with a 5-LB potato sack in each hand. Extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute. Relax. After one week move up to 10-LB potato sacks, then next week 50-LB potato sacks, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-LB potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight out for more than a full minute. After you feel confident at that level, start putting a couple of potatoes in each of the sacks, but be careful not to overdo it” (crosswalk.com).

That sounds like my kind of exercise regimen! The fact of the matter is: most of us resist doing everything that is necessary to remain in top physical condition. We know better – we want to be healthy – we like the end results – but we balk at the effort and commitment it takes to make it happen. We want to be slim without the soreness and sweat. But in spite of our best efforts to find an easier route, there are no shortcuts on the road to physical fitness.

In a similar way, spiritual fitness only comes to those who exercise their spiritual muscles. “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (Corinthians 9:25-27). Even the apostle Paul had to work out to stay spiritually fit. Do we really think we can do it any other way?

God loves you!
Mike

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July




Our entire family and our son in laws parents went to the lake for the 4th. It was perfect weather and a beautiful lake. The twins and Connor spent most of the day in the water. Once they discovered tadpoles it didn't matter how cold the water was! Afterwards our family came to our house for a bbq and to watch the fireworks. Oh and we brought home 13 tadpoles........

Monday, June 23, 2008

West and Weeelaxation





Last week our family went camping at Lake Oroville. It was 106 and the lake was almost non existent, but we had a good relaxing time.