Friday, November 19, 2010

Part One of Dad's Birthday and the Costume Party!

Today was a very busy day--with house guests in the morning, Dad's birthday, a walk in the woods, and the long awaited Costume Party!

Very red and green!

Dad reads his cards...

And opens his presents...

I love this!

"Do you see what this says?"

"Hey, you're not spying on me are you?"

Our walk in the woods...

Micah climbed into one of the big trees near the back fence line!

And here we are getting ready for the party!

Starting with Stephen--who dressed up as Andre a friend of ours who loves to dress in army clothes, and recently joined the Navy!

Here is Andre!

Deborah is Queen Astrid of Belgium.
In the words of her father, Prince Carl of Sweden, Astrid “had a heart of gold … she loved everyone, and everyone loved her". Astrid’s husband, Prince Leopold, was her greatest admirer. They were a very happy, deeply devoted couple.
The young Duchess of Brabant (Queen of Belgium), raised in the simplicity of the Scandinavian courts, joyfully raised her growing family. At a small villa in the palace grounds, Astrid even cooked for her family. She was appreciated very much by the Belgians for her simplicity and naturalness. For instance, she used to stroll her children up and down in the street in their carriages, incurring the criticism of the Belgian court officials, who told her she was breaking protocol by so doing. She only replied: “But I’m just another mother, am I not?” She even went as far as joining the crowds during a military revue in an effort to see her promenading husband at the head of his regiment.
Queen Astrid

Micah was Dwight D. Eisenhower
Here are some quotes:
• We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must acquire proficiency in defense and display stamina in purpose.

We must be willing, individually and as a Nation, to accept whatever sacrifices may be required of us. A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

• If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

• Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of "emergency" is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.

• Un-American activity cannot be prevented or routed out by employing un-American methods; to preserve freedom we must use the tools that freedom provides.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Andrew was dressed as Richard Bong an American World War II Ace who shot down 40 Japs in his P-38 Lightning.
The Medal of Honor was awarded to him for:
"...Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the Southwest Pacific area from October 10, to November 15, 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Maj. Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down 8 enemy airplanes during this period."

"Dick" Bong

Ben was Lukas Foss, a German born American, composer, conductor, pianist and professor.

Lukas Foss

Nathaniel dressed as Beryl Newman, who received the Medal of Honor during World War II---
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 26 May 1944. Attacking the strongly held German Anzio-Nettuno defense line near Cisterna, Italy, 1st Lt. Newman, in the lead of his platoon, was suddenly fired upon by 2 enemy machineguns located on the crest of a hill about 100 yards to his front. The 4 scouts with him immediately hit the ground, but 1st Lt. Newman remained standing in order to see the enemy positions and his platoon then about 100 yards behind. Locating the enemy nests, 1st Lt. Newman called back to his platoon and ordered 1 squad to advance to him and the other to flank the enemy to the right. Then, still standing upright in the face of the enemy machinegun fire, 1st Lt. Newman opened up with his tommygun on the enemy nests. From this range, his fire was not effective in covering the advance of his squads, and 1 squad was pinned down by the enemy fire. Seeing that his squad was unable to advance, 1st Lt. Newman, in full view of the enemy gunners and in the face of their continuous fire, advanced alone on the enemy nests. He returned their fire with his tommygun and succeeded in wounding a German in each of the nests. The remaining 2 Germans fled from the position into a nearby house. Three more enemy soldiers then came out of the house and ran toward a third machinegun. 1st Lt. Newman, still relentlessly advancing toward them, killed 1 before he reached the gun, the second before he could fire it. The third fled for his life back into the house. Covering his assault by firing into the doors and windows of the house, 1st Lt. Newman, boldly attacking by himself, called for the occupants to surrender to him. Gaining the house, he kicked in the door and went inside. Although armed with rifles and machine pistols, the 11 Germans there, apparently intimidated, surrendered to the lieutenant without further resistance, 1st Lt. Newman, single-handed, had silenced 3 enemy machineguns, wounded 2 Germans, killed 2 more, and took 11 prisoners. This demonstration of sheer courage, bravery, and willingness to close with the enemy even in the face of such heavy odds, instilled into these green troops the confidence of veterans and reflects the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces."

Beryl Newman

I was Sybil Bingham, one of the first missionaries to Hawaii.
She and her husband Hiram Bingham sailed in 1822 to the Hawaiian Islands as part of a group of missionaries. Through very many trials (such as all thirteen persons living in the same room 20 feet square for the first few years )

Sybil and the other missionary wives persevered and did not waver in their commitment to sharing the gospel with these heathen. Immediateley on their arrival the native ladies begged for dresses like those of the missionaries, and so Sybil and her friends set to work and created what we now call the Mumuu.
Sybil felt it her highest goal to give an example of the Christian home and family the pagan Hawaiians. She believed (quote)“that even the most humble details of housework could be transformed into a witness for Christ. Their attention to their children could demonstrate the love that Christ had for the physical and spiritual well-being of all persons.”
Sybil Bingham is an inspiration to me because of her diligence and perseverance on the mission field, but also because she left a living legacy of these qualities in her children.
Her sixth child, Hiram Bingham II was also a missionary to Hawaii, and his son Hiram Bingham III was the man who re-discovered the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
Hiram Bingham III had seven sons, one of whom, Hiram Bingham IV, was U.S Vice Consul in France during World War II and rescued 2,000 Jews from the Holocaust by issuing visas and helping refugees escape. He also sheltered jews in his own home and forged identity papers for Jews traveling through Europe. He Married and had 11 children, which shows that Sybil and Hiram Binghams love of children was also passed down!
Elisha dressed as Joan of England, Queen of Sicily.
In an English castle on October 1165, the youngest daughter and eighth child of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine was born, and named Joanna, or Joan. From birth, she was surrounded with chivalry, troubadours, adventure and intrigue. Her father was absent, and she lived with some of her siblings at her mother’s castle in Poitiers. Joan was 8 years old when her 18-year-old brother Henry, encouraged by her mother, led a revolt against his father. However, their attempt ended in failure, and Queen Eleanor was imprisoned in the castle of Winchester.
Despite the family strife, Joan grew up into an attractive, intelligent girl with a fair face and brown hair. When she was 12, her father sent her all the way to Sicily to marry the Sicilian king, William II. Palermo, William's royal city, was a sunny isle in the Mediterranean, and many things were strange and unusual to the girl-queen. However, it was a happy marriage. Joan was a good queen, an able helpmeet to her husband, and popular with the people. The couple's only sorrow was that they had no children.

Joan was only twenty-four when her beloved husband died. At once her life was turned upside down. An Italian prince, Tancred, seized control of Sicily and imprisoned Joan in a palace in Palermo. He denied her the inheritance due her as William's widow and her dowry.
But help was at hand. Joan’s older brother, Richard the Lionhearted, King of England, had just started on the Third Crusade. When he heard of the plight of his beloved sister, he sailed with his whole force to Sicily to rescue her. Tancred refused to release her, and the lionhearted Richard deployed his forces. After several sharp battles, Richard’s stout English knights and men-at-arms defeated Tancred’s forces. He hastily made peace with Richard and released Joan.
During this, Richard’s mother had arrived with his fiancĂ©e, Berengaria, and Joan became Berengaria’s companion. But Joan’s adventures were not over. En route to the Holy Land, the ship carrying Berengaria and Joan went aground off the coast of Cyprus, and they were threatened by the island's ruler, Isaac Comnenus. Again, Richard came to the rescue. In a series of rapid sieges, he captured the island and overthrew Comnenus.

Queen Joan of Sicily is inspiring to me because, alone in a strange country as a young bride, she rose above any loneliness to devote herself to loving and serving her husband and her new country. And because, despite fluctuating and precarious circumstances, she always retained a sweet spirit.

Joan of England

Mom was Perpetua, a Martyr in Carthage in A.D. 203
In the year 203, Vibia Perpetua became a Christian, although she knew it could mean her death during Septimus' persecution. Her surviving brother followed her leadership and became a catechumen as well.

Her father was angry and tried to talk her out of her decision. We can easily understand his concern. At 22 years old, this well-educated, high-spirited woman had every reason to want to live -- including a baby son who was still nursing. We know she was married, but since her husband is never mentioned, many historians assume she was a widow.
Perpetua's answer was simple and clear. Pointing to a water jug, she asked her father, "See that pot lying there? Can you call it by any other name than what it is?"
Her father answered, "Of course not." Perpetua responded, "Neither can I call myself by any other name than what I am -- a Christian."
Perpetua was arrested with four other catechumens. She was baptized before taken to prison. Perpetua prayed for nothing but endurance in the face of her trials.
The prison was so crowded with people that the heat was suffocating. There was no light anywhere and Perpetua "had never known such darkness." The soldiers who arrested and guarded them pushed and shoved them without any concern. Perpetua had no trouble admitting she was very afraid, but in the midst of all this horror her most excruciating pain came from being separated from her baby.

Two deacons who ministered to the prisoners paid the guards so that the martyrs would be put in a better part of the prison. There her mother and brother were able to visit Perpetua and bring her baby to her. When she received permission for her baby to stay with her "my prison suddenly became a palace for me." Once more her father came to her, begging her to give in and recant. She told him, "We stand not in our own power but in the power of God."

When she and the others were taken to be examined and sentenced, her father followed, pleading with her and the judge. The judge, out of pity, also tried to get Perpetua to change her mind, but when she stood fast, she was sentenced with the others to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. Her father was so furious that he refused to send her baby back to her..
The officers of the prison began to recognize the power of the Christians and the inner strength of Perpetua. Amazed at their calmness as they faced such a horrible death, one of the wardens later became a believer. There was a feast the day before the games so that the crowd could see the martyrs and make fun of them. But the martyrs turned this all around by exhorting the crowd to becaome Christians.
They went to the arena with joy and calm. Perpetua in usual high spirits met the eyes of everyone along the way. We are told she walked with "shining steps as the true wife of Christ, the darling of God."
They were killed by wild beasts.
Perpetua's last words were to her brother: "Stand fast in the faith and love one another."
Perpetua gives me vision to bravely face any difficulty knowing that God will sustain me as He did the multitudes of Christian Martyrs. like Perpetua.

Dad dressed as Hudson Taylor--a long time hero of his.
Quotes by Hudson Taylor:
• All God's giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them

• A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in little things is a great thing.

• After proving God’s faithfulness for many years, I can testify that times of want have ever been times of spiritual blessing, or have led to them.

• An easy-going non-self-denying life will never be one of power.

• Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all.

• God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.

• I almost wish I had a hundred bodies; they should all be devoted to my Savior in the missionary cause.

• I am in great straits for funds. I am happy about it. The Lord may take away all our troublesome people through it and give us true-hearted ones instead.

• I could not think that GOD was poor, that He was short of resources, or unwilling to supply any want of whatever work was really His. It seemed to me that if there were lack of funds to carry on work, then to that degree, in that special development, or at that time, it could not be the work of GOD.

• I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.

• I . . . know how much easier it is to lean on an arm of flesh than on the Lord; but I have learned too how much less safe it is.

More pictures to come...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guineas at Mrs. Russell's

Who's making a  big splash around here?

Sheriff stealthily approaches with laser sword handy...

It is very hard to get a photo of juniper berries in which they actually look blue--Elisha succeeded though!

Stunning sunrise

A very cold Great Blue Heron! All puffed up and as scrunched as he can be!

Table Art

Our first fire this year!

So very beautiful.

Fire light makes interesting photos...

Translucent leaves glow like stained glass...

A very "Come Home for Thanksgiving" feel to this...

My favorite
(And to think I can go out there any time and be in it all!)

Why is poison ivy one of the brightest reds? It would be so nice to use for fall arrangements---

Ferdinand the Fierce

As Ben noted--if we make Ferdinand a garland of green and red, he would look very Christmassy!

Pictures of the costume party coming soon...!