Monday, October 31, 2011


I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. John 15:1-3 (The Message)

Last week's wet, heavy snowstorm and its aftermath has me thinking about such things as pruning. Dwight is an avid landscape artist, and is a fanatical pruner. I always rather cringe when I see the fruits of his pruning labors, but he always tells me how important it is to the health of the bushes and trees. I understand the concept, but it's still painful to watch.

When the storm hit last Wednesday, many people lost power from one day to 3 or 4. Much of the problem was caused by tree branches landing on overhead power lines.

We were fortunate in three ways - our power lines are underground, most of our leaves had fallen and/or been blown off our huge trees already, AND we had 5 of the trees pruned and shaped as recently as last week. It seemed extreme to me to have so much removed, but I had to bow to the expertise of Dwight and the tree guys. And am I ever glad they did their jobs so well. We missed out on the massive clean-up that has been going on in our town this last few days.

I had noticed the huge cottonwood tree in the front yard of the neighbors behind us - it was huge, nicely formed, and still completely filled with green leaves - not even the beginning of color change, when most of the trees in town were losing their leaves. Unfortunately, because of the heaviness of the snow on the still-full branches, this tree was totally decimated, and their front yard was completely inundated with fallen branches. The tree looks very sad now.

So, I came to these conclusions about life and trees. When God uses his pruning shears on me, it can be very painful. But if I allow Him to work on my life and show me things that need to be changed, I will be stronger and more able to withstand the storms of life. On the other hand, if I am weighted down by proverbial green leaves, I could find myself bogged down and unable to keep from breaking when the snowstorms of life pile up.

(Header picture taken by my pastor's wife on a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Fall Fun

It has been a gorgeous fall here in Northern Colorado. But cold weather is coming this week - it's supposed to go from the 70s most of this past week to 35/rain/snow by Wednesday. I'm heading to Maine in a couple of weeks for the Teen Challenge fall banquet and some time with Kev and Angie - and a couple of blog friend visits IRL.

The girlies have been keeping us busy, as usual. Last Saturday we took them to a little free fun time at Dwight's favorite garden shop. First a hay ride around the property with a bag of popcorn in hand, on a perfect, blue-sky, autumn day.

Then some hot chocolate and face painting.

The littles and I had a great time at Benson Park, the home of 132 sculptures. We have about 30 favorites that we prefer to visit. There's a great children's section. I love the way the little girls hold conversations with the life like statues. We named them one day and they remembered their names the next time.

They love this goofy one with the huge feet, long legs, and tiny trunk and head.

Ring around the rosey, pockets full of poseys

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down --

So many kids have held hands with these kids that the outer layer has worn off --

"Let's put sand in the crocodile's mouth!!"

"Hi, Stephanie - nice to see you again."

"We're not afraid of snakes!"

"Hi, Ted and Ed - what's so funny?"

How does he balance on that ball??

Can we ride the bike with you?

They love this one called "Gum Drops"

Can we go sledding with you kids?? I did a post about the history of this piece here.

"Grandma, that man doesn't have any eyes, mouth, or nose!"

"Are you scawey, Mr. Gorilla?"

"Can we sit in your lap?"

"Can we ride on you??

"Let's explore!"


Katie was feeding the little goat some grass.

But the fun wasn't over yet! The four girls absolutely love the many trees in our yard which create many many leaves on the ground. They make piles and mazes. The littles were contributing by the handsful to Hayley's pile. She's a perfectionist and doesn't really want anybody to jump in her pile when it's finished.

The last flowers of the year --

Well, that was a ridiculous amount of pictures. But I haven't posted for over a week, and it's taken me 3 days to get this done, so this is a week's worth of stuff! Have a great week!!

(Header picture taken by my pastor's wife on a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park).