Wednesday, August 25, 2010

old garden photos

the milligan bunch :)

so we missed a bit of garden blogging this summer - oops.

as mark said, the mosquitos have been horrible.our last big garden day, we went through a large can of deep woods off bug spray for just mark, kim, hogan and owen!
unfortunately, we haven't been enjoying outside very much.mark and the big boys mow and harvest garden goodies.
kim's braved a few outdoor gardening/landscaping evenings and she's prayed her way to the clothesline to hang diapers and laundry.but the kiddos have had very limited outdoor time this summer because of those pesky mosquitos.

well, here's where we left off . . .
june was our last garden post.
those photos were taken early june.
these next ones are garden pictures at the end of june:

garden overview
seeds have sprung up into plants
the weeds are trying to take over too
we have crabgrass paths between our planting squares
one day we'll tackle them!

able in the pumpkin patch

nikao and our purple beans
notice the pretty purple flowers
that's where our beans will pop up!

farmer hogan's sweet corn
we've hit the mark for "knee high by the fourth of july"

owen's tomato plant is growing
(there's a bit of lettuce hiding under his tomato cage)

shiloh and our sugar snap peas behind her

leannora looking lovely between the echinacea and garlic

and here's what the garden looked like just a month later at the end of july:

hogan picking our purple bush beans

and indian scout hogan showing how the corn has grown this month!

owen's beefsteak tomato plant is bearing fruit

leannora and nikao show us their harvest of snap peas

able by the pumpkin plants
they've grown up our fence as planned,
but it's work keepin' 'em up there
they like to sprawl out all over the strawberry and bean patches

and this is an overview of the progress of the plants
we did some weed control
(hours of pulling deep rooted crab grass)
we laid down some old boards in the walking paths

some of the fruit of our labors:

purple beans before

turn to green beans after steaming

lettuce varieties
makes for a pretty salad!

these are mostly flowers we've planted from seeds
that the children had collected from last year's plants!
and some mystery flower that we thought were pretty
(they were not all blooming yet when this photo was taken)

hopefully we'll get in another garden post update before baby arrives (4 weeks till our due date!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Princess Post

So, Kim and I thought it would be fun to work together on a "princess" post.

I agree that I don't like some of the attraction of the princess paradigm. I think much of the disney-esque princess trouble is that it encourages a surface/external examination of people. I also agree that women content to profit only from their external beauty are a sad representation of femininity. So here's a thought I had about some of the princess stuff. As I understand, God made the marriage of a man and woman to be a picture of Christ (the bridegroom) and the Church (the bride). I find that it is the ordained picture that in a marriage, the man is to be strong, valiant, a provider, protector, "independent", etc. - those which are the characteristics of God. At the same time, the woman pictures the Church: utterly dependent, weak, in need of provision and protection, etc. As the Church, aren't we all weak, frail, prone to wander, in need of a deliverer, etc.? Didn't we need Him to come pull us from the grave? Men, are we not that, too? How can men be the utterly needy Church, while at the same time, be a living picture of the nature of Almighty God? Whoa! That makes me worship His Highness. I find it very worshipful when I see a seeming contradiction that only finds its resolution in God. Many things are beyond me.

OK, so even though I think this is the general picture that God has spoken into his created order, I also think that a woman ought not find rest in being weak, needy, shallow, etc., inasmuch as the Church ought not be content with being fleshly, and prone to wander. On the other hand, I think that just as the Church should rest in being in a position of submission under Almighty God, the wife ought to rest in being under her husband. Do we ever truly find liberty apart from submitting to God, relying fully on Him, leaning on Him, and seeking His favor? Is it beautiful for the Son of God to come so humbly to the Father? Or, the Church to bow to the Savior, Christ Jesus? I think this is the tone of 1 Peter 3:1-6 which speaks favorably of Sarah for calling her husband Lord. There is a weak way to submit which reveals a lack of character. There is also a meek way to submit which shows a rich strength of character. I think Jesus showed a beautiful kind of meek submission, after which men and women alike ought to model ourselves. Our family has been reading 1 and 2 Samuel lately. We've found that David showed a beautiful submission to God's ordained office of authority when he showed a highest respect to Saul, who was obsessively and insanely trying to kill him.

i used to think the word girlie was somewhat equal with weak. my friends and i would use that word to describe our most detestable monthly happening of emotion and torture. our guy friends called us the girlies, and we understood it to be meant as a nice reference. but we (well, maybe i should speak for myself,) seemed to work at impressing them with our abilities to keep up with whatever they could do.

growing up i did not always appreciate being a girl. i remember a few situations of trying to be a boy as a young child. once, i deliberately wore a hawaiian shirt outside without buttoning it. i felt rather awkward and i promptly buttoned again. i also remember trying to pee standing up multiple times (in the bathtub - sorry mom, that seems really gross to me thinking about it now as a mom). we were required to wear skirts to church and i decided i did not like it one bit, so i would wear shorts underneath and rip off my skirt as soon as possible once in the car on the way home. through the years i felt i was doomed to athletic inability and desperately wanted to win attention by being able to excel in sports. this led me to conclude that if i had been a boy, surely coordination would have been natural. obviously boys had things so much better.

i definitely did girlie things - played with babies, barbies, dolls, dress up, etc. i enjoyed all of those things, too. and i did not totally hate being a girl. certain feminine things came natural to me and i delighted myself in them. i loved things related to running a household - cleaning, organizing, decorating, designing, creating, planning, etc. looking back, i went through phases of rebelling against girlieness.

okay, so enough kim stories. i guess i wanted to use the stories to give a bit of background on my perspective of girlieness. i've come to the the conclusion that the word girlie had a negative connotation in my mind. being married and growing with God has changed my perspective.
i have come to value being feminine. femininity has a place of high honor in my vocabulary now. and i can even use the word girlie with sweet reference. now, to me, a girlie is a girl growing into womanhood. and a woman reaches her highest potential when she esteems godly femininity.

somehow the picture of a princess ties in with my perspective of femininity. i don't know many little girls who do not have an innocent, dreamy fascination with princesses. can i suggest that maybe God put that in little girlies for a purpose? God's illustration of His Church is related to this and helps me to have a little bit of understanding about His love for womanhood.

God has given us this mysterious picture of pure womanhood as He describes His loving pursuit of His bride, the Church. God sought out His bride. He chose her to be His own. His Son, Jesus Christ, is the knight in shining armor. The pretty princess was actually a damsel in distress not even aware of her need to be rescued (from her own yucky sin and the deceiving dragon - satan). so God sacrificed His only Son's life to win the heart of his princess bride. was the princess deserving of such love and honor? it is a humbling thought to consider our need to be rescued. it is even more humbling to recognize that God in His sovereignty chose us in our sin, and desires a relationship with a flawed bride who is dependent upon Him.

unfortunately, our worldly culture has tainted our perspective of princesses. vanity, materialism, and selfishness, among other things, have been emphasized. (both directly and indirectly.) i think some of the possibility for a pure picture of princesses has been lost. not only that, it is my belief that even the Church has bought into some sneaky lies schemingly directed toward women from that ultimate bad guy, the arch enemy, the villain of our princess story picture. true femininity is being attacked by our culture, but this is not new, or just a recent trend. we are all reaping the consequences of not trusting and depending on God and His word. how does this connect? well, i think our perspectives of princesses are linked with our ideas about femininity. i'll try to explain my own thoughts on this from a personal side.

even though i was brought up with a very conservative Christian worldview, after i was married for a few years i began to recognize that i had believed some blasted lies. first, i did not value my position in being a woman. i also had a lot to learn about being a godly wife (and i still do). and then motherhood was thrown in with intensity as Hogan was our honeymoon baby. as mark and i grew in our marriage relationship, i began to recognize all these ways that i had looked down on femininity. mark was helping me to see the beauty of being a woman and how our differences compliment one another, with divine design, so that we could complete one another. so here's a little list of some of the lessons i'd been learning (and still find to be challenging).
list form: the man's biblical role and a godly wife's responsibilities (with a simplified explanation of my difficulty in following)
leading and submission (being quiet, not critical about things big and small)
love and respect (honoring decisions, letting go of control)
provide and help (considering whatever would be the best help to mark)
protect and serve (taking care of our home, children, family, husband, etc.)
having children helped me to put what i was learning into real life right away.

but i really struggled through accepting femininity and my own roles and responsibilities. if any of you remember, these were the days i was challenging myself to wear skirts all the time. i needed a physical reminder of some spiritual concepts that were new and frustrating for me to put into practice. i now understand that this was God's timing for me to begin to learn, and He had a plan for me to put His truth into my daily life and thought. but at the time i felt angry that He would let me be deceived. how could God let me believe those lies when i had tried my best to be a good Christian girl? and i was frustrated that it was all such a struggle to change - that's where val's overcoming obstacles comes in! God was and is building my character, conforming me to Christ, presenting me as a pure and spotless bride, disciplining, producing a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained, working His sanctification plan for my life in His timing. . .

please keep in mind that this is my own princess story. God has had this plot in mind for a girlie like me since once upon a (well, really before) time. the theme of my story is directly related to embracing my role as a woman. we women all have our own princess story. i'm glad that mine is in the process. my knight in shining armor has rescued me countless times. though my castle seems to be endlessly attacked by flaming arrows and poisonous darts, i'm sitting pretty with my Savior. He has dressed me in His righteous robes and leads me to His ballroom where He celebrates my every victory.

maybe our frustration with the princess stuff can be blamed on the picture that our culture has painted for us? the world can make any pure thing detestable, or any detestable thing seem pure. but we don't need to be limited by the culture of a blind world. when God chooses to open our eyes, we see a beautiful portrait of His handiwork! and then we can delight in princesses and all things feminine.

did i make my point here? i really tried to not over explain myself, but maybe i'm being too vague? or maybe it makes sense to me and i'm forgetting to connect points for others to understand? i'm sorry for leading you through this kim brain process that takes so long to get to the point and then gets side tracked on details that seem important to me. that's why i try to stay away from deep blogging subjects. this has taken me hours to compose with mark's help. i think it's time to be done. thanks for taking an interest. and if i'm missing some important connecting point or if you have a question, i'd welcome another conversation or phone call anytime!!!

I also like the positional status of a princess - daughter of a king. Isn't that some of the appeal of the princess - the royal position? Ah, but don't we have a King for a Father? Aren't we promised a rich inheritance? Don't we have the highest authority to go before us in all our ways? So, I love to use Leannora's love of princesses to guide her to hoping in the promises God has spoken concerning those who will trust Him. Brethren, if you put your trust in God, you ARE real princes and princesses - no matter how you feel about the "princess hype". May God richly encourage you with His words of hope and life. Now, let the name of the King, our Father in heaven, be hallowed!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gardening day.

We got to play in the garden today. This is unusual because it is often too hot or just too mosquitoey to venture outside. Today was not quite as hot, and we covered up in bug spray. We saw this weird looking caterpillar thing on one of our tomato plants.

We also picked some corn. But, we apparently don't know much about growing corn; it tasted a bit funny or overripe or something.

At the end of our play time (after digging up many plants, etc.), we found a fun little tree frog on our house.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hot. Hot. Hot.

So, it is a hot day today. This is our dining room table at dinner time today. Notice how many people didn't want to sit in the Hot, humid dining room.

Here is a picture of my shop in the basement. Notice how many Milligans thought it was a better place to eat dinner.