Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin patch

After midterms, several of us teachers took our international students on a field trip to the pumpkin patch last week. We inspected the animals, navigated a corn maze and ate donuts and drank cider. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
Job 38:29 NIV

Saturday, October 29, 2011


For my aunt. Yes, I waited until I was done driving and finished talking on the phone before I attempted to capture the marvelous (rare) October sunlight. 

Friday, October 28, 2011


Magenta? Maroon? Mulberry? Red-violet? Plum? Ruby? Rose?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Known, on the other side of the border, as the "restroom."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Powerline road

Brant, Ontario

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The Lord directs our steps, even when Mapquest doesn't.

Julie, Betsy and I drove to Canada last weekend to attend our friend Layne's wedding. 

My directional style differs from that of my sisters. I sometimes like adventures that other people define as "lost." My sisters prefer I confine my adventures to Michigan when they're not riding with me.

I did print directions before we left. But, I did not examine them in detail. Mapquest couldn't find the exact location, but I figure that once we got close enough we'd figure it out. Also, I forgot which were the directions to the ceremony site and which were to the reception site. 

We ended up touring country lanes in Ontario. We drove past the Tim Horton farm. The weather was lovely and the scenery with peaceful, while the climate in the car was growing a little stuffy and stressful. 

So, I prayed a simple prayer asking the Lord to show us where to go and to help us in our sisterly interactions.

Minutes later, on a country road in the middle of nowhere we ran into the bride and groom. The groom was strumming the guitar. They were posing on what usually was a deserted road but on Sunday afternoon was, as a couple out for a stroll in the country described it, more like Piccadilly circus. 

The groom pointed us in the right direction, and fifteen minutes later we arrived at the ceremony site. 

My sisters vowed to print their own set of directions next time we set out on an adventure.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011


There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God
Hebrews 4.9 NIV

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Kitchen looking toward the dining room

Kitchen, sunroom door to the left
Dining room, living room doorway to the right

Living room

Downstairs bathroom

Sunroom (laundry room)

Upstairs bedroom

Upstairs bedroom

Upstairs bathroom

Friday, October 21, 2011

Front door

Photo by Betsy Cook
A door opened

A week ago, Julie and I signed the final papers to purchase a three bedroom, 1900 era farmhouse three miles from our parents' homestead. The house actually has four doors--one which blows open in the wind after I think I have it shut and locked.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


28 mph gusts and drizzles.

"Will it get colder than this?" one of my Saudi students asked.

Baby, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Potlucks are American. My students, especially the Koreans, are unfamiliar with the tradition of sharing casseroles and gelatin salads. At our family reunion on Sunday, I snapped a couple of photos to share with my students. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

For Mr. Karls

Brian asked me to take this picture for his English teacher's husband, who is enthralled with second-hand stories of our farm. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I am the door
John 10:7 KJV

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Our entire harvest.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Voice change

Some of Libby's chickens are learning to crow. They sound like adolescent boys in the church choir.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Dad carries yet another container of apples to add to the collection of buckets and baskets of apples overflowing from our front porch. We gathered the apples in preparation for pressing cider last Friday night at the hayride

Monday, October 10, 2011


More than one person commented on the eclectic combination of people at our family's annual hay ride. Over a hundred people showed up for the event, which included pressing apple cider, dipping caramel apples, roasting hot dogs, sharing a potluck dinner, and, of course, riding on a real hay wagon (though we actually sat on straw bales). We had church friends, work friends, school friends, neighbor friends, and friends of friends. We even hosted a photojournalist student who is working on a counter-cultural project. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011


A man's heart deviseth his way: 
but the LORD directeth his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 KJV

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011


Last Saturday my brothers drove their tractors back and forth across the sand to pack it down. The boys are preparing to pour concrete. Then they will reassemble a pole building to use as a shop.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Every name has a story. 

It's the story of someone, usually a loving relative, looking down at a baby's face and choosing words filled with meaning, hopes and ambitions. 

Wednesday I read some of those stories. I asked my students to write 8-10 sentences using simple present and past tense to explain the meaning and history of their name.

All of my students completed the assignment and all of them earned full credit.

What's more, I loved reading their submissions. I learned that "Al" is a definite article like "the" in Arabic. One student's last name means mayor, because his ancestor was the mayor of the town. Another student's name means "sweet" and was chosen by his older siblings. Another student wrote about how his parents chose his name with the hope that he would be successful in life. 

In a few short, and often grammatically incorrect sentences, I witnessed words become sentences and sentences become a paragraph that conveyed meaning. I watched my students write a real story in English. Their story.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Life chain

Jesus heals and forgives.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Study buddies

Amanda and Amy studying while camping at Lazy T Ranch. Photo by David Byler.
Last summer Amanda and I stopped by the university. A brand new health building was added beside the education building after we graduated.  We decided to go inside and snoop.

As we were walking toward the buildings, I told Amanda, "We are not signing up for classes."

One year later Amanda is pursuing her master's degree as a nurse practitioner and I am teaching at the university. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.  ~C. S. Lewis

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Caramel apples

We dipped apples in caramel and sprinkled them with nuts during our church's annual camping outing at Lazy-T Ranch.