Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cell phone tower

Everyone has a purpose in life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Five-buckle flood

Water on the floor of our Michigan basement
"I think you have a lot of storms," one of my Korean students commented this week after I told him how I dragged myself out of bed to seek shelter in the basement when the sirens warned of tornado weather. 

I considered the snow storms that cancel school and the thunder storms that knock out the electricity, and decided I couldn't argue with his analysis of our weather. Next time we talk, though I can tell him about the rain water that flooded our root cellar until it was deeper than Dad's five-buckle boots. In fact, I had to take a detour Thursday afternoon because the road to town was closed due to flooding near the bridge. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Former farms

After the sunrise service and subsequent pancake and sausage breakfast, we girls commenced on our annual trek from the township hall to the church building. It's a two mile hike down country roads bordered by farm fields. Most of the land is farmed by a huge, corporation farm, but there are still phantoms of former forty-acre family farms.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The colors of the sunrise fill the sky as the Bylers' van makes its way down the road toward the township hall, early Sunday morning before our church's 6:30 a.m. sunrise service. 

Monday, April 25, 2011


 Part of the Passover tradition is that a young child questions the leader about why the Passover is different that other nights and about the meaning of certain symbols. On Saturday, when we celebrated Jesus as our passover lamb, Bethany filled the role of young questioner. In fact, she didn't need the Hagaddah, the order of the Passover. She was naturally full of questions. "Who is that for?" she whispered pointing to the extra glass for Elijah. I told her it was for Elijah and assured her that if she waited just a little longer her questions would be answered. Sure enough, the next question Bethany read from the Haggadah was, "Who is Elijah?"

Sunday, April 24, 2011


But these [accounts] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his nameJohn 20.31 NIV

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011


Julie's international friends prepared authentic Chinese food for us last Saturday. In a few weeks, after they graduate from college, the three girls will return to China. Before they pack their bags, the girls wanted to fix a meal for Julie. The rest of our family was busy Saturday, but Julie and I and her friends feasted on beef with peppers, shrimp with celery, mushrooms with tofu and eggs with tomatoes, all served with rice. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hot air

My boring image
A hot air balloon practically landed in our front yard last week and I failed to capture an interesting image. 

A photojournalist friend witnessed the balloon as it floated downtown, and his photo appeared in the newspaper. David Byler spotted the balloon as he was driving near our house and he stopped to take pictures. Naomi was on the scene snapping pictures with her camera. 

But I was in the midst of online teaching and could only race to the front porch for a few quick shots. By the time my lessons were complete, thirty minutes later, the ballon was deflated and packed up. 

Naomi's much more interesting shot

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Giggle grin

We act like complete idiots when we see the baby. We open our eyes wide, wiggle our noses and babble in squeaky voices. Often Hosanna rewards our antics with a grin, or even a giggle.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Desires of your heart

Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37.4 NIV

Tuesday I was longing for the Great Lakes and trying to content myself with puddles on our farm. Friday afternoon I found myself on the shores of Lake Michigan for a few moments.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thus far

Early this week I washed and vacuumed Ebenezer (see 1 Samuel 7:12), my Mercury Sable. Then Brian painted the price on the windshield and parked the car near the road. By the end of the week we had two different people, cash in their pockets, asking to buy the car. On Friday I gathered all five sets of car keys and signed over the title. Thus far has Ebenezer, with the Lord's help, brought me.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Radishes in Libby's cold frame

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Three-legged deer

I was glad for my zoom lens, Wednesday afternoon when I shot wildlife on my walk around the farm.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I am yearning for the Great Lakes, and trying to content myself with seasonal puddles on the farm. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011


Mud is the the color, smell, and taste of the season. 

the lane

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they slapped him in the face.     John 19:2-3 NIV

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Runner from a spider plant

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spruce green metallic

For the past couple of months, Dad and I have been vehicle shopping. The emphasis is on Dad. I'm not knowledgeable of cars--I don't remember mileage or names of cars or year models. The only characteristic of a vehicle that I can consistently remember is the color.

Dad, on the other hand, pays attention to other details. As an engineer, he is a data collector. Before we decided to look at minivans, he searched online advertisements for Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable cars. He even compiled spreadsheets and created graphs comparing the year of the vehicle and its mileage to the cost. 

"I think I might have found a minivan for you," Dad announced a couple of weeks ago. He'd seen a minivan at a shop in town and had stopped to look at it. It was a 2003 Ford Windstar. The tires would need to be replaced, he told me. It had more miles than he would have liked, but it was in good condition and a good deal for the price. 

"What color is it?" I asked.

"I knew you were going to ask that!" 

Dad had spent half of the drive home trying to remember the color of the minivan. From his description we concluded it was a silver-gray-green.

This week I bought the van. Its official color is "Spruce Green Metallic Clearcoat."

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Naomi's science assignment on Monday was planting seeds to start plants for the herb garden.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011


Libby weighs one of Pinta's kids.
One of the bucks weighed eleven pounds!
There are now thirteen kids scampering around the barn. Lena had two kids--one boy and one girl-- Sunday morning.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Hosanna tried to smile Sunday night, but broccoli made it a little harder than usual to be happy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Push and pull

Pinta contributed three male kids to Brian's herd.