Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August Newsletter

From Laura, 13 … Lately I have had an increased desire for improving my bass-playing skills.  I started playing when I was 9.  Katie mostly played it for the first 2 years of our family owning it, and then John got me started on it by my request.  For the first few years I didn’t use the bow but just plucked.  After all, our family was a bluegrass band, not an orchestra.  Later on, though, I found that I liked the way bowing sounded with hymns and classical music.  I was still just doing chords though.  Then, recently, I began to have a great interest in actually playing the bass part of hymns.  Using the bow this is a very difficult endeavor, not to mention I don’t normally sing bass.  Therefore, I decided that I must (1) practice a lot to perfect my bowing skills, and (2) learn to sing the bass part.  I can sing soprano, alto, and tenor (an octave high), meaning I have a general knowledge of how they’re supposed to sound together -- but with bass, not so much.  I’m learning, though, even if it is 1-2 octaves higher. J

From Becca, 15 … Today I read Stephen’s speech in Acts.  He was being charged with speaking words against Moses, the temple, and the law.  In answer, he related the history of Israel from Abraham to Solomon.  He showed how their fathers had rejected Moses just as his accusers had rejected Jesus.  Moses had led the people out of slavery in Egypt just as Jesus delivered his people out of bondage to sin.  Jesus was the one Moses spoke of when he said, “God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.”  Moses was a sinner, but he was a shadow of Christ.  Jesus is the better Moses, the one who could save his people once and for all.    

From Seth, 19 … Two weeks ago I was laid off from the land surveying company for which I had been working.  The job loss came as an unexpected change, and it meant that I could no longer spend time with my Mexican coworker friend, but I’m thankful for my time at the firm and for the experience and relationships I gained while there.  Since leaving that company, I’ve worked some on our house (framing a chimney and sheathing a wall), spent two days as a temporary rodman for another surveying company (which involved my favorite type of surveying—watercourse elevation mapping), worked one day for a superb local remodeler (John), and reviewed calculus (in preparation for this fall).

Here’s an interesting thought from a book we’ve been reading together, called Christless Christianity.  Christian churches are often dismissed as being “full of hypocrites,” but this charge only makes sense if the message we proclaim centers on our righteousness and rule-keeping.  If our message is that Christ is the righteous One and that we are the sinners for whom he died to redeem, then a charge of hypocrisy loses its teeth.  We already confess that, of ourselves, we are not righteous, that Christ alone is our hope.

From Anna, 22 … My time working with Seth, the little boy with special needs, ended up being a short-term experience, since his mother is no longer needing outside help.  I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had to be stretched and to learn in so many different ways.  At the very least, I have a more realistic picture of what it takes to raise a child with special needs (cerebral palsy in this case), and therefore a far greater appreciation of the joys and trials experienced by those who are parenting children with these kinds of limitations.

I was recently asked to help with the proofreading and formatting for a workbook that our church is putting together for our membership class, so I’ve been spending a fair bit of time on that this week.  This kind of work suits me well, so I’m enjoying the project.

From John, Megan,and James … (by Megan) Some big news in our house this month is that we have a fully functional guest bathroom!  Last week John installed the faucet and sink.  Check out our blog for pictures. :)

Next week John will be turning 28!

Work has been going well.  God continues to bring work our way keeping John busy six days a week.  

James is growing and changing so fast.  He is 4 ½ months old.  He is such a happy little guy!  He is currently working on cutting his first tooth.  It hasn't broken through yet…  Just this morning (8/4/12) James rolled over for the first time!  All by himself!  He's only done it once more since then, but soon he'll be rolling all over the place. :-)

From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel, and baby-on-the-way (by Katie) We are getting excited about meeting our new baby soon.  He or she is due on the 12th.  My midwife thinks it's likely I will give birth before then, but I'm trying not to count on it.  Peter was early and Samuel was late, so we have no idea what to expect.

Although not as hot as last summer, it's been plenty hot here, and quite muggy.  We've had to get creative to find ways to stay active and to be outdoors without melting.  We go for walks or to the park in the evening, and playing in the yard usually includes the wading pool, the sprinkler, or paintbrushes and buckets of water.  We've also discovered indoor playgrounds at the mall and at a church.

From Judith … We’re all pretty excited here as we wait for another Wade baby – any day now!

I’m caught up on making/installing window coverings -- eleven down, six to go.  Every new window now has coverings.  For the windows in Gerald’s and my bedroom and bathroom, I borrowed some valances from Anna.  (See the blog for pictures.)  She was storing them for future use.  If or when she needs them, I’ll need to find replacements.

I’ve been going through old video and audio tapes and records lately which has certainly sent me down “memory lane”!  It has been fun to hear the children’s songs and old camp songs from my childhood and my children’s childhoods.  Also there are vocal and instrumental recordings of our children.  It’s very dear to me to hear the young voices of my children, both through singing and speaking, but especially speaking.  Recommendation: About once a year record your children singing and speaking.

About Gerald … It’s been a boost having Seth’s recent help on the wall/chimney work.  Gerald’s focus has been on the chimney, fireplace, and gas line.  Steady and encouraging progress is being made.  Most of the work we’ve been doing on this house has been familiar, but putting in a new fireplace and chimney has been completely new territory!  I’m reminded of how undaunted Gerald has always been in the face of the unknown.  With enough research and proper tools, he pretty much tackles anything in his path.

With love from the Pedersen clan

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