heading back

okay, actually I’m already back.

The event was good.  Nothing earth shatteringly great or disastrously dangerous …or frankly anything easy to write about.

and there is something else on my mind anyway

I’m currently working on a memory verse

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing”
I Peter 3:9

Now read the following excerpt from Beth Moore about this very verse

Here’s part of what makes this special. The New Testament translates two primary Greek words as forms of “bless” or “blessed.” One of them (lexical “makarios”) describes a state of being. A resultant condition, so to speak, like those described in the Beatitudes and in many other parts of the NT in reference to those who belong to God through Christ. It basically means to live in the face (coram Deo) and favor of God. The second one (lexical “eulogia”/”eulogeo”) is the conferring or speaking of blessing. As my NT Lexical Aids say, it means “to confer blessing upon, call down divine favor…” The former is a state of being. A beautiful thing indeed. The latter is blessing spoken. Also a beautiful thing, especially for those of us to whom words are a primary love language. It is this latter word for blessing – the one that involves something spoken – that is used in 1 Peter 3:9. The gist of the exhortation, restated from God’s point of view, is this:

“When you use your mouth to bless those who have insulted you or spoken evil to you, I, Myself, will speak blessing over you that you will receive as part of your inheritance.”

When we speak blessings over others who were HARD to bless, He speaks blessing over us. And, let’s admit it, sometimes we’re hard to bless, too.

We’re going to get plenty of opportunities to practice this spiritual discipline because, as the verse clearly states, TO THIS WE WERE CALLED. We were called to manifest the Spirit of Christ through our words when someone insults us. It’s a hard part of the high calling of God but to this we were called SO THAT we may inherit a blessing.

What hit me this morning was not just that we need to bless everyone all the time and pay special attention to making sure to grit our teeth and bless those who make our lives rough, but that we should be thankful for the very people who are driving us nuts.

I actually hit myself a little too fast with this this morning, so I’ll slow it down.

When someone insults me, or tries to be evil to me it is a God given investment opportunity.  If I bless them….. out loud.    If I pray down genuine blessings on them, I will not only be heaping up rewards in heaven, but I will be heaping kindnesses on them.  Ever tried to bless someone and be nasty to them at the same time?  nope.  Can’t be done.

There’s also the immediate result of a lowering of my blood pressure,  my temper and a savings of tooth enamel as well.  All of which are, let’s face it, instant blessings.

Okay, now that that’s done, I can give you a run down on Gulf Wars 18.

We drove all night Thursday, arrived Friday morning, set up a shade tent, rolled out a carpet, surrounded the carpet with tubs and placed Ginny and her toys in the middle of it.  I swear this was the most fun she had all week.  She loved it.  It was basically a huge baby-safe play-pen just for her.  Total delight.

2009-gulf-wars-18-004Unfortunately we had to use that particular tent later as a dining room so Ginny didn’t get to keep her makeshift play-yard for more than a day.  But I am going to have to consider something like that for any future camping trips.  …….

Knowing my luck though, by the time we take her camping again she will be old enough to escape from that and I’ll have to try harder to make it work.

The big headache for me about Gulf, that I simply did not foresee, is that the ground is mostly dirt – not grass – so I didn’t feel safe setting Ginny down in dirt.  Actually it was mud as after the first day of sunshine it decided to rain non-stop for three days.  But even once the sun came out and I went looking for a patch of grass to go play with her in it became abundantly clear to me just how many fire ant mounds there were.  There was simply not a square foot of space that I felt safe about letter her down.

This did not sit well with Ginny who REALLY wanted to get down a play.

Especially when the other folks arrived in camp.  One of those other folks is Solvi, the baby from last year’s camp.  Solvi is 11 months older than Ginny and they cottoned to each other immediately.  I could count on Solvi bringing out the sun for Ginny if she was upset.  My child turned into an instant giggle box every single time she glimpsed Solvi toddling around camp.

Fortunately Solvi was very interested in Ginny too, so they played together pretty well.  Ginny occasionally grabbed handfulls of Solvi’s hair, but she does that to everyone right now.  We managed to keep things from getting out of control.  The girls even danced together.  Okay, they held hands, standing up and bounced.  Someone in camp got pictures of it and as soon as they send them to me I’ll post them.

The big achievement of Ginny’s was that she got snuffled by a horse.  She loved it and giggled the whole time.  Actually it was kind of an achievement for me too, as I previously would not have thought that I would let a strange horse sniff my baby girl’s head!  But, encouraged by Solveig and Solvi, I did it.  Unfortunately no one got a photo, but I will always remember it.

Ginny looked very cute in her medieval clothing, but we learned a valuable lesson: don’t pack for a major event during severe weather.  We had done most of our packing during the freak snow storm that Atlanta got a few weeks ago and it ……influenced our packing.  We discovered that we had brought almost no clothing suitable for warm weather, only lots of thick stuff suitable for cold weather wear.

Consequently Ginny only had fleece outfits that were in a medieval style, so we don’t have many photos of her in garb.  But what we have I shall now post for your enjoyment.

a viking apron and hat

a viking apron and hat

despite the look in the previous shot, she really did enjoy the outfit

despite the look in the previous shot, she really did enjoy the outfit

it was even comfy enough to nap in

it was even comfy enough to nap in

I love this shot.  It looks like she is asking for someone to re-fill a glass or something.

normal baby outfit...and pose

normal baby outfit...and pose

This is actually how Ginny spend most of the war.  In a onesie and asleep.  What with the heat, and teething and growing and such she ate more than ever and slept a whole lot.

We are very blessed.  We are also happy to be back home.  Ginny’s face lit up when she looked around her nursery at home.  I could look into her face and actually watch her recognize objects.  Her smile grew and grew as she realized the concept of HOME.

I think she thought we had left it forever.

heading out

long time readers of this blog will  know that my husband and I go every year to do medieval re-enactment for 11 days in early March.

Well it’s that time of year again.

time to pack up all the stuff and drive to rural Mississippi to join 4,000 of our closest friends.  this year we get to add something entirely new to the mix: the adventure of taking our six month old baby girl to her first camping event.

Now for those of you you are picturing a backpacking type trip….um…get that image right out of your heads.

The stuff we pack takes up an entire 24 foot long passenger van from floor to ceiling,  plus a  12 foot long trailer hitched to the back.  This is camping in comfort.  Our tent has a 17 x 17 foot “footprint”  the dining room for our 27 person encampment is 20 x 20 and the kitchen is another 19 x 24.

Here are a few shots from last year

our closet

our closet

dinner one night. fire roasted game hens, mushrooms, olives, quinoa, carrots, pickled vegetables, breads

dinner one night. fire roasted game hens, mushrooms, olives, quinoa, carrots, pickled vegetables, breads

Martin tending the fire

Martin tending the fire

the old dining room. this year will be twice as big

the old dining room. this year will be twice as big

us in front of our tent. I can't wait to re-take this shot with Ginny included

us in front of our tent. I can't wait to re-take this shot with Ginny included

We mostly likely will not have any internet access all week, but be assured that I will post photos and stories the minute I get back to civilization.

alright, that’s a lie.  I’ll post the photos AFTER a nice hot bath.  Baths being the one piece of civilization I miss the most when I am camping.  Showers just are NOT the same.

luxury

us in front of the tent

This was us in front of our tent. this is how we dressed and what we lived in for the last 10 days.

But NOW, I’m back in civilization.

How do I know I’m back in civilization?

Is it the computer and the high speed connection here at work? nope

Is it my well stocked fridge? nope.

Is it the lovely looooong bath I got to take? The one where I got clean, drained all the water and started over with fresh HOT water for my soak (yes, I know. this IS the south and I probably should have been more conservative with the water, but dear merciful heavens after a week of nearly cold showers in dirty bath houses I NEEDED TO BE CLEAN)

But even that is not what makes me fully aware that I’m back in civilization.

The Luxury of which I speak, the dream that I drool over while I’m camping and revel in when I return?

are you ready?

Waking up in the middle of the night and walking BAREFOOT (and nekkid) across a CLEAN floor to

MY OWN PRIVATE BATHROOM.

It’s really the nekkid, private and barefoot parts that are the luxury. Nothing like the torture of waking up in the middle of the night in camp with a full bladder and knowing that you have to bend over, pull on clothes, pull on boots, untie the tent flaps, and walk 50 yards to the nearest toilet. Which will be at least four of the following:

  1. dirty
  2. flooded
  3. backed up
  4. not private
  5. smelly
  6. drafty

galloshes are a necessity if you get my drift.

Anyway………. I’m glad to be back. I’ll post photos when I get my brain more in order.

what we do for fun

Random opinions wanted here, so please post a comment even if I’ve never heard from you before.

As a couple who is wanting to adopt, we have to put together a portfolio which represents US to the birth mother.  This includes photographs.  One of our major hobbies is a historical re-enactment group (called the Society for Creative Anachronism) which “recreates the good stuff from the Middle Ages”

When you total up the weekend events and the annual 7 day long event, we spend probably a total of five weeks of the year dressed in funny clothes.

It’s mostly educational, but it’s also entertaining. Here are some photos of us and of others who are in the SCA doing what we do.

Jousting

This is folks jousting. Martin and I don’t actually do that ourselves, but it is fun to watch.  The thunder of the hooves is amazing.

encampment

This is what we live in when we are at an event. We camp. In large canvas tents.

Queen Cora

We have Kings and Queens. This is Queen Kora. And yes, the crown is really real…..and heavy.

Tormod fighting

This is what Martin (called Tormod) does for fun. He’s the one with the brown “head”…..and he’s winning that fight by the way.

Emma feeding the King

This is what I do for fun. I feed people.  This is me feeding the royalty.The King and Queen (and their retainers) are usually fed separately from the rest of the populace. I’m the one at the table with my back turned to the camera by the way.

So my question to the masses is this: if you were a birth mother and you saw pictures like this in someone’s portfolio, would you cross us off your list as “weirdos” ?????

I really do want to know.

Photographing my life

Most of you (all four of my readers) know that my husband and I are looking toward adoption. One of the things we have to do when applying is put together a portfolio of photos and information about ourselves and our life.

So I’m looking at this list of photos that the agency wants us to submit so they can go through them and pick out the ones to go in the portfolio.

They want “between 80 and 100 pictures” Some of the suggested photos are

  • 8 or more shots of husband & wife (posed and un posed)
  • 15 or more active pictures of the couple(riding bikes, playing tennis, opening presents, wedding pictures, on vacation etc)
  • 4 or more photos of husband with children (does not have to be your own children)
  • 4 or more photos of wife with children (does not have to be our own kids)****it’s good that they don’t require that it be our kids……..since we don’t have any!****
  • 10 or more photos of the husband alone
  • 10 or more photos of the wife alone
  • 8 or more photos of extended family
  • 5 or more photos of house

Okay, maybe I’m just weird, but I don’t live with a camera in my hand. The best, most recent photos of us were at the wedding, which was two and half years ago!!!!!

Does ANYONE have this number of photos just hanging around waiting to be sent in? I’m going to have to stage half this stuff! I mean, is it weird that we take pictures of our Christmas tree but we don’t take pictures of each other in front of it? I think people with no kids generally don’t wander around taking photos of every event in their lives. But maybe I’m wrong.

The other problem of course is that Martin and I are involved in a historical recreation group, so the over whelming majority of our photos with friends and action photos (camping etc….) are going to be in funny clothes.

Tormod & Emma

If you are interested you can go here or here to find out more about what we do with our spare time.

This is going to be sooo much fun to explain to the agency, but I’m NOT going to fake our recreational activities! I’m not going to go out and buy a tennis outfit to set up shots (haha) of us doing something that we just don’t do!

We sing in our church choir, we work and we do historical re-enactment. None of which are activities that generally involve holding a camera.

So there you are. That’s where my head is today.

deal with it.