Sunday, January 8, 2017


In honor of our circus series starting today, Madison thought she'd try out some stilts!  We have a couple pairs of stilts at the office now, and she was brave enough to try them both!  The picture above shows the new ones, although she enjoyed the older ones a bit more.  Those are the ones that we've had for six or seven years now, ones that Daddy can use pretty well by this point.  Josh (pictured above to the left) and Daddy (not pictured!) like to walk around on those stilts from time to time, just to clear the mind a bit.  I know that sounds odd.  But Madison was using them too, and laughing all the way!

Here's Mommy's display case for "Big Top," which features Dumbo, a clown Vinylmation, Madagascar 3 toys, some juggling balls, and programs from the various Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus events we've gone to in the past.  The ones on the bottom are from the time Daddy went to the circus as a kid, seeing it at Madison Square Garden in New York.  

The service went well, although there were all kinds of questions about the roads on the way here.  To give you an idea about this, tomorrow, Forsyth County schools are closed - on Monday.  So we're talking Sunday morning, this morning, and the temperature was 19 degrees outside.  We took the longer route, the Dawsonville Highway, just because it's wider, more sun-exposed, and straighter too.  That being said, we made it to church okay, passing only one car wreck.  That must have been from yesterday.  As noted here, the roads were a pretty solid sheet of ice early on.

Anyway, more people showed up for the second service, after the sun had come up a bit.  And it went remarkably well.  We'll post pictures of this series later as time goes on, but we had all kinds of great activities, games and videos planned.  And the message, "Raise the Big Top" was pretty good too, appropriate for the beginning of this year:

     The Big Top is alive and well, towering majestically in the distance, letting everyone know that the Greatest Show on Earth has arrived!  It takes hundreds of workers to put up this ginormous tent, and sometimes even a few elephants as well!
      The Big Top just has to be big – otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to fit all the amazing acts inside.  There’s a three-ring circus that needs to perform, and a whole lot of spectators that can’t wait to see the show.  In other words, the Big Top had better be big!
      Believe it or not, our Bibles speak of a Big Top.  It was a huge tent, one that had a very important purpose.  While Moses and the Hebrews wandered in the desert, they would set up a large tent where they stopped.  This would be their church, where God’s presence could rest among His people.  The tent was called a tabernacle.  In fact, the word “tabernacle” is just a fancy Latin word that means “tent.”
      In the book of Isaiah, God told His people to make their tent wider.  He also asked them to drive in the stakes deeper.  It’s a simple message, and it applies to all of us today:  we need to make our tent wider.  In other words, we need to give God a bigger place in our lives.   We do this by giving Him more of our time, and more of ourselves.  But God also said to drive those stakes in deeper too. Simply put, set up this tent so it will last, because God isn’t going to leave us after a season.  In fact, the Bible says He’ll never leave us or forsake us.
      So step right up to the Big Top, and prepare to be amazed! In our Bibles, Sarah stood outside the tent, laughing at the very idea of a miracle baby.  But she learned – just like you will – that some wonderful things happen when our Heavenly Father is in the place! 
     Once you’ve gotten your act together and created a place for His presence to rest, take your seats and get ready.  You’re about to see the Greatest Show of Love on Earth!

We got home, and did our piano homework and then our other homework too.  Daddy took a bit of a nap, and we had Mommy's butternut squash soup for our main meal of the day.  The fast starts today, our annual church fast.  We're reading and praying - the Bible chapters for tonight were from Genesis again, still within the story of Noah.  Madison is fasting sweets this year, while Mommy and Daddy are avoiding sweets and meats as well.  Now Daddy does not drink coffee, so ironically, he might be drinking that for a bit the next month - it helps move the digestive system along.  While others are fasting coffee, Daddy will be trying it out.  Anyway, the fast is a big deal at our church, something we do each year to start it off right.  We've been doing the Bible as well, so we're excited about a fresh start to 2017.

Tonight, we watched "Kubo" again, or at least the first time at home.  It's part of our Chinese Lunar New Year movie series, although the movie is obviously in Japan.  Along those lines, we'll probably see some Miyazaki movies too - Madison hasn't seen any of those yet.  We had the fire in the fireplace, and it wasn't just for decoration tonight.  It's 26 degrees at the moment, and that fire feels great when you're up beside it.

Mommy was doing some cleaning out this morning, going through some of the craft supplies in one of the kitchen cabinets.  As is always the case pretty much anywhere, when this happens, your child will see the item you're moving, and immediately want to use it.  Which is fine, because Madison created some great fashion designs this afternoon.  "Fashion plates" have been around for a while, where you mix and match different fashion designs from top to bottom.  Madison was creating a bunch of these at the table, always being creative and doing new things!

As she sleeps tonight, we just discovered that she doesn't have school tomorrow.  That was noted above, but we didn't know it until after she went to sleep.  So Daddy turned off her alarm, and left a note for her to read in the morning:  "NO SCHOOL TODAY.  GO BACK TO SLEEP!"

She might like that!  In the meantime, Mommy and Daddy are off to "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children."  We haven't seen the Tim Burton movie yet, but of course read the book last summer.  We can stay up a little later tonight, so it'll be just Mommy and Daddy on the couch tonight, as Madison catches up on some well-deserved rest.  Goodnight!

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