The Dutch Rush

they're Dutch...and life's a rush

Category: Nature


“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

-Psalm 19:1-4

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The Giant and the Ice Cream Cone

This really is random, so look out. We’ll start with some past cuteness.

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Fall is my favorite.  I like candles,  soup, and sweaters.  Somehow it makes more sense when the temperature is below 80.

Our family had quite a day at Apple Hill.  I will not relay to you all that we ate.  But I assure you, it was substantial.  I took out my phone to take a picture of us, when all heck broke loose.  Most of the pictures are taken while I am shrieking, waving my hands around and kicking Michael because I had just put half a doughnut in my mouth when he started taking pictures.  Joel is determined not to smile, and Alyssa and Michael can’t stop laughing.  Good times. FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (6)

In other news, Josh got baptized last week.  He was bold and clear about his love for Jesus. We’re a little proud of that guy.


I’m a terrible photographer.  But hey, at least there is photographic evidence of the event, right?

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Yes, we’re still naturing it up around here.  Meeting of the Idiots still happens most weeks. I think one of our favorite things about that time is the freedom to call each other idiots. In love, of course. It is the only time certain children may use that word, so it’s a treasured hour of their week.  Naturally, it would be the same hour that we are attempting to identify and draw nature.

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And speaking of nature, Josh and I turned part of the boys bedroom into a nature table to display his findings.  You are probably wondering to yourself  “Is that table also a home for dirty and clean socks?  Water cups?  Old bandaids?  Church bulletins?”  No.  No, it is not. Any of these items get instantly and dramatically re-located to the floor.

And for the grand finale, I will tell you a story of  “The Giant and the Ice Cream Cone”.

It was one of those days recently.  The sort that I was once determined I would never have. Ahem.  During a series of unfortunate events, Michael realized that it may be a good night to take me to dinner.  Even if that meant having roadkill down the street.  There had been countless ridiculous situations during the day, unexpected company (not uncommon around here), and various other small things…very small, but somehow not so small to this woman’s mind on that particular day.  So Michael packed the kids off to various locations, and took me out. Around here “out” has various meanings, being pretty far from what most people think of as a city.

During the drive I had plenty of time to discuss important issues, such as whether or not I knew how to tell if a bicycle tire is low on air, how to check it, when one would decide to replace the tire (tube, they are called apparently) and what not. Lovely, charming dinner date.

Between the time I began to discuss my vast knowledge of bicycles, and the time we got to dinner, I became aware of the fact that I was possibly being slightly difficult, due to the fact that Michael was very quiet.  If you know Michael at all, you know that he and quiet are incompatible.  But when faced with the fact the his wife knew much MUCH more about bicycle tires than he did, even though she admitted that she didn’t…well he knew what sort of night he was going to have.  He loves it when I get like that.  It’s his favorite.

Incidentally, he has mentioned that he knows that I will have those days and feels that my efforts not to have those days could be better used on just admitting to being difficult. Which is actually good news for me.  It is a lot easier to say sorry for being difficult on those grouchy days, than to never have them at all.  Whew.

By now you’re wondering how ice cream comes into the story.

Okay.  So realizing my difficult state, I CHEERED up.  I mean.  I could have fooled you if you had run into us.  Which is usually what happens at a time like that.  But not this time. Instead I noticed the ice cream machine right behind his head and decided yes, that man needs some ice cream. All he needs to do is reach around behind his head and help himself to a mini ice cream cone and everything will be all better.  And here is the proof.

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See?  All better.

The entire time he is eating that ice cream he is telling me that he doesn’t even like this ice cream, and he doesn’t know why he’s eating it, and he should not have had it in the first place.  This brings emotional eating to a whole new level.

And now you have the story of the Giant and the Ice Cream Cone.

I am glad to be able to mention that we actually had a much better second part of our date and got along perfectly.  I think.

Brazilian Wax Palm

Doesn’t that just sound…important and exotic?  I keep seeing these cool palm trees around town.  But when I bring up the topic of Brazilian Wax Palm…well.  Eyes begin to roll and then possibly glaze over.  Even Michael, my enthusiastic Partner in Crime begins to yawn.  Or he starts to smile kindly at me which might be worse.  I haven’t decided yet.

But it turns out that it is just some sort of fan palm, not a Brazilian Wax Palm as it were.  Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of continuing to call something the wrong thing, just for fun.  Or because I like the way it sounds.  Some adults in my life who have OCD do not appreciate this phenomenon.  I guess that is not their idea of a good time.  But when you stay at home for a profession…with children… you have to make fun up as you go.

Last summer I finally got around to ordering my 887 page “Handbook of Nature Study”.  It’s a sturdy book.  In fact, it’s huge.  My Brother-in-law smirks at how large it is and how he would never read it. (He probably also secretly wonders if I’ve finally lost it, for good this time).  Back in 1911 when it was first published, people must have been more accustomed to carrying around 887 pages.  I would think lugging that book around would generally be frowned on these days.  But really, they don’t talk like this anymore.

” Out in this, God’s beautiful world, there is everything waiting to heal lacerated nerves, to strengthen tired muscles, to please and content the soul that is torn to shreds with duty and care.  To the teacher who turns to nature’s healing, nature-study in the school-room is not a trouble; it is a sweet, fresh breath of air blown across the heat of radiators and the noisome odor of overcrowded small humanity.  She who opens her eyes and her heart nature-ward even once a week finds nature-study in the schoolroom a delight and an abiding joy.  What does such a one find in her schoolroom instead of the terrors of discipline, the eternal watching and eternal nagging to keep the pupils quiet and at work?  She finds first of all companionship with her children; and second, she finds that without planning or going on a far voyage she has found health and strength”.   -Anna Botsford Comstock

Ahh, I even feel peaceful just reading that.

” Noisome odor of overcrowded small humanity…”  What a perfect line!  And yeah, far voyages can be quite overrated!  I get so inspired to GET OUTSIDE, and my kids are benefiting.  Because I say they are.  No, they are.  They think so too. 😉


On a side note, imagine my dismay to talk to the lady at Lowes this week and be told in no uncertain terms that what I am actually referring to is a Mexican Fan Palm.  So sad.  So disappointing.  I’m still getting over it.

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