Monday I went to Red Lake Falls to drop off the Marriage License, stop at the Library to drop off and pick up books and videos. On the way home I stopped by for a home visit with Elaine G. She's doing well but lacks transportation at this time. Elaine and I both have worked at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN. We exchanged news from each of our last correspondence and contacts with our friends at BLC.
When I got home I worked on a netting tent for our raspberries. Mary was a great help in this. It looks like we could have a big crop of raspberries this year. But the birds always get at them. That's why I concocted this idea of a netting tent. We got it mostly done before we ran out of netting. When we finish it, I hope to include a photo.
Susan G. does a great job at putting together fun times for area families in our township. We meet at the Deer Park Town hall on Tuesday where there are swing-sets, teeter-totters, basketball and volleyball courts and a green area for whatever games one could imagine. Usually Mary takes the kids to these events. But today (Tuesday 6/22) Mary and Matthew went to the doctor. Matt, to see what is causing his persistent cough; Mary, to have an ultrasound taken of the new baby.
Jeremy stayed at home and did laundry and read. The rest of the kids (7 of them) I took to the Town hall for fun. John and Stella were happy to have climbed the rocks. And we all had a great time. Thank you, Susan.
We also had the first portion of our 1/2 hog from Jaime and Laura. I grilled it on real red oak charcoal with salt, pepper, paprika, and home grown citronella. Yum.
I want to tell you that the flavor difference between this hog, which was organically grown, and what we get at the supermarket and the butcher shop was tremendous. We ended up paying about $2 per pound for the 1/2 hog. I'm not sure what the open market would cost. I'm sure we got our half fairly inexpensively. But, wow. What a great meal. Thanks, Jaime.
So, Wednesday, here are the first photos of #10. We haven't talked about names yet. We don't know the gender. We prefer not to know. We're all excited to meet this person, to know, and to raise this child.
I hope it doesn't sound to maudlin when I say this, but I love my children and I love raising them and getting to know them. Of course, like any parent, I am, at times, distraught and saddened by the need to discipline. But what a wonderful and enjoyable thing it is to be a father. To have the baby, utterly dependent upon me, nestling in my arms; to have the toddler, also dependent, expressing love-smiles-laughter-and tears; to have the child holding out her arms for a hug; to have the teenager eager to talk about their dreams, imaginations, and plans; to have them all together in the morning and evening singing, dancing, and gathered around God's Word of Salvation and everlasting life in Christ.
Yes, being a parent is sometimes horrible. It eats away at time you want to spend on other things. Lack of cooperation or obedience can sometimes lead a father or mother to want to despair.
But simply knowing that through the Gospel of Christ these people under our care will have eternal life, and knowing and feeling their tender love through their childhood--no words can express the joy.
Please keep our children and especially #10, who is in the oven at this time, in your prayers.
Wow, that was pretty sappy.
And, it's July 23rd, my dad's birthday. I love you, Dad. May God grant us many happy returns of this day.