moments from the week

a Maundy Thursday service in our living room

Holy Week at home

Moments and images from the past week.

breakfast plate: scrambled eggs and jam on matzo, near daffodils

spring breakfast

Elijah climbing up a tree trunk on some spikes

climber's aides

wine and mazto on the table

communion

Elijah riding his bike wearing a pink cape

his latest riding outfit

Elijah riding on a gravel road

hitting the trails with all the boys

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video production is challenging

Leah is on vacation this week for Holy Week. I'm the opposite. For our second pandemic Holy Week (second and last—it had better be last!) our Kids Church team thought we'd tell the story over a series of videos, with one for families to watch each day of the week. Great, right? Only making that many videos is kind of a lot of work! I'm certainly used to video production by now: I record and edit about three video stories every month, plus the occasional extra. But I've never before had such a sustained stretch of production... and we're only halfway through the week! Of course, that necessarily means that I'm more than halfway through the work: all of the videos are now recorded, and only two of them remain to edit. I may survive!

Of course, while I talk about my own suffering it's really the rest of the family who should get most of the credit. We don't have soundproofing here, so I really appreciate their patience as they refrain from their usual yelling or else take the dogs out for a walk to stop them barking on film (can you match the family members to their roles?). Not that any of that helps when the neighbor needs to be running the chainsaw, like he was all Saturday afternoon (in the noble work of clearing away the bittersweet around his yard, so I can't really begrudge him.... but it still stopped my work in its tracks). And then there are all the planes. Did you know we live right by an airport?

If you want to check out any of the fruits of my labor, they're available on Reservoir Church's Youtube page. You might even give them a like!

it's Passover!

On Saturday, the first thing Elijah said after he got out of bed was, "It's Passover!" He wasn't the only one to be excited: I jumped right into the spirit of the holiday with a breakfast of scrambled eggs and matzo with jam. Then Harvey told us both that, actually Passover didn't start til Saturday at sundown. Oh yeah. Well, that's alright: it's a longish holiday anyhow, so an extra day probably won't signify.

We're not Jewish (that might jeopardize our careers in the Christian writing and pastoring field). But we all think that Passover is an important holiday to observe. As Leah says, it's the only holiday commanded in the Bible! Plus there's all the good food. Last year we did a Zoom seder with Leah's parents—our first experience of Zoom holiday celebrations. But they weren't feeling it this year, so we were on our own. Which means there were no haggadahs or anything, and also that our meal on the first night of Passover took 20 minutes rather than an hour and a half (if you think that's short, it's at least twice as long as our usual dinner times). Leah made all the food: haroset, eggs, and matzo ball soup; plus chocolate caramel matzo for dessert. It was a delightful, relaxed way to observe the holiday.

the boys sitting down to the Passover table

festive meal

moments from the week

Zion and a friend sitting on a rock at the edge of a pond

private time at school

Lots of moments from the past week.

Harvey riding by a grassy hill

last month we were sledding here...

Elijah stretching out his bare legs pumping on our swing

must be spring!

the boys sitting looking down from a scrubby hill

airport hill

Elijah feeding a goat

the farm is open!

Harvey rowing our canoe past a beaver lodge

visiting the beavers

Elijah climbing up the side of a large boulder or outcropping

bouldering

all the bubble school kids on a slackline

bubble school slacking off

Zion pushing his bike up a hill, Elijah far behind him

this is our life now

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bikes take us farther

We had plans yesterday to meet up with friends and go exploring on bikes, which seemed like just the thing with the forecast calling for sunny skies and temperatures touching the 70s. So we were surprised to wake up to cool drizzle (especially since I had left the car open!). The unexpected gloom and wet was too much for our friends, who preferred to stay cozy at home. But we get plenty of coziness and laziness, so we pushed on with the expedition—and we were glad we did!

Zion and Elijah sitting by a misty pond

what could be finer?

Our target was the Estabrook Woods in Concord. We've been there before, but on foot we can only get so far so there was lots we hadn't been able to see. Of course, there's some question how much faster the four of us can move on bikes on a wet spring day over some serious hills! There were certainly some spots where Elijah at least was pushing his bike up a hill because it was too steep to make progress, and then back down the other side because it was too scary a descent. But we was working hard and trying his best, and he got some great practice in! And then of course there were spots where we all needed to walk our bikes. The four serious water crossings we had to do, for example.

the boys pushing their bikes across a wide rocky stream

when you have to walk it's a real expedition

Of course, it wasn't all riding and pushing: we took our time and made plenty of stops. There were big rocks to climb and vistas to admire, and we found a great spot to have lunch by the side of a giant shallow pond (pictured above). The most exciting part of our lunch spot was the goose drama that played out on the pond as we watched, with one pair harrying another all around on the water and in the air, with plenty of noise and dramatic take-offs and landings. But the best wildlife sighting belonged to Elijah: he was the only one to notice a tiny newt clinging to the side of a tree. When he called us all back to look the little guy very obligingly held still for a picture.

a little red newt on a tree

the boys wished they could bring him home as a pet

Even though we only went about four miles, it was a challenging ride and the boys were plenty tired when we made it back to the car. But we didn't see all of the woods, so we'll have to go back soon! Though maybe when it's a little less wet...

the boys riding through a giant puddle on the trail

the pond was invading the trail

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