America…Happy July 4th!

America

(lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates;
music composed by Samuel A. Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

A Little Bit of History….
The lyrics to this beautiful song were written by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) an instructor at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, after an inspiring trip to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado, in 1893. Her poem, America the Beautiful first appeared in print in The Congregationalist, a weekly journal, on July 4, 1895. Ms. Bates revised the lyrics in 1904 and again in 1913.

From the web: http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/america.htm

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Take ten (seconds)…take a picture

Children are beautiful!  They fill our home with life and goodness and simple pleasures that we sometimes forget as adults.  Children keep us young and alive with a special vibrancy that only they are blessed with.

In the early years with diapers and feedings and baby nostalgia encircling my every hour of living, I found one simple little key for making the days wonderful; my exciting version of  “take ten seconds” in a moment of anxiety. It is a simple little wonder that will serve you well many times over. When your child does something to try your patience, such as pouring soup over their head, “Take ten…take a picture.”  No event is too small, the photo will be useful in more ways than you can imagine:

•    The time to take a picture gives you at least ten seconds.

•    It becomes a discussion piece with your child, later.

•    You can laugh about it together many times over.

•    Depending on the situation, the photo becomes a learning tool.

•    They make great graduation open house photos – sure to be a hit.

Ripping up Mom's patterns

Ripping up Mom's patterns

So there you have it, Michelle’s tip of the century.  I am showcasing one of these photos of our son when he was about twelve months old.  Even though three of our children are grown, my advice is still “Take a picture.”  Photos are a remembrance of the faith path we have been on and a nice reminder of many trying situations God has brought us through.

All the best to you and yours this day,
Michelle