Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Crown of Life

Ruth was called home this morning at 12:38am.

God be praised for His good work in her, bringing it to completion, this the 30th of September 2012.

"Lord God, our shepherd, You gather the lambs of Your flock into the arms of Your mercy and bring them home.  Comfort us with the certain hope of the reurrection to everlasting life and a joyful reunion with those we love who have died in the faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

She is the Lord's

I don't know how many of you follow the updates on Facebook, but for those of you who don't, here is what Ruth's father-in-law posted this afternoon.
The hospice nurse returned this afternoon, and as with her last visit, while she was working with Ruth, Ruth perked up ever so slightly, and became able, for a few minutes, to talk and interact with us. She was clearly able to tell us that she is not in pain, which we and the nurse were glad to know. Then she had another short hand-holding session with John. This time my daughter Sarah was also on hand. She asked Ruth if she wanted to hear about Alison and Josh Wierschke's wedding yesterday. She did want to. As Sarah was telling her about it - in a very sister-to-sister way - Ruth listened, and interacted a bit with Sarah's telling of the story, showing that Ruth was really trying to take it all in. In this respect she hasn't changed a bit. She is still just as interested in, and hopeful for, the happiness of other people, as she has ever been - even at a time like this in her own life. Ruth has now slipped back into a deeper sleep. My other daughter Catharine is sitting with Ruth right now, as we are listening to the music that is coming through the Internet via Lutheran Public Radio. These great hymns are reminding us of this great Christian truth: "If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's" (Romans 14:8).

Ruth's illness and these her last days have been, for me, a perfect example of a Christian's last days.  God grant her peace till the end and I pray He comes quickly to take her home.

Friday, September 28, 2012

God's Own Child - Almost Home

This morning Ruth's father-in-law, Pr. David Webber wrote the following on the Pray for Ruth Webber Facebook page:
Ruth is still with us, although she is pretty much just resting. She is not able to use a computer any more, or to concentrate on anything for very long, but she has been made aware of the fact that so many friends have been posting greetings to her via this group, and that there are a lot of people lifting her up in prayer. Not knowing what the Lord's timetable is, the family members who were here last night did the Commendation of the Dying service with her, with yours truly officiating. She responded to each question in the confession of sins, and then rejoiced to hear her Lord's perfect and complete absolution of all her sins. She was also able to join in confessing her baptismal faith in the words of the Apostles' Creed, and she joined in the Lord's Prayer. Those present sang all 3 ve
rses of "Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart." Ruth listened with devout attention, and then thanked us. Ruth's mother Diane stayed with her through the night, while the rest of us slept. This morning when I greeted Ruth, I told her that the Lord had preserved her among us for another day, so that we could pray together again. And so we did then pray together, as I thanked God for all his good gifts, for family and friends, and for the eternal life that he has bestowed upon us in his Son, who died and rose again to win the victory over sin and death for us. Since tomorrow is St. Michael's Day, we are listening, as I type, to the Hieronymus Praetorius St. Michael's Day Vespers CD. And we are silently praying that ere long the Lord grants to our dear Ruth a peaceful departure from this world, and that he will send his angels to her, to escort her into his heavenly presence.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You Want Me to Get Up WHEN?

Sunday morning routine at camp:

Awake around 6am, breakfast, dress, finish the packing, load the van, sweep out the cabins, and take the final pictures:
In Birth Order Youngest to Oldest: Joseph, Luther, Sam, Anna, Abby, Nathan, Lydia, Ellie, Hannah, Ramona

All grouped so we can see them easier

Good friends

With our godson, Joseph, and Spiderman

Then at 8am, we load our vans with five kids each (not necessarily our own offspring) and drive about 45minutes south to church.  Our first few years at camp, illness, a funeral, and an ordination anniversary kept us choosing a different church, usually not together.  This, though, was our third year attending the same church;  "The Little Log Church" or Our Savior's Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Since we come about the same time every year, the pastor and the people recognize us and once more warmly welcome us.  How nice it is to meet more Christians this side of heaven.

After service, we once again load the vehicles with five kids each (not necessarily our own offspring) and drive south about an hour until we reach:

We wait for a table for fourteen to open, before descending upon it and overwhelming our waiter with our orders.  Emma Krumbees has not disappointed us with their food and we all love the delicious milkshakes they offer (raspberry is my choice - yum!).  Finally after everyone is finished, bathroom stops made, we say our final goodbyes, load the right kids into the right vans and head for home.

As much as I hate getting up at 6am on the last day of vacation, I wouldn't trade this tradition we've developed for sleeping in later.  It is a nice way to end our time away with our friends.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

5 Things

1.  Hannah started classes at Bethany.  So far, they have not been overly challenging.  What is challenging is leaving each day around 10:30 and not coming home until about 3:00.  Unless she has to work that evening and then she is gone most of the evening as well.  The weekends usually find her gone, working either the noon shift or the evening shift at The Pizza Ranch.  Besides the challenge of being gone seemingly all the time, I guess the other challenge for her is learning to balance her leisure time to include practice for the piano, organ, violin, and any assignments.  It is weird to not have her around the lunch table and sometimes the supper table.

2. Ellie started classes Wittenberg Academy.  So far, they have been challenging.  It probably didn't help that the first week of classes she was still working at the campground, had a music lesson, and an audition, and the second week of classes we were on vacation.  Despite all those hurdles, I'm impressed with how she is dutifully working to stay on top of the assignments.  Math has not been an easy subject, but she is persevering, asking good questions (of her teacher, of her father, and of her sister), and I think, even might be enjoying Algebra II.  She is enjoying Paideia and Logic, and often shares with us what she is reading and discussing. The audition she had was for a youth symphony orchestra.  It was successful, so now she has that practice three hours every Saturday.  One concert will be in November, and a second one will be performed in March.

3. Nathan, Abby, and Sam are getting more of my attention for their education since their two oldest sisters need less of it with their schoolwork.  We are figuring out how best to schedule the days, but they are starting to take shape as knowledge of which days there will music lessons. Nathan started catechesis, Abby started violin lessons, and Sam has really become a good reader.

4. David generously bought paint for our bedroom for my birthday present.  We've lived here nine and a half years and we're finally getting around to selecting paint.  I've chosen Dried Basil for the walls and Simply Sage for the ceiling and trim.  With our cherry bedroom set, white bedding and curtains, I hope it looks as nice as I'm imagining.  Pictures will be shared once we finally complete the work (we have yet to start).

5.  Speaking of paint, last week while vacationing up north, I asked my friend Amy if she thought my dining room hutch would look good painted.  She immediately said yes and told me what paint I should use.   I decided my choices of color would be confined to the three in the material covering my window-seat cushion Amy made for me four years ago.  This week, I've spent time browsing Annie Sloan's website and picked this color. Eventually the hutch will be painted and new black hardware, I'll have new black dining room chairs (our current ones are starting to break, one by one) similar to these, and a fall-color-red tablecloth.  These are long-term plans, and I have no idea when they'll be completed, but to have a plan makes me happy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Never Ever Video

Last week was our annual vacation to a camp in northern Wisconsin with our good friends.  The four oldest girls decided to film a music video.  I think it turned out quite fantastic.  (Every crow thinks her's is the blackest)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Grant Ruth Peace At the Last

Ruth just posted the following this evening:
Hello Everyone! I have been completely overwhelmed (in a good way!) by your kind comments, your encouragements, your personal messages, and by the words of our God that comfort me and remind me of his goodness every day. Thank you so much! I am home now from the hospital and I'm getting pretty much all of my medicines and food through IV now. With the help of Hospice, I should be able to spend the end right here at home. God is so good!
 "Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.  Abide with us and with Your whole Church.  Abide with us at the end of the day, at the end of our life, at the end of the world.  Abide with us with Your grace and goodness, with Your holy Word and Sacrament, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night when death draws near.  Abide with us and with all the faithful, now and forever." (prayer from Compline)