Snowed in

For the past two days, the city of Carbondale along with most of Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri has been at a stand still. The university even closed down which is no small feat. Yesterday this was primarily because of a solid 4-5 inches of ice that was dumped on us overnight. We spent the entire day with our neighbor Brad at our house having a Lord of the Rings marathon. We successfully completed the extended editions of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. We have plans to tackle The Return of the King today.

There were a few truck and SUV-owning neighbors who were able to make it out of our lane yesterday, but last night we got about 4 more inches of snow and ice, so we'll see who can make it out today. I can tell by the covered tracks that no one has tried to get out yet. I know that we won't be attempting it in our compact cars.

Our house sits on a slope and all day yesterday people would try to get out and then get stuck right in front of our house. The snow-driving novices would just sit there and burn their tires. After laughing for a few minutes, either Kyle or I would put on our boots, walk outside and tell them how to get out. It seemed like common sense to me, but apparently people lose their minds in this weather. "You have to back all the way down the hill to where it is flat... keep going... okay, now you have to gun it and pick up as much speed as you can and do not slow down until you've reached to top."

I have a hard time imagining that they would close the university tomorrow too, so let's hope that this melts a lot today, or we'll be stuck again. I don't really want to think about that right now, though... I just want to think about enjoying the day at home!


The best little place you've never heard of...

Well, maybe you've heard of it, but as of two weeks ago, I had not. Coram Deo bookstore is a delightful little place north of Carbondale. You pull up to an old farmhouse remodeled to resemble and English country cottage. As you walk in the door, you'll find wall-to-wall books, beautful woodwork, a warm fire, and big leather chairs that beckon.

Upstairs and down are brimming with thousands of titles, everything from classic literature to reformed theology. Many of the books are collectible items, bound in leather and hand-tipped, with a scent that only old books can have. In the heart of the house there is Scottish and Irish memorabilia, jewelry, sweets, and other handmade crafts. You can enjoy a complimentary cup of Irish coffee or tea and sit by the fire.

The store is owned by a local family, Mark and Jane Akin. Together they have 11 children. They opened the store a few years ago in hopes that it would be a resource for local pastors and lovers of literature. It is a jewel for Southern Illinois. It would be a jewel anywhere, but as it is difficult to find high-quality culture in this area, it is a true blessing to me. I cannot wait to go back and share this with my friends and family.

Kyle, Drew, and I stayed there for over two hours exploring both floors of the house and chatting with the family that owns it. It was a wonderful afternoon and I could have spent even more time there. They are only open on Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, so next time you have a few free hours on a Saturday, I highly recommend that you journey up Reed Station Road and check it out.


In need of inspiration?

I recently stumbled upon Design Sponge. As if I needed any more to-do's for our house! Anyway, enjoy!


Evil Good Deeds?

How does God view the "good deeds" of those who are not in a right relationship with Him? I've been thinking about this lately. Travis Peterson wrote a fantastic post that answered every question which comes to mind.


Just because.

Tulips, my Bible, and clementines, a wonderful combination and a special treat.
Why, yes, those TULIPs are symbolic.


New Year, New Projects

It has been wonderful to be home with Kyle for the last few days. I am already looking forward to so many things in 2009. While we've been home, I have been inspired to work on some projects to spruce up our house a bit. I got inspired by Anthropologie, my new favorite store. Over the last couple days, I decided to repaint our stools.

As Kyle says, they're swanky. They add a nice splash of color to our living room and also help to tie the living room and kitchen together.

I also really love the bird stencils I found at Hobby Lobby. As much as we love birds, this is just perfect for our house! Overall, this was a very simple, inexpensive project.

A couple new projects on the horizon include a couple paintings for my living room, and I would really love one of these removable decals for our wall. Oh, what fun!

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night--
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new--,
Ring happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land--
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

- Alfred Lord Tennyson, from the 106th Canto of In Memoriam (1950)

HT: Chase Abner