Wednesday, December 26

Christmas Cheer and Crisis

We had an especially good Christmas this year. I can't really put my finger on why, especially since so much of what I had planned didn't happen. Hubby had an emergency at work that began Thursday afternoon and lasted for three and a half days, and he got only seven hours sleep in 91 hours (I only had 11 hours sleep). We didn't get the gingerbread house done (for the second year in a row), we didn't have the usual homemade cinnamon rolls or dinner rolls, we had salad out of a bag (gasp!), we skipped some crafts the kids wanted to do, and the house wasn't sparkling clean like it usually is by Christmas Eve.

What I do know is that we worshipped God. We were grateful. We shared the gospel with our neighbors. The kids and I had opportunities to serve Daddy and minister to him. We weren't sure we'd be able to have him home Christmas Day, but we did and were so thankful for that. We had a warm and dry house to celebrate in. We were all healthy (despite lack of sleep). We rejoiced in knowing Jesus. We even had some snow! It was a memorable Christmas, and I know hubby and I will remember it fondly in years to come.

Wednesday, December 19

The Love Chapter for Christmas

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging
a beautifully adorned table at mealtime:
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity;
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir's cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another's home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able
to give in return; but rejoices in giving
to those who cannot.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust,
but giving the gift of love will endure.

--Author Unknown

(Okay, I swiped this from Ann who has a knack of posting brilliant things.)

Wednesday, December 5

Local Flooding

This is the cute little town of Vernonia where Eddie often goes fishing.

Photos from

I am so grateful to wake up to a dry and warm home this morning. Not everyone I know is so blessed. I found out yesterday that one of the families in my homeschool group has been displaced from their home due to flooding. They have three children, one of whom is a darling little two-year-old boy they just adopted two months ago (Ryan LOVES this little boy who was being fostered by a friend of ours until the adoption).

I'm told the watermark goes about eight inches up the walls of their home, and to make things worse the sewer backed up during the flood and contaminated all the water so there will be few things able to be salvaged. They think they were able to get the beds up off the floor in time, but they lost everything else that touches the ground: their dressers, sofas, chairs, bookcases full of books, homeschoooling supplies, anything in the lower kitchen cabinets, etc. They will have to replace walls and floors and cabinets and who knows what else...and they had no flood insurance.

I am writing this not just to express my gratitude for the blessings I have but to ask those of you who are able "to go boldy before the throne of grace," to pray for the S****a family. They are believers and appear to be holding up well, but they will need strength and peace in the coming days, weeks, and months it takes to rebuild. I don't know what their church is doing for them, but I know our homeschool group is making meals, offering labor and childcare, and trying to do anything we can to help them.

Flooding of Highway 30 about 30 miles northwest of where we live.

Tuesday, December 4

Weather Report

I have had a couple of inquiries this morning about how we "weathered" the storm yesterday. We're doing fine, thankfully! Eddie came home from work pretty early yesterday morning since the only highway to our little town was flooding quickly and was closed in several locations. He did manage to get home, and this morning the roads look much better. We have a big branch down in the backyard, and Abby was up all night afraid of noises she was hearing. However, I'm very grateful we still have power and a warm, dry house!

Monday, November 12

Sunday, November 11


On a recent trip to the zoo I saw these two identical trees side by side. I found it interesting that only one of them had changed colors. Then a week or so later I saw these two trees. Again, they are the same type of tree living side by side, but one turned brilliant red and the other yellow. Don't have a clue why, but it sure looked cool!

Thursday, November 8

Out of Commission

Edited to add: Hubby reminded me that we hadn't wiped my old laptop yet, so I dug it out and am back in business...sort of! At least I can check my email regularly and maybe even add a blog post or two.

My wireless adapter "disappeared without being properly prepared for removal" two days ago. We were told it's a known problem with the driver software, but my wireless card may be fried too.

At any rate, in the process of trying to get it going again, my system has had to be wiped and completely rebuilt, so I am out of commission for a while. I will try to check email once a day or so on our PC, but I probably won't be doing any blog posts until I get the issue fixed. Our PC is REALLY slow and cumbersome to use, as well as not having everything I need on it.

I'm sure it will do me good to be without a computer for a while, but it is more painful than I care to admit!

Monday, November 5

Time Change

Anyone else have kids getting up at 5:30? Sigh. My son has a sturdy internal clock, and he's always been an early riser anyway!

Friday, November 2

On the Sidebar

In case you haven't noticed, I thought I'd point out the poll I have on my sidebar. I am extending the poll for another couple of weeks because hubby told me he didn't notice it until I said something to him about it. This is a topic that has been coming up again and again for me the last couple of years, and I am curious what others believe about who God is and how He acts. So, if you've got an opinion or even if you're not sure, please take a minute to vote...I'd appreciate it!

Wednesday, October 31

Reformation Day

We don't celebrate Halloween in our house, but we have been struggling with a better way to love our unbelieving (and believing) neighbors who come knocking on our door once a year asking for a treat instead of hiding in the house with the lights off! Though this year we have some errands and a medical appointment that will keep us away from home during the trick-or-treating, we are considering giving out candy and perhaps a gospel tract or something about the good news of Jesus Christ next year.

Also, did you know that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg on October 31st? While Luther's work is controversial, there is no doubt he was pivotal in setting off the firestorm we now call The Reformation. More and more churches have taken to celebrating Reformation Day instead of Harvest parties or carnivals. Our church doesn't do either, but it is an interesting idea.

My hubby and I have several seasonal movies that we watch every year for different holidays. We watch Groundhog Day on Februrary 2nd, The Patriot on July 4th, The Passion of the Christ on Easter, etc. This year we're adding one of our favorite movies to our tradition; Luther on October 31st. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I highly recommend it!

Some Lose Houses By Fire; Others, By Persecution

PAKISTAN Christian Homes Demolished in Pakistan - VOM Sources

On October 19, local Muslims demolished homes belonging to three Christian families in the village of Lobhana, near Lahore, Pakistan. According to The Voice of the Martyrs' contacts, more than 70 armed villagers moved in with tractors and began destroying the homes. VOM contacts said, "They demolished and looted three homes and only stopped when the police arrived." Some of the Christians attacked reported that the Muslims threatened to kill them. VOM contacts added that the land where some of the demolished homes were located had been given to the Christian families by the Pakistani government more than 10 years earlier. However, some local Muslims claimed the land, intending to build a cemetery. Pray for God's protection for Christians in this area. Ask Him to provide resources for these families to rebuild their homes. Pray the testimony of these believers will draw nonbelievers, especially their attackers, into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Psalm 68:19, Proverbs 3:5, 6

Wednesday, October 17

I Love Autumn

One of many reasons I love autumn!

Thursday, October 11

One of God's Paintings

I love this time of year! For some reason we have the best sunrises in the fall and winter months here, and I've been enjoying them tremendously this week.

Wednesday, October 10

Getting Caught Up

Since we've returned from California I feel like all I've done is laundry, sorting mail, paying bills, getting out fall clothes, getting rid of too-small clothes, organizing, getting our homeschool year going, and just generally running in circles. This week has been much better though. I've made some headway on things, and now that I'm not spending hours each doing therapy with Abigail, I actually have found time to do some blogging. For the first time in probably eight months, my blogs are all caught up! In fact, I was so close to getting all the posts done that I wanted but had run out of free time today. So I went through the closet for something for the kids to do for a while so I could finish up the last few posts, and I found their Leap Pads which haven't been touched for probably a year (how could I have forgot them that long?). They each spent about an hour with them quietly on their laps, and I got my posts done!

Monday, October 1

A Night to Ourselves

We hadn't been back from California and Georgia for even a full week, when we headed off again for a night away. A coworker of hubby's got married out in the gorgeous hills near Mt. Hood, and a dear friend offered to watch the kids overnight for us. We dropped the kids off around noon, and then headed to a place we've been wanting to visit for a few months...The Original Stash, the first geocache ever placed. After making a couple of finds in that area, we headed out to The Columbia River Gorge, truly one of the most beautiful areas in Oregon, perhaps in the country. We did a little more geocaching, finding some really neat areas we wouldn't have found otherwise and a few we'll have to bring the kids back to. Eventually, we made our way to Hood River, a beautiful small town along the Columbia River and right in the heart of the Gorge, and checked into our hotel. We got cleaned up and headed to the wedding.

It was an outdoor wedding and we all were freezing, though thankfully there was no rain. It was a fabulous setting, and had there not been cloud cover, there would have been a breathtaking view of Mt. Hood. The cloud cover and threat of rain were only two more proofs that it was definitely an Oregon one here gets dressed up for anything. There were guests in tennis shoes and jeans, and I felt way overdressed despite the fact that I was initially worried I wasn't going to be dressed well enough. The groomsmen wore shortsleeved linen shirts, and the bridesmaids wore flip-flops.

After a five-minute reception line which we missed out on, there were drinks and delicious hors d'oeurves while we waited to be taken inside where it was warm. After a while we were moved inside where we sat at a table with Devotion, Confidence, Refinements, and Katie. They did the flowers for the wedding, and are true flower children if ever I've seen any. Hubby and I laughed later over the fact that a schoolteacher who had come alone asked us if it would mess up the table if an "odd" person were to sit there! Between us and the flower children, she was probably the least odd person at our table.

My favorite thing about the wedding was their music selection; they made some great choices. Interestingly, their gift to everyone was a CD of 20 of their favorite love songs (stolen music for everyone, woo-hoo). After a yummy dinner and spice cupcakes for dessert, we wished the bride and groom well (oh, and the groom gave hubby the backup tapes for work...what a great employee!) and headed home before all the people who were drinking heavily got on the road! The two young women at our table had at least six glasses of wine each (these were huge wine glasses, I might add) during the two hours I was watching and who knows how many before and how many after!

The next morning we ate our free breakfast and went out to see some more of the town. We did a few geocaches, one of which got us our exercise for the day with climbing 350 stairs from the bottom of the town to the top, really neat but exhausting. Then we ate lunch and took the "fruit loop" out to the country to see if we could find some good apples and cider. It was raining and not ideal for browsing fruit stands and markets, so after buying some cider and looking at the odd things one can do with pumpkins, we decided we better go pick up the kids. We made one more stop on the way home, a beautiful house and farm with dahlia fields, which was the flower of choice at the wedding.

This is the second time this year we've had an overnight stay with just hubby and I, and we so enjoyed it! It was so relaxing. We had dinner provided for us, and we had one of the most comfortable hotel beds I've ever slept in, and a free breakfast the next morning. It was wonderful to reconnect with my husband after being apart for so long!

Monday, September 24

Sunday, September 23

Family and Friends

This interesting cloud formation started earlier in the day as one
cloud and then gathered more clouds by the time dusk arrived.

It was so good to visit with family and friends! The time away from hubby was long, but the time spent with loved ones was way too short. After having lived out of California, specifically the High Desert of California, it was strange going back. It's not the same place it used to be and yet, at the same time, it hasn't changed a bit. The longer I was there, the more I remembered why I am so happy to be living in the Pacific Northwest! I missed the fresh, clean air and the green living things like grass and trees. Hey, I even missed sidewalks, which I haven't given much thought to before.

It was so good to see my mom again, and her making the long drive home with us extended our visit with her a bit. We spent some time with my dad too. The kids each took turns going with him on his route to deliver the tools he's sharpened, and I took a motorcycle ride with him.

Thankfully, Aunt Darcy got at least one shot
of her and Abby together.

We visited several times with my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nieces. The kids had such a good time with their cousins, and I'm glad they can now actually put a "real" face with the name instead of just pictures. I am sad to say I didn't get one single family shot of them nor any pictures of my kids with their aunt and uncle nor any pictures of me with my nieces...I've just not been on the ball with taking pictures lately.

I visited with two friends from high school, both of whom I can't believe I've known for 27 years! Susan I have only been kept up to date on through reports from my mom, and it was good to see her, meet her kids, and visit for a while. She hasn't changed a bit.

The other visit was with my best friend, Becky. We talk often, but there's nothing like seeing her face to face! I spent two nights with her and her husband while my mom watched the kids, and it was such a relaxing visit, despite the cold I caught a few days earlier. I took this horrid arm's-length shot because we have almost no pictures of us together, and I figured that a bad picture is better than no picture at all! (Note to self: Next time look at the lens and not the LCD screen on the camera.)

Mt. Shasta from an I-5 rest stop.

After my visit with Becky, I went home, packed up the suitcases and the van. We headed home the next morning with my mom along too and spent the night at a hotel. The next day we drove home was a gorgeous day. We had spectacular views of the countryside, and we actually got to see Mt. Shasta, which has been covered by clouds the last several times I passed this way. We arrived safely, and even though I already miss family and friends I left behind, I'm really glad to be home.

Friday, September 7

Missing Him Already

Oh, the things husbands do for their wives!
"Hurry up and take the picture!"

This morning as hubby and I were driving to the airport we both said, "I don't want to go!" I know Ed is dreading his two weeks of intensive training, and though I am looking forward to seeing family and friends, I was just dreading the thought of two full days of driving. I have never been apart from my hubby for such a long time before, but I still didn't anticipate all the tears at the airport. I already miss him so much!

Last chance for an Oregon geocache!

Thankfully, however, things got better from there. I am so proud of my kids! They did 8 1/2 hours of driving without one single complaint, and they were both so well behaved that I really couldn't have asked for anything better! We had a great time driving today, and I'm not even dreading tomorrow now. One of the stops we made was at the Oregon/California border. Ryan and Abby were so excited about actually getting to California, so I stopped just a couple hundred feet from the border and took their picture. Also, there was a geocache at that location, so we found that while we were there too! It was blowing about 90 miles an hour, and it reminded me of where I grew up in California...ah, memories.

This is pretty silly, but I was a little nervous about pumping gas...afterall, I haven't done it for over eight years! My fears were unfounded, just as I suspected, ordinary unskilled people can and do pump their own gas just fine. Somehow the legislature has been able to keep this truth from Oregonians for some time now.

After arriving at the hotel, we ate dinner and went for a swim. We're used to heated pools in our neck of the woods, so this felt quite brisk! It was pretty warm out though, so after the initial shock, it felt good. I ended up laying with each one of the kids to get them to calm down and go to sleep after such a full day, but it took less than ten minutes apiece. So the kiddies are now sleeping peacefully, I've had a late night call from hubby, so I am ready for bed too.

Thursday, September 6

I Need the Spirit of Christ Today (and Everyday)

Though I'm not moving, I have a lot going on today and the next few days, and I needed this today. Thanks again, Elisabeth Elliot!

The Calm Spirit of Christ

Today is moving day. There will be plenty of reason for fretting and stewing, impatience, and turbulence. I am one who seems to feel that unless I do things or unless they are done my way, they will not be done right, and the day will disintegrate. But I have been watching the sea--very turbulent this morning because of a tropical storm hundreds of miles away--and I remember Him whose word was enough to calm it.

Speak that word to me today, dear Lord: peace. Let your calm spirit, through the many potentially rough minutes of this day, in every task, say to my soul, Be still. Even this day's chaos, with all its clutter and exertion, will be ordered by your quiet power if my heart is subject to your word of peace. Thank You, Lord.

Saturday, September 1

How Did You Do?

Last year, I started reading through the Bible with the Bible in a Year email program. I chose to read it chronologically to hopefully help me straighten out some timelines in my head that always seem to get mixed up. I have to confess I haven't finished, in fact I haven't even made it to the New Testament yet, though I'm almost there. I was zipping along reading every day up until about the end of Februrary when things went a little crazy with my daughter. I got way behind and overwhelmed and I never caught back up.

I printed out the schedule for each month, and I am slowly making my way through it. A couple of you had said you were going to join me, and I was wondering how you did. Did you finish? If so, that's great! If not, I'm right there with you! I will plug along and I think I will be finished by the end of the year.

Tuesday, August 21

In Need of Prayer

I receive updates from Voice of the Martyrs, and this week's top story is one I want to share. It's hard for us Americans to conceive of the kinds of things our brothers and sisters in Christ face every day. The least I can do is pray for them...maybe you will too?

PAKISTAN - Religious Minorities Told to Convert or Die- VOM Source

Christians in northern Pakistan have been receiving letters threatening them with death if they refuse to become Muslims. The Voice of the Martyrs' contacts in Pakistan report Peshawar's minorities are living in fear after receiving dozens of letters mailed to them in August. VOM contacts report, "There have been numerous threats sent to Peshawar's Kohati area. The letters say if we don't become Muslim we will be killed." Praise God it has only been threats so far. Pray God protects Christians in the area. Pray the testimony of believers in Pakistan will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Jesus Christ. Psalm 27:1, Romans 8:31

Monday, August 13

I Enjoyed The Day

Yesterday was a very nice day. It wasn't perfect. It had a few bumps. There was some bickering in the van on the drive up and there was some whining at the zoo and it took a while for the kids to settle down and get to sleep, but I really enjoyed myself yesterday. We got up, loaded the van and drove to Washington for breakfast. The kids ate well (always a plus) and were well-behaved during the meal. After some initial bickering, the kids settled down and listened to a story on tape while we had a beautiful drive to Seattle.

We went to the zoo where we saw part of the spectrum of God's ingenious creation. Who knew there was such a thing as a legless lizard? (It has eyelids and can regenerate it's tail so it's not a snake.) Okay, it was kind of creepy looking, but interesting nonetheless. They had an area with about 20 huge hydrangeas all in bloom, that was just gorgeous! Instead of the smell of animals, most of the time we kept getting whiffs of something incredible like jasmine or honeysuckle. Best of all for this cheapskate, the zoo was free since they have a reciprocal membership with the Oregon Zoo where we are members.

Abigail wearing her diving mask from Ivar's.

My family walked way too far out of their way so that I could eat the world's best clam chowder at Ivar's. On the way there I was wondering whether it was really worth the walk, but after eating a few spoonfuls, I decided it was afterall. It was the kind of meal I always hope for. No one fussed or whined about the food, there were no spills or disasters. Food was shared, conversation was enjoyed, and we all loved watching the entertainment...seagulls catching food right out of the air that people outside our window were throwing for them.

We missed seeing the sites at Pike Place Market, so we'll have to try going back again another day, but we did see the Space Needle both in daylight and after they lit the lights. The kids didn't complain that we didn't take them on any of the amusement rides at the Seattle Center (though Ryan was disappointed we didn't go to the top of the Needle, he didn't make a big deal out of it), and surprisingly they didn't even complain about the walking, which we had done tons of.

We were all ready to get to the hotel, and we crossed the world's longest floating bridge into Bellevue to the excited laughs of my daughter. She thoroughly enjoys life, and today's adventures kept her completely enthralled. It was a relaxing day (if you don't count the walking) of seeing the sites in a beautiful city, and I'm so grateful I am blessed with my wonderful husband and kids with whom I was able to enjoy it!

Friday, July 27

Fence Mail

The neighbor who lives directly behind us recently lost his wife. She was a sweet lady, though I don't think she knew the Lord. He is in his early 70s and is pretty lost without her. My heart breaks as I see him sitting out on their back porch alone where he used to be with her. He does have most of his children in the local area, which is good, but day to day I know he's struggling.

So the kids and I have been trying to share Jesus' love with him regularly in the form of passing things over the fence to him. Every week (just about) we give him some cookies or homemade jam or pie or a picture the kids drew for him, etc. He has been very appreciative. I often have trouble catching him at just the right time though since we're not always in the back yard at the same time he is. So I bought a hook and have been hanging things from it for him to find. Then last week I looked out the window and saw he had sent something our way! He returned the box I had last used and put four yummy Lindt dark chocolate candies in it for us. Then this morning there was a cucumber from his garden.

It's been a fun way to let him know we care about him and are thinking about him, and I pray the Lord will give me the courage to more directly tell him the gospel. By the way, he "caught" me taking these pictures, and he's probably wondering what in the world I'm doing that for!

Birthday Getaway-Part 2

The view from the living room window of the cabin.

My hubby won tickets to a concert in Lincoln City on Saturday night, but it ended up being cancelled so we took the scenic route down to Tillamook. The weather was rainy and by the time we got to the coast, it was fairly tempestuous. We stopped briefly to watch the waves and riptides from a viewpoint, and it was incredible to see God's creation all stirred up by wind and rain. I've never seen the white caps out so far into the ocean.

View from the upstairs bedroom window where we slept.

We stopped for dinner in Cannon Beach at my favorite place to get clam chowder. Unfortunately, we found out they don't make other things as well as they do clam chowder, but it was still nice to have a quiet dinner with my husband. After making one more stop to pick up a few things to eat at the cabin, we drove the winding road and made it to our destination. It is dated (late 60s), but fully furnished with just about anything you could want or need. We never turned on the satelite television or even the stereo. We played a couple games, finished the jigsaw puzzle that had been started and left, talked uninterrupted, wrote out our goals (something we haven't done for about five years), drank in the gorgeous scenery and even walked the property a bit when the rain wasn't too heavy.

One interesting thing we found saw was this wasp nest. It is huge. We took turns jumping up and down on the floor above so we could watch them get angry and come swarming out onto the outside of the nest trying to figure out what was going on. Juvenile, I know, but entertaining, nonetheless!

Yup, there was even a moose head!

Sunday afternoon, we reluctantly packed up, picked up after ourselves, locked up the cabin and started for home. We stopped for a very late lunch/early dinner at the Macaroni Grill before coming home to our children. It was a very relaxing day, and I am thankful my hubby planned it all! On the way home we were thinking up ways we might be able to come back, even with the kids. Hopefully, they need more computer work or something done soon!

Thursday, July 26

The Judging Is In

This is what 15 pounds of blueberries looks like.

At the beginning of this month a sweet friend met me at the blueberry fields where we picked 15 pounds of blueberries, then brought them to my house where she showed me how to make her pie crust and shared her yummy pie recipe from Mom Lundy.

Picture perfect pie!

I don't think I have ever cooked with someone other than my hubby, kids and mom before, and it was really fun doing it with someone else! We made six pies, four of which were mine. I gave one to a dear neighbor who's wife has just died, took one to the 4th of July barbecue, shared one at Saturday barbecue at our house, and our family ate the fourth. Two people asked me for the recipe, and everyone who ate the pie just raved about it! Now I remember why I asked her to teach me...her blueberry pie is fabulous!

Not so picture perfect, but yummy nonetheless.

Oh, wondering what in the world you'd do with four pies? Well, guess what? They freeze beautifully! You can't even tell the difference between the fresh and frozen pie.

Wednesday, July 25

Gas and Proverbs

Okay, this picture is a month old because that's how far behind I am on my personal blog. Most of what I was going to post the last month is just gone, and this morning as I was reading Proverbs I decided it was probably for the best.

Proverbs 10:19-When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

But back to the picture...isn't it great to be paying less than $3.00 a gallon for gas!!! Who knew I'd ever rejoice at paying $2.79 (today's price) per gallon. Ryan and I were looking through his baby book recently, and it has a list of what things cost when he was born. Gasoline was $1.69! It made me search my past blog posts looking for the other time I posted about the price of fuel. I was thrilled then because the price had come down under $2.00, and that was just 19 months ago. I had to post this picture (despite it being a month old) because I figure that in another year or so I'll be posting about how happy I am to only be paying $4.00 per gallon and I'll want to look back and remember the good old days of $2.79!

Sunday, July 22

Birthday Getaway-Part 1

My hubby surprised me (though he gave me heads up, wisely and thankfully!) with an overnight getaway for my birthday. I told him not to get me a present because he spent too much on Mother's Day and I don't need anything anyway, but I was wrong...I did need some peace and quiet!

He arranged for a long-time friend to come and watch the kids overnight. This family were our friends when we lived in Tennessee, and they have moved to Oregon this year. We spent the 4th of July with them and had such a wonderful time visiting with them. Though we haven't seen them for eight years, it felt just like old times again. They are a wonderful family, and we're so happy to have them living nearby (relatively) again.

Their children were young (in fact, I watched them a time or two and was a camp counselor for the oldest daughter!), but now they are all grown. The youngest daughter is living at home and looking for a permanent nursing job, but in the meantime she is a nanny. She came and spent the night with the kids, and they had a great time with her!

We've never left Ryan and Abby overnight with anyone except Gramie and then it's only been twice, but I have great confidence in Candace and didn't worry a bit. She did a great job and the kids can't wait to have her come again. She even balked at taking the money we wanted to give her, though we were able to get her to at least take some for gas. What a blessing!

The best part is that the kids were well-behaved enough that she's willing to do it again sometime...woo-hoo!

Saturday, July 21

Two Years

It's my two-year anniversary in the world of blogging. I have been contemplating some changes, but in the end I just can't make up my mind! Do I combine my blogs into one so I can better keep them up to date or should I just combine the kids's blogs or should I just quit blogging altogether?

For now I will just continue what I have been doing, though if by some miracle more "free" time becomes available, I may make some changes. In the meantime, if you read my blog or blogs and you haven't yet signed my guestbook, would you please do so. It's so nice to know who's reading!

Wednesday, July 18

Checking Up On Hubby

So this is what my hubby does when he goes fishing with the guys?! Actually, it's my hubby who's awake and taking the picture of the napping fishing friends. He tells me that fishing is relaxing, and I guess this proves it!

Tuesday, June 26


I've been getting Elisabeth Eliott's daily devotions for several years now, and even though they just repeat the same ones over and over each year, I am still blessed and convicted and ministered to by them. Last week there was one that really hit home, and I wanted to post it here. First I thought I'd check my previous posts to make sure it wasn't a repeat. I had a hunch that I had posted it before, and sure enough, I had. However, since it encouraged and motivated me yet again, perhaps it will minister to others (again) also. So, click here to get encouragement on How To Do The Job You Don't Really Want To Do!

Friday, June 22

A Favorite Blog

I don't read a large number of blogs regularly, but one of the ones I do frequently visit is Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace. She has lots of great ideas and tips, but yesterday's post was particularly good, especially since it seems God has been walking her through many of the same lessons He is teaching me. She makes some excellent points and has some good advice, and sometimes it's just nice to know you're not alone in your struggles.

You Know Who You Are

We had coffee last night, we chatted, we laughed, we hashed over some of the same things we hash over every time we get together, we praised God, we commiserated, we shared joys and struggles...we fellowshipped. As I was leaving, what you said the previous time we parted ran through my mind, "I'm not sure we ever solve anything," and I ruminated on that thought as I drove home. On the surface it would seem that way, but as I ran the evening back through my mind I realized more than a few things were solved (at least on my part).

I believe God made us to need each other and to fellowship with one another, and since I don't have a church home yet, that has been sorely lacking in my life. You filled that need for me last night.

Also, you uniquely understand a couple of my deepest struggles and trials, and it's so rare and refreshing to talk to someone whom I know "gets it."

You encouraged me last night with what you called small but are very significant success stories. We do serve a faithful God, and it's a joy to praise Him alongside you knowing He is answering not only your prayers but mine too.

I know you have many ways to spend your time and that time is precious to you. I feel honored that you gave me a couple hours of it last night. Thanks for your time, your prayers, and your friendship!

Thanks for letting me know you read my blogs regularly and that you enjoy them...knowing that made it fun for me to do this post thanking you publicly (notice I didn't use your name!) instead of the usual email!

Saturday, June 16

How Far To Go

Another valuable teaching from my "friend," Elisabeth Elliot:

We say that we are willing to follow Jesus. Peter said he would go with Him to prison and to death, not expecting that either would likely be required. Let us settle it once and for all--to follow Him will mean death. Not crucifixion in the literal sense, probably, but the coming to the end of ourselves, our expectations, our dreams. He must bring us to that end in order to bring us to the beginning of the Christ-life. "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live," was Paul's testimony (Gal 2:20 AV).

But does this mean none of my hopes will be fulfilled? Is it all wilderness and sorrow? The people of Israel must have asked this while en route to Canaan. Must we follow so far? And when they were desperate for water, God led them to Marah where the water was bitter. Terrible disappointment. But then--the miracle of the tree that made it sweet!

How far shall we go with Him who calls us to fellowship with Himself? Shall we stop dead in our tracks if the water is bitter? Shall we turn tail and run if we glimpse a cross? "Whoever cares for his own safety is lost" (Mt 16:25 NEB). Think of missing the miracle of the water. Think of missing the resurrection.

Savior Christ, I want to go the whole way. Keep me from faltering today. Show the tree that transforms bitter water, and help me to live in its shade.

Thursday, June 14

Thursday Evenings

For a while now my hubby has been blessing me by giving me the night off one night a week to go out and have some time alone or with friends or whatever. I often go to a local coffee shop with a hotspot and catch up on email and my blogs and Bible reading or just sit and pray, and sometimes I will meet a friend for coffee. For some reason or another, I got out of the habit of going and hubby decided I needed to start doing it again...we both agree that it helps me A LOT! Just a couple hours a week of time to think without interruptions keeps me much more balanced and less grumpy too. So I started taking one night a week again, only this time a friend invited me to come learn to paint with her and some other moms in our homeschool group. Since we haven't settled on a church home yet, we haven't made many friends at our new location, so I decided it would be nice to have some fellowship, though I really have no interest in painting. It took weeks to complete, but here's my first piece:

It turned out much better than I anticipated, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I may do another piece too, but I've gone back to just having some time alone. I really enjoyed the time with other women, but it doesn't give me the time alone that really helps me the most. So the last three weeks I've been able to get caught up on my blogs, my email, and other miscellaneous things that I have neglected for months. My painting friend said to me increduously, "You just sit there at the coffee shop all by yourself!?" Yep, and I love it! Thanks, Eddie.

Wednesday, June 13


I have been working on my priorities for the last month and making a big effort to do more things with my kids, even at the expense of getting therapy, school, or housework done. Today I was reflecting back over the past four weeks to see how I am doing on this, and though there's still room for improvement, I have made progress. We have baked cookies, went to the pool, planted seeds, had friends over, splashed in the pool, read stories, made frozen bananas, watched caterpillars turn to butterflies, played outside A LOT, painted pictures, acted goofy, decorated the patio, went berry picking, made jam, and had tickle fights.

Yes, my house isn't incredibly clean (though it is picked up pretty well), and I didn't get Abby's therapy done completely each week, and Ryan didn't get all the school done I had planned for him, but we had lots of fun and have enjoyed each other so much. Lord willing, I will continue to line my priorities up with what really matters.


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