Friday, January 1, 2016

Best of 2015

In no particular order, here is my year-end list…

Best Book

I’ve grown to love these imaginary people so much and this latest in the Mitford series was delightful.  If you haven’t read the series, this one won’t work as a stand-alone.  After finishing it, I’m re-reading #1: At Home in Mitford.

Best Event

Grace Michelle – May 21, 2015

Best Celebration
Our 31st anniversary celebrated in Cannon Beach on a stormy November getaway. 

Best App
I use Pepperplate on my tablet in the kitchen and it is awesome.  This replaces a million recipes printed on reams of paper and shoved into a file folder.  You can upload recipes right from the web or enter your old favorites manually.  Everything in one place, organized by category.  You can make shopping lists and create menus too but I haven’t done that yet.

Best Milestones

It used to be that we would get together once a year – our Jubilee weekends.  This year Liane, Karen and I had four Jubilees.  And two of them celebrated the 60th birthdays of my dearest friends.  As the youngster of the group (but not by much), I look up to these two women in so many ways.  Our very old friendship (42 years!) means more to me each year.  We’ll walk forward together into 2016 holding tightly to God’s word. 
Love you, my sisters!

Best Phone Photo

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dear Grammy,

It was fun to see you a couple times this month! 

The first thing that happened was when I woke up from my afternoon nap on the 11th and there you were!  I didn’t really care WHY you were at my house but you kept talking about going on an airplane together so that Mama and I could be in a wedding.  All I really cared about was showing you my dolls and sitting on your lap to sing Doh-Doh (Do-Re-Mi for those who don’t understand two-year-olds).

Yes, I threw myself on the floor a couple of times but that’s understandable – things weren’t always going my way. (I’m glad you understand the two-year-old psyche.)  Grace doesn’t have the same flair for drama that I do, at least not yet.

When I got up at 4:00 the next morning I found you sleeping on my couch!  You and Mama dragged a bunch of suitcases down to the car and we headed to the airport in the dark.  Why did you keep talking about coffee?

I would have liked to walk a little faster but you and Mama were going really slow... a few times I couldn’t see you at all behind that big suitcase with my car seat stacked on top and all the bags hanging from your shoulders. 

I liked staring at all the people in that long line.  There was even a big dog with a vest on but we couldn’t pet it – they said something about him sniffing something.  Then we got to run to the underground train!  Then we ran to our gate!  Then you suddenly disappeared and came back with two cups of coffee, which seemed to make you and Mama very happy. 

Just then we got to go to the front of the long line and get on the airplane first!  I said hi and smiled at all the airline employees so that we would get good service.  You and Mama literally fell into your seats in row 20 while I got right to work playing with the tray table and the seat belt. 

I’m proud of you for searching on Pinterest for ways to keep a two-year-old busy on an airplane and for packing a ‘Grammy Bag’ with stuff to do.  That kept me busy for about 23 minutes.  Glad you remembered your “iPad!” 

(Why don’t you have any pictures from that morning?  You must have forgotten that you would be blogging about it or you would have done a better job of recording those memories.)

After we landed in Ontario, went to that big moving belt with our stuff on it, and dragged two suitcases, two car seats and shoulder bags to the shuttle bus, we finally got a pretty new car and headed to someplace called “In n Out” where we ate a lot of french fries.   

We loved staying in a hotel and watching Mickey Christmas cartoons in bed!

I’m a little disappointed you didn’t take a picture of me walking down the aisle in the wedding ringing my jingle bells.  Where were you anyway?  Mama said you were in the bathroom with Gracie so you missed the whole thing.  Was she crying because she didn’t get to be a jingle bell girl?

Well it was very fun to be in my first wedding and I’m glad I could help you have fun. 

Then we all got to come to your house for Christmas!  I got to see Aunt Mimi and Aunt Lulu and my cousin cousins…

I fixed some of your decorating mistakes…

Gracie and I appreciate all the fun stuff we got…

But mostly we just like being with everybody!

When can we come again??

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas time

This holiday season has already felt so different for me.  None of our girls were home at Thanksgiving – for the first time ever.  We’re still not sure who will be here at Christmas. 

It’s caused me to think. 

I’ve always struggled to really ENJOY the days leading up to Christmas… to make time to be still.  To listen to the words in so many wonderful Christmas carols.  To give thanks in quiet.

I tend to set ridiculous expectations and I am usually disappointed in myself.  And at the end of the day on December 25th I’m often left with an empty feeling and a great sense of loss – like I didn’t grasp what God had for me throughout Advent. 

I’m realizing it’s about letting God have my time.  The ‘interruptions’ to my carefully scripted days can be the the place where so much joy is found.  Jesus came for people – broken, difficult, bothersome people like me.  And He asks me to love them too.

So time is taking on a new perspective. 

It’s God’s time, not mine. 

Lord, how do You want to use the time in this day? 

Who do You want me to spend time with? 

Fill these days of Advent - these hours and minutes - with significance.

I want to make the most of this blink-of-an-eye I'm living in.  Help me cooperate with You and not miss ways You can use me, teach me, surprise me.

And this might make you cry just a bit… but it's a great reminder to me of what's important.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Favorite Christmas cookies

We all have cookies we remember from our childhood, right?  The ones we made with our moms or the ones our grandmas made every year at Christmas.  Here are a few from my childhood and a few ‘new’ ones that have become part of our family tradition…

Peanut Butter Kisses
Peanut butter and chocolate… what’s not to love?  Easy to make with kids.

Chocolate Crinkles
Crunchy, messy goodness.

I remember my mom letting me choose the designs, color the dough and twist the cookie press.  Then came the sprinkles!  I still use her cookie press.  Rich and buttery… yum.

These rich cookies just say Christmas to me.

A wonderful spicy cookie that doesn’t need frosting so it’s easier to do with kids.

Soft Gingerbread Cookie
Wonderfully chewy goodness!

No-bake Special K Bars
We make these every year and they disappear quickly!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


You know you’ve been married for 31 years when…

  • you get out a calculator in order to figure out it is 31 and not 32 years
  • you start wondering if you sent a thank you card to the person who provided ice cream for your reception or the person who let you use their beach house for your honeymoon
  • your kids are older than Russell Wilson
  • you’re happy to celebrate in a cozy restaurant with good food and cracked vinyl booths instead of a fancy place that rotates 360°
  • you don’t even take a photo of yourselves on your anniversary getaway at the Oregon coast

We had a wonderful couple of days in Cannon Beach during a huge rain and wind storm.  Our hotel looked right out onto the beach and we sat by the fireplace to watch the fury.  Clam chowder, fish and chips, good coffee at Insomnia and few other ‘tourists’ made for a great anniversary!

I am so very thankful for my husband and best friend.  I’m thankful that he still likes me.  I’m thankful we love our marriage as well as each other.  In many ways it seems like we have been part of each other’s lives for always.  We’re grateful for 31 years of life together.  God is faithful in a million ways and that has been the theme of our marriage.  We’re looking forward to what He has in store in the days and years to come!

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I’ve been thinking a lot about all the different ways Peter refers to Christians living in this broken world of ours…


We’re even called ‘pilgrims’ in the old King James.

What if we really believed that and thought and acted that way?  What would that look like?

Well, we wouldn’t be looking to get really comfortable here, as if we owned our house, our car, our stuff.  It’s actually not ours – it’s on loan to us for a little while.  We’d be thankful for the use of it and we’d share it with everybody.

We wouldn’t expect the folks around us to understand us or the way we look at life.  We wouldn’t be completely offended by those who don’t want to acknowledge the Christ of Christmas or who think Black Friday is a national holiday.  They don’t know Him!  We’d be humbled to introduce them to the One who loves them so.

We wouldn’t speak to the ones ‘of this world’ in the same language we’re familiar with.  We’d speak to them in words they can relate to and understand.  We would remember how much we have in common with them. 

We wouldn’t think of this world as home at all.  We don’t belong here.  We aren’t staying here.  This is very temporary and truly is a blink of an eye in light of eternity.  We would always be thinking about our Father who is getting excited about all He is preparing for us with Him.  About going HOME. 

I want to remember this.  I want to live with this in mind… I am just traveling through here. 

*Those pilgrim candles up there are exactly like the ones my mom got out every Thanksgiving.  I played with them for hours, along with the Indians and the turkey that went with them.  I’m sure they sat down to eat with my trolls and my Barbies.  Somewhere along the way they were probably sent to the Salvation Army along with mom’s basket cornucopia and the felt leaf coasters I glued sequins onto.  Sniff. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Links I liked

Happy November and the start of the holiday season! 

So Mod
I actually remember ads like this when I was a kid.  You have to read the wording in each… Love em!

The World If There Were Only 100 People
A great way to wrap you mind around statistics about this little marble we live on!

How Quiet Marriages May Be the Most Exciting Marriages of All
You’ve probably already realized that there was a purpose for your marriage that went beyond happiness. You might not have chosen the word “holiness” to express it, but you understood there was a transcendent truth beyond the superficial romance depicted in popular culture. Far from assaulting our happiness, pursuing the biblical holiness of a quiet and godly life in marriage enhances it by giving us a new appreciation for the person with whom we walk this journey.

Pain: A Secret Garden of Pride
I’ve been thinking a lot about this…
Satan uses pleasure and pain to try and destroy our faith. He wields pleasure to make us doubt God’s satisfying greatness, and pain to make us doubt God’s sovereign goodness. Pain can be a powerful weapon for good in the heart of faith. It can produce deeper, heartfelt humility and greater dependence on God. And pain can inflict wounds far worse and more lasting than any physical agony. At its worst, it can cause us to doubt God’s goodness, to wallow in self-pity, and to isolate ourselves from him, as well as from others.

The Five Friends We All Need
I loved this one.
Social media will tell that the more friends you have, the better you are.  But that’s not true at all. Friendship is about depth, not width. We don't need 2000 friends... most of us need five. 

And just for fun...

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