Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Because I have absolutely nothing else to share with you today, I thought I'd share some of the latest new-to-me blogs I've stumbled upon lately.

I love this blog name because I said this so often myself back in the day.  At the top of the blog it has the words 'Thrifting,' 'Crafts' and 'Recipes' so I knew I'd like it!

I just love Traci's heart - and her DIY decorating style!

Very fun blog!

Sarah Mae has written a free down-loadable e-book called Core Lies about how we get wounded and then tend to believe lies about ourselves and our circumstances.  Really good.

I always love finding food blogs.  Too bad I don't make the recipes very often.  Do you keep all of your favorite blogs in your 'favorites' by category?   These bloggers have beautiful blogs with lots of photos and helpful directions and they're all in my recipe/cooking folder:

There are more but you can find great blogs by doing what I do... click on the favorites of the blogs you like!

I'll end with a pic of our easter centerpiece - I love Gerbera daisies, don't you?  And live plants make the best centerpieces because you can plant them afterwards!

I always lean toward 'hot' colors and these were perfect.  Until a large beetle crawled out from where he was hiding in the leaves and freaked my sister-in-law out.  I pretended like I never get freaked out by bugs and calmly carried the whole basket outside and flicked that beetle across the backyard.  GROSS! 

Easter brunch was so much fun.  Everybody was home except my Amy and it wasn't the same without her. 

I tried Paula Deen's Baked French Toast but because I'm convinced I had too much in my little oven, it came out less than perfect.  Thankfully, there was plenty of everything else!

I'm off to Washington tomorrow for our International Adoption Training weekend. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Because He Lives

Wanting happiness, fulfillment, acceptance, purpose.
Hopeless. Self-righteous. Frustrated. Proud.
A chasm away from a holy God.

A Father longing for his child.
Broken-hearted over sin's separation.

A miraculous, impossible plan - God in human skin.
A short life on earth lived without
one selfish thought or action.

A savage death nailed to a cross.
My penalty paid.  My sentence served.

Amazing love - how can it be
That You, my God, would die for me?

An empty grave.
Sin's ugly power defeated.
His Spirit now home in me.
A life made new.

Because He lives
I belong to Him.

(Here you can read about what Jesus' life means to many others!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

On a Monday...

Substituted in elementary music today, which included: 

* country-western praise songs (I actually bruised my finger clapping - what should this be telling me?  I have no idea.)

* the brass section of the orchestra (did you know that a tuba would be 16' long if you uncurled the tubing?)

* beat vs. rhythm

* an overview of the opera "Carmen" (and since I know z-e-r-o about opera I taught straight out of the teacher's guide but with fairly convincing authority - for sixth graders)

Finished a magnolia wreath for the front porch:

Planted nasturtium seeds, moved some grape hyacinth and prayed for my tulips not to be destroyed by the 32° temps this morning.

Read "Unbroken" this weekend - have you read it?  Same author as Seabiscuit.

Checked on family and friends who live in North Carolina.  All were safe but oh my what a storm!

Thinking I'd like to make these.  Except I don't sew.  Bleh.

So I might try these instead.

Read this quote from the book "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker and gulped:

I’m learning what it means to descend, which is so revolutionary it often leaves me gasping. I have been trying to ascend my entire life. Up, up, next level, a notch higher, the top is better, top of the food chain, all for God’s work and glory, of course. The pursuit of ascension is crippling and has stunted my faith more than any other evil I’ve battled. It has saddled me with so much to defend, and it doesn’t deliver. I need more and more of what doesn’t work. I’m insatiable, and ironically, the more I accumulate, the less I enjoy any of it. Instead of satisfaction, it produces toxic fear in me; I’m always one slip away from losing it all.

Consequently, my love for others is tainted because they unwittingly become articles for consumption. How is this person making me feel better? How is she making me stronger? How is he contributing to my agenda? What can this group do for me? I am an addict, addicted to the ascent and thus positioning myself above people who can propel my upward momentum and below those who are also longing for a higher rank and might pull me up with them. It feels desperate and frantic, and I’m so done being enslaved to the elusive top rung.

When Jesus told us to “take the lowest place” (Luke 14:10), it was more than a strategy for social justice. It was even more than wooing us to the bottom for communion, since that is where He is always found. The path of descent becomes our own liberation. We are freed from the exhausting stance of defense. We are no longer compelled to be right and are thus relieved from the burden of maintaining some reputation. We are released from the idols of greed, control, and status. The pressure to protect the house of cards is alleviated when we take the lowest place.

The ascent is so ingrained in my thought patterns that it has been physically painful to experience reformation at the bottom. The compulsion to defend myself against misrepresentation nearly put me in the grave last year. I was tormented by chaotic inner dialogues, and there were days I was so plagued with protecting my rung that I couldn’t get out of bed. With every step lower, the stripping-away process was more excruciating. I had no idea how tightly I clung to reputation and approval or how selfishly I behaved to maintain it. Getting to the top requires someone else to be on the bottom; being right means someone else needs to be wrong. It is the nature of the beast.

Her book is now on my next-to-read list.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I'm linking up to The Gypsy Mama's challenge to 'just write and not worry if it's just right.'  Today's topic:  On Distance


I often think about my perspective. Perspective determines how I react to something and even how I feel.

Take for instance my house...
When some people have come over, I've felt embarrassed by our old furniture or fading drapes or walls that need painting.
When other people have visited, I've felt embarrassed by how much room we have, how much food is in the cupboard and how comfortably we live.
Same house. Different perspective.

My perspective changes all the time and is too often affected by how I feel or by an experience that has hurt me or marked me in some way. It's sometimes a cup half-full and other times it's half-empty. It's unreliable, unpredictable and - most times - it's uninformed.

I've always loved the King James version of Psalm 34:3
O Magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together!

I tend to magnify all the wrong things - my needs, other people's irritating behaviors or all my 'what-ifs.' They become huge in my mind.

When I magnify Him, all else takes its proper perspective.  He's the huge one and everything else is under His feet, subject to His will. Everything!

I've been asking lately for God to give me His perspective on the circumstances in my life. What better perspective could there ever be? He sees all, understands the reasons He allows certain things I don't like and actually controls the outcome.

So if I want to get His point of view and start thinking based on the Truth, I have to change my starting point.  Because perspective is based on location.  Seated with Him is a great perspective.


Be sure to check out the other five minute writers at

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Has Sprung... finally

I've always wanted to grow raspberries! 
Is there any chance we'll have some this year?

To say we've had a lot of rain this spring would be a huge understatement.

Right after Jeff took these pics, the black clouds rolled in and hail began to thunder down from the sky. 

So glad I brought some of these beauties inside!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spotted on the www

Filed under "FUNNY..."

@The Blah Blah Blahger
Internet shopping results.

@Boo Mama
A tanning bed story

Filed under "RECIPES..."

whopper cake

Hot Fudge Whopper Cake
@Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

@Bake at 350
I'm not much of a prankster but these look fun.

Filed under "IDEAS..."

@A Soft Place to Land
Just what I need... another time-gobbler on the internet.
But this looks so cool!

Filed under "INSPIRATION..."

@We Are THAT Family
Teaching kids life isn't about what we want

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Bloggers blog about all kinds of things...  current events, causes, politics, religion, cooking, photography, child-rearing, you-name-it.

More than occasionally, I love to waste time further my education by reading the latest post of a few of my favorite bloggers.  Frequently I find a new blog by checking out the favorites blogs of one of my favorite blogs.  (Hope that makes sense.)  This can become an extremely time-consuming rabbit trail educational and fruitful way to spend my evening.

Lately I've found several bloggers who share great deals, freebies and internet specials.  Here are a few:

A week or so ago someone (I can't be expected to remember who because I have so many blogs to keep straight) told about a free paint sample giveaway offered by Valspar paint that I think is still available while supplies last.  I went to the Valspar website where you can pick any color and request a free 7.7 oz. sample.  

Now my sweet friend Shawna (Hi Shawna!) has used a paint color that I love.  If you've ever been in Shawna's house, you know how beautiful she makes everything and I shamelessly copy her knowing that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.  I knew she said she got that color at Lowe's so I thought it could be a Valspar color.  It's called "Golden Ecru" and it's a beautiful, warm shade.  But when I checked, either Valspar never made that color or they don't have it now.  So I spent a lot of time (I won't say how much) looking at every shade of gold from their palette and finally settled on one I thought must be pretty close.

You know how you can look at a paint swatch and think it's the perfect shade but when you get it on the wall, it is NOT what you wanted at all?  We painted our bedroom once in what I thought was a taupe-y mocha color and our room was decidedly purple.  This is precisely why it's not a bad thing to copy other people. 

So yesterday, a box came in the mail (less than a week after I sent in my request) and this is what was inside:

Pretty cool, right?  The paint plus a little roller and tray and a coupon for $5 off a gallon of paint!

Excitedly, I opened the paint, envisioning my bedroom with its new warm and soothing glow. 


What would you call this?  Pea green?  Chartreuse?  Puce?  Puke?

Whatever it is, it's not Golden Ecru.  I guess the name "Garden Path" should have shouted GREEN to me but it didn't.

My husband, who is very good at analyzing things, said it's probably a matter of the color settings on my computer monitor.  That was one thing that never crossed my mind. 

The upside of this fascinating little story?  I have the perfect place in our house to use this shade of green!  And when I share it here, I know I run the risk of starting a new decorating trend but I'm willing to share.  Here is one wall of the bathroom in our basement...

Copy me if you must but good luck finding this wallpaper - it is classic 1972.  It's in mint condition too.  I just haven't been able to muster the courage to tackle stripping it.  We are s-l-o-w-l-y making some changes/updates/improvements to this house of my childhood but if it's in the basement I can ignore it for the most part. 

So if you come over to our house one night for dinner, after you finish your granola you can slip downstairs and wash your hands in the puce bathroom with the foil wallpaper.   Come to think of it, there actually used to be a macrame plant hanger in there!  

Now I'm starting over on the paint search for our bedroom.  Shawna, do you want to come up and help me??  Because clearly, I need help!

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