Friday, December 27, 2013

All is calm

I hope your Christmas was wrapped up in peace and joy!

I was missing our middle daughter, her husband and our grandbaby.  We got to be with them and celebrate Christmas the weekend before… 


We didn’t know it then but Hadley was starting to come down with a bug – she ended up with a fever and gushing nose.  When I look at these pictures now I can see she probably didn’t feel great but she was a trooper and we all oohed and ahhhed over her gifts for her.

Lis and Hadley

So proud of this guy, who will be starting his firefighting training next month!

Lis and Ray

Proud Auntie Lulu…

Aunt Lulu and Hadley

and Auntie Mimi…

Aunt Mimi and Hadley

Papa too!


Happy Grammy!  (Look at Hadley’s face – poor little sweetie!  She was clearly not well.)


However, who can resist a good book?


Celebrating with them in Seattle was wonderful, though not the same as sharing Christmas morning and sometimes I feel like pouting about it.  But a funny thing happens when your kids get married… they suddenly have divided allegiances for the holidays and someone else gets to spend some of those days with them instead of having them where they belong – at your house.  It’s why this commercial just about kills me.

“Because no matter where Grandma lives, we’ll always be together for Christmas.”  Waaaahhhh.

We had a great time with everybody who was home – I love having my girls here.  We also had Gramma and Grampa here as well as a neighbor who is a single mom whose boys were with their dad (and I’m complaining about my Christmas???).  We watched White Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life, which I loved as background to all the cooking that went on in the kitchen. 

We had two dogs in the house who actually never saw each other, which was an incredible balancing act pulled off by Amy and Lindsey via lots of text messages (have you gone out the front door yet?), a dog crate and a house with a basement.  This was something I had been worrying about (because worrying accomplishes SO MUCH).  Sadie is a people-dog but not so much a dog-dog so these two had to be separated at all times.



If you don’t have enough people-drama in your home at the holidays, just add a couple of canines who don’t get along!!  But I love both of these sweet doggies!

I hope you’ll enjoy some good rest this week before the first of the new year…  The holidays can be exhausting!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hot glue and sprinkles


I’m definitely playing catch-up with this blog… I’ve been busy with other things or I haven’t had any blog inspiration (everything I think of to blog about seems completely uninteresting, self-absorbed or b-o-r-i-n-g.

Life, on the other hand, has been anything but boring.

This last week we had my brother’s girls stay with us for three days while their parents  went away.  These two are so fun to have and they come expecting to keep busy – no lying around reading ‘The Grinch’ or staring at the Christmas tree.  I know it’s partly my own fault for planning crafts and baking projects whenever they come.  I admit to wanting to be a fun auntie.  Plus if there is lots to do, we don’t hear “What are we going to do now?” too often.

So I bought one of those gingerbread kits for the first time, thinking this would surely take up HOURS of time.  I’d been warned by an experienced gingerbread kit user that the frosting that serves as the glue to hold the walls together may not dry very quickly but that a hairdryer would speed things up.  Looking to avoid that hassle, we got out the glue guns instead, reminding the girls NOT to eat their village.


I was nervous about burned fingers with hot glue.


The five buildings in the village went together pretty quickly and then the fun part began!




I don’t have any pictures of the part where the entire bottle of sprinkles was emptied onto the roof of the chalet (as well as onto the table and floor).   Or of the completed village for that matter.  I seem to remember this same sort of thing happening another time.

But it must have been completed in some kind of record time because not long after we started I heard a sweet little voice say “Now what are we going to do, Becky?”

It almost made me wish I hadn't purchased a 'kit' and that we had made gingerbread ourselves and cut out the individual pieces with a knife, which would have taken a LOT more time.  And then I slapped myself on both cheeks and moved on to the next activity. 

We made pizza (our bread machine came out for this).


Kate asked Jeff if she could use his camera…


And we ate pizza and watched part of Elf and it was bedtime - the first night.

The next morning we had a scare got excited because snow had fallen during the night and we had to check to see if school had been cancelled! 


For all of you who are used to snowdrifts in winter, we live in Oregon – it doesn’t take much to pretty much shut the whole city down.  But to the disappointment of the girls and the secret relief of the aunt and uncle who knew they didn’t have enough activities up their sleeves for an entire day of busy-ness, off to school they went.

I don’t have photos of the rest of the week.  We did some baking after school and made some snowflakes and planted some paperwhites to take home.  I think we played ‘Blurt’ about 800 times, did homework, watched some Christmas shows and played cards. 

And it was good!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Clips

The Tutu Project
This guy traveled the country in a pink tutu just to make his wife laugh during chemo.

The Christmas Scale
I never knew this!

Tchaikovsky Flashwaltz
I know - another flashmob.  But it's the Nutcracker!

The Piano Guys - Angels We Have Heard on High
I had never heard these guys until I saw this video all over the internet... and I ordered their beautiful Christmas album.

And this isn't a video at all but still kinda fun...
Quite a line-up of doppelgangers!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Knock Knock

I have a faint memory as a little girl of answering the door to a sort of odd-looking man.  He wore a hat that he took off when the door opened and carried a dark suitcase.  I’m sure my mom was right behind me in the doorway but I stayed to listen because I was intrigued by his odd appearance and strange way of talking.

He was selling cleaning products and kitchen items – a seemingly odd career for someone like himself.  He moved awkwardly and spoke with difficulty.  What I didn’t know then was how much he had overcome to stand on our doorstep.  His name was Bill Porter.


When he was younger, the state of Oregon thought Bill was 'unemployable' because he had cerebral palsy and suggested he collect disability benefits but he refused.  Instead, with his mother’s encouragement, he went to work for the Watkins Company.  He was hired reluctantly and given the toughest sales route.  He was determined to be successful despite rude comments and doors slammed in his face.

Bill died yesterday in Portland at the age of 81 – a long life for someone with that disease.  Many wonderful things have been written about this obscure man’s life.  He was featured on 20/20, had a book written about his life and, in 2002, a made-for-tv movie called Door to Door starring William H. Macy won an Emmy. 

Door to Door
Give yourself a little gift this month.  Check it out at your local library and curl up by the Christmas tree to watch it – it’s worth the effort and I think you’ll love it!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My First Thanksgiving

by Hadley
age 3 months


I went to my Papa and Grammy’s for Thanksgiving, which is a day where everyone eats a lot of great food but no one shares any with the new girl.   We missed Aunt Mimi (who had to work) very much. 

The cousins made lots of sweets…

20131127_160704      20131127_194318

 I was passed from one person to the next and people kept holding their phones in the air in front of me.  It was pretty funny.


My Aunt Lulu brought her new puppy Tala, who almost got more attention than I did..







There was some great football on TV (which I find very mesmerizing).


If I felt like being rocked, all I had to do was scrunch up my face like I was going to cry and my Papa held me in the same football hold he used on my mommy.  This also put me at a good angle to watch the game.


We cut down our Christmas tree too! 


At least that’s what I ‘ve been told… I don’t remember that part.


Now I am ready to celebrate Christmas…


Monday, November 25, 2013

Links I Liked

hanging leaf

Let’s Be Gentle With Each Other
It’s a story that I think about often because we were the main characters in it 3 or 4 years ago, and even though it was something that lasted less than 15 minutes it changed all of us.

While Their Kids Sleep
Every year, my wife and I devote the month of November to convincing our children that, while they sleep, their plastic dinosaur figures come to life.

Fox News’ Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower
If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt.

What Special Needs Kids Have Taught My Children
“There are two special needs students in my class this year. Can you believe it? We are so lucky,” she said and ran off to play.

What do the people who matter most think about us as moms?

And I love this!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Help to Walk

When you pray and ask God to increase your faith, give you more desire for Him or help you trust Him more, He will always answer that prayer.  I’ve often been afraid to ask Him to do those things because I think He will answer by giving me something hard (which exposes a lie I've believed about what God is like). 

But lately God has stunned me in the way He has answered me.

Hospital Equipment

My 92 year old father has long been needing to use a walker but has absolutely REFUSED to do it.  His personality has been what some might call oppositional and no one could tell him to do anything he didn’t want to do.  As his balance has worsened and his short-term memory declined, it has been obvious to our family that he really needed to move to an assisted living situation.  But he would have none of it.  I found myself on that balance beam of respecting his wishes and doing what’s best for him.  It’s a tough spot to be in and I have SO much empathy for lots of other folks who are right there too.

A few weeks ago he contracted a nasty UTI and ended up in the emergency room.  After four days in the hospital and then two weeks in rehab, we were absolutely sure he couldn’t return to his independent living apartment (or THE INSTITUTION, as he not-so-fondly refers to it).   I’ve laid awake wondering how we would ever tell him this news and could hear his protests loud and clear in my head.  LOUD and CLEAR.  Because I’ve heard them so many times over the last few years. 

My times in the Word every morning have been a little bit like sitting down next to Jesus and hearing Him talk to me specifically about all of this. 

Capture every rebellious thought and make it obey Me.  
2 Cor 10:5

If this were up to you, it would be impossible.  But with Me, everything is possible! 
Mt 19:26

Call to Me and I will answer and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. 
Jer 33:3 

So I've been visiting lots of AL facilities, capturing many dread-filled thoughts, signing lots of paperwork, calling out to God, buying lift-chairs on Craigslist and asking for the impossible.

On Monday we moved Dad into an assisted living facility and he is completely content there.  He’s enjoying all the attention he gets and telling me what a nice walker he has now.   I keep pinching myself and asking Jeff, “Can you really believe this?”  Because this is nothing short of a miracle

It has been a very humbling reminder of how I tend to magnify ‘impossible’ circumstances and of how easily I choose defeat instead of faith.  Maybe you're like me and you need a reminder of what God is really like, of how impossible situations are His specialty and of His closeness to us when we need Him most.

Oh Lord, be the lifter of my head and help me fix my eyes on You, the One who can change hard hearts (mine) and surprise the doubtful!

Who knew?  I'm the one who really needed help walking.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Post coming soon dot dot dot

I am more than a bit behind in posting here but I think about it often.
Sometimes life takes over and blogging takes a back seat.  
I WILL be back!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Remember this

Is there a problem too big for God?
What is the situation He isn't at work in?
Name the person so stubborn He can't reach them?
Which relationship is too messed up for Him to heal?
nothingtoohard @haveacupwithme
Apply these words because how you feel or what you can see is not the truth.
This is the truth.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More smiley videos

These come by way of favorite bloggers, the evening news and FB posts but all of them made me smile.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Photographer proves strangers are friends you haven't met yet...

Highway sing-a-long...

Oklahoma teen acts to right his father's wrong...

Music in the forest...

An open letter to moms from Kid President...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Need to smile?

I can always use a good pick-me-up on a Friday!  How about you?

Here's another 'prank' by Improv Everywhere, who are dedicated to "causing scenes of chaos and joy in public places."

This is when they placed a Carnegie Hall orchestra in NYC with an empty conductor's stand.  Watch what happens and try not to smile!

Here are a few stills that capture the fun...

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