Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nine month faces

Hadley turns ten months old on Thursday but almost a month ago we were with her and Jeff snapped a few pics of our precious girl.

9 months e

She is now crawling and is at that fun stage where she loves to imitate sounds and actions.  Since our last visit she actually recognizes us on Skype so all our goofy antics in front of the computer monitor has only gotten worse.  It’s so much fun to watch Hadley’s face light up when she sees us and wave when we say goodbye! 

Can’t wait to give her a smooch in person soon!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On my nightstand

Summer is the perfect time to read, isn’t it?  Whether you’re at the beach, in a tent or on your back porch in a comfy lounge chair, these long warm days and a good book are just right! 

Of course, winter is the perfect time to read too – a cozy fire, soft blanket and a good book are just right!  And then there’s fall…

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

A Light in the Window by Jan Karon
Every few years I reread this series and I fall in love with it all over again.  I’ve heard people say they’ve had a hard time getting into the first book (At Home in Mitford) though I didn’t find that to be so but let me tell you, it is worth it to press through.  This second book is one of my favorites.  I love Karon’s writing style, her characters are beyond wonderful and I find myself laughing out loud and wiping away a tear or two.  Her next book Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good comes out Sept. 2nd and I can’t wait! 

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
This was my first book by this author and I immediately liked her writing.  But this story was so sad and I didn’t find anything to like about the main character – which is a must for any good story.  Set during the Civil War with great descriptions of the incredible deprivation soldiers on both sides faced, the author gives us a heroine who never overcomes her oppositional nature and I couldn’t figure out what the men who loved her were drawn to apart from her stubborn work ethic.

Havah by Tosca Lee
I was fascinated by this fictional account of Adam and Eve, told from Eve’s perspective.  It made me think so much about the incredible sorrow sin brings into every part of our lives.  Really good story!

Heaven – for Kids by Randy Alcorn
Years ago I read Randy’s book ‘Heaven’ and it changed the way I think about eternity.  I’ve been thinking about heaven a lot lately and rather than reread his very thick and weighty book, I chose his version written for kids to get a fresh look at what the bible says about our eternal home.  I’m ready!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I worry about myself

This week is one that goes down in the record books for me… 

I have to set this up by telling you that early in the week I was meeting someone for lunch at 11:30 but after waiting in the restaurant for about 30 minutes, I decided she was a no-show and headed off to do some errands.  I got a text with lots of apologies and asking if we could try again at 1:00.  I was anxious to spend some time with this girl so I headed back to the restaurant at 1:00.  Waited 30 minutes.  Nobody came.   I was mildly annoyed but tried to think of all the reasons why she probably didn’t come and thought of this as an opportunity to give some graceI think God knows me.

Just yesterday I was meeting another girl for lunch at 11:30.  I went to the restaurant and grabbed a table in a good spot before things filled up.  I nibbled on my salad and watched the clock, checking my phone for a text.  At noon, wondering what is happening to this generation of young women who can’t follow through on a commitment?? I texted my lunch partner and in a sweetly worded message asked if she had forgotten our lunch.  She texted right back saying ‘OH MY GOSH isn’t it next Thursday??’ 

Oh.  Next Thursday.  Yes, of course it was next Thursday.  I had the wrong date.  Gulp.

Guess who needs some grace?

The next day, when leaving my dad’s assisted living place, I couldn’t find my car keys.  Anywhere.  I peered through the windows to see if they were in the ignition or perhaps on the console and then pawed through my purse repeatedly but no keys.  As I was standing by my car thinking about how to get a ride home, one of the staff of ‘the institution’ (the name my dad uses to fondly refer to his home) came out with my keys and my grocery list which he found on the floor of the entryway.  I’m just sure I reminded him of one of the ‘inmates’.  

Then, to top it off, I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned and was told my appointment is in August.

What is happening to me?  Either my hormones are completely out of whack or I am an idiot.

Listen, I have good reason to worry.  When Jeff was in Ethiopia last month, their van was stopped in a small village and a M*sl*m elder came to the open door, along with a small crowd of young men.  He saw my handsome husband and told him that he would like to give him one of his daughters in marriage. 


Thankfully for me (and for my husband by the way), Jeff said he was already married.  The crowd thought this was funny.


But the elder said that would be no problem – Jeff could have several wives! 

I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t know what day it is.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I should be…

making jam

pulling weeds

raking leaves

organizing drawers

painting the door


filing papers


cleaning bathrooms
(I’ll spare you the pic for this one)

Yet what am I doing?

Looking at these…


I still remember staring at my girls’ knuckle dimples and leg rolls…



They sure grow up fast, don’t they? 

That’s the blessing of being a grammy.  I have another chance to enjoy every expression, every curl, every new skill and every sound.

Today, the weeds will have to wait.

Monday, June 16, 2014

I remember that! School edition

School’s out for the summer so let’s look back at some things you don’t see any more in the classroom.  I wonder why?

bea5e6ff76f0d94ef2019fd3d735ba39The SRA reading lab!  It was 1965 reading software.  These boxes contained color-coded lessons which you pulled out and took back to your seat, reading a story and then answering multiple choice questions.  You could go as fast as you possibly could work at your own pace and try to beat the smartest kid in the class to the purple level improve your reading comprehension without the teacher’s help!  The same folks who developed these kits went on to create software for both IBM and Apple so we were the guinea pigs for the educational software my grandkids will use.

b727505We also used these to increase our reading speed.  To this day I read too fast and I blame it on my 6th grade teacher Mrs. Chandler, who pushed us to keep increasing our rate.

7926269210_487132e7be_zWatching a movie was a huge treat when I was in school.  The film monitor would roll the projector out of the ‘film closet’ and down the hall to the classroom.  We watched stuff like this:

Don't you wish you had a cool coffee shop with waitresses in wooden shoes and flying nun hats?  But maybe we need to start showing this again in school.  "Because your manners are showing all the time, they have a lot to do with how well people like you."  It couldn't hurt!

d90a3aa38458080c5376b8f9e54e347cAny guesses what these are?  We were given one of these to chew and then our teacher would walk around the class asking us to show her our teeth.  Your plaque was dyed bright pink!  Imagine how fun that was – especially for the poor kid who never went to the dentist.  I think there was a lot of public humiliation in school when I went.

airplane2xLook! Look!  See Spot go!  I learned to read using these Dick and Jane books.  I just love seeing them again.

Amazon PettipantsYep.  Petty pants.  We had to wear them because we had to wear dresses to school but we still wanted to play on the rings at recess.

troll-doll-7  il_430xN.40836738  tetherballs batgirl_and_robin_small
Recess.  I would usually head straight for the tetherball but I also remember Chinese jump rope, playing Batgirl or sneaking a troll doll in my pocket. 

  !B)gp8lwCGk~$(KGrHqEOKiMEwO)!PwBfBMNzoO!PVQ~~_35Here is a standard piece of equipment in every elementary school custodial closet… guess what it is? An eraser cleaner, Silly!  If you were lucky, you got to take a box of erasers down there at recess, fire this thing up and run those erasers right over that vacuum suction hole.  I can still remember what it smelled like.  This duty was either punishment or reward, depending on how nerdy you were.

School in the 60's.  Those were the days my friend.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Give grace {preaching to myself}

I’m going to give myself a sermon and you are welcome to sit in.

Today, I need to remind myself of this.

grace  haveacupwithme

There are endless opportunities to give out grace to people, aren’t there?  And that sounds all nice when you're feeling generous and it applies to a tired store clerk you say a kind word to or an obnoxious driver you let into your lane. 

But then there is that one difficult person – maybe you’re related to them, maybe you work with them, maybe you live with them - who doesn’t seem to respond to your offers of grace.  And you get weary and grumpy and anything but grace-full.  What happened? 

Instead of grace, you were really giving something you expected thanks for.  Not a gift at all but a trade. 

I’ll be nice if you appreciate me. 
I’ll forgive you but you had better change.

I am so SO SO glad that God didn’t offer me a trade.  Because I continue to under-appreciate Him, forget to thank Him and stay frustratingly messed up.  I don’t thank Him for His goodness to me often enough.  I don’t even recognize His forgiveness.  I continue to be proud and self-righteous and critical.  A difficult person.

No, He gives me His grace though I don’t deserve it at all. Whether I appreciate it or not.

Whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His grace on me.  1 Cor 15:10

And apparently it’s not optional for us to give that same undeserved kindness.

God gave me the special responsibility of extending His grace to you.  Eph 3:2

So we can’t wait for the day when we’ll feel like being kind in the face of grumpy. 

What we can do is give what we have.  And we happen to be rich in grace... immeasurable grace. 

So go.  Give it the same way it came to you.  Undeserved.  Unrecognized.  Unending.

You just might be surprised at what happens. 

To you.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Links I Liked

A Hairy Situation
This one made me laugh out loud.  Unfortunately it was because I could have written it.  

I don’t know why I am enjoying this website so much.  Makes me smile.

My 10 Most Commonly Misspelled Words
Yep, I recognize all of them.  See if you do.

Here are two things I’d like to make but never will.

No Sew Roman Shade
The words ‘no sew’ were what got my attention but the part that has me paralyzed are the references to the mini blinds that you take apart.  Directions like “Cut away the ladder cord” and “DON’T cut the pull cord” make me fairly certain my windows are staying bare.

And how cool is this?

DIY Laptop Tray
The tool list includes a counter sink bit, miter saw and power grab adhesive.  Enough said?

And on a more serious note…

Sticks & Stones & Words
In just a few minutes I knew that I was important to Sara. I mattered. Her words were genuine and she was gracious and generous in spirit.

Social Media Outrage and the Gospel
It’s easy to make a living out of perpetual rage, even if the only media outlet one has is a Twitter or Facebook feed. After all, nothing signals conviction and passion in this age more than the art of being theatrically offended.  But the gospel teaches otherwise.

Pioneering Palaus
Many people in Portland have very negative stereotypes about what it means to be a committed Christ-follower. We were known unintentionally for being against things, and not so much for being for things. We realized that one way to build a relationship with our city leaders was to go humbly and say, “We don’t want to be known primarily for opposing things. Mayor, if we could mobilize 15,000 followers of Christ from these churches to love and serve the city, what would you have us do?” ...So we now have 252 public schools with an evangelical church partner simply asking the question, “How can we serve?” It’s been a revolution in relationships. 

When Community Cliques
My actions were easily justifiable–even Jesus had the twelve, and of those, a little closer in, Peter, James and John, right?
Take time to read this one.  I’ve been thinking about it all week.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pop and clash

I like HOT colors in the garden.


Don’t get me wrong… I think pastel flowers are beautiful.  The light pink peonies my mom planted in my yard many years ago are some of my favorites every May and June.


But for some reason when I pick out flowers to plant I always go for these HOT colors. 


I like how they pop and clash.  Do your flowers pop and clash?


I sometimes think - I really should have a spot with pretty white impatiens or coral geraniums or a border of light yellow petunias. 


But then I get to the nursery and am drawn like a magnet to magentas, electric purples, bright yellows and poppy reds. 

Do you think it could be my extroverted personality?


Now, because I am trying to make a transition to perennials, I’m waiting for my newest dahlias to bud – in bright shades of pink and purple. 

This is a new one my friend Liane gave me this year.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Thanks Lee! (She knows me.)


I’m glad there are no rules in the garden when it comes to color.  


I think God is a fabulous artist, don’t you agree?


I mean really  FABULOUS!

And I love this time of year when we get to enjoy and marvel at His creativity and intricate design and attention to the smallest detail in every flower He has made.

 Through everything God made, people can clearly see His invisible qualities— His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Romans 1:20

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