Saturday, April 12, 2014

Digital Brag Book

Remember when women would pull a book like this out of their purse to show anyone who happened to slow down long enough?


Remember that you politely said how adorable her grandbabies were and told her they looked just like their parents? Well I am that grandma and this is my 2014 version. 

But really, have you EVER seen anything as precious as this? 


Of course I am married to a WONDERFUL photographer. 



Which means the Papa isn’t in many/any of the pictures.


Lisa is such a good mommy.


What a joy it is to watch your daughter with her own little girl. 
I catch myself goofy-grinning at them often!


And this?  I love how much Hadley’s aunties love her too.


We are all crazy over her.


Absorbed in her new book... who can resist a great story with mooing and woofing and fuzzy pictures?

Lisa and Hadley e

I’m always in awe of all the products and gadgets that we never had…
this squeezy stuff is genius!


A fun dinner out for Ray’s birthday!  He is in fire academy while working full time so time with him these days is rare.  We’re SO proud of him.


One of our three grand-dogs, Biscuit, who is growing exponentially every time we visit.  She is four months old and every inch a puppy.


Here are all three… because the brag book wouldn’t be complete without them!

Then there is the video!  Can you afford another 40 seconds?  You'll be rewarded with dimpled knuckles and some amazing teething biscuit-twirling skills!


Jeff and I ask each other, “Is it really just us or is she not the cutest thing ever?”


I want to be careful because everybody knows their grandbaby is the cutest.


And all the grandparents everywhere said “Amen.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On my nightstand

The Antelope in the Living Room
This was a really humorous look at marriage by a really humorous blogger, Melanie Shankle.  It’s good to laugh at ourselves, don’t you think?

Killing Kennedy
Since I enjoyed Killing Lincoln I thought I’d give this one a try.  For me, it was a discouraging look into the life of a US president.

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger
This was a short story about a guy who curiously and somewhat reluctantly accepts a dinner invitation from Jesus Christ and the conversation they have about the man’s cynicism and doubt.  I thought there were some great points made and wonder how a non-believer would like it.

God grew tired
God Grew Tired of Us
  This is written by one of the Lost Boys of Sudan – one of over twenty-seven thousand who escaped that country’s violence in the mid 1980’s.  John tells his story with heart-wrenching detail.  I think it is so important for us to know what people on the other side of the world have and are still living through.  I loved a book by another Lost Boy: Running for My Life which I highly recommend.  And don’t miss the movie (probably available through your library!):

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Links I Liked

Oh this is a good one! 
Eggcorn: a word or phrase that results from a mishearing or misinterpretation of another, an element of the original being substituted for one that sounds very similar or identical.
The first one that came to mind for me was ‘all of the sudden’ instead of ‘all of a sudden’. 

How Busy People Make Time to Read-And You Can Too
I saw this on Ann’s blog (I love her weekly collection of links) and though I don’t have to work at making time to read, I know a few people who wish they read more but don’t seem to have the time. 

Kay Warren: A Year of Grieving Dangerously
"As the one-year anniversary of Matthew's death approaches, I have been shocked by some subtle and not-so-subtle comments indicating that perhaps I should be ready to 'move on.' … I have to tell you – the old Rick and Kay are gone. They're never coming back. We will never be the same again."

You Won’t Believe This and It Really Happened
Sex trafficking is called the crime hidden in plain sight.
What does a pimp look like? Where does he operate? How does he gain possession of a new girl? These are questions we all need to think about. The answers might surprise you.

She’s Somebody’s Baby Girl
@SMART GIRL stupid world
Maybe her parents cherished her, maybe they didn’t. But God DOES. She is precious and valuable to Him, and therefore she should be precious and valuable to US, the church.

10 Signs You Might Have a Need for Approval
I have to admit to at least 7 out of these 10.  You too?  A good reminder.

Kids Were Here
I just love this blog… a group of photographers documenting evidence that kids were here.
Spend some time scrolling through these wonderful pictures!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New in the garden


Raspberry Shortcake_web image_950x490

Have you heard of this new plant yet?  It is a compact berry plant designed to be grown in a pot.  This Raspberry Shortcake version is thornless, requires very minimal care and produces "a bumper crop" of full-sized, super-sweet raspberries year after year.  It doesn’t get much better than that!  I bought a plant today and will get it into a large container ASAP.

This won’t replace the raspberries we have in the raised bed but I’m anxious to see how it produces what, for me, is the taste of summer.

611otjgO 0L
We have a bird bath near the back patio that sits up against a low stone wall and it will (hopefully) be surrounded by hollyhocks this year.  This area is one that doesn’t drain well when we get our occasional Oregon rain so I wanted to find a perennial that could tolerate that soil.  I can’t wait to see how these will look!

                                                                                                Source: HGTV
Well, that’s exactly what it will look like, minus the benches and the other shrubs and the dark, leafy background.  And that pretty scalloped bird bath.


For years I’ve been faithful to plant geraniums, usually from tiny starts.  And I LOVE geraniums.  But I decided to go with a perennial in the front yard where I normally have annuals in an effort to curb my flower budget.

Dahlias are one of the most incredibly designed blossoms on earth, don’t you agree?  Just look at those petal formations!!  God is the ultimate artist.  Jeff planted 15 tubers in vibrant shades of pink, orange and red in amongst the currently-blooming tulips.  I also got some ‘dinner plate’ dahlias, which are just stunning in their size and color, to have for cut flowers.  My only worry is the bees… apparently they love the dahlias even more than I do and it’s iffy whether or not I'll be able to get near the plants to deadhead or bring in cut flowers.

RABBIT TRAIL:  Did you know that fear of bees is officially called melissophobia?  At least it has a pretty name.  I have dutifully passed this fear down to my children.  If I'm going to be completely honest, it’s actually an all-emcompassing fear of insects – entomophobia.  I tried so hard to hide my terror from my kids when they were little but completely failed.  Living as we did in the southern California desert meant we had an occasional cockroach.  BIG ones.  I remember like it was yesterday trying to hold in a scream so that I could either spray or whack them but I always ended up squealing like a baby – especially if they flew directly into my face.  I usually had three girls huddled right behind me, matching me shriek for shriek.  I have even been known to try to bribe our youngest into killing one of the monsters.  She would never do it.  She always has been a smart kid.

That’s it for now… until I visit a nursery or garden center and see something new I just must try in our garden.  It’s called horticompulsion.  Or maybe it is herbamania?  Whichever it is, I’ve got it bad.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Learned in March

Today I'm linking up with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky who hosts a monthly 'Let's share what we've learned' party.  I love this idea!  So here are a few of the things I've learned this month...


1       It’s a good thing to break out of your routine and try a new coffee spot. 

That desire inside of me to run my own life and be my own god will never change.  It can’t be trained.  It won’t get better.  It can’t even be starved into submission.  But here’s the thing I’ve been thinking about and am still trying to grasp… 

You are not controlled by your sinful nature.  You are controlled
by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you…
therefore you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do!
Romans 8:9,12


A text picture a day helps shorten the miles between a grammy and her little one.  (I don’t quite get one a day but almost!)  I got these three earlier this month.

Even though you love the freedom of being able to leave home without the responsibility of having a dog, it’s fun to enjoy your grand-dogs.  (I have three.)  Biscuit seems to double in size every month.

Be as careful as you like but someone can still steal your identity.  I am one of almost a million people so far this year who are victims of tax return identity theft.  Even the police officer who came to my house to interview me said his wife’s SS# was used to file a fake return.  From The Examiner:  “While the exact numbers of fraudulent tax returns reported vary from source to source, identity thieves are exploiting a system in which the IRS does not process the W-2s and 1099s it receives for taxpayers until long after a refund is issued... All a fraudster needs is a name and Social Security number, a new address, a bank account or debit card number, and they are in business.”  So incredibly frustrating and annoying and time-consuming.  Grrr.  What I haven’t learned?  Where someone got my number and how it’s going to be used in the future. 

6      Some people really believe in vampires and werewolves, including the 20-something girls in my life group.  I did not know this.  I’m sure it is a direct result of all the movies they've watched.  They even told me 'It's in the bible somewhere, isn't it?'  I haven’t seen any of these movies so I don’t know what the message is but I do know that almost all of them struggle with bad dreams as a result.

There are lots of people who are as concerned as I am about the prospect of getting mugged when selling or buying something from a stranger on Craigslist and who are willing to meet you in a public place to make the exchange.  Here’s what we just bought in the parking lot of a motorcycle dealership:


What did you learn?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I need a counselor

{a re-post}

velvet chair on white background

For most of spring 2012, I spent time in the mornings trying to wrap my brain around the fact that God Himself lives in me and what that should actually look like in my life.  After all, if almighty, all-powerful God has chosen to make my life His earthly tent, I think I ought to be radically different than if He didn’t.

What an amazing time it has been in God’s word – chasing down as many references to the Holy Spirit as I could find and grouping them into categories so that I could see exactly what God promises to us in His Spirit.

One of the first things I did was to find as many names for and jobs of God’s Spirit as I could.  I’m sure there are lots of wonderful books that have been written doing that very thing but the joy of discovering these for myself was worth the effort.   Here are just a few:

Spirit of truth
Spirit of wisdom and understanding
Spirit of power
Spirit of knowledge
Spirit of adoption

I hope to come back to several of these in future posts but today I thought I’d share what I learned about the Counselor.

I started by making a list of things I need counsel in.  These could be all the things you’d ask God for advice about – from major life decisions to what to say to someone with questions about life to how to spend your money to how to be a better mom.  My list got longer and longer as I began to write.

Then I wrote out some of the verses I found where the Holy Spirit is described as a Counselor.

  • He promises to guide us when we need to know our next steps.  Daily!  Psalm 73:24 
  • He is not just an average counselor but He’s wonderfully wise and knows the right thing for us to do.  Isaiah 28:29
  • This Counselor will be with us forever – always available, always eager to direct us.  John 14:16
  • The Counselor living in us will tell others about God through our lives.  That's His job.  John 15:26
  • He even counsels us at night when many of us need it the most.  This is a big one to me.  Psalm 16:7

To know that this Wonderful Counselor has my very best interests in mind all the time and in every decision brings incredible peace.  I can trust Him.  He lines me up with God’s purposes and keeps from from blindly stumbling after my own - something I'm quite good at. 

Maybe you’re thinking of something right now in which you desperately need God’s direction or His perspective.  The situation seems impossible or completely overwhelming.  If you could sit with Him for 30 minutes face-to-face to get His advice, you would do it in a heartbeat. 

Could it be that He is already sitting and waiting for You?   His Spirit is eager to give you the very best counseling available.  He's always saying, "Come to Me."

Nothing and no one can help us like God’s Spirit.

God, open our eyes and help us understand this limitless resource of Your Spirit alive in us.  Help us go to You first.  Help us hear Your voice over our feelings.  Give us the desire to say ‘yes’ to what You tell us to do.

I will praise the Lord who counsels me.  Psalm 16:7

I hope you love this song as much as I do.  It says what I'm trying to say much better than I can.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Selfless love

This video, A Father's Sacrifice, is about the Vander Woude family and a father who gave his life to save his son.  Most fathers would do the same, I know.  But apparently this man lived his entire life with that same kind of selflessness and of course it had a big impact on his children.  

One of his seven sons says of his dad, "His legacy is selfless love." 

The impact this man had on his boys showed up last year when one of these young men, a priest, was counseling a couple who found out their in utero baby had Down Syndrome and planned an abortion.  He took it upon himself to find a family to adopt the baby before the scheduled abortion the next day.  You can read the story here.

I want to remember there are many people living out the two commandments Christ gave us - loving God and loving others as ourselves.  In a world that seems to be full of self-serving attitudes (mine foremost), I needed this reminder today of what every day is all about.
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