Saturday, June 27, 2009


Garage sailing from last week's trip to the grocery...
Old wooden crate

100 year old stool from a neighbor's grandma (who they always called "Jane"). The embroidered piece underneith the embroidered piece (!) is ancient.

Old bottles! The woman hadn't unpacked them from the box yet, but I found them. Here they are in my windowsill. (Yes, our neighbors are close enough we can practically borrow sugar by reaching through the kitchen windows).

Dr. Miller's Heart Treatment, Sloan's Linament, Rubiform for the Teeth, "Lewis 66" and the tiny bottle on the right is Evan's Teething Syrup

The Little Souvenir --- "Miss Annie Robertson, Jan 2nd 1865"
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Delight

I knew we shouldn't have blinked.

Sweet 16

June 25, 1993

3 hours of hard labor followed by a C-section.

(so worth it.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


high energy songs...motions...choreographed silliness
we love each other...we love them...we love Jesus
we have fun...
He takes care of the rest...
i am the song leader and have been working all day...
so that once there, it all looks effortless!
...eagerly anticipating our Alaska trip
loving the Lord for inviting us along

Monday, June 22, 2009

Keys to My Heart

Home again. Safe and sound.

Our daughter had the time of her young life in Europe...Austria, Hungary, and Poland...singing scheduled concerts in churches and impromptu concerts on the cobblestone streets.

Our daughter is not a shopper. And she thinks the beautiful old stuff I buy for our home is "junk". Like her father, she will lovingly ask "now where are you going to put that?" On this trip she bought a $5 t-shirt and a sweatshirt only because she needed them.

So her buying us gifts during her trip is extra special...

...a t-shirt for her Dad, Budapest pencils for her brothers, and a beautiful necklace and paprika (Hungary is known for this spice) for me. She was excited to give me my last gift and explained how she even had to leave the group once because she had forgotten it in a restroom somewhere in Poland.

drumroll, please...


She bought me old keys in Krakow!

From a 90 year old non-English speaking man sitting "carving something" under an umbrella in the rain.

I love my keys. LOVE them!

But they mean so much to me because our daughter "gets me" and went to all the trouble to purruse an outdoor antique market in Krakow, Poland, in the rain, to find a gift for me. I love that girl like crazy.

And I love her brothers who, in their own special ways, welcomed her home. The "baby" by making her a sign and the teenager by asking to stay up late to look at her pictures and hear her stories.

Blessings all mine with ten thousand besides.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Sound of Music

Our daughter gets to sing HERE tonight...

Hayden Hall in Eisenstadt, Austria...the birthplace of composer Joseph Haydn. Records of the city date back to 1118. Gives me goosebumps thinking about her singing here.

I hope she remembers this trip all the days of her life.


A painter paints pictures on canvas.
But musicians paint their pictures on silence.
~Leopold Stokowski

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bright and Spacious

A rocker! That's what I got at our annual Arts Festival!
Not just any rocking chair, this one has "indents" and "outdents" just where you need them! A dad and his daughter make them by that, too.
Now, on to the rest of the re-do...even my Dad noticed today how spacious our humble house seems!

I spent a lot of money on this ceramic cow's head for my Mom. What 16 year old gives her mother a gift like this? (She did love it though!). Growing up, we used the oar on the wall when we would go canoeing in the river in our backyard. My favorite childhood games were playing "Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer on the Mississippi" or "Harriet the Spy" in our woods (and on my sister's dates).

See this empty space under the table? I am trying reaaallly hard not to fill it up.
The table was $10 at a garage sale and very ugly before I painted it.

A better shot of this side of the room...

Cool mirror ($20 from the Flower Factory) which does zilch for a girl's self esteem, but looks beautiful on the wall.
It's kinda like a fun-house mirror. Not good for grooming.

My hand-me-down couch. The hope chest was a gift from my parents when I was a teenager. Nope, I never wanted the usual gifts.

Perhaps the best part of the new room...a basket next to my rocker filled with my Bible and devotionals. I'm trying to meet with my Maker every morning.
Out of sight, out of mind ("has anyone seen my Bible?!") so this basket has helped me a lot!

Today, I've been staring at this phone though. Our daughter is flying to Europe. I held it together at the airport this morning and God gives me peace (that truly does pass all understanding).
She is His.
And if I let Him, He makes letting a child grow up easier.
Need to go start dinner...we're hosting a family friend from Anchorage this weekend for his parents. He's here this weekend, at soccer camp all week, and then home on Friday. It's so wonderful to be able to return the hosting favor!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I can't remember how I found Layla at The Lettered Cottage, but I'm so glad I did! She has inspired me to continue my quest to feather our nest in simple and beautiful ways.
As I streamline things, I'm finding that following Layla's example lifts my spirits and gives me room to breathe.

On Friday I painted our Family Room (sneak peek above), got rid of stuff, and added a new piece of furniture I've wanted for 4 years!
Can you guess what it might be?
"Have nothing in your home that you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
-William Morris

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pre-Dawn Laughter

I get headaches during the night, so I will often rise way earlier than desired (to ward off a headache when I wake to the beginnings of pain). This morning, this is what greeted me in our downstairs bathroom where the kids shower.
Last night while our daughter [who is in Spanish III not Spanish II] was studying for final exams, and after I had snuck/sneaked? up to scare her, I begged her to put her dirty clothes in the hamper, wring out her wet washcloth and toss it in the laundry, hang up her towels, and put away her jewelry.

Because every stinkin' morning when I enter the powder room I am greeted by a pile of dirty clothes, good jewelry strewn about, a mountain of gross, cold, wet washcloths in the tub, and a pile of towels on the floor (if they've made it down from a pile on her bedroom floor).

But this morning? She had "decorated" with her belongings and left me a love note.

And made me laugh.

And that's always a wonderful way to start the day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


19 years today. wow.

steve and I met our senior year of college and became close friends. we both dated other people, but a friend reminded me recently that i always invited steve on my dates. we studied together through grad school. he saved my neck when computers were big machines with floppy disks and i would make a mess of things. his dad met me and told his wife "I met the girl steve should marry today." we graduated. we broke up with our significant others. he helped me move from college to home. i moved to Virginia. he moved to northern ohio. he attended a wedding with me on labor day weekend, 1989. things were different. he proposed a month later. he drove to see me every weekend for 6 months. we married on June 2, 1990.

without him i would be lost.

and homeless...because he likes to save money. (who knew people really did that?)

you know i love you, steve. more everyday.

*This is Us by Mark Knopfler was playing on a halibut fishing boat in Homer, AK as Steve and I, and the kids, were reeling in 25 pound fish. I've loved it ever since because it reminds me of us and the incredible adventures God has thrust us into these past few years.
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