Friday, May 29, 2009

Creating Beauty

Yesterday was a Titus 2 Reunion Luncheon. Titus 2 being the ministry that has hosted 3 groups of women, you know the more experienced women sharing their wisdom and love for God with the less experienced (I'm in this group!). I have become friends with my "mentors" and volunteered to do the nametags yesterday. What fun I had!

I chose a bird theme and while looking for a crystal bowl to display the nametags, spied my decorative grass and plunked them there. Oh, that grass comes in handy!

I decided to add a giveway for the ladies. These bird's nest soaps are normally very expensive and only found in shee-shee boutiques, but I found them tucked away on a low shelf in one of my favorite stores. I wrote each lady's name on a slip of vintage paper and placed them in a bird's nest. All of this in a vintage suitcase, with the Titus 2 verses and some vintage ephemera...
I don't like to do crafts with specific directions that take forever to complete. But a bird's nest name-tag-giveway-project? I'm in heaven.
Creating beauty for beautiful women.
A lovely day indeed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prairie Time!

Lots of THIS to get there. Cornfields on the right. Beans on the left. Do you see the windmills in the distance? They look like something from a sci-fi movie!

Aunt Gail, Jerry and Cousin Katie knocked themselves out for our visit to the farm. Here are some of us (me in the bright blue, Madison in the dark, cousin Kaitlynne and Tommy's back) busy making smores.

An uncle's barn. Years ago there was an oil painting of this barn for sale in the Cafe and we didn't buy it. Drats. I love this barn.

A mama and her boys.
Have I told you what an incredible family I married into?

The birthday church. She doesn't look a day over 125.

Boys in the mud.

Cousins in the stream. Wonder what they were chatting about.

More Prairie pictures soon...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Home Again, Home Again...

Nebraska wheat at Aunt Gail's farm

2000 miles in 3 days.

Worth it (now that I'm home).

Friday, May 22, 2009


I'm loading the wagon.
We head west at high noon.
It is, after all, the 125th anniversary of the Nebraska church in the little town that bears our last name!
“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Oh my.

I know that I seem to see most everything through spiritual eyes (or at least I try), but this opening scene of Lost's finale is incredible. And I wasn't forcing something that wasn't there!

God ("Jacob," in the white shirt) and Satan ("Samuel," in the black shirt) having a polite conversation.

We don't watch too much television around here, but Steve and I have kept up with Lost and The Office on a regular basis. We finally watched the last of the finale last night. Our daughter had watched it the day before.

After seeing the end, we played the opening scene (the link above) and couldn't believe it. I ran in to tell our daughter our theory and she was equally excited. Before I turned her light off, she said "wow! our conversation in Spanish tomorrow is gonna be good...we always discuss Lost."

Today in Spanish II, a group of teens whispering in the back of the classroom will be talking about God.

I love how He works.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


flikr, noahb

And so I dust myself off and continue my journey.

Life is like big journey. With the news of my friend's sudden death last week, I ended up running back to pathways I'd travelled 20 years ago. Others came running back, too. We left loved ones, yelling over our shoulders as we dropped everything and took off. They stood, bewildered, as we ran.

We fell into each others' arms as we stood at the spot...this was not the reason we should be returning. Are we dreaming?

The place back on the path has become overgrown and lifeless. We pull apart the brambles and resurrect beautiful memories. We remember our beloved friend and laugh through our tears and shock.

But we weren't meant to stay here for very long. We become weary of trying to rationalize the irrational.

Before we leave, some of us point to God..."See Him? Do you know Him? He is in control. We can trust Him even though we do not understand." When we first travelled this pathway, God wasn't mentioned much. But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9). I speak of Him now. Gently. I have no choice.

Our loved ones are calling us from ahead and we want to return to them. And so we carefully tuck away our memories. Life is so fragile...we are reminded of that back at this place. We say goodbye to our friend, here in this place where her spirit is alive and joyful. We hear her laugh and feel her touch. How powerful memories are! We have needed each other to help retrieve the memories from the depths of our hearts. But we must go.

I see my loved ones in the distance. Their eyes full of love and compassion.

I pass friends, new and old, as I walk. I am tired. I hadn't been ready to run so suddenly and so far, but their encouragement strengthens me. I am so grateful.

And I am back.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I had forgotten that grief comes in waves.
And I remember...
I know the One who calms my sea.


So grateful for your friendship here.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Overwhelming Grief

When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, "Where did you put him?"
"Master, come and see," they said. Now Jesus wept
. (John 11:33-34)

Last week my friends and I talked about the reason for Jesus' anger. I said that I thought he was angry at death...furious at Satan...enraged because this wasn't how life was supposed to be when His Father created us. This grief...this overwhelming and suffocating grief He had! His friend Lazarus...gone.

4 days later, I sit here grief-stricken and angry. My friend, a true soul-sister and kindred spirit, one who stood beside me on my wedding day, is gone.

We hadn't talked for years as the miles got the best of us. But our friendship was held together by invisible heart strings and we are Princesses of the same King.

I have no memories of her other than us laughing. Except the day I moved back to Ohio. That day we cried for a long while.

The coronor has ruled her death a suicide. Suicide. When her husband said the word it was like a punch in the gut. It cannot be. It. cannot. be.

He (Satan) was a killer from the very start. He couldn't stand the truth because there wasn't a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. John 8:44

I am angry that for a brief moment, my beloved friend believed a lie from the pit of hell that said taking her life was a solution to whatever obstacles she faced. Had he been lying to her for a long time about other things? Had he convinced her that she was no Princess at all? I am livid that he could have been hurling insults and lies at her for months...years. No wonder she was weary. The evil one is ruthless and tireless. I sit here looking at a picture of my friend...her hand on someone's shoulder and her tongue sticking out. I remember we laughed after I snapped the photo. My friend would not take her own life. Of this I have no doubt.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

We need each other, friends. The world is full of lies and we know the Truth. Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Nothing. Let us put on the full armor of Christ, let us teach our children how to suit up, remind our spouses, and let us encourage our sisters to dress for the battle.

How dare the thief try to steal what was never his.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Monday, May 11, 2009


We're moving. Next week.

Not really. But in my mind, we have to move.

I need to be in this frame of mind (thank you Fly Lady) because I have brought too much JUNK (purchased, salvaged, given, created) into our home.


So as I clean and organize, I will ask myself if I want to move this crystal candlestick or that wicker basket across the country. (Or maybe across the world to be missionaries in an exotic place!)

I just gave my neighbor 6 Lean Cuisines. Frozen food doesn't travel well anyways. (Don't worry, we're good enough friends that it wasn't an insult). I hate the chemically taste of diet foods.

Now I'm off to tackle the Bug Room*.

I need breathing space.
I need to travel lightly.

Seriously. When our house gets too messy and disorganized, I can't function well. And I begin having dreams that we have to move quickly and I end up sending my family on without me because all my stuff is taking too long to pack up.
I am not kidding about this recurring dream.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:21

*I'll share the story of the "Bug Room" soon. But I'm moving this week! So much to do!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Toughest Job (I Love)



Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Hey friends! Just thought I'd pop in and show you what I've been doing lately. Bought these date blocks at Hobby Lobby and I love them! Our baby (10) took the changing of the date as his calling, but before I took the picture I had to find the 7. It is the 7th, isn't it?

Time flies unless your date changer quits.
allan grant, Life

I have been cranking Rod Stewart lately (after I heard him crooning at Urban Farmhouse -- his Great American series. Who knew?!). I'm not the romantic type, but man does this music put me in the mood to dance with and kiss my husband!

Saw that uber-cool photo on someone's blog and
l-o-v-e it so much! It reminded me of how I used to hang vintage posters in my college dorm room while my roommates hung posters of The Police (Syncronicity, not bang-bang), and tear-outs from Cosmo.

My sister needs to sit down before she reads on.


I am not even kidding.

I got the idea for the wreath from here.

Re-did my mantle. The painting was done by one of my parents.

Silly, talented parents. They sometimes forgot to sign their work. Cheeeeesszzz.

Here it is up close. I'm gonna say my Dad did this one.

Having my wonderful in-law family over Saturday to celebrate moms.

What have you been up to?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Paula's in the House

Am I the only one who can cook up a storm one week and than feed my family Lucky Charms the next?

I have been needing a new frying pan. Now I have other pans, but a cooking boycott has recently been in place pending the replacement of my sad-sack frying pan. Not that I fry very much of anything, but a good excuse for not cooking for your family is hard to come by when one is a stay-at-home-mom.

But I digress. I need a frying pan, but as I priced them I found that I could buy a whole set of new pots and pans for a little more than the price of a good frying pan.

Now, we're not talking All-Clad pans. (I do have one All-Clad but the clean-up? UGH! I'm just too lazy to soak and scrub. By the way--I bought my All-Clad from Home Goods for a song.) I just need basic, nonstick cookware.

Enter Paula Deen. My homegirl. She has a line of pots and pans ("cookware" if you want to be fancy), and every internet source I checked included raving, 5-star reviews. The look of this particular set is
antique-y and beautiful.

And I'm thinking a little part of Paula in my kitchen might just inspire me to branch out from our recent cereal buffet. And then in this morning's paper? In the Walmarts ad? (Yes, I meant to say "the Walmarts")


With a BONUS!

(Adorable hen measuring cups and hen measuring spoons.)

SOLD. (They had me at "hen...")

Tomorrow I plan on making my homemade spaghetti sauce (since the big expensive freezer has been a cold breadbox lately).

And ya'll, on Tuesday I'm fixin' to try grits in the morning and fried chicken for supper. Wednesday, I'll be whipping up a pound cake with butter cream frosting and strawberry-butter-jam-butter filling. Thursday, I think I'll do some hoecakes or cornbread, and Friday I'm gonna try to fry some pickles, ya'll.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today's Adventure

necklace I bought last weekend

I get to go here today with my friend, Nichole.

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