Sunday, July 29, 2012

gone and back


there and gone already...

we spent the good part of july with wonderful friends in the alaskan bush

love that top photo with the shadow of our little plane on the tundra

took all photos with my iPhone...left my rebel at home (!) since we have to travel very light on these trips


and this one makes my heart swell everytime...

my men (and a young friend watching) walking the long path to the plane

we were leaving the first village and heading to the second

we've gone to this first village the last 3 years...meeting up with another family (native alaskans) to provide Bible School and basketball programming

it was our church's 10th year in the second village...elders got up during to church to sing us some of the first hymns they learned in English when they were children.  gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.  what an HONOR.  Jesus was so's all about building relationships and trust with people...whether it's next door or far away.

what beautiful friendships God has given us!

 In other news, Shannon over at Vintage Restyled featured our home on her blog! I can't tell you how blessed I was by her invitation to share. Thanks, Shannon!


now home, we're all taking our antibiotics to get over respiratory junk

{we did go from 103 degrees to 40 overnight}

doing laundry...playing with the dogs...catching up with the neighbors

grateful for it all

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

western union


so americana

the union last fall of lauren bush (granddaughter & niece of presidents bush)

and david lauren (son of ralph lauren) 


i know i'm late to the ball

not sure how i missed such a beautiful event

these photos just sing "america" though

and like many americans who help others...lauren is also the mind behind feed

{a line i've loved since seeing it at PB long ago-you can buy this at nordstrom right now}

and even though this post is about a union...

it is independence day here in the land of spacious skies

and amber waves of grain

happy independence day, america!


*all photos google image

Sunday, June 17, 2012

summer lovin'


this has to be my new all-time favorite picture of me and my little chickadees

and something about black and white just speaks to me...

do you know what i mean?

but then i look at the living, popping color 

and love that, too

mostly i'm happy for cameras which capture life

hold it by it's squirming, moving-at-warp-speed tail

and before releasing

give you a souvenir of sorts

a remembrance


it's a beautiful sound


Thursday, June 7, 2012

of paint and dogs


well, hello there!

i've been away so long that uploading pictures stumped me for a moment

last day of school 'round these parts today and we've been studying, project-ing, and winding down

college girl is home and none of us can fathom her freshman year is over

spring baseball has ended and summer ball has begun

as for me, i've been doing the usual mom stuff plus painting furniture and doing some work through my decorating business {ROOST}

the secretary above used to be a blue-green color with a fruit basket painted on the front

i sure am loving annie sloan chalk paint...


and speaking of loving...although i am not necessarily a dog lover

i am beginning to fall for this little girly named missy

the neighbor i had been helping for the past few years passed away and we inherited many things including little miss

i tried to give her away (she was never house trained!) but the nurse who agreed to adopt her (with my neighbor's blessing) had a husband who returned missy less than 24 hours later...(yes, she was that bad)

well, lo and behold...missy is learning quickly, beginning to get along with our dog, and winning us over left and right 

{i'll do another post sometime about all the smart tricks she knows}


life is good....

health, family, friends, and sunshine

furry surprises that end up being little joybearers

and a clean (and newly painted!) kitchen table

doesn't get much better than this


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ready to smile?

last night we closed our spring baseball chapter

our high school sophomore made us proud

his playing...his maturity...his level head...his perspective

he traveled to georgia with his teammates over spring break

and we heard they sang along to the radio a lot

i can picture them acting like these harvard boys

i'm so glad God made boys!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



we tend to be an individualistic culture (me)

clearly, these african kids live in a collectivistic culture (us)

beauty full

An anthropologist proposed a game to African tribe kids. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?

UBUNTU in the Xhosa culture means: "I am because we are"

by irlan gampamole

Sunday, April 8, 2012


photo: sharon moses

happy easter


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Story of Keep Calm and Carry On

i have loved keep calm since i first saw it years ago

the phrase really does fit LIFE so well, doesn't it?

so happy to have found the story details behind the comforting words

Thursday, March 15, 2012

hey there

google image



and you?


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


photo: m smith

I was invited to his workshop when we lived in his village for 6 weeks.  One of my first friends during a very lonely time.  We laughed and chatted in the workshop.  I remember like it was yesterday, the twinkle in his eyes…his upraised eyebrows and deep laughs at my zany-ness.  Refreshment for my weary, isolated soul.  Oh, did we laugh! 

A small, simple structure with a wood stove.  Sitting on a little hill thirty feet from a winding river. But as we met in that workshop, Your gracious hand lovingly knit hearts together and transformed a plain wooden shack into a sacred place.

Memories flood my heart as I write about my friend this morning, and a song begins playing in my mind…Holy ground, we’re standing on holy ground.  For the Lord is present and where He is is holy. The workshop wasn’t holy in and of itself.  It was holy because when I went there to visit my friend, You were always there, too.

[Isn’t it funny that the God who created us with a need for people 
always gives us the people we need?] 

That lonely summer in a small fishing village, I was longing for a girl friend and lo’ and behold, You sent me a male ivory carver with grandchildren running around.  And You grew our friendship not over tea in a warm kitchen somewhere (the expected and hoped for), but in a simple shed (the unexpected and perfect spot).

Love born in an ordinary, unadorned place.  But that’s how You do things, isn’t it?  You make me smile.

Thank you for giving me one of the very best friends I’ll ever have. I love You. 

Thank you, Lord for the workshop, and for the man who spent many hours creating beautiful ivory carvings within it’s walls.  My heart overflows with gratefulness this morning knowing that fire only destroyed the building and not the man who made the building so special to me.

*i originally wrote this in 2008 and posted it on my first blog
my friend has since built a new workshop
and each summer when i round the curve and see his house
my heart beats a little faster...part of me is home when i am with john
{friends made in the lonely places and spaces always feel like home}

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

back in the day

i sat in the bookstore totally delighted by this adorable cookbook

the cover called my name

i mean, i just know i'd love to hang out with griff and cheryl

heck, i'd love to work in their awesome bakery in savannah if it weren't such a long commute

i sadly put the $25 book back on its perch knowing i would go home and order it from my favorite perch for much less

{by the way, i love supporting my local bookstore --even if it is a chain--but their prices are often double amazon's...and amazon usually ships free. come on, barnes and noble!}

anywhoo, i am waiting patiently for my little cookbook to arrive

and then i'll have to figure out which meals will be replaced by cupcakes and s'more pie and nanna pudding and hummingbird cake....

Monday, February 27, 2012

up, up...


and away!

we'll fly right through monday...tuesday...wednesday and then


{that glorious, wonderful, spring-is-here-even-if-it-snows month}

just the thought of floating into March this week has me singing a happy tune

back off, winter

i see colorful balloons on the horizon!

*picture from here

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

l e n t (take 7)


this lent, i'm embarking on a pretty long journey using this book

a dear blogging friend invited me to join her and, at last count, there are 5 of us ("the council") who will help each other out along this sure to be (at times) uphill-with-the-wind-in-our-face-and-the-rocks-crumbling-beneith-us path

some of us will deviate from the author's journey

{and that's a good cookie cutter approach here}

this weekend i cleaned and organized (we're starting with possessions) like we were moving to africa for the rest of our lives (well, maybe to canada).  i'll deliver over 200 books (dear Lord) to a friend who reads a lot and sends a lot of books to her pen pal prisoners (i've got the coolest friends).  our wedding china (i never liked) went across the street to my friend who told me "i was just telling my sister 'i don't have any good china'. material, old bedspreads went to a crafting neighbor.

i think this will be it for blogging about it.  i want to do this for the right reasons.  

me and God.  i have way more then i need and continually add to the piles.

7, here i come.  i think that's jesus ahead waving and grinning to beat the band.

his laughter puts a spring in my step as i run to meet him


So, what's the payoff to living a deeply reduced life? It's the discovery of a greatly increased God -- a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends a social experiment to become a radically better existence. -j hatmaker

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

rustic church


perhaps it is because i am aging (the whole from dust to dust thing) or maybe because i'm basically a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl
maybe it's because i love LIGHT (always have) and open spaces

or maybe it's because my childhood roots grew down deep into the soil of a country riverbed
but i have always preferred worshipping God in the simple places


the calm organic & earthy vs the flashy crystal & marble

the kind of church where i think to myself "jesus would love this place"

The Art of Doing Nothing
image: flikr, learning junkie

which is why i loved attending a wedding last fall in a barn-turned church with the pulpit made of a big old oak tree stump {we raced by those benches because we were late}

and why i will always remember christmas eve 25 years ago in the temporary barn-like building (we sat on hay bales with candles providing the light) before the towering new structure was completed


and why i loved this church in gretna, nebraska with a man-made ravine running down the sides of the center aisle

isn't it stunning?

and i think, the more i get to know jesus, the more i realize christianity can be stunning in its simplicity

i mean, sure, there are some hard things...heady things

but the basics of our faith?  

love God, love others, jesus saves, encourage each other
live simply so others may simply live (i'm working on this one...thanks, mrs. dunbar)

is stop-me-in-my-tracks stunning in its simplicity

i'm thankful for barn churches and haybales and glass churches on the prairie

these places where i half expect to turn a corner and see jesus in the flesh

{google images}

Thursday, February 9, 2012



we received bad news yesterday about a friend recently made

a selfless, loving, gentle, handsome, kind person

an unexpected gift...a beautiful friend!


without warning

and i wonder as i sit here sipping coffee

and reading happy blogs

and checking joyful facebook status messages

and catching glimpses of happy tweets

if, in a moment of weakness (and we all have those),

that he believed the lie that

as i suit up to face the day i am reminded...again

i must ( i must!) move gently through this world speaking encouragement

freely sharing my smile to every soul who crosses my path

judging less, loving more


{that's it, isn't it?}

because everyone...every fighting some kind of battle

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


photo: the passion of the christ

"so how do i love someone i should love...someone who needs God?...when the person is just so unlovable?"

"you keep your eyes on jesus and love him. let jesus worry about the rest."

and now that i think of this song...

i might have added "he makes beautiful things out of the dust of our hearts"

me-n-him. him-n-me.

that's all he asks of me

because anything else, everything else

flows from there

and beauty is made


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. Luke 10:27

Wednesday, February 1, 2012



this year has been a year of physical change for me

so much so that when i just ran up the stairs i didn't recognize myself in that mirror

the other day my good pal, christine (hi C!) said 
you're a totally different looking person then when we first met

way back in summer, i wrote about protecting this house

and it's been a good cycle...

cleaning this house on the inside (healthy foods, exercise)

and decorating this house (darker hair, longer hair!, new glasses)

my new house feels stronger...and looks a little more lady-like
(well, not today because i'm cleaning)

who knew protecting my "house" could cause such a physical chain reaction?

{but i am kinda disappointed the woman in the mirror wasn't someone here to help me clean...}

Sunday, January 22, 2012



thought i'd share some odds and ends since no legitimate post has made it from my brain to the computer in the past few weeks

{yes, i'm still here...just quiet}

A weird thing i do...

In the winter I often take 2 long showers a day.  One to get myself ready for the day (morning) and one to warm my cold bones (evening).  I know what all the experts say about drying out my skin and wreaking havoc on my hair, but I don't care.  In the winter, a hot shower is the only thing that can make me warm.  Sometimes i sleep with a winter cap on because i get so cold (and my side of the bed is under a window).

Right now I am listening to

David Carnes.  Album is titled "Journey: a praise offering".  Listed as "new age" on iTunes.

Today at church I

Hugged all my girlfriends I only see once a week.  Read the book of James. 

Best thing i've eaten this week was a

Piece of Flat Apple Pie I made (Pioneer Woman Cooks).  It was my dinner.

Biggest laugh of the week

The scene in Modern Family where Clare and Phil engage in a mock debate in the living room.

No way! moment 

The boyfriend watch i bought today IS an indiglo (it lights up at the touch of a button which i really wanted but couldn't find).   I found out it "lit up" while setting it.  It really is the little things that bring me joy.

Looking forward to

Visiting our daughter at college on Saturday.


My new class (I teach part-time at the university near us).


The Hunger Games & The Hiding Place
(2 different books)

Just Finished

A neighborhood Bible study (I host in our home) called Mercy Triumphs

Currently Helping

A dying neighbor who is declining in health


I lived somewhere else until April

Recently seen in

A new coat from Boden, new watch from Target, new BIG eyeglasses


my fleece sheets

Last thing that made me chuckle

Our youngest son calling me (with my new glasses) Velma (from Scooby Doo)


Getting ready for bed.  The washing of the face, brushing and flossing of the teeth, the vitamin-taking.  Sometimes I just want to fall into bed.

Jumping for Joy

That my hairdresser texted today saying she had a cancellation on the day and time I needed.  


My Mom.  I think I will always, always miss my Mom.

Book on Reserve at the Library

The Many Cries Your Body Makes for Water
(I have kidney stones and I hate drinking water)


I am maintaining my weight.  Proud I've kept a pesky 22 pounds off.


To have met some amazing women through blogging.  Too many to list and link, but you know who you are.

Still crazy about

My husband.

Trying to

Quit loving "stuff" so much.  Clothes, shoes, home accessories...oh, how i love it all!

Learning from

Wanting to

Be more like Jesus

Grateful for

A sturdy roof over my head, pretty clothes on my back, a new furnace to warm me, healthy food in my belly, people who love me.

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