Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Family Name Game

I didn't have much hope for my friend. Those radio call-in contests are hard to win. But it was her daughter's name coming up at 9 am. We sat in her van with our cell phones ready to dial. Busy. Then she got through. And won theater tickets and dinner! The perfect mother-daughter outing, just in time for her daughter's birthday next month. Then we got to listen to the recording of the phone call on the radio. And marvel at how poised and articulate my friend was.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ice Cream for Dinner

She is one tough little cookie. Brave. Didn't flinch at the dentist today. Even though she had a couple shots in the mouth. And four baby teeth removed. They have been loose for a while, but didn't want to budge. So mashed potatoes and ice cream for dinner it is.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

Monday, September 28, 2009

No More Disappearing Ink

The words start out crisp and sharp. Sometimes in fancy cursive. Then they fade. And the letters I write in my head disappear altogether. I want to write more letters and notes. On paper. With real ink. In my own italic handwriting. Before I forget my good thoughts and intentions.

So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 2 Corinthians 8:11 ESV

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the Middle

He's been there for everyone. Younger brother and companion to my oldest. Older brother and friendly rival to my older daughter. Big brother and pal for my youngest, eleven years his junior. Consultant and co-laborer on many projects with my husband. My on-call tech support. And friend.

I am especially thankful he is there with my daughter away at college.

Happy 20th birthday, Son!

Pictured: When my three children were four, two, and one day old.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bring it Out

I found evidence in the garage. Buried. I used to have organizational systems in place. The bins in the garage are labeled from the days when I had the children's clothes sorted by size. But they no longer hold clothing. And there are no two-year-olds here. The art supplies bin actually has arts and craft supplies. I know this because today we did a clean sweep in the garage. Hauled everything out to the driveway. Sorted and consolidated. Hauled a load to the thrift store. Found the missing DVD player. And Mom, I think I found your missing music stand from when we borrowed your keyboard.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art Love

I said I would know it when I saw it. It had to be horizontal. Big and dramatic. With the right colors. Maybe abstract. But not too weird. Fit our budget. As in cheap. And there it was at a garage sale. Only five bucks. Perfect for the new accent wall in our bedroom.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No Laters Allowed

I've said it for years. I want a clean, streamlined look in our house. Be careful what you hope for. Someone may take you seriously. My son is on a mission to help me go through stuff, declutter, and organize. And he is relentless. No laters allowed. As in, "I'll take care of that later." Deal with it. Move it out. Load up the car. Drop off donations. That reminds me. I better deal with today's mail. Now.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Work at Home

I had a personal trainer. But I had to let her go. To college. I can stay in touch by phone and email. She will be happy to know I am adding fruit and veggies to my diet. Meanwhile, I'm trying out a home organizer. He is a Peter Walsh (if you've ever watched Clean Sweep) without the British accent. Getting all the stuff out of drawers and corners. Asking tough questions. Pushing me to get rid of stuff. So far so good. We've made it through most of the kitchen, pantry, and front closet. If he doesn't get another job, I'll let my son help me tackle the office.

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Day After

I changed my schedule. Monday is the new Tuesday. Also known as shot night. That means Tuesday is now the day after my weekly MS shot. That frees me to attend Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday morning without a headache. Works for me.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today is the Day

I said someday. He said how about today. And he meant it. My oldest hasn't found a job yet so he is tackling projects around home. Starting with cleaning out the fridge. I love how he designated a shelf for leftovers. Then he moved on to the pantry. Sorted and arranged. Kept a running inventory of the supplies. Next thing I knew he had removed all the spices and miscellaneous items from the cupboard by the fridge. Transplanted a wire shelf from the pantry. Perfect. He left to help in his dad's first grade class while I put the spices back in order. I wonder what we'll tackle tomorrow.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:23 ESV

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little Jobs

We all have our little jobs. The things we do. I made chocolate oatmeal muffins for the road trip. My mom cleaned pitch off our car windshield. My mother-in-law helped my daughter and suite-mate figure out the shower. And got wet in the process. My husband made a grocery run before we left our son and daughter. And brought back a bouquet of sunflowers for our daughter's new dorm room. I love how he does little things in a big way.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Two Away

I can be sad later. Go ahead and enjoy the family day today. Starting with a circle of prayer in our driveway. Both sets of grandparents were part of the send off. My parents came to say good-bye and my husband's parents were part of the convoy. We had safe travels and a smooth move-in. Times two. Son in his dorm room in Stack Six. Daughter in her dorm room in Stack Ten. We shared dinner, met some of our son's friends, and drove 3 hours home. We can regroup later. And figure out what life looks like with two away.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Friday, September 18, 2009

That's How we Roll

Some things never change. We are always running behind. Playing catch-up on the clean-up before we can set-up. But the family pulls together. Divides and conquers. And throws a great party. For 9 fourth-graders today. With our trademark guessing jar game. My son found a great container for the entries.

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV

Thursday, September 17, 2009

From a Hill of Beans

To 14 quarts of canned green beans. Thanks to produce from a friend's farm and my mom's help today.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get in the Word

Somehow I missed out. Maybe it was because I was out of the country. No, it's international. Or because of my health struggles. Or because no one asked me to go. Until now. And my friend offered me a ride. So today I went to my first Bible Study Fellowship meeting. I have the orientation out of the way. Next week I can join my discussion group. I think I am going to love it.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Recycled Birthday

We call them our bookends. Our birthday buddies. First and last child born on the same day, thirteen years apart. My friend said I recycled a birthday. That too.

Twenty-two years ago we welcomed our first-born son into the world. Nine years ago it was a baby sister for three kids, ages nine, eleven, and thirteen. Tonight it was a family dinner and dessert. With all four children and both sets of grandparents.

A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1 ESV

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Scissors

I thought he'd never ask. I love wielding my orange-handled scissors from college. Engraved with my initials. My husband traced the template on black construction paper and I cut butterflies. An art project for first grade. But I won't be cutting letters any time soon. I learned how to use the die cutter at school today. Just position the letter or shape on the paper, slide the tray in place, and press. Voila! Where was that when I taught elementary school twenty years ago?

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:23 ESV

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gain Profit by What I Read

I appreciate what he shares. Tim Challies posts every day about books and the Bible. Among other things. Today he shared a prayer from the Valley of Vision. This particular prayer is for ministers but we can all benefit from it.

Here is part of it:

Bless to my soul all grains of truth garnered from Thy Word;
may they take deep root,
be refreshed by heavenly dew,
be ripened by heavenly rays,
be harvested to my joy and Thy praise.
Help me to gain profit by what I read,
as a treasure beyond all treasure,
a fountain which can replenish my dry heart,
its waters flowing through me as a perennial river
on-drawn by Thy Holy Spirit.

I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:16 ESV

http://www.challies.com/archives/a-ministers-bible.php

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Memory Card Full

That says it all. Memory card full. Yes it is. The summer went fast. From graduation times two (high school and community college), our open house extravaganza, my in-laws' 50th anniversary celebration, to family reunions and lake fun. With some poignant moments with my grandparents. We celebrated their 68th anniversary just before my grandfather's stroke. He is home but still needs help with his speech and language.

I downloaded the pictures from the camera. That leaves room for some new memories before two children leave for college.

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV

Friday, September 11, 2009

Catch a Quick Supper

I don't recommend it. Troll the aisles looking for inspiration for dinner. At dinner time. When you are hungry. But it worked out. I snagged some wild salmon marked down for quick sale. Forget the grill, we can microwave it. Put rice on. My husband made a quick coleslaw. And dinner is done.

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. Proverbs 24:27 ESV

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sweet yet Subtle

It's my go-to spice. I love ground coriander. It's sweet yet subtle. I add it to applesauce cake, apple pie, zucchini bread, and the like. But I ran out. And I won't pay full price at the grocery store. Sometimes I can find it at dollar stores. But not lately. So today I bought a nice coffee grinder ($1.99) at the thrift store. And a 49-cent bag of whole coriander. Presto. Fresh ground coriander.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

First Day

Where's my group lined up in front of the garage door? Or waiting for the bus? Or getting a ride to the community college, chasing the transit bus, or with license in hand, driving down the freeway to the community college? Where are the moms gathering for coffee on the first day of school? Growing up. Moving on. All of us.

Pictured: My youngest on the first day of fourth grade and my husband on the first day of teaching first grade.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, Proverbs 1:5 ESV

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ready to Learn

I think I'm ready. For fourth grade. I know my daughter is. New hair cut and all. Open house was tonight. I can check the daily assignments. Help my daughter plan ahead for the big projects. I'm looking forward to learning about seeds, birds, our state, and lots more. Starting tomorrow.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

Monday, September 07, 2009

Keep it Moving

That's my motto. Keep it moving. Go out to the garage for something? Switch the laundry loads. Dishes on the counter? Rinse them and load the dishwasher. Or unload if it's done. Now if only I could do that with my office organization. Don't bog down or get distracted. Books to give away? Keep it moving. Papers to shred or file? Just do it. And keep it moving.

Pictured: Construction on the Western Washington campus. You can see the hoist for hauling materials in. And the chute for unloading trash.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Need More Praise

I don't want to miss anything. So I am taking it slow. I'm going one chapter at a time. I love watching how Nehemiah works. Rebuilding the wall. In the face of opposition. Today I noticed the praise section. Reciting what God has done. I need to do more of that.

“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. Nehemiah 9:6

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Start the Day Right

Don't jump out of bed too quickly. And skip the morning routine. I woke up and remembered that we were out of milk. So I hopped in the car. I never came back to read the daily prayer or my Bible reading. I can catch up tonight. But it's not the same.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8 ESV

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Love

It's the last Friday before my youngest goes back to school. We caught a couple Friday garage sales, just like we used to when she had afternoon kindergarten. And she wanted to do something special. So lunch at A&W it is. That was the best root beer I've had in a long time. Or maybe it was the special mother-daughter moment.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Heart of a Shepherd

I hated to give it back. Now I have to find my own copy. My sister loaned me her book while she was here. Turns out her friend from junior high is a published author. I loved the book aimed at what they call the middle grades. It's Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry. It's the story of a 12-year-old boy dealing with his father being called up to Iraq and trying to keep the farm going. It is not a Christian book, as such. But the family's Catholic and Quaker faith is portrayed in a very respectful way. I highly recommend it.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Psalm 37:3 ESV

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hug Good-bye

Let the farewells begin. If we must. Good-bye summer. Good-bye sister and family. It was a great visit. We had sleep-overs, great eats, movies, swimming, kayaking, and time with grandparents and great-grandparents. Picture-taking and picture viewing. Laughing. Lots of laughing. Made the thrift store rounds. Even caught the grand opening of the Silverdale Goodwill. We rode the ferry to Seattle and spent the day exploring.

One of the highlights was the surprise appearance by my other sister. Just in time for our parents' 47th anniversary. Another highlight was the homemade raft with 128 gallon-jugs. Which means we can also say good-bye to milk jug collecting. Until next summer when we may want to build another section.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Launch of the Juggernaut



It was my sister's idea. She read it in a book. But I wasn't sure we could pull it off. Who wants to collect and store dozens of empty milk jugs? My husband said we could stash them in our shed. The kids will love it. So we drank milk. By the gallon. And saved the milk jugs. Our friends did likewise.

When my sister and family came we had enough. We gathered the rest of the materials. Plywood, some boards, and chicken wire. Built a frame. Arranged one hundred twenty eight gallon jugs. Held in place by chicken wire. And you have a float. Perfect for summer fun at my parents' lake.

http://www.amazon.com/Treehouses-other-Cool-Stuff-Projects/dp/1423603958

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV