Saturday, October 31, 2009

Princess for a Night

What are you going to do? Turn off the lights and hide out? Leave and spend the evening at a school or church-sponsored harvest festival? Or stock up on candy and greet the kiddies and parents that come to your door? We've done variations on all of the above.

Tonight we stayed home and saw just how popular our loop is. There must have been a couple hundred men, women, children and babies out there. Our youngest had fun dressing up as a princess and handing out candy. Until we ran out. Then she went around the neighborhood with her older brother. That's what we did tonight.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 ESV

Friday, October 30, 2009

Skate Happy

It's a school tradition. Rent out the rollerskating rink a couple times a year. Caravan to the next town. Watch the kids and a few brave adults skate, race, and do the hokey pokey. My youngest is finally confident enough to leave the carpet and go out on the rink. Good for her.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Between Here and There

I got the call about the case of the missing lunch. Yes, I could make a run to the school. But wait, where is it? Not in the fridge, on the counter, or in the living room. On the porch? No. How about in her chauffeur's truck? The chauffeur, otherwise known as "dad" left his first grade classroom to search his vehicle. No sign of it. If nothing else, I could take her the brown bag lunch I made for myself yesterday and forgot in the fridge.

But wait, what is in the driveway? It must have fallen out of her backpack. Case closed.

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No Studio Necessary

We were talking about family portraits. And church directories. Do you try to wear matching clothes? My friend echoed our family sentiment. Try not to clash. I think some of the favorite family photos are unplanned. But it does help to have a camera in your pocket or purse.

Pictured: A summer memory.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jazz it Up

I am always in a rush to get things done. So I throw things together. Grab and go. But I can kick it up a notch. Like my mother-in-law's cut and paste detail on her gift bag. I can take a moment. Jazz it up.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Monday, October 26, 2009

Warm Heart

I looked out the kitchen window and saw two girls jumping on the trampoline. The older sister said to her younger sister, "We're warming Mom's heart." They know me well. It was great to have my older daughter home for the weekend.

Thanks to my daughter for this cell phone picture.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12 ESV

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks for the Birth Day

I should give them a card. A thank you card. But a birthday meal in honor of my husband will have to do. Nice to have my husband's parents and my parents join us today.

Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, Proverbs 1:8 ESV

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Dinner

That's my husband. Easy to please. Flexible. Plan C for dinner is fine. His birthday dinner, no less. We can get a late teriyaki dinner tonight. Postpone the family dinner with both sets of parents until tomorrow after church.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

It's great to have our older daughter home from college for the weekend.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18 ESV

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moms Have Homework Too

I post occasionally on the blog for my husband and daughter's Christian School. You can read it at:

http://aroundmccs.blogspot.com/2009/10/moms-have-homework-too.html

not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 ESV

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mary Jane Love

The hunt is officially over. I can stop looking for two small black buttons. No more inspecting button collections. Like my grandma's, organized by size and color. Or contemplating clothing buttonectomy. I hereby withdraw my plan to repair my favorite Dansko Mary Janes. Today I found a beautiful pair of shoes at the thrift store. Fit perfectly. Excellent condition. A sweetheart of a deal at $4.99.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sink In

It is starting to sink in. My older daughter really is away at college. And not walking through the door at any moment. I miss her. Talking, laughing, drinking coffee. Running errands together. And the happy noise of sisters laughing.

I wanted to be more faithful at sending mail and packages. In the meantime I send emails and photos. I know she will get a kick out of my attempts at self-portraits. I can work on sending more snail mail.

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, Colossians 2:2 ESV

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

That Went Well

It was a full day for her. Fourth grade oral report presentation first thing this morning. First of three this year. Then a dentist appointment right after school. Both went well. Mother and daughter are relieved.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stay the Course

It's a routine. Sub plans for my husband. Check. Arrangements for our youngest. Check. Charge the cell phone. Check. Pack snacks and water. Check. Hand carry my latest MRI scan. Check. And see my neurologist in Portland for my annual visit. Done. While in the Portland area, rendezvous with my sister and three girls. Always good.

By the way, the MRI of my brain looks good. My Multiple Sclerosis seems to be holding steady for now. I will continue the weekly injections, side effects and all.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7 ESV

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Truck Prowl

What was that woman up to? She peered in the window of the green pickup. Then walked over to the next driveway and looked in the window of the blue pickup. She paused and walked over to the neighbors. Looked in their brown pickup. Tried the door and found it unlocked. She removed a package and walked back to her house. My house. It was a drop-off plan gone awry.

I told my friend she could leave a package in our truck if we weren't home when she stopped by. Only she forgot which house and truck were ours. She left the package in my neighbor's truck. But not to worry. I safely retrieved the package. Baked goods for me to deliver to her son in Portland when I visit tomorrow.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Summer Sleepover

My parents converted their garage into a beautiful house. Which means their old cabin is perfect for sleepovers with the cousins. Here is a photo of them watching the movie Kit Kittridge this summer. Thanks to my daughter for sending me this photo.

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kit was a Hit

I finally watched the movie with my daughter. She watched it this summer with her cousins and other family members. I loved Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Movie. The main character is a ten-year-old girl living during the Depression. I love her pluck and persistence. And is there a word for compassionate that starts with P? I am proud of my daughter for not divulging any plot twists. I may watch it again before we send it back.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 ESV

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To Stir Fry with Love

I wasn't sure what tack to take. I could go stealth. See if anyone noticed tofu in the stir fry. I opted for full disclosure. And enlisted my youngest's help with dinner preparation. She cubed the tofu and cut green onions. Measured soy sauce. I modified my mom's recipe for Kung Pao Tofu with the addition of grated broccoli and red bell pepper. It was a hit. Five out of four loved it. (I sent a plate over for my neighbor to try.)

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

Mom's Kung Pao Tofu

1 pound firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 Tbs. soy sauce (divided)
2 Tbs. sherry, beef broth or more soy sauce (divided)
1 Tbs. vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup beef or vegetable broth or 1 cup water plus 1 tsp. bouillon
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 tsp. sesame oil (divided)
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped, or garlic powder
1/2 - 1 tsp. finely chopped ginger root or ginger powder
a few whole dried chili peppers or a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup chopped onion* I used some green onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots* I used half a bag of broccoli slaw
1 cup thinly sliced celery, optional
1 cup chopped green bell pepper* I used red bell pepper and recommend it.
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

1. Place drained and cubed tofu in small bowl. Combine 1 Tbs. of soy sauce and 1 Tbs. of sherry and spoon over tofu. Mix gently and set aside to marinate for about 10 minutes.
2. In small bowl, combine remaining soy sauce and sherry, vinegar, sugar, pepper, broth, and cornstarch. Stir to dissolve cornstarch. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 tsp. sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, until tofu cubes are lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet, place in a bowl, and cover to keep warm.
4. Return skillet to heat and add remaining sesame oil. Add garlic and ginger root and cook for 10 seconds or until sizzling. Add onion, bell pepper, and peanuts. Cook and stir, for a few minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp.
5. Return tofu to skillet. Stir sauce and pour over tofu and vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
6. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Throw it Together

I had a free pass. I could stay home from our small group Bible study and dinner. I wasn't sure if I had enough energy to go, let alone cook something to take. But then again, it wouldn't be that hard to peel some apples and bake a crisp. Send my son to the store for whipped cream. I have spaghetti sauce in the freezer. Boil some water and cook linguine. Throw it together. Let's go!

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 ESV

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shop and Listen

People think I'm a savvy bargain hunter. Sure, I find a few treasures and good deals. But I'm not that efficient. I don't move very fast. I like to talk to fellow shoppers and sellers. Find out their stories. Last weekend I could have cased the garage sale and left in two minutes. Instead I admired a wooden sculpture lamp and heard the story of the seller's mom ordering it over fifty years ago. The mom couldn't wait for it to arrive. But then she died shortly after. Or today I learned about a fellow thrift store shopper's online business. And where she donates profits. I can shop and listen. 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, October 12, 2009

Yearly MRI

That wasn't so bad. I think I even fell asleep. Not easy to do when you are strapped on a board and lying in metal tube with annoying alarm clocks and woodpeckers hammering in your ears. My plan for staying calm during the MRI was to have friends pray for me. I was going to use the time to pray, but I only got through two of my children before the sedative kicked in. It was nice to have my dad as my driver. We stopped and had a father-daughter date at our favorite Asian Deli.

I leave the results in God's hands. I will find out more next week at my neurologist appointment.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How to Respond

I wanted to hear the guest speaker. So my husband went to our regular Sunday school class and I went to the Chinese church. I was able to remember enough Chinese to follow along with the songs. The guest speaker gave a sermon in English and someone translated into Chinese. The topic was how to respond to anxiety based on Philippians 4:4-13. I'm glad I went. I always learn something when my dad preaches.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wedding Crashers

We didn't know the bride or the groom. Or anyone else in the wedding party or family. But we didn't drive two hours just for the free food. A friend of ours wanted to attend the wedding of her old chum. But wasn't up to driving that far. So my husband, daughter, and I put on church clothes and went on a road trip with our friend. It was worth it to see the beautiful bride and our friend hug at the reception.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 ESV

Friday, October 09, 2009

God Bless

All I did was offer a bottle of sports drink. God bless me? That's what he said. I am richly blessed. He was the one on the street corner. Hungry. But I can share what I have.

For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:41 ESV

Thursday, October 08, 2009

No Metal

I expected the phone call. It happens every year about this time. I was ready with my "no, no, no, and no." As in, no, I don't have any metal devices implanted. And gave my current height and weight. All for the upcoming brain MRI appointment on Monday. I will skip the eye makeup on Monday as requested--not that I use any. But I am free to apply deodorant.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cup Up

It doesn't need to be complicated. Just have an easy way to know if the dishwasher is clean or dirty. We implemented the cup up cue. Leave one cup face-up until you're ready to run the dishwasher. Then flip it over and push start. Works for us.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Learning how to Toss

Tossers don't ponder. Play musical piles. They just give it the heave ho. Done. Thankfully I am married to a Tosser with a heart. He patiently works with this Saver. I am learning how to toss. Slowly. With help from authors Dorothy Lehmkuhl and Dolores Lamping and their book, Organizing for the Creative Person.

They address the fear that if you get rid of something, you will invariably need it soon after. They say it's worth making two mistakes out of one hundred such decisions if you are freed of the other ninety-eight!

And they suggest "people often want something they've just disposed of simply because it's fresh on their minds." That makes sense.

Just let it go.

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

Monday, October 05, 2009

New Assistant

My youngest is amazingly savvy for a nine-year-old. She has innate problem-solving skills plus the advantage of growing up with older siblings. She is my new tech support. She helped me program the new universal remote. For both the tv and the dvd player. Tonight she took a turn painting the living room.

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

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Restless for the Rest

Today's morning prayer was a good one. From the fourth day in A Diary of Private Prayer:

Yet hast Thou made me restless for the rest that is in Thee.
Yet has Thou planted within me a hunger and thirst that make me dissatisfied with all the joys of earth.

And:

I bless Thee for Thy hand upon my life, and for the sure knowledge that, however I may falter and fail, yet underneath are Thine everlasting arms.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11 ESV

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Let Them Eat Beans

It's great to have friends. With bountiful gardens. We got a second batch of green beans. Fresh picked and delivered to our front door. Tonight it was all hands on deck. Washing, trimming, and cutting. No pressure cooker canning operation. I blanched the beans for the freezer. We'll be eating good for some time.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Friday, October 02, 2009

Oysterfest Kid's Day

I was with the white mussels. That was my daughter's group at the Oysterfest Kid's Day event sponsored by the Skookum Rotary Club. They run a great program for local 4th graders. We learned about water quality, shell fish, water safety, recycling and more. With hands-on activities fun for fourth graders and parents alike.

So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:21 ESV

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Nutmeg Delight

I don't recall any spice talk. In all our conversation over coffee last visit, I don't think I mentioned how much I love nutmeg. But my cousin remembered how we talked about baking and preparing lunches for my fourth-grader. So she popped a little care package in the mail with some cookies. Nutmeg delight cookies. Indeed.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 ESV