Thursday, December 31, 2015

Farewell, 2015

How do you pick one photo highlight for a year? This picture of my Gramma and me represents so many poignant memories in this home, and on this property. Over the years. Especially this final year of my Grampa's life.

We drank tea on the deck while my cousin's wedding shower went on below. My dad sat across from me, out of view. My Uncle Bob, on an extended visit from Texas, took this photo.

A few months ago we all gathered in that beautiful lake-front home to say a final goodbye to my beloved Grampa. And honored his life and legacy with a graveside service and meaningful memorial service.

Farewell, 2015.

The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7 ESV

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Sister Love

It's been crazy having one more child, nine years after our third. But what a joy to see the sibling bond!


Pictured: Sisters, at Christmas 2015

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3 ESV

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

All Souls Portland

Since we were out of town, we took the opportunity to visit my nephew's church. In a home in NE Portland. I don't think I have attended an Anglican service before. I really enjoyed meeting the people and participating in a more liturgical worship experience. We will have to go again next trip to Portland!

And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" Luke 2:48-49 ESV

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bed and Breakfast in Portland

We know what to expect at my brother-in-law's and sister-in-law's home. Warm hospitality. Good conversation. Lots of laughs. Hot coffee in the morning. And delicious food served with love.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10 ESV

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Spaghetti Factory Love

Table for 22, please. With two little guys and one brand-new baby. And that's not even everyone. It was worth the drive to Portland to see my husband's family.

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. Psalm 79:13 ESV

Saturday, December 26, 2015


I am up before everyone else. Cleaning the kitchen after a big turkey dinner. What a blessing to have stable health this season. I have spent other Christmases in bed.

for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:7-8 ESV

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We enjoyed a few gifts and good food today. Plus an elf-filled game of Telephone Pictionary. (You write a sentence, the next person draws it, the next person writes a sentence about that drawing, and so on, around the circle.)

It's a good day to be thankful for God's many blessings, including the gift of His Son.

Pictured: All of us, minus our older daughter.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:9 ESV

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

I like family style. All the babies and children in the church service together. Fitting for a beautiful Christmas Eve service.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 ESV

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Three Years Ago

Thinking about Christmas past. Three years ago it was our first year in this house. Our oldest son flew in from California. And right after this picture was taken, I was beaned by a snowball.

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Love For Jars

I struck up a conversation with the young woman in line in front of me. "Is that a peanut butter jar?" She used it for her beverage. Turns out we share a love for our peanut butter jars. The big ones are perfect for leftovers.

Pictured: I love it when my husband brings home empty jars from work--and my relatives there who know what I like.

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Just Lights

My husband and daughter picked out a beautiful tree. Then my husband got up early and set it up before work. I almost prefer it unadorned.  Works for me.

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

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Slow Cooker Sunday

I think I should start a new Sunday tradition. Stick something in the slow cooker in the morning. So we have something ready for lunch. Or if plans come up, save it for dinner.

Pictured: Easy chicken soup with potatoes.

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

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Get Motivated

I have my favorite writing companion. Pink and white black licorice candies. Now all I need is some motivation to get some thoughts on paper. Time to reflect on the past year and God's faithfulness. For our annual Christmas letter.

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 118:1 ESV

Friday, December 18, 2015

Remembering Three Years Ago

We should go out for breakfast and hop on the internet. Just for old times' sake. Like we did when we first moved to our new home.

Pictured: Coffee date three years ago.

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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Big Five

Hard to believe the little guy is five! We were so excited to meet our community group baby. Fun to watch him grow up into a sweet big brother. Happy birthday little Timothy!

Pictured: Proud Grandma and little Timothy, at community group.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Psalm 127:4 ESV

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Life Group Christmas Dinner

We don't always have dinner at our Life Group. But when we do, it's really good! Thanks to our hosts for putting on a great meal and making us feel loved!

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, Acts 2:46 ESV

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Time for Hearts

It's the season to allow more time. Departure times can be delayed if you have to scrape icy car windows. But today I was thankful my husband cleared my windows before he left for work. Including hand-drawn hearts.

rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, Ephesians 6:7 ESV

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Light Reveals

In Sunday's sermon, Pastor Seth Winterhalter asked us to "set the table." We need to be able to articulate two things.

1. Who is Jesus?
2. How has Jesus impacted my life?

We point people to Jesus and let Him do His work. Just like John the Baptist's purpose was to bear witness for Christ.

You can listen to the second sermon in the Christmas series online:

He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. John 1:7-8 ESV

Sunday, December 13, 2015

French Fry Love

What do you do for a hungry pregnant woman? And her friends? My friend hosted a french fry bar at the baby shower. With hearty chili, shredded cheese, chives, bacon, and truffle aioli sauce. And homemade sea salt. Yum!

Now we wait for the small fry to arrive!

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3 ESV

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Power out

Power is out so check back tomorrow for Saturday's post.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Organ Christmas Music

There's something about Christmas songs played on an organ. It was great to hear Doug Cleveland play the beautiful pipe organ at the United Methodist Church in Shelton today. One more Soup and Sound event left in 2015. Next Friday at 11:30 pm.

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10 ESV

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Time in the Waiting Room

One of these days my mom and I are going to do something fun. Like go bargain hunting. Or enjoy our senior coffees and free Frostys. (Thank you, Wendy's.) But at least we were together. And had safe travels to her medical appointment and back. Despite the pouring rain and wind today.

Pictured: Reading and writing in the waiting room as the "designated driver."

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11 ESV

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Christmas Marshmallow Love

One of the things I really want to do this Christmas season is make marshmallows. My daughter made some last year and it was fun to watch. And sample.

You can watch my daughter at work (at 0:49) in this delightful Storyville Christmas video:

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, December 08, 2015

Pile On

Maybe we should plan ahead. Set a time and take a family photo. Brainstorm settings and arrangements. Try to not be too posed. Or awkward.

Pictured: Almost 15 years ago. Whose idea was it to pile on the sofa? Probably mine. But they were good sports.

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

Monday, December 07, 2015

Love and Cherish, for Thirty Years

We were just kids when we made our vows to love and cherish, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. On that cold December day in Portland, Oregon. Today we celebrate 30 years together and remember God's faithfulness.

Happy 30th Anniversary to us!

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:9 ESV

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The Light Shines

I love Sundays with baby dedications, the lights of Christmas, and a powerful sermon. Like today. The first sermon in the Christmas series about The Light is worth listening to online. Great start to the Christmas season.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 ESV

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Christmas Women's Dinner 2015

My friend and her daughter did a beautiful job decorating the table. With greenery from their yard. And her wedding dishes from 30 years ago. What a fun evening with my mother-in-law, women from our former church, and new friends!

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21 ESV

Friday, December 04, 2015

Soup and Sound 2015

Now that my friend is retired, she is free to attend weekday events. I was happy to introduce her to Soup and Sound on Fridays in December. With hot soup and bread, served graciously. Followed by a concert. Same time, next Friday!

Pictured: My friend, son, and in-laws enjoying lunch today.

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, Acts 2:46 ESV

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Horses in Chapter Six

Here we go with the horses in the sixth chapter of Revelation. I appreciate how Bible Study Fellowship homework gives me a chance to read and reflect. And then listen to others discuss their homework. Before the lecture and the notes. Works for me.

It's not too late to join the Olympia women's BSF class on Monday nights! Let me know if you want more information.

Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2 ESV

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Winter Wonderland

My husband has great ideas. Like stringing lights. On a timer. Every night it's a winter wonderland in our backyard.

Pictured: Just a few of the trees lit up. This picture doesn't capture the beauty of it.

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 ESV

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Savoring the Memories

I am still savoring the memories from Thanksgiving. One of the highlights was meeting my new niece for the first time.

Pictured: My dad loves all his grandchildren!

that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; Psalm 78:6-7 ESV

Monday, November 30, 2015

Football Fan

I will be sad when the season is over. Not that I am a big football fan. But I enjoy my mother-in-law's hospitality. It's been fun sharing meals, making guesses about the scores, and watching their cable. Thanks, Linda! And go Hawks!

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Securing Today and Tomorrow

Today was the last sermon in the Colossians series. Before the Advent series begins. Pastor Seth Winterhalter shared a timely message for our world full of fears and anxieties. I know it was perfect for me. Jesus secures two things: peace for today and hope for tomorrow. We all need that.

if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. Colossians 1:23 ESV

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Second Thanksgiving

Not everyone could be in town for Thanksgiving. So we planned a second meal for Saturday. Turkey and everything.

When we found out my sister and family were still in town, we added another table and scrounged all the chairs we could find. With plenty of food for 18, if you count the baby.

Pictured: Pull up a chair, office chair, or folding chair and enjoy some good food!

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 ESV

Friday, November 27, 2015

Never Alone

This was the first Thanksgiving without my Grampa. But my Gramma was never alone. She especially enjoyed all the little ones, including her brand-new great-granddaughter. My aunt and uncle's home was filled with love. And
good food.

Pictured: My Gramma and three of my nieces, worked on a puzzle before dinner.

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1 ESV

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Precious Little One

I am especially thankful for a tiny little bundle. I met my new niece today. My sister's youngest daughter is a little doll. Just perfect. With four doting big sisters. My Gramma (Great Gramma) enjoyed meeting her too.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4 ESV

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Match the Dog

Note to self: when taking the dog to the groomer, wear tan pants. To match the dog. At least we got an appointment before the house is full of people. Red is looking good!

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10 ESV

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Whatever it Takes

You can depend on our friend to be the life of the party. And set up, clean up, cook the burgers, whatever it takes. He is ready to jump in wherever needed.

Happy Birthday, Dan!

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 ESV

Monday, November 23, 2015

Save For Me

My preference is my mother-in-law's least favorite. So she saves out the black jelly beans for me. Only this time it was a false alarm. They were grape, not black licorice. Works for both of us.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, Romans 12:4 ESV

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Use Your Head"

It is a slow pace. Today we heard the 11th sermon in the series, and we are still in the first chapter. But the explanations and Bible verses come fast and furious. Love how Pastor Seth Winterhalter is unpacking the book of Colossians!

And he is the head of the body, the church. Colossians 1:18a

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Spice Confusion

Now which one was parsley and which one Italian seasoning? Those little twisty ties at the grocery store don't always stay put. No worries. I can use a Sharpie and some plastic clips. Works until I can put my bulk spices in jars.

Note:  A little alcohol swipe cleans the labels off for next time.

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

Private Reserve Love

My daughter spoils me. She signed me up for a subscription to Private Reserve Storyville Coffee. I am excited to get regular deliveries of freshly roasted coffee--shipped the same day it is roasted.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sans Leaves

I am amazed at the process every year. How the trees lose their leaves and are stripped bare. But come back alive and well in the spring. One of God's many miracles.

Pictured: My husband's Japanese maple.

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. Psalm 52:8 ESV

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"The Great"

I remember waiting in the hall. Hearing that first cry. And now my sister's firstborn is 19 years old. Happy Birthday, Nate!

Pictured: A couple of cool dudes, Christmas 2010.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Blustery Day

It is a blustery day here. Never mind driving my daughter to one class in Olympia. Fill containers with water. Brace ourselves for losing power. And I will park the car in the carport. In case tree limbs come down.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5 ESV

Monday, November 16, 2015

Permission to Stay In

I don't miss, skip, or stay home. I love studying God's Word at Bible Study Fellowship every week! But tonight seemed like a good night to stay in. It's been a busy weekend, with lots of driving. Early mornings. And now rain with wind on the way.

Pictured: Rain on my daughter's car, on a previous trip home.

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." Revelation 4:11 ESV

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Now I Can

I don't want to stop being thankful. Appreciating the little things. And big things. Like being able to give myself an injection. It's been eight years since that nurse helped me practice on an orange. I wasn't able to do it then. But now I can, with the Avonex pen.

Pictured: My son's drawing of tomatoes.

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

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nine Years of Blogging

I am still blogging about the same things. Getting organized. Trying to. Eating right. Working on it. Parenting. In the thick of it. My relationship with Jesus. Always learning and growing. With a few recipes thrown in. Nine years straight, missing maybe seven days.

Pictured: One of my son's computer drawings.

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