Friday, September 30, 2016

Birthday Dinner Favorites

If it's your son's birthday dinner, bring out the old family favorites. Like Snow on the Mountain (creamed chicken, rice, and toppings). Chocolate cake made with buttermilk and coffee. And create Winnie the Pooh decorations. (I cut up a paper tablecloth and embellished a banner.) Nostalgia works for us.

In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. Proverbs 14:26 ESV

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pack it Up

I don't think anyone envies me. It's obvious we are getting ready to move when I make the grocery store rounds and schlep boxes to the car. Moving is no fun. But I am trying to see this as an opportunity for a fresh start.

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bible Study Fellowship Lecture

I love how I learn new things and get a fresh perspective on familiar scriptures in Bible Study Fellowship. Like in today's  lecture. I never thought about the question not asked. When the religious leaders asked John the Baptist what he was doing and who he was, they didn't ask the most important question. They did not ask where the Christ was.

They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." John 1:25-27 ESV

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Son!

Happy 27th birthday to our son! From a little guy in a Chinese hospital to the young man I am proud to call my son and friend. Can't wait to celebrate in person soon.

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1 ESV

Monday, September 26, 2016

Daisy and Goliath

Our puppy made a new friend. A big friend. Meet Goliath, the Great Dane puppy. The owner and I exchanged phone numbers so we can coordinate play dates.

Tonight's dog park trip included several dogs that all ran around and got along. Works for us!

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

Sunday, September 25, 2016


My husband and I took the puppy on a mile and a half walk on the Huff-n-Puff trails in Shelton. It's good for all of us to get our exercise.

Pictured: Water break and rest after our walk.

For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. Psalm 26:3 ESV

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let the Packing Begin

We regularly filled up the kitchen and dining room. Sometimes spilled out into the living room. Now after almost four years in this little house, the time is right to move back into our former home. So we can start making new memories in the house that we built almost twenty years ago.

Let the packing begin!

Pictured: Gathering for dinner with friends and family in December 2014

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3 ESV

Friday, September 23, 2016

First Week

It was a good first week. Our daughter likes her classes and professors. She is finding her way around and ready to take on new challenges. So proud of her!

Pictured: Ready for her second day of classes at South Puget Sound Community College.

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, September 22, 2016

Around Campus

I'm glad that I have some prior knowledge of the campus. Our older three children graduated from South Puget Sound Community College. Now our youngest is there. Plus our church used to rent the auditorium on Sundays.

Pictured: Walking across the bridge on campus after church in December, 2012. I did not take any pictures when I walked across this bridge today.

May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD. Psalm 104:34 ESV

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Back to Morning Class

I made the right decision to switch to days. I enjoyed last year's Monday night Bible Study Fellowship class but it works better to avoid driving at night. I look forward to diving deep into the book of John on Wednesday mornings!

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16-17 ESV

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bring Back Old Habits

I used to write more. Now my journals are just notebooks full of grocery lists with sermon notes thrown in. I also recorded more margin notes in my Bibles. I should bring back the old habits.

Pictured: Found this note in my old NASB Bible.

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

Monday, September 19, 2016

First Day of Running Start

And so begins eleventh grade and our daughter's first year at the community college. She will earn her high school diploma when she completes the Associates in Arts program. She's off to a great start!

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, September 18, 2016

The Build, 19 Years Ago

Our older children remember building the home. From the ground up. In the Self-Help Building Program where you put in 30 hours of sweat equity per week for 9 or 10 months. My father-in-law drove up from McMinnville, Oregon every other weekend to contribute hours.

Pictured: The foundation of our home, 19 years ago this month.

he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:48 ESV

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Two Guys and Four Gals

We only had two guys. But Five Guys is a good spot to meet for dinner if you have family in town.

Pictured: With my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, and my mother-in-law. Not pictured: my daughter, the photographer.

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4 ESV

Friday, September 16, 2016

Perfect Beach Day

It was the perfect beach day. Not too hot, windy, or crowded. Great way to celebrate our daughter's 16th birthday with one friend, one puppy, and both parents.

Pictured: Cannon Beach, Oregon

O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. Psalm 104:24-25 ESV

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Birthday Bookends

Happy Birthday to our bookends! Same birthday, thirteen years apart.

Happy 16th and 29th!

Pictured: A small celebration with Grandma tonight.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

First Day of BSF 2016

Have my Bible, notebook, and pen ready to go. First day of my eighth year in Bible Study Fellowship and first repeat. I studied the book of John before but I know it will be all new for me. I am excited to see how God will reveal more of Himself and transform my life over the next 30 weeks!

Pictured: Sorry, dogs not allowed at BSF. But women, babies, and children up to age 5 are welcome in the day class!

but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31 ESV

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Old Bible Friend

My Bible was in the car so I pulled a different Bible off the bookshelf. My well-worn New American Standard Bible with the birth dates of our children and one nephew in the front. Plus a few margin notes. I felt like I reconnected with an old friend.

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB

Monday, September 12, 2016

Daisy Love

One puppy. One girl. The best of friends.

Pictured: My youngest daughter and our puppy Daisy.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrew 13:5 ESV

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Day of Reflection

On this day I choose to reflect on Who is in charge. I don't need to live in fear. Justice will be served. Everyone will be held accountable for the choices he or she makes.

I thank God for His free gift of salvation to everyone who turns to Him.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Psalm 103:17-19 ESV

Saturday, September 10, 2016

First Day Years Ago

In honor of all the first day of school pictures, here is one from over 20 years ago. Ready for first grade, preschool, and stay home with mom.

Pictured: That is the front door of my grandparents' former home, our former residence, and is now a remodeled cabin next to my parents' home.

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3 ESV

Friday, September 09, 2016

Pizza Dough Improv

I regularly sub part or all whole wheat flour in my pizza dough. But what do you do when you run out of wheat and white flour? With just one more cup of flour needed. And you have already doubled the yeast and water.

Then you discover you are out of flax, which I like to grind and add when baking. Open the bag of coconut flour. Use 1/4 cup, plus Italian seasoning to mask the coconut flavor.

What can I use for the last 1/4 cup flour? Grind oat bran cereal until fine. (Love my dedicated spice grinder!) Next time I might add quinoa flour. Or corn meal. Just for fun.

Pictured: Tonight's thin crust pizza with pineapple, ham, and red pepper turned out great.

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

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Whole Big Family

I don't know the last time we had the whole family together like that. My father-in-law would have been happy to see everyone in one place. And proud of his beautiful family.

Pictured: Family dinner after the memorial service. Just about everyone in the family, minus one grandson and his wife, and one grandson-in-law and two great-grandsons.

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Obituary Online

You can find my father-in-law's obituary online. Look for Arnold Lofthus. Still seems unreal that his name is in the paper.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Socks and Sandals

My father-in-law loved his Birkenstock sandals. He looked forward to wearing them home.

Some of the family wore them on the day of the memorial service. In honor of him.

Pictured: Not everyone likes to wear socks with sandals, like he did.

And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" Romans 10:15 ESV

Monday, September 05, 2016

Simple and Fitting

Those were not just table decorations. They were a tribute to my father-in-law and what he loved. We used mason jars filled with some of the agates he collected over the years. With a little bamboo greenery from his timber bamboo stand in his backyard. Plus one flower from a bouquet of mixed flowers. Simple, beautiful, and fitting. Love how it came together.

Pictured: One of the jars my son and daughter put together for their grandfather's memorial service.

a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; Ecclesiastes 3:4-5 ESV

Sunday, September 04, 2016


If there is one word to describe my mother-in-law, it is brave. I have always admired my mother-in-law. But recently I've seen her strength of character revealed. She is facing the challenge of her lifetime with strength and grace. We love you, Mom! And we're with you.

Pictured: Tender moment after the memorial service with our daughter and our son's girlfriend.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6 ESV

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Memorial with Family and Friends

We didn't capture many photos at the memorial service today. But I did get one of my dad interacting with my youngest niece. It was good to bring friends and family together from near and far.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV

Friday, September 02, 2016

Time for Bear Hugs

We interrupt this scouting mission for an important photo op. Large stuffed bears just beg to hugged. And we did find everything we needed to get for the memorial service tomorrow.

Pictured: My three assistants today.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Looking Through Old Photos

The memories span decades. But mostly I am looking through photos on my computer. I will look through boxes of photos later.

One fun memory is when we invited our Chinese neighbors over for a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Along with my in-laws and my parents.

Pictured: Three grandpas in the house, December 2012.

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14 ESV