Showing posts from 2013

Another season

Well, it’s that for me, both literally and figuratively…the golden leaves of fall have ushered out summer, and I’ve started a new season of my life. Yes, we made it here to Arizona safe and sound after a zany few weeks of chaos.  At least that’s how it felt.  Our life in a zillion boxes, emotional good-byes, the unrelenting pace of selling, closing, cleaning, and leaving our home was an exhausting project.  The final week of driving our truckloads here was well covered with prayer and bottles of 5-Hour Energy! My thanks to all of our wonderful friends who showed up with packing boxes and willing hands to work at whatever we needed.  You all were so awesome!  We absolutely couldn’t have done it without you, and your cheerful smiles and help were the lifeline we needed.  God bless you all! Part of God’s purpose in having us here just now became apparent right away.  My dear mother-in-law was having some debilitating health issues when we arrived, so were able to lend a hand and hel

The wallpaper story

Well, first off, the good news—we’ve had an offer our house, and if all goes well, we’ll be moving in a few weeks!  I’m so glad the process of cleaning-the-house-to-make-it-salable every day lasted only a week. While it was wonderful to have everything pristinely perfect all the time, it’s so unrealistic while you’re trying to live and pack to move. After weeks and months of getting the house ready to put on the market, we agreed with our realtor to have an open house.  With all demand of other things this past year, my time was limited to sorting, packing, and clean-out rather than fix-ups on the house.  That was my dear hubby’s department and he did a marvelous job. But some things we just had to forego—certain yardwork projects, fresh paint in every room, etc.  The big project I had to let go was stripping the wallpaper in my new kitchen and giving it a new look.  I just couldn’t pull it off.  So we did some touches of new paint and décor to go with the wallpaper colors, and I

The BEST window cleaner

While packing up some books, I came across this old household tips book.  I almost tossed it in the thrift store box when I remembered it had a great window cleaning recipe.  Sure enough, there it was, so I mixed up a batch for my first go-round at the windows.  It's fantastic!  Really, the best solution I've ever used, better than store-bought.  A lot cheaper, too. It uses just three ingredients, mixed in half a bucket of warm water: 1/2 c. white vinegar 1/2 c. ammonia 2 tablespoons cornstarch Wash a window down with the solution first. I used a cotton washcloth. Then, wipe the excess wetness off with a cotton towel.  Finish with paper towel or newspaper for a streak-free finish. The windows dried so quickly that I used very few paper towels.  Nice. Voila!  Dazzling windows.

Mission accomplished–Part 1

We did it! Our house is finally on the market…clean, updated, and ready to turn over to a new owner. We’ve been at this a year now, plowing through all the “stuff” necessary to make it marketable. What a project! My take-away advice to you is: don’t wait until the last minute to get your house ready! Instead of enjoying our wonderful Colorado outdoors this summer, we have cranked on the million little things it takes to make a major move. Oh the sorting, packing, hammering, painting, cleaning, labeling, weeding, trimming, and throwing out! How many times I’ve looked at something in my hand and thought, “ Why have I kept this for so long?!” The local thrift stores have greatly increased their stock from our frequent trips. We, of course, had good reason for not getting certain updates and clean-out done sooner: LIFE. A full-time job for one of us, the other doing the homeschooling; side eddies of health issues, major events, and the prevailing thought that “I’ll get to that o

Summer scenes

A quiet Sabbath afternoon drew me to my garden today, partly on a rescue mission.  These lovelies have gotten so top-heavy with their abundance of stunning blooms that they were laying prostrate all over as though a wind had blown them down.  I propped them with some garden fencing and hope they’ll suffer no ill effects.  This is quite a comeback for them after a major transplant and it’s been a joy to see this brilliant color from our patio. Don’t you think God loves flowers?? Sadie soaks up the sunshine, too.  She’s still the best little dog on the planet. Soaking up God’s goodness today, filling my well with His peace, ready for a new week.  May yours be blessed!

A birthday

Dear Mom, I’m missing you today. It’s a special day, my precious daughter’s 17th birthday. Today as I was remembering the morning she arrived, my thoughts were filled with you as well. You had come for a long visit to help me get ready for the baby, were there when we brought her home, and loved her right from the start. I’m sorry you’re not with us to celebrate. I’m hoping you can see from your home in heaven what a lovely young lady she’s become. She’s like you in many ways—a creative dreamer, one who can handle words well and who lives much in her imagination, always thinking in terms of story. You’d love her sense of humor and would no doubt laugh to tears with us when something hilarious strikes us both. She’s a homebody like you, preferring the times of solitude and thought to the hustle and bustle of the world. She loves 40s music and books and femininity—really, a girl after your own heart. You’d be so blessed to see her love for the Lord and her commitmen


Spring is here, though it’s a little hard to tell with snowstorms and freezing temperatures regularly making their appearance.  However, little green leaves dotting the landscape are a wonderful promise of the goodness to come, so we bide our time.  I know that all too soon we’ll be raking and planting and mowing, so I guess I’ll enjoy the dregs of winter while I have them. With the seasonal changes a-comin’, our lives are changing too.  We’re busy getting our home ready to sell and planning to move to Arizona.  With both of our families there, it will be wonderful to be closer to them. Wow, all the ‘stuff’ a major move requires!  Cleaning out, boxing up, trips to the thrift store to donate our surplus; trips to the hardware store for the myriad items we need for updating things in the house, and discussions about what and how much to do before we are ready to sell.   Then there’s the inner process it requires—letting go of friendships and comforts and dear familiar things.  We h

How Great Thou Art!

This morning in church we sang a most beloved hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” one we sing often. It’s a favorite. And every time we sing it, I’m swept back to a very special memory from long ago… Many years ago in my single life, I spent some time in Mexico visiting a missionary aunt and doing some volunteer work with her organization. I was privileged to do some wonderful touring with the group of missionaries, and one Sunday found us on a bus headed out to an Indian village to participate in their church service. We bumped along the dusty roads and finally stopped outside a worn, stucco building proclaiming “Iglesia Christiana.” We found our way into the dark, cool meeting room and crowded in on the hard wooden benches. Soon the church service was underway, the pastor preaching from the Bible—in a language I didn’t understand at all. It was hard to keep up with him, trying to guess from gestures and expression what he might be saying. As I looked over the small crowd of Indian v

God and the birds

The birds came back today! Our first real promise of spring winged their way into our yard this afternoon, chirping and singing and eating and drinking—a large party of robins, woodpeckers, starlings, orioles, juncos.  We threw open the windows to watch and listen to this late-winter gift, knowing it would only last a short while.  This happens every year as the migratory flocks return from their warmer homes in the south, and we always stop whatever we’re doing to savor the spectacle. And it does mean spring is not far off! It’s funny, I’d been thinking about birds just yesterday. A couple of verses in my Bible reading moved me with such a touching picture of God’s great heart.  This passage is where God was laying out his laws to His people, showing what His love should look like when lived out in our lives. “If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, yo

Do you need a Neo?

This last year I discovered a gadget that has been one of the best purchases I’ve ever made…and you might want one, too, when you hear how terrific it is! It’s called a Neo by Alphasmart. It’s a portable word-processor that was originally designed for use in schools, and still are used that way. Because they were made for kid-use, they offer some outstanding features: Extremely durable. You can throw them in a backpack, take them with you anywhere. Instant-on. Constantly saves your work so there’s never any need to save or backup. Resumes right where you left off when you last turned it off (you can set it to have a key lock so you won’t inadvertently bump it and turn it on). Has eight files that can hold up to 25 pages of writing each. Has a built-in thesaurus, word count, find/replace function, font-size adjustment, and spell-check. There’s a handy reference list on the back with commands and shortcuts you need for writing and editing. You can search the internet and d

Faith & patience

Our pastor was speaking today about the faith battle we have as believers when we’ve prayed about something—and then it seems like God just doesn’t answer. We may respond with discouragement and impatience, or being tempted to think “this is just not working.” What should a right response be? ~ Know that God set the thing in motion when you prayed. He will work out all the details—and what is for your best good—as you wait.  (Patience is not our strong suit!) ~ Stay in faith, whether it’s long or short.  Don’t give up.  Don’t give up. ~ Deal with any blockages in your own heart—disobedience to God, failure in loving others, doubt and unbelief, trying to control things, etc. ~ Recognize that the devil is a liar all the time.  Choose to believe God’s Word about your situation.  Choose to speak His Word about the situation instead of your own doubts. ~ Rejoice and praise God in the meantime!  Your answer is on the way. He also spoke about how to keep our minds renewed with t


January, with all it’s anticlimactic, post-holiday space , has been wonderful.  Having decided to cut back on some of our outside activities, I’ve been slowly plugging away at getting our home and life back to a more normal pace after such a hectic fall.  I’d sort of forgotten how lovely it is to have ‘margin’ throughout the day and week.  I’d highly recommend it! One of January’s delightful gifts has been enjoying my honey’s retirement status.  Not only do I have more help around the house, but he’s stepped up to help with some of SweetPea’s homeschooling.  She now takes her math woes to him, and I’ll often overhear lively conversations going on in the next room about economics, world affairs and current events, or spiritual issues.  He’s a wonderful teacher. His first big project has been to redo my kitchen.  (A restful retirement activity, huh?)  Amazing what he’s gotten done when he’s had days on end to devote to it, not just Saturdays.  All the cabinets and drawers are in and

New year thoughts

Ah…a new year. I love the word new – it’s loaded with such freshness and promise. I, like many others, love the chance to craft a new list of resolutions and goals. I write up overviews, think through the to-do’s of a busy life, journal my prayers and commit my life in the year to come to God for His leadership and strength. I consider the areas I failed in the past year and try to come up with something more effective that might work this year (you know, like ‘you don’t get dinner unless you’ve exercised’). As an inveterate box-checker, the new year provides a candy store of stuff I can happily make lists over. I’ve even done a bit of this for 2013, will probably do more. But 2012, being the year of upheaval, uncertainty, and demand that it was for me, has drawn me into a different thought process for this year. Usually I get a ‘theme’ from the Lord of what we’ll be working on for the year, He and I. But the season before me holds the possibility of great change, and I’m not sure I


I’ve had an unintended break from blogging the past few weeks, brought about by that thing called Life.  You’ve had those times too, I’m sure--you just have to walk it out and wait until things settle back to normal.  To be honest, I just haven’t felt very social, haven’t felt like blogging.  But now with the holidays accomplished, I’m wanting to have a fresh start with the new year. I was back and forth to Arizona several times this fall, helping out as I could with my family.  My mom had a stroke in August, was in rehab for several weeks, then the day before she was to go home, had another stroke.  She passed away in mid-November from the effects of that second one.  It was a gift of God that we could all be with her during her last days.  Can I share a miracle with you?  Normally, our drive to their town takes 15 1/2 hours.  The day we drove, we were slowed down by icy roads through the mountains and it should have taken us fully that amount of time.  In the middle of the day, we