Monday, February 28, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1408-1418)

friends for an impromptu dinner
spectacular skies
grapefruit juice
dream lists

her hand in mine
his smile
fresh baked bread
a Friday night drive down a darkened lane
getting beyond 'when ... then' thinking

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love song

You walk on waves

You run with clouds

You paint the sky for me to see

Your majesty, your majesty is why I sing

This is a love song to you

My life's a love song to you

Friday, February 25, 2011

Even more blessed

A woman in the crowd calls out, "Blessed is the woman who gave you birth and nursed you."

But Jesus tells us who is even more blessed.

Writing today at 66 Books.

Monday, February 21, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1390-1407)

warm cookies, oven fresh
cold milk in a glass
a spring-like day
open windows
sunshine on my face

brownies by Lanie--her own recipe
a friend for dinner
gifted rocks, by Erin--my rock hunter
good neighbors that are good friends
book clubs

lessons learned the hard way
matchbox cars
the Amish popcorn salt that was super yummy
lion winds that mean spring is coming
that a cranky child can be soothed by hugs

an outdoor picnic
five hours with Kristine

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The brownie experiment

One day during school, Lanie asked, "Mom, why do we have to read the Bible?"

"Because the Bible tells us about God so we can know him better. And in it he tells us stuff so we can live our best life," I paused. "If you were going to make brownies, what kinds of things would you put in them?"

"Chocolate, flour, eggs, water ..." she wondered.

"I'm going to let you bake some brownies," I said. She was excited. "Without a recipe."

"How will I do that?" she asked.

"Think of the ingredients you would need to make brownies and figure it out," I said.

Yesterday, I narrowed the field down for her with a list of things that go into brownies, writing some oddball ingredients as well like garlic, chicken stock, spinach, pepper. She picked out what she wanted to use. Thankfully, she didn't add the savory parts. In the kitchen, we gathered all the things she wanted and she started with flour.

"I'm going to use two cups, because I've seen you do it," she said, picking up the one-cup measure. She also added two eggs, four tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa, 2/3 cup sugar, three teaspoons of baking soda, two tablespoons canola oil, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. We baked it for twenty minutes at 350 degrees.

"Life is kind of like brownies ... you have an idea of what you need to make it good, but you might leave something out that you really need, or add something that totally turns the batch bad," the lecture ensued about how we can try to do life on our own with varying results, but that life is deliciously richer following the Lord.

We had a great chat about the ingredients for a good life and a bad life, and took a look at the components of our own. Life sure looks a lot different when you put it down on paper. We took some thoughts to the Bible to see what God had to say about things we thought were good or bad.

We ate the brownies for dessert. They had a chocolatey start, but then the "this isn't quite right" aftertaste settled in. Lanie spoke, "They tasted really good at first. But I don't like them. Some of the bites don't taste good."

I congratulated her for her effort and a thoughtful approach to baking. The experiment was a lot of fun and I love that she had fun doing it. I told her the next time we make brownies, we'll follow the directions. She can't wait.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate day

Scattered paper hearts make a confetti trail down the hallway and stairs. Mylar balloons for two little valentines. Cards and stickers. Strawberry Whoppers. Dollar-store lipstick love notes on bathroom mirrors.

i (heart) u

be mine


So tired last night, I tried keeping my eyes open to 9:00 p.m.

"I think I'll wake up early tomorrow to finish up my stuff here ... pack your lunch," I mumbled.

"You can't forget my lunch on Valentines Day!" he said.

Sandwich made, with a heart shaped note on the bag: You're my favorite valentine.

Kisses this morning as I yawn and stretch to face the day. Awaiting two giggly girls and their a.m. trek down the hall to see hearts scattered just for them. A note in my inbox from a friend wishing me a happy chocolate day.



One thousand gifts and still counting (1376-1389)

1376. Love.
1377. Sweet Valentines, hand drawn, heart given.
1378. Iced cookies from a friend.
1379. Longer daylight.
1380. Mini M&Ms.
1381. Happy days.
1382. Parts of speech post-its on the wall.
1383. Baked potato soup to share.
1384. A playdate with a new friend, and the instant bond between our daughters.
1385. Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace.
1386. Library runs.
1387. Books stacked ... read.
1388. Heart trails on the carpet.
1389. Sunshine.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


She climbed into my lap this morning because my hands were warm and her feet felt cold. So I covered her tiny feet and she settled into me. Love.

"Do you want socks?" I asked.

"No. They make my feet sweaty."

Sesame Street discussing the number of the day: 15.

"Fifteen," she said. "One, five."

"Yes," I answer.

"Twenty-teen," she said.


"That one's a lot."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wind out of sails

Ran into a friend tonight. I was excited to share some news with him because, well, I thought it would interest him.

"Hey, I've got some news for you!" I said.

He smiles, "You sold your house!"

Me, smiling, "Um. No ... no, that's not it."

"You're pregnant!"

"I wish, but, um. NO," looking at Shane with a growing glare.

"Oh, would that not be good?" my friend asked.

"It would be good--I've been nagging Shane for a baby--"

"I'll just keep my mouth shut," he said.

The news:

RE: Facebook: Have you noticed that you are only seeing updates in your newsfeed from the same people lately? Have you also noticed that when you post things like status messages, photos and links, the same circle of people are commenting and everyone else seems to be ignoring you?

The problem is that a large chunk of your friend/fan list can’t see anything you post and here’s why:

The “New Facebook” has a newsfeed setting that by default is automatically set to show ONLY posts from people who you’ve recently interacted with or interacted the most with (which would be limited to the couple of weeks just before people started switching to the new profile). So in other words, for both business and personal pages, unless your friends/fans commented on one of your posts within those few weeks or vice versa – you are now invisible to them and they are invisible to you!

HERE’S THE FIX: Scroll down to the bottom of the newsfeed on the homepage and click on “Edit Options”, click on “Show Posts From” and change the setting to “All Of Your Friends and Pages” Note: This is the fix for personal pages but I am unsure of whether or not the business pages are set up the same way.

Simply posting an update about it won’t do any good because lots of your friends/fans already can’t see your posts by default. You’ll either have to send out a message to everyone on your list (which I’m not even sure business pages can do and is a rather tedious method) or post an event explaining the situation like this one and invite your entire fan base and/or friend list. You can also tweet about it hoping that most of your fellow Facebookers are also on Twitter.


Tucked Erin into bed last night. During cuddles, she said to me, "Mommy, when Rudy dies, can we get another cat? I want to name it Dander."


"That's a cat name."

"I think you would miss Rudy," I said.

"Yes ... I might cry when she dies," she said. And some silence. Then, "I might cry right now."

Cuddled in tight.

Both girls dancing around the to theme of The Twisted Whiskers Show this morning.

An episode about a cat named Dander.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When I talk too much

Three cups of coffee. A sugar cookie. A mind stuck in fast forward. Rushing suddenly when I didn't have to. Getting to a play date and unprepared for Erin's sudden cling and whine. In my heart, I knew I was not at my best, and as the morning wore on, I talked too much.

Lucky to come home and find this encouragement in my inbox. Checked out her blog, liked what she said on what we say to ourselves. Thought about the things I said today to myself on a quiet drive home.Oh, the things I said.

And I decided, maybe I shouldn't talk so much.

Monday, February 7, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1358-1375)

1358. backwards three's
1359. paper towels
1360. Resolve
1361. worship words
1362. drizzle
1363. icy trees in a winter sunrise
1364. dancing with kids
1365. his whisper across the table, alleluia
1366. youtube
1367. big coffee mugs, full
1368. valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy
1369. a hug from a friend
1370. beer cheese fondue--oh that is so good!
1371. cleaning bathroom tile floors and singing
1372. a hair cut!
1373. a phone call from Joel
1374. a Sunday trip to see a Tinkerbell room
1375. an evening with friends

Sunday, February 6, 2011

64 photos

An icy drive. A welcome smile. Handshakes and hellos. Sunshine in winter. A mix of old and woodsmoke greet my senses. Oh love. And I feel at home.

I run my hand along counter top cold. Walk through rooms and snap picture and picture. Shaky banister. Tinkerbell room. Clifford the Big Red Dog. Winter views from windows, I could only imagine until today. 

Wood banister. Slate. Snow blankets and bare trees. I could sit there for hours, with coffee and book--or not--and just dream. I inhaled deeply and turned out of the driveway, smile on my lips, faith in my heart, leaping hope.

Scrolling through 64 photos. Listening to Van Morrison. Reminds me of you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011



Erin spinning around to the alleluia chorus of The Valley Song by Jars of Clay. Lazy sunshine in the afternoon, her arms outstretched. Around, around, around.

You have calmed greater waters and higher mountains have come down. I will sing of your mercy that leads me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy. 


Sometimes there are no other words that best capture a moment than alleluia.


Smiley, fun dancing in sunshine with Erin this morning.

The music sings, "Do, re, mi ..."

Erin says, "They're speaking Spanish."


Hee, hee.