Saturday, February 26, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Off exploring Imagination in church worship

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Loie!!!


When I was 20 years old I took my first full-time job in a doctor’s office. The office staff consisted of only two other women besides the doctors. The job would have been joyless had it not been for Loie, who worked as the insurance clerk. She happily sang “O Sole Mio” while she plunked out insurance forms on her manual typewriter. She was wonderful to anxious patients. She took her turn at running to get the doctor’s daily fish on rye. And she was a friend to a timid girl on her first job.

Yesterday was Loie’s 86th birthday and if not for the limitations of a broken hip and wrist, I’m sure she would have been up to some tom foolery.

I had thought I would tell some stories on her, but there are so many I wouldn’t even know where to start. Or which category to go to- the many acts of spontaneity that helped loosen me up to possibility, the hilarious stories of her exploits, the many many anonymous gifts I received that I am almost certain I could track to her (she truly invented Random Acts of Kindness), well, I could even make a whole category of just stories about her driving.

Not one story would do her justice. And she’s making new stories every day. Someday I hope to sit in a circle and just hear and tell great Loie stories. Until then, I’ll just say I love her, and she changed my world.

Oh, and the apple didn’t fall very far from the tree. Check out her daughter Suzanne’s blog.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday Link Love

Isn’t this needle book the sweetest? Lots of great ideas over here.

If you are a Kindle user, here’s a great little spot for you to check out.

Can’t stop thinking about these! Sound mighty tasty (and mighty easy)

Check out this great party that my friend Beth threw!

I would really really like to give this a try. One of two things would have to happen. Either I would need DH to take the dogs and go somewhere for a few days, or better yet I would go somewhere and leave him to do it. I would sooo love to do something about my 80’s style cabinets.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Monday

I was over the moon happy this morning when I read that the great kids at PS22 and their wonderful teacher Mr. B will be performing at the Oscars!  This is how they found out….I think they are happy about it!

These kids are no strangers to stars, but they always seem to be so excited and happy to see their guests.  I love this guest and their response.

It Gets Better

To say that high school was not one of the best “seasons” in my life would be an understatement. I think it seems worse to me now than it did then, but it seemed pretty sad most of the time then. I wasn’t attractive or intellectual or self-confident or fun enough to ever really feel like I had a niche. The greatest grace during that time was that I did have some wonderful friends, some who are my friends to this day. But overall, I don’t remember ever aspiring to being thin and beautiful or bright and fun, but I do remember the constant wish to just be invisible. I muddled through, and at this stage of my life realize that a good portion of that could just be chalked up to adolescent angst, but some of it was very real. Overweight girls in high school, at least in the early 70’s took a lot of taunting. One crystal clear moment for me was when a teacher who I respected said to just hold on, that some of us weren’t meant for high school, that life got so much better after graduation.

He was right, and I have an eye now to spot kids that are truly just not meant for high school, and I pray they can just hold on until they get into a bigger, more tolerant world.

I have been so moved and so inspired by the It Gets Better series of videos. Some very courageous folks and also very successful have held out a hand to pull a kid through, encouraging them to hold on- that life indeed does get better.

So, I just this weekend read this great quote from E.M. Forster, writtten over 100 years ago and I wanted to shout, “Amen!”

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and bies; school was the unhappiest time of my life, and the worst trick it played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible. From this platform of middle age, this throne of experience, this alter of wisdom, this scaffold of character, this beacon of hope, this threshold of decay, my last words to you are: "there's a better time coming."

Keep your eyes open- there are lots of kids out there- some overweight or gay or just awkward- who need a hand to make safe passage from adolescence to adult life where it does, indeed, get better.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Several years ago in a conversation with a colleague about her adult children she said that at some point in their early teens she had this insight that she was “growing her own friends”, and that she was then at the point of truly enjoying that friendship.

Both girls were home tonight. My youngest was very attentive and interested as I shared with her some real struggles I am having of late, and she gave me a great insight and gift that was like a load lifted from me. The three of us went out to dinner and talked on top of each other and told funny stories and had a great conversation about love languages. At one point during the evening one of them said, “Look at us, talking woman to woman!”

I grew such extraordinary friends, I should win a prize! Wait! I did!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday Link Love

Aren’t these adorable?!

So, which do I like most? Seattle, Halifax, or Portland?

Love these. They sort of remind me of those Reader’s Digest Christmas trees I made as a child!

Being a lover of doilies, you can imagine I love this and these.

This is one of the sweetest things I’ve read in a while. I start it on Part 4, but you can start at the beginning if you want.

Star light, star bright…..I love these little stars.

Need a break? How about a 2 minute vacation?

Cute idea, not confined to Valentines Day.

Oh so sweet and cute!

Cool idea, although I’m not sure it justifies snow…..

I’d settle for this since I don’t have the real thing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So much to love about each of us!


One of our family traditions, started 9 years ago, was to write in these little books rather than buy Valentines for each other. We used to keep them out all of the time, but in recent years they show up around the 1st of February and hang out the rest of the month in the hopes that each book gets at least one post from each of us. I was just looking through a few of the things written in them

Dad- Thinks for teaching me thangs your so sweet i love you. You are so cute when you talk. “

S, thanks for leting me carry your backpack” (Was someone telling on someone?!!!) Because for sure someone was here. “S always cleans the carpet with the vacum. When Mom is asking her to clean it with the carpet cleaner. Love, K”

K, you nave an excellent vocabulary.”

Mom, I like that you tell me when it is time to get in the tub and for letting Weber sleep on my bed. I like that when I am bad you still let me watch the Olympics.”

You are the sweetest mother I have.”

I love how alert you are.”

You can see why these are my treausres!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Music Monday

For Valentines Day, seems right to use a song that was sung at my wedding.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Love Mountains

I want to walk on the Appalachian Trail, climb to the top of a mountain and yell, I want my children's children's children's children's grandchildren to have this blessing as well. (Mitch Barrett lyrics)

Tomorrow while I am at work, my heart will be in Frankfort on the capital steps with many of my friends who will be attending I Love Mountains Day. It is a fitting way to spend Valentines Day- truly a big wide public display of affection on the part of Kentuckians who are begging to be seen and heard as they seek to protect our beautiful mountains from the horrible mountaintop removal practices of coal companies. It is such an elementary issue that I am both astounded and embarrassed that our state government has at best turned a blind eye to this practice, and at worst has hands dirtied by profit made at the cost of the irreplaceable.

If you are not familiar with this devastating process, and even if you are, just watch this.

A great group of true salt of the earth heroes have already gone on to Frankfort in hopes of speaking truth to power, and they are camping out in the governor’s office waiting to try to reason with him.

Take a few moments out of your Valentines Day to show some love for our mountains. For more info and how best to do that, check out ilovemountains.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Look at this! I won this!

Check it out over at This Week for Dinner

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Sweet is this?!

This is a message of love and appreciation for some women who I do not know, will likely never know. They are members of the Campus Ministry group at Crestwood Baptist Church, and one day a week they come to my daughter’s dorm and take over the laundry room. For the students who show up to do laundry, they offer to take it off their hands and do it for them. They pay for the washers and dryers. They wash, dry, and fold every item, and they pray for that particular student while they do their wash. They put all of the clean laundry back in the basket along with a little love note, and happily hand it back to the student when she comes back to pick it up. They even have a little form that the girls can fill out and put in their laundry basket where they can tell the women if they have special prayer requests. As the women say, “We’re going to be praying for you anyway. Tell us what you would like us to pray about for you today.”

As a mom, just about the quickest way to my heart is to do something kind for one of my kiddos. As my daughter told me about this she said, “And Mom, they even remember me each week and ask me how things are going in my life.” They made her a Valentine bag. So, yeah, they did her laundry. But they also “clucked” over her, they prayed for her, they remember her. Now that’s a Valentine. That’s a message of love-from God’s heart to theirs to my daughters’ to mine. God bless you, laundry ladies!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Link Love


Ah yes, the Valentines edition! So, how about this cake?!

Need a quick little treat that even the kids could help make?

Here’s a whole list of adorable free printable Valentines. One of my friends was telling me that at her kids’ school, they have to make their Valentines. Wish I had had this list to share with her earlier!

I think these are so so so cute, and if I had a printer and sticky paper, I’d be all over these.

Ohhhhhh I’m pulling out all of those old album covers! I see a family picture coming on!!

Have you seen those videos where someone takes a picture of themselves every day for a year or whatever? Here’s a fun way to make that happen, if you are so inclined.

I fantasize about having a kitchen like this. I want all drawers and no more deep unusable cabinets!

I wish this shed was in my back yard. Instead of the shed we have- filled with lawnmower and tools and bike parts and paint cans…

Fun little game to play if you plan to host an Oscar Party this year.

What a pretty table these would make!!!

Joanne has the sweetest blog called The Simple Wife. One month ago, this beautiful young mother had a massive stroke. Her husband has been faithful to keep her blog going, many have been faithful in prayer for her, and she has been faithful in pushing herself further than they even thought she could. Can you imagine how Joanne must feel when she wakes up to this room? What wonderful friends and family she has to fill her room with so much love! Will you pray for Joanne?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Little Treasure for Tuesday

I’m taken with this video. There is a follow up to it too. Check it out.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Music Monday

My friend Paul at church last week.  Thanks Dan!


We finished up a series on Fidelity at church today, and we had each been invited to share an example from our lives. There were some very tender stories of aunts and parents and church staff members and friends who have been faithful on a number of fronts.

I have been a witness to Fidelity- in the lives of so many I cannot even count them all and could never do them justice. The example that was on my heart this morning though was of the man who was my father’s dearest friend. One of the last things my father ever said aloud while laying in a hospice bed was to point to him and say, “That’s my BEST friend.” His name is Mr. Hawkins. A kinder, more gentle man would be hard to find. And he has walked the long road of Fidelity.

His faithfulness is far flung and steady and at times unmerited, often times thankless. He has loved his sweet wife since they were teens, with a love that is both tender and fierce. He is a wonderful father, even though I’m sure it was a rude awakening for both of his kids to get out into the world and find that not everyone is as kind or as helpful or as intelligent as their dad. He loves and cares for his church and church family, with that love made real in transporting widows, coaxing an ailing air conditioner compressor back to life, or sitting beside a family who waits while a loved one is in surgery. His faithfulness comes full circle from tilling to planting to harvest to table, and no visiting preacher or family in crisis has ever gone hungry if the Hawkins had anything to do with it.

Even in the face of his own diagnosis with an aggressive cancer and on days when his energy is clearly diminished, he continues to quietly serve others, blessing those whose intent was to bless him.

To use the title of a Eugene Peterson book, Mr. Hawkins has indeed exemplified A Long Obedience In The Same Direction. I think my dad, another great example of Fidelity, chose his best friends wisely.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Six Word Saturday

What a long and delicious Saturday!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Warmth and good cheer


In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.

Brian Tracy

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday Link Love


I always delight in the images Andrea captures!

Lots of fun ideas for a Valentine party here, class party or otherwise.

Sweet little calla lily Valentines

I love this plate wall!

I’d like a tree of happy little bull finches.

Oh my oh my oh my, what a cutie!

This houseboat! In Amsterdam! So sweet!

Food on sticks….again!

Definitely have to give this a try.

I am and always have been a sucker for pretty colored bottles!

For a second, I almost think I could create art like this just by seeing the technique. Just for a second. But her art is so beautiful!

Sweet sweet video. Hanky alert.