Friday, February 24, 2012

spring is coming

We had a ladies retreat with our small group bible study women last weekend. What a wonderful time of resting, relaxing with some margaritas and the hot tub, hiking, painting toe nails, and just getting to know my women friends better. It was beautiful.

One of the ladies led us in some time of reflection on Saturday morning. She showed us a series of photos of various stages of grape vine/vineyard growth -- some were new sprouts, some were snow covered and scraggly, others were in full bloom and bearing fruit... Part of the exercise was to think about what season you were in - are you in the winter gloom or the full bloom of spring or the harvest season? 

I spent some time thinking about this, and the more I thought, the more it seemed like I was in February.  In my opinion, February is usually the most lousy month of winter - dark, gloomy, snowy, cold... it's the darkest hour before the dawn of spring. I feel like I've been in a gloomy winter place for quite a while, with the pain of chronic health conditions and infertility, without much hope of spring.

Recently, a good friend of our church was violently shot in Haiti. And that really caused me some pause. We prayed fervently for his healing, and yet he died. But through it all, we watched his wife worship and praise God...pouring out her heart to her Daddy-God. and we watched God provide financially -- the website set up to fund raise for his medical expenses raised tens of thousands of dollars in a few short days. God was there.  

Through this tragedy, hope began to sprout in my heart. Our friend died, but God's presence was in the midst of it all. God can provide in amazing ways - he can provide a family for us. 

I can't explain it all fully--it is all very much a mystery --but somehow a death brought me hope.

Yesterday, I noticed that I have one small yellow crocus blooming in my garden. The first flowers of spring! Spring is such a gift to me -- I hate the cold and lifelessness of winter and am ever more in love with the glory of spring...each year spring is more beautiful and wonderful to me. Especially this year, in our new home and my little garden...and the sprouts of hope in my heart.

We sent in an application to an adoption agency this week. We are hoping to adopt from Africa this year and are praying that those sprouts of hope will blossom and bring children into our home and family.

I'm starting a new blog to document our journey -  for anyone who is interested in following our adoption journey here's the link.  I may still post some things here from time to time, but I have a feeling the other blog will be a focal point for a little while...

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Keith and I are now dog owners. His name is Calvin and he makes me smile :-)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Joy

A few weeks ago, I was shopping with my parents at Menards. We made our purchases and chose a check-out line. The gentleman who helped us was named Bobby. He noticed my dad’s necklace and he and dad struck up a conversation.

My dad is pretty creative – he does quite a bit of carving, especially with shed deer antlers. The necklace he was wearing was an antler cross. Bobby asked how much he would charge for something like that; he sure would like to have one.

Today, my mom & dad went to Menards again to look for Bobby, but he wasn’t there. Dad gave me 3 different crosses and asked me to look for Bobby next time I went to Menards. I went there a little later in the day to buy some stuff for the dog and happened to be in Bobby’s check-out line. I asked him if he remembered my dad, with the deer antler carvings. He said he did. I showed him the 3 options and he chose one. Then he gave me a big hug and I told him Merry Christmas and God bless. He seemed genuinely moved by the act of kindness and told me to make sure I told my dad that he’d be in his prayers.

It was wonderful to share some joy this Christmas season with a stranger. I’m thankful for Bobby and pray that this small act helped bring the love and light of Jesus in to his hear this Christmas season.

Monday, November 7, 2011


My grandma is 96 this year. Until recently, she'd been living on her own and doing really well. This fall, she had some heart trouble and had to have a pace maker. Since that ordeal, she's been living with my parents. She seems to be doing ok there, but her memory is a little cloudy. It is hard to see her fading, physically and mentally. She's been such a sweet constant presence in my life, and is one of my favorite people in the world. I love you, Grandma.

She was a good sport with our silly photos with "the head" my uncle got me for Christmas a couple years ago:

Me, mom, grandma, & Rachel:

We were trying to gather up the great-grand kids for a photo, and Emmett wasn't cooperating! I love how she's laughing in the background in this picture!
Grandma and my cousin Jenny's little boy, Sidney:
The whole family:

ice bucket

I've been wanting an ice bucket to use in our new house, but haven't wanted to pay for one. It is on the "list" of things we want to get eventually...just not one of the top priorities. I was browsing around the Goodwill thrift store recently, and found this lovely thing for 99 cents. I wasn't crazy about the colors. For less than a dollar, though, I thought it would serve the purpose just fine.
When I got it home, I thought I'd try to cover it with something. The bucket has an inside removable layer, so I hot-glued some fabric around it. I like this much better!

It still looks a little funny inside, but overall, I was really happy with the result!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This year for Thanksgiving, we celebrated with lots of family at my brother & sister-in-law's house. We had so much food and family fun.

The girls were silly, as usual... I like this picture, with my sweet grandma in the background:

Keith was considering a career in farming...on his first John Deere tractor...

Grace is taking piano lessons - fascinating for the other kids...
and I couldn't resist taking a picture of all these wonderful desserts! we had two kinds of cheese cake, a couple of chocolate pies, a couple of pumpkin pies, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin mousse, a jello/whipped cream dessert, and a coconut cream pie... I had a terrible time deciding which ones to eat!

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dino stuff

For Christmas this year, I made my nephew a dinosaur scarf and hat. so fun. I can't wait to see him wear these!

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