29 December 2009

New Year's Resolution

Hubby and I are going to try counting our calories again starting January 1st. Gotta finish up the Christmas treats first! LOL!

It should be easier to do this now that the kids aren't home. I always felt guilty not having a lot of filling food around for them because they're all SLIM!

Best wishes to all who are making resolutions and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

25 December 2009

A good Christmas day...

This was a very quiet Christmas. The first since all three of our kiddos left the nest!

Josh and Jess had planned to drive up from Texas right after Christmas, but had to change their plans, so we had a good visit over the phone instead.

Jordan spent the night and today with us. If we're really blessed he may spend the night tonight. He's lots of fun to have around!

Micah and Adam drove through the snow storm about 90 miles from Fergus Falls and are staying with Adam's dad a couple of miles down the road. They came over this afternoon and all five of us piled into the pickup, Bob put it in 4WD and we headed for Bemidji, about 60 miles away, to enjoy the Super Buffet (Chinese food) for our Christmas dinner. It was delicious and we had so much fun visiting. Then they were off to go and visit Adam's mom and step-dad. We'll see them again in the morning before they head home.

I did a lot of baking so I could send goodies home with them. I made fudge, kringla and Christmas cookies and also a German chocolate cake for us after I've given away all the goodies. =0) I should have skipped the cake, because WE don't need it. Oh well!

We're also watching a lot of movies-Christmas and otherwise. Hope you all had a blessed Christmas!



24 December 2009

A Christmas message from my son's blog...


It's almost Christmas again. It really doesn't feel like it to me because it's my first Christmas in Texas. It was 70 yesterday and even though it's pretending to snow right now, it's not really going to last on the ground.

This is a very passionate day. It's lost so much in our minds but it's the day we celebrate God invading Earth to rescue his broken children. It's much less tame than we usually think. If we're going to be like Him then we need to know what He meant by coming. Jesus came passionately, chasing after broken hearts. He wasn't willing to stand back and watch how things turned out.

Christmas is a very hard time for a lot of people. A time that's based around family is that much lonelier for someone who is alone, hurt or struggling with depression. This is the time for us to chase passionately after broken hearts, too. Be deliberate about love. Smile, share, offer a kind word. Live freely, love fiercely, and never close your arms.


23 December 2009

A favorite old book...

Some time ago I read "Surprised by Joy" the autobiography of C.S. Lewis. In it he mentioned a book he had read as a boy. It was called "Castle Blair" by Flora L. Shaw and he said it told the story of a typical Irish aristocratic family and how they lived. I was intrigued and found this wonderful copy on eBay for about $6. I think it's a real treasure and I'm still reading it. I've found several good books with the help of Mr. Lewis! =0)

20 December 2009

Haines, Alaska...

As I've been reading Heather Lende's book, "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name", I've become more and more curious about the little town of Haines, Alaska. I wanted to see actual pictures to see how they compared with the pictures in my mind. I had to do some digging. I began to think there was an unwritten rule that no pictures of the actual town were allowed to be shown! I found pictures of the fjord and mountains surrounding the town and videos of bears frolicing in the water, but no actual buildings! Well, my labor finally paid off and I found a nice video of this little place that looks surprisingly like the one in my imagination. Heather makes it sound like so much fun to live in Haines, but I see a lot of similarities between her Alaskan village and mine in northern Minnesota. We may not have mountains, but we also aren't quite so isolated. I think I like where I am, but it's always interesting to visit other places, and it's so easy thanks to the internet!

I also found Heather's blog and an online column she writes, so I can enjoy more of her great writing after I've finished the book.

Adios and Shalom!

18 December 2009

Linus and the Annie Moses Band...



14 December 2009

I love to watch these videos!


I'm still reading a book called "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name" by Heather Lende. She is such a good storyteller and really makes you care about her family, friends and neighbors who live in the remote town of Haines, Alaska.

The book is a mix of funny and sad stories, but the last chapter I read was full of her memories of neighbors and acquaintances who had died while flying their small aircraft to and from Haines. It's a fairly inaccessible village and flying is the only way to get in and out at certain times of the year. She has also related many stories of people being lost at sea while fishing, since many in the village make their living by fishing commercially. Suddenly, I was overcome by grief, not just for these individuals, but for the whole human race. I found myself weeping and asking God, "WHY?" I didn't feel angry at God; I was just filled with this question of why God doesn't just stop people from being born into this world where sadness, grief and death are inescapable. Why does the cycle of birth and death continue when He could stop it at will?

I don't have the answer to that one and I know His Son lived through the same experience, so he knows about our suffering firsthand. I'm confident He has good reason for allowing it all to continue and He says that children are a blessing from Him, so earth wouldn't be as blessed if we just stopped conceiving with a view to making things easier for ourselves. It's one of those mysteries that will only be answered when we reach Heaven. Meanwhile, we must trust Him for each step of the way.

Heather Lende mentioned a scripture that comforts her when she's remembering these sad events. It's in Psalm 139, and it says:

"If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Thy hand will lead me,
And Thy right hand will lay hold of me." (v. 9-10)

Another was Psalm 107, which was inscribed in a memorial to fishermen lost at sea:

"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep."

These scriptures remind me of the fact that God is with us in this adventure called life and He has things under control, IF we've turned control of our lives over to Him. If we haven't, life would be truly terrifying, because we have NO control over anything, much as we might like to think otherwise. We don't even control whether we draw the next breath.

Thank you, Lord, for being there with us through it all. Thanks for giving us enough answers to trust in You even though we may have to wait for the answers to some questions.

God sees death from a whole different perspective than we do. I'm reminded of Isaiah 57:1-2 which says:

"The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart;
And devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from evil,
He enters into peace;
They rest in their beds,
Each one who walked in his upright way."

So, death, at God's appointed time, is His way of "taking us away from evil". Hopefully this will comfort us when we lose a loved one. Though we will grieve, we also have hope, knowing they are safe with God and we will be also when our appointed time arrives.

Meanwhile, our task is to tell others, to spread the gospel message so others won't have to live in fear and so they can have hope, also.


13 December 2009

Peace in the Midst...

As long as I'm posting my children's writings I thought I would post this piece written by my son, Jordan, (age 27) in October of 2009. I found it on the "Notes" page of his Facebook profile.

Peace in the Midst

Even when I beg You to speak, but I won't listen...
Even as I'm constantly surprised by my childish motives...
Even as I am terrified to fully trust You to protect me...
Even when I forget that Your life is on display in mine...

You are working to bring me closer to Your mark.
You are shaping me to move more freely.
You are saving me from who I would have been.
You'll whisper 'til I know Your voice.

I know that in time You'll complete me.
I desire to love like You.
Give me peace and joy during Your perfect process.
Through it let Your will be done.

You are faithful, Lord.
You are subtle and then overwhelming.
You are perfect love.
Let my days be worhsip to You.

12 December 2009

Bullet fragments...

(This is from a blog written by my son, Josh. I think he's a very insightful young man! He and his wife, Jess, live in Dallas. This was written in August 2008, before they were married.)

Bullet Fragments

I used to work with this girl. I didn't know her that well but we got along pretty well. I don't remember that many things that we talked about, but I remember one thing perfectly. One day we were talking and she just stopped and said, "You have pretty eyes". It was totally innocent and she wasn't hitting on me or anything, but I've never forgotten it. I've felt better about how I looked since she said that. My girlfriend tells me that alot but this girl was the first one who'd ever said anything like that. It's amazing how a simple kind word can lodge in your heart and stay with you. Imagine how long a hurtful word would stay! Imagine the damage done by a fragment left inside of a heart. Always think, before you shoot, about the final resting place of your words. Plant something that grows; something that heals.

08 December 2009

minus 4...

Yes, that's the temperature! Minus 4! Thanks to the Lord, our little woodstove, with the help of a couple of baseboard heaters is keeping our log cabin pretty comfortable.

Hubby left early this morning to make a 2 hour drive to Fergus Falls (MN) to watch my dd, Micah, take her semester finals for her Equine Science course. That entails spending about 6 hours at the horse ranch where classes are held. The students do part of their finals on horseback and doing various demonstrations and then take the written part of the exam. Then he's loading up 5 big round bales on a trailer and coming home. I hope he gets back before dark! I was planning to go also, but with it being so cold I figured I'd better stay home and keep the stove going. Here's a link if you want to see the Red Horse Ranch! This is a horse crazy girls' dream-come-true!

As part of Micah's Equine Science course she has to write up a business plan and figure out the costs of starting her business including buying land, building the barn and house, etc. down to the smallest detail such as hooks to hang bridles on, lumber, nails, EVERYTHING! She did a good job with some mentoring from her dad. Her dream is to have a youth ranch where she can help troubled girls. She plans to go on and get a social work degree after Equine Science.

I just found some sandpaper and I'm going to make a template for cutting out quilt squares. It's a good day for cutting flannel squares and doing a little sewing. I may not get far, but it's a start!

Better go check that stove. Stay warm! =0)


06 December 2009

a patchwork of my life...

Patch #1:
Jordan dropped by yesterday and heard "Emmanuel" (see post below) for the first time. He really likes it, too. He worked out the chords on the guitar and we agreed that he would sing it and I would do the harmony. This will probably be my last time to sing with him for a long time since he heads for Dallas in the middle of January. Sure will miss him, but I'm very glad that he's following what he believes God wants him to do with his life right now. He's single, so it's a good time to try some new things.

Patch #2:
I was pondering in church this morning and asking myself, "I wonder why I always end up behind a very tall man who blocks my view of the song lyrics on the screen?" LOL! I'm really distractable during the worship portion of the service. In addition to the tall man in front of me, the songs are usually too high for my alto voice (and I suspect for a lot of people) and lots of little peevish thoughts try to introduce themselves as I supposedly "worship". But it's all an exercise in discipline, I guess. I have a little talk with myself, reminding myself to focus on the Lord and not on everything around me. By the end of the worship I'm beginning to get myself tuned in. Corporate worship will never be easy for me because I'm so ADD. I really have to close my eyes just to keep focused.

Patch #3:
As I practice my guitar, my goal is to be able to lead singing in a small home-based worship/prayer gathering. This isn't something my husband and I have really planned to do, I just think it's good to be prepared because I think small groups meeting in homes is how this whole church thing got started and I think it's what Jesus had in mind when he told us not to forsake gathering together. It's hard to really have fellowship with people in a really large group of people. I mean the type of fellowship where you know people and their needs and can support each other in prayer and with practical help. Anyway, that's what I'd like to do someday. When it happens we'll need someone to lead singing, so I'm starting to get ready!

Patch #4:
It's interesting how married couples start out as a team. Us against the world. Then kids come and your life focuses on them. Then when they're all grown you find that it's just the two of you against the world...again! Well, actually, Bob and I never went through that first "team" phase, because he came into the marriage with four big kids, so we're experiencing the two of us for the first time now. We've always had kids to think about before ourselves, so we kind of wondered what we'd do to fill the void when they were gone. It is kind of quiet, but it's also kind of fun to see what it's like to just be "us against the world". We help each other with the firewood gathering and keeping the house warm now that it's getting colder. We're having to trust the Lord day-to-day for finances, but since it's only us it's not as scary as the old days when we had little ones depending on us. We're facing health issues and trusting in the Lord. We love hearing from the kids and having an occasional visit and seeing what's happening in their lives. It's an interesting time in our lives.

Well, that's four patches, which should make a nice square for my "life quilt". I suddenly feel the urge to dig out all the old flannel shirts I've squirreled away and cut them into quilt squares. Just one of many craft projects I have waiting in my loft upstairs. I have a couple of old quilts that could use a new cover, so hopefully I'll get around to that project this winter!


04 December 2009


Jordan and I are doing this song at church on Dec. 13. I'm hoping he'll sing the lead and I'll do the background. I like it!