June 2003

The Welcome Home Blog for June 2003

June 30, 2003  The final day of June!  Amazingly the year is half over—already!!  Days are long and weeks fly by!!!
We’re looking at school sites today… looking for printable worksheets and we came across another valuable site for these.  It’s a secular site, so not all the subjects/subject areas will be pertinent to us. I’m sure it’s an invaluable site for teachers… hence the name: Sites for Teachers.  We are trying to get lots more schooling in during these days so that when we have ‘vacation days’ we can just totally relax knowing that we’ve attempted to do our best all the other days.  We find that schooling year around is best for our family because of all the different things we like to do year ’round.  We like to take drives, do canning, gardening, some go to work to with Daddy, some do sewing projects, computer projects, etc…  We try to learn new things everyday. Our biggest challenge lately is waiting for the new library to open!  It’s going to be a wonderful new library when it’s fully completed!  It seems that normally, most everyday our children reserve books online and we run over and pick them up.

June 29, 2003

Our family celebrated birthdays today… our youngest and our oldest have birthdays two days apart. So it was German Chocolate for one and a buttermilk white cake for the other.   Sort of melancholy I was while making these cakes… one for the last baby and one for the oldest. But, what a blessing it was for me to make this son’s cake.  You see, when a son takes a wife, it’s a new day for mama.  It’s a new row.  It’s wonderful and bittersweet… you spend years and years running and running to launch this ship and finally the day comes and the ship is launched and it sails away and you stand at the dock almost breathless… a whole ocean of love and memories to sail on…but the boat is no longer yours to guide and it seems the challenge is… where do I fit in this scheme?  It’s a new day for mama… well, it’s been 5 birthdays now that I’ve been thinking this… there’ll probably be many more…

June 27, 2003  Today’s been sort of a strange day!  All the things I intended to do haven’t gotten done yet and other things have!  I type the bulletin for our church and so I was gathering a few new fonts.  Our friends have a new baby boy so I had to find a special new font to announce this terrific news!!  (Psst: Luke Joshua was born to J & K this morning!  Now the Camp summer schedule’s complete!—and in talking to her this evening, she was rejoicing at the goodness of the LORD on her behalf!)

I went to the cleaners to pick up the shirts—yes, I know, I know—I could have ironed them all myself (and I really do like to iron!) but I can’t express to you how pleased I am to have this job totally out of the way.  Now, all I really need to do is press my husband’s daily work shirts and the closet job will be finished.  I used to have a rule that nothing was hung in the closet that wasn’t ready to wear! Ha——–I’d have a permanent avalanche in the ironing basket were that still the case today!  However!—I still attempt to hold to that rule!  Okay now—there was a point to the telling of the trip to the cleaners. I’d made a couple of stops and while pulling into the parking space at the cleaners, I ran over a sharp object (however—I did not know this!!) and when I got out of the van, I heard this terrific loud hissing sound and didn’t know where it was coming from—well, my Joey found the problem and while I called my husband—who was not working close by today 🙁 —a man asked if he could help me.  I thanked him and he quickly changed the tire! When I asked for his name and address (so that my husband could repay him) he said that’s okay… you’ll do something nice for someone else some day. I told him that the LORD always takes care of us, to which he replied, “and He does a good job of it, too.”  His name is Ed and I’m thankful he’d just taken a bike ride with his son and was there.  (I was equally glad that I had a spare tire that still had most of the air in it! and that the new heavy-duty jack and tools were in the back of the van.  I said “most of the air” because I heard some of it being released a few days ago… by the same boy who heard where the hissing was coming from today

My girls and I like to look at pretty things on the web… so today was wedding dresses and wedding… stuff   Oh… the petty things and more pretty things for the hope chest.  I know it seems we’re going overboard here.

You know it’s inspired by our precious Hope Chest book!  I tell you, you need to order this book—it’s the best—I needed this inspiration years ago!  I need so much to do more special things for our daughters.  This has inspired my mom to make some things for Kathryn… my mom does the prettiest and most precise embroidery!  Also, do you know that there are many things young men can do to prepare for marriage.  I know it sounds strange for a man to have a hope chest—but the ideas and suggestions in this book are wonderful.

Still reading in Acts (14) for our Bible study.  What boldness!  You know the thing that’s most impressive is the attitude of Paul and Barnabas—we tend to get so offended or touchy when people reject the message of the cross or the works of Jesus—but we have examples of literally near death experiences leading Paul and Barnabas to and prompting them to rejoicing and boldness of speech!

June 26, 2003   I received a nice letter from the owners of a Christian gift site.  My absolute favourite is the beautiful rose bouquet I think you’ll love it, too! O, the variegated pink-creme roses!  It was nice of them to write so I wanted y’all to know about their site and family biz.   Support brothers and sisters in business and ministry!

Received another nice letter from a woman who writes from time to time and is such a blessing to me.  Isn’t it interesting that we’ve got sisters all over the world that we’ll likely never meet this side of heaven who are such an inspiration to us when we hear from them or see their name on an e-list or something.  Well, Ruth wrote and encouraged me keep up my motivation for cleaning/organizing and to head for another room in the home! …and you know what?  I’ll do it.  I’m so inspired to keep cleaning and ordering things up! 

Joann Fabrics has some really neat specials—and great summer ideas!  It may not seem like the best time to be inside crafting or sewing but if you’re in the Northwest or another part of the world where summers aren’t always hot and sunny, it’s fun to have rainy day projects at the ready—you never know around here—warm and sunny one day, cold and rainy the next!

Part of my weight loss plan includes a loose Atkin’s Diet. I say ‘loose’ because I’m not totally no/low carbs… but I’m really seeking to avoid most all white food. I’m not totally sold on the now bread (I’m talking wholewheat) because of the known advantages there.  I just know I’ve needed a jolt to my system/habits.  Seems all foods are my favourites, but to my shame, I like many mochas and many shortbread cookies. I’m a carbohydrate addict.  Sounds like an AA meeting, doesn’t it; Hello, my name is pamela and I’m a carbohydrate addict.  Ugh.  Well, my attempt to lose weight is sincere—but more than that, I do desire to just not eat whatever I want whenever I want—I desire that as with other areas of life, I’ll do things in order and moderation!  So, for now, to train myself I really like my lunches of Atkins Advantage bars and Apple-cinnamon Tea!

My mom sends me lots of links over the course of a week.  Since she knows that I am trying to learn all I can about gardening, she sends me links for plants and gardening.  The thing I need to always remember is that the weeding must be done regularly… that’s my downfall—I weed the garden like crazy one day and then don’t weed for a week and the pesky critters have doubled it seems!  So… weeding! Onward!

June 25, 2003  No Internet yesterday… what a sad time! 😉  O, what would we do, what would we do???

I just finished the task of cleaning our bedroom and reordering it… since we share our room with our littlest child, it’s necessary to be ordered or it all gets chaotic rather quickly!  However, I like for it to be a romantic place so the dilemma has been to make it be both a nursery and a sweet sanctuary for rest at the same time.  I love doing this and this way I don’t resent having the little one’s share the space. I just had one of my boys get Kathryn’s baby-bed down from the shop so baby can still ‘fit’ in our room (we were just given a very nice toddler bed that is quite a bit longer that another *delighted* little one will use upstairs).  Attic bedrooms in an old farmhouse don’t lend themselves to much ‘space-making’ as the rooms themselves were the original space-making effort in this home. Little closet space and low ceilings prevent much storage or vertical wall space… but we always seek ways to make things work—and work better.

What a wonderful feeling to have that closet cleaned!  It isn’t cleaned to perfection as in not a single thing there that ought not be there… but totally clean and reordered with all the clothes ordered up, the shelves ordered and the no longer need/like/wear/fits stuff all cleaned out.  Now… the rest of the story: I put into a Rubbermaid bin all the sweet keepsakes, memorabilia, pictures, etc.!  Then I boxed up all the baby clothes and the maternity clothes. 🙁   For the first time in nearly 25 years…the need for maternity clothes seems to have come to an end.  So, I need not tell you that it was a bittersweet day.  Hand prints of my [24 year old (next week)] baby… pictures done by nearly all the children… baby clothes… photographs and birthday cards… teeth and hair clippings… lots of newspapers.  I save newspapers from special days in their lives, in history, or articles of significance to me or to my husband.   I sat on the floor of the closet today…tearfully reading the account of our precious midwife who died nearly seven years ago.  What a wonderful and fitting tribute that article was in the Herald newspaper .  I don’t really remember reading it—though I’m sure I did pour over it at the time at the time.  What a blessing it is today to be a saver-of-quite-a-lot. That will be my new title ~wink&smile~

Kathryn is getting around amazingly well in her wheel chair—I forgot all she did after her last surgery—she amazes me!  Since she can’t do a lot of other things, she’s really been doing an incredible amount of school work!  She’ll finish up this next year with the Far Above Rubies program.  I sure do like the program and the coverage.  We just wish we’d started several years ago so that she could have done every lesson/unit/suggestion earning credits in this remarkable program. Hannah will begin using it in the fall and Samuel will join Timothy in doing Blessed Is The Man—program which is comparable and they’ll share many of the same texts/textbooks/materials and will have many other activities that will be gender appropriate (as you can tell, we’re old-fashioned about men’s & women’s roles).  I’ve sure come to believe that young men really ought to have all their formal education done before age 16 and then move on to their vocational studies (if they’ve not already begun them well before age 16).  Boys becoming men need to be busy, hard at work and focused… and Mama can’t be the leader… Dad needs to be the leader, here—    yes, that’s in-my-not-so-humble-opinion….saver-of-quite-a-lot

June 24, 2003   I am finally cleaning our clothes/storage closet!  This is a major undertaking bcz of all the sweet memorabilia from all the years of raising up the children.  My inclination is to save everything…but this penchant has collided with reality and consequently, so I’ve had to face the truth that I mustn’t save EVERYthing.  So I am eliminating what I can and ordering (for now) into boxes and will decide at another time what I can actually part with—So… order, that’s the attempt, that’s the goal—it always is!  There’s so much help if you want it… there’re so many sites that will help you clean, order, organize… I haven’t listed them because several I perused had links or some wording that would be/might be offensive so I stopped my search.

Sometimes I sign up for recipes to be sent to my inbox each week.  Generally I don’t subscribe for very long but some I continue to enjoy.  One I just signed up for is the Lipton recipe newsletter —not necessarily for the Lipton products, but sort of like how I use (the magazines) Taste of Home or Quick Cooking, I really like the suggestions and so I just take a look around my kitchen to see what I might have that would make that or a comparable dish.

O, just last night I took a little browse through the Toys for a Lifetime site. It’s just filled with all types of toys and puzzles and music boxes and more… all the things I wish we’d invested in when we were a young family.  There are so many things I’ve learned along the way that I so wish were part of the foundation or fabric of our family.  Many things we didn’t learn until recent years… many things we’ve yet to learn or begin to understand.

Here in the Snohomish valley, there are so many farms, cottonwood trees—lots of trees, really and grasses, etc., and my o my, what havoc with allergies.  We’ve tried Claritin, and didn’t fare so well with Allegra and today I was looking at Alavert but it seems much like Allegra.  One of my boys really has a time with allergies and a few of us are bothered by the cottonwood and grasses this time of year.  I think this is the first week I’m not feeling like my brain itches!

June 23, 2003   My husband sent me a note of love with this link… and I clicked and clicked and clicked… reading all the things he thought for me which were all the things I thought for him.  I didn’t/couldn’t read all 2700 of them (nor did he) —but the specific links he sent me were the sweetest thoughts.  Ever wonder what to do while you’re sitting at your desk with the phone on hold or waiting to hear from someone?  You could click on ‘one liners’ these are about love and you could click to read hundreds of new thought on love or many other things… all from a site dedicated to —I guess, web apnea!  You could even *play hangman and from what little I saw, the *scrabble is pretty tough sometimes!!

Oh, an speaking of games, our son is in computers-networking-etc., and one of his clients was Cranium and so he got us a *Cranium game which the children love to play!  It’s actually been a fun game for the teens to play when friends come over. And for Joey’s birthday, a couple of weeks ago, he got the *Cadoo game. Anyway… there are some online games you can play.
*Remember, I’m just providing a note of caution—these are not specifically designed to be “Christian” games.

We’ve been doing online IQ tests the last few days.  Really interesting to see how you rank… try it,  you’ll do better than you think!

For Sunday, June 22, 2003 
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
—Hebrews 10:25

June 21, 2003
I hold in my hands a treasure—really!  I just received my copy of the book The Hope Chest: A Legacy of Love  by Rebekah Wilson.  I so look forward to reading and re-reading this book… which is already so precious to me.  The woman who wrote it has an incredible story and website which you can enjoy, too.  This book is just such a treasured gift in that it thoroughly explains so many facets of the Hope Chest, the origins or traditions of items for the hope chest. It is the inspiration I’ve needed to begin collecting items for the hope chest we’re giving our daughter.  I’m learning through this book that there are many treasures that should go into a hope chest that would largely be overlooked… things like music, childhood toys or clothing, scrapbook and pictures… see, I would have been “forward thinking” rather than “backward thinking” as I prepare things for the hope chest.  That’s why I say Rebekah has opened my eyes—there is so much more to the future than my narrow vision saw… part of my daughter’s future is all of her past.  I know that… I knew that… but I never thought that it all belongs in the hope chest. I so wish I’d been gathering things along the way for my precious oldest daughter… but I’m firmly deciding to do what I can from here and to use this as a prompting to work on treasures for the other daughters as I seek to bless the oldest. So… my sincere thanks to the LORD and to Rebekah.
I must go prepare some things to bring to the pot-bless at church tomorrow.  Now, the reason it’s called pot-bless is because there is no place for “luck” in the life of a believer.  Isn’t it so easy to just say, “good luck!” to some one?  But really, we must change that thinking to: God Bless you…. or some such meaning.  Anyway… we’ve been laughing around here that the other reason we want it to be pot-bless is because of the number of times we’ve tasted pot-curse!  And that’s absolutely NOT what we want to prepare and bring to the party tomorrow!!  😉
      We went to our friend’s home last evening for the »«yellow ribbon»«  tying party!  This morning her husband will return home to see his entire yard decorated with hundreds of yellow ribbon tied on all the bushes, shrubs, trees, posts, fences, etc. A friend even painted a huge yellow ribbon on the large white garage door making it look like a large package fills the opening to the garage!  As we were talking, many were commenting on the origin of the yellow ribbon

I just received my CBD catalog and it’s filled with amazing discounted prices on books we’ve been thinking of buying.  On another site…I don’t know if the books are at a “phenomenally low price” but there may be a book or twenty you’ve been searching for.  Anyway, take a look at the list of Reformed and conservative evangelical Christian books from some pastors’ libraries.
June 20, 2003 
Our friend’s finally coming home from spending 7 months in Kuwait/Iraq. We praise the LORD and thank him and the others who have served or are serving to preserve our freedom! At first I thought it was so…. so something… what?… that everyone was saying “We’ll never forget…” and yet, in a large measure, we’ve forgotten a lot of the pain and tragedy of September 11th. But the servicemen, the families… never forget and our friend’s absence has been a daily reminder of the heinous terrorist tragedy that began that day. I just read this quote: “It’s the soldier  not the poet who gives you the freedom of speech.” So, I’m thankful for the men who died… served.. and are serving today for the freedom we love as Americans. So we’re having a yellow-ribbon tying party!!

Another dreary day… so I am going to do some fun things around the house day… fun laundry, fun cupboard and closet cleaning and fun colouring pages for our little ones and some more for our older little ones!
Even though it’s raining and he’s somehow hurt his foot (!) my husband is trying to get some pools done… this time of year, the customers really want their pools done before the 4th of July!  He resurfaces pools… with different liners, coping stone, etc.  Oh, I know… I DO need for fix up the website.  It needs some pizzazz!
Guess I’ll have to set the blog aside 😉  for a day or two and get his pages fixed up!

O, here’s something I’ve been thinking about that I thought: I have to share it with you!  We have a friend who was traveling last fall and while using the ladies room at a rest stop, she’d hung her purse on the hook on the back of the door and suddenly seemingly out of nowhere a person reached over the top of the stall and grabbed her purse.  She instantly screamed and the would-be-thief dropped the purse and fled.  So I was reminded of this last night as I began to hang my purse on the hook on the back of the door at a restaurant—even though there were no other patrons present—I decided to be cautious.  There are so many ways we ladies must beware or guard against personal attacks or acts of violence—this warning is not to incite fear—just caution—remember we are to “be not afraid with any amazement” [[ 1Peter 3.6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”]] so we live in the Fear of the LORD!  In Him is our safety, He is our shield and buckler.

Well, I really must go… I’ve just been informed that my son is outside sipping on a puddle… yes, with a straw.

June 19, 2003 Continuing our study in Acts today.  Still in chapter 13—I say still, because of how long it sometimes takes us to study through a book.   But, I was just thinking… there is nothing better to be ‘still’ doing than reading and studying the Word.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the husband I have—his discipline, diligence and dedication are inspirational to me.  His tenacity carries me—and I know it.  I’m humbled by the blessing he is.  Oh, it’s such a dreary looking day to me outside!  My friend loves these days because she loves all the shade of gray and white… So, I often try to see God’s handiwork of gray and white.
I did some touch up painting yesterday and will complete it (or at least attempt to) today!  I’m not as pleased with the
Valspar paint as I am with the Columbia Masterpiecepaint.  It’s thin and Masterpiece paint isn’t so. I decided to paint our dining room wainscoting and china rail/cabinets a few years ago because they were soooo dark —you know that nearly black stain that was popular a hundred (literally) years ago!  Well… I’m extremely sensitive to “low-light” so I just has to do something about the walls in the dining room and living room. I need to paint the ceiling—but that’s going to be a project for another day.

I had a call from the Doctor about Naomi’s (ear/partial deafness) and he suggested we go to Children’s in Seattle.  I am looking forward to helping her—or rather seeing her receive help.  In the meantime, I’m waiting to talk to the audiologist to see what she suggests. Lots of waiting these days…
We just received the beautiful invitation to the August wedding I was talking about the other day.  They are so happy and are so looking forward to marriage! They’re registered at the wedding channel—there’s a neat feature for the bride and groom to set up a registry or a wedding website!

We rejoice with friends who just got fixed!  Yep… as private as that is, I want to share that there is help and restoration if a couple has broken God’s design for a man and there’s a doctor who’s being used of the LORD to restore a man through the reversal process.  We’ve heard great things about Dr. Leverett in Texas.  No matter the future outcome (children or no) they desire to give back to God His rightful place of opening and closing the womb and not preventing the possibility future blessings as it depends on them. 

June 18, 2003 Our farmhouse is surrounded by a field (hay) and from my kitchen window I see the runway of Harvey Air Field which provides an interesting year round view!  The field there looks like it’s just been plowed.  Right now it is tall… and I’m allergic to the grass I think!  (Claritin doesn’t help!!)   In our area, this is the busiest time of year with all the small planes taking off & landing, plus all the skydivers and hot-air balloons which we love watching from our yard—Sometimes I sort of feel sorry for the honeymooners or lovers celebrating special events who are sort of held hostage over our yard/home until they get enough lift to drift up and away.  Our children love to call to the people and wave to them over and over (waves and conversation the people always feel obligated to return!).  If it’s a particularly beautiful balloon, I like to take pictures looking straight up into the balloon above the basket. In addition to all that goes on at the airfield, traffic really becomes almost a nightmare as many people like to come to town to look at/for antiques or just to drive around the old town to see the buildings and old houses. In a month we’ll have our annual KlaHaYa Days backyard BBQ party.  This is a special time to visit old (and new) friends and share in the fun of watching the skydivers and hotair balloons. O, and there’s always some pretty good foods to share! 😉     O, that’s right—the DIET!  :-p

June 17, 2003  Today’s my mama’s birthday and so we had a sweet tea party for her at noon.  We didn’t do a tea like the one we did last year, as we sort of celebrated on Sunday.  In Bible study, reading through Acts sure has made me reconsider some more of the things we do by rote or tradition.  More on this another day.

I’m not sure if there’ll ever be books more precious to me than my new Karla Dornacher books, but I was just looking through Sandy’s tea site and she has a pretty book on teas and tea parties.  Just looking through her site alone will inspire you to do a tea or to invite someone in for a visit over a cup of tea.

Last night my husband bought me a scale!  Now, I’m not exactly thrilled and he did tell me that he was only trying to help me as I have been so discouraged about not losing much weight after the last baby who will be two at the end of the month!  This is no longer post partum weight or pregnancy weight—this is just plain overweight.  So he bought a
tanita scale and we brought it home… and got a rude awakening.  So, needless to say, I need to get serious about losing this extra 20 pounds which seems impossible to me today!  I did find some interesting sites to help me, maybe they’ll help you, too.  Oh, to learn to avoid tasting treats or breads in order to get back to my ‘ideal’ weight. I do still love my husband even though he bought me that hateful scale.  I was thankful it wasn’t equipped with an audio broadcast system which might have said, “One at a time, please!”

I just love our Ready Mop–in the just the short time I’ve had it, I’ve needed it so many times.  I’ve been a bit concerned about the expense of the pads so I’m considering some ideas to create my own washable pads.  I saw the sh-mop and after seeing the sh-mop, I decided that I just might sew some terrycloth covers for the Ready-Mop.  However, the instant cleaner and toss away pad has sure been convenient.  The other night while we had company in, I needed to quickly mop the kitchen floor after a spill.  The mop was hanging right by the back door all ready to go—thus the name: Ready Mop!

What a sweet and encouraging homemaking site I visited this morning—I received the nicest letter from Terri so I thought I’d share with you her neat site.  The home-schooling links are sure great—I love the Moore’s style of teaching children at home, so the philosophy of the owner of the site is so much like ours from what I can tell so far.
June 16, 2003
I think everyone should have a garden. Really. A garden in the yard, a garden on the patio, porch, kitchen window… somewhere, anywhere possible.  There’s something incredible about walking around the yard looking at flowering shrubs or roses or vegetables coming up in the garden. The garden is a wonderful place to have your devotions in the spring and summer.  But you know, I’m trying to write a WelcomeHome message about the garden because of weeds!  Weeds are like sin—yes, they’re mean and naughty as sin, but that’s not what I’m referring to here.  What I was thinking again this morning as I was walking through the garden is how many copy-cats there are.  Sin is a mocker.  Weeds are mockers.  They, like sin, look a lot like something sweet or good, but they’re a deception.  Our pole beans are coming along nicely and so are the copy-cat weeds… they are climbing right alongside with their copy-cat curly ends.  We like to plant  (and cook!) pole beans and we use some fencing material for the ‘trellis’ that they climb up. The squash are coming along and so are the weeds that look just like squash leaves.  You know that’s just how sin is… some things just seem so fine… *seem* like very little difference in appropriateness and yet, you know one thing is true and right and the alternative is not!  There are enough sweet things in the garden of life… the LORD has provided.  We have no need to look elsewhere!  Today  I was happily surprised to see the huge number of raspberries we’ll have this year!  So I looked for recipes and found lots of new ideas and recipes… actually lots and lots of them!!

I came in the other night—my husband & sons were looking at the computer… laughing until they were nearly crying!  So…here’s what had all the boys in hysterics!  The site is Despair.com and is not a “Christian site” and as such, the humor may not appeal to everyone.  Hope it’s not offensive to you.  It reminded me of how a friend of ours used to have a very large sign on top of his van which read: Work Hard – Millions on Welfare are Depending on You.  O, I always wondered if someone would take offence and attempt to hurt him because of the sign—none did, I guess.

I’ve been thinking of Father’s Day some more and the awesome responsibility husband’s and father’s have in guarding and guiding the family & home.  Then I got to thinking of how many ways we wives make the job difficult—even impossible with our expectations and  :-s  demands.  I am again reminded to meditate on the verse: Every wise woman…
I need to go  p-a-i-n-t!!

June 15, 2003  It’s Father’s Day! It’s been a sweet time here as we had a BBQ lunch and special time of visiting with family.  I’d gotten walkie talkies and a few other things for my husband which pleased him very much.  We celebrated Father’s Day and a couple of birthdays. Lingering sadness in the back of my mind were the bittersweet memories of my father and father-in-law who passed into heaven just three and a half years ago.  I’ll always miss them and I’ll always remember the sweet times. More tomorrow… I’m shot.

June 14, 2003  My husband bought  me another book by  Karla Dornacher!  This one is called The Blessing of Friendship.  O, it’s the most precious book and made me think of things about my special friends that I had forgotten or hadn’t thought about in a long while.   He’s always doing so many nice things for me.  And as tomorrow is Father’s Day, I am trying to think of new things to do to be a blessing to him. 

I sent out a Welcome Home message—the first in a long while.  It been so hard for me to send out messages because I feel so inadequate so much of the time and an recent confrontation really made me take a look at myself and confess insensitivity as sin and set about to be receptive to correction so that I’ll be fully yielded to Christ.  It is so difficult to accept criticism and willingly look in the mirror and determine to practice or live out what the Word instructs us to even when we feel so unable, so inferior—but it’s not inferior, really, it’s pride.  We don’t want people to think badly of us—we don’t want to be people whose actions cause others to have a negative reaction, rather we want others to think the best of us.  I have a great deal of respect for my friends and so I guess that’s why it’s so grievous to me to have been a disappointment.  Okay… enough already.

Sometimes I say,  LORD, stop blessing me so much!  Yesterday we had a surprise visit by some old friends… what a blessing old friends are!  We have a lot of history, lots of  treasured experiences and sweet memories between us.  Well… you can imagine the delight in seeing their car roll in the driveway—and then hearing  the news of their daughter’s upcoming wedding in August!  O,  this little girl—this capable woman—what an amazing transformation from a shy little one to a soon-to-be-bride!

I think the neatest part of the day was Kathryn’s post-op visit to the Doc.  He removed her partial cast and dressings revealing what we’ve prayed for for many years: now two straight feet. It was incredible to behold that sight.  Then Dr. Chesnutis put up the new x-rays of the right foot and  the corrected left foot and they looked identical.  Additionally, when he did an overlay of the two corrected feet, there was no visible difference.

June 13, 2003 Today is my Joey’s birthday.  He’s my most favourite child… I have 10 other most favourite children and two most favourite grandchildren. 😉  Anyway, this boy is charming and he makes me smile. A lot.
O, my… this boy was such a large baby at birth, weighing 11.4# and 24″ long.  O, that was some home birth–but what a most precious time that was… those early days are my very favourite times… I just drink in newborns, their sweet faces and those eyes… those precious eyes that seem to look right through me.  O, those days lying in bed holding the newborn and crying over the grace and goodness of the LORD. There’s something almost intoxicating about those times.  I feel a sort of melancholy sadness today as I recall the midwife who was such a gift to our family… she had such a way with babies, such an intuitive way in birth… we were continually amazed at her skill.  So, today I celebrate the birth of that day, and fondly remember Wendy, who passed into heaven, into the waiting arms of the LORD Jesus, seven years ago August 5th.

Tomorrow—Saturday—is Flag Day… You know it’s Flag Day, don’t you?  Actually, Flag Birthday.  The flag has an interesting history!  I want to Teach the children about the US flag!
And Father’s day is this Sunday—yes, ALREADY!!  I have some ideas for Father’s Day… maybe I’ll even re-send them in a Welcome Home message today!

 June 12, 2003 The morning of our daughter’s first day post op… so difficult, these early days after foot surgery.  We’ve found many helpful ideas and solutions from dilemmas we faced last time. The LORD is so merciful to guide us along, bringing things to remembrance.  Putting a bed in the living room was the best idea last time and we almost didn’t do it this time… but at the last minute decided to call the older children from the hospital to ask them to set it up and our son said, “no problem… the beautification committee will get right on it!” (and they did!!)  Kathryn will be in a wheelchair or on crutches for eight weeks… so I’ve thought about looking for new crutches since the ones she used previously were sometimes painful to use.  There sure are some interesting looking styles of crutches so I’ll be looking around.

Oh, by the way… you know it seem nuts, but I’m continually in search of the GREAT MOP!  So, I (he$itantly, at fir$t) purcha$ed the Clorox Ready Mop  and what a neat new deal! (For now, totally worth the dollar$ $pent!!)  It’s along the same line as my ‘make-shift’ system of attaching a cloth to an old wax mop—but with this method, the cloth continually slipped off. This was an improvement to hands ‘n knees mopping.  I thought of sewing elastic bands to the cloth to slip it over the edge of the mop-head… but never did that job!  So this one’s pretty terrific.  We bought ours at Costco so I’m sure the price we paid is le$$ than might be seen elsewhere.  With the mop hanging there, ‘cloth’ in place, cleaner in place: totally ready to use: mopping has been FUN! Really!  It just may be the PERFECT mop!!

So many needs out there… Women dealing with health issues, sick parents, wayward children. “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, an His ears are open to their cry.” (Psalm 34.15)  Pray for the needs of families, for those and their loved ones who’ve gone astray— suffering from the consequences of sin and rebellion.  The Word is true: the mother of a fool hath no joy (in that).  So difficult to watch the foolish choices destroy the life and yet the fool rages confidently.

By the way, there are lots of types of bunion surgeries… maybe you have a problem like some shown here… some pictures are not for the squeamish!

June 10-11, 2003 Last night we shared a barbecue dinner with a few friends so that our daughter could have the opportunity to visit a little and play a little volleyball before she goes for surgery this morning.  This is the same surgery she had on her left foot 3 months ago.  We feel for her as she’s ambivalent about going through with this surgery—we’re so blessed by the encouraging words and prayers of friends; the wisdom of their advice is carrying me this morning.  Seems when one falls into an ice cold lake it’s one thing, but when one *knows* about that experience, then, the jumping in the next time is the challenge—or the steepness of the climb the first time is surprising, but the next time it’s intimidating and the climb is daunting.  So… for now we hang on to the reality that she’s made this climb and can do it through the LORD who is her strength and shield.

A neat blessing was to have our friend Micah here for a visit.  It’s been over a month since the Abraham Lincoln returned to Everett so it’s been odd to not see or hear from him all this time.  We were all sure glad to see him and such timing of the LORD that we were already planning last evening with friends! I tried to be mindful that everyone wants a piece of the sailor and the sailor is running on empty and has nothing to give.  So we stayed up late talking about everything and nothing, sharing with him our year in pictures and hearing bits and snippets of his year.  One more tremendous blessing is that our friend Torchie’s husband is coming home for a brief visit this weekend!  This, after many months in Iraq—the LORD has so blessed and protected these men—we can only praise Him for His ways and His mercy.

Still don’t have complete results from Naomi’s MRI last week, so that sort of hangs in the back of my mind as Kathryn goes in today. You know, the ways of the LORD are perfect.
I am totally sold on the paint we bought for our home—and am getting used to the colour—it is such a dramatic change!  We’ve had some good suggestions for adding a third colour to the mix, so I am thinking about that.  Since the paint is such a dark blue-green colour and all the trim is white, we’re thinking of adding a dark cherry colour for some parts of the trim and doors.

One more thing… I want to share with you about a book I’m ordering.  Being blessed by the work and ministry of Nancy Campbell, I am so looking forward to this book written by her daughter—a cookbook, but it’s much more than a cookbook—  I understand it’s sort of a kitchen or home companion.  That’s what I’ve hoped and prayed our website would be for families… *that’s* why I look forward to receiving this cookbook.   To order it, you can send a check in to Above Rubies for $15.00 plus $1.80 shipping. The Above Rubies address is: ABOVE RUBIES, PO BOX 681687, FRANKLIN TN 37068-1687 ~Or~ you can go on to Above Rubies web page.

And something totally different… our son visits the Theology Web site fairly regularly—different… interesting—and I’m not just too sure what the base is (Cal. vs. Arm.)  😮

June 9, 2003 Incredible how quickly time has flown and is flying!  In Acts this morning, (this is where we are in our family Bible study) we were reading chapter 13.  In verse 2 it says: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”    Separate for the work whereunto we are called.  Thinking on that, I know we all are called to a work *and* we are called to be separate.  I long to do the will and work of the Lord.

Kathryn had her “pre-op” appt. this morning.  It’s a familiar road and it sure is a lot more difficult one to travel, this.  I long to take her hurts, her challenges, to spare her the difficulties and yet I know it’s in the valley’s she’ll grow and by God’s grace and in His mercy, she needs these things, these difficulties to conform her into the image of Christ.

In painting our house, we’ve been dependent on good weather and so today I was doing some checking and looked at this weather site, Weather Underground.  So thankful for it!

June 7, 2003 If you haven’t read Colossians in awhile…  1.27:  “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory:”  Christ in you, the hope of glory.  The great exchange… the greatest hope… the great glory: Christ in you. Ever need to read the Word online?  I really like online Bibles/Bible commentary… but there’s nothing like the book—so living, it could fairly pick itself up off the table and walk.

A beautiful day for a Wedding today!  Sadly, as has happened on a few other occasions, there were two special events on this same day and so we needed to make that difficult decision of attending one and not the other!  It still lingers in my mind: the decision we did not make… and the reception we did not attend.  One great blessing to the choice we made was that a precious friend had made a surprise return trip home from school back east in order to be in attendance at the wedding.  What a thrill this was!

Timothy has been painting our home… what a job of scraping, priming and painting this 85 year old home.  I had a terrible time deciding to paint the house the colour I have been wanting to paint it for years—I knew what decision I wanted to make—I just didn’t want to be the one to make it!  Well, yesterday my husband took a paint sample to Columbia Paint and they had the paint ready this morning so he got it bright and early and Timothy went to work painting!  I think it’s beautiful!  It’s the most amazing paint as it requires much less paint to do a very thorough job!  It’s Columbia Masterpiece paint. The colour is pretty dark, but it’s so neat with the contrasting bright white trim all around… well, so I imagine… it’s a long way from being done. Church tomorrow… fellowship with friends and it looks like more sunshine which is just fine for us!!

June 6, 2003 Ephesians 5.33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.  That’s one of the verses we concentrated on in Titus2 this morning–that, and the topic of significance in Jesus vs. our “feelings” of “ordinariness” or insignificance.  In and of ourselves, that would be true, but in Jesus we find significance.
ASL, signing, deafness… all these things are amazingly surfacing in our life.  I am so appreciative of the letters I’ve received concerning hearing loss and solutions for communication.  We have no update on Naomi’s MRI except a preliminary assessment of the scan is that it is normal… (whatever THAT means). 😉
Kathryn will have surgery on the 11th.  This is for her right foot… the left one was done in March and she’s been out of that cast for 3 weeks. She’s my hero… and what a precious daughter she is!  This is her surgery story in pictures.

June 5, 2003Sound speech that cannot be condemned.  That’s what I am meditating on from Scripture today. (Titus 2.8) 

We got a call from the orthopædic surgeon’s office and Dr. Chesnutis will be able to operate on Kathryn’s foot  week after next!  We didn’t get a call from the otologist, or the ear doc, so we have no news regarding the results of Naomi’s MRI yesterday.  I’m sort of glad to not have to make another decision today.  You see, sometimes it seems that no news is good news and no call, for today at least, means no decision or appointment needs to be made—today.  I did, however, get the nicest email from a friend who encouraged me about the ASL.  She gave me two sites to look at  http://deafness.about.com/library/weekly/aa042798.htm   and http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/ .  So, now that’s part of the path I am going to pursue.  Since ASL or American Sign Language is a  “universal” language, I trust God’s leading for us to learn it.  In my searching, I came across a link and sure  like a sample page of a home-schooling family’s day.  I don’t know this family but am encouraged by their dedication to children at such a young age—the signing really inspired me!

Our daughter is painting… all the girls’ room. “sage shimmer” for the walls and “bright white” for the door, trim, window sills and dressers.  We have a hardware store in town that feels like an old fashioned hardware store http://mcd.doitbest.com/It’s the sort of store where you can run into old friends or at least see very familiar faces. That’s what I love about this old town.  We also had to go to the Library.  Sadly, it’s closing and will soon re-open in a new, much larger facility.  The old Snohomish library is a sentimental place and we’ll sure miss going there!  One of the neatest things about the library is the ability to reserve books on the net and just quickly pop in to pick them up when they’re in.

June 4, 2003   James 1.6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering… I’ve been thinking on this today.  I was praying and was amazed at how I was fretting over a situation and *stopped* and thought: LORD, I didn’t pray… I didn’t ask YOU about this.  Do you do this, too?  Amazing.  Then I think of all the many times I run ahead and don’t consult the LORD, don’t stop and seek His Face on a matter. There are so many things to bring before the LORD—Our children are such a precious gift… no decision should be made lightly and no activity is too insignificant to bring before the LORD.  There is nothing too great for Him, nothing too small for Him!

Well… this morning we took Naomi up to the hospital to have an MRI —this stands for magnetic resonance imaging—a type of x-ray. What an amazing machine—what an invention!  The strength of the magnetic field is incredible!  As I leaned near to the end of table that moves inside the ‘machine,’ the force lifted the 3 ‘bobbie-pins’ securing the bun on my head—and I wasn’t really that close to the core of the machine.  After that, I could surely see the necessity of much questioning about previous surgeries, if there were any metals present,  etc., etc.  I understand that ANYthing metal is pulled to the core.  All in all, it wasn’t frightening for her because we’d talked about it quite a bit and tried to prepare her for that and the line they’d insert in her vein to inject the dye.  I understand the most difficult thing for people to handle is the claustrophobia due to the design and size of the machine—that, and the noise!  I understand that MRI’s are superior to x-ray for detecting causes if back & joint pain—cancers, etc.   After the audiologist confirmed she is deaf in her left ear,  the MRI was to determine the extent or exact location of the hearing loss (which the doctor believes is in the cochlea or the auditory nerve).  He believes that she either was born with this or at some point in her life had some sort of virus which damaged her ear/hearing.  I’ve been going over and over in my mind about what could have caused this… but then I just go to the LORD—cannot carry this question.  As the surgeon said, it’s a matter of just going on from here because that’s all we can do.  It’s sort of like Kathryn’s feet.  There was no preventing her situation with turn out toes… but the surgery to correct them was the right decision.  So, now, we wait for the Doc to call with the  results and talk over where we go from here.  We’re also waiting for Dr. Chesnutis to call back to set Kathryn’s second foot surgery.

Since it’s another beautiful day, I’d like to go outside and water… so while the sun is warm I think I’ll get out there!

Decisions are being made in our legislature that’ll have profound effects on future Abortion laws/decisions.  Problem is, when liberals get to slicing and dicing legislation, what was a good and noble original intent becomes hardly recognizable.
  And Omy, what a fix Martha is in!

June 3, 2003  James 1.5-8   If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

If you are dealing with trials you cannot bear, take them to the LORD in prayer.  He will be found by you and will hear your prayers… never let the enemy persuade you differently.

Another beautiful day here!  We took Kathryn to see the foot surgeon and to schedule surgery in the next couple of weeks.  What a thrill it is to see her foot corrected and straight!  He thought she was progressing nicely, but said that she’d have some limited mobility and perhaps some residual loss of feeling.  Any comment about the foot not looking totally normal was of no concern as she’s always had this situation with her feet and at times has felt awkward about their appearance and has dealt with tremendous foot pain.  What a blessing it is to have this doctor who has literally been used of the LORD in the process of changing her life where her feet are concerned.  We now pray that she will learn to walk straight and eventually without pain.  If you have problem feet or foot pain, there sure are solutions you can look into.  I have some links.

I went out and cut roses from the garden this morning and brought them in… the first bouquet of the year!  They smell so beautiful!  O, you really ought to plant roses if you haven’t done so already!
Now… about a book I am reading… or actually just looking through, so far: Love in Every Room by Karla Dornacher which my husband bought for me at
Costco.  I decided to look her name up and voila! I found her site!  If I could paint, I’d paint pictures like the ones she paints!  They ‘feel just right’ to me!  Really… it’s sort of like how I feel about Susan Branch and her beautiful cookbooks and gifts.  I always think that if I were to ever create cookbooks, I love to create them just like hers!  You can actually write a letter using her stationery!  Really, just click and take a look!   Anyway…back to Karla D…. she’s a Christian who obviously loves the LORD Jesus and is passionate about home and family and it surely shows in her artwork and designs.

June 2, 2003   Welcome Home…
This is the first day I’ll post my journal online—thus the first web-log or “blog” to encourage you in your home… to take time for tea.

We worked outside today as it is warm and sunny (a rarity to have both on the same day!) and we got our inside chores and schoolwork done early.  You know, this morning I took the time to do something that’s been needing to be done for some time!  I ordered all the flash cards in the school boxes.  Now this may seem so trivial but when we do flashcards (math, english, words, addition, multiplication, etc., etc.) with the different aged children, there are always some in a different drawer or missing or whatever.  I use an Iris rolling carts of drawers for school supplies, one for stamping supplies, one for sewing, one for tools and crafts, etc.  I have a stack of 130 or so large flashcards that were just an eighth of an inch too wide for the drawer so I took the time to trim 1/16th of an inch off each side with my paper-cutter.  This makes them fit very nicely in the drawer.  See, all these little things help for neatness, ease of use and storage.  I am continually in the process of ‘refining’ how I do things so that each day is smoother and more pleasant here in our home.

I got the hanging planter ‘baskets’ planted and watered and just came in from hanging them on the hooks around the porch.  What a good feeling this is!  One more thing that signals summer!  You know, being from sunny, hot California and then moving to much less sunny, cooler Washington, I really do love the long warmer summer days!   I love watering the rose bushes! There are so many rosebuds, I couldn’t count them all. I prayed for God’s blessing on all our children… and as I watered the rosebush I planted for my mother-in-law, I thanked the LORD for all the ways she’s blessed my life and all she’s taught me.  I like planting things for other people in the family… They’re reminders to me… 

Kathryn is making Pizza for our dinner! Yum—yes, I know it’s not Friday… but she’s making it anyway.  (Friday is our family “party night” and she always makes pizza for it!).

One of the reasons I’ve decided to go out on a limb, so to speak, and do this blog is to have you in my kitchen when you have time for tea and to, hopefully, inspire you at home.  My friends are an inspiration to me… my mom is an inspiration to me… when they tell me of different things they’re doing, I’m inspired to press on even when I might not ‘feel’ like pressing on.  So, that’s it for today… join me… do something sweet for your family…

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