Monday, January 26, 2015

Road Trip

Texas back roads make for more interesting and more relaxing traveling than going by way of highway. 

Our first destination: The Rose Mansion in Salado, TX.
The weather was beautiful as you can see.

The home was built in 1870 by Major A.J. Rose.

After our night in the Bed and Breakfast we visited family which was really good time. 

We took the scenic way home. We bumped into Bambi. His family was close by, too. Maybe this is Faline, I'm not sure.

Life is full of happy things these days and this get away was a nice reprieve from being busy with other things. More on that in a bit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Phone Photos

I though y'all might enjoy seeing this decoration I spotted when I used a friend's restroom over the holidays. Isn't it great?  She goes all out when it comes to Christmas decor in her beautiful home.  

Today they are draining our pond down in order to build some type of retaining walls. The ducks are all bunched up together out in the middle. 

I will not be happy if it turns out ugly. There has been a stack of cement bags parked nearby since before Christmas so ugly is a very real possibility. Bags of concrete are often used as the retaining wall, stacked into place and then nature take its course hardening the cement over time and the paper wrapper disintegrating. 


I'm home alone this afternoon after a morning of running to the optometrist and to Kroger TWICE dropping kids off. I need to bring order to my home, sweep up some rather large dust bunnies, and make some chicken and rice soup. 

I've been craving brothy type soups lately after I made some of the best turkey and dumplings EVAH the other night! Oh it was super tasty maybe because the turkey had been brined and cooked with lots of spices? Or maybe because I was freezing cold and starving to death? 

Rice sounds more slimming than dumplings, don't you think?

wascally wabbit

And here is that darn rabbit right before I sprinkled his salad with chili powder. Can you see that large whole he has munched? And how he is eye balling me? The grass has died over the past few weeks so I guess it is safe now.

Hope you are staying warm and enjoying your Monday. Today feels like the real start of the new year to me.  Oh, and I want to share this poem with you a friend posted on facebook.

The Year as a House: A Blessing
Think of the year
as a house:
door flung wide
in welcome,
threshold swept
and waiting,
a graced spaciousness
opening and offering itself
to you.

Let it be blessed
in every room.
Let it be hallowed
in every corner.
Let every nook
be a refuge
and every object
set to holy use.

Let it be here
that safety will rest.
Let it be here
that health will make its home.
Let it be here
that peace will show its face.
Let it be here
that love will find its way.

let the weary come
let the aching come
let the lost come
let the sorrowing come.

let them find their rest
and let them find their soothing
and let them find their place
and let them find their delight.

And may it be
in this house of a year
that the seasons will spin in beauty,
and may it be
in these turning days
that time will spiral with joy.
And may it be
that its rooms will fill
with ordinary grace
and light spill from every window
to welcome the stranger home.

Wherever you make your home, may it be blessed, and may you enter this Epiphany and the coming year in peace.
-  originally posted here

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Give Me a Tissue

Big news, my friends. Guess what parents now only have adult children?
Us, baby! US! The thing I was  pretty sure would never happen DID. This happening gets filed under the "Bittersweet" column of my evaluation of 2014. Oh the Good-Sad of parenting makes my heart and bottom lip quiver.

The parents of all adults in a photo that is a little closer than is necessary.

Anna, our "baby" turned 18 yesterday and we celebrated with a lunch at an authentic taco place that just opened down the road from us.  We are not sure what all it was that we ate, but it was tasty. 

Our world travelers

Sara is on a trip with her betrothed to visit his family. Here they are arriving at the Incheon airport in Korea after two long flights.  I was so happy to see their smiling faces. When we left them at the Dallas airport Daniel was not feeling well at all and we were a bit worried. 

I never guessed that so much of my heart would ever be in Korea, but there it is.


Well, let me lighten up a bit.

After Christmas I was perusing Facebook and one of my friends posted how she ironed her used tissue paper for future reuse. Her friends either think she is genius or insane and they were pleased to tell her so.

So guess what I did while I watched Downton Abbey reruns on PBS last night? 

This little pile was once a crumpled mass in a paper grocery sack. It is so nice and tidy now it makes me giddy. And it takes up maybe 1/8th or less of the space. (Like 40 or 100 books. Don't ever trust my math.)

And if you think I'm nuts for doing this I will tell you something even nuttier. 

Do you see that little goldish piece of tissue paper with the pattern sandwiched between the red paper? I've had that one piece of tissue paper since before we were married over 25 years ago. I just like it so there it is. 

What nutty things are you doing as this comes to an end? I'm looking around my house wondering what else I can organize.

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Tricks

My 11 year old Little Doggie has defied old-dog-odds and learned a new trick! "What trick is that?" you might wonder.  Well, I will tell you. This ordinary looking dog has learned to go out the screen door into the back yard by pushing on it with his nose! How about that?!

To learn this little trick I only had to put my foot on his hind quarters and give a little push no less than 50 times. But it paid off and now he can go out without my help.  

Now if he could only figure out how to come back in without me. Even I am stumped on this one.

In this picture he is pouting about the sweater Santa brought him. Isn't it a fetching color on him? I suppose he thinks he needed treats in his stocking but if you look closely this sweater is a size up from the last one treats.

Are you reading anything good? I discovered that the latest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book was out so I devoured it the other day. I love these books so much. The voices of all the characters appeals to me so. Wise truths are conveyed through the simple way the characters speak and think. 

Now I'm reading this memoir by Condeleezza Rice. I am not much into politics but I like inspiring stories of people and this does not disappoint.  This is my pick for our February book club meeting.

After Christmas was over I was a little disappointed that I had not asked for any books. This is silly because I have a pile from the library on my nightstand plus many I've downloaded MANYon my Kindle. I even bought myself not one but TWO bibles recently. It's ridiculous this acquiring of books that I do. 

This looks deceivingly small. This box is probably two feet square and there was another smaller one with it.

Then someone in our neighborhood put on Facebook that they had a box of books to get rid of so I said I would take it.  Whoa, it was a HUGE box of probably 40 books! (Okay, I just went and counted them. There are exactly 100 books. Guestimation is obviously not my thing.) Some are commentaries by a favorite pastor, a study bible I don't already have, and lots more. Pretty neat, eh?

Our neighborhood Facebook group is often fraught with disagreement and pettiness, but it is also the source of humor and various kinds of blessings much like regular life when people are involved.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Christmas greetings, my friends. 
I hope you have had a wonderful day.

Christmas cookies!

We made these for gifts and we ate plenty. The meringues were my first ever and a new favorite. Mercy, they were good. And look at that little gingerbread cookie! I was tickled pink to find that tiny cookie cutter, just the right size to pop into my mouth. I'm sad to say these were gone before Christmas week even began.

This was my Advent devotional for this year, God is in the Manger by Deitrich Bonhoeffer. It is good and includes a devotional for the 12 days of Christmas. I will confess something to you. I don't understand all of it. But what I do understand I think is very good and worth pondering.

I've read the following quote over and over these past few weeks, and I may have read it to my husband a couple of times, too.

"And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can be fall us, whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly reveals as love and rules the world and our lives."  -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This reminds me of something I recently heard Joni Tada say: 
God uses what He hates to accomplish what He loves.

She is a woman who knows of what she speaks and I think that is one of the best ways to make sense of the ugly hard things of this world.

This is the newly engaged couple in front of the tree. They are happy and sweet.  Sara graduated from college last week so we have been celebrating a lot. We are super proud of her.

Someone was not very happy with his Christmas present. 

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Proposal

She said, "Yes!"

Our oldest son was there with his camera to capture the moment.

This is the park where Daniel proposed. Each step has an author with some work of literature listed which is fitting for Sara's love of all things literary. None of us have ever been here so a little excursion might be in our future.

We are all happy and well pleased. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Simple Joys

* Quiet mornings with the sunlight streaming through my kitchen window where I sit at my dining table sipping coffee, reading my Bible.

* Hearing my youngest two laugh. They have a Push Me-Pull You sort of relationship. For example, it is not uncommon for them to annoy each other by doing things like one of them trying to find the pressure points on the other one.  So yeah, hearing them laugh, talk, compare job stories makes my heart happy.  

* And those same two kiddos fill my house full of music and they even have their music-making friends from church over so I hear them harmonizing, singing, goofing off all while eating pizza and having a good time.

* Enjoying watching my girl compete in Taekwondo tournaments.  Last weekend we were down south in Katy where she came in first in all three of her events. This coming weekend she will be Little Rock bound.  Go Anna go.  

* Really cold days when the sun is shining are the best sort of cold days if one must have them. 

* Wearing soft clothes...knit, cotton, velour are some of my favorites.  Life is too short to be all covered up in scratchy material.

* Good ice cream or gelato.  I've recently decided that cheap ice cream is dead to me.  I shall only eat the good stuff or I shant eat any.

* Winning a bunny war over my beautiful lush grass (it hasn't died yet). My weapon?  Chili powder.  

* My sweet Little Doggie whose little face is turning all white as he ages.

* The first semester of our homeschool co-op is already over and now we get a nice long break.

* Having the opportunity to tackle the yearbook project at our co-op. The new co-op leaders are being very gracious to me in my last year there and letting me pull off one last big project.  It is also making the transition out of this sweet group of 13+ years a little easier. It is going to be difficult to say good-bye at the end of this year.  We have been with this co-op even longer than any church we've belonged to.  Sigh.

my kids
* We celebrated my oldest son's 25th birthday earlier this month. It was good to have the whole family together.  

* Ten years of book clubbing with friends. There has been some turnover in who comes, but it has always been a great group of ladies that I enjoy very much.

* Hearing Trey play his guitar in church.  He also plays for a couple of different youth group bands.  He is such a sweetheart and has a desire to share his gift with the body of Christ.  

* Dental care. I've been having heinous dental drama, but oh what would I do without modern dentistry?  Go toothless, that's what!

* Studying the life of Moses this year and seeing Jesus woven through out it all.  My favorite verse in Exodus so far is this one:

And Moses said to the people, 
“Fear not, stand firm, 
and see the salvation of the Lord
which he will work for you today. 
The Lord will fight for you, 
and you have only to be silent.” 
Exodus 14:13a,14

Blessings, my friends.  Please feel free to share your Simple Joys with me. I love reading them.