Random Tidbits

Current drink: water, water, water!

Current reads: Streams In The Desert, the Bible (Jeremiah and Romans), Prayers of An Excellent Wife, Holding Onto Hope, and I’m hoping to squeeze some fiction into my life in the form of Leepike Ridge.

Current meal plan: well, for tonight we’re having flanksteak that’s been marinating in lime juice and soy sauce. Yum! I’ll pair that with brown rice and green beans from the garden.

Current outfit: greenish khaki capris and a deep blue shirt. I’m even wearing little blue rhinestone earrings to match.

Current weather: beautiful ~ mid-80’s, with a slight breeze, and there are just a few wispy white clouds in our bright blue sky. What a perfect summer.

Current prayer: wisdom is the key thing I have been praying for lately. Wisdom with parenthood, wisdom with my health, wisdom with house decisions, wisdom with prioritizing my time, wisdom with what I say & what I read, etc. So yeah. Lots of seeking wisdom in prayer these days.

Current adventure: umm, building a house is rather adventurous!

Current blessing: having a husband and two little boys who are all alive and well and steal my heart more every day.

Current frustration: one word, hypotension.

Current hobby: I have been trying to play piano and harp a little more lately! I also have some metal-stamping & photography projects I want to do in the next week or so. We’ll see if I get around to such things.

Current reality: living life in the dichotomies of life & death, joy & grief, relief & pain, balm and brokenness.

Current photo: this is the most current I’ve got on the computer, but I’ll give you two for a bonus. 🙂

Sharing My Glory

Today I attained a goal I have been working towards for about 2 1/2 years ~ I had my hair cut for a Locks Of Love donation! I haven’t had my hair really cut (only trimmed) since Gabriel was a newborn, and I haven’t even had a trim for over a year. But today was the day! The braid is about 12 inches long, so unbraided of course the length was longer. It kind of looks like a dead animal, all knotted up and sitting in a plastic bag waiting for me to package & mail it. 🙂
BEFORE, DURING, & AFTER (click on thumbnails to see full photos):

I was so nervous going to get it all cut today, but have been praying over the weekend for whoever would receive my hair ~ that it would bless them in their time of suffering and that by my sharing this bit of my glory with them (in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 11:15) that God would make Himself & His mercies known to this person. I have no idea who will receive my hair… but I pray that it would be a blessing and joy and glory to them, and that it would somehow lighten their suffering.
It was little Cora (see her story here) who inspired me to do this a few years ago, and so it was in Cora’s honor that I did this today. It was also, though, because of my mom-in-law and my best friend’s mom ~ both of whom are beautiful women who have gained the victory over breast cancer! Thanks be to God.

Ladies’ Tea, Blackflower & Company

“Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.”

Last evening our church hosted a beautiful Ladies’ Tea to celebrate the end of a year of monthly fellowship nights where we encouraged one another in the joy of Christ. Over the year, we discussed the book “When I Don’t Desire God; How to Fight for Joy” by John Piper as well as discussed other things from Scripture, one another’s lives, and God’s beautiful gifts around us. While I was usually doing table decorations for each monthly meeting, as well as setup & teardown, this time I delegated those roles and took on some different jobs (the above picture is a portion of the room and some of the girls who were setting up and decorating, for whom I am so thankful). I was in charge of doing something the leaders called “Joy Overflowing” ~ which is where one woman shares something she loves, enjoys, excels at, is passionate about, etc. and I was asked to share “The Joy of Tea.” While I was nervous about it beforehand, I really enjoyed it in the end.

Everyone signed up to bring different types of food that you might find at High Tea: savories (meats, stuffed mushrooms, tea sandwiches, vegetable platters, canapes…), scones (we had ginger scones with nutmeg cream and cranberry scones with homemade jam), and sweets (chocolates, tartlets, cupcakes, shortbread cookies…).

I brought the cranberry scones, made with this recipe (I got about 45 scones out of one recipe, as I made them tea-size, i.e. small). They turned out really well and were a hit.

And, perhaps the most exciting part, has to do with a company I am newly in love with called Blackflower & Company. This is a small business owned & operated by friends of mine in CA (I grew up together with the wife). When I asked her if they would be interested in donating a giveaway for the event, in hopes of helping their marketing endeavors, they offered to sponsor the entire evening for us! They sent the most delicious teas (we chose three flavors: Signature Chai, Earl Grey, and Relaxation Tisane) for the evening, which were so fun to brew, pour, smell, sip, swallow, and enjoy. Mmmm. In addition to some pretty amazing loose leaf teas (and my mother & I know tea fairly well, so when we say it gets our true and devoted stamp of approval, you’ve got to believe that it is that delicious!), they also have an assortment of tea accessories, like the most adorable little teapots! I got to see one of the little teapots in person, as they sent a personal-sized blueberry-colored teapot for one of the giveaways. Oh, I wanted to win that giveaway. 😉

Not only is the website classy, their products both beautiful & scrumptious, but their packaging is perfect (resealable bags for the tea, to keep the loose leaf tea airtight if you don’t use it all at once), their service prompt, and they are incredibly helpful in the Customer Service realm. In addition, they do something called Giving Back codes, and they made one for us! So if you order something from Blackflower & Company (as you know you want to!), if you enter CCSpokane (yes, you) in the coupon code box when checking out, $1 for every $10 you spend goes as a donation to our church. What a generous gesture and blessing!

At any rate, our ladies’ tea event was a huge success last night. Everyone enjoyed the fellowship, the food, the elegance, the teas themselves (I’m pretty sure earl grey was actually the top-choice last night, although I really just heard good-gushing all around!), the giveaways, the talk on The Joy of Tea, and the encouragement to continue seeking joy in the Lord… and I am so thankful that I was able to help coordinate the event and shower blessings upon these women.

(And if I get better pictures from the photographer who was there last night, I will add them. I am ashamed to admit that I was so busy boiling water and doing my presentation and cleaning up that my poor camera was horribly neglected. Sigh.)

New Life

We have new life in Christ! What a blessing ~ what a miracle!

And we have new life in the womb! Another blessing ~ and a sort of miracle of its own!

Although I wasn’t planning on spilling the beans quite yet (although we’ve known for a number of weeks, I was trying to keep a semblance of a secret for once…), my husband jumped back into the world of blogging today and opened the can. So in case anyone happened to peek over there, I figured I had better do it too.

Happy Easter, friends. Happy praying. Happy rejoicing. Happy living together in light of the Resurrection.

Some fall delights

Apples from a local orchard… Pine needles in the backyard… Pumpkins in our garden… Candles for our babies… The well drilling truck on our property… Playing in septic perk holes… Playing at the park… Walking through crunchy leaves…

These are some of our fall’s delights! Thanks be to God.

We have a couple blood draws, an important ultrasound, and likely more traveling for medical treatment this week. Please pray with us for God’s grace this week, as we continue to seek His delights in our life all around us.
And especially as we beg Him to show mercy to our Hosanna-Baby!

Fall Day

Instead of giving in to the hard morning I’m having, I am flipping over my calendar page a day early, and trying to embrace October instead of sticking my tongue out at it. So I’m lighting a seasonal candle, baking pumpkin cookies, and reading a Keates poem on fall. Later Gabriel and I will go play in the pine needles outside and work in the garden.

To Autumn
by John Keats (1820)
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Fresh Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. allspice (I added a little cloves and nutmeg too)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
4 cups flour (sifted)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups raisins (I did 1 cup golden raisins, 1 cup mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend all ingredients thoroughly.
Drop one inch dough balls onto greased cookie sheet.
Baking time 10 minutes.

Prayers and Results

We got some blood test results earlier than we expected, and it looks like my various medical treatments are doing what they should in my body. The results are not overly astounding but they are adequate. So we are thankful for this confirmation from our wise Father in Heaven that we are doing the right things. He is kind! So onward and forward we go. I am praying continually for grace upon grace each day as I swallow all my pills, poke my belly with injections, schedule iv treatments, and even make plans for another plane trip for one more of those treatments down south next month. Praying that I would recognize these treatments as gifts from God, as privileges, as beautiful sacrifices that I am called to make for my family as well as my King & His kingdom.

Thanks for the prayers I know you offer on our behalf.
May the Lord encourage your spirits, even as you encourage mine.


For the first time, today I gave myself a blood thinner injection. It took a bit more guts than I anticipated (I didn’t know I would be a weenie about it!), and I sat there staring at my skin and its proximity to the needle longer than I had expected — but I did it. 🙂 Thanks, sweet husby, for being with me and cheering me on while I stabbed myself in the stomach and winced and read the directions aloud meanwhile. lol.

Thankfully the bruise is much smaller than I anticipated, and as long as I plunged the injection slowly it hurt less than I expected. So those are nice things. That’s my way of looking on the bright side today. 😉

I Love My Country Doctor

And this is what we call a genuine country i.v. pole:

And, lest I forget, that’s also what we call getting an i.v. in style: on a recliner with my husband, watching the Food Network, and sipping a fresh mojito. Let’s be honest: we’ve gotta make the best of all my medical treatments, so we’re trying hard. 🙂