Kitchen Beginnings

We  moved into our current home in June, 2007.  It's a single story rambler, about 1500 sq. ft.  It's not very large and it's cozy and it has a lot of quirks but that's just some of the things I love about it.  When Aaron and I found it, we swooned (ok - I swooned, he was just a little giddy) over the backyard (something rarely found these days) and the front yard (set back just far enough from the street).  We have one neighbor next door and woods on the other side & in the back (which has been a bit annoying in the rodent department but that's a post I'll never do).  We're on the outskirts of a town which is our mailing address but technically?  We're in the unincorporated portion of our county so we don't really belong to anyone.  Hello lower taxes...

However.  And it's a big however.  The previous owner, despite his wife's ravings about his carpenter capabilities, was not all that good at home repair.  Or he was lazy.  Or he was cheap.  Or he was all of the above.  My husband often refrains from expressing his mind when he finds just one more thing...

To give you a hint at his mindset - our drain field failed 6 months after we moved in and truth be told, we could have sued (and to this day there is still a part of us that wishes we had) because in the septic report there was one piece of paper he signed stating the company told him his drain field had an issue and needed major repair.  He not only didn't share that information with us, he withheld that piece of paper until after we had moved in - and even then it was his realtor who shared it, not him.  The realtor never did give us a reason for his not handing it over sooner.  I think we never followed through with the suit because we believe we were foolish in not pushing for that paperwork (on the septic inspection) before signing.  We asked for it, sure but didn't push the issue until we were in.

I am rabbit trailing in a BIG way today.  Apparently stepping away from my blog for almost 4 months makes me chatty...

My point is that the drain field failure cost us a lot of money.  A lot.  Then, in the midst of that recovery, my husband was laid off from his job (twice) and we couldn't really put any money aside for home remodeling.  Then, as we would get some money set aside for a project or two, something would go wrong (broken pipe under the house - more septic system issues - broken water main - broken kitchen pipe - dead outlet in the kitchen...) and we'd find some other cheap fix the previous owner had made (rather than doing it right... grrr..) and our money would go to a "need" not a "want."

Painting has been slow.  To say the least.  It took us 3 years of living in the house before we redid our bathroom (I can't even describe the hideousness that was there before) and our kitchen... Well.  The back part of our house is very "cave like" I always say.  It gets the morning sun only and the woods behind us holds very tall trees so even that morning sun is filtered and brief.  The sun beats on the roof all afternoon which makes it quite warm in the summer but there are no windows on the roof so it's very dark.  The kitchen was horrible.  The previous owners had installed these green countertops and a few people have called them "pretty" but I have always flat out thought they were ugly.  Not 1970's green ugly but pretty ugly.  I've always hated them.  The granite I fell in love with, though, is $64 a square foot and we have 36 sq. ft. of counter space.  That whole money issue... 

So, Aaron talked to me about painting our counters and I always blew the idea off because I could not, for the life of me, imagine liking something painted.  Until I was hanging out two Saturdays ago watching a home improvement show (I do not recall which one!) and they painted the countertops of their client.  Well, the client did the painting - they helped and featured the paint system.

That night I mentioned it to Aaron, we hopped online and found the company, checked out the different kit options and $89.70 later (safely ordered via PayPal), our paint kit was on its way.  It showed up Thursday and over Labor Day weekend, Aaron painted.  First I cleaned the counters (scrubbed 'em with an SOS pad - easy), then we taped them off then Aaron painted on the primer on Friday.  That took 8 hours to dry and we had plans for Saturday so he painted Saturday night.  Four hours for that to dry and again - plans on Sunday so Sunday night he painted the first layer of top coat, Monday night the second.  Now we wait a few days for the paint to set before we start putting things back but...  here is the before and after:

How happy with THIS do you think I am?  Yes - the top picture was taken at night but that's with every light on in the kitchen.  The second picture?  Daylight only.  In picture #1?  Shadows have shadows...  I can't believe how much brighter it is in the kitchen and how much better the room looks just by painting the counters.

Now...we're going to paint the walls and ditch the ugly wallpaper and I may even re-stain the cabinets.  I think I could love a kitchen....


Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday is the day earmarked nationally to recognize those women who have loved us unconditionally - cheered us on, picked us up, cleaned our cuts & scrapes, cooked our food, shopped for that food, done our laundry, took care of us while we were sick, hugged us through our nightmares...

And on & on the list goes.

I was blessed with a wonderful Mom and while I doubt they acknowledge Mother's Day in heaven, I know she'll have a glorious day.

For those of you who still have your Mom here on earth - I hope you have an amazing day with her.  If you are a Mom, I hope your kids (and husbands) spoil you rotten.  I know the latter is what I'm in for.  I'm ready.  I can't wait.

May the day be sunny and beautiful and may you and your family make some amazing memories.

Happy Mother's Day!

My Mom - 2008


Friday Night Dinner - At Home

Last Friday we were exhausted.  It's been a rough couple of weeks of baby showers, family things, church things and just...life.  You know what I mean that "we've been hibernating all winter & now the weather is getting nicer so we need to wake up" type of life.

So last Friday, we wound down the week by grilling at home and can I just say that my husband is a master on the grill?  I have yet to eat anything, in 9 years of his cooking for me, that I don't just drool over.  I'm not a fan of beef but he manages to make it so tender, so absolutely yummy, that I can't help but close my eyes and sigh in absolute bliss from the first bite.

Grilling to perfection
That was this flank steak...  Then,  I added a caprese salad (this was the EASIEST side dish ever - use the marinated mozzarella balls, cut them up into quarters, do the same with cherry tomatoes, chop up a few basil leaves & add a bit of shallot - yummy.  The oil that marinates the mozzarella adds tons of flavor.) and some roasted green beans.  We sat down to dinner and the world - and all of it's stress - just melted away from our house for a few delicious hours.  If I could but do that every Friday...

Dinner Bliss!



It's been a week.  A week of absolute horror as we watched the news media play video of the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon.  What is that?  Over and over and over again they would replay those pictures.  Talk and talk and talk - saying nothing new, nothing newsworthy and often nothing more than pure speculation.
Why do they feel we need to be CONSTANTLY bombarded with "breaking news?"  An on the hour/half-hour update would probably have been sufficient.  Instead, they hover - like vultures - waiting for the next morsel they can scoop up.  Pulling in their "exclusives" (how many times did we need to hear from the girl who went to high school with one of the bombing suspects - who said he was a "nice guy" but she hadn't seen him in years... ?) and wasting time and air space.
If we want sensationalism in our news, we can tune into one of those entertainment shows...
It's tiresome.  And ridiculous.  It doesn't make us look intelligent, it makes us look blood-thirsty.
Last night's capture of the second suspect in the Boston bombing had friends on mine on Facebook posting angry tirades as to why this guy was captured alive.
Angry he's alive?  Really? 
Perhaps that wouldn't bother me so much if these are the same people who profess a belief in God and a following of Jesus Christ.
You know - even when Jesus was flogged, scourged and hung on the cross He said not one negative thing about the "terrorists" who did it to Him.  He, instead, implored God to forgive because we didn't know what we were doing.
Yes.  We. 
The bombing suspect caught is a 19 year old boy.  A boy whose story we know not one iota about.  We know nothing of the life he lived to get to that point of hate.  We know nothing of what he was taught, of what he wasn't taught.  We know nothing except...
He, too, is a creation of God's.  Loved by God as much as we are. 
Who are we to be angry, disappointed and frustrated that God chose NOT to have him die last night?
Who are we to determine there is nothing more this boy can do in this world?  Nothing more he can learn - or teach?  Who are we?
I read a blip today, too - somewhere - that when Boston heard that Wellsboro?  Watersboro?  Baptist Church was headed to Boston to set up their protests that Bostonians turned out in droves to block their way into the city.  The church couldn't even get out of their vans.
I'm all for sharing the love of Christ but I have yet to see where that church does that.  They tell everyone all of the horrible things they are doing wrong to incur the wrath of God.  Well...no offense people but Jesus told us to take the plank out of our own eye so then we can actually see the speck in our brother's eye.
How much plank removing have they done?
I'm tired.  Battle weary.  I can't imagine how hard it was for God to wade through those thousands of years, how hard it was for Christ to come here and minister, serve and then die for us.  We're a bunch of ungrateful, unloving, self-absorbed, pride filled whiners.
Ok...not everyone but...I know I sure am.  What do they say?  The characteristics you yourself hold are the ones you most dislike in others?
I can be just as blood-thirsty, just as quick to anger, frustration.  Just as self-righteous.  Just as judgemental...
But I am fairly sure Jesus doesn't want me to be.  He wants me to love.  As God is love.  And leave the justice to Him.  Because His is fair, true and just.  Mine is not.
So...for that young man in Boston who has a world of hurt in front of him, I will pray.  I will pray God gets his heart and he doesn't end up in hell.  Because I know I don't want to go to hell and that young man isn't loved by God any less than I am.
And to the people of Boston?  I love you.  I am humbled by your courage and community and care for one another.  I am praying for your hurting, your helpless...and your hopeless.  For those who were "1st responders" and for those who suffered injuries we both see and don't.  Praying for God's comfort to envelope your city like a cloud.
Like His Shekinah glory of old...wouldn't that be an amazing breaking news story?



On this Valentine's Day I want to take a moment to reflect on my family.  Both of these pictures were taken on Aaron's and my wedding day, June 18, 2005.  That's when my family was whole and happy, as far as I knew.  The following year my Nana (second picture) passed away, a year or two after that (I can't even remember anymore) my sister and I had a major argument and haven't really spoken since and then another couple of years after that Mom (top picture, turquoise dress) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. 

Life has certainly changed direction since that day but on that day?  Life was good.  Life was really good.  We were happy and having fun and everyone was doing pretty well.

So...for Valentine's Day I'm going to spend the day with my husband, who loves me despite my many faults (and don't we all have those?) and at some point I'm going to reminisce...about all of those people I have loved and lost and a few of them I wish I could have back. 

I could tell so many stories about the people shown here but I'll just speak to the clown noses.  When Aaron & I were planning our wedding, we got married in my parents' back yard by their pond.  There was a lot of conversation about what to do if the ground was to wet and muddy (the Pacific Northwest is known for its very wet June) and one thing that was suggested was my father drive me down to the altar on the back of his tractor. 

That idea didn't thrill me... to put it mildly...

My comment, after several more ideas along the same vein, was to tell them to knock it off.  I wasn't looking to have a circus wedding!!  So...the day of the ceremony, as Aaron & I are with our pastor doing our rehersal, my family is sitting in the chairs watching and someone yells "Hey Bonnie."  I turn around and there is my family...wearing clown noses... for my circus wedding.

It was hysterical, trust me.  Not just a little funny...it was hysterical.  There they all sat, straight-faced, wearing clown noses...

Yes.  Life was good.


A Post Worth Reading

I have been privileged to come across so many beautiful and insightful blogs written by brilliant women whom God is using in incredible ways.  Sometimes I share a link to a post because I think the writer has nailed something square on the head.  It's usually something that has been on my mind quite a bit in recent weeks.  This post is one of those.

Lysa TerKeurst's writings often help me with a perspective I can't seem to put into words.  She thinks deeply about things and with a writer's mind can put those thoughts down in a way that makes them clear.  Often my thoughts match hers exactly (not always, though) and in my head I thank her for verbalizing what I could not.  Summarize and verbalize.

A quote I read once by William Howard Taft has stuck with me and Lysa is very good at listening to his advice.  He said "Don't write so that you can be understood, write so that you can't be misunderstood."

She does that with this post.  Read it if you have a minute.  It's worth your time.


Simple Yummy Appetizer

We host a holiday party at work every year and when we first started doing it, my boss' wife brought some of her meatballs.  Everyone said they were amazing, the yummiest they'd ever eaten, etc. so...it became a staple at the party.  Every year those meatballs show up and we've even had a few times where folks have almost fought each other over the remnants in the crockpot.

So I decided to make them for my mother-in-law's surprise 65th birthday party (We held it yesterday - a huge smash.  Details & pictures to come).  Just like the holiday party they were a hit and I have to admit - they are about the easiest things I have ever made (expect for the caprese picks).  I'll say they're the easiest hot appetizer ever.

What you need:

4 quart crockpot
1 large jar Welch's grape jelly
2 cans of no bean chili (we used Nalley Big Chunk No Bean Chili)
1 bag of Kirkland brand frozen meatballs (Italian flavor)

What you do:

Mix the jelly and the 2 cans of chili together in the crockpot.  Cook on low until thoroughly heated.  Mine took about 1 1/2 hours to warm up.

Once heated, add as many meatballs as you can to your crockpot making sure they can be covered by the jelly/chili mixture.

Cover and simmer for at least four hours, stirring every 1-2 hours, until hot.

What I did:  Once I added the meatballs, I let them cook about 1 1/2 hours and because folks were coming in another 1 1/2 hours after that, I turned them up to high for an hour and then back down to low.  By doing that everything was cooked through and hot by the time guests showed up and then turning them back down to low made sure they maintained the heat.

They were incredibly yummy and even more popular.  Of course, since I was hosting the party, I didn't take any pictures of them cooking or cooked so I apologize for my VERY boring and colorless post!!!

Pictures of the day, decorations & how well we surprised my mother-in-law to come...


Fear and Overwhelming Fear

Thursday evenings my husband and I host a Bible study in our home.  We are so amazingly grateful for the people who join us each week, linking their lives to ours in a very intimate way.  We share "secrets" (anything said in Lifegroup, stays in Lifegroup) - our concerns, hopes, joys, successes, failures.  We pray for one another and are there for one another.  We surrounded the bed of one of us who lost his battle with cancer and we held his widow as she sobbed after he died. 

They are my brothers and sisters and I love each one of them, even when they're a bit out of sorts and hard to love.  After all, I get out of sorts and hard to love but they stick with me.  That's what we do.  That's how we do life.

This last Thursday, a conversation was started as one of us deals with a very large, overwhelming fear.  It's not cancer or some other disease, it's what is happening and rumored to be happening in our country.  The talk of civil unrest and the government's preparations for that.  Are they true?  Well...isn't there always an element of truth to all rumors?  So - is there talk of civil unrest?  Probably.  Isn't there always?  Isn't that what catapulted us into the Revolutionary War?  The Boston Tea Party...  Is the government preparing for it?  Probably.  Can anyone imagine the American government firing on American citizens?  Why not? 

What was happening, though and continues to happen, is this friend of mine has thoughts swirling in her head, concerns - ok - terrified thoughts - about such things actually happening.  And it goes further - the house being taken away, their children being separated from them, her being separated from her husband.  As her husband reads articles and sees pictures and hears what happens in the news (and the reactions to it), the "what if's" get uglier and bigger.  And flat out petrifying. 

So Thursday night we spent time talking it through.  Talking out the reality that these thoughts exist.  The fear is real.  The concerns are not irrational.  The fear, though, is becoming so.  Allowing those thoughts to dominate and not taking every thought captive, making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) we rely on man and what he believes to be true and we do not trust God to be in control (Colossians 2:8).  The Bible tells us over and over and over again that we need to steer clear of such thinking.  It also tells us over and over what happens when we don't.  Think the Israelites.  They'd follow God for a while then let themselves be distracted by whoever had the most power or the prettiest daughters or...  whatever happened to distract them.  They'd get caught up in that, become slaves to it and then cry out to God for Him to save them.

And He did.  Every single time.  Maybe not in their timing but He always did.  He never, never, ever leaves His people alone.  He is there.  Always.  In control, handling the situation.  He does not work in time as we do.  He does not have a beginning or an end.  There is nothing but forever to Him.  Our fears are unjustified.  Not any less real but unjustified.  They begin - and end - in trusting God.  They begin because our trust in God isn't as it should be - whether it be weak or it be that we are ignoring it.  They end because we realize that we need to trust God.  I have to admit - I have absolutely NO desire to suffer pain or discomfort.  None.  I don't want to lose my house, I don't want anything horrible to happen to my family.  Ever.  But I hold onto this quote from Jesus:

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."  ~Luke 12:4-5

I can be afraid of feeling pain - but I shouldn't be.  Pain will be temporary.  Yes, it could be excruciating.  Suffering could be tremendous.  I have no idea what those words actually mean when it comes to pain and suffering, I know this.  It doesn't matter.  It's temporary.  What I have to fear is that which is permanent.  That permanency comes from God's ability to send people, me included, to hell if we choose to ignore Him, or disobey Him or make Him out to be someone or something who suits us.  When we have idols who distort our view of who He is and what He says, we could end up being one of those who say "Lord, Lord" and He says "I do not know you."  (Matthew 7:21-27).

That is what I fear.

Did we assuage every fear my friend has?  Absolutely not.  But God has heard her cry and our petition for strength for her.  He will, in His time, answer her prayer - and it may be He has her struggle through more before seeing and end to her fears.  It's not for us to know.  It is for Him to decide.  Her walk, her lessons, her growth.  On the other hand?  We are there for her.  We are there for her to share her fears, talk through those truths we know from His word.  Remind her she knows Him who holds the world in His hands.  Remind her of His strength, His faithfulness, His love, His mercy.  His sovereignty.

And it WILL send the fears back to where they came - into the dark.  It WILL redirect those thoughts to a healthier fear of the Lord.  A fear that does not cause condemnation but instead a love and awe unrivaled by anyone or anything.  No one has what God has.  No one is who God is.  God is I AM.  He and He alone, through the suffering gift of Jesus Christ, can save this world and no man can offer anything to stand up to Him.

So...we will work on halting those fears of man and focus instead on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

To Him be all the glory.  Amen.


Random Thoughts & Things

You know what I've discovered?  I compose my best blog posts in the bathroom.  Showering, applying make-up, drying my hair, brushing my teeth...something about being in that room I guess.  The problem is, the bathroom holds all of my awesome posts hostage.  I walk out of that room and *poof* - gone.  I'm thinking about hooking up a laptop in there but I'm not quite sure how to keep the steam/humidity from ruining the thing inside of three days.  My husband likes his showers VERY hot.

Which is to say, I have plenty of thoughts - kind, gentle and intelligent thoughts (anyone who knows me just choked on their coffee hard enough to blow it out their nose...) on all sorts of issues from gun control to the President's inaugural activities held off until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to what my kids at for breakfast but not one of those brilliant posts will ever get published.

They're all still in the bathroom.

Instead, I'm going to chat just a tiny bit again about Mom.  By now I REALLY thought that painful ache of missing her, that physical pain - the one that makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs because I'm certain the power of it is going to make me explode - would have subsided just a bit by now. 

Why am I so ridiculously wrong about this one thing?  I have yet to accept that I am ALWAYS going to feel that pain when I think about missing my mother.  I've described it before but it is really like someone took my right arm and just ripped it off.  What's left is all jagged and exposed and raw and just...excruciatingly painful.

I'm fairly sure I've also talked about feeling and knowing that grief is not about losing Mom, it's about missing Mom.  It's about me.  Mom is celebrating God and His glory every. single. day.  She isn't missing earth, or us, or our squabbling or driving to work or even holding her grandbaby.  She is celebrating God.  What I grieve is that I don't get to talk to her.  I don't get to go shopping with her.  I don't get to bounce ideas off of her.  She was my creative filler-outter.  If I had an idea, I could bring it up to her and she'd start with "Oh yeah... great idea.  And then you could..." and off we'd go.  I keep saying that I need to figure out where my motivation went & get it back.  Only one way I can do that and so far?  No one has snuck into heaven and returned to earth with someone God has called home...  at least not that I've heard about and I'm fairly sure someone would have published a book.  Or a blog.

So..to get back semi-on-track.  When I was thinking about Mom the other day I wandered back to a conversation she and I had about the fears she had.  She was oh so afraid of the dying part.  So that day I told her what I believe happens.  I told her that I believe the last time someone closes their eyes here on earth is the moment Jesus shows up.  And I believe He walks that someone home. Or, we just...go to sleep until He returns if that is how God is working it. 

For years now I've held onto that hope, never having any kind of proof just basing that on what I know of who God is. The just going to sleep part, though, doesn't strike me as right somehow.  There is nothing concrete there, it is all feeling (which, as the Bible says, we aren't supposed to trust our heart so I don't rule it out as a no way, no day idea) but it really feels wrong that a God so loving, so merciful, who put us here with the only purpose of glorifying Him would leave us sleeping for, for some, millenia. 

Then I read this verse the other day:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His faithful servants (Psalm 116:15)

And it stops me in my tracks.  Precious?  Death is precious to God?  I started digging a little deeper because I thought it HAS to be referring to that age old Christian phrase "dying to self."  And all I read, every commentary, every study, everything I grabbed said the same thing - physical death is precious to God.  He knows we weren't built for it.  We weren't meant for it.  It terrorizes us, scares us and for oh so many of us is painful, some quick, some drawn out but still painful...and He considers it precious.  Like a delicate bird to be handled oh so gently.  I think of the verses that talk about God dancing over us, rejoicing when one "sheep" is found, singing over us...and I wonder...how must it be to pause at the death of each faithful servant and consider it precious.

And I knew Mom was safe.  I just knew it.  I've known it since before she died but I keep getting reminders over and over and over again that what I know is true.  I'm not making it up, it's not out of some desire to sugar coat what she went through.  She's safe.  And I get to be with her again.  We are going to hold hands (or whatever God allows us to do) and praise God together.  Together.  Again.

So, the post was a little less random than I expected but just so I can say I didn't monopolize the WHOLE thing talking about Mom again, here's a picture of my two boys on Monday.  The elder C took the younger C up into the mountains for some snowboarding.  What cracks me up about this picture is the sun.  If you were here on Monday you would know the entire Seattle area was socked in, grayer than gray, in a freezing fog.  The mountains, on the other hand, had brilliant snow and temperatures in the 40's, 50's & in some places?  60's.  Ridiculous...


As 2013 begins

On December 20th I left work until January 2nd.  It was such a beautiful couple of weeks full of rest, relaxation, lack of alarm clocks and responsibility.  I watched a bunch of movies, read a book and started 2 more, catching up on so many things and just...enjoying my time off.
2013 has started and while 2012 went out quietly, full of relaxation, 2013 has swept in like a tsunami and has wreaked all sorts of havoc.  Between a crashed server and other hardware issues at work, Aaron woke up last Saturday and as the day progressed got steadily sicker.  The flu entered our home.  Our receptionist at work has been sick all week, too and has come in with it a time or two.  Fortunately I've had my flu shot so I am hoping to dodge the bullet but Christopher is still vulnerable. 
Having talked to several people the same theme has come up - prayer this is the worst that 2013 has to offer and we get all of our "troubles" out of the way at the start.  Not sure that's going to be the case.  Watching the news tonight and like every night we are bombarded by so much that is not comforting.
Fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings, flu "epidemic," gun control, school shootings...and those are the headlines in the first two minutes.  Our country seems to be rushing toward... something.  A showdown?  A cliff (not just the fiscal kind)?  Disaster?  I'm not sure. 
The funny thing is, I know I'm not in the first generation to think such things.  I hear - a lot - and do agree that things seem to be "getting worse" but I also know, well... they're supposed to be.  No offense but... God doesn't say it'll get better before Jesus returns. 

It is heartbreaking to see, though and to know that even if I manage to die before anything horrific happens and thereby escape true "suffering," my children or my grandchildren or my great-grandchildren won't.  Someone is going to have to suffer for the mistakes we make.  Too many bright minds lost to drugs.  Too many neighborhoods lost to drugs, to unemployment.  Too many families losing their homes, their jobs, their livelihoods.  Too many children dropping out of school.  Disease, earthquakes in "unusual" areas, hurricanes of such massive force they make roller coasters look like toothpicks...  These are not new occurrences and perhaps they aren't even anymore frequent than they have been in the past.  We just hear about them more now.  Media and Technology have made this a very, very small world.

Yet...there is hope.  This morning I woke to a dog wagging his tail, happy to see me again.  Cars still run on the roads, children head off to school.  I know it's not perfect but then...this world isn't supposed to be.  It is, however, still good in many ways.  So...come, 2013.  And I don't mean that as a challenge but more a welcoming invitation.  Help me to grow - in my faith and in my character, challenge my mind, open my eyes.

Show me my to-be memories...


Technology - Joined at the Hip

I have to admit.  It has been a pretty nice couple of weeks.  Toss out the minor surgery on the 21st and it's been perfect.  (Surgery went well, recovery has involved pain - only downside)  I had to come back to work on Wednesday, though.  At first I was fairly excited.  It felt good - the idea of moving again, getting back into the swing of things.  My leg improves almost every day so the idea of not HAVING to rest so much felt REALLY good (I don't make a very good lump, actually).

Loving my job is easy.  I've been here a very long time and while I never know what I'm going to get when I get back after an extended time off, I certainly wasn't expecting what happened this week.  I walk in the door on Wednesday and there is no voice mail, our server is fried and we can't access the internet...

Oh joy.....

It has been a VERY long three days of phone calls, no emails, no computer...  Our IT guy tried to set up our receptionist's computer (she is off this week) as a virtual machine we could run things through until he could fix the bad block on the server's hard drive but he ran into problems there.  He has been able to keep her machine online, though, which is the only reason I can do this.  There have been a few things I could do that didn't involve my computer but it absolutely floored me to figure out just how much of my work life relies on this machine.

There is a pile of work on my desk brought as far as I could bring it without the computer and now I wait... 

The server is back in the building, though and our IT guy is slowing getting us hooked back up and running.

Here's to next week being normal.  I hope...

How has your New Year been going so far?


A Sermon Worth Watching

I don't do this very often but I feel quite strongly to share the link to my church sermon from last Sunday (December 30th).  Pastor Mark Barrett has been with our church for a couple of years now, he spoke at my mother's funeral.  He has a way of not pulling any punches when he's speaking but he's not hurtful or mean with it.  He knows the truth, he speaks the truth and he isn't going to sugarcoat it.

Just want you to be prepared for that when you listen but please...the video is 37 minutes, 5 seconds long and it's 37 minutes & 5 seconds you want to take.  It is worth every moment...and then some.

Be blessed!

Worship:  The Greatest Priority



For 2013...

I wish you....

May your joys be as bright as the morning, and your sorrows merely be shadows that fade in the sunlight of love. May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet, enough trials to keep you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to keep you happy, enough failure to keep you humble, enough success to keep you eager, enough friends to give you comfort, enough faith and courage in yourself to banish sadness, enough wealth to meet your needs and one thing more; enough determination to make each day a wonderful day than the one before.
(Irish Blessing)


“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." ~Numbers 6:24-26

May 2013 be filled with all God intends for you, may you see Him at every turn and may you remember He is Emmanuel - God with us.  Always.

Happy New Year.