Mid-Week Daybook...

For Today...April 28, 2010

Outside My Window...
Sun peeking out, but still very cool.  Our birds are chirping, as always...we so love our very old trees and the birds and squirrels (now very spoiled birds and squirrels, due to Billy's hand feeding...:)) that inhabit them.   Workmen are working across the street.

I am Listening to...this week's free download of Page CXVI's "Hymns" album.  Ya'll know I love hymns. :)  The jury is still out on some of the arrangements...they aren't necessarily my "style", but I think they'll grow on me.

I am Thankful for...a relatively peaceful week.  

I am Pondering...the story of Jacob wrestling with God, as I have often pondered in the past few years.  Blog post to come with some of those thoughts soon, I hope. 

I am Remembering...This week has been a week of remembering very hard days, the faithfulness of God through those days, and the amazing lessons He taught (and is still teaching!) through them. 

Noticing...I have a LOT of book reviews coming up in the next couple of months!  I need to be reading like a madwoman. :)

I am Reading...starting Holiness, by J. C. Ryle for the Women of the Word book club on Facebook, *still* finishing Love Mercy: A Mother and Daughter's Journey from the American Dream to the Kingdom of God

, by Lisa Samson, for an (overdue...eek!) book review,  and starting A Heart Ready to Fly
 with the kids this week!

From the Kitchen...It's Wednesday, and supper is well underway in the crockpot...yay!!  I have struggled with Wednesday meals ever since our Wednesday schedule changed.  I'm finally beginning to "get it together" in that area..whew!   Saloon Beef, potatoes, and salad for supper...yum!

On my Mind...Way too much!!  I'm in one of those "My mind is swimming" modes at the moment...and trying to sort it all out and find an orderly progression through it!

I am Creating...Looking forward to creating scrapbook pages Friday night!!  A friend and I have been trying to get together for months, and I am *so* excited that we finally have a date in ink on the calendar. :)   Now I'm just hoping I can stay awake until midnight...I'm getting old, and that's not as easy as it used to be!

From the Learning Rooms...An uninterrupted week of "normal school" this week...those have been rare lately, and we're trying to enjoy it while we can!

One of my Favorite Things...Sitting in the backyard with Billy watching our birds and squirrels and enjoying the beautiful spring weather under our big, old trees.  

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...Choir x2 tonight, Bridal Shower for a friend tomorrow night :), Scrapbooking Friday night (yay!)

A Photo to Share...

Well, having spent 30 minutes trying to get Blogger's new photo upload tool to let me upload a photo here, I have given up.  I'll try again later. :)

Thanks to Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook for hosting the Daybook each week!



Daybook Tuesday (or Thursday!)...

For Today...April 20, 2010  (LOL...well, it *was* for April 20.  Now it's April 22. :)   For those who ask, "How do you have time to blog?"...I don't!  I plan many posts that are never posted, I start quite a few posts that are never finished, it isn't at all unusual for me to have a tab open all day with a post that I type a sentence or two at a time throughout the day as I have a minute to sit down.  And then there are those occasional posts like this one, that I start one day and come back and finish days later. :))  Note: Tuesday's posts are in red, all other posts are from today. :)

Outside My Window...Sunny, cool, a beautiful spring day.

I am Listening to...silence.  Children are still asleep; the house is peaceful.  Not for long, though!  (I also just realized that the noise that almost propelled me out of my chair earlier was the sonic boom from the space shuttle! :))

I am Thankful for...two answered prayers for our family this week...things we've been praying for for literally years.  God is so good to remind us of His faithfulness, provision, and sovereignty just when we need to be reminded most!

I am Pondering...something Lyndel said last night in choir rehearsal.  He laughed about the fact that he was "talking a lot" last night, but I love the nights when he does.  I always learn from his wisdom (and usually laugh at his jokes. :-D)  Last night, in addition to the "quote of the night" ("I know the Bible says to 'SHOUT to the Lord'...just not on this song.'" :-D), he told us to think about all the beautiful music there is in the world...and then think about the fact that the music in Heaven is going to be MUCH more beautiful than all of it!  Isn't that an incredible thought?  I've heard some pretty amazing music on earth...what a thought that it is only a tiny taste of the music in Heaven.  Wow.

I am Remembering...Miss Mary.  She's been on my mind a lot this week...maybe because I'm headed into a season of creative projects?   She was a huge influence in my life in so many ways, in addition to just being so much FUN.  I miss her so much...especially that wonderful laugh!  

Noticing...a disturbing trend among some Christian authors/speakers/etc.  There seems to be a belief circulating that one can't believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, that sin is sin and that man is totally depraved without Christ, that Jesus is the only way to heaven, and that salvation is by grace through faith alone,  *AND* care about the poor, the needy, the oppressed.  The insinuation (which is sometimes more than an insinuation) is that those who truly care about the poor, the needy, and the oppressed have somehow moved "beyond" these beliefs, and that one can't truly call sin "sin" and still love and minister to the sinner.  I have many more thoughts on this topic...hopefully it will have a blog post of its own soon.

I am Reading...Oh, my...still working on the same *stack*, with new book review books coming in to add to it!  My reading time has been severely curtailed in the past couple of weeks; hopefully that is over and I'm going to fly through this stack!

From the Kitchen...Planning our two-week grocery list, and working on making our kitchen healthier.  There are times we do better in that regard, and times we do...well, not better. :)  Busy seasons send me scrambling for more processed, convenience, "junk" foods...and we are really trying to move *away* from that type of eating.  We are working on a gradual (*very* gradual) move toward more "whole foods" eating.  Right now we're trying to plan the best ways to do that in keeping with our budget and time constraints.  Hopefully I'll be posting more about this as we continue to research and transition...

On my Mind...a song Lyndel introduced in choir last week that has quickly become one of my new favorites.  It has been "stuck in my head" (in a good way, not that "I have this cheesy commercial jingle stuck in my head and I can't get rid of it" way. ;-)) all week.  I can't find a good  video with vocal, but this is a beautiful piano arrangement...

Hide Away in the Love of Jesus

1. Come weary saints, though tired and weak
Hide away in the love of Jesus
Your strength will return by His quiet streams
Hide away in the love of Jesus

2. Come wand’ring souls, and find your home
Hide away in the love of Jesus
He offers the rest that you yearn to know
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Hear Him calling your name
See the depths of His love
in the wounds of His grace
Hide away

3. Come guilty ones, weighed down with sin
Hide away in the love of Jesus
The freedom you long for is found in Him
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Hear Him calling your name
See the depths of His love
in the wounds of His grace
Hide away

4. Come hopeless hearts, do not despair
Hide away in the love of Jesus
For ten thousand joys await you there
Hide away in the love of Jesus

~ Steve and Vikki Cook

I am Creating...plans to create!  Spring and early summer always seem to be filled with opportunities for creativity around here.  Coming up: a wedding :), a Mother/Daughter Tea at church, and VBS decor/crafts, among other things.

From the Learning Rooms...Still working on a plan for our summer art camp week...more on that soon, I hope!

One of my Favorite Things...Tulips!  Especially bargain tulips my husband brings home from the grocery store.  I have always loved tulips...someday I'd love to have a yard-full.  For now, I'm content with a vase-full every so often. :)

A Few Plans for the Week...Working my shift at the Growing Kids' Sale tomorrow night, two-week grocery shopping tomorrow or Saturday, possibly meeting out-of-town friends for a quick visit tomorrow :)

A Photo to Share...

Another shot of the tulips...:)

For more Daybook entries, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook



Blog Tour ~ The Sword

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Sword
Crossway Books (April 30, 2010)

Bryan M. Litfin


Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, but lived in Memphis, Tennessee and Oxford, England, where he discovered that the house of his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was only five doors down from his own. Bryan still enjoys epic adventure stories, as well as historical fiction. However, most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.

In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.

On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limted to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.

This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).


This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"

Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.

With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.

Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sword, go to HERE

My Notes: My reading time, particularly for fiction reading, has been severely curtailed of late, so I have not completed this book yet.  However, I must say that judging by what I have read so far, this is one of the best fiction books I've read all year.  The premise..."If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"...is fascinating, and the setting...the year 2045, but a 2045 that looks much more like the middle ages than present day...quite thought-provoking.  

I also have to say that I so appreciate the fact that this is truly *Christian* fiction.  A friend and I have been discussing of late that *so* much of what is labeled "Christian fiction" today is only nominally Christian.  No, it doesn't contain immoral behavior or profane language, but that's about the extent of its "Christianity".  While I appreciate a well-written novel with those qualities, I have become weary of seeing those books labeled "Christian".  Christian fiction doesn't have to "preach", but it should have a "message".  There are many Christian fiction authors who accomplish that and accomplish it well.   Bryan Litfin seems to be one of those authors.  

My favorite quote in the book is found on page 247, in a conversation between the hero of the book, Teo, and his mentor, Maurice, about Deu, the Chiveisi name for the One True God of the Bible they have uncovered.  Maurice says, "Teo, I think you have to let Deu be the god he is, not the god you want him to be."  

Good advice for all of us, in the present day real world, as well as citizens of 2045 Chiveis.

Thanks to Crossway Books for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my participation in this blog tour!



Busy Week Daybook Wednesday!

For Today...April 14, 2010

Outside My Window...Sunshine...another beautiful spring day.  

I am listening to...the sounds of busy children doing chores, and "He Will Carry Me" by Mark Schultz on my WMP playlist. :)  

I am thankful for...our new (to us!) van!!  We have been a one-car family for almost six months (that doesn't seem possible!)  This was not by any means our first stint at being a one-car family, but I think it was the hardest.  For one thing, we learned that being a one-car family with a *van* is one thing...being a one-car family with a not-quite-big-enough car is quite another!   We are *so* excited to have room to spread out again (and not have to worry about having enough room for the groceries!)  

I am pondering....Bro. Kent's sermon from Sunday morning on Romans 3:18.  I love that Bro. Kent's sermons are such that we very often end up "chewing" on them all week. :)  Even the kids will often days later bring up some point he made and we'll discuss it.  This week's sermon addressed something that has been on my mind often lately...The Fear of God.  

Here are a few of my notes...in truly rough sermon-note form:

*Our society is proud of not being afraid..."No Fear" everywhere.

*To be fearless is to be foolish...we should fear God.

*Not only is this missing from the heart of unsaved man, but also often from those who claim to be Christians.  They (we) know that what they are doing is evil, and they (we)  are not afraid.

*"Fear" goes beyond a healthy reverence as we use the term "reverence" today...it is much more intense.  "Fear" of God includes the concept of "terror".  On the occasions in Scripture when people encounter God...even getting a glimpse of His back, or coming in contact with His angels...their response is MUCH more than our "Sunday morning reverence"; their response always includes terror. 

*He is our Awesome, Fearsome Creator...When you encounter God, you know who He is, and who you are, and you aren't God.

*Proper fear of God begins with a proper understanding of Who He Is

*What does your lifestyle say about your fear level of God?

(I know, I said "a few", but that was actually only about half my notes...much I wanted to remember and ponder!)

I am remembering...a wonderful visit with a delightful lady (whose name I don't even know) while waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for our new tires to be installed on Monday.  I had had a week of "those" comments (which we rarely get anymore, which may be why they got under my skin so badly...:)) about homeschooling.  You know the ones that make you feel like a three headed alien with purple polka dots??  And the ones in which people insinuate that being with your own children all day is worse than a prison sentence??  Yes, those.  

So when the lady in the auto center waiting room asked the kids about school and they said, "We homeschool", my protective hackles went up. :)   What a treat to hear her respond that her daughter homeschools her six children in Texas, and then to listen to her talk about all the things she loves about homeschooling and how proud she is of her grandchildren!  (The oldest just graduated from college and the 2nd oldest is in engineering school.)  The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to her, and it was such a refreshing change from the conversations of the preceding week!

Noticing that...I am spoiled.  Really spoiled.   I have fussed all week about how busy we have been and how little we have been home.  Most of what we have been out doing has been enjoyable or at least for a good purpose (i.e. waiting for tires for the van wasn't particularly pleasant, but finally having a van, and doing what was necessary to be safe and comfortable was a good thing!), and yet I have missed our uninterrupted time at home.  But I've been reminded over and over again during this time how spoiled we are to have that time...our family is pretty rare, I think, in not having tons of outside obligations and being able to be at home as much as we are, at least in this season!  We've had busier seasons in the past, and probably will again, but for now, I'm thankful that this type of week has been the exception for us, and not the rule.   

I am reading...pretty much the same "stack" I was reading last week!  All that "running" has cut into my reading time. :)  

From the kitchen...planning to incorporate a new idea from an online friend into our days soon...a 15 minute (give or take a bit :)) food prep time with the kids immediately after lunch.  We may start supper during that time, do a quick bulk cooking project, or make a batch of something for snacks that week.  I love this idea!   I'll try to remember to report back how it works. :)

On my mind...This link posted by a friend on Facebook.  It's truly disturbing to me that our nation's Declaration of Independence is too "offensive" to post on a classroom wall.  Particularly considering some of the things that were apparently allowed to *stay* on the walls of this same school!

I am creating...There has been very little time for "creating" lately, but I have high hopes for the upcoming week!  I'm hoping to make (sorely needed!!) new curtains for the bathroom this weekend for starters.  We'll see how that goes. :)

From the learning rooms...In the very early stages of planning an "art camp" for our kids and some friends this summer.   I've just begun to research and toss around ideas, but we are getting very excited! :)   Watch for more to come on this...

Around the house...Planning to make curtains for the bathroom this weekend (I hope!) and  *still* working on the Great Spring Clothes Swap (because we haven't had time to *start* it yet! :)).

One of my favorite things...encouraging words from a friend. :)

A few plans for the week...church/choirs tonight, bloodwork done at the drs. office tomorrow (UGHHHH!! :)) and a few random errands, hopefully home again on Friday, and then drop-offs for the Spring Growing Kids Sale on Saturday.  

A picture to share...

Weour library!!  Love the convenience of the online catalog, reservations, and renewals.  Love that they know us and will say "We've got a stack of books up here for you!"  when we walk in the door. :)  Love the fact that it is five minutes from our house!   Love *so* many things about it.  And now it's even better, with the opening of the new "Dewey's Cafe".  As a special treat this week, we shared smoothies and scones and rested for a bit during a long afternoon of errands yesterday.  Fun!!

For more Daybooks, visit Peggy's blog!



Sixteen Brides ~ Blog Tour

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sixteen Brides

Bethany House (April 2010)


Stephanie Grace Whitson


A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four home schooled children Nebraska history.

She was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.

Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends.

Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.


In 1872, sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community."

Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledgling community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival! Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them.

These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances--especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sixteen Brides, go HERE.

My Thoughts:  First...my apologies...this tour post should have been posted yesterday, and somehow in all the "getting ready for testing" melee, it completely slipped my mind.

Second...I rarely read historical fiction anymore.  I just don't enjoy it as much as I used to, and having less "fiction reading" time than I used to, I'm more choosy about the fiction I read.  However, when I was offered the chance by CFBA to read and review Sixteen Brides, I jumped at the chance.   Stephanie Grace Whitson has long been one of my favorite authors.  Her ability to weave historical facts with a mesmerizing storyline sucks me in every time.  Sixteen Brides has been no exception.  It's one of those books I find myself grabbing as I walk by and reading a few pages in between chores. :)   And having read several "Christian Fiction" books recently that were good or even great fiction, but Christian pretty much in name only, it is so refreshing to get back to a truly Christian fiction book that encourages, challenges, and inspires.   With Sixteen Brides, Stephanie Grace Whitson has once again delivered Christian historical fiction at its best.

Thanks to Bethany House, who provided a copy of Sixteen Brides in return for my participation in this blog tour.


Daybook Monday...Busy Week Ahead!

FOR TODAY... April 5, 2010 *and*  April 7, 2010

*Note:  I started this post Monday and never finished it...so entries in blue are from Monday and entries in red are from Wednesday night. :)

Outside my window...  Dark.  I'm finally sitting down to blog after the kids are in bed. :)

I am remembering...  my Granny Marks.  I made chicken gravy for the first time in...well, I truly don't know how long.  Maybe ever. :)  It wasn't from scratch...but it turned out really well, and the rice with chicken gravy we had with Billy's grilled chicken for supper reminded me SO much of Granny's.  It was like we were back in the kitchen eating at her red Formica table.   I miss her wonderful cooking so much!  More than that, I miss Granny!   I miss crafting with her, and sitting companionably in the dining room...her at the table with her Coca-Cola and me on the sofa with my Diet Coke...each reading our books and chatting occasionally about whatever came to mind.  Most of all, I miss one of the greatest "cheerleaders" in my life.  

I am thinking...   about how spring is flying by and how close we are getting to summer activities..."the wedding"  :), camp (which we aren't going to be able to attend this year due to Billy's schedule, but which is coming up quickly regardless :)), and VBS.   And yet tonight it feels like winter again outside! :)

I am thankful for...   God's provision in every area, big and small, always.  

Noticing that...   having to take time out for our tiny bits of "test prep" and testing has me "chomping at the bit" to get back to "just school" and "real learning".   When I was online recently looking up some test prep info, I was amazed (although I "know" this, so I shouldn't have been) what a HUGE industry "test prep" is and what an incredible amount of time and money  public schools put into it these days.  It made me feel so sorry for public school teachers who truly love teaching and want their students to love learning, who have to deal with the "testing" issue on such a huge level, compared to what we do.   I can only imagine what this "I want to get back to the good stuff!!" feeling must be like for them sometimes.  

I am praying for...  a better day tomorrow.  Today was one of "those" Mondays, at the beginning of a busy week in which we need to make much progress.  Praying for smoother and more productive days from here!

From the learning rooms...  Testing this week...*so* ready to have that OUT of the way and just get back to "learning". :)  We went to an art event at the library this week and came home with some *wonderful* art books...can't *wait* to dig into them after testing!

On my mind...  The words to "You Are God Alone"... (by Billy J. and Cindy Foote)

You are not a god created by human hands
You are not a god dependent on any mortal man
You are not a god in need of anything we can give
By Your plan that's just the way it is

You are God alone, from before time began
You were on your throne, You were God alone
And right now,in the the good times and bad
You are on Your throne, You are God alone
You're Unchangeable,  You're Unshakeable
You're Unstoppable, that's what You are

You're the only God whose power none can contend
You're the only God whose name and praise will never end
You're the only God who's worthy of everything we can give
You are God ~ That's just the way it is

You are God alone, from before time began
You were on your throne, You were God alone
And right now, in the the good times and bad
You are on Your throne, You are God alone
You're Unchangeable,  You're Unshakeable
You're Unstoppable,  that's what You are

After a very rough afternoon, which brought with it the sensation of yet another tidal wave from a strong and long-lasting storm, I *so* needed to be reminded of the words to this song we sang in children's choir.  As I listened to Kathy and the kids singing those words, and read them on the page in front of me at the piano, tears threatened as I soaked in the thought of His *still* being on His throne, Unchangeable, Unshakable, Unstoppable.  What awesome truth!  And what a comfort! 

Pondering these words... This post by Mary DeMuth.   It really hit me tonight...maybe because I have had this "same song 32nd verse" feeling all afternoon about a situation we are dealing with??   What a different (and wonderful!) way to look at such times.  Especially given my fondness for 3rd and 4th verses!!   Somehow it helped immensely tonight to look at the events of the day as being in the 3rd verse of the hymn.  And to know that the chorus...where God reminds us *yet again* of His power, and glory, and love, and sovereignty, and sufficiency, and faithfulness...will come again soon.  Love that word picture!  

From the kitchen...   Working on a menu for the next two weeks, and looking forward to the cooking plans Billy has for his four-day weekend this weekend.  I'm so glad he loves to cook. :)

I am creating... plans to create. :)  I am really hoping for a bit of scrapbooking time during our long weekend!

I am reading...   a "stack", as usual.  Thought you might like to *see* the stack this week...:)

I am hearing...   Quiet!  A beautiful sound after a chaotic day. 

Around the house...  Trying to get caught up on laundry, still need to do the Great Spring Clothes Swap, and need to move on to part 2 of the Dining Room/Schoolroom/Studio/Office project. :)

One of my favorite things...   

(sweet notes from my children)

(and flowers from my sweet husband :))

A few plans for the rest of the week:   A couple of "normal" days of school, a kids' art event at the library Tuesday night, choir x 2 Wednesday night, and then testing Thursday.  SOO ready to have that over with for another year!  (Did I say that once already?? :)) Drs. appt. for me on Friday (Yuck!!), but Billy has a four-day weekend this week...yay!...so hopefully we'll get lots accomplished and have lots of good family time this weekend.  

From the photo archive...  

(The best of the not-good pictures from Easter. :-/  Peter begged me not to post any of the ones I took of him, so I'm trying to be a sweet mom and accede to his wishes. :))

For more Daybook entries, please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook...



Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message 
       and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, 
       and like a root out of dry ground. 
       He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, 
       nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men, 
       a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. 
       Like one from whom men hide their faces 
       he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities 
       and carried our sorrows, 
       yet we considered him stricken by God, 
       smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
       he was crushed for our iniquities; 
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, 
       and by his wounds we are healed.

 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
       each of us has turned to his own way; 
       and the LORD has laid on him 
       the iniquity of us all.

 He was oppressed and afflicted, 
       yet he did not open his mouth; 
       he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, 
       and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, 
       so he did not open his mouth.

 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. 
       And who can speak of his descendants? 
       For he was cut off from the land of the living; 
       for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 

 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, 
       and with the rich in his death, 
       though he had done no violence, 
       nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, 
       and though the LORD makes  his life a guilt offering, 
       he will see his offspring and prolong his days, 
       and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

  After the suffering of his soul, 
       he will see the light of life  and be satisfied; 
       by his knowledge  my righteous servant will justify many, 
       and he will bear their iniquities.

  Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,  
       and he will divide the spoils with the strong,  
       because he poured out his life unto death, 
       and was numbered with the transgressors. 
       For he bore the sin of many, 
       and made intercession for the transgressors.

~  Isaiah 53



As Young as We Feel ~ Blog Tour

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

As Young As We Feel

David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010)


Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Is there room in one little hometown for four very different Lindas to reinvent their lives … together?

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever. But that was forty-seven years and four very different lives ago. Now a class reunion has brought them all together in their old hometown—at a crossroads in their lives.

Janie is a high-powered lawyer with a load of grief. Abby is a lonely housewife in a beautiful oceanfront empty nest. Marley is trying to recapture the artistic free spirit she lost in an unhappy marriage. And the beautiful Caroline is scrambling to cope with her mother’s dementia and a Hollywood career that never really happened. Together, they’re about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts … and friendship doesn’t come with a statue of limitations.

If you would like to read the first chapter of As Young As We Feel, go HERE.

Watch the Video:


Thankful Thursday...Godly heritage...

I've always loved the Steve Green song "Find Us Faithful"...

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift though all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
~Jon Mohr

I have such a wonderful godly heritage of faithfulness in my parents.  They taught me from a very young age,  
by word and example, so many godly virtues, including faithfulness and 
dependability.   I was reminded of that...and the impact it has had on many others as well...
last night.

Adult choir rehearsal is just about my favorite hour of the week.  It has been ever since I 
started singing in the adult choir at FBC, Conway, when I was 14.  It's a break from the cares of the 
world for one little hour a week, it's fun, and it's one of the places in my life where the 
Lord works directly in me the most.    

That said, Wednesdays are hard.  Trying to squeeze all the normal demands of a day into a 
"short day", getting four kids (and mom) ready to get there on time,  and then children's 
choir....there are Wednesdays I just don't feel like I have anything left by 7:15.   Yesterday was 
one of those days.  I was exhausted and not feeling the greatest, Billy had had to work late and
hadn't gotten to come to church, I was going to have to make a run to the Supercenter on the 
way home, and Peter had hurt his ankle during RAs and I really wanted to get him home.  I 
was *really* tempted to go home.

But, I didn't.  Sunday is Easter, after all, and I needed to be there to prepare. 
I worried about the elderly friend that sits next to me needing help, and my children would 
have been *soo* disappointed to miss choir kids. :)  I've had to miss several times lately due 
to physical issues, and I hated to miss any more.

I said a quick prayer on the way across the courtyard..."Lord, I don't feel like going, but I 
need to.  Get me through this, please?   And I could really use one of those "bless your socks 
off" rehearsals tonight..."  Choir members...you know the kind?  The ones when you are really
"on your game" all night, hitting every note, making every rhythm, holding every sustained 
note perfectly?  And the ones where the music just grabs your heart all night and you can just hear 
God speaking to you through every song?   

It wasn't a bad rehearsal...one of those where you can't hear your part all night and feel like 
your voice sounds like sandpaper or a flat violin.  But it wasn't one of those great ones, either. 
I missed notes I shouldn't have missed, I was distracted when I needed not to be, and I 
yawned my way through virtually every sustained note we sang all night.  I loved the music 
we were singing, but it wasn't "grabbing" me as usual.  Lyndel read a Psalm at one point that 
I loved, but had a hard time focusing on, making a mental note to "go back and read it later."  

It was almost over, and my thought was, "Well, God got me through it, so I'm thankful for 
that."  About that time, one of the men waved his hand that he had something to say.  My 
thought was, "Let's get this wrapped up and go home!"

Which is when God decided to bless my socks off. :)

He started talking about a song we'd done years ago...that he couldn't even remember the 
name of, but that reminded him of the song we'd just practiced for Easter.  Then he began 
talking about my dad, and how much the men depended on him back there, and that one 
night we were practicing this particular song, and he suddenly realized he couldn't hear 
Daddy any more...and he turned around and realized that there were tears streaming down his face. 
"Happy tears"...tears of joy in the music about our Savior.  

Then he talked about Daddy's faithfulness and how much it had impacted him, especially in 
those last months when they had to help him up into the choir loft each week.  

By that time, he was having trouble talking through the tears, and I had pretty much lost all 
my make-up.  There were a few other teary eyes as well.  

We talked for a few minutes after rehearsal.  He said, "I don't know if you ever knew it...most people  
didn't...but there at the end, he couldn't get up and down the steps at all.  We pretty 
much carried him...he got to where he'd crook his arms a little, and we'd grab one on each side 
and lift him up.  And you know....you just almost couldn't ever miss, because you'd think 
about him and the way he was still there, every week, as hard as it was."

I shared with him about a mutual friend who had told me around that time that she had 
gotten up one morning and just "didn't want to" go to church.  She was worn out and just 
wanted to stay home. "And then I thought about Foy, and I told myself, '______, get 
yourself up and get ready for church.  If Foy can get himself there every week, you sure can

We talked a little more, and he got choked up again talking about how much he loved and
 missed my dad.  A little later, he walked by and said, "I'm sorry," I guess feeling badly because I 
was still rather teary.  I told him not to apologize...that it's good to know others miss him, too.  

On the way home, I realized what  a blessing it is to hear how many people he impacted.  
Daddy was a relatively quiet, behind-the-scenes person.  His spiritual gift was definitely 
service, and he also loved teaching children.  But it's a sobering thought to realize that 
probably his greatest impact on those outside his family came in his last days...days when
he had multiple health problems, was legally blind for 18 months, saw his motor skills and 
balance steadily decline, and experienced pain most of us can't begin to imagine.  

So today, I'm thankful for a heritage of Godly parents.  I'm thankful for a mom who is still 
serving Him despite heavy blows in the past few years.  I'm thankful for people who 
remember my dad, and share those memories, and miss him with me.  I'm thankful for the 
reminder this week, as God has been working with me lately on this very issue of my own 
faithfulness and doing things that aren't always "comfortable", as well as the heritage I'm 
leaving for my children.  I want to carry on that heritage of faithfulness.  I'm thankful for 
others who are gone now, but who impacted my life greatly...Bro. Roy and Mrs. Jimmie, 
Miss Mary, Tom Stuart, Margie Clark, and so many others whose lives were "a stirring testament 
to God's sustaining grace." 

Most of all, I'm thankful for the Giver of that grace.   I'm thankful for this Easter weekend 
when we stop and purposefully remember the gift of salvation provided through the death, 
burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and for the reminders of God's incredible glory during this