Archive for August, 2007

An unexpected treat

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I had to run an early-morning errand today, and didn’t take time for breakfast. Once the errand was done, prompted by the tummy-rumbles, I headed over to McDonald’s for a bacon McGriddle and orange juice. I went into the restaurant to purchase my breakfast, since I was in Lynden and hoped to possibly see a friend or acquaintance with whom to visit. There were several groups of retired folk visiting together, but no one I knew so I headed back to my car to breakfast.

As I sat there munching my McGriddle, I noticed one of the elderly gentlemen come out of McDonald’s and head to his old blue and white pick up. From the bed of the pick up, his old, chubby Border collie looked at him cheerfully, one ear straight up, one floppy, smiling a doggy smile.

The old man was carrying a vanilla soft-swirl cone, which he held out to his doggie, who proceeded to lick it appreciatively. In no time at all, that ice cream was history, cone and all! Next the man held out to his pet what I had assumed was a cup of coffee, but which proved to be a post-ice cream water chaser. After patting the dog on the head, the old man headed back into McDonald’s, apparently to continue visiting with his friends. If he stays long enough, perhaps doggie will receive a hamburger for lunch!

I love sunflowers

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

This is from our garden. I just love sunflowers. I find them so cheery.

Good Mail!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

My online friend Hilary sent me some Good Mail! Thank you, Hilary!

Hilary and some other ladies decided that people need to receive more pleasant mail, so they started something called Good Mail. Each participant writes a little bio letting the others know what she likes, her interests, her birthday, and anything else that strikes her fancy. Then she starts sending out little gifts or a card or whatever to whomever she pleases. A little bit like Random Acts of Kindness, but you do get to know who sent you the Good Mail. 🙂


“Oh! What’s all this? How exciting!”


So many lovely things! These cards are hand-made by Hilary! Thank you again. 🙂

The Certainty of ALL the Promises of God

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

After reading my Bible online this morning at Blue Letter Bible, I read the daily devotional by Bob Hoekstra entitled The Certainty of All the Promises of God. He has been working through a series, alternating between those promises which are generally considered to be precious and those which are generally unpopular.

This final devotional on the promises of God is a meditation upon 2 Corinthians 1:19,20:

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us . . . was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

I recommend this series on the promises of God, having personally found it to be an encouragement to trust the Lord with all the circumstances of my life, the unpleasant as well as the pleasant.

Here is a short excerpt from today’s portion:

As we have seen, some of the promises of God are “exceedingly great and precious.” Others are very “unpopular.” The former category of promises brings encouragement, strength, hope, comfort. For example, “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me” (Psalm 138:8). The latter category warns, awakens, humbles, prepares. For example, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Yet, whether we gladly embrace a “precious” promise or struggle with an “unpopular” promise, there is the absolute certainty of all the promises of God being fulfilled. Our present verses explain the basis of this certainty. The assurance is related to the very nature of Jesus Christ.

The changeable personality

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Click to view my Personality Profile page

This is the result I obtained tonight (ISTJ – the examiner) after retaking the free personality test at Last night, though, I must have been feeling a bit more extroverted, because I came up with a ESTJ (the overseer) result.

Here’s a quote about ISTJ personalities from the site:

“At work, ISTJs get things done on a timely basis. They honor deadlines, and they believe in thoroughness. A half-finished job is not a job well done. They establish procedures and schedules, and are uncomfortable with those who do not do the same. ISTJs put duty before pleasure. As long as they can fulfill their responsibilities, they feel useful and thereby satisfied. Their work does not have to be fun, but it has to count toward something productive. ISTJs believe that vacations are something that one takes only when work has been accomplished; thus, at times they do not take vacations even when they could and should.”
– ISTJ – The Reliant (Lifexplore)

This is a description of ESTJs:

“ESTJs live in a world of facts and concrete needs. They live in the present, with their eyes constantly scanning their personal environment to make sure that everything is running smoothly and systematically. They honor traditions and laws, and have a clear set of standards and beliefs.”
– Portrait of an ESTJ (The Personality Page)

What do you think, children? Which is more accurate?

This touched my heart

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Do you ever think, “How much do I really trust God?”

This morning I was reading Tim Challie’s blog, and was so blessed and encouraged to trust the Lord in a more real way after reading his heart-searching post. I especially could see a similar failure of faith in my own life:

I trust the Lord for myself. I honestly believe that I am willing to suffer, even unto death, for the sake of the gospel, BUT . . . I do not have such a vibrant and living trust that the Lord will provide for my family without me, or without my husband. God’s word clearly states But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. . . A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. – Psalm 68:3,5.

While the Lord grants me continuance of health and life, I will minister to my family. But, by His grace, I will seek more and more to entrust their well-being TO THE LORD.

See what you think. Do you also find this article convicting and yet helpful?

Craft night invitation

Sunday, August 26th, 2007


In the announcements in this morning’s church bulletin, there was an invitation to an upcoming craft night. Any interested ladies in the congregation are invited to attend.

My initial thought was, “It will be so enjoyable to visit with the other ladies.” I’m sure fellowship is the primary goal of the get-together.

My second thought was (gasp!) I no longer do any crafts!

In years gone by I enjoyed cross stitch and crewel embroidery, some quilting (small items like pillows), and totally LOVED to sew my own clothing, and later dresses for the girls when they were little. I did lots of arts and crafts with the children when they were little, but that doesn’t really count as crafting, I imagine.

So, what happened? I guess I just changed some of my hobbies. I continued on with reading. That’s a perennial favorite. I still go for walks. Very relaxing. And . . . I love to blog and read other people’s blogs! I follow discussion groups. I even read and study my Bible online. This, I think, is the hobby which displaced crafting.

So, I hope maybe I could come to craft night and just visit and maybe help serve refreshments? Otherwise I will have to come up with a quick little craft to do for the occasion. 😛

Tried a new recipe from an old cook book

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

Curried Chicken

(This recipe is from the Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes published in 1978.)

3 Tablespoons salad oil

3 Tablespoons curry powder

2 large mild onions, chopped

3 tart apples, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 Tablespoons dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon liquid hot pepper seasoning

1 ½ cups regular-strength chicken broth

1 can (13.5 fl.oz.) coconut milk

4 whole chicken breasts, skinned, split, boned, and cooked


Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add curry powder, onion, apple, and garlic; cook and stir until onion is limp. Stir in the mustard, ginger, salt, hot pepper seasoning, broth, and coconut milk. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until apples are tender.

Add cooked chicken breasts, cover, and simmer until chicken is heated. Transfer to a serving platter. Pass your choice of condiments. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Condiments. Raisins, sliced green onions, shredded coconut, chopped peanuts, sliced bananas, and finely chopped chutney.(The only condiment we used was raisins.)

I served this curry with steamed broccoli and LaBrea Bakery roasted garlic loaf from Costco.

One ingredient which makes this dish special is fresh curry powder. I purchase mine from The Spice Hut. You can choose how spicy (or not) you want the curry to be. For our family I selected Garam Masala which is mild but flavorful.

The times, they are a’changin’

Friday, August 24th, 2007


In “the good old days” when all of the children were small, I didn’t have to ponder for long about what to do each day. I would be awakened by a hungry baby, and then would hurry to meet the needs of other hungry little ones, and a husband who needed to get off to work. I planned the meals and snacks ahead of time, and had a good routine established for cleaning and other chores. I very much enjoyed all those domestic duties, and the interactions with my family.

Well, children grow up, and even while still at home are less dependent upon mom. Oftentimes I am now the one receiving help, rather than the one giving it. Cleaning, sorting, painting, yard work and other chores are often done by my competent young people. Certainly I am still very much a facilitator, running errands with and for the family, and I do keep very busy. But still, I sense that I am very much in an interim period. “The times they are a changing”, and I have more time.

I sense almost that this is a time of preparation for a new season in my life. “What should I be when I grow up?” I asked myself as a child. Now I ask, “What should I plan to do when all my young folks are grown and gone from home?” In seeking to answer that question, I’m taking stock of what I’m actually doing right now:

  1. Last year I completed training as a paraeducator, or “teacher’s helper”. I plan to work this school year as a substitute paraeducator in our local school district as the need arises. I also plan to volunteer quite a bit at the middle school, where Lydia and Seth attend.

  2. I am also busy helping to care for my aging mom. She enjoys the social life at the retirement community where she lives, but I help with such things as paperwork, doctor visits, and shopping.

  3. Sometimes I run errands which help my husband with his house design business, but, really, he doesn’t need much help with that.

  4. The family still at home require timely meals. I plan to have dinner ready by six each evening, so that we can have an earlier bedtime than is traditional with us. When we homeschooled, I could be more flexible, but now, the children must get to bed early enough to be rested before school and sports practice begins.

  5. We are getting settled in a local church “home”. I want to be available to show hospitality. I want to be helpful, and also to participate in Bible study.

  6. I spend LOTS of time on the internet, reading blogs, especially church blogs which have to do with faith and practice. I spend time blogging and interacting with my children on their blogs. Just a few years ago, I simply would not have had the time to do all this reading. (Of course, I’m still reading books, too.)

Getting back to what I should do now that the young ones are growing up and leaving home, these are my present thoughts:

  1. I need to focus more on my husband, spending more time with him and growing closer to him. It is easy to grow somewhat apart when demands upon one’s time are so heavy, as is the case with caring for many young children. Also, my temperament is quietly contemplative. I am quite content working on my own projects. I want to be more warmly communicative, and participate more in mutual interests.

  2. I need to keep my focus on serving, rather than upon relaxing, or taking it easy as I get older. I haven’t seriously talked to my husband about it, but I’m thinking about wanting to help foster children in the future. I have the paperwork, but just have to get up the gumption to show it to him.

  3. I want to take good care of myself by staying physically active. A daily walk is also very relaxing.

Well, those are my thoughts for now. Anyone out there with good advice for me? I welcome your input.


Eight or so years ago . . .

Friday, August 24th, 2007

In this cozy photo taken in our living room, Lydia is about 6 years old and Rebecca is about 7 years old. They have been best buddies for as long as I remember. Now I have to search our photos to find an up-to-date photo of these darlin’ daughters.

Here’s a picture of Seth, probably taken about six or seven years ago. Rick had taken Seth and one of our older boys on a trip towards Mt. Baker. He thinks this is Glacier Creek in the background.