Monday, January 31, 2011

A Passion for the Impossible

Lilias Trotter was born into a privileged home in London in 1853.  She was extraordinarily gifted as an artist and was self-taught until she was a young adult, when she met John Ruskin, a famed art critic and social philosopher.  Ruskin recognized her gifts and tutored her, expecting her to make art her life.

But Lilias was, at the same time, being challenged in her faith by attending conferences, hearing preaching by D.L. Moody and Mr. and Mrs Robert Pearsall (Hannah Whitall) Smith, serving the poor, and leading women's groups.  And she was feeling God's call to take His message to the world.

At the age of 35, Lilias turned her back on pursuing art as a career and set off with two friends to Algeria, where they would work alongside the North African Mission.  (Lilias's heart was weak and the mission board considered her health too poor to accept her as a missionary!)  She served in Algeria until her death at the age of 75, her weak heart notwithstanding!

A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter, by Miriam Huffman Rockness, is perhaps the best book I have ever read.  The library copy which I have been pouring over the last two or three weeks no longer looks new, and I have little scraps of paper marking a number of passages as I have gotten to know this amazing woman, 100 years my senior.  My own copy of the book has just arrived in the mail, one that I can mark up all I want and keep indefinitely.

Lilias's journals, letters, books, booklets, and story parables provided her biographer with a rich resource of material to draw from when writing about her life.  And throughout Lilias's writings were lovely drawings and illustration, some of which are included in the book.  She was a woman of prayer and she seemed to trust God absolutely.  Her love for the people of North Africa and for her fellow missionaries was evident throughout the book, and her vision to reach into new areas to share the Gospel was remarkably far-sighted.

She accomplished much in her life, yet she was never in a hurry.  "Time is nothing to God -- nothing in its speeding, nothing in its halting -- He is the God that inhabiteth eternity."  And children of eternity "can afford to tarry His leisure no matter how short [their] time is." (p. 285)  Nor did she stress when things did not go according to her plans. "One learns as one goes on, not to fear the detours by which God leads on." (p. 317)

The life of Lilias Trotter is a tangible demonstration of God's grace at work through a willing heart.  Her life continues to shine for Christ through the wonderfully written pages of A Passion for the Impossible.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carving Decorative Candles

(Clicking the YouTube button on this video will improve the quality of the video and give you a chance to see it full screen if you'd like.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Patience Revisited

On November 23 of 2009 I posted about my very patient sister and the cats she adopted.  Turns out they were feral and didn't take kindly to human touch.  Just yesterday she sent me this e-mail:

I just had to let you know that it only took 25 months and 7 days...I pet Finny today!  He was on my bed (he kicked Persy off--he has a jealously issue he needs to work on).  As I walked through the room I offered my hand for him to sniff and he actually let me touch him.  THEN he let me stroke him.  THEN HE PURRED!!!!!  Yahoo!!  I wonder if I'll be allowed to repeat that later today.

And she signed it, A happy me!

It would be difficult to miss the lessons here, such as:
-- Love, offered freely and intentionally, over time, will eventually bear fruit.
-- Things don't always happen according to our own timing!
-- Animals (and people) really can change.
-- Remain attentive for the slightest progress so that you can rejoice over it.
-- Peach's remarkable example of patience is just a dim reflection of the patience God has with us.  Amazing!

Hang in there today!  There may be more happening than you realize and today may just be the day that you see some reward for your patience.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rosemary Pecan Cookies

My friend Terri shared her Rosemary Pecan Cookies with me yesterday and I went right out and bought the ingredients and made them last night.  Oh, they are delicious!  So savory -- not a word I usually associate with cookies!  They're a bit pricey, as I hardly had any of the ingredients on hand.  But oohhhh, they're good (did I already say that?).

Without further ado, here is the recipe for the quick, the delicious, the gluten-free and vegan treat:

Rosemary Pecan Cookies

1 1/4 cup  blanched almond flour
                  Pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp      baking soda
1/4 cup     grapeseed oil
2 Tbsp      agave nectar
1 tsp          vanilla extract
1 Tbsp       minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup      pecans, finely chopped

Preheat over to 350. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda.  In a small bowl, whisk together oil, agave, and vanilla.  Mix wet ingredients into dry.  Fold in rosemary and pecans.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Form dough into 1/2- to 1-inch balls and press onto prepared baking sheet..  (If batter gets sticky, wet hands before forming cookies.)  Bake for 6-7 minutes, until golden.  Cool on baking sheet.  Makes 24.

Recipe and photo from Delicious Living magazine.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dad's Testimony

Dad and Mom's 50th Anniversary, 1998
The sweetest part of Dad's birthday party the other night was when he quieted the guests and began to give his testimony.  He spoke of his lifelong love of children, and his desire to have several children of his own.  When he met Helen, he knew that he had met the future mother of those children.  But he was not living for the Lord.  He knew that, if he were to be a good father for his children, he himself would need to be a follower of Jesus.

Just two months into their marriage, Dad gave his life to Christ.  He and Mom have now had 62 years together, serving Christ and raising their family to know Him.

Dad spoke of experiencing the Lord's provision for our family; of the ache of losing a son and the hand of God on our lives during those days; of the joy he has experienced as a follower of Christ.  He spoke with deep conviction, with tenderness and sweetness.  He ministered to our hearts as we listened to his struggles and his sense of God's presence.

Later, when we were alone, I mentioned that he certainly seemed to be prepared with this testimony, even though it was a surprise party!  "I've been thinking about this for quite some time," he told me.  "There was a young man who came to the door selling security systems, and I talked to him about this.  I think maybe he was a Christian; he seemed very open to what I had to say."

The Bible says that "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."*  Dad has praise in his heart because Christ has changed him, so that's what flows out.  That impresses me about Dad.  But so does the fact that he would share this story with a perfect stranger who showed up on his doorstep!  That's the life of Christ, flowing through him to others, whether he knows them or not.

*Matthew 12:34

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Winsome Witness

"You have to be winsome to win some," my friend Irene said the other day when we were talking about sharing our faith.  She'd heard the expression years earlier and it had stuck with her.

I saw a wonderful example of this at Dad's birthday party.  Among the friends gathered was Ken McKay, an exuberant man I've known most of my life.  Ken loves Jesus and he loves people.  He is an animated story teller and can execute a good joke like few people I've ever known.  (Maybe some day I'll pass along his bacon tree story.)

Who knows how it came up, but on Sunday night Ken began to share his testimony.  He was 23 years old, a young husband and soon-to-be-father, who had just taken a job at a meat market.  Win Barnett, the shop owner, had rented a small space and was trying to get his business off the ground.  As they worked, Win told Ken stories from the Old Testament.  "Oh, could he dress up those stories.  He made them come alive for me," said Ken, scooting forward on his chair, his eyes widening, his hands extending -- and he was right there in that butcher shop, listening again to the stories of Moses and David and the three Hebrews thrown in the fiery furnace.  He especially loved the story of Elisha receiving the double portion of Elijah's blessing.  Ken retold the story just as he must have heard Win tell it, more than 50 years ago!

"For two months I listened to Win's stories.  I offered my stupid arguments, the fallacies I saw in the scripture.  'God created light four days before He made the sun!  How could that be?'  But my questions were easily answered.  And his life backed up his testimony.  There was no way you could deny that God was real by the way Win lived!"

You could say Win was winsome.  And he was real.  And faithful.  He shared his life and his story with a young man who was hungry for the truth, and God used it to change that young man's life.

And you could say Ken is winsome.  Just a guy who has grown deeply in his love for Christ, who saved him and has given him a clean heart, telling the story to others.

How about you?  What's your story?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Birthday Boy

Yesterday was my dad's 85th birthday.  Family and a few of our most long-time friends joined to surprise him with a party.  There was food; there was hilarity; there was warm friendship and reminiscing; there were cards from family who couldn't come.  Mostly there was the sweet spirit of a man who has lived an honest life for the glory of God.  Papa, we are so glad to have you in our lives!  Here's to a happy, happy birthday, and another great year ahead!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Let's Homeschool!

When our boys were barely toddlers I was challenged by a radio speaker who talked about homeschooling.  Yes, that's what I'd do -- I'd homeschool my little charges when they were ready!

In the meantime, Tommy devoured information like a vacuum cleaner.  He would watch nature shows on PBS, read National Geographic and Farm Journal with Gramma and Grampa, and present his theories about life's mysteries to us.  He'd pass on information that was, at times, fantastical!  My head would spin with the "facts" this little kid would tell me.  "You can grow crystals with ketchup and coal!" "If you put moss on a stick and plant it in the ground (moss-side down, of course), you can grow a tree."  Sometimes he'd tell me things about animals I had never come across before.  Far-fetched as much of his information was, I, being a good mother who wanted to give her son the benefit of a doubt, would reply, "I didn't know that."

When I felt it was time to broach the subject of homeschooling with him, I asked, "Tommy, how would you like to homeschool?"

His reply?  "No, Mom, you don't know enough!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Free Bread!

I think about the phases I've gone through in sharing my faith.  As a child I was afraid of the people who didn't know the Lord.  I had little contact with "the world" and was very comfortable in my Christian surroundings.  People outside that experience seemed threatening to me.

But I was taught that we should share our faith.  So I went through the put-in-a-good-word-for-God phase where, whenever I thought I had an opening, I'd throw in a comment about the church or God.  These comments were usually without any real context, but I'd done my duty and, surely, people would be heart-struck by my comments and come to Christ!

That wasn't too effective.

Then there was the attitude that I'd just be a good guy for God.  I felt I should go to Japan for a period of time, but I didn't want to go as a missionary.  Instead, if I went as an English teacher and could simply be good, do good, live an exemplary life, I could be a witness.  But Christianity is not commonly known in Japan and anything good I might do would not necessarily point any of my students and friends to Christ.

What I finally began to understand is that there is no fundamental difference between people who know Jesus and those who don't.  We are ALL just people.  The difference is that believers have a relationship with the Lord, and non-believers don't.  It is our privilege to live pure lives that point to Him, use our words to express this faith in the proper time and way, and share this good news with those around us.

There's great truth in the old saying, "Witnessing is one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

On Sharing Our Faith

When I was a kid, I had a friend I'll call Mary.  I knew Jesus, and I was pretty sure she didn't.  So I schemed about ways to "get her into the Kingdom."  (Give me a break -- I was just a kid!!)

I remember the idea to bake her a cake and invite her over.  I'd give her the plan of salvation, usher her into the Family of God, and then we'd eat cake!

One year, on the last day of school before summer break, my brother and I sat her down on the steps and asked what she was going to do for the summer.  She told us of her summer plans.  "Then what?" we asked, and she said she'd go back to school for the next grade.  "Then what?" we asked again, and continued to ask until we'd walked her through her entire life!  Finally she said, "I'll die."  Ahh, we had her now!  "Then what?" we asked again.  Was she going to say she was going to Heaven?  We could tell her how to get there!  But she shook her head, as if to get the last few minutes out of her mind, and went home.

Over the years, I've been given some tools to use in evangelism, but it has taken years of living to realize that I don't need the tools nearly as much as I need to live an authentic life of faith, pursuing Christ with all my heart, loving Him and allowing Him to transform my life and use if for His glory.

I'd like, in some of my upcoming blogs, to explore what it means to share our faith in Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him.  The world is looking for truth and peace, joy and love.  These are ours in Christ, and they are available to everyone.  How do we, just common folk, help others find life in Christ?

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dear Young Mother

- No matter how hard each stage is, it will pass just before you do.
- Relax.
- Teach the love of God, show the forgiveness of God, live the joy of God.
- Share your troubles with other grow-ups; your child's shoulders are not wide enough to bear them.
- Hug, kiss, laugh with, gush about, and be loudly in love with their dad.  Whenever possible, embarrass your kids with public displays of affection.  You will know you are successful only if they are rolling their eyes.
- If you were caught off guard with an unexpected pregnancy, be very sure that God was not.
- If you don't feel that you can do enough for your child, you are right.  Be very sure that God can.
- Establish a bed time and stick to it.
- Teach them to be someone others will like so that they will learn the pleasure of friendship instead of carrying the heartache of loneliness.
- Teach them to be slow to take offense instead of dwelling together in pain.  Teach them by example; words won't work for this lesson.
- Don't wonder what you will do for this child; wonder what this child will do for the world.  That's the reason they were born, after all.
- Tell them the truth or tell them nothing.  And tell them when the truth is none of their business.
- Insist on respect but be brave enough to hear their hearts.
- Hug them and if they don't hug back, hug them harder and giggles while you do it.
- Don't ever be so arrogant as to believe you can create life.  But be very sure you have everything needed to create a life worth living.

(Thanks, Sara, for letting me share your blog post with my readers.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Youth for Christ

When I was a kid in the 50s, Dad used to take Tom and me to Youth for Christ rallies, crusade-type meetings on Saturday nights featuring musicians, speakers and special events -- maybe a magician or a newly-released Billy Graham movie.  They drew crowds and many people came to know Christ through these rallies.

Junior high and high school years provided YFC club, a weekly Bible club at school.  Goofy games and silly skits were blended with teaching and challenges to trust in Jesus and live for Him.  We continued to have rallies, camps and banquets as well, all designed to point people to Christ.  My heart for outreach was enlarged during these days, my fumbling efforts to share my faith encouraged.

In the mid-80s I found myself once again involved in Youth For Christ, this time as the administrative assistant at the Seattle Area YFC office.  Our staff gave themselves to reaching kids with the love of Christ.  By then, the clubs met off-campus; we had a foster care program; and we scheduled fast-paced multi-media presentations in area high schools, offering hope to hurting kids.

And now my son has re-connected me to YFC through the SPOT, the teen drop-in center in town that offers a place for kids to hang out two afternoons a week and Saturday night as well.  The SPOT offers computer access, games, snacks, conversation, adult involvement -- let's just say love, acceptance and grace for teens.  There's also a strong Teen Parent group.  The Stanwood staff are amazing in their ability to connect with kids and support them right where they are.

Youth for Christ is still a viable ministry.  As times have changed, so have its methods, but its passion to see kids come to know and grow in Christ has not.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Putting a Face on Homelessness

Two different friends recently posted stories about encounters they had with the homeless.  One was Rachelle, who was just driving down the street.  The other was Rick, who is the director of Seattle's Operation Nightwatch, a ministry to those who are homeless.  It is easy to feel conflicted when we run head-on into the issue of homelessness, but Rachelle and Rick both allowed God to minister to them through their encounters.  They've given me permission to share them here with you.

Rachelle's story
I saw Jesus yesterday. He was walking along Aurora Ave. in Seattle and holding a sign asking for change. I couldn't tell what ethnicity he was... he looked slightly African American, but when he came up to my car, I noticed he had blue eyes. I gave him a little something, hoping he would buy food and not drugs or alcohol. He was so skinny. When I handed him what little I had, he smiled with such a warm and grateful look on his face. I knew it was Jesus I saw in him. He said, "God bless you," and I returned the blessing. Somehow, I think this story is connected to my career calling. I don't know how, but when I think of it, I know that I want to be part of God's Kingdom work. 

David's Got Me Covered -- Rick's story
David could barely keep his eyes open. "Maybe just a little. . . tipsy." So he said. Maybe.
We talked for awhile, about nothing in particular. He likes his place in the shelter, after so many years sleeping outside.
"Are you okay?" he suddenly asked me.
"What do you mean?"
"You got a place tonight?"
"Oh yeah. I'm good." I think about my warm bed, surrounded by various comforts.
"Because, if you needed a place, I'd find you a room or something," David assured me. "We have to take care of each other. We're all family here." He waved his arm around the TV room.
I've been talking to homeless people steadily for twenty eight years now. As far as I can remember, this is the first time I was offered accomodations for the night. It was the sweetest moment ever.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Do you remember Harold and the Purple Crayon, about a little boy who draws adventures with a crayon?  I found a great Harold video on YouTube.  If you'd like some Saturday fun, click here to see the dilemma Harold draws for himself, and how he cleverly resolves it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Speaking of Holes

I ask my family what comes to mind when I mention the word "holes".

"I have lots of holes in the stories I'm writing, gaps I need to fill in," says Samuel.

Tommy thinks of Winnie the Pooh and the hole that Gopher carries around in his pocket.  He pulls it out and disappears through it from time to time.

"I've always thought donut holes were Newtonian," replies Tom.  "Newtonian?" I ask.  "Incomprehensible," he says.

As for me, I think about trying to get the Tums out of my purse.  I plunge my hand into the bag, exploring all four pockets, and finally find them.  But I can't get them out because they are on the other side of the lining.  After months of losing things through the hole in the lining, I have finally fished out the lost loot and stitched up the hole.  I guess I missed the Tums.

Funny, nobody mentions the mole holes in the back yard.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Mountain Between Us

A coming storm and cancelled flight; a small plane chartered from Salt Lake to get two strangers to Denver ahead of the storm; a crash; a harrowing survival tale.  This is the story line of Charles Martin's newest book, The Mountain Between Us.  But it's only part of the story.  From the first words of the preface to the end of the book we get a glimpse into the complicated issues between Dr Ben Payne, one of the survivors, and his wife Rachel, from whom he is separated.  The inward struggles of relationships, marriage, being real and honest, forgiveness, hope -- these are as much a part of the story as the physical struggles.

Some authors are good story tellers but not very good writers.  Charles Martin does both well.  This is one of those stories that just keep calling you back.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Days!

December 1994
"Time to wash your face!"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How To Tie a Silk Scarf

In this cold weather, and with so many beautiful scarves available these days, here are some simple, fun and beautiful ways to tie a scarf!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Piano Concert

My fingers flew over the keyboard, landing on dissonant chords that somehow fit together to create a wild and frenzied melody.  Up the scales they ran, then down again, and crash, another amazing chord!  My children, much younger then, their eyes wide with wonder, squealed with delight over the fervor of my music, landing in little heaps on the floor.  I was an unstoppable music machine, all a-dither with the notes that tumbled out of me.

When I opened my eyes, the room was dark.  The clock read 4:49, just eleven minutes till the alarm would sound and I would tumble from bed to start the day.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


"One week down.  Only 51 to go!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

God is Enough

Hannah Whitall Smith lived from 1832 till 1911 and, along with her husband, was active as a speaker in Christian conferences in the U.S. and Europe.  From her well-known book, God of All Comfort, comes the following quote:

Detaching and Emptying

The old mystics used to teach what they call "detachment," meaning the cutting loose of the soul from all that could hold it back from God.  This need for detachment is the secret of much of our instability.  We cannot follow the Lord fully so long as we are tied fast to anything else, any more than a boat can sail out into the boundless ocean so long as it is tied fast to the shore.

If we want to reach the "city which hath sure and steadfast foundations" (Heb. 1:10, para), we must go out like Abraham from all other cities and be detached from every earthly attachment.  Everything in Abraham's life that could be shaken was shaken.  He was, as it were, emptied from vessel to vessel, here today and gone tomorrow; all his resting places disturbed and no settlement or comfort anywhere.  We, like Abraham, are looking for a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God' and therefore we too need to be emptied from vessel to vessel.

But we do not realize this, and when the overturnings and shootings come, we are in despair and think we will never reach the city that has foundations.  But it is these very shakings that make it possible for us to reach it.  The psalmist had learned this, and after all the shakings and emptyings of his eventful life, he cried, "In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God" (Ps. 627).  At last God was everything to him; he found that God was enough.  It is the same with us: when only that which cannot be shaken remains, we learn to have our expectation from Him alone.

(Quote taken from God is Enough: 365 Daily Devotions, Edited by Melvin E. Dieter and Hallie A. Dieter, Francis Asbury Press, 1986)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hymn of the Month -- How Firm a Foundation

On a Sunday night in 1983 I watched a chilling movie called The Day After, about the effects of nuclear war on families and individuals.  I watched, bug-eyed, transfixed, as people's hopes and dreams, their very lives, were shattered or lost altogether.  It was a bleak, hopeless movie... until the credits began to roll and the music began.  Rising from the rubble came the strains of How Firm a Foundation!

The truth is, there is hope even in the devastation of war.  And that hope is the firm foundation we have in God's Word.  I had me a little praise session there in my living room, rejoicing in God's faithfulness.  It continued the next day as I drove to an appointment.  At the top of my lungs I sang every verse of How Firm a Foundation.  I modulated between verses, going up a step and singing the next verse higher than the last.  When I finished the song I started over!  I sang my heart out that day, affirming the words of the song with each breath.

Here are the words.  Rejoice in their truth as you listen to it played.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
  1. Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
    What more can He say than to you He hath said—
    To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
  2. “Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
    I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
    Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
  3. “When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
    For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
  4. “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
    The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
  5. “The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
    I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
    That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
    I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Auntie Betty's Butterhorns

In memory of my Aunt, who would have turned 80 yesterday and/or today, I want to share her crowd-pleasing recipe for butterhorns.  They are a little fussy to make, but worth the effort.  You might want to give them a try.

Auntie Betty's Butterhorns

1 c margarine or butter
12 oz cottage cheese, large curd
2 c flour
dash of salt

1 c powdered sugar
1/4 t vanilla
1/2 t almond flavoring
1 T milk

Blend cottage cheese in blender to get the lumps out.  Cream margarine/butter.  Add cottage cheese, flour and salt.  Mix well.  Put in refrigerator 4 hours or over night.  Divide dough and roll in a circle.  Cut into wedges and roll, starting at the wide end, as for crescents.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Mix frosting ingredients until smooth and frost butterhorns.

OK, here are some hints:
*It works best to have a buddy help you with this project!
*The dough is sticky and needs to stay cold.  When the dough is ready to use, take it out of the fridge long enough to cut it into three or four sections.  Use one section at a time and return the rest to the fridge.
*You will want to roll the dough out on a plastic sheet such as a rolling sheet or a flexible plastic cutting board.  Dust the sheet with powdered sugar as needed.  This will prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.  Roll the dough to a circle about the size of a dinner plate.  It should be quite thin.  You can get 12 wedges from the circle.
*Allow the butterhorns to cool before frosting them.
*One more thing  You may not want to double this recipe as it would be hard to mix such a large batch.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Betty Lou Got Her Name

Eighty years ago, when Dr Jones delivered my Auntie Bet, he told my grandpa, "If you let me name the baby I won't charge you for the delivery."  Being a frugal man, my grandpa agreed, and the doctor entered the name "Lulu Mae" on the birth certificate.

But Grandpa had already agreed to let 12-year-old big sister, Babe, name the baby, and she chose the name Betty Lou.  Not to worry.  Even though the baby was legally named Lulu Mae, Betty was the name everyone called her.

Years later, when her son needed his birth certificate so that he could travel overseas, Auntie Bet requested a copy of her's as well.  There in black and white was the reminder of her name, Lulu Mae!  But wait.  What's this?  The birthdate was wrong too!  It should have said January 4, but instead it said January 5!

Seems Grandma went to the hospital on the 4th, ready to deliver her baby, who was born some time after midnight, technically on the 5th.  Never mind.  If you're going to have a birthday, you might as well have two!

Back to the name.  A few years ago she was reading the newspaper and saw an obituary for a Lulu Mae Raduchi.  She had never heard of anyone else named Lulu Mae and this piqued her interest.  She called big sister Babe on the phone and told her that she'd just found someone with her same name!

"Laaaands, Bet!" replied Auntie Babe.  "Lulu Mae Raduchi was Dr Jones' mistress!"  Hmmmmm!

(Auntie Bet passed away in July of 2010.  For other posts about her check here and here.  You can also see a video of her life that  her granddaughter Kristi posted on YouTube.  If you'd like to see it, click here.)

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Little Housekeeping

The scene we passed on the way home from church yesterday was so beautiful that Tom went back and set up his new tripod so he could take some photos for me.  I have him to thank for the beautiful header photo above.  He captured the swan taking off in the flats less than a mile from our house, the snowy Cascades in the distance.  Thanks, Tom, for the pictures and for the support you provide with the blog.

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Thanks for joining me at Three Minutes to Nine!  I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!  May you find God's grace to be sufficient for all your needs and His strength to be made perfect in your weakness.  And whether "you're on the mountains of joy or in the valley of sorrow" (I borrowed that phrase from Pastor Sam's benediction yesterday), may you know His peace.

Speaking of housekeeping, this would be a fine day to take down our Christmas tree!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Date with Dad and Mom

Breakfast with my parents in Seattle!  It's probably been 20 years since Tom and I had the chance to go out with them, just the two of us and the two of them!  Yesterday we put on our warm clothes and sunglasses and drove to the Salmon Bay Cafe, a funky restaurant in Ballard that hasn't changed a stitch since we'd go there as newlyweds, and stood in line for 20 minutes to get seated.
The food was delicious, the company delightful.
After breakfast we drove along Shilshole till we got to Golden Gardens.  What a glorious day to be out!
We spent some time exploring Ballard, driving to the corner where Tom had lived in the first home he ever purchased.  A stand-alone double garage made a marvelous art studio for him.  The yard was huge, filled with brambles, and Tom cleaned it up and planted a garden that was the envy of the neighborhood!  

Dad spent three growing-up years in Ballard.  (When I worked at Youth for Christ in the mid-80s, our office was in the music room of Dad's old junior high school!)  Time commitments prevented us from driving by Dad's old neighborhood yesterday, but he's told me some great stories from those day.

What a lovely way to end the year.  If you'd like, maybe you can join us next year for breakfast at Salmon Bay Cafe!