Sunday, April 22, 2018


We recently went and hiked on the trails at nearby Lake Arcadia.  Believe it or not, we got lost on a trail and since it was overcast, really had no idea which way was North!  All we could rely on was the sound of the highway nearby for some direction.  We did eventually come out to a road inside the campground so we knew we could walk on the road and find our way back, if need be.  It was a weird feeling.  Just a few miles from my own home and I felt lost!

It just reminds me that even people who are in their home place can feel lost at times.  And the saying:

 We eventually found our way back!

Friday, April 13, 2018


For years, salad at home had always been a boring side item ...but no more!  There are a couple of restaurants that I always choose salad as a main entree and I want to make more of them at home.  I think one of the secrets is being satisfied with whatever salad dressing you put on it.  I've tried to cut back on the dressing but at least I don't drown the salad in it anymore.  Here's my version of a new salad we had at Modern Market in Dallas recently, that I loved.  

Farmer's salad:
Spring salad greens
Herb baked chicken breast
Grapes and blueberries
Toasted pecans or almonds
Charred corn
Feta cheese

So there is the link for home-made dressing, but you can probably buy some kind of champagne vinaigrette if you wish.  Here's my to go-to recipe for home-made Caesar dressing when we make Grilled Chicken Caesar salads:

Healthier Caesar salad dressing:
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. olive oil
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. dijon mustard
1/2 t. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. mashed garlic
 dash salt and pepper

Do you have a favorite restaurant salad you've recreated at home?  

Monday, April 9, 2018


 We just had our last luncheon for the school year for our Ladies Bible Study at church, known as CWBS.  The last couple of years the emphasis on fancy tables ($$$) has been downplayed and centerpieces have actually become a display for donations to various causes.

It's a great idea and takes the emphasis off outer beauty and more about giving.  It's always fun to see what different groups do...

 Africa table with donations of baby clothes for Neema House

Dental hygiene items for patients at Lighthouse Medical Clinic

 Spring table with pictures of kids they are helping at Village of Hope

Safari table with snack donations for our zoo playground volunteer builders

 Easter table with books and toys for a local group benefitting children

 Springy table with items for newborns in need

Cheerful table having a diaper and reading glasses drive

I missed a few tables but you get the idea!  So thankful for Bible study and the new friends I make each year in these groups!

Monday, April 2, 2018


 If you ever wondered what there is to see in Tipton, Oklahoma, here you go!  We had a busy last week with a lot of different activities but nothing traditionally Easter!  I went with The Hubs on a business trip to Dallas then we headed to his hometown of Tipton, Oklahoma for the weekend.  It was time for the High School Reunion which we try to attend every 5 years.  Since we drove, we took our bikes and unfortunately didn't get to bike in Dallas due to weather, but we did get to bike around Tipton.

Tipton is primarily a farming community so you see a lot of this...

and a lot of this!  This is a module of cotton waiting to be picked up and taken for processing.  I only tell you because I wouldn't have known until I joined the family, since I am mostly a city girl!  

Tipton Tiger water tower Downtown

Almost 100 years old, the Tipton Children's Home has served children faithfully through the years.  The Hubs actually lived there for 12 years while his parents were Houseparents.  He has a lot of fond memories and some specific food dislikes from his experiences.  

 The stately looking Administration building at Tipton Children's Home.

 Old farm implements in a park

 Sad vacant old buildings downtown

 The Crazy Cactus, one of our relative's snow cone business

The train by his Mom's house came right as we got home -   I like to see it up close when we're there and get a wave from the conductor!

Maybe I should've highlighted the school and their famous astro-turf football field!  After winning the state championship in football several times, they have a really great football field due to their patrons and town support.  It's a sweet little town that I wish could have a downtown renewal.  Lots of good people and a solid church there, though.  :)

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Well, I suppose that title is a bit exaggerated...but I really loved the recent women's event we had at church!  It's hard to believe that something we tried as an alternative to having yearly women's retreats ten years ago is still going!  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but here's my take on it.

The women's RefresHER last week was themed "Inspiring a Child-like Faith," and I thought it sounded interesting and definitely unique!  I wasn't quite sure how it would all come together but this group did a beautiful job with little input from me.  What I loved most about it was it was a great blend of comedy with Christianity!  We reminisced over our childhood with old toys on the tables for decoration, had a game on powerpoint (Name that Toy), followed the lesson with an unusual way to take notes on a "Scrabble" page, and laughed a lot.

Our speakers were two women who are known for their sense of humor, so of course that helps! Their self deprecating humor and their comedy came through with a song about "RefresHER."  Of course, when someone spends the time writing a song for something you care about, you feel loved! They also showed ability to think deeply about having a childlike faith and shared a great message with us.  Some take aways from the evening:

  • Be childLIKE, not childISH
  • Do hard things - we encourage children to do hard things, so why do we shy away from them?
  • What if we trusted God like the children in our lives trust us?
  • Trust without skepticism.
  • Be transparent - think about Jesus with his friends

So blessed and thankful for the many years RefresHER has been in place in our congregation and giving God the glory!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

Loved this read!  I thought I was getting a book to help me learn more about slower paced living, enjoying the moments, etc.  And it was that.  But it was also a trip with Erin through her times of plenty and leaner times.  Learning what matters most and how being insecure is a part of your life and to accept it for what it is.  I totally related to her journey and was the perfect thing to think about while on a break from our everyday life. 

True Worshipers by Bob Kauflin

Something  that my husband has been studying for a while, and searching the scriptures about…so I found him this book at Mardel.  We read it and discussed it while we were on vacation in January.  It’s about seeking what matters to God.  Although it didn’t address all the things we’ve been talking about, it brought up some good points about worship.  One was that we don’t have to repress our emotions.  Emotionalism as an end in itself is not good, but if your emotions are stirred while worshipping God, that’s okay. 

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

Curious to read this because the author went to college in my home state.  She grew up in Canada and has an interesting faith story to tell.  Basically, her view after feeling stifled as an adult Christian woman in a conservative church is that if you are gifted to do something, do it.  She raises some interesting points which I still have yet to reconcile in my mind but worth pondering. 

The Big Tiny by Dee Williams

I picked this one up off the New Book shelf at the library.  Since my son is building a tiny house in our driveway, I’m finding it entertaining and interesting.  After experiencing a health event in mid-life, the author decided to drastically simplify her life by building a tiny house.  I love her style and am not finished with the book yet, but would recommend. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


I've been tackling a major project lately.  Just the thing to do when the weather keeps you inside!  Approximately 25 years of double print pictures that I've been intending to sort and make into albums for a while are finally getting sorted into three piles, one per kid...
(this is just a small representation of the mess ;))

It's kind of crazy when you think about the change in photography/prints the last 20 years.  As I developed pictures, I got double prints to do the kid's albums LATER.  I made family and vacation albums for a long time, but I've switched to Shutterfly the last ten years.  But even though I'm not as crazy about scrapbooking as I once was, it would be a real shame to just toss all these memories.  I think hope my kids will appreciate them.

Do you have piles like mine?  I have a new plan to get me through them, and I'm really excited about it.  Maybe by putting it in print, it will encourage me to actually get it done.  It's been nagging at me for a while.  Like, years!  Here's my Declutter/Make Albums plan:
  • Forget exact dates/years of each picture.  Although many have the date on the back, for these albums it won't be important.  Sort into categories: Baby, Preschool, School, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, different seasons, birthday, sports, performances, vacations, etc.
  • Have 2-4 pages for each category, then move on.
  • Choose only the best of the best pictures.  More is not necessarily better!
  • Hit it hard right now while life is kinda slow and the weather is cold.
  • Plan to work hard on it when The Hubs is out of town and I can make a mess.
  • Think about the joy on their faces when they receive the albums this Christmas!
  • Think about the joy I will feel to have this mess gone through and my motherly duty as keeper of the memories completed!  LOL

Anyway, I'm tackling it and hopefully each of my kids will wind up with an album of memories.  Blogging may take a back seat for a while...

Friday, February 16, 2018


Recently I listened to a podcast that was about being happy for movement, that is, your ability to move.  It was a reminder that our body fat, weight, fitness level isn't something to obsess about BUT to be happy that your body works and can move!  I really liked the message and I think it's one many people need, especially women.

Just a few days after listening to that message my foot was bothering me and I was wracking my brain about what I could have done to have that pain.  Maybe I need to wear better shoes?  Not do pounding aerobic dances? Put my feet up a little more periodically? Probably all of the above.  I was feeling pretty sorry for myself...

Lo and behold, I got a huge reminder to be thankful for movement that next day when my sister called to tell me she was in the ER until 3:00 a.m. after breaking her foot the night before!  Her girls were good enough to go get her and take her but of course, the last 10 days I'm doing plenty to help her out (she was widowed several years ago).  She ended up having surgery and got 2 screws in her foot and had to cancel a trip to Germany to see one of her best friends.  She's on a scooter and having a hard time getting around right now.
(The foot propped up and the cat sleeping on her!)
So my foot pain was temporary, but I was gently reminded that the 5 pounds I'm so worried about is no big deal!  I pray for my friends fighting cancer whose bodies are in distress, I pray for healing for my sister's foot too.  And I'm thankful to be moving without too much trouble.

The podcast info:  "Sorta Awesome," with Meg Tietz Episode 128 love your body

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Seashells are kinda like people.  
They look similar, but close up you see their differences.  
Some are big, some are small.  
Some white, some grey, orange, yellow, red, black.  
Some have texture, some are smooth.  
Some have stripes and patterns.  
Some are scarred by unknown forces.
Most have chips on the edges after being beaten by the ocean waters.  

Some are just broken pieces. 

They’re beautiful and worth examining. 

Monday, February 5, 2018


When we went to Alabama recently, I may have mentioned that we didn't look into many activities there ahead of time, which is pretty much against my nature.  We knew there were bike trails and a beach, and did bring our bikes and some things to do inside the condo, but other than that I didn't know much about what kind of attractions there were.

Once we got there and stopped in at their Welcome Center, we found out about some things to do and riding the ferry to Dauphin Island came up.  We could take our bikes on the ferry for a mere $5 and there were designated bike trails on the island too!  So we planned to do that on Saturday.  I checked the Dauphin Island calendar and saw that there was also going to be the "People's Parade," a Mardi Gras parade at 1 p.m.  We were told it was a "tame one." So I was excited to get to see my first!  Alabama claims that they celebrated Mardi Gras 15 years before Louisiana, just in case you were wondering!  But I think New Orleans took it to another level.

It was a nice sunny morning and we drove out to Fort Morgan where we caught the ferry.  It was fun, getting on there with all the cars!  It was a pretty 40 minute ride there and then we set off to explore.  We biked just a half-mile down to Fort Gaines where the Battle of Mobile Bay was fought and Union General Farragut said his famous line, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"  We didn't pay to go into the fort but got to look around the outside of it. I can't imagine being on tiny Dauphin Island seeing all the ships come in to take over.

We biked through the town and noticed lots of people were already setting up tailgate parties and the parade was several hours away!  We also biked up to the big bridge that connects the island to Mobile.  We tried unsuccessfully to get lunch but some of the restaurants were closing early due to the parade.  Obviously the parade was a BIG deal.  We finally got a lead on one that was a good fish place and right on the water, too.

We biked back toward the ferry area which was also where the parade was to begin.  I have to say it was the funnest parade with the best music!  Multiple floats with little bands on them playing some great tunes.  We were thrown lots of mardi gras beads, moon pies, even little footballs and plastic cups with advertisements on them.  The little girl next to us had brought a large plastic storage box and would shout to everyone that passed by, and her bucket was filled with all of the above, plus stuffed animals, by the end of the parade.  Pretty crazy!

It was a great adventure day!