Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Typical Day in the Neighborhood


Outside my window: dogs arguing over steak bones, late summer sunlight, beckoning rocker that must be ignored.

On my kitchen table: Brandywine tomatoes, a few aging apples in my mother’s yellow mixing bowl, cabbage plants that must not be ignored

On my CD player: Chris Tomlin “Awakening”, with a heart cry that I know the Father won’t ignore.

On my to-do list: papers, papers, and more papers to be graded; dishes in the sink  (wish I could ignore)

On the evening’s agenda: next-to-last week of “Jesus the One and Only”

On my reading list: “Forgotten God” by Frances Chan

On my wish list: Canon Rebel DSLR, clean dishes, a nap

On my prayer list: teenagers, middle schoolers, my pastor’s family, my church, the nation, all of you

What’s up at your house?

Be blessed today!



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Morning

after the first week of school is:


full of cat naps,

dappled sunshine,

PW’s Maple Pecan scones,

late summer blooms,

and catching-up Bible study

. . . and pictures of all these trapped on my disk because my computer won’t read it this morning.

Oh, well.

Enjoying this day for all its non-techie moments,


Sunday, August 22, 2010

In Pursuit of the Cheesecake of Life


(photo: Taste of Home)

Ever get cravings? 

I mean, you really, really NEED chocolate right that moment, or ice cream, or maybe potato chips.

Sometimes, if I have to go to the grocery late in the afternoon or too close to lunchtime, food that otherwise disgusts me suddenly entices. 

Cheese Whiz!  I remember eating that when I was a little kid.

Swiss Rolls!  Yum!

Chips Ahoy!  Hey, they have chocolate, and right now, I NEED chocolate!

This weekend, we had a bit of family drama involving the teenager at our house.

Sometimes she’s craving food that isn’t healthy for her in large quantities right now.

Things like control and independence.

Kind of like when she was two.  The teen years are toddlerhood remixed.

So anyway, there was yelling.

From mother.  From daughter.

There were  tears.

From mother.  From daughter.

Then, finally, there was grace.

From Christ Jesus.

When my sweet older one came looking for forgiveness, I asked if I could pray. 

She leaned her head against my chest, and I asked the Lord for grace to pray as I should for this fragile, precious heart.

Speak blessing.  From the mouth comes power for blessing and cursing.  Speak blessing.”

So, by the power of His Holy Spirit, I did.

Over her head, the Holy Spirit spoke passion for Him, zeal for His House, love for His people.

I prayed that my girl would lose her craving for lesser things, for the Little Debbies of life her enemy will throw in her path to distract her from God’s best.

I want her to crave His glorious, perfect blessing over her life.

Why eat a Swiss Roll when Toffee Caramel Cheesecake awaits you?

When we had blessed the name of the Lord together, you know what my girl did?

Marched herself right into the kitchen to find a recipe for cheesecake.

Tomorrow I’ll share  the recipe.  Today I share the blessing.

Be consumed by His best.  Be blessed today.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Martha’s Life, Mary’s Heart

New school year.

New job.

Lots of pressure.

A high schooler. *sniff*

A middle schooler. *sniff*

Dirty laundry.

Praying for “tunnel” vision, eyes focused on the One and Only Light.

Be Blessed!


Monday, August 16, 2010

From the Teacher’s Desk: Of Peas and Plans


It was my plan today to write a marvelous post about getting organized the night before so that mornings run smoothly.

Then I broke my own rule. 

Last night, after returning home from our church small group, I discovered that the field peas I was in process of shelling would not fit in the refrigerator. 

Change of plans: blanch peas for freezer instead of getting ready for school today.

In the midst of this, DD#1 discovered that she also had broken a cardinal rule in our home: getting her dirty clothes to the laundry on Saturday so that there are no last minute cries of “ I have nothing to wear!!”

Change of plans, Part B: DD#1 throwing clothes in the wash instead of relaxing before bed. 

All this mini-chaos resulted in a grumpy household and a later bedtime than I needed before today’s 5:00 am wake-up. 

Best laid plans gone awry.

The moral of the story:

Get ready for Monday on Sunday afternoon.  A few minutes before we left for church Sunday evening—or better yet, thinking ahead a little more on Saturday—would have kept the wolves at bay Sunday evening.

During the week, a few extra minutes of planning in the evening can save the morning from potential meltdown. 

If you can do it the day before, get it done.

You’ll thank me in the morning.

Be blessed today!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Attn: Perfectionists

Have you read this?



It will rock your world, mess with your mind, and hopefully, bring you to your knees in awe again of God’s mercy and LOVE.

It’s the difference between head knowledge and heart understanding.

Be blessed today, friends.

Off to preplanning!  Pray for me today if you think of me!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Need a Laugh?

Go here.

Read it, but have tissues.

You’ll be laughing until you cry, and who doesn’t need that?


(Who knows what plots were hatched during this nap?)

Have a great day!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

From the Teacher’s Desk: Encouragement


No doubt about it:  many teachers are facing a year of record-breaking discouragement, and classes haven’t even begun. 

Budget cuts and furlough days loom for teachers, but enormous testing pressure hasn’t vanished with the pay cut. That means  doing more with less--and in less time--is the order of the day.

Piles of paperwork, disrespectful, unmotivated students, and (sorry) occasional whiny parents (and politicians)   aren’t going away either.

So, what can a parent do help her child’s teacher—and therefore her child—have a better school year?


Encouragement can take many forms.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

* Say “Thank you.”  Simple but profound.

*Write a note complimenting the teacher on a particularly creative lesson or about the way she handled a certain situation.

*Write a note to the principal complimenting the teacher.  Principals usually hear only the bad news.

*Ask if you can help.  Is there filing, decorating, or tutoring you could do to help in the classroom?

*  Help out with classroom supplies.  Pencils, paper, folders, erasers are always needed, and English teachers always appreciate books in good condition for the class library.

*Don’t forget upper-grades teachers.  Parental support disappears around 6th grade, so these teachers will be pleasantly caught off guard by your interest. 

If you’re tempted to wait until you know for sure that you like your child’s teacher, remember that a positive attitude early on will buy you credibility later when if a problem arises.  If you are a  follower of Christ, your kindness throughout the year may influence an unbelieving teacher.

*Which leads me to the most important:  PRAY daily for your child’s teachers, that they would know Christ, that they would be strengthened and equipped for their tasks, that their influence would be godly.

Encouragement is powerful!

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

Be blessed today!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

To-Do List

This week’s To-Do List:

* Write a fascinating, enthralling, profound blog post---In progress

* Exercise—should have happened an hour ago; coming later, I promise

* Wake up grumpy daughter—check, unfortunately

* Do today’s Bible Study lesson in Jesus, the One and Only—can’t wait

*Turn on praise music, ‘cause we need some praisin’ around here--soon

* Prepare marinades for chicken and beef and freeze—this morning

* Fix muffin, pancake, and waffle mixes for the freezer—check, finally!

* Laundry, laundry, laundry—in progress

*Write fascinating, enthralling, profound lesson plans—s-l-o-w-l-y in progress

Not on To-Do List but Did Anyway:

* Cleaned entire pack of Big Red’s melted gum out of dryer—check

How’s your day?




Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time to Celebrate

Still no pictures; reformatting my disk got pushed aside to CELEBRATE a very special birthday around our house.

Fourteen years ago, the Lord brought a bundle of energy, intellect, strength, and yes, joy into our lives.  We held on for dear life and let Him lead us on a brand-new journey called parenting.

She’s a keeper. 

Saturday night, my girl—looking stunning—was the guest of honor at Bonefish Grill.  We feasted on Bang Bang Shrimp and thanked God for past, present, and future. 

On Sunday, her actual birthday, it was time for PW’s Chocolate Cake and simplest, most delicious homemade ice cream ever.

Prepare to be amazed.

Homemade Ice Cream

1 quart half and half, whole milk, or skim milk, or some combination of these depending on how decadent you want it to be

2 cans sweetened condensed milk (low-fat is fine—and probably better if you go with the half and half)

4 teaspoons vanilla

Mix and freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, if you haven’t lost them since last summer.

Happy Birthday, DD#1! You are our treasure.



Linking up to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.