Friday, February 22, 2013

Insta-Friday! Reunited

I've only been a smart-phone owner since October, but MAN do you get used to them! I know this because something went wrong with mine and I had to send it in for a replacement. It was all done for free and I'm happy to be on the other side of it. Nine days is a long time to have to be smart on my own!
Anyway, let's get to the Instagram pictures for this week!

Josiah, what's in your mouth? #sunningwithatoddler
Oh, it was dog food btw. #grody
My Valentine flowers are still going strong! #lovemyman

My lunch is yummier than your lunch. #fauxlafelswithtahini #cucumbersalad #grilledzucchini

Story time with my oldest. #littlehouseinthebigwoods #lovethisboy

Zucchini egg nests

Ice-covered sleet. No lunch out with a friend for me. #plansspoiledbyweather #feelingtrapped

It's a Sound of Music-watching kind of day! #Julieandrews #afewofmyfavoritethings #soundofmusic

Little bird-watcher.

Making faces with my baby. #lovethisboy

Here's what I learned about myself from these pictures: I spend a lot of time with Josiah. I record the mundane (food, movies) but fail to mention the life-changing things like we have a job and are moving to Ohio in a couple weeks!!! And we had an interview with our missionary training center people and they declared us "normal" and "balanced" and there are no red lights on our psychological assessment.

So there. No big deal!

What have you been posting on Instagram lately? I'd love to follow you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Handmade Name Sign

My husband's sister's step-son and his wife had a baby girl a couple weeks ago.

I took the opportunity to commemorate the event and baby's adorable name on a wooden sign. 

I sanded the wood, added a couple layers of bubblegum pink paint and free-handed the letters, butterflies and flowers. At first I used a Sharpie, but then I got smart and invested in a fine-tip paint pen. So much easier!

Now I just need to get this in the mail before baby Charlotte goes off to Kindergarten!

If you're interested in having a hand-made sign of your own, contact me! We're moving soon, but I have a little time on my hands in the next two weeks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


During summers through college I worked at summer camp. I loved it. My best friends were there, we were outside a lot. We made enough money with our school-matched scholarships that it was worthwhile. I never felt so close to God as by the river after an intense summer at camp. This camp was in Yosemite National Park in California about halfway between my home in southern California and my school in northern California.

Sorry Chrystal and Amy, it's the best I could do!

Our camp directors were awesome and lots of us are still friends in real life or at least on Facebook. I'm the one in the striped shirt standing on that platform tied to a tree. Ropes Course Director, 1998.

Eventually it was time to grow up and move on. In 1999 I got a job teaching Kindergarten in Las Vegas at our church school. I went back to college in the summers to earn my Master's Degree. No more summer camp.

I was single and usually ok with that, unless my heart was freshly broken. I knew the strong and fun kind of man I wanted to marry, someone who loved God and America and children and travel, someone who was handy and secure and who would laugh at my silliness. Definitely NOT someone from the midwest and NOT a PASTOR!!!

In 2003, I think it was, I visited a friend who was working at an academy in Ohio. Well, she had worked there the year previous and was now getting a master's in Indiana. Anyway, I wasn't that impressed with Indiana, but my friend took me on a roadtrip to Ohio to see the school where she had worked. I fell. in. love. with Ohio. It was so pretty and slow and family centered. 

Fast forward a few more years. I met and married my sweetheart. He was an engineer (whew!) but he was born in Wisconsin, considered Nebraska home and was living in Iowa. I moved to Iowa with him the day after our wedding in 2006. 

We lived in Iowa for 6 years and welcomed each of our three boys into the family. Then last spring my husband felt strongly that he should quit his job as an engineer and go through training as a Bible worker which would lead to a career as a pastor. Never say never.

We put our little house on the market and moved out in July. We traveled to California for Gary's training. We spent four months there, hearing how well Gary was doing, what a natural he was, and how surely he would get a call as a Bible worker or maybe even as a lay pastor! But nothing happened. Calls wouldn't get returned. Ideas fell through. He wasn't hired at all.
We came to Missouri to spend a week or two at Gary's parent's home for Christmas. There was an offer on the table for a lay pastor position that we had heard about the day we left the school in California. 

We waited over three weeks. The job fell through. 

We knew we wanted to go with Adventist Frontier Missions to Scotland. We both felt sure of that. But while filling out applications for the long-term (it's still 18-24 months away) we knew we needed some way to pay the bills in the short term.

We prayed. A lot.

After two months and our savings completely drained, Gary felt impressed to check a different website in search of a job. He created an account so he could see a wider spectrum of available positions. Nothing really sparked his interest, but he saved four of the options and asked me to look at them. He never does that.

I glanced through the list and noted with a chuckle, "I know the principal of that school in Ohio! He's my camp director! Small world!" Gary asked me to contact him and because that principal is my old camp director from the late 90s, I did. I sent him a note on Facebook, of course, because that was the only way I could. I mentioned that we were between AFCOE (the school in CA) and AFM (missions) and needed a short-term job to fill in the gaps.
He wrote back: Call me.

It's been a couple weeks and we're still working out details, but Gary is going to be an assistant boy's dean at Mt. Vernon Academy in Ohio. Where my friend taught in 2002. Where I visited in 2003. Where I first fell in love with the midwest. Where my old camp director from California is now the principal!

Now get this. Pastor Dan is super excited that Gary was trained at AFCOE and that we're going to Scotland as missionaries. See, his vision is to train the students in friendship evangelism (which is what Gary learned about at AFCOE) and send the students overseas for a hands-on experience! That means the same students that Gary teaches in Ohio will come stay with us in Scotland! 

God had put the idea in Pastor Dan's heart before he knew our situation.

You know what else is cool? We'll be starting in March. Talk about God's timing! We'll be there through next school year as well and be ready for the three-month missionary training the following summer. 

We're so excited! Aren't you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pretty Little Kitchens

It's been a long time since I've posted a round-up of pretty kitchens. Even though we moved and never got to renovate our kitchen, I still love looking at pretty ones, don't you?

I particularly like looking at small kitchens with efficient storage ideas that are still pretty while being so practical.

Baskets, handy shelves, menu boards all work together to maximize storage.

Yet character isn't neglected: subway tile, stainless appliances, beaded board, stylish lighting all help to make these kitchens as pretty as they are practical.

Whether you like the look of a white kitchen, a painted kitchen, two-tone cabinets or unpainted wood, small kitchens can be personalized to meet the style of your home, your budget and the look you like.

Source: via Sharahn on Pinterest

One feature I've been paying attention to lately is what to do when your floorplan doesn't include a window over the sink. Here are some options:

A sink on the peninsula that faces another room (dining room or living room), perhaps with bar stools tucked under a ledge.

Include a shorter cabinet for more head room and hang something pretty to look at.

Include a plate rack above the sink. Talk about making it easy to put the plates away after washing!

Make the cabinets over and around the sink a sort of window by including glass doors and lights inside.

Small kitchens include small, efficient seating for meals too, whether at a peninsula or at a built-in dining nook.

What a great way to soften the space (pillows and window treatments) and add color and character (lighting, pillows, the table and chairs you choose) and storage (drawers in the built-in benches).

What about you? Any tips on designing a small kitchen full of practical and pretty ideas? Or updating your existing space to amp up the character?

Do you have a small, pretty, storage-packed kitchen? What's your favorite feature? What do you wish it had?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gone Fishin'

My two oldest sweethearts have become fishermen.

Last week their Daddy got them hooked up (ha-ha!) with their own rods and tackle and took them fishing in a neighbor's pond for their very first fishing experience. They were SO excited!

We took them again this week at on the Meramec River here in Missouri. It looks bitterly cold, but it wasn't really that bad. Josiah got to come along too.

I love watching Gary teach the boys how to cast. I'm learning along with them. :)

Jared is only 3 1/2, but he's catching on.

As long as he doesn't fall in!

Jonathan has casting figured out, but he tends to look around and not pay any attention, sometimes forgetting to reel it back in.

He's showing me the three- or four-step process.

And he's pretty concerned with what little Josiah is doing.

Well, Josiah was picking up rocks by the handful and throwing them at the water with such gusto that I was worried he'd walk right in! It's hard to photograph him while holding tightly to his hand!

When not instructing the boys, Gary walks out a little deeper in the water. Sometimes he catches stuff, although lately there hasn't been much. The boys haven't caught anything, but they're excited to keep trying!

"I Will Make You Fishers of Men" has become the favorite song at worship time. Cute little guys!

Have a great weekend!


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