Wednesday, January 29, 2014


A very kind person from France was worried about me and wanted to see what I've been up to.  That's an incentive to blog, that's for sure!  I haven't been as well as I would like to be, but we had a family adventure a couple of weeks ago that's worth writing about:  we went to Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

We stayed at a beautiful resort patterned after Mardi Gras/New Orleans.  I loved walking to the bus every morning to zippy jazz music.  Our room was on the Rue d'Baga.

We went to celebrate my continuing recovery from cancer treatment.  Here I am with my nemesis and helper, The Incredible Hulk.  (you can read my thoughts about him and cancer treatment here)

Being at Disney can give you experiences about as close to the real thing as I'll probably ever get.  We went on a Mission to Mars as astronauts, test-drove a car, and went on safari:

We visited many countries around the world.  I even met someone from Molepole, Botswana (for those of you who are fans of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency).

We went to China.

Terracotta soldiers (replica) in China

We ate in east India.

We went to Monsters' University, where I saw my good buddies Mike and Sulley.

And we visited the Beast in his castle, where they had set up dining in his ballroom.

My son and his wife drove from their house 2 hours away and joined us for 3 days.  Here we are in the Himalayas.

At times, it was fairly cold, but we managed.

And we saw some serious fans.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


  Our son and his wife visited from Florida.

 They arrived at 1:30 AM on Christmas morning; we stayed up even later.  We awoke to slight snow.

My younger son and I hid the wheelbarrow in the car until my husband had gone to bed.  Although it's for my husband, the cat thought he himself had gotten a gift.

Wheezy got a huge amount of attention.

My son's wedding was three years ago; we used this frame for a photo booth we had set up for the wedding reception.  Now we get it out every year at Christmas.

I also purchased an art print for my husband's office.  Can you tell which one it is?

My husband had the wonderful opportunity of introducing a little boy to the wonders of Dr. Seuss:  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

We ate a huge amount of chocolate.

The brothers had a LAN party and stayed up very very... well, till the one computer overheated.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Our shelf/elf monkey left early Christmas Eve to "help Santa" (said his quick note).  Makes you wonder if Santa sent the monkey to our house in the first place because he needed some peace and quiet at the North Pole; but anyway, here are some of the "highjinks" our monkey got up to before he left:

He ran a sack race with some of the crew at our house.

He ziplined through the living room.

He was rude with the family photograph (which does not have him in it).

He teepeed the Christmas tree.

We will miss him, but perhaps he will visit again next year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Wrote this years ago, but never posted.  Today is the day:

This year on Christmas Day, my husband’s mother told us it was her best Christmas ever.

This could be a silly statement, seeing as how she is in a nursing home, in a wheelchair, and hardly knows who-is-who or what-is-what. Because she had a nap before we arrived, she wasn’t even sure it was still Christmas when we visited.

And yet, it gave us all pause. My sister-in-law was greatly moved because she said it should really humble us, we who have so much. Mom has so little and yet is so grateful for what she does have. How poor of us to dare complain about ANYTHING after that!

I myself am very moved by the grace of God toward Mom. How unfailingly kind He has been toward her in her older days, causing her not to realize the passage of time while sitting alone or not to be aware of pain and loneliness. If she does have any emotional hurt (which I don’t think is often), she finds solace through holding the Bible in her hand and staring at the page.

His grace in this situation extends to us too. We do not have to agonize so much because we can’t spend every minute with her. How comforting it is to see her passing into His presence this way.

Romans 15:13~~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Repost of December 22, 2007


The wonderful lady over at Carpe Banana shared some of her favorite tree ornaments, which made me eager to share mine. Each and every ornament on our tree has such special memories for me, and there's always a collective groan from the gentlemen in the house as they hear me "ooh" and "aah" when we decorate each year!

Oh, what decisions as I try to limit these photos to just a few!

My brother and I loved troll dolls as we grew up in the 60's. We built houses for them out of wooden blocks and even made clothes for them. So when I saw this ornament, I was delighted to buy it for the tree. Up in the corner you can see one of the Star Trek ships Enterprise.


We have many ornaments the boys have made through the years when they were younger. I cherish every one.  

When we vacation, I try to buy something that will remind of the place we visited. On the left, you can see the gourd painted like a bird, from Arizona. The ornament beside it is a special edition ornament given to faculty and staff of Grove City College. Each year they have been giving us a different building or landmark of the college.

I have great memories of the years I've spent in our local homeschool support group. Many times we've made an ornament at our December "Mothers' Meeting"--meetings where we share and laugh for hours on end. The one below is made from a light bulb.

Our town is well-known for its aluminum forge, so I have several ornaments purchased from there. This is surely one of my favorites.

Because I grew up on a farm where we raised pigs, I have a few pig items throughout the house--and several on the tree. And I really love the tractors--Hallmark has come out with a whole series of them (red tractors are best!!). I also like the red of Santas, and this one has a special story. In 1977 I went with the aunts and Grandma to visit another aunt who lives in Los Angeles. Our trip included a jaunt to Las Vegas. I decided I would put no more than $5 into the machines, and when I made a profit of $12, I quit, went to the shop there, and bought 3 beautiful small items from Germany.

A view of my tree wouldn't be complete without telling of my friend Betty, who died from cancer a few years back. She had such a generous spirit. Once I visited her and saw several of these star ornaments on her tree. That was when we had those big old lightbulbs for our Christmas trees. Inside each ornament is a little twirly piece, which would be set in motion from the heat of those bulbs. I exclaimed my delight upon seeing them and Betty didn't hesitate. She immediately pulled one off the tree and said, "Here! Have one!" Now I remember her especially when I decorate, and surprisingly, it still twirls with the newer bulbs, even though we cannot feel any heat at all when we touch them.

May you have a blessed Christmas, with many memories of the past, while making more for the future!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


We had a lot of snow the other day.  My husband was shoveling and so did I, for a short bit, and then I walked for exercise.  As it became dusk, I was reminded of past Christmas Eves when we would carry a lantern and walk with the boys in the woods, singing carols as we went.

This was supposed to be patterned after the Hallmark commercial of a man and his daughter who welcomed in Christmas from a beautiful viewpoint on their mountain. Sometimes it was lovely for us too, being the only ones out in the snow in the quiet night.  The first year we did this made wonderful memories for us.

Then the troubles began to seep in.  Sometimes there was driving rain instead of snow; it was soggy, windy, and miserable.  Or there was the year we tried to take our exuberant and untrained dog with us on a leash, or the year the outside cat followed us too far and was too tired to come back.  There was mud.  There was cold.  There was wind.  Eventually we started moaning about the prospect of going out in the dark.

The last couple of years, my son and his wife arrive very late on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas with us, so I just stick the lantern outside the house to greet them.

And when the weather is nice, like the other evening, I sing to myself.