Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Helena, MT

50 Pound Goal

It's not what you think....I'm flying to OK tomorrow, and I'm checking one bag.  Most of you might know that I usually travel with carry-ons only.  (And yes, I flew to Germany and Turkey with carry-ons only!  We all did!)  But, a few months ago I bought some cloth diapers for Baby Castle at a yard sale.  I boxed them up, to mail them, and the postmaster told me it would be $17.00 to mail them.  I did some quick math in my head and figured for eight more dollars I could check in a 50-pound suitcase when I traveled there, and take a whole heck of a lot more stuff to them.  So, here we are, the day before the flight.  After hitting clearance sale after clearance sale, and after buying gifts for all we love, and after investing one whole dollar in a "disposable" suitcase, I had Jim weigh the semi-packed case this morning.  35 pounds!  Whoot!  That means I actually might have some room to take along a few clothes and toiletries!  And I'll get to leave the suitcase in OK for someone to pack and bring here for Christmas.  It seems like a flawless plan as long as I don't go over 50 pounds!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the one that helps embarrass my kids with me!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yard Sale Finds

If you know me at all, you know I love a good yard sale find.  This week I was looking for a white dresser, and entertainment center, wall art, and a bookshelf.  I didn't find any of those, but I did add to my Pampered Chef collection with minimal investment.  The above PC items put me out a whole $6.00. 
(Suggested Retail = +$51.50)

 The stone was brand new, so of course I had to start breaking it in, or as we say in the stone business, seasoning it.  So I mixed up a batch of apple spice cookies.

The stone performed perfectly!

Technology and the Baby

With a laptop computer, via a wireless router connected to the internet using Skype, our family watched, on a big screen TV, a two-way video feed of the Gender Reveal Party of our new grandson!  (Try saying that three times fast)

 Somehow it makes the miles between us fewer.

Somehow, it's a reminder that there are a whole heck of a lot of miles between us. But it was so fun "to be there".

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The First 30 Years

August 21, 1981
30 Reasons to Celebrate
(Or "How In the World Did We Get Here?")  

God's Perfect Timing
Springfield, MO
 Captivating Smile
  Prayers Together
Two-Week Wedding Planning
 Bethany Janell
 Phoenix, AZ
Arizona College of the Bible
Christa Michelle
Eagar, AZ
 Danae Rachelle
Round Valley Bible Church 
Granite City, IL
St. Louis, MO
 Andrew James
Emily Kathleen
Siloam Springs, AR
Grace Noelle
 David James
Siloam Springs Bible Church
 New Life Ranch
Bannockburn, IL
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Long Grove Community Church
Bozeman, Montana
EFree Church
God's Perfect Timing

Thank you, Jim, for making all my dreams come true!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sweet Baby Nae!

Happy Birthday, Danae!
You have always been a joy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marriage Vows

I've been thinking lately about marriage vows.  Not only because I have been to several weddings lately, and not just because Jim and I are going to celebrate 30 years together this Sunday, but also because two young couples that I know, that got married last summer, are already getting divorced. 

I will confess that the day after I got married, I looked at my wedding band and thought to myself "What in the world have I done?  This is for forever!"  But I also knew I wanted to be married to Jim.  It's true we had a whirlwind courtship, but I could think of nothing better than "happily ever after" with this man.  Fortunately, before the reality of the disillusionment of "happily ever after" hit, we saw a movie, that profoundly impacted my commitment to my marriage vows.  I wish I could tell you the name of the movie, but I can't.  Basically, it was the story of on old couple, looking back on all the good and mostly bad times in their marriage, and when asked what was the reason they were still together, they answered "We vowed a vow." 

As kids came, and moves were made, and degrees were earned, and jobs were started, and things got harder I came across another life line, this one by C.S. Lewis.
"Love is a deep unity, 
maintained by the will 
and deliberately strengthened by habit."  

I knew then that not only was marriage a vow to be kept, but it was work.  It takes maintaining and deliberate strengthening.  It takes working; by forgiving, by encouraging, by accepting, by giving, by loving, by correcting, by arguing, by taking time, by challenging, and by so much more.

Approaching our anniversary this weekend causes me to stop and reflect on the wonderfully challenging marriage Jim and I have had.  We've had our work cut out for ourselves with each other, but we are closer today than I ever thought possible.  Our deliberate maintaining has paid off.  And it has been possible only because we vowed a vow.  And meant it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Glacier In A Day

While in northern MT a couple weekends ago,
we decided to do Glacier Park in a day. 

We didn't get into the park until after noon.
We drove on the Going To The Sun Road.
Our first stop was Lake McDonald, lunch, and a boat tour.

The boat tour was wonderfully relaxing, but also very interesting.
We learned a lot about the history of the area.
 At Logan's Pass we stopped for a "quick, easy" hike.
(Note to self:  When locals call a hike "quick" or "easy", take your hiking boots and plenty of water) We were told; "about a mile hike, flat, with a little snow still on the path". What it actually was; a three mile hike with enough snow for skiers.  No, really, there were skiers. And I'm pretty sure there were no, zero, zilch flat areas until we reached the peak.  David and I had on our Nike's but Grace had chacos and Jim had on his casual dress shoes.  Ill-equipped and ill-informed, we still had an exhilarating hike complete with mountain goats.

Overlooking Hidden Lake.

Dear Yellowstone National Park,
I know we are neighbors, but I have a new-found love. 
You can have your hot pots and geysers, nothing compares to the majestic mountainous beauty of your sister, Glacier Park. 
We can still be friends, but know my heart belongs to another.