Wednesday, May 30, 2012


On our way back from Missoula on Monday, we stopped in Philipsburg.

Long the county seat of Granite County, Philipsburg has a rich history in mining and ranching. The roots of the area started as a booming mining town in the late 1800's. It's historic downtown is full of beautifully restored buildings from that era. Today these buildings are full of friendly shops, saloons, and other enjoyable establishments.

 Two whole blocks of touristy, shoppie, quirky, antiquey wonderfulness.

 And for all my kids that took piano from Mrs. Whitmore...come on kids...
"Like a fish in a....."
 Oddly enough, I did not find one fish in this store.

 The Sweet Palace is a sweet-tooth's dream come true.
There are 50 kinds of fudge, 72 flavors of saltwater taffy, 20 varieties of caramels, and myriads of other candies.  Our samples included Coconut Curry Cashews which were unlike anything I've ever had before.

We lunched at the only restaurant in town, "a proud Montana tradition since 2011".
Has it really been established long enough to even be called a "tradition"?

 My blue bag contains sweets for the children.  Yeah, that's it, for the children.

 Overheard from one of the residents:
"When the Graham girls are drunk, you don't even want to be in the room."
Makes me wonder what happens at night when they roll up the tourist sidewalks. 

 Off the beaten path, we found the jail.  
I wonder if the Graham girls are familiar with this building.

Curious parking ordinance.  

What a wonderful day walking together, enjoying each other's company, and laughing with one another.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Zoo Town

After church on Sunday, Jim whisked me away.

 I was packed and ready for anything, except skiing, which was ironic since some of the mountains received 1-2 feet of snow this last weekend.  But may I remind you, I am never ready for skiing.  We drove west, so I knew we weren't going to Billings.  Then we drove past Butte (whew!), past Fairmont Hot Springs (boo-hoo) and on into Missoula.  Also affectionately known as Zoo Town.  

This beautiful room awaited us on the 4th floor.  Which meant we had a wonderful mountain view out our window.  We were torn between swimming or shopping.  T.J. Maxx won out.  I stocked up on Popcorners and Falafel Chips as well as picking up a new Family Camp outfit for a certain 6-month old and some new panties for DK.  I love calling them his panties.  He knows that about me, and loves me anyway.

Dinner at The Montana Club meant a luscious apple/bacon stuffed salmon on my plate   
It was a party in my mouth.  

The next morning, for breakfast we decided to try The Shack.
Something about "voted Best Breakfast in Missoula".
This is what we found, a big pile of dirt. 

But behind the pile of dirt was a very inviting front.
(and you should see his back...tee-hee!)

And an even more inviting menu.

The company was  delicious.

We loved our coffee in their large cups.

Jim's omelet; too many veggies for him, but he cleaned his plate anyway.

Huckleberry Buckwheat Pancakes for me.  
I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Until I cut into them, then I knew I had died and gone to heaven.  
I really hope there are Huckleberry Buckwheat pancakes in heaven.  

Our waitress really wanted to take our photo in front of this antique bar that made it up the Missouri by steamboat in 1881.  I think the white rubbermaid trash can is a nice touch, don't you?
So Zoo Town proved to be a great way to spend part of our holiday weekend.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lola's Prayer

Last weekend at the women's retreat Lola prayed for me.  If you ever have the chance to have a Nigerian Believer pray for you, take it.  I wept as she prayed for me, my husband, our ministry and our family.  It was a life-changing prayer.  In the days since her prayer, I have seen and felt the Lord in my life in a renewed way.

1.  The other day, Andrew was leaving for work.  I looked out my bedroom window to see him walking down the driveway to his car.  He was singing.  I wondered "Why is he singing?  What in his heart makes him sing?"  I was immediately flooded with the assurance that the Lord knows his heart, and I experienced an unexplainable peace and an immeasurable joy in simply that, God knows his heart.

2.  Jim was preaching on Sunday and read Philippians 2:13.
 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
   This spoke comfort and hope into my heart for someone in a powerful way.

3.  Tonight I lead a Retreat Debrief meeting.  One of the ladies asked "How do we keep the ladies that attended the retreat connected to one another?"  And right before my eyes, five women got excited about planning a summer women's event.  As one idea after another idea came from these ladies, my cohort and I just sat there and took it all in.  And I took notes.  Before we left our Retreat Debrief, we had a Summer Event planned down to the last detail.  My heart was humbled and amazed that these women are so passionate about seeing women connect with women.  THAT is my heart of ministry.

I was truly moved by Lola's prayer for me that day.  And it's a joy to see the Lord moving in His ways to answer that prayer. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New, Again, Chairs

I have been looking for nearly two years for two chairs to sit by our front window.  I didn't want to pay for new chairs because new furniture is comparable in price to prime real estate.  So I've regularly checked Craig's List, thrift shops and garage sales.  And yesterday was my lucky day! I hadn't really decided precisely what I wanted, until I saw the price tags on these at a garage sale.  $2.00 per chair.  I knew right away that they were exactly what I wanted.  What you really can't see in this photo is the color; 70's pale green.  I must admit I usually run from 70's greens because, well, I lived in a 70's greens house.  (Hi, Mom!)  But you know what they say, if you wait long enough, it will come back into style.  I vacuumed them thoroughly with my Rainbow and now they are nearly good as new.  (What you also can't see are the few "spots" on the cushions...hey!  They were two-bucks!)  They are delightfully comfortable and just the right size for some of us shorter Keenas (Hi, Emily!).  And the pillow in the chair?  Also new, again, from a thrift store;  for $1.00 I ushered those 70's pale green chairs right  into the 21st century.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bountiful Baskets

This morning was my first time to participate in Bountiful Baskets, a produce co-op.  Monday I ordered a basket online for $15.00, and this morning I picked it up at a school down the road. When you order from Bountiful Baskets you don't know what you're going to get.  They say 50% veggies, 50% fruit. It's kind of like a wonderful Christmas surprise.  I got 4 carrots, 4 onions, 5 tomatoes, 4 ears of corn, 3 bell peppers, 2 cucumbers, 1 head of cauliflower, 2 boxes of blackberries, 1 honeydew melon, 7 red pears, 8 apricots, 1 perfect bunch of bananas, and 2 large lemons..  That means for dinner we had corn on the cob, roasted cauliflower, broiled tomatoes, carrot sticks, sliced cukes, green pepper strips and banana bread.  I think I am going to like my Bountiful Baskets.  Next time I promise to take photos.  But they would probably look a little something like this.....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Update

Here is an update on my list...

12 Want-Tos for 2012

1. Bake a cheesecake with Grace
      I had all the ingredients to make a cheesecake for Andrew's birthday; Grace didn't really want to. :(

2. Make two baby blankets
     Haven't thought about this much.

3. Vacation with Jim in Glacier National Park
     Plans have changed, and we'll be at New Life Ranch with the g-babes the week we were planning to go to Glacier.

4. Go to Maggiano's in Chicago with Bethany
This was our dessert
5. Paint our front door red
     I have only gotten as close as asking a friend for her favorite red-door color.

6. Pay off our credit card

7. Rearrange our bedroom
     One weekend I moved our furniture three different ways, and moved it all back.

8. Finish Lonesome Dove
     Gotta feeling this is never going to happen.

9. Find a mentee
     Enjoying better time with girls already in my life...maybe don't need another one now.

10. Purchase new shelving for the garage
     Maybe warmer weather will prompt some garage organizing.

11. Exercise wisely
     Define wisely.  :)  Everything from twice a week to 2-a-days.

12. Eat more fruit
     Check!  My beautiful new fruit plate keeps fruit attractively on the counter.

So, over all, I'm not doing so bad.  How are you doing with your 2012 Want-Tos?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


After we posted some of Grace's prom photos....

...Grace received a comment from her cousin, Liz.

"Grace! you have the exact same prom dress I wore last year! and you look beaaauuuutiful(:"

 Sure enough.

Now what are the chances of that?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Prom Day

 A french-tip manicure from Melissa.

 Lola keeping guard.



 The Waterfall?


 A mother's nightmare...a plastic bag over her head.

 The posing-in-the-living room photo


 At the photo shoot

 Three Old Goats (a.k.a. The Dads)

 Make Your Own Sushi at Jesse's

Group Shot

And 12 hours later they all arrived home safely...and tired!