Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sweatered Symbol

The Blessed Assurance

With God beside me,

I cannot worry, about what others will think of my beliefs.
I will not clam up in fear and refuse to speak to you
about my time with God.
Together, in His name,
we will approach a place
that isn't quite where we were before.
As we make crosses,
we will carry with us the Blessed Assurance:
we are not as alone as we think we are.
~Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God by Ellen Morris Prewitt

My creative longing experienced a need meeting kind of stretch as I busied myself crafting my simple sweatered cross. I felt a crisp and purposeful sense of accomplishment, the kind that is very different than the feeling of admiration of one's own creation. It felt more like obedience.
I am waiting for the next cross beams to present themselves. This crooked, gray statement hangs in the kitchen, the serving place, the "give yourself away" room, the working song of the home.
I pray that you might hear His voice beckoning your transparent soul today.

Visit other blogs participating in A Pause in Lent at Troc, Broc and Recup' where Floss hosts the seasonal sharing.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Hi and happy, happy Pink Saturday! Finally, a pink cake! I give myself a B- but it IS intact and in the refrigerator!

a pink poser

a pink classic

pink posies

Here is our youngest when she was a kindergartner. Now she is Scott's wife and Sam's mom!
Isn't she a little pink dolly?

More bunnies. Oh, how I love rabbits.

Raise your hand if you know Sally!

A lovely idea from Mary Englebreit

My pillow case right now

And last . . . my favorite doll in the world. Ann. Do you have an Ann?

Thank you for visiting today! Stop by How Sweet the Sound and say hello to the Queen of Pink, Beverly!

I hope you float through the weekend, say a kind good bye to February and plan on buying your kite soon. Yippee for March!

Friday Snaps

Happy Friday, Dear! I'm dashing off to school for a full day of parent/teacher conferences. We had them last night, too. I was so tired from the school day and a bit short on words, but now I feel revived and ready to tell them happy things about their cherub/teenagers ALL day! It's snowing here! I sort of wish I could stay home and watch a lovely film like Hoosiers (my basketball hoop being so snowy and all!) but maybe you could instead. If you are staying home today, you might want to. It is the sweetest small town movie I've ever seen. Maybe you have read about the school shooting in Colorado (VERY sad face inserted here) that occurred this week. Two middle school students were seriously injured and a math teacher tackled the gunman. The school is a little ways away from my middle school and everyone is sad. Thank you for your prayers, friend.

On a happier note: I won this darling pixie hat at Heart Felt! Jannelle is a lovely New Zealand mother of three who manages to make these up-cycled knits in her "spare" time! When I won I told her to "pick a head" and listed all my grands. She chose Sam (she has a darling baby Sam's age!) and this came in the mail. Yes, I know - you want to march straight to Pixie Land now, don't you?

When I pulled into the driveway, I remembered that it might be a book package day and it was! I took these three wonders to bed with me last night. Skating Shoes is one of the "shoe" books I haven't read! I've never read The Saturdays! All-of-a-Kind Family is a favorite from my book reading youth. When Bill is traveling, I sleep with books. They are piled all over and I read myself to sleep.

Shooting the Moon is my friend Frances' work of art (among MANY others) and I have two copies. One is on the shelf above my teacher desk. See the fan from Japan and my teacher apple that I got when I'd weathered three years as a teacher? The lamb is to remind me of my friend Gumbo Lily AND the fact that I am a sheep. Gumbo Lily is still mothering the bum lambs on her farm. I admire her so. You can see her blog featured on my side bar.

Yes, I am missing Bill. He is in Faro, Portugal. It is 85% as wonderful to LOOK at the sea but this Pom Pom would rather BE at the sea, I admit. Our friend Ben is on the right. Ben and his wife are taking us to Australia in a couple weeks. My principal said I could go (she's so nice) and I'll be gone the week before my spring break so I'll get TWO weeks of R and R! I'm so thankful!

Thank you for popping in for a visit today. I'd like to serve you a cup of tea, sit knee to knee and ask you a million questions (we tend to do that in this family)! Maybe I'd make you a muffin. Pink Saturday and A Pause in Lent are coming up. Please come on over this weekend!
Have a great Friday! I will, too! (BIG HUG and SMOOCH!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Little Chambers

2 Kings 4:10 says, "Let us make a little chamber."
Reading a book called A Gentle Spirit, I found today's words by Lilian Whiting charming. She quotes a man named Phillips Brooks and he discusses the moments in our faith journey when we felt "a blaze out of the midst of its dull drudgery" or "the delight of a perfect friendship". We tuck these experiences into a little chamber of our hearts. I've told you about my camp experiences, but I've also had other miraculous surges. When I first realized that Jesus had always been there and took a bigger step toward Him, I often felt like He was holding my hand as I trudged up and down the hills of my college campus. After I had Jeff, our third baby, I felt nervous and afraid when my mom had to go home and leave us all alone to adjust to our larger family. I sat on our weird old water bed and opened to the Psalms and out popped, "out of the mouths of nursing babes comes strength". I took this literally and I claimed that promise. I knew that every time I nursed Jeff, I would become stronger. I did. I have other moments like these tucked into chambers of my heart and I like to picture my heart like a little house - a cozy and snug domain for Jesus to inhabit. I thought about tiny houses today and I found some for you to look at. Could you live in a VERY tiny house? I think I could.

On to thoughts of spring and EASTER! I have bunnies on the brain. You may want to go see Charlotte. Her bunny named Humphrey is adorable and he'll hop around for you. I am finding myself thinking of lambs (thanks to Gumbo Lily!) and bunnies, OFTEN.

I'm having a fun time writing on random pages in the morning. I have a new ecojot notebook for rambling words, my big journal where I draw and cut and glue and another note taking journal that I like to bullet point "ah ha" moments and things from books I want to remember. I like being all over the place with my writing. I'm the one who loves reading it all!

This is how the sky looked when I got home from school today. Isn't it incredible? The days are longer and I am looking forward to walking after work very soon. It is so nice to hear that you are all eager for spring to come, too. The snow in the mountains around Vancouver, BC is LOVELY, but I think my Texas friends are feeling quite satisfied with the abnormal snow they've had so far and my British friends are a bit tired of snow, too. So, I'm just going to keep thinking of lambs and bunnies and YOU!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Pause in Lent

Floss is hosting A Pause in Lent
I fear I may not do this endeavor justice explaining it, so please hop over there and look at her blog, read her post today, and be blessed.
We had granddaughters here all day and into the night, so I am posting a bit late, but I am looking forward to the Sunday A Pause in Lent idea. Next time, I'll get busy sooner!

I've told some of you about Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God by Ellen Morris Prewitt. I'm starting . . . pondering the act of making crosses . . . looking at the simple crosses I have made in the past and awaiting insight for making my next cross.

In the middle of the night, I tip toed downstairs to find my last year's journal. I found this entry. Looking at my printed words from a year ago left me a tiny bit awestruck. Revisiting my heart felt humbling.

Yesterday, I simply took a few notes. Last night I opened Madeleine L'Engle's Walking on Water: Reflections on Life and Art and I can't even put some of the insights into words right now. I'm humbled by how what we read connects thought to thought, idea to idea, insight to insight - all of it sweet medicine to our vulnerable little souls.

This Lenten season, I am creating. Not creating for an outcome, but creating with a pause. Pausing to listen, to seek, to discover more of Jesus. In the soul spot of not knowing, not understanding, not predicting . . . I'm waiting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dancing Pink

Happy Pink Saturday! While digging through the basement storage closet, I came upon my toe shoes. I had one fun year stuffing lambs wool into these tiny shoes and trying to dance on my toes. We went to Seattle and found a tiny little dance shop, bought my beautiful shoes and waited for my dance instructor to turn me into The Sugar Plum Fairy. It didn't take. I did wear a fabulous green tutu for the recital, but after that year it was all tap and jazz. Maybe it was my too short ballerina career that drew me to the "shoe" books a few decades later. Have you read them? Noel Streatfeild's books take the reader away. I first spotted Ballet Shoes in second grade. One of my friends was trying to read it and I've never forgotten that big, hardcover book, looking so delicious under her arm. As a young mother, I bought them for myself. I treasure them. See how worn they are? If you are going to buy a few pink books, buy these.

Edward Bear is SUCH a good sport about wearing this little apron my mother-in-law made years ago for her daughter.

I found the knitted tea cup I completed! The pattern was for a whole tea set, but one frustrating cup endeavor did me in. It's cute though, don't you think?

I leave you with this magic basket of Cuties! I took them to school and the kids couldn't stop looking at them. Aren't they beautiful? Happy orange, I mean PINK Saturday! Stop over at Beverly's How Sweet the Sound and you'll see all the Pink Saturday posts. Maybe you'll find a sweet new blog to love!
Please pop in Sunday for my first A Pause in Lent post.
Thank you so much for your visit!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spotty Little Heart

When I was fourteen, I flew across the state to go to camp for a weekend. My older sister invited me to Young Life camp at Camp Easter Seal. I was nervous because having lived in the same little town all my life, I was unsure of my friend making skills and had never been "the new kid" before. I didn't do a lot of talking that weekend. What moved me was the music. I remember thinking, "I hope I remember these songs. Please, let me remember these songs when I get home." I did. I used to dry my long, tangled hair over the heat vent. My younger sister and I would crank up the heat and lie on the tile, whipping through our hair with a brush until it was dry. As I was drying my hair with dusty air, I'd sing to myself, "Be sure of this. Be VERY sure of this, I'm with you always. Even 'til the end of the world." It soothed me. I needed to hear Jesus' voice telling me this very sure truth. I'm here. I'm with you. Forever.

I sought Him. I read my Living Bible, underlined interesting words, looked up verses using a devotional guide, and wrote in my spiral notebook/journal. Now over thirty-five years later, I'm still singing some of those songs to myself. I'm still trying to know Him. I try to do what He'd like for me to do and I think He is asking me to humble myself. So, that's what Lent is going to look like for me. I'm joining in A Pause in Lent and I'll post about it Sunday and give you the link. This morning I read about humility and miraculously I felt quieted today, nondescript and calm.

My tulips are so rich, so other worldly. The contrast between their glory and my tired, droopy self comforts me.

So, here is my spotty little heart, given to the God of the Universe. Still.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Oh, don't you crave SPRING? I do. It's so cold outside that watching the bundled up dog walkers makes me want to take a hot bath!

I'm so thankful for my Valentine tulips. Every memory I have of tulips is a good memory! My mother put them in our bedroom and we spent our nap time tearing them apart and creating tulip petal boats for tiny, plastic dolls. My mother always praised the crocus, the daffodils, and the tulips when they arrived MUCH earlier than they do here. All the Dutch tulip growers in my home county were appreciated when the miles and miles of tulips bloomed in the spring. We used the cut-off tops for mosaics on the school lawn when we tried out for cheerleader. "VOTE for Karen" in varied tulip colors was an astounding campaign pitch! I always admire the creativity when a young man gives tulips instead of roses - gutsy, I think. Don't they look good enough to eat? They smell good enough to eat, too!

I ordered myself a book from my childhood recently. My own Edith book is around here somewhere (or maybe my mom has it) and even though her story made my little conflict- avoiding self feel unsettled, I looked at it over and over again. Now I love the bears as much as I loved Edith then. My dear neighbor Reve's first grade teacher handwriting reminds me that this IS a new year and NEW is good. April made the pretty Valentine cookies and I bought a Martha Stewart Living the other day simply for the elegant images. Sue's letter to me is a work of art - even computer whiz Jeff said so. Sue is a true artist.

We haven't eaten the cookies yet because they're so pretty! Even on Sundays, I am drawn to pink so I don't need a Pink Saturday to admire it, I guess!

Flavia and I have swapped some pictures and her little lolly pop bug delights me!

She also blessed me with a hyacinth from far off Rome. Oh, Flavia. You are so sweet. I'm going to put you in the Nice People Hall of Fame.
Real quick, one more thing. I read some blogs today about the pancake day for the beginning of Lent and it reminded me of a pancake story. On Susan Branch's web site I read a pancake story a few years ago and it inspired me to make pancakes for the kids at school. This particular year the administrators had decided to make the kids go to their home rooms so they wouldn't get into trouble around the school. This lasted just one year, but during that year I made pancakes on Thursdays. Now I don't quite know how I mustered up the "verve" for it, but I bought bags and bags of pancake mix, toted my skillet to school, tied my pink apron around my waist and started cooking. I made piles and piles of pancakes and the smell drew them into my classroom. Most of the kids were unfamiliar to me. They weren't in any of my classes but they LOVED those pancakes. They drizzled their cakes with syrup, drank a bit of orange juice, and went on their way. A few teachers popped in for a plate of pancakes, too. I hope that when they remember the pancake days, they are inspired to cook for others, to share a simple gift, to take care of the people in their lives. Elizabeth's French pancakes look delicious today and Angela's scones are lovely. My stomach is growling but I fear I'll be sorry if I give it pancakes. A boiled egg sounds better - I have a lot of grading to do.
Yahoo for the U.S. Presidents and a day off! I hope your Monday is sunny and happy and creative. I may knit a row or two.
(BIG hug and a smooch!)