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30 March 2010

Multitude Monday (100-119)

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105
100.  dinner with friends, and tasty queso bean dip
101.  grace in the kitchen
102.  sisters who are friends, and friends who are sisters
103.  an invitation to work, and the blessing of the influence of time with Godly men
104.  clean and freshly painted kitchen cabinets
105.  prayer
106.  an evening stop at the bookstore
107.  three snuggled in the bed
108.  playing hard until the end
109.  lunch at Chick-Fil-A
110.  hawks, floating on the currents, over the highway
111.  home
112.  listening, and seeing it confirmed
113.  a reminder to cling, both here and here on the same morning, for He who promised is faithful.
114.  international friends
115.  a smorgasbord of food
116.  the zeal of a child swinging at the pinata
117.  the joy of serving with likeminded friends
118.  dessert with my husband
119.  laughter

(photo credit:  the New Dungeness Spit lighthouse, by cscotte on flickr, in honor of my friends who are there as lighthouse keepers this week) 

28 March 2010

March Madness?

No.  March Sadness. 
For the first time since I've been playing the NCAA Tournament brackets, I'm not in the Final Four. 
Not one team.

The heartbreak started with Villanova, and then Kansas, and before the first weekend was over, I had no teams in the Final.  But still, I picked 11 of the Sweet Sixteen, so I was hopeful to gain enough points to maintain. 

This weekend both Syracuse and Kentucky fell, and alas, I'm officially out.
And how is it that Duke is the only number 1 seed I didn't pick, and Duke is the only number 1 seed to make it in the Final Four?
That's the kind of year I had.

So, in honor of my husband's home state & my sister's alma mater, go Michigan State! 
(but shhh... really, I'm rooting for the underdog, er, Bulldogs...)

(photo credit:  AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


clockwise from the top...

Chasing dogs in the yard.  One was on the loose.  The other was brought in as a decoy.  The kids didn't exactly calm them down...

Crazy dress day at basketball camp.  A Warrior tradition proudly carried on by the younger sisters, and new friends too.

Daffodils.  Indoors and forced, but real live blooms nonetheless. 

Soccer.  Outdoor.  Rainy.  Cold.  Offensive needs some work.  But, the promise of spring and warmth and goals is a great hope.

Sidewalk drawings.  What says "good-bye winter" more than sidewalk chalk?

In the sun.  In shorts. 

Basketball season ends.  Last practice this week.  Goodbye gyms, hello baseball and soccer fields.

Hopscotch.  And if you can walk over a hopscotch court (yes, "court," I looked it up...) without jumping, you are more mature than I am!

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24 March 2010

Telling about twins...

Abraham and Molly Piper have recently found out that they are expecting twin girls, which is a cause for much rejoicing!  Molly has posted a video of sharing the news with their 5 year old son, Orison.  Priceless!

In the interest of full disclosure however, I should admit that I am completely biased because of our own twin girls.  Orison's response took me back to when we told our son, 3 years old at the time and sandwiched between two sisters, 5 & 2, about the babies.
"Two girls," my husband told him.
"Two boys," he answered.
"No, two girls," my husband repeated.
"One boy," my son bargained.
"No, two girls," said my husband again.
"Are you serious?" asked my son. (and at that point in his speech development, it came out more like "seer-wi-us," which added to the preciousness of the moment...)

He might not have shared Orison's thought that the only thing better than one sister would be 25...  :-)

This picture makes me smile, and shake my head in wonder.  It is an outtake of a series of photos, the best of which was sent to my husband way back when.  The photo was taken when the baby girls were just 4 months old.  My husband the submariner had been out to sea for the previous 2 months.  We had traveled to NM for my sister's wedding, and were waiting on his return.  Oh was I tired!  But it is sweet to see those faces, and know that even in my inadequacy, then until now, the Lord has been sufficient for us. 

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them 
Psalm 127:4-5

23 March 2010

Where to Go in O- Joslyn Museum

It was a good idea a week or so ago, and then Megan @HalfPintHouse made it official, so why not...

O-town is a great place to be a tourist.  Oh, I know the Omaha jokes- I just watched Up In The Air last night... 
But honest, it's a great place to live, and I think that it's a great place to visit, also. 
(although I do confess, sunny spring, summer and fall are better than winter...  I'm just saying...)

First installment of Where to Go in O...
the Joslyn Art Museum!

We have had a membership and explored every nook and cranny of the place.  They have a terrific permanent collection, including fantastic western art.  The two amazing Chihuly hanging glass sculptures look different every time the light changes.  The new outdoor sculpture garden is a fun place to wander, and free!  Treats in the gift shop tempt me every time.

But, even though it's an art museum, it's a great place for families!  The education department checks out Family Fun Art Packs, backpacks full of interactive activities to help kids to explore the museum.    The Joslyn hosts Theo's Roost, a fun website full of artsy ideas for kids.

And for you Oma-homers, the Joslyn is free on Saturday mornings from 10am until noon.  Bonus!

Can't miss on this first stop on the Where to Go in O tour. 
Others are writing about their hometowns, too- maybe some ideas for your next road trip?

22 March 2010

Multitude Monday (71-99)

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast.
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
Awake, my glory;
Awake, harp and lyre,
I will awaken the daw!
I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to Thee among the nations,
For Thy lovingkindness is great to the heavens,
And Thy truth to the clouds.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Thy glory be above all the earth.
Psalm 57:7-11

(photo credit: Cranes at Sunrise by dwl14k at Flickr)

71. the Old Testament, relevant and applicable today.
72.  His graciousness
73.  A friend's smile in the checkout line
74.  9 week old baby girls
75. 2 year old little boys
76.  A couple with a heart to serve the Lord
77.  pecan french toast, fresh fruit, and the friend who made it for me
78.  green buttercream frosting
79.  watching her make the sauce, and seeing it work!
80.  leftover White House chicken
81.  "I was that girl..."
82.  Deuteronomy 31- "Be strong and courageous... do not be afraid" times 3
83.  flip flops and trampolines and giggling girls
84.  new baseball pants
85.  the clink of the bat, over and again
86.  the thud of the ball against the side of the garage, over and again
87.  watching the girls play the boys well
88.  a memory of back then
89.  a hand pat and a tear wiped
90.  early morning crying out to the Lord.
91.  clean cabinets
92.  cans in order
93.  a long phone call
94.  8000 singing praise
95. one congregation singing praise
96.  "this is my body, broken for you..."
97.  hamburger and french fries
98.  school plans for the week complete
99.  tucked in bed

21 March 2010

Rock and Worship Roadshow

We went to a GREAT concert last night- the Council Bluffs edition of the 2010 Rock and Worship Roadshow.  Three and a half solid hours of music, and only one band that was just too much metal for these old ears.  Huge hat tip to Mercy Me, who determined to keep ticket prices low- only $10 admission all over the country.    We gained admission by working on behalf of Compassion International, distributing information on behalf of their newest project, the Child Survival Program.  We were supremely blessed!
So, if you see the Rock and Worship Roadshow coming to your area, go! 

Psalm 56

Thou hast taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Thy bottle;
Are they not in Thy book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;
This I know, that God is for me.
In God whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Thy vows are binding upon me, O God;
I will render thank offerings to Thee.
For Thou has delivered my soul from death,
Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of the living.
Psalm 56:8-13 (NASB)

God has a bottle and a book for his people's tears, both the tears for their sins, and those for their afflictions. He observes them with tender concern. Every true believer may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and then I will not fear what man shall do unto me; for man has no power but what is given him from above. Thy vows are upon me, O Lord; not as a burden, but as that by which I am known to be thy servant; as a bridle that restrains me from what would be hurtful, and directs me in the way of my duty. And vows of thankfulness properly accompany prayers for mercy. If God deliver us from sin, either from doing it, or by his pardoning mercy, he has delivered our souls from death, which is the wages of sin. Where the Lord has begun a good work he will carry it on and perfect it.
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible, on Psalm 56

(art credit:  Blue Bottle by Jeff Hayes)

19 March 2010

The Dark Wood

The special blessing of the dark wood (as I have learned too slowly) is that its very density and darkness makes that Word—a lamp to our feet—so much more necessary. Suddenly we can be surprised by the tender comforts that our Father has strewn for us in the very deepest corners of gloom. The assured shaft of piercing sunlight; the bubbling fountain of crystal bringing softly the music of what awaits you just a little farther on—beyond the dark wood: the joy that cometh in the morning—your valley of Berachah (2 Chronicles 20:26). The wide open valley of blessing and gladness.
- Colin Campbell

In one of those one-link-leads-to-another wandering sort of paths, I stumbled upon Comment magazine online.  And then, a few more clicks down the trail, I came upon The Dark WoodRecently I have oft contemplated and meditated on light and darkness, and Light and Darkness, and what a comfort it is to find both light and Light in the most unexpected places...

(art credit:  digital collage painting, The Dark Wood, by Colin Campbell)

18 March 2010


We read this in school this week.  It is familiar to me.

robins by Valerie Worth

Look how
Last year's
Leaves, faded
So gray
and brown,

Like flimsy

Beak over
The wind. 

But no,
They right

And turn
To the
Stout slate
And ruddy

Of robins,
On steady
Stems across
The ground.

(New header photo credit to dimdi at, Robin, an original watercolor.)

Three things- good news, bad news

1.  March Madness!  The good news- our alma mater, the University of New Mexico Lobos, is in the tournament and seeded #3.  The bad news- I made my picks on the ESPN NCAA Tournament Challenge, but somehow, I didn't enter the challenge in my own family's group.  So, when I beat everyone, no one will know.  (HA!)  Fortunately, I did pick my bracket, so I can at least follow along, even if not "officially."
Everyone's a Lobo, woof, woof, woof!

(photo credit- UNM Athletics)

2. March weather- the good news!  Two days of sunny skies and a high today of 64 degrees!  Much rejoicing.  The girls sat out front and played silly games; the boy had his first baseball practice of the season; the man painted kitchen cabinet doors in the yard.  The bad news- tomorrow's forecast:  high of 38, 2-3 inches of snow by Saturday morning...

3.  March visitors-  the good news!  We were delighted to welcome this family to our house early this week.  It is exciting to hear about the work they are doing in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, and how the Lord is using this family to minister to many.  And it is a true delight to have little ones in the house!  The bad news- is probably for our guests.  :-)  I come from a line of tremendous hosts.  Staying with either of my parents is akin to staying in a first class resort.  Poor Liz and Rey- they graciously shared space with all seven of us, including the bathroom.  All of our meals are "family style."  It's rarely quiet (although we did try to keep it down for sleeping babies...).  But to treat someone as family is the greatest compliment, right?  We're not fancy, but we promise to love you like our own... 


15 March 2010

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3

It arrived.
I confess, I'm not all that excited.
Be counted, yes.
But names and phone number?

Multitude Monday (50- 70)

For three things I thank God every day of my life:
thanks that he has vouchsafed to me the knowledge of His works,
deep thanks that He has set in my darkness the lamp of faith;
deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to -- a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.
~ Helen Keller

50.  bright green sprigs of creation popping up from the dark rich soil
51.  a kiss in the middle of the day
52.  "The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf..."  Deuteronomy 1:30
53.  Ghirardelli dark chocolate mint bar, one square at a time.
54.  an unexpected note of encouragement
55.  servant leadership, tender, compassionate, strong
56.  a text message that makes me laugh
57.  sitting across the table from a friend that sharpens, coffee mug in hand.
58.  a little girl in a sparkly blue dress, swirling and twirling across the dance floor
59.  the greeting of a smiley dog in need of a haircut
60.  the lightbulb of "I get it!"
61.  schoolwork complete for the day
62.  paperwork printed and ready to go
63.  herbed chicken roasting
64.  a knowing laugh shared
65.  the smile of a friend from across the room
66.  O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonderful things...  Psalm 98:1
67.  clean walls, fresh paint
68.  a new white sweater
69.  Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.  Psalm 54:4
70.  a ragtime duet, harmonious and on tempo

more at A Holy Experience

holy experience

14 March 2010

weekend q & a

A long time ago I saved That's My Answer. Today they are playing Weekend Q & A- one question after another...

Do you attend church?
and that answer seems so simple.
I know my church like I know my house.
Honestly, I can walk in the building in the dark and know how many steps before reaching the light switch. 

"Attend church" does not say enough.
That's where my heart is.
The people of my church are family.
(that's me and my kids on the front steps of our church back in the fall...)

Do you think "honest politician" is an oxymoron?
I don't want it to be.  I wish it was not.
I hope that there are still honest men and women serving as elected officials. 
We don't seem to hear about those folks much...

How's the natural light in your house?
well, when there's no natural light outside either...
not so good right now.

Do you answer the door when solicitors ring your doorbell or do you ignore them?
I cannot ignore the doorbell.
Unless it is the neighbor kids playing ding dong door ditch.

What is your strangest possession?
Well, there is the Chairman Mao watch from China...

Who would you like to write out of your life?
Write out? 

What is the worst trip you've ever taken?
When I was a senior in high school, I won a scholarship and had to go to a business women's meeting in California to accept it.  I flew from Albuquerque to the John Wayne Airport to the Red Lion Inn to the airport and home.  I traveled with and shared a room with a lady who had very very bad eczema.  She left skin everywhere.  I was thankful for the scholarship.  But...

Do you plant a garden?
Not regularly.
But I love the idea of it.

What kind of coffee did you have this morning?
Morning latte.
More regular than clockwork.

How many houses have you lived in?
In my life?
I think...
(that's the most recent...)

How did you spend your weekend?
Trip to Kohls.
Piano recital.

spring forward

yes, it was indoors. 

but it smelled like spring.
and it looked like spring.

for today, that is enough.
ps- doesn't that koi fish look kind of mean.  He lifted his head out of the water at us...

13 March 2010

on Saturday

We're in the midst of spiffing up our house, getting it ready to sell.  While in the middle of the rest of life, school and ministry and support raising and kids' activities, it sometimes seems overwhelming. 

Painting is chaos. 
But, oh, clean painted walls.

contented sigh...

12 March 2010


... the kitchen smells like 1000 Indian spices.
... I go back to my room and discover three heads in my bed.
.... my dining room table looks like a Biology lab.
... March does not look like I think it should.
... a picture says 1000 words.

04 March 2010


Three things this Thursday:

1.  It's National Grammar Day!
As Grammar Girl tells us:
Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it.  It's not only a date, it's an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!

2. From an interview with John Owen, director of the City Rescue Mission of Lansing-
I believe God continues to provide for the ministry of rescue because we are so committed to the Gospel. Our true mission is to cause the dignity, majesty and worth of Jesus Christ to be manifest and acknowledged by all those that we come in contact with. Our mission field happens to be the poor and homeless. It does no good to “show the love of Jesus Christ” if you don’t tell them of it as well.
For the entire interview, go to DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed.  Good stuff.

3.   Piano lessons complete.  Meals delivered.  Basketball practice finished.  Sun shining.  Snow melting. Children playing outside.  Homemade chicken vegetable soup, salad and a loaf of honey whole wheat bread for dinner.  Chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  Laundry in progress...

OK Go!

You, and everyone in your family, will love this video!!
Watch it, and then watch it again.  You catch more details every time!

For behind the scenes info, here's the scoop.

(credit to WORLD magazine blog, 3March2010)

03 March 2010

This is my Father's world...

Thanks to my world traveling buddy, I discovered this site which calculates how much of the world a person has experienced. 

Mostly thanks to the US Navy and several cross country moves, I have been to 98% of the United States!  I only have the great state of Maine left to visit.  (I came oh-so-close when we lived in Connecticut the second time.  still regret that trip didn't happen...)
But look- I have seen only 2% of the world.  2 measely percent!  I need to get out (of the country!) more!! 

Have passport, will travel...

02 March 2010

Multitude Monday (29-49)

As March shows her face with the turn of the calendar, the hope of spring dwells strong among everyone I know.  March is the hope that the long winter has but a short time remaining.  In the midst of melting snow and ice, I look for the promise of the green yet to come, and yet, linger on what remains, right now.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

a day late, but thankful nonetheless...

29.  early morning gatherings
30.  the b, over easy, and the c, scrambled with sourdough toast, with coffee and ice water
31.  the blessing of watching one determined to do the right thing
32.  an overdue lunch with a friend, paid for with a gift
33.  opportunity to minister
34.  safe travel
35.  teens who robustly love the Lord
36.  "so calm and even tempered on the court"
37.  crispy eggplant parmigiania
38.  pastors who labor tirelessly
39.  stained glass windows of old
40. generous hospitality to me and my family
41.  homemade cinnamon rolls in the fellowship time after I had missed breakfast earlier
42.  tamales
43.  sabbath rest, literally, the Sunday afternoon nap
44.  wrestling with questions of faith
45.  a surprise shirt for a daughter, clearance price $2.97
46.  the return of a familiar face, and the claps of happiness on recognition
47.  the amazing range in shades of melanin- "fearfully and wonderfully made"
48.  unexpected contributions, and faithful follow through of promise
49.  snow crystals sparkling as they melt, drop by drop

holy experience
thank you to Holy Experience for Multitude Mondays

(Crocus botanical art credit to Catherine M. Watters)

Book List 2010

A list of books read in 2010, including through the Bible, and books read out loud to my kids...

Love Has A Price Tag by Elisabeth Elliot
Andy Catlett by Wendell Berry
All Loves Excelling by John Bunyan
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis
The Land I Lost by Quang Nhuong Huynh
The Glory of Christ by John Owen
(art credit:  Tree by carambatack at Etsy)

01 March 2010

Pray for the Vogel Family

Would you all please pray for Laura Vogel and her family?

I played soccer with Laura and her sister Susie in middle school and high school.  Mr. Vogel was my coach for several years and it was really through that experience that I developed a love for playing that game. 

Laura had moved to Maui, and has been missing on Maui since last week.  The family is trying to get as much publicity for Laura as possible.  It seems unlikely that this little blog will help find Laura, but I do believe in the power and comfort of our God.  I believe that to pray is to do something.

Pray that Laura will be found, that those searching would have wisdom in where to look, that her family would know the comfort of the Lord in this time.

A blog has been started to maintain updates on Laura's case-
Find Laura Vogel

Thanks so much.

New Header

In celebration of March 1st, a new header graces Prone to Wander today.

The title of this little pretty piece of art is Orchards in Early SpringIt is an original watercolor by LeafPrintStudio at etsy.

I like that the ground shows the promise of spring, even when the branches of the orchard are yet bare.  I'm on the lookout for those signs here, too.