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26 May 2010

among the nations...

Sing to the Lord a new song;
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples,
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised...
Psalm 96:1-4

views of the final ESL party, May 2010
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!
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Jones Bros Cupcakes

With 4 of 5 kids away last night, the remaining three of us lived it up.  Shhhh... don't tell the girls.  We had steak for dinner.  And we went here for dessert...

Jones Bros. cupcakes is a brand new spot in Aksarben Village.  And it is a cool lookin' place.  We walked in at 9:01.  They close at 9, but the young ladies at the counter were very hospitable nonetheless.  We walked out with one Red Velvet cupcake, one Coconut cupcake, and one Lemon cupcake.  Tasty.  Oh the lemon!  Tasty.

It is difficult for me to get my head around paying $2.95 for a cupcake.  Or $33 for a dozen cupcakes.  Little normal sized cupcakes that  you would make at home.  Truthfully, I'm partial to ice cream.  Jones Bros. is a treat, not a family spot.  But if you are hankerin' for some amazing buttercream frosting and dense flavorful cake, you won't go wrong at Jones Bros.

Multitudes (273- 295)

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. 
Give thanks to Him; bless His name. 
For the Lord is good; 
His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

273.  all day soaking rain
274.  "Those that sow in tears shall reap in joy."  Matthew Henry
275.  good pizza and excellent company
276.  no rain, despite the forecast
277.  watching all the stuff walk down the driveway
278.  a sweet family back from service in Nepal
279.  the encouragement of strangers
280.  dear Marge
281.  a perfect night for lacrosse
282.  a perfect assist for a goal
283.  a win
284.  ice cream and fellowship
285.  cold shower and soft bed
286.  "the messenger cannot be more important than the Message."
287.  piano pieces long practiced and well performed
288.  a phone call while on the backyard swing in the cool of evening
289.  free moving boxes
290.  and mulch
291.  faithful servants
292.  Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples...  Psalm 96:3
293.  mango lassi
294.  and conversation and prayer on her front porch
295.  plans coming together

25 May 2010

piano recital

a zoom lens is so fun.

yard sale

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21

and so, in one sense, it was easy to have a yard sale.  I'm tired of storing up- that attic has been much too full!  It was easy to go through my house and purge.  It was easy to set it all out on tables in a driveway and let others have at it.  (uh, well, easy to set out except for this that somehow got into the pile.  No sir, not that, not yet...)  I'm more than ready to travel light, well, lighter.  (does a family of 7 ever travel light?)

but in other ways, having a yard sale is oh-so-hard.  All that STUFF, spread over my house- that makes me GRUMPY!  That we ever accumulated so much stuff- that makes me grumpy.  That I'm asking people to buy my stuff- that makes me grumpy.  And that people ask for a fraction of the pittance price- that makes me grumpy too. 

confession- by the end of the day Saturday, I was grumpy. 
confession- I am sure my family would tell you I was grumpy long before that. 

But back to the good news...
less moth and rust.
faithful Lord.
hard working family
dear friends.
money for travel while we are sojourning this summer.
(and my radio remains in my possession.)

where my treasure is, there my heart will also be.

24 May 2010

wise words

and one more from Kevin DeYoung's blog that follows that idea of daily obedience and faithfulness over the long haul...
the quoted section are thoughts from a young lady who spent the last few years working as a missionary with Food for the Hungry in the Philippines. The last paragraph are DeYoung's comments. 

"I didn’t change the world. I didn’t start a revival. I didn’t eradicate poverty. I didn’t cure whole villages of malaria. I didn’t open a school or hospital. I didn’t single handedly share the gospel with an entire temple of Buddhist monks and have them all become believers in Jesus Christ. I didn’t translate the Bible into an obscure language. I didn’t get thrown into jail for my faith and then have an entire nation repent due to my witness. I didn’t bring a physically poor community into self-sufficient prosperity. I didn’t find every single street child a home with a loving family.

I did strive to build relationships. I did walk alongside people as they struggled to live each day. I did value and love those that I worked with and those that I worked for. I did have part of my heart forever planted here. I did constantly learn and grasped that the more you know about a people, the more you understand that you haven’t even begun to figure it out. I did share about Jesus Christ to people who had never heard. I did change from wanting to help “the poor” to acknowledging that we are all poor in one way or another and that we are all walking together. I did allow God to strip away idols and distractions from my life (which is a scary process by the way) to reveal my true heart. I did know more fully that God’s grace is truly sufficient."

Wise words, Katie. God asks for faithfulness, humility, and love. The rest of the work is up to him.


What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That’s my dream for the church — a multitude of faithful, risktaking plodders. The best churches are full of gospel-saturated people holding tenaciously to a vision of godly obedience and God’s glory, and pursuing that godliness and glory with relentless, often unnoticed, plodding consistency.

- Kevin DeYoung, The Glory of Plodding at

(art credit:  Plod from at flickr)

20 May 2010


For over six years now, if the calendar told us it was the first, third or fifth Thursday in the month, 11:00 am would find us on our Home Delivered Meals route.   Today we delivered for the last time.

Delivering meals has been the easiest project that we’ve ever done as a family. I guess that’s why we managed to stick it out all these years. Oh sure, there have been days, and weeks, when we felt akin to the mailman, delivering in rain, sleet, snow and wind, bitter cold and sticky sweaty heat. (and, I might add, food doesn’t smell so great when it’s hot out. And please, don’t forget the extra milks in the back of the van…) But the people we met, the stories- they will stick with us for a very long time.

Delivering meals, my family met all kinds of folks. We have delivered meals to the elderly and the home-bound and the infirm. We have delivered meals to people of different race and religions. We have delivered meals to incredibly stately old homes and plain ol’ houses and apartments and trailer parks. We have delivered meals to people as kind as you could ever hope to meet, and some real grumps. After a while of delivering, even the grumps usually softened up.

In the beginning, all five of my kids would deliver every meal to every door. That took a while! So then we started doing one or two kids per home. My kids quickly grew to love their favorites. And I am pretty sure that the majority of folks enjoyed seeing us more than they liked getting their food. But I’m also pretty sure that at least a few of the folks that we have brought meals to wouldn’t eat that day if we had not.

We met one lady that was so old her teeth looked like they might fall out of her mouth at any moment. I asked her how she was doing one day. “Pretty good for a lady that’s 103,” she told me. 103 years old! Did my daughter’s eyes pop out when she heard that!

We met one lady that was a hoarder. She had an on-going battle with her neighbors about the perpetual yard sale in her front yard. Yes, it was quite a sight, but I always wondered if they ever tried to help her. She could barely get to the front door to answer it, so thick were the many things in her house.

We met a dear wheelchair bound lady who, really, smoked like a chimney. She gave the kids tootsie roll pops every week. Tootsie roll pops that tasted like… smoke. I made my kids say thanks and take them anyway.

We met a lady who was blind but adored my son. She tried to kiss him and offered him a $20 dollar bill. I did not let him take the money. (We did take a Christmas gift of McDonald’s gift certificates one year, however…) We have also delivered to several folks who were incredibly hard of hearing, and would shout at us in a virtual scream, “COME IN!! THANK YOU!! PUT IT OVER THERE!!!” That makes us giggle all the way out the door.

We loved delivering to the kind man who was a huge Royals fan, who wore a different ball cap every week, and who teased my son mercilessly about being a Mariners fan. And to the dear man who collected model cars, and very seriously told my kids about how he ended up with a tracheotomy and the dangers of smoking. And to the precious couple that still had their mentally disabled son living with them, and cried when they told us that they had to move to assisted living but he had to move somewhere else.

This last winter, we are pretty sure that our delivery helped to save a lady. She didn’t answer the door that day, and prescription delivery from the previous day was outside her door. But her screen door was locked from the inside, so I felt certain she was inside. We alerted the Office on Aging folks who promised to make contact with her. The next week, she was temporarily off our list because she was in the hospital.

Several times folks have heard we deliver meals and commented what a blessing that must be to the people we deliver to. And indeed, we hope it is. But without hesitation, I will tell you, we were the ones who were blessed.

19 May 2010

Multitudes (254- 272)

O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God,
And a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:1-3

254.  6:30 breakfast at Lisa's
255.  laughing with friends
256. corporate prayer
257.  a great save in goal
258. friends saying goodbye, and parents knowing how precious that is.
259. dinner guests
260.  Is your heart right?  2Kings 10:15
261.  celebrating new babies
262.  clean dishes and clean glasses and clean silverware
263.  skittles and friends on the bleachers
264.  the belly laugh of a 2 year old
265.  worship
266.  new members
267.  friends who tell you
268.  international friends
269.  a handwritten card that says exactly what that little girl is thinking
270.  so many that you love in one place at one time
271. If the lord had not bee m help, my soul would have dwelt in the abode of silence.  If I should say, "My foot has slipped," Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.  Psalm 94:17-18
272.  baseball game and a wedding magazine and fold up chairs

18 May 2010


We decided to have a party.
What a party indeed.
I didn't take a single photo, but scenes of the gathering are indelibly printed on my memory...

One by one and couple by couple and group by group, people we know and love came through our doors. 
It was the very best kind of party to have.

Our neighbors came. 
My kids have run through their yards, and have ridden across their sidewalks, and have sold cookies and candy and raffle tickets and such to these people, for 6 years now.  They were the customers at the lemonade stands.  My kids have mowed their lawns and shoveled their sidewalks and house-sat their dogs.  We knew them by their dogs, as Gus and Alice and Duke and Teddy's people, before we knew their names.  We have watched their kids and grandkids grow, and they have watched ours.  We have wonderful neighbors.

Our sports friends came.
My kids have played with their kids, season after season.  Through wins and losses.  Through the heat of summer and the cold of fall and the rain and wind of spring.  In gyms and on fields all over town, and all over the state, and all over the region.  We've driven together and ate together.  We've cheered together, and we've groaned together.  We've gone through those hard years, when it didn't look much like a sport.  And we've made it to these recent years, when skills develop, and we see improvement game by game, and they really start to know what's going on.  We like those kids a lot.  We like those parents a lot too.

My husband's co-workers came.
The folks he sees everyday, those that for many years spent more daylight time with him than his family did.  Those guys that answer the phone when I call; the ones I hope I'm not bothering.  It was fun to put names with faces, and show them a glimpse of what that guy does when he's not at work.  I think that they must have wondered what they were walking into when they entered our busy house! 

My ESL staff and students came.
Bernard from Haiti, with new haircut and in spiffy clothes.
Andina from Nepal, who took a break from studying for medical school exams.
Armando and Benjamin from Mexico, who brought their guitar and accordion and played for us, both in Spanish and a set of the Beatles in English.
My life is exceedingly more rich because of knowing those folks!

Kids came.
Babes in arm and car seats and strollers.
Toddlers who peered in wonder at my little dog.
The school-aged kids that were in and out, and in and out, and probably ate much more candy and cake than their moms had a clue about.
The "big boys" who played football in the yard.
The teenage girls who gathered on the porch.

Our friends came.
Those that we have served alongside, and worshipped with, and fellowshiped with, week after week, and month after month, and year after year.  Those that know us, and laugh with us, and pray for us, and love us so very well.  Those who are really family to us.  Those who know my kids and who my kids know.  They kept coming, and we were excited to see every one, right down to the last couple to wander in when we didn't think one more person would arrive. 
And these folks brought smiles and greetings and food and even gifts!  Candy for me and the kids.  A gift card to Subway!  (Could there be a more thoughtful gift for a family in the midst of moving?)  International mementos.  Cards and notes.  Completely unexpected and very much appreciated.

We decided to have a party.
What a party indeed.
We are blessed.

May Blue Skies

New header art credit-
May Blue Skies, an original watercolor ACEO by bluedogrose at

15 May 2010


You shall have no other gods before Me.
Exodus 20:3

New dishwasher.
Beautiful floor.

I'm working on forsaking all idols...

11 May 2010


It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High,
To declare thy lovingkindness in the morning,
And Thy faithfulness by night...
For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done.
I will sing for joy at the works of Thy hands.
Psalm 92:1-2, 4

239.  His lovingkindness and faithfulness in Psalm 89, 15 times over
240.  a little girl excited for the day ahead
241.  silliness with the hose and bucket
242.  bird poop off of the car
243.  friends who pray with me, and for me
244.  patience
245.  If the Lord is God, follow Him- 1Kings 18:21
246.  "If Jesus be the only Savior, let us cleave to Him alone for every thing."  Matthew Henry
247.  worship
248.  community
249.  handmade cards
250.  surprise phone calls
251.  cake and coffee and conversation and laughing
252.  pork loin on sale
253.  He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress; My God in whom I trust!"  Psalm 91:1-2

(art credit: Morning Song by janmyrickdesigns on Etsy)

09 May 2010

The Amazing Race

Good gravy!
If it were up to a family vote, you would have won. 
We think Dan and Jordan are cheaters and whiners, though we do appreciate how loyal they are to one another.   And even though we sort of grew to really like Caite, we still think that Brent is a doof.

Now that Amazing Race is over, I guess it's back to Sunday night at the Food Network...

The H Family

07 May 2010

Outside looking in

or inside, looking out...
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05 May 2010

When I have to leave my house...

... I choose the library.

taps on the keyboard.
a baby chattering.
pages turning.

of course, when you go to the library and forget the keyring of the family library cards...
well, that is akin to torture, and you may have to beg forgiveness of your children many times over.

please, old house, do not give us any surprises today.

(ps- I just noticed that there is paint on my foot.  and on my hands...)

Double Dog Dare

It's easy-peasey!  Much easier than sticking your tongue to a frozen post!

Border's summer reading challenge for kids 12 and under, the Double-Dog Dare, offers a free book when  you read 10.

I wish they had summer reading challenges for adults...
(as long as it didn't involve War & Peace, ahem...)

Go here for more info!

(photo credit- A Christmas Story, of course!)

04 May 2010

Multitudes (199- 238)

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  G.K. Chesterton

199.  friends who share lettuce
200.  chairs side by side, cheers that make no sense
201.  hustle
202.  little boys playing ball
203.  sisters cheering for their brother
204.  confession
205.  forgiveness
206.  reconciliation
207.  silly text messages
208.  cooking together
209.  106 pitches and a home run
210.  "We have an offer."
211.  Rejoicing with those that rejoice, and
212.  weeping with those that weep.
213.  fresh paint
214.  everything ahead on graduation day
215.  the choir singing Fairest Lord Jesus
216.  knowing these young men and ladies
217.  getting to the ball first
218.  playing hard
219.  the vivid greens of spring
220.  $1 large unsweet ice tea
221.  dinner with friends
222.  kids who love to have their picture taken
223.  Pinky swinging, "more!  more!"
224.  the magic of helium balloons
225.  birthday cake and ice cream
226.  celebrations!
227.  being welcomed
228.  vision for the future becoming more clear
229.  "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Let's pray..." and the sleeping baby barely stirs
230.  spring rain
231.  knowing where everything in the kitchen should be
232.  "let me tell you about my day..."
233.  "Good gravy!"
234.  sunset after the thunderstorm, wisps of pink and orange and lavender clouds streak across the sky
235.  "They are always welcome with us."
236.  when they notice you are not there, and call, and leave a message, and text
237.  a husband that can fix it, no matter what it is
238.  at all times pray, and do not lose heart...  Luke 18:1

(photo credit- me, but for the record, not one of those kids are mine!)

01 May 2010

May Day

no alarm to wake by this morning, a rare occurence. 
latte delivered.
move slow.
very slow.

laundry, a constant.
scrape peeling paint off window sills.
it is much more pleasant to scrape peeling paint with the knowledge that little children will one day set their chins on those sills to peer out the windows.

off to graduation.
fairest lord jesus sung sweet and clear.
I am thankful that my children make beautiful music and enjoy sweet fellowship. 
I am thankful to be part of that community.
I don't cry a tear. 
until later.

soccer in the sun.
girls that run like gazelles,
that don't back off,
that play with intensity on their faces,
that shake off the loss and tell each other "goodbye!  have a good weekend!"

a 50th birthday party.
kids everywhere, eager and excited.
laughs aplenty.
dear friends.
time becomes even more precious.

home as the sun goes down.
may day complete.

(art credit:  Come What May by dazeychic on Etsy)