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29 May 2012


I was surprised at how nostalgic I felt for that old church just blocks from home, where I could buy homemade cookies in the entryway, walk down the stairs to the basement where the quilts hung, fill in the circles on the ballot with a golf pencil, and leave with an "I Voted" sticker. Today I had to pick a line, declare my party out loud, silently confess I didn't do my homework and I had no idea how to choose so I wouldn't, and then reluctantly cast my ballot by touching a screen.

And they didn't even have stickers.

Admittedly, today I was a reluctant citizen at best.


Memorial Day BBQ south Texas style- carne asada and salsa, and hot dogs and chips. Watermelon and chocolate chip cookies. Swimming, croquet, lots of talk.

And mostly, remembering the sacrifice by so many that allows us the privilege of gathering together.

28 May 2012


I love the greetings. I love my little friend who was so excited to tell me we forgot our books last week. I still get tongue tangled by the end of nearly every congregational response. But I'm learning to wait for the pause in singing.

Worship suddenly morphed into a congregational meeting, and I understood what was going on in varying degrees, depending on where the speaker stood in relation to the air conditioning. We left before the meeting finished, which I hate, and still, the bridge line was lengthy.

Even still, oh how good to be there and oh how good to hear the Word and oh how good to be in worship!


semi-organized chaos.


when you run over the rainbow at the end of your driveway...

24 May 2012


Today I learned the Greek for "poor" from "you will always have the poor with you" (Matthew 26:11) and "blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3) is the same word, ptochos.

Strong's Concordance includes in their definition:
1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking for alms
2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour
a) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches
b) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end
c) poor, needy

By the end of the day, I feel as "them" includes "me."
I'm thankful for the reminder from my study Bible notes on Matthew 5:3-
"Blessed. More than a temporary or circumstantial feeling of happiness, this is a state of well-being in relationship to God that belongs to those who respond to Jesus' ministry. The poor in spirit are those who recognize they are in need of God's help. theirs is the kingdom of heaven. It belongs to those who confess their spiritual bankruptcy."
And there is tomorrow.


Wednesday night Bible study necessities:
Bug spray
(not shown- SENTRI card, food to share, books for kids, & a smile and a hug and a "como estas?" for and from everyone who walks through the door.)

We are richly blessed.

23 May 2012

"The Lord will fufill His purpose for me." - Psalm 138:8

Our confidence must not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do. Unbelief insinuates—"You will never be able to stand. Look at the evil of your heart, you can never conquer sin; remember the sinful pleasures and temptations of the world that beset you, you will be certainly allured by them and led astray." True, we would certainly perish if left to our own strength. If by ourselves we navigate the most frail vessels of our lives over so rough a sea, we might well give up the voyage in despair; but, thanks be to God, He will complete that which concerns us, and bring us to the desired haven. We can never be too confident when we confide in Him alone, and never too eager to have such a trust.
- Charles Spurgeon in Morning and Evening, May 23

I came to this passage this morning feeling a small bit like Paul, "afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed..." Several hard situations lie before me today and in the days to come. "Unbelief insinuates" and I'm prone to doubt and drift. Today I am thankful for the reminder that "He will complete that which concerns us." My confidence remains "entirely in what the Lord will do."

(photo credit: Point Reyes Beached Boat by sureMOE on

22 May 2012


with days to spare!

(but now we have to send her off... )


7 kids.
2 tubs of legos.
1 very fun time.


We went to the movies and saw The Avengers. I thought it was long. And I don't remember The Hulk being so mean. Everyone else in my family enjoyed it. We got home and took the "Which Avenger are you" quiz.
We have two Captain Americas, three Hawkeyes, and one Iron Man. We're half the Avengers!

We stay at home and watch America's Got Talent. We're suckers. We cheer. Sometimes we jeer. We're pleasantly surprised by Howard. We fist bump with Howie. We love Sharon. Tonight we saw a kid piano player that we are SURE that we saw playing in the New York subway two summers ago. How fun is that? We can't wait to go to Vegas.
(ok- we're not REALLY going to Vegas!)

With every single commerical we're more ready for the London 2012 Olympics.
The Olympics.
Only 65 more days.

20 May 2012


How Firm a Foundation

1. How firm a foundation,
ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith
in His excellent Word!
What more can He say
than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus
for refuge have fled?

2. In every condition,
in sickness, in health;
In poverty's vale,
or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad,
on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand,
shall My strength ever be.

3. "Fear not, I am with thee,
O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God
and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee,
help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by my righteous,
omnipotent hand."

4. "When through the deep waters
I call thee to go,
The rivers of grief
shall not thee overflow
For I will be with thee,
thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee
thy deepest distress."

5. "When through fiery trials
thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient,
shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee;
I only design
Thy dross to consume,
and thy gold to refine."

6. "The soul that on Jesus
hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not
desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell
should endeavor to break,
I'll never, no never,
no never forsake."

Public Domain


The days can be long, but oh how quickly the years pass by!!


A Mexican feast!


Four square, jump rope, sidewalk chalk.
Hello summer!


The best thing about driver's ed from 6-8 am?
The best donuts in town just a block down the street.



For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
2 Corinthians 5:1-2, New Living Translation

16 May 2012

"I love a dancing dog!"

Have you seen Ashleigh and Pudsey, the most recent winners of Britain's Got Talent? As Simon says (in his best British accent), "I. Love. A dancing. Dog!" If you don't "awwww....!" out loud  watching Pudsey, it is possible you have no soul. Pudsey is adorable and Ashleigh's enthusiasm is contagious. Alas, our dog-of-very-little-brain, Dillon, is no Pudsey, but we're working on it...


Top 10 Most Read Books

I've only read 3 completely-
The Bible,
The Lord of the Rings, and
The Diary of Anne Frank.

(And I've never even heard of Think and Grow Rich.)

(infographic credit to: Jared Fanning, via GalleyCat)

14 May 2012


Today we completed the SENTRI process with an interview and fingerprints, and turned in an expedited passport application. I'm pretty confident that passports are a means of sanctification, for me, anyway.

In all seriousness, we are grateful for prayers for the passport. My oldest at home daughter will be spending 2 months in Honduras this summer as an intern with Mission to the World (MTW). We just discovered that her passport was 2 weeks short of being sufficient for the Honduran requirements, so we have expedited a new passport for her. She needs it in her hands in 10 working days. Pray that the process will be without delay and that she will have the needed passport in hand to leave on time. And pray that we will be at peace and confident in our sovereign God as we wait.



12 May 2012


Beach day!
thankful for a friend to share it with,
picnic lunch,
sunny skies and little wind,
cool water,
kids who build sand castles,
the beauty of the dunes and blue sky,
smiles at a stop at Bobz World,
safety through the storm.


and every once in a while, I get to the end of the day and I haven't taken one single photo...


"The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship."
William Blake


We pass this same corner taco stand every week. Someday I'd like to stop...

09 May 2012


It was a very Valley moment, when the mariachi band (just out of view of the lens were 2 brass pieces and a drum) showed up to serenade an arriving guest in the airport terminal.

(Note to self- never be without camera! thankfully, my daughter's itouch was handy!)

08 May 2012


long overdue grocery shopping-
the fruit bowls are officially restocked.

06 May 2012


Joetta- any chance you could diversify and grow sunflowers to harvest?


while waiting for the game to start, we watched the youngest players on the little fields with goals as big as a breadbox, and then some older kids play that even still didn't really know what they were doing, clumped up in a big herd. I can hardly believe that my player is on the biggest field playing real soccer. Has time really gone by that quickly?

05 May 2012


so when you see those signs that say "Historical Marker Ahead"...
this is what you get.

03 May 2012


Confession: I didn't really want to go, but I am really glad that I did.

02 May 2012


We arrived at the counter to buy tickets, and the man had me type my name into the computer myself. All in all, probably a good decision. We walked to the waiting area and I figured since it was pretty obvious that we were the only gringas, I might as well pull out the camera and take a few photos. Afterwards I went to the little store and bought some rolls and a soda, as if somehow that was leaving a little payment for the pictures.


Mexican Coke.
In a bottle.


We heard music and laughing so we peeked through the fence to see what was on the other side...


On this evening, the hotel hosted a wedding reception, complete with a live band. I returned to the room for just a minute, and discovered this little girl was dancing on my porch, using the sliding glass door to see her reflexion. She danced to her hearts content, without any reserve or hesitation. It was a moment of complete joy.


I do love a road trip!
I do love turning a corner and realizing that I am on my way to somewhere new.
I do love arriving in a place and seeing all that is new.
I do love greeting old friends.
I do love the mountains.
And I do love Mexican food.