Friday’s Fave Five


It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

We’ve had a full but enjoyable week! Here are some of the best parts:

1. Family all together. That’s why I have not been online very much this week. πŸ™‚ My oldest son is visiting; my husband took the week off; and Jason took a couple of afternoons off. We’ve had fun just visiting together and then going on a couple of excursions.

2. Timothy’s birthday.

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3. Cooperative weather. Timothy had his first ever birthday party with friends last weekend. It was supposed to rain that day plus the day before, when Jim had planned to cut the grass in preparation for the party. But the rain held off at just the right times for both activities.

4. Encouragement. Thank you so much for your kind words in response to my writing journey post. Some of them made me tear up.

5. Easter weekend. In some respects Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection touches every aspect of my life and enters my thoughts to some extent every day. But I love particularly focusing on and commemorating what He did for us this time of year.

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Friday’s Fave Five


It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I started to say something about the first week in April, then realized it’s the second week already! We’ve had some beautiful spring days this week. Here are some of the best parts of the last week:

1. The church Easter egg hunt. Most, if not all, of the children in our church have food allergies, so instead of stuffing eggs with candy, we stuffed them with little toys and favors. I assume they have the Easter Egg hunt early so as not to interfere with family plans on Easter day itself. Jason and Mittu brought Timothy over to join in, and he had a great time – just plunged right in. It’s been a year and a half since we started going to this church plant, and I think this was a record attendance (37 if I counted right) since we’ve been there, so that was encouraging, too.

2. Lunch out with the family. After the Easter egg hunt, our family went out for lunch at a favorite Asian place. We often bring take-out home, so it was fun to actually go “out” to eat.

3. Spring decorations. I usually have them up before now, but finally got to them this week.

4. Blooms. All sorts of things are blooming just now: tulips in the front flower bed, my little azaleas, and flowering trees in the neighborhood. Our dogwood is budding and just about to be in full flower. Of course, all this new growth also puts a lot of pollen in the air, so that’s no fun. But I’m not usually outside for very long at a time.

5. The pantry. I don’t know why I have been in such a cleaning/sorting/decluttering mood lately, but I am taking advantage of it. I wanted to get to the pantry this week but didn’t think I would have time to. I don’t usually do housework in the evenings so that I am available to spend time with the family then. But Jim went out to cut grass one evening after dinner, something he usually does on Saturdays. I decided to get started in the pantry and just get as much done as I could while he was out. We’re blessed with a pantry the size of a walk-in closet, so we have paper goods and small appliances in there as well as food. I was able to get most of it done, found some better places for items, and even pulled out a few things to throw or give away. Then I also cleaned out a drawer on my nightstand where I stash receipts and tags from gifts we buy, and rediscovered a few special things under all of that.

This week has been busy but joyous preparing for two special events: my oldest son upcoming visit and a certain little person’s birthday next week!

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Spring continues its back-and-forth entrance. We got back down in the 20s a night or two, but the days have been pleasant. Next week’s temperatures look nice as well, though some rain is on the way. Meanwhile, here are some highlights of the last week.

1. Finding two special recipes. It would take too long and be too boring to anyone besides myself to go into where and how I found them. But I discovered a recipe of my grandmother’s for Chess Pie that I had wanted. I don’t know how useful it will be, though, as it starts with “3/4 stick oleo or the whole stick.” I wonder how you decide which to use? πŸ™‚ It was in her own handwriting, making it doubly special. The other was for a French Silk Pie from a lady I think of as my second mom. I am also unsure of using it because it requires eggs, yet is uncooked. I think back in the day they might not have had to worry about salmonella and such from raw eggs. But I am glad to have both of these.

2. A new-to-us exercise bike. My dear husband has been keeping an eye out for one for several weeks and just found a good one on Saturday.Β  I’ve put it to good use a few times already. I love that it’s quiet and I can exercise at home without traipsing off to the gym. And, since I’ve been using it first thing in the morning, it gets me wide awake for my quiet time in God’s Word, which comes next.

3. Finally getting my cabinet-dusting and organizing project done – as well as cleaning out the door shelves and drawers of the refrigerator. I followed my friend Diannaβ€˜s example and just did a few sections at a time. My main goal was cleaning crumbs and dust and finding a a place for a couple of items. But I did also weed out a few things to throw or give away. And I reacquainted myself with what I have in some of those darker or harder-to-reach corners. A bonus with this one: rest after work!

4. A couple of easy returns. I hate returning things to stores. I usually try to get my husband to take care of that task. πŸ™‚ I had a pretty negative experience years ago trying to return something, so part of me braces myself for the sales clerk to argue with me. But even though I thought one store in particular might have some resistance to one return, they politely returned my money with no questions asked.

5. Devotional bullet journal. I’ve shared before that I used to journal along with my Bible reading, but dropped it because I was spending more time writing than reading. But lately I’ve been thinking about just jotting a few lines from the different sources I read, so I finally started. It’s hard not to try to outline or list everything, but I wanted to keep it simple and just highlight the main point or thought. That helps cement it in my mind, plus it helps me read with purpose rather than just going through a routine. I’ve only been at it a few times so far, but I am enjoying it.

Bonus: Pizza and movie night with the family.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Here are a few of my favorite things from the last week:

1. Jason’s one-billionth second. Somehow my son Jason had determined a while back that his one-billionth second of life would occur this week. So Mittu, his wife, cooked up a little surprise celebration and asked us over for it. Fun!

My grandson had not known we were coming, and he was out with his dad in the front yard riding his tricycle as we approached the house. As soon as he realized it was us, he started pumping his arms up and down, then started tapping my door after we parked, and gave me a hug as soon as I got out of the car. There’s nothing like being so warmly greeted by a sweet little boy.

2. Good news. My oldest son is looking to buy his first home, and we’ve enjoyed reports that the process is coming along. Especially good was that his credit number was better than when he first looked at it – turns out if you have a dispute over a charge on your credit card, that card isn’t listed in your credit report. Thankfully, on the second check, his number was back up there where it should be.

3. An insulated drink holder. I recently discovered this. My soft drinks tend to lose their coldness too soon. I don’t like to use ice, because it dilutes them. This helps!

4. More out-of-the-ordinary tasks accomplished. I don’t spring clean per se, but lately I’ve noticed my kitchen cabinets looking dusty inside and out. Last Saturday I cleaned the outside of all of them. I’m taking the insides a bit at a time and have gotten most of the upper cabinets done. It’s a nice feeling to be getting that done.

5. Fluffy pillows. I *love* how my pillows feel just after I’ve washed and dried them.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Here are a few of my favorite things from the last week:

1. Lunch with a friend. A joyous time of talking together and a wonderful lunch – an entree I had not tried before and loved. (So much, in fact, that I ordered it again yesterday when my son and I got take-out to bring home!)

2. A church potluck. Good stuff, good times. Added bonus: I’ll spare you the details, but I had to adjust what I was making from the recipe’s instructions to work around the time constraints, and I was concerned about it being not done enough or overdone. But it came out just right! Thank you, Lord!

3. Time with the grandson while his parents went out on a date. Among other things, he and his granddad made slime and put together and flew a balsa wood plane. His parents brought over frozen mini tacos and Mexican rice for an easy dinner (and one that he likes).

4. Getting some “extra” cleaning tasks done – those that are occasional rather than weekly or monthly.

5. Pill sorters. Sometimes it’s the little things. I used to keep a running list of what pill I was taking at what time, otherwise I could never remember. I used one of these containers that divides your medicine into different days of the week for a trip, and I have been using it ever since.

Bonus: The first day of spring! One of my favorite days of the year! Even though this winter was not as bad as previous ones, there were enough bone-chilling cold days and bleak landscapes to make me long for spring. I don’t have my spring decorations out just yet – hopefully this weekend.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Let’s just jump right in to today’s faves:

1. A quiet week after a couple of busy ones. Though I enjoyed recent events, it was nice to have nothing on the calendar this week except lunch with a friend today.

2. Safe travels for family members. My husband had two business trips this week and my son and daughter-in-law traveled several states over to visit her parents. Everything went well for all of them.

3. Pi Day. Because pi is 3.14+, some of us nerdy types use that for an excuse to eat pie on 3/14. πŸ™‚ We had hamburger pie for dinner and chocolate pretzel pie for dessert. I love fun little family celebrations like that.

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4. A husband who cleans up the kitchen on Sunday mornings. It started when his mom first moved in. We would never leave her alone with a new caregiver until we were comfortable with them. We had regular help during the week, but a succession of people on the weekends. So whenever we had a new person on Sundays, Jim would stay home from church. Since it takes me the longest to get ready and he didn’t have to get ready, he’d put away breakfast, load the dishwasher, run it if it was full, wipe off the table and stovetop. He has continued to do that on Sunday mornings ever since. I always appreciate help with cleanup, but especially on Sunday mornings. It’s so nice to come home after church, especially if we’ve gotten lunch out somewhere, to a clean kitchen and an afternoon of rest.

5. Meals brought in. Speaking of getting meals somewhere else . . . πŸ™‚ Jim picked up hamburgers for dinner Saturday night and then we got McAlister’s Deli takeout for Sunday lunch. So I had the whole weekend off in the kitchen. πŸ™‚

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Fives

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I was sorry to miss the Friday’s Fave Fives last week. I had to go out of town that morning and had planned to post before I left. But a combination of not sleeping very much the night before, not feeling well that morning, and getting ready for the trip crowded out the time. So I’ll try to condense two weeks into only five favorite parts. πŸ™‚

1. Our church ladies’ group changed its meetings from every other month to every six weeks, so we get a few more times together through the year. I always enjoy the fellowship and the insight from discussing Scripture together.

2. Safety in rain and flooding. We had tons of rainfall week before last, with more than five inches Saturday. Thankfully our property is elevated, but several roads were flooded out. I was at the ladies’ group when my husband texted that the main road home was flooded. I asked the ladies if they knew another way around. The pastor’s wife tried to explain it to me and then offered to drive that way so I could follow her. Then another lady said she was going that way and offered to lead me out. We stayed in the rest of the weekend. Church was cancelled and everyone was urged to stay off the roads. Locals have said they have never seen anything like the flooding we had. One aftermath of all the rain was a 25-foot-wide, 60-foot-deep sinkhole! I’m so thankful for safety. And I am thankful the electricity didn’t go off and that we’ve had some bright sunshine in the days since.

As a subpoint to this one, our community Facebook page was a big help. I actually keep their posts hidden most of the time, because it’s just too busy for me with lost and found pets and searches for plumbers and mechanics and such. But during the flooding that was the best place to find out if local roads were flooded or open.

3. Birthdays. We celebrated my beautiful daughter-in-law’s birthday week before last and my dear husband’s birthday this past week.

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4. My second writer’s conference and an encouraging prize. I wrote more about it here, but I was able to attend a writer’s conference last weekend. I’m thankful for safety there and back, good meetings, good workshops, good conversations. And I was especially thankful to have won a prize in a couple of contests. Last year the person who critiqued my manuscript sample had not one good word to say about it, and I seriously rethought whether writing was just a dream. My critique this year was so encouraging, and that and the contests encouraged me that, though I still have a long way to go, I am learning and growing.

5. A new bathroom floor! Our master bathroom had carpet, which doesn’t really work well in a bathroom. Ever since we first bought the house, we’ve wanted to replace the carpet. We had bought the materials but my husband hadn’t had a chance to work on it. He decided that he’d use the time while I was away to do so. It looks nice!

Before:

Before

Even if we liked the carpet, we would have needed to change it because it was getting loose and bumpy.

After:

After

Such an improvement! He did a great job. Next: painting the walls and cabinets, changing the drawer knobs, and finding new bath mats! I love the rug that’s there, but it’s shredding.

Bonus: Tried to keep it to five, but I just had to squeeze in one more. πŸ™‚ My doctor was concerned about some of my lab work at my physical last fall and wanted me to come in for a recheck this week. All my numbers were good and he was pleased!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I am looking forward to a bit of relaxation and then digging back in to my manuscript and some other projects.

Friday’s Fave Five

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Hard to believe we’re at the last FFF of February! 1/6 of the year will be over in a few days! Here are some of my favorite parts of the last week:

1. Valentine’s Day observed. We celebrated late because my husband was traveling on Feb. 14.

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2. Being treated at a restaurant. My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson treated us to lunch last Saturday at a favorite Mexican food restaurant of theirs that we hadn’t tried yet.

3. Lunch with a friend. Always good to catch up and fellowship.

4. Signs of spring.

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5. Humor. We’ve been having a lot of rain here in TN. That has led to some humorous memes floating around Facebook:

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I am thankful the temperatures have not been low enough for all this moisture to freeze. And when we had a couple of hours of sunshine one morning, I looked out the window and soaked it in. But I’ll be glad for sunnier skies and dryer weather, hopefully next week.

By the way, I reviewed and will be giving away a book called Journaling for the Soul here if you are interested.

Friday’s Fave Five

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This turned out to be a busier week than expected! But here are some favorite parts of it:

1. Valentine’s Day – though we’re celebrating it as a family today since my husband was traveling yesterday. Therefore I wasn’t expecting anything Valentiney yesterday, but when my husband got home last night, he brought these and a sweet card:

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This is my favorite candy, but I only have it on special occasions – because otherwise I’d be eating it all the time and weigh a ton. He got extra because he had forgotten it at Christmas. πŸ™‚ I’ll have to make myself ration it out so I don’t overdo – but the advantage there is that will just make it last longer. πŸ™‚

2. Meal delivery services. A lot of restaurants these days outsource their deliveries, like Uber for food. It makes sense – some of them probably don’t have enough delivery orders to hire someone for that purpose full time. But I still felt wary of a stranger having my food between the restaurant and my home – until I reminded myself that everyone at the restaurant is a stranger, and even a delivery driver hired directly by the restaurant is as well. So we tried delivery from a favorite Mexican food place one night this week. The ordering process was painless and efficient, and the food came in a timely manner. We remarked how it was so much better than the fast-food Mexican alternative we had considered. πŸ™‚

3. Photo Booth was a forgotten app on my iPad mini until Timothy discovered it recently. You can see yourself with negative, thermal, kaleidoscope, and funhouse-mirror type effects and take a picture. It was so fun to watch him giggle as he tried the different effects, especially one that swirled various features around.

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4. Timothy texting. He has sent voice texts with his parents’ help, but recently discovered how to put GIFs and images in a text. Since they have pictures of each of us in their contacts, he can easily choose who to send them to. Right now he sends a dozen at a time. πŸ™‚ But it’s fun to hear from him throughout the day.

5. God’s Grace. When brought low by my faults and failures – sin – I’m blessed to remember that my relationship with God isn’t based on what I deserve. He took care of the punishment I deserved 2000 years ago. I can cast myself totally on His grace.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9, ESV

Friday’s Fave Five

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This is our first “normal” week after my mother-in-law’s passing, so we’re still getting used to the changed rhythms of our days. Here are some of the best parts of the week:

1. A memorial service for my mother-in-law. Since her funeral was in ID, we weren’t originally planning to have a service here in TN as well. Not too many people really knew her here. But then we felt that her caregiver, especially, as well as her hospice team might benefit from the closure that such a service offers since they could not attend the one in ID. The pastor of the church we attended the first eight years we lived here as well as our current pastor participated.

2. Lunch with old friends who were in town for an appointment. Nice to catch up with them and the extended family.

3. Frozen meals. We often get a meal or two out on the weekends, but we’d had to eat out quite a bit while out of town. So I figured I ought not to ask to eat out for a while. I got a frozen lasagna which sufficed for two dinners and a frozen Asian beef and broccoli stir-fry which made one dinner and several lunches. It’s nice to have a variety of ready-made meals available.

4. Change of work station. I had mentioned before that when my husband’s job involved working from home more, the only place available was the dining room table, just a few feet from my desktop. It was hard for me to write while listening to one-sided business conversations, and housework noises like the dishwasher, washing machine, and dinner preparation impeded his hearing conference calls. We plan to transition his mom’s room back into his office, but for now he has cleared a table in there to work. He’s even hooked up his computer to her TV, so he has a much bigger screen. Another advantage: he can leave his computer set up without having to clear the table for dinner. He jokes about his long commute to work. πŸ™‚ But it’s worked out much better for both of us.

5. Sorting and organizing. Weeding out expired coupons led to a complete clean-out of our aptly named junk drawer in the kitchen. (How do crumbs accumulate in a drawer that stays closed during dinner preparation?!) It felt good to get that done. Plus we’ve set aside several bags from other rooms in the house to be taken to the thrift store and found new homes for some items. One fun find in the kitchen drawer: a coupon book Jason and Mittu had made for me several years ago. They said they’d probably still honor them even though they’re expired. πŸ™‚

Happy Friday!