Friday’s Fave Five

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

Some weeks require more thought to come up with five good things to share. This is not one of those weeks for me! It will be hard to limit myself to just five.

1. Jeremy’s visit. My oldest son is visiting from out-of-state. It’s a joy to have him here. Jim took the week off, too, and we’ve had lots of family time, games, chatting and catching up.

2. Jeremy’s birthday was the week before, and he celebrated with friends then. But we had our family celebration last weekend.

3. My birthday. My family always goes the extra mile to give me a special day. Lunch from Chick-Fil-A brought in, dinner out, wonderful gifts, and this beautiful cake made by my daughter-in-law. The plates and napkins are so pretty, too!

4. A mini-vacation from cooking. We went out a couple of nights and Mittu cooked a couple of nights. So I felt like I had a bit of vacation time, too!

5. A family outing. Different ones have done various things in the daytime: Jim, Jeremy, and Jesse went to a shooting range, the kids went out to lunch, Jeremy and Jason’s family went to a favorite coffee shop. We had one family outing to a place that has arcade games, bowling, laser tags, etc. Timothy wanted to play the games, so Jason took him to do that while the rest of us bowled. But we visited and touched base with each other in-between activities. When setting up the names for bowling, it asked to take pictures, which we were a little annoyed about at first. But then it used the pictures for funny videos in-between turns which we got a good laugh at.

I also wanted to let you know I had an interview with author Adam Blumer yesterday, which included an opportunity to win a signed copy of his newest excellent suspense novel.

Happy Friday!

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Friday’s Fave Five

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

And just like that, we’re halfway through August! Time to take a few moments to think about the good things God brought my way this week:

1. Another good movie. I started watching I Can Only Imagine while riding my exercise bike, but then decided I wanted to see it all at once rather than in pieces. I asked my husband if he wanted to watch it with me last weekend, and he did. Wow, it was hard to keep a dry eye through parts of it. The father in the film reminded both of us of our own fathers. They weren’t physically abusive like the father in the film, but they were like him in several other ways. It was neat to see God’s grace in both father and son.

2. Jason and Mittu’s anniversary trip. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, they took Timothy on a trip to the Ark Encounter in KY. They shared their pictures when they came back. It looks really interesting!

3. A “just because” gift bag. A friend at church surprised me with a sweet card and gift bag of little goodies: a kitchen towel, some post-it notes, magnetic bookmarks, and my favorite candy. Although I loved the “stuff,” it was special to me just to be thought of.

4. A prime parking spot. Though I try to park close to where I need to go, I figure if I can’t, I need the exercise. But this week I had an appointment at a doctor’s office with a very small parking lot right next to a hospital. Usually the small lot is full, so I have to park by the hospital. Last time I ended up way out in the boonies after a lot of frustration trying to find a space that wasn’t reserved for hospital personnel. I remembered all that just before I left the house this time, and I prayed that I’d find a parking space close by the office. I did, about five spaces from the front door!

5. The “friend’s store.” My son and daughter-in-law have a friend who opened a little store several weeks ago. He finds grocery items that are about to be discontinued or are close to their “best by” date and sells them at a deep discount. My husband has started going there about once a week. You never know quite what you’re going to find, but he’s brought home everything from chips and salsa to fresh peaches to gluten-free cookies.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

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

Here we are more than a week into August already. Everyone’s posting first day of school photos on Facebook. It’s still hot and humid. But fall is in sight! And we’ve got some fun family doings coming up before summer’s over.

Meanwhile, I’m grateful for a moment to stop and recount some of the best moments of the last week:

1. Good movies.

  • We were getting ready for pizza-and-movie night, and I wondered aloud whether Lady and the Tramp was available anywhere. Jim said he thought we had taped it, so he went looking and found it on an old home VHS! Thankfully we still have a VHS player! It must have come on TV at some time, and I am glad we caught it when we did! Timothy seemed to enjoy it–normally he loses interest in movies before they’re over, but he sat and watched this almost til the end. It was nostalgic for me: I loved it as a child and loved watching it with my children.
  • Then, while riding my exercise bike last week, I watched Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney trying to persuade P. L. Travers to sell him the rights to her Mary Poppins book. She resisted for 20 years, not wanting him to turn it into one of his “silly cartoons.” But she finally gave in, as long as she was the creative consultant. Most of the movie is her objecting to most of they wanted to do (especially the animated dancing penguins–and I have to admit, that’s my least favorite part of Mary Poppins, too). But interspersed with that are flashbacks to her growing up with a creative, loving, but alcoholic father who couldn’t hold a job and how all of that made her into the somewhat uptight woman she grew up to be. I love when her armor starts to crack, especially in her relationship with her driver. (Warning: this film does contain a couple of bad words and one instance of taking God’s name in vain. There’s also an brief unsuccessful suicide attempt, for those for whom that might be a hard trigger).
  • The movie I’ve been watching while exercising this week is The Case for Christ about Lee Strobel. I had read one or two of his books and knew his story: he was an award-winning investigative journalist and an atheist. When his wife became a Christian, he set out disprove Christianity, particularly the resurrection of Christ, with the drive and resources of a journalist. But the evidence he found convinced him it was all real, and he became a believer who has now written several books about his research. The movie only contains a fraction of his research, but it weaves it in such a way that it does not sound like a documentary.

2. My son and daughter-in-law’s 10th anniversary!

3. Shaping up flowers. I am neither an outdoorsy person nor much of a gardener, but I do enjoy occasionally deadheading and shaping up the roses, hydrangeas, and flower pots and keeping the ivy from taking over. It looks much better out there.

4. A root beer float is my treat after getting all hot and sweaty working outside. I don’t allow myself to have them that often, making them even more special.

5. A successful first dentist’s visit for Timothy. Everything went well, and he told me he was “very brave.” I loved that he wanted to come tell us all about it afterward.

Happy Friday, folks! Have a great weekend!

Friday’s Fave Five

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

The first Friday of August! Our family has a lot to look forward to this month. But first, let’s take a moment to look back and appreciate good things from the last week.

1. A gift of meat. Jason and Mittu bought some Balsamic Rosemary Beef Steak Tips from Trader Joe’s, then noticed the seasonings had gluten, which Mittu and Timothy can’t have. They asked us if we wanted it. Sure! We enjoyed it with some potatoes and carrots and salad.

2. A productive week. Some days–even weeks–it feels like I am constantly busy, yet never get ahead. This week I got to dig into some stuff and felt really good about it.

3. The Friend Finder app. Jim’s been on the road a lot this week, and this app on  the phone helps me see where he is and calculate when he’ll be home, so I know when to start making dinner. Sometimes he’ll call or text me his ETA, but that can vary with traffic and stops.

4. Slushy orange juice. Once I had some punch at a shower that was made by freezing citrusy juices, then thawing them out just until slushy and adding ginger ale. It was so good and refreshing. Since then, sometimes in the summer I’ll put a glass of orange juice in the freezer while my oatmeal is cooking. By the time the rest of my breakfast is ready, my juice has ice crystals in it. I’ll pour in a little ginger ale, and voila!

5. Texts about Timothy. I mentioned this in my end-of-July post, but this text from my son about my grandson cracked me up:

I know that feeling. 🙂

Speaking of my end-of-July post, I also acknowledged my blog anniversary and am holding a giveaway to celebrate it there. I invite you to enter for the giveaway drawing on that post.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

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

The last Friday of July! For several days the humidity was way high, and we felt too drained to do much. It was down to a welcome 32% yesterday, but today it’s back up to 76%.

I don’t know where the rest of the month went. But here are five highlights from the last week.

1. Church potluck. After a stressful morning where every other thing went wrong, we actually made it to church on time. And we enjoyed the service and fellowship afterward. Even though we’re a small church, we still manage to sit with someone different almost every time. A good opportunity to get to know folks better.

2. Allergy-friendly recipes. Almost every family at church has a member with serious food allergies. I know their families bring food they can eat, so every dish at a potluck doesn’t have to be allergen-free. But I like to try to make what I bring as accessible as possible. I made a mini version of these apple cider donuts that were gluten-free, egg-free, and nut-free — and tasty!

3. A dinner invitation. Friends invited us to their house for dinner, and we had such a good time.

4. A sponge and scrubbie holder. I was using a soap dish left behind by the previous occupants. But it was glass and broke when accidentally knocked into the sink. I love this holder because it keeps the two scrubbing tools separate, so they dry out better.

5. Timothy’s balloon man. My grandson loves those tall, floppy air-filled contraptions often seen at car lots. We learned they are called air dancers. But he calls them balloon men. My son and daughter-in-law found a mini one Timothy could play with.

Then Jason sent me this drawing Timothy made of a “Big balloon man and baby balloon man.”

Happy Friday!

 

Friday’s Fave Five

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

It’s been a fun week! Here are some of the highlights:

1. Jason’s birthday!

2. Timothy’s decorations. He taped streamers all over the house for his daddy’s birthday. In the top picture below, he asked his parents to bring in the fans from the bedrooms to blow them around.

3. Lactose-free ice cream. I didn’t have ice cream for years until this was invented. I may have had more than a couple of root beer floats and some vanilla and chocolate ice cream with Reese’s “magic shell” so far this summer.

4. A new ironing board, cover, and pad. Sometimes the little things can make a big difference. My ironing board pad was too flat to be of much use, so I got a new cover and pad. As I took off the old one, I saw that the ironing board itself was severely rusted and more bent than I had realized. So I got a new one of those as well. I don’t have to use them all that much, but when I need them, it’s great to gave good tools.

5. Timothy’s obstacle course. We don’t usually watch American Ninja Warrior, but it came on after we finished watching something else on TV, and Jason mentioned liking it. So we left it on for a bit. Then Timothy built his own obstacle course across the living room floor with throw pillows, an exercise mat, his little couch, ending with climbing over the back of our couch. I wish I had taken a picture. He ran his course several times over that night. One of the funniest moments was when, just as Timothy was climbing over the couch, Jason said, “You know, I don’t think I would have been allowed to do that when I was young.” 🙂 Probably not. Parents do loosen up a bit by the time they become grandparents. Plus, with grandkids, it’s not an everyday thing.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

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

Another Friday, another opportunity to stop a moment and reflect on some of the week’s best moments:

1. An outing at the park. The one fun thing Jim wanted to do on his week off was to take the family to a park with a lakefront. Though it turned out to be too hot or too lacking in time for some activities, it was fun and the view was lovely. We’ve talked about bringing dinner there some evening, when hopefully it will be a bit cooler and the time more open-ended. We’ve even talked about renting paddle-boats next time. Can’t wait to see what Timothy thinks of that.

2. Refurbished light fixture. As I mentioned last week, Jim spent most of his time off painting the bathroom walls and cabinets. I had wanted to replace the light fixture, because I didn’t like the brass finish (especially now that we’ve gone light grey in there) and it was hard for me to reach and clean the cut glass. He decided to try painting it white, and that looked fine. Plus he took everything apart and cleaned the glass parts for me.

3. Lunch Sunday. Jason and Mittu got ready for church Sunday, but then she wasn’t feeling well enough to go. A bit later in the morning they came to our house to make lunch. Always nice to come home and find meal preparation in progress, especially on a Sunday.

4. Working AC. Our air conditioner was having trouble keeping up, so we had someone come out to service it this week. Then during a thunderstorm we lost power for a bit, and I was dreading the loss of AC – but thankfully the power came back on in just a few minutes.

5. A neighbor’s bounty. A neighbor shared some vegetables from their garden with us this week.

If you have a moment, I invite you to participate in a survey about writer or blogger newsletters. – do you subscribe to any, what things do you like in them, etc.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

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

I hope those of you in the USA had a happy 4th, and belated Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends! It’s been a good week here. Some of the best parts:

1. Independence Day. Our country has serious problems, but there’s still no place else I would rather live. I’m so thankful for the freedoms we have here and those who sacrificed to make them possible. We celebrated with family, feasting, and fun.

2. Mini cheesecakes. Cheesecake is not my favorite dessert, but every now and then it hits just the right spot. Some years ago someone in the family got me some mini cheesecake pans. I got ingredients for them for a potluck at church a few weeks ago, but overlooked an allergen in one of the ingredients that would affect several families, so I ended up not making them. I wanted to use the ingredients soon, so, even though cheesecake isn’t a traditional 4th of July dish, they were a nice treat. I put mini chocolate chips on some, mini peanut butter cups in others, mixed coca in with the batter for a few. Then we had strawberries, blueberries, and a peanut and chocolate shell for the plain ones. And the fruit did make them look more patriotic! The nice thing about little cheesecakes is that you can try more than one kind.

3. Bathroom makeover. Several months ago I mentioned we had replaced the carpet in our bathroom with new flooring. In the meantime, we’ve tried several sample colors on the walls and did an extensive search for bath mats. This week my husband got the walls and cabinets painted. I love it!

What it originally looked like:

Before

What it looks like now:

I love these knobs! I had wanted something just a little different, and I was glad to find them. The walls are a very light grey. The floral towel racks were here when we bought the house, and I love them! The shower curtain was here, as well, in another bathroom, but it was a peach color – about my least favorite color in the whole spectrum. So I used Rit color remover on it, and it came out this pale pinkish shade, with just a touch of color left in the topstitching.

I so appreciate my husband’s time and hard work! I didn’t get a picture of the light fixture above the sink, but that’s one last thing left to do. It’s a brass finish, and I wanted to replace it, but he’s going to try to spray paint it white and see if that works.

And, you know something else that’s interesting . . . months ago I bought this plaque with a Hobby Lobby gift card just because I loved the floral lettering. We didn’t have grey in any of our decorating: all the walls were beige. But I figured grey is a neutral, and I have pink in several rooms, so I could put this anywhere. We didn’t choose the bathroom colors with this plaque in mind – I had forgotten about it. Now it’s perfect for our new bathroom!

4. Time off. My husband’s company gave employees Thursday and Friday off this week, so he decided to take the rest of the week as vacation days. He’s been mostly working on the bathroom and doing yard work — he’s happiest when he’s getting stuff done. But we do have a family outing planned for Saturday.

5. Chick-Fil-A biscuits. I love breakfast biscuits! But since my days of driving kids to school and picking up breakfast on the way back are long gone, I don’t get them much any more. Jim had a hankering for Chick-Fil-A this morning and went out to get them Yum!

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

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

It’s been another quiet week here in my neck of the woods. The last Friday of June already! Here are some of the best parts of the week:

1. Baptisms at church. Two adults were baptized at church last Sunday. Always a joy to hear people’s testimonies and see them take that step.

2. Finger food fellowship after the baptismal service. When we left, we were not quite full, but not really hungry enough for lunch. So we just scrounged around the refrigerator and heated up some leftovers — easy lunch, easy clean-up.

3. Pizza and movie night.Jason, Mittu, and Timothy came over and we watched Ralph Wrecked the Internet. I enjoyed that much more than I thought I would!

4. Chick-Fil-A brought in. I had gotten over my last cold but then got another one – very similar to the first one, staring out with a very sore throat. Timothy wanted to come over and play with some of the riding toys we have here. I let Jason and Mittu know I had another cold starting up, though I felt fine at that point, so they could decide if they wanted to risk coming over. They offered to bring Chick-Fil-A for dinner.

5. Updates on Steve Saint and Mincaye. Some of you know that I’ve loved and followed the story of the five missionaries who were killed in Ecuador in 1956, beginning with Elisabeth Elliot’s Through Gates of Splendor, then several other books of hers and some of the others in that story, up through Steve Saint’s book End of the Spear, and the documentary, Beyond the Gates of Splendor. I found a link to Randy Alcorn’s blog post about Mincaye, who was one of the men who killed the missionaries but later became a Christian and adopted Steve Saint’s family as his own. Mincaye is in his 90s now and in need of a wheelchair, and Joni Eareckson Tada’s organization sent him one. Randy’s post linked some some past posts with Steve and Mincaye, so I went on a rabbit trail reading some of those and watching the videos. I really enjoyed this one about Jim Elliot’s brother Bert, who was a missionary to Ecuador for over 50 years. Burt commented that “Jim and I both served Christ, but differently. Jim was a great meteor, streaking through the sky.” Randy said yes, he was, but Burt was the faithful start that rose every night for years. Then I also enjoyed the post and videos here, about Mincaye and his wife visiting Steve after his accident, and the Waodani telling Steve about “other foreigners” they saw the day the five missionaries were killed.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

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

It seems like it’s been a quiet week online: my Feedly account of others’ blog posts has been very light, as have comments here. Maybe everyone’s off doing summery things. 🙂 We’ve been mostly indoors due to a rain, but here are some of the five best parts of the week:

1. Father’s Day. Had a good day remembering my father and step-father and celebrating my husband and son with spaghetti and Mittu’s pineapple upside-down cake.

2. Finally getting a haircut. I tend not to get around to it until I can hardly stand it any more. When my hair gets to a certain length, it just goes limp. Nice to get that taken care of.

3. Finally getting flowers in my planters. I usually have these done way back in May. They look much better than they did.

4. Takeout on a sick day. I don’t get migraines often, but battled one this week. I feel for those who are prone to them. Thankfully there was nothing pressing that day, so I could lay low. I asked my husband if he could bring home McAlister’s Deli that night, and he did.

5. This adorable video which has been making the rounds is just SO cute. Denny’s even asked the father and son duo to do a sweet commercial.

Happy first day of summer!