Catching Up…

Catching Up…

I’m alive. I really am. Just in case any­one was wondering.

Life has been insanely hec­tic lately. You too?

I was invited to go out to the Men’s Advance in Troy, MO, with Covenant Fam­ily Church to spend some time speak­ing with the wives and daugh­ters who accom­pa­nied their husbands/fathers/brothers to the week­end of teach­ing. It was such a blessed time for me. I brought my old­est daugh­ter, Pey­ton, with me. It was our first mother/daughter get­away. To a Men’s Advance. Haha… A tad bit ironic. She’s too young to be look­ing for a hus­band, and I already have one. Thank­fully, we had lots of women and girls to meet and spend time with. We both felt so wel­comed and loved.

Flying to Missouri

Fly­ing to Missouri


Then, we came home, and Mike took the fam­ily ski­ing. I tagged along, although I don’t ski. I have a bum leg, and can’t do dan­ger­ous, high risk things. And, if you know me at all, you know that any­thing that takes grace and skill is high-risk for me. I stayed in the lodge and worked while watch­ing the chil­dren careen down the moun­tain. Even Faith gave it a try this year. One so short shouldn’t be doing such crazy things. But, she loved it. She told me she has a new favorite sport. Ski­ing. Funny. I don’t have a favorite sport. The idea never crossed my mind.

We came home, and then my hus­band whisked me away to a cas­tle. We spent the week­end away for our church’s annual mar­riage retreat, which my hus­band orga­nizes every year. So roman­tic. We arrived to a snowy win­ter won­der­land {The photo above the post title is the view from the win­dow in our cas­tle room the night we arrived.}. Absolutely loved it. The next day, it was warm, much of the snow melted, and we were able to spend a cou­ple of hours walk­ing out­side, sit­ting on a bench talk­ing, hold­ing hands, learn­ing, grow­ing together. Such a great invest­ment! One of the assign­ments he gave the group was that we were to talk together and each make a list: some­thing we want the other to stop doing, some­thing we want them to start doing, and some­thing we want them to con­tinue doing. I really strug­gled to come up with my list, but once I got going, it seemed to flow. He also encour­aged that the con­tinue doing list can be 4–5 things to add to the encour­age­ment. We both learned a lot about the other, and what was on our hearts. Things we might not have known before. We laughed, cried, and grew stronger. I highly rec­om­mend this exer­cise. Be open, be hon­est, and don’t be afraid. Start. Stop. Continue.

marriage retreat small

Oh! And Faith was invited to par­tic­i­pate in a com­mer­cial for a local SEO com­pany. She had so much fun. She got to wear a tiara and blow pixie dust. What 7 year old lit­tle girl wouldn’t love that? It was right up her alley.

faith commercial smallSo, that’s been our life around here lately. Busy, full, good. I’d love to hear what you have been up to! Any­thing fun?



Busking at the Mall…And Anywhere Else She Can Think of

Busking at the Mall…And Anywhere Else She Can Think of

The girls were given an oppor­tu­nity to play their harp at the mall this past week­end. So, they have been prac­tic­ing and prepar­ing for their big pub­lic debut of harp play­ing. I sensed some nerves rat­tling around in the girls over the last cou­ple of weeks as the day drew nearer.

Except for with Faith.

On the way to their last harp les­son before the big day, Faith piped up from the back seat, “Mom? I have a great idea!”  {Oh, dear. I can only imag­ine what’s com­ing next…} “I think we should bring Peter’s fedora and get tips while we play at the mall!”

Two things ran through my head:
1. How on earth did she know it was called a fedora? and
2. Do they allow this?
and to be hon­est, there was a 3. WHAT?!?!? Where did she get this idea from?

As I attempted to sup­press my shock and the fact that I found this humor­ous, I decided to duck the ques­tion, and gave all blame and respon­si­bil­ity to her teacher. “You need to ask your teacher. You prob­a­bly won’t be allowed to do it.”

Well, lo and behold, her teacher thought it was a GREAT idea! Faith marched right into her harp les­son and asked if she could have a tip jar. No gig­gles or sur­prise from her teacher. Just nods of yes and encour­age­ment. Ha!

So, Faith got one of my mason jars with chalk­board vinyl on it and wrote out “TIPS” with a red chalk marker. She car­ried that jar to the mall, and stuck it on the floor in front of her harp. Of the three girls, she wanted to go first. She plopped right down in her chair and played “Away in a Manger” 6 times through. In a row. With her sparkly pink shoes show­ing under her flow­ing dress.

faith harp

And she col­lected tips. After some­one would drop a dol­lar or some change into her jar, she smiled and said, “Thank you!” And then kept play­ing. She delighted her audi­ence. And her mother, of course. And, her sib­lings as well. She does that to us.

Not to be out­done, her sis­ters took turns play­ing also. They seemed to enjoy this new ven­ture after they worked out their nerves, and were quite pleased with Faith’s Tip Jar.

duet harpThe girls had a won­der­ful time, the patrons at the mall seemed delighted to see such young girls play­ing the harp. It was so fun to see the older peo­ple and lit­tle chil­dren watch them. I saw quite a few twin­kles in the older generation’s eyes, and gaped mouths in the lit­tle ones. One sweet lit­tle girl even danced for Pey­ton as she played “The Holly and the Ivy”. And one adorable lit­tle boy wanted to give it a try also. Play­ing the harp, that is, not dancing.

So, tonight, we were enjoy­ing some fam­ily time. Faith and I played a game of  Skip­pity while the older chil­dren played Ticket to Ride with Daddy. She read The Princess and the Pea to me, and I asked her to play a song for me on her harp. She ran to get her tip jar, and she told me to go get my wallet…

See her tip jar in front of her harp?

See her tip jar in front of her harp?

Not so fast, you lit­tle stinker!

**The pic­ture at the top of this post is one I took of Faith out of our din­ing room win­dow. We have had a lot of snow over the last week, with tem­per­a­tures falling below zero most days. Faith won’t be deterred. She had Pey­ton bun­dle her up and out she went. Her bright col­ors really cap­tured my atten­tion, so I grabbed my iPhone to see if I could snap a few shots of her with­out her notic­ing. She was busy, hop­ping around from spot to spot, shak­ing lit­tle trees, dig­ging up snow, look­ing for adven­ture. I finally caught this one, and think she looks like a lit­tle snow elf. I really want to pack­age her up and keep her lit­tle for­ever, but I know she must grow up and become the woman God has in mind for her to be. So, we teach, train, dis­ci­ple her daily. And, like the sib­lings that go before her, we com­mit her and her future to prayer, that she will always have a heart sen­si­tive to God, long­ing to please Him, honor Him, and know Him more fully. I feel so unwor­thy for the task.

The British Are Coming!

The British Are Coming!

Oh, wait. They’re Irish.

Close enough!

Our friends from Eng­land, who actu­ally hail from Ire­land (stay with me here), are arriv­ing tomor­row for a quick and fab­u­lous hol­i­day. And they are bring­ing their chil­dren! My kids haven’t seen them since we lived in Eng­land 9 years ago. Well, except for the two who came and vis­ited us a few years ago. We are over the moon and mak­ing final preps for their visit. I can’t wait to see my dear friend, Angela. I look for­ward to the rein­tro­duc­tion of Pey­ton and “lit­tle Daniel” who is a year older and twice as big as her. {Side note: when we lived in Eng­land, Daniel was the youngest of their fam­ily. Pey­ton called him “Lit­tle Daniel” even though he wasn’t. She was 4. And they were best friends.} I’m sure that we will all have a  snicker or two about those memories.

and there was great joy design


Okay, so this verse is taken {way} out of con­text. But this is how I feel.

So, I have been rac­ing around get­ting things caught up and ready for the British Inva­sion. With a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

Next week, I hope to write about my Haz­ardous Jour­ney, which is not to be con­fused with my Husband’s Haz­ardous Jour­ney.

grizzlyAnd hope­fully, I will be drink­ing my favorite tea while I do so.

Have a fab­u­lous weekend!!

Many Lord’s bless­ings be on you and your family.


Goodwill Treasure

Goodwill Treasure

I took my girls to the Good­will store the other day. We were search­ing for var­i­ous items. Skirts and such for the girls.

I always love look­ing at the odd things. Won­der­ing what I might find stashed among the var­i­ous bas­kets and triv­ets and what­ever those things are. Most of the time I come up empty handed.

This time I found an old Sam­sonite Train Case. It looks like it was almost never used. It is so pretty in all its but­tery yel­low glory.

train case

It took me back to when I was a lit­tle girl. My mom had one of these. She stored her make up in it when we trav­eled. I always loved play­ing with it. As I looked this old piece of lug­gage over, I was 6 again. Those latches felt the same as they did back then: sturdy, firm, and oh, so click­able! I used to open and shut it con­stantly. {My dear mother is prob­a­bly read­ing this, just shak­ing her head laugh­ing because she had no idea. Makes me won­der what mem­o­ries my chil­dren will have that I am obliv­i­ous to!}

So, I did what any other woman miss­ing her mama would do: I bought it.

Now what? Haha. It’s not like you can take it on an air­plane these days. And since most air­lines charge per checked bag, I can’t see check­ing it either. I haven’t rid­den in any trains lately.

So, I googled train cases.

train case knitting

Have you ever done that? You might be sur­prised with what you find. I know I was. Peo­ple do so many dif­fer­ent things with these old cases.

Sewing boxes. Make-up kit. Knit­ting box. Craft cen­ter. Writ­ing center.

train case writing station

 ele­ments of style

Charg­ing sta­tion! Who thinks of these things? I men­tioned in another post how I am not good about think­ing out­side of the box. This time it is lit­eral! I love this idea.


train case charging station

cool mom tech

What do you think? What would you do with your vin­tage train case? What should I do? I’m really lov­ing the charg­ing sta­tion idea. How con­ve­nient that would be to have them all together charg­ing in my sleep. But I also like the writ­ing sta­tion idea. Note cards, sta­tionery, stamps, and a cou­ple of pens all tucked neatly out of the way.

Oh! And I can add some style to it with some vinyl. Or decoupage.

 train case maps


So many options. I was so over­whelmed with the ideas out there, that I started a Pin­ter­est page for Train Cases! Go check it out.

Oh! I for­got to men­tion I found some of those old Pyrex refrig­er­a­tor dishes. Yup, I’m miss­ing my mom.

pyrex greens


Fea­tured Image Credits

Old Route 66 and Drive Up Motels

Old Route 66 and Drive Up Motels

We left Col­orado in the early hours of the morn­ing on Mon­day, dri­ving through New Mex­ico and on to Ari­zona. My hus­band had pre-planned our trip and made hotel reser­va­tions for me. He takes such good care of me that way.

I remem­ber him men­tion­ing that in Hol­brook the pickin’s were slim, but that the hotel he chose was rated the best in town, and it had great reviews. He said some­thing about me not freak­ing out when I got there. I was only sort of pay­ing atten­tion. I guess I thought he meant some­thing along the lines that it was prob­a­bly more of a Hol­i­day Inn rather than a Mar­riott or something.

Um. Not quite.

We glee­fully made our exit off of I-40, arriv­ing into Hol­brook, AZ, after a long day of dri­ving. As we drove the 1/2 mile into town, real­iza­tion set in. Um…

Wait? What? The reser­va­tions say Glo­be­trot­ter Inn. Does that sign say… Oh. Wow. Well…

We ten­ta­tively entered the park­ing lot. I snapped this picture:


I fran­ti­cally called Mike.

No answer.

Google… I looked at the reviews. All four and five stars. 186 of them. One 3 star rat­ing. Noth­ing below that. Gulp.

I grabbed my strap­ping son to go into the lobby with me. Jes­sica, the adult daugh­ter of my dear friend who hap­pens to be my trav­el­ing part­ner, waited in the car with the girls.

I braced myself, put on a brave face, and told the kids that we were going to be adven­tur­ous. It was all a farce. I was shak­ing in my boots.

Oh! The lobby was adorable. And clean. I think we can do this.

We were greeted with smiles and sweet hos­pi­tal­ity. We were shown our room, which actu­ally had two rooms in it. Per­fectly clean and retro. Adorable.

We moved in for the night. Jes­sica went out­side to call her mom. She ven­tured to the pool area, which I had told the kids was not on the agenda for the night. I could only imag­ine what that was like. Old, dated motel with one of those old pools. If you lived in the 70s, you know what I’m talk­ing about. Right?

Well, Jes­sica came run­ning in excit­edly. “You’ve got to come see this pool!” Really?

I’m a bit slow on the uptake. It was adorable like the rest of the place. We all moved out­side to pool­side. We lounged on chaise lounges: beau­ti­ful, wood chaises. We dipped our feet in the pool. We swung on the swing. We chilled. It was glo­ri­ous.

Even­tu­ally, we had to tuck the girls into bed and turn in ourselves.

Morn­ing greeted us with a lit­tle con­ti­nen­tal break­fast. The fam­ily who owns the motel is from Aus­tria, it turns out. Break­fast was delightful.

Thus ended our stay in a motel I would have never slowed down for had I made the call for the night. I have to admit, it gave me the courage to even con­sider the other option we could have had, just across the street:


Ok, who am I fool­ing? I could never stay there…

By the way, those old cars in the first photo…they are just for show. They are there to give the feel of vis­it­ing the old Route 66 motel. Clever. Even if it did make me ner­vous when we arrived!

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