Tuesday, January 24, 2012

an award!! :)


Oh wow!  My friend Anne at Strawberry Monkey Files gave me my first ever blog award.  :)  Anne writes about her adventures of a homeschooling mom, her crafting, and just life in general.  We love to watch her Rachel grow, and of course it helps that at our house Rachel is a very favorite playmate!  Sadly, playdates with Rachel and her beautiful mom Anne are few and far between…

Anyway, the Liebster Award is for blogs with less than 200 followers (yes, I definitely qualify!).  It is given with the hope that the blog will continue to grow and find more friends and followers.  "Liebster" is a German word that means "dearest" or "beloved" and also can mean "favorite."

So, the idea is to bring attention to your favorite blogs with less than 200 followers. Since I received this award, I now get to pass it on to five of my own favorite bloggers.  I hope that you will check them out -

Here are the rules for Liebster Award recipients:

  1. You can thank the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your five picks for the award and let them know.
  3. Post the award on your blog.  (You can save the image from this post and the upload it to your blog).
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Blogshare - other bloggers.
  5. Finally, have FUN and enjoy spreading the love! :)

And here are my five picks for the Liebster Award:

  1. Amanda, at …”Brackish and Incandescent”…
  2. Elaine, at Friday is Pizza, Monday is Soup
  3. Kelli, at Waiting for Sprout…and now for XiaoMei
  4. Jana, at From Jesus’ Lips to My Ear
  5. Kari, at Keeping up with the Colleges
  6. Laura, at Whimsical-Beauty

Okay, so I clearly can’t count!  I couldn’t leave just one of these favorites off…as a matter of fact, I could probably add another dozen or so to my list!  But we’ll stop here for now…

Enjoy some blog-hopping this rainy afternoon. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

a fallen hero


It’s always interesting to see how God connects people.  In January 2010, Brent was sitting in medical at USMC boot camp, waiting to be ‘dropped’ into a new company to finish his training.  I wasn’t sure what to expect—I’d made some good friends with the moms of Delta Company, and having to shift to a new group (already well established, I might add) is never my favorite thing to do.  But God always provides, sometimes in interesting ways.  :)  One of the Mike Company moms was friends with an east coast homeschooling friend of mine.  Dorothy ‘introduced’ us, and we became Marine Mom friends.  I met Phyllis briefly at Brent’s graduation from boot camp…she was there watching her 2nd Marine finish.  It was so nice to have an ‘experienced’ mom to encourage me!  She was always willing to listen, to answer questions, to share her wisdom and her love.  Her zest for life is contagious!  (We’ve continued to stay in touch, even though Brent is no longer active duty.  Once a MoM (Mom of a Marine), always a MoM!)  She understood it all, having been there before with her firstborn, as well as going through it with her 2nd and waiting for her 3rd to head off to boot camp. Yes, Phyllis has 3 Marines.  Her husband is retired Air Force, so she understands military life.  And it’s risks.

Wednesday night Phyllis, her husband Dave, their other children, and their daughter in law Sarah received the news noone ever wants to get.  Corporal Philip McGeath, deployed to Afghanistan and due home in just 2 weeks, was killed in action by a suicide bomber.   My heart breaks for this family.  So dedicated to service, they are paying the ultimate price.  And there’s no way to help alleviate the pain for them.  Anything I can say feels so much like a platitude.  I can’t begin to understand the depth of their pain…I can only imagine.  It takes me to places I never want to go, especially knowing my own son is likely reenlisting. 

Today, Phyllis, Dave, and their children flew to Dover AFB to receive Philip’s body and bring it home.  There will be a service on Saturday January 28 in Arlington, TX.  With all my heart I wish I could be there. 

Rest in peace, Philip.  Your courage and service to this country will not be forgotten.  Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.  Your family will not be alone through this—they will be held up by the prayers of those who love them.

Philip McGeath and his mom, Phyllisimage



Philip and Sarah, July 2010.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Wow!  I can actually do an (almost) wordless Wednesday post!!  Snow days in Seattle are ALWAYS treasured…





Playing in the backyard…

snow soccer (7)

…and some ‘snow soccer’ in the front…

snow soccer (17)

snow soccer (19)

snow soccer

Two things I’ve learned (relearned??) today: 

  • Snow boots are useless if they aren’t ‘taller’ (come up higher on the leg) than the depth of the snow
  • Having someone trying to telecommute in the main family living space with 6 or 7 other people just doing daily life in the house doesn’t work well.

Enjoy your Wednesday!  We certainly are.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

when others hurt

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  ~Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice?  No problem!  Every one loves a celebration.  :)  Why is it we have such a hard time weeping with those who weep?  I’ve seen this time and again, and it has hit home once more this week.

For whatever reason, there has been lots of weeping around me in the last few weeks.   Friends with cancer.   Sweet young moms of little ones in my class losing babies.  Babies born with Down Syndrome.  Babies due this spring with complex issues.  Preemies with complications.  Complicated pregnancies.  Surgeries with unexpectedly difficult recoveries.  Here, there have been many tears.


I was struck this week as I talked on the phone with one friend.  She and her husband received some difficult news late last week.  As we talked (and cried!) together on the phone, she said something that absolutely broke my heart.  She said that an email had been sent to a group of friends, sharing the news, and that she’d only heard back from 2 people.  Only 2 people cared enough to take a minute and let her know they cared!  That hurt her nearly as much as the devastating news. 

When did we allow our hearts to become hardened to the hurt around us?  Why can’t we be the kind of friends that are needed?  Why can’t we take 60 seconds to send a note that says “I’m SO sorry!  Please know that I care.”?  Why can’t we pick up the phone and ask what we can do to help?   Sure, sometimes we don’t know what to say.  Yes, there’s that fear that we’ll say the wrong thing.  But I’ve learned for sure this winter that if we choose to say nothing, we are DEFINITELY saying the wrong thing!  That kind of rejection, that kind of hurt—it is HARD.  It lasts.  I certainly don’t know what to say all the time.  I put my foot in my mouth on a regular basis.  You know what?  When you are willing to confess that you simply don’t know what to say, that you care about them and what’s going on—you can’t go wrong.  I told my sweet friend yesterday that I knew I would say the wrong things before her situation was resolved.  I asked her to be patient with me, to let me know if I hurt her, and to know that while I will likely say things that hurt, I would never do it on purpose.  Only with her help can I learn, so I don’t make the same mistake in the future.

There’s very little I can do to ‘help’ my friend who is hurting.  But I can call or email to let her know I’m thinking of her.  I can fix a meal.  I can be available if or when she needs someone to listen.  I can go and just sit beside her so she doesn’t have to be alone.  I can invite her children over for a time, or I can ask her to join me for a cup of coffee.  It doesn’t have to be big or difficult.  It just has to be honest and sincere.  From the heart. 

After all, if we’re going to rejoice with those who rejoice, we’d better be willing to weep with those who weep.  Jesus did.  How can we do any less?


Warrior (noun):  A person who shows great courage…

example? Katie Collier

This girl is amazing!  She fights the good fight.  She is faith, commitment, and tenacity personified.  Not many of us would do (would be able to do!) what she’s doing:  school, chemotherapy, and then a basketball game.  All on the same day.  For Katie, it’s simply what happens.  Day in and day out she goes forward, rarely complaining, always encouraging those around her.  Even when she doesn’t feel good, she’s got a smile, a hug, a kind word for those in her world.  She is one of the most genuine, sweetest, kindest 18 year olds I have ever known.  It is a privilege to know her, and to be able to say that we have been friends with her family for more than 20 years.  They are amazing people—all of them.

This video from last night’s basketball game once again shows Katie at her finest.  Let her warrior spirit encourage you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

not my finest moment

My alter ego ‘Grace’ made an appearance today. 

It rained hard this afternoon, and when we got home from Costco there were groceries in the back of the Suburban that needed to come in the house.  Parked in its normal spot on the side of the driveway, the back doors open up at a small, grassy slope.  No sweat.  Except that today it’s muddy.  And slick.  With an armload of groceries, I slipped and went sliding through the mud, slamming my knee into the rocks and smacking my elbow on the back bumper.  There was mud down my back from my shoulders to my ankles.  My right knee is bloody and sore and swollen.  My left elbow is bloody and sore.  And my right ankle is muddy (still!), slightly swollen, and sore.  In short, I’m a bit of a mess.  It hurts to stand.  It hurts to walk.  It hurts to sit.  And this is after taking Aleve.  Somehow, I suspect I’m going to be even more sore tomorrow.  Oh joy.  I guess it’s a good thing the day is mostly free.

You know, I haven’t missed seeing ‘Grace.’  She certainly wasn’t invited, and she doesn’t need to stick around…