Can You Guess?

What time of the year we’re approaching?


(Mary is the talented face painter.)DSC_9095DSC_9946

(Anna is the balloon girl!)


“… be instant in season, out of season; reprove,
rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
2 Timothy 4:2

Christmas in July?

Our Independence morning had a different twist from a normal holiday morning.

Anna and Mary had it on their hearts to do an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox fundraiser with the nieces (see past posts on OCC). They put on a special breakfast and invited all the relatives. The Friday before the 4th, the girls and nieces had a planning meeting. They figured out their menu and invited everyone (the reason for the fundraiser was mostly kept a secret until arrival time).

Sunday afternoon, Abby and Bethany came over to help Anna and Mary make cinnamon roll dough. It was a kitchen full of girls!




Then, Monday morning, the little girls dug out Christmas clothes, and put normal clothes over them so they could keep their secret. When Melanie saw their outfits, she wondered, but they assured her that the aunts knew all about it. You could feel the anticipation in the air as the girls whisked around the house, helping the aunts prepare. They set up Christmas decorations, used Christmas dishes, and well, it really felt like Christmas. If I didn’t know better, I would honestly have thought it was Christmas!




Everyone was greeted with “Merry Christmas” as they arrived.



The girls had a little program, explaining about the boxes, Bethany read Scripture, they sang a Christmas carol, and then after breakfast, we were all given an opportunity to give. The girls had a certain dollar goal, and would you believe we hit it?!!! It was an exciting time!






Anna continues to collect items for the shoeboxes throughout the year, which makes them quite economical. The younger girls will help with the shopping and then be involved with packing them later this year.

We had our traditional 4th of July barbecue that evening. It was a great day!


Celebrating Drew's birthday a day early, which also now is Daniel's!
Celebrating Drew’s birthday a day early, which also now is Daniel’s!


I guess she was having fun with her clean up rag!
I guess she was having fun with her clean up rag!
Nathan and Melanie Maxwell and family
Nathan and Melanie Maxwell and family
Love that smile!
Ellie and I
Ellie and I

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;
not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7

What Was Her Secret?

Dear Teri,

Blessings to you on this Lord’s Day!

I wanted to tell you that I think there is a correlation between scheduling/adequately managing one’s home and weight control.

As of yesterday, I have lost 38 excess pounds and have about 16 to go in order to meet my goal. The weight loss has been slow, but steady. I have tried unsuccessfully many times to lose weight in the past 8 years, but it wasn’t until I tried losing the weight AFTER having my schedule in place again that I had any real and lasting success. I find that I am NOT eating out of reactions to stress or out of a feeling of loss over control anymore.

In Christ,

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3

Return of the Agitator

We just “downgraded” our washing machine and are very pleased with it. Let me share the story with you.

When the Maytag washer, which my parents had given to us as a baby gift at our first child’s birth, had some major problems about 20 years later, we purchased the new HE front loader Maytag Neptune washing machine. It promised to conserve water, energy, use less detergent, and wash bigger loads of laundry. It never, however, performed well for us, and those machines were eventually in a class action lawsuit. After a few years we decided to cut our losses and try a Kenmore HE front loader. While that one didn’t have the mold problems in the gasket that the Neptune did, it still didn’t seem to clean as well as our old Maytag washer had cleaned.

When we built our house and chose a washer for it, we decided on an HE top loader. It was okay, but still wasn’t cleaning like that original Maytag. As we watched clothes through the glass window on the lid, we weren’t surprised they didn’t seem to get very clean. There wasn’t much motion in the clothes nor much water in the washer.

When recently the bearings went out in the HE top loader necessitating a $130 part plus an $80 tool and the time for Steve to fix it, we decided to do what Christopher and Anna Marie had done – go backwards to an old agitator style washing machine. With the money we would invest in repairing our HE top loader, we could buy an old machine from Craig’s list and fix it, if it wasn’t working.

Christopher had done research and come up with Kenmore Series 80 or 90-agitator style washing machine as being a solid machine, easy to work on, with parts still readily available. Within a few days, we had procured a Series 90 had it cleaned up, and begun using it for less than half of what the repair of the HE top loader would have been. We are happy with the agitator machine’s performance, and it will be much less costly to repair when something goes wrong with it.

We have now decided to get an old Kenmore Series 90 dryer to have on hand for when our new dryer has a problem. We have already had to replace the control board on it. The Kenmore Series 90 dryer will be easier to repair and have parts that are less expensive.

Sometimes the old ways are better.IMG_3029.JPG

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16

Dog Attack and the Lord’s Protection

This morning, after a beautiful rainstorm, Ellie and I went for our almost daily walk. It was cooler than normal, and the breeze made it feel nice. I stopped for a moment to contact Mary about something, when suddenly, I turned and saw three dogs racing from the opposite direction at top speed. My heart sank. I had heard of these same dogs trying to attack another dog Sunday, and one was a pit bull. Immediately I shouted at them to stop. They circled Ellie and began attacking. I shouted and tried my best, but again, I couldn’t do anything in this situation except hold onto my puppy’s leash and cry out for someone to help me. Ellie’s yelps as she was bitten cut me like a knife, and time seemed to stop.

Thankfully the road is very public, and a car soon drove up. I could tell the lady wasn’t sure how to help, but she stopped and told me to get in the vehicle. The dogs stopped attacking Ellie and circled around the car, giving me a chance to pick Ellie up. As I was trying to get in, another vehicle stopped, and two men jumped out. They scared the dogs off and asked me if I was okay. I’m so grateful the dogs had not attacked me physically. The men were very kind and carried Ellie to their van and brought us back home.

We took Ellie to the vet, and although she sustained some minor injuries, she’ll be okay. It was extremely traumatic to both of us, but the Lord gave grace, and I’m grateful the little ones weren’t out too.

Lesson I learned? Always carry pepper spray. I haven’t, but believe me, I will. Obviously one doesn’t know for sure if that would have deterred them or if I would have had time to use it, but I will be prepared next time.


Ellie and I this afternoon with her bandaged paw
Ellie and I this afternoon with her bandaged paw

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will
I deliver him: I will set him on high, because
he hath known my name.”
Psalm 91:14

New Baby Joy

Mary did her signature baby sign, which turned out really well! She’s sweet to include the little ones in the project too. You’ll also find some random photos attached to this post. Enjoy!




Ruthie helped Anna make granola bars while the sign-making was in progress.
Ruthie helped Anna make granola bars while the sign-making was in progress.
A smiling Bethie!
A smiling Bethie!
Wow, love Ruthie's expression!
Wow, love Ruthie’s expression!

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,
and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.”
Psalm 92:1

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