Category Archives: Random Life

Random Life from Not Normal to Resuming Normal

How does one sum up 8 weeks of “not normal”? Combine that with Anna Marie being in treatment, Mom, Anna, and Mary spending tons of time helping at Christopher’s, and a brother who was preparing to get married! That’s not to mention the obvious stay-at-home mandate for Kansas until about a month ago.

I’m so grateful for the “extra” time staying at home afforded. The absence of getting together with others and outside activities helped me to focus on my book. I love watching the story unfold in first draft, and Lord willing, by the end of the month, I’ll be on to editing.

These past 8 weeks we enjoyed church (praise the Lord!) gorgeous outdoor activities, lots of walks (and runs!), garden work, Titus2 projects, the wedding trip, book writing, work, errands, and time to make special memories.

We’re thankful Anna Marie completed chemo round 7 (of 12) yesterday. That’s a huge praise!

With all the changes happening everywhere, we can rest in God’s steadfast love.


Debi is adorable!
During COVID, Nathan joined the ranks of working from home.
Garden work with Anna: you should have seen all the littles roaming around the yard, some playing and some helping during the process
Betsy, Ellie, and I enjoying a brisk spring walk
Abby made Anna Marie a hat and then a matching one for Elizabeth
Picnic with Chelsy and Axton
Picnic and then running around near where we did our family photo session
Mary and Anna trade off helping in the evenings
Mom cleaning out the van after Dad made a trip to the printer to pick up book reprints!
Anna usually has a little following of kiddos wherever she goes 🙂
Anna and Mary doing a workout in the backyard while the kids played. Creative!
The Missouri River one morning when Nathan and I were on a run.
Keeping Christopher’s family supplied with good food!
Outdoor church on Mother’s Day, and yes, it was chilly! We’re so happy to be now indoors for services.
Can you figure out what it is?
Lovin’ wearin’ Aunt Anna’s rain boots!
Mom is so faithful to homeschool the children.
Lydia’s birthday night at Grandpa and Grandma’s
Christopher’s birthday party (Anna Marie was so missed!)
Walking buddy!
Joshua doing a work project with Dad
Nathan and Melanie’s crew enjoying nature trails near their rental for Jesse’s wedding
Day before the wedding a run was in order along a beautiful area for we girls
Christopher’s VRBO was on a hobby farm, so the kids loved the animals.
Family get together after the wedding Saturday
Yes, so the wedding day ended with some drama. Mary hurt her foot (a swing broke and everyone on it basically landed on her foot). Urgent care did an x-ray and found it to be bruised and not broken. Such a huge praise! She was still on crutches for several days following and then went to being able to walk without them. She limps but it’s improved a lot.
Christopher flew out the day after he got home from the wedding to visit Anna Marie. They were so happy to be together! Anna, along with Mary when she could, watched all the kids.
Uno DOS is the new game they like.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh
down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Random Life From Normal to Stay-At-Home

Eight weeks have passed since our last Random Life, and wow, so much has changed. Social activities came to a complete halt, only essential errands are done, and we’re praying for the healthcare workers on the front line and for all those affected. We’re also praying for those who have shared requests here on the blog. Our hearts are especially heavy for our friends in Europe and Italy and those in the hotspot areas here in the US.

Enjoy a peek into Random Life.


PS: The inside family get-together pictures were before the restrictions.

In the normal days, you never knew who might show up for dinner. This was to allow Nathan and Melanie to have time away.
Like a Kansas pinata?
At the Missouri river on a warmer day in late February/early March.
One Saturday, we watched Axton, since John had a commitment and Chelsy was very sick. He’s such a cute little fellow.
I wonder how many of you made the slime recipe? This was in the “before” days. Sadly, Bible club is suspended.
Someone is very dramatic. I remember one of the uncles being very similar when he was a little guy.
We all have enjoyed lots of outside time.
Caleb is growing up so fast.
Qwirkle game
Grandma time
Benji’s birthday night at Grandpa and Grandma’s
What a cute lineup.
This was on Kyle’s birthday (early March). He loves to give Ellie “cookies” (biscuits). Totally adorable.
Ruthie’s birthday night at Grandpa and Grandma’s
Arnold gently let Axton know that it was certainly not okay to play with his tail.
Doing website work. We’ll have an exciting announcement on that in the next few months!
Mary and Anna Marie doing outside cleanup together and loving their talking time.
A Saturday work project
Grandpa/Dad taught Joshua how to throw a frisbee
The green really popped out in the last few weeks.
And now the two words we all understand: social distancing
Reading to Gigi via Facetime (and that’s a Moody book :))
Lydia’s birthday (celebrated just with her family)
We’ve been running more lately.
Like aunt like niece
Flag time with Gigi with social distancing
This is Arnold on my parents’ headboard. He sits in the oddest places.
Cute stuff
Helping Tina via FaceTime with some school

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no
thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for
the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
Matthew 6:33-34

Random Life From Snow to The Heart of Christmas

December is flying by, and Christmas is less than two weeks ago. If you’re like me, there are still many things to accomplish.

Although the holiday season is a joyful, amazing, beautiful time, it can also be one of sadness and heartache due to the loss of a loved one or some other trial. As I looked at the sparkling, white Christmas lights this morning during my Bible time, I thought of friends we know, who are going through that very thing. Please know we care about your pain.

November flew by with work, Operation Christmas Child shoebox preparation and then packing, family times, and some Christmas preparations. We also did our annual family photo (will share that later!), which with almost 30 of us is quite a feat.

Enjoy every moment of this special season celebrating Christ’s birth and His amazing gift to us.


A little snow on Anna’s birthday
Four generations: Mom, Gigi, Anna, Mary, and Calia
Setting up for family pictures
Even though Axton can’t quite walk, he enjoys standing up at the little kitchen, and Kyle is pretty fond of the kitchen too.
We enjoyed some warmer days.
It’s sweet to see the grandkids playing with toys we did when we were little.
Sister times
Ellie does not like the little kids’ trikes and bikes driving in her direction, so she kept an eye on Danny and his delivery “vehicle” during an Operation Christmas Child packing time.
Arnold can be found in some of the most unusual places (like hiding in a bag).
John and Chelsy had us over for dinner one evening. Chelsy prepared a delicious meal, including food Dad and Mom could eat.
On a very mild November afternoon, Christopher’s family tilled up ground for a new garden. They covered it with compost for the winter.
Tortilla helpers Lydia and Ruthie as Abby and Betsy weren’t available
I was so excited as the Lord provided wood for us through a neighbor. We often heat the basement (where my office is) with a cozy fire in the stove, and our wood stash ran low. God provided!
Time with Chelsy and Axton one morning
Anna and Mary decorated Gigi’s house for Christmas
Nathan and Melanie’s family was very excited to fly out of state to visit Melanie’s sister for Thanksgiving. This was Tina and under’s first time to fly!
Anna babysitting Axton and sneaking in some work too.
A game of Jenga going on
Baking Christmas cookies with Calia
Christopher and Anna Marie took their three oldest to a Christmas concert at Kauffman
Anna babysat for Nathan and Melanie to have some time away
We were so blessed to attend the Messiah again this year.
Christopher and family were the innkeepers for a time shift at Walk Through Bethlehem. Notice their “extra” person (Christina). 🙂
Babies were scarce this year for the cast, but Nathan, Melanie, and Deborah volunteered.

Anna and Mary have had it on their hearts to bring some of their friends from Bible club to Walk Through Bethlehem. This year, with some hard work behind the scenes to coordinate things, it all came together. Sunday evening, Anna, Jesse, and Mary took a van full of kids to WTB. As the kids walked through “Bethlehem,” they were in awe and began trying to grasp it all. We’ve grown up in Christian homes, and we know very well the Christmas story–the heart of Christmas–but these sweet kids didn’t. They asked so many questions too: about sin, consequences, the devil, and so much more. It was an incredible evening, and we pray the seeds sown bring forth fruit.

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come,
and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.”
Isaiah 60:1

Random Life From Summer Heat to Cozy Autumn

It’s a gorgeous, autumn Sunday afternoon as I prep this Random Life post. We went from temperatures in the 90s the end of September, to temperatures in the lower 30s at night, cool days, and snow predicted for this coming week. Hello, autumn! Hues of orange, brown, and the occasional vibrant red fill the neighborhood and surrounding countryside.

September and October have been full with work, ministry, and traveling for some. We’re grateful to the Lord for His enabling grace.

What is something you enjoy about autumn? I’d love to hear it!

Taking apart GiGi’s fence for a tree project
That slide needed some serious cleaning.
Bethany teaching Grandpa and Grandma a new game on her birthday night at our house last month
Axton with Grandma. That’s the blessing of being near relatives: spur of the moment the parents can go out for dinner, and we’re happy to watch the little one(s).
These two. I guess it’s like monkey see, monkey do?
Girls prepping fruit (using butter knives :))
We girls did a church event: Mary face painted, Anna twisted balloons, and I took photos for the event.
Christopher and Anna Marie went to St. Louis for the Scriptorium and also enjoyed the zoo.
Reciting at the Scriptorium
Deborah is so adorable!
Calia and Mom have time together each week, and here they’re all suited up for the rain (thanks to borrowing one of the aunt’s raincoats).
I wonder if this is similar to waiting for water to boil?
This is quite a bike line up!
A random Sunday capture
When so many are over, the hall can be a quieter place to gather. Here Anna is with a child from each family!
For one of the days at Bible Club, Anna applied for and was granted the firemen to bring in their truck and talk about it with the kids. The kids were so thrilled!
Mary sharing a Bible story
Garage sale-ing one morning
The cousins love spending time together.
I’m tellin’ you!
Enjoying some time with friends
Reading with Grandma
Time with friends
Some of the families had a picnic at the Riverfront Park, and here Christopher is witnessing to a man.
Deborah’s first time accompanying Nathan on a run
Anna Marie and Gigi
Autumn beauty

“The eyes of all wait upon thee;
and thou givest them their meat in due season.”
Psalm 146:15