Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ya Gotta Get Up, Ya Gotta Get Up....

It's Christmas Morning!
God is so faithful to me. Even in my lack, He brings joy and sweetness to this day.
The kids woke one by one. I had been up for an hour before the first one peeped around the corner. I woke James with coffee. Sleepy smiles, hugs & kisses ensued.
It was just what I needed.
We had our time of gifts. Then we drew, played and napped before heading to Pastor Steven's and Stacey's for dinner and games.
I love being in th grip of the grace of God!
Here's some highlights!!
Pastor James at candlelight service.
Santa left one of his Reindeer outside my bedroom window!
Called up ~ They wait til we get cocoa made and James Taylor crooning out the carols.
Huh? Oh!
Stocking goodies are always a favorite!
Grama Judy's traditional breakfast! Christmas Casserole (sausage, eggs, cheese), pear halves, cinnamin bread, & OJ! Couldn't have our first Christmas away from them without bringing them into our celebration somehow.

Tofer rolls the butt, Minda takes the midriff & Cassia goes for the cranium!

Team Montana and the Hallelujah! Snowman!

What a fun holiday we had!

(I have been trying for several days to post this, but blogger wasn't cooperating... Sorry it took so long.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fa La La La La La

This is as far as we have gotten with Christmas this year. With the saga of selling a house, having just moved into our new home, losing my Daddy suddenly & traveling back for his memorial service, the movers leaving my mixing bowls and baking stones behind, and the general lack of funds that goes along with moving - we haven't bought a single gift, baked a single cookie or pie, or sent out a single card. Getting into the Spirit of it all is alluding me.

We're done with school tomorrow until next Wednesday.

I'm amazed, and a bit bugged, at how much of who I am is still wrapped up in what I do. My lack of organization, getting things done, or writing our fun, snappy Christmas letter ~ is affecting how I feel about the Salvation of God coming to earth. I can't see past my own exhaustion and loss.

This is so much harder than I thought it would be.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pictures of Home

"Home" - Great Word ~ Great Feeling ...

Posted by Picasa We are unpacked! We are feeling settled! Friends are beginning to trickle in regularly! These windows hold the most breathtaking view of the Bitteroot Range!

The house is older. We kinda love its odd quirks though!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Home at Last

In our front yard Wednesday Morning!
It seems magical, this whole idea of coming into a Calling. As if it should only be a dream, or like you are playing and it will all end when you are called for dinner.
Being in Montana and waking up to a world covered in white, and more snow softly falling helps with that etherial feeling.
Furthr add to the equation the fact that we are in a home that overlooks the Gallatin Valley, with the Bitteroot Range and the Tetons beyond that and I become just plain overwhelmed.
BUT it doesn't end there. God called us to a people who love us. He has given us opportunity both to give and be given into. We have been embraced. We have been esteemed. We have been humbled. It is no small thing when you find yourself in the center of God's palm.

I need to be there. In the midst of all the blessing and fulfillment, I was blindsided.
My Daddy died. It was sudden. Unexpected.
Life seems so odd. To be living when others aren't - can't. It would be so much easier if it all ended at once. Yet life is good.
There is still a song sung over me. His song. Undeserved, but lilting and enveloping, ... and carrying.
We are expecting friends soon. Christmas and it's celebration of hope and it's gift of life are coming on their heels.
Life is without Daddy ~ But not without Papa. God is a Father to the Fatherless. That is me now. He sets the solitary into family. This solitary daughter has found family and home in Montana - set into it by a loving Papa.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

There Is No Life I Know...

That compares with walking with my Savior!

Our House is in the final stages of closing!
We should sign papers the day before Thanksgiving! (Honey, I'm coming Home!!)
I am overwhelmed this season at the faithfulness of God.
Here is my "Thank You" list, just off the top of my head ~ I'm sure there should be more!
*Long awaited dreams coming true.
*A family that loves God with their whole life, being, heart, and soul.
*A new home, church family, and adventure.
*Being together for the holidays.
*God's amazing grace and His newly restored mercies every morning!
*God's love that washes over me daily, that cleanses me, gives me hope, and brings me back to His knee and down to mine.

Nothing Compares.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Big 6 Year Old!

Cricket turned 6 today! I can't believe we have had this little bundle of fluff and love that long!
James and I joke that she is the best investment we ever made with our $$, but it is probably true. The return in fun, love, cuddles, laughter, joy, and comfort has been much greater than we could have hoped or imagined.
Happy Birthday To The Best Dog Ever!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New Life from Old

I'm Reading again.

A book I have actually wanted to read for awhile, but have never found. Yesterday, miraculously, while I was on a mission at a second hand store to buy note cards, I saw a sale sign on tables of books.
Asking my youngest to inquire as to what the sale was, I began to peruse. She returned to tell me that every book was 10 cents! Now, it isn't as if we don't already have 20 + boxes of books packed, but 10 cents? What is a bibliophile to do???

There, tucked between books that were 5x its size and girth was the little book I had been searching for for years after overhearing a conversation about it in a bookstore. 10 cents handed over to the Senior Center and this little 50 year old gem was mine!

The Title? Gift from the Sea - by Anne Morrow Lindburgh. I am absorbing it. Drinking it in. It feels like she is talking intimately with me. As if we 2 are the only ones in the room and our hearts are whispering to eachother.

I'll let you in on the secret - just a glimpse
: "The shape of my life is determined by many things; my background and childhood, my mind and education, my conscience and its pressures, my heart and its desires. I want to give and take from my children and husband, to share with my friends and community, to carry out my obligations as a woman, an artist, as a citizen. But I want first to be at peace. I want singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me t carry these out well. I would like to achieve a state on inward grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God."

50 years and she knows my heart. 50 years and new life is being birthed from dormant seed.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Here We Go A Wassailing!

It's as simple as...

64 oz Cranberry Juice

3 Tblsp Orange Juice Concetrate
1/3 c Honey
5 Whole Cloves
3 Cinnamins sticks
Simmer all day
Add water if too strong
Add honey if too tart!
HT: Cassia for photos!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

God Works in Mysterious Ways...

2 months ago I got a note on my blog. Not an uncommon occurance, I know, but there was something different about this one. It was a guy for one thing, and I don't get many of those leaving comments! But this one acted like he knew me. Through a strange series of events that I won't go into, I found out this guy was a friend from my highschool days that I had not seen or talked to in 18 years! He had moved to Maine, had a family and had found me by a "fluke" on Flickr.

James moved to Bozeman to begin the Worship pastor position he was hired for at Alliance Fellowship about 3 weeks ago. One of the first people he met with was Brandon Edwards who is the worship leader at JourneyChurch. Come to find out, he was trained up by the same man who trained up James at PBC, and had experienced a similar adventure in arriving in Bozeman!

Just 4 days ago--
I decided to join a group of women across the US who are committing to live more simply. To buy 2nd hand or barter for things other than things that would be unhealthy to buy 2nd hand or services. I had gone to the blog of someone who had made the commitment after seeing her photos on Flickr and then seeing a post about her on another blog I frequent. The next day I got an email from her. She and her husband were the candidates for the worship position James was hired for in Bozeman! We have become fast friends. Amazing, awesome, wonderous... the ways of God!

All I can say is, WOW! What does God have in store with these relationships? I don't know. What I do know is how thankful I am for them and for God's grace in bringing us together! I feel loved, watched over, and known by the Creator of the Universe! I am humbled and blessed by His mysterious ways...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Feels Like...

I was out shooting the pictures of the Oak when a loud clamour was heard overhead...

I suddenly had the urge for mulled cider or wine and a crackling fire... Now its Autumn...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Big Picture Friday

Tradition! We take a shot every year at this spot. This year was
early and poingant.
Normally there are a ton of leaves on the ground, the air is so cold that we are
rushing to get back into our coats, and the background
is crisp and clear because of the
Wintery light.
We don't know if we will be here in November.
This may be our last shot here.
I promised I wouldn't post these to flickr, but go here and check out what
my fellow Friday Photo Bloggers did!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Letting Go

I had high hopes. They were dashed. I cried - long & hard. Then I prayed... "Father, I don't know why, but I know I want to glorify You. I know You have a purpose. With a shattered heart I ask that You would have Your way in me & in the circumstance so that Your glory can be unhindered and Your purposes fulfilled." I'm better now. I still have hopes, but they are loosely held.
It doesn't look like we will be able to buy a home in Bozeman. As a homemaker, that is almost like throwing me in a dungeon. We won't have a home, just a rock to lay our heads on and dream of Heaven. An alter to erect. But God will be there and we will be together.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Follow Your Heart

Stepping out to follow a dream that has long been held in the dark and quiet of the soul is never an easy thing. You 2nd guess your decisions, look for a reason to stay put, and wonder if the dream is really nothing more than wishful thinking or escapism. As we step out into an 18 year old dream, and brush off the cobwebs and dust, I have begun reading a book. I didn't know anything about it. Our host son from last year gave it to Tof while we were in Korea this year. It is challenging me. Here are some quotes that have wakened the adventurer/ sojourner/ treasure-seeker in me:
"...people need not fear the unknown... We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it's our life or our possessions... Fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand."
"...understanding is really the sudden immersion of the soul into the current of life, where the histories of all people are connected and we are able to know intuitively..."
"...I'm afraid if my dream is realized, I may have no reason to go on living... I am afraid that it would all be a disappointment, so I prefer to go on dreaming."
"The boy felt jealous at the freedom of the wind." But then he realized that was how he felt when he dreamed...he was the only thing holding him back.
~~Paulo Coelho~~ "The Alchemist

Big Picture Friday

Puppy Clouds

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mother's Day

Strange title in the middle of October? I should have put MY mother's day. Today my mommy turned 60!
She is an incredible woman of God who has stayed gracious and kind in a lifetime of adversity.
Here are my favorite things about Mommy:
1. Her giving heart. She never witholds good from them whom she has the power to bestow it upon.
2. Her Kraut Runza. It was how this little girl of Russian heritage learned to love Saurkraut. German sausage, bacon, hamburger, garlic and kraut fried together for hours and rolled into soft dough & baked golden! Yummers!
( I might add her corned beef, pecan pie, and carrot cookies as well!)
3. Her Prayers. I know she will pray for me no matter what. She is my intercessor, a faithful warrior on my behalf.
4. RoseMilk. Do any of you remember this lotion? I don't know how she gets it still, but my mommy always smells like roses. When she is gone someday, this will be what reminds me of her most.
5. Security. Life has no guarentees. But I have no doubts about 2 'people' always being there for me. God and Mom. Even when she is before the throne of God I know she will be petioning Him on my behalf.

I love you, Momma. Happy birthday!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Scared to Distraction (UPDATE)

I have never had much dental work done. I had my wisdom teeth removed in 10th grade, and a filling when I was 28. That about does it. No cavities growing up, no braces, no anything... But last week I somehow cracked a tooth. Now it has to be extracted... just the word chills me to the depth of my being! Tomorrow is the day - 7 AM PST - Pray for me!!
The dirty deed is done! Thank you Shelly for holding my hand through it all. My dentist was so wonderful, and God was gracious. I'm not in any real pain, but am antsy to DO something and have been ordered to rest for 36 hours. I'll have an implant done when I get to Bozeman. Thanks everyone for your prayers!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Big Picture Friday ...What I Am Leaving Behind

All Around Me...
I've never considered where I live to be particularly beautiful, but when you are leaving a place it changes your perspective. It rained today, and everything looked fresh and alive. I had to try to capture that feeling in a few photos. Now I sit, drinking peppermint tea as rain patters softly on the tin roof above me, and I realize this place holds it's own charms.

Quick Process

We have accepted an offer on the house! It still has inspection, appraisal, etc... So please pray for a quick process! I want to go be with my man!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Swept Away

Ahh! Leavenworth!

James took me away for a couple days before he has to drive to Bozeman while I wait here with the kids for the sale of our home. It was a wonderful getaway.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How much would you pay?


Hardwood floors, freshly painted, nice landscaping, some new appliances, New roof, new doors, forced heat and air, lodge stove, fenced back yard, enclosed shop area.

What would you pay?

I wonder how much it costs to move an entire house to Montana?

While I'm asking questions... why do we wait until we are selling to make our homes look so good? Why do we put things off so long?

I'm enjoying it while I can.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Big Picture Friday

Had to get away from boxes, paint, and work for awhile. James took me to Summer Falls. Autumn was coming.