And then there was the baby

“Last-borns tend to be self-centered, attention-seeking people who will wrestle the spotlight from others if need be.” – from an article on birth-order at a parenting site

stormie at wedding 1087

Not so, our Stormkins. She never fit the profile of the typical baby of the family. She, in fact, nurturing spirit mixed with careful thoughtfulness, is adored by her siblings all, for she has enriched their lives and adds to them as people. She never wrestled spotlights from them nor manipulated to take their place. She is loved deeply for how she has loved them. She is loved fiercely for all the ferociousness with which she has protected and covered and served and loved them.

And on her birthday, they can’t say enough. She is festooned with praises, this particular baby-of-the-family.

stormie and me

Last year on Mother’s Day – I have the black eye. Stormie is flawless.

Can you even imagine what it is like to get to be her parents?

She lives in our town. She lives in a house she is making her own and it is designed with detail, though it may seem quite casual because it is so relaxed and unpretentiously welcoming. But it’s reflective of her utter sophisticated coolness. Everything around her, including the giant German Shepherd, Saber, is structurally Stormie.  Light rebounding from carefully curated usable collections of her heart and soul: her books, her kitchen tools and dishes, her music and her scents - all clues to a most unique and copacetic home owner. No one else could possibly live in that particular early 1900s house. It pulses with the beat of Stormie’s life-giving existence, her panache, her style. Don’t tell her I told you she has one. She would blush.  :)

Stormie – as tagged on FB

stormie on FB

“Tax-Day” forever redeemed. 1986 a best-year ever.

April 15 was never the same after 1986. The IRS never once more could claim this day, for this was the day our family became **7** and it was perfect: Dave and Jeanie (aka dad and mom), Tara**Stephanie**Tredessa**Rocky and finally, fantastically, phenomenally ~ Stormie. Our Stormie Dae (it really was icy and blizzardy on the day she came). And for that matter, of all the things that happened in 1986, jobs and a new house and church stuff and life in general, the *best* thing of the year was having Stormie, a sweet-natured baby who has grown up to become a  trustworthy, responsible, longsuffering, compassionate, missions-minded, loving, doting, worshiping, praying, wry, funny, intuitive, deeply-connected, intensely-loyal, attentive, utterly-amiable and oh-so-likeable girl. I guess she is a woman, but she is my baby girl, too.

“Hold tight to the sounds of the music of living, happy songs from the laughter of children at play…We have this moment today.” I sang this, holding you, when we dedicated you to the Lord (a Gaither song)

Good grief – how did you turn out so well? Must be all those older sisters and that older brother helping hone and shape you.  :)

the seestas on christmas morn in their jammies

So, my sweet baby girl – of course I bless the day you were born. And I bless you.

Let us pray on the occasion of the celebration of your birth and the life you are living:

I pray you live, Stormie, take the deepest breath, inhale the Holy Spirit, the ruach of the LORD, and be energized and live. **Live!** Live deeply and hidden, unseen and true. Live loudly and bright and in the light, in the open, fearlessly. Live to delight the One. And live to make happy the places in you only you and your Maker know anything about. Be quickened and energized with that same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead – let your mortal body reflect the glory of God (remember our homeschool rap from 1 Cor. 6.20, “therefore – glorify God in your body,” haha).

I see His countenance on you, my sweet. I see a twinkle, a sparkle dancing in those eyes.  The stars are casting light on your nights, the sunglow doesn’t match your days. Damn self-sufficiency, baby-love. You could do that in your sleep. You possess fortitude and ability and are able, but you, my daughter, were meant for the wild passions of the things of God. You have tasted eternity on your tongue. Your hair has been blown by the winds of the Holy Spirit. Your heart expands in the Presence, your longing for the Divine opens doors to see Him face to face, to be so close you hear His still, small voice with utter clarity.

You are like David. He did not strive to come out from among the rest. He was doing what he did. He was honoring God and singing songs that blessed the Lord – when no one heard, and no one saw. And God invited him to come out, to come up, to be seen, to do what he was born to do and was already doing in secret places. That is how it is, my sweet. God sees you. He knows you. It’s ok when He calls you forth. You’re no Johnny-come-lately. You are true and real, you are an honest version of who God says you are.

And all the things the enemy has ever done to try to take that away – well, to *h*with the devil. God rebuke the enemy on your behalf, I pray! May God be your Protection, your Guide, your Guard, your Friend, your Father, your All. And when He invites you to the seat of honor, all of us will know why and we’ll be cheering loudly and raucously, Stormie’s fans and family, with hearts fairly bursting in love.

I bless the day you were born and all the days you have left, in Jesus’s Name, in His great love and grace, and with gratefulness for the forgiveness and healing we  have received for all the wounds and wrongs and sins {redemption has come – He has made all things new!}, my darling daughter - in HIS name, I bless you! Amen.

Your momma loves you. Be-member. ;)

The Birthday Blizzard

Right around this time, our spring-season birthdays start appearing in a flurry of cakes & gifts & celebrations!


Amelie Belle was born on a spring day, a few days after Grand-poppa’s birthday. We celebrate them both just as spring has sprung.  Then April happens and things really heat up! Bailey-Baby and Stormie have celebrations. Then we have Tara, Stephanie, Gemma May in May with Gavin, Tredessa and DP just as spring is about to turn in to summer.

Ten peeps of our family-of-20 happen in this one little season.

Then there is Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, May-Day, last day of school, and the sun shines bright in blue skies while flowers emerge in full color and the green grass starts its’ wildly renewed growth as lawnmowers criss-cross over subdivided lots creating  an emerald plaid any leprechaun would be proud to wear.

No wonder I love spring so much!

Plus there are those other people we love, from our families of origin (like my Mamala in early June). And ~ who remembers what I was doing on Stormie’s birthday (April 15) last year very early in the morning??? That is right! I was helping birth baby-boy Wryder of Holyoke. Now – I didn’t do much of the birthing work – that was his mom, but I sure do think that kid is handsome! He and his sweet sister dropped by for a few minutes Saturday afternoon and I got dandelions. :)


LOVE these people – so glad they were all born to be in my life!

My little brother, Tim, just had a birthday Friday.  I called him “the gorgeous one in the family” and he acted surprised. Please. He’s a handsome fella and he knows it. Plus – he is an excellent Elvis impersonator. I will try to share video with you sometime on that.

joey and timmy november 1964

Joey was 3 1/2 and Timmy was 1 1/2 in this November 1964 photo.

And tomorrow is Joe’s birthday. He was my first younger sibling and has been my most enduring friendship. I wish he were here today with his guitar and we were singing and reminiscing on life because no one else on earth shares as much early-life history with me. He knows where the bodies are. I mean, there was my mom, but Joey saw things from my eye-level. And I will always have the Joey-Joey-Joey-Joey down in my heart.

Here is a song for you, Joe-Joe, to say I LOVE you on your birthday! “May your party never stop”

And the years go by

And we don’t know where they went

We just let them fly

‘Cause they were all heaven-sent

We’re on borrowed time

And we still owe half the rent

For soaking up the sunshine

‘Til we’re dead gone

We will laugh until we drop

Here’s your birthday song

May your party never stop

Singing on and on

We go stumbling down the block

Soaking up the good wine  –Chris Trapper

Speaking of blizzards -

Must be Springtime in the Rockies because is was hot-hot-hot yesterday and today – sleet and snow. Good grief.

But just beyond the white, dancing flakes, where the birds frolic and sing anyway, I see the pink blossoms of the flowering pear tree just next to the sunny yellow, forsythia. I am not deterred in my springtime hope…Oh it is true:

“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.

Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”  ~Song of Solomon 2.11-13

It’s the season of celebrations and many birthdays. It’s the season of singing.

Dear David Cassidy,

That’s right. I am in my fifties and writing a fan letter like I’m 11. What of it???

Happy Birthday, David Cassidy, oh love of my young life, increasingly admired the world over, outrageously talented, perpetually youthful and darling boy of the 70s-set

david cassidy dot com 1


Happy Birthday, David Cassidy.

I always remember your birthday. It doesn’t matter that I am getting {way} older (I have a huge family and  9 grandbebes now, David Cassidy!) and that somehow – you are having birthdays, but still not getting older (at least not where I have you in my memories). But I always remember.

I may or may not have mentioned you on this very blog a time or two. Or thirteen. Whatever.

How are you, birthday boy? You doing ok? You doing better?

Because I don’t like seeing mug shots of you on seedy websites. I don’t like thinking about the pain of life that caused you to turn on yourself, or hearing you’re making choices that could be disastrous for you and others. Not at all. You are better than that. That isn’t you – that isn’t what you were born to do or to be.

And I am not just saying that because I am some raving-lunatic fan who thinks she owns you and can tell you what to do. That’s not me. I am actually rather sensible. And I only visit a few times a year, just to check in. Like on April 12th.

I am just saying it because you were born with a gift and you worked to build a platform and you should be very careful with that. Don’t give anyone a reason to trivialize the good you have done in your life, who you really are.

You are beloved and adored and have a long-lasting fan base (like me) and you still have so much talent to share, songs to sing, smiles for heart-melting. You have influence and admiration. You still have the power to make an impact.

So be very careful, David Cassidy. Be very careful with all you have worked for and with all that was divinely bestowed and guard your heart with gusto. Take advantage of support and any help that is offered.

Then be David Cassidy. Because everybody LOVES him!

And, David Cassidy? You are invited to any of our family functions anytime. Bring your guitar and we will all sing along (my kids have twice surprised me with a song of yours – best gifts ever!**).  Anytime, really!

Have a happy birthday, David Cassidy, a really happy, joy-filled, sweet-peace and satisfaction kind of day. You were born the hero in a wonderful lyric-and-melody-filled story (Psalm 119.13-16). It is treasure. Guard it and share it. Happy Day, David Cassidy.  :)

Singing along since September of 1970, {Jeanie}.

I know it is silly. But I still love me some David Cassidy!

**My kids: & because I taught them good music!


Bailey is ONE!

Baby Bailey-Sophia ~

Light as air, soft as the Pillsbury Doughboy, sweet as cotton candy, and pretty as a sunny, April day – oh, yes, that is you, little bundle of love!

The day you came was a miraculous, divine, lovely day, indeed. You came strong and healthy and full of life and I got struck by the invigorating trail of  your refreshing, buoyant arrival. I had stars in my eyes for days – new, beautiful, dark-haired, ravishing beauty. Oh you made life so happy!

bailey newborn

Now, sweet little baby girl – you’re one. You’re one in a million. You’re one of a kind. You’re one of three sweet sisters and one step ahead of us now that you know you can be. You’re one happy little girl and you’re one contented baby. You’re one big blessing to us all and one of the babies we like to brag about. You’re such a special ONE!

bailey 3 months

My blessing on you, Baby-Bailey~

bailey in black and white by stephanie

Photo by Stephanie

Oh, Jesus – you see this girl and you see the delight and joy she has brought to our hearts. Watch over her always. Protect her. Be her nourishment and Healer. Feed her from Your table of goodness. Walk with her.  Talk with her. Share Your secrets with her.

We give her back, out of gratefulness and deep love, to You, Savior of the world! She is Yours and we give her to You to teach and lead and guide and love and lavish good things upon and oh, do please dance over her with rejoicing!

May all the days of Bailey’s life, all the days that were written in Your book, Lord, before she was even one day old – may they bring You a smile, may they bring you honor, may they reflect Your glory ever and always. May she receive from Your abundance, just as we read about in John 1.16, ONE gracious blessing after another ONE gracious blessing after another ONE…and so on.  I know it pleases You to love her even more than we do. So, do – and let it be evidenced her whole life through! AMEN!

bailey and sisters

Bailey-baby, your Nonna is wildly in love with you. I am just crazy about you and I will always be on your side!  {love x 1000, Nonna}

xoxoxo bailey in pigtails bd

Oh, don’t do that

And so, I preach to myself…

Don’t do that, my sweet.  Don’t dismiss some one else’s pain and affliction with pompous platitudes and sanctimonious scrutinies.  Don’t rattle off Bible verses like an automatic machine-gun clip meant to prove your prophetic prowess and settle your spiritual superiority. Remember how that cuts.

you are valuable quote

Don’t speak of the weak with haughtiness, as if you can possibly know the attack they have just endured.  Don’t dismiss the sensitive soul for feelings that are transparent.  Don’t assume because you can see the tears that they are weaklings, inconsequential, insubstantial  humans too fragile to be of value to kingdom warfare.  Disclosing pain doesn’t reveal a flimsy, powerless soul, but a heart of flesh, not yet gone to stone.

There is nothing wrong with that.  Feeling agony while suffering through a situation almost unbearable to share is not a sign of ineptitude or of being some feeble, worthless body part.

leave your capativity scripture quote

Be encouraged.

note to self, more than to anyone else…when I am tempted to roll my eyes and dismiss some one who is not as strong as I think I am… {bleh}

…how do we see the life of Jesus and act so contrary and haughty?  how do we have the written words of God and still not understand that it is not by strength, nor by human power in any way that accomplishes anything at all, ever?  it is by His Spirit.  get off your high-horse, self.  the way up is down.  the first shall  be last.  don’t despise the weakest one just because you can…because that is where His power will be made strong…

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.   Matt. 5

Be nice. For the love.

cheered up the sad print from etsy
 Etsy Print by romawinkel

Thought Collage Thursday // shameless

It’s a shame isn’t it?

When you catch one of those awful, terrible, no-good, super-nasty, gross and disgusting food bugs and the meal you had last gets the blame – so sad, ne c’est pas? It might be your famous chili recipe or KFC, but whatever was “in there” when it hit, that horrid ugga-bugga, well – you won’t like that food again for a long time, a very long time. It’s the blame game.

I am a grape

So says one of those online quizzes:

You are Grape

You’re adaptable and intelligent. Always one step ahead of the rest, your friends often rely on you to know the answer to any question or help update their resumes. If everyone would just let you write ‘The Rules for Life’ that everyone must follow, the world would be a better place.

You can’t argue with truth. That last sentence pretty much sums it all up.

“Nothing stays in Vegas” – Gretchen Rubin

Probably good to remember that.

#tbt Throwback Thursday

Easter 1970. I actually asked to have my hair fixed like that. My mom’s friends took me along to a beauty shop the day before and they ratted and spray and piled and swirled. It’s all my hair. I had to sleep with toilet paper wrapped around it, haha! I felt like such a mature church lady.  Oh my.

Easter 1970

Remember when these trucks delivered potato chips right to your door? No? No one else is that old?


We never had potato chip delivery, but our friends, the Courtneys did! And oh how fun it was to look in the pantry and see several giant cans of potato chips there for the snacking.

Those were the days!

When the chips are down

There is a major non-chip chip craze happening. Potato chips are out. But kale chips are in.  And spinach chips, turnip chips, zucchini chips are all ok. Butternut squash chips, eggplant chips, Brussels sprouts chips, and beet chips are on the acceptable list. And of course apple chips are fine, and carrot fries – not a chip, but who doesn’t love a fry?

But check this out – right now, while the spring radishes are large and well-hydrated and tasty, but not too spicy from the heat of summer, I just found out you can make radish chips – which was actually what got me on the chip train, anyway. I was enjoying a whole bowl full of beautiful red radishes and wondering if anyone in the course of humanity has ever cooked them (I am very sheltered) and OF COURSE they have. Radish Chips. I shall try them soon and report back! CLICK FOR RECIPE

Possible Chip Theft!

Speaking of which  – I just pinned a paint-chip birthday “cake” on Pinterest, but Pinterest has an awful lot of “paint chip” projects that may or may not be using stolen paint chips.  I mean , ok, maybe make yourself a bookmarker with a paint chip from Home Depot once you have chosen a color and are finished with it. Maybe even make 6 notecards using them, but when you are covering an entire wall in paint chips – I am thinking you are not buying enough paint to cover that expense. I suspect you only buy the mis-mixed paints on occasion.

paint chip cake

And I sincerely hope you’re not ordering paint and returning it to re-buy it cheaper later because that would be way bad! Let us not steal paint chips, people.

We should all give up our shame for Easter

Since Jesus died to set us free from the law of sin and death and everything…don’t ya think?

“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”  -Brene Brown

I have been thinking a lot about shame and how it sticks to us like glue and we walk around under the weight of it. And I just wanted to say, to anyone I have ever cursed by saying, “Shame on you,” I do hereby withdraw it and strongly encourage you to be free from it. Really – run like the Dickens, as they say – I take it back, I release you from it. DON’T be ashamed anymore.

As a priest in the kingdom of God, I can pretty much do that.

In fact, let me turn it around. I’ll trade you:

Don’t be ashamed. Be forgiven, if there is something that needs forgiven. You know how, right? “If we confess our sins, He [Jesus] is faithful and just and He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1.9) So – do that simple thing and be forgiven.

Or, don’t be ashamed. Because I was maybe judging you wrongly and made you feel bad when I shouldn’t have. In which case, please be blessed, instead. I approve you, I esteem you now. Better than that, God does. All good things are from Him, so please avail yourself of them and forgive me for making you feel shame or ashamed.

 “Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

 This week’s mission: be shameless.  :)

A man falls in a hole…

From The West Wing, season two, Leo to Josh – when Josh is covering his deepest fears (and post-trauma, troubled behavior) so he won’t lose his job/identity/purpose/friends/center-

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.

A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on

Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole.

Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’”

First minute and a half:

Sometimes people fall into holes too deep to climb out on their own. Don’t ask me how I know. Sometimes, if not for the one voice saying, “I’ll help you out, you’re worth fighting for,” we’d fall deeper, become more lost than ever.

That West Wing exchange (I am watching it on Netflix, currently), reminded me of this RSA Short. It’s an incredibly smart animation of a Brene Brown talk about empathy and it makes me so mad at myself for all the times I have been the person looking down in the hole offering a sandwich or a silver lining or an “At least…”

And it makes me so thankful for the times I have thought I was doomed to die in the hole, alone, afraid, trying so hard to look like I meant to be there and had it all under control, and some one just came and picked up the burden with me – even when I couldn’t ask for help out.

True confession: I have been among those people standing on the sidelines, shaking our stupid heads, giving dumb narrative to stories we can’t comprehend.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4.15-16 NIV

I am so grateful that Jesus still shows up, through flesh and blood people, He remains touched by the very feelings of our infirmities. He enters our chaos and our pain in the form of a friend with skin on. And through people so like Him they fairly glow reflecting HIs true nature, we are led out of captivity, out of the hole.

And finally, we can become those who can now (ridding ourselves of the head-shaking and wholly unhelpful commentary) jump in and comfort and help others out of their steep despair.

What a great plan. Jesus in us.

There is Hope for a Tree // Song for a Sunday

Job 14 yet at the cent of water

It’s spring, but still the trees are bare, save for the few buds beginning to emerge. On frosty, gray mornings, even though the grass is slowly greening, it can still look like winter and feel like it, too.  We can start wondering – will spring will ever come again? Will this deathly, barrenness last forever?

I was reminded again recently that we don’t have an enemy who is just there to annoy us. He isn’t a comical character with a pitchfork who has just come to tempt us or trip us into sin. He has come to kill, to steal from us and to destroy our lives. We get cut and sometimes everything we have tried build gets knocked down, destroyed. And we’re shocked. We’re surprised it could happen when we were following all the Christian “stuff” like living for God, reading the Word, spending time in worship, attending a good Bible-believing church. Etc.

In this world you will have trouble, “Jesus said. What did we think He meant?

I’m surprised that I am still surprised at the enemy’s tactics, that though I have lived surrounded by God’s faithfulness, I still fear winter has come for good. I forget so quickly that He also said, “But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

I smell hope. Could new life be just around the corner?

At the scent of water…

There is hope for a tree. If it’s cut down, it will sprout again…

Last summer I fought the battle of the Cottonwoods and the Aspens. We landscaped our back yard from dirt ten years ago. Today it is full of bushes and trees and flowers and veggies, come summer. It is lush, verdant, full of living things.

Those first trees were coaxed, kissed, sweet-talked: Please grown here, little trees, please bring me shade and thrive.

Now though, the yard is fairly bursting with goodness and life {quite overgrown and out of control, actually} and years of compost and hearty feedings and love and attention have created living, oxygenated wonderland so that now Aspens and Cottonwoods try to hold conventions here. I barely turn my back and another hidden seed has become a viable seedling, planted snugly in fertile ground.

I consider it carefully {should it stay?}, but most times, I need to remove them or they’ll damage a pipeline or cover the vegetable gardens. I try pulling them out. There! Got most of the root I think. A few days later, proud, bright green leaves unfurl on sturdy, baby branches.

Foiled, I get the heavy-duty pruners out and I cut and I mangle and I damage them badly – on purpose. There, I think! Now it’s gone. But, no. New shoots, new leaves.

I generally cannot help but smile and actually am encouraged that, though the gardener has tried her best to get rid if it, another little tree has fought for life. The secret of existence anyway has been the roots were taking hold, establishing before I was even aware. My attack doesn’t have the effect I think it will because I have no idea how long those roots have been at work, of what has been happening under the surface. How true of you and me, too…

“Be well-balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.”  1 Peter 5.8-9 Amp

Like a tree – you may have been cut down, the enemy bent on stealing your identity, your life, your peace, your reason for living, and destroying the things you held dear. But that other tree, the one on which Jesus died with all the bloody hope that was buried that day, changes EVERYthing.

When Jesus emerged in an explosion of dazzling, bright light and life three days later, with the keys of death, hell and the grave jingling in His hands, our Risen Savior proved that being buried, cut down to the root, couldn’t stop the plan of God – not for Jesus, not for us. Regardless of what it looks like on the surface, no grave can hold you down, no death sentence, no curse, no sin, nothing.

At the scent of water, it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant…

Hear this :: Physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, sickness, inoperable tumors, cancer treatments, a ‘stage 4′ diagnosis, chronic pain, relational brokenness, financial ruin, disenfranchisement, illegitimate chastisement, paralyzing fear, suicidal torment, shame that flattens, depression, humiliation, guilt that shatters, fearful thoughts, unholy imaginations, competitive people, rejection, divorce, heartbreak, job loss or layoff  - Anything and Everything that the enemy has tried on you or stolen from you, may this now be the scent of water before the rains even fall and may the roots you have sunk deep into the mercy of Jesus see you through to renewal and transformation, and a spring-green, hope-filled life!

Zechariah 10.1

Hear this as a love song from the Father~to you.

Is that the scent of rain on its’ way?

romans 15

Thought Collage Thursday // crumbs from dimly-lit corners

I’m behind on my reading.  So what’s new?

I tried to join The Empty Shelf Challenge the week between Christmas and New Years. I made myself this handy little chart and started reading like a mad woman (for me, anyway). But I’ve lost some steam. Also, I m actually reading almost everything on Kindle and I am not falling in love with digital reading. I could always fall asleep reading, but I think the light is messing with my melatonin.

Plus, I am also currently reading 6 books (never, ever one at a time, seriously), but I am a little bit uncommitted.

Every year I swear I’ll complete the reading of 52 books. Every year I am wrong.

empty shelf book challenge

My top three so far: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (on a 3rd read-through because I need it and I’m in a club) and Becoming Myself by Staci Eldredge.

I should be through the 13th book by now…How are you doing on reading in 2014? Will you make your goals? Do you think I will? Be nice.

Life is a Mixtape by Handz on Etsy

How much do you think I love this? Yep. That much. The whole shop is filled with the cutest prints! Click above to go see!

etsy by handz
The red-back hymnal gets noticed

I have a hymnal collection and I loooooooooove it and really the only hymnal glaringly missing, the one I probably should own,  is the red-backed hymnal I grew up with. It’s actually the one I can still name song and page number to, but I got rid of the ones I had a few years ago…because I needed some distance. But I am ready to embrace a copy now.  Especially now that it has gone and been honored on TBN’s presentation Of the Southern Gospel Music Guild’s annual Harmony Honors, which was hosted by Jason Crabb, the other night.

red back church of god hymnal

This year the Harmony Honors recognized Pathway Press as publisher of the classic “Red Back” Church Hymnal, used by thousands of churches across the South for over sixty years. Generations of gospel groups have dipped into the depths of the old “Red Back” hymnal for classic quartet and convention songs…

One day, I may even be able to come to page 333 (“Ill Fly Away”) without cringing. One day.


Ombre hair is beautiful. But the ends should be lighter. The roots, darker. It should be like this:

three examples of ombre hair

Not this!  And NO – this is NOT me!!! But, it will be soon if something doesn’t happen…

growing out the gray

Time to re-color, but dang-it – I cannot get the dark stuff out I used last summer!

I started going dark brown around Christmas of 2012 and got really bold with it last June. I did this extremely deep black-brown and loved it, twice.  But since, I have re-colored with brown, medium brown and light brown and I have tried color-stripper on it twice. That stuff stinks to high heaven – like rotten eggs for a week! Yuck. Just by the sheer torture I have put it through, my hair has faded some, but not all the way.

I am ready to go back to something lighter that will, *ahem, not be so highly contrasted with some certain, shall we call them, silvery strands that wish to take over my head?  What in the world?  Wigs may be my only, true hope…


This is one pretty mannequin, huh?    Wig, $33.99 {source}

I swear the stores are full of Joey Buttafucco pants right now

That cannot be coming back, can it?  Lord, help us all!

joey buttafuco oants 2014

jogger pants charlotte russe

They are being paired with cropped tops so you can get the full effect and that isn’t going to make anybody’s butt look bigger.  Nooooo….just keep telling yourself that.

You had no idea what an artist I am, did you?

draw something

Wanna play Draw Something with me?

#tbt Throw-Back Thursday

This is my Grandpa and Grandma Allison and their little brood, circa 1944 or 45. I wish I’d seen this when my kids were little, I’d have tried to replicate it-you know I would have. I also had 4 daughters and one son.

Left to right, Grandpa is holding Aunt Judy, Aunt Helen was the oldest sister in the middle back, Aunt Pat near Grandpa, my mom near Grandma. Uncle Cab was on Grandma’s lap. My mamala is about 5 in this picture and I can so see the sweet gentle spirit she still possesses.

Grandma and Grandpa, also known as the epic, life-long lovers, Opal & Everett (click here), have gone on to heaven now. I don’t know, in the history of mankind, if there has been a man who loved his wife like my grandpa loved his. He adored her all the way to the end. I come from love, deep love.

My treasured Aunt Helen passed away over 20 years ago, much too young. Uncle Cab died a year and a half ago, the nicest man.

Here is my mom with her first granddaughter. Tara was about 6 or 8 months old. My raving-beauty mom was 41.

Norma Jean and Tara Jean
Norma Jean and Tara Jean – two of my life’s most important, most admired women.

I am sick

I don’t feeeeeeel good today. Weak, shaky, nauseous…But I think Dairy Queen could help?

You can change the world on Thursday

People think that you have to do something huge, like go to Africa and build a school, but you can make a small change in a day. If you change Wednesday, then you change Thursday. Pretty soon it’s a week, then a month, then a year. It’s bite-size, as opposed to feeling like you have to turn your life inside out to make changes.  -Hoda Kotb

Go, make the world a better place! Let’s meet back here next Thursday.  :)