Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011


But he knows the way that I take;
when he has test me, I will come forth as gold.
Job 23.10 NIV

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Plant census

Upstairs bathroom
In one of my favorite children's books, The Plant Sitter by Gene Zion, Tommy's life becomes overrun with plants when he agrees to care for neighbors' plants while they are on vacation. Were I to accept responsibility for all the plants in our house, I might have nightmares with Tommy. 

Parents' room
I took a census of our houseplants yesterday. Here are the results:

B-L-N's room
  • Kitchen, 0
  • Dining room, 4
  • Living room, 3
  • Schoolroom, 18
  • Downstairs bathroom, 3
  • Laundry room, 2
  • Hallway, 0
  • Brian and Logan's room, 3 
  • Amy and Julie's room, 5
  • Betsy, Libby and Naomi's room, 3
  • Parents' room, 4
  • Upstairs bathroom, 3



Friday, February 25, 2011


Quonset hut

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tissue toss

A pictorial representation of my current state of health.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another idiom

My sidekick was at college yesterday afternoon and was unable to assist me as I explored the intricacies of the English language. I think she consumed the best of the bananas before she left. Thus, this is my feeble attempt at portraying an idiomatic phrase.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Inside pets

Mom took the schoolchildren on a field trip to the pet store, Friday afternoon. Libby returned with two new pets to feed, clean, observe, and generally dote upon. Along with her barn animals, Libby now cares for two inside pets--a Betta fish and a Hermit crab.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Barn peak

Peak property ideal for constructing your dream nest. Now accepting applications for summer 2011. Space is limited--act today to reserve your barn-front abode! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011


A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.   ~C.S. Lewis

Saturday, February 19, 2011


(and yellow)

Friday, February 18, 2011



Thursday, February 17, 2011


If I didn't know better, I might think spring were here. Yesterday the sun shone, birds sang, snow drifts melted and the Road Commission applied seasonal weight restrictions on trucks hauling loads on the roadways. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Barnyard sculpture

Museums and libraries aren't the only places that display modern art in their courtyards. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sudanese cuisine

Finger food Friday night was more exotic than sloppy joes and potato chips. Our meal, at least the recipes, originated in Africa.

One of Amanda's friends spent Friday preparing dishes and sharing about Sudanese culture. The guys gathered around the dining room table to sample salad (yogurt with shredded cucumber and carrots), the staple bean dish (pronounced fool), lentils, and soup (poured over torn-up bread). The ladies' group was a bit more authentic, since we gathered around a tray set on a stool. But no matter which group, the rule of etiquette was simple--don't use your left hand to tear off a piece of bread and dip it in the common dishes.

In Sudan, the men are always served first and the women and children wait to eat until the men have had enough. Though the ladies were in another room, we received the impression that the menfolk would have preferred sloppy joes for dinner. That was in our favor, because even with adolescent boys there were still plenty of lentils for the ladies after the men were served. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's day

One of the roses in the bouquet my Dad gave my Mom

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness (winterness*) will rejoice and blossom.
Isaiah 35:1 NIV 
*Michigan paraphrase

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sled hill

Sometimes you have to build your own sled hill.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hamlin Dam, Ludington, Michigan

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Accompanied by our friends Rebecca and Lydia, Julie, Betsy and I braved pseudo-arctic conditions at Ludington State Park on Saturday morning. Believe it or not, by the time I climbed the last icy dune I was sweating enough that I unzipped my jacket and unwound my scarves.

Snow fence on the beach

Chocolate-vanilla swirl

Lydia, Julie, Betsy, Rebecca

My skis

What we saw when we finally climbed the last snow/ice dune

Monday, February 7, 2011


Breathtaking is an accurate description of our visit to the North Breakwater in Ludington, Michigan on Friday afternoon. The beauty of the snowy beach figuratively took our breath away, while the wind literally took it away. 

Julie, Betsy and I employed snowshoes and cross country skis to trek across the beach and scale snowdrifts taller than us. Snow and wind from Wednesday's storm formed huge snow-dunes that we conquered. 

On Friday, we watched the waves knock against the glacier-like formations at the shore of Lake Michigan. For a second, particles of water formed patterns in the air. Then they dropped to freeze into yet another layer of ice at the water's edge.

It was beautiful. It was incredible. It was cold.

I loved it.

Photo credit: Betsy Cook

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Ludington State Park

The wind blows wherever it pleases. 
You hear its sound, but you cannot tell 
where it comes from or where it is going. 
So it is with everyone born of the SpiritJohn 3:8 NIV

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I toss my dirty clothes in the hamper and they return clean and ready to be hung in my closet or placed in my drawer. I am thankful.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Julie was ecstatic when she received the pay stub from her first pay check. A couple of weeks ago, she landed a part-time accounting position with a non-profit organization that provides low-income housing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Our driveway, Wednesday morning

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Yet four more of the strangest phrases in American English. Can you identify the idiom represented by each image?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


(I told you we love holding that baby)