Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Amanda and Julie

Guess what? I haven't been away from home overnight since September. If it weren't for going to work and church and walking Charlie, I might have holed up completely in my house, nary seeing a soul. I'm not used to having to plan my own social life.

The other day Betsy and I realized the lack of fun activities in our lives recently. We decided to plan something on Saturday. But, we had trouble thinking of something exciting to do in February. My first thought was to call Amanda and see what she was doing.

Eventually we took Charlie on a walk downtown. But we must really have had the doldrums because we didn't even stop at Heather and Holly for chocolate or ice cream. Later we ordered a pizza and watched a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Whoot-whoot.

Girls, we need help!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Tulips from my parents for Valentine's Day

Monday, February 25, 2013

Counting money

Thank you to our church treasurer and assistant treasurer for helping us to manage God's resources with honesty and integrity. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I will be glad

and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name,
O Most High.
Psalm 9:2 NIV

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

ESL Grandma

I borrowed a grandma for my writing class last week. Grandma Byler is in Michigan for a few days and she came with me one day to meet my international students. They loved hearing her stories and some of my colleagues wished they could borrow grandmas for their classes. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I am preparing a workshop about homophones and puns. I asked my sister to dig through our family photo archives for this print. It is one of my favorites and too good not to post.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Despite the snow, rain, ice and mud, Charlie is always ready for a walk.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013


 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not slipped. Psalm 17:5 NIV

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013


A phone shot of the flowers Betsy had delivered yesterday for mom and the girls
"What is love?" I asked my students yesterday. They had fifteen minutes to write in their journals and then we talked about it. Some of their responses were profound.
  • Love is the most powerful thing
  • Love is free
  • Love is when someone "sits with you" (I don't understand the entire meaning but this is a significant idea in Saudi culture; a friend is equivalent to someone who sits with you.)
  • Love is caring more for someone else than for yourself
  • Love is when a person comes into your heart

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I have been feeling depressed by the blah, gray days of February. So, looking back on this picture from Sunday morning was a reminder that gray can be beautiful, too. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Are you sure you don't want to give me a treat?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pita and hummus

Before Amanda left for the Dominican Republic, she bequeathed me her tahini (which contrary to some ideas has nothing to do with skimpy swimwear and everything to do with sesame seed paste). When my meeting on Friday was cancelled, due to the weather, I proceeded to make pitas and hummus. It wasn't nearly as good, without Julie and Amanda to share it with.

Monday, February 11, 2013


My Pakistani student was one of the first down the hill.
There was plenty of snow and ice for sledding, skiing, skating and tobogganing Saturday afternoon. Betsy, Libby, Logan, Naomi and I met international students, American students and a couple of teachers at the City Forest. 

The international students weren't the only ones who hadn't been sledding before. It was fellow teacher Aimee's first time to go sailing down a snow-packed hill on a piece of plastic. I offered to accompany her. On our first trip, we were only three-quarters of the way down the hill before we spilled. True to my Michigan up-bringing, I sat up, brushed the snow off my jacket and asked, "Want to do it again?" 

So we climbed the hill and headed down a second time. This time we truly wiped out. Aimee, the sled and I went in three different directions. Snow caked against my socks inside my boots. I struggled up and turned to check on Aimee. She had just picked herself up when, whoosh! A kid on a sled shot down the hill and plowed directly into Aimee. Her feet flew in the air and she landed on top of the kid. It took a minute to untangle the arms, feet and sleds but when they did everyone was laughing and no one was hurt. 

It was a successful introduction to snow fun in Michigan.

It didn't take long for this Saudi student to follow.

The students all seemed to have a blast and didn't complain about being cold!

Another teacher, Che, demonstrates his sledding technique. 

This Brazilian student stood at the top of the hill, looked at the kids sledding and said, "That is dangerous. What parent lets their kids do that?" Eventually, we managed to get her on a sled too.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
Psalm 16:6 NIV

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blue sky

See Amanda, we have blue sky in Michigan too. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Farm dog

and farm cat

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


If Brian's sideburns inspired Brother Byler, just wait until he returns from Florida and sees the new look. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013


Friday was payday. I hadn't gotten paid since before Christmas, so this check was greatly anticipated. Friday morning I went to the grocery store. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013


How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! 
How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:17 NIV

Saturday, February 2, 2013


It's been a rough week. Hundreds of employees at the company where my Dad works have been let go.  

Friday, February 1, 2013


My brother and his wife went to the hardware store this week and came back with boxes of berries. A refrigerated unit on its way to Canada got too cold, resulting in a January strawberry sale in central Michigan.