Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Second cousins

Hadassa and Austin

Thursday, December 26, 2013


There are many disadvantages of the old door in my sunroom, including the crack in the wood that I can see light through and the fact that I'm afraid to open it this time of year for fear it won't shut again. But, it does provide a lovely medium for frost patterns on the window panes. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


The days are getting longer again. Hurrah!

Monday, December 23, 2013


The day after Libby finished her final exam in her last class, she came over to the Cookie house and we baked cookies. Both of us have had very full semesters and haven't had time to spend in the kitchen, so we were happy to be able to bake together. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013


The last two years Betsy purchased a wreath for the Cookie house. This year, her coworker's child wasn't selling wreaths as a fundraiser. So, Betsy bought me a wire frame and I made my own wreath. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Stove cleaning

One of Julie's jobs at the Cookie house is tending our pellet stove. Daily she hauls in the 40 pounds bags of sawdust pellets from the garage and once a week she cleans the inside of the stove.

It's a job that she excels in much more than I do. Not only can she heft those bags of pellets, but she also doesn't forget to empty the ash tray at the bottom of the stove.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Tuesday morning we dropped Julie at the airport and I came home to an empty house.

Every evening we would make a pot of tea and then sit in front of the fire chatting and sipping our tea. Some days we made two or three pots of tea. I wish we could forever stay in the routine of drinking tea together in the evening, but she is returning for another year in Zambia, Africa. 

Saying good-bye for the second year might have been more difficult than it was when she left last year. Despite our best efforts, it's impossible to drink a year's worth of tea in one month. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


We went caroling after church on Sunday. It was cold.

Monday, December 16, 2013

At the Cookie house

Friday, after singing at the Dow Gardens, the carolers converged at the Cookie house for cookies and hot chocolate.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The bat

 who came to Sunday school.

It was highly entertaining. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

At home with

a fire and tableful of snacks to share with sisters and friends--just about the perfect way to spend the evening.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookie exchange

Confession: I didn't take any cookies to the cookie exchange.

Last week was crazy busy and stressful for me with end-of-the-semester responsibilities both as a student (6 credits completed toward my master's degree) and as a teacher (teaching a writing class, tutoring, and coordinating student support services). I didn't have time to bake cookies.

My mom assured me that was okay. She remembered years ago when she was overwhelmed with caring for children and a house and didn't have time to make cookies. Her mom not only baked cookies for her and but also watched my siblings and me so that she could attend the party. So, my mom was more than happy to pass the favor on to me. Thanks, mom. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Plant survey


4, 5, 6

7, 8, 9



12, 13, 14



17, 18, 19 (don't count the deceased lavender plant)
 20, 21, 22 (also, don't count the basil that gave up the ghost when the weather turned chilly)

 23, 24

25, 26

27 (count the parsley; there's still hope)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Soup day

 The whole crew came over for soup supper the day after Thanksgiving. It gave me the opportunity to utilize my soup tureen

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013


I dislike most shopping.
I even hate some types of shopping.
Usually I can think of excuses to postpone shopping trips.

So, I was in dire psychological state last Saturday when I thought I would have to go to the mall. 

As part of my job of Student Support Service Coordinator, I organized a contest to see which student would log the most hours in our language lab. If you have a contest, you need prizes, which means someone has to go shopping.

I was planning to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales, but then our end-of-the-semester party was moved up a week. There wouldn't be time to ship the prizes. So, I realized I would have to shop in an actual store on Monday. But, then on Saturday, my tutoring schedule changed and Monday was too full to go shopping. I needed to purchase the prizes on Saturday. So, I sat in my parents' living room and tried to psyche myself into going shopping at the mall.

It didn't work. 

But, praise the Lord, I found an alternative plan.

The internet is wonderful. So is my aunt.

I went to the online store. I selected the merchandise and paid for it while sitting on my parents' couch. Then my aunt, who loves shopping and was already at the mall, simply picked up the purchases.

My thanks overflowed.