Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Yesterday I packed up the contents of my desk into two cardboard boxes. Despite teaching eight consecutive semesters at the university, there isn't much job security with a part-time temporary position. I could be called back; it's happened before. But, as of now, I have no guarantee of a pay check next month.  

My security comes from more than a pay check, or a teaching contract. My security comes in my Heavenly Father who has given many promises, which I keep repeating to myself. The part of me that isn't scared is looking forward to watching how He will provide for me in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Wide angle

I picked up a Canon 28-80mm lens at a garage sale on Saturday for $10. That was a blessing since the auto-focus on my 18-55mm lens has been broken for about a year. Much as I love my 50mm prime lens, sometimes I just can't back up far enough. So I am excited to have a usable wide-angle lens again.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Special dishes

My mom's table set for Passover
One of the homemaking lessons that my mom passed on to me (as was passed on to her by her mother) is that holidays, birthdays, and Sunday dinner are made even more special by special dishes. But, she also modeled that the people who gathered around the table are more important than the china that adorns the table. 

I can't count how many glass goblets shattered during Sunday dinner as we were growing up. But, that didn't stop my mom from showing us that we were special by allowing all of us to use her special dishes, though for awhile she bought replacement goblets from the dollar store. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The snow has disappeared (even the snow that came one day this week), the ice has melted, and the grass is starting to turn green. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


After doing my laundry, I realized why my coworkers commented on my blue shirt. Everything else in that load was black or gray.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tax time

Paying income tax is a foreign concept to my Saudi students. There are many aspects of American life that appeal to them, but paying taxes makes them glad they are here on student visas. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


 Naomi created a stunning cake a couple of weeks ago for a dinner with Josh's family in recognition of Josh and Betsy's engagement.

Actually, I got in on the decorating fun too, when I arrived at my parents' house on Saturday afternoon to find Naomi toiling over three heart-shaped cakes and uncooperative frosting. So, I suggested piping a basket-weave pattern on the sides of the cakes and covering the top with bright blue flowers.

The result was a lot more color than I prefer, but Betsy loved it, and Naomi and I had a great, sugary time together.

Monday, April 14, 2014


This pot of parsley wintered in my sunroom. A few weeks ago I was about to give up on it. I trimmed away the brown spindly stalks. Then, a few days later, new sprigs sprouted! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Language table

I was very proud of my students. They created the language table for Passport to the World. One group of students created a multi-media presentation of sound clips of basic phrases in different languages. Another group  designed a poster that answered the questions
  • How many languages are there in the world?
  • How many people in the world speak English?
  • What languages are easiest for native English speakers to learn?
  • What languages are hardest for native English speakers to learn?

The last group of students put together a handout to convince American students to learn another language. Here are their reasons
  • Learn another language for more knowledge.
  • Learn another language to make international students happy.
  • Learn another language because not everyone speaks English.
  • Learn another language to help you to get a good job.
I just love the second reason.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fashion show

The fashion show was one of the highlights of this year's Passport to the World hosted by the English Language Program at SVSU. Traditional clothing from many countries was represented, including clothing from Albania, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, India, Kurdistan (Iraq), Korea, Philippines Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Uganda, Venezuela, Vietnam, and the United States.  

My cousin and three of her daughters representing the Amish of the USA
Saudi Arabia; Hassan (middle) and Amal (right) are two of my students.
(Here is the link to a newspaper article)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blueberry scones

A week break between master's courses allowed me time to bake. The result was blueberry scones with lemon glaze (Here's the basic recipe). Some of the scones appeared for Sunday morning breakfast, while the rest received rave reviews when I took them to work Monday morning.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


 My organized cupboards made me feel so contented that I had to share my happiness with you.

(Julie, please notice the neatly stacked plastic containers)

Monday, April 7, 2014


The snow hasn't completely melted yet, but Libby has started her garden inside. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Usually I am the one teaching the students new words, but sometimes they introduce me to new English words. Such is the case with collywobbles, which has made an appearance in several emails about why students missed class. My expanded vocabulary came in handy last week in an email to my boss about why I wouldn't be work that day.

Friday, April 4, 2014


In reality, pillows don't remain artfully arranged on the sofa

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nessa's birthday

This special girl celebrated her birthday on Sunday with two parents, two siblings, four grandparents, six aunts, four uncles and one uncle-to-be. Along with the people who love her best, the day was made special by a menu worthy of a four-year-old-- hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, and chips, followed by a butterfly cake and five kinds of ice cream.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


 Honestly, a new mixing bowl inspired me to bake and photograph cookies.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014