Saturday, April 12, 2014

On Creativity ... one of my favorite topics (part one)

There are few things in this crazy world of ours that give me energy as much as doing even the smallest creative act.

I have been thinking about creativity this week, as part of the e.course that I am enjoying.

Brene Brown finds that in the middle of grade school, much of a child's natural desire to create comes to a grinding halt. Why? Comparison.

"The comparison mandate becomes the crushing paradox of 'fit in and stand out.' It is not cultivate self-acceptance, belonging and authenticity; it's be just like everyone, but better." (The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown)

My charming 8 and 5 year old friends spent Friday at our house. I gave them some clay to play with. Cole made colorful balls to roll around our wood floors. And Devin set to work creating some art for my new grand daughter, Lily. 

Devin and Cole are comfortable at our house, knowing how much we love them. They are funny and creative. They dance. They sing. They make us laugh.

But already, I hear their concerns of fitting in at school. Having the popular toys. Caring what their friends think.

Comparison, for sure.

What about you? Does comparison keep you from being creative?

I agree with Brene that, "there's no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don't."

Why? Because, we are all "created in God's image." (Genesis 1:27) Look around you ... God is very creative. And so are we ...

Linking with the very creative Soli Sisters. 


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ten Days in March ... On Becoming a Grandma

One forgets how crazy those first days are after giving birth to a baby.

Extreme exhaustion and pain amidst healthy food on pretty plates. Sitz baths and motrin and cups of tea in a favorite mug. No time to shower or floss your teeth, but time to quickly open the beautiful cards and packages that keep arriving in the mail box.

There is little time to process the birth (9#'s 1oz born 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital) because it takes so much energy to learn to feed your baby every two hours. As our friend Kelley said, "Breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart.")

There have been high highs and low lows, wonderful provisions (I am talking about you, Jamie), and a little miracle thrown in, too, on one hard night. Laughter and tears.

And so much thoughtfulness ... 

*beautiful meals brought by friends from church, thoughtfully packaged in old yogurt containers that do not have to be returned

*phone calls and text from out of state family and friends

*a landlord that drops by with goodies "I just baked this morning" 

It has been my joy, these past ten days, to wash dishes, change diapers, bake oatmeal and hang with Lily in the wee hours, so dad and mom can get just a few more minutes of sleep.

Amidst the craziness ... there is Lillian Joy. (Lily, Lillers, LJ, pumpkin patch, Lily skunk cabbage, baby girl, sweet cheeks etc.) She is a beautiful, cuddly, charming and chill baby.

We have been living in a wonderful baby cocoon where one forgets that el trains crash into airports.

I have been home for the weekend, but I cannot wait to go back tonight, because ... I am a grandma

Linking with Jen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Wizard of Oz ... a few memories

I learned two things this year, at the Oscars.

     *I learned that it is the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie montage that they put together.

     *I learned of the singer Pink. She was sharing the stage with musical heavy weights, U2 and Bette Midler.  And, wow, did she ever steal the show with her beautiful rendition of  Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was stunning. (I gave her a standing ovation)

I have several memories of The Wizard of Oz that came to mind ...

     *Memory #1 ~ When I was in the 4th grade, our family (minus my brother, Tom, who spent the summer at a farm with some friends) packed a few bags and moved into two dorm rooms at the University of Washington in Seattle.

In preparation for our move to Viet Nam, my parents were taking classes at the Summer Institute of Linguistics. 

My sisters, Sue, Ruth and I, were busy with our Barbie paperdolls, playing pick up sticks and attending classes for the kids.

We had projects, swimming, and field trips, but our favorite part of the day was when one of the girls gathered us all up and read aloud ... The Wizard of Oz. We were spell bound.

     *Memory #2 ~  Dave traveled often when the girls were little and we passed a lot of that time watching great movies and reading amazing books. (we loved the library)

One of our many favorites that we watched over and over was The Dreamer of Oz, the fascinating story of Frank L. Baum, who authored The Wizard of Oz.

John Ritter played Mr. Baum and his wife was played by Annette O'Toole. (who was in another of our favorites, Girl of the Limberlost) We loved this creative true story.

Of course, my girls read the book many times, too.

     *Memory #3 ~ Who could forget the day Mister Rogers had "the wicked witch of the west" as his guest, to show kids that under all that crazy makeup, there was just a nice sweet girl.

     *Memory #4 ~ And with my name being Glenda, I cannot count the times I have had this conversation: (including just last week with a Starbucks barista)

barista: Can I get your name for this order?

me: Glenda

barista: Isn't Glenda the name of one of the witches
in The Wizard of Oz?

me: Yes, only she spelled it Glinda.

barista: Was she the good witch or the bad witch?

me: (with a tiny bit sarcastic smile) Glinda, was the good witch, of course.

So, the moral of this story ...

     *read tons of good books aloud together
       when your kids are still at home

     *watch tons of great movies together

You will create wonderful memories. And, thanks, Frank L. Baum, for one of our favorites! 

ps. Now, we live in Chicago, just blocks from the home Frank L. Baum lived in while he wrote the wonderful and wacky The Wizard of Oz.

pss. And, thanks Pink, I find myself humming Somewhere Over the Rainbow, 
several times a day. What is it about this song that tugs so on the hearts strings.

image credit 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Catching Up

Life has been a tiny busy lately. Let's see if I can catch you up a wee bit. 

morning after a storm at Cannon Beach

At the end of January, Dave and I were away for three weeks:
     *a WorldVenture conference in Denver

     *visiting family and supporters in Seattle
       and Spokane

     *and ending up at Ecola Bible School in
      Cannon Beach, OR. Dave has taught here
      for 28 years. 

I have had my head in books, preparing to teach Lesson 6 of The Chase for Women@Park. Can you believe these adorable young women have been coming every Saturday morning at 9 a.m? 200 of them.

My topic was "surrender in suffering." If you would like a copy of my talk, e.mail me and I would be glad to send it to you for your encouragement.

We have been excitedly preparing for the birth (very soon) of our first granbaby ... a girl.

I did a "spring clean while it snowed" of Jenny's house, while the girls decorated the nursery.

Jenny made copies from her favorite children's books and framed them. You will see a distinct British theme here.

I hosted a baby shower for Jenny and Daniel. So fun.

And, I have been working on this quilt.  My friend, Becky did the sewing and I did the ironing. Now the hand quilting is my job. I did this blanket stitching while I watched the Oscars. (I will tell you the sweet heart story of this quilt later.)

We have had the charming Devin and Cole for the weekend. We love these kids.

I even snuck in a few coffee dates with Dave.

So, there you have it. A bit of what my past few months have been about. 

What have you been up to?

ps.  Oh yes ... and my car engine blew up, stranding Christy and I on the side of the freeway for 2 hours in 7 degree weather. We were so cold, but safe and sound and even had fun. Looking for a new car. Ugh ... we do not know anything about cars.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

We Are A Bookish Family

We are a bookish family, yes we are. And I love the big book order that comes right before Christmas ... all ready to be wrapped and put under our tree.

The last few years, I have asked everyone what book they wanted for Christmas. Getting just the right one is always fun. This year, my dad send me money to do his shopping ... so I got to get two books for everyone. (double the joy) 

But before I tell you the books I ordered, let me show you the books I received for Christmas.

lucky me
Here are the yummy books I got to give away for Christmas ~

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things That Happened, by Allie Brosh (awesome title)
Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller

Betsey Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellows

Knock Knock Who's There: My First Book of Knock Knock Jokes by Tad Hill

Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Judges for You by Timothy Keller

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

Well, we are a well rounded bunch, yes?

If you know our family, you can probably guess the recipient of each book. (And the knock knock joke book was for our buddy, Cole, not Dave. But they had fun reading it together.)

And, I saved the best book for last. My first book purchase for our, due in 19 days.


A Baby's Blessing by Welleran Poltarnees ~ This book is full of beautiful pictures and wonderful blessings. A few of our favorites:
     *let this baby be welcomed by many, loved by 
       many and known by a myriad of private and
       gentle names

     *let this child be held and warmed and made
      secure in this strange new world

     *let all those who share in this babies growing
      learn from its' laughter and joy.

We read this book of prayers aloud at Jenny's baby shower. Such sweetness.

Well, there you have it ... our Christmas books. Did you get any great books for Christmas?

p.s. A little parental warning ~ It our experience that when you teach your kids to love books, they will grow up and move to third floor apartments with no elevators. More than one time, too. There will be stacks and stack of books to carry up those many long flights of stairs. Thought you would want to know. 


Friday, February 14, 2014

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe and a Cute Belly

Today, I am baking my favorite sugar cookies for Jenny's baby shower tomorrow. Pink hearts for a grand baby. Yup, a girl.

two cute girls
Hmm ... I may need to rename this recipe.

Grand baby Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

add to creamed mixture:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Refrigerate dough. Roll 1/8" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 325 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Do not brown the cookies.

Frosting ~ 3 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1-2 tablespoons milk, pink food coloring.

This recipe is from my friend, Connie, "the cookie lady." You will enjoy this story of how Connie discovered her ministry of cookie baking.

And Happy Valentine's Day, dear friends. Wish I could share a cookie with you.

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