Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday morning

Monday mornings will usually find me hanging out with this adorable one and her sweet mom ...

This week, they are visiting dear friends in Minnesota.

Monday morning has still been good ... just a little quieter. Extra time for tea and coffee. (always tea first)

For years, I have collected small pitchers from our travels.

We Childers women are all on a downsizing kick. As I have been sorting, I was reminded again how much I love my little pitchers, so I have been using them more. 

Tea and coffee with milk in a pitcher ... perfect for Monday morning.

And, this Monday morning, I have been studying.


So much planning and prayer has gone into our study of Philippians, that begins this Saturday morning. We have over 200 women signed up, but there is still room for you.

It is a funny faith stretching thing to accept a teaching invitation. (I am teaching 2 of the lessons) This morning, I began the portion that I will be teaching.

It rather freaked me out ... it is a very hard and complicated passage. After I settled down, I began to get excited, as this is the very passage God has designed for me to teach. I wonder what I will learn?

I would love your prayers, as I prepare lesson 5 and lesson 8. My wisdom will get us a little ways for a little while ... but we desire God's wisdom that lasts forever. Thanks, friends.

Linking up with dear Jen and the Soli Sisters 

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Had My Day In Court

Tucked in the middle of a really good mail day, (lots of Christmas cards) I found a jury summons for January 5.

It took me awhile to make peace with this white, very legal looking, piece of paper with my name on it. (why me? why now? why on the first day of Dave's new job? why on a -20 degree day? why criminal court? etc.)

Dave read some reviews of this court, so sent me off with plenty of quarters, bottles of water, lunch and his prayers.

Christy gave me a ride and prayed for me, too. So off I went.

Getting through the security and metal detector, in this very busy courthouse, felt a little like I was being ushered into jail. There were lots of uniformed folks yelling. Yelling a lot. 

And, one sweet sheriff who made direct eye contact with me and smiled.

I spent a quiet few hours in a very comfortable jury room, working on my Precept Philippians Bible Study, before my number was called. (my tiny way of adding some light to a rather dark place)

Then off to a court room for jury selection for a ... double murder trial. Oh my.

60 potential jurors and they needed 14 people.

Again, it took me awhile to make my peace with this. I did come to a place of trusting that God really was in control and if I got chosen, He would see me through.

The judge called up 14 potential jurors for questioning. My name was not called.

This was an interesting thing to watch, especially with the alleged murder suspect sitting right there.

And the judge was rather mean and shamed based. He made fun of a women who did not speak fluent English etc. I was not fond of him.

After several hours, they did not have enough jurors, so they called up a second set of 14. They did not call me.

By now, I know, I will not have to serve. And, Illinois is a one day jury system. If you are not chosen the first day, you are done. I was grateful, I did not have sit on a double murder trial.

Here is what I learned when I had my day in court.

     *I feel really nervous in situations where I have
no control. 

     *I am very unhappy when people are treated rudely by someone in authority.

     *I love the simple act of one person, the smiling sheriff, who did her best to make a difference.

     *Throughout the day, I felt extreme pride and gratefulness, for my dad and my, who regularly go into jails to bring hope to inmates. 

     *And, choosing good judges really matters. This guy may have been a fair judge, but I sure did not like his manners.

Have you ever served on a jury?


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why I (still) Love January and Tips to Help You Love January, too.

There seems to be two camps of thinking about the month of January. I, for one, am deeply entrenched in the camp that believes January is a beautiful month.

Here are a few tips to help you move a few steps closer to enjoying this delicious month.

1. Fine tune your Christmas decorations, so they are easy and quick to take down. 

This was a picture I took two years ago. I have since gotten rid of everything that does not give me lots of joy. I now have just 3 Christmas bins.

There is no reason to be grouchy before the month even begins. :)

2. Stock up on all your favorite hot beverages. I  think of January as a cozy month, which means favorite mugs and favorite drinks.

We had a mini-crisis the other morning, when we thought we were out of Tetley tea. We dug around and found one last box. Phew.

3. To compensate for all the fun lights of Christmas that are now packed away, I add a few things for sparkle in January.

     * I add a string of lights to the bookcase. These fun floral lights are from IKEA.

     * I love to put candles ... everywhere.

     *I use reflective surfaces. I love this pewter piece from Germany. It is part of a communion service. And the silver pedestal was a wedding present, 37 years ago. (this is the top of our television cabinet) 

4. Choose one area of your home to decorate in a new way.

This year, I challenged myself to do the mantel using only things I already had AND things I had never put on the mantel before. (with the exception of the Mt. Rainer picture which is always up for winter)

The fish plate was chosen for its shape and sentimental value. It is from Viet Nam, where I grew up. I loved the texture of the bamboo tray. And, I wasn't ready yet to put away all of the Christmas advent art from True Cotton.

Dave brought this beautiful vase home for me from Romania. The typewriter is from Home Goods.

5. Do something fun and new. Read some new books, try a new recipe, find a new route for your morning walk. New is good for a new year. 

I chose for my new thing, to sign up for Jeanne Oliver's amazing (and free) on.line course, Becoming: the Unfolding of You.

It is great. Eight weeks with 22 different women teaching from their life story on our identity in Christ and then sharing something creative from their lives.

The spiritual content has been amazing, but I am also really inspired by the creative bits. In the first lesson, Jeanne showed us how she decorates her mantle.

Jeanne likes to use something fresh from her yard, even in the winter. I liked this idea, so I went to our alley and clipped a few branches from my neighbor, Amy's, Christmas tree. (an interesting tidbit about Chicago is that if you want to get rid of anything, put it in the alley and it will be gone, usually within the hour)

Pretty, eh? 

6. Use your Christmas gifts. Read the books your kids gave you, watch the movies, get the massage from the gift card. (I wish) 

Jenny sewed for me a beautiful tablecloth from my mom's fabrics. A perfect cheery bit for what is turning out to be a very cold month. (-20 with windchill)

So, how about you. Do you love or loathe the month of January

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Little Beverage Christmas Tree

It was our friends, the Ives, that first called us "the beverage family."

It is not that we drink so many different types of beverages, but we drink our favorites often. (all day)

And, when you visit, you will often hear, "would you like something to drink?" (the tea kettle is our favorite kitchen tool)

So, it seem appropriate that I have a little beverage tree.

I love having this small pre-lit table top tree.

The tree topper captures the heart of beverages, eh?

 Would you like your tea in a cup and saucer?

At our house, we often brew tea in a tea pot.

Being a Seattle girl, I can also offer you Starbucks.

Or Caribou, from our years in Minneapolis.

Perhaps you prefer hot chocolate.

We always stock plenty of our favorites. 

I am always on the hunt for a small beverage ornament when we travel.

Two years ago, I discovered the little beverage tree fits in one of my favorite crocks. This makes me happy. And the mini tree quilt was made by my sweet mom, Hallie.

We have a big tree, too, with our ornament collection from around the world.

Please stop in and see my little beverage tree. I would be happy to pop the kettle on.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Childers' Classic ~ Red Beans and Rice

It is always a happy day for me, when Dave cooks dinner. And when he pulls out a Childers' classic ... yum.

Red Beans and Rice is a simple meal with lots of flavor. You do not have to cook the rice ahead, so it is pretty quick, too. Along with a side salad that I made yesterday, dinner was perfect.

Red Beans and Rice
1 slice bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
14 ounces chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
3/4 cup celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper sauce
1 can kidney beans
1 green pepper, in strips

Cook bacon in skillet. Remove and cook onions in drippings until tender. Add bacon, broth, uncooked rice, celery, hot sauce and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.

Add beans and pepper strips. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Serve in warm tortillas. (It is great alone, too.)

ps. We like this so much we double or triple the recipe.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Texas or Bust or The Soli Sisters

Since its beginning, I have happily been a part of The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood. I call them The Soli Sisters ... a group of lovely, honest, funny bloggers who love life and Jesus.

This weekend, I am flying to Texas to meet several of them at a retreat. Wonderful friends that I love, but have never met in person. I can hardly wait.

I have a and niece in Texas, who are joining me. Wish y'all could come, too.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dreams (the kind you have while sleeping)

Dave always laughs when I tell him about my dreams, because I have some strange ones. Do you pay attention to your dreams? 

For me, I have noticed a pattern of dreams that show up if I am stressed. I have three recurring dreams and the further down the list it goes, the more stressed I am. 

     *my college dream ~ it is half way through a college year or near the end of the semester. I have forgotten where my classrooms are located. I have forgotten to attend class or do any homework. And ... it is time to take a test. (poor me)

     *my school teacher dream ~ it is the first day of class. I have forgotten to fix up my classroom. I have forgotten to make lesson plans. And ... the students and parents are arriving. (poor me)

     *my communist dream ~ in this dream someone is always hunting me down. It has some variations but it is always scary. (poor me)

And now some encouragement for you as you sleep tonight ... 

     *"I lay down and slept, I awoke again for the Lord sustained me." (Psalm 3:5)

     *"In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." (Psalm 4:8)

Years ago, I had a friend calligraphy these two verses for my bedroom wall. Dave was traveling a lot and I was home alone with two babies. So much comfort. 

How about you? Do you have any recurring dreams?

ps. If you are a therapist ... please do not read this post. :)    

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