Saturday, July 31, 2010

My last day in Chicago

A goodbye toast to adorableness #1

and adorableness #2

Tomorrow I begin to wind my way home to Seattle (via Minneapolis and a quick visit with my friend Kate), and Dave begins to wind his way home from China.

Much to thank the Lord for . . .

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where in the world is Waldo, I mean Dave

I am enjoying a wonderful two weeks in Chicago with our daughters. You may be wondering where Waldo, I mean Dave is. This week he is in Denver at WorldVenture headquarters. Saturday he flies to China. We are missing him, but happily he was here with the girls just a few weeks ago. 

The last two weeks of August we will all be together on vacation at the lake house. The four of us together . . . I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kk is for keeping track of your blogging friends

When I started blogging, I just did not know . . .
      . . . that I would find so many blogs
      that I truly enjoyed reading.

      . . . that I would make so many
      lovely friends.

      . . . that I would sometimes  forget
      if it was Lynnet or Lynett.

      . . . that I would always forget the
      title of Jeanne's 4th blog.

      . . . that I would forget who was
      from Canada and who was from

      . . . that I would forget (you fill
      in the blank.)

This 57 year old brain needed a solution. I really did not want to comment on a blog and call the person the wrong name, or say Happy Bastille Day, when they were really from Italy. Truly, I cannot be the only one with this problem.

So, I came up with a solution:

  • I bought some favorite index cards.
  • I copied the profile pictures from all my favorite blogs.
  • I wrote down the important stuff I wanted to remember: name, country, contact info and a simple description of the blog.
  • I created a little file, a cheat sheet, a do not trust your brain backup.
Each card looks like this:

Thanks to the lovely Sarah, of A Beach Cottage, for giving me permission to use her card as the example. She has a beautiful ~ vintage, coastal, chic ~ blog.

How do you keep track of your blogging friends?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wish you were here (part one)

I wish you were here in Chicago with me and my daughters so you could join us in what we do best:




It was the perfect plan for my first weekend here ~ all about relaxing. Now we will get into high gear with projects, shopping, sorting, cleaning . . . and always more time for eating, drinking and reading. 

Don't you wish you were here?

Monday, July 19, 2010

30 days of hearing God ~ day fourteen

During this 30 days of hearing God adventure, I have been thinking about the different ways that God speaks to me. One way that God speaks to me is through my husband.

My husband is a verbal processor, so I never deal with the issue of "I wish my husband would talk more." Whatever he is thinking about, he likes to talk to me about it. If it is really important, we talk about it several times. So when God is teaching Dave something, I get to learn from it, too. (rather like double dipping.)

This week Dave has been studying to prepare for an internship he is helping to lead. He came across a book written in 1925 called Christ of the Indian Road, by E. Stanley Jones.

We have had several intense conversations about this book and I don't think it will be our last. We were both touched by the way this led us to think of God being like Jesus. Both of us usually thought of Jesus being like God. (a subtle switch)

This passage that Dave read to me yesterday, is a little long, but so worth the read.

"If the end and motive of Christianity, and therefore of Christian missions, is to produce Christlike character, I have no apology for being a Christian missionary, for I know nothing higher for God or man than to be Christlike.

I know nothing higher for God. If God in character is like Jesus, he is a good God and trustable. The present-day doubt is not concerning Christ, but concerning God. Men wonder if there can be a good God back of things when they see earthquakes wipe out the innocent and the guilty alike and innocent little children suffer from nameless diseases they did not bring on themselves. But the distracted and doubting mind turns toward Jesus with relief and says, “If God is like that, he is all right.” As Christians we affirm that he is Christlike in character, and we say it without qualification and without the slightest stammering of the tongue. We believe that “God is Jesus everywhere” and Jesus is God here - the human life of God.

If God thinks in terms of little children as Jesus did, cares for the leper, the outcaste, and the blind, and if his heart is like that gentle heart that broke upon the cross, then he can have my heart without reservation and without question."

I am so glad for the reality that God is trustworthy of our gift to him of our heart ~ "without reservation and without question." I love the days when I actually can believe that and practise it. We all need each other, so there are more of those kinds of days in our lives. That is why I am so enjoying participating in this 30 days of hearing God and reading other women's thoughts, too. PLEASE JOIN US.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Day of Air Travel

Yesterday morning, I left the lake house at 5:30 am. I got to bypass the LONG check in line and get in the SHORT line, because my brilliant husband pre-paid for my check in luggage. (Go, Dave!)

I sat next to a darling young couple with their 7 month old daughter. They were nervous that their baby would bother people, and they jiggled and jiggled that poor baby, each time she made a tiny peep. Half way through the flight, I asked if I might hold her. I put my cheek next to hers and rocked her gently back and forth. Her beautiful little eyes got droopy. I handed her back to mom, and she fell instantly asleep. Hope this helps them on the next flight. :-)

During a three hour lay over in Salt Lake City, I enjoyed a delicious bowl of butternut squash soup at Wolfgang Puck, a no foam latte at Starbucks and people watching time . . . 

Here is what I observed:

  • loads of brave young moms with a wee one in a front back and a toddler's hand in theirs. (I remember those days well.)
  • too cute curly headed boys (around 3) boarding in front of me with their dad. One of the boys looked up and said,"we are missing a mom and a baby." (the dad already looked stressed.)
  •  too many women and women of each decade, wearing way too short shorts and skirts. (why?)
  • huge pieces of carry on luggage ~ being drug through the airport.
  • a guy on a cell phone, yelling loudly at his wife about a ladder, yup, a ladder. And I mean loudly.
  • another guy chatting with his wife on a cell phone. When she answered, he said,"Hi, honey, are we still fighting?" I agree, it is good to know that before you get home.
  • then at the end of a lovely travel day, getting off the el in Chicago, to be greeted by two lovely adorable Childers women . . . BLISS!
photo credit:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jj is for joy

During my last year of teaching first grade, Dave and I were engaged. Our wedding was during Thanksgiving vacation. Dave often came by my classroom to meet my darling students and have lunch with me. The kids threw me a surprise wedding shower and they all came to our wedding. They enjoyed being a part of Miss Johnson becoming Mrs. Childers.

Later in the year we were practising both a cluster of sounds and our penmanship. This particular day we were doing the "_oy" words. (boy, toy, Roy etc.) The kids were making little books and illustrating each word.
Daryl C. wrote the word JOY. I wish I could show you his actual illustration, which I put in my wedding book, but many of our things are in storage (remember, tiny house on the lake.)

He brought his book to my desk. He had drawn in stick figures a picture of me sitting at my desk. Dave was in front, leaning over and kissing me on the cheek. He drew a series of hearts rising above our heads.

With a darling smile, he said, "This picture of JOY is you and Mr. Childers."

Pretty astute, for a six year old!

Disclaimer: We did not kiss in front of the students. Well, maybe once. :-)

photo credits:,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jj if for journaling (part four)

I hope that you have enjoyed this little jaunt through my journal. If you are new to journaling, I encourage you to just jump in and get your feet wet. There is no right way to journal . . . just include things YOU care about and HAVE FUN.

In case you are still looking for more ideas, I will end this series with a little journaling brainstorm.

In your journal, you could:
  • plan your holidays
  • make a list of everything you accomplished last year
  • keep track of things you are feeling
  • set goals
  • glue in fun notes people send you
  • paste in picture of things you love from magazines
  • keep track of house projects
  • keep a list of things you find in your children's pockets
  • begin a gratitude list
  • evaluate your life: physically, spiritually, emotionally
  • write down books you want to read, or movies you want to see
  • write out your prayers
  • keep track of what God is teaching you
  • keep a list of your favorite blogs ~ Gg - Notes on the Journey :-)
Get a book you like (simple small notebooks are what I like best) and BEGIN SOON.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 days of hearing God ~ day eight

Early in January 2010, after much encouragement from my daughters and a long talk on the porch with my friend, Rebecca . . . I purchased the book, Blogging for Dummies, and went on vacation to Cannon Beach, Oregon. While my husband was busy teaching, I studied my book and on January 13, 2010, I wrote my first blog post.

Today is my 100th post and I am so full of gratitude to God for the joy I have found in blogging and full of gratitude for each of you that read, interact, comment, process, learn etc. I am happy that my 100th post is on a topic so dear to my heart - hearing God.

This summer, I have really enjoyed studying Return to the Garden: Embracing God's Design for Sexuality. For many years I have benefitted from Kay Arthur's style of inductive Bible study, that has taught me how to really interact with Scripture. I love marking the key words, making lists of what the text says, looking for contrasts and comparisons etc. It helps me pay attention and causes me to read a passage several times. It keeps me from being lazy.

Right now, I am in Proverbs 7 and this morning read through that passage again. I loved this phrase, that stood out to me last week, as well. This is King Solomon speaking to his son. Verse 4 begins with, "Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister.' "

What an amazing thought. I have the most adorable sisters (2) and sisters-in law (6). I love each of them and cherish any time or contact I have with them. When I am with my sisters, I am comfortable and can be myself. What if I was like that with wisdom?

I have learned so much from my sisters. I deeply deeply value them. What if I gave wisdom that same place in my life?

"Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister.' "

photo credit:, Sandy @ God Speaks Today

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jj is for journaling (part three)

Are you ready to continue on?

4. In my journal, I keep a list of books, in the order I read them, as well as bits and pieces of favorite things from the books.

from my journal:

I Thought it was Just me: Woman Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame by Brene Brown.

      "I have learned that when I am
      experiencing shame, I often act
      out in ways that are inconsistent
      with who I want to be."

      "When we feel shame and fear,
      blame is never far behind."

trusting in His goodness: a woman's guide to knowing God's purpose by Shelly Volkhardt (a dear friend) and Mimi Wilson

      "Never doubt in the darkness,
      what God has shown you in
      the light."

      "The first step to noticing God's
       goodness is opening our eyes
      and looking for it."

5.  In my journal, I keep a record of things I think are funny . . . it is always good to laugh.

from my journal:

Right after 9/11, I saw this sign at Walgreens:

      "In God We Trust
      ibuprofen $7.99"

I thought this book on parenting, had a great title:

      "The Children we Deserve vs.
      The Children we Have"

6. In my journal, I write lists. I have always loved lists.

from my journal:

      *a list of things for which I am

      *a list of ideas for spending less
       time on the computer

      *a list of goals for the month

      *This morning, I made a list of
        friends that have meant so much
        to me. (a long list)

Thanks to each of you, 25 of you, that participated in my poll on journaling. This showed a lot of interest in journaling. Stay tuned for the final post in this series.

What are your favorite ways to use your journal?

photo credit:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Give me your tired, your poor

Enjoy a great post on how to plan a wonderful vacation at home. As I have said many times, our daughters, Christy and Jenny, know how to do life well. Here is a great example, in Christy's  post entitled "the opposite of home away from home."

There are only three more days to vote in my poll on journaling. I love to hear from you. (see sidebar)

Hope you are having a wonderful summer day. Yesterday was a rare 95 degree Seattle day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

30 days of hearing God ~ Day three

The last five years of my life has been . . . difficult ~ with much transition, loss, grief and a lot of waiting.

It has also been wonderful (how does that work?). I have learned to lean heavily on my relationship with God, learned better skills in the area of emotional health and honesty, deepened friendships as we have "done life together" (messy life at that), and grown in my commitment to grace filled and honest life with my sweet husband.

Five years ago, my friend, Holly, sent me the classic devotional, Streams in the Desert, in her words, "because the stream of God is full of water." (So adorably Holly, who was my Bible study teacher in Minneapolis.)

This little devotional book, whose title is based on Isaiah 35:6 ~ "In the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert", has been a faithful companion to me. It has also been a daily part of my sister's life in her battle against cancer. I highly recommend this book.

SO, this morning on day three of our adventure "30 days of hearing God" . . . I come across Zephaniah 3:17. "The Lord thy God  in the midst of thee is mighty."

Listen to Dr. Henry Wilson's thoughts on this verse. "Then all that is in God Almighty is mine and in me just as far as I am able and willing to appropriate Him and all that belongs to Him. This God, 'Mighty", ALL Mighty God, is our INSIDE God. He is, as Father, son and Holy Spirit, in the midst of me."

What an amazing and encouraging reality for Christ followers. ALL MIGHTY GOD, an INSIDE GOD . . . is IN THE MIDST OF ME.

In the midst of
     . . . my decisions that I am making
     . . . the financial chaos in our country
     . . . (you fill in the blank)
                                   GOD IS THERE!

To read more about the 30 day adventure, click here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jj if for journaling (part two)

There are so many themes for journals . . .

          travel journals
          gardening journals
          gratitude journals
          mom journals
          idea journals
          book journals
          spiritual journey journals
          design journals etc.

It rather reminds me of themes for blogs as well. In fact, for some, blog writing will replace journal writing. There are so many similarities.

For me, I want just ONE JOURNAL, so I put all the themes that I care about in one spot. In my journals, my themes are in chronological order, based on when I wrote/thought about them.

Here are some of the ways I use my journal. (more to come later.)

1. I write down Bible verses that  are currently  meaningful to me.

from my journal:

     " God is our refuge and strength,
      a very present help in trouble."
                                               Psalm 46:1

      "Do nothing out of selfish ambition,
      but in humility consider others better
      than yourselves."
                                           Philippians 2:3

      "The Lord will perfect that which     
      concerns me."
                                              Psalm 138:8

2. I write down things that I do.

from my journal:

      "I really got into the accomplishment
      mode today. It started by changing the
      duvet on our bed . . . which got me in
      the mood to be creative."

      "Last night was so much fun. Our 
      electricity  was out and we were
      desperate for our evening tea.
      We ran to Starbucks for two cups
      of hot water. Then lit lots of candles
      and Dave read bits to me from his
      book on Korea."

3.  I write quotes I find that I want to remember.

from my journal:

      "Often sister Mary and I say when we
      have a choice to make - we can do
      something 'not so good' or we can
      make elegant choices."
                                       two Catholic nuns

      "Never eat more than you can lift."
                                       Miss Piggy

      "Marriage is an adventure, like going
      to war."
                                        C K Chesterton

Stay tuned for part three.

Jeannette at Bread on the Water, wrote a great post about blog themes. Check it out

photo credit:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Invitation to a 30-day adventure

I have introduced you before to my friend, Sandy, from the blog God Speaks Today. Yesterday, she issued an invitation to join her on a 30 day adventure of listening with more intentionality to God speaking in our lives.

She says:

"I would love for you to take this journey with me. How about for the next 30 days, you commit to journaling what He says to YOU. If you'd like to post it on your blog, I can put up a linky thing so we can all visit one another. Or you can just post what He is saying to you in the comment section. Or, you can just keep it between you and God. It's all good."


I would like to invite you, as well, to join us. It goes well with my journaling series. It is good to write things down so we can remember and even better to share them with others.

Here is my day one experience:

I woke up early this morning and my first thought was, Sandy's "30 days of hearing God" begins today. I had not even opened my eyes yet, but prayed, "Lord, I want to hear from You today." And immediately, God answered, "AND I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU!"

Wow, Almighty God WANTS to speak to me. Is not that amazing! I pray for all of us that God will give us fresh ears to hear Him and new ways to become aware of His presence.

Yesterday, when I wrote "I am in" for the 30 day invitation, I felt some fear. What if I don't hear from God? What if the busyness of my trip to Chicago the last two weeks of July, interferes? What if . . . what if . . . what if . . . ?

This morning, I am encouraged. Thanks, Lord for this reality. YOU WANT TO SPEAK TO ME. My part is simple . . . I need to listen.

I invite you to join us ~

photo credit: God Speaks Today

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jj is for journaling (part one)

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with journaling. It sounds romantic and even fun to picture ourselves, with cups of delicious coffee, writing wonderful wise things in our beautiful leather journals.

In reality, journaling can become a chore and a burden. Something else to add to our long to-do list. Something else to make us feel guilty when we do not do it.

Please don't break out in a sweat and click out of this blog post. There are seasons to journal and seasons not to journal. I want to share with you some of the fun ways I have used my journals over the years.

Maybe you will relate to some of my favorite quotes on journaling:

l.  "Writing is easy: all you have to do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."  Gene Fowler

2.  "We write to taste our life twice, in the moment and in retrospection."    Anais Nin

3.  "Words matter: write to learn what you know."
             Mary Anne Radmacher

4.  "I didn't write yesterday, because I lived it."
             Nicole Johnson

5.  "I journal to force myself to notice that I am currently living the one life I will ever have."
              British essayist

6.  "I never travel without my diary, one should always have something sensational to read on the train."    Oscar Wilde

7.  "The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways."    Proverbs 14:8

Well, I think that is enough for today.

I have created a "Journaling Poll" in the sidebar. Please take time to vote. Then come back tomorrow for  "Jj is for journaling (part two)."

photo credit:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Remember the ABC's

We interupt this blog, to return to a series on the ABC's, that I began in February. Give yourself a gold star if you can remember the story behind this series. I bet you thought I was never going to get back to it.

(This is taking me back to my days as a first grade teacher - chalk boards, abc's, apples, gold stars.)

Let's review: (I can't help it . . . it is the first grade teacher coming out again.)

Come back on Monday for ~ Jj is for . . . (stay tuned).

photo credit:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And the winner is . . . LIME GREEN

Maria Killam is an interior designer and color consultant whose fabulous blog, "COLOUR ME HAPPY" is one of my favorite design blogs.

Maria is a brilliant and practical teacher, who generously shares her skills. (Two questions to ask before you Renovate vs Decorate?, Which Paint Colours are the most Timeless, Which Colour Sofa should you Buy?, Decorating the Master Bedroom and so much more.)

And she comments regularly on my blog, so she has to be cool!

Last week she asked,"What is your favorite colour?" It was an easy question for me . . . as long as I can remember, my favorite color has been lime green. It cheers me. It makes me happy.

In college in the 70's, my roomate and I decorated our freshman dormroom in lime green and navy blue. I still have the sheet set with large lime green polka dots.

When I got married, I did not want fancy china and instead registered for Fransican Ware and the pattern was PICNIC.


You will always find lime green (and variations of it) popping up all over my house.

So you will not be surprised when you look at the header of my blog and my blog caricature.

Check out COLOUR ME HAPPY. Maria also has a great e.newsletter and a design and color consulting business.


photo credit for fransiscan ware:

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