Friday, April 29, 2011

It is a royally early morning

Weddings take a lot of preparation . . . tea tray must be assembled, scones must be baked. . . but phew, I got it all done before the 3 am start of the celebration.

Lime green tee, black hoodie, and white and green butterfly pajama pants (no hat) . . . this is what I am wearing to the Royal wedding. I hate dressing up, so this is the perfect wedding occasion for me.

Here are all the details you have been waiting for, right? What did Glenda choose for her wedding china etc.

*tray - was purchased about 23 years ago (an antique?) from Marks and Spenser in London. I bought two of them. The girls used these trays in our tent, all those summers in Europe, to have their snacks and also used them as a little desk for coloring etc.

*tea cup ~ bone china, Queen Anne, made in England, given to me by my friend, Connie

*tea pot ~ Whittards - purchased in the duty free shops at Heathrow airport

*plate ~ Spode china - purchased at Homegoods

*cream pitcher ~ from Bewleys coffee shop, in Dublin, Ireland

*napkins ~ Cath Kidson (purchased last week at 50% off)

*tea spoon ~ IKEA

Well, the wedding is about to begin . . . hope you are enjoying it.

             *      *      *      *      *      *     *     *

That was amazing and yes, I am glad I got up early to see it live. My favorite parts ~ the first hymn, Guide Me Thou, O Great Jehovah. It reminded me of one song from our wedding, Gentle Shepherd, Come and Lead Us. And the pastor's message of our generous God that gave his Son Jesus. And the prayers were amazing. And those choirs . . . loved them.

Lord Jesus, bless this couple. Draw them to you. Protect them and give them joy and wisdom. Amen.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brown Paper Packages

Brown paper packages, tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things . . .

Last month I won a generous giveaway from The Old Block House. Gertie has a beautiful blog about turning  a house into home. She often includes the things she finds at the thrift shop, or on the side of the road and shows the transformation into something useful for her home.

This lovely brown paper package arrived at my home, because out of 236 entries, the random generator chose my number, number 77. Such a fun package . . . full of an item that has been showing up all over blogs and decorating books.

Since they arrived right before Easter, I used them for my dining table decoration.

I wonder where they will show up next . . .

          on the top shelf of my hutch with my red
          pedestal plates?

          on the back porch as hanging candles?

          in my old fashioned pantry holding staples?

Time alone will tell.

There was another surprise in the brown paper package, too. Gertie knew we had just moved to Chicago, so she included brochures from her part of Illinois. Turns out we only live about four hours apart.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness and generosity, Gertie.

ps. Your heart warming response to my post about my sweet dad and his upcoming heart surgery, means so much to me. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Matters of the Heart and a request for prayer

Big hearts. My parents both had/have them. I lost my mom to cancer, six years ago. She was a darling with a huge heart for her kids and an even bigger heart for my dad. They were married 55 years.

Then there is my dad. He has a pastoral heart. Even after so many years of ministry, in different countries as a missionary and in different churches as a pastor and now even in his "retirement", he is and always will be a pastor at heart.

 Dad still, at age 82, is performing occasional weddings and funerals. On Easter Sunday, he spoke several times at the jail, where he also visits twice a week. He prays . . . every morning for our family, friends and missionaries and ministries around the world.

Dad has been happily married for the past five years to Dorothy. You guessed it, he could not marry anyone who also did not have a big heart. These two are both in their 80's and in the few years they have been married, they have travelled to Mexico to train pastors, hiked the mountains of Nepal to train pastors and done a research trip to Viet Nam.

I miss living only 5 hours away from dad and the rest of my big family.

So, what is the request for prayer?

Dad's amazing big heart has a weakened aortic valve. On May 4, he is having open heart surgery to have it replaced. Even the biggest of hearts can have issues.

Every morning of my life as a kid, and every morning that I visit my dad's home, I wake up to the sound of my dad's voice in prayer . . . if you know him, he has probably prayed for you.

I would love to ask you to turn the tables here and pray for this pray-er. The doctor's are happy to be operating on an 82 year old that is in great shape. But I would love to surround Glenn, (pastor, missionary, dad, pray-er etc.) with tons of prayer for the surgery and recovery period.

Would you pray?

Linking to the Soli sisters (who pray.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My experience with Royal Weddings

Like much of the world, I was enamored with the wedding of Charles and Diana. My plans to stay up all night and watch the wedding were interrupted by the birth of our first daughter.

I came home from the hospital the day it was going to be replayed, but I arrived home to a surprise baby shower from our youth group kids. (My husband was a youth pastor.)

It was super thoughtful, BUT . . . I was a bit overwhelmed and I missed the wedding, again.

For the Royal Wedding of Andrew and Sarah, we were in Scotland with a group of high school students. The church we were working with, wanted to plan a cultural experience for this gaggle of American kids. So they rented a telly and cooked up a wonderful bunch of Scottish treats. (millionaire shortbread . . . YUM.)

It was super thoughtful, BUT . . . the rental company set the television up on a big stage and when the students opened the theater type curtains, the television came crashing to the floor. We had to pay 300 pounds (around $500) to the rental company. At least this time I saw the wedding.

This Friday, will be the Royal Wedding of William and Kate. Hmm, I wonder what the day will hold for me . . . *smile*

Are you getting up early to watch the Royal Wedding?

photo credit: bbc

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Exploring ~ Starved Rock State Park

Who doesn't love the first beautiful sunny spring day of the season? Especially after surviving our first winter in Chicago, (which we actually enjoyed).

We decided to welcome spring with a long hike in the woods at Starved Rock State Park in Ottowa, Illinois. Beautiful hiking trails, sandstone formations, the Illinois River and some Indian history, made for a perfect day.


Have you done any fun exploring in your state?

See you next Monday and enjoy the wonderful Easter weekend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jesus Messiah ~ Light of the World

Sunday, we sang a Chris Tomlin song that my husband and I have both grown to love. As a follower of Christ, as I prepare for Good Friday and Easter, this song deeply touches me and expresses my beliefs.

"He became sin
Who knew no sin
That we might become His Righteousness
He humbled Himself and carried the cross.

Love so amazing.
Love so amazing.

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all."

This Holy Week, enjoy Chris Tomlin talking about and singing this beautiful song, Jesus Messiah.

Happy Easter.

Linking to AND wishing a Happy Easter to the Soli Sisters.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Holly Becker and my root canal

I first "met" Holly Becker through her creative blog, Decor8. Then last year I took her e.course, Blogging Your Way. I love Holly's design sense, practical teaching style, her warm and caring personality and her balanced and integritous approach to life.

I have been following the progress of Holly's new book, DECORATE ~ 1,000 professional design ideas for every room in your home, which she coauthored with Joanna Copestick. I have so been looking forward to reading it, that I stopped by Anthropologie last Wednesday to purchase it, on my way to my root canal. (really!)

This huge, almost 300 page book is gorgeous ~ page after page of beautifully photographed homes, amazing quotes, floor plans galore, and great and practical ideas. Each page of DECORATE is so full, I will enjoy reading this book over and over again.

Honestly, I want to buy a second copy, for the chapter divider pages alone. I would love to frame them. DECORATE is now also available through

image credit:

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The lovely Sarah, of Modern Country Design is hosting a Define Your Blog party. Last week I wrote a post that tells the story of how I started blogging. So today I want to take a different approach. Last week was all about words, (I am a word-girl), but today will be about pictures.

I love blogging and have created a mood board to define Gg - Notes on the Journey. Enjoy.

Here are a few close ups.

Of course, I could not do a mood board with just pictures. I HAD to include some words. ( I am a word girl.)

Five things I want to accomplish as a blogger:

1. chronicle my thoughts for my daughters.

2. connect with old friends and make new ones.

3. create a site that is full of good ideas and practical teaching.

4. create a blog that motives and encourages women in all their roles.

5. have a creative outlet for my writing.

So, thanks Sarah, for hosting today and for inviting me to the party. I like Sarah so much, that I have invited her to be my next door neighbor.


ps. I thought I was going to be late to the party. I had an emergency root canal at 7:00 last night. Woke up feeling great this morning, after a month of pain . . . let the party begin!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You Must Write a Letter in Order to Receive a Letter

Renegade Handmade is a brick and mortar boutique and online store in Chicago, featuring the work of over 400 indie designers. I love their current window display, designed to look like a giant air mail envelope. In the middle are the words . . .

"You must write a letter
in order to
receive a letter."


Whenever Dave travels, I have on hand a great book to read. Recently it was Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush.

I was so impressed with Mrs. Bush's sacrificial service to our country during the eight years of her husband's presidency. I HAD NO IDEA. She was a powerhouse of thoughtful and creative work. Besides the usual preserving and decorating of the White House and hosting countless dignitary's wives, Laura was passionate about making a difference . . . to school children, authors of books, Afghani women, wounded soldiers and so many others. Laura was busy. Laura worked hard. Laura cared.

I am passionate about "honoring those to whom honor is due", so as soon as I finished the last paragraph . . . I walked to my desk to WRITE A LETTER to say thanks.


And what a lovely sweet handwritten note arrived in my mailbox last week. Mrs. Bush answers her mail quickly. And wasn't it sweet of Laura to design her stationary in my favorite lime green to match my blog.

I am off to look for the perfect frame.

P.S. Did you know that Laura Bush, who was a librarian, named her cat, Dewey . . . after the Dewey Decimal System?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Susan Branch, Gladys Taber and some tax week fun

Years ago, my friend Kate, welcomed me home from my summer of ministry in Europe with a surprise package in the pile of mail that greeted us on our return. It was the beautiful The Summer Book.

It was my first introduction to Susan Branch and I soon became a faithful fan, purchasing Autumn, calendars and other goodies.

I also signed up for her free newsletter, Willard, which is full of her art, recipes and stories of her life. Much like my Gg newsletter, (which I used to send by mail and is now this blog), it no longer arrives in my mail box, but it shows up in my in box. (Subscribe free here.)

In Susan's recent newsletter, she introduced me to an old favorite author, Gladys Taber. I got Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge from the library and have been laughing my way through it each evening in bed. (Not sure my husband appreciated this, as he was reading the latest John Grisham.)

Anyway . . . the title of this book combines the names of two country homes in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and contains the exchanged letters between Gladys and her friend Barbara. The letters were written around the year I was born (yes, ages ago.) I am thoroughly enjoying the book.

In honor of our upcoming tax deadline, I want to share an excerpt from Gladys.

"Do you worry about the income tax, I wonder: It is my opinion, after a number of years of experience, that there is something highly suspect about being a writer. Annually, I get a summons to appear and bring all check stubs, all bankbooks, all deposit slips, all bills, all records of every single sums received. The communications are worded so as to make one feel a criminal, although one never knows why . . . Our tax system is fiendish, I think. I have moments when I wish I could just send in all I make and say, give me back whatever you feel like. Use your own judgement."

Happy Get Your Taxes Done Week .

photo credits:,,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Goodbye, Cabrini Green

As we were leaving church last Sunday, I wanted to stop, snap a picture and say goodbye to a piece of Chicago history. The wrecking ball had already begun to knock down the last Cabrini Green row house. It may be completely gone by the time we attend our church next Sunday, just two blocks from this famous public housing development. I read that at one time nearly 15,000 people called Cabrini Green home.

I am a newbie to Chicago, so I do not know enough to give commentary to the pros and cons of this notorious housing project. But I did want to pause and acknowledge it. Good bye, Cabrini Green.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

GALLERY WALLS and a little parenting advice

The lovely Melissa of The Inspired Room is hosting today on the topic GALLERY WALLS.

I was excited when I read about this because I immediately thought of my oldest daughters' room in our girls' adorable apartment.

Such a fun variety of items, including the Swiss cuckoo clock, that the girls loved in our home when they were little.

And, a little parenting advice from a mom whose kids are grown . . .

As parents, we work hard to train our kids, to prepare them for life, to teach them the skills they need to be productive and happy. But honestly, for me it was often trial and error. And I never knew what would "stick".

But sweetly, both of my daughters learned how to create a beautiful home. All those years of helping/teaching them how to clean, organize and decorate their rooms paid off. I love visiting them in their creative home.

It reminds me of a quote I read in an airline magazine. "There is no way to be a perfect parent, but there are a million ways to be a good one."

So, moms with young kids . . . continue to teach, model and have fun. You never know exactly what will "stick", but I promise you, some of it will.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It is PARTY TIME ~ 2011 Ultimate Blog Party

Hi! I am Glenda and welcome to my blog, Gg - Notes on the Journey.  Help yourself to coffee, tea and white chocolate apricot scones, while I tell you how I started blogging.
Eleven years ago, I moved from Seattle to Minneapolis. In the normal loneliness that comes with a half way across the country move, I found myself longing for connection with friends.

Oprah had just begun her magazine called O. At the same time, Bette Midler was in a short lived but very funny sitcom. In my favorite episode, she was stalking Oprah, and in an attempt to be just like her, she began a magazine called B.

My need for connection, the real magazine O, and the pretend magazine B, milled around in my head awhile and came out as a newsletter called Gg.

In January 2010, my newsletter was reborn as a blog, Gg - Notes on the Journey. Gg is a practical blog with stories, pictures, lessons and recipes from my life as a Christian woman. I had no idea how much I would love blogging.

You are so welcome to read/follow my blog. I highly value people and connection and would love to meet you. WELCOME.

Here are a few links, so you can get the flavor of my blog:

50 things to do this winter (while we await spring)

Funeral Potatoes and White Chocolate Apricot Scones

The Bookcase Dilemma

Europe, Tenting and a Gypsy Circus

Dashing Through the Snow

Thanks so much, Shelly, for inviting me to the party. Hop on over to the Ultimate Blog Party for some great reads.       
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