Saturday, June 30, 2012

Black, white, and blue.

Room style for a 10 year old - black and white with pool-blue walls.  I'm positive that this is the prettiest color I've ever painted on a wall, and kind of wishing this was my bedroom!  Bedding from Target, paint from Lowes, and canvas art project done by Lauren and me with canvas from Michaels, papers from Archivers (oh, and the cute black and white shirt just waiting to be worn for the first time is from Kohls).  We've lived here for 2 years and this is the first time I've painted anything other than the chalkboard wall in the basement!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Takwaba Uwaba Nga Yesu


Takwaba uwaba nga yesu,
Takwaba uwaba nga yesu,
Takwaba uwaba nga yesu,
Takwaba, takwaba ka be.

Na yenda yenda,
konse, konse,
Na fwaya, fwaya,
konse, konse,

Na shikulga
konse, konse,

Takwaba, takwaba ka be.

There's no one, there's no one like Jesus
There's no one, there's no one like Jesus
There's no one, there's no one like Jesus
There's no one, there's no one like him.

I'm walking walking,
here, there,
I'm searching searching,
here, there,
I turn around
here, there,

There's no one there's no one like him.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Some of you knew I would be going to Zambia this spring, while others might be wondering what brought me to the heart of Africa all of a sudden.  I purposefully did not talk about it much other than to close family and friends.  I went on a mission trip through my church, with the purpose of working with orphans at a day-center our church helped fund a few years ago.  I have felt called to go there for 4-5 years and finally the opportunity was right for me to go.  The Hope Center currently helps care for about 60 orphans in the Serenje area, by providing school fees, a daily hot meal, and a few clothes.  60 may sound like a good number until you learn that there are more than 2000 orphans in that area alone.  The HIV crisis is huge across Africa and therefore many, many children are losing their parents and being shuffled from home to home.  While there I learned that kids are kids no matter where you go, and even though they may have extremely dire circumstances, they are incredibly resilient.  They crave love so that is exactly what we poured out on them!  As I said before, I gladly left a piece of my heart there and I so look forward to going back and seeing the sweet faces I have come to love.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Meet sweet little Hida, an orphan I had the pleasure of sitting with and photographing in early May.  God is doing amazing things in Zambia, and I had the privilege of seeing it first-hand.  I gladly left a piece of my heart there!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New craft medium for a new year.

Over the last few days, my girls and I have been a little, well, obsessed with a new craft medium.  Polymer clay.  Oh, don't get me wrong - I have had it in the past and have attempted to make a few things but it has always ended up tossed aside and forgotten.  This time it might be different, however, because I have young helpers that have plans for what they make.  And I can't help but get swept up in their enthusiasm!

It all started a few months ago when Cake Boss became Lauren's favorite show.  We got rid of cable and now rely solely on Netflix streaming for all tv show viewing.  Cake Boss is available streaming, all 73 episodes of Buddy and his gang of bakers exclaiming, "this is how you do it Hoboken-style, baby!"  But I digress.  I have enjoyed watching it with them and I love the creativity factor that is upped in each episode.  Lauren informed us that when she is old enough, she plans to move to New Jersey and work for Buddy as one of his cake decorators, specifically as one to sculpt with cereal treats (aka Rice Krispies) and modeling chocolate.

That's great, but how do I encourage my 9 year-old daughter in her sculpting aspirations?  (Cuz I'm just not willing to do so with Rice Krispies and modeling chocolate - at least not yet).  I decided that Sculpey (polymer clay) was the answer.  I put together a little gift for her for Christmas, with a set of colored clay and a little project book.  She then spent some Christmas money on tools and we sat down for our first sculpting session a few days ago.

From there we gained momentum, and I have to say that it's been Grace to really go like gangbusters!  Upon seeing Lauren's first little figures, she decided to spend some of her own money on a set of clay for herself (because really, why would Lauren ever want to share with her sister?) and a bigger (and better) project book.  It's quite cute, especially for tween girls.  Grace and I did a little freehand work our first evening and had so much fun making miniature foods.  So cute and fun!  Burgers, hot dogs, cupcakes, lollipops, etc.

And now, those cute little foods are being turned into jewelry.  If you're a mom of a tween girl, I'm sure you've seen similar pieces in Justice and Claires. We are making our own instead!  In all of my crafting years this is my first time doing earrings.  Even better that my girls are totally into it, and want to be spending their time making stuff rather than watching TV.

Buddy, are you listening?  I have two up-and-coming cake decorators for you...I'll send them to you in New Jersey in about ten or twelve years!

New year.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.  Revelation 3:20

Thursday, November 24, 2011


So many things to be thankful for today! Wishing you all a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving!

I was hostess this year (as I have been for quite a few years), and I wanted to share a quick craft/idea to go along with your Thanksgiving table. A few years ago I made a plain table runner from a piece of muslin (cut to desired length, stitched one inch from each edge, then frayed the edges for a finished edge...a hem would have worked too). Anyway, I then traced each of our kids' handprints and wrote whatever they said they were thankful for. I also included their name and the year. The first year was rather sparse, but after 4 years it is filling in nicely! The runner is impossible to get completely wrinkle-free, but I love it. This year one kid was thankful for "love," one for "life," and one for "God and my family." Yep, they covered it all!

Again, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


November sky in Nebraska...the only thing that makes it more perfect is when there are geese honking and flying low overhead.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Knitting, the next generation.

I have been trying to spend more time unplugged lately, so the knitting needles were pulled out this week after a long hiatus. I started working on a chunky gray lace patterned scarf for myself, and while doing so I heard, "Mo-o-o-o-m??? Can you teach me to knit?" This from could I say no? We sat down and I taught her the basics of a knit stitch. Poor yarn choice and skinny needles equaled quick frustration for both of us! So, today we tried again with thick needles and chunky yarn and she has been going like gangbusters all day. I'm so proud of her! Less than 24 hours and she is well on her way to a knitted scarf. Of course, Lauren decided to get in on the action too so needles are flashing and clicking all over the place. It
pleases me to know that my girls are learning at the same age I did, and my mom before me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Good tunes, good times.

Good, good stuff!  Thoroughly enjoying browsing through my favorites on this album tonight.  Browsing through memories, too.  Dancing to "The Longest Time" with my favorite guy in my dorm room, singing along to "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" with friends, sleeping at a total strangers' house in Ames after a Billy Joel/Elton John concert, and singing along at the top of our lungs to virtually every song the last time we saw him in concert here in Omaha.  Truly, if you want an amazing concert experience then Billy Joel is one not to miss.  Just wait til the encore when he sings "Piano Man,"  or rather 10,000+ concertgoers sing it to him.  Awesome.