February Reflections

February has been an up and down month in many ways besides temperatures.

Early in the month we got word that Jim’s sister was not doing well. Then she passed away just a few days before her 67th birthday. She didn’t want any kind of service, so we didn’t travel up to OR. We kind of missed that closure and opportunity to see family, but we were able to touch base with some online. Jim and his oldest brother are the only ones left of his immediate family.

We had a nice Valentine’s Day with all the family. For the first time in I-don’t-know-when, Jim and I went for a pre-Valentine date. I enjoyed that quite a bit. Maybe we’ll start a new tradition!

The very next week was our dear daughter-in-law’s birthday. And, as I mentioned in the last Friday’s Fave Five, the kids saw that this week was the tenth anniversary of my husband’s surgery to remove a cancerous kidney. So they surprised him with “Kidney day,” including dinner and a kidney-shaped cake.

In-between those events, we had an excursion with Timothy and Jason to the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, TN. It focused much on OR’s part in the development of the nuclear bomb and the more productive ways they’ve used the science and equipment since then.

We’re still visiting churches and racking up some . . . interesting experiences. I don’t know if I will post about them. I am still processing them. As we pray for God’s leading and keep finding places with issues too big for us to want to join, I am asking God what He wants me to learn from this.

Creating

February and December are my biggest card-making months, since I make a card for all the immediate family for Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

This one was for Jim.

The words in the middle were from a sticker collection he had given me.

This was Jeremy’s.

He likes foxes. This fox is a multi-layered sticker. The mushrooms, leaves, and words were stickers as well. I love that this paper isn’t the traditional pink or red hearts (though I love traditional Valentine’s colors, too!)

This is Jason’s.

I wanted to use the candy hearts idea, and these were the only designs I found on the Cricut that would be appropriate for a mother to a son. πŸ™‚

This was Mittu’s.

This was done on the Cricut (except the words). There’s a reason I chose this design . . . if it comes to fruition, I’ll let you in on it. πŸ™‚ Also, I just noticed that a swirl in the bottom and top paper met on the left. I wasn’t trying to do that, so that was a nice surprise. πŸ™‚

This was Timothy’s.

These hearts are from Minecraft, a game he likes to play. This was all done with the Cricut.

And this was Jesse’s.

I adapted it from an idea I saw on Pinterest. The hearts were made with a heart punch.

Then this one was for Mittu’s birthday.

She likes purple and sunflowers, which I’ve used a lot in the past. But she also likes daisies, and I had these adorable multi-level daisy stickers.

Watching and Listening

I didn’t listen to any podcasts this month, but I read the transcripts of a couple from Author Media.

We did see some interesting movies. One was a Polish film called Run, Boy, Run based on a true story. A young Jewish boy ends up alone in Poland, trying to hide his identity and look for work from farm to farm. It’s amazing the cruelty of some people, but the great risk others are willing to undergo to help.I enjoyed the bit at the end with the man whose childhood was depicted here.

I was looking forward to The Most Reluctant Convert about C. S. Lewis’ conversion. It was interesting to hear his story as he might tell it. I knew much of it from reading various biographies, but there were a few details I didn’t know. There were a few acted-put parts (with Nicholas Ralph from All Creatures Great and Small playing Lewis as a young man). But I think it might have been better with a few more acted parts and less narrator-talking-while-walking sections. Still, I enjoyed it overall.

Fanny’s Journey was another WWII film based on a true story about a child. In this case, a girl and her sisters are sent to a group home in the French countryside, but have to flee with their guardians. They miss a contact and end up roaming around by themselves.

With as star-studded a cast as the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express had, I am surprised I hadn’t heard about it, at least not that I remembered. I had never read the book or seen another version, so the conclusion was a surprise to me. There’s a bit of language and innuendo that I have to think was probably not in Agatha Christie’s original version.

We also finished up All Creatures Great and Small and loved it, though the season seemed way too short. I read a few of Masterpiece‘s behind-the-scenes articles about the show. I especially enjoyed the ones about the food in the show’s scenes and the costumes.

Reading

Since last time, I finished:

  • Be Rich (Ephesians): Gaining the Things That Money Can’t Buy by Warren W. Wiersbe. This was a reread. I linked to my review of it from a few years ago. This time I slowed down and only read about half a chapter of Ephesians a day to go along with Wierbe’s chapters. Ephesians is so packed, it helped to take it in smaller chunks.
  • Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life by Jerry B. Jenkins. Very good.
  • Unveiling the Past, by Kim Vogel Sawye, audiobook. A cold case detective’s current case about a missing father unearths feelings about her own absentee dad. Excellent.
  • Dakota Dawn, Dakota Dream, and Dakota Dusk by Lauraine Snelling, a novella series about Norwegian immigrants who settle in North Dakota in the early 1900s. They are packaged together in one audiobook. Just finished, not reviewed yet. Very good.
  • The Fence My Father Built by Linda S. Clare, audiobook, not reviewed or recommended.

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Patient (Job): Waiting on God In Difficult Times by Warren W. Wiersbe
  • Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser by Roy Peter Clark
  • Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear by Jinger Duggar Vuolo
  • All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment by Hannah Anderson
  • The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix
  • Dakota December by Lauraine Snelling, audiobook

Blogging

Besides the weekly Friday Fave Fives, Saturday Laudable Linkage, and book reviews, I’ve posted these since last time:

Writing

I plugged away on my work-in-progress a bit, but need to make more time for it.

Even though February is a short month, it seemed to last a long time. Only 20 days until spring!

How was your February? Looking forward to anything in March?

10 thoughts on “February Reflections

  1. I enjoyed this peek into your month, Barbara. Your post about God’s correction was timely and thought-provoking. I felt the same about the C.S. Lewis film … LOTS of walking around (but still good). Your daughter’s kidney cake made me smile, and I’m happy for the milestone that prompted it. I’m sorry for the loss of Jim’s sister. Hugs, friend.

    • Thanks so much. πŸ™‚ I think maybe if I knew the Lewis film would be that way, I wouldn’t have minded it so much. But you’re right, the information was really good, and it was really intriguing to hear as if Lewis himself was telling it.

  2. Oh my — a lot to digest there, especially considering February is a “short” month! I’m sorry about the loss of your SIL. The kidney cake Mittu made was amazing (if a little gross, ha ha). My dad had a cancerous kidney removed in 2008 and he keeps plugging along now at 83! Now I’m curious about the church visiting experiences πŸ™‚ I always enjoy seeing your cards! I agree about Most Reluctant Convert — I enjoyed but think it would be a difficult “first exposure” to CS Lewis. I too loved “All Creatures” but likewise felt that 6 episodes (I think?) was too short for a season. Happy March!

  3. The “pizza of my heart” is super cute.
    What I loved about the CS Lewis film were all the scenery — green hills, beautiful Oxford, that tiny garden his brother made.
    I’m sorry about your husband’s sister. Like so many services not held during the shutdowns, there’s also loss of connection with those who knew and loved the lost one.
    Thanks for the mention of Masterpiece’s behind the scenes pages on ACGS – just started watching Season 1 again.

    • I hadn’t thought about it, but the scenery in that film was vivid. I agree about the lack of some kind of get-together after losing a loved one. There’s so much consolation in just being together and sharing memories. I do enjoy some of Masterpiece’s extra info. I don’t always watch the videos, but I saw a few of them. I like the articles because I can skim them faster.

  4. Love all your cards. I don’t envy you searching for a new church home. My husband has been a pastor for 50+ years. After 30 years at only two churches, we served with a home mission to remote rural churches in the PNW. Following that time and an interim at one of our mission’s churches, we visited various churches and eventually attended one for two years before starting a Bible church in our rural town. It was heart breaking how few churches teach/preach and/or seem to have mission hearts. β€œWhen the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” was what I kept thinking about while we were visiting . . . Blessings to you and your family.

    • Thank you! It’s odd how so many churches have odd little problems that I don’t remember coming across in previous church searches. How we all need to set our sites on Jesus and reaching people for Him instead of getting distracted by so many other things.

  5. Hello! Wow, the months sure do go by quickly! So sorry to hear of the passing of Jim’s Sister. Losing a loved one is always difficult. I love the Valentines cards you made for you family! I hope you will review Jinger Dugger Voulo’s new book. I have that one on hold at the library. I was a big Dugger family fan back in the day, but now it seems like we are finding out that there was more trouble there than met the eye. I hope that God will guide you to a church you will love, that will bring you closer to Him. See you again soon!

    • I’m almost done with Jinger’s book and hope to review it next week. I had not seen the program but knew of the family and knew others who followed that teaching. Thanks for your thoughts re church–we hope the same.

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