Updated Prayer Request

In May I asked you to pray for Mason, the six-year-old son of our former pastor in GA. He had leukemia, went into remission, came down with cancer again, and at that time was in the PICU with pneumonia and a bleeding lung. He had to be sedated and put on a paralytic drug to give the lung time to heal.

He recovered enough to go off the paralytic and sedation. But because he had been on them so long, he couldn’t walk, had trouble swallowing, and couldn’t talk very loudly. Those things are all slowly improving, though his breathing is still an issue.

The worst news, though, is that the chemo is not helping him. Humanly speaking, his only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. But he would not only have to be in remission to receive it, he would also have to meet several other health criteria. With the chemo only causing harm and not fighting the cancer, the family and doctors made the decision to take Mason off chemo and bring him home for whatever time he has left. They’re still hoping for a miracle, but willing for whatever God wants to do.

I don’t know if there is hope that he could go back on chemo eventually if he gets healthy enough, or if that’s completely off the table since all the types of chemo and even experimental drugs that they’ve tried have not helped.

You can imagine what they are going through. They have other small children as well, one of whom is old enough to understand what’s going on.

One of their main hopes right now is that Mason’s breathing will improve enough that he can remain at home and not have to go back into the hospital. They’ve been at the hospital for so long, with the family separated and visitation limited due to his condition and COVID protocols. They’d love for his remaining time to be at home with all the family together.

I told my pastor’s wife, when I shared this request with her, that, humanly speaking, it would seem like a waste or a defeat to have battled so long with so many people praying, only to end in death rather than healing. I know it’s not, but it feels that way. But, as Amy Carmichael often said, God does not waste His servant’s pain. He has done so much in people’s hearts through this journey already. I wrote last year that heaven is not a lesser answer to prayer.

Still, the family would love for God to heal Mason. I know God understands that. Jesus grieved death when He walked the earth. As we pray and hope for healing, we trust even if that’s not what we get.

I’m sure the family would appreciate your prayers.

Prayer Request

I don’t do this often on the blog, but I’d like to ask you to pray for a little boy named Mason. He’s the grandson of our former pastor in GA. He’s six years old, had leukemia, went into remission, and the cancer came back. He’s been in the hospital and was diagnosed with pneumonia, underwent a lung biopsy, and started bleeding heavily. He’s sedated and on a paralytic drug to help the wound not reopen. The latest word from his grandfather is this:

It has been determined that he has inflammation in 3 of the 4 lobes of his lungs. It is not pneumonia but it is classified as pneumonia and it is found in people who have been through chemotherapy. It makes it difficult for the air sacs in his lungs to absorb oxygen.

We got word this evening that his heart rate and oxygen levels were falling and they were unable to stop it. He was given epinephrine to stimulate his heart and put on nitrous oxide for his oxygen levels. He was also put on an oscillator which is saved for last resorts. It worked for now but they have no tricks left. He is critical but has been stabilized.

The next 24-48 hours are critical. The whole family has been through so much for so long. On top of the health issues, they’ve been separated due to COVID-19. His mom is with him, but the whole family can’t be together.

Thank you for your prayers for Mason and his family.

(Update: Mason’s body is weakening. It’s going to take a miracle for him to survive. His parents are at peace if it’s God’s will to take him home, but of course they long to have more time with him here.)

Two Prayer Requests

I don’t often do this on the blog, but a couple of families we know are experiencing serious needs. They are on my heart this morning, so I thought I’d share them in case some of you might feel led to pray for them.

One is a little boy named Mason who is five—just a little younger than our grandson, Timothy. Mason is the grandson of one of our former pastors in another state. Mason has been battling leukemia for years now. He’s had several rounds of chemo and other drugs. He needs a bone marrow transplant, but he has to be at a certain state of health to receive it. The chemo and other treatments are affecting his liver negatively. There are a lot more details that I have read but don’t have a full grasp of, but, as I understand it, the family is running out of options. Please pray that Mason’s body will get to the place where he can have the transplant he desperately needs. Or that God would heal him without it. A different former pastor used to say that God can heal with medicine, without medicine, or in spite of medicine. Please pray for the family as well. I know from Timothy’s extended stay in the NICU that it takes a toll on everyone in every way when one member is ill and so often in the hospital. Mason has two younger siblings, so care has to be arranged for them and the family is often separated when Mason is in the hospital. I would imagine the parents feel drained sometimes—I would. But they are setting their hope in the Lord and drawing close to Him. I think it’s ok to share the Facebook page set up for him, since it is a public group: Mason’s Road to Recovery.

The second request is somewhat similar: the young adult son (in his early twenties) of one a different former pastor of ours in a different state has also been battling leukemia for years now. Hudson has a year of chemo left but has ended up in the ER several times from the effects of chemo. It has been a real roller coaster ride with improvements or feeling well one day to plummeting symptoms another day. They are drawing close to and depending on the Lord as well.

If you have a moment and feel led, I am sure all involved would appreciate being lifted up in prayer before the throne of God.

Strive together with me in prayer

Laudable Linkage

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I have a short list today, but, I think, a good one. Hope you find something useful here.

The War Within: Flesh Versus Spirit. “Conflict in your soul is not all bad. Even though we long for the day when our flesh will be utterly defunct and only pure and loving desires will fill our hearts, yet there is something worse than the war within between flesh and Spirit; namely, no war within because the flesh controls the citadel and all the outposts. Praise God for the war within! Serenity in sin is death. The Spirit has landed to do battle with the flesh. So take heart if your soul feels like a battlefield at times. The sign of whether you are indwelt by the Spirit is not that you have no bad desires, but that you are at war with them!”

Respect the King, Obey the Law, Pay Your Taxes. Sound wisdom no matter who is in office.

Let Not Food Destroy the Body—the body of Christ, HT to Challies. “All too often, our food preferences isolate us from one another. Maybe we catch a friend eating a pre-packaged frozen meal or lunchmeat with nitrates, or watch them open a bag of potato chips filled with preservatives and fat. We are tempted to indulge in food-righteousness, in thinking we’re the better person for eating sprouted grain bread with organic almond butter. Our gospel, however, doesn’t leave room for self-made righteousness.”

Some Men Just Like to Fight, HT to Challies. Women as well. We’re called to contend for some things and defend others. But though “Fighting is sometimes necessary. Liking to fight is not. In fact, it is forbidden.”

Why Procrastination Is about Managing Emotions, not Time, HT to Challies. Interesting perspective and a tip or two for dealing with it.

The Medications that Change Who We Are, HT to Challies. Many ordinary medications have effects on personality. Scary!

Dear Memaw: A Letter I Wish My Great-Grandmother Could Read, HT to Challies. “I wish I could tell you about your piano, Memaw. It is quite the story. But since I can’t tell you, I tell Him, each day, and thank Him for it.”

This kids’ retelling of The Princess Bride had me chuckling. HT to The Story Warren.

Happy Saturday!

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap-up 2019

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Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. She came up with categories and we come up with a classic at least 50 years old to fit each category. She also gives away a prize – a $30 gift card to Amazon.com or The Book Depository. You get one entry for the prize drawing for six categories completed, two entries for nine categories completed, and three entries if you complete all twelve.

The classics I read this year were (titles link back to my reviews):

A.19th Century ClassicThe Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)(Finished 7/15/19)

B. 20th Century Classic (published between 1900 to 1969): How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939) (Finished 3/20/19)

C. Classic by a Woman AuthorA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)

D. Classic in Translation (written originally in a language different from your own): Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (Finished 11/23/19)

E. Classic Comic Novel. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836)(Finished 5/20/19)

F. Classic Tragic Novel. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)(Finished 6/12/19)

G. Very Long Classic (500 or more pages): Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (Finished 9/11/19)

H. Classic Novella (250 or fewer pages): The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, 150 pages. (1849)(Finished 6/23/19)

I. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington. (1918)(Finished 9/24/19)

J. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Moby Dick by Herman Melville. (Finished 10/28/19)

K. Classic From a Place You’ve Lived. The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner (Finished 12/16/19)

L. Classic Play. King Lear by William Shakespeare. (Finished 12/28/19)

Karen likes for us to compute how many entries we earned: I read all twelve, so I have three entries.

I enjoy this challenge because it broadens my horizons. I would not have read some of these books if not for this challenge. I have not seen anything yet about this challenge for next year, and I’m sorry that it looks like it won’t continue. But I’ll keep reading classics. Someone has said that a classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say. These books still speak today.

Do you like to read classics? Have you read any of these?

Chats and cards

We had a wonderful Christmas. My oldest son was here for about ten days, and we saw Jason and Mittu and Timothy almost every day during that time. We enjoyed feasting, talking, games, and several outings as a family. Jeremy left New Year’s Day, and we took the Christmas decorations down yesterday. After that I spent most of the rest of the afternoon “chilling” except for necessary excursions in the laundry room. I dozed, caught up on blog reading, and generally came out of the fog of the old year and holiday season. My husband is off for the rest of the week, so we’re still somewhat in vacation mode. But he has a number of projects he wants to get done.

If you missed my favorite books of 2018 post in the year-end flurry, it’s here. That’s one of my favorite posts of the year.

Before we get too far from Christmas, I wanted to share the Christmas cards I made for the family as well as a couple of others.

First, this was for my hair stylist, who was leaving soon to have her fourth baby. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in when I stopped by to give it to her: they found her baby was breach, so they were doing a procedure that day to try to turn it. But I was able to leave the card with her friend there. I’m hoping to get by the shop soon and find out how everything went. But this was my thank you card to her:

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I did the “Thank you” with punches, but everything else was done with stickers (on sale, thankfully). I liked the 3D effect.

This was for a friend’s birthday – a friend who likes purple and lavender.

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This was for our anniversary:

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I couldn’t find a snowman couple design on Cricut, and my freehand attempts were pitiable, so I found some free clipart online and printed it out on cardstock. I did the same with the snow couple on my Christmas card to Jim:

I ran the light blue background through the Cuttlebug embosser. The birds and snowflakes on top were stickers.

This was Jeremy’s card. He likes foxes:

I used the Cuttlebug on the white cardstock and cut the trees out with the Cricut. Everything else was stickers.

Jason’s card was one of my favorites this year. I saw the design in the Cricut files while looking for snowmen and knew I had to use it.

Mittu likes purple:

I had the purple letters stickers on hand. Years ago I had seen a friend mention on her blog the technique of dabbing a sponge brush on an inkpad and then brushing it against the edge of a card or cutout to make that border effect. This was the first time I ever tried it, and I really liked how it turned out.

This was Timothy’s:

I was going to do something with a snowman, but when I saw this tree on the Cricut Design Space, I *had* to use it. I guess I could have put a snowman on there, too, but I didn’t think of it at the time. One present was a sticker, the other I just cut out freehand and attached a bow.

And, finally, this was Jesse’s:

It was supposed to look as if you were looking out a window to see the snowman waving, but the wood-like border looks more like a picture frame than a window frame. The snowman was another free clipart that I found and printed.

I still haven’t had much time to think about the new year yet. I most look forward to planning my picks for a few reading challenges. I’ll share those next week. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t make resolutions per se, but something about a new year invites a taking stock, making plans, and setting goals. I do plan to finish writing my book this year, Lord willing!

Sadly, two of my favorite book link-ups have come to an end. 5 Minutes for Books will not be hosting their “What’s on your Nightstand” posts any more, and Sherry at Semicolon will no longer host her weekly Saturday Review of Books. I do like summing up my book reading each month, so I may continue that in some fashion: then again, it may be redundant since I post book reviews through the month. What do you think? If you like book link-ups, too, Mary hosts Literary Musing Monday every week, in which we can share three posts of book reviews or devotional posts, and Carole hosts a monthly Books You Loved, where you can link up to your individual book reviews of the previous month.

We never know what a year will bring, of course, but it looks like Jesse will face the most changes this year as he finishes his degree and then looks for a job (hopefully one that will not take him far away).

I used to dread January. After the excitement of the Christmas season, it’s nice to get everything back in order at first. But then the rest of January just seemed dark and cold and cheerless. But last year, for the first time, I saw January as a time of rest. We don’t have any birthdays in the immediate family that month and no holidays after the 1st. So I enjoy a mini-hibernation between the joyful busyness of the Christmas season and the events of the rest of the year. There are always things to be done, of course, but January is pressure-less in comparison to other months.

I used to do a year-end look back at the blog with a summary of my devotional-type posts. But since I have started doing a devotional post almost every Monday, I figured a list of 50+ would be a little long. I wanted to look back and list some of my favorite posts of the year, but there just wasn’t time. My stats tell me that my most-viewed post of the year continues to be Coping When Your Husband Is Away, as it has been almost every year since I posted it in 2011. I had no idea that would hit such a nerve, but I am glad I had a chance to share from my experiences to help and encourage others. My most often-viewed post from this year is my review of Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life. My newer posts fall way below older posts in views. I’m not sure how to think about that! But it’s good that my older posts are showing up in search engines.

I am so thankful for every one of you who visits, reads, and comments. I had no idea, when I started blogging, that I would make such good friends. I hoped that God would use what He has taught me in some way to in turn be a help to others, and it’s such a joy when someone lets me know that has happened. Thanks for sticking with me. 🙂 I wish you a joyous and blessed 2019!

(Sharing with Shannan’s “What I’m Into” monthly summaries)

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This has been a sick week, literally. My husband has had some type of awful sinus/sore throat ailment all week. To give you some idea: we’ve gone through nine boxes of tissues this week. I haven’t had quite that: mine has been more sinus pressure, scratchy throat, headache, bone-deep tiredness. Acetaminophen has been my best friend this week. I thought I might be catching the flu, but it doesn’t seem to be that. Anyway, we made it through the week and are glad to have the weekend coming up. Here are some highlights of the last week.

1. Sick days aren’t fun in themselves, but it’s nice to have “permission” to just rest, read, sleep as needed. We took Sunday to stay home and do just that. I think that’s the main reason my ailments weren’t any worse: since they had just started that day, I think I headed them off. And I got a lot of good reading done, resulting in three book reviews this week.

2. Pumpkin day, as Timothy calls it. None of us grew up carving pumpkins, but my daughter-in-law wanted to try it a few years ago, so we have been doing it every year since. It’s fun when family traditions expand with new members! I was always afraid of the darker associations with Halloween when the kids were little, but these days I don’t think most people think of that when they see cute and clever pumpkin faces. Along with carving pumpkins, it has become almost a tradition to have homemade caramel corn and apple cider to snack on through the evening.  Here are the results of our labors:

Jim always goes political:

I chose an owl, both because my mom used to collect owls, plus this looked pretty simple. I’m not good with the intricate designs.

Jason made his own design from a photo he had taken of Mittu. Amazing!

Mittu made a cat, and even painted the cat and the moon:

Timothy used paint pens for some of his design, plus they found some cute stickers of various eyes and mouths, so he decorated three sides of his pumpkin. 🙂 Plus they found these cute googly eye lights, and Mittu cut holes for them for him.

Also while we were out on the porch, we saw our annual visitor: this funny little bird comes and roosts on the corner of our porch a few nights every year. I don’t know what it is or even if it is the same one. It doesn’t seem to disturb him when we’re out there.

Yes, there is also the beginning of a wasp’s nest there, too – I hope Jim can get to it this weekend.

3. A surprise visit. Jason and Mittu were traveling this week, and I had wanted to have them over before they left. Between Jim being sick plus traveling himself a couple of days, it didn’t work out. But they stopped here on their way out, so I got to visit with them for a bit and see them off. Then they FaceTimed from their hotel that night and Timothy gave me a tour of their room. So fun to see life through the eyes of a child.

4. Homemade lasagna. We have frozen lasagna and Hamburger Helper lasagna sometimes, and they are good, but there’s nothing like the real thing!

5. When God speaks to my heart through His Word. In one sense He always does. But sometimes I’ll be praying or burdened about something in particular just before my quiet time, and in my regular reading for the day God will address that very thing

Have a good Friday!

End-of-month chatting

We’re still full-fledged into summer here. We’ve had a few cooler days, but the humidity is still high. Technically summer is here until September 21, and it probably won’t start feeling like fall until some time after that.

Since we don’t have anyone in school (my youngest is taking college classes online year-round), we escape some of the back-to-school hubbub, except that I did happen to be in Wal-Mart during the tax-free weekend just before school started. Though the school supply area was swamped, the rest of the store was fine. Otherwise school being back in session doesn’t affect us much at this point except for avoiding certain traffic areas at certain times a day.

Our big week during the summer was last week, when my oldest son was here for ten days. My husband took the week off, though he did have to do some emails and conferences calls most mornings. Jesse and Jason couldn’t take off the same days, since they work at the same place, but they each had a day or two off to spend time with Jeremy. We celebrated both Jeremy’s birthday and mine that week (I shared about those in last week’s Friday’s Fave Five), had a few outings, played games, and hung out around the house. I think it was a nice blend of doing and resting.

It never gets easier to say good-bye, but this time Jason, Mittu, and Timothy came with Jim and me to drop Jeremy off at the airport. Then we stopped at a nearby coffee shop and sat in their outdoor area to try to see Jeremy’s airplane take off. For Timothy’s sake, Jeremy texted photos of the tunnel to the plane, the inside of the plane, the outside when they had to deplane on the tarmac, etc. I miss the days when you could walk someone down to their gate, sit with them til they boarded, and wave at them when the plane backed away. But this was the next best thing, and a lot of fun. We thought we’d see lots of planes, being so close to the airport. We didn’t, but we did keep track of when Jeremy’s was taking off and saw his plane in the distance.

We had a bit of a shock this month when hospice called and said they were going to  drop my mother-in-law from their care because, by all the standards they can measure, she wasn’t declining. It seemed odd that, if she qualified for hospice three years ago, and she has declined since then, that she would no longer be eligible. My husband met with her doctor, nurses, social worker, and chaplain, and discussed her situation and how she has declined. They reviewed her case and recertified her for another 60 days. I hope we don’t have to go through this every 60 days from here on out. But I guess we’ll have to play it by ear.

Here are some other tidbits from the last month:

What I’ve learned:

  • How to do gifs and stickers in texts. A small thing, and not hard, but whenever I learn anything new technologically, I feel really good about myself. 🙂
  • How to order in Starbucks. 🙂 I don’t go there mainly because I don’t like flavored coffees and pretty much drink just plain decaf with a bit of creamer, but also because I don’t know the lingo. On the way to the airport I grilled Jeremy about whether SB would even have plain decaf and how to ask for the size I wanted. Another small thing, but now I can confidently go in if I am with someone who wants to stop there.

What I’ve been watching:

  • America’s Got Talent (You have to be careful with it, because even though they call it a family show, there are a few acts that should not be on a family show. So we fast-forward through a few things.)
  • Making It. This is a new one that looks like it should be on PBS or HGTV. It’s a competition for crafters. It takes a bit for the dry humor of the hosts to grow on you, but I have been enjoying it. And it has been renewed for a second season.
  • Unbroken. I loved this book and have been wanting to watch the movie for a long time. Unfortunately, they threw in a few bad words (actually before the hard parts where it would have been more understandable). But otherwise, very good. When it first came out, I had heard complaints that the movie didn’t show the influence of Zamperini’s faith. But the movie didn’t cover his whole life: it ended right when he came home from being a POW. And the afterword did share that he “made good on his promise” to serve God and eventually came to a place of forgiving the Japanese, even returning to Japan. There are several neat cinematic touches in addition to the compelling story.
  • Mary Poppins. I saw about half of it with Timothy, and enjoyed watching him giggle in parts.

What I’ve been wondering:

  • Did people really sing songs together while they worked a long time ago? A book I read mentioned a sea shanty being sung by sailors as they rowed, and that prompted the question. According to Wikipedia, they did. There are songs associated with other types of work as well. I wonder if any of these songs are still sung as work songs, or whether recorded music is used when a certain rhythm and synchronicity is needed. It would seem so strange in this day and time to sing with your coworkers.
  • I read a while back that because we have ready-made music available and on so much, people don’t make their own music any more. I think the advent of YouTube may have changed that. But my aunt told me one time that when they were young, they’d gather around the piano and sing as a family, just like you see on old movies.
  • Much has been written about the decline of robust congregational singing, blaming it on the professionalism and loudness of worship bands in church and the lack of singability or unfamiliarity of many contemporary songs. But I wonder if the fact that we don’t sing together as a society in almost any context any more plays a big part in it.
  • On another subject: why do fast food restaurants toss condiment packets in by the handful, even if you say you only want one or two? I know they probably don’t cost much individually, but I am sure they add up! Some we just keep them on hand and use eventually, but others get tossed because we don’t use them beyond that one meal.
  • I also wonder at the tendency to over-notify. I have three different places on Facebook that tell me I have a new post (one is enough!) Twitter shows me new tweets yet also shows me some again “In case you missed it” and then will show me some of those same tweets in my notifications. I don’t sign up for many sales notices for companies because they send them 4-5 times a week. Drives me crazy! Once a week is more than enough. All this over-notifying actually works against those who do it. I have any sales emails sent through a filter so I don’t even see them. If I am going to a place and looking for a sale or coupon, I’ll look through that folder. On anything that lets me adjust settings, I set it so as not to receive push notifications on my phone.

What I am making:

We had two birthdays and an anniversary this month – but one of the birthdays was mine, so I didn’t make a card for it. 🙂 We also had a baby shower, but since that one has not yet been given, I’ll wait to show it. I don’t think the recipient reads my blog, but I want to be safe. 🙂

This was for Jason and Mittu’s anniversary:

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The couple and smaller heart were made using the Cricut. The burlap and lace background was from a pack of scrapbooking paper one of the kids got me for Mother’s Day (or Christmas?) I printed the wording out on the computer and used scalloped scissors for the top and bottom.

This was for Jeremy’s birthday:

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The birch trees were cut out on the Cricut and then glued onto grey paper. The fox was a sticker, but made of fuzzy material and with a sticky pad on the back so it was raised. The sign was supposed to be reminiscent of signs you’d see tacked onto a tree (like wanted signs on cartoon. 🙂 Maybe I should have phrased it like a wanted poster!) The little wood frame probably takes away from that idea. But I still like it. And I did find and install a font that looks like carving on wood (something else I learned this month!)

Around the blog:

Besides the book reviews, Fridays Fave Fives, and occasional Laudable Linkages:

It wasn’t deliberate, but the theme for the month seems to be focus.

I discussed what I was reading on my What’s On Your Nightstand post earlier this week. I am particularly enjoying the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I am listening to the audiobook but may see if the library has a print copy. I am also getting a lot out of my ESV Study Bible. The notes are quite helpful. Plus I just finished Malachi, and they had a lot of supplemental material inbetween it and the start of the New Testament with Matthew.

And that, I think, is about all for this chat. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

(Sharing with “What I’m Into” at Leigh Kramer’s)

 

Just chatting

It’s been a while since I’ve had a “just chatting” kind of post, so I thought I’d catch up with the doings around here.

I wanted to let you know that iBelieve.com contacted me and asked to reprint an article I had submitted to the Perennial Gen about caregiving. They gave it a different title, but the content is the same: 3 Lifegiving Tips for Caregivers Struggling with Guilt and Resentment.

Writing progress

My WIP (work in progress) has over 29,000 words now! Yay! I’ve written most of what was in my mind. Now I am going through notes I left to myself on my phone to remind me of points I wanted to add. Then I need to go through a list of posts and a stack on books that I wanted to reference. Then I need to take a look at each individual chapter and see what shaping-up I need to do. This is all a bit more tedious, but very necessary. I am still mulling over some of the same writing questions I mentioned a month or so ago, but I think I am about ready to create an author Facebook page. It seems like that should wait til I am finished or even published, but I am told publishers want that kind of thing established beforehand.

Cards

As many of you know, I like to make cards as a creative outlet. It has been a while since I shared them, so here’s what I have made since last time I showed them.

This was my Father’s Day card for Jim, done on the Cricut.

This was for Jason for Father’s Day, also cut on the Cricut machine. As Timothy’s into super-heroes, I thought this would fit. 🙂

I forgot to take a picture of my step-father’s card.

This was for a friend’s birthday. The paper was so pretty in itself, I didn’t want to cover it up with a lot of other things.

This was for Jim’s mom’s 90th birthday. She likes yellow.

This was for Jason’s birthday last month. Technically the design is not a birthday one, but when I saw it on the Cricut design space, I *had* to use it. I also learned a new skill with this one: changing out the blade for a Cricut pen, which does the lettering.

Movies

I mentioned yesterday the books I’ve read the past month. We don’t watch many movies – Jim prefers shorter programs. But we’ve seen a few over the last several months. The Book Thief was excellent, set during WWII about a girl sent to live with foster parents in Germany who then hide a young Jewish man in their basement. Wonder, about a deformed boy trying to go to school for the first time, was really good, too, with several touching moments and a lot of fun ones. The Finest Hours was based on a true story about the largest small boat rescue ever. A tanker was ripped in half during a storm, and four men in a small boat brought back 32 survivors (the boat was only supposed to hold 20 or so). Warning: there were a couple of bad words at the beginning. But otherwise this was excellent. I especially liked watching the main character’s growth.

My first podcasts

Lisa would be so proud of me! She mentions several good-sounding podcasts every month, but usually I listen to either music or audiobooks. But recently I listened to several in regard to the recent PBS adaptation of Little Women. It was fun hearing some of the background and views from some of the actors.

Recent Conversations

For July 4th, my son and daughter-in-law brought over some themed plates that someone had given them. When we asked Timothy what the plates reminded him of, with their red and white stripes and white stars on a blue background, he said, “Captain America!”

One day I spilled my lunch down my front and lamented, “I’ve been feeding myself for over 50 years, and I still keep spilling!” Jim said, “It’s only going to get worse.”

One day I found this on my bathroom ceiling:

I called Jim to come and take care of it for me. He said, “It’s ugly.”

I replied, “It’s gross.”

He responded, “He can’t help it.”

🙂

Around the Blog

Besides the weekly Friday’s Fave Fives, book reviews, and occasional laudable linkage, my favorite posts the last month have been:

When the Solution I Want Isn’t What I Need

Doing or Don’t-ing?

Psalms for the Sleepless

Violence in Films, Books, and the Bible

Bedrock Truth

***

We’ve had a pretty quiet, routine summer so far. Lots of fun times together with the family. Later this month my oldest son comes for a visit, and Jim will take some time off then. We usually have a few outings the week Jeremy is here. It will be nice to have some extended family time and a bit of a “stay-cation.”

Better get back to work now. Thanks for visiting and chatting with me!

(Sharing with What I’m Into with Leigh Kramer)