52 Gratitudes 2017 | 38


I shared this story earlier this week. We found gratefulness throughout the entire event of Hurricane Irma.

Hey, did you know that in 2015 I documented 52 weeks of what I was grateful for and why. You can find that entire year of gratitude here.

Nourishing a heart of gratitude changes you. Even just 30 Days of Thankfulness can do a number on your heart - contentment, and = joy! It is a wonderful exercise just to jot a few words of gratefulness down acknowledging the wondrous works of our Lord.

stories 2017 | don't blink


For one photo, one small story pages I am loving the 6 x 8 size. Design doesn't take much thought and when you scraplift a page shamelessly, like I did for this page, even less thought is needed.

Ian and Jeff sitting on the front porch having a conversation because Ian is like that with his. He wants to converse. Something comes to mind - I'm not even sure what they were discussing - and he wants to share. I love that our grandson's are comfortable with us. Well, Ian and Wyatt anyways. Noah warmed up to Jeff a bit and Samuel has warmed up to me quite a bit but not enough to let me hold him for any length of time.

Digitally, I used Ali Edwards' Story kit TIME.

52 Gratitudes 2017 | 35


This boy is amazing! And, we adore our front porch for quiet, easy living and conversation. Ian joined Jeff and I out on the porch and he was his communicative self navigating his Grandpa into one of his varied, intuitive, informative, absolutely delightful conversations. 

First, because of Ian's autism he is introvert and prefers playing on his own. He does his own thing. But, when he is comfortable with you, when he knows you adore him, he has no problem communicating his heart out.

stories 2017 | we can do hard things


Things are almost back to normal, for us, after the storm, Hurricane Irma, past through to our west. We had time to prepare.

Thankfully, Jeff's company gave him the time he needed to tend to our home. We boarded up the house. Jeff and the boys hung the thick boards carefully, preparing the house, in case we have to do this again (and looking at long range forecast models we just might have to). The boys helped me inside too. We moved things we didn't want to get flooded to the second floor. We packed important papers, and scrapbooks, of course, in tubs ready for transport should we need to evacuate.

The plan was to evacuate. The storm was headed for us.

Then, the storm wasn't heading our way anymore.

We finally decided not to evacuate for two reasons: 1) we agreed the eyewall of the storm would be far enough west and it would be tropical storm strength as well, and 2) I was going to have to work (Monday) even as the storm was passing southwest through west at its strongest impact over us and evacuating would mean driving two and a half hours through tropical storm weather.

A cold front had recently passed through and we had such beautiful weather affording us the opportunity to get things done. Then, we road out the storm.

#100 days | 46


Obviously I am sorely behind in my #100days project. Again obviously, this is supposed to be 100 straight days. Yeah. That didn't happen.

I'm currently reading a book about writing memoirs and it inspired me to pick back up this #100days where I left off. It also challenged me to tell more than present day stories, to tell my story whenever that might have been - or is.

52 Weeks of Giving | 33


The heart of this ministry is inspiring. I love everything they are doing for the under privileged youth in our city. When they wanted to help those in Houston, where she is from and her sending church, for Hurricane Harvey Relief, I jumped at the chance to partner with them in providing relief to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Morgan makes it super simple to provided financial support in various ways.

what I've been reading | September


Good Evening. I love this time of the month when I link up with Modern Mrs Darcy for her monthly Quick Lit round up. Besides what I am reading there are many, many other readers sharing their latest good reads. I have found there, and you will too, a veritable wealth of reading reviews which have led [me] to numerous hours of enjoyment. 

511pyvWg3YLInto Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. Reminiscent of Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, this beautifully written, sensational piece of non-fiction narrates the harrowing, yet riveting tale, of the expeditionary climb to Mt. Everest in the mid-90's that turned into the deadliest season in the history of Mt. Everest. Enthralled from beginning to end, and left stupefied by the pure guts, over the top insanity, unwavering drive, swanky bravado yet ingenuity. I recently watched the movie, Everest based loosely on the book that, of course, did not do the book justice. There is just something about these books that are so exceptionally - inspiring. 63/100 books read.



51NzjhIhK0LThe Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. A fascinating and empowering look at habits, why they exist and the potential of habits, whether negative or positive. I couldn't stop talking about this book, story after story, and sharing with my husband. Very inspiring. 64/100 books read. 





51WDAYsMQ7LA Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner. A hint of Providence threaded throughout this exquisite and fascinating tale of love and loss - and loss and love, intricately weaved through three settings in time and centered around a brightly colored scarf of marigolds. I loved this book where the premise of the story begins as far back as 1911, weaves in September 11, 2001 beautifully, and the 10 year anniversary - she takes us through time. Such a wonderful story that brought the tears flowing. 65/100 books read. 





41Zmzl0dznLA Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller. Having been a real life shepherd Keller has amazing insight into the character and traits of sheep and their insatiable need for a shepherd. With this knowledge and understanding Keller looks at Psalm 23, the Shepherd's Song and casts similarities between sheep and shepherd and Sheep, that's us, and our Shepherd, Christ Jesus. 66/100 books read.





519oCt+o7TLFalling Free by Shannan Martin. The author of the blog Shannan Martin Writes wrote this book that was supposed to be about how her and her husband followed God's call to something radically different for their life than what they'd always dreamed. I know I am supposed to like this book and I do believe that the Martin's were changed by the move they made to an inner city neighborhood and I applaud them for listening to the call of God but the writing left much to be desired. She tried to write cleverly but good writing was lost in blog-ease with lines like 'we were complete strangers without a single degree of Kevin Bacon between us...' What the heck does that mean? Plus, I just felt this book might be meant for those immature in their faith, or who sit in church oblivious to the needs around them and need a wake-up call or for those afraid of doing the hard things, or for those who have already read the story through her blog. 67/100 books read.


51N6fKTFY4LSecrets in Death by J.D. Robb. Always anticipated, the next in the long-running series by Nora Roberts' pseudonym, and always a welcomed easy-to-read in one sitting, I read this through our recent storm, Hurricane Irma, thankfully, not by candlelight. Robb stuck to the story rather than re-capping relations so if you've never read a book in the In Death series you might be confused, but I appreciated not having to read through the muck, so to speak, because I'm already well-versed in Dallas and Roarke history. I think we're nearing the end of this series as it didn't have it's usual umph. I wasn't so much disappointed as resigned to the realization that Robb may have rung this series out dry. This book was comfortable (which isn't so much bad as the characters were familiar and still loveable) rather than intriguing and exciting (nothing new in character development), and danged if I didn't figure out the killer. 68/100 books read.

currently | September


recovering from Hurricane Irma. We live with marshland in our backyard that is off the Forrest River and as the waters rose from the storm surge from the Hurricane the tides, then, brought in the surging waters and, then, hiding the marsh grass that normally blankets the area just beyond our tree line. The water rose into our yard, into the barn built by Jeff and the boys, covered the legs of the picnic table raised on slab pavers. Jeff walked into the waters with hip waders until he could walk no more without the water getting into the waders. This was our backyard after the brunt of the storm was well to our west, although we were still gusting, winds into the 40's.

repopulating our home back to status quo after the storm. We hadn't decided not to evacuate yet so we packed up everything we were planning on taking with us, which included safes, important papers, and our scrapbook albums, into bins. We transported things we didn't want to get wet that might be irreplaceable or simply painful, difficult, or expensive to replace and moved them to our second floor room away from potential flood waters rising. These included quilts and books. Once we decided to ride out the storm (mostly because I had to work during the storm), we left things - just in case - but now we are repopulating book shelves with books and quilt racks with my beloved blue and white quilts. Getting rugs put back down and finding some semblance of order again.

reading, slowly, The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Slowly because it is C.S. Lewis and I have never known anyone who could read anything by C.S. Lewis anything but slowly. Except maybe, and I stress maybe, The Chronicles of Narnia. Even then one reads The Chronicles of Narnia slowly in order to savor every word. But, I am reading The Four Loves. Therefore, slowly is imperative to glean any understanding of his lofty yet wealthy insight.

drinking water. Occasionally, coffee. No sugar. Plus, creamer. No sugar is a grand endeavor and I have succeeded since July 10, 2017. I am consuming water insatiably, unreservedly. And, I love it. Just water. Plain, water. Of course, the drawbacks for someone my age drinking pretty much non-stop throughout the day, especially when I wake up and before bed, is that I drag myself out of bed in a deep stupor multiple times a night to use the bathroom. On the plus side I stay hydrated and can quickly tell when I am de-hydrated.

studying the book of Esther with Ashley. When Ashley was last here she asked if we could do a Bible study together. In particular, a Beth Moore study. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to do a Beth Moore study and a study with Ashley. We'll individually watch the videos and individually complete the weeks homework then we'll face time our discussion of the lessons. I'm totally siked! I'm going to try and continue my study of Genesis on my own as I'm not ready to abandon it.

hanging the last three pieces of artwork I have recently acquired onto the walls of our bedroom. I am almost done decorating our room, yet, they say a well-decorated room is never truly finished. This wood sign is one of the pieces. I also picked up two pieces from Hobby Lobby, both made of wood, too.

planning a bit of craftiness this weekend. I haven't crafted in quite awhile but since I'm visiting Jeff this weekend - so, while he is at work I will play. I have two projects planned, one pretty simple and quick, and the other might take a couple hours - of fun.

binge-watching The Blacklist. I haven't seen Season 4 and it has been so long since I've seen Season 3 I decided to start at the beginning. I was watching Grey's Anatomy and got through half of season 2 and decided it was bad for my mental and emotional health. Years and years ago I purged books from my shelves for the same reason - they were bad for my mental and emotional health. It is just the way it has to be.