This is a photo I did not take of John, Jarrod, and I pulling up to the recycle center on Eisenhower, in old Blue (our 1996 old Dodge truck) with it filled to the brim with our recycle bins and additional recycle that has been piling up in the garage. And John and Jarrod climbing out of the truck as the fairly young black gentlemen (probably late 20's or early 30's) comes up to the truck to unload the recycle. And they all shake hands with smiles and 'how ya' doin's'. And the boys work along side the gentleman who is responsible for unloading all the recycle and putting it into the correct bins. The three of them make short work of the task. The boys aren't sitting in the truck while the gentleman does his job, they are instead pitching in and helping.

Another vehicle pulled up, the gentleman in that truck stayed by his vehicle while the recycle worker unloaded his truck and put the recycle in the correct bins. The boys reloaded the bins and secured them to the truck bed and they said a farewell and wave to the gentleman and we went on our way.

And I smiled. My sons are not above pitching in and helping out. The hand shake passing between the gentleman and my 16-year old sons tells me the gentleman notices things. He notices something he doesn't see much maybe. A work ethic in teenagers. Two teenage boys treating him right. It was a really good couple of minutes and testiment.



this is a picture i did not take of my tears. as i gaze out to our driveway both our vehicles are gone. they are in for major repairs. the van just the other day had another very major repair - entire new braking components - and now more. and the truck needs a transmission overhaul. we are vehicleless. thankfully hoosier man has a company truck and can get to and from work. sometimes things just get overwhelming and you have to cry them out. when i began considering the blessings my tears went away:

1) the owner of the repair shop drove out to our house - yes - a house call so check the van out while the problem was intact. he was able to rule out one thing and now knows where to look to fix the problem

2) it is just money - and we both have jobs

3) God blesses abundantly even when we have little.

4) hoosier man and geogia boys still have a bit of work left on a kitchen install that will help pay for some of the work and hoosier man's trip to indiana.

5) i got an extra day of work this week coming up

6) we are going to get some walkin' miles in tomorrow to meet an appointment for the boys

and hoosier man reminded me of james 1:3, to 'consider it pure joy when you face trails...' and it wasn't all so overwhelming.



This is a picture I did not take of my hand being held.

I posted our menu plan for January on our refrigerator yesterday afternoon. On the menu for Thursday’s I included our family swim nights along with the meal we would be eating (whether I was cooking that night or we would go to Jalapeno’s Restaurant). Today was Thursday and we were eating at home: homemade carrot soup and sandwiches (hot pastrami sandwiches which we ended up being substituted for grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches). We went to the pool as planned. Hoosier Man met us there as he was coming straight from work. We swam. I swam ½ mile. Hoosier Man swam ½ mile. My sons decided they were going to swim 1 mile. Once I was done with my shower I came out to the pool to see if the boys were still in the pool. Jarrod was already out. Hoosier Man was walking the side of the pool calling out to John to push it as he swam his last laps. John still had three full laps to go to reach 1 mile. Both Hoosier Man and I continued encouraging John to push it, keep kicking, or telling him that he could do it. John finished his swim and barely pulled himself out of the pool. Everyone finished their showers and we walked out into the cool night air to head to our vehicles and head home for dinner. The four of us, exiting the gym after our family swim night. We were talking about our swim, the first one in months and months. Everyone was hurting. Soar muscles. Hoosier Man said he'd be taking Motrin when we get home or he'd be hurting tomorrow. My 5’ 9”, 14-year-old son took my hand as we walked to the van. I just held on back. But I wondered. Was it a thank you mom for posting that menu for the month (which I know both he and his brother love the monthly menu plans)? Was it a thank you for including family swim nights back into our routine? Was it a thank you for encouraging him to finish that one mile? For whatever the reason he held my hand, it was an UNphotographable picture and an unforgettable moment.


This is a photo I did not take of my EFS 18-55mm Canon lense that is now broke because one of my Georgia Boys knocked my camera off the kitchen table onto my cement tile floors. Said Georgia Boy didn't even tell me about it until I went to take a picture and realized it wouldn't work. Then he says it is his fault it doesn't work and proceeds to tell me what happened. Thanks be to God, it was just the lense ($200) and not the camera ($1200). Needlesstosay, I was not happy. My other Georgia Boy, in all his anger (because they both weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing when it happened; and they were messing with each other when it happened; it just happened to be my one Georgia Boy over the other who knocked it off), even said I love my camera more than them. Never. Not. Well, maybe. I;m just kidding. Ok, not! I mean, not that I love my camera more than my Georgia Boys. You understand? Oh! Not?


While I was at a scrapbooking crop yesterday, this is a photograph of my Hoosier Man and two Georgia Boy punks serving the Lord. They first did about 4 hours of work on the church property and then they went to a gentlemen's house for another 3 hours and completely cleaned up his yard. This gentlemen does so much volunteer work at the church himself that he has let his back yard go. While we were driving to dinner after church and bible study yesterday evening one of my 10-year old Georgia Boy punks, John, says, 'We sure had fun today. But I'm tired!' Doesn't get any better than that!

(P.S. Am I supposed to feel guilty that I was scrapping while they were working? Well, I don't!)


This is a picture I did not take of my granddaughter Ella and I walking hand in hand down the street at a 1 1/2 year old's pace. As we crossed the street to come home she let go of my hand. I reached for her hand and she took it for a second or two and then let go. I reached again, Ella took my hand, and then let go. We did this the whole way home with her finally barely touching my fingers as I reached for her hand - as we walked home. No words spoken. Just a walk with grandma. Just a walk with my granddaughter.


Sharing our Taco Tuesday night with Stacia. We've known Stacia for 4 years. She first visited our small group from church with three other college girls who go to SCC too. We were studying the Purpose Driven Life and everyone was encouraged to get into a small group. Shortly after their first visit to small group we invited all the girls to our house for tacos. Stacia's brother Adam happened to be visiting then too so he came also. We had a blast. The boys were in rare form (NOT!) that night. We shared so much laughter! And my tacos were a hit. For the next couple years, the girls came and went from small group (when they were in town because they were all college volleyball players). Somehow it was Stacia that stayed. We became her mom and dad away from home. Her parents even consider us that way too. Of course, on our invitation to Stacia's graduation party her dad put on it "You've had her for 4 years and we want her back!...(but we don't want to let her go!!!!) She'll start nursing school in South Dakota in August. She has not only been like a daughter to us she has been like a brother to John and Jarrod. When she comes over, she listens to them, talks to them, plays games with them, whoops them at air hockey, teases them, and loves them. I will never forget her or the impact she has had on my family.


This is a picture not taken of a man and his two boys who spent 4 hours Saturday morning at church. They didn't sit in a pew, attend a bible study class, or sing praise songs. They served quietly outside, trimming tree branches on the church property so cars can see pedestrians walking when service lets out. They performed acts of secret service to care for, be good stewards of, what God has given.

*Note: The idea for this post, and probably many more, came from this blog.