1/23/2015 Blessing: Kelly's Pub

The original plan was for me to drive my brother Bill to the Ramada Inn by the Spokane International Airport on Friday afternoon so he could catch his early morning flight on Saturday.

So I asked my friend April if she wanted to ride along on the way so I would have some company on the way back from Spokane.  And I figured we could stop and eat somewhere to eat on the way home.

Then I texted my friend Tina to see if she could join us on Friday night in Coeur d'Alene for dinner.  She said she could make that work.

Then I extended the invitation to a larger group of friends.

In the meantime, Bill tells me he only needs a ride to CDA on Friday.  Someone else will take him to the Ramada Inn.

By Thursday, he has a ride from Kellogg, to the Ramada Inn, via a get together with some of his friends in Liberty Lake.

By this time, my dinner with friends had snowballed to about seven people joining us at Kelly Pub and Grill in Coeur d'Alene, so I just kept with the plans of heading to Coeur d'Alene.

So I picked up April, and our other friend Kellee, and headed to Coeur d'Alene.  We were joined by Tina and her daughter Joanie, Connie, and Tammi.  Marian was going to join us, but she unfortunately had car trouble, and had to take her car to Spokane to get fixed.

This group of women that were gathered to dinner have quite a history together.  I have known Tina and Kellee since before going to Kindergarden.  I met April in grade school, and Tammi and Connie in junior high.

We have made it a priority in our lives to stay in touch and get together on a fairly regular basis.

It is a blessing to have a group of friends that you can, kind of spur of the moment, throw out dinner plans and have that many show up.

As we grow up, we realize it becomes
less important to have a ton of friends,
and more important to have real ones.

1/22/2015 Blessing: Mom's Okay

Since it was the last night before my brother was returning to his home in Greenbelt, Maryland, I invited him and my mom over to our house to join Paul and I for dinner.

When it was about time for him to arrive, I got a text asking for help when Mom arrived, because she had fallen on her way to the car at her house, and may need a little help.

Paul kept a lookout for Mom and Bill to arrive, and helped Mom into the house.

Mom made a bee line to the bathroom, because she had a bloody nose.

When she came out of the bathroom, it was obvious she had hit her face pretty hard on, we are assuming, the snow in her yard.  The force of the fall smashed her glasses into her face, causing quite a bit of bruising and swelling.

But, other than her face getting discolored and a bit swollen, a little scratch on her shoulder, and a swollen thumb, she was alright.

She was talkative, and immediately started putting ice on her face to relieve the swelling.

One thing that we discovered after Mom arrived was she had lost a lens in her glasses.  So Bill grabbed a flashlight, and went back to Mom's house to find the lens.  He was successful.

But as he was at Mom's house, the snow started falling, and he felt it was better to get Mom home ASAP before the sidewalks started getting slippery.

So we packed up the four dishes that contained our meals, and transported them over to Mom's house, and had a lovely meal of vegetarian stuffed peppers, corn bread, apple, beet and carrot slaw, and fruit salad.

Mom was amazing how she handled this whole ordeal, and it was a blessing that she not hurt badly.

1/21/2015 Blessing: Happy Birthday PEO!!

I belong to a Philanthropic Education Organization called P.E.O.

By being a member of Chapter M of P.E.O. here in Kellogg, it has given me a chance to get to know a lot of different women that I wouldn't normally have had a chance to meet and spend time with unless I was a part of this group.

Some of the women of mothers of people I went to school with.

Some of the women of people I went to school with.

Some of the women are people I only have interaction with at our twice monthly meetings.

A main focus of P.E.O. is the focus of the education of women.  Locally, we provide two scholarships to two KHS women who graduate from high school each year.

Internationally, we also have grants and scholarships and loans that women can apply for through P.E.O.

P.E.O. has their own private women's college in Nevada, Missouri called Cottey College.

Today I had the pleasure of hosting the bi-monthly meeting at my house.

It was also P.E.O's birthday today!!

I enjoy being a part of such a wonderful organization, and I have also enjoyed getting to know such a wide variety of women here in the Silver Valley.


1/20/2015 Blessing: Chef Molly

Oldest daughter Molly called me saying she wanted to get some "Wah Hing" for dinner.  But then I realized that our favorite Chinese restaurant in town was closed for some renovations until next week, so I told her to go and get us something else for dinner.

"Surprise us," I said.

So when Paul and I arrived home, Molly was busy preparing a dish she has been talking about since I made homemade Mac and Cheese a few weeks ago. 

Better than Boxed - Homemade Mac & Cheese 
Vegetarian Mac and Cheese.

There is Mac....but no cheese.  Instead there is sweet potatoes, coconut milk, cumin and yellow mustard.

It was quite delicious.

Served with a baguette and a glass of red wine.

I was blessed tonight to have "Chef Molly" in the kitchen, preparing tonight's dinner.


1/19/2015 Blessing: Warmth

Today I am blessed by the warmth in my home.

This occurred to me as I was in my kitchen and bent down toward the floor to pick something up, and felt the heat coming through one of the vents.

The feeling was so nice.

Heat is something we often take for granted, because we usually have a furnace that keeps our homes warm.

And this winter we have had the added bonus of a fire in our fireplace most nights.

My bedroom is cold, but that is a choice I make, because I like a cool bedroom.  The room across the hall from my bedroom is also cold, but we have an electric fireplace in there that heats it up very quickly.

One winter our forced air furnace did quit working, but we are fortunate again,  We have electric heat in our ceiling that kept us warm until the furnace got fixed.

As I snuggle down under my covers at night, my thoughts often wander to those not as fortunate as myself.

Those who do not have the choice of choosing to have a cool or warm bedroom.

Those who may not have a warm blanket they can snuggle under.

I never want to take the warmth I feel in my home for granted.

One of my favorite blankets that helps keep me warm.

Sibling Assignment 2015.2: The Humor of My Mom #3siblings

I gave this week's sibling assignment.  I knew our assignment would be posted around Mom's birthday, so I thought it should be about her.  Bill's post is here, and Christy's post is here.

This is our assignment this week:

Write about something that you realized about Mom when you were an adult, than didn't occur to you when you were a child growing up.

There were many realizations about my mom that happened when I became an adult.  One of them was realizing she had a great sense of humor.

Growing up, I think my dad's sense of humor and joking around overshadowed Mom's humor.  I guess I always thought of Dad as the funny parent.  I never saw Mom in that light.

But one day I realized that Mom had a funny sense of humor, and was rather playful.

I think I really started seeing it once I had children, and watching her interact with my daughters.  I still remember the shock of seeing my mom get down on the floor to show Molly how to roll over when she was just a baby.  This was a side of Mom I had never experienced.

And all of a sudden, Mom was throwing out funny one-liners that cracked us up.

Her humor was much different than Dad's humor. 

It is fun to be with Mom and laugh and joke around.

As I visit with her friends and people who know her, I also see her fun and humor through their stories they share with me about Mom.

Mom is a true gem, and her humor makes her shine ever so brightly.


1/18/2015 Blessing: Ham and Bean Soup

Mom took the leftover ham from her birthday dinner the night before, and added it to some beans, and made a delicious ham and bean soup for all of to enjoy.

Mom's ham and bean soup....delicious!!
There was some bread and salad to accompany the soup, and some lemon  angel food cake Mom's neighbor Jane brought over to her, because she knows Angel Food cake is her favorite.

The comfort of ham and bean soup was a real blessing on a cold January night.

And the conversation after dinner with Mom, Bill, Christy, Paul and I was also enjoyable, spanning a variety of topics including the Seahawk football game, what does being an Introvert mean, and what were some of our funniest moments from Saturday Night Live that we enjoyed?

Tidings of comfort and joy were present at Mom's house tonight.

1/17/2015 Blessing: Mom's Birthday Dinner

Instead of birthday cake, I made Mom cream puffs, just as she requested.


Saturday we gathered together at our house to celebrate my mom's 84th birthday.  Her actual birthday isn't until the 19th, but Saturday night worked the best for everyone to gather together to celebrate.

Besides Mom, Paul and myself, was my brother Bill, sister Christy, brother-in-law Everett and daughter Molly and her boyfriend Kai.

When family gathers together to celebrate birthdays, that is a real blessing.

The menu for the evening included baked ham, which Mom provided but I baked, using a glaze of the quince jelly I canned a few months ago from our quince bush in the backyard.   I also made a Greek salad, cream puffs for dessert, and tried a new baked bean recipe in my crockpot that was a big hit.

Christy provided the potato dish, and her and Bill partnered together to create a cranberry sauce that also cooked in the crockpot.  Bill also provided some bread and wine.

Christy also served up some interesting adult beverages before and after dinner.

The food was delicious, the conversation was enjoyable, and the company was the best.

1/16/15 Blessing: Creative Coffee Time...It's In The Bag

This bag means coffee and creativity.

I am a bit of a "bag lady".
Most of the things in my life that I am involved with have their own special bag.
I have a computer bag, a book club bag, a church bag, a PEO bag, a Creative Masterminds Group bag, a Sixth Street Theater board bag, a church Endowment Committee bag.....
Well, you get the idea.
For Christmas, my mom gave me a knew bag.  And this bag contains items for when I get together with my friend April, and have coffee and talk about making our lives more creative.
Once a week we try and meet somewhere for coffee and plan our monthly CMG gatherings, encourage creativity in one another, and talk about our lives.  We talk about aging parents, sibling relationships, dreams we want to come true, how to handle the down times, and celebrate the up times.  We share tough things.  We share triumphs.  It is a really good thing.
These weekly coffee and creativity get-togethers are truly a blessing.


1/15/2015 Blessing: Booth and Bones

I have been catching up on the seasons of "Bones" that I have not seen on Netflix recently.  The last time I watched this show, Bones had proposed to Booth, and but their nemesis Pelant told Booth he would kill five innocent people if they got married, so he had to postpone the wedding.

This was back at the end of season 8.

Last night I was blessed to have Paul by my side as we sat on the couch to see Booth and Bones bring down their nemesis, finally get married (of course I cried), and go on their honeymoon.

Paul had worked late at school, but when he arrived home, he settled down next to me, and we watched the episodes up through the honeymoon.

It was so relaxing, enjoyable and comfortable to be all alone in our house, watching some good TV.

11/14/2015 Blessing: Houseguests

I really like having people can and stay at my house.

It is great to reconnect with people in the relaxing atmosphere of your living room.

Tuesday, a daughter of some dear friends came to spend a few days at our house before she heads back to Carroll College to begin her adventure with student teaching.

Jamie also brought another guest, her cat Lily.  In fact, they are staying with us because we are "cat-friendly" people, and Jamie knew Lily would be welcomed with open arms!!

Enjoying having Lily and her owner Jamie spend the week with us.

We have a lot of history with Jamie.  We watched her grow up since she was about six years old.  She was one of Paul's students and actors.  We attended the same church, and her and our daughters attended the same church camp many summers as they were growing up.

It was fun to visit with her about her amazing trip last summer to England, how her family is doing, who now live in Oklahoma, and her and Paul had a great discussion about teaching English, because that is what she is going to do once she graduates in May.

We also took her out to eat so she could get her "Casa d'Oro" fix while she was here.

What a blessing to have Jamie and Lily under our roof this week, and reconnect with one of our favorite people.


1/13/15 Blessing: My New Crockpot

I love my new CrockPot.  What a blessing this has been to cook with the past few weeks.

I have an old CrockPot that was a wedding gift, given to us in 1986.  It still works, but it is small, and I was ready to get a bigger one.

So I put it on my Christmas list, and Mom was generous enough to give Paul and I a new Crockpot for Christmas.

So far, I have used it to made Red Curry Lentils, French Onion Soup, and to keep a big pot of pasta warm.

I like having a bigger crockpot, so then, when I do make a pot full of some kind of dish, there is more than enough to take over and share with my mom and brother.

I have a Pinterest board completely dedicated to Crockpot recipes, especially ones that have no meat.

It cleans up easy, and the Crockpot's stainless steel matches the rest of the kitchen.

I look forward to many more hearty meals prepared in my new Crockpot.


1/12/15 Blessing: Easter Cantata is Back!!

The Easter Cantata is back!!

I am so excited Joy Persoon has decided to once again bring back the Silver Valley Christian community coming together to present the Easter Cantata this coming Palm Sunday.

It has been almost five or six years since we had an Easter Cantata, and we finally came together to begin rehearsals.

There is something about gathering together with Christians from across the Silver Valley to unite together to share the message of Christ's Redemption through his death on the cross, and being raised from the dead.

And Joy has such a gift of bringing people together to sing and worship God. 

It is an honor and privilege to sing alongside these men and women as we practice and prepare to share this beautiful Easter message on Palm Sunday.

I am blessed to unite with people who love the Lord, and love to sing the Easter message, and share it with our community.