My favorite quotes, songs and stories, my writings and thots

The way I think of you

Reflecting back on this past year, there are so many things I can be thankful for, so many wonderful experiences that made this year great! However, this was also one of the roughest years I’ve had in a very long time. As I went through the ups and downs of this year, however, there is one thing (aside from the Lord and His Word, of course) I found I wouldn’t have made it without: my friends. Friends are angels on earth who somehow were there for me though the really rough patches. Some, I’ve only known for a short time, others for most of my adult life. However, it matters not how these angels minister: through a prayer, a song or quote to pull me through, a joke or jab to get me to pull out of discouragement, or just a listening ear that listened (sometimes for hours!) without judging or condescension, the result was that I made it through another year—somewhat battered and bruised, but I’m still here, right?

goldrosesthorns.jpgWhen this picture came out, I had to think of you (yes, you know who you are…) and how that cup of water was just what I needed at the time. It may be hard to pray and praise when someone is going through a rough time, but you did and it was just what I needed. I know the Lord is always there for me, and without Him I’d really be a mess, regardless of what human love can do, but without the human hands to be His hands, the hearts to be His heart, the tongue to be His tongue to tell me that He still loves and cares for me I would have found it that much harder to find the comfort He was trying to give me.

So, as I smile through my tears, entering this New Year, I wanted to say this: Thank you. Thank you for being there for me, for holding me up through your prayers and concern. Thank you for never losing faith and hope in me. Thank you for putting up with the downs and enjoying the ups with me. I hope and pray that when the time comes that you need me to be that kind of friend, I’ll be there for you too.

This song is one of my absolute favorites right now. I’ve listened to it over and over, sometimes using it as a praise time song as I thank God for you in my life. I can’t find the lyrics online, so I had to transcribe it myself. Hope I got it all right, you’ll get the point anyway: 

Have I ever told you what you mean to me?

Have I ever mentioned just what it is?

A friend is someone that stays close beside you

And in your darkest hour he’ll help see you through.

Always caring, always sharing;

He’ll lay down his life for you.

And that’s the way I think of you;

For the love of God shines in you.

Your love and friendship helped me, helped me through;

And that’s the way I think of you.

We’re climbing a mountain, we’re gonna reach the top;

Every step closer we draw near to God.

Sometimes it’s hard and the road is rugged;

But we can do it together and give what we’ve got.

Always caring, always sharing;

We’ll lay down our lives for each other.

And that’s the way I think of you;

For the love of God shines in you.

Your love and friendship helped me, helped me through.

And that’s the way I think of you.

With land and sea between us we seem so far apart

I’ll always remember you; you have a place in my heart…

In the times to come, you will be the one whose faith is strong, an unquenchable stream of living water. When the faith of others runs out, you will be able to hold them up and replenish their faith. 

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

odds and ends

This was one of those sweet stories that proves that a little bit of love can go a long way.


I think we all need a little more Peace on Earth!

[Y]ou can get hope in the smallest good act, in the smallest kind word, in the smallest gesture that is for your good, you know. Hope is all around us.  -Thelma Wells

about the kids, read this, Travels

Some Christmas Pix

I don’t have them all on my camera/laptop, but will raid Jo’s as soon as I have opportunity. But here are a few from our wonderful time Lj. Thanks so much, guys for inviting us; we had a great Christmas with you. It was interesting going back around this time, as we had been so busy there last year but some of our best memories there happened around C-mas and NY. Hopefully there will be more pix to come, but these will have to do for now.


Each of the kids got to bring a gift along, as we had the ‘official’ gift opening here. CC brought this one extra for Cherise–a bangle with bells that she got for Cherise. I got one, as did CC 😀


A very happy Jordan with his new Leap Pad books. Thank God it uses headphones as it’s annoying in the car for all of us, though so much fun for him! Cherise got her first book too, so they’ll have something to do in the upcoming long trip.


Serving the already carved turkey. Spent 7 hrs in the kitchen making stuffing, cookies, cheesecake and other items for dinner. It was loads of fun, though…my idea of how to spend C-mas Day. And oh, thank God for beer! (that’s supposed to kinda explain that face!)


The road coming back. It does look pretty, I’ll admit. CC used up the rest of the memory and battery on the camera making video clips “just in case we miss snow in India”. Wonder how long it’ll take me to get to that point? As much as I like the way it looks, it’s just way too cold for me right now!

about the kids, Travels

Was someone dreaming of a white Christmas?


This was the scene from our yard moments before we braved the snow to travel to Slovenia for Christmas. Somewhat thankfully, it’s not that snowy out here.


I got them to wear their snow suits for traveling, this way they can play in the cold and snow here without me having to take extra room for them in the car…


Does he look content or what? He was fascinated with the huge flakes falling on his eyelashes.

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Quotes for the Day

The world says greatness is in having, achieving, and attaining, while God says greatness is in giving, loving, and helping. The truly humble are the truly great, for only they give from a pure heart, without thought for themselves, but only for the need they are filling.—Nana Williams

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.—Winston Churchill

If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.—Bishop Robert South

Look around for a place to sow a few seeds.—Henry Van Dyke

“Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible, by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity and wisdom of the Almighty Savior who gave the command. Is there a wall in our path? By our God we will leap over it! Are there lions and scorpions in our way? We will trample them under our feet! Does a mountain bar our way? Saying, ‘Be thou removed and cast into the sea,’ we will march on.” C.T.Studd

Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -Helen Keller

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. –Henry Van Dyke

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. –Mark Twain

Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. –ISA.43:1,2

And if you have a minute, read this


cmastree.jpgMost of the shows we did this Christmas were for children who are physically disabled in some way. And each stood out to me in a different way. One evening we were scheduled to do a program for a local NGO that helps parents with disabled children. I wasn’t entirely sure what their disabilities were, but I packed my clown outfit and got the kids dressed and hair done. When we arrived I spotted an adorable little toddler right away. rese.jpgHe looked like any small boy learning to walk and just a bit bored with the proceedings leading up to our program. As I looked closely however, I noticed the tube coming from his neck. A quick scan of the room showed that about half of the children there were also either hooked up to breathing tubes in wheelchairs or else, like the toddler, had the tube in their throat. The other half of the kids there were siblings and friends who gathered together for this Christmas party. Before long, the clown was making kids laugh, our children were dancing their best and it was time for me to get into costume and make balloons. As I worked, I couldn’t help but be moved by these children and their parents who go through so much. gabzballoon.jpgHere I have three healthy, energetic kids. I don’t have to worry about if I have enough spare oxygen if I go someplace with them. I don’t have to be concerned that they don’t over do the running and end up gasping for air. We are blessed with good health and our mission was to somehow brighten their evening and help them forget all that for that evening. After the hats, swords, flowers and dogs had been made and all the children moved into the dance floor I got out of costume and just sat watching these precious children, thanking God for our good health and all the other blessings He’s brought into my life.

This is why I love Christmas, it’s the time for giving: giving of ourselves, our time, our energy, our love. And also praise to the One who made it all possible, Who through His birth brought all this love into our lives. I’ve been praying a lot lately, what with financial deadlines to try and reach, the upcoming move and all, but once again, I was reminded to show my love to Him by praising, by being grateful for all the little–or not so little–things he brings into my life: my children, good health, loved ones, the great people I get to live with and spend Christmas with, and so much more. And may I remember to take this spirit of praise with me into the New Year and never forget just how good my life is.


Jordan’s way to wear the hat was a hit with the other boys at the Christmas party…he looks like a space man or something; especially in those pjs, heh.

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Grandma Ruby

My prayer: That I may be a mother like this long before I become a grandmother!

By Lynn Robertson

Being a mother of two very active boys, ages seven and one, I am sometimes worried about their making a shambles of my carefully decorated home. In their innocence and play, they occasionally knock over my favorite lamp or upset my well-designed arrangements. In these moments when chaos overrules calm, I remember the lesson I learned from my wise mother-in-law, Ruby.

Ruby is the mother of six and grandmother of 13. She is the embodiment of gentleness, patience, and love. One Christmas, all the children and grandchildren were gathered as usual at Ruby’s home. Just the month before, Ruby had bought beautiful new white carpeting, after living with the “same old carpet” for over 25 years. She was overjoyed with the new look it gave her home.

My brother-in-law, Arnie, had just distributed his gifts for all the nieces and nephews-prized homemade honey from his beehives. They were excited. But as fate would have it, eight-year-old Sheena spilled her tub of honey on Grandma’s new carpeting and trailed it throughout the entire downstairs of the house.

Crying, Sheena ran into the kitchen and into Grandma Ruby’s arms. “Grandma, I’ve spilled my honey all over your brand-new carpet.”

Grandma Ruby knelt down, looked tenderly into Sheena’s tearful eyes and said, “Don’t worry, sweetheart, we can get you more honey.”

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Quotes for the Day

Martin Luther on music:This precious gift [music] has been given to man alone that he might thereby remind himself that God has created man for the express purpose of praising and extolling God.

However, when man’s natural musical ability is whetted and polished to the extent that it becomes an art, then do we note with great surprise the great and perfect wisdom of God in music, which is, after all, His product and His gift; we marvel when we hear music in which one voice sings a simple melody, while three, four, or five other voices play and trip lustily around the voice that sings its simple melody and adorn this simple melody wonderfully with artistic musical effects, thus reminding us of a heavenly dance, where all meet in a spirit of friendliness, caress and embrace.

A person who gives this some thought and yet does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs.” – Martin Luther


Martin Luther once wrote these words, “When I cannot pray, I always sing.” (Streams in the Desert, November 23)

My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary. – Martin Luther


Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.
He’ll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He’ll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.

And many a rapturous minstrel
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music
“I learned it in the night.”
And many a rolling anthem,
That fills the Father’s home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room.
(Streams in the Desert, May 30)


about the kids

My Children

Cherise: “Mommy, what do doctors do when they injure themselves?”

Mikey and Jordan were having a discussion about their love for milk. Mikey: “I like my milk because it’ll make me big and strong like my daddy!” Jordan: “I drink milk so I’ll be big and strong like my mommy!” Oh yay.

Yesterday, after the show one of the handicapped teenagers startled CC by coming up behind her for a hug. I suggested she hug her back but CC was a bit put off at first. Cherise, who was sitting a short ways away got up, patted the girl on the back to get her attention and gave her a big hug. Moments like those make me tear up every time! Of course, CC got over it and gave a hug as well…it was just so cute to see how spontaneous Cherise is in her affection.

At least once a week, Jordan asks Jo, “Are we driving to India today?”

about the kids

Picture catch up


I love how this (yes, it’s foggy, but the bathroom was warmer than the room where the cam was) picture shows his whole-hearted laugh. I need to somehow get a recording of that one of these days.


We went out with CC and Jordan (Cherise didn’t want to come; “It’s too cold!”) to celebrate CC finishing her grade. I thought this tree was particularly beautiful in the decorations.


We also went to the Christmas market in town; the fountain is surrounded by a huge wreath. I need to get CC to post her pix from that day on her blog…


And the kids are at it again! Bringing that Christmas cheer and happiness through dance.


They are doing so well; they only had a short time to practice the dances, but most importantly, they keep going, smiling and mostly get it all right.


The cutest thing is that when they do get something wrong, they manage to do it together in such a way that only I know it’s wrong 😛

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Quotes for the Day

Just remember that it doesn’t matter to Me that you are full of mistakes, that you don’t get everything right, that you have areas that you need to work on. Those aren’t requirements for being My disciple. Perfection is not how I want My disciples to be defined or remembered. What was the one defining feature I gave My disciples so long ago? “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love” (Jn.13:35). That’s My goal for you to strive for—love. Love is what I want you to be known for, love is what will attract My lost sheep to you, love for Me is what will empower you to live My Word and apply it to your lives.

Accept the circumstances I put you in that grow and stretch your faith, that force you to call on Me for a miracle. When I put you in a tight place, where there’s no way out, it’s probably because I want to bless you with a miracle.


I knew it was good for something! :D

Calories can be burned by the hundreds by engaging in strenuous activities that do not require physical exercise.

Beating around the bush – 75
Jumping to conclusions – 100
Climbing the walls – 150
Swallowing your pride – 50
Passing the buck – 25
Throwing your weight around (depending on your weight) – 50-300
Dragging your heels – 100
Pushing your luck – 250
Making mountains out of molehills – 500
Hitting the nail on the head – 50
Wading through paperwork – 300
Bending over backwards – 75
Jumping on the bandwagon – 200
Balancing the books – 25
Running around in circles – 350
Eating crow – 225
Tooting your own horn – 25
Climbing the ladder of success – 750
Pulling out the stops – 75
Adding fuel to the fire –160
Wrapping it up at the day’s end – 12

To which you may want to add your own favorite activities, including:

Opening a can of worms – 50
Putting your foot in your mouth – 300
Starting the ball rolling – 90
Going over the edge – 25
Picking up the pieces after – 350