Thursday, January 31, 2008

Love Has No Age Barriers

Jael: 5 years old; Teri Lynn: 45 years old,
but wearing a brand-new homemade dress.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Corral Those Cell Phones!

Do you find that you have a jillion cords plugged in your bedroom or home office now with all the rechargeable items in our lives?

The picture on the right was one person's solution. Nice. Here are some other's:

Too business like for my bedroom. Yikes!

So, the other day, I was passing through Ross and laid my eyes on a lovely box. I suppose it was for letters or some sort of paper management. But, it only took a few seconds for me to decide what I was going to do with it. Took it home, my husband drilled four holes in the back, I placed a piece of white felt on the bottom, and it became home to two cell phones with their matching Bluetooths.
Much nicer than having them hanging all around the bedroom. And such a simple project. And, if I must say so myself, much lovelier than the other options. Less expensive, too. Total cost to me: $9.99 plus tax.
My recharging station:

Isn't it lovely?

Friday, January 25, 2008


Elephant Seals used to be close to extinction, maybe 20-100 in number. Due to now being protected, they number about 170,000. About 45 minutes from us is the Piedras Blancas Rookery. In 1990, about 2 dozen seals came to this beach. This little colony had a population explosion and now there are thousands!

These pictures don't really show how BIG these things are! Males grow to 14-16 feet long and weigh in at 3000-5000 pounds, or more.

Two males fighting

Mommy and brand-new baby

We like going to see the seals in January because that is when all of them are "home" -- males, females, and babies. It is truly fascinating to watch them. A couple Sundays ago, we took four of our grandchildren and two of their parents to have lunch in Cambria and then to visit the elephant seals.

For more information of the elephant seal, click here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Seven Weird Things About Me

Daja, at In Other Words, has tagged me for a meme. Here are the ground rules: Simply link to the person who tagged you. SHARE SEVEN WEIRD things about yourself. Tag SEVEN bloggers to do the same AND include a link to their blog.

Okay, here goes.

1. Brushing my teeth makes me gag.

2. I can't remember my favorites. I do have them. It is just that when filling out a questionnaire or meme, I just draw a blank. I have to ask my girls. When they tell me the answer to, "What's my favorite movie?" I say, "Oh, yeah, that's right!" (Honestly, I'm asking my husband to help me answer this meme!)

3. Okay, I will be copying Daja here. But, it is allowed, since she probably inherited this trait from me. “I don't like talking on the phone. I don't like calling people on the phone. I'm always sure I'm interrupting their lives. They are probably in the middle of dinner, an engrossing conversation, reading a great book, kissing their spouse, prayer, or an art project. Maybe I just assume people lead more interesting lives than they actually do. Maybe people are just sittin' on the couch eatin' corn chips. But, never know. Which is why you are much more likely to receive an email from me than a phone call.” However, just so you know, I can talk to Daja (or her sisters) for huge chunks of time.

4. I am a compulsive list-maker. Seriously. I have to write everything down. That way I don't waste brain-power trying to remember things that I know I've completely forgotten.

5. My children tease me that I can smell wood. So what. I can.

6. I am the princess from "The Princess and the Pea." I can feel ANY little piece of lint that might be in my bed.

7. When I wear hosiery, I always carry an extra pair with me. I seriously don't want to be seen with a run.

I tag: Leona at OUT of My Brain, Heather at Journal of a Couple of Newbees, Amy at Family O’Foxes, Tamera at TJ's Garden, Amy at Ke Aloha (since she hasn't answered Daja's tag, she's fair game?), Donna at Rambling in Atlanta, and Meg at knittingpugs. (Seriously, no one really has to do this. If it fits into your blog, go ahead. If not, no problem.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Luc turns 4!

I have been at 7 of the 10 births of my grandchildren. It is an honor and I am very blessed. However, Luc is the only one where I had to travel to the other side of the world in order to be there. In December of 2003, Sarah-Kate, Serena, Jael (20 months old), and I flew to Mongolia for 5 1/2 weeks just to be at his birth. No other reason. (Well, except that I missed all of the Gombojavs so much.) He was born January 7, 2004.

Because we were all together the day before for Epiphany, the whole bunch of us got to celebrate his birthday. It was a short little party as everyone was on their way out -- Joel to work, the Gombojavs back home (Gana started back to school the next morning), Josh & Serena to Colorado to check out the area for their future move, and Papa to take them to the airport. But, everyone made the effort to either be there or stay for the celebration. Sarah-Kate, Luc's TiTi and godmother, made him a Spiderman cake and Mom (Daja) bought him his very own little Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

He was happy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I have a lot of catching up to do. Let's start back at January 6 -- Epiphany. I'll try to get caught up a little each day.

My family started celebrating Epiphany when my children were still young. This was not a church tradition for us and so we have made our own traditions for the holiday. We like celebrating Epiphany because it commemorates the day the Wise Men reached the Christ-child. It is important for us because it brought Gentiles into the story. The Light was brought to all man-kind.

This year our family was not together for Christmas, yet we still wanted to draw names and exchange gifts, so we decided to do so on Epiphany. Everyone was there. It was a blessed time.

We start out eating take-out Chinese food. We do so every year. It would be nice to say it symbolizes the fact that the Wise Men came from the East; but, truthfully, it was because by that time in the line of holidays, I was tired of cooking a huge festive meal!

After eating, the grown-ups clean up and the children go plan a little skit. They delight us every year as they are all absolutely adorable, of course. We often end up in tears, sometimes because of the poignancy, but usually because of laughter!

All ten of my grandbabies were here! Are they cute or what?

Then, we sit and all take turns reading excerpts from the Scriptures telling the Christmas story and the plan of salvation starting with the prophecies in the Old Testament and end with singing We Three Kings. Sometime during the night, we usually watch the movie, The Fourth Wise Man.

We then (finally!) get to open presents! This year's theme was "Books, books, books!" We had to give anything that was book related. Quite a variety of creativity showed up.

We ended our night eating Chocolate Yule Log, a definite favorite around here. And with our crowd, I had to make three!

Monday, January 21, 2008


During the fall, we repainted the living, dining, and family rooms. I've been slowly redecorating since then. I did not want to put up everything the way it was. So, some things are similar; some are just moved around; and some are brand new.

I had one wall with just a family portrait hanging on it. It seemed like a large picture until it was hanging on the wall all alone. I knew the wall and the picture needed help. But, what to do?

A month or so ago, I came across the loveliest blog -- though I don't remember how, now. Tracey over at Notes from A Cottage Industry posted this article one day. It provided the perfect inspiration!

I found two black frames at Target on clearance for $3.50 each. I printed the monograms of the two families (my parents and us) that live here. Voila! They are a perfect complement to the portrait and inspired the tableau below it.

From left to right: My parents' marriage license, their engagement picture, an little antique sewing machine and camera, a photo of my family from my childhood, my husband's grandparents' wedding picture, and my sister's baby picture. The vase is black and white and was a wedding present from my maid-of-honor. The table runner was just recently crocheted by my mother.

I'm pleased. At least for now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Directing Our Days

Happy New Year!

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

What it being the beginning of a new year and all, I am sure that many of you have been thinking about resolutions and goals for 2008 – and perhaps thinking of the frustration that happens when we don’t keep them. I would like to challenge you to write out your vision for your LIFE. Sometimes we choose a resolution or a goal just because we think we should. But, perhaps if we looked at the blueprint of our whole life, we might get a better view of what our resolutions and goals should be. Those goals will be how we attain our vision.

Your vision for your life is how you SEE your life, the way that you want it to be--or better yet how God SEES your life. This will, of course, be different for each one of us as each of us is unique.

A vision HAS to be WRITTEN. You will not be able to see it if it is not written down in a place where you will see it often. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, "And the Lord answered me and said, "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

We will get so much more accomplished when we have what we are trying to accomplish written down. When we have our vision before our eyes and "good" stuff comes along, we can make a decision regarding it – based on our vision. Even IF it is a good thing, if it doesn't fit in with our vision, then it isn't for us. There are too many good things in life. We cannot do them all. Especially not all at the same time. We need to keep our eyes focused on what God has called us to do. We will get further along if we have the road map in front of us. If we do not know where we are going, we WILL get SOMEWHERE, but it probably won't be where we were supposed to go or wanted to go.

If you already have a vision written out, take a good look at it and see if it needs any revisions. It might be a good idea to take a look at your 2007 vision and goals and check where you are. Now, revision can be a good thing. As you start making strides in accomplishing your vision, you may find God asking more (or even different) things from you. When should you not revise? When you find yourself wanting to revise your vision to fit what you want to do at the moment. We can call that “justification”. :-) So, whether you are writing out a vision for the first time or revising last years, please take it to the Lord. Ask Him what it needs to contain.

Please leave a comment if you have a written vision or when you do write one. It would be interesting to know that the people “around” me are catching the vision. (Yes, the pun was intended.) Please feel free to share your vision with the rest of us, if you feel so inclined.

My vision is hanging by my computer in a nice frame. I want my vision to be visible to myself and to others, so that they can see plainly what my life is about. It will bring glory to God and hold me accountable.

Here is my vision that I wrote on September 20, 2003:

My desire is to live a life that is devoted to God and my family.
I see everything I do blessing God, others or myself.
I see a life that is not being directed by stress, worry or urgency.
I see myself living life beautifully.
I see myself making life more pleasant for myself and others.
I see myself living an enhanced life.

Notice the use of the word "see". I had not used it in my first version and my husband pointed it out. This isn't just a wish list or something I hope to be or do; it needs to be how I SEE my life. Oh, I haven’t attained it yet; however, it is what I believe God wants for my life.

So, how do you SEE your life?

My Wage

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.

-- Jessie Belle Rittenhouse (1869–1948)
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