Thursday, February 24, 2011


are one of life's most valuable assets! I suppose growing up and then choosing to spend at least this portion of my adult life all in one "place" may have contributed to a narrow view of life. On the other hand, I choose to see what a blessing it has been to deeply cultivate lifelong relationships beyond those in my own family. I figure it this way: if these people know me this well and still choose to love me, I've got a good thing going!
So, I cherish my friends: the old ones, the new ones, and all of those in between. Relationships are undervalued in our society. We tend to gravitate toward people who elevate our status or have something to offer our ego. On the other hand, those who have helped us walk the difficult roads, loved us when we weren't too attractive, put up with our foolish immaturity, and stood to defend our reputation and honor get shoved into the background, virtually unthought of.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to add new friends like Stephanie Cantrell and her adorable daughter, Halie, to my "treasury of friends"...
Halie, Kaitlynn, Allison...their mommies were enjoying ice cream on
on the other side of the table.  You can never have too many friends who share your name!

But in the joy of gaining new friends, I want to keep those close who have been with me through major life events, especially those crucial decision-making times...
Chenoa, Stephenie, Angie, Stephanie...drawn together in a dorm on a Hilltop
And then there are those who know us about as well as we know ourselves. They shared in our childhood pranks, our on-again-off-again "romances", our 16th birthday parties, learning to drive a stick shift, torturing our babysitters, attending concerts and plays, haunted houses, locking keys in the car, putting yearbooks together, working at the same restaurant (even if only for a, you see where I'm going here...
Stephanie and Deborah...oh, the memories!  :)
"Friends" are those you always carry in your heart.  When they hurt, you hurt.  When they experience joy and happiness, it warms your heart.  You are better because of them.  And hopefully they are better because of you!  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Like pretty much everyone else in the midwest and northeast, we are bracing for the worst!  We all know that the poor weather forecasters have very little accuracy in reporting, but just in case they are right, we are ready.  The freezing rain, sleet, hail combo started yesterday evening, and continued off and on throughout the night.  Although I spent the better part of four hours grocery shopping last Saturday, most of my purchases weren't real practical for a power outage.  So, today I loaded up four kiddos, and we ventured out, slippin' and slidin,' all the way to Meijer for some extra supplies.
We made it back home safely -via Taco Bell (for them) and Kewpee (for me...mmmmm!)- and have spent the last 6 or 7 hours baking, cooking, and listening to all of our electric appliances sweetly hum along while sheets of freezing rain pelt the house with winter fury.  The washer, dryer, oven, microwave, dishwasher, phone chargers, furnace, and hot water heater are all working in such's amazing what we miss when transformers blow and power poles blessed we are! 
So, if we awake to darkness in the morning, we will eat our freshly baked banana muffins and cold milk, and thank the Lord for a roof over our heads, a fireplace in the living room, and warm blankets to wrap ourselves.  We ARE blessed!