{ Jonny’s Questions }

A brief errand took me into the city with my three youngest children.

We had a wholesome audiobook to entertain us and the January roads were dry. Traffic wasn’t going to stop us from arriving at one of our favorite destinations:


Billboards flashed by and Jonny asked, “What’s Planned Parenthood?”

I was not expecting this. My mind raced with what they know already and what I was willing to say at 8:40 a.m. while weaving through rush hour.

I launched into benign definitions about organizations and what they do.

Then I clumsily ventured into a mini-sermon.  Half of you would agree with my monologue and half wouldn’t, but Jonny seemed satisfied.

A selfish detour took us to Starbucks before anything else.  I felt I deserved it.


After that, Trader Joe’s bags filled the car with goodies and we were on our way home.

Back on the highway that was decorated with billboards, Jonny piped up again.

“What’s Super 8?”

That one was easier.




{ School, Senior Citizens & Substitutions }

It’s MEA week.  It’s the week that Minnesota public schools get time off for teachers to attend meetings.

Ava, age 12, asks if we have to do homeschool today.


“Grandma gets to go to an apple orchard today,” Ava says.

“Senior citizens have all the fun, don’t they?” 

Instead of a trip to the apple orchard, we got a spelling test and the rest of the French and Indian War. And math.

Practicing spelling words. At least a little more fun when you use neon scratch paper and markers.

Instead of the apples,  Ava (a budding pie-maker) might make a mock apple pie with the green tomatoes we rescued from the garden.

It won’t be such a bad day.



Pie photo credit.



{ My Penchant List }

door-2103035__480Penchant – the word of the day: a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something.

Synonyms: liking, fondness, preference, taste, partiality, soft spot, fancy, weakness, bent
  • Coffee with cream
  • Chocolate
  • The color red
  • Whole fat plain (not Greek) yogurt
  • Stories about underdogs
  • Clean comedy
  • Books about introverts
  • Making treasures out of trash
  • Hearing about how God uses weak people to do something wonderful
  • Working alone in cozy, tucked away places with no interruptions
  • Audiobooks
  • Drying clothes on the line
  • Walking around lakes and on trails
  • Antiques and houses with character. (Especially if they have red painted doors)
  • Thrift shops
  • Crafting, selling and giving away things I have made
  • Getting rid of clutter
  • Zinnias
  • Gingham
  • Crock pots




{ Making Lists }


Is it fact or urban legend: that checking boxes off my lists releases endorphins?

It’s funny to think of a time when people didn’t make lists

or use planners

or phone calendars.

Did the pioneer women check boxes off lists?


Get the fire going
Catch, kill and pluck a chicken
Churn butter from yesterday’s cream
Start the soap making
Then start breakfast


(They got more done in a day than I do in a week.)


“If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” — Woody Allen


Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.


Word Prompt of the Day:  Organize

{ Mo’s Jump–as told to me by 13-year old Massimo. }

This isn’t Mo.  But it looks authentic to the story.

When I arrived at the northern Minnesota cabin, my uncle’s home looked calm and inviting.

I had no idea that 24 hours later I would be jumping off a cliff into a lake.

Later, I heard about the jumping rock while devouring a hearty plate of spaghetti. I didn’t determine to do it then. I looked forward to seeing the rock, and possibly watching somebody else jump off.

After a solid night’s sleep, morning activities, and more food, we piled into the boat and sped across the lake.

We arrived at the rock, which stood three stories high above the sparkling waters.

I stood there at the top. It seemed like half an hour before I got my courage up.

After I decided to jump, I ran and leaped into the air. When I landed in the water, my hands stung. But otherwise, nothing hurt.

When I swam back to the boat, smiling Julia let down a rope and I climbed up. Grandma and Uncle Nick said, “Congratulations!”

It was too windy to talk on the ride home. I was left to my own thoughts.

“If I had the chance, I might do it again. Then again, I might not.”

This is the amazing Mo.


“There is a big difference in life between a jump and a fall. A jump is about courage and faith, something the world is in short supply of these days. A fall is –just a fall.” 

--Ian Morgan Cron

“They say: Think twice before you jump. I say: Jump first and then think as much as you want!--Osho

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch. 

--Jean-Luc Godard

{ William O. Cushing }

William O. Cushing, hymnwriter

Why do old photos look so scary?

This is actually a nice man: pastor, generous giver and hymnwriter. In the nineteenth century, when $1,000 was a lot of money, William O. Cushing gave his entire life savings to pay for the education of a blind girl.

One of his earliest hymns was the song, “When He Cometh,” which compared Christians to jewels whom Christ would gather when he came.

William Orcutt Cushing was born in 1823. By reading scripture for himself as a teenager, he became a believer. At eighteen he was convinced the Lord wanted him to become a minister.

When He Cometh~ hymn based on Zechariah 9:16-17

On that day the Lord their God will save them,
    as the flock of his people;
for like the jewels of a crown
    they shall shine on his land.
 For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!

When He Cometh

When He cometh, when He cometh, To make up His jewels,

All His jewels, precious jewels,

His loved and His own.

Like the stars of the morning,
His brightness adorning,
They shall shine in their beauty,
Bright gems for His crown.

He will gather, He will gather
The gems for His kingdom;
All the pure ones, all the bright ones,
His loved and His own.

Little children, little children,
Who love their Redeemer,
Are the jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.

Source material from here.

Word prompt of the day: shimmer