Monthly Archives: January 2015

More Than Enough


Hi, again! It is unusual for me to post two times so closely together (especially recently), but today I’m sending you to another blog hosted by a new friend in the blogging/Christian writing world. Her name is Cate, and she shares all sorts of good stuff at her site “The Fabulous Wife.” I know life is super busy, but there is a lot of great information available online. If you have some time, check-out a few sites. I like to “sample” a few each week, kinda like I would at the dessert table for church fellowship meals.

My article at Cate’s site is a little encouragement for all who have felt inadequate at one time or another, and that’s just way too many of us. As we start a new year and are considering self-improvement, keep in mind that we are “enough.” Setting goals for better health and more productivity is admirable, as long as we remember we have all the tools needed to do just what He made us for.

See more of my post and take a taste (I mean a read) at The Fabulous Wife:




Cakes Without Calories!


Happy Friday, friends! I hope the New Year is off to a great start for everyone. It feels like I am only now getting back into the rhythm of things. My late-night, late-rising sleep habits were hard to break after everyone returned to school and work.

For local folks, the cakes are on the way out…blog - cake3 - Jan. 2015

In 2014, St. Louis celebrated its 250th anniversary with a fun display of cake statues in key spots around the metropolitan area and surrounding counties. I learned about the “cake tour” last spring and wanted to take my own. My plan, mapped out and scheduled, was to see 20 of the creations on a 4-H Arts & Crafts field trip in the fall. As parents, most outings are connected with our children’s activities. That’s a hard habit to break, too. Alas, one activity bumped another, and my tour didn’t happen.

My kids are teens now, and my husband and I are just starting to find that, while they still keep us very busy, there are those opportunities to get out on our own, go with our friends (most of whom are now blog - cake2 -Jan. 2015empty-nesters or nearly so), and leave the youngin’s on their own. That’s kinda nice.

Though I never viewed more than a few random cakes in passing, a lovely young friend of mine did. She, like some others, made it a goal to see and document many of them during the year, so I will live vicariously through her. Here are a few pictures and a lesson for parents…

Raising kids is tough and rarely ever a cake walk, and sometimes we miss out on things we would like to do because we defer to their needs at the time. But… the rewards for a job well done are sweeter far than any cake, pie, or brownie around. I don’t say that lightly. And, ultimately, time goes by so quickly, and young ones are soon on their own. Let’s enjoy all the craziness while it last!

Enjoy these cake photos courtesy of Ms. Lauren Berry’s. And, does anyone think she looks a bit like a blond Anne Hathaway? Thanks, Lauren, for sharing!

And, here’s the link to information about the cakes and the celebration that was:blog- cake4 - Jan. 2015

Enjoy the Weekend!blog- cake5 - Jan. 2015

Hallyblog- cake1 - Jan. 2015


Boots are Hot! Shoeboxes are Better!


Happy New Year! It’s been a while, but I am finally getting back to BBB with a post that was inspired in the old year. I always run a bit behind. And, I get distracted. I know that I wrote a post about accountability, and I promised a follow-up to that. I have not forgotten. I remain accountable.

And, who can begin a new year without at least addressing the idea of goals (I don’t wish to jinx any successes by using the “R” word)? Those thoughts are in my head as well, but today, I wanted to share with you an experience I had during the holiday season and an opportunity for you to consider this year.

There is one outreach my family supports each holiday season; we have done so sin20141205_101359ce my children were very young. It is Operation Christmas Child, part of Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, a Franklin Graham ministry. Many of you will be familiar with filling the boxes full of small toys, toiletries, hard candy, and stuffed animals to be sent to children all over the world.

I started filling boxes with my own kids for a couple of reasons. It helped them to actively participate in the giving. They loved going to dollar stores and shopping for items for a boy or girl just their age, and they still get excited about it. It makes me happy to think of children who have so little receiving a shoebox full of treasures selected especially for them. And, they also receive information about the gospel story with their boxes. OCC wants to provide something special for these children. But, more importantly, they seek to make disciples.20141205_150210

So, it was super rewarding to go with my daughter, two of her classmates, and their school’s administrative assistant in early December to one of the OCC processing centers. There are nine around the country; we visited and worked at the Minneapolis center for three days. It was a great experience.

The trip was five days, because we spent two of them on the road. Of course, we HAD to see the Mall of America. Cha-Ching! And, we had a great time at an activity called Escape MSP. It was a room from which you had to escape, using your wits, in order to avoid being blown up. We exploded. Fun times!


The time at the center was awesome. Volunteers come from all over, and, after a bit of training, work alongside hundreds of others. It was fun to visit with others serving as we inspected, taped, scanned, and packed boxes to be shipped. At periodic intervals, operations would stop so that we could pray over the boxes or hear stories of how the boxes had touched lives all over the globe. Did you know one young woman found and married the man who sent her a box when he was just a boy 14 years earlier? That’s definitely a “God-thing”!20141205_133412

My adult partner found copies of a beautiful letter included in many boxes. One family, having lost a daughter, prepares boxes every year in honor of their child, and they shared their story with the recipients of those boxes.20141205_101334

Our girls enjoyed meeting a twenty-something worker there, too. She was our line leader for at least one of the three days, and they thought Stephanie was very cool. She was. And, it made me realize how important young Christian mentors are to our younger girls. I think that’s a topic for a future post, too!20141205_122543

There are many ways to give and serve during the holidays. Many are super generous during the Christmas season at the local, national, and international level. It’s one of the most precious things about that time of year.

There is much more to say about our mission trip, but I will leave you with links for OCC, the wonderful school my daughter attends, Mall of America, Escape MSP, and the story mentioned above.

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday,