Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Ann’s new book…

I’m reading it right now, and can’t put it down when Dad calls lights out at 11.

This farmers wife from Canada knows Him,

and makes me want to know Him even more.

join me in reading it?

(if you receive this post in your email and can’t see the video, click here.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011




Enjoy the quiet of cold,

the joy of rest,

and the love of family this freezing weekend...




(special thanks to Lillie from Lillie’s Valley for sharing a picture of her oak tree… beautiful…)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coldest Days

Today is perhaps the coldest day that our state here in the north will see this year.

Frost clings to every door that leads outside- cold, crusty on the windows, especially that back door.


I let the dog out, shut the door. But I can’t see. The frost coats the window heavy.

My fingers shiver and quake on the ice as I swirl fingers, melting the frost.


I peek through the hole made and see that tree.


The one with L’s chair and M’s ladder and adventures written on every branch.

I look closer, and laugh at God’s wonders.

Buds are growing on the tree limbs.


I let the shivering dog in, and look at all our other maple trees- those stubborn ones that won’t drop their leaves til the first snow.


Each one has those small signs of green spring and warm rain and leafy skies.

On the coldest day of the year, the trees in our yard start to bloom.


I think of how God does the same thing.

In the coldest days of our lives,

He grows us, draws us ever closer to His love, and makes us bloom.


And I thank Him.


Somewhere a bird starts to sing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Little Late

Blessings counted a little later in the week…


559. Starbucks hot chocolate on a bitter cold day


560. The light falling just so across the kitchen table

561. The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers

562. Exercising with L

563. Third Day’s new CD, Gone

564. Audrey Assad’s voice on the speakers


565. The fan in the kitchen to blow out the smoke of burned french fries… :)


566. Kira asleep on the couch

567. Perfect Peace…


567. Camels marching across the walls


568. warm honey sticks on the counter


569. The Wild Game

570. Mini donuts

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Wild

Last night was another adventure.

Because whenever we go anywhere with Dad, whatever it is, whether planned or unplanned, it’s an adventure.

And they are awesome.

We live close to the cities, and those of you who know me know how close we are to the big city. 

Snow started last night around 3. Dad came home, all of us excited.

Loaded into the car around 5… to go sit on 394 for 45 minutes just to get to the 94 ramp.


Snow keeps falling and cars were crawling. We rejoiced when the speedometer hit 10.

Got a cool pic of the city coming into downtown, where we headed to a street that hopefully would be faster than sitting forever on 94.


Sat some more in downtown, called Mom.

1 hour.

Usually, my dad can get downtown in 3 minutes.

Not tonight.

The clock ticks 6.

We urge the traffic back on 94 now, just go 10!

No such luck.

But we have fun all the same. Heater on full blast as the snow falls down to keep the windshield ice free, and the windows down to cool us off.

Around 6:15, a sign says 30+ minutes to the 35W ramp.

That’s close to where we’re going.

Oh well.

The ramp comes into sight at 6:45, and we are hopeful that we’ll make it- we might make it- by 7.

We sit.

15 minutes.

On an off ramp.

Oh well.

Dad has to go, so we run into a Sears, and hear the puck hit 6 blocks away, the clash of sticks.

7 o clock.

At 7:15, we’re parked 4 blocks down, run like crazies- like Wild- to the shining stadium.

Make it by 7:30, and are wowed.

The Wild.



No matter that we missed the first period- we don’t care one bit. 10 rows from the ice, nothing is cooler than the flying skates, the sticks slapping, the puck flies and we duck.



Zambonis fill the rink, and we laugh. Who cares that it took us 2 hrs and 10 mins. We’re here, and it’s a blast.

The 2nd period starts with a crash- literally- as an Avalanche hits the wall.

I snap pictures.


Brave player lifted off the ice, and we all watch as the game goes on in the state of hockey.


We are losing bad. Playing horrible. But that’s okay. The poor goalie- a new guy- tries hard to hold his own with the 2 real ones out on injury.


We wince with him as they score again.

The mini donuts come around, and we buy two.

Kind of a tradition with us. Go to a game, get mini donuts.



The game goes on.




The stands all chorus as they attack the goal, the Avalanche goalie flies like lightning, blocking every shot.

Then the crowd is on their feet, and the fog horn goes off.


We cheer on the Wild, the lights go crazy, and the music is loud.

What a blast.


We walk around the center fast, not nearly as big as the stadium, but awe filled none the less, filled with the memories of MN miracles…


I smile at this golden medal to the coach of the miracle team- college kids winning the gold against the biggest team in the world.


This ten year old hockey team, rising from the memories of the golden Northstar days, and though not the best,

they are the state of hockey’s team,

so we cheer.

Even when

in the 3rd period

the puck slides

slow motion

across empty ice

into an empty net.



The cathedral shines in the dark, the snow still falls, and we laugh the whole way.

Thank you to the people who gave us the tickets to the game! Thanks for letting us go see the WILD.

We had a blast!

and how long it took us to get home?

20 minutes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Not Me

If there was a time when you read a post of mine that seemed to draw attention to me instead of Him- please, will you forgive me?

Two days ago, I was ready to check out of the blog world.

Conviction cut deep and made me re-examine my motives for blogging. It was painful to see my human desires for fame and praise. But it was good.

He worked on my heart for a few days- let me see what I would become if I followed after the world and not Him.

Wednesday night, youth group at church.

The speaker stood up and spoke- and it hit me hard. Fear of the Lord vs. fear of man- Pursuing the lord, or running after the world.

So I prayed, read, and meditated. Here’s what God reminded me:

All glory goes to Him.

Not me.

I am no better than the next person, and if not for Christ, I wouldn’t be sitting here today- he is the only way I have life.

God has given me certain gifts that I am to use for his fame and glorification- not mine.

I can take pictures- but who created the flowers, trees. sky, birds, people that I photograph?

God did.

I can write- but who gives my fingers the ability to type, my mouth to speak, and my brain to conjure?

God did.

Not me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Ordinary

Dear Friends…

I apologize for my silence web-wise the last week or so. Been doing a lot of thinking and praying… wondering and pondering… getting into the swing of a new year, new semester with school, figuring out house stuff…

And, to tell you the truth, the reason I didn’t post anything new was… well… I couldn’t find anything to photograph.

I like to do pictures with my posts… and just couldn’t find anything interesting to take pictures of.

So friends, here comes the ordinary… and each actually, now that I think of it, has a story.

God has truly blessed and provided for me and my family beyond what I could have imagined. He provided us with a cute rambler to live in for 17 years, and now we move out into a beautiful two-story in… wait… 40 days!

So I took a walk around the house, clicked a few pictures of the ordinary for me, but maybe interesting for you?

(and counted each as a blessing for this week…)


546. The Shelves…

one of the things about this little cottage I’m really going to miss… Papa built these for my mom a few years back- floor to ceiling shelves for the kitchen, meant to hold cookbooks, school books, legos…


547. the myriad of packing supplies lying around the house… phew! Tape, scissors, boxes, oh my! But soon… oh so soon… to be replaced by UNpacking supplies!


548. R’s trains all over the house… on the couch, on the bookshelves, down the stairs, and their sweet reminder of what God gave us a little over a year ago…


549. Mom’s plants scattered across the house… something green!


550. Mom’s crock in the living room…


551. books of mine scattered all across the room


552. the caterpillar pot… a gift from Aunt Shannon to L on her last birthday… makes me smile each time I see it!


553. Grandpa E’s window boxes… another one of the things that we are really going to miss at the new house… He made these for my mom a few years back, and she loves them so much! But a few months ago he sent us a flag pole that he had made too… maybe that will go up in the front lawn of the new house…

554. Oh, the quirky things about the house… sticky light switches,

555. the notes to each of us from mom written in the closets,

556. the great big wood fireplace in the basement,

557.  the neighborhood, the friendships built up over 17 years,

558.  the stories of our family written all over each and every inch of the house…

these things I will miss.

But I know that God,  in his great merciful love an favor has blessed and granted us this new house for such a time as this. He has bigger plans than we do for that new house, for our new neighborhood, our new land and pond…

And I can hardly wait to see what He does with it all.



Monday, January 3, 2011

Marathon to Peace

Sometimes fear sneaks in and I hardly have time to catch it before it starts whispering.


Fear snuck today, and I had to turn and run fast because the devil sure does know how to get me spinning,

and only the one who knows my heart and mind and has faced down the devil and death can face the fear for me.

I run fast to peace and I grab hold and swear that I won’t let go of that cross.

And when doubts linger about faith and I turn fast to the word that was and is and is to come, and I have to trust in His grace…

and that takes faith, of which I am sure that I don’t have nearly a mustard seed.

I have to trust and run and believe that YES! grace is sufficient for me and it is by the glorious grace of God that I’m saved from that fear through my all smaller than a mustard seed faith and not by anything else that I could do- good works, kindness-anything.

Only by grace.

And this two-by-four hits, and I wince grateful.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Surprises…


This morning after arriving home from church, Dad discovered that we had a visitor last night…


His footprints led all the way around our house from the garage to our front walk way. They were all lined up, and the back tracks stepped on the front tracks.

Any ideas?

Dad leaned in close to get a good look at the tracks while M ran for the nature book, all of us standing in skirts, 7 degrees, looking at these perfectly placed prints.

After a careful deduction of tracks and size, (and M teasing me about a coyote walking around), we came to a conclusion.

A red fox!

How funny that of all the places for one to walk around he chose a first ring suburb!

Laughing at the wonderful surprises the first few days of the new year have brought…


awed at God working in wondrous ways-finding us a new house!

surprised by foxes in the front yard

surprised in church by an anonymous gift card to the grocery store, which ended up being worth twice the amount written on the card when scanned at the register! Thank you, Anonymous! God bless you for your kindness!

R, L, M, me dancing around in capes and cowboy hats

Betsy’s laugh in our living room

Mamo’s candle log in the fireplace


God’s clear guidance

Light sabers and star wars reenactments

packing boxes to move to, as R calls it, “The New BIG house” (!!!)


Apollo 13 with Daddy on New Years Eve, then

Andy Griffith black and white until the clock struck 12

dreaming with L and M about the new house


K. B.’s Reepicheep real estate rescues… ;-) we are very thankful for you!

Christmas… and peace…

a blessed year full of Christ’s plan…2010

kaye ann