Posts Categorized: Joy

Happy Easter Weekend

I thought that Kevin and April (and PETER!) weren’t coming for Easter. But, then, they decided to!!! Which made a good weekend even more anticipated, more delightful, more satisfying.

I had Peter all by myself on Friday. There was a little shopping. A little napping. And a surprise! April’s birthday is coming up soon, and I thought we could make a surprise for her. I planned to make treats to serve on Sunday. However, when a three-year-old prepares a surprise on a Friday, you just have to have that surprise on a Friday. I asked what kind of cupcakes he thought Mommy would like. White. And what kind of frosting? White. With sprinkles. So that’s what we did.


Saturday was a beautiful day.



Peter was the first one who arrived with flowers.

Peter was the first one who arrived with flowers.

Sunday morning–We have a large cross that stays in the Worship Center all the time.

We have a tradition of putting fresh flowers on it on Easter Sunday morning.





I handed Peter over to David when I arrived at church. Then I went on along to my Sunday School room to prepare for preschoolers’ arrival. As I was rushing around the room, suddenly, something seemed a little odd.

Of all the things we do at my church, and maybe ever have done, my most favorite is how we do baptisms these days. Instead of sitting in our pews and watching from afar (well, it’s not that far), we gather forward. Kids in front, so they can see well. The rest of us packed behind them, on the platform, on the steps, pressed together.

Welcome, young lady. Welcome into your faith family.


“Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”

Matthew 28:7 (The Message)

Christ is risen. Christós Anésti, or Χριστός Ανέστη. (We have Greek relatives.)

Let’s face it, for people who love Jesus, every weekend is a happy Easter weekend.

And THEN What Happened?

I don’t know when my parents started measuring us on the pantry door. But, it could have been in 1959, when we moved into the house where David and I live now. There are marks for me and JoAnne, then, our husbands, and our children. For years, well, three years, we’ve been saying, “Hey, we need to put Peter on the door.” Last week, I finally did. I showed him marks from his parents and his cousins. I called Kevin and got Peter’s birth length, which we also put on the door. He’s grown 18 inches since he was born (from 19 1/2 to 37 1/2). And, you can see below, how much he’s grown in just the past year.

This week, I’m doing a little more “the rest of the story,” catching up on things I blogged about that ended up needing more, needing changes, needing revisiting.

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Trowels and Work Gloves and Rakes, Oh My!

Apparently, spring is here. I’ve checked the 10-day forecast. Not only does no really cold or freezing weather appear, but a couple of days are predicted to be in the 80’s. Our last average freeze day here in Central Texas is March 15. It’s hard to believe that some giant freeze will show up. It’s possible, of course, but unlikely.

I’ve mentioned before that the white oak in my front yard is the earliest to change color in the fall and the first to lose its leaves. It’s also usually the first to leaf out. However, many of the local trees have weighed in with the “spring is here!” attitude and begun to leaf out.

All that to say, I’ve been sucked in by the warm weather and begun to work in the yard. Last week, when I was in Fort Worth (for pretty much just a day), Peter and I did some shopping and went to Archie’s Gardenland, one of April’s favorite plant nurseries. I just planned for us to mostly walk around and look at the pretty flowers and interesting plants, but they had yellow pansies, which I needed, and that was the end of that. I bought a succulent with vicious spines on it, a geranium, some new plants to put in the front bed and a couple of things to put on the side and a couple of rosemary plants. I’ve spent most of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday working outside.

I packed up my overalls before I went outside. I needed my iPhone, of course. I might need to take a call, and I would most likely want to take some photos. I also would probably need to set the timer for one reason or another. On Monday, I also needed the landline phone. I have an eye infection and had called the ophthalmologist earlier with some questions and was waiting for a return call. And that’s the number I had automatically given, instead of the iPhone number. I had a Playaway, with earbuds attached, to listen to a book while I worked. And, of course, a pair of glasses, because the new plants had information on them that I should read. And, it was harder to take this photo, as you might have figured out, because my iPhone was in my pocket. I do have a digital camera, and that’s what I used. But first, it needed fresh batteries. The battery box was a mess and I had a hard time locating 4 AA batteries. The last 4 AA batteries. Then there was the challenge of trying to take a selfie-type picture without the benefit of seeing what I was photographing or having a camera selfie stick (or selfie plank). It was just holding out my arms and trying to guess if the thing was tilted properly. Success in only 11 attempts.

Thursday, I went to Bonnie’s Greenhouse, where I still had credit from a gift certificate I won back in the fall. And I bought more stuff. I planted and weeded and trimmed. Both green bins are absolutely full, waiting for pickup on Monday. The overflow bin is full of holly trimmings, and there are buckets of old ferns. Usually, the fern fronds are all brown and crunchy from freezing weather. This year, I was pulling out green ones, to make room for the new ferns, whose cute little fiddleheads are beginning top poke up. After the recycle truck comes on Monday and empties the green bins, I’ll be able to fill them almost completely up again.

Nor should you worry about clothes. Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. They do not work or weave or sew, and yet their garments are stunning. Even King Solomon, dressed in his most regal garb, was not as lovely as these lilies.

Matthew 6:28-29 (The Voice)

And daffodils, too.

What *Is* It About Outside!?!

I suppose there are little kids who don’t like to go outside. Most of the ones I know (or knew when they were little), very much do like to go outside. Or, sometimes they look out the window and just think they want to go outside. When they do get out there and it’s 105° or 25°, they want to come right back in. (Of course, the problem is that no parent or responsible caregiver is going to let them go out when it’s 105° or 25° so the kids keep on standing by the door wailing at the injustice of it all. And the parents/caregivers are pretty much wailing on the inside…at the injustice of it all.)

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How to Not Sleep Like a Baby

My mother took a nap every afternoon. When we were home during holidays and summers, we had to be quiet after lunchtime, with no noisy activities (I couldn’t play the piano), and no friends could come over. I used to take naps, sometimes, but I don’t any more. I have too much trouble waking up from an afternoon nap. I’m cold when I wake up, and I’m fuzzy-headed. And, I can’t go to sleep that night. So, I don’t nap. (Well, I’m not going to pretend that I never doze off in front of the computer or a book, but that’s not really a nap. If I fall soundly asleep in front of the computer, I fall off the chair. And that knocks the sleepiness right out of me.)

Because I don’t want to nap, I drink high-caffeine tea. All day. It’s not gallons and gallons. But I run the tea maker at least once a day (which is just a half gallon). If I do get sleepy, there’s always housework and yard work for taking a non-sleep break before sitting down again. I found Hi-Caf teas at a store in Fort Worth. They have a chart that shows their caffeine content-MORE CAFFEINE THAN COFFEE! Now that I know to look for it, I’m finding the caffeine content on other kinds of tea.

Seven o-clock in the evening is my caffeine limit. After that, I have to switch to non-caf tea or I won’t be able to sleep. I own several varieties of herbal (non-caffeinated) tea. Celestial Seasonings makes several flavors, but I think those make better hot tea than cold or room temperature tea, and I only like hot tea when it’s really cold outside, and/or cold inside. I think part of it is holding that hot, hot mug right on my breastbone to warm up my body, and feeling the steam waft up towards my face. But I do like their Black Cherry Berry Caffeine Free Tea at room temperature. Teatulia makes a Lemongrass flavor that’s good at room temperature, too.

A couple of weeks ago, at Barnes & Noble, I saw a blueberry-flavored tea. I was interested and asked the barista if I could smell it. He happily opened the tin on display and let me inhale. Oh, that did smell good, and I purchased one. I was glad to add to my non-caf choices.

Sometimes, in the evenings, I lose track of time, and seven o’clock comes and goes without my thinking about it. If I suddenly realize that I’m still swilling the Hi-Caf tea at 7:30, I think oh, it’ll be all right. And it is not all right at all. I pay the price by not being able to fall asleep. I lie there and lie there and lie there and promise myself that I will pay attention to the clock and will not have any caffeinated tea AFTER 7 O’CLOCK, EVER AGAIN!

A couple of weeks ago, two nights in a row, I found myself unable to fall asleep. The second night, I finally gave up at 3:00 a.m. and got up, and quietly worked on things until daybreak. The second night, though, I began to wonder. I was certain I had stopped the caffeine at 7:00, and started drinking that delicious new blueberry tea. I checked. NOOOOOOOO. It’s green tea. Black tea and white tea and green tea all contain caffeine. Herbal tea is caffeine-free. (I was seduced by the wonderful aroma. I neglected to read the words that were right there on the front of the container!)

I’m back to sleeping more soundly again. And paying closer attention to the labels on the tea packages I purchase.


One of the most interesting things about writing this blog is choosing Bible verses and comparing the translations. There were just too many choices for this verse from the famous passage in Proverbs 31: 10-31 about the good wife. I just couldn’t winnow down the list any farther than this. So here is Proverbs 31:17, and you can decide for yourself which one suits you best. Or go to BibleGateway and read from another translation that you like.

She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms. (New King James Version)

She wraps herself in strength, carries herself with confidence,
    and works hard, strengthening her arms for the task at hand. (The Voice)

She is energetic, a hard worker. (The Living Bible)

She girds herself with strength,
    and makes her arms strong. (New Revised Standard Version)

She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks. (New International Version)

And my own favorite:

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. (The Message)

And, in my case, she also picks up a glass of highly caffeinated tea.



I saw this tea and was intrigued. Of course, it’s tea and not Hot Chocolate (there’s no milk and no sugar). But I thought I’d give it a try. Why not. It’s not for the days I just want a big glass of room temperature tea. But, for those cold mornings and afternoons, for a hot cup of tea that warms my hands as well as my insides, it’s pretty good (not, of course, for evenings-caffeine content of just a little less than 6 oz. of brewed coffee). It contains Yerba maté, an ingredient I’d not heard of before.

Re: Boot

When I went to the podiatrist’s three weeks ago, for a checkup, she said No, I can’t get up in the night to go to the bathroom without wearing the boot.

Really? It’s just a few feet away.

My boot in its little pillowcase nightgown

My boot in its little pillowcase nightgown

No. “Boot on” with every step you take.

But, it’s really urgent, when I wake up at two, to get to the bathroom quickly.

Well, then, wear the boot overnight.


Oh, people do it all the time. Put a pillowcase over the boot and tie it on. It’ll be fine.

And, it actually was fine. It didn’t bother my sleeping at all. Really.

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Weave, Weave, Weave Me the Sunshine Out of the Falling Rain*

We’ve had a lot of rain. Last Sunday set a new rainfall record for the date. And I hate to complain (and, really, I’m not complaining), because we just came through a pretty dry summer. After a really wet spring. Which led to problems with growing things. And, says the exterminator, an increase in vermin. But the much, much larger problem is this: we’ve not been able to do things with Peter that we’ve wanted to do.

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Brushes and Paper and Paint–Oh, My!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Peter’s being here when we had lots of rain here in Waco. We couldn’t get out to do some things I had planned (zoo, play outside, have worship service in the park on Sunday). Although we were able to take a rainy walk Saturday afternoon, we mostly did inside things instead (reading, making cupcakes, watching Mighty Machine videos, playing with dominoes, playing with colored craft sticks). And we got out the art box.

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