February 27, 2012

You should be one, too...

In the midst of all of the uncertainties of life on this earth, I need be more focused on how I'm living for eternity now. Am I more concerned in maintaining earthly comfort and security, or am I being diligent to walk in faith, pursuing holiness and steadfastness?
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 

 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

February 26, 2012

You know it's time to leave the service when...

...the pastor says, "I don't want to be controversial, and I don't want to be unScriptural, but..."

(Photo source: Microsoft.com)

February 24, 2012

How do I detox a dog?

 We've been staying with my hubby's folks for about a month now, helping out as Dad recovers from a major surgery and also trying to figure out what our next step is. Now that our children are older and more self-sufficient, one concern we always have regarding a move is The Dog. Will there be enough room for The {somewhat large} Dog? Will other people involved mind The {somewhat social} Dog?

Thankfully, this transition has gone very smoothly in all ways, including The Dog. In fact, we've already been informed that we cannot take The Dog with us when we leave this home, wherever we go. We can leave, and we can take the grandkids, but we must leave The Dog. Like that's going to happen.

But now I'm afraid that even The Dog is turning. One evening, the physical therapist was stopping by for Dad's discharge visit. I thought it would just be simplest for The Dog to be in the backyard to avoid any initial barking or later slobbering all over our visitor, so I told The Dog to come on outside. Instead of jumping up and immediately obeying as she normally does, she just laid there and looked at me. So I spoke again more firmly. She stood up this time, but really didn't make a move. "Bella, come here," I said sternly. The Dog looked right at me, then walked over to Mom's chair and sat down next to her, as if to say, "Grandma won't let you make me go outside."

The Dog did go outside, eventually, with more commands from me (and snickering from my in-laws). But it was a bit surprising to me that she figured out the whole grandparent-grandchild dynamic on her own and how to make it work in her favor.

Detox is comin', baby, just wait and see.

February 22, 2012

Saving face

So my soon-to-be-sixteen-year-old daughter announced the other day that she would like this for her birthday:

Can't fault a girl for wanting a practical little gadget like this, right?

Then, today, I stopped by Make It and Love It and found they are giving this away:

Wouldn't it be cool if I could win this for my girly's 16th birthday? But I'd be happy if you won, instead, so feel free to hop on over and enter to win, too!

Baby blowfish, anyone?

As a (sometime) blogger and rookie marketer, I'm always curious to know what drives people... to my blogs, to my website, to my store. One nice thing about Blogger is that I can see how many hits this blog has received -- broken down by day, week, month, and even since its inception. I can even tell where some of my readers are coming from if they clicked to my site thru another blog. And I love seeing that my readers are from all around the world.

But one of the most interesting stats I can check is the listing of search keywords that bring people here... what do they type into Google or whatever that pulls up a list of possible sites and ultimately leads them here?

{Drumroll, please!}

Did you see that top search phrase? Unmade bed; 106 searches. Then again, at #5, bed unmade. Again, #8, unmade bed white (just to narrow the field a bit, I guess).

Well, I do hope that my post, Why I Make My Bed, was an inspiration to these folks. And, just in case you're curious, unmade bed was not included in my labels (or tags) for that post.

I'm not sure I even want to know how someone went from searching baby blowfish to my site.

February 15, 2012

A smile to remember

I saw an obituary today and I smiled.

This was an obituary for someone I have known most of my life, someone who was dear to my family as I was growing up, someone who I think of often and fondly.

I smiled because the family chose to include a recent and wonderful picture of this dear 89-year-old man, and I smiled because he was smiling.

Gene McClard  was always smiling.

He and his first wife, Dorothy, are smiling right through many of my childhood memories. I remember their cheerful hospitality as they invited families into their home on New Year's Day to eat, play games, eat, watch games, and eat.

Mr. McClard introduced me to Baskin Robbins, buying me my first ice cream cone there (he wisely chose Pralines and Cream on a sugar cone); perhaps this influenced me as I shopped for my first job and was hired at our local 31 Flavors.

He also taught me how to eat prime rib with horseradish in a train car at a little restaurant called Victoria Station. I was never again satisfied with the family-sized sirloins my father occasionally grilled.

Many summers, our family would caravan with several others to Mission Bay in San Diego to set up camp, RV-style, at De Anza Harbor Resort in Mission Bay, San Diego. The McClards were the patriarch and matriarch of the group and treated all of us kids like their own grandkids. I can remember Mr. McClard piling into the far back seat of our school bus yellow suburban for the ride up the hill to the local church there. I piled in right beside him, surprised at his seating choice in the kids' zone, but glad to be there with him.

Sometimes when we waited in line, he kept things interesting by doling out peanut M&Ms. One at a time. No one got another until he finished his one M&M. And he didn't chew it; he slowly savored it. So we learned to savor, too.

The last time I saw Mr. McClard was at my father's memorial service back in 2010. It's the only time I remember seeing him without a smile; instead, he spotted me from across the room and hurried over, arms spread wide, eyes full of tears. He held me tight and told me what a good friend my dad had been to him and how much he would miss him. And I was able to tell him, after so many years, that I loved him and always considered him my adopted grandfather.

I remember that hug, but I'll always remember his smile.

February 11, 2012

Laughing, then and now

Thirty years ago, February 12 was on a Saturday. I was a freshman at Arizona State University and working at JCPenney. The young man I had been dating for a year and a half invited me for a snow day up in Northern Arizona, sort of a combined early Valentine's/birthday celebration.

We always enjoyed road trips together, lots of talking and singing along with the driving. He found a spot that looked inviting for a walk in the snow, a nice wide clearing surrounded by aspen trees. We meandered across the field, then climbed a little hill. As we approached the top, he casually said, "I've got a little surprise for you." I chuckled, thinking that this guy had picked up a little pinecone or something, and that he would attach some romantic meaning to it. So we brushed the snow off of a fallen tree, I sat down, and he suddenly kneeled down, pulled a cute little velvet box out of his pocket, and popped the question statement, "I want you to be my wife."

We've laughed about that day so often over the past thirty years. We laughed when we revisited that spot with our youth group later that year and learned that the nice wide clearing was actually a frozen over lake. We laugh because I thought he was going to give me a pinecone. And we especially laughed about his non-proposal proposal.

After twenty-eight years of marriage, he still finds ways to make me laugh at the most unexpected times. It's one of those things I love about him.

Happy 30th anniversary of our engagement, Jeffrey! I love you so much.

(Stock photo source: Microsoft Clipart)