Camp Grandma 2018

Camp Grandma 2018

Jeep rides, swimming, crafts, yummy food, skits, fishing, archery, and night hide and seek…

Yep, it was 2018 Camp Grandma!

Camp Grandma 2018 fun

Since Tom and I had retired in the fall of 2017 and moved to our ranch house in April, Camp Grandma had to look a little different for the summer of 2018.

Camp Grandma 2018 skit practice

We set up two tents and a “gathering place” in our front yard.

The gathering place, or outdoor living room, was necessary, since we had moved to a much smaller house.

We opted for some camping “rugs” and our old lawn furniture to expand our living space.

Camp Grandma 2018 yummy treats

Of course my older grandchildren came early to pre-camp as counselors to set up the outside area and prepare food and crafts.… Read the rest

Grandparents’ Day of Prayer 2018

It’s always a pleasure to have Lillian Penner from the Christian Grandparenting Network call us to pray for our grandchildren on Grandparents’ Day. This year it falls on September 9th. As our guest today, Lillian shares how you can become involved. (Thanks bunches, Lillian!)

Grandparents are Uniting in Prayer on Grandparents’ Day

It is a global reality that truth is under attack like never before in our schools, our political arenas, the marketplace, and even in our churches.

Parents and grandparents find themselves involved in a tug of war for the hearts and minds of their children.

It is not easy to navigate in a world hostile to truth in this post-Christian culture, is it?… Read the rest

The Dangerous Pursuit of Squirrels and Other Temptations

The Dangerous Pursuit of Squirrels and Other Temptations

“Run, little squirrel, RUN!”

I wanted that bubonic-plague carrying ground squirrel and all his cute little friends out of my yard.

Their community of underground dens covers the hills around our house. One tiny bite with their sharp, little teeth could be life-threatening—to people or dogs.

Our two babies are small Boston Terriers who love chasing any rodent, especially squirrels—even though the only thing they’ve ever caught was a lizard.

Dangerous pursuits

As part of the human race, you probably chase “rodents” that are dangerous to your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health.

(Please say, “yes.” I don’t want to be alone in this.)

I know, I know… whatever kind of “rodent” it is, it’s probably cute and seems harmless, and it’s small—not a big thing to worry about.… Read the rest

Why I won’t run naked down the driveway

I couldn’t stop laughing. The unexpected encounter made my day.

Tom and I had decided to take a walk along our long, country driveway.

On this particular evening, we had our son, Daniel, and his 5-year-old son, Kaius, spending the night. They’d stayed behind to get ready for bed.

Walking with us was our oldest son, David, and his 2-year-old son, Atlas. They’d stopped by for a short visit.

We walked. And talked. And watched Atlas throw orange balls for our Boston Terriers to chase.

You know… a perfect evening with some of our kids.


…we heard a shout and spun around to see Kaius racing down the driveway to join us—dressed only in his green, flashing tennis shoes.… Read the rest

How to Say Goodbye to people, places, and seasons of life

How to Say Goodbye to people, places, and seasons of life

“You need to say goodbye. You need to bring closure to this in your heart,” my midwife said as she gently prepared to show me the son I had just miscarried.

I’ve stood crying in front of airports, dorm rooms, and cars packed with wedding gifts as each of the six children I’ve raised jumped out of the nest.

When it came time to let Mom and Dad pass away, I was more prepared. I knew they were ready. And to be honest, caring for my dad had been difficult for my sisters and I even though we loved him deeply.… Read the rest

You’re doing better than you realize

You are doing better than you realize.

Life has moved forward bringing blessings you never expected. You’ve embraced those blessings with open arms.

And yes, there are other changes the years have brought that haven’t been as easy to wrap your arms around.

In fact, you need encouragement as you grow older

Some changes have been heartbreaking. Others, an inconvenience.

  • You’re moving slower. Instead of one doctor, you now have a variety of them.
  • You’re counting your pennies more than you used to.
  • Your social circle has lost more than one friend who has relocated out of the area or even to Heaven.
Read the rest
How to find peace when life doesn’t go as planned

Unmet expectations are often the battleground where disappointment wrestles with our mental and emotional peace.

I never planned on two miscarriages.

Nor the sudden cut in pay when, as a family of eight, we really needed every penny that we earned.

Breaking my foot and the resulting surgery really messed with a long-scheduled vacation.

And a church split in the fellowship we pastored certainly wasn’t on my agenda.

You think you’ve got your plans all laid out…

  • How many kids you’ll have
  • The upward trajectory of your business
  • The perfect marriage
  • Years of retirement to enjoy
  • God’s voice guiding you in a specific direction

And then…

WHAM!… Read the rest

When Pain Threatens to Mess Up Your Life

You’ve aged.

Your body has changed.

You trip over the rug, snore louder than the train rolling past your home, and you forget essential information far more than you care to admit.

You discover that a task that was once easy-peasy is now one you avoid.

Joints complain.

Muscles freeze up.

Sickness, disabilities, and unknown sources of pain can lay waste the best plans you’ve had for your autumn season of life.

Such things become a regular topic of conversation with your friends and often dominate your life.

Aging isn’t for the faint of heart or soul.

It takes courage to grow old.… Read the rest

Redemption Missiles

Redemption Missiles

When I was growing up my mom used to collect Blue Chip Stamps whenever she bought groceries. Then she’d paste them in a little Blue Chip Stamp booklet and redeem them for merchandise like fancy vases she’d use for gift giving.

I even got a few booklets of Blue Chip Stamps as a wedding present from one of Mom’s friends so I could redeem the stamps for something I’d cherish as a new bride.

Easter expands the idea of redemption to a whole new level of hugeness—the death and resurrection of Jesus that, if we so choose, we can redeem for eternal life.… Read the rest

Growing Old Is Not for Sissies

Recently I packed ten boxes of books with my left hand. I’d just had surgery on my right hand, and the doctor wouldn’t let me use it for two weeks.

So, of course, I used my left hand for everything.

Not the wisest decision I’ve ever made.

The knuckles and muscles in that hand staged a revolt, and I’m still paying the price.

The older you get, the more you realize that “old” has side effects

The days zip by. You’re celebrating Easter when you just had Christmas last week. (Or so it seems.)

  • Dreams get put on the shelf while you deal with everyday life.
Read the rest

Apocalyptic Days and Wins

Apocalyptic Days and Wins

Tuesday was an apocalyptic day. *cymbal crash*

Usually, apocalyptic days aren’t good… as in end-of-the-world badness.

We’re smack in the middle of getting the home we’ve lived in for 34 years ready to sell so we can downsize to a much smaller house.

One of the hoops we decided to jump through before putting our home on the market is a series of three inspections.

  • Yesterday we had the septic tank inspection. We didn’t pass. (Poop happens.)
  • Then the results of the pest inspection arrived via email. Again, we failed. (Termites found us.)

Mid-afternoon, as I’m discussing these results with our real estate agent, I hear a scream from the back bedroom.… Read the rest