??? {Mystery Quote #21} ???

Dad ordered a hamburger one night in China that had egg and cheese and probably something else on it, and he let me taste it.  It was the best hamburger I’d ever eaten. . .


. . . until Sunday night, when we had this for dinner.


Dad felt like a burger, but we didn’t have hamburger buns, so he fried bread and butter on the electric skillet instead.  And then we added egg, and cheese, and bacon, and fried onion–just for kicks.  This is a good house to live in! 🙂

Continue reading ??? {Mystery Quote #21} ???

Rainy Days

Have any of you other dear Omaha people been getting the rain too?  It’s been damp over here for days!

On Wednesday night (at 8:00 p.m. or something) I went outside with an umbrella.  I was actually contemplating just going out and getting drenched, when Mama suggested I bring an umbrella, which I decided was a better idea! 🙂

I don’t know how long I was out there, just wandering around in the rain, in the dark, with a pink Chinese umbrella.  Everything looked different (and much more fairy-tale-ish) when it was dim and wet. . . all the porch lights were on, making little pools of light in our dark yard. . . it was sooo pretty!  I’m sure a story was inspired last night, but it hasn’t quite formed yet.

I went in when the lightning started.

Continue reading Rainy Days

??? {Mystery Quote#20} ???

It’s our twentieth “Mystery Quote”!  Can you believe it?

And, today is September 22nd–Bilbo and Frodo’s shared birthday, for those of you who haven’t read The Lord of the Rings so many times that you remember all the dates.  Some people at our house are crazy enough to celebrate fantastical characters birthdays, and wore their Middle Earth shirts today. 🙂

IMG_4184 (1)

Anyway, “Mystery Quote”:

Last week’s quote was from Lazy Tinka by Kate Seredy.

Spencer correctly guessed the book and author, and Ellen. . . sort of did. 🙂

I realized right before I sat down to write this that I was actually going to need a book in order to post quotes, so I grabbed this one that I read recently:

“It’s not much of a world, is it?  Is it worth trying to bring [her] back into it?”  [She] stood still in the road.  “Yes!” she cried, and [he] was astounded to see that tears had sprung into her eyes. . . “If only I could make you see, somehow that it is!  All this” she exclaimed, the sweep of her arm including the deepening blue of the sky, the shining lake in the distance, the snow-covered mountains far to the north.  “So much!  You must look at it all. . . not just the unhappy things.”

Hint: No, it's not from The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.  I wanted to use one of those, but decided it would be too easy! :)

Happy guessing!

A poem by Mama and Lucy

Beautiful Lucy with eyes of brown,

she never ever has a frown.

Beautiful Hanna with eyes of blue,

she always has a smile for you.

Beautiful Becca with eyes of blue,

she’s always learning something new.

Mr. Michael busy, busy,

round and round, he’s rarely dizzy!

Handsome Spencer, such a buddy,

he’s always ready to go and study.

Our new little birdie, who are you?

We just can’t wait to get a clue!


Who I am

My journal, September 2nd, 2015.  Things have gotten better since then, but I thought I would post it still.  It’s the best way I’ve been able to express myself.


If you had asked me two months ago what my least favorite thing in the world was, I would have said getting the stomach flu or nosebleeds.  Now, one of the things I hate most is the orthodontist.  There has so far been one appointment that I didn’t cry about; before we went, or after we left–or, more likely, both.

The latest thing they put in my mouth is the palate widener, which restricts talking, chewing, and swallowing.  I can’t eat popcorn, eating anything else takes forever, my voice is different, swallowing is hard.  I don’t feel like myself–at all!  I feel like my mouth is worthless.

I wish I didn’t have to finish eating last.  I wish this lisp would go away.  I wish people could understand me.  I wish I could talk without feeling like a three-year-old.  I wish I could sing.  I wish I could eat popcorn and apples, and pasta.  I wish I could eat Mom’s spicy Chinese noodles.  I wish I could sit through a prayer with my head bowed without tipping it back to swallow.  I wish I could blow the pencil shavings off my drawing paper without being afraid I’ll accidentally spit.

I wish I felt like myself.  I wish I didn’t feel like this hunk of metal demolished my identity.

Not being able to sing without hating how it sounds has made me think differently about playing the piano and just listening to music.  One of my new favorite albums is “Loved” by J.J. Heller.  I love all ten songs on it, but “Better Things” is the only one that I felt applied to me personally.

There are far, far better things ahead,
Than what I leave behind.
Will you help me find my way?

There are ‘far, far better things’ in the future.  I don’t feel like it right now, but I believe it.  There is  a promise land beyond this desert, if I can only learn to stop looking back to Egypt.

I’m on a journey,
I’m losing who I used to be.
I am learning how to die,
It’s changing every part of me.

There are far, far, better things ahead,
Than what I leave behind.
Will you help me find my way?

Maybe I think too much about ‘myself’.  Who I am.  Because I am “losing who I used to be. . .”

One of the worship songs we sing at church has the chorus:

You’re a good, good Father.
It’s who You are, it’s who You are.

And I’m loved by You,
It’s who I am, it’s who I am.

I am loved.  It’s who I am.  I am the daughter of a good, good Father.  That’s all the identity I need.  And no hunk of metal can ever, ever change that.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13

??? {Mystery Quote #19} ???

So, remember the praying mantis I mentioned in my last post?

Well, we found him on our porch again this morning, in a spider web!  Mama fished him out with a stick and we put him in a jar.  Michael has been carrying him around all day–he even took him to grandma’s house!


We put some bugs in there, but I don’t think he’s eaten any of them yet.  Last I heard M had christened him “Cricket”, but that may have changed. #ThreeYearOld

Anyway, “Mystery Quote”!  Isn’t fun to be back at it again?!  I’ll start it off with a quote from a book that Mom has been reading to the littles lately:

The Wise Old Woman looked at [her].  [She] was big, [she] was fat, and just then [she] was crying.  She didn’t want to be given to gypsies; she didn’t want to be cooked for dinner.  But even less did she want to work.  Not [her]!

Sorry about all the [she]’s.  They’re all the same person. 🙂

Happy guessing!

P.S. I tasted the apple sauce last night, and it is to die for!  Both the little tykes love it too.  I don’t think it’s going to last long!

A little bit of my life and the fall schedule


A praying mantis we found at our porch light the other day.


We do seem to find the most interesting things at our porch light, don’t we?


Some of us built my grandma a new deck over Labor Day weekend.  It was quite the adventure. . .


The jade circle is from China, but I made the other necklace recently.  Xie xie is thank-you in Chinese.


Our church had a grand opening at our new building this Sunday and served cupcakes to celebrate.  Don’t ask how this little guy snagged one with bright blue frosting.  I have now decided that cupcakes are indisputably the messiest dessert in the world.  Still like them though.


Mom and the littles are making apple sauce today with the apples from the apple orchard!





Remind me to tell you guys how it turned out. . .

And now: the schedule.

There was no dispute in any of the comments of my last post: everyone wanted to do “Mystery Quote” again, and wanted me to hurry up and get The Sacrifice up here.

So that’s precisely what I’m doing: tomorrow we will start “Mystery Quote” back up, and we’ll will do that on Tuesdays this fall.  To avoid confusion, I will call the next one #19, picking up where we left off.  That way we won’t have two #1 posts on my blog, two #2’s, two #3’s, and so on.  If anyone ever looks for “Mystery Quote #5” in the search bar, that could be kinda’ confusing.  I don’t know if anyone ever will search for it, but it will be fun to see how many we’ve done all together anyway!

Like I said, we’ll do this through the fall.  In November we’ll at least take a break, while I post several things I want to put up during the anniversary of our China-trip.  Then, sometime before, during, or slightly after the Christmas-bash of some sorts that will inevitably come*, I will start The Sacrifice;  trusting I will be done writing, editing, and over-thinking it by then.

*Can anyone explain to me my deal with holidays?

In the meantime, I am writing as fast as I can.  I’ve found that because I usually have the story-line all mapped out before I start writing, I can make myself write, whether I feel like it or not.  Which is a good thing for you all, since I would usually rather go read a book or browse blogs than sit down and write.  Thinking up stories is the fun part for me, while actually getting them written is proving to be the challenge.

Which part of the process is your favorite, all writers who read my blog (I know there’s some)?  The writing, or the musing?

What next?

New header.  I decided to do something more Fallish.  I will be always be a nature person, and my blog will be very in-tune to the seasons! 🙂

In the meantime, I need your opinion on something:

Should I do more weekly posts before The Sacrifice or not?

I have several ideas of posts I could do every week, and I’m seriously considering do “Mystery Quote” again. . . anyway, what do you think?  Should make a new schedule, or just try random posts for now?


Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion.  For the LORD is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for Him!  O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.  How gracious He will be when you cry for help!  As soon as He hears, He will answer you.  Although the LORD gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

-Isaiah 30:18-21