Dinosaurs and Love



There are times in life that you agree to do something that you later wonder what possessed you. Maybe you have never had that experience but, for some reason I seem to have that every so often.

Last August, when I went to my children’s home to babysit my grandkids…I had such a moment.  My son had a stuffed dinosaur that he thought would be great as a bigger stuffed dinosaur…..I am sure you can already see where this is going.

For some reason, at the age of 33, he still thinks his mom can do things. He requested that I make a larger version of this stuffed dinosaur. My daughter-in-law and I, dutifully went to the fabric store and roamed the aisles looking for the appropriate colored fleece that was closest to the original dinosaur.

I took that fabric home and for the longest time it sat….in the same bag…..in the same spot by the sewing machine…..it sat…..and sat some more. I was reluctant to start on it as I had no pattern other than the original critter to go by.

One day I decided to just take the plunge. I hauled out some heavy paper to use for a pattern and cleared the kitchen table. I soon found out that it is pretty hard to make a pattern from a 3 dimensional object. That fluffy dinosaur would only squish down so far so that I could draw around it. It had a alarming tendency to spring back to it’s intended shape every time I took my hands off of it.

I ended up making a drawing on a hand drawn grid. Then I made a larger hand drawn grid and transferred the dinosaur drawing to that. If you are struggling to grasp what I am talking about…do not fear…..I am still not entirely sure I understand what I was doing!

I had thought to iron some fusible stuff on to the green fleece for the spots. I thought if they were a little more solid they would sew onto the orange body a little easier. Did you know that if you iron fleece, even with a dish towel to cover it…..it will melt? This gets very messy on your iron! I do have to point out; the upside of that, is the fact that you can still learn things at the age of 60.

After much trial and error I did manage to produce a larger version of the original. I am not sure how true to scale it is but I have a feeling there will be no complaints. l did fulfill the basic requirement….it is a bigger version of the original.

I often wonder why I agree to take on projects like this for my kids. I think it is because they are my kids and I don’t want to let them down. I want them to know that know matter how old they get, no matter what good or bad choices they make, no matter how successful they are or how unsuccessful they are, no matter how far away or how close they live….they will always be my children. I will always love them and if at all possible I will try help them out.

Sometimes, a mom’s love can take the shape of a large fleecy orange dinosaur.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
Charles R. Swindoll




Considering Snowflakes


I ventured outside tonight to gather the eggs and make sure the girls had everything they needed before they bedded down for the night. As I stood outside in the quietness, tiny cold snowflakes gently drifted down around me.

For some reason winter is finding it difficult to release it’s grip on our part of the country this year. We are teased with a couple nice sunny days….days that melt the latest snowfall. We get the sticky mud that comes with that melting…a faint promise of Spring and then…..we get more snow.

The last two days were spent watching the snow blow sideways past our windows. Schools once again let out early on Monday and they had a late start on Tuesday. Children rejoiced….I think teachers probably rejoiced right along with them! (In fact, I know several teachers and I can assure you they rejoiced.)

It makes me wonder if we enjoy Spring, when it arrives, as much as we do; for the simple fact that it seems to take so long to get here. The anticipation keeps building with every warming day in February and March. We are urged on in our desire for Spring with every bit of snow that melts and drips from the eaves of our buildings.

So much of life is like that. We get glimpses of the future and the wonders it might hold and then a curtain of snowflakes, once again, sweep in to block that view. Teased and tantalized our minds get twitchy just waiting for that next break in the weather.

It seems to take a lot of faith to believe that Spring will actually come to stay. I think what keeps us going is the fact that Spring has never failed to show up. I am reminded that no matter what happens in life, no matter how much winter seems to close back in…God is there and He has never, ever failed to show up.

I sometimes wonder why it is such a process to make it from winter to spring. I wonder if there is a lesson in there that I am supposed to be learning. Perhaps it is the lesson of patience….the lesson of perseverance?

Perhaps it is the lesson that I need to know, that I am where I need to be and that I need to find and understand the beauty that is hidden in that place and in that season. Maybe I need to open my eyes to the beauty of those tiny, cold, works of art called snowflakes and their place in my life.

Maybe I need to realize that each flake,  each situation, holds a beauty that needs to be held, looked at, and felt to be appreciated.  Perhaps I need to understand that some situations just need to be seen through the lens of faith. The faith that it will change, that I do not need to be in control and that I am exactly where I need to be at that time.

I always think it would be a wonderful thing if I could actually get a photograph of a single snowflake. I have never been able to accomplish that task. Maybe that is okay. Maybe it is a message to me that sometimes life needs to be viewed as the entire snowbank ….a collection of snowflakes that have banded together to make something entirely new.


“A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations,
but look what they can do when they stick together!”
Author Unknown


“Are you where you need to be?”
Quote from the Cursillo weekend

Be The Drip


We have been enjoying some beautiful weather in the days following our last snow storm. The sun has been shining and the snow has been quickly disappearing. I am pretty happy with that development as I am totally ready for the Spring season.

As I went outside last night to lock the girls in for the night I walked out of the garage door to warmer temperatures. I stood for a bit and just listened to the steady drip….drip….drip of the snow melting off the rooftops and dropping to the ground below.

The steady dripping of each drop of water was slowly melting the icy snow that lay on the ground below the eaves. It is always amazing to me how those single drops of water have that much power. Those single drops can slowly wear down banks of pristine white snow, melt blocks of ice and slowly smooth edges of solid rock.

Standing there watching and listening to those sparkling droplets got me to thinking. Perhaps, we should be drips! Look how much a single drop affects it’s surroundings. It waters plants and brings them back to life…it wears away all those rough edges…it slowly washes away the grime and makes things fresh and new.

Those droplets don’t worry about running out….they just keep dropping until they have given everything and have nothing left. The beauty of it is….the dew comes in the night and they are renewed. The next morning there is a new batch of drops that can get on with the job of being drips.

Those little drops speak the promise of spring weather to come. They speak of life and so much promise. They may be small, but they are not insignificant. In many ways we are like those tiny drops of moisture. We might think we are small but we, are not insignificant and we have so much to offer.

We might, at times, be tempted to believe the lies that our lives don’t matter. We might believe that we are only one person and can’t affect anything. But we can! Like those steady little drops, we can make a difference in ways we cannot begin to imagine.

We were created to make a difference. We were created to be a blessing to those around us and be blessed in return……we were, indeed, created to be drips

I will be at a women’t retreat this weekend so I will be out of touch for a bit. I am hoping to be a drip at that retreat. I am praying to make a difference in someone’s life. I am also praying that someone drips on me! It is always good to have your soul watered and then pour that blessing out on someone else.

If you find yourself feeling dry as dust this week I pray you will be blessed by that small steady drip. May you be filled up to overflowing….to the point where you become the drip.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13
New International Version

New Paths


The last few days we have had snow off and on. For some reason it seems more on than off…but that could just be me. I hear from so many people that they are so ready for Spring to come and Winter to be done.

Those warmer days seem a distant memory on these cold winter days. The green grass seems far in the past and does not feel like it will show up again anytime soon. It does feel like I have gotten to be really good friends with the red plastic grain scoop that lives in our garage.

The girls do not like walking through the snow to get around so I spend some mornings shoveling trails for them to use; to get here and there. They are not very patient while they wait and watch me clear those paths. They keep up a constant clucking and chatter while they peer through the chicken wire at me.

It doesn’t matter how many time I reassure them that I am scooping as fast as I can…they lecture me….loudly…….. on my slow scooping. I sometimes wonder if they are also lecturing me on my skill level in scooping? It is hard to tell……they just tend to sound irate and impatient.

Hearing those girls squawking impatiently at me I tend to wonder if that is how I sound? I do sometimes wonder (loudly and impatiently) why things around me don’t happen fast enough to suit me.

In my mind I can almost hear God reassuring me that He is shoveling as fast as He can. Do you think He keeps up a running commentary, like I do with the girls? “You’re going to really like this when I get it done.”  “Just be patient a bit longer….I almost have it ready for you.” “Yeah….yeah….just keep crabbing at me……it will be done when it is supposed to be done.” “Just chill out and relax! I’ve never failed you yet.”

Just thinking that puts a grin on my face. Perhaps it isn’t just me who can act like a crabby chicken when waiting for a new path to open up? Perhaps there are more of us who kind of liked things the way they were or know exactly what we want any changes to look like?

Maybe we long for Spring because it is a comfortable place to be? It isn’t cold, it isn’t dark, it speaks of life. In Spring we don’t need to wait for someone to make a new trail for us…..we get to take the same old path.

May this weekend find you looking forward to the adventure of a new path. May you be reassured that those new trails will take you exactly where you are supposed to be and may you be blessed on that journey.

“…I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:19

Choose Fun?


It has already been two weeks ago since I got home from a cruise. It is hard to believe that those two weeks have gone that fast. I don’t know why I am always amazed at how fast time seems to go….. because it always seems to go fast.

I was talking to my husband about some of the funny things that happened on that vacation with our group of 8 family members…all women. I was relating how when we boarded the ship we entered a lobby that was glittering with shiny brass, glass and well polished wood.

There was already a crowd of people in that space. They were all listening to a guy standing on a stage behind a bar and he was hollering one word and the crowd was hollering one word back.

I thought this guy, who later turned out to be the cruise director named Peter, was hollering “Juice!”  …. to which the crowd responded heartily, “Funk!” I turned to Cousin Barb and asked what they were saying. She responded, “It sounds like Juice …. Funk”.

I have to confess; it took till the following night (after hearing this repeatedly in various locations on the boat) that I (and my cruise mates) figured out the chant was actually “Choose….Fun!”  My sister-in-law then informed me that, those words were the motto of the Carnival Cruise line. (Nope, I am not getting reimbursed for mentioning the cruise line…though if they offered….. I would take a free cruise!)

I was just happy that I was not the only one who could not figure out, immediately, what they were hollering. There is some comfort in sharing the stupid!

This memory was brought back while watching the Olympic winter games on tv. One of the commercials was from Carnival and they were…..you guessed it….chanting, “Choose Fun!” ( I have a feeling my brain will forever translate that as Juice Funk.)

I love watching the winter Olympic games but I do wonder about some of the sports those athletes do. I wonder about someone belly flopping on a tiny sled and plummeting down an ice-coated slide….a slide that twists and turns. I never hear a peep from those athletes participating in the Skeleton. I know for a fact I would be screaming my fool head off on that one.

I also wonder who in the world decided it was a good idea to strap both your feet to a board and shoot down a thing called a half pipe only to shoot back up and launch yourself unbelievably high into the air. Is this courage or something else?  Having raised boys….I think it is safe to say it probably was hatched in the brain of a man child. (Sorry guys, that is just my experience.)

Another event that baffles me is the ski jump. Again…..who thinks of these things? Maybe it is just me…… but rocketing yourself off of a ledge to land on a hard ice/snow packed surface leaves me scratching my head. It ranks right up there with jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or bungee jumping.

Our area of the country does have a small claim to fame when it comes to ski jumping and the Olympics. Back in 1932 the Olympic ski jump trials were held at a place called Canton, SD. If you want to learn more click on the name Canton, SD and check out the link to that bit of history.

I am always glad when the Olympics are on and I absolutely love the winter games. I always kind of wonder if I enjoy them so much because I am in awe of what those dedicated athletes can do. I am amazed at the grace of the figure skaters. I have no idea how those slalom skiers manage to make it through all those little poles/gates and watching the bobsled athletes plummet down that ice coated slide makes me want to squinch my eyes tight shut (and I am not even on that slide).

I think it takes a special kind of person to be one of those athletes. I think you need to be more than fearless. I think you need to have a different idea of fun than I have. I think you maybe need to do more than “Choose Fun” I have a feeling you may also have to “Juice Funk”!

“We all have dreams.
But in order to make dreams come into reality,
it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self discipline, and effort.”
— Jesse Owens,
American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist






Music in the Silence


In our backyard stand two metal chairs….in the snow. For some reason they did not get put away for the season and just stayed out there like sturdy sentinels of the backyard fire-pit. (Yes there is a fire-pit buried under the snow.)

I took my backyard photos in the silence of a sunlit winter afternoon. After pondering a bit I decided that silence can be slightly deceptive. It looks so quiet and white back there in the wintertime. What you don’t see is the dormant grass under the snow just waiting for warmth and sunlight to melt the snow so it can spring up into a lush green carpet.

The flowers in the flower patch are waiting patiently for their time to break free of cold frozen soil and once again grow and bloom gloriously this coming summer. The evergreen trees stand quietly, preparing for families of robins, mornings doves and blue-jays that will nest in their branches.

What you don’t hear are the rustlings of the little creatures that burrow in tunnels beneath the snow. You also don’t hear the echos of the summers’ past. Those humid days where bees fly lazily past in search of the next brightly colored flower….the crackle of logs burning in the fire-pit with flames leaping into the sky.

You don’t smell the the smoke from that fire or taste the charred marshmallows toasted over it’s flickering flames. If you close your eyes, to the whiteness of the snow, you can almost conjure up visions of last summer and hear and see it all again.

I think it might be the same for so many things. What we perceive, when just looking at a person, is probably totally different from the reality of that person. We have no idea of the roads they have traveled, the places they have visited or the feelings locked away in the depths of their hearts and minds.

When faced with situations that seem beyond our control it is good to listen…. to be still and know…to listen to the silence and the song it is singing. Underneath the silence runs a melody that is filled with life and hope. It is giving a chance to breathe in and breathe out and know that life, like the dormant grass, is waiting to come back lush, green and vibrant.

For now….those two metal chairs sitting in the snow by a buried fire-pit are a reminder….silence may not be so silent after all if you just listen closely. Things are not always as they appear on the surface.  There are so many layers that are not obvious at first glance and first listening.

If you want to truly know something….listen with more than your ears….look with more than your eyes.  Listen and look with your heart and your memories to find the music that silence is singing.



I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.
Chaim Potok


We need to pay heed to the many silences in our lives….
each silence has a character of its own.
~Kent Nerburn,
“The Eloquence of Silence,” Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life, 1998








Finding the Beauty


The other morning my sister sent a photo to our “Cruise 2018” group; of her feet in the snow.  Her caption was, “This doesn’t look like sand!”  Her photo was in response to the snowfall that we had just had in our area.

Yesterday it started snowing here and snowed through the night. Schools were started two hours late to give the road crews a chance to clear the blacktops, highways and gravel roads that buses needed to travel.

It was a jolt back into the reality of winter in the Midwest.  Once again, I had to tend to the girls and shovel trails through the snow so they would be able to get here and there outside.  The sun was shining brightly and it was quietly beautiful…..but oh so cold. The world was brilliantly white…so white it almost hurt your eyes to look.

I am finding it hard to wrap my mind around the fact that just one week ago I was basking in temperatures of 80 degrees and sitting on beautiful sandy beaches. It seems a long time ago and yet it also seems as if it was just yesterday. I am not quite sure how that can be…but it just is.


I love the fact that this world holds such a variety of beautiful things. Pristine snowfalls, days so cold you can see your breath, shells that come in all shapes, colors and sizes and the sound of waves rushing up on the beach with gulls swirling overhead.

The pure whiteness of a new snowfall is a totally different kind of beauty than last week where waves washed the beach and deposited sea shells at our feet. I did take some beach sand and shells home with me from Mexico and have them drying on a tray in my kitchen.


It is a wonderful reminder of our week in the sun. It is a great reminder of the time spent with some of the women in my family…….a time spent catching up with each others’ lives.  (The eight of us represented five different states – Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas.)

Those shells and that sand are a reminder that the simple things in life matter so much and mean so much. They are a reminder not to overlook the joy of time spent with those you love…..to open your eyes to what God has put before you…whether it is cold, pure white snow or the warmth of sun-kissed sand.

Take the time this weekend to let your soul soak in the beauty around you and bask in the warmth of friends and family. You may have to look closely to find the beauty…..it might look more like snow than sand….but it is hiding there somewhere!


“Earth’s crammed with heaven.”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
John Muir

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_muir_104245