Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Friday, July 16, 2010


I cleaned the pictures off my phone today and found quite a few I have been wanting to post.  So, here they are in random order.  Enjoy the show!!

Andrew and Hannah 9/5/09

Will and Andrew 9/5/09

Andrew's ice cream goatee 7/3/09

Hannah and Will just after Hannah returned from camp 6/5/10

Hannah and Will 6/5/10

(back) Michelle, Alyssa, Will
(front) Andrew, Nathan, and Hannah
at the Zoo 10/12/09

Hannah, Andrew and Will 4/3/09

me 3/16/10

Mom's car after her wreak 4/15/10

Mom's car after her wreak 4/15/10

Will's chocolate goatee 7/3/09

A plant in the "Once Upon A Farm" exhibit at the Zoo 10/12/09

A water feature in the "Once Upon A Farm" exhibit at the Zoo 10/12/09

Mike feeding a parakeet at "Birds and Bees" exhibit at the Zoo 5/28/10

Will and Hannah feeding a parakeet at the "Birds and Bees" exhibit at the Zoo 5/28/10

One of the panda bears at the Zoo 10/12/09

 Andrew feeding a parakeet 5/28/10

Will, Hannah and Andrew at the Teton Trek exhibit at the Zoo 10/12/09

Andrew and the Easter Bunny 4/1/10

Andrew and the Easter Bunny 4/1/10

Visiting With The Links

No, not golf links, my friends Barry and Stacy Link and their kids.  They came here to visit with me and my family and take in all the sights.  Stacy is originally from this area but is now living in Virginia.  They arrived Monday afternoon and, after checking into their hotel, came to visit with us here at the house for about an hour.  It was so good getting to see her again.  It has been eleven years her last visit.  All of the kids played in the backyard while Stacy, Barry and I got to visit.

Tuesday was a lazy day for them, swimming in the hotel pool while I was at a funeral.  That evening, they came back to the house.  The kids played outside again while Stacy, Mike and I visited.  Barry wasn't feeling very well so he stayed back at the hotel and rested.

Wednesday, we braved the heat and humidity (it was really bad) and went to Graceland.  As long as I have lived here, I've only been to Graceland once and that was to visit Elvis Presley's gravesite.  It was neat looking at how he furnished the house.  It wasn't as big as I thought it would be.  My kitchen is bigger than Elvis' was.   I think my living room is about the same size.  Sometimes you can see his horses out on the grounds but they weren't out Wednesday (I don't blame them).  After the tour, we thought about seeing the other exhibits on display like his airplane the "Lisa Marie" and his cars but the kids were hot, tired and hungry.  Stacy found out that we can use our other tickets on other days.  The only thing we had to see on that day was the mansion.  I am planning to go back and take the kids one day.  I think they would really enjoy it.

We ate lunch at Steak N Shake.  The kids all enjoyed is, as did the adults.  Found out, our drinks were half-price (even the shakes) because we were there during Happy Hour, which is 2-4 p.m. (and a.m.).  COOL!!  Stacy's family had never eaten there before and they loved it.  My kids were all excited when I told them where we were going.  They love it too.  After we ate, we went back to our house.  Barry's birthday was Tuesday and, since he was sick, we ate cake and sang Happy Birthday.

That night, some friends of Stacy's from high school got together and had a Girls' Night Out at Maria's Cantina and invited me.  They all were really nice and very friendly.  The food was really good too.

Thursday, we went to the Pink Palace Museum.  We saw "The Cowboy Astronomer" at the Planetarium.  Everyone, even Andrew, loved it.  Andrew sat in my lap the whole time and was very still.  Found out, some time during the show, he fell asleep.  Sweet!  Afterwards, we looked around the museum and checked out the gift shop.  Andrew got a clown fish and a whale toy.  He sat the clown fish on the escalator hand rail and it started moving.   It was so funny watching this little toy travel up on the escalator hand rail.  Nathan went to the top and caught it as it fell off.

We ate lunch ate Krystals.  This was another place the Link family had never been so Stacy wanted to make sure they experienced it.  The kids all seemed to like it.  My kids were excited about going too.

This morning, the Links headed out.  They are going to Stacy's dad's house then to the Cincinnati area to see the Creation Museum before heading home.  It was so good getting to see them and spend time with them.  Hannah had a blast with Christy and made a new friend.  Will, Nathan and Andrew enjoyed playing with Philip and BJ.  Joseph and Daniel were very helpful with the younger kids and are fun young men to be around.

Here are a few pictures that I remembered to take while they were here.  I kept forgetting to get my camera out.

Hannah and Christy were playing around at Steak N Shake

Stacy and me in a self portrait

Andrew acting silly at Steak N Shake

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shades of Morning Blog Tour

Book Summary:  Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it.  Quiet.  Peaceful. No drama.  A long way away from her past.  In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper scribbled with her regrets, sins and sorrows.  But that's nobody else's business.  Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church - they all think she's the very model of compassion and kindness.

Then Marnie's past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son - a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome - and that she's woefully unprepared to care for him.  What's worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister's attorney, a man Marnie once loved - and abandoned.

As Emmit and Taylor work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal.  But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the pieces of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows.  Can she do it?  Or will she run again?

My Review:  Marlo Schalesky's new book Shades of Morning is really good.  My heart went out to Marnie while I read her story.  Instead of trying to remember the good things that happened in her life, she would keep mementos like a napkin or ticket from events she would like to forget and place them in a special box.  As the items in the box grew, her bitterness and disappointment over things in her past grew to where she thought she would never get over them.  When Marnie got a letter from Taylor, her sister's attorney and an old love, saying her sister Rose died and made her guardian of her son Emmit, old memories come back that were once thought forgotten.  Once she gets possession of Emmit, even though Marnie tries to find another place for him, her heart slowly softens towards him.  With his help, she works through the papers in the box and learns to forgive and forget, along with restoring her relationship with Taylor.

I love the twists and turns of the story.  Just when I thought I had everything figured out and I knew what would happen, the author surprised me.  The ending took me by complete surprise, showing that God knows exactly what we need and how He provides help to get us where we need to go.  I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read that is not at all predictable.

If you are interested in purchasing Shades of Morning, you can go to the Waterbrook Multnomah website or

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review.

Marlo Schalesky is the author of several acclaimed novels, including the Christy Award-winner Beyond the Night.  A graduate of Stanford University, Marlo also has a master of theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.  She's a regular columnist for Power of Living and lives with her husband, Bryan, and five children in California.