Wednesday, October 31, 2012

::me and batgirl::

Me and 'lil Bat-girl

I'm handing out candy at my boss' house in S Creek today.

It'll be busy because you know all the smart kids from town know where to get the good stuff.  :)


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I did not get enough [read: very many, at all] pictures of the family or The Fig.

So when I go back in December, I need to rectify this.  :)

I do have this nice picture of Bianca on my last Sunday there.

I'm so so so so so thankful for incredible sisters-in-law who welcomed me into the family so warmly. I've wanted sisters for so long and knew the only way I'd end up with them is with sisters-in-law.  So blessed that there are two sisters ready and available in Zambia.  :)


Monday, October 29, 2012

:: ::

[my beautiful Mom on the left]

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

The fruit of the Spirit is so evident in some Christians' lives.  The Lord has used several ladies [and my Mom, of course!!!!] in my church to encourage me.  The more I allow the Holy Spirit to change me into the likeness of our beautiful Saviour, the brighter my spirit and Christian testimony will shine.


Saturday, October 27, 2012


Do you notice amongst all the burnt and brown the beautiful yellow flowers?  
Sometimes, that's life...looking for the beauty amongst the barrenness.]

 This week!!! has been good.

>>>My Mom and I finished the first cake course.  And we were like "We made that??? Why yes, we made that!!!!"  Imperfect.  But, they do resemble roses, do they not?!  :)

>>>This status update on Facebook.  Oh yes. Let's do it again family! Let's do it again! [with Mom Staal and Natasha, too -- oh and Andy + Anton, too]

So yes, it was a good week.

The next few weeks in a blur >> working late, working late again + Election Day, Empowered Youth, spending time with Oma and Opa along with Thanksgiving, then pack for my next trip to Zambia.  So pretty much, hello December.  :)


Saturday, October 20, 2012

::an encouraging thought::

[precious faces....Mercy, Hazel, and Teija]

Several years ago, a pastor's wife spoke at our church's Mother-Daughter banquet.  As part of her talk, she gave the most helpful poem that coincided with her theme.

I've often had bits and pieces of it in my mind.  Last week, I finally made an effort to find the poem and jot it down for posterity's sake.

Here it is and I hope you enjoy it.  

Three men were walking on a wall,
Feeling, Faith, and Fact.
When Feeling took an awful fall and Faith was taken back.
So close was Faith to Feeling that he stumbled and fell, too.
But Fact remained and pulled Faith up, with Faith came Feeling, too.


Thursday, October 18, 2012


My Mom and I have been taking a cake decorating class together.  Monday is the last session of the 4-part series.  

Honestly, I was so excited about this week's class.  I had my cupcakes all made.  The frosting was tinted before I set foot in class (!!!!).  I was early and set up my work station.  blah blah blah.....Aaaaaaand, the frosting was too thin and basically, the night was a complete flop.

So to redeem myself and try to salvage a bit of the time thrown away by Monday night's class, I made cupcakes for my Master's Club class tonight.  

The frosting was made according to class instructions, not pre-packaged frosting.  [In our defense, the teacher said we could use it <<< I know. Big waste of time.]

And I could actually form leaf-and-rosette-resembling sugary concoctions.  These were by no means perfect but what fun it was to make a big mess and actually see results.  :)

Maggie and Kali are having their own version of cupcake wars.  Do any of you enjoy cake decorating?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

::step by step::

 [entrance to "The School" also commonly known as the "Guest Cottage" on the Staal farm]

Sometimes, we [collectively] speak of God opening and closing doors.  I don't necessarily love this word-picture.  But honestly, if we truly live "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths..." then God points the way for each step we take.

My grandma has been living in the same retirement community since she moved up to the Hoosier state with us.  Recently, my parents made a decision for various reasons that she needed to move to a facility in our town.  I thought the grand move would happen in August while I was on the other side of the world.  

It never did.  Meanwhile, construction continued on a gorgeous new facility down the road from us.

Through a series of circumstances, Granny still hasn't moved.  

However, she's most likely moving this weekend or next week to the newest, most-beautiful retirement/care-giving facility in our town.  

We are so over-joyed at how God cares for us and directs each step.  Even delays and misunderstandings work out for our benefit if we trust He has a greater plan.  :)


Monday, October 8, 2012

::just a peek::

FOR TODAY, October 8th

Outside my window...sunshine, blue skies, breeze, changing leaves
I am thinking...about the compassion of Jesus gleaned from Bible reading this morning [Mark 4-6]
I am thankful...for Leon
In the kitchen...baked garlic parmesan chicken for dinner
I am wearing...skirt, long-sleeved white top, scarf [the usual]
I am creating...needing to finish a dress I began sewing months ago
I am work, then to a cake decorating class
I am wondering...why mail doesn't get delivered on Columbus Day
I am reading...The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson
I am hoping...that our current president is removed from office in November
I am looking forward to...Wednesday, December 12th
I am learning... God's plans are always best
Around the house...bathrooms cleaned, laundry + vacuuming done <<< love a fresh house
I am pondering...the documentary Agenda that I saw on Friday night
A favorite quote for today..."To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." Abraham Lincoln
One of my favorite things...Words with Friends
A few plans for the rest of the week: work, church,
A picture thought for the day...[would you guess any other would be on my mind?!]


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

::living without worry::

[doesn't this pool look positively tranquil?!]

Recently, I've discovered the works of J.R. Miller.  But honestly, I shouldn't say "recently" because I was required to read one of his books for a college class.  But discovering the wealth of a good writer is always more of a treasure when it's not required reading.

I downloaded two of his books to my Nook for $.99 each.  I know!!  A great deal.

Today, I've been working through Living Without Worry.

 The lesson [living without worry] is well worth learning, at whatever cost.  To live nobly, energetically, up to one's best, and yet without worry, is one of the highest attainments possible.  It is the ideal life.  It is the life whose vision of beauty is pictured for us in the peace which our Lord promises his people, the peace that passes all understanding that keeps the heart and mind in Christ Jesus - the perfect peace that comes to him whose mind is stayed on God.

This week has been great.  I took the day off work on Monday and spent time with my Mom.  And tomorrow, we are going to squeeze in an "emergency" [i.e. have-to-return-something and catch a sale] shopping trip before work.

Also, the month of October is going to fly by.  Even though I'm not restricted by school, my life very  much revolves around the school calendar because I'm an after-school sitter.  There are all sorts of extra hours at work pecked into my phone's calendar which makes me happy. Busy weeks = a quick month

So that's what's happening on the home front. Anything new with you?