Saturday, March 31, 2012

First Communion Class

I know, I'm posting kind of late today.  I woke up kind of late this morning, 7:45.  I'm more of a 6:00 a.m. kind of gal so I was pretty startled to see the time.  It's even weirder because I slept much of yesterday, having worked the night shift Thursday night.  I think I slept 16 hours out of 24!  Anyway, I was teaching a class this morning so I had to get myself cleaned up quickly and out the door.

The class I was teaching was preparation for children about to have their first communion.  The students were grade school age and their parents came along as well.  Two years ago I worked up 4 lessons about communion and put them in worksheet form.  The parents work with their own children at home to do the first 3 lessons.  Today was the final lesson so we went through what they'd already done and did a craft as well.  Mike (aka Pastor Mike) then worked with the children, helping them know what to expect and explained some of the procedural things.

I loved this class!  We discussed how God watched over them and helped free them.  When Jesus first taught his disciples about communion it was when they were having the Passover meal, which is why it was important for the children to know what that was.  So, we discussed how the Jewish People were held as slaves and how God freed them.  All that happened before Jesus' earthly life so it was fun to see the children realize how it related to what Jesus was then teaching so many years later.

As we discussed Jesus as sacrifice for us, forgiveness of sins, God's love and the community of Saints these children had some great insights to share.  They and their parents made the discussion lively and thought-provoking.  I love it when that happens!  We tackled questions such as, "Do you think we are meant to have communion alone or as a group?" or "Is it ok to be joyful when taking communion or must we all be solemn?"  If anyone wants copies of the lesson plan, just leave a comment here or e-mail me at  I can send it to you via e-mail.

Their craft was a picture frame.  I asked them to paint it with symbols or words that represented something they'd learned about communion.  I received permission from parents so that I could show some of their work. Enjoy!

The children will then put a photo of themselves in the frame, reminding them they are also chosen by God.

Friday, March 30, 2012

This is My Friend, Grandma

Cordelia has been really entertaining us lately!  Her vocabulary is excellent for a 2 year old and when you throw in that free-flowing imagination of a child it adds up to lots and lots of FUN!

This week I went with Maria and Cordelia for a quick medical appointment.  It was a happy day as it was my first time to hear the heartbeat of Cordelia's little sister.  Cordelia has been with her Momma to these appointments before and was happy to be showing me the ropes.  As we pulled into the parking lot she said, "This is how we live, Grandma!"  I wasn't quite sure what she meant but I think she was just referring to that place being part of their lives now.

Just before we entered the office Cordelia noticed a stone by the steps.  She was excited to pick it up and adopt it.  She kept a good hold on it all through the appointment, showing it to others along the way.  Later, as we were driving in the car, we gave Cordy a sucker.  Well, Cordelia is good at sharing and soon we heard her trying to share her sucker with her stone, "Here you go, little fella!"  It was adorable.  Sometimes we hear the best things coming from that little car seat in the back.  Once, I heard her say, "Shiver me timbers!"  I think I also heard a bit of a pirate's accent!

That day was also our weekly meeting for lunch at the mall day.  While the others were in line for their food I was strolling around with Cordy.  We were looking at some big photos hanging on the wall and she had some definite thoughts about them.  One was a big horn sheep.  Cordelia calmly told me that he was looking for worms.  Another photo was of a magnificent soaring eagle.  Cordelia told me the eagle was looking for helicopters.  "Helicopters?" I said.  Cordy replied, "Yes, and airplanes.  He's looking for helicopters and airplanes so he can play chase!"  OK, then.  There you have it.

Yesterday Maria and I met a friend for lunch.  When the friend arrived, Cordelia gave her a big hug and then turned to do introductions.  She said, "This is my friend, Grandma, and this is my friend, Mommy."  Yesterday  Cordelia also said, "You are precious to me, Grandma."  It just doesn't get any better than that!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What a Difference a Week Makes!

My backyard last week...

My backyard yesterday...

I am sorry for all the times I've taken the miracle of Spring for granted.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Very Veggie Pasta Toss - A Tutorial

Oh, I bet you are so excited!  I got it in my head to do another tutorial!

Maria, Eric and Cordelia came to dinner this week.  They are vegan so of course I always cook up a vegan meal for them.  OK, that often means I cook spaghetti and dump vegan sauce out of a jar, open a bag of lettuce and proudly pop out the Annie's Goddess Dressing (it's really good).  This week, though, I decided to put out a little effort.

I found this recipe in Prevention Magazine:

Besides what you see in the photo, it called for 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 lb whole wheat angel hair pasta and 1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.  I left out the garlic as a few of us can't handle it.  Don't ask.

So, I heated oil and sliced up the pepper.  I had the package of broccoli slaw

and I even bought a packge of sliced carrots.

Yes, I am THAT lazy.  I cooked it all up, stirring until tender, just as it said.  Apparently I stirred pretty vigorously as I ended up with little bits of veggie sparks on my stove top.  It was kind of pretty, actually.

I decided to slice some tofu and soaked it a bit in soy sauce.  I mean, I MARINATED it (fancy cook talk for soaking) in soy sauce.  I then grilled it on my electric grill.  I learned that the soy sauce gets kind of squeezed out at that point, making puddles on the counter top.

I sliced up some grape tomatoes.  I know, it was supposed to be cherry tomatoes but what's the difference, really?

I prepared the pasta "al dente" as it said.  OK, I'm not really sure what that means but I think it means cook it until it is of the texture that if thrown to the ceiling, it will stick.  I did NOT throw it to the ceiling.  However, when we purchased our first home it had spaghetti stuck to the ceiling so I guess sometimes people really do that.  Of course, the window coverings at the house were rows of stacked beer cans.  I'm kind of off track here, aren't I?

So, back to dinner.  I dropped my spatula on the floor.  By that time I knew this tutorial was going nowhere good so I thought a photo of the spatula on the floor was appropriate.  I'd already reflexively picked it up so this photo is actually a reenactment.  I wouldn't admit that but my son-in-law, Eric, saw me do it.  I could see the disapproval in his eyes as he is a guy of high integrity.

I tossed up some berries and we sat down to a fine... ok, mediocre, meal.  Yes, it wasn't all that great.  I think it would've been if I could have added the garlic...or any kind of flavor really.  Mike and I, though, have "issues" so we eat flavorless food.  

Still, this meal has potential.  Be creative with some spices.  Really, I think you could do great things with it.  Let me know!

Are you thinking, "this is the worst tutorial ever!"  Well, you are wrong.  THIS is the worst tutorial ever, remember?  But, I agree, this is not great.  So, let me just move on to photos of some of the fine people around the table.

Our son, Sam...

...and Eric, the man of high integrity...

Cordelia had it all figured out.  She dipped much of her meal in ketchup...not a bad idea.

And last, your reward for making it through this post, a picture of our lovely and elegant daughter, Maria...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wyoming Rose - Harvest Scarf

Did you ever have one of those days when you needed just a little something extra to perk up your wardrobe?  This lovely dainty may be the answer.  I used an oatmeal colored cotton thread and decided to crochet this piece with a loose, open stitch.  Wear it with a tank top, sweater or dress and let the compliments begin!  I love how it turned out, casual yet sophisticated!  See this and other new listings at our shop, Wyoming Rose Boutique.

God Over Money

I want to tell you a happy little story a friend recently told me.   

Our friend's 19 year old son was wearing a t-shirt that said, "God Over Money" when he stopped at a quick stop kind of place.  As he waited in line to pay for his snack items a girl made a disdainful comment about  his t-shirt.  His response was beautiful; he said, "Here, I'll show you."   As he paid for his snacks and told her to set her items on the counter and paid for her's as well!  He then turned and walked out of the store.

Is that not cool?  So simple yet so effective.

(I found this photo on Google Images from, where you can also buy these t-shirts)

Monday, March 26, 2012

October Baby

Mike & I went to see October Baby this past week-end.  I really would like to recommend it to everyone.

The movie deals with the issue of abortion.  It could've been made in a very judgmental tone, in a way that would cause even more harm.  I don't think it did that, though.  Yes, it is most definitely a pro-life film.  However, I believe it is also tenderly trying to tell women who have already aborted that they are loved and forgiveness is available to them.

I don't want to tell you the whole film but a part that blew me away was actually a clip shown after the movie was over.  It is an interview with the actress that played the abortive mother.  As it turns out, she had a secret of her own and she found healing from this movie herself.  Here's that clip...

Saturday, March 24, 2012


We are certainly on the final stretch with the ABC's of Bible Memorization

 Psalm 100:2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

"God Loved Me The Whole Time"

I suppose it comes with my job.  Likely anyone that works at a hospice thinks about death a lot.  I don't think about it with fear, but rather with some fascination.  Please don't be creeped out by that.  Really, it is fascinating that someone can be talking to me, and an hour later that person is somewhere else, a place where they no longer need me to give them pain medications or calm their anxiety.  It is a place where their food doesn't need to be pureed to prevent choking, their bills are not a worry and they are experiencing something I do not yet understand.

Sometimes when I attend a death I find myself looking up and around the room.  I never see anything unusual.  I've heard so many near-death stories, though, of people looking down on the room of their death.  It just seems to be polite to try to acknowledge their departing glance, don't you think?

This morning I went to You Tube and looked for videos of people talking about near-death experiences.  I suppose that sounds bad but I found many of them to be really hopeful and uplifting.  I consider myself a fairly joyful person.  There is much about this life that brings great satisfaction.  Yet, I feel there is so much more.  I know that I am only understanding the surface of what it means to be alive.  One thing I hear a lot from those who have had a near-death experiences is a comment that they finally "understood".  They didn't go through some heavenly college, they just instantly understood.  I like to think that someday I will really understand.

The other thing I come across a lot is people say they felt overwhelmingly loved.  I have a wonderful network of family and friends and I will say that I feel very well-loved in this life.  I realize that not everyone is given that and I do not take it for granted.  But I think that the love we will feel in God's presence is much more than that. I know that I don't yet quite "get it" but I know that I want to.

This video is just one of many that I picked at random.

(from BING images)

I like that it was a man who did not consider himself to be a believer or to even have much knowledge about God before his unusual experience.  It is over 9 minutes but I hope you will enjoy listening to it as I did.  The end is the best part.  I loved it when he said he realized that God had loved him the whole time, even before he believed in God himself.  Yes, I really loved that.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Camera, My Friend

One of the best things about writing a blog is that I carry my camera around with me a lot more.  One of the best things about carrying a camera around with me a lot more is that I NOTICE things a lot more.  Specifically I notice things that are interesting or beautiful or quaint or heart-warming.  A lot of times it is something that I otherwise may have walked past with no particular sense of appreciation.

This is the camera I use.  It was a gift from Maria and Eric (daughter and son-in-law).  It is small and easily fits into my purse.  It is simple to use and takes great little photos.  Best of all, though, just having it along makes me take a closer look around myself.  I have a tendency to just plunge on ahead toward whatever my goal may be as though I had on blinders.  This little red camera, at least sometimes, makes me look with eyes focused toward beauty.

Do you remember when you'd buy a roll of film and carefully dole out the times you'd snap your camera because you wanted to make the roll last a bit?  We used to live far enough out that instead of taking our roll to a store for development, we'd pop it into a mailer for somewhere like Seattle Filmworks.  A few weeks later a fat little envelope would show up in our mailbox.  I loved that!  It was so exciting to see what the photos were as usually I'd begun shooting the roll so long before I ever mailed it that I had no idea what was in that package.

Sometimes it was quite a delight to see the photos.  Often, it was quite a disappointment.  I may have taken a photo in poor lighting or my subject may have blinked, etc.  I had a lot of photos that were sad.

BUT, that is not a big deal now with my sweet little digital camera.  I take a LOT of photos.  I may take 5 or 10 in a row, hoping that one or two will be terrific.  Who cares?  I am not wasting film and they are easily deleted.

So, I'd like to encourage you to grab your cameras!  Take a walk around your block, walk through your mall or just hang out with people you love.  You will be surprised where you will find photo-worthy opportunities!  If you snap one of which you are particularly proud, attach it to an e-mail to me at and if I can I will showcase it on my blog, giving you credit of course.  One word of advice, though, please get permission if you are taking photos of people.  It turns out that not everyone wants to be on the internet.

Now, go look for some beauty!  Have fun!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wyoming Rose - Citrus Twirly Scarf

I enjoy making these Springy Scarves.  I've made quite a few of them but this Citrus Twirly Scarf is my favorite so far... of course.  It's got a lot of orange in it!  I made up this design myself, working without a pattern.  I enjoy making and wearing scarves for the colder months but I didn't want Spring and Summer to feel left out.  These happy little scarves work well with tank tops or t-shirts!  This one is made with all cotton thread and has a happy, wholesome feel.  I can also make these to order in any color you'd like!  If you'd like one and are having trouble leaving comments here (some still can't), just e-mail me at or

AND... there's a bonus!  When checking out of our Etsy site, you will see a place for a coupon code.  You will get free shipping if you type in the word FRIENDS in all caps.  This code is good for all our friends all the time, no matter what you order.

Car Wash Entertainment

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hello. My Name is Susan and I am a Crochetaholic

I've known for awhile that I have a problem.  I want to crochet all the time.  I sneak yarn and a hook along with me most anywhere I go.

Sure, it began as social crocheting.  I'd visit with others while crocheting.  I'd appropriately crochet on a cold winter night.  Then, I started crocheting alone.  I've crocheted in secret.  When I'm not crocheting, I often find myself wondering when my next stitch will be.  I no longer crochet only at traditional times.  I even crochet in the Summer!  It has reached the point where I actually found myself crocheting at the beach!

Recently, though, I found a new way to support my addiction.  It was really quite clever, I thought.  When Mike and I were returning from out of town one night, it got too dark for me to crochet.  I wasn't ready to stop.  What to do?  What to do?  THEN, I thought of my new Acer Iconia Tablet.  It lights up!  I turned it on and set up as though I was going to write a fresh new document so that I could get to a bright, white screen.  Then...

Yes, I did.  I crocheted by the light of my tablet.  It wasn't the most satisfying crocheting experience, but it supported my addiction enough for the moment.

Sadly, I can't be helped until I am ready to be helped... so don't even try.

footnote:  I hope that I've not offended anyone with my silliness.  I do realize alcoholism is a serious problem and I have a high regard for Alcoholics Anonymous.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's the Buzz All About?

We have a quirky little neighbor over our back fence.  By little, a mean a child.  He's a funny little guy for sure!

Our yards are divided by a 6 foot fence.  That doesn't make for very good conversation time between neighbors but that little boy manages to make his presence known.  For some reason, he likes to throw his things over the fence.  Last Summer I'd find all sorts of toy and even some things that weren't toys.  One day I went out back and saw a big rake that I did not recognize.

At first, I'd call over the fence to his Mom about the treasures before tossing them back.  Now, I just toss them.  It had all stopped over the Winter and I would've guessed the little boy would be over this by now but I was wrong.  Bode recently showed up at the back door all A-Buzz.  Yes, he had Buzz Lightyear in his mouth!  When I investigated further I found Woody in the lawn.  I set them on the fence for a photo op before throwing them back.

Don't you just love it when neighbors drop by?

Remembering Jerry

This is my cousin's blog... check it out!  I want to encourage her to keep writing.

I'd especially like to share the post she did about the day her Dad, my uncle, died.  Her Dad was a great guy and he died a hero.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Morning With an Old Young Friend

Saturday I enjoyed a delightful breakfast with my young friend, Laura.  We talked about serious things; we talked about nonsense.  We also talked about a lot of things in between.  I convinced her to allow me to snap a few photos of her as I sought her permission to mention her in my blog.  Those photos turned out to be of very poor quality; I must've been shivering when I took them.  However, I found a great photo shared on her FaceBook.  I don't think she'll mind that I share it instead...

To explain to you how I came to be friends with this young woman I think I should begin at the beginning...

Once upon a time we lived in Southern New Mexico.  When we moved there we met a family in the congregation who had three little girls.  The middle girl, Laura, reminded me so much of Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie!  Remember her?  Well, this Laura was a pretty little brunette like her and had a similarly charming personality.  She just had a sense of FUN about her.  She was a 4th grader when we met.

We became friends with Laura's parents and enjoyed time with them.  Sadly, they moved away from New Mexico before we really got to know them as well as we'd have liked.  Their new home was in Iowa.  We kept in touch for a few years via Christmas Cards and such.  I'm pretty bad with the cards, though, and we ended up losing touch.

When Mike received an invitation to interview at a congregation in Wyoming we had a little mystery greet us.  People told us that just the week or so before Mike's interview, a couple with a tall, blonde teen-age daughter had visited the church.  When this small family heard the announcement that the congregation would be interviewing Mike, they'd mentioned to someone that they knew him.  However, no one remembered the name of the family and we just could not think of anyone we knew that fit that description.

Finally, while touring the church, we thought to read the guest book.  The family was, as you may have guessed, Laura's family.  We found out later they had just moved to this town in Wyoming.  Laura and her older sister, however, were in college in Iowa.  Her little sister was the tall blonde teen!  Ah, the lightbulbs came on!

Well, we again enjoyed getting to know Laura's parents and her little sister.  Laura's Mom became a good friend to me.  We did not live far apart and often shared rides to Bible Studies and such.  I found that she was one of the easiest people to talk with and we seemed to have a lot in common.

Laura ended up accepting a position working here and so we enjoyed reconnecting with her as well.  Sadly, her parents and sister have since moved on.  Happily, because Laura is here, they are occasionally back for visits.

 Laura was in a Christian group of young women that met for Bible Study and conversation.  At one point they all decided to seek out a mentor.  I was really honored when Laura asked me to fill that position for her.  That's when I really got to know her better.  I'm not always certain who is mentoring whom, but we share some good discussions and a lot of laughter.  We've become good friends and I really appreciate this young woman!

Do you have people in your lives that keep popping up like Laura's family?  Or maybe non-relatives that kind of feel like relatives?  For me, the best things in this life have to do with relationships.  I've been blessed with a lot of meaningful ones and for this I am grateful!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Quick Jaunt to South Dakota

I've had a little road time this week for sure.  As you know, I shuffled off to Buffalo on Tuesday.  That was a mighty nice day.  Then late Wednesday, after our Lenten Service at our church, we drove up to my Mom's place just a few hours from here.  She had agreed to put us up for the night as the next day we made a quick trip to South Dakota.

We were going to Rapid City for a meeting Mike planned to attend.  I wasn't working so I went along for the conversation time with Mike.  It was such a beautiful drive!  The weather was unseasonably warm and it was absolutely pleasant.  I got to spend a few hours shopping for yarn, always a fun time for me.

Of course, I took some photos to share...

We were only there a few hours then back to take my Mom, sister and nephew out to dinner.  After that, we headed home again, enjoying this beautiful sunset on the way.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Wyoming Woman's Thoughts: Families, Genetics, and Me

This is my Aunt Michelle's blog debut and you are invited...

A Wyoming Woman's Thoughts: Families, Genetics, and Me: I've been working on a Family History scrapbook/photo album and it has made me think about all the people that went into making me. That sou...

Be Still and know: mpola mpola

Be Still and know: mpola mpola  I love this blog and this post.  I think you will as well.

Comments About Commenting

I want to address a problem some people have been having with my blog.  For some reason, there are people who can't leave comments for us all to read.  A few have told me that was the case for them even before I changed formats.  I've double-checked and I have it set up for anyone to comment so I'm not sure where that glitch is occurring.  However, I do know that a few may be having trouble figuring out how to comment since I switched formats.  I know this because I had trouble figuring out how to comment back!

So, here's the deal...

Of course you first have to click on one of the little windows to read a post.  I've noticed that sometimes it takes a try or two to get it to open up.  I don't know why.

Once a post is opened, it looks like this...

Do you see the little slide bar on the right side?

Use that to go to the bottom of the post.  Now you can see where to click to view comments.

The trouble is, when you click that it seems that nothing happens.  I expected to see comments at that point. Finally, I noticed that when I clicked "view comments" that little skinny slide bar moved upward.

I then had an ah-ha moment.  If you just slide that little bar down again, you can see the comments as well as add one of your own. 

Again, I am aware that it isn't working for everyone.  So, if that doesn't work, you may send a comment to my e-mail ( and I will add it for you.  I know, that's a lot of trouble.  I will also keep trying to figure out the problem.  Until I do, though, I hate to miss the interaction!

Ok, that's all the comments I have about commenting.  
Any comments?

One last thing... if you are someone who has never blogged but would like to, check out this link.  It is easy to get started!  (This means YOU, Michelle!)

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