Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Have you seen this “subway art” that is so trendy right now?  I like to call it “word art” since nothing I’ve seen in the subway looks very nice.  Anyway, it is pretty fun and easy to do.  You just choose a saying or a scripture verse that you’d like to make and call your daughter.  I usually say, “Since you’re so good at this do you think you might have time to make something for me?”  Soon in my email, I get this delightful surprise!  It works pretty well!  All that to say, I am very thankful for Andrea’s crafty computer-ness! 

She did this verse which impacted me my very first  year in BSF as we studied Israel and the Minor Prophets.  I think I had it on a 3x5 card at my kitchen sink a lo-ong time.  I haven’t decided what to do with it yet, so it is just hanging on a little clipboard on  my crafting desk. 


She also did this verse which I have loved and depended on in many a crisis.  It was highlighted in our study this past year in Genesis.  I framed it for the wall and as I come up the steps into our apartment it is hanging right in front of me!


Then in May when I was wanting to write a few “thank-you” cards and I had no time to make them, I asked Andrea if she could make it into a card size.  How wonderful to get that email that had been formatted to just print the card, cut and fold it!


And recently I asked her if she could make a little title card to fit inside a 3x5 card organizer.  I wanted to give them as a little gift to encourage the girls in my family to memorize scripture.  I was just looking for a title that read “Moments with the Lord” and she  gave me this.  It comes in three colors that I thought all us girls would like, blue, purple and green (that’s for me).


To be honest  I was thinking about Andrea and her new busy life with four little ones crying for attention.  I know the thought of a “quiet” time for her is probably a “hysterical” thought!  But it is also so necessary.  Having a handy notebook of scripture verses to look at when she sits down to nurse, and she has that encouragement, a moment with the Lord right there!  God’s Word is in her mind as she settles yet another dispute between Nolan and Elaine and she lacks the patience, or wisdom to do it rightly. 

I was also thinking about a conversation my Mom, Robin and I had over tea back in January about wanting to memorize God’s Word this year.  Well here we are at the half way point and I have made little progress in that New Year’s resolution! 

I was renewed in my desire after listening to a podcast on Revive Our Hearts with Janet Pope called His Word in my Heart.  Two things  she shared have changed my perspective. One, I have always looked at scripture memory as a “thing to get done.” Janet Pope said that she knew she could not find more time in her day to do something else, so she determined to memorize while she was doing other things…like blow drying her hair in the morning, or working in the kitchen.  Things we do all day that keep our hands busy but not our minds.  (By the way she has memorized 14 books of the Bible!)  That appealed to me because in the morning when I am showering and getting ready, I’m not quite awake and my thoughts seem to run away on their own, and I just let them take off.  So I'm discouraged as I step out of the shower and my day has not yet begun.  I know it is a battleground every day.  I have written out some verses and hung them on the medicine cabinet so a quick glance at God’s Word, His perspective really, reels those thoughts…and the following emotions…back in again.  So better yet, why not memorize His promises to me? 

The other thought that I took away from the podcast is that when you have a verse memorized, dwelling on it and meditating on it, you are actually dwelling in God’s presence!  Right in the middle of a busy day, or a difficulty I don’t know what to do with, I am transported into His very presence, receiving His help, strength, and encouragement!  That was a “light bulb” moment for me! 

Mom, Robin, and I are starting with Psalm 1.  It is only six verses and they are familiar already.  They are reminders of how blessed our life is when we choose to delight in His Word!  Robin is taking her little book along to chemo and she texted me one day that she had written out the verses and is “all snuggled down in memorizing mode!"   What a good picture of what His word in our hearts is all about!  I have heard Mom and Robin quote verse one already! 

How thankful I am that God’s Word is alive and full of power for my every need!  And it is also very accessible when it is hidden away right in my heart!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



At the end of May I attended a luncheon at the home of one of our residents…”Women with Hattitude!”  Isn’t that a cute idea for a  luncheon?  Everyone showed up in a hat, fancy, just a ball cap or decorated really cute!  I was actually quite nervous about attending.   I wasn’t sure if I would remember names of the guests…I think I know  a lot of our residents but there’s a lot I don’t know.  I also felt a little like I am not “part of the circle.”  But everyone was very nice and I had an interesting time just watching and listening.  The food was good too.  Alice, the hostess, is in her eighties but still very active.  She travels a lot and loves art.  Her children were all on the Olympic Ski Team and one room in her house is covered with photos of family.  I enjoyed looking at that much more than most of the art! 

So here I am arriving…there was someone taking photos of all the guests and then Alice shared them with us.  Do I look kind of nervous?  My hand was shaking!  Oh, I mean I am shaking hands!


This is Alice…her hat was pretty cute with the hand holding a deck of cards…big bridge players in this group.  The hand even had a big beaded bracelet at the back of the hat!


There was a jazz band playing and the patio doors were opened and luncheon was served outside.


This was a cute idea.  A construction hat with a wrench duct taped on top and screw drivers duct taped around the sides!


And here’s a nautical look


Here’s another lovely hat and one with a bird’s nest on top!


I loved this hat…so elegant!  Quite a contrast to the “art” hanging on the wall!

mrs_ mcclearn

I thought this was a fun idea and I enjoyed myself after all.  Hats are fun and I wish we wore them a little more often! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Urban Gardening

We are trying something new this year, container gardening.  I saw something on Pinterest, (you’re shocked, I know) and showed it to Wally.  He read the instructions, tweaked it a bit and built me a nice corner planter for our balcony.

Wally building my planter

Wally building my planter

Wally building my planter


Wally was under a bit of pressure…me!  It was part of that wild, wicked, and wonderful weekend I told you about in May.  It had to be done before I left for New York because I had also seen this idea on Pinterest and my plant starts were not going to make it in these tubes until I cam back home.


I’m not sure if I’d repeat this idea next year.  If I do, I think I will cut the t.p. tubes in half.  When I transplanted them the tubes were sticking up above the dirt a couple of inches.  The idea is that they will biodegrade and the plant grow up.  I don’t know that I have much biodegradable power in my nice new bagged dirt??  Or maybe not deep enough??   Anyway, when I returned from New York, I had a lot of tubes and not a lot of green.  I pulled most of them out and replanted.

Things are coming up pretty good now!  We have moved some pots around to capture the most sun.  I think one side of my planter is getting too much for my spinach.  We’ll have to try something different next year if it is a total failure.   We have two tomato plants, one zucchini and one grape tomato.  From seed I have lettuce, spinach, radish and green onion.  I’m looking forward to picking my first salad! 


Here’s another Pinterest idea…spray paint your clay pots with chalkboard paint and write the name of the herbs on in chalk.  I like the way these came out!


This is not a Pinterest idea, just a want.  Wally made me a potting bench.  I really like it. He used old fence pickets for the back and I love the colors.


It was my Mother’s Day gift but Wally just finished it this past weekend.  He had a few setbacks because the place where we were wanting to put it was the utility area at the back door.  The utility area was getting a new fence around it, which Wally also built.  But getting the gate installed was beyond our time control.  So here is the fence waiting on the gate.  That bare spot to the right is my little flower bed…


It looks a little better now! 


flower bed

  I’m very glad for Wally’s skills, he does pretty good work, doesn’t he?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father’s Day

Yesterday we had a nice time with the family at my Mom and Dad’s house…grilling steaks and lots of other good stuff!  Here’s the Dads of the day.


Wally, loving his picture taken as always,  Dad, Terry, Kyle, and Scott.  If you are wondering if you missed something this year about Kyle becoming a Dad, you did.  He and Krista have chosen foster parenting in hopes of adopting the precious little guy their hearts are already wrapped around.  We got some nice family pictures yesterday but because of the foster care thing, I can’t share them.  Sadness…he is a cutie!  But here’s a shot of Scott and his daughter, Nicole, with my parents.


And a nice shot of Mom and Dad!


I scrapped my little fingers to the bone this year for Father’s Day and I think the gifts turned out really cute!  I did like my cards.  I saw this card on Pinterest~

dapper dad

~and I did this with the layout. 


The shoe made me think about steps and it was easy to find some nice scriptures to add for my sentiment.


This is the card I sent to Ben.  I found the instructions here.


Another idea on Pinterest was taking a regular, lined, white envelope, snipping off the top, cutting in an inch form the end on one side, and folding it down for the collar.  An instant candy bar holder!  Funny, Robin saw the same idea and made one for each of the Dads too.  Hers was in a business sized envelope and she filled it with various candy.  Add a necktie, and you are done!


I added a post it note holder to my candy bars and tossed them a brown sack with tissue paper.  Simple gift!   Making these post it note holders is super easy and Chic’n scratch has a lot of cute variations on her blog. 


I covered a little notebook for my Dad…I don’t think he uses too many post its.


Lastly, here’s my card and gift for Wally. 



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father’s Day

img_7259A couple of weeks ago we went over to my Mom and Dad’s and tilled up the garden.  We were going to let it go this year.  But that would have left a big mess of weeds.  So Wally tilled up part of it for one more year of corn and we’ll have to think about what to do next year.  As Wally was tilling a neighbor came down the alley.  She wanted to know if Dad was going to grow more corn…he’s kind of known for his tall Iowa crop each summer.  She commented on how dark and rich that soil was.  I kind of joked and said there were a lot of years of manure in it!  But its also true.  I can remember Dad bringing a pick up load down the alley each year and my brothers turning it into the ground by hand.  Pee-yoo-i…it did have an aroma!. 

We tried to tell Dad to just sit…he can hardly walk, hobbling around with terrible arthritis in his ankle.  But he was not content to sit when his field was being plowed!  It’s the farmer in him, even after all these years.  He walked the fence line poking at clumps and weeds the tiller had cut through.


As Wally set the tiller into the ground, churning up the soft, rich soil it made me think of all that my Dad has poured into my life, and that of my five brothers and sisters. 


Just as the soil has been worked, and fertilized, planted and weeded, hoed and watered, to bring about an abundant harvest; Dad poured into us his time, work, provision and protection, patience, discipline, love, prayer, and so much more!


Thanks Dad, and Happy Father’s Day!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This morning in the shower I was thinking about my family and thanking the Lord for several things that are going on in their lives.  It made me think that most of life is lived in the day to day routine of all that makes up life.  I am no expert but I kind of think that the way we live that day to day stuff is training ground for the big things that come along, whether that be a crisis or just a huge change.  So I am sharing a kind of family update and thanking the Lord for the way that He is leading each one and for all that He has allowed to fill their ordinary days.

Ben and Andrea

twins birth announcement jpg

So maybe bringing twins home is not exactly an ordinary experience.  But once they are home, they become part of the day to day living, even as their very arrival has changed what that looks like!  These are busy days at the Hamilton house with four little ones.  I’m not sure if I am encouraging to Andrea when she shares with me her “trials” of a day with the kids.  Probably because I laugh.  From my side of the fence, it is sure cute.  And its easy for me to say, this will go by more quickly than she knows.  But for now it is her “ordinary”.   She and Ben are doing well going on what sleep they are able to enjoy.  Ben is keeping busy as a self employed contractor.  They are also busy “waiting” on the Lord for the next steps in selecting a city and raising support for starting a new church.  Full and exciting days for them.


Kenny and Becky

Kenny and Becky just celebrated their second anniversary June 4.

Kenny and Becky's Wedding by photographer

They started the New Year with a pretty big change, a move to Florida.  I was devastated to read Kenny’s post on fb recently that said he was starting to enjoy living in FL!  The accompanying photo did show a big mouth bass in his hands so maybe that is swaying his decision a bit.  He and Becky also put up some beautiful photos of sunsets on the lake where their condo sets.  I’m sure that is part of it too.  And maybe he has not yet lived through the lovebug season…then he will miss the west!  After a difficult fall and winter, Kenny and Becky followed the Lord’s leading and accepted a position at a church in Pembroke Pines, FL.  They are in the routine that makes up church ministry.  Kenny leads the music and he and Becky lead the youth.  They will be taking their kids to camp the end of June and first of July.  They are also working on some music for a Patriotic program. 

Unfortunately for me, it looks like Florida is agreeing with them!

kenny and bes on the boat



Wes leaving for wichita

This was taken early on a Saturday morning in late April.  I was on my way out the door to leader’s meeting and Wes and his Dad were on their way to Wichita where Wesley has taken a job and moved into his first apartment!  I miss that boy!!  He is still in a training period with West Star, an energy company for Kansas.  He called  yesterday “just to chat”.  I love that!!  Wes is also doing some ref’ing for indoor soccer leagues.  Surprise, surprise!  Check out his little apartment.  He left some things behind and when I asked if he forgot them he said, “Mom, I literally don’t have any room”  He’s quite right.  Here’s his kitchen.

Wesley's apt.

Here’s one side of the living room.  Like his d├ęcor?

Wesley's apt.

And the other side which leads into the bedroom.

Wesley's apt.


Check out Robin’s new haircut.  I think it looks so cute!

Robins haircut


Robin’s new routine is cancer.  She will begin chemo on Monday.  Two things she has been dreading is losing her hair and throwing up from chemo.  She got her hair cut short to enjoy a new “do” for a few weeks.  Unfortunately one thing she is dreading will definitely happen…she will lose her hair.  However the second thing, which is not very stylish no matter what you do, she may not have to endure.  I was able to go with Robin to one of her doctor appointments last week.  Her surgeon checked her wound and it is finally closing up.  She can finally get rid of the wound vac she’s been dragging around the past six weeks.  And she got the go ahead for chemo. 

After the surgeon left, a nurse, Rachel, came in to chat about what lies ahead in chemo.  She was wonderful!  Robin’s daughter-in-law went through chemo ten years ago and Robin has a picture in her mind of all Krista experienced.  But the nurse set a lot of that aside letting us know that treatments have come a long way in ten years…even treating nausea!  She shot down a lot of comments Robin has heard from well meaning friends like, “My mom had that same cancer and she didn’t have to have chemo”.  Or “This kind of cancer can be treated naturally!”  Rachel simply said, “Your cancer is different.  It is unusual.  And it is very treatable!”  I really like her!  She also said that University of Colorado’s Cancer Center is the number one place in a five state region for treatment.  And after a tour of the infusion ward, I will agree!   Pray for Robin as she goes through these difficult days.

I am thankful for what has taken place and what is taking place in the lives of my children and my sister.  I love that I can see the loving Hand of God at work as it moves through each individual to bring about a wonderful plan for their life!  I read this verse in my devotions this past week.  It reminds me of His character and that He is trustworthy for whatever lies in store.

“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”
Psalm 86:15


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