Friday, March 6, 2015


                                                                                photo by Sterling McLean
I'm so excited!!
Our oldest son David proposed to his girlfriend Chelsea
one week ago on Boca Grande Beach in Florida.
 I'm happy and thankful for many reasons.
I've always thought David will make a terrific husband:
 tender and compassionate,
has a great sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously,
is hard-working,
and (considering he's been a bachelor for 10 years)
he goes with the flow very well.
Best of all, David was incredibly patient in waiting and trusting
God for his future. He could've "settled" but didn't.
(and that was some feat, considering his mother kept pestering him to
"put a line in the water if you want to catch a fish.")
So who's the lucky girl?
Chelsea Barrett ... and we think he's a lucky guy, too!
We've only spent two weekends with Chelsea
and we love her already.
Any gal who can effortlessly spend Thanksgiving weekend in a house
with all 13 of us (including 5 kids under 5)
and sleep on a leaky air mattress without complaint has my vote!
Chelsea's an accomplished artist/graphic designer, loves coffee (a requirement),
seems to juggle many things at once, has a quick wit and laughs easily,
is up for adventure, is great with children (also a requirement, ha ha!)
and just has that comfortable I-care-about-others personality.
They both love God and have trusted his hand in their lives.
No word yet on a wedding date, but I was right about one thing:
this is going to be a very big year!
Congratulations, you two!

Monday, March 2, 2015

a really belated birthday wish

Good evening friends! I'm beating myself up - again - for not keeping up on important things like wishing my sweet daughter Katie a HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY on February 20. But hey, I actually celebrated WITH her even though she lives 1,000 miles from me because I flew to Florida and SURPRISED her! It was pretty dang fun, great to be with her and oh, the weather wasn't too shabby either. I decided and booked my flights on Monday February 16 and flew on the 19th .... so it's been kind of a whirlwind.

In trying to travel ever so lightly, I didn't even take my camera and relied on my phone which felt like leaving my toothbrush or some other important item behind. Bah.

So I took this photo a year and a half ago, Katie with my granddaughters Ari and Ashlyn. It's one of my favorites. Katie's a family girl.

We had a fun few days eating out, talking, beach, getting yummy produce at her local stand, visiting friends the Hudsons and Lipmans, and on the spur of the moment going to a Rend Collective (I didn't know, either: it's a band)/ 10th Avenue North / Chris Tomlin concert in Miami. The drive to Miami took two hours on Friday afternoon, what did we expect? Insane. But it was a good concert, very worshipful!

Anyway. I love this photo and I love Katie ... the sweetest-spirited person I know. I can't believe my little girl is a young woman. How did that happen? Happy birthday, Katie! I miss you.

And ... after this winter that we're still enduring, I would hop back to Florida in a moment to soak up some sun with Katie. I heard it's the coldest in 25 years, which is how long we've lived here. We had 7" of snow yesterday. The piles from our shoveling by the driveway are getting very high and everyone's ready for spring. Which, no, doesn't come in March in Ohio!

Alright, letting this be the end. But I have some really BIG and fun news that most of you probably already know but I can't wait to write about it. Stay tuned!