Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Unraveling Threads

The tag clerk asked for a phone number and Nate gave his cell phone number instead of our home number

The title is in his name . . . and only his name.

The insurance clerk "moved" him from my car to his own vehicle.

He'll be getting his own E-pass account for the toll roads.

The threads that bind a child to his parents continue to unravel and today it unraveled into a long loose string of a new kind of freedom and responsibility.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Joys of Being a Field Mom

Yep! That's me -- a field mom. As in "track and field." Nate doesn't participate in track. He participates in field. This means that, for more years than I can tell you, we have collected dicuses (or would that be disci?). Let's just call them discs. Who knew there could be so many differences between one discus and another? Things like balance and rim thicknesses.

A couple of discs have taken up residence in the back seat of my car and a few more are in the trunk of Jeff's car. Others are in the garage.

Last week, we got a new field implement -- a very long, colorful, pointed javelin. Nate and I went out in the back yard today and he showed me how to throw it. Not how to run and throw it, just how to stand still and throw it.

Sorry, there was no photographer to record the momentous event. But isn't that a cute photo of my flying high son?

At least, the javelin doesn't get left in the car. No, when it's not being used, it's in a long cylindrical tube leaning in the corner between the doors to the utility room and the garage.

I love being a field mom, I really do*

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Free Book

My writers' group, the illustrious Kindred Heart Writers, are giving away a copy of Mark Batterson's new book, Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God. To be eligible for the drawing, all you need to do is go to and leave a comment on the post that reviews the book.

That post will be on the site beginning Monday, August 25. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 1st.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Birth Day and Birthdays

Jedidiah William Jett entered the world on July 15th at 10:32 a.m. Here he is with his beaming parents, Justin and Bethany, and his big brother, Jeremy. But our celebrating had just begun.

  • July 17: our new son-in-law Jacob celebrated his birthday
  • July 18: my dad's birthday
And yesterday, July 21st, we celebrated Nate's 18th birthday with a cookout. The celebrating isn't over yet, though.
  • July 26: Jeff's birthday
  • August 1: Bethany's birthday
  • August 11: my brother Adam and his wife celebrate their anniversary
  • August 15: my parents' anniversary
  • August 21 or 22 (?): my mom's birthday

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes!

"Do you remember what we were doing last year at this time?" I asked my daughter and son-in-law as we ate grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, and all the other traditional 4th of July cookout cuisine. It took a moment . . . but then the reminiscing began.

On July 4, 2007, we were at the Watermelon 5K Run at Winter Park. It was my first 5K and I'm proud to say I ran the first two miles before slowing down to walk just a short time, then running again and crossing the finish line. Jill stayed right beside me the whole time and Justin, his brother Jon, and Jacob ran far ahead of us. Water and watermelon and t-shirts waited for us after the race.

So what happened to my running agenda? Well, I ran another 5K about three weeks later, this time in our own little hometown of St. Cloud. Jill sat this one out, but Nate joined Justin and Jacob. I kept the same routine -- ran two miles, walked a little, bit and then ran again, encouraged by the guys who came back to run with me until I neared the last stretch. Then it was just me, smiling for the photographer as I crossed that finish line. (Jacob placed third for his age group which was really cool! Justin would have placed, too, but he kinda took a break partway through the race.)

A few days later, I got sick. Nothing to do with the race -- just a very bad cold that stuck around for three weeks. Running has been hit-and-miss ever since. But I'm resolved to run again. Perhaps next month . . .

So this 4th of July, we ate, sat around, people came and people went, and at the end, Jeff, Carol Anne, and I watched Rear Window. A fun day even without watermelon and t-shirts.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Conversations with a Two-Year-Old

You are so cute.
I sexy.
You're sexy?
Natalie says me that. I got in her truck with my suit.


Why are you so adorable?
Because I'm picking my nose.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Grandmother's Favorite Words

  • I sleep good. That means Jeremy has awakened after enough sleep to be smiling and cheerful
  • Where's Malize? He wants me!
  • I love you. Self-explanatory.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Our Visitor

We have an adorable, energetic, cute-as-a-button toddler staying with us for several days. We get to play with Jeremy while Bethany and Justin are on a youth group trip to the Florida Panhandle.

Today Jeremy told me how baby brother Jedidiah, whose planned appearance is mid-July, pushed against his hand. He thought it was pretty neat. And he's excited about "going on the airplane with Daddy to Minnesota" later this summer.

We're having fun, but I'm already planning to sleep a straight twenty-four hours once Jeremy's reunited with his parents*

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hugging Puppies

Yesterday morning, I made the two-hour drive to Palmetto for the Special Saturday Tour of the Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. I haven't been there since I interviewed Helen Arnold, an SEGD graduate and staff member, for my master's thesis on the human-canine bond in 2003. Helen was greeting the visitors so it was great seeing her and her smooth-coated collie, Corky, again.

A highlight of the tour is the puppy kennel. Along with other visitors, I sat on the concrete floor of the puppy room. Seven-week black and yellow lab puppies crawled from one person to another. One sprawled for a few moments on my lap before waddling over to the water dish.

I only wish we lived closer so I could hug puppies every week!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Running 101

This morning was the first day of my third week in my running program. It's spitting rain. What I learned:
  • Even when it starts raining harder, Nate will not come looking for me in the car. ("I didn't know it was raining," he said when I got home.)
  • Rain is a good motivator for faster running, especially when it gets harder than "spitting."
Other news: Jill came home and is now having fun in Tampa with her nephew. Jacob is headed to Tampa in a couple of days and they'll be coming back to spend time with us on Friday.
My birthday was wonderful with "entertaining" poems from my lady WordChicks, flowers, cards, gifts, and cakes. And may I just say that I blew out all the candles in one windy breath. Both times. 'Course it helped that there weren't as many candles as years being celebrated*

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sports Star

Nathaniel's photo was in the paper again this week -- this time the Varsity section of the Orlando Sentinel. The photo is an action shot taken at last Saturday's state meet at Showalter Field in Winter Park. Nathaniel placed fifth -- only a mere three inches behind fourth place and a foot behind third!

We're so proud of his accomplishments: a 10-0 season; Orange Belt Conference champ for the third year in a row; 2nd in districts and regionals; 5th at state.

Three cheers for Nate!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Movies on a rainy day

My friend Carol Anne and I met just before 11:55 on Sunday afternoon at the doors to the AMC Theaters at Pleasure Island. Quickly we bought our kids meals of popcorn, drinks, and these strange gummy treats and settled in our stadium seats to watch Under the Same Moon/La Misma Luna, an engaging and tender movie about a nine-year-old boy's search for his mother. We were deeply touched and wiped away a tear or two. After the movie, we sat on a bench in the hallway. Through the exit doors, we watched people stroll by wearing plastic ponchos and carrying umbrellas. I glanced at my cute, but wimpy shoes. Carol Anne was wearing flip-flops. And she was hungry.

What else was there to do but buy tickets to another movie? And hot dogs and Coke? We settled into our stadium seats and laughed at the antics of a dad and his daughter in the movie College Road Trip. So much fun, but also sad because it reminded me of leaving my baby girls at college campuses and driving off without them. I was wiping away more than "a tear or two."

After the movie, Carol Anne and I ran to our cars even though it was still raining. I came home, kicked off my wet and wimpy shoes, and called my daughters.

I love this season of weddings and grandbabies, but sometimes a mom just has to cry a bit for days gone by.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


That means "search engine optimization," a term I only learned in the past couple of weeks. On March 3, I prayed for a specific financial goal for my writing and, though it was a modest amount, I wondered how I would ever reach it. Less than two weeks later, I applied for and got a position as an independent contractor writing SEO-type articles for a Christian website. By fulfilling my monthly contractual obligation, I will earn exactly the amount for which I prayed. God is so good. With this prayer answered, I feel free to devote most of my writing time to my novel.

Not that I've given up on the freelance publishing trail. Not at all! In fact, my story "Shared Eyes," about a puppy I raised to be a guide dog, is in the final round for consideration in an anthology. And an editor asked to see an article I proposed "on spec." My goal is to have ten to fifteen queries/submissions out at all times. Right now, I have four. But hey -- a gal has to start somewhere!

I love my little room and I love writing.

Check out for other successes of my online writers group.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Blind Man Sees

Tonight the ladies of the Hearts Above Bible Study meet to discuss John 9. For the fourth time. Now the ninth chapter of John is not an especially long chapter, nor an especially difficult chapter. But for some reason, we find other things to talk about. This is not typical for this wonderful group of ladies. Of course, we chat, but we know why we've come together and we get into God's Word. Except when it comes to the ninth chapter of John.

Last week, I was the culprit. Still flying high from my writers' conferences experiences, I enthusiastically told all and my dear friends were an affirming audience. The week before that our group was small and we found ourselves talking about personal issues so that we cried and we laughed and we shared.

Those times are important for Bible Study members and I appreciate them. And yet, tonight, we've got to get that blind man healed. I'm sure he's weary of the darkness.

Monday, March 3, 2008

FCWA Conference

The past four exhausting, overwhelming, stimulating, hope-filled, glorious days are over and I'm home again eager to embrace all that I learned. God is gracious and the WordChicks (my online critique group that met at last year's conference) have a great deal to "cluck" about. One of us, Jeanie Wise, our only not-in-Florida member, won the Writer of the Year Award sponsored by Winepress Publishing. You can imagine how ecstatic we all were when her name was announced.

As for me: I was disappointed that an editor wasn't as thrilled with my novel as I am, but I had other positives:
  • In the Writing Fiction continuing course, I received multiple compliments on my homework assignment to write the same scene from the first person, third person, and omniscient points of view;
  • I met with editors from four magazines who invited me to send queries/submissions directly to them;
  • an editor wants to see a specific piece I've written about three of Jesus' maternal ancestors (as long as it's no more than 550 words);
  • I'm to send my story, "Shared Eyes," to a specific person at Chicken Soup with a recommendation from the gracious, and obviously discerning, woman who read it (and wrote "Bravo!" on it);
  • this same wise woman read two other short pieces I've written and suggested a market idea for one,
  • and for the other, that I write twenty-nine similar pieces for a book compilation -- she even gave me a great title for it; and now, drumroll, please . . .
  • I'm to email a book proposal for my novel (yes, the same one as above) to an agent.
Of course, nothing is for certain. But friendships were strengthened, relationships were made, opportunities were presented. And God spoke to me every morning through His Word.
As the WordChicks' Mama Hen, the lovely and gracious Clella Camp, said in her Night Owl session: Today is my Someday!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


The writers conference begins Thursday and I'm still working on the submissions I'll take with me for an editor to review. This afternoon I picked up the article I revised two days ago for one last going-over. A going-over that turned into still another revision as I re-wrote the opening, combined two paragraphs into one, and changed phrases here and there. Sometimes it seems like a never-ending process. But it is a process I love!

Now it's back to the fiction book proposal to see what improvements I can make to it. At least, the opening pages of the novel itself are set. Unless I look at them again. Which, of course, I will.

One of the best writing tips I ever read: You can't revise a sentence that hasn't been written. Ayn Rand said that.

Here's something I read in a Kristen Heitzmann novel today. In the book's context, it's a cooking tip, but I'm appropriating it for writing:

"As Conchessa had taught, the quality of the outcome lay in timing and seasoning and prayer. 'You don't have to be fancy to be striking. Do it simply. Do it well. Do it with love and adoration. That makes it an offering.'" [from the novel Secrets]

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Baby Is . . .

. . . a precious little boy! Yes, we're expecting our second grandson in July. My daughter Bethany and her husband Justin invited me to go along to the ultrasound on Monday. We counted tiny fingers and marveled that we could have this glimpse into such a dark and private world.

Jeremy is going to be a big brother. Though he announces it with great pride, we're pretty sure he has no idea that a little intruder is headed his way. Being with this young family at this point in their life makes me wistful for those days when I was the young pregnant mom.

For about three minutes.

I cherish the memory of those days, but I don't want to go back. I love the now and the rhythm and patterns of these days.

This is the day that the Lord hath made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The deadline for mailing manuscripts to the Florida Christian Writers Assn. conference is February 20, a mere twelve days away. So why am I on blogspot instead of WordPerfect? Good question! I have a book proposal for my novel to revise, an article to write, and a nebulous idea to develop for a second book proposal. I take strange solace in knowing I'm not the only one in imaginative and creative overdrive. My five WordChick pals are as intent as I am on thinking and planning, writing and re-writing. Our slogan is HIP/BIC (Hearts in Prayer / Bottoms in Chair).

I spent last week in Ohio. An unplanned trip -- my uncle died unexpectedly after heart surgery. The minister was right, though. My uncle did not have a heart problem. He was a sweet and gentle man who is now enjoying eternity. A sadness for us, yes, but also an occasion for seeing so many cousins and children of cousins. A joyful family reunion is being planned for September in the Symmes Valley region in southern Ohio. This is where our grandparents lived before moving their family north to the New Holland/Washington Courthouse area in the 1920s-1930s.

No surprise that it's much colder in Ohio than it is in Florida in the month of February. I saw snow, bought a pair of boots, drank cocoa, and cuddled up with a warm blanket.

One of my goals this year, after the writing conference, is to add to the family genealogical record by researching our feminine ancestors and writing about their adventures. And, perhaps, their misadventures.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


It's Saturday night and grandson Jeremy, who's almost two, called a little while ago to sing me a song. When I was a younger gal, I couldn't imagine being a grandmother. That was for old people! But here I am, loving every phone call, hug, and cuddle from that sweet little boy. And in July, he'll have a sibling! Life is too good and we are so blessed. Not only are we adding a new grandchild to our family circle, but we recently added our second son-in-law. I may have dreaded the coming of this age ten or twenty years ago, but now that I'm here . . . I wouldn't trade it for anything. "He seldom reflects on the days of his life," wrote the wise king, "because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart" (Ecclesiastes 5:20).