Friday, March 27, 2009


Jessie won her first match of the season! Her singles match was 8-6 (they play an 8-game pro-set), and her doubles match went 5-8. It was extremely cold for the spectators and became colder as the matches wore on. But, everyone looked good. Gretna was a good match. I think this is only their 3rd year for tennis, so their girls were at about the same level as us.

John made it to the match to surprise Jessie with her graduation present/car! I haven't really seen it up close yet because Dave was riding with John and needed to get home. So, he left the match and we rode home with Helmink's. John and Jessie went to Dave's this morning so she could drive it to school.

Tomorrow Norris has a triangular with Waverly and Blair at the Nebraska Tennis Center--indoors, I hope!

The prom dress is almost finished. I put the straps on yesterday/this morning and hope to finish that up tonight after Jessie tries it on one more time.

Tonight we're cooking lasagna for the bands for the concert tomorrow night. Brad's band and another one are playing at church tomorrow night for a benefit for Mexicali. I hope lots of kids come out for it!

I know--I need to be putting some pictures on, but I didn't take any last night.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Jessie's prom dress is nearing completion! Today I sewed in the bodice lining and tomorrow or Friday I will work on the straps. It fits well, but the straps will be crucial. If they go as well as everything else has so far, I will be ecstatic! I can't wait to show you a picture, but Jessie doesn't want Brad to see it before prom, so you'll have to wait.

Tomorrow is Jessie's first tennis match. She's playing #2 singles and #1 doubles with Melissa Seifert, who is the #1 singles player. I just hope it warms up a little--for the spectators. The girls are moving around.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 23, 2009


My recent issue of "Healthy Cooking" arrived a couple weeks ago, but I'm just getting around to trying some of the recipes. Last Thursday I made the Spicy Chicken Chili and we all three really liked it. I just finished it up for lunch today. It's similar to a Chicken Tortilla Soup I've made before, but it doesn't have salsa or tortilla chips in it, although I sprinkled some broken chips on mine instead of crackers. I actually left out a lot of the "spicyness" like the hot peppers and the hot sauce, but the chili powder and cumin carried it quite well. We were out of sour cream when I made it, but I tried it with a dollop today and liked the cold contrast.

I have the zipper in Jessie's dress, but can't continue before another fitting. The daily fittings slow everything down for me, but I don't want to do something I regret later. Making sure the bodice fits snugly, but not too tightly, is a challenge.

I did finish Jane Eyre and really enjoyed it. I could see a few connections to the Thirteenth Tale, but I liked Jane much better. It was so romantic and taught some good spiritual lessons as well. I suppose I should stick with the classics--they never disappoint me!

Have a great day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Diary of a Prom Dress

Today was the BIG day--well, not the prom, just the beginning of the real dress! This morning I cut out most of the dress. This afternoon I made the skirt (not the hem). This evening I made the bodice (mostly). So far, so good. I haven't had to re-do much and it's been fun! It seems to be fitting well. Tomorrow I'll attach the skirt to the bodice and cut out the bodice lining and maybe sew the lining together. Will I get to the zipper? We'll see--could be tricky. I might sew the zipper in by hand.

I think there's a good chance I can have most of it done by next Saturday--my goal. Jessie is still deciding on some of her embellishments, but they can be done anytime. I'm just concerned with having most of it complete before Mexicali.

Keep checking in!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

God of this City

In February 2008 when we were in Austin, we attended church (Austin Stone, I think) with Tama and Jacob. During worship their pastor was talking about the song "God of this City" and a story that Chris Tomlin had told him about how the Irish group Bluetree had written this song while visiting a city in Thailand. The story was very moving and, although I had never heard the song before, I liked it immediately, and when I got home I bought a Passion CD it is on.

Well, if you listen to Christian radio at all, you know they play this song everyday. It is still one of my favorites, and I'm still touched by the story, but because of the content of the story I won't relay it here. Look it up on your own. You can read about it at, or a shorter version at It's a wonderful story and they were talking about it on KLOVE today.

The picture I'm posting today is from the Chris Tomlin concert last month in Council Bluffs. During the concert I was so disappointed that he didn't sing "God of this City," but was glad when he saved it for his encore! The tickets were John's Christmas gift to me--we had a great time! Thanks, Hon, that was sweet of you.


This morning while reading Psalm 108, these verses jumped out at me: "Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly, it is he who will tread down our foes."

I was reminded that everything I try to do on my own is in vain, but with God I shall be valiant. So whether my foes are difficult people, or difficult circumstances, or my own difficult sins, I need God's help to conquer them. I don't see myself having "foes" among any people, but sometimes I let circumstances discourage me, and certainly my recurring sins are enemies to me. I need the reminder to ask for God's help with all things. He wants only the best for me, and nothing is impossible with Him. So, . . .what am I waiting for?

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pictures of Paisley!

These are some pictures I took of Paisley when we were there for New Year's. I have copies in my tutoring room and enjoy looking at them each day. Isn't she cute?
You can go to Steph's blog to see some pictures of Emily and Bri!
More progress on the dress project--today I made the petticoat. That gave me something to do while we wait for the fabric to arrive.
Have a great day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Making Progress!

After hours of searching websites, I think Jessie may have settled on some fabric today! I'm anxious to get started on the "real" dress and watch it take shape. I won't give any details--just keep checking in.

The practice dress is still a work in progress, but I think it will be as good as it will get today. I just need to take the straps off and re-do them a little.

As for reading, I'm getting into Jane Eyre--hoping to unlock some of the secrets of the book The Thirteenth Tale that I read a couple weeks ago. Jane Eyre is such a classic I'm ashamed to admit that I've never read it. I remember Wuthering Heights fondly, but have never read much more of that era.

In the Bible, I'm in the midst of Ezra--always interesting. At our Bible study we're watching a series of DVD's made by Anita (I can't remember her last name). She does a wonderful job of portraying women in the Bible. Today we watched Sarah and Martha. It's amazing the talent of this woman in recreating these women's lives.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Amazing Grace

Last night I finished reading a little book called Finding God in the story of Amazing Grace by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware. Ever since the 80's when I used to read everything Charles Colson wrote, I have been curious about the life of William Wilberforce. I had never heard the name before, and Colson was always talking about him because Wilberforce was his ultimate hero.

Last year I read Wilberforce's book Real Christianity and saw the movie Amazing Grace based on his fight against slavery in the British Parliament and on his friendship with John Newton, a former captain of a slave ship and the author of the hymn Amazing Grace. The book I just finished is a mini-biography of both Newton and Wilberforce. The "amazing" thing about this book is the way the authors have woven the lives of these men around the various aspects of God's amazing grace--from His maternal grace to His long-suffering grace to His sufficient grace to His compelling grace. The title of each of the brief 18 chapters is an adjective describing a feature of God's grace, and each chapter describes how God transformed these men so they might transform our world. I could see how God was arranging the world of Newton and Wilberforce for His purpose in their lives and in their world. And, I was reminded how God does the same thing for me each day. Amazing!

On a different note, progress on Jessie's prom dress is going forward! Yesterday I re-did the practice dress somewhat. Today I'm going to sew on the straps and figure out how much material we need. Jessie's having trouble finding the right fabric, so we're on a search for that. Any suggestions? Otherwise, so far, so good!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This is my first post to put a picture on by myself. I did it! Obviously, this is a picture of Jessie cheering. Her cheerleading season ended on Monday when the boys lost the district basketball game to Beatrice. Boo Hoo! But, now we're looking ahead to tennis, Mexicali, and graduation. It won't be long!

I fear all my readers have hastened to Facebook, leaving me here all alone! Isn't that just the way life is--as soon as I learn something new, everyone else has learned something newer and I'm still behind? Oh, well!

My latest project is sewing Jessie's prom dress--I agreed to do this because she asked--I didn't offer until then! My goal is to work on it a little each day and have it complete before we leave for Mexicali on April 4. Prom is May 2. I'm making a practice muslin dress first, and yesterday I sewed the practice bodice to fit it on her. Today I'm going to try to re-do that a little, or make an alternate choice. Pray for me in this. She already had one nightmare about it before I even started. I think it will be fun--as long as I work on it slowly and carefully. After all, I did make my own wedding dress, but that was 40 years ago. The sewing machine is the same--is the seamstress? We'll see!

Have a great day!