Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What I Learned in June~2016


I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July! We enjoyed a fun BBQ and then had friends over to sit on our deck and watch fireworks exploding all around us over the Puget Sound.

Here's a look back at some things I learned during the month of June:

1. Planning summer activities when I'm an empty-nester looks quite a bit different than back in the day... Case in point: I don’t have to go to the library this summer, I get to. I got a notice in the mail about the Library summer reading contest for students. They obviously don't know that ALL of our kids are now college graduates and out of the house and that I get to read what I want...when I want...how I want! (Paperbacks, Kindle, magazines, borrowed books) I also don't have to enroll kids in VBS, camps, lessons, etc. My summer will revolve around work, figuring out when I can SEE my kids, vacations and enjoying our deck! "Yes Sydney, I'll take you for walks."

2. The first Flight attendants were also registered nurses. United Airlines hired the first woman in 1930. Before that, men called Stewards served food on American flights. During WWII nurses were needed to help with the war effort so airlines relaxed the rule and hired women who could be trained in safety and emergency procedures. Another interesting fact...flight attendants used to HAVE to be single (available) women. The minute they became engaged, they could no longer work for the airlines. The history of this transportation career is fascinating and as with all things has changed a lot over the years. Do you have a favorite airline? Do you have a bunch of friends who are flight attendants like I do? Have you ever considered applying for the job?...



3. Facebook can be a little creepy and sometimes try too hard. When I clicked on my youngest daughter's name on Facebook last week "IT" decided to inform me that I had some things in common with her. Here's what I discovered:
You and Sarah                                                                                                                                                Also went to GHHS Senior Baccalaureate and Project Hope Benefit Concert Also lives in Gig Harbor, Washington Also visited Spokane, WashingtonPort Townsend, Washington and 9 others Also listens to Cold Mountain Yeti Also watched Winnie the Pooh

Dear Facebook, 
I love my girl very much so you don't need to remind me what we have in common!
Yes, I went to her high school Baccalaureate! That was four summers ago since she just graduated from college! I don't remember the Project Hope concert, are you sure I attended?
She doesn't really live in Gig Harbor anymore since she has her own apartment in Spokane.
Yes she went to the Women's retreat in Port Townsend and many other towns with me. Are you stalking us?! I don't really listen to Cold Mountain Yeti. Name me a song...
Yep, we LOVE Winnie the Pooh.  P.S. Do you really have to show me pictures of all the items I look at but decide not to order?
Kind of creepy the way Facebook stalks us...

4. When you don't know, look it up! The entire time I was reading The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O'Neal, I was saying the Priest's name incorrectly in my head. (Somehow I forgot that my name in Spanish, Juanita, starts with the "W" sound...) Finally I looked up HOW to say the name Joaquin and I was WAY off. I might not agree with the author's theology, but I enjoy Barbara's stories; interesting characters, always a dog and yummy descriptions of food are in her books.


5. They're sisters! Did you know that the actress Rooney Mara who plays Tiger Lily in the movie Pan, is the younger sister of Kate Mara who plays Zoe on House of Cards? I thought Rooney looked familiar, but couldn't figure out how I knew her! These two sisters have been in lots of movies and shows and their family is well-connected. Don't you think they look a lot alike?

Rooney
Kate

6. Having all the kids in the same place at the same time doesn't happen often when they're all adults! My hubby and I went to Spokane the last weekend of June for Hoopfest. What is Hoopfest? It's the biggest outdoor 3 on 3 basketball tournament on earth! Our two sons and one of our daughter-in-laws were competing and even though they didn't win every game, they did great!  Our two daughters were returning from a 2+ week road trip so we had quite a fun family "reunion!" #happymama


7. God really DOES go ahead of us! My former Nashville daughter who is now back in the PNW arrived in Spokane the afternoon of Hoopfest. In less than a week she found a cute little apartment right across the street from her little sister. What are the chances? The Landlord had stopped by her little sister's place and informed them that one of his other properties had just opened up. It's in her price range and month to month. Such balm for this Mama's heart, and my daughter's too. Answered prayers are the best!

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Deuteronomy 31:8


In His Grip,
Jane

P.S. Here's a good devotional about Deuteronomy 31:8.

Photo sources:
https://us-east.manta.joyent.com/condenast/public/cnt-services/production/2014/07/31/53daa9fddcd5888e145c3b21_flight-attendant-uniforms-3.jpg
http://www.silence-action.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Rooney-Mara-3.jpg
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/8000000/Kate-Mara-kate-mara-8028126-1920-1200.jpg

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Week of Emotions



Last Saturday my hubby and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. Thanks to a groupon, we stuffed ourselves with fondue at The Melting Pot, then we popped next door to El Gaucho for an after-dinner cocktail. It was such a fun, happy night! We are so thankful God brought us together and has helped us stay together through the good and the hard times...

I ordered my favorite swanky drink, a Sidecar and it was the best one I've ever had! Be warned; this yummy concoction at El Gaucho is quite pricey~$15, and pretty potent.
 (I wasn't driving.)

The bartender wrote down the recipe for me in case I ever have all the ingredients at home to concoct one of my own.


It wasn't until we were in church the next day that I heard about the horrible shootings at the Orlando nightclub.  My heart breaks for all the Mamas and family members who are mourning. On Wednesday I was celebrating the grand re-opening of the Flagship Cutters Point Coffee Co. with a girlfriend, when she mentioned the death of a toddler in Disney World. I can't even fathom the pain and disbelief the parents must be feeling. So much sadness... 

As we all wrestle with the evil and unexpected events that have occurred in our broken world, I want to share two things that have ministered to me:

I love this new praise song: Thy WillI've always loved the country group "Lady Antebellum." The female member of the group, Hillary Scott, is now also writing and singing praise songs with her parents and sister. I think you'll agree that "Thy Will" is beautiful and the lyrics stick in your head (in a good way!)
"I know you hear me
I know you see me Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store.
THY WILL BE DONE"


I appreciated this hope-filled response to the nightclub tragedy in Orlando:
Kristen Welch writes a blog called "We Are That Family" and she did a beautiful job in this letter to her kids. It's for all of us! 

Jesus is our only hope!



Let your family and friends know how much you love them, extend grace and kindness to all and have a safe weekend.

In His Grip,
Jane


Photo sources:
:amcor-usa.com

Friday, June 3, 2016

5 Favorites for Friday


Happy Friday friends! The weather here in the PNW is glorious, and since my cold/flu is starting to go away, I actually went on my first outing in two weeks; Trader Joe's with a girlfriend is always a favorite!

Here are five of my favorites this week:

Movie to rent~ The other night my hubby decided to watch The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on our "On Demand." I loved the actors, wonderful time-period fashions from the 60's and great action without too much violence. I give it 5 stars.
Photo source: https://blurppy.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/the-man-from-uncle.jpg

You Tube subscription~#Rach Talk of The Chic. I love watching and listening to Rachel Hollis. She always makes me smile She has her own lifestyle blog, is a Mom of 3 biological sons and 2 foster baby girls, she's a former L.A. event planner, a believer, and she's written fiction books. Check her out, I think you'll agree she's fun and talented!

Photo source: https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_400_400/p/5/005/0b0/122/379c0e8.jpg

Make-up product~ If I am deserted on an Island, this is the ONE product I need to have. Due to my Norwegian genes, I have scary dark circles. It's a multi-step process before I leave the house... First, Loréal Age Perfect eye Renewal creme, next, Garner BB eye roller, then Bobbie Brown Corrector in Bisque, and finally, the Maybelline eraser shown below. I have it in Light/pale right now and it's price-point is around $7.



Quote~"My imperfections will never override God’s promises. God’s promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on His ability to use well." 
(Lysa Terkeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministry)
 I wrote about making decisions earlier in the week. It's reassuring to remember God is bigger than any choice my loved ones or I make...

Recipe~ I saw this recipe, made by Kelly Nan on the Progressive Blog Dinner Tour and decided to give it a try. YUM! We'll be making this a lot this summer! Besides the yummy recipe, I think you'll also enjoy the Blog tour of homes!


Grilled Tilapia and Mango Salsa RecipeMarinade Ingredients:
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic in the jar)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets
Salsa Ingredients
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (we use serranos from our garden if we have them on hand)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Place tilapia filets in a Ziplock bag. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour marinade into the bag, seal the bag, and move the filets around until they are well coated. Refrigerate for an hour. 
  2. Prepare the mango salsa (this can be made ahead of time) by combining the first five salsa ingredients in a bowl. Add the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and toss. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate. (We use a fish pan with nonstick spray)
  4. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the fillets until the fish is no longer translucent in the center, and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Serve the tilapia on top of a bed of yellow saffron rice, and top with mango salsa.
It's the Maritime Festival weekend here in the Harbor, so they'll be parades, concerts and merriment. Tonight I'm heading to a Mops Mentor Mom end-of-year dinner. My youngest child is popping home too, before she meets up with her big sister in Nashville on Monday. Lots to be thankful for! 

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever." 
Psalm 107:1 (NLT)


In His Grip,

Jane






Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What I Learned in May~2016


Here's a  look back at what I learned in May, besides the fact that my Loft sneakers totally match the furniture at the Davenport Tower Hotel in Spokane, Washington...

1. That tummy roll of mine that seems to have inflated the last several years has an official name: Meno Middle.

Anyone else out there in their 50's who is wondering what that roll is that won't seem to go away?Yep, another lovely side-effect of growing older. 

Photo source: alovelyflock.com




2. Preschool Art Tip:

When I substitute taught Preschool this month I learned that if you add a tiny bit of dish soap to paint (especially red paint) it will wash off hands, tables and clothes more easily. This tip was shared by a wonderful veteran teacher, Mrs. Rohn, who will be retiring next week. She looked at the mess I was cleaning up after our fun Ladybug project and realized she'd forgotten to add the soap...I'm amazed I escaped without getting ANY paint on my clothes! I forgot to snap a photo, but the project was a lot like this:

photo source:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipLcwEhp3yk

3. Siri can be a nutritional coach:

I've talked about my love of Pao's donuts before. They are the BEST! One afternoon I was almost ready to pull through the drive-through for a snack, but decided to ask Siri how many calories were in a chocolate frosted cake donut. When I received the answer (370 calories!!) I was able to gain enough self-control to just drive straight home. I obviously need to talk to Siri more often so I can lose the "meno middle," (See above.) Update: after my doctor visit this morning (I've been sick in bed for over a week) I said to heck with Siri, Meno middle and calories and got myself a donut on the drive home. #sorrynotsorry

photo source: commons.wikimedia.org
4. One of my issues has a name in the dictionary:

Do you sometimes have trouble making plans, choosing paint colors, or ordering at restaurants? If you do, you might have Decidophobia!

(Decidophobia is, according to Princeton University philosopher Walter Kaufmann, a fear of making decisions. He coined the term in his 1973 book Without Guilt and Justice in which he writes about the phenomenon at length.) Wikipedia Dictionary

5. My budget won't allow me to dress like Reese Witherspoon:

Have you heard of the new line called Draper James? I consider myself someone with grace and charm, but obviously I don't have the right clothing budget or paycheck to order anything from her new Nashville store. Even her sale items are out of my reach! Sorta, kinda, fun to look and see what I would order if I could...

photo source:http://williamsonsource.com/witherspoon-opens-store-in-nashville/

6. Nashville is coming to an end:

The series "Nashville" came to an end this month. I did NOT like how it ended, but apparently the writers wanted to leave us hanging in case another network picks up the show. You can read about that here


My daughter who lives in Nashville is also ending her adventure. She moved there two years ago without a job and made quite a fun life for herself. She made SO many dear friends, loved her first grade teaching job, was very active in her neighborhood church, and enjoyed ALL that Nashville has to offer! 

She felt God calling her back to the Pacific Northwest so she's obeying. She'll be helping to plant a new church in Spokane, and hopefully she will quickly find just the elementary school that needs her experience and heart. She'll be in the same town as her younger brother, sister and sister-in-law; let the shenanigans begin! Stay tuned for updates~the sisters will be doing a cross-country-camping road trip to move her back!

When she arrived back in 2014 after our cross-country road trip


7. I have very compassionate family, friends, co-workers and employers:

I have been a bit like the character in The Grouchy Ladybug for the last week, while I've battled this cold/infection. I haven't had the energy to do ANYTHING. My husband has waited on me "hand and foot," my sweet friends have sent me texts and brought by flowers, and my work associates have been totally understanding when I've called into work sick. I am thankful! 


8. The world thinks I have four independent adult children:

Our baby girl graduated from college, signed a year lease on a charming wouldn't pass code apartment, and is interviewing for jobs. For 30 years we've given our four love and roots and wings and $ and now they are all living life under their own roofs, not ours. They are independent adults, but they're still my babies!


"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living, 
My baby you'll be."
Robert Munsch

I'm linking up with Emily P. Freeman at Chatting at the Sky.

What did you learn in May?

In His Grip,
jane

Friday, May 27, 2016

5 Favorites on Friday

photo source:http://www.usatipps.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/indianapolis-speedway.jpg

Happy Friday Friends!

Here is my list of favorites for the week:

1. Have you seen the Happy Chewbacca on You Tube? Oh the joy of simple pleasures! She's adorable! We all need to learn how to be entertained by silly things and laugh at ourselves...

   Photo source:https://comicbook.com/popculturenow/2016/05/25/megan-fox-wants-to-play-kitana-in-a-mortal-kombat-movie/

2. I really like these shirts : I'm excited that I stumbled upon a sale this weekend for a cute baseball-style t-shirt. They are all cute but I chose the green yoga pants one. The blog, The Handmade Home is always good!
       
3. This fun coloring book by one of my favorite bloggers is available on Amazon for pre-sale. If I was going to purchase myself an adult coloring book, this would be the one... It's on my wish list!

photo source: http://theinspiredroom.net/2016/05/26/home-decorating-coloring-book/

4. My favorite spot to hang out in Spokane is the Davenport Tower Lobby. It's so fun to sit in front of the fireplace sipping a Starbucks or a cocktail. My dreamy "home" away from home. Added bonus...my sneakers match the Jungle decor!


5. My Tuesday morning bible study life group is the BEST! I love the women who have become like family; we are sisters in Christ! It's been such a great year of study, prayer, laughter, challenging each other, and friendship. 

Not pictured: Jean

Besides the favorites mentioned above, my favorite MOMENT  last week was watching my baby girl graduate from Whitworth University. She went through a lot to finish her degree and she persevered and did it! We also had a blast eating pizza, toasting with Champagne, and playing board games afterwards at her very own apartment. 


Mike and I are so thankful God provided a way for all four of our children to receive an education from a wonderful Christian University. Three teachers and one soon-to-be counselor making an impact in the World!

Do you have any fun plans for your 3-day Memorial Weekend? Since I'm a born and raised Hoosier, I'll have to tune into the Indianapolis 500 mile race on Sunday. If I feel better, I'm headed to a Mops end-of-year celebration tonight. I am excited to have my youngest coming home tomorrow for a short visit and possibly bringing her kitty (Mimosa, the Grandkitty I haven't met yet.)


(If you hear barking and toenails scraping wood floors coming from Carver Cottage, you'll know Sydney isn't adjusting well to the furry visitor.) Fingers crossed...


Don't forget to honor and remember all our service men and women who have lost their lives to protect our freedom! GOD Bless America!



What are your favorite things lately?

In His Grip,
Jane

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Love "Sick"

It’s a bit of a pattern... My body reacts to stress. Here are some examples:

First High School crush? I broke out in hives. 

Years ago when I was in college, my busy days of attempting to balance studies with Chi Omega Sorority life? I ended up with Mono and had to come home for a month causing me to graduate in August instead of May.

Fast forward to the time I coordinated our women’s retreat. I developed walking Pneumonia that lasted most of that fall.

In 2010 we were getting our house ready to sell and relocate to a suburb of Chicago. I thought I was dealing with the stress...my tummy had other ideas. I suddenly had severe on-going pain and many tests were run to try to determine why it hurt and why I couldn’t eat hardly anything. Perhaps counseling was what I needed, not hospital tests! On the upside, I did lose 15 pounds. Unfortunately, they’ve returned...

I haven’t had a cold or been sick for almost two years. I’ve taken my vitamins and washed my hands and wiped down my grocery cart handles. I clean my house with antibacterial products, let in fresh air, and get moderate exercise. But alas, I find myself with a mean bug this week; headache, sore throat, stuffy nose, and hacking cough. The last two days I’ve been snuggled on my bed or on the couch with hot tea; reading or catching up on recorded shows.

Did I literally get this “bug” from my youngest daughter over the weekend, or did my body finally realize that I have just launched my last child into adulthood?

Four children... All grown up and out on their own with college diplomas...Even though we’ve been empty-nesters now for four years, we came home Monday after the graduation weekend realizing that our kids will never live under our roof again. 

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19

Another transition... 

Did you know it’s possible to feel proud and filled with joy and yet also a bit sad all at the same time?

In His Grip,
Jane





Friday, May 20, 2016

Thank You Whitworth!


"I always pray with joy...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:4,6

The Carver family Era at Whitworth University has been eleven years and is about to end. We are headed over to Spokane this weekend to celebrate our youngest child's college graduation. All four of our children have attended the same college. Crazy, right? I am obviously the school's and my children's biggest fan, as evidenced by my collection of Whitworth apparel and items. (Not shown are the Pirate Mom and Dad license plates on my car...) Twice I've been given the opportunity to act as a Pirate Mom and speak to incoming freshman and their parents about why Whitworth is such a great school.


This family adventure began back in 2005 when our oldest son Mitch started college and chose a small private school we'd learned about from our Pastor, Mark Toone. (He was and is currently on the Board of Education.) Back then, it was still a College, but in 2007, when our daughter Allie started as a freshman, it became a University.

The graduations began...

(Mitch-class of 2009/English Major)
(Allie-class of 2011/Elem. Ed.)

Keeping with tradition, T.J. also wanted to attend Whitworth and he attended 2010-2014. He's just completed his first year of graduate school in a new WU counseling program. Last, but not least,  Sarah started her Whitworth adventure in 2012. Although she spent her Sophomore year here at Tacoma Community College, she returned to complete her Art Education degree and will graduate this Sunday!

(Tim-class of 2014/Theology major)

(Sarah-class of 2016/Art Ed.)

Four times of moving excited kids into the BJ (Baldwin/Jenkins) freshman dorm... Different off-campus homes to set-up, and LOTS of wonderful friends to meet and become like family... Oh if only we'd known all four would end up in Spokane at the same University we might have bought a little rental home they all could have lived in!!


Lots of long road trips over to Spokane to attend Family weekends... Hanging out in the "Hub"... Stock-up shopping trips to Fred Meyer and Costco. Coffee dates at La Petit Chat Bakery and dinners out at The Elk, Twigs, and The Flying Goat... So many fun memories were made over the years!

Greenbluff in October

In the "Loop"

We are Pirates!

The gang at The Elk

The tradition of a steak dinner at Wolf Lodge in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho will continue this Saturday night. We make the trip when they start college and when they graduate. It's fun to see our name in the guest book in years past... This will be our 8th trip or maybe 9th!


Four Pirate graduates. Thirty-two expensive tuition checks written and parent and student loans to be paid. There have been several years when we've had more than one child on campus at the same time. Four times (plus Mitch's Master's) of sitting in the Spokane Arena for hours to hear our child's name read so we can cheer as they walk across the stage. (My tip; bring a book or Kindle to read.)

(Mitch earned Masters~2010)

Prayers shot up for finals and relationships... The blessing of both our sons meeting their amazing wives while at Whitworth...
(Daughter-in-laws Amy and Katie)

And so, our baby girl will be walking across the stage for her hard-earned diploma this Sunday. We'll be there to cheer for our fourth and final Pirate. 

Adorable photo taken by Olivia Strohm Photography

We're so proud of you Sarah! You are lovely and talented inside and out and loved by SO many! You will be the best and most compassionate High School Art Teacher ever!

We're so grateful for the blessing that Whitworth has been to our children and our family! Thanks to their friends and the nurture of Professors, each of our kids has become an improved version of themselves. Besides the fabulous education of their chosen field of study, they've gained confidence and the ability to connect with adults of all ages. Theology has been learned and tested, they became mission and outward focused, and above all caring and loving adults. 

The school motto is "Education of Mind and Heart" and I believe all eight of our family members have received that! Thank you Whitworth! 

This Sunday afternoon, I'll be the Mama holding a hankie, possibly wearing sunglasses to hide the tears and cheering loudly for my beautiful daughter, Sarah Michelle.

In His Grip, 
Jane

We will return for TJ's graduate ceremony next May, so I guess it's not actually our FINAL Whitworth weekend!