Friday, January 20, 2017

5 Favorites for Friday

Happy Friday Friends! Here's what I'm loving right now:

1. My "one" word:
I'm glad I chose the word NOW, to focus on this year.  I have gotten SO much done in the last three weeks due to being intentional and not procrastinating. I'm eating healthier, getting myself to the YMCA or around the block, and my house is getting tidier. You can read why I chose my word (NOW) and more about choosing a word on the post I wrote here a couple weeks ago.

2. Podcasts:
Lately I've been tuning into LPL (Living Proof Live) podcasts that were recorded by the bible teacher Beth Moore. Just put the app on your phone, plug in earbuds, and get inspired while you exercise or do chores. I have learned a TON from her bible studies and she challenges me to dig deeper into understanding God. I forget where my husband heard this quote but when I tell him things I'm learning he often replies with a "well if Beth Moore said it, Jesus agrees with it." He can be a smarty pants. If you've done one of Beth's studies, which was your favorite? I loved Esther and Believing God.

3. Product membership:
I signed up to be part of the Grove Collaborative. This company sells affordable and effective natural products for the home. I joined during a promotional week so I got some free products in a cute white caddy. I chose some Mrs. Meyers kitchen soap and Method bathroom cleaners and dishwasher tabs. I get to decide how often I receive a shipment and I like that it's a small company and a Certified B Corp. Maybe in the future I'll try some laundry detergent or beauty products. 

It's probably a good thing to have a box arrive on my doorstep rather than wander the aisles of Target since items not on my list often jump into my cart. 
If you want to try out Grove Collaborative, please use my referral code. Thanks!

4. Anthropologie Scent:
Friends, I am OBSESSED with the Capri Blue scent of Volcano. I looked up what the fragrance actually is: Volcano: tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons and limes, redolent with lightly exotic mountain greens. I guess it's the closest thing to a trip to Hawaii I'm going to have! I adore the candles that I can buy in mercury glass, my sweet daughter gave me the hand lotion for Christmas, and I bought the diffuser for my foyer table. Yay! Now when people walk in my front door it smells good instead of like a 1970's remodeled house. I need to purchase another one for our master bedroom. I highly recommend it!

5. Trader Joe's Find:
There are so many fun things to discover at Trader Joe's. On Wednesday my hair appointment had to be rescheduled (ignore my roots for a few weeks please,) so I headed over the bridge  to run errands since I had a little free time. I brought home a little Herb Garden for my kitchen counter. It's a good thing to have green life in the room, it smells good and is very useful! I have Rosemary, Thyme and Sage growing outside, but it's been SO wet that they aren't doing great. The potted mini-garden was priced at just under $7 so it's an affordable surprise to bring home.

Since the Presidential inauguration is today, I'm tuning in a bit this morning. This is the closest our country has to the pomp and circumstance of England. It's interesting to see what the First Lady wears, watch the faces of the people in the crowd, and PRAY that since Mr. President Trump will be laying his hand on two bibles that he indeed will ask for God's help to lead our great (hurting and divided) country. Please join me in praying!

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” -1 Timothy 2:1-3 

We won't be cheering on the Seahawks this weekend since we lost to Atlanta, but I have a fun baby shower and friend's birthday party to attend so I'm looking forward to the next two days. Plus, my man is home!

What are you loving right now? Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by "See Jane Learn!"

In His Grip,
xo Jane

Can you imagine the scurrying happening at the White House today to move one First family out and the new family in?...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Knit, Purl, Knit, Rip

 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb."
Psalm 139:13

Knitting a baby hat should not be so difficult. For whatever reason, the little blue hat I am attempting to create for one of my sweet expectant Mommy friends is not working!

I am trying to create something without mistakes but I somehow get my counting off... or I purl when I should knit... or I drop a stitch and screw everything up when I try to repair it. The tutorials on You Tube make it look so simple. (That extra loop~what in the world?...)

Adding to my frustration is my kitten who either tries to interrupt by jumping in my lap, or he "plays" with it during the night if I forget to put my project up on top of the refrigerator.

When he was a tiny kitten we found a masterpiece downstairs one morning and thought he was brilliant. Now his obsession with yarn is just annoying.

I have started and stopped about four times over the last five days. I've been about ready to give up, say "forget it!" and put my needles down. But then I remember... I am trying to create a gift AND hone my skills so I'll be ready for the future. Plus, I don't want to be a quitter.

In my family there is a tradition. When a baby is born, the Grandma hand-knits a blanket and a special Christmas stocking. My two older sisters and I were given stockings that were crafted by my Grandma Grace Young and they still hang at my Mom's each December. They are beautiful!

Each of my four children still have their blankets that my Mom made them, and each year I treasure hanging up the stockings that she lovingly knit for them. (She has 9 grandchildren; that's a LOT of knitting she used to do!)

Somehow I didn't take a good picture when all four where hanging this year. My TJ and his wife Katie were in Europe over Christmas, so his stocking was not taken down and filled this year. We missed them!!

Can you see how BIG and intricate those stockings are? Can you appreciate my apprehension at the thought of replicating those for future little ones?

But special things require time and attention.

Giving up on knitting isn't an option. Learning how to correct mistakes and continue is vital. I heard a great song the other day which is a reminder about fixing things. Listen to Matthew West's Mended.

"When you see nothing but damaged goods, I see something good in the making. I'm not finished yet."

Lots of people who have done helpful, amazing things, weren't successful at first. They did not give up! I need to persevere. Perhaps I need to check EVERY row for mistakes before continuing; especially if I'm also watching TV or a show on Netflix.

The God who knit each of us together in our Mother's womb made us perfectly. I believe that when we make mistakes or sin, which damages his "original design," he lovingly mends us.

And so by golly I am grabbing those dang needles and starting again! Granted, the baby this project is for might arrive before I finish... but I will create a hat!

What have you been struggling with lately?

In His Grip,
xo  Jane

Friday, January 13, 2017

5 Favorites for Friday

Happy Friday! I'm relishing our last clear, cold day here in the PNW...Apparently the rain returns tomorrow. Here's what I'm loving right now:

1. God's Masterpiece:
Oh the moon has been glorious!  I'm borrowing some photos to show you what we've been enjoying here out our windows. 

Thanks Theresa!
Thanks King 5 and the awesome photographer!

"The Heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1

2. Household helpers:
I've been quite the busy bee this week working on my cupboards and drawers. Thanks to the clear containers I found at Home Goods and the Dollar Tree (yay! $1). plus my Dymo label maker, things are looking mighty tidy around here. 

3. Cat cuddles:
Every morning, after Thor has eaten and run around wild for a bit he settles in right on my chest to snuggle and purr. He reminds me why I keep forgiving him for the occasional "accident." 

Do NOT look at my oldish neck... (Or refer to the book written by Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman.) Just like a baby needs his Mommy's heartbeat to calm down, this growing orange fur-baby of mine needs mine.

4. Wine Alternative:
In my quest to cut back on my alcohol consumption and calories, I've been reaching for a La Croix served over ice in a wine glass. Granted, it is NOT as satisfying as red wine, but I'm doing it for my health. Lime is my favorite flavor, but I know there are lots of other options. Unlike my husband who has totally stopped drinking until our trip to Florida next month, I'm just cutting back.

5. App:
I love the prayer app called "Echo."  I forget who recommended it to me, but I'm thankful. It's a simple way to keep track of prayer requests. When you tell someone you'll pray for them, by quickly adding it to your phone, you won't forget! You can edit prayers or say they've been answered. Give it a try, I think you'll love it too!

What are you loving right now? Have a wonderful weekend friends!

In His Grip,

xo Jane

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thinking About Purpose

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

Today I've been thinking about why I'm going into this new year without a lot of changes. It's a good thing; same family, home, job, ministry. Sometimes things or people are for just a season and other times we're called to things because God has a purpose for us. I am resting in the knowledge that right now I'm where God wants me. Here's what my journey has looked like so far:

God knew me before I was even conceived, stayed with me even when I didn’t know or follow him, and all the while He’s been working out the path of my life.


Being the youngest of three girls in a family of teachers helped me when I became a teacher of First Grade, Preschool and Kindergarten. I had excellent role models.

Things I learned as an Early Education teacher helped me as I became the Mommy of four children. Chaos? Yep. Practicing reading, figuring out homework, organizing schedules, teacher conferences... So many things that go along with education. 

Choosing to stay home  during most of my children’s growing up years and choosing to teach part-time for several years allowed my family the gift of my time and attention, and it's helped me to value and understand Moms who stay home and those who choose/have to, work outside the home. As long as parents and children are thriving, either option can be good.

My love for mothering and babies has led me to a ministry I love (MOPS-Mothers of Preschoolers) and a part-time job at a baby boutique called Charlie Barnes.
I’m able to chat with new-to-town couples and connect them to local resources because I was once that new person and I have a heart for those trying to put down roots in new places...

Conversations occur with customers as I wrap their packages about aging parents and I can listen and relate since my Mama just turned 90 and has had to deal with lots of surgeries and changes...

The love I have for all things “baby” helps me assist shoppers in choosing that special gift. I get to snuggle and adore babies and toddlers. How sweet to get my "baby fix" since it's not yet my time to be a Grandma. It's especially rewarding when I get to celebrate with expectant parents by peeking at their Ultrasound results and then wrapping up a pink or blue present to be opened later. Such joy!

I have the privilege of working for and with young women who put up with me being old enough to be their Mom.  Since my four children live out of town, I get my "young people fix.” 
I believe my purpose is right where I’m at; loving on my husband and home (and furry babies), parenting long-distance, being available to help friends and neighbors, and loving on the young families that I serve at work and at church. Until I feel led by the Holy Spirit to pursue a different direction, I think I’m in my spot and it's all part of my ongoing story.

How about you? Do you know your purpose? 
In His Grip,

xo Jane

If you want to read a bit more about God's purpose for all of us, check out this link.

Friday, January 6, 2017

5 Favorites for Friday

Happy Friday! Here are five of my favorites this week:

Fiction Book~ I'm so glad I asked for Beth Moore's first work of fiction for Christmas and that my husband bought it for me! I finished it in a week. I loved the characters and the message of redemption. It reminded me a bit of one of my favorite series called Mitford. I highly recommend you check it out.

Quote~Said by Tiger Lily in the movie Pan;

“Home’s not where you come from, it’s where you make it.” 

I grew up in Carmel, Indiana and moved away when I was 35. The past 22 years I've been learning how to put down roots in all the towns and houses we've lived in; Grayslake Illinois, Gig Harbor WA, Glen Ellyn Illinois, Fox Island WA, and now downtown Gig Harbor. I thought I'd ALWAYS live in Indiana, but God had other plans and I'm so thankful for the path He's taken our family on. 

Product~Last summer I talked about my Maybelline dark circle eraser. Since I'm always on a quest to hide my mean, dark, under-eye circles and didn't have time to buzz over the bridge and spend $$ on the Bobbie Brown corrector, I found a replacement that's only about $6 at the local drugstore. Meet my newest weapon in the war against under-eye circles!
NYX Dark Circle Concealer Corrector

Pinterest Find: Craft idea to make~
I LOVE this idea! I have a perpetual calendar for birthdays down in my laundry room, but this plaque is adorable and I want to share it as a possible craft idea for the MOPS mommies to make. Never forget a family member or friend's birthday again...

Show on Netflix~ If you were a fan of Downton Abbey, or Call the Midwife, then I think you'll love Landgirls. It's a BBC program about women who helped the WWII war effort by working at a farm in England. Great drama, background music, period costumes. I learned a new word! Conscription is another way of saying "drafted." This show really gives a realistic view of what life was like during this difficult time in our world's history. I'm on the third and final season and don't want it to end! 

Any suggestions of shows you love? Enjoy your weekend friends!

In His Grip,

xo Jane

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Happy New Year! 

After a quiet eve of sipping our favorite Wycliff champagne and catching up on shows, we began 2017 with some Arsenal soccer as we finished un-decorating the house. 

Recently I’ve been listening to some encouraging Beth Moore podcasts on my Living Proof Live app and one of them struck a nerve; “The Quitter’s Guide to a Comeback.” If you’ve been following my blog over the last six years, you might have noticed I pretty much stopped blogging. God spoke to my heart. Quitter? Pretty much. Reasons? All pretty lame. 

(See Jane attempt a writing comeback!)

As many people do, I’ve been contemplating the last year and looking forward; deciding if I’ll make a list of resolutions for 2017, choose a “word of the year” which I’ve done in the past, or borrow my daughter’s idea to write down goals of more and less.

As a teen and college student, I remember lists of goals and journaling lots of resolutions and BIG feelings in my diaries. As a young wife and mama, I don’t think I had time to think of anything but feeding and corralling babies. Over the past several years I jumped on the “My One Word” bandwagon and picked a meaningful word that I could constantly meditate on. I often had charms or bracelets made so my word was a constant visible reminder. (Unlike some of my children, no tattoos for me...)

Some of my words of past years were; faith, joy, believe, trust and free. They all were chosen with prayer and due to life circumstances and they still all apply to my daily life. Yep, still learning.

The word that keeps coming to mind lately is NOW
I tend to be more of a planner (lists galore!) than a doer... I also procrastinate... and sleep too much... 

Proverbs 6:4-11
“4 Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do. 5 Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net. 6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”

I’ve been a bit lazy and the more I sleep, or sit and make lists, the less gets accomplished. 

NOW is a good time to: show love, serve others, exercise, do my bible study, eat healthy, clean our bathrooms, put away the laundry, call my Mom, keep my kitchen sink empty (any Flylady fans?), simplify, write, walk the dog, etc., etc., etc.

Here are some baby steps I’ve started taking on my quest for NOW
I’ve begun setting my alarm much earlier and my body is actually waking up sometimes before it rings! My husband and I are holding each other accountable to eating WAY less carbs and sugar and I’m admitting that wine needs to be more of a weekend treat than a nightly routine. I'm keeping my water bottle by my side. I’ve returned to the YMCA and I’m forcing myself to cleanse my face before I turn in. I also signed up for the Rachel Hollis 31 day challenge: New Year, New Do You! Check out The Chic for lots of good, healthy ideas. #ChicNYDY

Today I'm snuggled on the couch with tea, fighting off a sore throat and thankful that one of my Charlie Barnes coworkers might cover my shift this afternoon. But right now it’s time to drink more water and go clean up the unexpected “accident” that my feisty kitten had on Sydney the dog’s bed which I threw out the back door. Oh Thor...we thought you'd stopped that nasty habit!

May all of us keep the joy of Christmas in our hearts all year and depend on Jesus to help us accomplish the plans He has for us.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

What are your plans to start off your New Year?

In His Grip,

xo Jane

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fall Lessons Learned (Updated)

Hello Friends! Yes, it's been an entire SEASON since I've written a blog. Fall is just about over so it's time to think back over the last three months and remember lessons I've been learning. September flew by, the dry days came to an end, but October and early November were filled with visits to see our favorite four kids (plus two lovely daughter-in-laws). 
Below are some things I've been learning this Fall:

The Festival of Hope and Empathy are Important!

Each November my church (Chapel Hill) holds a Fair Trade Marketplace. It has beautiful gifts and items that provide artisans around the world with a fair living wage, safe work environment, access to health care, healing from injustice, and hope for the future.  

There was a wonderful breakfast and the speaker reminded us all of the difference between Empathy and Sympathy. Watch this very short video on You Tube that does a beautiful job of explaining how to minister to loved ones going through pain, grief and suffering.

Our Free Kitten is on Santa's Naughty List!

Thor keeps growing and he's adorable, but... For whatever reason he keeps having accidents. We thought our issues would disappear after he was neutered- ha! If our bedroom door gets left side of the bed becomes his target. Thor has also left his mark on Sydney's blankets and even in his own cat bed! I took him to the Vet to see if an infection might be the cause (small infection) but it's mainly behavioral since he started life as a Ferrel cat (and he wants to send a message to the dog.) He's about to spend time OUTSIDE. I'd love any suggestions or donated bottles of laundry supplies. I've been given LOTS of opportunities to remember that love is unconditional. 

We haven't gotten our Christmas tree yet~how in the WORLD are we going to keep this wild thing from destroying it?????

Apparently I have a "personal" forecast.
Computers are a bit like "Big Brother" is watching... Not only does Facebook put ads on for things you've considered purchasing (does this bug anybody else?!), but it also somehow "knew" I'd been having quite a few headaches in the last couple of weeks. The weather link said my personal forecast was beneficial for Migraines. Hmm... not sure I understand why cloudy, rainy weather will be helpful? Is it because it makes me want to curl up and take a nap? 

If you want to know how the weather affects things like your health, sports, hair and driving, has an answer for you. Some Advil, a hat or hood, and windshield wipers are in my future...

If you want to know more about the climate here in Puget Sound before you decide if you want to live in this beautiful, but sometimes soggy area.  Check out this link which probably would have made me cry back in 1997 when we moved here from the Midwest, but now it's just life as I know it. We get the most beautiful rainbows here.

It's hard to choose which to watch first!

What are your favorite shows right now? We record quite a few. I'm going to be completely honest and share that since we're Empty-Nesters, there are many nights that we'll eat our dinner on lap trays as we tune into our On-Demand recorded list. Don't Judge! 

Our favorites we watch together are Blacklist, Blindspot, Madame Secretary, TimelessDesignated Survivor, and of course Seahawks games. This is Us is SO good, but I can't convince my guy to watch with me.

The headboard in the master bedroom of Madame Secretary is totally on my wish list for the future. Do you get decorating ideas from shows?

My girls and I had an amazing Gilmore Girls marathon!

No heading out on Black Friday for me! I snuggled on the couch with my daughters and one of my daughter-in-laws,  watching "A Year in the Life" on Netflix. I won't spoil it for you in case you haven't watched but OH! The ending!...

We took a walk down to the store where I work in our matching t-shirts.

I even shared on Instagram that I found a GG devotional. Jesus AND the Gilmores combined? Yay! 

While we were in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago we went on the Warner Brothers back lot tour. Oh! It was fabulous! I'm still recovering from learning that the towns of Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls) and Rosewood (Pretty Little Liars) are the same sets with the Chapel removed. 

I had a fun time pretending I was the President. I would not really want the job.

Moves and Moving.

The baby boutique I work at packed up and moved down on the waterfront to a new location. It's so much brighter and prettier and spacious... plus the view is ridiculous and more people are popping in. Come visit me at Charlie Barnes!

As far as the moving of my body goes, I am NOT moving it enough. My YMCA membership is not being used enough and the weather has kept me from walking a lot. These excuses sound lame even to me! Anybody else besides me wishing they weren't entering the holiday season of yummy treats already feeling snug in their jeans? 

Packing, First Class and giving.

We flew down to California to visit our oldest son and his wife a couple weekends ago. Fall in L.A. isn't quite as toasty as Palm Springs. I packed for HOT weather, instead of mild and warm. I definitely looked like a tourist and did several repeat outfits. I'll know better next time. Thanks to my husband's frequent flying we were given an upgrade. First Class is pretty comfy; beverages, food, comfy larger seats, short line for the restroom. 

One of the things I love about my husband, is that if he's flying alone and he gets an upgrade, he gifts it to someone anonymously. He asks the ticket agent to chose someone who would be blessed by the surprise. Since First Class boards first and "Coach" boards later, he gets the joy of walking by and seeing the person enjoying themselves. It's true that it's better to give than receive but I won't lie...I had fun sitting in First Class. Thanks Alaska!

Prayer matters. 
Our church has been spending this Fall diving into "The Lord's Prayer." It seemed quite timely with all that has been going on around the world and in our Country. I've been trying to do a better job writing down prayer requests and answers. If you'd like to listen to the sermon series you can't click on "Lord Teach us to Pray."

Please join me in lifting up the people of Brazil as they mourn the loss of their soccer team in the tragic plane crash.

Thanks for reading about my little corner of the world. Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday season as we celebrate the birth of our Jesus! What have you been learning this fall?

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

In His Grip,