Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Queen or a Two-Year Old?

OK, every now and then we need a just-for-fun post, so here we go.

My name is Queen of Sheba and I'm a cat.  I didn't really belong to anybody, or at least not to anybody I liked, so I started coming to their house and acting both beautiful and pitiful.  While the human man was gone on a trip, the human lady adopted me.  But that's ok, because the man likes me, now, too.

I am completely black and very beautiful and regal looking, so they named me Queen of Sheba.  But now they say maybe it's not a good name because I act more like a two-year old than a queen.  I just don't understand.

When my humans tell me it's time to go outside, I really don't want to go.  So I go and hide.  Or I hang on to my blankie (ahem, a towel they put on the chair where I sleep because they say I'm dirty.  Humpf!) with my claws.  Or I suddenly decide that I need a drink or more food to eat.  Unlike a two-year old, I LOVE taking naps and do it all day long.

And then when they feed me, I won't eat unless my human mom comes to see what's in my bowl, first.  I'm a picky eater, too.  I don't like tinned cat food.  I don't care anything about human food.  I'll hardly bother to chew on bones.  I just like my dry cat food.  Nothing else.  Except things I kill, like mice and birds.

I have to be right where my human mom is, which is usually right under her feet in the kitchen.  She says that's like a two-year old, too.  Oh, and speaking of the kitchen....if she opens a cupboard door, I have to get into it to explore.

And if my human mom goes to the bathroom, I don't like that at all because she abandons me.  So if she forgets to lock the door, I get lucky because the door doesn't close very well.  I can put my paw under the door and pull on the door until it comes open a bit and then wiggle myself under it.  I definitely don't want her using the bathroom in peace.  

And if she goes in the other bathroom, I can't get in, so just to show her I'm mad at her I get up on the bed where I'm forbidden to be.

And at Christmas time, I loved playing with the ornaments on the tree.  It was fun to chew on them.  And my humans say I'm like a two-year old that way, because I chew on everything....pens when my human mom is writing, the rug in the kitchen, and other things left lying around.  

I've heard that two-year olds like to bring their moms gifts that maybe the mom isn't sure what it is.  When I bring my humans gifts like mice or birds, they say, "What is it?!" and they aren't appreciative at all.

I'm pretty smart, though.  If I want to go out and my humans are in the room, I just sit at the door and they let me out.  But sometimes they are in another room so I bat at the keys hanging in the door.  Then they hear that and come let me out.

I think my humans like me, even if they do think I'm silly.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Favorite Verses

Today I'm linking up with Suzanne at The Glorious Mundane for Outside the Frame.  This week's link-up is your favorite Bible verse.  Why don't you tell us about your favorite verse, too?  Unfortunately her link doesn't seem to be working, but you can go to The Glorious Mundane facebook page to link up.

I have so many, it's hard to know where to begin, so I'll tell you about the verse at the top of my blog.  One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 16.  I feel like it talks about life, present, past, and future.  

The first four verses talk about the present where David asks God to keep him safe and to protect him from his enemies: "Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge".  There is so much in this world that can make us afraid, but God will keep me safe.

Verses 5 and 6 talk about my past.  "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."  No, my life hasn't always been easy and parts of it certainly haven't been pleasant to go through.  But when I look back over my life so far, I would sum it up in one word:  blessed.

Rexford and Wanda Hall .... my paternal grandparents on their wedding day
I've been blessed to have had grandparents and parents and parents-in-law that were godly and who modeled character qualities that I can imitate. 
Harold and Ada maternal grandparents on their wedding day.

Don and Betty Hall ... my parents on their wedding day

Bob and Jean DeValve ... my husband's parents on their wedding day
I know not everybody has had the good fortune to grow up with godly parents and grandparents, but can I encourage you to make the choice to be the first generation of a line of godly people?  It doesn't mean your children or grandchildren will be perfect or walk in the ways of God, but it does mean you give them the chance to know what it means to have character traits that please God.  But I digress!

I've been blessed to have a good and godly man for a husband.  I've also been blessed with the children that God has given to us.  And the grandchild (and some day more, I'm sure!) He's given us.  I've been blessed that through the hard times and the bad times, God has been there.  I've been blessed with excellent health.  I've been blessed with enough (not great wealth, but enough).

And then verses 7-11 talk about the future with phrases like  I will not be shaken, my body will rest secure, you will not abandon me to the grave.

And then the verse you see at the top of my blog which is my life verse:  "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."  Again, the past -- you have shown me the path to follow; the present -- you fill me with joy when I'm in your presence; and the future -- I will enjoy eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Favorite Pinterest Pins

Today I'm linking up over at Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesday (and yes, I know it's Thursday!). 

I have this memory from when I was about seven years old.  That was a VERY long time ago, so I'm not sure how accurate it was.  But as I remember it, my Grandpa and Grandma Gay came to visit.  After they'd been with us maybe a day or two, Grandma gave my sister and I (maybe my brother, but as he was five years older, I doubt he would have been interested in this activity) a scrapbook and she had a box with old magazines and pictures in it.  We cut and pasted our favorite pictures into a scrapbook.  So maybe my Grandma invented Pinterest. :)

Later, as an adult, a friend showed me a notebook she kept with pictures from magazines glued into of re-decorating ideas, photography ideas, etc.  I loved it so much, I started my own.

At any rate, when somebody first told me about Pinterest and I saw what you could do with it, it took me back to gluing pictures into a scrapbook with Grandma. And it replaced my adult-years scrapbook as well.  I love Pinterest, but I use it as much to just collect pictures as much as for anything.  

And I have actually made some things I discovered on or pinned to Pinterest.  Most recently I followed this pin to make skirts for my grand-daughter and grand-foster-baby.  The tutorial for these skirts can be found at

easy-peasy skirts:

I also discovered directions for making fabric flowers here:  Her directions show to use a sewing machine, but my machine is too wimpy to sew through multiple layers, so I sewed by hand and it worked great.

full and textured flowers tutorial:

Here is the skirt and headband I made.  I can't show pictures of the foster baby, but hers was cute, too!
Flower headband I made:

We live in Africa and have a rather limited choice on ice cream and frozen yogurt at the store, so I make my own (without a churn). I found this recipe on Pinterest.  Homemade Cookies and Cream Frozen Yogurt -:  

I can tell you, it's delicious!  Go to for the recipe.

I like to pin art with Bible verses on it....I'm a visual learner, so this helps me remember Scripture better.  This pin isn't exactly a verse, but the thought comes from II Corinthians 10:5.  This is a great reminder for me!  

Don't believe everything you think. 2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish ...:

I have 76 boards on my Pinterest account. I won't bore you by listing them all. And I'm not looking for followers....I just love having a virtual scrapbook!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Book Review: Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging

In mission circles, a lot of acronyms are thrown around.  Many mission organizations have a full name, but are known by the letters of those names.  Titles of positions get changed to acronyms.  And even our kids are called by an acronym:  MK (missionary kid).  However, there is a more recent term that is replacing MK because it covers more than just missionary kids.  That acronym is TCK or Third Culture Kid.


A Third Culture Kid can be an MK, but can also include military kids who have spent time in another culture, kids whose parents work in business in another culture, or refugees or immigrants who have moved to another culture.  The "third culture" aspect of the term TCK is that these kids (of which I am one) take elements of their passport culture and elements of their host culture and end up with a unique third culture.  They don't fully belong to their passport culture, but neither do they fully belong to their host culture.  They are often most comfortable in airports, between worlds.  

plane with quote

Other TCKs instantly "get them" even if they grew up on the other side of the world.  When they return to their passport country they are often "hidden immigrants" because they may look and even sound like everybody else, but what they experience is closer to what an immigrant experiences.

New York - tck quote

Marilyn Gardner is a TCK and the mother of TCKs.  In her book of essays entitled Between Worlds:  Essays on Culture and Belonging, she talks about many of the things TCKs experience.  The book is well-written and each essay is fairly short, so it's easy to just read one at a time, think about it a bit, and pick up the book again later.

set of books with quote

I've read a lot on the subject of TCKs since I am one and I raised two of them, so there wasn't a lot of new things in the book.  I do think it would be a great book for missions committees and pastors to read so they know how they can help TCKs returning to their "home" country.  It would also make a great graduation gift for TCKs, many of whom will struggle enormously to adjust to that foreign country everybody assumes is home for them.

chair - TCK quote

Marilyn Gardner blogs at Communicating Across Boundaries, which I would encourage you to visit.  If you are a TCK, a parent of a TCK, or a friend of a TCK, you'll find a lot of helpful food for thought on her blog.

From Girl Gone International

All of the memes on this blog can be found at

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Challenge of House Hunting

I've recently been helping a young couple, newly arrived to Niger as a married couple (she was here single and they met here when he came on a short-term mission's trip) do some house hunting.  I've been along mostly for moral support.  But I do enjoy the process of looking at houses and thinking of all the possibilities.  It's also fun to be with a young couple and watch them figuring out for themselves what they want in a house.  I'm telling you, in my next life I'll be a realtor. :)  

Some of the houses we went in I didn't even take pictures because we knew right away it wouldn't even be a choice.  One house in particular was a disaster.  It was filthy, termites had built "houses" all up the wall, rain water had damaged the ceiling, plaster was falling off the walls, and all the toilet seats were missing.  As we noticed each thing wrong with the house, they kept saying, "The landlord will fix whatever you ask him to."  I wondered why he doesn't just get it fixed and then people would be much more likely to rent the house.  Especially at the price he was asking.

So, here's a little quiz for you.  What house would be your choice?  Just answer A, B, C, or D for each number (the letter is under the picture).

1.  Kitchen





2. Living Room/Dining Room





3.  Exterior




D.  (Just kidding, ha ha!)

If only we could take the parts of each house we liked and put them into one house!

Well, my friends, I shall leave you hanging for now as to which house they chose.  I'll give them a chance to put up their own pictures first.  So, in the comments or on my Facebook comments, share your answers for #1, 2, and 3!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Speaking My Love Language and Winning My Heart

Valentine's Day is coming up and thoughts are turning to love!  I routinely link up with two different blogs:  Show and Tell Tuesday at Momfessionals and Outside the Frame at The Glorious Mundane.  Show and Tell Tuesday's theme this week is "How to Win My Heart" and Outside the Frame's theme is "My Love Language", so I'm going to combine the two and link up in both places.

When I was in college I went out with a guy once or twice. I think his name was Bill, but I don't even really remember.  We went to a restaurant or something and actually had a really fun time.  I felt comfortable around him and we laughed and talked a lot.  And then he wouldn't leave me alone and he got all mushy and romantic really fast and not being experienced in love and not knowing that I should just talk to him about it, I started avoiding him.  If I saw him coming down the sidewalk, I'd suddenly need to go in a building along the way.  If he was at a table in the dining room with empty chairs, I would make sure I sat on the other side of the room.  It wasn't very nice of me, I know, (especially since he hadn't done anything bad) but one thing I learned was that I don't care for mushy, gushy and don't rush me!  Even writing a blog like this takes me outside my comfort zone because it's too mushy. ;)

So when John walked into my life, we discovered that neither of us is overly romantic and we're comfortable with that.  We spent a LOT of time in groups, playing games, going on picnics or hikes, and talking to each other.  We observed each other in ministry, at church, and in groups.  And all of that before we really started talking romance.

But I think how he really won my heart is because of two specific incidents where he spoke my love language.  I was teaching school in Nigeria and we only had the very basic supplies for decorating bulletin boards and so on.  If we wanted graphics for our boards, we had to make them ourselves.  This consisted of putting a picture on an overhead projector, shining the image onto a piece of poster board, drawing the image on the poster board, and then painting it how you wanted.  So I was in my classroom one evening, working on a new bulletin board.  I was painting the bears in jogging suits that you see on the bulletin board here. 

It was taking a VERY long time and I was tired.  John came wandering in and just sat down and started helping me paint.  We talked and worked and got the job done in half the amount of time.  The other time was when I had to make a large amount of cookies for something and it just seemed like a tedious job.  But he came over and helped make those cookies and it was so much more fun doing it with somebody!  

Even now, the most romantic thing he can do is to, without me asking, come in the kitchen and help make supper, take down the laundry for me, or tidy something up.

Have you guessed that my love language is acts of service!? When John did something for me, I started noticing that this was a pretty good guy.  He was handsome, funny, devoted to Jesus, and a man of integrity ... but he also spoke to me through acts of service.

I like to get gifts, especially chocolate, but gifts don't mean that much to me.  I definitely enjoy quality time, though just being in the same room is quality time for me ... we don't have to be doing anything together.  Physical touch is down pretty low on the list.  And I don't do words of affirmation very well at all.  Guess what John's love language is?  Words of affirmation!  So I'm not sure how he ever fell for me!  But I'm sure glad he did.