Friday, December 19, 2014

Life Stuff

Libby getting ready for lunch with Amy and I at the Cookie House
{chicken Thai soup and white chocolate raspberry muffins}

There's not much to blog about these days.
They're just normal, wonderful days...

full of
shopping with my sisters
baking using all my favorite Michigan ingredients
raking leaves (um, yes. I know it's December...)
working on house projects
sorting through papers, papers, papers (how they do pile up when one is away...)
hunting for a car
hosting friends and family around our table
(see above picture)
washing laundry-- oh how I love my washing machine!
eating applesauce
collecting items to take back to Pennsylvania

Logan has been sharing venison jerky with me as he perfects his recipe. 
He's also been scouring auto ads, as he's my official car-purchasing-consultant.
Libby and I went shopping together at JoAnn fabric. (I love fabric stores!)
Naomi and I prepared a meal for some family friends (a dozen mouths). 
We also baked cookies for Christmas baskets.
Amy and I hosted our family and friends on three occasions since I've been home-- 
something we enjoy doing together.
Aaron, Brian, Logan, and I had hair dates the other evening. I opened my barber shop and my brothers are now back to their handsome-looking-selves.
Betsy and I... well... we haven't done much yet as she's mostly been on the couch recovering from her recent (planned) surgery. I made her a few of her favorite muffins in hopes of cheering on her recovery, and soon we'll be setting a date for her bridal shower.
Mom and I have been shopping and walking together, 
and Dad took us all to a Christmas concert in Frankenmuth Saturday evening.

Oh, and then there's the "not-doings"
For the first time in over two years,
I have the opportunity to enjoy a COMPLETE
break from work and work-related responsibilities.

I'm loving it. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's my birthday! ........lalalalalalaaaaa!

fave pic from Chobe (credit: Heather Ryan)

It's that time of the year again.

The time when God sent a tiny baby to my parents in 1986.

{the baby was me}

I know it's a bit self-centered, but, I still love to celebrate my birthday.
I celebrate the life with which God has blessed me.

I'm so thankful for the amazing family to which He sent me,
and, ever so thankful for His faithful guidance over my life.

He is with me every step of the way.

I can't believe [.at.all.]



ps- Guess what?? TODAY I'm flying home to Michigan to be with my family for FOUR weeks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Julie's life philosophy:
warm = brilliant

If I had my 'druthers,' I'd settle forever in a warm (yea, some might say hot) little space on this planet-- of course it would also be full of flowering plants, plenty of green foliage, blue skies, chirping birds...

When God led me back to the Northern hemisphere, I knew my wardrobe needed some major layer updates. Those updates are in progress, and slowly, life continues to increase in comfort and joy (true confessions: it is MUCH more challenging for me to have a cheerful heart when I'm cold. And, more true confessions: I would sometimes don a light sweater at 80 degrees Fahrenheit in Zambia).

I've never been a Black Friday shopper, but this year I ventured out with friends with the word "warmth" as governance over my purchases. We combed mall stores for hours. A friend who recently moved to the US from southern Africa was in full support of any and all toasty wardrobe selections I made. Together we ooed and ahhed over all sweater sales ;)

My Black Friday purchases included:

  • fleece pj's (di.vine. absolutely wonderful purchase!)
  • sweater slippers (side note: I did have to re-sew the right pompom as it was attached off-center... definitely HAD to change...)
  • yellow scarf
  • 4 undershirts

Praise the Lord, the radiator in my bedroom (pictured behind)
has also been repaired!
Life is getting better day by day :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

He Came Down To My Level

tiny nativity on our kitchen window sill

When I unpacked this itty bitty nativity I started thinking of what a fitting representation it is of the fact that Jesus left SOOOOO much amazing and grand-

to come down
to be on our sinful, dirty,

(engulfed in our broken humanity)

to offer us Life.

That's good news of great joy!

for perspective

{I didn't know this song until a friend in Zambia taught it to me; 
we sang it together for special music one Sunday at Nahumba}

Saturday, December 6, 2014

home is...

...where the fruit basket is.

[fruit variety and basket type may vary]

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

'Twas the Day Before Thanksgiving... and...

hurrah for snow!

It was a snow day!

I was sent home from work early...

so I...

  • baked a chocolate cake
  • cooked dinner for a dozen friends
  • shoveled the back walk and...
  • took a stroll through the neighboring cemetery

what an incredible afternoon.

looking up our street
looking down our street