Tuesday, April 27, 2010


  We have an early spring this year.  The hanging pots are out already, and the garden is tilled and ready for planting.
  We moved Elv's mom down to her new apartment at Lewi's last weekend.  If you look closely you can see them standing on the porch.
    Mom is doing what she loves best here.  Talking with "The Boys". 

  These four cousins have no end of crazy and good times together when the Grabers get together.

  I know some of you think this is just a weed, but I like these brave little faces showing up in the spring.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Family Room Etiquette

                Ten Rules 

Here are your ideas made into a list.

1. Let the ladies have the soft chairs.

2. Any gentleman regardless of age should offer his seat to a lady or an older person.

3. Children and youths should not be too absorbed in their own interests or activities to notice when someone who needs a chair enters the room.

4. "Please", "thank-you", and "excuse me" are still the polite things to say.

5.Gentlemen provide chairs by both giving up their's and by finding more for those who are in need of them and to be willing to sit on the floor if necessary. 

6. Be gracious enough to accept the seat being offered you and say "thank-you".

7. If you must because of the situation walk between two who are visiting; say "excuse me" as you pass.

Just seven things to list.  I will take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to our family and friends for spending so many hours congregated in our living room talking and singing together.  These times of laughter and sharing seem as a little bit of Heaven on earth. You have all been mannerly and helpful for the most part especially on those Sunday afternoons when the room was full to bursting.  May there be many more of these good times together.

Friday, April 23, 2010

In The Living Room

                                            More Etiquette

Now I am going to stick my neck out and ask for your advice.  In my conversation with Frances, Amy, and Brad I discovered that they have opinions too about young people rising when their elders enter the room.  Frances says the guys generally will for the girls her age, but not especially for their parents. She finds this to be inconsistent.

So I'm asking for you all to tell me what the ten rules of living room etiquette are before I post them. I'll post anything you comment to me as long as it's a good practical idea that anybody can understand. There are two scenarios that I wish for you to consider: 1.The room is seated full of young people and you are older than most of them. You are bringing your friends with you hoping to find a place to sit and visit. 2. You are a girl or an older person coming into a room where there are plenty of places to sit for you and your friends who are with you. Is there anything they ( those already seated) should do? I'm asking. This is not a catch question. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Etiquette Is For Everyone

                  Ten Rules of Table Etiquette

      1. Don't interrupt. Wait your turn to speak

      2. Speak quietly at the table.

     3. Your left hand belongs in your lap unless you are cutting your meat or breaking your bread to spread. 

     4. Never lay your used silverware on your mother's/hostess's clean table cloth. It belongs on the edge of your plate.

     5. Your napkin belongs in your lap while you eat. Fold it carefully and place it on your empty plate when you leave the table.

     6. Say "please" and "thank-you".

     7. Pass the food all one way.

     8. Pay attention to others' needs.

     9. Eat your vegetables using your fork.

     10. Thank your mother/hostess for the meal.

This comes as a result of a breakfast discussion with Amy (14), Frances (16), and Brad (11). I'm fascinated that they care to know these things and are noticing when others don't use proper etiquette. I believe I have heard too many people making fun of "etiquette" as if it is below their dignity. Maybe they feel like Tigger who said, "I don't know where my manners are; but I'm sure they're having more fun than I am, wherever they are!"  What you believe and do about manners shows how much you care about others. We are instructed as Christians to be hospitable and gentle. Good manners!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nobody Knows the Trouble I seen...Nobody knows, But Jesus!

On our way up to Beaver Bay Saturday Elv got a call from our daughter in Thailand.  She needed to talk...that's all...because it's the very nicest thing to be able to talk over troubles with a dad even when one is married.  Her beloved was in the back ground, too, adding his two bits to us as we talked.

When I was a little girl; I thought it must be nice to be all grown up so that there wouldn't be any fears and worries anymore.  It seemed to me that the grown-ups didn't have anything to bother them...not afraid of the dark or of strangers. Obviously they could meet the unknown smiling graciously.

 Now I'm all grown up and I find that I need to call my Father in Heaven pretty often just to tell Him that I'm needing some help or comfort or forgiveness.  It ain't easy being all grown up, after-all. 

Someone dear to me is in trouble.  I can't do anything about it. All contact has been cut off for now.  I am having to choose daily to pray instead of thinking about how to fix it...to love instead of hating the people causing this.  Everyday is an exercise again in turning it over to Him Who Knows All.  I have to trust that my prayers are making a difference.

Once Crystal Yoder taught us that we must move away from the altar of resentment and go to the altar of lament with our troubles.  This is a daily journey for me walking away from resentment, deliberately choosing to pour my fears and feelings out to God without caving into the desire to hurt someone. That resentment just keeps cropping up right there in the way of my path to prayer.  I can think of a hundred reasons ways to have this fixed.  "Why doesn't someone DO something?!" 

God will DO something in His own time. He asks, "Is there anything too hard for Me?" I have to believe this and hang on to it.  Dear God, keep all those precious people safe till then. In Jesus' name, amg

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Thailand Children

Since I'm missing these people a lot right now, I thought I'd update you a bit on them so that you can help me pray and think about them today.  

Lisl is enjoying her "new" house immensely.  They moved last week from their tiny honey-moon apartment on the IGO side of Chiang Mai to the CMCC side of town into a lovely big "farm house" to quote Dru.  They were obliged to repaint the whole interior to make it clean and theirs.  The Chiang Mai City Church people  and Craigs helped them with this huge job.  But Dru reports this morning that it is done.

Lisl told me yesterday that the house is still very dirty, (floors) and that she plans to take it one room at a time this week to get cleaned and arranged.  I want to be there to help.  So I am just asking God to be there for me and to help her have the energy and ideas that go with making a house a home no matter what part of the world we live in.

Dru had labeled this picture: a bath Thai style.  She's out on her own veranda with the privacy of a large yard and fence bathing baby Jube.  I love this picture as only a mother can, but I think there's enough value here for the rest of you to enjoy it as well.  Isn't that a lovely porch/veranda?  

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I have been in Idaho and Nebraska the last ten days visiting family.  I suppose I should be inspired to write something....inspiring and thought-provoking after all those conversations with siblings and parents.  I should be inclined to at least be a bit eloquent having just held a grandbaby for the first time in my life.  The truth is I feel quite full and content.     Mom and Dad did a fine job of making me feel at home.  They have a beautifully grand, new home in the Rockies of Northern Idaho.  Mom delights in being queen of her castle.  But to tell the truth I liked April's little mountain cabin even better which just shows you that I'm still a country farm girl after all.

    Besides visiting Shilah, Kristy, Norv and his family on their mountain side homestead, and Daytan and Judy, I enjoyed April and her babies a lot.  Olivia and Jemima are the sweetest babies, too.  I had a good time playing dolly with them before going to Nebraska to hold and hug Gwendolyn our first granddaughter.  

    I might add here at the end that although everyone was helpful and kind lifting my carry-on up and down for me, and the man watching a sick movie full of guns on his laptop was very polite otherwise, and I didn't get a window seat twice...only once, that all the flights went fine.  Contrary to the "threat" thrust ever before us at airports, all the people I saw were ordinary people going ordinary places with ordinary goals.  I also discovered that MSP is more thorough and unfriendly toward people coming through security with prosthesis's than is the Spokane airport. The Spokane ladies at security get a big A + from me for their kind and understanding method of seeing me through despite the fact that I set the alarm off just as loudly and surely as I had at the Minneapolis/St.Paul International Airport. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Visiting The Idaho Folks

Mom and I walked together every day last week.  On Monday after we got home from the airport Mom, Dad, and I walked out to 95, solving the worlds problems in our conversation as we walked.  

Tuesday it was just Mom and I.  We took the road the other direction. Wednesday I was at Shilah's and April's and so mom had to walk alone.

Thursday we went out to the Wildlife Refuge and walked along the dike for an hour.  It was very windy, but it didn't matter, we still could talk while we walked. I kept looking for a moose, but had to settle for ducks instead.

Friday, Daddy went with us and this time we went to what I'll call Workout Meadows.  A visionary person from their church had put in a paved road and wells and electricity up the gently incline on the side of a mountain.  We chuffed up the mountain and back down while I looked for grizzly bears.  No bears at all but there was plenty of scenery. 

So despite the fact that mom and I look rather windblown I am sure you can see that we had a nice time together for a week. 

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