Showing posts from 2010

The last post of 2010

All over the blogosphere, bloggers are recording their last thoughts of the year.  Resolutions…profound thoughts… things they regret…things they are proud of… things.Me?  I sent one profound email out today and that was my quota for deep thoughts.  Personally, I’m ready for this year to be over with. Trust me…there were some amazing days, weeks in 2010.  My all time favorites:1. Lindsey and Joe’s wedding.2. Eily’s birth3. Abbie’s graduation4. being with my family5. Milwaukee trip with my amazing man.6. Two week visit from my mom.7. My new car – It really needs a name.And then there were these… ones that I would prefer didn’t happen:1. Truck crash into garage2. Christine’s motorcycle accident3. Abbie moving to Trinidad – okay…so this one should make both the good and the bad lists.  Because it’s good and we know God is moving in her life in a lot of ways… we miss her and it’s a challenging call for her.4. Shawn’s mother in hospital lots and now in nursing home.5. Shawn’s dad’s Christma…

Christmas 2010 pictures

Okay family…don’t kill me.  Some of these are not the most flattering, I know.  But, just remember that not many people read this blog. Christmas 2010 VIEW SLIDE SHOWDOWNLOAD ALL


Emily sang with the college choir at a Christmas program this year.  It was intense practicing… but she had a great time.And some photos after her December dance recital. They don’t allow photos during the recital, so I snapped these afterwards.  She loves to pose.

We baked

Well, I baked.These little guys… I’ve made them twice now.  They are so addicting.And these… I will never bake again.  They look good, but they are a pain.  The recipe says I should have gotten 48.  I got 36.  I hope they taste good because I was so mad at them I refused to eat them. And then I did these. In my favorite raspberry.I went to the thrift shop and picked up a bunch of little dishes for a quarter and fifty cents.  And I had some bags left over from last year.  And we made these:And Emily and I are going to deliver them to some friends who are alone this holiday season.  And in between visits, we will pray for our friends who are alone.  Because Christmas isn’t joyful for some people.  Some people can’t wait for this season to be over.  And we hope to remind them… that Jesus loves them and cares about them.

5 months old

Since I have a nice camera, I get to be the one who takes all the pictures of Eily.  So, that means I get to post them first.  She’s five months old this week.  And she’s beautiful.That dimple on her right cheek is to die for.


Got a message from Abbie today that she is going to the doc in Trinidad.  She’s been not feeling real well… and last week she cut her finger with a knife.  It should have had stitches when it happened but it has only gotten worse over the last few days, swollen and huge… and just not. good.  She made the mistake of taking a picture and sending it to me. What can I say except that I’m a mom?  I am insane with worry when she is ill and needs medical attention.  It was all that I could do to keep myself from jumping on an airplane and rescuing her from her perils.I called the doctors office here and made like it was a real emergency and demanded the date of her last tetanus shot.  It was the only thing I had the power to do.  I got real crabby.  Poor nurse.Found out that her last tetanus was in 2008.  So, I texted her and told her that.  She said it was too late.  Her last tetanus was 12/14/10.Trusting God is easy…in theory.  I’m just being real here for a moment, but it’s easier for me …

12 days later…

I posted 12 days ago.  It’s ironic.  Just last night I sat down to write my Christmas letter and I was trying to fashion our letter in the form of a song to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas. Yeah, it wasn’t working for me either.I have issues with Christmas letters.  I want to write them all the time.  I always want to. I do I do.  But, when it comes down to it, I bore my self with the letter. I had high hopes this year.  We took family pictures in September and I was going to have them made into some beautiful Christmas cards and send them to all our loved ones… and then, I posted all the family pictures on facebook and my blog and now nobody will even think they are that great because they’ve seen them all.So, I decided to buy cards and just send a meaningful card.  But, my husband needed some for his business, and I didn’t feel like going to the store to get more (you just don’t leave these things up to men to choose) so I gave him the ones I bought… and they are beautiful by t…

Que Sera Sera

I haven’t blogged in well, forever.  I’ve pretty much decided that life is “whatever will be will be”.  So, a real quick catch up post, in list form.1. I could win an award for the ugliest Christmas tree.  We might have time to decorate this ugly tree after the holidays.2. I made the mistake of buying not-Starbucks coffee from the grocery store last week. Millstone. I can hardly stand to drink it.  I even doubled the amount of coffee grounds and it still taste like tea.3. My husband bought me an early Christmas present. Christmas blend coffee and my new favorite coffee cup to match.  Apparently all that complaining about the coffee in #2 gave him a great idea. Thank the Lord for Starbucks.4. Emily is in a Children’s Choir with the local college group and they are doing a Christmas concert.  I volunteered to help.  That means 3 hour practices all week this week, and their first concert 2.5 hours away on Friday. me + 2.5 hour bus ride + 40 kids = Saturday off.5. I dug up my copycat reci…

Dear Nate

Dear Nate,First of all, you. crack. me. up. The nine voicemail messages you left me are beyond unbelievably hysterical.  If I weren’t such a hoarder of neatness I would have saved them all in my mailbox to share with other friends.  My favorite message of course was the one where you were begging me to forgive you.  I knew it was in the purest form of sincerity that you delivered your message. ;)  My second favorite message was the one that you said “New number. Same annoying Nate.” Nate the Great, you are a classic one-of-a-kind friend.  And just because I don’t want to give you a boring response.  Just because I know that for our friendship, it would be much more fulfilling to you if I do something different, something surprising and unexpected.  I am replying to your messages on my blog rather than calling you back.And the rest of the people – few as they are – that are reading my blog…. well, they have to endure the fact that they have no idea what this is about.  An inside joke p…

She’s getting so big


google addict

I am a junkie for google.  Wait.  Maybe I should rephrase that statement.Hi. My name is Tina. I’m a google addict.Want me to prove it?  I’ll try.I couldn’t think of anything to write on my blog (because I’m boring lately).  So, I googled “something to blog about”.  The first hit was a book called…duh… “something to blog about”. It wasn’t what I was looking for so I googled “blog topic ideas”.  And then I told myself “uh…Tina…you just googled your thoughts… are you a google addict?”  Then, I googled “google addict”.  Wait. Don’t stop reading. It’s worse than you think.  The first hit to that is this link.  Yep. 63 signs you’re addicted to google.  To my relief, I only have 11 of those 63 signs.The second hit was a quiz.  So, I took it.  It says "According to our experts, you are 75% addicted to google”.After those hits, there were various sites I visited that were blogs about google addicts.  I found myself asking these questions:1. What did I DO before google?2. What WOULD I DO w…

I was going to but now I’m not.

I thought about proclaiming myself the worst blogger ever and making a trophy out of all the junk on my desk.  But, then, I read another blog today.  It was their only update since June.  So, I lost the contest (hey! it was a contest to me even if it was created in my mind).Why haven’t I blogged lately?  Duh.  I started my own business. Remember?  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I thought that starting your own business and working from home would be super fun.  I didn’t realize I was going to have to actually WORK.  I thought people who did this sort of thing just got to sit on facebook and play fantasy football all day and get a cute home office and new computer…. and special order “inbox” and all the office supplies you could ever dream of.  But reality is not that. Reality is slight disorganization (okay, gross exaggeration with the word slight there) partnered with no free time. at. all.So, instead of crafting my worst blogger trophy this morning, I have a different list.  It’…

Things I’ve learned this week…

I’ve been experimenting some on twitter this week.  Months ago, I started like three different twitter accounts and couldn’t figure out how to do it.  The one that I named “Tortelitha”?  Yeah, can’t figure out the password anymore.So, this past week, I’ve figured out a few things on Twitter.1. To get followers you have to tweet.2. To get followers you have to follow. 3. One message = a tweet, More than one message=tweets, and when you are posting these messages you are tweeting.  Simple to some, but not to me.4. Peeps are everyone in the “Twitter Community” that you follow.  Yes, you are part of a community here.  And a “re-tweet” is like a Christmas gift… the best one you can give your fellow peeps.5. It’s good to follow “master peeps”…whoever they are in your world.6. makes your superlongcrazyurlIcan’tbelieveitsthislongbutithinkyoushouldcheckitout.coms into a usable format.7. Those things you never do in texting – Gr8 – w/ – 2- and so forth… are very usable for your limi…

Things on my countertop

Right now, I’m supposed to be cleaning the kitchen.  But, the coffee isn’t ready yet.  So, I refuse to do it without at least two cups of coffee.  Yes, two. Come on, it’s Saturday!So, I moved my laptop to the kitchen where I am sitting… working on my LIST.  You know… the list of things to clean in the house.  I can definitely tell what I have to clean by well… just opening my eyes.  But the list gives me a sense of accomplishment.  And it helps me to know how fast I need to move.  I mean, if at 2pm, only three things are crossed off the list, I know I better do as my mom used to say “get a move on”.I was tempted to really get detailed on my list… like, instead of “dishes”.  I could say1. wash dishes2. dry dishes3. put away dishes (which is an anomaly in this house)But, I won’t.   In honor of cleaning day, I leave you with this list.  Things on my countertops1. newspapers from last week2. grocery list 3. pen4. kleenex5. empty milk container6. 20 dirty dishes (I won’t list them separate…


I went out this morning just as the sun was coming up and took a few photos around town.

some things aren’t meant to be photographed

Lately,  I’ve been messing up a lot with my camera.  I have been absent-mindedly deleting pictures before I save them… or not taking them when I think I am … or other bizarre photography behavior!This morning, I was holding my granddaughter and she gave me the biggest smile.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I could barely see the dimple on her cheek form and the sparkle in her eyes.  It was one of those moments that I couldn’t wait to get to know her and she what her personality will be.  Instantly, of course, my reaction is to want to grab my camera.  I resisted.Yesterday, my mom called to tell me that someone I don’t know died.  As she described the event, my mind raced back to when Shawn’s grandmother passed away.We had been called and told that she wasn’t doing very well.  We went to the nursing home she was living at the time.  We went to her bedside and kissed her frail cheeks and held her thin hands.  Her eyes were closed, but I knew that even if they were open, they would be gla…

Happy Birthday Grampa Barth


Dad’s Pimped out blue truck

My Dad’s birthday is in November.  He will be 70.  We all say he’s 70….going on 18.  He’s funny.  In his retirement, we always joke around that he can’t do more than one thing a day. Like, on Monday, he’ll go to the bank.  Then, on Tuesday, he’ll head to the grocery store. Wednesday he might go to the post office to see what it costs to send something to Trinidad from here.  Then, on Thursday, he’ll go back and get the stamps.  And yet… when he goes to California to visit family, he still likes to get out the boogie board and try his old tricks.My brother Todd and I have been discussing what to get him for his birthday.  I usually rely on Todd for the gift ideas.  We decided to go in together and get him a new truck box for his truck.For a girl, a truck box as a gift is really. really. dumb.  Dear husband, do not ever buy me one for my birthday.But, for dad… it was good times.  Todd found the truck box on a swap sheet.  He bought it, sanded it, painted it, and then he and dad installe…

The Road Nobody Knew Existed…

I have several people that I’ve been praying for lately.Big stuff going on in their lives… huge things.  Not just your everyday little issues.  Life changing.This morning, I read Psalm 77:1-20.  The Psalmist cries out to God.  He is in deep deep trouble.  He prayed all night long.  He was not comforted.  He was overwhelmed with desire for God to rescue him.He thought of the days gone by… when there was joy.  He questions “Has the Lord rejected me forever? Have His promises forever failed?  Has He forgotten?”He decides this is his fate… God…forgetting him.Then he remembers God’s deeds from long ago.  He can’t stop thinking about the things God DID do.  He redeemed His people, the Red Sea…he parted….the earth…it trembled and shook and He made a path through the treacherous waters.  He made a path through a way that nobody knew existed… and then, He led His people along that road… the road nobody knew existed before.

I’m mad at my car.

My husband says it’s an absurd thing to be mad at.  But, I have to blame someone(thing) and I don’t want the blame.This week I went to my daughter’s home…two hours away.  It was blasted hot in the beginning of the week. And the AC in my car didn’t work.I came home on Wednesday and drove the whole way… 70(ish) mph down the interstate with the windows down. (It was hot.)That evening, I discovered that Kohl’s had sent me a 30% off coupon for the sale that started Wed.  I met Shawn at church… and told him I was going to go to Kohl’s…. instead of church.  AND… I was hot…so I was taking his truck instead of the car with no AC.I found some great deals at Kohl’s…it was a lot of fun.  And, just in time to pick up Shawn and Em at church, I departed the store.And I couldn’t find the keys.At all.I dumped my purse out. Twice. I retraced my steps. Thrice.I inquired at the service desk. Frice.I searched the carts. Fiftice.And I even looked to see if the ‘secret’ key was hidden. nope.I had to call Sh…

where the coffee’s always hot….

A while ago, I mentioned that I was starting my own business.  I decided this morning that I should finally blog a little more about that. Throughout the last 23 years, I’ve worked, stayed home, worked, stayed home, worked, stayed home…it’s been a fluctuation between working outside the home, and staying home with the kids.  For the most part, I’ve been blessed to be a part of a family that has a home building business.  So, the majority of my work has been for the family business.  But, I’ve also worked… at an insurance agency,  McDonald’s, several nursing homes as a nurses aide, a hotel as a desk clerk and auditor, church, as an after school nature program coordinator,a rubber manufacturer’s plant, and a medical billing office.All of these places have taught me things.  I could go on and on about the lessons I’ve learned in my employment.  Both good and bad, my bosses, coworkers, supervisors… have all played a part in who I have become.Last year, we did a book club on the book 48 Da…

Purple Ball Infatuation

Waaaaaay back at Abbie’s graduation, we decorated at her grad party with these purple topiaries…the purple topiaries were shoved in the basement…and then became decorations for the baby shower…And when the baby shower was over, they kind of just “hung” around for a while because we were too lazy to get the ladder out to take them down.  That’s when we realized it.My granddaughter is infatuated with the purple balls.  Every time she sees them, she breaks into a huge grin.  She just LOVES them.It’s so sweet….So, Haleigh and I decided to put them in her room.Bring on the constant joy of the purple balls!

Legend of the Guardians: my review

Friday night Shawn and I took Em and her friend Kelsey to the movie.I remember when Emily was reading the book by Kathryn Lasky.  I asked her what it was about.  “Owls”.I thought it sounded really dumb.  But, she promised it was SO NOT dumb. But, fantastic.So, I was prepared for some pretty fantastic movie on Friday night.  Thanks to some spectacular animation by Warner Bros, I was not disappointed.The Legend of the Guardians plot is something like this: Baby owls (I believe they are dubbed owlets) are stolen from their nest and taken captive by an evil owl and his followers…the Pure Ones. The plan of course is to corrupt the owlets and use them to exterminate the entire owl population so the Pure Ones can be in power.  It’s your basic good vs. evil.Soren and Kludd are owlet brothers.  Soren believes in the legends of old, as his father has told him the ancient stories…. and Kludd is a non-believer. When they are kidnapped by the Pure Ones, we see the balance of good owls and bad owls…

t0 change or not to change?

This is one of those times that I wish I had hundreds of readers on my blog.  I want to switch my reader.I used to use bloglines.  But, when I upgraded my computer to office 2007, I liked the ability to subscribe outlook to RSS feeds.  It was handy to have them all right there in my inbox each time I updated.But recently, my RSS Feeds have been jacked up in outlook 2007.  Some of the sites I subscribe to end up sending me some of the same updates over and over and over again…. and I’m sure they aren’t repeating their posts.  So, I’ve been considering whether I should change to a new source.  The ones I’m considering:Squeet.IntraVnews.Awasu.Sometimes I wonder where they get their names. ?Anyway, this is why I wish I had a lot of followers.  I’d like your opinion.  So… if you EVER read my blog…even if you NEVER comment… I’m begging you… delurk and comment now.  Answer these questions:1. Do you use an RSS Feed reader?2. Which one do you use?3. Why do you use that one?4. Are you satisfied…


… I will not let facebook and blogs get in the way of the work I have to get done today…. repeat this 100 times.… my handle on my car door broke.  I can’t open it from the inside.  So in order to get out of the car, I have to roll down the window and reach out to the door handle.  Just in time for winter.  nice…..… Lulu’s dedication this weekend means we have company coming from out of town.  Time to clean the house.  ick.… I miss Abbie.… working from home today. I did actually get dressed. Just decided not to do my hair or makeup. Hey… I’m allowed.… I’m on my second cup of coffee. I’m going to need the whole pot today. … We got our new garage door installed yesterday. Remember this?… I think about and pray for Abbie and Josh and Mel and family all. the. time.  I’m like… stalking them on facebook and skype.… tonight we’re going to see the “Legend of the Guardians” with Em and friend….after they work on their Canada project.  … I still cry every day because I miss Abbie.  Don’t ask me …

Eily’s baby shower.


the new “norm”

I remember when our kids were born.  Each time we would have a child, there was a big time of adjustment that came along with having a baby around again.  Sleeping habits, eating schedules, going out… it all changed.  Then, soon, the new changes became the norm. Until another change.  Then, that ushered in the new norm. Until another change… That’s kind of how life evolves right? Norms change and become the new norms… until they’re not anymore.2010 has been a year of constantly changing norms for us.  A wedding. A son in law. A granddaughter. A graduation. A job change. A new business. A missionary family living in our basement. A daughter moving out of the country.This week, we took our 18 year old to the airport and put her on a plane to Trinidad, where she will live for 10 months and learn what missionary life is like.Which is a hard thing to do.When other kids are heading to college, and meeting new roommates, and partying in dorms, and staying up late, and going out…. my daughter…

encounter, community, and transformation

This morning we crossed another thing off our list.  Say goodbye to Abbie…the first time.She left today for training for three days.  She’ll return on Saturday. On Sunday, we will leave for a service for her and then on Monday, put her on a plane.  So, I like to think today is a “practice goodbye”.This morning, I started the new book that Ang and I are starting to read together.  It’s called “Shattered Dreams” by Larry Crabb.  I’ve read the introduction so far and I think I’m going to like this book.One of the things Crabb talks about in the introduction is that God has instructed him to focus his life and ministry around three words: encounter, community, and transformation.God wants him to encounterHim in a way that fills his soul with more joy than any other experience, and to lead others to experience a similar encounter.God wants him to develop and participate in a community where no one remains unknown, unexplored, undiscovered, or untouched; where we discover our true selves; w…


Abbie leaves home in 6 days…. and leaves the country in 10 days.Earlier this week, we had a get together with some of her friends.  A great group of girls.  I love them all like they are my own daughters.They’ve been friends for a long long time, growing up, sharing hopes, dreams. Sharing life.For the past 18 years, we’ve done all we can to train and raise Abbie to be a God-fearing, people-loving follower of Christ.  A baseball player isn’t really a baseball player, unless he plays baseball… a truck driver isn’t really a truck driver unless he drives truck.And a Christian isn’t really a Christian unless he follows Christ.It will be hard to see Abbie go a very long ways away this year.  But, she knows this is what she is called to do.  And, as scary as it is for a mom to see your daughter move across the world, I’d rather have her go to a foreign land and follow Christ, than stay in the comfort of her own home, and not.

I heart post it notes

I have always loved post it notes.  Really just notes of all kinds.Recently, I discovered post it notes for my laptop.Love it.


It’s quiet around my house right now.  It 8:30am and everyone’s sleeping in on the holiday morning.I woke up early and started laundry, started to clean the kitchen, started to organize the pantry… and then the coffee was done and was beckoning me to sit with it… So, for the last few minutes, I’ve been reflecting on yesterday’s sermon.For the past few weeks, Pastor John has been talking about the DNA of our church body.  The first week it was “invitational”.  The second week it was “Bibliocentric”….although, I’m pretty sure that’s not a real word….but it makes it’s point.   This week it was “consistently authentic”.Pastor John did a fabulous job of unwrapping two things from the Word.  First, we have to be authentic in our relationship with God.  He used the verse from Malachi 1:6-8 where basically the people were cheating God.  They were saying one thing and doing another.  As if God wouldn’t notice.  God notices.  He knows.  So, in my mind, I thought really…. when you aren’t authent…

Eily Amira meets Great Great Gramma J