Monday, May 21, 2007


When Joy and I were dating, I remember putting gas in her car and the cost was 13 cents a gallon.

Here are gas prices I saw today.

I couldn't bear the thought of filling the tank.

I really do enjoy my truck. It is a 1999 Chevy Suburban. It has a 42 gallon gas tank.
You do the math!!!

I know prices are even worse elsewhere in the world. Hey, some of you who have viewed my blog from China, Australia, Sweden, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Spain.... let me know what your gas prices are!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Today is a big day for Joy.

She starts the day with the Annual Piano Recital for all the students she teaches.
She is the most amazing piano teacher. Her patience and warm encouragement she gives each student is truly remarkable. She instructs 10 lucky piano students.

I have heard some of these students for almost 7 or 8 years and I am amazed at their progress.
Hooray for them and hooray for their great piano teacher, Joy.


Today, Joy performs her first wedding.

A number of weeks ago, a lady in our congregation came to Joy and asked her "Do you do weddings?" Of course, Joy replied, "Yes." Joy assumed it was a request to play music for a wedding.
Joy asked about the day of the wedding and setting.
She discovered it was outdoors at the country club of a beautiful golf course.
She asked what kind of a keyboard it would be.
The lady quickly said, "No, we want you to perform the wedding!"

Joy became a certified minister a few years ago and is fully qualified to perform weddings.

(The rehearsal on Saturday)

Erik and Glenda told Emma that Grandma was marrying someone on Saturday.
Emma burst into tears.
She thought Grandma was leaving the family!

Isn't it amazing how young children understand some of the dynamics of our society today.
They quickly explained what was actually happening.

Over the years, I've tried to avoid that confusion by stating I am "performing a wedding ceremony."

A minister friend caused quite a stir in his congregation years ago when he announced from the pulpit, "I'm marrying the governor's daughter next weekend."

So, Joy is performing her first wedding today. Hooray Joy!

(Thank you Jill for letting me use your beautiful pictures!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Here it is.... the planted garden.
At this point, it represents POTENTIAL.
Nothing realized yet, but hopeful.
Hopeful for a harvest.
  • You break up the HARD soil.
  • You plan the best places for each plant for it to flourish.
  • You provide everything so the plant can flourish.... fertile soil, water, protection from pests...
but it is ultimately up to the plant.
AND, lest I forget, during the waiting for the harvest, is the constant care.
weeding, keeping out the pests, watering, providing the support of the tomato plants.

Every time I work in the yard/garden, the biblical parallels are overwhelming.

Planting a seed involves risk. In the hand, the seed is only potential.
It is only as you take the risk, place it in the soil and it dies that the potential is realized.

You've got to get on your knees, you've got to get your hands dirty. And that effort can yield a harvest... "a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (Matthew 13:23)

I know that I'll be battling the thistles. I love Jesus' teaching in Matthew 13 about dealing with thistles and weeds.

Psalm 85:11-13 (NIV)

The LORD will indeed give what is good,

and our land will yield its harvest.

Psalm 107:37

They sowed fields... that yielded a fruitful harvest;

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I love King David's writing.

"I come to you, Lord, for protection...

Do as you promised....

Protect me from hidden traps and keep me safe.

You are faithful...

I trust you...and claim

You as my God.

My life is in Your hands...

You store up blessings for

all who honor and trust you.

You are their shelter from harmful plots...

The Lord protects the faithful."

Psalm 31:1-23 CEV

Monday, May 7, 2007

Happy Birthday to My Son

Happy birthday to Erik today!
As I was driving home, I was thinking of how proud I am of him.
He is a great husband.
He is a great father.
He is a great friend.
And a great son.

I am proud of the man he has become.
He is his own man.
He is a clear thinker.

Here's a picture I treasure of Erik with Grandpa Thornton.

I have seen Erik grow and mature.

He has a great ability to build a team and he builds team loyalty.
He is very loyal. That is a trait that is in short supply in so many today.
He is self-motivated and that, coupled with the team esprit de corps he builds in his teams is incredible.

Erik is a clear thinker.
He has an ability to see a problem and the ways to resolve it.
He is superb at training & equipping people and then empowering them to do their task.
He shares the credit and points out and celebrates the success of others.

Dan Reiland wrote….

Great leaders possess a mix of an entrepreneurial spirit, the mind of a dreamer, and a compelling strategic vision that sets the overall tone and direction for the organization. They see a clear and preferred picture of the future without prompting from others. They have passion to see the vision come true even in the face of opposition.

Happy Birthday Erik.

I am proud to be know as your dad.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Gardening requires lots of water

- most of it in the form of perspiration.

~Lou Erickson

Today, I prepared our garden for planting. My process is to first dig and break up the soil, then rototill it.

I am looking forward to

  • the garden fresh tomatoes
  • green beans
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini


Joy is looking forward to the green peppers (I like the taste, but they don't like me!)

The raspberries are making progress. In a few years, they should be producing very well.

For me, working in the yard and garden is therapy. I love seeing things grow.

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown

How fair is a garden amid the

trials and passions of existence.

~Benjamin Disraeli

So sometime in August, I will go grazing through the garden.

There is nothing quite like a tomato, right off the vine, warmed by the sun.

Friday, May 4, 2007


I love trees.
There is hardly a tree that I don't care for.
Perhaps growing up in Oregon had an influence on me.

It was always so beautiful to me.

My father had an amazing history in logging before he sold his company, Warner Mountain Logging Company in the late '50's and went into construction.
I still have some of the pencils that have Warner Mountain Logging Company on them.

My dad had some amazing stories of what it was like logging back then.

No, this is not a picture of him. But I have some that are similiar.

So now I've planted trees in the midwest.

Several years ago, my family bought me a willow tree for Father's Day.
I LOVE willow trees.
They are so graceful and majestic.
Also, they are some of the first to get leaves in the Spring and almost always the last to release them in the Fall.

When I was given this tree, I easily carried it out to plant it.
It was in a 5 gallon container.
It's probably 20 feet tall now.
I love it.

Erik and I planted these beautiful quaking aspen and red maple trees. They are beautiful all Spring and Summer, but when Fall arrives.... wow!

But one of my favorites is the apple tree that I call Bakka and Emma's Apple Tree (I'd better add Sam now to!) It has 5 kinds of apples on it. This past Fall, they tasted wonderful. I look forward to picking the ripe apples again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


We have a beautiful little tree right in front of our home. Today, it is in full blossom. It is a Sargentina Crab. The white blossoms are gorgeous, but the frangrance from those blossoms is incredible. Tonight, I have my window partly opened as I am working (yes, I work at home). And the nice cool breeze is wafting in the wonderful frangrance.

What is your frangrance?
Are people attracted to you?
Is there something sweet and attractive about your presence?

We all are familiar with that which repulses us.

Thought.... Does a skunk think other skunks smell good?
Is smelling good, bad or is smelling bad, good?

Well, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder and frangrance is in the... well, you get it, right?