A Basket of Blessings

All around the house there are reminders of God’s goodness. Toys arrived from everywhere and now spill out of cupboards, get stuffed between the cushions of the couch, hide out in the valleys of kitchen bowls, and get arranged neatly in the remote control basket.

“Is that a baby cow?” she asks. Then in a slightly worried voice, “Where’s the mommy cow?” I pull the mommy cow out from under a cushion. Big smile. “Oh! There’s the mommy.” All is right with the world.

In another corner of the house, a little fellow with chubby cheeks drools on his bib and looks for his next bottle of milk. He smiles easily and rarely cries – unless of course you take too long fixing his milk or changing his diaper. There are three of us tall enough to reach the counter. He doesn’t wait long.

We’re a happy bunch. Finding joy in the small things. A basket of blessings. Giving thanks.

Baby Graaff

My nephew Nathan and his beautiful wife Heather are having a baby. Well, not right this minute…in December. Here’s a picture of the handsome, little man. Look! He’s waving at his Aunt Lucy. Yes, he is.

Weekend In Seattle

Blogging doesn’t happen in real life the way it does in my head. I had every intention of posting these last week, but life got in the way.

Paula, Amanda, Chelsea and I went for a short shopping trip to Seattle the weekend before last. We stopped at the Cle Elum bakery and found this little restaurant next door. Who knew? I never get around to that side of the building. It’s a cute little restaurant with sandwiches and soup, and more. The first of many stops for food and beverages. (Click on the pictures to make them larger)

Late Saturday night, we decided to visit Rachel and Michael Saville’s church in Bellevue for church on Sunday. And what a sweet surprise. Madeline Jane was baptized and we joined the Crapuchette family for the occasion. God is so gracious.

Chelsea is always trying to get me to wear long, dangling earrings. And yet, I still resist. Look how pretty she is with the sweet, little, pearl studs.

A stroll though the Public Market at Pike street. The place was packed with huge bouquets of flowers. So Beautiful. And there were people…lots of people.

We stopped at Ivar’s for lunch. Tossing the fries is cheating. You have to be brave enough to let the birds eat the fries right our of your fingers. I shared quite a few french fries with this guy.

And the Jones girls. Paula, Chelsea and Amanda. Paula must have chowder.

And finally, a stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. A sour green apple covered in caramel and peanuts. Not chocolate. Look at those babies sitting in the window. It’s a beautiful thing.

Over the river and through the woods to home. Home Sweet Home.

Judy’s Home!

I walked by the little, orange square more times than I care to admit. After three days, I finally picked it up off the tile floor and balanced it on the end of my finger to inspect it. There, looking back at me with huge brown eyes, was Dora the Explorer. The little, orange square was a perfectly folded band-aid that had fallen off the finger of my new roommate, Kaitlyn.

Like Dora, Kaitlyn has big, brown eyes and short, brown hair. She’s two. She’s spicy. She’s potty-trained. She’s got chubby cheeks with a mysterious dimple on the right one that comes and goes whenever it pleases. In less than a week, Kaitlyn has managed to wrap me, Judy, around her little band-aid covered finger.

Kaitlyn’s brother, Jeremiah, is equally cute but 95% less spicy. He’s two months old and in the “eat, sleep, and poop” stage of his life – not quite sure if he wants to smile yet. But I’m growing on him and it’s only a matter of time.

The stork didn’t bring them. Their Mom, Caressa, is a beautiful, young woman with her whole life ahead of her, and a not-so-lovely life behind her. Sometimes a girl just needs a break, and a hand, and a soft place to fall.

But before the three of them walked in my door, there was Olivia. Grandma Olivia. She moved here several weeks ago to get a fresh start – find a new life. Step right up. I serve a gracious God who is all about changing lives.

So the five of us are finding our way together, with a lot of help from the unbelievably kind and generous folks in the church. They went above and beyond, supplying cribs, strollers, car seats, clothes, toys, diapers, milk, and more. I’m thankful. So very thankful.

Tonight when I came in the back door I heard Kaityln’s footsteps coming down the hallway. As she entered the kitchen, she broke in to a big smile, lifted her arms to me, and said, “Judy’s home.” It doesn’t get much better than that. I am a happy girl.




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