Thanksgiving 2014


This hymn by Eleanor Farjeon, one of my favorites, is set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic tune and was published in 1931 as a hymn to give thanks for each day. Forty years later, Cat Stevens released his beautiful rendition.

The flower is fittingly named Glory Bush. Photo taken last June in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.


November 23 was Thanksgiving Day 1995. It was also the day Laura was born, so Thanksgiving has been extra special ever since.

Laura has shown a love for animals ever since she was a toddler. Wherever we go, Laura is attracted to every sort of critters from dogs and cats to bugs and birds. When her first grade teacher asked the class to tell what they wanted to be when they grew us, Laura’s answer was veterinarian. She has never wavered from that goal. She has always worked diligently and succeeded through elementary and high school and is now studying pre-veterinary biology at Truman State University.

Happy Birthday, sweetie. Love you lots and I’m looking forward to watching you achieve your dreams.


Joseph 11th

Today I am thankful for my youngest, Joseph, the final fledgling in the nest. I know the next year and a half are going to fly by so I plan to enjoy every moment.

Joseph arrived exactly seventeen years and three months ago, all nice and chunky at 8 pounds, 15.5 ounces, with long arms and legs that hinted at the lanky fellow he would grow into. He’s been taller than me since middle school and is gaining on Phil.

When he was little he would build intricate battle scenes using an assortment of toy soldiers and blocks. He also drew battle scenes, usually featuring tanks, but when I came home from my brain surgery he gave me a picture he drew of flowers in a vase with a bumblebee. I framed it and hung it over my desk. Nowadays his interest has shifted to computer gaming. He’s smart and funny and has a keen moral sense.

I am blessed to be Joseph’s mom. Thank God He knew I needed both daughters and a son.




My daughter Hanna was born during a tumultuous period in my life, and caring for her gave me a reason to get up in the morning. As a toddler she noticed everything down to a leaf falling from a tree, which forced me to slow down and take notice as well. Her gregarious nature attracted everybody from little old ladies to other children. She was fearless and insatiably curious.

Hanna continues to seek new and interesting experiences. Besides our high school trip to Costa Rica, she studied abroad twice – in Israel and in Panama. She taught English in Vietnam for a year and a half and now teaches second grade in an under-resourced school in Chicago as she pursues a MAE from Valparaiso University.

Today I give thanks for Hanna, whose birth catapulted me from casual faith to a conviction that there is a God and that He is good. Those ten little fingers and ten little toes were just too incredible, too wonderful to be a product of a random universe. Love you sweetie and can’t wait to see where your adventures take you next.


I am thankful for water. I am thankful that I don’t have to tote it from a stream far away and then boil it to be safe for consumption. I am thankful that I don’t have to heat water for washing dishes or clothes or taking a shower. It’s downright magical to open a tap and have clean hot water come out.