Thursday, May 29, 2008


I've been been too busy to do much homemaking for quite a while, but the last few weeks have offered a welcome respite from politics and a chance to dive back into washing dishes, stirring soup, and weeding the garden. I've even had a few opportunities to revive one of my hobbies from years gone by - trying new recipes.

The shortbread I made a few weeks ago was a huge hit at our house. I believe it will be an enduring favorite. Just nibbling on the buttery crumbs is satisfying. Serving it with a bowl of macerated strawberries and a heap of our fresh whipped Jersey cream is a dessert suitable for any occasion.

Classic Shortbread

2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 t. coarse salt
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. confectioners sugar
(granulated sugar can be substituted in a pinch)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place rack in upper third.
Beat butter (with an electric mixer or a good, old-fashioned fork!) 3-5 minutes, till fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl. Gradually add the sugar. Beat till pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low (if using an electric mixer). Add flour and salt all at once; mix until just combined. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan or spring form pan. Place dough in center of pan. Spread a piece of plastic wrap over it (to keep it from sticking to your hands) and pat out to edges of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork or skewer. Bake until golden brown and firm in the center, about 45 min- 1 hr.
Cut into wedges and serve plain, with a big glass of cold milk, with fruit, or whatever you can imagine!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Coming Soon - A Visit With the Rowe Cousins!

As soon as I get a chance to edit a few of the 1,700 pictures we took while our 11 Rowe cousins were here last weekend, I'll give you a sneak peak at their visit. To be certain, it was two days filled with all kinds of interesting feats and goofy activities.
My mom and their mom each had nearly a dozen children... and many times they were pregnant at the same time. Thus, we grew up as extra good friends - both having one of the largest families of anyone we knew at the time! Although most of us are "adults" now or getting close, we allow ourselves in indulge in a day or two of pure fun each year when they come to Missouri or we go to Minnesota!

A Trip to the Beale Street Blast

The Beale Street Blast is an annual three day drunken street party on the streets of Memphis, Tennessee. My dad has been attending for several years - not to get drunk, but rather to share the gospel with anyone who will listen. Actually, there's several hundred Christian street preachers and families who go there every year to share the gospel with the crowd.
This year, Dad took Jemima, Liz, and Ruth with him.
I'll let Jemima fill in the captions, since I wasn't there...

"You Must Choose Between Sin and the Saviour"...Signs such as these grab the attention of the crowd, and signs with scripture verses defining sin incite serious discussion. Most of the street preachers who attend were once on the other side of things...former Satanists, drunks, drug-addicts, and violent or suicidal...

"Bez" interacts with the crowd, as a young man steps forward to take the "Good" test.
Going through the ten commandments, everyone fails on the first one:
"Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart..."
Most people admit they have broken every one of the ten.

When asked, "Have you ever taken God's name in vain?" most of the folks on Beale Street say with a laugh and a curse word, "I sure have!" Yet as they admit to breaking God's law, their friends all yell, "He IS a good person!"

We pray that they will remember this as a moment when they were confronted with the holiness of God, and someday humbly ask Him for mercy.

Dad (left) likes talking one on one with people.
He can identify with many of them, being a former atheist, rebel, and drug addict.

Each day before entering the street party, our group knelt at the entrance, asking God for wisdom, protection, and open hearts.

"Tell ye, and bring them near; who hath declared this from ancient time?...Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me. Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
Isaiah 45: 21-22

Jemima and Liz enjoyed seeing their friend Joanna Craft again.
We met her family a number of years ago when they were traveling through the area, doing street preaching all over the country.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was a beautiful day and our church canceled their usual potluck, so our family took the opportunity to eat a picnic lunch at the park. Of course, we had to get some pictures of Mom and her five daughters together afterwards... (I'm sorry the lighting is so poor.)

Back: Ruth (15), Jemima (22 - today!), Liz (20), Mary (25)
Front: Mom (Dorcas) and Joanna (12)

Here again!

It's been a long time since I've posted. It will probably be a little while longer before I get back into the routine of blogging regularly about normal life.

The last two weeks at the Capitol have been some of the most intense, exhausting, and emotionally unstable weeks of my life. That may sound like an overstatement, but it really isn't. I feel like I've only begun to recover from everything that happened. It's hard for anyone who wasn't there walking through the day to day situations to really understand what I'm talking about, but I covet your prayers as I attempt to work through all that happened, and as we decide on an appropriate response to the utter corruption that we witnessed.

I probably won't be elaborating a whole lot here on a public blog, but suffice to say I've been brought to tears many times this week at the thought of our Gracious God, and my unworthiness and sinfulness. More than anything, seeing the corruption and wickedness that lurks inside the Capitol walls has brought me to my knees. My heart is just as deceitful and desperately wicked as all of the rest of the politicians who I spent so much time with.

My motives have been re-examined, and I have been convicted of the need to seek a pure heart and a tender conscience above anything else in life.

I rejoice to know that my Father IS truth.
He IS light.
In Him is NO darkness at all!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Texting and Driving - Safely, That Is!

Leading the crazy, busy life that I do, I'm becoming more and more proficient at multi-tasking. Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes it's not.

I rarely ever drive anywhere without being on the phone constantly...and sometimes eating and texting as well. Although I try to limit my text messaging to moments when I am stationary (at a stoplight or such) there are other times, when I just can't wait to reply. When a senator texts me from the senate floor with an urgent question and s/he can't talk, many times I have no choice but to quickly text him/her back. Problem is, it isn't always safe to do while driving, regardless of the "necessary" part of the equation.

I think I've discovered the solution!

Once you've signed up with Jott (giving them your name and email), you call a Jott number and as if leaving a message, speak into your phone, instantly texting anyone who's contact information you have already entered into your contact list at Jott.
Or you can email people by calling Jott.
Or you can update your Google calendar by simply speaking into your phone... or make a grocery list...
It simply converts you voice to text and sends it to whoever you tell it to!

Some voice transcription services don't do very well at figuring out what you're trying to say. So far Jott has done an awesome job of transcribing anything I say! It's pretty cool and a totally free service.

If you don't know about Jott yet, you really ought to sign up. (And, no, Jott didn't pay me to blog about them!) I can't even begin to tell you how handy it is when you have the Jott number in your phone, and just hit "send"/"call", say your friend's name and start speaking - delivering a text or email to them a few moments later!

Friday, May 2, 2008

On Parents and Children

The thing that impresses me most
about America is the way
parents obey their children.

The Duke of Windsor

Jemima's Finished Painting

Jemima finished her oil painting the other day. Now she's on to the fun -- printing copies of it, and then matting and framing the original as a gift to our grandma! It's fun having a sister with the artistic talents of Jemima. For, though it hasn't rubbed off on me, there's always something new on the easel to ooh and aah over. (Or even to critique, when I insist that the little boy's nose is too fat or the grandfather's arm looks too stiff!)

The love of God is greater far

Than tongue or pen can ever tell,

It goes beyond the highest star

And reaches to the lowest hell;

The guilty pair, bowed down with care,

God gave His son to win:

His erring child He reconciled

And pardoned from his sin.

Could we with ink the ocean fill

And were the skies with parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill

And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole

Tho stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure --

The saints and angels song.

Frederick M. Lehman