Archive for August 2010

Stone Making Party at Kari’s house   Leave a comment

K, A, and M starting to make their stones

This is my sweet friend Dotty.  I helped her make her stone and enjoyed visiting with her as we worked.

Dotty, Grandma Jean and Sandy, Grandma Jean’s daughter.  These are three very special people in my life and we had so much fun working together!

The girls working hard…

Annie’s Stone

Melody’s  Stone

Kristi’s Stone

Lots of people having fun together………..

These are our friends Max and Joan.  Max was born and raised in Germany and Joannie is from the Olson family and spent summer in Door County while growing up.  They are from Hollywood, as in running businesses where they work with the “stars”.   I would name a few of the “stars” for you but I take pride in NOT KNOWING THE FAMOUS OF HOLLYWOOD!!!    I dislike what Hollywood stands for and for the negative influence it has on our culture.  Our friends and their son Maximilian are the good of Hoolywood, down to earth folks and FUN!  Who would have guessed that Gills Rock and Hollywood can connect via friends!

Fun night, watching the sun set and visiting together while making stone for Kari’s beautiful garden!  A lovely time was had by all!

Posted August 24, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Gardening and Canning

Monday…….   Leave a comment

I am amazed at the consistency of God’s time with me in the early morning hours,  I read His Word, study, pray and over and over again I look up and it is 6:45.  Just like that, our private time together is done, I spend a few moments getting the day planned in my mind and list made on the BOARD and the work begins.  Forty-Five precious minutes with God where He sends me what He wants me to ponder, to meditate and to live out in my life.  It is sweet, precious and it is necessary.

I am studying peace at this time.  Word studying through the beautiful Word of God gleaning what He has said and how to obtain it and sustain it in my life.  Is this because of the kind of summer we have had?………..  oh yes, the business and chaos, the suffering and uncertainty of lives around us and  the work has taken a part of me with it and I am feeling a conflict in my heart like no other.  This brings me to God’s Word where I know the answers are there for me to search and find, and in the process find more of God, His character, His love and His gifts, one of which is deep satisfying peace.

It is Monday, the week is already filled.  This will be our last ministry Monday with a  house full of children because the season of our family now turns to schooling, Kristi starts college work today, and the season of harvest, the final weeks of fishing among the other plans God has for our family.

It was hard to say that this time was done but God again showed me that although the needs are so great among young families all around us, I cannot meet all of their needs, not that I ever thought I could!   It is ok to not step in and rescue as God has a plan and a work to do in their lives and sometimes they need to turn to Him to find the answers to their hard times.  Our Pastor spoke a few weeks ago about how God is not our enabler, and we are not to be enablers.  Pray before responding, seek God’s will and leading for your part and work in being the Body of Christ and know when to say no, enough, time to move on.

Today we will do art, play games and I will try and bless each of these children and stay focused on them despite my brain spinning with the sheer amount of things, large and small, that need to be done this week.  I will try to keep the work of the week away from my thoughts until later….

It will be a beautiful day so we will go to the park and enjoy time outside.  The leaves are turning, probably due to the excessive heat this summer.  It is beautiful but a little haunting as it is so early………  will it be an early and cold winter?

Off to start the day, to be blessed and to bless


Posted August 23, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family

Wedding Joy with Jan and Megan   Leave a comment

Yesterday, Melody and I left mid morning to go to the Bjorklund lodge to help out with Jan and Megan’s wedding luncheon.  We had the honor of setting up and serving lunch to 40 of the wedding guests.  Melody and I worked in a commercial kitchen setting up food, preparing fruits and veggies, salads, desserts and munchies.  It was so much fun.  We also had a wonderful helper named Ashley who is in the picture with Melody.  We were a good team as we set up tables with all of our antique table cloths and put out the buffet and served beverages to all of the folks.  We then cleaned up afterwards and melody helped with washing dishes although I did not let her use the sprayer on the commercial sink as I was dressed really nice and I did not want to get soaked!!

This was the dining area where we served everyone.  I forgot to take a picture of it all set up, bummer.  Melody had just finished washing the tables and putting things back in order.

When we finished cleaning up the kitchen we had an hour before the wedding and so we relaxed and I took some pictures of the Scandinavian artwork decorating the lodge.

Quite the chandelier!  Wrought iron and pewter are the metals used by Scandinavia.

This cracked me up…. It is the Scandinavian’s version of the Garden of Eden, this is what they thought happened until some good German’s entered the land and explained the true story to them!!  HA HA HA

As you can see in the three central pictures; Eve giving Adam the fruit with the snake wound around the tree.  The second picture shows them with the fig leaves appropriately placed because Scandinavians are inherently shy and self-conscience!  🙂   The third picture is is the one that I burst out laughing  when I saw it.  According to the Scandinavian view, God expelled them from the garden but they came out wearing traditional Scandinavian costumes!   Other than that, the piece is beautifully decorated and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the Biblical truths presented  in this piece of art.

This is a very old carving.  Notice that this Scandinavian couple were obviously accustomed to dragons and had no problem posing with two for their wedding carving!!   Young earth anyone???

This is the kind of Scandinavian folk painting that I am going to paint on our walls.  It is a form of rosemaling and I want to learn to do it as I think it is beautiful and will win points with my Scandinavian husband, not that I need to win points   😉

I sent Melody into the library to find books on Scandinavian art or How to Learn To Speak Swedish in 45 Minutes!  I thought with all this Scandinavian ambience surrounding us we would pick up the language quickly and impress Mr. Johnson.  She came back with a book on King Tut……   oh well, Kristi would be proud!

Here is the coolest thing.  We sat in this lodge area on beautiful couches and God gave us a beautiful gift, right there!   All of the sudden  the most beautiful dulcimer music began to play from the library area and made it’s way out to where we were sitting.   The lady playing was practicing for the wedding as she was the prelude for the service.  She played beautiful worship music and hymns, one after another for almost an hour!   I sat there in this beautiful setting and relaxed, took it in, enjoyed and thanked God for a beautiful oasis that He had given me in this very special day.  He is soooo GOOD!

I eventually went over and talked to the lady, a sister in the Lord.  She has a wonderful story of God intervening with her music and without her doing any work, her CD being picked up by Midwest Media where they have launched her CD and it is selling like hotcakes!   She also said that I should get one of these dulcimers as my being a pianist would make it easy to learn to play.  I told Melly that maybe I should get one of those and she asked me where her Dad would go while I was practicing as he has real issues with beginners and instruments!!!    I am VERY interested but I do have a question on how my eyes would see the strings through bifocals…..  just keeping it real!

On to the Wedding——

Wedding Joy part 2   Leave a comment

Melody and I getting ready for the wedding.

My handsome husband of 29 years,  don’t weddings just bring back the memories?

Melody looking lovely as always!

Megan and her Father waiting to go down the aisle.

Jan, waiting for his bride.  You will notice a difference in his hair as he cut off his curls for the wedding, they will grow back!

Jan and Megan wanted the first thing they did as husband and wife to be the celebrating of communion  together.  While their pastor led them through that together behind the altar, the guests were asked to be praying for them and also bringing up to the altar rocks with blessings written on them for Jan and Megan to keep.  There was so much love flowing in this service and it was neat to see the outpouring of blessings that were brought to them.

Husband and wife………..  finally the wait is over!   🙂

Beautiful Annie

Beautiful girls at the reception

Let the dancing begin……..  so much fun dancing all the fun line dances and fifties dancing.  This was the first dance I have ever been to where a Mennonite pastor was out on the dance floor leading the group in the Electric slide!   He was quite the pastor with an incredible service for the wedding, joyful teaching and serious accountability were asked of everyone in the service as well as Jan and Megan, and then he showed that Christians can have so much fun and that God is the Lord of joy.   He was great!

The couple of the night.  We celebrated with so much joy as the body of Christ joining together to see a younger brother and sister joining in love for a lifetime!

Today we went to church and had a sweet time of worship together.  Ate a quick lunch and then headed down to Sturgeon Bay for Annie’s first driving lesson.  She did very well.

When we got home there was a note from Jan and Megan…..  it was a thank you for a wonderful night as they spent their first night together out under the stars in our beautiful back acreage.  They could not have picked a better place or night, it was beautifully warm with a full moon.  God kissed their night and blessed them and Rick and I can’t quit smiling………..  love is natural as it is a gift from God!    Blessings on you two!

Posted August 23, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family

Glorious fellowship, Delightful Saturday!   Leave a comment

I often enjoy taking pictures of our table when it is decorated, set and filled, ready for company.  I also enjoy the table afterwards…..  remnants of what was a delightful breakfast together with our dear friends Meg and Jan (pronounced Yhan).  We had quiche made with broccoli and onion from our garden, ham and cheese,  zucchini muffins with zucchini from our garden, grapes and blueberries and a peach tart.   Yum!   I also served our last jar of grape juice and when I popped the top, it REALLY popped!    It had fermented………  I have never had a jar of juice turn ever!!   Jan wanted to taste it as he enjoys wine and so he  did.  I watched nervously as Jan drank it, as all I could think of was him dying the day before his wedding from drinking bad wine in a Baptist household……….  does the word SCANDAL pop into your mind??   🙂

We enjoyed the sweetest fellowship, and I mean sweet!   We have loved Meg for years and prayed for her Man of God and so when they requested a breakfast together the day before their wedding, well, I was more than honored.   God is uniting two VERY beautiful children of His!   They will do much for the kingdom.  The only bummer is that for now God wants them in Virginia and that is a long way away from Door County.

Here they are…… so in love!   Jan told me at the breakfast table that he wrote in a journal his resolution to wait for the women God had planned for him, that was 15 or so years ago.  In that entry he had written MMM at the end of it, and do you know that Megan’s initials are just that!   God is so into details!    Jan waited and waited and now he has the woman God  had planned for him and that was well worth the long wait.  Jan kept saying “this is good” in reference to he and Meg marrying and all I could do is say AMEN, over and over again.   Rick was also able to come home for a few moments and visit which was wonderful as the whole family wanted to be with Meg and Jan.

Here we are,  my precious sister in Christ and a joy to my heart.

Today I am ironing my antique table clothes, gathering vases and decorations and heading down early to Bjorklund (good Scandinavian name!) lodge where the wedding will be.  Melody and I are doing set up and serving for a pre-wedding luncheon.  We will clean up afterwards and then change and get ready for the wedding.   It is going to be a glorious day and I must find my water-proof mascara as I keep tearing up with joy over these two!

I will post pictures tomorrow!

Blessed to see God’s hand as He unites couples for His glory,  blessed to serve the body of Christ!


Posted August 21, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Spiritual Life

Time Flies   Leave a comment


My friend Kari and her husband Dave have wonderful blackberries and this year has been a bonus year for them.  THey have shared their beautiful bounty with us and we have been blessed.  I have used them for breakfast with a little yogurt and granola but for the most part have frozen them to enjoy this winter.

This is Rick at the Green Bay Wedding Chapel.  The door was stuck and so they asked Rick to take a look at it.  This is his lot in life, to trustee no matter where he goes……….  🙂

Rick and his girls for the night.  I am sure that he was probably making some wise-crack at the moment the picture was snapped.

Rick and I outside the wedding chapel.  We had a wonderful night and I got to meet many of the racing buddies who are friends of Rick’s.  A few of the women were from the pits at the race track.  They bring lots of food to feed the guys and are known for knowing all the latex gossip at the track,  it was nice to not know anyone they were talking about although most of it was related to who was souping up their engines are acquiring new frames for their cars.   I waited for the talk to turn to the Packers and then I joined in……………..  you know how I love to talk sports!   HA HA HA

This is Rick and hi good friend and pit crew chief Slim.  I wanted a picture of them together and they would not cooperate as you can tell by this fine demonstration of splitting off from walking together when I turned to take the picture…….  THey think they are sooooo funny!

THe day of the wedding it was family day with a practice scrimmage for the team.  There is not another football team that can pull tens of thousands in to watch a scrimmage and tailgate.  The Packers can and for miles around the stadium the lawns and parking lots were covered by families tailgating and having a great time celebrating the Packers.

Theses are some organized fans with their tents and game areas set up……..  what fun.  Can’t wait to watch the first real game.  We will not mention that the packers lost to the Browns Saturday night in a pre-season game.   If they have to lose to someone it may as well by my sweet Daddy’s team!


Melody and I picked the patch again and  made a second batch of garlic/dill pickles.  My family said that the first batch was really good so I hope they meant it!   The people that I live with love sour dill and I mean sour.  I have canned for years and have hardly found a recipe that they like but I may have scored big this year if their response to the first batch is any indication.   I think I am done with pickles although a batch of sweet freezer pickles may need to be made, and i do have a hankering for Rubies Virginia pickles which I have not made for years.  maybe I am not done after all!   THankfully I had relish left from last year so we are good for relish for this year.

Blackberry Tart   Recipe to follow

Last night we were invited to our friends, the Olsons, family dinner.  It was up at a beautiful old farm house on a hill that has a view that is stunning.

I was asked to bring my refrigerator pickles and desserts.  I made lemon/lime pie and a  blackberry tart.

We had such a good time visiting and working together to put on this meal for 13 of us.  The farmhouse of Joan and Max’s is up on a hill with huge trees and a meadow and we ate out back on their back patio.  THe front porch faces the west and down into Gills Rock over rolling hills.  We took our desserts out front and watched a beautiful sunset as some played crochet and others visited on the front porch.   Here are a few pictures from the wonderful evening.

Starting to play crochet

Maximilian showing Annie how to play and how to knock the opponents out of the playing area.  We never played with that rule and boy does that make the game more interesting!!   Annie sent Mr Hushan’s ball outside the playing area and into the weeds, and sometimes they sent each other’s balls into the bushes and down the driveway.  Lots of fun!

I bring you an interlude from crochet to notice this handsome man,  looking good and relaxed on the front porch.

Beautiful sunset over Gills Rock.  I told you that this place has an awesome view from the front porch.

Having dessert on the from porch with friends, this is indeed what summer is about.

Tiki lights on the driveway, lighting up the playing field for the crochet players

Even the darkness did not stop the playing…. these were a bunch of competitive players!  A bunch of Germans with a little Scandinavian thrown in, thus the competition!

These girls are rock-stars!

Kristi being a good friend to Maximilian and holding a lawn light to give him a light to play by, they also brought out a flashlight to play by and keep the game going!

The crowd dwindled to Rick, Susan, Joan and John (Susan’s husband and Joan’s brother) were the only ones left on the porch.  The sun set, Maximilian won the crochet, Kristi came in third and Max (Mr. Hushan) came in third…….  the night ended and we headed home.  It was so beautiful and such fun.

As we sat on the porch last night the winds started to pick up giving notice of a change in the weather.  Indeed!  It is much cooler today with no humidity, Door County is back!  I will not complain……..  The night was long as the wind howled and roared bring branches down on the roof and kept both Rick I wondering if the boats would need to be checked.  That and the sheers on the windows blowing straight out over one’s face which is enough to scare anyone, kept us awake and tossing and turning most of the night.   It will be a long day today.

I have laundry on the line and the kitchen cleaned up.  More laundry to put out and canning to put away.  I will break bread later but for the morning I will get all the visitors settled in and have fun with them.  Kristi is also working on important registration for Liberty on-line and so I need to help with that.  Hopefull I will also get some more school preparation done and organized.  That may be all I can accomplish today with extra children and also  visit from a sweet wonderful young woman who I have mentored and who is marrying on Saturday!  Full, fun day.



August Panic   Leave a comment

There is a wonderful scripture that tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.”   I love that scripture, it blesses me and calms me and may well become my sole focus for the next few weeks.

It is August, the middles of August and my list of summer things to get done around the house during the summer is untouched.  It is, and has been the most humid summer in my memory and so some of the sprucing up that I wanted to do around the house could not even have been done in this weather, as in painting and varnishing.

I am just getting around to ordering school books, and since I did not get the planning done in June as I had hoped, I know I have a couple days of planning that needs to be prioritized.

I could go on and on but it would stress me out to see a list………..

Pastor taught on God being our Helper but not our enabler last Sunday.  He talked about priorities and the “work” and commitment of being a part of the body of Christ.  This sermon only confirmed what God had already been speaking to me.   Some things have to change, my work has to be organized and most likely we need to hire someone for one of our businesses.  Although all this has to take affect next summer as this summer is water under the bridge as we like to say, it will take some immediate thought and planning.  We will see.

On Wednesday my beautiful daughter Annie blessed me, oh how she blessed me.  I had fallen so far behind in cleaning out own home as anytime I leave my home I lose hours that are necessary for the upkeep of our own home, this is a law that cannot be changed unless you hire a housekeeper!   With canning started the kitchen had become quite cluttered.  Annie went at it and made it look so nice, not only that, but she went and cleaned the living room and bathroom as well.  All this without it being on the chore board or being asked.  I was touched by her because although she too loves a clean house, her actions were out of love, deep love.   Oh how I love my daughters and my son.  They bless me and enrich my life beyond words.

It does not feel like Friday, the week has been a blur so I am not feeling settled that the weekend is upon us.

I will pick cucumbers and make pickles, get corn on the cob or supper, pick our garden clean and freeze veggies.  I will attempt to get on top of our laundry and ironing and do book work.   I will end the day with a trip to the pool to cool down and relax which is not easy for me to do these days.   IF, I get all of these things done I will feel ready to enjoy the  start of the weekend and hopefully have a relaxing Sunday.

I have pictures to add…. and will do so later.

I will focus on being still (in my heart) and trusting in our Sovereign God Who has His hand over my life.



Posted August 13, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Door County Life, Family