Monday, December 1, 2014

Honoring Mervin Zook

Today December 1st is the 24th anniversary of the best Daddy ever, Mervin Zook's, entrance into heaven. I will forever miss him. He was a great man that loved his God, his wife and his family and that order! Today also is the beginning of the 1st year of my life when I will be alive more years without my Daddy than alive with him. He had a very dry sense of humor. Ah Daddy, I miss you!

Some of the things that others may find interesting about my Daddy:

(1) He loved to play men's soft ball and did throughout his life. He played college ball as a catcher. This was before catcher's wore any protective gear. He was hit in the wind pipe by a ball once and ended up in the hospital for several days.

(2) He loved the outdoors. At my childhood home in St. Louis, he lovingly planted about 20 trees on our property because he loved seeing them bloom.

(3) Besides winning many awards for his stone and brick work as a top notch stone and brick mason, he was an accomplished woodworker. I love his handiwork.

(4) He loved, LOVED the Word of God. I know of at least three small Bibles that he read so often that he wore them out.

(5) One of my fondest memories is of him reading his Bible in the corner of his room early on Sunday morning. He loved going to church so much and would be up early on Sunday morning reading and praying and prepping to teach whatever Sunday School class he was currently assigned.

(6) He was my 6th and 7th grade Sunday School teacher!

(7) He originally wanted to be a forest ranger when he went to college. He spent one year north of Couer d'Alene, Idaho planting trees. I have been able to see some of those trees all grown now. I have to be honest that I was a little emotional seeing those trees and realizing he had planted them.

(8) He loved birds! I give him credit for my love of birds.

(9) He was a man of prayer. When we were cleaning out his work truck after he died, we found what seemed like hundred of 3x5 cards with prayer notes on them. He never had a radio in his truck instead he would pray while he drove wherever he went. He prayed for the salvation of my Uncle Jim. I learned that Uncle Jim became a Christian before he died which is many years after my Dad died. At one time I knew how many years this was but suffice it to say it was over 25 years! Don't ever give up praying for the salvation of your loved ones!

(10) He was quirky at times. He was a red headed Swiss that would wear a Swiss hat on St. Patty's Day. LOL! Love you Daddy!

There are so many other things about him but I will stop here so as not to bore anyone.


I posted the above things on my Facebook page.  Through some "conversation" with my brother Chuck these memories also surfaced.

Chuck:   Dad was a giver too. One thing I remember was finding a box of change. He would dump all his change in at night then when it was full he would send it to a missionary to buy books for the national pastors. It is what inspired me to start singing and the first song I sang here in our church after my moving to VA was "Thank You". It was very moving for me. Dad said he couldn't sing but loved music enough to buy me my first violin, and i still play it.

(For the record, my brother Chuck has a great voice and a great ability to play the violin.  I remember going to sleep as a child listening to him play the violin while my sister played the piano.) 

Me:  I forgot about that money, Chuck. But do you know another part of that story? One of the places that he sent books and Bibles to was Romania. Around the time when Dad died the Communism Curtain was falling in Romania and one of the pastor's that received his books was able to immigrate to the US. His daughter attended Columbia Bible College and Seminary as a freshman the year that I was there as a graduate student. He talked in chapel a few months after Dad died and shared how he it was his dream to meet this man "Mervin Zook" here in the US and share the following story. 

One day when the Bibles had arrived along with other pastoral books, the police equivalent of the KGB arrived at the entrance to the apartment building and having very little time to hide the books, the pastor's wife threw the books on the dining room table, covered it with her finest tablecloth and set it with her finest china. When the police arrived at her door to search for the Bibles and books, she invited them in for tea. The police never found the books but did enjoy a fine afternoon of tea. 

 After chapel, I was able to go and talk with this pastor and his wife. What a tearful and joyful conversation it was. One of my most precious memories of my time at Columbia Bible College and Seminary (now called Columbia International University). I do not remember the Romanian pastor's name.

 Another story that I remember about my dad was told to me by my mom. Early in their marriage when Ron, Chuck and Betty were very small, they attended a missionary meeting on a Sunday evening. At the offering time Dad gave all the money he had in his wallet which was intended to put gas in the car for work that week. Either right before leaving church that evening or at the gas station I don't remember which the money for gas was given to Mom and Dad.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Short Film: 7 Days

Every March the grade schoolers at church are given a March Madness Challenge. This year it consisted of creating a short film based on a Bible story. DG and several friends wrote, acted and “produced” the following short with the help of two moms and one dad.

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Pet………

She does not have a name but she is super sweet.  She found us……

She is an Anna Hummingbird and has not allowed us to photograph her yet.  She is pretty camera shy.  Everyday she is at the hummingbird feeder to feed.  In the late afternoon, she then comes to the dining room window and signs a thank you song.  Super sweet.

We are having fun learning about hummingbirds.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dirty Laundry and the Great Physician

This post is really about the pile of dirty clothes piled all over the floor. Sweet Tia just happens to be in the photo!

Today this pile of dirty clothes speaks to me on a very deep emotional and spiritual level. They are just a pile of dirty towels, a dirty sleeping bag and a dirty blanket. Yet they represent so much more!

God is so Good! He is so faithful! I am reminded again that He is the Great Physician! He is the Creator and Sustainer of Life even at the earliest stages!

DG is a miracle in so many ways and this pile of dirty clothes speaks of His goodness and mercies.

See Arthur and I were never supposed to be able to have children. We knew that prior to becoming engaged and married.  I was diagnosed early in our dating relationship with PCOS.  We knew that from the very beginning yet we knew God had brought us together. We chose to walk in obedience to Him.

After our first miscarriage, we found ourselves expecting another bundle of joy. God held that little one together and knit her together. When we found ourselves faced with her early birth and my declining health He sustain me and so much more. Later when we were given the bleak prognosis of her quality of life, He was our Rock! 

 Those dirty clothes pile represent all of that and the amazing fact that in His mercy, He healed my sweet DG! Healed her beyond all that we could ask or even imagine! So much so that today I am cleaning up from her wonderful week at Kids Camp where she was able to do all those things and more that the neonatal doctors told us she would never be able to do!

Laundry can be overwhelming but when I am looking at it from God's perspective all my heart can do is sing of His amazing goodness! I serve an AWESOME GOD!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, June 6, 2014

Schooling Shake Up

Google Image
Last year when we began in the fall, I encountered the Fall Fog for the first time.  The fog lowered quickly and was all encompassing. Tears ensued.  Frustration for both teacher and student were the norm!

What is Fall Fog, you ask?  Fall Fog is when you begin school in the fall only to have to review for weeks upon weeks those skills that have been forgotten over the summer break.  The typical subjects that encounter Fall Fog are spelling and math.  It probably took us about two months to "catch up" to where we had stopped in the Spring.

All year long I though and thought about Fall Fog.  I did not want to encounter it every again!  I prayed about it and talked to my homeschooling buddies

(Do you have a homeschooling buddy?  If not find one.  I actually have three:  one in town, one across the country and one out of the country.....although she just moved back.  Homeschooling Buddies will be another post.).

The end result:

               Schooling Shake Up (aka Year Round Schooling)

Yep........we are transitioning to year round schooling.  The 2013-2014 school year ended in early May as it had started in early August.  We were so ready to be done.  We had a fun but very tiring year.  We slept in and did not do much those first few weeks.  We are just now coming up for air!  The down time has been so refreshing and so rejuvenating!  We are soaking up the sunshine!  The warm breezes.  Home projects are being tackled.  Berries are being picked. And....................

School will begin in less than 20 days!  Yep!  You read that correctly!  We will begin the 2014-2015 school year in less than 20 days.  Just 10 days after the local schools here in the PNW finish up the school year we will begin our new school year!  We are looking forward to it.  At least I am.  ;)

The plan:

We will begin the fourth week of June and school five weeks.  We will then take a week off school.  We will start back and school an additional five weeks which will bring us to the week local schools here in the PNW go back to school.  This will be about the second full week of September.

The weather here is GORGEOUS in early September.  Warm and just AWESOME!  We will be out of school for two weeks to enjoy the weather and to be refreshed!

We will return to school for an additional five weeks on and one week off and continue on until the end of November.  The entire month of December will be school free.  After the New Year, we will continue with our five weeks on and one week off routine until we have completed approximately 36 weeks of school.  If everything goes as planned, we will be finishing up in the school room the middle to the end of April.

So what do we do with days during the summer when there are other things to be done?  When friends call last minute and we want to join them?  We will school in the morning when we can and join in with the fun around us as we desire.  Park dates and play dates will be enjoyed with gusto!  Since here in the PNW, the mornings can be gray and very cool, school will be accomplished in the morning.  Also, we have a tendency to rise very early in the summer.  This bodes well for our new school schedule.

This is our attempt at answering the Fall Fog and chasing it away.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


A gift of the heart
Picked with my tastes in
Mind by one whose being is
A sure reminder
Of Him whose love is

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reading Nook

From the first day that Dacia Grace and I looked at this house with a realtor,  the closet under the steps has been hers.  She has loved that room from the beginning!  When we moved in, she came up to about 2/3rds of the door and it was a half size door!  She now has to duck into the door to acess it.  Still she loves it!  Still it is hers!

Her mini room has been a toy closet, a kitchen, a doll house, etc.  Today it was transformed again!  Today I created a reading nook.  It was super easy!  The crib mattress that she outgrew years ago fits inside perfectly thus providing a great cushion!   (So glad I did not get rid of that mattress.)  The armed reading pillow fits.  Add a pillow pet and a blanket or two and we were set.

Oh wait....lights!

I remembered an old bed lamp!  That coupled with an extension cord......lights!

I also found an extra French bulletin board to hang in there.  You can see it in the photo below.

This afternoon Dacia Grace spent hours in there reading and writing.  Tonight Arthur crawled in to ead several chapters of Mr. Poppers Penguins with her.  I think this will be the best use yet.  I can see it being used for years to come!  

Here are the results!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
signs of summer are all around.  The bleeding heart plant is in full bloom although not as full as in years past.  I think it needs to be divided this fall.

I am thinking... 
about blog ideas.

I am thankful for...
a quiet Saturday morning.

From the learning rooms...
I am busy sorting through the remnants of our school year that we finished four weeks ago.  WOW!  Four weeks has already flown by!  I have about three weeks left before the new year begins.  Lots to do and get situated before our first day!
From the kitchen...
we are facing the reality that our dishwasher must be replaced.  :/

I am wearing...
a fuchsia shirt, a tan skirt and a pair of tennis shoes.  Just seemed easier today.

I am creating...
nothing right now. 

I am reading...
the teacher’s manual for school.

I am praying...
for sweet friends that are facing medical challenges and uncertainties.  My nephew that is in need of a kidney transplant. 

I am hearing...
classical music wafting down from upstairs.

Around the house...
laundry needs to be done but we are headed out to the farmers market.  First of the season this year.

One of my favorite things...
quiet mornings!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
hoping to go strawberry picking this week.  

My Picture Thought...

 She is growing up so fast!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock

Where has the time gone! Many weeds have grown over the path to my blog.   The time has come to revisit my blog and to return to the sweet slowness of recording my thoughts and the happenings of my day.  The reasons that I stopped blogging still remain.......the computer is still very slow.  But in the days and weeks to come I will be finding my way back to my blog and to writing.  Hopefully my vision for the blog will become clearer and better articulated.  Until is a thoughtful photo.