Two Thumbs Down


I didn’t think my thumbs would be the first to go.
The doctor said it comes from wear and tear over time.

The pain I’m feeling in my thumb joints
is a result of years and years of
playing the piano and playing catch
holding a pencil and filling up journals
pulling weeds and pushing grocery carts
scooping cookie dough and unscrewing pickle jar lids
stitching quilts and sewing on patches
squeezing out dishrags and kneading bread
snapping beans and peeling potatoes
putting in ponytails and hanging out laundry
scrubbing floors and washing windows
prying apart Legos and picking flowers
wiping noses and tying shoes.

I have not appreciate these two digits enough.
They have been silent laborers, unsung heroes, strong assistants.
Take a good look at your thumbs today and bless them.

thumbs up

Five Shirts

When PB saw the Six Dresses I made for our granddaughters,
the pressure was on to come up with something special for our grandsons.
Opa did not disappoint.
He designed five T-shirts for the boys.



What in the world does “Barnebarn” mean, you ask?
“Grandchild”, of course.
In Norwegian.

Six Dresses

This summer I pulled out my sewing machine.
It’s been a while.
I thought about the dresses I made for my girls when they were little.
Then I thought about my little granddaughters.
So I made six dresses.


As I sewed, I prayed for their six little hearts.
“Help them to pin their hopes and dreams to You.”
“When things are coming apart at the seams, help them turn to You.”
Hem them in by Your love, before and behind.”
“Give them the desire to gather together with other believers.”
Finish off their rough edges so they don’t unravel.”
“Help them not be afraid to go against the grain of culture.”
“Protect them from developing unfair biases.”
“Help them give grace to people who needle them.”
“May they live according to the pattern set in scripture.”
“Give them Your strength to iron out their problems.”


May the Word that is sown (sewn?) into their hearts
take root and produce fruit (and pink flowers!).

The Eleven


PB and I have enough grands for a football team.
I think the red-head standing in the back is vying for quarterback.
She’s got a decent offensive line in front of her.
That chubby little guy may develop into a solid center.
They are quite a team of talented, silly, lovable little people.

Happy 4th!


Roast some hot dogs.
Have a picnic.
Spread out a blanket.
Look up toward the heavens.
Oo and ah.
Give thanks to God.
Hug your kids.
Pray for America.
Happy 4th of July!


Foiled Again

They’re on to me.
They must have been eavesdropping as I boasted.
Either that or our resident chipmunks read my blog.
One day after I declared war on the rascals, they stormed back.


Last year, I sprinkled garlic around the edges of the pots.
Then I placed moth balls around the blooms.
Even that didn’t stop the critters
but it did make the front porch stink.
I thought I outsmarted them this year.
But my fork fortified fortress didn’t stand its ground.
A lot of ground was scattered across my porch.
I’m sad to report one casualty.

I should have known the chipmunks would challenge me.
The gaps between the tines were too tempting.

I’m considering a counter-attack.
Perhaps stainless steel forks
with sharpened tips
connected to an electric current
and sprayed with rodent poison.

Game on.

Remembering Boppy

I called my grandma “Boppy”. She lived next door and when I was bored or trying to get out of doing chores, I would ride my bike up the back driveway to her house where I was always welcomed with a smile and candy corn.


Boppy’s father, Herman, came over to America on a ship from Prussia when he was a baby. The story goes that his mother went up on the deck for some fresh air and baby Herman kicked off one of his booties into the Atlantic Ocean. He arrived in America with only one booty.

As Boppy got older, she began to lose her memory. But she never forgot how to make Apfelkuchen, or German Apple Cake. She would walk down the driveway to our back door with a fresh, warm cake. We would sit and visit on the screened-in porch and then she would walk back. The next day, having forgotten about yesterday’s cake, she would show up with more apfelkuchen. We ate a lot of apple cake that summer.

Memory is a funny thing. Boppy sometimes forgot her grandchildren in a hazy fog, but a recipe her mama taught her as a young girl was crystal clear. Today, PB’s mother may not remember the last time we waved to her through the window, but she can sing every verse of “Pic-a-nic-in’ the Park”, a song she and dad used to sing together.

I hope my mind is sharp when I’m 92.

But if it isn’t, I hope I belt out
“Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine”
down the halls of the nursing home.

I hope I don’t forget my loved ones faces.
But if I do, I hope every Bible verse I ever memorized
comes pouring from my lips.

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
Psalm 77:11

According to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.
Psalm 25:7

remember me

Flowers, Songs and Macarons

Mother’s Day brought me three of my favorite things:
music, sweets and flowers that never die.

Just look at that bouquet!
It never needs watering or arranging
and it won’t end up in the compost.
It’s great to have a spouse who knows you and what you love.


Just look at those macarons!
There were two trays of these beauties.
They look like something from the Great British Baking Show.
I snapped a quick pic before we snapped the last two up.
It’s great to have talented grown up kids who can cook.

Just listen to this music!
I put this song together for our church’s Lent season.
This arrangement was a surprise and brought a tear to my eye.
It’s great to have sneaky grown up kids who can sing and record.

K&N, S&T, A&D and J&K, I love being your mom.

Presenting…. Theo John!


I am proud to present Theo John Overlien!
Born on October 8, 2019
8 lbs. 14 oz.

Theo means “divine gift”.
That he is.


My baby boy has a baby boy.

PB and I have enough grands to make a football team.
I feel like I’ve already won the Superbowl.

“The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46:7

Spinning Wheel

Today, I found this gem.


The chore spinner.

Obviously, Jake was too small to contribute at the time.

Or maybe he was just the 4th child,
the baby of the family,
whose only job was to be cute.

Seeing this piece of history made me smile at how things have changed.

All that free labor has now become management.
They are teaching their own kids to set, clear, load and sweep.

Thank goodness I still have PB.
He’s making real progress.
I cook and he cleans up.
No spinning required.