This just in

Well, sort of :) All week long I have been adding to my mental list of things to post about. But time keeps slipping away and the list isn't getting any shorter, so this will be a hodge-podge!!

Meaghan turned 10 yesterday! Honestly, how is that possible? I am not sure I am ready for double digits! Moment to moment she changes from being a little girl to being such a pre-teen!

We had a tea-party, and only invited girls this year. It was a nice group. In addition to Meg and Nic, we had Meg's two best friends Sylvia and Elisa, two other girls from her class, her Indian friend Roshini who lives down the block, and Carly Ginter. I have to say that I was relieved to be past the age of silly games. They played charades and "who am I?" and "heads down, thumbs up." We had food, and tea served in my Grandma's china tea-cups (which the girls noticed and liked) and instead of treat bags I bought beads and they all started to make a necklace or bracelet and I let them take extra beads home.

I'll post photos later. I'm so glad to be done with birthdays for the year! The birthday cake was stressful this time around! Yesterday morning I noticed my electric mixer was broken (only one beater would stay in.) Since I make decorator icing a good mixer is crucial. I managed to get the icing made with only one beater, but then ALL my bags (which were 10 years old) split on me, in various stages of decorating. I was reduced to using plastic bags and had a few blow-outs of those as well. In the end I got the cake done, but it wasn't my best. Meg was happy with it though!

I only made it to the gym once this week :( but my legs are SO sore you would think I tried to run a marathon. I have no idea why! Next week is shot too since we go to Lisbon on Tuesday morning. Sigh.

The external hard drive I bought to back up our computers is lame. I cannot get it to work with my laptop. And since I bought it while my computer was still in the shop, it's past the return date. Grrrrr. You know how I am when technology doesn't work!!

The Lord has been speaking to my heart about where my time and energy should be focused. I am feeling called "back" to my home and my family after a season of really stretching my wings in our church. My pride had to wrestle with it at first, but more and more God has been confirming it. I think that is going to have to be a whole post though!

Lexi (a.k.a. Lardo) is on a diet and looking better. She goes crazy on walks trying to find extra food on the street, but I think she feels better and has more energy. She'll be boarding with our vet this next week while Troy and I are gone so we'll probably have to start all over again after she eats all the dog food in sight while she's there!

So yeah, Troy and I will be in Lisboa from Tuesday until Saturday for our annual team leader's retreat. I'm sad about it this year because several people I really look forward to connecting with will not be there for various reasons. It's always refreshing, but always bittersweet to leave the kids as well.

We have rescued another homeless au pair for a week or so. Even though our apartment isn't as big I'm glad we can still help people out when they need a short-term place to stay.

I guess that's it for now! I need to get the kids some dinner, see about dinner for Troy & I after they are in bed, and get my ducks in a row for church tomorrow.



I read this story on Sunday, about a man who had been dead for over a year in his home before he was discovered. Besides being gruesome, it made me sad for him that he had no community to notice his absence.

"Neighbors said when they had not seen Ricardo, who was diabetic and had been blind for years, they assumed he was in the hospital or a long-term care facility."

Today I was in need of community. I felt every day of my 38 years. I felt un-hip, lame and just generally not with it. I felt like a middle-aged woman in elastic-waisted jeans and tennis shoes and plenty of gray hairs. Just generally deflated and fairly doubtful of my contributions to the world today.

And then I came home, and found beautiful community in the eyes and embrace of my 7-year old son. When he heard my key in the door, he came running to throw himself into my arms. He buried his head on my shoulder, wrapped arms and legs around me, and watered my thirsty soul with his hug. I sat down in the rocking chair with him. He quietly whispered to me "I love you so much, Mom."

In that moment, I felt Jesus whispering to me that I was truly valued and needed, that I had a worthy contribution to make.

When I get old, I actually think that I am going to enjoy living in some sort of retirement community. I like the idea of sitting around in my wheelchair with all the other white-haired grannies doing random crafts. I tell you what, I think that's a lot better than dying alone in front of a blaring television!



I was going to write about something else, but I just noticed this is my 300th post! I have seen people share 100 things about themselves in their 100th post, but I am pretty sure you don't want to read 300 random facts about me! So, how about 30?

1. I graduated from high-school 20 years ago.
2. I wear size 5 shoes (I used to wear a 4 before I had kids!)
3. My middle name is Anne.
4. I like liver if it's quick-fried and served with bacon and sauteed onion and mushrooms.
5. Peas make me gag.
6. I love sushi; I think I could eat it every day!
7. I hate black licorice.
8. I love Jesus.
9. I am the third generation of missionaries in the Grant family. My paternal grandparents served in China and Hong Kong, my parents in Quito, Ecuador, and now I'm in Spain.
10. I am exactly 5 feet tall (or short :) )
11. I love to read and can devour a good book in a couple of hours.
12. My favorite book is C.S. Lewis' Til We Have Faces.
13. I love anything chocolate-caramel, chocolate-raspberry, chocolate-mint or chocolate-orange. (yes the key word is chocolate!)
14. When I was in 4th grade I had terrible handwriting, and my teacher (in a 2-room schoolhouse in the jungles of Ecuador) made it her personal project to improve it. I've had nice hand-writing ever since then.
15. When I get back to the US I always buy Good Housekeeping and Readers Digest in airports the first chance I get.
16. I am not a great housekeeper.
17. I make a mean home-made pizza.
18. I am allergic to most cats.
19. In my life I have had multiple dogs, a few turtles, parakeets, 1 parrot, a mouse and a monkey for pets.
20. I don't like milk.
21. Both my kids were born via C-Section. (I am the fourth generation of women in my family to have C-sections.)
22. I love stripes.
23. My favorite color is blue.
24. I loves pansies and alstromeria.
25. I can rarely see the top of my desk.
26. My husband is the only man I have ever really kissed.
27. I lost a baby in between my two kids. It was on my birthday and Thanksgiving Day.
28. I don't like spicy food.
29. I am an ambulance chaser.
30. I am still in love with my husband of 15 1/2 years.

Anything else you want to know?