Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

No more Bats on my Fridge!

June 3, 2011


Two years ago there was an article in the newspaper of Best Things To Do each month in Phoenix.  I cut out two of the suggestions and put them on the fridge…. with the hope of doing each of them… because they are the BEST!  One was to eat at Pizzeria Bianco… the other was to visit a colony of bats that live right downtown!  Rick and I did go to Pizzeria Bianco one night a couple of months back, but the wait was over two hours and we were too hungry to wait that long.  So, Pizzeria Bianco is still on the fridge.

In celebration of 24 years of wedded matrimony, Rick and I went away for a few days… not far… just away.  We were staying at a resort relatively close to the bat cave, so I suggested that we visit and view, because I’m a nerdy school teacher who is enthralled by God’s provision for animals in the middle of a big city (NOT including the ground squirrels who are STILL eating my garden… grrrrr.) 

In my hot little hand was the newspaper clipping with the bat cave location merely listed as Camelback Rd. and 40th St.  We arrived at said intersection to find a Fresh N Easy, Chelsea’s Kitchen, a dry cleaner and a gas station.  There were no signs indicating BAT CAVE THIS WAY —>  (Bummer.)  We started asking around and were pointed west along the north side of the canal.  I was not prepared for walking a half mile in gravel and dirt…. needless to say, I need a pedicure now.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, but hiking had not entered my mind.  More asking followed.  More pointing west followed.  We finally found a kind gentleman who knew exactly where we were headed.  Perfect.

The bat cave is actually a flood control tunnel that is two miles long.  It is huge… you could drive a garbage truck in there, if the gate was unlocked.  Our arrival couldn’t have been timed more perfectly.  As we wandered up to the top of the tunnel to read the signs, the bats began emerging.  It was cool.  The newspaper reported that there are 20,000 bats in the cave.  The signs reported only 5,000.  We figured it was more than 5,000… as I stopped counting at 476…and the stream of flying mammals continued for another 15 minutes.  The other end of the tunnel also has bats emerging… so definitely more than 5,000 Mexican Free Tail bats

bat cave_40thstreet.jpg

Don’t worry, that’s not all we did on our excursion!  We also ate out at two fine Mexican restaurants, did some shopping, watched some Glen Beck (FYI: Our family stands with Israel), swam and read.  It was most relaxing and VERY needed.  And there are no more bats on my fridge.

FREE Give-Away! It’s my Blog-a-versary!

February 1, 2011

Yes, My Sister’s Jar has been filling up the pages of the internet for three long years now.  Wow!  And for ONE of my faithful readers, including anyone new who happens to find MJS today, I’m giving away a copy of each of my books: Laughing in the Midst of Mothering and Laughing in the Midst of Marriage.  Both books are guaranteed to make you grin, if not/and/or loudly guffaw while holding your belly while tears stream from your eyes from the hilarity of the stories.  Really.  I’m not just saying it because I lived through them either.

Yes, you read that right… TWO FREE books!  Wow!  Generosity is seeping from my pores today. Here’s how it works.  Leave a comment with your name in the comment section below.  I painstakingly copy all the names onto paper, carefully cut them into strips, fold them so there’s no cheating, drop them into a light blue snowman bucket, and then….. drumroll please….. one of my darling children reaches in and picks out a name.  I broadcast the winning name on this blog in the comment section, as well as the next blog.  So you have to be okay with your name being broadcast. Well, you could use a fake name, and then simply notify me before I mail the books as to your truthful name.  I privately email you for your mailing address, which is NOT broadcast for all the world to see.  Free contest starts now and ends at Feb. 2, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. (Members of my family are not eligible, nor people from Guam or Madagascar…. just kidding….. not kidding about my family!)

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for being faithful readers to this overworked homeschool mom/author.  It does my heart good each night as I check the blog stats and drift off to sleep with happy thoughts that I just might have made someone smile today with these words I type.  You guys ROCK!

Happy Three-Year Blog-a-versary!

And my sweet husband adds, “You can buy the books at”   I’m not a saleswoman… I’m a mom!

?#23 from My Sister’s Jar – Best Friend

May 11, 2010

WOW!  It’s been a year since I answered a question from My Sister’s Jar.  This is how the whole blog got started!  A jar full of journaling questions.  The dust on the jar is embarrassing!  I noticed that I have two #21s… so here goes #23:

Who is your best friend? Tell about him or her.

That’s an easy one.  (Nice way to break back into the jar questions!  Not much deep thinking involved.)  RICK!  My Husband is my best friend and has been for 25 years this September.  Yesterday we celebrated our 23rd anniversary of weddedness in matrimonial bliss.  Rick took me away to a resort in Scottsdale to celebrate and we thoroughly relished time without children… lying on a hammock together (until the sprinklers came on!), strolling beside a lake, sitting on our balcony enjoying conversation and reading quality books. 

But that doesn’t tell you about HIM.  Rick is one of nicest people I know who always has a kind word to share with others whether he knows them or not.  He is an encourager.  He builds up all those around him: me, our children, our nieces and nephews, the hockey team of 13 & 14 year olds that he coaches, the neighbors, people in our home group… everyone who comes in contact with him.  It is truly a gift! I do not have this gift naturally… however I’ve been under his tutelage for 25 years and I’m slowly learning the art of encouragement!

My Rick is also a party animal… minus the booze and crude humor.  He LOVES to have a good time and laugh and play games and make others laugh and play practical jokes on others.  He loves to invite people over just to chat and catch up with friends.  And he secretly thrives on teaching them new games so he can beat their pants off!  It’s true.  He is the current champion of Ticket to Ride ~ North America… and it is staying that way for a while because we’re on a Rummoli kick at the moment.

Back to the practical jokes… he has played many on me through the years…. just see last April Fool’s Day post.  Some of his BEST pranks, I must admit, were with me by his side… laughing until we cried.  One of my favorites was on friends of his from jr. high days.  The husband had driven into a parking garage with the camper on his truck and pretty much destroyed it.  These friends lived eight hours away from us, but when we were visiting there after the accident… without them knowing we were in town…. Rick and I painted wooden signs and nailed them on their garage when they weren’t home.  Nicely painted signs that had a picture of a camper with the circle around it with the line through it…. and “No Campers”…. and “Low Ceiling Bone Head”… and “Low Clearance…DUH!”.  See… thoughtful things!  It took them over a year to figure out it was us!

Rick is compassionate and loving.  He is strong and opinionated. (Luckily I agree with most of his ideas!)  He is also a Christ follower and a concerned friend.  I wouldn’t trade him for all the tea in China…. besides, I don’t like tea.  Now if it was all the Aero Mint bars in Canada……    ……..   …… .nah.  Still wouldn’t trade him.


February 2, 2009


That was my exciting news.  My Sister’s Jar has now been brought to you for 365 glorious days.  And look!  You’re still here reading it!  Wooooo hOoooooooooOooooo!  Yeah for you!  You’re the only reason I keep plunking these keys down.  Seriously, it’s addicting.  Just like diet Pepsi.  No, worse. OK, that’s a toss up.

A year and two weeks ago, I sat down with a techy guy ( and his wife at church to ask questions about websites.  He started talking about blogging.  I inwardly rolled my eyes and thought, “ph-shwaughaa!”  He’s a computer geek guy to the nth degree. But as he explained what it was, how it worked, the benefits … I became a bit more interested.  He sent me to worpress and I found my second home.  As he now says, I’ve “embraced blogging with ever orifice possible.” It’s true.  I was born to blog.  Kind of like being born in the USA.  You are or you’re not.  That’s it.

So here’s my big hat off to you….. faithful readers… for blessing me with comments and hits that truly bring a smile to this face.  35,000!!!!  Who would’ve thought!?!  Not me.  SOOOOOO, since it’s my blog-a-versary, would you do me a favor and PLEASE please PLEASE let me know AT least where  you are located????  No name needed.  No private info will be traced.  No tele-marketers will call you.  I will not email you with chain letters.  No hassle.  Money back guarantee.  Se habla espanol. I ask my husband every now and then when the hits at MSJ are high, “Who are these people?”  I’d really love to know…. at least where you are…  so if you’re in cold places right now, I can tell you about how warm it is in Phoenix.  In the summer I can wish that I was where you are.  Come on! 

(and for the record…. why in the world does spell check on WordPress not know the words: blog, blogging, or wordpress???)


June 30, 2008

Today is the half-way mark for 2008….  makes me sit and wonder how I’m doing in 2008… and WHAT I’m doing…. and what I’m NOT doing. 

A song came on the car radio this morning that talked about “It’s not who you are.  It’s not what you’ve done.  It’s how you lived.”  After a moment of contemplation, I pronounced, “I don’t agree with that.”  My daughter, always up for a good debate, said, “I do.”  We went back and forth about if what you are doing IS how you are living.  Does how YOU live only include yourself?  Does what you’re doing include others?  We both tried on each other’s side of the argument for size…  we never came to a conclusion, but I still don’t agree with the lyrics.

I was anticipating 2008 like I’ve never anticipated any year previously.  That being said, I was never pregnant over a New Years…. that I was aware of.  So babies don’t count here.  I always anticipated new children with great joy.  But this year began with a bang as my parents celebrated 50 years of matrimonial bliss and took me and my siblings (and spouses) on an eight day cruise.  We have never gone anywhere for more than four hours together without our nine children.  It was fabulous.  Words don’t describe how relaxed we were.

Next, my first solo writing project was published.  Wow.  I still can’t believe it sometimes.  I survived my first book signings…. but not without nightmares.  (For graphic nightmare details, please see: ) Which reminds me, I need to send the next proposal for Laughing in the Midst of Marriage.  Truck loads of material for this book are stored in my memory banks.  You may have read several of the stories on this blog already…. so you know what I mean.  (golf carts, acupuncture, photo radar tickets….)

And our adoption of Zaza…. is still pending.  We started the journey in Nov. 2006 and so I’ve passed through two new years with the anticipation of gathering our new girl in our arms.  But it seemed closer as 2008 arrived.  We pray every night that God’s will be done in the timing of bringing her home, but I always add…. “and please make it soon!” 

Never would I have imagined sewing bags and bags and bags to help bring Zaza home.  Thanks again, Jennie, for this amazing idea as well as the fortitude to execute it brilliantly!  I’m rather enjoying the sewing journey.  With every bag I make, I have a new favorite.  Tonight’s bag almost didn’t hit the auction block.  I love it.  But I can always make another like it… or different to become my new favorite.  Here it is “Ten Thousand Charms”: (the green is lime… not sage.)

Five new bags go up for auction each Monday… for five days at Please help bring Zaza home and check it out.  Tell others.  Link the site.  Make posters and put them up at work.  Buy one and show it to every stranger you meet.  :o)  Thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

And not to forget blogging.  I didn’t know what it was in 2007, so I’ve come a long way, baby. 

Down time? What down time?

May 28, 2008

Just when I was hoping to lie on my yard swing and read historical novels to take me away from the here and now to an English garden and young love… I made a “to do” list last night.  Shoot.  Down time starts on June 14, as far as I can tell.

Adoption news: Nothing substantial, just our fingerprints expiring and needing renewal.  I don’t really understand how fingerprints can expire????  They don’t change for your whole life… why a 12 month expiration date?  The only thing that lasts longer than fingerprints is Twinkies.

Larisa’s Jr. High Graduation:  It’s THIS Sunday, and I still need to make her beautiful red strapless dress a conservative Christian strapped dress.  She informed me this morning as she stood shoulders bare on the living room coffee table that she wants the gown floor length.  That really limits my fabric availability to make G-rated straps.  What to do? 

Anniversary Celebration:  Rick and I actually got away to a resort for 3 days without children, cell phones or business talk.  Day two as we lounged by the pool, he leans up on his elbow, blocks my sun and says, “We need to hire someone to do email blitzing for your book.”  I spoke a little too harshly with my “WE ARE NOT TALKING BUSINESS THIS WEEKEND!” as was noted by surrounding looks on sunbathing faces.  But it worked.  He laid his natural-born-tanned-self down and with a sigh, conceded, “Shot down.”  I added, “In a blaze of glory.” 

Boys:  Need I say more?  I thought these two little wiry guys were leaders among their peers.  Well, in our absence, the leadership qualities turned to the dark side.  I just returned from one of our pastor’s homes where the boys had thrown dirt clods and rocks into their pool.  It is not heated.  heh heh heh.  Aus and Keeve had to dive over and over and over to get all the stones out.  I won’t even comment on their cannonball behavior at another community pool.  Sheesh.

Bags for Zaza:  See previous post.  Amazingly, 8 of 9 bags sold in 48 hours.  Way to go Auntie Jennie!  I’m feeling the pull of the Singer.  Me and my chenille might meet up after June 14th.

Twenty-One Years of Sweet Righteous Monogamy

May 9, 2008

Today is our 21st anniversary.  I thought I would take a few moments to reminisce about May 9, 1987. 

It was a sunny day in Sunnyvale, California and the wedding was set for 2:00.  Rick came knocking at my parent’s front door at 9:00 a.m. for his wedding day haircut from me.  I’m sure he was adding up all the haircut money that he would save over his lifetime by marrying a woman who runs with scissors.

The photographer arrived at the house to take pictures of me, my family and the bridesmaids: Christy, Connie, Jan, Kathy and Deidre.  Most of them were taken in the bricked courtyard on white wrought iron chairs.  Arriving next at my parent’s home was Rick’s family… we all just looked at each other for a while……. they were misinformed about where they were to be for pictures, so they rushed off to the church.

The wedding party gathered at the church before the ceremony for pictures, so as not to make the guests wait later on.   Our church at that time was also a school so we were married in the sanctuasium.  I was walked slowly down the aisle right over the volleyball and basketball court where I spent many an athletic hour during high school.  Lunch was basically forgotten in the photography/wedding schedule and we ended up eating McDonald’s burgers in the girl’s locker room right before the ceremony.

Finally 2:00 arrived, the gym filled with friends and family.  Right before my dad and I entered, he turned to me and said, “If there’s any reason that you need to leave, I’ll go with you right now.”  Wasn’t that nice?!  My last out, but I declined the offer.  Thanks anyway, Dad.

It was a Canadian/American wedding, so we signed the registry for the Canadians and later I smashed cake in Rick’s face for the Americans.  I never told Rick ahead of time about the USA cake-smashing-in-face tradition until after the wedding.  The only glitch the entire day was that the dry ice melted before it was to be added to the punch fountain.

We said “I do.”  We kissed.  We greeted everyone in attendance.  We ate cake and listened to a few good stories from our past.  We threw the bouquet, garter belt and were out of there by 5:00 in my brother’s blue Corvette.  When our guests started throwing bird seed at us, my brother took off his tux jacket and tried to cover the T-top of his car.  :o)  Sorry, Rob. 

I do remember that my face totally hurt because of smiling for an entire day.  I think I’ll dig out the 21 year old video and pop some popcorn for tonight’s family entertainment.

Thanks, Rickey, for being my knight in shining armor, brave and true.  I love you.  XOXO Lin