Friends & Family August 2021

The end of August is my favorite time of year.

It’s always like standing in the threshold of an open door looking with anticipation into the coming months. I admit it’s about the weather, but coolers temps are only a signal of coming seasons that always feel welcoming to me.

Minnesotans get cabin fever in the winter. I get cabin fever in the summer. And the beginning of September means I’ll be cured of my annual summer claustrophobia!

In late July Dennis and I had planned to leave to celebrate our granddaughter’s first birthday and then head north for a working vacation for most of the month of August. It’s a long story but first Dennis got Covid, even with the vaccine, then the baby and her brother got sick and the party was cancelled. We waited at home for Dennis to feel well enough to travel and on Monday August 2 he decided he finally felt like driving. We left at noon for Montana. Early on we had decided to drive; the delays in departure proved God was leading even though we didn’t know it at the time.

Four days later we arrived at the ranch of our friends to stay in the bunk house of their barn for three weeks. My goals were to read a lot, write a lot, walk or hike at least daily and paint something every day. Not full final paintings, but lots of sketches and small studies. Most days I took photos of the beautiful mountains, hills and landscapes all around our retreat. Those photos became my subjects. My soul needed this and it was good.




Thanks Randy and Kay for the great time we had with you and your family on your ranch!

During the last week August we drove to Denver to spend time with our two kids who live there and then as this post arrives in your inbox we will be driving home from Montana grateful for time with our two kids and their combined 10 children, our friends’ generosity in hosting us at their ranch, and for the goodness of God for giving us this much needed break.

As I look to the fall here are a few things I’m excited about:

  • Attending the rescheduled first birthday for Emma Cate.
  • A new ebook on gratitude coming in October. Our first one was sent in early August and if you didn’t see it or meant to download it and forgot, here is the link. And don’t forget to share it with others. We need to encourage one another in our marriages.
  • Starting seminary. My first class will be a bible study methods class and the professor is the president of the seminary. He’s such a good man and though I know him through Dennis’s board work I’ve never heard him teach so I know this will be a great treat for me. I’m also looking forward to sharing what I’m learning here with you as several of you have asked.
  • The return of in-person events. We will be speaking at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in mid-September. If you don’t know anything about this organization go check it out at It’s an organization united to help orphans, foster care children and their caregivers here and around the world.
  • We’ll be babysitting one weekend for our grands so our kids can get away for a 40th birthday trip.
  • I’ll soon be buying pumpkins and mums to start decorating for fall. I planted some mini pumpkins so I’m eager to get home and see if I have any growing. Lots of blooms when I left home so I hope some turned into pumpkins!
  • And I’m looking forward to sharing some of the new topics I’ve been writing on this summer. So watch the blog for great content for you, friends, sisters, daughters … anyone who knows Jesus and wants to grow more deeply in Him.

Here are a few photos from our days in Montana. It was really smokey for most of the days but even that made for amazing sunsets.

Look closely to see the mountains! So much smoke.


Welcome fall everyone!


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