Friday, September 28, 2012

High Five for Friday!

For the first time, I'm participating in High Five for Friday, hosted by Lauren at From My Grey Desk.  I found out about this bloghop from Kate Bryan's The Small Things Blog.  Kate is a lovely young woman who does amazing hair tutorials.  Check her out if you haven't already!

Oh, and don't forget to enter my give-away for the chance to win a gorgeous top from Soft Surroundings...more on that below!

So here we go!

1.Yay for good deals at Old Navy! I'm in love with these earrings, because I'm a sucker for all things Paris.  I even have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to Paris!  Are these earrings not the cutest?  And the black top I got for $9.49!

2.  The weather here in Northwest Illinois has been just about perfect all week.  One day when I was out and about I snapped some pictures of the fall colors that are just beginning to emerge.  This house just looked so pretty, I had to take a pic of it.

3.  I'm loving the return of my favorite TV shows!  Fringe returns tonight... Person of Interest was AMAZING last night...and Once Upon a Time comes back Sunday night!

Josh Dallas plays Prince Charming
4.  I'm planning to get out my fall decorations this weekend and dress the house up for autumn!

5.  High five for my Soft Surroundings give-away!  Go here to enter to win this beautiful Vintage Ruffle Top...I have it in cornflower blue and absolutely love it.  It retails for 79.00 but it can be YOURS for free!

Click on the icon below to participate in High Five for Friday!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Visible Monday: Win This Beautiful Top from Soft Surroundings

I'm so delighted to offer you a chance to win this beautiful Vintage Ruffle Top from Soft Surroundings!  This is the second give-away I've been involved in with this wonderful company.  As you can see, I chose the top in cornflower blue, but it's also available tea rose (as pictured above) and charcoal.

From the Soft Surroundings website, here's a description of the top:

A special dye treatment gives this contemporary rib-knit top a unique dimensional effect that's especially notable on the ruffles that enhance the neckline, center front and three-quarter length sleeves. Attractively shaped and altogether current. Cotton body, rayon ruffle. Misses 26" long.

I have to tell you that this top is extremely comfortable and enjoyable to wear! I love it.  It's a good weight to go right into fall.

  On the day these pictures were taken, I wore it to work with a denim skirt, then dressed it up with a pretty necklace and earrings for date night with my husband. (My husband loved it, by the way!)

Here's how to enter: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'm also taking part today in Visible Monday, hosted by Not Dead Yet Style! Click on the icon to find out more!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My 9/11 Tribute to Jean Hoadley Peterson

The following was originally posted in 2006 on the 5th anniversary of 9/11, as part of Project 2,996.  I've re-posted it a few times on 9/11, and it's well worth doing so again today.

I Remember Jean Hoadley Peterson

When I signed up recently to commemorate a 9/11 victim as part of the 2,996 project, I had no idea that the woman whose name was randomly given to me would have been a Christian--a woman who, just weeks before her death on Flight 93, said, "I don't know why, but I feel so ready to meet the Lord!"

Here I was thinking that I could somehow be a blessing by memorializing Jean Hoadley Peterson, but just reading about her has ended up blessing me.

Today I commemorate Jean Hoadley Peterson, who died along with her husband Don Peterson in the crash of Flight 93, the only terrorist-infiltrated flight on 9/11/2001 that didn't reach its intended target.

Jean Hoadley Peterson as a young nurse

Her husband's Bible found

Several days ago I posted about the fact that I had been assigned Jean's name as part of the 2,996 project. I was amazed to get this response from Donna-Jean, a fellow blogger from New Jersey:

"Cindy, I know about Jean Hoadley Peterson. She and her husband Don were believers in Jesus Christ. They supported my uncle's evangelistic ministry here in New Jersey, that's how I first heard about them. They were very generous and supportive.

"Don and Jean were a retired couple, involved with Community Bible Study in their Jersey shore home; Don was a Teaching Director. They were the only married couple on Flight 93; they left behind six grown children and one grandchild.

"Don's dog-eared NIV Bible was one of two Bibles found at the crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In the Bible was his Community Bible Study lesson from Luke, with his answers written in."

She then referred me to this article about the Petersons, which includes a picture of Don's Bible. I encourage you to follow that link as well and learn more about Jean and her husband.

I was amazed. Out of all the names I could have been assigned, I was given the name of a fellow believer...a woman who, like me, believed in a hope beyond the grave. A woman who was a follower of Christ and a believer and lover of His Word.

Jean as a young woman

So who was Jean Hoadley Peterson?

Jean was 55 years old when she died in the crash of Flight 93. She was a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a registered nurse.

According to the Wall of Americans website: "Mrs. Peterson was born in Evanston, Ill., and grew up in Lancaster, Pa. She received a nursing degree from the University of Rochester, and a master's degree in education from Columbia University. She, too, was deeply involved in church ministries and was a member of Community Bible Study in Spring Lake [New Jersey].

"'She did everything in a very quiet way, never expecting anything in return,' said her daughter, Jennifer Price. 'She was a devoted mother, and after we grew up she devoted her life to helping other people's children.'"

"... she dedicated herself to helping others. The number of people my mother talked to in one day was amazing." --Jennifer Price

"The couple married in 1984 and are survived by six children. David, Hamilton and Royster Peterson, and Jennifer, Grace and Catherine Price.

"Mrs. Peterson is also survived by her parents, Walter and Virginia Hoadley; her brother, Richard Hoadley; and granddaughter, Charlotte."

Along with leading Bible studies, Don and Jean traveled with church friends to help a mission in Santa Lucia, and Jean volunteered at the Helping Hands Pregnancy Center in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

According to this article, "On Sept. 11, they'd planned to take a later flight to a family reunion at Yosemite National Park, but at the airport seized a chance to switch to less-crowded Flight 93. Their memorial service drew nearly 1,000 people they'd worked with, helped or counseled and had to be moved to a larger sanctuary nearby."

I regret deeply that the earthly lives of Jean Hoadley Peterson and her husband were cut short by the tragedy of 9/11. But I celebrate the 55 years that she lived on this planet, and how she blessed and influenced those around her.

And I rejoice that I will meet her someday in heaven.


The 2,996 tribute to Don Peterson can be found here.

More on Don and Jean Peterson

A loving memoir of Don Peterson

Many thanks to Donna-Jean Breckenridge for her invaluable direction in this tribute

Thursday, September 06, 2012

I have some bookfessions to make...

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

So, I hear today is National Read a Book Day...and what better time to share some Bookfessions with you?

I recently discovered a Tumblr blog that's obviously written by someone who is a kindred spirit to me, when it comes to all things books and reading.

It's Bookfessions...and it mainly consists of numbered thoughts and sayings about the author's love of books and reading.


Here are just a few Bookfessions.  Head over to her blog (this link will take you to a full archive), and if you're like me, prepare to relate to and identify with almost everything!

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Saturday, September 01, 2012

When I went to a British school

(Once again, I'm delving into the archives! Originally posted 9/9/11)

As I've mentioned before, my parents were missionaries in Beirut, Lebanon, for a couple of years when I was a little girl in the mid-60s. I recently dug up some things I wrote reminiscing about my time there. Here you go:

Manor House School

Manor House was very near our first home--in fact, in clear view of our balcony. It was situated in a building the color of manila paper, with green trim. I was once told that the bulding had formerly been a nunnery.

It had about four stories, and was very plain inside, with small classrooms and none of the bright artistic decorations I was used to in my American schools.

The students wore uniforms--the girls my age dressed in gray pleated skirts, gray V-neck pull-overs, and white blouses. All I remember about the boys' uniform is that they wore short pants, which seemed to me very strange.

Portrait of the queen

I remember my first day. I sat in the lobby with my parents, facing a large portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. I was nervous, shy, and disoriented.

In time an older boy with a British accent escorted me to my classroom, with its teacher, a stout, dark-haired, middle-aged lady named Miss Diamond.

Gradually I became accustomed to Manor House School. the books were plain but not dull, with absorbing stories about people like Robin Hood and Little John. At Miss Diamond's instruction, I used a British accent when reading aloud in class, and became quite "fluent."

Miss Diamond was not unkind, but she was annoyed by my habit of saying "OK," and taught me to always respond with "Yes, Miss." She found my little Americanisms annoying, and did her best to rid me of them.

A large, jolly lady named Madame Augustine taught us French, which I learned to love. Arabic I found less fascinating, but I applied myself and learned the rudiments.

Miss Gardiner

My second year at Manor House started out calmly enough--until our new teacher from England arrived--Miss Gardiner.

Miss Gardiner terrified and awed me. She was stern, strict, overly puritanical in my opinion, and unkind. My classmates shared my terror of the large old lady with the iron-gray hair worn in a braid encircling her head and a round, bespectacled face.

I remember how it annoyed me when, after lunch, she would clean her teeth with her tongue. How she terrified me when she hit my best friend, Nadia Nash, for cheating!

Nadia was part Lebanese, part British, and spoke with a delightful French accent. Her mother was a popular French and music teacher at Manor House, and we were the best of school friends. I shared her tears over the humiliating corporal punishment Miss Gardiner had administered to her.

I was fond of reading books, which I kept on my lap away from Miss Gardiner's eyes. So you can imagine my horror when she punished Serena McClelland for doing that very thing! Serena was the beautiful child of Scottish missionaries. I admired her silky blond hair, fair skin, pink cheeks and blue eyes, and it hurt my very soul when she cried.

Math--what awful memories that word conjures! The students were far ahead of me in that area, and it seemed I couldn't grasp any but the simplest principles. Most of the morning lessons were devoted to math, so after lunch I could more or less relax.

Reading time

At this time I could sit in my class and listen to Miss Gardiner read. She was constantly reading aloud to us, and it was the only part of her teaching that I enjoyed.

She read to us of the history of Britain, and I was fascinated by the kings and queens--a fascination that continues to this day. She read Greek mythology and classic literature.

So I profited from Miss Gardiner's teaching after all. She helped instill and nurture in me a love of literature that grew steadily.

Manor House seemed like an odd school to me, but I know that much of what I am today was influenced by my time there. I've no doubt that my Anglophilia--love of all things British--took root at that time, and has never left me.

My fifth grade was spent at American Community School, almost an exact replica of a Hometown USA school. It was fun and interesting, but not nearly as much of a really different experience as was Manor House School.

(This was originally posted September 9, 2011)
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