Lexington Arboretum


A gorgeous but HOT day at the Arboretum. Despite that, and the fact that I haven’t taken photos for a long time and my feet started hurting, I got a few decent shots. Clicking in the center of the photo above takes you to my Flickr account where you can see larger photos. Otherwise just scroll through to check out some nice Arboretum finds!          Sincerely, Malinda

PS The colorful chairs are not at the Arboretum, just ended my day with them 🙂



National Anthem

Went to the FC Cincinnati Soccer game the other night…and as usual at most games, they played the National anthem (of both teams this time–we played Toronto). I am a little awkward with my phone but since I had never heard the Anthem played by a solo instrumentalist before, I finally got it together part-way and started recording.  Not used to really hearing the crowd sing. Hope you enjoy it  🙂

Sincerely, Malinda

Evan’s Graduation 2016

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,  plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Congrats to our nephew Evan Michael on his High School graduation! We are so proud of you, Evan, and all you’ve accomplished and know you will accomplish so many more great things in your very bright future. We know your momma has tears of joy watching over you now. You have made her (and your dad and all of us) so very proud. But the very best thing of all is that you have used well what God has given you through your upbringing and your gifts and talents. Best wishes at UK and in all you do in the future!!

Love Uncle Sean, Auntie Mel, Blake, Aiden, and Mitchell

The Easy Way To Make Perfect Sweet Tea

teaSo I’m gonna say it:

I Love Southern Sweet Tea. And Summer means SWEET TEA!

Now that I’ve lost all credibility with my British friends, I’m just gonna own it.

Living in the South, it was pretty easy to find decent sweet tea. Guess that goes without saying. But it was a bit more iffy to get decent tea when we lived in places like Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, or Kentucky. Even in Texas I had to *gasp* CHOOSE between sweet or unsweet in restaurants.

Anyway, seems like nowadays even most of the fast food restaurants East of the Mississippi have jumped on the brewed sweet tea bandwagon. And it’s really not that bad. But if you want bulk (gallons), last I checked, you have to go to the mom and pop or chicken places and pay some steep prices ($5+ per gallon). Or get the stuff in the grocery stores (still some steep prices) that tastes like it’s made from instant–blech.

So several years ago, I decided I had to be able to make it myself. And after some trial and error, I managed to find a combination that I thought tasted good, didn’t require boiling water so I could make it pretty fast, and cost less than 50 cents a gallon. And really the main reason I’m publicizing it is so my kids can never say they don’t know how to make it–the recipe is RIGHT HERE ONLINE–and we know that whatever gets posted online is there forever!

I will give you the amounts I use and you can adjust it to the sweetness you like. You can substitute some of the sugar with stevia (up to 1/4 cup), but I don’t recommend other sweeteners or a complete substitution. But that’s up to you.  Here’s the recipe–let me know how it works for you.

If you like this article, please like pass it on on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. (click the links below). Also, sign up to get my regular RSS feed so you never miss a new article! –>>>>

The Easy Way To Make Perfect Sweet Tea

5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 Gallon


  • 1 to 1-1/2 C sugar, to taste
  • 15 tea bags (I use orange pekoe cheapest kind I can find WITHOUT tags. It makes it so much easier--if you use tagless, use 15 double-sections)


  1. You will need two containers--a one gallon tightly sealed container (for me this is my serving tea jug for the refrigerator) and another container that holds at least a quart or so of hot water, no need for lid or seal.
  2. Fill gallon container with HOT tap water about 1/4 full.
  3. Pour in sugar, and swirl to dissolve. Let stand.
  4. Fill second container with HOT tap water, enough to cover all the tea bags. Let steep for 15-30 minutes. Not too long or it will get bitter.
  5. Again swirl the gallon jug to ensure sugar dissolution.
  6. Pour steeped tea into gallon jug. (Squeeze out tea bags too; discard).
  7. Fill remainder of gallon jug to top with cold water (filtered from fridge if you have it).
  8. Serve immediately over ice. YUM!

Can substitute up to 1/4 cup sugar with stevia.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin

Happy Summer!

Sincerely, Malinda




potholePotholes. There is nothing good about them. After all the freezing and thawing in winter, this time of the year, they’re awful.

I just had this thought…do you know someone who is always going 90 miles an hour….if they keep going fast, the road is relatively smooth because they skip over the potholes/troubles (or go over them too fast to really feel them). But if they slow down one eensy bit, the inevitable deep potholes in the road of life will stop them *wham* and swallow them whole?   Read more

Sincerely, Malinda

In My Hubble Opinion

Happy 25th Bday, Hubble!1512a-westerlund-1_custom-4f710e39ad74c6fec6947b1e0e626ed1527e8511-s1300-c85

So I was listening to a Morning Edition (NPR) segment this morning….as I often do in my job at the local public radio station. Geoff Brumfiel was interviewing Jason Kalirai, a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, where many of Hubble’s projects are managed.

He said something that really got me thinking….and you bet that can be dangerous. He was talking about the amazing things Hubble, in its near-perfect, unobstructed view of the universe, has helped us discover in the last 25 years. Here is the quote that caught my attention:deep field

“But for Kalirai, there is one image that really changed everything. In December of 1995, the telescope stared for 10 days at a tiny patch of apparently empty sky. The image it produced, called the Deep Field, revealed more than a thousand undiscovered galaxies. It made researchers realize that earth is even smaller than we thought. ‘We’re basically sitting on a rock orbiting a star, and that star is one of a hundred billion in our galaxy,’ Kalirai says. ‘But the deep field tells us that galaxy is one galaxy out of a hundred billion in the universe. I think Hubble’s contribution is that we’re not very special,’ he says.”

In my “hubble” opinion, there are two ways to see this…either we are small, extremely lucky, and insignificant in this vast universe, or we are very specifically meant to be here…

Or, maybe it’s both.    Read more

Sincerely,  Malinda

IDL TIFF file1512a-westerlund-1_custom-4f710e39ad74c6fec6947b1e0e626ed1527e8511-s1300-c85



Easy Dinners for Busy Weeknights–Part 1 Setting Up Your Kitchen

Easy Dinners for Busy Weeknights–Part 1

Setting Up Your KitchenPublication3

I am a disorganized, procrastinating, busy mom–not a chef, or even someone who likes to cook. In fact, I don’t enjoy it at all.  I have always dreaded the thinking, planning, and shopping that goes into preparing dinners, especially on busy weeknights. If only it were healthy and cheap to eat out every night…for convenience sake, I’d do it. Reality for most of us is that “healthy and cheap” is important, so eating at home is reality.Read more




Happy Easter–He is RISEN!

This Easter, our pastor was preaching on the text in John 16. He was, of course, speaking about resurrection and life after death. I had never heard this parable, but loved this illustration and decided to find it and share. Hope you enjoy it, too.


A Parable, by Y.M. Tuckachinsky

“An imaginative and telling analogy that conveys the hope and confidence in the afterlife, even though this hope must be refracted through the prism of death, is the tale of twins awaiting birth in the mother’s womb.Read more

Entire article can be read at  http://www.leaderu.com/articles/longing.html  




Faith-Filled Easter Crafts for School-Aged Children and Teens

When my kids were younger, it was pretty easy to come up with cute Easter crafts to do with them. As they got older, their interest in coloring and cutting waned. However, there was still much for them to learn about our Savior and they were able to much better understand object lessons and scriptures.

Though this is but the tip of the iceberg as to all the wonderful activities available, I have compiled some of our favorite crafts, activities, object lessons, and foods that help teach about the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. Please feel free to add your favorite in the comments section and don’t forget to sign up for my RSS feed in the right-hand column.

Crafts and Object Lessons that teach about the Resurrection and Easter:


Resurrection Eggs 1




Resurrection Eggs 2 Read more


Charity Spotlight–AngelFlight

There are so many great charities out there to help people. Thought I’d spotlight one that angelflighthelped my family over a decade ago and is still going strong.

My father, Shawn, suffered for several years from a very rare bone marrow disorder. He participated in special drug trials and took medications that needed regular monitoring, but the rarity of his disorder meant that his local hospitals could not help with most of his treatment.   Read more


Sincerely, Malinda