The Alburn Family

bunches of bananas: love, kids, & life with christ

   Aug 03

Tell me…

Would you rather…

be unable to talk


be unable to walk?

   Aug 01


2 Thessalonians 3:16

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you

peace at all times and in every way.

The Lord be with all of you.”

   Jul 30


Who are these mysterious little people and how did they get in my house?

   Jul 27

Remembering my Dad

Originally written July 2006.  Re-posted, now five years after my dad’s sudden death on a missions trip to London.

One year ago on this day, I was taking my dad to the airport. I met him at his office just before eight o’clock and we “talked t-shirts” as he ordered a few dozen shirts for a surprise I was planning for my husband’s 25th birthday. He got the rest of his things together and locked the door to his office. Dad grabbed his yellow backpack and a long red bag from his truck and placed them in the back seat of my car. As we traveled north on I-5, I asked questions about his plans in London. He would meet a group from Minneapolis on their way to England for a prayer and evangelism trip. Dad had spent time in East London with Tom and Barbara Ward’s ministry to Pakistanis, so he would provide leadership and experience as the missionaries hosted the group.

My mom and dad’s interest in the missions field spurred them to take a few trips each year, to be a part of the work missionaries were doing and gain insight to report back to our church. Dad was scheduled to be in London for 10 days, and he and my mom also planned a trip to Senegal, Africa later that fall. Because they traveled frequently through the year, it was not unusual for mom and dad to forget to give us the details of their trips, and Dad’s trip to London was much the same way.

We chatted about a variety things during most of the drive, and watched the morning sun come up over the fields and trees lining the freeway. Dad reminded me to watch my increasing speed as we came into a 55-zone. He was looking out for me, but also communicated the importance of following the law. (In his early twenties, my dad had been a driver’s education instructor, and he didn’t hesitate to support safe and careful driving!)

Nearing the airport, dad instructed me to go into the lower area for international arrivals, rather than battle the crowded morning departure traffic. I slowed as we approached the curb by the terminal entrances, and then hopped out to help dad get his bags from the back seat. I asked, “Are you sure you have your passport and everything you need?” He chuckled, answered yes, and gave me a quick hug. I told him that I love him and hoped he would have a good trip. Then Dad handed me twenty dollars, suggesting I should stop at Krispy Kreme donuts on the drive home. Dad smiled back to me as he strapped his yellow backpack on his shoulder and wheeled his bag away, into the airport terminal.

Remembering Doug West

   Jul 25

Thumbprint cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 1  1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup strawberry (or your favorite) jam

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add egg yolk and almond extract.  Mix until completely blended.

4. Add half the flour at a time and mix on low speed until smooth and blended.

5. Pinch off a small piece of dough about the size of a quarter.  Roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet.

6. Lightly press thumb in the ball’s center, leaving a cup-like indentation.  Space cookies about 1 inch apart.

7. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon jam.

8. Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cookies completely cool, jam can be very hot.

   Jul 23

8 random things about me

1. I am moderately scared of the dark.  But I only sleep well when it is totally dark.

2.  I’ve never mowed a lawn. (shameful, I know!  Makes sense that we don’t have a lawn yet at my house)

3.  I like peanut butter smeared on a tortilla, then folded in half.  And I like peanut butter on a tortilla even better with bananas and honey… Mmm.

4.  My “big” toes are BIG.  All the other piggies are very small.  The second toe is actually shorter than the third toe.  I’ve felt weird about my feet pretty much forever — until one day not long ago, while visiting family in AZ, my aunt Susan squeals, “You have my toes!” and my cousin Jonathan (different aunt’s son) has the toes too.  Apparently he secretly thought he was adopted because his toes didn’t “match” the rest of his family.

5.  I really wanted to be a Girl Scout.  I felt so left out in elementary school because of this.

6.  Love, love, love thrift stores.  (Not so much garage sales.)

7.  My first money-making experience was at age 6.  My friend and I sat on folding chairs in front of a huckleberry bush with a sign that said “5 cents each”.  The teenagers at camp actually paid us money to pick their own tart berries…

8.  Favorite book I read in college?  Fahrenheit 451.

   Jul 21

Fun with Colored Water

We used:

  • empty sink
  • containers, a funnel, mixing cups & spoons
  • water
  • food coloring (one or two drops each color)

Abigail loved this activity and was entertained for a surprisingly long period of time.  She asked for several days to play in the sink again.  (Keeps Mama motivated to stay on top of dish washing!)  The next time she requested the activity, I plugged and filled the sink with a few drops of blue food coloring and she had just as much fun.

   Jul 20


Abigail @ 11 mos, 2008

Mornings…. hmmmm.

Do I wake before my kids?  Do I snatch Bethany out of the girls’ room first [risking waking Abigail] or try to shower quickly before going in their room?  Do I put the baby back to bed after feeding, hoping to get a few more peaceful moments?

Ugh… decisions!  I’ve opted for early bedtimes, and I’m choosing accept the early mornings as normal, letting them unfold as they please.

   Jul 19


Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with

all joy and peace as you trust in him,

so that you may overflow with hope

by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

   Jul 16

Crayon Rubbings

We used:

  • coins, keys, leaves
  • paper
  • crayons with paper peeled off

Good cheap fun!

A little bonus is finding other things with textures.  We tried patterned linoleum (final pic).