Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
My other grandparents both died before I had a chance to know them. Grandpa C. died of a heart attack when I was just a year old. I'm told he loved children and enjoyed watching people. He was a practical joker and a stern disciplinarian. Grandma C. went to be with Jesus many, many years before when my own mother was just five years old. I know she loved Jesus and left behind a well used Bible. She struggled with health problems (heart/ lungs) and died of pneumonia in 1940. She left behind four small children.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Maybe I'll feel more "super" tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
When I was just 2 1/2 years old I got a baby sister for Christmas. Today is her 40th birthday so here are 13 random things that you probably already know about Priscilla .
1. Today she's 40, incase you missed that one.
2. Priscilla taught me how to blog.
3. She is a wonderful painter. (Check her art blog)
4. She took me to decorative painting classes 8 years ago.
5. She likes to sleep at my house.
6. She wants to take a vacation somewhere out west.
7. She would love a new digital camera.
8. She's taller than I am but she still looks up to me. (I think)
9. She walks faster than me because I have short fat legs.
10. She wear glasses. (or maybe contacts)
11. She was the tallest one in her 6th grade class.
12. She's not too hot on chile sauce.
13. She is both a big sister and a little sister.
I hope you have a great birthday, Little Sister! From your big sister.
Gotta go now, James and I are going out tonight!
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
We never had Christmas stockings at home when we were small. There were always plenty of gifts under the tree and Mom and Dad made the holiday special with their own traditions. Since Santa Claus didn't visit our house, we always opened our gifts on Christmas eve. Mom and Dad got to sleep a little bit longer Christmas morning and we were able to get up early and admire all the wonderful treasures we received with out having to wait.
When my husband was small Santa always left stockings on Christmas morning. From what I understand there were always oranges and pieces of candy along with whatever else Santa had on hand.
I remember my first Christmas stocking. It was lying at the foot of the bed when I woke up in the morning. We had gone to visit Grandmanita and while we were sleeping Santa had arrived and left us a sock full of goodies. I can't even remember what was in there, that didn't really matter, it was just the fun of receiving a stocking at all. I decided then that it would be a great thing to do with our own kids. Thus began our own Christmas stocking tradition. One year when money was a bit tight, we searched the attic and kitchen drawers and found all kinds of goodies to put in the stockings. We laughed at the looks on the kids faces because everything looked all too familiar. They laughed too and we had a great time. At least the candy was fresh.
When we moved into this house James made me a Shaker peg rack especially for hanging our Christmas stocking. It stays up all year but has nine pegs, one for each stocking. Originally we hung stockings for ourselves and our seven kids. Now that Beth and David are married we have added Adam and Leta, and have nine kids to fill stockings for. So, I am busy looking for candy and trinkets to fill up nine Christmas stockings. If I was really smart I would collect all through the year and have a whole bucket full of loot by the time Christmas came, but alas, I am a slow learner and must do all at the very last minute. Good thing for Walmart and Dollar Stores!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Some families have long standing traditions when it comes to the Christmas tree. Maybe they make it a family affair and set off for a tree farm to choose and cut their own tree each year. Possibly they pick out an already cut tree like the boy scouts sell. Maybe they buy a live potted pine that is planted outside after the holidays are past. We've been known, a time or two, to cut a scraggily little evergreen from our own back yard. (I recall Priscilla's horror one year when she saw our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree.) It's also quite fun to surprise your friends and family by "making" your own "artificial" tree from a log and some fresh cut pine boughs. Sometimes parents, especially grandparents, get tired of the yearly search and decide to go with an artificial tree; no needles to worry about, no watering of the tree, no wondering how to dispose of it afterward.
Yesterday we took a ride to Wilbert's tree farm and walked back to pick out our Christmas tree. It was a bright sunny day with a trace of snow on the ground and lots of mud. We chose a tree that has short needles. It isn't too tall for the ceilings and isn't too big around. It fits nicely in the corner we cleared in the living room. The kids hung the lights and now we are wondering how we have celebrated 25 Christmases together and have so few ornaments. Apparently the gifts underneath were more important than what was hanging on the branches. Ahh, a few dozen candy canes and some fake snow will fill it up quite nicely!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Lori made lists and each of us had a family member to buy a gift for. We collected candy and trinkets to make sure each child received a Christmas stocking. We had been assured ahead of time that Darius would have a Christmas tree for us even though he and his family typically celebrated Kwanza instead. When we arrived the tree was still absent and no one seemed in a hurry to get one. There were a few people who were quite opposed to cutting one down and so a compromise was arranged. Lee Anne set to work drilling holes in a log from the back yard and Ginger went about trimming the huge pine tree in the front yard. Talk about a Charlie Brown Christmas! Luckily, some of us brought strings of lights from home and we found all kinds of things of decorate our little tree with. We even made an angel from an old McDonald's toy.
I'll always remember Christmas in Colorado, not just because of the stomach bug that swept though the house, the drives up into the mountains, our trip to Focus on the family, or the day we walked through the shops on Pearl Street, but because it was such a special time with family who we don't often see. My children had a chance to meet aunts, uncles, and cousins they had never seen or couldn't remember and we had the special opportunty to be together once again before all the kids grew up and went their separate ways.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Well, I've ordered a few gifts and am thinking hard on the others. This weekend I'm hoping that we can get a tree and decorate it. Maybe that will help with the "lost" feeling I have had the past couple of weeks. I am always at a loss as to how to get into the Christmas spirit. Sometimes I feel as though I am wandering aimlessly and getting nothing accomplished at all.
My favorite husband put together and installed this mantle last weekend. The house is all decorated for the season and looking quite festive. I know that there are many houses that are lavishly decorated and the air is filled with anticipation but something is still missing. Where is Jesus in all of the excitement? Do they even notice He is missing?
Last year our church had a children's Christmas program. The program itself was very short but they had worked hard ahead of time on learning the parts and songs, painting the backdrops and building the props. Bethany's wedding was somewhat Christmas like too and we also had a Christmas piano recital for Ben and Hannah. They were all holiday happenings to look forward to attending but this year there isn't any children's Christmas program or piano recital so I'm thinking I may have to look around and see if I can find another Christmas celebration to attend. Any good ideas?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Yesterday afternoon I mixed up some dough for cutout cookies. Today we are cutting and baking shapes and tomorrow we will take some time to frost and decorate. Sara, Alysa, and Tyler all have a half day of school and I thought they might enjoy frosting cookies to take home.
This picture is Nathan back when he was about 5 years old and Gramanita did cookies with the kids.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
After a week of unseasonably warm temperatures, the cold weather is finally moving in. Yesterday we got another dousing of rain and if it gets very cold soon, we'll have a terrific skating rink out back. The wind blew hard all night long and it's rather chilly today but we still don't have any snow.
This afternoon Rachel and I went back out to the Craft and Antique Co-op, finished walking the bottom floor and then stopped at Wendy's for a Frosty. It was a nice relaxed time. I needed a chance to go out and relax with a friend. In this case my friend was also my sister. Thanks Rach, even though neither of us bought anything, it was a productive time for me.
Before heading home I did some shopping at Wegman's where I ran into my friend, Cindy. Funny thing is I had just seen her this morning at the post office where I rarely ever stop. Ever wonder how we can go for years without seeing someone and then run into them over and over in a rather short period of time?
Maybe the Lord is putting us back together after all these years... (Hey Cindy, if you're out there, leave me a comment. )
Thursday, November 30, 2006
This was our little guy in 1982. We went up to Crystal Beach, Ontario to spend some time with Grandmanita for the holiday and Jimmy got a stocking. I have no clue any more what was in there but he sure looks happy. My kids all love the Christmas stocking tradition and would be so disappointed if they didn't find one hanging there for them on Christmas morning. Good thing oranges take up alot of space and candy is fairly cheap! Stuffing nine (we have two kids married) stockings can get expensive. Does anyone out there have any wonderful holiday traditions that keep the cost of Christmas from breaking the bank?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This is me back when all I had to worry about at Christmas was finding out what was under the tree. Looks like I'm about 3 or 4 years old here. We probably took a trip or two to mid-town plaza in downtown Rochester to go shopping and walk through the Christmas tunnel at Sibley's. They had all kinds of life-size winter and Christmas scenes; snowmen, carolers, trees, churches, and probably Santas too. Santa Claus was at mid-town too but we didn't usually pay much attentiion to him. Mom and Dad preferred to tell us the truth about Santa and tried to keep the focus on Jesus. At home we watched all the old Christmas specials; A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (very scary!), The Little Drummer Boy, and of course, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Ahh, to go back and enjoy the holidays free of the rush and pressure!
Monday, November 27, 2006
This morning we took a ride to the library. We returned some books that were due and looked for a few more to bring home. Good children's books seem to be getting more and more scarce. (Or is that scarcer and scarcer?) There are "politically correct" books, smart-alicky books, and books that are just plain stupid in abundance. Books that teach good lessons and have Christian morals are getting harder to find. I'm thinking that I need to have a list of books to look for before I even set out, then maybe it will be easier to find something worth borrowing.
Today we checked out two of Shirley Hughes books (always wonderful!) and a few books by Margaret Wise Brown. I also found a cute book called Not Enough Beds (A Christmas Alphabet Book) by Lisa Bullard. It caught my eye because of all the crazy sleeping places they found for visiting family during the holiday. (Reminded me a little of our trip to Colorado four years ago.) I'm not giving up on visiting the library, our used to be one of the best before they cleaned out the old collection, but I think I will go better prepared and maybe visit more than just the one here in town.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
This is my second post today, unusual especially for a Sunday, but my mom is on my heart today. She was at church with Dad this morning but when we asked how she was doing she wasn't quite sure how to answer.
My mom was born 72 years ago in Rochester New York. She had a birth defect, spina bifida, but a rarer form where the effects are not quite so severe. The hole in her spine is high on her back, between her shoulder blades. She lived a normal life without any paralysis or other physical complications until she was in her sixties. As she has grown older her chest cavity has become rigid making it difficult to take a deep breath. Five and a half years ago she spent nine days in the hospital suffering from congestive heart failure and came home on oxygen. Those little green tanks are her constant companions whenever she leaves home. Now she is struggling to breathe again, tiring more easily and feeling her time here is coming to a close. I think she wants to prepare us but not scare us.
So what does one say to a parent who has always been there? How do you thank those who brought you home from the hospital, loved you more than life, spent countless hours caring for you, untold dollars providing for you, and offered up hundreds of prayers on your behalf? Is there a way to say "thank you, I love you, I don't want you to leave, but it's going to be okay" all at the same time? How do you let go and hold on at the same time? I've never done something like this before...
I know Mom has much to look forward to when she meets Jesus. She has so many family members waiting for her, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends... her own mother who died of pnuemonia when Mom was just five years old, her oldest sister who died at 19 in an automobile accident, her dear father, and my brother, Dan, her oldest adopted son who died when he was just 25. Yes, she has much to anticipate... and, come to think of it, so do we.
Letting go won't be easy, it isn't supposed to be, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus.
After dropping Joann off at her house, I took a detour toward Rachel's place and drove past the home of an old family friend (also my husband's cousin) and got distracted by all the cars parked in her front yard. Looked like a party so we decided to stop and say hello too. It was really family in from out of town, which is what I expected. We didn't stay long, just long enough to say hi and share a few old memories and laugh a little bit. Time is changing all of us but the memories remain...
Thursday, November 23, 2006
1. I'm thankful that God sent His son, Jesus, to this earth to die for my sins and rise again so that I can have eternal life with Him.
2. I'm thankful for Christian parents who taught me about the love of Christ and took me to church.
3. I'm thankful for a husband who loves the Lord and takes the time to read his Bible and pray for our family.
4. I'm thankful for children who are following in the footsteps of their Christian heritage.
5. I'm thankful for fellow believers who love and encourage us on this journey through life.
6. I'm thankful for prayer. It is a lifeline to our Savior.
7. I'm thankful for the Bible which God gave to us, a loveletter from our Creator.
8. I'm thankful for music, especially the old hymns and praise/worship music. It soothes the soul and brings us into His presence.
9. I'm thankful for the home God has given us. I am in awe each time I walk out the door and look around me. I don't deserve such a beautiful place!
10. Oh yes, I'm thankful for my sisters who are my lifelong friends, who know more about me than I want shared, and who love me in spite of myself. (... and my brothers too who taught me more than I can imagine or tell here.)
11. I'm thankful for a lifetime of learning. Who I am today and what I will become tomorrow all depends on how well I learn what God has to show me. What a humbling thought! He's far from finished.
12. I'm thankful for those "sandpaper" people who God has brought into my life to teach me patience, for the "different" people who God has used to teach me that my way isn't necessarily the best way, and for those "tough" people who God has used to show me that the love of Christ goes beyond my borders.
13. I'm thankful that the commercialism of Christmas can never squeeze Thanksgiving out of those who belong to Him.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I thought maybe some of you would like to stop by for a "spot of tea". Let me know what kind of tea (or other drink) you prefer and your favorite kind of cookie (biscuit). Ruth, you may drink water and not feel guilty in the least.
Hmmmm... what shall I have? Maybe some hot spiced apple cider and a fresh homemade molasses cookie. (Mom makes them best!) Anyone care to join me?
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The sun peeked through around 4:15 this afternoon, long enough to set a beautiful double rainbow in the clouds. A photo never does it justice, but we did try. I can't imagine never thinking of God and His promise when I see a rainbow. He is awesome and so are His promises!
It has been a very dark and dreary kind of week, not much help when one is feeling sleepy anyway. Last night I looked online to see if there is a connection between allergies and fatigue because I so often want to sleep through the months of September and October. This year I had been taking Clariton faithfully, and had not felt near as sleepy
until I got sick a couple of weeks ago and got lazy about taking it. I am trying to get back into the routine and hopefully this will cure my extreme sleepiness. I have much to do before the holidays hit and will never accomplish everything unless I can stay awake.
Of course all of that has nothing to do with the photo posted. This was the first time I held my newest nephew (at the wedding in Albuquerque). He is a very sweet little boy. We prayed hard last year for his safe arrival and are so blessed to have met him on our trip. We didn't expect them to be there. What a great surprise! New family members are always such a blessing whether they come in little packages or adult sized ones. I just wish we could all get together more often, 'cause I miss everyone so much!
Monday, November 13, 2006
Yesterday was a sleepy Sunday. Jim and I fell asleep on one couch and Beth and Adam went to sleep on the other. (Leta decided it would be cute to take our pictures.) Even Oreo thought it was time for a nap.
Today is also a sleepy kind of day; cool, rainy and overcast. We have a fire going in the woodstove and Hannah is taking a nap on the couch. Maybe I should catch a few winks too, before Troy wakes up... Yeah, good idea!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Happy 13th birthday to Benjamin! Oh, my goodness, now I have another teenager! I love teenagers, especially my own, so here are thirteen things about Ben.
1. He was born on 11-11 at 11:13 am. He was my biggest baby but didn't weigh anywhere near 11 lbs. 11 oz. (He was 9 lbs. 13 oz.)
2. This fall he realized his dream of flying on an airplane when we went to New Mexico. (He has yet to make it to Texas but, who knows, maybe it will still happen...)
3. He has always loved watching movies and still does.
4. His best friend when he was little was his sister, Hannah.
5. He loves cars and racing, and likes to watch Nascar on Sunday afternoons.
6. He used to follow me around and say, "Maaahhhmmm, I neeeeeeeed you!"
7. He needs a set of dums.
8. He is enjoying his scooter but the back porch just isn't big enough to practice all his stunts.
9. He likes fish and has his own small aquarium.
10. He can draw some pretty cool pictures.
11. His room is messy.
12. He doesn't care for math but can come up with some really neat stories.
13. He likes to make people laugh.
(Did I say 13 things? Ha! I meant 14.)
14. His name isn't really Bob.
I love you, Ben! I'm so glad you came to stay with us for a while.