Friday, March 31, 2006

Everything Coming Up... Crocuses!

Well this has been a week of absolutely splendid weather. The skies have been blue, the sun has been shining, and soon the grass will be fresh and green. The sunshine makes me want to take the camera outside and get some pictures but as of yet they turn out mostly brown. No wonder God gave us the green grass and leaves on the trees, bright blue skies, and all those beautiful flowers for our fields and gardens. I am amazed anew every spring as the shoots and leaves push their way up through the ground. I love the little crocus flowers that brighten up our gardens this time of year. They put a smile on my face with their pretty colors and happy look.

I had a chance yesterday afternoon to stop up in the village and see Bethany before she went home from work. She ran up to me, gave me a big hug, and said, "I love you, Mom." I watched an elderly woman in smile and then say to me, "She's a wonderful daughter." I am so thankful for my kids. God has blessed me more than I could ever imagine. So anyway, Beth got me a glass of water with lemon and we sat and talked for a few minutes before I went back home. I miss having her here but I'm glad that she isn't too far away (and I love reading her blog too).

Well, it is another gorgeous day so I guess I had better go and enjoy it while I can. I hear that we may get some thunderstorms later this evening. Better pick up those leaves I raked out of the garden yesterday. This weekend we change our clocks for daylight savings time. It doesn't seem possible that it's time to change the clocks already, I'm having a hard enough time getting up in the morning.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Plenty of Sunshine

(Zippity Doo Dah!)

There is plenty of sunshine to go around today. Mmmmmm! Jasmine is laying out in the back yard just soaking up all that yummy vitamin D. It would be a great day to go for a drive but there are other things to attend to like finishing up that cleaning that I started the other day. I did get back to it after my rest but there is always more to be done. My own bedroom could use a good dusting. James wrote me a whole love note on the top of his dresser this morning! "Dear Darling, Dust thou love me?..." So, I must dust.

I made a scrumptious batch of strawberry jam this morning. The house smells like a jam factory now and it's making me long for a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Besides, it's lunchtime. Having berries ready in the freezer is nice because I can make jam at any time of the year. Maybe next time I'll make blueberry, I sure have plenty of those!

Well, enough being distracted from real life by this funny little machine. I must get to work before work is over and the guys come home to find the house a disaster and me sitting here tapping the keyboard. Oooo, that would not be pretty!

Little Sprouts Reaching Up

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Just Can't Stay Inside

Okay, my picture taking is over for today. I feel like "Snap Happy"; I run outside, take a few pictures, run in the house to look at them, and then run back out to take a few more. In the meantime, I did go to prayer this morning, take Ben to get his new glasses frames and stop at the library this afternoon, and... I managed to make supper too, just gotta get those biscuits into the oven. Our kids should be here after dinner as that is what we have been doing on Tuesday nights. Next week is our family dinner, I think. Well, it has been a beautiful day. I am tired but before you know it, it'll be tomorrow and I'll be out there taking some more pictures. Maybe someday I'll go out snapping with Shelly...

Little Flowers

Another gorgeous day! Had to get a shot of these little guys. They don't stay around for long and they're so pretty!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Feels Like Spring!

Another sunny day, bright and beautiful but still a little chilly, especially down here by the lake. The sunshine makes me feel like I need to get something accomplished so I started to clean my living room, dusting, vacuuming, straightening things up, but the room is so big that, as I am still fighting this cough, I am exhausted before I am near finished. So I took a little rest on the couch, had some lunch and will be back to cleaning as soon as I am finished here. I also hopped outside to take a spring photo, crocuses!

Joe and Dave returned last night from the deep south, sunburned and smiling. They have plenty of stories but I think I'll leave those up to them to tell... suffice it to say they are blessed and had a great time.

On Saturday evening we had a wonderful dinner with Beth and Adam. Such a fancy dinner! Adam is a great cook and Beth made a wonderful blueberry cheesecake for my birthday. Yum yum. We played a game of Apple to Apples and had some fun playing with Louis too. He is a wild one, but that's what makes him so much fun. Yesterday I stayed home from church with Ben and Hannah as they cooked fevers and layed on the couch. They are much better today and each have a cough just like me.

Well, enough boring stuff for now. Maybe while I clean I'll think of something more interesting to write about.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Another Day!

Today is another day! I am feeling much better although I am still coughing a bunch. No fever, so that is good. Last night, after the kids went to church, James brought pizza for him and me. Oreo thought it looked and smelled really good. He was watching James eat and then decided to come over and sit behind me on the back of the couch. I was taking a bite of pizza when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black and white paw reach out and touch my pizza! "Hey!" I yelled, "Get your paws off of my pizza!" He just looked at me and smiled. He really wanted a taste, but I didn't give him any. Cats don't eat pizza, that's what I say.

Friday, March 24, 2006

One Flu Into the Cuckoo's Nest

This me today, with the exception of the bucket. I am feeling quite yucky and this is the most time I have spent off the couch today, about 20 minutes. My tummy is okay, but I am hurting all over and have a fever. I am also coughing my fool head off! Good thing my kids are no longer tiny and are willing to do things like make me tea or bring me some toast. Too bad they ate up all my cough drops before I had a chance to get sick. Oh well, I get sick so seldom that I really can't complain (or at least I shouldn't complain). Tomorrow is another day...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An Update From the Gulf Coast

Dave called from Mississippi yesterday afternoon. He has a sunburn. There is a sense of awe in his voice when he speaks of the devestation. "It's been eight months, Mom, and you wouldn't believe it down here." The woman whose house they are working on says "it's like waking up to a nightmare every morning." The blessing is in having these groups of guys come down and offer their time and effort to help clean up and rebuild. It must be scary and unsettling to think of another hurricane season just around the corner. Yesterday I read of a relief worker in New Orleans who found a wad of hundred dollar bills hidden in the wall of a flooded out house. Even the woman who owned the house was in shock. They figure her father must have stashed the money there years ago, thirty thousand dollars! It is the only thing that survived the floodwaters. Awesome how God takes care of us in so many different ways. I'm sure this woman's father never imagined his family finding the money this way. Sometimes it is hard to trust the Lord to provide for my needs but deep down inside I know He is able.

A Time to be Born and a Time for a Birthday

It's hard to believe that forty years have passed since this birthday. So many years and yet such a short time. I can't remember turning two but I can remember bits and pieces of my third birthday and other subsequent celebrations. Now days a birthday just means I am another year older, well into my journey through life. It's kind of funny how our perspective gradually changes as the years go by. Any of us who are paying attention know that life doesn't last forever. I used to wonder at King David saying in Psalm 39 that our lives are as a vapor. As a child that is difficult to understand but there comes a day when all of us can relate to the brevity of life. Praise God there is more to life than what we have here on earth and with that perspective it is a little easier to remember that no matter what the world says, it really isn't about me, I'm not really "number one", and I don't necessarily "deserve it". The world is full of people who need to know that Jesus loves them, that He died for them, and that is really what matters.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An Old Friend

Today I dedicate my blog to an old friend. This is Katherine Von Bora, affectionately known as Katie, a good friend for many years.

Blogging has been rather lonely lately as most of you have been either busy or disinterested in writing. Maybe you have been distracted by all the wonderful weather we have been experiencing or are away on vacation. A vacation sounds rather nice actually, someplace warm and sunny with a beach maybe. Truthfully, I don't mind just staying here at my own house but I would prefer more springlike temperatures. I am anxiously awaiting seventy degree weather so that Hannah and I can go out and sit together on the tire swing after supper. Ahh, summer is really my favorite season! I can hardly wait...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Marching into Spring

Today is the first day of spring 2006! Hooray for spring. Now that the season has arrived we can only hope that we will soon have the weather to go along with it. We have been thinking for the past couple of months that spring and warm weather are right around the corner, but surprise! it's really still winter. A good joke on all of you (I won't be mentioning any names, Shelly) who thought that maybe spring had arrived early in January. Well, not to worry, it will soon be April and summer isn't too far off.

I was out to the store this morning and decided it would be a good idea to take an up-to-date picture of Grandma's house. Fast forward to 2006 and this is what we have. (Does anyone out there have a picture from all those years when it was stained brown?)

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it. Psalm 127:1

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mississippi Calling

Both Joe and Dave called this evening from Mississippi. All is well so far and they are currently at the base church in Jackson. I think they will be attending services there tomorrow and then heading out for Biloxi. They are excited and glad to be there to help. Joe says they have the only van without "Jesus" bumper stickers all over it. (They took James' work van down there.)

Friday, March 17, 2006

The House

Just a little house, not too fancy, not too big.
The first picture is taken in 1960 and the second in 1969.
A little house full of happy memories.

A Life Worth Living

O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and gray-headed,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
Psalm 71:17-18

Last night I was again looking at old slides, this time pictures taken in the six years before I was born. My parents were young, in their mid-twenties. They had just purchased their first house, one they would own for at least the next fifty years, a place where all of their children would grow up. My older brothers were just babies and then little boys. They went camping with Mom and Dad, just like my sisters and I did later. Mom and Dad took pictures of their friends and their friends children, my aunts and uncles and cousins, and other relatives too. Some pictures made me laugh or smile, some made me a little bit sad, and some amazed me by how different things look now. Our house grew from a little box with hardly any trees or bushes and a dirt driveway to a beautiful home with trees, bushes, flowers, and a paved driveway. Dad added a back porch, which later turned into our dining room, built a garage, an upstairs attic bedroom, and plenty of woodsheds to store the wood for our "new" old woodstove. Sometimes it's hard to believe its the same house! The neighborhood is changed too, of course. Children grew up, people moved away, and new neighbors arrived. It's all kind of bittersweet for me now. I look back and remember good times and happy days that are long past, part of what makes my mom and dad who they are today. There were sad and heartbreaking times too, of course, but they don't show up so much in the photographs, my grandfather's passing, an illness that almost took my father's life, my uncle's fight with cancer, and my brother's struggle with severe autism. Through it all Mom and Dad held on to Jesus, who was the only one who could carry them though. Looking at the pictures made me realize again, how brief life is and how much we should treasure all of the blessings God pours into our lives and how greatful we can be that there is more to living than what we see here on this earth. Thank God for the love of Jesus and His sacrifice for us! We can look forward to a better life in eternity with Him.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen!!!

Thirteen things about being a mom...
1. You learn how much your own mother really loved you.
2. You can stare at a sleeping baby for hours and never get over the wonder of it all.
3. The state of the world suddenly takes on a very new significance.
4. You always have someone to entertain you and make you smile.
5. You are finally proud of the accomplishments of someone else.
6. Your heart breaks when your children are hurting.
7. You find out that that you can be incredibly furious at someone and love them unconditionally at the same time.
8. No matter how many children you have, there is enough love to go around.
9. You can make a kid eat but you can't stop him from throwing up afterward..
10. You learn that changing diapers and wiping runny noses only make you love the children more.
11. The doctor's office can be like a home away from home.
12. Even though your kids grow up, deep inside your heart they're always your little ones.
13. Even though it seems as though those little people will never grow up, they really do, and then you wish you could go back to when they were little again, even if just for an hour or two.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Reason to Smile

I laugh when I look at this picture of myself. I must have been about 3 years old; a truly delightful child, as you can see. I really don't know what I was so mad about, my mom doesn't remember either, but I can almost actually remember being mad. Maybe I had just gotten up or something and wasn't quite ready to smile for the camera. At any rate, I certainly don't look very happy, or very lovable either. I guess we all have our days. It's a good thing most moms and dads have loved us inspite of our unwillingness to always be loving and cooperative. Mom and Dad may have gotten angry, but I always knew they loved me.

I'm so glad that God is that way with us too. He loves me no matter what because I belong to Him. His desire, of course, is that I live for and follow His will for my life. It's not always easy to know exactly what that is from day to day, but if I trust in Him, He will lead my steps. If I decide to turn away from Him and do my own thing, He will let me, but He will chasten me and draw me back too. He is alway ready and willing to accept me back when I am truly sorry for rejecting Him and His love for me. I pray that I would be more willing to follow Him and not put on the grumpy face when things aren't going my way.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Sun Did Not Shine

It is a typical March morning; grey skies, drizzling rain, and impending cold weather. We had an absolutely beautiful weekend though; blue skies, sunshine, and warm temperatures. I guess if the good weather falls on a weekend, we can be especially thankful because we have a better chance to enjoy it. Dave spent so much time outside on Saturday that he actually got a sunburn on his face and neck!

We had a blessed weekend. God is good. On Saturday evening we got together with my favorite sisters, their husbands, and all the kids for pizza and games, laughed way too hard, stayed up way too late, and ended up going to second service at church yesterday morning. Since we weren't going to church until the 11 o'clock service, James was able to call an old friend who we haven't seen in a while, and invite him to go to church with us and spend the afternoon afterward. "R" seemed happy to go and actually said it was a good message. We are praying hard for his salvation and enjoyed spending the time with him. Last night we all prayed for Josiah and his work situation. He is planning to go to the gulf coast with a group of guys, including Dave, to help with hurricane Katrina clean up and rebuilding, but the restaurant doesn't want to give him the time off work. So we prayed for changed hearts there and that Joe will be able to go without anyone giving him a hassle. I really think it will be a great experience. Besides, it will be a great opportunity to experience a week of uninterrupted sunshine!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Spring in My Step

What a beautiful morning! The birds are chirping, the geese are honking (and actually flying somewhat north), and the sun is shining furiously. I love it. Today I am actually feeling awake. Soon the boys and I will be off to clean the Sunday school rooms at church. Hannah stayed overnight with Dave and Leta and I'm sure she will show up here eventually. I am atually feeling ready to do something (Can you tell I am amazed?) Jasmine is excited about spring too. She is spending more and more time outside soaking up the sunshine. Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful day!

(See, Shelly! I really am okay!!!)

Friday, March 10, 2006

I Don't Want to Wake Up!

Well, this has been a very tired week. I have a slight cold which is giving me a very dull headache and a stuffy face. I don't feel all that bad, I just can't seem to stay awake. Last night I finally took some cough medicine to hopefully help clear my sinuses. It did take the headache away but I still had to lay down for quite a while this afternoon. My poor house is feeling (and looking) neglected. It just needs a mother's touch, I think, and Mom hasn't been touching too many things that will actually get it clean. Today was much better than yesterday, so I'm looking forward to a good day tomorrow!

The Not-So-Sunshiney Day

This morning I woke up to sunshine and the seeming promise of a beautiful day, but surprise! the wind is blowing in some dark cluods and I think it's going to rain too. Such is the marvelous month of March. It is full of surprises.

This morning Ben and I will be headed out to the eye doctor in Sodus to have our glasses fixed. He needs a new stem and I lost the teeny, tiny screw that holds the lense in for my left eye. I am currently typing with one eye closed as my vision is thrown off by only having a glass for my right eye, This is how I used to read all the time before I got glasses. It wasn't much fun and it gave me a headache.

Bethany's and Shelly's blogs have inspired me to add a warm weather photo, a flower playing Peek-a-Boo! Have you ever seen such a thing?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Captain Marvel and the Not-So-Great Escape

What is it that makes boys want to accomplish the impractical, the improbable, and the impossible? Is it their sense of adventure? A test of skill and ability? Or just plain failure to consider the consequences? I laughed when I heard of how "Max", a very bright eleven-year-old, came to his mother with a shoelace one day and asked her to tie his wrists together. "It's for a game we're playing" he insisted. Very reluctantly she obliged his request. Not long after she heard a terrible crash, feared the worst, and wondered how on earth she could have done what he asked. She found him in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, banged, bruised, and presumably humiliated, but thankfully not broken. Not only were his wrists bound together, but his ankles were wrapped with duct tape. His explaination...He just wanted to see if he could get down the stairs that way. I guess he found out he could! He evidently never considered the possibility of broken bones or a trip to the emergency room, not to mention how his mom would ever explain to the doctors why she had tied his wrists together. I laugh because I have five boys who have also tried plenty of silly stunts, some with not so wonderful results. How do you explain why your son had a razor blade under his pillow, or how your son got that gash in his head just "throwing rocks in the lake"? Such are the escapades of boyhood! My father still laughs at his own stunts 65 years later. He says it was a wonder he and his brother weren't killed, but he's smiling as he says it. There is something absolutely intriguing about a boy. I love them in spite of the fact that so often I walk away shaking my head in disbelief. They bring an excitement and sense of wonder into the world. Thank you, Lord, for boys. Hmmmm....I wonder who it was that held the duct tape?

"Caution: Cape does not enable user to fly."-Batman costume warning label

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

March of the Birthdays

March of the birthdays? Hey, why not? Here they come, one after the other. This is me on my first birthday. I sure look like a sober-faced baby! I couldn't have been all that unhappy, after all, that is cake in front of me. I obviously don't remember this birthday, but I do remember turning three and having Hey Diddle Diddle on my cake, or was it Humpty Dumpty? Oh my! My memory fails me! Anyway, back to the March... What a great month to be born in. You get a little bit of winter (maybe a blizzard), a little bit of spring (maybe an ice storm), some sunshine and some rain. I alway loved having a birthday on the second day of spring. Some March people get a special celebration every year; people wear green, have parades, and change their last names to things like O'Mrugalski or McBeaujon. How fun! Then there are those of us who were born on a truly special holiday, like Palm Sunday or Easter. Yes, they actually used to show up in March on occasion. So... if you are thinking of changing your birthday, consider March. It's a great month.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ladybug, Ladybug

Spring is in the air. The sun is shining and it sure LOOKS like it should be warm outside. (I don't think it is but it sure looks nice.) Yesterday I saw a ladybug crawling up my bedroom window, a sure sign of spring, right? In March it is okay to look forward to lots of sunshine, warm weather, and ladybugs. I'm so glad that God promised to keep sending the seasons in their order. Even though we may see unusual patterns and ask, "What's going on with the weather?" the seasons will continue to follow one another. Awesome! I can't wait until I can walk outside without my winter jacket. (See, Shelly, I'm not totally off my rocker.)

This morning I am off to Ladies' Prayer again, and also to the grocery store, it's family dinner night. (Stress, stress!) I am more and more amazed at how God answers my prayers, even when I wasn't necessarily looking for an answer. I like to picture Him smiling down at me as I stand in awe, kind of like we look at our own children. Anyway, I am encouraged today, even if pulling off dinner for twelve people is a little overwhelming.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Curious, George?

You may have noticed that my blog has undergone a few changes today. At the advice of someone dearly loved, I will be deleting some entries that may give away a little bit too much information. As much as I would like to think that no one with bad intentions would ever be interesting in looking at my blog, or even worse, trying to find me or someone I love, I suppose I need to be more careful. At times it is difficult to remember that there is actually a very wicked world out there. I have always wanted to believe that the world is a nice place and that those who wish harm are far away from me and my family, but that isn't necessarily true. I love blogging and really would like to continue, so I will try to be a little more careful with my information and, in the meanwhile, I have printed out those deleted entries to keep in a book. They still make me smile, especially all the comments from people I love. So,.... keep checking back, I haven't disappeared quite yet!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Don't Look Back

This afternoon, I am looking forward, forward to spring and all the wonderful things it brings. (Hey that rhymed so much it's almost scary.) I am looking forward to ...
1. the peepers and their wonderful night time song
2. fresh green grass
3. flowers, especially those salmon colored tulips
4. laundry hanging on the line
5. lots of warmer days
6. birds singing in the morning when I wake up
7. eating on the back porch
8. no winter jackets
9. rain, into every life some rain must fall (or spring)
10. tractors in the orchard
11. mowing the lawn
12. planting the vegetable garden
13. Mr. Conner coming home from Florida

(and Easter candy too)

Time Marches On

Well, February 2006 is now history. March is here and with it come new possiblities. I have a new project I am working on. At the inspiration of my sisters' excitement over Saturday's "Looking Backward" blog entry, I have decided to sort through the slides our parents collected over the years. They bring back so many great memories and make me smile and laugh out loud. We were truly blessed to grow up in that home with two wonderful parents who loved Jesus and shared His love with us. As I began looking through the pictures last night Hannah's comment was, "You went camping a lot." (No wonder half of Rachel's memories were of camping. I think she camped over half of her childhood days.) It seems that the camera came out most at Christmas and when we went camping, although there are plenty of other photos too. So much fun! I'm sure I am going to need some help to decide what pictures we want to save onto CD's and what to leave in the box. Any volunteers to come watch a slide show?