Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another Christmas Past (1982)

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

The Ghost of Christmas Past (c. 1967?)

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

A Trip to the Library

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

Thinking of Mom

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.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Sunday!

Well, the longest weekend of the year is coming to an end. Thursday was a great day with family (yes, we did a puzzle too), Friday I watched Sara and Alysa, and yesterday I went out to a craft show and the Craft and Antique Co-Op with Hannah, Bethany, Beth's mother in law, and my sister Rachel. It was really very nice to go out with "the girls". (Priscilla, we need to grab a day too!) I didn't spend much but it was fun.

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

Thanksgiving Thirteen

Thirteen things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving...

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Something in the Air

Either there is something sleepy in the air or people just feel really relaxed at my house. This is how I found Bethany when I came back from picking Joe up at work last night.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Cup of Coffee?

I had an actual visitor this morning, but she arrived rather sleepy and needed to take a nap before drinking her cup of coffee. Yes, Priscilla was here today...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Spot of Tea

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

Remembering a Promise

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!

In the Dark

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

A Sleepy Sunday (and Monday too!)

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

Another Birthday!

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.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Jasmine was rather excited this afternoon. I think the crisp air and crunchy leaves had something to do with it. She was tearing around like a wild animal and wearing herself out. Good thing she didn't run into me or I would have been flattened! She's kind of like a bullet on three legs. She sure can move fast!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No Time to Sleep Today

No headache today! I'm feeling much better, good thing because today I have a house full of kids. No school due to a superintendents conference. Troy's brother is here as well as Sara and Alysa. It will be a busy day.

Fall is well settled in now and though some trees hold on to their leaves until the snow flies, most are looking rather cold and bare. Winter isn't far off.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Still Sleepy

Today I took a nice long nap on the couch. My headache is still hanging on and making me very sleepy. I could hear Ben and Hannah reading stories and playing with Troy. They gave him his lunch and put him down for his nap too. What great kids I have!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Feeling Kind of Yucky

Today I am feeling tired and yucky. I thought my cold was going away but yesterday I got a sinus headache and it just wants to hang on and make me feel slightly sick. My eye and cheek are achy and I want to go to sleep so when Troy takes a nap I will be laying down too.

The picture is of me when I was a little person, small enough to sit in a basin and not hang over the edges. I look somewhat sleepy here too and the jammies look very comfy. Jammies sound good right now but I think it's probably best if I don't put those on until bedtime... Guess I'll have to make do with my pillow and a nice warm blanket instead.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby Sister!

Today is my baby sister's 38th birthday. (How did she get so "old" already?) Don't worry, Rachel, no matter how old you get, you'll always be my "baby" sister. And because I love you so much, here are some of my memories of you.

1. As a toddler you got lost in Sears . Since you were unable to say who you were, the woman on the speaker was only able to describe you, "a little girl with curly, red hair wearing..." Funny we never thought of your hair as red, just slightly strawberry blond.
2. You were once kindergartener walking down the school hallway wearing a white blouse with pink cherries and matching pink pants. You had long "strawberry" blond hair in a ponytail. I remember thinking what a pretty little girl you were.
3. Then there was unforgettable event of you startling the woman coming out of the Ladies' bathroom when we were camping (you thought it was us) and her saying, "I didn't think that was very funny, actually!" We thought it hilarious!
4. I recall thinking you got away with things and were spoiled because you were the youngest. (Isn't that just typical for an older sibling? I know better now.)
5. I remember passing several of my babysitting jobs on to you as I got older and you grew old enough for the jobs.
6. How about how you teased and laughed at my kids, especially Jim and Dave, when they were really little. I told you that when you had kids it would be my turn to torment them. (No wonder you never trusted me to babysit!)
7. What a beautiful bride you were and what a wonderful time we all had at your wedding. (Who married the Butt-head. you or Dave?) Thank you so much for including us in the wedding party and celebration.
8. I remember when you turned 30 and I thought "oh no, my baby sister is turning 30, I must be getting old!" It was harder to see you turn 30 than it was for me to reach that wonderful age.
9. I had always hoped to share the joy of having children with my sisters. I was so glad to find out you were pregnant with Steven when I was with Ben.
10. Finally, I have loved becoming friends as adults. It's a whole new experience from what we knew as children. I remember you being born, but I don't ever remember being without you. You are one of my few "forever friends". Thanks for being there!

Happy Birthday! I love you!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sleepy Days

I've decided that I have caught a cold and that is what is sapping my energy. When I lay down to sleep there is a tickle deep in my throat and it just won't let me sleep, therefore, I have had a tough time catching up with myself. Last night I had to get up and find some cough medicine so I could sleep so James could sleep. I think I was keeping him awake with my "barking". Now that Troy is down for a nap, the house is quiet. Maybe it's time to settle down for a nap myself.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Potty Tipping

This lookes like a Halloween prank but I don't think so. Yesterday we went for another walk. It was such a beautiful day for the end of October, temps up in the 60's and sunny too. We had some wind over the weekend which helped bring in the warmer air and also blew over this portable toilet out in the orchard. Hmm... I feel kinda bad for whoever is responsible for cleaning that toilet. Hope it didn't get used too much!