Saturday, January 31, 2009
Yesterday dear hubby began the process of laying wood floors over at our daughter's house. The children are always right my grandpa's side which leaves little room for me to help. They are all so precious and love spending the time together. I know it will look wonderful when completed. Today we are supposed to have warm weather in the 50's which will make the work go easier-windows will be open and the nice breeze will fill the rooms. I'm so excited that soon daughter and her family will have a brand new clean living,dining and kitchen area. As for hubby and myself, we like nothing more than working on projects with our family.
Have a wonderful fun filled weekend.
Friday, January 30, 2009
What is your favorite restaurant and why?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
As far back as I can remember being Irish was of the highest importance to my parents; especially my mother. Her father was born in County Kerry and her mother was born in County Longford.
From what we know they immigrated to the United States while in their 20's, their families probably looking for a rich new land after having gone through the results of the potato famine. The details are sketchy and much is unknown including how they came to know one another. I will say though that most cultures were a tight knit group of people and being that they settled in San Francisco I can only assume this is where they met. My mother had a brother and a sister and lived most of her life in San Francisco until heading to Palo Alto with my father and our family. I never met my grandparents and from my recollections my grandfather died when she was in her teens and her mother was an invalid. Mom took care of my grandmother who died a year after her father and also cared for her brother and sister. Mom often said her mother had an usual sense of humor which I believe she passed on to my Mom as well as to my brother.
While I was growing up Mom had to work full time and was often tired when she got home thus making it taxing to care for a very hyper little girl. My fondest memories of my Mom were of her trying to teach me how to do a "jig". Often Mom would slip into a brogue and when I was in college while visiting Canada many thought I was from Boston due to my pronunciation of certain words...which I felt came from Mom. Many of the stories I grew up hearing and believing revolved around Leprechauns and Banshees as well as "plates dancing on the walls due to the little people". My brother and I often laugh about this now wondering if it was the Irish Whiskey that influenced what my grandparents saw. Every year on St.Patty's Day Mom would put on green clothing, green plastic shamrock earrings and wear a Kelly green plastic hat. My dad always sent her green carnations for this was how they celebrated the day. Of course we always ate Corned Beef and Cabbage, although I think this is more of an Irish-American dish.
One of Mom's daily habits that imprinted on my heart and impacted my life was a life of prayer. Every morning I could find her kneeling by the side of her bed praying over each of us.
My brother has so many of my Mom's traits, a wonderful sense of humor, an incredible work ethic and deep loyalty to family and friends. I like to think I carry some of her traits as well~a bit of moxie, a tad bit of stubbornness and of course deep loyalty to family and friends. I never knew her as an adult but I know her "Irish eyes are smiling" down at me.
Today is the anniversary of her death 34 years ago, it is in her honor that my post was written.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
So one of the traits of being Irish is that I am very gullible. I was always extremely proud of being Irish and often, in my youth, looked down on other people who didn't have a lineage to speak of. I still can't believe how horrid I was at times! God's grace certainly changed me. By the time I had children of my own, my Irish ancestry was important but had taken a back seat to my Christian ancestry. My lineage was in a Jewish Carpenter named Jesus and that was all that mattered.
Every waking moment and breathe I took was consumed with learning more about His love letter to me and teaching my girls about Jesus and His Word. From the time they could sit for stories our stories were from the Word. When they were in school, we would walk to school singing children's praise songs. At night they would drift to sleep listening to Psalty, GT&the Halo Express, the Music Machine or other tapes.
When my side of the family got together there was always lots of fun and jokes that went on. You see, somewhere in southern Ireland is a castle-or so legend tells-that is named after my maiden name. I haven't been to Ireland yet but have been told, it is right next to the dump.
There were lots of teasing about the stories I grew up believing and we always laughed til we cried. I love my heritage and hope someday to get to the Old Country and visit, see the hills my grandparents were from but I love my Heritage more...my lineage in Him. I still love to sing praises with my grandkids whenever we are together and I pray the memories they have of me are ones that touched them for Jesus.
Tomorrow is a special memory day for me and I'll be sharing more of the stories I grew up on.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Saturday evening the snow began and lasted through late yesterday afternoon. We didn't get much more than a few inches but it was heavenly. We've had a normal winter for this area; a bit of snow here and there that lasts for a few days. Last year was heavier than normal but not as bad as two winters ago when there were back to back blizzards.
We are blessed to live in an area of Colorado that isn't hit with snow as much as the Rockies. For those of us still adjusting it is perfect and we love it. I so appreciate all wheel vehicles though; yesterday we dropped my car off at the shop for repairs and we got a rental car. Cute little car-a Malibu but dear hubby said it felt like he was on a roller skate driving it. There was no traction whatsoever and I am thankful we were able to park it in the garage where it will stay until we take it back. At least hubby's car is all wheel drive, otherwise I probably would be housebound until the roads were clear.
The beauty of the snow thrills my heart and make a reflect on several verses from one of my favorite Psalms.
"Purify me with hyssop and I shall be clean; Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."
"Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
"O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Thy praise."
Photo: A lake in our area...
Monday, January 26, 2009
In all of our lives we have those around us that don't deserve kindness, forgiveness, mercy but when we live that, we are serving our Lord. We have our own mission field, we don't need to go someplace else to serve or to teach or minister~the Lord wants us doing these things right where we are. A pretty basic principle but one that we need to be reminded of on a regular basis.
Be blessed this day!
Friday, January 23, 2009
So it should be no surprise when I got so excited that new hardwood flooring is being delivered to my daughter's house across the street today. I felt like a kid in a candy shop! This means that this weekend we will all begin the process on pulling up old awful carpet and next week begin laying the hardwood with them. Yippee! Of course I may not be as involved physically as I once was but I'll be there just the same, probably watching the grandkids. I'm also looking forward to painting once we get our house.
Have a fun weekend, whatever you do!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Almost four years ago I was blessed to hospice my older sister during her final seven months of life while she battled cancer. It was definitely one of the most difficult times in my life but also one so very precious and so filled with the grace of the Lord. Even as I write this and remember back to those days, the tears come. At the time I choose to focus on the particular day and not look forward for I knew what lie ahead and in order to walk through it I had to embrace each day as it came. I am not saying I didn't stumble, for I did, my girls can testify to that but I couldn't think about "how long" she had, it was simply too painful. Having lost our mom when I was 21 and still a brat(sorry to be blunt but it was true), my sister stepped into the role quite easily. Her battle with cancer had started almost eight years earlier and she outlived the statistics, she was such a warrior. When that dreaded final prognosis came from her oncologist, I remember sobbing and sobbing. A change came over her personality, knowing each day could be her last, a new softness and mercy came into her. I truly believe it was the Lord's refining that changed her those last few months. I well remember her looking at me that day, after the doctor's appt., telling me how much she loved me and then using the analogy of a going on a train ride-she'd just get there before the rest of us. Oh, how I miss her. During those days, she got quite adamant with me about not crying all the time, not being sad and just enjoying the time together we had.
Several months into her final walk, we spent the night together~she would get up in the night and want to have ice-cream and visit because she couldn't sleep. As much as my spirit was desiring this, my flesh was weak and I remember getting so upset with her cause I was so tired.
So as sisters can, we would drive each other nuts at time although I'm sure she was much more patient with me than I was.
One of our favorite expressions during this journey was "Whenever possible embrace life" and one of her favorite songs was "I hope you dance". When I hear that song now it still moves me to tears. I remember hospice telling me it was a gift to be able to walk through my sister's last months with her and at the time I thought "this is not a gift". Afterwards I knew it was and I'm so thankful my dear hubby agreed to have me quit work to help her.
A short year later, I helped a dear sister in the Lord walk this path with her husband. I wasn't as involved because I was back to work but I was blessed to be there the night he went home to glory.
These two events have made me look at life differently, to cherish every day and to try to embrace all that we face.
Many people today are facing such difficult trials; job losses, cancer, uncertainty for the future
and I know it isn't easy while you're walking through it but know there is One whom desires to take your hand and if necessary carry you. Take His hand today.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I was a "surprise" child born into a very Irish Catholic family; my mother was 39 yrs old and a working woman. This was during the time when woman were always homemakers and children were born in their youth. I had an older sister and brother who were blessed to have our mother at home while they were young. As a child, I never understood the whys behind my mom's needing to work and it was truly a need. There were many friends around me who had their moms home so I did witness many normal relationships; I just didn't have one. My mom was not in the best of health and by the time she got home from work each day, she simply did not have the energy or patience to deal with a active child. My dad worked in a grocery store and his hours meant he was often out of the house in the evenings, thus leaving the burden of caring for me on my mom. My moms' parents both died while she was young so she didn't have a strong example of mothering either. During this era mother-daughter relationships were not like they are today. Mom and I were never close; I resented her working and I was alone so much I resented not having siblings to play with. As I got older, I went through years of rebellion with my mom but my dad and I were extremely close. My mom tried her hardest with me and one of my biggest regrets over the years was that I did not treat her with honor.
When I was 21 my mom suddenly had a stroke which led to her death. I can honestly say it took me many long years, probably ten, to work through the complexity of our relationship and repent of my sins against my mom. When I came to Christ many years ago, I realized for the first time that He was using my childhood to make me into the mom I am today-and back then it was quite a bit of work He had to do. I truly missed the closeness that I saw other mothers and daughters share and I poured myself into my daughters, working on that relationship with them.
Throughout my married life I have been so blessed but having such a tight bond of friendship with my two girls. If there is one thing I could pass on to others it would be to cultivate those family relationships whether it is mother-daughter, mother-son, father-mother, sister-sister, sister-brother, brother-brother. It is easy to get caught up in the business of life and have surface relationships with others but having a deep bond will bless you. Share what's on your heart on a regular basis, be it your hopes and dreams, or trials and concerns. Open your heart to those you love for you never know when you might not have the chance again. There were so many things I wish my mom and I could have shared and I didn't have that chance.
When my girls were in high school, a homeschooling family that we knew experienced a tragedy that impacted our family. The mother and daughter were having a disagreement about something and although they were very close the daughter left for her job without saying goodbye and giving her mom a hug. On the way to work that summer day her little VW bug was hit and run over by a Costco truck, instantly killing the teen. The shock waves rippled through our community and the grief for that mom. She would never have the opportunity to hug her daughter again and say I love you. That summer day my family and I began a simple ritual that has become a pattern for life-whether in person or on the phone when we are saying goodbye we always tell the other that we loved them. I am so much richer by the lives of my girls; they are my best friends.
Is there a relationship that needs the balm of the Lord on it today? Prayerfully consider how you might reach out to that loved one, even if it is just in prayer.
Blessings on your heart today.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
In 1989 I lived in Cupertino Ca. and one October day my life was changed in an instant. We experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake. Although I was a California girl and had lived with earthquakes my entire life, this one was a major quake. I got through it but experienced what doctors call Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I know that the anxiety I experienced was nothing compared to what our Vets go through after serving our country in war but any unexpected vibrations of the floor or loud noise panicked me. The only thing I can say that gave me comfort, I found in the Word of the Lord. Here was my verse from that time:
"God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns." Psalm 46:1-5
Many years later, after our girls were raised and adults I went back to work at a bank. One Saturday our bank was robbed and I was the one who was held up. It was very traumatic for me and for the remaining years I worked there I would be working during two more robberies.
Again, the Lord graciously gave me comfort in His Word. Here is the verse from that time frame.
"I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely." Psalm 16:8,9
As I pondered the magnitude of today's inauguration this song of old came to me again reassuring me that God is on the Throne.
Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine!
O what a foretaste of Glory divine!
Heir of salvation purchased of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Written by a blind gal named Fanny J. Crosby in 1873
There is so much uncertainty in our world today; many are facing life threatening health issues, many are facing great losses due to our troubled economy while others still face situations that seem helpless. You, dear reader, may be facing the greatest trial in your life but take heart there is One who longs to help you~all you need to do is cry out to Him this day to save you. He is Faithful, He is trustworthy, He is merciful, His grace in new every morning and if you cry out to Him He will help you for He alone is able to save you. His name is Jesus; run to Him for He is waiting with His arms opened wide. He loves you so much He died for you.
Monday, January 19, 2009
So today my oldest daughter, her hubby,their gang, my hubby and I went over to our local park to fly kites. I thought it would be so much fun and daughter and I both took our cameras.
No sooner had my dear hubby gotten our kite out of the car when it took off~and proceeded to break away from the string and blow through the parking lot into the bushes. So much for flying kites and getting pictures-it is much to windy for that.
How is your weather today? Are you enjoying it's beauty, whether it is snowy, icy, bleak or bright and sunny? We all have been blessed with the Hand of God creating a magnificent handiwork for us~so take time today to enjoy, even if it is from inside looking out.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Two such prayers that I hope to really study today and glean depth from are below; may they bless your heart as well.
"Lord, let me have no will of my own or consider my true happiness as depending in the smallest degree on anything that can befall me outwardly, but as consisting altogether in conformity to Thy Will". Henry Martyn
"Father, let me be weak that I might lose my clutch on everything temporal. My life, my reputation, my possessions, Lord, let me loose the tension of the grasping hand. Even, Father, would I lose the love fondling. How often I have release a grasp only to retain what I prized by "harmless" longing, the fondling touch. Rather, open my hand to receive the nail of Calvary, as Christ's was opened, that I, releasing all, might be released, unleashed from all that binds me now. He thought Heaven, yea, equality with God, not a thing to be clutched at. So let me release my grasp." Jim Elliot
Wow, that prayer by Jim Elliot was answered in his death at the hand of a primitive people; taken while bringing the gospel to them.
These are not prayers easily spoken and quickly uttered but ones that cost the most-and render the greatest reward.
Friday, January 16, 2009
One year I signed up for Grounding and Growing, foolishly thinking it had to do with gardening. A close friend and I took the class and there were only three of us in this group. This was a fairly large church and class size often was in the 10-20's. We found out quickly that it wasn't on gardening, except in gardening our souls. The focus was entirely spiritual and taught memorization, study habits for time in the Word and prayer. The years I attended this church were wonderful times spent with gals who were mature Christians and gals like me that had a hunger and thirst for righteousness. I remember how I missed the classes during summer but many of us would get together for park days once a week to continue building the fellowship.
I was blessed to be surrounded by godly women who gently took me under their wings to teach and lead me. These are such sweet memories for me and also my first friends who homeschooled. I think my life and my daughter's lives would have been totally different if it wasn't for this special group of sisters that nurtured me. It has been a very long time since I've heard from most of them; one I still keep in contact with and she and her hubby are dear friends of ours. Most of us moved out of the area and made new bonds of friendships but these ladies will always hold a special place in my heart. I look forward to seeing them in Glory and joining them as we lift praises to our King. Who is your someone special that has impacted your life for Christ? Are you still in contact with her? If so, write, call or reach out and give her a hug today just to let her know how much she means to you.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Many of you have followed the ongoing health issue of my granddaughter we call Peanut-our little Mackenzie. This week their entire family drove down to Children's Hospital and met with the doctor that performed all of Peanut's tests in December. I know daughter and her hubby were so thankful to meet with the doctor and try to ascertain the best course of action for their little girl.
Mackenzie is now almost two and has had health issues from the age of 5 mos. She suffers from GERD, commonly known as Acid Reflux disease and with that comes another condition called Sensory Processing Disorder.
Many prayers have gone up for little Mackenzie and she is the sweetest little girl; we say she's little because she is very small for her age.
The results of the tests came back and we are pleased that there were no life threatening issues.
God is so good! Having said that our little one continues to have issues with losing weight and eating problems. The tests indicated she does not have Celiac disease so that was also good news.
Mama will now have to enroll her in an Eating clinic so she can learn how to eat better. That sounds so funny to me, to have to teach a child to eat but when you've had GERD and sensory issues eating does not happen naturally. I told my girl I was more than willing to give up some of my fat for little Mackenzie but unfortunately it doesn't work like that. Someday, when all is said and done, we will all look back on this and smile but right now it has been a long journey Kim and their family have walked through. It isn't over, in fact probably means one more day per week that they will have to schedule appointments with therapists etc but we are so thankful that
Mackenzie is not seriously ill. Now if we could just fatten her up a bit.
So to all who have prayed for her, thank you can't even begin to cover the gratitude I have for you in my heart. May you be richly blessed!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The stick-together families
Are happier by far
Than the brothers and sisters
Who take separate highways are;
The gladdest people living
Are the wholesome folks who make
A circle at the fireside
That no power but death can break,
And the finest of conventions
Ever held beneath the sun,
Are the little family gatherings
When busy days are done.
There are some who seem to fancy
That for gladness they must roam,
That for smiles that are the brightest,
They must wander far from home.
That a strange friend is a true friend,
And they travel far astray,
And they waste their lives in striving
For a joy that’s far away.
But the gladdest sort of people
When the busy day is done,
Are the brothers and the sisters
Who together share their fun.
It’s the stick-together family
That wins the joy of earth,
That hears the sweetest music
And finds the finest mirth.
It’s the old home roof that shelters
All the charm that life can give,
And oh, weary wandering brother,
If contentment you would win,
Come you back into the fireside,
And be comrade with your kin.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
A Lovely Award
Karen at Homespun Simplicity has given me the Proximidade Award. Thank you so much, Karen!This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are extremely charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award."
Those who richly bless my life with their blogs:
Carrie at Our Journey
Kim at Joyfullness in EveryDay
Amy at My Tudor House
Linda at Colorado Farm Life
Rissaroo at Anerissara
Pam at Smiling Grammy
Prairie Chick at Prairie Prologue
Paula at Rose Cottage By The Lake
Monday, January 12, 2009
This last year hubby and I decided to have a homespun Christmas~making all of our presents.
It was a wonderful time for both of us; I made quilts for the children and families and my guy made cheese and cracker serving trays as well as cutting boards. He has always been extremely gifted in wood working and is actually teaching our two grandsons this art. I always take photos of quilts I make as a history and visual record of patterns I've used. So it seemed only natural to take one photo of this tray and post about it.
It is inlaid with purple-heart and walnut woods and took him many hours with designing, cutting and gluing to get it the way he wanted. It does have a small round quartz bowl that is for dips but this picture was taken while in the process of drying. I was so proud of him I could just bust! Some friends have said he should market these but because of the time involved he couldn't possibly recoup what it cost him. For both of us those things we make are a gift of love; mine are by no means perfect, his are but it was the love behind it that made it fun. I'm so proud that he is teaching his grandsons valuable lessons, not only in wood working but also in giving.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
My daughter's were able to experience life set apart that they wouldn't have if they were in school; they were able to partake in learning things that are character building in a way they couldn't have if in a restricted classroom environment.
Today I have to be very careful because I am very much against public schools and so I find myself having to button my lips if talking with others.
I know many enjoy the school systems and flourish in it but for us the simple truth is that we loved learning at home.
Friday, January 9, 2009
There continued to be much prayer on my behalf that the Lord would bless our efforts and hubby would see how this choice was the right one. One of the greatest achievements that our oldest attempted and successfully put together was hosting, with her future husband, a conference for highschoolers given by Eric and Leslie Ludy. This was the first of many conferences they hosted and for a 17 yr old to put together a conference for 200 youth with advertising on the radio, papers and at churches astounded me. I'm not sure I could have organized such an event as an adult. Needless to say after both girls graduated dear hubby said he wished we had started when they were in Kindergarten. He is an advocate now and does whatever he needs to do to help our girls homeschool their children. One of the biggest blessings for our family was capturing our daughters hearts. When children go to school it is easy for them to foster bad attitudes and as parents we don't always see them. When at home you can see a problem and deal with it immediately. Many have asked me if I think that God wants everyone to homeschool. I have only walked this journey of faith in our family but yes, I do believe that the Lord's perfect will is for parents to educate their children at home. Is it always possible? No there are situations that make it impossible and in those circumstances if a parent truly seeks God's heart and will on the matter I believe He will guard the children. As a young christian mom I remember saying I didn't think I could homeschool our girls because one of them had a very strong will. A dear Titus sister looked at me and said "that's probably the reason you should homeschool her". Am I still an advocate-100% and I would be disappointed if my daughters and their hubby's choose to educate out of the home but what others choose for their families is between them and the Lord. Today my daughter's continue to demonstrate the organizational skills they learned from homeschooling in their homes and the lives of their family.
If this is something you desire but are unsure of due to learning difficulties please feel free to contact me by email.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Winter has made its way to our area. I love the snow and the beauty of seeing it on trees-it is pristine and takes my breath away. This year our snowfall hasn't been as much as last year but experiencing the beauty of new fallen snow still inspires me. We don't have trees this thick here in northeastern Colorado but I love the look of frost and snow on our trees none the less.
I've heard from a friend in northern Washington that they got 2' of snow before New Year's and it hasn't stopped snowing since. I'm so thankful that I don't have to brave the cold unless I want to and I can sit with a cup of tea and just enjoy the weather. I love living in a state that has four distinct seasons; not that Ca. didn't but our winters are so much more beautiful. Wherever you are today may you find beauty that inspires you.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Today my back and hip are acting up so I've taken the Advil and put on a topical Camphor rub so will probably just stay in. There were more errands to run but they can wait til tomorrow.
Having dealt with my back before I know what to do and what not to do so I plan on babying it!
Tomorrow we are supposed to get snow; it's been almost 2 weeks since our last snowfall so I'm ready to enjoy a quiet day of just watching the beauty of it. Have a great weekend. Blessings to you and yours.