Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy 50 th mom and dad


It was 50 years ago....


Life was very different then...


They were young and in love~


Sigh~


Betty and Harley



What a pair they were.




And now after much has changed they still love each other.....


They are still committed....


They are my mom and dad.

And What a crazy crowd they created.



They told us for their anniversary they would like to take us on this big boat and float around on the water for a week or so.....



So, we trying to be respectful of their wishes, said, " Okay, we'll go". Ha!


Through the years one thing my parent have taught through their lives is that it's all about giving to others. I want to follow their example in this.

I hope I can.

Big shoes to fill!

Several years ago I wrote this little page about my feelings of them.



What my parents did right…

I grew up not all that different than any other kid. We had a 4 bedroom home with a sandbox and swing in the back yard. I had lots of time to play games of make believe and whiffle ball. It wasn’t till I was a little bit older that I realized our home was a lttle bit different than that of many of my friends.
For a period of time I thought all homes had constant traffic in and out its doors. I believed that everyone went to church when the doors were opened. And that everyone knew what it was like to creep through the dark basement and halls of the church after everyone had left.
I thought that normal meant having the communion bread and juice brought home and later partaking as my brother and I re-enacted the morning church service in the afternoon.

But I came to realize that something was unusual about my home. You see, it was my parents who, in times of crisis were often the first to be called even though it was the middle of the night. I saw my dad and mom going to homes, or hospitals at all hours. I saw them fervently praying for deliverance for individuals. They often planed their lives around others. Trying to plan for vacation can be hard when an elderly person is near death. Seeing my mother set another plate without a word of complaint because an extra person showed up that she had not planned for.
Evangelist who would come for a week of meetings would always be welcomed and treated special in our home. I watched as my father worked a full week at his job, led Wednesday evening prayer meeting, went to numerous church activities and listened to the needs of his parishioners as they would arise. Only to find that it was Saturday and tomorrow he needed to bring a fresh message to his people. All the things he gave up to be locked in his study on Saturdays.

As you may have guessed my father was a pastor of a church.
I don’t know, but I assume that when the job description was given to him, at the tender age of 25 the words sacrifice and flexibility were not in bold letters.

But what I witnessed could only be described as sacrificial. My parents have literally sacrificed their own lives for the sake of Christ and his body. I didn’t hear them complain that this was their lot in life. They gave and gave even when they were emotionally and physically drained.
They showed me what the face of flexibility looks like. When something wasn’t quite the way they planned for they took it with stride. They gave me an example of sacrifice as they squashed their own desires for the sake of the body. They let me know that service to Christ is more important than always being comfortable. They gave me a wonderful gift.
I haven’t always viewed it like this.

This legacy is what I want to pass to my children. I only hope they will see in me a small amount of the kind of dedication that I saw in my parents.
I hope someday they will look on my life and see that I followed that example of sacrifice, of laying down my own desires for them and for others.
Of being flexible when things were not how I would have planned.
Of learning how to love others the way Christ loves me.

Thank you mom and dad, the world is a better place because you have been here.

And I might add...I'm REALLY glad you chose the big boat idea!

It will be a Fabulous time!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deep thoughts....

Somehow this time of year makes me reflective....


Oh dear....


I get weepy when I get reflective!




Seriously, Melancholy!



I start counting up how many more Christmas' are left before my birds fly....



It makes me crazy!




What have I missed?





Have I done enough?






Am I doing what I should be now?






Questions....Questions....






I begin to feel like I am coming up short.






Short on time.






Short on answers.





Hate short talk! Hate it!


So....






Maybe I need to remember that in spite of my failures my kids aren't awful.

They are fairly normal.



And with the gene pool they inherited....That's sayin something!

Even more important they all are pretty in tune with their conscience and listen to it most days!

And they tell me they love me....


well one of them says "he usually does"...


I'm counting that!


I love them too.


Oh How I love them!


I think they know it and that's probably enough for today!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas in Indiana

Merry Christmas from us to you.....
Our Christmas celebrations have begun.
Lots of happy faces and laughter...
Dale with his IBC.

And gifts for all....


Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I love Christmas

I love Christmas.
I always have.

I remember well when I was a little girl the wonder that Christmas held for me.
I don't think it was the fact that I got all these fabulous gifts because really....

I didn't.

Oh except for one year. I had seen this amazing doll, I loooved baby dolls!!
And I knew she wanted me as badly as I needed her!
The new Baby Alive!
She was the cutest little thing I had ever laid eyes on! And the best thing about her.....
She could be fed this special kind of drink and food and a few minutes later she would dispense it into a special diaper!
Yes sir! I thought that was so cool! Don't ask me why!

So this year as we are browsing through the aisles my sweet little one spotted this most adorable baby that has now had a makeover from the 80's which includes 17 phrases that she says along with the same special trick she does in her diaper!

Sophie fell in love with her instantly! She said, "mom can I have her??"

My thoughts of yesterday came flooding in.
What little girl doesn't need one of these precious dolls?

So yesterday I trudged out in the blustery weather to make a little purchase for my little one's Christmas. I found the very last one sitting on the bottom shelf. I grabbed it up along with a couple of extra diaper packages (6 for 5.78~) just in case. You know middle of the night changing?
Actually my mind was considering the possibilities of catching the food at the bottom and somehow reusing both the diaper and the pretend food.....Cheap I know!

As I happily get into line at the check out counter I am excited that her gift has been purchased and I can start focusing on someone else when I hear the lady at the check out counter start chatting with the woman in front of me.

"I can never understand why anyone would want one of these dolls? What is all the fuss?
I mean that's one of worst things about having a baby....I have enough messes with my 4 year old let alone buying something that will make more messes!!! I would never ever buy one of those dolls!"
The lady in front of me in line is nodding and politely smiling and saying, "yes, yes I know".
I feel like I am eavesdropping so I don't know whether to join the conversation already in progress about my ill thought out purchase or if I should just pretend I don't hear any of what she is saying, clearly loud enough for me to hear.
I chose the second option as I busily continuing loading up the belt with my groceries.
She, in time, commenced her dislike for my doll and I just "read" the magazine covers until it was my turn.
When it was finally my turn to check out I held my breath as she began....Was she going to go off on me? But much to my joy she didn't say one word....not one word about my tricky baby! HA!

She was right. It will be a mess to clean up. And I am not so far removed from messy diapers that I have a longing to change one again.

But....

My little girl is going to be so happy

And

I will get to once again have the pleasure of the doll of my past in the house.

Recreating the past is what gives me joy.
Recreating traditions and memories.
Smells of the same things I had as a child year after year.
Making sure the same stories are being told and that even though things may look a little different recognizing that this year I am making memories for my children.

So maybe one day they will grow up and try to recreate for others.

I love Christmas!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Birthdays

I am in the middle of mistletoe, snowman, angels and lights....

But I need to take a brief break to get these very important pictures on here.


BIRTHDAY'S
are so important!
Here is Jalen's birthday celebration.
I remember so well the day you came into this world. What a sweet baby you were. So easy, you spoiled me! You are caring and witty. I love your smile and your sensitivity to the Spirit in your life! Your brain works in electrical and mechanical ways. I am looking forward to see what this next year brings you.


Birthday's looks different every year and this year Jalen wanted to take his friends bowling.
So we bowled and had pizza. They, in Middle School boy fashion were completely goofi-fide. We love to celebrate our children's life....sometimes it can feel like the birthday might fall on a busy day but we try to make sure they get celebrated.....
Here is the bunch....aren't they totally fun looking?




They are!




We are so thankful for the choices our boys are making in their friendships~

Micah also celebrated his birthday....
This weekend in fact.
He requested Fettuccine Alfredo.

He was explaining to his friends what it tastes like.

He said "It's basically grown up mac and cheese".

Oh, the boy replied. That's all the "splainin" he needed in order to dive right in:)!
This day was perfect! The sun was out and the football's were flying. They got quite muddy but had lots of smiles so I guess I can overlook the stained pants:)

Then we had them go on a little treasure hunt around the property.
Malaina did a great job making up the clues and hiding them around.
Here is the final spot....
In the garden. I told them I needed a hole cause I was wanting to plant a new bush in that corner. Ha!
X marked the spot.
Jason buried the treasure about 2 feet down.
They got pretty dirty but once again they didn't bother wiping their hands on their pants.
Once they saw the box they got down and started digging with bare hands:)
Gotta love those boys!
And finally...
A can of pop,
A bag full of treasure candy,
and lots of excitement produces this......
So fun! I love these kids too!


Micah is now double digits. I can't believe it!
What a great kid he is! I remember the year he was born. I was trying REALLY hard to have him. I went out shopping on black Friday trying to get him out into the world.
He is such a witty, loving guy. He has a bright mind with a strong bent towards acting.
I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Micah's life this year...
Just on a side note those glowing green eyes in the background of the picture are totally creeping me out!
And now back to my Christmas decorating.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Have I told you lately?

Have I told you lately how much you mean to me?

If it wasn't for you I would never have learned how to love.
If it wasn't for you I would have been more selfish then I already am.
If it wasn't for you I would have been afraid to express my opinion.
If it wasn't for you I would have no passion.
If it wasn't for you I would always feel like I've missed something.
If it wasn't for you I would never have learned how to resolve conflict... sometimes even with a shoe.
If it wasn't for you I would have never learned how to laugh at myself.
If it wasn't for you I would be lonely.
If it wasn't for you I would have never learned patience.
If it wasn't for you I would be lost.

Thank you my dearest family.....You truly are a gift!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Let me introduce you to my new love~


Pomegranits.....mmmmm....yummy!

You can eat the seeds by themselves or use them as a topping on yogurt or cereal.
These tasty little pieces of heaven will burst in your mouth!



Today I am overwhelmed with all I have to be thankful for!

~ I have 4 healthy children
~ I am in love with the man I married
~ I have amazing friends
~ My belly is full every night when I close my eyes
~ Our house is shelter and more
~ I have an amazing extended family who all loves Jesus
~ Living in this country
~ My sons whispering to each other in their beds at night
~ My parents giving me piano lessons
~ Running water
~ Chocolate chip cookies
~ Seasons
~ My husbands job
~ My job
~ The sounds of laughter
~ My future is secure

These are just a couple of my thankful ism's. I hope your day is filled with all the reminders of what you have been given!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Storms

Do you like storms?
Like a thunder clap that is so loud your insides seem to reverberate.
Or a lightning flash that is so bright night seems to turn to day.
What about snowstorms? When all that wet, cold precipitation is falling and accumulating into growing drifts and slick surfaces.

Me? I like storms! I do....I like them! (I feel like I should insert "Sam I am" in this phrase)

There's just one thing......


I like them on my terms.

If I can feel safe in my home snuggled under a blanket with a roof over my head and a wall around me, then I love to watch the snow fall or hear the booms of the storm.
If all is right and good then I like storms.

But when I think about being out in a boat tossed around in the middle of a storm it makes me quite panicky. I almost have to tell myself to breathe just thinking of that very scary thought.
The waves lapping the sides of my vessel or the wind whipping me back and forth. The rain pummeling my body and clouding my vision because of the force of the storm.

Or I think about how tense I get when I have to drive in snow and sleet. The beauty of the flake is lost quickly on me because of the fear that is rising in my chest. And the stiffness of my neck becomes increasingly painful as the stress of staying on the road even when I can't see the lines, becomes more difficult.

Its about feeling safe for me.
That even though this strong presence could overwhelm me I know it won't because I am secure inside.

It's the Faith in the crisis of the storm that's at the heart of this.

Because if I know the storm will not overwhelm me then I have no need for faith.

But if the storm is too great for me to handle alone I will need to call for a greater one to rescue me. A presence that is greater then the storm around me.

So really I need storms in order to understand my own need for a strong one to come and be my Rescuer. A tender one who would never cause me needless harm. A shepherd who watches over me with love. A merciful Savior who saved me from myself.

That's the reason he came after all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mildred Faye

I have been absent lately as you can see. Life has never felt more overwhelming or full then it has been these past few months. Some days I feel like I may drown and other days I feel like I have.
I have a great life don't get me wrong but sometimes life just gets messy ~
Sometimes its because of choices we make and sometimes its what is thrust on us.
The combination of both can be simply too much.

One of the huge things we have dealt with this past month was the death of Jason's mother.
We had the opportunity to all gather together a couple weeks before she passed to give her our love and say goodbye. These first couple pictures are from that weekend.

One of Jason's last moments with his mother. She had spunk and was steadfast on the fact that she didn't think she was really dieing. She hated that other's had to wait on her! We never heard her complain about her own health.
And Jalen with grandma~a touching moment~
The thing about death is you never completely prepare for that call. You may think you know how you'll feel but when it really happens it become surreal. Like is this really happening....
And then without warning the whole drama is laid out before you and the realization dawns that it's over....the book has been written....So final!
This is Jason's entire family. He has 8 siblings so that makes for a large crowd.
Sophie was the youngest grandchild....grandma kept saying this to her when we visited her for the last time. She loved her grandchildren.
She was a gift giver. Always bringing something for them when she came to visit.
Here we are at the grave side. A very touching time for us. Each of the grandchildren had a rose they could throw on the casket~notice Sophie decided she wanted to keep hers. She later gave it to her cousin.....Not sure why she kept it ~whatever~Here is Jason's family 7 boys and 2 girls. My mother in a law was a busy, busy mom. She was a worker and had a hard life. I give her honor for the way she served her family without complaint. I will miss her belly laughs and her little words of advice she always liked to give.
We are blessed to have families that have a clear understanding of our destiny when we finish this life.
We are looking forward to seeing her again some day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The little one

So this weekend Sophie was running around here in a little hat and I saw a photo opportunity.
I said, "Sophie, come over here and let me take your picture". She is always a very willing party to this kind of order so here she is sweetly smiling.
But I was completely unprepared for what she would do next. She went into a total unprompted photo shoot.....complete with attitude.
Oh yes, complete mystery girl...
With the "pouty" lips

And the scholar?

Oh my, so shy!

And thoughtful

Sweet as a peach!

And yet completely aloof


But what a fun little surprise miss brown eyes!


I love you my sweet little one!
You are my sugar pie!
And I love you up to the moon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunsets are so beautiful.

I love them.
I am more of a sunset person then a sunrise person.
I think that is mostly because I am already up for sunsets.

When I see the setting sun I am drawn to the rich warm colors that surround it.
The reminder of the closing of the day.
And I think about how brilliant the Sun was just a couple hours earlier. How diligently it worked to warm the earth and light the day. Casting off it's glory and mighty strength.
But as it sets I hear it whisper, "my work today is done."

And so it is with us. We are born. We live our lives in full. We are energetic and each have our shining moments. And then we, like the sun, drift into the shadowy years of our life when we see the end of the day approaching. Sometimes that happens slowly just as the sunset.

Jason's mother is in the Sunset of her life. The doctor's have said they can do no more for her. They have encouraged the family to contact Hospice to help during these days.
It is hard to say goodbye. There have been tears shed by all. Especially by our children. Not understanding why they have to watch their grandma slip away.
We are sad to say farewell but we know that she will finally be made whole. Who could ask someone to stay here when the other side is calling. What could compare with what she will experience in that beautiful place we call home.

So just as the sunset whispers farewell for today we know that there will be a morning again. And when that morning comes we will rise together and all will be glorious and new.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Dinner


Growing up I had a favorite day.


I remember Sunday's as being one of the best days of the week. We often had company in or went to somebody's house. We never, no, never did we go "out" to dinner.


My mom would serve different meals on Sunday. But one that made a common appearance was Roastbeef with potatos and carrots.


That was my favorite... the one I never seemed to tire of.

The funny thing is I married a guy from Iowa who had a very similar tradition in his home.

So every time I make this meal on a Sunday I get huge "kudos" from the big guy!

I love to make it because even my 6 year old could make this meal.


We put a frozen roast into the crock pot on Saturday night along with enough water in the bottom so it doesn't burn. I put one packet of onion soup mix on top of that and turn it on low.

In the morning we clean potato's and sometimes carrots and put on top of roast. Season with salt and pepper, turn on High.... and that is all!


By noon when we get home from church it's ready to devour.


The best thing is we wake up with a wonderful aroma on Sunday morning. And it's a "one plate" meal. I love it....
Hope you do too!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Photo Shoot.....

Today we spent several hours taking some family photos.


How I love these little people!


Here we are... Maybe I should just have all my friends visit my blog to see our yearly family picture and we will call that good for Christmas cards this year:)!



Here's the little man who just turned 12 last week! He is growing so quickly!

And This guy who loves to smile for his mama!:)


And my pretty, almost 14 year old girl, who is celebrating her last year of Middle School.

I need to take the little one back because for some reason I didn't get very good pictures of her by herself.
And Finally me and the big guy.