Tuesday, November 17, 2015

There are days, like today, when the sun is brightly shining, and the sky is bluer than
blue.  When the last of the colorful fall leaves, are falling softly from the almost barren
trees, and one can anticipate the cold weather that is right around the corner.  But, there
are times when, despite the gorgeous fall day that can been seen through each and every
window, there seems to be a fog over the thoughts of your own heart.  That is what it is
like for me during the last two weeks.  A fog has settled here.  Life as I knew it
is changing.  My dear Mother, who most of you know, lives in the lower level of our
home, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and is living out her last days
here in her home.  Hospice has become a good friend of our family.  They offer so much
comfort and care during her days of sickness and discomfort.  She tells me that she is
81 years old, and she is ready to go to heaven.  I know that.  I find it most comforting to
hear her tell me that, but, even so, it is difficult for me to come to grips with it all.  I have
so many questions in regards to what the next few weeks will look like for my family.
The fog is thick at times, preventing us from seeing even the next few steps.  Here is
what I read today, written by Sarah Young, in her book, "Jesus Calling";

"As you look at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path, with branches
going off in all directions.  You wonder how you can possibly find your way through
that maze.  Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your
right hand."    So comforting and so reassuring this is to me.  God sees it all clearly,
and He will lead me through. 

So, with that in mind, we go on enjoying our last days with this very special lady, we
call Mother, Grandma, Great-Grandma.

This picture was taken yesterday, with our oldest daughter and her grandma. 

As I close this post, I know full well, that many of you have walked this journey before
me, or are walking it now, in your own life.  I could learn from you I am sure, since it
is a new path for me.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, your prayers, your emails, and your concern.  It sure
eases the burdens and makes the load lighter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blogging is on the back burner for me right now.  On Saturday, we drove to our daughter
and son-in-law's home, to babysit for the afternoon.  We were both so thankful for the
privilege of spending a few more minutes with our newest grandchild.  The drive down
to their home, was an exceptionally beautiful one, and I could not help but share this
picture that I took, with you.  Early morning drives, in the fall of the year, are one of
my very favorite things.

Upon our arrival, we quickly discovered how our two grandchildren have taken
to their new little brother.  So tenderly and carefully, our granddaughter sat by his side.
She will probably take on the role of "mother" for her two brothers, as I did in my early
years, as the oldest of four siblings.

  While the rest of the family went to their church's fall festival, I got to
babysit for this precious little one.  I loved every minute of it, even if it involved
a few hours drive to get there.

We arrived home on Saturday evening, and on Sunday morning we picked up our
other five grandchildren.  Their parents went on a business trip, and we were happy to
be their "home" for the next week.  I must admit, it certainly has changed out daily
routine in so many ways, as I am sure you can imagine.  We started out well, when
our grandson shared his special blue fedora with his grandfather:). 

We go through boxes of cereal.  This is one of the favorites.  Thank you Kellogg's

I have found this dry spray shampoo is as handy with granddaughters as it is for me.  For
those days when you just do not have time to shampoo, this product certainly does the
trick.  Just follow it's instructions, and body comes back to one's hair.  I questioned it's
claims, but found them to be true.   After all, when you have only an evening and a
morning with five, before the next day of school, you need to make sure they get their
showers, wash their hair, brush their teeth, get homework done, get backpacks ready
and sitting by the back door, get dressed, get their shoes and socks on, (well, find
matching socks first of all, then get them on), it is a huge job.  My hat is off to all the
mothers in our world. 

But, as with all things in life, there are special benefits too.  Extra help in the kitchen, and
in this case, it was volunteered.  Thanks to the Swiffer Company for their reliable and useful
cleaning product, at least in our home, it is used often.  In fact, most times when they come,
they ask to clean my floor:).

I do not practice the art of bribery in my life, except of course when it is
absolutely necessary.  In this case, I learned, after day two, that it could
come in very handy on school mornings:).
If...they go through the check list of all the above mentioned responsibilities,
then we can all play "Win, Loose, or Draw".  They love this game,
and I found that this morning, they had everything done, a half hour
before it was time to leave for school.  Wow!  I feel fairly good
about my new discovery.  There are not many games that all of their ages
can play, but this one works.  They asked if they can continue
playing when they get home from school.  I think I am on to something here:).
I must admit they are a very competitive group!  Reminds me of my
own childhood, being one of five children.

As I drove home from taking them to school, I was reminded that I could be
even busier, if I had to hang out all of our laundry as a part of my week's
routine.   Although, there is nothing like wash that is hung out to dry, in beautiful
weather like we are having here in our part of the country today.
So, you can see why I have been absent from the blogging world.
Thank you though for stopping by.  I know you all are busy.  Life just is
like that now.  Maybe a can of dry shampoo might help you too.
By the way, before I close this post,  I thought I would share the simple, yet so
pretty centerpiece that my friend had on her table recently.  I really like how she arranged
her mums and water in a shallow, glass pan.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

We look for them at times, and at other times, we are too consumed with our lives that we
don't even notice them.  They are the tiny gifts, touches of beauty or joy that
brighten our journey, lift our spirits, or simply make us smile.  I have been praying
recently, that I take time to notice them, time to appreciate them, and time to be
thankful for them.  Today, I share a few of those unexpected gifts along my
journey lately.

Like the adorable edible acorns that my friend painstakingly made.  They were made with
a Hershey Kiss, Nutter Butters, and a chocolate chip, and then placed on a pretty
leaf plate.  FYI, the leaf plates can be found at the Christmas Tree Shop.

The three miniature horses that another friend so excitedly shared with me.  She treasured
her little friends and it was evident in her smile.

I recognized quickly, that they seemed to feel the same way about her.  What fun to share her

The full moon that graced the fall sky, this past week.  Silently, and without fanfare, it
filled the darkened sky with it's brilliant light.  I was thankful that I was outside long
enough to notice this special gift from God.

The unexpected visit that I had with my uncle.  We are the same age, we grew up
together, but now live thousands of miles apart.  For a few minutes last week, we
got to sit, share, and drink coffee together. 

The clever and beautiful way my friend served ice water recently.  It made me smile.
Something as ordinary as a glass of ice water, dressed up a notch for her friends.  It
said "I care" to all of us around her table.

I especially liked the spearmint tea leaves in the water glasses and the little vase
of the leaves sitting by her kitchen sink.

The bowls of homemade lobster chowder that our friends made recently, in a first time
endeavor.  It was my first lobster chowder ever, and I could not believe that someone
would take so much time and energy to make soup like this.  I smile every time I think
about how good it tasted.

The chocolate and caramel covered apples that another friend made and
served us at our Bible Study.  They looked so attractive sitting on her
kitchen island.  I liked the way she carefully sliced them and
placed them on a plate for everyone.

The gorgeous homemade bouquet, that my gifted friend put together for a centerpiece
recently.  It made the entire table look so festive and colorful!  I liked how she used
some of the remaining flowers from her garden.  I kept staring at it in amazement,
that she had done it herself.

"We make a living by what we get ~ we make a life by what we give."   ~Unknown

The early morning scenes that I've taken in recently, that offered views impossible
to describe.  I stopped by the side of the road to capture it all.

The simple, yet profound "concert" that these guys gave to me recently.  Their
grandfather is introducing them to music and the importance of it in life.  He
played the guitar, one was on the harmonica, one on the small guitar, and one
had the microphone of the singing machine ( as it is labeled on the box).  I
stood in the doorway and took it all in, thankful for the smile it brought to me, on
an ordinary weeknight as these little guys put their heart and soul into their

"He who gives to me teaches me to give."   ~ A Danish Proverb

"Blessed are those who give without remembering and who receive without forgetting."

I hope maybe you were blessed by your visit here today.  Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hi, I 'm back!  We spent time with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson in the Midwest.
Celebrated birthdays.  Caught up with each others lives.  Took in the exceptionally
beautiful Fall scenery, while hiking trails and strolling by lakes.

The colors were brilliant!  The air was cool!  The time was too short.

It took a while to reacquaint some with others.  In fact, it was bit devastating at first.

We had time for coffee and fruit together.  Rare time to just sit and talk.  I am convinced that
"time" is the best of gifts that we can give to each other, and yet, a sacrificial gift to say the

This sign was sitting on their fireplace mantel, and I found the words a blessing.

The weather led us to believe that winter was right around the corner, although those on the
many sailboats in our view, were still attempting to prolong it all.

Our two gifted tour guides:)  They know their state so well, and are so happy to share
it all with us.

Huge homes graced the shores of some of the lakes we passed, with colorful
leaves adding to the beauty of it all.
Speaking of beauty...walking into one of the local mall stores, we were
overwhelmed with the exquisite attention to details that we found in
this Restoration Hardware Store.  Breathtaking! 

We visited a quaint, bustling cupcake shop, founded and run by one of the winners on the
show "Cupcake Wars".  It was a treat just to walk into it's doors, and sit in it's small dining

One little guy was especially happy with his cupcake choice. 
And, was thrilled that there were stools to sit on that were his size. 
After too brief of a time, we boarded a plane for home, holding many
special memories in our hearts.
Thank you for stopping by today.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Thank you to the Dollar Tree, for a simple, fun, and inexpensive way to decorate the table
for these special guys, and their 6 year celebration. 

Since there was only one "cake" and candles for these two, the one born yesterday
got to blow out the candles first, and then I relit the candles, and the one the second
born twin, got to blow them out again.

Chocolate cupcakes with plastic propellers, a dish of vanilla ice cream and
candles.  I told you it was a simple celebration:)

More important though...two little guys who continually bless our lives.

And, then, we enjoyed "face-time" with our family living in the Midwest.  Their young
cousin provided a comedy show for all of us.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, October 19, 2015


"Did you ever wonder why or how leaves change their color during the autumn season?  Why
does a maple leaf turn red?  What about all the bright yellows and oranges we see?

Just recently I read up on the mystery of this metamorphosis.  It all has to do with what
leaves are and how they function.  Simply put, leaves operate as miniature "food
factories".  Trees and other plants take water from the ground through their roots.  The
leaves absorb energy from sunlight that changes carbon dioxide and water into
carbohydrates (specifically glucose, a kind of sugar).  The process by which plants turn
water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates is called photosynthesis  (putting together
with light).  A chemical called chlorophyll helps to make photosynthesis happen.
Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

Yet hidden beneath all that green are pigments ranging from pale yellow to deep orange to
bright red (depending on the type of plant or tree).  As summer ends and the days get
shorter and shorter, the chlorophyll breaks down.  Thus the leaf's green color gives way
to the underlying yellow and orange pigments, thereby bringing about the change in
appearance.  The fact is, these colors have been there all along, but they aren't visible
in the summer because they are covered with green chlorophyll.  Moreover, while this
metamorphosis in color is taking place, other changes are occurring simultaneously.
A special layer of cells develops where the leaf stem is attached to the tree and gradually
severs the tissues that hold the leaf onto the branch.  Once the seal is cut, a gently breeze
is all it takes to make the leaf fall.
There is a lesson here about the beauty that results from adversity.  The shorter days, the
longer nights, and the dropping temperatures bring out an underlying beauty that was there
all along but couldn't be seen until the more adverse weather conditions.  Isn't that how it
is with trials in our lives?  If we respond to them rightly, they bring out an inner beauty
that wouldn't be seen otherwise."     ~written by the Pastor of Webster Bible Church in
an article titled, "Autumn Reflections".

I took these pictures of trees this past weekend.  I cannot get enough of their beauty, and
the brilliant blue skies, this Fall season.  Their beauty lifts my spirits and causes me to thank
my Creator God.


Thank you for the privilege of sharing this beauty with you.   I hope in seeing them, you are as
blessed I am, every time I take in their grandeur.


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