Friday, July 29, 2016

Shower the people...

I was looking thru pictures the other day, and I came across some that I had taken for a friend and her business.  It was a bright, sun shining, beautiful day. Her and I spent the afternoon working on things for our upcoming festivals. Her wrapping soaps and me cutting out puppet parts while our gaggle of kids spent hours playing together on an amazingly hot PNW summer day. For me, seeing those pictures was a reminder of the last day I felt normal... the next day I would get a phone call that would change my world and change me forever...

I've always known that I wanted to speak at my Gram's funeral. I didn't know how I would ever be able to but I knew that God would hold me up and give me the words when I needed Him to. It's been a year today that we lost one of the greatest women I have ever known. It's been a year of feeling lost and empty at times, but it's also been a year of love and focus... 


If I learned anything from my Gram it was to LOVE in the little things and to LOVE in the big things... to focus on what's important like God, and family and friends... and to love unconditionally...


I've been asked a number of times to share the words that I spoke the day we buried her but I just haven't been able to push send. Those words were the last thing that were just mine for her. But she wouldn't want me to keep it to myself so I am sharing them now, for anyone that knew her to take a moment to remember her and for anyone that didn't get the priveledge of knowing her to at least have a moment to hear about how great she was and to somehow take a little bit of goodness from it and pass it on out into the world....






 Proverbs 31 verse 10-31 reads


[b]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
    She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
    and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
    and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
    and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
    with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
    a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
    her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
    her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
    and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
    for everyone has warm[c] clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
    She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
    where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
    and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
    and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
    and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
    but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

As a Christian wife and mother, this scripture is acts as much of a blue print for the woman I am aiming to be. It defines the woman or wife of noble character. For a number of years now, I have been studying about this scripture and learning how to be a better wife and mother through the eyes of God. What I didn’t realize until recently was what an amazing example of this I have been living with and loving my entire life. It wasn’t until recently that I got a clearer image in my mind of what that kind of woman would look like and I realized that it was my Gram through and through.

My relationship with my gram hasn’t just been that of some elderly distant figure like most people I know. It’s been more like that of a second mom. When I was little and we lived with Grammy and Papa, I spent my early years at home with Gram while my mom was at work. I didn’t realize until I was older and starting a family of my own, just how important that time in my life was and how lucky I was to have spent it with her instead of in the care of strangers. I think back on how their home was really that house that built me… her and my papa (along with my mom of course) gave me the best foundation for life that I person could ask for…

One of my earliest memories in life, are of her in the kitchen, and really a lot of my memories focused around that room. She was always baking…. Baking bread and cookies and meals for my Papa to take to camp. I can remember her skilled hands rolling out pie dough and making them with such precision that you would have thought they were store bought ( only hers were better!)  She would cut off the excess crust and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar before rolling it into a circle and baking it for a special treat for me… it was in those everyday tasks, the tiny insignificant gestures that she showed me how to love, and to feel important. Looking back and being a mom it was probably just a way to get me out from under her feet but to me it made me feel so special.

Gram would get up every morning and make Papa’s lunches and then she would have the oven going with the door propped open and my school clothes draped over a chair so they would be warm in the morning when I came down to get ready for school…. Her love shone thru in the everyday simple details. She was showing me how to love, how to be a great mom and how to dedicate my life to my husband and God.

It is my belief that the greatest testimony to Christ is to live our lives loving each other... my Gram did that with every breath she ever took. The greatest thankyou we can ever give those we love here on earth is to take what they gave us, not in money but in love and pass that on to the next generation. I knew for my entire life that when I grew up, I wanted boy or girl to name my kids after Grammy and Papa. And today, I can look out into the faces of Janie and Rori and know that they are the greatest legacy I could ever leave for a woman that was everything to me.

I didn’t know if I would be able to stand up and speak, but my Papa asked me the other day if I really thought I’d be able to and I told him that I was just  trusting in God to give me a few minutes of calm. A friend of mine mentioned that his grandma was the pattern for his life too and I loved the thought of that…. My gram is that pattern of everything good that I am…. She was with me when my babies were little and I’d kiss  the bottom of their feet like she used to mine, and she is with me in every meal I make and serve on the dishes I now have that were hers…. She will continue to be with me every morning when I get up to make my husband coffee and lunch because she lead by example by being the kind of 31 wife I want to be…. And she will be with me with every dough I kneed or pie I roll out….or orange cookie that someday I will make for my grandchildren…

When most people want to celebrate a person they will gesture to raise a glass…. But I want celebrate by raising a cookie instead because last week heaven got a little bit sweeter….



Friday, January 29, 2016

Words that change you

It's funny how fast our outlook on a day can change in the blink of an eye. It could be both for the good or the bad, it all depends on if we let it. Our day could change course from something as simple as a glass of spilled milk putting us in a bad mood, or it could be something as whimsy as getting a card in the mail from a friend to completely turn our day around. Why is it that we as humans can be so fickle and easily controlled?

For a number of years now, I have been part of a group of Christian ladies on Facebook that chose a word to focus on for the year. A friend of mine set this group up and I felt honored to be included in a group of ladies focused on giving God the glory in our lives and using the fruits of the spirit   ( love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) one word at a time, to really get to know Him better.




It has been amazing to me how the words that the group chose to focus on really seemed to fit our particular lives that year. In 2013, we found out about my father's cancer and  unexpectedly around the same time, we were forced to move to a new house....finding PEACE in those situations was sometimes challenging but just having that word as a reminder of HIS timing was sometimes the only thing getting me thru...


And then in 2014, we found ourselves having to be PATIENT ....my father had many set backs that put him in the hospital. Living on the opposite side of the country made it almost unbearable... sitting by the phone waiting for news was a new way of life there for awhile and the day he had his stroke I decided to take the phone and go outside... I wasn't feeling the patience to just be still and so I spent much of that spring with a phone in my pocket and work gloves on my hands. I was finding my patience more in action that anything. I spent a LOT of time in my garden talking to God.That year was something I would have never chosen to have to go thru but looking back I learned so much and found a stronger connection to God than I ever thought possible.



After the great year of loss we'd had, I was going into 2015 with very much  of a wounded heart. The online group I'd been part of was using the word KINDNESS but to be completely honest, I just wasn't feeling it. I had to find my own JOY again... It sounds silly to say that I needed to find joy when I know that it was all around me in so many things that I loved that truly did bring me joy but I was so numb from the losses we had in 2014, I needed to really feel the joy again. I tried to focus on the little things, I put that word around my house in every way I could. We would randomly find things at stores and in books or movies that really screamed JOY and my family all rallied around me and reminded me every chance they had that "JOY" was my word!  Little did I know, that a purse I had specially made with the word embroidered on it would come in the mail the day my Gram died. God was really putting it on my heart to not forget the joy. That one three little letter word would change my outlook on even my darkest days.

Our lives are not our own, No matter how much we think we can control them. There will always be ups and downs in our days and weeks and months that we have absolutely no control over but we will always have the choice of how we react to them.  Our lives would take another turn in 2015 that I haven't shared here on this blog. Our family welcomed in my 17 yr old step son and the dynamics of the life we had would be forever changed. Once again, there are good days and bad days when dealing with the life of a teenager but I hope that we welcomed him in a way that he could see God working in our lives and that he came to our home feeling loved and safe...



As we entered into 2016, it was really a mess of emotions and a lot of exhaustion. The fb group that I have been part of moved on to a new word for the year and chose GOODNESS. I kept waiting for God to really lead me to embrace a word but the direction just isn't coming so for now I will just wait for His quiet whisper ...

Friday, January 1, 2016

A hand of memories not cards...

I know it's going to sound dumb but new years eve just didn't have the same excitement as it usually does. It didn't have the same anticipation of something new coming but rather a feel of wanting to hold on to something that isn't possible to hold on to. The strange thing about grief is that is shows up in the strangest places and at the most unexpected times. Movies you have watched a hundred times will suddenly trigger a memory or emotion that you didn't see coming, songs that you used to love will have parts that pop out to you and stir up feelings that you've never had when listing to that particular lyric before. Grief also hits you when you see a person's handwriting somewhere and you take a deep breath in as if all the air has been sucked out of your lungs...


Last night, my hubby and three kiddos spent the evening eating yummy food and playing a card game that I used to play with my Gram called Groups and Runs. It's a game that her and I would play for hours, every visit we had together. There would be a year or more in between that I wouldn't play it but when we were together for visits in the summer ,we pulled out those cards and it was like it was the new best thing! Sometimes my Papa or Mom would play but really it was just something between Gram and I. The game has 10 hands of cards to it, so we'd find a pad of paper or sometimes just a scratch piece of paper and start keeping score. Occasionally we wouldn't finish the whole 10 hands, the paper would get lost or we'd run out of time on the trip but you could always be sure we'd pick up those cards on our next visit. After my husband and I married, my gram and I welcomed him into our card playing tradition. I treasure the memories of playing with both of them together and I know my husband does too. When Gram passed, there was lots of cleaning things out at the request of my papa and they kept trying to include my husband in the process of giving out sentimental things that had been hers. For me it was over whelming  the things that made me feel closer to her, but for him it was pretty straight forward. If no one minded, he would like to have a deck of her cards....I don't know why I hadn't thought of it myself actually. It had been years since she had been able to play with us, and the last few times were rather upsetting for me as she was having trouble remembering the rules and you could tell it left her flustered to try. But for my husband, he was able to just think of the good times, sitting at the table and the heckling that was sure to bounce back and forth between the two of them. He got her humor and she thought the world of him.


So, as I sat at my own kitchen table with my husband and three kids gathered around me last night, it was uplifting to me that we'd spend the last evening of 2015 doing something that she had once loved to do with me. I know that none of them probably realized how much that meant to me, especially my daughter who was having an off night of cards and ended up with a horrible score in the end....those special moments spent around a table TOGETHER are the ones that someday we'll look back on. It's not the time spent chatting on our phones or the hours spent playing shoot'em up games on the computer that make memories, it's the time we spend engaged in each other and making each other a priority that builds relationships. Kids of this generations don't get that. They think that socializing has to be done at a computer with headsets on, not face to face hanging out with friends.

As I sat snuggled with my oldest daughter on the couch watching the ball drop in Time Square on tv, I had this sudden panic feeling and tears started streaming down my face.... I know that we can't stop our lives from moving on and I wouldn't want to. My Gram wouldn't want us to either. But for a few moments the tears over came me and I suddenly just hated the thought that I was entering into a new year without her....After the kids were tucked in bed, I went digging into my closet for a box that I was pretty sure was there but until now I hadn't been able to find. Then I remembered that I had transferred it into a new box. I went right in, found it and sat down on the floor. I sat crossed legged in my closet and opened a box full of letters and cards I've been saving for as long as I can remember and in that box I found a stack of letters addressed to me over the years and at many different addresses....all having the same steady, constant and comforting return address and name of my Gram on them. And so I welcomed the new year in by reading letters that were once written to me from my gram. In the wee hours of the night, I was reminded that she will always be with me. She is with me in the very fibers of my being, in the way I love my kids, and the way I love and care for my husband. She is with me in the way treat my friends and the way I try to stay connected with people far away. I was amazed at the detail in the letters and the memories they brought back. She wasn't some eloquent writer, she just wrote from the heart.


In reading those letters about the mundane daily things she was doing and the questions she was asking me about school, and my new dog and how I was liking my new room...it was liking having a long lost conversation with her. It was an unexpected treasure I'd discovered and for once I felt glad instead of sad. As I woke up this morning, not only is it a new year by number but it is also a new year for opportunities...and that makes me feel hopeful. I woke up reminded how very much she loved me and how lucky I am to have these unexpected "conversations" tucked away in my closet. It left me feeling inspired to push myself and my family to be more present in the day to day and to hopefully instill in them the need for keeping in touch with those we care about. In a world of technology, and instant gratification with snap chat, twitter, facebook and texting or better yet, mass emailing... where is the  personal connection of seeing someone's handwriting, or the funny card they picked out just for you? Where is the personal touch of drawing out a picture or sending someone a clipping from a magazine?


Today I woke up challenged to reconnect. I want someone else to feel the way I did last night reading those letters. I want someone else to come across an envelope from me, to see the return address on the envelope and have it make them smile. I want someone else to receive a piece of mail that isn't junk or bills and know that someone is thinking of them. I want my letters to make someone feel loved...

Won't you join me in sending some love out into the world this new year's day?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Real friends bring tea bags and toilet paper...

  I feel like I have lived a charmed life in some way, having never dealt with such huge losses in the way I have this last year. That's not to say I've never lost someone close to me because I have, but until last year it was much older family and never someone I've had such close relationships with. That being said, I have been learning a lot about the grieving process and how important it is to have friends that reach out at just the right time.

  Now, I don't want this blog to become something you dread reading. I don't want it to focus strictly on the losses my family has experienced this last couple years but on the other hand I don't want to ignore it either. I would rather be honest about thoughts and feelings and maybe help someone else that is going thru this or can relate. And don't get me wrong, there have been many blessing in our lives too and continues to be, intermixed with the sadness. Not to worry, we are taking notice of the blessings along the way too. But some days, the sadness just seeps in and seems to hover in my immediate area.There is no rhyme or reason and no pushing it away. Sometimes it just means having a blue day and allowing myself to feel it. It's not something that everyone can understand but when they do, it means alot.

Through all the loss and funerals and such, I've also witnessed some incredible kindness and love. I never realized how much it meant to get a sympathy card in the mail. How one little card can let a person know that someone else out there is thinking about them. The first sympathy card I got after my Gram's passing actually had a cloth hanky in it. Crisp and new and o so pretty. I ended up holding it thru most of the visitation and funeral as a reminder that I had people praying for us.



I don't know about you but  I know I never feel like I know exactly what to do when a friend loses someone. Will my meal be good enough? What if I show up and they are busy? I don't want to bother them. How can I help without getting in the way?

 Through all this, I have learned that it doesn't have to be some grand gesture, some perfect act of kindness... it just needs to be SOMETHING.... Even if it isn't the food you would normally eat, when a meal shows up at your door you welcome it in and enjoy it because you know that the person who made it or brought it just wanted to help and lighten your load. When my husband's grandfather passed away, their church family flooded us with food. Some in the form of meals and some that I would consider to be more filler- cases of water, cases of individual orange juice bottles, chips, breakfast foods and yes.... toilet paper! I can remember laughing about the toilet paper... but when you really think about it, it was brilliant! Within a matter of days of his grandfather taking a turn for the worse, my husband's aunt and uncle had 6 extra people staying with them and certainly no time to go stock up on things like toilet paper! All of those little things were lifesavers....

More recently, when my gram passed away, my mom's house was also overwhelmed with food. Friends from all directions brought in lunch meat platters, fried chicken with salad choices, and they all rallied to have a hot meal delivered for about a week after the funeral. Knowing that we had to eat was obvious but if we had had to make it, I really don't know that any of us would have gone to the effort. In times like that, you just go numb...



Some of things that were brought that really stood out to me weren't things I would have ever thought of. We got there (from west coast to east coast) within 3 days and already my mom's friends had her freezer full of frozen waffles/pancakes, her counters covered in breakfast cereals and a huge bag of misc tea bags waiting for those quiet moments that were sure to come. I think her friends probably felt pretty helpless and just went into their own personal cupboards and freezers to find things they thought we could use. I picture them in a hurry to help, arms reaching into their own kitchens so intent on getting to my mom's side.... Isn't that what we are supposed to do? As friends, family and Christians... aren't we supposed to just pull together and help comfort or sometimes hold up each other when we need it? It was all those little things that I think about when I am having a hard day. I took  a picture of the tea bags because at the time, they really struck a cord with me. They were something so simple but so sweet and thoughtful.





On the day of the visitation, it was pretty much a constant sea of friends and family pouring in the doors of that beautiful old funeral home.  Some were friends I hadn't seen in nearly 30 years, while some were friends from my parents' church who had never even met my gram but had traveled great distances to be there for our family. I have never really been one for going to funerals or viewings for people I don't know incredibly well but I have to say, I learned something thru this experience. I've learned that it's really not about the person that died... its about all the people left behind and that's not just including their immediate families. When you think about all the people that are touched by the life of one person.... there are so many people that are left to grieve when they are gone. Going to that visitation, seeing the family and friends that you don't get to see on a regular basis and getting to hear the stories and catch up on their lives too... that is so much a part of the healing process...


I guess what I'm trying to say, is that when you feel the need to reach out to someone who is having a rough day, or to someone that is hurting due to the loss of someone or just because of life that seems to be coming on too strong... follow that urge! If you meant to send a card but didn't and now it seems too late... send it! The healing doesn't happen over night, and many times the darkest hours are going to come long after the funerals are over and the meals/kindness have stopped.

I think one of the biggest problems in our world today is that we are so afraid of what others will think of us. I hope that people will look back on me as someone who cared... even to a fault. If each of us would just reach out to another person today, tomorrow and the next etc... can you imagine how much better our lives would be? That's what I try to remember on the hard days. When I look back on the many people we've lost in the last few years, I see people who cared. I see people who weren't afraid to reach out and help a friend. I see people who are no longer here on earth with us but I also carry the lessons they taught deep in my heart. I think we have all probably had people like that in our lives.... won't you join me in honoring them by doing something nice for someone else? Be the change...

I would love to hear back from anyone reading this. Feel free to share something thoughtful that someone else has done for you or something you did to reach out. It's not about bragging, but in sharing ideas. You'll never know how much your actions might inspire someone else...

     This blanket was a gift given to my Papa from the diner where 
he goes almost daily... 
6 of the workers came as a group to present it to him. 
You could literally feel the love walking in the door for him... 
                                   We should all be lucky enough to have friends like that!                                                                                                                  



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ringing in my ears...

I thought we were past all the ringing of bells, or rather the ringing of phones.... but life doesn't really seem to work that way does it? We seem to think if we can just get over this one little hurtle, life will even out, slow down and somehow get easier, right? .... Not so much...

It was another busy day of activities for the kids. I was just getting home and sat down to catch up on things when I noticed the blinking on the phone.

 We had a message.

The message was from a lady we know thru church. She had heard that we might be looking for a house to rent (our current landlord had mentioned maybe needing to sell) and wondered if we would be interested in checking out her parents' house. They had been moved into an assisted living facility and their house was sitting empty and would be in need of renters soon. My husband walked in in the middle of me calling her back and it was decided we would be meeting up in less than an hour to check it out. Talk about a leap of faith... we loved where we were living and didn't want to move but we also knew there wasn't much out there in the way of rentals for our area and definitely not a house that was in our budget AND allowed for us to bring along our close to zoo collection of critters....We had been living month to month just waiting for our landlord to give the word (or a ring!) that we needed to be out....It's in moments like these that we feel God the most. It's as if He is trying to steer us in whispers not yells. He is giving us the puzzle pieces but it's up to us to put them together and see the big picture, or at least a part of it. He was waiting for us to take the bait, to step out on faith... and we did.



Sometimes you never get to see the intricate details of God's plan. You might see his gentle course but not be able to see the why of something. We, however, saw the outcome of our stepping out on faith a mere week later... when our current landlord came to tell us he was putting the house on the market. God is so good to have this house lined up for us before we even thought we needed it.



It was decided that we would get all our ducks in a row ( no pun intended), which included a trip for me and the kids to see my parents and grandparents (Grammy and Papa) back east, while the lady from church got her parents' things moved out and the house ready for renters.

 It had been over a year already since we were back to visit, and my Gram has been suffering from dementia and strokes. The thought of a move ahead of me, on top of being tired from our other recent life changes was just too much to think of putting off a visit any longer. So the kids and I got on a plane and dear hubby stayed home to work and care for all our critters.



I had no idea that that trip too was in God's plan. Looking back, maybe he forced his hand in speeding up our move just so I would have to jump at the chance to go back "home"...before life would change more than I could ever imagine and my idea of going home would be forever altered...





July 29th I woke up to my home phone ringing....in a bleary state, we couldn't get to it in time. Then my cell started ringing and I knew that something was big....I heard my mom's voice on the other end and she was quickly telling me that my Gram was in the hospital again. I was listening as intently as I could being half asleep and yet wide awake with emotions but she might as well have been talking in Chinese. So much of that conversation  I couldn't retain when my husband asked me for details only moments later. In a nut shell, we were losing her....I was losing my Gram, my idol, one of my lifelong best friends, one of my biggest supporters, the most amazing person and true Proverbs 31 woman.... A huge part of my heart was leaving this world and there was nothing I could do.

 Times like this aren't moments you like to think about if you don't have to. It's not as if you can prepare or practice how you will feel or react. It just happens. Only we had been thru this kind of phone call a number of times in the last year or so, so I guess my mind did have it stored away somewhere of what I would have done differently if given a do-over with other loved ones we have lost. I had it in me enough to ask my mom to take the phone to her. I could hear my gram breathing, I was talking so loud in hopes that she would hear me saying "I love you" over and over...I was always ok to hang up from our conversations in the past, even the many times when she would forget how to hold the phone up for herself, if I knew that she at least heard me say I loved her....

I'd like to think she heard me one last time...

My Gram passed away a few hours later in the company of my mom, my papa/ her husband of 66 years and her pastor.

My life will never be the same as I know will be the same for anyone that ever met her, but we are trying to just keep moving. I'm working on another post to share here and will update this entry when I do ...


Friday, March 6, 2015

If memories ring true

They have the saying "saved by the bell" but is all that ringing really saving us from something or just inching us along in God's big plan for our lives....



I've been thinking about it a lot lately, not so much as a bell ringing but more like the phone... all the phone calls that we answer in life that hold an unknown outcome in that split second of rushing to answer it. Most of us don't give it a second thought. The phone rings and we answer but really we never know when a simple thing like answering the phone is going to change life as we know it....

The last year or two has been full of ringing phones that ended up altering our lives and the outcomes have left me at a loss for words to write on this little blog you are reading. It's not that I haven't had a lot to say. If anything I have had so much to say that I haven't been able to simplify my thoughts to get them out in word form. And the more time that passes, the harder it is to come back. I didn't even really think anyone would miss my ramblings but I got a card in the mail (yes that ancient for of communication that is being lost in our society!) that proved me wrong. It was a from a friend that isn't on facebook (good for her! lol) and she was writing to say that she missed my blog writings. I had left her wondering if I'd ever learned how to use my loom, had our fairy garden grown and  how our animals were doing, including our newest addition Rudy ( I'll fill you in on him soon I promise!) . It got me to thinking of all the blogs that I have followed thru the years and the people behind them that I felt became like friends... only to have them leave their blogs sometimes unannounced and I've missed them....

And so, I sit here wanting to catch you up on all the phone ringing that has changed our course in the last year or so. I really don't mean to remember things in such detail but my mind just does it. It is something I am trying to let go of so maybe in writing it down I will be able to. Through everything we've had in the last year, I just hope that my actions have in some way been able to be a testimony to God. I don't know how I'd have gotten thru any of this without Him...



Really it began over two years ago when I was driving my girls to book club. My cell phone rang and I saw that it was my half- brother ( I don't like labels but to help explain family dynamics I will use them just this once.) My biological father had collapsed at work and was at the hospital. I remember the exact part of that road because I won't use my cell while I am driving so I had to pull over to talk. That call was a big one...

Then came the call that we had to move... in 6 weeks... with 48 eggs in the incubator and a small hobby farm to relocate. God was SO good in that whole situation. He had everything worked out in such detail...

There were numerous ringing of phones in regards to my father, like the one when he called to tell me it was brain cancer, and the one asking for prayers as he was having unexpected brain surgery while we were on the road traveling a few months later....

There was the call that we had lost my Great Aunt Sis and unfortunately so many more calls about family friends that are no longer with us either...

The biggest collection of phone calls started last spring... It was my daughter's 10th birthday and it was a beautiful sunny day. Yet again, I got a call from my brother and my father had had a stroke....

A month later, I was sitting at my sewing machine working on puppets having a wonderfully quiet morning to myself as the girls were still in bed. The phone rang and my life would never be the same. My aunt called to tell me that my father had a brain bleed and that this was it.... The phone call I got later in the day from my brother only confirmed it... my father was gone...

This is when I think I lost the words to write. I've been keeping my thoughts and feelings mostly to myself... well, myself and God. There's been a lot to talk about, just him and I. I wasn't sure how to move on in this blog space. I couldn't just pretend that this didn't happen but I didn't know how to explain it either. My thoughts and feelings run so much deeper than I could ever explain and the family history is anything but cut and dry. :)

Last fall came the call that our 16 year old niece was in car accident and that her life was ended all too soon and then just over a month ago we got the call that we were needed in KS for my husband's grandfather... we made it in time to spend his last two days on earth with him before his passing too...

I'm not telling you all of this to ask for pity, but I have to acknowledge the events of the last year so that I can somehow leave them there... in the past... so I can move on to the new plans God has for us.



 I need to move on...the last year has been so full of grief and loss and I don't want to focus on that any more. Today is another beautiful day that God has given us and I want to live it to its fullest and in a way that gives Him all the  glory.... to live in a way that pays tribute to all the people we have loved that aren't here any more.... to live in a way that that would make all those people proud... to give thanks everyday for those amazing people and for the memories we have of them....



Today is a new day and I am glad...



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Extended sale!

We really enjoy these dvds. If you would like to try them, now is the time! They've just extended their sale for 2 more days!!