Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcoming a New Year

"I enter the new year with the understanding that I am making a fresh start.
I begin by discarding thoughts, attitudes, and habits that are not
compatible with an excellent life.
I let go of whatever caused past discouragement, disappointment or disagreement.
I know that seemingly negative outcomes are desires or goals
that are yet to be fulfilled.
I am open and receptive to new ideas activities and relationships.

Each day, I can follow a fresh plan of fulfillment.
I act on divine ideas that I receive in moments of prayer and inspiration.
These ideas flow through wholesome, positive thoughts.
As I use creative thinking to build upon divine ideas,
my activities become more dynamic and my abilities are enhanced.
Therefore, I enter this new year with optimism, joy and enthusiasm."


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Are You Almost There?

Are we almost there....?
How many times have you been asked that question?

We just attended the last MW Smith concert in our area last week.
It was more than outstanding as he played Christmas carols with a full orchestra.

His song, 'Almost There'
...has left me speechless.
Imagine Mary full of innocence carrying the Holy prince.
She's trusting in God.
Shes watching signs from the angels.
Does she really know about the redemptive plan?
A lonely road on a donkey...
Waiting to give birth...
to be laid in a stable?
She gives life to Emmanuel, the beginning and the end.
She continues to trust her Father.
"You're almost there, almost there..."

How many times have we heard our children ask the same question?
Grown ups and little ones think alike.
You have those longing to die...
"Am I almost there?"
Little ones can't wait to arrive to their destination.
Are we almost there?

When can we open presents?
Are we almost there?

Where are you?
Can you just reach up and touch Him?
'You're almost there.'

Mary has grown a child with out the help of a man.
There's confusion and misunderstandings.
And Christmas is the event of this miracle birth.
It's the only Christmas gift you don't need to buy.

"Like a stone on the surface of a still river.
Driving the ripples on forever
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe."

We can go through all the actions and traditions at Christmas,
But the real meaning still lies in the cry of a tiny babe.

Monday, December 22, 2014

So This Is Christmas!

"So this is Christmas..."
Can you hear me singing the words?

 Saturday, the clock struck early.
Trimmings, stuffing, peeling potatoes, washing vegetables, preparing salads....

"Oh my, it looks like someone is late."

I reminded them to check their google calenders as requested.
Weeks of preparation, baking and wrapping....for this one special day.

  Place cards laid on the table....keeps things less complicated.

"No, I want to sit with Tara"

 Dessert trays...

"I'm full Mom, can we eat those tomorrow?"

Supper is gobbled down in 30 minutes flat!
I'm not even sure that John got to sit down.

 "When do we open presents Oma?'  echoed the voices of young and old?

And guess who enjoys opening her gifts?

 7:00 pm   Everyone is waiting....for skype time with Mikki and Joe...

Three technicians and we can't hook skype up to the big screen?

Hours later we visit with loved ones from afar.

Mom comes to the rescue with her Ipad

Ivy shows her excitement as she recognizes her aunt and uncle.

" Hey, someone didn't get a gift."

We all pulled names..
Did someone not read correctly...?
Iphones were quickly drawn checking their latest emails.
Ooops!... there seems to be some confusion.

"Mom, I did not receive your package!"

Oh year I'll send the gifts in summer.
I tracked the gifts this morning.
"Oh yes," Madame, "priority 2-day service"
Seems like things got lost in the mail.

 And Ivy looks on with awe and wonder.
The Christmas Story is read by the boys while waiting to open the large black gift.

The 'large black gift" will be postponed to next week.

And the front page cover from the Calender  is revealed...

They argued....
they all thought they deserved the front cover.

Guess who won?
She was spotted on every page.

"And so this WAS Christmas....
I hope you have fun!
The near and the dear one...
The young and the old..."


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Advent Prayer

It's the Advent Season which is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Join with me over the weeks as I prepare my own heart,
for the coming event of Jesus being born and that I can process 
this in my own life to model myself after Christ.
I found this fitting prayer in our church bulletin and want to share it with you.

'Lord God,
I sense your power, 
your might and I stand in awe,
painfully aware of how poor and weak I am before you.
As I begin this Advent journey,
teach me to turn to you in humbleness and gratitude.
Help me to see the areas of sinfulness in my life
and release them to you and your cleansing touch.
Soften my heart to your invitation to 
take up my cross and follow you.
Help me to be faithful to you in all circumstances.
Help me to look on those around me 
with your love and care.
Only you can help me to soften,
to be like the clay 
in your gentle potter's hands.'

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Family Secret!

 It was another beautiful fall day in the valley.
Silas had shared with me the  'family secret....'
They were all excited about revealing a secret they had with their Dad.
The two little boys were schemingly involved in a rubik cube puzzle.
The final clue said, "Will you marry my Dad?"

 Jeremy and Tara announced their engagement with plans of a wedding scheduled for May.
Last summer Tara was introduced to our family 
and it was important that the grandparents approved of Jeremy's girlfriend.

A few weeks ago, Jeremy brought Tara for 'the blessing' on their future marriage.
And Oma Helen read...from Oswald Chambers, "Still Human"
"Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  1 Cor. 10: 31 (November 16th.)

 We share your joy and will continue to pray for both of you.
Welcome Tara to our family.
We look forward to getting to know you.

Families are like branches on a tree.
We all grow in different directions,
yet our roots remain as one.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thank You God!

 It poured and poured all weekend.
I prayed,  "God can you give me one window of 30 minutes of sunshine?"
I did not think that was too much to ask.
The clock ticked 3:00 pm.
The rain stopped.
The sun shone!

 Everyone marched off to the 'alien garden'
Again, our alien garden is a pile of dirt in the back 40!
It's a pile that gets secretly planted each spring and it's always a surprise for the family.
They all knew one thing for sure....the  alien garden yielded pumpkins.
 Everyone had to help pick up the pumpkins.

 And this was Ivy's first year attending and she knew which pumpkin she wanted.
And they rolled the pumpkins into the trailer.

And off they rolled home to be carved.

A smile that tells you everything is fine.
And the carving competitions began as they used their motorized tools.

This truly is a family affair.
One draws, one holds, and one cuts.
Levi is showing us his new skills as his dad looks on.
Silas with the help of Tara scooped out the pumpkin seeds.

 While they carved Ivy and I cooked up supper and enjoyed the swing.

It's fun sharing the family traditions with our newest members.
There was a place set for everyone.

 And Opa made his pumpkin delivery.

 These are the smiles that keep our family times special.
 Cooler nights are the clue that Fall is in the air and the nights are shorter.
Thank you God for 30 minutes of sunshine.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Summer is Finally Over!

Summer is officially over....
The kayaks are put away...and we're ready for fall.
I keep asking myself what keeps me busy...
I never seem to have enough time to blog..

Here's my list.
The corn season has officially ended.
The garden vegetables have been dug and stored for winter.
Canning, freezing and preserving are completed.
The raspberry and blackberry canes are cut back.
The leaves are beginning to fall.

But one thing does not end...and that's family.

This little girl, Ivy has changed our lives for ever.
We've been spending time getting to know each other.
If we're not  picking raspberries....

she's inviting her big cousins for play dates.

And they love interacting with her.

Just last week, she made sure that she brought all of us together once again.
She loves the outdoors.

And so we all enjoyed an afternoon celebrating the 'end of summer'

To make this all a bit more interesting...
a few weekends ago...we celebrated our anniversary.
I walked into the lobby and was about to nudge my husband...
And say, "if you've ever seen a clone of Mikki....that's her."

 I glanced away and wondered why this person was smiling at me.

"It truly is Mikki..."

I gasped and could hardly contain myself.
She totally surprised me and I was totally overwhelmed.
John had made arrangements earlier in the week, keeping this a total surprise.

This morning Ivy came for her last snuggles for a few weeks
But she seemed to be more interested in the horses.
They have already bonded.

We are sailing away and taking a cruise to the Holy Land.
I'm looking forward to exploring some of the historical sites
and walking the same roads where Jesus performed his ministries.

Seasons come and go....but family stays forever.
And I love every minute of it.