Saturday, December 27, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

I have to apologize to all those who keep stopping by to check my blog for new posts. I'm afraid I have to take a long break from blogging. My mother-in-law has become a semi-invalid and is now living with us so we can care for her. We really feel the Lord wants us to take care of disabled parents for as long as He makes it possible for us to do so. I realize there may come a time when we will no longer be able to, but for now it is possible.
I have enjoyed blogging and will get back to it when other priorities permit. I will still be peeking in on the blogs I have always enjoyed reading, now and then.
Please continue to visit Deliverance's blog. Since we live in the same house you might hear what's going on with all of us. (here's our black raspbery patch)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our First Real Snow Fall

We've had little flakes come and go a couple of times, but this morning it actually stuck to the ground without disappearing. It was a steady dusting of powdered sugar for a while.

Scooby couldn't wait to go out and take a better look, but quickly came running to get out of the cold. He has short hair so it couldn't keep him warm for very long. Then in the evening it came down almost like a white blanket for a short time and made sure everything was covered, but I didn't take a picture of that.
It is so pretty, like a gift floating from heaven. I know that shortly we will look at it differently, forgetting how pleasing it is today. We'll get tired of it's coldness and trying to drive in it, and having it limit our time outdoors.

Does that remind you of how our attitudes change about the many new things and experiences that come into our life? Like maybe even our first desire to learn everything about the One who had just redeemed us. That hunger to study every word and dig as deep as you can go. That thirst to be what He wants you to be. That attitude of gratitude which kept Him in the forefront of every decision and emotion.

There are so many different things that can slow down our spiritual maturing process. We all probably know what our weaknesses are, it doesn't take very long for the devil to figure them out and use them against us. It takes an effort to make the decision to rejoice in the day that the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24), and to do what is necessary to grow my spiritual life and attitude. God says if I acknowledge (know, depend on) Him in all my ways He will direct my paths. Keeping that desire to become like Christ doesn't just come upon us with our physical maturity. He said I need to use His words as my guide in all matters. When I know Him more I will love Him more and will walk in His path.
So when our growth has been stunted, and spiritual attitudes are getting off track, God has graciously provided the way for us to continue being guided by Him in a new life as a new creature - Pro. 3:6.

Tuesday morning - after having fun jumping around in the beautiful new snowfall, Scooby is ready to get warmed up.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recipients Of His Blessings

I promised some pictures and finally had time to take some and put in a couple that Steve took, too. The 2nd one is a view of our street. Most of the houses can't be seen until you come up to their yard. Getting our new house in order has been going very slowly. Since we no longer have a basement to "pack-rat" in (the kids have thier aparment on the lower level), I'm constantly deciding what I can live without. When I'm done, having less "stuff" in my life will be a good thing. But, right now it feels overwhelming and makes me want to ignore it. That's why I think this may take me several months.
One nice thing is, when I do want to escape for a while, there is plenty of yard to meander around and find a small project to get interested in. Like pruning some of our overgrown black raspberry thicket, that will be in another post.
Here are the views of our back yard that I get to look at every day, all day. The first one is from the entrance stairs of our bi-level (we have different chairs ordered). The living room picture window and the dining room doorwall are like large frames for the serene landscape. The next two are the view from our kitchen. We hope to see deer sometime.
I don't know why the Lord has blessed me with so many good things in my life. Like great family and friends, His protection time and time again, etc. . . and especially salvation!
Every time He heaps another one on me I think about how much I DON'T do for Him. He knows it will turn my thoughts to how gracious and merciful He is, that He would lavish so much on the undeserving. He knows, that being yet unperfected we will fall short of living the life He deserves from us.
It makes me remember songs like "Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus" and others that praise His amazing grace.
1. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

2. O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

3. O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Birthday Girl

Today I reflect on all the great characteristics that makes our little girl such a wonderful young woman. We love you Deliverance.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

When It Rains . . .

As of yesterday, we have all our things moved over to our new house, but most of it is still in our new garage. Although the rooms here are a little bigger and the house is in perfect shape, we have less storage areas here and have to sort through more of what we can do without, and look through the home stores for organization ideas. But we are just going to relax and take things slow for a while because things have been too hectic for too long.

During the last week of our move, we consistently felt overwhelmed with how much we had to do. To save some money we hired a couple of moving men to move only our heaviest things. Well they never showed up and never returned my calls. (stress #1). But another company squeezed me in for the next day. They sent 2 very young men that seemed like they had very little practice at it and I was afraid for their safety when they struggled with our refrigerator. I was as unsure of them as they seemed to to be of themselves (stress #2).
One of Steve's friends let him borrow his truck so we could get a lot moved over ourselves in less trips, and while following him in the car I bumped into the back of it when Steve had to stop suddenly when someone cut him off. The trailer hitch of the truck poked a hole in the front of the car, but it was Steve's work car instead of our good car, and we were relieved it only left a small dent in his friend's bumper, but I felt horrible about it. (stress #3). Then when we were returning the truck, it was dark and a deer popped out of the woods and into the front side of the same car. Of course it shocked me since I didn't even see it come out of the woods, and for a split second I thought it might kill me. But it rolled onto the hood, and as I braked it rolled onto the road ahead of me. For a few seconds it tried frantically to get up, which broke my heart. Then suddenly managed to run back into the woods (stress #4 - and a cry, poor deer). Steve hadn't seen me hit the deer and didn't notice I was no longer following behind him, so when I started down the road again I called his cell phone. After a mile, I realized I should have waited there for the police and I pulled over at a cross road, out in the middle of nowhere (stress #5), until Steve came back to me and called the police. Well, the car is still in the shop, and since we still had stuff to move, we opted for our insurance to pay for a rental. They didn't have any cars, so they gave us a deal if we took a truck (which we really needed anyway) for $5 a day. I ended up finding out from our insurance claims person that we didn't need the extra insurance the rental guy persuaded us to buy, and I think the stresses had my nerves wearing thin, so I confronted him pretty firmly (for me) and insisted he take that charge off our bill for the 7 days we've had the rental so far (I even told him he lied to us, which shocked Steve). I know Steve was embarrassed but in the end he was glad the bill would be $85 cheaper now. So, I DID have to put up with a day of Steve calling me "Iron Lady", making me walk in front of him so I couldn't shove him around, and whenever I seemed agitated with something he asked me not to hit him.

Finally, with only a few days left to finish things up and needing about a week, Steve's mom's boyfriend died from a breathing problem. I took the funeral day off from moving to be with her and our family, and Steve ended up cutting his moving time short to help his mom with a problem. But we were glad to be with his them during their own stressful time.

For most people these interferences wouldn't seem like much, but I'm not used to having stress in my day, I usually avoid it quite well. I know things don't happen unexpectedly to my Heavenly Father. He knows what I'm going to have to deal with daily and that it will all be used to shape who I become. He is an umbrella, protecting me from more than He has prepared me for, and it's good to know He has the power to make things go the way He wants it to.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UGGGHH - Moving !!!

We are almost done with moving to our new house. We are doing it all ourselves, with Deliverance and Josh helping us get things into the garage and house. We only paid for movers to get the really heavy stuff like our fridge, stove, couch etc...
Now we are finishing up getting the smaller stuff, and then cleaning our old house so the landlord won't be too grossed out. It is a very dusty older home, so there is a lot to do in the cleaning department.
We have just now got our internet out here in the country, about a 30 minute drive from wher we used to live. But I won't be able to spend much time on the computer. It will probably take a year to get everything situated here.
I'll be sending some pictures later, whenever I can. Thanks for continuing to stop by.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Farwell, Lady Grey

One of Deliverance and Josh's rabbits, Lady Grey, died last week. I found her like that in the morning when I went to feed her and her sister CĂ©ilidh (Kaylee). Their hutch has been on our back porch until we all get moved over to our new house. We don't know what caused it. She had fulfilled her purpose, which was to purely be a pet. Letting those around her feel the rewards of giving love. Just as her sister continues to do. The Lord only knows why she wasn't allowed to stay a little longer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Birthday Boy Josh

We are blessed with a wonderful son-in-law. Happy birthday Josh, we love you!
We're thankful that the Lord placed you in our family. He knows who we need in our life.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This summer, somebody's pet pigeon got lost near my parents house in Michigan so on the way home to Indiana we dropped it off with a veterinarian who loves pigeons. It was a sweetie that loved to cuddle.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Celebration and Repentance

Today is Yom T'ruah, or Rosh Hoshanna. You can Google it for yourself, but here are a couple of sites that I found with some explanations. This one is audio.

What I could understand is that it is a day to celebrate the next 10 days of reflecting on your spiritual condition to prepare for atonement. Whenever this horn was blown it was for specific reasons and everyone's attention given. Some info on the shofar horn said that it may have also sybolized God's own voice.
Since Jesus the Messiah became my attonement, I appreciate the need for times of remorse for my daily sinfulness, remembering my unworthiness, because it draws me closer to my Lord. But God doesn't want us to "dwell" on this because He deserves my joy and gratitude for redeeming me in spite of all my garbage. I'm often overwhelmed with the realization that He has actually made me His precious heir, and that He has very intricate plans for my life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


After days of steady rain, many counties around us (northwest Indiana/northeast Illinois) have been declared a disaster area. We have to boil our water and stay out of the flood waters. Our home escaped with only 2 inches of water in our basement, which is nothing compared to those who have lost everything.

When waters started receding many of our townsfolk came out to look over the damages in our little downtown area, which is situated beside a lake where our dam broke. Some streets are still closed off from flood or sink holes, and some bridges are crumbling apart. According to the weather history for our area, the last flooding this bad was 100 years ago, so we may not see it this bad again in our lifetime. Maybe that's why everyone was walking around taking pictures, like Steve and Deliverance were.
For more pictures visit Deliverances flicker pictures.

Friday, September 12, 2008


... that's been me lately. For those of you who were faithfully checking my blog for new posts, sorry for wasting your time by not having anything new for long stretches at a time.
At first I was just under the weather for a while, then we got excited about looking at new houses on the internet, and visiting them.

Deliverance and Josh asked us if we would like to go in with them as co-owners for a house that has related living and we are looking forward to it (since we have the greatest kids in the world). We looked at some that wouldn't work out, but just recently we found a nice Bi-level out in the country that has a flat on each level, and an acre of land. All the others we looked at needed work done and things replaced, which we were prepared to do anyway, but this one has been kept up nicely and is in perfect condition. Even though it is a little more than we wanted to pay, we eventually decided it was a great buy.
We still have to wait about 6 weeks before we can move in, so that part will be tough, but we are very excited to move into such a nice home. I probably won't want my old furniture to go into it, but there isn't anything we can do about that - until later.

Related living is more popular in some other countries where it is probably more of a necessity. It seems like a good idea for family members to pool their incomes in order to have a better place to live. I've heard that families did that a lot in our own country's history, and some obviously still do since I saw houses listed as such. It keeps the family support system close at hand. I imagine it also teaches patience and tolerance.

Well, I will be busy clearing out all the stuff I don't want to pack so I don't end up storing things in our new house that I haven't used in years. After 30 years in a house and 34 years of marriage, we have plenty of stuff that we can live without, which haven't seen light in almost as many years.
I won't be blogging much for a while, but I hope you will still check in on me from time to time. I will try to make an occasional post until I can get back to normal after we get settled in a couple of months. We'll have fun putting our personal touches into that huge yard, too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Have You Forgotten

It's not politically correct to remember, but I've never been able to understand politics anyway.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


When Deliverance and Josh moved into an apartment for a while, there were no pets allowed, so I get to have their rabbits parked on my back porch. It's very convenient whenever I get an urge for cuddling something cute and soft. Ceilidh and Lady Grey are irresistible, and so sweet you could get a toothache!

They also have a play yard to jump around in. Stevie stopped by on his way to the car to pet them. He still works at the cinema 2 evenings a week and has made friends with his co-workers who watch out for him.
Bunnies are natural prey for our dog Scooby, so we keep them away from each other. Even though he's a gentle dog I don't want to take the chance.

The bottles of frozen water can cool them on a hot day if they want to cuddle up to it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Angelic Eyes

Steve often experimented his photography techniques on our daughter Deliverance, when she was little. Which resulted in some of my favorites still today.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ultimate Percussion

Some people enjoy a nice symphonic concert, but I'll choose a precision drum corps routine any day.
Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland

Monday, August 4, 2008

River Of Life

Stevie and I were gone for 4 days to see my family outside the Detroit area. It takes just over 4 hours to drive there if I make no stops, which is easy if I have some interesting tapes to listen to.

Steve goes with us a couple of times a year, and he doesn't mind me going extra times so I can see them more often. I wait til he has some time off work, that's easier for both of us.

For at least 12 years my parents have had a tree "snake" of Impatiens in their front yard by the street. Mom calls it a river of life, it looks like it flows out of the tree. Dad puts a soaker hose along it so it doesn't dry out and stays full and showy. It makes for a pretty photo when we get our pictures taken by it.

The top picture is with the one they made last year when it became a little sparse, so you may be able to see how the flowers are planted into the snake.
For some reason the photos appear fuzzy, but you can click on some of them to see them clearly and bigger.

It is quite a job to plant the holes each year but the display all summer is well worth it. Mom always used to make the "snake" every 5 yrs or so (because the chicken wire rusts and breaks, then dad would tie it to the tree and place the soaker hose on top, then she'd plant the flowers in each hole. This year my sister Sue (pictured at top), her daughter Nichole and dad made a new snake, hung it and planted it.

The materials are landscape cloth, a 2" chicken wire, hot glue (to make the cloth into a sack), a "soil" made of pearlite and coconut bark, something to tie it to the tree and a black soaker hose. Depending on your tree size you make it as skinny or wide as you want, and as long or short. Theirs took 5 flats of Impatiens. If anyone has questions about specifics just leave a comment.

Wouldn't we all love to have this beauty in our own yard? Maybe someday I'll have the enthusiasm to attempt it. Mom says it wasn't difficult, especially if you have someone to help it go faster.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Man

Today is Steve's 53rd birthday (sorry, but he says he doesn't like his picture put on the internet for all to gawk at). He often teases me with witty remarks about being older than him, (just 6 wks) so I lord it over him by reminding him to mind his elders. Best friends can joke around like that occasionally without feeling bruised.
I respect the effort he puts into our relationship. He's my gentle leader, confidante, comfort giver, hard working provider, and I could make a list long enough for you to begin rolling your eyes at my gushing. He brags on me to his co-workers, but this is one of my only soap boxes to voice my declarations. He makes it clear to me that home is always where he'd rather be than anywhere. Isn't it true that each time we realize our husbands' efforts it inspires us to demonstrate our love for them even more?

That's how the church should respond to Christ's love. His daily blessings surround His own children whether we recognize and appreciate it or not. Our willing responses of obedience, our admiration and gratitude for all that we realize about His attributes, cause lifestyle changes as we mature, which is true worship, all that he desires of us. To be a living example of Himself.

I want to give Steve this song, and I think it will be enjoyable to all you romantics as well. I find comfort in knowing that we like to take care of each other.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Used To Hate Parallel Parking

As you can see in our home videos, my husband and I have been taking parking instructions. We really got the nack of it, so my daughter Deliverance learned to do us one better. Isn't she good?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Air Conditioning

I think he's trying to tell us something.
We like our house cool in the summer, but I don't think it's THAT cool.
Scooby is sensitive to heat AND cold, so he's not an outdoor dog. I guess it wasn't "just right" for him, poor baby!

He seemed more comfy after I tucked him in.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Shamrock Plant

I have never been able to keep houseplants alive for very long. I had given up on trying for a few years when I decided I wanted to have a Shamrock plant, also known as Iron Cross, or Oxalis. Some people call it a good luck plant, but shamrocks only have three leaves and is simply a symbol of Ireland. It's the four-leaf clover that is known for giving good luck, if you're superstitious.

I bought it before St Patrick's Day and divided it in half to share it with my friend Bonnie. It looked pretty bad for a long time but I kept it moist, misted, fertilized and in front of the window (indirect light). It not only perked up, but about the time that my houseplants usually start dying, it THRIVED. It's practically a small bush.

Hmmm, I wonder if it's really a weed, now those I can't seem to kill.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Wild Time

I wish I had taken pictures last Friday night, but I forgot to take the camera out of Steve's backpack that he took to work that night. It was his 6th 12 hr night, and 7 more scheduled (with a couple days off in between) because of people taking summer vacation weeks. Oh well, he will have his vacation weeks too.

Deliverance was shooting away with her camera, though. Deliverance, Josh and my friend Linda came over for dinner (Josh grilled, mmm). As usual Stevie stuck to Josh's side like glue the whole night. Then we went to the almost empty Walgreen parking lot for a perfect view of the city fireworks. It's easier than fighting traffic, searching for a space to sit or to park. Turns out, there were lots of other people setting off firework displays around the area that we could see from there too. What a show!

After that, we went back to our own street to set some off. This one Stevie is holding was the biggest one. As it was going off the residue rained down on us, but a lot of it missed those of us who were standing under our tree. There weren't very many mosquitoes either. The next day Deliverance said the city recycling bin for paper was overflowing with fireworks packaging.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Who's In Control?

The things the Lord allows to come into our lives don't seem to be so lovingly filtered at times, but we as His children can trust in the fact that nothing in our lives is unnoticed by Him, or is too great to be under His control.
Psalm 139:16 says that God not only knew how He would form us, but also that He already decided how each of our days would be lived, He fashioned them Himself beforehand.
Ps. 56:11 also says that nothing can happen to me that God doesn't allow. If our Creator is more powerful than the Evil one, is He also capable to be in control of everything that He allows to come into my life? And that being true, then it must be for a reason, and I really CAN thank Him for everything as 1 Thes.5:18 says, because He is worthy of my trust. And because He says everything is working together for our good
An old saying always pops into my head whenever I ask God "Why?!". "Faith isn't faith until it's the hardest thing to do". And sometimes it just seems too hard to do. How can anyone feel like praising God when you've just lost a child, or your spouse abandons you, or your life is slipping away from an unknown disease, or your sons were taken away to serve in a terrorist regime? How can we feel like thanking God for His perfect plan, when it isn't the plan that you want? Everyone who searches for this answer probably has their own way of finding it. The book of Job is where many of us go to hear God declare His sovereignty in the midst of devastation. We all have our favorite chapters of comfort, and verses proving His trustworthiness. Also, choosing songs of praise to keep in my mind helps me stay focused on Him. In my case, being blessed with a husband who's always ready to comfort and encourage is my biggest source of help. Sometimes all we can hang onto is the grace he miraculously gives us to endure. But I know my human nature has trouble staying in the "strong tower" that is our loving Father - pro.19:10 - who offers all the things we rely on.

Daniel 5:23 says that God holds our breath in His hands and owns all our ways. As my pastor said tonight, if God knows how many hairs we have our head, doesn't that show us how intimately He planned our days?
So, when we use all possible resources to protect our child, our marriage, our health - are we also able to praise Him for shaping our life His way, when He doesn't do what we ask? Depending on the degree of our mourning, it can honestly take some of us a while to even think of praising His wisdom.

I am by no means saying we should always be happy, or that we're sinful when we struggle with our faith. God's word does say that we are to mourn with each other, encourage, comfort, and provide for physical and emotional needs. That proves that He knows we will often have struggles, heartbreak, persecution, fear, anger, etc, and that we also need the encouragement of knowing that the family of believers will take time to remember us in prayer. Even though He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us, our relationships with each other was Jesus' concern when He washed His disciples feet and instructed us to do the same.

That's one of the things that makes us peculiar (set apart) from those who aren't His sheep. We have a hope, a peace that comes from trusting God with the reins. And though I keep taking the reins away from Him, that doesn't alter His control, it only alters my faith in His control.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Throwback Thursday

When we were first married in 1974, a cheap place to get away for 1/2 a day was a small amusement park near us called Enchanted Forest. It's been gone for years now, as it was already old back then, but we have a few pictures to remember, like this one.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"O Canada"

While thinking of our country's upcoming Independence Day celebration, I noticed on my calendar that today is Canada Day. I also needed something to blog about since I've been blog-dead for so long.

I don't know any native Canadians, unless there is one whose blog I visit and don't realize it's in Canada. I do know a transplanted Canadian, whose blog I started visiting because of my daughter Deliverance. Erin and her husband Eric were very helpful to Deliverance and Josh when they were getting ready to move to Scotland a few years ago. You can read about that here. If you click on Erin's link you will see that it is also her birthday. Congratulations, Erin, on celebrating your birthday on a national holiday. Also, her little girl Kate turned 4 yesterday. 2 cakes sound good to me!