Friday, November 15, 2013

Gummie Bears

OK – I hesitate on this post but here goes….

To help supplement our income, my husband and I after USING and LOVING certain health products delved into a business venture.  It has taught us a lot about ourselves and people.  I could write a whole line about open mindedness vs close-mindedness but won’t go there.
I wanted to share about these Gummie Vitaimin Bears. 

They look harmless.  They are a part of a new line for children.  I’m a HUGE vitamin supporter because I know not everyone (especially me!) and certainly not my kids get the nutrients they need from foods they eat.  So I was excited that these Gummie Bears are made with 23 good vitamins and not sugar loaded. 

So every morning I set out the kids vitamins for the start of the day.  I absolutely rolled on the floor laughing when they tried these and exclaimed “they taste like poop!” Faces contorted and one went to try to spit it out and I wouldn’t let him.  Literally cracked me up.  You see they’ve been eating the over the counter Walmart version in little cars. Not the best quality ones.
Day 2 of them they asked “do we have to eat them?” I said yes, declaring it takes 21 days to make a habit and get used to something and they had to give these a chance.  I explained they are “better” in quality and health benefits for them.  They listened.

Every day they continued to eat them.  The whining got less and less.
We are about to finish our third bottle and I don’t hear any complaints anymore.  See, they got used to them and even fight for the red ones. J  Change is good.

So – I’m excited that we’ll have a healthier winter and maybe ward off a few bugs or recover faster.  We run a healthy bunch of kids….every now and then those viruses catch us….but that said my kids aren’t nearly as sick as some of their friends.  Yahoo for vitamins.  If you want to try them or some of our other products, message me or go shop on our personal link:  Just make sure you see my name as your shop consultant:  Valerie Belknap and set up a login/account.  Anything you buy through our link benefits us.  Thanks and stay healthy however you do it!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Laughter in the Morning...

So many mornings it is push, push, push…wake up the kiddos, get them to dress, get them to eat, remind them no stretching or bodily noises at the breakfast table, get them to make beds, get them to brush teeth, get them off to school…..push, push, push.  Some days the attitudes are not very cheerful and the back talk and youngin’ crying don’t add to a joyful start for anyone first thing in the morning.
So today when Anthony showered and arrived later for breakfast than the rest of us wearing his sisters sweat pants she couldn’t find…..It was fun for me to be the one to tell him.  I pointed out he was wearing “girl” sweats!  Courtney erupted in her high pitched laugh-on-the-floor laugh and you can’t help but smile as a teen boy dashed downstairs to get them off….I called after him “at least I love you enough to tell you – I could have let you wear them to school!” making the others laugh even harder at the thought.

It lightened the start to the day and at the image of him standing in the kitchen with those skinny girl sweats on…..sometimes it is those little things that I carry with me in my heart….hearing the laughter following us all, making the morning a happier time…..we all needed that laugh! 
GENESIS 21:6 “Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

Out of context but applies – I hope you laugh with me too and find joy in your day.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear God, Thank you...

Dear God, Thank you for the blessing of my husband getting onto days and teaching me patience to wait for your timing which is always perfect!    Amen. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Saw Love Today....Did You?


I saw love when he kissed her boo boo.
I saw love when he helped her with her math.
I saw love when he showed him how to mow.
I saw love when he listened to his school stories.
I saw love when he read her a night time story.
I saw love when he listened to her day.
I saw love when he repaired the bike tire.
I saw love when he took him to his appointment.
I saw love when he kissed her goodbye as he left for work.
I saw love when he hugged her goodbye as he left for work.
I saw love when he patted his shoulder as he left for work.
I saw love when he spent the last minutes with him before he left for work.
I saw love when he snuggled with her and morning cartoons.
I saw love when he hugged her goodnight.
I saw love when he got his meds ready.
I saw love when he taught him to shave.
I saw love when he sat and played Barbies.
I saw love when he guided her in devotions.
I saw love when he set a manly example.
I saw love when he taught him to drive.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall is Here...

Fall is here – we played in the willow branches, jumped on a park play structure, collected acorns and found forgiveness for a day of moods… is good.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lessons of Loss by a Hummingbird Moth

Last night Sophia came to me holding a deceased Hummer Moth (Sphinx Moth). She blamed her brother for killing it, but he actually had found it dead while mowing. Sophia loves insects very much. She held it tenderly telling me its eye was poked out. Then the tears came as she cried I sat down with her, wiped those tears away and held her. I told her God called it home, it’s time was done and that all insects find cover for the winter – they’ve laid their eggs or whatever and next year I was sure we’d have another Hummer Moth like we have had every year. She felt better. She took it up front to show the neighbor boy saying “touch it” – he wasn’t sure but braved up and touched in gingerly. I love her heart and passion for insects despite my extreme “hate” of them, I try to encourage her despite my fears and give her the “wings” so she won’t have the fears/hate I have – she shows me she doesn’t so that is good.
Yesterday too, my Mom called to say a cousin of mine succumbed to cancer and passed away. So much loss….as we age it seems losses come faster of those we know/knew. Last week a very special uncle passed away as well and the memorial service is still a few weeks away. I see people grieving and sharing that grief as part of their healing in many ways nowadays. We all find our ways to cope.
When I went walking at the track, Sophia preferred to mess around as I got my laps in. As we went to leave, I went over to where she was crouched down watching a pile of ants doing their thing. She looked up at me and asked “do ants poop out their bottoms?” Where does she get this stuff? Oh that growing, inquisitive mind….I love it.
Tonight as the guys go get their football fix, we girls are staying home. I told the girls we’d have movie night without the boys. Sophia pipes up “can we watch movies naked?” Courtney burst out in shocked laughter, it make me smile while inside the visual of that would be very gross….I’ll probably let her sit around in her underwear…wrapped in her blankie but I’m sure Court and I will keep our clothes on! After all, we only live once so find the joy in the little things… the Hummer Moth…joy comes and goes before we know it. 
5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Skinny Girl Talking in my Mirror

I was a skinny scrawny, long legged girl growing up.  See how “feminine” I’m standing in this circa '70’s family photo. Arms hanging, legs apart, 4-eye glasses….
Long, lean, sassy. I grew up hating being skinny. I was teased a lot by bullies – never grew any boobs until I was married to speak of. “Flat” was what they called me in school. Jokes like “Bet you wear skis when you shower so you don’t fall down the drain” and “stand sideways, stick out your tongue and you’d look like a zipper” etc. Everyone always commented on my skinniness and height.  I just wanted to be "normal" and blend. 
We lived on a farm in my teens and we all worked hard, ate what we grew and butchered chickens,  once in a while a hog. Gathered eggs from about 10,000 chickens by hand for hatching eggs. Work was never in a shortage on the farm. I babysat from young on, then got a job in the kitchen at the French nursing home nearby, moved on to a department store….always knew the ethics of work. We only drank pop for special occasions like Christmas and Easter we’d visit the “Pop Shoppe” in the city and get a case of black cherry pop and other flavors. It was a treat.
Fast forward 30 years of marriage, free to eat and do what I want, no one telling me no and a lifestyle of fast food and all the pop I can have whenever I want it. I enjoy food…especially cheese cake. J Oops….gained some weight. So when I'd look in the mirror, I’d know I was gaining and growing a pot (especially after my hysterectomy) but it wasn’t really bothering me. I had curves finally… the wrong places, but curves….so in the mirror, I still heard that skinny girl talking to me. I was just OK with me. 
So….I think I just woke up from a dream and some reality has come in. I’m fat. Sophia says that is a bad word and makes us use “pleasantly plump.”   Ok then, I’m “pleasantly plump.” I know what to do. Won’t be fun, but I’m giving up the pop, will cut back on sweets (got my sweet tooth from my Dad) and will drink more water as I should. I’m walking on nights Steve isn’t working. Goal #1 to drop 20 lbs in 60 days. I’ll let you know how I’m doing (maybe)….the pop craving is the worst. I miss my Coca Cola.  Maybe I won’t be skinny again, but I can get myself back into “healthier” at least. Wish me luck….pray for me against temptations...for they are everywhere!  Especially with a house full of teens that are skinny as can be....just like the girl in the mirror.  **wink**

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Each Day is a Gift

Sophia woke me up bright and early - before sunrise.  I was annoyed because I have to poke and push during the week to get the girl moving.  We'd been up later at the local football game - so sleeping in was MY plan.  Not hers.

 Then God gave me this view out my back door and I was reminded that each day is a gift.  

And Sophia is a gift too to help me see some beauty I'd have otherwise slept through....including a busy spider on my deck furniture. (Uhg!)  I can even see the beauty of the web despite the creature!

May your day be a gift as well today and each day God grants you another sunrise.

"A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great"  Proverbs 18:16

Friday, September 6, 2013

Spiders on the move.

Spiders are on the move....I don't like that. Can't even just walk in the grass...what is this world coming to?
 Shooo, go away!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Like a Dead Sunflower....

Like a Dead Sunflower….
I hang my head in shame,
No one to blame.
My life sucked away,
Who is left to stay?

Once vibrant, full of life.
Now I wait, holding my strife.
The birds peck at my soul,
Wasting me like a sink hole.
The sun sets its warmth away,
Please I beg, come another day.
I didn’t mean to be this way,
Forgive my sins today.
Author: Valerie Belknap

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Up from a 6 year old

“Up” from a 6 year old.
 Sophia stands in front of me and says “up” with her arms stretched upward when she wants to be picked up.   She has turned 6. She has grown. I can’t pick her up anymore. I simply say, “lets go sit down and I’ll hold you” and we do.
Time changes, while in my heart she will always be my little girl – she is growing up. It wasn’t so long ago I could still scoop her up. So that is sad and happy for me. Sometimes Steve can still hold her, but for less time than before and on vacation she gleaned some piggy back rides.
I see this girl and cherish the times I can still sit and hold her, hug her and kiss her. She remains the glue that bonds us all and while we have those “tantrum” times, she is so in the realm of loved by all in our house, it amazes me what the older teens will do for her. She adores them, they adore her. Mutual. To watch a 16 year old boy watching “My Little Pony” because she asks him to, is the cutest thing. She can get them to play too that is so touching to watch. Memory games or puzzles or babies – it doesn’t matter as they speak the language of love through their actions. 
She is growing up too fast and having teens with teen "mouths" is a challenge when things get repeated…like the other day at breakfast her spoon was just too sexy. OK…..who even taught her the word sexy?   She didn’t know what it meant, but it won’t be long.
Balance – trying to find that and hold it.
God probably sees us doing the same thing, asking for “up”when we need to get past our infant Christian walk and take a stronger walk that we are called to. Growth – it is a good thing.
Let us all keep growing...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finding a Penny

Do you stop and pick up a penny if you see it laying on the ground? My kiddos sure do and holler – “make a wish!” As an adult, I’ve stopped picking up pennies for a while, but recently started again when I see them or at least point them out to my kiddos if they are along. 

The penny is the lowest form of currency in the United States. Recently Canada has done away with their pennies. Most people typically walk past them on the ground, not worth much to bend down and get it.  Souvenier places charge you 50 cents to smush a penny into a rememberance of their kiddos do collect those too.
My hubby recently received a coin that sorta looked like a US penny, but discovered it was a South American coin and only worth like 1/6thof our US penny. He didn’t feel “ripped”off but rather as a casual coin collector of sorts, he was thrilled with it.
I liken picking up the penny to so many children out there in the foster system and other places in need. They are the “penny” of society and just need someone to value them as a 20 dollar bill and step up for them. The excitement my children have in finding coins is lost on older adults – we want “more” – top dollar or nothing. That sparkle they get when they find a penny is the life and hope living in them. As adults, many of us need to gain that sparkle back!
I’m looking at my “penny” children who to me are $1 million dollar kiddos – my job daily is to make them feel like that million dollars and still be able to make change! They are my God given purpose on this earth and I take that seriously, even when others sometimes make them feel like less. I’ve been known to be tough on my kiddos, holding them to high standards - but I work hard to uplift them daily as well. I’m searching for the penny every day and to discover it with great joy as they show me how it is done. Each day we share our "highs" and have done away wish sharing "lows" as to focus more on the positive at the end of the day.
Yearly, our church, with many other churches collect pennies from the children during offering and place the coins in a specially made tower. We then turn them in at the annual MCC Sale –each year all those pennies add up to a good sum – 2012 penny offering totalled $19,843.27 for world wide relief.
Here is a link from last year to this wonderful fund raising event that ranks in the highest percentage of your given dollar going to those in need!
So, while not everyone in the world is called or capable of being a foster parent either, next time you see a penny on the ground – I dare you to pick it up….does it give you just a little thrill? Don't worry about anyone watching....find the joy in picking up that penny!  Think about it….

Friday, August 16, 2013

1st Day of Kindergarten 2013


She was so excited!  I'm excited she was excited! 

Let the good learning times begin.

"let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance..." ~ Proverbs 1:5

Thursday, August 15, 2013

1st Day for the teens 2013

And let the fun begin.....

First day for my 8th, 9th and 11th graders.  Yikes.  Let the routine and stress begin!

I won't tell you why they are laughing so hard....but it has to do with Anthony.....let's just say it is a boy thing.  :-)  Have  great day.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 10th, 2013 ~ A Great Day!

I’ve been waiting and praying for this day to share this post.  She is home.   Our family feels restored.
We are all changed and have grown so much in the last nine months.  Nine months.  That is what it takes to grow a child in pregnancy and go through childbirth – it sorta feels the same for me in that we gave our lovely daughter to a very special place for 9 long months, awaiting a sort of re-birth.  During that time we’ve reflected inwardly and worked hard.  Most of all – she has worked the hardest.  Many times it wasn’t easy.  And the work remains ongoing – but we are reunited as a FAMILY again…ready for this next path the Lord is leading us on as a family. 
Thank you to all of you, who held us close, nurtured us all and supported us in this passage of time.  Without your support and understanding we couldn’t have made it.  You know who you are….we love you all very much!  Family, church family, friends and professionals involved.  
We continue to pray daily for strength and wisdom. Tough days will appear again, I know that but for today, we rejoice.  We welcome your ongoing prayers and support.  You can read all the books in the world, know the ideals – but you still have to put it all into practice and there are always things that come up we aren’t prepared for in parenting, especially teens.  

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.   ~ Samuel Ullman ~
5 days from today we have a Kindergartener, 8th grader, freshman and junior all hitting the school system.  Phew – it will be a fun and busy year no doubt.  I’m so grateful for the Lord in sending us our children – each one chosen for us.  We are so blessed!  Let the celebrating begin!
Luke 15: 22-24, 31-32
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Friday, August 2, 2013

Onions and Layers

If you know me well – you’ll know I HATE onions. Let me rephrase that. I hate the TEXTURE of onions…the pieces that squeak in your teeth send me dashing to the bathroom to do an onion hurl! I actually love the flavor of onions…..I use onion powder and tolerate minced. Finely minced please. Yes, I’m an older lady who picks out chunks of onions and it annoys me GREATLY if I order my pizza without onions and low and behold they put onions on it…like I’m something rare that I hate onions.
Opposites attract? Yup – my husband loves onions – all kinds, all ways.
My in-laws (the best in the world!) grow a healthy garden and graciously share their produce with us. Onions accepted on a minimal basis will be used up in things like a roast in a crock pot simmering all day, etc. I pluck them off – my husband eats them up.
Onions are funny creations – who ever pulled them out of the ground the first time, peeled them back and decided to eat them? First of all – that outer coating is protecting their squeaky insides and my eyeballs from crying like a fool….chop them or slice them after peeling outside layers away and I cry like there is no tomorrow. I don’t enjoy cutting up onions too much, do you? I know there are ways to cut onions without causing a person to cry – just can’t remember them when I need that Pinterest tip.
As our daughter rejoins our home life again this month…..I think of the many layers we as people have. Sometimes we only see the outer peelings, dried and brown and don’t see the juicy goodness or inner ugliness until those layers are peeled back. We all have layers in our lives, some have to be analyzed harder and worked at to get to the goodness inside and release the flavor for all to enjoy in whatever way those fixin’s happen. I’m very proud of our daughter – she still has her layers, we all do – but she’s worked so hard to peel some things back. 
We’ll have crying days – no doubt. But I’m ready to slow cook our family into one dish of delish!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Little Cabin in the Woods

Little cabin in the woods
Little man by the window stood
Saw a rabbit hopping by
Knocking at his door
Help me Help me the rabbit said!
Or the hunter will shoot me dead
Come little rabbit, come inside,
Safely to abide.
This past week we were at our “little cabin in the woods” in Colorado.  Love to visit that state!
We did our annual soul restoration at a family camp, with good food, fellowship, hiking, sleeping, resting, reading, playing, singing……lifting glory to the Lord.  We have done this camp for years.  I keep thinking we should visit other parts of the U.S. or Canada….but Colorado it is.
The trees sway in a gentle breeze, sometimes I think they are voices of the Holy Spirit speaking to me, soothing me, filling my cup back up, directing my future in a way I don’t understand.  The smell is that only mountains and trees can evoke….not something the Kansas prairie gives us.  

Anthony has been obsessed with a rabbit in our yard at home.  So this old folk tune turned camp song was singing in my head in Colorado – bringing my worlds together.  He has chased and chased that poor bunny.  Set up traps to no avail.  He tells me he wants it for his pet – isn’t going to happen.  A boy thing – chasing rabbits. Then he was like “if I get all A’s the first 9 weeks will you let me get a rabbit?”  Hmmmm – given track record data – I said “sure.”  Mixed – love it if he shows me up with all A’s end of first 9 weeks – but not really wanting a rabbit…..stay tuned I guess!

I love my family!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep....on my straw mattress?

I’ve driven by this mattress that landed in a cut wheat field of straw stubble for a few weeks.  It makes me smile.  It makes me want to stop my vehicle and go out there and lay on it.  Not sure why. It is so odd, so out of place.  The wind must have caught it and flipped it there from someone who was moving.  And they didn’t notice their mattress flying into a field?  So I wonder who will remove it?  Will the farmer burn it when / if he burns off the straw stubble?

Did you know that there are 23 mentions of “straw” in the Bible?  I like this one:
How often are they like straw before the wind, like chaff swept away by a gale?  Job 21:18
Some days I feel like “straw” before the wind, swept away by the gales of life pushing me down a road, feeling out of control.  This last year we’ve learned a lot about “control” with our teens and their desires to be in “control.”  Giving them choices, having them try again when the “gale” blows them off course.  Using grace and wisdom to direct their paths once more on a path we desire for them – a path of faith, church, family and future following Christ as a leader.  Learning empathy (not my strong suit!)
We all get blown about from time to time.  It is a matter of picking up our mattresses and getting back on course. 
Seeing that mattress sitting there yet….reminded me of this classic 18th century prayer we used to recite at bed time – did you recite it too?  I used to think it was morbid to talk about dying in ones sleep….but I realize now, it is the faith of the promised salvation this prayer is recognizing.  My Dad died in his sleep…..what a way to go….salvation greeted....
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Arky Arky Barky Barky

I know it's odd - but every time I look at bark on a tree....I sing this song in my heart....
Arky Arky Song
God told Noah there’s going to be a floodie, floodie
God told Noah there’s going to be a floodie, floodie,
Get those animals [clap]out of the muddie, muddie
Critters of the Lord.
God told Noah to build him an arky, arky
God told Noah to build him an arky, arky
Build it out of [clap]gopher barky, barky

Critters of the Lord.
Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory..
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory…
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory..
Critters of the Lord.
(Other verses….)
This is the end of, the end of our story, story,
This is the end of, the end of our story, strory,
Everything was [clap] hunky dory, dory,
Critters of the Lord.
Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory..
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory…
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory..
Critters of the Lord.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oh Plank Eye, Direct Me!

 In my line of work I hear “no” and it doesn’t usually bother me.  I do like "yes" better.  But in sales (and life) you have to learn to accept "No" and know there are lots of fish in the sea and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, you can say safely.  That said, I do my best and do love what I do. 
Recently when I offered some of my services to someone, the response was one I’d heard many times before, one of loyalty for their current carrier “but I’ve been with them for 25 years” or something like that.  I admire and respect loyalty too. 
Recently when I received this response from a new pastor in the area, it struck me in a few ways, which made me think of my comfort zones and how I need to continue to challenge myself in order to grow….and not grow complacent in life – stagnant water isn’t a good thing.  Ironic is a word that comes to mind.
As I reflected on his occupation with his remarks, it hit me that as a new pastor, people will need to be open to being outside their comfort zone to accept him, get to know him and his worship style too.  To grow a church, new people who attend are trying something new – something outside their comfort zone.  As a Pastor (and congregation) he would understand that and work to make them feel at home, I would think. Obviously the changes he was making in his life with his new position held him to something he was familiar with for many years - so he was staying that course.  Sometimes people get stuck in a rut – the word calls us to  be open to the Holy Spirit and its leading – to respond and get out of our ruts, try new things, live life with open eyes for God’s direction.
We recently said goodbye to our church pastor of 27 years!  Man, we are going to miss our Pastor and his wife.  Long, loyal years of service and he was well liked by all!  So now, we’ll get to know someone new and it will be a growth time – a time of change for our congregation that fills us with joy for something new and exciting, while also a sadness as we leave the old and familiar.  We will be finding the balance for healthy church growth with an interim pastor for one year as we search for that next full time pastor. 
I think to myself – do I have “but I’ve been with them 25 years” of life habits that I should be reviewing – you bet I have some!  So I’ll go look at those planks in my eyes and see what closet cleaning needs to happen because I want growth, freedom and to follow the Holy Spirit in my life.
Lord, direct my paths in your way!
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. ~ Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today....I was back in 1999

Today, my eldest son turned 16 years old.  Wow, time does go was only yesterday he looked like this and I remember the day he arrived to our home like it was yesterday.  Scared but smiling anyway, keeping watch over his brother in a protective way.  Such responsibility for a 2 year old. I fell in love with you the moment we met. I praised God for not only just the one child I'd prayed he'd bless us with, but that day was a double blessing and reminder God's timing has it's purpose. You my son, are such a blessing!

For all the rough spots we've made it this far and I'm proud of the young man you are becoming.  You can make me laugh and I wish I had half your energy.  

I know God has great things in store for him because I see his heart and know you can't have a heart like that and not do wonderful things in life.  Giving him wings that take him on the right path continues to be our parental earthly challenge as we lift him up to his heavenly Father on a daily basis for guidance and protection.

Love ya bud.....Mom and Dad

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” ~ John 6:40

Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day Tribute

 It is Father’s Day weekend.  Our Daddy will be working hard this weekend and we won’t see him much.  So this is what I will remind my kiddos about their Dad this weekend as we love and uphold him:
·        He is patient and slow to anger.
·        He is dry humor funny!
·        He is talented beyond measure.
·        He is our IT dept at home and a growing job that is! (ipods, ipads, pc, nabbi, etc.)
·        He is the one who speaks wisdom to us, sometimes we actually get it. 
·        He holds you when you are crying and scolds you when you break the rules.
·        He shines with pride with your successes.
·        He holds in the pain when you hurt too and has faith in you even when you fail.
·        He picks you up when you fall, brushes you off, gives you a hug and lets you try again.
·        He is competitive at games and you won’t beat him in Scrabble for many years yet!
·        He will watch everything from Strawberry Shortcake to the older kids movies with you and pop the popcorn.  He takes time for you in many ways.
·        He loves to read and works hard to instill that reading books and education are important to your future.  He has great dreams for you and your future!
·        He is the one of your greatest gifts, respect and cherish him!
Most importantly, he is a man strong of faith and wishes for all his children to discover Christ for themselves, faithfully nurturing them with direction, example and prayer.
 Happy Father’s Day Weekend - We all love you very much!
 Romans 4:16-17
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[a] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dry Cleaning My Past.

I’ve loved vintage/antique before it was popular.  I’ve loved shabby chique before it was popular.  I’ve loved green jadeite glass before it was popular (more like before Martha Stewart made it popular). I’ve loved to up-cycle furniture before it was popular. I've loved sentimental things for here is my dry cleaning past moving to today.

My Mom used to let me play with her bridesmaid dresses from the late 50’s – 60’s.  Sadly she got rid of most of them, but one yellow one remained and I recently captured it from the bag of clothes my niece used to play dress up with just like I did when I was little.  She also had her wedding dress in the dress-up box a little rough for wear.  The wedding dress was made by my deceased aunt.  I was too tall to wear it, but still cherish it.  So I hauled them home from Canada and they sat at my place.
Finally – in a cleanup mode, I took them to the cleaners….yikes, you can tell I don’t do my laundry this way!  Sticker shock.  I shelled out to have these dresses cleaned and pressed.  Now to save the wedding dress in hopes one day maybe one of my daughters will wear it on her wedding day, or a granddaughter….or not.  No longer a “dress up” play item I steamed my memories back to life.  It gave me satisfaction to do this.  You could say I dry cleaned my past.
Some people save and cherish old items of the past with sentimental fervor – I guess I’m one of those.  Others want things new and un-cluttered of reminders of the past.  I’m a little of both, but I know I’m very sentimental too.  I’m a true mix of my brothers; one had no use for the old and cleaned up everything!  The other keeps too much stuff (yup – you know who you are!).  I loved and love them both dearly.  My little bro is more a little of both like me too I think, but more sentimental about a tractor than some dishes or dresses! 
As my Mom moves to the city, she calls me about this or that….I’ve a few too many boxes collecting at my sis-in-law’s place and little bro’s place…..she describes things to me and I go “toss it” or “Yup, want that.”  **Sigh**  She too is dealing with the past as we remember the passing of my Dad in June, 2011.  Where has the time gone?  I miss him still and my heart aches to admit how much of a hole we have from his passing.   Grief not as fresh as it was, still leaves its sting.  
Our past is our past – even if we dry clean it some of the stains and tears still remain.  Reminders of the journey we are on, marks that makes us who we are today.  We all age.  Deterioration visits us all.
Only our Savior gives us the promise of forever.
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15
14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Best Days of Your Life!

We’ve had AWESOME weather of late and it has made for great outdoor times.  Snapped up a used table and chairs for the patio that I revamped with good ol’ Rustoleum!  Sophie is enjoying her play structure and her friend from up the block visits regularly which she loves.  The boys are the boys, riding scooters, bikes, playing basketball, being hoolligans once in a while… 
We attended a nephew’s wedding in Texas despite storms all around us – had a great time with family (minus our working Dad) and took the grandparents along – I think they are still recovering from 15 hours in a vehicle with two teen boys and one demanding 5 year old.

 Steve got a day-bid and we are WAITING (me not patiently) for this to happen as he works nights until his replacement arrives or the earth shakes or something….  It will be such a joy for our family to have him home evenings!  Praise be to God for the joy to come!  Counting my blessings before they actually arrive. Chickens before they are hatched as well.
Feeling homesick for the North – my heart and soul are pulling me there, but reality keeps me stuck in Kansas.  Mom sold the family farm and will be moving to a condo, great guilt overrides timing issues for me and I’m so thankful for my brothers who are stepping up to help.  Gar flies in from Ontario this weekend to stir the pot and move mountains.  Time will tell when we are able to go that direction again.  Holding on to July family camp with guilt – but it is that place that fills our souls in restoration as a family I’m wanting and needing to hold tight to this time on limited time off from work.
May was a tough month for our teen daughter and we continue to struggle in this process of pain, growth, stretching ourselves, grace and forgiveness daily.  I found a quote I love “Some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet.”  I like the promise that gives and so true when I think of this journey we are on….God too has given us that promise in everlasting life and we will have some “best days” ahead of us yet.  Challenging myself to dig deeper in my walk, disappointed when I fail but knowing tomorrow brings another day.  A fresh start. 
So, off I go – children are calling, my cup overflows in many directions as I lift my cup of life’s moments, cherishing the fleeting life around me.  

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