Letter To My Grandkids

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This week my husband and I had a wonderful week.  We celebrated our anniversary (see previous post) and also celebrated the birth of a new grandson. It was a great anniversary gift!

Normally my husband would be in the field at this time of year combining and hauling soybeans to town. Due to the the very rainy weather, we were able to take off a couple days and go meet the newest member of the family.

It is an amazing fact that a new baby can literally hold your heart in their tiny hand. I am not sure how that works…..I just know it is true.

As I worked on mudding and taping in my closet (also see previous post) I had time to think about that little boy. My mind also wandered to our other two grandkids in another city. There are so many hopes, dreams and prayers wrapped around those three little ones. This grandma’s heart is full.

My mind wandered to what I would say to them in the future and I thought a letter might be the way to go:

Dear Grandkids…..yes, you wee ones who hold my heart in your little hands. I want you to know how very much this grandma (and your grandpa love you.) I am not sure you will understand that until you are parents and grandparents yourself. (I know your grandpa loves you because he even helped change your diaper! And yes it did take two grown men to do that task.)

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I cannot deny that you three are probably the smartest and cutest children that God ever placed on this earth. I am quite sure every grandma would say this of her grand-kids….and she would be telling the truth!

Grands and kids (2)

My prayer for you three is that you grow strong physically, emotionally and spiritually. May you be honest, compassionate and willing to help those around you. 

There might be those who try bully you; but I will tell you what your great grandpa told me…..”Kill them with kindness.” He also told me that “smiles are free, money doesn’t grow on trees and hard work never killed anyone.” I think he learned those things from experience and they are good things to know and a good way to live. (He told me lots of other things-like good pranks to pull- but that might have to wait till you are older or you will get in trouble at school!)

Never be afraid to live life fully. Living is different than just surviving…..make sure to live and not just survive. When all else fails…take a deep breath and keep going.

Don’t be afraid to love and help someone. It is a risky and messy thing to love someone because no one is perfect (and…..surprise!!!…..that includes me and you!)

I pray you love the Lord and have a close relationship with Christ. He will never fail you……others might and probably will, but God’s always got your back. Remember to have fun….remember to laugh everyday. It makes the good things better and the hard things easier. 

There are so many things I would tell you…..so many things I would want to warn you to be careful of. I would love to shield you from all the hurts in life…..but I can’t. Don’t let those hurts make you bitter….let them make you better.

Life is an adventure. Make sure you explore, learn and keep your eyes open to the amazing things around you. People are amazing, nature is amazing and life is full of possibilities.

Life isn’t always easy and it is not always fair. I used to tell your dads that when stuff happened. They learned that phrase and later gave me those same words back when I needed to hear them.

I remember the mistakes I made as a mom. There are so many things I would do over but I can’t turn back time….Now as a grandma I have a second chance…..you, my grandchildren, are my do-over. That thought brings a big smile to my face! It is a blessing and a gift.

I want you to know that no matter where you go or what you do in this world you will always be loved, I will always be your biggest cheerleader and my door will always be open. (If you mess up…..I will tell you….because I love you!)

May you be happy, may you be healthy and may you always know that you are loved.

~All my love……Grandma


13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

“You is kind. You is smart.
You is important.”

― Kathryn StockettThe Help

Dew on the Grass

IMG_4146 Sparkling Grass in the Morning

These last foggy mornings have been something wonderful. I have written before how I love the muted morning sounds and the feeling of being wrapped in a blanket of fog. I realize I get to feel that way because I am not forced to be traveling through that fog on a busy road.

I, instead, get to drink my morning tea on the porch and take it all in. I love the way the dew drops cling to the very tips of the grass. Once the sun starts to break through it looks like a sea of diamond tipped slender grass spears.

I am amazed at how that small drop clings so tenaciously to the end of that piece of grass. There doesn’t seem to be much structure for that drop to cling too and yet it hangs on.

It is beautiful how that small droplet sparkles and glimmers in the morning sun. It seems like one minute that drop is there and when you next look it has disappeared. Dew on the grass is one of those gifts in nature that is fleeting.

Life is the same. From breath to breath things change so fast. One minute your kids are babes in your arms, a blink later and they are in school, two blinks and they are walking down a church aisle and leaving your home. Before you know it a small child grins at you and calls you grandma.  Life is fleeting; but life is oh…..so very good.

Take time today to experience the small gifts around you…. the smile of a child, the feel of the sun on your face, the beauty of a fog-laden morning and a drop of dew sparkling like diamonds in the sun.

 

Life is fragile, like the dew hanging delicately on the grass,
crystal drops that will be carried away on the first morning breeze.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Dilemma

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I had a dilemma a few weeks ago. I had gone out to my garden to check on the progress of my tomatoes, green beans, scraggly peas and other produce.  As I was bent over picking beans, I saw a blob of dead grass underneath my plants. I started pulling it away and then discovered fur. I kind of knew what I would find when I kept carefully digging into that hole, in the dirt. I was right…..baby bunnies.

We do have a chicken wire fence around three sides of that particular area of the garden. I am not really sure how a mom rabbit managed to find a hole in the non-chicken wire portion on the last side of the garden….but, evidently, she had.

When I told my husband of my find, he asked what I had done with the bunnies.  I told him, that I had covered them back up. He really laughed at that as he knows I truly hate rabbits in my garden. He knows I rant and get really critical when I see a rabbit near my garden. He also knows I threaten to get the gun (pretty sure the rabbits would be safe even if I did!) and take care of the rabbit “problem”.

I found I just could not get rid of those baby bunnies. I can only hope they are as gracious to my garden as I am to them! I think I am going to have to keep picking my produce in a timely manner. I am going to have to beat those bunnies to the beans. I am finding, though, that they are not really much of a problem…..yet.

Admittedly, they are much too cute at this stage to get rid of. I recommended to my husband that next garden season we take care of the problem much sooner in the season. He has decided to make more chicken wire panels that should make it impossible to get through……I hope!

I have since discovered that those pesky bunnies are leaving my beans alone….much to my relief. They have instead found the flower pots on my porch!  I really didn’t think rabbits would enjoy geraniums…..but it seems they do.

IMG_4148 Geraniums as Rabbit Food

My plants are slowly being defoliated. They don’t eat the leaves but they seem to really enjoy the stems. My husband is slightly amazed at their liking of geraniums as he thinks they are some of the stinkiest flowers around.

Sometimes life is just like that isn’t it? You worry about one thing (my beans and bunnies) only to find it wasn’t a problem at all. Then you turn around and the real problem is something you never thought of! I never anticipated my geraniums turning into rabbit food.

Fortunately, being trimmed down will not hurt the plant. It may even be beneficial in the long run and make it bushier than before. I am going to have to remember that lesson when I feel like I am being pruned. You know…those times when stuff happens and is really hard to get through?

For now I guess I will have to sit and enjoy the cute factor of those bunnies. I will have to shut my eyes to the pruning and hope my plants get bushier than before. It can always be worse….they could be eating all my green beans!

May your weekend be filled with  hope and may you see beyond the pruning.

Pruning is a necessary part of life.
In order to move forward.
You must let go.
Unknown

 

 

 

Mountaintops and Valleys

I was reminded today, reading blog posts,  that not everyone is celebrating something fun, exciting and wonderful. Some are grieving and remembering a last year that has been filled with pain and sadness. My heart goes out to those living in the valley.

I am not sure what I can do to help. Sometimes there are no words to share…..nothing one can do to ease the hurt. I think at those times a hug, an acknowledgement that we don’t have the answers, and a big sigh might be all we can offer….and it will be enough.

The song that I posted above is one of my all time favorites. The first time I heard it was at a Christian Women’s Retreat at Inspiration Hills. It stuck in my head and took root in my heart.

The words are amazing and provide a wonderful sense of hope. They give strength to get through the tough times because of the hope of what is to come. There is great hope in the promise of eternal life.

The story behind this song is as follows:

“I lost one of my best friends over the weekend, to cancer.  Pastor Mark Steele was a man who absolutely poured his life into loving God and shepherding people.  We will miss him beyond words.  Corinne’s and my heart are with his family and his church.  I’m posting this lyric from a song I wrote years ago, as a tribute to Mark, as he moves from life to Life, and as a reminder to all of us of the hope we can hold.” ~ Greg Ferguson (author of this song)

 

what a day it will be


what a day it’s gonna be
when as last your captive heart beats free
and all that is within you sings
in heaven’s own harmony
sweet release from all your darkest fears
the sound of laughter that’s been lost for years
you’ll never cry another lonely tear
as your sad heart finally
finally sings

hallelujah
what a day it will be

all those angels that you’ve never seen
watching over you behind the scenes
will at last have reached their goal
presenting you restored and whole
just watch the Father laugh and smile
lifting up His joyful child
and hear the host of heaven sing
in a sweet and soulful angel choir singing

hallelujah

what a day it will be
 
hallelujah
what a day it will be

even now in the in between
we could write it off as an impossible dream
but it’s more than a dream to me
’cause even now i can see
enough to believe

So for those of you who are finding life to be a tough place to be. May you be comforted by the lyrics. May you feel the grace of the Father as He places His arms around you and may there be friends and family who will be Jesus “with skin on” to you” this weekend.

For those of us who have been celebrating. May we open our eyes to those around us. May we open our arms to those who need that hug and may we be a blessing to someone who needs to feel blessed.

Your life is made up of two dates and a dash.
Make the most of the dash.
Unknown

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Strawberry Pie and Fellowship

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Our weather has been absolutely beautiful lately. The rains have missed us, which is not good,but temperature-wise we are cooler than normal for this time of year. That is a welcome relief after the hot, sweltering weeks we have just had.

The weather was also perfect for a picnic the other night! Our care group in church was invited by another care group from church to come to a picnic…..all we had to do was bring our own lawn chairs, make a treat to share and show up.

I decided to make a fresh strawberry pie to take along for our treat. This decision was made easy by the fact that our local grocery stores had an amazing sale of fresh strawberries.

When I told my husband that I was making pie he got kind of a hang-dog look on his face. He then questioned me why I was making pie to bring somewhere else. I assured him I had planned to make two so one could stay home for him!

The recipe I used comes from a cookbook I received as a bridal shower gift over 37 years ago. I am pretty sure it was also the one my mom-in-law always used and her Strawberry Pies were always the best!

I will share the recipe with you and I think you will find it very easy to make and pretty much no-fail….which is the best kind of recipe.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oleo or butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Mix and pat into pie plate.
Brown at 350º  for 20 minutes.
Filling:
2 1/2 cup strawberries (about 1 pound)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 heaping Tablespoon cornstarch
3 Tablespoon Jello(not sugar-free)
Blend sugar, cornstarch, and jello in saucepan.
Slowly add water while using whisk.
Boil till clear, stirring continually.
Let cool.
Mix well with strawberries and pour into baked pie shell.
Refrigerate till firmly set.
NOTE: If you want Fresh Peach Pie; you can use about 7 fresh peaches and 3 Tablespoons peach jello.   I have done this and it is also amazing.

 

The pie was a hit at the picnic and was just one of the many tasty treats that were available that night. The food was great, but the evening of games and fellowship was truly a gift.  It was a blessing to visit with fellow church members of all ages. It was fun to see everyone, young and old, enjoying themselves on a beautiful summer evening.

One of the games we played was a lawn game called Kubb (or Viking Chess). It was a lot of fun and challenging. It is kind of hard to explain so I am posting a link where it not only tells you how to play, but how to make your own set!  This Old House   (I am thinking I need to try make one of these.)

I have decided I will never be a tournament quality player of that game ( I would actually say my level of playing is substandard!), but it didn’t really matter…..fortunately.  I think my skills are probably more in the pie and food making category.

When it comes to food and food making….I love to use the old cookbooks that I have used for years. I love the fact that those old recipes have been tested by time and were used years ago by women who wanted to feed their families and others with wonderful tasty food.

There is something comforting about using an old cookbook.  The pages are tattered around the edges (at least mine are), there are spots on those pages from splatters while mixing a recipe and there is writing by the really good recipes so you know which ones to use and how you should maybe alter it.

Life can be the same way…..there is comfort in the familiar even though it is tattered and worn. Our lives can be splattered with the things that have happened to us. We show that we have been used by life and made it through. We are a testimony to faithfulness and a richness of the blessing that becomes more valuable with the passing of time.

May you live your life in such a way that your life is a “recipe” for others to follow…..perhaps a little frayed….a little splattered….but still blessed.


Your lives are a letter written in our hearts;
everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
2 Corinthians 3:2b
New Living Translation

 

 


 

 

 

 

Liebster Award Nomination

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A big thank you to Patricia over at  kindergartenknowledge for nominating me for the Liebster Award. She has the most amazing blog over there and writes on any number of topics. She has become a wonderful friend and I cannot wait to meet her in person some day.

I found out there are some rules to this award so I am going to post them here for those of you who wonder what they are:

*Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
*Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
*Give 11 random facts about yourself.
*Nominate 11 blogs.
*Notify those blogs of their nomination.
*Give them 11 questions to answer.

Time to answer my questions:

  1.  Why are you a blogger?
    I had always toyed with the idea of trying this because I always enjoyed writing.  My kids decided for me that is was time to blog. My daughter-in-law set it up for me and I have been blogging and enjoying it ever since. Since blogging I have made so many amazing friends from all over the world.
  2. What is your greatest accomplishment as an adult and why?
    I would have to say being a wife and mom has been and still is my best accomplishment. Loving and honoring my husband, raising my sons to be men who would make great husbands and dads has been rewarding in ways I never imagined. We are all still works in progress but we are progressing!
  3. What was your favorite subject in school? Why?
    I loved Creative Writing and Literary Experience. (Sorry I could not choose one!) It was wonderful to write everyday in class and then going to another class where all I had to do was read books and make reports was absolutely the best!! I love words!
  4. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
    I would have to say Mrs. Hester Vande Garde (5th grade elementary school). She taught us geography by showing slides of her travels around the world. It did put a wanderlust in me that continues to this day. She also had us color maps of every state in the USA. These maps were detailed and had pictures on them of what every region produced and what they were known for. I still have my maps in a three- ring binder. She is a teacher who opened up our eyes to the possibilities of places to go.
  5. If you could travel anywhere in the world…where would you go? What made you make this choice?
    I don’t really care where I go as long as I get to go and can go with people I love and/or really like. I love to see new things and new places. I enjoy going to historical places as I like history. I like museums. It doesn’t have to be spendy for me to enjoy being there. I also love to go visit family and friends. Road trips are some of my favorite things to do with my husband. Getting up before the sun, throwing a couple sandwiches together, and heading down the road is a wonderful thing….the joy really is in the journey!
  6.  Do you enjoy sports? Which ones?
    I am not an athlete whatsoever!!! Unless reading a book is a sport, or gardening or crafting LOL. When my sons were in high school they ran with the cross country team. That was a sport I really loved as it was one sport where there were no negative words. Everyone encouraged all the athletes, no matter what school they were from. I always felt anyone who finished one of those races was a winner if they came across that line first or last.
  7. Do you play any musical instruments? Which ones? Did you take lessons?
    My mom made me take piano lessons for a couple of years. This is not to say that I play piano!  I know the notes but am not proficient at all!  I quit when I was in the Second Thompson book and I clearly remember the song was “The Bee and The Clover”  I hated all those staccato notes!  When I hit 40 I purchased a guitar (that may have been my mid-life crisis!) I started teaching myself but did not pursue it. It would be cool to be able to play “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” .  That guitar is still hanging out in the back of our closet….maybe someday……
  8. If given the opportunity would you travel in space. Why or why not?
    Nah….I don’t think so. There are so many places I want to see on this ball of Earth…I don’t think I have enough time to even see all of the ones on my bucket list!
  9. What is your favorite season? What is that season like where you live?
    That is a hard one because I have favorite parts of all the seasons where I live! I would probably have to say Fall. The hot days of summer are past, the harvest is coming in, the air smells like fallen leaves, dirt and bonfires. In the evening hours you can hear the hum of grain dryers, combines in the fields, and dry leaves rustling on the trees. The colors are beautiful in reds, golds, and yellows. Fall is really quite wonderful!
  10. What advice would you give a teenager about achieving success in life? How do you define success?
    I would advise them to find humor in every day. I would tell them life is too short to stress about things you cannot change. I would want them to know that who you think you are; is more important than who someone else thinks you are. I would encourage them to find a job they love and that fact is more important than the paycheck they will draw. (Being in a job you hate is an awful way to live). I would tell them relationships mean more than material things. I would also tell them to keep their eye on God and the rest will fall into place in His timing. Achieving those things are how I define success.
  11. What is your favorite meal?
    This one is also hard!  I happen to love most food (unfortunately, it loves me also and sticks around on my waist, my thighs…..) I like Chinese, I like Mexican, I also love good old American hamburgers on the grill with a side dish of Taco Salad or Deviled Eggs.

Alrighty…..11 random facts about me. (Nuts, thought I had covered that in those questions!!)

  1. Way back in 1977 I spent a month backpacking around Europe with 5 other gals. This did not decrease the wanderlust in my soul! (See question 5).
  2. If I had gone to college after high school, I would have been a teacher. I think I would have liked teaching junior high. You don’t have to teach them to use a scissors and it would be fun to make them think out of the box.
  3. Driving a tractor in the ditch for baling scares the daylights out of me. I am relieved when I am done with those slanty areas that make me nervous!  I am getting better at it…..slowly.
  4. If I need to get something accomplished I cannot make a visit to the local library. Once I get a book, I want to start reading it immediately. Once I start reading it I usually cannot put it down till I am finished!
  5. I loved reading words so much as a kid that I would read the ingredients on the cereal box, catsup bottle, cake mix box etc!
  6. When I was a child I loved the program “the Flying Nun”. I really wanted to be a nun because I loved the outfit and the fact she could fly!  My mom informed me that we were not Catholic…therefore I could not be a nun. I made the mistake of telling my husband this one time and he has never let me forget it!
  7. I enjoy being outside mowing the lawn or in my garden more than I enjoy being in my house doing housework….unfortunately you can tell that. I really need to find a sign like my mom had in her porch, “If you come to see me….come anytime. If you come to see my house….make and appointment.”
  8. I would love to be able to paint beautiful pictures.
  9. I do enjoy crafting of any kind…..card making, crocheting, knitting, scrapbooking, sewing……
  10. I enjoy cooking…this is one good reason to stay in the house! It is also a great thing to do in the wintertime as it warms your kitchen up and makes the house smell wonderful!
  11. My family is my pride and joy. I love having them all around as much as I can! I love the fact they enjoy being together. It does scare the willies out of me when my three sons do their annual mountain climbing thing in Colorado’s 14’ers. My heart’s desire is for them all to know Jesus and live their lives in a way that shows that fact.

I am now to the part I need to nominate 11 blogs. There are so many out there that I so enjoy. I know some of them are award free so I will try leave them alone! (If I did nominate you and you are award free…I apologize!) If I do nominate you and you have already done this award or do not want to do awards I totally get that…so not too worry. This nomination is meant to be fun and not stress you out. Only do it if you really want to. I will not be offended…I promise!

I nominate:

atimetoshare.me

Leadership2Mommyship

Al

samanthamurdochblog

whitneyibeblog

Ame

susieshy45

George

Anne Mehrling

Tales From the Cabbage Patch

And now (drum roll) …….My questions for my nominees…

  1. What is the top item on your bucket list? Why?
  2. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
  3. What makes you cry?
  4. What makes you laugh….hard?
  5. Who had the biggest impact on you in your life so far? Why?
  6. Most embarrassing moment?
  7. What is a hidden talent that others would be surprised to know you have?
  8. What advice do you wish you had listened to when you were a teenager?
  9. What would make the perfect day for you?
  10. What is your favorite song and why?
  11. Do you have a favorite quote and if so …what is it?

Once again….thank you so much Pat for the nomination! I encourage everyone to head over to her blog and stay for a visit…you will not regret it!

“Don’t do something for recognition.
Do it out of kindness ..because out of giving,
it will make you whole and complete.”

Angie karan

“Never pass on an opportunity to say thank you
or give recognition for a job well done”

Mark W. Boyer

 

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Darkness

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I had planned to use today to take up the quote challenge given to me by Whitney Ibe Blog. In light of events in the UK the best I can offer is a quote from a man of peace. A man who saw the problems of the world and offered the best solution.

He offered a message of love and hope in a world adrift in a sea of hate. He offered a way of peace to conquer the violence. He mirrored Christ when the world wanted to mirror hate. His message is timeless.

I know that I am supposed to nominate someone to take up this 6 day quote challenge. I am going to give this a twist instead. I would like to challenge all of us  to post our favorite quotes on kindness, love, conquering hate….basically your favorite quotes on love casting out fear and good conquering evil.

My prayers are with those grieving at this time. My prayers are with those who encourage this violence….may their hearts be opened to love, may their eyes be opened to the truth of life and may their lives be changed by goodness.

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Romans 12:21
New Living Translation