Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Look Back . . . .

This last year has been a whirl wind of sorts, although not as bad as years past. As I look back over this past year I can see where the Hand of God has protected and guided. I think it is a good thing to reflect over the past. It lends way to a wealth of knowledge for the future. So here is a look back at this "year gone by" of mine:
  • We had a young lady exercise her "wings" this past year - breaking many hearts and causing a lot of shed tears along the way. She has since settled quite a bit and is coming along. It is rewarding to see the change in her and to watch her mom fight relentlessly for her daughter - with or without her daughter's co-operation. Thank you to those that have prayed for this situation. And just like us - this young lady is "still in the Potter's Hands!", the work unfinished. I believe God truly walks beside this girl!
  • We have had many job changes this past year. I am not one for so much upheaval - but God has there again, provided for us. We may have fallen behind in some things, done without some "things", but priorities have surfaced! It's amazing when you realize what is important and what you can live without and how liberating it can be to not succumb to "gadgets" and "fluff".
  • I started blogging this year. It has been an amazing outlet for me. I am able to share my joys, blessings and daily happenings. And although I don't share my inner most secrets, I can unload some burdens and daily junk! Most of the time I resolve whatever it is that's bothering me just by "venting" it out! I also have two amazing prayer warriors - my "Aaron & Hur". They have been a wonderful support system for me. And I thank God for them. Everyone needs that kind of support. If you don't have it - look for it. It takes time and effort and you have to be "picky". But that's okay. The hard work will pay off! Thank you Heidi and Diane - from the bottom of my heart! ! !
  • I also had the privilege this year to "proof read" a short story for a friend. What fun that was for me since I truly love to read. The best part was the fact the story was based on real life experience. It was entered in a short story contest. I will keep you posted on the outcome! !
  • In June - we had 3 high school graduates in our family - my grandson, Christian, my niece, Catie, and my nephew, Seth. That was a first. I went to the first "Walton Family Reunion" this spring. Great to reconnect with family members of my youth. And. . . Ben started our deck. (You learn quickly how to work as a team - or maybe just "hold that board".)
  • In July - Rease broke her arm - also a first, I think for our family - broken bones. We got to witness a "marvel of medicine", so to speak - a waterproof cast! PTL ! !
  • Dan (my second oldest nephew) asked Carrie to marry him in August, or at least that's when I became aware of it.
  • In Sept. the youngest of our clan - Helena - started Kindergarten. We also found out we were having another addition to our family! Kelly is expecting in June of 2010.
  • October - hmmm. . . . jury privileges for me ~~
  • This December - Matt - my oldest nephew became engaged to Amanda. I also started face book this last day of 2009. I am just at the doorway - inching my way around, so if any of you have face book accounts and you see me there and it looks like I'm ignoring you, I'm not. I'm just not sure what I am doing yet ~ ~ ~

It has been a short long year. Many changes, both good and not so good - but it is life and it rolls on with or without our blessing! So here's to a new year with new and continuous challenges. May we confidently seek wisdom and guidance in meeting them head on.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DON'T Mess With The Tree!

In my attempt to simplify life this Christmas, I put up a small tree and less decorations.The small tree was not a wise idea on my part. I didn't realize how much the kids looked forward to the big tree being up when they came to my house. It's bad enough when I don't put up a real tree, but to downsize? No way - so . . . lesson learned (I think I may have fallen into "Grinch" status!). I may be able to get away with fewer decorations . . . but leave the tree alone! ! ! !
(Although it may seem as if "Santa" left more gifts if they spill out farther from under a small tree - do ya think?)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookie Rules

My daughter emailed me this, this morning. And, although I emailed it to almost everyone I know, I thought it would make an interesting blog post! So here it is:

Christmas Cookie Rules:

1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.
2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.
3. If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calorie free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend you are, that makes your cookie calorie free, too.
4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move around. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.
6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter. Make more RED ones!
7. Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.
8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.
9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!
10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories! IT'S A RULE.

So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies - we only get them this time of year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Donna and Greg!

Happy Anniversary to my lovely sister and her husband!

Here's to many more wonderful years together!

Love you guys.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let It Snow. . . .

We went to bed with it snowing last night and got up to about 4 inches on the ground. Snow usually is a stranger to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with only a dusting or a "threat" of a visit. So we were pleasantly surprised to find the ground blanketed with the white stuff when we arose. It lifted the spirits to the point of braving the cold and nasty roads to go Christmas shopping! Even Mr. Grinch, I mean Bob, enjoyed the wintry outing! I am always excited when it snows, but I am thrilled that it is this close to Christmas! ! I may even bake some more cookies this afternoon! So. . . how's that for feeling Christmasy? Pretty good, even if I say so myself :)! ! Looks like God gave some of us our "Christmas present" a little early this year! And true to His character - it is perfect! Thank you very much :).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Christian!

Happy birthday to my one and only grandson (to date)!

How does it feel to be at the end of your "teens"?

Before you know it, you'll be 30! ! ! - Yikes! ! !

Love ya bushels and bushels


Thursday, December 17, 2009

An "Ah Ha", "Hmmm . . ." Moment

Most times I feel like my family resembles the character "Pig Pen" in Charlie Brown. Everywhere they move something falls from them and that's where it stays! It could be shoes, clothes, toys, mail. . . .you get the picture. I've often wondered, knowing this, how it is then, that when you go to their home(s), everything is in its place? ? ? It was as I was pondering this thought this morning picking up the "items" in question that I had an "ah ha" moment. Could it be that when you are "home", that is where you let "things" fall? You don't feel the stress of keeping up after every little item because "MOM" is there? ? This could also be my "Hmm. . . moment"? The fine line is trying to create my space without eliminating theirs, and understanding that: "this to shall pass". :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Victuals and Tidbits

One of my favorite dishes to make when I am rushed for time is "Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie" from Bisquick. It's great for those days when you have cleaned or laundered or shopped all day and don't really feel like fixing anything at all. It's quick and easy, and. . . the best part is - my family loves it! !
So here is the recipe: (you can also find it on the back of a Bisquick box)

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C Bisquick
1 C milk
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray 9" pie pan with cooking spray
2. Brown beef and onion. Drain
3. Place in pie pan. Sprinkle with cheese.
4. Mix Bisquick, milk and eggs together.
5. Pour over beef and cheese.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

We like to have green beans with tomatoes in them for a side dish. A salad would work too.
*If you double this recipe - don't double the eggs - 3 is more than enough for a double dish - you can also use a 9x13 for a doubled recipe but you lose the "pie" effect!*

1. you can substitute ground turkey for beef and you can also use generic biscuit mix.
2. you can fix this dish as a breakfast strata - using ground ham or sausage (you don't have to refrigerate overnight, so if you forget the night before - just whip it up that morning!)
3. This is when using your frozen, cooked ground beef comes in handy! Just nuke about 2 minutes before using and proceed with steps 3-6.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Happy Birthday to one of the newest members to the "crazy farm"! !
Don't worry - after a few years you won't even notice our idiocies - LOL ! !
Have a great day!

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Happy Birthday, Bobby!
I know you probably won't see this, but I just want you to know how much I love you. I pray for you all the time.
PS - you're catching up! ! !

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Our own Christmas party. . . Finally!"

We made the trek on Saturday to Tiger's (my youngest sister) for an unconventional "Christmas Party". The girls, Rease specifically, wanted their own party because Mommy and Daddy were going to Christmas parties for their work places. The girls helped scoop out M&M cookies, they made "jingle bells" with plastic cups, tin foil, tiny bells and ribbon, and they colored Christmas pictures.
They came to do what they intended - play and have fun. We had pizza and chicken nuggets for dinner - how simple is that?
I can see this becoming a tradition ! ! ! Yeah! ! !

The highlight of the "event" was Nichole. She was using my mixer to make a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She couldn't get it to start so she gave it a quick tug and the flour in the bowl was like a volcano shooting out snow! ! ! It went sky high and landed everywhere - on her, the floor and the counter (and everything on that!). It was the funniest thing I've seen in a while! Grab the camera - this was a "Kodak moment"! ! !

This is also what makes the most memorable Christmas memories and stories. If you know me well enough, you know I'm more of a "Better Homes & Gardens" style person. But, the reality is - life is NOT, nor is the majority of my family - lol! I am glad to have the years behind me to see that I don't (or can't) remember the "perfect" moments in life, but the ones that cause joyful chaos and laughter and it has helped me to try let go of the desire to be so perfect. It is a struggle, but I'm coming along. Now, don't get me wrong - I can't stand clutter and I can't stand filth. So my particular remedy is to declutter the things in my life, not the people and enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Nichole!

Well, Happy Birthday, Little Lady! ! !

Don't you just love the pic? :)

That's what happens when "crazy ole' aunts" have access to modern technology! ! ! !

Hope you have had a wonderful b-day. Will hopefully see you at the "Christmas party".

Love ya bushels

"Our own Christmas party. . . "

This past Thursday at the dinner table Kelly asked me to watch the girls so she could attend the Christmas party for work. Rease wanted to know if she had to go and Kelly said yes, and that she was needed help clean up as well. Out of the blue Rease said: "Fine then. We'll just have our own Christmas party at Aunt Tiger's!" So. . . had to call my sister and ask her if she had plans for that day - asked her to pencil us in, and - pretty much invited ourselves to a party that wasn't "planned". Thank God for understanding sisters! ! ! !
We will probably just make cookies, maybe a craft or two, and have lunch together. The girls won't care if its a "true party", or not. They will be just as happy to go play! ! And me. . . . I will be happy for the fellowship of family! !

Saturday, December 5, 2009

An Oxymoron

I am so excited about Christmas, but my spirit is quite sad. Why is that? I truly love this time of year, but something always tugs at my spirit and leaves me feeling a little on the "blue" side of life. Could it just be circumstances around me, my past, the uncertainty of the future, the fact that I have a brother who's birthday is this month and the thought of him makes me sad, the fact that a little baby was born just to die for my salvation and I am so undeserving of that, or a combination of all these things? It bothers me to feel this way when I know I should be kicking my heels up and doing a jig. Maybe that's the way my life balances out - good, bad, and indifferent and I am more aware of it at this time of the year. After all, it is a time to reflect back on where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going. The trick, and sometimes very hard part, is putting it all in perspective.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Happy Birthday, Sam!

It's hard to believe you are 22 years old - wasn't it just last week you were in diapers and sharing "binkies" with Ben ? LOL :) Time has really flown and I really miss those days!

When I hear your name, the very first thing that comes to my mind is your eyes. They always seem to have a "smile" in them! Could that be because you always seem to have a smile, too?
Hope you enjoyed your B-day dinner and dessert!

Love ya bushels!
Aunt Crickett

PS - Keep on smiling :) :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Okay, So I Dropped the Ball!

I have been informed by my TWO daughters that I didn't quite complete my task of giving simple thanks each day before Thanksgiving! :(
I guess that's what happens when you put yourself out there for the world to see! ! !
I was actually thankful for something every day. It's just that by day's end I was so tired I forgot to blog and then - well things fell into the "gray" area of my brain - lol ! (aka- dropping the ball??) I have written them a note to explain myself:

Dear Sweet Children of Mine,
I have come to realize that my life is like one of those movie scenes - I'm being catapulted thru the journey of life. There is a door or hole I must go thru to reach my destination, but quite surprised by the whirly, twirly way I get to the bottom when I step or fall inside! The ride down and around is - should I say - hair raising, gut wrenching and sometimes makes me want to expel a blood curdling scream - be it out of fear or shear adrenaline. But I know I must do it - go thru that door. In my haste and excitement I sometimes forget that it is my ride and drag you, my unsuspecting family, along with me - I mean after all, you are part of the "Plot", the "bigger picture"! And as you can guess, I get sidetracked and forget some things because there are many doors to enter and it seems so little time to do it. Such is my "ride" in life! ! So. . . . . family of mine - "For your safety, buckle up and stay seated until the ride stops. Keep all objects and body parts inside the ride at all times. Enjoy your visit and come back again soon!"

PS - in case you don't know it by now - you guys are my world!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Most Memorable Thanksgiving to Date

I have many fond memories of Thanksgiving - one being "turkey wrangling". My mom purchased a not so huge turkey one year. She had left the bird to thaw in the kitchen sink (a no-no by today's standards!). When time came to remove the giblets and neck - the "battle" began. Have you ever tried to wrestle a featherless, wet bird that's bigger than you? Well, it may have been dead, but it hadn't given up the "ghost"! The neck to that bird was so lodged inside that it took my mom and me to remove it. Finally, after chasing it around the sink and across the counter, holding on to it for dear life and trying to keep it off the floor, we finally retrieved the stubborn thing from the slippery wet bird! No wonder we had such a struggle - that neck was long enough for TWO turkeys to share! (no, I don't mean the ones wrestling with said bird!) But amidst the uncontrolled laughter and the slimy clothes, we got that thing dressed and ready for the oven!

But. . . that isn't the most "memorable" Thanksgiving for me, although it is right up there. The clincher would come many years later!

As some of you know, my oldest daughter lives in KY. Her family was traveling home for Thanksgiving and Christmas for a while, so Bob and I decided to share the burden and go there for Thanksgivings and they would come here for Christmases.

This particular year, we were all together at Jenny's. Bob, Ben, and I. Kelly, Paul, Rease and Helena, and all of Jenny's crew - Jenny, Todd, Christian, Alicia, Sarah, Hope and Erica. Whew!

We had a wonderful day - starting. Not so much ending up. The kids made "hand turkeys", wrote down what they were thankful for, played, argued, and played some more. Todd cooked the bird in a Turkey Fryer outside. Jenny, Kelly and I did the remaining preps. Dinner is done - but someone is missing -someone sick upstairs - can't remember who. All remaining get seated. During dinner, someone else drops off - not feeling quite right. By day's end - we were in full swing with the flu.

Things were looking even bleaker on "Black Friday"! And let me tell ya - it was a black day! People were dropping like flies! The well took care of the sick -the well got sick and the sick got sicker : (Two bathrooms and twelve pukey people - not a pretty thing).

Needless to say, the drive home for most of us that weekend wasn't a cake walk, either. For some reason, Paul and Kelly had driven separately, so I drove with Kelly as far as I could go (they lived in PA at the time, we live in MD). There's not enough paper towels in the world to clean up toddler puke and nothing smells worse than sour milk. It was too cold to roll the windows down and smelled too bad to keep them up! What a quandary! Plus, Kelly had to travel the last 2-3 hours by herself. Ben went with Bob (who was fighting to keep his stomach in place) and I hooked back up with them when Kelly had to go her own way.

Everyone survived (Ben and I never did get sick - praise the Lord!). The older kids still talk about it on occasion - the adults would just as soon forget.

And . . as you can guess - there were a LOT of uneaten leftovers that year!

It will be interesting to see what future holiday gatherings bring. With such a large family, you can bet something will go awry, be hysterical, or touching, or even on occasion - just be "Plain Jane". But they will be our memories, our heartstrings, our lives. One would think that the flu would ruin it all, that all was lost in vain, to be one of those things tossed in the junk pile of life. But, unbeknownst to us, it would be that last time we would spend Thanksgiving together as a whole. Our trials as a family unit would soon follow. Individual families would be shattered apart, both physically and emotionally. So, don't just embrace all the good in life - grab the junk that comes along with it because in that junk you will find the most precious, little gems: hand turkeys, things to be thankful for, family leaning on each other because there is no one else. It may be years later that you recognize their worth -but polished they will shine for you. So mine the caves of your memories and look for the gems hidden in the junk piles of life - polish them and treasure them.

Happy Memorable Thanksgiving to all of you! ! !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Turkey Eve"

Well, tomorrow is the big "turkey day". I have my turkey breast in the crock pot and ready to roll, my pumpkin bake and green bean casserole are mixed and will be ready to pop into the oven tomorrow, and my sweet potato biscuits are done! (Rease and Helena used cookie cutters in the shapes of turkeys, pumpkins and fall leaves to cut the biscuits out for me!) So, not much left to do tomorrow but the potatoes, gravy and rolls. (double the bread, double the fun!). Since the numbers are down for dinner at my house I am only baking (crock potting) a breast. That means no giblets for stuffing -but that doesn't bother the gang - they don't care for homemade stuffing anyway. They would just as soon eat stove top - what a disgrace to Thanksgiving!

Speaking of stuffing - it reminds me of the platter that my mom used to bake her stuffing on at Thanksgiving. She gave it to me when I first got married. I don't use it -it is so old. I think it may have even been my grandmother's. I guess that's why I get bummed when no one wants homemade stuffing ;(. It's like slamming the door on tradition. And since my kids don't like homemade stuffing, wonder who will inherit my treasure? ? ?

At any rate, it feels good to have a jump start on dinner for tomorrow, especially since my dish washer has run a-muck! Wonder if they have those on special on "Black Friday"? Hmmm. . .
So . . . enjoy your day - may it be filled with love, laughter and laziness! ! ! !


I follow a blog by Marybeth Whalen - Cheaper by the Half Dozen. Yesterday she blogged about gratitude and how it was easier to focus on the negatives rather than the positives. As she was sharing this with her friend, she threw out a challenge - to list all the positives they had at the end of each day, from then until Thanksgiving.

I thought it would be nice to list the things I was grateful for at the end of the day, thru Thanksgiving as well. I will combine this past week's treasures into one day (it will be Friday's post) and update each day thru Thanksgiving as the week progresses. I will just add to this particular post - most current on top :). Won't you join me in searching for your thankful daily moments?

Wednesday - 25th
I am thankful for getting a huge jumpstart on dinner for tomorrow and for a good day today with the girls. They helped with biscuits and we made "glitter" ornaments. Even with the business it was a peaceful, relaxing day :).

Sunday - 22nd:
I am just thankful it's Sunday. The message this AM was great. The day was great. I love not having to be on such a tight ship sometimes. Eat when I want, sleep if I want, watch TV all day if it suits me. The best part is not feeling guilty about it. There is a reason God chose this day to rest! :) Oh - almost forgot - got free coffee and sweet potatoes today, too! ! !

Saturday - 21st - oops, forgot to write :(

Friday - 20th, I am thankful for:
1. an employed husband
2. a son that is crafty not only with his hands, but his mind - he's built our deck, repaired broken chairs, and is currently putting together plans for my kitchen :)
3. healthy family and friends
4. the ability to use the things around me to improve the appearance of my home - repainting and recovering the repaired chairs, and making valances
5. finding the fabric deal of the day so I can do the above - 4.75 yd of upholstery/drapery fabric for 2.99/yd! ! ! !
6. friends that take time to have dinner and shop with me :) :)
7. fabulous coupons so I can shop with friend

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Morning Sunshine!

"Good morning "sunshine", the earth says hello
You "shine" above us, we "shine" below

Good morning "sunshine", you lead us along
My "girls" and me, as we sing
Our early mornin' singin' song. . . ."

I changed some words in this little ditty to make it fit the occasion. It was so nice walking to the bus stop this morning, not having to fight the wind and upside down, inside out umbrellas, torrential rain blowing sideways and just a chill that went deep! Not to mention how much happier it made the girls (who were the ones with the umbrella problems)! I'm sure we were the neighborhood attraction! Whew, what a week last week! ! ! It was a 5 day ordeal that tests the best of spirits :).

So . . . . . Good Morning, Sunshine! ! ! !

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Victuals and Tidbits

I feel the need to share one of my favorite "meals". My grandmother used to make it when I was a little girl. My mom made it and now I make it. I'm pretty sure Granny created it and my sister, Donna, and I opted not to share it with anyone. Well, back in the 80's Campbell Soup had a recipe contest, and lo and behold - there it was - bold as could be - right on the back of the soup label! Go figure! That'll learn us! ! I know Granny didn't get it from there because I was already married and had been eating this "dish" for at least 20 years. Granny called it "hamburger goulash". I can't remember what the thieves, I mean Campbell soup, called it! Now, don't panic when you see the ingredients. I'm sure there must be a gazillion recipes for "goulash" and depending on where you're from - well, it could have almost anything in it! So, if you're willing to try it, I'm willing to share it! (This is the "victuals" part of my post.)

Hamburger Goulash
1 lb ground beef - browned and drained (you may add onions if you like)
1 can vegetable soup - ABC kind - no beef - undiluted
1 T or so of ketchup
1 t or so of mustard

Stir all ingredients together and simmer til hot

Viola - easy peasy - that's it! !

Serves 4
I serve my "goulash" on buns with chips and sliced green peppers

You may want to play around with the ketchup and mustard - start light and work your way to suit your taste :) I just squirt - but for those of you who need measurements - this might work :)

Now for the "tidbits" part:
I buy ground beef in bulk and brown all of it at once. I add onions while browning. Drain the beef (and rinse if you want to trim some fat). Divide among freezer bags (what you would use in a recipe - a cooked pound or so) and freeze. To use: remove from baggie and place in a small bowl and cover with paper towel. Microwave 2-3 minutes. You just want beef to break apart - and add to recipe calling for cooked ground beef. I discovered this trick quite by accident many years ago and wouldn't you know it - we now have "crumbles" on the market (much pricier than doing it yourself)! A girl can't win - LOL ! ! !

Well, that's my Victuals and Tidbits for the day.
Stay tuned for upcoming episodes :) ! ! !

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Signature

I am trying something a little different. I liked seeing the signatures on blogs that I have visited and thought it would be nice to add one to mine. Not sure how it will look, hmmm. . . .
What do you think?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Raining Outside, but. . . .

For some reason I am in terribly high spirits this morning. I know it's raining outside, its "dreary looking", but it's not cold. The leaves are blowing in the wind the sound of the steady rainfall is comforting. The colors of the trees are so beautiful. It seems that the rain just makes them shinier and more vibrant. We are in that middle area of fall where some trees are bare and some have a few leaves and then there are those few trees that are hanging on for dear life to their leaves, as if to say - "I am here for the duration and I will not give up without a fight!".
I like the sight of the rain hitting the deck or road a making those little "johnny jump-ups", as we used to call them. It is a visual comfort to me.

I know there are scientific explanations for all weather and seasonal changes, but I prefer to, and do, find it amazing that God has created all the details - down to the smallest snowflake, the changing colors, the hues in the sky, the shapes of the clouds, the variance of color of the sunrise and sunset of each season, the smells, the sound of the wind, rain and storms, and how much we anticipate each changing season only to realize that it has effortlessly glided into our lives without all the drama that we envision. Its hard to wrap my head around all of it. I can't even seem to color co-ordinated paper sometimes, but God has the whole universe co-ordinated. Not just in color, but in sight, smell, sound and texture. How awesome is that?

I understand only too well, the daydreamers of life! How can you look outside and not daydream? It's like reading a never ending novel. You can't put it down for fear of what happens next!

It is the most simple, complex thing around me and I truly love it! !

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yes, I will run in the rain with you!

Sometimes the coments left on my posts bring tears to my eyes. It humbles me to think I have such wonderful family and friends! My sister left a comment on "Need Washing?". I was truly touched by her openess. So Tiger - Yes, I would love to take your hand and run in the rain with you! It would be an honor!

I love you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Legalism VS Love

God really knows me - He knows I need to hear or see things more than once in order for them to "stick" in my head! (What does that tell you about me?). Well - at any rate - I have heard or seen the same "message" twice now in less than a week. I think I'm suppose to learn something here. So . . . . here goes:

1. Last week I was listening to a message on the radio about being "legalistic". Taking everything God says to the letter and not leaving a bit of wiggle room for being "human". Ouch.
2. Today's verse on my sidebar: 2 Corn. 3:6 Ouch, again.

My goal should be one of showing God's love and not judging to the inth degree things that people do wrong. I know before I was saved I took people for who they were - no more, no less. They were who they were. But it seemed after I got saved, I went so far to the other side I made not only myself miserable, but those closest to me as well. I was more worried about what others would say than what God had to say about the matter. It's been hard (and sometimes still is) to jump off the "judgemental band wagon" and look at the whole picture and leave the scrutiny up to God, to let go of things I can't control or have no business trying to fix. I don't like the person I was (and still am at times), but with God's guidance and perseverance, I aim to relearn the "acceptance" rule in life again. Love without judgement is truly unconditional love, and isn't that what God shows us? It doesn't mean He doesn't punish us when we need it, but He loves us regardless.
I love my family and my friends and pray that if you are or have been in the "wake of my judgement" that you will find it in your hearts to forgive me.
It is a humble place to be - at the mercy of God and loved ones, but a place that I cherish because I know that it is there that love and acceptance is found.

I don't deserve God's grace, but I sure am glad He's given it to me!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Need Washing?

I have a wonderful cousin that I haven't seen in years! I spent a lot of time with her as a child and teen. Some of my most memorable years were with her and the antics we created. We keep in touch via email. She always sends me "mail" - some funny (hysterically), some sad, some serious, and some everyday news. She sent this email this morning - and since I am in one of those "what am I doing?" moods, this really touched me. Thought I would share it:

NEED WASHING?? A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in 'Mom let's run through the rain,' she said.'What?' Mom asked.'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied..This young child waited about another minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain,''We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said..'No, we won't, Mom.. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes..Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,' Mom said.Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Send this to the people you'll never forget. If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry.Take the time to live!!!Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- and don't forget to run in the rain!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Strong Hold

I enjoyed yesterday's message in church. It was from Philippians 3 on things we should be striving for Biblically. Somewhere around the third point or so, Pastor Sansone gave a visual on holding on to God's Word. Since I am a visual learner, the illustration was great and really made me look at how I am living. He used the hand as the illustration:
  • the pinky - hearing God's Word
  • the ring finger - reading God's Word
  • the middle finger - studying God's Word
  • the pointer - memorizing God's Word
  • the thumb - meditating on God's Word

I am sure you could put these in any order, but the point (no pun intended) was to show that without all five fingers "holding" onto God's Word, it was very difficult. Each finger used alone was not very effective, but combined you get a strong grasp on the word of God. Pastor Sansone added a 6th element - obeying God's Word. To me this was the sum of the five equaling a two hand grasp which is by far more effective and secure than one and isn't that what God wants - a secure hold on His word? I don't think I will look at my hands quite the same way again. Knowing that each finger has an assignment attached to it will certainly make me more aware of what God wants from me and what I want from myself.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sun Kissed Tree

As everyone knows, I love this time of year. Earlier this week I was standing at my kitchen window and noticed the way this tree was changing colors. I thought it odd that only the top tips (at that time) were changing. As I was looking again, earlier in the morning, I noticed as the sun came over the post office, the only part it touched was the very top. The same in the evening when the sun went down behind the bank on the opposite side of the street. It's as if the sun was "kissing it good morning and good night"! God does leave a sense of wonderment about everything He touches and sometimes I think He does it so we can use our imagination!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ben!

It's hard to believe you are 22 years old already. Where did that little chubby baby go? It was just yesterday you graced our lives with your presence and now look at you - you've grown into a fine young man.
Happy Birthday!
I love you!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Be Still My Beating Heart!

For some unknown reason, Helena has been terrified of Christian. It didn't matter how hard he tried to win her over, she would have major melt downs. She would walk out of her way to get somewhere just to avoid going near him. She wouldn't talk to him, sit near him, or even look at him at times. He has NEVER yelled at her, scolded her, fussed with her or even teased her.

So when we found out he was coming here for fall break, we pondered how to tell her. We pondered so long, as a matter of fact, that I didn't tell her til she got home from school toady. Predictably, she had a major melt down. (Bob had wanted me to tell her this morning, but all I could think about was her crying all day thinking about him being here and her poor teacher not having a clue as to what was going on!) So Jenny - being the wise mom that she is (most of the time - tee hee) called Christian (he was at Lowes with Ben) and told him to bring her favorite Slurpee home from Royal Farms. That broke the ice! I suggested she give him a hug and thank him and she graciously obliged! JOY - JOY - JOY ! ! But I was still a little skeptical. So I went outside later and asked her to hug him again - and guess what? ? ? yep - by George, I think we've made it! ! ! I asked her why it was different this time, and she said it was because she is 5 now! ! !

Sunday, October 4, 2009

World Card Day - Heidi Style

Yesterday was World Card Day. And in celebration of that, Heidi invited several gals over to "play" in Narnia. (She has a "wardrobe full of all things wonderful in the world of stamping.) According to her, she had enough paper for everybody in the world to make a card. That's pretty deep. So we came to the aid of our dear friend - not to let it be said that we sat idly by and watched this dear stamper get buried under mounds of paper, ribbon, glue, glitter, stamps, ink, and all kinds of doo-dads! No sir - we jumped in, both feet, holding hands and breath and eyes sparkling with excitement and challenge and did our best to help her break free of the sticky hold that paper can sometimes have on us! ! Never once did we let the fact that we, too, could be buried ourselves -consumed - nope - we sacrificed, toiled away at the stacks of paper and all the trimmings that were there, doing our best to lighten the "load" for our friend in need, and she was just so gracious - she just kept sharing ideas on how to use that paper and all those bobbles - unseemingly endless possibilities on the crafting of paper. By the end of the evening some of the ladies were so driven that they were even finding ways to utilize the shiny and sparkly stuff in ways that we didn't think possible with items that you would never imagine. Just think of it - glitter, shiny,sticky paper and packing tape - now tell me - how many people are going to come up with Christmas ornament ideas using those items? ? ? Well it happened, right before our eyes! ! How did we manage to toil all those hours - "wading" thru the treasure trove of stamping paraphernalia? We were very well fed - yep, that was the reward for our "labor of love". Chili, mac-n-cheese, apples & dip, yummy garlic crackers, pretzels with kisses :), brownies, cake, coffee, teas, and juices - oh my word, we could have "worked" all night. But even our toiling had to come to an end - as with all good things. So we gathered the results of our labor - our very own hand made treasures, bid our good nights and gave our hugs, and on the way out of Narnia, looking over our shoulder at the small dent we had made in the paper and bobbles, hid our smiles, for we knew we would be back to tackle the task again - someday! !

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mama Said There'd be Days Like This!

  1. The girls were late getting here this morning to get on the bus - so late, as a matter of fact, that when Kenny pulled into the parking lot they literally had to run to get to the bus stop.

  2. Generally Ben is not here in the afternoon when the girls get home (except for Fridays). But today he was so I asked him if he would like to go with me to meet the girls.

  3. After getting off the bus, Helena took it upon herself to run ahead to the house - no problem - right? Wrong!

  4. She ran back to meet us and proudly announced she had locked herself in! (I'm thinking - what?)

  5. So as I am pondering this, I look down at Rease's feet and she has on MY crocs!

Conversation: Me - "Rease - are those my shoes (duh) and did you wear them all day? (I was secretly praying she changed them on the bus) Rease - "yea (giggle, giggle)" Me - "Why?" Rease - "Because my sneakers were here, and we were in a hurry and I had to run to catch the bus!" "And I couldn't take gym today!" (yikes) - How did she have my shoes in the first place you ask - she wears them home each night (her feet are hot when she gets home from school), wears them back the next morning and changes into her sneakers for school.

6. So we get to the back door, and sure enough, Helena has locked us out. Ben says - no worry. He will just pop the screen and drop Helena thru. Helena has an instant melt down. She burst into tears at thought of being dropped into the house. But - she went and - ta da - here we are.

Mama said there'd be days like this, Mama said. . . . .

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Happy Birthday, Dan! !
I can't hardly believe how everyone is growing up on me?
What happened to that toothless little boy with the little freckled, chubby cheeks?
I know . . . . he grew into a handsome, wonderful young man! ! !
Hope your day is as great as you are.

Aunt Crickett

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Blessed Calm After the Lemon Storm

I just returned from walking the girls to the bus stop. I must say it is so beautiful outside and it was very easy to let the morning "talk" to me. Just walking in the brisk air, smelling bacon cooking somewhere - probably the diner down the street, seeing the sun stream its glory above the rooftops, and admiring the gem-like glisten of the leftover rain and dew on the grass brings a calm to my spirit. I welcomed it this morning. Running thru the conversation that I had with Heidi yesterday and again digesting what she said made more sense to me than the "bombardment" of lemons I had been receiving. She reminded me that God sometimes lets us do a great deal of leg work for something we "want" just so it can be used for something someone else "needs". Although that "want" wasn't the onset of the "storm", it softened the blow to see a different picture of events. That, my friends, was the lemonade from that nasty storm. Add to that the friends that prayed for me and a daughter that saw beyond my anxiety to the needs of another, and the lemonade just gets sweeter.

"Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower so sweet,
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."
Peter, Paul & Mary

My analogy -
  • the sweet flower - the calm and beauty of our lives - when everything is going good - growing us strong to accept the lemons that will surely follow
  • the fruit of the lemon - our trials - when we are reminded that the sweet flower must mature into a healthy fruit - even at the expense of being a little "bitter" tasting
  • the outcome - the sweet beverage we can make from such a tart, but beautiful fruit - the operative word is can - we must choose to make the lemonade :)
I thank God for my Lemon Storms and the sugar cubes of friends he has give me to sweeten my life and I thank Him for the calm that follows after the storms!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Princess Tomboy

This post is mostly for Christie. After reading her post about Graham and his little lady friends and shiny knives, I thought it might be good to enlighten her on the lives of Princess Tomboys.
As you can see, Helena fits the bill as far as a Princess goes (as do all little girls - some more obvious than others), but she also wears many other "crowns" and wears them well!
  • She is a casual princess
  • She is an eco-friendly kinda gal - she makes her own "make-up" (note the exquisite eyebrows)
  • She can spackle and patch walls - with supervision of course
  • She can "cook"
  • She is "outdoorsy" and not afraid of the cold
  • She loves "changing her appearance" - princess to tigress
  • She will and does chase toads - even if they are in deep holes
  • She likes swimming and tries new things - such as "snorkeling"
  • She can wield a hammer with the best of them
  • She is an educated Princess

And although I didn't picture these -

  • She loves her babies
  • She is technology savvy - learning her way around the computer
  • Has a sweet voice and loves to sing
  • And. . . . sometimes - wise beyond her years

She will make some handsome Prince - hint, hint - ;) a wonderful Princess someday - not that I believe in arranged marriages or anything - (that's what you think - lol! ! ).

So, Christie - you do well to supervise the doings of little girls - but don't let their cute little faces fool you for one minute! Most of them can and do hold their own! ! !

Hope this enlightens you a bit :). After all, that's what friends are for !!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Lemon Tree - Again

It seems life never lets me settle for more than just a moment at a time. Just when I start to feel the least bit comfortable in my "world" - life - very rudely - throws lemons at me. Now, I am not generally squeamish when it comes to getting bombarded by lemons, but sometimes - just once in a while, I would like to get to that calm place and sit for more than just 5 minutes. (Not literally, of course). By nature, I love being home - fussing over the things that make my home wonderful to me and mine. But lately - because of the lemon trees - it seems that not only my life but my nest is ruffled. It almost makes me wonder if Home is where I need to be right now. I don't want to share the reason for this last lemon storm, not right now anyway.
But, I must say, in my heart of hearts, I know God allows me this "pleasure" of being bombarded. It's just that sometimes I'm not sure how to make lemonade of the mess. That's where I am now. Before - I had a goal but my recipe for lemonade was shot down. Right now - I'm more in a quandary of sorts. Do I go back to the original goal I had? Do I look for a different "recipe"? I'm not exactly sure of where to start.
I am sure of one thing, though, and that is even when this storm passes - and it will - there will be more. So I suppose I have answered my own questions - I know I am being forged. I know God is teaching me something. I just have to be quiet long enough to listen to what He says!
And that is ok. I have grown accustomed to these raging storms. (Not comfortable, but accustomed to). So, Barb, just be still and listen!

Happy Birthday, Seth!

Happy Birthday to you ! ! !

It's hard to believe that you - the baby whose head I dropped the baby food jar on yesterday - turns 18 TODAY!

How does it feel to be an 18 year old "baby" - just kidding - lol! ! !

Have a wonderful day!

I love you

Aunt Crickett

Amish Fellowship

Yesterday Kelly and Kenny invited us to dinner at Kelly's home. (Kenny is Kelly's beau, now turned fiance'!) He sells Amish lawn furniture and sheds. His suppliers are here for vacation and they, along with Kenny's grandma and us, were there. I found out they have been to Chincoteague,the girls anyway and Kenny has taken them tubing and the the guys were getting up early this morning to go hunting.
There were 3 couples - young - in their 20's. I have to admit - wasn't quite sure what to expect as far as their personalities. But you can learn a lot about people at a dinner table. They could be, and were, hysterical. Wonderful sense of humor! They seemed very comfortable, which made me, at least, feel comfortable. I think Rease was really taken with them! She told me she wanted to take a picture of them and take it to school and show her teacher who she had dinner with :)! ! (hmm. . .don't think that's allowed). They spoke with an accent and a language that sounded like it could be Dutch - but now don't hold me to that, and that in itself was intriguing. So most of the night Kenny and Scott talked with the same accent - too funny!
They don't drive cars, so how did they get here? They hire a driver - not Amish, obviously - to bring them here! His name was Scott and he was at dinner, too. This is one of a few questions I had brewing in my head. Some others were:
  • How did they get here? - Answered
  • I didn't know they wore bathing suits - obviously so
  • I didn't know they went tubing - obviously so
  • I didn't know they went swimming- duh
  • How do they feel about all these modern conveniences - electricity, tv's, cars, clothes, etc. . - not answered
  • Just how primitive do most of them live? - not answered
  • Just how Amish "savvy" am I? - obviously not very

The meal was wonderful, as was the company. The only regret is that I didn't get right in the middle of it all and get answers to my questions! !

What I learned is - don't pass by an opportunity to see or do something different, or socialize with someone different when the opportunity presents itself. And . . . . as I tell the kids - don't be afraid to ask questions! !

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Puffy Cloud Day

Today was not quite a "perfect puffy cloud" day, but it was close! It was hard for me to concentrate on all the work I had to do. All I could think of was going outside and laying on my back and trying to make images out of the clouds! Worse than a kid - hey - what can I say - lol!

Happy Birthday, Todd!

Happy Birthday, Todd.
You are fast approaching the top of that hill ! ! ! ! !
How does it feel to be approaching old man status?
Hope you have/had a wonderful day!

Sorry I don't have a pic of you :(

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jury Duty

There's nothing more disturbing than going to the mail box and getting an envelope with the return address of "The Circuit Court of Wicomico County, Anne Taylor". It can only mean one of two things: 1. - you have to register for duty (which I already had) or 2. - you are being "invited" to join them at any given time for a period of one month. So . . . you know which one it was. I am "invited". My first phone call to see if I can come and be a part of a bigger and better thing, to exercise my moral and legal right (which, for the record, I don't mind relinquishing) is the evening of September 30th. Lucky me - I get to call and see if my number is "up"! I am, by the way, on Petit Four. As if that makes me feel better. You can't imagine the excuses I came up with in my head as to why I couldn't or shouldn't serve! Shame on me - well, not really. My stomach gets in knots just thinking about it. What if I a get a murder case, or even a theft. My thinking is: "if you are here, there must be a good reason". I can hear it now (from the accused) - "Your honor, I didn't know those extra clothes were in my bag", yea, right. Or - "Your honor, I didn't know he was going to stand in front of that bullet!" Oh - give me a break!
Well, anyway, pray, that if I do get picked, that I can do a good job and be objective. It is after all, my God given right as a citizen!
How's that for a stab at enthusiasm?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

TV - "less"

A couple days ago I was reading Christie's blog about going without cable. It really inspired me - again. Bob and I have been talking about it for a while, but since our TV is a dinosaur, we decided to wait until we could get a new one so we could a least watch local news and some of our fall favs.

Well, yesterday Bob got up before me (as almost always is the case - tee hee). He came into the bedroom, woke me up, and said - "the TV is dead". All I could do was smile (don't think this made him happy). We didn't suffer so much yesterday because we were all busy - Bob working on someones car and Ben and I, on the deck (another story in itself).

Last night was the challenge. You know its bad (here anyway) when ALL go to WM to shop!
Had a late dinner - and watched Bob watch the back of his eyelids! Thank goodness Ben and I can find things to do on the computer!

But the real question is - when will we grace our home with a new TV, (before "LOST" comes on, I'm sure), and where will we put the "lovely" thing when we do get it? Hmmm. . .

And . . . . . why does such a luxury cost a king's ransom - not to mention the cable bill - which is what sparked our whole conversation about going "cable-less" in the first place. I was glad to see that we weren't the only ones with that motive when I read Christie's blog.

So - for the time being - we are not only cable-less, but TV-less, as well. And that means no DVD's either ! ! !

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Hubby! !

Today is Bob's birthday - or as some affectionately call him:

  • Earnest
  • Bing Crosby
  • Pop-pop
  • Dad
  • Old Man
  • Old Timer
  • UB
  • Beat - a - Bob
  • Bony Ole Bugger

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

Happy birthday to my oldest! ! ! Your day officially "began" at 8:59am!

I am truly blessed to have you as a daughter - and like I told Kelly - He graciously gave you both to just ME! ! :)

I hope you have a wonderful day!

I love and miss you!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Junior!

Happy birthday to you! !
Hope your day is filled with wonderful memories, love and laughter!

Love ya
Aunt Crickett

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

Love ya bushels
Aunt Crickett
PS - don't ever lose that smile :)! !

Happy Birthday, Greg!


I am so sorry I didn't post on your special day on Sunday :( - please forgive me? Hope you had a wonderful day - heard you had lasagna :).

I like the picture I chose, because it shows your true side - I especially like your "head light"! ! !

Much love

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I've Been Replaced :(

School is in full swing for all. Helena - our little tomboy princess started kindergarten this year :(
She was VERY eager (not so much for mom and me). She loves it. (how quickly I was replaced -sob!) Today we were 5 minutes from leaving to go meet the bus. She is in the kitchen and calls out to me. As I turn around I see her hurling all over the kitchen floor (not a good thing). I run grab the garbage can for her and as she is throwing up, she is crying because she CAN'T go to school! ! She was not a happy camper that she had to miss school. She was, in fact, quite contrary about it.
And all summer I fretted about her missing me - so much for loyalty - LOL ! ! !

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I know, it's only September 3rd and I'm already amping up for fall. I can't help it. The last few days have been wonderfully cool, crisp and breezy. A little sun, a few clouds, what more could one want for the onset of fall?

I had to change my background - couldn't help myself there either. It's in my blood - change, that is. I could change things around all the time if I had the money and the time to do it. Bob and Ben, on the other hand, like things the same. Bob, especially, can't stand change - makes him nuts. If I could I would rearrange the bathroom - LOL ! ! !

I have heard its a sign of some kind of "issue"? ? Well, if that's the only sign of insanity I exhibit - then bring it on -

The way I see it, change "never hurt nobody". Hold that thought - geese flying over - sounds beautiful! ! Okay - all's cool. (I think that's a sign of something, too - getting side tracked, I mean).

As you can probably tell, I'm in some kind of complacent, laid back mood. Don't know why - but I'm glad I'm here right now, for tomorrow may bring about it's own change. I don't get the chance to let my spirit lay low very often, but when I do - let me tell ya - its WONDERFUL. I'm sitting here just typing whatever drifts into my head and listening to to cicadas outside. They have a certain urgency in their sound, I think. Like they know there is only a certain amount of time to get done what they need to.

It doesn't hurt, either, to have a friend send you the most hysterical email you've read in forever. I laughed so hard I had tears running off my chin and my sides and stomach hurt. I chuckle now just thinking about it!. THANKS, HEIDI! ! !

Well, I guess I need to be a little productive and maybe put away some laundry. I did stain some on the deck today. Heidi warned me of the holes. I told her it wasn't the holes now I had to consider, but being up on the deck without any rails. I feel movement around me when I'm NOT moving - I have to squat to get my bearings. (She suggested bungee cords - tee-hee.) I know - its another quirky thing I've got going on in my head. I'm beginning to wonder if I didn't have all these quirks, what would be going on in there???

Yea - somehow I've wandered away from the topic of change - well, actually not, I've been changing direction this whole post - hahahahahaha! ! ! !

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Things That Make you go "Hmmmm. . ."

Some of the things that go thru Helena's head:

  • Ben is watching "The Return of the Mummy" - Helena is watching the guy that's all bones covered in slime - talking "ancient language" to his now almost mortal love. Slimy guy is fondling love's hair. Helena looks at me and says - " I wonder if he's got bad breath". Hmmm. . . . .
  • In anticipation of going to school today Helena asked me yesterday - "Mom-Mom, do I have my rabies shots for school?" Hmmmm. . . . . :)
  • Of course she, being the tomboy princess that she is, is intrigued with all the tools Ben uses to build the deck with. On occasion she will ask him if he needs his "screw gun" (drill) hmmm. . . .
  • This summer her favorite swim suit was, of course, her zucchini (tank-kini) hmmm. . .

Stay tuned - I'm sure there will be more - her mind never sleeps and the way she looks at life is refreshing, to say the least! !

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Anger is the Seed of Love"

The other night when I was on my way to a "Scramp Therapy" session, I was listening to Dr. Dobson on the radio. I only caught the last 10 minutes or so. The program was titled: The Power of Forgiveness in Marriage. Guest speakers were Dr. Gary Smalley and Pastor Ted Cunningham. They also co-wrote a book about the same. I finally was able to listen to whole message yesterday!

Although the message was geared toward marriage, the first half (day 1) was about anger Pastor Cunningham harbored. Dr. Smalley was a member of the church at the time and became Pastor Cunningham's advisor - so to speak. These are the things he told him that spoke to me:

  • Bury anger dead - never bury it alive. If you don't resolve the problem and forgive, it will resurface at a later time.

  • Unresolved anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick. Harboring anger actually wounds us.

  • Anger is the seed of love. Anger closes our hearts - God allows us to work thru our anger to get to the other side. . That one was hard for me to digest. Just how can love be an end result of anger? Is it that once you have forgiven whatever the circumstance, you can move forward and totally see or understand the situation? Maybe see what caused the anger?
I'm still pondering these things. I know I have harbored a lot of anger in my life, and I know the times that I allowed myselft to forgive, I was able to move on and "let go" of what was holding me down. Now, I know I am angry with some things in my life right now and I'm not sure how to go about forgiving, but I am working on that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Scramping" Therapy

Last night I had the privilege of attending another "scramping" therapy session. For those of you who are not quite sure what this is, or if you even need it, let me explain.

Scramping is a combination of scrapbooking - which I am affectionately drawn to - and stamping - which most in the "group" are passionately drawn to. We get together to share ideas, techniques and "toys". I personally don't have the plethora of toys that my partners in crime have, but I share their desire and urgency to do something with paper :). I, however, did not go for the scramping last night, but for the "therapy".

So. . . . how, you may ask, can this be "therapy"? Well, let me begin by saying - anytime you have a common ground or goal, it is beneficial to all around. One of the things we have in common is mentioned above. But, the most important thing for me is the spiritual side of our "therapy" group. We laugh, cry, listen, sometimes advise, sometimes gripe. Now, lest we get off track and are perhaps a little more unkind than tolerable, the most wonderful thing happens - Heidi brings us back to our place in a most humble, kind, loving, way - which usually makes me feel like the back end of the horse! But, that is what we need. And we need a place to safely do that. And Heidi gives us that place - and I thank God for her! So these little "meetings" are very therapeutic for me. Now, don't get me wrong - sometimes I actually do create something - but I have to confess - my motive for going is usually for the fellowship :)! ! !

How do you know if you need this "therapy"? Well. . . you are drawn by a desire to be with those of like mind and spirit, you have a need to be comforted and uplifted, a need to be with God's children, sisters in Christ and a need to not only feel compassion but a desire to extend compassion.

I'm sure I've blogged about this before, but sometimes one "session" will leave a deeper impression in my mind more than another, and you know me - can't keep it in there! !

So now - PG - if you are reading this, I just want you to know your wife has a wonderful gift that -to me anyway - has become a beautiful ministry. Money and time well invested, I should say and kudos to you for supporting her! ! !

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Did ya give it love?"

For snack today, Helena wanted an apple. She normally eats it whole, but because she has a loose tooth, I had to slice it for her. As I was slicing, a seed fell out and she asked if she could plant it. Before I could answer, Rease told her no, it wouldn't grow.
Helena - "how do you know?"
Rease - "because I tried it before, and it didn't grow."
Helena - "did you give it water?"
Rease - "yes"
Helena - "did ya give it love?"
Rease - silence

Hmmmm. . . .

Moral of story - things grow with love :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just playin' around

I'm trying to learn to use power point to my advantage. If I could get the pics to look like scrapbook pages, then, I might just have a new toy!

Happy Birthday, MOM & DAD

Today is my mom's birthday. Had she lived, she would have been 75 years young!

Dad's birthday is the 20th. He would have been 76.

This is a pic of them the year before I graduated, a rare thing, since Mom never liked being photographed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Heaviness VS Hope

This was the title of Pastor Gore's message yesterday morning. The message and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. It was a message directly from his heart, but I know it spoke to many folk sitting in those pews. I, for one, related to everything he said. Sometimes, as he pointed out, we forget there is hope amidst all the heaviness in our lives. We become so consumed in the things that are causing us such pain and sorrow that we don't see the "light at the end of the tunnel".
There was one part of the message that spoke to me - and that was when our spirits are heavy, the song leaves our heart. Our shoulders even have that slump or heavy burden look. How true that is for me. It's as if life's melodies just disappeared and I didn't bother to look for them. I didn't grab for the hope for a long time. It's funny how cloudy our "vision" becomes, as if we are the only ones in the world with any kind of problem. I know we are to expect trials - its part of God forging us - but I never really thought of it as "heaviness", and you know, that is exactly what it is. I thank God for the hope He gives us amidst the heaviness of life. And I thank God for Pastor Gore and his sensitive openness and for sharing from the pulpit the "light" of hope that God put in his heart, something much needed by ALL of us.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Helena Rose!

You're 5 years old today! WOW! And. . . . you start kindergarten in just 2 weeks!
I love you, poly-wog!
Happy Birthday, to you!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Congrats, Dan and Carrie!

Bob, Ben and I attended an engagement party today for Dan, my sister Donna's second born, and Carrie. They are such a sweet couple and I am excited for them. Sometimes you just know when two people "fit" each other, and I think these two do.
Congratulations guys!
Love you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Signs of Summer's End

It seems "signs" are everywhere - demanding a new season. School supplies are in abundance - a most sure indication that summer fun is fading fast. Then bring on the new school fashion and the race is on. School, in fact, started today for my Kentucky brood. It will begin here on the 31st of this month for most students. The kids probably feel as if they just got out of school for summer break yesterday! I'm sure the Staples commercial says it all for most folks - parents are singing "It's the most wonderful time of the year", while the kids walk around with a scowl on their faces! !
For me, I know summer is winding down when I hear the songs of the cicada. It's as if nature has imparted her own alarm clock. I usually notice them around the second to third week of August. In addition, the crickets seem to amp up their music making. The days are getting shorter, and when I used a clothes line, I noticed it took my clothes longer to dry. The nights are a little cooler and the morning dew is heavier. The grapes are ripening on the vine and some of the plants start to fade. There seems to be an anxiousness in my spirit - waiting for fall - for the cooler days - the beautiful, bold colors that come to take the place of the "prissy" flowers of summer. Add to this the night sky. I seem to notice more and more "shooting stars" as fall approaches, there again showing its bold thrust into existence.
I know there is a lot of "summer" left - but it doesn't hold its own - waiting for fall. I think this is the only season - for me, anyway, that the distinction of change is so noticeable. All the other seasons seem to glide effortlessly into one another. Summer to fall - however, seems to have some kind of boundary - each fighting for the right to stand on their own. Summer - hanging onto those lovely blooms and fall - pushing its boldness into the limelight. No wonder my spirit is so anxious - the waiting and watching almost seem unbearable.

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i'm a wife, a mom, a mom-mom, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend...i'm a child of God.... i love to read, scrap, and sew (all when time permits!)... i like trying new things, going to different places, even if only in my mind....i like simple, but life is complicated....i like spring days, snow storms, thunderstorms, and big puffy clouds you can make things out of....i like coffee, tea and iced chocolate milk you can sip thru a straw..........