The Joy of It All

When do we actually see the passing of the baton? When do we specifically notice the changing from child to adult? Recently I pondered these very questions while watching the child-like wonder in the eyes of my oldest son (age 23) who, for the first time, is experiencing the joy and wonder of decorating his first house for their first Christmas. His phone call was filled with expectation and excitement: “Come on over, Mom -I want you to see our house!” As I stood in his front yard watching he and his friend handing strings of lights to each other while precariously perched on his roof, I couldn’t help but smile with motherly delight at the shear joy radiating from my son’s face. “The only one on the whole block!” he crowed as a neighbor’s car slowly cruised by, opened a car window and yelled out: “Nice job!” I had noticed the brightly colored lights adorning their house when I first pulled onto their street.  “Come on in, Mom, and see our tree!” A more beautiful ‘first tree’ was never to be seen, anywhere. There were tiny decorations hanging from the branches and a string of popcorn that wound half-way down the tree. Making a memory – creating a tradition: “We’ve started lighting a fire, lighting the candles (on the mantle), popping popcorn and then stringing it, together.” He mentioned that they hadn’t finished the popcorn string yet: “We eat about half of it before we get it strung!” he sheepishly confided. It didn’t matter what decorations were there or how abundant they were; what really, truly mattered to me was seeing the happiness that radiated from my son’s face. That, my friend, is joy to me. He is truly happy and thrilled to be a new Daddy (with his 5 month old son) and girlfriend, in their new house, creating memories to last a lifetime.

   When did the baton pass? I’m not sure, but I’m grateful to be the one on the sidelines cheering them on and ever so happy that they want me to be there to see their accomplishments. Your house and tree are gorgeous, especially when lit by the radiant glow of your loving faces.



Published in: on November 30, 2006 at 3:52 am  Comments (1)  

With a Thankful Heart

It’s Thanksgiving again, that time when thoughts turn to friends and family, love and laughter, and thankfulness. There are SO MANY things to be thankful for, my mind explodes with them all (and even then, I’ve only begun to brush the surface!):  for my family, our health, the Word, our salvation, the LORD (from whom ALL things come), friends, safety, the beauty that God creates every day in our environment (the sunrise today was gorgeous…THANK YOU, LORD!), our church, truth and those who speak it, people who are kind, baby’s giggles, a close friend to open up to…there are SO many things I couldn’t even begin to do justice in trying to name them all. 

   Sitting in my car today waiting for my son  I was stunned by the beauty in three small birch trees and their fall colors basking in the sun. Lately I feel like my eyes should be cameras-each beautiful sight I behold I want to say: “Click!” and be able to keep that sight to look at, again and again. A few nights ago the sky was filled with beautiful hues of robin’s egg-blue and various tints of pinks with the last bright golden rays of sun shooting through cotton-ball tufts of clouds; it was truly a sight to behold….”Click!”  My eyesight-another thing to be thankful for.

    Tomorrow we will be partaking in an array of wonderful foods; the sights, smells, and tastes will be more on my list of Thanks. The Lord has been more than gracious to my family this year, and I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends;


Published in: on November 23, 2006 at 3:06 am  Comments (3)  

Returning to “Man-Land” (Part 2 of Pancake Morning)

It’s half-way through my day now and I’m just returning to join you for a few minutes. Lately I’ve been  noticing that I’m having alot more urges to do ‘girl-type’ things like doing my nails, working on beading projects, crocheting or knitting, working on embroidery; you know-girl stuff. This sort of puzzled me a bit as to the ‘why’ of this sudden shift until it dawned on me (call me slow here): I’m surrounded by men/boys…My husband, oldest son, middle son, youngest son, grand son, why even the CAT is a male! No WONDER I feel a little outnumbered here! I’ve just spent a very pleasant hour + roaming around the new bead store then on to grocery shopping. During the in between driving I began to formulate this idea: the bead store-quiet, very nice candle-burning smell in the air-the type of place Women (and girls) would find attractive. Contrast that with, say, a hardware store OR, better yet: Joe’s Army/Navy Surplus Store! Now THERE’S Manland in one building! Walk in and what assaults your sense of smell? The gagging aroma of old rubber! (I can just hear the guys going: “Mmmmmmmm!”)  Back to my original thought, I returned from shopping to my household of men. What were they all doing, you ask? Why, playing video games, of course! Again here we insert the type (goes with masculine/macho): Husband and both oldest & middle sons play “World of Warcraft”…read that: Blood, guts and gore in a fantasy setting! Youngest son plays Final Fantasy, which is a gentler version of the above; the monsters aren’t that scary (I just left the room and he was battling a giant Flan…that’s a dessert much like a pudding!). Can’t see where that would be all that scary…unless you’re fighting off calories!

   I guess what I’m trying to get across here is: I don’t get out much (actually I get out almost every day…but); I just don’t get ‘out’ to spend time with my female friends. Once upon a time, years ago, my best friend and I would book a hotel room for two days and just spend time together shopping, visiting antique stores, book stores, and going out to eat. I never really realized just how much I needed to get away, until now. Our once a year forays into the ‘week-end getaway’ ended when she died a few years ago. What I’m coming to realize now is: I need to book some ‘quality time’ with some of my girlfriends and just do ‘girlie things’ like eat appetisers, watch “chick-flicks” and talk! Ever feel like that?

   At least NOW I realize why I’ve been feeling the urge to just ‘be girlie’…HELP! The testosterone levels in my house are greatly stiffling me!



Published in: on November 19, 2006 at 1:43 am  Comments (2)  

Pancake Morning

Today is Saturday-my day ‘off’ from teaching school, driving to tech. school (playing taxi service for my middle son), babysitting my 4 1/2 mo. old grandson, and volunteering with my special needs adults. It’s MY day! (so far, anyway) Have spent a pleasant time drinking my morning coffee and reading a few other blogs. I’m learning that ‘blog reading’ is almost like sitting down with a pleasant novel and a nice hot cup of something (cocoa, tea, coffee…); visiting with ‘new’ friends-people you haven’t actually met (yet) but really admire. The two ladies I’m thinking of are both very artistic-one knits and the other crochets; both are very good at their chosen craft. I’m learning that just viewing their blog sites, breathing in the creativity and warmth generated there, gives me the desire to write, myself.

   The discovery that we only have about 4 Tablespoons of milk in the ‘fridge is what gives me the desire to make pancakes for breakfast today. (let me back up a little-normally my boys are want to have cereal and tons of milk for breakfast…without the milk, looks like I’m going to have to come up with something else-hence, pancakes!) Pancakes are another of those ‘gives you that warm, homey feeling’ items.  It seems the only time we have pancakes is either on holidays or weekends or when the boys are having guests overnight. I just felt like today is a ‘homey’ day (at least I’m feeling homey!), so it’s pancakes for breakfast (along with eggs and orange juice, of course!)

   The day, as I’ve  planned it, stretches out to a quick visit to a local holiday craft show and a visit to the bead store I missed last weekend (I hope!). THIS time I have to remember that they close at 3 on Saturdays. Earlier in the week I stopped by a chain craft store that’s about 25 minutes away from our house (hence, I don’t go there very often). This was the first time I’d visited the “Beading” section of this store; let me tell you-I was overwhelmed! The total immensity of their stock was more than my little head could take in. I found myself gawking at a plethera of colors, shapes, sizes…any bead in any kind/shape/color you could imagine…in almost any price range, as well. I saw packaged  collections of beads, total sets of projects you could put together ,large packages, smaller packages…you name it-they had it. My mind was reeling from the total sensory over-kill! Through all of this a small voice in my head kept saying: “Hey, you! Did you forget you’re supposed to be looking for one particular small square crimping bead? Find it!” To my amazement, they DID NOT carry the one thing I’d come into that store to buy! Oh well…hopefully a trip to the store I’ve so far missed visiting (Planet Beads) will produce said crimping item. As I left the store small thoughts kept assailing my mind-thoughts of “I could put that on my Christmas wish list!” and “If I looked at that purchase as a total craft outlay, perhaps I can justify to myself, that expense!”  Do you ever find yourself in that dilema? I’m Scots decent and definately have the “FRUGAL GENE”; I drive my husband nuts with my penny-pinching. I guess it’s a throw-back from growing up poor; I try to look at it as a benefit, of sorts-I’m saving money to be used for something that we might need later! The goofy part is, though…I can’t seem to justify spending extra money on myself…ever do that?

   Anyway, it’s back to Pancake Saturday and the family’s getting hungry awaiting my rush to the kitchen to start the aroma of pancakes and eggs wafting through the house, so I’d better close for now.



Published in: on November 18, 2006 at 8:39 pm  Leave a Comment  


One of the things I’ve learned in life is that God gives us gifts. Each one of us possesses one, or more than one, gift to be used for others, as well as ourselves. You may have the gift of a  musical voice; the gift of being able to transfer those things which you see into beautiful pictures, photographs, or sculptures or the gift of craftworks-there are many, many gifts. The secret to all of them is one simple lesson-HOW you use them. Were you given these gifts for yourself, alone, or to grace and bless others with them and, in turn, bringing blessings on yourself, as well?

Sometimes in life you come across an opportunity to do something for others, with no gain for yourself. This might be a chance for you to use that which you’ve been given to bless others. Recently I have come across just such a cause: through my browsing within this blog server I found another blogger’s site which gave me this opportunity. I will list her site here, to make this opportunity clearer:

Within her site is a small section called

“Project Gracious Parcels”

a wonderful ‘opportunity’ for anyone who can knit. This opportunity is allowing me to be able to use my rather basic abilities to knit into creating knitted squares which will be put together to create a blanket for a family. This family will be the recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home and my new friend: firefly, has graciously presented this ‘gift’ (opportunity) to me.

Opportunities like this are precious and few; I have learned to seize them when they come, for they are rare. This allows me the chance to help others totally unknown to me  and also allows me to teach my children more about looking for those opportunities to help others – even those you may never know. If there is one, lasting thing I hope I have passed on to my children, it is this: ALWAYS look for those opportunities to help and bless others. The Lord has been very gracious to me in my lifetime and I am very grateful.

Thank you, firefly, for this wonderful ‘gift’;



Published in: on November 15, 2006 at 9:19 am  Comments (2)  

My Day and Welcome to It!

(Subtitle: Life Ain’t Fair!)

Have you ever had one of ‘those’ days where it just seems like all you’re doing is struggling to keep your head above water and not totally ‘lose it?’  Yesterday was one of those days which started with my opening our Sears statement only to find that the ‘due’ amount was waaaay too big. A quick call to Sears and my explaining that we had set up a six-month payment/no interest plan, starting in July and ending the end of January. The lady who spoke to me said she knew of no plan like that, only that someone from there had set up our account for $60 a month payments, which wasn’t enough to cover the actual amount due each month, hence the large amount now due. After a very long conversation (me doing most of the talking), I ended up ‘caving’ and agreeing to pay the amount due. About fifteen minutes later, while opening todays mail I noticed a statement from our bank with Sears name on it. Upon opening it, there in ‘black and white’ was a current bank statement saying that Sears, indeed, was taking out $60 a month from my account…that same ‘plan’ they said DIDN’T EXIST! Another call to Sears led to further frustration; yes, she was sorry that I was mistakenly under the impression that this payment plan was set up TO HELP ME, but NO they couldn’t/wouldn’t change anything. That, my friends, was frustration #1.  A few letters later while still opening the days mail what do I receive but a statement from our friendly local Township informing me that the political sign that had been placed in our front yard (at my husband’s approval) was too large, according to the Township rules. This letter stated that the sign was to be removed immediately (with the date of removal stated as the DAY BEFORE elections). Now, that might not be too bad BUT…this letter was received on the 10th, the day before elections would have been 11/06! The outside of the envelope revealed that they hadn’t even MAILED this letter until 11/8! Oh, the ‘kicker’ on all of this? The letter stated that IF we did not remove the offending sign by 11/6 they would fine us $75! Cute, huh? First off: we should NOT be responsible for knowing whether a political sign is the correct size for our yard and second, we should not be the ones receiving the fine if it IS in violation! My husband was, to put it politely, not too happy with this letter and requested that HE handle the phone call to the Township on Monday. 

  My third, and final (thank heavens) ‘ain’t fair’ occurred when I visited our local Meijers for a cup of Mocha coffee (a new ‘treat’ for me.) The smell of this lovely libation drifted to my nose on the way home (I didn’t drink it immediately as it was very hot…tongue-burning hot). After a suitable amount of cooling time, I took a sip….YUCK! Yes, it was mocha-smelling…but certainly NOT mocha tasting! More like brown-colored water! Just one more ‘life ain’t fair’ to add to this pretty yucky day.

   On a better note-I stopped at Meijer again this afternoon and mentioned that I thought their coffee machine might not be working correctly. The very nice employee at the counter informed me that the third shift employees don’t like refilling that machine and what I probably got was mocha-flavored very watered down…WATER! At her request I was able to get another large cup of that wonderful libation: Mocha Coffee….mmmmmmmmmm, very tasty! What does it taste like, you might ask? Actually, it tastes like Adult Cocoa! Very rich flavor, great creamy taste (small ad here for their coffee) They also, I noticed, have Caramel Crunch (or something like that)…might try that one next!

   Actually, there was ONE more item to all this confusion: I tried, several times in fact, to place more posts on this blog but just received notice that even though I wrote three blogs, my browser somehow did not allow them to post! The very nice person who replied to my frantic plea of HELP-I’m a NEW blogger! said that this happens VERY RARELY (wouldn’t you know…after the above mentioned day, it figures!). see below:

“It’s a horrible problem but it’s really rare. So far today there have been 26,605 posts made on and yours is the first I know of.”

I’ve decided that I’m NOT going to let all this craziness get me down! I guess part of the benefits of a blog are that you can rant and rave to your hearts content (howbeit, possibly at the loss of your readers!). I’m hoping that doesn’t happen…but then, I’m hoping this blog will actually post, too!
Life IS good, but some days can really make you crazy. I’m giving this blog-thing one more good try…hope it goes through.
Thanks for patiently plowing through this!

Published in: on November 12, 2006 at 7:03 am  Comments (4)  

Free Time

Have you ever been given the gift of “free time”? Free Time is one of those blessings that you never expect, that come suddenly, but you’re very happy to receive-those times when you’ve suddenly been granted a space of time that you hadn’t prepared for. Maybe I’d better clear this up a bit: free time is when you’d planned to do something in your day and suddenly your schedule’s been changed and now you have a block of time that’s “free”-to be used however you chose. Today is one of those days for me; I’d planned on spending the beginnings of it doing those things I do each day-driving my son to school and back and babysitting my infant grandson. Through a few changes, I’m now “free” for a block of almost three and a half hours…WHAT will I do with that time? All sorts of thoughts race through my brain: I could go out to breakfast! I could read some in my current book, or pay house bills (too boring!), do laundry (again-too boring)…what shall I do with this gift of time? It’s funny, usually I just go through the routines of the day, almost not thinking…performing those tasks that come almost as a habit: washing dishes, doing laundry, straightening up the house but now…NOW there’s suddenly this EXTRA period of time (or, time that’s been re-arranged)…what shall I do with it? It’s interesting to just let your thoughts roam and dream a bit (something I very rarely do…too much into reality, not enough into fantasy, I’ve been told): there’s the option of doing a bit of beading (just started a new hobby of making jewelry-there’s a thought: a new pair of earrings!); take a quick nap (no, don’t really need sleep at this moment); what shall I do? I do have a friend who’s ill-I could give her a quick ‘cheer-you-up’ phone call…that’s a good thought. I also have several tests to write for my middle son (we homeschool): there’s chapter tests for Sociology and Total Health (boring, but needed none-the-less), that’s another good thought. I could make a good breakfast for myself and youngest son (12)…another good thought. See all the kinds of things you can come up with! I could also spend about 10 minutes of it on the ‘walking’ machine and burn up a few calories (another needed thing); I could read some in my Bible (another needed item).

I guess, for starters, I could get off this blog and go start ‘enjoying’ my free time! Part of my free time was used just setting up this new blog site. (Long story, but this is the third blog site I’m trying out…hopefully THIS one will be ‘the one’!)

Now, on to my day and wisely using the time that’s been given to me…how will YOU use those free gifts that come to you, unexpected?



Published in: on November 9, 2006 at 2:05 pm  Comments (3)