Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Reflections on a Snowy Day

You never know where your paths may take you in life.  Some of them good and some of them bad.

There will be times when you just want to curl up in your warm bed and shut the rest of the world out.

Things may not be clear on what it is that you are to do.

It may seem like your life just keeps taking twists and turns.

Tears may fall at the most unexpected times.

You may feel like you will break under the weight of it all.

But when you just don't think you can take anymore, the sun starts to peak out from behind the clouds, hope starts to rise and the music once again plays in your heart.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Big Brother to Be Bradley Spends the Night

Yep, you read that right, Bradley is going to be a big brother!  Chris and Heather are expecting another precious little one at the end of July! 

Bradley came in time for dinner and decided that he did not want the peaches but was more than happy with the banana and banana bread that Grammie made.

He and G-pa had some playtime before Bradley had a bath.

He was not feeling well (he has a cold) and was running a bit of a temperature so we gave him some baby Tylenol.

He started to feel better after the medication and was determined to play with Daisy who was very patient with him.  He loves kitties!

Still not tired so he played in his favorite car and took his ball for a ride.

He is just so darned cute!  Grammie and G-pa just can't get enough of this kid!

He just spotted a kitty and the kitty was very glad he was contained in his car. ;)

Hey G-pa, wanna play ball?

Get ready G-pa, here it comes!

Look Grammie!  I caught it!

Mine, all mine!  Can I take the ball to bed with me?  Grammie said no.

The next morning G-pa introduced Bradley to the cartoon Scooby Doo.  It kept his attention for quite awhile!

Dancing to the music on Bob the Builder.

Shaking his booty!  LOL!

I think both Bradley and G-pa are enjoying a slow morning together. It was so good to have Bradley stay here and I hope we can make it a once a month "date".  I would say our first sleepover was a big success!

Friday, January 25, 2013

When a Dream Dies

   Christmas Day Josh and Jess told us that they were expecting a baby and we were so happy and excited for them and for us.  Then something went wrong, terribly wrong. After being checked out at the hospital and tests and ultrasounds done, they were given the sad news that she had what is called a chemical or false pregnancy...there was no baby but her body was reacting as if there was, and the pregnancy hormones were there.
    Throughout all of this, we are thankful that there was not the loss of an actual baby and that makes it a bit easier to handle all of this but there is still the death of a dream of the baby that they, and we thought they were having.  Many tears have been cried and prayers lifted up to God for healing for our beloved kids.  There is still a sense of profound loss, at least for me.  I know how much they wanted a baby and it was heartbreaking as a mother to see my kids have to go through this.  I wish there was something I could do to have spared them from having this happen but all I can do is be here to love and support them.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Warm Comfort on Foggy Winter Afternoon

   The fog started to roll in this afternoon making an already chilly day feel even colder.  A friend reported that it was 10F this morning at her place here in town.  Upon checking the temperature just a bit ago I saw it was 14F and dropping.  We are already down past our predicted low of 18F for tonight.

    I made myself some "comfort food" from my childhood growing up in Hawaii.  A steaming hot bowl of ramen with cabbage, carrots and crab not only filled my tummy but also warmed me up from the inside out.

   I then fixed myself a nice hot cup of chamomile tea.  It is the perfect way to help me unwind and start to relax at the end of a busy and productive day.  I really enjoy this quiet time to reflect upon things.

   My "shadow" Molly, who did not want her picture taken, was also seeking some warmth and comfort.  She spends a good part of her days and nights either on my lap enjoying the soft fleece blanket or cuddled up right beside me.  She is a wonderful and very effective "heater".  It is days like this that make me happy to know that Spring will arrive in a few more months and I will enjoy seeing the new growth of flowers and the budding of the trees once again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snow Pictures for Lena

   I am blessed to have reconnected with a dear childhood friend after 35+ years.  Lena and I go way back to our early elementary school days.  After all these years I have found that she is still the same loving person that I remembered.  It has been so good to rekindle our friendship and share our lives with each other once again.  After living on the East Coast for awhile, Lena is now back home in Hawaii and missing the snow.  So Lena, here are some photos just for you!  Enjoy my friend!

Grandpa Mark and Gardening

   I awoke this morning from a dream that had my Grandpa Mark in it and it made me smile.  My Grandpa Mark was my mother's stepfather.  He and my grandmother actually met through my mom and my Aunt Lucy (Grandpa Mark's daughter).  Grandpa Mark was a man that loved his children and grandchildren fiercely and he and Grandma loved to share what their children and grandchildren were accomplishing in life with everyone they knew.  I remember how thrilled they were when they got letters, pictures and phone calls from family that lived on the mainland with updates on everyone. :)
   Grandpa Mark was a master gardener.  He loved to nurture things and watch them grow.  One of my earliest memories are of his beautiful gardens in Lafayette, California.  We used to go up to visit him and Grandma before we moved to Hawaii.  I remember being 2 years old and Grandpa putting me on his shoulders so I could pick fruit off his fruit trees.  He would take me around his garden telling me about all the different plants and tell me the names of the roses that he nurtured so carefully.  My Grandma loved roses and he tried to grow the prettiest roses he could for her.
   We moved to Hawaii shortly before I turned 3 and after my brother Eric was born, my grandparents moved to Hawaii also.  Hawaii was a whole new gardening world opened up to my Grandpa.  He delighted in having a clean slate when they built a new home on which to design and nurture a new garden.  He planted roses for Grandma but also developed a huge love for orchids and started growing them in addition to his veggie gardens.  Grandpa could turn any piece of land, no matter how steep the grade of it, into a gorgeous and productive garden.  The first house they built had a beautiful water feature.  He had a pond built and let each of us grandkids pick a goldfish to live in it.  Goldfish were much cheaper than Koi and much easier to replace. ;)  After he completed that garden, it was time to build another house and design another garden.  The second house had a very steep grade in the back yard and Grandpa terraced it and built steps all the way up to the top.  He grew all kinds of veggies in that garden along with his prized roses and orchids.  I remember the perfume of the roses drifting in through the guest bedroom windows when I would spend the night at their house.  Once that garden was complete, they again moved and built another house where the garden would be on one level and not so much going up and down steps for Grandpa.  He also built an Orchid House since he was now buying more and more orchid plants and they are very picky about their environment.  Grandpa scaled back his gardens at this house but he still planted roses for Grandma and had the most amazing orchids I have ever seen.  I remember one orchid plant that he had on the back patio.  He called it a popcorn orchid.  It had small yellow blooms that looked like popcorn.  I had seen other plants like this but none as HUGE as Grandpa's.  When his other orchids would start to bloom in the Orchid House, he would bring them inside for Grandma to enjoy and they would take a place of honor where everyone could see them in the living room.
   Gardening for Grandpa was an act of love. He enjoyed making things beautiful and bringing a smile to people's faces.  It also was a great stress reliever for him.  When my grandmother got sick, he could escape the sadness of that for a few hours out in the garden while still being close in case she needed him.  He would also bring in roses and orchids to brighten her day. 
   I think my Grandpa would be proud of my mother, my son Chris and I.  We are continuing his tradition of gardening and trying to make life beautiful around us.  It is a family effort with everyone pitching in.  I am amazed at how much my Grandpa did in his gardens all by himself.  His gardens were always beautiful and well weeded...something that tends to get away from me.  So thank you Grandpa for instilling a love a beauty through gardening in each of us.  Your gift to us lives on and hopefully will continue down through many more generations to come.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Winter's Grip is Upon Us

This is the time of year that you need to get up early and allow extra time to get all the snow and ice off your car before you can head out to work.

You pray that the snow plow will be by before you have to leave but some days the snow covers the roads quickly, even after they have just come through.

The frigid winds bend the icicles so that they come close to touching the windows at times.

The front flower beds are mostly protected under the blanket of snow.

More long icicles hanging off the front walkway awning.

A view out my window of the neighbor's trampoline.

Gorgeous Winter sunsets.

Molly cat asleep in one of her favorite spots near the warmth of the fire.

Daisy doing her "Princess and the Pea" impressions on the back of the other couch, also near the fire.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Josh and Jessica are Coming Home!

   It's official...Josh's orders just came through.  Josh and Jessica will be coming back to the USA from Germany in May!  I am beyond excited at the thought of having all my kids on US soil once again. :)  I can't wait to give these 2 big hugs and kisses and welcome them home.  They will be stationed on the East Coast but that is still a lot closer than Germany.  Jeff and I are already planning a trip around Thanksgiving to go and see them in their new home.  Life is good!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bradley is 10 Months Old!

Happy 10 month birthday Bradley!!!  You are our wonderful ray of sunshine and G-pa and I love you to the moon and back!
 You love playing hide and seek with Grammie.

You really think your house is quite fun!

You are a master at making goofy faces and cracking Grammie up. ;)

You are starting to walk and took 2 steps to Grammie on Saturday!!!

You love looking out the window and blowing spit bubbles (we will credit your Daddy for teaching you that), but you are so adorable Grammie does not even mind the drool. :)  You have also started climbing everything and climbed up all the stairs in your house on Saturday right before Grammie got there.  Mommy and Daddy are going to have their hands full with you now my silly Monkey!