Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Say a Prayer this Christmas for the Hurting

Christmas is supposed to be this wonderful time of the year with families gathering, children laughing and hearts being filled with love.  For some this is what these next few days will be filled with, but for others say a prayer...

For the men and women in the military and their families who cannot be together because there is literally an ocean between them.

For the homeless that will spend another cold night outside or in a shelter that will not have the joy of opening even a single gift on Christmas morning.

For those who have lost loved ones this year and will have an empty space at the table and an ache in their hearts.

For those families that are facing major hardships in their lives and are in crisis mode.

For those that have division within their families and feel the pain of not being able to be together.

For the ill who are in the hospital, in Hospice care or at home and may be fighting a battle that no one wants to ever face.

For the abandoned, both human and animals, who have heavy hearts and only want to be loved and cherished.

For the emergency workers: police, fire, EMTs, nurses and doctors who will most likely have to deal with some really heartbreaking situations and hold it together while trying to save someone, deliver bad news, or deal with a dangerous situation.

So please...whether you can identify with any of the scenarios above, say a prayer for those that are hurting.   I personally believe in the power of prayer and I know how much it can mean to those that are hurting or are in need of protection or change in their lives.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Reading, Baking and Candy Making

I just finished reading Forever Christmas: Tasha Tudor.  Oh how I loved this book!  Tasha Tudor is one of my favorite authors/illustrators and I have always been intrigued with her life.  She is one of the most creative, down to earth and lovely women ever.  I would love to be able to spend a day with her and learn all that I could.

This is round two of my Christmas baking.  Both baking sessions produced both banana and cranberry orange bread.  I have already given lots away as gifts.  Some of these are gifts for family and friends and the others will part of our Christmas morning brunch spread.

This was also round two of my candy making sessions.  Last week I made both white chocolate and milk chocolate peppermint bark.  Today I made chocolate peanut clusters and white chocolate and craisin candy.  Most of these are being given away as gifts also.

Just because we all need some Christmas cuteness!  Our youngest grandson Isaiah is learning to feed himself and had quite the time trying to keep his macaroni and cheese on his spoon and into his mouth.  Grammie and G-pa stepped in and shared bites of theirs so he would get filled up. ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

     Yesterday I was at Goodwill and saw this beautiful framed picture.  The detailed artwork and saying are all hand cut paper.  I have seen similar things before and always marveled at how much time and talent it would take to produce such a treasure.  I have to admit that I was immediately drawn to it not just because of it's beauty, but also because the quote spoke to my heart.   It perfectly expresses how my husband Jeff and I feel about our family, hanai (adopted by love) members included.   I felt like God had put it there on the shelf, just waiting for me to find it, to comfort me and reassure me that Jeff and I are doing something right after yet another stressful and hurtful situation happened that shook us to the core. 

   Jeff and I are very close to our children and grandchildren.  We have been through so much as a family and it has only strengthened us.  Our children have shown such great inner strength and support for us and for each other when others have tried to tear our family apart.  So have my parents, siblings (and yes, I consider my sweet SIL my sibling), our wonderful niece and nephew (in-law) and Heather's side of the family.  We are blessed beyond measure by when it comes to unconditional love within this group.  So thank you God for your reassurance and thank you to our beautiful family who are some of the most caring and loving people people around.  I truly would be lost without you all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Moose (or Two) on the Loose

This moose and her yearling have been hanging around our neighborhood.  The backyard closest to us is our yard and right across the fence is Momma Moose.  Her baby was happily munching away on our neighbor's rosebushes.  Baby later came into our yard and then ran back to momma.  They then proceeded to eat our arctic willow bush and some of our raspberry bushes.  They needed trimmed anyway. ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More Mooses, Moosies, Moose?

We have had a visit from another moose family.  Sadly, the baby moose from the previous family died and the mother, who was totally distraught, charged someone and had to be put down.  I am praying that these beautiful creatures do not meet the same fate.  In the past, we have had a moose or two wander into town, but I have never seen this many come into town ever.  By the way, tall fences make for good neighbors. ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So Much to be Thankful For

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and every year I take this time to reflect on the past year and all that I have to be thankful for.  This year has been another year of growth and change for our family.

Jaysn and Rachel had been house hunting earlier this year and found a cute little place in a small town that was still just a short drive to where they both work.  They worked hard to be able to afford to buy their first place and have been busy getting settled in.  Rachel has found a new talent in refinishing furniture.  We gave them our big old dining room table and some chairs and she refinished them beautifully!  I would have never recognized it as our old table.  Jeff and I recently went to the Winter Jam 2014 Concert (Ten Christian Bands for $10) with them and we all had a great time!

Chris and Heather have been busy raising our 2 grandsons, Isaiah and Bradley who are growing like weeds.  Isaiah is now 1 and is walking and starting to talk.  He is a bundle of energy and joy!  Bradley is 2 and wants to know "why" everything is the way it is. ;)  He has been busy learning the states in the United States and also about the continents.  Heather is working at a daycare a few times a week in addition to teaching preschool to a sweet little girl along with Bradley.  Chris is now a Sheriff's Deputy and graduated from the Idaho Police Academy earlier this year.  He has been taking classes to become an instructor  and also to be on the tactical team.  

Josh just finished his AA degree in Criminal Justice while serving full time in the Air Force.  He is going to continue his studies and get his BA in Criminal Justice. He has been stationed in the Washington DC area but will be deploying for a post overseas in a little over a month.  He brought his girlfriend Marissa home to meet the family at the end of the summer and we all just love her.  She fits right in with all of us and is so much fun!  

My parents have made several trips over here to see us.  They are wonderful to always pitch in and help us with whatever is needed.  This last trip over for them, though quick, was one where they could finally just enjoy everyone without having to help pack and move grandkids. ;)  We also were able to make a trip over to their place while Josh and Marissa were here.  Chris, Heather and the boys joined us on that trip.  Our good friends allowed us to stay in their cabin next door to my parents house so that everyone would have more room to spread out and have actual bedrooms to sleep in. :)

We had our water line to our home break twice and our friends (also neighbors) came to the rescue. They provided us with jugs of water, use of their shower and Ray, came up with his backhoe and dug up the pipe and then helped Jeff get it replaced and fixed.  We could not feel more blessed by these wonderful people.

We've reconnected with family members and even connected for the first time with others.  Old friendships have been strengthened and we have made some great new friends also.  Prayers for healing have been answered, and family bonds have been strengthened during times of stress and sorrow.  

Jeff and I are both still able to do jobs we enjoy (most days at least).  We continue to do volunteer work in our community and feel like we are just giving back a portion of what has been given to us.  A friend asked me the other day how long we had been volunteering with our food distribution program and I realized it has been about 21 years now.  The boys and I started when they were very young and they continued to help until they left home.  Jeff took their place when they were no longer able to do it.   

There is so much to be thankful for!  Life has it's ups and downs but with faith, family and friends you can weather the storms.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blogging on a New Computer

I loved my old computer.  It served me well for 7 years.  I knew it was dying a slow death and the screen finally died.  I am hoping that my computer guru guy can help me get some of the more recent pictures that I had not backed up yet off it and onto my external hard drive.

I depend on my computer for so many things. It is the way I keep in contact with friends and family.  I love SKYPE so that I can see and talk to my son Josh who currently lives all the way across the country and will soon be back overseas.  My computer allows me both save and to make money.  It is what I turn to when I need to research things.  I am lost without it.

My wonderful hubby, knowing this, took me out to get a new one.  We called my son Jaysn for advice on what I should be looking for and he coached us over the phone.  We ended up getting a really good deal and I am busy learning a new operating system.  Of course I bought another Toshiba since my last one served me so well for so many years.

I am now hoping my digital camera holds on for awhile longer.  It is starting to have issues also, but it too has served me well for many years.  There may be less pictures her for awhile, but I will do my best.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Another Meal Recap

Cha Cha's delicious homemade tamales

venison steaks, lemon and parsley rice, cucumber salad (from our garden)

smoked sausage, potatoes and onions boiled in beer, sauerkraut

blackberries (from our garden), plums, mozzarella cheese, crackers, artichoke spread

homemade scrapple, pears

roasted tomato and squash(from our garden) pasta, broccoli/chicken pasta and a big green salad 

pancakes with homemade syrup, turkey bacon, homemade applesauce

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sleepover at Grammie and G-pa's

Playing at the park.

Bradley being the dork boy. ;)

Goofy boys!

Monkey see, monkey do.

Cuddling with G-pa and watching a movie after their bath.

Donuts for breakfast....yum!

Bradley asked for some apples that we had picked at the orchard the day before.

Playing together nicely.

Building a doghouse for the Lego dog.

Isaiah taking apart Legos.

Bradley building a road.

Caesar on the alert for anything that might be dropped. ;)


Bradley is finally big enough to use the hot tub with Mommy and Daddy!  Yay!