Thursday, July 21, 2016

HARD DECISIONS...

Over the weekend we went to my sweet MIL's home to help with a clean up project.  Earlier this year she had lost some fence sections and a shed due to a storm.  The family decided it was time to give her a little help on her property.  It was a good time even thought the work was hard!  Then on Sunday we stayed for worship time with everyone.  Afterwards we went to a great potluck dinner:

Small town church potlucks are still alive and well!  This one was really special, though.  An older couple (in their 90's!) were being honored, much to their surprise.  They had spent 50 years of their married life at this congregation and served in various ways.  they had made the decision recently to move to a retirement community in another city.  I don't even know all the ways they have served, but I do know that every time I visited they greeted me with a hug.  He would hand out the sermon notes.  She was a hostess for my wedding shower and also read a poem at that event that she had written especially for the occasion!  I'm told she has written numerous poems.  They also made a ministry out of taking others to doctor's appointments that were not just around the corner.  It's a trek to the nearest city!

As they were honored with kind words and presented with a gift and also cash, a poem was read in their honor.  They were humbled and could barely look up.  But she spoke and said something I thought was very wise and of course reflected their faith in God.


"When we moved here 50 years ago, we thought it was the right thing to do.  And now, we think this is the right thing to do."  She went on to describe the amenities at the retirement center and encouraged everyone to visit.  I was thinking about how she mentioned giving thought (and prayer, I'm sure) to the big decisions in their life together.  I'm sure this was one of the hardest ones!

Many times as adult children we are put in a very uncomfortable place in making decisions for our parents when they are no longer able to care for themselves.  It was nice to see these two making the decision on their own.  Their words spoke volumes but their actions even more.  It was a great example to all in attendance.  Thankful to be there Sunday!




Thursday, July 14, 2016

KILZ AND OTHER SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS...



Sunday a young man prayed before we took the Lord's Supper.  In his prayer he thanked God that Jesus' blood was "thick enough to cover us."  I thought about that particular wording for a long time.  It didn't roll off like water, or leave any gaping spaces, it was thick enough to cover us - all of us!  As thoughts often do, I went to a remodeling project we were involved with recently.  We used KILZ, a product used to prep walls before painting.  It covers over the existing paint, mold, odors, and many other things. It gets the wall ready for new life!  Jesus' blood KILZ all our sin.  No more old you or stinky sin remains!

As I chuckled to myself over where my brain had gone with the THICK BLOOD and KILZ, I was thankful once again for the salvation we are provided through Christ!

Monday, July 11, 2016

SISTER LOVE...

My one and only sister turned 50 recently.  She is one inspiring woman!  She has worked diligently as a teacher and now an administrator in the school system for her whole adult life.  But probably her toughest challenge came almost two years ago when she and her husband John were in a car accident and he lost his life instantly.  Her world was turned upside down due to an inattentive driver.  Despite her own health struggles and the loss of John she "keeps on keeping on!"  Her faith is strong and she believes in making the best of whatever situation you are given.  She also knows how to laugh and delights in old-fashioned tin toys and kittens.  She is a keeper of the home and her two girls have an excellent role model of faith and positive thinking.  Even though we have different interests and "jobs," we are close and can be brutally honest with each other and listen to each other through our ups and downs.  So thankful for my little sis!

I threw a party for her - a surprise party with family and friends and co-workers.  We had such a great time honoring her!





We went to a local restaurant called Hidalgo's, and used a back room they have.  They were so helpful and let me decorate a little bit.  The signs were red paper plates that I wrote messages on with a chalk marker.  I glued two of them together with a dowel rod in between, then we stood them up and with a little scotch tape they stood up by the menu holder.  I decided to make name place holders so that everyone would know at least one person they were sitting by, and that worked out well.  I also got some fancy cookies from a local bakery with red polka dot napkins and put those out at each place setting instead of messing with a cake.  It was a great option and looked really cute!







Thursday, July 7, 2016

LOG CABIN LOOK....

While we were away on vacation, our youngest son decided to change his bedroom!  That means all three of our kids have redone their rooms in the past 6 months.  I guess they're trying to tell us they're growing up.  They aren't 13 anymore!  I loved this room, despite all the stuff.  You can see when he was 13 we painted it olive green with tan and orange stripes to match the colors in the duvet.  Most of the furniture was from IKEA, and I really liked what we did with his bedroom door.  Had it been a nice solid wood door I probably wouldn't have done stickers but you know, with this old house, almost anything goes!  





So, here's the new log cabin look!  He did this with some old fence panels he bought somewhere...

 He also painted the walls gray.


This kid is always full of surprises!  


Sunday, July 3, 2016

THE BABY'S 21ST BIRTHDAY AND OPENING OF THE TIME CAPSULE...

Our youngest just turned 21 years old!  The passage of time just is so crazy!   When each of our children turned 1, we asked relatives to write a message or give a little memento about that year to be put away in a time capsule and opened on that child's 21st birthday.



What's funny about the scrapbook is that I wrote on his first birthday that I made him a "wheel" cake because he loved anything with wheels on it.  It is still true today!  He's already owned more cars and  has worked on more than your average 21 year old.

So we got to see all the little treasures in our son's time capsule:


 1995 Family Christmas newsletter from Grandmother Sharon

An antique toy and a copy of a car magazine with notes in it from his Poppi
Cuff links from his Great Grandpa Foster
Sermon book with a handwritten note from Great Grandparents Albert and Amy Trent
Copy of a newspaper the week of his first birthday which happens to feature a picture of us!  (The article was about home-made baby food)
 Party goods from his first birthday party


From Poppi
From Great Grandpa Foster

 Tupperware from his aunt and picture key chain
Collector's stamps and a button from Six Flags
Pictures with special notes written on the back from his Great Aunt and cousin

An uncirculated dime

 A sweet letter and pic from Aunt Lori

Special card and letters from the parents
Notes and a crown from his then 6 year old sister and 4 year old brother

 Uncle Ken's promo materials

We had so much fun looking through the goodies and talking about days gone by!  







Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BEST LAID PLANS AND A FEW MORE VACATION PICS...

Most of the time we plan out our vacations carefully.  We do try to allow some free time for unexpected things that pop up, though...this time we planned to go on a bike trail in Louisiana and Mississippi.  This plan was after another plan for The Hubs to climb a mountain in Washington with a friend while I played in Seattle fell through.

So we said we were just going on an adventure.  It's funny, we got lots of surprises on our adventure, namely a major car repair! We never made it to Mississippi either since we needed to go home via Lake Charles to pick up the car.

We first changed up our trip by going to Louisiana via Houston.  We went to MD Anderson hospital to see some friends of ours who were there with their daughter who was having cancer surgery.  We were glad we took that detour!  On the way we noticed our gas gauge was not working.  So we just figured we would make sure we filled up every 200 miles.

Then the next day in Lake Charles, LA, our car started acting up and thankfully, we had just passed a Chevrolet dealership.  We limped in and handed it over to them, and they drove us to the car rental place.  We wanted to use our points for a free car rental, but they wouldn't let us do that unless we gave a 24 hour notice.  So my quick thinking husband told them we would pay for one day, then also made a reservation for 24 hours later for a free rental for the rest of the week.

So we ended up staying in that town for 24 hours.  We made the most of it and ate at a wonderful restaurant - one of the best meals on the trip - and also went to church with 56 other sweet Christians the next morning.

Have you ever had a fried avocado stuffed with seafood? It was the best!!!

Finally we got back on the road and made it to Covington, where we prepared to bike the Tammany Trace!  We biked 24.6 miles one morning, ate a hearty meal afterward, then relaxed the rest of the day.  Another day we were going to bike the remainder of the trail, only to find that both my tires had burst!  The Hubs changed one tire and it promptly popped again.  There was something wrong with the lining of the tire.  We had to put the bikes back in the car and drive to another town to a bicycle shop for repairs!!!  Thankfully we got great service there and were back on the trail within an hour.  The young manager who helped us gave us a great recommendation for lunch which I never would have eaten at just because of the name...Liz's Where Y'at Diner.  Seriously?  But it was great food, friendly service and unique bright colored decor.  It just made me smile!


We also spent a day in New Orleans - it was my first time ever.  We walked around, ate some good cajun food, and rode a streetcar just to view the southern homes and live oak trees.  Finally we stopped at the art museum and walked through their sculpture garden.




 House of Shards


Love the Live Oak trees down south!

Even though it wasn't exactly what we planned, especially a huge car repair, it was good just getting away from our responsibilities.  When we were younger this might have given me a lot of stress.  I don't know quite what it is, age, maturity, trust?  But these kinds of little detours from the plan just don't worry me anymore.  We enjoyed just being together doing whatever we wanted for a few days!



Friday, June 24, 2016

MY MAN GOT A PEDICURE...

Biking 50+ miles on vacation called for it!  The Hubs hadn't ever had one before so he was pretty funny about it, but he enjoyed it, I think...


Of course this calls for just a few biking pics:


We rode the Tammany Trace (Rails to Trails) in Louisiana - it was gorgeous!

We got to ride over a drawbridge at Lacombe

Nice trailhead at Covington 

Tunnel at Mandeville


Pit stop at Slidell







A fun playground nearby...

Bridge over Bogue



On our way home we spent the night in Shreveport so we tried out their trail too - unfortunately a lot of it had been destroyed by a flood but this was one of the nice parts!