Saturday, April 16, 2016

#32 Is History

Tax season #32 is history!
Hard to believe Dan & I have been through 32 tax seasons...
most have seen challenges and uniqueness...
and this one was no different.
{by the grace of God}
tax season #32 is over

He's worked over 100 hours a week for the past several weeks...
his "chargeable" hours (that he actually bills clients) that is.  Most days he doesn't even include his non-chargeable hours (admin time)...
lunch breaks have been eating at his desk while working
(drinkable soups have been his go-to lunches)
while dinner breaks (whether at home or the office) have been a sandwich in one hand
while working more...
and he would go to his home-office as soon as he got home to work more until 
the early morning hours.
Dan loves his career, but is always thankful for the end of tax season.  The government may have extended the deadline, but not his firm.  They want to have everything signed, sealed & delivered before noon on April 15.  And their clients respect them for this and many other reasons.

And so...
** at this moment in time, he is mowing our knee-deep yard for the first time this season
** he & I are examining our homestead to see what projects we need to get accomplished
to sell and downsize/resize -- whatever it's called
** we enjoy each other
Have a blessed weekend, dear friends!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

When You Keep Repeating

On my way home early this morning from spending yesterday afternoon
& night with our grands...
I got on I95 southbound and dug out a CD to help pass the time along with a growing number of travelers heading to their destinations. 
It's so awesome to play the first CD you come to without  really remembering what songs are on it.
And God speaks
and you're alone
and the volume is cranked
and your voice is singing
and the tears are flowing
and you keep hitting the repeat of that one song
because you are a child of "The" Risen Lord
no matter what this world offers you
no matter what this world throws at you
no matter... no matter... no matter
and He has claimed you as His own
Dan sang this song when he led our worship several years ago at church.  He was going over the message topic from our pastor for that particular week, so we began brainstorming some songs.
And I immediately played this one.
... and sometimes it's just good to be reminded
to Whom we are spoken for ...

Take this world from me
I don't need it anymore
I am finally free
My heart is spoken for

Oh and I praise you
Oh and I worship you...

 Covered by your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear you say "This one's mine"
My heart is spoken for

Now I have a peace
I've never known before
I find myself complete
My heart is spoken for

Oh and I praise you
Oh and I worship you...

 Covered by your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear you say "This one's mine"
My heart is spoken for

By the power of the cross
You've taken what was lost
And made it fully yours
And I have been redeemed
By you that spoke to me
Now I am spoken for

 Covered by your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear you say "This one's mine"
My heart is spoken for

 Take this world from me
Don't need it anymore...

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Un-Intended Break

I can't believe it's been 2 months. 
I have not written a post since January 31st. 
I haven't read my blogging friends' posts.
It hasn't been intentional ...
it just happened.
Tag turned 4
Jacqueline & Michael turned 30
the love of my life is now 54
and Lucy has never stopped dancing

We've had a whole lot of homeschool and a whole lot of tax season ...
and we're counting down the next couple of weeks.
My writing break was not by design...
it sort of just happened.
I've written many posts that will never be read (nor remembered by their author!)...
and I hope to be back in full swing after the 15th.
This blog is my connection to some wonderful friends
who I may never have the opportunity to meet in person...
and I want to hold on to these relationships.
May God bless you,
dear friends...


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Every One of Us Has One

The past several weeks have brought little reminders of why I began blogging.  It wasn't my intent to become a well-known blogger or have 2,000 followers or post so sporadically... well, I have certainly succeeded at 2 of the 3. However, it "was" my intent to share my values, beliefs and some family history for my future generations... I had wanted to post more regularly, but sometimes life simply happens and we just roll with it.  All of this "thinking" has brought me to this post that has actually been in-progress for the past several months
 (and I didn't even realize it).

   Have you ever noticed people around you?  It's not a trick question... and I'm not totally off-my-rocker.  This is something that I've tried to be more aware of lately. Of course there's people all around us and of course we notice them.  Now, for the next question... what do all of these people have in common? What do they have in common with you? And with me? The people who are around us... yet are total strangers.  What is it that bonds each of us together even through our differences?
Well... we all do have something in common.
the good ... along with the bad
the beautiful ... along with the ugly
the wholeness ... along with the brokenness
... and all of these make up our story ...
everybody has a story

How many times has God placed people in our paths... and we see them... and we smile at them... and they nod back to us... and somehow we all miss it.
everybody has a story
Over the past few months, I've had opportunities to share our story --
mine & Dan's story... our kids' story... our grands' story.
And you know what? 
It's been real.
Every single bit of it is real.
Their story. The day she tried to make normal through worry of the explosion...

the good is real... the bad is real
the beautiful is real... the ugly is real
the wholeness is real... the brokenness is real
We all go through hard times.  Period.  No exceptions
 I've shared our family story of Michael being combat wounded... Tag 11 days old at the time... Lucy staying with us during the week to still have her church activities & dance... our daughter giving back to the children of wounded warriors through her charitable organization...

Getting ready to see her Daddy for the first time since he was wounded.

She was getting ready to leave her family at the military hospital.

He spent 5 months living at a military hospital while his Daddy was recovering.

everybody has a story
Dan & I have shared our personal story of our fairytale elopement... that found us in divorce court on our 4th anniversary... to our patchwork reconciliation that ultimately brought us to our beautiful redemption...
and now heading toward our 32nd anniversary in May...

Celebrated our 30th anniversary... redemption is indeed beautiful.

everybody has a story
So, when we're out on our daily routines this week... remember that behind every smile and behind every word and behind every action...
there is a story that may not be seen in what is visible to us
 not everyone needs to know our story
and we do not need to know their story
but we just need to remember that
everyone has a story

May God bless you in your story this week,
my friends!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our Snow Effect

I'm really not a big fan of snow.  I grew up in rural West Virginia and remember many hard winters of snow...
 and more snow... and even more snow.
But, there is something peaceful and quiet after the storm.

Dan & I took these pictures this morning... after we attended our online church service since all physical church campuses were closed this morning.

The storm began Friday mid-morning... and continued all day Saturday.  Dan worked from his home office all weekend.

I do love our little corner of God's creation.  We are thankful that Dan has the ability to work from home when needed... tax season has no snow days!

Chili... hot chocolate... and praying our power stayed on through the storm.  And these views will be around for the next several weeks as the sun melts this white blanket during the day...
and the night freezes to slippery ice.

And this week we'll do our best to get Lucy from her house down to ours for her dance classes as they begin to learn their recital routines... oh yeah, their military base is still on emergency lockdown with only responders allowed to drive on post until roads are cleared.

But for now...
we enjoy His seasons
and our views...


Have a wonderful week, my friends!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

No Two Are Alike

I cannot believe it's been almost a month since I last posted.  As much as I enjoy writing, it seems that life is hectic (and getting more-so since we've entered tax season)... and my mind is occupied with everything that is going on around me.  And so (even I as a Granny), I continue to learn and grow in the changing seasons of life.
We are preparing for this snow-storm that is heading east with its promise to make a total mess for several days.  I got Lucy back to her family safely this morning and then battled traffic back to our corner.  Everyone wanting to get to their destinations before the first flake falls.
We had a little system come through this past Sunday that made for an interesting drive to church.  I remember back to childhood days and growing up in the hills of West Virginia... snow was an annual event that came with winter.  We knew it would always come... we counted on school closings... and we welcomed being snowed-in for awhile.
I admit that as an adult, I really do not care for snow. However -- it is beautiful as it falls and covers the ground with the little white fluffy flakes that will never be like any other.
And that's mind-boggling to me...
no snowflakes are alike
God's wonder ... God's creation ... God's design
Just like each of us...
no humans are alike
we are God's wonder
we are God's creation
we are God's design

As I prepare for Dan to work from home this weekend and our household for the upcoming snow...
one thing I am preparing myself for ----
to remember that God made each snowflake with its own unique characteristics
just like He made each of His children with our own characteristics
Stay safe and stay warm, dear friends!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve ... A Decade Ago


Our daughter ...
Christmas Eve 2005 ...
10 years ago


They chose Christmas Eve because Michael would be home ...
then back to training on New Year's Day 2006 ...
and then deployment a week later ...


A lot of "life" in this past decade ...
2 wars
2 years unaccompanied stateside
many months of training
an explosion
and these 2 grandest gifts of all ...

Happy 10th Anniversary, Jacqueline & Michael ~~~
We love you both ...