Sunday, December 30, 2012

Urgent Prayers for Our Little Man

Our little guy spent yesterday afternoon in the ER.  His temperature had fluctuated  for the past couple of days & for some reason would not stay down.  By the time he got to the ER it was around 103-104 range.  Mommy called home around 7pm to say they were waiting on the discharge to come home.

Then, all of a sudden, Tag's temp spiked to 105.  He was hooked up to IVs and tubes & then taken by ambulance across town to the hospital his pediatrician is on call. Blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds ... and still no concrete answers.  At first the doctors thought a possible colon infection, but it doesn't look like it.  

Right now, only God knows the reason why Tag's temperature will not stabilize.  Please pray with our family that God will reveal to the doctors & those attending to our 10 month old little man the reason why & that Tag's body will be healed. 
 We appreciate & covet your prayers ... 





Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours


Another Christmas has come upon us.  It seems that each year passes faster than the previous ... wasn't it just a couple months ago that we celebrated Baby Jesus' birth?  Here's what was happening in our household last Christmas:
  • Mrs. 'Joe was very pregnant with our grandson "Tag" and was ready for his appearance (but not due til mid/late February)
  • 'Joe was in the process of shipping out for an unspecified deployment period to Afghanistan
  • Sweet Lucy was an energetic 3 year old who insisted that "Santa Clause is NOT coming to our house -- MRS. Claus will be visiting my house"
  • And on Christmas Eve (our kids' anniversary), Lucy helped her Mommy celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary by sharing Godiva chocolate covered strawberries 
It's hard to believe another year has past since then.  God has been good (as always) throughout this past year.  So, here's how we find our household celebrating this year ...
  • Mr & Mrs 'Joe will celebrate their 7th wedding anniversary tomorrow (Christmas Eve) with some special time set aside just for them while ...
  • Lucy & Tag hang out with Granny & Grandad to prepare for Mommy & Daddy's special "Anniversary Party" tomorrow afternoon (a tradition our daughter began when she was younger to celebrate mine & Grandad's anniversaries)
  • Mrs. Claus is still coming to visit Lucy, and I think Santa may actually come to visit Tag
And the true reason "why" we celebrate Christmas ... 

Baby Jesus 

Lucy told us today that she wants to much to see Jesus someday.  It brought to my mind the little children from Sandy Hook Elementary School whom Jesus welcomed home. 
Oh to come to Christmas as a little child ... 
to have the heart of a little one ... 
to want to see Him with the purest of eyes. 

Well, I have a little more gift wrapping to finish... just a few more small items to get in the morning... and leaving the cooking to Mr & Mrs 'Joe (at their insistence to do most all of our Christmas celebration dinner).
 
I'm ready to meet the Baby of Hope ... 
I'm ready to come to Him with a pure heart that focuses on Him alone ... 
I'm ready to spread His love to those I come in contact with.  

So, from our house to yours ... 

~~~ We wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ~~~









Monday, December 17, 2012

Weeping with Those Who Weep

The past few days have been a blur to our nation.  We all were shaken ... rocked ... torn apart to hear and see the news coming out of Newtown, CT on Friday.  Truth be known, none of us will ever be the same.
But most of us look on from a distance ... 
but not Mommies & Daddies, sisters & brothers, 
Grannies & Grandads, Aunts & Uncles, 
cousins & friends -- their whole community.  

Today begins the process ... laying to rest those whose lives were taken so mercilessly. I cannot even imagine.  So many unanswered questions ... so many families torn apart ... so many tears.  It has truly left me speechless and heartbroken. 

Small young children not much older than Lucy ... 
young teachers around the same age as my daughter ... 
school administration my age & older ... 
all became our heroes.  
And their families and friends and community ... all our heroes.

Although I have a breaking heart & swollen tear-stained eyes, it absolutely does not compare to what this community & its families are experiencing.  God's Word is filled with promises of His love for little children. On Friday, the nail-scarred hands of Jesus welcomed these little children Home. I truly believe that Jesus' heart broke on Friday.

He is our only Peace here on Earth. It is only through Him that we will continue to live & breathe to face each new day. It is my prayer that each of the families and their community will reach to the comforting nail-scarred hands to be their comfort & strength for their days to come.  

And that each of us will take time to hug and spend time with our precious little ones 
as often as we possibly can.  

And God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21:4




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prayers for Mommaw

Asking a special request for my husband's grandmother ...

Mommaw is 90 years young and not in very good health.  She is a firm believer that Jesus Christ is her Lord & Savior, and gives her praises to Him for giving her these 90 years.

October 2011






This lady sure doesn't look or act like she's
9 decades young ... 








Love Mommaw's smile
  We also ask a prayer request for my husband's Mom & Dad.  His Mom is the primary caregiver for his Mommaw ... and as you can imagine, that can be a stressful & challenging role.  Prayers for strength, encouragement, stamina, wisdom, health.  Blessings to surround them while Mommaw recuperates.

Mommaw, his parents & us October 2011

God is always good ...
God is always faithful ...
God is always.

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Family Portraits

When I was a little girl, my parents would take me to have pictures at a professional studio. It was one of those "luxuries" that they saved their money for, and continued after my sister was born.  

Not a hair out of place ... the perfect outfit ... the "you will smile for this picture" smile ...
Whew-hoooo ... look at the birdy and say "cheese" ... look at the camera ... 
Hey kid ... what's so hard to understand about "smile" and "look at the camera"?
Come on ... we're almost done ... just a couple more ... 
 Okay ... 
 Smile one more time ... 
a BIG smile this time ...
okay, well at least we may have gotten one out of the 87 we took.

Well, Thanksgiving Day was similar to one of those professional portrait studio sessions.  "Dear daughter" decided that we needed to take a group picture ... 
G-G ... Grandpa ... 
my sister and her family ...  
the 'Joe family ...
Grandad and Granny.

So, out of the 192 pictures snapped (exaggerated? maybe not), 
here's some of the results...


1st Family Portrait with 4 generations

My parents with their grandkids

And add 'Joe and the great-grands














My parents & their girls


And of course, there were the out-takes ...
the bloopers ...
the cutting-room-floor negatives for no one else to see ...


Until now ...




























Okay, so I couldn't make the "out-takes" but so *bloopery* (not sure if that's a word, but I claim my Granny-privilege on making it up)

But, no matter what the pictures may look like ... 

this is my family and the people whom I know have my back.
I can call on them anytime -- day or night -- and they will do anything for me.
And I will do anything for them.

Life is good.


And this is the man God gave me to share my crazy journey of life with ...





So, whether he's entertaining Tag 
during a photo-session ...

 
 
 
 
Or he's dancing with his Princess ...










I'm so thankful that God chose to bring us together to share our lifetime ... 



crazy family and all :)






Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Time of Giving Thanks for Values & Relationships

Many of my Facebook friends have taken the challenge of giving thanks everyday for the month of November.  It's been so refreshing to read what God lays upon the hearts of others during this month... such a wide array of thankfulness I read about daily.  Although I haven't updated my status everyday with giving thanks, here is a very short list of whom I am thankful for ...

 Always first ... for God sending His only Son to leave His throne & come down to earth to die for me. I am thankful for my eternal life with my Savior.  It's all about the relationship ... not a religion.

And ... for God giving me my husband of 28 1/2 years. He has been the love of my life since I first saw him in high school... then several years later he asked me on a date... and 8 months later we eloped... and we're still going strong after being together for 29 years.  

He is my best friend, my cheerleader & even my challenger... 
supportive husband, dependable Daddy & awesome Grandad... 
well-respected, man of integrity & leader.
I'm so honored to be his wife. 
No greater role has God given me than to stand by his side throughout all these years
and the many more ahead of us.


Throughout our years ...
I'm so very thankful for our wounded warrior family. Words cannot express how much we have appreciated every prayer that has been lifted up on their behalf. 'Joe continues his physical therapy while finally teleconferencing an extensive TBI screening.  Mrs. 'Joe keeps up with his schedule (including primary doctors, other military appointments, other appointments), their adorable preschool "warrior princess" who also has dance class & other activities, and their precious "warrior prince" who is growing in leaps & bounds while teething and trying to keep up with his big sister. Never a dull moment for this family ... but sometimes it's a blessing to have just some down-time whenever they can get it.  God has some really awesome plans for this family ... and these 2 military kids are such blessings to everyone around them. 
I'm thankful to be their Granny.


Our 2 favorites
Our Wounded Warrior Family

I'm also very thankful to have my parents. God definitely knew the two people I would learn so much from & establish my values from. My parents instilled these values in me that have been my oxygen throughout my life. I've never seen anyone work as hard as they did when I was a young child -- worked 2 jobs each to support their young family.  And they are always there when either my sister or myself have needed them.  It's no wonder our daughter would spend practically every school break with them when she was a young girl. She even lived with them for a semester when she was in college. She has always had a special bond with her grandparents & the bond is carrying through into this next generation... Lucy & Tag love their "Great-Ones" and always look forward to spending time with them.  

G-G and Grandpa with their Great-Grands

Relationships don't just "happen" overnight... 
relationships aren't one-sided... 
relationships take time & are deliberate.  
I'm so thankful that one day I will see my Granny again. I am blessed that my Granny saw her first great-granddaughter (my daughter) before she went to her heavenly home. Relationships begin early in life and continue through generations. My Granny lived her testimony & really did not have to say one word of the importance of relationships. She would open her house to strangers who would be stranded in storms... 
she welcomed everyone into her home... 
she was one of the most respected pillars in our community. 
I was blessed that my parents & I lived with my Granny and my aunt for several years, and then my parents built their house just a short walk up on the hill from Granny. 
And how awesome it is that my granddaughter Lucy carries her great-great Granny's name! 


4 generations in 1986


My sister is 8 1/2 years younger than me. And although we are always at different stages in our lives, we are there for each other.  She was entering her teenage years when she became an Aunt, and my daughter & I were there when she gave birth to both of her children. We know we can always count on each other & will always be there for each of our families... 
my daughter always loved spending time with her aunt... 
and my grands love them all too.


Lucy & Tag with my sister's 2 children


I'm thankful for my husband's family and heritage ... they took care of him before God gave him to me.  He comes from a musical heritage & family... he played mandolin & sang in his family band and provided a musical release and enjoyment to everyone who heard them. I'm so very proud of my husband and proud to walk beside him in our journey of life. Although he hasn't played in the band for many years, he maintains his musical heritage through playing for his Audience of One in the various church ministries we've been part of over the past years. I'm sure our grandchildren will benefit from their Grandad's musical background.

My "future" husband on this side ... still my heart-throb


I've always said that I had a privileged childhood... and I sincerely believe that I did.  I grew up in my Granny's house & was surrounded by aunts, uncles & cousins. 
Family church time, family holiday dinners & family vacations... 
hand-me-downs, instant friends & lots of imagination... 
lasting memories, forever relationships & unending bond. 
When my husband & I moved our young family away from "home", we made sure that both sides of our families would have the opportunity to develop the lasting relationship with our daughter. It was intentional travel for us & the sacrifices we made to be with our families a few times a year. And the bond that is shared between her & our family has reaped many benefits.


My Granny surrounded by just a few of our family (I'm the blonde beside her)

There's always so much to be thankful for... and actually I've just skimmed over some of my family values in this post. So many things I know I take for granted (such as *time* to sit down & write a blog-post)... yet so many things God brings in my forefront daily.  
It's my prayer & endeavor to daily take time to thank Him for the blessings He has given to me... and to also thank Him for the challenges that come my way.  

Yes, challenges & crises come upon all of us and yet at times I have failed to thank God-Almighty for them. It's in these trying times that I grow in Him ... 
that I know I need to praise Him in all things ... 
that I ask Him to continue to mold me & shape me into the person He wants me to be.

What are some of the things you're giving thanks for at this season? I pray with whatever you're thankful for, that God will continue to lay on your heart that these aspects of all of our lives are only on "loan" to each of us here on earth. Time passes quickly.  


Seems like just yesterday I was a teenager ... 
then quickly a young Mommy ... 
and now I'm Granny.  
We are helping shape the values of the generations that follow us.  And this Granny wants her future generations to know the value & importance of relationships ... 
for these relationships are the cornerstones in our lives.

So,
From Lucy, Tag, Grandad & Granny and our household ... 

   ~~~ Happy Thanksgiving ~~~



Oh how my grands love their Grandad!
  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hello New Friend ... Instagram

Last month Granny ventured into the 21st century ...

I got an iPhone

When I got my Blackberry in January 2011, I thought it was pretty smart ... 
but not like this iPhone I have now!

I can take better quality pics
I can share them in social media easier
I can get some pretty awesome apps

One such app is Instagram.  It may be "old hat" (so to speak) to many of you, but it is new to me. (Remember, I'm just now joining the 21st century.)  I can take a picture from the iPhone and instantly edit it on Instagram ... then I can share it on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. 

I've shared several pictures on Facebook recently.  So now I want to share them on this blog & preserve them for Lucy & Tag to see when they are old enough to read every word their Granny has written on here ... 
okay, well maybe their children or grandchildren will read every single word 
from Granny :)






So, if you Instagram ... 
look me up & we can share some treasured pictures ... 
or just some ordinary ones too.

I have some questions on how to (or if I can) upload to Instagram ... 
maybe you can help Granny progress deeper into the 21st century :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Values & Politics: For My Grandchildren

Dear Lucy and Tag, 

I can't believe that both of you were born in the years of our country's presidential election.  Lucy September 2008 and Tag February 2012.  Maybe it's not such a coincidence, either, of the months you both spent in Bethesda MD just outside of Washington DC.  It would not surprise me at all if either or both of you become associated someway with politics.  Well, your Granny wants to just take a few paragraphs to explain why I believe it's so important to participate in our political institutions. 

I want both of you to know how important it is to exercise your privilege of voting for your representatives whether on a local, state or national level. I believe that as Christ-followers, we have a responsibility to pray to God our Father as to whom He directs each of us to cast our votes. I base my political party affiliation on the political party that is aligned closest to my Christian values, family values, moral values and patriotic values.  Here's how I do this:

My Christian values are the basis of who I am.  I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord & Savior and it's only in Him that I will live eternally in God's glory.  So, how does this intertwine in my political actions? I personally have a struggle aligning with a political party that does not acknowledge the sovereignty of Almighty God. Now, I'm not so naive to think that every person regardless of political party is a Christ-follower. It's just my personal conviction of aligning with a (more) God acknowledged political party.  God is always first in my life. Period.

I also have strong family values that have been instilled in me in the past ... well, forever.  I believe that it's my personal responsibility to be the positive role model to my family.  And I know that people in both political parties share similar family values.  However, it is my personal belief that I ultimately take personal responsibility for myself.  It is not the government's role to take care of my family. That job is for me and my husband.  It's not been because of the government that we've had both successes and even made wrong decisions in our family. It's been our individual and family decisions that we stand upon. I do not belong to the government.

My moral values have been shaped by my Christian values. I have strong beliefs on abortion, welfare assistance, health care reform, among many other issues. I believe in standing up and being the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves (unborn babies for example). Yes I believe we need to reach out and assist those who do not have, but I also do not believe in redistributing what others have worked so hard to build and attain. Unfortunately there are some people in the world and in our own country who take advantage of our assistance programs. There has to be a checks & balance of those who truly need and those who take advantage. Is it fair to take from one person who works hard to support his/her family and give to someone who has the ability to do the same ... but simply will not.

By now, Lucy & Tag, you both have seen that you come from a patriotic family. I'm not sure "why", but for some reason God Almighty saw fit for me (and you both) to be citizens of the United States of America.  And for that I am thankful.  I love my country and all that she stands for. I do not believe in apologizing for my country. We are a military family & we believe in our military and their families (that's you two!) ... I am thankful for my country and our military. 

Lucy & Tag, I know that you may not agree with me on everything. And I respect that.  But although we may not always agree, my one hope is this ... that you both look to God-Almighty as your political "consultant".  Ask yourselves what political party (if any) GOD wants you to align with ... who GOD wants you to cast your votes for ... and (more importantly) how are your Christian values, family values, moral values and patriotic values shaped by GOD Almighty? And how do these values coincide with your political actions?  

I believe we all have a responsibility to our country, to our community, to our family ... and taking an interest and participating in our political institutions is just one of our responsibilities.  Please do not ever think that you cannot make a difference -- because you DO make a difference.  

I believe each Christ-follower will stand responsible for our actions ... in all areas of our lives.  And this includes our political privileges as well.  

So, be informed ... 
be engaged ... 
be God - led in your political participation.

Seek God first ... 
Know that no matter the outcome of earthly political elections ...

Almighty God is still and will forever be Sovereign ... 
He is still and will forever be on His throne  
  
Our future and values belong to you & your generation, Dear Ones.  Be blessed in Him.

Love, 
Granny 
 

 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Celebrating Generations & Relationships

Four generations





Today we had a Fall Family Celebration ... G-G and Grandpa came over for a visit.  We all love it when we can get together as a family -- 
4 generations under the same roof for a day 
... eating Mommy's white-bean chicken chili, watching football, eating Lucy's special "monster cake",
 and of course ... carving pumpkins.  
What a wonderful fall day we shared together!

We don't take our multi-generational relationship for granted.  It has taken years to develop and nurture.  It began many years even before my Mother came into this world.  We always had a close-knit family and still do.  I had a very close relationship with my Granny ... my daughter has a very close relationship with her Grandma (my Mother) ... and Lucy has a very close relationship with her Granny (me) and her G-G (my Mother).  What a legacy!  (And yes, Tag was hanging out with the men of the family after he woke up from his nap.  He enjoys hanging out with his Daddy, Grandad & Grandpa while us girls do our own thing too.)

A few things our family knows about relationships:

relationships take time ... 
relationships require sacrifice ... 
relationships lasts for lifetimes ... 

One thing that my Granny showed all of her family -- family, friends, strangers -- 

*** relationships are worth everything we put into them *** 

I am so very thankful for moments such as in this picture ... 

 memories that lasts many lifetimes
relationships placed with highest priorities
family values being passed to future generations

  I can't expect to wake up one day & all of a sudden have a close relationship if I haven't invested in the relationship up to that point.  I know that I need to be putting my all into these relationships *now* and not wait.

I wouldn't trade my relationships for anything:

I've invested my time ... 
I've made some sacrifices ... 
I benefit for my lifetime ... 

And with moments like this ...

 
Oh how blessed I am!

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Celebrating Priorities

I've really neglected my blog over the past several weeks ... not intentionally ... but it just turned out that way.  Although I've written several posts, none of them have made it past my brain.  
Sometimes there's just so much going on in a household with three generations
 under the same roof, that priorities must be given to:  
what I need to get done
what I would like to get done
what I can take care of later (whenever "later" may be)

Some events on our calendar have been forgotten about (not by design, but just simply over-looked).  Although we have a rather large dry-erase calendar in our dining room for appointments, events & other activities, there have been a couple of times that we've simply just missed it.  No disrespect or misunderstanding was intended, but sometimes life gets a little hectic.

So, here's a little glimpse into what's been happening for the past month in our household:
 We celebrated Lucy turning 4 years old ...

at home ...


and at Disney World!!!
(This trip was awarded to the 'Joes in appreciation for his service to out country & his Purple Heart)


  


It sure doesn't take long for time to get away from us ... 
and for things to be left undone for the day.
 But these two little kids are growing up too fast on Granny & Grandad ... 
so we are enjoying every moment we get with them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sheltered in the Rain


As I went out to run my errands this morning, I expected to find my Philips, Craig & Dean CD in my car.  
I hit the "on" button ... 
this is what I heard ... 
this is what I cried to ... 
this is what I needed.  

Mrs. 'Joe had borrowed my car yesterday to pick the princess up from preschool & had changed the CDs ... 
as God was speaking to her yesterday, He knew that her Mother would need this comfort this morning.

Don't you just love it when God gives us what we need even when we don't know we need it?  
His grace is more than sufficient ... 
His grace is everything.  
And I'm so very thankful that my daughter listened to Him yesterday to receive His promise ... 
and that allowed me to receive His promise when I needed it most.

I hope this will bring His promise to you this morning & for the moments to come.  
We never know how our little action of obedience will bring blessings to others.

 God is always good ... 
He is always holding us ... 
even in the rain.



Monday, September 10, 2012

Why They Serve ... A Link to a Wounded Warrior Wife's Post



I quietly reflect the events of September 11, 2001 ... 

I remember where I was ... I remember first finding out ... I remember the disbelief

No one could explain ... no one could answer ... no one was exempt

Lives were lost ... lives were changed ... lives were uncertain

It was on that day -- September 11, 2001 -- that many young people made the decision to be a part of our country's military, police force, firefighters and other first responders.  Many families on that day and many families since then have sacrificed 
for our country ... for its citizens ... for you & for me.

Some making the ultimate sacrifice ... some made life-altering sacrifices ... all have sacrificed with their families drawing alongside of them.  
Spouses ... children ... mothers ... fathers ... family ... friends ... communities ... and the list goes on. 
No amount of "thank you" will ever be enough for this Granny to say to those who serve & sacrifice for our country.  So I can just stand with them ... do my part to support them ... and always be grateful for what they've given for my freedom & my protection.

Below is a link to my daughter's blog.  I link into hers every now & then ... 
she is a wounded warrior's wife & Mommy to my grandchildren.  
She, along with countless other military spouses, is my hero ... 
my grandchildren (especially my Princess Lucy) are my heroes for the sacrifices they make to our country.
This link will give you an idea of what September 11 means to a Wounded Warrior Wife.  

If you know a service member or other first responders, along with their children, although our "thank you" may really not seem like enough ... 
go ahead and thank them anyway.  
They need to know that what they sacrifice matters to you & to our country.


God bless our country & those who serve to protect each of us.


ACU's, Stiletto Shoes, and Pretty Pink Tutus: Because of this piece of metal...