Thursday, October 29, 2015

His Autumn Coloring Book

As I made my trek down our driveway today, I became more aware of my surroundings ...
our dirt driveway paved with gravel and fallen leaves engulfed by God's coloring book that He has allowed Dan and me to enjoy for over 15 years.

The evidence of God's grace is all around ...
in the changing colors
in the fallen leaves
in the unseen wind
May your day reflect the goodness of God's grace through His ever-so-vibrant coloring book ...
His grace
His creation
His love

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hurricane Watch {Again}

We are on hurricane watch --- again.  Not for our little corner of the world, but for the Mexico region that is bracing for Hurricane Patricia. The strongest hurricane in recording history...
200 mph sustained winds and gusts up to 250 mph...
cancelled flights at Puerto Vallarta...
no power & medical complications. 
We are praying for this region.
Dan & I took Jacqueline on a family vacation & graduation celebration to Puerto Vallarta for her high school graduation in 2004.  We had been out of the country only one other time (mission trip to Japan), so the Mexico trip was only the 3 of us.
After missing our connecting flight in Mexico City and being stranded at the airport for 8 hours, we finally made it to Puerto Vallarta close to midnight our first day there. After getting settled in, we had a good time and it was a good family vacation. We stayed at a resort in Nuevo Vallarta
(just a few miles from Puerto Vallarta) on Banderas Bay. 

Here's a glimpse of a storm moving in while we were there.  Although it looked ominous then, I'm sure it does not compare to the approaching storm now.  The Sierra Madres will most likely provide somewhat of protection during Patricia, but how much?

And so now ... 11 years later ... we are on hurricane watch for the Banderas Bay that had been our family vacation home for one week in 2004.  When we flew out of Puerto Vallarta to come back home, our airplane was a very small one... it seemed we had not even gotten off the runway until we were flying over the Sierra Madres. It was a bit unnerving for me back then (not being much of a flyer)...
but today I pray for that same mountain range to be God's shield of protection
for the people and region of Puerto Vallarta.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Family Fun on the Farm

{Special credit to my beautiful and talented daughter Jacqueline for her photography skills ...
 she & I both took pictures yesterday but she did the edits last night. She certainly has a gift for editing photos!}

Yesterday all our kids came down for an afternoon of "fall family fun on the farm" ... a working farm about 30 minutes west of us opens up for family festivities ...

It began with a hayride that took us out to their farm activities ...

hay bale maize ... goats ... calves ...

walking out to the pumpkin patch ...

Lucy always looks for face painting!
... and simply the beauty of God's creation


and the reminder that family is what our life is all about ...


As our household begins another week, I thank God for the beautiful weekend He gave us ...
 family, sunshine, cool air, beauty, laughter, church ...
May you be blessed this week, dear friends ...
remembering that all creation great and small is His ...
we are His

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Preserving Heritage Through Video

One of the main reasons I opened this blog was to give our grandchildren a glimpse into some of our values and family history through my writings.  I really want to start trying a bit of video-posts ...
but quite frankly, right now this ol' Granny simply does not have time.
So ... it seemed quite the perfect timing that a friend of ours found this video (and more)
and shared it with us last night.
But before the video ... here's a little background:
Dan was part of a bluegrass band with his parents & brother when we began dating September 1983.  The band was called the Outdoor Plumbing Company (yes, you saw that right).  He played mandolin and sang mainly harmony & some lead for several years in high school & college.  This video was taken at a bluegrass festival just a few weeks after we eloped (May '84) -- so he was still my newly-groom! 
And ... he had a beard which made my heart completely melt (no beard now, but he still melts my heart!)
Fast-forward over 31 years ... so this morning I asked Lucy if she wanted to see a video of her Grandad
 "that long ago" ... and her response was simply
"if it's going to be too weird on me ... then no thank you.  I'll watch it when I get a lot older."
So ... in order to preserve the video and to make sure Lucy, Tag and their future generations can see their Grandad soon after he married their Granny ...
here is the instrumental Ground Speed
performed by the Outdoor Plumbing Company in 1984.

Friday, October 9, 2015

At the End of the Week

At the end of the week ... we breathe
for the hectic week that's coming to a close
for the upcoming weekend to renew our tired souls
At the end of the week ... we breathe
for those who hurt of loved ones who left
for those who rejoice in sweet new life of the baby's breath
At the end of the week ... we breathe
for the uncertainty of the road before us
for the One in whom we have our trust
At the end of the week ... we breathe
for the Grace that carries each in our climb
for the Mercy that forgives at all times
At the end of the week ...
we simply breathe
and we remember the words we spoke to the 5 year old
who was anxious for her swim class ...
breathe in God's peace
breathe out our anxieties
praying for those who hurt over the loss of their beloved ...
praying for those who rejoice in the new life of sweet babies born ...
praying for those who are facing the unknown journey down a new road ...
praying for those looking & searching for "something" ...
simply ... praying


At the End of the Week ... author Susan M "Granny"

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Weekend Rain

Our weekend was filled with rain ...
the physical rain that we felt coming pelting down from cloudy skies above.  The rain that was overflowing the James River as well as washing away along our driveway.  The same rain that has left so much devastation in South Carolina ... the rain that will leave behind much work to be cleaned up during the months ahead.
Saturday morning ... the rain began.
Not the physical flowing from the sky rain ...
but rain just the same.
Dan & I had some errands to run Saturday morning and had just ordered breakfast at McDonald's -- he was getting our drinks & I was waiting on our order.  I turned around twice for no apparent reason ... and the lady in line said "Susan?" ... I replied "Johnna?" ... and then we started hugging each other ... one of my dearest childhood friends! We knew we lived sort of close to each, but ... actually running into each other at McDonald's????  She introduced me to her man and the 4 of us caught up briefly over breakfast. They were on their way out of town, so we promised to get together soon!
{PS - we're 7 hours away from our childhood hometown ... and I didn't think of getting a pic!}
... rain ...
showers of blessings ...
only God could have worked the timing for us to reunite at McDonald's --
we forgot to stop by the post office on our way to breakfast ... we had talked about stopping somewhere closer for breakfast since this McDonald's was pretty much out of the way of our errands ... we almost went to Home Depot before breakfast ...
but God's rain brought the 4 of us together at McDonald's.

So after they left, Dan & I finished up and were planning our errands.  Our former pastor came in and stopped by our table on his way out.  He was heading to the hospital across the street ... one of friends had an aneurysm in the middle of the night and probably would not make it much longer ... on Sunday Lee's faith in God-Almighty became sight as he was welcomed into eternity by Jesus' nail-scarred hands. Please keep his wife and family in your prayers during this difficult time.
... rain ...
memories -- comfort -- strength
only God knows the number of days each of us have on this earth --
how are we filling the moments God has given us ... are we His hands & feet to draw alongside of others through our journey here on earth ... are we reflecting His image to those He put in our paths ...

As I begin my week, I'm reminded of my New Year's post as we ended 2011 ...
may we all go through the week ahead of us by simply being
I do not know what being aware will be for you this week,
but I do not want to take my moments here on earth for granted
Blessings for your week!

Friday, October 2, 2015

When It Rains ... We Are Not Alone

This is one of my all times favorite songs ...
Third Day's When The Rain Comes
It's our promise that
although I may feel like it's only raining on me ...
rain falls on everyone
although I may feel alone ...
He is holding me
although I may not understand at the time ...
it's through the rain that I grow in Him
This song is so appropriate right now --
for the past week we've had rain ...
for today we have rain ...
for this weekend we will have rain ...
But He is holding us.
Praying you stay safe this weekend, my friends!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hurricane - Nor'easter Prep

{the pictures in this post are from my hometown earlier this year -- the flooding Ohio River}

Here we go!!!
Although it's still "too early to predict" the path of Hurricane Joaquin, we seem to be in for some really heavy rainfall this weekend ... and then add in a little nor'easter and we have what has been called "the perfect storm". 
 (Thankfully now it seems that Joaquin is turning eastward in the Atlantic, so hopefully we won't get the 12" of rain that had been previously predicted).
 However ... we still prepare.  We've taken direct hits from Isabel, Gaston, Irene ...
so we know what it's like to ride out these hurricanes.  And on top of what's to come, we've had rain all this week and our ground is completely saturated already.
So I finally got Lucy back with her Momma & brother today.  All of our roads leading out of the city this morning were completely congested! So Lucy & I waited out the congestion -- we spent an hour at Sam's getting
 "hurricane supplies" (of which most of these were sent to their house today):
:::  water bottles (we have well water, so... no power = no water)
::: brownies with sprinkles (something chocolate is always a hurricane essential & sprinkles just make a hurricane party more fun)
::: chips (gluten-free & olive oil -- because everyone needs chips to go with brownies)
::: donut holes (at least they're the holes & not the whole donuts)
::: Disney Halloween story book (Jacqueline & Michael need new stories to read to Lucy & Tag during their all-nighters since Lucy picked out their Hurricane supplies!)
But ... we are preparing and we are praying that everyone stays safe during these stormy days ahead.
I'm using some real-life lessons to teach Lucy God's promise in Philippians 4:6 
Do not worry about anything but pray about everything.
Stay safe and dry, my friends!