Sunday, October 15, 2017

Grandparent's Day

This past Friday was our sixth Grandparent's Day with our youngest grandchild, Ava Grace.

She is in the fifth grade, so we started attending this special day with her at Prestonwood Christian Academy when she was in Kindergarten.


They begin the day with a time of worship, always started with four of the Kindergarten children leading in the pledges to the American and Christian flags and the Bible, then one leads the huge gathering in prayer.  This actually is my favorite part, because it amazes me at the poise of these precious children and the sweet, honest prayer of a 5 year old.

Then the entire Kindergarten sings the song about "This is grandma's glasses and grandpa's hat...", which always gets a lot of smiles and claps from all the grandmas and grandpas.

The time in the sanctuary is a worship service which I so appreciate being part of.


We then go to the classrooms to meet the teachers and see where our girl sits for each of her classes.  She changes classrooms and teachers for the first time this year, so that was different.


This year, they had the fifth and sixth graders meet in an assembly room for refreshments which was also different.  But made sense.

We had fun letting Ava Grace select the props for our memory pictures.  Another new thing.


 Proud Grandfathers, Grandpa and Daddea


 Proud Grandmothers, Grandma and Bibby

It is so hard to believe our littlest girl is growing up so fast.  Each of her teachers spoke so highly of her and assured us they love having her in their class.  No surprise to us!

The next morning, we were able to attend her volleyball game which consists of fellow fifth grade buddies who have been playing together for three years.


Yes, they won!

We are so grateful that Ava Grace is able to attend such an amazing Christian school where she is getting not only a great education, but where she is learning spiritual truths and making friendships that will last a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Grandparent Road Trips

Joyce gave us a heads up that there will be no Hodgepodge next week.  We all need a fall break at some point.  So, I will see you back here on the 25th.  In the meantime, join the rest of the Hodgepodgers on Joyce's Blog to see their answers.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

I'm a pretty good 7 or 8.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

In the summer when we went to Mackinaw Island.  I usually do MapQuest on the computer before we leave for a lengthy, first-time trip, then print out certain enlarged screenshots of the map.  We also use our Garmin and iPhone.
back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.


Up North!  Because we have decided it's time to go see our "up north" family.  Of course only six weeks later we'll turn around and go back up north for Christmas.  It's nice to be able to do just-because things sometimes.  By the way, our up north collegiate soccer player got a pretty bad concussion when a very hard kicked soccer ball hit her in the face a couple weeks ago.  She is still having some problems, but is improving.  Scary!

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

Most of my days involve very little talking.  My listening is mostly to music rather than conversation and no day-time TV.  As this will post on Wednesday and I'm writing on Tuesday, I will project and say that my day will again be spent mostly listening.  I had Pilates at 5:30 AM where I listened and will later have handbell choir, which requires very little talking and a lot of listening.  One word?  So far, its been"Peaceful!"

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

It would probably be time because I have the liberty of choosing what I want to do with it.  Some days are more productive than others.  I don't know that I want to change it.  I feel sure I also waste opportunities to do things that would benefit others as well as myself.

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family road trip from your own childhood.

No, we did not.  The only road trips we took were to see family who lived on extreme opposite ends of our home state.  Mother would always pack food for eating and if we needed a bathroom stop, it was along the highway in the bushes and trees.  I remember as a small child riding on a pillow in the middle of the front seat between mother and daddy and thinking what a big girl I was.  There were no car seat restraints or laws in those days.


5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

Watermelons in the middle of an herb garden.  We can never get enough watermelons in the summer and I love growing and picking my own herbs.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This weekend we will be going to our youngest grandchild's Grandparent's Day.  Needless to say, she is the only grandchild young enough to still be having this.  Actually, her school, Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Tx, makes a really big deal of Grandparent's Day.  We always start the morning with a joint worship service where there will be at least a couple thousand in attendance.  Then we visit the classroom.  She is now in the 5th grade which they consider Middle School.  I would rather not think about that.


We have gone every year, but for some reason I could only find pictures of the last three.  We enjoy sharing this day with our Ava Grace and her other grandparents, Charles and Sandra.

It will be a fun weekend and I'll tell you about it another time.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Do You Want the Surprise?

Feeling the need to go deeper in my time of meditation and study, I came across a book that has been in my basket of books to read for quite some time. I think perhaps Hubby may have bought it when he was teaching lessons on Psalms at some point.  Regardless, for some reason, it held an appeal to me this morning. 

I use the phrase “for some reason” loosely, because I admit I do not understand the workings of the Holy Spirit - how He leads, how He directs, how He uses thoughts, impressions, inclinations. I will never understand how He sets things in motion days, months, years, and even ages ahead that will touch our heart, or meet a particular need at a specific day or moment when we are least expecting or perhaps are crying out for a touch from some deep longing otherwise gone unmet.

I do not understand but have personally experienced this miracle so many times. Today, when I picked up this book and took it outside to begin my Saturday morning with something new, little did I expect to receive a light, or enlightenment that so aptly addresses circumstances that have reeled our nation and affected so many in our country this week. 

When have we needed a Word from God more or a glimmer into man’s nature that cries out for a God who cares. A God who understands. A God who is in control in spite of everything that wants us to believe otherwise.

In explaining how he approached his study and approach to his book, the writer gave us a look into the realities of the human life as he sees it reflected through the Psalms.  He uses three themes in organizing his study - poems of orientation, poems of disorientation, and poems of new orientation. 

Human life - my life and yours can roughly be grouped this way, can’t they.  We may spend a lengthy period of time in either one or move from one to the other. 

Human life consists of what the writer refers to as “satisfied seasons of well being” where we see our lives as blessed, things going smoothly, nothing major challenging us.  This is the period of “orientation” when we experience joy, delight, goodness, there’s a sense of coherence in our lives.  We acknowledge our God, and our dependence on Him and rely on the consistency of His creation and governance in not only our lives but the world around us. Likewise there are psalms of orientation that reflect this sense of well-being.

Human life also consists of  periods of disorientation - “in anguished seasons of hurt, alienation, suffering, and death.”  We have all been there haven’t we, when rage consumes us.  When we are so full of resentment, self-pity, and hatred.  When we wonder how we will make another day or take another breath. When we are weighted down with disappointment and anger. When we don’t see anything good and wonder, “Oh God, where are you?”  The Book of Psalms also has these periods of disorientation, poems and speech that match our feelings of ragged pain and our own disorientation. They are called the lament passages. 

Isn’t this what so many are experiencing right now?  Not understanding what is going on in their lives and in the world around them. We as Christians are all too familiar with this sense of lostness, confusion, and wanting to see God at work.  To see His Glory manifested instead of what we may perceive as His anger and wrath.

What must it be like for the non-believer.


Then there are those times that human life consists of “turns of surprise” when we are overwhelmed with the new things of God, when joy finally breaks through the despair. Where there had only been darkness, we now see light; our sense of hopelessness has been cracked enough that there is a glimmer of something brighter, something better.  There is a reason to have hope again, to believe, to trust.   These are the passages in Psalms the writer refers to as “psalms of new orientation “.

It is a newness.  A fresh infusion that makes things that were once impossible seem possible again. These passages in Psalms affirm there is a sovereign God who puts humankind in a new situation.

Isn’t it true that this transformation period from darkness to light is never obvious, easy or natural. It is always in pain that surprise comes and it is often when we look back are we able to see that it happened.


We humans move from one of these periods - from one circumstance to another, changing and being changed, finding ourselves surprised by a new circumstance we had not expected.    Yet, we are so often resistant to this new place, clinging desperately to the old circumstance.

It is in this new orientation that we experience inexplicable joy, delight, amazement, wonder, and gratitude and recognize that it has to have originated from a Holy God.

The world so desperately needs this orientation and it can only be found when we reach the end of ourselves.

But, our culture isn't interested in moving from the first orientation.  We like continuity and success and to avoid pain, hurt and loss at all cost.  At the same time, we resist genuine newness and real surprise.  Surprise is as unwelcome as loss, and our culture is set up to prevent the experience of both.

When was the last time you heard a sermon from the lament psalms.  Why don't our churches teach these truths and thereby give us spiritual truths that we can use in recognizing, experiencing, and knowing that disorientation is reality.


 Our world is hurting.  It is frightened.  It is disorientated and desperately needs a surprise - a new orientation.

"When things were going great
    I crowed, “I’ve got it made.
I’m God’s favorite.
    He made me king of the mountain.”

 
Then you looked the other way
    and I fell to pieces.

 
 I called out to you, God;
    I laid my case before you:
“Can you sell me for a profit when I’m dead?
    auction me off at a cemetery yard sale?
When I’m ‘dust to dust’ my songs
    and stories of you won’t sell.
So listen! and be kind!
    Help me out of this!”


You did it: you changed wild lament
    into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
    and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
    I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
    I can’t thank you enough."
The Message Psalm 30:6-12

When we fail to allow a sovereign God the right to disturb our status quo and take us into disorientation, then we deny Him the right to give us the surprise.  The new orientation that brings with it amazement, wonder, awe and most of all thanksgiving.

We must show the world that Jesus Christ and His resurrection are the "surprise."  And it is only through Him that we will find the abundant life.

Linking to Amaze Me Monday 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Fall is coming, I do have faith.  In fact, I think we are to have a slight cool front next week.  That simply means temps in the mid eighties instead of the high eighties.  I am so ready!

I did put a fall wreath on the front door and an arrangement on the dining table.  We will be hosting our Sunday School class for a hamburger get-together later this month, so am waiting until closer to time to do much outside decorating.

Joyce gave us an interesting variety of questions on the Hodgepodge today, so I hope you will enjoy reading my answers and will join the others to see how they answered.

1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. 
 
While attending college, I lived on a dairy farm for about a year.  I was not involved in the day-to-day goings on at all, but I do remember the sounds and the smells.   I also recall that their day began before I knew it was a new day.  There is one specific memory from that time, and it was the cream that would settle on top of the fresh milk after sitting in the frig for a day or two.  I would secretly put some in my milk and on my cereal.  It was so rich and delicious.

Have you ever grown your own pumpkin?  No
Been on a hayride? Oh yes.  Rural La. Saturday night entertainment and chaperoned make-out time during the 50's.
Driven a tractor?  No
Milked a cow?  Attempted
 
2. What's something younger you would like about you now? 
 
That I am a confident, happy adult; have amazing kids who have amazing kids; stayed married to the same wonderful, very patient man; had a successful career; stayed out of jail.

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often?

Take spontaneous road trips; see my kids and grand kids; eat a big bowl of ice cream covered in chocolate (I never do this, but it sounds enticing)

Three things you'd like to do less often?

Clean bathrooms, dust, fret about not being as agile and strong as I used to be

4. What's on your nachos?

I hardly ever eat nachos but when I do it would only be melted cheese

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

I really don't have anything random in my purse.  I keep only essentials there because I don't like purses.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Two of our grands are actively involved in College sports.  Jackson, our only grandson and a senior at Western Michigan University used his four year eligibility playing on the record breaking football team there.  Now, in his fifth and final year, he has returned to his favorite sport, Rugby.  It is such a brutal sport, but he loves it.  They beat their chief rival 91-5 last week and he made two tries (touchdowns).

His younger sister is a Freshman and plays soccer at Trine University, in Indiana.  She has started and finished every game so far.  She plays defense and is a force to be reckoned with on the field, even though she is the smallest on the team.  Mom and Dad say she is playing at a level they've never seen her play before.

I will let these pictures speak for themselves as to how seriously they both take their sport.
 
 He's the big guy in black carrying the ball
I have to laugh at this picture because I wonder if those little guys know he manhandled some of the biggest defensive players in the MAC conference last year.

 This facial expression says it all!

I can imagine #21 thinking "Oh heaven's this bull is about to crush my ribs."
And the guy on right shouting, "But Coach, I told him nicely to stop and he keeps coming!" or "TIME OUT! I need to change my pants!"

Savannah was featured on the cover of last weeks game.
 Trine isn't having a winning season so far, but it's not because our girl isn't doing her best.
And guess who is going north in a few weeks to see her play in her final game and watch WMU in the Rugby play-offs?  That would be us!!!

Monday, October 2, 2017

An 1899 Wedding


A while back I became aware of a blog entitled

This is the parish in Louisiana where my father was from and where I spent some of my first four years.

One of the features of the blog, is posting newspaper articles from the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Now, this was a very small town newspaper and every thing from breaking a good dish, to a new calf being born, to someone being shot on the street makes the paper.

I even found an article from 1943 where my father conducted the funeral of a young woman killed in an automobile accident.

I recently read this write-up of a wedding and found it so interesting and southern that I had to share.

A wedding picture from 1899 Source


Below is the article as it appeared in the Gazette:

Dean – Trimble


The Gazette September 27, 1899

"Last Wednesday morning a large company of friends assembled at the Trimble residence to witness the marriage of Miss Anna Laura Trimble to Mr. William Evans Dean. At the appointed hour the inspiring strains of Meudelssohn’s wedding march, pealed forth from the skillful touch of Miss Naunie Dean, of Portland Arkansas, sister of the groom and the bridal party appeared.

Little Gladys Baughman and Pearl Covington, in dainty gowns of white organdie over green, with green sashes, led the way carrying white satin ribbons which formed an aisle across the double parlors. Following these fairy-like leaders came Rev. H. B. Thomason, the officiating minister. Then came the groom, Mr. William Evans Dean, attended by Mr. J. W. Pugh, of Portland, Arkansas. Next came the attendants, Mr. W. L. Timble of Hillsboro, Texas, brother of the bride, and Miss Margaret Dean of Portland, Arkansas, sister of the groom. Lastly appeared the bride, Miss Anna Laura Trimble, accompanied by her sister, Miss Belle Trimble, as maid of honor.

The bridal party took their places in the bay window, beneath a beautiful floral decoration of white roses and ivy, the bride and groom standing in the center where two wreaths of white roses entwined together above their heads, suggesting purity and innocence and infinity. As the strains of music died away, Mr. Thomason pronounced, in an impressive manner, the beautiful words of the Episcopal marriage ceremony and the fond lovers plighted their broth “for better, for worse.” After the benediction the happy couple led the way to the dining room, followed by the guests, and there partook of the wedding breakfast.

The bride, Miss Anna Trimble, is a daughter of the late Judge J. E. Trimble and Belle Munger Trimble, and has been, since her girlhood, one of the most popular members of the Farmerville’s social circle. As she stood at the hymeneal alter, robed in the purest white organdie over silk, enveloped in the graceful folds of the wedding veil, she looked, in truth, the type of purity and sweetness and loveliness her family and associates have always known her. Fortunate, indeed, the man who wrestles with life’s problems with such a woman at his side.

The groom, Mr. W. E. Dean, is a son of the well known merchant, Mr. J. D. Dean, and Margaret Kittrell Dean of Portland, Arkansas. He himself, though a young man is already known in commercial circles, and his fine business qualifications, affable manner, and sterling qualities of integrity, industry and manliness bespeak for him a most successful career in the business and social world.

Mr. and Mrs. Dean left Wednesday at noon for St. Louis, where they will spend their honeymoon before returning to their future home in Portland, Arkansas. They were the recipients of many beautiful gifts, and the wish of their hosts of friends is that love and joy and contentment, and health and peace and prosperity, may be their portion in life."


They just don't do wedding write-ups like this anymore, do they?

Sadly, the beautiful marriage ceremony did not guarantee that it would last and at some point, Anna and William were divorced.
https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2011/339/81529245_132318135159.jpg

Pictured above, on the right, is a picture of Mrs. Anna Dean, in approximately 1930.   She died in 1945 and William in 1954.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday and another Hodgepodge.
Thank you Joyce for doing this each week.
Click HERE to join the other bloggers.




1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

My dad loved animals so we always had at least one dog and maybe a cat along the way.  The pet I most remember was a big black lab we named BeeBo.  He was such a sweet and gentle dog.  One specific incident I recall was him bringing a baby bird to my dad - held gently in his big mouth.  The tiny bird had fallen from its nest and Beebo knew instinctively that Dad would take care of it.

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

As I answered these questions in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, 2AM, that will be my today.  There are several things that must be done on this Tuesday as I will be leaving to spend a couple nights with my sister who will be having cataract surgery this morning.  I must attend my 5:30 AM Pilates class (didn't make it because I was blogging at 2AM); finish the floors that I didn't get done yesterday - check; pack - check; help Hubby make a Chicken Pot Pie (he did it all by himself because I was busy); go to our first handbell rehearsal for the Fall - check; then get on the road before 2PM.  Actually, there were some must-do errands to be run in there somewhere, but you get the picture.
3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

In 2007 I would have been working so would have been at home this time of year.  I would have definitely been anticipating having all our family together in our new house for Thanksgiving.


My goodness how these grands have grown in these ten years.  So much has happened.

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

I did not celebrate and not a big dumpling fan.  Of the ones on the list, it would be gnocchi.  I do like Olive Garden's chicken gnocchi soup.  No, I have never made dumplings and that is not on my bucket list.

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?


The most simple unexpected thing can be an adventure for me.  I enjoy a good adventure and as a child, dreamed of having all sorts of exciting happenings.  So, I think I would be the former, truly hoping to find an adventure.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This is all I have to say about the kneeling controversy.  The media can't have it both ways.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Orange Who?

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Banana!
Banana who?

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Banana!
Banana who?

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Orange!
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn't say banana!
Now, that is an oldie and not sure exactly why it came to mind, except, because I'm in an orange mood these days.
Orange is a difficult color to wear and one a lot of ladies wouldn't even think about doing. 
However, I love it and feel invigorated when I wear it.
I recently bought the shell and jacket on Talbot's sale rack and loved wearing it with white jeans.
But last week, while shopping with a friend at Belk, I found these great orange crops.  They are a perfect blend with the jacket and I am a confident punkin when I wear them together.
 

These slipper flats came from Soft Surroundings.  They go with so much, such as the outfit I wore to church yesterday.
I wore the orange shell with this colorful lightweight cardigan and brown pants.
I love this top because it has all my favorite colors and can be worn in so many ways.
It even has a little bit of bling which is enough for me.
I may do a whole post just using this top. 

What do you do with orange - use it or toss it?

Linking to Amaze Me Monday

Friday, September 22, 2017

Using Less Rather Than More

Last week one of my favorite decorating bloggers, Marty at
A Stroll Thru Life, challenged us to consider using less rather than more in our entrance area.

I was due a change and decided to take her up on her challenge.
My entry way is small and only accommodates a narrow table.  Right after moving in ten plus years ago, I repainted this area a deep red simply because I thought it set the mood and color theme for the rest of the house.  I still like it and don't anticipate changing it any time soon.
These abstract prints by Lin Leger introduce the colors I use throughout my house, and hang opposite the table in the foyer.
 This was my table arrangement for spring and summer and you will see that I didn't make a big change for fall.
In fact, I left the table runner because the gold with deep red stitching and edging is still perfect for fall.  I also left the tall arrangement on the left simply because I like it and it also is appropriate for the upcoming season.

 So, playing off the colors of the vase and lamp and items in the arrangement, I cleaned up the space by adding my beautiful bowl, made especially for me by California potter Susan Bass.  I wrote about her and my bowl HERE.  I absolutely love the colors that she masterfully created in this
one-of-a-kind piece.  You may also notice the fleur de lis she added to the side.
 
I added to the bowl an assortment of decorative balls that played off the ones in the floral arrangement,
then topped them off with a few faux pumpkins that are in a similar design.
 I like this combination for fall.
 And that is all the change I made.
I have to agree that using less rather than more was a good idea and exactly what I needed in the foyer.  So, thank you Marty for the challenge.
Do you also need to be challenged to do something fresh or different for the season change?
I would love to hear what you have done.

Linking to Celebrate and Decorate

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Fall is not in the air where I live yet, but this Hodgepodge about Fall makes me even more ready to see it arrive.  To see how other bloggers have answered these questions Joyce has given us, click HERE
and scroll down to the list of participants.


1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

Having been married to my man for 52 years.  We have a beautiful relationship that has gotten better and sweeter as we've aged and learned to love each other more completely.

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

Accounting.  Numbers are not and never have been my thing.

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

Having had back and cervical fusions, falling is a fear; therefore, I take extra precautions to not fall.  So far, I haven't.  Something I am falling for these days is fixing up and enjoying our new covered back porch.

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?


I have not been to any of the listed festivals, but the one that sounds the most interesting would be Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine).  I have never been there, but think the fall colors would be magnificent.

A second choice would be the one in Santa Fe simply because I love Santa Fe.

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

Good bye, farewell, good riddance, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and take the mosquitoes and lovebugs with you.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I read recently that the Monarch Butterflies are migrating and that we should provide food for them in the way of plants.  So, I ran out and got a mixture of plants that hopefully would attract them and provide traveling nourishment at the same time.  And yes, they are attracted to those plants, but I was able to capture one feeding on Lemongrass seed pods in another pot.  They are so beautiful close up, so I am going to show it in enlargement shots rather than a collage.

There are such minute details in these close-ups.

 




Woooow amazing, brilliant, wonderfully true!