Sunday, June 28, 2009


In the past week I've had several things to celebrate, so I decided to combine them into one blog. Sometimes we have big events to celebrate, and other things are just a bleep on the screen; but it is always good to celebrate!

Several days ago I had my first experience of buying on e-bay. I had set up an account and even set up a Pay Pal account, but was sort of hesitant to use it. However, I wanted the book "Idiot's book of Geography" for my son and couldn't find it in the book store. So I checked on e-bay, and found one being sold. I bid on it and won the bid (Not too difficult as I think there was only one other bid). But I was excited because I got it for a total of $8.50; it sells for $18.95 new. With this new-found confidence, I decided to check out a GPS system, as I was sort of wanting one. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when I bid on, and won this wonderful Garmin GPS. This had been a little more challenging, as there were several people bidding on it. Wow! A definite cause for celebration--my first successful e-bay experience! I tried my Garmin on Friday when i went to Ft. Wayne, and it works great. I especially like that it tell me the name of the street I'm going to be turning on. As you can see, it doesn't take much to get me excited!

Saturday, I had offered to help prepare food and help serve for a Graduation open house. Abbey is my husband's niece by his first marriage, and she graduated from high school this year. Her mom has a fatal lung disease, and is not physically able to do very much; she is on oxygen all the time. So Abbey's Aunt Jackie and I offered to help with her party. I went at 9am; the open house was from 12 noon to 5pm.

This is Jan, Abbey's mom. You probably can't really see it, but she has oxygen on with a long tubing connected to her oxygen supply. She's a sweetheart, and has always done things for herself, so this was hard for her. She was finally able to relax and enjoy visiting.

Here we are--the hostesses for the day. (Personally, I think I look more like a homeless bum, but I was comfortable). I couldn't believe the amount of food that we had! They had American food and Mexican food (Jan's husband and family are of spanish descent). Elsie Alvarez had prepared the mexican food on Friday--Home-made beef and chicken enchiladas, home-made chips and salsa, fried beans and rice. We also had sandwich meats, cheese, a cheese ball and crackers, watermelon and chex mix, plus soda pop and water. And of course there was a cake and home-made cookies--snickerdoodles and chocolate chip. I forgot to mention the relish plate. Anyway, these people really know how to celebrate!

As if all of that wasn't enough, they had a grill in the back yard, and 2 of the men grilled steak fahita (sp?) meat. I don't know what they used as a marinade, but it was to die for--so tender and absolutely delicious. Did I mention, we had oodles of food?!

At any rate, this too, was definitely a celebration! I didn't get home until after 6:00pm as I stayed to help clean up. We had kept dishes done through out the day, so it didn't take too long. We had help from the Alvarez ladies and the men also pitched in. It was a fun and interesting day; however, my body and feet were a little weary. Not to worry--I've re-cuperated.

This morning at church we had our annual 4th of July Patriotic service. It was absolutely wonderful! I love patriotic music, and our band and choir did such a great job! We also had an honor guard, with the flags of all the military divisions.

Some of you will remember the little girl I've sort of adopted, Sammie. They had chosen her to go up on stage and lead the congregation in the Pledge of Allegiance. She didn't really act nervous at all, just stood up there with her microphone and led us in the pledge. I of course didn't want to try to get a picture during the service, but I got her picture afterwards. She was so cute. I told her I was very proud of her! I love giving honor to our country and to the Godly principles it was founded on. Today's service was also a celebration.

My hubby and I went out for lunch after the service. We went to one of our favorites, Grant's Sunday Buffet. Linda Grant is a caterer and has a wonderful buffet on Sundays. When we got there this beatiful bouquet was sitting on the counter as we went in, with a sign that said "Buy me, $10." Lynn looked at me and said, would you like those? I said I would love them. (He has given me flowers on several occasions but he hadn't actually gotten me roses in a long time). He said, what will we say is the special occasion for these flowers? I thought a minute and responded, we can just say it's because you love me so much! As he was paying for the flowers, the lady said, this particular rose is called "Hot Lady". Lynn looked at me and said, then it's a good thing I'm buying them, because I'm married to one very hot lady! So, this was also a reason to celebrate--that my husband still thinks I'm a hot lady!

The color of these roses is just beautiful--it is sort of a very deep pink. They are on my dining room table, and I have enjoyed them all day!
I have really enjoyed all my celebrations this week, big or small. I think it's good to look for ways to celebrate. The last couple of days I've celebrated the absolutely beautiful weather when I went outside in the morning. It was balmy, and the sun had just come up and it felt wonderful. Isn't God good--to give us so much beauty to enjoy. Come on everyone--celebrate life!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Remembering Dad

It was one year ago yesterday, June 26th, that my wonderful, gentle father went home to be with the Lord. We have missed him so very much. I had a very busy day yesterday, and didn't really take time to reflect on my Dad's life until early this morning.

Some random thoughts:

  • A true follower of Christ and a witness and a testimony to all of his family and all he came in contact with.
  • A loving husband to my mother and then later to my step-mother, Kay
  • A prayer warrior; he prayed faithfully for his kids and grand-kids
  • A great smile, that lit up his whole face
  • A kind, gentle spirit
  • A fierce integrity--honest and upright in everything he did.

We have missed him recently, as we were all together to close out his estate, and then at a family reunion, and we will continue to miss him. How thankful I am to have had a wonderful dad.

I know that Dad and so many other family members are celebrating together in Heaven. What a comfort it is to know that we will see them all again one day.

Thank you Dad (and mom) for the wonderful christian example you've been to all of us. We are blessed to have such a rich heritage.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Joining the Garden Party

If I were prone to jealousy, I would be very jealous of some of the gardens and yards I've seen. I totally don't have a green thumb or a a knack for landscaping, but decided to post my humble pics of my flowers. We were encouraged by Kristen to have a garden party, so thought I would participate. I also have a friend, Rebecca, who has an entire blog devoted to her garden and nature.

my marigolds

zinnias and marigolds

My dahlia
(given to me by my sisters to celebrate my weight loss)


day lillies

Although my flowers would not make it into "Home and Garden", we do have a large vegetable garden. The picture below is an overview of the garden. We have sweet corn, green beans, green peppers, carrots, radishes, red beets, kholerabi, yellow and zucchini squash, cabbage, a few cantalope, and tomatoes. I guess I forgot to mention lettuce, which we are already enjoying. Most of the garden got a very late start, almost a month late because of the rain.

tomato plant




sweet corn

We also have several different kinds of apple trees. We just picked our yellow transparent apples tonight and will make applesauce out of them. We didn't get many this year, only enough for about 2 batches.

So that is the end of the tour of my yard and garden. I wish you all could share some of this produce--I will have too much--as always! My hubby doesn't know how to "cut down" on his planting.

Thanks for visiting via my blog. I trust you all are enjoying the summer weather and your gardens.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blessed with Cousins

(I am in the back row, 2nd from left--green top)
(click on picture for better view of group)

My Grandma and Grandpa Rupp had 10 kids, and so as you can well imagine, we now number in the hundreds--273 to be exact. To this date there would have been an even 300, counting Grandma and Grandpa, but 27 have died.

On Grandma and Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary in 1958 they asked the cousins to sing their favorite song, "Count Your Blessings". It has sort of become a tradition to sing it as a group whenever we get together.

This past Saturday we had a Rupp family reunion and of course, we felt we should sing our song. Last year, just the girl cousins got together, and we thought we sounded so good we should share it with the rest of the 'fam'. Not bragging you understand--just stating facts!

My sister Brenda, and cousin Lynn have both written posts about this, and they are really so good you might want to check them out. I just felt I at least had to write a small blog, because after all, this blog is a journal of my experiences, so I didn't want to leave it out.

We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful christian family and heritage. The Lord has been good, and I am truly thankful!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Creator of the Universe--still in control

I am currently sitting in the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport waiting for my plane. I was originally scheduled to go through Chicago and be home by 5:15 pm. The flight to Chicago was cancelled so I won't get home till 9:30 pm. Thus I've become an airport junkie today--wanting to eat, knowing I shouldn't, reading, using the computer, and meditating.

I told you that Tim was to get out of jail on Monday, and I was really looking forward to being with him again. However, there was a glich. I finally called the jail Tuesday morning and they told me that he would not be released until his city charges were taken care of. (His court date on Monday was for the county). It seems that the city waited until his county charges were settled and then re-filed some outstanding charges that they have. I couldn't bail him out, as bail was $6150. He now has 2 court dates for the city--July 1st and July 9th. So I will go back in 3 weeks and hope that this will be resolved.

I went to see Tim on Wednesday afternoon at the jail. He was of course frustrated, as was I, about this turn of events. However, he seemed to still be in good spirits. I said, "I'm so sorry this happened--I was expecting you to be out and spend some time with you." He said, "Mom, don't worry; I know the Creator of the Universe personally, and He's still watching out for me."

I started reading the Yada Yada Prayer Group book on this trip; so I've decided I just need to praise the Lord, and thank Him for what he's going to do in Tim's life. One of the books in the Bible that bears Timothy's name, says "God is the blessed controller of all things" ( I Timothy 6: 15 Phillips translation ) Nothing is a surprise for Him and nothing is too hard for Him. So we will trust Him for the outcome.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reflections about Tim

Today I sat in the county court room in Oklahoma City to see if my son Tim would be released from jail. He has had many challenges, mental and physical, and it is difficult to see him going through these struggles. Admittedly some of them are a result of his bad choices and behavior but never the less it is often heart-breaking for a mother.

A couple weeks ago I was going through some pictures that my dad had of my family and also looking at the scrapbook I had done for Tim. It brought back memories of many happy times with Tim.

The showdown: Tim and the Hippo

Look mom--muscles!

Tim was always trying to prove he had muscles--possibly because he didn't have his growth spurt until he was about 16. The younger picture was taken in 1986 (11 y/o) the other one I thing was in 1997. I thought it was funny that he had almost the same stance and expression!

Tim and his sis, Sara

He also loved his sister. In the first picture I think she was about 4or 5 and he would have been 7 or 8. The older picture was probably in 1997-1998. (As some of you know, Sara went to be with the Lord in 2006.)

In the last several months Tim has renewed his relationship with the Lord. He continues to have hope for his future. He would like to be a witness for the Lord, possibly be a missionary. I have to continue to believe that the Lord can, indeed, use him. There are 2 verses that I have claimed for Tim. The first one is Isaiah 61: 1-3 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon bind up and heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives. ...To grant consolation to those who mourn, to give them an ornament of beauty instead of ashes."
The second one is Joel 2:25 "And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locusts has eaten;"

Tim was released from jail today. He received a suspended sentence and will be on probation with some community service required. My prayer is that he truly will have a clear and sound mind and be able to begin again to have a productive and purposeful life. I pray that because of his experiences he will be able to be an encouragement and testimony to others.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cousins by the Dozen---Plus!

Every year for the past 10 or 11 years (I forget exactly when we started) the girl cousins on my dad's side of the family have gotten together for a 2-3 day reunion. We have gone various places--Chicago, St. Louis, Pokegan Park in Indiana, Arthur, Illinois, etc. This year we went to Chimney Corner Resort on Crystal Lake near Frankfurt, Michigan. There were 15 of us, with only one cousin missing this year.

View of Crystal lake from our cabin

The House we stayed in
(4 of us stayed in another cozy apartment)

The breakfast table in the "Big House" was a great place for a little nourishment and a lot of conversation. Many round table discussions were held here--lots of laughter and memories.

We have established a tradition of an opening ceremony. It can get a little crazy! Recently it has included a "cousin song" which is made up by the group in charge. This year it was Nadine, Bettilu and Carol (sisters) that wrote the song. They were assisted by Carolyn. The song was to the tune of Hello Dolly. Don't even ask--but the third verse was done with each of us humming through a Kazoo! Did I mention--it gets crazy?

On the first morning several of us took a hike. We went up what we thought was a trail that would take us to a view of Lake Michigan, and sure enough, after walking mostly uphill for quite a while, we did see the lake. It wa a beautiful view! Posing with the lake in the background are LaVonne, Sheila, Dee Brenda and Bettilu.

We had a bit of excitement on the way up the trail. We kept seeing fresh animal paw prints, some of which, like the one above, we decided must belong to a bear! Some were bigger and some were smaller, which we thought could mean there was also a cub--all the more reason for concern! We developed a plan of attack; we would scream, call 911 or the other cousins, and if all else failed we would sing "Nearer my God to Thee".

The first day, we went to a lookout area to view Lake Michigan. We also visited a camp, Little Eden, where some of our group have gone to either kids camp or family camp. This is our group (minus me) on the steps of the dining room at the camp.

We were becoming ravenous with all our travels. We stopped at this little place, "Blue Slipper Bistro" and had a delicious lunch. They had wonderful soup, salads, and sandwiches.

On our second day of adventures, we went to an art gallery/store where Gwen Frostig has her original prints displayed. She sells them on cards, placemats, trivets, just all kinds of things that you can purchase. We could also see the big printing presses where all the cards, etc are printed. Being the shoppers that we are, I think Gwen made quite a profit that day!

Lake Michigan at Glen Arbor
We drove to the dunes, but none of us really wanted to try climbing them. (And I failed to even get a picture of them!) So we went to Glen Arbor, a little town with various interesting shops.
While some of the others were still shopping, Sheila and I walked down a street that was a dead end at Lake Michigan.

This was a beautiful building that almost looked like a hotel right on the lake. It said it was a Residential Club and Spa. I'm guessing it would be a bit pricey to belong to that club. But we had a beautiful view of the lake.

We also discovered this little store which had all kinds of cherry products--salsa, jams, candy, etc. They had samples of everything, so we could go around and taste all the products. Once again, it paid off, as several of us made purchases. Right next to this store was a wine and soda tasting store. I sampled the cherry root beer and brought one home for later.

There were some very cute signs at the "cherry store". Some of us posed for a photo with this sign. I think Bettilu has acting potential!

I didn't find any cherries with pits in all of my sampling, but it appears that they were prepared for any of us that had a need to spit our cherry pits. They planned for everything!

Our last evening there, we went to Point Betsie to watch the sunset at the lighthouse there. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and so there was not a brilliant sunset like we had anticipated. It was a little disappointing, but the lighthouse was awesome to see, and we watched the light come on in the tower.
All in all, we had a great time! It's wonderful to have a group of cousins who get along so well, and we always have tons of fun and laughter along the way. My sister Brenda has some great pictures and a wonderful post about our experience--you might want to check it out. I feel very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful family.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Let's Go Deep!

Isaiah 7:11 Make thy petition deep.

The amplified Bible: Isaiah 7:11 Ask for yourself a sign (a token or proof) of the Lord your God {one that will convince you that God has spoken and will keep His word}; ask it either in the depth below or in the height above (let it be as deep as Sheol or as high as Heaven).

This sort of sounds like putting out a fleece or putting God to the test, but actually the Lord spoke these words to King Ahaz. I don't really believe in asking for a sign or putting out a fleece; However, I think really what the Lord was trying to convey to King Ahaz was that He, the Lord God, could and would give him the victory.

I do think that many times we don't really believe that the Lord can work in our various circumstances and bring the best outcome for us. We really have no idea of His power or His potential to do much more than we can ever ask or even imagine. We kind of put Him in a box and, without meaning to, put limits on what He can do. The fact that we worry as much as we do is evidence that we really don't have enough faith and trust in our omnipotent Lord.

My devotional this morning started with the verse above, and then it had this poem.

Make thy petition deep, O heart of mine,
Thy God can do much more
Than thou canst ask;
Launch out on the Divine,
Draw from His love-filled store.
Trust Him with everything;
Begin today,
And find the joy that comes
When Jesus has His way!

It spoke to my heart, and reminded me that God is already at work in the situations that concern me. I just need to "make my petition deep" and trust Him for the outcome.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Open My Eyes

I was reflecting today on my eyesight. I had my regular appointment with my retinal surgeon. A little less than 3 years ago, in the fall of 2006, I went to have my eyes checked. He sent me to a specialist, and I was told I had Macular Degeneration in my right eye. At that time my eyesight was 20/200--I was legally blind in that eye. (I have the wet type, which is the more severe type of MD).

Fortunately, in recent years, they have found a medication which can be injected into the eye, and stops the progress of the disease, as well as often improving eyesight. It also helps to keep it from going to the other eye. The medication I use is Avastin; there is also another one called Lucentis. My eyesight has gone from legally blind to 20/50 in that eye. (Actually, today it was better than usual--20/40). I currently get these injections about every 5-6 weeks, to keep my eyesight at this level.

I am so very grateful for this medication! There was a time when this condition was untreatable. I can still read and do everything I enjoy doing, with the possible exception of night-time driving. I especially have trouble seeing if it is raining at night, so I have finally realized that this is something I really shouldn't do.

It goes without saying that I will do what ever is necessary to maintain my physical eyesight. I should be just as diligent to maintain my spiritual eyesight.

There are several verses that give instruction for our spiritual eyes.

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Psalm 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hill--where does my help come from? My help cometh from the Lord.

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord...This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

There are also verses that tell us about the Lord's eyes.

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.

I Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are atentive to their prayer.

I need to remember to keep my eyes on Him and I am ever so thankful that His eyes are on me, keeping watch on me and on my loved ones. Praise be to His name.