Saturday, November 28, 2009

Man's Best Friend

A little cold, a bit windy, but a beautiful sunny day for a drive to visit my niece. Amy and I are working on a little secret project together, for the family; and since she was at her mom's, just over an hour away, we needed to touch base and co-ordinate our project.

My hubby works full time, and rarely has a chance to go with me on my little excursions. But today he decided to take the drive with me. Lynn had a very sweet-natured dog for many years and had to put her to sleep last fall because she was very ill. At Lou's house we found not one, but two dogs for him to play with. This little guy on Lynn's lap is Jasper; she's very lovable and sweet and was really enjoying all the attention.

This is Amy with Jasper and her own dog Lucy. Now one cannot describe Lucy as sweet and lovable. She is just a little bit high maintenance, as she loves to hear herself bark, and she wants to play ball incessantly. She's very focused and would probably make a good watch dog or hunting dog. Amy found her when she was just a small baby, 2 1/2 pounds, and nursed her back to health. Needless to say she has won Amy's heart, and she sort of grows on you after a while.

While Amy and I visited about our project, Lynn kept both dogs occupied. He really misses having a dog, and when we got home, he said "Well, I guess I got my 'dog fix' ; it should last me a little while". We are taking a missions trip to Haiti in March, and he will probably try to get another dog when we get home from the trip.

Before we left to come home, we went out to eat at Ivanhoe's, a very favorite restaurant in Upland. Nothin' better than a burger and cheese fries and a turtle sundae. Ouch! Gonna have to get back on that diet today!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Sara

This isn't very good of me, but I like it of Sara--it shows her personality.)

Today, my daughter Sara would have been 32years old. Her birthday often fell on Thanksgiving, as it would this year, or during the Thanksgiving weekend. So we usually had a birthday cake at our Thanksgiving dinners.

Sara went home to be with the Lord on August 2, 2006. I posted a tribute to her last year which you can read at this link. (It seems like I originally wrote it in 2007, but I couldn't find that blog, so I'm posting the one from last year.)

As I'm enjoying my Thanksgiving meal today, I am also very thankful to the Lord for allowing me to enjoy Sara for 28+ years. She was positive and fun-loving and brought much joy to our lives. I know she is no doubt enjoying her Birthday with her Dad and grandparents, and with the Lord in their beautiful heavenly home.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Come Ye Thankful People Come

I was browsing on facebook the other day, and I noticed that some of you are commenting on one thing you are thankful for every day until Thanksgiving. I'm not sure when this started--I saw one gal that was on number 5 of her list.

Since I'm getting a late start, I decided I would take a few minutes and just list everything that I can think of for which I am very grateful. I know before I even start, that it won't be all inclusive.
  • At the top of my list is without a doubt, my Lord and Saviour. He has loved me unconditionally, saved me, kept me through sad and joyful times, and is my source of peace, joy and strength. Great is His faithfulness!
  • My loving and wonderful husband. (I have been doubly blessed, as I have enjoyed two wonderful marriages.) I am loved and cherished and provided for in every way possible. Lynn is a lover, friend and soulmate.
  • My son, Tim. We have been through so much together in the last 7 years, with much heartache, but the Lord has worked miraculously in his life. He loves the Lord, and is back on track, wanting to live a productive life and find God's purpose for his life. For all the Lord has done for him, I am extremely thankful.
  • My family. More and more I've come to realize how rare it is to have a christian family. We enjoy spending time together, we support and pray for each other, and there is harmony--even among our extended family of aunts (only 3 left), one uncle and many cousins. I also so much appreciate my mother-in-law, Gloria; she has become a dear friend.
  • My many friends. I have old friends (meaning they've been friends a long time, ) friends I've made at church, and blogger friends (yes I consider so many of you my friends!), and I continue to meet new people along the way that I'm sure will become good friends. I am so thankful for friendship, which is so important in our lives.
  • I am very thankful for my home. Although it is not large or beautiful, it is my safe haven.
  • For my health. There are so many that I know that deal with chronic illness and pain every day. Both Lynn and I have enjoyed relatively good health.
  • I am so thankful for the freedoms that we have, living in this country. Our freedom has come at great cost to many men and women, and we are indebted to them. In spite of the fact that we see things going on in our country that are cause for concern, we still have freedom of speech, freedom to work and live as we chose, and most importantly, freedom to worship openly. We need to do what is within our means to maintain these freedoms, and never take them for granted.

I'm sure there are things I've forgotten or left out. This is what I know for sure. The Lord has blessed me, beyond what I could have ever imagined or expected. He is an awesome God! I will never be able to adequately thank Him for what He has done, is currently doing, and will continue to do in my life and the lives of my family.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Let the earth here His voice!
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus His Son,
and give Him the Glory, great things He hath done.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name

I just returned from Oklahoma City, where my son lives. Many of you are already aware of some of the challenges I have faced with my son, Tim. I've written previous blogs about him here and here.

We had a really wonderful visit. Although I would hope my faith remains strong, sometimes I still tend to worry that Tim will fall back into his old ways or start associating with old friends. I am so grateful that his faith seems very strong, and he is very determined to stay on the right path and find God's purpose for his life. Because of his diabetes and his life style, he was near death several times; so he knows that God kept him alive for a reason.

I stayed in an extended stay hotel. They have a little kichenette, so I was able to have my own breakfast there in the room. I usually stay with a friend when I go to OKC, but I wanted to be able to come and go freely, and to spend the majority of my time with Tim and with his grandma, my mother-in-law, Gloria.

I haven't had a picture taken with Tim in a long time. He has put on some weight and says he's in the "worst shape of his life". That isn't really true, but he does want to start working out and try to get into better physical shape.

G-Ma Lavin is 85 years old. She is nearly blind and has a hearing aid. But she is a spunky, independent lady! Tim has been spending Sunday afternoons with her since he's been out of jail. They really are enjoying each other's company, and it's a win-win situation for both of them. We spent quite a bit of time with her while I was there, taking her out to eat, going to the grocery store, bank, etc. She still lives alone in her own home. Her favorite phrase is, "I'm waiting for Jesus".

On Saturday, Tim and I spent the whole day together. We ran a few errands in the morning, ate lunch, and then went to the Science Museum of Oklahoma. (It used to be called the Omniplex). It is actually more geared for kids, with hands on experiments, etc, but we enjoyed it. We also watched an IMAX movie on the Ocean. That was really interesting and I love the feeling that you are right there in the scene.

After eating dinner together, we went to a movie. It was at the dollar theatre (which is now $2.00). It would not have been my choice but Tim thought it was good.

On Sunday we had lunch with my cousin's family. Donnie is a wonderful pianist and Tim asked her to play a couple songs for him. ( Claire De Lune and some others). We had a good visit with them and their daughter and her family. They are really the only family we have in that area.

Tim and I had some wonderful spiritual discussions, and we talked about things he would like to do. He still has about another 6 months to a year of probation, but he is looking forward to what the Lord might have for him. He wants to learn spanish as he feels that there is a great opportunity for ministry to spanish-speaking people in our country.

While I was there, I heard this song on the radio. I just thought that it really described my feelings, with all that has gone on in Tim's life, and the path he is on now.


Blessed be Your name, in the land that is plentiful,
where your streams of abundance flow,
Blessed be Your name.

Blessed be Your name, when I'm found in the desert place,
though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name.

Blessed be your name, when the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be,
Blessed be Your name.

Blessed be Your name, on the road marked with suffering,
though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing your pour out, I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say,
Blessed be the name of the Lord,
Blessed be Your glorious name!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blessed Quietness!

(Disclaimer: This turned out to be longer than I thought it would be, so feel free to skip this one)

Last year I planned our Anniversary weekend. I thought it was wonderful--Bed & Breakfast, sight-seeing, etc. My hubby...not so much! The breakfast wasn't big enough, and he's really not into sight-seeing. So it was definitely less than exciting for him.

RIGHT then, I told him I would let him plan the 2009 anniversary trip. Let me just say, it can be dangerous when you let your hubby make the decisions! We booked a cabin at Chain of Lakes near Albion, Indiana. Originally, I thought to myself, OK, this will be good. A nice little cabin in the woods. Then reality set in. He said we needed to take all of our linens, dishes, and food, pretty much everything we would need. I told him it sounded like camping, and I'm really not into camping. (A nice hotel with a mint on the pillow is more my style!). And the fact that we would be doing the cooking didn't appeal for what was supposed to be a vacation. He insisted it wasn't camping (he said a tent and a sleeping bag is camping!). Being the positive person that I am, I decided this would be a great adventure.

When we arrived at the cabin, about 4 pm on Thursday, I wasn't so much impressed. In fact my first thought was 'you've got to be kidding!' But I was also thinking how lovely it might have been had we gone a week or so earlier; at that time the trees would have been beautiful. When I went inside it was quite cold, and I realized the only source of heat was a wood-burning stove. Every once in a while my husband can be a real comedian; he said, "Do they teach girl scouts to make fires?" I replied they probably did. He said "were you a girl scout?" I said "NO! Building the fire is definitely your department!

They have 18 family cabins there; they also have camp grounds for people with campers. Even though it was cold and rainy, the camping areas were packed with campers! I was surprised, but then realized this was the last weekend it would be open until Spring.

This picture sort of got out of order--which happens sometimes, even when I'm trying to be organized. There was a screened-in porch that had this swing; hubby and I sat out there on Friday and had coffee, even though it rained that entire day! We used it again a couple of times during the weekend.

This is the wood-burning stove, which we kept going the entire weekend. A couple of times it got a little TOO warm, so we would open a door or a window. I really do enjoy a fireplace, and haven't had one since I left Oklahoma; so I began to "warm up" to our little cabin in the woods and enjoy the time away with Lynn and just relaxing by the fire, reading etc. Even though it's hard for me to be away from my computer for 3 days, it was a good time of rest and relaxation. (Also, our cell phones didn't work at the cabin.)

We went out to the big town of Albion on Thursday evening to eat supper, after we got settled and got a fire going. We ate at the Kountry Kitchen, a little family-type restaurant. The food was really good--we had some great fish and home fries.

Lynn did take some work along to do; he has a label maker and made labels for these little drawers in these cabinets--probably 30 small drawers in each one and he had 4 of these little cabinets. He also spent time organizing his thoughts about what all he still needs to buy and pack for his Haiti trip. However, he really was able to relax, and rest, taking several naps. It's good for him to get away as he doesn't relax much at home.

I should have cleaned up a little before I took this picture of our kitchen. We also did have what they called a modern bathroom. It was VERY small but had the essentials--a commode, a sink and a hot shower.

For lunch Friday we went to the Quiet Corner Tea Room. I had been here a couple of times before and love this little place. It was only about 15 minutes from our cabin. The atmosphere is quiet and cozy, and the food was delicious! I had an egg salad sandwich, 9-bean soup and bread pudding--yum! Lynn had chicken salad sandwich with the soup and pumpkin pie. I of course also had the Chai tea, which is their specialty.

A sweet couple, don't ya think?

They have these cute little teapots at various places around the restaurant; I thought this one was worthy of a pic!

This is the lake at Chain of Lakes. It actually had been sunny a little before I took this, but as you can see, it was a bit cloudy. There is just something about water that is always peaceful and relaxing for me.

Lynn and I took a couple walks on Saturday, and I also did a more aerobic walk--about 3 miles. You can just picture how beautiful this might have been a week earlier. As it was, there were lots of fallen leaves to shuffle through.

One thing that we did, both evenings, was look through some old hymn books and sing some of the old hymns. He enjoyed looking at the names of the people who had written them and the copyright dates. We sang several Fanny Crosby songs. That was a really special time of worship and praise for us.

Even though, initially I had my doubts about this weekend, it turned out to be lovely, relaxing, restful, peaceful, and a time when we could just spend time together. My thanks to my hubby for planning a wonderful anniversary