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(This post IS NOT about Mary & Martha’s “think on these things” ^ collection – pieces pictured above – but they DO seem to fit in nicely – I love how my business and my faith can reinforce each other!!)

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One of our associate pastors preached today.  His message was about what we “meditate” on – not transcendental meditation but a Christian meditating on the Word of God.  His point was that what we dwell on (meditate on) is what we will live.

If you’ve read my blog long, you notice I am always pursuing the ever-elusive JOY of salvation … and just plain ol’ joy in the every day.  Joy when life is hard or when things don’t go the way we’d planned or hoped.   I lose my joy very quickly when I think about our financial woes or the fact that I *have to* work outside my home or that we don’t often come by things easily – and things in general like the fact that Christians hurt other Christians and there are so many abuses in churches …

But today a lightbulb came on for me as the speaker shared these familiar verses:

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

He turned that around and mentioned that we all too often think about what is UNtrue, what is DIShonest, what is UNjust, IMpure, UNlovely, and of a BAD report.  There is NO virture or praise in those things!!!

Exactly what I do every day!!  I dwell on the negative, the ugly and hurtful and hard things.  And that sucks the joy out of life.  Granted, there are unpleasant things in this world and always will be.  People will always be evil and sinners and do atrocious things … but I’m talking about dwelling what GOD promises:  He will right all wrongs one day, He knows what is going on down here, He sees and hears all and is taking notes.  AND He LOVES me.

God is always true, always honest, always just, always pure, always lovely, and always of a good report.  There can be virtue and praise in Him … in dwelling on HIM instead of dwelling on all that is the opposite.

I realize I have bad habits in my thinking, and they won’t change overnight … but today I am resolved to work on THINKING ON THOSE THINGS which God wants us to — and keeping HIS joy in my heart – and in my HEAD!

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(^ The “Think on These Things” collection – to include mugs – is available on my website:  www.mymaryandmartha.com/connyshaus  I had not intended to turn this into a sales pitch … but I do LOVE these products and would love to share them with you! )

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Posted in church, Devotional Thoughts, Joy | 4 Comments

School Daze

Today it is rainy … it thundered and stormed throughout the night.  My 5 year old crawled into my bed around 4:00 a.m., rambling about the loud booms and noises keep her awake.  She wasn’t scared … she just wanted someone else to be awake.  And so, we cuddled up and fell asleep again until our usual wake-up times.

It would have been nice to be home-schoolers today.  I miss that – staying in jammies a while longer, not starting school until 9 a.m. if we didn’t want to, not rushing that first cup of coffee.  And yet I think my family NEEDS the routine of getting up and getting moving or else we’d all be total home-body slugs!  We aren’t the most ambitious of peoples by nature.

And so, I sent my kids off to the Christian school on Monday.  This year they all 3 started school on the same day.  It IS convenient that they are at least in the same facility – and their school days are now all 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Miriam started Kindergarten.  In some ways, I am not as sad as I thought I would be.  It is almost like I’ve accomplished growing my “babies” … although lately a few friends have had a new baby – and seeing those pictures of all the newborn-ness makes me nostalgic.  HOWEVER, those brand new mommas have all the angst and responsibility and not-knowing-what-to-do times ahead of them – those times with babies and toddlers and preschooler I have now passed – x3.  We’re moving on to NEW adventures.

TEENAGERS.  Truthfully, overall, I love having teens in my home!  While my daughter can be emotional (for no reason at all?!) and my son is trying hard to be independent, I love the conversations we have – watching them process and reason and attempt to make good decisions.  Granted, I have my own degrees of angst about this stage – but I think overall, I truly do believe that God’s got this!

And that thought makes me feel better because my son is a SENIOR.  This is IT!  I am thankful for the friends I have who have already successfully forged this ground – who are proving to me there are good young adults out there, making good decisions and a difference.

At least my other daughter is “only” a Sophomore … but these next 3 years with her will no doubt go equally as fast.

This is our 3rd year to attend the same school here in Arkansas.  Wow – times flies, doesn’t it?!    When we came, Annie-Belle was going into 8th grade; Andrew, 10th; and Miriam was in the 3 morning-a-week K-3 program!

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So, we’re 3 days into this school year … and frankly, we’re all exhausted already.    I’m trying to get everyone to BED on time (including myself) – but we are just night owls who like to sleep in … Will this cycle ever be broken?!  I’m not sure!

 

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^^  This is Mimsy at 7 a.m. this morning.  She was NOT wanting to wake up!!  I can’t blame her.  Neither was I.

And speaking of Mim, look at her blankie.  It has been with us all her life – now grayed and faded but still beloved.
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I can’t even quite remember who gave us this blanket – but it has definitely been a favorite from the very start:

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(^^ Mimsy and I coming home from the hospital, December 24, 2009)

Time flies, possessions fade … but memories linger.

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Posted in every day life, Family, MiMi, school | 3 Comments

Summing Up Summer:

I guess I am finally getting old.  I remember when I graduated high school and then college, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than to get out of my home state … which was a good thing since I married a soldier and we moved 7 times in the next 15 years!!  We were never really any closer than 600 miles to any family – and mostly it was more than 1,000 miles from either set of parents.

Until we settled in Missouri and now here in Arkansas, my in-laws are 100 miles away.  I am thankful my kids get to grow up near-ish (but not TOO near) grandparents!  But sometimes, selfishly, I want my kids to know MY parents.   We’ve had our “ups and downs” with them, but the older I get the more I realize HOW MUCH my parents did and continue to do for me and now my family.  Most of all, I realize more than ever that everything they did (whether I understood or appreciated it), they meant for GOOD.

This is what I am doing with MY kids. Trying my best – with God’s help – to be a good mom, to make decisions that are good for them.  I hope they do – or will – understand that as well.

ANYWAY, all that to say, the girls and I got to spend a week with my family in Tennessee recently!   We decided that instead of spending 12+ hours driving there, we’d just fly.  Which really was a great idea … despite the fact that I booked a 5 a.m. flight, not realizing that it meant getting up at 3 a.m.!!   The girls were pretty cheerful about it though – it was Mimsy’s first flight ever, and the first flight Annie-Belle actually remembers (we flew with her when she was a year old).

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In my recently self-imposed isolation here, I cherish the friends and family who have known me “for forever” – those with whom I have had so many wonderful shared experiences with.  MY childhood friends, MY old church, MY mom and dad, MY brother, cousins, aunt, and uncle … After 2 years of living among long-established families here, I just long to be WITH MY OWN.

We were able to celebrate my mother’s birthday early.  She’s turning a BIG # later this month … you can guess – but I will tell you she looks amazing for her age!

This is me, my parents and my “little” brother:

 

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and this is some of MY extended family who gathered at my brother’s house … Again, I cherish those moments we shared – catching up, watching the little ones play, eating, laughing – SO MUCH MORE now than ever.

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I try to accept where God placed us right now … I really do like it here in NW Arkansas … but I miss that we can’t always just stop by my parents’ house and do something as simple as have a knitting lesson from Oma.  I guess that means we need to cherish the memory of the time we were able to do that even more!

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I miss “cousin time” … These 2 girls (below) are just 7 weeks apart – and were immediate “best friends”.

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I really don’t always know how to answer the question, “Where are you from?” because I was born in Germany, actually lived in Northern Virginia for 6 years, and then moved to East Tennessee where I graduated high school and attended college … but East Tennessee is where my parents settled (my dad grew up there) and where many of the friends that I grew up with still live.  It holds some of my most poignant memories.  Some of the dearest-to-me people live there.

I am glad that at least my children get glimpses of this wonderful place and those wonderful people.

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East Tennessee will always be “home” as such.

 

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So, our week there flew by … and we were ready to “fly” home on Tuesday of last week.  It was supposed to be a quick flight to Charlotte, NC – then after a 45 minute layover, catch another flight back to NW Arkansas.  BUT as with most things in my life (ha!), there were delays and detours!   We left Knoxville late due to “weather” in Charlotte and were delayed on the tarmac at Charlotte after landing due to the influx of other delayed flights coming in as well.  As we landed at 10:30 p.m. EST, our flight to NW Arkansas was just lifting off!   And of course, we MISSED IT!

It is a long story – and I’ll spare everyone the details —- but suffice it to say, with a hundred + other stranded passengers at that time of night, the airline had their hands full … and quite frankly, they weren’t the most helpful.  :(  I had to re-book my own flight for the next morning and find my own hotel and taxi for the night.  THANKFULLY, there were some friendly people in line with us to help pass the time spent waiting for a hotel voucher (not really voucher, but instructions how to get our hotel costs refunded later) … there were handy rocking chairs all in the waiting area where the girls could kind of cat-nap

… and a friendly night janitor helped us find our taxi at 12:30 at night.  He got us a wheelchair to use for Mimsy who had long since fallen into an exhausted sleep …

So, I got to experience a city I’ve never been to before – GOOD MORNING, Charlotte.

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We got a flight at 9:50 a.m. EST and were back in NW Arkansas by 11:30 a.m. CST.  I guess the best thing that came out of it all was that I got to have one more day off work!  :)

Since this time, school has started here for us!!  More about this later, perhaps … but the Bummer Summer is officially over – and it wasn’t such a bummer after all.  :)

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Posted in Annie-Belle, Family, MiMi, summer | 2 Comments

I have one million things to do … and what am I do NOW?  Sitting here, blogging.

The irony of my days and my life continues … as always.

I am sure some day I will find all these mishaps and trials and struggles – if not amusing – a little something to remember of what all I’m capable of or what all I’ve endured and survived.  For now, I write them down … just as a form of THERAPY!!  :)

So Saturday- it was bad news, good news, VERY bad news.

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Bad News:  I realized the dryer was NOT doing its job – after hours of tumbling, the clothes in it were still wet.

Good News:  The dryer is NOT ours – it came with the house.  Our own 14 year old Kenmore was stored in the garage.

Bad News:  our laundry room is narrow and tiny – it does not allow for the dryer to be easily removed past the washer which is the first appliance in place as you enter the room.

Good News:  Hubby was home to help move the appliances around.

Bad News:  My hubby thought the water value things were turned COMPLETELY off before he removed the hoses from the back of the washer.

MORE Bad news:  they were NOT completely off.

The REALLY BAD NEWS:  as he removed the one hose, it was spraying water all over the laundry room and HIM.  REALLY hot water as our water heater obviously has been set way too high … and the value appeared stuck.  :-/

(Yeh, only us … it’s ok to chuckle a little here)

Sort-of Good News:  I was able to grab a garden house and we were able to attach the spewing hose to it in order to divert the water out of the laundry room, through the garage to the outside.

Better News:  hubby was able to get the water value turned off completely this time.

Bad News:  the laundry room was flooded and water seeped under (through?) the wall into the garage, soaking some boxes on the other side of the wall.

Sad News:  it appeared a potential trip to the laundromat was in my near future…. and my house truly lacks places to hang still-wet clothing.

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Fast forward to Sunday:  I was prepared to go to the laundromat, quarters galore gathered!!  And stopped myself because – dag-gum-it – I *have* perfectly good dryer … surely, we can manage to use it!!  And who wants to spend 4 hours on a Sunday at the laundromat?

Here we go again:

Bad news:  Hubby and the kids were still at church (I only went to 1 service of 2 to get a head start on the laundry issues)

Good news:  dryers are relatively light weight. I also realized if I turned the washer the other direction, away from the wall, I was able to force the dead dryer past it and out of the laundry room.

Bad news:  the old dryer went out easily … the working dryer was LARGER than the owner’s dryer and would NOT slide in past the washing machine.

GOOD NEWS:  Genius IDEA:  who says the washing machine has to be the first appliance by the door way??  I shoved it into the furthest corner of the room … and moved in the working dryer in its place.

BAD NEWS:  some houses have 4 prong dryer outlets … some have 3.  Some dryers have 4 prong electric cords … some dryers have 3.  OUR house has a 3 prong outlet; our dryer has a 4 prong electric chord.

GOOD NEWS:  we’ve had this issue before!  And we had a 3 prong electric cord AND the instruction book for our dryer (it pays to keep the manuals!!).

Better news:  I said a prayer and switched out the electric cords … and plugged the dryer in … hoping I wouldn’t blow everything up!!

BEST NEWS:  I was able to throw a warm, dry towel at my husband when he walked in the door later that morning!!  :)

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PHEW … are you exhausted??  I still am.

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Posted in home improvement, irony | 3 Comments

Hodgepodge: 7/22/2015

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Tickled to be joining JOYCE and others for a Hodgepodge Wednesday … because I’m feeling like my little blog is neglected lately.  SLOW DAY AT THE OFFICE = time for some sneaky blogging!!  :)

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it’s not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.

YES, thank goodness – we have a/c and the electric bill to prove it!  We’ve had the heat wave here in NW Arkansas (as I know other areas have).
I have lived without … back when we lived in Germany (or I visited my German family).  They cope by having WONDERFUL heavy “Rolladen” over the windows.  In the house we lived in, you could control how much light you let in while darkening the rooms, shielding them from the heat/sun.
My German Oma used to give me a cool wash cloth when I came in from a really unusually hot day in Germany:  to apply to my forearms and the back of my neck.  Also, as a child, she said they’d dampen their bed sheets and roll up in them to cool off their bodies when it was hot.
My husband experienced up to 138°F when he was deployed to Iraq in 2003 … not sure HOW they coped!!  I can’t imagine.

2. What’s something in your life right now that falls under the heading ‘up in the air’?

Our future is continually “up in the air.”  We have sort-of settled here in NW Arkansas … and I like it here.  But it isn’t “home”.  Not sure where we’ll ever end up permanently – or IF we’ll even end up settling down forever … maybe not until we reach Heaven?!

My husband’s career may lead him to have to move some day, although we’d like to get our oldest through high school here … I wouldn’t mind moving so the thought doesn’t scare me.
3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?

My mother-in-law makes a “Bishops pie” that is – among other ingredients – chocolate pudding mixed with vanilla ice cream.  I also like a light, fluffy cheesecake.

4. When did you last feel like you were ‘floating on air’?

Ha … that I can’t even begin to remember.  I have felt quite earth-bound and burdened for many years now.  Financial issues, responsibility heavy on my shoulders, and just a general sense of “day-by-day” trust that things will get better … if we work hard.

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead…which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

I will be at the AIRPORT on August 5th for a quick trip HOME to East Tennessee!  I love airports … and I love flying … and I love traveling.

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity…a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

Yes, I’ve seen the Alps from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

I love to just stroll along, although I do enjoy a bike ride but haven’t owned a bicycle in a long time.

My son by the Austrian Alps in Bregenz, Austria in March 2012:

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7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered ‘cool’ when you were growing up?

I wish I could remember … we had SO MANY silly things we said …

Responding to something inane with “No doy” or “No duh” seemed cool, as did saying “Pysch!” when you zinged someone or fooled them.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Well, this has definitely been our “bummer summer” as far as (not taking) vacations or having a break entails.  No such happening for us this year (but no worries, next summer are already planning something FUN!!) …

However, I’m trying to be thankful for the little things:   taking a 1/2 day off work to take my girls to a water park, my 14 year old being able to go to camp, my 5 year old spending some time away with her grandparents, a quick trip home to see my parents and some friends, seeing something in the local area.

[There is A LOT going on right here in NW Arkansas!! to include a new children’s museum opening near-by.  The Amazeum – thank you, Walmart!  If you don’t know much about NW Arkansas, Walmart Corporation is headquartered here and they have given the community so much: art, culture, concerts, venues, etc etc etc.]

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Posted in Hodge Podge | 4 Comments

Daybook 7/13/2015

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For Today… Monday, July 13
I love my little blog … but today my brain is in a big swirly mess – a million and one thoughts (not all of them edifying!).  I want to share the things we do – the GOOD things – while being optimistic about the less-good things …
and so, maybe the Daybook will bring some order to my mind.
Outside my window…
It is HOT.  HOT HOT HOT.  Heat-advisory HOT.  Yeh, it’s THAT hot.
I am thinking…
about this summer … I’ve labeled it the “Bummer Summer” as things aren’t going as smoothly as I’d hoped with me working and the kids home alone.  :(  It’s not that they are unhappy as such – but there are no swimming days, no park mornings, no leisurely breakfasts, no sprinkler-playing afternoons.  Those things CAN happen – but in the evenings or on weekends.  We take what we can get.
Drew has a friend here for 2 weeks so he’s pretty happy.  Annie-Belle is going to church camp with a friend next week while MiMi spends a few days with her grandparents.  We have a trip planned to Tennessee in August …
No one guaranteed us a SUPER FUN day every day.  We are learning to be thankful for what we have and look forward to the more rare special times.
I am thankful…
for a job.  It is totally cramping my summer fun, but it provides a huge need.  And my work isn’t stressful; I have pretty great co-workers.  The over-all environment of where I work is based on values and small, hometown business.
I am wearing…
what I wore to work …
I am going…
cRaZy.  Oh, wait … I was already there.
I am wondering…
how long this latest whiny phase will last with our 5 year old … if my 14 year old will EVER unload the dishwasher without being reminded … and if my 16 year old really thinks he is as smart as he thinks he is (ha!)  …
I am reading…
Emily Freeman’s new book (pre-release) called SIMPLY TUESDAYS. 
It is – ironically – about embracing and cherishing EVERY DAY LIFE … the ordinary (and I’m ALL ABOUT ordinary!).  :)
I am hoping…
my attitude will be adjusted and I’ll remember to look for the JOY, not the struggle.  To focus on what I have, not on what I don’t.  To remember HOW GOOD God has been to us all along.  No matter what.
I am learning…
contentment (all over again)
In my garden…
My “garden” … which consists of 5 tomato plants is rather sad.  In fact, the plants themselves are growing, but there are NO flowers, no signs of little green tomatoes.  :(  I put some fertilizer stuff on them recently … but I think it might be too late.  So, my legacy of “THE BLACK THUMB” continues.
In my kitchen…
is somewhat closed.  For one, it is TOO HOT to cook.  For another, I’m uninspired.  I did make some kind of a potato-sausage skillet meal the other night (you cover the whole she-bang with chicken broth & let it simmer).  It was pretty delicious.  Right now my poor family is mostly subsisting on hot dogs, “fix-it-yourself” and eating out (pizza yesterday, Chick-Fil-A tonight since it was “Kids Night” there).
A favorite quote for today…
“Some times you win … some times you learn.”
A peek into one of my days…
oh, it really isn’t that interesting – and I’ve told you about it before:  get up, go to work, come home, clean up, try to settle down and gain a few moments of peace … and repeat.
One of my favorite things…
as always, my quiet times.  It is getting harder to have as my children are taking after my night owl ways, and our house is small so there isn’t a cozy spot for every one when we all seek to do our own thing.   But I make do.  :)
From the board room…
Just a little promotion from my Mary & Martha business (and yes, it is still up & running … slowly but steadily)
These items are retiring once the new catalog comes out in August:  get ’em while they last!
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The JULY special is the BLESSINGS card holder for $22
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(^it is also cute with random family photos or other sentimental items on it!)
If you’re interested in anything, contact me personally and I can probably set you up with FREE shipping!!  :)
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Posted in day book, every day life | 5 Comments

Crafty!

 

I’m not too crafty … unless I have very explicit directions to follow.  Even then, it takes me a while to attempt a project – and get it right (and complete!).  Thankfully, my girls seem to be a little more creative and artistic (and BRAVE!) than I am.

Annie-Belle’s newest idea (thanks to youtube tutorials) is fabric-painting canvas shoes.

Here’s Mimsy’s:

from this —->

 

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to this ——->

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Annie-Belle had already done her shoes, and the matching laces were inexpensive at Payless shoe store.

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At least something creative and productive is coming out of this summer break!  :)

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Posted in Annie-Belle, crafts, MiMi | 3 Comments

Faces of July 4th

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We started our holiday weekend out at Urgent Care with Annie-Belle.  Her ear had been hurting since Wednesday, but home remedies were failing.  So after a very painful night last Friday, we went to see the doctor on Saturday morning.  Thankfully, we got it out of the way – it was just a case of swimmer’s ear … and the sweet Arkansas country doc suggested we mix us up some “swim ear cure” – which is just equal parts vinegar and warm water to use after swimming.  Meanwhile, some antibiotic drops should ease the pain along with motrin.

 

 

 

 

For me personally – quite honestly – it has been the “bummer summer”.  I haven’t had to work during summer since I had Miriam until now … and I miss the free time with my kids – lazy or fun-filled days of doing whatever came to mind.  I think my kids miss having me around too.   Or at least having me at their beck and call to go on summer-time adventures.  They have a few obligations (volunteering at the VA, etc) and other things going on, but mostly, the big kids just babysit MiMi and hang out at home.

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But I’m trying to find some happiness in the midst of our situation because it can’t change right now.  Saturday evening I spent some time at the park with MiMi; something that used to be a frequent occurrance but is now a sweet privilege.

Drew’s friend who lives in Texas now is staying with us for 2 weeks.  Even the big boys came out on Saturday night to play with sparklers.  That’s about the extent of any fireworks we had.  But it was fun …

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MiMi was a little scared of the sparklers at first but overcame her fear quickly:

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And Annie-Belle – who was already feeling much more pain-free – was an old sparkler pro.

 

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At this point we’re back to reality … and the constant, nagging rain we’ve had here since Monday seems to fit my mood.   Still, I try to remember to be thankful for God’s provision just in different ways than I ever expected.  :)

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Once Every 5 Years …

Approximately every 5 years or so, my husband’s family has a reunion in Branson, Missouri with his parents and the “original” 6 kids and as many of their spouses, kids, and now GRANDKIDS who can come.  This year, we celebrated the folks’ 55th anniversary.  (Small note here:  I never called anyone’s parents “the folks” until I met Dan’s Iowa family!! … they also have “lunch” instead of a snack … and they “visit” instead of talk.)

After 22 1/2 years officially in this family, I’m thankful – even though as with all families, certain family members annoy me on occasion (and I’m sure the feeling is mutual).

But for one thing, Daniel is very blessed with a godly heritage!  His parents met at Bible college … and his grandparents were godly people, too.  This generation is a little more “diverse” as some kids have chosen to leave their denominational roots, but most still have the desire to have God as part of their lives.

Anyway, Daniel had LOTS of “leave” to use up so he took off last Wednesday through this past Tuesday.  A much needed break for him after all the overtime he works.  He took the girls with him, and Drew and I were only able to be there for the weekend due to work.

So, there was a lot of this for Daniel, quality time with his girls:

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My one brother-in-law rented a vacation home for the reunion as there wasn’t room for all to stay with the “folks”:  it was pretty fancy with a theater downstairs:

 

 

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and a big rec room downstairs with a pool table.   This was a favorite hang-out for the cousins:

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Being that I see my in-laws the most, I figured I’d help more with the cooking and clean-up so the others could enjoy their parents:  my mother-in-law and I checking on the spaghetti:

 

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I did get to “visit” lots too though:  like with Daniel’s youngest sister and a nephew of ours who was a 3 WEEK OLD BABY at our wedding in 1992!!  This is when the old aunt says, “I can’t believe how much you’ve grown … my, my!”  and thinks, “WOW, I’m old!” (he’s a dad himself now!!):

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This year my in-laws had 2 GREAT-grandchildren present:  Annie-Belle was the baby whisperer and helped the 2 little ones to feel comfortable and have fun among all the new faces:

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My mother-in-law wanted the girls to have a “fashion show” with some of her old clothes she’d kept:  this is Mimsy in grandma’s “St. Louis dress”, one of the only store-bought dresses she’d had as a child, bought for a family trip to ….. St. Louis, of course!

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Annie-Belle modeled grandma’s high school letter sweater.  2 other cousins wore Grandma’s 8th grade graduation dress and her high school graduation dress:

 

 

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Here’s the “original” family:  the 6 kids and Mom & Dad (who also both turn 75 this year!):   We always get tickled that the sister who was adopted from Korea is so much shorter than all the rest of the Viking giants in the family.  :)

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Our family unit:

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“Usies” by 2 almost-same-age cousins:

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Grandparents treated us all to the Dutton Show in Branson – highly recommend.  Incredibly talented family:

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Of course, the girls had so much fun while there:  lots of treats and ice cream!

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a day at Silver Dollar City with cousins:

 

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I think in the end, all were ready to go home … but it was a special memory (even if I happened to come home with a MIGRAINE …!)

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Posted in Family, summer | 2 Comments

I Almost Gave Up

I have been considering shutting down the old blog lately – I mean, really?  Who wants to read about my life now-a-days:

“Dear Blog,

I went to work … again … and was tired … and cleaned up my house and tried to cook dinner … and adjusted my calendar to fit in another appointment for something that needs to be dealt with … and then adjusted for another unexpected glitch … and then I went to work … again.”

But then I remembered why I blog:

  • a few friends who I keep up with via my blog – and the occasional feedback that helps me to remember I’m not alone, that someone cares or that someone understands (or at least is listening, even if they don’t).
  • a way to remember what the kids did or said or what I learned or how I dealt with something.  A “journal” of my life as such.
  • and seemingly in the last few years, it has been the record of God’s provision despite consequences and decisions and just life’s crazy journey.

And so, for today, I will continue to write down my stories:

I think back to last Friday when I got to spend 24 hours without any obligations or responsibilities weighing me down!  I ran away to meet an old friend for a girls’ get-away and her birthday “celebration”.  It reminded me of the thing I need despite stating adamantly that I don’t:  the friendship of another woman.

I think too of my friends from phases of life – my “childhood” friends who got me through college and early marriage … my “Army” friends who were there for me for deployment and moving and all the military mandatory-fun … and my “adult” friends who have stuck with me through the last few years of good times and bad.  And in many cases, those classes of friends overlap.

Anyway, this friend, who I just saw, has been in my life since probably 2002.  She’s been there through the happiness, the transitions, the losses, and some major life-changers … and she understands me without explanation or justification.  I really needed that time with her – more than I realized.

Lots of happy reflections as I drove home last Saturday afternoon … refreshed.  A rainbow welcomed me back to NW Arkansas:

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Also, on the way home last Saturday afternoon, I stopped half-way and bought a top at the mall that my friend had said would suit me when we were at the chain store together earlier in the day:  I wore it to work on Monday and was glad that my friend also happens to have a great eye for style!  ;)

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(PS  I am not a fan of selfies … but I am also determined to remember what I looked like once upon a time!!)

And so … back to the old grind … and the people who motivate (and cause) me to do what I do every day:

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And yes, back to REALITY … and believe me, it hit pretty hard and fast:

The transmission in my van went out on Tuesday/Wednesday.  Or at least I thought that’s what it was.  So, today, we got it into the shop … and sure enough- my transmission is not just worn out but damaged badly and because my van is all-wheel drive, that makes things even more complicated.  And frankly, I’m not even surprised any more … I was a little hopeful it wouldn’t be SO bad, but as per usual, the reality of it is what it is.

The dilemma, of course, is do we invest the money to re-build the transmission??  (You can only begin to imagine what this is costing!!!)  In the end, we can’t buy a decent replacement for what it costs to rebuild and we can’t afford car payments, so we’re going ahead.  PRAYING for provision – that daily bread – yet again.

And actually, it came to my husband in the early hours of this morning as he lay worrying and praying about things … that we actually have some savings bonds from back in the Army days that we can cash in!  I went to the bank today to do just that – and guess what?!  Savings bonds gain a little interest over time!   Unexpected bonus.

I don’t even dare say it – but maybe, just maybe, things will finally start looking up for us financially some day soon?!  But despite set-backs, God does provide:  a co-worker let me use her vehicle yesterday to come home on my lunch break – and my girls saw her car and thought we’d experienced a miracle – a NEW CAR!!??!!  but really, it was a small sign that God’s looking out for us through His people – as this co-worker is a believer.

Tonight there is a GIANT, fancy pick-up truck sitting in our drive-way that belongs to a pharmacist that I work for; his family is out of town this weekend, so he just gave me the use of his truck while they are gone.  Again, he is a Christian – and he just said, “This is what we are called to do.”

So, while I am a little discouraged at the set-backs, I think my faith continues to be a little stronger because these BiG problems are never really too BIG for my BIG God.

And to remember this is why I blog.  To record that GOD PROVIDES our needs.  And so much more.

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Posted in every day life, Family, friendship, provision | 6 Comments