Saturday, May 31, 2008

Under the Weather

It's only the second weekend of summer and I'm under the weather! Hopefully it's a short-lived, couple-hour deal!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Show & Tell

While going through some patterns at my aunt's home one day, I came across this pattern for a doll made out of a pillowcase. I instantly fell in love with the simplistic beauty of it. I needed a gift for a baby shower and decided to make a keepsake gift for the mother-to-be. It turned out beautiful!

After seeing the finished doll, my aunt shared with me that she had some pillowcases that were my grandmother's and her intention was to make these dolls out of them and present them to my grandma's 2 daughter-in-laws, my sister and myself (the only 2 granddaughters) and also 1 for my aunt.

So that Christmas, about 8 years ago, I made 5 of these dolls. I actually enjoyed making them and it was so much fun presenting them to our family members.

That's it for my Show & Tell today. To read more stories, you can visit Kelli over at No Place Like Home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Over the past couple weeks, all the flora has come to life here in the mid-west! Things are green and lush and colorful! Outside my dining room window, we have an enormous Bean Tree with huge leaves. It seems like this tree gains it's leaves overnight!!

All of this growth and bloom comes with a bit of a price. My allergies have been going crazy the past couple days. There's something floating around in the air that's making my eyes red, itchy and watery. Hopefully it will be short-lived and is usually kept under control with a little antihistamine.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memory Album

(I apologize in advance...Blogger is having that paragraph problem again!!)
Cliff was in the Navy when I first met him. He aspired to see the world and retire from the Navy but his plans didn't include meeting a girl in NY and falling in love. He did, however, serve his country for 4 years.
Cliff worked on the gun mounts as a Gunner's Mate when he was on the ship, the U.S.S. Voge. Later, when he was assigned to shore duty, he worked in the weapons division at the Naval yards in Mayport in Jacksonville, FL. He enjoyed his time aboard ship and working with the guns. In fact, every July 4, he loves to shoot off large fireworks as it reminds him of those days!
Several years ago, I gathered up all of his Navy memorabilia and put it all into a scrapbook. It's one of my favorites (actually they're all my favorite!)
These days are so precious to me. I saved all the letters we wrote (several years before cell phones). Most of our dating took place long distance between Jacksonville, FL and Long Island, NY. When we were first married, he had 6 months left of shore duty. I quickly learned about getting uniforms dry-cleaned and creased just right, poslishing shoes, dress uniforms for military funerals, shopping at the commisary, and the post. It was a whole new world for me and one I was so glad to enter!!

This picture was taken almost 1 month after we met. Do we ever look young...and in love!!!! (The doll in the picture is a whole other story)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Bill

We attended Bill's funeral today. Was it sad? Yes. He was 52. It was sad watching his 3 sons say goodbye to him.

My dad officiated the service which was beautiful. He told of a conversation between Bill and Hope that took place at the beginning of this week. They were talking about Heaven and Hope assured Bill she would join him there when her time came. He said, "OK, then I'll leave the light on for you." I can hardly write that without tearing up. First of all, it's so sweet and tells of the kind of person that Bill was. Second, it brought up memories of when I was a kid and we would travel through the night to my grandparent's home. We'd arrive in the early pre-dawn morning hours and be so tired. I remember pulling into the driveway and seeing the porch light on for us. I'd always be so relieved to see that light so I could rest and wake up to see my family!!

Bill was remembered by two things: His Love for the Lord and his love for his family. He was such a kind and gentle man. I envision that as he entered into heaven, my Grandpa Adrian (who was Bill's pastor for years) was waiting to welcome him.

This poem was read at the service today and I thought it was so good. Thanks for all who have prayed for Bill and his family. If you happen to think of it during the days ahead, continue to pray for his family.

The Servant's Reward
One day, when you are in Heaven,
someone will come up to you and thank you
for the way you touched his or her life.
The person's words will take you completely by surprise.
Soon, another person will seek you out,
and then another, and another.
As you listen to each one's story,
you will begin to discover all the ways that God used your life
when you were unaware of it.
You will find that it was most often not through the big things that you did,
but through the small and simple things--
a spoken word that was not planned,
a spontaneous act of kindness,
a loving attitued, or a caring smile.
To your joy, you will discover that in all these ways and more,
God used you to deposit and eternal measure of His love
into many needy hearts.
~Roy Lessin

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Quick Show & Tell

During the days of planning my wedding, one of the most excited people was my Grandma Adrian.

One day a small package came in the mail addressed to me. It was from my Grandma. She wanted to send me a little "just for you" gift. It wasn't for the wedding or for my married life. It was just a small token from her to let me know how happy she was for me and how much she loved me. It was this make-up bag. I have used this bag every day ever since the day I received it. Although a little tattered around the edges, it's held up quite well, considering I have now been married 23 years!

Cliff and I were married in November of that year and my Grandma was able to attend the wedding. (She had been battling cancer) She was so excited to come. I remember how important it was to her to chose just the right dress.

By March, I found out I was expecting our first child. She was excited about the baby (I have a letter from her during this time also). The last time I saw her was in early May. I was able to spend a Sunday morning at home with her (she was too sick to go to church) while everyone else went to church. What a wonderful time it was singing hymns and sharing the Scriptures. She passed away two weeks later.

Thanks so much for reading the story of my little makeup bag today. For more stories, you can visit Kelli over at No Place Like Home.

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of school (Yay!!!) and it is stormy, windy, dark, and chilly!!! I wish summer vacation started's the perfect day to sleep in and watch some old movies. I look forward to a break in the routine and by mid-August, will be ready for it again!!!!! Oh, and this is also the last day of my last child in Elementary school!! How did that happen?????

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A True Hero

When you were in grade school, did you ever have to write an essay on "My Hero?" In my opinion, we'll come across several people in our lifetimes who are "Heroes" in our eyes. At this particular time in my life, I have several but this one has been on my mind all day.
I have written previously about a man in our church, Bill, who was diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct last summer. In just one short year's time, Bill's family's lives have changed dramatically. The last time I saw Bill was on Easter Sunday when he came to church for the last time. He was so happy to be there. He needed a little assistance to help keep him steady but he still was able to walk and talk and be part of the community for those 2 hours. I saw him again yesterday and the affects of the cancer have waged a brutal war in his body.
When you walk into their home, it is taken over by medical equipment and supplies. The living room now houses a hospital bed. I left Bill's home thinking, "In comparison, I have no problems. How petty I have been."
My hero, is Bill's wife, Hope. Who has shared this journey with Bill, lovingly and graciously long before he was ever diagnosed. It is a testament to the kind of marriage they have shared. The last couple times they were at church, they sat together, holding hands. I have been moved and inspired by Hope's courage, stamina, and faith. I'm sure she has her moments but overall, she has been so brave. She lives her life these days constantly caring and looking after Bill. She's had to learn how to operate all the medical equipment that he came home with. She told another woman at church that one of the things that keeps her going is the prayers of the people who continually pray on their behalf.
Tomorrow night, America will crown a new American Idol. I'll probably tune into the finale. It's fun. And either David will be a hero in the eyes of many, many people. He will be applauded, lauded, and put on a pedestal. He will be richly rewarded and every news and talk show will want to hear his story. It is my opinion, though, that people like Hope are the true heroes. Hope will not become rich or famous. She will not receive applause or put on any kind of pedestal. But she will, in fact be rewarded. She has the peace that passes all understanding. She knows where Bill will be when he passes from this life to the next. She knows she will see him again one day. She also has the assurance that there is a community of Believers who love both she and Bill and who will continue to uphold them in prayer and support.
Bill entered into the Savior's arms at 9:45 this morning (Wednesday).
Please remember his wife, Hope, and his 3 sons and grandaugther in your prayers today!!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Within the last 3 weeks, we have replaced a sump pump, a hot water heater, all the piping to both of these, a lawn mower, a bathroom floor, and a car engine! It has been interesting to say the least. In the next two weeks, I will be replacing a pair of glasses and a stove burner. Hopefully that will be the end of this cycle we've been in!!
We've got a busy weekend ahead of us. Sunday we will head to Bethel for the last time this year. Josh is in a men's acapella singing group and they will be presenting their final concert. We'll take this opportunity to stop in and visit some family in Wichita. I'm really looking forward to this little trip!!
Needless to say, I won't be posting again until Monday. I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend with some absolutely beautiful spring weather. I also want to say a big thank you to everyone who extended birthday greetings. Thank you so much!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

My Grandma Adrian had only one sister. Her name was Verna. We called her Aunt Verna. Aunt Verna never married and as long as I could remember, she was a missionary nurse to Africa. I'm guessing that Verna loved children because she treated my grandmother's 6 grandchildren as her own.
I remember when I was a little girl, living in New York and Aunt Verna would be home on furlough. It was a very exciting thing when she would come and visit us!! I remember crying and crying when she left. I love her so much.

Aunt Verna was tragically killed in the early 70's. I would have been around 7 0r 8. I love this picture of her with us kids. We loved her and she loved us. This may have been the last time I saw her. Other than being a nurse, the other main memory I have of my Aunt Verna is that she would bring each of us a book when she would come to visit. Now she didn't just bring any old books, she brought special ones. To this day, I have 3 books from her. Two were gifts and the other was given to me after she died.

This book is the story of a little soldier who wins a large battle by making large amounts of his world famous Apple Strudel and shooting them out of cannons. I read this book over and over as a kid.

This book is seriously cute. It was published in England. I think this book may have been given to my brother and sister too but somehow I ended up with it all these years. This is the story of this little bear's day. This was my favorite page in the book. I loved looking at all the stuff in his little house!!

Thanks for stopping by my Show & Tell today. For more, you can visit Kelli, over at No Place Like Home.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Funny Story

Once upon a time (1964), a very handsome boy and a beautiful girl, fell in love and were married. Not too long after the honeymoon, they found that their little twosome would soon become three! Yes, God had indeed decided to bless this couple with a baby the first week of June.

Around the time this picture was taken, the beautiful mother-to-be was overtaken with some rather uncomfortable stomach aches. She requested a well-known stomach remedy from the handsome father-to-be. Their solution to the stomach situation was none other than....

Yep, you guessed it...the unknown use for Pepto-Bismol!!!! When the pink stuff did not aleviate the stomach problems, the father-to-be called the grandfather-to-be. I can imagine the conversation went something like this:

Young Father: "Dad, mother-to-be has a bad stomach ache and the Pepto isn't helping. What do I do??"

Grandfather: Son, have you looked at your wife lately???? Her stomach ache isn't going to go away until there's a baby!! Get her to the HOSPITAL!!!!

So off they went and just a few (and I mean very few) short hours laters, they became the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl!!

These events happened 43 years ago today (May 15) and I promise they are true! I have, however, changed the names to protect the naive and the innocent. :-)
Today is my 43rd birthday and I have chosen to celebrate my parents who gave me life and have loved me unconditionally every one of my 43 years!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Overwhelming Days

Have you ever gone through a period in your life where nothing seems to work out or go the way you thought it would? I'm currently going through one right now. It's been going on for the better part of 2 weeks. I've learned these kinds of times are cycles...that's just the way life is; sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, sometimes things go great and perfect and other times nothing goes right. I've been reminding myself that this is all just temporary but the past 2 days I've started getting a little stressed and feeling like my candle is burning at both ends. I'm a little overwhelmed right now!!

Ecclesiastes 3:1

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, MOM!
You are truly one of God's greatest gifts to me!!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Remembering My Toys

When I did a post about my old lunchboxes (you can read it here), it got me to thinking about other things from my childhood. Namely my old toys.

I have a few things tucked up in the back of my closet. I wish I could get them down to photograph them but it really is a big deal to get up in there. So, I did the next best thing and from the internet, I will resurrect some fond memories.

I have 2 baby doll type dolls in my box. One is a little plastic nurse doll that I got when I had my tonsils out. I was 5 and in those days, you stayed in the hospital for several days. Some people from our church gave this doll to me. The other doll's name is "Peggy Penpal" She was such a cool doll. She came with this little yellow desk and some pens. You'd attach her to the desk and place a pen in her specially shaped hand. Whatever you wrote on the one side of the desk, she'd write the same thing on her side. I still have her. She's naked and is missing part of a leg but she's such a fond memory that I've not been able to part with her.

OK, let's see how many of you had some of these or remember them.

SPIROGRAPH: I used to spend hours with this thing. Remember the little pins that were supposed to hold the big rings down? They never seemed to work. Neither did the colored pens. I didn't care and made design after fascinating design!

LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS: I still LOVE these. I have collected a few older ones and have some from my own kids.

PETER PAN RECORDS: Remember these 45's? Love the little stories and songs on them (back in the days when you had to use your imaginations to fill in the blanks). This particular one, "The Three Little Pigs" used to scare me and we were forbidden to listen to it before we went to bed! I remember when I was about 4, my mom would always get us a new one when she went grocery shopping.

SLINKY: Another fascinating toy! I always like the sound the good old metal ones made. We seemed to enjoy them for about 1 day and then they'd seem to get hopelessly tangled up!! Also, we were never able to get them to go down the stairs as well as the kids in the commercials!!

DUNCAN YO-YO: The Butterfly model was my yo-yo of choice. I can still remember how these things smelled when you took them out of the package. Once again, they were so much fun and provided hours of entertainment!

So what about you? You have any fond memories of your toys?? Still have any??

Monday, May 5, 2008

Grandpa Adrian

This time of year, I have alot of thoughts and memories of my Grandpa Adrian. He passed away 4 years ago yesterday. I was so excited when we decided to move to KS because it would allow me to have a relationship with my grandfather I'd not been able to have before. It was so nice to see him every Sunday in church. In fact, the other Sunday, we sang a song that was one of his favorites. I could hear him in my mind, singing at the top of his voice, "Christ is all I need."

My grandpa was a farmer for years before entering into the pastorate. He loved farming. When he bought his home in the small town that we live in, he made three-quarters of the back yard a huge garden. He maintained the grass cutting at the church...over 4 acres. Some days I'd drive by and see him up on his John Deere tractor with his straw hat mowing away. He LOVED being a Pastor but he also LOVED farming.

Grandpa also LOVED kids. In the past few years of his life, the family would gather at his house on July 4th. His last July 4th, the entire family was able to come. He was so excited. He couldn't wait for all our kids to come. He borrowed a trailer from a neighbor and hooked it up to his riding mower and took the kids for rides. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more...Grandpa or the kids.

He went into the hospital several days before his death. He had been having some trouble breathing. They put him into a drug-induced coma to allow his lungs time to heal. When they went to wake him up, he didn't respond like he should have. They think he had a stroke. The decision was made to let nature take its course. I was not going to go to the hospital to say goodbye. I did not want to see him like that. He had always been so strong even in his 80's. On Sunday night, I almost panicked with the realization that if I didn't go up there, I'd never see him alive again. I went up to see him on Monday evening and God made it so that no one else was there. Saying goodbye to him was the most intense, grief-filled thing I have ever done. I held his hand and it was still so strong. The next day, early in the morning, Grandpa passed from this life into the next. It just so happened I had a camera with me that morning as I dropped the kids off at school. I went over to his house, sat in his garden and remembered both he and my grandmother and said my goodbye to my days of going to my grandparent's. I took a picture of his last garden. His rows as straight as ever.

Psalm 116:15 - "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Show & Tell

One of the most ironic things about Josh attending Bethel College is that it is a Mennonite College. He didn't choose Bethel because it is Mennonite but the irony is that our family ancestry on my father's side is Mennonite. Because of this Mennonite connection, Josh had a stop in South Dakota on a recent choir trip. The choir sang in a Mennonite church that cousins of my dad attend. After the concert, Josh had a chance to visit with our extended family members. I'm guessing the topic of family history came up (Josh is a history buff) and a couple weeks later, they sent Joshua a copy of our family history (which I have) and a copy of this incredible book. It's full of family trees, old family pictures, pictures of family heirlooms, and copies of old documents. It was so
kind of them to send it to him and when we saw him last month, he had to show it to me right away. Of course, I had to borrow it so I could take the time to get a really good look at it.

The book also documents the story of our ancestor's migration to America from Russia. They came over for Religious freedom. I think this is just an incredible thing for him to own.

On the pages below, there is a copy of a notebook of one of our ancesters. It's full of her handwriting all in German and someone began translating it as the English words are written above the German words. This document is dated 1872!

Thanks for reading today and check out Kelli at No Place Like Home for more Show & Tell.

Bloggy Carnival Prizes

Two of the five prizes I won in the Bloggy Carnival arrived this week. There were almost 1000 drawings!! I lost count of how many I entered. I told Cliff I doubted I'd win anything this time around. How surprised I was to check my email Monday morning!! Here's what I found:

  • A $25 E-bay gift certificate from Shannon at Gabis World,
  • 6 books from Karen at Work and Roll,
  • A Bible study entitled, "No Other Gods" from Jessie at Vanderbilt Wife.
  • 4 "Gifts in a Jar" books and kits and "Sunflower Parable" book from Mama Belle at the Bayou Belles.
  • And a "Gorgeously Green" book and $20 cash prize from Delphine at Steeping Beauty.

If I read correctly, the carnival will come around again in July. If you haven't gotten in on it yet, you'll have to join in the fun!!