Saturday, July 4, 2015

Our Fourth On The Third

Tim had his first day off in a month, literally, and so he wanted us to do something together as a family.  He has to work this weekend, so Friday was going to be it for doing something.

We'd heard of Lake Tobias for many years but had never gone.  It is a wildlife park, with a petting zoo, reptile house, various animals and the best part - a wildlife safari.

If you can enlarge this photo you may be able to see better the Bison who thought he would hitch a ride on our safari bus!  I guess some of the animals will try to board when the buses stop for us to take photos or feed the animals.  This was the second animal to try this while we were on our safari.

 Grammy was a real trouper!  She enjoyed the animals.

 These two girls had so much fun!

We ended the day with fireworks in our driveway.  It's a tradition!


We had a big surprise today!  I'll see if you can figure it out.  

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gladys Taber

It all started a few years ago, when I began to hear different friends mention a woman I had never heard of before - Gladys Taber.

I take notice when my friends mention women who influenced them and the fact that Gladys wrote books!  Susan Branch even mentioned her!

Then I won a copy of Stillmeadow Calendar from Lorrie, you can read about that here.  I have enjoyed reading this book.  

I don't know what it is about reading about someone's day to day life.  She writes in a way that you are drawn into what goes on in these lovely places that she has made her home.  

In June, Rachel and I took a drive to a used bookstore that we favor and I hit the motherlode.  Seriously.

These books were so inexpensive, I just couldn't believe it.

I am reading "My Own Cape Cod" right now.  

I looked on Amazon and there are more books that she wrote than I knew about.  I am going to have to keep my eyes out for more of these treasures.
Have you read any of her books?  Do you have a favorite?

Today, I took my mom grocery shopping and to her doctors appointment.  We were gone all day, and enjoyed lunch out together too.  Tomorrow Tim has the day off (but not the weekend) so we are going to go on a family trip for the day.  It's his first day off in a month, and we are going to enjoy it!

I hope you all have a good fourth.  It will be a day of remembering all that the founders did to bring forth this nation.  It will be a bit of sober reflection I do believe.

I hope all my Canadian friends had a wonderful Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Very Important Visitor!

Yesterday Tim's Mom arrived from Florida!  We are so excited to have her visiting us.  She is 93 (she'll be 94 in October).  Tonight after Sarah's piano lesson we talked her into playing a bit for us.  She is a wonderful pianist - but she says since her stroke two years ago that her hands don't play as well as they used to.  She says, "I'll blame the stroke for that!"  


Sorry for the loud background noise.  Our family is not the quiet sort!

Grammy loves all the noise and activity that goes on around here!  She is having sort term memory issues, so we are thankful for the opportunity to have her with us and to enjoy her.

She is a woman who dedicated her whole life to serving the Lord.  She lived with her bachelor pastor brother in their 20's, and kept house for him and played piano at his church.  She was a missionary and she and Tim's dad served in West Africa for 23 years, before coming home for medical issues.  They then served still in the mission.  After becoming widowed, she continued to serve and after remarrying they served as associate missionaries.  They retired in the 1990's and began to serve with a food bank ministry and my mother in law did prison ministry for years.  That is just the formal things.  She often had people staying with her, sometimes for years at a time.  They housed medical students from Germany, also.  She and her husband traveled the world, as he was retired from the Air Force.

She still reads her Bible everyday, and loves to speak of His faithfulness to her.

Tim's sister Esther oversees her care in Florida and is a blessing to the whole family.  We are thankful that Grammy (as we refer to her most of the time) is able to live in her own home, as she has a wonderful caregiver that lives with her.  She told me tonight she hopes to stay in her home for as long as possible.

I've learned a lot from her life over the years.  To choose to rejoice even in hard circumstances (she buried two sons in Africa), to joyfully offer hospitality, to serve other people.

I may be scarce here for the next few weeks, but I hope to pop in now and then.

I appreciate you all and your friendship to me.  I am thankful for all of you whom I have learned so much from as well.  

Have a wonderful holiday weekend for my American readers, and a lovely weekend for the rest of you!

Monday, June 29, 2015

10 Weeks

In 10 weeks our son is getting married.  

We will be having it here on our property.  They have a tent arranged and fancy port-a-potties!  Invitations are designed and ready to be printed and sent out in a few weeks.

They are having the wedding of Kayleigh's dreams.  She has always dreamed of a unique dress.  I won't give it away here, I'll wait to show you!

We will be all pulling together and getting flowers planted in their wedding colors, getting the yard and surrounding areas looking their best, doing some baking, ordering flowers - you know, all the fun parts of putting on a wedding.

We are thankful for their commitment to each other and to raise Kamryn in a loving home.  She's going to look adorable at the wedding, trust me on that one!

We are very happy and excited for them!

Let the fun begin!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The World Is Changing

The signs are everywhere.  Everything has been turned on its head. I think we are in for hard times.  I believe we are going to experience another economic downturn, soon.  I don't know if the end times are here but I think it is very much the end of the 'world' as we know it.

I believe it is time to simply live out our faith.  To notice the neighbor in need - to actually know the neighbor, and to be a help to them.  To care for our families, especially our aging parents, and to help our kid with their kids.  We maybe the sandwich generation caught between our own parents needs, and grandkids, but for Tim and I we are still raising our own children!  Do we feel pressure?  I don't think so.  We just ask God to help us do what He's given us to do for the day, and we do it to the best of our ability.

We all will need to live much simpler lives, and I am thinking that may very well be a good thing.  We all talk about when life was simpler with longing, but how many of us take steps to live that simpler life?  You can step off the crazy train anytime.  Slow your pace down and walk with the Lord daily.  I believe you will find your life richer and fuller.

Tim works at a place where people are all about how much money they can make.  They sign up to work double shifts on the weekends (16 hour days) in addition to their time during the week.  There are many factors that contribute to this, but I wonder when they see their families.  Are they all empty nesters? Divorced? Just wanting to be able to have things?

When hard times come things don't comfort you, the people you have surrounded yourself with and invested time in will be your comfort, and the Lord, of course.

A Bible School teacher said many years ago, "God always prepares you for what He has prepared for you."  I believe it.  Learn to listen to those promptings and senses of direction.

My dear friend Brenda at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me has tons of great Saturday posts about Pantry Living, and other preparedness things.  

I am not negative person, I'm a true optimist, but I don't believe that things will be better soon.  I think though that we can have a very good life in the midst of hardship, if we are focused on the things that really matter.

Honoring the Lord and walking with Him.

Encouraging our families.

Serving others.

These things are real, true, and of value.  These things will bring satisfaction and a contented life.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Garden: New Hydrangea

My steady, reliable hydrangea has suffered the last two years, due to the harsh winters we've had.  No flowers last year and this year there are two blooms on it!

Here are some photos from past years.  You can see why I adore this plant!

I purchased this hydrangea at Costco about 5 or 6 years ago, and this year I bought another one from Costco, a beautiful deep pink.

 I planted it outside, and it seems to be thriving but I don't think I am going to get anymore blooms on it this year.

I decided that I am hydrangea addicted and with our property I could have many more hydrangea plants, so I bought another one two days ago.

It is a Wedding Gown Mophead.  I love it!  Now, to figure out where to plant it so that I can see it from the house!

Are you plant/flower addicted?  What are your favorites?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Weight Loss Update - Trim Heathy Mama

I've not posted a weight loss update since the end of March.  I was at 40 pounds lost then.  After that I lost 3 more pounds during April and then May hit.  Oh my.  I ate off plan quite a bit - more like eating to maintain mostly, but I really hit a plateau.  My second one since starting THM in September 2014.  I went up a few pounds but never more than four.  

When June came I got back on track.  I was happy to see the 43 pounds lost again, and then on Sunday I weighed and saw that I have lost 2 more pounds for a total of 45 pounds.

I am delighted!  It has been challenging at times, but I am learning a lot about sticking with the plan and trusting God in it.  I have a long way to go, but I know this is a way of eating for life.

  You can read about my weight loss journey here, here, here, and here.

45 pounds in nine months.  I was hoping to be further along at this point but I am learning to accept what is and to be thankful!  45 pounds in nine months is awesome!