Saturday, February 27, 2010

Here’s What’s happening …..

In My Kitchen ….
I just made breakfast sandwiches for John and myself. They sure were good.Yesterday I made 3 huge pots of chicken corn soup. After the snow storm here a chicken house rood fell in. The chickens all were out and so the owner allowed folks to come and catch them free. The boys I tutor father and uncle caught 184 and dressed them. They gave me 10. I wanted to thank them and so I made the soup. The one gave corn she put up, the other the celery and so I made it. I must say it was great
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With The Children ….. Since I have no children at home I will share what I am doing with the 2 boys I home school.Yesterday we worked on math, did some more on the Revolutionary War and George Washington.
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What I’m Reading …John had a appointment in Charlottesville and I took along the book by Brennan Manning called "Ruthless Trust...The Ragamuffin's Path to God"I am amazed at his writing each time I open one of his books. He is so open and honest and I can understand where he is coming from. He spoke at the church we attended in Florida several times and I loved those times. I think he makes me journal more than any author.
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What I Have Been Learning …
Trust in not easy. I worry about folks that do not understand this.....are they for real?
In this book he says:
Faith+hope= trust."Faith arises from the Personal experience of Jesus as Lord. Hope is reliance of the promise of Jesus, accompanied by the expectation of fulfillment. Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope."
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On The Back Burner of My Mind ….Mom may not be up today. She has turned today into mourning. She and dad would have celebrated 68 years of marriage today. Instead of being thankful for the 65 years they had together she has decided to be bitter. All week had been downhill. It is hard to handle....I have so many great memories of their love and life. I just wish mom would decide to see that.
The first picture is celebrating their life in Sarasota, Florida. I wish I knew who all are in the second picture.....so I need help. I asked mom to tell me but she refused to look at the picture and threatened to tear it up if I brought it back again. I know she is in the white.....

The last 2 are the wedding. Uncle Ben was dad's best man and Helen Kraybill was mom's Maid Of Honor.

Looking at these has made me feel the loss of Dad again. How I miss his hugs, smiles and answer to me when ever I talked to him.....it went like this:
"Dad, I love you" and his answer...
"Honey Dear, you will never know how much I love you."
I wish I could hear that just one more time.


In The Deepest Darkest Recesses ….
I am frustrated with doctors....Thursday was a better time with the neurologist for John and I.
We now have to go to the pain clinic to see about where they can do "shots" to control his pain. He was put on a strong med at night for his headaches. The are trying to keep from any type of surgery. They do not want to commit to a cause.....they still are studying his MRI's and test results and we wait and wait.....one alarming thing to me was John did not feel sharp points hitting his left arm and did not feel hot nor cold. She seemed concerned also. So keep praying with us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Here’s What’s happening …..

In My Kitchen ….
John made he and I the best pizza....he loves to cook. Of course mom did not want that and so I made her a toasted cheese sandwich, tomato soup made from V-8 Juice, and gave her pudding I had made earlier and than she wanted me to go and get chips for her too. She will come come out to eat but I have to fix 3 trays for her a day....She says she gets jealous of John and I but to others she says I cook too spicy....so go figure....That is just life right now.
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With The Children ….. Since I have no children at home I will share what I am doing with the 2 boys I home school.
Nathaniel worked in his books doing catch up and a few new pages. Ryan did his sentences and worked on his lap book. After lunch we went over it and that I took him to the following site....since they have no TV this was a great treat for him!
George Washington's World for Kids
http://www.washingtonsworld.org/

For a stiff-lipped Founder of the United States, George Washington led an awfully exciting life. Soldier, farmer, statesman...he was even famous for his love of dancing. On this new website, discover the real Washington at home and at war. Explore a 3D Mount Vernon in search of artifacts that reveal the many facets of the man. Play the harpsichord in a rhythm game so he can dance with his beloved Martha. And serve as gun captain at Washington's moment of greatest military achievement, the siege of Yorktown.

What I’m Reading …
I am still in "The Committed Life".
One chapter I read over and over is the one on gratitude. When John's mother was with us and in the last stages of dementia....the "Big A" as we called it.....I had a hard time cleaning up after her. That was when I began the daily journal writing that I called My Gratitude Journal and for several years posted them. At first I could hardly write 5 things I was thankful for but soon it started to roll and I had no trouble cleaning up after her. My whole outlook changed....My heart changed.

"The inability to express gratitude has many ramifications and is perhaps one of the reasons there are so many bitter people around. People who cannot acknowledge kindness always find something to grumble about, something to criticize. They make miserable marriage partners. tyrannical parents, and selfish friends.......No matter how much they indulged, they are never satisfied. They just keep taking without feeling a need to give back.

By Taking moments each and every day to focus on G-d's gifts, by thanking Him for His many kindnesses through blessings and prayers, and by saying thank-you to those who are near and dear to us, we can acquire the attribute of gratitude".

I cannot add anything more to that.
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What I Have Been Learning …
More family history....digging in a few boxes. I think this came from Aunt Emily. It is a family gathering...The Aunties parents, Their Brother Amos and Mabel in the back row. Than my dad's father B Lehman and his wife Bertha (my grandparents), Aunt Fannie, Aunt Emily, Aunt Elizabeth. I have to guess about the children....My dad is the second child on the left. Maybe some of you can fill me in with the other 3. (I think one is Edward and Elizabeth but who is in the carriage?)



I never knew my grandfather. He died when daddy was young. That is when daddy and Uncle Ben went to live with the Aunties and their grandparents. Aunt Rachel lived with her mom who cared for her parents. So to me the Aunties were the best 3 grandma's under one roof that a girl could have!
On The Back Burner of My Mind ….
A longing to go to the Kraybill Reunion in July at Mount Joy, Pa. I need to go and see family. It has been 20 years since I have been there. I miss the place I grew up....The fun part it is at the school I attended for 10 years.....Kraybill Mennonite School. I hate to get my hopes up with mom to care for and John's health.....I wish....I pray....I long to go.

In The Deepest Darkest Recesses ….
Dare I say it? I want relief from the 24-7 care of mom. I need to get out at times. It can go a month before I get to go anywhere. My knees keep me from driving in the winter months and so John does the running. Someone has to be with mom. It tires me out and I have to remember the word gratitude many times a day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday

Here’s What’s happening …..

In My Kitchen ….
Spaghetti and meatballs, cheese bread and salad.
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With The Children ….. Since I have no children at home I will share what I am doing with the 2 boys I home school.

We are still working on The American Revolution lap book. For Bible we are doing the Armor of God and of course math. The oldest does English and Word Building too. My biggest concern is they have never been made to read and they can hardly do it.
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What I’m Reading …
In the book "The Committed Life" I read the Chapter again called "The Holiness of Time". I thought I would share a few comments....On people getting older she writes...."so tell people to study while they have the energy and the tools with which to learn G-d's wisdom."
On the same page she writes: "Time is the most precious gift that G-d gave us, yet we abuse it the most." To me the Gift of Salvation is the Salvation is the most precious but I get what she is saying here.

On Ecclesiastes where time is talked about she says: "A time to weep, a time to laugh....When your pain is so overwhelming that you can no longer go on, then bear in mind that the same G-d who designed your time of sadness has also made provision for your time of laughter."

I am 61( and proud of it) but the one thing I know is that time is indeed precious.
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What I Have Been Learning …
Life gives us many rough bumps and that is OK. I am one that firmly believes we are stronger because of the bumps. Maybe watching the Olympics has helped me see again that
we have to try and than try again. What strength and grace we learn from hard times.
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On The Back Burner of My Mind …. I had many mentors or teachers in life. My Aunt Emily was
one of them. To so many students she was known as Miss Kraybill but to me a precious great aunt. She lived with her two sisters......Fannie and Elizabeth. Their home was a wonderful and peaceful place to me as a child.

The top picture is Aunt Emily in the back and Aunt Elizabeth sitting on mom and dad's patio in Sarasota. There was a beautiful lake and that is what they are looking at.
The bottom pictures really show how Aunt Emily stayed so young. The one of her with a coat on is at the Retirement Home in Lancaster. The other is a school picture from many years before. I believe she kept peace in her heart and enjoyed each minute she had. She is one lady that did take time to small the roses along the way. She always had a grateful heart and a helping hand. I believe things kept her young at heart. Of course teaching school for over 40 years kept her young too. I know I will share more about her with you all. She is the one that taught me "Joy"

*J-Jesus first
*O-Others next
*Y-Yourself last
*That equals a joyous life.

Thank You Aunt Emily.
In The Deepest Darkest Recesses ….
I want to be joyful in all things. But I struggle with it. I believe I have learned to be content with life and accept it but I feel I have a long way to go when it comes to being joyful. My head understands joy but my heart struggles at times with it.....I wonder why....


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday

Here’s What’s happening …..
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In My Kitchen ….
We had brunch today. I made grits, scrambled eggs, homemade bread toast and juice.
Tonight John is cooking.....I love having a meal off!
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With The Children …..
Time to brag for this grandma! Crystal has 3 beautiful children and I am proud and thankful for all three. I sure do miss them. My heart is in Georgia to be sure. Nicole has one precious and beautiful daughter and I need a hug from Zoe.

Adam is in his senior year and he placed 6TH in the state of Ga in wrestling yesterday. What an accomplishment! You can see his picture here in yesterday's paper:
http://www.lagrangenews.com/view/full_story/6368466/article-Seniors-lead-Troup?instance=news_special_coverage_right_column
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What I’m Reading …
I like to read something light over the week-end and picked up an old an loved friend....."The Shepherd of the Hills" by Harold Bell Wright. I was introduced to this book by my precious Aunt Ellen. In fact she gave me a copy of my first book.....I lost that thanks to Babb Adams a former pastor who saw it on my shelf and told me he needed it and I would not see it again....That was fine with me since he was and is a special pastor to me. If I remember right it had a part in having found the Lord. It is a good story but the thread of Salvation is running through the book.
I love the old movie made from it starring a very young John Wayne. Nicole and I did get to see the play in Branson and I suggest you all go and see it to. Reading this book again is like visiting long lost friends.
Here is a bit about the book:
http://www.oldmatt.com/home.php
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What I Have Been Learning …
“Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.”Barbara Johnson
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On The Back Burner of My Mind ….
Are memories.....My Great Aunt Fannie....one of my 3 Aunties. She was the oldest of the three and loved to play with our kids. I rode her foot like it was a horse so many times.I know her ankle was tired but she kept playing! She loved to cook, her chickens in their hen house in the back of their town lot, loved the garden and most of all loved the Lord and lived her faith.



This was a family gathering...so many precious faces!My dad looks so young here. I sure do miss him! Uncle Amos is so handsome....Aunt Mabel looks as sweet as I remember her....UncleBen has that smile and I can here his laugh as I write this....Don and Joyce we were so small...What a precious family....we need to get together again!

In The Deepest Darkest Recesses ….
I long for the simplicity of life back than.....we seemed to have time to visit often and stay all day. We looking cooking for family gatherings and getting ready. There was such excitement in planning and such fun playing together....I remember croquet and ball...board games and hopscotch.....jumping rope and churning ice cream and eating it.....We had time for each other...willing to help without question because family was family.....yes, I long for that simplicity.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Here’s What’s happening …..

Today I am adding one thing....
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What I am creating:


I love to work with felt. These are full jointed 4 inch bears. I hand sew all of them. I have 2 children to add to these Amish Bears. I sell them at a home market close by and to friends that want them for collections or gifts. I also make these into Victorian Bear families and Hillbilly Bear families. Creating with my hands does so much to relax me.
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In My Kitchen ….
We are having a salad for lunch. I am thinking tonight will be meatloaf, mashed potatoes and a vegetable. Time will tell....
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With The Children ….. Since I have no children at home I will share what I am doing with the 2 boys I home school.
Today is my day off. I am so glad. I need this rest. I have 2 boys that learn in their own way. I am doing lap books with the youngest and he loves it and learns so much. I use the computer to make the lessons include all he needs. I get spelling words from the week studies. I am enjoying this but find it takes me 2 hours to prepare for the next day. The oldest uses ACE and I can tell he is bored and at a place we may have to change this too.
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What I’m Reading …
I am still in the book "A Circle of Quiet" by Madeline L'Engle.
I am reading again: "The Committed Life...Principles for Good Living From Our Timeless Past".
By Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.
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What I Have Been Learning …
Where do I begin?
I have journal a lot and use both of these books....let's take the first book.....
On page 55 of "A Circle of Quiet" she says: "I have known for a long time that we know nothing about love, that we do not have love, until we give it away." She tells about how her grandma stepped up to the plate for her and was willing to give one thing she loved up.

That made me think about my life and the times people have stepped up to the plate for me. I am adopted. I grew up in a Mennonite family and love surrounded me from my dad, my grandma and Aunts and Uncles. I had good friends at Kraybill's Mennonite School too. But I always felt like I did not fit in. As a child we ask some questions and do not know the pain that goes along with our questions. Questions like "where is your real mom"? "Why did she not want you"? and more I remember. I think these kids would not remember today they asked these questions but I know where I was standing or sitting when they were asked......One day my heart was broken. I had been told at home that I was "not flesh and blood daughter" by my mom the evening before and I ran to the classroom from the playground. My favorite teacher Mrs. Murphy was there and took me into her arms and comforted me. I told her about the night before and that the teasing outside. I remember her just holding me but I knew she was thinking and praying....I do not remember all she said that day but I remember some.....One point was I should not live in the hurt the kids were dishing out to me. If I allowed the hurt and dwelled on it than they won. Mrs, Murphy had a real sense of humor and she told me to stand tall and tell them to "bring it on" because it was coming any way....that is how kids are. She talked to the kids making fun and that meant the world to me. She was and still is one of the heroes in my life!
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On The Back Burner of My Mind ….
This leads me to the second book...."The Committed Life....". The author is a Jewish lady and through this book I have come to understand the Torah more. I was given this book after we lost all our "stuff" in the mold mess. It helped me pick up and go on. It has so much wisdom in it about life. So I picked it up again.....(It stays in my Bible Study basket) I flipped to page 209 to the "If Only" chapter.
"......It is futile and self-destructive to dwell upon the if-onlys or I-should-haves. Futile because what was you cannot undo, and self-destructive because such thoughts consume your energies and make you depressed. There is a Talmudic teaching that we should all remember--'What was,was'. In other words, we have to forget the past, get on with it, and learn to deal with the here and now."
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How true this is.....and so I opened my Bible and read this:
Isaiah 43:18-19 English Standard Version "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
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And this one:
"But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" - Philippians 3:14

I am moving on!
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In The Deepest Darkest Recesses ….


This picture to me says it all....I took it the morning before our last big snowfall. It is a picture I see over and over each morning there is a sunrise.... This time I wanted to catch the dark background and show the contrast of the new morning light......Each day I see this I am reminded that even in the midst of troubles there is the promise of light....we just have to look up to see it. Look at the colors it brings with it.....what beauty! Do you take the time to see all the colors around you. When you do you will feel delight and joy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I AM BACK and new format.

I have not been faithful here and I miss writing so much. Life has been very complicated in the last few months. I have really had to stop and think and look at my core values and dig deep inside for some answers. So I hesitated in sharing because some is not pretty and because in a way I had a wall around me and the third reason is pride. I have had to see how much I have fallen into the trap of being a "super Christian" and not being real.

Than today I received this format in my email and I liked it. So with this I will be able to share fun, serious and deep feelings with you all.
It is found in The Home Keepers site.

Here’s What’s happening …..
In My Kitchen ….
Tonight we will be having chuck steak, baked potatoes and brussel sprouts.
With The Children …..
Since I have no children at home I will share what I am doing with the 2 boys I home school. The youngest is doing a lap book of Early America and for today and tomorrow we are working on Paul Revere. We used this site:
and made the Paper model of Paul Revere's house. It came out so nice. He enjoyed visiting all the sites they provide and read and narrated it back to me. Tomorrow he writes it out and reads the poem to me. He has been working on doing this. Three months ago he refused to read aloud and hated it. Now he reads well and reads a lot.
What I’m Reading …
"A Circle Of Quiet" by Madeleine L' Engle
Reading for the third time " The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning

What I Have Been Learning …
From both books I have had come to see I must look deep inside myself. I need to see where I need to change. Here is a quote from "The Ragamuffin Gospel".
"There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are."
That is so true. Yesterday I wrote a post on why women miss old friends and feel so lonely where they are now. I am at that place. This is a new place to me.....I cannot get out because of mom and issues with John's health and lack of money and so I have pondered long and hard about what I must do. One thing I see is we women have so often put on "false faces" and become what I call "Plastic People". I detest this in others but now I see I have been guilty too. I am back to "What you see is what you got".
What I’ve Been Noticing ….
How many creatures are visiting our back yard.....I knew this but with all the snow their tracks are there.....deer....squirrels....skunks....and last night our black bear. Those are some big and beautiful tracks! I want to see him again. I have been able to watch him three times and what a stately creature he is!

On The Back Burner of My Mind ….
We need to move to a less expensive place.....where? How? I must confess another move scares me but when life gives me this challenge I make it an adventure. Now we have mom and that adds so much stress. She will not do a move very well. She is going back. We need to sell all of this beautiful furniture and art so we can begin a simple life. I am ready.

In The Deepest Darkest Recesses ….
From The first book I am reading, "A Circle of Quiet" I find myself wondering about my "self".
Here is a quote:
"I haven't defined a self, nor do I want to. A self is not something static, tired up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is becoming. Being does mean becoming,but we run so fast that it is only when we seem to stop-as sitting on the rock at the brook-that we are aware of our isness, of being. But certainly this is not static, for this awareness of being is always a way of moving from the selfish self-the self image- and towards the real. Who am I, then? Who are you?" Page 32
Now do not get me wrong....I know who I am in Christ. But at the age of 61 I find myself wondering who am I? I have many creative talents. I use the one with needle and thread and can make beautiful pieces. I love doing this. I love to cook and have had to switch from gourmet back to simple because of that place we are right now and I love the challenge. But there is one talent I have been pushing aside and that is writing. To be honest I am afraid of rejection and so I write and sit on it. I have been encouraged to share it with others but I am scared.....now what does that say about me? I am working on that. Prompt me to keep working.