Sunday, August 31, 2008

An Old Rugged Cross

This last week my daughter and her family joined my dear hubby and I on an adventure, or as my friends the Kiwi's say "A Holiday".
We drove up to Garden City, Utah to sight-see and spend time at a beautiful pristine lake, Bear Lake.
One day we drove into Idaho to do some grocery shopping and spied this old deserted church on the side of the road. There were no signs or indications as to what type of church this might have been but I found it intriguing. As I often do, I pondered the Life it once held and wondered what had happened to close it down. It looks so sad, if a structure can look sad, and desolate like much of the landscape we drove through to get to Utah. I wondered if the Word of God was preached here and if lives were saved and given eternal life. I would have loved to have been able to peek a look inside or to talk to someone who once attended this church. But unless a dear reader has some insight they can share, all I can do is speculate.
Whenever we travel I love to see the sights of quaint, tucked away towns and country back roads. I love to imagine life in earlier days and families drawn together to fellowship around God's Word. For in Him is life, life abundant, eternal and free for the asking.
Be Blessed today as we celebrate Labor Day.
Living in Him, Noreen

Friday, August 29, 2008

On Eagles Wings

graphic from Heart Light

One of the most beautiful blessings that we've experienced since moving to Colorado is the eagles that winter here. It was such a sight to see them near our home for a season, for we've certainly seen an eagle in the Sierra's but to have them live near us is incredible. To me the eagle is not only a national symbol but it is a profound reminder of strength amidst the uncertainties of life.

This represents fortitude that enable a person to carry on even when it seems impossible.

It reminds me of a special lady who had the fortitude to carry on in her fight against cancer, against all odds for eight long years. It reminds me of the dear saints I knew in Ca. who also battled that horrid disease, one of whom is now singing praises to our King and the other who is lingering on near the end of her battle. It takes fortitude to, in the midst of pain and loss of most abilities, be able to open her mouth to speak and only let Praise utter forth from her lips.

It takes grace to carry on in the job of being a mom, very pregnant, with a special needs child who isn't sleeping much these days. It takes daily grace, wisdom and His strength to carry on, to rise up each day when your body screams out for more sleep, to press on when all earthly hope is gone and your assurance is only that He will carry you. It takes His grace to run and not grow weary when those prayers you've uttered for many many long years aren't answered.

Whatever your walk is today, know that there is a strength available for you that only comes from above, to carry those burdens making your load light.

Seek Jesus today and let Him give you strength.

Be blessed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Whisperin' Waters

What it is that makes you sit and enjoy the quietness of life?
For me, nature and water play an important part; whether it is a mountain stream,the roaring of the ocean or maybe just my small water feature outside my living room window. Somehow it takes all my cares and daily stress and washes them away, allowing me to settle into a peaceful frame of mind. I always feel calm and relaxed, willing myself just to sit and take it in.
We need more of these moments in each of our lives, moments of solitude and reflection, moments of gratefulness and thanksgiving, moments to recharge and be refreshed.
Whether we are near a beautiful stream or the ocean or just enjoying that little bit of earth we call home, take time to enjoy it this day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Looking Heavenward

On my drive home Sunday evening from our church service I pondered the deep truth that was presented to us. The Word was so powerful and the presence of the Lord so tangible, the message wasn't one you could just walk away from-it was life changing truth. The kind of truth that sinks deep into your spirit and causes you to assess the very essence of your life. The passage was from the book of Ezekiel and the message was concerning the aspect of God's nature; He is a commanding God and when we call Him Lord we give and yield total control of our life to Him. God wants us 24x7 so that everything we speak is what the Father says and every action and attitude should be the extension of His life. This is a message of life and death. God gives us a choice, give it all up and forsake everything to Him or we die spiritually.
This morning as I read one of my favorite blogs, Holy Experience, Ann quoted St.Teresa of Avila. This quote touched me for two reasons; firstly my parents choose my middle name after this Woman of God and it touched me mostly for the prayer it is.

"Let your desire be the vision of God,
Your fear the loss of Him,
Your sorrow His absence,
and your joy in that which may take you to Him,
and your life shall be in great peace."

So today Lord, may I find my true pleasure in You. May I hunger for more of Your Presence. May my words and actions and heart attitudes be an extension of Your life in me. Amen.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Simple Woman's Day Monday 8/25/08


FOR TODAY (August 25,2008)...
Outside My Window...I am seeing bright blue sky filled with sunshine. Our days are showing signs of the changing season and the crisp morning air and cooler evenings. We were not living in Colorado last fall so it should be fun to experience all that is different from California.

I am thinking... About last nights church service and how powerful it was. The message is life changing and I need time to digest it all. I am also thinking that my day has gotten sidetracked already, I am running a bit late.
I am thankful for...For the many blessings in my life, from my Savior to my hubby to my daughters and their families. I am also thankful for our pastors who preach the Word with passion. They are changing lives. I am also so thankful that Kim made it through another week of pregnancy, each week is one step closer to delivery.
From the kitchen... I am wondering what to fix with the fresh pork chops we are having tonight. Kim and her family will be joining us as her hubby was given the chops from a co-worker.
I am wearing... light blue capri's, a tan shirt and will wear flip-flops when I leave. I wonder how much longer I will be able to wear carpi's.
I am creating... a legacy of love for our family and an inheritance in the Lord to be passed down to future generations.

I am going... to Kim's this morning,Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday we will be leaving for a 5 day vacation up at Bear Lake in Utah; another new spot for us. Unfortunately, Kim and her gang won't be joining us due to her pregnancy.
I am reading... Grown Up Girlfriends by Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver and also ready to begin the Bravehearted Gospel by Eric Ludy, a dear friend of the family.
I am hoping... to be able to walk this week so I can honestly tell the doctor I do try to get out daily.
I am hearing...crickets outside.

Around the house... I am seeing dog hair. I bathed the dogs on Sat. and this has created a lot more hair being shed. I hope it ends soon.
One of my favorite things... spending time with family and friends.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Walking each day, taking new pic's to post and spending time enjoying life in Colorado. I will also be packing for our trip to Bear Lake.

Here is picture thought I am sharing- Last March we found this bridge along the highway to the volcano on the island of Hawaii. It was tucked back, almost hidden from sight and we pondered how many native peoples traversed it when fleeing from the lava flow. We love finding hidden treasures amongst the landscape and I love to wonder what type of person walked this way before.

Go on over to the Simple Woman blog and visit...she has great posts.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Funtastic Friday

I am no long working, at least out in the world, but Fridays still excite me. It is the end of the week which signals that there may be some different activities ahead. This morning I went over to my daughter's house to help out with her two little ones and mid morning dear hubby called to ask if Shannon and I wanted to go to an estate sale with him. Of course I said yes, we love antiques-especially cameras, furniture, golf clubs and quilts. So after piling into hubby's car the three of us headed out. Initially we had a hard time finding it and cruised by a local park; Shannon immediately started pleading to go to the "orange" park-the slides were neon orange.
We finally found the estate sale and were very disappointed but then turned our car in the direction of the park. We don't take this girl out to the park enough and she had a great time.
After quite awhile we were able to go grocery shopping by bribing her with the "race car"shopping cart. She was such a good helper with a great attitude...and anyone who has a 3 yr old knows how challenging grocery stores can be with a child in tow.
We returned to our daughter's house and hubby departed with groceries. I was able to help with lunch and get them all settled for a nice nap.
This afternoon I am hoping to make a peach cobbler for a get together tomorrow evening. I'm using Colorado peaches, better known as Palisade peaches and can't wait to get started on it.
So my day has been full of fun things and spending time with some of my favorite group; I am hoping to spend time with the the other grandchildren today as well.
Oh yes, it has been very windy here today and it feels like fall is definitely in the air. It should be fun to experience fall in Colorado and venture to the high country to see the Aspens change.

Have a joyous weekend and don't forget to take time to Worship the King!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Joyful Spirit

These two beautiful little girls are my precious granddaughters. They are the youngest of the group and bring joy to my heart. How can a Nana not be proud of these girls?
What I am always amazed at is their joyful spirits and how happy they are. Yes, they are typical little ones, Mackenzie16 mos., has some special needs and comes unglued if life changes for her. Olivia is 8 mos old and although a very content baby she can holler like a banshee if one of her siblings gets too rough with her. All little ones have good days and bad but on a whole I would have to say that these two are filled with smiles and giggles.
It makes me think twice about complaining and whining and have a grateful heart instead.
So today I am thankful for these two little lives the Lord blessed our family with and the rest of the gang and I am thankful that I get to be a part of each life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hidden From Sight

You would never know it by looking at this picture but Colorado and other states are dealing with Pine Beetle infestation that is killing thousands of acres of Pine trees. Last weekend we drove up the Steamboat Springs as a get away and were so shocked and saddened to see the devastation that this small little beetle is causing. It was definitely more noticeable on our trip and hasn't quite made it's way to our side of the Rockies, yet. My understanding is that about the only way to handle this problem is to cut down all the infected trees and then burn them. What a shame.
Looking at this made me think of how easily sin, be it inside and hidden or outside for all to see, creeps slowly in and before you know it has taken root there and spreads to infect the entire person. Often we too are so unaware of it creeping in or of being encouraged in us that it is almost impossible to withstand. Extreme examples can always be found; drug use, pornography, prostitution, theft, larceny, adultery are just a few that come to mind and although we may be innocent of those sins, lets take a look at some others: greed, lust, lying, laziness. Whatever the culprit, it wrecks havoc on a life and often spills out to those around us. Have you ever been around a person so entrenched in bitterness or hatred that they couldn't see it was destroying them more.

There is an answer for us though, the answer for all sin is the Blood Of Jesus. All we need to do is call upon Him and ask for Him to cleanse us from our sin. I am so thankful that it is that simple, maybe not always easy but He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from our unrighteousness. Sometimes we have to continue to go back and seek Him but He is always there for us. As an old hymn says, "Who can wash away my sin, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

May we daily look into our innermost beings and search our hearts and minds.

Monday, August 18, 2008

True Devotion

Dogs have been and will always be a part of my life. I love the devotion and companionship that dogs give us. They love us no matter what we do, look like or who we are. They just long to be loved in return. I've always owned "mutts", generally they were rescued from the humane society and although at different times I've wanted pure breds, mutts just seem to suit our family. I can't image my life without a devoted dog to make me laugh, cry, play and just to be a constant companion. Having dogs certainly makes some things more difficult, like traveling. We have always boarded our dogs but one of our last trips this summer was the undoing of our dog Sadie. Sadie is very noise sensitive and after going through our tornado and then being put in a new kennel and having a week of thunderstorms, well she ended up at the vets with stress induced nerves...which is a nice way to say it cost us a bundle.

Due to her age, 9-10 yrs old, the vets are hesitant to give us tranquilizers to give to her because it could be bad for her kidneys. So now when we want to travel we have to find a willing person to come house sit for us. Dear hubby seems to feel life would be easier without dogs and in some ways I would agree but I hope I won't ever have to forsake their companionship for traveling. Plus, if hubby wants to continue to travel yearly for golf tournaments we will have a dog; I don't like being alone.

So go give your pet a big hug or treat and tell them how thankful you are for them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My favorite colors

Purple and green are some of my absolute favorite colors, especially purple. I have one quilt in the same color family that hangs in our guest room; I wanted it to evoke a warm, restful feeling for family and friends visiting. This fabric was purchased at Wine Country Quilt Show several years ago along with the pattern and it was stashed away until I had time. The last year or so I decided I couldn't purchase any more patterns or fabric until I had made some up that I already had. So viola...I got this together last week and I love it plus it goes perfectly with my larger quilt that adorns our guest room. I must have been on a purple kick that year, maybe two, because I have more purple fabric in my stash; different hues-dark burgundy and grape fabric but I am still determined to finish those projects I bought so long ago. Someday I'll have more wall space to use up but for now I need to get fabric for the back of this and start hand quilting it. I have three other quilts downstairs that also need hand quilting but fall and winter will be here soon and that will give me projects to work on.

Everyone should have a project or hobby; I sometimes think I am one of God's unfinished projects-still a work in progress and a work in grace. I'm so thankful He continues to grow me and teach me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Glory of God

The Heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His Hand. Ps. 19:1

On Saturday my daughter's family, my husband and I went to our first Colorado Rockies baseball game. We had such fun and although the Rockies lost the game it was wonderful to attend our new home teams field and watch. In fact they lost to the San Diego Padres and it was great to have Ben sit on my lap and I could point out what was happening. I also had Faith on my lap for the last ining and we got to cheer and yell and she had great fun wiggling around with nana. I am not a boisterous person but you take me to a sporting avent of any kind and I can holler with the best of them. My daughters have always known this and they just sit and laugh at me.

On the way home we were entertained by an incredible lightning storm from Denver up to Windsor. It was phenomenal to say the least and I loved it. I did worry about our dogs though who are terrified by the thunder.

We have been told that our weather this year has been unusual for Windsor but I think the entire country is having different weather. Each night the storm clouds roll in and we watch in awe at the lightning. I love it but truly feel for my dogs and other animals that are terrified by thunder.

What a glorious sky and world our Lord gave us to enjoy.
Enjoy your little spot of heaven today.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Family Fun

John and Ben

One of the greatest joys in my life is family! John and I are blessed to spend time with our daughters and their families, just enjoying eachothers company. John would tell you that he is the luckiest grandpa around because he has our first grandson named after him and then Ben, the second grandson, was born on John's birthday. Talk about ties. Our family moves as one unit generally speaking; we all moved from Ca. to Co., we travel together and just hang out and have fun together. Many folks think this is odd and say we should cut the apron strings but we wouldn't have it any other way and either would our kids and grandkids. I hope we are sewing into their lives character, faith and love of family. This is the inheritance we hope to leave: a deep sense of who they are and where they came from and how much they are loved! Each child is a special gift from heaven and I praise the Lord for each new blessing that comes our way.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Fun

Last February a friend was visiting from California and we went to a yard/barn sale in Longmont. I wasn't sure what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised that it was a collection of country nic-nacs, furniture and garden wagons. We spent quite a bit of time sorting through different areas of the barn and I signed the mailing list after finding out that the lady only holds the sales twice a year. Actually one gal has a country store in Longmont but I never did find it.
So today dear hubby and I ventured out for the summer barn sale, looking for antiques(the mailer promised!)and anything else that might catch our eye. Actually, hubby has been looking for old barn wood to build tables with and hasn't yet found any. It was good to go back to her barn and check out her new purchases but we came away empty handed. There were a lot of rustic furniture such as cupboards, which I probably could have used in my quilt room, to store fabric in, however we are retired and I try to be more frugal about buying "things" I don't need.There were many old quilts but I choose to pass on those too, I like creating my own.

We met some new friends, that used to live in our town in Ca., for lunch and it was great visiting with them.

This morning was cloudy and somewhat cool with thunderstorms predicted but then the sun started shining and the sky was clear. This afternoon it is again cloudy, with thunderclouds and looks like it could storm. Wednesday eve we had quite a storm here, we were on a tornado and flash flood watch. The town of Greeley, east of us, got 2.5" of rain in 30 minutes. Glad we didn't have quite that much, I wonder if we'll have heavy rains tonight. Tomorrow we are going to a Rockies baseball game in Denver and I hope it isn't cold and rainy.

We also talked to a friend who has a ski cabin in Steamboat Springs, where we are headed next weekend, and got some great tips for places to see and things to do. I'm excited about visiting a new area of Colorado and will hopefully find some wonderful shots of wildlife.

Oh yes, our geese have returned to our nearby lake. It must be signaling that fall is approaching.
Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gratitude Journal

O.k. so today is that day of the week that I pause and reflect on all that I have to be thankful for.
~I am thankful for the news that our weather this year is unusual and that there aren't usually tornado watches with severe stormss that occur. I am also thankful that no tornados formed, last night and that the dogs survived the three hour thunder storm.
~I am thankful for the proximity of our grandsons and their coming over to visit and hang out.
~I am thankful for one grandson who loves animals and reminds me of myself when I was a child. I am thankful for Sadie dog loving him and allowing him to lay down next to her.
~I am thankful for blue skies today with lots of clouds but so far no thunder.
~I am so thankful for time spent with my grandkids!
~I am thankful for the fact that although we have huge!!!! spiders(just so you don't think I'm kidding-look up Wolf Spiders on the internet)we aren't plagued by rattlesnakes or roof rats like we had in CA.
~I am thankful for a Heavenly Father that sees all our needs and desires and meets them according to the riches of His inheritance.
~I am thankful for new opportunities each day; tomorrow we are going to a barn sale and then meeting friends for lunch.
~I am thankful that I don't need to worry about tomorrow for today has enough worries of its own.
~I am thankful that I am saved by grace and walking by faith.
~Lastly I am thankful we live in a time where we have technology to enable us to communicate with others around the world.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Who Me???Couldn't Be

What a funny title but you will understand once I begin to unravel this tale. Last Saturday I was at my favorite coffee spot visiting with a favorite friend when a neighbor of hers walked up and joined us. My friend mentioned that her neighbor has been giving "yoga"classes to the ladies in their development and they asked me to come and join them this morning. I sat, wondering. how to answer and my girlfriend assured me that it wasn't new age or anything weird so I said I'd think about it. O.k., you must understand I haven't done yoga since I was a tree-huggin, peace-lovin hippie wanna be in the 70's, when I was in really good shape and very limber. Over the years I've drawn some conclusions about the "far- eastern" classes that clash with my own walk of faith. I have also been told it is very good for arthritis and also aging in general and heard many traditional doctors suggest it to patients. Also, about 12 years ago I had a back injury that resulted in sciatica and have stayed away from anything that might strain my back.
After talking to the teacher, I decided that I would go and see if I could do any moves at all. I knew my girlfriend would be there and she assured me that it was mainly just stretching exercises. I was pleasantly surprised because it was just that, a lot of stretches and extensions but no "eastern"influences at all. I do not have the flexibility that I had 30 years ago and I couldn't move like the other gals but it was relaxing and I enjoyed the company. I even got a head and neck massage at the end and was able to really focus on my Lord during this time. Plus the best part was that it was free! I could definitely feel some parts of my back this afternoon and it will be interesting to see how sore I am during the next few days. I agreed to go back next week again but my body will tell me yes or no. One of my husbands favorite expressions is "his mind is still 20 something while his body is 56", it will be interesting to see if that holds true for me. Trying this also made me realize I shouldn't automatically rule exercise out if I haven't tried it. I'm sure there will be more to this story as time goes on; who knows it might even help me get in better shape. I still like walking the best but this might be something for winter.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

For The Love Of A Game

Anyone who knows my husband knows he is a natural at sports. He grew up water-skiing, swimming, playing tennis and was willing to try any sport; generally he excelled in it. When we were first married he also played racket-ball and then someone introduced him to golf. Since then it has become a passion with him and he never plays enough. Now that we've retired he is able to play on a Seniors league at a reduced cost and this allows him to play a minimum of once a week. When we travel John always takes his clubs and his joke is that he never leaves home without them. Years ago I tried to learn to play but due to a back injury and the high cost I gave up quickly thus allowing him this pleasure. While we are on vacation and he goes golfing I either read or go shopping and thus have time alone as well. If John isn't on the course you can be sure that if there is a major tournament on t.v. he will be watching it.

I am so glad that he not only loves this sport but that he has time to be outside. Weather is no hindrance, if it is hot or if there is a storm he still plays. He has made some great friends while golfing and this helped him to settle into a new life in Colorado easier than me. Today is Tuesday so he is out golfing. I am so thankful that he loves the game and is getting better and better at it. In fact, last month he played in a Pro-Am tournament in Wyoming with a friend from my church. What a great way to spend time in nature.

Monday, August 4, 2008


All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all. Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, We gather every day. He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell, How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.

From: Maker of Heaven and Earth by Cecil Frances Alexander

Today is Monday and as I pondered this day I realized there were many new "firsts" this week. Saturday John and I went on a 10 mile bike ride along Poudre Creek openspace. It was beautiful and still early enough in the day to make it comfortable. Saturday evening our entire gang went to our local county fair. This was such a fun adventure, our first county fair in Colorado, and it was free. Smaller in comparison to other fairs in California but filled with wonder for the children. We even got to watch a woman's competition barrel racing and this brought back memories of my youngest daughters enjoyment of trying this. I'm thankful that my girls had the privledge of learning how to ride and care for horses. My oldest grandson wanted to know if I had entered a quilt and when I said no, he told me I should next year. Out of the mouths of babes. Today, my daughter Kim, had a prenatal check up and got the o.k. to go to Steamboat Springs with the family for a weekend. I am so thankful that she wasn't put on bed rest. While she was at the doctor's, Carrie&her gang, Kim's two daughters and I went on a walk. Although we have seen wild bunnies in other neighborhoods, I was blessed this day to see one in a neighbor's yard. I know that I wouldn't be so happy if I had a large garden and it was partaking of my vegetables but I am still in awe that we live a place where we see Prairie Dogs, Bunnies, Fox, Eagles and that we can be in the mountains,within an hour, seeing Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats and the promise of Moose. It is the little things that bring joy to my life. Also on our walk I looked down and saw this beautiful Dragonfly and although it was dead the boys enjoyed my gathering it up for them to examine more closely. I am thankful for the changing weather here, we have had 22 days of 90+ heat but often have light rain in the afternoon. I am still trying to be thankful for the thunder that terrifies one of our dogs and I'm thankful that the other dog is getting a bit deaf and doesn't freak like he used to. I am so grateful that I'm able to stay home and help our daughters out, wear shorts and go barefoot most of the time. That's the country girl in me! There are so many things to be grateful for each day, so often we are in too much of a hurry to stop and look around, seeing with clarity all that life blesses us with.

Look around your world today and be blessed.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Hunter

Our area is a haven for little boys with inquisitive minds! On daily walks there is much to be seen, much to be explored, much to be learned and lived. My grandsons know I love most wild creatures, from snakes to frogs Nana is always ready to lend a helping hand. In fact, several years ago when other adults would not climb down into a mucky, algae-filled creek to retrieve polliwogs this Nana did. Of course I did need to take a hot shower to rid myself of bugs when I got home. Here in Colorado we are still getting used to what lives in our area but yesterday John gleefully told me "Nana, there are polliwogs here" knowing full well that I'd be game to try to catch some for science. I didn't, at least not yet, but I loved watching him explore and determine what was in our creek. He has the mind of an engineer and loves to build but he also has the mind of a boy, ready and waiting to get into the mud. The joys of being young again and also the joys of being at an age where it doesn't matter if you step in muck to bring joy and learning to your grandsons.