Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A New Little One

Our newest granddaughter, Delaney Aliana, was born Sunday September 28, 2008. This wee lass is number three for our daughters' family and we are so thankful for her safe arrival into this world. May she come to saving grace in her Creator early and walk with Him all the days of her life. Already she is a joy to her family and her two sisters. We truly are blessed with another grandchild and so happy for Kim and her family.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Up Close and Personal

As many of you know there is nothing that gives me more joy than to see God's handiwork up close. One of the many blessings of moving to Colorado has been to travel to the "high places"as I like to refer to the Rockies and view the wildlife. Today we decided to make a quick trip up to the Rocky Mountain National Park to see the Elk bugling and also to see the colors of Autumn. What a wonderful day; we saw the bulls up close, really close and at one point had a ranger moving us back because we were off in the trees taking photos and didn't notice the bull traveling towards us. I was surprised at their bugling, I expected it to be much louder. What magnificent animals they are-such strength and beauty. Hubby and I are hoping to plan a few days up in the park after our newest grandchild arrives so I am looking forward to it and today's trip will keep me until then.
Thank You Father, for the beauty of Your creation and of all living things.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Many Hands Make Work Light

Yesterday afternoon and evening my oldest daughter and I toiled over 50 pounds of apples, making applesauce and another gift that Carrie desires to bless others with. It has been a number of years since I've canned fruit and although we've always processed 25-50 lbs of peaches, pears and apricots,I had forgotten how much work it can be. We've never made large batches of applesauce before and for many families 50 lbs of apples is not a large batch; so to you who make very large quantities my appreciation is much greater today. One thing I learned is that apples do stain your hands and nails, maybe not as much as other fruits and veges but still you can tell you've been up to your elbows in them. For this years batch we choose Gala apples simply because we enjoy their taste and they were on sale. Next year we will have to ask around and see what types others use. I also learned that you don't come away with as much applesauce as I thought you would. Several months ago I found a sieve at a thrift store and it was one of the best investments I ever made, it certainly makes the process easier. It was so much fun to once again can with my daughter, maybe next year Kim will join us and last night made me want to put up more fruits and veges for the family. I also wish I had an extra freezer to freeze lots of pies and crisps but this too must wait. After I left, Carrie worked for another two hours continuing to process more....oh to be young again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Colors

I have had the privledge of traveling through New England several times over the last 10 years and both my husband and I love it. Although we've never hit the time of year when the colors peak we have been blessed to see glorious displays of autumn. We loved the quaint towns and villages, the covered bridges, friendly people but mostly we loved the back roads. I am notorious for always choosing to drive the back roads, I so prefer a slower pace and really seeing the countryside.
Within the next week or so I hope to get to "high places" here in northern Colorado but until I do I am content to look at photos of New England. Our dream has been to spend a good three weeks in New England and Maine, really getting to see sights that you can't take in during a quick visit. We'll see whether it materializes next Oct. or not but until then I can look back on our photos and read my Country magazine.

Photo: courtesty of: http://www.css.cornell.edu

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Autumn is here

My oldest girl Carrie hosted a Welcome Fall party yesterday for all the children at our church. This was a way to celebrate the new season and give the little ones opportunities to gather, play and also dress up. My grandchildren do not celebrate Halloween so we try to celebrate whenever there is opportunity. Don't they just look adorable!! Little Olivia was down for her nap so she wasn't in this pic.
With fall I always pull out my seasonal decorations, add mini pumpkins and light fragrant Yankee candles. My absolute favorite candle is Mom's Apple Pie and I'm not sure they even make this anymore but I've had mine for years. It fills our home with the sweet scent of apples and Cinnamon. I also love sipping on Celestial Cinnamon Apple Spice tea and my newest fun passion is making applesauce. Do you see a trend here?
During the fall I also pull out my quilt projects that I let go over the summer and start quilting during the evenings. This year I will have more to do because we are trying to give homemade gifts to our family.
What types of things do you do to celebrate fall? I'd love to hear your traditions, or maybe additions of chores-from raking to canning.
Enjoy the changes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Funtastic Friday

I can't believe another week has passed and here we are again. I love Fridays! Some of the things planned for today are: Having granddaughter Shannon over this morning while our pregnant girl takes youngest to therapy. Our house is in desperate need of vacuuming and cleaning, laundry needs to get started as well. At some point we'll hit the grocery store and stock up, not only for the week but we are beginning to stock up on winter supplies. It is hard to believe but Christmas is looming out there and there are several quilts I need to work on and other presents that need to be finished. Our granddaughter Faith is getting ready for her birthday so we need to get her presents ready soon, just in case Kim delivers within the next several days. Speaking of Kim delivering, I still have not purchased fabric for the baby quilt, since we don't know the sex, but if we are out and about there is another store I want to check out in Fort Collins. So as you can see, my day is full but full with life and joy at living.
Although this picture was taken on our way home from Laramie, the weather today looks a bit like this-overcast and potentially stormy. With fall arriving it means there will be lots of time to quilt. I even got a baby girl dress pattern, just in case.

Have a great weekend.

In all things give thanks

Today is Thankful Thursday and there are so many things I am thankful for; the list could go on and on.
On my drive home from my girls' house I was listening to one of my favorite CD's called 'Valley of Vision'(these are songs for worship inspired by the book of Puritan Prayers) and singing about thankfulness. So this day I am thankful that:

You were broken that I might be healed
You were cast off that I might draw near
You were thirsty that I might come drink
Cried out in anguish that I might sing

How deep is Your love
How high and how wide is Your mercy
How deep is Your grace
Our hearts overflow with praise
To You

You knew darkness that I might know light
Wept great tears that mine might be dried
Stripped of glory that I might be clothed
Crushed by Your Father to call me Your own

How deep is Your love
How high and how wide is Your mercy
How deep is Your grace
Our hearts overflow with praise
To You

This says it all; I pray that in your life your heart might overflow with praise to Him who is worthy to be praised.

"Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father". Eph.5:20

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Many Hands, One family

Several months ago I happened to see a photo of one family and the woman's hands-I recall there were three or four generations. The photo was touching because it told a story of the bond of love, of family and of roots. About this time, Susan(sister-in-law)suggested that our family do a picture like this. I readily agreed and wanted to capture the life stories; today I muse that is what this blog is about. So this weekend while Susan was here we decided to take that picture, lest we forget or circumstances don't allow it in the future. The bottom photo is a picture of Susan, my daughters' and my hand-united in love. On the top, we simply added the little girls hands that will one day carry on our family traditions. Within that group will be a girl who loves to sing worship to our King, a girl given to hospitality, a girl who loves to create-either in quilting or textiles of some sort. There may be a writer, an artist, an animal lover. These girls will be the prayer warriors of the future and the ones who boldly proclaim the truth from God's Word. But these young girls will carry with them the legacy of family and dedication to those in our family.
I am blessed to spend time with each gal here, young and old and I cherish the time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Joy of Family

This last weekend Rich and Sue, my brother and sister-in-law, came for a visit from California. Although their visits are always much too short we all have a great time together. I think we tire them out with the craziness of 6 little ones in a small area but they love it and wouldn't pass it up for anything. The grand kids all love them and talk of their visits often and Rich and Sue always take time to pour into their lives, sometimes with goodies or sometimes just playing together.
All of our lives are richer because of them and we cherish the times together. Thank you Rich and Sue for all that you do, for all the ways you shower us with you love.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Simple Woman Monday 9/15

FOR TODAY (September 15th)...

Outside My Window... I'm seeing signs of fall. The wind is slight, the sky blue, the air crisp and clear. Early mornings are much cooler and the days are getting shorter. I'm still hearing crickets and will miss their song when the season grows cold. Our days start out without a cloud in the sky but usually by the afternoon the clouds have rolled in. It is interesting learning the signs of seasons in a new state.
I am thinking... I'm glad that our daughter Kim has an O.B. appt. today, I'm wondering if she is showing signs of the upcoming birth of their wee one.
I am thankful for... God's grace that saved me and calls me His own. I am also so grateful for His Word and the many blessings in my life. I am thankful that we live in a country where we can worship our Lord without persecution.
From the kitchen... I am thinking about how to prepare left over chicken that will be healthy and low calorie. I am also thinking about canning applesauce this next Sat. with the grandkids.

I am wearing...leggings and a t-shirt for now but will probably put jeans on later.
I am creating... memories. I hope to begin hand quilting my latest wall hanging tonight.
I am going... to drive Kim to her appt. this morning or possibly watch her two girls while hubby drives her.
I am reading...The Bravehearted Gospel by Eric Ludy. This book is very thought provoking and also written by a friend.
I am hoping... that I can find the right fabric for the baby's quilt when he/she enters the world.
I am hearing
the clanging of the dogs' collars and they wander around this morning looking for our guests; I also hear the shower running which means I need to get breakfast started.

Around the house... I am seeing traces of having had family here all weekend, reminders of how precious our time together is; wishing they weren't so far away.
One of my favorite things... Worshipping my Lord-I love to put on Praise music and sing, sing my heart out to Him.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I need to have a tooth pulled on Tuesday and hope I bounce back right away just in case we have a new little one born this week.
Here is picture thought I am sharing These are the four men in my life...(from left to right) My big brother Rich, son-in-law Eric, husband John and son-in-law Brent-my adventurers. When my brother was here for a visit the guys took him on a 20 mile bike ride. Way to go Rich!!!! I'm so blessed by each of them.

Go see Peggy http://www.thesimplewoman.com/

Saturday, September 13, 2008


One of my favorite blogs is Holy Experience; Ann always makes me stop and reflect on the simple, deep truth in living this Christian life. Yesterday was no exception as she posted on her family's prayer bench and its importance in their lives. As I read the post, I reflected on how easy it is for us to forsake spending long periods of time in prayer, in our rush to live.
But to live is to linger in Him, in His Word, to listen for His voice, to embrace His presence and to take joy in knowing Him as our King and Savior.

This day, this week, this new month and season, take the time to sit in His presence and seek His face. " Once you see the face of God, the world is forever transformed into His Features." Peter Kreeft

Be blessed this day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Best of Friends

This last weekend John and I spent time with our dear friends, the best of friends, for several days. We were spoiled by their gracious hospitality and generosity; Jim and Barbara, on the right, took us to an actual castle near Calistoga Ca. Since we have never been to Europe this was an incredible experience for us, transporting our imaginations to Italy. This castle is new but the stones and bricks came from Italy and are hundreds of years old. The owner spent time in Europe as he was growing up and decided to build an authentic castle here in the U.S. What a treat it was!!!
Of course being back in the vineyards caused us to miss the beauty of the area and all the pampering by Jim and Barbara really made us miss their being right next door. However, now we have trips to go on together and adventures for the future. The bond of friendship means we are never more than a heartbeat away. True friends make life so much richer, even when you are losing at cards.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I have been blessed by the best brother and sister-in-law(better known as the sister of my heart) than anyone could ever imagine. They have loved me through thick and thin and during those times when I wasn't quite so lovable. They have poured into the lives of our two daughters and their families in ways beyond imagination. They have always stayed in touch with all the cousins and often reach out and plan reunions. Susan has a gift in hospitality and has taught me much over the years and Rich is one of the friendliest guys around. So when they emailed us and told us they had planned a luncheon in San Francisco and would love it if we came, my hubby quickly put a plan into motion. He was on the Internet within a day making reservations for us to fly to our old state for an extended weekend. We wanted to bless and surprise Rich and Susan, to honor them for all they do for us and for our children&grandchildren. After reservations were made I called a cousin and told her we wanted to surprise everyone and found out the location of the restaurant. All the while, I didn't even respond to Susan's email and just played innocent. Well this last Saturday, John and I flew home and got to the restaurant before they arrived. It was so fun to watch them react; Susan wasn't sure who we were as we had our backs to her and my brother had one of those moments when you see someone who lives in another state and the mind goes into shock. All the cousins did a great job keeping quiet after we arrived and it was so much fun to visit with them. Although we only spent a few hours with them, it was so worth it and I can now honestly say "Gotcha" and giggle. Susan and Rich promise to get us back but we will see. Truly giving joy to them was as much a reward to us who have been so blessed by their love and friendship.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Enjoying Tea

Fall has definitely arrived in our little neck of the woods. We were awakened to the sound of heavy rain last night and this morning the weather has been a bit cold, cloudy and dreary. Fall always heralds in a cup of tea every afternoon and usually some candles being lit around the house. I love Yankee candles and one of my favorites, from years past, is Mom's Apple Pie which sends out scents of autumn baking. As for tea, I love most teas and generally enjoy Chai or Earl Grey in the early afternoon but as the days goes on I prefer Cinnamon Apple Spice or Raspberry and Blackberry. I try not to nibble sweets with my tea but love just sitting enjoying the aromas and warm drink.
What are your favorite things to do in autumn?
Enjoy the changing of the season.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bygone Days

Last weekend while we were visiting Utah, we traveled up the road apiece enjoying the countryside. We came across this old building with the rusted farm tool laying behind the log cabin. It stood out in stark contrast to the John Deere tractors and the new farm implements. Although the new equipment can probably get the job done in a more timely manner, there was something about this old tool that made me think of slower days. Hard work, none the less, but a time when the harvesting lasted long into the evening and when entire families pitched in to help. In today's world there are still many, many families who dedicate every waking moment to farming and provide us with grain and food; to you that work so hard I say thank you. Our country wouldn't be the same without you and we are grateful for all you do.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Signs of Autumn

I truly enjoy all the seasons and look forward to the changing of weather with excitement. This will be our first Autumn in Colorado and although I may miss the reds,oranges and yellows that marked our area in CA. I look forward to new sights and adventures here. This week I have noticed more wind than before and our weather is definitely changing. Autumn always marks a time for fragrant candles and harvest decorations around our house. It also marks the start of football season and means that in the evening I can sit and quilt while hubby watches football. This year I am looking forward to getting up to the tundra in the Rockies to hear the Elk bugle and also see them rutt. I've been told that once you hear the sound you will never forget it.
September 1st always marks the day that I take down all of my patriotic decorations and put up most of my harvest decor. I do save some things for October and I love to spend time enjoying the beauty of God's world. This year my daughter is having a harvest party and we will be making batches of applesauce and giving them as gifts. I will undertake this with at least 4 of the grand kids; they've already sampled some organic applesauce I made Monday and we can all say that it was delicious. This year I imagine I will try to stock up on more items for our pantry in the event that we have an early winter. There are also lots of art projects to do with the little ones so I've got a lot to get ready.
May you find beauty in your life daily.
Harvest Blessings to you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Family Fun

Last weekend part of our family went on a short vacation to Utah. We had never been to this part of the country before so we set out to find fun family activities. Being that two of the grandsons are homeschooling now, it was natural to find things to do for their schooling. One of the places we went was Minnetonka Cave; it was so interesting to go view these geologic formations. We actually hiked down a total of 444 steps, a feet which in and of itself was quite challenging. At the bottom of the caves, the tour guide( did something that in all my years of exploring caves I've never experienced), turned off the spot lights leaving us in total darkness.
I can honestly say I didn't care too much for that feeling. Both boys successfully made the hike without any complaining and I was sure I wouldn't be able to walk the next day but didn't have any residual stiffness.
After this, we headed to a museum and tour dedicated to the Pioneers and the Oregon Trail. This was by far the best tour I've been on, in all my years homeschooling and teaching.
We were able to experience what the people had to buy and leave behind, purchasing supplies for the trail, a simulated wagon train and then walk through a campsite to see what it was like. All of this for only $9.00 per person and the living history that the children will remember.
When our daughters were young we were able to go on several cross country trips and see places instead of just reading about them; now this tradition continues. I pray the boys and all the girls too, will grow to love learning whether in real life situations or by reading about history.
Have a great day.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Small Town Parade

Living in a small town, compared to the city we came from in CA., has given us wonderful experiences. Last spring this was proved when a tornado ripped our town apart and people turned out in droves to help others, volunteering their time and money to rebuild our community. This weekend our town has been celebrating harvest and today we had a down-home parade. We weren't here last year at this time so we thought it might be a small parade, mainly of children's floats, but we were so surprised- it lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. This is not to say there weren't parades in Santa Rosa but nothing could compare to this; it was so fun.
There has been a spirit of unity here since May's disaster and all over town you can see signs saying "Rebuilding" and today's parade echoed that sentiment. Our local high school had their marching band out with all the teens and many businesses had floats as well. Candy was given out to the children and after the long parade everyone went over to the Main Street Park and participated in all sorts of games, booths, food etc. The only other parades I've seen in a small town where so many participate was in Petaluma CA and also Los Altos CA.
You got to love it, makes me so glad to be living here!