Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Great Book

Karen Kingsbury has been one of my favorite authors for many, many years.  Somehow though I have gotten out of reading her books when they first come out.  On the weekend, I hit the library and located this; it was like catching up with family members.  If you've never read any of her books, I would say start at the beginning with the 9/11; in actuality you could begin with any of her series as long as it was the first book. This story revolves around Bailey Flanigan and her career as well as some of my favorite characters, Ashley and Landon and their family.  Karen even has a character in the story who is a quarterback for Bailey's dad's college football team and if I didn't know better I'd swear it is taken after our Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow.  A great read!  Check your library out for this book; I'll be trying to get there in the next day or so to get the next book in the series.
Have a great Tuesday, Noreen

Monday, January 30, 2012

From My Library

Several months ago, my good friend Kim from http://lifeatgoldenpines.blogspot.com/ held a drawing for this book and I was the lucky recipient of it.  If you don't know Kim, she is a remarkable women who rescues Golden Retrievers and who has a heart of gold. This year alone has been a tough one for Kim; she lost seven dogs and for those of us dog people you know what a toll the death of one pup takes on us can you imagine how difficult it has been to lose so many? Kim has many jewels in her crown in heaven.  I am so thankful that I have gotten to know her over the last several years; she has been such a support and encouragement to me during Reggie's different health issues.
The book she sent me is about another gal who has rescued Goldens over the years~Holli Pfau.  Although it took me awhile to get to this book, it was a great read; although I will say I not only laughed but also sobbed at times.  You see, all my life I have bonded so deeply with my dog,s that when there time on earth is over I grieve so heavily.  Holli was a Ca. girl until she and her hubby moved to Durango, Colorado;  of course I immediately connected to her because of those two facts.  I haven't yet been to Durango but am now even more eager to trek down there and see the sights she described in her book.  Durango is a dog-friendly town, very much like Carmel California, and I'm hoping to get down there this summer.  Holli has gotten into dog trials, obedience, agility, etc.  This book was one that I will keep in my library for the future.  I love the personalities of Goldens but unfortunately won't be able to get one due to their hair; I'm hoping that when the time comes for our next dog, it will have a personality like a Golden.
Hope you  had a fabulous weekend and are seeing blessings all around you!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Memory

                                            L.N. Roche
                                            February 22, 1913-January 29, 1974
Unfortunately, I do not have photos easily available of my mom and since I love mom & dad's wedding photo so much I thought I'd share it.  Thirty eight years ago my mother departed this earth; it is so hard to believe it has been that long.  My mom wasn't seriously ill and the thought of her having a stroke never entered my mind; I was just 21 yrs old and still immature, never fully realizing how her passing would impact my life.  There is so much I wanted to share with her~she knew the love of my life but wouldn't see us married, me growing up, having children and grandchildren.  She never got to see me discover Jesus and grow in faith; well she did but from a different perspective.  I never got to fully apologize for what a rebellious and tough child I was, there were so many lessons I learned after she was gone.  I will say that I became the mom I am because of my childhood, it made me so dedicated to my two daughters.  My mom had to work from the time I was two and it took a tole on her health; one of her parents also had a stroke so she recognized the symptoms.  She only lingered about 8 hours and I'm thankful she didn't have to live in a vegetable state; she never would have wanted that.  I know that both my brother and I have many of her traits; we are both Irish through and through and grow more alike as we grow older.  So today Mom, I would like to say thank you for raising me, for being the mother you were, for being an example of prayer~I still remember you on your knees every morning. Thank you for loving me even when I was so difficult and it was so hard for you.
Always your little girl,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Friday

Happy Friday to you, happy Friday to you.  It is a cold day here in northern Colorado with snow coming down. I was able to get out this morning and get my errands done which means this afternoon will just be spent doing some favorite things-you know, besides laundry, I'll be sandwiching my quilt together, pinning it and also finishing a great dog book.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice warm day so maybe hubby and I will be going on a drive.  I hope your weekend is filled with giggles and smiles!
Hugs today, Noreen

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yesterday I went on a little adventure with two girlfriends, so we could celebrate one of their birthdays.  It was a wonderful day spent in Manitou Springs. Old Colorado City and of course Colorado Springs.  We took back roads to get to Garden of the Gods and once in there we drove around and then hiked in Rock Ledge Ranch. Oh what glorious weather as well.  After hiking and visiting some shops and having lunch we headed to Simpich Showcase Theater.  I had heard about this theater for over a year now; it is a puppet theater and is exceptional.  A husband and wife own it and operate it as a ministry; he does all the puppet making, marionette show and all the voices of the characters. I wasn't sure what to expect but was so surprised.  His mastery is beyond what I anticipated. I will say that children under the age of 6 are not allowed and I can definitely see why-some of the scenes could have been frightening for little ones.  The play now running is Firebird and it is taken from  Russian folklore.  If you reside in the Denver area and haven't seen or heard of this, by all means look into taking a trip to Colorado Springs to see these productions.  They only have shows three days a week, and the price is between $8.00-$12.00.
We didn't get home until 10:00 p.m. which is rather late for me but it was well worth the long day-new places, shops, hiking, meals and we even met two friends of the gal who used to live down there.  Life is good.
Joy To You, Noreen

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From My Library

Several weeks ago, hubby and I ran up to Rocky Mountain National Park to get our annual pass and happened to stop at my favorite quilt store, Cottage Bliss.  This book was featured and because I love Amish stories I asked about it.  The author is the cousin of the owner of the store and even though I hadn't read any of Dianne Christner's books I was anxious to start.  I will say that Dianne was raised in a Conservative Mennonite church and her grandparents were Amish.  This story centers around a Mennonite community and the struggles one young woman has when outside influences begin to creep into their church. I laughed as well as cried and can't wait to read the next book that is due out in February.  For those friends who love Amish stories, you won't be disappointed.  Enjoy!
Blessings, Noreen

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adventures in Snowshoeing

Happy Tuesday  to you.  We are getting a tad bit of snow this morning and I'm not going walking; I know I could bundle up and head out but it feels like a day to snuggle up inside. 
Papa and our three oldest grands that went snowshoeing with us. 
I love this photo.
Carrie and family.
Part of the frozen waterfall.  I can't wait to go back in the early summer and walk the same trial, to observe how things look in the different seasons.
The beauty of the mountains.  I just love being up there; it is so breath-taking.
Both of our daughters family's have the stomach flu; hopefully it will only impact one child and not go through the entire house.  Tomorrow I'm headed down to the Springs with two girlfriends, to spend the day and see some sights.  Of course if the flu hits here I'm passing.  I hope you enjoy all that this new day has for you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Adventures in the High Country

This weekend our family headed to Estes Park; this had been a Christmas present to them from hubby and I.  Our oldest daughter and family also received a gift certificate for snowshoeing; this was an activity we enjoyed in Ca. 
Hubby and I all geared up.  He is such a cute snow bunny.
It is hard to see but the area where the two grands are is actually a frozen waterfall.  It was awesome.
Carrie's family; two of the girls were on backs but the oldest three had a great time snowshoeing.  It was a harder trek than where we went in Ca.-which was all flat and at Bear Lake there were lots of ups and downs.
Bear Lake.
Yours truly; what a good workout we had and fun time.
Have a blessed Monday!  Noreen

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Friday

Last week a friend called and said she had been given an antique Windsor chair that needed some gluing and repair.  She knew that my hubby has refinished furniture in the past and so she brought it over so that he could assess the damage and see if he was comfortable fixing it.  It was an easy fix and by Monday we returned it to her.  It was a beautiful chair; I would have taken it in a heartbeat and should have taken a photo of it.  When we took it back to her house, she said that her hubby hated this chest and was going to give it to GW.  Loving antiques as we do, she offered it to us.  The mirror is in bad shape and the chest needs some work too.  Initially, I thought it might work in our guest room but the finish doesn't go with the bed-yes I am one of those.  We do plan to clean up the top of the chest but for now it is sitting in our family room.  Hubby doesn't really care for this piece so I know it won't stay there.  Our youngest has already jumped at the chance to have this baby in her home; the only thing I told her is that because it is an antique, it needs to stay finished as it-hinting that paint shouldn't touch it.  Yes, we are those types too. I love shabby chic but it is a crime to paint a piece that is in good condition.  She loves it just the way it is and will probably end up with it. I don't think our friend will mind as long as it isn't given to GW or another organization.  Time will tell.
We had a great sleepover last night; I ended up sleeping in bed with the two girls and it was so windy here that I didn't get my normal good sleep.  The grands were picked up around nine o'clock and now we have a pretty laid back day; packing, getting food ready etc.  I hope you have a wonderful relaxed weekend.
Blessings, Noreen

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Thursday to you!  My morning was full and busy, as always, and somehow I never got around to posting.  We had a fun time yesterday going to the musical in Denver with two other couples.  We had not been to the theater there or the general area so had a good time walking the 16th Street Mall and riding the free buses so that we could go have a late lunch after the musical.  I usually hate driving in and through Denver but yesterday wasn't too bad at all and it was fun to feel comfortable in the area of theaters. Today I had my bible study and was so glad I went; it took all my other thoughts away.  This afternoon three of our grands are coming over but only two will stay overnight and then tomorrow the entire crew goes up to the mountains for the weekend.  I never get stressed about going on trips or packing but for some reason this morning I woke up feeling anxious about getting everything done.  I'm fine now, going to make a shopping list and hit the grocery store.  I can tell you that I came away again this morning, from the study, be so grateful for health.  There are so many people that I know how are dealing with life threatening illnesses; I'm just thankful for today.
I  heard this phrase today and loved it so will share it.
JOY TO YOU!  Noreen

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nine years ago our baby girl left her father's arm and joined her prince waiting at the alter. Her hubby Eric has become a son to us, even as our first son in law became.  These two people have grown much in nine years and have four beautiful little girls to prove it.  We couldn't be happier for our girl and couldn't love our son any more than we do.  May the Lord abundantly bless you and make His face to shine upon you.  Both of our daughters continually show me what a godly wife should be and both of our "sons" daily live honoring their wives. We are blessed.
They won't be celebrating today because hubby and I are headed to a musical but tomorrow night three of their four girls will spend the night here.
Have a wonderful day, Noreen

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

During the winter months, my heart always thrills to see some of my favorite plants-cyclamen, daffodils, narcissus, tulips, just to name a few.  These beauties always remind me that spring is just around the corner, hopefully.  Last night hubby and I went to some friends for dinner and since she wouldn't let me bring a dish, I opted for this pretty plant.  Hopefully it  will warm her heart in the coming days, especially since our California friends are sending a storm our way.  By the time we were leaving the storm had moved in and the snow was falling.  By the time we left, the roads were covered as was our car and let me tell you that it was cold!  Today we woke up to clear, sunny skies with a temp. of 10 degrees and the white stuff covering everything.  I'm thankful that we have temps predicted for the 40's and 50's the next couple of days.
What thrills your heart during the cold dreary days of winter?
Hugs today, Noreen

Monday, January 16, 2012

Good Morning To You; I used to sing this to my girls when I went to wake them up each Monday. I hope you had a great weekend; even though our Broncos lost, they played with honor and of course I loved the commercial by Focus on the Family.  We also watched the 49er game and were thrilled to see them win at the very end. Yesterday was a very low key day; after church we went over to our youngest daughter's for lunch. Oh what a wonderful lunch they prepared-thanks Kim & Eric.  The afternoon found hubby working on a Windsor chair a friend had dropped off; it was in desperate need of some repairs. I finally got the border put on my quilt and will hopefully begin drawing out the quilt design today. 
Yesterday, I emailed a childhood girlfriend(my best friend in elementary school)whom I recently connected with. I was reminiscing about the time spent together and details I hadn't thought about in years. Mind you, I haven't seen this gal since I was 18, but I wanted to tell her how much her friendship meant to me during my early years.  I remember she had a little black terrier mix whose name was Sammy; the funny thing is her dog looked identical to my little black male terrier mix, name Middy.  It is so funny how little trivial things stick in our brains.  Do you still see friends from your childhood?  The only other friend I still see/talk to is my best friend from high school.  We remain close even now, despite the distance between our homes.  Whenever we go to California for a visit, I try to see her.  She and her hubby have only been here once and I would love for them to visit again but I've stopped asking; they both work full time and don't take vacations very often.  So girlfriend, in case you read this, come on out!!
We've got snow in the forecast, which is o.k. because this coming weekend we are all going to the mountains and hope to snowshoe.  We were there two weeks ago and there was so little on the ground.  We'll see, you know how weather predictions are. 
Hugs, Noreen

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Fun

Good evening to you, I had planned to post earlier today but the day just flew by; I met a friend at our town lake first thing this morning, to walk but it was a very quick decision to pass due to the cold wind.  She came back to our house so we could warm up with some coffee.  She also brought over an antique Windsor chair that needed some help on the legs and hubby had agreed to look at it. It is now sitting in the family room waiting for our attention.  Afterwards, my friend and I went to a new antique store in town-just to check it out and then we headed to her place so she could make a cheesecake for a birthday party. I haven't made a cheesecake since I was in high school so it was a good refresher course for me. She brought me back home and less than an hour later, my bff Kam and I were headed to a rummage sale; unfortunately there wasn't anything there of interest.  All in all it was so a fun day with friends.  Hubby and I did some grocery shopping and now it is time to kick back.  Tomorrow is wide open except for the evening-I can't wait until the game.  Regardless of which team wins, I know everyone will enjoy this game.  Go Broncos!!!!
Hope you have a delightful weekend and spend time doing something fun!
Hugs, Noreen

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Angels Watching Over

 Happy Thursday friends,  Today I am so thankful for angels that the Lord places around us and around our loved ones.  This last weekend, our Miss D split open her lip, actually she had her bottom teeth go through her bottom lip.  Three stitches later and she is doing fine; I'm thankful that it wasn't worse than this! Being the active three year old she is, she is constantly getting bumps and bruises. Hopefully, as she gets older she will be less likely to get hurt.
Here you will notice that Miss A is sporting a very bright, pink cast.  She did not break her arm or wrist; actually she has a loose ligament and the Orthopedic doctor felt that this would prevent injury and also allow the arm to heal.  He reassured mom and dad that he has treated other toddlers with this same issue. When you have four little ones, age 6 and under, you are bound to have a few scrapes;  I'm just thankful that we live close by and are available to help when needed.
I am so thankful for all our grands; they give so much love and share so much joy-even in the midst of booboos.
I'm off to our new bible study this morning, so good to get back into the routine again. Have a great day!
Blessings, Noreen

From My Bookshelf

When Thanksgiving rolled around, I put my quilt in progress up on my design wall until after the holidays; I knew I probably wouldn't get to it and having it out of site relieved me of the pressure to work on it.  Needless to say, I began reading-mostly library books over the holidays; I love to read and this year have utilized our library more than in past years.  My number one favorite story line is Amish and our library didn't disappoint me.  Here are three of those that I read in the last couple of weeks.

I'm still finishing The Wounded Heart but am enjoying this story; I haven't read this author's books before but will look for more of hers.  A good read.
I have read other books in this series and while I found it easy reading, I don't think it held my interest as well as Shelley's other books have-but I will read more of her in the future.
Marta Perry is becoming one of my favorite Amish story tellers; I loved this book-probably more than the other two.  This is a must read for anyone who loves Amish stories.  I haven't read all her previous books in the series, mainly because our library didn't have them in; today when I return all these books I'll look to see if they have more of her books.
Having said that I already have two more books here at home to read; one I won from a blog and I will be highlighting it soon.
It is so cold and windy here today; we haven't gotten any snow and probably won't, but it is a good day to stay in and quilt or read-both are on my list for today.
Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's A Small World Afterall

                                                                  Avril and I, Jan. 2012
A year and a half ago while attending my first Beth Moore bible study, all the ladies introduced themselves. Many of the ladies were younger, with children still at home and there were even some young college age gals too plus a handful of us Nana's.  When one gal introduced herself, I immediately recognized her South African accent and as she shared about her passions-her grands and also her dogs, I knew immediately that we'd become the closest of friends.  Her name is Avril and I have come to cherish the friendship we share.  Last year, we met for coffee and were sharing about our lives; I shared about blogging and how I had this blogging friend who lived in South Africa and would she like to be able to read the blog and see if it was near her old hometown? She said yes so   I sent her the link to Caryl, aka Maxmom, and waited to hear.  The following week she came in to bible study so excited- she not only knew Caryl but had lived in the house behind her.  I put the two in touch and was thrilled that they were able to rekindle their friendship.  Since then, Avril and I have gotten to know each other and go out to lunch on a regular basis.  Avril has so many stories of her homeland and has also lived in Alaska(another place I hope to visit someday).  Moving, when you're empty Nester's, can sometimes be a hard adjustment, but the Lord has richly blessed me with two dear friends-Kam, my neighbor and now Avril. I am so thankful for both of these ladies; so if you are wondering if you'll develop friendships-be patient.  I couldn't have picked two better friends if I had tried.  On a side note; Avril's mom was able to get two of Caryl's new book, MAX, and have Caryl sign them for both Avril and I.  I love how God works blessings into our lives.
Hugs today, Noreen

Monday, January 9, 2012

Excitement in BroncoTerritoy

Yahhoooooo!!!!!! I'm not sure how many football fans I have and can hardly believe that I've become such an avid fan but it is true; I love our Broncos.  I think a lot of the reason is because of who Tim Tebow is and the testimony he has had during this season.  Yesterday, like a good number of folks in Colorado, hubby and I watched the game and screamed and yelled with the best of the fans.  I have not gone to a game at Pepsi Center and not sure I'd enjoy the crowds although going to a Rockies game is just as packed.  Needless to say, watching it in our own home has been so much fun.  I'm not sure what will happen when they play next Saturday but I think Tebow has done a wonderful thing for Denver-he has rallied fans that might not have been as involved as they are today.  There is more pride in our team than I've seen in four years and I for one am behind them. 

On a side note, our little Miss D fell into a table yesterday morning and put some teeth through her bottom lip. Three stitches later and she is sore but doesn't seem to worse for wear.  I'm going over to Kim's house this morning to help with the girls and be an extra set of hands.  Hopefully the week will be calm and quiet without any incidents. 
Have a wonderful Monday.  Noreen

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Friday Friends,  This is the sky that graced us last night; isn't it beautiful!  Today promises to be a good day~walking first thing and then a dear friend is coming over and we are going to lunch. This weekend is pretty open except for the Bronco's game on Sunday.  We are supposed to have colder weather, down in the 40's today and also possibly have snow tomorrow.  That will bring me back to reality; I can't imagine if we had spring from here on out.  So, what are your plans for the weekend?  Whatever you have planned, may your days be filled with joy.
Blessings,  Noreen

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oh where, oh where, has my day gone?  Firstly, it is a beautiful and sunny 58 degree day here in Colorado and it almost feels like spring.  The windows are open, I've been cleaning and organizing and even cut back some dead mums.  I've run some errands and barely sat down during lunch; it feels good to accomplish something, even a subtle cleaning of my sewing room.  I still haven't gotten to tracing my quilt pattern on the top but I know that will come, especially if our weather goes back to normal.  I've got my walking in already and just want to enjoy the cool breeze blowing through the windows.  Life is good.  I've so thankful for each day, for the Lord's mighty Hand in my life, for grace and mercy.  I'm thankful for a break over the holidays and times of refreshment.  I'm thankful for the love of family and friends and for those that inspire me in blogland.  I hope you have found much to be thankful for today and each day.  Life is too short not to count our blessings.

From My Library

On a recent trip to Estes Park I stopped at my favorite quilt shop, Cottage Bliss, and I found this new Amish book.  As you know, I love Amish stories and I had never heard of Dianne Christner before, but I am so glad that I found this book. Dianne was raised in a Mennonite church and her grandparents were Amish; her cousin owns Cottage Bliss and that is why this book was featured there.  In many ways, this story shows a different side of the simple life and actually centers around a Mennonite community.  The story line is about a young woman who struggles with the outside influence from the Englishers and those influences that have penetrated her church.  A love story and story of community relationships, the book held my interest and I couldn't put it down. There are many views that I have also held and understand but then of course there are some differences as well.  I would suggest this book to any who like reading about the Plain and Simple life.  I have not received anything from reviewing this book.  Enjoy!
Blessings, Noreen

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Outdoor Wednesday

Yesterday hubby and I had such a nice drive up to the mountains; it was such a beautiful day up there-at least when we first arrived.  No photo oops, this was taken a couple of years ago and actually I think there is more snow in this shot than what we saw yesterday.  I'm thinking that unless they get a really good snow, we won't be snowshoeing anytime soon.  We renewed our annual pass and drove through the park, looking for any trace of animals but I guess they are all settled in higher up. 

We also saw logs that had been cut down piled into bonfire or tepee type piles-this intrigued us so when we hit my favorite quilt store, I asked the gal about the purpose for the piles.  Apparently, all the logs are from the beetle kill and if they get a heavy snow day, the rangers go out and burn the piles. 
By the time we left, all the clouds were rolling in and the temp was dropping.  I had fun browsing my favorite store, Cottage Bliss and even bought a book written by the owner's cousin.  Sheri, the owner, was raised Mennonite and her grandparents were Amish so it makes sense that her cousin would write about the Amish.
The book is entitled "Something Old" by Dianne Christner; I still have two library books I need to read so it will be awhile before I get to this.  If you are a local and visit Estes on a regular basis you should try to get into the shop-it is simply delightful.
Today has already warmed up and I'm thinking I might even be able to open the windows and air the house out. I've walked already and now need to organize some closets that got really messy over the holidays.
Have a great day.  Noreen

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It is cold and cloudy here but the Rockies are bright and beautiful with lots of sunshine....so hubby and I are running to the mountains; just a quick trip to try to get our annual pass again and enjoy more warmth than we have here.  My energy is still low and at least this will get us out of the house. Honestly though, I need some inspiration to write about and maybe some photos.  See you tomorrow.
Hugs, Noreen

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year to you; I hope you all had a great weekend filled with fun activities and that you are ready to start the new year off on the right foot. Saturday found me taking down all our Christmas decorations and packing them away for another year and boy did it tire me out!  Usually hubby and I take everything down on New Year's Day but this year I just wanted to get it done.  My cold isn't too bad but it has zapped all my energy.
Yesterday I vacuumed up all  the snow from my two villages and then we just kicked back and watched the football games; we were hoping the Broncos would win but at least they got into the playoffs.  I hope to be back by your blogs today and in the coming days, once I get rid of this cold-sinus thing and get my energy back.
I hope we all have a year filled with joy, adventures, contentment and blessings.
Hugs, Noreen