Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happiest Place on Earth


Mommy and Daddy are very happy at Disney World.  Julia is trying to figure out what is happening. The very moment the picture was taken, she just wasn't sure yet. but I can tell you, later she really got into it and had a lot of fun.

Well I've been looking for a theme book, so that I could just drop pictures into the slots and make a Disney Book quickly...but I was not happy with anything I saw, so this next book will be very simply done, so that I can continue work on my book covering last November, through Christmas and beyond. 

The pictures are a lot of fun to work with, but I still need to do them simply. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hugs from Pluto


Disney is such a fun place and even though I wasn't there with these boys this November, I have lots of great pictures. So, of  course, you will be seeing some layouts now and then. Here they are enjoying hugs from Pluto. 

I love the Disney service that takes all the pictures all around the park. It takes away the burden on taking pictures oneself. I think it would be nice to not to have to worry about getting those pictures while having a good time at the park.

On another note. This is no Disney event coming up this weekend. I think I would feel more at ease about it if it were, since Disney seems such a safe place to be. 

As it is, we have people threatening violence during the inauguration ceremonies. I would think the threat in itself should get people arrested, especially since we don't have to guess about it. They have announced it proudly and where everyone can see.  It is no secret! 

This is the United States of America. We are all in this together and we should all work together so that the best results come about. Why would anyone want violence. Who has been teaching these wild individuals?

Please pray that no one is hurt...NO ONE.  I don't want to see even those who threaten violence injured. 


Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Year is Still New


As far as I'm concerned, it is still a new year, only a couple of weeks old. 

Invariably the last few years my husband couldn't force himself to stay awake or has just chosen to fall asleep around 10:00 on New Year's Eve.  Because of that, it is relatively quiet around here while I sit at my computer by the window. 

I joke that people who live here at the lakes seem to like to 'burn money'. It happens on the fourth of July and again at the new year. Pretty close to midnight, the fireworks start. This year, the only ones I heard were directly across the lake from us to the south, where I've seen them the last few years. Generally more groups do it, but this year it was only from that one house that I saw the bursts of sparkles  and heard the loud bangs.

Not only were there fewer this year, but they were mostly white. Yet, I still enjoyed the show and 
celebrated the coming of 2017...just me and our little dog, Maggie, who has grown to understand they are not a threat.

On a different note, I have been blessed knowing that those loved ones who have passed away in my family are now in heaven. Because of that knowledge, I have not really mourned their passing. I have missed them, but I haven't grieved. I hadn't even kept the dates in my head. However this evening, I began thinking about my dad, knowing that he left this earth in January on 2002. I got out my photo albums and realized it was on this day, January the 15th, 2002. It brought back sad thoughts and comforting ones as well. One of the sad things: our youngest son came home from college for the funeral, which was on his birthday, January 19, 2002.




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Missed the Celebration



The story behind these pictures is written on the layout, but I'll reiterate. Confession is good for the soul. 

"This was a gathering to celebrate Phyllis' upcoming birthday on Saturday (today). I missed it because I was stupid. (Still am.) I drove separately to save time...and went to Bravo instead of Brio. It was too late and too many miles away to make the correction; so I went home with a pouty face.  But because I was really happy about the other girls having fun, I smiled for a picture. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PHYLLIS!!!

I'm looking forward to seeing Phyllis tomorrow for lunch. Still pretty disturbed with myself for missing the party!

I have to apologize for my blog yesterday. When I posted it, it was fine, but for some reason, it is too wide for the page now. I'm not sure why this happens at times, but it is not the first time for me. 

I figure if it isn't wider than what I've written at the top of the blog, it shouldn't come out wider when posted.  

I would redo it, but am not sure how. Guess I'll have to study up on that.







Friday, January 13, 2017

PRETTY DRESS



I can't resist posting these pictures of John with little Julia and her pretty dress. The picture of her on Santa's lap will not be remembered by her Christmas dress ;) So I just have to show her cute little self in this traditional dress. What a doll she is, says her Gramma.

I am seldom as enthusiastic as I am when I speak of my children and grandchildren. they are so special to me.

However, some days I feel less enthusiastic about what I am doing...things I really need to do. I need to be motivated at all times.

Well yesterday, in my email, came a piece by Rick Warren that addressed that need to me. I finally read it today and really like what he said. Perhaps you will as well, so I'm copying it here for you...

To Get Enthusiastic, Get in God
By Rick Warren — Jan 12, 2017

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, 
serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, 
faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:11-12 NIV).
In order to reach your goals, you have to figure out how to maintain
your enthusiasm over the long haul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great is ever accomplished
without enthusiasm.” I believe that with all of my heart. I have found
it to be true in my life. You’ve got to have passion, you’ve got to have
enthusiasm, or you’re never going to make it to the finish line. 

Most people would consider me an enthusiastic person, and I am.
But I haven’t been an enthusiastic person for a week or a month. My
enthusiasm has not waned over a year or five or 10 years. I have
been consistently enthusiastic about the goals that I’ve set for more
than 30 years.

How do you do that? How do you stay enthusiastic day after day in
spite of delays and difficulties and dead ends and problems and
pressures and criticisms? How do you stay enthusiastic for more than
30 years?

Positive thinking is not enough. Pulling yourself up by your psychological
bootstraps is not enough. Talking yourself into optimism is not enough.

The way you stay enthusiastic for a lifetime is found in the word
“enthusiasm.” The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek phrase
en theosEn is the Greek word for the English word “in.” Theos is the
Greek word for “God.” So en theos means to be “in God.”

When you get in God, you will be enthusiastic. It’s the kind of enthusiasm
that isn’t affected by the economy or the weather or your circumstances.
It’s eternal because you are tied to the eternal God. You are in Christ.

Paul tells us how to do this in Romans 12:11-12. He says, “Never be 
lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful 
in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (NIV).

If you want to reach your goals this year, you need to get God’s power by
being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

Pray this prayer today: “Dear God, I don’t want to go another day without
you in my life, controlling every part of my heart. I offer you my body. I
dedicate myself to you. In light of all you’ve done for me, I give myself as
a living sacrifice to you as a spiritual act of worship.

“I humbly admit that I need help. I want you to help renew my mind. Help
me to think the way you want me to think. Please forgive me for my pride.
I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I should. My faith needs to
grow, and I need your help to set goals that can be measured so I can
manage them. Forgive me for trying to change on my own.

“I want to fill my life with love. I want to fill my life with you. Help me to get
group support. Help me to take delight in honoring other people, to focus
on giving my life away so that you can take care of my needs. I want to
nurture my enthusiasm by being in you. Help me to be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. I give myself to you.
In your name I pray. Amen.”



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Visiting with Friends


I suppose most of us remember Christmas Vacation from school in a pleasant way. There have to be exceptions, but that break was a good one. The triplets are enjoying time off from school here with old friends who no longer go to the same schools. The boys are visiting from Chicago. And I am guessing that Abby is still home schooled, whereas the triplets are not this year. Glad they had this chance to get together...like old times.

Well, I was going to be with my 'old' friends today. We had planned it just last week to celebrate Phyllis' birthday, which was Tuesday. It had been too long since we've done anything fun...well at least a month.  But I messed up on directions.

We were going to Brio. We planned to meet at Robin's and ride together from there. OK, so nothing hard about that, except that I decided to make a large batch of chili for Ron and I wasn't left with a lot of time; so I decided to drive alone, taking a short cut from my house and meeting them there.  But there was a BIG problem. When I got there, the restaurant's name was Bravo, not Brio. Brio was quite a long way from there and it was dark and I was not familiar with that area of Cleveland, at least not while driving alone at night, so I chose to go back home. boo hoo. I missed the fun and was quite understandably disappointed.  

Right now, I have about 20 minutes left until midnight and a third  bad thing  could happen. Third? you ask? Yes, the second was, while making the large batch of chili, I measured out the amount of hamburger on a small kitchen scale. I was able to put one pound on that scale...I forgot the other pound. Yes, that was very bad, because I didn't realize it until the chili was supposedly ready to eat.
Ron had to finish what I had started, adding the rest of the hamburger.

Don't things like this come in threes?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Freedom


I never wore braces, but I can surely imagine it is a great relief to have them removed.  Mason is showing his appreciation that they are gone.  It is a great smile, Mason! Congratulations on your freedom.  You look great...I would say handsome, but it might go to your head.  LOL

Well here I go quoting James Chilton again.   I didn't really know what to expect from his first sentence in his encouragement letter today. 

Before he began with his discourse, he quoted Matthew 5:14-16, NIV. “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”

Read his first sentence... Today, let’s have a conversation about Collaborative Christianity. (Read on. You will be glad you did.)  We no longer huddle and hide.  We live and work with unbelievers cheerfully.  We serve a common good.  We get degrees, get skill trades, and take our places alongside unbelievers and we do such an exceptional job that they take note.  This is being the light on the hill that Jesus spoke of in the above text. 

       This is what Joseph did.  He worked for the government, a pagan government.  He carried a light that illuminated his work and his faith.  He believes in Yahweh.  He may be the only believer in the land, but he’s savvy.  He doesn’t assault the culture.  He serves it with his God-given gift.

        From the inside we have a say on the flow of culture.  We serve and trust God to open the doors.  We are bankers, janitors, chemists, engineers, teachers, welders, medical professionals, accountants, and we contribute.  And then we wait.  Joseph had to wait seventeen years in adverse conditions before the unlocking of the door.  We serve a “fullness of time” God.  

        Remember Paul?  He had a gift and a trade.  He supported himself making tents and was asked to speak because of his intellectual position and gift.  It disturbs me when I hear Christians say it is the function of the church to figure out what one's gifts are.  It is our responsibility.  Joseph had no church but figured out what God gave him.  The church builds a family environment whereby we can grow and practice what God has given us, but it is the individual who discovers and deploys.

        Joseph was not hateful toward the Egyptians.  He collaborated.   Colossians 3:23 captures this:  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (NIV).  Joseph got this right, and because he did, he made a place for himself and his God in history.

        Tangent over.