Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sugar Plum

While sugar plums danced in Julia's head, she is truly a SUGAR PLUM, such a sweetheart. Here she is sleeping with her babies in a king size bed, while across the room her brothers are both sleeping in their sleeping bags on the to an air mattress.

My bed is calling me insisting I come and sleep. Don't know why, but I'm more than ready.

Good night and sleep tight.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Stockings Were Hung

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there. And he showed up that night; but there were so many gifts under the tree that he went on his way...or at least that is the way I understand it. No one was disappointed. All got what they wanted.

Later after a Chinese dinner, Chelle opened her fortune cookie, which read 'there is travel in your future'. She figured that meant she was to come here to see her brother, Mark, whom she hadn't seen in too many years. So the day after Christmas, she loaded the kids and some of their Christmas stuff and headed for Ohio. They left Dad at home because this is his busiest time of year and he couldn't get away.

We were tickled to hear they were coming.

Thank you God for making it happen, so that Chelle got to see her brother and show her love for him  before he left this life for a place in heaven where we will see him some day.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Not Camera Shy

You may be able to tell by now who were the most photographed over these fun days of Christmas. For one thing they were here longer, but mostly it was because while others often spent their time in their own pursuits, the little ones were right here where we could all see them.

Of course, if you were ask why some adults don't have many pictures, it is because they do not like their picture taken.  If you've been reading this blog, you will know that we have lost one family member since then. One of our sons has moved up to a place with God in heaven. We are happy for him, but we miss him. I have been searching all my photo albums and scrapbooks for pictures of him. Sadly, in recent years, not only was he living across the country from us, but he did not like his picture to  be taken. Thankfully while he was here we got four, two of which were very good.

Just some advice for those of you who shy away from the really is a selfish  thing  you are doing. I know that sounds harsh, but your family will some day, if they don't now, want to have pictures of you for times when they cannot see you in person. 'Think about it. It is for your family and friends that you should not stay away from cameras...Oh, and most people do not like pictures of included.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Find Real Joy at Christmas

As the quote on the top page says, In the eyes of children we find joy of Christmas. In their hearts we find it's meaning.  (Leland Thomas)

How very true this is.  Julia's  eyes lit up with joy several times Christmas morning.  Love is in her eyes most of the time. What a sweet little girl.

May the God of the universe bless you and those of your home richly. God Bless America!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Our Sorrow, His Gain

Most of you know, but many do not, that our son Mark, passed away at just 53. We were notified this past Sunday. We are missing him very much and feeling like we lost part of ourselves. (We actually did.) But looking beyond ourselves, we must be happy.  We are happy that he had been here a couple of weeks at Christmas and all his brothers and sisters, except for Tim, were able to love on him. 

We were blessed that he loved God. We know that after all these years of suffering with excruciating pain, he is now in heaven where there is no pain or sorrows, no tears.

The following was written by our daughter, his sister April:

Dear friends, my brother Mark left this earth suddenly at 53 years old.  Born April 20th 1964, Mark made a trip home to Ohio for a visit over Christmas. We had no way of knowing that our hug and kiss goodbye to each other would be the last one until we meet again in eternity. It is a bittersweet time for his family and friends; although we are separated for a short time, we are so happy that he is in the presence of LOVE. For God is LOVE. At a time like this or at a tragic time in anyones life there is something we all need to think about. If I were to suddenly be called away to meet God am I ready? Have I allowed Jesus Christ to be number one in my life? Is Jesus my closest friend? Do i invite him into my day and ask him to help me in all of my relationships and all that concerns me or Him? Have I learned how to know his voice and how he communicates with me? Have I read or Googled what the Bible says I should do in certain situations in my life?
Have I ever read any of the Bible? Or listened to it audio bible online?? Am I putting off having a close relationship with him because I think that living his way would be boring or not fun? Do I not seek to have a relationship with him because it wouldn’t be cool with my friends? Do I not have a relationship with him because I didn’t know you could have a relationship with him? Friends I’m reaching out to you today because I love and care about you. I avoided God for many years because I didn’t think I could live up to all of his rules and expectations. I also made some really dumb mistakes and didn’t know if I could be forgiven. I didn’t know that His arms were wide open for me to come and get to know him with all my issues and sin. He loves us all no matter how we are living or what we have done wrong. God wants to help us each step of the way to a better life. If you are sorry for your mistakes and want forgiveness, Please turn to Jesus today. It’s time to start asking not only what God can do for me but what can I do for him. He’s not into a lukewarm a casual relationship. He loves you and he wants all of you. He died for us And took all of our sin on himself so that we could live a guilt free life. He wants us to have a life full of the Adventure as we watch the creator of the world work around us. He wants to bless us and help us to become all he created us to be. The Bible says He Stands at the door of our heart and knocks. Won’t you open the door and let him in your heart today?For anyone that is interested in finding out more, I will follow up with another post and give you some web sites of some great teachers that have helped me to get to know Jesus better. May God Bless you and chase you down with his love!!!! 

PS Prophecy is one of the stronger proofs that show us that the Bible is from God. There is 1,238 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 in the new and only a few are left to be fulfilled.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Christmas to Remember

Thanks to your encouragement and prayers, I've felt well today, even though last night was not good at all. Finally at 2:30 in the morning, I realized I hadn't eaten dinner; so I got up and ate a little fruit. That helped me  go to sleep.

Thankful that Santa found our house this year.

Today has been fun scrapping. I love the two pages above that  I did of Caleb, Oliver and Julia. It was a lot of fun seeing them enjoying their stockings so very much. I had a big time making the photos into memories that will last and last.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Ashley Christmas Eve

While you are enjoying the photos, notice the special way Chelle decorates her gifts, so that each person can find his/her own gifts.  See, Ashley's all have the large A which is on a cut out snowflake.  Chelle makes along with the large alphas with her stencil cutting machine. Very pretty, very neat.

Now for a personal comment. All of a sudden, I have a headache. Very unusual for me. It could have to do with the fact that I'm on a diet. Yes it is January, diet month; but I really need it to be a lifestyle change. If you have a chance please pray for me, I will appreciate it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

December Birthday

When John's sister, Chelle saw this picture, she said "looks like John when he was that age". I have to agree, even though straight on, he does not.  

I couldn't resist doing this layout of Oliver on his birthday in Christmas style. I've been working on Christmas pictures ever since the first of the year. And his red pajamas lend themselves to the color scheme.

Tomorrow, I will be celebrating giving birth to his daddy, John. Happy Birthday, John.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Ours is not a house filled with toys. We rarely need any. I do have some tucked away in a basement closet, but seem to never think about those when kids are here.

Like all the other kids who have been in our house since we moved here, she was fascinated my the magnifying glass. It is their first instinct to stick it right up their  eyes. But then the best pictures are taken when it can be held out away from the face, like Julia has it here. The large picture was less than perfect, so  I did a little magic on Photoshop Elements 15.

Oh, I believe  I didn't mention about any of Ron's  gifts and mine. A clever little tile that fits on my car keys will beep my phone so that I can locate it. I can't believe I have needed  to use it so many times already. I love it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Christmas Eve...A Christmas Preview

It was an interesting Christmas Eve at Gramma and Grampa's house. There just aren't enough beds without getting out the blow up mattresses and sleeping on sofa's, so John was wise enough to bring new sleeping bags for the little ones. He gave them to the kids the night before Christmas. They were an instant hit.  The children were nestled all snug in their sleeping bags.

Christmas morning all had had a good night's sleep and were ready to explore the delights of their very large and full stockings.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Christmas Day in Tennessee

It was nice to have John's family here for Christmas Day. It was also nice to see an email from Chelle saying her fortune cookie said she had travel in her future.  She surprised us the next day by driving to Ohio with the triplets. You have and will see pictures of them here, but this layout is of their Christmas Eve at home in Tennessee.  

I wish I could make layouts more quickly. I could if I pasted my photos into pages that were already made, but that would defeat the purpose of providing me with a creative outlet. So I will plod along, hopefully finishing a book before too long.

Actually everything is going all right. I have already completed 1/4 of the pages for my next tome. and my last book is to be delivered here between the 19th and 21st. Hopefully, that is correct.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Joy and Peace

We took so many pictures over our Christmas season that I'm having trouble deciding which ones will be in my next book. I'll have to leave out some and it is so, so hard to decide on that. Fortunately many are very similar.

Most captured us while we were moving around, but others, like the one above were posed. I'm really glad we got this one. It was a joyful time and with us all in accord, very peaceful.

So glad they could make it to our place while John's family was still here. Lots of fun!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Christmas 'Surprise'

It was a wonderful 'surprise' to have six of our teenage and younger grandchildren here for Christmas. In the photo are the youngest three with me. It was hard for me to let them go home.

I'm so very anxious to complete a book about Christmas. I have more than enough  pages to fill a 110 page book. It is very difficult to exclude some.  But that must be done, so I'll have to make some very tough decisions. It just isn't right. I guess I could do a couple of the quick books that some of the companies make. I would just name the theme and  they would take my pictures and place them in the books for me. Those books  would probably be quite good, but I would miss all the creative fun.

In the regular world...the weather was very warm compared to this last month.  It was in the 50's. Almost all the snow melted over night and the rest has now. It is just in time for a big snow scheduled to hit tomorrow. I do like fresh white snow, but it is healthier for us if we were to have a solid freeze. It kills the germs better. It could just keep a fresh white coat on top for the beauty of it.

There is a plague of flu in this area now. Those who got their flu shots are not faring well, because as often is the case, it is a different strain of flu that has hit. They are closing some of the hospitals to visitors because it has gotten so bad. I am trying to keep away from it the best I can and I'm keeping my hands clean. But there is really no safe place to be besides alone, because I understand, people are most contagious up to 24 hours before they have any symptoms. That is probably the main reason it has spread so fast.

May God  protect this nation from those who would destroy it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Peace and Good Will

There were three pictures of Ashley and me like this.  One was fairly clear and the other two were out of focus. Sad thing is, I really wanted to use the one with my two fingers in the air. This has been part of Ashley's photos for some time now and I wanted to join her in wishing peace to the world. It is a Christmas wish, so it fits well here.  

Here is the problem. That particular photo was enough out of focus that it bothered me; so I cut my hand with it's fingers up  and placed it on the picture that was in focus. But that is not all. Ashley also had a more pleasant grin on the one when I threw up my I had to put that face on the in focus picture as try to make it look in focus. One would think that with all that work, it would be picture perfect. It is not, but oh well, I like it anyway.

By the way, her brothers  make her feel short.  Guess you know how I feel.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

John and Beth drove with Caleb, Oliver, Julia and their dog, Rado all the way to Ohio from Colorado.
They made it here just in time  to unpack and go to our Christmas Eve service. The boys wore the sweaters they had bought for an ugly sweater party in Colorado. However, they were not ugly, but cute. Oliver picked them out and they placed their order  online. 

Caleb was given a candle to light during the service. Oliver and Julia were too young, but they were not left out. They had candles with a bulb. I love this picture of Julia looking at hers. 

Our little girl, Maggie felt a little left out at times. I don't know which bothered her most, being ignored or having so much attention all of a sudden. Her biggest problem is, she had to share her TV chair.  Then there was the Christmas Eve Service, when we all took off and left her at home by herself. She had her sweater, but still didn't get to go.

Monday, January 8, 2018


This is the first layout I've made of our very special Christmas this year...and it doesn't look Christmasy. I just couldn't help it. The picture  just didn't lend itself to all the red and green, etc.

It was so good to get these kids together. It has been 5 years. That means Mason was 10, Caleb was only 2 and Oliver had not yet been born. Mason lives in Tennessee. Caleb and Oliver live in Colorado. What a wonderful surprise it was to have them all here!

I often tell the story about how Ron always told our children that we would take care of them, but when we are old, they will need to take care of us... He must have scared them because they all grew up and moved far away.

We would love to have them all near-by or even within a few hours drive, but it will never be, so we need to make the best of it. We do use FaceTime with our phones and computers. Perhaps we should use a conference hook up where several families can visit at one time. Sounds like something to look into.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


I'm very anxious to  post some actual Christmas  layouts, but first I want to show you this one of Mason. I got a kick out of his little stunt.  As I said here, it made a big grin come  upon my face.

I have not yet started making Christmas layouts, but I do have LOTS of great pictures on the best Christmas we have had in many years. 

I've been spending my time getting  a book of fall layouts completed and off to the publisher.  I am now suffering from sticker shock. The price they are asking is twice what I'm used to paying and that is supposedly with  50% off.  Of course, when read carefully, it say 50% off the first 44 pages only. I have 110 pages.

Not willing to pay  that much, especially right now. So, it is on hold.

Tomorrow, I will start putting together Christmas pages; looking forward to that and praying for lots of time to work each day, while hoping to get some exercise as well.  Might as well DREAM BIG.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


Ashley is cut out for her school NSA Nashville, School of the Arts. She especially likes anime and the artsy characters. Here she is at her desk with   all her art supplies. What will she create this time?
Sometimes it is hard to wait to see.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? I started art lessons in my late 30's. Had always studied music before. Hadn't had time for art, but any time I saw something lovely, I'd think...I'd like to paint that some time. Finally I saw the chance to take a drawing course for adults. The teacher encouraged me to keep going, so I took oil painting for a few years. I loved it, but each coat had to dry. I thought that a waste of time and eventually took up colored pencils. I could leave them out and pick up pencils at any time and work for a while. It worked well in my busy schedule with a small child in school and 4 others still at home. Enjoyed belonging to the National Color Pencil Society and traveling over the country to see my work, among the work of others, displayed for all to see.  It was fun, but Ron encouraged me to start scrapbooking on my computer, I fell in love with it and have not done much at all with paper scrapping for many years now.

Ashley, I hope you enjoy  creating as much as I have and that you are able to fit it into your days.

Ashley and I both have the God given talent for art. I pray that we both use that talent for God's glory.
By the way, Ashley is the fourth generation of artistic ability. My mother was the first in line, then me, then Chelle, Ashley's mother. Now there is Ashley.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Stack Them Up

This was the last page I made for my next book. However, I realize that my new publisher Shutterfly,  will print up to 110 pages in a volume and  I have only 100 at present. Might as well go ahead and do 110.  Since  the covers are the most expensive part of the books, it  is somewhat cheaper in the long run to make them more pages. 

I'm anxious though to start work on my Christmas pictures. We had such a wonderful holiday with several of our kids and grandkids. But I must get this book completed and off to the printer first.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Santa Has Been Here

Santa has been here. He has come and gone. And most of  our children have also come and gone.  But our daughter, April came today from WV to see us and her brother, Mark. Only problem is, Mark left on an early plane this morning for California.  He had decided yesterday and was able to get a flight out today.  

April had still another purpose for the trip. She is a veteran Craig's list shopper. So she and her dad made a drive to the Wooster area to pick up an heirloom bedroom set for the mountain home she is remodeling...while I napped.

To see her, you would think she is a model, but she is a no holds barred hard worker. Because of that, it is difficult for me to think of her as a grandmother; but she surely does make a good one. The layout above features her Delaware grandchildren with Santa.  What does that make me? OLD!  

It has been since early September that I last saw them running around having a big time at April's.

Well, how timely! I just got the information that we need to avoid eating romaine lettuce until the FDA and CDC  can  get to the bottom of an outbreak of E Coli.  And this comes the day before I had planned to start back on my diet after the holidays. OH NO! I've gained more than I want to admit, enough that I need new clothes, but I'm not willing to buy bigger ones. So I am cramming myself into uncomfortable clothes and I won't be eating salads, but what are my choices? More fattening things.  I know, I know. I'm just using this as an excuse...there is always fasting!  

Perhaps it would be a good idea to take another look at fasting. It can be a really good thing. Those of you who have known me for years remember a couple of times when my fasting led to a good weight loss. I always fasted for a while before I started the Daniel diet which was the diet spoken of in the first chapter of Daniel in the Bible.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Love Eating? So Does Oliver

Yesterday I mentioned Oliver's birthday on the 10th. It so happened it coincided with Family Night at Nick's Italian Restaurant in Ft Collins. Oliver, as are his older brother and younger sister,  is a very good eater...a healthy eater...and he was quite pleased with this dinner you see above.

OK, I just got carried away reading reviews of Nick's. That is the way I fly these days, straight ahead for a short while, then off on a tangent. It must be the old aged brain, lacking in concentration ability. I fear I'm becoming ADD in my old age. Is that possible? Well, it doesn't matter now, I suppose. I just lose my way once in a while. What are the consequences? It takes me longer to get anything accomplished and if you are with me on this journey, you could just sit back and enjoy the ride or take off and run in the other direction. 

I was just trying to find out if Nick's serves ice cream of Italian ice. I'm guessing it is  the ice. It looks like it to me and it would make sense for them to carry it, however I don't know for sure. I hate to keep bothering his mom and dad for inconsequential facts when they are so very busy. 

As for words of wisdom, all I can think of at this time is Love God and keep His commandments.

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful Godkeeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy Birthday, Oliver

It's hard to have a birthday just two weeks before Christmas...but then that is my thought. Oliver has never known any different. His birthday is always on the 10th of December and he's doing just fine.
At 4, he does know how to celebrate...and it seems his family celebrated all day long this day. They started with breakfast and continued through the day. After opening his presents in the morning, they played until dinner. Family Night at Nick's Italian Restaurant coincided with  Oliver's birthday, so they had a great dinner, followed by an Italian Ice Sundae and a candle of course...then on to see Santa and Christmas Lights in Old Town.

I have been inspired by two friends today. (I have the best friends going.) I would like to share with you  how they have motivated me.

Sali sent out a story by Corrie ten Boom, in which she met a man she remembered as being a vicious guard at Ravensbruck. It moved me  so that I have to share it with you all. I won't copy it here, but you can find it at the address below. I do recommend that you read it. It isn't long and it is very moving. It may even strengthen your resolve to forgive.

Becky inspired me to challenge myself this year instead of making resolutions. You might like to read her new blog entitled Come Sit a Spell at to understand her reasoning and possibly be inspired yourself.