Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

As the song says - "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" And for me it certainly is a wonderful time! 2009 proved to be a much better year in real estate and I am feeling much more at ease this December than December of 2008. I am thankful that the Lord continued to provide and bless and that He gave me the strength to trust Him.

I am thankful that all our gifts are purchased, wrapped and tucked under the tree. I have enjoyed that our social schedule has been fairly light. We have committed ourselves to not "over comitting" ourselves. I have enjoyed reflecting on our Jesus and what his birth means for us. I have also been looking beyond the manger to the cross! Thinking not only of the Baby Jesus... but Jesus, True God and True Man. The Jesus that was born into this world to redeem the world from sin. The Jesus who came into this fallen world to save it! What joy fills my heart! I know Christmas can be filled with many emotions... some not as positive as others. There is heartache, loneliness, anger, dissension... I am praying hard for those who's joy is dim and heartache is great. I am thankful that Christ will return in God's time and fulfill His eternal plan! I have reflected on John 3:17 quite a bit during these days of Advent. John 3:16 is perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible. Many non-believers even know that verse... however I always tell my husband - I sure wish when someone shares John 3:16 that they share John 3:17 ~ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Hallelujah! God sent His son to save the world, not condemn the world! That's a message worth sharing! Share that message my friends!

Speaking of sharing... I thought I would post some pictures I have taken this year of my home! I have really enjoyed the gift of my home this season and I wanted to share it with you! Sure wish I could have each and e very one of you over for coffee or tea in front of my fireplace!

Last year my dad gave each one of us girls some of my Grandfather's Socony Tavern Candles... I always loved them when I was a kid and will treasure them always!  I have some displayed in one of the guest rooms and some on our mantle!

A few under glass on our sideboard!

Our Godson gave us these ornaments several years ago...
 he calls us Tante und Onkel (Aunt & Uncle in German)

I love these glittery snowflake ornaments on the tree in our small guestroom!

One of my Nativity Sets - I purchased at a craft fair many, many years ago...
& a new addition My Nativity Cross


Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby it's Cold Outside...

Friday was my sister and my annual trek to the mall w/ our Grandma to help her w/ her Christmas shopping!

Here is Grandma & Jennifer!

Of course we made a bee-line for Santa so I could give him my Christmas list!
So... I give Santa my list and walk to the other side of the mall... LOOK at what he gave me! LOL

I was so shocked! Can you see the disbelief on my face? Ha!
We had a lovely day shopping. Enjoyed a nice lunch and by the time we left the mall... the parking lot was a zoo! I was ready to get home!
So... I arrive home and the house has an awful smell! Something burning? I was a bit freaked out! The furnace (heat pump) was running very rough and I knew we had a problem. I called Jim (he was in a closing) and I said "you need to get home soon and you need to call Sean!" Sean is our HVAC guy! Sean comes over about 6:30. The fan or something that has to do with the motor is out of whack. He says it should be fine until Monday. We also found out that the person we had been paying to clean it every year... well, he wasn't cleaning it. (another story). Sean leaves, Jim goes to get some Chinese take-out, I contine to stoke the fire I had built when I got home from the mall. Jim arrives home.... we start to eat the yummy food and the furnace makes an awful noise and we could tell the motor locked up! Uh Oh! Did I tell you that the low for overnight was to be 19 degrees? (Baby it's cold outside) Jim calls Sean - Sean says "Jim I can come out for the repair, but the cost for an after hours call provides an extra charge. Not Sean's charge, but the after hours emergency warehouse/supply surcharge. An extra $200-$300. Uh - NO WAY! We told him we will make due until Monday.
So our weekend adventure began. And that's the way we looked at this... an adventure. We continued to feed the fireplace... the living room was nice and toasty. We had 2 space heaters going - one in the kitchen and one in the back hall. We also have an oil space heater that looks like a radiator that we put in the back bath every winter - it was warming the small bathroom. We have a heated mattress pad (if you do not have one... I highly recommend you purchase one or put one on your Christmas list), we periodically turned on the oven, warmed it up, turned it off and then opened the door to help warm the kitchen. We were very toasty Friday night.
Of course we had to go to bed and that meant space heaters off, fire in fireplace would die out and it would be chilly. On Saturday morning I was definitely bundled up in bed. The warmth of the heated mattress pad... ahhhhhhh! The bed was warm and I could definitely feel the chill in the air. I could hear Jim in the kitchen getting the coffee going and then starting a fire in the fireplace. I got out of bed once the house was warm and toasty... well, the living room and the kitchen were.
We spent a cozy weekend bundled up at home. Not ideal, but we survived. Had it been much colder, we would have packed up and gone somewhere else. We had a lot of offers, and are so appreciative and thankful of friends and family.
As I pondered the inconvenience of a broken furnace and the cold air in the house. I thought of those less fortunate... I have a roof over my head, walls that surround, a fireplace to keep me warm. Some spent a cold weekend homeless. Without shelter, without food and the warmth of a blanket, a fire and the love of family. I said a prayer for them... as I know God loves them. Homeless... my heart breaks. I said a prayer of thanksgiving that I have luxuries that can so often be taken for granted. Heat, a roof, a blanket... He provides for our needs. We complain that it's cold, we complain that snow and ice hinder our ability to get to and from work or play. Yes... it's cold, but aren't we fortunate that our beds are not made under a bridge. Perhaps we need to change the way we think. Winter might not be your favorite... but as scripture tells us: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven ~ Ecclesiates 3:1 God has given us nature, and He has created nature to cycle. Should we curse the winter because we are cold & it's inconvenient? Or should we embrace it giving Glory to God, as He is the creator of winter. I choose to change my attitude, my way of thinking. Winter might be inconvienent at times (as is 100 degree summer days in my book! ;) ) but praise God we have the luxury, yes luxury of a furnace, a blanket, a bed...a home! We have the luxury of appreciating one season to the next. Winter is inevitable. No amount of complaining will stop winter from coming. We just don't have that kind of power!
So as winter arrives... I pray you can think of the glass half full and not half empty. Embrace it friends... there is more to do than complain!!!!

PS: Sean is here right now getting the furnace fixed. I am thankful that we have a friend who has the talent, training and ability to fix a furnace!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's that time of year! Yes, the Christmas music has been playing for almost a month now. The retail stores had the halls decked just after Halloween. I am sure many of us are making our lists and checking them twice. Shopping, parties, gatherings... so many activities fill up a short few weeks in December.

My home is all ready for the holidays! Many of your took a tour of my home last year via blogland, so you know that it takes a lot of work to put up my Christmas decorations. (I love decorating for Christmas). But the one thing I HAD to do before a single ornament was placed on the tree... I had to prepare my heart. Prepare my heart in aniticipation of the coming of the Christ child. Just as my Christmas trees provide a sparkling light to a dark room. Jesus is the brilliant light that came into a dark world to save us from our sin.

As you begin to prepare for the Christmas holiday, as you walk these weeks of Advent toward the manger... prepare your heart, first for the coming of Jesus! The rest of your holiday preparations will all fall into place. And if something doesn't turn out quite right remember... Christ the Savior is born! The tree might be crooked, your cookies might not look as perfect as the pictures in Martha Stewart's magazine... but the babe will still be lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.

I am currently using "Our Daily Bread" Christmas Edition for my morning devotions. The insight from yesterday's devotion stated this: Isaiah is the largest of the "major prophets" and contains more prophecies of the coming of Christ than any other Old Testament book. Perhaps you can read through some of those passages during Advent as your prepare Him room in your heart!

As for me... tonight I am enjoying a toasty fire in the fireplace. My Chrstimas tree is twinkling, the cold rain is falling and Rudolph is playing on the television. What a lovely evening! My plans for this week is to finish my shopping. My sister and I are taking our Grandma out on Friday to "enjoy" the mall! LOL! I know we will have a wonderful time! Friday night we will relax and I just might make some cookies. We have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday and of course Sunday we will enjoy worship, breakfast at Jim's mom's and then watching the Colts with friends!

I pray you enjoy these precious weeks leading up to Christmas. I look forward to visiting your blogs to see what you are up to!

The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. ~ Isaiah 7:14

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I cannot believe it's been so long since my last post! I have to say, I am looking forward to winter. (call me crazy) The pace for me seems to slow a bit as the year comes to a close. I do my best to savor these last months of the year.

We have been very blessed this year in our business... we have been extremely busy even in this down real estate market. Yes! God answers prayer. He has continued to reveal Himself in ways that bring me to my knees and even on some days face down! He continues to provide all that we need. Yes, there still are "wants", however when God is meeting the "needs" it somehow makes the "wants" not very important! I am thankful for that!

I have had so many blog posts in my head, my heart and even on paper that have yet to make it to cyber space. I am hopeful that this winter season can provide me with more blog time.

I am looking forward to spending more time in the kitchen enjoying the comforts of winter cooking! I am looking forward to many evenings (as well as mornings & afternoons) in front of the fireplace. Many of you know that my fireplace and my comfy chair is my favorite place in our home! I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas. I am looking forward to my niece's upcoming wedding on January 1st, 2010.

I am looking forward to the hope of the future and what God has in store for me and my family. I am looking back with joy and gratitude for what the Lord has done! I am looking forward to sharing my journey more regularly with my blogland friends in the weeks to come!

I pray all is well with each one of you! I am excited to continue to peek in on your world and catch a glimpse of what God is doing in your lives!

Have a wonderful week friends! It's good to be back!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day always marks a time of transition in my home. Even though the calendar says autumn begins on September 22nd... Labor Day is the start of fall for me! At least inside the house. Usually I wait until the Saturday after Labor Day to start putting out my fall decorations and lighting fall scented candles. But Labor Day falls a bit later this year and I just couldn't wait any longer. It still feels a bit like summer outside, but inside... the signs of fall have started.

My fall wreath has been hung on the front door... looks like my old wooden door needs a bit of a spruce up! It's looking worn and faded like the color of my hair. (I believe a trip to the "Magic Kingdom" (hair salon) is in order this week as well!

I have several of these amber glass pumpkins... most go on the mantle.

I love this autumnal vine that I place on my dining room chandelier...

We have purchased several mums that need to be planted or put in pots... and I cannot wait to pick up pumpkins when they become available! I love pumpkins!

Jim moved up firewood from the back today... Yippeeee! One of my favorite things to do in the fall and winter... relax in front of a crackling fire w/a good book or an old movie!

Here he is working hard today!

Soon we will join Jim's sister, Ann our brother in law Rick, our niece Stephanie Ann and her fiance' Tim at Jim's mom's house. Today Jim's mom turns 88! We are so happy to be celebrating with her tonight! It marks the first birthday she has celebrated without Jim's dad. It's bittersweet, but we are delighted to be gathering as a family to celebrate the gift she is to all of us! Jim's mom loves fried chicken, so our niece Steph will be bringing Kentucky Fried Chicken and the fixin's. My contribution is this:

The dish doesn't look to appetizing in the photo, but I assure you it is!!!

Jalapeno Popper Mac 'n' Cheese


Salt & Pepper
1 pound of pasta (I used rotini)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 Serrano chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
8 ozs of Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons dried minced onions (I used fresh onion, chopped)
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

1.) Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain and return to pot
2.) In a skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium heat. Add the jalapenos, serranos and garlic and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Add to the pasta. (I then saute'd the onion until tender and tossed into the pasta.)
3.) Preheat your broiler. In a saucepan, combine the milk and cream cheese (dried minced onions if you are using them instead of fresh) over medium-low heat cook until smooth. (about 5 minutes) stir into the pasta. Stir in the jack cheese; season w/ salt and pepper
4.) Transfer the pasta into a baking dish and broil until browned, about 3 minutes.

I have truly enjoyed a wonderful holiday weekend. I am embracing our transition into fall! Seasons change... we cannot stop them. Just as God moves us on... embrace each journey, each season each day!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, August 24, 2009

For me God's Word is clear on the issue of marriage, and God was clear at creation. I also understand we are all sinners and fall short of God's glory and are in need of forgiveness and salvation. I am taught by my Lord Jesus Christ to love the sinner and condem the sin. My perspective on Godly living comes from what God speaks to me in His Word.

Please know... in sharing this post, I am not judging a person or a denomination or branch... I want to address what is happening in our world and in our church, and also share that there is a difference in the Lutheran Church. The press has a way of not sharing the difference. Go figure.

I also ask each of you to pray for the Body of Christ.

My heart is burdened by what is happening not just in the Lutheran Church, but the Christian Church as a whole. Please know this...what I am sharing below are not my words but the resolutions that were passed (and taken from the ELCA website) as well the LCMS president's words as he was able to address the ELCA Churchwide Assembly this past Friday.

This past week I have been asked more than once "What is up with your denomination?"
Prior to discussing what the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) has passed this last week at their Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, I have had to address that I am a Christian worshipping in a LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) congregation. I know, confusing to those who are not as familiar with the differences in the Lutheran Church. LCMS and ELCA have many differences and I will not address them here, however I would like to share key resolutions that were made this past week and also the LCMS response addressing same-gender relationships as this is the best way I can explain what has transpired:

From ELCA's website

Churchwide Assembly Update
from Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson
Resolution 1: “RESOLVED, that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships.” (Adopted 619-402)

Resolution 2: “RESOLVED, that the ELCA commit itself to finding a way for people in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church.” (Adopted 559-451)

Resolution 4: This resolution called upon members to respect the bound consciences of those with whom they disagree; declared intent to allow structured flexibility in decision-making about candidacy and the call process; eliminated the prohibition of rostered service by members in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships; recognized and committed to respect the conviction of members who believe that the ELCA should not call or roster people in committed same-gender relationships; called for development of accountability guidelines; directed that amendments to ministry policy documents be drafted and approved; and stated that this church continue to trust congregations, bishops, synods and others responsible for determining who should be called into public ministry. (Adopted 667-307 as amended)

The president of the LCMS had the opportunity to address the Churchwide Assembly and here it he LCMS President's response as pulled from the LCMS webiste.

Address to ELCA Churchwide Assembly, August 22, 2009 (President: Rev. Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick)

Presiding Bishop Hanson, Members of the Assembly, Special Guests, Friends in Christ,

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Over the years of my life and ministry, these words from St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 have become especially meaningful:

God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting mankind’s sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:19-21, ESV)

What a blessing it is to know that our sin is forgiven, removed from us as far as the east is from the west, because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ on Calvary’s cross. And what a humbling privilege and huge responsibility it is to know that God is making his appeal, through people like you and like me, people with feet of clay, that the world might be reconciled to God through faith in Christ.

I bring you these greetings on behalf of the 2.4 million members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod at a difficult time in the world and in the church. Economic pressures bring great burdens. Strife finds its way into the LCMS, the ELCA, worldwide Lutheranism, and the Christian Church as a whole. Mankind’s inhumanity to mankind manifests itself in global unrest and worldwide terrorism. Peace is often elusive, both in the world and in the church, as sin and Satan continue to rear their ugly heads in both venues.

Lutherans are no strangers to discord and divisiveness. The Lutheran church was born under such conditions. Yet we also know the path to concord, expressed in these rather straight forward words in The Formula of Concord, written during a notable time of doctrinal controversy and discord in the church. Hear these words from the Kolb-Wengert translation:

"For these controversies are not merely misunderstandings or semantic arguments, where someone might think that one group had not sufficiently grasped what the other group was trying to say or that the tensions were based upon only a few specific words of relatively little consequence. Rather, these controversies deal with important and significant matters, and they are of such a nature that the positions of the erring party neither could nor should be tolerated in the church of God, much less be excused or defended.

"Therefore, necessity demands explanation of these disputed articles on the basis of God’s Word and reliable writings, so that those with a proper Christian understanding could recognize which position regarding the points under dispute is in accord with God’s Word and the Christian Augsburg Confession and which is not, and so that Christians of good will, who are concerned about the truth, might protect and guard themselves from the errors and corruptions that have appeared among us."

The writers of this Formula pledged themselves, and I quote, "to the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments, as to the pure, clear fountain of Israel, which alone is the one true guiding principle, according to which all teachers and teachings are to be judged and evaluated." Discord can become concord when Christian individuals and Christian church bodies are faithful to the Holy Scriptures, which reveal the Gospel of God’s grace, forgiveness, and salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

The very fact that I represent a denomination known as The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod at an assembly of a denomination known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America bears witness to the fact that, sadly and regrettably, in spite of the holy Word and mercy of our God, the Confessions affirmed by the constitutions of both our church bodies, and the faithful example of those who have gone before us, schisms remain, not only in the Christian church, but also in the Lutheran church. We have doctrinal differences that separate us. That is no secret.

I speak these next words in deep humility, with a heavy heart and no desire whatsoever to offend. The decisions by this assembly to grant non-celibate homosexual ministers the privilege of serving as rostered leaders in the ELCA and the affirmation of same gender unions as pleasing to God will undoubtedly cause additional stress and disharmony within the ELCA. It will also negatively affect the relationships between our two church bodies. The current division between our churches threatens to become a chasm. This grieves my heart and the hearts of all in the ELCA, the LCMS, and other Christian church bodies throughout the world who do not see these decisions as compatible with the Word of God, or in agreement with the consensus of 2000 years of Christian theological affirmation regarding what Scripture teaches about human sexuality. Simply stated, this matter is fundamentally related to significant differences in how we understand the authority of Holy Scripture and the interpretation of God’s revealed and infallible Word.

Only by the mercy of our Almighty God does hope remain for us poor, miserable sinners. By His grace, through Word and Sacraments, the evangelical witness and authentic message of sin and grace, Law and Gospel, must resound to a troubled world so desperately in need of His love in Christ.

May God grant each of us sensitivity, humility, boldness, courage, faithfulness, and forgiveness as we continue to strive toward God-pleasing harmony and concord in what we believe, teach, and confess. We have much to accomplish in the mission our Lord Jesus has entrusted to us.

May God have mercy upon us all, and grant us His peace in Christ. "

Again, I pray that each of you know I am not condemning a person or the body... I wanted to address a serious issue that is affecting more than just Lutherans. I am praying dear friends. God's Word stands forever!

Monday, August 10, 2009

As Summer Wanes...

The kitchen calendar has been turned to the month of August, and in true "August" fashion the temps here in Indy have risen into the 90's. I cannot complain however. We have had an extremely mild summer, and it's felt a bit more like a Wisconsin summer than an Indiana summer. My garden has taken a bit of a beating from a big rainstorm last week. The mild summer has prevented my tomatoes from ripening in a manner that fits my time frame! ;) And I am not so sure the brussels sprouts will grow well enough to be served on the Thanksgiving table. I do have to admit... those tomatoes have been worth the wait. They are so flavorful and juicy. To me, a fresh garden tomato is the quintessential summer treat!

Most schools have started here in Indy... in my book, it's too early. The beginning of a school year always a rite of passage that summer is coming to a close.

The clock is ticking closer to Labor Day and I am trying to savor every bit of summer that I can. We still have much to do around the exterior of the house before the cold temps keep us indoors. I want to enjoy more evenings relaxing on the patio... I have many more bike rides to do before the cold keeps us inside on the spin bikes.

As summer wanes... do you have any special plans? Cookouts, household repairs etc? I would love to hear about them!

What is it that you have enjoyed most about the summer of 2009?

During this summer season I have enjoyed many wonderful bike rides. I got to meet my friend Paula's sweet little twins; I have spent some good quality "pool" time with our dearest friends; we have enjoyed running our sweet dog Jet w/ his "girlfriend" - Grace, the Great Dane... plus visiting w/ Grace's mom and dad! My niece got engaged! We enjoyed sleepovers w/ my younger nieces and nephews. So much has been packed into these few short months of summer I can't begin to list them all! There were ups and downs, but summer of 2009 has been full of so many blessings. With activities all over the board... the one thing consistent has been God's great love, mercy and devotion. I am so thankful that He is always there and never slumbers.

Savor this day friends... do not worry about tomorrow... He is in control and Jesus still reigns!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

As I settle into my big chair in the family room, laptop in my lap, le Tour on the T.V. (last day of le Tour *sigh*) I am reflecting on my day... as I do let me digress.

Yesterday, the weather got in the way of some plans I had for the weekend. Most of you know that I cycle. Every year in August I, along with my friend Kate and her friend Tracy, lead a ride south of my home for CIBA (Central Indiana Bicycling Association) As a ride leader you are responsible for the route, SAG support, marking the route etc. One of the more tedious jobs is marking the route. This involves spray painting Dan Henry's on the road. Now marking the route isn't necessarily a difficult task... but it's a time consuming task. Four ride legnths between 15 miles and 60 miles... that's a lot of spray paint, 4 way stops, right turns, left turns etc. (I won't go into all the particulars of how to mark a route... I do want to keep your attention.) Fortunatley for me, the past two years we have hosted, I haven't had to be a part of the "ride marking". That task fell to Tracy and Kate. Tracy was unable to help this year due to a family celebration, so had I not helped Kate would have been on her own.

Yesterday morning the thunder rolled and the rain fell. Kate and I were scheduled to meet at 8:30 am to head out and mark the route. Wet roads and spray paint don't mix! The only other time Kate was available to get this task done was this morning, Sunday! What? Sunday morning? Don't mess with my worship time! Now, I have to tell you... not going to worship in order to mark a cycling route isn't what I really wanted to do. Worship on Sunday is extremely important to me and when I am unable to attend it's difficult for me. I have to admit I was doing a bit of grumbling about it yesterday. But the Spirit gave me a nudge. Yes, I had to give up going to church, but I was helping a friend... a friend who needed me.

This morning, after Jim left for church I sat down at the kitchen table for some prayer time. Pouring my heart out to Jesus. A few tears even fell. After prayer, I opened "Coffee Break with God" a devotional I have had for many years, but had not used in some time. After all I was enjoying my morning coffee in this quiet time. I asked the Lord to speak to me... and I opened the book. Speak to me He did. I do want to share what God said to me in that devotion... the meat of that will have to wait for another day.

At 8:30am I had to head out the door. I was meeting Kate and her boyfriend (he graciously helped as well). The 20 minute drive was glorious. I put in some praise music (thank You Lord for Travis Cottrell) and I drove south. Singing and praising God at the top of my lungs in the car. (I am sure any passers by thought I was nuts - yes sir, nuts for the Lord) It was glorious! The sun was shining and I was praising Him for the day, His creation and for giving me a brief moment on a Sunday morning to worship Him in a very different way. Now, please know that I am not condoning giving up corporate worship. (Hebrews 10:25 is coming to mind right now: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.) But I have to say... my worship time today was a gift from my Father that I will always cherish. He knew I needed to help my friend, but He also knew I needed to worship Him. He gave me that opportunity and it was precious, precious time w/ my Father. I worship & praise Him this way many times during the week, for example on the way to the office each morning etc. But today, today it was a bit different. Perhaps because where I thought I really wanted to be this morning wasn't where He wanted me to be. There are reasons that rain comes... and we don't always know why. We grumble when the weather forces a change of plans. For me the rain came yesterday, not to mess up my schedule, but to give me the opportunity to fully worship my God, in a different way than the normal, and give Him all the glory for this life He has so graciously given me. The words of one of the praise songs are still ringing in my ears as I type this... as I wind down this Sunday evening... I pray they touch your heart and move you as they move me... I love you friends!

You alone are my passion forever
Song of my soul, desire of my heart
You alone are my passion, my treasure
I love You for all that You are

To the ends of the earth I will follow
There's nothing that I will not do
You alone are my reason for living
Jesus, my passion is You

My life, my love, my God
You are my life, my love, my God

Friday, July 24, 2009

Random Musings....

It sure does seem like I just don't have or take the time to blog much in the summer. I do miss visiting w/ my favorite blog pals as well as sitting down w/ my laptop and pouring out this heart of mine...

Summer seems as if it is flying by. Actually w/ the weather we have been experiencing in Indy it hasn't seemed much like summer at all. In fact, last weekend it was so chilly that I told Jim if it were Septemeber we would have had a fire in the fireplace.

I am becoming impatient w/ my garden. The cool days just aren't ripening my tomatoes. I am sure once they ripen I will have a boatload all at one time. *Sigh* Guess I will get out the canner. I love canning... by doing so I can have a bit of summer in the dark of winter. I won't complain however. I am not a hot, humind and hazy loving gal. Low 80's, low humidity and sunshine - that's what I call ideal summer weather.

Been on the bike a lot this summer as well. Last night a nice little downpour (which was not forecast) visited our ride. Pouring rain and rooster tails off the bike in front of me made for a wet, icky ride. I was glad to get home last night! Ride was good, hard and fast... I am getting stronger. Being only one of a very few girls it's hard to stay w/ the big, strong men. But they all take care of me and make sure I am OK. I am so thankful that Jim and I love to cycle together.

My strength and endurance class is still one I love. On Monday's and Wednesday's our instructor, Dodi, kicks our rear ends. I am thankful for her because I can see and feel the difference! I am also thankful that the Lord has given me the time and privelege to pursue a healthy lifestyle!

Work has been keeping us busy and we have definitely seen a nice turn-around in the market as of late. What a blessing it has been as I am sure this winter will be another slow time for the real estate market. I am thankful for how the Lord continues to bless and provide. He never ceases to amaze me! I will continue to trust in Him for all that I need!

My sister lost her dear mother-in-law last week. The Lord took Joy home after a nine year, courageous battle w/ cancer. (I hate cancer) She was a true imitator of Jesus by how she loved and how she gave of herself to others. She was a true prayer warrior. She will be missed by so many...

Jim's mom is doing well. It's hard to believe that it's almost been a year since Jim's dad passed away. Not too long ago she said to Jim "I am getting used to living alone." Thank goodness she might live alone, but she's not alone! She has the Lord and all of us trapsing in and out of her house! And of course every Sunday we are there after church for her yummy breakfasts!

My niece Stephanie has become engaged and will be married on 01/01/10! Yes, New Year's Day. Thank goodness it's New Year's Day Night... :) I am looking forward to seeing another one of my dear, precious gifts from God getting married. My niece Ashley just finished her first year of dental school. Jim and I couldn't be more proud. My sister's daughters are gearing up for High School. Kimberly will be a sophomore and Sarah a freshman. They continue to train hard in gymnastics. Kimberly will begin to be recruited by college scouts this next year. Sarah will tag along the following year. The boys have been busy w/ baseball and now football, yes football starts next week. Fall is coming isn't it. I can't complain... I LOVE FOOTBALL!

July has also kept me from really knowing what's going on in the world around me because the news almost ceases to exist. Le Tour de France is on the T.V. and the daily stages are re-broadcast many times a day. I know, call me crazy but I can watch the same stage over and over again. Lance Armstrong has made it exciting again!

Well, enough randomness. I need to let the dog out. I do believe he has all four legs crossed.

I hope this post finds each of you enjoying all the blessings the Lord has given you. If you are hurting or in a difficult time, may you feel His loving arms wrapping you up and carrying you through a difficult time. If this post finds you scurrying about in the "busy" ness of life... I pray you can take time to slow down and inhale all He is and all He can show you today!

Much Love!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Double Blessing...

Some of you recall my friend Paula who has adopted twins from Ethiopia (I had asked you to pray for her and her family many times).

Well yesterday I had a special treat! I finally got to meet those sweet little girls. They are so teeny, tiny. Their smiles light up a room and those eyes... gorgeous. When I arrived at Paula's mom's home the twins were at the kitchen table with their Aunt Laura writing the alphabet. Paula says they enjoy pushing buttons that light things up... remotes, telephones etc!

Adjusting hasn't been easy, but the Lord is blessing their family. Please continue to pray for Paula and her family as they transition into a new chapter of their lives. The challenges are there, but the blessings out number the challenges!

Before I left I had Paula take a picture of me w/ the girls. Candace Selam is the one with the sunglasses on (I called her Hollywood) and Sarah Fikir is the other twin who was not so happy at the time because her sunglasses needed fixing. Mama was going to take care of that task quickly! ;) They were so cute with their itty bitty ipods that Paula filled with Ethiopian Children's music. (that helped with the flight back from Ethiopia)

I cannot wait to see how the lives of these blessed little ones unfold. A new world, a new family... and smiles as big as the sun! I am definitely buying a plane ticket to Nebraska sometime soon! I miss my friend! I don't think I realize how much until we can have a few moments together when she comes to Indiana.

Yes, yesterday was a double blessing for me... I got to meet the twins and spend time with my dear friend Paula!

Love you Paula!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wishing you all a Blessed & Happy 4th of July...

Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, that will be; We unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care & protection & for the great degree of tranquility, union and plenty which we have enjoyed; We most humbly offer... our prayers & supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations.

~ George Washington

Blessed is the Nation Whose God is the LORD

~ Psalm 33:12a

Praying today for our nation. That as a whole we turn our face back to the LORD and worship Him in Whom our true freedom lies.

God bless you my friends, and may God continue to bless America!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden Party!

Last Wednesday I posted a picture of my pup sitting on the loveseat of our new patio furniture. Some of you might remember that last Christmas we cyber tours of our "Christmas Homes". That's when I thought - why don't we have a garden party! Let's share pictures of our gardens, yards, landscaping and patios. Jim and I live on our patio in the summer (at least in the early morning and later in the evening when it's hot and humid! As a matter of fact, we enjoyed our coffee and the papers outside today. It was lovely. We love working in the yard and getting our hands dirty. I am hoping that as summer progresses I can share photos of our veggie garden.

So... throw on your floppy hat, flip flops and take a mini tour... after, enjoy some lemonade and enjoy all that God has to offer us on a bright summer day!!!
Welcome to our home...

The next three pics are from one of the hosta gardens we have...

I love geraniums! Have quite a few located around the house

We have quite a few wren houses around our yard... I love wrens! The male is like a little real estate agent. In the spring he will fly around to suitable nesting locations and place a twig or two inside. The female will fly around and then decide which home she prefers! This year... she picked this crock-like bird house. We put it out on a whim and w/in a week she found her sturdy home! The babies are tweeting inside now. She's a good housekeeper as well. She cleans out all the "gunk" if you know what I mean.

The side of the house and our hummingbird feeder. They truly are amazing! What a delight God has given us in these mighty little birds!

The View toward the garage and front patio

If you look closely... you can see that the flower pot is held in a wire chicken.

I have moon flowers that hopefully will soon be vining up and then blooming on the trellis behind the chicken. Moon flowers are white and open in the evening. I wanted to also plant morning glories to grow up the same trellis, but didn't get around to it. Morning and evening color would have been great!

The front patio. We enjoy meals out front and out back!

Elephant Ear Hosta

Top of one of the birdbaths

Endless Summer Hydrangea

We have loads of Day Lilys

Remember "Where's Waldo"?

How about "Where's Jet?


Back Deck area... I got the concrete cat the spring after my beloved cat Bruce passed away!

I have yet to put flowers in our bicycle planter

Our Rock Speakers... Rock!

Jet's Love Seat

I love sitting hear w/ a good book on a lazy, summer afternoon.
Sit back and enjoy some lemonade w/ me....
I sure hope you will join the Garden Party and give us a glimpse your gardens etc.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
~ John 15:5