Thursday, April 06, 2017

A Psalm

 I cry to the Lord; I call and call to him. Oh, that he would listen.  I am in deep trouble and I need his help so much. All night long I pray, lifting my hands to heaven, pleading. There can be no joy for me until he acts.  I think of God and moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. I cannot sleep until you act. I am too distressed even to pray!
I keep thinking of the good old days of the past, long since ended. Then my nights were filled with joyous songs. I search my soul and meditate upon the difference now.  Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be favorable? Is his loving-kindness gone forever? Has his promise failed?  Has he forgotten to be kind to one so undeserving? Has he slammed the door in anger on his love?  And I said: This is my fate, that the blessings of God have changed to hate.  I recall the many miracles he did for me so long ago. Those wonderful deeds are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about them.
(Ps. 77:1-12)
Thankfully, it doesn't end there.
O God, your ways are holy. Where is there any other as mighty as you?  You are the God of miracles and wonders! You still demonstrate your awesome power.
Waiting on the Lord for His answers and miracles.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Finish Well

I hope to be back next week. I'd like to post regularly.  I want to finish well. This Sunday I have a State Exam. I want to finish well. Must study. So much going on, so many changes, so much to do. I want to finish well.



Truthfully,
Joanne

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." (Matt. 25:21)

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Thunk Thursday

Haven't done one of these for awhile. My daughter sent this picture from back of a package of baby toys.

Aspen promised not to through these to anyone when with parent accompany.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Story I Hope I Can Share

I feel like I've been waiting forever for this announcement. 
He's finally here. 
Welcome little Tyson to the family, my 9th grandbaby. 
It has been quite a journey watching, waiting, and praying fervently for this little ones arrival into the world. 

I hope to share this journey in the upcoming days. 

He is certainly a testimony of God's grace and handiwork. Simply put: a miracle. I love you Tyson!

Truthfully,
Joanne

You are the God who performs miracles;
    you display your power among the peoples. Ps. 77:14

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Happy First

I can't believe a year has passed since this sweet girl was born.
In one year you have grown so much.

You love your dogs,

your mom

and your dad.

And of course you love your gramma.

I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us both. 

I love you Aspen, Happy First Birthday!

Truthfully,
Joanne

"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Ps. 23:6

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Braxton

Did I mention we have a new grandbaby? 
Meet Braxton Marshall.
He was born December 14, 2016.
 Big brother Beckham adores him.
Braxton and his family share a living space with us. 
What a blessing to see this boy grow and change every single day.

Truthfully,
Joanne


"May you live to enjoy your grandchildren! And may God bless Israel!" (Ps. 126:6)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Beckham

Two years ago, you came into our lives a little peanut.
What a delight it has been to see you grow. 

 You love sports of any kind, golf, 
baseball,
 basketball, soccer.  
You like eating off the floor, making silly faces.
You have a sweet demeaner and are an amazing big brother.
You melt gramma's heart when you want fruit snacks 
or anything Gramma can do to avoid taking a  nap.
You are my superhero.

 I love you Beckham. Happy Second Birthday!

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017


Two thousand seventeen flew in with the flurries of snow, almost unnoticed. While many were flinging 2016 out with the bath water, I barely began my thankful reflection when the storm clouds swept away my thoughts. The year broke ground before I could catch my breath.

Change comes quickly. One day I'm welcoming a newborn grandbaby into the world. Two weeks later, while celebrating the upcoming birth of another a collision occurs. The joy of new birth and new life collides with casualty. The casualty is great, but could be worse. Much worse. But what might have been does not take away the sting of the new reality.

Before I could make purposeful resolutions or goals for 2017, life changing plans began to procreate. I'm trying to catch my breath and keep up.

"Then the light of my blessing will shine on you like the rising sun. I will heal you quickly. I will march out ahead of you. And my glory will follow behind you and guard you. That’s because I always do what is right." Is. 58:8


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Christmas Letter Part 3

My dad finished the Christmas letter and included a bit about each of us kids.

This year was a poor year for fishing, for me, that is.  I didn't go 
as often as I should have.  But, I did some some trout fishing, which 
I hadn't done before.  I discovered two nice lakes on the San Carlos 
Apache Reservation,  Dry Lake and Point of Pines lake.  The elevation 
of both is about 7200'.  The country is beautiful and the fishing 
excellent.  Come over and go fishing with me.

Our recreational activities this year were held to a minimum.  I spent 
a considerable amount of time in Phoenix, either training for, or 
waiting for campus and political demonstrations to occur.  When we 
weren't out of town, we had to stay home by the telephone waiting to 
be called.  This next year, I hope we will have more time of our own.  
I have been doing some researching on ghost towns and early mining 
camps in this area.  I plan to do some exploring around them.  Maybe I 
will come up with something interesting.

I am going to speak for Kathleen and the kids.  We would love to see 
you.  If you should get anywhere near here, stop by and see us.  Our 
number is in the book, just give us a call.  We can go fishing, 
exploring or whatever.

Carolyn thinks school is great this year, and I suspect it has 
something to do with the fact that she has all men teachers.  She puts 
forth a lot of effort into her work and her grades show it.  She is 
11, and in the sixth grade attending a new Jr. high school that was 
just finished this fall.  She is still taking piano lessons and has a 
lot of music theory behind her.  Carolyn keeps herself busy and rarely 
has a spare moment which helps to relieve her abundance of energy.  
She sings in our church choir, is active in 4H, learning sewing, 
cooking and continuing her knitting.  She is also involved in various 
school activities.  Reading is a favorite pastime with the Nancy Drew 
mysteries at the top of her reading list.  This year at the county 
fair she won several blue ribbons, plus to her delight, quite a bit of 
prize money.

Greg won  a blue ribbon in the fair for his electrical entry.  He also 
won a county award for his work in electricity.  His 4-H activities 
this year include: geology, cooking and dog care.  I have the boys 
group in cooking and they are really getting good.  Greg is not the 
daydreamer he was last year and he is to busy learning history and 
volunteering for every science experiment that comes along.  He still 
spends a great deal of time in the hills looking for fossils.

Joanne is a happy, 8 year old in the third grade.  Joanne especially 
loves animals and babies.  She was thrilled over winning two blue 
ribbons at the fair, one for cookies and one for a knitted pair of 
slippers.  She too enjoys reading, but most of all cooking.  She has 
made cookies, cakes, pancakes, biscuits, and complete dinners.  She 
also likes to draw and write and asked to share one of her poems.

Santa Claus

This is Santa fellow
His stomach is like jello,
He is fat and plump
and he can jump, jump, jump,
He's got eight reindeer,
than can even fly over a sphere,
I hope he comes this year,
For I want his reindeer.        by Joanne

Laurie is six and is in the first grade.  She is delighted to find she 
too can read.  Laurie says she has a corroded smile, being at that age 
when she has a few permanent teeth, lots of baby teeth and gaping 
spaces in between.  She also does well in school and has become quite 
a chatterbox.  To Laurie, the highlight of the year was when she got 
to be a flower girl for a friend's wedding and wore a floor length 
dress.  She thought she looked just beautiful and I must admit, I 
thought she was kind of cute too.

Our thoughts are with all of you and we wish you a Merry Christmas and 
a Joyous New Year.


I love that my dad seemed to capture a bit of our personalities, even way back then. Laurie is still very social, is beautiful and loves doing well in all she works to accomplish. No longer has a corroded smile.

Greg should have been an engineer. He is very gifted in all he undertakes both at work and in his personal life. I do not think he is interested in dog care at this point.

Carolyn still has more energy than expected and accomplishes a lot. She continues to be an avid reader, involved in many various activities and could also be called the dog whisperer and rescuer.

I don't write nearly as much as I'd love to. My poetry hasn't improved, but I still love cooking.

That's about all for now, from the Christmas letter of 1970.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Christmas Letter Part Two


On many occasions, I've tried to convey to others just how amazing and talented my mom is. While others share memes of growing up in the 70's with moms who watched soap operas, drank Tab, and smoked cigarettes, my mom did none of these. She was busy learning new art mediums, taking classes, and earning her Master's Degree. All the while, spending time with the four of us kids,expanding our learning, creativity and all the things necessary to become responsible adults. As promised in my last post, here is another portion of my Mom and Dad's 1970 Christmas letter. Here is her introduction:(Reminder, she was 30, he was 31. We kids were 6, 8, 9, 11.
(circa 1977)


Dear Family and Friends,

We greet you this year filled with thanksgiving and joy. The Christmas  
season finds us busy, busy, busy.  The children have kept us busy  
attending school programs, and now we are practicing for our church  
Christmas program.  The children have also been helping make Christmas  
decorations, baking cookies and making candy.

We have really enjoyed our trips as a family to such places as old  
ghost towns, Apache tears mines, and visits to other areas of the  
state, such as Flagstaff.  Globe is close to many places of interest  
and in the past six years we have learned a great deal about Arizona.

The girls keep me quite busy making their clothes, but I enjoy  
sewing.  It seems the children are always volunteering me for  
everything that comes along at school. I continue to take college  
classes, active as a 4H leader in charge of a group of boys and  
kindergarten Sunday School teacher.  This summer I made wild grape  
jelly and prickly pear cactus jelly for the first time.  I was pleased  
with the results.  I have really enjoyed oil painting and hope to be  
able to devote a little more time in that area this coming year.  All  
in all, it has been a busy but good year, and I even got Ricky to  
write a few lines.


I loved the many dresses my mom created for me.
(first grade)
(3rd grade)
(4th grade)

In each of these pictures, I was wearing a dress that my mom made for me. I am so very blessed to grow up with a mom who was so very talented, wise, creative, and generous. I will share more of the Christmas letter in my next post.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Repost

This was a post from 2008. I wanted to revisit my parents' Christmas letter from 1970, and this contained a portion of it.

Pet Peeve: Cruising along the highway, doing the speed limit, when all of the sudden nothing but brake lights ahead. I slow down to under the speed limit. I wonder what could be causing the slow down. Up ahead, on the side of the road, is a patrol car. No lights, no accident, nothing. The car is just sitting there. Why is everyone braking? If these cars aren't speeding why the need to slow down? Guilt is my guess. They must be regular speeders who watch for police cars. I have never feared or felt guilty seeing a police or patrol car. My dad drove one.

Dad emailed me his 1970 Christmas letter. I wanted to share a portion here. Dad was 31 at the time, mom 30.  My siblings were ages 6, 9, and 11. I was 8.

"Kathleen says the time has come for me to reveal what I've been up to the past year. Life seems to revolve around my work schedule, which can be day shift, night shift, and a combination of the two. I have been working on the road as a patrolman for the past 16 months. I never dreamed that I would ever get to work on the road. I always wanted to be a policeman, but when I didn't grow tall enough to meet the height requirements, I gave up the idea. Now, here I am working along with the six-footers. I may be the smallest patrolman on the highway patrol, but there are a few others not much bigger. We peewees are known as the mini-patrol.

Sometimes, I wonder why I ever left the cool/warm, depending on the season, comfort of the radio room. While sitting overlooking the Salt River Canyon, watching the river below, and inhaling the cool, pine scented air, I am grateful for having been liberated from the four walls. On winter nights, while carrying an injured or dead person out of a canyon, I wonder why I'm not back in that nice comfortable radio room,& sipping a cup of coffee between radio calls. People tend to make my job interesting. You meet the good and the bad. You meet them at their worst and their best. You get to help them when they need help the most. The disabled motorist is glad to see you, but the violator wishes you were in some other county. I could go on about my job as I find it fascinating, but I'm going to leave it here."

For anyone who starts braking the moment they see a police or state trooper, I thought it might be fun to read the thoughts of a patrolman.

I laughed at the next part of dad's letter:

"Being church treasurer keeps me busy a couple evenings per month. I sometimes wonder how I ever managed to acquire the job. Bookkeeping never was high on my list of aptitudes. The congregation certainly must have a lot of faith."

Dad wrote more, but that is enough for one post. His email brought back fond memories. I remember special training he had to do. It was a time of demonstrations turning into riots and complete chaos. I don't recall what the commotion was about, but do remember the extra protective gear he had to wear at that time. Seeing my dad in his uniform, I saw my strong protector. I felt safe, knowing my dad was watching out for not only our community but his family.

Dad is retired now. He no longer wears a uniform, protective gear, or carries a gun. (At least not daily.) But he continues to be a strong protector of our family and others. His weapons are not visible, except when he's on his knees in prayer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day 3 Atlanta

My morning began with giving Aspen a bath in the kitchen sink. Sink baths are kind of my signature thing. I haven't had a grandbaby yet who didn't like a sink bath. It was a success. This girl is so happy.

The two of us then ventured out with my new Iphone 7 and Siri to find the local Kroger Grocery store. I wanted to buy some groceries so I could make dinner. I wanted to buy some snacks that Aspen can eat while she is at daycare. What could go wrong?

The roads around Atlanta are scenic, but winding. As I'm driving it feels like I have gone every single direction and I no longer have any idea which direction I'm going or which direction I should be going. I glance down and the map says I will arrive at my destination in an hour. No I do NOT want to go to South Carolina. I am in Atlanta. Aspen started to cry. I had no idea where the nearest Kroger was, which is where I asked Siri to take me. Siri failed me. I wanted to cry along with Aspen, but couldn't because I was driving. I remembered passing a Publix. I knew they wouldn't have everything I wanted but I was stopping anyway. I think I might have entered the exit.

Aspen was happy in the store. Everyone was very helpful and happy. One of the employees came up to our cart and clipped a balloon on for Aspen. Um, not sure that is a good toy for a baby, but it entertained her for a bit, so I let it go.

Thankfully, the drive home was uneventful and we arrived at the parking garage without getting lost or being directed towards South Carolina. At the third level, I stopped for the gate to open. It did not open. I pushed the FOB button. Nothing. I put the car in park, turned the car off, got out of the car, and attempted to open the gate. Nope. Not working. Frustrated, I back up, and find a parking spot just outside of the gate. Fine. There are signs about getting towed for parking in the wrong spot. What else can I do???

I get the stroller out. I get Aspen and the carseat out and snap it in the stroller. I load the groceries onto the stroller and load the rest on my arms. I go to the nearest door. Once inside, I feel a little dumb. There is a landing and stairs going up or down. I can NOT drag the stroller up the stairs, or down.

I walk back to the car, remove Aspen and the car seat, fold the stroller and put it back in the car along with the groceries, except two bags of freezer stuff and the car seat. I pick up Aspen, (why didn't I just leave the car seat in the car???) and the freezer food and drag us all up the stairs. Once upstairs and inside the building, I realize I went up a flight of stairs when I should have gone down.  I look for the elevator, but suddenly, my arms feel weak and I'm not sure I can carry all of this stuff to the apartment. I set it all down for a minute. Pray another quick prayer. Then I carry everything down a flight of stairs and make my way to the apartment.

I'm exhausted. I put the food away while holding Aspen and realize I left the dogs out. I had no idea that I also left the bath toys where the dogs could chew them up. Oh man, I need to figure out how to replace the cute bath toys. Mr. Bear and Mrs. Duck are in bad shape. They are a set that came with an Eric Carle book.

Since Aspen was asleep at lunch time, her mom had to pump. I tried to feed her but Aspen was having none of the bottle of milk. She did however really enjoy eating dog food out of the dog's bowl. I'm wondering how helpful I am. I feel like I take one step forward and two back. If my rental car gets towed, this is not going to be a fun day.

I go back to the car to retrieve the rest of the food. I watch a lady attempt to open the gate with no luck. She swears and threatens that if her car gets towed, someone else is going to pay. I don't feel so bad now. It's not just me. I pray my car doesn't get towed.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner. Miss Aspen was as cute as ever. She's eating new foods and seems to be enjoying them-dog food not included.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." (Ps. 56:3)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Day 2 Atlanta

After falling asleep sometime after 1:30 a.m., the morning came bright and early. Aspen was a joy and delight. She didn't cry when her mom left. I chose not to venture out and tried to acclimate to my new surroundings.

The apartment is lovely, but small. So very thankful for the queen air mattress that takes up the entire living room. It deflates quickly and I roll it up to the side of the room. I wish I'd brought a smaller suitcase, it takes up a lot of space.

Our morning was mostly uneventful. Aspen did cry while I took a shower. After her morning nap, I figured we should take the dogs outside. I did not want to lose the door key or the key fob, so I attached both to my rental car key. The building is pretty secure both to park and enter or exit the building. Before attempting to take both dogs out while carrying Aspen, I take her for a little walk to check out my surroundings. I go through several doors and down a couple of flights of stairs, but can't open the gate to outdoors. I pull. I wave the magic fob. I pull again. Nothing. What if i manage to get outside, but then can't get back in? Well, why worry about that when I can't figure out how to actually get outside? I text my daughter hoping she is able to answer soon.  I notice a bright red exit button on the wall near the gate. I wonder if that will open the door. It looks eerily like an emergency exit button and I fear pushing it, will cause alarms and sirens to screech. I carry Aspen back up the two flights of stairs.

SB texts that the gate should be open, but doesn't open automatically, just unlocks. And yes, the red button can be pushed to unlock it-at least if you are on the inside wanting out. I carry Aspen back down the stairs. I push the red button, walk back to the gate and pull. Nothing. I feel pretty silly when I finally realize I just need to push instead of pull. Back up the two flights of stairs to get the dogs.

After struggling with both dogs just to snap their leashes on, (I should have put Aspen down before attempting this,) we were finally out the door. Bailey runs to my right, Camden runs around to my left, their leashes wrap around my legs rather quickly. Over and over they jump and act crazy, dragging me through the hall and down the stairs.

I quickly realize I need to keep both leashes in my right hand and hold Aspen in my left. Their pulling could easily knock me forward, causing me to drop her. Outside, they pull like crazy, jumping and dancing all over the place. Camden did her duty. I dutifully, untied the green bag and scooped the poop. I pulled the dogs to the waste can and drop it in. Camden makes another deposit right next to the can. Thankfully there are plenty of green bags. I snatch another, scoop and dump. This is all done while holding Aspen in my left arm, the leashes of the dogs around my right, my cell phone in my pocket, and keys in my other pocket.


I know there is a dog park close by, just not sure exactly where. It doesn't take me long to decide it is too much and we head back to the gate to enter the building. It is then that I realize the keys are no longer in my pocket. How could I could drop them without hearing them hit the ground?  Honestly, we are quite close to the highway, so there is a lot of noise. I shouldn't be surprised.

I wonder what the rental car company is going to charge when I tell them I lost the key. Someone somewhere  mentioned over $200. I was beginning to panic, tracing my steps. Could I have dropped them in the poop disposal? Oh my goodness, I was not about to dig around in there. I scanned the horizon. Nothing. I open the lid of the poop can and look. I don't see them, but they probably would have slipped down. I was not ready to start digging around. I retrace my steps and search the area some more.

Desperate, I finally get my wits about me and send a quick prayer to God. A few seconds later, I spy the keys sitting on the pavement. Let me tell you how happy I was. I didn't care that I dragged and was dragged back into the building, up the stairs and down the hallways to the apartment. I was exhausted.

We went out to dinner that night and had a wonderful time. I'm so very thankful to be here.

I did learn a few things. One, Michael and I make a great team, and I miss him. This day would have gone much smoother had he been here. He wouldn't have kept pulling on the door instead of pushing. (Palm to the forehead.) Secondly, I wish all of my kids and grandkids lived closer. I was reminded how much I miss seeing them.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!" (Luke 15:9)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 1 Atlanta

I landed last night around 11:00 p.m. Navigated the airport, with a LOT of walking, and after stopping to ask for help, I found my way to the car rental counter. It went much better than I thought. I was handed my paperwork and told to find a car.  Just like that, find a car.

Nobody was around. Were the cars that different? Did they want me to take the first car or two in line? Were the better cars further out? Geez, it shouldn't be this difficult. I picked the first one.

I loaded my bags, hopped in, adjust my mirrors, and started the car. I was depending on Siri to get me to my destination, so programmed the address. Off I go. I could not find a single decent radio station. Maybe it was Sunday night....but still. Adult songs? Did that mean the language was bad? Religious music sounded like rap. Oh well, no music for me.

The roads were a bit dark and winding. I missed one exit, but was quickly re-routed without having to make a u-turn. That was nice and I arrived all in one piece. It was after midnight when I found my cozy bed all made up for me in the living room and I got to hug my girls before going to bed.