This has been a rough week for several reasons. Tonight after watching the devastating news of floods and tornados in our country, I looked out our front window, expecting to see the rain I was hearing on our roof, and this is what I saw. Without a doubt, this was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. My photos don't begin to do it justice. Not only was it a double, full rainbow, but the colors were almost flourescent in their brightness. I tromped around the yard in my sock feet trying to capture some of the magic of this event. I really wish I was a better photographer. The odd thing is, on the way home the sun was out, yet it was raining. When I got home there were beautiful rays of light radiating out of some billowy white clouds. Soon after I got home, it grew dark and ominous looking. Then within minutes, this rainbow came out. I think God was sending all who saw it a message of hope.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
This has not been the best day by any measure of the imagination. A good friend was diagnosed with cancer today. I went with Randy to see his doctor to try to figure out why he is having pain in his back. . . no answers yet, but the doctor did prescribe physical therapy. And then I picked up my "pre-procedure" stuff in preparation for an upcoming colonoscopy. I guess I won't be putting that off any longer, with our friends diagnosis. I also need to schedule a mammogram (I got my reminder letter in the mail today). I am all about prevention, but some days it just seems like there is too much to handle in the world. I think everyone would feel a little better if the sun would just shine. Maybe we will have better news tomorrow.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Easter is full of memories of my children as "egg hunters" and all dressed up in their new clothes for church. Now I am making memories with my grandchildren as the little hunters and wide eyed enthusiasts. No matter the weather, Easter is a new beginning and an opportunity to stop, think about all we have in the world and who made it possible. Happy Easter everyone!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This has been a very busy week for me. I have not had the time or energy to write much. We have had the little ones several nights while their mom and dad have been truck shopping. On Tuesday night I traveled about an hour from home to present a program on reading to a group of parents. And work has been crazy! I am hoping for a relaxing long weekend. The forecast says rain for the entire weekend, so we will have to move the Easter Egg hunt to the inside on Sunday. Have a blessed and joyful Easter!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
If you don't read any other book this year, please read this book. I know not everyone will enjoy this subject matter, but it is a remarkable book that I have not been able to put down all day. A 5 year old boy and his mother are confined to an 11 x 11 foot "room". The story is told by the boy and will most likely haunt me for years. It is well written and keeps you paying close attention so as not to miss anything. It is the best book I have read since "Help" and "The Kindness of Strangers". I am definitely going to recommend it to my friends who love to read.
After lunch yesterday, Maddison drew this picture on her easle for me. We have been playing pictionary lately, and this message was intended to let me know that she did NOT want to take a nap. I was going to let her slide, but Aunt Bea laid down with her for a little while and she ended up sleeping over two hours! Mason is trying out his new bike, and loving it. It is great to see the kids outside after a long winter.
Friday, April 15, 2011
I finished "The Weird Sisters" this morning. This was the story of a family with 3 grown and very different daughters. The mom gets cancer and all 3 daughters end up living back at home. Each daughter struggles with her place in the family and with her relationship with her siblings. All 3 are at a crossroads in her life. I enjoyed the book very much. It had a light feel to it, but still dealt with real issues. It was a nice, refreshing change from some of the books I have been reading. Check it out. . . I think you will like it!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
You would think that since the weather is in perfect Missouri harmony (sunny 77 degrees today, chance of snow a little north of here this weekend) that I would not have anything to complain about today. However, I spent the day at a Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Conference. The keynote speaker was an economist, who advocated for children. Somehow that struck me as a rare and wonderful thing. His topic was "The Business Case for Preventing Child Abuse." And he really made a lot of sense. During his speech, he highlighted the growing gap between the "haves and have- nots in our country." He feels that the current budget battle represents a momentous crossroads in our history on the level of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Women's Suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement. How this budget battle ends, he feels, will lay the ground work for our country's future. If I can summarize him, it would be to ask, "How much do we value the child in our society?" Kind of got me riled up! Then I got home and heard that a woman in our town practiced a "suicide by train" last night. As the mother of a railroad employee, I feel for all involved, especially the engineer who was an unwilling participant in this situation. I know the woman had to be in a great deal of pain, but the image will most likely stay in the railroad employee's mind for the rest of their life. Tragic in all ways.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Being a typical little boy, Mason is in constant need of band-aides. His sister and I went to the store while he helped his Dad and Grandpa rebuild a fence. I asked him what he wanted from the store and he said "Spider Man Band-aides". So, here he is enjoying his new "gift"! Maddison loves to climb the tulip tree in her front yard. It was a wonderful spring weekend in Missouri!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Just a few observations at the end of a great weekend: 1. To have the furnace and air conditioner on in the same week must mean that spring has arrived in Missouri. 2. Nothing is better that watching small children enjoy the pleasures of outdoors after a long winter. 3. Having the family gathered at the table means more than all the money in the bank. 4. Under the "kids say the darn-est things" column, Amanda told me about a couple of funny things Mason said last week: After day care, he told his mom that he had pinched his finger on the journal. She asked, "you mean the book that you write in?" (he is 3). He said, "no, where I pee". Oh. . . the urinal! And then she was pulling into a parking lot preparing to park. From the back, Mason said, "Don't park in the Captain's spot". She said; "The Captain's spot?". She turned around to see him pointing at the "Handicapped Space". 5. There seems to be so much work to do both inside and outside a house after a long cold winter. I don't even know where to start, so I just spent the weekend enjoying family and outdoor activities. I guess the work will still be there next weekend.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
In 2004, Doc Blackmore went to Colorado on a hunting expedition. During the trip, he had a tragic bicycle accident and became a parapalegic, vent dependent person. For five years, Doc, his wife Cindy and their three children "journeyed" through life, surviving and inspiring others through prayer, presentations and example. In 2009, Doc passed away, leaving a legacy of love, courage and strength. Cindy has written two books describing their 5 years. The first is "The Journal of the Journey, Five Years with Doc and Cindy Blackmore". The other is "Remember to Laugh. The Story of Doc and Cindy Blackmore". I attended the book signing today at our local library. Doc was a friend and co-worker of my husbands. I bought both books, and I hope to read them soon. After reading the inscription, and a few random pages, I think I am going to have to gather my courage before I begin. If you have the chance to order this book, I can almost guarantee that you will be inspired. It is a story that has touched my life deeply and one that brings me hope in the depths and reach of human nature.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Wasn't there a country song called "The High Cost of Living"? If not, there should be. In our area today gas went up to $3.65 a gallon, about the 3rd or 4th increase in the last two weeks. And if that wasn't bad enough, I had to go grocery shopping. I decided to visit Aldis since my last trip to the big discount store about gave me a nervous breakdown with the grocery prices ($5 for a pint of tomatoes?!). I am a price watcher, but I don't usually obsess about the costs, just pay attention. At this bag your own, bring your own bag, dig out of a box, pay a quarter for a cart, wait in line "cheap" store, I paid $1.61 for a 5# bag of flour. Very recently it was $1.19, and I thought that was high! And my meat loving husband could not even bring himself to pay the high prices for pork that they charged. . . instead we opted to buy whole chickens and cut them up ourselves. I am not sure what is going to happen to the middle class family, especially the ones with small children. If you don't get food stamps, and you aren't rich, you are going to spend a whole big chunk of your paycheck on food. Is anyone else out there worried about this? I may start blogging some money saving tips. . . I know I could sure use some. I promise to blog about happier things this weekend.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I just finished "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet". I really liked this book about a young Chinese boy finding his way during a difficult time in American history. If you have wondered about the Japanese Internment during WWII, this would be a good book to pick up. (and yes, it was a Chinese boy and the Japanese internment). On a different note, this weekend I was pushing Mason on our horse shaped tire swing. Maddison was patiently waiting for her turn when she noticed the limb the swing was hanging from was bouncing and creaking quite a bit. "Wow" she said, looking at me, "if someone like you got on the swing that tree would really break". Ahh, I had to laugh! I may have to renew my recent weight loss efforts!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
A boy, a creek and some batman boots. What more could you want on a warm and sunny spring day in Missouri?
It has been a long winter without any rock hunting! Maddison loves to hunt for rocks in the creek bed. The bucket was a little "overkill" since Maddie really only picks up the tiniest rocks. Randy found a couple of tiny beads, that we think are left from Indian ancestors.
Monday, April 4, 2011
When I posted earlier this morning, I did not yet know about the damage some family members had from the storm. Randy's aunt and uncle lost a shed, everything off their large patio, a deer stand, part of a chimney and several trees. His cousin and his wife most likely lost their entire home. Half of the roof was blown off, which let tons of rain inside. Their new machine shed was almost totally destroyed. The really sad part of the story is the 2006 tornado that hit our property also hit theirs and leveled their home. The home that was damaged last night was the home they built after the 2006 tornado took their first home. And, in case you are thinking that they shouldn't have rebuilt in the same place, they didn't. The new home was probably 5 miles from the first home. They are either the unluckiest couple in the area, or they are the luckiest. The 2006 tornado was a near miss for their lives. They had just closed the door to the basement when their home blew away. Last night, they were on their way home from a weekend at the lake when the roof came off. No one was hurt in either incident. Wow! I have to say that I am very proud of the men in my family today. Randy took off work as soon as he heard about the destruction, and along with Josh and Scott spent the day there helping. They took trucks and trailers and moved what they could salvage to a storage area. It was a small thing when you see the scope of the damage, but providing the moral support most likely meant a great deal to these devastated people. That's what family and friends do for each other. . . I hope to have the opportunity to contribute too.
We had some violent storms come through our area last night. Yesterday it was 80 degrees here, mostly sunny, but a bit overcast. About 10 p.m., we got a "Code Red" call warning us of severe storms in our area. Soon after the wind started howling and the rain began. About 11 p.m. we lost power. I could not believe how dark it was in our house. I forget how much light we get from LED clocks on the appliances, TV, etc. About 1 a.m. I woke up again and could still hear the wind blowing through our trees. I could not go back to sleep. Usually when I have nights like this I get up and read, catch up on Facebook, or once in awhile turn on the TV. But all I could do last night was just lay in bed and listen to the wind. It was a very long night. Sometime before 4 I fell back asleep, and our power came back on. I am so eternally grateful for electricity! It is still too dark out to see if we had any damage around our property. Most of our weak trees were downed when the tornado hit us in 2006. I will be very glad to see the sun come up this morning!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
What a brave Grandpa! Randy decided to let the kids help him with a hair cut. They really enjoyed the experience, probably much more so that he did! I think they have been watching their mom practice, because they seemed to know how to handle the equipment.