December 15, 2011

Mary Did You Know?

 I didn't know what God planned for my children's lives when I gave birth to them.

Neither did Mary, the mother of Jesus.
But I know better now, 31 years into motherhood, that they are His, just as I am.
Since eternity past He has had marvelous plans for all of us
and I've witnessed the fulfillment of many of them.
So did Mary.
May Jesus fill your heart with His love this Christmas season
and through the New Year!

August 12, 2011

Teddy Bear Tea Party: Part 2-Invitations & the pink flamingos

Hey, that title could be the name of a rock band!

Thanks for dropping by to help me celebrate my
One Year Blogoversary!
Your presence blesses me on a daily basis!  Your comment love means a lot to me!

It's been so much fun planning for this party.  As I made up the guest list, I thought of all the wonderful women and girls who bless me and my daughter with their friendship and I wanted to invite twice as many as I did!  In fact, if I invited all of my blogger friends I'd have to rent a huge hall to accommodate us all! Thanks for your prayer and comment support this past year.  How appropriate that I get to celebrate this milepost in my life pondering my real and virtual relationships.  

Want to bless kids with cancer?  Click here to here to earn donations for Friends of Kids with Cancer & for another MiracleMakeovertm for someone in-need.  Before you leave here today, please scroll to the bottom of this post and read the message from Beverly at How Sweet the Sound about the Miracle Makeover or just click here [to go to the MM site].

The day before we left on vacation, I made the invitations for the party.  First, I went to Micheal's and bought several packages of cards that were blank-inside,  $1.50 for 6.

Next, I typed the words of invitation on a Word document and then copied and pasted it 2 more times on the same document.  I cut the 3 invitations apart, trimmed the edges, and nipped the corners with my handy-dandy corner rounder punch thingy.  Last, I glued them to the inside of the cards.
This is how I worded it:
You are invited to
A Teddy Bear Tea Party
To honor
Sonja * *, My First Grandchild
[Daughter #2]
Saturday, August 20, 2011
1 p.m.
At My Home
[my address]
Please bring a favorite childhood toy (teddy bear, doll, book, etc.)
or be prepared to tell us a story about your childhood.
R.S.V.P. [my phone number] or [my email address]
I asked my friends to bring a toy or story so they could share about it with the group as an ice-breaker.  What do you think about that?  Do you have any other suggestions to just get 
a group of women (ages 4-85) talking?
Also, I invited 4 of my little girlfriends, ages 4 to 8, along with their Mommies and/or Grandmas.  It seems like a fun, informal way for them to learn ladylike manners in a group social situation.  
I wanted to get the invitations out before I left on vacation so my friends would have nearly a month to plan and respond.  So far, about 12 women I invited have R.S.V.P.'ed, which I really appreciate. Makes it so much easier to plan how much food and party supplies to buy.

Speaking of goodies.  Let me just say this:  if you leave the party without having satisfied your sweet tooth it will be your own fault!  I hope to share my menu and recipe links soon.

While I was creating and addressing the invitations, my Dear Husband was glamming up the border of this flower bed.  The bricks defined it so nicely.
Then he made a new bed under the rhododendron on the back side of our home.  Remember the French drain he installed here last summer?  This is an improvement of monumental proportions.
Oh, there are the 2 new members of the family, the pink flamingos.  I bought them as a kind of memorial to our local garden column writer, Dulcy Mahar, who passed away in July.  She wrote a weekly column with contagious passion, enthusiasm, and wit for nearly 20 years.  A few years ago, she added a flock of 4 flamingos to her woodsy back area.  Before that, she had a thing for garden gnomes.    By her suggestion, I created my outdoor room.  I will miss her.
Did you know that flamingos like the seeds on fern fronds?  I didn't either.
This area under the fir and cottonwood trees gets very little sun.  We've struggled valiantly to grow grass here, but to no avail.  My DH covered it with some garden mulch just to cover the bare clay.  Voila!  He'd just added another flower bed to his Honey-Do list.  He didn't mind.  I transplanted 4 ferns from elsewhere in the yard.  Then I took a hit for the team and visited a favorite nursery to purchase several new ferns, some ground cover, and 3 pink impatiens for a little of the party's theme color.  We're thrilled to reclaim and beautify the area just in time for the party.  I plan to spread quilts, chairs, and small tables on the grass in front of this area so we can talk amongst ourselves.
By the way, would you please pray with me that we have pleasant weather for the party, especially because I plan to have it in the back yard.  Thanks!  I knew I could count on you.
Linking up with
Charlotte & Ginger for Spiritual Sundays.
Beverly for Pink Saturday.  
Here's a message from Beverly about this week's Pink Saturday.  Please click on the Pink Saturday link above to find out how your blessing post and comments can contribute to the Miracle Makeover sponsored by Design Gives Back@ Design Gives Back/Kelee. 

I'm so excited because

today is the day

we all share a blessing

in our life,


help to raise money for

another Miracle Makeover.

August 11, 2011

Teddy Bear Tea Party: Part 1-Preparations

Sonja already has a collection of Teddy Bears
 Before we ever knew we would be grandparents, preparations were underway to spiff up the place for my 
August 20, 2011
When we knew my Daughter would give birth in May, I wanted to give her a party here where she finished her growing up years with our friends from school, our church, and the community.  But her spring was full of school, a baby shower, and attending SIL's choir performances, so that didn't happen.  We decided to do it in summer so everyone here could meet our first grandbaby.

Okay, backing up to last summer.  My Dear Husband helped me reclaim what had been an eyesore next to our driveway.  He dug up a patch of clay and rocks. 

I planted alyssum and zinnias...
and a new, to me, cosmos...
and sunflowers all from seed.
I just love this one.  Not the most imaginative shot, but what a beautiful color!
Then my Sweetie cleaned the moss off the entire roof!  At least he had good weather to do it and me to bring him a cold glass of water and take pictures of him working hard.
Of course, there's the Saga of Installing 2 French Drains.  Our gutters and drains off the back of the house were being strangled by tree roots and debris.  DH hired a couple of guys to help him dig two 3'x4'x3' holes and two 12' pipe trenches.
Here's how both holes looked after filling them with 6 yards of gravel and a foot of dirt:
Next time I'll show you how we gussied this up.
Then when my Little Brother came to visit last August, we put him to work, too, fixing the window panes in the garage door.
But here's some prep work which probably isn't common to most parties: 
My county repaved the whole street just so it would look clean for my party. 
Uh, not so much.  But it was nice to see my tax dollars at work.  If you get my drift.
You're probably getting carpel tunnel just scrolling down through all this, so I'll sign off.
But you have fair warning, folks!  Yours truly is on a mission to complete preparations for the
Teddy Bear Tea Party. 
So take a deep breath and hold on tight 'cuz I'm going to share more tomorrow.

August 9, 2011

Sonja at 7 weeks

Click to play this Smilebox collage

A couple of weeks ago, my son and DIL invited their Facebook friends to a s'mores and bonfire party that night in their backyard.  Trouble is, their backyard is nearly 3 hours away.  I called 'em and asked if I could come up to enjoy their party and stay overnight, too.  They agreed and all I had to do was kiss my Dear Husband bye-bye, gas up the car, and get on the road.   Well, that, and call Daughter #2 to see if I could visit my granddaughter.  They live about 20 minutes from our son and DIL.
I got to see her (and her Mommy and Daddy) for dinner, which was a delicious Vegetable Gratin.  [Add garlic, but don't add the 1/2 water called for.]  A lot of things have changed since I was a new parent.  But one thing has NOT.  Babies have the uncanny ability to know when dinner is hot and ready to be served.  That's when they, too, get hunger pangs.  So I got to feed her a bottle while the kids ate.  It was my first time doing that.  Oh, those precious sucking sounds!  And how she burped so cutely!  And was so sweetly satisfied!  We all boogied over to the party, feasted on s'mores and fellowshiped with some real friendly folks.  And the weather was just cool enough to enjoy the fire in the new portable fireplace.

Here's my granddaughter at 7 weeks.  When you click on the arrow of the collage, a new window will open.  To enlarge the pictures, click on them.
Children's children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.
Proverbs 17:6
Oh, Lord thank you for our precious Sonja!  And I pray that we, her grandparents and her parents, will walk faithfully with You and teach her of Your love and grace by the example of our lives and the words of our mouths.  Amen. 

Not yet ready to claim to be aged, are you?  But one day I hope to be, so I can see Sonja grow to be a woman after God's heart.

God bless your week with His grace, mercy, and peace.
You can make your own collage or slide show by going here.  Turn off your speakers if you don't want to hear the music that begins when you open the page. 
Linking with:
Darlene at Time-Warp Wife

Internet Cafe for Word-Filled Wednesday

August 2, 2011

Praise him?

If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river...
Isaiah 48:18
A precious friend, newly married, called me last night needing prayer for her and her husband.  They'd had a fight, one of several in recent days, it turns out.  Through tears, she spilled out a few pertinent details.   I, too, with memories of being a new bride, teared up and immediately, knowing there was no thing I could do to make things better, began praying aloud with her.  By God's good grace, we were "hoping patiently for what [she] does not yet have [Romans 8:25], " a peaceful marriage.

The Lord pressed their needs on my heart several times last night and early this morning.  So I lifted them and their marriage up to Him hopefully.  
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."  [Romans 5:5]

Later, as I ate my cereal and fresh blueberries, I opened the Day 12 email from Revive Our Hearts:  30 Days of Encouraging Your Husband.  [Click on the link to sign up for the challenge.]

Again, the Lord reminded me of  my friend and her husband.  I began composing an email to forward to her today's challenge about a wife's own heart attitude as she struggles to find something praiseworthy in her husband.  Because I know she and I aren't the only wives who are challenged in these areas, I decided to share my thoughts with you, too.

Hi, ***

As I was lifting you in prayer this morning, Colossians 3:23,24 came to mind:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
People who marry, marry sinners.  Because of sin, Jesus chose to be sacrificed for His Bride, the Church.  In so doing, we have the gracious privilege of having intimacy with the Maker, Savior, and Comforter of the human race!  
So, marriage means sacrifice.  Moment by moment, dying to self.  Begin the discipline of habitually praising Jesus by praising, esteeming your husband.  Such praise begins in a heart that is repentant and submitted to Jesus first. That kind of praise will rise to heaven as a fragrant offering on the altar of your marriage.  Such an aroma is pleasing to our Heavenly Father, our husbands, and to everyone around us.   

"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."  2 Corinthians 2:15 
I promise you that you will be rewarded by God for your efforts.
And peace like a river will flow into your hurting heart.
Love, Karen 
Linking up with
Free Pretty Things for You for Whatever You Want Wednesday
Katie Lloyd Photography for Scripture & Snapshot

July 27, 2011

She is a daughter of the King

Just want to catch you up on some of what's happened in our lives since our first grandbaby was born.
She was baptized into God's family on Sunday, June 5th.
In attendance at this joyful event:  Parents of SIL, pastor, SIL & Daughter #2 holding grandbaby, 
Dear Husband, Moi, Son & DIL, Mom, SIL & Daughter #1

4 Generations of our family
We had brunch together at the same restaurant we went to on Mother's Day.
Oh, I just love to nibble on these sweet little piggies!

May our tender Shepherd touch you with His grace today, friends!


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