Monday, October 22, 2018

"There were only six of us then; how we've grown!"

That post title comes from my daughter's song, "Satellites," and it is more true today than it was even when she wrote it to put on her first album called, "Whispered Stories," released in 2013!
(You can check out her work and info at: bjeanmusic(dot)com
:)
I'll just post a photo from 10/18/2018.
 :)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

How I spell "Happiness"

If I could use only one word to describe "happiness," that word for me would have to be:
FAMILY
So when two of our four children traveled across the country with their families to join my husband and me and the other two of our children who live in our town so we could be all together in one place for Thanksgiving, I was filled to the brim with "happiness"!
And a line from my singer-songwriter daughter Brittany Jean's song, "Satellites," came to mind:
"There were only six of us then.... how we've grown!"
We began to "grow" in 2004 when our eldest got married... and then had their first child in 2008...
then her two brothers followed that marriage path several years later...
then... more children came along, whom I like to refer to as our "grand-loves," so that now our family members' magic number is fifteen!
Next year, in the year 2017, we shall grow by three more as each of our married children will welcome babies, and Lord willing, our tribe will reach the eighteen mark!
I am so grateful to the Lord for each one of these people! What a blessing they are!
"Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

How do you  spell happiness?


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Blessing of Family: Priceless!

I think there were a total of 44 of us gathered together to surprise my mom with an early birthday party on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. We pulled off the surprise, so that was a lot of fun.
Amongst our family members is one professional photographer and she captured a few good shots of all of us together. That is quite a feat, especially with some little boys that insist on making every shot a "goofy shot."  :)
I must say, though: I.Love.My.Family!
They are a "good and perfect gift" from the Lord above!



Yay! It worked! The photo showed up!  :-)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Book Cover Reveal Day!

 My daughter, Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, is preparing her next book, Yorien's Hand, to go on sale hopefully in mid-November, 2015!
But first, a peek at the beautiful book cover painted in water colors by Angelina D'Angelo Walker. Copy and paste the following link to view:

http://jenelleschmidt.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Yoriens-Hand-Cover-Reveal-Banner-Small.png

All the details can be read at Jenelle's web site:

http://jenelleschmidt.com/yoriens-hand-cover-reveal/

I had the privilege of reading and doing some editing work on this book, so I'm quite excited about it getting closer to its release date! I know it is a great story!

If you enjoy fantasy-fiction with high adventures, intrigue, and dragons(!), you will be delighted with this third installment in Jenelle's "The Minstrel Song" series!

I hope you will have time to take a look!

Satellites, Meteorites, & Stars...

Wednesday, 8/12/15
What a wonderful evening we had tonight, listening to Brittany Jean put on a concert at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Washington! She did three 45-minute segments, with a 10-15 minute intermission after the 1st and 2nd segments. It wasn't a very big turn out, maybe 20 to 25 people total attending, but those that were there were extremely warm and welcoming to her! And 18 of her Whispered Stories CD's were sold! The Lodge sold tickets for this event in order to make a contribution to the Carlton Complex Fire Recovery efforts. Brittany Jean did a wonderful job and many of her songs seemed to evoke tears from many in the audience--a sign of a great story-teller balladeer!  :)
Upon arriving home quite late, I decided to see if I could see any of the meteorites that were predicted to be showering down tonight. I did see some, and that was a lot of fun. I saw a couple satellites as well. The billions of stars were amazing to behold! Talk about feeling small!
From the telescopic to the microscopic--it all points to The One Creator of it all! Regardless of whether He is accepted or rejected, He allows everyone to enjoy the myriad blessings of His creation!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
     For some reason, after reading my daughter's blog post regarding her second-born daughter, who just turned three years old yesterday, a line from a story came to mind and I couldn't recall from what source it came. I did a Google search to find out that it came from Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass.
     Now, that has never been a story I paid much attention to, as I never really liked it; but after scrolling through some Lewis Carroll quotes from that book, I think I should pick up a copy from the library and read it from start to finish. Then I might either confirm my dislike for it...or perhaps be dissuaded from that opinion.
     Anyway, the line I was thinking of in relation to how quickly three years has seemed to pass for my granddaughter to already be three was this:  “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” 
     So this morning, I think I shall just stop and be still and not hurry...so I just don't get any more behinder!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's Not Just "For the Birds"

Matthew 6:26 (ESV)
"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

Outside my kitchen window, a sparrow of some sort, perhaps a "Common Redpoll" according to a photo I looked up, built a nest underneath the porch rafters. I had considered early on discouraging it from building its nest there, but then decided I would enjoy having such a close view of the nest, to see all the "stages" unfold before my eyes.

It HAS been fun to see the momma bird come and go, trying to keep up with what looks like FOUR hungry mouths to feed! Oftentimes when I hear the clamor of little baby birds chirping, I know that the momma bird has returned with food; I hurry over to the kitchen sink, and from my "front row seat" (window), I get to watch all the activity.

In my Bible reading this morning from Psalm 104:27-30, I read this:
27 "These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground." (ESV)

Every time I hear and see those little birds with their mouths wide open in eager and frantic expectation of food, I can't help but think of my own relationship with my Abba Father God and ask myself: Do I look to Him for my food--not just for my physical sustenance, but for my soul? Do I gather up the "soul food" he provides and allow Him to fill me with good things?

I do know that "when He hides His face from me," I am dismayed. But I do realize that He is not really the One who is hiding His face from me, but rather I have turned my back on Him and I cannot see His face when the "eyes of my heart" are looking in the opposite direction! I remember that when Father God turned His face away from His own Son who was bearing the sin and shame of the whole world on the cross, that meant that God would never turn His face away from His "adopted children," which includes me! So I am the one who must turn, must repent, and fix my eyes once more on Jesus, "the Author and perfecter of my faith!" (Hebrews 12:2)

As I went outside to turn on the sprinkler yesterday, I saw a little baby bird lying facedown on the ground, dead. Since it was only a few feet away from the nest I've been watching, I wondered if it might have come from there. I will see if I can count how many mouths are now still poking up out of that nest! As the baby birds have been growing quite rapidly, I figured it would not be very long before that little nest would become just too small to hold four growing birds! Perhaps that little bird grew impatient and decided he was ready to escape the nest and fend for himself. Perhaps he grew impatient waiting for his mother to return each time with something to eat. Or perhaps he was forced out, or even pushed (quite by accident, I'm sure!). Whatever the circumstances, his life was over before he got to see the world; however, its fall did not escape Father God's attention (Matthew 10:29); nor does any calamity that befalls me escape my Father's attention!

I'm reminded that not even death can separate me from the love of God! (Romans 8:38-39)

What does He require of me then? "To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him." (Micah 6:8) He wants me to "walk in His steps," (1 Peter 2:21), to "taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8)
"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" (Psalm 27:14)
"T
hey who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

I'm going to continue watching this little bird family and try to learn more lessons!



  

Summer 2007 Collage

Summer 2007 Collage
Brittany mails her deposit for puppy; Piano recital with supporting "fans"; making music in our home; Family get togethers; baseball; new fence.

Family dinner in Chicago, 9JUL07

Family dinner in Chicago, 9JUL07
Brittany, Nan, Jim, Jenelle, Derek, Grant, & Evan celebrating Jenelle and Derek's 3rd anniversary (early) at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Chicago. Yummy!!!

Jenelle and Derek

Jenelle and Derek
It's always fun to have them come home for a visit! They got to spend a week with us over the 4th of July holiday. We celebrated their 3rd anniversary early by going to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Chicago.

New Patio Furniture to enjoy

New Patio Furniture to enjoy
Brittany, Evan, Claire, Jenelle, Derek, Grant, & Jim trying out our new patio furniture. Sadly, the new umbrella got destroyed in our Aug. 24 tornado!!! :-(

Coach Jim (and nephew Austin)

Coach Jim (and nephew Austin)
Jim coached our boys' baseball team, the Chicago Titans, in the Skyscraper League, Chicago. This was a lot of work, but Jim and the boys had some fun with it.

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline
This was the baseball field near UIC where the boys played all their games this summer. It was quite a spectacular backdrop to view!

Our cute puppy, Sadie

Our cute puppy, Sadie
Grant liked this little puppy! Jim, Brittany, Grant, and Nan drove up to northern WI to get her (Golden Retriever) on July 22. She was fantastic for the 6 hour trip home!

Evan and "Sadie"

Evan and "Sadie"
This golden retriever puppy was such a cute 6 1/2 week old puppy. Evan worked at a private golf resort all summer, so he did not have too much free time, but in his few spare moments he would enjoy playing with Sadie.

Brittany and "Sadie"

Brittany and "Sadie"
And of course, Brittany loved Sadie! It was HER puppy. She had counted the days after Sadie was born in June until the day we could go pick her up! Nan loved Sadie, too, but caring for such a young pup combined with all the kids soon heading back to full-time at schools...was too much for Nan...and the decision was made to take Sadie back to her home in WI...where she was placed in a very good home with folks who raised golden retrievers! We had fun with Sadie for 6 days and we miss her! (You can see the new fence we put up in our back yard...for our doggie.)

Jim and "Sadie"

Jim and "Sadie"
Jim and Brittany drove Sadie back to WI after we had her 6 days. Sadly, Nan was the one who could not "cope" with all that would be involved in raising a dog. It has been one of the hardest things in Nan's life...to bring to an end the dream of her daughter to have a dog!

Grandpa turned 80!

Grandpa turned 80!
Grandkids: Brittany, Brandon, Grant, Austin, Jalen, Connor, LeAnn, Ethan, Garrett~think "Grandpa Wonderful"...

Grandma's turn was coming...

Grandma's turn was coming...
she also would turn 80 this year, so her grandkids helped her celebrate early. LeAnn, Brittany, Austin, Brandon, Grant Ethan, Connor, Jalen, Garrett

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!
Randy(50), Nan (52), Mom(80), Anne (44), poolside in Morenci

Angelina, Grant, Evan, Claire

Angelina, Grant, Evan, Claire
Making summer memories...ready to drive to Cleveland, OH for a Kenny Chesney concert, with a stop in Morenci to introduce the girls to G'ma & G'pa; and enjoy the Randy Porter Family and their 4-wheelers! :-)

Grant-man leaving for Biola

Grant-man leaving for Biola
It was an early morning departure for Grant as he and Jim would drive the Ford Pickup Truck back to La Mirada, CA, where Grant began his 3rd year.

Sunrise Departure

Sunrise Departure
Nan and Grant take a "self-portrait"...photo booth style! Grant and Jim were leaving early in the morning to drive cross-country to California! Nan is smiling, but she is NEVER happy to see her boys leave home...again!

Evan-man heading back to Biola, 20OCT07

Evan-man heading back to Biola, 20OCT07
Mom says yet another "good bye" :-( We brought Evan home for a "mini fall break" so he could surprise Claire with an in-between-visit before Thanksgiving.

My Girls 9Sep07

My Girls 9Sep07
Jenelle (25 in photo, now 26) and Brittany (15 here, but now she's "sweet 16") are pure delights to my heart! They are truly "treasures" from the Lord! We enjoyed a Labor Day week visit from Jenelle and Derek. We LOVE having them visit!!!

Hello, Snow!

Hello, Snow!
First snow of December, day 1

Busy, Hungry Squirrel

Busy, Hungry Squirrel
Here's one of many squirrels we enjoy watching as they scamper and play in the snow. This one found a cob of corn and seemed to enjoy nibbling at it!

Squirrel eating his lunch...

Squirrel eating his lunch...
This squirrel was a lot of fun to watch as he dragged this cob of corn around our yard! I wonder if he carried it up into his hole in the tree!

One more squirrel photo

One more squirrel photo
I enjoyed looking out my kitchen window to watch this busy squirrel as he ate his corn. It is so marvelous how the Lord cares for meeting the needs of the wild animals! How much more He cares for us!!!