Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year Babies

What do those who are born on February 29th do about their birthdays on the in-between years? I mean I am sure they, or their parents, the day the are born, just have to pick another day to celebrate, March 1 or February 28. I have wondered about this in the past but not to the place of serious thought.

For some odd reason I wondered about this birthday dilemma today, out loud, to a friend. I do not think most of us really give a hoot. I know I never did before. But babies will be born today and will not have another birth DATE for four more years. When you are small you could care less, I mean who at one year of age knows the difference between one day or the next. You eat, sleep, poop, go to grandma's; could be any old day. It's when we get older that we/I crave the adulation that comes with God allowing us another year here in the fallen world.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to all you leap year babies out there. I could give you several of mine it you'd like to catch up...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Baby Mia

I had the tune in my head but could not remember the right words. The wind was bitter; the sky gloomy(most of the day), and I had make the trip to Kittanning TWICE today. So what made the day beautiful? I guess the pricking of my spirit with the knowledge that we can be content in all things. And content does not mean just enduring, putting up with, or eeking by. But I believe it means a relaxed peaceful enjoyment in our lives as they are, sort of an "as is" kind of acceptance.

The icy wind that bit at my cheeks, dove under my collar and around my neck and reminded me how alive I am. The hardness of the bricks under my boots as I tromp from one end of the barn to the other allows even my feeble legs to feel sturdy and strong. Warm horse breath on the back of my neck brings a smile to my frozen face as the huge creatures bend their graceful neck to show their appreciation for the days hay, and a clean stall. Well not so sure they care about the clean stall, but truly they want a neck scratching or muzzle rub just like any house pet. Each with their own personality they give and receive affection on their terms and in their own manner of demonstration.

Today life felt good. Every day God is good; all His gifts are good; so no matter what every day is good, regardless of how I feel. Knowing this and walking it out in faith is an exceptional thing. But today I did not have to just go on in faith. Today God blessed me with the deep inner sense of "yes, this day is Good." Which made the day all the sweeter. Not a special day by any means, a little wearing by some standards. But crisp clean air, dinner smiles and laughter with my family, and a little damp horse breath, all bathed in the Grace and Glory of the Lord came together to create on beautiful day in my neighborhood.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Is it any wonder

In case anyone is wondering...we did make it home safely. I am truly happy to be home, cold weather and all. I missed my horses and I did miss my other kids, and my friends. You know me, I could not stand the fact that I was enjoying all that sunshine and warm weather when my dear ones were freezing their way through icy dark days. Took some of the fun out of it all.

Seems like we are to get another blast of winter weather. Drew says big storm tonight. He is snoring right now which is kind of funny since he was sure he was not going to be able to fall asleep so early.

I am beginning to feel a bit better. I know God is the same today, and yesterday, and will be the same tomorrow, but still I waver, wondering if all will be well. From my perspective some days just do not seem like hope abounds. But it does. Not because I believe it does but because He says it does. My believing has not one thing to do with it. My believing only changes me. When I choose to believe, I choose faith, and faith builds hope. All empowered by the Holy Spirit yes, but it is our/my opening my hand and heart to receive that allows God to do the work He chooses to do. It's like Dorothy, there's no place like home, and what we are searching for is usually in our own back yard. Heh?

And Vic, what happened today?

Friday, February 22, 2008

North: Night Two

I love being here...

Mom and Jer lounging in the villa

Horse and cowboy gag at Arabian Nights...poor quality pic but very funny

Much better accommodations. Tonight we are nestled into deep cushioned Hampton Inn beds. Bathroom is well stocked; right down to a packaged make-up remover wipe. Oh yea. Extra towels, complete with nap, and on the large size. Hand towels and washcloths. Yippee!! The quilts on the beds DO NOT slide to the floor every time you inhale or exhale. I believe the cotton fibers are the saving grace factor compared to the low grade high sheen polyester of last night's linens.

Drew and I figured out how to gracefully get to choose which hotel we stay at without having to seem like snobs. Since we lead and our loved ones follow as we drive; we simply drove until exhaustion and hunger became such powerful forces that all other modes of reason were defunct. We searched the Internet for a Red Lobster, not a fourth Cracker Barrel, to serve as our dinner stop. And surprise, surprise a Hampton Inn was perched demurely on the hill across the highway from the restaurant. After gorging our selves on shrimp and pasta at the McDonald's of seafood all the weary over-full travelers could think of was a hot shower and bed. It didn't hurt that it had begun to snow while we were dining and the darkness was thick and damp. "how 'bout that place up on the hill over there?" the innocents inquire. "Why yes, that would probably due, might be a little pricey though."
"Oh, who cares, we are cold and tired, and its right there..."

And here we are.
I know I am keeping Drew up with my key pecking. Truly we did not plan the hotel caper, it just worked out that way. But the lesson learned should be remembered. Ya think?

Of course I do believe God rewarded our willingness to give so unselfishly last night and Drew and I even discussed how we did not want to have bad attitudes but wanted to be a blessing to our family. It gave us an opportunity today to talk a bit about how seek ways to humbly serve. OK, not that it was a long discussion but it did happen. Our God is so good and so patient with me and mine.

Tomorrow we make our last push home, through the forecasted storm. I am ready and prayerfully our angels will be also as we slip slide north to Shelocta.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

North: Night One

Here we are at the Motel 6. Keep in mind I am a bit of a hotel snob. I dearly love the folks we are traveling with but, their choice in overnight accommodations is a bit on the well... cheap side. Not even any soap in the tub, let alone shampoo or nice lotion. The beds are adequate, sheets fair, two small pillows. Alas, as always an opportunity to for grace to abound and me to die to my flesh. Oops, Drew just found the soap, so yes to soap, not to shampoo. 'Course I have shampoo in the bag.
Again, vacation, traveling all provide many chances to test our faith and our willingness to die to our own feeble flesh. Living with other folks in a big home in the middle of a big field can be challenging but traveling in a car or even two cars with friends or family, sharing a small home with almost no yard will really stretch ya. On vacation we all have our own preconceived ideas of what the holiday should provide for US...ourselves. I know I did. I guess I may have left my "serve my family" convictions at home. Jesus expects us to take Him and His rules of behavior with us even on vacation.
Understand, I/we all had a great time, most of the time. But my selfish heart did spend some of the time grumbling about silly disappointments and interrupted naps. Ha...I want to expound my my computer battery is low and the cord is stretched across the room only two thirds of the way up the bed, means my arms are uncomfortable to the point of cramping. Guess I will have to continue True Confessions tomorrow. Know that God does not allow us to walk long in selfishness if listen even from a distance. Thank you God for pulling me back and drawing me in.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Photos, Fotos, and Pics

No Jer, Don't Jump!!
Drew and Sandy @ best steak house in Orlando. Probably why he is smiling

Sandy and Cynthia...while the drugs were working...

Jer having an absolute blast at Sea World

Jer wanted his picture WITH the horse, as in pay the money stand on the other side of the railing.
Leaving for home in the morning, should be in Shelocta some time Friday. We take a lot longer to make the trip then back in the old days, no more driving straight through. Less kids, more kinks in the knees and hips...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sunny Saturday

Jeremiah turned 12 on Wednesday. So hard to believe. Here he is serving his cake and modeling his new shirt form Uncle Glenn and Aunt Sam.
I only have a few minutes. I am supposed to be napping; we are leaving for dinner at 4:30 and then off to the rodeo. Yesterday we went to Sea World, we have pictures on Jer's camera (he got for his birthday) I will post them soon. Today has been a relaxing day 'cept for now that I have to power nap. Not something I do well.

Much later in the day...after my nap; we got back from the rodeo. We went to dinner at Smoky Bones and then to a local rodeo that is always going every year when we are here. I have to shut out the light and get some sleep. I want to write just seems like I can't get the energy and time at the same time.
God's Grace abounds. Always.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunshine State

I can hardly peck this out knowing all my nearest and dearest, except for just the few who are here, are suffering the wicked woes of winter in western PA. Ya like my alliteration? I won't even say how nice the weather is hear, like the mild temperatures, the bright sunshine. Had to put my contacts in so I could wear sunglasses. Sorry, shouldn't have said that. We are supposed to get some strong thunderstorms, if that makes anyone feel any better.

The picture above is from Jessica's. Jer and little Ian.

Today was a good one. Just hanging out, napping, eating at the Bahama Breeze. YES! Still, I am so tired most of the time. As I said before I hope to find my way back and beyond to my sweet spot with the Lord. I have been lazy and negligent. I need so much more of Him.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Southern Virginia/St. Augustine FL

Rural Southern Virginia

View I would see from our balcony if it was not dark..

Here we are lounging in the Hampton Inn, Hillsville VA. Jer is in the tub; Drew is watching the weather channel; and me I am anxious to reconnect with my writer's self. Ha...Yea Vic, I get blog withdrawal too, but I am all about the accolades. And yea Rob, I just used the Google spell check to check the spelling of accolades, found I misspelled withdrawal.

St. Augustine Florida: arrived around six-thirty, ate at a restaurant across the street. Barnacle Bill's Beachside, a little corny of a name but a pleasant waiter, good shrimp, pole beans, and other southern favorites for side dishes.

Now, back in the room, the new Willie Wonka is playing on the TV. Drew is starting to snore. The air conditioning is chilly and I may have to put on socks. The temp to day was warm but it was the sunny that blessed me. Willie is weird. All day I thought of things I wanted to share, but now I guess I am just tired.

We spent last night at Jessica and Matt Millers. Little Ian is growing and cute a can be. Jess made lasagna and had a birthday cookie for Jer and presents. I love stopping there, but wish we could spend more time there. Their home as a sweet peace about it. Jess is a woman of God who demonstrates a servant's heart. Tomorrow we only have to drive a little less than two hours to get to our vacation villa. Villa is what the Brits who own the place where we stay call the homes. Jer is already planning his swimming time. I think Jer and I may turn off the television and get some sleep. The last two times we stayed in St. Augustine we stopped at a nearby farm/stable to see my horse Cool's mother and father. I know it sounds weird to visit a horses's parents, but the Paso breed is a small one so a lot of owners know each other. I got hooked up with Micheal Bruce, the stallion's owner through friends. Oddly Cool's mama is kept at the same barn, not a common thing since they are owned by different people. We have not planned on stopping this year, but on the way down I got to thinking about Cool and how it might be nice to see her mom. Supressa passed her looks on to my horse almost identically. Only a small white snip on Cool's face shows the difference. I guess Cool had one white foot too. Her mom is a pure bay. I tried to buy her a about three horses ago, but her owners did not want to sell. I think seeing her would almost be like seeing Cool again. Anyway, I'll see how Drew is in the morning

OK, time to get ready for bed. I pray you all make it through the next frigid day or so. I wish you all could be here with us. What a party that would be huh? So strange to be here with just the three of us. Once we catch up with Uncle Glenn and Aunt Sam our group will be better. Cynthia will be down on Wednesday to complete the ensemble.

God's grace has abounded and I am sure of His presence. Traveling can be a challange but we have done well. I am confident in His ongoing mercy. I hope to use this time away to nourish my alone time with the Lord. I know I need to make some big changes, but all big things come in small pieces. Faithful in little faithful in much. I need to take small bites.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

HIt 'n Miss

Hi ya...sometimes I got it and sometimes I do not. Thanks Rob for posting my note. I am in bed and should be sleeping but I thought I would try and check my mail and since it worked thought I better check in real quick. I guess the "splitters" have to do something with my line from somewhere, or maybe there is a splitter in the line that needs repaired by someone more techie than my telephone man. Now I do not remember. Either way he, the telephone man, said it would be early this week. I am so glad you all carried on without me. Nothing like a comfy viritual living room to snuggle up in and relax with friends. Got to get some sleep since it is WAY past my bedtime. Got stuck watching House after the game and well here I am.
I am praying about dramatically changing my diet. Yuck. But, I am at the point where I would do almost anything to feel better.
And Rob, I used my Google spell check, there it is big as life. Thanks for the tip. Any thoughts on why I cannot send outgoing mail from Outlook?

I need my Savior, I need change. Thank you Lord in advance for the work you are about to do.