Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Comforting Blessings

I'm so thankful for our children. They bring so much joy to our lives. I'm so thankful for the warmer spring weather. I'm thankful to have a nice yard to plant a garden in. With the last few weeks being discouraging, I have been finding comfort in some of the many blessings that surround us. Thank you to all of you for keeping us in your prayers. God has been working in the midst of all of it. My grandmother is stable. She is in an acute care rehabilitation facility and for now we are just waiting to see what's next. There are many unanswered questions, but for now I am content to know that God is in control. We just have to take it day by day.

I'm sharing the pictures of the snuggly brothers and the beginnings of our veggie garden. Eric's quite the builder. Today I finally noticed the shallots are starting to sprout.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Trials of Life

I haven't been much in the spirit of blogging. We spent a week in Florida after my grandmother had a stroke about a week after my grandfather's death. It's been a couple of heart wrenching weeks for my family. The week after we returned, I just felt out of sorts. I just wanted to be at home with my family just enjoying each other's company. I know now the reason I didn't have the opportunity to attend my grandfather's funeral. I really believe that God allowed the timing of things to happen the way that they did so that I could be with family when we would need each other the most. If we'd taken the time off to go down for the funeral, we definitely would not have been able to go again a week later. It was comforting to be with family at a time when things were so difficult and our hearts were discouraged. I needed to see my dad. I couldn't even imagine how much hurt he has been experiencing in such a short amount of time. My father is the oldest, and I think the oldest child feels some sort of burden to be the leader. I think that is just what goes with the territory of being a firstborn in any family. I knew once my grandmother had the stroke I needed to get to Florida as soon as possible. God opened the doors for us. Eric did have some work challenges along the way, but he is so amazing and he he managed to get that all taken care of while on our trip, along with taking care of the boys and my brother. Have I mentioned how AWESOME Eric is!!?? I am so blessed to get to share my life with him!! God is so GOOD!! Even though my grandmother couldn't speak, I really think that she recognized us and she gave the boys big smiles. She even smiled at my jokes on more than one occasion. God only knows what her future holds, but I am so thankful that we all got so visit her and see her big smile. I have comfort in knowing that God cares about her even more than HE cares for the sparrows! I'm putting my trust in him to care for and provide for her needs. I really didn't feel like I had enough time with my family! I never do! The time just flew by altogether too quickly. But, I am so thankful to have spent some time with them. I even got to spend some quality time with my oldest brother and his family. It was such a breath of fresh air during an emotionally trying week. God is GOOD and HE is in control. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

My next post will be more uplifting!! God has been encouraging my heart as I watch our new flower and veggie gardens grow!! His creations are so amazing!! He is our ultimate provider and comforter of our souls!! God is our refuge!!! I have really learned that throughout the last few weeks!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Flowers!

Garden Flowers

I have been crazy with the spring fever. Good thing I did all I could while it was warm. Looks like the next few days are going to be rainy and cooler!! I spent the afternoon taking a few pictures of the newest plantings. We have some cosmos and sunflowers that we started from seeds. Hopefully we'll be able to get those in the ground soon! Wes has been my faithful garden assistant! He loves digging in the dirt and admiring the flowers. He loves seeing the bees move about on the new garden! I am just itching to start on the veggie garden, but that has to wait at least another week to be on the safe side.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Fever!

I have got the Spring Fever!!! I am loving the recent warm weather. I have been just itching to get outside and plant some flowers and prepare the soil for a new veggie garden. Today was just the perfect day to do that. I actually bought some seeds, but then I grew impatient with those and decided to buy a few flowers that are actually ready to be planted. That way I don't have to wait as long while the other seeds are sprouting!! I can get outside and enjoy some of God's beautiful handiwork!! I'm really not much of a green thumb, but I do like to pretend. Each spring I get a little smarter about gardening!! Hopefully this season I will have more veggies than the last, and I do miss the fresh spices. Can't wait till I can begin to use those again!! On our trip out to pick out some flowers, Austin spotted a peach tree. That boy LOVES peaches. I think if he had a choice, he would live off peaches. So, we decided we would give it a shot. We were told we might not get fruit from it until the second year, so Austin has been prepared! Eric did and awesome job getting it planted and mulched!! It appears the spring fever might have hit Eric too!

The other thing going on at our house has been painting and organizing. I have been wanting to paint our kitchen since we moved into our house about two years ago. Finally, Eric and were ready to make the commitment to put forth the effort to paint. We spent just about the whole day working on the kitchen, but the end results were just what I was hoping for. Before the painting I actually had been on a reorganizing kick. I was at my friend Pauline's house and she was showing me her organized baking supplies. For some time now my cabinets have been a pile of crazy madness. Odds and ends of this or that. Baking had started to lose it's fun when I had to go on a search mission to find the ingredients lost within my cabinets. So, I got some inexpensive plastic containers and the handy labeler my parents gave me and begin the organizing process. It feels good having an organized cabinets!! I still have a few other areas in the kitchen that need attention, but at least I can bake and cook with ease now!! I have most recently made a loaf of bread and a really yummy low fat chocolate cake!! And I enjoyed the process because finding every thing was simple!! I even managed to get some pictures of at least the kitchen part. Maybe tomorrow I'll get some shots of the flower garden and peach tree! Time change is still throwing me for a loop. I have been running behind schedule all day! I fear what kind of Monday we will have tomorrow!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Getting Back to Normal

The last few weeks have been some tough ones. The boys and I (excluding Eric) have had a rough go with the flu/cold season. Wesley had two rounds of ear infections about a month apart. He seems to be on the mend now after two courses of antibiotics. Then a couple weeks ago I came down with the flu. This thing just had me laid out for about a solid seven days. It was the worst. I was so thankful that Eric had a day off on the day I felt the worst. I don't even think I hardly left the bed. I spent most of the day sleeping. Amazing how God provides for our needs like that! Then Austin seemed to catch either a cold or a flu. Then he seemed better for a few says and then he just woke up feeling awful. So off to the doctor we went, only to find out he had bronchitis!! He missed a whole bunch of days of school, but he finally seems to be back to his old energetic self. I knew that as soon as he had energy to be fighting with his brother that meant he was on the mend!! Things are returning to normal. In the midst of all the illness going on at our house, my grandfather's health was declining. I had no idea we would be losing him this past Wednesday. I knew he was frail, but I guess I really wasn't prepared that it would happen so quickly. He was pretty miserable the last couple of weeks, so I'm relieved that his suffering has ended. The strange part was that I was together with the girls in my bible study on Tuesday night and we specifically prayed for him and for my family about the situation. It was the very next morning that he passed away. I had peace about it when I heard the news. A peace that I know only came from God. I scrambled through the morning, thinking we would make the drive to Florida to attend the funeral. Then I found out from my parents that the arrangements had been made to take place very quickly. It was my grandmother's wishes to get it done quickly and God had provided funeral services that fit into my grandmother's tight budget. I was really disappointed and sad that this would not give us time to travel to FL to be with family. At first, I really struggled with it. But, then I had an overwhelming sense of peace that things were in God's hands. If God had intended for us to get to Florida for the funeral then he would have made a way for it to happen. I think I had a deeper peace in my heart after talking to my father on Wednesday night. I won't say that didn't still long to go to Florida, but I just had this reassurance that I knew in my heart that making the trip was just not meant to be. Being that Austin had been fairly sick, a big trip like that would not have been easy on him. Eric had some major things going on a work, so that was another obstacle. Then another big factor would have been the expense of the trip on our budget. Another situation where it was so evident to me that God was at work, was just the timing of everything. Eric had previously scheduled his day off for Wednesday. It was such a huge blessing that on the day of my grandfather's passing it was a day Eric was already home. He was so encouraging to me. He took me out to breakfast. He cooked dinner. He was even frantically trying to see if he could get his work stuff resolved so that we could travel to Florida. I am so blessed to have Eric in my life. God is so good and he knew exactly what was best for us. Even if at first I couldn't see it, God was working everything out just way it was supposed to be. I am also thankful that I did get to vist my grandfather in November. I had the chance to chat with him and give him one last hug. That makes things just a bit easier. I was thinking tonight about what I remember the most about my grandfather. I remember when I was little he always liked to have a cup of coffee whenever he came for a visit. Then as I got older, I remember being excited about getting to fix him a cup of coffee. Guess that playing hostess is just one of those things that I've always liked to do, even at an early age!! Is that by God's design? I also remember my grandfather giving me tickley kisses with his whiskers. His favorite line saying, "Give me some sugar!" And how can I ever forget him pulling out his false teeth for me!! I also remember this really neat toy he picked up for least I think he was the was this little hand held toy almost like a viewmaster that you put cartridges in and it had a handle that you could wind and it showed little black and white disney cartoons of Mickey Mouse. I'm thankful that I have these nice memories of my childhood with my grandfather. I pray that my father and my grandmother are coping with their loss. Most of all, I wish I could be with them in person to give them hugs. For now, my prayers and phone calls will have to be enough.