He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!!

Easter liilyHe is Risen!!!  He is Risen Indeed!!!! 

Hello and Happy Easter.  Hope you have a wonderful Easter!  May you enjoy the true meaning of this amazing day.

“He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” — 1st Corinthians 15:4.

He (Jesus) is alive and I’m forgiven!  Heaven’s gates are open wide (this is from a song and I don’t remember the title).  This is a great song and I wish I could remember more.  My mom knows the words so I will check with her.  I will post something another day.

Here are the words to one of my favorite Easter hymns.  I can just hear the organ and trumpets as I sing it:

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

3 crossesHymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

But the pain which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation hath procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
Praise Him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!

In addition to a yummy lunch after church, my family will also enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.  That is always a fun part of it as well.

Praise and worship, food and fellowship, and fun and candy go hand-in-hand.  All of these elements will make for a fun and blessed Easter Sunday.

I hope and pray that you have a wonderful Easter and terrific week!  God Bless You!!

5 Minute Friday – Broken

5minutefriday5 Minute Friday Word for March 29 is Broken

This is my second week for trying out the 5 Minute Friday.  Today’s topic is Broken.  Here were the rules.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Okay, here are my 5 minutes of writing:

Broken seems like a great word for today, Good Friday.  This was the day that Jesus was broken physically and then crucified on a cross for me.  Amazing to think about.

He went through more physical pain than I can even fathom because He loves me and you.  Wow!

Broken also makes me think of the time that I fell and broke my arm.  That was painful and took time to heal.  Thankfully I only had a hairline fracture and not an all-the-way through the bone beak.

Broken also is how my heart feels for a family in a nearby county whose 14-year-old daughter died either last night or this morning.  At the moment I can’t remember what she had, but I did see her beautiful face this week on the news.  She was very sick.

On her bucket list was the wish to go to prom.  She was planning to go until she got very sick this week and instead had to go to the local children’s hospital.  Her community then brought the prom to her at the hospital.  She was able to look out her window and see her friends and family there for her.

Isn’t that awesome?  I must admit that I cried when I heard about this.  This beautiful child was so very sick.  I can’t even imagine what her family must be feeling today.  Hopefully they can take comfort that she is in Heaven and no longer sick or in pain.

But as any parent can attest, that will take a while to get to.  It is only natural to grieve the loss of a child.  And knowing you won’t be able to see them or hug them again takes time.  I have a dear person in my family dealing with this very thing.  My thoughts and prayers are with her and her immediate family as well.

broken.breadBack to Jesus and being broken.  Last night at the Maundy Thursday service, we ate Christ’s body broken for us and drank the wine.

In the sermon, our pastor said if you think you have it all together, you aren’t welcome to partake.  He wanted us to realize that we are all broken and that our Lord is there to heal us.  It was a thought-provoking message and the perfect one for the service.

I wonder when I am broken if I will know who to seek for comfort.  I will hope and pray that I do.

Read more thoughts on “Broken” at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday link-up today.

March Birthday Madness

birthday cakeTis the time of year for March Madness.

For a basketball fan, this is the best time of year.  Are you a fan?  Are you loving all things hoops? Like come from behind wins and the occasional upset?

We are almost to the Sweet Sixteen (top 16 college teams) and then on to the top 8, the Final Four, and finally a winner.

For my family, it’s March Birthday Madness.  Well, not so much madness, but I wanted to tie it into the events of the month.  It is certainly March Birthday Celebration, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Between my husband’s side of the family and my side of the family, we have 8 people who celebrate birthdays in March.  It is always a busy and occasionally very pricey month, but also a fun one!

On Kirk’s side, we celebrate his mother’s birthday, his sister Anne, his brother’s wife Diane, and his oldest brother Pete.  On my side of the family, we celebrate my brother’s wife Beckie, my cousin Dennis, Dennis’s son Justin, and my sister’s daughter Gussie.

I am naming them this way so you know the connection to the two of us.  Unfortunately, we can’t always be with all of them to celebrate but we do always remember them fondly.

This month, Gussie is 13 years old and Justin is 12 years old.  I remember when both of them were babies and now she is a teen and he is one year from being a teenager.  Where did the time go?

These 8 people are very important in our lives as are the rest of the family.  We love them all and are excited to celebrate them!

I also have several friends who celebrate birthdays this month.  Happy Birthday to them as well.

To all of you my friends and family, I want to sing,

  • Happy Birthday to You
  • Happy Birthday to You
  • Happy Birthday Dear Loved One 
  • Happy Birthday to You!

You are all loved, thought of, and celebrated!  Have another great trip around the sun!!

I wonder if I will get to celebrate with all of my people?  I doubt it, but sure wish I could!

Yeah Spring!

I don’t know about you but I am beyond ready for spring!

I love when the weather starts to warm up and the trees again begin to bud.  The starkness of winter changes to the beauty and newness of spring.

Mother Nature this week didn’t quite cooperate with this change in season.  I have posted a few photos of the spring snow that I took this week.

The trees without leaves are beautiful to me with the snow and light of the rising sun.  What do you think?

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Each season has its own beauty.  These pictures capture that well, I think.

I had fun wandering around the yard the morning that the snow had fallen.  I took many pictures and these are just a few of them.

My photography skills are still being developed.  I do enjoy the practice.  Not only did I get some exercise, I also got to see the beauty of nature.

By afternoon, the snow was all melted, so it was a very short-lived system.  But, we did get to enjoy the beauty of the white snow blanket.

I wonder if we’ll have more snow before spring truly begins.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

5 Minute Friday — Remember

5minutefridayI recently came across a blog that encourages people to write each Friday on a given subject.  This writing is to be done without editing or thinking too much about it.

This is a great exercise for practicing writing and seeing what you come up with. Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

The topic for Friday, March 22, is Remember. 

The first thing that comes to mind with Remember is the phrase in communion which states, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  That is what the pastor said in the church I grew up in.

But I have visited a church recently that states, “Do this for the remembrance of me.”  I don’t like that version for some reason and I can’t put my finger on why.  It just doesn’t seem as strong in the meaning of remembering Christ’s body and blood.

Another item that comes to mind about remember is the great Amy Grant song, “I Will Remember You.”  This is a great song with wonderful lyrics!  I really like the words and enjoy singing it.  When you are connected to people, they are always in your life and you can remember all of the great times with them.

I also like to remember my friends and family and the amazing things that we have done.  Memories are great and can remind you of a great time in your life.

I remember the day my son was born like it was yesterday.  I remember seeing his sweet face for the first time and realizing, oh my goodness, I am now responsible for this new and precious life.  Yikes, the responsibility!

I remember my wedding day and the fun of eating my lunch while wearing a towel over my wedding dress so I wouldn’t spill anything.  Several dear friends and family have passed away since that day, but many others have been born.  The circle of life does go on.

I remember the house I grew up in.  I remember the shag carpet downstairs which was always colder than upstairs.  I remember fires in the fireplace and eating popcorn and hot chocolate.  I remember flower wallpaper on the kitchen walls.  I remember many fun times with my family and friends.

Well, that is my first 5 minutes of the 5 Minute Friday.  I hope to make this a weekly event. Have a great week.

I wonder what else I will remember throughout my day.  I am sure it will be plenty!!

Convention Adventure

school-mathHi and Happy Monday!

Over the weekend, my husband, son, and I worked in a booth during a home school convention.  My hubby works with his dad in an educational consulting ministry.  If you’d like more on that, please let me know.

Ian and I were there to help and it was really a neat experience.   It was fascinating meeting the parents and their children.

For years, I have known people who home school their kids.  I always have wondered how in the world they do it.  Now, being around some of them regularly, I see that it is a true calling for these families.  The families feel that this is the best option for their kids and their education.

My family’s background is the public school system.  My parents, my grandparents, an aunt, an uncle, and my sister are teachers.  I guess you could say we are all about education — whether it be in a classroom or a room at home.  There are many ways for children to succeed in learning!!  I think that these different methods can work — it’s just up to each family to decide.

Some snippets of the weekend:

  • Seeing a Mennonite family with 9 kids.  They were all very quiet and well-behaved.  I couldn’t help but think about dinner time, bed time and traveling with that large a family.
  • Enjoying the fun of Ian making friends with the kids in the next booth.  They were there with their mother.
  • Finding and purchasing a book about Dr. Seuss for Ian.  Personally, I think Dr. Seuss is a genius and one of the finest children’s authors ever.  He is my inspiration!  And, I love that Ian really likes his books.
  • Writing a story with Ian while waiting for people to stop by our booth.  He drew the pictures, told me the story, and I transcribed it for him.  I will be posting these soon over a few days.
  • Purchasing a pencil made of wood from Walnut Grove — the location of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s fabulous series of books.  This series, which started with “Little Cabin in the Woods,” was one of my favorites ever growing up.  The booth where I found this also had a book about Walnut Grove, recipes from that era, and outfits that could be purchased.  It was great!
  • Making friends with a custodian who worked at the convention hall.  She was a sweet young woman.  I also enjoyed meeting a lady working in the cafe at the hall.  She was very friendly as well!
  • Taking materials and Ian outside after a fire alarm sounded.  Many people stood around wondering what to do.  My thought was go outside people!!  With so many kids there, shouldn’t we be sure to show them that you do leave a building with a fire alarm going off?  Yes I think so!  We found out that the culprit was a popcorn popper too close to the alarm.  That pesky popcorn.
  • Having Ian fall asleep during dinner on Friday night after a full day of fun at the convention.  I had to carry him from the lobby where I ate, rode up on the elevator to the 6th floor where our room was, and then all the way down the hall.  Then I used the electronic key as I held him.  I said, “whew” when I was finally in our room!
  • Seeing the joy of Ian staying at a hotel for the first time.  Well, at least the first time he could remember.  “Mommy, it’s really cool to live at a hotel for a few days,” he told me.  “Yes it is Ian.”

All in all it was a great weekend.  We met some neat people and learned more about another way of educating children.  There are many ways.

I wonder if all kinds of education can be respected and appreciated.  I sure hope so!

I Do Still Wonder

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

Over the weekend, my dad asked me if I was still ending my blogs with “I Still Wonder.”  I realized that I am not doing that as regularly as I used to.

When I started this Blog in 2011, I would end each blog with a phrase that started, “I Still Wonder.”  For the past 6 months, I have moved away from that — instead asking how you my readers are doing and your thoughts on the postings.

Grandpa.Barbour_PattiAs you have probably read, my title was inspired by Willie, the elf that my grandfather created and told us about in stories growing up.  Here I am with my grandpa many, many years ago.

Willie was on a quest to figure out where rainbows come from.  He traveled all over the world in search of them.  And, at the end of each story, he would scratch his head and say, “I Still Wonder Where Rainbows Come From.”

The story is under the page called “I Still Wonder” at the top of the page, just under the photo.

That inspired me to write and question and ponder a variety of topics.  I just have forgotten to include the phrase.  Thanks Dad for reminding me of that.

This week there are a few things that I have been wondering about.  Some are fun and some are more serious:

  • I wonder why we need to have daylight saving time.  There are places in the USA that don’t follow it — but instead keep the same time all year.  It is nice to have light until nearly 10 p.m. in the summer, but is a challenge with a 5-year-old who is convinced you don’t go to bed when it’s light outside.
  • I wonder why some people are so positive despite hearing the worst possible news.  How do they do it?  Like, Valerie Harper.  She was told she has months to live with an incurable brain tumor.  Yet, she is on the news encouraging people to make the most of their lives and savor each and every day.  She is very strong and truly is an inspiration.
  • I wonder why the conclave will announce that the vote has been cast for the new Pope via white smoke.  Why not by Facebook or Twitter like the rest of the world?  Last time there was some confusion whether or not the smoke was white or black.  I mean no disrespect but am just curious.  Hopefully this time around it will be clearly white smoke.
  • I wonder why a court had to rule on the size of soda that can be sold in a city.  What has our judicial system come to when we have to legislate the size of a drink?  I know that the Mayor of New York means well, but isn’t there a better way to encourage people to be healthy?
  • I wonder why television has so much junk on it but then airs several great shows — all at the same time.  When I was younger, there wasn’t as much to choose from as now.  I still have certain shows that I follow and don’t even bother with other items.   Some I have to record since they are aired at the same time.
  • I wonder if the best show of all time could be produced today.  Over the weekend, ABC aired a special about the best television shows.  You know what the best of all time was?  Spoiler alert — The show was “I Love Lucy,” which aired in the 1950s.  This was written and filmed during a very different time in history, and yet it lives on in syndication.  It truly is one of the funniest shows ever on the air.   I think we like it since it reminds us of our innocence and simpler times.  What do you think?

I will continue to wonder and ponder things.  And, I plan to share them with you.  I hope that you will wonder with me.

Home, Sweet, Home

home.snowYesterday, a friend of mine had a topic that she blogged about — home.  I was inspired to write about my home — or should I say homes.

“Home is where the heart is” is an expression that I have heard a lot about over the years.  What is it that makes a house a home?  Is it just living there or is it who you live with and spend your time with?

I have had the privilege to enjoy several wonderful homes — where I spent most of my childhood and then moved home to for a while after college.  Thanks to my parents for letting me do that.  I also had my dorm rooms in college, two apartments on my own, and then a condo and two homes with my husband.  Now, I think we’re settled in our home for a long time.

The house pictured above in the snow is the home that I grew up in.  Unfortunately it is no longer there but instead was torn down.

In fact the entire street was turned into a greenbelt because of sinkholes.  Thankfully we had no damage to our house, but a large sinkhole formed in our backyard.  Most of the rest of the homes had major damage.

This was a great house to live in and it saddens me to think it’s gone.  I only have my memories and photos to enjoy.  And, I have a brick from our wall on the driveway.  That is a treasure!

Rainbow_at_717srpAnd, let’s not forget my beloved beach house and my grandparents’ inland house — both in California.  Even though I didn’t live in either of these places, they were both magic to me and extremely special.  I have vivid memories of many fun times with family and friends.

The turquoise house in the picture with the rainbow is the beach house that I am talking about.  I have written a lot about this place.  Mainly because it’s so magical there.

This home is tiny, on a very busy street, and not what you’d think of as being a magical place.  But throughout my childhood and now with my child, it has been.

Again, I think it’s because of who I have been there with and where it is. Looking to the left from the front porch, you can see the ocean, and to the right is the bay.

My grandparents made an amazing purchase when they found this amazing place.  It hasn’t changed that much since they have passed away –other than some renovations.  I think they’d be pleased to see how much we still enjoy it and the fantastic neighborhood and neighbors.

Another expression I have heard about home is “home is where you hang your hat.”  I have a few hats which are in my current home, which I also love.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe outside is green with white trim in a great neighborhood.  It has a white picket fence around a small side yard — something I never expected to have.  We know our neighbors and they know us which is rare in today’s times.

The inside walls are a bright and cheery yet subdued yellow, again with white trim.  The positioning of the house takes advantage of natural light which flows in all of the windows.  It is truly home sweet home. Pictured are the three of us in the front of the house after a snow storm.  This was taken three years ago.

I have several favorite spots in my house — the couch in my family room where I read with Ian, rest, and watch TV and movies; the kitchen where we all cook and have a fun time together; and the den which includes a Lazyboy recliner and our exercise equipment.  This room is even better for reading — if I can stay awake.

My home feels like a sanctuary and is a great place to be.  I hope that you too have a home that is somewhere you want to be!

Here are few quotes about home:

  • “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.”  ~ Maya Angelou
  • “Home is not where you live but where they understand you.”  ~ Christian Morgenstern
  • “Peace – that was the other name for home.”  ~ Kathleen Norris
  • “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”  ~ John Ed Pearce
  • “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”  ~ Jane Austen
  • “It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.”  ~ Author Unknown

Happy Birthday Beckie!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday, March 7, is my sister-in-law Beckie’s birthday!

Happy Birthday to you dear Beckie!  I wanted to wish you the best and hope you have a wonderful day!

Here Beckie and I are pictured during a lunch last summer at the beach after family pictures were taken.  That is why we are both in white blouses and blue jeans.

We both enjoyed lobster during this fabulous meal.  I had lobster chowder and salad and Beckie had lobster tacos.  We were able to see the ocean as we ate and had a great time!  What a treat it was!!

Beckie is a great person and so much fun.  We get along really well and always have so much to chat about.  Like me, she loves to write, read, and sing.  And, she is great at playing the piano.

I am so glad that my brother married her so we have her as part of our family!  They are a great couple and have two wonderful kids.  Ian loves to spend time with his cousins, Uncle Richmond and Aunt Beckie (and the rest of the family as well).

PattiBeckie2In July 2012, we had a great time while at the beach.  There were many chances to visit, eat together, enjoy laying out, have the kids play together, talk, and just enjoy the down time.

We went to a roller coaster and park one day and had a great time.  This picture is from that day.

Since the beginning we have clicked and been able to get along.  That is rare and something I truly do appreciate.

A few quotes about birthdays for you:

  • “A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip.”  ~ Author Unknown
  • “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”  ~ Chili Davis
  • “You’re not 40, you’re eighteen with 22 years experience.”  ~ Author Unknown
  • “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”  ~ Lucille Ball

Beckie, may the Lord bless you on your birthday!  Enjoy and hope to see you again really soon.

Amazing Strength

handsI heard an amazing quote in the sermon at church yesterday.

This was a quote by a man named who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor: “I don’t know why God has me on this path, but I am looking forward to the journey.”

What? How can you look forward to a journey of a tumor in your head?  I was floored at this comment.  What a man of amazing faith!!

This comment truly did give me pause.  Is my faith that strong?  I like to think so, but am not totally sure.  Do I truly know that my Lord and Savior could get my through something like this?  I have to admit it would take a lot of prayers and support.

I do know that God works in mysterious ways and can make all things good.  But knowing in my head and living it are two different things.  Lord, help me have a strong faith in you and know that you will always provide for me.  Amen.

There are many people dealing with cancer, chemotherapy, treatments, surgery, and major pain.  I do, however, admire them and their strength to deal with and live through these trials in their lives.

One person who has been an inspiration is Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.”  She recently returned from a 5-month medical leave.  She had a bone marrow transplant and now has the immune system of a child.  From what I understand, it is improving but will take time.

It has been so good to see her back on the air.  She looks different since she lost all of her hair and she has lost some weight from all she’s been through.  But she is still beautiful — both inside and out.

Robin was very frank with her illness and treatment and agreed to have the journey recorded to show on ABC.  It was amazing to see her at her most vulnerable, yet also comforting.

She is a strong woman of faith and despite all of her pain and trials, she is positive.  She knows that if you let the negative get in, it can take over.  Robin, you are truly an inspiration!!

If you are dealing with this kind of pain, please know that the Lord is there to comfort and help you through it!  And, friends and family can help you as well.

I know that people often question God when something like this happens.  I think that is only natural and we can’t help but ask “Why Me?”  I heard someone who had breast cancer say, “Why Not Me?”

That was another profound statement that made me do a lot of thinking and soul-searching.  I do know that Jesus is with me not matter what.  He didn’t promise that life would be easy, but did promise to always be there.  That is an amazing blessing.

I think it’s also great to have support of our loved ones.  Marriage vows include “in sickness and in health.”  May we truly be able to live that vow and be there for one another!

My prayer for you is that if you are dealing with this pain or diagnosis that you will be comforted to know that Jesus loves you and always will.  And, that your family and friends can help you through this painful time.  God Bless!!