The Blessing of Medication

Hi and Happy New Year’s Eve Eve.  It is amazing to think that only two days remain in 2014.  Where did the time go? I will write more about that tomorrow.

Today, I waGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAnted to write about the blessing of medication.  An odd topic but one that seems right for this time of year when so many people are sick.

Kirk and I went to the doctor on Saturday morning and found out that we have bronchitis.  The on-call doctor gave us prescriptions for two medications that we are still taking.  Both of us are feeling better but it is taking time.  I am just so thankful that there is something that can help us.

I am also thankful that Ian doesn’t have this.  I just hope and pray that he doesn’t get it.  Hopefully he won’t now that we are no longer contagious.  Fingers crossed. (This photo of him is from Halloween last year when he was dressed as a doctor.)

This isn’t the first time that I have had bronchitis.  I had it quite a bit when I was younger.  Thankfully it hasn’t been as common for a while for me.  That too is a blessing. My lungs are stronger than they used to be and that seems to help.

chemistryWe are now on our fourth day of medication and that is where the fun and gross stuff begins.  Lots of sneezing, coughing, etc. in the effort to try to get the infection out.  I won’t go into more detail than that, but suffice it to say, yuck! This is the point in the illness when we are getting worse before getting better.

One of our meds is an antibiotic.  I am thankful that there now are antibiotics to help fight crud like this.  So glad they were invented.  Many years ago, people didn’t have the luxury of such a medication to kill the virus and help get them better.

I am a fan of Downton Abbey, which takes place at the beginning of the 1900s.  It is amazing to see the differences between then and now in medicine and medical treatments.  So much has changed for the better.  I am so very thankful to live today.

Still, many people develop illnesses and have major health problems.  My prayers are with them and their families for healing and the right treatment to cure the problem.  Leukemia, the flu, colds, cancer, severe allergies, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, MS, brain injuries, broken limbs, and many other issues are some of the health issues that loved ones are dealing with.

My thoughts, prayers, and support go out to them.  Lord, please stretch out your healing hand upon these loved ones and help them be well again.  Please give them the strength to fight what ails them.  And please provide comfort to their families as well.   Amen.

We try to eat a healthy diet, take vitamins and supplements, exercise, and get enough rest.  However, sometimes, that isn’t enough and extra help is needed.  So, I am truly thankful that such things are available when needed.  Along with the medication, rest, plenty of fluids, and time often cures what ails us.  I just hope that we all have the time that we need to get better.

May you have a blessed and healthy end of the year!

The Blessing of My Brother

SRP.33.Patti_Richmond.1990Today is my brother Richmond’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to you Dear Richmond!!!  I love you and am so proud of you.  You truly are a blessing to me. (Here we are in our matching tans and hairdos in the early 1990s.)

Today we had planned to celebrate with you and I was so bummed that we couldn’t.  Being sick with bronchitis certainly put a damper on those plans.  We are, however, with you in spirit.  And hope to see you again soon.

3 kidsMy brother always makes me laugh, and he makes me smile.  He is fun to watch movies with, like “Clue” or TV shows like “Psych.”  He can quote from both of these almost verbatim.

He also is smart, a great husband and father, and a hard worker.  He works at a really nice men’s clothing store and is a terrific salesman.  He is in charge of the windows and displays.  He has a great eye for style and color.

Richmond is a great singer, likes sushi, pasta, good wine, iced sweet tea, movies, football games, comedies on television, well-made dramas, and Padres baseball.  And many other things as well.

We have had fun camping, shopping, riding in the car together, strolling at the beach, eating yummy meals together, watching our kids play, eating pizza at our town’s best pizzeria, and singing with the family. I have so many fond memories of Richmond and our sister Cindy.  We are pictured above (left to right: Cindy, Richmond, and me).

I am five years older than Richmond.  As kids, we didn’t always get along and had the usual sibling rivalry.  I love, however, that when we became adults, we decided to let that sibling stuff go.  Now we are great friends and love to be together.  We have inside jokes and funny stories.  Indeed, our relationship is a blessing.

Richmond, have a blast at your party tonight!  I will be thinking of you and smiling.  Love you and hope to see you really soon.

The Blessing of Christmas Morning

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Christmas to you and yours!  May you have a wonderful Christmas!

Here are a few verses of scripture that announce the birth of Jesus.

**Luke 2:11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

**Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 

**Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

**Matthew 2:10When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”

**Luke 2:12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

**Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

**Matthew 1:21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

May you be blessed on this Christmas morning.  Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!

The Blessing of Christmas Eve

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Christmas Eve Eve! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas.  I cannot believe it is finally here.

Advent is nearly finished and all of the work is done — well almost.  Still things to do, but we are nearly finished!

Christmas Eve is a blessing as it is the day we celebrate the night before Christmas and the anticipation of what is to come on Christmas morning. Christmas morning is so full of fun and excitement.

I remember as I child growing up that we always had dinner with the family on Christmas Eve, then went to church for a wonderful service, and then came back home for dessert and the chance to open one gift.  It was a fun evening and a taste of what was coming.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate with Kirk’s family and then get home in time for Ian to put cookies out for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer.  And, he is excited that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.  He is so into Christmas this year and it is fun to see.

May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas too.  Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

Here is a prayer that my in-laws sent us in our Christmas card. It is a prayer for peace by St. Francis of Assisi.  It is lovely and includes so many things for us to remember.

  • GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERALord, make me an instrument of Your Peace.
  • Where there is hatred, let me sow love
  • Where there is injury, pardon;
  • Where there is doubt, faith;
  • Where there is despair, hope;
  • Where there is darkness, light;
  • Where there is sadness, joy.
  • O Divine Master, grant that I may seek
  • Not so much to be consoled as to console;
  • To be understood as to understand;
  • To be loved as to love.
  • For it is in giving that we receive;
  • It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
  • And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
  • Amen.

May you have a blessed, wonderful, and peaceful Christmas Eve!!!

The Blessing of Crafting

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy last weekend before Christmas!  It’s just a few days away and we still have things to finish.

Again this year, we are making ornaments, and making fudge and other treats to give out as gifts.  This is our second year of doing so and I love it again this year.  I am blessed to have the time to do this at home.  I know not everyone can do so.

Last year, I saw a great and very easy recipe for Peppermint Fudge on “The Pioneer Woman” television show.  There are only three ingredients. I thought, “I can certainly do that.”  Cool.  So our fudge gift was born.  The great thing is that people really like it.

On Thursday, we had Ian’s class Christmas party.  Several parents and his teacher helped me put a great party together and the kids had a blast.  We ate yummy pizza with other foods, watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and the kids made three ornaments.

The first craft was two ornaments made out of beads and pipe cleaners.  They had a choice between a wreath and candy canes.  Some did both and some did two of each.  It was fun to see their creativity. The second craft was coloring wooden ornaments with pens and then gluing on small balls for noses or a button.  The students had so much fun being crafty and it was great to see!

This photo includes some of the bead ornaments that we made last year and this year.  By the end of this year, we will have a few more to add to our tree.  I love crafts and much as arts — thus I am an arts and crafts gal!

Here are a few quotes about crafting and creativity:

  • “He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” — Francis of Assisi
  • “Crafting is the best medicine.” — Unknown
  • “Write what you don’t know. Imagine, empathize, create. Build something from a fragment of a daydream. Believe in the magic of creation.” — Unknown
  • “It’s not just about creativity. It’s about the person you’re becoming while you are creating.” — Charlie Peacock
  • “Nothing can rival the incredible rush the act of creation brings. Of crafting something you know is destined to be great for all time.” — Alyson Noel
  • “In crafting there are no mistakes. It is your own unique creation.” — Unknown

I wonder what fun and crafty things we will be doing today?  I plan to make some fudge, some cookies, and a few more ornaments.  Have fun in your crafts too!

The Blessing of Sleep

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Throwback Thursday!  Today’s photo is of Ian asleep with his Clifford the Big Red Dog.  He was a baby and slept so soundly when he finally fell asleep.

Today I wanted to write about the blessing of sleep.  A good night’s sleep is a real blessing and sometimes hard to come by.  You don’t realize how important it is until you don’t have it. Trying to function on little sleep and rest can be a real challenge.

I remember many nights when Ian was a baby that I got very little sleep.  I had that new mommy fog of sleep deprivation.  Now, he sleeps fine — most nights.  But, I still have trouble sometimes.

Last night, I was awake at 5 a.m. after going to bed at 11 p.m.  I had too much on my mind.  I am concerned about some friends and family who are dealing with sickness, major illnesses, and other traumatic events.  I was awake thinking of them and stopped to pray.  That helped calm me down.  Nearly 45 minutes later, I was back asleep. But then by 6:20 a.m., the alarm was going off. Arg, not nearly enough sleep for me.

I am also losing sleep since there is still much to do between now and Christmas.  But, I have to take it a day at a time and have Ian and Kirk help me.  I know that they can.  We have everything purchased and home.  Now we just have to finish the cards and mail them, finish making and baking a few things, and wrap the gifts.

This time of year is fun but can also be overwhelming.  I am hoping and praying that I get plenty of time to rest and get enough sleep.  I will certainly do my best.  Hope you can as well.

Today I am tired and probably will be all day.  Thankfully, Ian just has one more day of school before Christmas break!  Then we’ll have a few weeks off.  That will be nice.  Since I work at home, I can do my work and have time to rest and have fun.

Here are a few quotes about sleep:

  • “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.” ~ Dale Carnegie
  • “No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.” ~ Carrie Snow
  • “People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.” ~ Leo J. Burke
  • “A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.” ~ Charlotte Brontë
  • “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” ~ Irish Proverb

I wonder if I will be able to have a good night’s sleep tonight?  I sure hope so since I do need it.

The Blessing of Christmas Music

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.  I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas music! I love the pop music on the radio as well as the carols and hymns that are sung at church.

For our advent services, we use a caroling songbook that was put together last year.  Part of the songs are sacred Christmas songs and others are Christmas fun.  On the sacred list are tunes like, “Silent Night,” “Still, Still, Still,” and “What Child is This?” On the fun list are “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Silver Bells.”

This photo is of our tree with the musical ornaments and a Singing Santa in front.  He lights up, signs, and his hat flaps up and down.  Even in the silliest things, it is about the music.

I have some favorite songs that the local radio station plays throughout the Christmas season and some others as well.  I like these songs sung or performed by particular people.  They are:

  • “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as sung by Andy Williams.  This is my all-time favorite and I crank it up every time and sing along with it.
  • “Happy Holidays” also sung by Andy Williams. I loved him as a child and still do.  His voice is Christmas to me.
  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas” By Band-Aid.  This was originally recorded and released in 1984.  Although a sad song, it reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas and that we are called to help one another.  This year, it was re-recorded to raise money for Ebola.  I just love that!
  • “Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins.  It is all about making it home for Christmas with your loved ones.
  • “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill.  A baby born on Christmas changed everything. Babies born every day also change everything.  Our baby certainly did for us.
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Josh Groban.  This one gives me chills, especially the version that is interspersed with servicemen and women talking to their families.  Again, home is the place to be, at least in my opinion.
  • “O Holy Night” as sung by my mother at church.  She has a lovely voice and her rendition gives me chills every time. Looking forward to this year Mom!
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as sung by Ian.  He has learned about the Rudolph story this year and loves it. And he has made up his own version of a female purple-nosed reindeer.  Love his creativity.
  • “Tennessee Christmas” by Amy Grant.  Since I am from Tennessee, the words mean a lot.
  • “White Christmas” from the movie as sung by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera Ellen.  I love this entire movie and all of the songs in it.  And, I sing with each and every one of them.
  • “My Grown-Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant.  The words are just right for my current wish list.  Gifts are more than material things.
  • “Santa Clause is Coming To Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  This is a fun version recorded at a concert.
  • “Last Christmas” by Wham.  I really like George Michael’s voice on this song.
  • “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney.  This is another fun song.
  • “The Hallelujah Chorus” as performed by a choir with a full orchestra.  I have performed this song twice and loved singing it both times.
  • “Winter Wonderland” by Eurythmics.  I like Annie Lennox’s voice on this version.
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2.  This is one of my favorite groups and is a great version.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?  I would love to hear about them and what you like about them.

I wonder if I will be singing along with these songs?  Yes!  I most certainly will!

The Blessing of Youth Groups

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday at church, the youth did the entire service and it was great.  Several of them prepared special music – a few songs on the piano, “Canon in D” played by a violin trio, a children’s choir, and a young man singing “Mary, Did You Know?”

They also read scripture, led us in a moving prayer, and videotaped the sermon message of a skit about who stole the church.  The skit was the Grinch story told if a church had been robbed.  It was really cute and meaningful.

This great service was followed by a lunch and a visit with Santa in the fellowship hall of the church.  A great time was had by all. This photo is from the tree in the fellowship hall.

This service made me appreciate the youth groups that I was involved in as a child.  I went to two different churches – one while in junior high, and then I switched to another while in high school.  I went on several great trips — to a youth gathering in San Antonio, Texas, that I will never forget, and to a youth camp.

Thanks to my parents for allowing me to have these adventures and be so active with these groups.  Some of the people I became friends with at church are still my dearest friends.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Children using their talents
  • A funny skit as the sermon
  • Eating lunch with friends from church
  • Ian being excited about meeting Santa
  • Enjoying lunch in the room where Kirk and I had our first dance as husband and wife
  • Santa’s gift being just right for Ian
  • Checking out Christmas books from the church library
  • An active youth program at our church
  • Memories of my youth group days
  • Pictures of youth then and now

I wonder what Ian will think of the youth group when he gets older?  I imagine he will like it as much as I do.  Hope you have a great week!

The Blessing of Christmas Past

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and happy Throwback Thursday.  It is hard to believe that two weeks from today is Christmas.  Wow!  Where did the year go? For today’s photo I decided to include a photo of Ian at his first Christmas.  He was two months old and fascinated with all of the lights and colors and textures.

We were looking at each other and as you can see, his fingers were in his mouth. Many things went into his mouth, as usually happens with babies. This particular year we received a lot of Baby’s First Christmas gifts — framed photos, stockings and several ornaments that we still include in our holiday decorations.

Ian was nearly 10 pounds when he was born so he never was a tiny little guy.  But, this is so small compared to him now at 7 years old. At this size, I could hold his entire body on my lap.  Now, his legs hang onto the couch.

The years have flown by with him but we have savored each and every minute.  I like that we can have conversations with him now and that he can read to us. Our boy has grown up into such a wonderful young man.  For that I am truly thankful and very blessed.

The next few weeks will be quite busy as we finish getting ready for the Lord’s birthday.  There are ornaments and food to make, purchases to finish, and baking to be done.  I will be taking it one day at a time and plan to have fun with it.

May you have a blessed remainder of Advent and the Christmas season!! May you enjoy this year’s Christmas as much as past Christmas celebrations!

The Blessing of Cub Scouts

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday.  Just a few weeks until Christmas and there is still so much to do.  I better get to it.  But, first I want to write about the blessing of Ian’s Cub Scout den and pack.

We started with a great group of boys at the beginning of this school year.  And, each Monday we go and do fun activities and then on the first Monday of each month, the boys earn pins, patches, belt loops, and other items.

There is so much to like about this organization.  Not only is Ian learning to live by their motto: Do Your Best, he is also learning the importance of attending activities and being on time for things. And, he is learning the lesson of patience since it takes time to earn the patches, etc.  And, he is making new friendships and deepening others.

His den leaders are really nice people and the Pack leader is a friend of my sister’s from high school.  I have as much fun as Ian does. He is in first grade at in the Tiger den.  Parents of Tigers are required to attend all events with their sons.  That makes it a real family event, which we enjoy.

We recently completed the popcorn sales and Ian did quite well.  Since he had such good sales, he was able to choose a prize.  He chose the fishing rod.  Can’t wait to try it out in the spring!

In addition to regular meetings, we have also had some fun outings — called “Go See It” activities.  We went to a soccer game played by the high school girl’s team, we went to the bowling alley (see picture above), we went on a tour of an old city square and then had ice cream.  Last night we went to visit a local radio station where we got to meet one of my favorite DJs.  This coming weekend, we have the chance to march in the city’s Holiday Parade with the entire pack.

In a few months, Ian is supposed to be earning his first big award — the Tiger patch.  This has taken the entire first part of the year to earn and has included go see it activities, den meetings, as well as homework with our family.  We are very excited that he is about to get it!

Many of our friends and family members have also been involved in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  We love hearing from all of them.  If you have any fun stories, please share them with me and our readers.

I wonder what new adventure we will have at our next Cub Scout event?  It will be soon and it will be fun, I am sure.