Saturday, July 03, 2010

Forty Years Strong...

July 3, 2010 (lady in background is there to point out we're in Redding, Calif. :)
Today is our 40th anniversary. Fred has, as always, surprised me with a "ruby red" theme for the weekend! A goody bag filled with red treasures including a sweet little ruby ring...especially sweet since I lost my ruby ring when we were robbed last year, and especially because Fred cares so much...

Our trip to Redding has been fun--we visited with our dear friend Marguerite Love from our Sunkist days yesterday in Citrus Heights and our good friends Dick and Shirlee from our Central Bible Church days in Palo Cedro. Dick and Fred both grew up in Costa Mesa and know everything about the good old days there--reminiscing was so special, especially since Dick is very ill and we're not sure what the Lord has in store for him in these next months. What a blessing both of these friends are to us, examples of being positive in the face of trials no matter what. Marguerite's unending practical and grateful spirit, and Dick and Shirlee's tremendous faith and trust in the Lord. Never have we dreamed of such enduring friendship, support and love from these dear people.

Today we're off to see John and Hal, Fred's brothers in Burney and tomorrow we'll visit with Lillian, our red white and blue friend I've known my entire Grass Valley--we're staying at her most wonderful B & B tomorrow night and then will head home on Monday.

I leave this note filled with gratefulness to the Lord for His blessings to my life...expressed so beautifully in this beautiful poem Fred presented me with this morning. Happy Anniversary Honey!

We've journeyed together these past forty years
Times filled with joy and some time with tears.
You've been so steady and brought strength to our union
How good it has been to share life's communion.
We knew from the start that God called us as one
And we'd stay together til' our lives are all done.
My beautiful, patient, enduring wife
I'm glad that God drew us as partners for life.
As we look forward to the rest of our days
Let love and forgiveness enhance all our ways.
Now as we journey together as one
Let's honor the Father and His precious Son.
May the Spirit continue to fill us with grace
Until that wonderful day we see face to face
Our beautiful Savior in mansions above
And know even more the depth of His love.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Have a Daughter...

Annie and her little Miss Em...
In 1980 when Annie was three, Carole Melvin put together the program for the Mother Daughter Tea at Sunkist. She gave me the words to a song she wrote called "I Have a Daughter." I practiced and practiced, and the plan was Annie would sit in my lap while I rocked her in a rocking chair and sang the song... The only part of the words I remember are, "I have a daughter who's looking to me, as an example of what she should be..." I remember thinking that those words would either come back to haunt me, or I would live up to them. I wasn't at all sure I had what it took to raise a daughter living out the example that God intended me to be for her. Now, as I reflect on her birthday today, I know how I have failed in so many ways. At the same time, I stand amazed that God has given such grace in that the woman that she has become is living out an example to her own very precious and silly little girl, Miss Em. Annie is a Godly woman and tries so hard to do what is right by her family. She is everything I would have wanted to be for her... God is so good, and I am so blessed to have her in my life, as an example now to me, and to those she is privileged to care for. Oh, during the song I sang to her in 1980, she was absolutely adorable, with all those bouncing ringlets, enjoying her moment and the oohs and awws of the audience as she wiggled and squirmed in my lap!

Happy birthday darling Annie.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

15 Reasons...

There are 15 fabulous reasons why I love Miss Penny Jane Martin!
1. She is my firstborn grandchild...and brought peace and joy to her family with her birth...
2. She is sing, to dance, to laugh, to cry...
3. She is willing to share...her locks, her gum, her dolls, her room, her life...
4. She is a submissive daughter...
5. She loves to dance...
6. She loves Jesus...
7. She loves to Praise Him...
8. She is diligent in all her pursuits...
9. She is sweet to her younger brother almost always...
10. She is bright...
11. She loves to read...
12. She accepts "no"...
13. She is full of joy when the answer is "yes"...
14. She cares about old people...
15. She is sweet to her younger cousins...

Happy birthday precious Penny!!!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

March 23, 2010

Dear Friends, Loved Ones,

I think Mother's Day is an emotional day. Some have lost their mothers that were a constant loving force in their lives. Some had Mom's that were not shining examples of what we believe instinctively that Mom's should be. Some have heartache over not having been blessed with children. Some have lost a child and Mother's Day is a very lonely day. Some are raising their children's children. Some are raising their children alone, without the help of a loving supportive spouse. Some have children who have immeasurably blessed their lives. And some are in the trenches taking care of their little ones with little sleep, doing without, and wonder if they will ever catch up!

Today, I honor my own precious mother, my sister, and all those women, Grandmother's, Aunties, dear friends, cousins, sisters-in-laws, and of course, the four Judith Anne's, who have influenced me so over the years, including my daughters-in-law and my own wonderful daughter, and even my five little (and big) grand-daughters.

I was blessed this morning by listening to this little 7-year old girl, Rhema, who lost her Mama a year ago. She sings her heart out...I hope it blesses you, no matter where your own heart and circumstances are this Mother's Day.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Moorpark Civil War Re-enactment Today

Penny and Lydia
Daniel and Aaron looking on

Daniel and Aaron looking at the battlefiled

Mr. Lincoln with the kids--wouldn't be complete without him!
Aaron, Daniel
Mandy and Aaron
Penny and Daniel and Grandma
Mandy and Judi and Lydia and Aaron
Spotsylvania Battle at Richmond
My brothers and sister Judi are Civil War buffs, and so it stands to reason we would be drawn into it from time to time. My sister is a great seamstress and made some really pretty (and authentic) dresses for my grand-daughter Penny, her daughter Mandy and her daughter Mandy, and for herself. Today we dressed up and went to the Tierra Rejada Ranch in Moorpark and watched two battle re-enactments, Spotsylvania and Sayler's Creek. My grandson Daniel and Judi's grandson Aaron really liked it and had to hold their ears for the noise. It's amazing to see such huge crowds that do this. It was a really fun experience.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween's Past and Present

Freddy's Family with Uncle Bob & Aunt Judy
Jonathan being greeted by Grammy
Freddy's Daniel
Annie's Garrett and Emily, Freddy's Penny
Annie's little Garrett Elmo
Twins scary masks
Come in my pretty...

Bob and I were chatting about Halloween's past and how we would dress. It's different today! Parents purchase all manner of paraphernalia to get the costumes just right. Bob and I, and our siblings, would make our costumes...sometimes out of paper grocery sacks. Usually my brothers were Indians, or hobos, or cowboys, and my sister was often a gypsy. I remember being done up as a black mammy, complete with face paint, lipstick, a rayon 50's navy blue dress with white polka dots, and a red bandana tied around my head and shiny gold hoop earings. And as unbelievable as that may sound, I wasn't the only one dressed that way at the school carnival parade. Later, we would raid Dad's closet and put on a white dress shirt and a tie, blue jeans, and I would dress like a "teenager" of the 50's... that may not seem so unusual, except that it WAS the fifties, and that IS how teenagers dressed then! Then we'd take our paper grocery sacks and head out to the sidewalks and with THRONGS of kids go door to door, WITHOUT our parents. Our older brother and sister would head out and not stay with us... then when we got home (LATE, because you couldn't trick or treat until it turned dark outside), our candy would all be spilled out on the living room floor and the older siblings would take their favorite candy from us. We didn't mind--and we got it all eaten in just a few days. Oh how I wish there had been pictures taken!

There were many neighbors who did the most amazing haunted houses, and we would be terrified to go up to the door. Some neighborhood Halloween parties took place as well and they included bobbing for apples, noisemakers, candy, and apple cider. Later in the 70's and 80's Fred would always have our youth groups put on "Un-Haunted" houses, and Harvest parties to be sure we think of Fall as a time of bounty, harvest, and God's supply. During our early Colorado years, we went on lots of hay rides, and soon after starting at Arizona Bible College, we hiked out in the desert one Halloween with our fellow students and sat along a brick wall that was a was very scary, complete with one student getting bit by a white tarantula and she had to be taken to the hospital!

This year, I look at how Halloween is celebrated with our kids--it's clearly different than when we were young, but the basics are the same--little kids dress up in costumes and go trick or treating. I couldn't help but wish I could have seen Isaac's kids in their little Alaska community doing their thing (I'll post their pictures when I get them...) but we had so much fun with Annie's and Freddy's families coming over for the traditional chili soup supper and then heading out for the various stops they have to make to visit grandparents and families and friends on both sides of their families.

One of the stops is to Uncle Bob and Aunt Judy's for the scary stories Aunt Judy tells and then Uncle Bob always disappears and then comes out at the appropriate point in the story dressed to SCARE! I decided to dress up as the wicked queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and show up at Bob and Judy's and ring the doorbell. It was a blast and fun to completely surprise everyone. Here are some of the photos...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In it Together...

I had such a nice evening last night--I was invited to join 8 women to welcome two new youth pastor's wives to our was a lovely pot luck dinner at the children's director's gorgeous home out in Simi Valley. Each woman shared how God had led them, how they met their husbands, and what their passion is--for the Lord, for their lives. I was struck how although we each have our own very unique story--a common thread runs through all of our lives--a story of a JOURNEY and of a sure CALLING. I love to tell the story of God's call on my life. I would never have responded to His call had it not been that I fell in love with a young man headed for the ministry. And to this very day, he is serving the Lord, all out, full on, sold out, and to the finish. The first 25 years were so different than these last 16. The first, I was working right along beside him and the churches we served got "two for the price of one!" These recent years I have been working at a career, but not for myself, rather so that he is free to serve in the unique field that he is in. His stories are amazing, heart-breaking, and often miraculous. And I am there for him to come home to and to know that all is well--we're in it together, and we're in it to the finish.