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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SISTER OF TALENT

Above is the plaque I told you about. My sister Bonnie made it for me. Notice Zephaniah 3:17. "He sings over me!! " I love knowing this and I love the plaque. My sister Bonnie is very talented. I am showing some of the other things she made for me below.

Above is a replica of our grandma Banks' farm house. It didn't sit up high like this but in order for her to have the stairs attached that went to the outhouse she had to set it up a bit. I set the little Irish and Scottish men at the door, This grandma was German. Our maternal grandma was Scottish and Irish.
Bonnie attached hundreds of tiny cedar shingles to the sides and roof just like grandma' house. It must have been very time consuming and tedious work.
There are dozens of stories I could tell you about this quaint little farm house but it would take a book.
One thing that stands out is her wood cook stove. There was always something cooking. Sometimes we could see it's legs and yellow scaly feet sticking out of the pot. Grandma cooked her chickens with feet on because they were eaten too. Other times a pigs head stared up from the steaming kettle. Not much went to waste at her house.
She didn't have water in the house but had two open wells where water was drawn up by the bucketful, and carried to the house. If there was anything
in the water she would fish it out. We all drank from that bucket using a dipper that hung on a nail nearby. We didn't get sick either.
Her kitchen sink always smelled like Fels* Naptha soap and coffee grounds.
My sisters and I have some very precious memories of our visits there.


This is why grandma had stairs going down the side of the house. She had a two holer which was handy if more than one had to go. One time we found grandma and uncle Oscar sharing the throne.
Bonnie made amazing replicas of them in this cute little outhouse, complete with toilet paper. I didn't get a very good picture but I have to say the couple you see here sure resemble Grandma and Uncle Oscar.


She also made this beautiful Alaska white cedar chest for me, She is so clever! She even made a little pocket and painted my nick-name on it. The pocket and flowers are all carved and the lid is rounded.
I absolutely treasure these works of art. I am so proud of my sister for many reasons. Her talent is just one. Bonnie is one of the sweetest people I have ever known. she is just full of love and kindness.
I thank God for giving me such a precious sister.





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Thursday, January 21, 2010

GIVING PRAISE

There's always so much to give praise for! Recently I learned that my friend John's PSA numbers have gone down seven points. This is wonderful news. He asked me to thank all of you for your faithful prayers.
Please keep praying. The number was 34 and is now 27. Normal is 0 to 4. We know our Lord is answering our prayers.
Thank you Jesus!

Here's another reason to give praise. A healthy and perfect little girl (My grandniece who lives next door) finds a mud puddle. A BIG mud puddle and slashes until her little legs just can't do it anymore. I'm sure her little heart was thankful for such a nice puddle.
*****
Around Christmas time I ordered some books and Cd's from a wonderful Christian company. One of the books is titled, 199 Promises Of God. I read through it and highlighted the verses that touched my heart. A very special one was Zephaniah 3:17. (KJV) "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing."
The idea that Almighty God would 'rejoice over me with singing' thrilled me and I tried to imagine Him singing, I wonder what He sounds like? And to think He would 'joy over me' made me smile.
Over the next few days I read the verse several times.
*
When I was visiting with my sisters this week, my youngest sister, Barb mentioned the very same verse and I told her about the book I had read and how I highlighted the verse. Then my middle sister Bonnie smiled. We had exchanged Christmas gifts that day and she had made me a wall plaque for Christmas, a beautiful blue heart with lace around it and a wooden cross in the center. ( I'll post a picture of it soon!) She painted two verses on it. One is Psalm 40:5, and the other...you guessed it. Zephaniah 3:10. It's also interesting that she has been reading a book called "The Singing God."
*
I find it amazing and curious that the Lord would give all three of us the same verse, and I wonder where this is leading. He has a plan!
***
We have had some really beautiful days, very spring-like. The sun has made the daffodil's and other bulb plants think it's time to grow and little green noses are poking up all over the place. I even heard a frog last week and the mosquitos are out too. Can you tell that I'm excited for spring? LOL
I just hope the snakes all went someplace else. :)
*
Tonight I made a huge kettle of goulash and steamed several packages of green beans I froze from my garden. After it had cooled I filled ten TV dinner trays, wrapped them and popped them in the freezer for some easy meals. I like the idea that it's just the right amount too so I won't be tempted to overeat.
*
Tomorrow I will be having my birthday lunch with my girls at my youngest daughter's home. I love having time with them. I'll be 71 tomorrow but decided that I would start counting back after 70, so I will really be 69.
:)
*
Please remember to pray for our troops and also for Haiti.
*
May the Lord bless you and all of your loved ones.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL



Birthday January 14, 1961
My dear Mikey, I still remember the surprise and delight when the doctor told me I had a son. After three girls I expected a fourth. Your daddy did a funny little jig down the hospital corridor when I told him he had a son. He couldn't see it, but my heart was dancing too.

When I close my eyes I can still feel the warmth of your newborn little body in my arms and I can still smell your sweet fragrance.

Mikey's first snow experience.

You weighed almost nine pounds and grew fast. You were always large for your age and strong. You amazed me at how fast you learned everything, except talking anyway. With three older sisters who thought you were their own baby doll you learned to just look in the direction of what you wanted and make a grunting sound and they all hopped. They loved sliding you around on the floor in a basket and pretending you were baby Moses.

Two and a half at Easter
Oh how you loved running in the fields and playing in the woods when we lived on the Chance Road. I used to take you and your sisters to the woods in the summertime to pick blackberries. I remember the time I found you poking them up your nose and had a miserable time removing them.

One of your favorite places was at the creek any time of year. You loved watching the small fishes darting beneath rocks and tossing leaves in the water to see them float away in he current. I believe your love of the forest began when we lived here.

Honey I remember the smell of your sweaty little head under my chin as I held you tight, and the feel of your crew cut as I ran my hand over it. I also remember how you would pat my back when I was holding you, like I was patting yours.

Cowboy Mikey at four and a half

When your three sisters were all in school and needed new clothes, I always tried to buy something special for you too. I think the cowboy outfit was your favorite. You looked so cute and were so very proud. The boots were your pride and joy and you used to wash them off every night and set them carefully beside your bed, a habit that did NOT follow you into your teenage years when you learned to dismantle car engines and taught me about engine grease.

Seven Years Old and A Scout At Last!

You took your scouting very seriously just like you did everything. Life was never just a game to you it was a challenge to be conquered whether it was organizing a fireworks display, planning a party or taking apart my vacuum cleaner. You always put everything you had into it. Even those silly jokes you played on everyone. Oh how I loved your sense of humor!

Well, most of the time.


Riding Danny Boy at Nine Years Old

Our move to Everson was both good and bad. We always missed our little ranch on the Chance Road but the house was larger at Everson. You even had your own room. We all made the best of it but it wasn't the same. One very good thing happened here, you got the baby brother you had always wanted and we added your pony Danny Boy to our family. You loved riding him up and down the road and through the fields until you got that dirt bike. Danny boy got fat then and you learned about speed.

Michael twelve with sister Patty

When I look at these photos now I realize just how fast the years have passed by. This picture was taken at the beginning of your 'hippy' days. At twelve you were still a little boy in so many ways, but with older sisters and their friends around, you wanted so much to feel like a part of the crowd. So the days of long hair and raggy pants began.


At fourteen and back in the snow.

Actually I couldn't keep you out of the snow. It didn't matter if it was just a fine dusting or knee deep, you were in your element rolling around in that white stuff until you had turned blue from the cold. You sure loved it when I had hot cocoa and homemade maple bars waiting when you came in. I can still see you all wrapped up in a warm blanket, sitting in front of the kitchen stove, feet on the warm oven door with maple frosting all over your face.


Seventeen and so proud of your new suit and hat.

I remember the walking stick you wanted so badly and you looked so cute prancing around all dressed up and swinging that stick like it was encrusted with diamonds. You were proud as a peacock!

Your favorite thing

I'm surprised that I don't have more pictures of you working on cars. You learned about car engines at a very young age and loved getting all that greasy gunk all over yourself. I wonder now if it may have had something to do with how your dad looked when he came home from a long day at work. you certainly adored him and always tried to be like him.


At Twenty Two checking out one of those car magazines you loved.

You had found something that you loved more than cars by this time. I remember when you brought her home to meet me. I loved her the first time I saw her and still do. Your wedding was beautiful and I'm so glad I got to make your wedding cake. I still think it was one of the prettiest I ever did.

Over the next years your three children were born. A son and two little girls that you loved so much. They and their mother were your life and Mike I never knew a man as devoted as you. The Lord gave you a loving spirit and you showed that throughout your whole life. You loved everyone, and everyone loved you, but your wife and children were on a pedestal. This is true devotion and I have always been so proud of you for it.


1991 Here you are at age 30.

This picture was taken at one of the family get togethers at my house. you are laying on the floor where you had been playing with the kids. Oh how they loved it when you grabbed at their ankles and tossed them to the floor and tickled them. You learned that from your dad, didn't you? This was another way to show your love for them. This is the last picture I took of you. If I had known it would be the last I would have taken many-many more.

Happy 49th birthday my dear son.

Loving you forever

****

Michael was taken from us on September 2, 1991 by a reckless driver.

Please drive responsibly.



















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Saturday, January 09, 2010

FIVE YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY
Psalm 91 was the favorite of my grandma, my mother, and myself and now my daughter Patty. It was my very first post and on each anniverary I re-post it.

Psalm 91: He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor by the arrow that flies by day;
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you,
Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
"Because he has set His love upon me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known my name.
He shall call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation."


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Monday, January 04, 2010

A FUN MEME
I found this meme at a blog I recently found and enjoy very much. If you haven't visited her I highly recommend you do. Read her past posts and learn about her life in the Amish community. She is a wonderful writer and a delightful blog friend. JOYFUL CHAOS


1. Do you like bleu cheese? Only in salad dresing

2. Have you ever smoked? yes :(

3. Do you own a gun? yes a BB gun

4. What color Kool Aid was your favorite? Raspberry

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? sometimes, Depends on what I'm going for.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Hebrew Nationals with the works, 'occassionally.'

7. Favorite Christmas movie? The Christmas Box

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Black Coffee & water

9. Can you do push ups? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? The Mother Ring my children gave me.

11. Favorite hobby? Too many! Blog, genealogy, gardening, oil painting, making quilts and sewing in general, crocheting

12. Do you have A. D. D.? sometimes. I'm nearly 71 years old. :)

13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? trifocals

14. Middle name? Jewel

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I want to get John's pictures done, my ears are ringing, I wish the rain would stop for a while.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? water, coffee, water

17. Current worry? I don't call it worry but have concerns for some family members and loved ones, the USA, and of course our brave troops

18. Current hate? I really don't hate anything but I dislike snakes very-very much.

19. Where would you like to go? back to bed. This cold makes me tired. Someday I would like to see more of the USA

22. Name three people who will complete this: I don't have a clue

23. Do you own slippers? several pair. I'm wearing pink fuzzy ones now.

24. What color shirt are you wearing? Royal blue fleece over turquoise. It's cold here.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. I slide out.

26. Can you whistle? Yep

27. Where are you now? In my office

28. Would you be a pirate? probably not. I woudn't make a very good one

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? What A Friend We Have In Jesus and Amazing Grace most frequently if I'm not praying. I love to pray while showering!!

30. Favorite Girl's Name? Susanne, Sharon, Lillian

31. Favorite boy's name? Daniel, Benjamin, Michael and Shawn (my two sons were given the last two names)

32. What's in your pocket right now? lint

33. Who last made you laugh? my friend John

34. What vehicle do you drive? Lumina

35. Worst injury you've ever had? got my back tweaked

36. Do you love where you live? yes

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? one

There! Now you know a little more about Mountain Mama.

Numbers 20 & 21 were absent when I copied this meme.

Have a happy week everyone!

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