Friday, October 7, 2011

33 Years...

Today was our 33rd wedding anniversary and while most people go on cruises or trips to Europe, we went to the State Fair! Don't get me wrong...that's exactly what I wanted to do. I love exploring new places and since last year at this time we were recovering from our horrendous move, we've only recently been able to see some of Dallas' more interesting sites. The State Fair is held on the grounds surrounding the Cotton Bowl Stadium and was beautiful. We got there when it first opened and enjoyed being there before the crowds hit. The midway looked fun but we didn't do much because it was EXPENSIVE!

Food of course is a major part of the fun when you go to the fair and we both had to have a "Fletcher's Corn Dog"...the original corn dog!

Not much impresses Larry these days, but he seemed excited to be at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. When he figured out the Longhorns were there preparing for the Red River Rivalry tomorrow against the Oklahoma University Sooners, I saw his eyes light up! I just had to get a picture of him next to the Longhorn busses!

In some ways it's really hard to believe we've been married 33 years...the time has flown by. It sometime feels like I should still be coming home to three little girls wanting me to get their My Little Ponies out, but then I think of all God has done both in my life and theirs and I get a glimpse of the story God is writing in all of our lives!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Big Birthday Bash...and Other Things!

My long awaited spring trip to the midwest began with an opportunity to visit Lydia's ballet class. Living in Texas means I miss all those special grandparent moments like recitals and special programs, so this was very important to me. Even little things like watching Shannon interact with her kids is valuable!

But the main reason for this trip was to celebrate my mom's 90th birthday. In addition to that celebration, we also recently found out she's engaged to be married again! We like Jack very much and wish them both the best!

Joan and Jim, my sister and brother, didn't arrive until late Friday night so we all met for breakfast at the Machine Shed early on Saturday, which happened to also be Stacey's birthday. After seating us, and telling the waitress that we were celebrating two birthdays, the staff showed up at our table with a huge cinnamon roll complete with birthday candles! They took it right to my mom and the whole gang sang the birthday my mother only! Stacey I think was feeling invisible...

We then began running errands all day in preparation for my mom's party, poor Stacey was feeling like her birthday was being completely neglected, but unbeknownst to her, I had been planning a surprise party of her own! While Jim and Joan went to see her apartment, I picked up the cake and decorations and met all her friends at a restaurant where we had reservations. When she walked in I could tell by her face that the surprise was successful!

Sunday was the BIG party for my mom's 90th birthday. We spent the morning decorating the room and the afternoon entertaining her guests. I was amazed at the friends she has...I can only hope I am as blessed at that age!

After all the excitement, we spent our last day with Joan and Jim celebrating my mom's real birthday by going to lunch at Culvers, compliments of Josh! Joan also got a chance to visit the Ryan Jury Center where Stacey works. That evening Jack took us all out to dinner where we took the opportunity to celebrate the last birthday of the week...Joan's (very low key compared to the rest)!

I had several visits with old friends while I was up there, including trips to Rockton Grade School where I read to first graders and then Prairie Hill School where I talked about the magic of reading to fourth graders. My favorite part of the trip, however, was when I got to go to Lydia's school on her "Superstar Day". I went in as the Reading Fairy with Rascal and we got to share our favorite story and do a fun art project. It loved getting to see Lydia in her own environment with all of her friends!

The only drawback to the whole trip was that Larry had to work and couldn't be there. Little Joshua called Grandpa to tell him that he missed him....what a cutie!

Just one week ago, I spent my last day with the kids doing some fun Easter egg hunt as well as some Easter crafts. A good way to end my visit.

But here it is one week later, Easter Sunday, and I'm already anxious for July to come so I can head back up north to see everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011


You know, in the last six months since we've moved to Dallas, I've been feeling kind of what am I supposed to be doing with my life. At times it's kind of depressing because I've always liked having lots to accomplish and moving quickly in whatever direction I'm going. It wasn't until Sunday morning that God spoke to me and calmed my heart. It was a simple reminder that I'm not the one in control!

Over 30 years ago, my life was much different. I had been showing hunters and jumpers on the west coast and loving it so much that I planned my entire life around the horseshow circuit, but one weekend, everything changed. I attended a conference where I heard a message unlike anything I had ever heard....that night I gave God COMPLETE control of my life! He lead me on an entirely different path than I had been following. I left my horseshow life and headed to northern California where I was in charge of a riding program at a Christian camp. I fell in love with the people (and horses) I worked with, in particular, the director of the camp and his wife. They became examples of what my goal in life should much different than the path I had previously been on. I spent two summers at that camp as God began grooming me for the life HE had planned. I also met Larry there and we were married two years later.

God blessed us with three daughters through those years and my life was filled with joy in spite of many ups and downs. He took us all over the country in job moves for Larry and it wasn't until we settled in the midwest that He gave us what I believed was my permanant home. I now see that He had us there so that we would have some stability while the girls were growing up, but three years ago, He again changed the path in spite of our desires. We ended up in San Antonio, where He blessed me with a new fullfilling life but He wasn't finished yet. Again He uprooted us and took us north to the Dallas area where we are now, and it's here where I began to feel lost and abandoned. But then Sunday morning, as I was sitting in church, I realized something...I started my Christian life in a church where I heard people talk of Dallas Theological Seminary as the ultimate in Bible teaching and here I sat in a church that is pastored by Chuck Swindoll, the past president of DTS as well as many other scholars from that institution. God has given me this time in my life to glean from others with much more knowledge and experience than I could ever hope for!

So now I'm waiting, with an open mind and an open heart...God will speak to me in His time, as He has before.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day!

We spent Christmas Eve at Stacey's and it was one of the best Christmas Eves I can remember! We started out the day with breakfast at Machine Shed and then went to see a movie. It was snowing, so it was really "Christmasy"! We then headed over to pick up my mom and had lunch at her place...she really enjoyed showing us off to all her friends. After the Christmas Eve service at Hope, we went back to Stacey's for our Christmas Eve supper and stockings. We did something new this year and played a game to see who would open the next gift. It was much different than other Christmases but I think I liked it better than the way we had done it in the past, so maybe change can be good!

Christmas morning was spent with Shannon and Josh. I was afraid the kids would be exhausted after the two previous days of Christmas with Josh's family, but they seemed to do just fine. They're both at really good ages for celebrations and they seemed to really enjoy the day.

Kids always love getting gifts, but I'm always amazed at how much they enjoy giving them also. Nothing beat seeing Lydia give her mommy and daddy the gift she had made for them!

I loved the last picture because it showed how both my girls got involved with the American Girl Bitty Twins dolls. I'm not sure who loves those dolls more...the moms or the daughters!

Christmas was our last night there so Larry decided to cook a standing rib roast for Christmas was delicious, but cooking in an apartment kitchen sure made me miss my gourmet kitchen! All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed the snow while I was there, but we were both glad to get home to warmer temps, clean cars and nice roads!

Midwest Christmas!

After driving for 14 (plus) hours in the car, we finally arrived in Northern Illinois and found the winter wonderland I always miss during the holidays. We arrived Sunday morning and stopped by Hope in time for me to visit Lydia's Sunday School class and get in a hug (or two) and then to stop by Hopefulls for a quick visit with old friends. Our time up north is so busy and goes by so fast that we don't have a chance for the kind of visits we'd like, but a quick hug tides us over until our longer visit in the summer time.

I think if I had to choose a favorite moment while I was up north, it would be the night I got to babysit while Shannon and Josh went out to dinner and a movie. I took a bag of Christmas books and crafts that I had been saving and while Grandpa and Joshua were watching "Cars" (for the umpteenth time), Lydia and I had a craft night. She LOVED it, and when I mentioned making her mommy and daddy a gift, she was so enthused, I thought she'd explode with joy!

One thing I love to do at Christmas time is visit the mall, but I wasn't sure the kids would enjoy it because they don't go out to "shop" a lot, but it was much better than I expected! We mostly did fun "Christmasy" things so they didn't get bored or frustrated. Lydia's favorite thing was jumping on the big tramp, but Joshua like the puppy in the pet shop best! Great Grandma went along too and even Shannon got a chance to do a little shopping for herself. All in all it was a great day!

We took the last night before Christmas Eve to have dinner at Stacey's apartment. She has the cutest place now and it was the perfect spot for us to call "home" while we were there.

I loved this picture of Holly....looks like she's saying "Aww Mom...when's Christmas?"

Introducing "Holly Joy"...

Larry surprised me with an early Christmas present this year, and one of the best I could've hoped eight week old Yorkshire Terrier puppy! I came home from Awanas on Sunday evening to find her curled up in Larry's office. It didn't take me long to fall in love with her. My only concern was leaving her for his upcoming Christmas party in San worries though...I left her at the kennel at my new vets and they all spoiled her rotten!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

After being in north Texas for just over two months, we were ready for our first real holiday in our new home...Thanksgiving! Stacey and my mom flew in from Milwalkee and Shelley and Rusty drove up from San Antonio, so we had a house full for a few days but it was wonderful! The dogs had never met each other but warmed up quickly and got along well. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a Thanksgiving so much, but I guess that's because I had so much to be Thankful for this year. After all, it was only a short time ago that we didn't know if Larry would have a job at all and then later, if we would ever get our belongings back...puts things in a whole different perspective!

It was all so fun just being together for this holiday! My mom and I made the pies on Wednesday and one of my favorite things was teaching her to use the apple peeler. It took her a while to get the hang of it and it was hysterical to watch her...I just hope I'm as open to learning new things when I'm close to ninety!

Thanksgiving Day arrived and we had fun putting together a scrumptious feast. Larry grilled the turkey on his new backyard grill and it turned out perfectly! Bella tried every trick in the book to bribe just one bite, but in spite of her cute new outfit, Stacey wouldn't give in to her.

Right after Thanksgiving we took off to explore the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. I had been so busy setting up my new household that I hadn't gotten out much yet, well, other than shopping for household stuff! Anyway, we found LOTS of holiday festivities that were fun to experience...
and we accomplished a lot in a short amount of time!

The very last night before they left, Stacey and I had tickets to go to the Michael W. Smith concert. He was performing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and it was a perfect end to a perfect Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Finally...Pictures of the New House!

I've had so many people asking to see pictures of the new house that I finally decided to post the ones of the rooms that are finished. We're still working on Larry's office and the guest room, but those will be finished soon too. It's taken so much longer that usual to feel settled because we've had to replace so much of our furniture that was ruined in the move...VERY frustrating! Fortunately, I found a wonderful shop that sells upscale used furniture and because we had so much to replace, the owner has worked with us and given us some great deals, praise God!