Saturday, December 4, 2010

There is a scrap booking website I like and they said to tell people about their 25 days of Christmas ideas pages, so here it is :)[25 days sidebar logo-150j2[2].jpg]
kinda fun...hope anyone who sees this enjoys it some. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ok! Ok! Arla, I am writing, see?! :) As I do so, I am at Kathy's home in the Cities, preparing to take Valorie Grover to the airport in the morning. It has been a whirlwind time. An amazing time. There is no way words are ever going to cover this one. But now is not the time to try...time for that after this wonderful week comes to a close. And here I thought the surprises were over...until we sat down with the family last night to open cards only to find money...tons of money!...dropping out of card after card!!!! Around the fifth card, someone wrote about a trip and I looked up to see (once again!) the gleeful faces of my children!!!!! How are we ever supposed to say thank you for all of this. I'm not going to is the time for visiting, but I will :) Love you all, more than you know...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

  I want to blog, but when I write, it's the personal, deep thoughts that want to go down and I'm not sure this is the place for that. Seems I end up erasing far more than ever goes on, and rightfully so. Besides which,  the ones reading this already know what's going on in my mind, so it's redundant.  So I believe I will close this blog, and keep those "deep" thoughts where they belong, and save your reading time for more interesting pursuits :)  Sure was fun making my page though :)  Goodbye!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ben's tool search

     Well, it's done.  It's over once again.  I sit in a kitchen devoid of activity and ladies bustling around fixing mountains of food for mobs of people.  Gill and Abram are down stairs cooking, the fruit salad is done, the breads and pudding laid out.  Plates and such are out.  

     I learned so terribly much this weekend.  I mostly just grew ever so much closer to my God, my friend, my comfort.  He's so patient with me, long beyond my ability to ever comprehend.  I also don't understand why He wants Sugar on Snow to continue.  But it is very clear He does.  That's a fact I can't get away from, even when I want to quit, because it seems so big.  So now I trust Him to handle it, and remember to just be His tool.  I'm a terrible tool.  I think of Ben's search for coopering tools.  The range of tools available was amazing.  Some were new, sharp, and beautiful, but untried.  There were some that were beaten up, chipped and rusted, very unusable, truly appearing to be useless for anything other than hanging on a wall as a has-been, or thrown on the trash heap.  Or at least it looks that way.  I suppose someone who knew what they were doing could melt it down and start over, but maybe not.

      Now, I don't need to preach at any of you...this is an old simile.  But it sure applies to me regarding Sugar on Snow.  I don't know why He is so interested in Sugar on Snow.  In some ways, it seems so tied to this earth...this earth's history and trades that may not have any meaning or value in Heaven.  No apparent spiritual, eternal value.  Yet it must, or He wouldn't be so interested, would He?

     So.  I don't know what it is and I really don't need to (though I look forward to knowing someday).  But I DO need to be a good tool.  I fail miserably at it.  Yet He keeps trying to use me.  Anyone else would have thrown me away long ago, myself included.  I'm definitely not the new, shiny tool.  I don't even want to be.  

     I want to be the one I didn't mention.  The one the user loves the best...the one that's worn, but sharp, with the beautiful patina that only comes with years of love and care.  The handle well-oiled with the hand of the user.  Shaped by the user over the years to suit him perfectly, the blade just the right shape and angle, the handle free of all splinters with areas worn away to fit the hand perfectly.  Comfortable, inviting, begging to be touched and used.  Ready to do the work set to it, and do it well.  No tool is good for everything.  The best tools do just one job but do it extremely well.  Limited, maybe, but when put with a whole chest of others in the same Maker's collection, He is able to accomplish the tasks he sets his hands too.  

     I think of the others out there who wouldn't profess to be "our" kind of Christians, or not Christians at all, but are searching, wanting, longing.  Rough around the edges and not even knowing there's a Maker wanting to make them better.  Not knowing He's there for them, wanting to sand them smooth, hone their edge, to take them in hand and make them wonderful and useful in His eyes.  People who are hearing him call, who can see those favorite tools of his, with His love all over them, and longing for it, reaching for it, but not being invited in because they're too rusty or dirty.  Or maybe they look so different from us, we don't want to invite them to live in our "tool box' until they've been cleaned up some.  I am so guilty of this.  I have so many "reasons" for being so and some are valid.  But I expect some aren't.  More honing needed, Lord!

     Thank you, my friends, for being by my side  Forgive me for being the weak, rusty, chipped, bent, unusable tool.  Forgive me for fighting my Maker and not being what He needs me to be, leaving you in the position to fill in for my lack.  Thank you for not giving up on me either.  Just like with God, I don't get that.             But I'm so glad.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This is a poem I came across that would be useful in our family.  I can't say I agree with every thought in it, but it still has meat for me and mine.


Can't is the worst word that's written or spoken;

Doing more harm here than slander and lies;

On it is many a strong spirit broken,

And with it many a good purpose dies.

It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning

And robs us of courage we need through the day:

It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning

And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can't is the father of feeble endeavor,

The parent of terror and half-hearted work;

It weakens the efforts of artisans cleaver, 

And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.

It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,

It stifles in infancy many a plan;

It greets honest toiling with open derision

And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can't is a word none should speak without blushing;

To utter it should be a symbol of shame;

Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;

It blights a man's purpose and shortens his aim.

Despise it with all of your hatred of error;

Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;

Arm against it as a creature of terror,

And all that you dream of you some day shall gain.

Can't is the word that is foe to ambition,

An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;

It's prey is forever the man with a mission

And bows but to courage and patience and skill.

Hate it, with hatred that's deep and undying,

For once it is welcomed 'twill break any man;

Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying

And answer this demon by saying, "I can".

                 Edgar A. Guest

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blessings of adopted mothers, hot water, and clean clothes...

Happy New Year, everyone! I love clean, fresh starts. Our New Year started out with a wonderful visit to Grabers for scrapbooking and visiting with Jenny, but the best visit was with Mom Graber after everyone went to bed the night before. What a treasured gem. I can't even begin to explain how precious that was for me, so won't even try.
The next day was spent (for me) finally going through all those scrapbook drawers, cubbies, nooks and crannies, and purging and putting to order. Now my paper is once again grouped by color, and no, I still don't have enough blue!! Gonna have to look online...
Today, most of us are in the store for showers. Sounds innocent enough, doesn't it? However, I use the term loosely. Our shower only produces HOT water and is not a good thing to stand under! I am blessed that it does produce hot water, and that we have a shower to throw water around in. It sure beats standing in a tub on the cold back porch of our home wishing I had more hot water as my teeth chatter :) The girls rigged the shower with two 5 gallon full of cold water and the other for hot. If you run the shower just right, it trickles into the hot water bucket, creating steam to help you stay warm, and supplying you with ample hot to mix with the cold...a much improved bird bath :)
Our washer is also on the fritz, leaking water all over the floor through a bad gasket. We are blessed with not one, but two laundromats in town within walking distance. AND a dryer that works, for the most part. It's so nice to be clean and in clean clothes...makes you appreciate living in the USA where such things are commonplace and not luxuries.
Back to fresh starts...they have to be my favorite things on the face of this earth. And they cover so many parts of our lives...they are a little bit of "new" life. A new house, after you've de-junked and scrubbed and swept and re-arranged...the family all knows that's in our immediate future and while they groan about it, we all feel such satisfaction to have something fresh and new to look at. There's the feeling of knowing all the hidy-holes have been cleaned out...even if it doesn't last forever :)
I would DEARLY like to have the chicks out of the house...wish their feathers would grow faster :) The dust they create is really getting to me. But we have a plan and soon they'll go live with Denise's hens.
Do continue to pray for Herb...he's been feeling crummy all week, and not improving. Pray that the Doc would have the wisdom to figure this thing out and get rid of it for him. We want and need our man back. It's so sad to see him down. Thanks! Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Saturday evening.  This is the time of the week our family winds down and begins visiting.  All are tired, but glad for our "weekend" tomorrow and this week, a day at home to finish all those last minute projects and wrap gifts.  I'm sure there will be a game or two of Catan and Rook awaiting us too, as well as a 1000 piece puzzle of the Nativity waiting for a few more pieces to be added.

     It's funny how this time of the year makes me long for New England more than any other time of the year.  It's not that I'm not happy here, I am.  But there's something so very special about driving through the winding, hilly country lanes and seeing white candles glowing in every window, their light peeping through the branches of huge trees surrounding the old houses...salt boxes, colonials, etc.  These houses, surrounded by their old stone walls bring a feeling of peace and continuity, knowing that hundreds of year ago, there were also candles in the window, real ones, to guide and welcome the latecomer home.  The brooks, tumbling over their rocky bed, gurgling, even under the ice, that gurgled for other children all those years before.  As a child, I often wondered how many other children sat on the bank where I rested, building, fishing, or just letting their thoughts drift as mine so often did.

     We all have these memories and feelings, just from different's nice to visit with them now and then, before coming back to where we are now, hopefully more at peace and ready to move on, and enjoy where the Lord has us now.  It's good to see where He's led and know that the best is yet to come.