Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Trivia

This has been one of those weeks - you know the kind - you wish life was on video and you could rewind and erase. It's interesting how sometimes those mountains pictured in the last post can be a metaphor for a wonderful, exhilirating experience, and the valley represents a time of sadness or trouble. Other times the mountains can seem like something totally unattainable or impossible, and the valley becomes a place of restoration.

I heard this song today, sung by Josh Groban, and it was just what I needed. Enjoy it as you peruse the rest of the post.

As the "stuff" was unfolding, there was lots of good mixed in. Who can't feel better about life when you have this little one in it? This picture was taken on "Crazy Hair Day" at school.

And what day wouldn't be brightened by this little ray of sunshine?? Today we had a great conversation about how to drive. I told her what the different pedals were for. I told her she could learn to drive when she's 15 - she said she knew how now, because I just told her. Then she concluded, "Oh, yah, I have to have my driving license!" She was delightfully perky and fun all afternoon.

Several of you have asked for an update on the girls' health. They're doing great - all four of them. They did share their germs with me and I'm still trying to get rid of them, but the girls all back to normal. Thanks for your prayer! The twins are really getting into the growing up routine. They are trying out new foods every day. If you haven't looked at the baby food aisle lately, let me tell you - they might not taste any better than when our kids were babies, but the combinations are certainly more interesting.

Truth be known - they really prefer pizza crust with just a touch of cheese and sauce --

They are in to everything -- wishing they could join their big sisters for a bath (cropped for obvious reasons!)

Remember my lovely shelves full of the memorabilia I brought home from work when I retired? That worked well until - well, until now - when the girlies can pull themselves up to anything -- Care Bear helped me by "rearranging" everything onto the top two shelves - might work until they grow a few more inches!

I saved the biggest news till last. I always leave Kate and Emma in the family room when I need a minute to accomplish something quick (bathroom break comes to mind). The other day I was fixing bottles in the kitchen. I turned around to take them downstairs when what to my wondering eyes appeared but -- little Emma looking up at me quite innocently. It took me quite a few seconds to process what I was seeing. I knew I hadn't carried her up those stairs! Or at least I didn't recall carrying her up those stairs - and more than that, I wouldn't have left her there if I had carried her up those stairs! It wasn't long before Katie followed her sister.
It has been so amazing to watch the progress they've made in the last month. Look out world, here they come!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Anniversary Adventure Part III

This is the final edition of the anniversary adventure. I enjoyed taking these shots of the mountains and the valleys. DC gave me the ultimate compliment - I got better shots than he did! Wow. But as I looked at them, I just kept thinking of how much scripture says about mountains and valleys. So enjoy and be blessed.

Job 9:1

The Message

Job continued by saying: "So what's new? I know all this. The question is, 'How can mere mortals get right with God?' If we wanted to bring our case before him, what chance would we have? Not one in a thousand! God's wisdom is so deep, God's power so immense, who could take him on and come out in one piece? He moves mountains before they know what's happened, flips them on their heads on a whim. He gives the earth a good shaking up, rocks it down to its very foundations. He tells the sun, 'Don't shine,' and it doesn't; he pulls the blinds on the stars. All by himself he stretches out the heavens and strides on the waves of the sea. He designed the Big Dipper and Orion, the Pleiades and Alpha Centauri. We'll never comprehend all the great things he does; his miracle-surprises can't be counted.

Psalm 90:2

New International Version

Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Amos 4:13

New International Version

He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth— the LORD God Almighty is his name.

The Message

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

Psalm 104:1

The Message

O my soul, bless God! God, my God, how great you are! beautifully, gloriously robed, Dressed up in sunshine, and all heaven stretched out for your tent. You built your palace on the ocean deeps, made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings. You commandeered winds as messengers, appointed fire and flame as ambassadors. You set earth on a firm foundation so that nothing can shake it, ever. You blanketed earth with ocean, covered the mountains with deep waters; Then you roared and the water ran away— your thunder crash put it to flight. Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out in the places you assigned them.

Luke 3:5

New International Version

Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

Psalm 76:4

New International Version

You are resplendent with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game.

Psalm 65:5-7

New International Version

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,

Who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength.

Psalm 36:6

New International Version

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

New International Version

Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds — his name is the LORD— and rejoice before him.

Psalm 84:5-7

The Message

And how blessed all those in whom you live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!

Isaiah 40:4

New International Version

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

Lord, You know that I’ve been foolish, I’ve been blind;
I’ve let my doubts and my confusions cloud my mind.
I have walked in my own wisdom; I’ve been wrong
Take my hand and lead me back where I belong

Restore my soul in the valley, that I might be worthy
at last to stand with Thee on the top of the mountain;
In the valley, restore my soul.

Stripped of all that once I clung to, Lord, I come
Tho’ in your eyes I know I’m nothing, yet I come
With your hand that once was nail-scarred just for me,
Touch me now and make me all that I should be.

Restore my soul in the valley, that I might be worthy
at last to stand with Thee on the top of the mountain;
In the valley, restore my soul.

(Lyrics by the Booth Brothers)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Memes and Awards

I have to interrupt the regularly scheduled anniversary adventure series to do a bit of housekeeping. I have been honored with two awards, which I appreciate so much. One of them involves a meme. On top of that, I took on the challenge of Hootin' Anni's interview. Wow, did she come up with some interesting questions!

I had to laugh out loud (LOL, you know) with Jessica's comment to me today - that if there was an award out there for the longest posts, I would win hands down. Hey, ladies, they didn't call me "Mouth of Third South" in college for no good reason! I am a woman of many words - ask anybody who knows me IRL.

So - here goes - - -

Honorees are to list 10 honest things about themselves-and make it interesting, even if we have to dig deep! This is going to be a challenge. Thank you, dear Laurie, for this award.

  1. My dear husband and I are both eldest children in pastors' families. As such, we felt as if we knew each other very quickly, because we had shared many of the same things in our growing up years.

  2. As Laurie shared, I too am a non-swimmer. I almost drowned at age 10 when I hit a drop-off in one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. I have never since been able to trust the water to hold me up. I love boat rides, I enjoy cruising, I go along to watch snorkelers from the boat, but don't expect me to get in.

  3. I was the tallest girl in my graduating class of 82 students. The class was small enough that they had us process by height instead of alphabetically, so the tallest boy and I led the group.

  4. I was the self-proclaimed president of all neighborhood clubs - clubs which I created. I see a lot of myself in my 6-year-old granddaughter, known here in Blogland as Care Bear.

  5. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was three years old. I don't remember this, but my mom told me, and I believe her. I often wish I had a memory of where and when I accepted Christ, because I could point back to that time and place when Satan makes me doubt. But I have never wanted to do anything but serve Him. I praise Him for salvation and protection from the junk that many people have had to overcome.

  6. But no matter how much I loved Him and served Him, it did not prevent heartache in our family. But He has helped us through it all. So far. I don't expect Him to stop now!

  7. My parents scraped up the money to buy a used piano when I was 7 so that I could start lessons. I began playing for church in our tiny Arkansas church when I was 8 - we had nobody else, so Dad raised his own accompanist. I have been on the piano or organ bench most of my life since then. I'm a very generic musician - meaning what I see is what you get. No fancy chording or embellishments. That's why I love the organ - you can make it sound good with all those buttons! My potential was short-changed when I was 13 and we moved to a bigger city where the cost of lessons was prohibitive for my parents.

  8. I love singing in choir and am thankful that our church still offers this opportunity (and that we still have an organ to play!). Music is a huge part of my life and I remember the day I figured out that I could harmonize.

  9. I struggle every day with my weight. I look back at pictures of when I was much younger and thought I was overweight then - and can't believe how good I looked. I must have had a skewed body image in those days. I'm thankful I didn't fall into anorexia or bulimia, which of course wasn't known of when I was a teen.

  10. I used to think blogging was stupid - can you believe it??

Thank you so much, Midlife Mom (my friend Louise) for this beautiful award. I'm not at all sure that I deserve this one, but I certainly will accept it with gratitude.

The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.

The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions.
There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs.

The Blog is refreshing and creative.

The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

I began blogging in June of 2006 - Kristen, my daughter, pushed me into it. In fact, she set me up, named the blog, then called me and told me to join in and get busy. She gave it the title "Call Me Grandma Dawn" because that was what Anthony, her stepson, called me from the very beginning, when he was barely 2. The theme of grandparenting is a huge part of this blog, but it is mostly my day to day life that appears here on this page. There is no great political or social agenda. In fact, I mostly keep my political opinions to myself. But it has become such an important part of my life and I appreciate all of you. I regret greatly that I have had to go private, but it is better than nothing!

This morning when I visited Hootin' Anni, she had been interviewed by one of her blog buddies. I let her know I'd be willing to be interviewed - she chose the questions. This will be another challenge~~

1. What prompted you to say "yes" to the marriage proposal from your spouse?

We were 25 and 30 when we married - we both had been through some painful relationships. Nothing horrendous, but we'd both been hurt by someone. We had both lived long enough on our own that we appreciated what the other one would bring to a marriage. We didn't go together very long before we knew this was "it." (In fact, we'd been married a few months when DC asked me how long we'd gone together before we got married - I told him 8 months and he said, "That's not long enough!" Too funny! Too late!) We had talked about marriage, had even looked at rings. The proposal was kind of a technicality - we had ordered the rings and when they came in and he got the call, he went over to ask my dad if it was all right (yes, he did - even at our advanced ages!), then proposed on roller skates during the couples' skate as they played "Ebb Tide" with the lights lowered. Oh, it was very romantic! I am not a very good skater and actually ran into the wall with shock, because I wasn't expecting it at that time! I don't think he had much doubt that the answer would be in the affirmative. What prompted me to say "yes?" He was the answer to this girl's prayers!

2. What childhood memory is most vivid in your mind as you blog at this very moment?

This is so tough, because I have so many vivid memories of my childhood. It was a happy childhood with 5 kids in a parsonage with very little money. If I have to pick one memory, I think it will be when my brother, sister, and I played missionary. We had two sets of uncles, aunts, and 4 cousins who were missionaries in Africa. We had this great two-seated merry-go-round in our yard and we pretended it was an airplane. It would take us to the jungles of Africa, where we would land and share the gospel with the chief in his hut. Our whole life revolved around the church. Nothing's changed!

3. With your experiences, have you ever thought your existence as female is less stressful than a male's existence?

Never! I have always felt like I was more stressed out than my husband. Maybe guys just don't talk about their stressors as much as we do.

4. What historical leader, in the world, has captured your admiration most?

I mentioned above in the previous meme that I don't get into politics here. But I was quite outspoken when I was younger. In fact, I thought that one day I would run for office when I grew up. I know there will be those who gasp when I say this, but my first interest in campaigning was Nixon vs. Kennedy in 1960. I became very interested in Richard Nixon and his family. I read his book, Six Crises, and decided that his daughter, Julie, and I could be soul mates. I eventually did a term paper on him in high school, and later met him when he was between political jobs and was corporate attorney for Pepsi-Cola Company. I wrote about this experience here (unfortunately, the pictures I posted were deleted when I had to go private and I overreacted and canceled my Flickr account). When Watergate happened, I was devastated. I won't go into this any further, but that is my story.

5. What influences in life have triggered you to set certain goals? And what are/were those goals?

I have never been a big goal setter, unfortunately. Most of my goals have had to do with my personal appearance, which seems pretty shallow when I write it down.

So - there you have it. Another long post. No pictures to break it up. Sorry, Jess!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Anniversary Adventure Part II

The big girls are back in school and preschool. The little ones are better, but still have really runny noses. Katie had her re-check yesterday and her lungs sounded good, her blood oxygen was okay. Thankfully Emma never had RSV, and wasn't as sick as her big sisters. The big girls and I snuggled a lot, so of course I now have a cold. Not too bad so far, thank goodness. Kristen is back in school, so I am back with the babies here every day.

Kev and Sema are coming back this week - hard to believe the 3 weeks are gone already. Sema is on her way, and may be in Dubai already (Wednesday morning 7:00 am now) and will arrive on Thursday; Kev leaves tomorrow and arrives on Friday afternoon. Please pray that their flights go better this time and that they get back with all of their luggage!

Back to the anniversary adventure --

It is great to live so close to such a beautiful getaway spot. - it's only an hour's drive up the hill. In fact, that's where we spent the first two days of our honeymoon - DC went up earlier that week and checked out the spot -

A storm moved in just in time for our wedding - by the time we got up there after the reception, it looked like this.

But it was nice and cozy inside - unfortunately, DC wasn't this happy the whole time - he was flattened by a sinus infection on the second day and we ended up heading down to our town for an appointment with a doctor and some medicine before we resumed our honeymoon to California.

In a matter of possible interest - our original plan was to go to the Grand Canyon and around that area. Our travel agent called and told DC that the storm was coming from that direction and she did not advise driving that way. So after going to the doctor that day, DC went back to the travel agency and booked a trip to LA - Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Japanese Gardens, etc. Long fun story. When I was looking for the pictures above of the cabin, I found our original itinerary:

I wish DC had put the prices on the rest of the hotels - $15 at the Grand Canyon! I found our first grocery shopping list, too. I wish I had put the prices there as well.

For those of you who are new here, I'll post this wedding picture --

But I digress.

While we were driving around on our anniversary adventure, we found this cottage in the same spot.

After looking at it and comparing the two, I realized they weren't the same. I remembered that our cabin had been destroyed by the Lawn Lake Flood in 1982. Estes Park was devastated by loss of tourist traffic for several years after this flood. Six years earlier, in 1976, the Big Thompson flood happened several miles below Estes, but prevented traffic from reaching them for several years as US 34 was repaired and rebuilt. So it is a miracle that this town has survived and is thriving and growing. If you ever decide to visit Estes Park, be sure to let me know so that we can get together!

My next post will be mostly pictures that I took as we drove around Rocky Mountain National Park on Monday. We also did our usual tourist-y thing of walking around town and looking at all the shops. That was when I got the watch that I showed you a couple of posts ago. There is a year-round Christmas shop that we love to visit. She has amazing decorative items, trees decorated in many different colors and styles, but I have to say that she doesn't run any great after Christmas sales! Hootin' Anni would go nuts in there, considering her Santa collection. I couldn't resist showing you and her some of the variety this shop carried this year. Anni, come and visit any time and add to your collection!

I've been to Estes many, many times, but have never noticed this rock formation before - it's visible from the middle of town and is called "Twin Owls." Well named!

There was a lot of wild life evident that day as we drove around - especially mountain sheep and elk. Elk and deer come into town and cause "trouble" - the fact that it was their land for eternities does not seem to make the new residents any happier.

It was really cold and windy up there that week-end three weeks ago - today it was 70 degrees F and will be as warm tomorrow. Very weird!!

Stay tuned for Part III!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Anniversary Adventure Part I

First a little catch-up. Emma and the big girls went to the doctor Friday. The big girls have really bad coughs and have been with me for 4 nights. Feisty is the worst and has not been sleeping well at all - which means I haven't either, of course. The babies are back together at home and are sleeping a lot. They're having nebulizer treatments several times a day and have a long ways to go before they have their spitfire personalities back. They tire very easily. Thanks for your prayers, and we ask that you continue. Add all of this to two funerals and it's been one unbelievable week.

It's already been three weeks since our anniversary - such a busy three weeks. But I don't want to waste all those memories and pictures. We left for Estes Park after the morning service on the 28th. We were returning to the cabin we've stayed in 3 times before - the third anniversary trip and one in May.

The trip up was beautiful on a very cold day. I enjoyed capturing the clouds as they hovered over the peaks.

The sun was TRYING to come out, but not very successfully.

I love this little cabin and could stand to live here full time.

Here I am in our "yard."

Three views from "our" deck and bedroom and living room windows. The Fall River is gurgling down below the snow and ice.

When we're not out and about, I'm loving this spot in this chair.

The little tree on the mantle is decorated with a fishing/hunting motif.

We needed this getaway after the busy and hectic and wonderful week with so much family!

But I didn't expect this picture to be taken!

We went to Nicky's for dinner - had their special, Prime Rib. I usually order chicken, but I went with the waitress' advice - and it was delicious. DC is looking mighty satisfied.

I think that's enough for now - I have a surprise for Hootin' Anni in Part II!