Sunday, June 28, 2009

Some of This, Lots of That

Last night DC and I took a lovely bike ride after church. It was one of those perfect bike riding kind of evenings. It was the second time this week I've missed a fabulous sunset because I forgot my camera. I am not happy about that. Tonight's was golden for a long time. It'll have to remain a mental picture.

We took this one great bike/walking path. There are several benches along the way and an elderly gentleman (well, older than us anyway) had sat down - his neck was bent and his head down, appearing to me as if he were taking a little snooze. Imagine my surprise when we got closer and I realized he was checking his Blackberry! That gave me a good chuckle.

I am praising the Lord for sending angels to watch over us when we need them. Kristen and the big girls were heading to the Denver area Friday afternoon to have a "slumber party" with Kristen's best friend from high school. They left about 2:30-ish that afternoon. Around 3:00, another huge gully-washing downpour hit here in my town. I remember sending up a little prayer that she be safe on the road. She called around 3:10 to ask me if I had prayed for her 3 minutes earlier. It had been more than 3 minutes, but I believe that little prayer saved her life. She was just seconds behind a horrific accident - the car just ahead of her was involved. There were four cars mangled, 4 sent to the hospital - one a child who was later airlifted to Children's Hospital in Denver. If she had been 5 minutes later, she would have sat there on the road with Care Bear and Feisty for 4 hours. Thank you, Jesus!

Quite a few people have mentioned the series of celebrity deaths in the last few days. Farrah was just a few months older than I, and fought valiantly for her life. Her passing was greatly overshadowed by that of Michael Jackson.

MJ - I knew he wouldn't live long because his life was so crazy and his health so precarious. I have no emotional attachment to him whatsoever, but just wonder what happened to him to make him a caricature of himself. He was such a cute kid and talented. But every picture of his crotch-grabbing antics just sickens me, as they play them over and over and over. I don't know if he was guilty of what he was accused or not. I'm sure that ordeal had a big part in his health problems, guilty or innocent. I just fear for the future of those 3 kids who have already had such a bizarre life.

In contrast to all of the hoopla over these deaths, a woman I never met has spent her first day in heaven. I wish I had known her. I came to learn about her through CaringBridge postings that her husband wrote, and which have been e-mailed to me for the last few months. He was a family friend of DC's family from their teen years. She was an amazing woman who fought cancer as valiantly as Farrah, the difference being that she showed the love and power of God in her journey. She spent her last week on earth with the youth group she loved on a mission trip. She went to Jesus at 9:21 yesterday morning. Here's part of her husband's post the day after she passed away.

"I just have a couple observations: Already (or still) I think: "What should we eat tonight? We need some soft food, or soup for Cindy. Something creamy, perhaps..." But then I realize that's not necessary any more. She's "dining at the banqueting table" with Saints from all the ages. Just think: Moses? Abraham and Sarah? Ruth? King David? Solomon? Zaccheaus? (she could ask if my portrayal of him in an Easter play was anywhere close). What things to they talk about? Contemplate? What do they sing for "Grace"before eating?

So I was exhausted as I went to bed. I didn't want to, but knew I should. Our bedroom was full of stuff like medical equipment - but empty of my most needful thing: God took her away.

But just then 3 angels walked in. My kids. They took care of me. One took one of my hands, one took another, and one took my feet... The actually tucked me in.

Then Jenny said : "Who loves you? I answered "God - and Jesus - and my wonderful kids." Then, there in the quiet, they prayed for me.

I wish I'd known Cindy - she sounded like a wonderful person.

Now that the spring flowers are gone, we have a few different varieties around the yard. We purposely created a very shady yard, so most annuals don't do very well with the lack of direct sun. I miss having petunias and roses, but I'll take the shade!



Miniature Roses


We like to play Susie Snapdragon - take off a bloom, squeeze on the sides, and make it talk.

Remember how I used to enjoy the squirrels? We now have 4 resident furry-tailed rodents in our yard who keep away the little wrens and eat all of the bird seed. I caught one coming out from under the net that is supposed to be protecting the strawberries - little rat!

But we are getting a few, and they look pretty nice when they survive.

The other day DC sent me an e-mail from work telling me he wanted me to get in my car, take a lawn chair, leave my cell phone at home, drive up into the Big Thompson Canyon, sit by the river, and read my book for a couple of hours. I asked him if it wouldn't be just as good to sit under a shade tree in the back yard. He insisted it would not. So I followed his advice. It was sprinkling when I got there, but I found a nice bench to sit on right by the water, and it soon cleared up. It was a delightful interlude .

We've had a really active cotton crop this year - the kind that flies out of cottonwood trees and causes much trouble with allergies. I don't have allergies, but it makes my nose itch. I was surprised to find it flying around up there. It looked like it was snowing.

Looking up into the sky as I left to go back to real life.

I thought these clouds were just gorgeous as I was driving north one day last week. I had to pull over and get a shot.

Today the girls wanted to go visit Great Auntie G - she doesn't have any grandkids yet, and she is just the most fun auntie. She always is ready to play games, have a snack, do make-up and hair, make something in the kitchen. They had a great visit today - Great Grandma lives there now, and she's always so excited to see them.

Katie likes to weigh herself. Emma must have had a very active night in her porta crib!


Somebody turned on the furnace today - it was 92 at the highest. But it's cooling off nicely for a good night's rest.

It's now been a year since I "retired." My e-mail signature is now my name with my new title, "Reassigned Retiree." I like Barb's line, "Living proof that there's no such thing as retirement!"

In case you missed the announcement on my last post,
Care Bear has started a blog, and her address is . She'd love to have you visit!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Whether You Like the Weather - or Not

I'm glad you all enjoyed the update on the littles - they are just so much fun and we are so blessed to have them in our lives. I forgot one thing I meant to say in that post. Every time Kristen or I go anywhere with the girls - whether just the twins or with all four, we hear the same thing over and over again. If we had $5.00 for each time we hear this comment, we could send them all to college. Everybody says, "You sure have your hands full!" I think they think they're being really original. I often respond with "Yes, indeed, full of blessings!"

I've lived in Northern Colorado for about 38 years. We talk about the weather a lot, because it's such an interesting topic. Winter is usually fairly mild, with the snow disappearing pretty quickly, save the occasional blizzard. Autumn is fabulous - usually long, mild, colorful, with wonderful fresh air. Spring is crazy - it is more likely to bring heavy snow than winter. It suddenly heats up and summer is here. When I first lived here, July would be hot, with cloudy mid-afternoons and a cooling shower. On occasion, we would have a gully washer which would cause flooding of the underpasses on the interstate. Often it would be accompanied by hail, which would destroy roofs and cars.

But then came the drought - 5 or 6 years of incredibly dry winters and summers. This year, when the old weather patterns have returned, we don't remember that it used to be this way. Not watering the grass and gardens is wonderful. God does such a better job than we do. But it's hard to plan anything outdoors in the evening, because chances are it's going to be rained on and/or cancelled.

Case in point: remember our annual Hymn Sing held out on the grounds of Walker Manufacturing? Last Saturday night was the 6th annual event. The first year it was so cold that those of us who ventured out dressed for winter. Even so, there were around 700 people there. The next four years we enjoyed beautiful evenings, watching the sun set over the mountains as we sang those glorious songs. There were around 900 last year. At least one year it was really hot.

Saturday was a rather cloudy day all day, but there was no rain. Until - just a few minutes before the 6:00 start time. As I came out of the dinner supplied for those of us who served as staff, it sprinkled a few drops. Thankfully we had brought our umbrellas, which most people did. I was sure it was going to clear up miraculously.

It got worse and worse as the evening wore on, but we stuck it out. Unbelievably, there were around 800 in spite of the inclement weather. Quite a few older people left about halfway through. DC sang with his quartet, and as he took the stage, I discovered that the umbrella had been dripping cold drops on his right leg - his pant leg was drenched.

I can tell you one thing about singing under an umbrella - the sound of your voice hits the umbrella and all you can hear is your own. Bob Walker, who is responsible for the event, and who leads one of the sets of songs, said that the sound from the platform was great - the umbrellas served to send the sound up to him.

I call this "Seriously Soaked Singing Saints."

The song leaders were not under any cover when they were directing - I still think we should have sung "Showers of Blessing!"

The pages of the books were sticking together --

Some poor folks didn't come prepared for rain, but they were really good sports.

By the time 8:00 arrived, I was shaking with cold. It felt so good to get in the truck, turn the heat up, and head home for a hot shower. I know one thing for sure - God was pleased with our voices being raised to Him in praise. And please, Lord, let us have sunshine next year!

BTW, Care Bear has started a blog and would love to have some visitors - her address is

Have a wonderful week-end!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Bit of a Twin Update

Katie and Emma will be 1 1/2 years old on July 7. It is hard to believe how quickly the time has gone, and how far they have come. Some of you haven't been with me through Kristen's high risk pregnancy, the 7-week premature c-section, the 4 weeks in the NICU, the joy of watching them develop normally and beating the odds that the doctors felt they were up against. I always think of the prayers of so many blogging friends as we went through this journey. This was taken in the NICU by the nurses and I will always treasure the picture of their first time together out of the incubators.

One of my favorite things to watch is the closeness they have developed. They are truly best buddies. When they hug each other, it would warm the coldest heart. The young lady on the left is the one who volunteered to babysit for us last week so Kristen and I could have a break for two days. What a blessing. And we will never know who paid for her hours, but are so grateful for those who listen to the whisper of God to help someone in need.

One of the ways we tell them apart is the large red birth mark on Emma's back. I wish I'd had my camera in the bathroom the other night when Katie seemed to notice it for the first time in the tub and was poking it.

They definitely have their own language and communicate quite well - we only wish we knew what they are saying. Their big sisters, by this age, had impressive lists of words they were saying. These girlies are saying lots and hopefully someday we'll understand! Katie's latest thing is to point at everything and say "Whassat?" or something close to it. She's very fascinated with lights and ceiling fans at the moment.

Here is their new double stroller.

And here are the new double walkers, in no particular order, just randomly working on their new skill in the back yard. It brought to mind the phrase "PERSEVERANCE PERSONIFIED" and made me think of life - we often fall down, but you have to "pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!"

It is somewhat like "herding cats" to keep up with them when we're out and about - you get one corralled and the other one has taken off. I can't even imagine being Kate or Octomom (well, except they will have lots of help as long as they continue to exploit their broods).

I decided not to use the stroller yesterday at the library, but discovered that they (especially Katie) really don't want to hold your hand when they're walking in a parking lot. Not a good thing!

It is such fun to see these still little bitsy beings exploring their world on foot.

We go to laptime at the library every Friday, a misnomer if there ever was one - the only ones in laps are those who haven't learned to crawl yet. I've shown a picture of the chaos before, and it's really something now that these girls are walking. But one of the things they do every week is sing "The Wheels on the Bus". I found this book that Katie is carrying around at the library last week and she absolutely loves it. You'll see it with her on every picture. I need to find one for them that we don't have to return next week.

Far be it from me to understand their fascination with walking around on the rocks surrounding the foundation of the house - it makes my feet hurt to think of it. But they spent a great deal of time there that day. Even checking out how they taste.

Never fear, mommies and grammies, I am keeping a close eye on that sharp object!

Don't worry - we put the rocks back where they belonged before Grandpa could hit them with the lawn mower! Well, I put them back - several times, over and over again.

Feisty isn't the only one who has made friends with Belle, the neighbor's cat who loves our yard and all the attention she gets when she slips under the fence (or over it). It's the next best thing when you can't have your own kitty.

Belle finally let me photograph her beautiful eyes.

Until I get around to budgeting and ordering those adorable sock monkeys from
Barb, they'll be content with these cuties from the Dollar Tree! And breaking that love affair with the old bottles will be a real challenge.