Thursday, February 25, 2010

Show and Tell Friday

This was my first "Friday Show and Tell," which I did back in November, 2007. I thought I'd re-run it, since I have many new friends since I first posted it. This picture of my husband's great grandparents with their children (his grandpa and sisters) hung on our wall for quite awhile before I learned the amazing story behind it.

The picture was taken in probably 1891 in northern Wisconsin. Great-Grandpa Wickstrom was a logger and had built the log house for his family. Grandpa Odin Wickstrom was the eldest of 7 and had the two sisters at the time of the picture, with another one on the way. He was 6 or 7 at this time.

Remember the show "Growing Pains" with Kirk Cameron, Tracy Gold, Joanna Kerns, and Alan Thicke? One night my daughter, Kristen, who was a teen at the time, was watching the show as she did every week. She noticed this picture in the opening collage and recognized it as one of the pictures hanging in our den. The word got around the family quickly and we all tuned in and paid close attention to the opening credits.

With some detective work, it was discovered that the picture had been hanging in the Wisconsin State Historical Society in a display of log cabins built with that particular roof design. The show's writers chose to use the picture in the beginning of their show.

Anna died with the birth of her 8th child, who did not survive either. Great Grandpa Nils' sister married Anna's father after her mother died, so his sister became his mother-in-law!

For more Show and Tell stories, go to Cindy's place,
My Romantic Home.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Musings

It's been a tough week, but also a very good one. Our new pastor arrived and we had a great installation service this morning, and a delicious dinner together.

The weight loss journey is going well. I haven't felt this in control for a very long time. It's been fun to be on this adventure with my sister and my sister-in-law. My sis and I have fought our weight demons for years, but never together. It's good to be on the road together.

It's been four weeks since we weighed, so it was very exciting. Wearing things I haven't been able to fit in for the last couple of years is really fun - like getting a whole new wardrobe. (BTW, I've also lost 16 inches overall - amazing!)

The verses that go along with each day's study guide are always so appropriate. I especially love this one, from The Living Bible. I Corinthians 6:12-13 - "I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren't good for me. Even if I'm allowed to do them, I'll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can't easily stop if I want to. For instance, take the matter of eating. God has given us an appetite for food and stomachs to digest it. But that doesn't mean we should eat more than we need."

It has also been a very good week in another sense. I won two drawings here in Blogland - this is amazing! First, Gigi offered Beth Moore's newest book, So Long, Insecurity - You've Been a Bad Friend to Us. I am looking forward to reading it, and then passing it on to Kristen. Thank you so much, Gigi!

Then, unbelievably, I won the drawing over at Butler's Wife for this beautiful gift being offered by CSN Stores. I am so excited, because most of my cooking and baking utensils are quite "used up" after 37 years - I often think everyone should have another shower at about 30 years, don't you? Here's what is coming - so exciting! Thank you, Becky!!

I want to share this wonderful story I got by e-mail this week - I love it:

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23.. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter.

Little Rick was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.

On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

I have a new obsession - and a confession. How could I have gone 6 years without discovering the show NCIS? I have been overdosing on it for the last two weeks, as they've run marathons which have recorded on my DVR. I love the characters, the writing is fabulous, the interaction of the group is amazing - I like to watch them more than even the plot. I hope I get caught up soon!

I just came back from Hootin' Anni's place and she presented me with this lovely award - thank you so much, Anni! If you haven't visited Anni before, you must - she's a hoot, just like her name implies - and very, very talented.

I always like to leave you with something fun - the twins eating in various places in the house. The final one was tonight - a bit of snack after church - they're spending the night with us - they both climbed on the table and shared Grandpa's food -

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Miracles Still Happen!

Thank you all for your prayers about my missing diamond. Yesterday while the littles and I were out running errands, I gave them little baggies with snackies - including a few Valentine M&M's. Today, when I went to put Katie in her car seat, I saw a few spare candies that had gathered in the back of her seat. I saw this little grayish/silvery looking thing there in the middle - momentarily I thought it was a little stone. Well, it was. But a very valuable little stone! My little stone! Katie has been sitting on a diamond for 5 days!!

Thank you, Lord, and thank you, friends! (See previous post if you don't have a clue what I'm talking about)!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Musings

February is half over - how can it be? We woke up to a cold, crisp sunny day in northern Colorado - 8 degrees.

Valentine's week-end was fun, except for some who find it difficult to watch those who have someone special in their lives, when they don't. It's another one of those fun little holidays that's been taken over by the media and those who benefit financially from such days. I have to say, though, that DC really outdid himself. He took Kristen, Sema, and me out for a lovely dinner at Mimi's. He had made cards for each of us with his computer, creating a poem for each of us, plus all 4 of the girlies. I was impressed!

Last night we took a trip to Denver to the "big church" for a wonderful concert. The occasion was the final concert for Jerry, who was celebrating his last service as a staff member, after almost 37 years. Jerry is one of the most talented musicians I know or know of - a pianist beyond comparison, an arranger, and a producer. He is responsible for the CD the men's quartet made (which, by the way, should be completely ready soon - long after anticipated date). It was a great way to round off the week-end.

I chose my new look in honor of the PRISM program, which is the program I am on to change my health and appearance. I love the analogy in one of the lessons in Week Three (we're on Week 6 and will be able to weigh next week-end). The title of the lesson was "The Change That Transforms . . . "

"Have you ever watched a caterpillar eat? It goes from meal to meal, clinging constantly to its source of food. It always eats, rarely stopping for a break. On the other hand, the butterfly appears to stop for a meal only on occasion. It seems the butterfly enjoys other activities more than eating. Flying around the beauty of flowers is its favorite thing to do. It eats of the nectar of the plant, the lightest and most energizing part. The caterpillar eats the most bulky part of the plant. The butterfly cannot be weighed down by its meal, but the caterpillar must always feel stuffed. What do you think would happen if the butterfly began eating bulky food all the time? More than likely, after a short time it would not be able to fly. What would a 'grounded' butterfly be? Food for a predator?"

Reminds me of the children's book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." Also makes me want to be more like a butterfly than a fuzzy, slow, rather homely caterpillar!

Guess who joined Girl Scouts??

Guess who had to support the program??

I have to say I am very excited to have this opportunity to test my endurance and perseverance - and resolve!

There's nothing more fun than watching a baby develop into a real little person - unless it's watching two! The littles are singing and talking (though still more their own language than ours - getting better every day), and just generally making life more interesting. For some reason, Katie likes to wear her bib Even during diaper changing time.

The other day Katie went for a walk with Grandpa - a neighbor had a pile of concrete beside the driveway, which Katie apparently decided to explore- i.e., climbing. The header was not in the plans, but she's tough and hardly cried. The nose, cheek, and chin looked pretty bad.

The more it improved, the worse it looked. Add in an encounter with a door, tooth going through lower lip - poor kid looked like she'd been in a boxing match! Still very few tears.

Emma was having a tough time on the way to church - finally settled down in the nursery.

Changing the subject drastically - many years ago, when DC and I were talking about marriage, we visited a small jewelry store to "look at" engagement rings. We decided to choose a loose stone to have put into a design of our choice. We chose a beautiful stone with a slight flaw - purposely to remind us that nobody's perfect.

I never thought I'd have my hand photographed for my wedding album, but I was convinced to do so --

Several years ago, when I was having the stone checked to be sure it was secure, the jeweler advised me to change from a four prong "basket" to six prongs. I loved the new look - it set off the stone even better.

Friday I was sitting here in this same chair when suddenly I realized my ring didn't feel right - I looked down and in horror, saw this:

The entire "basket" came out of the hole where it was fastened - not just the stone is gone, but the entire device. Ironic, isn't it? I changed to that device to keep the stone safe and now the entire thing is gone. I can't help but feel the jeweler should hold some responsibility. I will take the ring up there tomorrow so they can see what it looks like. It doesn't look like it just broke off at the surface, but there is a definite hole there.

I know it is only a possession and not something that will be with me in eternity, but it is a very sentimental possession. DC was looking up the paper work on the ring - I had totally forgotten the old-fashioned typed letter I received from the diamond mining company in South Africa, congratulating me on the excellent choice of stone.

I have heard from so many people who have lost their stones and found them miraculously. This will take a miracle to find. But I do believe in miracles.

I'll close with another book recommendation - or series of books. Last fall I won a drawing at Tammy's place, Lattes and Lollipops. Tammy doesn't blog any more, sadly. But this is the book she sent me - an author I not heard of before.

I really enjoyed it, so read the next one in the series. Then I got sidetracked and just now decided to pick up on the rest of them - only to discover that there was a prequel. I am almost finished with it --

If you like Mary Higgins Clark, you will like these - clean romance and suspense, with the added bonus of the redemption story very prominent in the story lines. I have 4 more to read in this series and am looking forward to every one.

Well, I guess that's enough rambling for today - have a great week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day from LOVEland!

This is a bit of a re-wind from last year, with appropriate changes.

Way back in 1946 an idea came to Postmaster Elmer Ivers, Chamber of Commerce President Ted W. Thompson, and his wife Mabel. They had a vision - a vision to share the romantic name of our town of Loveland with the whole world.

So it came to pass, in the February of 1947 the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program was born. Since 1947, literally millions of valentines have touched the heart strings of loved ones with Cupid's message hand stamped and remailed from Loveland, Colorado.

Since 1962 a high school senior girl has been chosen to represent the program and the city as "Miss Loveland Valentine". Personal appearances representing the City of Loveland take this ambassador around the state of Colorado. An appearance at the Colorado State Legislature and a personal visit with the Governor are just two of the highlights in her busy schedule.

In 1964, a specially designed Valentine card was produced to offset some of the expenses of this costly program, and the Official Loveland Valentine's Cards continue to touch the hearts of people around throughout the world. Loveland Valentines can be purchased through the Chamber of Commerce , from their Official Loveland Valentine web site, or through any of the participating Chamber merchants. Every year there is a contest for the card's design, for the message on the inside, and the cachet that is stamped on the envelope. Here is this year's winner, front cover, inside message, and the cachet on the envelope:

Heart-shaped messages on the light posts around town can be purchased by anyone who wants to leave a very public "heartfelt" message to someone they love. It's fun and a bit corny, but is the "heart" and soul of town. It does represent somewhat of a hazard as you drive and try to read the messages!

Loveland's "Valentine Sweethearts", Ted and Mabel Thompson have now passed away. The Loveland community feels their absence. To commemorate their vision and love of Loveland, their memory lives on through the annual Valentine Remailing Program. A bronze relief of the Thompsons is featured in Thompson Park on 4th Street in Loveland. (portions copied from the Loveland Daily Report Herald).

An average of 200,000 letters are stamped each year with the cachet and with the postmark from LOVEland. I read that Oprah even sent her cards here one year for the Valentine cachet. People from 110 countries send their cards here for remailing. The valentine program is so popular that there is a volunteer waiting list of 45 people.

And now for the announcement of the winner of the book by Marilyn Meberg, What to Do When the Roof Caves In. Our friend, Miss Pea, is the winner. I'll look forward to hearing what she thinks of it. So, Pea, just send me your mailing address and I'll get it to you.

Valentine's Day, oddly enough, has been overshadowed in our family ever since Kevin was born on the 13th in 1977. Happy 33rd Birthday Saturday, my dear son.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday Musings

Thanks for entering the contest for the book - I'll do the drawing on Friday. It's not to late to go to the previous post and sign up. It is very exciting to be back in the public domain - it has been frustrating to have to be private.

Thank you also for welcoming Kristen back into the world of blogging at her new site, Jeremiah 29:11. It would be great if you'd go over there and become a Follower!

Remember making an apron in Home Ec? I loved Home Ec - I was blessed to have both sewing and cooking, one semester of each, for 3 years. I am sad that that it's become a seemingly unnecessary part of curriculum these days.

I had some great home ec teachers - I was a quick learner, so I got to do extra projects, including some pretty advanced knitting. I still had my first apron until just recently, when it was in complete shreds.

One year DC gave me a very interesting Christmas gift - a pattern, fabric, lace, and buttons to make a very fancy apron. I was impressed that he went to such an effort to get something I would enjoy making and using. I have two young nieces who are making aprons for themselves and as gifts - I am glad the younger women are discovering aprons.

All these thoughts have gone through my mind since I got this story in an e-mail:

I don't think our kids know what an apron is. (Note - my grandkids do, because they like to use my old ones as big girl "bibs").

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because she only had a few,it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the menfolks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron.

Just for fun - enjoy this picture of Grandpa and Emma - can you tell how nuts they are about each other?

The weight loss journey is going well - I can hardly wait to weigh a week from Saturday.

See you Friday!