December 14, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland....

The lyrics are pretty...... they make a beautiful song and the words help to create awesome images in our minds, but living in it is another story! :)We finally got our power back this afternoon after losing it on Friday at about 5AM! I woke up and looked at my clock about 3:30/4AM and everything was fine. I could hear the rain coming down pounding on the roof and wondered if school would be in session or not. I fell back to sleep and when I looked at the clock again, it was dark... no red lights. The furnace was silent, the only sounds I could hear was the of raindrops .... the power went out!Ordinarily, when this happens within an hour or two we are up and running again.... but not this time! As you already know if you watch the news or listen to the radio, we had a bad storm! ICE, ICE and more ICE! It really is absolutely beautiful to look at! Audrey took some amazing pictures but... it was also very destructive! Downed trees, powerlines, frozen pipes, icy roads, over-worked electric crews, cold houses.....
Oh ya, this is the winter-wonderland life! :) Friday, during the day, we heated with the stove top (on for a while and then off for a while) and candles. Thank God for gas stoves, I could at least make hot meals! (Obviously, for safety reasons the candles and stove were OFF during the night!) The temperature inside on Saturday morning was 42* yikes, it felt like we were waking up on a camping trip! We could see our breath... now that is chilly! (It was 15* when I looked at the thermometer outside, so we were pleased with 42!) Austin worked diligently on a generator that a friend had loaned us. He had it going for a while so we could keep the fridge from thawing out too much and everyone charged up the cell phones! Thankfully, Darlene & Marc (my brother) regained their electricity Saturday and loaned us their kerosene heater for last night! It was in the low teens again last night, but inside it was a balmy 62* AHHHHH, the simple things in life are soooo amazing!
We went to church Sunday morning (an awesome & appropriate message series by the way) 'In Pieces or In Peace'.... this week's message was about worry & anxiety! You can listen if you'd like at the bottom of the page, part 3!!
We were on our way home discussing the next plan of action (empty the fridge into boxes for the back porch, drain the water lines etc.)when my cellphone began to ring, it was TJ with "GOOD NEWS.... the power is ON!" THANK GOD!! We had been told not to expect it to come back much before Thursday ... so having it back 4 days earlier is a true blessing!! :)The crews had arrived to repair the lines that had snapped.... all that is left are a few orange caution cones and some random branches of trees & sawdust beside the road! (This tree is in our front yard, draped over the lines coming in from the road to our electrical box!)

December 3, 2008

"The Mom's Song"

If you haven't yet seen this tribute to moms everywhere, please click on this and be prepared to laugh till you are wiping the tears away! :) Patti Harshey has put all the things a mom says in a 24 hour period of time to the song the "William Tell Overture" it is hysterical! Listen carefully, you just may hear some of your own phrases in there somewhere, I know I did!

Click below to watch......
http://blogs. northlandchurch. net/2008/ 08/11/the- mom-song/

November 28, 2008

Happy Day AFTER Thanksgiving!

The day before Thanksgiving is generally spent cleaning & baking, the morning of Thanksgiving is spent making the final touch ups and peeling veggies etc. and the rest of the day is spent enjoying company! The day after is such a WONDERFUL TIME TO APPRECIATE ALL OF THE BLESSINGS! Audrey is an amazing helper! In between her schoolwork and going to work, she helped me get things in order! My family is a definate blessing to me! :)

Travis, Austin & Pete peeled all the potatoes and beets in the morning! What wonderful guys we have!!(Actually, truth be told, Travis also peeled two butternut squashes for me on Wednesday, and baked 2 loaves of bread too!)We had two families join us for dinner yesterday! The Hacker family of 4 and the Walsh family of 2! 11 people around the table was a beautiful sight! I could go on and on about the yummy food & dessert, but I'd rather go on about awesome friendships!! What a blessing these two families are to us!

I believe we all had a wonderful time! After dinner, everyone needed a little time to stretch their legs and start the digestion process... LOL!! The boys (*ahem*, young men) tried their hands a exploding a soda bottle.... they had a few fun, but failed attempts! *(thankfully)*
We eventually all regathered for coffee, tea and desserts (Did I mention they were DELICIOUS?!!) and games!! We had a lot of fun playing 'Apples to Apples' (for the first time) and then a few rounds of 'Fact or Crap'! (yes, I really did use that word, it is the title of the game)!! Laughs, teasing, friendships strengthened, warm weather (I think we hit a balmy 42*) and late day snacks!!
I don't think the day could have gotten much better! THANKS everyone! From our home to yours, God Bless You All!

November 24, 2008


Yesterday afternoon we recieved some tragically, sad news.... I am sharing this with you in hopes that you will also be praying for these families!
A guy that Audrey knows who plays in the Christian band "Blueprints of the Heart" was in a car accident Saturday night. Shorty, the drummer, was killed and the other three of his friends are in critical condition in a MA hospital. PLEASE keep them and their families in your prayers as the doctors are not being too hopeful for these young men.
As more info. is given.... I want to update you! The accident that took the life of "Shorty" the drummer did NOT involve the other 2 band members. Shorty was with different group of friends! Of those friends.... 2 are still in critical condition and 1 was is listed in stable condition.
Please continue to pray for God's healing hand to touch these families... both physically, emotionally and spiritually!

November 17, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008
(daybook journal entry 2)

Outside My Window...
The trees are waving their branches at me. There are a few
dried leaves clinging on to the branches waiting for a wind strong
enough to loosen them.

I am thinking...
I need to figure out what to make for dinner tonight!

From the kitchen...
the dishes are drying, the dishpan is put away. Nothing but the smell of
fresh brewed coffee is in the air.

I am wearing...
jeans and t-shirt with a sweatshirt over top,
wool socks and black crocks!

I am creating...
Christmas projects, some to give away
and some to keep!

I am (still) reading...
"The Dry Divide" by Ralph Moody and trying to read
"Raising Dragons" by Bryan Davis (at Travis's request)

I am hearing...
that inner voice tell me it is time to get OFF the computer
and get some work done around home!!

Around the house..
Gary is here for a visit! We all love spending time with
our special friend!

One of my favorite things...
hearing a fire snap & pop while cozied up with a lap quilt,
a cup of tea and a good book!
(Oh, I wish we still had a woodstove or a fireplace!)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Go to a craft class this week!
Plan the weekly meal menu,
pay the bills, and
Clean, clean and clean some more!

Here's a picture to share...
(compliments of Audrey!)

To take a peek at more day book entries
check out

November 16, 2008

Here's a little secret about myself.... I LOVE pretty fabric! I have so much fun going into Joann's Fabric or Walmart and looking at the fabrics and trying to figure out what I can make next to 'justify' buying that gorgeous, must-have material! (I use to make Audrey's jumpers and therefore could easily justify buying it then!!)

The weather is getting colder, the Christmas fabrics are coming out in the stores!! My plan; I'm going to make myself a Christmas quilt this year! (Bigger than a standard lap quilt, smaller then a twin bed quilt). Saturday, I went looking to see what I have 'on hand' and discovered that I have enough Christmas material to make one without going to the store for anything but the batting!(Hmmm well, I guess I'll have to plan another project quickly, 'cuz I doubt I'll ONLY get batting if I head to the fabric department!)

November 14, 2008

You Just Gotta Read 'em....

I'm in the 7th of a series of 8 books written by Ralph Moody.... I call them the "Little Britches Series" (the title of the 1st book is "Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers"). They are the story of a young boy (Ralph) who lived in Rochester, NH but whose family moved to Colorado in the early 1900's. You learn right along with Ralph about ranching, farming, making wise choices, integrity and making due! These books make you long for the day when a person's handshake was as good or better then a signature on paper! Based on his life, Mr. Moody (who also wrote "Seabiscuit" another book superior to the movie) writes in such a way that makes you feel like you are right beside him through everything that happens!

A favorite quote from the 5th book, "The Fields of Home" was spoken by Ralph's grandfather. Whenever he got excited about something he was doing he'd shout, "By fire, we'll show 'em what kind of logs make wide boards!" Today we'd probably say, "we'll show them how it is done!" This book takes place in Lisbon Falls, Maine and is rich in the 'language of yester-year'.
We read this whole series plus Seabiscuit as a family about 10 years ago and honestly, in my opinion, they should be a part of EVERY family's read-aloud life! (whether you have kids at home or not.... they are wonderful!)

November 12, 2008


This is Travis at about 21 days old!! He was the perfect size for his teddy bear (later named Mr. Bearly) to hold him! WELL.... 21 years later, lots has changed!!! (Hair, vocal chords, size, clothing styles .... just to name a few!) Travis has been 'a little' bit taller then Pete for a few years now..... AMAZING! How fast times goes by when you are having fun! This picture was taken down in Ocean City, NJ on the boardwalk this past summer!

This is Travis at Soulfest '08 playing & singing with friends around the campfires LATE into the nights! (Needless to say, a friend took this picture!) :) Travis, you are a true blessing of God to us!! Happy Birthday Travis!! We love you bunches!!

November 10, 2008

~~ Happy Veteran's Day ~~

Freedom is never more than one generation away from
extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the
bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and
handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will
spend our sunset years telling our children and our
children's children what it was once
like in the United States where
men were free.
Ronald Reagan
40th President of the United States

I thank God for our men & women who have and who currently are
offering themselves so the rest of us can live in a free country!
I thank God for this land of freedom where we can
worship God together as a family!
We need to pray for our national & local leadership that
they will have integrity & wisdom in leading our country!
Monday, November 10, 2008

Outside My Window...
the clothesline stands empty, the trees and gardens are bare and the
swing is still. Morning is just dawning.

I am thinking...
How did the mother's of years ago get everything done, keep up
with correspondences, make delicious meals and
maintain a happy home, without going crazy!

From the kitchen...
the blueberry muffins are cooling and waiting.

I am wearing...
jeans and a soft blue, zip up hoodie over my top with wool slipper socks

I am creating...
Our Thanksgiving menu and beginning to work
on Christmas projects!

I am reading...
"The Dry Divide" by Ralph Moody and trying to read
"Raising Dragons" by Bryan Davis (at Travis's request)

I am hearing...
The rooster announce the new day, the tea kettle softly
reminding me that my tea is only minutes away, and the soft breathing
of my kids as they begin to wake up.

Around the house..
the kids are beginning to wake up, the cats are still curled up
in balls of fluff, the dog is sleeping with his paws covering his face,
the furnace just started again.

One of my favorite things...
the quiet of the morning and
the aroma of fresh baked goods.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Travis's birthday dinner
Sit down to write a letter or two
Make a few appointment phone calls
Gather craft items for a class next week
Clean, clean and clean some more!

To take a peek at more day book entries

November 2, 2008

Happy Lord's Day!

Here's a song that will get your Sunday morning off to a great start!! (Actually, it will start EVERY day off great!)

MIGHTY TO SAVE...... this awesome song is a wonderful reminder that GOD is big enough to move the mountains, He is big enough to save.... and He IS big enough to handle my stuff and yours too, if we'll let Him! :)

Have a blessed day!

October 23, 2008

We Were Blessed With Another Gary Day!!

We've been missing our buddy Gary. Audrey asked his mom if he could come over for the day! She went to get him this morning and did a couple of errands and then brought him back to our home!! He enjoyed 'his' toybox for a while and then he and Audrey took a little walk outside. Gary went out to help feed and water the bunnies....... (Sookie is checking him out too!)
and then he helped to collect the eggs! (Yes, he did carry two eggs inside!) Audrey asked him what happens if you drop an egg. At first he said "pick it up" and then he laughed and said "splat". He had fun listening to the rooster! (Cock-a-dooodle-do)

We can't help but smile and laugh with him! He is such a happy guy! He blesses our day when he says "Do you know you're an angel?" or "You're lovely." What an awesome young man... I wish everyone could have a special friend like we do! :)

We are already making plans for his next visit!!

October 19, 2008


Count your many blessings, count them one by one.... I'm remembering this old song from way back. It is more then a song, it should be a way of life for all of us!! It is always easier to look at what we don't have or what we want to have, but it is much more important for us to take an inventory of how much God has blessed us..... I challenge you to start writing them all down and then keep adding to your list as time goes on!! It is wonderful to be able to look at the list especially when we are down or feeling overlooked and lost!
Blessings.... (here's a 'middle of the book' start of listing over 40 years of blessings)

I am thankful first of all for my salvation and for that of my family.
I thank God for my health and my kids' & husband's good health!
I'm thankful that we live in a free nation..... so often taken for granted.
I'm thankful that we are able to provide daily food for our family, and that we can raise & grow so much of our food.
I'm thankful for our beautiful surroundings... the colors have been magnificent!
I'm thankful that we are in good relationships with our parents!
I'm thankful for an AWESOME church family (both those we worship with on Sunday mornings and those who attend elsewhere!)
I'm thankful for our friends..... a strong support system of love!
I'm thankful for music... it has touched our family from the very beginning and is a source of joy.
I'm thankful that our kids own their faith-walk and are walking in the way of the Lord.
And yes, I'm thankful for our faithful dog, Toby!Start your list..... it is amazing!! Here's an idea; make a thank you notebook!! List each month and then either look backwards January through now .... or start now and go forwards!! :) THEN make it a part of your personal thanksgiving day devotional to thank God for the year of blessings! Keep your list growing.... recognize every gift is from God..... small or large. (Read James 1:17) EVERY good & perfect gift is from above!! :)

October 9, 2008


This might be silly, but as I opened a can of frozen orange juice and removed the lid tonight, I had flashbacks! You may ask, 'what in the world is there to flashback about frozen juice lids???' Well, let me tell you ... there are LOTS of uses for juice lids!! My kids were raised using juice lids! :)
All of a sudden I was transported back in time to when the kids were making lots of ooey-gluey projects! Juice lids are PERFECT because they have lips on them... I'd squirt a puddle of glue on each lid and give each child a popsicle stick to use as a glue stick (fingers work too)! We made lots of Christmas tree decorations using old cards, felt & glitter! One year I used pictures of the kids and made decorations with them! They made great magnets for gifts with pictures or other art work! The kids made them into snowmen face & flower magnets etc. LOTS OF FUN!
Another way to use juice lids was to glue construction paper on one side and then put one chore on each lid. THEN, put them all in a paper bag and let the kids draw out which chore would be their responsibility!

Here's one more idea: take individual pictures of everyone in your Bible study group, then trace the lid on the picture and cut out each person and glue it onto the lid and glue a magnet on the back! NOW for the fun part.... put all the picture magnets in a paper bag or basket and have everyone draw one out!! This is the person they will be praying for! They can post the magnet reminder on their refrigerators at home as a reminder to pray for them!! :)

SEE WHAT I MEAN?... THE IDEAS ARE ENDLESS! THERE'S SOOO much fun to be had with 'juice lids' ... a common throw away item! I would keep a gallon sized Zip-Lock bag filled with them waiting for our next inspiration! AHHHH, what a fun flashback!
PS.... The picture is because that was about the age all the fun using juice lids & glue began! I know I have some pictures of them actually crafting SOMEWHERE!

Is it TOOOO Soon to Mention.... ?

Don't shoot the messenger, but do you realize that Christmas is only 2 1/2 months away?! That doesn't set too well with me.... Let's try 77 days??? Nope, That definately didn't help! Last try... 11 weeks... well, that sounds a little bit better. But any way you choose to count it, it is still coming right around the corner. I was counting as I was typing, so my reality check happened right along with yours!

My goal this Holy-day season is "REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON"! I am vowing to keep costs DOWN and SPIRITS HIGH! I'm starting my search for a Christmas devotional to help me keep perspective. Let's keep our eyes fixed on WHO came for us that first Christmas morning, why He came and what we can do for others!
Have you read Jotham's Journey?? This is our family FAVORITE advent devotional!! There is something for everyone of every age in this book! The author keeps you on the edge of your seat chapter after chapter! I can't recommend this book HIGHLY enough!! It isn't too early to start planning! AND... no, I don't mean making your lists and checking them twice, UNLESS that list is one of good cheer and encouraging tidings for others! Make sure to add an advent devotional to the top of your to-do list!! The first day of Advent this year is November 30th! :)

September 21, 2008

Over the past few weeks I've been trying to remember a specific short poem ... it is one that my mom had written out and I had on my cork board in my bedroom for years! Today as we were spending time cleaning & sorting through all the 'stuff' in our storage unit, I came across the poem so now I know who the author is! He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

-Edwin Markham "Out With It"

This poem has impacted me similarly to the Golden Rule... I don't know how many times I've rehearsed it to myself over the years! At our ladies Bible study we've been studying the 'love chapter' and this poem came to mind again. Now, I know it doesn't quote the scriptures, but if you read 1 Cor. 13:13.... the last part of the verse says "... and the greatest of these is love." Love is the greatest & strongest force on earth...... try it, it isn't easy, but you'll 'love' the results!!

September 12, 2008

It is REALLY a wonderful thing that happened yesterday! I found a middle school friend that I had lost contact with maybe 20 years ago! Not being overly computer savy, I never even thought to try that avenue, besides how does one go about looking? Where do you 'ask'? How does one search.... I was chatting with another friend in MA about Facebook and Myspace and the pros & cons of the programs. We chatted while she made herself an account and then I said to her, "You know, it is really neat to use the Facebook program to find old school friends." I proceeded to tell her when you put in your high school name & year of graduation other classmates will pop up. etc. etc. Well.... I had the flash thought... maybe, just maybe I could find Rebecca! (Naaa, I don't even know if she still has the same last name!)
I typed in her name and clicked on 'FIND FRIEND' :) GUESS WHAT? Up came 11 different Rebeccas.... all with the same last name! It is truly amazing. (and those are only the ones who have Facebook!) I scrolled down... getting excited and wondering if I'd recognize her after it's been a LONG time! It was a dumb question I guess... eyes & smiles just don't change over the years!! I FOUND HER!

I quickly & nervously typed an email asking if she had lived in NH during the middle school years and if she had a sister named Ana? Within 15 minutes I had my answer!!! "YES, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT REBECCA! OH MY GOSH... I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU FOR YEARS!" It was such an amazing moment!! :) I called my parents this morning to tell them the great news... they were just as excited as I am.... her mom & my mom were very good friends too!! I think there will be another 'reunion' with them soon too!! (Well, a reunion over the phone... they all live in CA now!)
We've exchanged a couple of emails and phone numbers and I look forward to chatting more!! :) HOW COOL IS THAT!!! Yes, as frustrating as computers can be, I AM LIKING MINE A WHOLE LOT MORE NOW A DAYS!! :)

PS.... Yes, Audrey did take these awesome pictures of the cosmos!

September 6, 2008

Audrey Got Her New Camera!!

Audrey is having a blast with her new Nikon! Nothing is sacred .... No one is safe! :) Everyone is a possible 'great photo shot'... I got her a few books on digital photography (potraits & lighting, nature & close-up nature etc.). She has been busy taking some AWESOME pictures!! I can't wait to see what she comes up with every time she leaves with her camera in hand! She has a great eye ...

Watch out!

When you least expect it...

She may be around the corner waiting to take that next 'perfect shot'!

(Now she needs to figure out how to put her name in a waterspot image form on her photos!)

September 4, 2008

We had a Blast....

We were blessed to have a wonderful Sunday afternoon on Lake Winnepasaukee with some new friends!
The kids had a blast tubing behind the boat..... the sun was shining, the water was crystal clear and new friendships have begun to form!

September 1, 2008

Reflecting on Sunday's Service....

We had another awesome Sunday service at Grace Capital yesterday..... the sermon topic was being content and living with less so others could live with some. Sounds simple enough right... well, make it practical.... read Luke 3, especially focusing on verse 10 & 11. So the people asked him, saying, 'what shall we do then?' He answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."

Pastor Peter Bonanno's talk can be heard here (click on Contenders pt. 3 8/31/08) How many of us have more then 1 pair of shoes? At the end of the service, the challange was to leave our shoes as a symbol of our willingness to be content. The result.... over 800 pairs of shoes were left to be donated to "Soles 4 Souls".
The service was AMAZING, THOUGHT PROVOKING, LIFE CHALLANGING... and I dare you to listen! :) It's all about being generous and thinking of others instead of ourselves!
Here's another thought provoker; I'd never thought about this before but, God told Moses to take off his shoes because the ground he was standing on was holy, it isn't recorded that he put his shoes back on. We do know that he came down the mountain with his staff... a staff which symbolized his readiness to serve his people, but we don't know if he had his shoes.

PS The church foyer will be open till Wednesday night for those who still want to donate shoes!

August 23, 2008

Blueberry Picking.... Plum Picking..... ALMOST time for Apple Picking!

This year, I've made blueberry jam and froze bags of blueberries for pies, pancakes & muffins!! It still isn't as many as we use to pick, but I'm not complaining! I think blueberries are the best of God's creations in the fruit department! YUMMY! (Not only yummy, but VERY healthy too!) Thanks Mom for sharing your bounty!Years ago when I worked at Plymouth State College (now PSUniversity), a co-worker 'Joyce' would make plum jelly. I had NEVER heard of making jelly from plums, but when I tried some... OH MY WORD WAS IT DELICIOUS! It has been 20 years since I've worked there and FINALLY we have plums (fresh grown) enough to make some myself!! Pete helped his aunt (thank you) pick her plums.... I think this has been the most I've ever seen come from that tree! WOW!!
My first attempt I made plum jam (using the juice, flesh & skins) and my next attempt will be to make jelly (ONLY the juices)! I will be cooking down the plums today..... straining out the juice today & tomorrow and then making the jellies on Monday! These are little 4 oz. jars... they stand 2 1/4 inches tall!!
The weather we've been having is my all time favorite..... chilly mornings & evening and a sunny day with a slight breeze!! It just doesn't get any better then this!! BUT... it sure makes one want to go find an apple tree! I'm not too sure what is going on, but usually I'm not in apple picking mood until mid to late September! (I HOPE THIS DOES NOT MEAN AN EARLY WINTER!)