Sunday, April 19, 2015

10 years....

It's hard to believe that we have been married for 10 years!  Who would have ever thought?  I recall being a senior in high school and saying that I would "never" leave home, that I would "never" get married, but if I did I would move my husband into the house before I would leave home... I said that I would "never" have children.  It's amazing how God's plans differ from ours!  I left home....I got married....I have two amazing little boys.  I guess you should be careful what you say you will "never" do because somehow I think we end up doing what we say we will never do.  I'm grateful for the ups and downs that have helped add character and mold us into the couple that we are today.  Sometimes change is a good thing.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Another day is done...

No better way to end the day than a sweet reminder of two amazing ladies!  My Great Grandma Bowen used to make Jell-O cake...I never had the pleasure of trying hers, but from what I have been told it was like a staple of hers for special events.  If only I could ask her what the seven colors and flavors were that she used to make her 14 layer Jell-O cake.  The family loves when I make this cake, and its usually for special occasions because it takes a good 2-3 days to make. Its worth the time it takes to make, I view it as a way to keep her  memory alive.

My Grandma Helen used to make peanut butter eggs whenever we would go to Maryland to visit.  It was always a special treat and was one reason why I always looked forward to our family trips to Maryland.  I think its awesome that my mom makes them for Easter.  Its a small way to keep her memory alive.

How do you remember loved ones who have passed?  How do you keep their memory alive?

Arboretum on Good Friday

Beautiful bird!
My mom and my boys!
Snake in the lake.


One of my favorites of my mom and Seth!
A fun morning walk at the Arboretum!

Gopher Tortoise coming out of his borough.

Respecting our tortoise friend!


I work for the Lord.

I am a firm believer that, in some cases, there is much more to a book than the words contained within its pages...actually in all cases that is the story - somebody, somewhere wrote the words down that defined a major life event, or a personal struggle, or steps to success or maybe even a fantasy, sci-fi world.... When you read a book just try to imagine the author handing you the book and telling you, 'this is my story' pass it on. How incredible and personal and touching to think of people who write for others enjoyment, fulfillment, pleasure.

We were driving home one Saturday from our weekend Adventures when I saw a new placed called Bargain Warehouse on the side of the road....They advertised "Household goods at 50-80% off msrp" and they had a huge tent set up outside. I had been curious about this place for a while, so the set up pulled me in. We found a parking place and unloaded the boys and as we made our trek across the parking lot I found three dollar bills folded nicely, almost as if God himself had reached down and dropped them on my path. I picked them up - rather excited about my find! We made it inside and looked through all kinds of junk. I was feeling rather disappointed...this didn't seem like a 'bargain warehouse' it seemed like a 'junk warehouse'. They had everything from Christmas decorations to clothes to food to 56k modems...I was looking at some of this stuff thinking, 'why would anybody by any of this stuff?' And then I made it to the back corner of the store and found one entire row of nothing but old books...then suddenly the store didn't seem so bad! I started looking through the books, I found one - Dearest Debbie In Ai Lee - and for some reason I opened up the front cover. And the rest is history.

Inside the front cover I found the following, nicely written in blue ink...some 46 years ago:

                            "To mother,
                                    Whose warm love for children,
                                     will understand and cherish this
                                     tender and heart-touching story.
                                                         Love, Betty"

Little did Betty know that not only would her selection be a touching gift for her mother (that I am sure her mother enjoyed because what mother doesn't love what their kids get them) but also that it would land in the hands of somebody working for the Lord. 

I purchased this book, because of the emotional strings it pulled by reading what dear Betty wrote in it.  I didn't read the back cover of this book, I didn't read the first few pages...I simply bought this book based on what somebody said 47 years ago.  Sounds silly I am sure, but I am a sucker for old books with emotional baggage.  Especially when they only cost one dollar....and even more so when technically it didn't cost me anything because I found the money!

Forty-six years ago a woman named Betty decided to buy her mother a book for Chrimtmas. In an effort to personalize the book she jotted down a little message.  On February 10, 2011 I passed that book along in an effort to provide hope and comfort to somebody who I don't even really know.  The circumstances surrounding this book and how everything 'fell' into place is evidence to me that it was 100% God's plan.  He wanted me to find the money.  He wanted me to purchase that book.  And he wanted me to give that book to somebody who needed it more than I did.  How awesome it is when he uses the things we love to show us about His plans. 

*This was a draft that was never out the drafts folder and this one is a keeper.

To stop living....

What came to mind upon reading the title to this blog? 

Was it the thought of death or dying? 
Was it the thought of skimming through life never really getting past the surface?
Did it make you think of loss?
Did it make you think of change?
Did it make you think about time?

Was it just three words you stumbled upon?

Tonight when I think of those three words combined the way they are I think of death.  When one body and spirit has exhausted all efforts to continue in an earthly realm, the body dies, but the spirit lives on.  One thing that bugs me about growing older is the thought that those older will be getting closer to death.  This is reality but boy it sure does hit us like a ton of bricks every time.  Doesn't matter how much you think you know its coming, its still hard to deal with. 

Just cleaning out the 'drafts' folder...publishing some....deleting some....

How 'not enough' turned into 'more than enough'...

One of my favorite things to do is go to Thrift stores because I have always believed, "one mans trash, is another mans treasure." As much as I like to know what is going to happen and what I can expect in certain situations, there is some thrill in knowing that it will always be different when you visit a Thrift Store.  I am always drawn to the section with books - which is a bit funny to me because when I was in school I struggled with reading comprehension.  I could read the text one time or 10 times and still not comprehend what I read.  This made reading not very enjoyable, so I did not read too much.  I was a bit early to pick up Seth when I stopped by a thrift store and grabbed 1.50 in change from the car thinking that I could get three books with that...I went in and found four books that I wanted.  I was trying to decide if I wanted to go back to the car and get more change or just put one book back.  At about that time an employee walked by and said, "there is a sale on books today - 6 for $1."  I was so excited!  I could get the four books I wanted and could look for two I looked up I found a book on grief that I just knew was for a new friend who had lost her husband in the last year.  I knew that book was just for her. It is as if God turned the entire situation around - I didn't have enough, but He worked it all out to be more than enough....and I'm convinced it is all because He knew somebody in my life needed to feel His love through that 'extra' book I got that day!