Jul 5, 2010

Fourth of July, 2010

I love the Fourth of July. I love red, white, and blue, and I love them together for what they invoke in my heart and mind.

Freedom. Fantastic freedom. Freedom that isn't free, but purchased by the blood and bravery of men and women who loved America and sacrificed to keep her liberties intact.

Patriotism. Something we see less and less of as time marches on. I saw a piece today written by Ed Morrissey that made me think. It said (in part):

"Pardon me while I indulge one of my pet peeves — and try to determine whether this is a widespread phenomenon, or just a local affliction of amnesia. Every major holiday, I make sure to fly the flag at my house, and every major holiday, almost every one of my neighbors do not. I hate to break out a “I walked sixteen miles to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways” argument, but it’s true that when I was a child, it seemed that every house had a flag out on the Fourth of July, at least, and usually on the other national holidays as well. After 9/11, my neighborhood temporarily recovered from its collective amnesia to start displaying the American flag, but nine years later, we’re back to seeing more Twins and Vikings flags than Old Glory."

He's right. When we drove down the street on the way home from church yesterday (more about THAT in a moment), I counted only three houses on our street with flags flying. Ours was one of them.

It saddens me that our country is so divided and polarized these days. How have we gotten SO far from what the founding fathers intended when they came to the New World seeking, among other things, freedom of religion? Not freedom FROM religion, but freedom OF religion. The "separation of church and state" does NOT mean the government cannot or should not embrace the Judaeo-Christian principles on which our country was built. In reality, that phrase was intended to guarantee that our government would never CONTROL the church as it did and still does in England. It guaranteed our freedom to worship as we see fit and are led by God. Even Thomas Jefferson, surely a polytheist, would be astounded at how far America has drifted from the intentions of our founders.

What better place was there to begin a Fourth of July celebration than in church? Honoring the ideals of brave men and women and the sacrifices of generations of soldiers, sailors and airmen and most importantly, acknowledging God's hand of blessing on our homeland and from Whom true freedom comes.

How did I get SO far from the post I intended to write? There's a lot happening in my little brain, and apparently it needed to come out!

Another of my favorite things is spending time with my family. And when they come to our house, I hope they feel welcome and loved by the little things I enjoy doing to make things festive.

Like this:
I wanted a centerpiece befitting the occasion, but also befitting my budget. This is $1.98 plastic hat turned upside down for use as a planter. Kroger had red carnations, white daisies, and one lone blue hydrangea that cried out to go home with me to grace the dining room table!

The hydrangea had been beaten up a little and had a small hole in the top of the bloom. I filled it with a happy little daisy, and no one knew the difference!

Instead of the usual names-written-in-Sharpie on plastic cups, I decided to try something different. Using plain white name tags from Office Depot, I printed portraits of various presidents from the web site of the White House.
Each person "picked a President" and that was the way we kept up with whose cup was whose.

Because I did the work, I got to choose my cup first. (Hostess' prerogative, doncha know.) I chose Ronald Reagan. It was humorous to see "sweat" running down President Reagan's face as the condensation formed on the cup!
Here's the drink counter, complete with freshly brewed orange tea, a family favorite.
And the beginning of the buffet line:
We had a great time of fellowship and as a family, enjoyed our many freedoms. We feasted on the bounty the Lord has so graciously provided, and we laughed and giggled and enjoyed being together.

Happy birthday, America. May you continue to be the great nation God uses and blesses.

Mar 3, 2010

99 Things

I got tagged... so here it is!

Copy the list, bold the ones you've done (with explanations if needed), share with friends.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (spent my early years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia)
9. Held a praying mantis (in the second grade)
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm (learned to be fascinated by them early on, but don't like the destructive ones!)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (Candlewicking... should do more of that)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort (early years in Virginia, 'member?)
25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (both!! Absolutely breathtaking on Grand Cayman)
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (workin' on it now with Rosetta Stone!)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (once upon a time)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (LOVE to do that with my hubby)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkled in Grand Cayman and Hawaii)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (if home movies count, then yes... lots!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (I had a medical transcription service)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (my dream vacation... on my bucket list)
63. Got flowers for no reason (my husband is very, very thoughtful)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (only once, but can't now because of my blood disorder)

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (over the volcano on Maui - beautiful)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (I probably should get those from my parents' house!)

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (don't even get me started)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (several)
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle (Shhh... don't tell my daddy)

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (won't ever do that again!)
83. Walked in Jerusalem (also on the bucket list)
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (as a kid in Virginia, with a 9' tall Easter egg when I was 15, as a Planoette drill team member, with Leadership Plano)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (Christian singer Steve Green, former Dallas Cowboys Tony Dorsett and Randy White)
92. Joined a book club (miss being in one)
93. Got a tattoo (nope and won't)
94. Had a baby (...several in Heaven)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (following a car accident)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Jul 12, 2009


Faithful Friend Ministry's documentary video is FINALLY here! Check it out:

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play
We are SO grateful to Rod Dixon, Matt Dixon and Robert Morris for their efforts in producing this first class video and showcasing the mission the Lord has given us.
What are YOU using for the Kingdom?

Jun 20, 2009

Eh... Uh.... Oh!!

Blogger and I haven't been getting along. Two posts are written and sitting there in the list, but they will. not. publish. I copied and pasted them, deleted them, reposted, and they simply will not publish.

So I decided it was a good time to take a bloggy break seeing how I couldn't, you know, POST anything.


Then my little friend Suze told me in very clear terms that it is time for a new post.

I sat down to write about one of the 11,000 things in my head, and nothing would come. It's Blogger's fault. I'm sure of that.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. It isn't just ANY Father's Day, but the one right after my daddy has had some scary health issues. I was reminded once again that my least favorite sight in the world is someone I love in a hospital bed. However, Dad never lost his sense of humor, and he did keep us all entertained. Thankfully, he is doing well now, and all the scary stuff is behind us. God is good. And so is my daddy.

So tomorrow, we're gonna get together as a family and celebrate him and remember the good times we've shared while we're making new memories. We'll laugh a lot, and there will certainly be some pictures taken. Of course there will be presents. And hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.

Studly got to spend three days with his dad in South Texas this week. At almost 87, my father-in-love is going strong. Every Father's Day with him is a gift, as it is with my dad. If you're able, reach out to your own dad and tell him how much he is loved. Don't let it go unsaid.

To all you dads out there, Happy Father's Day!!

To MY dad... I love you dearly and SO glad God chose YOU to be my daddy.


See what I did there?

Nice work, Jenn.

Sat down to grumble about Blogger and ended up making myself grateful for my two wonderful fathers!

Okay, Blogger. I forgive you.

May 16, 2009

Fifty-five Years of Studly

I absolutely LOVE this picture of Studly Man. Such a cowboy! I think this was when he still lived in Peru and his dad's job on a zillion acres owned by W.R. Grace permitted access to ponies. I love his little outfit, his saddle oxfords, and the way his two-gallon hat sits back on his head.

Cute back then.

Still cute today.

His hat is bigger. His pony has been replaced by a Faithful Friend, and his toy six-shooter is now a real pistola.

Oh, yeah. And he grew a beard.

Happy birthday, Studly. Although you're officially a double-nickle senior citizen, you'll always have that little boy charm that warms my heart.

I love you.

Apr 29, 2009

Still Considering the Iris

Days later, and I'm still marveling at both the handiwork of God and how well my little camera captured it!

The colors: some bold, some pale.

The frills: some delicate, some strong.

The blooms: all breathtaking, all proof of the Creator's endless imagination.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

Still more to come. Check back soon!

Apr 26, 2009

Consider the Irises and How They Grow

In our yard in Virginia, my mom grew some of the most beautiful iris flowers I've ever seen. I've always loved them. So elegant. So delicate. So lovely.

Studly and I took a Sunday drive this afternoon.

To see beautiful iris flowers.

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27

More to come. Stay tuned!