Not really, on the outside the leaves are all brown or have fallen onto the ground. But, inside the school kids have been given their parts for the program and Sara brought the music to me today for the them to begin listening to. This afternoon we really enjoyed listening to Squire Jr. sing some beautiful Christmas songs on the cd that she made us. Some of the parents are already shopping, and Geary and I purchased the materials to make presents for Jacob and Caleb...I'm not even giving them a hint. I have already started handcrafting presents for the rest of the family, Miranda and I had the same ideas and are working together on stuff. A quick trip to the dollar stores in the area find them full of decorations, and some really cute (cheap) trees. I'm not sure if we will do a tree this year or not. We decided to celebrate with the grandkids on Christmas, but wait until Chris and Ben get home to celebrate with the adults in the family. It won't be Christmas until they get home anyway, and I know that we really won't be in the spirit until they are home with us. Friday evening some of us went to hear Trans-Siberian Orchestra....ok, now, I've done it, and probably never again..but I do want their Christmas DVD. I think the music will be so much better when I can control the volume. I sort of described the concert as "orchestra meets heavy metal; the real story of Christmas and rock dancers...." Christopher called on his birthday, and I don't know about him, but it made it very special for me. The longer the boys are away the more i realize how precious our family is. I can't wait until they get home and we can share their lives again. God has been so very merciful to our family, and I think this experience has helped us to love each other more and more. Miranda has blessed us very much with beautiful, wonderful, (yes I am prejudiced) grandchildren and it has been such a blessing to see how much she loves and misses her brothers. On a lighter note, thought I would share some summertime pics of Geary and I in Florida. We had a good time visiting mom and Mel, and really enjoyed the beaches. We had our first taste of alligator meat, yes, it does taste like chicken, and got to drive and park on the beach.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all
When I was in grade school this was the first thing we did every morning. We stood up, faced the flag, put our hand over our heart and pledged (or promised ourselves) to the flag. Just a symbol, just a piece of material, but even as school children, we knew how important that it was. I was privileged to attend Valley Fork Grade School, Valley Fork, WV...the most unpolitically incorrect school that was around. We were taught to reverence the flag, not just every morning during pledges, but also at the Veterans Program that was put on every year. We learned poems, sang songs, and brought our veterans up front to honor them, this followed a wonderful meal prepared by the school cooks. But most of all we were taught that this is a "Christian" nation. A nation founded on God and the principles of the Bible. A nation that God blessed because we feared him "If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." You never hear the songs that were sung then: God Bless America, The Star Spangled Banner, This is My Country, etc... Just by watching the news you can tell that our children are being taught something totally different now. No honoring our veterans, our flag, the sacrifices that were made, the country that is the greatest nation in all of the world. Instead our children are being taught a more politically correct history (some facts are changed or left out completely), and our "esteemed" President has announced that America is NOT a Christian nation! In grade school it would not have entered my mind to think that two of my boys would be defending our country in Iraq. Sacrificing time away from their family, jobs, comforts, and careers. But that is exactly what is happening, these two young men have volunteered a portion of their life to make sure that we can stay a Christian nation...."one nation under God. We and we got to celebrate July 4th with one of our sons, and our daughter and her family. In September our other son will get to come home for 2 weeks, and we are looking forward to it. "God is good...all the time."
Geary has wanted to put up a flag pole since the boys left, and finally on Monday he got the American flag put up. At the bottom, you can see that he wrote in the cement "TO HONOR CHRIS AND BEN". On another flag pole we have the Army Flag. I still need to take a pic of the American flag at church, Pastor Rick says that it wont come down until the boys come home.
Thought I'd share our weekend with everyone. Saturday morning (early, very early) Geary and I started for Pigeon Forge. His company picnic was held at Dollywood, and then they treated us to dinner and a show at Dixie Stampede. We had never been to either, so it was quite a treat. We walked and took pics, and rode one whole water ride. Then after checking into the hotel, we headed for Dixie Stampede. What a treat that was. Good food, good show, good friends (Tom and Mistie), and all free...that was the best part. After staying all night we headed to our favorite destination anywhere....flea markets! We found lots of good deals, scrapbook stuff, food, jewelry...lol. We really appreciated Gearys company going all out for their employees in these tough economic times. Not many companies treat their employees as well as they do, even in good times. Thanks, guys. Then Monday we went to Pete's sisters house for an indoor picnic...it really rained a lot. But we had more fun, more food, and more good company.
We just had to use our ARMY mom and dad cup to celebrate Armed Forces day. We are so proud of our boys, and at the same time miss them very much..we love you guys and can't wait for you to come home.. Army Mom and Dad
The rain has finally stopped here in WV, for a day or two at least. Geary is weedweeding as Jacob and Caleb say. After feeling really bad all morning my medicine finally kicked in, and I'm trying to get caught up on a few things. I got to chat with Ben on the computer this morning, that is always a blessing. Then as I was reading my Bible a few minutes ago, Chris got to call. He just landed in Iraq, and was trying to call everyone while he could. God is so good, and I just praise his name that we can communicate with the boys so much. I picked my Bible back up after the conversation, and read the wrong Psalm. But, of course God knew what he was doing...
Palm 27 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
What a fitting verse to fit the situation the boys are in. I guess God in his mercy was reassuring me that everything would be fine.I found a weekly plan plan and am going to start trying to follow it for my family. Today (Saturday) says: Pray the Lord would protect them, guard their courses, Pray they would learn to manange time well. Proverbs 2:8, Eph. 5:15
Wow, what a bunch of rain we have had lately. Yesterday we woke up to the fact that the road was now the creek. Geary got to stay home all day, and I was just completely lazy. It did clear off enough yesterday evening for us to walk around the local lake 2 times. Then this morning it started pouring down again. So, of course, I took the day off and just read, and read. (my favorite thing to do). Things have been a little busy lately, I've worked at the christian school several days and then Saturday taught two friends to make lye soap. Sarah had to leave, but Debbie stayed and we got to know each other better. What a fun day that was. Over the weekend we had revival at our church. Sunday night Jesus was really in the house, one of our ladies jumped up and started testifying and crying and shouting. What a wonderful time it was. I think we are on the verge of revival, and how exciting it is. Like I said in my testimony I have never been in a REAL revival, lots of meetings, but no lasting effect. Praise the Lord for the singers, visitors, and especially the preacher that he sent us from Florida. Brother Darrel was really enjoying the cool weather and the rain, however, he may have changed his mind yesterday morning, I'm not sure he made it to the airport because of the flooding. We found out yesterday that we get to go to Dollywood with Geary's company the 23rd of the month, we are really excited. We've never been there, so now we need to save all spare money for the trip. God is so good! I really praise God for the technology of today. Not many days go by that I don't get to chat with Ben (in Kuwait) on the computer, and today Chris (also in Kuwait) called. It's really been great that we are getting to keep in touch with them. Miranda added to her blog and has some wonderful pics of flowers, and of some really good looking kids on there (ok I'm prejudiced). I think she has the best kids in the world.
I couldn't wait to share about the trips to Kt. Bragg over the last couple of weeks. After spending the weekend with our boys we came home and then they joined us for 4 days. On Easter Sunday we all attended Chris and Heathers church. (Thank you Peter and Miranda for attending with us). The whole day was so special. Pastor Dennis showed the film "Watch the Lamb" -if you have never seen the film or a church production you are really missing something special. After the sermon he and the church honored our boys...and made us all cry. After stopping at the Lake to take pics we came home to a slightly different Easter meal. No ham for us. We had smoked brisqit, cola can chicken and sides to got with it. Then Monday we hopped in the cars and took Ben and Chris back to Bragg. We shopped and ate, and shopped and ate...and had a wonderful time. If you are ever in that part of the country don't miss eating at Joes Crab Shack. I definitely need to go back to WW next Monday. Oh, well! I will try to post pics later this afternoon. Oh, we met the most intersting man at the hotel. He belongs to a group in the Kanawha Valley that plays bagpipes and drums. The web addres is www.kanawhavalleypipersanddrums.org One of my childhood dreams was to be able to play the bagpipes. Anyway, I will try to attend some of their performances. The article about the program at the Crown Colliseum is located at www.fayobserver.com , then find the articles from Tuesday. Their are also a few videos. Governor Manchin and General Tackett made WV proud! Their speeches were so inspiring and really rallied the troops and families listening.
What a beautiful day here in WV. The sun is finally shining and it's about 65 degrees,yEH!!!!
Things have been busy lately, but wonderful. Over the weekend I got to keep Jacob, Caleb and Liberty. The boys had a good time watching "Star Wars" SURPRISE!! No, really, this is their favorite movie series. So being the good grandma that I am. I set up an extra tv in the living room and let them watch Star Wars and cartoons at the same time.
I have been attending Weight Watchers and am so surprised at how much healthier I feel. Along with the diet, we are walking every chance we get. I've only lost about 8 pounds, but Geary and I are up to 2 miles in about an hour. He could do better if he would leave me behind, but he won't.
The 3-5th we will be in Fort Bragg, NC, visiting with our 2 sons, and then they get to come home for Easter. I can't wait to have th whole family here again. The whole family will be attending church with Chris and Heather that morning and then spending the day together. We sort of have a strange Easter meal planned, but its what the boys want"
baked mac and cheese
and lots of dessert.
I was looking through some older pics on my camera card the other day, so I thought I would share them with everyone. (If I can figure out how to get them on this spot Again.
While listening to the radio the other day a song came on that really got my attention. This man was singing about the fact that when he was growing up his father would dress him up in his shirt and tie, and take him to church....but now that he's older "I get to." When he was young his dad made him mow the yard and wash the car on Saturdays...Dad had a heart attact last fall...and now "I get to." Three little words that could make a huge difference in our lives if we would let them. No more feeling sorry for ourselves for the things that we "have" to do, no more resenting the family and friends that have need our time... I have been so blessed in my life and so resentful sometimes, but today I would just like to try to list the things that I "get to....."
I GET TO: get out of my nice warm bed in the mornings(I have a bed, some people have cardboard boxes)... fix a cup of tea... choose what I want for breakfast(some don't get breakfast)... wash the dishes in my sink(MY sink...) wash the laundry and hang it out because my dryer is broke( I have a closet full of clothes)... read my Bible.... pay bills (God has provided me with so many luxuries-electricity, gas, water, tv, computer)... worry about my 2 boys in the military(they are fighting for our freedom)... talk to my boys that are in the military(in other wars you could go months without hearing from your soldiers..... talk to my wonderful daughter (God was gracious enough to let her stay close to me)... over the weekend I kept my grandkids( thank you God for letting dd share them sometimes)... run the sweeper over the carpet (I'm sure cardboard boxes don't have carpet)... clean the toilet (I remember going to outhouses when I was much younger).... cook dinner (I have a choice of what to eat...some people would be grateful for anything)... and one of the most of the important is----- on Sunday mornings I GET to attend church (Praise God from whom all blessings flow)... So, tonight maybe your're sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself, maybe you feel resentful of the things that you HAVE to do...why not try to be grateful for the things that you "get to"...
well, I'm waiting for the 2-6 maybe more inches of snow to start here in Newton. thinking about the weather reminded me of warmer weather and the fact that I learned something new this summer....see, an old dog can be taught new tricks. I learned how to ride and drive a 4 wheeler. My family has owned 4 wheelers for many, many years, and this year I actually got on the back of one and had a wonderful time. But, of course WV is a good place for this kind of recreation. The pic was taken during the fall before it got too cold. We rode for about 3 hours down dirt road, up creeks, through water, around water....fun!! And, it was really special because this was one of the last things that Geary and I got to do with Ben and his girlfriend before he was deployed. I praise God that I live in a beautiful place that has lots of things to do with the family. Unspoiled, free things that are so hard to find in this world today. I'm working on a poncho for Liberty-isn't she adorable-and tried to take a pic, only its not showing up as pretty as it really is. I can't wait to see it on her! Chris called today and has pneumonia...poor Chris if its not one thing its another. Pray for him as you go about your evening. If any of the ladies at Newton Baptist stumble onto this page...thank you so much for your invitation to scrapbook Friday evening. (Actually I think I invited myself). What a lot of fun we had, God has blessed me and my family with wonderful friends. And, thank you Miss Debbie for the lesson on sponging the paper. Well, I want to go check out Tara' s blog.
While checking out some sites that I like to visit I was introduced to the concept of "365". You take a picture every day of the year and scrapbook it...sort of a calender of the year in photos. Neat idea huh? Well, I thought what a wonderful way to keep up on scrapping and sharing the year with others, especially my two boys that are deployed. I rushed to find my camera, it was a wonderful day to take pics...beautiful snow covered the yard, and more was expected. But, to my horror (and I do mean I was upset) I couldn't find the camera anywhere. Not only was it sort of an expensive camera, but my youngest son gave it to me. And most importantly I had a whole lot of wonderful family pics on there. I was sure that I had last seen it in the car. So, I ran outside and looked-no camera. I looked again-same thing. I scooted into the house and looked everywhere I could think of-the study, kitchen, bedroom, in my pocketbook, etc. But, there was no camera. I went back outside and looked again, but it still was not to be found. But, while I was moving stuff around in the study trying to find the camera I found a book that was quite special to me. My daughter in law gave it to me, and I had really enjoyed reading it. It was a book of devotionals for military families. It had been missing for several day, and I just assumed that I had left it at the school I volunteer at, I hadn't even bothered looking for it here in the house. What a pleasant surprise to find it. Well, lo and behold I finally found the camera, of course in a place that I shouldn't have put it. Praise the Lord that when he was looking for me he didn't assume that I wasn't interested in becoming a Christian. Praise his name that he didn't look just one time and then give up, he kept coming back and coming back until he found me. Praise the Lord, that through the years when I have strayed away from him, he kept calling my name, kept whispering in my heart, and leading the way back to him. Like that camera I have been in places that I shouldn't have been, hanging around things that I shouldn't have been, but he found me. I once was lost, but now I'm found.
It is cold and snowy, and my dear wonderful husband is out in this making a living for us. What a wonderful man he is. Not only is he a great provider but also a wonderful christian. Every morning he gets up at 4:30 so he can have time to read his Bible and pray. He also lets me sleep in, but I always get a kiss or squeeze before he leaves. I never have to doubt that he loves me.
Things have slowed down a little so I am getting the house back in order after the holidays and Ben leaving. I have almost finished a WV fleece blanket for Chris, and am working on Liberty an afghan in roses, green and cream...cute, cute. Josie (the daschund) is wearing the new coat that I a made her yesterday...I got tired of seeing her shiver.
Saturday I read a wonderful devotion in the book (The One Year Yellow Devotional) that Heather gave me. I praise God for reminding just how special my family is to him also... Matthew 10:28-31 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Isaiah 41:10 10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
God has richly blessed me with my family and friends and with meeting our needs. We heat with a pellet stove and Saturday we went to Spencer to get a ton...praise God we got the LAST ton in all of the surrounding area. Also, I called the insurance co. to get Ben taken off of the car ins. and ended up getting a better deal on house ins. We saved $100.00 a year for more coverage. Ain't God Good?
Today Heather and I are going to the local Christian school to volunteer, priase God for the men and women who teach, support, and especially sacrifice to send their children to Christian school. I also don't want to forget the families that sacrifice and homeschool their children.
Well, I'm sitting at home bored outta my mind so I decided to get on here and leave you guys a message. I'm really excited that I got straight "A's" this semester. (besides college algebra) My GPA is 4.667 and I will graduate with honors in May. Tomorrow I am going to meet my cousin in Parkersburg and go shopping and spend the day with her so that will be fun. Well I'm gonna get off of here. Take care everyone and I will talk to you guys later.