Thursday, September 27, 2012

Twins ~ 5 months

Nathan & Jonah are 5 months old. Omg, say it ain't so! 
And it was a about year ago this time that their parents found out they were expecting twins. Nathan & Jonah are the gifts they never asked for or imagined in their wildest dreams, but are undeniably blessings times two from above.

Well folks, we are actually feeling fall in the air. The mornings are cooler. The evenings pleasant. We switched over from AC to evap. We have finally emerged out of hibernation, having survived yet another summer.

A year ago we were also getting ready to fly to Wisconsin to do a Benefit Concert in Wausau. The colors were spectacular as we traveled throughout Wausau, Appleton, Green Bay and Door County in a pumpkin colored car. I don't need to tell you how badly I want to be back there, so I will do the next best thing. I will occasionally post pics from that trip.
Starting with this one in Wausau.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Miranda's Bridal Shower

She would pretend and play dress-up from the time she awoke ~ by the time she could walk & talk. When we'd drive to Wisconsin every summer, I would pack duffle bags full of dress-up clothes and she would flit from one character to another the entire trip. On one particular visit to her Aunt Ginny's home, she even donned my sister's wedding dress. And we had ourselves a photo shoot with a three year old that believed with all her heart that she was getting married.

And now she really is ~ like for reals! My beautiful daughter is getting married! 
And over the weekend the festivities began with a bang ~ Miranda's Bridal Shower!

Her Daddy captured this moment just before Miranda & I left for the shower at the SunUp Brewery in Phoenix. What a cool, rustic venue for a girl's gathering!

The Original You Are Special Today Red Plate came out in 1979, the year that Randy & I were married. When we moved into our first home in 1983, our dear friends bought us the Red Plate as a housewarming gift. I can't even begin to tell you how overjoyed I was to implement the Red Plate Tradition in our home. Our son Shawn was one, so we immediately started faithfully using the Red Plate for birthdays and special occasions with family, friends and loved ones that shared a meal in our home.
And now Aaron & Miranda will begin the Red Plate tradition in their home!

It is so surreal watching my daughter, so poised and confident and gracious. I'm in awe of her capacity and gifting, but even more so, her sensitivity in loving others so well.

Yes, it is one thing to love and do for others, but to watch my daughter let others love and serve and celebrate her is quite another. So proud of her and the woman she has become and the evidence of Christ living in Miranda. She's a remarkable woman. Oh, and I should probably tell you that Miranda means "admirable, extraordinary".  And that she is.
I have said this for years and I will say it again ~ 
I want to grow up and be just like my daughter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

DIY~ Vintage Wedding

I thought I should remind you that we're having ourselves a wedding in November. Which would explain the random posting. Yes, the DIY projects have begun. And the weather has cooled down a bit. Two things that go nicely together. Can't do one without the other.

So, would it surprise you at all that when my daughter comes to me with her latest wedding idea, that I have most everything she needs? I didn't think so. This is when my tendencies to stock pile (ok, hoard) comes in handy. Such as...

She needs brown paper bags for a project. What do you know, I recently bought a couple hundred at a thrift store for 50 cents ~ the perfect size.

She needs large galvanized tubs for bottled drinks ~ I happen to have several.

She needs a mailbox ~ I have two old ones I found on the side of the road in desperate need of a makeover. Take your pick.

She needs chalkboards ~ I have several in various sizes.

She needs mason jars ~ let's not even go there. I've been collecting them since way before they became a wedding staple.

She needs two vintage wooden chairs ~ I had just found the 2nd one for $5.00. Coincidental? I think not.

She needs said chair seats reupholstered ~ and falls in love with a piece I've been saving for something just this special. Priceless.

Suffice it to say, I could go on and on, but that would give away too many surprises. Trust me on this, I'm rockin' in the repurposing department that's for sure.

I will leave you with a couple of my favorite pins off my Pinterest wedding board.

My daughter Miranda is also blogging about her upcoming wedding. You don't want to miss a single post! Her latest post is about her charity shoes for the wedding.
So inspiring & way cool!

~ Miranda's Wedding Blog ~

Monday, September 10, 2012

Healing Field ~ LEGO Flag

We parked our van on the north side of Tempe Town Lake and walked across the Tempe Bridge and there they were... 2,996 Flags representing 2,996 lives lost on that Tuesday morning, 11 years ago. And just like that first time I experienced the Healing Field in '04, my heart ached and the tears flowed.

This year we went on a gray, cloudy, breezy evening. 
Seeing the flags waving, rather than limp and silent, brought new life and meaning to the memorial. I know this sounds weird, but it felt like these brave, innocent victims of 9/11 were speaking loudly, as though they were saying "You came! You remembered! We are not forgotten!" And boldly answering our plea ~

Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave? "YES!"

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I had goose-bumps.

All of the 2,996 flags, each of which represents a person who lost his or her life in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania in 2001, are marked with placards with the name of victims, information about them and where they died. 

Combat boots mark flags representing soldiers, 
yellow ribbons signify the first responders,
sky-blue ribbons denote the flags of airline crews, 
while six teddy bears mark flags for the children who died. 

I was a mess.

I found Randy quietly reading the cards while walking along the rows of flags.

And then we saw this ginormous flag in the distance. 
It wasn't till we got up close that we saw that it was made entirely out of Legos
That's right ~ LEGOS! 122,000 Legos to be exact! What a stunning display.

This is one side of the flag up close.

This is the other side of the flag up close. I know! Amazing!

I had Randy hold down this flag so I could capture our Light Rail tracks over Tempe Town Lake. The light show running along the tracks changes nonstop reflecting the various colors off the lake. Just the coolest.

I don't have a clue how to use my camera at night, so I just snapped away and hope for the best. I am always surprised to see what develops. Is that a pun? :) Anyway...
I'm liking how the overexposed bridge lights in the background sort of mirrored the flag poles. 

By the time we headed back on foot across Tempe Town Lake, the breeze had diminished, and our hearts not so heavy.

How are you going to remember 9/11 this year?

Remember, we must never forget.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

farm feed scoop

Imagine feeding 60 cows twice a day. We're talking rolling a huge feed cart and scooping out feed scoops of feed for each of the cows to eat while locked in their scansions. That's what my Dad and brothers did every single day ~ in addition to milking them twice a day ~ along with a myriad of other farm chores. And if you've read my blog long enough, then you know what I'm about to say ~ farming is the only profession that can rightfully say they work 24/7.

Anyway, I think those galvanized feed scoops are pretty cool looking. So you can imagine my complete surprise when my son and daughter-in-law gave me one for Mother's Day last May. I know ~ do they know me well or what!
I currently have a candle inside, sitting pretty on my woodstove mantle. The reflection at night is stunning. No way could I do it justice with a photo.
And if you're new to my blog, you will quickly find out I am all about repurposing. So you can imagine the endless possibilities I have planned for this iconic farming implement. How about sitting next to my stove filled with cooking utensils? Maybe napkin-wrapped eating utensils for a backyard party. Maybe filled with colorful cloth napkins. Or rolled up wash cloths in the guest bathroom. See what I mean ~ endless.
Now I want to hear your ideas.

Monday, September 03, 2012

twins ~ 4 months

Nathan & Jonah are 4 months old and I am starting to see more & more of their personalities emerging every time I see them. What a couple cutie pies! In fact the other day as I was posting photos on Facebook, from our family dinner the night before,
this caption came out of nowhere ~

my double-crusted cutie pies

They really are my little double-crusted cutie pies ~ oozing with bubbly sweetness both inside & out. 

So proud of Shawn & Nicole ~ they are truly amazing parents to Emolyn (4) and Elsie (1) and their surprise little blessings Nathan & Jonah. Nicole is back at work as a nurse and Shawn is the stay-at-home Daddy. It can't be easy for either of them... Nicole away from her babies all day and Shawn caring for 4 little ones. We have Emolyn with us Tuesdays overnight till Wednesday when Nicole gets off work. And we have family dinners every other Thursday. I am so thankful to have a front row seat in watching our family grow as our stories unfold. And I don't want to miss a single moment. In fact, I want to be in those moments. I don't want to take it all in from the sidelines. I've done that all too often. Avoiding the pain of engaging in the day-to-day disappointments and challenges of life. I want to create an environment where we are safe to be real, secure in our love for one another and ok with each of our journeys. I need to let go and let God do His thing in my life, my husband's life and my children's lives ~ knowing full well He knows far more than I could possibly ever know. 

So I repeat often throughout my day ~ 
God is good. He loves me. He is trustworthy. God is good. He loves me. He is trustworthy.

Yes, the Christian walk really is about learning those same basic truths over and over again, through different seasons and circumstances of life.