Friday, September 30, 2011

Another Good Read

See heaven through a child's eye! This little book is the very compelling story of a little boy's astounding trip to heaven and back. It will make you yearn for heaven - and if you don't believe in heaven, it will touch your heart in ways you've never been touched!

This is a quick read and one that is well worth your time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn is Here!!!

Good-bye summer with all its wretched heat!!! Welcome glorious days of warm sunshine and cool breezes, bright colors and yummy smells! Anyone for a pumpkin pie?!?!

Autumn also means the beginning of Bible study and Mom2Mom. Bible study actually began a couple of weeks ago. This year we are doing a Beth Moore study, "DAVID, Seeking a Heart Like His". It's really good, but I'm ALREADY behind! Oh how I hate when that happens!

For Mom2Mom (M2M), we are basing our teaching on a book by Susie Larson, "Growing Grateful Kids: Finding an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places". Very quickly the author makes the point that before we can teach gratefulness to our children we must first have a grateful heart ourselves. This book is great for women of all stages of life. At the end of each chapter there are applications for moms who are still raising children, as well as life applications for women no matter our age. It's all about leaving a legacy of gratitude for our children.

Our little maple tree in the front yard is finally getting mature enough so that the leaves actually show some fall color! Loving it!

And then a little bit of fall color in a flower bed.

For everything there is a season ... praise be to God!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Flitty, Twitty, and Itty Bitty

My friend, Mary Ellen, had her first book signing of her very first book, "Flitty, Twitty, and Itty Bitty", today at our local Christian bookstore. This is book one of a three-part series and features the littlest bird, Itty Bitty. Book two will be coming soon and is a Christmas story featuring Flit.

Mary Ellen and some of her littlest friends!

Mary Ellen designed this precious pillow of a branch holding the bird nest. The nest is slit and she inserted "eggs" as she began to read, then "birds" as they hatched. Very cute! And no, there aren't more. It's one-of-a-kind.

She read the story and then the children went to a table for snacks (cupcake papers filled with a "nest" of pretzel sticks and crackers" and pages to color. All very sweet.

This story is about God's care and protection for us. In my Bible study on Wednesday, one of the gals told of reading the book to her granddaughter and found comfort for herself, while going through a difficult situation, through reading the story.

For local readers, the book is at Faith & Life. For non-locals, you can find it at or

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Babysitting Maddie - The End

I Love, Love, Love how Maddie sits with her little pudgy legs crossed at the ankles. Add her sweet hands and my heart melts!

When Maddie is really excited she flaps her hands and arms. Watching Baby Einstein with Lauren there was something that really made her happy.

Jordyn stopped by after her trip to San Diego, just in time to feed Maddie.

On Wednesday I met Cole for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. He could leave campus on this day so it was perfect. I find it's really important to look for and find these special moments with my grandkids!

Also stopping by CPK was my cousin Eldon (JR). I stopped by the hospital earlier to see his Dad but timing was wrong, so JR came to join us for lunch. I was glad he and Cole could meet each other. We reminisced how he took me to my senior prom. I remarked we were Cole's age. At that, the lady sitting at the table behind us piped up and said, "and it was just yesterday!" Sure was!

Out for an early morning walk with Maddie. After a blistering hot summer in Kansas, would you believe I get to California and it's 90-100 degrees for much of my trip! Couldn't believe it. So after her breakfast we took advantage of some relatively cool morning air and walked to the park.

Looking out of their development to Boney Mountain which was the backdrop for our beloved Newbury Park. It was what divided our valley from the ocean. Gorgeous!

Their neighborhood park. So lovely with the mountains that are the "backside" of Moorpark. Makes me homesick all over again!

Maddie and her Daddy, waiting for Mommie to get home from her trip. We three had a wonderful week, with the bonus that I could be with Jeff & Caroline and their family, my mom and siblings, and my cousin.

Thanks again Jeremy and Renee for giving me the opportunity to be with your precious little daughter!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Babysitting Maddie

Jeremy and Renee flew me to California so I could babysit Maddie while they went away over Labor Day. As it turned out, Renee had a business trip as soon as they returned so I was a busy Grandma taking Maddie to/from babysitter on three additional days and keeping her while they were at work. What a great 10 days it was!!

Maddie has been wearing a helmet this summer to shape up the back of her head. She's had to wear it 23 hours a day. What a little trooper she's been!  Just a few more weeks and it will come off - to everyone's delight. You can see how Momma Renee decorated it with stickers - not a "plain Jane" helmet here! :)

Jordyn dropped by after school and soccer to say hi! Between school during the week and a soccer tournament in San Diego on the week-end, I didn't get to see much of her.

Friday night Kate and Allie came for a sleep-over. After Maddie went to bed we had popcorn and a movie. Saturday morning we played and watched Baby Einstein. I loved how Maddie perched on Kate's leg.

Saturday - college football day! Jeremy is an alum of Fresno State and had a short stint on their football team. He wanted me to be sure she wore her "Bulldog" shirt. It says, "Start 'em Young - Raise 'em Right".

For those who asked about Maddie's eyes, this will give you a good indication of how they look. They are a gorgeous blue. She had an eye appointment while I was there and doctor is quite pleased. Ptosis surgey to lift her eyelids was done in nick of time. Her eyes are getting enough light for vision. She wears glasses and the good news is that her prescription did not change, as it was expected to decline considerably. With her glasses, her vision is good. It amazes me that he can tell that at this young age. We are trusting in what he says!

Maddie is a beautiful little girl. Gorgeous skin, apple cheeks and a precious little mouth and with the mildest, sweetest disposition. What a blessing she is!! It's tricky to get her to smile for the camera, so you'll have to trust me that she has a very sweet smile and a great giggle!

She misses nary a drop of food! We are sure she's going to be a "foodie"!

Kate and Allie were such great help! They help their mom, Caroline, babysit her on Thursdays. She's a well-loved little girl!

Kate and Allie left and Lauren came for the day and a sleep-over. What do you think these two precious granddaughters are talking about???

We went to visit my Mom, who was in convalescent care due to a fall in June which resulted in a broken pelvis. She really enjoyed seeing the girls! Mom has progressed sufficiently that she was just moved to an assisted living residence. She's amazing!

Maddie, Lauren, Nan - my dear sister-in-law - and Maddie's "great Aunt". Wow! Does that sound weird!

Three generations!

On the week-end, Maddie stood without any help - twice - for 12 seconds! She's just 9.5 months. She loves "walking" with help and around furniture, is really crawling around, investigating her surroundings. Couldn't let her out of my sight for a moment!

What a blessing to share this time with precious family!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Audrey is 9!

Our dear granddaughter, Audrey, turned nine on September 2, when I was in California babysitting granddaughter, Maddie.

Audrey is Brett's and Esther's second daughter. She's in third grade and loves school. Right now she is reading Book Five of Harry Potter. She told me her backpack is very heavy. Well, no wonder! She carries this huge book back-and-forth to school in her backpack. One thing is for sure it will keep this petite girl from blowing away in the wind!

To celebrate her birthday this Friday, she asked for my mint 'n chip ice cream pie. The original recipe was in a church cookbook my Mom gave me years ago and it calls for creme de menthe ice cream. We make our own using1.5 containers (3 quart size) of vanilla ice cream, 30 mint flavored starlight candies (chopped up), mint flavoring, mini chocolate chips, and a little green food coloring. To make the crust: crush 25 Oreos and add a couple tablespoons of melted butter. Stir until blended and press into 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let crust cool thoroughly!

Put about half of ice cream in crust and put in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Also put ice cream back in freezer. Pour a layer of hot fudge sauce from a jar, then add rest of ice cream. Sprinkle remaining Oreo crumbs over top and wrap well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Put in freezer for at least two days and up to a month. Enjoy!

Save a little ice cream for tasting!

One thing I especially love about this little girl is her hugs! When we leave for a trip she gives the best hugs and then when we return, another BIG hug with a "I missed you!".

Love you Audrey!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the Book Shelf

If you are looking for light and airy summertime reading you might like this ...

This work of fiction takes place in a small Idaho town in 1915. The primary characters are a father and one adult daughter who run a ranch and another daughter who moves back to town and runs for mayor, and her mayoral competitors. It weaves a story of small town politics and of course there's a little romance thrown in for good measure.

The author's notes reveal that the first woman mayor in America was indeed elected in Idaho, but in 1918, in Parma, Idaho. Other interesting facts of interest:

* In 1896, the woman's suffrage amendment to the Idaho Constitution was adopted, giving Idaho women the right to vote.

* Two women ran for the office of president of the United States in the 1800s. One was Victoria Woodhull in 1872 and the other was Belva Lockwood who ran in 1884 and 1888. The author says that, "neither was permitted under the law to vote, but nothing in the law prevented them from running for office." Huh, very ironic!

A Vote of Confidence is book one in a three book series. For local readers, it is located in our church library. It's an easy, enjoyable read.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lotion Bars

Our Ft. Collins friends, Carey and Nancy are such wonderful hosts! On our bedside table they had placed a lovely lotion bar. It looks similar to a bar of Dove soap but it's NOT! It's a rich, buttery, aromatic bar that is a rich moisturizer. Our scent is jasmine. It gives our bathroom a lovely sweet fragrance! Yummy!

This is the display of the Queen of the Mountain lotion bars in their wonderful store, The Cupboard.

This is a product that made in Ft. Collins by a local lady. You can learn more at the website,  Here's what some of The Cupboard's shoppers have to say about it. You can order online. Give it a try!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Great Escape - 2011 - The End!!

It was hard to say good-bye to Larry and Elaine! They are such dear souls! My Mother calls them our "other brother and sister". So true!

Not many options to get from Southern Oregon to Kansas except for through Northern Nevada. Yuck! After all the gorgeous mountains and lakes we had seen this was rather desolate.

Scenery began to change leaving Salt Lake for Colorado via Highway 6.

It's a lonely road!

Frisco, CO, a favorite little town! It provided a great lunch stop!

The city has so many over-flowing boxes and pots of brilliant flowers!

Nastursiums - Rich's favorite.

Colorado's state flower, the Columbine.

About two hours into Kansas we ran into heavy rain. The rainbow crossed from one side of I-70 ...

to the other. We hoped it would be raining at home, but alas, it was not so. So we returned to a very hot and dry town.

We are so blessed to be able to travel and see the wonderful works of God's creation, to spend time with wonderful friends, and enjoy life. Thanks for coming along on the blog-journey with us!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Great Escape - 2011 - Part 8

We left Lake Tahoe for Grants Pass via the back roads of California. This is Mount Lassen.

Every river and lake was brimming with water. The forest never looked greener or healthier.

Mount Shasta. Usually the mountain is covered with clouds but on this day it was particularly clear. Simply gorgeous.

We arrived at Larry and Elaine's home and the next evening they treated us to a dinner cruise on the Rogue River, which runs through Grants Pass. The river was beautiful!

We are on a jet boat, like the ones at the dock, which hold about 50 people.

The first part of the cruise was rather calm and it was fun to see the various homes along the river. How'd you like to sit in these chairs!

An osprey. They are smaller than a bald eagle and have a white chest.

A bald eagle. Magnificent!

You think this was a calm ride?

Not so! The boat would speed up and then suddenly slow down. At that point you hold on to the seat in front of you, duck down as far as possible and hope you don't get soaked! Twists and turns in the river, water splashing from every direction, what a hoot!

A what do you think this "tree" is??? It's a cell phone tower!

Our end destination was the OK Corral, where we had a delicious BBQ dinner of chicken, ribs and all the fixings'.

You think we look a little wet and "messed up"? Just wait until the ride back to town.

Our boat driver, along with another one, warned us they had some special surprises on the return. It was hilarious! They were like a couple of little kids, twisting, turning, speeding up, water going EVERYWHERE! Everyone was hootin' and hollerin'! Who do you think was soaked to the skin???? Mr. Dewey! He was literally dripping.

The sun sets on ANOTHER marvelous, very fun day! Thank you, Dear Friends!