Monday, May 31, 2010

Memories of Memorial Day, Flowers and Tin Cans

When I was growing up my dad's parents always lived near us. Grandma and Grandpa were a constant in our lives. On holidays, we were usually either at their house or they were at ours. I took it for granted back then, but as the years passed and I got older, ( I think in my college years) I came to realize what treasures they were in my life and tried to remember stories as they told them and the people from the past that were named. As a child I think it's hard to imagine your grandparents as younger than they are- that they had lives before you were born.

As the end of May approaches each year, my mind goes back to the times that I would interrupt my play when I was staying at their house and help Grandma gather flowers from her yard on the farm to take to the graves of family on what was then called Decoration Day. The name was changed by Congress in 1967 to Memorial Day.

The day was set aside to honor our fallen veterans, but it was also a time to "decorate" the graves of loved ones and remember them. It was my introduction to many of my ancestors-- Brothers, aunts, uncles, sisters, parents and cousins of my dad and grandparents.

Grandma and I would walk around then yard with a galvanized bucket of water, and as we cut flowers for the bouquets, Grandma would place the stems down into the water.

I remember gathering Zinnias...


and Irises.

We would then gather all of the tin cans that she had been saving and place them on the picnic table under a tree and make our bouquets. Grandma would then place them in a box so they wouldn't tip over in the trunk.

Grandpa drove us to the cemetery and there we would walk to the area where most of their families were buried. I would read on the tombstones the names that matched my last name and some that didn't. Grandma's name had been Reed, so we looked for those name, too. Grandma and Grandpa would tell me who they were. We would set the tin cans down and make sure they were level so as not to tip over.

Over across a fence you could see where the groundskeeper threw away dead flowers and containers. I knew that Grandma's bouquets would end up there in a week or so. But for now they were pretty and bright and "decorated" the graves.

We had come and remembered these ones who had gone on before us. Since I hadn't known these relatives, it was not sad for me. But I remember my Grandma tearing up sometimes as she pointed out a grave of someone close to her. And Grandpa walked around and groomed some of the family graves by pulling some weeds around the stones.

What memories do you have of Memorial Day or doing things with your Grandparents? I'd love to hear them.:)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Peggy over at The Simple Woman's Daybook is the gracious host here. Join in any day of the week,--link up beginning on Tuesday each week.

For Today...May 25, 2010

Outside my window...The sun is shining now after thunder and rain earlier this morning. Several loud sounds of rolling thunder woke me this morning. We have had unseasonably hot weather for Wisconsin since Sunday- in the 90's. But the temps are forecast to go down a little each day this week - then a beautiful weekend in the 70's to come-- that's more like it!

I am thinking...of my mom who had surgery yesterday evening (because she told her doctor that she didn't want to wait until today!- Way to go Mom!:) . She has been in the hospital since Friday night-- going in with abdominal pain and nausea. Tests revealed on Monday that part of her small intestine had prolapsed through a hernia- and that is what the surgery fixed. She will be in ICU for the next two days for close observation because of her age-- she is 82- and going strong. But this will be a long summer of recuperating for her.

I am thankful for...for the beautiful flowers blooming all around.

From the kitchen... I am trying to use up food in the fridge freezer that have been there for a while-- that bag of shrimp sounds interesting- maybe with some stir-fry.

I am wearing...tan capris and red top.

I am get still to get started soon on painting the railings on the deck. Last week the rain threw off those plans- but this week the temps are so hot- so we will see. I hate sweating!:)

I am hearing... the red-winged black bird that lives around here. He has more of a shrill whistle than a chirp-- and he bullies the other birds away from the feeder--needs to learn better sharing skills!

I am remembering...the great feeling you get as a kid on the last day of school-- schools are starting to get out for the summer- although our district goes two more weeks after this. Amanda and Jonathan are done with their classes at college for this year. So, to me it feels like school is out:)

I am praying...of course for my mom- for her quick recovery from surgery and that the pain level of her recovering would be low.

Around the house... Cleaning out some drawers and cabinets in the kitchen today.

On my God is working in the lives of Tim and Brooke and how He is going ahead of them in their preparations to move to Grand Rapids, MI in August. They have been called to help minister in the same community that Brooke lived and ministered in when they met. We will sure miss them here, but when your children are in the hands and will of God and answer "send me" to where he is calling them to go--the only thing to do is stand behind them and say amen. Sure, tears are allowed, always...and smiles...only 6 hours away, right?:)

I don't think I have mentioned that our nephew, Dr. Karl H., just graduated from medical school in Indianapolis two weeks ago! That is a huge accomplishment! He and his new bride, Emily,
are moving to Grand Rapids, MI for his residency at a hospital there. We attended their wedding last January. So nice to know that Tim will have relatives nearby there in Grand Rapids. And congrats to Karl's sweet mom, Leigh (Lon's sister:)- she is such a great momto her boys!

One of my favorite things... sweet iced tea with lemon :)

A few plans for the rest of the week...regular household stuff- buying graduation cards and putting some in the mail to college grads.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...*

Little Eli is growing and developing so fast. Here, it looks like he is taking his own picture and adjusting the camera!:)
Such a sweetheart!

And an all around happy little guy!:)

Photos by Jess C.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday --Little Bird Watcher--Taking Flight

Sophie loves sitting in her chair and watching the birds outside...

So as a Mother's Day gift from Ben, Lisa chose to go to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh to enjoy the birds with Sophie- and she loved it...

Add Image
Sophie has 'taken flight" and is walking unassisted now!

Photos by Ben and Lisa C.

Join Tanya over at The Miller Racing Family for Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Peggy over at The Simple Woman's Daybook is the gracious host here. Join in any day of the week,--link up beginning on Tuesday each week.

For Today...May 17, 2010

Outside my window...Beautiful sunshine this morning!! Last week was a long dreary week with clouds and/or rain each day. I have to admit, it was getting to me. To make up for it, I probably wasted some electricity just to have a few extra lights on.

I am thinking... and praying for my husband's family who are mourning his uncle Bob, who passed away last week after a fall and broken hip. He was 87 and will be missed. I am praying for his dear wife, Jean, who is also 87, and two daughters and family. Lon is driving down to Missouri today.

I am thankful for...Amanda has just completed her first year of college. I am so thankful that she is living at home these first two years of college. We still get to enjoy her activity and friends. Keeps us young:)

From the kitchen... I have been craving our grocery store's rotisserie chicken and I spied a coupon for this week! So we will have chicken and big green salad with ranch dressing for dinner. I have also been thinking about a jello poke cake. Remember those? I have made the pudding poke cake over the years, but never the strawberry jello kind with whipped cream on top. With sugar-free jello and low fat cool whip...hmmm. Sounds refreshing.:)

I am wearing...still hanging out in my jammies. :)

I am get started soon on painting the railings on the deck. That didn't get done last fall... and I hope to order a neat addition for the birds and flowers on the deck this year. Can't wait to get it and show you!:)

I am hearing...morning traffic and birds chirping.

I am remembering...the fun times we had with Uncle Bob over the years at holidays and at family events. He will be missed.

I am praying...for Jonathan as he has three finals this week as he finishes up his fourth year of college. He's on the five year plan and working hard. We are so proud of him!
And safety for Lon and other family who will be traveling for the funeral in Missouri.

Around the house...Several projects going on around the house--kitchen, home office, and living room. Some rearranging and organizing. Also, I know how the scanner operational!!--So will be starting to scan older photos in the computer! :)

On my mind...the moving that I watched last night, Facing Giants. We've had this dvd for a long time and I've never watched it. If you haven't seen this, find it and watch it. It brought me to tears several times-(ok, I'm a little hormonal, but it was very touching and inspiring:) Here is a link if you're interested.

One of my favorite things... seeing the bunnies play in our backyard--( I surrendered my vegetable garden years ago:)

A few plans for the rest of the week...enjoying having Amanda around this week- doing some things with her and working on the above mentioned projects.:)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...* I am reminded of the children's Sunday School song, "Oh be careful little eyes what you see...oh be careful little ears what you hear..." When I would hear that song, it would remind me, as a parent, that those little ones are always watching and listening --

Photo by Jess C.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

A Thank You Prayer for the Blessing of Your Love

Thank you, Lord,
for my beautiful mother-
for the love she always gives me
and her friendship
that is never-failing
for her kind eyes
that see the best in me
and her gentle wisdom
that carries me through,
for her prayers
that life me up
and the dreams she holds in her heart for me,
for the happy memories
we've made together
and the hugs and smiles
we've yet to share -
I am forever grateful.

More than my prayer could express
more than my heart could ever say -
I'm so thankful of God for entrusting me
to the love
of the world's
most wonderful mother.

(author unknown)

"...the unfading beauty of a gentle quiet spirit is of great worth in God's sight"
I Peter 3:4

Happy Mother's Day also to all my wonderful bloggy friends-- you are amazing mothers and grandmothers!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--- Happy Birthday Ben!

(okay--a few words:)
When you are the third child born into a family, you don't get too many pictures taken alone, but here are some of the birthday boy...

Any questions as to why we called him our sweet little Benjamin??... I didn't think so:)

It's still hard to find a picture of Ben alone...:)

But I don't think he minds...
Love you, Ben--miss you!! Happy Birthday!