Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Happy Ending To A Long Story

A couple of years ago, some dear friends of mine decided to begin to look into the adoption process because they could not have children of their own. Walking this road with them was an "eye-opener" for me. Adoption is a respectable decision, although not an easy one. The adoption process, while full of hope, will test the patience, values, and relationships between couples that go through it. While the ultimate goal in adoption is to provide a home for a child who does not have one, it can be a long road full of disapointment and heartache. But, hopefully in the end, it will be a story of love and coming home.

Recently, I was honored to share in my friends' "happy ending" when I was invited to the courthouse to witness their signing of the final adoption documents for a precious brother and sister that God brought into their lives. I did count it an honor to be included in their special day. As I sat there, though, I realized it was also a responsibility. Audrey used this quote on their adoption announcement: A long and challenging journey has come to an end; a new one is just beginning. It IS just the beginning, and it's my job now to pray for this family, love on them, support them, and offer advice when needed.

Signing the papers

The happy family

Congratulations, David and Audrey! Thanks for letting me part of the journey AND the happy ending!

Friday, January 28, 2011

RCHS Spirit Week

Monday: Wacky Day

Tuesday: Inanimate Object Day
(Bob made this Lego block when Hilary was in 7th Grade)
(Almost too small for Lyle, but it worked!)

Lyle won for the Junior Class!

Wednesday: Group Day
(The Junior Class was Super Mario)

Lyle was suppose to look like this little guy. Spent Sunday afternoon covering a beach ball with duck tape and then deflated it a little. Didn't turn out too bad!

Thursday: Fairy Tale Day
(Lyle, Hannah, & Jeff were the 3 Blind Mice)

Friday: Spirit Day

There are some things I will miss when my kids are out of school, and there are some things I will not miss. Spirit week is one of them!!! Only one more year to go!!! :0)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Handyman Hubby

Three weeks ago, our 17-year old furnace quit working. It was a long, COLD weekend in our home. Between our fireplace and a heater our neighbors loaned us, we were able to “camp out” in the family room and keep somewhat warm.

On Sunday, Bob did some “investigating” and thought he discovered what the problem was. After a trip to J.W. Woods on Monday morning to purchase the part, he was able to fix it. Can you imagine what the repair bill would have been?

I am SOOOOO fortunate to have a handyman hubby. Bob is definitely a “Jack of all trades”. He can do some electrical work, fix any plumbing job, possesses carpentry skills, does repairs to our vehicles (when the repairs don’t involve complicated computer systems), is able to figure out the problem and fix our computer most of the time, can do concrete work, and performs other household repairs on a regular basis! Besides all these things, he can cook, help edit an English paper, and draw incredibly well. I think I hit the jackpot!!

I love my handyman hubby!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Special Visitor

This last weekend, our dear friend Gina came for a visit! Last time she was in Redding was when Hilary was two, so it's been way tooooooo long! Gina is one of the sweetest people you will ever met - a beautiful person both inside and out!

On Saturday we walked from the Sears parking lot to the Sundial Bridge. While we were walking and enjoying the 70 degree weather, Gina got a text from her sister Julie letting her know it was a whopping 5 degrees back home (Gina is from Michigan). Boy did she enjoy our weather!!!!

I took this picture along the back side of the trail. Couldn't believe it turned out so nice with my little camera:

Everyone who comes to Redding is so impressed with "our" bridge!! Where did we take visitors before we had the Sundial Bridge?

I saw these cool mosiac turtles by the trail. I absolutely LOVED them!

Sunday, everyone went to Burney Falls. I opted to stay home with Lyle, who was working on a major amount of homework and getting some costumes ready for Spirit Week, so I don't have any pictures to show you! :0(

Other weekend events included visiting, playing cards, eating, visiting some more, playing cards, and eating, eating, eating! We would just finish one meal and be talking about what we were going to eat for the next meal! :0)

Can't wait for Gina's next visit! Don't wait 18 years again, please!!!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Merle Haggard?

Friday night, Moma took Bob and I to Merle Haggard's concert at the Cascade Theatre. My Aunt Monda took my cousin Pam and her husband, Eddie (the one with the hat over his face; he's highly allergic to having his picture taken). We had a blast! Who doesn't love Merle Haggard, and he's a "local boy" besides! :0)

It was a benefit concert for the Shasta College Culinary Department (which Merle's youngest daughter is a part of). Merle's son, Noel, opened the show for his Dad. Then we had a 10-15 minute break, and Merle took the stage. He sang soooooo many of my favorites - Silver Wings; Mama Tried; Sing Me Back Home; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; and, of course, closed the show with I'm Proud To Be An Okie From Muskogee. I can't believe Merle Haggard recorded his first single in 1964, and he is still SO popular today - 47 years later.

Halfway through the concert, Bob leaned over to me and said, "This is QUITE a rowdy crowd for a bunch of old people." I had to agree!! Most of the crowd were older people, and they stomped their feet, "hooped and hollered", and constantly shouted, "We love Merle!" between songs. They crowd went crazy when Merle would change the words of a song to "Palo Cedro" instead of the city in the song.

Thanks, Moma, for a great "evening out on the town"!

P.S. Just a bit of "non-essential information": My husband, Bob, did a service call at Merle Haggard's house in Palo Cedro when he worked for Enterprise Plumbing. Merle was not there, but his wife was and their son was a newborn baby. That "baby" is now 17 years old and plays in his father's band!

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Friend

Because I have a brother,
I will always have a friend!

There can be no situation in life
in which the conversation
of my dear brother
will not administer some comfort to me.
Mary Montague

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Girl

I enjoyed some "mother/daughter" time with Hilary yesterday. We had a delicious lunch at Yak's, hit two stores, and then she rode to Palo Cedro with me to get Lyle from school. Hilary has been gone much of her winter break, and I have missed her! Thanks, Hilary, for hanging out for a few hours with your Mom. It did my heart good! :0)

I love you girl!

No Camping For Me!

Satan, people, circumstances, or life in general can sometimes lead me to Discouragement Camp. When I find myself there, I can choose to stay or leave.

Today I will not pay a "day use fee"...

Nor will I pitch my tent in Discouragement Camp...

NOPE, no camping for me today!! With God's help, I'll walk through that campground and LEAVE!

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Could We Please Have A Little Less Judging?

Warning: Venting Ahead!

You’re more than welcome to skip this post because I’m writing this for me more than anything. I just need to type this out and process my feelings.

I am so sick and tired of people judging me and criticizing me! I usually find that most of the time when people are critical of me, they don’t know the whole story behind a certain action or process. This is what I say to you, “Walk a mile in my shoes; life my exact live for one month and then criticize me all you want”.

How come other people know exactly what I should and should not be doing and feel “lead of the Lord” to share it with me? Wouldn’t it be easier if God just told ME what I should/should not do and skipped the “middle man”?

Another thing, it amazes me that people who have never had children know so much about parenting.

I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that people who constantly throw negativity at others are extremely unhappy with themselves. Anyone who is happy with their life wouldn’t feel the need to pick apart someone else’s life and dreams. It’s hard for me to believe (but I think it is true) that some people are so miserable that their only release is to cause someone else discomfort.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A "Snow Day" (sort of)

For years and years, both of my kids have wished for a "big" snow that would close school for the day. The only time this has happened was in 1995 when Hilary was in Kindergarten. Last night we received a phone call around 7:30 p.m. from Mrs. Higgins, the third grade teacher at Redding Christian School, calling her list of families. She gave us the great news -- NO SCHOOL TODAY!!!! Not because of snow, but because of a broken water main. Whatever the reason, it was such GOOD NEWS!!!!

So, what do you do when you suddenly find out you don't have to go to school tomorrow? Plan something fun! The Juniors decided to meet at Denny's this morning at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast, WEARING THEIR PAJAMAS!! Sorry about the quality of the pictures; they were taken with a phone and e-mailed to me.

P.S. For breakfast, Lyle ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and cheesecake! What's with that? He is OBSESSED with grilled cheese sandwiches!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fun In The City

The kids had a FANTASTICLY (is that a word?) FUN time with Uncle Wes in San Francisco. They went home with him the day after Christmas and spent the week. When I heard about all the things they did, I wondered when they slept (maybe they didn't). Sorry for the LONG post, but there were so many fun pictures.

Every morning, it was up and out the door to the donut shop. What a life!

Then down to the Bart Station to go into the city. This is what you do while you wait for Bart and/or the Bus:

Just some highlights of their time there. In addition to seeing two movies (True Grit and Burlesque), watching DVD's, and eating out every meal (I would LOVE that!)...

They toured San Francisco City Hall. Check out this Christmas tree.

This tree is covered with thousands and thousands of origami cranes each with a message that people wrote:

The kids were treated by Uncle Wes to a Broadway Musical at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre. They saw Shrek the Musical. It was all they could talk about! I think it was the highlight of the week.

What's a trip to S.F. without eating at Mel's Diner?

And you always have to go to Union Square and check out all the stores...

Just threw this picture in because it is cute!

On Wednesday, they wrote Bart to Milpitas to the Great Mall. This indoor mall has 172 stores and 34 restaurants. A lot of the stores are outlet stores.

Oh yes, Cinnabon cinammon rolls...

Another fun place to eat, Hot Pot. You pick out your food like a buffet, but then take it back to the table and cook it yourself at your table:

Every year, my brother loves to introduce the kids to something weird new to eat. This year's choice -- Taiwainese ice cream...

Lyle really found some bargains at the Half Price Bookstore in Berkeley. As you can see, they were having another 20% off everything in the store:

Thank you, Uncle Wes, for a very fun week! What wonderful memories Hilary and Lyle will have of time spent with you and all the fun things you did!

P.S. Thank you for taking pictures for my blog, Uncle Wes!