Feb 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Deacon!

My oldest grandson, Deacon Andrew, turns 4 today! It seems like yesterday that we got a call from SC that his mommy was in labor and we drove all night from Ohio to welcome him into the world! In this photo, he is sporting a "real" necktie that my talented daughter-in-law Ellie made him.

Here he is last month when my SC family came up and we had a wonderful 10 day slightly belated Christmas! While it has been a crazy winter in the south this year, I don't think they have had this kind of snow!

On one of the days while they were here in January, Deacon and I had a date, just the two of us. (great big smile)

We went to a toy store where he had a great time playing with their Thomas-the-Train display.

And of course we left with a bag full of fun...Isn't he handsome?

Have a wonderful day, Deacon! Hope you feel lots of love coming from Ohio!

Feb 22, 2010

Here's what we did on my day off...or free advertising for Famous Hair and Bath & Body Works!

My granddaughter Elylah has only ever had two hair trims in her 4 years of life, the second one being this past Friday. Joanna, her mother, and I have been trying to convince her for months that she needed a trim but she wouldn't hear of it. She wants loooonnnnnggggg hair!

And this is the first time she ever had her hair washed and conditioned this way. (She is holding a tiny crayon heart in her hand that some little (boy) friends made for her!) I ended up holding her other hand. She whispered, "grandma, why is there a towel around my neck?"

I talked to the stylist about how much to take off -- 5 inches. I didn't know if we went 8 inches it could be donated...and didn't have a way to contact Joanna to see if that would be ok...so I said "maybe next time!"

ok, here we go...

She did so well!

And we went on our merry way. We ran lots of errands and did a little shopping. I had one of those free coupons for a product at Bath & Body Works, and she got to pick out a little bottle of cologne all for herself. She choose Sweet Pea.

Here's what it looked like today, after 5 inches are gone!

Feb 19, 2010

Grandmother Goose...

"...whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed" uh, I mean, "kissed them both sweetly, administered Benadryl, and called it a day!"

Feb 15, 2010

my friends are on their way to Haiti!

Tony and Jan Iannetta, close friends of ours, are on their way to Haiti today with this year's mission team from our church, The Hudson Community Chapel . Our local newspaper, The Akron Beacon Journal, has published a front page story about it. I hope you have a minute to read the article and see the photos. The story also highlights Ezekiel Isaac, a 19 year old Haitian who is living with Tony and Jan while he goes to college at the University of Akron. They are paying all of his expenses. He is a wonderful young man who wants to go back to Haiti after he gets his education to serve his people in his country.

Please pray for our team! For their safety, for their effectiveness both in their social mission and also in their mission to spread the Gospel, and for their health. Pray also for the team's families who are left at home, that things will go well for them while their family members are away.

The team had some weather-related delays trying to get out of the country, but they remained flexible, knowing that God is in control of it all. During their delay, they met members of the US military who were on their way back to Iraq and Afghanistan, and they were able to pray with them. They also were able to tell many people about the mission to Haiti, and strangers gave them money!

I can't wait to hear their stories when the team gets back from this short term mission trip. God bless you, Tony and Jan, and all the 2010 team!

"...go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
~Matthew 28:19-20, ESV~

Feb 14, 2010

for my hubby...


Who would have ever thought way back when we were 16 and 17 and "just friends" in high school, that all these years later we would be together, sharing a life of love and still making memories? I love you more each year and thank God every day for you! He has been so good to us!

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16:-5-6.

Feb 13, 2010

Check out this free giveaway...just in time for Valentine's Day

$40 Hand-Stamped Jewelry Giveaway at Patina Soul

Check out one of my favorite blogs.....Patina Soul! They are having a fabulous hand-stamped jewelry giveaway. Leave a comment on their blog by February 13th, and also mention it on your blog, and you will be entered to possibly win a $40 gift certificate for their jewelry!


Feb 11, 2010

Please meet Sam...

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Samuel Paulson Stager is our second son. He is the daddy of Elyah and Ethan. And he's married to that beautiful tropical princess, Joanna.

I'm a firm believer that mothers should be honored on their children's birthdays. Afterall, we're the ones who did all the work, right? My other daughter-in-law, Ellie, feels the same way. She always goes out and buys herself fresh flowers on her kids' birthdays. So even if we have to honor ourself, so be it!

It's funny the things you remember when your kids' birthdays come around. When I was very pregnant the second time, and we knew the baby's sex, I was getting very antsy because my hubby and I were not finding a mutually agreeable name for our child. Anything he suggested, I vetoed. Whatever I came up with, he didn't like. OK, I was getting more than antsy. I was getting really frustrated, and it was beginning to be an issue between us. Things just seem so much more amplified when you are pregnant, don't they?

Well anyway, I remember one night I finally prayed about it. I said, "God, if you know what this child's name is, I sure wish you would tell us, because you can see it is getting to be an issue!" Would you believe, the very next day the name came to me. I asked my hubby what he thought. He liked it right away. Yep. Prayer changes things. Duh.

Samuel was my father's first name, and the two Sam's ended up not only being very close, but sharing so many of the same interests, talents, temperments, likeability, and even some quirks! (My dad didn't really like cake, for example, and neither does Sam.) Paulson is my mother-in-law's maiden name. So we also got Sam's 1/4 Icelandic heritage represented in his name too.

I well remember the day Sam was born. Our older son, then almost 4, stayed all night with my inlaws the night before because hubby and I both had the flu. As the day wore on, hubby was feeling better, but I was feeling worse by the hour. Then it dawned on me. It was my DUE DATE! Yep, I was in labor. We went to the hospital and in less than four hours we had our new baby boy. I didn't know babies were actually born on their due dates!

All grown up now, with a wife, two kids, and a mortgage of his own, Sam has made his parents proud. He's a steady-on kind of guy like his father, and has a tender heart like me. And I guess it's about time for me to forgive him for carving "I hate math" on my kitchen table. Even though you can still see it if you look for it.

Feb 10, 2010

Weatherman Freaks Out!

This had me rolling on the floor. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time! Enjoy!

Feb 9, 2010

Beautiful winter...

We are having a beautiful winter here in NE Ohio. Though I no longer ice skate in the gorge, make snow angels in the yard, or sled ride down the hill, and I hate being cold, I still can appreciate the beauty of a new fallen snow. Here's how I best enjoy it:

from the inside looking out!

All of these photos were taken from inside my cozy warm house in the past couple of days. I am grateful for the blessings of warm and comfortable shelter, warm and healthy food, and warm and safe water. I pray that I will never take these for granted, and that I will always be mindful of those less fortunate.

"Her family has warm clothing,

and so she doesn't worry

when it snows."

Provebs 31:21

Contempory English Version

Feb 8, 2010

Isn't she lovely?


Her name is Rachel and she is the best mom, grandma, and great-grandma, and friend the world has ever known! I've written several times about my mom in the last year. She's full of wisdom and strength and all of us kids say she runs rings around us with her energy. She loves and lives life to the fullest and is ready to "go" at a moment's notice. She'd rather wear out than rust out, and never wants to miss a thing. Here's wishing you many more good years of health and happiness, Mom. Love You!

Feb 4, 2010

How does Jesus get into your heart, Grandma?

I babysat the two grands yesterday. They have been so stir-crazy lately, with the Ohio winter keeping them cooped up inside the house. We've been watching too many DVDs and cartoons, I'm ashamed to admit. They haven't wanted to nap much, probably because they just aren't getting enough physical activity lately. But the groundhog saw his shadow yesterday, so six more weeks of winter...groan...

So I was pleasantly surprised when after lunch they both actually went down at the same time and slept at the same time. The little guy's nap lasted exactly 20 minutes, long enough for me to catch up with my mom on the phone. Babydoll slept for a whole hour. So 14 month old Ethan got some special one-on-one with me and seemed happier for it. When four year old Elylah got up, she seemed like a truly transformed little girl. I mean, I haven't seen her that calm since before the holidays. An hour's rest did her wonders.

We played with some toys for a little while, and then it was time to get the coats and boots on them and take them home.

While driving across town, Ethan was totally in a trance and sat quietly in the car seat happily covered with his favorite dinosaur blankey. Elylah was so cheerful I didn't want to say or do anything to break the spell. So whatever she wanted to talk about was fine with me. I asked her if she wanted to sing. Yes, she did. The song about the stable. So we sang "Away in a Manger" a couple times. Then she reminded me that it was almost Spring, and that God made all the seasons.

Out of the blue, she then posed the question with the innocense of a child: "How does Jesus get into your heart, Grandma?"

"Well," I said, "you just pray and ask Him to come in, and then He will always be with you to help you. He will never leave you. Then you tell Him you are sorry for all the bad things you have done, and He forgives you."

"But how does He get in?"

"Well, you can't see Him. He comes in by His Spirit!"

"I'm going to do that as soon as I get home."

"You can pray to Jesus anytime. He always hears you. You can pray to Him right now in the car if you want."

So I watch through my rear view mirror as I'm trying to drive. She quietly prays. "Dear Jesus, please come into my heart. I'm sorry for all the bad things that I've done."

Then she announces to me: "I saw Jesus when I was born."

"You did?"

"Yes. He knew me before I was born!"

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

What an awesome privilege to witness this precious moment. What a blessing straight from God to me. So like Him to seek out His little lamb and whisper His love to her longing heart. No wonder Jesus told us we needed to become like little children.

"...the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me."

Matthew 18:1-5

Feb 2, 2010

A million reasons to believe...

This is a Christmas shopping bag that Macy's used a couple of years ago. I found it in my closet and it got me to thinking. Maybe it's just because I cannot remember a time that I did not believe in God, and know instinctively that He is the Creator of all things, but I still find it difficult to understand how anyone can observe nature, or look up into the sky, and not believe. It is so much easier for me to believe in an intelligent designer who is bigger than me, than it is to try to imagine that everything we see in this world was some kind of random joining of cells and molecules that evolved over billions of years. It just doesn't even make common sense, because even if you took that theory all the way back to as far as you could imagine, there still had to be "something" to get things started. When God created, He made something out of nothing.

Last week I shot this simple photo from my kitchen slider window. I just happened to glance up at the sky right before sunset, and my heart was filled with awe, as it always is, to see this breathtaking beauty in nature.

Here is a wonderful passage of Scripture that I happened to read the same day I saw that moon from my kitchen window. The beautiful sky alone is a witness to the glorious Creator.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4

God was so intent on revealing Himself through nature that He even says that mankind is "without excuse" not to believe. I can't read Psalm 19 without remembering what is written in Romans 1. Because not only do the heavens declare God's glory, they also reveal His wrath. Have a look:

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools..."

Romans 1:18-22.

Not believing in God through His revelation in nature makes man a fool, He says. When we don't believe, our hearts become dark and our thinking becomes futile. Though we can see Him clearly through nature, man has forgotten to give God the thanks and praise He deserves. Won't you take a moment to look around at God's creation today and give Him thanks?

Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 150