Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Open our Eyes

Sharing some of my favorite photos from last summer. I seem to look for the interesting shots and then I am constantly altering them. I hope you are enjoying the changing seasons, the flowers and beautiful grass after that last rain. Take some time to enjoy the beauty we have been blessed with! There is beauty all our eyes to see!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Where would I be?

Another week down, just a few to go until summer vacation. I just never seem to get caught up. My lists of things to do never gets any smaller. My piles of things to get to never seem to dwindle, my filing does not get completed, my yard does not get cleaned up. I am running many late nights to track meets. I really do enjoy watching my "little" girl run with the big dogs, and she holds her own very well. I have just a 45 minute free period at school and instead of tackling the piles, doing the filing, and end of year reports and busy work....I paint. I have spent the last couple days painting in the library, and just finished today. I think this one is really beautiful and it looks like summer is right around the corner. It was 90 degrees yesterday, 60 degrees today and it is supposed to rain like crazy for the prom this weekend....and this wind.....IOWA!

Now, could I ask you to send up some prayers for me? My oldest sister, Linda, struggles with a cyst issue on her spine and they have done some major surgery and placed a shunt 2 times to keep this cyst drained, but she fears it is plugged up again as she is experienceing some loss of feeling in her legs. She will have an MRI this week to find out. It may mean a 3rd major surery to her spine. Her daughter, my niece, Missy, lives in constant speculation of what is around the corner. She had cancer and beat it over 5 years ago, but little things are popping up and lots of tests are being done. My friend, Stephanie has breast cancer, and is undergoing chemo, so has had spells of tiredness, nausea and now has lost her hair. She is amazing and talks about wigs and hats and all of her wonderful friends and family, and lifts all of us up on her caring bridge site each day. Another friend is going though cancer with his father, Rod, and Rod is beginning a very strong treatment of chemo and radiation. And then, there is Mary Jane, who has been so faithful and listening to God and believing and trusting....her tumors are growing...and for her daughter, my friend, Jennifer as she travels down the road still fresh in my mind and heart, and as she wishes to sell her home and then purchase a new home so she can move closer to mom. For Candi, my best college roommate...her sister, Michelle lost her husband, Joe, in a drunk driving accident, leaving her and 15 year old daughter, Anna Jolyn struggling with why and how and why him and what about Anna's first prom and her future wedding day with no daddy? And then there is Marcia, losing her dear husband Bill, and becoming first time Grandma within a few days....Wow!!! With all of these prayer requests, I want to add my thanks to God for my health, my friends and family, my wonderful job, and the gifts He has bestowed upon me. And, I ask Him to make me a friend, a helper, a support and strength to all of these people who need us to lean upon. I leaned, and I leaned HARD on my family and friends when I was going through my fire, and in the times I forgot or failed to lean on God, he never let me fall.

"Where would I be if not for His grace?"

Enjoy the scenery and the music! Have a wonderful weekend! Oh, and thank God for weekends!!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Oldest brother and youngest brother

Tom, Darese and Gia!

Tyler and Tom....look alikes-

Tom and Marissa always stike an attractive pose-

One of Tom's visits. 8 of 9 kids together-We miss you, Susie!

Spittin' seeds-

Spittin' image-
Gone but never forgotten-

Tom and Mike in remodel-
Taking a break-
My brother Tom lives in Mrytle Beach and I miss him very much. In the last year or so, he has come "home" quite a bit, working on remodeling their new home in Beloit! Thank goodness for cell phones and he is just a call away. He told me tonight that he is a follower of my blog and even shows some of his friends things I post about our family. He went on to say that I was "bloggeriffic"!! SOOOOOO, this one is for you, Tom, lovingly known as Tom the bomb, Tommy, Thomas Lynn, Floyd and Virgil. I love you forever baby brother! I can't wait until you are "home" at the "Crazy 8 Ranch"! Tom is #8 of 9 kids. His wife, Darese is #8 of 9. They, with their combined children make it a family of 8! Thus, their new home has been dubbed the Crazy 8 Ranch! I am so blessed to have you in my life. God smiled on our little family from Beloit when he brought you to us. Love you forever!

Friday, April 17, 2009

For Everything There is a Season

I recently finished this mural for a friend of mine. Her daughter is going to be in high school next year, and is moving to a basement room which will allow for much more privacy. She chose this mural and I whipped it up last weekend. It is making me even more ready for summer! I thank the Lord for the changing seasons. "For everything there is a season"... this is a time for renewal, new life, growth, happiness, sunshine, flowers, more time to play with the grandkids....what more could we wish for? We are so blessed

Summer Morning

by Rachel Field

I saw dawn creep across the sky,
And all the gulls go flying by.
I saw the sea put on its dress
Of blue midsummer loveliness,
And heard the trees begin to stir
Green arms of pine and juniper.
I heard the wind call out and say:
“Get up, my dear, it is today!”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Underwater Paradise

Prom season is in full swing.....dresses and manicures and pedicures and shoes and tanning and jewelry and cool wheels and after-prom clothes, and photographers and DJs and decorations....decorations for the grand march, decorations for the banquet, decorations for the dance, and decorations for the after prom. It sure is a lot more expensive than in the 70s with my cream colored "Gunny Sack" brand dress and my date's polyester light green leisure suit.

My job in all of this is "to glitter". I am the chief "glitterer" this time of year. I have whole classes, set up to glitter, the janitors wonder if any of it gets onto the decorations for how much they sweep off of the floor! My room today was set up to beautify and glitterify fish and coral for our "Underwater Paradise".

All this glittering is tiring!
It is not easy to make cardboard and paper sparkle and shine.
It is not easy to try to recreate the undersea world that God has given us.
It is not easy to keep bunches of kids on task with glue, glitter, utility knives and spray paint!
You know I love it, and I am so blessed! Lord, continue to make ME a blessing right back!
Did you know they card you now for spray paint?????

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Here comes the Son

Well, in my last post, you found me a bit down I'm afraid. My Mother-in-Law did NOT like "seeing" me that way. I got a few hugs out of the deal and that is always good. A few readers knew that I needed hugs and they were happy to help me out. That evening we had a wonderful Tenebrae service, with our cantata taking us through the meal, the garden, the betrayal, the seizing of Jesus, the torture and agony, and with each candle being extinguished, a light in the church was shut off, making the mood even more dark. "It is finished...the Messiah dies"... and with the extinguishing of the Christ candle, the choir left in the dark in silence. The word tenebrae comes from the Latin word for "darkness" or "shadows". The candles , as they are extinguished one by one, symbolize the fading loyalty of the disciples and friends of Jesus. It was emotional for me, yes, but a friend told me it was the most meaningful cantata we have ever done. We always do the beauty, the lilies, the joy, the angels, the resurrection...but this year we were to dwell on the days before Easter. It is good to dwell on that part of remember the sacrifice. Sometimes I go through pains and sorrow and I miss my parents so much. A friend in the choir lost her mother in law just last week. She had many family members with her for the cantata. Her mom and dad and her grandma....I said "My mom and Dad are both gone , and my grandparents are gone...I am an orphan!" That beautiful friend, Stacy, said, "We're your family"! Isn't that the sweetest? It is so true! I have so many friends and "family" members at my church. Tomorrow, I will sing with Beth, "We Have Seen the Risen Lord".
I will be joyful!
I will be glad that we get to celebrate the Savior's resurrection.

Today, the sun was shining, which did wonders for my mood.
Now, I am looking forward to Sunday...and to the Son rising tomorrow.
No need for sorrow.
Yes, it was awful what He was put through.
Yes, it was awful what his mother must have endured to watch his suffering.
But...He did that for me. AMAZING!!!!

Amazing LOVE....This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" 1 John 4:10

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Just feeling a bit rough around the edges today....looking each day for spring...needing the sunshine....but needing to find something to be thankful for today. Wish I could gather up a bunch of hugs from all of you. Thanks Vonda! You are an inspiration to me !!!

I am thankful today for Jesus' suffering and death so that I might live. We are performing our cantata tonight at church. Each year, our cantata are such a blessing to me, usually finishing with joy and resurrection and all the good stuff about Easter. This year, we are in the garden with Jesus, with those who betrayed Him. We sing of suffering and sorrow and how Jesus forgave and told another man dying beside him that, "You will be with me in paradise". Our last song, "It is finished, the Messiah dies, cut off for sins but not His own. Accomplished is the sacrifice. His great redeeming work is done". This cantata leaves me a bit sad....good I suppose to realize the extent of his suffering and sacrifice, but I will be looking forward to Sunday, hopefully, sunshine and songs of the resurrection. A friend, Beth and I are singing a duet as a call to worship. "We have seen the risen Lord. We have heard his gentle voice saying, "Be not afraid". Now that song fills me with joy! It is a gift I have been given....the gift of song. See??? When I feel down in the dumps, I just have to voice my feelings and I find there is always something else to be thankful for!!!

Praise God today for His gift. It is amazing!

On another note, Thankful Thursday...I am thankful for my beautiful girls. They are such a gift!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Always a Winner

We got to be with Tyler last weekend as he took part in Morningside's first annual Business Group Awards ceremony. He was honored to receive the bronze award for his great grade point average! Like I have always said, that smile of his will break hearts (or something like that)-

His BFF, Christi, at his side-

The E Group, his campus business organization-

Tyler and Breann, Co-Presidents-

April 3, 2009

Student is winner in Pappajohn
New Venture Business Plan Competition

Tyler Childress, a senior at Morningside College, was recently one of six college students to be named a winner in the 2009 Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition.

This competition is for Iowa college students interested in starting their own businesses. Business plans are judged based on content and viability.

After regional competitions and then a finals competition in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Childress was awarded a $1,000 seed grant to help him implement his business plan, which is to create Ty’s Wireless Warehouse.

In its ninth year of existence, the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition was created and is sponsored by venture capitalist John Pappajohn and his firm, Equity Dynamics Inc. Pappajohn and his wife, Mary, live in Des Moines, and they have donated millions of dollars to various philanthropic causes.

Childress is majoring in business administration and marketing at Morningside College. He is the son of Dave and Carol Childress of Alvord, Iowa. His faculty sponsor for this project was Pam Mickelson, professor of business administration and director for the Center of Entrepreneurship Education at Morningside College.

Dear Tyler,
You have given me so much joy. You have been a thrill to raise into the man you have become. You will go so far with your intelligence, drive, will power, faith and convictions, and that winning smile of yours. All the expense, hastle, and trips to the dentist were very worth it! That picture at the top of my blog reminds me so much of my own children, Brandon, you, and little sis, Riss. Wasn't that just yesterday? You will graduate in May and begin yet another adventure and I will continue to cheer you on! I asked you once if you thought it had gone fast or slowly. You said, "Sometimes fast and sometimes slow, but I am ready, I am so ready". I know you are ready. I love you so much and I am so proud of you.

Love you forever, Mom

Friday, April 3, 2009

One Year Ago

Look at this little bundle of joy. She is holding her own in that house full of boys!
Her world is pink and smiley and she has the most beautiful auburn hair and big blue eyes.

She is very smart----she can read already!

Mama and her her baby girl-

Grandma Carol wishes her grandbaby Braylyn a lifetime of joy and happiness and many many more birthdays to come. God has richly blessed our family...and you are such a sweet blessing!!!
Happy Birthday baby girl!