Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Will Lift My Eyes

I encourage you to stop by and visit all of the participants of Spiritual Sundays. Such an uplifting way to spend a Sunday! Reading a variety of wonderful devotions, Bible passages and listening to edifying music while praising the Lord on His special day of rest for your soul. A special thanks to Charlotte and Ginger for organizing this awesome event each week!

1 I lift up my eyes to you,

to you whose throne is in heaven.
Psalm 123:1
Blessings on your day with the Lord,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hawaiian Adventures and Our Graduate

Our graduate! Now a Marine Biologist, after four years of hard work - heads off on a new adventure. One that will take her far from the beautiful sandy shores of Hawaii to the cold deck of a ship on the Alaskan waters. Oh to be young again with your life ahead of you and adventures abounding! Our daughter "S" is quite the headstrong girl. She hopes to do lots of traveling in her lifetime and picked a job where she could do just that.
We were so happy to be able to share her special day with her on her graduation day! She worked so hard for her degree and did it in record time while holding down two jobs!

Her graduation ceremony was held in the University Of Hawaii auditorium. There were 1500 graduates this day! It took an hour just to read off all of the names!
In this picture, you can see that they are STILL filing in. It was a literal sea of green. Very hard to find your child in all of this. It felt a little like playing the game "Where's Waldo".

Can you spot the beach ball that was being tossed around as they waited for the program to start?

There's our girl!

The big moment has come! The culmination of four long years of hard work is rewarded!
I wish I was able to make this picture bigger - she is standing with her diploma in hand - waving at us. I wish you could see the look of pride on her face!

What a great day!

"S" had quite the schedule set for herself while we were visiting her in Hawaii. All of it was carefully itemized in her day planner that she kept with her at all times. She had several family members that flew in to be with her this week.
Her Mom, Her dad and me, her aunt and uncle, her grandmother and her best friend from high school. She planned out her week making sure that she was able to spend time with each of us equally. She also finished up her work schedule - her last week working at the aquarium as well as finished up two end of the year reports and she had a big final test at the school that took her hours to complete! We were all tired just watching her bustle around!

She was fortunate to work at the aquarium to gain needed experience for her degree. She was able to work with the Monk Seals. They were so cute! I know she will miss them when she leaves!

Here she is giving her daily presentation to the visitors.

She has helped train the seals and they always wait patiently for her arrival because it means feeding time for them!

"S" has also worked with dolphins! A few summers ago she was able to work in a program called "Dolphin Quest". She lived in a tent with others on the Big Island for a few months, and learned how to work with the dolphins. It was an apprenticeship program and she wasn't paid for it. It was strictly for learning purposes - but she had so much fun doing it! The pictures are on my hubby's computer - I will share them with you one day.

I know that the college experiences that "S" has been able to enjoy will be missed. She was able to take diving lessons and swim in the deep open waters of Hawaii. She has taken beautiful pictures of fish while out there as well as of a few sharks off in the distance! This girl is fearless!

During our visit, my husband was able to take a day to go scuba diving with "S". I am glad that they had the opportunity to have one-on one time alone with each other. This time will be cherished between the two of them for years to come I am sure! "S" spotted a large Barracuda off in the distance as her dad and her were swimming - yikes! I really had no desire to go into waters that sharks or barracudas live in - I am such a sissy! :-)

They were also able to go snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of Hanaumu Bay as I showed you pictures of in this post.

One of the last hikes that "S" took us on during our time with her, was on the way to the airport. It only took us a few minutes to get there and was so incredibly beautiful!

We slathered on the bug spray and traveled into the dense tropical surroundings. It was so quiet and peaceful!

The bamboo "forest" was huge!

We came out of the darkness to this beautiful setting. An old house that has fallen to ruins - yet still very well maintained.

This is an old summerhouse of King Kamehameha III and his queen Kalama. It was completed in 1845 and was used to entertain foreign celebrities and the feasting of chiefs and commoners. The greatest of these was of a luau that was attended by an estimated ten thousand people celebrating Hawaiian Restoration Day in 1847.
Cool huh?

We took so many fun pictures of this place!

It was hard to leave because when we left here we had to say our goodbyes and make our way back home again.

I enjoyed this time with our daughter so much. I had the privilege of raising this beautiful girl for 7 short years before she went off to college. During that time we weren't that close. It was very hard for her to be away from her mother who lived in a different state - as well as being far from her father at times - who was in the Navy back then and would leave on a submarine for months at a time. Many years and growing pains later we come to the present time and I am overjoyed to say that as she continues to grow, our relationship is as I have always wanted it to be. I can finally call this beautiful girl my friend and even though I have loved her since the day I set eyes on her - I actually believe now that she knows it and takes it for what it is - the love and pride of a woman who wasn't trying to replace her mother, but love her as a stepmother and friend.

We are so very proud of you "S"! We are so happy for the big adventures that we see ahead for you in this life. We are so glad that you used your time well and that you are now reaping the benefits of all of your hard work.
Way to go girl!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

W.I.P.(Work(s) In Progress) Wednesday

Isn't this a beautiful machine? Unfortunately it isn't mine - just one I found on the internet, but I wish it were! One day I hope to find one of these beauties to bring home - but alas - no room in the sewing room for one now!
Lately my sewing room looks like a bomb went off in it! My creative juices are flowing - but running in all directions at the moment. Why start one project when you can have four going at once? I don't know what I was thinking - but after completing my Alphabet Book, I have been thinking about the many things I would like to finish up for the year. I thought I would show you a few of them.

I know this is a blurry picture and the blocks need ironing....

This is a quilt that I have been working on for my daughter. She would probably tell you that I have been promising it to her for years now. It is a fairly easy quilt - It is blanket stitched on the sewing machine and goes together very quickly. I will add the butterfly antennae later by hand. I stopped working on this when I went back to school to become a nurse and never picked it back up again even though I have taken a year off from my schooling. Why is it I always want to start projects when my school quarters are about to start back up again? I hope to use this as a stress reliever this time - and actually finish it for her while I still can!

I found this pattern in the Fons and Porter's "For The Love Of Quilting" magazine - March/April 2001 issue. It is a Depression Era quilt made with Reproduction 1930's fabrics. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and knew I had to make it! I don't know why I love the look of blanket stitching so much - I seem to do a lot of it. I think because I am fairly new at quilting, it is easier than needleturn applique for me - although I have done both.

Here's a close up of my unironed blocks :-)

I love all of the different fabrics that you can get in these repro colors. They will add so much character to this quilt!I will post more blocks as I complete them.

This was one of my take-along projects that I worked on in the plane on my way to/from Hawaii. I am terribly behind in this Block Of The Month. This is a fun new free Block of The Month quilt called A Tisket A Tasket that is offered from a very talented lady Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs. I know many of you in blogland are making these blocks and you have all inspired me to make them too! They have been a challenge for me - I wanted to do the needle turn method and tried several times to prepare the blocks - I kept making mistakes and finally decided to just do these blocks in my old favorite quick method - blanket stitch! After the Alphabet Book - I really wanted to work on something a little different rather than blanket stitch - but I am pleased with how it looks so far. They are quick to prepare and quick to complete. This is the January block - so I needed a quick method to get myself caught up!

When I just couldn't handle doing one more blanket stitch on the plane - I pulled this project out. I will be talking more about these fun blocks in the future and have joined a fun group that is on my sidebar to keep me motivated to complete this quilt. This will eventually be made into a quilt called Grandmothers flower garden.

It will eventually look like this! Isn't it beautiful? This isn't my quilt - just another borrowed picture from the web. I just love the look of this quilt! I am doing this totally by hand using the English Paper Piecing method. I will show more of these as I put them together. To see more beautiful quilts done using this method - check out The Great Hexagon Quilt Along Two.

I need to get to work -

Blessings on your creative day today!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Walking Her Home

A beautiful Love Song by Mark Schultz dedicated today in honor of our 11th anniversary.

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Catch for us the foxes,

the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,

our vineyards that are in bloom.

16 My lover is mine and I am his;

he browses among the lilies.
17 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee,

turn, my lover,

and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills.

Song of Solomon 2:15-17



Friday, May 22, 2009

Home From Paradise

AHHH!! We are home!

Well rested and back to business as usual. I have been home for a few days now - just trying to play catch up. It takes me awhile to upload pictures so I needed a span of time to be able to sit down to do so. I will probably need to do several blogposts about our trip so bear with me!

I came home with the beginnings of a nice tan. I am kicking myself for not going to the tanning beds before my trip, because even though I slathered myself with sunscreen every day, I still managed to get a terrible burn across my upper body. I love to have the color on my skin again though!
I have always enjoyed laying out in the sun with a good book.

I managed to read two amazing books while I was there! It was heavenly to be able to sit and relax and read. I don't often get the opportunity and it felt great!
I have a wonderful book to recommend to you. I read about this book from another blogger.

Written by Nancy Turner. All I can say is FANTASTIC! I loved it so much that when I finished it I ran out and purchased the second book as soon as I finished the first one. This is the first novel that Nancy has written and I will definitely be reading everything else that she writes.You will find yourself being pulled into the story and you will not be able to put it down! It took me a while to get into it because this book is written like a diary (great for those of us who love to read blogs -right?) The character - Sarah hasn't attended school but loves to read, so as the story evolves and she educates herself through the books that she reads, you will find her diary entries easier to understand. This book is based on the life of Nancy's aunt I believe. I hope that you will read this - and if you do - let me know what you think!

We stayed at our timeshare in Hawaii for the first time and it was so nice that I thought I would show you some pictures of it. This picture is of one of the pools. Behind the pool you are looking at a beautiful Lagoon and behind the Lagoon is the ocean. I was having a hard time sleeping on this vacation - what with the time difference and the fact that I was trying to soak up every possible moment in this beautiful paradise setting. I would find myself getting up at 3:00 a.m! I had to force myself to stay in bed til 4:00! (In MY time zone - it was really 10:00am - so I told myself I was actually sleeping IN!) It was great to sit out on the deck, drink my coffee and watch the sunrise every morning. I would go and work out in their wonderful fitness center, and then stroll along the beach before it was too overrun with people. It was so quiet and peaceful! Oh - I can't tell you how much I needed this!

This is another view of the Lagoon.

This is our beautiful Timeshare Condo.

Kitchen Views

Dining Room

Our beautiful bedroom - oh! The bed was SO comfortable! I never did try out my soaker tub though! The bathroom was through the door that you see by the tub.

We really enjoyed it here. We went to the commissary and stocked up on groceries so that we could eat in most of the time. It cut down on costs considerably and my daughter appreciated some homecooking which she hasn't had in awhile! One of her best friends from high school was able to fly out to be with us this week and it was so much fun to be able to cook for a houseful of people again! It was very therapeutic to be able to talk and laugh while preparing meals - Oh how I miss that!

We did so many fun things on this trip. Because our daughter lives here, and loves to exlore the island, she was able to take us on hikes to find treasures that not many people get the chance to see. We would take off in the early morning and be done by the afternoon which left us time to spend the rest of the day by the pool.

We hiked to a location that had a beautiful hidden waterfall. It took us an hour to hike there and an hour to return. It was quite a hike!! I felt that I got quite a workout everyday on this trip!

I wanted my husband to take a picture of the trails that we had to climb. It looks like I am running in this picture, but actually I am just trying to walk up the huge stair length! I am 5'3" tall - so my legs were having to stretch to climb up each stair tread. It was quite a workout for my poor legs. On the way back we had to cross several rivers and my legs were trembling as I tried to jump from rock to rock.

This is the beautiful sight that we walked so far to see - the picture doesn't do it justice. It was so beautiful! My hubby and daughter decided to take a dip - I was just happy to take the pictures. After hearing the girly screams that came out of their mouths when they went in, there was no way I was getting in there! :-)

They had lots of fun swimming after our long hike!

We spent one day at Hanaumu Bay which is a VERY popular place in Oahu. My hubby, our daughter and her boyfriend and my daughter's friend went snorkeling and I enjoyed myself reading on the beach. They were able to see lots of beautiful fish and sea turtles. My daughter's boyfriend picked up an octopus which let off a stream of ink as he let it go.

Isn't the water magnificent? I love the breathtaking blues!

Here is a picture of my Hubby and me - don't we look relaxed?

In my next post I will tell you all about this beautiful girl. This is a picture of me and the new graduate. The whole reason for our trip to Hawaii! I had to crop my hubby out of this picture. It wasn't a very flattering shot of him - he BARELY tolerates me putting pictures of him up on my blog as it is! I love this picture of the two of us though.

"S" graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Marine Biology - Phi Betta Kappa. We are so proud of her! She managed to do it in four years which I hear is usually VERY difficult to achieve. She worked so hard during her four years in Hawaii. She took some very challenging courses while working two jobs - we are so very proud of her!!

I will dedicate my next post to showing you her big day and some of her life that she has been able to enjoy here while in Hawaii.

Unitl then - it's good to be back!

Blessings to you,


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Let Me Tell You About My Mother

*This was written for my mother's Memorial Service May 28, 2004

Let Me Tell You About My Mother.....

What - do you ask - could such a small, fragile woman who struggled so hard to live, do in her life to make such a big difference in the lives of those who knew and loved her?

Ever since I can remember my mom had been sick. Lupus had been a part of her life since she was 21 years old. It had touched every part of her body in the years since her diagnoses. She was a deaths door many times over the years. We would sit in the hospital - waiting for the worst - just to have the doctors return to us scratching their heads in awe over my mothers strength and fortitude.
Growing up, I used to tell people that my mom had nine lives. We grieved her eminent passing more times than I care to tell you. My mother's strength and will to live was amazing! Through all my mom never complained, never letting us know how much her ravaged body pained her - never cried out at the injustice of it - all she did was live her life and love.

When I was 10 years old my mother learned that she was pregnant with my brother. The doctors were very concerned because her condition was so unstable. They weren't sure she could endure the pregnancy. With a simple faith, my mom held on - cherishing the small life growing inside of her. She was so happy to be having a son! Thus began her greatest work - to love us both and "worry" us into adulthood.

Our life growing up wasn't easy - we were dirt poor - yet we never really knew it. My mom kept this to herself - she never wanted us to worry about anything. She took all of life's worries onto herself - smiling through it all. Many times as a teenager, I took her for granted. Many times I would hear her crying to herself - never understanding what it must have been like to raise two children alone at poverty level with no financial or moral support from other parents. She had the heavy burden of knowing that at any moment the terrible diease that held her captive could take her life and leave her beloved children all alone in the world.

I am telling you these things- so that you can better understand the huge legacy that this special woman gave to me. How huge my mothers heart was for her children and for everyone who was lucky enough to be loved by her.

How huge was her heart?
No one ever went away from my mother without "feeling" her love envelope them. She loved with the depths of her soul and this is the greatest legacy she has left behind. She modeled love to us and has now passed the baton to her family and friends to do for her what she is no longer able to do here on this earth.

One of the greatest gifts my mother gave to me was her great love for Christ. My mother's faith was a quiet faith. She wasn't outwardly verbal about it - but if you knew her - you knew how she felt because she exuded Christ.

She was a great worrier. I used to call her the "chihuahua" because she worreid us into adulthood. She worried about the weather, our driving, car jackings, robberies, she would listen to the news and call me if there was a storm anywhere in Western Washington to make sure that I wasn't planning to drive in it!

I used to wonder how my mother could profess Christ, yet be such a worry wart! I now know that it was because she felt so out of control. She wasn't able to stop the progression of her disease and desperately fought to control SOMETHING in her life. So - she worried about us throughout her days!

My mother was housebound for the last 4 years of her life. She cut herself off from the world because the doctors told her that if she were to get a simple cold from someone it could kill her. You see - the Lupus was affecting her lungs - depriving her of much needed oxygen.To get an airborne illness would be a death sentence to her. My mother chose quality of life and chose to live out her last years at home where she could control her environment and control our lives through her worry...from her armchair. :-)

I was privileged to hear my mothers open confession of love and trust for her Lord the day she went to be with Him. Even though her mind had been foggy with confusion for weeks, and the last day she had a hard time forming her thoughts into words - she was able to whisper the Lord's Prayer with us as we prayed that He would take His daughter home. My mother's final act of courage and strength, was to let go of her worry and fear of THIS life and open the door to Jesus... she put her hand in His and walked through the door into His loving arms. The faith in Jesus Christ that my mom helped me learn about as a young child came full circle on a friday morning in May as she went Home to be with her Lord. No longer in pain - surrounded by Love.

That faith gives me full confidence of where she is today and where I want to go one day.
My mother taught me many things in my life. Even though she had been bound by disease and hardship throughout her life, she modeled to me the way Jesus wants us all to live in the lifetime that we have been given. To be selfless, prayerful, strong in faith and HUGE in love!

Tulips were my mom's favorite flower. This one's for you mama! I love and miss you!
Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there. Always remember - your children will rise up and call you blessed one day - for you are living out your faith to them each day and they are learning from you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm Late!

I'm Late! I'm Late! - for a very important date!
I feel like the Alice In Wonderland rabbit this week - I have been burning the candle at both ends and am finally conceding that I really can't get everything done that I had planned to.

I was hoping to show you the new projects that I am working on for my WIP Wednesday posts. I really am quite excited to show you - just can't do it right now.

My husband and I are getting ready to fly out to Hawaii on Sunday to celebrate the graduation of our daughter from college. She has worked so hard these past four years and will now be on a new journey as a Marine Biologist. We are so very proud of her!

I have been working two jobs each day this week - working my regular job, and helping a neighbor out whose nanny is out of town. I get home late every night and I am beat! Thankfully there is an end in sight - Sunday we will be off to play for 10 wonderful days!

I am prepping some handwork to do while we are in the airplane. I need to keep myself occupied because flying makes me so nervous. Pictures will have to come later for these new projects. Yes, that is plural - I can't seem to just start one thing! I couldn't settle on one so am going to work on both at the same time. One will be a project to be worked on at home, and one can be taken with me to work on whereever I happen to be. I love portable projects - I seem to always be on the go so these work well for me.

I hope to send off a Mother's Day tribute to my mother before I leave - I hope to have time....
We will see how the rest of the week goes.
Blessings on your week,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Listen To Our Hearts Lord

I encourage you to stop by and visit all of the participants of Spiritual Sundays. Such an uplifting way to spend a Sunday. Reading wonderful devotions, Bible passages and listening to edifying music while praising the Lord on His special day of rest for your soul! A special thanks to Charlotte and Ginger for organizing this awesome event each week!

I love this song - and wanted to share it with you today. The original version, sung by Geoff Moore and The Distance is actually my preferred version, but I was unsuccessful in finding a decent version on You Tube to share.

These words speak to my heart and I have cried them out to the Lord often through the years. I hope that you have a wonderful day today walking with our beautiful Lord.
Blessings on your worship this morning,