Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spirit of Christmas...and more...

And I was going to add this pic to the Spirit of Christmas...and I got distracted.   I was trying to get her picture in front of the tree...but she chose to go over in front of the fireplace and her Daddy's picture...while she brushed "Blue Bell's" (yes her Ahma got her a baby from the truck stop...but she is so dang cute)  hair...only fitting since she is Izzy Bell...and I am loving being Ahma Bell...

Perhaps I will add some more pics maybe in another place...so I am a little curious to see if I can link this one as I was unable to link my Spirit of Christmas...Anyway...It is still Christmas at my house...

lyp

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Spirit of Christmas...


And the morning brings me to the solitude of My Kitchen Table...a place I come...and this morning my table is not where it usually sits...a reminder of the day yesterday...a time shared with family...a time shared with Love...and I am thankful for all of the blessings I have...not just the blessing of gifts received but more importantly of family and friends who I love and who love me...and so while I thought I would finish this before Christmas...I realize that Christmas does not end when the gifts are opened...perhaps it only begins as again it is begins a new season...a celebration for Christians...though I stop and think if I really give the honor and time and gift of my love...to the One who first loved me.  Perhaps it is just a reminder...and I look at My God Calling from yesterday...and I take this from the website God Calling.

Babe of Bethlehem
Kneel before the Babe of Bethlehem. Accept the truth that the Kingdom of Heaven is for the lowly, the simple.
Bring to Me, the Christ-child, your gifts, truly the gifts of earth's wisest.
The Gold -- your money.
Frankincense -- the adoration of a consecrated life.
Myrrh -- your sharing in My sorrows and those of the world.
"And they presented unto Him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh."
"Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the
lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off." Psalm 138:6



And so I go back and look at the past week...of when I started this particular writing...

This Christmas is such a collage of emotions...this morning at my kitchen table...I was given this picture of life being a puzzle...some pieces come easy...some do not seem like they should fit at all...but perhaps someday we will be able to stand back and see how all of the pieces seemed to fit...even though now such odd shaped pieces that do not seem to fit any where...

The other night after it snowed...I pulled in the yard and my little display of outdoor lights seemed to just welcome me and so I wanted to capture that picture and include it in some way...it was a cold night but was still...while I am writing this I think of that first Christmas night...as Mary Did You Know plays in the background...I wonder...I think of Mary's puzzle...

So back to the lights...I ran out and snapped a couple pics that just got part of the picture...but then I turned my camera so that it was taking in the long view and I snapped...it was--for lack of a better word--SO COOL!   The flash seemed to "clink" (this is where you bear with me and I think of when I describe things in such ways that the shepherd says and how was that again...) but anyway it seems to capture something that my eyes could not see before...because to some it might look like it was snowing...but it was not...I am sure someone can give me a "logical" reason...but I choose to think I captured the "Spirit of Christmas".   That unknown "Magic" that touches us all...those moments that you cannot help but stop and Thank God for the blessings around you...and that there is so much more than what we "see"...


And I think of going shopping and the scripture that was presented before going...yes it was just as I came along in the "ians" and "COINCIDENTAL" that this would be the one I would read before going shopping...2 Corinthians 9:6-15.
"The Cheerful Giver
   6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:


      “ He has dispersed abroad,
      He has given to the poor;
      His righteousness endures forever.”[b]

10 Now may[c] He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"

And I go back to my journal that day...and I write..."Thanks be to God can I get an Amen!   Yes Phyllis I think of you."   I think of Phyllis my mother's cousin on her mother's side...how I loved Phyllis...she had such a quiet strength about her...but on our family site...she would put an "Amen" in there...something she was "working" on...but sometimes...I think of Phyllis at my kitchen table...and it is not in a way in which I can describe...perhaps I feel her love and this particular morning her son comes to my thoughts as well as one of her sisters who I know is dealing with missing her...as I know all of her family does...Phyllis is one of those that you "miss"...that her very presence was felt and so how can we not help but feel her love even though not here...But what seems to go with my theme on this particular day is I think of her son so clearly...and I open up my facebook and it is his birthday...Happy Birthday Bill...as I know he misses his mom...and I think of the "Spirit of Christmas"...a love that passes all understanding...

That day as many others this "season" I have just had special "gifts" that were not ones that you might explain...but gifts none the less...and perhaps it is those gifts you cannot explain that are truly the sweetest!

Christmas Eve, we got to spend time with Jay's family...a gift...as I know this has to be such a sad time for them...as it is for me...but I was thankful to get to spend time with them...and we exchanged gifts and Isabel gave her mom her "gift".   One that brings tears to my eyes even as I sit here...I may have told part of this before...but I tell it again...While Heather went to the doctor...Isabel and I went shopping.   Her Mom had given her money to buy gifts...I think of Heather talking about how someone had shared on the site for those who had lost I beleive it was for police officers...I am not certain...but the thought for whoever...in that those who have lost a spouse...that sometimes...no one steps in and helps the kids get a gift for the one left behind and Heather had commented that she had many that would...and I am thankful for that but I pray that others would have someone step in and do the same...

I go back to the "shopping".   Isabel seems to shop much like her daddy and I think of the fun that they would have...oh probably not a lot of shopping done...but as we stopped and played on the cars for quite a while...looked at puppies...and one that really did was Izzy telling me to go back to the game store...that she wanted to go in there...and I think of her and her dad could have spent a good couple of hours...playing games.

But though I stray off the subject a little...I am still there...because though not physically there shopping with us...oh yeah...Izzy's daddy was shopping with us...because as we went through the Hallmark store...we first started looking at ornaments and then we headed to the Precious Moments!   Heather has always loved those and I have sometimes gotten her some...but Jay has many times gotten her one...so I find this sweet little girl with a lamb that says, "Jesus loves me" and I tell Izzy do you like that one.  I thought it would be a cute sweet one coming from her to her mama...and then she seen it...It was a mommy and daddy holding a precious little baby.    And she said, "That one Ahma!"  To which a lump formed in my throat and I said well what about this one...and with that same determination that her mom and dad both have (she stands no chance) when they have made a decision said...even though I tried to have her look at more...she had yes....the "Spirit of Christmas" with her...the love of her daddy seemed to be with us and though I knew it would be hard for her mom...it would be a cherished gift...and a special reminder of a happy family!   As I told the woman at the store we wanted that one...she said it is a baptisimal one are you sure...I said OH YES!   That is the one...I think of Izzy being baptized...an out of the ordinary...but precious gift all the same...and her daddy was there then and is with her always...yes that "Spirit of Christmas" thing...


And so I put in the picture of it from my kitchen table.   I have it sitting on a journal in the picture above that was given to me from Jay's mom...a precious gift for my birthday that I have chose to keep for stories such as this...ones that might not easily be explained...but precious gifts all the same.   But as I pull it out of that box that morning...those that are not familiar with Precious Moments they have little names...you can't really read this one maybe as clear...but I had not read it in the store and probably just as well because I had already had tears when buying this and the woman had said are  you alright mam!   And Izzy just looked at me as though why are you crying Ahma...I had turned to the woman and said she just lost her daddy...and her mouth flew open and not really sure what she said...and as I write this now...I think...NO, she has not...though he is not there with her on a day to day basis...he is there with her in love...a gift without ending...So back to what it was titled..."GROW IN THE LIGHT OF HIS LOVE".   WOW!   If that does not give you chills or at least some emotion...yes...the "Spirit of Christmas".  And I know that Izzy will grow in the Light of God's Love...as well as the Love of her daddy...as well as all of us that are a part of her life...

I opened my gifts...and one precious one that...seems to stick with this theme was one that touched my heart...you see I have several rolls of undeveloped film (that's why I love digital).   Well Tim had been given instruction to get some of this film developed...this is one that Heather has told me...you need to get those developed mom...and so this gift was a special gift...but a gift indeed as these had been put in a picture album...



And so I put in some of the pictures...that were "gifts" almost as though I got a special visit from some special memories...

Some of these were from our 25th wedding anniversary...so that would have been 5 years ago...our kids had put on a special gathering for us...but some are from I think Lance's 16th birthday...the one I think that the first picture is from that just makes me smile...because there at my kitchen table where I write so many days...in her "seat" while Curtis Ball a special friend and Heather I am guessing were going to give Lance his 16 spankings...I smile just thinking of the memory...


Curtis and Doris at my bar...probably Lance's 16th...
My Mom sitting and listening ...and my baby...


And as I continued on in the album...like I said from our 25th...but I smile and remember when my future to be son-in-law had came for the event...and I smile at the way he would (as my brother had described once on a picture talking of how my mom would light up when on his arm) but I think how he would make Heather light up...how he made her laugh...and I think of this and as I am finishing this and getting ready to add those pics...a video comes on that the first time I heard made me think of Heather and Jay and so Heather and I are watching it and I think of Jay telling Tim one of the first times he met us about not having as much time and money...and Tim telling him well dump her...and so I put the video in because while it brought tears thinking...Heather doesn't get to finish watching it because a little voice upstairs is hollaring, "Mommy"...but I think of the frame I found for Heather...It's not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away...

 

Heather, Jay, and the famous "Screaming Neon"


Heather always had a thing for teddy bears...


I smile at this as none of remember what they were chasing
but I smile at Jay in one of his classic Jay ensembles...


And I go through to more of the 25th and I see my Aunt Betty and cousin Vonnie sitting on the porch swing and I think how I enjoy these two...but sitting next to them is "Butch" as I'm sure my Aunt B would call him...and how I think of Heaven...will we all just be sitting on the front porch...I don't know but I am thankful for Jesus and how I have that promise...of a place where I will be with those that have gone on...but now I am given gifts of the "Spirit"...

I put in a picture that was included...that just reminds me of how fast time flies...and I love this picture of my nephew Ethan and how he is now a freshman in college...and I smile at my mom's old van...and the "parties in a van" she would bring to our house and how we had taken chili to Heather's and I had commented about thinking of Mom and her parties in a van...and as I am writing on Ethan's picture...I receive a text from him...sure he is on the other side of the mountain...but he knows when I am thinking of him...



And I end this watching Izzy playing with her last present (she kind of opened in shifts...partiall because she may have got a few presents...and partly because she is 2 and maybe she gets distracted...not a trait she gets from her Ahma because I still got mine) and her mama is writing I-S-A-B-E-L  M-A-R-I-E  S-H-E-R-I-D-A-N and Heather tells Isabel what's mama's last name...and she says Sheridan...and she says what is Ahma's last name...and Izzy says Sheridan to which her mom replies no that's what Grammy's is...to which Izzy replies, "AHMA,AHMA,AHMA!"   And my heart fills with the "Spirit of Christmas"...


And so I stop right now because...I have one little Firecracker who wants to play...McDonalds (probably ranking up there as her favorite gift...a little cash register, head set, cheese burger, fries, and more...although I think she liked the Radio Flyer and Basketball goal from Ahma and Oppy)...and so she is telling me hurry up...so I break for now...because I got a "HAPPY MEAL" to order...

So I come back here and again the house is quiet...the kids have headed home...the tree is missing presents but one little picture frame I put underneath with a picture of my Firecracker and I am thankful for the family I have and more importantly I am thankful for my faith...and for that Spirit of Christmas...

God bless you in this season...

lyp

lyp

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Goodbye Joe...

Today we went to the Memorial service for Joe Petramala...it was a very loving tribute and I am still so impressed with his son Jonathan's words.   My daughter said he was always good at speaking and writing...and today he probably gave the hardest talk of his life...and he was awesome.   He had us laughing, crying, and when he was done there was applause...

Joe's wife Janie was as one person put it..."a class act".   Another said while Joe did the marketing and buying...Janie would be fine with all those sheep--she was the worker.   I refer to Janie as a "shepherd".   I have seen her first hand in going through our own tragedy with sheep and watched her...she is a "shepherd" and I mean that as a great compliment...Jonathan spoke of his parents complimenting each other in their strengths and weaknesses...and I know Joe will be so missed by them both.  I am so sorry and saddened by this loss...

The tribute was a good one...and was filled with great love by all those who spoke as well as the many that packed the large church.   And so when I got home tonight I ran to the post office and for those who seen the sunset it was an awesome one!    The picture below does not even do it justice.  As soon as I got home I ran and grabbed my camera...but I missed the awesome glow that almost seemed to glow as fire as the sunset behind the trees and the mountains in my rear view mirror.   As I drove, Casting Crowns played Spirit Wind...and the music made me pray for the family that they would be filled with the Spirit Wind...as well as all who thirst for more...



And so I ran out to the road to snap a picture and as I stopped and said goodbye Joe...I started to turn when out of the corner of my eye...a hawk soared in the adjoining field and I just snapped my camera with out focusing.   As I knew as I have experienced before...it was one of those Selah moments...those moments you pause and calmly think of this.  And so since the picture was blurred...I added a different view to it...one that you might feel the peace I felt as I watched it soar and land in a distant tree...(And as I go to finish this...my shepherd comes in and says it looks like it might be going to get foggy...and I think of one of the stories told today and thought probably when I hear of fog...I will think of Joe...and wonder if in fact we will receive moisture in 100 days...)
I think back of when I first remember meeting Joe...we purchased fencing materials from him where I worked...He was good to do business with...if he told you it would be there...it usually was.   However, we then got to know him through the "sheep" world as well.   By the number of people that were there today...it is obvious that he touched many lives and will be missed by many...so though we said goodbye's today Joe...we will remember you much longer.  

God be with Joe's friends and families...I pray for their strength...I pray for their peace.
Goodbye Joe...










And I include Spirit Wind...perhaps a prayer for us here in the valley...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Do not be afraid...

So this morning at my kitchen table...I seemed to have a bit of a different schedule...I chose not to go into work this morning because of the weather conditions...we had a bit of a snow storm last night and the shepherd is out playing in the snow as we speak...for those with livestock...a white Christmas usually means a little or a LOT more work...I look out at the sheep who usually seem somewhat white and against the blanket of snow on the ground they seem to darken...Drifts of snow against the water tank has a little lamb sinking in and seems to be next to its mama saying, "what is this mama?"  As his little legs sink in up to his belly.   And the shepherd now has a mountain of snow that has made way for a clear place for the sheep to eat...yes a shepherds way of clearing off the table...compliments of his favorite toy--a skid loader.  (hmm wonder if that would fit in the house!!)

As I have said...God seems to talk to me in so many ways.   I had listened to a deal on the radio awhile back as to what kind of affirmation we like.   I think mine is verbal affirmation...I assume verbal--so I look it up...YEP..."of, relating to, or consisting of words".   THAT IS WHAT I LOVE--WORDS!!   Not always something shared by others close to me in my INNER circle if you will!   In fact one of my son's favorite lines is from Pure Country...so perhaps I can't quote word for word but it is when Ernest says, "So what has any one got to say that hasn't already been said."    Sometimes my family may not say it out loud but are probably thinking it.

I get back to my story...I am also such a visual and sometimes a little thick headed.   I have sometimes it seems received messages that seem to be CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!!!   I have been reading and many of them seem to be talking of fear...and so COINCIDENTAL that while on my way to Colorado Springs there in Pueblo on the bridge...someone's graffiti...but it was pointed out to me and seemed to be written on my heart and mind..."Do not be afraid".    So then my next God Calling by A.J. Russell...(YES THE TWO LISTENERS) seemed to play right on that...yesterday it read:


Perfect Love
Our Lord, give us that Perfect Love of Thee that casts out all fear.
Never let yourselves fear anybody or anything. No fear of My failing you. No fear that your faith will fail you. No fear of poverty or loneliness. No fear of not knowing the way. No fear of others. No fear of their misunderstanding.
But, My children, this absolute casting out of fear is the result of a Perfect Love, a perfect Love of Me and My Father. Speak to Me about everything. Listen to Me at all times. Feel My tender nearness, substituting at once some thought of Me for the fear.
The powers of evil watch you as a besieging force would watch a guarded city -- the object being always to find some weak spot, attack that, and so gain an entrance. So evil lurks around you, and seeks to surprise you in some fear.
The fear may have been but a small one, but it affords evil a weak spot of attack and entrance, and then in some rushing despondency, doubt of Me, and so many other sins. Pray, My beloved children, for that Perfect Love of Me that indeed casts out all fear.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring
 lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist steadfast in the faith." 1 Peter 5:8, 9

And so this morning I think of those around suffering of sadness and how we handle that and what should I read in my God Calling for today...

Depression
Fight fear as you would fight a plague. Fight it in My Name. . . . Fear, even the smallest fear, is the hacking at the cords of Love that bind you to Me.
However small the impression, in time those cords will wear thin, and then one disappointment, or shock, and they snap. But for the little fears the cords of Love would have held.
Fight fear.
Depression is a state of fear. Fight that too. Fight. Fight. Depression is the impression left by fear. Fight and conquer, and oh! for Love of Me, for the sake of My tender, never-failing Love of you, fight and love and win.
"Here my voice, O God, in my prayer; preserve my life from fear of the enemy." Psalm 64:1


Depression...I heard it described as being "ugly and  helpless".   I listened to someone else a while back who was discussing depression and how times people will not treat it as seriously as they would if someone had a drug or alcohol problem, cancer, heart problems...yet it can be as dangerous...but because we can not SEE it as clearly.   Sometimes it is chemical...sometimes environmental...so complex I do not even try to define...but I remember the guy talking on it as saying helpless and not himself...

And so here I am at my kitchen table with all these words that I seem to have a need to put down...perhaps for those other verbal's out there...perhaps just for my own internal processing.   And the sun is trying to shine and my journal page says at the bottom, "The promises of God are more certain than a sunrise after nightfall."   I think of all of those going through their own personal blizards...their darkness of the night...and I pray for light and sunshine...the Light that we can only receive through our Lord our God!   I thank Jesus for this time of year...but I also know that this time of year is hard as well.  

I snap a picture of the sheep eating...of the pile of snow...that if we let him, our Shepherd will clear our way...and I give thanks for the light of day that only earlier was clouded...I come across a scripture that is in a writing...a writing that I have had my own fears about...but one that I am just going to let go...but I add it...
 
If you look on the pole...yep there is a bird...Selah...



Joshua 1:9 
"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”


And I think how I have received some Divine Editorial input today and a wonderful lesson at my kitchen table...and so I add in the picture and words I received earlier regarding VERBAL...I go to find the picture to include and SHUT the definition tab...when VERBAL seems to come up and bite me in the...well it goes on as the definition to expand and give two other meanings...meanings that seem to be ones to take heed:

  • of, relating to, or involving words rather than meaning or substance <a consistency that is merely verbal and scholastic — B. N. Cardozo>
  •  consisting of or using words only and not involving action <verbal abuse>
With that said...I think I better just quit talking and get busy...

lyp


Monday, December 19, 2011

Go rest high...one more time

Today has been 10 years since I lost my Mom...December 18, 2001...and with that I think back on her as well as those that we lost this year!   I think it is extra hard at the holidays...and this being the first Christmas without Jay...We miss him so...

We went to the cemetery in Fowler and decorated my Mom and Dad's and Grandma Bessie's graves.   That is why my Grandma wanted buried there...was so someone would be around to take care of it...and when she died in 1981...it was such a pretty cemetary...although the drought took it's toll.   My Mom always went over and so I try to keep the tradition going...I found a small wreath this year for Grandma's...but it just reminded me of her...she loved the reds and golds.   I found one similar in color for Mom and Dad's.   I actually am somewhat early for me this year...


Jimmie and Peggy Lance
Love you Mom and Dad

Grandma Bessie
Love to you as well...
While I do not believe that those I love are there...it is where their body was layed to rest...while their soul has moved on...I take it as a time to remember and respect the lives of those that have went on...I stop and think how precious life is and we do not know how much time we have.

In wanting to take something to Jay's grave, I didn't find a wreath I wanted so came across some greenery and blue ribbon...and then it just seemed there was inspiration of things to add to his wreath.    While it had the American flags to honor him, it almost had some other items...just because they made me think of Jay...the fish bottle opener...the little goat...the angel bird...and various other things that either make one think of Jay or add some "Christmas" to it.  Perhaps it isn't a traditional or ordinary wreath...but Jay wasn't really a traditional or ordinary guy.   I miss getting to shop for him for Christmas...it was always fun...as I would find a crazy hat...something cammo...

Which takes me to this afternoon...as the shepherd and I went to Limon by way of Colorado Springs...We were going to meet up with Heather and since she was in Fort Collins we decided to do a little Christmas shopping...so would it be a "coincidence"...when we headed for Sportsman's Warehouse...I think was probably one of Jay's favorite places to go shop in the Springs...but as we pulled in...came on the radio...Vince Gill...Go Rest High On That Mountain...My Mom loved Vince and this song was played at both her and Jay's funerals...so Tim and I just sat in the truck holding hands...thinking of those we had lost...I am blessed to have such a caring man.


I really don't think it was a coincidence...my devotional in My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers this morning...was one of those that just had many parts that seemed to speak to me...granted not all things I chose to hear...but talked to me all the same...(like the complaining part!)


"THE TEST OF LOYALTY

          And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. 
It is only the loyal soul who believes that God engineers circumstances. We take such liberty with our circumstances, we do not believe God engineers them, although we say we do; we treat the things that happen as if they were engineered by men. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, and that is to our Lord. Suddenly God breaks up a particular set of circumstances, and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He had ordered them; we never saw what He was after, and that particular thing will never be repeated all the days of our life. The test of loyalty always comes just there. If we learn to worship God in the trying circumstances, He will alter them in two seconds when He chooses.

Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the thing that we "stick at" to-day. We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Many Christians are intensely impatient of talking about loyalty to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world. God is made a machine for blessing men, and Jesus Christ is made a Worker among workers.

The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us - "I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine." God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

Romans 8:28"

At my kitchen table this morning I had read the above...and so when I said that I didn't think it was a coincidence that Tim and I heard that song...and made us stop and think of those we love and miss so much...Like I said I loved finding Jay that special cammo something or other.   So in keeping with the tradition...I found Izzy some pretty cute pink cammo that I couldn't pass up!

This year I think I would like to start a tradition...for whoever wants to...that in Jay's stocking I pulled out and put by the fireplace with the others.   But I would like to put in it something for Izzy that either makes one think of her daddy...something he might give her...just something that helps her remember and know him more.   Although in Christmas shopping with her the other day...I felt she had lots of her daddy with us...but I will maybe write of that later because I can't give away what we shopped for!!!   But I put in a couple pics from the cemetary...granted these were taken at night...because we might have gotten there a little later...but it does have a cool flashing bow that lights up his picture from just last year at Christmas time...and one realizes that we do not know...

We miss and love you Jay Bird...

The greenery doesn't show up...but the picture of Jay does...

We think of you often Officer Jay Sheridan...love you and miss you!


I found something the other day while on my wreath shopping that I had to get...it brought tears...but it just seemed to symbolize how I think of Jay...there is this large penguin that seems to be hugging and looking over the snow globe and inside is another penguin holding a baby one.   I feel Jay's love watching over them both...I hope they feel it.   I also found a little snowman in police uniform that was either for their tree or the wreath....but seemed to need to go on their tree...Maybe I will get pictures of my tree...

And as I had said at the beginning...2011 was a tough year...we lost Curtis Ball a special friend...a special man...then we lost Jay Sheridan--my favorite son-in-law...and many others...and one that we are dealing with right now...Joe Petramala.   I think of his wife and son and feel for them for what they are going through...to lose one they love.

I stop and think of Joe...a sheep guy...memories of him at the sheep shows...hauling sheep...and I can see that smile of his.  He was a special person...did he know?   I think of my son--how he enjoyed talking sheep with Joe.   I think of others who thought so much of him.  And we will miss you Joe and I pray for his family and those left behind for strength...for peace...

And so I end with the scripture I read today...a COINCIDENCE?   I think some more of that "engineering".   I am still reading in the "IANS".   Not sure if I mentioned...decided to go through and read in the New Testament the ones ending in ...ians...so I call them the IANS.   But today I had read the last part of 2 Corinthians 5:12-21...

Be Reconciled to God 

12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
 

But the one that seemed to stick with me that is one of the things that I look towards in being a Christian and believing...and especially at this time of year a reminder of my faith that through the birth and then death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that the following will come true...Revelations 21:4-5 

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,
[b] “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 

Another coincidence that I would come across these...and it seemed to speak to me..."Write, for these words are true and faithful."

So I pause and put up another memorial for those we have lost because their life was precious to me.   I stop and think of their family and friends, that they would reflect on being blessed that they had someone in their life who we do love and miss...

But I also stop and think of getting to eat dinner with friends in Limon...HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY!    Happy Birthday to my Aunt Betty tomorrow...or perhaps it is today as I look at the time...and the clock has since passed twelve...so I say...

Peace to all!  God be with you...
lyp


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LALA

Happy Birthday to one of my favoritest people!    Makes you wonder where the time goes...One of my favorite pictures...you haven't changed...much ;)   Anyway Happy Birthday to a great son!  lym

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Friday Birthday Bash...50 the Party Continues

That was the title of the invite that my son sent out BLACK FRIDAY BIRTHDAY BASH!   Yes I turned the big 50 and my kids threw me a party on black Friday...we had tacos...to which my son had said and you will like them...turns out I love tacos...turns out he has the smart a**leck gene...where I do not know where he got it...but must say after Thanksgiving...was good to have some Mexican food.


We had about 30 people show up and must say I am blessed!   I decided that most of this would consist of putting in some pictures I took...I must confess I am not sure what to do with myself where the party is for me...I kept thinking I should be doing stuff...Of course, I did whine to the Nertz people that we should have cake...and could I open my gifts...I really wasn't being selfish but there were some that were wanting to leave.

The day started out having fun playing with my Firecracker who had spent the night with her mama and her Uncle LaLa...while the others were cooking...Izzy and I played and just strolled around piddling...the food was made earlier because there was going to be some shooting going on...my kids were joined by cousins, P-pa, and I think they had some fun...shooting birds...mostly the clay ones.  I on the other hand enjoyed playing with Peyton, Mason, and Izzy.  


I was showered with all sorts of gifts...some pretty funny gag gifts including my new bra...you have to see it to appreciate it...Thanks Heather...One of my favorite gifts that made me laugh was Menaw giving me my own "Sugar Mama" purse...Doris is one of my special people...I suppose you could call her an old friend because she was mom's friend, my grandma's friend, but maybe she is a young friend because she is also my daughter's and now my granddaughter seems to love her to...even before she really met her just because Menaw was the one who gave me the Izzybell doll she loves to look at...Anyway Doris had went what seems many years ago with her daughter Becky and Tim and Lance to Sedalia to the sheep show...we joked about her being Sugar Mama (as well as those other sugar mama's they seen) and so that has always been one of our jokes and so she gave me my own purse that I was old enough to be a sugar mama...the story is much better if Doris is telling it...the purse was filled with a pill box...a few bucks to get started on...and some of my own bling!   Then she also gave me a rock and roll hat...from younger days.   Maryann also gave me a "red hat" with a matching purple scarf...I got the now ever present ceremonial coming of age prune juice that keeps showing up...thanks Brendon and Selice.   I also got some special gifts...Jeff and Tonya gave me a clock Jeff made...Keri and Alex and boys a cool sheep sign and a Believe pin...journals...a "love" sign from Mary with a Casting Crown's cd...journals...and a guitar book from my kids...See that is one of the things I want to start doing when I hit 50--play guitar, play piano, play golf...and then of course get a passport and my name in the phone book!


Sounds like I might be playing alot...which Heather had asked Izzy what they should get Ahma to which she told her..."Toys...Ahma size" and so that's what they did...a new printer that I have had fun playing with and then the shepherd got me a taller Christmas tree...and when I say taller...I mean taller.   See I was thinking maybe a 9 foot tree but then there is the shepherd..."Go big or go home"...but I must say I love the tree and Sandy stayed in the Christmas theme and gave me a Christmas barn...

While I loved the gifts and all the good food and cake...my favorite gifts was just spending time with those I love...if I have learned nothing in these 50 years it is that we do not know how much time we are given...and to enjoy these days we have so I include some of my favorite gifts...





Well it was a pretty wild party...there was the BAR and then of course the NERTZ table...




And with all this celebration there are the casualties...those that partied like "rock stars"...Especially poor Otis...


I know there are things I forgot to say...later I will remember...but see I am 50...WHAT DO YOU EXPECT!  

So I stop for now and say Thank you to all those I love...I need to go play with my Ahma size toys...Because I loved the signs and napkins that said 50 The Party Continues!    SO...HELLO 50's!!!

lyp


Friday, November 25, 2011

A gift...

So since my other blog was so long...I put this on its own...

Today (I'm speaking of Thanksgiving) so I guess by now I should include yesterday...was our first Thanksgiving with out Jay...but this morning I feel a gift the song When I Get Where I'm Going just kept playing in my mind and next thing I knew I was singing along...but the words spoke to me of those who are also missing those that they have lost...and I did not have tears today...and I embraced the joy that was around me...from the wonderful time with Jay's Peanut...time with my family...my last day at 49...laughing when I had texted Maryann and she told me that the next time she cooked Thanksgiving on such a beautiful day she was going to make it a scavenger hunt and everyone would have a bike and find the meal...I loved that...playing with a couple "great" nephews...but I add this video in just because I feel like it was shared for me and makes me think of those who have went to a better place...


I think of Jay and how we miss him...but this song makes me smile...of when we all get where we are going and those that are there...but yesterday it was such a gift...

 
So I think of all of those that have got where they are going...

lyp

Hands of Love...

This is the blog that never ends yes it goes on and on my friend...one day I started writing without knowing what it was and I continue writing it forever just because...okay I am finishing this this morning!   I tried last night but at 1:30 a.m. I decided to sleep instead...so here we go...hang on...one might just need a helmet for this "bike ride"...(Please note that it will refer to various mornings as though they were today...but isn't that what yesterday is...simply today but a different day).

I give thanks for this day...THANKSGIVING...I thought I would finish this up this morning but instead I played with one little Firecracker...gave her a bath because she wanted me to...usually it's Mom...so if I get the chance...then it was off to a family dinner...and wonderful times with special people and so here it is already past another Thanksgiving...but I want to finish up...1 in the morning...is still part of the day prior...right...so I try to tie this together and much like the bread that we make with these hands of love...I try to add some of these ingredients...and so I go back to a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  You see I am still up now because one little "Izzy bell" wanted to stay up with Ahma...we'll sleep when we're old...okay that's another blog...I go back and add a little of this and a little of that and hopefully the Good Lord will add...but I can think of nothing more special than playing and holding one little Firecracker in my arms until she fell asleep...

And this morning I give thanks from my kitchen table.   My kitchen is filled with the aroma of ham cooking and I have my bread mixed and am kneading it as it "knead" be!    But I have to share a special verse that while I have been reading in the "IANS"...I told myself that I wanted to go through all of those Books in the New Testament that end in IANS...well today I had made it to 1 Corinthians 10.    But given what I was doing and being it is Thanksgiving and that this writing as been in process for over a month, I share...





"The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?  For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread."  1 Corinthians 10:16 (NKJV).

I don't know about you...but to me this was just sooo cool.   That God would share this with me...as I write upon a collection of many I love who are part of this "body".   And I give thanks...The other day on one of my walks...I thought I will finish this one up for Thanksgiving...to me it is a special one and today makes it all the more special...

If you notice the hands...they are mixing bread...and I will talk more on that later...but with Thanksgiving I give thanks that I have been touched with hands of love.   That I look around and it seemed that I seen hands everywhere that I wanted to include...but let me not forget the Hands that are holding me always.


I look back on an earlier statement and I leave it in...because I do love this song and it does make you think...because when I had started this blog probably over a whole month ago I had some thoughts...but as with the bread that I mix...more and more just kept getting added and so yes it is a longer one.   On this particular day I was blessed by the song You love me ANYWAY" by Sidewalk Prophets kept playing in my mind as if in my shortcomings He loves me anyway...and for that I am thankful...


So the next bit is some that I had written different weekends but they are things I am thankful for...just part of the hands.  Sometimes our cup runneth over so much that you have "runneth over" running over with simply the simple ordinary things...I leave in my words from past weekend...This particular weekend started out with Tim picking up a few more green chili's as their days are limited...and if you haven't experienced having your own chili's for cooking...this is one to put on your list!   I admit I am not a die hard burn your mouth up HOT chili eater so we usually go with the milder chili...an Aneheim or got a few Big Jim's...but Anaheim's was what we were working with this particular day.   And so I add I am thankful for green chili's...and time spent with the shepherd...because you see...I had seen on facebook that Emily over at http://trailerhoodaristocrats.blogspot.com/ was making green chili.  Emily is the daughter of one of my good friends Brenda over at http://tonyandbrenda.blogspot.com/ .   Anyway Emily is talking about how good the house smells in making green chili...so the shepherd and I decide to make some and so while I had asked for recipes which Emily sent a link to hers...we also called Harry.   At work we have chili days when the weather gets "chilly" and so Tim had tasted some of Harry's and so he said I should get his recipe...well a quick call and we now have Harry and Emily's recipes...so we co-cooked on this project...kind of unusual for the shepherd and I as we have what you may say different "styles" THAT's IT!   Different styles!    I'll leave it at that...not sure what is wrong with mushing the tomatoes with your bare hands...this one had the shepherd laughing at me as it must have resembled my "spooning" the tomatoes...My family gives me a hard time about my cutting skills.   I don't think that each thing has to be uniformally cut.   I like my veggies UNIQUE...so in order to leave this and stay with my theme...I am thankful for friends and green chili...And you are thinking hands??? aren't you...get tot he point Penny!Anyway I thought our cooperative venture was mighty tasty...much like our combination of such different personalities but can still make a unique "dish"!   And we had decided to make up some chicken fajitas as well using some of these fresh peppers (and I think how this is out of date as the only green chili's now are those in the freezer).   Anyway--part of our motivation was...yes we had COMPANY coming!   Okay I wouldn't exactly call them company...I would say family!   MY KIDS!   First one here was my nephew Ethan...he is a freshman in college...I don't know where the time has gone because I had just got some pictures developed and here he was...Yep I am thankful for my family and love this Ethan!
Perhaps Ethan has changed a little...from this guy to now blowing bubbles
 with a Firecracker now about this age...

Later on in pulled Heather, Izzy, Lance and Tyler...and my house was full.   I am sure I have mentioned this before...I love the feeling when my house is full...it seems I can just feel it....By this time it was getting close to bed time...one might think so...of course the "boys" think it must be time to run to the Wal-mart...with Ethan taking them on an adventure in the "Honda"...perhaps it had a little gliche that required some special driving skills...that I was told more than once that I would probably be having flashbacks to Ethan's dad...my favorite brother Shaner!   He does remind me of his dad...to which I think that is a good thing...granted it might be a little too "entertaining" at times for his mom...but I know she wouldn't trade him either...I loved having him come "home" to visit me...we have shared some special times with "Eshun" as lovingly named by the Firecracker...
I snapped a pic with my camera phone where Heather was out talking to Ethan while he was "fixing" his car and I sent it and a text to my brother..."My daughter watching  your son fix his car...De-Ja-Luv-U...not sure I spelled it that way for him...I never am sure how I spell things when texting.  But I am thankful for this family tie...

But the time does not stop there...the hands theme continues...from those who worked on the barn (Lance, Tyler, Tim, Great Grandpa Pfeiff, Heather and Ethan) using their hands to work on the barn for the upcoming lambing season...to Izzy and Great Grandma Pfeiff using hands to blow bubbles and then to pop them...to just family time together...hands though dirty offering a drink...

 

Uncle Lance using his "hands" to give a
little Firecracker a drink...


Ethan, Tyler, and Lance...
want a drink Izzy?


As I began to make the bread.   Yes me there in my pajamas...and I realize in doing this I HAVE ARRIVED!   I am a Grandma...that was one of the perks I was sure was one that was one that made me want to be a Grandma...that if you  wanted to wear your jammies all day...you could.   And so with that I was mixing bread in my jammies!   But I was being watched by one little Firecracker who once she saw my hands go in the bowl...she "kneeded" to join me...and there in that bowl of bread our hands were together and I could feel the love from my mother who taught me how to make bread and her mother who I am sure taught her.   My daughter watched on and snapped some pictures...but this moment was more than making bread...it was something that went back farther and would continue on.  Of course I am more than thankful for being an Ahma AND for my daily bread! 

And so I start coming upon some conclusion and I think of Grandma's...what a gift they are...and what a gift they are to be...I think of Izzy and Great Grandma Pfeiff blowing bubbles and how I will treasure this memory...


Izzy and Great Grandma Pfeiff...hands playing...gotta love bubbles!
And so it is as though...hands...hands that have passed from generation to generation I conclude with and give thanks for...I have a special Grandmother one that I had stuck in quite some time ago for those who actually know when Kristy's birthday was...

In looking in my mirror this morning I could not get the picture of Kristy and her Grandma Stella out of my mind.   Kristy celebrated a birthday and so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS KRISTY!   For those who don't know...you may hear me talk time to time of Mary...that would be my friend...my "angel" Mary...anyway turns out she has some family I am fond of as well...one of which Miss Kristy!   I guess this picture just hit me...in thinking of hands of love because it seems to go with this theme of hands of love...these precious times that we can only take and keep in our hearts...a faded photograph...but will make us smile always.

Yes I am thankful for Grandma's that have fun and I want to be one of those Grandma's...I love how this picture seems to combine these two into one...how the hands...pass on the love...thanks for sharing with me.

There is also one special picture that just portrays a bond between a Grandma and a little one...this is my cousins in Kansas...a Great Grandmother and a little one...look at that look...





I think of the laying on of hands...how the Bible talks of this...but I do not know about being able to heal whatever but I have many times seen the laying on of hands of love...and this can work miracles...just letting someone know that you love them that they are in fact important...can heal some very deep pains...so today may you share your hands...your bread...Thankfulness...like I said this was quite the recipe...but like the bread...So I leave with this video of a special song...



So....I am not reading over this anymore...I am just sending it off out there...SO HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING and I am thankful for your hands...lyp

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sometimes you never know...

Today was one of those days...one of those days that you just didn't think it would be like it was...but it was.   At my kitchen table I thought about the day ahead...jury duty.   I admit I do not have a lot of jury duties under my belt.  In fact this would be my actual second time to even go and when I went the first time I was not even picked.

I confess I had some apprehension...and I had prayed for strength that my emotions would stay intact.   For those who know me--you know that I cry at Kleenex commercials.  But I thought I would be okay.  I must admit I was thankful when I seen Loretta...a neighbor...a friend...though we do not do a lot together...she is one of those you know is there.   Our kids grew up together and she is just one of those special women.   I filled out the questionnaire and must admit I had a lump in my throat when asked if I had family that now I can't remember...perhaps peace officers was the word...but they asked if any of my family was peace officers.  I wrote down that my son-in-law was killed in the line of duty.   I wrote it down...there they would know.   They also asked if I had good or bad experience with police officers.   Given the support that I have experienced with Jay...I have a deeper respect for those men and women in "blue". 

But I had written it down...perhaps that would be all I had to do.  As I went into the courtroom I spotted Loretta and next to her--Connie.   Yes another one of those women that though we do not spend a lot of time together...she taught my children.  And she is just a special woman as well.  So I sat next to these women and we talked and laughed and I was thankful that they were there...

Then in came Lisa...another special one.  She was my kids teacher, my daughter's coach, but she is also someone I consider friend and no not just Facebook friends...and so I was thankful that these very women were there with me.  I thought I am sure I can do this. 

We went through the introduction and even when the defendant came in...I was still okay.  Of course, I was still surrounded by these friends.   Then there it came...they called my name third.   I walked up and took my seat and then I don't know if it was the larger guard that was across from me for some reason his pants had made me think of Jay--or perhaps just the whole "world" that this represented--perhaps it was the allegations and the energy from the defendant...but I could feel the tears coming.  No I had not brought a hanky.   I was overcome with emotion it seemed and I tried to swallow it and keep it stuck inside but the tears kept coming.

Loretta who had also been called was seated right down in front of me and quietly asked if I was alright.  I asked her for a Kleenex...to which she didn't have...but Dennis--another I would call friend--in fact a pall bearer for my mother.  And he pulled out a hanky for me with a D on it.   And I thought how I was thankful for these people that though I do not spend a lot of time with--there is a connection...

When it came my time to say who I was and talk about myself...the judge thought that I was nervous about public speaking...that the quiver and emotion in my voice was nerves.   I told him that was not the case...and I still thought I could get through this.   While I did answer all of the questions that were on the board before me.   I had already choked up because there was the question again if I had any family that was police officers.   And so I had to say it out loud in a room full of some friends, some neighbors and yes some strangers that my son-in-law had been killed in the line of duty.  I finished the questioning and then the defendants attorney asked to approach the bench...as the lawyers went up to the judge.   As they talked, I did not make eye contact with many.  However, there was one man that was at the "people's" table.  He had a very no-nonsense to his demeanor that I had noticed earlier...but after my words...I will not forget the look that seemed to be one of sincerity and respect for my loss.

I had thought earlier how this experience had gave me more sensitivity than what I had even had before for those that on a day in and day out basis are met with deep reminders.   And the looks that those around you give--some give a look of just pity, some a look of helplessness, others with true concern and respect, but then there are others that just their eyes seem to say I am here for you.  I think about my daughter, about Jay's family, Jay's friends, and how they experience this much more than I.  Living and spending time in the very town that this happened.

Though I am not sure of the reason--perhaps they thought I would not be fair, perhaps they didn't want someone blubbering through the trial, whatever the reason, I was released in 2 hours.   And though I was emotionally drained, I thought I guess maybe that was an early birthday present--as my favorite son-in-law had got me out of jury duty.   I would have rather had him here and done my civic duty.  But guess that wasn't one of the choices...

As I went to leave--Lisa grabbed my hand and squeezed.  Then Linda another special woman was signing me out...and while she handed me my paperwork she also got two Kleenex--one for her and one for me.   She has had her own loss but she also shared my pain...so I guess you just never know when you will have special angels there for you.   So as I went to leave--another familiar face who was guard said something about did I get kicked out...and I said I guess it was because of who I knew...

I am not sure why I feel the need to share this experience...but there seems to be a reason.  And this writing seems to help me and I hope that it makes you stop and think and remember someone special.  So I include a picture of happier days...because there is a reason that I miss this guy...and you just never know when you are going to have one of those days that it hits you hard--but thankful for those that are there for you even when they don't know it.   I stop and think there is a reason that I got to know him...and there is a reason that he is remembered with such emotion...so I share this pain but I also share a picture that I came across the other night that just made me smile and so I put it up to hopefully leave you with a smile as well--and to say thank you and I love ya Jay Bird!!


Jay Sheridan and Amy's puppy...one of my favorite sides of this man in blue...

lyp