Monday, August 21, 2017

Paradise

August 20:  It's been an unusual weekend. I didn't realize I wasn't going to have the grandchildren, but actually, I am happy for them because they had a family day on Saturday and celebrated a late birthday for Emma by going to AJ's and doing some other fun stuff. BUT, this meant that Emma did not spend the night Saturday, plus it meant that she did not go to church Sunday morning. Since I had some "free" time Sunday, I drove up to Muskegon to enjoy Lake Michigan.
 I brought my beach chair, some refreshments, a few books, my camera (naturally), and parked myself on the pier that is owned by the Coast Guard, or what used to the Coast Guard and is now NOA. I love it there. Sunday was a super busy day on the channel. SO MANY BOATS! I love boats of all kinds. And I love this little lighthouse.
 This is one of my favorite piers because it usually is not crowded, you can see both lighthouses, you can watch the boats go by, and the seagulls do amazing stuff out here.
 I'm not sure if you can see in these pictures, but there are 4 seagulls all lined up on the pier posts ...

 The time of day was just about 5:00 ... not a totally clear day ... kind of misty. Beautiful. Moody.


 I love this little building. I think, but I'm not sure, that it used to house the lighthouse keeper, but don't quote me. I'll have to look it up.




 Sailboats are my favorite. This one was so lovely, even with its sails down!




I was truly thankful for the time out here last night. What made it extra special was meeting my friends, Gail and Dan, and the wonderful time we had together. Mostly Gail and I. We took a long walk and poured out our hearts to each other. They are on a tough, difficult journey, with Dan's Parkinson's and Alzheimers. Be a Rock for them, Lord. They are exhausted. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

My heart was made glad ...

August 17:  Date night with Little Fellow was NOT very outlandish or especially planned or anything; but do you know? Just about any time spent with Brendan is a sweet time. My injured foot has not been healing very rapidly, so I finally submitted to having some x-rays taken today. No broken bones--doc is wondering about some soft tissue damage and has told me to slow it down and take it easier. I based my plans with Brendan tonight on that advice.
 This is us at Schuler Books on 28th Street. I love this place. So does Brendan. Because ... what's NOT to love? Books are, naturally, everywhere. And very cool toys. And touchable displays. We like to play here because it is super cheap (i.e. FREE) and we have such a nice time together.
We probably read about a dozen books, interesting stories about first days of Kindergarten, some dinosaur stories, some picture books. This is Brendan reading to ME ... I think it is a Scooby-Do book. He is making it up as he goes, which is actually more enjoyable than the actual story. Brendan is not actually a full reader yet, although he certainly does very well for his 5-1/2 pre-Kindergarten years. 


 I also brought my Story-Cubes along. Brendan's stories were a scream. He was SO into it. I love him so much.
 At one point in his story, there were flying dinosaurs all over the world ...


 You dear, dear boy. You have gladdened my heart tonight.
 We did end up spending $4.99 for a DK Field Guide (!! like we're going to run into one while walking in the woods?) on Dinosaurs. Brendan was thrilled.

No more Monday afternoons?

Monday, August 14:  I spent a few hours with this pixie-girl today. First, we went to Meijer's to get some creamy chocolate milk (everyone's favorite). Kaity got to ride in one of those special carts that allows the child to sit on a bench behind the actual cart. Kaity doesn't do much actual SITTING on that bench, but she sure enjoys the ride. We were traveling down the "bath" aisle and picked up some Pawberry Paw Patrol bubble bath, body and hair shampoo. Kaity was in dire need of a thorough washing. She was very eager to bathe with all of the water toys and bubbles. She got squeaky clean.
Since our water fun took so much of our time today (and I can't photograph that), I don't have many pictures to post. After Kaity's bath, it took quite awhile to get a comb through her tangled hair--but we took a tiny bit at a time, sectioned her hair off, clipped it in certain places and managed to de-tangle her beautiful hair while Kaity watched a few cartoons on my computer. 
 THEN we decided to paint. It's been awhile since Kaity and I have done any painting. Kaity was very enthused today about painting. She actually (!!!) sat here at this little table with her paints and brushes and was completely INTO the experience. I loved watching her joy. I painted alongside her because Kaity likes my company I guess. I like hers too. I'm not exactly sure what cracked her up in the picture below, but something did!
 Her expressions ... and her concentration ...

Such a sweet time together. Thankful for every minute. This is our last Monday for a long time I think. Kaity starts school on the 21st. She is entering a "readiness" Kindergarten, five days per week, all day. So ... many prayers for this little one as she begins a new journey in her life. Prayers that she will be able to adjust and thrive and learn and grow and make friends ...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

HAPPY FIFTEEN, EMMA!

Townsend Park is a favorite spot for the grandchildren and for me. I have many beautiful memories here that go back 30+ years to when my boys were young and healthy and we were a family together, the boys and I. The grandchildren and I come here quite a bit. 


I try to make a card for Emma every year on her birthday. Sometimes I wonder ... how can I tell her HOW MUCH I LOVE HER? Does she understand? Does it make any difference in her life? I hope it does. We have shared a lot together, this dear granddaughter and me. My heart is very close to her.

 I gave this card to her tonight over at her house. She was getting ready to go up to the high school for the open house (I think) and have a look around at the freshman wing of the school. She is getting so grown up.


This is Emma opening up her Tree of Life ring. I'm glad she chose this ring. I'm going to share some Scriptures with her this weekend (hopefully) of where it is mentioned in Scripture. I will love doing that with her. I love this verse (above) from Proverbs 13.12: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a TREE OF LIFE." I think she will like that too.
 Emma blew out all 15 candles while making a wish. I wonder what she wished?
I know what I am hoping for ... I am hoping, praying, longing for Jesus to return. He says he is coming soon. Perhaps He will come for us THIS YEAR. Please come, Lord Jesus. But if you are not coming this year, please have Your way in Emma's life and keep her close to You.

What a wonderful surprise!

August 14:  The other day, a friend posted some pictures on Facebook about a "surprise" spot she found very close to where she lives that she NEVER knew about. This is IT!
 And I never knew about it either. I LOVE THE WOODS!!!! This dear place has been 20 minutes away for the past dozen years or so and I NEVER knew!
 So Monday morning, even with my foot and ankle still slightly swollen (!!), I slowly walked these gorgeous trails.
 God is always in the woods and streams and trees and sweet little animals ... and He speaks peace to me everywhere I walk.
Which is very kind of Him seeing that I need His presence very much. 

 There are many winding trails, some of them are boardwalks, some of them are just pathways, but everything is truly beautiful.



 The light and shadows were perfectly playing around me and I left all heartache behind ...



I will visit this place often, every single season will be thrilling ... 


I rounded a corner and took a side trail and thankfully ran into these beautiful wildflowers ... 


 Queen Anne's lace is my utmost favorite wild flower (weed) ...









 Such a great place to quiet and pour out my heart. This was such a gift to me on this difficult day. August is a hard month, always, in my life. Recent years have made it even more heart-rending.
 But God has not left me to cry alone. No. He speaks in the beauty He made. He tells me I am loved. He lets me know WHO is in charge of the big stuff and the small stuff of life.










 Certainly Paradise will have places just like this, won't it?

More later ...