Monday, April 21, 2014

The little joys of life ...

We were all invited over to Dylan and Kelly's house to share a meal and celebrate Easter together. I picked Nana up at about 3:00 and went on over. Brendan was napping when we arrived, but woke up soon after. We enjoyed a yummy roast beef that Kelly baked to perfection, along with seasoned vegetables and potatoes. I brought a colorful tossed salad and my orange jello … oh, and banana bread. Nana supplied the carrot cake (which we were too full to eat!).
After dinner, Brendan begged to go outside ~ so we did exactly that! 
Plaster Creek is just a short walk from their house, so we decided to see what we could see down at the creek.
It turns out that Brendan really really LOVES throwing little rocks and leaves into the creek ... 
Plaster Creek
 … so we threw a LOT of small stones and leaves into the water and watched them float (or sink).
Brendan was very pleased to make BIG splashes and would clap his chubby hands in delight! 
We repeated this process for a very long time … but honestly, I cannot describe to you the peacefulness  in my heart as we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon together.
Dylan and Brendan interacting with the creek …
and each other!
I love spending time with these dear gentle folk … there is something about their quiet spirits that I find so comforting and refreshing.
It looks like Brendan was ready to jump IN the creek … but he didn't! He was just watching stuff float by. He's a very inquisitive toddler. I love every inch of him.

Jesus, only Jesus !!

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. We had a very fine celebration of Jesus' resurrection. But the entire week was spent in preparation for His coming alive again by reflecting on His suffering and His conquering death by death …

A few years ago, I studied and then memorized Isaiah 52:13 - Isaiah 53 (the whole chapter). Thankfully, those words and meanings have stayed in my heart and mind and have often been a deep source of comfort to me. I'm so thankful that Jesus knows all about broken hearts ...
Jesus, only Jesus can mend those deep wounds we carry because of the darkness of our world. 
I am thankful for His victory over death and darkness, sin and evil. I can't even find words to express the HOPE that it brings, knowing this very day I can "walk in the light as He is in the light" because of what He accomplished … I can be changed, transformed, a new person because of Jesus.

Jes and Di's housewarming ...

Saturday was the "surprise" housewarming party for Diana … put on by Jesse for Diana … and it was indeed a surprise! This is the card I made for them for this special occasion . . . the photos were stolen from Jesse's FB page.

The front of the card:
The inside: 
The back:
Houses are very important … because it is where we make our home and welcome our friends and family. God says He wants our homes to be built on HIM … His ways, His Word, His Person … the only solid, firm foundation there is! So this is my prayer for this little family. 
I've been getting to know Kaity a little bit better. This is what I am finding out about her: she is a very playful little person, she loves to laugh, she has a good sense of humor and is good natured, she loves to cuddle. Oh, and she likes it very much if I use "funny" voices when I speak to her! She has an infectious giggle! She is very affectionate. She is smart, and is a tough little cookie! Notice her shirt that says: "Grandma's Little Princess" but I think this is intended for Grandma Hand, who has spent a great deal more time with Kaity than I have!

I didn't actually take many pictures of the party because I was quite occupied exploring the woods with the kiddos … I have some pictures of the gnarly trees somewhere on this computer but can't find them presently!

The grandchildren have met a friend who lives next-door to them, a boy about Matthew's age. All of the kids have been having a lot of fun chumming around together. This picture of Emma is near the end of the housewarming when I was getting ready to leave. I asked her to climb up into one of the trees on their side yard. She was very tired by this time because of all the running around she'd done … but it shows her happy face and I like it!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Yesterday afternoon ...

Thursday afternoon I drove over to the East Grand Rapids library to study computer programs via tutorials, books, and the internet. My Mac isn't entirely compatible with the programs I'm trying to learn, so I have been going over to the library and using their PCs. For a change of scenery from the Plainfield branch, I ventured over to the library at East and spent three hours trying to learn more about Word and Excel, without much progress I must say. I learn by DOING usually, and need a lot of repetition in order to remember. I decided since I was near such a pretty place, I would break up my study time with a walk ...
Our weather is flirting with spring, with actual sunshine and warmer temps … a beautiful day to just get outdoors and enjoy ...
This is Reed's Lake ~ it has lots of nice trails and interesting boardwalks, bogs, swamps, etc. 
None of these photos are stellar in any way … but they do chronicle my short hike rather nicely. 
Everything is still quite colorless … not a great deal of green yet, but at least the snow is pretty much melted and I'm hoping it stays that way because snow in April is NOT what snow in December is! 

 I saw a bunch of beautiful birds that wouldn't let me near them with my camera, but this goose wasn't at all bothered by me, and this lovely swan got close enough for me to enjoy for quite awhile too.

I'll come back here in a few weeks and photograph little blossoms and beautiful green foliage ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A few photos from the Passover seder meal ...

I was invited to a Passover seder meal tonight over at Dylan and Kelly's house. I was so excited to attend! This meal was hosted by their ethnically Jewish friend, Patrick, who has converted to Orthodoxy ~ Dylan and Kelly are actually Patrick's godparents. 

 There were a dozen of us (plus Brendan) who enjoyed this meal together, reading the seder narrative and some Scripture passages together and learning the history behind the celebration.
 Brendan LOVES candles and lights … and people … so he was very delighted to share in this event.
 Look at his happy little face!

Dylan and Patrick
There is such rich tradition in this meal and in the Passover celebration ~ I'm so glad I got to participate in this time with Dylan, Kelly, and their wonderful friends.

Getting acquainted with Kaity-Girl

Yesterday I had an opportunity to spend a very rare 1-on-1 with Kaity Jane. She doesn't know me very well at all, and it's not her fault. But it's time to rectify that situation now, isn't it?
 I will say that Kaity was less than enthused about spending time with me … poor little sweetheart. I had driven over to their house because the movers had arrived with their furniture and belongings. Kaity wasn't exactly helpful to the moving in process, so it was thought that perhaps if she had a playmate (me) and we stayed in her bedroom, the move might go a little more smoothly.
Kaity's bear that I thought MIGHT help
us bond … nope, Kaity wanted OUT!
 Thankfully, after about 15 pretty rough minutes, she settled down and allowed me to hold her and rock her to sleep. She had a good nap and woke up in much better spirits; but by then, the moving folk had finished their job and we were allowed "out" of her bedroom where we found … daddy and mama, and all was well.

Hopefully as I spend more time with Kaity, she will get used to me. She is a little sweetheart and I love her very much.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Straight line winds!!!

Last night a rather freak storm rolled on through my neighborhood, and look at the damage it produced!
There were reports of 80 mph winds, preceded by hail and a LOT of rain. I wasn't home at the time. I had been at Matthew's party and then I had errands to run. But when I pulled into my neighborhood, this is the sight I saw … this is my very street!
 The sweet lady who lives in the house (above) is elderly and has cared for her very sick husband for years, all the while she has battled four different kinds of cancers. 
This house is at the end of my street ...

But my little beach house … was safe and sound … completely untouched by any trees, branches, debris, etc. We do not have power and they are saying we will not have power until sometime Tuesday.  It could be worse!