Saturday, August 19, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

seeing in the dark

"Faith is the ability to see in the dark,
to pierce beyond all that is
or even conceivable,
and yet still to connect with something solid.
This spiritual landfall is what frees us from the prison of ourselves
and of the world's passing show.
If our gospel is not one that, like Job's, will stand up to the prolonged test of having absolutely no circumstantial evidence of worldly success, then it is a gospel of straw.
It is a gospel founded on appearances,
not on the cross of Christ."

Taken from The Gospel According to Job
written by Mike Mason
pg 146
Used by permission of Crossway Publishing

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

back to school ~ 2017

This week was back to school for most of these grandkids.
After a fun-filled summer,
a trip to China for Lucy,
time with cousins,
pool and jumping fun,
It's time for them to get back to work.
My blog is my journal and the place where
I keep important memories.
These kiddos mean the world to me.
They are growing so quickly.

I pray for them each day.
For God's protection.
There is bullying and meanness to contend with.
I pray that they will remember to be kind to others,
that they will share,
that they will always tell the truth and never lie.
I pray that they will remember that God made them,
that He loves them,
that He has given them a book, the Bible,
 that contains everything they need for life and godliness.
That they would love it and study it.
I pray that they will listen,
be respectful to their teachers,
do their work as unto the Lord.
I pray that they will always be thankful,
that they will obey their parents in all things.
I pray that they will be filled with joy and strength
and to always remember to pray and ask God for what they need.

What a gift are these children of our children!
What a joy to be their grandparents!
What a sobering duty to live out our faith before them...
to always point them to Jesus!!
To pray to the God of the universe on their behalf.

*Photos by Erika and Amanda*

Sunday, August 13, 2017

home.... place I would rather be.

I am thankful on this stormy Sunday evening for our home.
It can be quiet as a mouse
or rocking like a concert in full swing.
It can be just Bubba and I or a whole houseful.
It can be just one bedroom in use
or every bed occupied.
It can be just me and him supping together,
or all tables laden with food and filled with people.
It can be all of these things,
but best of all it is home.
It is that place that is uniquely us,
what we have made together for the past 47 years.

My safe place,
Filled with all of my collections,
my books, 
my favorite movies.
Good food,
clean clothes.
My bed,
my favorite pillow.

As I get older, home is where I want to be.

Looking forward more each day to my heavenly home.
The place where I will lay my burdens down
and find true rest at last.
Thank you Lord Jesus for choosing me to be yours in Christ Jesus.
Thank you for giving me a little piece of heaven on earth.
Thank you for Bubba, the man I share all of this with.

Here are a couple of our blessings....
Jake and Walt.
The oldest and the youngest.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

day trip

We love to go to the Town Center in Jacksonville, Florida.
We like to all pile in the van early in the morning....
David, Erika, Grammy, Grand Daddy, Lucy, Harry Gus, Archie, and Walt!
We love to head south down I-95,
stop at the go-asis for a bathroom break,
go over the big bridge,
and land in shopping mecca for the day.
First stop is always
PF Changs for lunch to refuel 
and then off to buy school shoes,
a new shirt for David,
and get ideas for Harry's coming up birthday.
For Trader Joe's we head over to the beach before we head home.

The problem is....
We can't ALL fit in our van anymore.

Wednesday afternoon I suggested to Bubba that we rent a bigger van for the day.
Above is what he came home with...
A twelve passenger bus.

You can just imagine the excitement of the kids
when they saw our wheels for the day.
What fun!
Everybody had their own seat and a space in between.
Driving home yesterday afternoon,
we were all happy and content.
Our Day Trip was a huge success.

Lucy made me this purse.
I love it so much...
will carry it to church in the morning.

Sewing lessons worth the money and time spent?
Yes, yes, yes!!!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

and then there were seven

Walter Bookman fits right in with the rest of our gang of grandchildren.
These are the joys of my life.
Every little face,
Every crazy band aid placement, 
two-handed wave, 
arm full of all of the bracelets of summer.
One little boy who is sick but keeps on keeping on.
One little girl who I find sitting on the floor in my closet quietly trying to finish sewing her mom's birthday gift.
One little boy who planned the play Peter Pan to be performed for his mom's birthday.
All of them sitting at my dining room table,
under the chandelier, 
laughing and making merry.
The house alive with footsteps and voices of happy children.
Thank you Lord for all of this!

What a wonderful day.
Sunday after church,
Erika's birthday.

The cast of Peter Pan.

Happy birthday Erika!
We all love you!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

the fourth of july 2017

Such a nice evening with the O'Quinn families!
Hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill.
All the sides you could possibly want.
And this delicious red, white, and blue cake.

Harry had two pieces!

Our numbers were very few this year. but the fellowship was amazing.
Heading over to the golf course to watch the fireworks show.

All lined up to watch the show.

Glow sticks...
they glow in the dark.

Our sweet hostess Liz and Charlotte.

Thankful that God has allowed us to live in this country.
the United States of  America,
where we are free to worship our God, 
do things that are fun,
 speak what we believe.
There is no where else that even comes close.
How very blessed we are!!
Hurray for the USA!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

One of my all time favorite memories!
I drag this picture out every year.
One thing for sure...this family has fun!

Thankful for "the land of the free."
We are so blessed to live in this country.
The opportunities are endless!
God is SO good.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

walt's first 4th of july

Hamburgers, baked beans, and potato chips.
Flags. and red, white, and blue.
Walt is a citizen of the USA!!
He loves it!
Especially the ice cream and brownies.
Second meal with Grammy and Granddaddy.
This time I brought out some of the old baby toys.
He loved the cars and the tools.
He is so adorable.

I got out my red plates...
went in the yard and gathered a small bouquet of flowers
for the the celebration.
What a joy to have everyone gathered around our table.

Walt eating his ice cream and brownie.
He loves to eat!!

Thankful tonight for this child.
Before he came I wondered...
will I love him as much as the others?
The first time I saw him I knew.
There is always enough love to go around.
God's love is bountiful,
never ending,
You chose Walt for us dear Father.
We are grateful! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

freshly mowed grass

Is there anything that says summer 
more than a carpet of grass just cut?
And the smell!!
Is there anything better?

We are having those afternoon thundershowers that I love so much.
You can see the dark clouds in the picture above.
There is so much to praise God for just sitting in my back yard.

After almost four years I love our home even more.
I love the color of the bricks
and the big windows that let in all of the sunlight.
What a blessing from God...
Lots of room to enjoy our families and to entertain.

I love this back porch.
Perfect spot to sit and watch a thunderstorm,
to talk to my daughter early in the morning,
to pray and offer thanksgiving
to the God to whom it all belongs.
Love to watch Bubba cook on the grill...
steaks tonight, delicious.

"This Ezra went up from Babylon,
 and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, 
which the Lord God of Israel had given;
 and the king granted him all he requested 
because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him."
Ezra 7:6

I just finished reading the book of Ezra.
God restores.
Love His word!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

tybee lighthouse

Tybee Lighthouse.
Tybee Island.
Savannah, Ga.
North End.
Quiet side.
Amazing vistas.
Home of the dolphins.

Around the bend to the left,
at the top of the picture,
is our condo.

Must be summer.
Long shadows.
Green grass!
I did not take this picture.

Raining now outside my window....
the sun came out.
I ran to see if there was a rainbow.
There was not.

Feeling sad but know my blessings.
They are too numerous to ever count.
God is good all the time.

Thankful for my husband,
a good, good dinner,
the rain, 
my geraniums on the porch.
Thankful for God's word,
His truth.
Thankful for ice cream...I may eat a bit later on.

Thankful that I live near enough to the ocean to get there when I need too...
when I have to walk in the sand and let the water
run over my feet and legs.
Thankful for that swing just a little ways down from the condo,
a place to sit, and watch, and pray.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

every girl should have a ....

....Trader Joe's close by,
if for no other reason than their wonderful array of cut flowers
at more than reasonable prices.

Bubba and I are deciding what beach we want to spend a week at this year.
While doing that we drove down to Jacksonville
for the day yesterday.
I got to do a little shopping.
we ate at PF Changs,
and...we stopped to buy flowers for my island.

About the beach...
Nothing else comes close.
I want to be right in front of it...
in it,
walking by it,
hearing it from my bedroom window.
Nothing else is more relaxing.
Where will it be this year?
We'll see!!

One of my most favorite flowers.
Pale pink...
I have a thing for the color pink.
It's just very feminine...
I add it into my decor in the spring and summer.
I am thinking about purchasing a pink quilt.
I don't think Bubba would mind.

Thank you God for flowers.
You outdid Yourself when you created them.


Monday, June 26, 2017

a gift from my lu

Lucy brought me a beautiful single strand of pearls from China.
I love them and I love her.
Thanking God tonight for my granddaughter
and for theses pearls.
I am blessed!

Friday, June 23, 2017

a very special visit

Tonight was Walt's first visit to his Grammy and Granddaddy's house.
We had a chicken-broccoli casserole 
because while they were on their way home from China, 
they were craving one. 
So I polished the antique high chair,
  got out my Peter Rabbit dishes,
 and Walt had a bowl full.  
So excited!
He loves it too.

I am already "in love" with our seventh grandchild!
At first he just kind of walked around looking at everything.
By the end he was smiling and having a great time.

And wonder of wonders....He loves sword fighting.
We brought back swords from The Pirates of the Caribbean down at Disney.
It was like he had already had lessons.

All I have to say is...
He fits right in with the family.

Thank you for Walter O God of heaven.
"You have been the helper of the orphan."
Psalm 10:14

Thursday, June 22, 2017

being okay with not getting better

After almost four years of constant, nagging depression,
of crying out to the Lord for help,
of being under a doctor's care,
of seeing my once vibrant life get smaller and smaller,
of finding it harder and harder to keep trying,
I have decided that I need to be okay with not getting better.
I need to accept where God has placed me,
be thankful for who I am in Christ,
and do what I can to serve Him in many small ways
while waiting for the glories that await.

Yesterday I was confronted with this truth twice....
once in a quote on Facebook from John MacArthur,
and once in a chapter from the book of Ephesians by Martyn L. Jones
given to me by Bubba who mentors me through this abyss.
I will share both.

"Do you have the ability
to look beyond your present circumstances
 to the glorious realities awaiting you down the road?" 
John MacArthur
7:01 AM

"If we had but some small conception of the glory which awaits us, 
and to which we are going, 
it would transform our view of our life in this world 
and of the things that happen to us in this world."
Martyn Lloyd Jones
Handed to me at about 3:00 PM on the same day by my husband.

This was the truth I needed to hear yesterday.
God never fails to give me what I NEED.
I WANT to be done with depression forever.....
but I need to trust God in my current circumstances.

One day all of the troubles of this world will be lifted.
I will have shed all of my tears.
The weight of sin will be lifted 
and I will be free to be what He made me to be.
Until then...
well, chronic depression physically hurts,
it drains the life from you,
it takes away your joy.
Unless you've been there, there is no way you could possibly know.

I don't know who reads my blog...
I have been counseled to keep writing
 because it fosters thankfulness for all that God has given me.
 You can tell by reading that I am most richly blessed.
Writing this blog is one of my most favorite things.
just so you know....
The joy of the Lord is my strength.

"Do not be grieved,
 for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah 8: 10:b

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

happy birthday amanda

You, my daughter, are the light of my life.
There is no one else like you.
You make me laugh out loud, sometimes hysterically.
You know all my secrets and love me anyway.
You bear with me,
you encourage me,
your love is felt deep in my heart.
You are and always have been a gift from God.

That smile on your face in the picture above is for Mark,
the man in the chair with the cat on his head.
He really wanted to be watching the golf  tournament,
but came to watch you open your presents instead.
That is love!

You guys came through Savannah twice to help us
while we were keeping Harry and Archie
while they were waiting for their brother Walt to get home.
The birthday party and the trip to the airport after the party
caused a level of excitement that was over the top.
Getting home at almost midnight, 
we all found it very hard to fall asleep.
What a happy day!!

During the party a rainbow appeared in the sky.
We all rushed out to see this beautiful symbol of God's promise to us.
We felt God's presence and love 
as the rest of our family was on the airplane
 speeding our loved ones home.

This was my gift to Amanda.
Soft pink sport shoes
wait for it,
When my eyes first landed on these shoes,
 they were shouting Amanda's name.
She loved them!!

Happy Birthday daughter of mine.
I love you!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

walter is home....

Last night at 10:45 the United plane landed that brought Walt home to us.
At the airport was gathered a large crowd of family and friends.
Pictured above are some of them.

The children were wild with excitement and good will.
The Werner family made this sign to welcome Walt home.
Almost everyone had worn their Walter Express T-shirts in solidarity.

Here they come up the concourse from the plane.
Family reunited!!

The family of seven together for the first time ever!

Thank you great God of heaven and earth
 for your watch care and protection over these people that I love so much. 
You are gracious! 
You are kind! 
There is no God but You who made heaven and earth.
You sustain life!
You choose!
You give life in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ!
Thank You!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

happily ever after

We got home from Disney World yesterday afternoon.
The trip was a huge success.
We rode eleven rides,
ate two Dole Whips,
had Mickey Waffles at Captain Cook's Cafe,
saw two bunnies,
fed the wild turkeys from our hotel balcony,
rode the monorails,
wore ourselves out and went back for more.

Granddaddy and the boys rode Thunder Mountain Railroad,
(I don't do roller coasters).
We rode Peter Pan twice because we love the story so much,
and because in the ride we get to fly.
Archie and I rode the race cars and laughed our heads off.
I beat Harry in the Buzz Lightyear shooting Gallery,
but he wouldn't admit it.
The Jungle Cruise did not disappoint.
The People Mover is always a relaxing high point.
And...It's a Small World...Oh the joy of that slow boat through the all the nations.

On the ride home...
one little boy was so tired 
that when we got almost home
 he asked if we were still at Disney World.
It was still living and breathing in his head.

An all time favorite is Pirates of the Caribbean.
The boys got new swords.
Harry is so good he fights with his weak (left) hand.
Archie and I, well we don't measure up.
But we keep trying.

Magic is there all over the place.
You get to be children again.
"Happily Ever After"

*Our friend Sarah Kate invited the boys over today to play.
She has five children of her own.
What a fine thing to do for this Grammy and Granddaddy.
I got All of the clothes washed and took a little nap.
Bubba got his "stuff" done too.
This is grace and mercy dear friend.
It is being like Jesus.
Thank You!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

road trip

Starting week three with the two short guys.
They are happy, healthy, and full of fun.
Tomorrow we embark on an adventure....
as if every day wasn't one.
We are taking them to Disney World,
They are beyond excited,
full of plans,
ready to go.
And thankfully,
I do not have to answer the question,
"When are we leaving for Disney?"
We decided on the movies they'll watch on the trip in the car.
I have Disney songs for them to listen to,
Archie has his Mickey Ears
and they both have their autograph books and pens.
Archie has his sleeping bag because he doesn't want to sleep in the bed with Harry.
I have them mostly packed...
there's a lot to remember.
Now I just hope that we all stay well,
and the two grandparents can be infused with extra energy,
and yes patience,
and that the thundershowers that are predicted will be brief.

Norman the cat will stay here and hold down the fort.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

a picture worth a thousand words

This picture...
these boys!
Been at the beach all afternoon.
A little sunburned.
Just wolfed down some good food at Long Horn.
All of Grammy's decorative pillows on the floor.

Amanda is standing in front of them giving some kind of instructions.
They seem to be paying attention.
They do not seem to be impressed with what she is saying.

Archie looks mildly distressed.
Jake seems to be astonished.
Eli has relaxed to the point of being semi-catatonic.
Harry is showing a spark of interest.

The rest of the evening consisted of...
extremely small ice cream sundaes and
2 episodes of Star Wars Rebels before bed.

The Cleland boys hit the bed and went out like lights.
The Hollingsworth children took a little longer to settle.
The adults were not far behind.

Grammy Life
Salt Life
It makes you like that!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

more helpers came

Amanda and Mark stopped by last night on their way to Virginia
to spend some time with Mark's parents.
They left early this morning
with all of the boys
in the picture.
They ate breakfast at Chick - Fil - A,
Spent the rest of the morning at Oatland Island,
and spent the afternoon at Tybee doing the beach and the pool.
They did all of this while Bubba and I rested at home.
This act of kindness was much appreciated,

We just got back from dinner at Long Horn.
We had a big, noisy, fun, and delicious meal together to end our day.
They will travel on in the morning
without Norman the cat
who is staying here.
Now we have two nine year old boys and a black cat.

It's a zoo here....
I love it!