Monday, December 23, 2013

From Our House to Yours

From our house to yours we wish for you and yours a very southern Merry Christmas!
May your hearts be mindful of why we have Christmas and how different our lives would be if it were not for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I'll be away from blogging until January 1st.  I'll be busy making memories and hope that you will be too.

 Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lea's Daybook - Dec. 20th

It's seemed a good day to do a daybook and share a little of the holiday "goings on" from my life.

Outside my window...
it is very dark and I'm thinking it's going to be a rather dreary day weather wise.  And, storms are predicted for tomorrow.  Not Christmasey weather at all...........
I am thinking...
that our daughter and cowboy Grandson will be arriving a week for today and we'll have our Christmas at that time.
I am thankful...
that God really can take the adversities of our lives and use them for our good and bring us through to the other side.
In the kitchen...oh, my kitchen has been a busy place the past couple of weeks and it is temporarily closed. ~smile~ I have had a couple of gatherings here that I cooked for and then I've done "boo-koodles" of holiday goodie cooking.  I'm so tired of cleaning up the mess, thus I'm going to take a couple of days off and will return to begin cooking for our family Christmas in 2-3 days. 

I am wearing...
jean jeggings, a black top and for a little "holiday snap"....a red scraf.
I am creating...
some plans to make our family time together a most memorable event.
I am going...
to Florida the end of Januray and cannot wait!!
I am wondering...
why we can't just love each other, accept each others differences and move on.  My goodness, this whole mess with Duck Dynasty is just another reminder of what our world is coming to. ~sad,sad~
I am reading...
"Disappointed With God" by Phillip Yancey.  A book that requires a lot of focus, but such truth and oh, so powerful!
I am hoping...
and praying that Bridget and Clancy will have a safe journey here next week.  It is a long way from Kansas to Louisiana. ~wish it wasn't that way~
I am looking forward to...
the new year that will bring new opportunities, new adventures and of course, new challenges.
Around the house... things look very Christmasey
I am pondering...well, I am usually quite the ponderer, but haven't done so much in the past couple of weeks ~not sure what that means~ grin

A favorite quote for today...
"It's never to late to be what you might have been." ~we're never too old to pursue our dreams~
 One of my favorite things... is a sense of peace
A few plans for the rest of the week...getting caught up on some things here at the house and preparing for our family Christmas.

A peek into my day...going to visit with my Dad, deliver some holiday goodies and then Hubby and I are going out for a little holiday fun.

A picture(s) worth sharing....

I had my birthday group, The Formidible Women, for our annual Christmas Brunch yesterday. Aren't we the cutest with our Santa hats? ~thanks to editing tools~ chuckle~

NOTE: my blogging will likely be "hit or miss" the week or so, but never fear, I'll make up for it! ~sigh~

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another week of good questions by none other than our Joyce. Even in the midst of her busy holiday schedule she made time for her ever lovin' Hodgepodgers! What a lady!

1. Do you believe in miracles?

Wikipedia defines miracles as:

a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
Oh, yes, I do believe in miracles and I think we often limit our thinking on miracles to physical healing and healing can definitely be a miracle, but there are so, so many other miracles.  It can be a changed life, a changed attitude, a restored relationship, etc. I'm so grateful that I serve a God that is in the "miracle working" business and I've seen him do some pretty miraculous things in my own life and I'm anticipating even more.
2. What's a recent fad you admit to trying?
Oh, I think it would be the wig that I bought this past Spring.  I bought it on a whelm and for the moment, I thought it was a great idea.  But, unless they are needed due to lack of hair, wigs are definitely "fadish."  I have pretty decent hair and I could just never quite adjust to having it on. Thus, a complete waste of money as are most fads.

3. Peppermint-are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite food or beverage containing peppermint?
The very first thing that came to my mind was Peppermint Bark.  I never think about it until the holidays but oh, I do love me some Peppermint Bark.  And, add it with a little chocolate and it will surely make you "slap your pappy."   I will usually buy myself a small bag of the Ghirardelli brand and enjoy it through the season.

4. Break the ice, on thin ice, as cold as ice (emotionally, not literally)...which phrase have you run into most recently? Explain.

I went today for a pedicure and the place that I have been going to for the past 14 years had a new lady.  First thing I wondered was if she spoke English and she did and we had the nicest conversation. I "broke the ice" by asking her about her family and she was more than happy ~ as is generally the rule~ to tell me about her husband and children.  I have a deep love and respect for so many Asians and it was a delight to make another Asian friend.

5. Have you ever broken or spilled something in someone else's home? Still friends?
Well, the only incident that I can remember is when our son was about 18 months old.  I took him to a friends to visit and he promptly marched over to her coffee table and picked the lid up off a glass dish.  And, then he promptly dropped it and broke it.  It was beyond repair and my friend could not have been more gracious. I was just glad it wasn't some family heirloom. ~smile~

6.  'Tis the week before Christmas...are you feeling more like Buddy the Elf or the Grinch before his heart grew?
Humm.......I haven't seen Buddy the Elf, but I'm definitely not feeling like the Grinch, so will have to go with Buddy. ~scratching my head~  It's an extra special season for me as my heart feels so free and unburdened. And, of course, our daughter and our little cowboy will be arriving next Thursday. And, when I think of what the birth of Jesus has done for me, well, it's a joy unspeakable!

7. Share a favorite quote relating to Christmas.
Bob Hope said,
My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?
If only everyone felt this way, what a wonderful world it would be.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Okay, all together say, "aweeeeee!" I mean is that not the sweetest little boy, all dressed up for his preschool Christmas program this past Monday evening.  I simply can hardly wait to get my arms around this little fella next week.  It sometimes feels like my heart may burst. ~such sweetness~  And, is he looking so big?  Yes, not a baby anymore. ~tear in my eye~ 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Miscelleous Monday

Is it really just 10 days until Christmas?  I work very hard to not get myself into a frenzy during the Christmas season by getting things done early.  It allows me time to enjoy the season and take it all in.  This week will be busy as I will be doing some entertaining here in our home and we'll be sharing in some holiday gatherings at others' homes.  Today's Miscellaneous Monday will feature some holiday fun we enjoyed this past week........

The best staff.......
Hubby and I hosted his office staff for a Christmas lunch and a time of fellowship this past Thursday.
Tommy has 4 super gals and our son that run his office.  They are tops and we take this time of year to show them our appreciation for their hard work.
Tommy's present staff represent 45 years of experience and one of the gals has been with him 22 years.  A good staff can either make or break a business and Tommy is pleased that his staff "makes" his business.

They had fun "acting silly" before our gift exchange.

The staff always gives Tommy and me a gift and this year they "hit the jackpot" with my gift.
You can see from the above photos that I was more than a little pleased.  Here is what they gave me.......
They had this bracelet custom made for me and I hope you can read what is stamped on the plate, "CiCi's heart belongs to a COWBOY and a PRINCESS."  Is that not the sweetest?  And, notice the little charms on each side, one of a horse head and one of a crown.  So, so perfect!!!  

Making memories.......
The Princess spent this past Friday with me.  I had a couple of holiday projects for us to work on.
I had a Gingerbread House for her to decorate.  The house was already put together and all that we were to do was decorate it.  I felt like it was probably more age appropriate for a 4 year old and for this CiCi. ~wink~  She had so much fun and worked so carefully on it.  She was so meticulous and she placed every candy on the house.  All I did was the icing.  After completing the Gingerbread House I got out the paint and she painted a Christmas tree and a snowman.
 I'm thinking we may have a "budding artist" on our hands. ~smile~ It was a real special time for both of us and I hope she is old enough to remember times such as this for the rest of her life.

May your week be especially blessed!
NOTE:  This is the last time that Carissa will host MM.  Our hearts are so sad, but the Lord is taking her and her family a different direction this coming year, so she is laying this aside. What a joy it has been to be a part of MM these past years.  So, I'll still be here on Monday, just in a different format.  We love you Carissa and pray God's richest blessings over you!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Christmas Decor

I'm linking up with Kelly at Kelly's Korner for a Christmas Tour of Homes.  While our home is definitely not what you would call, spectacular with decorations, I think it has a very Southern warm and welcoming look.  I use to decorate from "stem to stern" but older age ~surely not~, lack of desire, or just too darn much work caused me to really cut back about 5 years ago.  We have wonderful storage but it is all located on the 2nd story of our house and we have very, very steep stairs going up.  And, steep, steep stairs and big containers don't go together very well after a certain age.  So, hope you enjoy my tour!

A welcoming look is very important to me all year long but especially at Christmas.
And, of course, to me the Fleur-de-Lis is so southern and you know I love all things southern. ~grin~

The stocking MUST be hung, even though at our house, they are not used, Christmas buckets or Christmas boxes are used in their place.
 But, nothing looks more like Christmas than the stockings all hung above the fireplace.

I gave the Dining Room a more whimsical look this year with the little "curly-q thingys."  ~that is a word isn't it?~

And, the sideboard has much the same look, cutesy!

And, little touches to the side table and coffee table.

I love my Mr. and Mrs. Santa.  I have had them for years and years and every year Hubby and I get closer and closer to looking like them. ~ho!ho!ho!~ Now, you do know I'm kidding!

I added a touch to the kitchen island that makes quite the statement.
 When I saw the red and green glitter sticks I knew I had to have them for this piece of pottery.  Makes me happy when I'm in my kitchen.

And, there's the tree!!  Yes, it's a tad bit on the small side but I love it.  Hubby, on the other hand, thinks there's nothing like a real tree and a big tree. But, he didn't get a vote this year, or the last few years. ~sorry~
Now, do know that the tacky cord showing in this picture is not like that in "real life."  I forgot to put it underneath the tablecloth before snapping this picture.  The Grans love my tree and hey, that's really all that matters!  Right?

And, the "Reason for the Season." 
About 5 years ago my Dad crafted our son, daughter and us this manager.  It sits by our tree and is a constant reminder of what Christmas is all about - Jesus, the hope of the world.

A happy weekend to you as you continue to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Well, I just knew that Joyce would get all "Christmasey" on us and what fun!  I mean it is the season for all things fun.  Right?

1. Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so please share.
No, I am not and I'm a bit disappointed in myself for not.  Angela at Good Morning Girls offered  a wonderful Bible Study to be done during Advent and I should be participating in it. But, I am in the middle of another great study right now and couldn't pull myself away from it.

2. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...and of course you recall, the most famous reindeer of, which reindeer name best describes you this week?

I am Dasher this week.  I will be having my husbands office staff for our annual Christmas lunch on Thursday. I have dashed through recipes, dashed to the grocery store and tomorrow will dash into the kitchen to cook.  Hopefully all my dashing will result in a good meal and a dashing good time.

3. What's worse-too quiet or too loud? Which have you had more of lately?

I have never had it too quiet but that's not to say that I won't at some time.  But,I truly love quiet.  Hubby and I neither one come from large families and have never had more than about 10 or 11 at family gatherings and they have never been overly loud. I just do not handle loudness and confusion ~and they seem to go hand and hand~ very well.  Lately, I've had the perfect combination of quiet and loudness.

4. This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens-thanks Zo!

When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they've committed to do?  If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through?

I feel like I am administratively gifted and if I am asking someone to do something I do NOT ask anyone that I am not pretty certain will carry through with their commitment.  I'd just as soon do it myself as to have to worry with making sure someone else does it. 

5. What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?

Oh, this is easy, cooking!  You spend literally hours in the kitchen and then the meal is inhaled in a matter of minutes and then you get to clean up the mess.  Ugh! 

I am so excited that our daughter and Grandson will be arriving the day after Christmas for a few days.  Our daughter has driven more miles than most young women her age have or will ever.  And, most of them have been with a child in tow by herself.  She is 13 1/2 hours away and she is always so good to make the trip as often as possible.  She prefers driving over flying because of the confinement of a ticket and also because of weather related issues.  But, her Daddy and I would prefer she fly.  But, hey, when kids grow up, they don't have to listen to Dad and Mom any more. ~shucks~  But, we'll pray God's travel mercies over them once again.

6. Facebook has released its list of the 'most talked about' topics of 2013. Pope Francis took the number one spot.  Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about topic in 2013? (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)

Well, it certainly wasn't any of the above items.  Hubby and I usually talk about our day around the table and when we're dining with friends, well.............can I just say that there is never a dull moment of conversation.  It's far more interesting than any of the above mentioned. ~what does Facebook know~ grin~

7. What's something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury?

The very first thing that came to my mind was a king size bed.  Can I just say that a king size bed was our very first purchase after we got married and we financed the cost, $200, for 12 months.~I would hate for you to know what we paid for our last king size bed~  We've been hooked ever since and when we travel and don't have one, we feel very deprived. ~shame on us~  We both love pillows and between us and our pillows we need a whole lot of bed. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

About a month ago I came across the blog, Everything Just So.  Jill is the author of the blog and she and her friend, Adrienne at The Rich Life on a Budget do a monthly feature called "How I Wear My."  This month's feature was "How I Wear My Red."  Well, I submitted the above picture and it was featured on Jill's blog this past Monday for the feature.  There were so, so many submissions and it was most interesting to see the many ways that one can wear red.  If you want to see more just click on the links above and enjoy!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Miscellany Monday

lowercase letters

Oh, my goodness, it's only 16 days until Christmas!  I hope that each of you are well on your way with your shopping, baking and other holiday events.  I have my shopping pretty much done, the gifts are wrapped and I'm working on the stockings.  Our kids get so excited about their stockings, really good stuff comes in their stockings. But, enough of that, it's time for MM and our sweet, sweet Carissa.............

Girl fun.........

Last Wednesday, my friend Gerri and I packed our bags and headed out for Dallas, Texas. We "had" planned to stay until Friday morning and then head to Shreveport for a while on Friday before we came on home later Friday afternoon.  We arrived in Dallas around 3:00PM and had no sooner arrived than we received word that wintery icy weather would be arriving Thursday evening and it would be BAD!  Well, we're pretty smart gals and we knew we did not want to be any part of that.  So, we reconfigured our plans and decided that we would leave at least by mid-afternoon on Thursday and head on to Shreveport and stay there Thursday night.

Once we got our plans settled, we were off for a little "retail therapy."  Everything at the malls was decorated to the hilt in Christmas finery.  If we had not been in the Christmas spirit beforehand, we certainly were then.  
Without going into a lot of details, let me just tell you that leaving Dallas Thursday afternoon was an experience that neither of us will forget for a long, long time.  Apparently everyone else was leaving Dallas too and it took us 4 hours to go what should have taken a mere 2 hours.  We were too weary to make it all the way to Shreveport, so we rested our weary minds and bodies in Lindale, Texas.  We spent a few hours in Shreveport on Friday before arriving home around 5:30PM.  It was a fun, fun time in spite of "Old Man Winter."

A happy hunter.......
And, happy is the best description for Hubby at this time of year.  He is a hunter with a capitol "H."  He is 66 years old and started hunting when he was 11 years old.  So, if you do the math, that comes to 55 years!  That is a l-o-n-g time to still be enjoying it!  And, he has killed more deer than the law allows. ~smile~  And, he is careful, safety conscious, and respectful of other hunters.  Hunting is almost like a science for him.  I have been married to the man for 42 years and I still don't "get it."  But, I don't have to "get it."  Why on earth would anyone want to get up early, be quiet and freeze too death is beyond me.  But, he reminds me that he has ultra fine stands, with good heaters and comfortable seats. Yes, he is definitely a "happy hunter."

Our house of worship.....
Our church is a beautiful church any time of the year, but at Christmas it is ultra beautiful.
 The Women's Ministry always heads up the decorating and there are usually less than a dozen ladies that show up for the decorating.  And, they don't have a magic wand to wave, they work extremely hard pulling out all the decor, fluffing it, reworking certain items and on and on.  There is generally 2-3 men that volunteer their time to assist with the larger items, such as the tree.  When they get through, it is magnificent and sets the stage for the Christmas season.  


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Oh, I was unable to do the HP last week and missed participating.  I hope Joyce hangs in there with us for a long time because it's the most fun start to a Wednesday.  Thanks Joyce!

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens?
I'm fine with "selfies."  I guess if someone over did it then I might think differently and I'm sure plenty out there do, I just don't happen to know of any at the present.   I took a selfie just a couple of days ago but didn't do anything with it because I just haven't quiet gotten the knack of doing it without a tripod and I didn't want to drag it out. I wish someone would tell me how they do such great selfies without a tripod using their phone or a camera.  I love being behind the lens but do not mind being in front either.
2. Will you send out Christmas cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind?
Oh, yes! I love sending Christmas cards.  I mailed my out of town cards, about 85 of them, today and will mail the in town cards next week.

3. Do you trust easily?
Not as easily as I use to, but I tend to be a very trusting person and I generally believe what someone says to me. I speak the truth and figure everyone else should too.  But, of course, I have learned that isn't always the case.

4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent? would be a toss up between cinnamon and peppermint.  Love both of those scents especially during the holidays.

5. Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday? Was that by choice or necessity?
I didn't do much of either yesterday because I was by myself except when I was taking and picking up the Princess from school.  And, I definitely did more listening with her.  She chatters away and I love it!  I try to remember that the Lord gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason, to do a whole lot more listening than talking.  Some folks haven't figured that out just yet and sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact.

6. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Sorry if it's back there now :  )
I'm listening to Christmas music pretty much all day long these days, and I usually sing right along with them.  I can't say that any one has been stuck in my head, I just sing them all.

7. Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why?
Well, I think he would be considered a world explorer.....Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon in July, 1969.  I was 17 years old and I remember it like it was yesterday and I thought then and still do, that it would be so neat to go to the moon and step my foot on it.  I cannot even imagine getting there, the whole space program blows my feeble mind.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

This picture made it's way around social media but in case you missed the "Chillin' Turkey," I wanted to share him with you.  I cannot imagine being so creative as to dream up doing something like this. I got the biggest chuckle out of this.

P.S. I'm off to Dallas for a little R&R this morning. I'm going with a friend for  a couple of days.  So, I may be "laying low" in blogland until the first of next week.  See ya then! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Miscellany Monday

lowercase letters

It is starting to look all "Christmasey" at the Culp household.  There's still a bit more to do but my talented fairy will be coming tomorrow to put the finishing touches on things.  A few ~a very few~ miscellaneous thoughts for today...............

I had never seen or had dressing cooked in a black iron skillet until this past Thursday.  We shared a Thanksgiving meal with some dear friends (we had our family Thanksgiving on Tuesday) and that is her dressing in the above picture. I remember in my childhood watching my Grandmother bake her dressing in a big roaster type pan and she did everything in a black skillet.  But, apparently it never occurred to her to bake her dressing in it, or surely she would have.  Regardless, it was simply delicious!
 If you do not know about Flings, you should.  They are a disposable trash can and they work like magic.  I saw them and decided to give one  a try and I'll just tell you, they work like a charm.  They come in basic colors and patterns or much fancier, if your occasion calls for it.  I believe the cost is around $4 each. You can thank me later for telling you about these. ~smile~

Yesterday marked the 5th anniversary of my Mom's death.  If you missed my special blog entry yesterday then you might want to go here and read it.  It was the hardest anniversary I have experienced thus far, and writing this post was very therapeutic for me.  

Blessings to you as we begin the Christmas season!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

5 Years Ago Today

As I have anticipated this 5th anniversary of my Mom's death, I've felt all kinds of emotions.  I think it is probably the hardest anniversary thus far.  I'm not sure why, but perhaps I had some "unfinished" grieving to do.  This letter is written from the depths of my heart and I wanted to share it with you my faithful readers.  The link at the end of my post is to the song, I'll See You Again. It brings me such peace as I listen to it because I do know that I WILL see her again.

My Dearest Mom, when the phone rang the night of November 29, 2008, little did I know of the news awaiting me on the other end. When I heard Dad's quivering voice, I knew the news was not good.  His words will forever ring in my ears, "your Mom has had a stroke."  He knew when he found you, laying in the bathroom floor, that it was a stroke and he was sitting beside you awaiting the ambulance's arrival.

Tommy and I took off immediately for the hospital while Daddy rode with you in the ambulance. In route I reflected on the sweet visit we had just had that afternoon and when I left, it never occurred to me that I had just had my last visit with you. It makes my heart so sad that you never knew that Daddy and I were there by your side awaiting any encouraging news that the Dr. might give us. He was very vague with us but did tell us that it was a severe brain bleed and that the next 24 hours would be most critical.

The next day your condition continued to deteriorate and that night you were put on a ventilator.  Dad and I only left your side for brief times of rest and while we were in route back to the hospital on the 2nd day the Dr. called to tell us that we needed to get to the hospital ASAP.  When we arrived he told us the news that no one wants to hear, they had done all they could and the only reason you were still alive was because of the ventilator. By this time, Joel had arrived from DesMoines, and Dad talked with us about the inevitable decision to remove you from life support.

We all knew that you would never want to exist in such a way so, with us by his side, Daddy told the Dr. to remove everything.  The Dr. was so, so sensitive to the situation and told us that once they removed everything that we could go in and be with you as you passed from this earth.  Mom,it was such a privilege to stand by your side, holding your hand as the Lord reached down and carried you home. You went so very quickly and peacefully and I knew immediately that on Dec. 1, 2008, heaven had just become an even grander place. Mom, I've thought since then how you left this earth the same way you lived on this earth, quietly, without any fanfare.

The next few days and even weeks were a blur.  It all happened so suddenly, without warning, and I had to process it before I could really wrap my head around the fact that you were GONE!  Over time the Lord helped me to realize what a blessing it truly was that you went so quickly.  You were spared suffering, a life in a nursing home and we were spared the agony of seeing you have to live such a life. I remembered back  just a couple of weeks before your death while we were out shopping.  In conversation you said, "Lea, I hope you never, ever have to care for me in a nursing home, I hope I never end up in one." Never did I even think that in a matter of a couple of weeks your hope would be granted.  

To say that Daddy was lost without you would be an understatement!  He was more than lost, he was not even the same man and truly, he never has been since.  He began almost immediately telling me that he hoped he could find someone that he could spend the rest of his life with.  To say that hurt my heart would be an understatement too.  I could not imagine him saying such within 6 weeks of your death.  But, neither could I imagine the loneliness that he was dealing with after 58 years with the love of his life. He was totally miserable!! I did all in my power to make him happy and that was just not possible.  Looking back I should have realized that Daddy would have to work through his grief in his own way and I was going to have to work through mine in my own way.  I realize now that I have grieved a little along these past 5 years and am just now coming to a place that I feel I have truly reconciled to your death.  I know that Daddy had no idea that he robbed me of so much of my grieving by his dependence on me and his trying  hard to move on so quickly.  But, we had never walked this path before and if we had it to do over I know that I would do it differently and I feel like Daddy probably would to.  But, life has gone on and it always will.

I am so thrilled that you were able to meet and hold your first Great Grandchild just a couple of weeks before your death.   I am so sorry that you did not live to meet our little  Princess that was born about 10 months after your death. But, I am glad that you did not live to experience some of the sadness that we have experienced since your death. Life has dealt some tough blows and there have been times that I did not know if I would make it.  It has been at those times that I have thought the most about you.  I knew that if you were still alive you would be praying me on and cheering me on and assuring me that the Lord was and is with me every step of the way.

Mom, I can only hope and pray that when my life on earth ends that my children will have as many precious memories of me as I do of you. I look forward to the day that we are reunited in our eternal home. Meanwhile, I shall "go forth."