Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Walking in the truth"

Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God's Son. In scripture he is often referred to as "the truth". "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
As I was reading in 3 John this morning I came across the following verse: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." The apostle John was referring here to his "spiritual children", those he had led to the Lord on his missionary journeys. Today that verse filled me with great pleasure as I reflected on the fact that all my children, including my son-in-law and two daughters-in-law are "walking in the truth". There is no greater inheritance that Hunter and I can pass on to our children and grand-children than knowledge of "the truth". Each time I am with our grandchildren I make it a point to tell them God loves them, relating exciting Bible stories before bed and singing Sunday School songs in the rocking chair. I've even gone "high tech" by sitting them on my lap with the computer and sharing Christian DVDs together.
I encourage each grandparent out there to take time to share "the truth" with your grandchildren this holiday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun with Aiden

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hallel Psalms

Psalms 113-118 have been labeled the Hallel Psalms, especially when read as a unit. These psalms are essentially expressions of thanksgiving and joy for divine redemption. What is redemption? It's being saved or redeemed from sin. As we approach the Thanksgiving season what better way to prepare our hearts to join with friends and family in thanking God for His gift of redemption than to read Psalms 113-118 daily, filling our hearts with praise.
Around the Thanksgiving table, next Thursday, Americans will verbalize why they are thankful. Is their anything more valuable than our salvation? Let's thank him daily for this precious gift, given to us through his son, Jesus Christ.
"Praise the Lord." Ps. 113:1

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick update

On the go once more:
-Buzzed through Columbus, Ohio to give the grandsons a quck kiss and hi and bye
-Arrived in the Quad Cities where Hunter jumped into a car with buddy Bob and journeyed north to stalk grown "Bambies"
-Shopping, lunch dates, dr. appointment, hair appointment, talking with girlfriends are Nancy's agenda, as well as traveling 4 hours north to visit a friend and 2 hours west to attend a funeral
-Popping in the car next Tuesday for a return trip through Columbus for another quick hi and bye with grandsons, arriving in New Jersey for an overnight
-Packing up the RV and heading south to Branden's warmer climate. Hurray!

Retirment is exhausting!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New York-New York

A day of sunshine, theatre, walking, eating, watching, laughing in "The Big Apple!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A telephone number

Have you called God today? Here is his telephone number: Jeremiah 33:3
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Monday, October 18, 2010

10 "things" I am doing

No grandchildren to entertain so what am I doing in Atlantic City, New Jersey?

1. Baking "Chocolate sin" cookies and homemade biscuits

2. Fixing two lasagnes: sausage and vegetarian

3. Cooking pie pumpkins in preparation for seasonal pumpkin pie

4. Grocery shopping at new markets with Stacia

5. Verbally encouraging the ceramic tile kitchen floor project underway by Jake and Hunter

6. Attending a special "kid's " baptism service where Stacia was the "MC"

7. Going with Jake and Stacia to Shore Fellowship, their church, on Sunday to worship

8. Tagging along with Jake and Stacia to their small group and entering into a lively discussion of Fear.

9. Faithfully working the body at a local Curves

10. Marveling at the stunning fall foliage gracing the roads and the campground while planning a trip into New York City in the next couple of weeks
Any ideas from the blogging community on what to see, where to go, and what to eat let me know!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Memories of Ohio

The RV nestles among fall-colored trees near Atlantic City, New Jersey. While I gaze out my window lazily planning my day's events I remember the active toddlers in Ohio recently "left behind" as we now enjoy the company of our eldest son, Jacob and his lovely wife, Stacia.
Here are a few of my thoughts in pictures:

Helping Nani clean the house.

Not to be outdone by brother!

Fun in the backyard.

Nano joins the fun!

Swimming in October?

Playing hide and seek with Nani!

Grandchildren are INDEED one of God's greatest blessings!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A precious time!

One of the most precious times of my day is when I lay in bed at night with my three year old grandson, Christian, and listen to what he is learning in his Sunday School class, from his mother, and even from his grandmother.

His first Bible memory verse:

"God saw everything he made and it was good." Genesis 1:31

The first song he has learned to sing from beginning to end:

"Jesus loves the little children,
all the children of the world,
red and yellow, black and white,
they are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world."

His comments about Jesus:

He is mighty and strong.
He lives in my heart.

The recent song Nani and Christian sing together everynight:

"Only a Boy Named David..."

God is so faithful to allow me to experience Psalms 71:18
"Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, O Lord God, til I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's in the can?-and other odds & ends

We are wrapping up our project in Oregonia, Ohio. One of our final activities was hosting a "milkcan" supper.
As adult children we inherit not only qualities but also "things" from our parents when they pass on. One of the "things" that my Dad passed on was a 5 gallon milkcan. In fact he made sure he had 3 of them to pass on to his 3 daughters. What is so special about a milkcan? Besides the fact that it carries with it fond memories of my Dad, it is the cooking vessel for a delicious meal to feed 10 or more hungry people. You layer sweet corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, and kielbasa sausage in the can then cover with a gallon of warm water. Next the can is put over a hot flame and brought to a boil, let to steam for 30 minutes, then drained. The contents are poured into waiting bowls and everyone digs in! What yummy fun!

Hard at work!

Finished product!

It is a bit sad to leave King's Domain, where we became better aquainted with new friends, built a deck, walked through deer "infested" woods, rode a fantastic bike trail, and in general saw God's hand everywhere. But we set our sights now on many weeks enjoying our children and grandchildren traveling from Ohio to New Jersey and on to North Carolina. Eastward ho!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A day on the soccer field

Check out the link below for the slide show. I couldn't get the code to put it on my blog. Probably a "user" error!! Ha!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"King's Domain" and beyond

Oregonia, Ohio, is the "home" of King's Domain Camp and Conference Retreat Center.
Currently Hunter and I are located there on a MMAP, (Mobile Missionary Assistance Program) project. There are three couples working, with the men constructing a deck adjacent to the office building and the women doing various and asundry tasks, such as weeding a very rocky flower bed and shoveling mud away from some boards which we will paint next week. The location is beautiful, but what camp isn't? Unfortunately, or some would say fortunately, our rig is squeezed into a tiny spot with overhanging branches preventing any TV reception and poor, at best, internet connection. At times I want to complain and probably do, just ask my husband, but I try to remember we are in the class of "missionaries" and that often equates with sacrifice. So instead of technology filled free time we climb aboard the tandem and click off 30 miles on a bike trail not more than 1/2 mile from the camp which runs adjacent to a lazy river.
Week-ends are and will continue to be spent in Columbus Ohio, just an hour ride north-east where we will entertain two very active grandsons. Tomorrow I will report on Christian's soccer game-can't wait to cheer him on!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A biking "adventure"

After a fantastic family reunion (check out Rebecca's blog for wonderful photos besides just the one above), we have motored over to Wisconsin and spent the last week enjoying the quiet, cool evenings listening to the Canadian geese and wild cranes on Blue Lake, where we are camping. Most of our time we have biked, explored little towns, and relaxed after our busy week with the family. I'd like to share one especially fun bike outing. On my "bucket list" of to-dos before I "kick the buchet" is to tandem bike Ireland carrying all our gear with us. As a dry run Hunter suggested we try this on the Elroy-Sparta bike trail in this area. It is a 34 mile old railroad bed that has been converted to a crushed limestone trail suited well for biking. Since it was a train bed it only has 3 percent grades of up and down so without tough hills the riding is very enjoyable. This particular trail has three long, DARK, tunnels, which add a bit of mystery and excitement to the ride.
On Monday morning we packed our gear (change of clothes for the evening and toiletries) into a set of paniers (bags made to fit on a bike rack), loaded Hunter's backpack with snacks and our lunch for the first day, filled the water bottles and drove to the trail head. Could we have any better weather with temps hovering around the mid 80s, a gentle but not head breeze, and wispy clouds occationally blocking the sunsrays? We leasurely peddled along until we came to the first tunnel. Oh dear-we forgot a flashlight! Oh well, by squinting we could just make out the other end so we ventured into the dark and damp tunnel arriving quite happily at the entrance. This procedure we duplicated at the second tunnel but when we reached the third tunnel, finding it over 3/4 mile in length there was NO way we could see ANYTHING through the thick black interior. What to do? Wait for someone else and "piggy back" through with them was Hunter's suggestion-a good one if there were others actually riding the trail. In season this would have worked but out of season-a no go. Therefore Hunter had to admit my suggestion was our only option-backtrack 3 miles to Norwalk where we bought a flashlight then retrace the miles to the tunnel's entrance. That flashlight was worth its weight in gold for sure as we slowly walked through the inky interior. Emerging on the other side we climbed onto the bike once again and finished our day's ride by arriving in Sparta, Illinois, a quaint little town with friendly people.
We found our way to Strawberry Lace.It is a Bed and Breakfast treasure nestled in a small Wisconsin town. With Victorian grace and elegance the home is a feast for the eyes, the beautifully decorated bedrooms and comfy beds a welcome rest for the weary muscles, and the breakfast-oh the breakfast-was a four course gourmet meal fit for royalty-even royalty in biking shorts savored each morsel. The proprietors were extremely hospitable and we vowed to return with friends next year.
On the day of our return ride the skies opened like a well-oiled zipper and showered us with a steady downpour for the entire ride, complete with a background serenade of thunder and lightning. The tunnels became a welcome respite, although a bit cold. It is amazing how little time you spend snacking and resting when you are soaked to the skin. You just keep peddling. The car was a welcome sight and the showers in the trailhead restroom were a special treat. Who cares if you have any towels-just washing off the first layer of mud lifts your spirits.
Hope I haven't discouraged anyone from an overnight bike trip. We will do it again in a heartbeat!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fun in the sun!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Hunter and I just learned an awesome game called pickleball. My dear husband calls it "old man's tennis". I call it fun! It is played on a tennis or badmitten court with "amended" lines, a small paddle, and a whiffle-type ball. Rules are similar to ping pong and its played with 2 or 4 people.
For me, it brings back memories of competitive racquetball games, but at a slower pace, one which spares the knees or for that matter the rest of the body from bruises while hitting walls or being hit by the flying hard rubber racqeut ball.
The game received it's name from the co-inventor's dog, called Pickles, a family cocker spaniel who would case stray balls and then hide in the bushes.
We've played twice last week and have another morning already scheduled for the courts. Hopefully, we will find more "young seniors" who want to play on our travels. I imagine Florida and Arizona will have LOTS of possible opponents. Ha!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back in Iowa!

Just arrived into the Quad Cities and set up the RV in rain and humidity. Yup-this IS Iowa in the summer! We already miss the mountains!!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hiking in snow on July 25th?

Yes, that is exactly what we did today-hiked in snow on July 25th in Glacier National Park and what a great day! This hike, to Hidden Lake, was 3 miles of rocks, snow, and switchbacks galore as went up and over a ridge to descend into the valley which nestled a "mirror glass" crystal lake. There are moments when it becomes necessary to challenge our bodies and push a bit closer to the limit. As I looked over the ridge down to the lake I knew this was such a moment for me. What a rush to reach the lake and then to ascend and return to the car after 6 miles of hiking, feeling elated and greatful that God continues to bless us with health.
There is no place like Glacier!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Butte to Hungry Horse, Montana

Be careful how you pronounce that city name-Butte! I am constantly correcting my dear husband who loves to joke about this city since it is the hometown of one of his best friends. We did enjoy visiting a mineral mine and eating one of Joe's pasties-a type of corn beef and hash "calzone" and riding our bike on a converted railroad bed.
Now on to Hungry Horse: gateway to Glacier National Park. Hungry Horse is but a "blimp on the screen" but has a lovely campground able to accommodate our moving house complete with shade trees and large pull through lots. It is our home base for this week of exploring the park. The first two days we hiked the Avalanche Lake Trail with magnificent views of creek, lake, and waterfalls, drove the Going-to-the-Sun road and hiked to St. Mary's and Victoria Falls as well as take a boat ride in order to hike to the Upper Two Medicine Lake.
Today our tandem was calling so we checked out a short bike trail in the park and ventured into the various campgrounds and other paved roads. Tomorrow we plan to go deeper into some "uncharted" sections of the park with our bike, probably having to maneuver on unpaved roads. On Friday I want to hike Logan's Pass, which still has a good dusting of snow and maybe Hunter will actually try some fishing in the park on Saturday before we break camp on Sunday and start the trek to Iowa.
Glacier National Park is one of God's prize art works!

P.S. Here's to anyone who might have ever lived in Montana:
"You know you are in Montana:
1 If you keep your snow tires on until June.
2.If you are passed when driving 75.
3.If the rodeo is the social event of the year.
4.If pasties are in restaurants and not girlie shows.
5.If the pickup trucks all have two guns and two big dogs.
6.If you'd like to live there.
Did you ever see a miner carry a purse? Well, this one does!! Isn't he cute?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It all began on the Lazy L & B

It was the spring of 1970 and I was just completing my second year of college when I received a phone call from my aunt Leota asking me if I'd be interested in coming to work for her in the summer at a new dude ranch they had recently purchased outside of Dubois, Wyoming. My job description would involve cooking and general preparations for guests as well as helping with the horse operation and leading trail rides into the surrounding mountains and valleys. Although I had very little experience in any of these areas I quickly accepted the offer with visions of cowboys, saddles, and campfires under the stars. When finals were complete I jumped into a pickup with my aunt and off we rumbled over many a rough road before we arrived on the top of a ridge looking down onto the new ranch. My first glimpse took my breath away; not only for the beauty of red cliffs kissed by the afternoon sun, or the birch trees clustered along the winding Wind River Valley with rustic, log cabins nestled in their branches but also the view of a treacherous road we were about to travel in order to reach the valley floor. Oh, this summer is going to be a continual adventure I thought as I sat clinging with white knuckles to the rattling door handle as my aunt expertly manuvered the rock strewn narrow path.
First impressions are lasting and I'll never forget that site nor the days of serving "chow" to laughing boys during 6 weeks of boy's ranch, riding my horse, "Boy", up narrow ravines leading 20 or more kids and adults to the upper ranch, barrel riding in the corral, frying pancakes & bacon over an open fire and many other life-changing events on the ranch.
Here I am but a mere 40 years later sitting on a horse riding once again with my aunt, 86 years "young", through the same ravines, fording the same Wind River, climbing the same hills and my mind returns to those happy days just described. I had forgotten the sweet smell of a leather saddle and the rocking chair gait of the horse's rhythm I so loved. Oh to be 20 again. We can't go back yet God allows us to remember and enjoy and be so greatful for past experiences that shape our lives. It was on Leota's ranch I learned to cook, to ride a horse, to adore children, to work hard, and to love God's creation.
There is a memory verse found in 1 Samuel 12:24 that comes to mind today: "But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." He has indeed done great things for me and one of those is to allow me to return to Wyoming and ride a horse through the Wind River Valley and reminisce with my Aunt Leota.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Build-A-Bear" Really??

Did you ever pass one of those stores in a mall called "Build-A-Bear" and think what a gimmick! Can that actually be fun for any kid, especially active little boys? Well, I am here to tell you that YES it is a fun time for little boys, especially at 2 1/2, and maybe even more fun for the parents. When the child is asked to kiss the little heart and press it inside their chosen stuffed animal your heart just melts as you watch their serious response. Watch the slide show below and you might just understand why Nani loved the event!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grandchildren are to LOVE!

(Time in North Carolina with the three grandsons.)

"It's my first birthday!"

"Love my chocolate birthday cake!"

"Balloons for me?"

"Let's swim!"

"Playing with my cousin in my new sandbox. Does the sand taste good, Logan?"

"I'm not sure but it's worth a try."

"My cousin has a cool new swimming pool."

"This is fun!"

"Hey, look at me. Standing all by myself!"

"Can I play?"

"I'm the big boy here but I like swimming, too!"

"Watch Shamu dive."

"OK. Let me at that sandbox and I'll show you little guys how it's done!"

"Enough with the little kids. Time to show my stuff! I'm a left handed batter. Watch out "Majors". Here I come!"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Springtime in the Rockies