Friday, June 27, 2014

Humming Along!

Prior to that glorious vacation, the little hummer’s were getting bigger.

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By two weeks, they were completely covered in pin feathers and are starting to grow real feathers. Their beaks are looking much longer and are starting to look much darker too. They are beginning to look like real birds. I even got to watch her feed them.

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As they approached the three week mark, it was getting really interesting. They’ll be getting ready to leave the nest as we get back from vacation. I got to see them testing out their wings in preparation for their first flight. Each day I would ask them to slow down, don’t grow up so fast or I won’t see you again! In the next few days, these little baby hummingbirds will fly away as real adult hummingbirds, never to return back to the nest.

Will they be there when we get home?

The first thing I did when we got home was to go out and see is they were still there…well after spending a good half hour with Bella!

Look how big they are!

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As I was up capturing this great photo of them, I was startled by the momma coming back. As I jumped down (not an easy thing for me to do) I hit the branch which made one fly off and the other hanging from the nest by it’s feet. Didn’t take long for it to regain it’s bearings and climb back in, then the other returned for the night.

The next day, they were gone.

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I felt so blessed that they hung out for me to get home.

Oh, but they didn’t go far…

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Everyday they come and drink from the feeder. It’s getting harder to tell them apart from their mother. One, which was the littlest, must have fallen out or not made it back after a test a flight that first day. I kept hearing this odd chirp sound, so after bit I explored looking for it’s location. As I approached the old cast iron tub below their nest, all of a sudden it flew up toward me. Jumping back, it landed under the chair. It was obvious it was having a hard time. Each time it tried to fly up it would hit the bottom of the chair and land on the ground again. Finally by stepping behind, my movement made it take another shot at the flying and was out from under the chair. Only it didn’t get far.

Now what?

First thought was to help it back to the nest, but how?

As I stood there observing the situation, I took another step out from behind the chair and it flew up on top of the garden cabinet. There it was in a ray of sunshine and began to perk up. A few minutes later, after a song of chirping, it flew off.

Just a day later, as I sat outside watching for them, all three eventually came to the feeder. The funny thing is, the little one that had a tough go of flying, still makes that sounds when it comes to the feeder, as if it’s saying hi! They are not startled by our presence and will fly up, over and around us, as they buzz toward the feeder.

What an unbelievable experience for “Our Journey Through LIFE!” to get to capture. Enjoyed every moment of it!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The BEST Mother’s Day, EVER!

 

Though a month ago, it still seems like yesterday. Just like it seams like yesterday I first became a mother, and that was actually 35 years ago.

Time.

How fast it goes by!

In that time I have had some wonderful Mother’s Day’s, all special in their own way each year. But this year, with all the changes happening, with all the milestones we’ve reach, and with all the investments we made in our children, our oldest put together a trip of a lifetime!

No, it wasn’t to Paris or any other exotic destination that most might dream about.

Where else is there?

How about…

“The Happiest Place on Earth!”

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4 Glorious, wonderful, fun filled days!

She did a great job of scheduling, keeping track of fast passes, capturing it with their photo-pass option, and ending it all with a character breakfast, I can’t think of one thing she forgot!

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I think this will be my favorite Mother’s Day Generation Photo for a long time. As “Our Journey Through LIFE!” continues on, one never know if something better down this road will top this, but I’m sure they will try!

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All those years that I did the packing, the schedule plans, waking up before them each day, making sure our vacations are as awesome as they can be, has paid off. All 3 of my kids have developed a lot of my parenting talents, among other’s, and being the best parent they can be, well that is a blessing I will never dismiss. They all go over and beyond in their duties as parents to assure their children have the most wonderful and memorable childhood possible. They know these years are the most precious but also the most important. They are building on a strong foundation and have as they always will, rise above any of the challenges put in front of them. How they parent, will impact how their children will parent, resulting in some incredible adults!

Blessing, always blessing to be their mom, a part of their and their children’s life, touching their hearts in so many ways that the stories will be told for generations to come.

I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day as well.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hummmm…

 

The sound is very distinctive, the fluttering wings of a hummingbird!

Last month while our grandson was on the back porch watching his baseball game, he got startled by a hummingbird. It even flew around him checking him out. When I came out to see what he was bothered by, to my surprise it just happened to be a hummingbird. As I sat with him it flew off, and a few minutes later it came back, zipping around us. Having Asperger's the quick moving bird had him squirming as if it was a bee. It didn’t take long to help him understand just what it was and why it was being so active in our outdoor living space.

She was building a nest!

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Over the next few days we got to watch her build this tiny little nest. How amazing! We learned that she uses spider webs to hold her home together. I can honestly say that I have never experienced such a wonder, watching this amazing bird build such a strong home.

I can’t help but feel God has placed her in our surroundings for a reason. He is good at doing this type of things.

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Besides roadrunners my MIL loved Hummingbirds. I inherited a few of her favorite items and to this day, they still make me think of her. We have had some strange visitors since her passing that further prove God is awesome…

First was a roadrunner who hung out while the FIL was with us during hospice. He would talk to it but would be calling it mom. I would say, “Are you talking about or to the roadrunner on the brick wall?” and he would say “no, mom, she’s right outside the window.” What was always there was this roadrunner. It hung around for quite some time, even after dads passing. Then it was gone, until one morning. I was making a new porch landing and had been working on it for days. As hard as it was for me to accomplish this I stuck it out and after having to cave into accepting help to finish it, we got the last stone in. I was so happy with the job I had done. The next morning as I walked into the living room, I could see out the window to the new porch and guess who was checking out my work. Yep, that roadrunner! Thanks mom!

So how could I not see this as a sign from God too! With new directions being mapped out, is it her way of saying we can do this too! We had received similar signs when we began this journey to here 20 years ago. God kept putting people and experiences in front of us that lead us to open a door to a whole new life. Now, we are seeing signs to take another leap of faith. We know the signs. We know how to accept them. We know to be patient as we wait out what wonders will be ahead and look forward to adding this next chapter to Our Journey Through LIFE!

I just love how God works.

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Over the last year, new roads, possibly a new home, and even the potential for a new career have been fluttering around our heads and hearts for a while now. It’s not leaving one place for another, but adding another place for our family to gather, grow, and enjoy while on this journey. A place where my talents can been put to work. Not to mention a better directory of doctors. Watching and waiting to see what will come our way is exciting.

God is surely working here!

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It took a hummingbird to remind me that I too had built a strong home for my children. Like her, I didn’t like others interrupting the important task of making sure they were raised in the way God had planned. Like her we had to watch out for predator's who tried to destroy our nest or our young ones.

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We worked hard to overcome some of this worlds struggles, learning and growing every step of the way. And like her, our nest was built strong and held up to some pretty strong storms. And like her, we too had the most fragile little ones to tend.

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In our reading about these tiny little beauties, we learned they DO NOT like to be watched. I have removed a screen from the kitchen window so to have a better view. I can now sneak out the back door quietly and she won’t fly off, so long as I stay by the door. One step though and she’ll fly. So I have learned to be patient and stand still to watch the her work. 

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I wait for her to fly off a few evenings ago, so I rushed to take a peek. Everything we read said they would hatch in 14 – 23 days. It had been 18. I began to feel like a mother waiting for the birth of her first grandchild!  I was ecstatically happy to see one had hatched. Then the next morning the other. So both are now in the world. From here out I am not sure if I’ll be able, or of she would like it, if I took pictures. The last thing I want to do is scare her off. From the kitchen window I should be able to see little heads eventually. We thought of putting a mirror above the nest but thought she might not like seeing her reflection and would abandon the nest. Also read some hummingbirds come back to the same nest so we’ll see. We won’t disturb the branch she used and have figured out how to trim the tree so it remains as long as she does.

Never a dull moment on Our Journey Through LIFE!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s Here!

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Spring is in the air!

Grass basket were growing…

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So we planted jelly beans to see what would grow….

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…she was so surprised to see lollipops the next morning!

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Since she wasn’t going to be with us for Easter we had our own little Spring Fling Thing! The week we get every other month goes by so fast. However, when she is here, it’s like she has never been gone. She calls the guest room her bedroom. Loves to sit in there and play like it’s an every day thing.

After she left, we left on a road trip. Headed north to see where God is taking us. Making that first appointment to see our future was scary and exciting at the same time. Hey, I’ve done this before! However, as the day got closer we still hadn’t had a confirmation on a time. Knowing pictures can be deceiving, the lack of communication, we already had the mindset that this one might not be the one, but what the heck, it wouldn’t hurt to continue on and see it for ourselves without the realtor.

The plan was to be in that area by the Friday, with a one day stop in Napa to test water at a spec house for his brother and at a friends who just had a well put in. Saturday my niece was to be having a birthday party (so I thought) for her two children who are a year apart by a day. With that in mind we would visit at the party for a while then head out to look at the property. Well, I am such a blond at times! I heard Saturday when it was actually Sunday! Imagine her surprise when we walked up with gifts in hand a day early! Unfortunately there was no way we could make it on Sunday since we had to head home. We did have a great time visiting. Taught her kids a bit about baseball. The man created a hopscotch game out of the tissue from the bag. My heart was heavy with what she has on her plate but feel God is guiding her properly. She means the world to me and hope everything works out as He plans for her. She is surely putting His steps in motion and assure her that it only gets better each day!

The property we were looking at was about 20 minutes away. And as expected it was not for us. Just as suspected the picture didn’t show that this land was behind 2 other homes, making them right in the front yard of this parcel. Step hill made up part of it as well. I will not buy land that has no purpose. That hill meant problems! So we went up to make a u-turn and head back to town.

God! You are awesome! The place we turned around at had a For Sale sign hanging on the fence. The house was empty so we we explored…

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Contacting the realtor we learned it had just gone to auction but did not meet the reserve. Unfortunately the home is not financeable, meaning CASH only! Not really a problem as God would bring a solution if it is the right one for us. However, I DID fall in love with it and just tuned out the guys comments of “this will need done” and “you will have to do this.” What they don’t understand is this place, or one like it, is what my dreams have been showing me! In fact, the minute we walked up and around the garage to the quad area, my first response was, “oh my God!, this is exactly what I dream about!” Chills went down my back after a breath across my neck. Could it be!  Will it be? It’s a see how it goes thing right now. In the meantime, one of two things could happen. It sells or it doesn’t. Price might get better down the way. Some might jump at the first thing they see, but not us. We constantly review it, adding in many scenario's of this or that’s. After all, it took us 4 years to find where we are now. 4 years to find the business that brought us here. We want what ever we find to fulfill another 20 years too, so if it takes 4 years to find this next place, so be it. I am patient!

But I do LOVE IT!

I must add I can’t stop thinking about this place though. I totally understood all the work it would need, but I can so see myself living there.

The next morning before we got on the road, we found 3 more places to view first. Sure, why not! You’re not going to get my mind off the first one we saw, by chance, by GOD!

Then right up the road from our friends, our first stop, we see this…

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6+ acres!

With it’s own creek and a knoll…

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I pictured the grand’s running down the hill, with kites in tow. Catching pollywogs and lizards. I see a tree house. I see, I see, I see!

The guys surveyed the knoll…perfect location for a house!

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The other side of the knoll looks about the same. It’s a big half circle overlooking a meadow that the creek runs through. Great views! More land! No house! We got to meet the neighbors which was very encouraging. We hiked around checking it out for almost an hour. I loved how they would say, “We can build this knoll to look like the one you love, only better!”

Wow, I came home with so much to think about! If either or both of these sell before we are ready, there are others out there we haven’t seen yet. It’s all about God’s plan. He knows we are waiting for those I’s to be dotted and T’s crossed before starting this new journey. Keeping it in pray!

In the mean time, I needed to Hippity Hoppity onto making some Easter Baskets…

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My table needed to get ready…

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Then the man decided to run a new water line to my garden the day before! Oh, I am thankful for the water. It’s been so needed, but I think a better day might have been available. I just “Let it Go!” and work with it.

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As he said, the hole was filled in by the end of the day and our Easter Egg Hunt was ON! In case you wonder why I am always so skeptical of things. Sometimes his time line for projects aren’t quite on the dot or even close at times. Knowing this, I create a contingency plan just in case. In this case, it didn’t matter. Sun and Easter eggs are not friends. I had already planned for the hunt area to be around the porch area, and in the shade. So no problem, give me water!

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The man cooked our Easter dinner, which turned out awesome! It allowed me to enjoy the kids and keep healing. In the middle of this wonderful stuff going on, I fell in and land on the edge of the tub, broke a rib, and strained what muscles actually work properly. It’s been challenging having had a 3 year old just 2 days later, but her little face was worth each and every ouch! With 4-6 weeks of healing ahead, the family is doing what ever they can so I won’t. I’m so blessed!

Actually they want me to be ready for my Mother’s Day Adventure,….

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As a gift from our daughter and her hubby, she has made all the necessary arrangement to assure we all are happy at “The Happiest Place on Earth!”  I am so excited! And to think I get to do it all over again this fall! Different grand but grand it too will be.

Our Journey Through LIFE wouldn’t be what it is without the love and support of all our family and friends. Please continue praying for us that this agreement meets everyone’s needs and allow us to begin this new direction of His plan for us. I can’t wait to see what is ahead!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It’s a New Year, Wahoo!

 

I love looking forward to the new year.

After the year we have had, anything new will be welcomed.

It wasn’t all bad, in fact we had so pretty awesome times, but in between those wonderful moments there were things going on that drained the life out of me at times. I know I shouldn’t be so evasive about Our Journey but not all of it can be put out there for the world to read. Some things need to remain private. I’m sure these things are nothing others haven’t gone through or will someday themselves. It just life! I don’t know where this road we are on will be taking us but I do know that God has never mislead us and I am looking forward to embracing whatever He has planned.

With that said, you all know that these “Grand’s” are what keep me going. I am so blessed! Ok, their parents amaze me as well. They are doing such an awesome job. So many things have settled down allowing them to just be the parents they are meant to be. I love watching them and I have learned to just sit back and soak it up.

So, right off the bat we get to celebrate Birthday’s! My daughter, my first born, and her son, her first born, share a birthday. Add in it’s on the 2nd, and it has always made New Years a time to celebrate! Then it’s my birthday a week later and then our second “Grand” has her day the first days of February. It’s like one party after another around here because just a few weeks later, our 3rd “Grand” has her birthday. I love how our first three grand's have their birthdays the first 3 months of the year. After these we get a break till June, then it’s August, September and October for the last 4. And repeat! Each year bringing growth in so many directions. They all have such energy to learn all life has to offer and are sponges soaking it all up. So far we have a sports enthusiast who really wants to be the next VIP of the Angels. We have an author who creates some of the most wonderful stories. Then it’s the scientist who loves mysteries and forensics, and loves creating her own experiments. Our August dude is becoming quite the outdoorsman. I foresee father and son hunting expedition's. The last three are just beginning to discover what the world has to offer and with them all being under 6, the world is at their fingertips. They reach for and enjoy so many new things, I can’t wait to see which seeds sprout within them. Our June boy, who is the youngest, already shows interest in what grandpa does. Maybe he will be the next Water Guy. One loves to sing and dance. And one is all about being a princess right now, on a horse of course! Blessings, always blessings!

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Our Journey Through LIFE has been difficult at times but…with every New Year, comes New Journey’s.

Thanks for Their Gifts (Philippian's 4:10-13)

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ho, Ho, Ho! Let it GO!

 

Better late then not at all!

I started this blog as a journal of Our Journey Through LIFE so why wouldn’t LIFE be the reason I don’t blog like I use too.

It was CRAZY!

It was LOUD!

But it is always GRAND with these kiddo’s!

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Not once, but twice I got to go see Frozen! I highly recommend it. And don’t be surprised if on the way home all you hear is…”Let it go, let it go. Can’t hold you back anymore. Let it go, let it go!”

I even had some help in bringing up the “GRAND” tree’s. (Though I never did get them up or decorated…boohoo!)

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I wasn’t as prepared for the week of Christmas as I had hoped. I wish I could say it had nothing to do with tumors, or catching a little bug, or dealing with grief, but it really did. I had hoped this year would be different but that wasn’t happening. However, what did happen was how it was handled! My kids really stepped up and created some new traditions or helped pull off the old ones. I learned I didn’t need to do it all myself anymore. I can depend on my family to come to the plate and dish up some great stuff. All I had to do was…are you ready for this…here it comes…”Let it Go! Let it Go!

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One thing I could never really “let go” of though is setting my table. If nothing else is done, this had to be! I really love how it came out this year. I used the same candy canes as last year just had to redo some of them. This year I unpacked and used my moms crystal and my MIL silverware. I paired my old Target dishes with my new Rachel Ray Hoot’s collection. Like I needed more dishes! Actually all I did was get the salad plates to add to what I already had. Maybe more will be added, or not, but I love that all 4 set’s of Christmas dishes can now be mixed and matched together. Win, Win!

I did however “Let it Go!” when it came to decorating all those Christmas tree’s. Usually I will decorate 13 tree’s: the main family tree, an angel tree, a collection of Hummel’s on a tree, one for each of my children, and seven “Grand’s”. Can you tell I love Christmas tree’s! With all the ornaments I have collected for almost 40 years now, I would need one really BIG tree for them all to fit. When I inherited my mom’s and MIL’s back in 2002, I decided to divide it up and bought 3 alpine fake trees for my kids, leaving the main tree for parents and grandparents. Then the “Grand’s” began to arrive and those three were turned into their families until their families grew but the size of the tree didn’t. So more alpine trees were bought. So there is the story of why I have so many tree’s. Actually I would love to find more of what I have but will have to keep my eyes open at garage sales since I haven’t seen them in years. I bought some a few years back and when we opened the box, they looked nothing like what I had but make them work. So I will keep looking.

But this year, I didn’t get them all up, or even all decorated. The Angel Tree was the only completed tree and it received a new Angel this year…(sorry, didn’t take any pictures of it this year)

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I love this picture of my Uncle Joe when he was 2 years old. That was 1916! Yes he almost made it to 100. Dang I miss that man already! A year of first without him to come.

My main family tree did not get any ornaments but it still looked pretty…

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The box sat next to the tree until Christmas Eve.

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And I never even unpacked all the Hummel's. Nor did I get my greenery up on ledges. Nor did the Nutcrackers see the holidays. It was to warm for the snowmen to come out, LOL! And the Santa’s were just too busy to make the party. I did miss them but not the work it takes to get it all out. Maybe next year?

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The outside looked nice and I loved how my tree looked from the outside looking in.

Remember back at Thanksgiving I was told of how the schedule had changed. Well, that part of me that was thinking I might get surprised, was right! Unfortunately when the cat came out of the bag, I came out scratching! Be it everything I described earlier, but when I was asked to change the schedule for opening gifts, I refused to budge and shut the door. Now in my defense, I knew what I had in the way of gifts and what I had left to do, but adding another family I hadn’t completed shopping for threw a wrench in my pot. I know my son jumped through some hoops to be here and I was tickled pink for the surprise. However, I had a vision…and it was one of a disaster!

You see, I had nothing wrapped yet, and I mean nothing! Plus some of their stuff hadn’t arrived, but wasn’t worried knowing they wouldn’t be here till New Years.But now they were coming Christmas Eve! I hadn’t planned a Christmas Eve dinner this year, just church and our light tour. So after I calmed down, I was taken shopping to get these last minute gifts. While the man wrapped I tried to make heads and tales of what I had. By midnight we were done but I kept having that feeling I’s missing something. I double checked, counted, checked again and it was all there, so why did this feeling hover over me?

Christmas Eve began with a trip to the grocery store…not at all how I thought it would be, but roll with it right!

One thing I am not comfortable with is not being ready for an occasion and that feeling kept bugging me! I kept telling myself to “Let it GO!” but it was stronger then I was. Then it happened….

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Everything was going great…the first gifts were a hit! Round two and three went off without a hitch. Round four however turned into a cry fest. Somehow a little girl didn’t have a 4th gift! Nor did a little boy. The older two understood what was going on and tried really hard to help, but how do you settle a 2 and 3 year olds disappointment…you get the gifts I had put back for Christmas Day so they would have something to open when the adults exchanged gifts. Problem solved. Tears dried. Fun continued on.

Until dinner that is! Things were going rather well. I hardly had to do anything since they all pitched in. But just before it was time to eat I noticed I didn’t have enough chairs around the table. I completely forgot to bring up the other 4 chairs from the guest house. So while they were all doing the dinner stuff, I went out to try and get them. Well, it was harder to do then I had thought it would be. This happens when I least expect it. Something I use to do with no problem, is now harder to manage. I have no strength in my arms anymore but have learned how to leverage things to accomplish some task. By the time I managed to get two of the four chairs up to the house, they were all sitting down eating. I couldn’t believe they had no idea where I was, what I was doing, but were making do with what seating they had. I apologized for my shortness but sometimes they just don’t know how hard it is to do certain things now. Maybe if I would tell them. Maybe if I would ask for help. Maybe I just need to “Let it GO!” more.

And that’s just what I did!

After dinner we all got ready for church. I loved how we filled a whole row.

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I love that we got this one picture but sad we didn’t get their parents too. Be it the crazy’s, other’s waiting to do the same thing we were doing, but my kids didn’t jump in and no one offered to take it for us, so “Let it GO!”

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A tradition after church is a drive around looking at lights on the way home. We start at the street that does The Night Before Christmas where 2 of the little's got to see the big guy…

They walked along with us and read the story with excitement.

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On Candy Cane Lane, this little girl wanted us to sing to her…

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So we did! I love spending time at this friend house every Christmas Eve and this year I had most my family with me. One third had to head back home by this point and though they were missed for all the festivities, I did feel blessed they were here for the most important parts.

Our Journey Through LIFE had a very Christmas and hope you all did too! 

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