Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throw back Thursday.....

Of the jobs I had in my working years, there is one that stands out......so much so that I worked there three times.  Every time I left for a "better" job, meaning more money, I was ever so glad when they called and asked me to return.  I did......every time.  


JASP was a program was for first time law offenders (sometimes second and third) and was an alternative to the court system.  One of the programs we offered was a parenting group and an educational group for the young offenders.  We had a very capable counselor who ran the parent group and another counselor and I ran the kids group.  The local newspaper did an article about our program and there we are in the clipping above with our group of kids doing our best to teach them to stay out of trouble!  At the time, I had a fifteen year old and an eight year old at home and often when I talked to parents, I actually knew what they were going through...... and I'd better leave that one alone!

I happened to find this clipping and not long after ran into my former co-worker in a local restaurant and had a good time reminiscing about days long past!  She still looks just like she did in that photo!

One of the funny stories, and there were many, was of the parents group.  The counselor running that group was a young guy with a great sense of humor.  One night when the parents were whining discussing the fact that their children hadn't suddenly become angels, he said to them.......It took you fifteen years to mess them up and you expect me to fix them overnight???  That got their attention! 

Many of those young people went on and became law abiding, productive citizens.  A few didn't and we would see their names again......sometimes several times.   

But that newspaper article......that was my fifteen minutes of fame.  

It was the last actual outside the home job I would have.  Three months after I married the Superhero, I "retired" to stay home to help raise two more boys!  That was nineteen years ago.....my, how time flies!  Thanks for the memories!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snapshots......

Please don't pass out if you happen to check in here.......since my last post was August 31, I thought I would try and muster up a post or maybe a few and maybe more often.  Today a few snapshots of life from the last few months.

It's been a very different year and I'm going back to August for a few minutes.

Two friends and I have birthdays close together and we always try to get together for a joint celebration.  Literally some years, it is the ONLY time we see each other......even though we all live in the same town. This year we had a wonderful overnight trip to the beach, compliments of Sharon on your left.  


We had a great time together.......see you next year girls!  

But with the sunshine there comes rain and we had another death.
This beautiful, intelligent, sweet young woman who was like a daughter to my sister and part of our family for many years, died suddenly and we will always miss her.  

There were the constant flow of birthdays that come with a big family.  

Our dear friends departed for Uganda to spend six months as missionaries with the goal of being full time.  This picture is from their Farewell for Now Party.

Thanks, Mark and Laura for all you do in service for the Lord.  Man do I miss you!  




September went by in such a blur........at the end of the month, we had a family reunion.  Now not nearly all of us were able to be in town, but here are a very few of the first cousins.  My daddy was one of ten children, so you can let your imagination run wild with how many of us cousins there are.....unfortunately many live too far away and couldn't make the trip.




It was strange not having mama and something of a shock to realize with the exception of two aunts, we are the oldest generation in our family.  



After the reunion, we had a sisters/friend get a way

The beach was absolutely breathtaking and we had a great time of refreshment and bonding except for that one part where someone told me my hair was scraggly!  Thanks to our sweet nephew and niece for making this happen!

We proceeded to speed through the month of October.  We had a few more birthdays.

Then the Superhero and I loaded up MIL and our dogs and headed down to spend a few days with the little grandchildren, oh, and their parents of course.  












Back home just in time to celebrate our 19th anniversary!  The Superhero didn't want to take this picture......said it was cheesy......but, oh, well......it's not like he reads my blog and I love this picture!

I have to say these years have really gone by so quickly and not to be cheesy all mushy, they've been wonderful!  

Now it is just a little more than a week until Thanksgiving and already the Christmas decorations are everywhere.  I like celebrating my holidays one at the time so my Christmas decorating will have to wait until December.  

As Thanksgiving nears, I have to say with all the trials and troubles and sadness that has been part of this year, there have also been blessings and I am thankful for many things!  

Whew!  I either have to blog more often or quit!  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Catch up.....

I'm not sure I ever will.......so much is happening and so quickly......but in the interest of keeping things in order, it's time for a grandchildren post!  Our grandchildren vary so in age and I've found there is a big difference between little ones and grown up ones!  Both loved equally and both fun, just different.  It's strange how they grow up and have minds of their own!


Imagine my surprise when this gorgeous creature walked off the plane.......alone!  My grandson missed the flight!  Yes, yes......I was a little tense that day.  Thankfully, he got the next flight out and was here by 10:30 that night......AND I managed not to kill him!

Finally, both together!  He's too cute for me to stay mad long!



All rested up the next day, we ate at a new place in town called Just the Cook......the cook was on one of the contest shows on the Food Channel and is all the rave.  The restaurant is a houseboat.......they cook in the houseboat and you sit at a table outside.......in Florida.......in the heat.  I didn't care for the food, but the company was wonderful.  Grandson Jordan joined us for the day.


Spent some time at the farm.  The kids love to shoot guns and we cooked out and had a good time.  

You may be able to tell from the background that the Superhero has moved our RV up to the farm.  I don't know for sure, but this may be a sign that we will be moving there one day.  Oh, dear!

Cousin Joshua was able to join the kids for Friday Fest which is something our downtown has on the first Friday of the month.  Lots of vendors and tons of old cars.......with a band at either end of the street.




Nana took them and stayed a little while and left them in the capable hands of Uncle David


As seems to be the case these days, we had yet another funeral in the family.  My younger sister's MIL died and after the funeral, the family got together at my brother's home.
Aunt Cathy, Ashley and Nana


The three sisters, Debbie, me and Cathy.  I promise I did not wear that outfit to the funeral....I changed!


Uncle Dick and Aunt Cathy.....Cathy has hair!!!!  Doesn't she look adorable?


More farm pics.....the kids swam in one of our man made ponds......much to my dismay!  I wasn't sure what creatures might lurk in that pond, but everyone lived!  Whew!


Loved driving and riding in Pappy's Kubota......although the mischievous boys got stuck and had to be pulled out with a tractor!


We honestly didn't match on purpose.  Notice that we wear our protective ear gear when target shooting and we take every safety precaution.  The kids did a little skeet shooting and I was so amazed at how they could hit that little orange thing



Ashley and I took a drive to the beach where it promptly began to storm......like a hurricane!  We drove and drove down Hwy 30-A and happened to be by a favorite eating place when the storm let up for a few minutes, so of course, we stopped to eat a little seafood before venturing back onto the road and eventually home!



We took the kids kayaking at Blue Pond where the Superhero spent many a happy day as a child.  
Jordan caught a pretty big bass!


Kayaking was one of the boys favorite activities!





Ashley and Nana got in on the kayaking action.......really not as easy as it looks!


Ashley swam out into the pond even though her Nana was screaming alligator and had to hitch a ride back to shore on Jordan's kayak




Pappy and Uncle Matt just took it easy and kept a watchful eye out for everyone.


They may be getting a little too old for this, but we played putt putt golf one day and let me just say.....HOT!  




A good friend of mine was staying at the beach for her daughter's birthday, so Ashley and I joined them for the day.


We celebrated my birthday.  



While the kids were here, my MIL got very sick and was in the hospital for a few days.  The kids spent that time with their granddad and his family and had a good time......

Before we knew it, it was time to fly back home to California.  



As they were walking through security, Ashley turned, waved and said "same time next year!"  
Maybe you really are never to old to want to visit your Nana!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Keeping track.....

You have kept count of my sorrows,
put my tears in your bottle.  Psalm 56:8


These past nine months have seen lots of tears fall, prayers offered and answered and a family closing several chapters and beginning new ones.

Bear with me.......I print my blog by year and so it serves as a diary of sorts......this may get long.

Thanksgiving of 2013, one of my sisters was a bit nervous because she had been called back after a mammogram.  If you are a woman and reading this, no explanation of that nervous feeling is necessary.  We all thought it would turn out to be nothing.  It didn't.

December 2, Cathy had a biopsy and on December 4 got the news that she indeed had breast cancer that was in a lymph node.  December 12th, she had a PET scan and as a family we held our collective breath and prayed many prayers as we were joined by many asking our Lord that it not be anywhere else in her body.

On December 13, about nine people crowded into the oncologist's little examining room to hear.......GOOD bad NEWS!  Never thought about getting good bad news.  Cathy's cancer had not spread......we laughed and cried.  Although she still had a long, rough battle for her life, her doctors were confident she would come out victorious.  

December 17th, surgery to place a port and the 18th chemo started.  

First treatment.....

Cathy had weekly treatments for eight weeks and knew she would lose her beautiful hair.  I expected the infusion center to be filled with doom and gloom, but instead we found it filled with HOPE!  People encouraging one another as all were on a road no one ever wants to travel.  

After six treatments, she still had hair!  She had it cut and it was coming out, but it was still there!

Then mama had the event that saw us spend eight long and agonizing days by her side.  Cathy had to return to the town where she lives to have chemo, came right back the next day and on February 2, mama died.   Cathy prayed she would keep her hair through the funeral.  She had hair!  She had to return to her home the day after the funeral for another chemo treatment.  

Two grueling rounds of chemo later....step one is over......


June 3rd Cathy had surgery.  The doctors were very pleased at how things looked and were sure that all cancer was gone!  But she still had radiation to complete.  

And it's a wrap!  

Hair coming back and as beautiful as always!

You may remember I said we closed chapterS.....my sister Debbie's mother in law got very sick and died........and six months to the day of mama's funeral, there was another family funeral to attend.  More tears in our big bottle!  

During that time, my California grandchildren came.......that's a whole other post still to come.......my MIL was very ill and in the hospital for a few days and the Superhero's BIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Please pray for Johnny!

Since this post is dedicated to my courageous and beautiful sister, here are a few pictures of her along the road.....as she says, she never expected to find joy in a cancer treatment facility, but that's what she found!  










A friend had this blanket made with pictures of Cathy's family and friends......




We give thanks to God for his incredible goodness and mercy!