Category Archives: Holidays

An Unexpected Hiatus

Well, I did not expect to be away from blogging for over a month, especially after I finally managed to get everything here into at least a semblance of working order. Clearly, though, that is exactly what happened.

My life has continued to roil with chaos ever since the washing machine died, my computer crashed, and my hubby retired. “Highlights” include the sink stopping up over Thanksgiving, the heater breaking, followed both of our cars, one after the other (in one case I was drafted to tow the broken car home from where it had died in a parking lot 3 miles away), all of this happening within a period of about two weeks.

Then it was time to get ready for Christmas, which progressed fairly well, until I started on our annual Christmas letter, had it completed, edited and approved only to be defeated once again by Windows 8.1/Word 2013 when, at the eleventh hour I hurtled headlong into indecipherable weirdness involving not the insertion of photographs into the document, but the attempt to move them afterwards. Heaven forbid you should do that, because once you try it’s over. And since it was close to midnight the night before we were to leave for California, I had to give up and finish it after we returned.

First we went to San Diego, a whirlwind three days full of memory making.

Lily has grown so much! She’s walking, running, climbing, talking in full sentences… soooo cute!  Christmas eve we spent on the beach in near perfect weather. (Click on the photo for a bigger picture.)

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Who are these people? My husband, me, Lily, my son and his wife, their live-in housekeeper/ helper/friend, the two boys, their dog Joey and, of course, Quigley, barking as usual

The day after Christmas we headed up to LA to visit my 92-year-old stepmother who, despite her advanced years still skunked me in dominoes!  It was great to be able to visit with her, but toward the end of the time we had to spend there, our late nights, early mornings and activity packed days caught up with us as we both developed what turned out to be either the flu, or one of the worst colds either of us have ever had. Not only were we coughing, sneezing, hacking and blowing, but we were completely exhausted.

We were twelve days recovering… all of which is why I haven’t been able to get a blog post up in almost a month!

Happy 4th of July!

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On July 2, 1776, the American Colonies legally separated from Great Britain by a vote of the Second Continental Congress in closed session, approving a resolution of independence. The day before, in a letter written to his wife, John Adams predicted,

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

So how come we celebrate on the 4th? Because having voted for independence, the same congress immediately went on to draft a formal explanation of their decision and didn’t complete and approve it until the 4th. Since that date is clearly evident on the document itself, which itself had been widely publicized, by the time the next year came round it was the 4th of July that stuck in Americans’ collective memory, not the 2nd, and thus, that is the day we have celebrated our freedom ever since.

 

Who Will Call Him King of Kings?

I LOVE this song, written and first sung by Sandi Patty way back in… well, a long time ago! I especially love it for Easter, and thus I’ve posted it as my “Happy Easter” to you all. I put the lyrics first, the “video” second, since the latter is not a video, but a photo of her with the audio.

In cold despair
They’d laid Him in the tomb
The body of their Master fair
Third morning came
As they returned to pray
Light was shining everywhere
But Jesus’ body was not there

And as they gazed at an empty grave
The earth around began to shake
And they were so afraid
But voices of angels filled the air
Their shouts proclaimed “He is not here”
And you could hear them say

Who will call Him King of kings
Who will call Him Lord of lords
Who will call Him Prince of Peace
Such a wonderful counselor, Mighty God
Who will call Him King

Their spirits soared
As fear was turned to joy
Standing there before their eyes
Jesus clothed in radiant white

And with a voice they’d heard before
He told them “Go and tell the world that I’m alive”
They ran as fast as feet could fly
“The Lord is risen” was their cry
And you could hear them say

We will call Him King of kings
We Will call Him Lord of lords
We will call Him Prince of Peace
Such a wonderful counselor, Mighty God

Just like He said
He is risen from the dead
And the people say

I will call Him King of kings
I will call Him Lord of lords
I will call Him Prince of Peace
Such a wonderful counselor, Mighty God
I will call Him King
I will call Him King
I will call Him King

The Confiscated Dog Toy

Since my eye is still giving me problems — ie, I can’t work on the computer for long without getting it all upset — I’m going to put up some photos for a day or so.

The first is a gift my daughter in law brought for Quigley the first year she met him. He was still a puppy. It’s an adorable dog toy Santa, with a squeaker in the hat and crinklies in the legs:

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Fortunately (for me, but not for Quigley) she was at my mother’s house when she gave it to us/him.  Quigley was still in the tear-everything-up stage at the time, and it was so cute, I decided to wait until he was more mature.

Well, he’s more mature now, and can actually have toys without tearing them to shreds in two minutes flat ( though he still has to be supervised). The problem is, he has weird saliva. It’s very gummy and sticky and thick and once he gets it on the toys… eeeeuwww!  So. I’m not yet ready to turn the cute Santa decoration into the slimed and gross Santa toy, so he sits on our bed. Every now and then Quigley eyes him hopefully, and I know he would LOVE to have him… but…

Maybe next year…

Give Thanks to the Lord

When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you…

… you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant, which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

OH, give thanks to the LORD, for HE is good; For his lovingkindness is everlasting…

Let us give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,

And for His wonders to the sons of men!

***

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

 

Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:10,18; Ps 107:8

On Veteran’s Day

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.
~Father Dennis Edward O’Brian

**

To all our Veterans on Veteran’s Day —

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice, in defending our freedoms against those foreign enemies who would seek to take them. In particular our  freedoms of speech and worship and public assembly. Without those,  we could not gather to worship our Lord, teach the Word or even tell others about the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again so we could have eternal life.

4 July 2012

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~ John Adams*

Today, as we celebrate the freedoms we’ve enjoyed as a nation for over three hundred years, freedoms which seem to be eroding away because of the very elements Adams notes in the quote above, let us remember that while human freedom is weak because it depends on fallen humans for its maintenance, the spiritual freedom we have in Christ cannot be touched by anyone.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17

*The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31

What Price Freedom?

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A lone U.S. Army bugler plays Taps at the conclusion of the First Annual Remembrance Ceremony in Dedication to Fallen Military Medical Personnel at Arlington National Cemetery, March 11, 2009

The following is excerpted from Freedom Through Military Victory by R.B. Thieme, Jr.,  Pastor of Berachah Church, 1950-2003:

“If a nation wishes to perpetuate inviolate the priceless privileges and blessings of independence, warfare is inevitable. Every generation must face the crucible of war.

Freedom is bought and paid for by the blood of individuals who set a higher value on their liberty than on life itself. If one generation is not prepared mentally and spiritually to defend such values, if enough individuals in a national entity reject the principle of freedom through military victory, liberty languishes.

Despite man’s zealous efforts to achieve freedom through peaceful means, wars will continue until the end of human history when Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, reigns on earth for one thousand years (Is 9:6 cf Eccl 3:8; Micah 4:1-3; Mark 13:7; Rev 20:4)…

Until then, any nation that desires autonomy, must maintain a military force trained and equipped for war.

The freedom the United States possesses has been purchased through the sacrifice and suffering of courageous men. We as a people have a right of self-determination because of military victory. We as Christians have the privilege to assemble in public worship services and to evangelize unbelievers without persecution courtesy of the military. Since 1776, we owe an immeasurable debt to all our gallant fighting forces, especially to those who gave their lives that we might remain a free people.”

Memorial day is a holiday set aside for us to remember the dedication and sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price for the many precious and amazing freedoms we still enjoy in these United States; and having remembered, to reaffirm our devotion to the cause for which they gave so much…

Liberty is a gift; nations whose people take it for granted, will eventually lose it.

Let us not lose by apathy, distraction, ignorance or political chicanery what so many of our men and women in uniform down through our history have giventheir lives to preserve for us.

 (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released, acquired through Beverly & Jack’s Photostream, Creative Commons, Flickr)

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year everyone!

May 2012 be a year of continued blessing and growth for all of you.

I can hardly believe it’s been over a month since I last posted.

Then again it seems like forever since December began. A lot has happened since then. Last summer, after 30 years of submitting applications, my husband finally drew the single 2011 Desert Bighorn Sheep hunt permit for a unit in the eastern portion of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona. The season began December 1 and ended December 31. Since he will never get another chance to hunt Desert Bighorns,  he has since August been making the four-hour drive out to hike the arid, empty, forbidding lands of the Cabeza Prieta seeking to get a sense of where he might find the sheep.

As a man who’s always looking for adventure, he found it in spades.  In an area bordered on the south by Mexico and on the north by the Barry M Goldwater Bombing Range he encountered violent thunderstorms, and gale force winds, blazing heat, frigid cold, solitude, bad roads, dust storms, illegal smugglers of people, drugs and guns, the discovery of human remains, A-10 and F-15 fighter jets strafing and bombing the nearby range  in training runs that shook the air and ground for miles, and a never- ending parade of Border Patrol officers wanting to know what he was doing. With his access limited to three roads, each miles from the areas where the sheep were, and camping prohibited throughout most of the refuge, he faced a long walk out at the end of the day, no matter where he was.

And that was just the lead up. He worked his last day of work for 2011 right after Thanksgiving, taking off before opening day to prepare and get settled in his camping area before the season actually started. Five friends met him out there to help.  He was prepared to hunt the entire month if need be. I had no idea if we were even going to be able to do Christmas.

Plus, with my mother gone, my sister decided to stay in New Mexico, and with our son and daughter-in-law due to stay with her family in Tucson for the holiday, even apart from the hunt, Christmas 2011 was certain to be a radical departure from our accustomed traditions.

Since by the weekend of Dec 11th my hubby was still at it, I gave up on the idea of getting a tree, put up a small one in the piano and put Santa hats on the animal mounts we have in our living room.  Here’s our full sized Gould’s turkey with his tiny hat. It makes me laugh…

As it turned out the ram was taken over that same weekend,  and shortly thereafter my kitchen was co-opted for meat processing for about a week.  No Christmas baking to be done then!  Instead I spent the time working on the Christmas letter and ordering presents (first time in a loooong time we had to do so without lists!)

Once the butchering was done, my husband develped a weird staph infection under the skin of one of his fingers, so we were off to Urgent Care two days in a row right before Christmas. The treatment was a shot of antibiotics followed by a 10 day pill regimen of the same along with daily soakings in betadine and epsom salts. It’s better now, but for awhile it was very nasty — swollen, painful and after awhile black. (Which was really just a scab beneath the skin, though we didn’t know it at the time)

We ended up having the kids at our house for Christmas morning, then went over to join Kim’s family for the Christmas dinner that afternoon. It made for a very nice –and festive –holiday after all. I’m thankful they invited us!

Here’s Lily with her new stuffed puppy, which looks — ahem — a lot like Quigley. Imagine that…

Then we left for California to visit my 91-year-old stepmother (and her 92-year-old sister)  for three days and by the time we returned I was exhausted and had picked up a cold — most likely from the seven story hotel in which we stayed (on the seventh floor) (with Quigley) along with about 100 marching band members from Japan and their supporters, all of whom were apparently housed on the third floor!

But! on the way home New Year’s Eve, on the road somewhere between Yuma and Gila Bend around 8:15pm we saw the New Year’s Eve meteor!  It had nothing to do with the Quadrantid meteor shower that was supposed to begin  on the 3rd, but was instead a random meteorite from somewhere out by Jupiter.

It started as a bright light coming at us out of the east. What in the world???Then it sprouted a tail that turned green with red around the edges and we realized it was a meteor. It looked like it was going to crash into the ground right beside the highway, but just before it did, the head vanished and the tail slowly faded. Turns out it wasn’t that close, but streaking low on the horizon, visible to people in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. Others also thought it was going to hit the ground or a building, but we were all deceived I guess by how bright and low on the horizon it was. Fantastic experience. We could hardly believe we’d seen it. It’s the first one I’ve ever seen, apart from the little white streaks way way up in the sky from “shooting stars.” If only I’d had the camera out and ready I might have been able to get a shot.

Instead, I’ll have to settle for this picture from Wikipedia that shows what a bolide looks like. It’s very similar to what we saw. Ours had a fatter, greener tail. Still — Very Cool! And it seems symbolic somehow, though I haven’t figured out how, yet.

Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us and not we ourselves.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.
~Psalm 100

Happy Thanksgiving!

(I’ll be back next week with Part 3 of my Journal Entry series)