October 29, 2007

Happy 45th Birthday, Dan!

Happy 45th Birthday, Dan!
October 29th was Dan's 45th birthday. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart! We kind of had a blue Monday - he came on a brochure about Parkinson's Disease at the hospital and it wasn't good news to him. Parkinson's Disease is a VERY cruel disease that involves a LOT more than trembling hands. Dan's been robbed of a normal life at a VERY young age.
Dan courageously fights the disease, volunteering three mornings a week (as he's able) at our hospital as a volunteer chaplain. The rest of his time he tediously reads and studies for classes he's taking at GBS. He purposes to graduate from there ASAP. His body aches with an aching numbness- like when you wake up and your arm has fallen asleep? - All over his body. Still he studies. One of the first signs of Parkinsons is the TINY handwriting - remember all the notes one must write in college? He tries to take all his notes on the computer but it's still very time consuming with his disablity. I had so many people tell me when Dan was diagnosed about their loved ones who basically just sat down and let the disease run its course - not Dan, he's fighting with a vengeance. He reads alot to Benji - they've just about completed 30 of the Bobbsey Twins books. He listens to DJ and all of his dreams (believe it or not DJ's a nonstop talker at home ;) ). He listens to music with Lorna and they visit.
We're thankful we still have our Daddy - we nearly lost him three years ago when he had a heart attack due to a study drug he was on. The left side of his heart was 100% blocked for over an hour and a half. Thanks to many prayers and an awesome cardiologist, there was NO damage! Life is so precious! Even though things aren't like we thought they would be and definitely not like they used to be, we're together and we have God to help us through every situation we'll ever face. "Strength for today and BRIGHT HOPE for Tomorrow (Heaven)... Blessings all mine with ten thousand besides!" It brings me SO much comfort to know that Dan won't suffer for eternity. There's coming a day when the man who used to work circles around every man I know, the man who did so much for others, it bugged me, the man who had a beautiful smile with no effort, the man who drove every where we needed to go (and loved it), the man who had a bottomless energy to play volley ball, basket ball or whatever with young people, the man who provided so handsomely for his family, and on and on it goes ... that man, my husband Dan, will be back. "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." II Corinthians 4:16-18

October 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Michelle, Brittany, Jewelie and Tanner!

Wednesday, October 17 was a BIG birthdate in our church family! My friend Michelle had a special one, Brittany Hausman turned 12, Tanner Grimes turned 4 and Jewelie Hooper turned 20 the 18th!
Heather Dickinson had mentioned to me that Laura's oven wasn't working and she wasn't sure what she was going to do for Brittany's birthday. After a little brain storming, we decided to bake cupcakes and have a tailgate birthday party after church. So in between taking my husband, Dan, to the hospital for his volunteer chaplain work, teaching the children and taking Lorna to GBS for her piano lesson with Martha Miller, I baked 130 cupcakes - some chocolate and some strawberry, frosted them and put sprinkles on them. Lorna and I ran and got some balloons and DJ made a poster. Everyone seemed to enjoy and I even had some ask where the cupcakes were after church last night! We sure love our church family, they've been there for us in such a special way these last three years especially! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE, TANNER, BRITTANY, and JEWELIE! May you enjoy many more!

October 15, 2007

A Rossman Family Reunion

Last Saturday, we went to Franklin, Pennsylvania for the Rossman Family Reunion. There were 47 of us that gathered at the Bonanza Steakhouse to catch up and enjoy a meal together. My Papa Rossman, a German Jew descendent, went on to heaven in 1997 but two of his sisters, Betty and Jane were able to join us.

Papa was the youngest with four older sisters. He was a tease and cut up so it obviously didn't affect him too bad! My favorite memories of Papa were eating ice cream with him (I used to love the stuff with a passion) and his prayers. They always started out with "Our most kind and gracious Heavenly Father...." and then he would proceed with his request or thanksgiving. That prayer has had a profound impact on how I view my Heavenly Father - "Kind" and "Gracious". Papa retired from the Quaker State Oil Refinery in Emlenton where he worked as Night Watchman as long as I knew him. Grandma and I used to go see him and he would occasionally take me to a bubble gum machine there. I loved to run and meet him when he got home from work and carry his steel Thermos lunch bucket in for him. I was big stuff and usually got rewarded with a bowl of Schwan's ice cream from the big deep freeze on the back porch. I wish we could find that lunch bucket!

Great Aunt Betty and her husband, Russell, came and spent six weeks with us in Africa. Uncle Russell helped Daddy get a huge water tank up on a scaffolding they built so that we could have running water. It was so nice to have an indoor commode; especially after Daddy stoned a Cobra to death in our outhouse. I have a lot of memories of their visit with us. Their dear friend, "Aunt" Bernie that came with them is the one that taught us how to make "Eggs in the Window" by cutting a hole in a piece of bread, placing it in a skillet and frying an egg in the hole. She was a sweetie.

Great Aunt Jane is quite the decorator and I've finally achieved a childhood dream of having a pink living room just like her! I learned Saturday that her living room is now a pale plum. She's quite a Miss Priss - a real lady. I loved going to her house because it was SOOOOOOO beautiful and she didn't mind me looking at the "pretties".

My Grandma Rossman is the most WONDERFUL Grandma in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!! I have soooooo many pleasant memories with her. My earliest is probably at the little old white Church of the Nazarene in St. Petersburg, Pennsylvania. She was the Sunday School Superintendent there for many years and always very involved. My best Christmas memories always involve Grandma. She sent us the best Christmas boxes when we were in Africa and I still have my talking Holly Hobbie and Drowsy dolls she bought me. Grandma always made lots of candy at Christmas and she's the one who came and helped me make candy the year Benji had a surgery on December 17.

The older I get, the more I appreciate my family and the more I realize what an impact we have on each other. I hope and pray I can make the kind of impacts my Grandma and Papa Rossman made on me.

"Only one life! Twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last."

October 10, 2007

Blooms & Berries Fall Field Trip

This week some of the homeschoolers from our church got together for our annual Fall Hayride Field Trip. We had 32 moms and students attend this year and we enjoyed a picture perfect Fall afternoon at Blooms and Berries in Loveland, Ohio. Each person taking the hayride got a bottle of apple juice and cup of freshly popped popcorn after a ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin. Some of the older kids also went into the corn maze which was shaped like a tractor and wagon this year. Jeff Probst, the owner of Blooms and Berries, went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed a wonderful experience at his family's farm. We had the priviledge of having the Hausman family joining us for the outing. They are freshly back from Romania where they worked on the Youth Outreach Building there. It was a great opportunity to get to know them and have good time together. Thanks, Sharon, for all you did in order for them to have a fun time with the homeschoolers!

October 9, 2007

My friend, Sharon Hutchinson, invited me to the Greater Cincinnati Women of Worth October meeting. The theme this month was Apples and Pumpkins and the new director, Linda Davison, did an outstanding job decorating and organizing the meeting. I enjoyed a wonderful evening!

This beautiful Fall arrangement was in front of the podium beside the sign
in table. Isn't it beautiful?

Sharon made her yummy apple dip with apple slices and I made my pumpkin bread in mini muffin shapes with a cream cheese icing rosette for decoration.
Sharon's Apple Dip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Blend until smooth and serve with apple slices. (I'll warn you- it's addictive!)
Isn't she a cute little hostess? She held the napkins for our luncheon.
A lovely Fall centerpiece on the food table.
Linda checking on her delicious chicken breast dish and some of the other ladies getting things ready for the evening.
Scenes from the serving line.
More scenes from the serving line.
Attentive listeners.
Getting ready for the devotional time.
Linda made this centerpiece for the sign in table. Isn't she creative?
Bro. Davison brought the message of the evening on "Loving Our Husbands". It was very insightful- especially since it came from his perspective.
Three generations enjoying Women of Worth: Katrina Hutchinson, her mom, Sharon, and grandma Reva Campbell.
Miss Hobleman gives a devotional.
A skit on communication.
Patti Cox gives a few tips on eggs.

October 4, 2007

Numbering Our Days

Last week, one of Joni and Friends Daily Devotional Scriptures was “So teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Very thought provoking - especially on the eve of my brother-in-law celebrating one year in heaven. Dean wasn’t planning to make the trip quite yet; but, as unexpected as a thief in the night, at the age of 50, God called him home. I couldn’t help thinking about that this week - we never know when God will tell us that we can come home. It’s not always the sick that go, the young and healthy are summoned every day too.

So...numbering my days this week made me do things a little different. I smelled the roses a little more so to speak, hugged my children a little closer and tried to keep eternity’s values a little more in view than normal. We baked pumpkin bread and gave away a couple loaves while the family just enjoyed the rest. We made caramel apples and enjoyed them. We made 48 cupcakes for the children we love so dearly in Junior Church. We went to Blooms and Berries for "Fall on the Farm" and bought pumpkins, mums and straw instead of fall cleaning. We decorated the outside of the house for fall. We worshipped like it was our last Sunday on earth and enjoyed His Creation with great admiration for His Handiwork. We still cooked meals, did endless loads of laundry and lots of schoolwork but it was a different week. Very enjoyable but very different. Less stress about temporal things and LOTS more enjoyment of eternal things. Maybe we can do this a little more often - after all this life is just a dressing room for eternity. James 4:14 and Isaiah 40:6-7 are thought provoking, too. When we get to heaven, we'll be surprised how short life really was.

Favorite Pumpkin Bread
3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2/3 cup water
2 cups pumpkin
Mix everything together and pour into greased loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour for regular loaf pans; 15 minutes for mini muffins; 40-45 minutes for mini loaf size (makes 7 mini loaves).