December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I can hardly believe it's already here!
We are going over to my sister, Diana's, for the day.
What a priceless gift - the gift of a loving family.
I'm thankful for the gift of His precious Son -
I can't imagine the Love that must possess the Father
to do what He's done for us,
but I'm eternally grateful.
May He bless your homes with unspeakable peace, love and joy this holiday season.

December 12, 2008


Here are some pictures of the creche that Dan's dad and DJ built! I love the star on top and just everything about it! Thanks Dad and DJ! It's lovely!

November 30, 2008

Tea Time at Miss Annabelle's Tea Parlor

My daughter, Lorna, put this post together for me and made my header. Isn't it lovely? I'm SOOO blessed!

November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

This year we weren't able to travel because of Benji's recent surgery - he's just not able to yet. We invited Grandma and Grandpa Truesdale to come to our house instead. We enjoyed a wonderful visit with them.
Around the table getting ready to enjoy roasted turkey, smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, cranberries, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, relishes, etc.

Benji LOVES to play games and Grandma is always willing to play so that's what they did just about all day. I think Grandma won one game - and they play fair and square. Maybe that's why he LOVES to play games ;) !

I have longed for a creche for MANY years. DJ found these crates for free on Craigslist in anticipation of maybe being able to entice his very talented Grandpa into helping him make a creche for me. Well, let me tell you, I now have THE NICEST CRECHE EVER in my front yard. We'll take a picture tonight and you can see how lovely it is!
I hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving. We enjoyed the moments immensely as we never know who won't be around the table next year. Dan's brother, Dean, shared Thanksgiving with us three years ago and we would have never suspected it would be his last.
Family is SUCH a BLESSING!
Hug yours close today and enjoy.
Each day is a gift!

November 23, 2008

Giving Thanks

This picture was taken last Sunday, November 16,2008 after an Emergency Surgery (#9) on Friday for Benji - 9 years old. Two new rods, two bone grafts, four screws and a new implant in his back. The old implant had somehow come loose. He is now in at least two text books - not exactly the kind of fame one desires. Through it all this is the song God gave me in "the night".
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
in it's fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love -
Leading onward, leading homeward,
To Thy glorious rest above!
* * * * * * * *
O the deep, deep love of Jesus -
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o're His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o're them from the throne!
* * * * * * *
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
'Tis an ocean full of blessing,
'Tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus-
'Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee!
-Samuel Trevor Francis
* * * * * * *
This Sunday, we are home. As Benji so knowingly put it, "It's Prayer."
Prayer Changes Things!
Thank you for praying!

October 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "N"

Thursday Thirteen this week recounts blessings I've enjoyed or enjoy daily that begin with the letter "N".

1. Nesi - my nickname. Aren't nicknames dear? They mean someone loves us enough to call us by a very special name meant just for us! My mother started calling me Nesi Gay as a little girl and when I became an aunt for the first time in July 1988, I received the very special title of "Aunt Nesi". Since then, lots of special people call me Aunt Nesi -people I love VERY much!

2.Neices and nephews - my neices by blood lines number eight. Nephews number six. Adopted ones! Innumerable!

3.Netherlands, Niagara Falls, New England, Nantucket - lovely places I've been blessed to visit. Here are some lovely nautical views I noticed in Nantucket. Would love to visit that lovely island for a week in the fall. Wouldn't that be a nice for the senses?

(Maybe stay in this darling Rose Covered Cottage- it really is this beautiful!)

4.Nutcrackers - ever noticed the variety of nutcrackers? My youngest son started collecting them the Christmas they told us would more-than-likely be his last. That was Five years ago! Alot of nutcrackers have been added to his collection since then. Since it seems he usually spends time in the hospital around the holidays, he often receives nutcrackers as get well cheer gifts. They bring him a lot of pleasure and joy.
5. Nasturtiums - a delightful flower that's so easy to grow. They say they are good on salads since they have a peppery taste - I don't know. I think they're too pretty to eat!

6. Neighborhood - we live in the second house built in our subdivision and are the longest residents as a result. I love our little neighborhood out in the country, though the city is quickly reaching us.

7.Nutricious nuts - mmm! We bought a two pound bag of pecans at Sam's yesterday. Turtles, pecan pie, pecan tassies, mmm!

8. Newspaper - an ammenity I really enjoy. It's nice to be able to skim through the headlines and find out what's happening in our world. God used the newspaper to help us get in with one of the best neurologists in the world. Dr. Espay has been a real god-send in my husbands encounter with Parkinson's Disease.
9.Needlework - sewing, crocheting, embroidery are some of my favorite hobbies in needlework. I've done a little quilting too.
10.Nature - so restful and refreshing. Normal life cycles, nests, noises. I do believe, "One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth!"
11.Nap - confession is good for the soul, they say. I live for my Sunday afternoon nap. My week goes so much better with one!
12.Noodles - homemade ones are one of my favorite dishes. In the fall/winter, we usually enjoy them at least twice a month.
13. November - the month I received my first bundle of joy! He'll be 18 this year. Hard to believe the little preemie that fought so hard for his life has grown up so fast! I'm so proud of him-he loves Jesus and one of my favorite sights every day is seeing him FAITHFULLY reading his Bible EVERY night- doesn't matter how tired he is! Love you, DJ! (He's also the one that set up and helps me with my blog;) )

September 30, 2008

Tuesday's Teatime

Fall cleaning often entails a little sprucing up of our homes. I've been a bit bored with my decor and wanted to add some new life to our little cottage by re-using things I already have.
That means it's time to start looking through a collection of magazines carefully saved through the years!
I have all but maybe a half dozen copies of Victoria magazine and I've been perusing precious issues from 1988- 1991 this week looking for fresh decorating ideas. I haven't been disappointed! I'll share some of the pages of the magazine with you and the results of their inspiration in my cottage over the next few weeks.
Today, though, I'd like to share this enchanting picture of a tea table belonging to a lady who shared tea time with her friends in a Tea Circle. Raised in a parsonage and blessed with a delightful collection of bone china tea cups collected by her grandmother on travels as a missionary's wife, she chose to bless the lives of her friends by inviting them to her Tea Circle. This is a picture of her tea table sparkling with antique lace, garden flowers, and a delightful array of tea sandwiches, vanilla cake, scones and chocolate madeleins.
Maybe I'll start my own Tea Circle once Fall Cleaning is complete as a special reward for a job accomplished!
Wouldn't that be fun?

September 26, 2008

Day at the Zoo

Yesterday we went to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens for Wildlife Discovery Days. Five of the home schooling families from our church and my sister, her daughters and my parents joined us. It was a picture perfect day and we all had a great time. DJ and Dusty - Best Buds!
Five homeschool families from our church and our Junior Church Directors, Dave and Margaret Jowers joined us for this fun day at the zoo.

My sister, Diana, brought her two daughters and three foster children along with the special treat of my parents for the day. We REALLY enjoyed this added bonus!
Anna Pilmore, Klayton Hutchinson, Benji, and Bryan Hausman hanging out in the barn at the Children's Zoo.
Where we spent the most time - at Gorilla World. They were so funny! The new baby was full of entertainment carrying on with his mom, dad and grandpa.

The giraffes are back! It was neat to see them in their really nice new pen.

Benji, Bryan, Darla, Zach, Emily and Margaret waiting in line to feed the giraffes. We timed our visit just right! They fed them carrots.

Lorna, Jamie and Emily - cousins hanging out at the zoo.

Zach Pilmore, Benji, Tyler Mills and Klayton Hutchinson visiting the bears.

Zach and Benji strangling a bird statue. Zach's a guy after his hunter-daddy's heart-
anything gory sounds great to Benji!

Brittany and Natasha Hausman, Lorna, Deanna Jowers and Emily Pilmore enjoying a lovely day at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

September 25, 2008

Thursday Thirten ~ "M"

Tomorrow marks one year of blogging for me! I had hoped to get in 100 posts by then but, alas . . .
Thirteen things beginning with the letter "M" that I'm thankful for in my life:
1. Mommy - My favorite lady in the whole wide world - and also my favorite title.
2. Martha's Vineyard, Manhattan, Mackinac Island - lovely places I've been blessed to visit.
3. Music - I love music whether it's classical, oldies, Big Band, jazz, Southern Gospel or hymns, music blesses my life.
4.Macaroni and Cheese - mmm, yummy! LOVE that stuff!
5. Mac Intosh Apples - the best for a delicious homemade apple pie.
6.Mail - regular daily delivery. Blessed to be an American enjoying this benefit.
7. Mercy - I will sing of the MERCIES of the LORD FOREVER!
8. Maps - Maps and Mapquest. Can you imagine living pre -maps?
9.Miracles - I'm a recipient of many miracles - the most precious of which is when He saved my soul from eternal damnation.
10. Magazines - I LOVE magazines - a trait I inherited from my Daddy ;) !
11. Missionary Kid - blessed to be among their ranks. They are THE MOST blessed kids in the WHOLE world!
12. Meredith - my mother's first name and my daughter's middle name. My mother was named for her mother's best friends, Marie and Edith - Meredith!
13. Milk - nothing like a glass of ice cold milk, milk chocolate, Milk Duds - mmm- anything made with milk!
Have a lovely evening and don't forget to stop by tomorrow for my One Year Blog-a-Versary party!

September 24, 2008

So, What did you do this Summer?

The long lazy days of summer are just a memory now. Remember when you first went back to school in the fall and the teacher would have you write a paper on what you did that summer? Wouldn't it be fun to read through all those papers again? Well, in honor of all those summer memory papers, here's a brief glimpse of how our summer started. We went to Michigan to spend a week at my in-laws. Grandpa so graciously offered to teach my son, Benji, how to fish. It takes A LOT of patience to catch a fish and here's a pictorial of Benji Learning to Fish.

This is how you bait the hook!
This is how you cast the line. (Notice Benji's toy poodle, Pup Pup, patiently waiting through the "How-To Process").
This is how you catch the fish - wait patiently and quietly on a lovely early summer afternoon with your little dog at your side.And without the little dog at your side!
And you'll eventually CATCH A FISH!
Then, you celebrate with a ride around the pond with your sister in Grandpa's Peddle Boat!
Wonderful Memories: A little boat, a patient Grandpa, a sweet little dog, a lovely summer afternoon, a dear sister, a boat and a pond!

Wordless Wednesday

September 23, 2008

Another Tuesday's Tea Time - At Last!

Don't these just look so yummy? A charming new bakery opened up just this month with the enticing name of
A Spoon Fulla Sugar.
With a name like that, Lorna and I couldn't resist! We chose
a Cinnamon Pecan Danish
a Nana's Meltaway
to have with our tea today. They are so yummy!
If you are anywhere near the Fields-Ertel/ Mason-Montgomery area,
do treat yourself to a most wonderful experience at A Spoon Fulla Sugar located in Enyart Square on Montgomery Road.
They also carry a delectable assortment of tea time treats like
Petit Fours, fruit tarts, mini cupcakes, etc., etc.
You won't be disappointed and their prices are very reasonable.

September 22, 2008

Happy Fall Y'all!

Hello Again! Long time - no see! I do miss our little visits here in cyber world so thought I'd just pop in and say,
"Happy Fall"!
It's hard to believe, summer is technically over and Fall officially begins today, isn't it?
This is our sixth week of school and Thursday we have our first field trip of the 2008-2009 School Year!
We're going to
the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
for Wildlife Discovery Days
with our church's homeschool group.
It'll be a fun outing with picnic lunches and lots of Socialization!!
Happy Autumn to you and yours!

August 21, 2008

Home Again! Home Again! Jiggedy Jog!

Oh, it's so good to be home again! Jiggedy jog it was this summer. I'm not sure whatever became of the "lazy days of summer" but there certainly haven't been any around our house this summer! Isn't it wonderful to be able to be busy though?

I really enjoy reading Joni Tada's daily email devotionals. They are always wonderful reminders to be seekers after God no matter what our circumstances. Her cheerful outlook despite her physical condition keeps me so thankful for my healthy able body. It's good to be on the run - on my own! I've decided to have a positive outlook about it since it doesn't look like anything can be cut out of the busy life I lead. So I count my blessings: legs to run and do my own duties, arms to carry fresh laundry, food and whatever else, a mind that is clear to worship my Creator while caring and planning for my family and those about me, a safe country with many freedoms to enjoy, and on and on I could go.

Blessings - I enjoy so many! God is SOOOOO good, isn't He?

Today, in honor of Thursday Thirteen, I recount 13 wonderful blessings I enjoy that begin with the letter "L":

1. Lorna - my daughter, My Sunshine. She makes me happy when skies are gray! She'll never know just how much I love her!

2. Lady - I love being a lady and enjoy all the ladylike things - like LACE and tea ;) !

3.Lamplight - lamplight is so kind and warm and inviting. Antique porcelain ones with roses painted on them are my favorites.

4. Laugh - a merry heart is good medicine. I had a child ask me this summer, "Why do you always laugh?" It beats crying and it releases chemicals that heal, maybe that's why- or maybe it's because Gay is my middle name and that means "happy". Happy people laugh , don't they?

5. Lake Michigan - a BEAUTIFUL lake we visit as often as we can. We enjoyed Grand Haven's Musical Fountains again the first week of July.

6.Laundry - Clothes to wash means my family is protected and warm. An automatic washer and dryer make this job SO much easier though I do love to hang clothes on the line and smell their wonderful freshness when they are dried.

7.Lavender - a lovely plant with a wonderful fragrance. The heavy snows killed all of mine so I must plant more soon to scent my linens and closets with.

8. Lawn - a freshly mown lawn, ahhh! Delightful to see and to smell!

9. Learn - the ability to learn. Libraries are a smorgasbord of learning opportunities and a favorite place to spend a morning.

10. Love - "to love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth."

11.Liberty - "Sweet Land of Liberty - of thee I sing!"

12. Lord - the sweet Rose of Sharon, the Balm in Gilead, the Cleft in the Rock, A wonderful Saviour is Jesus, MY LORD!

13. Life - a most wonderful gift. Eternal Life - a priceless treasure and my soul's sole pursuit.
May you enjoy your very own set of blessings today!

July 1, 2008

Tuesday's Teatime ~ A Tea Toast!

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!
Love is like tea, the longer it's in hot water, the stronger it gets! Our love has endured it's share of hot water with Dan's failing health and the sweet bundle of joy God blessed us with nine years ago. The challenges of Parkinson's Disease and Acute Infantile Scoliosis have brought out the proof of our very special commitment to each other.

Who would have ever dreamed when we made those promises 19 years ago the extent to which those promises would be tested? In sickness? Maybe when we were old and our children had children of their own but we sure weren't planning on it when we were still young and busy raising our family! God has been so faithful though and you've been a real trooper. Like Lorna says, "I'm so glad Daddy's a Christian and wants to do what's right!" Always remember, I love YOU!

So today, we raise a glass of sweet iced tea - a toast to life together with all the challenges God knows we can handle with His Help. I'm incredibly thankful for God's bountiful mercies and unmeasurable grace.
P.S. The little baby girl dressed in yellow will commence her life with her love this August 1st!
Best Wishes to you Ashleigh and John!
I wanted to link to this incredible devotion from Joni and Friends but it wouldn't work so I'm copying and pasting it. This is TRUE LOVE - the kind Dan and I share. Enjoy!

A Word from Ken
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. -- Psalm 34:2-3
I've never written one of my wife's devotionals before, but I wanted to do it today. July 3rd is our anniversary. I also want to write because Joni recently arrived home from the hospital where she survived a struggle against double pneumonia. Those nine days in the hospital were extremely difficult for Joni. They were difficult for me, too. I felt helpless, unable to do much for her except to press on her abdomen to help her cough. I stayed at the hospital every night, making sure she had someone to be her "muscles" when she needed help breathing. Quadriplegics like Joni have limited lung capacity, and many don't live through such an ordeal. It's amazing she recovered. Obviously God has much more work for her to do. And me, too. For all these years, we've shared a marvelous mission together. And underline that word together. Joni and I were never more "together" than when she and I were battling against her pneumonia in the hospital. One would think a feeling of togetherness would occur over a candlelight dinner or a romantic vacation. But isn't it just like God to strengthen our unity, deepen our commitment, and breathe fresh romance into our marriage through, well... dealing with pneumonia in a hospital?! * * * * * * * * The sense of being together is never stronger than when you are in the trenches with a loved one battling a common enemy side-by-side. Stressful situations can bring us closer together. Ephesians 2:22 says, "And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." Father, help me find someone today with whom I can exalt your name. If an affliction, disappointment or illness is separating me from a loved one, give me the grace and wisdom to embrace them in the midst of hardship. I want to be built up "together" with them... all for the praise of your glory.
Joni and Friends

June 24, 2008

Tuesday's Teatime - Tea Decor

Welcome to our afternoon teatime! Come into my garden and we'll each have a tall glass of sweet ice tea. Let's sit over here on the triple glider under the apple tree. I'm so excited we're getting our first crop of apples this year! Don't you just love the chimes I hung from one of the branches? It says,
"I'd like to take my troubles
and toss them in the sea
But since I can't I'll smile instead
over a cup of tea!"
The little upside down teacups actually make a pretty sound when the wind blows. I've accumulated a few different tea related items to decorate with outside and this is one of my favorites.
My daughter spotted this at Miss Annabelle's Tea Room.
I thought we'd just enjoy some freshly picked strawberries from the garden with our iced tea. I made some of this cream cheese fruit dip to dip them in - mmm, yummy!
Cream Cheese Dip
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
7 ounces Marshmellow Creme
2 Tablespoons strawberry freezer jam
Blend together. Refrigerate before serving.
It's so hot here today; but, with your sweet company, a tall glass of ice tea, strawberries and dip, and the little breeze blowing - well, life's just sweet!
Thank you for joining me today - see you next week!
P.S. Sorry I was late getting this on. I've been having a terrible time with my Internet connection this week and then I couldn't get on blogger :( !

June 19, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "K"

It's Thursday again and time for me to re-numerate blessings that start with the letter "K"!

1. Karla - it's been fun to be back in touch with this childhood friend thanks to Blogland!

2. Kiwi - love this yummy green fruit, mmmmm!
3.Kids - So thankful for the three kids God has blessed my life with.

4. Keeper at Home - VERY thankful to be able to be a Keeper at Home.

5. Kent - my cousin. The brave and adventurous one that enjoys galavanting all over the globe!

6. Kitchen - I REALLY enjoy my lovely pink and white kitchen with all its bunny and tea accoutrements.

7. Knead - one of my favorite hobbies is making bread and kneading the dough is the next best part.
The best being eating it hot out of the oven!

8. Knowledge - so thankful for the availablity of knowledge and the priviledge of processing and retaining knowledge.

9. Kapok Tree - a delightful restaurant in Clearwater FL that Dan and I went to one one of our first dates. He'll never forget the day or place because he erringly made the following remark as I was enjoying the architecture and ambience,

"This reminds me of the GBS cafeteria!"

I was astounded that he would dare bring the beloved Kapok Tree down to the level of a college cafeteria ! ;)
10. Kit Kats - one of my favorite candy bars. They always bring back fond childhood memories of afternoons spent reading books from the Ladybrand library and enjoying a Kit Kat from Okay Bazaars.

11. Krogers - If you've never been outside the country, you can't fully appreciate the cleanliness, variety, selection and safety of Krogers!

12. Keylime Pie - such a refreshing and delightful dessert! Yummy!

13. Kentucky and Kansas - two beautiful states I've enjoyed visiting in this great nation of ours.

Enjoy a wonderful evening!

June 17, 2008

Tuesday's Teatime

Good Afternoon! Well, it's such a lovely afternoon for our Tuesday's Teatime, we can enjoy our tea either iced or hot today! Such a refreshing cool breeze blowing, isn't it? I'm really enjoying it after all the hot humid weather we've been having!
What kind of tea would you like today? There's Blueberry Bang - I like this one iced; but, I imagine it would be good hot as well. Angel's Dream - that one's good hot or cold, though I must say, I prefer it iced since it's a fruity tea. Hawaiian Colada is a nice tropical blend that's refreshing iced too and oh, yes, Strawberry Kiwi- I can't imagine enjoying it any way but iced! Isn't it a such a pretty pink color? There's also Georgia Peach - I personally like that one hot, and La Marche Spice- it's good hot, too! French Blend- very high in caffeine, it's a great pick-me-up with a nice bold flavor too, Rainbow Rooibus- another fruity one and oh, don't forget, Bora Boramango - it is SO good iced! Very refreshing! I also have a green tea - mint- just for Corrie ;) and always there's Constant Comment - my own all time personal favorite! Or, if you like I can fix you a cup of just plain tea. It would have to be Lipton's, you know! I think their's has the best flavor.
Aren't you glad every day can be a special occasion? It's up to us to make it so! Today is the perfect excuse to make it a special occasion with a cuppa or two - just me and you having a nice chat!
All but the green tea and Constant Comment came from Miss Annabelle's Tea Room in Loveland. We'll have to go there for tea sometime. Such a charming tearoom in the heart of historic Loveland. You know it's got to be pretty special located in a town with a name like that!
Well, I better be scooting along. I'm going to try a curtain job like the Nester shows on her blog, if it turns out pretty, I'll show you tomorrow!
Have a lovely afternoon!

June 16, 2008

Of Secret Sisters and Sowing Seed Scriptures

Of Secret Sisters - This is the bulletin board I designed and put together for the Secret Sister area at our church. Please excuse the blurriness of the picture. I had a hard time getting the right lighting as it is in the basement. Anyway, I was so happy with how it all came together since I drew a complete blank when I decided we needed something different for this encouraging outreach. Inside the mini gift bags and tucked into the tissue paper are slips of paper with the different gifts promoted by this outreach. The scripture I chose was "A Gift is as a Precious Stone" Proverbs 17 :8. The gifts we encourage them to give are:
1. The Gift of Commitment- the lady you are assigned to
will be expecting you to uphold her inyour prayers and she should be able to rely on you for encouragement.
2. The Gift of Prayer - Pray daily for your Secret Sister.
Get to know her needs and her family's needs so that you may pray specifically for them.
3. The Gift of Caring - Make an effort to get to know your Secret Sister.
Discover her likes and dislikes. Know her favorites. Find out all about her.
4. The Gift of Encouragement - Be an encouragement to your Secret Sister.
Send her cards or notes of encouragement.
5. The Gift of Thoughtfulness - Remember your Secret Sister on her special occasions.
Don't forget to help her celebrate
her birthday and anniversary or other special landmarks.
Part of my responsibilites in the Junior Church Department include teaching the memory verse. This week I had an especially difficult time coming up with a way to teach what I felt was a long and hard to understand verse. Finally Sunday Morning, God answered my pleas for help and gave me this wonderful inspiration! The verse is " Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord til he come and rain righteousness upon you." Hosea 10:12
This is how we learned our verse:
Tyler - "Sow to yourselves in righteousness." He wore a gardening hat and had a couple packs of seeds.
Klayton -"Reap in mercy" - He had a rake,
Will- "Break up your fallow ground" - He had a hoe,
Caleb- "For it tis time to seek the Lord" - He has a clock behind his words,
Benji -"Till he come and rain righteousness upon you" - He has a watering can,
and last but not least...
the Address! Where is this verse found in the Bible? (That's it's address, right?)
The postman, Mr. Joseph tells us! Hosea 10:12! How do you like his Post Office uniform shirt? Thank you Bobbi for sharing your shirt with us.

So now you see what I'm up to on Sundays - It's such a joy to serve Jesus in these delightful ways.