Thursday, March 28, 2013


Thank You Debbie Macomber. Debbie Macomber has written a book titled "One Perfect Word." In it she encourages you to choose a word, with guidance from God, to focus and reflect on for one year. Last year I chose the word "help." I thought that I would discover the places in my life where God needed me to "help" others, but instead I became aware of all the "help" God had placed in my life for me.

This year my word is "courage." I am discovering that God is asking me to step out of my comfort zone and to trust Him and become independent. I know He will bless me with "help" on my journey toward becoming courageous.

I am grateful for Debbie Macomber and other authors who do the work God is asking them to do and abundantly bless and serve others.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No Snow

For this I am thankful for Gary's sake.

Yesterday there was a prediction for 5-8 inches of snow. Because of the time it was predicted to fall I, most likely, would have had an early dismissal. Two extra hours to take care of personal tasks are always a gift.

The snow did not arrive. A flurry or two, but not even a dusting on the ground.

Disappointed? Slightly. But then I thought about Gary.

Gary works outside, and this has been a cold, snowy, windy winter. I was very thankful he had a break yesterday.

Sometimes we want something, but if we don't get it, and the absence of it blesses another, then we too are blessed.

Thank You, God, for blessing Gary.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Letter to God

Today I am going to go with God's Divine Plan. I need to let go and let God.
Yesterday I had a plan, and I intended to see it through.

Good morning God,

Yesterday is not a day I am proud of. I had a plan to complete the cowl I was Knitting. I had a plan to wear it with my black pants and brown shirt to work on Monday. I had a plan to get the Pink Scarf Project on the knitting needles. I had a plan. God, You had other plans for me, and I wasn't listening.

Sundays vary at our house. Sometimes all is quiet and Gary and I are the only ones home. Sometimes one or two kids are home hanging out watching a movie or reading. Sundays are often good reading, writing and knitting days. I intended yesterday to be one of those Sundays.

Most of the day was reasonably quiet. One daughter at home who actually went out for a little while. Gary was at the computer all afternoon. I was peacefully completing the knitting of the cowl. Ah, life is good. Cowl was knitted and ready to be grafted.

That's where I should have listened to You, God. That's when You were letting me know, loud and clear, that You had other plans for my evening.

I wasn't listening.

Suddenly, everyone was home and the house was active. Gary had the NASCAR race on in the room I was knitting in. Shannon decided that it was time to thoroughly clean Sheldon the Turtle's tank. Tracy arrived home from shopping with a big bag ready to show us what she bought. Meredith returned from a volleyball tournament excited to talk about it. Rick arrived home from a weekend snowboarding in Vermont with lots of laundry. And, during all this flourish of activity, the race got very exciting and Gary and Rick were shouting with excitement.

Now, what was Your Plan for me at this point, God? Probably to put the knitting aside, I was at the perfect place to stop, and join my family talking, cheering, cleaning the turtle's cage.

No! I had a plan and I intended to see it through! I intended to finish that cowl so I could wear it on Monday. I intended to wind three very large skeins of yarn into balls. I intended to get my next project onto the knitting needles. I was focused. I was persevering. I was stubborn. I was heading into trouble.

It was time to graft the cowl together. I had no idea how to do this, so I YouTubed it and, of course, found a video and began watching. Yes, in the middle of this joyful chaos, I was intent on watching the grafting video. Everyone was joyful, except me. I was beginning to get frustrated.

God, here again You were trying to get me on the right path. You were trying to save me. I still was not listening. Instead I picked up my knitting and my iPad, headed into my craft room where I abruptly set down my things, told my loving family to leave me be, and with great determination began to move at a rapid pace into knitting hell.

I watched my video, and I attempted to graft my project. The yarn I was working with had tiny little sequins sewed into the yarn. They were what attracted me to the yarn in the first place. I loved these sparkly pink sequins. I used to love those sparkly pink sequins. Those teeny tiny not too many sequins became my enemies. I had to use a very long piece of yarn to graft the cowl closed. These tiny little monsters kept getting caught in the yarn and creating knots the size of ping-pong balls. By the time I untangled a knot I would forget where I left off in the four step grafting process. And, at this point, the cats caught sight of this tantalizing piece of yarn bobbing about. "Playtime!" they thought. Now, I am growling at my project, yelling at my family for attempting to speak to me and still ignoring You,God. You couldn't have been any louder. I just refused to listen. My mind was made up and I was not altering my plan.

The race was over. the turtle's home was sparkling clean, I was still grafting, untangling knots, holding the yarn up high so the cats couldn't get it and growling with frustration. My family ordered pizza. I kept on grafting. Well, I thought I was grafting. When I got to the end and held the piece up my frustration turned to sadness. The cowl was a mess and was beginning to unravel at both ends. Three months worth of knitting was slowly unraveling in my fist clenched hands. God, now You finally got my attention!

Nearly in tears I set the piece down. Rick came in the room and asked what happened. I replied, "I was keeping with my plan when I should have let go. I was attempting to complete something when it was clearly not what God had planned for my Sunday evening."

I set the cowl down, got up and ate pizza with my family. I was finally on the right path. I could feel myself calming down. I enjoyed my family. I enjoyed my pizza. I enjoyed my glass of wine. I realized that I had caused my own problems. There was a wonderful joyful evening prepared for me, and I almost missed it all. Regretfully, I missed most of it.

God, You had provided me with wonderful knitting time. The knitting was complete. Now it was time to relax and enjoy my family. You would provide time for me to complete the rest. I did not need to hang onto my plan with both hands. I will be more aware of the gifts You are putting in front of me.

Thank You, God, for not giving up on me last night or ever.

Thank You for my precious family, the greatest gift of all.

See those tiny little sequins? For such tiny little things they were huge problems!

The Bling Cowl

Sunday, March 24, 2013


We have the best gelato only twenty minutes from home! I am also thankful that it is twenty minutes away from home or I would have it everyday. Thank You, God, for scrumptious sweet treats.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gary Can Go to Florida!

Yay! A dream come true! A spring break road trip to Florida with Gary and Tracy! I am grateful that Gary can take the time off from work to go on this trip. Yay!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Girl Scout Cookies

All they have to do is ask.

I work in an elementary school. At Girl Scout cookie time I will buy a box of cookies from every girl who asks me. All they have to do is ask.

I love Girl Scout cookies. My family loves Girl Scout cookies. We can never have too many Girl Scout cookies.

My favorite are the Thin Mint cookies. Yum!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


My father blessed me with the greatest gift of all - FAITH. He was an amazing dad! He passed away in 1987. I was 28 years old. The greatest gift he gave me was the gift of faith. I am eternally grateful to have faith. I am who I am today and where I am today because I have faith.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Best Husband in the World!

Thank You, God, for blessing me with the best husband in the world!

I am reading the book "A Search for Purple Cows." In this book the author tells the story of being emotionally abused by her husband and how she leaves. She writes about her faith and how God helped and provided for her along the way.

I have been married for almost 32 years and not once has my husband ever done anything to hurt me in any way.

God, thank You for an amazing husband and a wonderful marriage.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day!

Every year we have a big St. Patrick's Day Party at our home. Fun! Thank You, God, for the means to throw a fun party for our family and friends every March. Thank You for our family and friends.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lemonade Blankets

"Other people care about sick kids too." -Alex, "Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand"

I am grateful for every person who has made a blanket for The Lemonade Blanket Project, and who has spread the word about the project. These wonderful people have brought joy to a child.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Students Are Reading Chapter Books!

Yesterday, one of my students finished a chapter book. He was elated! So was I.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Quotes: Divine Inspiration, Guidance and Wisdom - all in one day

"Everything is moving. Point in the direction of your dreams. Then, go with the flow. But first, dream big dreams." - Alexandra Stoddard

"Within me lies all the wisdom and capabilities I need to be successful." Daily Word 3/13/13

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase?"
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

". . . you can live your dream and create the life you want." - Diane Willard Kaufman

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Who shot JR?

When I was in college Gary and I used to watch Dallas every Friday night with a pot of coffee and a box of Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies. We were real party people. TBS has brought Dallas back, and Monday night Gary and I watched it, without the coffee and the chocolate chip cookies, because they were bringing back many of the original cast.

Larry Hagman, the character who played JR, died, and the storyline for the show that evening was JR's funeral.

It brought back nice memories of Gary's and my early years together. We were reminded of how much we enjoyed a simple evening staying in and just being together.

The show ended with a revived storyline, "Who shot JR?" Which made us smile, because again it brought back fond memories.

God, thank You for 38 years of memories with Gary. I look forward to the many more memories You have in store for us. Thank You.

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Curls Are Back!

I was born with a head full of curls.

As a kid I hated them. I wanted long silky straight hair. As a teenager I did everything in my power to flatten them. I was a teenager in the seventies, and there wasn't much available to help with frizzy curly hair. I would set it in curlers and sit under the hair dryer for an hour. I also owned enormous curlers that I would put in my hair then attempt to sleep in. I would roll a towel in the space between my neck and the pillow, but they always guaranteed a terrible night's sleep. When I had bangs I would scotch tape them to my forehead. No matter what I did it never stayed straight.

In college I discovered a blow dryer with a brush attachment. This allowed me to brush dry my hair straight. All was good - as long as it didn't rain. Then up in a ponytail it went.

At 23 I got married and cut my hair short. I wore a shorter length than usual, but not really short. I would wash it and blow dry it every day - sometimes twice a day if I was going out in the evening. This was a lot of work, but I had the time - then.

At 30 I gave birth to quadruplets. Yikes! There was absolutely no time to fuss over my hair! Once again I wore it short, and I let it do whatever it wanted. It curled and I learned to love my God-given hair. I didn't have the time not to.

Oh dear, then menopause came around, and my hair went completely lifeless! My hairdresser introduced me to the flatiron, and I was in love. The flatiron not only straightened my hair but it stayed straight! Rain, shine, heat, humidity my hair was unbelievably straight! My family hated it. Everyone said, "That's not you!" I attempted to let it curl every now and then, but no luck. It hung dull and lifeless with a few funny looking bumps here and there.

So, I continued to flatiron.

Then one day I noticed that there was a little more curl. So I let it dry naturally and I set it in hot rollers. I liked it, but that was because I liked the hair styles of the eighties.

Time went by. I went through menopause. I looked in the mirror one morning, and I saw more curls. I thought I will give it a try, and I liked it. My curls had returned. Actually, my curls have multiplied. My hair is curlier now than it ever was!

My family is happy again.

God, thank You for my hair. Taking away my curls made me appreciate them. My family always loved my curls. They said my curls were part of me. It took me a lot longer to be grateful for them. I am sorry. Thank You!

You're not going to want me to fall in love with my grey hair, are you?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Can Tom and I Cook Tonight?

An unusually challenging day at work, then around lunch time I receive a question that brings a huge smile to my face.

A text message from Meredith, "Would it be okay if Tom and I cooked dinner tonight?"

My response, "YES!!! Yay!"

I felt as if she has just lifted 50 pounds off of my shoulders. After a challenging day at work it can be overwhelming to decide what to cook and to cook for 9 people.

We aren't 9 for dinner every night, but we are usually between 4 to 9 people for dinner every night.

Meredith and Tom cook for us frequently. Tracy and Rob have started to do so too. And occasionally Rick will too. This is such a wonderful thing! I'm not sure my children will ever understand how much I love it when they cook dinner.

I do not enjoy cooking. I can cook, and I can cook well, but I do not enjoy it. Cooking is not something I would choose to do if I did not have to. Gary said that he believes I would be an outstanding cook if I just liked to cook. If I won the lottery I would hire someone to do the food shopping and the cooking.

So, today, I am abundantly thankful for my children choosing to cook dinner!

It gets even better. They clean up too!

Thank You, God, for my wonderful thoughtful children!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Anticipation of Snow

I am like child when there is a prediction for a snow storm.

The other night the weathermen were predicting three days of snow for the east coast. I was more excited than any kid I know. When I think that there might be a delayed opening or a snow day the next day I cheerfully bounce through my day with eager anticipation. At night I wake up frequently and look up at the skylights over my bed hoping that they will be covered over with snow.

Just the anticipation of snow brightens my day.

This time we did not get any snow. Today, when it was suppose to snow all day, the sky is blue. For some strange reason that does not disappoint me at all. I simply just love the possibility that I could awaken to my piece of the world covered in beautiful sparkly snow crystals.

Maybe tomorrow.

Thank You, God, for the beauty of snow. Thank You, God, for my mind that can imagine beautiful snow.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Children's Health

My quadruplets were born six weeks premature.

They weighed in at 4lbs.5 oz., 4lbs.81/2oz., 4lbs.10oz., and 5lbs.,2oz.

They all began life in the NICU, but one by one they worked their way out.

The girls were first. Meredith, the biggest and strongest, was the first to go into the nursery and be ready to come home. Then Tracy, the smallest, the fighter. Then Shannon, Mommy's Girl. Shannon never wanted me out of her sight.

The girls came home with me about three weeks after they were born. Why I was in for three weeks is a gratitude story for another day.

Rick developed NEC, an infants form of colitis. He could have died. But he survived! THANK YOU, GOD!!!

December 24, 1988 everyone was home and healthy! THANK YOU, GOD!!!!

We would find out about a month later that Rick's retinas had not developed when he was born, and he could have been blind. However, they developed perfectly, and his vision was fine. THANK YOU, GOD!

We did not know the health risks for premature babies, and I thank God for that. I did not worry. I just waited for all of my precious babies to be strong enough to come home.

Over the years they had normal childhood illnesses, but all are absolutely perfect.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Coffee With God

Twenty years ago I volunteered at a Christian book store.

One day I was browsing through a magazine when I saw an article titled, "How to Pray." I was raised Catholic, and I knew how to pray. I had to memorize prayers all through my twelve years in Catholic school. But this was different. This was how to have a conversation with God. The article suggested using a binder and setting up sections. One section would be petitions, another praise, another gratitude, and I added a fourth section, something I'd been taught in Catholic high school, a Dear God section. Dear God was just a daily letter to God telling Him whatever I wanted. I had also picked up, at the book store, a pamphlet of suggested daily Bible readings.

It was summer-time. I would get up around six, go for a walk, then come home, get a cup of coffee and sit on the front porch with my Bible and my journal binder until the kids awoke.

Twenty years later I still have the same routine, except I walk after my prayer time. Over the years I have used a variety of devotionals, but the only one I have stuck with for many years is The Daily Word. I tried many different types of journals, but I have settled to using sketch pads because I like to add little sketches to my journal.

I am abundantly grateful for the time I volunteered at that bookstore, because it led me to a daily prayer practice. I highly recommend starting your day off with some quiet time with God. I believe I am living a life I love because of it.

Thank You, God, for the Divine Guidance that led me to having my first cup of coffee with You each morning.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I love Sundays!

Sundays are my favorite day of the week, because I choose to celebrate Sunday as a day of rest.

Sunday is the one day, every week, I sleep in. Once awake I quietly slip out of bed, gather the laundry and come downstairs. Even though I sleep in I am still awake before everyone else in the house, and I really like that. Once downstairs I peacefully separate and put on a load of laundry. I do need to do laundry every day, but on Sundays I do it at a very relaxed pace. During the week I am always watching the clock, but on Sundays I pay no attention to time.

Once the washing machine is on I go into the kitchen to feed the cats. My two furry bundles of love rub up against me saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you, love you, love you! I then make myself a cup of coffee and take it into my studio and curl up in my favorite chair in the house to pray.

I read a devotional or two, I journal my thoughts to God and God's words to me, I write lists of gratitude, I pray for others. During the work week and on Saturdays I need to end my prayer time at a certain point and get ready for the day, but on Sundays I allow myself to spend as long as I need talking and listening to God. It is absolutely wonderful! I continue to stay in my chair reading or sketching or just dreaming until my body and soul are ready to move on.

I know, if you have small children, you are thinking, " I wish." When my children were small I took whatever time I could every morning to have my first cup of coffee with God. I must tell you that I did not begin starting my day that way until my children were six years old. I wish I had thought to do so earlier. When they were young I would remain in my prayer spot until they were awake then I tended to them. As the years went by I was able to spend more and more time with God.

Once I am finally up from my glorious green chair I eat breakfast - it is wonderful if one of the kids makes pancakes or waffles - then I CREATE! The true love of all my activities is CREATING! I will blog or knit or crochet or needle felt or just craft. These are the activities I lose myself in and forget all about time. I can spend hours sitting at my needle felting table working on a project. For me this is heaven! I am hoping that my job in heaven is to make angel wings. I can see myself knitting beautiful sparkly angel wings. I can see myself sprinkling glitter. I can see angels coming by for wing fittings. I can see shelves full of gorgeous feathers to choose. . . I get lost in just dreaming about creating.

Sunday is pizza night at our house. We used to have pizza on Friday nights, and I would cook a big meal on Sundays. One Sunday Gary said, "I really don't want to be in the kitchen until 9:00 every Sunday night. How about we switch pizza night to Sunday?" That has been one of the best ideas ever! Now, I get to create, create, create until the pizza arrives. I don't even order it. One of the kids does. Then we all sit around the kitchen table relaxed and happy, because we all know that if momma is happy everyone is happy, eating pizza, drinking wine and chatting. I love it!

After pizza I sometimes will go back into my studio to work a little bit more on a project. Other times I go to bed early with a cup of tea and my book. Either way I eventually end up blissfully rested and ready to start another week.

Thank You, God for Blessing me with Divine Guidance that led me to this glorious Sunday routine.
I love Sundays!

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Cats

Today I am grateful for the cats in my life.

I have had many cats in my life. When I was a little girl we had a cat named Tiger. Tiger had kittens named Squeaky and Taffy. Tiger was my only outdoor cat.

During my teen years we had a Persian cat named Puddy. I can hardly remember Puddy being awake. She would curl up in the rocking chair and sleep all day long. All night long too.

I grew up and got married. When we bought our first home we had two cats named Summer and Scooter. Those two refused to let me knit. As soon as the knitting came out they thought it was time to play. When I sat down to mark papers Summer would steal my pen or pencil and run away with it. Summer also liked to play fetch. He would take a piece of wrapped candy out of the candy bowl and bring it to my husband. My husband would throw it, and Summer would run, pick it up in his mouth and carry it back to Gary. They were our most playful cats.

Time went by and now we have Bernie and Dory. (See the photos below.) Dory is our first female cat. She is a talker and a cuddler. Her favorite room in the house is the laundry room, but she likes it best when I am in there with her. Bernie is the biggest cat we have ever had, weighing in at 23 pounds. He is not fat. He is just a big cat. He does not have a favorite spot in the house. He likes to spread his fur around.

I am grateful for the cats in my life. They have brought me abundant unconditional love. They have comforted me when I was grieving, and they have stayed by my side when I was sick. When I went into labor with our quadruplets I could not get upstairs to wake Gary. Summer pounced on him and woke Gary.

As I am writing this Bernie is sound asleep on my lap, and Dory is curled up in the chair next to me.

When I come home from work and the cats are sleeping in the living room I know all is well.

Thank You, God for blessing me with the love and cuddles of cats.


Dory on the laundry room rug.