Saturday, December 21, 2013

Home IS where the heart is!

Home is Where the Heart Is....

I have been contemplating that a lot in the past month. After selling our "house" several weeks ago it has  been made clear to me once more that it was just that..a HOUSE.

HOME, you see, goes with you where ever you are.

In the 46 years that I have been a wife and then a Mom home has taken on many shapes, forms and sizes. I have nested in an apartment, camp trailer, tent {with my husband and 4 children] a beautiful house and now will be settling into a motor home for a few months to come.

The past month has found us in "temporary" housing..offered by the kindness of our neighbors. Finding ourselves surrounded by someone else's treasures has been both a blessing and challenge all wrapped together. The most amazing thing happened each time a friend or family would walk through the door, "Welcome to OUHOME!!" The excitement of seeing one another and the love shared transformed the unfamiliar to all that really matters, bringing the warmth to the heart that only being home can do.

With most of the familiar treasures from life packed and stored it is an opportunity to incorporate some of the old into smaller forms of itself bringing that "look" of HOME. The comforting thing is knowing that minus the room, minus the "things" the love and hugs of family and friends will assure that we will never be "HOMELESS."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tis The Season

"Tis the season"

We are in a new phase of life and to say it is proving adventurous, exciting, challenging and sometimes a little unsettling would be putting it mildly.

 A little over a month ago we sold our home and have NO idea where life is leading us. Now, I must say, that a similar adventure when I was in my twenties (even with 4 small children) was much easier to deal with. (At least it was in my!)

Thanksgiving found us in a 'Temp" home provided by the giving hearts of our neighbors. We had a quiet day with our son and family counting the many blessings that had fallen our way over the years.    The next couple days brought our twin sons and their families 'home' to join us and fill the house full of the laughter and activity that can only be heard when children join the fray.
As the stories of 'do you remember when..." filled the house it proved the old saying "Home is where the Heart is" to be true.

Because we are nomads for a time and our belongings are hidden in boxes locked away in storage..our Christmas decorations and traditions are packed away for a time also. Now THAT has been a challenge for a Mom and Grandma's heart to settle into. But, new adventures are to be had and maybe some new traditions will work their way into our lives as we endeavor to keep the REAl reason for the season alive and well in our hearts.

This year found us sharing dinner with our son and family and then joining them for an evening of Christmas music and joy provided by a home school choir with our grandchildren as members.

We have traveled to Oregon and I was blessed to catch some sister time as we made our way to the Oregon coast for a little quiet time. Funny how even though it is "just us" now, we still require a little 'break away' from time to time. A walk on the beach always seems to be just the ticket!

Tomorrow we will head to Washington and settle in with our daughter and family for some old fashioned Christmas time. The days AND nights will be filled with the anticipation of Santa 's arrival, the sounds of children, and most importantly celebration of our Saviors birth!!  With a new baby in the mix we will surely be aware of that birth so many years ago, that now provides the REASON FOR THE SEASON, and all HIS birth has brought into our lives.

As I think of Christmas I am reminded that it is because of this gift of a tiny baby, sent from God Himself , that in this new era of my life, I can experience Peace, Joy and "settledness"even though all that is familiar is boxed and stored!

My prayer for this season is to be aware of those new traditions that may be in the making while my heart finds a new hunger to Seek after the ONE who made this season possible for us all.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Reflection on Thanks

I had probably the most quiet relaxing Thanksgiving Thursday of the last 40+ years. Due to the recent sale of our home and Jims' knee surgery life has been a bit on hold. We are living in a neighbor's home while Jim recuperates.  So the Thanksgiving level for provision and health is running high.

Thursday while taking a short break I was cruising through Face Book checking out my friends posts when I came upon one that encouraged a reply. The friend was commenting on the need in today's society for commitment, goal setting and taking responsibility.
Several friends had commented and so I of course added my thoughts, which led to my cause of reflection....

The year was 1965 and I was a Senior in high school (now I am just a SENIOR). My brother had run out of gas on a country road.  We were standing between his car and mine attempting to get things going again.  A drunk driver came out of nowhere and before we could remove ourselves from the mix we were crushed in the middle.
The result was a short hospital stay for my brother and a whirlwind of doctors, surgeries, tears and love, and a full year snatched from any form of "Normal" life for me.

It was was definitely another day and time. Neither the medical procedures nor the hospital accommodations were close to being what is common place today.  As a result my recovery time was extended and the opportunity for expressions of love and care by friends and family was limitless! Let me tell you they went above and beyond many times over.

Let me share a few of the reflections that have once again spurred a heart of Thanksgiving for some incredible acts of kindness by some amazing people....

The stranger who held my head in her lap while waiting for the emergency crew.

The hospital room was just that ..a my Senior class rented a TV...wheeled into my room, providing a source of distraction and moments of reprieve, thanks to the generosity of some pretty cool teenagers.

The principal arrived at the hospital the morning following the accident with a local pastor. The principal to assure me that I WOULD graduate with my class thanks to the generosity of the school district paying for a tutor. The pastor to offer a prayer for peace and healing.

At the time of the accident I had been working lunch hours, afternoons and weekends at the local Fountain and Variety. The customers were all part of a large community family. One of the rough and tough loggers provided stamps, stationary and grape vines (candy) so I could keep in touch with those on the outside :) A radio, lounge robe, (just right for the bed and wheelchair) purchased from donations of other customers.

A visit from a teacher, bringing his new baby to my bedside to share the joy of new life. :)

Daily visits, games and "outside food" from friends and family.

Visits nearly weekly from my high school sweet heart, later to become my husband, who traveled from college. He would often arrive late after a football game and the nurses would watch for his arrival, sneak him in and provide ice cream and goodies..their way of rewarding him for his love and sacrifice as they had become involved in my life.

A  'day with the class' made possible by the time and effort of many classmates and teachers.

All of these things were wonderful memories of  what could have been a horrific time in a young woman's life.
But as I interacted with my friends on FB one shared with me a nugget I had not known. She shared with me her memory of that time and mentioned remembering the morning that a prayer had been offered for my recovery over the intercom at school. REALLY!! ?? :) :)
That was a new revelation that brought the flood of memories and a heart renewed with Thanksgiving for a community that walked through a dark time with a young woman. They provided hope, and brought the light of love and  caring into a life spun out of control by an unexpected turn in life.

So many acts of kindness and words of encouragement that made it possible to imagine that things WOULD return to normal.

Yes, I did graduate with my class...have gone on to get married have 5 children, blessed with 16 grandchildren and friends to numerous to count.
This last September, 48 full years following what many thought would be a crippling accident, I walked the Susan G. Komen 3Day 60 mile walk, in Seattle,WA. The ability to complete the walk meant setting a goal, discipline in training and commitment to follow through.I finished strong and am continuing to train for the 3Day in San Diego 2014! A miracle to be shared and celebrated.
Every step I take is with gratitude and thanksgiving. But the greatest gift of all is taking those steps to bring HOPE to someone else. An opportunity to "Pay it Forward."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cultivating the Soil of Thanksgiving!

"Thanksgiving is the soil that JOY thrives in"...this is on a church sign just up from our home. I have passed by it several times and every time I read it it gives me pause.
Notice it is JOY not happiness that thrives in the soil of  thanksgiving. 
 Several years ago I was made aware of the difference in "Joy" and  "happiness."  I realized that happiness is a choice..while JOY comes from deep within.  My attitude and response to my surroundings and circumstances that can change daily will determine my degree of happiness but I can experience Joy even in the darkest of times. My joy is rooted deep within me and is founded in those things that do not change...those things that produce a deep rich soil from thanksgiving that is continuous and flows freely. 

The word Joy always brings to mind the scripture "The joy of the Lord is my strength"..Nehemiah 8:10... in other words my relationship with God and my thankfulness for all He is, and has given me, produces a rich soil in which  joy is able to thrive. In the difficult times of life when I CHOOSE thankfulness I am able to draw on that joy and my strength is renewed for the battle. 
In the lonely dark times I can choose Thanksgiving. My personal process is to simply begin to make a list of my blessings.  

My husband friend, provider, protector and love of my life after  46 years of marriage

My Children...5 in all...the fuel for my desire of life and greatest supporters and encourager's any Mom could dream of .

My Grandchildren....All 16 of them :) inspirations to be healthy and active and sources of hugs and snuggles.

My Health...the ability to walk {after both broken legs} breast cancer survivor ..much more

My Home...{wherever it may be!} Temporary home at present..provided in the most unexpected THAT may be another story :}

My many to name,who bless me constantly with their kindness and love

Food ....



I find it almost impossible to begin to consciously list my blessings in a form of thanksgiving without finding a smile replacing the stress and loneliness.

I challenge you to make your list..check it twice and be amazed at how very much you have to be thankful for and the joy that will flood your soul. Blessings and Hugs as you enter this holiday season with a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude and JOY unspeakable!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

HOPE is not a strategy...

"Hope is NOT a strategy."

Our  Pastor used this quote from a friend as they were doing their workout in his sermon on Sunday. It has cirlcled around and around in my mind all week.

How true it is..

 I can hope for good health...but without a healthy diet and some added exercise it is not gonna happen. I can concentrate on one or the other but without a balance of good food and motion I will be lopsided in my health.

It is important to have a plan and follow it. Set a goal, create a plan of attack (my strategy) and then I will have HOPE of reaching my goal.

I can hope for a better relationship with that friend or loved one. Without making an effort to understand, forgive, or make that choice to love unconditionally there is a very small chance that the desired change will happen.

When I made my commitment to walk the 3Day 60 miles I didn't HOPE I would reach the finish line. Instead I trained hard, walking 1100 miles in advance of heading for Seattle. I walked on trails, on blacktop and climbed some mountains in preparation for whatever the route would bring my way. I knew I needed to prepare my mind as well as my body. When I took that first step I planned to walk every mile.
That first day confirmed the importance of that 'strategy.' I ended the day exhausted both physically and emotionally. I spent that evening questioning my ability to physically complete my mission and yet my mind assuring me that I would.
The following morning (4 AM) I rolled out of bed refreshed, and determined.  My training had paid off and I finished those 3 days ...88 total miles (it wasn't only the route we walked walking strong!
The interesting thing is, that when I made my commitment to this walk, my goal was to bring HOPE to others. My strategy was that by my doing the walking I would assist in bringing awareness to the need, raise money for research, assistance to those in treatment and to give encouragement to others.

My ultimate hope in the remaining years of my life is to be healthy, active and enjoying fun filled time with my husband, children and grandchildren. My strategy is to eat a healthy diet, continue to walk and exercise and to keep my priorities in order :) all the time realizing that God has the ultimate control and plan for my life. I rest in this promise...For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

What is that you are 'hoping' for?  Do you have a 'strategy' to see it become reality?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Finding Balance on the Priority Scale

                    For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.
                                                                            I Corinthians 14:33                                                         

It is amazing to me how often it is necessary to re-evalute where the important things in life are on my "Priority Scale." The busyness of life has a way of overtaking sensibilities and all of a sudden life is in spiral of activities without order.
Then something happens to bring me to a halt.  I take a new look at life and what is really important.
My life has always seemed to function in high gear and I never seem to have the luxury of dealing with one life event at a time. It seems that in the midst of one major happening another rears it's head and demands it's rightful place and my attention.
A few examples ....
As a teenager while nursing my mother after a major heart attack, I was in a car accident which resulted in the fracture of both bones in both legs.
As I was recovering from the throes of breast cancer treatment, I ended up with major surgery on my ankle to correct complications of the broken bones years earlier.
While celebrating the completion of walking Susan G Komen 3 Day  our realtor called to announce an offer on the sale of our home..
As the sale of the home was drawing to a close, my husband entered the hospital for a total knee replacement....
Each of these events held a high degree of importance and was considered a major life event..only to seemingly be upstaged by the next. As I recall them now I see the impact that they have brought to my life and how they influenced those things I claim as priorities in my life.
I had lost my Dad to a heart attack just about a year before Mom suffered her first attack. As a teenager I learned quickly that I needed to treasure each day. Then came the car accident and broken legs which made me realize the importance of  appreciating those things I often take for granted.   For example, simply walking freely across the room, and the treasure wrapped in friendship and love I possess.
Breast cancer showed me not only the gift of life but the gifts life had given me wrapped in the flesh of family and friends.
Ankle surgery again brought the appreciation of the everyday blessings of life.
Walking the 3 Day allowed me to take the difficult memories that had come with my accident, ankle surgery and cancer and turn them into daily reminders that God has restored my health. It was an opportunity to celebrate LIFE and a reminder that every step is a gift!
The sale of our home and decision to downsize gave opportunity to share keepsakes of 46 years of marriage with our children and frees us for a new and yet to be imagined adventure in our retirement. Jim's knee replacement promises mobility as we begin this new phase of life.
So, putting these lessons on life together has helped to shape my priority list and brought me to point of stopping my spiral of craziness, to put my values in order, slow down give gratitude for the blessings I have.
Family, Friends, Health and Mobility wrapped in the Grace and Mercy of my God are the things that keep my life in order and my Priority Scale balanced.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday: GRACE

When I think of Grace the first word that comes to mind is 'Thankful'.  I can't begin to count the times in my life when grace has been applied...sometimes by a friend or loved one but ALWAYS by my God.
Grace and mercy...they go together like love and marriage. Marriage, children and all that goes with prove to be a perfect mix to both practice and receive the gift of grace.
Gift? Yep, Grace can be the greatest gift we can be given and a source of peace when we choose to give it.
 Sometimes the ability to be the giver causes me to dig deep in my heart and go back to my bank of memories to find the strength to make that choice.
Just as hard, can be the ability to make the decision to be on the receiving end. Guilt, inadequacy or defiance can easily rob me of the gift.
Praying for the strength to give Grace freely and the courage to accept the blessing of the gift when offered!

Finding your passion...

For several years October has been know as Breast Cancer month and the fight to bring an end to this disease which affects so many lives. Everywhere we look our world has been "pinked". We  are given opportunities to participate in a walk or a run, raising awareness and funds for research, education or practical help to the victims.
In the recent years many other foundations have come forward in an effort to gain warriors for their battles.
The Saturday following my Susan G Komen 3Day walk to help in funding research to bring an end to breast cancer my daughter ran a 10K to bring awareness to Domestic Violence. It seems October is also Domestic Violence month... I have pledged to add Purple to my Pink. One in Four women will deal with this monster in their lifetime....then you add the children and men who battle with their monsters and it is indeed a sad story.
Today my husband found an article declaring October Down Syndrome month and a walk to bring awareness to Down Syndrome. (no color mentioned)
Add to these Heart Disease, Prostrate Cancer, ALS (Lou Gerigs Disease), Infertility, MS,  and the list goes on and on....and the months each claimed with a cause.
I'm sure as you consider the needs and think of those you know or love who have been affected by one of these diseases you can relate at some level. Why not choose to be a part the fight. There is someone in your world who needs you to be their inspiration and encourager! You will be amazed what you learn about yourself as you choose to honor someone else!!
Find your passion..step out of your comfort zone..and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime.
If you are the one in need of inspiration and encouragement reach our and be aware!! Sometimes our needs are met in the most unexpected ways!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


The 5 weeks since participating in the 3Day 60 Mile Walk for Breast Cancer, have been a whirlwind and it seems like a lifetime ago. One of my favorite sayings such marrying my husband nearly 47 years ago is "life is NEVER dull at the Moody house"  You would think, or I did anyway, that after retirement things would slow down and get 'normal'. Well, I should have known that my normal would not fit in the mold of what most people would consider normal.

My first hint that I  was about to enter on a lifetime of adventure should have been when he came home on a two week Christmas Break and  ask me, " If we were to get married this month what day would you want to get married" We chose the 30th and 17 days later I was walking down the aile . But that is a whole OTHER story....

Just before leaving for Seattle we had listed our home...with no particular plans for life without the house...

While the excitement and awe of completing one of the biggest challenges of my life was fresh in my mind..our realtor called to add to the celebration..We had an offer on our home. Because this was not our first some would say..we didn't get TOO excited. But we chose not to be completely      out of the loop either.  After spending a week with our daughters family and collecting as many hugs and cuddles as a grandma could possibly collect we came home to make sure all was going smoothly on the business end of life.  The next week is filled with a home inspection, bank appraisal, family weekend celebrating the births of four of our children and the word comes back that all has gone well and we have 15 days to pack our belongings and usher new owners through a door of a house we have called home for 13 years, and which is holding 47 years of treasures and memories.

To add another level of excitement to the mix, Jim had decided to proceed with treatment for a knee that had been limiting his mobility level for several years, but had gotten considerably worse in the past 6 months.  We had set and appointment with a specialist before leaving home.  We are now thinking that having a home to recuperate in would be a nice side benefit " :0)

As I have written many times during my training God  made Himself known nearly daily, by the little moments He had chosen to share. Or was it the times I was patient enough to be aware? His faithfulness and provision throughout the years has always added the 'awe' factor to my life. 

Let me share our latest "Wink" from God...After hearing that the sale on the house was actually going to happen we had made a 'to do' list.  At the top of that list was securing temporary housing, hopefully furnished.  While visiting with a neighbor, to share the excitement of their new-to them motor home, we shared our news. To our amazement, they both, without hesitation offered their home. [They are 'snow birds' and are leaving for warmer climate] They were to be leaving town the same day our home closed and will be gone for approximately 6 months. Their home of course is 'fully furnished'. We are moved in and will be warm and secure while Jim takes time to recuperate!!

In the business and hectic pace of life I am in awe once more of the mindfulness of God. It is totally amazing that with all the chaos  and pain in this world that He in His AWESOMENESS smiles in on my life!! 

We still have no set plans for life but feel pretty convinced that HE has a plan and am thinking I am gonna need to "Hold on Tight" as a new adventure begins!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Love and Safety..Ending Domestic Violence

October is Breast Cancer world for the past several years has been bathed in Pink. Last week I learned that October is also Domestic Abuse Month...this year I will add some Purple to the Pink.                                                                                                                
I just arrived home from a most remarkable adventure that  will forever be a life changing event in my life. I was so blessed to have the love and support of my husband as he not only made the 600 mile trip, to Seattle, WA to the beginning of the 3Day Walk, but followed the route in a strange city to cheer me on! Thank God for the GPS and cars and vans covered with pink :)

In the 46 (nearing 47) years of our marriage we have shared more adventures and challenges than I would care to count. Many times we have moved to new areas and set up our home and endeavored to make it a safe haven for our family and many times friends and strangers. Raising 5 children together and finding a balance of love, cuddles and discipline.

Our marriage is a normal marriage and has not been without it's difficult times. Through those unsettled times violence has never been an option. This last week I was made VERY aware of how blessed I am to be able to live within the walls of a "Safe Zone".

Domestic violence came closer to home than ever before through the marriage of a family friend. Lives in that home and the lives of extended family are changed forever. A husband and father sits alone in a jail cell contemplating his violent actions. A wife and mother lies in critical condition fighting for her life. The lives of their children are in limbo as they try to understand the upheaval in their lives and what is to come. Friends and family are rocked to the core with the horror of it all.

Many times in these cases blame can be placed at the feet of both parties but blame is not what it is all about now. Safety, security and wise choices are what we look back on and wonder how the outcome could have been different. Could we have somehow had a more positive influence in these lives?

This year I will not only be walking for the end to Breast Cancer 3Day San Diego but will look for a way to be a part of bringing an end to Domestic Abuse.

If you or someone you know is living in a potentially violent environment reach out.  Find that  person or BE that person who offers understanding and a safety net. There is no shame in reaching out for help. Your life or the life of someone you love may be dependent on that choice.

Wishing each of you a life of love, safety!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fueled by Commitment

It has been three days since I crossed the finish line...60 Miles in 3 Days!!  With a feeling of tremendous satisfaction I completed a commitment made nearly 7 months ago and renewed many times to friends and family who showed their support financially and emotionally. One hundred and eighty cancer patients who have, or are, fighting the battle for a lifetime (Some who fought valiantly and lost) I carried with me, names imprinted on my walking shirt a promise made to "take them with me across the finish line."

I trained hard for seven months in order to be prepared for the challenge I knew was ahead. After the first day I realized how thankful I was for the months of training...but worried it wasn't enough. For the first time since my commitment a little voice began to 'speak the words of doubt.'  Those of you who have followed my journey know that your support and those 'Winks from God' have been my inspiration and motivation. Friday was no different...I arrived at camp to find several letters and cards of encouragement waiting for me, my phone 'pinged' with countless messages of love, pride and ' you go girl' from friends and family. Hugs and love from strangers topped the day.  The doubt was dispelled and the assurance that nothing would come between me and that finish line returned! I began to recognize the power of the faith placed in me and the commitment I knew I had made to so many.

The second day brought with it it's own share of hills and challenges. I found myself in the role of encourager to many as they fought their own battles with doubts, exhaustion and blisters.  My strength and joy seemed to return with each step as I again began to recall my reasons for being here and  the commitment I had made. As the sun set on day two I found my commitment renewed, motivation restored and myself 20 miles closer to the goal!

Day three arrived with the promise of a shorter route and a celebration to be shared with my 1200 fellow walkers at the close. It also arrived wet and windy. Mother Nature threw her last hurrah in the final four hours on the trail. The skies opened to pour a deluge of water on the  parade of pink and winds strong enough to be called 'tree trimmers' by the weatherman hurled their forces in an attempt to slow or even stop our progress.
At the beginning of the storm the most brilliant rainbow appeared reaching from the horizon to a fluffy cloud the shape of a cotton ball floating above. It seemed to hover over the trail for several miles. It served as a beautiful reminder of a promise from God and provided the feeling He knew exactly where I was at that moment in time.
Before me lay the opportunity to proclaim victory over all the obstacles and doubts produced by the challenge of the route.With that opportunity came the reminder that every step was fueled by a commitment I had made  and  that my walk was meant to bring Honor and Hope to so many!!

As the last hill came into sight, lined with people in all shades of pink and carrying a variety of noisemakers. Family, Friends and Strangers giving HIGH FIVES and hugs of congratulations. Tears of joy overflowed as the realization of a mission accomplished began to set in. After a time in 'holding'  we filed onto the field to our closing ceremony. 1200 walkers celebrating the end of 3 incredible days with one goal in mind...bringing an end to breast cancer !! As the song "WE ARE FAMILY" reverberated  from the speakers we hugged, cried and celebrated life...our own and those whose lives would be changed and given HOPE by  the three million dollars we had collectively raised.

 The commitment I made 7 months ago and renewed often to friends and family proved to be the fuel for the motivation to see the end of the most amazing life changing adventure of a lifetime!

I owe gratitude and thanks to so many but the support of my husband through the hundreds of miles walked in training,  seeing his smiling face and sharing a hug and tears of celebration at the end of my journey was a gift beyond measure! The arrival of our daughter and family for the closing ceremony was priceless :)

Get ready San Diego 3Day  we will be coming your way Nov. 21-23 of 2014 for the challenge you lay out....

Monday, September 16, 2013


In 3 days I will take off on the most incredible adventure of my lifetime! I will endeavour to use this blog as an avenue to keep in touch with family and friends.  Because of the length of my walk each day  I will not get to my updates until the evenings..but I will carry your love and support with me ALL day!

Excitement is running high and my 'to do' list IS getting shorter. Because we are taking the motor home and planning to extend the trip a couple weeks the list is a little more complicated :)
Each day continues to present me with a new reminder of why I made this commitment. I walk each mile in honor those who are fighting their battle with cancer. My walking shirt carries 180 names of those you have shared.

Early in my journey  a young man told me that his personalized  license plate was "time is money". I told him I was in training for my 3day Walk and that "I would supply the time and miles but I need help with the money." I had no idea at that time the harvest those miles on the trail would produce. I am delivering to Seattle  $3540 to be added to the grand total, for research, education, and provisions. All because of YOU and your willingness to provide the money!!

Because this has been a life changing event in my life the adventure will not end in Seattle!! I have signed on to 60 Miles in San Diego 2014! My niece is joining me and we plan to "Rock the Walk! "
 Decide now to join me by committing to give support through "time OR money" Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime :)

Walking Strong
Laura  (Grandma M)

Sunday, September 15, 2013


The first "picture" that always comes to mind with the word ANTICIPATION was a time when I was about 6 years old and my parents had promised a trip to town. We lived in a very small community and a trip to town meant shopping at the 88 Cent Store ( Dollar Stores! Does that make me old?). A visit to the auction for my Dad and brother and a bowl of Chinese Noodle Soup with Daddy and Momma.  Daddy had responded to a call and had gone to help a neighbor in need. In my eagerness to be on the road, I set on the back of Mommas red fabric couch, in front of the big 'picture' window watching for the approach of Daddy's car and the promised adventure.

Next comes the time when I found myself several blocks from home after the sun had slipped below the horizon. Shadows danced in the dim light coming from homes and the occasional street light. My mind began recalling all those scary movies I had watched and mysteries I had read and I found myself contemplating the danger behind every bush !

Then came the day in the doctors office when I was diagnosed with breast cancer...She quickly made an appointment with a surgeon. As the day of the appointment neared I anxiously awaited his plan of attack and the detour my life would take in the weeks and months ahead.

Amazing, isn't it how the same word, in different forms, can conjure up such different memories. Bringing with the memories a tear of disappointment,  a tickle of nervousness in the tummy, or a smile at the prospect of adventure.

In 5 days I will embark on the one of the greatest adventures and challenges of my lifetime. I will spend 3 days walking 20 miles each day with an incredible group of men and women.  The community will be bathed in pink and the shared goal of all is to bring Hope and Help to those battling  breast cancer.
My anticipation has taken the form of contemplation with all that lies ahead and what it means to me
and many others. The opportunity to be involved in something that effects so many lives is totally overwhelming. Add to that the fact that for me, every step is a miracle, the excitement and eagerness becomes hard to contain.

In 5 days I will mark the beginning of a challenge I took on 7 months ago. It promises to be a culmination of hard work, over a thousand miles of walking, creating a circle of friends and the humbling honor of representing nearly two hundred cancer victims whose names I will carry with me.

But wait...this looks to be the prelude of more to come! In November of 2014 my niece Pam Smith will join me to once again walk the 60.  So now, I share with her, the anticipation of all this adventure promises in the joy of bringing Hope and Help to others.

What are YOU anticipating???

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catchin' God's Winks

God's Winks.... 'coincedences in life'

Countless times I have looked at my life and 'sighed' with the harried schedule of it all. That was acceptable and expected when the house was full of children, I found myself helping my husband in the fields, and the normal, everyday household chores beckoned. But now, I'm retired, everyday is a Saturday, according to friends. The golf course, recliner, and pampering should be the order of my day..RIGHT??


'Amazed' is how I look at my calendar as the weeks and months approach. Life is not slowing down as  one would expect at retirement age. Time seems to be flying at break-neck speed and I sometimes struggle just to hold on.

So it is with awe that I see how a very time-consuming, demanding, commitment is teaching me the greatest lesson of my life. "Slow down, reach out, stop and take time to touch a life, listen, and be touched.!"
Visiting with a fellow walker on the trail, having dinner with a friend in the middle of a long walk, lunch with an older person who needs someone to' lend an ear.' In short ...tossing the schedule to the wind and delighting in the new design for my day. Recognizing those 'Winks' from God and basking in the knowledge He is working in me!
If I had no other benefit from the commitment to to Walk 60 miles in 3days this lesson alone would be worth it all. Add to that the fact that I have an opportunity to be a small part in bringing Big Hope to so many beyond words.

Make a choice today...slow down...pause..listen to that friend or stranger who crosses your path and be aware of the 'Winks" in your life. You will be astonished how much more rich your life will become.

Walking Strong...and looking for 'Winks'

Friday, September 6, 2013


Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo BakerWhere we write for five minutes without editing and see where it takes you, using a word Lisa has chosen.The word today is RED...GO

Several year ago I turned 50 and was now eligable to join the ranks of the "RED HATS" A group of friends and strangers who have all reached that milestone and are anxious to gather for some fun and silliness :) The only rule is that there are NO rules!! 
At the time, I had a very dear friend who was a widow in need of an excuse to just get out and enjoy life a bit. We made a date, purchased our first hat and found that nothing says "Fun" like a red hat :)
I am now the 'Queen Mum" of a group of nine women. Once a month we gather for a dinner together,sometimes a concert or special outing but ALWAYS a hug and laughter. Our heads covered with a creative Red hat (the bigger the better)a purple shirt,and bright and flashy accessories we join with a single goal. FRIENDSHIP 
I have found that as time passes and the demands of life change the greatest nugget I can mine is the companionship and support of another woman...but wait..isn't that true of any stage of life? Don't we always desire the fellowship and support of another "sister'? 
So if you have not quite yet reached the 'red milestone' go ahead purchase a pink hat and lavender shirt and have yourself some fun and turn a stranger into a friend!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Giving and Receiving

I have posted several blogs with the mention of my 60 miles in 3 days. Time is passing quickly and the  training log this past week called for two long walks (18 miles on Wed and 15 on Thur). Now, you need to understand that I live about 600 miles from the home of the walk and 200 miles from the closest walker. So my training walks have required me keeping myself motivated over the past 6 months. 

I have written previously of how the people I've met and their stories or the stories of the ones they  love have given me the boost I have needed on different days... The "ping" on my phone announcing "you have a donation"... Cars passing with horns honking and a thumbs up or wave from the driver.
I have gathered names of those who are currently or are or in the past have fought their battle with the 'Big C' and will honor each by walking the 60 miles with their names on my shirt. All of these have given renewal to my commitment and a new spring in my step at a time when I needed it most.                                                                                                          

A post on my team Facebook page this morning will sustain me to the end of the walk:
 "So here's something cool I need to share with everyone. While at my doc for chemo yesterday, the woman that does all the insurance checks comes to me with an email. It states that through the Susan G. Komen foundation, breast cancer patients are entitled to $300 to go towards medical bills, child/elder care due to treatments, wigs, medical equipment, etc. I was stoked, knowing that I've done three walks myself and now the money I helped raise is coming back to me Truly, what goes around, comes around! 

I can say without hesitation that my life will forever be changed by a commitment I made in February of this year to turn two very difficult times in my life to positives!  Check out  Overcoming Obstacles

What is it in your life that you can choose to do that will forever make you a better, stronger person?

Walking Strong Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

the picture I shared from the internet

Friday, August 30, 2013

Family Dynamics

Family....Dad, Mom, Spouse, Children, Grandchildren,Grandparents,Brothers,Sisters,Nieces,Nephews, Aunts and Uncles...we could go on and on. With the mention of each, a new face flashes on the 'screen' of our memory. That one who always seemed to offer the hug when needed or the laugh in the midst of the dark time.

As I sit here considering the last few days and my time spent with family I am struck by the expectations we seem to automatically attach to each...and how our roles change with age... and of those roles how many I am in the midst of playing right now.

47 years ago I became a wife, and homemaker.  Through the years I became the Mom  of 5 and then the  Grandma of 16..Wow how did that happen? As Mom I became the "grown up" with responsibility. Responsible to cuddle and nourish my babies and toddlers. Guide my children in their char actor building years. Bringing discipline and love along with the teaching of practical life lessons. Finally watching them move on to creating their own homes and moving into their adult lives.

As Grandma I gladly accept my role for providing, LOVE, Encouragement, LOVE, Hugs, cuddles, and more LOVE!  Discipline ..."Not so much" :)

I am the youngest daughter and baby sister in a family of 8. Because of my family dynamic, my being the last child home for several years after the death of my father I learned responsibility early. I also was the beneficiary of all the extra little 'perks' of being the 'baby' of the family. Funny how being the 'baby' never changes in the minds of siblings :) I have found that to be a challenge as well as a blessing at times. Family dynamics can be such a mixed blessing but provides the opportunity to deal with difficult situations in the confines of love.

I am a niece to many cousins and and aunt to a bunch of  nieces and nephews. (some of which are the same That has been fun!)

As I mentioned earlier each role brings with it it's own expectations from those around us. But more important is how I determine my role in the lives of those who call me Wife, Mom, Grandma, Aunt, or Cousin. My hope is to be an encourager extraordinaire to all those I have in my circle. Striving to share the love, mercy and grace that I daily experience through my Lord. Creating a life that brings a challenge to the heart and soul of each to be the best they can be.

Healthy, strong, and happy is my goal! Knowing that "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength" (Ne:8:10) and realizing that happiness is a choice.

Wishing you Health, Love and Peace, Joy and Happiness

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


                Dream as if you'll live forever.  Live as if you'll die today.  ~James Dean

An early morning call from a friend telling me her 36 year old son-in-law was killed, reminded me again the truth of the quote "life is short."

In the blink of an eye our plans are lost forever. Our life, or the life one we love, is snuffed out as quickly as we extinguish the flame of a candle.  No do overs, no pleas for just one more day...GONE...Forever.

My mind immediately scrolled through the faces of my husband and each of my children, grandchildren, sons and daughters-in-love. Prayer for safety and thanksgiving wafted from my heart as I listened and shared in the grief of a friend. A promise to said heart to call and share a message of love and a phone hug with each.  Lord, let me be careful to remind them of their importance to my life!!

Then came the thoughts of friends far and near, new and old and the dinners I've meant to cook and the lunches I have planned to share....getting my calendar out, and phone in hand. Planning some dates of fellowship and conversations of renewal.

Praying peace and love over those working their way through the grief of loss this day.
Asking for safety and health of my family and friends.
Petitioning for the wisdom to daily express the love and thanksgiving to those so precious in my life.
Seeking a new and deeper desire to show your grace and mercy to others.
Your Very Blessed Daughter

So, grab your phone, get in your car, cross the room..whatever it takes to assure those in your circle of life that they are loved and valued beyond measure!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo BakerWhere we write for five minutes without editing and see where it takes you, using a word Lisa has chosen.  Joining for the first time... Small

Small....the other day as I was driving through town I saw a "small" person. First time in a long time I had been reminded of the complexities of being small in stature. He looked so cute pulling the red wagon his little boy was riding in and a good time was being had my both. But in the days following I have contemplated the importance of the training of the small child in the wagon. How important it would be that he is taught that "size isn't everything" and that the respect would grow as his stature does. It will be because of love and respect for all the provisions and giving heart of the father that the child will grow in a balanced and happy life.
But then to be really honest isn't that true of us Big people too?? If respect and honor isn't taught to our children it will be a chaotic life we will all live!


Monday, August 12, 2013


Encouragement.... to fill with courage or strength of purpose...

Are you an encourager or the one in need of encouragement?? I have found myself on both sides of this issue and and without question would, normally, much rather be on the giving end! In the past few months I have been a recipient in more ways than I could have imagined and it has been AWESOME!

"Hang in there"...(I always picture the cat hanging from a limb :) Just Do It....This two shall pass...You can do it!... a few of the many automatic responses you may hear from a friend. But it is not only words that bring sunshine to the heart.

Through the past few months I have had the opportunity to experience some very interesting and fun forms of encouragement. Maybe I have enjoyed these smile creating moments because I have been on the alert. I am convinced I have missed or 'dis-missed' many of those nuggets of hope in the past simply by not taking time to look and listen.

As you may know by now I am training to walk The 3day  . 39 days and counting!!  It has required walking more and further than I would have ever imagined myself capable of. I have discovered some incredible nuggets in my path and along the sidelines. Many of these have given me just the boost I needed to finish my goal for the day.

Normally I would think of a card in the mail, phone call, email or visit from a friend as the tools used to deliver that much needed encouraging word. Through the various aspects of this walk, fund raising, walking the miles of prep, fundraising, attempting to raise awareness of the need, walking the miles of prep, fundraising..(I think you get the message :) I have learned to look in the most unexpected places!

 A person met along the way because I took the time to stop. 
A "PING" on my phone,"a donation has been made on your behalf"
New grips for my walking email this week that they are making a SPECIAL PINK 
pair for my walk...AWESOME!!
Cars passing with people honking and waving...cheering me on (strangers a few weeks ago)
A young boy, head out the window, yelling,"Hi...Hey I like your pink shirt!"
New experiences to be sure..each stamped with a smile on my heart.

 I ENCOURAGE  YOU this week to slow down, and take time to let the light shine on that nugget in your path that will bring that unexpected smile to your day and put a new spring in your step!!
Or maybe that beam will shine on you and you will be the nugget found in another persons path. Either way, YOU WIN!!

Walking Strong   Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

Wednesday, August 7, 2013



 I am on countdown for my 3Day Walk and putting in some long days. Todays training called for  a 17 mile trek , on a VERY hot day. Commitment, Motivation, and Determination have become my best friends as of late.

 Even with an early start the sun soon made its debut and the heat began to replace the cool freshness of the morning.

In my last blog I talked about the "Coincidences" or "God Things" of life. My daughter wrote to tell me that in a book she had read, the author spoke of coincidences as being "God Winks". I like that concept and am attempting  to keep my "Coincidence" antenna poised not wanting to miss even one of those 'winks'.  I have not been disappointed!

 Today as the sun began to heat up, and my tummy was suggesting lunch, I told myself that, "I could make my distance" if I turned around before my pre-determined spot.
After a quick "Commitment" scan, I continued to my destination, a consignment store on the south end of town. With a feeling of satisfaction, and anticipation, I went inside to cool down and take a break. After a look around the store I started to leave. "Where are you walking from?"   I had the feeling this was the opening to my daily "wink".

 Turns out the clerk was a cancer survivor with 2 other friends to add to my shirt.(I'm gathering the names of cancer victims to put onto my shirt and walk in honor of their battles)  We chatted for a while and as I left with the promise to "come back and report in" I knew that I had collected my "wink" for today. I walked home with new Motivation and Determination to be true to my Commitment. :)

Oh, yeah, by the way...I arrived home with 16.89 miles on my Runkeeper ...a walk around the house and the full 17 was done. I needed to check the garden anyway :)

It was another opportunity to share a smile with God as I realized how my goal had been met by following the path set before me for the day!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Have you ever found your self talking to a stranger and all of a sudden realizing that you were meant to meet this particular person at just this time?? Or maybe you hear a song that speaks to your situation at the moment...the Doc on TV  is answering or confirming your question...your devotion for the day is just the direction you need.....  Coincidence you say...I would call it a "God Thing".

Life seems to be full of those kind of happenings for me lately. Is God trying to tell me something I wonder?? Well, yes, I think He is. Just a simple "I'm here and I know you are too." Pretty cool to think that He loves me that much and cares enough to remind me!! How many times a day do I, in my busyness miss His little messages??  I am learning (I hope!) to be aware of the opportunities to "slow my pace" and enjoy the company of that stranger and the nugget God has chosen to drop in my path that day! The older lady struggling to get her walk for the day, the old man who is walking to 'keep his hip working' and that young person who has just chosen to be friendly..or best of all that appointment that is taking MUCH more time than you allotted because someone chooses to open their heart. These often prove to be a chance to encourage someone else and at the same time leave the encounter knowing my day has been 'kissed by God!'

Lord, allow me to see the appointments you have set for me and to be a ready and willing ear, or voice of your love, whichever you might choose.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


My post is once again inspired by a song from my Pandora..What Faith Can Kutless.

One segment of the lyrics in particular caught my attention and has been rolling over in my mind ever since,
            "It doesn't matter what you've heard 

 Impossible is not a word
 It is just a reason for someone not to try"

WOW! was my first response and continues to be. Looking back to only a year ago there is no way I would have believed that I would be able to say "I have walked 800 miles in 4 months." Two years ago Jim and I accepted our first walking challenge...250 miles in 3 months.  After doubling the distance in the set time my comment was "Let's walk across the USA" Jim thinking that I had surely lost it, looked at me questioningly. " "VIRTUALLY I mean", I responded.  Impossible you say.... The laundry room wall became the 'Map Wall" and would you believe we are almost on the east coast!!!

But wait a minute...some goals require a strategy:

Knowing that a 3,000 mile hike was a little overwhelming we begin making "do-able" goals. I got out my address book and set down at the computer to 'google' addresses of friends and family. We set out to make it from the nearest to the furthest, calling to announce our arrival and "joining" them for a cup of coffee.Who says you can't make the Impossible fun? When I called my sister in Oregon we had a good laugh and a promised cup was waiting for our actual visit.  A few weeks ago when we reached Erie,PA I called our daughter to announce "being outside her door" we enjoyed a dish of ice cream together :) Walking to Oregon or PA would have seemed IMPOSSIBLE even 21/2 years ago.

What I learned was, each time I achieved a small 'impossible' goal the more POSSIBLE that huge goal became. As I look back on my life I can see many "impossible" goals that have been reached. Some have been reached through the encouragement from a friend or family member who could see what I could not. Some have come through a determination and strength from within. ALL have come because I made that first step...
A favorite scripture is Phillippians 4:13  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" which to me says " it doesn't matter what you've heard..Impossible is not a word "
 It is not always a physical challenge, it may be speaking in front of others, choosing to trust, choosing to stop and just be, beginning a new job. It may be choosing an unpopular path because I know it is the right path...
Whatever it is.. your adventure begins by setting that first 'impossible' goal. Step out of your comfort zone with a little bit of faith, then shoot for the stars and reach for the moon!! 

Walking Strong

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sharing a Smile with God!

While on my walk this morning and "patiently" waiting for my Fitbit to let me know I had reached my 10,000 steps, my Pandora started playing the song "10,000 Reasons" ( to Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman. I hesitated in my walk to make sure I had heard correctly and then shared a little chuckle with God!! I love it when He and I share those moments of knowing that HE knows exactly what is on my mind :)
The next several moments were spent contemplating some of my " Reasons to Bless the Lord"... number one at that moment was that I could be walking 10,000 steps!! If you know my story you know that every step I take is cause for celebration, and I was thankful for the reminder! ( check out my earlier blog: Overcoming Obstacles)    
The obvious blessings began flooding my mind, Salvation, Health, Provision, Relationships,Family,Strength and  etc..  I made a  decision to actively accept a  challenge to begin listing my " Reasons to Bless the Lord." I'll let ya know from time to time how it's going!
How about you??? The best way to get on track with life is to begin counting your reasons to "Bless the Lord".  As life gets busy, health or financial or relationship issues bring challenges beyond our ability to "fix it" counting the blessings we DO have often changes our perspective and gives opportunity for those little "wonders" to drop onto your path.
I pray for joy and peace to be yours as you begin  to count your reasons to Bless the Lord!! He assures us in the Bible,  Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"  I love that promise and have held onto it many times in my life.
Counting my blessings and
Walking Strong     

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Motivation...As I have mentioned in previous blogs I am training for the Susan G Komen 3day 60 mile walk for the cure of breast cancer. After posting that I am REALLY close to 800 miles since making my commitment in March a friend asked, "What is it that keeps you motivated?"
The answer was really quite simple for me.."I walk in honor of the donations made on my behalf but more than that I walk to honor all those who have or are now fighting their battle with the " BIG C. " Friends,family and strangers alike have chosen to support me financially and emotionally through this journey. My promise to them has been to WALK STRONG. 
 When I feel tired, or think," I did a good walk yesterday," I only have to remember that someone out there does not have a choice on which day to be strong and carry on...that is motivation for me to grab my sticks and get on the road. Then there are those little 'wonders' that drop into my the older lady struggling to put one foot in front of the other, but determined to 'get her walk in for the day.' I casually slow my speed and meander with her for the next little while till we reach her home. We talk about the beauty around us, the gift of health and walking and I learn her daughter is dealing with breast cancer. I get her daughters name, assure her that I will carry her name on my walking shirt as I do the BIG walk and finish my 16 miles with a new motivation. 
The 'wonders' have been many, a story shared, a ping on my phone "a donation has been made on your behalf" when I am feeling a bit tired and least expect it. A 10 mile walk with a 17 year old who assured me "I'm a dancer..I don't get tired" and then proved it while keeping me company and making my walk go so much more quickly. The old man who was awed by my walking sticks and excited to think  that "with a set of those he could once again get back to doing something he loved and missed".. a walk.
How often I take the simple things in my life for granted, like being able to walk across the room without pain, the ability to speak, see, hear and hug.(one of my favorites!)
The fact that I am loved, have a home and family that are intact. ( Not perfect but mine none the less.) When I give myself time to think and meditate on these things I am motivated to bring HOPE and HELP to someone else, if not through walking sometimes through just being there, taking a moment to be. 
In your busy life..What is that motivates you? What is that you find makes you want to be the best you that you can be?
Montana Gram
Walking Strong    Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime   
My 3 Day Journey

Thursday, July 11, 2013


INSPIRATION....what or who comes instantly to mind when you hear that word??  My first thought was of my children who have each found their niche in life and gone for the gusto, while keeping their priorities in check. I have shared several times in this blog about my family, the support, love and encouragement we have shared. It is a wonderful thing when as a Mom I find myself finding INSPIRATION from their lives. I love them all "Past the Clouds!"  (a family endearment created by our twins when Jim and I were working on our pilots licenses and constantly looking heavenward to 'name that cloud formation')

I look at their lives, the strength of their convictions and their accomplishments with assurance that the home, love, discipline and support that Jim and I have striven to give has been a part of their INSPIRATION for making those life choices. No...we have not always made the best decisions,or given the best advice but that being said, our goal was to acquaint them with the ONE who could and would always have the best directives and plans for their lives. We just loved them fiercely at all times. 

So now it comes full circle and they become my INSPIRATION  to go beyond my comfort zone and push myself to be all that I can be! "Life is short...don't waste a moment"   "You only live who cares if you look a little silly...enjoy that Grandchild!"  "Go ahead Mom...start that blog :)"  "You CAN walk 60 miles!"   ...the list goes on...  

As I write this I realize that my life goal is to find opportunities to to be an INSPIRATION and encouragement to others. To help even one person see beyond the boundaries they have set around themselves, step out of their comfort zone and  "Go for the Gusto."  Life IS short we are not promised health or life for tomorrow so join me in my quest for making each day count in your life and the life of someone else!!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Finding my Normal

After almost 3 weeks we are home, our house is quiet and the daily routine is once again in play. Having family here and the rooms filled with laughter, stories,  "Adventures in the Life Of ....", squeals of joy and finally tears of departure, life is getting 'Back to Normal.' A good thing??? I'm not sure how I would truthfully answer that..good in the sense that each have their homes where life brings to each his own adventure and challenges...sad in that the quietness can become awfully loud at times. But, I know that, that in itself is a good thing and the memories will have to suffice until life brings us together again.

Normal for each of has its own meaning. When we have small children running through the house normal is often chaos, laughter and  never ending piles of laundry to be washed and folded. As they become teenagers normal at our house was a home filled with friends, always hungry and looking for fun. Then became the time for new relationships,new love and building of homes and families of their own. (For Mom that meant new sons or daughters in love and grandchildren to be loved and spoiled!) Prayers change as each new step brings with it new requests and needs. Funny how safety, happiness and guidance always are on the list :)

Normal for me right now looks nothing like I would have pictured it a year ago, but I guess that is what life is really all about. Change, Challenge and making a decision to JUST DO IT. In February of this year I reached one of those 'milestones' in life and decided to take a leap from my 'norm' and began what has become a journey of a lifetime.

 After watching a commercial, with my daughter, for the Susan G Komen 3Day 60 Mile Walk for the Cure, I made a commitment, put on my walking shoes and haven't looked back. Instead of getting out of bed,doing a bit of exercise, and planning a day of 'retirement.' I now get up, have a quick breakfast, grab my walking sticks and am out for my 6 to 15 mile walk. At the present I am averaging 40-50 miles per week. That has NEVER been normal for me. I have never been an athlete so I have shocked myself and my family with the 'new me'.
After experiencing compound fractures in both legs as a teen and breast cancer 6 years ago the decision to create a new normal has been an adventure beyond measure. Turning a couple negatives into a positive by participating in an activity to bring HOPE and help to others has proven to be a very healing process. You can share in the battle My 3Day Walk

So I ask you.."What is your normal?" Life feeling a bit 'sluggish? ' It is never to late and you are never to old to create a new normal and find  a new joy and purpose for living. JUST DO IT!!

Walking Strong      Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Family...That word alone can bring feelings of joy,safety,support and the warmth of love, or the chill of fear and darkness, loneliness and dread.
When I think of my family my heart nearly explodes with all the emotions and memories that instantly flood my mind. I am "most blessed" as a daughter, wife, Mom, Mother in love,and Grandma. This week as we have had all five of our children,their spouses  and their children (that would be 16 grandchildren:)and cousins with us we have seen and shared the results of 46 years of creating 'our family'.

I was born the 'tag along' child into a family of 8 children to parents who had gone through the depression and knew what hard times and love was all about. Most of my life we lived in the country where Daddy farmed 'on the side' after putting in his hours at a job of manual labor. Momma was a 'stay at home Mom' cause that is what Mom's did. She canned our food, baked our bread,washed our clothes(wringer washer and line dried :)was doctor,nurse,and counselor. Discipline included a switch if deemed needed,but was always fair and consistent. All discipline was balanced by hugs and the assurance from the parent that 'this hurts me more than it does you'. I found that hard to believe as a child but as a Mom I'm pretty convinced it was true. 
Our day ended with a Bible story and prayer as we snuggled beneath our 'stitched with love' quilts. We were never of aware of the day to day struggles with finances and everyday living  that our parents dealt with because those were the burdens for adults.
Our home had the 'OPEN DOOR POLICY'so was the gathering spot for friends and family alike. Laughter and good food was always on the menu.
With that lifestyle as my model I set my goals high as I thought about what MY family would look like. I have found through the years that I have endeavored to glean nuggets of wisdom from my parents,incorporate them in my home, and pray that I would find some gold of my own to add to the mix!
Although we are not a perfect family, you will find FUN,LAUGHTER,LOVE and general chaos always is a part of who we are.
 My diagnosis of breast cancer 6 years ago brought all the kids home, without any planning, their love and laughter and stories of past adventures was the best medicine any Momma could have.
The birth or adoption of a new child brings out the party in all of us!!
The news of someone coming home is an opportunity for a family dinner and maybe the spark needed for another sibling to load up and join us.:)
It has taken 5 years for all the gang to be in one spot at the same time but what a time we've had! 
Jim and I found ourselves in Washington just 18 days ago to welcome our newest grandson as our youngest daughter adopted her 4th child. We stayed to see she and her husband 'swear to care for and cherish' this little bundle and then headed home to prepare for the arrival of our gang and the wedding of our oldest grandson.
Within a two week time we have celebrated a birth, marriage, baby shower, book signing No Maybe Baby by Marcy Hanson,the graduations of 2 grandsons and the wonder of being together!!!
Although the need for each family to get back to their homes and schedules has begun the memories and adventures will continue to bring smiles and chuckles for days,weeks and years to come.
Prayers for safe travels and anticipation of visits to come will be on my agenda for several days to come.



Monday, June 24, 2013


Commitment is not a word that is foreign to me...I made a commitment 46 years ago to Love, Cherish and Walk Along Side my husband...I made a commitment when our first child was born 44 years ago and to each of those who followed to be the very best Mom I could be. I have made various other commitments to friends, employers and my God that I have endeavored to to keep "to the best of my ability." Sometimes MY ability just isn't good enough and I always know that with prayer and a little faith I can "hang in there".
Four months ago I made a commitment to Walk 60 Miles in 3 days raising money to bring HOPE and HELP to those dealing with Breast Cancer. Never having been an athlete it was going to mean taking HUNDREDS of steps "out of my comfort zone."  Knowing that I was not only taking a challenge for myself  but promising many others to follow through.  I was aware that it would take hours on the trail to make it happen. To me just 'finishing' isn't quite enough..I want to finish strong, walking in honor of all those who have trusted my commitment and believe in me.
My children are always encouraging me to "just do it, Mom!" and I read a quote by Louis E Boone, that stated, "Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have." When I registered for this walk I told my husband, "I really want to leave a legacy for my kids and grandkids that  my MOM and Grandma just DID IT!"
I have had to allow "life to happen" (babies are born,family celebrations continue to happen and the anticipation and joy still abounds. But I will also hold strong to the goal I have set and the commitment I have made.
This commitment has turned into an adventure beyond my wildest dreams with opportunities to listen to stories, share some tears and with a humble heart full of thanksgiving share some hope! Another quote that just really seems to speak to my heart right now came from Whoopi Goldberg..." We're here for a reason. I believe a bit of that reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark." Sometimes breast cancer, a severe injury or lost relationship can put us in a pretty dark place..My desire is that I can "throw a little torch" in that darkness and inspire you to "Step out of your comfort zone" find your faith , and find that challenge that will bring a new commitment to just DO IT!
Walking Strong      Susan G Komen Personal

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Anticiapation....That word can conjure up a multitude of feelings, fear, nervousness, dread or shear joy. In my life right now I have several upcoming events that my are filling my life with JOYFUL anticipation.

I have found that in my varied roles of Wife, Mom, and Grandma, I can experience several forms of anticipation  simutaneously. But at this particular moment shear joy, would decribe it best.
In 3 days we will join our youngest daughter and husband in a judges chambers as they and their children take an oath to love ,cherish and care for their new baby son and brother. The only word to decribe the anticipation of that day would be JOY.

In five days our oldest daughter and family will have traveled across the country, our youngest daughter and family will have traveled for several hours and our 3 boys will join us from in-state. We will be surrounded by ALL of our children and grandchildren for the first time in 5 years. The sounds of choas and laughter will fill the house and my anticipation can only be described as SHEAR JOY!

In 6 days my oldest Grandson will marry a sweet young lady and begin a new life filled with adventures and challenges. Their anticipation of  the love, adventures and challenges of their life together shines on their faces. While I'm sure their anticipation would be a mixture of nervousness and wonder of all the things that lie ahead Joy would overshadow all the others, and would be shared by all of those who love them.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Overcoming Obstacles

In my personal page I mentioned that I have had several challenges that I would have gladly let pass by had I had a choice. I am going to share a couple of those with you and how I have been able to take the 'lemons' in my life and make the perverbial lemonade. This batch takes 3 lemons with a choice to spin them into something refreshing!!

Lemon #1 
At 5 years of age my brother, home from Korea, had just purchased a "new" car. We lived on a narrow country road and headed to town for some hot dogs to roast in celebration. The nieghbor boy was coming home at the same time. We "met" on a sharp,blind corner which sent me to the hospital with a severe head injury. 
The doctor warned my parents to "not expect much from her" . (The accuracy of his diagnosis is still up for debate in some circles :) 
Lemon #2
As a 17 year old senior in High School I once again was in the wrong place at the wrong time ...and the result was 2 broken legs..compound fractures in each. The doctors the questioned whether I would ever walk again.As you may imagine those injuries have brought a variety of challenges over the years. Finally 5 1/2 years ago I had a surgery which after a very long recovery time has enabled me to walk to my hearts content. 
Lemon #3
Six years ago while in for a routine mammogram they found a "questionable" spot. After all the testing the diagnosis was cancer. I was blessed to have found it early, but was set for surgery and radiation. 
As many of you know the very word CANCER turns your world upside down. All that was 'normal' is looked at through a pink colored lens.
Now 6 years later while watching a Susan G Komen 3day 60 mile walk commercial, I accepted the challenge.  A few days later I registered and the commitment was made!! Now I am training for the Seattle walk in Sept.. Each mile I walk is in thanksgiving and a CELEBRATION of LIFE and the ABILITY TO WALK!
Nothing is more refreshing and healing  than taking those difficult times in your life and creating a positive memory . Finding something that brings HOPE and HELP to others is a bonus indeed.
Check out my personal page   Susan G Komen 3day Walk

Friday, June 21, 2013


Life is full of 'wonders'. Those moments when we set back in awe and appreciate the workings of our God in our lives. Sometimes they seem trivial to those around us but in our heart we know something awesome has taken place. Other times even a stranger would look at the situation and KNOW that they have shared a 'wonder'.
As a wife of 46 years,the Mom of 5 married children and Grandma of 16 there have been alot of those moments in my life. Hopefully as time goes on I will be privileged to share some of those times with you.
Let me share our latest little 'WONDER'. Our youngest daughter has struggled with infertility for the past nine years. While still holding to the dream of 'someday' bearing a child of her own,she and her husband gave their hearts and their love to 3 children. All adopted through Foster Care. 
Then, after years of doctors and disappointment,they made a decision to finalize the hope of bearing their own little wonder. She took all the pain and emotions that came with that decision and reached out through a blog  No Maybe Baby in hopes of helping other women. That blog has turned into a book NO MAYBE BABY!! (ordering possibilities found on her blog site or by clicking here.)
Shortly after learning that her book was headed for print, they learned of a young woman whose was carrying a little one who was gonna need a loving home. 
Yes, it's true! We have welcomed a new little 'wonder' into our family. A beautiful little boy has stolen our hearts. The amazing thing to this Grandma is that even though he is #16 my heart feels like he is #1!!! That my friend is the 'wonder' of love!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Welcome to my new blog!!  I am so excited to have you join me as I share some of my adventures and memories. Family, Friends, and Journeys, new and old, my life has never been dull.
So come join me and share in the life of a very blessed Grandma!