Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We are beginning to doubt our meteorologists (every channel!) ability to predict the weather! We were supposed to get some flurries Sunday night into Monday and then they would be gone. We woke up to several inches already on the ground Monday morning. The wind was blowing, but they kept telling us that the snow was going to stop and we'd just have to deal with blowing snow. Ok, sure.

My dear friend, S, who lives in Colorado is back for a few days helping her mother after major surgery, so we picked her up (her parents live just 1/2 mile from us) and headed to town for lunch with our old Bible study group. We've grown so much together and have become intensely close. I consider these young women my sisters, not just through/in Christ, but real sisters. We pray for each other daily, we can share ourselves freely with each other. It is a true blessing to have women like that in my life. We enjoyed a yummy Mexican lunch and then ran a few errands. It was still blowing and snowing, but in town, it didn't seem that bad.

Then.........we headed out on the highway! Oh my! It was nasty and come to find out, it was really just beginning! When we got home (after plowing through a few drifts) we found out that we were under a winter weather advisory, but the county to our west was under a blizzard warning. Before long, we were under it too! It blew and snowed and blew and snowed. The traffic reports were terrible. Oh my, what a winter!

This morning, we have this
Pretty, huh? You can't see the drift at the top of the hill, but it was drifted shut. Thankfully, our neighbor used his big tractor mounted snowblower and blew us out this morning. We haven't seen a county plow yet.

2 Timothy 2:22-26 (ESV)
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Titus 3:7-11 (ESV)
so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Man, oh, man! The last three/four days have been long!

On Tuesday evening, my daughters and I and a friend went to see "The Lion King". AMAZING!!! The costumes, the music, the colors. Just beautiful! The logistics of it all just astound me!

Wednesday, the freezing rain began. We thought we were going to keep our electricity because when we went to bed on Wednesday night, we still had it. Ah, wishful thinking. At midnight, off it went! My husband spent Thursday moving the generator from the house and barns to the hog building, trying to keep things feed and watered and us warm! It wasn't looking good to get the electricity back any time soon, but it came back on at midnight Friday morning. Yeah! Or so we thought!!

We had to run to town and take a vehicle to my son since his needed to go into the shop and when we got back home, it promptly went back off! Thankfully, it was only off for about 3 hours. It flickered quite a bit during the evening though and blinked completely off a couple of times. Today has been quiet and we have everything up and running again. Other parts of Iowa are still struggling and wind is intense. Thankfully, the temps came up enough to melt the ice off of our trees and power lines, but the wind is really blowing and we're getting rain now.

Here are a few pics of the ice.

The above picture was actually earlier in the week. The hoarfrost was amazing! I'd never seen it so long before.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I forgot to mention the big blessing we received yesterday. By the time we got to our knitting workshop, we (S and I) were already pretty frazzled and very hungry! We did not get supper the night before, just had snacks at the bridal shower and then ended up missing out on breakfast before we had to leave. I had plans to just run through McDonald's (wow, healthy!) on our way, but we were running to far behind.

So......at the end of our workshop, one of the mom's brought us a casserole for supper that was still warm. She went home during the workshop and made it for us. Now, maybe to most people that wouldn't be very remarkable. However, this lady has 10 (possibly 11, I've lost count) children under the age of 14 and three of them were with me learning to knit!!!!

I've been involved in a couple of conversations on Rav in the past 2 months about large families, submissive wives, etc., and this lady is a wonderful example of how it works! Despite the busyness of her own home, she thought about me and mine, knowing full-well that it's only myself, hubby, and S and that S is quite capable of filling in when I'm tired, etc., but that didn't stop her from being a blessing to us.

So, please, don't tell me that women who choose to open their womb to God are somehow selfish and/or ignorant and/or downtrodden. That may be the case in about 1-2% of the women that make this choice, but of all the women I know, it's certainly not the case. These are happy, contented women, finding joy in being a blessing to their own families and to the many that they come in contact with everyday! Oh, and by the way, her daughters are going to be great knitters!!

Today is a day to relax and watch some snowboarding and figure skating while I finish one knitting project and begin my first Alan Dart project! Fun stuff!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's been a busy weekend so far. Yesterday began with finding out that a friend of mine who is 26 weeks along in her pregnancy was having contractions and was in the hospital. They've stopped the contractions for now and she's coming home today, but we continue to pray that she'll be able to hang on for a few more weeks so the little one has time to get bigger and stronger.

Last night was our first bridal shower for our future daughter-in-law. It was a Pampered Chef shower thrown by the cousins of the groom (and his sisters). It was a lot of fun and she's going to get a lot of goodies!

Today, we taught our second knitting workshop for our old 4-H club. We worked on purling and a bit of ribbing with some. 3 hours just flew by!

This is what we saw when we left the church for home. Beautiful!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Today we went to a baby shower for E. I made her this little green sweater for her new little girl, expected any day now. We had a fun time. Lots of games and laughter!
We had to run to daughter's workplace to pick up her schedule, so I thought I'd get some snow shots in the bright sunlight.

This is coming down our highway. That's not our gravel road ahead, but look at where the snowplow plowed through!
Now we're going down our road. This is by our north neighbors house.

Coming up the final hill to home. Doesn't look to bad, yet..........
Still climbing, drift coming into view.
More drift.
More drift.......
Finally heading down the hill towards home. It took the snowplow six tries to bust that big ole drift this morning. It's only January 9th, I wonder what the rest of winter will bring!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

I spent most of yesterday dealing with a migraine (snow-induced), unfortunately, it continues today. Part of the problem, we woke up to this..........

It's really nothing new for this winter, but it's pretty and I thought I'd try to enjoy it.

I'm going to try to start some socks from Cat Bordhi's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I want to learn toe-up and be able to adjust the leg size. So, I'm off to put in a movie and give it a whirl-if my head will let me!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The funeral yesterday was small but nice. There were aspects of it that were very hard, but there were moments of sheer joy as we sang a couple of Vada's favorite songs (He Arose! and It is Well).

We said good-bye to her husband, as well, as he heads home to California with the kids tomorrow (weather permitting, we're in for another storm!). He has been suffering from cancer himself and is very weak and tired, it's hard to tell if he hears you or not. Well, my son and I went to say good-bye and one of the older ladies sitting next to him pointed out to Phil that my son is getting married this year. He lifted his head, his eyes lit up and he said, "Your life begins when you get married." J and I looked at each other, and J said, "That's what I've heard." It was such a sweet moment. Phil and Vada were blessed to have celebrated their 50th anniversary this past August, so I would say that Phil knows what he's talking about!

One of the things that most touched me about the funeral were the words her children and grandchildren shared about Vada. How unselfish, family-focused she was. How her marriage and children always came first. How there was no one that she wouldn't share her faith with or just plain give a little love to. I want that kind of legacy!

As I said above, we're looking at another snowstorm coming. We're only at the beginning of January and this has been a loooooooooong winter!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Today I say good-bye to a dear friend. I say good-bye to a wonderful lady who taught me much about sacrifice and love. I say good-bye, but it's only temporary, we will see each other again someday. Today, she rests with our Savior!

Vada was an amazing woman. Widowed at an early age, she met a widower and they merged their families, she was now in charge of 8 children. Her new husband was a brilliant man. He invented bicycle parts and they had a successful business in California. Their children began to have children of their own. One of those grandchildren had a daughter when she was just 14. Vada and her husband, now in their early 60's willingly adopted that little girl. They decided that they wanted to get their new little daughter out of California and raise her in a small town somewhere, so they set out on a quest.

They found that little town, smack dab in the middle of Iowa and they moved in. No close family, no friends, they just felt like it was right. That was 15 years ago. Within a short time, they found our little church out in the country. Their little girl was 4, just a few months younger than my youngest. Vada and I hit it off. What a joyfilled woman! Oh, she knew struggles, having a large family, those came with the territory, but she was calm in the midst of the storms! As a church, we helped them to raise their little one in a new era. We grew close. Their daughter spent a lot of time on our farm and others.

Over the years, we were introduced to the rest of their family. Her sister, Issy, has a special place in my heart! She went home to Jesus many years ago, but I can remember her infectious joy and how I loved to get her cards in the mail.

So, not only do we say good-bye to Vada today, be we say good-bye to her husband. He'll be going back to California with the family (he's not in good health) on Thursday. We say good-bye to her family, people we've come to love and appreciate on many levels.

My heart is aching, it has been since she left this world for the next just before Christmas, but I know that she is whole, healthy, and wonderously blessed as she worships our Lord this very minute!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010 so far? COLD!!! It's been very cold here, but I'm very thankful that none of us have had any serious problems with it, other than a frozen livestock waterer, which is pretty normal.

Yesterday, S and I and my best friend and her two youngest went to the big city for some eats, a little shopping, and to see The Princess and the Frog. We were stunned with how many people were at the mall when it was -10 outside! There were people everywhere. The parking was bad, due to folks who decided to park in places they shouldn't have because of the giant snowdrifts. We sat in the parking lot watching a lady adjust her GPS system for about 10 minutes while her automatic door on her van wouldn't shut because of the cold. She knew we were waiting, there were many others in the lot also waiting, but she chose to take her sweet time. Finally, she backed out. Ugh!

We enjoyed a yummy lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (shared the Chicken Madeira with S--so good!). For dessert, all 5 of us shared a piece of Stefanie, their red velvet cake and cheesecake cheesecake! Oh, so good and so rich. 5 of us couldn't finish one piece!

Then we were off to the movie. I guess I had forgotten how much nasty stuff can be in a Disney movie. I was excited to see the first African-American princess, but was disappointed that it was pretty stereotypical. The voodoo and the Shadowman were just creepy, in fact, they were pretty scary. There were some cute parts and the message was okay, but all in all, I think I (and the kids) would have enjoyed Alvin and the Chipmunks much better!

We did a little more shopping and then headed for home. The traffic was pretty thick and people seemed to have their dumb helmets on, but we made it safely home. I've been fighting some swollen glands for the past couple of days (seems to be a virus going around), so today will be relaxation and knitting after church (with a little dishwashing and laundry thrown in for good measure!).

Friday, January 01, 2010


July--The 4th of July was fun, but cold.

We enjoyed hot dogs and smores. The kids had fun target shooting. By 8:00, we had to pull out coats and sweatshirts. Burrrr!

My son also worked hard in July to do a bit of yard transformation for me (landscaping is not my strong suit, and that's putting it mildly!).
August--Started with the Nationwide race at the Iowa Speedway. Crazy!! The speedway had never hosted a race this big with this many attendees. It was an exhausting weekend, but so much fun! We were treated to one of the best races I've seen in years, good weather, and great people!

We went on vacation!! We spent a wonderful 9 days in Colorado with dear friends and visiting my dad and sister. The weather was gorgeous, the company, divine. I can't begin to express how that trip to the mountains spoke to me and challenged me. We were able to worship with believers we didn't know and yet, we knew them. What a blessing! September--was pretty quiet. I had a couple of more races to work. Other than that, things were lazy and hazy, the end of summer.

October--count down to S's arrival back home. The month turned off cold, rainy, and miserable. We had snow in the middle of the month. Harvest was way behind (to this day, there is still standing corn in some fields and we have many inches of snow!). S made it home safely, praise God! We had quite a contingent to greet her!

We were elated to have her home, thankful to God for keeping her safe and causing her to grow and mature. She really had to learn to rely on Him during her 6-month stay in Thailand. She saw miracles happen and she (and we) continue to pray for more to take place.

November--we spent much of November getting her settled back in and seeing people. My son moved into his own place the week after she got home, so she helped me to deal with that by repainting and making his room into my craft room (with his permission and blessing!).

December--A very long month. I've already detailed the sorrow from this month in the blog, so I won't say much more about that, other than I'm thankful that my dad is doing well and that I'm so thankful that my dear friends knew the Lord and we will all be reunited some day! As the year has closed out, I'm praying for 2 little babies with health issues and the mother of one of my best friends who just found how she has breast cancer.

I'm thankful to God that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He has much to teach me in sorrow and in joy. I'm thankful that I have Him to rest in, that I can sit at His feet and learn, that He longs to comfort me and that He loves me. What more do I need? Not a thing.