Friday Fave Five #115

You may have noticed that I rarely get my FFF published on Fridays. For now my husband’s day off is Friday and I like to keep the day as free as possible so he and I can spend time together. But since the purpose of the FFF is to recount blessings in our lives, I guess it ultimately does not matter much if these posts go up on Friday or another day of the week!

I have missed a couple of weeks of FFF. As I continue to find my new normal after more than two years of health struggles since my surgery, I am gently pushing myself to return to more responsibilities and activities. Sometimes I guess correctly and sometimes I find I have pushed myself too hard and need to sit back to rest and restore for a day or two. I also find I am much more linear in my ability to accomplish tasks. Multitasking was never my best point, but now it’s more of a challenge to do more than one thing at a time. Getting somewhat caught up on my paused “to do” list from a couple of years ago has been satisfying, but by focussing on that list, I missed posting FFF, among other things. Here are a few blessings for the past couple of weeks:

1. Not such a big problem – Our car broke down on the way to prayer meeting one recent Wednesday night. When a newer car with all the safety feature bells and whistles flashes red lights and tells you to pull over, you do it. The display indicated a major problem with the braking system, but it turned out to be an almost-dead battery. Once the new battery was installed the diagnostic was all clear and a potentially expensive repair ended up being a matter of regular maintenance.

2. Hospitality – One of the biblical responsibilities for those in ministry is to show hospitality. Illness can change how that looks in our lives so I have been blessed to slowly begin to host people in our home again.

3. Old photos – Sorting through family photos has been on my to do list ever since my computer crashed a few years ago and a friend recovered most of my pictures. Though the pictures were recovered they were no longer in any order. The past few weeks I have been sorting through the pics and thoroughly enjoying the memories these images evoked. Every person in our family has “the face” that defines them in their silly or thoughtful moments. I may make a photo book of these funny and endearing family faces!

4. Snow and harvest – We had a bit of snow earlier this week and a several inches Friday night and Saturday. All October we would look at the fields surrounding our town and pray that the farmers would get their crops in. A late spring and a cool, rainy summer made harvest time especially uncertain this year. A farmer in our church had us all praying for his harvest and we collectively gave a prayer of thanksgiving when they were able to finish before the snowfall.

5. Cards – I’ve been working on Christmas cards and photo cards the past few weeks. Here are a few of my latest designs:

Friday Fave Five #109

fall FFF 1

It’s been a long time since I have posted. Some of you know I have had ongoing medical issues these past two years. I’m grateful that there is much improvement, though energy and stamina are still low.

I would like to jump back in to Fave Five by sharing some blessings from the last few weeks.

1.Annual visit from family in China Our son and his family live and work in China so time we can actually spend together is precious. Every year we eagerly look forward to the summer visit of our son, daughter-in-law and our three grandchildren.We’ve started a tradition of Grandpa taking the boys and Grandma taking our granddaughter out for a one on one special meal. They can order whatever they want and talk about anything they would like. It’s so much fun!Granny and Chloe at Chartier (3)

2.Family photos We had family photos taken for the first time in about five years. Our summer was cool and very rainy which created the perfect conditions for breeding mosquitoes. The evening we had pictures taken the mosquitoes were everywhere and the photographer snapped a funny shot of our daughter swallowing a mosquito!Family pics parents and siblings Emma mosquitoShayna, our photographer, captured a few other fun shots that evening.

Here’s one of all of us:Family pics everyone standing3. Travel Blessings Bud and I had to drive back to the States for about seven weeks in May and June. We have several churches we still partner with in ministry and it was time to catch up with them face to face and give a report of the ministries we are involved in. Because of my medical issues we were’t sure how I would fare on this journey but God gave strength and help and overall the trip went smoothly. We were blessed to catch up with old friends and make new ones. A highlight of the trip was taking a week to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We were married in a double wedding forty years ago and remain the closest of friends. The four of enjoyed an anniversary week on the coast of SC.

4. A garden in spite of circumstances My foray into gardening has come late in life and I am learning new things every year. This year I learned to set my hanging baskets in into a container of water to refresh them and it worked wonderfully. In the past we watered our hanging baskets only from the top and they would fade and die very quickly. This summer we deadheaded and watered and soaked those baskets and had lovely flowers for 3 months.

Our growing season in central Alberta is pretty short and most people here find it’s safe to plant at the end of May. I was hoping I could sneak in some of my plants before we drove off the first week of May, but a snowfall here a few days before we left put the kibosh on that idea!

Our daughters put in a zucchini plant and some herbs while we were away and we finished the planting at the very end of June The rains and cool weather made doubtful that we would see much of a harvest, but we have had pretty good results. Though my peas did not come up well, the green beans are producing like crazy right now. If we can stave off the nighttime frost, we should enjoy delicious green beans through the end of the month. That one zucchini plant gave us dozens of nice zuchs and the herbs, potatoes, and some other squash plants produced more than we expected. There is nothing quite like picking fresh produce from your own little garden!      thyme

5. The blessing of children I have been blessed to have my children live nearby for part of my adult life. Three of our five children have studied or worked abroad and all went away from home for university. Our youngest moved back home a few years ago after finishing her RN studies but was unable to have her RN certification recognized in Alberta without jumping through many very expensive and time-consuming hoops. At the end of August she moved back to the States to take an RN to BSN online course while working as a nurse. We dedicated each of our children to the Lord at their birth and are grateful they seek to honor HIm in their choices, even when that means they live far from home.                                                                                                                                              Friday Fave Five is hosted by Suzanne at  Living to Tell the Story  https://susannesspace.blogspot.com/

Friday’s Fave Five #11

FFF tulips

Sharing blessings causes us to stop and remember all the Lord is doing for us even in the midst of trying weeks.  Here are some highlights from my week:

1. Holding a newborn baby There is nothing quite like holding a newborn baby, a helpless bit of humanity less than 24 hours old.  This sweet little boy has three older and very attentive sisters, and loving parents.  As I held him his wee little eyes would open just a slit then slowly shut again as he drifted back into sleep.  Precious!

2. Memories of my mother The little one mentioned above was born on my mother’s birthday.  I have been reflecting on my mother and her impact on my life.  We had a close relationship but there are many things I wish I had asked her about her childhood, family history, and especially the family photo album.  Who are all of these people pictured and how did they touch your life?  Makes me more thoughtful about labeling my photos and telling my kids about my childhood.

3. Kitchen herbs I bought little pots of thyme and oregano at the grocery store this week.  I can use them in my weekly recipe of soup and, if I defy all my past history, can nurture them along until planting time, which around here is mid-May at the earliest.

4. The Mind’s Eye recordings  My husband found some recordings online from The Mind’s Eye, a group of audio recording artists from the 80’s.  We used to own several cassette series dramatized by this group and they were very, very good.  We would listen as we traveled and our kids loved to hear the tapes over and over again. This week Bud and I have been listening to their dramatization of The Hobbit. They’re as good as I remember!

5. My family – photos from China My son, who lives and teaches in China, posted some beautiful pictures of the family this week.  My youngest daughter is enrolled in the nursing program our son oversees.  In just a few short months my son, his wife, their two kids and my youngest daughter will be home for the annual monthly visit.  I am eagerly anticipating that time together as a family!

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