Friday’s Fave Five #47

FFF daisies

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I stepped away from writing for several months for personal reasons. Today I want to resume the FFF and share some blessings from the past few weeks.

1. One of our daughters was married on February 27. It was a beautiful wedding with a peacock colours theme. We love our new son-in-law and are enjoying getting to better know his wonderful family. (Thanks, Nicole VandeKamp for this picture of the entire wedding party!)

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2. Our son, who lives and teaches in China, was able to come for the month of February (during the Chinese New Year break) and stay with us to help prepare for the wedding. His wife stayed behind for some intensive language study, but the kids got to come with their dad. Normally the whole family stays with us for a few weeks every summer so it was a special treat to have them with us in winter. Though we had unusually warm weather this entire winter, there was still some snow for the kids to enjoy. They loved playing in the snow!

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3. As wonderful and joyous as weddings are, wedding planning, preparation, and participation are exhausting! This past week we were able to get away for a few days to our friend’s cabin a couple of hours south of us. It’s in the middle of a large farming area where just about all that’s available nearby is peace and quiet. Exactly what we needed! My dear husband sacrificed some of his time to drive me around so I could get some photos of rural Alberta.

01 Mountain view near Sundre - Copy

02 Mountain view near Sundre 3-16

05 Torrington area fence 2

06 Torrington area fence line

10 Torrington 3-16

09 Torrington abandon

12 Near Three Hills

08 Near Olds 2 (2)

07 Torrington community hall

11 West of Torrington

04 Torrington ice fog 3-1603 Near Olds 2

14 Torrington sunset 3-7-16 2

13 Torrington sunset 3-7-16

15 Torrington sunset 3-8-16

4. Because of my arthritis and fibromyalgia, ice is my enemy. Winters in central Alberta tend to be very icy. We have thoroughly enjoyed extraordinarily warm weather this winter, reminiscent of the welcomed Chinooks we so appreciated while living in Calgary. Today it’s 10 C (about 50 F) and ice everywhere is melting furiously. Yay to banished ice!

5. Our youngest daughter has completed her current phase of education and returned to us last month after her studies in China. It’s fun to have her home for a while. We are looking forward to seeing how God leads and provides for her and for each of our other children in future days.

It seems too early, but I have been reminded that we need to turn our clocks ahead this Saturday night. I don’t want to be late for church!!

Friday’s Fave Five #31

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

My daughter’s surprise visit is almost over. Early Monday she heads back to Shanghai and nursing school. Barring any other surprises, we won’t see her again until 11 months from now.

Sometimes I wish I was not such an emotional creature. I am not fond of goodbyes and am not looking forward to that aspect of Monday morning. Anticipating this goodbye is a reminder to me to focus on the time we have been able to spend together with our youngest these past 5 weeks. We dedicated each of our children to the Lord when they were born, not to do our will but to follow His will. Our blessing now is that our children do love the Lord and are following what He has set before them to do, even when that takes them far from us and the comforts of home.

1. Our kids are a blessing to us All of our kids have been, and continue to be, a big help to us in multiple ways. Having Emma staying with us these past few weeks meant she willingly took care of some of the physical stuff that I still need help with after my surgery. That has been a blessing. Thanks, Em!

2. Good report from the surgeon Last Thursday I saw my orthopedic surgeon again. The hip joint has healed well and I don’t need to see him again until October. My muscles are still slow in getting back to normal due to a flare of fibromyalgia. I just need to be patient, listen to my body, and slowly return my physiotherapy exercises as my flare subsides. I hope to be able to retire my cane by the summer!

3. ‘No charge!’There is construction all around our area. This week when Emma was driving she picked up a small bolt in one of the tires. Our local Fountain Tire repaired it without charge, which was an unexpected blessing.

4. Fun with my kids The murder mystery event was lots of fun! It took me a while to ‘get’ my character and to ask the right questions of the other participants, but I eventually caught on. It was nice to meet some new people and spend time with family and friends. (No, I wasn’t the bad guy. They had to kill my character off so I could go home early!!)

5. Thoughtful husband Several times a month my husband surprises me by bringing home a Starbucks’ green tea latte fixed just the way I like it. I love that he does this without me asking, just because he knows I like them.

Oh, I’m going to throw in a lagniappe blessing this week. While shopping this past week I came across a $5 rack and was able to buy a spring coat in my new size for just $5!  Though it may not be the favorite coat I’ve ever owned, it will carry me through the spring and hopefully into an even smaller size in the fall!

 

Friday’s Fave Five #22

FFF daisies

Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five hosted by Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story.  This weekly exercise prompts us to share five blessings from the week.  It’s encouraging to stop, think about, and recount our blessings. I ‘m glad to be able to participate in FFF.

1.  Humor out my window  I am grateful for humor. I was working at my desk and glanced out the window to see a small, young girl, maybe 8 years old, walking a cat on a leash.  I can’t remember ever seeing someone trying to walk a cat before, and thought, “This should be interesting!” I wasn’t disappointed!!

The cat dashed ahead, yanking the girl behind, then abruptly came to a dead stop as the girl flew past him, then collapsed to the grass where he stretched and rolled leisurely for about a minute.  The little girl stood over the cat and pulled on the leash to get the cat going, but that cat was NOT going to move.  So the girl pulled harder – no luck – then used both hands and planted her feet before pulling up hard on the leash.  The cat suddenly sprang up and vaulted forward a few meters almost knocking the girl off her feet, before collapsing and stretching in the grass again.  Exasperation and frustration were etched on that poor girl’s face.  I’m sure I saw a sly grin on the face of that cat as he once again leaped up and dashed down the street out of my sight, the little girl practically airborne behind him!

2. New friends.  This week we enjoyed a visit from a lady in BC who heard about the Bible College and began supporting the work here.  Though we had previously corresponded, this was our first face to face meeting.  We had warm fellowship with this sister in Christ.

3.  New referral Though I don’t yet have a surgery date for my hip replacement, I now have a referral to an exercise specialist who will help me find exercise that will be appropriate for both my arthritis and my fibromyalgia, which tends to be worse in cold weather.

4. Harvest bounty My husband and I have been blessed with the generosity of friends who have shared some of their garden bounty with us.  Squash, tomatoes, beets, onions….yum!

5. Last class Number three daughter completed, and passed the final course for her bachelor’s degree this week.  She’s been out of school for several years now so it’s a relief and blessing to have everything finished and behind her!  Good job Anna!!

Hope you can take a moment to stop and think of some of the blessings in your life this past week.

Friday’s Fave Five #21

FFF daisies

Friday’s Fave Five is hosted by Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story and encourages us to put in writing five blessings from the week.

1. I have not posted for several weeks. Why? So I could spend as much time as possible with these two!  We had a wonderful summer. I was feeling much better than I did last summer, and was able to be more interactive with my grandchildren. Since next summer should be post hip replacement, maybe I can even be more active with them!

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2. My herb garden is winding down. It brought me lots of pleasure thus summer, though not quite like I expected.  It was an herb and vegetable garden, but the zucchini corporate takeover took out my kale, and a mighty wind storm took out my zucchini it all its golden glory (I planted yellow zucchini.)  The entire crown of the plant with its broad, bristly leaves and five golden fingers of zucchini-to-be ended up on the deck.  The plant never recovered. I planted ten peas and only two came up and my green beans elbowed the zucchini for sunlight before the demise of the squash.  Next year my husband is making me a second planter so I have veggies in one and herbs in the other!

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3. I am grateful for the wonderful privilege of having all five of my children together in one place for a few weeks each summer.  Our house was loud and messy, full of comings and goings, laughter and tears, discussions and debates.  We do Christmas in July (well…August this year) complete with holiday dishes, decorations, Christmas crackers (and the antics that go along with the hats and prizes), and Christmas readings. The China-based part of the family has left us until next year.DSC09573

4. Watching college football with my husband is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s that time of year and he is actually able to take a day off each week (well, most weeks) after years of having a too-heavy workload to do this.  I have one thing to say about college football:  Go Buckeyes!!

5. No word yet on my surgery date.  My first hip replacement was 8 years ago this December.  I am praying that I can have this one done before the snow comes since ice and snow hinder my mobility and make walking around on crutches or with a walker a little more tricky. Good news:  I am much more mobile this time than I was before the last surgery.  I’m very grateful for that!

 

Friday’s Fave Five # 16

FFF spring

It’s Friday and time to share five blessings from the week hosted by Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story.

1.Spring clean up My friend Joanne came over and cleaned up my garden beds, something I can’t do right now as I am waiting for hip replacement.  Her help was such a blessing!

2. God’s peace  I have been blessed the past few days in particular by God’s peace even in sad times, as well as godly colleagues who comfort and encourage us along the way.

3.  Helpful dietitian and doctor  My doctor has helped me get my low thyroid figured out and treated and my dietitian is guiding me in keeping track of my eating…I’m starting to lose weight again!!

4. WCBF Ladies Retreat  Our annual ladies retreat begins this afternoon.  I am so thankful that I am well enough to attend and look forward to catching up with old friends, being challenged by the speaker, and tending my book table.

5. Peach smoothies!  MacDonald’s peach smoothies are back and it’s a treat I can enjoy, even with all of my food restrictions.  Yay!!

Can you think of five blessings from this past week?

Friday’s Fave Five #10

FFF tulips

This weekly exercise has forced me to stop and think about the many, many, blessings in my life.  Sadly I find that my mind quickly jumps to problems, injustices, or needs much more quickly than to counting my many blessings.  Thanks, Susanne for hosting FFF!

This past week my constant companion has been the dread pirate…I mean the dreadful cold which has been circulating and pouncing on innocent, unsuspecting victims.  This undesirable creature generously gifted me with the full meal deal – sore throat, coughing, stuffy nose, runny nose, (yes, both, and occasionally at the same time) coughing, blocked ears, painful sinuses, coughing, sneezing, and more coughing.  In light of this I am thankful for…..

1.  Tissues, cough syrup, hot tea, chicken soup and Vaseline (for my Rudolph-imitating nose.)

2.  Books I was able to do some extra reading this week and finished an audio format of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Covert by Rosaria Butterfield. Very compelling read about how God got the attention of a liberal, feminist, lesbian, tenured English professor and drew her to faith in Christ through a Christian couple who demonstrated love, friendship, kindness and wisdom as they interacted with Rosaria and shared the gospel with her.

3. Magnifying glass I am thankful for my magnifying glass which allows these aging eyes to read the small print.  Sure seems to be a lot more small print than there used to be. 🙂

4.  Spring!…Oh yohoo, Spring!…Winter has been like an expected guest who arrived early, overstayed his welcome, and refused to leave when it was time to go. I am grateful that the cold and snow of this past week will soon be gone and gentle spring will bless us with warmth, and growth, and greater mobility.

5.  Christmas cards To all of you who didn’t receive a Christmas card from us this past year:  sorry, I didn’t get any sent out. The good news is that this week I finished making cards for this coming Christmas.  Yay!  Now somebody remind me in November when I can’t find them that I stored them in the craft cabinet.

Maybe you can stop for a minute and thank God for some of the blessings of the past week!

Friday’s Fave Five #4

FFF heart.

Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, in which we can share five of our favorite things from the last week, a wonderful exercise in looking for and appreciating the good things God blesses us with. Click on the button to learn more, then go to Susanne’s to read others’ faves and link up your own.

We had another out-of the ordinary week with some sadness but also some blessings.  God is good – always – and I am glad to rest in that knowledge.  So here are some blessings from the week…

1.  Visit from my niece My niece from South Carolina is up here visiting our daughter Sarah.  These two girls, daughters of two brothers, were born a few months apart.  Though ministry in different parts of North America initially provided limited contact for the two families, the girls have reconnected as young adults and have enjoyed some international travel together.  The girls are headed to scenic Jasper to experience a few exciting winter activities.

2.  A supportive physician I have a wonderful physician who has compassion and is working with me to try and sort out my current medical concerns.  She cares more for me as a person than for squeezing my symptoms into a particular medical diagnosis.  Her willingness to allow me to incorporate traditional medications and alternative remedies has helped me eliminate some of my medical problems….and we continue to work on the remaining issues.

3.  A loving husband I love how my husband calls me up and asks me to lunch.  He did that today and took me to a restaurant where it’s safe for me to eat.  He has been my sweetheart for thirty-five years.

4.  Many daughters God has given me four daughters, a daughter-in-law, and a number of daughters in the faith. I love their individual gifts and abilities and am blessed to be a part of each of their lives.

5.  Green tea While I can no longer have regular tea or coffee, I really enjoy green tea.  My two favorites?  Peach green tea (loose tea) from Glenn’s in Red Deer served with delicious local honey, and Starbucks green tea latte, half sweet, non-fat.   Yum!

Hope you have a week of encouragement and blessings.