Saturday, January 24, 2009

Up Up and Away

This morning we had an amazing ride in our friend's hot air balloon! Wow. I wanted to share some of the pictures with you. More shots at: Have a blessed day. Sue

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Here are pictures of our two darling daughters-in-law, Amy -- Eric's wife (top photo)and Shauna--Josh's wife (bottom photo).

I guess I’m getting used to the grandchildren being gone, as long as I don’t think about it. But today, I remembered. I was making a breakfast shake so I could drink it on my way to the gym. That’s when I remembered a morning with 18-month-old, Emeline. We were in the den, and she was really trying to tell me something, but I just didn’t understand what she was saying. Finally, after many attempts, with her speaking as slowly and distinctly as she possibly could, I understood.
She said, “shake.”
“Oh!” I responded. “You want a shake?”
“Yeah,” she said simply. Then she headed toward the refrigerator to help me gather the needed ingredients.
So, today, in a flash, I remembered that encounter. It warmed my heart and I smiled. But then, I felt so sad and missed the girls so much. I wasn’t aware of the void in my life until I remembered them and the times we shared.
Is that why the Lord tells us over and over in His word to ‘remember’? When we remember, the times we’ve shared, and the things He’s done, then—
well—then we miss Him. Maybe missing Him will motivate us to stop doing all the other things we do and take time to go to be with Him. Why not take time to remember?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lose those extra pounds!

These beautiful pictures were taken by our son, Josh, who lives in Indiana! Caleb really wanted to go out and play, but only lasted about five minutes (it hurts to look at him.)

Like many others, January is when my husband and I make an attempt to shed the extra pounds we’ve gained. We increase exercise and decrease our calories. Since we’re not feeding a family any more our trick for dinnertime portion and calorie control is to buy frozen meals (on sale, of course) that are 300 calories or less (we really like the Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers). No sweets! This works well for us. In addition, here are my current favorite hints and recipes.
1. Sweet–Pea Guacamole
1 bag frozen peas (thawed or partial thawed)
1 medium (ripe) avocado
Salsa ½ - 1 cup
Combine in food processor and add garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper. This is a yummy dip for fresh veggies for afternoon snacks.
2. Cream-cheese and olive spread
1 carton of fat free cream-cheese
1 small jar of green stuffed olives, chopped
Mix and enjoy on 1 slice of whole grain toast for a great lunch (this dip can also be used with veggies)
· Use fat free half and half
· If you use flavored creamer use half as much along with fat free half and half.
· When I’m really craving sweets I eat a Certs mint or chew up a flavored Tums! (They are mostly calcium).
I know it’s not my usual post but maybe someone will find it helpful (or send me your hints!) Blessings to all, Sue

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Being Overshadowed

I know the holidays are over, but I still have some lingering Christmas thoughts to share with you, some of which I included in our Christmas letter. Here they are:

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? When you read the headlines, or hear about the needs of the poor, or maybe it’s simply the demands of everyday life. If so, consider again the words Gabriel spoke to Mary. He said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35).
Oh, to be overshadowed—to allow the power of the Most High to swallow up all my inability, worry and frailty. To give Him credit for taking care of all those things I really can’t control and can’t handle. Allowing His bigger than this life plan to eclipse my excuses and fears. To acknowledge that He is God and nothing is too difficult for Him. And, like Mary, to choose to believe and bend my knee and humbly say, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

I guess all the Lord asks of us is really beyond us, isn’t it? Loving our enemies, walking by faith, rejoicing in every (single) thing. He planned it that way on purpose so that we will always depend on his ability and not our own strength. So, when we feel weak, unable and not qualified (like I’m feeling now as I try to write a novel) let’s trust Him and ask Him to overshadow us to accomplish the impossible in our lives, yielded to Him and His purposes.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Christmas Letter (a bit late)

Here are a few Christmas pictures.
To my Dear BLOG readers,
I wanted to share this year’s Cameron’s Christmas Letter with you even though it already January 3, 2009. Blessed New Year to each of you. Love, Sue

For years we’ve sent Christmas letters filled with stories of our little ones, but now they have their own children with their own tales to tell. Having all of them gone from El Paso continues to be an adjustment for Craig and I, especially during the holidays. Illness hit the San Diego clan at Thanksgiving so we had to cancel our trip to see them. Faced with being alone, Craig and I flew off to the hill country of Texas and celebrated our 31st anniversary. That was wonderful. But we felt a bit sad eating our Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant (even though it was easier.) With God’s grace we are continuing to adjust to this new stage of life.

I hang up the phone and blurt out, “They can’t come.”
My husband, Craig, looks concerned. “Don’t panic.”
“But we’ll be all alone on Christmas Eve.”
He nods. “First time in 30 years.”
A silent dread hangs between us. He beckons me to come to him, and I cuddle close.
Soon, it’s the night before Christmas. As we leave for church visions of our children dance in my head. I try to convince myself that all is well. It’s a natural part of the cycle of life. We raised them to be independent.
Craig touches my arm. “What is it?”
“We asked for this when we prayed that the Lord would give each of them a soul mate.”
“He answered us.”
“I like that part. I just didn’t figure it meant sharing them on the holidays.”
“I know.”
I’m wondering if Craig feels the strangeness as much as I do, like things are out of order. I don’t mention that I’m worried that this holy night won’t seem as special.
We share a magnificent time of worshiping Immanuel with others, but when the service is over, we head home alone.
I set our meal on the table where our little ones went from high chairs to high school to high tailing it out of our home to form families of their own. My heart trembles at the memory.
Craig takes my hand and offers thanks. That’s when something wondrous happens. It’s not as glorious as an angelic choir or as world changing as our Savior’s birth, yet it holds its own mystery. Slowly, softly, in the stillness, we smile into each other’s eyes.
Craig says, “It’s quiet.”
I nod. “It’s sort of nice.”
“The soup’s delicious as always.”
“Thank you. I’m glad you like it.”
“I like you.”
“I like you, too.”
He leans in for a kiss.
I know then that this is still and a very special, holy night. And all is well.