Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Della May Abdelaziz (5.22.1932 - 9.19.2011)

I am standing on the sea shore,
A ship sails in the morning breeze
and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon
and someone at my side says:
“She is gone.”

Gone! Where?
Gone from my sight – that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars
as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight
to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
“She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming,
and other voices take up a glad shout:
“There she comes”
– and that is dying.

Bishop Brent
1862 – 1926

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was...
Still  as cute as cute can be.
(Sorry, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, it just didn't work the way you wrote it.)
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Surprise! Papa's here!

About 2:15 Wednesday morning, Papa came to visit!  Total surprise to me!  I had absolutely no inkling that I would walk downstairs to see his luggage in the living room and then have him pop around the corner!

He came because he missed me, of course, but he was really hoping to see his new grandbaby while he was here.  But, I guess the baby didn't realize that, so Papa had to go back home without meeting him/her.

On Friday, the day before he left, we went up to Estes Park for a family outing and to walk Serena.  Grammie (Serena's mom), Papa, and I explored the town with the grandchildren while Josh and Serena went "hiking". 

As you can see, we have an extra couple of kids.
I brought Meg along and Emily brought her other grandson.
The more, the merrier!

Before we all set out, though, we had a picnic.  We found this lovely little spot next to a church.  It even had a little creek.

Shallah and Papa sharing cookies.

Shallah and Papa have a special thing going.  Before he came, she acted like she loved me.  But one day, I went to get her out of her crib and she hugged her arms around her and said, "I want Papa."  Oh, well.  He's gone now.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I am in Colorado awaiting the birth of my sixteenth grandchild, Josh and Serena's sixth child.  I have made it for every birth so far; I certainly hope I timed it well for this one!

I brought my oldest grandchild with me.  It just seemed like fun for the two of us to go on an little adventure.  But, another very compelling reason was so that my two oldest could spend some quality time together.  They are both the first born with several brothers born after each of them.  They need girl time!

 Meg (l) and Jael (r) rolling cookies.

Ready for Dance Camp

Did you notice they like to dress alike?
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer 2011 Manifesto

Well......Spring didn't go exactly as I had planned.  I'm not sure I have any expectations that summer will, either.  *sigh* 

So, I think I'm going to go nice and simple here.  I hope having this posted in front of me will help keep me focused.  Odd that I've come to a point where I have to focus on having fun.  *another sigh*  So, without further ado, here's to my summer - with a little commentary by Winnie-the-Pooh.

I will get sunshine
and go barefoot on the grass.
“Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.”

I will “just do the next thing”
without anxiety.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry.
We shall get there some day.”

I will take each day slowly --
no matter how fast the season scurries.
“Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear,
and not bothering.”

I will have fun.
“When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably
just a little eleven o'clockish.”

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Daddy's 84th Birthday

Today Daddy would have celebrated 84 years. Since he is no longer with us, we figured we'd celebrate anyway. Sarah invited us over for a full-blown dinner for lunch, complete with birthday cake. The kids insisted we sing and blow out a candle. They sang real loud so Grandpa could hear them in heaven.

In honor of this day, I thought I would share what my son, Josh, wrote for his grandfather's funeral:

Remembering Grandpa

The past week has seemed a bit surreal. Grandpa Jones is the first person close to me that I can remember to have passed away. It seems very odd knowing that his physical presence will not be around anymore. It is sad that he is no longer here. But, I am glad that he is no longer suffering and enduring life with a body that was failing him. Instead, he now is in the presence of His King and Lord. As I thought about him that Friday afternoon, I started singing the old hymn, "What a Day That Will Be."

Whenever I think back about being around Grandpa Jones, I am never saddened by the memories. I would like to share some of the things about Grandpa that were unique to him; things that he did before his body began to fail. I want to remember him the way my memories do; I want to remember the things that made Grandpa Grandpa...

I remember, when they lived up in Paradise, how he would always be up on the roof sweeping off the pine needles. There could not have been very many up there but, still, he went up and made sure that they never built up.

I remember many times taking vacations with him and Grandma in the old brownish orange Westfalia. We would drive for hours and he wouldn’t say a whole lot...he just drove. He got us to where we were going.

I remember how he always needed more oil...oil for the cars, for the lawn mower, or just to have some extra. Whenever Grandpa went to the store and he would disappear, you could bet that he would find us soon with a case of oil. That is just who he was.

I remember many nights as a child sleeping on the floor in his house when he would come home from work. His heavy footsteps notified all of us kids that Grandpa was home.

I remember how he always took care to maintain his responsibilities. Whether it was continually checking the oil in the cars, washing his vehicles, sweeping the pine needles, or going in to work everyday. He always made sure the paper goods were burned in a timely manner. Grandpa was a man...plain and simple.

You never had to prime Grandpa for the altar call, to come up for prayer. He was usually the first one to come up. And after he couldn’t get there anymore without difficulty his hand was the first one up. To those that didn’t know him, you may have thought that he must have major problems to always be coming up for prayer. He may have had things he dealt with but he knew that bringing them to Jesus would make the easier to bear.

It was his financial sowing into my life that made it possible for me to play the piano and, as a result, lead the church in worship. Without those many years of continued work I would not be gifted with the abilities I have today.

However, my best memories of Grandpa didn’t involve his chores or his quirky habits. You would often find him with his Bible or a book by Billy Graham. Never one of many words for men, he always had words for his God. I remember so many times walking by his room and seeing him knelt down in prayer. You could never make out the words but every so often he would cry out, “OH, JESUS!!” I can only imagine what he was praying about. The state of the world? Maybe. His grandkids? I am sure he brought our names before the King. And I would imagine that he prayed for Grandma and their marriage. But, I know, without a doubt, that most of the time he was praying for his own 4 children. His heart was always thinking about them. He wanted only the best that God had for each of them. And I have to believe that “the prayers of a righteous man avail much.”

What a Day That Will Be

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come

No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye

All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,

What a day, glorious day that will be.


What a day that will be

When my Jesus I shall see,

And I look upon His face,

The One who saved me by His grace;

When He takes me by the hand

And leads me through the Promised Land,

What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,

No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;

And forever I will be with the One who died for me,

What a day, glorious day that will be.

And now, Grandpa, you get to be with your Master. No one could ever doubt that you loved your Jesus. You have received the reward for your faithfulness. You no longer have to fight with your natural body that afflicted you for so long. You are now, finally, made perfect in Him.

Grandpa, thank you for all you did for this family. Thank you for always working, for always giving to God first, for always praying for us, and for establishing a firm foundation in Jesus. You have left a legacy that cannot be taken away from you. What you did in quiet service to Jesus will be amplified through the lives you leave behind. I love you, Grandpa...see you soon.

Josh, Serena, and the kids

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Friday, June 10, 2011


Daddy went to live with Jesus last Friday. We celebrated his life here on earth on Wednesday. I believe it was just as he would have wanted it.

We sang, we heard God's Word read and the Gospel preached. As one man summed it up well, it was an honest service for an honest man. It was not pretentious, because he wasn't. It was not somber. It was honestly real. We cried. We laughed. We worshipped.

Gabe officiated and summed it up well by expounding on four things my father loved:

1.  He loved his God. More often than not, you could find him reading his Bible or praying on his knees.

2.  He loved his wife. Even in his sleep, he could be heard saying (or sometimes singing), "I love my wife, I love my wife, I have a wonderful wife, I love my Martha."

3.  He loved his children. He prayed extensively for the salvation of his children.

4.  He loved his church. And he loved going to church.

Daja wrote and read his eulogy.  You can read it here.

Sarah-Kate put together a beautiful tribute in the form of this video montage.

  I love you, Daddy. 
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Friday, April 29, 2011

Five Minute Friday: If I Knew I Could, I Would...

It's Friday!  Time for Five Minute Friday hosted by The Gypsy Mama.  The rules are simple:  Throw caution (editing, revising, and worrying) to the winds and just write for five minutes flat. Without wondering if it’s just right or not.  Here we go.  Today's prompt:  If I Knew I Could, I Would . . .


If I knew I could, I would . . .

Save the world.

Heal the heartache.

Gather the brokenhearted and just give them a hug.

Spend all the money that’s needed to make sure no one is going to bed hungry.

Protect all the unborn babies from the selfishness of their mothers.

Bring back my father’s mind and soul.

Give my mother true joy and peace….and a good night’s sleep.

Guarantee my children and grandchildren a life without the pain that goes on forever.

Express the love I truly feel inside.

Convince every soul that Jesus gave up everything just for them.

Be the person I envision myself to be.

Be fully awake spending every bit of life I have for Him.


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Deonte's 4th!

We traveled over an hour so that Deonte could have his fourth birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese -- his first time there.  He enjoyed it immensely and being the center of attention for a whole day and evening suited him just fine, too!  He played hard and ate hard!  Whew!  Can that boy put away some pizza and cupcakes!

 He so enjoyed opening presents with Daddy, though reading every card thoroughly did try his patience a little!

He can definitely sport his new sunglasses! 

Now, remember that first picture of him riding on the horse?  Well, the adults couldn't let him steal the show, even on his birthday!   


Mr. Kevin

Happy Birthday, Deonte!  Nana loves  you!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

What My Marriage Really Looks Like

We like to take pictures on Easter of how pretty we look in our new clothes.  Sometimes not everything is so new.  Sometimes we don't look so pretty.  But, when things come together and we do take a good picture that we both like, we are happy.  Didn't happen this year.  Nope.  I did like ONE picture, but he didn't like it.  So, no new Facebook profile pics.  At least of us together.

BUT, what we did end up with were a couple of pictures that illustrate our life together.  Enjoy laughing at with us!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Brunch Menu

We're having Easter Brunch this year instead of Easter dinner.  Same time, different food.  (Yes, that means we might be eating brunch in the middle of the afternoon, but it's the difference in the food itself we're thinking of here.)  Just to do something different.  And because brunch somehow seems more springy.  *shrug*  And because I love trying out new recipes.  Even for guests.  Even on holidays.  Maybe especially for guests and holidays. 

So, here's our menu:

Glorified Rice

Baked Pear Vanilla French Toast, The Reluctant Entertainer cookbook, p. 153

Bacon, Ham and Lamb  (Sarah's bringing bacon and lamb; Grandma bought a ham...)  Lamb seems a logical choice for Easter.  Growing up, we always had ham.  I've never understood that.  How did ham get to be the meat of choice for Easter? 

Cinnamon Roll Bites

Candied Popcorn

Hot Cross Buns

Scrambled eggs in potato nests

Sherbet with Lemon Crisp Cookies

Cold beverage: Orange Pineapple Mint Punch with "Peep" straws

Vanilla/cocoa flavored chais

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Five Minute Friday: The Hard Love

Gypsy Mama hosts Five Minute Friday.  This is my first time participating, but it sounds fun...and good for me.

The rules are simple.  You take her prompt and write for 5 minutes flat with no editing or tweaking.

So, here goes.



Hard love. Isn’t all love hard? Selfishness gets in the way of love all the time. We want to esteem others better than ourselves (as the Word says), but maybe later. Right now, I’m just tired. Right now, I just don’t feel like it.

Today’s Good Friday. I am so glad that Jesus didn’t feel the way I do so often. But, maybe He did. He just didn’t let it stop Him. Who knows? He was human. He did fall carrying that cross up the hill of Golgotha. He was tired. He felt the pain. The physical pain. The emotional pain. I’ve watched The Passion of the Christ. I know how much physical pain He bore. But, I think the emotional, spiritual pain must have been so much worse. Can you even imagine what carrying EVERYONE’s guilt must have felt like? I can barely bear my own. All of our guilt. All of our sorrow. All of our shame. All of our pain.

That’s hard love. How can I not love Him back?


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Country Drive

With spring trying its hardest to bloom forth this year, we thought we'd go for a drive a few days ago to see how she was doing.  I truly believe we live in one of the most beautiful places with so many differing scenery options.  This day we chose country views.

Though we were hoping for fields of wild flowers, there were only a few patches of poppies.  Too little to even get out the camera.

But, we saw some ground squirrels, birds, and a bunch of cattle.

No fences to keep these bad boys off the road.  But, they definitely were quite interested in us.  They may have been a bit put out since we didn't even ask permission to take their pictures. 

I just love to watch cattle as they mosey along.  They always look like they think they are so much smarter than I am.  Maybe they are.

Look at this one giving us a side glance. 

We only saw two snakes, but they were less than a few minutes from each other.  Both in the road.  This one we tried to urge off the road before he got hit, but he wouldn't listen.  As few vehicles that are out his way, he probably thought he had all the time in the world.

However, we knew better.  This was the second snake we saw.  He had already been hit.  Though, to be honest, I can't say I was sad. 

This looked like a rattler and I am so afraid of rattlesnakes.  I guess I feel like that's one less to breed and perhaps come my way.  I know.  I doubt if his descendants would have ended up in my backyard, but still.  It just somehow makes me feel better. 
Don't judge me!  They scare me!

So, I don't leave you with thoughts of venomous snakes, here's a fabulous bush we drove by.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but it was a fantastic flash of color in the midst of all the green of the rolling hills.

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