Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas To All My Friends!


Merry Christmas dear friends!! May the Lord bless you richly and my your day be full of joy!

Let me just leave you with one last quote from By The Shores of Silver Lake...

' "Well," Pa said. "It's the first Christmas dinner anybody ever ate in this part of the country. I'm glad it was a good one. In time to come, no doubt a good many folks will celebrate Christmas around here, and I expect they'll have fancier fixings in some ways, but I don't know how they can have more solid comfort than we've got, for a fact." '

' "Every Christmas is better than the Christmas before," Laura thought. "I guess it must be because I'm growing up." '

Lots of love,
Sommer




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas on Plum Creek

On the Banks of Plum Creek has three different Christmases in it. Each are wonderful.

I love the selflessness of Laura and Mary in putting aside their own desires for Christmas and coming together to wish for horses for Pa. They knew the horses would be useful and in the end it gave Laura happiness to wish that for Pa.

Later we see the family joining others from town at the church for Christmas festivities. What a special treat that night was. And the surprise of the Christmas tree and all the gifts on and under it had to have been amazing.

"Laura was too excited to speak. She squeezed Mary's hand tighter and tighter, and she looked up at Ma, wanting so much to know what that was. Ma smiled down at her and answered, "That is a Christmas tree, girls. Do you think it pretty?"

They could not answer. They nodded while they kept on looking at that wonderful tree."

But my favorite Christmas in the book is the one that happens just after the Long Blizzard. For days they are not sure where Pa is. He could have stayed in town, but perhaps he is lost in the blizzard! Those days were long and difficult. But then, Pa came home! He was safe and all of a sudden they realized it was going to be Christmas.

"Laura patted Jack's furry smooth forehead and scratched his ears for him, and then with both hands she gave his head a quick, happy squeeze. Everything was so good. Grasshoppers were gone, and next year Pa could harvest wheat. Tomorrow was Christmas with oyster stew for dinner. There would be no presents and no candy, but Laura could not think of anything she wanted and she was so glad that the Christmas candy had helped to bring Pa safe home again.

"Supper is ready," Ma said in her gentle voice.

Pa laid the fiddle in its box. He stood up and looked around at them all. His blue eyes shone at them. "Look, Caroline," he said, "how Laura's eyes
are shining." "

What finer gift could they have, but to have Pa home and to know that they are all together, safe and sound.

I look forward to this Saturday, as my parents, my brother, and his fiancee come up to spend Christmas with us. It has been a while since we were all able to spend Christmas together. It will be special because we will all be together under one roof again...celebrating and reminiscing :-)

Lots of love,
Sommer

A Few Current Pictures...

My dear friend, Pat, asked that I share some recent pictures of the kids :-)

I am happy to oblige! I'm not sure if I mentioned it here, but my sweet little man, Liam, looks even more so like a little man! The day before Thanksgiving I decided it was time to cut his amazing curly hair. It had gotten very long and unruly...so, a little man cut was needed.

I think he looks quite dashing :-)

(Liam with his newly built cathedral.)

Here is Miss Brenna. My lovely, compassionate and very passionate 8 year old! She is now reading...though she is still uncertain of her skills. Mama is very proud though :-)

And here are my youngest and eldest...Rowan is now 20months and a beautiful, vibrant little girl. She has a limited vocabulary, but she most definitely lets us know if she wants something or if she is not a happy camper ;-)
Fiona will be 11 next month...how can that be!? She is a wonderful helper...loving, friendly and outgoing. I have been able to more and more rely upon her for aide(even Brenna is a big help to me now!) and know that in most things I can trust her to do what I need.

These children are a bright light in my life. I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to bless us with such dear children. Each day is interesting, and to be true, can be challenging as well. But I wouldn't trade a day with my children for anything. The fact that I have been a Mama for almost 11 years kind of startles me. Can it be so? And can I really be so impatient? Ha! I strive to be a good example to them and know that I fail regularly, but I hope that when I don't fail they are soaking it in. I hope to some day let fly these little arrows, so that they can make their mark to glorify God and shine His Light throughout our world! May each day bring me closer to the mother they need and may each day bring them closer to the man or woman God would have them be!

Lots of love,
Sommer

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas in Indian Territory


This is the first Christmas where we see Laura's family wondering how they will have a happy Christmas. The despair we see in Laura knowing that there is no way Christmas can happen is heartbreaking, but more so is the helplessness that Ma and Pa seem to have.

***
"After supper that night they washed their hands and faces, buttoned their red-flannel nightgowns, tied their night-cap strings, and soberly said their prayers. They lay down in bed and pulled the covers up. It did not seem at all like Christmas time.

Pa and Ma sat silent by the fire. After a while Ma asked why Pa didn't play the fiddle, and he said, "I don't seem to have the heart to, Caroline." "

"After a longer while, Ma suddenly stood up. "I'm going to hang up your stockings, girls, " she said. "Maybe something will happen."
Laura's heart jumped. But then she thought again of the creek and she knew nothing could happen."

***

As a child, I never understood this despair. We never had much, but if my parents ever felt this helplessness, they did not show it. But, now as an adult and most especially as a parent...I have felt this helplessness. I know Christmas isn't about the gifts under the tree or in the stockings...but it is such a horrible feeling knowing that you can't afford even a few gifts or maybe not even the tree! We have had several Christmases recently where we could not afford a tree and we could not really buy much of anything(including what would be used for mama-made gifts). So, as I read this section or other sections in later Little House books now, I can sit in Ma and Pa's seat and KNOW what they felt that night.

But...there is always a way :-)

***

"She sat down again by the fire and Laura almost went to sleep. She woke up a little when she heard Pa say, "You've only made it worse, Caroline." And she thought she heard Ma say: "No, Charles. There's the white sugar."

***

And then there is the love shown by neighbors and family. Just when one thinks there is no way and that things will be depressingly meager...He provides! How many parents have been blessed by an unknown giver? Someone decides to send a card with money for food, or gifts or they find a bag/box of presents for the children, left anonymously on their porch? This is such a beautiful gift from our Lord. And I think I learn to love Mr. Edwards in this particular section simply for his selfless giving. He is a true neighbor!

***

"It was too big a risk, Edwards," Pa said. "We're glad you're here, but that was too big a risk for a Christmas dinner."
"Your little ones had to have a Christmas," Mr. Edwards replied. "No creek could stop me, after I fetched them their gifts from Independence."

***

The most beautiful, scraggly ol' wild cat :-)

"That was a happy Christmas."

And I don't think it was because they got so very much...but the selfless love shown by one man...makes me think of the selfless love shown by our beautiful Lord.

Lots of love,
Sommer

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Big Woods Christmas



For my first little sharing of favorite Little House Christmases, I am sharing one from Little House in the Big Woods. One of the biggest differences about this particular Christmas (from what I see)is that the Ingalls family is at its most well-off. They have an established home with plenty, both from garden and woods. They are not lacking anything. They are surrounded by family...their immediate and extended family. All are well and really, I'm sure they felt very happy that Christmas.

Despite their plenty...they still had a simple Christmas. The food and love was the most abundant.

This Christmas is one that I've always used to compare the later Christmases recorded by Laura to. So many other Christmases were during very difficult times...and yet, there was still such joy.

So, let me share:

"In each stocking there was a pair of bright red mittens, and there was a long, flat stick of red-and-white-striped peppermint candy, all beautifully notched along each side.

They were all so happy they could hardly speak at first. They just looked with shining eyes at those lovely Christmas presents. But Laura was happiest of all. Laura had a rag doll."

"She was so beautiful that Laura could not say a word. She just held her tight and forgot everything else. She did not know that everyone was looking at her, till Aunt Eliza said: "Did you ever see such big eyes!""

"Laura sat down on the edge of the bed and held her doll. She loved her red mittens and she loved the candy, but she loved her doll best of all. She named her Charlotte."

"In just a little while the merry sound of the bells was gone, and Christmas was over. But what a happy Christmas it had been!"
Lots of love,
Sommer

Christmas Corners


It's Christmas time! What a wonderful time of year! I hope all of my friends are having a blessed and joy filled holiday season.

Obviously we've been quite busy here...or I would no doubt have posted sooner than almost two months since the last post! As usual, I am sorry for the long absence.

With a new home and town, we are having to find new traditions and ways to celebrate the birth of our Lord. It has been a little tough dropping old traditions, but fun too, to see what is here.

Mostly, we've stuck to the home. This year we haven't gone to any local things, but I hope to next year. We did enjoy making candy with our new homeschooling friends and of course have had fun making our traditional Sugar Cookies :-) Christmas music has been playing in the background and decorations have gone up.

One of the newest things for us has been lights on the house! Dan and I have lived in apartments all our married life until this year...so we've never put lights up on the outside..well, not even on the inside for that matter ;-) But we both felt the desire to have them on the house...so last Thursday(I know, late...) my dear, sweet, darling of a hubby set them up. We only did the front of the house and they are just a simple strand of white lights...but I LOVE them! I love the simplicity of them...just right :-) I just realized that this shot is a tad blurry..but I still think it gives the feel of the house at night :-)


Of course, it just wouldn't feel like home if we weren't able to put out the little decorations. I've gone about it slowly, but I finally finished putting everything out last week. We are still surrounded by moving boxes and haven't finalized where everything will end up in the future...but I like how most things turned out.



This is our front entry way...we have a large wreath outside on our door, but this little one graces our inside. You can also see a few of our snowflakes hanging from the entry that we made and our stockings(these are the ones that I made a year or so ago) and our advent calendar.




The other thing we enjoyed doing this year(something we have wanted to do since having children) is to take a trip to a Christmas Tree farm and we cut down our own tree. What fun...though it decided to start pouring while we were out there. It is the biggest tree we've ever had and a lovely(though crooked) one!



It was such a blessing to put out all of our ornaments this year. The last two or three Christmases we could not afford a tree or didn't have the space...so this was just sweet!

As you can see, Rowan is loving this. She has been such a good girl about not touching the tree since after the second day of having it. But she likes to look at the ornaments and point them out...especially the Winnie the Pooh ones :-)

The funny thing about this season...it doesn't matter how much you have or don't have, as long as you remember the great gift we received so many years ago and that we never deserved it. And that the love we show others...family, friends, or strangers...is but a shadow of the love God has for us, His children. Too often I feel lost in the busyness of the season...and then one of my sweet children run off with scissors and tape...to lovingly hide one more gift...and it just slows down and the simplicity I love so much is once again seen. The simplicity of love and grace and mercy.

I desire this week to share each day a snippet from my favorite Little House on the Prairie Christmases. These books have always clearly shown me a view of Christmas...well, life really...that I wish to have for my family. Contentment with little, joy in the difficult and love of family...beautiful to me every time I read these books. So I hope you will enjoy my little sharings as we head towards Christmas.

Lots of love,
Sommer

*edited to add: I just changed the poem in my Poetry Corner on the right to suit the season :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I AM here :-)

Well, we've been officially moved in to our home for almost two months! Wow...that is just really awesome to say. So sorry for the gap in posting, but we've been trying to settle in and unpack and start back in the groove of school. We've settled in and I think we are back in the groove for school...but unpacked? No, we are still living out of boxes and there are quite a few things sitting in the garage, just waiting to see the light of day once again...such as my sewing stuff! I know it will all fall into place soon enough...so no worries :-)

So what have we been up to? Oh, so much really...



The kids and I enjoyed harvesting the fruit from our Pomegranate tree. We've made pomegranate slushies and plan on making jelly as soon as I get some canning tools. My hubby and I enjoyed a lovely Pomegranate Mojito too...yum!



We've also had a few things repaired and have had a landscaper come out and plan with us about our yards. That has been fun. Though we really wanted to be able to get our backyard and our front yard fixed up right away, we found that we could only afford to do it in steps. So the first step was our front yard and it is so nice to see it coming up green and lush :-)

We are still enjoying our backyard and finding much to appreciate in it...

The sunset just before a storm was coming in. Lovely!


The kids have been enjoying the space in our yard for running, jumping and playing. Liam has been practicing his ball throwing too :-)


We also have been enjoying observing the many birds in our yard...Western Scrub Jays, Mocking Birds, White-Crowned Sparrows, House Sparrows and a few finches. The bird life around this area is amazing! Not to mention the other creatures...Tule Elk, Muskrat, Fox and unfortunately...black widows and mosquitoes! Blech!

Life is falling into place here and we find that each day is glorious. Sure there are things that go wrong...attitudes aren't always happy and frustration occurs, the clutter is occasionally appearing and the floor needs sweeping...but oh, there is such an amazing feeling of joy and contentment...yes, contentment :-)

And, we are finding a little time to dance amidst all the day to day :-)


Blessings,
Sommer

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Day is Upon Us!



Last Monday, we signed the closing papers...Friday, we were told that the keys were ours and the house was officially ours! Such a blissful feeling indeed!

We'd already been packing some, but we began packing in earnest as soon as we heard that and today...I am making a final push to pack up our many belongings. Wow...how does one acquire so much?

We move tomorrow. We hired movers...with 4 kids and a long drive, we decided this was best. I'm so glad we did.


As we get settled I will share more. On top of unpacking, I need to sit down and finish planning out our school year and then get going with it. We will be starting much later than usual but that is okay...we look forward to starting our year in a new home!

I may be a way from here for a few days, but I will be back as soon as can be and I look forward to sharing views of our life again with you:-)

Blessings,
Sommer

Friday, August 6, 2010

Anticipation



I've been eagerly anticipating the UPS man. Not for any special trinket or new book, but for two rather large boxes. What might be in these boxes do you ask? Well, more boxes, packing tape and packing materials :-) Yes, I've been waiting for the arrival of moving stuff! And today they finally arrived!

My hubby and I don't really enjoy moving, but this move is one I am very excited about! In less than 20 days we will be loading up all of our possessions and heading to our new home. What joy...what bliss!

Despite the fact that there are a few things needed to repair and maintenance on this house, there has been nothing glaringly bad. Just to be expected of a home that is almost 50 years old. The closing process seems to be moving a long smoothly and we are awaiting the day we can get our keys.

I must say, the home buying experience has not been easy for us and really not very fun. I've had to feed off my 3 year old's enthusiasm to keep mine going ;-) But the Lord has blessed us mightily and has made things work out JUST RIGHT! Really, we couldn't have come up with anything better :-) I may share more about this once we are moved in, but suffice it to say...God knew what we needed and though we had other ideas, I can see the rightness in what we have now.

So....the packing begins! Prayers will be appreciated as we de-clutter, simplify and pare down. It feels a tad overwhelming to see all we have to pack up.

Lots of love,
Sommer



Friday, July 16, 2010

Patience Pays



It seems that when you are patient, good things often happen...or at least the right thing ;-) Dan and I have been house hunting for about a year now. We started looking in one location with a certain price range, size in mind. As time went on, the Lord gently directed us to a new location and a different price range and caused us to have willing hearts for a different size home. We had OUR ideals...but God had BETTER ones :-)

In the end, we have a home in a location that is farther away, smaller and...just right for us!

This year has been hard and I have fluctuated from being content, hopeful, discouraged and depressed. But I was learning much and I am still learning that even when I am scared, discouraged, uncertain...God is ever faithful and knows exactly what we need.

Above, you see the front of our future home! Barring any major issues found in the inspection(and we are hopeful there will not be anything horrid) we will close on this lovely August 20th!



God has truly blessed us. This home was built in 1963 and it has a lot of those fun little things that you can often find in older homes. It also has brand new paint and carpet. The kitchen(which you can see a little in the above picture) has sweet little details that I will share later. The refrigerator space is tiny and so I am doing a search to locate an appropriately sized one before we need to be there. Also..the oven is TINY! But I love it :-)

And what is more...the price was awesome! And in California that is hard to come by. The only real downside is my husband's commute. But at least he works hours that it shouldn't be as bad as we had expected.

The crowning glory of this home though...a lovely backyard. Having lived in a tiny apartment for almost 6 years with no backyard and 4 active children has been, shall we say...NUTS! But this backyard is going to be awesome! It is very big, has a lovely shed, and several trees..two which are good sized and provide splendid shade in the heat. There is a lovely pomegranate tree as well. There is also a covered patio...great for eating on and a nice spot for the dog to lay on in the heat of the day. Oh, yes, we are already planning for dogs...oh, my yes!



Here is a picture of the children on the edge of the shade provided by the largest tree. As you can see, it is much more than what we've been used to :-) The kids are very excited. I look forward to getting it green again and working on a garden of some sort.

Really, God has graciously kept us from bad choices that were too expensive. We have slowly been shown what was right for us and in being made to wait we have been blessed. I know that something could go awry in the process. But I am very much full of confidence in what God is doing and have faith that all will continue smoothly. Things have fallen into place with this house that are for certain the working of God.

As we get closer to moving in and after we have gotten into the house, I will share more pics of the home. There are cute little bits that I want to share with my friends. Thanks to all of you that have been praying for us on this journey. I would have never gotten through it without you :-)

Lots of love to you all,
Sommer

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

"Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and He will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave...There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!"

"...Gentlemen may cry, 'Peace!peace!' - but there is no peace...Is life so dear, and peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" ~Patrick Henry
I find myself reflecting on these words today. Not because I intend on taking up arms ;-) But because I think we all ought to remember the passion our Founding Fathers and those fighting for America's independence had. Do we have this kind of passion...for our freedoms, our inalienable rights...most importantly for Christ?

On this Independence day I think on my own passion..or lack there of some days. Would I be a Patrick Henry(albeit in a skirt ;-))? I hope so. Do I have this daily passion for my Lord? I know that I could have more. May we work on keeping our rights and freedoms(and not just sit by complaining but doing nothing), but let us also work to keep our passion for our Lord and Saviour!

Happy Independence Day my friends!!!!

Blessings,
Sommer

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Little Handyman...


A couple of months ago, my brother bought Liam a tool set. Just a kiddie one, but it is fashioned after things you might find in Home Depot(that is actually the brand of toys). He has had fun with it from day one...even sleeping with the tool box :-)

Occasionally he would ask me if he could get his tool and help me fix something. It is so sweet and I do look forward to the day that he can help with those things about the house. For now I just encourage his play!

Today, he was playing with his wagon(it was a car today). After awhile he came and told me that he had crashed and needed to fix the "car". "Mama, I need my tools...can you get me my tools?" I quickly searched them out and brought them to him...he of course got right to work.





As he sat there working, he looked up at me and said, "Mama, I LOVE my tools." And I smiled and thought he will be a very good and handy son. "Yes, you are Mama's good helper!" I think I will need to buy him some real tools as soon as he is able :-)

And of course, I must share one little picture of Rowan. She has grown just enough hair that I can sneak a little pony tail in it! Okay, it isn't much but it is sure cute :-) Fiona says it looks like a joy stick...I think it looks more like a fountain, but still...



As for life...we have just finished up our school year and are taking a little break. I am very ready for it and will enjoy the more relaxed schedule. Of course, I will have to get our school things for this coming year and plan it out, but that can be done throughout the summer.

We are still looking for a home but it has been a long road. I am hoping we will get something soon, but the Lord knows our needs better than we do and so I will continue to rest in His timing.

I will try to include some pictures of the older girls later. They amaze me at their growth and changes and I look forward to seeing more and more of their spirits/personalities appear.

Hoping you all are having a lovely week!

Blessings,
Sommer

Friday, June 18, 2010

Maturing...

Liam has been growing by leaps and bounds lately. Actually all my kids have been..it puts new meaning to the saying "time flies" if you ask me :-) Seriously, though, I am glad to see the little signs of maturity here and there in my children. But, as I was saying...Liam is just growing so much!

He is taller, talks more clearly, rides his tricycle like he was Lightening McQueen, is already thinking about being "trained to drive a backhoe and LOTS of machines", and wants to ride and run with his Daddy.

He also has made the leap to "Big Boy" underwear! This has been a long, trying experience for us..but he has finally got it and (except for at night) I have moved him out of diapers. His getting through the night dry is a bit hit and miss so we will try for two weeks of waking up with dry diapers before we try underwear at night..but he is quite excited about that :-)

Tuesday, I took him to Target to pick out his "Big Boy" underwear. Such enthusiasm :-) We came out of there with Thomas the Tank Engine, Toy Story and Cars underwear. Of course, he had to share with his sisters and showed them all the new duds. He then spread them over the table checking them all out. He told the neighbor girl that he got "big boy underwear today". But lest you think he is all grown up and quite a mature young man....



Within minutes my sweet boy had started putting his underwear on his head...what a silly boy! My girls never did this...but he just couldn't resist :-p Oh and he also started pulling them on over his clothes...kind of super hero like.

So, I guess he isn't growing up too fast ;-)

Blessings,
Sommer

Friday, May 28, 2010

Considering the Future



As a mother of three girls, my mind often settles on thoughts of preparing hope chests for their future households. I believe it is a good thing to have these essentials(and not so essential) items ready for that day that they walk down the isle a "Mrs." and no longer bearing our last name. I've read a book here or there about what is good to put in the hope chest and have much to think on.

Now of course my daughters are all young...though Fiona is fast approaching young womanhood and I must truly begin preparing her. Her sisters will swiftly be at the same stage...much as I hate to admit that they grow up quickly. The material(linens, dishes, etc.) things are good for certain, but I am also realizing that there are non-material things(skills, knowledge, etc.) that are also important for them to know, to aide them in their vocation of wife/helpmate and mother.

I came across this lovely post by Breezy over at a bowl of moss and pebbles on just this subject and it really got me thinking again about what I would like to encourage my daughters in learning. There are many things I wish I'd taken the time to learn when I was young, but now I have the opportunity to help my daughters in their focus. I pray the Lord gives me the wisdom to guide them and gives them the motivation and desire to learn useful skills!

I do hope you enjoy the post and are given some ideas for your daughters' futures!

Blessings,
Sommer

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


"We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves."
~Henry Ward Beecher


"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
~Washington Irving





"A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them."
~Victor Hugo




"There's nothing like a mama-hug."
~Adabella Radici





"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."
~Abraham Lincoln

"


Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together."
~Pearl S. Buck





Happy Mother's Day to all my dear friends! May your day be full of blessings.

Blessings,
Sommer

A Poem For My Mother


**I want to share a poem I wrote for my Mom quite a while ago. I wrote it in 1996 and gave it to her as a Mother's Day gift(or maybe it was her birthday...hmmm, can't recall!)**

Mother's Love

A terrified girl
On tan, slender legs
Stands unsure of
Her way home.
Through a veil of tears
She recognizes the sure stride of Mother.
The sight eases all fear.
Mother is there.

A sad young woman
With a broken heart
Stands fearful of her future,
Uncertain of her way home.
Through hurt pride
She sees Mother,
A sturdy shoulder to lean on.
Mother is there.

Now a woman
Strong, yet timid with each step,
Stands proudly next to Mother.
She knows her way home,
Thankful for all her love and help.
Mother is there.

By Sommer Sorenson(1996)





Thursday, May 6, 2010

Celebrating Mothers-My Mom


To join in in celebrating the women in your life, go HERE and add your link to Keri's little linky thing.

Today, I'm focusing on the most important woman in my life....my Mom :-)

My Mom was raised in a small town called Sutter Creek, the eldest of three daughters. But honestly, what makes my Mom special isn't where she was raised or who she was raised by...but that she was the mother that raised me and my brother and that she did so with faith and strength.

My Mom is a great mom. Her love for her family is amazing. I have never doubted that she loved me or that she would be there for me in my time of need. No matter what, she has been there.

Let me share a few of my most treasured memories...as I think that will speak best to who she is and what our relationship is like.

I remember walking with my brother to a relatively new school for us. Usually we walked to and from together but for some reason he didn't come home with me one day. Perhaps he was with a friend..I don't really remember. What I do remember is heading home in the direction I remembered. For the most part, my little trek home was going well...until I hit a point where I wasn't sure if I turned on one street or another. I kept walking back and forth trying to remember which street was the right one. Eventually, I sat down in despair unable to figure it out. I was SURE I was lost and I'd never be found. But what do you know? I looked up and there was my Mom coming down the street looking for me. What a relief! She was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen! That set for me a view of my Mom that has never changed...no matter what, my Mom would be there. She has always stood by me and supported me, loving me. Some how, that moment sealed a bond.

(My favorite picture of my Mom!)

I remember every morning before school my Mom praying for me. I don't think she ever missed a day. She new the power of prayer and offered it to me as a beautiful gift. It is so comforting to know your mother is praying for you.

She taught me that you couldn't separate your faith from your life. My beliefs weren't just for Sunday or only relegated to church...it was for all aspects of my life. I carry that to this day, knowing that every decision I make needs to be weighed against what the Word of God says.

I consider my Mom to be one of the strongest women I know. I don't think she feels that way...but I know she is. She has had some big challenges in her life that a weaker woman would have crumbled under. I pray that God will give me half her strength to get through the hard times.

My Mom and I have been "bosom friends" for many years and I am so thankful for that. Not every mother and daughter are so fortunate to be family AND girlfriends...but I am most fortunate indeed! I thank God often for that blessing and I pray that I will have as close a friendship with my own children.

My Mom...great words with so much meaning. Wife, mother,grandmother, friend...strong, loving, passionate...gentle, faithful, loyal...my Mom, my Friend, my Sister in Christ.

I love you Mom!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebrating Mothers-My Grandma Gloria

If you want to join in or read other posts head over to Keri's blog, HERE. Today I am sharing about one of my grandmothers, Grandma Gloria.


Grandma Gloria is my Dad's mother. Grandma had 6 kids and my Dad is the eldest. She was born in 1925 and was the eldest daughter of a large family. I don't know too much about her growing up days, but I do know that for a time she went by her middle name, Hortense and she worked at a bank as a young woman. At some point(so she told me years ago), one of her co-workers told her it might be good to go by Gloria as it wasn't so...old-fashioned ;-) It is funny, because almost all of her sisters go by a nick name rather than their given name.

My Grandma grew up in Oklahoma and Arkansas, but lived the majority of her adult life in Washington state. I've never known her any where else. The home she lived in was built by(if I remember correctly) her second husband(my Grandpa Ralph) and she lived there until she died 4 years ago. I loved to look out their front window and look at Mt. Si that was right there...beautiful. I will probably always think of both Grandma and Mt. Si together.

This picture above is just how my Grandma was....no matter what. Throughout all of my growing up and beyond she battled illness after illness. She had cancer several times, panchreatitis, heart issues and diabetes which eventually took her sight. I know that she had hard days...but the thing that overwhelmingly I remember about her was her joyful, faithful spirit and her sweet kindness to others. Her faith in God and His promises to her kept her cheerful and strong. I hope that I can have half the faith she had and be as strong in times of difficulty.

Grandma and I had a few things in common...we love family, babies and poetry :-) She loved having her family about her and I was always sorry that we lived too far way for me to be there as often as some of my cousins were. I can probably count the times we were able to be together on my two hands. But she always encouraged me and shared her love with me. Even if only through phone calls, letters and rare visits. She was the matriarch of the family and family and friends were often with her. She loved to hear about new babies in the family and she was blessed with 19 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren at the time of her death...she has a couple more now :-) Just a few months before she went to be with the Lord, I told her I was expecting. She said "Oh, I just love when the babies come!" I was glad she died before knowing I lost that wee one.
She also wrote poetry...so very much. She has a self published little book of poetry that I will cherish always. She encouraged me to not wait so long as she did to try to do something with my poetry. I haven't written in a while, but I always think of her when I get the itch! At her grave side service my Uncle blessed me by asking me to read one of her poems and it is another memory that I cherish. I am so thankful he allowed that connection between us to be shared in her honor one last time.

Let me share a poem she wrote that speaks a bit about her attitude in life:

Some Day We'll Understand

It is not for us to question
Why some things should come to be;
Why sickness, pain and heartache
Should come to you and me

But rather we should all rejoice
With the beauty we are given;
A baby's smile and a love that's true,
Joy coming straight from Heaven.

Hard times can make us wise and strong
They'll help us grow in grace.
The joys we know-the happy times
Are but a reflection of God's face.

No, it is not for me to question
Why some things should come to be;
But rather ask that God will make
A blessing out of me.
****
And also, if you will indulge me...let me share the poem I was blessed to read at her funeral in 2006.

Let's Meet on the Mountain

Let's meet upon the mountain
Where icy waters flow.
Meet upon the mountaintop
Where purple rhododendrons grow.

Let's meet upon the mountain
Or travel hand in hand.
Look out upon the other side
To heaven's wonderland.

Let's meet upon the mountain
The Lord awaits us there.
We'll take the straight and narrow path
That joins heaven's golden stair.
****

I miss Grandma Gloria ever so much. She inspired me to write, to love, to consider children a most treasured blessing(whether 1 or 20 in number and whether your own or another's). She inspired me to ever look to the Lord for my strength and to consider even sorrows as blessings. When she died, I had not seen her in several years...but her face shines brightly in my memories and her love continues to beat strongly in my own heart! Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful Grandmother!

Blessings,
Sommer