Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our Time Capsule

We received a Wedding Time Capsule fifteen years ago. Inside I have engraved champagne stemware that we used at our wedding (thanks Lisa). I have my little white lacey shoes that I wore after I took off my heels. There were cards from people who attended and four letters called "Letter to the Future". The envelope says "Do not open until 2022" which will be our 25th. But seeing that the last year was so rough, I thought that I needed to open them for encouragement. Four people who attended out wedding wrote us letters. This one is from my sister:

Written on January 18, 1997 (Dad's birthday)

Dear Theresa,
When asked to write this letter, I could not imagine putting twenty-seven years of memories into a letter. I found my answers i a collection of poems you once gave me.

What is a sister? A sister is someone more special than words. She's love mixed with friendship. A sister is a perspective on the past and she's a million favorite memories that will always last.

I feel 1996 was the year we renewed our friendship. My favorite poem:

You are the Most Beautiful Person I Know.
You are the most beautiful person I know - not just outside, but inside too. You have a wonderful sense of humor, a loyalty that not many people have, and the gift of love you give to others. We may not be perfect; we have our share of arguments, our times of laughter, and our share of troubles. Yet we can always trust one another with anything. When you just have to share something good or bad, I will listen. You are the world to me. Words can't express my appreciation, but it means a lot to me that you are my sister, and I will love you forever. A sister like you is the greatest gift in the world.

Theresa, thank you for being my sister and friend. May the future hold the same closeness that we share today.

Love Always,

Do you have a sister? Did God bless you with more than one? Sisters are a blessing. Treasure them.


January 11, 1997

Dear Theresa and Curtis,

I know that we have not been lifelong friends but it certainly feels as though we have known each other for that long. We have grown and shared experiences in this short amount of time, it takes others a lifetime to live out! I can't tell you how much I value your love, concern, time and friendship.

I am thrilled that you and Curtis "tied the knot". I guess I could give you all the standard salutations...Best Wishes, Congratulations, etc. But that's not me. I believe that you two were meant for each other. You two bring your own unique and special qualities to the relationship that make you the loving couple you are.

Our hopes and wishes for you are...may each new day bring laughter, love and a smile to your faces (especially when it's going to be a great story to share.) May with each passing year your love and friendship grow deeper and stronger. And be each others best friend. If there is only one thing I have learned in my marriage, it is that my "cute boy" is my best friend in the world.

When you read this you are to be celebrating a special anniversary. A marriage as rare and unique as yours is a priceless treasure...treat it that way always.

We love you both. Happy Anniversary! Dave and Joanne

(PS, See you for our weekend in November. No tornadoes allowed).

Remember when...

...we worked together, got paid dirt, "but no one had better jobs than us".
...big friend, little friend
...Wednesday dinner get-togethers at the Brady's plans by your very own wedding coordinator
...the wedding day, boom box disaster
...the minor storm that disrupted our beach weekend, but according to Curtis and Dave it was "nothing".
...David backing into your car and me breaking the news to you.
...the mummers strut down the boardwalk.
...road trip to Gina's, "cow patch" town.
...dinners that were very, very average. games that were out of control!!!
...our painting jobs.

But most of all remember we love and cherish the time we have spent together, and look forward to many more years!


Joanne sang at my wedding. We have lost touch over this last very difficult year but just reading her words have warmed my heart and reminded me of how much I have missed her friendship this past year.

I have two more letters to share. But they will have to wait until tomorrow. Have sweet dreams, friends.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Celebrating Oneness

July 27, 1996

"and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh." Mark 10:8

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a tiny kingdom, peaceful, prosperous, and rich in romance and tradition. Here in a stately chateau, there lived a widowed gentleman and his little daughter, Cinderella. Although he was a kind and devoted father, and gave his beloved child every luxury and comfort, still he felt she needed a mother's care. And so he married again, choosing for his second wife a woman of good family with two daughters just Cinderella's age, by name, Anastasia and Drizella. It was upon the untimely death of this good man, however, that the stepmother's true nature was revealed. Cold, cruel, and bitterly jealous of Cinderella's charm and beauty, she was grimly determined to forward the interests of her own two awkward daughters. Thus, as time went by, the chateau fell into disrepair, for the family fortunes were squandered upon the vain and selfish stepsisters while Cinderella was abused, humiliated, and finally forced to become a servant in her own house. And yet, through it all, Cinderella remained ever gentle and kind, for with each dawn she found new hope that someday her dreams of happiness would come true.

There are many days we might feel like Cinderella, but not the good parts of this fairy tale, right?

I started reading the post from last year. Once Upon A Time. But I didn't get very far. I was reflecting on our marriage yesterday. The last year has been the toughest. These are the times when we need to pull out our marriage vows and really revisit the promises we are making to each other and to God.

OK, you might say that God didn't play a big part in your life then. Maybe you are saying that He doesn't play a big part in your life NOW. Oh believe me, He did and still does. Do you really think that the two of you chose each other? Do you really think the two of you are where you are because of each other?

(This seems to have become my time with the kitten. He is snuggled up on my lap, which makes it difficult for me to type. And I don't normally sit with my knees so closely together. LOL.)

I find it interesting that the title of last years post is "Once Upon A Time..." That is the beginning of a fairy tale. Well marriage is no fairy tale. There is no fairy godmother...only Father God.

(I had enough. Dash is back to the floor).

There is no castle...only dirty socks on the living room floor and in front of the hamper (sometimes in front of the washing machine).

There is no ball gown...only clothes that fit tightly because you just can't lose the last of the baby weight.

There are no mice...only children that eat you out of house and home and leave crumbs around the house so you might acquire mice some day.

There is no carriage...only an old car that rattles when it starts and only has a tape deck in it.

There is no prince "charming"...only bad breathe and gas.

OK, not just "ONLY". I am trying to make a point that life is not a fairy tale and if we enter in to marriage believing that it is, then we are going to be quickly disappointed. I googled fairy tales and you know what is missing? GOD. Cinderella and Charming marry and at the end they "lived happily ever after". WRONG.

The story ends with this lovely song that Charming and Cinderella sing/hum together. Click here to sing alone.

So this is love. So this is love. So this is what makes life divine. I'm all aglow..And now I know...And now I know...The key to all heaven is mine. My heart has wings. And I can fly...I'll touch every star in the sky. So this is the miracle that I've been dreaming of...So this is love.

The story should end with the wedding vows:

I, take you, to be my wedded wife/husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness

and a reminder that life is not what you see on the screen. So stick with it. Don't give up on each other, on the marriage. Love is worth fighting for!

I believe that I have the Happy Ending. I never wanted to marry anyone but the one I married. I love him. Not for what he does for us or doesn't do for us. I just love him. I married him because I love him. And I love him because I married him. No regrets. I would do it again and again.

Oh wait I did. (1998 and 2006).

The words "you get what you give" just have stuck in my mind over the last month. They ring true with just about everything we do. So my marriage advise for you today is:

If you are not getting what you give, then give more!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time Wasters and Time Savers

Proverbs 31:10-31
New International Version (NIV)
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I am on Principle #5: Faithfully Oversee Time and Money

I love books. I especially love anything written by Lysa TerKeurst. I feel like I know the women of Proverbs 31 Ministries because I also start my day with a devotion I receive via email.

This is what I've learned this morning. And I NEED this!

Being thrifty is more than finding good bargains and clipping coupons. We can be thrifty with our words, not wasting them on idle gossip and tearing others down but lavishing praise and encouragement on those around us. We can be thrifty with our energy not being drained by wasting (the kitten has learned to jump and is now on the keyboard practically, lol) hours because we're disorganized but frugally planning ahead. We can be thrifty with time, not squandering it on things that don't matter but investing it in things of eternal value. (Dash has moved to my lap).

The Proverbs 31 woman is a faithful steward of the time and money God has entrusted to her.

Putting First Things First
Sometimes I become so wrapped up in the urgent needs and demands that seem to come my way every day that I don't stop to carve out time for what really matter. Starting off my day with the Lord is the best time saver I know of because it settles in my heart what my priorities are. When my heart is right and my spiritual ears are open, then the Lord can establish my plans for the day. It never fails that when I'm too busy to put Him first, nothing seems to go smoothly. When I stop and put Him first, I'm aware of His presence and His provision for me throughout the day's activities.

And there you have it. When I just up and get on the computer and start my day like that, things usually don't go too well. But if I get up and have quiet time first, then my heart is already softened for the hard parts of the day.

How do you start your day?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seattle/Alaskan Cruise Part 1

June 27th - July 6th, 2011

Tracy Arm Fjord was our first stop along our cruise. We didn't get off however some passengers did. They took a sight seeing tour. Our sights from the cruise ship was awesome!

Alaskan Cruise Part 2

Click here for information about Alaska's Most popular Shore Excursion.

Alaskan Cruise Part 3

Alaska from the air. My love took Amanda and Daniel on a float plane while Mom and I went to a beautiful garden. They took the digital so I don't have any photos of the garden. Maybe if I ever learn how to scan photographs, I could post them on here. LOL.

Click here to read about this man-made garden. Mom and I met the owner, Steve. He was just a regular guy.

Juneau, Alaska, July 2, 2011

Alaskan Cruise Part 4

Daniel's Fish(es)
Ketchikan, Alaska
July 3, 2011

Daniel caught the little "Pink" salmon. Then my love caught the one under that which was a "Chum" salmon. Then Daniel had to out do him with this "King" salmon. Salmon goes for $17 a pound in Seattle. This one was about 25 pounds. We had it shipped home. It only cost just over $100. We took two packages of it to Canada with us. Let me tell you, it is like nothing that I have ever had!

The other two fish were caught by the other two fisherwomen.

Mom, Amanda and I went on a different excursion where again we did not have a digital camera. (Mom received one from my brother last week as a gift). We had a wonderful time. It was long. Mom and I took naps, LOL.

Click here to see a quick video. We saw seals. It was so cool!

Alaskan Cruise Part 5

If Mom had not come along, I would have spent this vacation by myself. My love and Daniel spent a lot of time together. Daniel also met several boys that he either swam with or played games with in the game room. Amanda was off with the Circle C camp. I didn't see my love very often. Mom and him met for coffee (not planned) each morning at the wee hours of the dawn.

This is my water logged FishBoy, formerly known as Daniel. One day we banned him from the pool because his face was very red and swollen. It was part from the salt water and part from the goggles, I believe. (I love this face!)

We cruised Tracy Arm Fjord and got our first view of glaciers. It was so cool.

Amanda and Daniel in the hot tub but then a "hairy old guy" got in so they exited. LOL.

One of my favorites. Feet in the air with the "No Diving" sign in the background. Where was his mother? Oh, yeah, taking the picture. Classic.

Mom on deck at Tracy Arm Fjord.

My morning quiet time was slim but I did a little reading. What a view!

This was our first morning. We were amazed by the breath-taking scenery of the snow covered mountains. God is so amazing. He could have made the world in black and white as plan as could be. But instead He is a good of variety. I am so thankful for my amazing artist creator.

Formal Night with my children.

Mom Mom and Daniel at breakfast.

Me and Amanda at dinner.

Daniel just came over and hugged me. My love captured this special moment.

Before the cruise set sale, Mom and I took some pictures on the top deck.

Far in the distance is the Space Needle.

O'Dane and Antonio were the best servers I've ever had.

Each night after dinner, my three family members would make a quick exit before dessert. Mom and I would ask O'Dane and Antonio to have coffee with us. Each night they would laugh. On the last night, they sat down long enough for this photo.

Mom played bingo the last day trying to win the $1000 in cash. No such luck.

Mom and I spent the last day at sea whale watching. We saw lots of little blow hole puffs. I asked Curtis if that counted as "whale sightings". He said yes. Then we saw a killer whale smacking his tale on the water. It was so exciting. THEN we saw a humpback. I squealed like a child and caught it on film. It was truly the highlight of my last day at sea.

In the distance is a humpback whale "breaching" (a leap of a whale from the water.) I as able to zoom and got this view. It's not bad.

Our last day at sea, on our way back to Seattle, it was beautiful. It was chilly but sunny. Daniel got sun-burned on his shoulders. I think most of the passengers on deck did!

Mom and I didn't like what the main dining room served for dessert. So we went on to the Lido deck and were overwhelmed by choices. This is what we finally decided on.

Each day our cabin steward made a new towel animal. In Mom's cabin however, there was an entire zoo. I called in Noah's Ark.

Mom and I playing Battleship. It was so much fun that I bought it when we got home.