A pot of chili was quickly assembled - with Abbey browning the meat and making sure it was flavored with plenty of pepper. Rachel busied herself at the kitchen table making a double batch of corn muffins. Mom got the spices into the chili pot and then set to work making homemade ranch dressing. After the meat was done, Abbey adorned salad plates with fresh greens and peppers cut "just so". The table was set beautifully with our normal everyday dishes. We thought it would look nice to add a candle or two. Then we added more - and more - - actually, by the time we were done there were candles running down the center of the table. It looked so nice! And all for a pot of soup and a plate of salad. But it was, oh, so wonderful.
We made sure we all were sitting quietly reading together in the front room when Daddy walked in. When he had left the kitchen was in disarray with tools, and what not from his long project. He came home to a house that was quiet and seemed to be a bit more in order.
What a beautiful dinner we shared together this evening. Simple and yet perfect. For it is not in the culinary delights that we find joy, or in the completely tranquil life we have made for ourselves that adds security; but rather it is taking time to make the people in our lives feel special and know that they are loved.
How blessed I was tonight to sit around a candle lit table with those most dear to me in this life. We laughed and talked as we ate our salad and enjoyed our simple soup and tried to make Daddy feel like a king - (even though his back was feeling very sore!)
You see - when I started blogging - it was a new and exciting world to me. It also was an uncharted path for me that I wanted to pursue with caution; both for myself and my family. Thus, I decided to use a "pen" name. It was not a far fetched name for me - it did not take me hours to come up with my writing name - and at the time it just made sense. "I would use my middle name. "
I have enjoyed using my middle name - and in some ways it seems to separate the blogging me with the real life me. However, more and more of my "real life" friends are visiting and reading my blog - and more and more of them continue asking - "Why do you use the name Jane?"
So - for the new year - I am changing my blog name to match the real life name I am known by.
So for all of you "real life" friends out there - it is me.
And for all of my friends in the blogging world may I say...
"Hello, my name is Martie; I am so pleased to meet you...
Thanks so much for stopping by - May I personally wish you a Happy New Year.
Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!
I had wanted to share this show and tell Friday last week; but I was out of town for a doctors appointment. So, for this Friday's show and tell I wanted to share with you one of my Christmas trees. (Yes, I have more than one - I actually have 5 trees total throughout the house - my husband is still in disbelief).
These two ornaments were gifts. Each given to us in memory of her. (Notice the angel wings - I do not believe that she was an angel - but it is a reminder that she is listening to them sing and praise the Lord each Christmas we are apart).
This is one of my favorites. I purchased this one days after she died. I had the lady put her name on the heart. On the back of the heart it says - "Love Mom and Dad".
The tree topper is a plaque given to us in memory of her. It seemed a perfect place to put such a gift. I have the tree sitting in the dinning room in the middle of the picture window. During the holiday season the tree stays lit all the time. Along side of her tree is a picture of Ally when she was 3 months old. On the other side of the tree is a plaque given to us that says, "Trust me, I have everything under control. - Jesus" And so He does. Our lives are perfectly fashioned in His hand - lovingly laid out. The good times and the bad. All to bring us to a closer picture of Christ.
I am so thankful for the ability to remember. I am also so thankful for the faith to look ahead with assurance and know that she is waiting for me in Heaven. Someday we will be reunited. Until then, I will be thankful for the time we had with her - and remember.
How a 5 year old decorates a rice cake - because he does not care what it looks like - or what it is as long as he is able to "do it myself..."
The disguise worked well - only the 14 year old suspected that something was up - she also is smart enough to know that if she spoke up and gave away the secret - she may possibly lose her birthday. :)
Well, the added energy has made me get some things done around here that I was not sure were going to get done for the holidays. Normally we send a plate of goodies over to the neighbors and sing carols to them. (I was thinking that I was not going to be up to it this year) Needless to say, we spent this afternoon baking. It was fun. We divided up into teams and went to work on various cooking projects.
We made reindeer cookies...
...and 'kiss' cookies...
...and covered pretzels....
...and cereal bars with holiday sprinkles...
Today I pondered The Lamb of God -
"Even so Lord Jesus ...COME!"
(July 1, 1997)
I remember her smile - her blue eyes so full of life. I remember ringlets of curls atop her head - curls with a hint of red that made me wonder if carrot top would ever become her nickname.
I remember doting sisters who tried to share sippy cups and pacifiers with her - an act of true endearment for toddlers and infants! I remember the amazement we felt when I found out that God had blessed us with yet another baby growing within me. I remember holding her - still so small herself, and feeding her - and realizing that another baby was growing inside of me. I remember wondering how I would ever manage four little ones.
I remember the next morning when everything changed. I remember finding her - and calling my husband to come in quickly. I remember the 911 call; and the paramedics and police officers that arrived that morning. I remembered hoping that they would get her breathing again - but absolutely sure in my heart that she was "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" even as they worked. I remember hearing the phrase, "I am sorry, we have done everything we could..." and feeling my knees give out from underneath me.
I remember picking out the small box that would be the final bed for her little body and reminding myself that she was no longer there - but safe in the arms of Jesus.
I remember being surrounded by so many friends and love. Coming home without her - and finding our home filled with friends. A kitchen full of food - and house filled with even more care and concern than I thought was possible. Ah, how I remember the memories we shared that afternoon of the child allowed to stay with us for only a little while. I remember how everyone was worried that the baby within me would not make it due to the stress I was under. I remember everyone begging me to eat and to rest - even though I had no appetite and the tears flooded my pillow at night.
I remember the tears - so many tears. How vividly I remember God comforting me. I remember understanding that the path I had thought I would walk - was not to be. God had another path for me. It became my responsibility to surrender to His will for my life - for His path was best. Oh, how many times my will had to surrender to His!
I remember giving birth to my son - 6 months later - a week before her first birthday. I remember missing her so much and loving this new little one so uniquely - for through the tears that had been and were to come - God would make my heart to smile again.
I remember 7 years later - God allowing us to adopt our youngest son on Ally's birthday - and knowing that God adds and subtracts from our family as He sees fit. I remember the strong assurance I had that God's ways are best - and He truly does heal broken hearts!
For all of those who walked this path with us - who came and comforted us during this difficult time. SO many sent gifts our way to show their love and concern. Thank You! I went through her box the other day. I was surrounded once again by your love and concern. SO many cards, gifts and memories filled my mind as I looked through her things. The cards that were sent - we have kept each one. We will never forget her - but we will never forget the love from others that helped this path to be easier. Thank you!!
July 1, 1997 - December 13, 1997