"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today's Grace

Father ... the only good thing in me is YOU.
Help make me an instrument of your LOVE.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Friday, January 23, 2009

Time Will Tell

... hopefully before the new President's honeymoon period is over, how much of a chance our nation (under God) will recover economically, morally, and become a strong union. This union has been so fractured between right/left, conservative/liberal ideals that no matter how much waiving a magic wand over the mix, and calling for togetherness and less divisiveness, you can't force opposite magnetic poles together. Left is left and right is right! A democrat can't bring republicans on board just by saying we have to work together with only democratic/liberal ideas. Just not gonna happen. Liberals can't say their ideas are less liberal when they're not.

I think the new V.P. will be an interesting mix with the new Prez. He has caused much rolling of the eyes and bristled up body language from the new Commander In Chief. Time will tell.

... for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:28

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello Sunshine ...

... goodbye freezing fog, freezing temps, snow, ice dams, slippery driveways, frosty the snowman ... etc. ... hello Paradise.

Paradise is the little town that my parents live in. It's in sunny Northern California. This post is not a 'dis' on winter, but a hello to five days of beautiful sunshine.

Super Bowl Sunday is my dad's 80th birthday ... so I'm flying down next Wednesday to surprise him. I haven't been home for three years. It will be weird stepping off the plane in snow-free sunshine.
No hubby and no children. Yes, I booked a round trip ticket (I know what you were thinking ... one way ;)

I, of course, still love winter ... but it will be nice to feel warm without a coat, gloves, scarf, hat and boots. No need to wear shoe chains/grippers, snow shoes, use a snow shovel, snow blower, or 4x4 plow.

Better get a pedicure so my tootsies look nice in sandals.

I think the heat is already getting to me :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Juice

The other day I was speaking with my daughter about how my brain is wired. I told her I have happiness going on all the time inside my head. She gave me a funny look ... then I explained that I just can't shut off my optimism. I can feel certain areas just overflowing with joy. Sometimes I think something might be wrong. Other times I am thankful to have a joyous outlook. What's a mom to do? I started doing a little research about brain chemicals and found out what I've suspected for quite some time. Our brains are capable of producing certain drugs that can reduce stress. Endorphins, gama gobulins, and interferons are such chemicals our brains produce to help fight stress, pain, disease, and boost our immune systems. With natural drugs floating around in my head like these, who would ever want to shut them off? (Big happy smile.)

Perhaps this 'happy brain' effect started when I was thrown into the world of being the mother of a special needs child. The stress placed on me years ago could have started the ball rolling. I have learned to shut out stressors ... and believe me there are plenty being Nathan's mom ... the wife of a law officer ... mother of a soldier .... etc. Now don't go thinking that I'm an ostrich and have my head stuck in the sand. The world around me may still be falling down, but I'm not going to stand falling down with it. Not on my watch. If I turned these 'happy brain drugs' off, and started getting depressed, I would not survive one day with what is on my plate. So if you think I'm a little too over the top savoring the beauty of winter, the smell of skunks, the delight of getting up a million times at night to help a little boy that needs his mom ... now you know why such things just don't drag me down. If you are not fortunate enough to have this 'happy brain juice' ... I'll be glad to give you a little bit of life off my plate to sample ... maybe then you could get your own 'happy brain juice' flowing.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
It is amazing to think about.
Your workmanship is marvelous
... and how well I know it.

Psalm 139:14 TLB

To maintain a less stressful life, here are some suggestions: Laugh, find humor in situations, plant flowers and garden, seek out friendships, volunteer your time, eat chocolate (that's my favorite one).

Today's Grace

Father we thank thee for winter.
A renewal awaits your creation
as we wait patiently for the earth to produce new life.
Let's not be wishing away the days
but embracing each one
knowing that they are a gift from you.

Mrs. Mac 1/18/09

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Blah Buster Game Bash

Tonight you will find our kitchen table filled with a few good friends, party foods, and a trivia game. On the menu:
Sticky Chicken Wings
Margarita Pizza
Veggies with Dip
Chips & Salsa
Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream & Hot Fudge Topping

A board game called "COPS"

Time to test the knowledge of law enforcement affectionados and say "Book 'em Danno".

Friday, January 16, 2009

Skinned Knees

... a rite of childhood passage. My Mr. Nathan arrived home from school yesterday with a tear in the knee of his sweat pants. He let me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted the 'bee off' his knee. After he hiked up his pant leg, I noticed a rather large bandage and a scrape. I haven't seen a knee such as this since his brother, Patrick, fell off his bike as a kid. Checking Nathan's backpack produced a note from school explaining that he had fallen at recess and cried for thirty minutes after the wound was cleaned and bandaged. He has a way of replaying pain over and over in his mind. Come to think of it, this morning at bath time, he would only stand in the tub which made washing his hair rather messy. His class went swimming today ... but not Nathan. He will be dropped off at Walmart later to catch up with his classmates for their weekly shopping trip. Want to know what's on his list? Toothpaste, potato chips, and toilet paper. Every week I try to have him find a few new items and one that will make it worth his effort (the chips).

"That Boy Of Mine"

That boy of mine, he has no fear
and bikes downhill without using low gear.

What makes boys such risk takers, I do not know;
Somehow the playground's blacktop freedoms make this mom wish for snow!

Another original (doozie poem) by:
Mrs. Mac

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A View From My Mountain Lake

his morning brought a quick trip into town before I took charge of my grandson. On the way back Jacob and I took a drive around the still frozen lake. With camera in hand, it was a perfect time for a photo op. He was content to sit in his car seat, while I was able to stop along the shoreline to breath in the frosty air.

Hoping For A Breeze

The past few days our area has experienced frozen ground fog. Yesterday around 10:00 AM the sun broke through on my little mountain and wondrous blue skies did appear. Having to run to town in the afternoon brought me down the hill to a still frozen world with very limited visibility. Heaviness hung in the air and gave me claustrophobia. The trees were frozen and white. The road was black and slick. Today my little mountain is encased with frozen air. I am hoping for a breeze to once again reveal the sunshine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Loving My ...

Teen! With one daughter nearing the end of her teenage reign, my heart is made merry by the recent change in our relationship. Instead of bristling up her peach fuzz at the mere mention of the slightest bit of advice, she now seeks out my council. Last weekend her older sister invited her to church ... and low and behold the sermon was about a discussion we had the night before. Yes, my tactic of giving her just enough freedom to fail on her own has benefited this newest birdie that is being nudged out of the nest. She has discovered that maybe her parents aren't as clueless as she had imagined and that a wonderful new relationship of friendship is her reward.

You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. Follow the impulses of your heart. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 (The Message Bible)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Spring Countdown

To help ease the winter blahs, I'm thinking spring! With fifteen rooms in my home, I've begun spring cleaning one room at a time. So far, I've gotten nitty and gritty in the laundry room. Fourteen more to go from ceiling to floor. Whistle while you work ... just whistle while you work. Can you hear me cleaning in the basement? Next week the Mr. will have to help too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Today's Grace

For warmth of home and love of family;
Father, I thank thee.
For inner strength when I am weak;
Father, I thank thee.
For Your sacrifice upon the tree in place of me;
Father, I thank thee.

By: Mrs. Mac 1/11/09

Friday, January 09, 2009

It's Friday ...

... and I have the day off. Off from granny day care, off from school snow days, off from snotty nose patrol. A morning to get out in town for some much needed shopping. I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. If I can go it alone, it's tolerable. If I have to take a grand baby or special needs child that experiences melt downs and has little self control in a store, I am wiped out before I even leave the driveway. Today, though, it's a good day to get-er-done! The roads are fairly clear and so is the sky. Ta-ta-for-now.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's Time

... for my annual vacation dream. To be honest, I like to day dream about travel. Last year we WERE supposed to go to Glacier National Park in NW Montana, but alas, practicality won over and we spent the money finishing up our front yard landscaping. I'm honestly trying to remember the last time I took a vacation. It was probably in 2005. A cruise/land tour of Alaska, and a trip to Missouri/Illinois to see family. Then came the whole upheaval of a move, building a home, time apart from hubby until he retired. Now as I sit here in the middle of winter, it's time to start some planning. Since Mr. Mac is a newby at work, he got slim pickins on the vacation calendar. A week in April, and another week around our anniversary in November. This will mean we have to take Nathan out of school for a little 'home schooling' by bringing a few projects for him to work on during our trip.

No grand travel plans are in the works. We will (Lord willing) make a circular loop over to the Seattle area, drop down to the Portland area, head east through the Columbia Gorge, then north east towards Spokane, WA. Here are some of the stopping off points along the way:

Leavenworth, WA a beautiful alpine Bavarian get-a-way.

Next stop along the trail will be the greater Seattle area that encompasses Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound. Family and friends of ours live in this area so it will be tough to settle on just one or two stops.

Check out these awesome pics

Do you have any vacation plans this coming year?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Melt Down

Not a personal melt down ... just a winter melt down. JUST ... how about PRAISE THE LORD type of melt down! Except if you live in a low lying area perhaps. With about eight feet of snow compacted down to 2-1/2 to 3 feet of snow on my roof and drifts and piles five to eight feet high, the weather has warmed up to the mid forties. When night time lows are higher than day time highs, things can get pretty screwy. This week we went ahead and had a crew of men come out and shovel the snow off the roof. With rain comes melting, but with so much snow on the roof, if it rains and then freezes up, that can be disastrous to a roof. We have a nice pitch to our roof, but many (hundreds) of roofs on businesses have collapsed the past two weeks. This must be our area's version of Al Gore's global warming ;) Our local schools opened on Monday, only to close yesterday and today. Here's hoping that 'normalcy' returns soon. The boys (Nathan and Jacob) are bouncing off the walls. Send me a straight jacket (Sara).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

January 1, 2009

Ring in the New Year with a sense of humor ... a grateful heart for being alive ... an outlook full of possibilities of the days to come. Whatever is just beyond tomorrow, may you accept the unknown path in front of you and make good choices and decisions. Give God your best and let Him carry you the rest of the way. (old optimistic proverb that I just made up ... but it does have some validity;)