Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Grateful.  Do we really know what that word means?  Are we really grateful?  This has been moving through my mind as I hear different people talk.  As I lay my head down at night and ponder, "Janette, are you grateful or just full of complaints?"   We get use to our style of life and start to take it as normal, forgetting who even gives us breath.  A conversation I had with someone, which has become a very familiar conversation, left me with thoughts, "they don't even understand how grateful they should be."  Those thoughts also convict me.

Christmas season is wrapped in a bow of Gratefulness, if we allow it. Without using too many words I want to show a picture that put GRATEFULNESS at the top of my priority.

Last year I handed out red envelopes to all my children for this Christmas.  Inside the envelope had an invitation to celebrate Christmas in our home town of Austin.  The last time we all visited the city and relatives together was over a decade ago. Since then, there have been marriages and grandsons.  My mother-in-law had celebrated Christmas with us, traveling four hours, even as late as age 98.  Since then she has stopped traveling and resides in a Senior Citizen housing.  In June she celebrated 101 years on this earth.  When I gave out the cards, so we all could plan, and for some of us, save money, I said a prayer.  "Dear Lord, if it be your will, will you allow Deanie to be alive when we all go to Austin in December of 2016!"

GRATEFUL - as I walked into the room, knowing we all would be in one place to celebrate with my mother-in -law, I embraced that word fully.  I don't know that my kids, nor my grandsons, could understand the true meaning of that word at that moment. I do know my husband could!  I saw it in his face.

So here is my picture of Gratefulness.  Ages 101 to age 1, all gathered together.  My husband's mother - age 101, his only sibling, sister and her husband, and all of our family!

My heart grew bigger as I saw my grandson embrace his Great Grandmother.  Little children just know how to love and his love poured out on her.

As if my heart wasn't full enough.  We all went to enjoy places that held life time memories for my husband and I, as we shared our memory lane.  I am sure my husband and I embraced the GRATEFULNESS more than they could embrace.  Our budget doesn't allow us to travel much, so even getting to stay in a hotel is a big deal.  We also don't fly out of the country, so even a road trip thrills us.  We were grateful!!!  Little happenings, such as seeing my grandsons at the hotel breakfast, was worth more than my heart could express.

Before leaving from town we stopped by my mother-in-law's place once more. Here we meet the newest of our extended family.  Her Great, Great Grandson.  Yes, that is seven boys in a row.  He sat on her lap,  She talked about how precious he was.

She too...................knows the word -------------------- GRATEFUL

Christmas came with boxes and bows, but the gift I will cherish the most from this Christmas can't be bought at a store. No amount of money could buy what was deposited in my heart.

I  know your Christmas was full like ours.  May your New Year hold all the blessings that comes with a Grateful heart.

Good by 2016!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Old is Always New Again

This Christmas season started off with a bang....a BIG BANG.  The week after Thanksgiving was so stacked with appointments and events I wasn't sure my body would survived.  Well, it did!

I am on the Decor and Environment group at the church.  What is that you ask?  Basically it is getting the church or room ready for an event.  We come in to decorate and set up and take down. For December that meant we were to decorate the entry, halls and class rooms for Christmas.  The head designer does a great job and I am honored to come along side and just help, along with other women.

This is just a few of us who helped behind the scenes get the church ready for Christmas.  We laughed about my lumberjack shirt!

 I think this is the link so you can hear him!

 Benjamin had his Christmas concert at the University of North Texas on Tuesday night.  He is the only boy in this Jr High Orchestra.  He is also only in 5th grade.  He did an awesome job. He is in the back corner to the left next to a teacher.

Stress relief was given in this over-scheduled week by going to keep my grandsons.  We made cinnamon ornaments for the tree.  I had also made 2 dozens for Ben's class at school, which I helped decorate his room with on Wednesday, before keeping my grands.  Just playing with my grandsons makes all the tiredness go away, and even some of the body aches.
The youngest grandsons is now walking/running and giggling.  These ages are so much fun.

In between all of this Benjamin and I found our Christmas tree.  It is the smallest we have ever had, but we are enjoying it.  This meant time to pull out all the decorations.  Each year this a trip down memory lane for me.  This usually means laughter and some tears.  It always means thankfulness to a God who hasn't forsaken us.  All the old, because new again, as I decorate our house.

Then the reminder that all of the stockings started 36 years ago and we keep adding the blessings of more reindeer.  I started the reindeer stockings at age 19, a young bride.  Now days everyone seems to marry so much older, so I guess I just got a jump on the journey of marriage and family.

Benjamin and I decided to use our artificial tree for the grandsons' tree.  Their ornaments will cover this tree.  I also grabbed some of their parent's ornaments and put on their tree...Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story and Dr Seuss.  I am hoping they enjoy their tree when the see it.  I know Benjamin and I are already enjoying it.

I finished up the week with another visit to the second set of three grandsons.  Of course, we needed to make something also, so I grabbed the paint.  We took their pumpkin and made it into a snowman.  David was so excited he hugged the pumpkin!

The week came to an end.  Memories were made, obligations completed, even lunch with a friend and the calendar turns another page in December.  This week is slower.  I am going to cherish the time to set at the feet of my Savior.  May you also have time to spend hearing His voice and worshiping the one who the season is all about.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Turkeys Came!

  My son made me this turkey this year, to go with my huge pumpkin from last year.

When you have six grandchildren under the age of 5, five of those under the age of 3, you can plan all you want, but they dictate the events of the day.   Well, lets say, even their parents dictate!

My Joshua, he is the one who encourages me like my Benjamin, brought it all about.  Don't we all need those who openingly voice their love for what you are doing or encourage you on when you want to just set down and say "NO!"?  Well my Benjamin wins that prize first and Joshua comes in second.  Weeks before Thanksgiving Joshua looked up at me and said, "Grand Mommy, how much longer before I come to your house for Thanksgiving?"  To be honest, I wasn't in the mood, I really had too much on my mental plate to desire kicking into gear for a large group for Thanksgiving.  Let me just tell you one thing!!!   That little boy's question put gas on my very little flame and made it explode.  My mind started going 90 to nothing, what could we do this year that would be memorable?

Then there is my Benjamin.  I had decided to dye my hair just a day before our adventure to celebrate all the November birthdays, our gift to the four of them.  I have posted before how much I hate worrying about my hair. I hate to schedule and have it cut, I never know what to do and I hate deciding if I should let it go totally grey or not.  I hate to dye it and leave it for a year, to giving into the dying. Which I gave into and bought a box, after 30 minutes in the grocery store trying to see which color to use....of course, I picked wrong.   So for all the Thanksgiving events, I would look like "witchy poo" in dark, almost black, hair!   Benjamin came to my mental rescue telling me it didn't look bad, it looked good!  So, my two little men keep their mother/grandmother motivated.
(three of the grandsons, Benjamin and daughter-in-law)

Our week of Thanksgiving started with taking the new 3 year olds to see animals at a drive through ranch.  Now, if you don't know by now!, this Texas girl loves her outdoors.  I have even slept on my own trampoline in order to view the star!  So I experienced my own slice of heaven, with three of my children, one daughter-in-law and four grandsons. This really is an experience we will repeat again and again.  God's creators at our finger tips!

I planned out every detail for our Thanksgiving gathering.  You all know the routine, you clean your house...so they can get it dirty, you cook and keep thinking is that enough? You plan things to do...you pray and pray! This year I moved my dining room tables into our den and den into the dining room so we all could be in the same room. They all arrived and everyone has their own agenda.   You know...different time schedules, different desires for play, want to set in different places, different food and different ways to do everything!  What joy! We are all so different and the more noise and dishes means we are alive!!!

This year I prayed before our meal, among the moving, crying, eating, because they were starving, among the events of human life!  Not something we have done before, but what God had placed on my heart.  Bill normally leads our prayer.  Each mother at the table prayed over her family and we lit a candle.

Our turkeys ran everywhere.   When they all left..which was the afternoon, naps needed to be given for those little boys, I crashed!!!   A good crash, but still crashed.  We are a family...we have many bumps and bruises and will continue to add more.  Nothing will go perfect, things will be spilled, people will be late, someone will offend someone, not on purpose, but it will happen.  But in the end...everyone returns to their own homes, the kids are exhausted and memories are made!

It is called ------------------------------ FAMILY!!!!

I pray you all experienced the same. The grace of God on all our messes and the joy of knowing He is writing our stories.  Prayers spoken among the noise of life, and a God who hears and promises His Word will not come back void, makes all gatherings special.

Blessings as we all end November to enter the season of Advent.

I  want to blog on what happened on Saturday.  The story of two very different women standing face to face, with one very important thing in common.  Stay tune!
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