Happy Birthday, Grandma

So, this is a day late, but happy birthday to this blog’s namesake! Yesterday was my grandma’s 74th birthday.

When I was a kid we often would eat lunch with Grandma at her house on Mondays after our homeschool choir and band practice. We would typically eat grilled cheese, although Grandma called it cheese toast. Sometimes we would eat tomato soup, also.

Snacks at Grandma’s house would consist of cream cheese on a popsicle stick, an ice cream cone with either vanilla or sherbet ice cream, Fig Newtons, or marshmallows. We would have tea parties with the toy tea set, or play grocery store with the toy cash register and the boxes and containers that Grandma would save. We would listen to her play the piano and would sometimes play for her. We would watch Disney sing-alongs or the animal videos that she had on her TV.

My Grandma is a thoughtful, kind, and gentle woman. I am so thankful to be a part of her family and to know her.

Happy birthday, Grandma! I love you.

Birthday Tribute

Today is my grandpa’s 74th birthday. He is a hard working, wise, Christian man. He grew up with a big family in a tiny home. He became an engineer and lived very frugally. He was a good father and raised all four of his children to be hard working, God fearing people.

My mom, her sisters, and her brother all married well and have raised/are raising hard working, God fearing children. My grandparents have fifteen grandchildren. Three of us are married, so they have nine great-grandchildren with one on the way. It has been a joy having such young grandparents because my children will have the opportunity to know their great-grandparents on my mother’s side fairly well, provided God continues to bless them with good health.

My grandfather’s legacy is not just in hard work, faith in Jesus, and good parenting. My grandfather has been an exemplary representation of a husband to his wife, my grandmother, this blog’s namesake.

My grandparents have been married for 54 years. Their life together has not been easy. It has been tainted with loss and illness, but my grandfather is a shining example of faithfulness, love, and service to his wife.

He can be proud of the family and life that he and my grandma have built with the help of The Lord.

Happy birthday, Grandpa! Thank you for being the man that you are. I love you.

Review: Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith That Drives the St. Louis Cardinals

Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith That Drives the St. Louis Cardinals
Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith That Drives the St. Louis Cardinals by Rob Rains
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book provided an interesting look into what keeps some of the members of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team focused and grounded. Many of the players on the team are Christians and therefore help to lead the team in knowing what is truly important in life, playing your best, and performing both baseball and life with class.

I enjoyed learning some about the players and their personal lives. I have a new appreciation for how great of a team we have in St. Louis, not only because we’ve got good men on our team, but because they have developed a specific culture in their clubhouse that exudes good sportsmanship on the field and good relationships off the field.

View all my reviews

Reading Adventures

At the beginning of summer 2012 we bought three books from the Classic Starts series of classic novels adapted for children. We bought The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Oliver Twist. We read Robin Hood, but never took the time to read the other books. I recently had carpal tunnel release surgery on my right hand, my dominant hand, and since I have two children in diapers my husband took a week off of work to help me around the house. We decided to read another one of these books together. My husband read Oliver Twist aloud to our 6 year old son and me. We enjoyed the adventure of the story together.

On ThursdayDSCF8111 night we decided to go to the Barnes & Noble close to our house, where we bought those three books last year, and buy a few more. We bought White Fang, The Three Musketeers, and Treasure Island. We read White Fang next and finished it just before lunch today. I only knew the story from the Disney movie from my childhood, so I really enjoyed listening to that book also.

The Classic Starts books are abridged to about 144 pages with many short chapters, so they are quick reads. We read through Oliver Twist and White Fang in about two days each. They are designed for young readers to read by themselves starting at around 2nd or 3rd grade. They are meant to be an introduction to a classic novel for children by introducing them to the overarching storyline and plot of each book. The children are exposed to stories from classic novels to pique their interest in reading the full length novel when they are older. They are a great price, $5.95 in store or $6.95 on Barnes & Noble’s website for hardback, so they are great home library builders for families with young readers.

Our son chose Sherlock Holmes for our final adventure before Dad goes back to work on Monday. We are loving this time together sharing a written adventure. The only thing that would make it better would be if the younger children (our 4 year old daughter especially) would be a little more interested in listening to the stories and not so noisy while we’re trying to read.

Love and Marriage

People today have a very impractical view of marriage. Marriage is considered a relationship to make one’s life fulfilling and complete. Making and raising a family is not always the first concern, and of course not everyone is blessed with children, either. People fall in love, so they get married. The relationship gets difficult and people fall out of love, so they get divorced. People think they need to find themselves or complete a checklist of life goals before they can “settle down” with a “ball and chain.”

Don’t get me wrong. We should be very discerning in whom we marry. We should be sure to find someone with a similar worldview, similar faith, and similar beliefs. Those are the most important things. But do we need to be head over heels in love to get married? No, for that is making marriage into something that it is not.

Someone that shares your faith, goes to church with you, and wants to raise your children in the same faith is most important. On top of that, we should look for someone with good character, someone that is responsible and serving, someone that we like and will generally be happy to be around everyday. These are important things.

Obviously, physical attraction is a good thing, but people gain weight, lose their hair, endure accidents and illnesses that alter their bodies, and physical attraction will not sustain a marriage. The most important thing is to be attracted to the person as a whole, to their character and personality. However, even those things may change, so the reality is that people who would be married need to be committed to serving each other, growing together, and enduring together through the good and bad things in life that come their way, because that is what love really is.

If we think that love is having good feelings about someone, and that when the person is unworthy of those feelings of love that we should walk away, then we really have no understanding of love at all. We have done nothing to make us worthy of God’s love. We are completely undeserving of His forgiveness, but as Romans 5:8 says, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God had every right to walk away from us and forsake us, but He chose to love us instead.

Real love involves sacrifice, forgiveness, and sometimes great effort from sinners to do the right thing. Real love is dying to your sinful instincts that tell you to take offense and revenge, and to forgive and serve instead. Real love endures the heartaches of illness and loss and remains to serve the other, even when one is giving but not receiving much.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) Will we love perfectly? Of course not. That is why we continually repent and forgive each other. And that is what makes a marriage last.