Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘grandchildren’

Joy at Easter


Easter is a time of joy.

Of course it is! It’s the day of “Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!” We sang at Sunrise service (even though it was a rainy day and we couldn’t see the sun), and we went to church and sang joyfully there.

religious embossed wall

Photo by David Jakab on Pexels.com

But in addition to its spiritual meaning, Easter has a social meaning, too. It is a family day. In my family, when I was growing up in central California, USA, it always was a day my sister and I got to wear pretty new dresses with shiny new shoes. We had an Easter egg hunt. We gathered with relatives for a sumptuous dinner of ham with pineapple and scalloped potatoes with cheese, lots of different vegetables, and a variety of home-made desserts. Aunt Angie’s Easter pie with a hard-boiled egg hidden in the enter of it was always part of the offerings. We played with our cousins. It was a day to look forward to and a day to remember.

silver spoon and forks beside vegetables

In my world today, the pretty new dresses are not a part of the celebration. Wool pants and a cozy sweatshirt was the way to block out the Montana cold. The shiny new shoes gave way to boots to keep my feet dry. No Easter egg hunt in pouring down rain!

red and gray rain boots near pink umbrella

But the part that hasn’t changed is the family gathering. It may not have been aunts and uncles and cousins. We didn’t have Aunt Angie’s Easter pie. But we had my granddaughter, Hope, and her husband Drew, and their almost two-year-old, my great-grandson, Xander. They joined us at church and stayed for the church ham dinner potluck afterward. What a joy! Look at how Xander is growing!

Hope Xander Drew

And we had our grandson, Chris, with us. If you have been following my blog, you met Chris earlier when he came from Switerland late last year and decided to go unshaven for awhile and be a “Montana Mountain Man.”

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Well, look at him now! He’s been at the Anaconda Job Corps since last February and is studying to be a heavy equipment mechanic. He’s taken off 30 pounds (with exercise and careful food intake) since he arrived in the USA last Thanksgiving. He’s feeling fit – and looking happy. What a wonderful Easter gift it was to have him with us this weekend!

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Easter IS a time of JOY. It looks different at different times of our lives, but with God and family as the focus, it always is a time to thank Jesus for His wonderful gift of love. It’s a time to shout “Hosannah! Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!”

Happy Easter!
How did you spend your day?

 

Signs of Affection (Haiku x4)


Signs of Affection
Are in life’s every corner
Just know where to look

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Signs that you are loved
Are everywhere your heart is
Open to be seen

photo of teddy bears sitting on wood

Expose your heart’s core
To vulnerability
Your reward is there

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Congratulations
To Faith & Kyle’s engagement
Love’s new beginning

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When’ s the date, dear granddaughter??

 

midsection of woman making heart shape with hands

 

 

Change is Challenging


Change is inevitable
Change is challenging
Resist or embrace?

May as well embrace
To resist change is futile
Change is inevitable

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This is my grandson, Chris. I told you I would write more about him. He has been the center of life for Bob and our family since he arrived in the USA from Switzerland last Thanksgiving. When you first met him (if you have been following my blog), this is what he looked like:

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See the change?

And when you first met that pup he has under the blanket in his lap up there, this is what TazE looked like:

HappyTazE

Well, he is so covered up in that first picture up there, you can’t really see the gray in his face and the change in his body, can you? But, trust me… now at age 8 1/2, he has changed from that frisky guy you see there. Here’s a current one that shows you what I’m talking about:

TazE in bed

Yes, change is inevitable! And it can be scary. And it can be very exciting. But it does not do any good to resist it. Much of change is healthy and invigorating. It’ll happen whether you bid it or not. May as well plan for it!

When our grandson came last year, he knew he was in for a year of changes. He had the courage to fly into a new life here – with new opportunities – different in countless ways from his life in Sierre, Switzerland.

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Today we are driving in Montana snow (really came down yesterday… and more is expected today) from Ennis to Anaconda. It’s about a two hour drive. We will stay overnight there, hoping to find a place that will allow pets. TazE will go with us.

We are taking Chris to the Job Corps in Anaconda. He will check in at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning. He has qualified (US citizen between the age of 16-24 with a clean record who is interested in training in one of 7 manual labor areas that are deemed understaffed by the Federal Government) and has been accepted into the program.

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We took a tour there in December and we were wonderfully impressed with the site, the program, the facilities, the instructors, the equipment, the ambience, and the students. About 200 young people are there. More than 75% of them are from out-of-state. Chris will be the first who was born and raised in another country. (Our daughter is his mom… and as such, Chris has dual USA-Swiss citizenship).

There are 4 dorms, 3 for men and 1 for women (that’s the ratio of the students). Not surprising since the trades they are learning include:

  • Heavy equipment Operating
  • Heavy equipment Mechanics
  • Welding
  • Painting (buildings inside and out – not oils, acrylics, watercolor, etc.)
  • Carpentry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Brick-laying

Chris will have a month to explore the various options and then he will select the one he wishes to concentrate on. Each student is self-paced. The training could take as little as three months and as much as a year, depending on prior experience, work ethic, skill, etc.

Stay tuned. I am sure our grandson is in for changes he cannot even imagine at this time.

We are excited for him.

Aren’t you glad to know our Federal Government is supporting this kind of internship/apprenticeship program for young people?

 

Sunrise Beginnings; Sunset Endings


Just as sun rises,
Each day is new beginnings.
Rise to occasions.

sunrise

Just as the sun sets
Extraordinarily,
Ends bring beginnings.

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Allow the endings
In order to make room for
The new beginnings.

 

Our daughter’s youngest, our 23-year-old grandson, Chris, arrived from Switzerland to stay for awhile with our son in California – and to stay for a month with us here in Montana. Life here is very different for him. In the Montana month, he met our friends, went to church and shopping with us, helped us around the house a lot (like decorating for Christmas and then taking down and putting away all the decorations), received his driver’s license, toured the Job Corp campus in Anaconda, MT, filled out his application, and was accepted into the program. He has USA citizenship and is between the ages of 16 and 24; he wants to learn manual skills and may move on to find a job in a field such as carpentry, welding, or heavy equipment mechanics, and he has a “clean record”, so he qualifies for the program.

He will begin this new experience next week. Chris had to allow for a lot of endings in order to make room for these new beginnings. We are excited for him. We are impressed by his courage, spirit of adventure, and willingness to step out and learn new skills. Only the Good Lord knows what the next year will hold for him, but we know he is in God’s hands, and so we will send him off with great anticipation, faith, and confidence.

Stay tuned!!
I’m sure I will write
more about Chris
as the year progresses.
Maybe his experiences
will encourage
some 16-to-24-year-old
you know and love.

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X = Xander


Day #24 in my A-Z series of “What Makes Me Happy?”

 

XANDER

 

Xander-GG playing

He lives five minutes

Away from us in Ennis

I see him seldom

My heart aches for the happiness my great-grandson, Xander, brings into my life. I want to see him regularly, to be a positive influence on his life. But, it’s not my call. I can’t force it. All I can do is pray my granddaughter will see the light, accept my invitations, and bring him here more often (every six weeks or so just doesn’t do it). Keep my heart open. Keep inviting. Keep praying.

 

Join me in that prayer, will you?

 

You can see that Xander makes me happy.

 

Bob, my hubby, said, “X-ing.” Crossing is better than stagnation, he reasoned. “Keep moving forward in life,” he advised. Yes, wise forward X-ING brings happiness.

What’s your “X” word for happiness?

G = Gratitude


“The simple practice of gratitude can change our lives. Sages throughout the centuries have noted: As we count our blessings, they multiply.”

A quote from Unity.com

Gratitude is my word for Day #7 in my series of “What Makes Me Happy.”

Yes, gratitude makes me happy – but it’s not so much the thank yous from others as much as it is my own Attitude of Gratitude.

“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” I don’t know who first said that, but I agree. And I would add, it is all about appreciating what you have and acknowledging those gifts. Life is a gift. Thank God today for green grass, gruyere, grace and all those “G” words that make you happy.

Mine include grandkids, Guideposts devotionals, and Goff (that’s Bob Goff who wrote Love Does and founded that fantastic organization, Pure Love Does, that reaches out to help so many. Do you know him? Get his book, if you haven’t already!). Google him! (Oh, that’s another G word for which I am grateful) And guess what? As I was writing this post, i received an e-mail from Bob Goff! His new book, Love Does for Kids, was just released. TODAY! How timely, huh?

Thank you, blogging friends. I am grateful for you, too!

What are you grateful for today?

F = Friends


Day #6 of the A-Z series on “What Makes Me Happy”

FRIENDS

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Friends who go fishing with my hubby (Thanks, Ray & Charley, CG & BW, Gerry & Steve)

Friends who are fabulous cooks, invite us over, and serve fabulous food, wine, and conversation

Friends at TOPS who reach their goal weight and inspire me

Friends who share their birthday happiness with us

Friends who worship with us at church, share their husband to fish with mine, make me smile, give great hugs and are just plain FABULOUS

Friends who are family – what a blessing when that happens!

Friends who are grown up former students and have kept in touch through the years

Friends who bake beautiful pies and who love the Lord as I do

Friends who serve the community, support FUND-raisers, and give generously to make our world a better place

Friends who donate zucchini to the Sr. Center – and the dear friend who plans, cooks, and serves our seniors with such grace and skill

Friends who live into their 80s and 90s and set a beautiful example of vitality and grace for the rest of us

Forever friends who are FAITHFUL forever and continue to love us in spite of our FLAWS (ah, don’t you love that F word?) … and who are as lovely inside as these FLOWERS are outside!

Friends who go FOUR-WHEELING with us

Friends who never forget us and who are FAITHFUL friends to our children

Here’s another one of those… our Friend who is our #2 daughter… Yes, FAMILY is more than blood relatives.

FAMILY is FRIENDS we choose, not just those we inherit. And if we’re truly blessed,

We have family who are friends in all parts of the world

We have grandchildren who are friends and are FUN to be with, and

We have children who keep in touch with love and gratitude daily, even if they move across the sea thousands of miles from us.

My prayer is that the ones who live close enough to see us daily will come by at least once a month, and let our great-grandson grow to know us as his FRIEND, too.

Ah, my blogging friends, I hope you are truly blessed with the FUN of FAMILY and FRIENDS who make you happy, too! I love making new blogging friends!

And never FORGET (that’s a troublesome F word) the Friend who is your constant companion. If you have this kind of a FRIEND you are blessed indeed

And don’t forget the faithful furry four-legged friends, too!

What’s the F word that makes you happiest?

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