Thursday, June 19, 2008

Adam's Family


I just want to share this picture of my oldest son Adam, and his family.  They gave the picture to my husband in a card for father's day.  I think it's an awesome picture...looks good of everyone!  They are a wonderful family, and a great blessing to my life.  Love you guys!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Old Home...good memories.


I have had the very unique opportunity to live in the same house I grew up in.  My parents bought a new house in 1996, after living in this one for 34 years.  They preferred to keep it in the family and since I had just gotten married the year before and living in a rental, they offered to sell it to us.  We purchased it from them and made it our home for nearly 12 years.   I have some great memories of this old house.  I was 10 when my parents bought it, so I have memories of adolescent and teenage years there.  My (first) wedding was held in the back yard.  Memories of my children when there were small coming to visit grandparents, and then the 12 years of life spent there with my current husband.  Three phases of my life in this house.

It's a nice home, bigger than it looks from the front.  It has 1860 sq ft of living space. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, a large family room, a formal dining room and a large laundry room. During the last 3-4 years in the house we spent many hours (and $$) fixing it up.
 

The Living Room.  When we bought it it had white walls and pink carpet.  We put in a neutral beige carpet and painted the walls a pretty sage green.  We place ceramic tile down in front of the front door.  We left the paneling up because we thought it looked good and it's a high quality wood panel.  You can't see much of it, but the dining room is next to the living room and in there we took out the pink carpet and put laminate wood flooring.













The kitchen looking at two different views.  The one below shows the laundry/utility room.  The other picture  shows two doors, one going into the dining room and the other into the family room.  The built-in bookshelf use to be a window on the carport.  My dad built the family room in 1978 and kept the window, putting a counter/bar on the family room side.  We redid the walls in the family room and covered it, but kept it open for shelves in the kitchen.  It was one of my favorite parts of the room.  The kitchen has pretty oak cabinets, but when I was growing up it had metal cabinets.  To try and dress them up, my parents covered them with wood-looking contact paper.  Mom and Dad did a kitchen make-over a few years before we bought it, which I'm sure glad they did! The floor had green linoleum, which we covered with ceramic tiles.


The family room.  My dad, who is not a 'construction-type' man, built this himself.  I am very proud of his work, it's really a great room!  My favorite room in the house.  This picture does not do it justice.  When we bought the house this room had dark wood paneling on all 4 walls, and pea-green shag carpet.  I was very excited when we took the paneling off, redid all the walls (I did a faux-finish on one wall) and put laminate wood flooring down!


My favorite part of the family room.  This is a wood-burning fire place that puts out some great heat in the winter.  Here in So. Nevada you cannot put in a wood burning fireplace, all new homes have only gas.  There is nothing like a wood-smelling, crackling fire on a cold night!


This is the backyard.  It's not big, but very cozy.  There was a 'shed' in the corner which was a playhouse for me and my sisters.  Dad converted it into a shed after we grew up.  It became old and in poor condition so we tore it down.  We also took out 2 old huge trees.  It feels almost criminal to destroy trees that provide shade here in the desert, but these were diseased, and the branches were always getting in the electrical wires.  Everytime we had a strong wind storm one or more of the branches would break off, and not to mention all the lovely 'tokens' left on our patio by the multitude of birds in the trees.  I was glad to see them gone!  The good did not outweigh the bad!


Here is a picture of Gary tearing down the old shed.  We made a few hundred spiders homeless that day!

We sold this home last December.  The buyer was from California and wanted to buy a home in the Las Vegas area.  The realtor told me that the buyer (who paid cash for the house) had spent months searching all over Vegas for an older home that 'felt cozy and homey'.   She said that when she walked into our house she said "this is it".   She bought a good one!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trusting the Bible


"For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the the heart."   ~Hebrews 4:12



One of my great loves is studying God's Word...the Bible.   I can't remember exactly what year I started, but about 8 or 9 years ago I began having a daily Bible study time every morning. I don't mean to sound overly dramatic...but to put it simply, it has changed my life...and all for good.  I strongly recommend it to anyone who desires to draw closer to God, to know more about Him and about his faithfulness, his sovereignty, his goodness, his mercy and love.  

However,  before I started studying, I did not have much interest, or frankly, much trust in what the Bible said.  I had been taught growing up that the Bible, although it was good, it contain errors, distortions and omissions.  Before I could truly start studying it, I had to address some of the doubts that I had.

Here are some of the things about the Bible that I learned:
1. Written in a 1500 year period.
 2. Written in different places...wilderness, dungeon, palace etc.
 3. Written in different times...war, peace, prosperity etc.
 4. Written by 40 authors who...
-lived over 15 centuries
-lived on 3 different continents...Asia, Africa, Europe.
-spoke different languages...Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.
-came from every walk of life...kings, military leaders, philosophers,    poets, scholars, peasants, shepherds, tax collectors, etc.
 5. Written during different moods...joy, sorrow, despair, certainty, confusion and doubt.
6. Contains 66 different books that read as 1
7. Contains: History, Law, Science, Drama, Poetry, Songs, Biographies, personal            correspondences, Prophecy, and Philosophy. 
 8. Addresses hundreds of controversial topics from parenting to homosexuality and with        amazing harmony.             
9. Despite it's diversity it reveals one simple theme--God's redemption of Mankind.

How well is it preserved?  This is where the doubts come in.  For many years it was hand-copied, so how can you trust that it was done accurately?  Many believe that the words of scripture was changed, either added or omitted, to support a certain belief.  Is that true...do the facts support that?

Well, here are some facts... there are 5,656 manuscripts (hand-written copies) of the New Testament in Greek (original language of the NT) alone.  (Some of these manuscripts are just parts of the NT) There are many thousands of manuscripts in other languages too...Latin, Ethiopic, Slavic, Armenian, Arabic, Gothic, Persian and others.  Together they total over 19,000 manuscripts and combined with the Greek manuscripts it totals over 24,900 manuscripts.  It is the most frequently copied and widely circulated document of antiquity.  Nothing come close to it.  The second most preserved is Homer's Iliad with 643 manuscripts.  

These manuscripts have been studied, analyzed and compared.   In the book, Foundations for Biblical Interpretation, by D. Dockery, S. Kenneth, and S. Mathews (1994), they said, "...although there are certainly differences in many of the New Testament manuscripts, not one fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith rests on a disputed reading."  May I also recommend the book The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.

Learning all of this was very helpful to me and helped me to trust it more.  But the real conviction came as I studied it and came to know more of our good and faithful God.  This is His holy word to us.  He would not allow it to become faulty.  Men over the ages have tried to destroy and corrupt it, but have failed. 

~"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand for ever." Isaiah 40:8
~"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."  Matt. 24:35
~"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 1Timothy 3:16

Monday, May 26, 2008

Truth


Who and what can we trust?

We can trust truth, but truth and honesty are becoming rare in our society today. Politicians distort or recreate facts and present them as truth. The media spins facts into their own politically correct version of truth. Many, if not most, college professors and unfortunately many high school teachers, comb through facts to pick those that will support their view of the world and especially America. And sadly, even in our churches, messages are preached that are 'listener-friendly'. If a message offends, it is left on the shelf and not taken to the pulpit.


Life can be hard and confusing...we need truth to guide us through. We need it, but sometimes I wonder if we really want it. It is a dangerous, but common belief that truth is not absolute. Truth varies and can be personalized for different individuals. I would agree that is true for opinions and emotions. But not for truth. Facts are facts and should not be recreated, spinned or omitted to serve some other agenda.


I once heard it said that "conservatives get mad when you lie to them, liberals get mad when you tell them the truth", (may have been Ronald Reagan, but I'm not sure). Looking beyond the politics of conservatism and liberalism, I think this often happens in our society, some of us feel happy and comfy living with distortions and falsehoods. It takes courage to seek, learn and accept truth. With truth comes responsibility and accountability. Often with truth comes a need for change and hard decision making.


This is not what I had intended to write in my post today...it's just what came out as I started typing. Should I post it? Yea, I guess so, there must be a reason for it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sleep-Over at Grandma's

What a great weekend I am having!
Friday, after my lovely bike ride, I attended the Preschool Graduation of my 2nd granddaughter, Julianna.  Here is a video of her special moment...

video
She is such a special little girl!  She was so excited and I am so grateful I was able to share the occasion with her!
After the graduation we all went to lunch at Ihop.  Not only was it Juliann's graduation, but it was also my daughter-in-law Shelly's birthday, so we were celebrating both!
After lunch, my daughter Rachel (who also took the day off work),  and I went shopping.  I had agreed to have all four kids over for a Sleep-Over.  We got home a bit late, and I had not told Gary they were coming.  When they all showed up  with sleeping bags in tow...he was a bit surprised!

We had a great time....


All four of them hanging out in the backyard.















The kids enjoyed taking a bath in Grandma's  oversized bathtub.























Julianna, Emily and Rider in their sleeping bags.
A pretty cool thing about Rider's sleeping bag...it was made by my mother for my son Adam (Rider's Dad) when he was a little boy.  The sleeping bad is made to look like a turtle, with the 'head' being a pillow.  Both the top and bottom are quilted, which my Mom did herself.  It was used by Adam and his brothers, and I have kept it all these years.  Rider enjoyed it and was excited to use something his dad had when he was little.






Saturday morning breakfast on the patio.











It was great to spend the time with them.  They are great kids!  But boy they can keep you 'hopping'!   That darn Garth Brooks song still keeps running through my mind..."I'm too young to feel this damn old"!

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Bike Ride


Today is friday and I have it off work-YEA!!  I am so excited!  I love days off!
I decided this morning I would start off my day with a bike ride.  About a month ago, my husband Gary purchased bikes for us.  We are not exactly what you would call 'athletic people' but since we have recently moved to a neighborhood where there are many bike & walking trails we decided it would be a fun thing to do.  Also, my son Adam and his wife got bikes for all of their family last Christmas and we are hoping to do some bike riding with them.  


This is a picture of Gary putting one of the bikes together.

They are nice bikes in a pretty green color, and of course they match.  We may be old and a bit pathetic looking when we ride, but our bikes will look cool!

We have gone for a few bike rides on saturday mornings which I have loved!



Anyway, today I decided to go by myself, and I learned a few lessons during my ride.  I would like to share them...
1.  You need to look up while riding.  During the first part of my ride I kept my eyes on the path I was on, but after awhile I realized I was missing the best part of the ride.  I told myself to look around...there was so much beauty I was missing by looking down.  The scenery around me was lovely and yet all I was seeing was pavement.  This is also true in life.  I am often looking at the 'path' I am on rather than the 'scenery' around me.  It's good to look down long enough to keep you on course, but how sad it is to miss all the good and enjoyable pleasures there are around you.  Even when the path became hard to travel...the view was still beautiful!
2. Know where you are going before you start.  I just took off this morning assuming it was going to be an easy ride.  I have driven past this bike path and it looks very easy.  However, there was more incline than I realized, and it ended up being much more physically challenging that what I expected.  It's good to take on challenges, both in bike riding and in life, but know your abilities and limits and choose appropriately.  It's ok to say 'no...I'm not ready yet'.
3. Face the truth...I am overweight and out of shape!   My heart was pounding and my breathing was not very 'lady-like'.  My head and chest hurt, my hands felt numb, and my knees starting screaming at me as if they were saying "what in the heck do you think you are doing"?

An old Garth Brook song kept running through my mind..."I'm to young to feel this damn old".





Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Family




I am excited to write a blog about what is near and dear to my heart...my family!  
I am the proud mother of five great kids.  Actually they are not really kids but grown adults, but Moms have a very unique gift of looking at a 30 year old offspring and seeing both a great adult and a 9 year old boy at the same time.  I don't exactly understand how we do it, but the man or woman of today is still shadowed by the child of the past.  So, to me they are still my 'kids'.  

I have 4 tall, handsome, smart sons.
Adam, Joseph, Daniel and Jacob.  It's not often I can get all 5 of them together for a picture.  But when I do, they will always put themselves into birth order.  I don't ask them to, it doesn't really matter to me...I just want a picture, but they will rearrange themselves in order.  In this picture, they are in order,  it just R to L, Jacob is the youngest in the black coat.  This picture was taken last Thanksgiving at my parent's home.  It was no easy task getting them to pose for the picture. I often have the same trouble with my grandkids, getting them to be still and pose, but they are small children so it's understandable...but my boys are almost as difficult.   The picture above is  good, but see what I had to go through first to get it....







I also have a lovely daughter, Rachel.  She is a great joy to my life!  I have such admiration for her...she is extremely talented and very smart.  I have often thought if I had had such insight and wisdom when I was her age, how different my life may have been.

I took this picture of her on a trip we took last September to Orlando, Florida.  My job had sent me to a conference there and I was allowed to take one guest with me.  We had a great time.  We took a little side trip to St Augustine to see the ocean.  I thought this picture was so pretty with the colors in the sky.
Please check out Rachel's blog at www.thoughtsandotherminorthings.blogspot.com

Adam and Joseph are both married.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful daughter-in-laws!
When my kids were young,  I often wished for another daughter, and Rachel use to complain that she didn't have a sister.  God has fulfilled that desire for both of us by send Shelly and Erin into our lives!  If I could have chosen wives for my sons, I couldn't have pick any better than them!  They are both loving wives to my sons, and devoted mothers to my grandchildren.  They have added much to our family and I love them both!

Adam and Shelly



Joseph and Erin  with baby Jordon


Adam and Shelly have four children, Emily age 7, Julianna age 5, Rider age 3 and Sheldon who just celebrated his first birthday this month

Emily


Julianna

Rider




Sheldon

Joseph and Erin have three children, Michael age 4, Ora age 3 and Jordon age 16 months.
(Please go to Erin's blog at www.littlepod.blogspot.com to see more pictures of their family.)


Michael

Ora

Jordon

My first grandchild was born in 2001, and one has been born every year since.  I think that has been pretty cool!  But I know it can't continue.  In 2006, I didn't think I would have one that year, and then we learned that Jordon was coming in December.  Again this year, I thought the same thing, but we just learned that Erin is expecting her fourth child in November...so I'll have #8 in 2008!!!   I can't help but be curious if there will be a #9  next year...we'll just have to wait and see!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Casting my net

There are so many things I want to write about...my family, my new house, my goals and plans for the year, memories, my thoughts on what is going on in the world, our upcoming presidential election...(actually there is only one word for that--HELP!). There are many things to write and pictures to share, but I am going to post one more blog about this job of mine. Not that it will be of much interest to anyone, but I just need to write about it.

I shared last time about how demanding it is. Well, it has only intensified each week, and I feel more and more consumed by it. The administrator pulled me into her office this past week and asked me how I was feeling about things. I confessed to her that I was very unhappy. I feel that every waking moment of my day is spent thinking, planning, worrying or dreading some aspect of this job. I don't sleep well, I wake up at 3:00 am every morning with my mind 'racing'. I feel I have no energy or emotion for my marriage, my family, or any other aspect of my life. She agreed that it was difficult, and reminded me that to correct the problems of this facility it was going to take about a year of long days and hard work to get there. She then asked me, " Are you willing to stick with me to do this?" I said no.

I hate to think of myself as a quitter. But, after much thought and prayer, I believe the right thing to do is to admit that I am not able to meet the needs and the demands of this position and the fair thing for both me and the facility is to step down and allow another more experienced nurse take the director position. I have to admit my pride is getting kicked a bit. She asked me to stay for a month and I agreed. I hope my ego won't be too badly bruised during the next month.

I have no other job to go to yet.
That's a bit scary, especially since we just bought a new house with a pretty hefty mortgage payment. But I reconize this as an opportunity to walk in faith. I am trusting in God. He knows my needs and I know he will direct me to a position that will fit perfectly with my skills and strengths, and will provide for us financially.

Yesterday I sat at my computer and filled out a long, tedious on-line application with the state for a VA SNF that is just a few minutes from my home. I also updated my resume and posted it on several sites. I also emailed it to some hospitals, hospices and nursing homes. I am also considering a couple of positions within this same company. As I was doing all of this, I thought of the story in the New Testament of Peter who by trade was a fisherman, and had had a very unsuccessful night of fishing. I am sure he was discouraged and probably worried about the impact it would have on his family. Jesus told him to go back out and to cast his nets. Peter reluctantly did this and his catch was so great the boat began to sink. (Luke 5:4-6) God does care about our jobs. I have cast out my 'net' and will trust in God to fill it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Help...I didn't sign-up for this!

Thursday night I came home from work after another 11 1/2 day. My sweet husband was sitting home waiting for me, and when I came in he hugged me. I hung onto him for quite awhile, and then I burst into tears. I went onto the patio and sat in my favorite rocking chair and had a good cry. It was one of the best moments of my week!

This new job is overwhelming and is draining everything out of me. I am always exhausted, grumpy and I have asked myself several times this week 'what was I thinking'?!!! My last job rarely required more than 8 hours a day, and since I had a home office I got to be at home much more. Now I drive 24 miles each way to work, on freeways and through downtown where the traffic is horrible. I am at work anytime between 6:00 am to 7:30 am and leave around 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.. While I am there I am forever being confronted with a multitude of various problems and issues. The bathroom is about 10-12 yards from my office, and one day, due to people wanting to talk with me, it took me a half an hour to get to it! Not a good thing! Several times I have looked out my office door to see 2-3 people lined up waiting to come in. With very few exception, they are waiting to tell me of a new problem or issue or complaint. I have never worked in this capacity before and I don't know what all the answers are. I often feel so inadequate. I have a staff of about 75 nurses that work under me. I am ultimately responsible for all the nursing care that is given, and that we are in compliance with all federal, state and corporate regulations. I also care about these individuals and desire to give them good leadership. My decisions impact them and I want to do what is right, safe and fair. If there was ever a time I need the blessing of wisdom--it is now!

I decided in January that I would study the Old Testament this year. Most of my Bible studying has been in the New Testament--which I have loved. To me, the OT is a bit more challenging and intimidating. I am grateful that I am studying it, I have already learned many things. One thing I keep thinking about is Moses. Here is a man who was very content to live with his father-in-law, tend sheep and raise his family. He had no interest or confidence in being a leader of thousands of people. And he had absolutely no idea of how to do it. Absolutely none! But he did it by trusting God, listening and obeying him on a day to day basis. God did not give him all the answers at the beginning. It was a step by step process. I believe it is the same with all of us. Step by step, day by day, sometimes hour by hour. I don't know why God put me in this position. But I do know that he is good, and he is always at work in my life. I only see the moment, but he sees all eternity. I only see the obvious, he know and sees the heart and mind and thoughts of not only me, but the 132 residents (patients) that reside in my nursing home and the rest of the staff that work there. I trust that he will be with me and will give me what I need. He never promised it would be simple & easy, he only promised that he would never leave me, and he would help carry the burden.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Resume

They say the perfect resume reflects your strengths, accomplishments and experience and will fit onto only one piece of paper. That could be a real problem for me...NOT because I have such a long list of strenghts and accomplishments, but because I have so much experience that I don't know how to make it fit on one sheet of paper!

You see my problem is that I have never had a job for longer than 2 1/2 years. Never!

I entered the nursing field in the late '80s and ever since I have change jobs many, many times. I have often had 3 or more W-2 forms when doing taxes.
In 2005 I did break a record and passed the 2.5 year mark by remaining with the same company. This June I will have been with my current company for 6 (count'em six) years!!! A big thing for me. However, I have continued to change position (even in the same company) at least every 2-2 1/2 years.

I share this because two weeks ago, I changed jobs again. In my almost 6 years with this company this will be my fourth position with them.
I am the new Director of Nursing at a 136 bed skill nursing facility. It is a position with many responsibilities that can be quite over-whelming at times. I have worked in LTC facilities for many years, but this is my first time as a DON (Director of Nursing).
I was quite nervous on my first day. But when I got to work, I found a big "Welcome Sally" poster on my door and they had a big lucheon with a "Welcome Sally" cake!
WOW..I felt so loved!

The scripture I copied to take with me on my first day is found in 2Timothy 1:7 and says:
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
What a great promise...what a great encouragement! And, as always, God is true and faithful to all he has promised. It's been a great two weeks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Beginning

Well, I have thought about it for quite some time. Some of my kids are doing it...which is very cool and inspiring. So last night I finally did it...I created a 'blog', and tonight I am actually writing my first post!

Pretty 'techie' for an old grandma!



I have named it "...the gentleness of wisdom" which I took from the New Testament book of James, chapter 3 verse 13. (NASB) Why? Well, as I have gotten older, I have longed for wisdom. I have learned to see it's worth and value in life. When I was younger, I didn't really think much of it. But now, I recognize just how much I need it and all the ways I am lacking in it.



To have knowledge, understanding, discernment and insight to face the trials of everyday life is such a blessing. Truly greater than fame or wealth.



I love the chapter this verse comes from. James talks about two types of wisdom...one that is earthly, natural, demonic. This is where jealous, selfish ambition and disorder is. (vs 15, 16) The other wisdom is from above ~ pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good 'fruits' and without hypocrisy (verse 17). A real fail-proof checklist!



About 8 or 9 years ago, I was challenged by a women I greatly admired to read and study the Bible. I was hesitant, and quite sure I would not enjoy or understand it. But she talked me into trying and I began reading. Well, it changed my life. It is now a daily, and hopefully life-long habit. Many benefits have come from it, but one of the greatest is the blessing of wisdom. I have a more clear understanding of myself, of life and it's purposes, and mostly of the goodness and love of our great God. My degree of wisdom is small, but growing, and I am blessed by it's gentleness.