The Days Leading Up to our Savior’s Birth – The Jesse Tree!

It’s almost CHRISTmastime!
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Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot shall come out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”

My sister-in-love, Robin, is an accomplished communicator and teacher.  She has poured her heart and soul into creating an incredible, heirloom-quality resource available to families for Christmas. The Jesse Tree connects the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the glorious story of God and His amazing plan of redemption all the way from Genesis to the birth of Jesus and beyond.

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A Jesse Tree is decorated with ornaments symbolizing the people of the Bible, the prophecies and the events that led up to the time our Savior was born!

A Tradition that Matters

If you end up feeling frustrated at the end of the Christmas season for how little time was spent getting to know the story of Jesus better, HIStory, plan now to use the Advent season as a time of worship and discovery.

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Each beautifully handcrafted ornament will become a lasting imprint on the hearts and minds of your children, your family.  Understanding will grow, joy will be increased, and you’ll be helping your family know how to explain the hope we have.

“…in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. ” 1 Peter 3.15 NIV

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Read more about it here: aliciahutchinson.com

Each set includes: 28 ornaments – one for each day of Advent, a book of devotions and Biblical references (written by Robin) to go with each ornament and a sturdy, divided storage box for storing this keepsake set safely.

Meant to be enjoyed again and again throughout the years with your familia, each set is $95 (plus $7 s & h).

Limited sets available, shipping this week! Quick – get yours!

buy now

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Gentle on My Mind // Tender Mercies When They’re Needed

A list. Of gentle, tender things in life.

  • A flickering candle, in an otherwise dark room.
  • Baby feet, so soft, wholly kissable.
  • A song, with interesting notes and complex chords and lyrics written from the depths.
  • A cup of hot, steaming tea, held close, like it’s your own little bonfire.
  • A cable knit sweater. Especially in winter-white.
  • Sandy-the-dog looks deeply in to my eyes and I can tell she is saying, “I will always be on your side. Sorry about all the hair I shed everywhere.” Dang. I just made myself cry. Ha.
  • Apple Crisp in the oven, cinnamon and sugar joining in heated zeal, filling the air with an aroma most divine.
  • A sunny blue-sky day, even though it is still cold out. Still way too cold!
  • An old letter found – the sentiments even more meaningful for the time that has passed.
  • A text from a grandbebe – because they are thinking of me when I am thinking of them.
  • An encouragement – some one literally giving you their courage – right when you needed it.
  • A long soak in the tub, streaming some good worship music, soaking in the Presence, too.

I’m a little bold, sometimes go at things, Dave says, “like a house on fire.” But sometimes, I need quiet, I need gentle, too.

leaf

Chloe.

Chloe is gone, now. And this causes tenderness in the heart, as well.

Just a few weeks ago I was there, in Indiana, and she welcomed me so warmly. She was a people-person, really loving and so sweet.  She was part of Dan and Dawn’s family (my youngest brother and his beautiful wife) and such a good doggie.

I went outside and watched her run and bound happily across their spacious, green yard just before the sun set. It is hard to reconcile that the end was so close for her.  She was loving and joyful, and so pretty. And a friend. I’ll miss those joy-filled greetings and nuzzles and the warm receptions Chloe always so generously gave.

This is a photo of Chloe with the grand-girl, Averi, a couple of years ago.

chloe and averi june 2011

As I write this, my dilapidated old dog is at my feet. Sandy is somewhere near the finish line. It makes me feel better knowing she’ll be joining her cousin-doggie soon, where the two of them can romp like puppies again together, well and whole.

Don’t try to debate me theologically on this point. Sandy is one of the most Christ-like creations of God I have ever known. She is a godly old girl…

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“Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”  Psalm 25.6-7 NKJV

 

Song for a Sunday // Lord, I Need You

A song for a blustery season…

matt maher lord i need you

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Simple, but powerful lyrics by Matt Maher, led here by one of my all-time favorite female vocalists, Leann Albrecht. This song is a prayer. Pray it with me.

Lord, I Need You/I Need Thee Every Hour

Starts at 00:48:10 and ends around 0:58:30

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

LORD, I NEED YOU

This should take you straight to the link also

CLICK HERE or copy and paste address into your browser::    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/54305559

Lord, I need you lyrics

The Day the Leaves Fell Down in Denver

“That’s the Day that Leaves Fell Down in Denver,” to the tune of “That’s the Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia”  ;)

October 7 :: Kai and I picnic in the backyard. The leaves were changing color right before our eyes. However, the Aspens, just to the left – still green.

kai picnic

October 22 :: The yard is ablaze with every autumn hue.

In the back yard yesterday 2

November 8 :: Just another pretty (blue sky) day in Denver

#thesearethemoments aspens and blue sky

But today…November 10th :: the north wind blows, the temp drops 30-degrees in a few hours and the flakes start to fall.

We hit our high of 64 degrees at about 7:30 am this morning.

The Aspen leaves, the last of them that have held on for all they’re worth, the ones that have waved at me happily with each gentle breeze as the sweetest autumn days have drifted by   – they are getting kicked out on their butts! Today is the day, I am thinking.

I’d say the Aspens were at about 50% leafery (made-up word) on Saturday. But that harsh, cold, north wind (thanks a lot, North Dakota) is changing everything…wait… I just saw snowflakes…!!!

{Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr} 

The BEST version of “Autumn Leaves” on the planet:

By the incredible, late Eva Cassidy. In honor of a wholly gorgeous 2014 fall season…This is the way I sing it around the house or at the keyboard. It is the MOST beautiful!

This weather re-cap has been brought to you by a woman who hates winter, but who lives in a wintry state.

Ay-yi-yi. Just clinging to my fair-weather memories.

#thesearethemoments November’s Song

Yes, it is true. From my Family-Table-November Spotify playlist (see it to your right), I can’t get the song by Sara Evans off my mind. It may just end up being the song of the month for me. However, I really have no idea what the lyrics are, except:

These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive

These are the moments I’ll remember all my life

I have all I waited for – And I could not ask for more…

That’s all I know. And I am pretty sure it is a love song and probably a codependent love song where she is putting ALL her stock in one person for her happiness, which is a lot of pressure for said person.  Haha.

#thesearethemoments aspens and blue sky

Just another November the 8th…I’ve enjoyed 55 or so of them so far.

But, the words I do know, the ones above, which I bookend with lots ‘o humming and made-up-lyrics, are reminding me to look for the simple moments I should be grateful for, the little, everyday snippets of life that don’t seem to amount to much, but are the Jenga blocks that make up my ordinary living, and give structure and solidity to dreams.

I went to sleep last night to the sound of the sweetest November rain. It signals a change on its way from the sunny, amazingly beautiful fall weather we have been having. Snow is headed this direction, they say. But oh, the sound of that cleansing, whole, full-on rain. That was a good moment.

It morphed in to the brightest sunrise, blue skies and raindrops sparkling on the windows. The earth was rejoicing for the deep, refreshing drink. My Aspens are half empty now, but the way the remaining leaves dance against that Colorado-blue sky takes my breath away. It’s such a savory moment. I’m dining on it still, as I write.

#thesearethemoments Hunter and 4 freckled-lemonades

It was Grandparent’s Day at Hunter’s school yesterday. So I reciprocated by making it Hunter Day. :)

#thesearethemoments Hunter smiles

The waitress gave him another one to go! Ay-yi-yi!

The grand-boys are here (it was a sleepover): Gavin (11) and Hunter (10). I cannot believe how many dishes they generate in such a short time. Meals, snacks, snacks after snacks. Soda-pop glasses, hot-chocolate mugs. Candy wrappers piled on the coffee table (blame their grand-poppa, I tell you!) and some candy wrappers just found a spot on the floor beside the couches where my little men piled blankets and cushions for movie-watching, boy-flicks. And as I load my arms with the dishes and debris to head for the kitchen, I can’t help but sing it, I could not ask for more.

We all make bucket lists and have grand plans and create goals and make Pinterest boards of exotic places we want to see and things we wish to do. But I never even took my kids to Disney World. Can you even believe that? And I took French all through junior high and high school and I have never gone to Paris. These trips would have made for the most incredible memories, moments-of-a-lifetime, for sure.

But this morning, my cutie-pie grand-boys helped me move the sofa away from the wall and what did we find? Birthday gift-wrap wads. We have gift-wrap paper fights at the end of gift-opening, every birthday. All the kids go after Uncle Rocky with zeal, because he deserves it for always getting me right in the face! And there they were: remnants of a happy celebration past.

And there were 3 or 4 Hot Wheels behind the couch because Malakai is all about those cars these days and a few are bound to crash off the back of the furniture at the speed they are going. A few crayons were there because this house is about my children’s children being able to express themselves creatively. And some wayward gum balls from the gum ball machine that supplies the grandbebes when they are here were back there, too. Those are things I found behind the sofa. And I could not ask for more.

malakai chasing the red ball #thesearethemoments

Kai-Kai is a boy on the go.

When Dave squeezes the middle of the toothpaste tube because he likes to do that, I try to remember that he thinks I tighten it all up from the end just so he can. And when he leaves the bread on the counter right beside the bread basket instead of in it, I know it is just one of the things I will always remember about him. I’ll remember that he loves me like crazy, that he pays too much for rib-eye steaks {“Wait until they are on sale, honey!“} because he knows I love them and I could eat steak everyday. I’ll always remember that he wants to close the bedroom windows through the winter, but he freezes all night because I need fresh air, and that he leaves the bread on the counter instead of putting it back in the basket, which may or may not make me slightly crazy. These are the moments, ya know? And I could not ask for more.

#thesearethemoments Hunter Day

The baby who cries all night – means we have a baby to love, a little person to usher in to their destiny. Used diapers are a sign of health and life. Lots and lots of life. :)

The dirty dishes piling up in the sink, means we had food to eat. There are so many things in the fridge that I can’t decide what to have for breakfast.

The relationship that needs mending means we have people who mean enough to put forth the effort. We’re so lucky.

How on earth did we end up with this much laundry, except that we have so many clothes from which to choose? Leaf-blowers make tidy piles for us and a big truck comes and takes the autumn debris away, no-muss, no-fuss. Toys are scattered around the house because they don’t even fit in the designated boxes. Kids are loud, parties make messes, meal-making comes around three times a day, day after day. They are just mundane moments passing by. They are not glamorous, nor brag-worthy.

But they are surely divine – the things for which we can be grateful. Day in and day out, one foot in front of the other, faithfulness in the little things – I could not ask for more.

#thesearethemoments Gavin crashing

My life and times and seasons are soundtracked by songs and melodies. October was “Autumn Leaves,” feeling memories and melancholy drift by like the leaves of an old tree.

#thesearethemoments Hunter and Gavin

But November, November’s song is really less Sara Evans and more thankfulness, reflection, gratefulness for life, the things we’ll end up remembering with deep fondness. Maybe less about trips to Disney World. And more about all the candy wrappers we were privileged to scoop up and throw away.

NOTE: Ohmygoodness. I am just about to hit publish and in come my guys, Dave-the-husband, and Gav and Hunter, the first two of my nine beloved grandchildren.  They all three tracked mud all the way through the house. After I had vacuumed. Oh yes, they did! Haha. Oh my…

These days, these monotonous, wearisome, repetitive, routine and sometime tedious days: “These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive.” #thesearethemoments

What are yours? What makes you thank God you’re alive?

The Family Table, Songs of Blessing for November

I romanticize the family table.

I like the clinking of glasses and silverware, silly conversations and good music on the stereo.  I like the loud voices and the heaping plates of hot food. I like the life that fills our hearts and our tummies at the table. All of my best daydreams for the future include meals with my people. Kind of like these Pinterest images. :)

pinterest family table 1

And especially as we get close to Thanksgiving, I have familia on my mind and in my heart (the ones who’ve passed and those far away, but also the ones close, the present – those we almost forget or neglect for the nearness, sometimes).

I put together a little family-table playlist for November. It has silly songs, some Thanksgiving songs, a rousing Turkey in the Straw banjo number. There are food songs, happy songs, quiet ones, an unusually high ratio of country songs, some serious songs of blessing and thanks and some I’ll-remember-you–you-remember-me type numbers. You know, because. Family. And my melancholy tendencies. Haha.

Counting our blessings

counting my blessings

The song, Count Your Blessings, as sung by Bing Crosby in White Christmas makes the list twice. Because Amy Grant does it so beautifully, too. And it’s doubly-good advice, anyway.

What? You haven’t seen the movie, THE movie? Well, then, here is a little taste!

Now, don’t mind me. I have to go because Kai-Kai and I are happily dancing to the My Sweet Potato instrumental number. Because he is my little sweet potato! Feel free to enjoy my November songs, too, if you’d like. :)

pinterest family table 2

“I will follow my dreams wherever
They take me
I will stand upon the mountain and look down upon the seashores;

I will stand up when it seems
That my troubles might break me
I will listen even though I know I’ve
Heard it all before
But I’ll always remember
The family table…” -Bill Withers

pinterest hymns and verses

“I could not ask for more.”

 

Song for a Sunday // The Mountain of the Lord

Ruthie was leading this when I walked in to Southlake Worship Center in Hobart, IN a few weeks ago. Even though I could only recall the last few words, I remember loving the gentle strength of the song’s lyrics, and the soulful melody – which remained with me.

Thanks to my godly, anointed and so-so-so beautiful sister-in-law, Dawn, for helping me find it. I love it even more in the re-listen. The Mountain of the Lord, Kim Clement

“‘Cause there is a place for those who are broken in the mountain of the Lord…”

“…you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.”  Hebrews 12.22-24 NLT

My song for this day, a day the Lord has made.

To Rocky on the Occasion of His 30th Birthday

rhoades rocky photobombs

He photobombs…that’s about right

Hey, Bo-bear. A belated Happy Birthday to my all-grown-up boy-child!

It’s a boy,” they said, “you have a boy!” 

born in 1984 amazon pin

There were already 3 adorable daughters. I figured baby #4 would be another little girl (and signal our final family addition). But no – a boy! I was in shock – happy, delirious shock. I thought they were just joking with me.

rhoades cousin weddingRock and his cousins (Zach and Seth) at Zach’s wedding

I laughed and I cried, completely unaware of how many times in life you could, you would make me both laugh and cry, again and again. And almost always, on both counts – it has been with joy. Almost.

rhoades rocky with bailey

With youngest daughter, Bailey

I love you deeply, my son. I love you fully, handsome Rock-bo. I love you loudly, silly Bo-Bear. I love you a million times and ways. But since you’ve just turned 30, I’ll tell you 30 ways and whys about my love for you. And I’ll tuck in some prayers and blessings along the way. See here:

  1. I love you. Because God trusted me to have a son, a boy! You get credit for this, even though it was God’s {total, complete, uttermost} blessing to me, on me. I love your drop-dead-gorgeous sisters, I do. And the girls would have been enough for a happy life and lovely familia. But I am so glad I got to observe the mystery of a man-in-the-making. It has been awe-inspiring!
  2. You got your handsome dad’s coloring. You got those dimples, that brown skin, that head full of dark hair straight from your wholly-gorgeous dad.  I have spent much of my life flanked by two unusually good-looking men!
  3. You got my bold and fiery zeal and stubbornness  And even though that has worried me at times, I think it looks really good on you. And watching you struggle to temper passion with life and love so gracefully has made me go easier on myself. I get your heart, Rocky Rhoades. I know how deeply authentic it is.
  4. Which makes me realize how much I learn from you. You keep digging, you keep trying, you keep learning. You are relentless in pursuit of more knowledge and more understanding. No matter how skinned up your knees get, you jump straight back in to the fire of figuring things out. Keep at it, boy-of-my-heart. Get wisdom at all costs. It is the most important thing!
  5. You get my heart. That is valuable to me. Sometimes you have called or popped in and just spoken a word in season to me, just been an encouragement. You have covered me in grace when my safe places have been plundered. You’ve been a friend when I have felt so unfriended and most unfriendly.
  6. You smell so good. You were born smelling wonderful at 9:28 pm September 29, 1984 {{yes – I am a month late getting this posted}} and the combination of Baby Magic baby lotion and Millionaire cologne made you a magnet, even at a few weeks old. Now though, it’s that pleasing aroma, the one that makes God happy – as you share the knowledge of Him in the world. “Ah, the smell of my son
        is like the smell of a field
        that the Lord has blessed.” Genesis 27.27
  7. You are so ornery. In pretty much the cutest way. Just remember this rule and we’ll get along fine: No tickling the mom, not ever! Got it?
  8. As a little brother, you have achieved perfection. That is, if, in fact little brothers were created to torment, cajole, irritate and infuriate their big sisters. If that is the case, then you get the award. But oh my goodness, how those big sisters (Tara, Stephanie and Tredessa) love their little brother. rhoades siblings
  9. I made you a big brother, too. You’re welcome! And you took that teeny-tiny Stormie and led her on mad and dangerous roller-blading paths, into the workforce at far too young an age and up onto the worship stage. So you have been a really great big brother, too. She still looks up to you, and not just because you are taller.
  10. I love how you always have something up your sleeve. You’re an idea-man, Chuck. And the thing is, no matter how far-fetched they might seem, you have the finagling-skills to bring a lot of them about. God just seems to meet you halfway on that stuff!
  11. Like last year. You and I met at that little coffee shop to discuss and strategize how we could get you all new recording equipment and musical instruments. You laid it out for me that you needed new things, that you took good care of the items you had, but to get to the next level, new things were needed. Then, just a week or so later, the flood came in and washed away all your studio equipment. Then God put you in a place with state of the art recording equipment, a new office, new instruments, fresh opportunities. He likes your ideas, too.
  12. You chose a good wife. I couldn’t ask for a more lovely daughter-in-law! Delight in her, Rock. Call her blessed, receive her love humbly, fully. She is a gift to you from God. That is the truth! rhoades Jovan
  13. You have fathered 3 darling daughters. You are a blessed field (Genesis 27.27-20). Your quiver isn’t quite full yet (Psalm 127.3-5), but it is getting there. You are the handsome hero of their sweet little dreams, these three lively girls. You have fathered beauty, you have fathered power.  {photo by Ashley Clark Haymore, thanks, Ashley!}rhoades girls
  14. Your singing. You know I love your voice, I love to hear you sing. You’re one of my al-time favorites.
  15. Your song. That is different. I am talking about the residual song of the Lord that echoes through the halls of your heart and draws people around you into the Presence. That’s your life. You were born for that. Let your song be heard, Rock-man. Let it bless the heart of God in His heaven and cause people here on earth to want to run to the Throne of Grace! rhoades rocky and proxy
  16. So let me bless you with my words, which are one of the most important things I can give to you: Be blessed, Rocky, in all you put your hand to this year, because this year is a building block to your bright, holy future. Be present in the now, in all the changes, new things, the learning curve, the challenges. For all that is to come will build on today. You will not be able to wholly, fully love and enjoy the “then and there” if you haven’t completely inhabited and embraced the “here and now.” Who said that? ME! This is true in all of life’s arenas: parenting, career, marriage, friendships, education…
  17. Be blessed with courage, Bo-Bear. You are fully, completely able and were created to do things God thought up before time began. Your heart is beating – it is saying: Rocky has purpose! Don’t you doubt what God has decreed! You have been chosen by God, “….created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance” for you to do. (Ephesians 1:11-14; 2:8-10).
  18. I bless you with God-given, more-than-we-could-think-or-ask opportunity! See it, seize it! rhoades merry gentlemen
  19. And may the LORD fill your new home with peace, joy and love, and make it a house of prayer that shines like a Kingdom-beacon in a dark, hopeless world. May all who enter the doors step smack-dab into the holy, joyous Presence of God and be awash in lightness and joy!
  20. Your mommy loves you. I believe in you. I am here for you. “You are my son, chosen and marked by my love, the pride of my life” (Mark 1:11 MSG). 
  21. I am fully, head-first, completely willing to support you in the pursuit of your dreams and desires. I will clap and cheer, lend an ear, give advice, strategize (or as one motivational speaker referred to it: “hallucinate”) with you. Ha!
  22. I pray that you will be firmly rooted and established in the love of the Lord – that you will really get how much He loves you, how high and how wide His love. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
  23. And be filled, in Jesus Name, to the measure of ALL the fullness of God. All His fullness – in you! Can you even imagine? (same reference as above)
  24. Be like Jesus, Rock-man. No one can find fault in Him. Grow in wisdom and stature, in favor with both God and man. (Luke 2:52)
  25. May the Presence of the Lord go with you, work through you all of your days (Psalm 139:5-10)
  26. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Number 6:24-26)rhoades 1987

  27. Be patient in all things, but eager, too. Wait on the Lord, but be ready when He calls.
  28. Grace. Grace to you, Rocky! Grace as in “the empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit to be all God created you to be and to do all He created you to do!
  29. And may you always find mercy in your time of need. I can tell you mercy is one of the most amazing things. Give it lots. Because over the course of our lives, we need so much of it!
  30. And finally, my sweet boy, my honorable and honoring son who has my heart and soul for all times and seasons, I celebrate you on the occasion of the days and weeks and months that make up this 30th year of your existence. I  agree with God for blessing and long life for you, for it to go well with you and for you to ENJOY the abundant life on the earth that Jesus came to give (Ephesians 6:2-3).

Happy Birthday, my Rocky~beloved son whom I love deeply.

Happy Birthday, Jovan’s Rocky~husband and protector, head of his home.

Happy Birthday, Averi, Amelie, and Bailey’s daddy~the fathering heart that will surround them all their days.

You’re 30 now. I watched God usher you in to manhood at the age of 18, ready and pure-hearted. Now, you are entering wisdom and a place spiritual fathering. God has given you a place in His courts (Psalm 84.10, Zechariah 3). It is fun to watch.

rhoades rocky eldeenannettewww.eldeenannette.com

Lots of words. Because. A month to think. Ha!

Happy {one-month late} Birthday, Rocky Rhoades. xoxo From the {mom}. :)

Thought-Collage Thursday // A Bountiful Bunch of Dis-jointed Reflections

I don’t even know what that title means.

In the back yard yesterday 1

In the back yard yesterday

Except, I do have thoughts. That is why – this blog.  But sometimes life is careening with such force and speed, the thoughts, the observations and ideas – well, they just zoom on by and I can only retain the barest interpretation of them.

Such is this week.

leaf

I get so romantic about the autumnal  season

In the back yard yesterday 2

Also the back yard yesterday. No kidding – I got to see all these colors including that Colorado blue sky!

I go out in the cool breeze of night and watch the leaves drifting down and start composing silly poetry in my head like this:

When the breeze picks up and the leaves fall down

And the Jack ‘O Lanterns are scowling all around town…

There is actually much more, and maybe one day I’ll share it with the grandbebes, but I’m no poet. I know it.  ;) So for today, we’ll leave it here. Bet you’re wondering what was going to happen, aren’t you?

In the back yard yesterday 3

Which leads me to this question: Would Dr. Seuss be able to find a publisher these days? I mean – he just made up words to make them rhyme.

See how random things just barrel through?

leaf

The song of the month: Autumn Leaves {of course}

I love the song. I first loved the song, as a child, when I heard Roger Williams piano version (my Grandma gave me his album). To find it had actual words, not that many years ago, was a bonus. It was originally in French (1945), and all the greats have recorded it. Jo Stafford (one of my favs) was first, but then Edith Piaf (who did both an English and a French version), Diana Krall (she makes all songs amazing), Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton – they all have recorded it. Eva Cassidy, too.

In the back yard yesterday malakai not wanting to pose

Kai did not want to model

And I have spent the entire month of October singing it and plunking around on the keyboard playing it. Rocky told me to come to his office and he’d play the guitar and mix my voice (read: tune me up and make me sound good) in his studio. But who has time for that? Neither he nor I.

leaf

I get more wordy and gooey each autumn

I have been blogging since 2006, so you’d think by now I wouldn’t have a clue what all I have said. But I always do recall, each fall, that I get a little more, shall we say, descriptive, come autumn. I become quite melancholy and overcome with passion for the season.

i feel like

Proof:

  • I ponder autumn red, quote Marilyn Monroe and dissertate on being a woman in the autumn of her life. {{see here}}
  • In “Delicious Autumn,” I quote George Eliot and tumble head-over-heels into a sensory love affair with nostalgia – the sights, the smells, the tastes, the feels, the sounds of youth faded…while visiting my parents. Haha. {{see it here}}
  • I’ve often written about October being orange. But in looking back, I do also pay my respects to the reds of October. This one is an homage to red, to “a fully florid, cherry, sanguine scarlet.  A puce, a rufescent russet,  a bloody, blushing, gushing, infrared hot pink mixed with flaming chestnut and rubies and gleaming copper, all at once…shimmering and iridescent fuchsia, yet dense and heavy garnet, a ruby…bittersweet in both color and the evoking of raw autumn melancholy.” And etc! :)  {{see it here}}
  • Two years ago this very day, {{THIS}} was happening. The grandbebes and a little weather forecast.  I remember that light, those leaves…

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Oh, there are many more fall, autumn, October posts. Some November, too. And miles of words down roads of the romance of the season. But I’ll let this part go with those few examples.

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I voted.

Oh how I love getting to vote in the convenient  location of my home. And mailing it in…wait, did I remember to mail it? I will say that I wish I could change one of my amendment-issue votes because I researched a bit more later and I think I may have been…*w*r*o*n*g*!??

That is (1) highly unusual, and (2) growth for me…to think that I maybe/might have been/possibly was/super-small chance that I was ever-so-slightly wrong, but instead of demanding a fresh ballot, I’m just going with the flow. It is what it is. And really, in light of SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE VOTING WRONG ALL THE TIME, this one minor issue is of little consequence.  Just kidding…about other people’s votes. Maybe.

So now, if all the political ads would kindly remove themselves from my presence. Thank-you very much.

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Loved her book!

Oh, and I won’t tell you how I voted. No. You couldn’t guess if you tried because I am an independent. Do not try to fence me in!

BUT if she wants to hire me for her campaign, “Carly Fiorina for President!”  On women, 53% of voters: “We are not a special-interest, single-issue constituency. We are half the country.” up-project.org

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I was in the country the other day

In the back yard yesterday 5

The burning bushes are on fire!

The cows were mooing and a tractor was motoring by. The smell of manure was in the air and a pretty gray cat with grass-green eyes came by to say hi {totally unaware that I am not a cat person, apparently}.  The sun was sweet and you could see miles of mountains from there. And even though life was happening all around and “town” was just 3 miles away, it was quiet. So quiet. I think I was made for the country.

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A {Country Baby} came to see me.

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Sawyer with Guini and Gemma

Two of them in fact, with their parents. Sawyer and Wryder were here visiting from Holyoke. That is country. The term Country Baby comes from one of my fav old movies, Baby Boom, with Diane Keaton. Do you remember that movie? I think that is a good movie to watch near the end of October.

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Arsenic and Old Lace

arsenic cary grant

And always-always-always try to view Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace near Halloween. Because. Cary Grant. He is hilarious in it and scary-good-looking!

It s such a great old black and white flick!

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I miss my mom over there in Hoosier-land.

me and mom oct 6

I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to tell you a million little details about my time in NW Indiana recently (in Chicago-land). It was so windy the last day there, but I held on to my mamala for dear life. In this photo I was thinking, “Oh I love her and I will miss her.” And I was so right. On both counts.

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Since the Cardinals did not make the World Series, we are for the Kansas City Royals.

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Got it? OK!

I love baseball. I miss my dad, too, because we watched a lot of baseball while I was there. But he can’t take seeing his teams lose, so we missed some great comebacks. Oh, pops.  ;) Cardinals forever, anyway!

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I threw caution to the wind and listed my Jeanie-green ornate, Baroque, Italianate, solid wood, custom-built green coffee table on Craigslist.

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I think I am changing my mind. Because, I mean – even the paint was custom-mixed for ME, to match a sliver of a piece of one of the grandbebe’s art pieces. I don’t know if I can let it go?

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A thought about relationships…

Tara brought me a bouquet of flowers just before my birthday, more than 2 weeks ago. It was a huge bouquet of purple lilies, hydrangea, lavender statice, various mums and Gerber daisies.  Stormie brought me a big mums-filled bouquet a couple of days later, as seen on the coffee table, above (those fall mums will go on forever!).

purple bouquet, day 17

At day 17, the purple bouquet from Tara – a third of its original size, yet still lovely.

I have never been one of those women who needs her husband to bring her flowers, though I enjoy the surprise of them, like anyone. I get joy from growing things in the ground.

But both of these bouquets made me so happy and are still bringing me a smiles, light, bright joyful remembrances of warm thoughts and pure love shown towards me.

And while a fresh bouquet is glorious, people often throw the whole thing away when a few of the buds begin to age or drop. But you miss something when you do that. There is still so much beauty there. Yes, the “fussier” parts of the bouquet are long gone. But in just the minute or so it takes me daily to tend to the arrangement, to remove drooping leaves or a dead-headed flower, then to snip the ends and add fresh water, in less than a minute, I have revived the bouquet. It looks a little different each time, some of the filler going away, but its beauty remains and I get to enjoy them much longer.

It is the same with the people we love and the relationships that mean something. Even if things are different now than they once were, a love or friendship worth having is worth tending regularly.

You could just let it go to waste, throwing away wilting expectations and brushing off the dust of disappointment. But you could also decide to spend just a few minutes tending and repairing, loving and caring. And in a very short time you might be made glad by the beauty of it again. Maybe it won’t look like what it once did, as busy and full, but that is OK, too, I think.

Love with all you’ve got while you can.

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There are so many leaves falling in this post, you may have to rake now.

I shall bring this to  close (I’m a preacher’s daughter and that’s what they all say), but of course, you NEED an autumn quote, yes? Then this, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Life starts all over again, when it gets crisp in the fall.” Remember, I told you? October is the new January!

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Happy Autumn and Magical Thursday to you!

See? Too many words! I just cannot stop myself…

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My Big Guy has gone Double-Digits!

Oh, my sweet Hunter-man!

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www.eldeenannette.com

Ten years old! Ten. years. old! HAPPY {joyous-fun-laughing-adventureous-surprising-creative-loving} Birthday to you!!! {{Didn’t you just LOVE that surprise all-guy Risk party your sweet parents planned for you???}}

I have to tell you, I absolutely cannot fathom what life would be like without you. I can’t. You are my gentle-eyed, bold-and-strong, energetic, enthusiastic, diplomatic, affectionate, handsome and loving grand {really, truly, totally GRAND} boy. I thank God for you, I do!

When you arrived, I was madly zooming through life and over-working (as those of us who feel the need to prove ourselves often do) and you just fell like a star from heaven {three weeks early} to abruptly stop the madness and capture our full and complete attention and our hearts. lickety-split – just like that: BOOM! We were in love!

hunter as a little guy

You when you were just a “little guy…” oh, I’ve loved you a long time!

Know what I love about you? I love the way your eyes crinkle when you laugh and smile. I love your sense of humor. I love your beautiful smile. I melt from your hugs – especially when you suddenly realize you have been so busy talking to lots of people when you come in to my house and then you make a big deal of zooming over to give your Nonna a “proper greeting.” Oh, my goodness – yes – that does me in! I love the way you pray for me. I love that when my heart was breaking, you got on the arm of the chair and wrapped your arms around me and whispered words of comfort. I knew God was using you to touch me. Oh how strong you were that day.

I also love that you like my ideas and that you and I have so many things we want to create and do and movies we want to produce and projects we wish to try. We will never run out of things to enjoy together, will we, Hunter-Magoo?

Now, of course, since you are such a blessing to me, I want to bless you back. And it is my pleasure and honor to do so. For all the years you have left in life (and for all the words I can pour out over you before I am gone), these spoken blessings will be here, things I am speaking over you now – heard in heaven, covenant words on your life! They are yours to keep, to live, to enjoy to fulfill and to believe. If you ever get lost and wonder what your Nonna and the God of the Universe agreed on about you as you turned ten with so much life ahead, you can return here and find more pieces of your story and pick them up and run with them (Habakkuk 2.2).

hunter and his family

Happy Birthday to my second grandbebe (now more commonly known as my big guy), Hunter Douglas Powers. I bless you like this:

Oh wow – I just love you and I pray love in your life! I pray the love of God will surround you and work in you and through you and that His very love will be established in your heart and soul and that the perfection of this love will make you fearless in the face of the challenges in the world today. May you rise up mighty as a man of God – displaying His power and glory wherever you go. Be so permeated in the love of God that nothing can stop you, Hunter Magoo! L O V E – go get ‘em!

Your days – oh, may they be numerous and long, and healthy and productive. I bless your days from when they began. I do so bless the day you were born, a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. You just couldn’t seem to wait to arrive. :) And you have been on a life of adventure ever since. You have filled your days and nights with travel and missions work and school and learning (science experiments – your constant request) and playing with cousins and friends and interacting with family of all the generations and so much more. You know how to pack a day with good stuff. So I pray over you that all your days will be filled with good and godly things and that as you keep on honoring your parents like you do, it will go soooo well for you and you will enjoy a long (really great and abundant) life on the earth (Ephesians 6.2-3).

hunter and his brother

Taken by Aunt Stormie outside the candy shop.

You are such an honoring son and grandson. You are a loving cousin and friend and you are an incredible big brother to Kai. So, may you find honor and love and good friends and brothers wherever you go in life. May you be surrounded with the people you need to do what you were created to do and be what you were created to be (Psalm 139).

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  -Matthew 5.14-16

You are visible, Hunter. Your life is being observed. You are a city on a hill. You have an important place in the world for this day, this time, and this age. You cannot be hidden. So blaze bright, my grand-boy. Dazzle brilliantly and point the world to Jesus. This is why you were born.

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I also just want to bless you back for the way you bless me: you warm my heart with your kindness. You accept me as your ‘Nonni,’ and you affirm my place in your life, heart and soul. I bless you back with those things a thousand times over. You have my devotion, you have my respect and acceptance of you as an incredible boy created by God almighty (oh, He did such a good job creating you) and you will ever and always be in my heart. When I leave this earth, all that will change is that I will brag you up and bless you like crazy from the halls of heaven!

I agree with God for all He thinks about you and all the plans He has for you. I agree with Him and will do whatever He asks of me to make sure you are blessed, whole and holy! Oh yes!

You, my Hunter-boy, do give light to all in the house!

You and me, Christmas 2012.

hunter-and-nonna-christmas day

Happy Birthday and week and all the days. I celebrate you! {{LOVE! Nonna}}