Dave is teaching for the county here. We went really-really-really almost-above-the-timberline high to get here, over Monarch Pass. Here is a sign Dave saw in the county building:
I am visiting lots of wedding sites and www.marthastewart.com greets me with a countdown each time I log in, which I have to say does not really thrill me.
So, like 75 days now…actually less. Luckily, though, Ryan and Tredessa are having a small family wedding, so we should be able to pull it off. I mean I have got all the talent in the world in my fam!
In other wedding news ::
Elise-the-Niece is getting married to Matt in 11 days.
This gorgeous beauty will be at my house, along with little Miss Sawyer by the time we get home. All the way from hot-hot-hot Texas!
Better bring a sweater, Stef.
Dave and Tara are celebrating their 8th anniversary today.
Love your love, my sweets. 8 very, very good years.
Rocky and Jovan will celebrate their 5th anniversary Friday.
Five beautiful years for two gorgeous lovers! Congrats, my sweets!
I am catching up on reading and writing and organizing my computer files and photos and downloading video and editing video and getting room service every morning. From Dave.
And I have suddenly realized I want to start thinking ahead to:
Yes. It is time.
UPDATE 9/14/11 :: Apparently rain in Denver = snow in elevations over 10,000 feet. Living in Colorado this long I should know that, yet am here, expecting up to 6″ of snow tonight, in flip-flops and a hoodie. Hehe.
Dessy, Dessa, Tre-Tre, Dessy-Pooh-Pie – all names for the exotic, dark haired beauty who arrived just days before a most lovely summer in 1983. You were christened and accessorized in a wardrobe of sunshine-yellow and an earlier, milder form of Jeanie-green to set you apart, I suppose, from the lots-of-pink we already had in the family. You were baby-girl-number-three (thus, Tre) and I knew from the first moment I had alone with you, something very different, quite extraordinary and alluring lay there in my arms. The eyes, even at birth, showed an intensity of spirit; yet there seemed to reside in you, even as a tiny bundle, a quiescent repose, a knowing restfulness.
Everything about you has proven these inklings to be so. You excel in so much, baby-girl. The time God spent knitting you together in my womb, was a favor I cannot hope to comprehend. So lucky you are mine.
You were born to…
We were kids. You arrived before our second anniversary. Dad was playing church softball and I was involved in women’s ministeries and of course youth group with dad. There were family walks and bicycles-around-the-block. 1106 S Armstrong in Kokomo, so much love and ice cream in the charcoal-colored house. So much togetherness. Garage sales with Miss Faye and dressing you so cute with intense colors because your hair and complexion were sufficient for them. Playing in the pool in the backyard. Hot summer days and sweet nights with our little family. You arrived to happiness and love and gratefulnes that you came.
Words for your birthday
This is your “birthday card” from your mama who loves you and really couldn’t fit all the words I want to say in a whole album of photos of you. Love you, sweet-pea. I hope this birthday is the best you have ever had…yet.
Tredessa Rhoades on her birthday
PS to Ryan ~ Do you realize how blessed you are to see what you see? To know her as you do? You must be very special to God, indeed. You have found treasure!
You don’t just get to be a mom without the help of some pretty incredible people to help you out. On Mother’s Day, I always think tribute should be given to the people who made you a mom. I have never been one to need breakfast in bed or a dozen roses of thanks with a Hallmark card, really, though those are sweet things. But I sure like being with the people who afforded me the privilege and title of “mom.” Time. Yes. Loved them way back when (before I could even know who they would be but I just knew God had entrusted their tiny to-be-discovered little lives to me). Love them more, and o-so-proud-of-them all, today.
I loved having babies, which is why I kept at it so vigorously for those, ya know, almost 7 years. There was honestly something so regal in carrying a child within. I sensed, very keenly, during pregnancy, the unbridled blessing of the Lord, the trust He had placed in me to carry destiny, to harbor safely within: some one, a person, my heritage from Him – a baby who would grow up to be His. At each child’s dedication, I solemnly renewed in my heart to honor the Lord by giving my babies to Him. Write Your Name on their hearts, Lord, I would pray, knowing that more than they were mine, they were His.
It is a sobering realization
With the way I failed so many times, at being everything a good mom should be, the kind they speak of in songs and greeting cards, it amazes me still, that I was entrusted with so many and such an above-average group, at that. I think I got points for making sure they had such a great daddy, or something? Nonetheless, I was blessed, so blessed beyond deserving.
And I have often heard it said that God gives you the parents you needed, which, except in the case of parents who choose cruelty, who abandoned without thought the preciousness of the child placed in their care, this may be true. But it seems more true that God gives you the child you need (with 5, I must have been very needy). For they bring a piece of your heart, a part of everything you were born to be – when you didn’t even know it was missing. And suddenly, you’re a mommy. And though they grew there, nurtured in your womb, and then became their own, leaving that safe place, they somehow left you more whole than before.
So, on Mother’s Day, thank-you to Tara & Stephie, Dessa & Rocky and the baby, Storm-kins for making me a mom and for turning out so darn great in spite of me and maybe a little because of me. I hope my deep love covers anything that needs it and will last in your heart way past the days I here to remind you of it – all the way to the end.
Tara – you taught me that God loved me and believed in me even when and especially when I did not deserve His mercy. You were a gift straight from heaven for my heart, joy that I had never had, and a stamp of approval I was almost too embarrassed to receive. Having you was my yes to God. Yes to You for all times and all ways. This is when I knew I was in for keeps (I am my beloveds and He is mine) and not just because of who my parents were. This is when I met the same God Hagar had discovered in a desolate place: the God who sees. I saw Him. And He saw me and placed love in my arms. Joy-in-the-morning!
Stephanie –you taught me that God is a healer and that he hears us when we pray. You were not just the only baby we actually “planned” to have ~ all the rest were delightful surprises and unexpected-but-cherished gifts. But you, you were the one I had to fight the enemy for. You were the baby that caused me to grow up and stand my ground against the thief. You were the one that introduced me to agonizing like Hannah before the Lord “For this child I prayed, andthe Lord has granted my petition made to him.” And He did, oh yes He did. And you were worth it, Stephanie. You are worth it…
Tredessa – everything about you, from your conception to your even-in-toddler-hood deep love for the Word and things of God when you could barely walk or talk caused awe and wonder in us. You have challenged me to know Him more, to press in no matter what. Where I had been a strong-willed, hard-headed, bull-dozer of a kid to try to be heard, you came quietly, but with such a deep dignity and strength of spirit. Your reliance on the Lord has taken you around the world and keeps you close to home. You are the wit and wisdom of your grandparents, the brains and ability of all who have come before you and deep treasure of the strong love of your parents for each other, for you. You are all this and so much more…
Rocky –to us a child was born, a son was given. You were such a surprise after 3 girls. You carry the name of our family, of all we have been and yet are to be. You got your dad’s good looks and my fire-y personality. You carry your grandpa’s zeal and your great-grandpa’s strength of character. You embody the strong work ethic from which you come and make us proud, so proud to call you son. But you carry a song from the Holy Spirit, and a heart to give God praise and you are called by the One who has shared you with us for paths all your own, yet to be discovered, exciting for us to watch. You are my beloved son, in whom I am so so so well pleased.
Stormie –you came in gentleness. You are the heart of your daddy and you remind me so much of Jesus in John 13 when he was ina room full of disciples and no one would serve. And because He knew who He was and where He had come from and where he was headed, He just tied the towel around His waist and washed their feet. And baby girl, you have served the Lord and the people you love in selflessness and rich beauty and you are all the more ravishing for it. It is your honor, your bejewelment, it is the dazzling beauty of who you are in the room. You were the icing on my cake, the cherry on top, the greatest (the servant of all) for last…
The past couple of weeks
These are some photos and video from 2 or 3 “family times” these past couple of weeks. This song and these images are a tiny, delicious slice of the great smile-pie of my life! This is Dave + me + the five + their loves + 6 chubby-cheeked sweetie-pie honey-bunches-of-oats grandbebes. Mi familia. Because of a blessing-giving God…
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ME!
1 Samuel 1 “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here praying to the Lord.
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to Him.
Therefore I have given him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is given to the Lord. And they worshiped the Lord there.
Best thing I ever did as a mommy?
Give you back to the One who gave you to me. As long as you live, you are in my heart, but you are His.
My daughters are industrious, creative, gifted and talented Proverbs 31 women. They all see to their households, as well as to the Household of Faith. They give to the poor and assist anyone in need; they shop for the best yarns and cottons and enjoy knitting and sewing. They organize their days and plant gardens with the money they have put aside. They dress for work, roll up their sleeves and are always eager to get started because they understand the worth of their work. They take good care of their families and dress in colorful linens and silks. They design gowns and sell them and bring the sweaters they knit to the dress shops. Facing the future with smiles, they always have something worthwhile and kind to say. They outclass anyone in Hollywood or the magazines. Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades, but my little women – these who are serving God with reverent respect? They are to be admired and praised! (The Message, personalized)
Stormie and Stephanie are MayDae &have an Etsy shop.
My girlies, Stephie and Storms, are such creative women. Each on their own, but when they get together, zowie! Stormie works in the billboard-graphics field during her “day job,” and Stephanie mommies 3 of the most amazing little red-heads! They have proven to have a “good eye” on finding vintage wares that people will love. I love them bunches!
Tredessa serves as the Director of Operations for a little ministry called Heaven Fest www.heavenfest.com
The night Dessy let us make her into an 80’s glam girl. Aaahhh….good times!
Tre directs a leadership team of 100 people, who utilized 2000 amazing volunteers this year! Daniel Miles said, at the appreciation event at Elitch Gardens that Tredessa was the “captain,” of Heaven Fest and people cried as he said (and others chimed in, in agreemen)t, “We’ll follow you anywhere.” She needed to know that – because it is true.
This is granddaughter, Amelie Belle, modeling one of her mama’s creations. Sweet baby girl!
Jovan makes the prettiest things for baby girls (her passion, imagine that) and for gifting. Jovan is my sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice daughter who is woman enough to not be afraid of pink. And a good wife to my baby boy!
Tara leads an international ministry with her husband and very dedicatedly teaches their son at home!
Yes. That IS Hunter’s KINDEGARTEN textbook. I shudder to think what he’ll be doing by junior high?!
I wonder if Hunter can yet comprehend what an amazing and patient momma he has? She is fully devoted to helping Hunter fulfill God’s call in his life in his generation. Plus? The woman writes songs and sings and lights up a room! My firstborn, who walks in favor.
Quotes I love from Little Women, the movie (1994)
Marmee: I am going to write that man a letter.
Jo: A letter! That’ll show him.
Jo:Now we are all family, as we always should have been.
Marmee: Feminine weaknesses and fainting spells are the direct result of our confining young girls to the house, bent over their needlework in restrictive corsets.
Marmee:Oh, Jo. Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts; how can you expect to lead an ordinary life? You’re ready to go out and – and find a good use for your talent. Tho’ I don’t know what I shall do without my Jo. Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it.
And from the book by Louisa May Alcott:
“Money is a needful and precious thing,–and, when well used, a noble thing,–but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I’d rather see you poor men’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.”
May the LORD bless you and make His face to shine upon you. May your lives, Tara and Stephanie, Tredessa and Stormie, and Jovan, be festooned with the praises you have earned for all you are and all you do. And may the favor of God surround you and your marriages and babies and businesses and ministries like a shield. I admire you all! Much love and a zillion kisses…mom
(1) Gather and eat a light and delicious breakfast, a little too early on a Saturday morning.
(2) Swap meet. Clean out your closet of clothes and jackets and jewelry and all manner of now-unwanted items. Throw them into a giant pile in the living room so that after breakfast, everyone can dig through and get what they want. Leftovers to Goodwill.
(3) Go hit a series of thrift stores looking for amazing deals and designer clothes for less and to replenish everything you just got rid of at the swap.
Meanwhile, Guinivere stayed behind to lend her hand to decorating the outside door garland. She works very meticulously, we have found, from left to right in straight lines.
Ageless Beauty walking gently upon the Narrow Path
She runs, she glides, she rests, she makes the journey her home
Eyes roam in search of hidden truths to hold, to grasp and adorn
In never-ending pursuit of the knowledge that evades the apathetic
A solid foundation rooted in love, she unites her family
Her green touch hails life in the dead garden, now fresh and new
With tasks at hand to nurture, to provide, to advise
She shifts in form to embody the need of the moment
Watch on, watch long, wholehearted devotion you will observe
She has an audience in me, I listen and absorb
May I sit beside you, Seasoned Wisdom, on the narrow path?
What will you share? What must I know? What knowledge do I lack?
Speak the words that breathe life in the graveyards of my being
Then, permit the Undeserving to leave you with a wish
Hold no more the woes from seasons Time has now retired
Ageless Beauty, age in grace, grow in love, lie down in peace.
From Tredessa Christine Rhoades, (a very wonderful daughter) in watercolor and ink, on the occasion of my 5oth birthday. At this point in life, you enjoy being described as ageless and timeless. *smile…