Friday, January 28, 2011

Have Your Circumstances Got You Down?

I know it is almost February, but I have finally been pondering the year before me, 2011.  It’s not that I have not come up with any “resolutions” but I want to actually have some action behind those thoughts this year.  This morning I read this in a book by Warren Wiersbe called “Be Comforted.”   I think it is a great reminder and something I can remember throughout the year to keep my focus right.

Someone has defined “circumstances” as “those nasty things you see when you get your eyes off of God.”  If you look at God through your circumstances, He will seem small and very far away, but if by faith you look at your circumstances through God, He will draw very near and reveal His greatness to you.

Now isn’t that a  great thought to take into your weekend, not to mention your year?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This morning as I was enjoying my first cup of coffee (always the best cup of the day!), I heard something I had not heard in awhile…the birds chirping!  They were chirping up a storm and I remembered I had filled the bird feeder yesterday.  I went and looked and was so excited to see a bird in the opening of a birdhouse we had hung last summer.  So I grabbed my camera, locked Gypsy in so her barking wouldn’t scare the birds away and in my sippers and robe snuck out on the crunchy grass to take some pictures.  Then I took some of the feeder.  There was one red breasted finch just a eating away and I took several shots of him. I think has been at some other feeders this winter, he was kind of plump!  I went inside to take a look at my pictures…it was pretty bright in the sun, I was having a hard time seeing.  There on my camera screen in big white letters it said “No Memory Card!”  I couldn’t believe it!  Where was that big message when I was out there taking pictures?  Oh bother, as Pooh would say.  

So though I wouldn’t have proof of my nester to show Wally, I did still enjoy watching and hearing the birds. I like watching the birds.  We have never attracted anything more than the sparrows and the finches, once in a while a blue jay.  But that’s ok.  Its such a simple pleasure.  It is also a simple reminder of God’s love and care for me.

Matthew 6:26 says, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?”

And Matthew 10:29,31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin?  And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Here’s some Bird action for you:

The now empty bird house

While I was writing this post I received a phone call.  It was Elaine.  She has recently learned to talk on the phone…and talk and talk and talk!  It was so cute! I wonder what she was saying!?  Then Andrea said Elaine had learned how play peek a boo.  Apparently she had covered her own eyes that morning.  So we Skyped and played a little peek a boo and did some more talking!!  How thankful I am for technology.  What ever else happens today (like Gypsy getting out and running all over the neighborhood) I am already very blessed and very grateful!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No Clever Title, Just Some More Cards!

Here’s some cards I made recently:  my  overdue “Thank You’s”  for our  Christmas gifts,  (I am a bit behind, what’s new, right?  It’s that age activated attention thing I have!)  a couple of “New Baby” cards, a “Thinking of You,”  a “Sympathy,”  and a “Birthday” card.  I think all of them are ideas I saw on card blogs that I just changed out a bit.  Except for the sympathy card, that was all my own!  Smile    







Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Prayer.  It is one of my New Year’s decisions to cultivate this area of my life.  This past week in our  lesson at Bible Study Fellowship, we had the account of King Hezekiah and his wonderful dependence upon the Lord through prayer. The Assyrian army was outside his gates and Hezekiah fell on his face before the Lord.  And the Lord delivered him and Jerusalem.  This quote stood out to me from the notes:

“It was also important for Hezekiah to pray, even though God had already determined to deliver Judah;  thus God’s sovereign purpose is well in accord with the necessity and the responsibility for the king to commit to prayer what God had planned to do. As God carries out His great purpose, He acts through His people’s prayers.”

Pastor Musgrave used to say it like this. Prayer is not about getting something I want from God.  Prayer is about bringing my will into alignment with His will.  And then God graciously allows me to be part of the work and answer to that prayer.

This week I had an answer to something that I had been praying about for a short time now. I think sometimes that I am not desperate enough in my prayers. Then along comes a situation that reminds me, I need  to pray more.  Like King Hezekiah, I need to come before the Lord with the attitude that there is no other place for me to go.  How thankful I am for the avenue of prayer and the answers that God sends.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I have a disease

I received this from my sister Robin last week.  I can’t tell you how many days I am stricken with this disease.  It seems to be worse when I have so much to accomplish.  Or… for some reason…on Mondays!


  Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better even though I have it!!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. -
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests: I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide
it needs

As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can
under the table,
and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox
when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check
My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to
my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking. I'm going to look for my
but first I need to push the Pepsi aside so that I don't accidentally
knock it over.

The Pepsi is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to
keep it cold..

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the
catches my eye--they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the counter and discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk but first I'm going to water
the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water
and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the
but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put
it back in the den where it belongs,
but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the

So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there's a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough
there's still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day,
and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for
but first I'll check my e-mail.....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy, Happy Birthday JoEllen!

Weleys graduation  Aug. 2007

I am blessed to have in my life, my sister JoEllen!  Today she turns 56! “Wow-ee”, she would say!

JoEllen is special and just about everyone who meets her becomes her friend.  Although her ability to function is the level of a seven year old, she is quite smart!  Her speech is difficult but she is easy to understand.  I grew up hearing her say, “When I get to heaven, I’ll be able to talk”.  She communicated that by pointing upwards and saying something that sounds close to “hea, me talk” and then point to her mouth, shaking her head yes the whole time!  That is confident faith! 

JoEllen is easy to pick on but she knows how to pick right back.  If you told her today that she was getting old, she’d hump over and hold her back and pretend to be holding a cane, and say “old Man”.  She has come up to my brother in law and run her fingers across his balding head and say “No hair, Ter-ree, No hair”.

If you are ever looking for that needle in the haystack, you’ll want Jo to help you.  And I’ll bet she finds it!  She won’t quit looking until she does!  When she comes to visit she spends a lot of time on the floor looking under the furniture and she usually finds something that has been  long lost;  an earring back, a game piece, or a yellow piece of string!  (You’ll have to ask Robin for the story on that one.  Let’s just say they turned their house upside down to find that string for Jo)

There’s a couple of things that are off limits with Jo.  Don’t go looking in her purse or her Bible!  They both contain treasures she does not like to part with.  Sometimes those treasures end up in her pockets.  One time as we were going through security at the airport, she set off the metal detector.  She was asked to empty her pockets and I could not believe it when, among other things, out of that pocket came a metal Sheriff’s Badge! 

JoEllen loves to sing.  She knows a lot of hymns.  And JoEllen is a prayer warrior.  If you pray with her you might make out words like, mommy, daddy, the names of her siblings.  She prays for us all.   But I am pretty sure God hears a whole lot more than that when she prays!


Here’s some other pics of  JO.

JoEllen's Birthday

The Party girl when she turned ‘’five-o”

Christmas Eve

                                            Aunt Jo holding Elaine last Christmas.  She loves hearing there is a baby coming and our family does their best to keep her happy!   Jo has eight nephew and four nieces, one great nephew, eight great nieces and two on the way!  (I hope my math is right!)   



Last summer Robin,  Jo and I spent a day making cards.  She sends out Birthday cards to all her family members.  This year many of them will get a nice handmade card.  We always get our Birthday cards on time.  I am sure Jo pesters her house mothers to death to get them mailed.  So sometimes they do come early.  Okay, Wally did get his card shortly after Thanksgiving and his Birthday is December 14.  But it’s the thought that counts!


           IMG_0241                      IMG_0238

We must have tea pictures because we always go to tea or host our own parties when Jo is home.




Elaine's First Tea Party


Tea with JoEllen

I Love you JO!  I hope you have a fun “par-tee!”

Thankful Thursday

Monday night our BSF class resumed.  We had just received about eight inches of snow Sunday into Monday and it was really cold; –7 overnight and a high of 15 on Monday.   When we arrived at the church the admin team and I opened all the doors and began setting up for the night.  Just before they left, two of the Pastors were putting out some ice melt and some cones to block an icy patch near the doors.  One of the bags was water softening pellets brought out by mistake and it had a hole in it…dropping white pellets down the hallway.  I began helping to pick them up and lifted the bag into a box, which was taken out to the dumpster. 

We went on about the night, greeting ladies and taking the attendance.  One of my privileges on Monday nights is to pray with our teaching leader before she gives the lecture.  The room we pray in was locked.  No problem, I went for my keys which normally hang on my arm on one of those coil bands.  The keys were not hanging from my arm.  Oh, I must have left them at the table where the attendance is being counted.  They were not there.  I quickly checked my bag thinking I must have dropped them in the pocket.  Nope.  Well, as Alethea and I went to pray, we asked the Lord to help me find my keys.  I really wasn’t too frantic, they had to be in one of those obvious places we were overlooking.  I back tracked my steps of the night.  Oh, maybe I left them on the table or maybe I left them in the bathroom.  After searching the contents of my bag and purse, I had a thought.  I think I left them on a table in a room.  They were not there, but my roll of tape was.  Well I bet the group leader picked them up and I will get them from her after lecture.  That did not pan out either.  I really had a peace about finding them until the end of the night approached and no keys were found anywhere.  We have a class treasurer and three ladies on the admin team a teaching leader and the substitute teaching leader, all searching  that church, the trash cans, the materials box…multiple times even.  But no keys! It was getting late and the only thing to do was to go home and in the morning call the church and let them know I lost their set of keys. 

I think I was a little disappointed because the Lord did not come through for me.  I was so sure He would.  I was so sure someone would walk up and say, “I found these keys” and that did not happen.  In talking about the night, the only thing we could think of is maybe, somehow they dropped into that box of pellets.  We left the building in the frigid temperature and got into our cars and circled up around the dumpster!  Jana, our class treasurer and  my long time friend was already poking around in the dumpster.  There was the box, kind of at an angle, like it would drop to the bottom of the dumpster.  There was the bag of pellets.  I moved it and could just make out the purple coil ring sticking up out of some loose pellets.  I could not believe it!  It must have caught on the bag when I lifted it into the box earlier that night and rolled off my arm without me noticing. Jana was yelling “Praise the Lord” and as the other cars pulled up I waved the keys and we had a hallelujah session!

Now you may be concluding that this Thursday I am thankful I found my keys.  And I am!!  But I am thankful too for the reminder that, really isn’t that just like the Lord?  To answer in a  way far outside my thinking.  I can tell you dumpster diving was not the answer I had in mind!  And I know we all would have been glad had somebody found my keys and handed them to me in the church, much earlier in the evening.  But  there would not have been that same level of rejoicing in the subzero temperatures of the parking lot! His timing is always perfect!  Our God is the God Who does “exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think!!”  (Eph. 3:20) So, thank You, Lord, for the keys and the reminder!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This could almost be another Thankful Thursday post.  I just want to give credit where credit is due, to American Airlines.  Tuesday afternoon I accompanied my parents and  sister, JoEllen to the airport.  Vacation was over and Jo was returning home.  She flies twice a year in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.  She has been doing this for 37 years now  We all know how airline travel has changed since 9-11.  Somehow along with that change came rudeness and being treated like we were idiots every time we approached the airline counter with Jo and asked for a pass to accompany her down to the concourse.  Most of those times JoEllen’s ticket was with United.  I understand that security issues change a lot of things but I would come home from those trips to the airport and just wonder where did common sense and kindness go?

It used to be only one of my parents could accompany Jo to the concourse.  That was Mom.  A Mom likes to know her children are settled and being left in good hands, doubly so when you have a special needs child!  Dad and I would sit by the fountain and people watch.  Over the years, health challenges changed things a bit.  My Mom was not seeing so well and Dad was not walking so well.  So I started going down.  We would always ask at the United counter if all of us could go, and sometimes  they said yes.  But not very often.  I wondered if there was not some paper work we could fill out to do a background check or a request made explaining that this was a mentally handicapped adult flying and couldn’t her elderly parents be allowed to accompany her to the plane and see her off?  It wouldn’t be difficult to trace thirty plus years of activity.  Honestly, the United people were not very helpful and seemed to not even listen to what we were saying. 

This past summer JoEllen flew home on a ticket from American Airlines.  What a refreshing change! They actually asked us if we all wanted to have a pass!  They spoke directly Jo and even smiled!  And at the gate, they gave us no issues about her need to be  escorted onto the plane and help finding her seat. Tuesday, it was the same experience. The agent at the gate even changed Jo’s seat to be closer to the front where the attendants would see her.  She told me she would like to have Jo board early so she could introduce Jo to the crew!  At the time of early boarding she stepped over to the group lining up and said, “I’ll walk JoEllen down.”  As we watched them walk away, the AA agent was talking to Jo who was smiling back!  Do you know what that does for your heart?  I know my Mom was blessed by the interaction!  So Kudos to American Airlines!  It’s nice to find that kindness, which we had been wondering about, still exists!

Thankful Thursday

Today I am very thankful for a full freezer.  Chuck, the butcher, is here cutting up our half of the buffalo.  It will go into the freezer where we already have two antelope and Wesley’s deer.  We had most of the antelope and deer made into different things like Italian sausage, brats, salami and summer sausage.  We also took a bunch to Ben and Andrea when we visited them in November.  And now we will add the buffalo meat to the freezer.  I can not even think of the last time I have bought meat in the store, other than chicken.  When I have had to look, it is almost foreign to me.  We have had a full freezer of meat almost every year since Wally started hunting.  When we were self employed and and the work was slow (or not at all), we always ate very well!  What a blessing!  So, Thank you Lord, once again, for this full freezer as we head into 2011!

Chuck Johnson

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Great White Buffalo Hunters!

Wally and Mike Durham

Aren’t they cute?  This is Wally and his friend Mike Durham.  They have been friends for…well, let’s just say for a long time!  Wally and Mike grew up in Indiana.  they didn’t attend the same schools but they did go to Sunday School together.  They have some of the same interests, cars, woodworking, hunting.  And they blame each other for all the trouble they got into!  Mike has been visiting us recently.  He came out to hunt--- for a new job possibly and also for buffalo.  The buffalo hunt isn’t really a hunt.  Wally and Mike drove up near Fairplay to a ranch.  You pay for the kind of buffalo you want and then the owners drive you out to the herd and you take a shot!   Wally and Mike split the cost of the buffalo and Mike got to shoot it because he drove out from Indiana.  Mike gets the skull and horns to mount and we get the hide for a nice buffalo blanket!  I am looking forward to having buffalo in the freezer! 

Mike and the buffalo

Mike and Wally…a few years down the road!


That’s Wally in the back row on the left, then Mike and Tim, Wally’s brother, on the floor.  Wally claims to have no memory of this picture and Mike claims it has warped his manhood!  I guess this is a re-enactment of the nativity and Mike was forced to be Mary!


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