Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Death and all that ...........

Today Alexandra would be 26.

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Time sure flys, Tristen just had his 6th birthday. I still have to wonder sometimes if it really happened. It still seems like she is just away somewhere having fun. Well maybe she is.
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What is death anyway? What do we believe? What really happens when we die? Everyone has an opinion. A lot of people think its the end of things for us. That we are buried or otherwise disposed of and thats it.
Some of us have Faith. We believe that Christ came to save us from that.
So what are we? What are we as animals, we are mammals after all. Are we just flesh and blood or is there more to us than that. I suppose that is the place to begin. As a believer I subscribe to the theory (theory simply because I cant prove it) that we are made up of a soul as well as a body. Our life is in our blood, that's what the bible says and the spirit/soul is eternal. So then what does that mean? It means that when we die something must happen to seperate us from the shell we called a body that our soul was driving. The body alone would not work it needs a driver, a person to control it.
Well Jesus said that anyone who comes to Him, who believes in Him and follows Him will have everlasting life. Those who reject Him with be shown the error of their ways and then destroyed forever. I am over simplifying this of course.

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So to me, and to those who love Alex we believe she is awaiting that day when the dead in Christ will arise. For her she is already with her Lord because when we are changed it may have been a thousand years but to the person it is in an instant. In the twinkling of the eye.
I believe this with my whole heart I may or may not be wrong on a few details but basically I know she is with God and I will see her again soon. So death has no sting, We all miss her that is only natural. As we miss our parents and other lost loved ones. We wont see all of them, there is no doubt about that either but we know that God is fair, just and loving and so they would have had every opportunity to come to Him for salvation. If they willingly chose not to then God will judge them. If we are covered by Christs sacrifice then God will not see our sin. It is forgiven. I wont get into all of that we all must find our way. I trust God and I am open to His guidence.
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I believe some day there will be a new Heaven and a new earth, the former will pass away. Not a catastrophic explosion but a cleansing and renewing of the world where animals and people again live in peace. No more death, sin, saddness. Peace forever, good health and good lives. Who knows what else, maybe lots of exploration of the universe?. I know I want to live on earth with the animals. Many aspire to Heaven. I don't know about that part.
I believe that when that time comes and the dead in Christ have risen and the apocalypse is over and done then we will be reunited again. So I do not feel sadness most of the time when I think of Alex, I look forewards to the day we meet again.
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Some day Tristen will meet his mother and get to know her and will have many stories to tell her. No I don't believe she is watching over us or that she can see us. Nothing that I have read can justify that belief but I know that it comforts people to think that. I suppose it does no harm but they really should read for themselves and maybe that would give even greater comfort?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tristen is Six..................

Tristen is six. He just had his birthday party. His birthday was on the 23rd but we waited till Saturday. It was sort of fun. It was as usual mainly adults but Tristen does not yet mind. He knows he is the center of attention and so it's probably a good thing that its not a bunch of kids. We invited anyone who knows Tristen but it was the usual ones who came. His aunt Carole was missing this year, she sadly died just a short time ago. I invited Lauren this year with her baby. She is one of Debbies girls (Dans 2nd wife) the youngest. She has a baby now his name is Desmonde.
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I can't believe he is 6.
Here are a few highlights. Cooper had a grand old time, he took over the birthday hat.
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Aunt Laura came, Gabby and Cooper and Tony, Lauren and desmonde, Laura and Reina and Aunt Joyce and Granpa Dan
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We had cake and lots of food
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Desonde loved Bodi
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Cooper learned from Tristen to shoot a gun, so he is shooting Granddad
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He also gave him advice on opening the package.
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Tristen gave each of the Guests a gift of a stuffy and a book. I think that it's important to give as well as receive and he was very happy to do that. Then Reina got to present Tristen with his gifts. Grandma Tammy Nelson sent him some lovely things and he was very pleased and got to call to thank her. He also called Uncle Jason to thank him and today he got a gift from Justin and Carrie. SO the next few days he will be sending out Thank you cards. I also think that is important. He is going to learn that now he is 6

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Aunt Vicki stopped by the night before with some cleats for Tristen for when he begins Soccar next year (we hope) She also gave him a tent for his bedroom.
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He is really enjoying playing in that, he is faking sleep for the picture.Anyway the kids all had a good time and I think it all went very well. It's a lot of work but certainly worth it. Laura helped me by coming early and helping to set up. That was great, I would have been whooped for sure without some help. I made easy things but it all takes time to put together.

Summers end.....................................

It's hard to say goodbye to summer. It has been a busy one. Gerry being sick and then my Aunt coming that was the highlight of summer. The bad and the good. Days at the beach hunting for rocks became one of the best things this year as we moved on from Petoskey stones to more elusive Leland blues. I am not ready to give it up. So on Sunday I talked Gerry into taking me and Tristen to the beach at Leland. It was cool, around 70 degrees but not too windy. The water was calm and still warm. This year the water has been great, Lake Michigan is not always so conciderate. Often by now we see snow in the forecast but they say it may be mild for the next 3 months. Fine by me.
Anyway we went to Leland but not really prepared for going in the water. I should have known we would.
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I told Tristen to not get wet, how silly was that. photo 104_0013a_zps8b6rnlt2.jpg
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So in the end he stripped to his undies. No one else was there so why worry and they were not regular briefs anyway.
He had brought his little army guys to play in the sand that was the plan. Didn't work out that way. I went off looking for blue stones and Gerry took a nap (I think)
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Tristen talked to everyone who happened to go by on the beach before giving up and he discovered the fun of feeding the gulls
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I know it's not a good idea, they can be a pest but it is fun. He said the best fun ever.
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They got all our pumpkin donut holes left over from his Birthday Party. How can I forget. I have to do a post on his party don't I? That's next.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

End of September.............

This has been a beautiful September. We are working on it being the warmest ever on record. I think we may make it. So..........Laura had Monday off and so we went to the beach at Leland. One more time, in search of treasure. Well blue stones anyway.
Started off with a great breakfast
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They have great food there. I have their Panini, the special and its just great. This time Laura had French Toast and that looked yummy too, Then down to work
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The lake was calmer than it has been thus far. The water was still warm even though at around 11am it was only just 70 degrees. Laura was cold to start with but we soon got adjusted and got walking. Its great exercize really. The resistance of the water gives us a good work out. Especially the legs and butt.
So, we were looking mainly for the Leland Blue. The first time we went we were happy to find little slivers by digging into the gravel at the edge. Then we started to find nice small stones. Now we want good ones.
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The Leland blue is used for jewelry making. Is much sought after. I also enjoy the friendliness of other beach combers. We compare what we are looking for and ooh and ahh over each others finds. The best stones are almost turquoise but they come in a range of blues, greens, purples and pale green. Some black too. Its the remnants of slag from iron works that was dumped in the lake. By the time it comes up on the beaches its rolled and almost like a bead. Some is still rough though and you see what it really is
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The slag is actually glass, you can see in some of the ones with holes (air bubbles) that internally it looks like glass. I don't know how they polish those ones. I must look up a method of polishing without a tumbler. It just takes too long
We also pick up any beach glass we happen to find.
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Today I sorted out all my stones again. Put all the blues in one dish and greens in another. They are so pretty. I cant wait to go again. Not sure if we will be able to this year but sure hope so.
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Next to plan out how to use them. Not that it matters, I just love them sitting around in little crystal dishes. Whats so fascinating about rocks? I always ask myself that...........I don't know but I do find myself singing "How great thou art" a lot as I see the wonder and beauty in simple things like rocks and pebbles on a beach, the power of water and the greatbess of God

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Better part of summer........

One of the better things that happened this summer was that my aunt and uncle came over for a visit. They flew into Toronto from England. They drove through Ontario from Toronto to WaWa and on to Thunder Bay. Then down through the UP of Michigan where they met up with family.
It was great that they were able to do that. It was a weird summer this year. Danielle just got back in time to have dinner with them. She had been down here for her aunts funeral. She had met them once when she was in school and did a trip to England with her school choir. Since then she has got married and has a career as a nurse. There was a lot of catching up to do. Her aunt Carole was her dads sister. Dan, being her Dad and my ex son in law. He also met Liz and Rodney in England back when he was still married to Laura. The Marines stopped in England and they were able to get together. SO he too met them again,
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They were also able to meet Justin, Carrie and Teal. Justin had been down here for a week when Gerry was in hospital. He had gone back to work and was supposed to go out on ship for sea trials. That was cancelled for him and so he was able to go home in time to meet them with his family.
They did a few more things up there before coming south. We had originally planned on going north to spend some time in the UP with them. Gerry getting sick ended all those plans. He only got out of the hospital just prior to them arriving. I was very pleased that they could spend a week with us at the house before going to Bellaire for a week.
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We were glad that Gabby was able to come out with us to Elk Rapids and meet for lunch so that the only one they didn't get to see this time was Jason. Maybe next year.
We didn't do a whole lot, they were tired of travel by the time they got here. It was nice to just relax and chat and catch up. We did go to Northport and around but nothing rushed or hurried,
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This is Liz on the beach
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Some more of the day in ELk Rapids. Gerry was able to go with us.
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They were happy to meet Gabby and Cooper. They had not seen any of the little kids before so that was really nice. They met Tristen naturally and got their fill of him haha......Reina too.
Then lastly little Cooper who was a riot
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Laura and Reina and me went out to Bellaire, Liz hurt her toe when she was at my house so was not up for much walking. She cooked us a lovely lunch and apparently enjoyed a few garage sales because she found me some goodies. Reina entertained herself and we just visited. I miss them already. Rodney was talking about next year. That would be so cool if they could come back that soon. It will take a long time for me to save to get back to England. There is so much left for them to see and do here. Maybe next time we can make that UP trip with them.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Getting into the swing of things..................

Where to begin. I am so far behind now that it will be impossible to catch up. So, I think I will just give a somewhat brief explanation.
My husband Gerry had toothache, he suffered a few days or so before actually giving in and going to the dentist. The dentist said he would have to take antibiotics to get rid of an infection before he could do anything. Meantime, Gerry was getting terrible headaches, down into his neck and jaw. He took all kinds of stuff for pain. Got desperate and took whatever he could find. We found Ibuproden can make you sick. By the end of the week he was still in pain. I kept telling him to go top the doctors, finally he did. Doc gave him pain pills and told him to continue with the antibiotics.
Thursday my son Jason had arrived for the family reunion that was to be on Saturday and so had my granddaughter Danielle. Well..............Gerry got worse and during the night he got up and was all over the place, knocking stuff off the walls and not being able to stand. I said he needed to go to ER. He said no. He would go to the doctor on Monday. I got Jason up to help me get Gerry back up out of the chair on the landing. I asked if he would take him to ER even if his dad didnt want to go. I got Danielle up to help. Tristen was sleeping and I cant drive at night so they took him. It was not good trying to get him downstairs but we did and they got him to the car.
To make a long story short he was in hospital three weeks.They could not figure things out. First it was Menangitis and then he got Merca virus from the hospital.
They did a CAT scan as well as MRI and spinal taps. You name it, they did it. Meanwhile. Come to find out he also was having Prostate problems so had a catheter in as he could not urinate. All this was a big puzzle. The doctors didn't seem to know anything and could not figure it out.We had no idea if the two things were even related.
Well, in the end they found a spot on his brain and did surgery. It was fluid and they got that out. It was a long haul.
I had Tristen and so had to rely on Laura to take me back and forth to the hospital. I can drive but the parking there is just not good so I dare not try it myself. SHe also took Tristen overnight the first week because I felt it would be better for Tristen. Gerry is the one who takes him to bed at night.It has always been his routine to have playtime and story and I felt it was bad enough that he missed Granddad and being with Reina would be better for him. That got me in trouble with Grandpa Dan but thats another story.
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we had to put on gowns and gloves each time. The kids enjoyed that
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These are probably later in the 2nd week because he was flat on his back much longer than a week. His head hurt so bad. Finally they did the surgery and some of that pain was relieved.
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Finally he was able to come home, as soon as he was able to walk again and be steady. He is still recovering.
Needless to say having him off work this long is a great financial hardship but here's the thing. I had suggested that I take my retirement money out of my account. The stock market overseas was doing badly. I was getting a bit nervous but Gerry said no, don't do that. I decided to do it anyway. So now there is no savings but............because I had that money I was able to pay all the bills off and enough to live on. Gerry is hoping to go back to work on Monday, I am not sure he's strong enough but he has to try. Maybe 1/2 days if he cant manage all day. I think the Lord was prompting me to take my money because soon after the stock market plunged. We could not have got through these past couple of months without that money. If I had left it in we would have lost 1/2 of it. I did have to pay a lot in taxes but that's OK, it will work out in the long run as he lost so much work.
So thats why I had not been blogging. Too much else to do. Then the 2nd reason was a good one. My Aunt Liz and uncle Rodney came for a visit and I will do a seperate post on that one.