Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hello my blogging friends!

Khloe has taken over, she is indeed the boss of me :-)

Hope to get back to blogging in the new year, just wanted you all to know how thankful I am for each of you and I wish you and yours the Merriest Christmas and a very healthy happy New Year!

Blessed by each of you!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Grammy and Khloe Day One ~

Went to bed excited last night thinking about my first full day with my little Khloe
yet at the same time,
feeling sad for my DIL Katie knowing how difficult it is on that
first day back to work to part with your baby.

This mornings read;
She made me promise not to cry until after she left.
She gave me my instructions for the day
I offered to take a photo of her with Khloe.
The answer was yes to me as I heard her say, 
"lets take a photo on Mommy's first day back to work."

She handed Khloe to me (with a tear on her face) and headed for the door.
I wanted to say, I meant to say, "have a great day and don't worry"...
the words wouldn't come without the risk of me crying for her
but I promised.
All I could get out was, " bye "....

As she drove away our Khloe got an extra long hug.
My thoughts then turned to nothing but Khloe.

She isn't usually up this early....
as the photo below shows,
"can you please just put me down to sleep now".

Down she went and fell fast asleep.......
for 3 1/2 hours.

Woke up happy as a clam !

After several photographs it was time to tune in to Baby Einstein.
Today we were learning to count to five in
Spanish, Italian and Mandarin.
It's gonna take some practice.........

We had our lunch and then had a good hour or so of playing!

I'm fairly sure Khloe knows what to do when she see's the camera....its as if
she were used to it :-)

It's been a great day,
this is what echos from my heart today......

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is She Cute or What?

So, it's possible I have said it before but seriously, she is so cute :-)
Khloe's Grampy put together her new chair today....I think she liked it!

Always a fashion statement to be made.

 Taking a snooze on Grammy's couch.

 Khloe and her Grandma Kaiser

She is happy to have some time with her Grandma Kaiser,
safe to say Grandma Kaiser feels the same!

This little one is not lacking for love
this is what echos from my heart today....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Promises in December and Always ~

"Let God's promises shine on your problems"

                                    ~ Corrie Ten Boom

As we begin the month of December I thought it would be a good reminder
to us all
  that we can rely on the promises of God.
  December, a month and a season
that often times can become difficult, 
often times overwhelming.

For many it's the thoughts of those who are no longer living
among us. 
No longer part of our Christmas traditions.
No longer present to hug and hold on to.
Oh how we miss them.

Sometimes it's our current situation.

Financial issues, especially in a world that 
makes this time about gifts.
It's about time with family and friends.
friends, the Gift is Jesus....

If its a relationship issue,
He never leaves us, He wants
nothing more than a relationship with us.

Health issues of our own, or
genuine concern for another during this time is hard.

The worst, loneliness...
In fact, we can feel alone in any of those situations,
even if we aren't
alone at all.

My hope is as we head into the month of December that all of you will be 
reminded of His promises daily.
Maybe someone around you doesn't know of His promises.
Maybe, we need to be sure they do.

Turn first to Him in every situation.
We are never alone if we are in relationship with Him.

I'm preparing by reading up on those very promises of His.
His promise to be there in every situation.


This is what echos from my heart today..........

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Age of Independence ~

One of my daily readings is a book entitled "Jesus Calling", by Sarah Young. 
It is by far the best daily devotional book I have ever read. 
Today's is one I wanted others to read, it was such
an important lesson for me to learn in my own life.
If nothing ever went wrong, why would we
feel the need for God? 
Not one of us enjoys the difficult times in our life, yet it is in them
where we grow the most and realize there is so much we can't do 
 or handle in our own strength.... 
Enjoy the read, below is a portion of today's...

In this age of independence, people find it hard to 
acknowledge their neediness. However, I have taken you 
along a path that has highlighted your need for Me: placing
you in situations where your strengths were irrelevant and 
your weaknesses were glaringly evident.  Through the aridity
of those desert marches, I have drawn you closer and closer
to Myself.

You have discovered flowers of Peace blossoming in 
the most desolate places. You have learned to thank Me for 
hard times and difficult journeys, trusting that through them 
I accomplish My best work.  
You have realized that needing Me
is the key to knowing Me intimately, which is 
gift above all gifts.

                                                                            Sarah Young

this is what echos from my heart today.......

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Activity and Attitude

As a follower of Christ, the spiritual fruit I bear can be developed in a couple of ways.

which is of course the things that I do and what I accomplish for God.
It's good to do,
but we shouldn't put too much stock in trusting that alone.

is a far better indicator of what is happening in our spiritual life.
The proper attitudes, the influence of His love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness 
and self-control.

How we act on the inside,
our inward attitude eventually will start to have and affect
on our outward behavior.

In changing our inward attitudes,
(changing how we think and live)
something can't help but change in our behavior.
In allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives,
getting focused on growing in God's Word,
that's when
we will begin to notice changes in 
how we think and what we chose to do.

What's happening in our hearts is the fruits of the Spirit seeping outward.
It's what truly shows others what it is that sets us apart as different in this world.

It's a challenge to succeed daily,
 we are facing a constant battle with outside influences.
The goal is to be listening to God's direction and applying His Word to our lives.

By doing so
we will grow and mature,
which will change
our actions and our attitudes.

What is setting you apart from the rest of the world?
I challenge you to find the area you are weakest in
study all you can find
on that one topic.
If you lack self control, 
look up all you can find in your Bible on self control
and so on with whatever other area you
need work on.

One of my favorite reminders of how I live my life 
Am I able to share God without saying a word?

This is what Echos from my heart today ~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baby its Cold Outside ~

Because it's Cold Outside
because she's so 
cute !

Hoping you and yours are warm and toasty.....
She is what echos from my heart today :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Outcome ~

I sat to read my morning devotional 
only to realize I had jumped ahead 
and read the wrong day.....
did I?

The date on the page clearly read
Yet it's just what I needed to read,
It's just what some I love
needed to hear.
So, wrong day but right message.

I hope it's what you needed today.

Leave Outcomes Up Me
Follow Me
wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn
Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide
your Companion.
Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me.

When your path leads to a cliff, 
be willing to climb it
with My help.

When you come to a resting  place, 
take time to be refreshed in 
My Presence.
Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to 

You already know the ultimate destination of your journey:
your entrance into heaven.

So keep your focus on the path just before you, 
leaving outcomes up to 
     By Sarah Young

This is what echos from my heart today...........

Monday, November 14, 2011

Finding My Identity ~


As a older mature woman I take a look over my shoulder at who I used to be.
I realize in doing so that I didn't  find my true identity until I
let go of my

Scripture tells us in Mark 8:34 and 35

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross
and follow me"

For me, I was suffering an identity crisis when I was trying to live my life apart from God.
who I had to be measure up.

But then again,
we are all born separated from God
If we are separated from Him we really don't know our true selves.
That however never stops us from trying to distinguish who we are daily...
it in fact begins to be a controlling
 factor our lives.

God wants us to find out who we are in Him. To find our fulfillment in Him.
Trouble is most are convinced that  fulfillment can be found in
relationships, the perfect body, worldly success, money and stuff!
None of which make us who we are....

When we come to know God, we are saying good bye to our old self,
and that
is where and when we begin to find
our true identity,
in Him.

Once realized...
I  knew I needed to be serving Him, be it in my church and/ or my community.
To do a work that God could do on His own if he wanted to...
for us to do so and to then give the glory to Him.
It's Him I represent.

In my opinion serving God and or leading others isn't about exceptional skill,
is not about what Bible college one attended, 
or a position of authority one might hold.
It's putting aside our egos and allowing God to work through us. 
Where and how we serve is based on our gifts, where He wants us,
and all is to glorify Him,
not self.

The choices I now make speak volumes as to who I am.
Who I am and how I live my life,
all realized only through my relationship with Him.

That being said,
I'm not passive about my faith.
I stand up for what is right not necessarily popular.
Also known as calling it as I see it....
I will not pass the buck or blame others for my wrongs. 
I do not put my self above another.
 I know for sure, I am far from perfect and I will never claim to be.

But I do know who I am.......

constantly fighting off the ego in order to be who 
I was intended to be.

This is what echos from my heart today.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

More onToo Much Buzyness ....

So I had a thought.
Are we really living life?
we living it fully?

People are so busy all the time.
It seems everyone is overloaded
with busyness.

The busy super Mom's.
The busy super Dad's.
The busy kids with their studies, sports and other activities.
It seems to me everyone is overload, exhausted !

Maybe we need to stop and take a good look, and honest look
at our too busy schedules.
It seems by the end of a day
the end of a week we become overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed at what didn't happen.
Overwhelmed at what fell through the cracks.

Does this sound like living fully to you!
Have you jumped on the hamster wheel and now unsure how to make it stop!

Buzyness became a big issue for thought.
Trying to schedule get togethers with friends for meaningful conversation.
For a nice lunch or dinner.
Meet for coffee and catch up....sorry no time....

It seems in the scheduling or should I say in the attempt...
it more times than not starts with how about Monday...
no that doesn't work for me how about Tuesday....
nope I'm booked that day...
Before I know it we are in to next week or next month.

It just seems like we are missing so much...
 while doing so too much.

Don't get me wrong busy isn't always bad, each of us have responsiblities.
Providing for our families, serving in our community and or church.
It seems we maybe need to look at making sure what we are doing isn't causing
us to miss the important things.

Overcommitment can damage relationships with our families, friends and God.
People around you can and likely are affected by what can appear to be a
lack of's up to each
of us to pursue the relationships in our lives and nourish them.

Met up with my friend Rene after close to twenty years !

The person controlling our busy schedules is,
Busyness doesn't necessarily equal more productive.....

Maybe we need to slow the pace....
For me it's about seeking direction from God.
It may be worth your efforts to consider changing up your schedules.
Imagine the frenzy of all your buzyness beingless frenzied....
the joy of relationships re established or made stronger.....

You may be relieved to be off the hamster wheel
at last, begin to live and love more fully.

It's just a thought......
is what echos from my heart today......

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Sacrifice was Worth it !

Ideally I always wanted to be home with and for my kids and I had many years 
that I was able to do so. 
This required  a lot of sacrifices.

We didn't go to fancy restaurants too often, we didn't go anywhere on vacations.
Instead we hung out at home, the beach, or a short weekend trip somewhere local.

We had lots of meals shared with neighbors, we played cards, Pictionary, Scrabble.
We had lots of neighbor hood barbecues and parties...

Instead of going to the movies we rented a movie made some popcorn 
piled on the couch in our pajamas and enjoyed the movie!

My son's didn't wear designer clothes and if they wanted the outrageously priced
Air Jordan basketball shoes,
they made up the difference of my shoe allotment and the cost of Mr. Jordan'$ shoes.

We bought them new bikes up until age 10 or so.
When they didn't take care of them.... well,
after that they bought their own and no surprise
took better care of the ones they paid for!

They didn't have phones of there own.
If they wanted the privilege of driving they had to pay for their own insurance.
This worked out well for me because I preferred they spend time playing the sports
they loved that took so much time, and focused on their grades.
I knew they would be working the rest of their lives so I wanted them to enjoy
their youth rather than working part time to pay for insurance.
Not to mention, I was very nervous with the thought of a 16 year old behind a wheel.
It was almost stress free by the time they started driving
........a little more maturity went a long way.

So were the sacrifices worth it?
They both have good jobs, good work ethic, and  take nice vacations.
I don't believe either to this day care about the label on an article of clothing.

They take care of what they work for.
They have great stories of different sports teams they were on.
Great stories of championship games, tournament victories and defeats.
They have memories of their childhood and youth.....
They learned good life skills from many of their coaches and teachers.
They are still very involved with the same group of friends since grade school.

They have told me they don't think they missed out on anything! 
They feel they had a very normal

Still today they often request one of the meals I used to make.
Meals I made because they were 
filling !!!

I'm thankful for the years I was able to be home with them....
thankful they don't live their lives as though anyone owes them anything.
They know how to get what they want, they know whats important in life.
They value the little things.....

I also remember having to go to work and leaving them.
It was a most difficult thing to do as a Mom,
yet I and every other Mom that's had to return to work has survived
the pain that comes with that separation.

I count my self very lucky that my Mom was their to love my son's like I would have
if I were home with them.  
After that a sweet older Grandma type watched them and loved them as a Grandma type would :-)
I was so lucky!

So what I know is this.
Rather you have to work or want to work outside the home.....
Your children can still learn what matters most.
It's what takes place as a family when your together.
It's the values you teach them,
even if it means they have to save for the bike, the car or Mr. Jordan'$ tenni$ $hoe$ !

I'm beginning to see how hard it is going to be for my daughter in law Katie to return to work and leave Khloe.  
It breaks my heart for her, I  so remember how hard it was myself......
....but I know she'll  be fine and so will little Khloe.
This little girl is so loved by so many....
There are a classroom full of children who need a teacher like Katie
and there aren't many like her!
She is the kind of teacher that has a big impact on a little one's life.
Many are children that likely don't experience a circle of love, attention and encouragement when at home.
For some, they have to go to school in order to receive what Khloe is surrounded by everyday.

We all have the opportunity to teach our children life lessons.
To raise them with the knowledge that the world owes them nothing
and just what is worthy of us placing a value on....
For me ~
God, family and love ....
This is what echos from my heart today.....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Too Busy ?

Maybe a snails pace is needed...time away from the "busy".

What are our busy lifestyles taking away from?

Our busyness can take away from many things,
like time alone with God.
A God who wants us to experience the freedom and the peace
that we get by  knowing Him intimately..

In order to get to know Him we have to spend time with Him.
Really no different than getting to
know anyone else.
A relationship doesn't grow if we don't put in the time it takes
to really know that person.

In order to experience God fully and hear His voice we can't be constantly busy.
Running errands, working, cleaning, children, church,
connecting with friends and extended family and the list goes on, right?

Can we turn off the phone, ignore the text, turn off the television
really spend sometime with Him?

It's easy to get wrapped up in the busy, volunteering more time than we have.
Time with God is the most important time we can spend.
Set a time that daily is just to focus on all you can to ensure
total peace and quiet....It doesn't have to be a long just needs to happen.
Once the habit is will find you want more time with Him!

Time with Him is how you can really experience Him,
and see what He can do in your life.
Reading the Bible (His Word) is where you learn about God's character.
Like anyone we spend time with
we want to discover their character right?

He will bless you in more ways than you can imagine.
Willing to take the time and see?

You have everything to gain!
This is what echos from my heart today......

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Found My Walking Buddy ~

My morning started as usual, coffee poured, to the office, read my devotionals and check e-mails.
Started really well when my blogging friend Sally fixed my blog so comments can again be made.
So thankful for Sally:-)

So after shutting down the computer, I decide to get my walk, housework and shower out of the way at the start of the day....I'm watching Khloe this afternoon and don't want anything to interfere with that time. 

Buy finishing what I have to do right off, I can enjoy my afternoon with her and I'm not stressed about rushing anything that didn't get done once the hubstir is home from work.  That's when I want to be available to him....even if we are just sitting in the same room.

So I happily force myself to get my shoes on and get out the door to walk. I'm determined to continue in my attempt getting in better shape.
Especially with the calorie SUPER SIZED holiday's coming our way!  
My excuse not to walk is usually I want a walking buddy and can't find one!
Turns out it's a very popular reason  excuse to get out of walking.

Today as I walked in the cool temps of November under a very blue,
sky dotted with several white puffy clouds, I took a moment.  
I took a moment to look around at the hills, sky, clouds, trees etc..
.....thinking how beautiful and incredible it all is. 

As I walked I wondered out loud,
"how can anyone think this all just appeared, an accident, an explosion, whatever, "
this took some thought. 
God thought it and spoke it in to existence, and it was perfect .

I started to pray as I walked and  before I knew it I was back home. 
I had found my new walking buddy!
Turns out, He was always walking along side of me,
I just had not taken the opportunity to dedicate that time,
as a time I could spend it with Him.

Now get walking! 
If you need a buddy I would be glad to introduce you to one :-)
This is what echos from my heart today


I'm receiving e-mails that many of you can't leave comments on my blog.

I have googled the problem and I'm not alone.  It has something to do with switching and or not switching to the new blogger style. I have done all it says to do and it is still not working.

If one of you is willing, please e-mail me step by step (for your explaining to a 10 year old) what I need to do to correct this. It has become a beyond frustrating thing for me to try and fix :-(

Too old for this kind of thing....

Thanks to whomever can spare the time!!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Slow Fade ~

 I heard this song this morning at church and the lyrics struck me as very powerful,
that is if one was paying attention. 

I'm one of those who not only loves the musical instruments and the voice,
  I lend a close ear to the lyrics. 

Listening to lyrics is something I did as a kid, and then as a parent I thought it was a good idea to pay attention to what my son's where lending their ears to.

The song is Slow Fade, by Casting Crowns. I hope to load the song onto the blog so you can hear it.  If not, I encourage you to Google it and take a listen.

"Slow Fade"

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

So, it really got me thinking about the truth of the lyrics. 
To me they speak of regret, mistakes and wrong choices
made in life.
They didn't happen in a day, but in many days of small choices that were made.
Compromise, when one should have thought better of it.

Never intentional.
Never started a day planning on something I may regret. 
It rarely is.

A little of giving oneself away, allowing something to be,
looking away from black or white, 
 choosing gray.

When I looked back I'm able to see particular times when, 
I started to fade.
I compromised my beliefs, morals or values. 
Compromises, the choices that took me away from what I believed.
Took me away from what was the right thing to do.
Just as the lyrics speak, a little compromise of ones self at a time....

In most every situation it was the willingness to sacrifice my needs
for my wants......

How many times I
allowed black and white to turn to gray....
all in order
for me to have what I wanted in the moment.
All the while telling myself the reasons "it" was okay.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:15-16

At some point, the choice was made.
I  was no longer willing to be lukewarm when it came
to my faith,  
or my knowledge of the rights and wrongs of my morals and values. 

I am not the friend, family member, employee that will tell 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Did Somebody Say Pumpkins ?


Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Ice Cream 

Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Cheese Cake

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Butter 

Pumpkin Scent

Pumpkin Pudding

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin Fudge
Pumpkin Hummus 

Pumpkin Head 

Pumpkin Log

and of course

Pumpkin Patch !

Went with the kids to the Pumpkin farm

too many people

but some cute photos of 


Khloe just gets more fun everyday ....
she's what echos from my heart today........
( well most days )

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Change Invites you to the Dance~

Change, it happens and it leaves us different than we were before it occured.

My sweet friend Jane and I were speaking about change.
What really stuck with me?
At 55  I am so different than I was at 45...
boy howdy!!

It's really something to sit and think about where you were ten years ago.
What brought that change about and what actually changed?

For some it might be a move to a new location, a new circle of friends, a divorce, a marriage, a loss, a child born, the last child has moved out, a new hobby, a new career, a faith in something bigger than yourself?

Each of those mentioned bring about change rather you want it or not.

I stopped to think,  make a mental list of the last ten years....this is where consistent journaling would have come in handy :-)

I was one year in to my marriage at the start of the last ten years.
No, we weren't married in these outfits..just us a fun photo from that time :-)

We totally gutted our home, started from the drywall out  brand spanking new.
We experienced living with friends during a portion of this time
We experienced five months of living out of our garage, other than our bed that was inside the incomplete house. So much changed in me during this time...I began to see what really wasn't the house, it was who I was with....that is my home...
Please note, contractors are NEVER done when they say it will be done.

  We experienced the loss of my Mother in law, who was diagnosed and died of cancer all in a months time.
I had the best 30 days staying with this incredible woman and I wouldn't have changed a moment of it.
Two years later we would lose my Father in law who no doubt is still dancing in heaven 
with the love of his life

The  birth of the first grand child, which equated to a overflowing heart and introduced me to the second half of my life. Only to be followed by 5 more kids through the years.
Dominic and Grampy
Grandson Calib with his Aunt Jackie
Grands ~ Julia and Gavin
 Grand daughter Aubrie

Our Army man, son Joseph

Family friend and son Brian.

The joy of my youngest son's marriage, the devastation of his unwanted divorce, and seeing him through it. His ability to take charge of his life depite this change.
The ability I found to pray for her to find future happiness.

The loss of my best friend, my one of a kind Dad whom I still miss everyday.
Dad and his grandchildren :-)

The loss of a job I loved, due to our economy. 

The birth of my Great niece Ruby Lu, born two weeks after the loss of my Dad.  She brought instant joy back into many lives that weren't sure they would ever feel it again the day she was born :-)
The lesson that though one moves on we are then given a new young life to be a part of.
Ruby Lu holding her new cousin Khloe

A broken relationship with a loved one that breaks my heart everyday that passes by, time always noted that is slipping away, time never again to be recaptured.
Faith it will be resolved in God's time....

Learning how to best help my Mom adjust to a life without my Dad, when I wasn't  sure about myself...

The passing of a special friend whom I had lost contact with over the years, which has led me to reuniting with his wife, my friend, through e-mail and person!!

A new and treasured relationship with my sister I love her!
Khloe, Auntie Deanna, and Khloe's dad :-)

Two years of brief retirement with my husband and lots of fun adventures, including many beach days!

The joy of my oldest son's marriage to his wonderful wife Katie, Mommy to the latest and greatest, Khloe.
Katie and Khloe... love this photo.

Three of the grand kids and great niece Ruby await the arrival of Khloe....the new cousin!

The experience of loss, births, relocation, joy, sadness, reconnecting 
and a much larger family all in ten years time.
Something learned from each, and with each, something changed in me.

Finding a Church just down the road from us where we have made some incredible friendships,
with others who like us, are far from perfect,  and who desire to be better.

The biggest change is the growth in our faith, a better knowledge of the infallible Word of God.
 The fact that when God comes first everything, is bearable.  

What I have experienced has changed me, 
it couldn't help but change me. 
Sometimes we just reach a point where we know we have to rely on someone much bigger than ourselves and trust that everything, everything happens for a reason.

Through it all I am more at peace with this life and that which is all around me.
What matters to me now didn't matter as much ten years ago.
Ten years ago I wasn't fully aware of all I was blessed with.

Ten years ago I wasn't  aware of the major losses that were to come.  I never would have guessed I could have survived them,  let alone come out of it a stronger, calmer, happier person than I've ever been. We don't always understand when things change, and its often very difficult.

If I were to wish to change something in days gone by......I may have missed the dance I am now in.
(Thank you Garth Brooks)

Continually being refined  day to day...
Hoping to be far better of a person ten years from now than I am today.....

Blessed beyond measure and thankful for it all.

This is what echos from my heart today .....