Easter this year was very special for my family. My grandmother who is 87 years old, and legally blind due to macular degeneration, traveled with my Aunt R to be with our family in Texas over Easter.
When I heard she was coming, I knew I needed to go, but wondered how it could happen. As my husband and I talked it over, our son and daughter told me that they were willing to take over all the chores around the place that needed to be done so I could go. They were not able to go because of school and work, but they wanted me to be with my family for this special occasion. I appreciated both of them doing this so much, as they work and go to college, and to add any extra to the load was a lot on them, but they were willing to do it so my family could all be together for my Gram's visit.
My dear sweet grandmother with a pensive expression
as she tries her best to see what is happening around her. She can see shadows and movement,
but otherwise the world around her is a dark place. With all the love and laughter, good food, hugs and joy with all our family gathered together, our time was simply wonderful, and I know she was glad she came, as was I! I appreciated my Aunt R coming with her, and making the trip possible. What a blessed time we had!
I also got to see my precious mother-in-law who had been admitted back into ICU for the sixth time in a little over two months. First it had been sepsis, and since the sepsis episode, her blood sugars have not normalized. While I was there, we spoke to the doctors and case managers, and finally some arrangements came about for her to be transferred to an acute care facility for longer term management of her diabetes to help her sugars stabilize and hopefully return to a sense of normalcy after the acute episode of sepsis. We had a wonderful time with her, and we are so thankful for the Lord's help and care for her during this difficult time, and appreciate all the many prayers prayed on her behalf!
I have picked some of my favorite pictures from my trip and will share them with you below:
Roses abloom in my parents yard.
A sweet niece and nephew feeding the fish at my brother's pond.
My brother's pond at dusk, as a storm was settling in for the night.
Gorgeous roses abloom, oh how they make my heart sing!
I made all of my family members a bookmark with their initials on it
to use in their bibles or a book. There were 28 of them!
A trifle dish filled with a Mississippi Mud Cake made by my sister. Yum!
My sister-in-law makes the best asparagus!
A heaped-up plate full of food, an amazing meal
as we celebrated Easter and the risen Savior together.
One of the wild cats that comes to my parents' house to be fed.
She watched me carefully, not sure what my camera meant to her.
Honeysuckle in bloom...
not many blooms left thanks to all the rain,
but I found these two hanging on!
My parents' hummingbird feeders were nonstop with activity with the hummers feeding.
This beautiful cardinal was in my parents' yard feeding at dusk.
Too soon, it was time to return home. The flight home was bumpy, and when we landed, I saw why... a huge thunderstorm hit just as I got to my car.
And then... this rainbow graced the skies as I drove home, what a joyful welcome for me to see!
Upon returning home, I learned that Miss Riley had missed me very much. Too much!
I found a new pair of shoes that I had not even worn yet, destroyed.
She had also managed to find some fish fertilizer that I feed my plants with
and dumped it all over the mud room floor.
Oh the smell was awful!
Otherwise, our kids had done a great job taking care of everything, and as I checked on my chickens, they are were all well and content.
It seems Miss Riley was still quite upset with me for being gone,
and continued to find things of mine to chew on...
a sweater, another shoe, a scarf... the little rascal!
It took her a couple of days with me being home to feel secure
that I wasn't going to leave her again.
I paid a price for being gone, lol!
The next day after being home, I found a package waiting for me to open! My precious friend Debbie who blogs at She Graces Her Home held a giveaway to celebrate her blog anniversary...
and I was the lucky winner! Isn't that the most beautiful box you have ever seen? It is three dimensional, and hard to see in the picture, but the graceful beauty of the peacock is stunning!
Inside the gorgeous box were all these lovely wrapped packages...
A beautiful card, with a very precious handwritten note from Debbie, oh how I love these notes, they are so special to read, as she is ever an encourager, and shares from her heart!
Included in the box were so many wonderful things! I found a hand repair kit with cherry blossom hand cream, cuticle cream, an emery board and brush, and gloves to wear at night after the treatment... oh my! Just what these gardener hands will need!
A set of 4 heart-shaped coasters, oh they are lovely!
Dear Stephanie of The Enchanting Rose made these... oh they are so pretty!
I can't wait to have a tea party with them :)
And this room spray smells simply divine! I took it out right away to my porch where the fish smell lingered and sprayed away... it certainly helped to curb the bad smell!
Oh my, she had also included this gorgeous wooden plaque that says "Be Joyful Always". This is something Debbie shares so often in her blog, to be joyful always, and what a precious and lovely reminder this is! It is just darling! I have it sitting where I can see it during the day.
Two gorgeous towels with pink pompoms sewn on the edges, they are just the cutest!
I have a kombucha jar that sits on my countertop,
and these will be lovely to drape over my kombucha tea as it brews.
I save my nicest tea towels for this job,
because when one cooks with iron skillets, strange things happen to nice linens, lol!
So these towels will be saved to use with my kombucha :)
I didn't take a separate picture of the two heart glass jewelry boxes, but oh they are just so dainty and perfect for those special pieces of jewelry that you want to be able to see easily! She also sent me some hand sanitizer spray made with oils, and it smells divine!
All together a most lovely and amazing gift! Debbie truly blessed me abundantly with this extravagant gifting in celebration of her blog anniversary, and it came at exactly the right time, just as I had returned home, and needed a moment to sit and just relax
and enjoy the goodies she sent me.
THANK YOU my dear Debbie, from the bottom of my heart! She is such a gracious and kind lady, a precious friend, and if you haven't met her, do drop by her website to say hello... you will be blessed beyond measure by the graciousness, joy and peace she shares there!
I'm glad to be back home after such a wonderful trip,
and it has become that busy time of year when spring is here
and much work outside needs to be done.
It is time for seeds to be started in the greenhouse,
and I am busy planning and working in my garden,
getting ready for the season ahead.
While out in the yard, I got this rare picture of these two within length of each other, as usually Pepper chases poor Sal off. Sal just runs, so no fights ever ensue, for which I am thankful.
Our mud has dried up, and buds are on the trees...
tulips haven't bloomed yet, but they are working very hard on it.
I saw my first hummingbirds here this week,
and that is one sign that tells me for sure that spring is really here :)
It was quite an eventful, blessed and busy week, but I'm so thankful for all the precious memories that were made on the trip. Best of all, our family had a time of prayer together before my grandmother and aunt left, and the presence of the Lord was so sweet in the room. There were tears on our faces, because one never knows when we will gather together again on earth, but what joy it is to know that with the resurrection of our Lord we can look forward to eternity should we never meet again on earth, to be with Him. And that hope is what draws us together as a family.
It is a hope that lives on in our hearts... as we remember the victory of the cross and what it means to our lives here on earth... indeed the greatest gift of all is knowing that eternal life awaits us, and it is that hope that carries us through all of life's turmoils and difficulties.. because we know that here on earth, as wonderful as life can be... this is not our lasting hope, but our true hope is in HIM and the finished work of Calvary.
I think of spring as the season of hope, when the earth springs back to life after a long winter's cold, with the joy of new life coming forth, and my heart is thankful for the reminders all around me as I work in my yard and garden, that fleeting and fast as life may be... there is always joy in the season of hope that comes with each new spring.
Thinking about hope, a favorite verse of mine comes to mind:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
that ye may know what is the
hope of his calling,
and what the riches of the glory
of his inheritance in the saints.
May the hope of the Lord Jesus
in the riches of His glory
be made known unto you
in exceeding and glorious ways today!