Monday, May 31, 2010

The Accidental Day

Okay, with a title such as this I may have you wondering.  I hope so, because this was no ordinary day for us!  In my book this day is going down as one that I will not forget.

Memorial Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Back in California, the city we lived in had a beautiful cemetery.  The cemetery would enlist the help of our Boy Scout troop in placing flags on the graves of soldiers on the Saturday before Memorial Day.  I absolutely loved participating.  On Memorial Day our family would always buy donuts in the morning and then head on over to the cemetery to participate in the Memorial Day service.  It was always so full of patriotism, the kind that gives a person goosebumps and brings a few tears to the eyes.  Well, with us being in Colorado now, Memorial Day found us feeling homesick.

When we woke up in the morning Mark and I decided we were going to keep our tradition of getting donuts.  The boys of course, had no problem with this.  The only problem was that donut shops in Colorado are few and far between.  It takes a long drive in the country to get to a donut shop.  Well, before we left I put on a pot of potatoes to boil while I got dressed.  I was planning on turning the stove off before leaving.  We left the house and enjoyed our nice time out when all the sudden I realized I did not ever turn off the stove.  We rushed home as fast as we could.  The drive home was agonizing.  It wasn't like we were around the corner.  Anyway, as soon as we made it back to town we looked for smoke.  We pulled up to the house and all looked well, but when we opened the front door smoke came pouring out.  Someone rushed to the stove and turned off the burner.  The bottom of the pot was glowing red!  We are blessed of God that nothing worse happened than a burned pot and smoke.

A little bit later our landlord happened to show up.  Thank God he laughed when he heard the story.  He got the swamp cooler hooked up for us which I am thankful for.  While he did that we were working on fixing the ceiling fans in the living room.  Later, after our landlord left the boys went across the street and visited with our neighbor.  He let them ride a motor scooter around the neighborhood.  They were having so much fun.  Brandon, my daredevil son, took the scooter a bit far from home.  He was going too fast, hit a patch of gravel in the road and flipped the bike and himself.  He hit his shoulder hard and his head.  Thankfully he had a helmet on.  He blacked out for a bit and when he came to he began knocking on doors to find someone to take him home.  We are blessed that someone was kind-hearted enough to give him a ride home.

Mark took Brandon to the hospital.  He had road rash and his shoulder was very swollen.  After x-rays it was discovered that he broke his collar bone.  Please pray that it will heal properly.  If not he will have to have some surgery.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Family time at 14,000 ft.

This morning Mark decided to take us all for a drive.  Breakfast at the Blue Sky Cafe was a good way to start the day.  We all had different kinds of pancakes.  Brandon had plain buttermilk, Mark had sweet potato, Eric had caramel pecan and I had blue corn with pine nuts.  All of them were yummy.  Then we headed out on I-70 toward the Eisenhower Tunnel which is just over a mile long.  Mark has been dying to see and drive through that tunnel.  On the other side of the tunnel we came to the town of Silverthorne where we got some gas and then turned around.  We went back down I-70 in the opposite direction this time going through the Johnson Tunnel (Eisenhower Tunnel's twin). These tunnels go through a part of the Continental Divide.  Amazing!  Then Mark took us up to Mt. Evans.  I had no idea what a gorgeous treat I was in for as you can see from the picture above.  I felt like we were on top of the world!

In the background of this picture are trees called Bristlecones.  They are some of the oldest trees on the planet.  By looking at this picture with those happy smiling faces you would not think we are having issues with our sons.  I think summer break is just what we need.

Here I am with my boys.  Being outdoors in such beauty really does help sooth our souls.

Brandon loves to climb.  Here he looks like he is able to touch the sky.

Here he is again on top of a snow bank at Summit Lake.  The lake is frozen.  It was 30 degrees difference in temperature from where we live in Golden.  Amazing!

Mark took this picture of me as I just absolutely loved the scenery.  The road up to Mt. Evans was narrow in spots and there was no guard rail.  It got a bit nerve wracking at times.  Yikes!

It was 45 degrees at the top and colder as the wind blew.  Mark took it all in stride.

Here is cold little me at the top.  The gusts of wind nearly blew me off the mountain.  The altitude made me a bit dizzy and I got a headache.  It was worth it though!  It was a great family day for us.  Praise God!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rough Week - Beautiful Evening

It has been a rough week here at House on the Hill.  We have been experiencing various issues with our sons.  Thursday things got ugly around here.  Disappointment and hurt feelings have been part of the package.  Even so Mark and I stood outside in the cool evening and enjoyed the beauty of a full moon.  Somehow the moon seems bigger and closer here.


Alas, this afternoon things got ugly again when I ran into one of  the boys' teachers and found out some information I was not pleased to hear.  Once the boys were home another battle ensued, but ended better than on Thursday.  On top of all this, my family back in California has not been supportive.  Thankfully, the Lord has sent a few friends to come along side me at this time, which I am very thankful for!!

Despite all that went on during the week, the Lord gave Mark and I a beautiful evening.  There are many bike paths around the area that we live.  The past two days have been like summer so the evenings have been very comfortable.  We rode our bikes along Clear Creek enjoying the beauty of the trail.  Afterward, we went to a burger joint called Smash Burger.  Mark and I shared a wedge salad, a BBQ burger and sweet potato fries.  It was so good!  And thankfully my tummy has been behaving itself so I could enjoy the meal.  Praise God!!

After dinner, we drove to another part of the long bike path along Clear Creek and we walked.  We walked toward the mountains hand in hand with water on either side of us.  We saw a number of Canadian geese with their goslings and little white tailed bunnies.

 Then we drove home as the sun was setting in the mountains.  When we arrived at House on the Hill we were treated to the full beauty of the setting sun.

I am so thankful to the Lord for our beautiful evening with my beloved.

My beloved in front of House on the Hill.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Princesses Aren't Perfect

I have been struggling lately and tonight the Lord introduced me to Sheri Rose Shepherd.  Below is a sample of her writings.

"Even if godly people fall down seven times, they always get up.  I know how hard it is to think of ourselves as royalty. Each of us know our weaknesses and imperfections all too well!  So let me take the pressure off you: No man or woman in the Bible or in Christian history, nor any believer who did something great to further God’s Kingdom, lived a perfect life. Our God can and will take whatever we have experienced or done; good or bad and use it for His glory. He is waiting to turn our failures, our difficult circumstances, our pain and whatever this
life brings into something significant that will further His Kingdom. My prayer for you to trade all the lies you believe about your selves for truth knowing you are who God says you are “His Princess” and that your Daddy in Heaven will do for you and through you all that is promised in His Word."  ~Sheri Rose Shepherd

Isn't this encouraging?  It was like a breath of fresh air to me, exactly what I needed right now.  Otherwise I am not doing anything glamorous, unless laundry and ironing could be considered glamorous.  In reality I think doing laundry is pure simplicity. I have also been clipping coupons and looking through the ads at the local markets snatching up bargains to be had.

This is the last full week of school for the boys.  I am leaving the outcome of their grades in the Lord's hands.  Monday it was very windy here so I stayed home except to take my kitty to the vet.  Tuesday I slipped away from my household duties and went out exploring.  I drove down country roads and enjoyed the beauty of spring.  I am getting better at finding my way around which gives me a boost in confidence.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Enjoying the Outdoors

Mark and Brandon left on a camping trip Friday.  Eric decided to stay home so that he can be with his girlfriend.  She will be leaving for Germany soon and he wants to spend as much time as he can with her before she leaves.  After Mark and Brandon left for camp I took Eric and his girl to Crown Hill Park.

Here they are walking hand in hand.  So sweet.  The park is so green now and new life has come to the park.

Here are some Canadian Geese with their babies.  We also saw beavers swimming around in the lake among the reeds.

Flowers were blooming throughout the park and the water reflects the sky above.  Beautiful!

There is so much water in the lake right now that some it was overflowing the banks a bit.

On Thursday evening we took a family bike ride along Clear Creek in the city of Wheat Ridge.  It was very pretty there and we had a wonderful time as a family.  Here is a picture of the trail from the web.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lilac Sachet!

I made a lilac sachet today.  One of the branches of lilacs I picked over the weekend was wilted a bit.  Realizing that the blooms were still fragrant I cut them off the branch and then put them in this little organza bag.  I also found out that there are such a thing as white lilacs and they are growing here at House on the Hill.

Today was a beautiful day.  I first drove to the post office and mailed packages.  Then I went to Tuesday Morning and browsed around.  I found kitchen towel sets, one set in Robin's Egg Blue (love that color).  Then I went home and I met my neighbors for lunch.  There were 4 of us all together.  We went downtown and ate at the Golden Hotel next to Clear Creek.  We sat on the patio and had a wonderful time chatting.  And what a beautiful setting we were in too.  The creek is full and flowing and the mountains are all clothed in green.  The sky is so blue with big puffy cotton ball clouds.  Sometimes I can hardly believe I am living in such gorgeous beauty.  Anyway, I got to hear stories about what has gone on in our neighborhood and stories of what has gone on in the house we are renting.  All I can say is "my goodness"!  ;-)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sweet Things

Lilacs in May, oh how heavenly they are!  I took an evening walk with a pair of scissors in my pocket so I could snip flowers to make a beautiful arrangement.  Spring walks are delightful.

Here is Dusty kitty smelling the lilacs.  She has never smelled lilacs before.  They are intoxicating.

Mark drove me out to Idaho Springs.  We had fun walking down Miner Street.  We popped into an antique shop and found this side table for $25.  It needs a wee bit of TLC, but in good condition.  I am thinking of painting it white.

Tomorrow I am going to lunch with some ladies in the neighborhood.  So blessed that my tummy has finally calmed down.  Still have some leftovers from the last virus I caught, but overall, feeling pretty good.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Love the Bath!

How do you feel about your bathroom?  Is it a place of escape for you?  Do your bath products make you feel like a lady?  What is your favorite scent?  Personally, the bathroom is a place of escape for me.  Yes, I admit I am a bathroom lover.  When I lived at the Little Blue Cottage we had one full bath.  Sharing a bathroom with 3 men for 14 years was a bit irritating at times.  I usually had to do some tidying up before I took my nightly oasis soak.  You probably can understand why I used to dream of having my own bathroom.  And guess what?  The Lord knew my dream too!

Here at House on the Hill we have three bathrooms!  And guess what?  I have my very own bathroom and a newly remodeled one at that!!! (pictured above)  My bathroom is next to my bedroom and is the only one in the house that has a tub/shower combo perfect for my nightly oasis soaks.  The other thing I love is bath products.  Right now I am into lavender.  A while ago we took a trip to Idaho Springs where I visited a soap shop called The Soap Shop.  This little shop has naturally handmade soaps full of moisturizers and scented with essential oils.  The soaps smell absolutely divine!  And they do not leave your skin feeling dry after bathing.

Here is a bar of lavender soap in my Shabby Chic hobnail soap dish from The Soap Shop.  Colorado has a more arid climate than I am used to so lotion is a necessity.  I like to match the scent of my lotion to the soap I am using.  The layering of scents helps me smell good longer and gives me that feminine boost I need living with three men.  Now it is your turn to share!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

California Dreaming

Lately I have been dreaming of the Pacific Ocean along the lovely California coastline.  I have also been dreaming of sitting in the sunshine at my favorite little French cafe, or shopping in my favorite stores.  I remember having lunch with my friends, working in my garden, sipping tea in my cozy dining room.  I miss being able to visit Color Me Mine and paint.  Thinking of all the things I left behind is heartbreaking, but here in Colorado I feel closer to the glory of God's creation.  I do not feel the pull of materialism so strongly here which is a good thing.  Even so, I still feel like I belong in California.

While at the ladies retreat with our church, the Lord overheard my conversation with some gals.  I told them I sometimes wonder why the Lord uprooted me.  Amazingly, the next day the Lord spoke to me through my devotional time.  There was the answer right on the page.  Here is what it said (I've embellished it a bit to make it more personal):

"Becky, I uprooted you to relocate the roots of your joy in MY grace rather than in your goods, MY mercy rather than in your money, in MY worth rather than in your wealth."

Well, that says it all doesn't it?  And that is exactly what this move has been about for me.  We are so easily attached to things, and we attach security to "things".  Jesus encourages us to store up for ourselves treasure in heaven.  He said that where our treasure resides that is where our heart will be.  Do you think that Jesus wants us to make HIM our treasure?  I think so.  The banner verse chosen for our retreat was John 15:11 which says:  "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."  Jesus is the capstone of real joy, because of Him we receive forgiveness of sin.  That is true joy isn't it?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wonderful Weekend

My Mother's Day was pretty special.  My sons cooked me an awesome breakfast.  Eric made me an omelet and Brandon baked me some banana nut muffins.  Everything was delicious!  Then we went to church where they were handing out long stem roses to mothers.  After that, Mark took me to Cold Stone where mothers got free ice cream, I had cheesecake ice cream with strawberries.  Then we were off on a drive in the mountains.  We first went to Evergreen and walked around the lake there.  Then we stopped at Lair O' the Bear Park off Highway 74 (pictured above).  In the evening Mark took me downtown (in Golden) and we ate at The Sherpa House which serves Tibetan and Indian cuisine.  I had an absolute wonderful day despite my nagging stomach pain.

On Saturday I was invited to join a Bible study group with some very special ladies from our church.  I am so blessed to be apart of their group.  After Bible study I was able to get in a bit of shopping.  In the evening we had Eric's girlfriend over for dinner.  I had an Italian dinner with my famous Panna Cotta for dessert.  We watched the movie "Bright Star" which I thought was perfect for our teen sweethearts, because in June Eric's girlfriend will be leaving to go home to Germany.  We will all miss her very much because she is such a sweet girl.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

May your day be blessed by God above, full of love!
Painting by ~ Diana Cummings

Here are some pretty things for the bathroom that I spied at Target.
The inside color of these tins are Robin's Egg Blue.

Pretty soap pump, also at Target.  Looks like beach glass.

Really love this waste tin that matches the tins above.  It is going for $9.99 at Target.

I have been resisting buying these items.  I do not know how much longer I can hold out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dreamy Evening

Both of our boys went out with friends this evening so Mark and I had time to ourselves.  Eric got picked up and then I dropped Brandon off at his friend's house.  Afterward I stopped by a Danish bakery and picked up some goodies.  A loaf of Swedish Limpa bread which we always would get when we went to Solvang in California.  And I picked out two pastries for dessert.  I then went to the market and picked up some fish, petite red potatoes and some green peas.  Mark and I fixed our Danish dinner together and then sat down to enjoy our delicious meal.  We cleaned up and then went for a glorious evening walk in our neighborhood.  We marveled at all the green on the hills, the blooming trees in white and various shades of pink, the Robins with their red breast and I even found a piece of a Robin's egg!  (So love the color of a Robin's egg.)  On our way home we befriended a small black cat and chatted with a neighbor.  Once home Mark put my tea kettle on the stove and made me a cup of tea, then we ate our pastries.  It was a romantic evening for us and I am so thankful to the Lord!!  Below are some pictures from our evening walk.

This is the neighborhood we live in and one of the streets we like walking down.

This is across the street from us.  Spring in all its glory.

Pretty pink sunset over the distant mountains.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thank You Friends!

I have been deeply touched by YOU my blog friend.  I praise God for each of you.  Your caring comments speak to me of God's love and care.  I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your prayers, your words of  care and wisdom.  THANK YOU and God bless each of you this day and every day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Retreat, etc.

I carpooled up to the retreat with three other ladies.  It was a beautiful drive up through hills of green that were dotted with elk, horses and cattle.  Then we reached the Rocky Mountains where tall snowy peaks against a clear blue sky along with pine trees and flowing creeks dazzled our eyes.  We arrived at the lodge where we were greeted by cheerful faces, a warm fire and lots of food.  After dinner we gathered in a meeting room to worship, hear a message and then we broke up into small groups.  After that it was bedtime.

The next morning we arose to bountiful breakfast.  After breakfast we were given a list of scripture verses and we had an hour of silence.  Everyone spent time by themselves seeking the Lord and meditating on the verses.  It was a very blessed hour for me.  Afterward we met for worship, a message and then we broke into small groups again.  Next was lunch and then we had free time.  I went into Estes Park with three other ladies, we had a good time walking around town and shopping.  We came back to the lodge in time for dinner and a fun night of playing games.

The next morning we rose to a hot breakfast in the lodge cafeteria, then we went back to the meeting room where we worshiped.  Many ladies stood up in the meeting and shared how much they had been blessed.  On the way home a few of us ladies had lunch together in Estes Park.  On the ride home it was snowing and we marveled at the dusting of snow on the pine trees.  I said it looked like powdered sugar.  Krista who was driving (an amazing woman - she is a baker by profession - also an artist, photographer and bongo player) said that powdered sugar is a wonderful trick to hiding flaws in cakes, etc.  I then said that reminded me of the blood of Christ, which makes us white as snow and covers all our imperfections.  Krista said she would never look at powdered sugar the same.

Unfortunately, on the drive home my tummy began to hurt really bad.  It got worse when I got home.  Monday I did not feel well, so I stayed home and rested my body and my tummy.  I am thinking more and more about having surgery.  Trying to build up the courage to call my endo doctor and schedule a date.

As for the boys, Eric got accepted by the alternative high school.  However, neither him nor Mark wants to go that route.  So we are going to a meeting about on-line schooling.  I was able to talk to some women at the retreat about homeschooling.  The school they told me about is quite a distance away.  They did tell me about the on-line schooling saying it was a good program (although not Christian).  So I think we are going to go that route and we are hoping that the boys will continue working at bringing and keeping their grades up.

I also did some reading on-line trying to get some help for my strong feelings concerning my boys and found this writing below which is by Heather Forbes:

"In order to be a sponge, the only action we need to take is to simply be present with our child (or friend, spouse, coworker). It is not up to us to make this person better. The reality is that we cannot change or fix another person. We can surround them with support; we can love them unconditionally, free of judgment or control; we can set appropriate boundaries, and we can align with their pain. Yet in doing this, it is still ultimately up to them to make their life work.

Additionally, if we enter into an interaction with a child, expecting him to be better, we are actually adding more stress to the equation, which will create more fear and hinder the healing process. We must stay focused on giving our love without expecting anything in return. That is the essential definition of love"