Me and my grandson, just this morning. (Sorry for the flash, but it is a rainy day here...no natural light to speak of.)
I am one of those grandmommies with the rare privilege of living with her grandson. My daughter and her husband, after being married a year, moved back in with us, so that Justin could complete his internship and Master's degree without having to work a third job. They will be here until he starts teaching Advanced Math full time in the fall.
It's all very joyful, very homey, very "Walton-esque", to be honest with you. You know - all the generations together, under one roof. The way things were when times were simpler and more difficult in some ways, but better in all ways that matter. The days of our grandparents, that greatest generation. Tim and I are almost embarrassed to convey how delightful it is, to play board games in the evening (when we aren't rushing out to youngest son's basketball game), how sweet it is to feed our grandson his bottle once in awhile during the day, and to say goodnight to five dear and near souls every night - each other, our youngest son, our daughter and her husband, and Little Britches.
Every morning, my ritual includes cuddling my teacup poodle, Rambo. Tim usually brings me my coffee about that time. Then, when I hear my grandson stirring, I go and just look at him in his crib. Marveling.
Only this morning, I scooped him up and snapped our picture.
What can I say? It rocks to be me. Four children who know God, two sons-in-love who are Godly and gifted, and now an adorable grandson....who lives with me for now. God has been mindful of me, and has blessed and increased me. My job is to enjoy it.
~Linking to "The Sunday Creative", at the delightful blog of MadelineBea.
Here is our Gabbi, in all her glory, on her very first Sunday at church~
The proud pappa and his Gabbi Grace!
Oh, and by the way. The whole "fruit of the womb is a reward" thing? As a church, we were expecting four...then five, when Meredith discovered she is pregnant for the first time. And now? SIX. Sweet Lisa and BJ are expecting their first.
SIX babies. In one mini-mega church. Wonder what God thinks about us?
I'd like to introduce you to our new Chinese friend, Jimmy. I believe he is weeks, if not days, from being radically saved. He came to Harvest Church for the first time today, and we went to the restaurant where he works (Ichiban) after church. Jimmy came to our table and talked at length with Tim and I, and our friends Scott and Cyndy.
Here's where it gets absolutely exciting. Jimmy came to church this morning because a Chinese friend of his, Eric, came to Christ at my church two weeks ago. Our dear friend Jeff Kear led Eric to Christ, after he and his wife Maria spent months of going to Ichiban to eat, had many conversations, and several conversational English speaking sessions with Eric and his wife in their own home.
So Eric brought Jimmy to church today. Later, at the restaurant, Jimmy told us (and this is the condensed version), "I came to church, I look for life, I feel life. I look for love, I feel love. So much love. I think to myself, 'There is only one more thing - laughter. I want laughter' and next come laughter. When singing start, I feel God, my heart beat faster. I will come back. I am very close to contacting Jesus Christ. I will bring my wife and daughters to Harvest, but first my wife is flying back home for ceremony. She is Hindu, and when I married her 8 years ago, her father did not have the Hindu ceremony that releases her to my responsibility. He now agree to have ceremony, my wife is flying home in a short time for ceremony. I not feel right bringing her to Harvest to hear Christians until her father release her to me. Then I bring her."
Yeah. I looked at Tim, he looked at me. We could read each other's minds: "It is Harvest Time, baby."
His Hindu wife, soon to be coming to our church. I had to be careful not to allow my very effusive (and very Western culture) personality reveal my complete delight at the idea of this whole family coming to Christ Jesus. I just calmly nodded my head and said, "Many Christians also believe that the father needs to release his daughter into the care of her husband, too. We often include that as part of the wedding ceremony."
He seemed to find that very interesting.
I couldn't help but smile when he said he came to church looking for laughter. Jimmy has a sharp wit - he is hilariously Chinese. How brilliant, that he looked for three distinct experiences: life, love, and laughter. He called it, "three L's." He said he wondered if he'd find laughter, and then, "It happened. Lots of laughing."
I felt better, because I had cut up quite a bit when I made the announcements that morning.
I can't help it. But this time....God used my shtick as an evangelism tool. I feel so vindicated!
The food at Ichiban was....wow. Amazing. Art on a plate. Look at the sushi~
After Jimmy offered us three different desserts, all on the house, I have felt no need to eat the rest of the day.
I'm so proud of my friends Jeff and Maria. So thrilled about the way they love to include the whole body of Christ in their evangelism and relationship building efforts.
Oh. One last thing Jimmy said. He said, "Many yellows are searching for God. Many, many."
(He calls Asians "yellows".) Again, Tim and I glanced at each other, caught off guard, sort of startled...
...like how you'd feel if you were out fishing, and five big mouth bass jumped in your boat before you could even put your hook in the water.
We surprised him with a "Welcome Home" gathering at the church...
Look closely...can you see the love and respect on those faces? This young man is greatly esteemed, and much loved by all in Harvest Church...
And by one Timothy Paul. (This was shot the next morning, at my house...) We all believe that Timothy will go on a "big trip" with his tall uncle-buddy Jono one day.
To stave off the melancholy, I've been sewing my little heart out this morning.
After pricing covers for my netbook, I concluded they are all ugly, and overpriced. I mean, who wants a hot pink "neoprene" bit of hideousness to house their prized netbook? Not this would-be designer. And I don't want the black leather zipper case for it for every day. I only need that when I am traveling via plane...not very often.
The beauty of a netbook is its delightful and utter portability. Coming in at a very slim and small , oh about 7 inches by about 10 inches, the exact dimensions of an i-pad, if not a bit smaller, I can easily slide it into my purse. Thus, the need for a soft cover.
The least expensive thing I found was a cover for an i-pad. Ugly. $9.99. I knew I could do better, so I went to the fabric store and purchased some nice charcoal gray felt. For about $2 worth of felt,and some scrap ribbon and trim I already had, I came up with this:
and here she is, at home on my bedside dresser:
"What's a snood", you ask? Here is the wikipedia definition:
A snood is historically a type of European female headgear, or in modern times a tubular neck scarf.
Silly man. I had to show him...
Isn't this thing gorgeous? For those of you who don't know (new visitors, which I love getting!) my daughter Hannah and her husband Justin moved in with us last May, so that Justin could finish his internship and Master's degree without having to take a third job. Then, surprise! Hannah became pregnant, much to everyone's utter delight. My precious grandson was born December 14th, and came home with mommy and daddy to my house.
It became evident that we needed a gorgeous zinc bottle rack. Ahem. I get to see this, every morning when I wake up and shuffle into the kitchen for my coffee...
(Please excuse the knob-less cabinets. I still haven't picked out which knobs I want...)
I love this rack, next to the farmhouse style sink with its unique faucet, and those dish cloths I made. Beautiful. That is my opinion, feel free to make it yours. It is supposed to be much taller, but Jonathan managed to get it into two pieces for me, and you will love what I've done with the top half...
This just makes me so ridiculously happy. Right now it is on my bedside dresser. It will go into my office someday (after Justin, Hannah, and baby get their own house) and will be filled with spools of colorful thread and ribbon.
On another note, Hannah began crocheting a large baby blanket, as soon as she discovered she was pregnant. But she worked full time, right up until the time she had the baby, so she didn't have a lot of time to work on the blanket.
Now that she's been on maternity leave, she has been lovingly stitching during naptimes and while the whole family watches 24 on TV. She finally finished it yesterday, and it is gorgeous...
You can find this gem at Amazon.com and your Christian bookstore.
Here is what happened....momma fell.
I know, right? Just reading those words probably makes your heart skip a beat, even if you don't know the Baileys.
Kelly was almost 9 months pregnant, and was planning an all natural, midwife-assisted delivery at our local birthing center. She had a perfect pregnancy, looked beautiful all the time, stayed remarkably fit and healthy. As the Braxton-Hicks contractions were setting in, as she would have pre labor every now and then, she was progressing beautifully, and was 3+ centimeters dialated all on her own. We all have been waiting, knowing that she'd go into "THE" labor at any moment. Harvest Church prayed over her today that Jeremiah would come quickly.
Then, after church, she had a bad fall at the grocery store. She went to the hospital to be checked out. The baby's vital signs were okay, but Kelly had fallen hard enough, badly enough, that the doctors did not want to risk anything, and they began preparing her for a C-section immediately.
Though we are all disappointed that this wasn't the birth experience Kelly was hoping for, we are all deeply rejoicing that our wee little weeping prophet is here.
And now, without further ado, I present to you Mr. Jeremiah Bailey:
There he is, softly crying in his grandmommy's arms. He has the sweetest, most poignant cry. Poor little man, he has had a very hard day.
Here is the proud pappa, Matt Bailey, our church's youth pastor, moments after delivery...
I think he is still wrapping his mind around the fact that the wait is over, and Jeremiah is, in fact, here!
Thank you, Lord, for a healthy Bailey baby!
That takes more work than most people realize, more work than most people are willing to put into something they don't get paid to do. I don't care that I do this for free, because I enjoy excellence, I like doing my very best for you. I want this blog to be a source of encouragement, inspiration, a laugh, maybe just a smile, and a source of good - no, great - information. I am constantly on the lookout, on your behalf, for "the best of the best" of what is available online. By the time something makes it to my blog, it is the cream that has risen to the top.
In keeping with all the above, I have a couple of things to share with you. I absolutely love the website Houzz. If you have never visited yet, go now. (Go ahead...I'll wait for you...)
You'll spend a very long time looking through some really inspiring designs, if you are anything like me.
I've just discovered another "love" - a brand new site. I think it is open to the general public now. I had to have an invitation when I joined, I'm not sure if that has changed, but it isn't hard to get one. It is called Pinterest. On Pinterest, you can create your own virtual inspiration boards, much like you might have created various idea books in Houzz. (I have about six idea books going in Houzz at the moment...) I have long been looking for one place I could tuck away all the beautiful images I come across that are worth saving. Pinterest does it! It is entirely too much fun - check it out, I think you will enjoy it immensely.
Lastly, please allow me to leave you with a few of what I always call "Random Acts of Beauty"...these random acts are just me, tossing bits of beauty into the blogosphere. Just me, sowing beauty, loving beauty, sharing beauty.
I think this is quite simply the perfectly imperfect hairstyle. So wabi sabi. (Google it.) It would work for any age. Timeless. Imperfect. Perfect. Lovely. Feminine.
Wood counters are big...going into some very high end expensive kitchens. You cannot match the warmth of wood...the unpretentious beauty.
(Just kidding...I know everyone believes me. I simply adore milking something for all it is worth, and this occasion is worth a lot!)
Okay, okay. So I could have taken a picture of someone else's award letter. Here is the proof-to-beat-all-provings:
See the name? "Justin McConnell".
Can I tell you? Yes, he worked very hard. Yes, he studied. But he will be the first to tell you....it was the grace of God. Justin has a revelation of grace that lets him live life at an unfair advantage. Justin believes that God is pleased with Christ, and Justin trusts in Christ alone for his sufficiency in all things, and so Justin gets divine favor over all his endeavors.
And yet, though his considerable intellect and sturdy work ethic is a gift from God, we all still get to say, "Justin we are so proud of YOU!"
I told you that grace men and grace women out-perform the legalist-performers!
God's grace works that way. Amazing!
It was a cold, wintery day...his mommy got him all bundled up. I couldn't resist taking a picture of such a momentous occasion, and then sharing it with you!
When they got back, Little Britches told his Mimi all about it.
He had big fun.
Charleston, we will be back to see you again...soon.