Just a quick shout out to Shutterfly and tiny prints. I like their photo books and gift tags for Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s and Easter. The design layout makes the personalization easy to do. Now I need to figure out the gifts they are going on, but at least it is a start. Here is a link: http://www.shutterfly.com/?cid=CB-TP-headersfly
Each child of God, and we are all His children, has a story and part of my own story was intermingled with my childhood friend Denise Ann. We played together, laughed together and fought like siblings. Mostly, she shared her parents with me, without jealousy, and in the deepest sense of love. She joined our Lord and Savior this December. I’ve been thinking of some of the times we shared as children and wanted to share a few.
Summers in Junction
Before Fredericksburg was anything and a family with a motor home was a big deal, we would head out for the deer lease in the Winnebago loaded with good eats, some adults and a bunch of kids. As we rolled along the highway, we played dominoes, black jack and pitch with nickels and dimes. Denise’s brother would aggravate us and we would antagonize him by ganging up to tattle or trick him into losing in a card game. We were about seven or eight, but Denise seemed so much more mature than me and took on the role of big sister.
There was a natural spring on the land in Junction that bubbled into a cool pool for swimming. The water was clear and soothing and out in the middle was an ancient boulder where the water was so deep the bottom was no where to be seen. Somehow we made it over and stood like Jane of the jungle on the top of the rock. I would never jump off into the wild blue yonder on my own and had no plans of doing so that day. Denise thought otherwise. She pushed me off and I swam for dear life to get to the shallow part. I was furious as she laughed when I asked her what she would have done if I had drowned. Quite calmly, and completely in charge, she replied in her matter of fact tone, ” I would have saved you.” So she would have and did many times after. I became a strong swimmer that summer. We had many summers in water there, on the Brazos, at the SPJST pool and other places I can’t recall the names of and we always stuck together. I hope Denise swims in a pool of crisp cool water again with the heavens beaming around her.
From the dune buggy, tractor, four wheeler and her first pick up, we ran the pasture and the river fearlessly. It was a child’s paradise on the weekend and holidays and I loved being included on those trips. We attended our first dance at Silver Wings with her older cousins and aunts. We hounded the sand barges of the Brazos with her cousins and uncles. There were picnics, card games, church bazaars, fishing and cooking, family and friends who popped in to visit at the house on the hill. It was the best of times with sweet memories ingrained in me of simpler days.
Denise’s Polish grandma, called Busia and pronounced Busha, had tiny chickens with tiny eggs that we collected. Busia’s house was down the hill from the weekend house and we visited every time to collect those eggs and see what was cooking in her kitchen. She was my first memory of a real grandma and I loved her country house especially the kitchen where she rolled out and cut wide egg noodles on her table. I can still see her in my mind with her rolling-pin stooped over the table. The kitchen smelled amazing and the soup that she served with those egg noodles compare to nothing I have had since. Busia made more than just good food. She crocheted adorable poodles around Ivory soap for Denise and then me. The last time we were there, we hung freshly starched curtains in that kitchen. I hope Denise is in her grandma’s heavenly kitchen enjoying those egg noodles looking out the window at emerald green pastures.
Only a daddy’s girl could talk her father into buying a white horse with blue eyes. Denise did just that and that crazy white horse was named “Spook”. We rode him in a fenced pasture and her daddy never let us out of his sight. Then there was the sparkly red bass boat named, “My Dee Dee”, Denise’s nickname from her daddy. We spent summers on Houston County Lake while he drove “My Dee Dee”, circling and circling so that everyone could have a turn at trying to ski. We night fished for crappie on Somerville and he never complained about prissy little girls being in the way. He kept all the gadgets and motors running on the various mechanical toys. He watched over us when things were a little dangerous never mentioning it to a doting mom. He gave us our freedom and taught us how to read the directions before assembly. One simple rule that could be applied to most things in life. Denise had his common sense and mechanical ability. Both would come in handy when we got into trouble or helped someone else out of a jam like the times she would tell me to get out and lock the hub so we could use her four-wheel drive pick up to pull someone out of a ditch. Denise was a daddy’s girl. Only a little girl, confident in her daddy’s love, could share him with me on my wedding day when he walked me down the aisle and gave me away. I hope Denise is in the presence of God knowing the same, yet greater love, of her Heavenly Father.
Waking up to a warm wash cloth was such a loving and novel thing to me when I was with Denise. Her momma did that everyday of Denise’s childhood with love and tenderness to wake her children and I was privileged to be included. She chaperoned, baked, cleaned, washed, ironed, decorated, volunteered, chauffeured, waited up nights and prayed. There was always a carload of extra kids to take to school and snacks for too many after school. She is my best memory of a mom and I would pull those memories from childhood many times when I was able to stay at home with my children. Denise never minded sharing her mother or it never showed. Her momma could love more than just her own, and Denise loved others in the same way, pulling friends into her inner circle even just for a meal when they most needed a mother’s love. Both mother and daughter took the simple art of homemaking and cooking and provided a ministry of comfort and fellowship to others. Over the years, there have been wedding cakes, cookies, roasts, barbeques, salsa and the most amazing homegrown pickles. I hope Denise is cooking a feast in Heaven for all of her loved ones already there and she can hear all of her momma’s prayers while she works.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
To believe in everlasting life is to worship God Himself. It is the promise to be reunited with our loved ones. It is part of our faith, written in His Word, and the longing of believers to be in Heaven. Those of us left behind must remain here holding on to this promise ourselves, working out our faith, and finishing a good race and overcoming this world to enter into His presence. This is a free gift offered to us through Jesus Christ with no string, no requirement other than to believe. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6. I know Denise knows Jesus who is Our Hope.
Hobby Lobby Founder-May Close ALL Stores
The wisdom that comes from above is, first, pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruit…s, without uncertainty or insincerity. James 3:17
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word.
From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.
We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and He has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.
But now, our government threatens to change all of that.
A new government healthcare mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one.
If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.
Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our govern-ment threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our
government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true.
The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.
My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American and no American business should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.Since you will not see this in the liberal media, please pass this on to all your contacts.
Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
The “Roaring Twenties” was the decade after World War I that was prosperous and decadent. The automobile, telephone, motion picture and electricity was spurning growth and a new outlook on life. A new era was dawning for Jazz music, sleek modern designs were emerging in art and fashion, and people had more money to spend on leisure. The two towns of Chappell Hill and Brenham wanted to keep up with the large metropolitan cities of the era. It was decided that a country club would best serve all of the cultural and social needs of the community. An architect was procured and a timeless structure was conceived and birthed on the hills of Chappell Hill in the heart of the county.
In 1929, the stock market crash sent the whole country reeling into a depression so deep and wide that it changed a generation forever. The country club members were unable to meet the annual payment and the country club went into private ownership. In the decade of the eighties, a new family took ownership and wanted to share the property as a venue for special events. The same family, with the next generation, is in the process of updating the grounds and bringing back the ambience, decadence and splendor of the era that inspired the story of The Great Gatsby. The only difference is we are in Texas. Texans have a certain style in bringing together culture and sophistication in a laid back atmosphere on top of a hill with a breeze blowing, a cocktail in hand, music in the background, and gourmet food served on the grounds.
The Citadel, as the first country club of Washington County, still stands today and extends an invitation for their inaugural event of the season. Please join the celebration for a unique culinary experience as Chef Jesse Griffiths prepares a gourmet five course dinner on the grounds. The home grown foods will be provided by local farmers, within a guaranteed fifty mile radius, making Fifty Miles to Harvest stand out as a true culinary experience. Live music, local wine, folk artists will provide for a cultured and memorable evening. For information go to www.TheCitadelTexas.com.
You will be able to see the progress and join in the first event of a new generation. I am excited to be a part of the design team from Hermann’s of Brenham to help. Come watch as The Citadel experiences another revival.
Imagine rolling hills and green pastures with a few barns interspersed throughout the fields. Next, think of those fields being filled with people, antiques, tents, trailers and oddities from all over the country. That is Round Top in an extremely brief nutshell of a description. To kick things off a local antique shop right outside of Brenham off of Highway 290 on the way to or from Round Top is having a special sale and promising it to be…
3900 Hwy 290 West
Brenham, Texas 77833
It is rare for me to be home on a Saturday by myself. The sons are at the TAMU game and the husband travels and is never home anyway. Himself, the hubby, has called multiple times to check on me. I wonder what he thinks I’ve been doing all these years while he travels and I’ve been home for days on end with two little boys. After all, I can sit around and eat bon bons with or without the kids. (Sarcasm aside, we made that decision years ago so that I would be able to stay home and home school our children. I consider it a gift and am very grateful to my husband for making it possible.)
Having a blank canvas for the day was very appealing. Well, not really blank. I had a few business things to take care of, bills to pay and a sinus headache which is usual anyway. I wake up before daylight on most days. I don’t know why. I just do. This morning, after the sunrise and a light shower, I found this around the front of the house.
Around noon I was contemplating lunch and realized my choices were not limited to all things manly; such as: the usual, steak or sausage, taco or burritos, burgers or pizza. It slowly dawned on me that I didn’t not have to cook a large “stick to your ribs” meal that would be devoured in ten minutes and two hours later the ominous, “What’s for supper?” would waft through the house. It was delightful to know that it could be chicken salad and fruit without any complaints and dramatic, “I have to turn in my man card now!”
After lunch I packaged my handmade pumpkin soap. There are two colors, orange and white, both are goat’s milk with cinnamon spice fragrance. These will be in my antique booth at Hermann’s Downtown Brenham.
The day is winding down, but I saw a rainbow, ate a simple lunch, finished my soap, groomed the dog, talked to a friend, designed a card, and these came in the mail…
So it is Saturday and I just might be able to embrace this soon to be empty nest.