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Showing posts from October, 2008

The Yada Yada Book Club

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Back in October 2002, I wanted to join a book club and couldn't find one in my area and decided to start my own. I invited a bunch of ladies in the Christian community out to lunch and shared my vision of meeting together either at restaurants or homes and discussing a Christian book. Some of them thought the idea was wonderful! Our name became The Yada Yada Book Club. The Hebrew word "Yada" popped out at me during a Bible study one day and I learned that it means, "to know" God intimately. Thus, our focus was knowing God and getting to know one another. God and friendship! This month, our October meeting was a discussion of The Shack, written by William P. Young.
October of this year is a landmark for us. We’ve been gathering together now for six years and we decided that this month will be our final meeting.

I chose to post this today because I have noticed several women bloggers who have mentioned in their posts that they are looking for such a gather…

Susie & Theresa's Pumpkin Carving Party

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Carrie & Robin couldn't have chosen a better street to live on in this San Diego neighborhood. Friendly neighbors continue to knock on the front door and present cute baby gifts for the "new kid" on the block. While walking Miriam, I thanked one of the neighbors for her kindness to our family. She said: "All of us on this block want to be neighborly like in days of old when people cared for each other." They have, indeed, achieved that level of love. Regardless of your sexual orientation, your faith beliefs, or your political choice, you are accepted here. This is America at its best! Nice to see folks living agreeably with one another.

So here's Carrie, Susanna and I at the Saturday night Autumn Party enjoying getting out.

My Current Read

"Every person is worth understanding. If you only knew what was in the background of a particular person, you would lower your voice." This helps not to judge people, but understand them.

The Thorn in the Flesh, by R.T. Kendall, addresses the times in our lives when we battle things like loneliness, annoying neighbors or marriage partners, spiritual attacks of the enemy, etc. Pastoring at Westminster Chapel in London, England, for 25 years taught Kendall a special kind of wisdom. He suggests ways to mend relationships and ways to turn our negative attitudes around and see that even thorns can turn into blessings.

I packed this paperback in my suitcase before I left for San Diego and I'm glad I've had the time to read it.

Hangin Out With Susanna

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The Good Life

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Holding Susanna in my arms is magical. Her long slim fingers wrap themselves around my thumb when I feed her. As she nods off to sleep, she contorts her face into the cutest expressions from great big smiles to wrinkled-forehead frowns. Bath time is my favorite around here. We wrap her up in Terrycloth like a burrito and breathe in Johnson & Johnson's smells as we listen to her little cooing sounds. Our girls' night out times are the best! Carrie and I are cooking some delicious dinners. With Susanna in the living room with us reclining in her bouncer or held in our arms, we eat homemade cookies and watch Netflix prairie romances. It's easy to forget all the concerns of this nation with its hurting economy, housing crisis and election campaigns when I'm in this little house with light classical music in the background and I'm looking at my new granddaughter. I'm taking full advantage of this little window of opportunity where I can escape into Susanna and k…

Sunny San Diego

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It's so strange to experience Autumn in San Diego with temps in the 70's and strong sunny days, but when I daily walk with Miriam, Carrie's Australian Shepherd/beagle, I'm entertained in this neighborhood with all the fall crafts, wreaths, pumpkins that I see in various front yards. Many "Obama/Biden" signs perched on front lawns remind me I'm in a blue state. I've noticed most Obama signs, too, are erected on homesites portraying gremlins, monsters and white hairy spider webs. Scary, very scary...those Obama signs. To be balanced, I have seen "McCain/Palin" signs on about 3 lawns in an 8 block radius of my walk so there are a few of us here but clearly, we're outnumbered.


It has been wonderful to see my new granddaughter in person and to hold her, kiss her and snuggle with her. Susanna is a delight. Much smaller in person than her pictures, I marvel at her dainty features and long limbs! Carrie is a terrific mom and our days are filled w…

Talking Straight

While sitting at Sky Harbor waiting for my plane this morning, I thought about the presidential debate last night. It's going to sound crazy, but I kept thinking about McCain's bus, The Straight Talk Express. The focus of the campaign slogan is to cut all the fancy jibberish and get to the point. Then I got a bright idea. I need to apply this concept to my prayer life. I need to do more straight talk with God. I need to get to point and tell Him just how I feel about everything that concerns me. With still a half hour wait for the plane, I reached into my purse for my latest issue of David Wilkerson's newsletter. In a nutshell, Wilkerson gives some uplifting tips to his down-hearted readers who are feeling the pinch of this economic downward spiral. The first tip is to pray instead of panic. You'll feel a lot better when you talk to God about it. My thoughts exactly..straight talk. The second tip was love people unconditionally. Wilkerson reminded me how holding on to …

From One Pumpkin to Another

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A woman was asked by her coworker, "what is it like to be a Christian?" The coworker replied, "it is like being a pumpkin." God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.

Passing the Baton

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It was neat to talk to my Mom on the phone today. You just want your Mom around at significant times like this and 1800 miles away doesn’t seem distant at all. Her name is not Ginger but that’s what we call her because she always loved that name and at 93, you can certainly be called what you want to be called. I enjoyed her laugh when she heard what a good baby Susanna is and how proud we are of Carrie in her new role. Mom is precious. My precious daughter gave birth to her precious daughter this week. And motherhood goes on.

Susanna's First Day

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It's a Girl!

I just got off the phone with my daughter and son-in-love and am proud to announce that today at 3:30 p.m. Carrie gave birth to Susanna Jane, weighing in at 8 lbs. 5 oz. and she is 20.5 inches long. We are thrilled! Tom and I are so proud of Carrie and Robin for hanging in there and enduring the long painful labor over the last few days. We thank them for giving us our first grandbaby and we speak blessings over their little family. May God continue to pour wisdom into this little one and may baby Susanna follow after Him all the days of her life. We are grateful for all the prayer and support from our family and friends over the past months and weeks. Carrie sounded very tired, but oh so relieved! Robin leaves Wednsday, but Amy arrived safely in California just 20 minutes before the birth and is enjoying holding her new neice. Amy looks forward to helping with the new baby. Robin took a ton of pictures and I'll post her photo as soon as he sends me one! Over the weeken…

In Memory of Bernice

A new blogger, I’m catching on to this business of blogging. It’s been fun to peruse the other blog sites and I think to myself, when I know what they know, my blog will also have the bells & whistles. One gal shared that keeping up her blog is a great way to stay in touch with her scattered family members. I think, too, it’s a great way to meet new friends. I named my blog Pile of Smiles and today I want to dedicate it to my Aunty Bea. She loved smiles and collected smiley faces on buttons, plates, etc. She thought it was important to remain cheerful even in the midst of unhappy situations like marital problems or illness. She died in the 80’s, and I miss her. Her upbeat personality made it a pleasure to be around her. Once, I invited her to a Halloween party and her costume was a smiley face! Being a people-person, her goal in life was loving other people and making them comfortable. Others first is a good thing for which to strive. Aunty Bea, this blog’s for you!

Veep Debate

Sarah Palin showed confidence in the debate last night. I salute her passion for energy issues and her servant’s heart to want to serve the people of America. She was right to challenge us in this nation to live responsibly within our means and stop all the borrowing if we can’t afford to spend. I took note of the way she set boundaries by explaining to the moderator the way she will answer the questions! Sarah Barracuda, you go girl. I thought Joe Biden did well because he was not condescending when she attacked Obama’s big spending programs or brought up his recent gaffes. I’ve got a background in Sales and Joe is a “salesman”. But I’m a Sarah supporter. I was given a bumper sticker for my car by the local Republican headquarters in town. I’m enjoying the waves and thumbs up as I drive around town. I can’t vote any other way because I’m a Christian. McCain/Palin share my world view. The other ticket prefers choice for women and all those millions of abortions do not seem…

Celebrating Amy

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We have a reason to party in October because it is the birthday month of our oldest daughter, Amy. She is a joy to behold. She is outgoing, great sense of humor, sensitive, smart, hard working and a loving daughter, loving sister and loving wife to her Mark. Last weekend we made a special lunch for Amy and Mark with homemade apple pie for dessert using the fresh apples from our prolific apple tree. It was fun to watch Amy enjoy her presents. One, in particular, moved her deeply. It was a scrapbook that I assembled during my days in waiting for her to be born. She laughed at some of the jokes I included, enjoyed the heartfelt stories about babies, and marveled at every congratulatory card I saved. I saw her cry when she read the pages of love letters I scripted to her while still in my womb. I’ll never forget the words of my pastor’s wife to me during a difficult trial in my life. She held Amy, a preschooler then, on her lap and encouraged me with these words: “See this little one? She…

Becoming a Woman of Purpose

My current Bible Study these days is Becoming a Woman of Purpose, by Cynthia Heald. It’s a journey of faith-filled scriptures about loving God and others, waiting on Him with hope, trusting Him when I’m suffering and serving Him with a reverent fear and ultimately, fulfilling His purposes. You would think my favorite chapter would have been the one on embracing suffering and glorifying God in my pain. We Melancholies thrive on emotional adversity because we know first hand it leads to our profit and God’s glory unlike the Sanguine who knows how to lead us to joy and laughter, or the Choleric who teaches us how to work hard or the Phlegmatic who never gets riled and remains peaceful. But no, my favorite chapter so far has been the one on waiting on God. The author cites Psalms to review that remind me of my own turbulent emotions when I can’t control a situation and how God steadies me. She teaches about the promises in God’s word in Genesis that foretell that one day Abraham and…