Storytelling – My Grandpa

Storytelling is one of my favorite things. I grew up in a storytelling family, well at least on one side. On my mother’s side, we are Italians, and it seems like Italians are top-notch for storytelling – with our hands, especially. Mom has always been a storyteller. She got it honestly from her parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents and passed it on liberally to me and my sisters. Growing up, my sisters told me so many stories of their own memories that sometimes I don’t even know which was a true story, something I experienced myself, or something completely made up. Maybe sometime I’ll share stories on here and have you guess if it was true or not.

On my father’s side, storytelling has never been a strong suit, unless it was related to Bible stories. I have never known much of my family history on that side besides what I or my mother experienced herself. I know some of the high points of my dad’s grandparents. During the war, while Henry was over fighting, my great-grandmother worked with other wives of factory-workers in the jobs they left vacant. Leona, along with the other wartime women workers, were honored for their services eventually. That is most of what I know about them. For a long time, I thought that Henry had been hit by a train (not really sure where that even came from) but actually, he died from emphysema developed from years of factory work. Leona lived to be 97, but suffered from Alzheimer’s.

My grandmother, Ann, passed away just before my husband and I started dating. He never got to meet her, but we have spent some time with my grandfather Ed. Like I said, I never heard stories from their past, not really. I think it subtly led to a disconnect between me and that side of the family because we never had those connections. I seldom ever saw them as anything younger than my parents. I seldom saw pictures of them from before they looked like grandparents. It was bizarre, but I can see now how essential storytelling is for connecting across generations. I always felt closer to my grandparents who lived a whole state away from us than the ones who lived in the same town.

Formals031

On a recent visit with my grandpa Ed, we got him talking about life before my dad came around. Life before and during the war, when everything changed for that generation. He grew up in the city and grandma grew up on a farm. He was 17 when he decided to enlist. He went downtown and had himself the biggest, fattiest meal he could and then went to the recruiter’s office. He took his shoes off to be weighed just like the rest of the guys. The recruiter squinted, told him to put his shoes back on and then said he was within weight. Hah!

Grandpa had had some training with repairing radios and whatnot with an after-school job. When he got on his first ship, the skipper said the radio wasn’t working on-board. He pointed to grandpa and said, “Your file says you have radio experience. Go fix it.” Grandpa didn’t have much of an idea what to do, but he went to look at it. Someone had attached a wrong part and he just twisted it a bit and got it to work. He said that after that, he was pretty much gold. Was promoted two ranks and got a raise!

I don’t think he ever saw combat, but he did have some crazy stories to tell about being on ship.

One night he was on deck and noticed a streak in the water coming straight for the ship. He alerted the Skipper who came over and commented that it was indeed a missile probably fired from a U-Boat. He said it would miss them. They watched it. Watched as it shot straight toward them. Watched as it passed under the ship and went off to the opposing horizon. Watched as it blew up as it came up to the surface. That would be crazy!!

He was on the ship that landed troops on Utah Beach at the invasion of Normandy.  He showed us a picture where he and the other guardsmen were walking on the beach right with their ship. The tide had gone out and left a good 100 feet behind their ship stranded on dry land. They had to wait for a few hours for the tide to come back in before they could get back to sea.  There was a great shot of him in his uniform, leg propped up in front of him and his elbow bent towards his knee. He looked sharp! And really, that picture looked JUST like my nephew currently serving in the USAF. What a neat thing!

These stories were new to me. I am hopeful that I can learn even more from him before he’s gone. I hope that I can glean more stories from my family history.

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Today is Veteran’s Day. I am so grateful for those men in my life who have served in the Armed Forces. Whether they saw combat or not, their sacrifice has determined the freedoms I have in life. If YOU have served, are serving, or have a loved one who served in the military, thank you so much!

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Midterm Election Voting Tool

This year, WordPress along with The Pew Charitable Trusts has unleashed a great tool to help you find out what you need to know for midterm elections. Just type in your address below and you will be shown your voting location along with voting resources and who will be on your ballot. That’s amazing! For my voting district, it gives me a link to the county Board of Elections website where I can look up any issues that will be on the ballot as well.

Now, that’s all well and good if you’re just looking for the names of candidates, but if you’re doing any research to decide who you will vote for, I would recommend checking out a site I’ve mentioned before:  Project Vote Smart. just type in the name of a candidate and then select the Bio, Votes, Positions, Ratings, Funding, and Speeches tabs at the top for more information. They try to be as comprehensive as possible and biased. The site provides mostly the raw data leaving you to decide what to do with it.

VoteSmart.org

As always, voting is a right under our US Constitution. It’s no good to just complain about things. If you don’t vote, even if you just vote in the Presidential elections, you are not putting your thoughts into action. Educate yourself and then go VOTE!

Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest:

via daisiesforviolet.com – How to Finish an Embroidery Hoop. This has been the bane of my existence, finding an easy way to finish a stitching framed in a hoop. I think this is probably one of the easiest I’ve found. Felt at Michaels for $.29/sheet!!

via gardeningknowhow.com – Pruning Pepper Plants

via goodhousekeeping.com – 11 Exercises You Should Never Do

via gardeningknowhow.com – Overwintering Pepper Plants – mine are all tucked into the garage for the winter. Hoping this will help me kick start a harvest when the weather turns for Spring!

via megduerksen and raisinguprubies on Instagram – LOVE anything related to the states and crafting 😀

via kitchenstewardship.com – 20 Ways to Use a Random Half Cup of Pumpkin – I hate wasting that last bit of pumpkin puree after a recipe!

via swingncocoa.blogspot.com – Covered Greenhouse Garden – My goal in life is to have a greenhouse!

via guff.com – 20 Lesser-Known Travel Destinations – yep!

Orphaned baby elephant Themba was unable to feed himself and faced certain death until Albert the sheep provided some much needed company and assurance. The six-month-old elephant was orphaned after his mother died in a fall down a cliff. The pair now spend every hour together at their home in the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

My favorite! Sleeping Beauty! (although the Once Upon a Time version of her was kind of weak…)

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

 

Fresh Friday – Quizzie Edition

So, the big thing going around the interwebs are these quizzes to find out just exactly who you are – in tv, movies, books, philosophy. Yep, you can now know exactly who you are based on just 12 easy questions.  Here are some just for kicks:

You got: Jasmine

Daring and adventurous, you are considered the daredevil or you group. You enjoy having fun, taking risks and living life to its fullest.

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What Kind of Best Friend Are You?

Their partner in crime

You and your best friend have stories for days and you’ll probably still be telling them when you’re in a nursing home together decades from now.

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Silly questions….yes! lol Um, comments are pretty silly too! Read: “I just want a list of all the books! What is the one with the question mark?” Answer: “There isn’t one…they are just using that as a filler for the pic.”  haha

You got: “The Dog” by Joseph O’Neill

Joseph O’Neill, author of the best-selling and award-winning “Netherland” returns with a comic novel set in Dubai. “The Dog” details the post-breakup life of a man who leaves New York for a fresh start in Dubai, but struggles with constant feelings of guilt. Though humorous, “The Dog” is also a profound commentary on ethics and the human condition that will make you reflect as the leaves begin to change color. Publication date: September 9, 2014

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You know Gilmore Girls is on Netflix now?!?!  I’m so excited..totally going to have a binge fest while the Huz is on second shift.

You got: Lorelai Gilmore

(But I’m probably waaaaay more Rorey than Lorelai….yep)

You march to the beat of your own drum — life is more fun that way. Your quick wit and charm draws everyone in your life towards you. You’re not too worried about being on time for events or parties; after all, the party starts when you arrive. You’re self-sufficient, passionate, and a true go-getter.

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The Ultimate Disney Quiz

AMAZING! You are a Disney scholar. (29 out of 29)

You know your Disney animated films inside and out. Now wear your Disney scholar badge with pride.

(I retook it, just because I wanted this picture for the result:)

Pretty good challenge! 😀

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This has been a question plaguing me for the last…two weeks.

Are You More Hipster Or More Basic?

You got: More Basic

You have somewhat traditional tastes, and don’t really care much about being “cool.” You enjoy being part of a close-knit group, and would rather be comfortable and relaxed than go out looking for the hip new thing.

(Oh good. Throw in a PSL and we’ve really got something!)

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Which British Prime Minister Are You?

You got: Neville Chamberlain

Sure, sometimes you’re misunderstood. But you’re a person of substance. You’re consistent, considerate, and on time. No-nonsense, all-business, and always impeccably dressed: That’s you.

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You are Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. You’re a little bit of a conundrum. You probably love to travel and see new things, but you shirk the spotlight and aren’t very comfortable around people. You’re your own harshest critic, but you’re great at solving problems, whether you know it or not. Mysterious and more than a little bit shy, you see music and art as an emotional outlet and important form of expression for the occasionally overwhelming moments in everyday life.

(Yes! Love Tchaik! He’s the closest to Prokofiev I think they could have on this quiz.)

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When you take these things, how close to you think they get? Some are totally silly, but some seem to do a good job of summing up people. If you take the ones above, what results did you get??

Fresh Friday – Thoughts Edition (Church Ceremonies)

Coming from the Protestant Christian slant of faith, there is a general distancing from ceremonies or similar terms within the church setting. Some denominations cling to them more readily than others, but it does seem like the idea of “ceremony” has, in general, become an archaic form of worship. Sure, most churches you visit across the nation will have their Baptism and Communion ceremonies, but these are like the minimum requirement.  (I’m going to buffer this with a qualification, though. There are some churches that are making a return to a more regimented, ceremonial format to worship. It’s kind of a new thing, but more of a renewal of an old thing. Dig?)

I’m not going to say that one is wrong and the other right. I think I would be ok with the minimal stated above, but there are some pretty sweet ceremonies that I have witnessed and been a part of over my life. One such is a foot-washing ceremony. That is mostly based on the text from John 13:1-20, and has a lot to do with encouraging humility among the brethren and servanthood and is often part of a commissioning service for those going on the mission field. It was sweet and beautiful and I loved every minute of it.

Another ceremony is one I mentioned, the Commissioning ceremony. This is for those going on a mission trip or into missions as a career choice. There are several aspects of this type of ceremony: typically, Laying on of Hands and Collective/Individual Prayer for the commissioned. I’ve even had my head anointed with oil. This type of ceremony has the purpose of encouraging the ones going to be brave, purposeful, and to have success on their journey. It also is to encourage those sending them out to pray while they are gone and for the hearts of those they will meet. I also really love this type of ceremony. I believe the format for this ceremony and the following is based on Act 13:1-3.

Another, which I recently witnessed and have been to a few times before, is the Ordination ceremony. The purposes of this ceremony is to ordain, order or authorize, an individual for a life-career in ministry. This can be as an elder in the church or as the actual pastor. This type of service can have many facets, but it typically involves the one chosen, a committee who did the choosing, and the congregation to act as witnesses. The committee will state why they think this person is a good candidate and, with the blessing of the congregation, they will lay on their hands in prayer.

I was so excited to find out that a dear friend, the husband of a dear friend, was being ordained this past weekend. In my own church, we had just covered the first chapter of Titus, where Paul is speaking on the qualifications of an elder in the church, so everything was pretty fresh in my mind. Here’s the list:

  • anyone who is above reproach
  • husband of one wife
  • children are believers
  • not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination
  • not arrogant, or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain
  • hospitable, lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined
  • hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, able to give instruction in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it.
    (Titus 1:6-9, ESV)

I am proud to say that this all fits my friend to a T (aside from the third point, because his kids are both under 5 yrs old). We discussed in church the meaning of the phrase “above reproach.” This doesn’t just mean that they have a good reputation, but that if anything bad is said about them, it is immediately quelled because everyone knows him to be good. That is something special to be said about anyone. It’s not that this person is perfect, but that in every part of their life, they strive to follow God’s Word and commands. The Huz and I attended another high school friend’s ordination ceremony a year or so ago. It was such a special evening. I feel so blessed to have such friends in my life.

As the ceremony was progressing, I was reminded of how important it is to continue praying for those who are ordained or commissioned for ministry. It seems that when someone is set apart like this, they immediately begin to face spiritual attack. Pray for those in spiritual leadership positions to withstand spiritual attack and keep their spirits up. They have an important task ahead of them – pray for sound wisdom and teaching. That’s a lot of responsibility and they need our support.

As someone who has been on the mission field before, I greatly valued the prayers and encouragement from friends and family back home.

Is there any ceremony in church that you particularly enjoy? It can be one mentioned above or one I missed. I’d love to hear about it!

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Titus 3:1-7, ESV

Freebie Printable: October Bible Verse Calendar

ESV Oct 04

The FINAL entry of the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of October in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.  I stuck with a very Fall-sy theme. October’s big holiday is Halloween, but to keep this month’s calendar user-friendly, I did not include anything explicitly related to the holiday. But pumpkins still are best in the Fall whether there are costumes and candy or not!

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Oct 27

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

October ESV (pdf)
October KJV (pdf)
October NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan October (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. 🙂

Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest

from OneGoodThingByJillee.com – Always looking for practical ways to reduce my keratosis pilaris. It does seem to be getting better as I get older, but the bumps are still noticeable sometimes

from ShugarySweets.com – mmmm, pumpkin, spice, biscotti, coffee…all so yumm

from MyBakingAddiction.com – chocolate and pumpkin in brownie form?! Yummm…I’m sensing a theme here

from HomemadeGinger.com – always looking for new crafty ideas. This sounds like a great cheat!

love embroidery. I have been wanting to try embroidery with ribbon too. Oh, maybe I can use it on this quilt I’m working on!

from SomethingSwanky.com – are you saying I have a problem here? Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip is totally normal in the fall 🙂

from LandscapeDesignAdvice.com – I have some fresh dirt patches that will need to be filled next Spring. Great ideas!

from TwoPeasandTheirPod.com – pumpkin again, yes. But they’re PUMPKIN DONUT HOLES!!! 🙂

I just love elephants. They are gorgeous and lovely and special.

by MeadowTea on Etsy.com – Pun intended!

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!