Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hail to G'ma Curtis!

Today is my mom, Judi's birthday!!! She is newly transplanted in Southern California. She'll be living her fabulous, retiree-lifestyle in Alta Loma (Ontario area). =) For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of knowing her, Mom is a Jesus-loving, grandkid-enjoying, card-playing, quilt-sewing, book/magazine-reading, cookie-baking, ever-learning machine! I know God's got great things for you there, Mommy! You are greatly missed here, though. We can't wait to see you this summer. Have a happy, happy birthday. I know Jesus is so pleased with your life.

Moving Right Along! (doog-a-doon doog-a-doon)

Tomorrow is the last day of school for our three youngest. (Bree was done last December.) WOW. This year seems like it was just a bit longer than a blink. Do you suppose there is some scientific reason that as one ages, time seems to accelerate?

Everyone is moving along the educational highway...Bree onto college or whatever adventure she chooses, Elly into her senior year, Dan leaving Ackerman and onto middle school (in our area middle school is 6th -8th) and Kristin on to 2nd grade. We will have kiddos in three schools. (maybe 4 if Bree goes to UNO or Metro!) Whew!

Sometimes I wish for a sneak peek into what is ahead. Thankfully, the Lord knows and will offer His grace for whatever we face, as long as we keep our attention on Him.

Lord, take Your rightful place in my heart, in our family! Today I see that whether circumstances cause me to realize the reality of it or not, I have NOTHING without You.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gray or Grey...what's the diff?

For the past two weeks Mom has stayed with us. It was a treat to have her here and get a 'good dose' of her before she moved to California. AND we had a wonderful visit with my sister, Marcia, aka 'Bone' and her son, (our nephew!) Justin last week. They were lots of fun. Justin was pretty sick for the first few days of his visit. We had to take him to our doc and get him an antibiotic! Hey, Jut, hope you are completely recovered now! All three of our guests flew out early Sunday morning and we are missing them. Our house is not large, but it seems big and hollow and empty!

The weather is no help...our normal high temp this time of year is in the mid-70's. Today we topped out at a chilly 52 degrees with wind and rain. Overcast and dark. Bleah.

Bree and I shopped this morning for some fabric to make some friends some blankets (one for a baby shower, one for a grad present) and we could not get anyone to help us at Walmart. We rang and rang the little help arrived. I went next door to the photo department and asked the cranky photo dude to call for assistance. He did - I think he whispered it into the p.a. system. Of course, no one but us heard the call for help, so no one came. I should have pursued someone else for help, but I just did not have the energy...

Good thing we don't have much appealing junk food (we have some yucky ice cream and some dried out cookies leftover from Bree's graduation party!) around here, or I'd be chowing.

I'm missing my mom, missing Bone and Jut and not appreciating this stinking weather. I am in a funk. I need to look to where my Help comes from: to the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Lord, please be the lifter of my head.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Wild Idea

On Monday night I decided to paint our kitchen. Bree's graduation party (a Tea Party! - please come, we'd love to have you!) is next Thursday, the 22nd and I am looking around our home with a critical eye.

I painted our kitchen some years ago to match the vinyl floor our home came with. I'd LOVE to replace that floor...but it is not tops on the priority list at the moment. Anyway, I painted the walls of the kitchen a sort of beige- kind of the color of untanned caucasian skin...not a peachy color...maybe something akin to the original color of Silly Putty. WHY? Ew. I don't think I gave a thought to whether it was a pretty color or not, or whether I actually liked the color. I just thought that since I was 'stuck' with the floor for a while, the walls should match. I am SO over that.

Also, I found these adorable rubber stamps-big ones - at Hobby Lobby (yes, the real name of a store here...) a couple of years ago that I thought would make a cute stamped border up near the ceiling of the kitchen. It was one of those projects that I regretted as I began - it did not turn out nearly as cute as it was in my mind! Darn it. I have despised it ever since. I felt like it was tacky and have felt embarassed by it. (just not embarassed enough to do anything about it.)

SO, Bree took all the art & clock & calendar (& the name plaque Miss Joanie Ogg gave me at the end of my senior year in 1980!) & other stuff off the walls and started the cleaning process while I was at work yesterday morning. (What a diligent worker she is.) After noon we moved the fridge and cleaned under and behind it. Nasty. We washed the walls and ceiling.

We bought two gallons of paint at the nearby store we affectionately call 'He Home Depot' because the light in the 'T' at the beginning of 'The' (in the sign on the front of the store) was out for a while, came home and started painting behind the fridge - always a good place to start in case something happens that you need to hide. =)

Uh-oh. Wrong color. I wanted a sagey-grey-green. I got wedding-mint green. Sigh. Back to He Home Depot. Kathy, the paint-lady, was a DOLL. She fixed it for me with just a few squirts from her magical computerized color dispenser-machine.

During this time, Bree reminded me that Elly had a play performance for her drama class at 3:30 that I was to attend (thank you, Bree...I had forgotten!) and as I was picking up Dan and Kristin from their school, I remembered that Dan was having a couple of friends over to the house after school to practice a skit for an upcoming variety show! Bree stayed home with the skit practicers and I went and watched Elly's most excellent performance as 'Sister Toomey' in "Living with Mother Superior". Way to go, Els! ("Louder, Ramona!!")

Okay, so to make a long story short (view the play, supervise skit practice, make tacos for dinner, put Kristin to bed), I actually began painting the correct color around 8:15...Bree joined me around 9:45. We finished just before 1 this morning. It looks AMAZING! We did a really good job. Behr paint is sooooo nice. One coat did the trick. (I should get compesated for this plug.) Ahhhh. As I look in at the kitchen as I come home from work today, I am so happy! (and sleepy!)

Now all we have to do is stain & install the base boards, repaint the railings on the front steps, plant the pansies and geraniums....but first a short nap.

Friday, May 9, 2008

May Knife!

Twelve years ago tonight I met a wonderful person...his name is Dan. He is the only one of our children who came ahead of his due date - one day early. THANK YOU, DAN! David and I STILL at times look at Dan and say, "Wow, we have a boy!". We had two girls first and then lost a couple of babies and thought we wouldn't have more! Surprise! Here comes little Daniel David Reno! (Kristin came a few years later...I'll tell you about that closer to June 19th.)

Dan is a lot of fun. He loves to make others laugh and he is good at it! He really loves God. He wants to know Him more. He is VERY interested in end times and what it will be like at the end of the world.

Dan loves to listen to books on cd. He has an amazing collection of Star Wars action figures. He is greatly enjoying playing Halo III these days with his dad, his sisters, his cousins, and anyone else he can get to sit down and have a go. Dan has a wonderful singing voice. He has a creative mind and a very good memory.

Sometimes Dan has a tough time sleeping. These are frustrating times for him (and sometimes for his mom and dad). He can't sleep and then he gets bummed out because he cannot sleep and then he gets a little nervous that he won't be able to sleep and....well, I think you get it. Round and round those thoughts go in his head. We have had many discussions about taking our thoughts prisoner, making them obedient to Jesus. We have talked about the fact that our minds are like airports: we cannot control what flies over, but we can control who lands on our airstrip. We have spoken at length about the faithfulness of God and how there has not been ONE night in his twelve years that Jesus has not kept His promise to grant sleep to the one He loves: Dan Reno. The discussions during these sleepless nights are so very precious to me. What an amazing seeker Dan is. His faith is great. I want to be like him.

Dan, I salute you tonight! I love being your mom. I rejoice in all God has done and can't wait to see all He will do tonight and tomorrow and next week and this summer and in the years to come. What a perfect addition to our family you are. You are a treasure! I love you. Jesus loves you a million trillion times more than me.

A Note: When Dan was quite small, we taught him his birthdate: May 9th. He could not say 'ninth'...but said 'knife'. To this day, we all love calling his birthday 'May Knife'.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

When I was in 6th grade (1973), we lived in a tiny home in Pico Rivera, California. We were surrounded by the rich culture of Mexico! I got a very valuable taste of what it is like to be a minority: I was one of two caucasians in my 6th grade class. (We had an amazing teacher, Miss Harper, whom I'll write about another time. What a woman! I am still in touch with her. She is a dear, dear lady who influences me to this day.)

Probably weekly, our family would exchange a plate of our very American, white-bread-type of cuisine (Delicious, Mom! Thank you!) for a plate from our spicy neighbors across the street: Reuben & Angela Garcia, their adorable 2 y/o son, Reuben, Jr. and Angela's adult siblings, Luis & Hilda. We went into previously unknown culinary territory for our family, sampling beef brain, beef tongue, tripe (the first and second divisions of the stomach of a ruminant, esp. oxen, sheep, or goats,, chorizo and other more common delights: tacos, burritos, beans & rice. I cannot say I enjoyed it all, but it was good to branch out.

When I met David here in Nebraska in 1983, I was stunned to hear that he did not think he liked Mexican food! I don't recall how we ended up at El Bee's restaurant (Waterloo, NE) early in our courtship, eating chimichangas....hallelujah! He DOES like it! Our favorite Mexican restaurant these days is Hector's (156 & Pacific St., Omaha) - AMAZING guacamole. And we recently tried Rivera's (122 & Blondo, Omaha), a little place run by the parents of one of the preschoolers I teach. Yum. Authentico. Delicioso!

So ends my Cinco de Mayo homage to my affectionate affiliation with Mexican culture and cuisine! Viva la Mexico!!!!! I raise my Baked Tostitos & Pace Picante Sauce (yellow lid) to you.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

You're Invited.

Listen to the invitation from Jesus to you:


You're My Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me
My love

Under My mercy
Come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you
My child

You're beautiful to Me
So beautiful to Me

I sing over you
My song of peace
Cast all your care down at My feet
Come and find your rest
in Me

I'll breathe My life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of My strength
I'll take you to My quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in Me and be made whole

You're my Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me
My love

(P.S. If you are not yet part of His Bride and desire to be, please let me know. I'd love to help you find out how to do so.)

May Day (night) Musing

It is a beautiful spring night in our heartland...I am too warm and open the window. I lie back down and listen...

The wind in our trees: a bit more than a whisper, not quite a breeze. A rabbit, lippity-loping through the river rock in the garden under our bedroom window. The uneven cadence of my sweet husband's breath as he dreams. The steady undercurrent of far-off city traffic. Our neighbor's wind chime tinkling a distant descant. Night music...

And I remember:
...when I awake, I am still with You. (Ps. 139:18)
...He who watches over you will not slumber;indeed, He who watches over Israel (me!) will neither slumber nor sleep. (Ps. 121:3,4)
He is here and I am well-cared for.