Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Every Morning . . . . .

In sharing her feelings about the loss of her cousins a year ago my daughter Courtney sited her morning glories as a reminder of these Bible verses:
Lamentations 3:22-23
It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

I hadn't seen her morning glories yet and stopped by the other morning, they are so beautiful. So of course I had to take a picture.

David, Suzanne and Griffin come to town . . . .

David Chen and his family live in California now. Jason and he get together occasionally when Jason and Holly go out to California. I haven't seen them since they were married in Hawaii.
Jason, Holly, Jason,Jr., David and Griffin
Laura, Dan, & Anna Scales, included in this shot along with Suzanne, David's wife
Walt and David catching up

Trinity . . .

I was uploading some pictures and came upon this video of Trinity that refused to load previously. If you would like to watch it is only 52 seconds, but 52 seconds of sweetness.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ah summer returns . . . .

Jason, Holly and Jason, Jr. were at the lake today, along with Courtney and Annabelle. Katie came up for awhile also. It was a nice day. My husband Walter was off from work so we just enjoyed the day. Got some cute pics of the grandkids. While we were in Maryland we got to celebrate Tessa's birthday, here are some shots from that fun visit with my daughter Megan's family.

And the new baby, Trinity Rose with Megan.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a special time

We are back home, having spent the weekend and a couple more days in Maryland and at the Jersey shore. In Maryland we celebrated granddaughter Tessa's 2nd birthday and then traveled to Eastern Shore of Maryland to the land where the house was located where we lost Maggie and Kennedy. There many people gathered and we sang Amazing Grace, then we tossed flowers into the Miles River and planted a tree in their memories. It was a lovely, almost silent gathering but one that honored them.

Then we traveled to the beach and the immediate family gathered with a few friends and spent the day sitting together closely on the beach. Here there were more memories shared, another quiet remembrance.

That evening a close family friend, (all close friends are family aren't they?)made a Thanksgiving Dinner at her home for all of us, saying comfort food was what needed and she right. At this dinner my nephew Michael prayed a prayer that warmed our hearts, thank you Michael. My daughter Courtney shared a writing she had done, and I am going to share it here with you in hopes that it may help you in one way or another.

From Courtney:

Hi All,my dear family chock full of great people, people I love so much,

This morning, I spent time doing devotions, thinking, praying, reflecting, and I just thought it might be nice have an email chain of sharing.

Sharing how this past year has affected us, how losing Kennedy and Maggie and Christine has affected us, things we've learned, things we've yet to sort out, memories, thoughts, and so on.

Thinking of precious Joseph Matthew makes me think of celebration. We have a new life in our family worth celebrating and there's a joy there in that Bonaventura household that holds contentment, as they experience a miracle. I remember that feeling when Annabelle was born - there was an awe in this house and a love that I'd never known before. Becoming a parent has grown in me a love, a boundless love that pours out, that bubbles up, that overflows when she smiles at me standing in her exersaucer at this very moment. I fell in love with her and I fell in Adam all over again. As Uncle Matt has said in his email, "We are here but for the moment and are entitled to nothing, not even our next breath. We should enjoy all we are given for the time we are given it. It is enough." Uncle Matt, your thoughts brought to mind the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, which expresses the same thought, the same truth. We are here for a short time, and are not entitled to our next breath, and so with this day, I want to love all of you as much as I can.

I want to celebrate a brave family, a family that has loved very much this year through pain. I want to celebrate Kennedy and Maggie and Christine's lives with memories, joy, and love.

Recently, Meg, Jeff, and I (and the kids of course) were in the car, and I said that when I go, I want you to get together and do something fun - laugh, and just love each other like crazy. I know Ken and Mags would want that too.

There's still that pit inside me, there's tears that come to my eyes so fast (at this moment), and there's a hurt that's never gonna go away.

So I've learned this year to hold hands with sorrow and hope at the same time. While there is an undeniable sadness, I cannot deny the hope I know exists.

I've made an effort to do as Uncle Matt suggested in another email, to call up old friends and to embrace each other, whether its running into someone in the supermarket and taking the time to chat, or picking up the phone to call a friend even though I know I might have to get off because of Annabelle. I've learned to embrace those I meet in passing, like I wished I had the chance to do with Christine. I learned to go easier on people, while driving, when someone cuts in line in front of me, when a sales associate is rude, because I know that I don't know the day they've had or the pain in their lives.

I've learned to smile like Maggie smiled for the camera - big and wide and beautiful. She made funny faces, big smiles, wore hats, I know you know what I mean. The pictures of Maggie are full of life. That smile ran deep. So I try to smile bigger too.

I've learned to embrace the environment like Ken. I thought I did before and I did, but man, I think of Ken all day long with every yobaby yogurt container that gets recycled. It sounds trite, but truly, "be the change you want to see," whether, its in nature, or its in a relationship. Go for a hike. Sit on a rock on the lake (things i've tried). In the stillness, I've tried to become a better person for the company I encounter. Be the change you want to see, and I'd add, I've opened myself to the change God wants to do in me.

I've learned to choose joy. I love the story about Ken waking up and telling his roommate that its a great day to be alive. I can't tell you how many times I've been given that thought upon waking, and chose to go with it. And when crap creeps its way into the day, I've learned "it doesn't matter". (Thank you for that challenge Uncle Matt).

I cannot separate my faith from all of this, from all of life. I can't say that I'm not confused about some things right now or that I don't have questions, but there's a hope that won't leave me, and I know where it comes from. As God accompanies me on my journey on earth, I want Him to know I've embraced what He has given me daily, in my family, my friends, my home, my place in life, in the daisies in the backyard. I try to begin my day with time with God. I pour it all out to Him, my fears, my questions, my frustration, the things in life I just don't get, my pain, and my gratitude and my love. I'm honest with Him. Otherwise, I get bogged down under it all. I'm someone who carries emotion, burdens, worries on my back, and I have to cast my cares on Him or else, ask Adam, its not pretty. I know we all might not share the same faith, but I'm just sharing me in the hope that I will be loved for who I am, as we love Ken and Maggie for all they were, and continue to be for us. I want to love you all for all that are.

I love morning glories, one my favorite flowers. More of these blue flowers open on my fence everyday. I love them because they remind me of God's mercy, new every morning, a fresh start to the day, a new opportunity to live a little better, and love better.

All these thoughts are a mish mosh, but I guess I felt led to share. I guess I've just been thinking about Ken and Maggie, about Joseph Matthew, about Annabelle, about you all, about peace and harmony, and Eden, about Heaven, about love and life and on and on, so it goes.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Sorrow and Hope . . . .but Remembering and Celebrating . . .

Pretty much stealing that title from e-mails that other family members have written. Last year this weekend our family lost our wonderful nephew Kennedy age 20 and our beautiful niece Maggie age 18 in a terrible house fire that happened at their home. I can't really go into all the details here but it has been a year of much sadness, a whole lot of healing and hope. Many people have been here for our whole extended family and this support, the prayers of so many, and just doing what we think these two wonderful young people would want us to do, has helped us go on.

Kennedy believed in taking care of our environment and he believed each day was a great day to be alive! It was easy to "go green" with Kennedy on our minds, and many of us planted a tree in his memory. Ours is called an Autumn Blaze maple and it is planted at our lake house. I get to see it every day so he comes to mind every day also. I am much better at recycling and composting and just doing my little part to take care of the environment around me because of Kennedy.

Maggie had a zest for life and a smile that would knock you out and lift your spirits just at the sight of her. I think of her daily also because she just gave so much to me with her warmth and love. I miss them both. This weekend our family will gather, please send your prayer our way, I think we will need it.

Maggie is at the center of this picture with Kennedy at the far right.
Also pictured are sisters Bernadette and Clara, and brother Garrett.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thanks . . .

I just want to say thank you to those of you that stop by my blog. I know everyone has a busy life and I just appreciate that you peek at my pictures, read my family stuff, say a prayer for my family members. Your kind words and love is felt from wherever in the country you live. I also want to thank you for your blogs. I retired from my job about a year ago and at first I think I was a bit lonely missing my wonderful co-workers. Your blogs gave me new friends because bloggers are friendly and honest sharing the good and the not so good. I love being at the lake as much as I have been because to me it is a gift from God completely, the views, the peace and the visits from family and friends seem so much more special there. Also at the lake last summer is where blogging began, first as a lurker, then a commenter and then starting my very own blog. Your blogs give me daily inspiration with your wit, your ideas, your families, your creations! So thank you all!! God has blessed me more than I will ever know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Joseph Matthew is here . . .

A wonderful baby boy was born safely yesterday. Here is Joseph Matthew with his Mom, Dad, and two sisters. We are so thankful for this wonderful new baby.

Friday, August 8, 2008

exciting day, keeping busy . . .

My niece Molly is in labor right now, so if you can, please say a prayer for a safe delivery of her third baby. We don't know what she is having so that will be a surprise!

While we are waiting my son Patrick's girlfriend Katie has been stitching and I have been baking. Katie did a fabulous job, she hadn't sewn since 8th grade and so was a little uneasy but I think she was a natural. She did a great job picking out fabrics too, the red one is from Tina Givens, I love it, especially paired with the dotty fabric.

Yummy blueberry scones and zucchini bread! Did I say before how much I love the summer?

Katie and I found it hard to concentrate on our projects because this sweet little humming kept coming by and sitting on the little perch of the feeder, what a cutie!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

doing a little birthday sewing . . .

Tessa will be turning 2 soon, what a cutie she is. I just love her little voice, her sweet little smile and I just love seeing and chatting with her. She talks so well and is a little monkey who loves to climb, so we have to keep our eye on her. While many little girls love princesses she is taken with Tinkerbell. So I made her a little quilt with some Tinkerbell fabric that she can drag around the house. Hope she likes it!! Love you Tessa, Happy Birthday!!!

This was my first attempt at free motion quilting, a little tricky and not a perfect first try but it is just the beginning because I know I will be trying it again. I used the BSR2 setting on my Bernina and some quilting gloves, that was a big help.