Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)
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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beautiful October Day....................

I can't believe that we were on the beach on a sunny and warm day in October. We had lots to do at home this weekend but it was too nice of a day to waste doing chores. As we were watching Reina today it seemed like a good idea to go out for a drive. So off we went. First we stopped at Gallaghers Farm Market. Tristen wanted to go play, we had intended stopping anyway. I was going to get some vegetables and fruit but decided I didn't want to wait in line this time. So I went back to find the kids and look at the animals.
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The crops looked lush and beautiful. The kids had gone off to play so I went to visit the pigs. I have come to love pigs. Two were fighting, both wanted the food at the same time. The black one was frisky and was bucking and hopping with joy. I feel so sad for them. Such intelligent animals.
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There were quite a few kids there and the parents didn't seem to care that they were chasing the chickens. Poor things. I yelled at a couple of them despite their parents.
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So off we went out towards Maple City and one more stop at the park to let the yahoos out
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Then off to the beach. It was wonderful, just a few people around. It was hard to believe it was so warm for an October day.
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I walked the beach while the kids played in the sand.
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I found a few Petoskey stones and some other pretty ones. Didn't look too hard, just enjoyed the peaceful walk. We had to make an emergency stop for Tristen. Who did not need to go while we were at the park where there were bathrooms but five minuets into the woods lucky we have toilet paper at all times

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After the beach we headed for home but when we went by the Yak farm (I had taken pictures on the way past) there was a tour bus there so we stopped and went in the store
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The man there would not let the kids near the fences so they could not see the Yaks any closer. I had stopped on the way by to take pictures. One little baby was so cute and did a couple of mock charges at me.
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The man said it is a working farm and they dont encourage people getting too close. I understand that, he said there is a bull in the field. Still we didn't know that when we stopped and one of the cows came up to the fence and was very sweet. She had her name on her ear tag.
Well it was after 4pm by then so we made a stop at the Hayloft on the way home. Here they are showing off the little Yaks I bought at the store.
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The people were not as friendly as those at the Alpaca farm, not at all welcoming but they had a bus load so maybe that was shredding their nerves. None the less I bought some little toy Yaks for us. The wool is so soft.
All in all a rather nice day. Even if Tristen was loud and obnoxious. Sigh!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Death and all that ...........

Today Alexandra would be 26.

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Time sure flys, Tristen just had his 6th birthday. I still have to wonder sometimes if it really happened. It still seems like she is just away somewhere having fun. Well maybe she is.
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What is death anyway? What do we believe? What really happens when we die? Everyone has an opinion. A lot of people think its the end of things for us. That we are buried or otherwise disposed of and thats it.
Some of us have Faith. We believe that Christ came to save us from that.
So what are we? What are we as animals, we are mammals after all. Are we just flesh and blood or is there more to us than that. I suppose that is the place to begin. As a believer I subscribe to the theory (theory simply because I cant prove it) that we are made up of a soul as well as a body. Our life is in our blood, that's what the bible says and the spirit/soul is eternal. So then what does that mean? It means that when we die something must happen to seperate us from the shell we called a body that our soul was driving. The body alone would not work it needs a driver, a person to control it.
Well Jesus said that anyone who comes to Him, who believes in Him and follows Him will have everlasting life. Those who reject Him with be shown the error of their ways and then destroyed forever. I am over simplifying this of course.

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So to me, and to those who love Alex we believe she is awaiting that day when the dead in Christ will arise. For her she is already with her Lord because when we are changed it may have been a thousand years but to the person it is in an instant. In the twinkling of the eye.
I believe this with my whole heart I may or may not be wrong on a few details but basically I know she is with God and I will see her again soon. So death has no sting, We all miss her that is only natural. As we miss our parents and other lost loved ones. We wont see all of them, there is no doubt about that either but we know that God is fair, just and loving and so they would have had every opportunity to come to Him for salvation. If they willingly chose not to then God will judge them. If we are covered by Christs sacrifice then God will not see our sin. It is forgiven. I wont get into all of that we all must find our way. I trust God and I am open to His guidence.
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I believe some day there will be a new Heaven and a new earth, the former will pass away. Not a catastrophic explosion but a cleansing and renewing of the world where animals and people again live in peace. No more death, sin, saddness. Peace forever, good health and good lives. Who knows what else, maybe lots of exploration of the universe?. I know I want to live on earth with the animals. Many aspire to Heaven. I don't know about that part.
I believe that when that time comes and the dead in Christ have risen and the apocalypse is over and done then we will be reunited again. So I do not feel sadness most of the time when I think of Alex, I look forewards to the day we meet again.
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Some day Tristen will meet his mother and get to know her and will have many stories to tell her. No I don't believe she is watching over us or that she can see us. Nothing that I have read can justify that belief but I know that it comforts people to think that. I suppose it does no harm but they really should read for themselves and maybe that would give even greater comfort?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tristen is Six..................

Tristen is six. He just had his birthday party. His birthday was on the 23rd but we waited till Saturday. It was sort of fun. It was as usual mainly adults but Tristen does not yet mind. He knows he is the center of attention and so it's probably a good thing that its not a bunch of kids. We invited anyone who knows Tristen but it was the usual ones who came. His aunt Carole was missing this year, she sadly died just a short time ago. I invited Lauren this year with her baby. She is one of Debbies girls (Dans 2nd wife) the youngest. She has a baby now his name is Desmonde.
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I can't believe he is 6.
Here are a few highlights. Cooper had a grand old time, he took over the birthday hat.
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Aunt Laura came, Gabby and Cooper and Tony, Lauren and desmonde, Laura and Reina and Aunt Joyce and Granpa Dan
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We had cake and lots of food
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Desonde loved Bodi
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Cooper learned from Tristen to shoot a gun, so he is shooting Granddad
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He also gave him advice on opening the package.
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Tristen gave each of the Guests a gift of a stuffy and a book. I think that it's important to give as well as receive and he was very happy to do that. Then Reina got to present Tristen with his gifts. Grandma Tammy Nelson sent him some lovely things and he was very pleased and got to call to thank her. He also called Uncle Jason to thank him and today he got a gift from Justin and Carrie. SO the next few days he will be sending out Thank you cards. I also think that is important. He is going to learn that now he is 6

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Aunt Vicki stopped by the night before with some cleats for Tristen for when he begins Soccar next year (we hope) She also gave him a tent for his bedroom.
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He is really enjoying playing in that, he is faking sleep for the picture.Anyway the kids all had a good time and I think it all went very well. It's a lot of work but certainly worth it. Laura helped me by coming early and helping to set up. That was great, I would have been whooped for sure without some help. I made easy things but it all takes time to put together.

Summers end.....................................

It's hard to say goodbye to summer. It has been a busy one. Gerry being sick and then my Aunt coming that was the highlight of summer. The bad and the good. Days at the beach hunting for rocks became one of the best things this year as we moved on from Petoskey stones to more elusive Leland blues. I am not ready to give it up. So on Sunday I talked Gerry into taking me and Tristen to the beach at Leland. It was cool, around 70 degrees but not too windy. The water was calm and still warm. This year the water has been great, Lake Michigan is not always so conciderate. Often by now we see snow in the forecast but they say it may be mild for the next 3 months. Fine by me.
Anyway we went to Leland but not really prepared for going in the water. I should have known we would.
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I told Tristen to not get wet, how silly was that. photo 104_0013a_zps8b6rnlt2.jpg
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So in the end he stripped to his undies. No one else was there so why worry and they were not regular briefs anyway.
He had brought his little army guys to play in the sand that was the plan. Didn't work out that way. I went off looking for blue stones and Gerry took a nap (I think)
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Tristen talked to everyone who happened to go by on the beach before giving up and he discovered the fun of feeding the gulls
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I know it's not a good idea, they can be a pest but it is fun. He said the best fun ever.
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They got all our pumpkin donut holes left over from his Birthday Party. How can I forget. I have to do a post on his party don't I? That's next.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

End of September.............

This has been a beautiful September. We are working on it being the warmest ever on record. I think we may make it. So..........Laura had Monday off and so we went to the beach at Leland. One more time, in search of treasure. Well blue stones anyway.
Started off with a great breakfast
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They have great food there. I have their Panini, the special and its just great. This time Laura had French Toast and that looked yummy too, Then down to work
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The lake was calmer than it has been thus far. The water was still warm even though at around 11am it was only just 70 degrees. Laura was cold to start with but we soon got adjusted and got walking. Its great exercize really. The resistance of the water gives us a good work out. Especially the legs and butt.
So, we were looking mainly for the Leland Blue. The first time we went we were happy to find little slivers by digging into the gravel at the edge. Then we started to find nice small stones. Now we want good ones.
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The Leland blue is used for jewelry making. Is much sought after. I also enjoy the friendliness of other beach combers. We compare what we are looking for and ooh and ahh over each others finds. The best stones are almost turquoise but they come in a range of blues, greens, purples and pale green. Some black too. Its the remnants of slag from iron works that was dumped in the lake. By the time it comes up on the beaches its rolled and almost like a bead. Some is still rough though and you see what it really is
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The slag is actually glass, you can see in some of the ones with holes (air bubbles) that internally it looks like glass. I don't know how they polish those ones. I must look up a method of polishing without a tumbler. It just takes too long
We also pick up any beach glass we happen to find.
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Today I sorted out all my stones again. Put all the blues in one dish and greens in another. They are so pretty. I cant wait to go again. Not sure if we will be able to this year but sure hope so.
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Next to plan out how to use them. Not that it matters, I just love them sitting around in little crystal dishes. Whats so fascinating about rocks? I always ask myself that...........I don't know but I do find myself singing "How great thou art" a lot as I see the wonder and beauty in simple things like rocks and pebbles on a beach, the power of water and the greatbess of God