Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Time With Toni,.... A Special Friend

Today for Wednesdays Walk Down Memory Lane I am sharing some memories of times spent with my special friend Toni and her husband Max, who used to live here in town, but moved to Arizona 20 years ago. We have all been friends for 30 years. Toni is in town right now visiting and we got to spend some time together on Tuesday.

So I am sharing some pictures and memories from the past and a story of our day out together on Tuesday. If you would like to join in today's memory walk just click on the button below.

Link Up and share your story


John and I and Max and Toni on vacation in Branson Missouri

This is the resort we stayed at. When we came back from dinner and a show our building was on fire at the top of this cupola. We were on the ground floor but they wouldn't let us back into our rooms until the wee hours of the morning when they were sure it was safe.

Toni and I standing in front of a picture of Lawrence Welk
Max and Toni,... we were at Lamberts, (the house of "throwed rolls")
Toni and I inside our condo

Toni and I when we got to meet the Lennon Sisters
Morning coffee together before a day of play!

Larry Gatlin, and the Gatlin Brothers, and the Lennon Sisters on stage in Branson

On Tuesday I spent the day with my special friend Toni. She used to live here in our town, but 20 years ago she moved away to Arizona. Over the years she has come back this way many times to visit her sister, and brother-in-law who still live in our town, and also her mom, before she passed away. This has made it possible for us to keep our friendship going and growing throughout the years, because we always have kept in touch.

We have gone to Arizona a couple of times to stay with them and we even got to go to Sedona for a few days, and it was so beautiful there. We go in the winter time when it is freezing cold here and they are having 70 and 80 degree days there! It is a nice change from the ice storms of Kansas.

Special friendships take cultivation and care. Toni is a very caring person and before the days of email she would call me, send cards, and lettters too, to let me know what was going on with her, and her husband, and their two daughters. And I would do the same. And, since our family has been friends since 1979 she feels more like an aunt to my kids, and me to hers. Our husbands are buddies too, so this makes it nice.

When we first met each other, our husbands both worked for the same company, and we would all go to company parties and socials together. We shared dinners at each other's homes and often played dominos, board games, and cards together.

We have shared special times like our daughter's weddings, and shared excitement over grandbabies. There is quite a difference there though, since I have been a grandma for 18 years, and I have had 14 grandkids, and she just became a grandma for the first time about a year and a half ago. Now she knows why I thought being a grandma was so wonderful all of these years, because she now has a little guy that is the light of her life! He calls her Tutu, isn't that cute?

Over lunch she showed me some new pictures of her "little man", and he is really growing up since I saw him last. Babies sure don't stay babies very long do they? There was one picture of Tutu reading him a book, and it was so sweet. It brought back memories of all the special moments like that when I have read to my grandkids. Like I said, my oldest grandson is 18 now, so it has been a long time since I have read a book to him! (:>) But he used to have a favorite book at grandma's house that I would read over and over again.

After lunch we drove around town so Toni could see how things are changing in her home town. Then we went through some model homes. (I love to look in model homes!) Toni and her husband want to move back here one day if they can talk their kids into moving out here too, so I thought it might be fun to just show her what kinds of houses they are building in our area now.

After the house tour we went to a movie. It was fun just to be there with my special friend. Girlfriends who feel like sisters,...that's what we are. ((smile))

We two couples take vacations together. We have been to Branson, Missouri a couple of times, and we like to go to the music shows. One year at Christmas time we went to see Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers who were doing a show with the Lennon Sisters. After the show we got to meet the Lennon sisters and we got their autographs. This was a special treat for us girls because we grew up watching Lawrence Welk and they were on his show. A lot of younger people wouldn't know who they are, but us old gals were excited!

Last fall we went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee together for about a week and we saw some good music shows, and a lot of beautiful scenery. And then we went on to North Carolina and toured the Biltmore Estates. I had always wanted to go there, and it was even more than I had imagined. We were just a little too early for the fall foliage to be very vivid, but it was beautiful there just the same.

This fall we are meeting Toni and her husband Max in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We always have fun no matter what we decide to do. None of us are as young as we used to be, so we move a little slower, but we are still able to enjoy each other and that is a blessing. Last year Toni had heart surgery and I am so glad that she came through it and is doing well. All my prayers for her were answered.

I thank God for Toni. She is a very special friend. I just thought I would share her with you today. She goes home on Sunday, so we hope to see each other again on Friday. We talk about anything and everything when we are together, and it doesn't matter that we have lived so far apart for 20 years. Very few friendships last for a lifetime, but ours is going the distance!

Linda ~~~May 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm A Daughter Of A King

He guards me,
I am not afraid
I'm feasting at His table

In His presence there are pleasures forevermore!

He has prepared mansions for me

I can come into His courts with praise

He gives me times of refreshment, and beauty

He gives me a wall of protection from my enemies,
And I can walk by still waters!

This is a repost from last October. The pictures are from our trip to England five years ago. I have added them because I was thinking about the similarities of being a daughter of an earthly king and being the spiritual daughter of the King of the Universe! I am so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who loves me and loads me with blessings every single day!
When I became a Christian I went from being a nobody,... to being a child of a King! And not just any king,..but, The King of the Universe! As His child He never leaves me alone to fend for myself. I am always in His presence and He always has His eye on me. He guides me, and not only does He tell me where to go, and what path to take, but He takes my hand and walks beside me. Sometimes I am a stubborn child and I shake lose from Him and stray from the path,...but He always knows where I am and I feel His loving hand on my shoulder guiding me back to where I should be.

As a loving Father He gives me good and perfect gifts. I don't always put them to good use. Sometimes I stash them away and put them in the closets of my life,...but when I do utilize what He has given me it seems that things go much better, and I can accomplish more of my tasks. His gifts are tools that make my work easier and more efficient. And one of the things He gives me is joy,...and it is something that feels so good that I want to share it with others. It seems to bubble up and overflow so I know there is plenty, and my Father, The King, likes me to share it.

I enjoy our times together and I especially like the ones where He leads me to the pasture and we sit down beside the still water. I take my rest there as I feel safe in His presence. There is this feeling of perfect peace. When I awake I feel hungry and He feeds me with milk and some honey. It is so satisfying. It gives me energy and I twirl around with my hands up to heaven and dance before my Father, The King. The love in His eyes makes my heart happy.

These days I feel as though I am growing up, and yet I know that I will always be His child. Instead of milk I am craving meat and He provides it for me. And as I chew on it and really think on what it cost my Father I am so thankful for His provisions. And I know that it makes me to grow strong.

Adult children are still loved by their parents, and the relationship really just keeps on getting closer and there are new things to share with each other. New things to ponder, and new places to go together. It is like we are companions and friends as well as Father and daughter. I am so blessed and I want everyone to meet my Father and learn to love Him as I do.

I am adopted and I like it when He adopts other children into our family. He is so wonderful and so strong He makes us all feel loved and cared for. All of our needs are met. And we don't just get what we need, but also what we desire,....when we desire things that our Father, The King approves of.

As His daughter I want to please Him and serve Him with a happy heart, and I do find that I'm the happiest when I am working for Him. Sometimes I serve self and it is much less satisfying, and it makes me carry guilt. But when I lay my burdens and my guilt down at my Father's feet, He forgives me and everything feels right again. Is your father that forgiving?

I love being the daughter of a King.
Linda~ (Re-post from Oct. 2008) ~ May 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cecily Kate

Today I was thinking about my 13 year old granddaughter, Cecily Kate. She has such a sweet spirit, and she always warms our hearts with her smile. Grandpa and I are always saying how precious she is to us, and how much we love her.

When Cecily was little, she was a live wire! She would run and squeal with excitement, and sometimes it was hard to catch up to her. When her sister Anna was born she had to be flown to Ks. City to Children’s Mercy Hospital to have heart surgery shortly after birth, and my daughter Lynnette, her husband Kyle, and Cecily and their other two kids, Jared and Abigail and my husband and I all stayed in the Ronald McDonald house there,…in one big room. I think we were there for 10 days, and during that time I spent my time taking care of Cecily. We formed a special bond during that trial.

Cecily was an adorable little girl with an energy that was hard to match. I had recently gotten over pneumonia and was kind of low on energy myself at that time, so in the afternoons I would go back to the room and take a nap with Cecily while grandpa and the two older kids occupied themselves in the game room or watching a movie, or going down the street to the park. I would tell her a story and sing little songs to her and try to get her to go to sleep. Sometimes I was successful and sometimes I wasn’t, but I enjoyed that time with her whether she slept or not. We would cuddle and giggle, and I loved it.

When Cecily’s little sister Anna was about 9 months old she had to have another heart surgery and she spent three weeks in the hospital and had a close call with death, but Anna recovered and came back home to us. We were all so thankful. During that surgery we stayed home and kept the kids at their house. That was another bonding time with Cecily Kate and her siblings. The kids gathered eggs from the chickens everyday and my husband over saw the milking of the goats, as Jared and Abigail did that. John did it too, and I strained the milk and found ways to use all of it.

Over the years Cecily and Anna were inseparable. They did everything together, and were wonderful friends as well as sisters. 4 and a half years ago Anna’s heart gave out and she suddenly left this world to be with Jesus when she was just 6 years old. This was so hard on everyone in the family,…but I think Anna’s death left a big gap in Cecily’s life because her playmate was suddenly gone.
God was so good to Cecily to give her grace enough to carry her through that time.

It was amazing the way that Cecily tried to comfort her family, and she would hug her mom and tell her,.. “you still have me”. Grief was a process and each of them had to deal with it on their own, as well as together as a family. And they all leaned on each other and on God to get them through it. And we did the same. God was so faithful during that time,.. and He remains faithful and true to His promises.

I have written this story many times before in different posts, so I won’t continue more on that subject, but I just wanted to acknowledge the depth of sorrow our Cecily has gone through at such a young age. The Lord has given her a quiet strength.

Cecily became a Christian and got baptized and it was a special time in her life. God had a hold of her heart and her life in a big way. And He still does.

Cecily loves her little brothers and helps take care of them. She is always holding Harrison and watching after him. He is very attached to his big sister. He will be two in July, and he likes to climb on things and play outside with his bigger brothers Silas 7 and Jonas 5. Cecily helps keep and eye on all of them when her mama needs her. I am impressed with her mothering skills. She reminds me of myself at her age, as I helped care for my nieces when they were little.

In fact, Cecily kind of looks like I looked at her age. My brother mentioned that one day and I agreed with him. It is fun to see yourself in your grandchildren. (Smile)

Cecily has mellowed out over the years. She is calm and quiet much of the time. She hangs out with her older sister Abigail and her mom a lot and they have girl’s day out sometimes. Cecily is a home body and likes to stay close to mom and dad and her siblings. But sometimes she likes to spend time with Grandma too.

My husband and I often go on vacation with Cecily and her family and we enjoy that time with her, as well as her siblings. We are glad that they are nice enough to ask us to join them. In fact we are planning another trip in September.
I look forward to some quality time with Cecily Kate and her family. It is hard to believe our girl is a teenager now. Time just seems to fly by these days! We thank God for her and for the joy she brings to our lives.

Linda~~~ May 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Rose

The rose is a thing of beauty
It’s a mystery to me
Each tender petal curling
Splendor for the eye to see

Fragrance for the nose to savor
Soft and sweet, yet strangely bold
Yet it sends the senses whirling
And it has from days of old

There is such a vast collection
Of variety and size
Each one has it’s own attraction
It’s a feast upon the eyes

The bride carries them so gently
Flower girls drop petals on the way
Mothers wear them as corsages
Buds are pinned to grooms' array

Large bouquets can grace our tables
Or single stems in a bud vase
No matter how we do display them
They bring smiles upon our face

There are thorns that poke our fingers
When we snip them with our shears
But the pleasure that they bring us
Only sweetens through the years

Lord I thank you for the rose
Sweet and fragrant it’s perfume
How delightful is it’s presence
It brings joy to every room

Written by Linda Hogeland May 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Mother's Day Visit With My Youngest Daughter and Her Kids

I am late doing Wednesday's Walk today, because I have been out running errands with my friend. Most of you have already linked your posts, but if not, just click on the button below and after writing your post, link up with Mr. Linky on Lynnette's blog

I had a very nice Mother's Day this year. On Saturday my middle daughter, Lynnette asked me to go to lunch with her and then go on to a huge Antique Mall. We took over two hours browsing through the mall and had a great time talking. This was a rare treat to get to spend time alone with her since she has 6 kids and she keeps busy homeschooling, and being a wife and mother. I don't have pictures, but she took some and she posted them on her blog, (Dancing Barefoot...button on my sidebar).

Then on Sunday, my oldest daughter Lisa asked us to come over for lunch. She is a very good cook, and she made us green chili shredded beef tacos, homemade salsa, salad, chips and iced tea. It was so good we all had to have seconds. For dessert we had ice cream with toppings. Then I got a nice pair of silver and howlite earrings. They were from "Inspiranza Designs", and I love them! Lisa sells this jewelry, and it is really nice! We enjoyed an afternoon of visiting and it was really nice! We took several pictures with Lisa and Brad and their daughter Bailey with Lisa's camera and so she is going to post them sometime soon on her blog. (Uniquely Us...button on my sidebar)

After we got home, our youngest daughter Lonna and her four kids came over to visit for awhile too. Lonna is a single mom and she works full time and the four kids go to school and are involved in several activities, so we don't get to see them a lot. They live about 30 minutes away too, so it isn't easy to just stop by,... anyway, I was appreciative and happy to see her and the kids on Mother's Day. I took some pictures and so I am posting them today.

I am so blessed to have my husband, my daughters, my son-in-laws and my 11 grand kids in my life. I thank God for all of them!
Linda...May 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Yippee it’s Mother’s Day,…a day when mothers get to play

A day when others wait on her and let her contented heart purr

She might get breakfast in the bed,…(too bad the bacon looks so dead!)

A kiss, a hug, and homemade card,…and dad might even mow the yard

A bubble bath and time to linger,…“MOM... I need help, I cut my finger!”

Well so much for the bubble bath,… she suddenly begins to laugh

“Here let me put that band- aid on,…now go help daddy with the lawn”

She crawls back underneath the cover and then she hears another,... "Motherrr!!!”

“What is it Zach?,…I’m trying to rest”. “I need some help getting dressed”

After that she tries to read, but then the dog just stood and peed

She let him out, then cleaned the mess, and from her closet picks a dress

“Something soft and kind of pretty,…oh no,… I’m bloated it doesn’t fitty”

Why today for PMS?, I really want to wear that dress!

“Oh well I guess I’ll wear stretch jeans, and start a crock pot full of beans”

“Then after church we’ll have some lunch, …then clean the kitchen is my hunch

So much for a day of rest,…those poor guys, they tried their best”

Then in comes dad and Zachary too,…“Mom we bought these flowers for you!”

“Oh that’s so sweet, …they smell good too”…“Hey mom,... they’re pretty just like you!”

She smiles with pleasure at her guys and then she suddenly replies,…

“On Mother’s Day I’m feeling blessed,…My men are just the very BEST!”

She grabs them both in sudden lurch, and hugs them tight, then off to church!

Linda Hogeland May 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Queen For A Day

Hey Everybody,...I got an award! One of my favorite blogger friends made me "Queen For A Day!" (You can read about Veronica below the award). The pictures are of special people in my life who always love me and make me feel like a Queen!

This is my sweet granddaughter Abigail,...the designer of my blog.
This is a picture of me and my husband John in Yellowstone. He always makes me feel like a Queen
This is a picture of me with my brother Dan and my sister Judy. Judy left us in January of this year, to go live with Jesus. Judy always made me feel special, and treated me like a Queen.
This is a picture of me with my sweet middle daughter Lynnette and her kids from a few years ago, when we went on a "Make a Wish" trip with our sweet little Anna,...(sitting next to me). Anna felt like a Queen on that special trip. She went to be with Jesus just 10 days after we returned from that trip.
This is a sweet picture of my oldest daughter Lisa. She was the first one to suggest that I should have a blog. Lisa is a jewel in my crown!

My blog friend Veronica gave me this award and I want to thank her for honoring me with it. She was awarded it by one of her friends because she is such a fantabulous person! Please go to,


and read about her,... and her sweet little girls, and her really neat crocheted hats that she makes and sells on her Hat Blog. It is Called "Hooked On You", and I have her button on my sidebar. They are just adorable hats for babies and children, and very affordable.

I am finding that there are a multitude of gifted people out there in Blog Land. So many of you have shown love to me. And I find it a priviledge to visit your blogs and discover little tidbits about each one of you. I often pray for you and for the needs that you blog about. I feel like it is a ministry to pray for, and encourage others. And I know that many of you have prayed for me and for my family, and I thank you so much.

I do not have computer skills. When I try to do new things on here I often fail. My daughter Lisa encouraged me to start a blog because I love to write out my feelings and my stories and poems, so she thought it would be a good outlet. And my daughter Lynnette actually got me started. My grandaughter Abigail put my blog together. She is a gifted young lady of 15,...actually she will be 16 on June 4th.

I would like to thank Lisa, Lynnette, and Abigail for giving me a new joy in my life. I do enjoy the social part of blogging, and I have met so many nice people.

And once again, I would like to thank Veronica for making me a "Queen For A Day!" It was fun.

Linda... May 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

God Protected My Granddaughters!

This is an older picture of my granddaughters. I don't have many on this computer. Remember, these are the girlies (from one of my other posts) that like to play in my Victorian room. They are so very precious to me.

Yesterday there was a bus crash in Valley Center, and two of my little granddaughters,..Julia 10, and Adelynn 9, were on that bus. My daughter called to tell me that they were ok so that I wouldn't freak out if I heard it on the news.

Yes, there were my two girlies on the news with their mama standing behind them, and sweet little Adelynn was being interviewed by the news reporter. Julia was just standing there with tears running down, and both of them were visibly shook up. My poor babies!

Adelynn did such a good job of describing her feelings as she said she saw the bus heading into a crash,...and that it scared her! Later she was asked what she did and she said she grabbed her backpack and tried to get off of the bus.

Both she and Julia had the common sense to borrow someone's cell phone and call their mommy. But my daughter said that she couldn't understand Julia because she was so upset, so Adelynn took the phone and told her mama all about it, and my daughter headed right there..

These poor little girls were in the seat just behind the bus driver, and they said that the bus driver passed out and the bus went into the ditch and into some trees.

There was an eye witness who was an older man and he and some other people stopped to help and he said that the main problem was that the "kids were in shock". That would be hard on a bunch of little children to face that without the security of their parents.

I heard that 5 kids went to the hospital and only one stayed overnight. The bus driver was also taken to the hospital. He was an elderly man and might have had a medical issue. It is uncertain as of yet. They at first said that he had a blow out which might have caused the accident. But my girlies said he made a noise and then his head was flopping.

I spoke with Adelynn and she said she doesn't want to ever ride a bus again,...but I think she had to get back on one this morning to go to school. My husband and I were praying for them. We always pray for our kids, their mates, and all of our grandkids. We pray for protection everyday. We feel like God did hear our prayers and He did indeed protect them. We give Him the glory and the praise today for watching over them yesterday,...and everyday.

Linda... May 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What Is A Mother?...A Mother's Day Poem

Please join us on Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane. Just post your story, then click on the button below and add your name to our list.

In honor of Mother's Day which is this Sunday, I thought I would post a little poem in honor of mothers.

My Mother has been in heaven since 1986. We were always close, and I loved her very much. I don't have any pictures of her in this computer, so I can't share one today.

This picture is one of my mother-in-law Edith and I, a few years ago just after I fell on the ice in her driveway and broke my elbow and also dislocated it. She felt so bad for me when that happened. Our relationship was especially sweet in the last five years before she died. I thank God for that,..and for the many things she taught me, and for the joy she brought into my life.

What is a mother… if not a true gem?, she brightens our lives and caters to our whims

A mother listens to all of our fears, helps us face them, and then dries our tears

A mother picks us up when we stumble, but she says, “try again, it keeps us humble”

A mother teaches us at every turn, and tells us we have lots to learn

A mother comforts us when we’re sad, and she also forgives us when we’re bad

What is a mother… if not our best friend?, who tells us the truth till the very end

A mother teaches us everyday, and cheers us on at work or play

A mother provides for our every need, clean clothes, warm home, our mouth she feeds

A mother puts our needs above her own, and this is true until we’re grown

A mother leads us to the Lord, and tells us stories from His Word

What is a mother… if not God’s gift?, she always gives our heart a lift

A mother’s love is always there, and yes, it follows us everywhere

A mother never withdraws her love, and that is true of God above

A mother is always kind and dear, her love grows stronger every year

A mother deserves our respect and affection, as we follow her advice and direction

What is a mother?…someone loving and true, everyone’s had one, even me and you

My mother was precious, I loved her so, but Jesus called her to heaven many years ago

If you still have your mother, honor her today, and make her feel loved on her special day

Share a fond memory, write her a poem, frame a small photo from when you were home

Just tell her thank you, for all she has done, remember your mother, you only have one!

By Linda Hogeland May 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Storm

The stillness of the moment makes me pause and look outside
The skies are dark and gloomy and my mood begins to slide

I’m waiting for the clouds to burst and pour forth pelting rain
I’m looking for the lightning bolts and thunder’s loud refrain

I feel an eerie presence hanging thickly in the air
A heaviness and pressure seems to linger everywhere

There is a distant rumble so I step outside to look
It makes me kind of antsy so I go inside and cook

I light a scented candle and I turn some music on
Might as well exchange the worry for a melancholy song

Why not light a glowing fire to improve my sullen mood
And I’ll make an apple crumble to enjoy after my food

Then I sit and put my feet up as I read a much loved book
Suddenly the pending weather doesn’t get a second look

I get lost inside my story with the words familiar flow
Feeling such a snug contentment by the hearth-side’s warming glow

With the cat beside me purring I reach out and stroke her fur
Then I yawn and drop my book and everything becomes a blur

When my sleepy eyes awaken after my short peaceful nap
I see a flash of lightning and I hear a thunder clap

I blow out the flickering candle, snuggle with my nervous cat
Buckle down beside the fire as the rain begins to splat

Then the hail begins to plunder and the sirens start to blow
To the basement I must wander, with my cat and book in tow

But the lights begin to flicker and then darkness fills the room
Suddenly what was contentment turns into a dreaded gloom

Lord, please calm my fearful spirit, hold me with your loving arm
Please watch over my possessions, keep me safe from sudden harm

As I prayed I felt a calmness that I’ve never felt before
Though the storm outside was raging peace knelt by me on the floor

Wind, rain, hail, lightning, and thunder carried on for quite awhile
But the peace that God had given caused my trembling lips to smile

Then the lights lit up the darkness and the sirens blew no more
I rose from my sheltered corner , climbed the stairs, and out the door

Broken limbs and scattered branches, twisted pieces of debris
But the damage wasn’t drastic and the Lord had heard my plea

Lord, thank you for all your blessings, for your love, and for your care
In the midst of future storms I face, I’ll always know you’re there!

By Linda Hogeland ~~~ May 2009