Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - Thanking God for our servicemen & women, and their sacrifices...

On Memorial Day each year, our town has a small parade, that features the city dignitaries, American Legion Members, Boy & Girl Scouts, the high school or junior high band, sometimes the choirs from the school also is a part... as well as Gold Star mothers, and others. Some of the veterans wear their uniforms, some their legion hats, some march with the colorguard leading them and the bass drum player drumming out the cadence as they march. Some now ride in vehicles, no longer able to march the 14 - 17 blocks or so, thru town to the cemetary. There is a guest speaker, music, the roll call of those veterans who have died since last Memorial Day, the presentation of a wreath at the Civil War monument where everyone gathers, a 21 gun salute, and then taps is played - that always brings a tear to my eye.

This year, the guest speaker was our nephew, Aaron Nieuwenhuis, son of my sister Peggy and brother-in-law, Mel. Melvin is also our city mayor. Aaron served two terms over in Iraq in the Army. He gave a wonderful speech, giving thanks and remembering the sacrifices of many soldiers through the years who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. We were/are so proud of Aaron, he did a great job, and we are thankful for the service he gave for us too.

Here are some photos from the ceremony this morning... my Dad has marched in this parade for as long as I can remember..when I was a little girl I remember being proud of my Dad who was part of those who marched...Dad used to play the bass drum as they marched, but after needing numerous knee surgeries, he had to give that part up. Thank you to my Dad too, for his service in the Air Force and the sacrifices he and his fellow airmen gave!

Aaron with my Dad (Papa), and with his wife, Amanda, daughter Hailey, and his parents and brothers and sisters.

Lord, please keep those who are in danger's way, some peace, keep them safe, let them know the appreciation of so many of us who hold them all in our prayers, in Jesus Name...Amen.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yard Work, a Memorial Day Weekend Tradition...

Today was/is a great day... sunny, warm (actually pretty HOT in the sun!), and a beautiful day to be outside! So, as is tradition around here, many are getting their yards in shape for the summer. I usually wait until this weekend to start planting flowers too (frost still can happen here in WI even at this late date!).

So, this morning I decided I was going to tackle the front hedges, something I neglected big time last year. Usually I am good about getting to them, but last year I didn't even trim them once.. and it showed!

Here's a photo showing one of the three bushes trimmed... and then the completed three. They look pretty sparse after the trimming, but they'll regrow and look better in a few weeks. My dad would be proud of me..*L*

I was thankful that John came home and brought out the bobcat and helped rake the trimmings into the bucket to haul away. He must have taken 8 loads of stuff away.

Sooo, that job is done for the year... hurrah!!

I also planted a couple of my planters, and later today, when it cools down again, I'll do some needed weeding ... It's nice to have a long weekend to be able to get things done which have really been neglected waaaay too long.... Thank you Lord!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

ECVA's Newest Call for Art Entries....

Justice and Peace...

In this exhibition, the third in our Baptismal Covenant series, we invite you as artists to respond to these lines from the covenant:

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God's help.

Though our call to justice and peace flows directly from Jesus' prime commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, it is surely not unique to Episcopalians, or even to Christianity: a concern for justice and peace, and compassion which is the root of that concern, are common to all faith traditions. The Dalai Lama has written:
Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.

And yet, despite our common call to compassion, the indignities of war and injustice are experienced daily throughout the world without regard as to nation or faith.

How can we, as artists, echo and illuminate Jesus' call to love our neighbors as ourselves? What might we create to encourage a renewed commitment to justice and peace? How can we communicate and inspire a respect for the dignity of every human being? And can we portray the joined concepts of justice and peace in images that require not a single word of explanation?

Deadline for Entries is August 15, 2010

You can enter up to three entries to this call, but with NO written artist statement this time, they want the work to be able to explain what it is saying without words.

Check out the complete call and other info at the ECVA's website under Calls for Entries.

Decadent Pizza... Hawaiian Lobster Pizza

Breakfast decadence .... left-over pizza makes a great breakfast, yes, BUT left-over hawaiian pizza with a left over lobster tail (from John's dinner at Tubby's that he brought home for me) added to the top, makes it DEEEEELICIOUS!! Yummmmm....
Great way to start out a morning, eh?

Monday, May 24, 2010

ECVA's Latest Online Exhibit - Check it out!

ECVA’s Call for Entries "I Will, with God's Help: Fellowship & Communion, Part II, ECVA Baptismal Covenant Series" recently posted the work of those who were accepted as part of it.

I am honored to have one of my assemblages that I submitted last month as part of their gallery showing. I haven't had time to make much art lately, but I submitted one of my first assemblages for this call... My Portion, My Cup.

Check out the wonderful art of many artists at this latest gallery showing at The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts (ECVA) site.

Look for their next call to artists coming out soon too!

Thank you ECVA for including me!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Pentecost - Come Holy Spirit!

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

Balloons, Doves, Kites, Praise, Prayer, Worship, wearing the color red, Fellowship and Celebrations were what filled our morning worship services this morning on the feast of Pentecost.
(Doves are symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and the color red symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit)

We made dove cutouts and people wrote prayers, inspiring messages and scripture passages on them. I filled over 100 helium balloons, attached the doves on ribbons and we had them hanging in the worship space during the services, afterward we went outside and released them all.

Prior to the service, members of the parish used the dove kites we usually fly during our processional when we were in our regular church building, the ceilings there are very high and it's fun to use these dove kites there, but at the new temporary site, the ceilings don't allow that...but they did gather interest as they were flown outside.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shredding 18 Years of Work ....

Today I took over 18 years worth of old records (after sorting thru those things I needed to keep forever), took them to the Walworth State Bank, where they said they would shred, for free, papers people brought in... So the guys loaded up the back of my van and away I went...

BUT, once there, I found out they wouldn't take it all from a "business", which they consider a Church to be. They would only take 4 boxes of the 20+ boxes I had. Arrggghhhh!!

The lady there did mention that if I wanted to come back at 11:30, they MAYBE would be able to shred more of my boxes if the truck wasn't full. So I headed back home, tried to consolidate some of the boxes, just incase they'd only take a few more, and headed back an hour and a half later...

Unfortunately, they would once again only take 4 more boxes ... so home I came with 12 or so boxes left... luckily for me, I was able to get ahold of John and he came to the rescue! A friend has a large burning pit and he said he would take the rest of our stuff and bury it under the other stuff there and burn it all later this weekend... Thanks Dan Boss!!

Sooo, that's pretty much what I did for 5 hours on my Saturday morning off today ... fun, fun, fun... what did YOU do for fun? *L*

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Assemblage of Potted Plants for Pentecost

I haven't had any time to make my art assemblages, and I am SOOO missing that!

This coming Sunday, May 23rd is Pentecost. The Christian feast of Pentecost (from the Greek word pentekoste, meaning fiftieth) is celebrated fifty days after Easter and ten days following the Ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. It is also call Whitsunday in some churches because of the white robes some wear when they are baptised. Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit into the lives of the disciples as related in the Bible, Acts 2:1-6.
The coming of the Holy Spirit into their lives so strengthened them that they were said to have baptized three thousand people that day. Pentecost is thus known as the "birthday of the Church", because it was the presence and power of God, the Holy Spirit, that transformed them so.

Each year, our Church sends a vase of flowers or a plant to other churches in our community as a gesture of being One in Christ, one in the Holy Spirit... One Body, the Church, brothers and sisters in Christ.

The last few years I have found plants that I decorate, add a small card to and then a few of us deliver them to the area churches. A kind of cool thing about these particular plants is the name of them...they are an Asiatic Lily called "Tiny Ghosts", it fits the celebration of the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit as some now call the 3rd person of the Trinity).

So, here are this years assemblage of potted pentecost plants... this is about as close to making an art thing as I've gotten the past month or two... *sigh*

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Processional & 1st Sunday in the new space...

Today we had a ceremonial procession from the old church site to the new temporary site 2 1/2 blocks away. It was pretty cool... people carried items we had planned for them to bring, like kites, candles, chalices, banners, balloons, photos, books, and more! We had a bagpiper (Blaine McQuinn), who led us with several songs, one was Amazing Grace.., it sounded really cool on the pipes!

My Dad was the thurifer, swinging the thurible and having a great time doing it!

Kasey K Photo took a lot of photos and I added a few too of different parts of the procession. When we arrived at the Church, Fr. Bill said some prayers, dedicated the space, and we entered, set the altar, and started our worship.

Everyone was really impressed with the space, and how we had it set up. It's an exciting time for us all... it will be a challenging time in ways too, but today it was a celebration time, one of our first steps in the new things God has planned for us to do.

Some more photos from today ... music ministry, deaf ministry, part of the service and more...

Yummm... lots of good snacks for after the service too!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sorting, Packing & Moving.... whattta mess!!

This week we are moving all the office items and other major things over to the new temporary church site, getting ready for the major repairs and renovations about to happen next month at the old site. We really have a lot accomplished yesterday and today... the new place looks great! Thanks to Karstetter Construction guys who moved most of the big stuff, as well as some small stuff too!

Here are some photos of our new space, outside & inside, front entry, and back alley entry, and my new shared office. Deb and I are used to having our own offices, so this will be a test to see if we can handle being in such close quarters together..*L*
Now to get the phone lines and internet access to the place!

The kitchen, which will also be the Sunday School room, is still a bit of a mess, but so far, so good!

Now all we have to do is find a place for all the stuff we left behind~!! Ughhh...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, Happy, Happy...tired too!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!

It was a busy one here ... someday, when I'm old, I'll be able to just sit and enjoy the day as the old matriarch of the family..*L* Yeah, riiight!! NOT.

Today was a busy day at Church... up early and off to set up some of the things for the Basket Drawing that goes along with the Champagne Pot-Luck Brunch that the men of the parish host for all the women and everyone. I was glad when my BIL said he would take over the drawing for the baskets, but Kasey and I took in the $1 donations for the coupons for the chance at a basket.
The guys put on a wonderful brunch... waaay tooo much food, but it was good.
This is a photo of some of the guys in the kitchen... my husband, John is in it.. my Dad, and one of my many brother-in-law's, Mark. The rest are friends and church members... and no, don't think you are seeing double, those guys on the right are twins! Almost identical twins too..they fooled me! *L* Good thing that Ron's brother, Don, doesn't visit the church very often or I'd be fooled a lot more!

After Church we had to head right over to Dad and Mom's where we helped plant tons of my mom's planters... ugghhh..whatta job! But they sure look pretty when they're done, but really, she has TOO many! Good thing some of the neices and nephews are growing up and can help now too! I have yet to even weed my garden's from last Fall... and haven't planted a single thing yet...waiting for Memorial Day weekend to do some of that, maybe.

This is my Mom.. Kasey wanted to take a photo of her, but she didn't want to after being outside and supervising the planting all afternoon..*L* So Kasey had her hold an older photo of herself when she was younger and she took the pic. I like it! Kasey (Kasey K Photo) took some other photos too of the day, here are some of them.

It was nice having Kaine home for the weekend too... he always like to play with the kids..*L* ..and tease them, but they love it too! Kaine seems to be getting taller and taller each time I see him..*L*

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Building on a good foundation...

In our move from the Church building we are making, we are documenting many parts of it that will be renewed, renovated, restored, and improved. Kasey K Photo took many hundreds of photos that we will save for future generations to access on a photo CD.

One of the places she ventured into was the undercroft, which has a dirt floor, stone walls and just crawl spaces in some parts. It has big old wooden beams that support the whole structure, some of which will need to be reinforced. Some parts of the foundation walls have to be restored and repaired as well.

I couldn't help but think of the references in scripture to building on a sure and strong foundation. Lately I have realized that not all parts of my life were being built on that foundation, and I have been trying to rebuild again on the Rock of my salvation.

"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." (Luke 6:46-49)

Anyway.... this moving and packing of 160+ years of stuff has been a lot of work, but, it's also showing many more rewards in ways I hadn't anticipated... a closer walk with Christ, and a renewing of my soul...thank you Lord!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day!

The May Day Basket tradition continues....

When we were kids, it was a grand day! My mom made a lot of May Baskets for us to deliver to neighbors, friends and family. THey were made from old wallpaper sample books, she'd roll the paper into a cone shape, fashion a handle and add popcorn and candies along with a few flowers too. (The picture shown here is NOT of my baskets, but it is similar to ones we used to make.) I bet she made at least 50 of them each year! We would put them on the door handles of homes, or on their doorstep, ring the doorbell, or knock, and then run like crazy before they came to the door.... the reason we ran was because the tradition said that the receiver would try to catch the person giving them the May Basket and then they'd get to kiss them. Of course for some of the cute boys in the neighborhood we'd run a bit slower so we could get caught! *L*

And the neighborhood kids all waited in anticipation, knowing that May Baskets were going to be delivered sometime that day, so to find a way to creatively hang the Baskets so they wouldn't see us coming was a lot of fun too!

I continued the tradition, on a smaller scale, with my own kids when they were little... we'd make about 25 May Baskets and deliver them... many people didn't know of the May Basket tradition, so they were surprised the first time they received one, but they looked forward to it in the years after their first May Basket.

This year, since my kids are grown, I just made and gave 5 May Baskets only... two of potted plants for their gardens to my Mom and Aunt Shirley, and some with candy and goodies to the grandsons (Jake, Josh and Jeff) who live close by... if granddaughter Jorden had lived closer I would have loved to give her one too, but she has a couple here waiting for her when she comes again for a visit sometime.

It was fun to leave a gift and run off, knowing they'd be wondering who left it for them... but they guessed..*L*

Anyway... I love old traditions like that, they bring a bit of happiness and joy, as we celebrate the beginning of Spring and the beauty of it all.

Happy May Day everyone!


SO, now that May Baskets are delivered, I'm getting ready for a Kentucky Derby Party we are attending this afternoon... hats for women are required, gloves are optional. It's always fun to dress up and see all the cool hats and outfits others ar wearing... and the Derby party is always lots of fun, good food, and good times too!

Hmmm, now what horse should I bet on?? *S*