Monday, November 27, 2006


As I thought about a title for this post, Blessed is the only thing that seemed truely appropriate because that's what I am. The Lord has truely blessed me and my entire family. The weekend was spent eating, decorating, shopping. laughing, and loving. It's funny how I've blocked every frustrating moment from my mind. Decorating with 3 little people who just want to help is no easy task. I'm sure we uttered the words "Stop, Step away from the tree" more than once, but it's like those moments are erased. All I remember is laughing at Zeke's antics, Emmy's silliness and Elijah's new comedy routine. My how he is like his father! I think the most special part of the weekend for me was Sunday at Grandma Grate's house. Grandma's not doing so well in the memory dept. She has dementia and gets really confused. As we sat down to dinner (there were about 30 of us there) Dad asked her is she would pray for dinner. As she started to pray, I started to cry. It was like she was herself again. This was the Grandma I know, the prayer warrior. I'm so glad I was there. We don't get to hear her pray like that anymore and it was very special. I've added pictures from the weekend to share. Enjoy!

This picture of Andrea and I was taken by Elijah. He's quite the little photographer and loves to take pictures with Aunt Kelley's digital camera. Good one Lij!

Zeke was such a little helper. He always had the next branch. I thought this picture of him on the ladder was too cute. As usual, no pants were being worn. We need to start our own "colony."

Emmy looked so cute with her new hair cut. She's quite proud of it!
Elijah is in that "I don't want to take a normal picture" stage. He likes to make lots of funny faces, but getting a nice, normal, smiling picture...good luck. This is mom's finished tree in the living room. Pictures don't do it justice.
Jason, Andrea and I took our annual Thanksgiving picture with Grandma and Grandpa Walsh.
What a nice family shot. Love the denim and black idea!
This picture cracked me up. The tree stand is broken so we have some leaning issues. Jon was trying to straighten it, with a little help from Elijah and Emmy.
The Grate clan is growing. Welcome Jon!
Friday was Andrea's 29th birthday! We celebrated with a nice lunch at Texas Roadhouse. Mom tipped off the waitress so Andrea got a nice birthday Yee Haw! She was really embarrassed. The girls love their shopping day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Weekend in Michigan

Oh My Goodness! Is it no wonder I live to spend time with these kids? This past weekend, the IWU women's basketball team was playing at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI. (They won both games and remain undefeated by the way) I was able to go to the games and stay with my brother. It was a 2 for 1 weekend. Zeke is such a little lover. He has the funniest personality. Ornery and so loving all at the same time. Aunt Kelley wanted very much to bring him home with her. If it weren't for these two pesky days of school, I would have.
Elijah is an absolute nut! Jason has him completely brainwashed about Ohio State. Sat. he was up at 8:00 and completely dressed for the game. He kept watching sports center while they were covering the history of the rivalry. He'd look over at me and say, "I'm so nervous! " Cracks me up! Well, the Bucks pulled out a victory so we were all very happy.
I tried to take a cute picture of all the kids in their OSU gear, but nobody was cooperating. Zeke kept hiding his face with his hat just to be funny, Emmy wouldn't keep her shirt out of her mouth and Elijah thought my frustration was hillarious. Little Miss Em looking too stylish. She was practicing her bowling. She thinks her next visit should include a trip to a real bowling alley because she's quite the pro at Silly Six Pins.
Zeke was all smiles. He loves to say cheese and be silly for the camera. Now I have to make a disclaimer here. These pictures were taken in J and Holly's unfinished basement. There are plans to paint the walls, but Holly has it really pretty cozy considering. She was worried about me posting these pictures. Just want to make sure you all don't think she makes the kids play in a dungeon.
Peek a Boo! This sums up his silliness. He was taunting me and oh how I enjoyed it. I can't wait till tomorrow. I'll get to spend another 4 days with them. I'm so excited about this week. I love Thanksgiving weekend. It's such a good time of eating, decorating, shopping, but most of all loving. I'll be sure and post about it next week! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas!

I thought I would post a few pictures to show what I got accomplished last weekend. This is my main tree in my living room window.

This is my patriotic tree in my kitchen. Mom used to put this tree in her patriotic bedroom but since it is now Dad's office, she gave it to me for my kitchen. Thanks Mom! :)

This is my blurry living room. The sign over the mantel says "And the stockings were hung..."

The house feels so cozy at Christmas time. Now we just need a good snow to go with it! :)

Friday, November 10, 2006


Well, life is just zipping by. I have tried to post a couple of times with no success so hopefully this will work. I have several updates.

First, I think my sickness has finally passed. I actually went to the dr. last week on Wed. because I had a setback and thought I was probably having some serious issues. All my blood work and other tests came back normal. No problems. My "Issues" have gone away and I'm feeling great. So, that's a big praise. It was the longest stomach flu I've ever had, but at least it's over.

Second, All my teams are still undefeated. IWU ladies won a close battle against the #2 ranked Cedarville last Saturday. That was exciting. Because of Cedarville's arrogance, I enjoy beating them almost as much as Taylor. The lady Kats are in Missouri this weekend for a tournament playing tonight at 7:00 and tomorrow at 12:00. I will listen on the radio. The Buckeyes are 10-0 with that big Michigan game looming on the horizon. Go Bucks! And my Colts are 8-0 squeeking out last week against New England.

I'm excited to decorate for Christmas this weekend. As I look at the calendar I can't believe how quickly this fall has flown by. It will be January before I know it.

Next, I was reminded this morning how awesome life with our God is. My cousin Kim had a cancer scare and posted this week that her biopsy came back negative. Praise God! I had already checked her blog a couple of days ago, but the song she had wanted to play when you brought it up wasn't working then. This morning before school, I went on to see if she had updated and the song was working. It's a song, I know and have heard many times before but this morning, in the context of her good news, it hit me anew. I sat with tears streaming down my face as I listened to the song titled His Grace Still Amazes Me. I am so thankful for God's Grace and that we don't get what we deserve. God just continues to take care of me and to heap blessings on me that I often wonder what I've done to deserve it. I know I haven't done nearly enough.

Last, I would like to request prayer for one of my students. I can't put any details on the blog, but this is a major situation that needs a huge miracle. My heart is all wrapped up in this situation and it's really eating away at me. I'm worried about this student's safety and wish sometimes that I could take them home with me. I wonder what life would be like if they could have my family. A family that would surround them with more love than they've known in a lifetime. As I've talked with another friend who's also involved, she put it so perfectly, "I do believe in miracles." That's what we need here folks, so please pray if you can.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!