29 April 2009

ASL "You Raise Me Up"

I've now started a new blog for my sign language journey. Click on the link to the right under my profile picture. I've decided to leave this one on here because I can't seem to move it over without losing all your wonderful comments. :O) In the meantime, you can watch this one here...

This is my first try at recording myself doing a song in American Sign Language. I just love the language. It's so beautiful and expressive.

And I absolutely love this song! I hope you like it.

Here's the lyrics:

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up... To more than I can be.

24 April 2009

A Contest for My Daughter

My daughter Taylor is in a contest and needs people to view her video. The more views, the better her chances of winning. :O)


A big thanks to the wonderful firefighters at the Margate City, NJ fire house who graciously let us video in the firehouse and helped with moving trucks out and holding the ladder. (I think they thought we were crazy. Ha ha!)

Please take a look and then pass it along.


17 April 2009

Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe

No, that's not me in the video. Ha ha! But, this is my recipe! :O)

This is so cool. Amy is such a sweetheart and she was so kind to feature my recipe on her YouTube channel, USAFireAndRescue. She has such great, easy recipes, too! Be sure to check it out!

Ya gotta try this one. It's so simple and I remember my Mom making this often when I was growing up. It was also a favorite of my Dad's. And now my kids love it too. :O) My mom calls it "Goulash" but I like my name better. *grin* She used to make Hamburger Stew, and with the leftover hamburger, she would make this casserole the next night.

Thanks Amy for the little plug to my YouTube channel (which has very little on it yet. Ha ha!) God Bless!

12 April 2009

Bunny Blanket Buddy Completed!

First, I hope you all had a very Blessed Easter! We were with family on Good Friday and Easter Sunday and we had a very nice holiday weekend. I thank the Lord for this holiday we can share and be thankful for what He has done for us.

It's finally finished! And just in time to give to my grandaughter for Easter! Yeah!

Now, I have to tell ya what happened with the eyes (things happen for a reason)... I mis-read the bottle of fabric glue (which I was going to use to attach the googly eyes) and would not have had enough time to glue them on and have it dry to give to her. No problem, I figured I would simply crochet some eyes.... Nope! My case of crochet hooks was nowhere to be found (it was hiding from me, I just know it! Ha ha!) So my daughter Taylor came to my rescue and said, "Mom, how about if I make you eyes with my plastic canvas?" "Yes!" I said very excitedly. (Can ya picture it?)

So we cut it to size and she got to work on them. I figured I would just whip stitch them on and add tiny eyelashes. Mind you, this was all happening on Easter morning. I would see my grandaughter early that afternoon! Yikes!

Anyway, all things worked out and here's the finished blanket. I'm so pleased with this one! And I like these eyes so much better. :O)

Notice how I attached the ears? I used really big buttons! I saw in a magazine an amigurumi bunny and the ears were attached like that. I thought it looked so cute, so I decided to do these ears the same way. Like a lop-eared bunny.

You can see one of the hand pockets here.

Here she is trying it on! I think she really liked it. She didn't say much though... I think she didn't quite know what to do with it. Ha ha! That's her daddy (our oldest son) with her. :O)

Okay.... maybe not? Ha ha! Don't ya just love that face? LOL! I'm sure though that she'll get plenty of joy out of it. Nothing like snuggling up in a comfy play blanket. Ooooh, I just wanna kiss those cheeks!

The hand pockets were my own addition, and were not in the original pattern from Vanna's Afghans A to Z. Also, changing the ears and using the stitched eyes instead of the googly eyes was a change from the pattern. Finally, instead of 38 rows around the blanket, I stopped with 35 rows, and it was still plenty big enough for her! I'm so happy with how it turned out. :O)

10 April 2009

Bunny Blanket Progress

Here are the pieces before being attached, or stuffing the muzzle. I also haven't gotten the googly eyes yet. But I wanted to share the progress so far. I have today and tomorrow to get this done! Yikes! This is for my grandaughter for Easter.

The ears & muzzle are just put in place on the hood, but I wanted to show how the ears are white on the inside and pink on the outside, so I turned one the other way. The original pattern shows the ears attached to stand up, but I like them laying down, and I think they would fall kind of down when it's on her head anyway. :O)

Here's both ears as they will lay when attached. Also, I changed the ears slightly from the pattern. I thought the pattern's ears were too straight, so since I'm making these ears lay more like a lop-eared bunny, I widened them a bit towards the bottom, which you can see with the ear on the left. I like them much better. :O)

I've also added hand pockets to the two side points of the blanket. I plan to make it so my grandaughter can pretend to be a bunny with this blanket! I'll post pictures tomorrow (hopefully) of the finished blanket. This blanket pattern was from the book Vanna's Afghans A to Z.

I've got a few more surprise details to add. What are they? Well.... you'll just have to wait till my next post to find out! Ha ha!

09 April 2009

A Little Miracle from God

Now, here's a post with no pictures or videos! Ha ha! It seems strange........

Wow, I haven't shared this one in a long time! It's been nearly 6 years since this happened and I love reading it again and again...


This letter was sent by my husband to our pastor on July 30, 2003, the day before our 10th Anniversary, relating a couple of very special days in our lives in late July, 2003.
I have a remarkable story I wish to share with your congregation. Under normal circumstances, I might have come in and shared it personally, but as you know I recently had major surgery and am still recovering. I would like to thank you and your church members for all your heartfelt prayers and support, particularly for the children who have needed it at this time. Since Laurie would simply turn beet red and nearly pass out at the thought of relating this in public before the church membership, I ask that you read this email in my stead. For while I doubt this epistle will be worthy of being canonized, I do certainly think it is worth sharing.

No day beats a day when you know God is in your life. This past Tuesday, Laurie and I and our family had just such a day. Prior to my going into the hospital, we knew that the transmission in our car was slowly going. However, with all the medical bills and the extra insurance we had to purchase, acquiring the new vehicle seemed out of the question. So, we hoped and prayed that God would preserve our transmission or see us through in another way. The weekend before my operation, my mother saw a car for sale locally. We called and found out that the owner was an old friend of my father's he had gone to high school with. And since I was my father's son, he practically cut the cost in half making the car affordable to us in cash.

Now, the car is a 1988, and if you can just picture your "father's station wagon", you have the image perfectly. Not exactly the sexiest vehicle on the lot, however it had a sturdy V8 engine, a good transmission, and it would serve in an emergency if I were in the hospital and our car broke. Laurie and I discussed it and prayed, and felt that this was too visibly a gift from God to be turned down in our time of need. It was certainly a relief to my mind going into surgery knowing that my wife and children would not be stranded somewhere without means of transportation.

Being so close to surgery, I asked Billy, my father's friend if he wouldn't mind driving the car over to my mom and dad's and settling the paperwork with them, as I would be going to the hospital the next day. He did so gladly and as I drove up to the hospital the next day I noticed the car in my parent's driveway and was comforted to know that it was there for the day when our transmission went. And who knew what day that would be.

Well, apparently God knew... and Tuesday we found out also. Laurie and I went down our street heading toward her parent's house to pick up our children. As we approached the White Horse Pike, we both noticed how heavy all 4 lanes of traffic seemed to be. Now, understand, in 12 years we almost never go the back road way to Laurie's parents. It was only 5 minutes by the Pike, and though we might come back home using the back roads, again, we almost always use the Pike to get there. But looking at the traffic, and then at each other, we agreed we were in no particular hurry and felt we should just turn around and go the back way. So Laurie made a u-turn and drove another 20 feet and an invisible hand touched the hood and said, "stop now". And it did. If we had pulled out onto the Pike, we would have been across 4 lanes of heavy traffic, a woman and her husband only a week out of surgery, stranded out in the middle of South Jersey summer traffic on the White Horse Pike. As it was, the car broke down about 5 yards from where we wanted to park it and put a "for sale" sign on it anyway. And to prove that God is a God of detail, [our street] slopes upwards from the White Horse Pike, so all that needed to be done, was to let go of the brake and coast it into the parking spot, saving me the trouble of rupturing my incision trying to push it off the road. Laurie and I got out and walked the 100 yards or so back home smiling. Certainly, the happiest people to have ever dropped a transmission you have ever seen.

And lest you think this morning of minor miracles ends here, let me continue with all haste. When last we tuned in, our station wagon "ace in the hole" was parked at my mom and dad's. So when we got home, I called my mom. I caught her just as she was going out the door. She was heading to her bank to do her weekly banking. When she heard our story, she said it would be no problem, her banking could wait till the next morning, and she would run the paperwork for the car down to us. She happily agreed to watch over me while Laurie set out on her adventure to the DMV. About 5 minutes later mom arrived. Using her dad's car, Laurie set out on her way, and mom and I started driving back to her house. On our way, we met 2 cop cars screaming from the direction of her bank, followed by a third, then a fourth and a fifth. I joked to my mother that either there was one heck of a "blue light special" at Dunkin Donuts, or those were men on a mission with a purpose.

When we got to my mom's, we flicked on the police scanner to find out what all the hubbub was about. A bank had just been robbed ... my mom's bank. If the car had not broken down, and she had not come down to get me, my 62 year old mother, with a heart condition would have been in the lobby of that very bank when a desperate man pulled a gun, forced everyone to the floor, and demanded the bank's deposits. My mom looked at me and though visibly shaken, we were all relieved and thankful that again, God was watching over us.

I wondered what God would do in the afternoon for an encore. I was sure there were some ponds and streams in South Jersey that hadn't been parted if he wanted to do an oldie but goodie. But I personally, was extremely thankful for the little miracles he had worked in my family's life that morning. It is comforting to think that two weeks ago, God knew exactly what our needs would be that Tuesday. It is humbling to reflect further, that since time eternal past, since before the first star burned in the sky, God knew John and Lauren would need him that day, and God planned accordingly. All we had to do was listen.

I ask that your church say a prayer of thanksgiving for me and my family, and encourage them to keep the faith. No day beats a day when you know God is in your life.

Your brother in Christ,

ps.. if anyone needs a grey '93 Oldmobile without a transmission, please see Laurie. She knows where you can find one cheap.

MY God is an Awesome God!

(I've GOT to learn the sign language for that! Ha ha!)