Catching Up!

Monday, May 5, 2008

My oh my, how time flies in our busy lives. Not long after returning from my sewing retreat in Tomball, Texas and getting my computer provider situation straightened out - I left for a week in New Orleans. I was so lucky to be able to go as just before I departed, I spent a night in the emergency room with kidney stones in both kidneys. No fun I assure you. But God blessed me and away I went a few days later, driving myself the 6-7 hour trip to New Orleans. You see, it was quite important - I was coordinating a surprise 90th birthday party for my mother's only sister, my Aunt Julie. I am happy to say that it was a complete surprise and enjoyed by all. I did just fine taking a few pain pills once in a while, but nothing severe. She had a wonderful time as did all the guests wanting to honor her on this occasion. I was a tearful mess at our parting, but I have a beautiful, tender memory in my heart.

In the picture above, you can see her cake - a half lemon, half chocolate, six layer doberge cake from Gambino's bakery in New Orleans (the layers are a type of dessert pudding, then a butter cream icing with a fondant layer over all). When I lived in New Orleans as a youngster and a teen, we always had this cake for all birthday celebrations and it was just as good as I remembered.

I stayed with "my sister, Pat" (on right above) on what is termed the north shore from New Orleans (that is across Lake Pontchartrain). In the pic upper left, I am starting across what they call the "causeway" to New Orleans - it is a 24 mile bridge between New Orleans and the north shore.

Pat is officially my X-SIL, but she is my sister in my heart. We have been close for some 38 years. We had such a good week, visiting with her family (who adopted me long ago), my X-MIL (yes, I am still close), my dear Aunt Julie, my brother, his wife and their new puppy, Gumbo. We really ran the roads as they say!

Here is the luncheon we had with my SIL's sisters and here is a pic of my X-MIL at the lovely assisted living center where she lives.
Then here are my younger brother, Gayle, my dear Aunt Julie, me and my brother's wife, Ita on the left; and Gumbo, my brother's 4 month old labradoodle on the right...all cuties! I also got to visit with my dear niece, PJ, and her daughter, Carrey via computer video, as they are stationed in Germany. My niece is about to deliver her new baby, Jacob Henry, and I was able to see her belly profile and the room they have decorated for him. This high-tech world is something else! It was a very busy week, but one filled with blessings of all sorts.

I did get my needle book finished for my online yahoo group swap and in the mail to my swap partner, Freda, just before I left. Here are pics of the front, back, side view and inside.

I had a lovely needle book waiting for me from Freda when I returned home last night. Here are some pics of the one she made for me, front and back. She also included an absolutely stunning hankie - what treasures to enjoy!

I am just beginning to shovel out the house, do laundry, etc. (you know how it is - left my DH for a whole week here alone with the dog - oh my! much worse than...lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) Plenty to fill my time. And, I long to get back into my studio and begin some new projects and continue some already in progress. I am behind in my journal making class and am already looking into another class that Sue Bleiweiss has coming up online.... I can never have enough when it comes to learning and classes :-) Tomorrow is my wonderful sewing Bee group and I can't wait to catch up with them and hear what they were up to while I was gone..... and, of course, get some hugs.

God is so amazing! I was delayed a day coming home due to bad weather. I drove to New Orleans and did not want to return in heavy thunderstorms. So, that last day I rested a bit and then Pat and I went to the local Christian Book Store where I purchased the audio New Testament - Word of Promise. It is 20 audio cds of the New Testament narrated and read by various actors. The actor who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ is Jesus in these cds and co-produced this project. The music and the way they make every word come alive is just awesome. I found that the scripture just flowed like a beautiful story as I listened to these cds and things I found difficult to understand if I read them, were really opened up to me as I listened to the spoken word. I listened to all of Matthew and Mark on the way home from New Orleans and it was so wonderful to just immerse myself in scripture as I drove. My BSF study of Matthew is currently on the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As I listened to the scripture in these audio cds it really struck me how passionately Jesus tried to deepen the faith of his disciples and touch the hearts of all those to whom he preached. He utterly longed for everyone to be saved. He warned so many times that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in times to come if people do not repent and come to Him for salvation. Also, have you noticed how many amazing details came together to fulfill old testament prophecies in the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ....what an amazing plan God put together to reconcile us with Him and give us personal and direct access to Him. Jesus- the NEW covenant - I just love that! Take a look at Psalms 22 and notice all the parallels to the crucifixion of Christ that exist in David's poem - 14 generations before it was to happen and before crucifixion was even done. So many things that always point to a just and true God, who always fulfills His promises and that Jesus is the true Son of God.

Another thing that I have noticed is how sad man can be - trying to manipulate the things of God-always to no avail. Remember that folk song in the 60's? When will he ever learn? I had forgotten or never really paid attention to the fact there were soldiers that saw all the divine things that happened at the tomb of Jesus at His resurrection; the angel that appeared at the rolled away stone, the many saints who had died before coming up out of their tombs after the earth quaked going into the holy city, and they reported these events to the chief priests. But those chief priests hearts were so hardened that instead of seeing the miracles that were there for the salvation of all - they chose to bribe those soldiers to be quiet about what they had seen and continued to defy God. There were so many political events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ (the plotting of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the trial of Jesus, Pilot washing his hands of the whole affair knowing Christ was innocent, and on and on) - how sad to know that the politics of man could be counted on most assuredly to bring about the death of the innocent Christ. When will man realize that he can not manipulate the will of God, but man can be blessed immensely if he is in God's will. Matthew 27 and 28 Psalms 22


Judith said...

Hi Jules, I have missed you so much but I am so pleased to see what you have been up to and what a wonderful time you have been having with your family. That must have been a huge organisational task.
Great to have you back.
Hope you have managed to get your computer probelms sorted too.
Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog, what a darling thing to say to me.
Lots of love

Allison Ann Aller said...

Wow, you have been soooo busy!
Very sorry to hear about the kidney stone attack, but am glad you weathered it swiftly and got to go to that great family gathering in New Orleans.
And those needlebooks...both of them are just exquisite!!!!
I loved meeting Freda in February..what a doll she is. You would love her home elegant and feminine and comfortable...
Hope you will get back into a routine again soon, so we can see your creations.

Pat Winter said...

That cake looks yummy! I love your needle book and it is going to such a sweet lady too. Just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Visiting from Momma's goodies and I love your blog! The needle book is so pretty and I would have found it REALLY hard to part with something that beautiful! Kindest regards, Gina

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