Saturday, February 2, 2013

Life is . . .

beautiful and full

 So much has happened since early autumn.
a wonderful JOY came to us at Christmas time.
...Amanda is now engaged to Nick...
He asked for her hand in marriage on New Year's Day and
he proposed a few weekends later.
We are all so thrilled.

Nick is such a sweet man.
They have known each other since childhood, and their love story is one to tell.

Chris and I feel so blessed to have these wonderful men in our family. 
Our son, Jason; Rachael's husband, Juan; and Amanda's fiancé, Nick.

So, wedding plans are well underway.
The dress and venue are chosen.

{A peek at the venue is in the collage}

Early last fall, just after school started, my father, of 88 years, came to stay with us for another long convalescence.  
He needed lots of TLC and physical therapy...
He is doing much better now, and continues to need care and patience.
Dad returned to his home a few weeks ago and is making big decisions about these very tender years.
My siblings and I will be making lots of trips back and forth to help him in the meantime.

Just before Thanksgiving, I got away for an overnight to NYC.
It was a girls' weekend with Amanda, Rachael and Jason's girlfriend, Krystel.
We had an amazing time!

    Christmastime was wonderful with family all around.
Every moment was amazing.
Even the day after Christmas snowstorm was special because Jason hadn't seen snow in two years!
{Yes, it will be two years that Jason has been in Austin, Texas!}
 The sunrise photo I took on the way to work. 
I've been putting in 10-11 hour days and that is a topic for another post!

Our dog, Misty, is almost 18 years old and is very frail. 
She, too, needs a lot of TLC.  
Misty gave us tender love for so many years, 
she deserves our time now.
{Here she is, wearing her warm fleece vest, snuggled up and cozy 
with her life-long favorite toy, "Squeaky."}

I thank you for keeping in touch with me through this busy time in my life.
and especially for your prayers
I will be stopping to visit as many of you as possible this weekend.
I hope life has been sweet to you

Many blessings to you all!


Julie Harward said...

Wow, you have had A FULL much caring and joy, life is good. So happy for your daughter, much love and happiness to all with all the up coming happiness. :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Maria,

WHAT A JOY TO SEE YOU TODAY! AHHHHH! And love really must be in the air because IT BLEW YOUR WAY and inspired this post!

Oh dear, what a hoot.....and what a blessing for your family. You indeed my friend, have been so busy. I so understand! Just this morning so much had to be done and I am barely just loading up another design for a card in my shop. I need to be drawing constantly now to beef up my inventory.

You speak of the INSANE dearest one, THIS IS why I resigned. YES. So much to be shared and told, but I know you understand the pressures. I am currently substitute teaching at least two days a week but I need to increase that to three days a week. I have gleaned much from working in other schools in my former district that are extremely different models from the French immersion program I was in for nine years. But as lovely as the other models are, those standardized tests are hovering over our heads as educators and are now unfortunately, part of the life of young children.

I felt that I was not big enough for the job anymore. However, when I go in to substitute, I am often asked by the kids for me to go back to be their teacher! Even some of the middle school kids who know me from elementary, are so happy to see me. But oh how I wish we could JUST TEACH and model character for this kids. But the stress of state exams wears us thin.

I am going to pray that your spirit will be refreshed each day as you go in so that you may not only endure, but thrive in your setting. I may have to return to full time teaching if my personal goals are not met within the next year and a half. Too bad; making art is fun, but one can not live by fun alone....


Rebecca said...

What a busy, happy, helpful life you are living! It's good to hear what you've been up to.

Stay healthy and may the happiness continue and support you in the times and travel involved in caregiving, etc. ♥

It's me said...

Love to see you today...what a nice post and blessings from me....happy

Barb said...

Dear Maria, How wonderful to see a post from you and get caught up on your news. Congratulations on the new engagement in your family! I hope you'll some of the wedding plans with us. It sounds as though you've been exceptionally busy with family and work. Those work hours are grueling - I'm glad you have Chris and little Misty to welcome you home in the evening. Stay well, Maria. Take some time for yourself.

Wanda said...

What a love group of pictures. And congratulations... Love is in the air. Our granddaughter, Monique got engaged over the holidays...

I've missed you, but knew you do so much for those you hold dear and love.

Sending hugs...Wanda

koralee said...

Thank you for the update my sweet have had lots happen in your life in the past few months...sending your sweet father many prayers and may the next few months be filled with joy as the wedding plans begin!
Hugs to your sweet Misty as well....pets are so so special to us all. xoxoox
Enjoy the rest of your weekend dear one.

francis said...

Dearest Maria
Congratulations You are the mother of the bride-to-be !
Lots of happy times to come !
How special you stil have your sweet father in your life !
I know a little bit ( I think ) how much you enjoy having your whole family around .... and snow too to make the pictures beautiful !
It is such a blessin to are the mother of children who are having their own life now .
You are so blessed to be a teacher also ....Young children are so inspiring ....
Wishing you and your family a wonderful time !
Big hug

Linda said...

What a delight to see you here Maria. It looks like a very full few months! I'm glad to hear your Dad has improved. I know how difficult those days can be.
Congratulations to all of you on the engagement. Happy times!
So good to catch up with you!

The Captain's Daughter said...

What a joy to pop in and hear such wonderful news. An engagement, your father doing better and a fun trip to New York with those you love. I cannot thank you enough for these uplifting reminders of how good life truly is!

Enjoy this time!


Dianne said...

I still think about you often and miss you. I am so happy for you and your family--celebrate wildly those awesome moments.


Dixie said...

Love it!

Sue (Someones Mom) said...

I came to check in with you and how wonderful to hear that you have a wedding in the works. I'm glad your dad got back to his home, but I know that there are stresses involved with that. My dad at 86 is still living in his home 1000 miles away and I worry, even though things are fine at this moment.

As for your may remember that we lost our 16-year-old beagle girl in May. People told me I would know when to let go...and we knew it was time the day that she couldn't stand up. She already couldn't see or hear well...she had lost so much weight, but we still babied her until she couldn't move. It was time and yet I wept like a baby all day long and didn't put her down until the last minute (we also ordered new carpet within a few days-those last days can be tough). It is so have my prayers through it all.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning precious colleague, friend and blogging pal!

I was away at a middle school yesterday, subbing, and that requires I leave early in the morning, not giving me much time to come to visit.

Thank you for coming by to visit. KORALEE'S BOOK IS FANTASTIC! I am so proud of her, and her success is what I eventually hope to do one day...or at least publish an article in a magazine!

Love, how have you been, besides busy with school? I wish you and your father and the rest of your beautiful family SO MUCH LOVE and peace.

You are a treasure. Anita

francis said...

I think it is so amazing we can be a part of each-other's-life a little bit by sharing in our blog's .
We have never met and yet I feel I know you for a little bit , a special part .
If we would have been colleagues I am sure we would also became friends.
And yet I find it even much more special I found you by blogging .
My friend Saskia told me about blogging and trying that too !
There I read your comments and was touched by your words and style .
And we became blogfriends too !
My granddaughter Eva is always wearing the beautiful bibs you made for her and me !
And I tell her about you !
My Elisabeth has recovered amazingly from breastcancer and you were there with your prayers .....
She is doing better than ever !
She is so strong and bright and happy as she always has been .
Since she has her own appartment she is very creative too .
She has been painting her walls and all kind of stuf from fleemarkets !
Also tables , chairs and .....Art for her wall !
she got a big promotion on her work and a new car from her work !
last weekend my children surprised me by doing my livingroom
Painting all the walls and the ceiling and everything .....
I have a new beautiful big white bookcase and that made them wanting to surprise me with the repainting
All beautiful white .....Light and bright !
And little Eva has also books of course !
She loves stories and songs !
I hope one day you will be a grandmother too !
Maria How wonderful you have a new phone I cannot believe all that is possible A whole new world opened to me .....
My son gave it to me and now we share pictures and movies from Eva !
and so much more with facebook Pinterest and what's app .
and reading emails and blogs ...
It made me happy to read you did yourself this favour being such a hard worker and so busy with school
I also love to make pictures and send them so easily ....
wishing you a wonderful rest of the week .

koralee said...

Maria...I soooo miss you...hope you are very well...I know life is so busy..just wanted to pop over and wish you a happy spring break..mine started on Friday. xoxo

Dixie said...

Just stopped by to say hello, and Lord willing life is peaceful for you!

francis said...

Maria ....Spring is here in Holland
and I also have been busy with all the things changing my life .
I have missed blogging and here I am and I hope so much to see you back blogging soon.
Life can be too busy when you have a family AND a job !
I hope you and your family are well and I hope your sweet father is well
I do hope you still find the time to read on blogging and feel connected and beinspired .
You are always in my prayers and I send you lots of love from me in Holland !