Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Visit From Aunt Anna

I am blessed to come from a wonderful Italian family (my sister, Linda, is this generation's Italian cook). My mother had six sisters and 3 brothers and my father had 2 sisters, he being the eldest. Both parents were first-generation Italians born in this country. What a heritage I have . . . the memories of family gatherings go on and on. Unfortunately, all are gone except my Aunt Anna (see her picture), my mother's youngest sister and the baby of the family. Can you believe that she is 80-something? Sorry, Aunt Anna, I had to brag on you!

Aunt Anna and Uncle Kenny had no children of their own (she is now widowed), so her nieces and nephews became her children. She is more like a big sister to me and we are as silly when together as some siblings are. Affectionately, we sometimes address each other as Bubba I and Bubba II. Where that started, I don't know, but it makes for a good laugh.

How surprised I was when she called in January and said she and my cousin, Janice, would be visiting in February (they live in the north east). She has "her room" here in our home, and we love to prepare for her. In addition to visiting Mr. Jim and me, she also visited my sisters and a cousin in South Florida which made for a very short visit with us. Nonetheless, any time with her is a joy. I will have the pleasure of staying at her home for a whole week in May. There will be many late nights of talking and talking and talking . . . We never seem to be at a loss for words when together.

Webster's dictionary defines heritage as tradition, handed down from one's ancestors or the past and property that is or can be inherited. To me it means much more than that. Our family heritage represents grandparents who came to this country and couldn't speak English, there always being room for one more at my Grandmother's table, my mother working in a sweat shop, Easter dinner at Aunt Jenny's and Uncle Mike's with tables lined up one after another to accommodate the family, the aroma of fresh wine in wooden barrels in the basement at my paternal grandparent's home, my father buying my mother, my sisters and me corsages to wear on Easter Sunday . . . I could go on for pages.

I love from whom I came and cherish every memory. And although it means the world to me, I have a greater heritage. Psalm 16:5-6 tells me that the Lord is the portion of my inheritance; 1 Peter 2:9 tells me that I am of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession. Imagine, that the creator of the universe has made me, a sinner saved by grace, a part of his family, that He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will . . . (Eph. 1:5). In reading just those few verses, my spirit rises up in me and says yes, Lord, yes, how I love being a part of your family!

I am a blessed woman. I have a wonderful earthly heritage and an eternal heritage, and it can't get any better than that.

In Him,
Jim's Patty

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grandparents Day at School

January 23 was Grandparents Day at our youngest son's children's school. Cameron (second grade) was so excited I thought she would burst when we two grandmothers arrived. She sat between us, holding our hands in hers, smiling and loving every minute of it. I visited her class first where the teacher had put together some cute little projects for us to share. One such item was a set of pictures (car, house, food, etc.), and we were to note how much these things cost when we were in second grade as compared to now. Cameron was shocked at the difference--especially that I had only paid $1600 for my first car--I won't even mention what my 2007 Honda Accord LEX cost me!

Grandma Kay and I switched, and I then visited Taylor's fifth-grade class (Taylor didn't hang around to have another picture taken, hence, more of Cameron). Have you ever watched Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Well, let me tell you--this Grandma is not! I loved the way the teacher drew all of us into the lesson. She was teaching on the states and asking us all if we knew what significant historical events happened in each . . . unfortunately, we didn't have time to cover them all. I loved being a fifth grader again even if I didn't know most of the answers.

The day and being with the kids was wonderful. However, the best part was knowing that my grandchildren are in a Christian environment each day, learning about the Lord and the values set forth in the Scriptures. Before we visited each class, the principal greeted us with a warm welcome and shared on the impact we have on our grandchildren--an eternal impact vs. a temperal impact. I don't know if he realized how stirring his short message was. As grandparents, it's natural for us to want to give them all they want--but in reality, we need to give them Jesus--in the way we act, talk and love one another.

This lesson never gets too old to learn and practice over and over again.

In Him,

Jim's Patty

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chuck's Retirement Party

Faith, Family, Friends is what the plaque said in Chuck and Denise's newly decorated living room. We were all there for Chuck's retirement party last Saturday, February 2. He had been a policeman for twenty-nine years and now at the young age of less than fifty was going to take life easy--at least for a while!
His last day on duty was Thanksgiving (what an occasion to be thankful for), but the party had to wait until my sister and brother-in-law, Mary Jean and Dick, arrived for their wintering here in Florida. I was thrilled that I could take lots of pics (cameras were flashing all over the place) and show off a portion of our family. Denise is one of the two girls in our blended family of six children. How proud we are of Chuck--great
husband, father, brother, son-in-law, friend and most importantly, a child of the King. He, Denise and the boys, Matthew and Jonathan, are well steeped in their faith, and it shows in their lives.

Back to the party . . . the menu consisted of Ziti (prepared by yours truly), fried chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, and green beans with bacon. Denise got donuts for dessert (see pic of her feeding Chuck) as policemen are known for their love of donuts. She was concerned that she hadn't gotten enough, and then entered Chuck's sister-in-law, Cheryl, with killer home made yellow and chocolate cupcakes and a pumpkin-type of cobbler. Mary Jean had prepared some great chocolate chip and nut cookies. Needless to say, my Weight Watcher points went over the top for the day. I should have taken a picture of the food . . . oh well.

The weater cooperated and the kids had a great time outside riding on the dune buggy and generally running around like kids do. We adults had a great time as well: talking, eating, reminiscing, eating, taking pictures, eating . . .

All in all, it was a wonderful joy-filled day. Faith, family and friends . . . what more is there--and all in the right order.

Pictures left to right: Patty (center) and her sisters, Mary Jean and Linda; Mr. Jim and brother-in-law, Dick; and boys goofing around (grandsons in green and red).

Until next time . . .

In Him,
Jim's Patty

Monday, January 21, 2008

Just a Short Note . . .

Hi again:
I am really excited about this blog stuff . . . but a bit--no--a lot nervous about it. Mimi showed me so many things and I want to know it all--now! Isn't that just like us humans--wanting it all now. This little note is really a test to see if I can post on my own . . . won't she be proud of me. I wanted to say something profound, but here I am without any profundity at all about me.

One profound statement is that God is so good all the time, and yet it is such a simple truth for those of us who know Him. What would I do without Him? I can't even fathom it. At times, this truth just lies there--dormant like perennial flowers in the winter; and at others, it rises up inside of me, and I want to shout alleluia to the whole world. That reason alone shows His goodness--He loves me in my dormant seasons as well as in my blossoming seasons. Jesus truly is the Lily of the Valley and the Rose of Sharon.

Isn't it just like the Holy Spirit to inspire such beautiful names to describe Him--and some are flowers--of course.
Until next time.

In Him,
Jim's Patty

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hi, It's Jim's Patty, Can I Join You?

Hello dear friends in Blogland!

I finally made it with the help of my friend Mimi from Listen to Your Grammie. I couldn't have done it without her. I am so happy to join you as I have visited many of your sites for the past few months. This is such a blessing to me to be able to "post" with you and share the Lord and many other things in our lives.

As you can see, I love flowers. This picture surely depicts the way I feel . . . looking through a garden of new friends--you! Please visit frequently. I am looking forward to this new season of my life.

May God bless you richly,
Jim's Patty