Monday, October 31, 2005

Betsy and Grandpa Bill

Elizabeth, Shana and brother Jim's family

Grandma Leah with Rachel and Betsy

Wonderful weekend...

We had a great weekend with Molly, Myron and Betsy. She's growing so fast and of course I think she's beautiful! Molly and Myron are wonderful patient and supportive of each other. We got to show Betsy to everyone at church Sunday...she was a real celebrity! We spend the rest of Sunday at Grandma and Grandpa Hoffman's house with lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Betsy's cousin Jacob is six months old now and crawling everywhere...he is catching up with his sweet sisters, Rachel and Elizabeth! Molly and Myron just left for home this Monday morning and I'm missing them already. Only 3 more weeks and we'll see them at Thanksgiving! I sure miss Joel and Wendy...I haven't seen them for over 5 weeks! The holidays will be great...lots of family time!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Concert

I received this story in my e-mail and thought it was really
thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy it too.
Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted an old friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE." When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Perhaps that's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't always graceful, flowing music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful. The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there, helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sweet Betsy Sleeping

Our sweet Betsy


1976 was a painful year. It should have been joyful...I was expecting our second child in October. In the summer we received a call that John's father had been struck down by a huge limb while cutting down a damaged tree. He was doing it for the city of Ridgeville and was trying to do it quickly to ready the park for a softball game. In his rush, he failed to secure the branch, which hit him on the head and crushed the vertebrae in his neck. The next few hours were spent in the hospital trying to be hopeful and comforting John's mother. We sat with her when the doctor said that they had to do surgery...but that John's father would never walk again. It was so devastating. It's one of those moments that freezes in your memory. After a long hospital stay, Lester went home to be cared for by his wife and the children who lived closest. It was such a stressful time...John tried to be there for his mom while caring for his family too. In September, Molly turned two. She was such a joy! She was so much fun to have around...always cheerful and full of questions. She started talking at 7 months and never stopped! When we would go to town, she talked to everyone. The folks at the pizza place knew me as Molly's mom. She was so excited about having a baby sister or brother. My family doctor was a competent man but in that small town, prenatal tests were limited. As I approached my due date and then passed it, the tests indicated protein in my urine. My doctor just suggested I cut back on salt and "let nature take it's course." He didn't believe in inducing labor because he had seen a bad outcome once when that was done. In 1976, induction was rarely done. On November 12, I went into labor...2 1/2 weeks past my due date. In the labor room, I heard anxiety in the nurse's voice as she said, "I'm having difficulty finding a heartbeat." I was so fearful but couldn't imagine anything seriously wrong. My pastor came in and prayed with me and that really helped to calm me. After a long labor, I finally was ready to deliver. Betsy was born and the nurses rushed her over to the table. I could see she was covered with meconium but I wasn't aware of the reason for that. As the doctor worked to sew my episiotomy, I felt in shock...the local pain shot had worn off and I could feel every stitch. I shivered uncontrollably and was given a shot to lower my blood pressure. I asked if the baby was okay. I can't remember the words they used but I was told that she had died before birth. I remember lying there in more pain and anguish then I'd ever felt...emotional pain. I had never even imagined losing my baby. I never got to hold her or even see that time they didn't give the mothers the opportunity to say goodbye to their stillborn babies. The Lord gave us the grace to weather that pain but it wasn't until Joel arrived in 1979 that I finally felt some of that emptiness disappear. Joel was such a blessing from God. I know I overprotected him as he was growing up because I always had a hidden fear that I might lose him too. Fortunately he was blessed with a wonderful passion for the Lord despite my mothering. I am so thankful for both my children. They've always been the source of great joy and pride for John and me. And now...He has given me another Betsy! I cry just thinking of the wonderful blessing of our beautiful granddaughter, Betsy. We are so thankful that she arrived safely despite some scary moments for Molly during her labor and delivery. God is so faithful! I know He has great plans for her life because he gave her such loving Christian parents!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Paws to read a good book!

Our library built this float for the town's fall harvest festival...we call it Mardi Gras. The gals I work with at the library spend a lot of time and planning to get a float ready for this annual event. This year we dressed up as dogs and even had a live Newfoundland on our float. Hank was really a big hit with the kids! He was a real sweetie! It's always a fun time to act silly, dress up and throw candy to the kids of the town. And we won the prize for the best float again this year!

Our library float!

Me as a dog at our town's Mardi Gras!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My sweet granddaughter, Betsy!

I'm baaaack

I haven't blogged in a really long time. A lot has happened since April. The most exciting thing is...Molly and Myron had a baby girl! Her name is Elizabeth Leah Ruth and they call her Betsy. She's so beautiful...with curly dark hair and the sweetest little face. John and I got to be with her during her first week while we helped her Daddy and Mama. It was such a blessed time! We sure would like to live closer but we visit whenever we get the chance!