Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It's that time of the year again

It's that time of the year again. No, not Christmas time although it most certainly is that too. 

Six years ago this month was when Tim was diagnosed with cancer. I can vividly recall the weeks leading up to that very difficult Christmas. I remember December 23rd found Tim getting a biopsy and me sitting in the waiting room addressing Christmas cards that had been pushed aside as other things took priority. I desperately needed something to keep my mind busy during the agonizing wait so addressing Christmas cards fit the bill and let me pretend life was somehow normal. 

And here we are 6 years later and going to yet another "anniversary" visit to the radiology oncologist. Each visit to Dr. K has been good news and we expect nothing less from today's visit! Dr. K likes Tim because he makes him laugh -- that is Tim's goal each time he sees him. It's a good goal and Tim accomplishes it every time! :)  

Here's to another clean bill of health!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Giving Way to Fall

It's no secret how much I love summer giving way
 to fall and fall to winter.

I love the cooling temperatures, the leaves that change 
and fall and dance.

I love the bare trees revealing their twisting branches (and how this one mildly resembles and anchor) :)

I love the dark that settles in at dinnertime instead of bedtime.

I love the peacefulness of the changing seasons and the coming holidays.

"...peace be both to thee and peace be to thine house and peace unto all that thou hast."
1 Samuel 25:6

Yes, I love the peace that comes to me, my house and all that I have. 

*Pictures in this post are compliments of Annah*
Thank you, Annah!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Keeper of Words

I am a keeper of words. I love words. I think I have always loved words.

I got my first diary when I was 9. I still have it. It is both embarrassing and funny to read the things I wrote back then!

My first diary

Some of the entries in that first diary show me that in some ways my life is very much the same now as it was back then.

And that I still feel the same way about school...
(it just so happens that next week is our fall break!)

My diary days were not long lived. It wasn't until I was about 14 when I started writing quotes I liked on 3 X 5 cards and keeping them. Then I discovered blank books. 

This is the first book that I filled 

I even put drew in a few pictures :)

Over the years my quote collecting and writing continued and these are just a few of my books (a very few!) 

When Pinterest came along my love of words was spurred on again and I began a board I called "Words". While I do pin the quotes I love on that board, I also found myself wanting to write those same words down in a book again. So, that is what I did. 

My girls think I am a bit crazy to pin them *and* to write them 
and they ask me why. 

My only answer is that I am keeper of words. 
It is what I do and what I love.

Words strung together in an uplifting phrase makes me think on higher things. They remind me that I can do better and be better. 
Some of my favorite words come from the scriptures.

Psalms 119:105
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Psalms 119:57
"Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words."

Oh how I want to be a keeper of words, with all my heart!

Recently I have had the great joy of discovering that my girls are also, quite literally, learning to be keepers of words. 

This is Annah's newly decorated bedroom door

Abigail's newly decorated wall of quotes

It warms my heart that my girls are learning to be keepers of words. I hope  they will always be reminded of the power and the hope that words hold and the joy that comes from being a keeper of the Lord's words.

Job 4:4
"Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Days...

I truly don't know where August has gone. It isn't actually gone because it does, thankfully, linger in my memory. I will admit that some parts are blurry (like the whirlwind of getting the girls and I ready to go back to school, working on a schedule that accommodates everyone in their various goings on, and giving up my late nights), but other parts are very clear and bring lots of smiles. :)

First, we welcomed Jordan and his bride to be, McKenna, to Kentucky! They made a long trek by car from Idaho to visit. We hadn't seen Jordan in a year and a half and it was the first time we "officially" met McKenna (other than on Skype!). We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with them both although it was not long enough!

McKenna and Jordan ~ High Bridge Park

McKenna, Jordan, Annah and Abigail 

These pictures scared is a LONG way down!

The decorative graffiti wall at the cliffs :)

We also took a trip to Cumberland Falls and did the raft ride to the falls. We did this trip last summer with Tim & Lisa, Jacob, Andrew, Abigail, Annah and their friend Jen. This time we had Savannah & Jacob, Annah, Abigail, McKenna and Jordan! 
Cumberland Falls

 Jacob, Savanah & Abigail

Savannah & Jacob (hahaha!)

One of our traditions -- crazy pictures in the car!

And after the raft trip we went to Bubby's Barbecue to have some really great food. Good thing McKenna carried Jordan *in* because after all the food he ate I don't think she could have carried him out!

McKenna is little but she is strong!

It turned out that McKenna needed to fly home to California early due to her grandfather being very ill. Jordan took her to the airport in Louisville to fly home. The following day we learned that her grandfather had passed away before she was able to get there. We felt badly for her that she didn't make it in time but we were grateful for the time that she was able to spend with us. It was so nice to meet McKenna and to get to know her a little while she was here! We won't see her in person again until December when she and Jordan will be married on December 26th in the San Diego temple.

In between all the August happenings we were able to squeeze in a birthday party for Abigail who is now 17!  

Water balloon fight! :)

Jordan's last day with us 

Jordan went to church with us on Sunday and then he headed out on his journey west to Utah where he will work for a while before the wedding. With McKenna already in California he drove back alone but he loaded up on music CD's and snacks and he was on his way. The next time we see him he will be just a few days away from being a married man! It makes my eyes leak a little to think of it but we are thrilled to be gaining another beautiful daughter-in-law. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

You lost how much?

About 5 years ago I received a package in the mail from my mother who was residing in a nursing home in New York. A key detail of the story is that at the time my mother had lost some weight.  

Wondering what she sent to me, I opened the package to find a note that said, "I thought you could use these since they don't fit me anymore."

Still wondering what she sent I continued opening the package to find about 4 or 5 pairs of HER UNDERWEAR that no longer fit her!!!  I held them up and they were about 3 sizes bigger than me. 

First I was outraged! Her UNDERWEAR???  

Then I was insulted! Just how big did she think I am???

Then I was mad AND insulted.

Then I called my sister and shared the underwear story.

Then we both laughed and laughed!

So what does this story have to do with anything? 

Well, since last December I have been working on losing some weight. My progress is slow but that is how I want it. I don't want to shed the pounds fast only to have them find me again a few months later. 

Since December I have lost 35 lbs. I am happy with my progress, slow as it is. I recently shared my weight loss progress with my sister and a few days later I got a card from her in the mail....Heads up: my sister is spelling challenged -- she knows it and I know it and I love her anyway. Now you know it so be kind and don't judge. :)  

The card....

Inside the card....

That is actually a picture of my sister, Cretta, getting ready for a
 4th of July parade where she was a clown passing out candy to kids!!  BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Too funny! 
This card is a keeper for's perfect...spelling and all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Then and Now

Summer has come to an end for the Valenta household. It has gone entirely too fast but then again, it always does. No more Zombie marathons while sipping smoothies and no more midnight bedtimes.

The first day of school is always fun. There are clothes to pick out, lunches to pack, schedules to work the kinks out of and pictures to take!

August 2002
Abigail's first day of Kindergarten with her best buddy, Annah, by her side.

August 2014
Abigail on her first day of her senior year with her best buddy
(and freshman!) Annah by her side.

Notice any similarities? :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

17 years in the making

It was 17 years ago today that our first baby girl entered the world. She came bounding in at 11 lbs. 11 oz., a bundle of joy that I could scarcely believe I was capable of delivering but we both lived to tell about it. :)

Abigail's first public appearance at her dad's work... :)

Her first introduction to her brothers

Her beautiful smile stealing hearts from the beginning...

She had artistic abilities were apparent at an early age!

Dancing with her Dad (14 months old) -- she cleans up nicely!

Stealing her daddy's heart wearing his sailor hat!

Always the fashionista!

More evidence of that artistic ability! 
(My all time favorite picture she drew in kindergarten!)

Our little girl has turned into a beautiful young woman who is getting ready to take on the world!

Happy Birthday, Abigail. We love you!