Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Embrace Freedom


God Bless America
Land of the Free…

God Bless America,
My home sweet home.
From Detroit to Houston
From San Francisco to New York,
It’s time to say,
“I love this land!”

There’s nothing like
a good ole hometown parade…
Celebrating our freedom –
Celebrating our love of this land.

Our little town of a thousand
Saw about 20,000 pour in today
To watch our old fashioned parade.
It’s like stepping back 50 years!

No fancy floats worth thousands
With hundreds of hours donated
To create a great big splash…
No sireee! Just good ole home-spun fun!

The Grand Marshalls were ladies
From the Madison Valley Woman’s Club
Celebrating one hundred years of
Service to this wonderful community.

You know you’re in Montana when
The town’s physician and his wife
Enter the parade on horseback
Celebrating their equine family!

Thanks, RJ and Andy!

We’re so blessed to have the MVMC
(Madison Valley Medical Center)
In our little community… so blessed!
Our nurses and doctors’ kids donned the float.

Bob & I had the fun of front row seats
Because our friends who live
Right on the parade route invited us to join them.
Main Street would not have allowed us these views!

Barbara & Roy … Thank you!

Their darling grandkids kept us entertained
As they watched the parade, too –
And ran to gather up the candy
That some of the participants threw to us!

We saw vehicles of every kind,
Decorated with flags and competing
To be chosen as the most unique
Or most beautiful, or most aged.

The Shriners are annual participants
Businesses used this parade
as an opportunity to advertise.
Ray Easter is a mainstay in our parade…
A native of Ennis – a rare breed, indeed!
Wouldn’t be complete without ponies!
The children love this little guy!
Puppies for Patriots
Maybe you can put Ennis, Montana
on your calendar for July 4, 2022.
Come and enjoy the fun!
I think it was 2019 when our daughters,
De & Laina, were able to be here.
Of course, we missed the parade
in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Maybe they can return to enjoy this holiday with us next year!

So nice to have this fun event back again
And the weather cooperated.
Parade was 10: to 11:30 and the
Rain didn’t come until later this afternoon!

Rain? Yup, surprise!
It was not predicted…
.
.

If you’re in the USA,
what did you do to celebrate
this special Independence Day today?

In another country?
Do you have parades like this?

Time for dinner…
Thanks for celebrating with us!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Beauty


Vistas
Broad, expansive
Ridge to Valley
Valley, Mountains, Big Sky
Beauty

Poetry
Embrace Elfchen
It’s eleven words
Set in number pattern
Fun!

View from Pintail Ridge at Ducsay’s

Montana
Mountain Majesty
Expansive blue sky
Delightful precious generous friends
Home

Our neighbors’ new flagpole
A great addition to the “Hood”

Neighbors
Beautiful “Hood”
Always making improvements
Delightful to have around
Friends

Look carefully!
That’s the Hockings’ flagpole
from a different angle

Changes
Always beautiful
As evening came,
The shadows grew longer
Moon

Sundown
Pink reflection
in the north-east
Cool, crisp, refreshing air
Beautiful

Mmmm… steak and wine!

Invitation
To dinner
On Father’s Day
Couldn’t have been better
Delicious



Visitors
From Alaska
Friends from Pakistan
Young man I tutored
Gratitude

Gifts
Beautiful Friends
Staying in Touch
Long after they move
Blessings

Meantime
Back Home
Father’s Day roses
Showing evidence of love
Forever

Father’s Day Roses

Flowers
God’s Beauty
In full bloom
They always are appreciated
Roses

Elfchen is a form of poetry
Sometimes called Elevensies
Because it consists of 11 words
In this configuration:
1+2+3+4+1 = 11
(You probably figured that out by now.)

Write an elfchen for me in the comments below, will you?
Be sure and use the word BEAUTY in your poem!!

Home
Embrace Beauty
Come visit us
We’d love seeing you
Welcoming

Music
Tells stories
Ed Sheeran sings
In a musical video
Beautiful

Define
What’s beauty?
I’m not beautiful…
Beauty’s as Beauty does
Hugs

Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting;
but a wo(man) who fears the Lord is to be praised. …
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor Him, for He is your lord.

~ Psalms 45:11.

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Cherished Memories


Go back to your past
Embrace cherished memories
Cherish family

Yesterday we celebrated family as we gathered at our son, Ty’s place in Placerville, CA.
It was Ty’s mother-in-law, Ruthie’s birthday (behind me on the left with hubby, Darrell).
We are so blessed to have such a close, loving family! That’s my niece, Jodie,
on the right with her hubby, Bill, and son, Liam. Monika’s in back right.
Ty & our grandson, Sam are front left.

We were gathered not only to celebrate Ruthie’s birthday,
but the day before we all gathered at the cemetery
to honor the life of my sister, Sally.

Here is Sally on the right with her best friend, Bonnie Dauley, at a River Cats game.
Bonnie & many of Sally’s friends from the Sacramento area
joined our family & friends in Turlock for the lovely memorial.
It had to be postponed last December due to COVID.

It was a lovely, blue sky day. Here I am reading my poem about my sis to the gathering.
Sally’s ashes joined those of her husband and eldest daughter
in this beautiful spot where my parents’ ashes also are.

Bob & I have a “drawer” right next to this one where my parents’ ashes are.
You may think this is morbid, but I find comfort knowing
this detail is taken care of.
Do you relate?

Ty introduced the various speakers who remembered the best qualities of my sis.
The remarks helped solidify for us all what a unique person Sally was.
She was very devoted to her Rebekah and Odd Fellows Lodges,
so those organizations were well represented in the service.

Sally’s daughter (my niece, Jodie) has a best friend, Melissa,
who came from Utah to celebrate and honor the memory of Sally DeAngeles Butters.
Melissa has been Jodie’s best friend since early high school days.
What a blessing best buddies are!

My best CA buddy, Marcie, invited us to stay at her place –
and had a mini-class of ’57 gathering the night before the service.
What a joy to see my old high school buddies!
I was so busy enjoying them, I didn’t take any pictures that night.
Amazing!

Here’s Marcie out on her patio.
And below there is Bob… enjoying the beautiful California sunshine.

After the service, Jodie & Bill invited everyone to lunch at El Jardin in Turlock.
It was great food, and a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to connect.

Marcie & Ty with Monika’s parents and Bob’s brothers & sisters-in-law.
Below are three of my cousins, Jan DeAngelis Jones, Maria DeAngelis, and Leni Assali.
I had not seen them in waaaay too long!
(behind Jan is Tim Allen, who enhanced the ambiance with his music)

Jodie, me & Melissa… so good to have time together!

For dessert, we remembered my sister’s love of holidays
with cupcakes decorated with all her favorite days.

Wasn’t that a clever idea?

Before returning here to Ty’s in Placerville,
we stopped by my cousin,
Adrian’s in Modesto,
for more visiting time.

Adrian DeAngelis

Leni Assali & Laura DeAngelis

God bless Jodie & Bill!
They worked so hard to make this a memorable occasion –
One that honored my sister’s memory
and will live in our memories
for as long as we live.

We wish our daughter, DeAna, and her hubby Andre’ could have been here –
but they are in Switzerland. Too far to come … and they are busy with their restaurant right now.
But the picture above is De & Andre’ with Ty & Monika two years ago.
You can see they enjoy one another’s company!
My hope is that someday Ty & Monika can go to Vissoie
to visit De & Andre’ and their gorgeous Swiss Auberge.

Sante’, my friends.
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today
and sharing this important family time with me vicariously.
Today is more chance to spend time here in CA with loved ones.
We will have two of my other grandchildren
plus my sweet great-granddaughter,
Cosette, joining us today.

I hope you have a blessed weekend.
What are you planning to do?

Cheers!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)!
Love, Jan

Embrace Travel


It’s fun to take a trip every now and then.
I’m so grateful that the opportunity to fly
from Montana to California is available to us now.
We had to cancel the trip last December
because of COVID-19.

But
– thank God –
we are able to use those tickets now…
and here we are!
On our way…

There’s Bob
– waiting in Salt Lake City –
for our connecting flight to Sacramento…

And I am communicating via WhatsApp
with our daughter in Switzerland…

Don’t you love the way the internet shrinks our world?
Hi DeDe!

Hi Mom & Dad … safe travels!

It’s a beautiful day here in Placerville, CA at our son’s house.
Ty & Monika treated us to an afternoon at a beautiful winery.
It’s just a short, lush, windy, oak-studded 30-minute drive
up the El Dorado hills from their house
(with lots of squirrel overpasses).

Love it!!

We enjoyed an afternoon of wine tasting and beautiful hors d’oeuvres in this wonderful setting.

My grandson, Sam, enjoyed a good book
and some snacks at a table of his own.
The weather was perfect!

Then we came back to Ty & Monika’s for a BBQed chicken dinner out on their lovely patio.

Ty at the barbecue with his bottle fence in the background

Don’t you think this is a clever use of old wine bottles?

Moni, Ty, Bob, Sam & I enjoyed chatting time
while the chicken was smoking on the Traeger.
(Monika is taking the photo)

Their BBQ patio area is covered with grapevines.
I love the way the sun plays with the leaves
and highlights the baby grape clusters!

I hope you have a relaxed Saturday, dear friends.
You can be sure, I will be thinking of you –
and praying your weekend is
as wonderful as mine
promises to be!
Peace.

Embrace Travel Opportunities.

After more than a year of missed family gatherings,
we certainly will never take them for granted again!

This sign is at the base of one of those grapevines.
Such comfort in knowing God’s gotcha covered…
… no matter where you are.

Shalom


See ya tomorrow
(God willing).

Love & Peace to you,
JanBeek

Embrace Storytelling


Don’t let your stories
Die inside you when you’re gone
Let stories out now

We are headed to California to spend time with our son and his family and with Bob’s brother and his family.

With my niece and her family, we will have the Memorial Service for my sister that had to be cancelled last December. My niece wants me to say a little about my sis at the memorial service. Where do I begin? Where do I stop? How do I choose? There is so much to tell.

That picture of the two of us was taken 30 years ago at my daughter’s wedding. It brings back so many memories!

There is Sally with her two nephews and two nieces (our son’s children)… taken when the youngest two were around 8 years old. They are 25 now! I could write a book about my sister’s affection for holidays and the joy she got out of dressing up for each one of them. Her closet – full of clothes – was arranged according to holidays!

I don’t have to tell you what time of year this was! She and GiGi (or was that MeMe?) were headed to celebrate with us. Life with Sally was one celebration after the next. Lordy! Don’t let the stories die with her. Keep them alive!

Let those stories out
Just Embrace Storytelling!
Share more tomorrow…

Lord help the mister
Who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister
Who comes between me and my man…
(or something like that… hah!)
We never had that trouble!

… but isn’t that a cute song?

Embrace Memorial Day


Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

I went to our Madison Valley Cemetery this morning. The grave sites of veterans were marked by American flags. Many of the tombstones were freshly decorated for this important holiday. Come visit with me – and let’s honor the memories of our brave military ancestors.

The music at the end of this blog is so beautiful, you may want to scroll down there, click on it, and listen as you view the rest of this post.

Only in Montana might you find a gravestone decorated with a set of antlers!

The Daems memorial was especially meaningful to me. Doris was a friend of mine here in Ennis who was a faithful volunteer with the Women’s Club as well as the Madison Valley Manor and at the Medical Center. What a wonderful lady! Her 86 year-old brother and 90 year-old sister were there today to honor her memory as well as the many veterans.

Doris Daems served her country, too…
here at home in so many ways!

It was a beautiful blue sky day. A memorial service brought many people from our area out to this beautiful cemetery today… an opportunity to honor those brave men and women whose blood was spilled on the battlefields so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.

If you were given the opportunity to select the 3 words to go on your tombstone to describe who you are, what words would you choose? Gene Wilkins was known as “Doc” here in Ennis… “Healer” was a perfect word for him!

Two of my words would probably be “Mother” and “Grammy” – A third word would need to be “Wife” since that identifies 60 years of my life. Although I was a teacher, a principal, and a district office administrator for 36 years, I think I’d have to choose “Child of God” or “Friend” before I’d call attention to my professional career. But, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to limit it to just three. How about you?

Here’s a wife, mother, daughter, sister,
grandmother, and friend.
Melissa’s family couldn’t limit it
to just three descriptors!

Would you include “Hero” for a description? How about pets, would they be part of your cemetery memorabilia? I’d like an angel by mine… (my maiden name is DeAngeles – and angels are a big part of my world!)

Some of the tombstones were decorated in very special ways, but a simple stone flush with the ground with letters worn away by time and weather intrigued me a lot. Who was that veteran? Is his/her family still in this area?

Thank you for your service, nameless one!

Rest in peace, dear ones. May your service to our country never be taken for granted!

God bless you, dear friends.
May your life be a long, happy one
and may you leave a legacy
that inspires your grandchildren.

Happy Memorial Day!

See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Embrace Veterans & The Trinity


Today in the USA it is Veteran’s Day.
(Oooops! Nope, it’s Memorial Day!)
World-wide it is Holy Trinity Sunday.

Veteran’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor
the men and women who are or have served
our country in the military. It is a day to
thank God for four freedom and to remember
the men and women who fought to keep us free.
(It is Nov. 11th. I get it mixed up with today…
the last Monday in May:
A day to honor those who DIED
while serving our country.)

My day started in my sanctuary as it usually does –
A place where I feel the Holy Spirit alive and well.
There, I pray to God, learn from His Son’s life,
And listen to the Spirit guiding me.

Downstairs, I joined Bob who was busy fixing fruit
For our breakfast. It was a beautiful blue sky day.


After breakfast, we went to church where I was a greeter
And Bob read scripture. As usual, I took sermon notes.

Chuck Wright delivered the message:
“Holy Trinity.”

Here are the notes I took as I listened:

Inspired by: Romans 5:1-11

We have been justified by faith.
We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
We rejoice in suffering, for it brings perseverance.
We were powerless until Christ came to this sod.

We received reconciliation throgh the cross.
The Holy Trinity, the Godhead, is God, Son, Holy SPirit.
The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but
The separate parts are there. With ears, hear it!

Jesus existed at the beginning of time.
He came to earth for the purpose of saving us.
When He ascended back to His Heavenly home,
He put the Holy Spirit in our hearts, engraving us.

We are marked by the blood of Jesus.
We remember His blood and body in communion.
We celebrate the spiritual world of God,
Knowing His Trinity is present in our world – in union.

In union, the Father, Son, and Spirit are one.
Understanding that is beyond our comprehension.
So we read His Word. study His Son’s life,
And listen for His Spirit in us. Pay attention!

God is love. Love is from God. We’re gifted with it.
God sent His Son to the world to show us how to love.
Christ died for us that we might live forever
In Heaven with God – our Eternal Home above.

Back home, the focus was on Veteran’s (nope… Memorial Day) weekend.
Tomorrow (now it’s today) we will go to the Ennis Cemetery for a special service.
Then we will attend a Memorial Day Barbecue at the rodeo grounds.
It started out as a meal for veterans and their families only…
but then it grew exponentially until it’s “Ya’all Come!”
They anticipate there could be as many as 500 diners.
I’m praying for the dear guys who are preparing the food.
God bless ’em! I hope they survive it!
Tonight I watched a Memorial Day Concert…
My favorite was the playing of TAPS.
It was beautiful!

If you are in the USA, what will you do to celebrate Memorial Day?


If you are in another country, do you have a day comparable to this one – when you honor those people who served and died while in the military (in the act of service to preserve your country’s freedom?) How do you thank those who serve your country in this way?

And how about the Trinity? Is it a part of your understanding?

I am grateful for your visit here today.
Thanks for reading JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Mothers


Me n Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to our moms!
Whether they are alive or dead,
They live daily in our thoughts –
Either lovingly or with dread.

Some folks weren’t as lucky
As I feel I was born to be.
I had a strong-willed mother
Who passed her strength on down to me.

Mom & Dad

Mom moved from her home in Washington
To marry my handsome Italian dad.
She spent her life in central California.
Musta made her mother rather sad.

Mom raised me and my sis, Sally,
To learn to stand on our own two feet.
From day one we were taught to know
School wasn’t done ’til college was complete.

She was born fifth of six children –
And her dad died when she was a teen.
College wasn’t an option for her, but for sure
Her girls would experience that scene!


Sally, Dad, Mom & me

Sally went to Jr. College and Brigham Young.
I graduated from University of Pacific (UOP).
Mom was pleased as punch to know –
If I needed to, I could take care of me!

She and Dad were great supporters
Of Bob & me their whole lives through.
I couldn’t have asked for better folks.
I hope you can say the same about you.

Dad Mom, Bob & me
That’s me with Mom, Sally & our daughter, De –
behind us is Dave Butters,
Sally’s husband who died way too young.
Mom’s selfie

Mom took selfies with a smile
Long before digital cameras and internet.
If she was alive today, she’d post ’em daily
And she’d have a huge following – you bet!

Today’s the day for us to remember
Our moms – and conjure up some joy
As we recall their better selves –
and set aside all thoughts that annoy!

I must remember no one’s perfect,
And I just hope when I’m dead and gone,
Our children will recall my better self,
And set aside times I was a moron!

I hope my kids will say,
“My mom was the Bee’s Knees”
and laugh at any bitterness
while remembering only the honey!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Embrace your Mothers today
(for real – or in your memories).
They did (or are doing) the best they could!!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace May Flowers


Happy May Day!

Time for a new wreath!

When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California (yes, there is a town by that name), May Day was a very special occasion.

In the classroom on the morning of May 1st we made baskets of paper or ribbon. Then we went out into the fields around the school and picked wildflowers. We hung our baskets on doorknobs around town, rang the doorbell, and hid in the bushes as we watched the surprised resident answer the door and find the colorful, hanging gift. In it was an invitation to come to the school that afternoon for our May Pole Dance.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
Sometimes we used our school colors for the ribbons
Other times we used an assortment of colors

It was not uncommon for us to dress in special costumes, but sometime, like the first picture of the Maypole, we would dress in white. Notice the flower wreaths in our hair. Ah yes, we went all out!

We’d weave in and out of each other to create the braided base on the Maypole. You can tell this last picture is recent. Back in the 40s and 50s no girls would be caught dead coming to school in Levis!! We would have probably been sent home!

Music would accompany our dance around the Maypole … The YouTube below shows that in some places, May Day still is celebrated in today’s world.

It’s a more complicated process than you might imagine!

I wonder if they still do
the baskets with flowers
in school rooms
and neighborhoods anywhere?

I love May flowers!

If you don’t have a wildflower field nearby,

maybe you can go to FTD and order your May Day flowers today!
There are lots of beautiful arrangements from which to choose!

Have a Happy May Day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Embrace May Flowers!

Do you do anything special for May Day?

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)

Embrace Easter!


He is risen indeed!

My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green.
The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.

A small, but appreciate gathering
lifted voices to sing
“He Arose!”
and
“He Lives!”

Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing
and nibble at the emerging greenery.
Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!

Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.

It was Communion Sunday as well as Holy Easter Sunday.
A very meaningful ritual … being able to partake in person with other Christian friends.
Our sermon topic was “Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble.”

What are your earliest
Memories of Easter Sunday?
Yellow crocuses, dogwoods,
And eggs hidden slightly away?

What are your earliest
Memories of recognizing in your life
God, the Risen Christ?
Do you have to think twice?

My memory was on a morning
When I’d victoriously ridden
My bike down a steep hill –
Suddenly God was not hidden.

I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene
With the other Mary who saw
That Jesus was not in the tomb.
An angel said He’d risen – such awe!

They were terrified to realize
You can’t escape God in Jesus.
They told no one what they heard –
Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?

They thought their hopes and dreams
Had been buried and sealed away,
Buried with Him – they believed.
They all deserted Christ that day.

Peter had denied Christ three times.
The other disciples hid in fear.
Have we also denied the messenger
Who told us Jesus is alive and here?

The Easter miracle assures us
Our crucified Lord is running free.
He is waiting for us to come out
Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!

Am I ready to believe the story
Of a man who dies, but rose again?
Am I ready to understand that He
Suffered that agony to free me from sin?

The Risen Christ stands before me
With nail prints in His hands and side.
Am I ready to hear the Good News
And know there’s no where I can hide?

With fear and amazement this Easter,
I will not go away from the empty tomb-
Back to daily routine, forgetting Him.
No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime.

All hail, Redeemer, Hail!
For Thou hast died for me.
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

Amen.

EMBRACE EASTER

It comes but once a year
Yet its significance
Lives in our hearts daily…
Thank God for the gift
of His Son
who secured my spot
and yours
in heaven.

Praise Him! Alleluia!
Amen!

Oh, and in the afternoon,
we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope,
and her husband, Drew, and their two children
(our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).

Hope & Drew
Xander
Sienna
Hunting for Easter eggs
Hope with Sienna
Isn’t this a fun appetizer tray?
And for a larger crowd,
how about this one?

Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season?
I did.. and I enjoyed every one.
I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:

That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby…
with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord.
So precious!!

And now,
the eggs are gone.
The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge.
The family departed.
The dishes are looming large –
Begging to be done…
But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you?
Sit down and relax.
Contemplate the day…
Think about what Easter means.
Thank God for the gift of His Son.
Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.
The dishes can wait!
My computer’s about to run outta battery…

Hope you had a Happy Easter weekend.


Have a good night.
See ya tomorrow.

Sending lots of love,
JanBeek

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