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Posts tagged ‘gifts’

She’s Here!


Yes, my new little great-granddaughter is here!
Faith & Kyle named her Mable Iris.
Don’t you love old-fashioned names?

I tried to get them to name her Janet
(that’s JanBeek’s God-given name),
but I lost out to one they chose
simply because they both “like it.”

Oh well, I tried!

Choosing names for our children
is such an important part of parenting.

The last “child” I named is this little moose who sits on my bed every day. He is named “Faithful” because he was a gift to me about 15 years ago from my granddaughter, Faith. She bought it at the Yellowstone National Park gift shop. We had just seen the geyser “Old Faithful” erupt. Then we went into the gift shop and gave her and her three siblings each some money to buy a souvenir for their visit. She bought this moose and then gave it to me as a “Thank you for taking us to Yellowstone” gift.

What a thoughtful little pre-teen she was! Each day when I make my bed, I put “Faithful the Yellowstone Moose” back on my bed with a prayer. I say:

“Dear God,
Please tuck them together in love
and watch over Faith & Kyle today.
Amen”

When we named our son Ty (I have told you this story before), it was because I had a student named Ty in my kindergarten class in 1963. He was such an adorable little boy – and I loved him as well as his name. In 1965 when our son was born, Bob agreed to use Ty’s name for our little baby.

Today when Kyle let us know that he & Faith had named their little girl Mable, I asked, “Is there a history of that name in your family? Or is it just a name you both liked?”

Kyle texted back and said they just liked the name – no family history for it.

So, I told Kyle that I have a history with that name. The only other Mable Bob & I have know is Mable Cronan. She was the dear, sweet, compassionate, loving grandmother of Ty Stiles (that kindergarten student of mine). Mable attended our church in California with Ty’s aunt, Marilyn Sena. So now – come full circle: our Ty has a granddaughter named Mable – just like Ty Stiles had a grandmother Mable. I love it when things seem to be so synchronistic, don’t you?

Ty & Roxanne Stiles
with me & Bob

When I looked up the meaning of the name Mable,
Wikipedia said,

“Lovable, dear:
Mabel is an English female given name
derived from the Latin amabilis, “lovable, dear“.

I told Faith and Kyle that Mable Cronan (Ty Stiles’ grandma) was definitely lovable and dear. I am so glad they chose that name. It will be fun to live long enough to see this great-granddaughter’s personality and values develop, and to watch God bring out the “lovable and dear” qualities that were born in her.

I saw a picture of my new great-granddaughter, Mable, today. I won’t post it here – out of respect for the privacy of her and her parents – but here is her mom, Faith, when she was a baby:

Mable has a cute little pug nose like Faith’s
( I lay claim to that feature – and told them so).

Mable has parents who love her –
and an extended family who can hardly wait
to meet her in person
and give her and her parents great big hugs!

Yes, my friends, she’s here!
It’s been a beautiful April 1st.
I pray yours was a memorable day, too.
Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts
as we waited for this baby to arrive.

Here’s Mable’s mom & dad,
Faith & Kyle.
Aren’t they adorable?

For some reason, I am hoping this lovable new baby, Mable, will learn to play a musical instrument someday – maybe the soprano sax like Kenny G. I dedicate this album to her and hope she grows up to enjoy music someday as much as her Great-Grama (GG) Jan does!


This baby was the highlight of my day, obviously!
Tell me about a highlight of your April 1st.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek tonight.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Only in Snowy Places?


Today’s blog is inspired by a conversation I had this morning with Ruthie, my son’s mother-in-law.

Photo by Matu Bil on Pexels.com

Up pops the crocus leaves
Tiny sprouts of green
Signaling winter’s end –
A very welcomed scene.

Only in snowy places
Do crocus flowers grow.
What makes that a fact?
I’d really like to know.

So I checked it out
With a quick click or two
And learned about this flower.
Does its beauty attract you, too?

In her article about gardening, Marie Iannotti wrote the following about crocuses: “Growing from bulb-like structures called corms, crocuses are low-growing perennial plants from the iris (Iridaceae) family. In many regions, crocus flowers (Crocus spp.) mark the arrival of spring. These early bloomers can often be seen peeking up through the snow well before any other flowers appear on the landscape. They grow in a range of conditions, including woodlands, coastal gardens, and suburban lawns. Bloom colors on the tube-shaped flowers include mauve, lavender, and yellow. …”

The crocus in our yard are this gorgeous color of lavender. I wasn’t aware that they also come in mauve and yellow, are you?

My daughter-in-law’s mom, Ruthie, grew up in Switzerland and has lived her adult life in southern California. Speaking with her this morning, telling her about the crocus that are popping up in our yard, she said, “I haven’t seen a crocus since I was a child in Switzerland. They only grow where there’s snow.”

That got me thinking and wondering … and as you read above, they actually grow in a range of conditions. I intend to send her a few “corms” as an Easter gift next week – and I will be very curious to see if they will grow in her yard. She lives not too far from Los Angeles … certainly a place where snow is not expected! But, Marie Iannotti included “suburban lawns” as a place they grow, so we’ll see.

Not quite the same as her Swiss mountainside, huh?

What are some things
that you might expect to see
only in snowy places?

Let’s find a few images
that come to mind:

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com
Snowdrops

I love snowdrops. We don’t have any of these in our yard. Gotta remedy that!!

I did a little research on these flowers too, and learned this from Longfield Gardens’ site: “Like other spring-blooming bulbs, snowdrops use their foliage to generate energy for next year’s flowers. Resist the temptation to cut back the leaves or mow them down while they are still green. Within a couple weeks, the foliage will yellow and melt away on its own.

When snowdrops are growing in a location that suits them, the bulbs will multiply and can eventually carpet a large area. The bulbs don’t mind being crowded and rarely need dividing. If you want to move some bulbs to a new area or share them with friends, dig and divide them in early spring, right after flowering and before the foliage begins to yellow. Handle them carefully so the foliage stays attached to the bulbs, and get them back into the ground as quickly as possible.

You may find it takes a couple years to establish large clumps of snowdrops, but once the bulbs have naturalized, you will have flowers every spring for generations to come.”

What springtime flower inspires you?

I hope your home is blessed with a colorful,
sweet smelling, beautiful gift of flowers today.

If I could send you a few “corms”
as an Easter gift, I would!

Bee well!
I send you my love and hugs this day.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.


See ya tomorrow (God willing).

A Virtual Baby Shower


My granddaughter, Faith, is expecting a baby girl this April. This Sunday her mom is hosting a virtual baby shower for her. It’ll be my first ZOOM baby shower. Have you ever attended one?

In preparation for the event, we were invited to go on-line and offer advice using a variety of prompts. That was a fun thing to do. Fun to read each other’s responses! Also, Faith’s mom (our daughter-in-law, Monika) will be posting pictures of all the gifts as Faith virtually opens each one. How clever, huh?

Faith and Kyle were married in July of 2020. It was a fairy tale wedding.

Such a darling couple! They met at a Young Life Christian camping activity about 2018. They both have a strong faith. They have many ideals and activities they enjoy in common. One of their mutual activities is snowboarding. This photo gives you a glimpse into their personalities:

Hah! Sweet Kyle – Sassy Faith!

I am looking forward to attending the virtual shower tomorrow. Should be a fun, unique experience. I’ll post afterward to let you know how it went.

Faithy is an old fashioned girl. Her desires are simple. This is the bassinet/carrying case she chose for her baby!!

Fun, huh?

Don’t know how many months Baby McSparron will fit in there… but should be fun while it lasts!

This is a picture of Faith when she was a baby. She was a true gift from God! I have this photo framed and displayed up in my Angel room:

Precious baby!
Ty & Monika were blessed to be able to adopt her at her birth!!

I can hardly wait to hold my newest little miracle baby when she comes. She’ll be our 4th great-grandchild. Yes, I know… we are mighty blessed.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow(God willing)
Hugs…

Bye for now

Oh, before you go, I need to share with you a song that came to mind as I was writing this post. The Penguins went to the top of the hit parade in 1955 with this song. I was a sophomore in high school!! (Yes, I know… the dark ages!!) I loved dancing to this one … Thanks Phil & Benny – happy memories!

Advice to Teenage Self


WordPress started a new program called Bloganuary each day they’ll give us a writing prompt. I’ll see if I can find inspiration in this new program – and share comments with some fellow bloggers I haven’t met before.

My 2021 blogs all began with my word for the year, “Embrace.” We had spent 2020 with the absence of hugs … and that was really hard for me. It was not difficult to think of a subject to embrace each day.

Our daughter, De, at age 19.

Now, let’s see what my life experience can do with these new daily prompts!

What Advice Would I Give to My Teenage Self?

I wrote a poem for my daughter, DeAna, when she was 19, married her sweetheart, André, and left us in CA to go live with him in his home country of Switzerland. My advice to her was wrapped up in this poem. It’s the same advice I would have given to my own teenage self:

I hope you are able to read that, dear blogging friends. And I hope you have been given (and can give in return) “Gifts Your Kids Can’t Break”

God bless you this New Year’s Day. May 2022 be a memorable year of many hugs and many blessings from Our Lord to you and your loved ones.

Please pray for my husband, Bob, who is in ER right now with congestive heart failure.

Love, JanBeek

Embrace Simplicity


Who am I to tell you
How to live your life?
Who am I to suggest
Ways to eliminate strife?

Simplicity’s elusive
In this world of more and more.
Simplicity’s evasive
For both the rich and poor.

When we live in a world of plenty
We have more than we need, lots more.
We have so much it pushes its way
Onto the chairs and into the floor.

We go out shopping for others
And find a book we can’t live without.
No more room on our bookshelves –
“Stop! Embrace Simplicity!” our houses all shout.

Embrace Simplicity!

We go out shopping for others
And some absolutely essential gift
Jumps off the shelf and tells us,
“You need this for your own spirit lift!”

But living with less stuff and clutter
Is the best spirit lifter you will find.
Let’s embrace simplicity, my friends.
It’s an important clearing of the mind!

Like weeds in an otherwise garden of beauty,
Your mind and your home need clear space!
Get rid of the clutter and give your brain room
To live in simplicity and to exude love and grace.

Maybe this Christmas my shopping
Should be in my own cluttered house.
Instead of searching, stressing, and buying,
I wonder who’d like that lovely red blouse?


I’m off to see if I can follow my own advice.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
But, I really like that blouse…
Maybe I’ll have to think twice!

Have a Simply Happy Week, my friends.
All I want for Christmas is YOU visiting me here!!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Gladness


What has made you glad today?
Are you thanking God for this day?

I will reJOYce for He has made me glad.
This is such a beautiful spring day –
The weather is a gift from God
and
My dear husband, Bob, has our yard
Looking like a very inviting park.

Come sit awhile with me.
Enjoy the birds singing.
Enjoy the sunshine.
Let the peacefulness
of the mountain vistas
Make you glad!

Our robins are such a treat.
They make me glad!

Let your heart sing with the music of the birds!
So beautiful!

I had a yellow chested blackbird singing to me this morning-
-and while up in my sanctuary, a pair of doves
landed on the garage roof
and sang their hearts out.

(Thank God
it wasn’t those
“common cranes”
or the “snipe”
or the “corn crepe.”
Those would have driven me crazy!

(If you glide your cursor over the red line on the video,
it will tell you what kind of bird you are listening to.

The European turtle dove sounds like those we have here.
They make me glad!

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Our friend, Jim, took a break
from his yard work today
and came to visit for awhile.

Friends who drop by to visit
make my heart glad!

Tomorrow I get to spend time with his wife,
my good friend, Terry.
We’ll share a lunch and catch up on life.
Sharing life with friends makes me glad!

This blanket’s a gift from Terry.
Seeing it, wrapping myself up in it,
that makes me glad!

“Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before His presence with singing.”

Psalm 100:2

What makes you glad?

Share with me…
Your comments make me glad!


EMBRACE GLADNESS!

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek!

Embrace Focus


While you are thanking God
for making you human,
giving you courage to try hard things,
helping you learn and grow and
understand the lessons life has for you,
don’t forget to count your blessings!

Goodness
Surrounds you.
You’ll find it
If you look thoughtfully –
Blessings!

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

If that is your focus,
You won’t have time to
See the other side of the coin!
You’ll be too busy giving back!!

We are blessed
To be a blessing.
Count your blessings
See what God has done!

Focus on what you have
Not what you wish you had!
Use your gifts for others
And watch them come back multiplied!

Let’s grow flowers!

Plant the seeds in your garden carefully.
Make sure they are in rich, fertilized soil.
Keep your soul seeped in the encouraging
Words of scripture… and you’ll grow fruits of the spirit!

I am thankful for you,
Grateful for your presence in my life.
You’re the flowers in my life’s garden.
I feel blessed to have you visit JanBeek
Leaving encouraging comments.
Thank you!!

See you later.
Have a blessed day!

I’m off to church…
I’ll share my sermon notes later today.
Come on back!

Love, JanBeek

P.S. Did I tell you yesterday was my dad’s birthday? He would have been 110!!
One of my many blessings is having him for my earthly father.
Check out my blog from way back when –
when I posted a poem I wrote about my dad:

https://janbeek.blog/2018/06/16/memories-of-daddy/

Happy Birthday, Daddy!
I miss your hugs!

What tops your list of blessings?
What are you focusing on today?

Embrace Hope


My Favorite Student

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites.
Right?

Ty, Roxanne (Merri), Jan & Bob

See that young man on the left up there?
His name is Ty.
He is my favorite!

(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed
if you’re one of my students….
I have lots of favorites, OK?
But Ty… well, read on!)


Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3.
Every day when he stepped off the school bus,
the girls all stopped what they were doing.
“Hi Ty!” they would swoon.
Yes, even kindergarten girls
recognize a sweetheart when they see one!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

And every day when it was time to go home,
the girls all waved to Ty,
“Bye, Ty!”
they would swoon.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I was a newlywed.
It was my second year of teaching.
I decided if I had a boy someday,
I would name him Ty.
And I did!

Here’s my Ty with his little sister, DeAna.

Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!

See the sweetness sparkle?
Both Tys are a little older now!

So why the HOPE title?

Yesterday I heard the devastating news
that my favorite student, Ty,
has been diagnosed
with Stage 4 cancer.
It has metastasized.
He needs our prayers.
My heart is heavy,
but I am a believer…
and HOPE
is what believers do,
right?

Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“Plans to prosper you
and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope
and a future.”

Jeremiah 20:11

I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand,
just as He holds our world in His hand.

I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process.
But, won’t you add your prayers to mine?
“Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”

I wrote about Ty when he came to visit us
here in Montana a couple of years ago.
Here is the blog link:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/05/25/gift-from-the-heart/

A Gift from the Heart

After Ty & Roxanne left, they sent us a thank you gift for our hospitality. He created this cross for us. It hangs on my dining room wall as a constant reminder of my special student, Ty Stiles.

Notice the three bars?
Ty said they represent the Trinity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Please Heal Ty!!

Embrace Hope

“May the God of Hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him.”

Romans 15:13

The reign of Christ,
both present and in the future,
is our foundation of Hope.

Take Peace

“And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep –
God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail –
With peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Embrace Peace.
Embrace Love.
Embrace Joy.
Embrace Prayer.
Embrace Hope.

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting
and praying with
JanBeek

A Blessed Christmas


I am grateful for you, dear WordPress friends.
I pray your day was blessed indeed.
Merry Christmas!

ZOOM Christmas

Did you get to actually be with your family? Or did you ZOOM with them as we did? The picture above is Christmas Eve morning. Bob & I had the opportunity to see and talk with (left to right) our son, Ty, [then that’s us], group shot of our grandson and granddaughter with our son’s in-laws, then my niece, Jodie & her husband, Bill and son, Liam, from their home in PA, our daughter #2 Laina in the Baltimore area, and our daughter-in-law, Monika, in CA. We had a wonderful hour-long conversation. Next best thing to being together in person! Thank you, ZOOM!!

Bob gave me this wonderful, warm sweater.
Laina sent us this warm greeting this morning.
She is such a thoughtful, loving daughter!
Our grandson sent us this adorable picture,
thanking us for the slippers we sent to him and his adorable girlfriend.
My dear friend, Terry, gave me this Willow Creek angel for Christmas.
You know how angels are an important part of my life.
How sweet and thoughtful of her!

What are the gifts that brightened your day today?
I hope you are feeling as blessed as we are.

A photo from our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
brightened our Christmas. So nice to see her
with her hubby, two of her 3 boys, plus her mother-in-love.
Our dear neighbor, ,Scott, treated us to a very special bottle of wine.
We are decanting it to enjoy it with our special dinner…
a standing rib roast. Wish you could share it with us!
We’re looking forward setting up and learning to use this gift from our son and his wife.
Technology continues to amaze us… the advances are amazing!

Bob & I are using our relatively new smoker to smoke a standing rib roast for our Christmas dinner. Like technology, things like smokers and cell phones require a learning curve. We’re on the uphill side of that curve!

We called our neighbor/friend, Whooter, for help this morning when we were trying to figure out how to do this. Dear Whooter texted us back, sent us a photo that made our day, and gave us the advice we needed. Love that guy!!

I’m sure he didn’t intend me to broadcast this photo,
but you needed a good laugh, too, right?

Whooter gave us a great recipe for a rub to put on the meat, and meat thermometers to help us know we are headed in the right direction in the smoking process. God bless him! Do you have neighbors who are life-savers for you at times like this?

Our good friends, the Delektas, had a present under our tree today.
It’s a gorgeous knife that will be the greatest tool for carving this roast
if it ever smokes sufficiently for us to eventually eat it!
Don’t get in the way, TazE… it’s sharp!!

As we prepare for our Christmas dinner, we are listening to the horrible news about the bombing in Nashville this morning. So sad that there are such sick people out there! How could someone intentionally do something so devastating?

Our prayers go out for those who were injured and prayers of gratitude that there are no known fatalities. We have friends who live in Nashville- not far from this blast. And I have a cousin who lives there. My heart goes out to all those in Harm’s Way. We all are affected by such atrocities. It makes us all feel vulnerable. It saddens my heart.

God be with those firefighters who were injured.
May they recover fully and be home with their families soon.

I am enjoying this beautiful pillow that our friends, Sue & Jerry gave us this Christmas.
What’s a favorite gift that you have been given?

Thank God for each minute you are given to share
the love, joy, and peace that are Jesus Christ’s gifts to us.
Have a very Merry Christmas, my friends.
Our standing rib roast WILL be done soon.
I am counting on it.

Sigh…
The smoker keeps shutting off.
We may have to call Whooter again!
(That’s just an internet photo!!)

Merry Christmas, my friends.
What did you do today?

See ya tomorrow.

Hugs from JanBeek, Bob & TazE!

Never Go Back!


No, I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to revisit the old normal.
Surely as we move from 2020
to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.

This is my prayer this Christmas:
Lord, help us learn what You
have in mind for us to learn
from this rare year we’ve just survived.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Letter from a Wordsmith

With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.

“Mark it how you will,
2020 was a year not lost,
but forever to be remembered
for both its absences
and its unexpected gifts.

By the middle of March,
it became apparent that
what we thought as normalcy
had left its predictable confines
for parts unknown,
leaving no forwarding address.

Masked and gloved,
we were left to fend for ourselves
absent even the comfort
of shaking hands
or intimate conversations,
the communion around tables,
camaraderie of birthdays celebrated,
the sacred closeness of hospital visits.

Absent of the humanizing connectivity,
of those familiar and holy intersections,
we were left to laugh alone,
to cry alone,
and hope in seclusion.
It cost us treasures we never knew
were so valuable
and time that cannot be recalled.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“But admit it:
There were unexpected gifts.
There were letters we finally wrote,
the books we never touched until now,
the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again,
and listen to what our hearts were saying.

We talked to God
because the hours got quiet enough
to hear His still small voice.
It happened because we watched enough TV
to realize we had watched TV enough,
and golden silence gave us gifts
that weren’t insipid.

“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention,
not only did we get older,
but almost certainly wiser
because even a painful awareness
of what lurks in our hearts and minds
is worth more than gold.

The gift was rediscovering
at a visceral level
that we really are never alone;
nor in the absence of everyone,
are we left unloved.

“My prayer is that when this is over,
and it will one day be over,
we won’t forget the things we learned
the hard way this year:
that God willing,
we’ll never go back
to the tired normalcy of endless distractions,
of busyness as usual,
and the noise that never ends.”

The Mitchell Musings
December 2020
Peace to you.
Good Night, my friends.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Day.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I leave with you my hopes and wishes
for a most Blessed Christmas.

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