Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Indulge me a little. We had a wonderful Christmas in the Fletcher household this year. There is nothing better than time with family. Here is a glimpse into our "wonderful life".

I love this picture of my girls. They were enjoying themselves or enjoying making fun of the photographer: DAD!

Aaron and his baby sister.

Blankets made by Aunt Debe and her friend Rita. They were a big hit.

Aaron and Jami

The kids in front of our "ghetto fireplace" as Izaac referred to it.

Izaac and his pal.

Another photo of the girls on the porch.

The original Fletcher five.

Ready for dinner.

And now, some shots of my tree which was decorated by Launi Stokes. She did a great job. I love all the colors she added to the tree.

I hope that your family enjoyed the season as much as we did. I totally forgot to take pictures of the ornament/scripture activity we did before Christmas Eve dinner but this is where I got the idea.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Great Joy!

I hope you are taking the time this season to enjoy the JOY! After all, wasn't that the message?

"Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

As the days countdown to Christmas it seems that a lot of people lose their joy. I see it at work and around town-people are weary, stressed, sad, anything but experiencing GREAT JOY! Why is that? Why, as we draw closer to the day we commemorate our Saviour's birth, do we become less and less joyous?

Years ago I decided to enjoy the Christmas season not dread it. And, I think that is the key-it's a decision. Only you can determine what Christmas will be for you. This year, determine that you will accept the message of joy and let it be the mark of your celebration.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Perfect Fall Day

We had such a wonderful day. It wasn't spectacular in any way, just good. We didn't have to be anywhere this morning so we could sleep in. I got up at 3:30 and Dennis got up at 5:00! I just woke up and had a bit of a headache so I got up, took meds and laid down on the love seat in the living room. I couldn't sleep so I fixed a wonderful cup of coffee, grabbed a quilt and read. Then Dennis got up. He searched for something on television and then turned it off and napped in the recliner. We spent the next 3-4 hours like that. He napped a little, I read a little and napped some myself. It was heaven-no schedule, no rushing to be anywhere.

After Katie got up (10:30-she has no trouble sleeping in) Dennis and I took a trip to Walmart. It was so much fun just to be together and talk and enjoy the time. Then it was back home to put steaks in the frig to marinate and potatoes in the oven to bake for dinner later.

The weather was perfect-we had the doors and windows open to let in the fresh air. Dennis watched football. I read. Katie watched movies.

Dennis grilled steaks that turned out as well as any I have had anywhere. The potatoes were just right. Another component to our perfect fall day!

Vacuuming and folding three baskets of laundry filled some of the time but it was rewarding to have it done. Dennis is always a big help around the house. He really makes a better housewife than me!

Saturday is the day for a phone call from my sister Rhonda. We laughed and talked and enjoyed our time. Then it was time to start getting things ready for Sunday dinner-making a dessert, peeling potatoes and cutting up chicken. I like to have as much done as possible for Sunday lunch so we can eat soon after church. This is the weekend the kids come over and I can't wait to spend some time with them all.

Everyone is in bed now except me. You might be reading this and think "this is her idea of a perfect day?" Well, yes it is. I love days where the little things remind me that they are indeed the BIG things! I hope you have many days like mine.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mini NG-ette

This weekend was a special treat. My sisters and I had a little get together at Rhonda's NEW house!
It was great that we were able to find a weekend that worked for all of us. We arrived Friday and the fun began. Rhonda had little gifts each day for us. I received bath stuff, a new bracelet and a silicone baking mat. I can't wait to use the mat on my next baking project. She had prepared a fantastic meal of ham, rice, carrots, homemade bread, and pineapple cheese salad. And, she topped our fantastic meal off with her to-die-for rice pudding. We were spoiled rotten. We had to take a little run to Target because I forgot my clothes! Yes, that's clothes. I had shoes, jammies and underwear but left my clothes hanging in my closet. I was glad for an excuse to go to Target. Why? Well, every Target trip ends with a stop at the Starbucks. Then, it was back to her house for a fun LATE evening of girl talk. Saturday morning was a real treat. Our cousins Sheri and Paula joined us for breakfast-eggs, bacon, Morning Glory muffins and more pineapple cheese salad. And, if I remember correctly, FOUR pots of coffee. Our little breakfast lasted for almost five hours! We sat around the table, we stood around the bar and back to the table. It was wonderful. We have such great memories to share. After we said goodbye to the girls we were off to shop for wall art for a couple of spots in the new house. That was fun. Well, for us, maybe not for the clerks who helped us. We found something for the wall in her bedroom and for a wall in the bathroom. I even got started on my Christmas shopping. We had Ted's for dinner then rolled ourselves out to the parking lot. Full tummies didn't keep us from stopping at Starbucks, though. Rhonda and I tried the Salted Caramel Mocha Latte. So yummy. We spent Saturday night sharing with one another about things that the Lord is teaching us or taking us through right now. We had the sweetest fellowship during this time. I am so blessed to have such great best friends. It was another late night for us which included a crazy round of snacks after 11pm! Shhhh....don't tell. Sunday morning dawned too soon.......the day to leave one another. We sat outside on her beautiful patio and drank coffee and talked. We packed up and drove over to Interurban for brunch. It was delicious. Those last precious minutes were savored until we had to get in our separate cars, Hugs, tears and wishes for safety and we were on the road. I am so glad that we will be together again in just five weeks for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Fine Line

You would think that after thirty plus years of being a parent I would know what I'm doing. Well, throw that idea out the window.

One of the hardest aspects of this parent/child dynamic is walking the tightrope of caution and protection vs. paranoia and neurosis. I know our desire to remind our daughter of the rules everytime she is going someplace new or crowded or big stems from a deep compulsion to protect her and keep her safe. More often than not,though,we are projecting a spirit of fear onto her.

I struggle with wanting her to be strong and adventurous and independent all while longing to hold her close and keep her from any hurt or harm. I fall off this tightrope more times than I make it across to the other side.

My conclusion: if I approach this in my own strength and wisdom I might as well be working without a net! I am so glad that when I fall it is into His arms. May I teach my three children by example that He is always there and we need not fear.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

One Thousand Gifts 101-115

101. Friends like Justin and Loretta who hosted tonight's fellowship-great food, awesome music and good conversation.

102 The beautiful fall weather.

103. My grandsons.....they are smart and funny and handsome.

104. My silly family and lazy Sunday afternoons.

105. Reminders of how much my friends mean to me-a card, a hug, a text.

106. Holidays from work and routine.

107. That there are only 79 days until Fin and Feather with my family!

108. Seeing prayers answered already in our Moms in Touch group.

109. The power of technology to spread prayer concerns around the world in minutes.

110. Good start to a new school year for Katie.

111. God's hand of protection.

112. The new baby in our family-Eliot Mark Thomas.

113. Tazo favorite: Zen

114. All the people who invest in my children's lives.

115. People who care and act and want no credit for their actions.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Power of Pictures

I can't sleep tonight. I don't know if it is the wheezing, the coughing, the congestion or the coffee I am drinking at 3:25 AM, but I am wide awake! This is not the norm for me. I am one of those people who can fall asleep sitting up, talking on the phone and, yes, even driving. (Don't ask)

I finally just gave up and got up. I finished reading The Lincoln Lawyer and started another book. I played Words with Friends with everyone I owed a move to, only to realize that no one was going to be playing at 2:30 in the morning. Decided that coffee sounded good and made a lovely cup of it. Then I turned on the laptop and decided to look at all the pictures I have saved on it.

I realized that a sleepless night + pictures can make one very melancholy and reflective. I am going to share a few.

This is my sister Debe and me. I love to think about how one of my very best friends has been with me all my life! And I have the pictures to prove it!

Much to Blair's dismay, this is one of my all time favorite pictures of her. Obviously, this was taken before her eye surgery to correct a slight problem she had with strabismus. Or, as random strangers would say to me: "Did you know your baby is cross-eyed?" No, really?

These are my handsome grandsons Ricky and Izaac. I don't get to see them nearly as much as I would like but I love them dearly. They make me smile so much.

Aaron and Daddy. I love that Daddy was amused by Aaron's stubborness and individuality. I wish they still had the opportunity to have that relationship.

I get so much joy from watching Katie and her friends grow closer together and have so much fun.

I will never tire of looking at this picture of my beautiful mom. I would love to have one more day with her.

I am one of the few people who loved being "stranded" indoors during the snowstorm. Pajamas and my family together all day! Does it get any better?

Dennis enjoying his snuggie from the kids!

I will end with this one. I am blessed beyond measure with a family that means everything to me.

I am not any sleepier but I have enjoyed counting my blessings.
Good night or good morning.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Writer's Block

Actually, it's not that I have writer's block. I have writer's diarrhea. But, that doesn't sound like a fitting title for one's blog. I have all of these ideas for blogs running around and around in my head but they just keep slipping away before I can put them on paper.

There was a time when I could sit down, take a thought and flesh it out into a coherent collection of paragraphs. Are those days gone? I don't know.

So, I need some advice. What disciplines do you apply to get the words on paper? Writing has always been something I felt was a part of me but I feel like my ability to express myself is fading.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


This is just a public service announcement to my bloggie friends:

For some reason I am unable to comment on everyone's blogs. I can comment on some of them but not all. So, if I usually comment on your page and haven't in awhile, I still read you and still WANT to comment. It just won't let me.

And, if you never even noticed I wasn't commenting anymore, well, shame on you. I am an old woman with feelings! Just kidding.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sometimes I Need to Be Reminded.....

From a Beth Moore study I am doing:

He is my strength when I am weak.
He is my rock when I am slipping.
He is my deliverer when I am trapped.
He is my fortress when I am crumbling.
He is my refuge when I am pursued.
He is my shield when I am exposed.
He is my Lord when life spins out of control.

"I will shout with joy, Lord God, when You make me victorious, and I will lift up a banner in the name of my God." Psalm 20:5

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Embrace the Camera.....finally.

I have been thinking a lot about the Embrace the Camera idea that Keely blogged about here. I am the world's worst at having my picture taken by someone. I do not want to be in the picture. Ever. But, after reading the original blog I determined that I was going to do better.

Have I? No. Until yesterday. We had some friends over for Memorial Day yesterday and our daughter Blair who doesn't live at home got to be there. She and my daughter Katie were in the kitchen with me and started taking cell phone pics of themselves together. All of a sudden I whipped around the counter and said "Take one with me!" I think they were shocked. it is:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Prayer for Friends

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Writing Assignment

I was cleaning up some files on my laptop and came across this assignment from an online writing class I took about a year and a half ago. We had a two part assignment: we were to write about what we remembered and what we didn't remember. It was a free form exercise. We weren't supposed to worry about punctuation or spelling, just let our minds prompt our fingers as we typed. I thought you might find it interesting to see my mind at work....oh boy.

It's funny that the assignment is called "I Remember" because it is a family joke that my memory is so poor. I have a hard time remembering things from years ago and from seconds ago. Memory just isn't my strong suit. things that trigger memories for me are smells and sounds. i can smell a certain kind of perfume and think about a first boyfriend. i can hear someone's voice and think that they sound like someone from my past. I remember being at Nanny and Poppa's and lounging on that chaise in the back bedroom. I loved that so many of us slept in one room. I remember sleeping out in the yard when it was hot. I remember the stemmed glasses with the circles etched in them and those awful metal glasses that made anything you drank taste like metal. i remember going to the pump and pumping water. i remember sitting on the tractor in a big cow pie. i remember playing slapjack with Nanny and thinking that we were so daring. I remember getting that cool blue dress at Christmas that had the hat and pink polka dot tie. i remember playing with cousins in the yard around the old tree with red paint. i remember the pretend horse that was really just a big stump with a saddle on it. i remember riding the runaway pony and ending up on the porch. I remember locking a couple of boys in the outhouse and laughing as we ran away. I remember the spot on the rug where Poppa poured the Vitalis into his hands and slicked down his hair. I remember. Hey, I remember!


I don't remember that we lived with Nanny and Poppa one summer but everyone says we did. I don't remember grandpa jernigan. I don't remember christmas time until we were living in Idaho. i don't remember anything about the kitchen or living room in our house behind the church on Frank street. i don't remember how can you write what you don't remember i don't remember it so i can't write it i don't remember the names of most of the people i went to church with at clovis i don't remember much about being pregnant with Blair i don't remember planning my wedding i don't remember celebrating anniversaries in the first 20 years or so of our marriage i don't remember ever hugging Uncle raymond or Uncle Palmer but I remember hugging uncle joe and uncle beryl. i don't remember when dennis and i decided we were going to get married because it was never asked and answered.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mother-a true Proverbs 31 Woman

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It Did Not Disappoint

You would think that it would get old or boring or tiresome. Well, I have news for you: It doesn't!!!! Once again, NG was great and wonderful. I just cannot imagine having a better time than I have with my sisters.

A few snapshots that show you the many faces of NG8:

Decision making is always fun. I am not going to admit that we are directionally challenged but there was quite a bit of discussion regarding left and right!!! (For the record..........I was wrong. I know you are shocked.)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio is beautiful. The weather was perfect. I have never walked so much in my life. At the end of the first long day I declared that I managed to keep up and I did not die. That was my goal.

We did more "tourist" things this year than we normally do at NG. But, you can't go to San Antonio and not see the Alamo, Market Square, Riverwalk and King Williams District. We honestly did walk everywhere we went. The only ride we had was on the Riverboat Cruise:

We celebrate several traditions at NG. There is the giving of gifts. Nora generously took care of ALL of our lodging as her gift to us this year:

Rhonda gave us personalized luggage tags in great fabrics---so perfect for each of us.

Debe had coffee cups made with many snapshots of Nettie's Girls-old and young-for each of us.

I made frames with a photocopy of a page from our mother's Bible. It contains her favorite verse, which she had underlined and noted as her favorite verse.

Another tradition is to share what we did to honor Mother in the way of kindness or generosity (two qualities that she taught us by example). The stories are always moving and inspiring of ways we found to show Christ's love to individuals and families each year.

We also give a financial gift each year from the four of us. This year we will be donating for a benefit for our sweet friend Lindsey. And a new feature, in honor of our sister Vicki, will be to help our nieces and nephews with church camp each year.

Debe gave our Saturday night devotional this year. She challenged us to be women of character. It is always a joy to hear Debe speak. It is truly one of her gifts.

Plans are already made for NG9 which will be held in Branson. The countdown has started....................359 Days.