Monday, July 27, 2009

You Won't Know the Place!

It's making a huge difference! I think he hopes to get the second coat on in time for Saturday mornings "Open Porch" for Harlan Day Parade!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday with Grandpa and Grandma Z

While Grandpa Z & Grandpa G golfed, Grandma Z and Grandma G visited a couple of thrift stores. (Here are a couple of things Grandma G found at one of the stores.) We all met at Pizza Hut for lunch and then visited a large and wonderful garden in Bryan.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I love music! The first three songs on the playlist are new ones to me - and I can't get enough of them! The message of each one plays to (and from) a different space in my heart. I hope you can take time to listen - and to make sure my grandchildren hear these special songs. Thanks in advance. "Open up your heart and let the sun shine in"! (That's the fourth one. When I was growing up we had an LP by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and their family. This - and Happy Trails to You - were two that were on it. We had no TV, and so we listened to our LPs over and over and over again.) LP=Long Play records.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Follow the Power Screwdriver

We found a good sale yesterday and used a coupon for an additional 20% off to purchase this arbor for one of our flowerbeds. (The old one was leaning and falling apart.) Soon we will have it in place. We need to do a little work in the flowerbed before placing the arbor permanently. Watch for an update.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Look What I Saw on the Garden Walk!

We saw some very beautiful gardens this morning.
I put a bunch of pictures into a collage
for the Life and Godliness blog.
I hope you all had a chance to see
a part of God's beautiful creation this weekend.
Earlier today I rode my bicycle to meet Brenda and Donna at Harlan Cafe for breakfast and a short "catch up". They were on their way to a funeral in Archbold. I don't know if you've seen my bike since Grandpa painted it purple and green for me...I carried my billfold. hairbrush and cell phone in the basket that he attached. I'm liking it!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Let My Grandchildren Play Outdoors!

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. Apparently this book is not so easy to read, but the author makes several very good points regarding how little nature today's children enjoy.

Studies show an alarming decrease in the amount of time children spend playing outdoors and in the amount of time spent in unstructured playing. If what the author writes is true, then we have a very serious problem on our hands. Here is a sample of observations from the book:
  • British study discovered that the average 8-year old can identify the characters on Japanese trading cards, but he is unable to identify a beetle, an otter, or an oak tree.
  • According to another researcher, an indoor, sedentary childhood is linked to mental health problems.
  • In a recent survey of 800 mothers, only 26 percent said their children play outside daily.
  • The amount of time spent in free, unstructured play has dropped by nine hours per week over the last 25 years.
  • Babies and children are increasingly becoming "containerized." This means they are spending more and more hours in high chairs, booster seats, baby swings, car seats, strollers, etc.
  • Researchers in Scotland studied the physical activity of 78 three-year olds for one week by placing monitors on the toddlers' waistbands, and discovered that the children were physically active for only 20 minutes a day.
  • There is growing evidence that direct exposure to nature is essential for physical and emotional health.
  • Another study indicates that exposure to nature might reduce the symptoms of ADHD, can improve children's cognitive abilities, and can improve their resistance to stress and depression.
What can we do about this? I pledge my intention to get the grandkids outside anytime they stay with us. I'm not "Mother Nature" myself, but I am renewed and refreshed almost EVERY time I work and play outdoors.
(Have I said all this before? It sounds familiar? Oh, well...if so, it bears repeating.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Thirty-five years ago tomorrow (July 14th), in Hays, Kansas, our son was born. It had been a hot summer. We were living in the upper floor of student housing while Gary was working on a masters degree. I had spent afternoons on the deck sitting in a child's swimming pool to cool off!

Josh's birth was easy and fast. We were thrilled to have a baby boy, and his "big sister" (only 23 months old herself) was loving and helpful. My aunt Marieta came to help me with the babies. It was a blessed time.

Joshua has brought much joy to us. He loves the Lord. While I don't remember him reading much as a child, he is a reader of good books now. He loves his wife deeply. He is an awesome father, loving his sons as much or more than any other father I know. He is a loyal friend and maintains contact with high school buddies as well as college friends. Josh (like his mother) sometimes has strong opinions and convictions; at his core he is a man of integrity.

The grace of God has covered Josh through what could have been a serious health issue many years ago. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute where he might have been a LITTLE mischievous. Today he is a junior high youth pastor. We thank God for our son.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy Trails to You (C & C) Till We Meet Again....

Grandpa is returning the grandsons to their parents this morning. The house will feel empty again! We're back to lonely--or more correctly, loneSOME. We managed a few games this morning before departure and after some catch in the back yard--Pig, the dice & penny game, Stay Alive, and a new one to us - "What on Earth".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Take Me Out to the Bakery

Take me out to the bake-ry;
Take me out to the town;
Buy me a donut and chocolate milk.
I don't care if they ever run out.
Oh, it's root, root, root for the donuts.
If they don't last it's a shame!
And it's one! Two! Three bites you're out
At the bak-er-y!
(A song we composed while sitting at a table at the Harlan Bakery)

With that done, the Gates Men headed out for 9 holes of golf.

After golf, Grandma and the two young Gates men headed for Grabill library. We picked up a lot of books for quiet times later....then we stopped at Grabill Park. When we got home, we went to Hicksville Park where Grandpa also played baseball with the Gates men.

Grabill and Hicksville Parks (Click on picture to enlarge)

After croquet, more catch, games (Stay Alive and Pig), lunch of strawberries and cheese nachos, we had root beer floats before settling down for a video (Pooh's Christmas Movie)and before reading some books and going to bed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday with the Gates' Men

Cd was too fast to photograph! He got pretty good
at the 4,000 and 5,000 point holes!

This was the favorite "driving" game....
Sometimes Grandpa gave Cs a boost!
On the way back from Monticello, we stopped in Fort Wayne at Chuckie Cheese where Grandpa was waiting for us. Eighty tokens, one Canadian bacon pizza with extra cheese, and four soft drinks later, we drove to Harlan where Grandpa and the boys played baseball at the park.
Moving on to croquet in the yard....In doubles play, Grandma & Cd beat Grandpa & Cs!Stay Alive - one of the guys' favorite games.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

My Country, 'Tis of Thee
My country, 'tis of thee, sweet and of liberty,
of thee I sing;

land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,

from every mountain side
let freedom ring!

Our fathers' God, to thee, Author of liberty,
to thee we sing:

long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;

protect us by thy might,
great God, our King!

Words: Samuel F. Smith 1832

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tuesday Evening Activities

Click on the collage to enlarge