THANKSGIVING CONTINUED: Thankfulness to those who serve in the military

Comedy Warriors -- Healing Through Humor -- Meet Stephen Rice Comedy Warriors — Healing Through Humor — Meet Stephen Rice

My nephew Stephen Rice, one of the Comedy Warriors

My family has had a history of being soldiers — both my Dad and my Father-in-Law, some uncles, my brother and some of my brothers-in-law, our younger son, his wife, her dad, & sisters, and many more who could be named.

I didn’t grow up having an immediate love for the country of my birth.  As a child of missionary parents,  I left the country as a 3-1/2 yr. old, and other than one year (third grade) … I didn’t live in this country again until I was a freshman (the top grade in junior high school): 1967 -1968.  I had quite a  culture shock!  Not only did I see a different culture than the country in which I grew up (the Philippines – both in province and small town, as well as larger towns, & cities), but by the end of my first year back in the U.S., there had been two high profile men assassinated: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

Also at the end of that year, I had three major post-polio surgeries, and was housebound for the next six months.  When I attended my high school for the first time in January, 1969, I was attending a very nicely integrated school in southern IL, and there were were many race riots going on all over the U.S., and even some in my school …  sometimes encouraged by grown men coming across the River from St. Louis.

I truly didn’t “get it!”  I had grown up in my earliest years as the only white child in my town, and in many places that I traveled, and many of the people in the U.S. who were called “Black” did not have much darker skin than some of the people whom I lived with and loved as my own self. Why did everyone not get along? What was the big deal about skin color and the “racial” differences?

For much of my adult life even, I still felt very much divided — not a true American nor a Filipino either. ( More on that in another post.)  But as I continued to learn more about this country — that I now call my country,  too — I did grow to love it, and to especially feel honor and pride towards those who serve this country in the 5 branches of the U.S. military services.

FIVE BRANCHES OF THE U.S. MILITARY

FIVE BRANCHES OF THE U.S. MILITARY – from Wikipedia – public domain photo

I began this post by showing you my nephew Stephen, my sister’s son. He lost a leg while rescuing one of his men in Iraq.  I shall end the post with some pictures of Dad, Brother, and Son (who represent the Navy, Marines, & Army National Guard).  I also want to show my son Shaun’s family since they had to sacrifice their husband and daddy as he has been deployed three separate times.

My Dad, Clinton Bonnell, who served in WWII

 MY BROTHER DON BONNELL -- IN MARINE DRESS UNIFORM

MY BROTHER DON BONNELL — IN MARINE DRESS UNIFORM — who served in the 80’s.

Tristen’s pure delight of having her Daddy back home after his 3rd full year deployment.

A very happy reunited family - although Brogan hasn't quite figured out what it's all about.

So I want to say a huge thank you to all of my family and friends, and also to those whom I do not know — for the sacrifices that you have all made so that this country can be whatever we want to make of it — freedoms that we must never  take for granted.  Some of these freedoms are (just to name a few) — worshiping and voting as we please, speaking out for what we believe, living and traveling where we desire, etc.

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THANKSGIVING!

There is so much for which to be thankful every single day!

1. I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. . . for a Home in Heaven where someday I will see my dad again, for my Bible from which I know what God wants for me, as well as for prayer so that I can share with Him.

open Bible

2. I am thankful for my family: Mom being with us, our three children, three grandchildren, and the most wonderful hubby in the world! [And sisters, brothers (incl. in-laws), nephews & nieces, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.]

Thanksgiving, 2009: Last family photo of Mom & Dad and their four offspring.

Thanksgiving, 2009: Last family photo of Mom & Dad and  their four offspring.                                                                                   

My husband Mike and me
My husband Mike and me

 

 

Three happy grandchildren, with their dog Ruger who is their self-proclaimed protector.

Three happy grandchildren, with their dog Ruger who is their self-proclaimed protector.

3. I am thankful for my many friends (including friends from my Xanga, Facebook, in person, and church family)!

4. I am thankful for this country in which I live (the U.S.), as well as other countries around the world. It’s so wonderful the variety that God put into this world.

5. I’m thankful for health, good food, a nice home, and many things that make life fun and easier: books, t.v., music, computers, etc.

BE THANKFUL IN ALL

CIRCUMSTANCES . . .  (I Thes. 5:18a)

 

 

Beautiful Autumn Excursion

On one or two different days, I decided to take some pictures of the beautiful trees and sky in our greater Springfield city area.  We live just north of the city in a suburb, and often go into the city (about three minutes south of us).  What enjoyment I received! What a great, creative Artist is our God . . . no human can match His work!  

Our city is proud to be designated as a “Tree City.”  Here is a website that explains all about it. TREE CITY   

When I see the  trees … so beautiful … I think of: 1. a Bible verse from Isaiah 55:12 (the whole chapter is wonderful!) ~ “You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!”                                                              – and  2. a poem by Joyce Kilmer 

Trees                                                              

I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree. 

 

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Grandkids and a Prayer Request

I am still journaling from back in October.  One weekend, Mom gave Mike and me a very special gift.  She paid for us to stay at a hotel so that we could have two days with our grandchildren. So we spent some time with the family,  held our baby girl Quinn, and then took the two older children to a McDonalds for supper AND the fun playground there.  When we returned the kids back to their home, we received permission to have Tristen spend the night with us at our hotel, and enjoy some swim time with Grandma.

Loving on baby girl Quinn.

Loving on baby girl Quinn.

Tristen & Brogan saying hi to Grandpa & Grandma who are sitting at the table  down below.

Tristen & Brogan saying hi to Grandpa & Grandma who are sitting at the table down below them.

Enjoying supper at McDonalds (in between playing on the equipment.

Enjoying supper at McDonalds (in between playing on the equipment.

Tristen made friends each time she was in the pool and hot tub, but a good part of the time in the morning swim, she had the pool & hot tub to herself. She enjoyed doing all sorts of tricks for Grandma!

Tristen made friends each time she was in the pool and hot tub, but a good part of the time in the morning swim, she had the pool & hot tub to herself. She enjoyed doing all sorts of tricks for her Grandma!  (And I took a LOT of photos of her hamming it up!)    

Smiling her pleasure at the evening swim!

Smiling her pleasure at the evening swim!

Our three grandchildren.

Our three grandchildren                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Another special time with the children came the following weekend  when we went to Tristen’s piano recital.  It was good to hear her improvement from the last time we’d heard her … and she was good that time, too!    It was fun seeing Brogan playing with his dad afterwards, and spending some time with their other Grandma Diana, who is a very sweet friend to us.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Tristen waiting to play & then playing;  the kids' other sweet grandma,  Diana with Quinn; Brogan getting exercise & using his dad's head as a plate for cookie crumbs!

Tristen waiting to play & then playing; the kids’ other sweet grandma, Diana with Quinn; Brogan getting exercise & using his dad’s head as a plate for cookie crumbs!

Some of you know that I grew up in the Philippines —  a child of missionary parents.  This is my other home country and people of my heart.  I know that everyone knows what my prayer request is …. it’s in the current news continually. Please pray for the people of the Philippines, especially in the areas in which the worst damage has been done in Tacloban City on the island of Leyte.  The latest death count I’ve read is 4000, just in that city, and every structure in the city was destroyed.  Many organizations are collecting money and supplies, and are being taken to the people, but the supplies and help are very slow in actually getting to the people.  Two of the more famous organizations providing help are ~ 1. Samaritan’s Purse  and  2. American Red Cross, if you would like to send financial help.

PRAY FOR THE PHILIPPINES

 This past Monday was Veteran’s Day, and this year I have been attempting to tell each of my friends whom I am aware of being vets: “THANK YOU!

THANK YOU VETERANS!

THANK YOU VETERANS!

VETERAN'S DAY FACEBOOK COVER

XANGA BLOGS

A Change in Plans

Much has changed in our home since I last posted on Xanga. Things didn’t work out for Mom to go to the home we had planned for her…. and instead,  we moved her into OUR home!  So we spent three weeks — 6 days a week, all day long, turning my office/classroom of the past 16+ years into an empty room that could be cleaned, have new carpeting and curtains, and … Mom’s furniture. We also had the bathroom remodeled to take care of  some termite damage, et al,  and to make it handicapped accessible. Then on Sept. 20-22nd, we drove to IL, and then brought her back with us to HER NEW HOME.  Here are a few of the adaptations.

Bathroom remodel: part 1

Bathroom remodel: part 1

Bathroom remodel part 2
Bathroom remodel part 2

Bathroom remodel part 3
Bathroom remodel part 3

Mom at her desk in her new room.

Mom at her desk in her new room.

Mom and her only son (& our only bro)  Don, who lives less than five minutes away from us.

Mom and her only son (& our only bro Don, who lives less than five minutes away from us), enjoying a casual chat at our dining table.

Mom's bedroom ... opposite side from her office in the room.

Mom’s bedroom … opposite side from her office in the room.

Dad's picture on Mom's file cabinet next to her printer and computer.

Dad’s picture on Mom’s file cabinet next to her printer and computer.

Mom has a couple of very special ministries.  She writes letters, and sends cards to inform, encourage, and bless the many people that she has on her contacts lists. She also is a real prayer warrior for many people… including lots of missionaries,  preachers, and lay people who are serving God wherever they are.

We arrived with Mom on a Sunday, and the following Sunday she went with Mike and me to visit and have a birthday celebration for our oldest granddaughter at a restaurant in the Pickerington area.  She hadn’t seen Tristen since she was 4 (it was her 9th birthday!), and had never seen in person our other two grandchildren — Brogan – age 3, and Quinn – age 4 mo.  Here are 3 pictures from that day.

Mom with Mike and I,  our younger son Shaun, and his two older children, Tristen and Brogan.

Mom with Mike and I, our younger son Shaun, and his two older children, Tristen and Brogan.

Tristen laughing as she was being sung to by the restaurant staff.
Tristen laughing as she was being sung to by the restaurant staff.

I don't have a picture of Quinn from that day, but here is one of her that makes me smile whenever I see it. Her smile warms me, and brings me joy.

I don’t have a picture of Quinn from that day, but here is one of her that makes me smile whenever I see it. Her smile warms me, and brings me joy.


 I shall try to do a better job of updating and visiting you – my friends who read my blog.  My days of private teaching have been replaced with a different, busier type of busy … but it is a wonderful busy! (Did that make sense to anyone?)  Next time I will share more of the great times and pictures that have kept me away from blogging. Meanwhile, I have my blogging friends (& FB friends, etc.) to visit. See you around!

Psalm 40_5