Tag Archives: family

Tomatoes Don’t Go in Fruit Salad

This summer saw an end of an era and the beginning of a new one. After sending kids to  public school for twenty three years it's time to find something else to do with my fall. My baby birdie has graduated from high school and  it is a strange feeling not spending a small fortune on supplies. Although now that small fortune goes to college bills, food and gas.
I remember thinking when she was born, how old I would be when she graduated from high school.  And now here I am beyond middle age(if I live to be my grandparents age, I'm already past middle age)!!!  As I've thought about the adventure that awaits, I truly thought I had arrived in the 'wisdom' department. Hey, I've survived raising four kids, four moves from Iowa to Kansas to Indiana to New York, times 2, and navigating the life of a ministry wife, which I love by the way.
This summer I was searching the scriptures tearing the Bible apart to understand what it means to be wise. James 3 didn't disappoint. It's not so much what we say that makes us wise, but how we live.  Digging deeper into the book of James I found what I was looking for; what it means to be wise.  I want to be a woman who fears the Lord, a woman who  builds a lovely home;  not Sir Fool who  comes along and tears it down brick by brick. (Proverbs 14:1, The Message)
James 3:13 Wisdom from above=
  • pure
  • peaceable
  • gentle
  • open to reason
  • full of mercy and good fruits
  • impartial
  • sincere

  • Am I gentle and reasonable?
  • Does my life overflow with mercy and blessings?
  • Can I do the hard work of getting along with others?
  • Can I treat everyone I meet with dignity and honor?
These are all questions I'm asking as I pursue godly wisdom, making sure I don't put a tomato in fruit salad. By the time this posts I will be flying across the U.S. to eat ravioli with my granddaughter..and visit her parents. And then off to Iowa in October to celebrate my nephew's wedding. I think I like this new fall schedule.  

This Girl!!!

Remember the show That Girl? Ok, so this show dates me since it aired 1966-1971, but it came to mind as I wanted to write about another girl. This girl... Kelsey. Hopefully we will still be friends after posting a picture I didn't have permission to use, hey, I'm the mother here.a0a94c15-01f4-4800-8a43-48beb1274f86     I don't often write about my family. Their story is not mine to tell and they may want to tell it themselves someday. In light of the upcoming celebration of mothers on Mother's Day, I want to shed some light on those who made me a mother and call me mom, or in some cases mama! Justin will be always known as our firstborn and only son and will have the added badge of making me a grandma for the first time in August. Hannah is our second born but the first daughter, Kelsey came along two years later, not much of a badge of honor is it? Lauren, our fourth, was born as our last child and gets the title of baby of the family. All four, with a fifth in heaven, have made me the woman I am today. They call me Mom, but they have all played an instrumental part in the forming of how I view the world today.  I love them to the moon and back(not sure what that really means, but sounds good!!) But I wanted to tell you about this one who doesn't have a particular motto in the pecking order of the Gates Family. What to say about this girl? albany4 She invited me to Albany to celebrate Mother's Day last weekend. She took the time out of her busy schedule of a full-time job and going to school, to plan Friday and Saturday just for me. Ethiopian food, homemade brunch on Saturday morning, a walk through Washington Park and along the Hudson River were highlights. Off to the mall for a pedicure and new shoes to show off my new nail polish were the best way to end our afternoon together. And, yes, there were several cups of coffee to keep us going. Her card to me in essence said thank you for never giving up on her. In fact, it was a music card, when opened, played, I will Survive. Because some days...ok, a lot of days, motherhood is a matter of just surviving until the kids we love so much...are in bed. And that is what I want to leave you with. Even though many days it seems all you do as a mother is survive, we do in fact survive. We can do more than survive whatever season of motherhood we find ourselves in. We can thrive. We can do the next thing, we can serve and love and then love some more. Because the writing in the card thanked me not for the clothes I bought her, or the phone I paid for, or the countless loads of laundry washed or food on the table day in and day out. Yes, those practical acts of love and service do count, but what Kelsey often thanks me for is the unconditional love I(and her dad) have poured into her life. And when I was loving her day in and day out despite what may have happened that day, I wasn't loving her because I knew the outcome. I was loving because Someone had loved me that way. I know first hand the unconditional love of a Heavenly Father, poured out to me, which I then poured into her and Justin, Hannah and Lauren. We aren't, as mothers, promised a certain outcome when we parent to the best of our ability. We press on each day, doing the best we know at this job of 'mothering,' and leave the results with Him. This girl makes me smile...that's her badge!

Motley Monday

My flowers refusing to say good-bye to summer. flowers

For our Labor Day cookout we had these gems. You can't find them anywhere else, least I never heard of them until we moved to central New York.  The potatoes are boiled with a cup of salt added to the water, which comes with the potatoes. I don't use all of the salt. Can I say...not healthy? Salt Potatoes 2

I try to use all leftovers. These made great fried potatoes.salt potatoes

saltpotatoes1 My heart melts EVERY.TIME. I see this picture of Justin and his beautiful wife Melissa. They are loving life in Wyoming. Who wouldn't? We miss them so much, but with these smiles we know they are where God wants them and they are happy. That's what I want for the four beautiful children God has gifted us with...to follow and love Him and to be happy and joyful in whatever they are doing. Justin and melissa