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Unlocking Family Stories

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meet Junie. June Ratcliffe McReynolds to be more specific. The grandmother I never had the privilege of meeting. Wasn’t she an adorable baby? I think so. I love this picture of her.  I am especially curious about the little girl hiding behind her. She must have been playing hide and seek from the camera.

I never met “Junie” (the name she chose for her grandchildren to call her) but I did get to read a book about her family’s heritage in 1975. When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.  She didn’t just list names, birth and death dates but stories about her family and what their homes looked like.  How did she remember everything in such detail?  Her ancestors came to life as she put pen to paper. This personality makes all the difference! How did she do it?

Junie, the young lady in the center front, listened.

She listened and took notes. Somewhere, there is a box containing small sheets of paper with notes Junie began taking as she listened to her “elders” tell about the good old days.  She collected notes for years and put them in her memory box to be used later as a reference for her book.

I wish I had taken notes! For as long as I can remember, I listened to Mom’s family and visualized the events until I thought I knew the mannerisms and how “Mama” and “Papa” reacted to each other and to the children. This was the basis for The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. I wrote my story as fiction inspired by a true story because I didn’t have the foresight to take notes.

Her son, my Daddy, Charles McReynolds remembers her telling him and his older sister, Bobby stories about their heritage and it ingrained a love of history in my Dad too. He put his memories in a book called Memories of an Old Geezer. If you love stories of the good old days and especially if you like cars, you’ll love this book! (It is available on Amazon.com)

So, listen carefully, ask questions and take notes!

Many thanks to Daddy and my sister, Judi for providing a copy of Junie’s book and some of her belongings.  A big thank you to my grandmother June Ratcliffe McReynolds for her foresight and hard work. She made this granddaughter feel right at home!

Sharpen those pencils and get out your notebook. Your family memories could be a book in the making. Listen to their testimony and how the Lord led the family through difficult times and filled them with the joy of His love.When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.

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Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

Praying for Landen

This is Landen.

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Landen has a rare form of dwarfism which has compromised his immune system. Today Landen is having a marrow transplant and is in need of your prayers that his body will not reject the blood platelets he is receiving. The success of this procedure is vital to his life expectancy.

Landen’s grandmother, Regina (Gina) Stevens Johnson is a dear friend and was my example and mentor in high school. The following link was live this afternoon. Please pray for Landen as he receives the bone marrow transplant today.

Live video of prayer with Landen before bone marrow transplant.

For more information on Landen’s Story, please click on the links below. He is an amazing little boy with a powerful testimony and personality! His condition is so rare that he is one of eleven children who have this rare form of dwarfism.

There is also a little girl who has the same diagnosis. Please pray for her too.  I have added links to Landen’s Story. Please click on the links below to learn more about Landen and his condition. You will be blessed!

Landens Story

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Landen’s Story

You can follow Landen and his family’s journey on facebook. Praying4Landen 

and their family blog. The Johnson Journey

Thank you for praying for Landen today.

 

Baby & Flowers

My Aunt Betty had a green thumb. Mine is more yellow than green! I ran across this picture of her tulips and couldn’t resist posting them. I suppose I love tulips because they remind me of my Aunt and my sweet little cousin who is now a Mom.

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I love this picture of my little cousin admiring her Mama’s flowers.  I always took “the baby” out for a few hours on my day off. It was my favorite day of the week! On this day, I was taking her to the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, VA. that morning.

Strolling through the Zoo was nice and taking her to lunch was fun but it was that brief special moment captured in this picture that I remember most.

Babies and Flowers. I am not which brings more joy!

 

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For more information about Mill Mountain Zoo, click on the link below.

Mill Mountain Zoo

While visiting the Zoo, check out the Mill Mountain Star. Roanoke, Virginia is known as the “Star City of the South.”

Mill Mountain Star

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Terry Aldhizer Photography

Mill Mountain Star Youtube

 

Happy Mother’s Day. Characteristics of a Virtuious Woman.

Katherine Hinchee Purdy

Flourish Simple

 

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“Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”

Proverbs 31:25

 

Characteristics of the Virtuous Woman

“Her Price is far above rubies.”

Proverbs 31

 

  • She is Dependable (verses 11-12)
  • She is Delightful; Cheerful, (verse 13)
    • Gracious, Thankful 
      • “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
  • She is Diligent (verses 14-21)
    • Budget Money (verses 14, 16)
    • Budget Time (verses 15, 17-19)
    • Interest in Others (verses 20-21)
  • “A Doer” (verses 22-23)
    • She is moderate in everything.
      • “Let your moderation (Gentleness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 3:5)
  • Disposition (verses 25-31)
    • Strength
    • Honor
    • She thinks before she speaks (verse 26)
    • Industrious/Not Lazy 
    • Bearing Testimony at all times. (Titus 2)

 

Original outline given by Mrs. Delores Fulton at Piedmont Bible College in Girls Dorm Devotions. September 26, 1977.  Thank you, Mrs. Fulton for being a great example for us.

 

 

Flourish Simple

 

 

 

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And her children’s children too.

In Honor of my mother, Barbara R. Hinchee

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In Memory of the Sweetest Mother-in-law a girl can have. Emilie L. Purdy.

She was truly a Proverbs 31 woman.

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Cathy, Mother, John

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mom is 81 years old today. It is hard to imagine her at that age. She still sounds the same and if she still had her sight, I am sure she would be very active and making every occassion special. Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to Roanoke this weekend  or today to see her. Her birthday visit will be a week late. I would love to be there to give her a big hug and sing through the hymnal with her on the porch swing. Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

She always made birthdays special for us. Even as adults, she would show up on our birthday with a cake and gifts or my favorite – gift baskets! Yet, she always downplayed her own special day; telling us, “I don’t need anything.”

~*~

Birthdays. Every family celebrates them differently.

In my family, birthdays were a big event. Extended family members came over for dinner and of course, a beautifully decorated homemade cake of the birthday child’s choosing.

Mine was always white cake, seven minute frosting with coconut sprinkled on it like snow; graced with a candy “Happy Birthday” along with birthday candles. They were very popular when I was a child.

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Betty Crocker Vintage Birthday Cake Decorations found on Pinterest.

Of course I always wanted the pink one with little flowers for the candles.

It is usually Mothers who make birthdays special. She bakes the cake, makes sure the freezer is stocked with ice cream, cooks the meal, buys and wraps the gift. My Mom loved making birthdays special. She was the best at wrapping gifts. They were always too pretty to unwrap!

It was Dad Hinchee who took snapshots and taped the special occasion with his Super-eight movie camera. I have a dvd with several years of birthdays and other special moments. unfortunately, he often panned the room too fast and some scenes are just a blur. My baby sister’s first birthday was great! Dinner in our back yard with family and after dinner, cake and gifts were opened, we all went to the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Va. I especially remember the gorgeous peacocks. Such a pretty blue! Needless to say, was a memorable event.

This is Mom.

 

I would love to give her a special birthday party. I have tried twice to at least take dinner and her gifts but she is hesitant to let anyone come over. She claims the house is dirty and she has nothing to wear. You see, she has always wanted everything to be “perfect.”

We gave her a party on her seventy-fifth birthday. Her sister and brother-in-law came from Richmond. Our Hinchee relatives came to make the day special too.

Mom's 75th Birthday

We had a beautiful cake made by Ashley Schnarr Easter, fresh fruit, finger sandwiches and I actually discovered blooms on the lilac tree! She received wonderful gifts and cards that played music!

She was amazed that everyone came and loved having my Aunt and Uncle spend the night with them. She let me know later that she doesn’t want to remember that she is “getting older.” We have gifts for her and I still hope we will be able to take dinner to Mom and Dad.

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There is one gift I can’t wait to give her. She can’t see it but that’s okay. I found on Etsy the fragrance she used to wear when I was a small child. Persian Wood isn’t available in perfume but I found the original Avon Persian Wood Perfumed Talc. I am sure it has lost its fragrance over time but hopefully, there is enough of the fragrance to bring back wonderful memories and just for a moment, she will feel “young” again.

 

Perhaps we will sit on the porch swing and sing Hymns of the Faith just as we used to.

Happy Birthday, Mom. We love you!

Happy Easter!

It isn’t about the bunny. It isn’t about the candy and eggs. It is about the Lamb of God who shed His precious blood on the cross for you and for me that He might redeem us.

Amazing that someone would lay down His life for you and for me but even more amazing is that the one who gave His life for us is the perfect Son of God; God incarnate. He suffered for my sin. He bore my shame on the cross. A horrible death. But He did so willingly. He even knew that this would happen when He stepped from Heaven’s splendor to be born as a tiny babe in a stable in Bethlehem.  He tried to tell His disciples at the passover supper. “And He took bread and gave thanks, and brake it and gave unto them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup after supper saying, ‘This cup is the new testament(covenant) in my blood which is shed for you.'” Luke 22:19-20

In the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew and He agonized but He said, “Father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; netherless not my will but thine be done.” Luke 22:42

 

Our Pastor and several friends recently visited Jerusalem. The link below is the message Pastor Ferrell gave at the very Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus had sweat drops of blood and yielded to the Father for you and me. (click the link below.)

 

Garden of Gethsemane with Pastor Ferrell of Timberlake Baptist Church

 

He gave His life on the cross for us but He did not stay did. HE AROSE! We truly have something wonderful to celebrate;  He’s Alive!

Have a blessed Easter,

Love,

Kathy

The Plans I Have For You

Patty Moore is a friend from college who blogs about the daily life adventures of having an adult child with Autism and Epilepsy. It is wonderful to see through Aarons eyes as well as learning lessons from Patty. Bless you, Patty!

He Said What?!

I think most of the nation has had a milder than usual winter.  Here in Kansas, we really haven’t had a winter to speak of.  Trees were budding, bushes were bearing leaves, and perennials were poking out of the ground in February!

I shouldn’t have been surprised…..but I was surprised……to walk past my front flower bed one day in February and look down to see that my Salvia had made an appearance.  There were fresh little green leaves sticking up through the ground, unaware that the month was only February.  Salvia don’t look at calendars.  They only respond to the warmth of the sun and the mildness of the nights.

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Something occurs deep underground, in their roots, that awakens them and urges them to respond.  It’s God’s miracle of growth, not tied to the month of the year but to the environment around them.  And even though that environment can…

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Changing Styles: From Fluffy to Traditional/Vintage.

Traditionally, Monday is laundry day which means clean sheets! Who doesn’t love clean sheets? The only thing better is line dried sheets but we don’t have a yard so it must be the dryer for this gal!

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I like the new way of making beds. You know, the inviting look. The big fluffy comforter, pillow shams and lots of pillows which give the bed so much appeal. However, with cats in the house, I like to keep the pillows we sleep on covered. No kitty-smelling pillow for this gal! Besides, as much as I love fluffy, warm comforters, my husband is just the opposite.

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This was our seventeen-year-old Patch. He earned the priviledge of napping on the pillows. Besides, at night he slept on the pillow between us and sometimes on my head but that was a long time ago. 

The cozy comforter ended up folded at the end of the bed because it was too hot. Uncomfortable. And so, for Christmas one year, John picked out a bedspread. When it is folded to be carried to the dry cleaners, it’s heavy but it is surprisingly lightweight on the bed.

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Skippy taking possession of the new bedspread

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I moved out heavy comforter and pillow shams to the guest room and pulled this bedspread out of the closet. I was surprised how lightweight it was but it is slippery!

Every morning, one of us has a majority of the cover. (I keep a folded quilt on my side of the bed. I would freeze with just a sheet and bedspread.) So I tried tucking in the bedspread at the foot of the bed. Since we have a footboard, it wasn’t seen.

It didn’t work. I bought a roll of non-skid rug liner. (Also great for drawers and shelves.)

I put the liner between the top sheet and the bedspread. It didn’t work either.

Today is Monday so when I changed the sheets, I had a brilliant idea. (We’ll see!)

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This is the foot of the bedspread.

I pinned the rubber backing to the foot of the spread and tucked it in. Hopefully, the weight of the mattress will hold spread in place.

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“Tucking it in.”

And now I am reverting back to the traditional way of making the bed. The way Granny taught me when I was six-years-old. (I love nostalgia!)

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Add throw pillows so that it won’t look too plain.

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Just like John’s grandmother made her bed. 

Footnote. Ruby just came to get me and led me to the bedroom. She walked straight to the bed which is usually her way of saying, “lets nap!” I usually stand up the pillow so that she has room but this time I just moved the throw pillows and she jumped up, looked around and headed to the covered quilt at the foot of the bed.

I might have to find another quilt to cover up with tonight. Ruby is in for the night. At least until kitty snack time.