My Valentine

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Mike U3 Ranch Wells, NV

This picture was taken many years ago.  He is in his sixties now.  He doesn’t live in the wide open country that he loves…we live in town.  But this is where his heart still is; where his soul still finds peace and contentment.

This ranch is where our three children were born and spent the biggest part of their childhood.  It is where the foundation of our marriage had its start.

Mike has been a wonderful friend, husband, and father to our children.  He has been my soft shoulder to lean on in hard times, and the smile that makes my day great every day.  We still hold hands, we still like being together.  He still completes me.

Mike is still a kid at heart and I think always will be.  Below is a picture of him taking a turn on our grandsons’ bucking barrel a couple of years ago.  I love the man in these pictures.  He’s the love of my life….my buddy…my Valentine!

Mike Bucking Barrell

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Good Times

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Sister Pat, me, and Duke at Fairfield, Id

Good times… their memories are what give you joy at the present, soften the hard times, and lighten the load of ageing with a smile.

We called it the sled hill.  It gave us hours and hours of good times.  Duke, our dog, is not yet at the top of the hill in this picture.  Our sled run was from the top of the hill down to the road.  The down hill flight was filled with laughs.  It was one of our greatest childhood thrills!  Duke would run after us on the way down, and lead the way back to the top with a wagging tail.  He loved it too.

My sister and I shared a lot of good times throughout the years.  She was my first true friend, and she is still close to my heart.  Pat is not just my sister, she is part of me.   We share most of the same childhood memories.  Most of my good times were also her good times.  We played games, rode horses, listened to records, and danced in the living room.  We had a few disagreements like most siblings, but very few.

After we got married, distance separated us physically.  We haven’t been able to spend as much time together over the years as we would like.  We may not be able to share our day over a cup of coffee.  But we do share our day occasionally over the phone, and special moments with the help of Facebook.

And we always will share our childhood memories.

Good times!  May your heart and life be full of them!  Happy birthday Sis!

 

 

 

 

Never to Old?

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Sheryl Craig Russell

They say you are never too young or too old to learn something new; to spread your wings, take a leap of faith, and venture out to the deeper waters.  I have always believed that.  Or at least I thought I did.

That is what America is all about isn’t it?  We are the land of opportunity.  We can be what we want to be, do what we want to do.  Nothing stands in our way….except ourselves and our own perceived limitations.

So here I am, a self-admitted senior citizen finding myself at a major crossroad in my life.  My body won’t let me be on my feet all day anymore, but I still need to work.

I’ll admit it, I am a little anxious about the decision I’ve made.  I’ve decided to go back to college!  I was feeling fairly confident with my choice until registration day when I walked into a room filled with kids almost 50 years younger than me.  I told myself, ” It’s okay.  You are going to take this online..no need to get intimidated.  You can work at your own pace.  Things will be fine.”

So in that class of new students, they had us all register “online.”  I didn’t feel to bad.  Though I was the only one in there with gray hair and age spots, I wasn’t the only one to need help.  Some of those youngsters who were raised on computers needed help also!

Move forward to this last week.  I had an online orientation I had to go through.  There was also a few classes online that all new students had to take.  Alcohol and sexual harassment and abuse awareness, etc.  Not any big problems, just got myself shut out from too many attempts trying to use a wrong password.  (I have no doubt I will soon have that help number memorized.)  And those tests, that they said should only take about 20 minutes each?  If that was twenty minutes for each section, then maybe I was okay.  But I don’t think that is what they meant.

It will get better, right?  I’ll learn to use this computer, right?  I mean if I can figure out how to use Facebook and Pinterest, I should be able to learn how to use Excel, The Box, Power Point, and all that other stuff on Office 365 I just had to download for my classes, right? Right?  Please tell me right!!

Deep breath….Ahh, that’s better.   No need to panic.  No need to get the bottle of rum out yet.   I am a Christian.  I am fearfully, and wonderfully made.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  He will never leave me nor forsake me.

I will make it through this……but I’d appreciate your prayers!

 

 

Love Handed Down

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My Grandmother, Lillie Belle Wells

This is the story of love handed down.  It is the story of a ruby ring surrounded by pearls that belonged to my Grandmother, Lillie Belle Wells.  The story was never really clear from where, or from who she aquired the ring, but it is beautiful.

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My Mom, Harriett Belle Wells Craig 1948

It was handed down to my mother, Harriett Belle Craig.  I remember Mom wearing it from time to time.  She always looked at it with affection in her eyes.  Not with affection for the ring, but for who it once belonged to.

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Me, Sheryl Craig Russell

That ring was next handed down to me.  I have had it for several years.  I have worn it on occasion but not alot.  It was missing three pearls, and I was told all of the prongs were loose. I was always afraid I would lose more stones.  There is just something so special about that ring.  Whenever I wear it, I feel the presence of my mother and my grandmother both.  I feel their warmth.  I see their sweet smiles.  I feel their love pouring into me.

I recently had that old ring repaired.  I replaced the missing pearls, and had the prongs built up, and the ring cleaned.  It hardly looks like the same ring….but it is.

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My daughter, Holly Russell Hansen

This Christmas I am handing this ring of love down to you,  Holly.  I lent it to you on your wedding day, and told you some day when I got it fixed, it would be yours.  Merry Christmas sweet daughter of mine!

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Granddaughter          Mikaylee Belle Hansen

I have only two requests with this ring.  One, whenever you wear it, feel my presence, and my love, along with your grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s who wore it before you.  Second, when she is old enough to truly appreciate every thing it stands for, and all the love that is being transfered to her, I ask that you hand it down to your daughter, Mikaylee Belle.

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Lillie’s Ruby Ring…love handed down

 

Eternity Embraces Time

I was looking through some of my old blogs and I found this one from a couple of years ago. This image of Eternity embracing time, still gets to me. Seeing how it almost Christmas again, I thought I would share once more. May you all have a Merry Christmas.

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I had intended to post this blog a couple of days before Christmas, but my computer was giving me fits and freezing up on me.  Hopefully the spirit of this Christmas message will continue with you into the New Year and into Eternity itself.

I was watching a program last night with David Jeramiah.  He was telling the Christmas story in a way I have never heard before.  He told how Jesus left his riches in heaven, came to earth and became poor for us.  He took our sins with him on the cross, so that we may have eternal life.

Yes, all that I have heard; usually connected with the Easter story.  It was what he said next that really hit me.  He said Eternity embraced time so that we who are bound by time may someday embrace Eternity.

Think about that for a minute..Eternity (God, the Father, Son…

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Thankful

Mike's Cross

This is the end of Thanksgiving weekend.  I’ve been reflecting on the many blessings I have in my life; all the things I have to be thankful for.  This blog post would be pages long if I tried to put all of them to words, so I have decided to sum them up with a picture blog.

First, I am thankful for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who created all that is, and ever will be.  I am thankful for Jesus who died on the cross for my sins that I might have eternal life.

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Second, I am thankful for my country, the land of the free, because of the brave.  I am thankful I was able to be raised in a country with freedoms, and values, and privileges so many are not fortunate enough to know.

Mom Dad Sherry & Pat in Bruneau, Idaho 1955 (2)

Third, I am thankful for the family I was lucky enough to be born into.  I could not have hoped for better parents.  They were both so kind, loving, nurturing, and encouraging.  My sister was my friend, and still is.  She is always in my heart and mind.  They gave me the foundation I built my own family on.

Fourth, I am thankful for my husband, the lifestyle we have been able to live, and the family that we created.  My husband is my best friend, my soul mate, and partner on this walk we call life.  Our children have filled my heart and life with more joy and blessings than any woman deserves.

And lastly, I am thankful for the families my three beautiful children have created.  I have been blessed with one more daughter, and two more sons that I have learned to love as my own.  And those grandbabies…..oh how I love them all!  My heart is so full.  God is so good. I am so blessed.

These are the things that I am grateful for.  These are my blessings and treasures.  These are the things for which I give God thanks.

Happy Birthday Mindy

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My daughter Mindy, with her beautiful family

How can it be that my baby is 39 years old today?  I was looking for a more recent picture of you by yourself for this blog post.   But I saw this one taken a few years back, and it felt right.

This is who you are, a loving wife, and mother.  They are the center of your life, and you, theirs.

When I look at you, your marriage, and the family you’ve created, my heart overflows.  Mindy, you have so many good qualities.  You are kind, caring, honest, and compassionate.  You also have strong beliefs about what is right and wrong, and stand up for those beliefs when you feel it is needed.  You are an encourager.  You are patriotic.  You love Jesus and follow Him.  You have given your children a great example to follow.

You have many talents.  You are a great photographer, cake baker, and cook.  You are a gifted writer (which I hope you will start doing more of).  You have many artistic talents and hobbies.  You make a pretty good ranch hand.  You are a great auction clerk, and much appreciated computer “assistant.”  Thank you for that last one!

But to me, you will always be my baby.  Yes, I see all you’ve become, and I am so proud of you.  But when I look at you I see the little bundle Doc Moren placed in my arms.  That sweet little girl, who would forever change and bless my life.  I see a little toddler with so much personality.  I see her marching across the floor like a soldier, chanting, ” Hup, one two, three!”  I see her singing “Chubby Old Groundhog” ( better known to many as Alabama’s, Dixie Land Delight) with such enthusiasm and facial expressions.  I see her very sensitive soul come out when her family giggled at something cute she said.  She thought we were laughing at her and burst into tears, telling us “It is not nice to laugh at little kids!”

I also see a little girl face her fears of darkness with the help of a lifelong friend.  His name was Jopeka.  Jopeka, that huge, stuffed dog, was a present from your Granddad Jim one Christmas when you were three years old.  It was love at first sight.  He was your watch dog.  He sat at the foot of your bed and faithfully protected you from all things scary in the dark.  Faithfully , through those toddler years and childhood years, there he sat.  Then we moved to Montana and you had to share a small room with your sister.  No room for Jopeka.  In spite of passionate protests, he took his place inside an old toy chest, and was lovingly placed in the storage shed.  There he remained until one day that little girl, (now in high school) went to the shed to find him.  She did find him, and came running into the house, crying hysterically, “Why did you put him in there?  The mice ate him!  The mice ate him!”  Jopeka was laid to rest….but never forgotten.

Thank you for so many wonderful memories.  Thank you for those loving little arms wrapped around my neck and the “Zerbets.”   Thank you for growing into a wonderful woman who still possesses all those little girl qualities.  I loved you then…I love you now….I’ll love you forever!   Happy birthday Mindy!

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Mindy and Jopeka….RIP!