Friday, December 11, 2015


Last week we lost Bill's mom, Grandma, "GG", my mother-in-law Elizabeth, at 99.
I knew her for 40 years and not once did she criticize me.
She looked for the best and extended grace to everyone. 
Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren adored her.
She wasn't especially social, but
Elizabeth's sense of humor and winsome spirit endeared her to all, including the angels at
Sarah Moore Home who cared for her until the very end.
Elizabeth complained little and laughed much and while we will miss her, 
her spirit was ready to meet Jesus.
I hope to embrace life with a smile for many years, as she did, 
though I'm not sure about riding a motorcycle at age 92: such spunk!
A celebration of life is planned for Saturday, December 26, 2015, 1:00 p.m.
at Delaware Christian Church, Delaware, Ohio.
All are welcome.
Elizabeth Muriel Thayer Haller
September 20, 1916 ~ December 2, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

trust. trust. trust.

The writing has been on the wall for a couple of years: we've prayed about leaving Ohio to live closer to our kids and grandkids. And it's funny, my thoughts and emotions have run the gamut. I've had teary days of missing my grandbabies so much that it hurts. Then I've had days of contentment that this is where God wants us for now. And of course there's this house, our home of almost 26 years. It's nothing super special, but then again it most certainly is. And the thought of leaving it, leaving our little street, an enclave of the most amazing neighbors you could ever be blessed to know, is wrenching.

And so for a couple years: years of my dad's death, my mother-in-law Elizabeth's slow decline, four new grandchildren, waiting for our Michigan cabin to sell, Katie moving to Florida, and David's wedding, I guess we just kind of let the idea of moving simmer on the back burner. 

Until now. And I'm terrified, thrilled, and overwhelmed. Less than a month ago I made a passing comment in a women's class at church. My friend Susie immediately asked if we are selling our house soon. "Um, well, sometime soon-ish." And how. Susie and her family came over to look the next week, basically selling it to themselves in two hours, and serious talk began. They listed their house this past Sunday and had an offer 24 hours later.

We are moving. Despite our dragging and lagging and wondering, we are moving. My journal is filled with prayers and pleadings that God would make the way clear. And now, we sell our house without even trying, not even a sign in the yard?? That's a powerful and clear word from God if you ask me.

Some time ago we decided, at least for now, on Charlotte, NC. Dan and Jenny are there and the other kids/babies are north and south of there. It'll be more central and greatly reduce the burden of so much travel to gather our big family. It's looking like we'll need to be packed and headed out in early January. We have no idea where we'll live. Though we're working on it, it honestly terrifies me.

But my God is faithful and good! And what I continue to learn is that prayer isn't asking/getting things from God. Rather, it's a chance to grow in closer "fellowship and oneness with God," says Oswald Chambers. I now see how weak my faith has been at times. Chambers also says "faith must be tested to become my intimate possession," as affirmed in the book of James: "the testing of your faith develops perseverance." I could go on and on about this faith journey!

The world says to trust our feelings, our heart. No, says my beloved Elisabeth Elliot, they are so unreliable. Trust God. 

I'll try to update here. But it's going to get crazy! (Feel free to comment, too.)

Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift my soul.
Psalm 143:8
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

happy birthday, Jenny!


Wishing my daughter-in-love Jenny a super happy birthday today!
In this incredibly full season of life,
may God strengthen your hands,
calm your spirit,
give you grace in the hard moments and joy in the quiet ones,
and fill your heart with his love and assurance that life always moves on
and little ones become independent!
I'm very proud of you and thankful you married my son.

Have a beautiful day, Jenny.

Friday, October 2, 2015

birthday to birthday: happy birthday David!

One year ago our son David spent a week at home with us. We took walks, cooked and ate out, talked and laughed a lot. It's so great to spend an entire week with one of our kids. (Did I ever imagine saying that 20 years ago?!) Anyway, he'd been seeing this girl Chelsea for a few months and though he was texting and talking on the phone with her, it was like pulling teeth to get much info.

About a week later, they made their relationship official. Within five months they were engaged and five months later they were married! So from birthday to birthday, David's had an incredible year. (And oh, we absolutely love Chelsea so that makes it all the sweeter.)

I just told Bill I can't believe I had our first baby 32 years ago. Really, where do the years go? David was an accommodating baby, considering we had little idea how to care for him. He was so calm and agreeable and that's stayed the same much of his life.  
Happy birthday, David! So very proud of you and the man and husband you've become.

Maine ~ 1984

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Elizabeth is 99!

Today our Mom, Grandma, "GG", Elizabeth turns 99!
What an amazing life for a sweet and winsome lady.
Her sons love and care for her faithfully,
our children adore her,
and I couldn't have asked for a better mother-in-law.

I'm so glad I have some marvelous photos of Elizabeth ...
she's now under Hospice care and is fading from this life.
It's very hard to see her so weak, but thankfully most days she
isn't in much pain.

We love you, Mom.
Happy 99th birthday!

(This photo taken a year or so ago.)

 Around 1940, Elizabeth biked through New England with
some girlfriends. What spunk!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

more on the wedding!

I am very sorry, blog readers. Life's been sticky lately and I'm having a time getting to the blog. Blah! But I promised more about David and Chelsea's July wedding so here goes.

The exciting and also a little nerve-wracking fact of having our five oldest grandchildren, ages 2 - 5 serve in the bridal party became real on the morning of July 18. Keeping 7 little children (including the two newborns) fed and rested was accomplished by many helping hands: parents, aunts and uncles, and two sets of grandparents. The little ones also had to be washed, combed, dressed, ferried, and photographed. A big undertaking but also a labor of love for our David and Chelsea.

          Here are the girls, ages 5, 4 and 3 all ready for photos. They held together pretty well!

A little wilted before the ceremony. Golly it was hot for us non-Floridians.

Here we have the little ring-bearers, beating the heat at the
St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club (wedding venue) after torrential rain the day before.
 Whatcha gonna do? Boys will be boys.
One bolted during the ceremony, but
all things considered they held it together.

Makin' it work: pre-ceremony snacks and video in the van.
"Wake me up for the reception."
Still sleeping .... Jordan with Jenny.
Wow! Chelsea's mom and aunt made all these cookies, which were
waaaaay better than any wedding cake. Little take-home bags
were provided, too!

Lily with Bill and me.

Mark with his middle, Ethan.
Have you ever played shuffleboard at a wedding?
Everyone loved it!
Jenny, Jill and Katie: three of "my" girls!
Notice the bride and groom in the background?
Cattle call for the photographer!

Of course, these two were who it was all about!
Chelsea and David planned a unique, fun and God-honoring wedding.
They had a short getaway in Florida and are planning
a fabulous official honeymoon for November!
This time a year ago, David and Chelsea had only known each
other a few months. For years I've prayed for my kids and their spouses, even before we KNEW their spouses. I thank the Lord for answered prayers!

(Special thanks to Jenny's mom, Shelley DeGeyter, for
some of these photos.)


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

90 years

My mother was born 90 years ago today.
She died over 36 years ago, so she's been gone quite a few more years than I had her.
 Losing my mother taught me never to assume a person should "be over" their grief.
Never, ever assume.
And the loss also taught me the preciousness of having a mother,
a loving mother who poured into us four kids so much
that she loved and shaped us almost completely before we lost her.
Thanks, Mom. I miss you.
Happy birthday.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

July has come and gone and I have a new daughter-in-love!

Tampa Bay

My life is a wild, wonderful whirlwind. Well maybe it's more like hurricane season when you wait for the next big one to roll in. In between, there's tranquility.

We've been home over two weeks and "BLOG" keeps staring at me from my to do list. Computer issues, some house repairs, checking in on Bill's mom and catching up on sleep from the Florida wedding trip have kept me from writing.

So, excuses aside, here we go!

Yes, we drove all the way to St. Petersburg, Florida for son David and his lovely bride Chelsea's wedding. We made the drive safe and sound, all 2500 miles round trip in ten days! And the drive was definitely "shortened" by Katie introducing us to the podcast "Serial." Oh gosh, a seriously addictive real-life crime story!

Hot, it was hot as a pressure cooker! Bill and I lived in south Florida our first five years of marriage but the incessant rain they've been having blew the humidity level to around 200%. We dressed appropriately (no matronly suit for me!) and the wedding and reception and even the rehearsal dinner were just fabulous. Most importantly, the bride and groom were thrilled and loved their special day and they are just ADORABLE!

                            (Benjamin Hewitt Photography)

                                            Sweet dance on the patio.               (Benjamin Hewitt Photography)

Oh I didn't mention ... the wedding and reception were held at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club ... a SWEET and historic place where David and Chelsea had many dates. Following dinner we all played shuffleboard. What fun!

                                                                  (Benjamin Hewitt Photography)
Lily caught on fast and loved some shuffleboard!
David's beautiful bride Chelsea, who I prayed would be kept safe and healthy
until God brought them together. I can't tell you how happy I am that they
both waited for each other. A perfect love story!    (Benjamin Hewitt)

It's hard "losing" this last son. As CRAZY as I am about my daughters-in-love, I feel a little loss when each son has married. But I'm super proud of each of them, and happy to see them succeeding in life. David and I danced to "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan. Ok, ok, I love it as the intro to Parenthood but the lyrics seemed perfect, even though my son is grown.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young

 May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

 May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Bob Dylan, 1973

I have more to share, especially about my grandchildren's roles in the wedding .... next post!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

birthdays and bumping along

This gal had a birthday on June 23, but I was MIA and missed blogging it.
Happy birthday, Jill!
She's a mama to three tiny ones, ages 3, 22 months and one month.
Full, long days. But you handle it with grace, Jill.
This photo about sums it up, I think! (Ethan would not pose!)
Hang in there! I love you.
And this little girl turned four the day after Jill's birthday.
Oh Ashlyn, you're a sweet treasure ...
my curly-headed, lovey, cuddly, sometimes emotional, darling granddaughter.
I hope your 5th year is fabulous!
Love, love you.
I'm tellin' ya ... life is full to the brim for the Hallers!
Two new grandchildren, keeping tabs on Bill's mom,
trying to sell our cabin, and a wedding next month.
I've had LOTS of travel, and
 the coming month will be wild and wonderful
as son David gets married in Florida. Yippee!
Just crazy about all these people ... my wonderful, exploding family!
Here are a few more photos from recent weeks:
Jenny with Jordan
Dan with his older three

Noah the "squawker"
Ethan, Mark and Lily
I am exceedingly blessed and grateful.