Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Welcome to Grey!

"Sing praises to the LORD,...and give thanks to His holy name!"  Psalm 30:4

Henry and I are so thankful to announce the birth of our grandson. Grey Henry Hopkins was born April 25, 2014 at noon in Seattle, Washington to our daughter, Kira and her husband, Peter Hopkins and big sister, Ivey Hope.  He weighed 6 lbs. 3 oz. and was 19 inches.  He is a huge blessing and gift from the LORD.  I don't take it for granted that I was blessed to be there to help babysit 3 year old Ivey.  To see the parents bring the baby come home from the hospital and be able to ask my granddaughter the baby's name and have her answer, "Baby Brother" was very sweet!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Some Great Presents for Christmas!

"My presence is your present" is a quote a friend said about attending a destination wedding.
Having all our children and grandchildren together this Christmas for the first time in many years was a GREAT present!

 New Year's Eve had my 94 year old mom, 2 sisters and their spouses and my brother joined the mix for a wonderful welcome to 2014.  Family gathering all the way from California and Seattle was a GREAT gift!

Another WONDERFUL gift is having our new grandson, Anders celebrating his 1st Christmas and also finding out we have ANOTHER new grandson coming in May!!!!

The GREATEST gift is remembering the birth of our Savior, Jesus.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Visiting My Sweet Mom, Evelyn

Henry and I buzzed up to Franklin, TN. on his afternoon off this week for the express purpose of taking my mother out to dinner!
Evelyn Beatrice Holm Johnson is ninety four years young.  Half Norwegian and half Swedish, growing up Lutheran in Minnesota where she weathered the severe cold for most of her life, gives her a spunky nature that fits the role God has blessed her with in abundance!
My mom was the mother of five children, grandmother to 17 and great-grandmother to 25 and more to come, I'm sure!
Here's a photo of me with my daughter, Tacy and her son, Anders Eliot (he's no. 25) meeting his great-grandmother last month at Kalmia, our cottage across from Mullins Cove on Lake Nickajack.
Her favorite hymn is "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go" and her example in life of living for Jesus has blessed our large extended family in countless ways.  We know we can ask her to pray about a problem we are struggling with and she will take it up as her assignment to lift us to the LORD in prayer!  What a beautiful heritage to pass on to the next generation.

"Her children rise up and bless her..." Proverbs 31:28

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


We have a welcome house guest this week!  Her name is Bessie and she is spending her vacation with us, while her owner and our good friend, Terry is out of town.  She's a regular guest,, usually polite and very well mannered and comfortable since she and her mistress lived in our guest house, Morning Glory Cottage many years ago.
 It's obvious Bessie knows her way around the neighborhood, when I tell you about her escapade the other night.  I was saying good bye to our two sons and grand dog, Rocky, when evidently she slipped out the open front door.  I did not notice, but later that evening I realized she was GONE!  I panicked, I was SUPPOSED to be watching her, but she found an escape route right under my nose (or knees...she is small).
I stood in the front yard, in my bathrobe whistling towards the dark driveway. I whistled again and again.  Just when I was turning to go back in, I heard a faint jingle, then a blur of white as the prodigal returned with gusto!  She barreled in the front hall and gleefully galloped up and down our long hall about 4 times, proud of her late night jaunt on her own.  Boy, was I RELIEVED to see that naughty, little girl back in our house safe and sound!
Even if Bessie is a little minx, she has won our hearts, along with our granddaughters!
Here's a photo of our Celeste on the left and her good friend, Bessie on the right.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Celebrating Our Granddaughters' Birthdays!

What a delight it is to celebrate the gift of another year of life!

We had MANY such celebrations in our family this year, here's a peek at some happy moments when everyone looks forward to gathering and singing and eating and praying together!

  We traveled to Seattle, to visit our daughter Kira and husband Peter and to sing Happy Birthday to sweet Ivey when she turned TWO!

Back in Chattanooga...there was another birthday.
With little Madeleine, it was her very First Birthday in May! She is ONE!
Fresh from heaven, these sweet girls were sent to us and we LOVE being Grandma and Grandpa!

On October 2, darling Frances turned Three and she has learned how to hold up three fingers to prove her age.  She also know how to blow out candles!
Beaming with a big smile, Molly is our oldest granddaughter, she turned FIVE last January!She has started kindergarten and loves going to school every day!

When we celebrated our daughter, Tacy's birthday(Big 30) in
March, we included a ride in the PARTY VAN with Tacy and husband, Stephen, up to Nashville to visit Great Grandma, who is 94, YES, she is NINETY FOUR!And she still enjoys celebrating with cake and ice cream, especially with 3 little Beck girls all around her!
"I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which He is to be praised... you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hand." (From Isaiah 63 & 64)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Samson the Great!

Back in 1999, we welcomed a surprise addition to our household - a VERY LARGE, brown dog named Samson that our grown son, Evan had rescued from the pound.  He was pitiful to look at, with major bald spots on his back and quite thin.   Evan learned from a vet that the most inexpensive treatment was driving to the Agricultural Exchange supply store for the medicine. Then Evan would drive this mangy mutt to our house to have his doctor dad give the injections every week.  So the "chemo" and fish oil capsules did the trick and Samson's coat began to re-grow!

We became fond of the BIG Guy, but were still quite startled when Evan announced he was going to study in Seville, Spain and we needed to keep him for a semester.  So he moved in as the young brother and shared the garage with our Border Collie, Celeste.  She was a hyper, 2 year old, prissy female and Samson was thought to be a Chesapeake Retriever, mild mannered, man's dog.  They made quite a pair!
Here we are at Sunset Rock, on top of Lookout Mountain - they were both eager for a run or a hike!     Our nephew, Micah nicknamed Samson "The Walrus", which I must admit, that huge mound of brown did resemble one when he was stretched out napping on our floor.

The LORD blessed us with two GREAT companions, each for 14 years.  Now that Samson has also died, we can imagine them reunited and galloping together through doggie heaven,pausing to share a pungent sniff.

They both revealed an unconditional love for their owners that delighted us daily.  How these two 4 legged creatures brightened our lives for many happy years!
"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD." Psalm150:6

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Dream Come True

Henry's dream to return to Belarus came true in June when we joined the combined choir from 3 churches in Chattanooga to travel to towns, cities and villages to sing praises to the LORD with the excellent Belarussian choir in a large church in Minsk.
We reconnected with our son -in-love, Andrej Demidenko, who lived in our home many summers through The Chernobyl Children's Program.  He is now a fine, handsome young man!
We sang in a children's camp and they sang back to us!
We sang in house churches in several villages.
"May (the LORD) give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed!" Psalm 20:4