Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Happiness Attacks

I enjoyed a lovely vacation with my sisters and Marilyn's daughter, Karlee in Littleton and Westminster, Colorado last week. It's not always possible, but I try to read the daily scriptures and reflections from a Benedictine periodical called, "Give Us This Day."  The reflection on Sunday, titled "Happiness Attacks" caught my eye and I decided the title is appropriate for this blog post.  Melanie Svoboda's reflection focused on the scriptures, particularly the Transfiguration.  She describes the euphoria the apostles felt on the mountain top as happiness attacks.  She encourages the reader to recognize that "God's beauty or goodness or love breaks through the surface of our everyday....even though His presence is often hidden in the trials and ambiguities of daily living."  I didn't get pictures of every happiness attack, but here are a few....
Spending quality time with my sisters!
And Karlee, especially decorating her classroom.  Notice the lovely dress she's wearing - she and her friend, Nicole, took a sewing class and each made a dress.   Lots of happiness for me listening to those young women tracing the pattern pieces!

 We did a lot of work with and for Karlee in her third grade classroom.  We labeled cubbies and containers, put colored stickers on books, and made a tulle curtain to cover up the ugly blinds on her windows!

We were exhausted after two days of work, up and down ladders; on and off the floor.  Teaching is not for the older generation!  Karlee plans to teach cursive handwriting and lots of thinking strategies.  I found a set of posters describing the thinking strategies and Karlee had to teach me the meaning of such words as inference, schema, and synthesize.  Connie, a former teacher, totally bought into the words and reassured me that third graders would understand and be able to verbalize the strategies!  Gosh, that's not what I learned in third or any other grade for that matter!  

 Lots of Ryan's baseball games were cancelled due to rain this summer, so we got to watch a make up game tonight.
Grace posed with her "found" pink scarf.

The kids table and chairs from our family home often enable happiness attacks!  The table provides the platform for all the budding artists in this family.  Connie's working on Ryan's requested orange cat picture!

Happiness attacked me when we shopped at Joann's for fleece fabric to make four blankets.  Grace got really excited when I found this fishing fleece.  It was the first blanket she sewed for her Dad!
She chose the butterflies for her neighbor, Tammy, who suffers from MS.

Lots of happiness the day Grace made crepes for me.  She gets cookbooks from the local library and Maureen is teaching her to cook.  The crepes were perfect!

Connie and I had serious happiness attacks when we navigated the Denver Light Rail system, all the way from Mineral to Westminster, where Karlee lives.  And, the best it cost us $1.30 each one way because we are senior citizens!  The stations are just five minutes from Maureen's home and the same for Karlee's home in Westminster.

We Kop girls had a major happiness and laughter attack when we looked at the photos of our family home, which is currently for sale in Cottonwood.  The emotions of shock and disbelief overcame kitchen cabinets and a purple wall in the living room!  Our only disappointment was that there were no pictures of the downstairs bathroom so we don't know if the multi colored tile disappeared or not!

I loved our Saturday morning visit to Hudson Gardens.  The Gaekes often ride their bikes to this lovely event center, but we just walked around and admired the gardens and walking trails.

This little bunny acted like someone's pet.  He/she didn't seem bothered as we got close.

Lovely Grace among the lily pads.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch at this unique restaurant in downtown Littleton.  Maureen told us the story of a woman who owns and operates the restaurant and customers pay whatever they want for their food.  Over 120 volunteers each month help serve the food.   We were happy to support this wonderful endeavor.  Their core values:

Our Core Values.  We will…

Invite, welcome and love all people
Show you the beauty in simplicity
Focus on food that is friendly to your own kitchen
Use what we have and limit the excess
Give back often and with joy

We are project crazy people so Karlee and Marilyn spray painted two benches!  Maureen loves the green color and the happy pillow Marilyn made for her.

God's beauty and love broke through many moments of this vacation and I experienced many happiness attacks.  I'm grateful that my sisters were willing to travel with me and grateful to Karlee and Maureen for the wonderful hospitality!

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