Saturday, July 7, 2012

Many Changes in One Week
(written June 16, 2012)

Yesterday the other 90 year old oak tree next to our house had to be brought down. Due to building by the previous neighbors it could no longer get sustenance on that side as its root system was being covered over with concrete.

This had been a week of changes as far as long-standing “markers” in our life. We discontinued the landline after 30 years. Fred’s moving his office from where it’s been for nineteen years to Carey’s and Rich’s house, and clearing out and shutting down his shop over on Southwest from where he’s had it for 8 years. We’re curtailing our salary for the time being and living on savings as another cost containment measure.

As sad as this all can be it’s also a sign of change and God moving us into a new era!

I cried a fair amount this week and shared and talked with my girls who have shared in the grieving about the tree and the phone number.

This morning, after a sweet time of prayer with Thayne and Maria, Jorf and Korf, and Claude and Debbie here last night, I stood out on the side deck to look up at the big empty space over our house to the west, created by the removal of that tree. It was then that You filled my heart with a sense of openness and limitlessness in those skies. I recognized it as that same opening up of the heart and mind and soul that happens in the mountains or the seashore, or even in open airy architecture (Crystal Bridges Museum). Then I got it!!

The removal of the dead and dying parts of our lives opens up new vistas and horizons, bigger spaces and possibilities. It’s invigorating yet if I don’t keep my eyes on You I can easily feel lost and adrift and fear and anxiety take root. However, if I do keep my gaze on You and Your desire towards me and on the fact that You’ve given me new openness to move about and have my being in and expand our lives into, I am quieted and encouraged. My fears become excitement. My anxiety becomes anticipation.

Thank You for displaying Your vastness to me this week!
Thank You for loving my heart and the heart of my best friend and lover!

You are truly a God Who undoes me…and then settles me!

So in this unreal time in the midwest , really 50% of the country, of severe heat and drought I realized several things.

We are going through a time of testing and trial and financial problems. Our business is being downsized to contain costs and we are taking measures to try to keep it and us "in the black". 
It is not as if we haven't been here before, but this time the overall global and national economic climate is pretty grim and longer term than in the past.

What God has been teaching my heart during this present season is that my nourishment, my life-giving water and sustenance is not to be found here in this world system, nor our generating an income, but in Him alone.

Right! I thought I had been taught this before! Ah! He goes deeper with me this time, burning away more dross, pruning back my life more severely. There is always more dross, there is always more that can be pruned. Yet the closer I get to reflecting the image of Christ in me, the more painful and difficult it becomes letting go of some of these other gods I've clung to in my life.  

So, I stand firm on God and Who He is and His Truth, He IS truth! I drink from the Living Waters when I grow weary and feel faint and fear losing heart...losing faith. 

It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that I have nothing apart from Abba, my Daddy God! I have no skills, no abilities, no resources, no support systems that will never fail, never run out, never turn away from me...but my God!

In July 5th's  Streams in the Dessert the reading was about  being led into the dessert to find or receive back our vineyards. It was based on Hosea 2:14-15

I really hope that in this time in the Valley of Achor, which means "troubled", I see it and recognize it as "a door of hope." And that "There [I] will sing as in the days of [my] youth."  And that "there [He] will give [me] back [my] vineyards." Hosea 2:14-15

I am thirsty and only One can quench my thirst in this dessert-like season of drought!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Laird and His Lady Veggie Lasagna

Last night our sweet newlywed friends,Eileen and William came over for the evening and it was so fun! William is from England, near Cotswold and Eileen met him in Scotland while both were working with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). We have known and loved Eileen for many years as she has been friends with our daughter, Jessi, through high school, college and after. She spent many days and nights in our home and we love her like a daughter.
They are here on "holiday" after being married at the end of March in England.They are spending time with her family stateside for a bit.

These are the gorgeous roses they brought to us!

I asked what type of food they enjoyed and Eileen said they both were getting more into vegetarian.
So I, of course turned to my son-in-law, Matt, who is a vegetarian, and our daughter, Erin, for new ideas on some vegetarian recipes.
Erin had just made a new one the night before last and it sounded wonderful so I went with it.
She gave me a very loose recipe and the ingredients she chose and then I came up with some additions and VOILA:

Vegetarian Polenta Eggplant Lasagna

Preheat oven to 375*

1 or 2 rolls of Trader Joe's Organic Polenta
1 jar of Organic Basil Marinara Sauce
Approx 1/2 jar of TJ's Pesto Sauce
1 bag of frozen fire roasted peppers and onions (thawed ahead of time a bit)
1-2 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
3-4 baby bella mushrooms sliced
1 small or 1/2 large eggplant med sliced
2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese

Slice one package of the polenta 1/2 in. thick.
Layer as much as will fit into the bottom of a class baking dish. I used a 9 x 12" dish.
Layer 1/2 of the marinara sauce on top of the polenta.
Mix the chopped garlic with the thawed veggies and layer that over the sauce.
Layer 1/2 the shredded cheese.
Layer the mushrooms.
Drop pesto sauce by little spoonfuls on and around mushrooms.
Layer the sliced eggplant.
Top with one more layer of polenta slices 
Cover with the remainder of the marinara sauce.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes
Top with remaining shredded cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Let stand a bit to give the juices time to settle and be somewhat absorbed.Can be a little liquidy because of the frozen veggies, but the longer it sets the less liquid there is.

There's really no wrong way to make this or layer it or what you choose to put in it and it was so yummy...and today we get to be excited about leftovers for dinner!!!!
So, I've dubbed my version of my sweet, pregnant daughter's recipe "The Laird and His Lady Lasagna" in honor of our friends William and Eileen.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Why is it that waiting is so hard?
I'm sure it has something to do with our need to be in control and independent.

I was thinking a lot about this because our family is waiting for the imminent birth of our daughter Erin's baby. We are at the "any moment" time and yet it could be a while.
She's due May 3rd.

Everything I am planning for this week and the next all are prefaced with, "If the baby doesn't come" statements.

God asks us to live fully in the present and we have a very difficult time with that command.

What's so funny about that is that we are not capable of living in anywhere BUT the present. Yet, we act and plan as though we are certain that the next moment, day, week, month, or even year is ours to fill in the blanks.

Obviously, we have to make plans and have some structure to our future, but it's in the subtle attitude that it will play out just as we expect it to that we see how bound and determined we are to get our way.

I have been learning, through sometimes painful ways, to place all my expectations in God and in nothing and nobody else.
He always knows what is coming and what is most glorifying to Him and best for me, His child...I don't...I'm too small-minded and earthly bound.

I also recall our first pastor's wife once talking about a word study she did on "waiting" on God. She mentioned this:
In a restaurant the word "server" and "waiter" are fairly interchangeable. There's a hint: The way we serve God is to wait on Him...actively wait on Him. We wait until we know what He wants (dare I say needs?) from us and then we serve in that way. Sometimes he just wants us to be there with Him and fully available, but not doing anything that feels productive to us. It just makes Him happy to know we are there...waiting.

I still remember after my dad died the long hours of standing and talking with people at the funeral parlor at the visitation. I was exhausted, sad, and felt like nobody really understood what it was to lose my daddy. I was a "daddy's girl"! 
At some point in those hours I realized that every time I glanced across the room there was my girlfriend Bobbi, just hanging out and she would look over at me and smile softly and nod.
She was just there, but her presence and the fact that when I needed anything I knew could make eye contact with her and let her know with a glance, meant the world to me and eased my heart in those hours.

Maybe it's a little like that with God. He tells us not to fret and we look all over the room, but not at Him. He tells us "just wait on Me" and and we run about making endless plans and stressing out. We could either take the role of Bobbi and be available to God trusting Him to let us know when we should act, "actively waiting"; Or we could even take the role of me and know that He is in the room, in our lives waiting, always there and available, and just make eye contact with Him.

Either scenario, either way, waiting is really only hard when we don't trust Who it is we're waiting on...and He has proven himself over and over again in my life. So. I expectations are in You alone least for this moment...for right now!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crying At the End of A TV Show (Spoiler Warning!)

Just watched the final show in the fourth season of Doc Martin (BBC Show) and I could not believe that I cried and cried at the ending scene!
No! Not because that's all we can watch until Season Five is released onto Amazon Prime, but because of the subject matter.


The Doc's ex girlfriend Louisa has their baby right at the end of the show literally as the character, Doc Martin, the village GP is heading out of town, moving back to London to return to a career in vascular surgery.

The birth scene totally took me by surprise.
I realize that between my (crazy:) love of having birthed all three of our children "naturally" and the fact that our daughter Erin is due within the next few weeks at the latest and has invited me to attend the actual birth...I am an emotional wreck when it comes to anything childbirth!!

I cannot believe that I once again get to first hand be a witness to a miracle of epic proportions.
Thank you Erin and Matt!

At one time I was encouraged to become a prepared childbirth instructor, but I just never got around to it.
Silly me!!!

When my daughter-in-law, Missy, had her second child, Teddy, she invited me to watch the video of the birth a week or so after he was born. I cried during that as well. It was beautiful! Birth is beautiful! She was beautiful!

When our friends Edward and Sonja asked me to photograph the birth of their little one I was honored and thrilled! When it happened all I could do was continue to shoot photos, not pause to reflect or cry. It was so amazing. Like quiet thunder. That is the best analogy I could come up with for a new life slipping into this realm, powerfully and yet with quiet strength and power! I sat in the parking garage afterwards and grinned and cried and called my best friend to share the moment with her.

I am so thankful to God for the amazing opportunities to be present for or watch the births of these babies to some people I love very much. However, I have to wonder at my visceral response anytime I see a birth, even on a television show.

I can only assume that childbirth is one of those times the window into God's miraculous power is opened just a bit...just enough to cause our breath to catch, our heart to skip a beat,  and remind us that He's in charge and is indeed the Creator of life!

Yeah, I think it's one of those times!

Friday, April 20, 2012

So, I've been thinking. Nothing like my youngest child, Jessi, turning thirty to cause me to ruminate a bit. (And is Josh really going to be thirty-five?!?!)

Fred and I have been together for 40 years next month, as we met and were thereafter inseparable the first week in May of 1972!

My daughter, Erin is presenting us with the first child by one of our daughters! A big event, really a miracle, considering their story. 

Our oldest grandchild, Sonya, starts kindergarten in the fall!

Inevitably, we both turn sixty this year! Surprising for some reason, to my sensibilities!!

Erin and I started gentle yoga and I have continued on and love it!!! My core strength may actually be slowly reappearing!!!

I have experienced the deep-in-my-gut awareness that I am an orphan in this world, and at times that wakes me at night and I have to swallow down the fear and pray against the anxiety that accompanies the realization that on my side of the family we are the oldest generation!!

I am attempting to finish and start several writing projects...AND PUBLISH at least one of I meet with my friend Jackie and spur her on in her writing endeavors and try to get myself going as well.

I have several photos waiting to be dry-mounted and then find somewhere to display them and hopefully sell them all!

I have almost finished wrapping up all the loose ends, etc, with my mom's things and her estate. That has sat heavy on my heart and  I realized the need to move fast to finish it up and get it all out from in front of me! The photos are at once saddening and cathartic. I will be scanning quite a few of those!

Fred and I are loving being involved in music once again as well as being back "home" in a non-denominational church! 
The mix of people at U City Family Church is so right!

I will be at the birth, God willing, of Erin and Matt's little one and that is a blessing beyond words!!! If they should change their minds, I will understand, but truly hope it all works out for me to witness the birth!!

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." (Serenity Prayer)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thoughts on Grieving...Carpe Diem...No Regrets...

A longtime friend of ours lost his father this morning. 
After a hospitalization here they moved him in recent months to live in the city they live in about 3 1/2 hours from here. It appears as if he slowly declined over these months and finally his body gave out.

BAM!!!! I felt blind-sided by the cacophony and tide-pull of yucky feelings that I experienced one and a half years ago when my mom passed away after a seven month decline and hospice care. 

I was surprised by how strongly this triggered some painful memories and awful feelings from the last year of my mom's life.
Some similarities are there for sure, but there are pointed differences as well.
So I am processing and I guess inviting any of you who read this along for the journey.

Both my mother and our friend's father were extremely strong-willed, independent people. 
They met once when I took my mom out for breakfast at a local restaurant and our friend was there with his mom and dad. The minute my mom, Fae and his dad, Lou started talking it was evident that they both had sized each other up and weren't about to let the other one out-opine or out-maneuver the other in the opinion and strong will department. We laughed about it later, but at the time I remember feeling like a little kid and being very uncomfortable in the presence of this undercurrent of equally strong personalities.
They would not have been buddies that enjoyed hanging out with one another.

Lou left the security of his family and struck out on his own because nobody was going to tell him what to do or how to live his life. He did quite well in life as far as making a living and being self-sufficient.
My mom also left the security of the family farm and became a city girl at a very young age for basically the same reasons. She didn't want to fit in someone else's mold for her. She also did quite well for herself.

Both of my mom and Lou were hard people to get close to and to feel you ever really would be let in or know very deeply. They seemed to keep most people at "arm's length".

Even in their declining years they had discomforting similarities.
Neither one wanted others to help him or her and made it difficult to do so even when there were times and situations they could NOT possibly manage on their own. By the time you got around to convincing him or her to accept your help it was not the sweet affair it could have been. Very frustrating!

My mom and I struggled on and off over our lifetime together with our relationship. Lou and his son struggled in the years after his mom's death for a number of years. God granted me the last 7-8 months of my mom's life to change my heart and attitude towards her which amazingly drew her heart out towards me in new and sweetly beautiful ways.
Our friend had just these past few months where that happened, but as his wife said, "It's bittersweet to watch the transformation in the way Lou is relating to him and him to Lou!"

And here is where I've experienced the painful triggers and emotional minefield these past two days.
I have to constantly remember that God GAVE me SEVEN MONTHS of loving and caring for my mom and letting her respond in kind. It was weird and wonderful and too short. Often I felt that critical voice in my head screaming, "Too little, Too late Marsha!!!" Not to mention the hurdles that jump in front of me on a bad day that says, "You put your mother in a nursing home?!?!?!" Even though she refused to come to our home and seeing to her caregiving needs in either our home and definitely in her apartment was quickly disappearing as an option.
When this voice nags at me or screams at me, I have to remind myself of the amazing times together and the redemption within our relationship that was wrought over those 7 months! I need to be forever grateful for what I HAD and not focus on the "if only" and "what if I had_____sooner" fruitless thoughts. 

Now to my point:
Part of the grieving process, if anyone is totally honest, IS the "If only" and "What if". It may or may not be an untruth, a lie the enemy parks in an unguarded part of my mind, but I think that there are legitimate regrets that come with living life as an imperfect human in an imperfect world.
The challenge or the question is, "How do I acknowledge these regrets without dwelling on them or obsessing over them?" More importantly, "How can I grow and learn from this very human dilemma I've experienced?"

I spent time this morning with a friend having tea and talking about my sadness and then praying together for our friend and my own responses triggered by the events of the past 36 hours.
Let me preface this next part by saying that this sweet friend lost a child when he was still a baby and knows the many faces and pitfalls of the lifelong grieving process only too well.
She said that in her opinion part of the grieving process is when someone you care about loses someone in their life and is in the yucky place, for lack of a better description, you relate only too well and sometimes it triggers all those feelings you thought you were done with. You relate because you care for them and you know only too well what they are going through, maybe not exactly as everyone mourns and grieves differently, but in the big picture and even some of the more intimate ways...YOU KNOW...and this makes you sad for them.
The beauty of this is you can offer the gift of empathy and the Bible talks about that in II Corinthians 1:3-5. The NIV version says it best. This is indeed a gift and not to be taken lightly.

Another component of this is that although I may feel feelings from that "yucky place" and it's tentacles threaten to pull me under, I can stand in the Present and remember that I am no longer there and this other person's pain and sorrow is THEIR pain and sorrow, not mine. I do not have to, nor should I, stay there, camp out there! No, indeed I need to remember where I've come from and where I've come to in my own journey and in that I can offer others the real reassurance that this total immersion into the surreal, murky, netherworld of fresh, raw loss and grief is only for a time, only for a season! 

The other takeaway ,at least for me, has been to fully BE in the present moment, not cheat myself, others or God by not fully engaging in my time with others. 
Not put off those ideas or thoughts that present themselves to me at times. You know what I'm talking about. "Hmmm, I really ought to call...or wouldn't it be neat to...or I wish that (this person) and I would spend more time together." 
It's made me painfully aware of how easy technology has made it to rob ourselves and others of UNDIVIDED ATTENTION. So, the cell is getting turned off and/or ignored more and more when I am with others or having a quiet time with the Lord.

As I write this post, my husband has come home and is waiting for me to finish up so we can have the yummy dinner I made and watch a movie together and catch up with each other about our day.

So, I hope this wasn't more glum than I meant for it to be, nor preachy.
I would very much like to hear from anyone who happens across this post as far as their thoughts on all of this.

But, now, I need to seize this moment in time and be fully present with my husband!

Monday, January 23, 2012

2 Sausage Recipes

Here are two sausage recipes that several of you requested.

The first one is a family recipe from my mom's family:

Sausage Rice Casserole

1 lb. pork sausage
1 large onion
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 bunch celery, chopped
1 c. raw rice (not instant!) I used brown rice
1 1/2 pkg. Lipton chicken noodle soup
1/4 lb. slivered almonds
4 1/2 c. water (more if needed during baking time)

Brown onion, celery, and sausage.
Add next 4 ingredients.
Bake at 350-375 for 1 1/2 hours in 9x13 baking pan or casserole dish.
Stir 2-3 times adding water if necessary.

This next one is from Schnucks. Erin and I tried a sample of it that they were prepping in the store.
This can easily be converted to vegetarian substituting tofu salsiccia and vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
I adapted it to our tastes as well.

Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup

1 lb. fresh Italian sausage (salsiccia) I used ground if you use links you may want to remove casings
1 container (20 oz.) refrigerated fresh precut soup starter mix veggies (onions, celery, and carrots)
1 pkg. white mushrooms sliced (I used baby bellas)
1 Tblspn refrigerated Gourmet Garden chunky garlic blend (It's in the produce dept.)
1 carton (32 oz.) less-sodium chicken broth (or use your own!)
1 can 15 oz.) traditional tomato sauce 
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 c. dry campanella pasta (I used short whole wheat egg noodles)
2 c. packed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (Next time I will pack it more or just use more!)
8 oz. package provolone cheese, diced ( I used the sharp type)
1/4 c. shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

1. In 5-6 qt sauce pot, cook sausage over med-high heat 6-7 minutes or until browned, breaking up with spoon. Add soup starter veggies and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms and garlic and cook 3 minutes longer or until veggies are tender.

2. Add broth, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes with their juice; heat to boiling. Stir in dry pasta; reduce heat and simmer until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
Add Spinach and stir until wilted. Makes about 8 cups.

3. Divide provolone between each of 4 bowls; ladle soup over provolone. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil to serve.

Hint: I completed all the prep through letting pasta get al dente in step 2 the day before.
         When we were ready to eat it all I had to do was add the spinach and wilt it and then garnish.
          You can play with this recipe, even trying chorizo sausage and use mexican seasoned diced 
          tomatoes and maybe an asiago or mexican cheese.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sick of being SICK!!!!

Hallelujah!! I am back!!!
Man! I had the sinus bug that has evidently been going around and ever since the Thursday before New Year's Day I have been pretty much out of it.
Last week the doc started me on antibiotics, the 3-day one, and finally today for the first time I almost feel "normal" whatever that is.
I lived for three weeks on the couch in front of the television, reading soooo many books on my Kindle, on Facebook, playing Words With Friends (and getting very aggravated that the rest of you wouldn't play immediately after my turn :), and letting my amazing hunk of a husband prepare all our meals. He rocks!!!
Now, his meals were so delicious, I'm sure, but the sad part was that until today I had hardly any ability to taste anything and very little appetite.

I'd like to think that I learned something over this recuperation period.

So let's see:
1. I complain about how I feel way too much!
2. Fred doesn't let that behavior get to him...I would however!
3. One of the good things about technology is that while I was on "vocal rest" as per doctor's orders, I could still stay in touch with everyone via text, email, and Facebook.
4. I have a long way to go in my learning process of how to just rest and lean into these times instead of resisting it and probably drawing out the healing process a lot longer!
5. Being still is still a struggle for me, but I did get some sweet times with God during all those days, as well as days of wrestling with Him.
6. When I feel bad I am not a very graceful person, but THIS TIME, I didn't snap at Fred. Instead I was so very grateful to him and God for his sweet, servant's heart towards me that his deposits in my heart bank are overflowing and I responded appropriately instead of like a b_ _ ch!
7. My voice is a gift and to trash it by singing when so sick (church New Year's Day) is not good stewardship. I learned that it takes much longer to get it back after staining it like that and that permanent damage is possible. (Adele- vocal chord hemorrhage)
8. I don't take my good health for granted ever, but I also don't always care for it as I should.
9. I have one of the best doctors around!!! Love him!
10. God has slowed me down YET AGAIN to be still and know Him!!!  This alone is worth the illness!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Was it a good year or a bad year or just a year?

I'm back! Hopefully a little more regularly than I have been for a bit, but that remains to be seen.
2011 is put away and 2012 is now in style.
I wanted to list the highlights of the past annum with pictures following below.


1. Erin and Matt got pregnant, baby due in early May 2012!!
2. FW Lang Contracting has stayed in business despite the economy and the downturn in the building trades.
3. The Cardinals won the World Series after having been written off!
4. Fred and I were able to go to Hawaii (Maui) to whale watch last February.
5. Jessi graduated from the one year BSN program at Regis in May AND got the job she wanted WHERE she wanted it!!! I am so proud of her!
6. The entire family went on a one week vacation to Grand Lake, Colorado this summer and stayed in a beautiful, large home in the mountains...and all got along and loved it!! :)
7. July marked the one year anniversary of my mom's home going to be with the Lord.
8. We got to go to Colorado twice in the year to see Jessi and Kurt and they came here twice and Jessi three times!
9. Fred and I also got to use a "leftover" week in Florida at our favorite condo on Blue Mountain Beach in September and the weather was spectacular!! Very reasonable trip!!
10. We got to stop on the way home from Florida for a couple of days to spend time with our sweet friends, the Clowers, who moved to Chattanooga, TN in June:( (Highlight/Lowlight:)
11. Thanksgiving we had the entire clan here as Jessi and Kurt got to make it in for one of the two big holidays! It was chaotic and fun!
12. We have finally "landed" in a church home, U City Family Church. We meet at The Tivoli Theater. Fred and I have just started leading worship the first Sunday of the month. It's a sweet group of people and very reflective of Fred's and my vision for the local church. Love them!
13. My first year of mourning my mom (and officially being an orphan) is over!
14. I finished my writing of Fred's and my Lang Family Journey with the Lord thus far. Now looking for photos to put with it and how I want to "publish" it for the kids and their families.
15. Oh, in June we had a little celebration lunch for Fred's parents' 60th wedding anniversary at their home with most of the immediate family present.
16. Christmas, although different this year, was actually one of the sweetest times I remember for a long time. 
17. I am learning two "new languages"...iPhone and MacBook :):) and not doing too bad I must say!
18.  Erin and I started gentle yoga classes and I will continue doing this, hopefully for the rest of my life. I LOVE it!! It's been fun going together with my pregnant daughter! (Thanks Living Social:)
19. Fred and I have been enjoying doing some recording and even have an mp3 of 4 1/2 year old Sonya doing a session with us. She has a gorgeous voice! (And Teddy has great rhythm!)
20. I took 8 bass lessons to motivate me to start practicing more regularly, challenging yet, a much needed kick in the butt. (Thank you again "Living Social"!)
21. Josh, left the company he had worked with for several years, worked briefly for another company and returned to his old job being offered just what he requested! Proud of him too!
22. Erin started a new job in August at an Aveda salon (Fleur de Lis on Chippewa , by Ted Drew's) and is flourishing as a stylist there. I love going there! So proud of her!
23. This year has been a year of God's redemption and healing being poured out on our family in ways too countless to enumerate and in ways that I am not at liberty to fully share, but suffice it to say that God "restored the years (2009-2010 to start with) the locusts have eaten away"!