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Announcing the arrival of our first-ever grandchild, I give you: Noah Christian Hammond Noah is the son of Joshua and Christina Hammond, and the grandson of Dion and Cynde Hammond, all from Upstate New York. He was born at 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, 02 May 2009, in the Geneva General Hospital. Noah weighed 7 lbs. 9 ozs. and was 20 inches long, with a head full of curly, medium-dark brown hair.

When Dion and I visited Josh and Chrissy at the hospital, Noah was in the room, snuggled in Mommy's arms. I was so overwhelmed with feelings of love for him that tears immediately filled my eyes. He definitely looks like a "Hammond," that's for sure; he's the spitting image of Josh, and he also looks just like Josh did when he was a baby. He looks like a perfect cross between Josh and Chrissy, too, which is great because they are both extremely good-looking kids. Noah looks like Dion, too, because Josh looks like Dion (his Dad) so I'm happy as can be!

This has been, without a doubt, one of the best days of my entire life! I feel so thankful and blessed by the Lord. I am thankful that Noah is well and that everything is alright with Chrissy. I do feel bad that she had to have a cesarean section (C-section) delivery, but I thank the Lord that He watched over her throughout it, and that she's going to be fine.

I'll be posting more photos as I get them, and I'll probably bore you to tears with stories about my new little guy, but I promise you...the stories will all be filled with love!

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


"Our Son Got Married!"

Have you ever heard the phrase, "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words?" Well, I certainly think that the photo to the left, of our son, Joshua, embracing his new bride, Christina, at their marriage ceremony Saturday, qualifies as one of the pictures that are worth a thousand words, don't you agree? He looks as if he may be thinking, "She's mine now...we can do whatever we want!"

On Saturday, the eleventh day of April in the year of our Lord 2009, at 1:00 p.m., Miss Christina Scowcroft was joined in Holy Matrimony to Joshua James Hammond.

The attendees that were present to witness the blessed event, which took place at the town of Junius Court House in the State of New York, are pictured above. In addition to Judge Brian Laird, who presided over the event, from left to right they are: Chrissy's father; Chrissy's mother; Cynde (me, Josh & Jon's stepmother--but I love them as if they were my own and I hate that word step in front of mother!); Dion (my husband, Josh & Jon's father); Chrissy; Josh & Jon's grandmother (back row, Dion's mother); Josh; Jon (our other son); and Josh's mother (Dion's "ex," also Jon's mother.)

Needless to say, Dion and I are very happy that Josh and Chrissy decided to get married before little Noah makes his entrance into the world, as there isn't much time left to spare:  he's due on the 18th of April! It's all in the Lord's perfect timing, right?

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


Happy New Year, Everyone!

Dion, Jon and I had a wonderful Christmas this year (except for the fact that this was our first year without Josh.) First we went to Dion's mom's, where we had appetizers and visited with Dion's brother and sister and their spouses and the nieces and nephew of the bunch. After that, we had a nice lasagna dinner with lots of other entrees; it was a fabulous feast that ended with oodles of homemade Christmas goodies.

There were all kinds of peanut-butter balls; chocolate-covered pretzels; light and dark "trash" (a mixture of nuts, pretzels, M&M's, and cereal covered with either white or dark, melted chocolate--yummy!); and all kinds of cookies! You name it--it was there. Most of it was made by Dion's brother's wife, Cheryl, and we got to take a huge bag of it home, which made Dion happy, because I'm not able to do much baking due to the problem with my hands.

While we were eating, we all caught up on the latest news of each others' families and Dion passed around some photos that Josh had just given him of himself and Chrissy together so that they all could see what Chrissy looked like. Everyone was very impressed by how cute Josh and Chrissy looked together and how pretty she is. I was so relieved that I had just gotten to meet her, even though it was just for a minute. She seemed very sweet and I'm looking so forward to getting to know her better, even though I'm nervous about it. (that's what I get for being shy, huh?)

Following dinner, we opened all our packages. Donna (Dion's sister) and Cheryl passed them out and Bob (Donna's husband) was taking pictures while we opened them. I feel bad every year when it's time to open the gifts. Dion's brother and sister always give us some little gift, but we just don't have the funds to give anything to them--especially this year, after Dion missed three months of work! I think they understand, though. There's nothing I love more than giving, but when you owe money to people, you can't put them off to buy gifts for others, IMHO. Someday...I'll get all caught up and then I'll buy, buy, buy! (not really! LOL!) I won't go hog-wild, but I will enjoy being able to give again!

The next order of business was to take family photos. They really have it down to a science where they do it by family, and at least two different people are taking a set of the same photos on two different cameras, so they have backups, just in case something happens with one of the cameras.

They took a set of the grandchildren together: Jennifer, Dara, Matthew and Jon. (I really missed Josh, Dana and Katey!) Then they added Gramma (Dion's mom, Barb) and her dog, Max. Those will be adorable photos and I can't wait to see them!

Next, we took the group family photos. They did the photos of Daren, Cheryl and Dara as a family, then with Gramma and Max, then Daren and Cheryl as a couple, then a couple of Dara and Jennifer together.

The next group were the Harts, which were Donna, Bob, Jennifer and Matthew. Then they added Gramma and Max, then Donna and Bob as a couple, then they did a couple of Jennifer and Matthew together.

Then it was our turn. Dion, Jon and me, then we added Gramma and Max. We had already been seated when I remembered that we didn't get our "couple" photo, so Dion said that we'd have Jon take it of us later on when we were at Mom's, but it never happened--we got so busy that we forgot it. It felt strange not having Josh there, but maybe next year we'll have Chrissy and the baby and Josh with us. Wouldn't that be awesome?

We hated to leave everyone, but we were also very excited to go to my mom's house and see my side of the family for Christmas next,(we don't usually get to do that) so that's just what we did. When we arrived at Mom's, we were just in time to pack up leftovers to bring home with us. After I said "hello" to everybody, I sent Dion and Jon in to visit with the folks and I got busy packing so that I would have time to visit, too.

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Writer's Block: Church & State

Should church and state always be separate? Why or why not? What should the nature of their relationship be?
My answer to this question is a resounding yes, but probably not for the reason you think.

When our ancestors wrote the United Stated States Constitution, they tried to think of every conceivable thing that may happen in the future, based on what they knew to be true at that moment.  In good faith, they drafted what is known to us as The Bill of Rights or the Amendments, of which there are now a total of twenty-seven (27).

In the First Amendment, it states the following:
         "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
There have been many disagreements as to the meaning of this particular amendment, but to me, the meaning is crystal clear. Our Country was founded on biblical principles, by Christian men who crossed the ocean in order to preserve that religious freedom, not remove it from their lives!  It is well-documented that they prayed together before each meeting and asked the Lord for guidance when deciding what the wording would be for the Constitution.  James Madison, who was the chief framer of the United States Constitution said:
     "We have staked the whole future of American Civilization...upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Does it sound like it was the intention of our Founding Fathers to separate our Creator from our lives while governing the people, which is one of the most important responsibilities that one may be called to do in his/her service to others?  I think not.

My interpretation of this situation is that anti-Christian liberals are trying to push their agenda for our nation, which is that it be Godless, so that our children can have freedom "from" religion, not freedom "of" religion."  They would like nothing better than to destroy the roots and foundation of our great nation and replace them with Marxism, unequal justice, deceitfulness and anything that is the opposite of  truth, justice, honesty and the Christian values set forth in the Constitution of the United States.

The Constitution was not written to give religious content to our nation, but rather, the Constitution was intended to be and is an instrument that protects and perpetuates the already existing religious values of our nation.  It would probably even come as a huge surprise to many people to discover that nowhere in the Constitution does the phrase "separation of church and state" appear.  In fact, there has never been a document of state that has even proposed such a concept, but liberals have passed the phrase around so much, that it is as much believed as one of the gospels.

In 1947, Justice Hugo Black made a ruling with the United States Supreme Court in the case of Everson vs. Board of Education.  In that ruling, Judge Black took the First Amendment clause that read:  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" and ruled that the absolute meaning of that clause was that any aid or benefit to religion from governmental actions is unconstitutional.  As Justice Black stated, ""The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."

When the First Amendment was passed, it had only had two main purposes.  First, was to prohibit the government from mandatorily establishing a "Church of the United States" and declaring that one particular religion be the religion of the region, such as Britain had done.   This was in response to concerns expressed by some Baptist clergymen of Danbury, Connecticut in a letter that Thomas Jefferson received from them in January 1802.  Jefferson answered that letter, assuring them about the "wall," which had a one-directional purpose and that was to protect the church from the state.  The church should always be free to teach biblical values to the people, while at the same time keeping the government out of the church.  Our ancestors crossed the ocean, founded this great Country, and fought to preserve and protect those freedoms!
Secondly, the part of the First Amendment in which many people have of late decided to disagree, is the part that had been interpreted as follows:  “the government should not impede or interfere with the practice of free religion.”  The voice of religion is not supposed to be removed from public debate, but protected so that each religion can have its say.  The First Amendment was intended to be a safeguard so that the state has no jurisdiction over the Church, thus protecting it, but if the liberals have their way, they will remove the Church from every forum and totally disestablish it.        
Until next time,
God bless you all and keep you safe,          

Nearing the end of "SummerWrite"...

(banner by fallenmelody )

     Well, we're nearing the end of the Super "SummerWrite" Challenge 2008.  I don't know how the others feel, but I feel a deep sense of sadness at having something so special end.  There was something magic about the combination of people in this "challenge" and I think that my group was exceptional. I imagine that everyone had the same feelings about their own individual groups, but the girls in my group are go-getters and leaders and just...special.  They took me, a much older, disabled "girl" and treated her like one of the gang...and I'll never forget that!  I've made some really good friends here and I hope that we keep this community going somehow.  There was mention of an "AutumnWrite," and I would be interested in it, but if I actually start up college courses, which I am contemplating doing after I finish my course with ICL (the Institute of Children's Literature), then maybe I'll feel like the rest of the girls do. Of course their studies should come first and I respect them for that. They are an amazingly dedicated bunch of woman who are single-minded in their quest for excellence. I'm so blessed to have been able to meet them!
     My twin sister, Sande's, mother-in-law fell and broke her hip the night before last and had to have surgery yesterday, so I'm still waiting to hear how she's doing.  I love her so much!  She has always included me in all the family gatherings for all the years while Sande has been married to her son (they're still married, of course) and I had no one and I was waiting for "Mr. Right" (Dion)--and that was about 28 years, but nobody seemed to notice but me.  Anyway, I'll let you know how she is when I find out.
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New friends!
So I've procured a number of new friends lately, and I'd like to know a little about all of you!! Even if you're not a *new* friend, feel free to fill this out. Just because, you know, it's fun.   :o)

  1. name:
  2. birthday:
  3. place of residence:
  4. what makes you happy:
  5. what are you listening to now/have listened to last:
  6. do you read my lj:
  7. if you do, what is particularly good/bad about it:
  8  an interesting fact about you:
  9. are you in love/have a crush at the moment:
10. favourite place to be:
11. favourite lyric/quote:
12. best time of the year:
13: a recent picture of yourself:

  1. a film:
  2. a book:
  3. a song:
  4. a comic book:
  5. a short story:
  6. a TV program:

  1. one thing you like about me:
  2. two things you like about yourself:
  3. put this in your LJ so you can have some fun with it, too.         

       Come on, everybody!  Fill it out and let's have some fun with this!  I got it from a friend of mine, [info]sarahsays and I modified it a tiny little bit to fit my needs and then I posted it.  (I left all the questions exactly the same.)  Just keep posting them back and forth and that way, we'll get to know each other pretty well, huh?

        I hope to talk to you soon.

        Much love,

Word Counts for My SummerWrite Group

 Hi, everybody!  I'm not sure if any of you heard what happened to my computer at the end of June, but when I was using brand new software that I purchased for the express purpose of backing up my book and other documents, my computer froze and when it got unstuck and came back to life, everything was gone!  All my photos, graphics, animations and illustrations had disappeared. In addition to that, all my research, my short stories, my saved documents and most importantly of all...MY BOOK...all 33,883 words of it was gone!

     Needless to say, I was completely devastated!  I called the computer manufacturer and explained my problem and miraculously, even though I am well past the warranty period, they have agreed to take my laptop back and try to repair it...for FREE! While I was speaking to the representative, he discovered that my particular model number had a defect that had not been fixed on my computer.  The defect had nothing to do with my problem, but it enabled him to do this great favor for me and he was very helpful and understanding.  It probably didn't hurt matters any when I cried and told him all about how I'm disabled and how I depend on having this laptop in working order (all true)--and I didn't do it to manipulate him, either.  It all just came pouring out in my desperation and the sweet man felt sorry for me--he was such an angel.  It was definitely a blessing from the Lord.  I don't normally break down like that.  I was just at the end of my rope. 

     Now all I'm waiting on is the box to ship it back in.  First they forgot to send one;  then, the box they sent was so paper-thin that it was caved in on one half of it by the time it got here.  Did they really think I would ship my laptop back to them in a box like that?  No way!!!  

     In the meantime, I have found some of the documents that I thought were lost, hidden in the hard drive...but still, no book.  I'll keep looking, but I really think that it's gone.

      I've already gotten a good start on rewriting my book and I think that it may even be coming out better than the original did.  The Lord is so good, isn't He?



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