Saturday, September 30, 2006

Standing by Joanna during a television performance. It's obvious we were singing a happy song....or I was tickled about something (which wouldn't have been unusual when with Joanna!). ha

Joanna Hettinga

Standing by Marcia at another television appearance. Two beautiful Christmas ornaments, huh? :-)

Marcia Twadell
 Posted by Picasa

My entries yesterday focused mostly on Cheryl Fornelli, who is headed to Central America with her husband, John. They will be ministering there for at least two years initially.

Today, I want you to see two of the greatest altos ever, who happen also to be two wonderful friends. You can read more extensively about them at my personal website.

The picture above is Marcia Twadell, who sang 2nd alto (low!) in Just Four. Marcia's gorgeous red hair is naturally curly! The Bible says to NOT covet....but how could the rest of us not want to have her beautiful hair?? :-)

Joanna Hettinga is guilty of making me giggle more than anyone else I know! There's a scripture verse that says, "A merry heart doeth good like medicine." With Joanna's ability to lift my heart and make me laugh as much as she has, I should be as healthy as a horse! ha

Marcia, you have added so much to my life, both musically and emotionally! I'm so thankful to call you friend!

Joanna, your transparency and your desire to "live from the inside out" challenges me still! You continue to help make me a better person.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 29, 2006

This is my good friend, Cheryl Fornelli, and her husband, John.
God graciously gave me two loving "blood" sisters, Joyce and Teecie. He also gave me other 'sisters' who have blessed my life immensely just because of who they are -- and Cheryl is one of them.

John and Cheryl recently made the decision to leave Illinois and go to Nicaragua and Guatemala in order to minister to the people of Central America, using their special talents and spiritual gifts to share the gospel, the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

John, a classical guitarist par excellence, is a gifted teacher and evangelist, and his greatest desire is to share Christ with others.

Cheryl, in addition to being an outstanding vocalist (and my alltime favorite soprano with whom to share a recording mike), is a registered nurse, and a teacher/writer of drama...and comedy, I might add! :-)

I know that God will use both of them in an unusual way because of their varied abilities. The Fornellis have established a weblog,, and they hope to keep us informed as they're able as to what is occurring in Central America as a result of their ministry efforts.

Cheryl is a wonderful, beautiful human being! Following are three pictures of her during television appearances of Just Four. (Please read about Just Four below these photos of Cheryl.)

Posted by Picasa

God was so good to give me not only three very gifted and talented singers with whom to blend my voice, but He also gave me three great friends in Marcia Twadell, Joanna Hettinga, and Cheryl Fornelli. We loved the many, many years of singing together as JUST FOUR, as well as being the female voices of group recording projects. My memories hold on to all the fun and laughter we had as much as the joy of blended, harmonic voices. Thank you, God, for these special friends!

Another good friend (who will soon leave the United States with her husband in order to minister to orphaned girls in Romania!) once gave me a plaque that says, "Friends are relatives we make for ourselves." Well, God created the singing opportunities the four of us ladies shared, and blessed us, coincidentally, with a "sister" love and appreciation for one another. Therefore, it stands to reason that this album cover is titled, "Singers, 'Sisters,' Friends."
Thank You, God, for friends! Help me, Lord, never to take the love of family, friends, or YOU, for granted!

Picture taken at one of many television appearances, this one being for Christmas programming in the Chicago area.

Someone took this picture, probably after a concert. :-)

I am, among women, most blessed! My life is so full because of the gifts of music and friends, all tied up in one beautiful package with three colorful "bows"...Cheryl, Joanna and Marcia. :-)
And these special ladies know me well enough to know that I would want a bow in every color! ha
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 28, 2006

We raised our three daughters in Wheaton, Illinois, but in August of 2001, we made the decision to move to Arizona where our two grandchildren (and, coincidentally, their parents, Raul and Karma) lived. :-)

Pictured above you see Phil with those beautiful children, Raquel and Antonio. Phil is a loving grandpa who loved playing and interacting with "our little ones" while we lived in Arizona. Take a look at the following seven pictures. :-)

One day we decided to take Antonio and Raquel to a "self-pick" peach orchard. It was about 100 degrees outside, but they didn't complain one bit! Due to the heat, it didn't take us long to pick our peaches, because we didn't want to spend one extra minute outdoors!

We went back to our house, and after peeling all those peaches, we froze some of them, but the best part was having peaches and ice cream after we all went swimming in our pool! (By the way, the peaches were so warm from the outside heat, we had to put them in ice water to cool them down before peeling them. I was afraid they would rot before my eyes! ha)

We would occasionally have the two children spend the weekend with us. One morning while Phil was shaving, they asked if they could shave, too. Phil lathered them up and let them "shave" with a bladeless shaver. They loved it. Of course, Grandma HAD to get a picture of the threesome before the shaving cream came off!

Phil read nightly to our girls when they were children (he can still quote Kim's favorite, Dr. Seuss's I HAD TROUBLE IN GETTING TO SOLLA SOLEW, "...where they never have troubles, at least, very few....").
Well, it came naturally that, after several hours of swimming in our pool, Antonio and Raquel loved to each get into one of Phil's T-shirts, and have Grandpa read to them also before they went to sleep. Believe Grandma: Grandpa loved it, too! :-)
Posted by Picasa
As you can see, we added a pool as well as a heated spa when we built our lovely home in Gilbert, Arizona; however, the kids loved to be in what they called their "little pool," the spa.

Grandpa, Antonio and Raquel in the "little pool." :-)

Everybody in!

Christmas of 2005, after we had moved back to Illinois, Antonio, Raquel, their mom and little brother visited us for the holidays. Fortunately, it snowed, so it was possible for these Arizona children to build a snowman in our back yard! :-) Posted by Picasa

For Thanksgiving 2004, my two sisters, one surviving brother, and their families joined us in Arizona, where we were living at the time, for that special holiday. The day after Thanksgiving, most of us drove northward from the Phoenix area to the Grand Canyon via Sedona, Arizona. There is so much breaktakingly beautiful scenery in both places, and I captured just a little with my trusty digital camera. The above picture, as well as the seven to follow, show just a little of what we witnessed and enjoyed that day. The human eye is the most perfect "camera," as it's able to capture depth, color, and dimension in a way that no camera ever could. But those of us forever holding cameras? We try! ha

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

Posted by Picasa

Sedona, Arizona.....I LOVE this shot with the scrubby bushes, the fence post, and the mountain in the background. :-)

A picture of Teecie and (her) Phil as they absorb the beauty of the awesome scenery in Sedona, AZ.

It was a sunny yet cold and windy day when we finally reached our destination of the Grand Canyon. Just had to take some pictures to prove we were there! ha Here's Phil and Myrna... brother, Bob, and his friend, Inez.....

.....and Teecie and Phil.
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another gorgeous San Francisco sunrise.

Taken day before yesterday when we were out for our afternoon walk. The marine layer was moving in from the west toward the San Francisco Airport. When the marine layer is so "alive" in its appearance and activity, I'm always reminded of Carl Sandburg's (or is it Sandberg's?) comments about the fog moving "on little cat feet." :-)

A beautiful mauve sky at dusk. Planes approach SFO from the east, so we get to watch the parade each evening as they continue to line up for landings at SFO.

Yesterday I came to the hotel room window in time to see this pure while 747 without any name or logo on it........wonder to whom it belongs?? :-)
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 18, 2006

Here we are, beginning another day, and week, that God has given us to live our lives, love those around us, and thank Him for life and love!
I took the photo above this morning before sunrise while the tide was "out," and was smitten with the gradual layering of colors. Phil told me yesterday morning that I should actually have my camera "in hand" and turned on when I go to the window first thing each morning so that I'm ready to capture whatever I see. :-) (He said that because when I first opened the drapes yesterday, the water in the bay out front of the hotel was as still as glass, there wasn't a cloud in the clear blue sky, and a "new paint job" United 747 was landing. What an awesome, beautiful sight!)

Re: our weekend. Phil and I had a wonderfully relaxing weekend here at the San Francisco Airport Marriott. He didn't do a lick of work! ha We watched NASCAR, football (just wish we could have watched the Chicago Bears play, but couldn't see them out here on the west coast), and a couple of adorable movies, one of them being the Disney animated "Cars." We also enjoyed our favorite room service breakfast yesterday morning, Eggs Benedict. (That's our treat!)

I took my camera along when we went out for our afternoon walks on Saturday and Sunday, and captured several photos on the pathway we enjoy along the water in front of the hotel. See the following eleven photos.....the final eight won't have any verbiage.

It appears the pigeons were enjoying the warmth of the sun as they were perched on the ledge of the balcony outside our room yesterday morning.

Don't know if you can see it, but the top of this huge piece of dead wood in the sea grass appears to be in the shape of a dog's head.

PJW pausing to look back at the airport and a plane taxiing for takeoff.
Posted by Picasa