My greatest desire is to teach others how much God loves them and how to use His Word to live the life He has purposed for them. God has seen fit to give me the gift of teaching, which I use for leading Bible Study groups. He specifically called me to writing/blogging several years ago.
I have been married to the perfect partner, chosen for me by God, for more than 45 years. It was God’s plan that we would not have children but would be able to love in a unique way our nieces, nephews, and the hundreds of children who touched our lives through the years I spent in Public Education as a Music Specialist and Elementary Principal. I hold a B.S. Degree in Music Education and Performance from Defiance College and an M.Ed. Degree in Administration and Supervision from Bowling Green State University.
Our family includes three cats named Smokey, Salem and Chewy, three awesome sisters and one incredible brother, 7 sisters-in-law, 7 brothers-in-law, 36 nieces and nephews, and their spouses, and many great-nieces and nephews.
I am happily active in our local church, Living Hope, singing with the Praise Team, playing piano, and direct any special choirs we might need for worship. I also co-teach an online Bible Study with our Senior Pastor.
Music has been part of my life since my earliest years. One of the greatest honors of my life was to be invited to sing in the Rose Garden of the Whitehouse with the Ohio Youth Choir at the invitation of then-President Richard Nixon. I’ve also sung with several professional groups including The Toledo Symphony Chorale, Cantare’ of Northwest Ohio, and The Joyful Sound, a Gospel Quartet. As a soloist, I have performed the contralto solos in both The Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem. Currently, I sing in local churches and at special events.
As a 25+ year Cancer Survivor, I have been able to use that challenging time of my life to support others. It was not easy, but God knew there would be many who would need a listening ear, an understanding heart, and someone who understands the value of presence without words.
From the time I was old enough to hold needles, scissors, yarn, thread, fabric, you name it, I was ‘hooked’ on crafts, particularly those that are counted. From painting count by number pictures to my grandmother teaching me to crochet, to my mother teaching me to embroider, to learning to do counted cross stitch, rug hooking, needlepoint, and crewel my life has been filled with many happy hours of artful crafting. I also enjoy sewing and often make my own clothing and things for my home.
I enjoy baking and decorating. This hobby started when Ray and I owned a coffee shop/bakery called Maggi Raes. (Maggie for the carved magnolias that were part of the shop’s decorations.) I am certified in all the Wilton decorating levels and have done many wedding, birthday, and event cakes and cookies.
We love to travel, especially on cruise ships, and have been all over the Caribbean and are planning to go to Alaska for our next cruise. We also enjoy taking a few days here and there in the Smokey Mountains, believing there is nothing like sitting on a rocker, on a back porch, on top of a mountain and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.