Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Birthday to the Man I love!

We celebrate two birthdays on this last day of August, thus we have two posts today. This is my husband who turns _ _ today! He's 11 months older than I am so he's 56! For one month a year we are the same age, but today he's officially older!

His birthday seems an appropriate time to talk about how we met. So whatever will I talk about when our anniversary comes??? Oh, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

It was January, cold, even so after work my friend and I would go to the walking park and walk. I am a native of my little town and think I know several times over the months we had walked, I would speak to someone else on the track and say "aren't you so and so?" and they would ALWAYS say no. But on this cold afternoon, God brought two people together at just the right time and just the right place! We were walking along and I spyed Russell walking and said to my friend "I know him" which she replied "NO YOU DONT! DON'T SPEAK" I'm guessing she was embarassed all those time I did speak to people that I really didn't know. I insisted that I knew him and not only that, that we grew up in church together. My only problem was, he had a brother and I wasn't sure which one he was since I'd not seen either of them in years. So when we were side by side, starting to pass him on the track, I said..........and my friend tried to strangle me, "aren't you one of the (our last name)?" The bells rang and the birds sang, he said yes!!!!! then "who are you?" I guess all those years in church he was listening to the sermon while I was busy scanning the aisles for future husbands. During our conversation, I somehow figured out which brother he was without asking outright.

He walked with us for a while and we talked about how we knew each other, and our families too. He eventually came to his truck and it was time to part...I thought to myself, "Maybe I should tell him my last name now, you know, just in case???" I had introduced myself with my maiden name. So I somehow got my last name out. Now I had no idea that he was very forgetful. Two weeks later, he called and asked me out....the night he picked me up to go to a movie, I saw where he had written my he would be able to look it up in the phone book! AHHHHH!!!!! I guess he "knew" we were supposed to be together why did it take him two weeks to call??? He was worth the wait!

Here's where the "we know it was God" part comes husband is a January he is very busy, but that day he had decided to walk. At 5 p.m. exactly when I was walking. No one could ever convince me that was a coincidence! 2 1/2 years later, we married in the church where we grew up. That was almost 12 years ago.

My husband is the best man I've ever know, except for my fact he's so much like daddy that it seems spooky sometimes. He's incredibly honest, hard working, a wonderful father and my best friend. The only time I truly relax is when he's with me.

I love you dear husband, even if I nag sometimes, o.k. a lot, it is ONLY because I love you! And forever I will say AML/AML All my love, all my life!

This time 37 years ago...

I was in the only private room in our small town hospital. I had been there a few days, the first patient my doctor had with severe pre-eclampsia. With blood pressure off the charts, I was on 40 milligrams of valium a day. I'm sure I was quite the comedian as in my drunken state, I told one of the nurses that I couldn't focus on the t.v. Just turned 18, I was oblivious to the danger of the situation..which is just as well. My husband was in the Army and away at training. The day the doctor said I had to go into the hospital until the birth, I cried, but I can't remember being hysterical or fearful. As I said, oh, the innocence of youth. I packed my bag and went to the hospital for what turned out to be a ten day stay before the baby was born. Now there was no ultrasound back then in the stone ages, I think the wheel has just been two ob doctors came in, felt my belly and scratched their heads, then said they thought he (oh, that's another we didn't know back then, the sex of the baby) weighed 5 lbs. They planned to induce labor the next day.

In the wee hours of the morning, I began to have a really bad stomach ache, and don't laugh I called the nurse and asked for some pepto bismol......I kid you not! Good old pink, soothing pepto bismol. The nurse, trying not to laugh hysterically, examined me and said, you are having a baby...and I said "NOT NOW", because it wasn't "in the morning" yet. But against my personal wishes, she rolled me down to the delivery area. Back in the day, birthing babies was MUCH different than now...of course for me, I was already three sheets in the wind from the valium and had no idea that I could start having convulsions at any time. I wanted my mama! My family had been out of town and she made it to the hospital right before Paul was born. That little bundle weighed 3 lbs. 11 ozs. I didn't see him for two days because I wasn't awake during that time. They had given me a big dose of what they then called twilight medicine. I remember nothing of the delivery and nothing of the two days following. Later I was told that when the nurse came out carrying my baby, she was crying. The doctor came out and said, "we need to get this daddy home". He was afraid that one of us might not live. We fooled him! Of course there was no NICU so he was in the regular nursery in an incubator. Miraculously he not only survived, but came home in 28 days.

Today, on his birthday, I pray he remembers the little boy he was. I pray that this is the year God breaks the bonds that hold him and sets him free. I love you, Paul.

"Our Savior Kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives.
But rather than recoil in horror,
He reaches out in kindness and says,
"I can clean that if you want." Max Lucado

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cleaning ....

Does anybody else clean in a strange way when you're having company??? I started this time with my closet...MY CLOSET! So now, I can only hope someone wanders in and notices how nice and dust free my closet is. Husband shakes head. Then I decided to start at the back and clean forward so that the main part of the house would be cleaned last and maybe stay that way until after the party. But when you start looking at your house the way you think other people will look at it, you suddenly become a much better house keeper. I have dusted vents, ceiling fans, redecorated the entire place, well not really but it feels like I have. Bought new pillows to go on a church pew, changed out some flowers, just stuff like that. And have you also noticed that when you start one thing, it just pyamids? You clean one thing and look around and that made something else look like it needs cleaning. Cleaning, cooking and washing clothes are indeed the never ending jobs. Of course, if you listen to my husband, he says so is working in the workaday world!

Oh, well, back to the grind! I'm actually happy to be doing this for such a special occasion!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Then and Now

This is Russell's oldest son and my step (I hate that word) son, Tommy. This is his first date with Claudia. The occasion was the Sadie Hawkins dance at school, they were freshmen in high school.....As far as I know, they didn't date anyone else, but went through high school and college together, then married!

After Tommy graduated from the University of Florida, GO GATORS, he took a job in an engineering firm. Claudia graduated from the University of Florida too and is now working toward her doctorate while teaching preK ESE. They are both really hard working people. We are so proud of them and all they have accomplished in such a short time.

Here they are in front of their first home. They bought a really pretty home in the town where they live. The yard was already beautifully landscaped. They have 3 cats and a dog, Roscoe. Our constant prayer is that this home will be filled with the love of Christ and that He will always be their center.

Roscoe, what can you say about Roscoe. He was a pound doggie. Claudia adopted him 11 days before their wedding. I asked her if she didn't have quite enough to do??? But he's a sweet, old dog. He only has one tooth that sticks out over his lip and he likes to be right with Claudia and Tommy. He's a chihuahua mixed with something. Roscoe isn't supposed to eat dry food because he can't the poor thing, when he comes to visit grandpa and nana's house, he runs over to our dogs' food dish and tries to eat it all and quickly....ah the temptation! If he manages to eat some, he feels really bad later.

What a wonderful thing to add a daughter and for your children to grow up to be your friends. We love you two!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

On a lighter note

Yesterday was a really busy day. In the morning there was a baby shower for a sweet mother to be from our church. We had a good time. I came home with every intention of starting the cleaning process for the engagement party next Saturday. Being an extreme procrastinator, it just didn't happen....I did wash some clothes, does that count??? Then later in the afternoon, we loaded up our bikes and headed to 30 A to ride. That was a good time for us to just get away by ourselves and enjoy being together. We stopped on the way home at the new Pier Park and ate supper at Panera Bread.

Today we were on time for Sunday School...sounds like such a little thing doesn't it? But lately for me it isn't that easy. I have for years been at least 15 minutes early to everything, no I'm good if I'm 5 to 10 minutes late. Russell's been working with me to get me to be on time.

I have to get busy and get ready for this party! I had the cutest little bride and groom for our son's wedding...they fit over wine bottles. I loaned them out and of course didn't get them back.

It will be fun and special.....and for fun's sake, here is a picture of her engagement ring.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let's don't shoot our wounded

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish
one tears hers down...Proverbs 14:1

That is one of my favorite verses....Some of us have had times in our lives when we were foolish and tore our houses down with our own hands. Brick by brick we took our families apart using a chisel called sin to break the mortar from each brick. Each time we used our sin chisel, a heart was hurt. Some of us were blessed to have the opportunity to rebuild using the mortar called grace to gently and lovingly place each brick back in place. They weren't perfect, the house had cracks here and there, but eventually things became even better with the furniture of forgiveness placed inside.

Some of us never used the grace mortar and eventually our houses fell, some slowly one brick at a time, some just tumbled down and the people inside had to crawl out pushing the bricks away, bruised and wounded from the experience.

These people were not bad people, in fact they were Christians. When the dust settled from the fall, God, the great builder used what was meant for bad and made a new thing. He forgave and started to rebuild, in a new location.

With both of these houses, there were painful and lifelong consequences...hearts that were broken , children who's lives would change forever, loving parents and siblings disappointed. The shame and stigma that divorce (enter your own sin here) brings, the guilt. Yes, God forgives but He usually doesn't take away the consequences.

A wise mentor of ours said this..."Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded".....that statement made a huge impact on me. Those of us who have been through difficult life situations have a unique opportunity to gently and lovingly offer a hand to lift those who are in the midst of trouble. None of us are immune from sin, if we were we would not need Jesus. But we do need Him, we all need Him and the love and forgiveness He brings.

Please, if you find yourself with the opportunity, remember all that God has forgiven you, lean down and offer a hand, help restore a fellow sinner. Keep your gun in it's holster!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Children Born from faith

These are her children....children born to a husband and wife only after they were drawn to Christ. The girls let me read Linda's testimony and it is riveting. Linda always wanted children, but was not successful for some years after she married Big T. Then after they were saved, they had four! Once she told me that she couldn't wait to have grandchildren and she loved having all her family around. She will hold her grandchildren when they join her in heaven.

B, her oldest, was so precious to her. He was her only boy and her first child, she loved him dearly. When Linda was so sick and he was home from college, he would jump right in and care for her! He married a few years ago to a really great girl! Their wedding day was a happy and sad day. Linda's presence was sorely missed, but she so looked forward to the day her children were married and happily settled down. B's wife is a teacher and B is a biochemical engineer. (or something like that!)

K, her first daughter, so responsible and caring, putting everyone ahead of herself, coming home from college to be with her mother and family during that awful time. She is engaged to a wonderful man. He had the diamond from her mother's ring reset into her engagement ring. It is stunning, but more than that so sentimental. The wedding may be a mixture of sadness and joy, especially to Big T....K is the image of her beautiful mother. Her "ways" are so like Linda's ways. She will be a breathtaking bride. K is a natural caretaker....I had surgery a couple years ago and K stayed right by my side, even sleeping on the floor by my bed so she wouldn't "disturb" me, but would be there if I needed anything. Hubby appreciated that! She is now a speech pathologist in a nearby town, but after she marries into the Navy, she will be moving far away! Even though we are all for leaving and cleaving, it will be hard for her to be far away. But their second station is where my grandchildren I'll be going to visit!

E, who was in her senior year of high school in an honors program, bravely carried on with school, while also being home with Linda as much as possible. Her senior prom, she was so beautiful. She graduated 3 months after her mother died, with honors and scholarships, and was awarded a special hero's award for doing it all during the most stressful time in her life. She's beautiful, talented and adventuresome! She moved to Atlanta and worked there for a time then started working as a traveling therapist and has lived in Colorado and Texas! She is a physical therapist and loves working with children. She is the introspective one....she ponders things in her heart.

MG, the baby! What can you say about the baby?? She's beautiful and talented. MG was uprooted from her high school and moved to a nearby town where Big T's job was located. She had a lot of change in a very short time, and has done it with grace (well, most of the time, I mean she is the baby!). She has a wonderful sense of humor, but do NOT make her mad, the girl holds a grudge! :) After graduation, she went to college and she and K lived together for a few years. She is now a teacher in a nearby town and I know the kids just love her, but she keeps order in her classroom! Ellie, her dog, is in the picture, a very mannerly dog, the first I've ever seen sit on the couch just like a person!

These children are all such a blessing, they are very close to one another and each one values the other's opinions greatly. Linda and Big T with God's help did a very good job!

I love you girls! (you too Brian)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Friend

This is a prayer group I was in in 1997. My husband and I had been married about 2 years and we were attending the church where we both grew up. This is just part of the group that studied and prayed together. I am sitting on the right and on the left is Linda, my friend. I won't identify the others. Linda first asked me to join the prayer group about a year before this picture was taken, but I politely declined not wanting to "share" my personal stuff in a group of women who probably had no problems. After some time passed, I kept feeling drawn (good Presbyterian, I am) to this group and after all, they did meet right before Sunday nite services so thought, oh I might as well just go see what they were all about. I fell totally in love with every woman in the group...what a bunch of prayers! I mean we prayed up dates for the prom, healing for the sick, for our church, for our world, I mean just anything you can think of that needs praying about, we prayed! We also studied several books during this time and I grew spiritually. Believe me, when you ask me for prayer requests, I start by asking how much time I have...even way back then, my son was having problems, lots of problems. There were at least four other ladies in the group, one's prayer request was that she and her husband be able to have a baby. After several months of me asking for prayer for one or the other of my children, she said, "just stop praying for me, I am scared to death to have a child". But I digress.......

Linda and I became very close friends. She prayed diligently for my children. She and her husband big T had four children, the oldest a boy and three girls. During our time in the group, Linda found out she had colon cancer. She had surgery and chemo and was pronounced cancer free. Maybe a year later, she asked for prayer because she was having various pains that didn't seem right to her, but was being put off by her doctors. After a good while of that, she went out of town for a second opinion. Her cancer was back with a vengeance. She had about 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. Three of our sweet ladies in the church would take her and stay with her 2 weeks each. Then she went to the Mayo clinic in Minnesota. I talked to her the day after surgery and in a gentle, quiet voice she said "well, there aren't many organs left in my body". But the doctors there gave her lots of hope and she came home. When she went back for a checkup, it was back and the doctors told her she had 6 weeks to live.

Her husband worked out of town.

Those precious children, B,the oldest ,was well into his college years, K was early in her college experience, E was a senior in high school, and MG a sophomore, pulled together and kept that family running. K came home from college, she was the backbone for everyone. They were all heroes. Big T's aunt and uncle (they raised him) came and Mimi took wonderful care of Linda and the family. During those weeks that followed, B came home as often as possible and the 3 girls took such tender care. Linda loved those children and one of her favorite Bible verses was 3 John 4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

Linda died that February, one month after her 52nd birthday. I don't tell her story very well, but I want to tell the story of how this child of God's children have carried on since her death. That will take a few posts! So tomorrow another chapter.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Things that make your muscles sore

This from the lady that, until a year ago, worked out 5 days a week....what happened to me?????

One of our sons got married and after the wedding was over, I just stopped....just like that...cold turkey. It isn't hard to stop exercising cold turkey, no patch needed, nothing, just quit. So, one year later......cellulite for the first time in my life on my thighs, but on my stomach??? I didn't even get stretch marks from pregnancy. O.K. you get the picture, I'm out of shape.

So, Friday I held a baby for maybe 45 minutes....mostly sitting and rocking. Saturday morning my arms were sore. Saturday, my husband and I took our bikes and drove them out to 30-A where there is a nice bike trail. We rode bikes for about an hour then loaded them up, drove to a little market restaurant and had fried grouper! Sunday morning, my legs felt like wooden poles..oh, why did I give up exercise! My muscles obviously have atrophied!

Sunday started out normal, we went to Sunday School and Church, came home and rested a little while. I started out to go see my mama with my purse, keys, sunglasses, cell phone and a bag of garbage in my hands. It had been raining hard and small amounts of water had come under the garage door. As I got right to the garbage can, my foot slipped in the water and I came down HARD on my thigh/hip. So of course I screamed for my husband in fear that I had broken something....o.k. he says I'm a little dramatic. He picked me up and I could walk. I got my senses back and went to mama's, but it really shook me now I have a huge black and blue thigh muscle! I'm guessing I really have worked out this weekend! I'm limping around on that leg, again so my sweet husband can tell me how dramatic I am. My daddy always said it was no use to feel bad if you don't moan and complain....I always do what my daddy taught me.

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Those sultry swimming days of summer

With summer almost over now, we are finally getting around to swimming! This has been a busy week, so it was a good day to rest at the pool with friends and their little ones. What a wonderful way to just sit and relax. Caroline was unhappy and sleepy, so I had the privilege of rocking and singing her to sleep. I sang Dwelling in Beulah Land (at least the parts I know, which is mainly the chorus) which was my daddy's favorite song.
This is the chorus:
I'm standing on the mountain
underneath a cloudless sky, Praise God,
I'm drinking from the fountain that never will go dry,
Oh, yes, I'm feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply
for I am dwelling in Beulah land.
It has a nice tune and is easy to sing. I'm not so good with music, so I have to sing what I know!
We had a wonderful time and I hope we do it again real soon. Sometimes I let life get too busy and get frustrated because I feel like I'm going too fast. That made me remember that old saying ,"Stop world, I want to get off"......No, I don't really want to get off, just slow down and enjoy every day the Lord has given. When my husband prays, he starts by saying "Thank you, Lord for this beautiful day". He prays this every day, whether it is sunny, hot, cold, raining whatever the weather it is a beautiful day because God made it and allowed us to enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Moving Day

Saturday after we got to Jacksonville, we started moving Matt's stuff from one room to the little apartment out back. The picture above shows that they got the most important thing up, the deer head.....Matt killed that deer last hunting season. I humbly apologize to those of you who are not hunters. Believe it or not, I came from a family of non-hunters so it hurts my feelings too! Oh, well. Dad and Matt did most of the moving, I wouldn't let them take a picture of me lying on Matt's bed with the dogs, but somebody had to keep them out of the way.

I did vacuum the carpet. I thought that was very helpful. Matt is fortunate to live in the house that another pharmacy student bought and rents out rooms. This is his second year there, and he really likes it, so do we. But with the move, we needed to go purchase things you need in an apartment, but not in a room. Silverware, dishes, etc. Oh, and microwave, no one could live without a microwave. Plus, he'll be studying so hard, he won't have time to really cook or go out to eat.

Moving was a very HOT job. I thought surely we would sweat off a few pounds, but NO. Now that Russell and I are empty nesters again, we really, really (I mean it this time) are going to diet. The house is quieter and we keep looking for him, it takes a few days to really get that he's gone. We thank our ever watchful God for allowing us to have a safe trip and good time with one another.

We went with Matt to visit a church there and we really liked the services. There were several college age men and women there and we hope he will connect and have a true church family of his own. We will miss him being with us at church.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Grandmother's Word of Warning

I'm going to have to write our "moving son back to college" story in several parts (to bore you all the longer), but first I want to issue a word of warning to all parents. We stayed in our motor home at a lovely park near the Atlantic Ocean....during the weekend, there were lots of campers (as we were busily moving furniture, buying needed things, etc. all in the blazing heat....but on Monday when we got up, the park was almost empty, with just a few stragglers left. Monday evening, I was out walking our dogs and a darling little girl rode up on her bike. She had all the safety equipment and had her helmet on, so obviously somebody cares. She stopped and asked if she could pet the "puppies" and I said sure. In 2 minutes, I knew her name was L, she is from Pennsylvania, her parents are divorced and she and her mother live with her grandparents, she was here at the park with the grandparents, you get the picture. She gave me so much information in such a short time that I was thinking info overload...then she said, "you have a kid? I'm looking for a friend." I asked her age (now this was the ONLY question I asked, the rest of the info was for free), and she said 9. I said no, I only have a big kid. She proceeded to tell me that she was going to put her bike up and she would be right back to play with my dogs.

I walked back to our place thinking that if I was a (fill in the blank) bad person, I could have just asked her to come on in and play and taken right off with her. PLEASE, PLEASE somehow without just scaring our children to death, we have to help them know that everyone they meet isn't a sweet grandmother....that there are bad people out there....and for heaven's sake, in a strange place, don't let you child wander alone. As you can see from the picture, the park was heavily wooded and you can't see into the motor home. It just sent chills up my spine to think what could happen to children who are so innocent and just looking for a playmate. She was not in the least afraid to talk to me, get near or even to talk about coming back! I walked on and didn't see her again, but as a grandmother, it really made me think! I hope it makes you think too!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back to school

Tomorrow our youngest flies out of the nest again and back to college! This picture is from his "coating" ceremony. Matt is attending the school of pharmacy at the University of Florida! He has finished his first year of pharmacy school, was home for the summer and tomorrow goes back. We were talking tonight as we were getting things together and he calmly stated, "well, you know I won't be coming back here to live again." I said "not so calmly" WHY??? He explained that next summer he will be working at a pharmacy there and then he does his rotations and then he graduates! Time has flown since he came into my life at age 7.

Please don't misunderstand, I don't suffer from empty nest syndrome...3 have already flown. But we will miss Matt more, maybe since he's the youngest. He's always been the one who made sure everything was locked up at night and the lights were off! He is a very dependable man. It is hard for me to say any of our boys are just sounds odd to the ears of a mama. I think it may be harder for us with him too, because he had special obstacles to overcome, which he did with a vengeance! Matt was born with goldenhar syndrome and also has nystagmus and as a result has some vision issues and has always been very shy. Being away at school last year really seemed to bring him out of his shell.
We didn't think he would be able to drive but he fooled us! He has overcome every (what we would call) obstacle in his path and is on his way to a successful future . Most importantly, he sincerely loves the Lord.
We will be going down with him to help him get set up for a new year. God go with you this year and may you glorify him in all you do! We love you.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Oh, the places you've been, oh, the places you'll go!

These are two of my sons....the little one is David and he is 30 today. I can hardly believe that 30 years ago I was in the hospital having delivered him at 2:08 in the afternoon and by this time that nite, I knew something was wrong. 10 hours after birth, he started seizing on the right side of his body. No one told me that anything was wrong. They brought him to me to nurse and his whole right side began to rhymically jerk and his right eye blinked in time with the arm and leg! I honestly thought he was cold, so I did my best to warm him up and hold him close....the nurse came in and said she needed to take him to the nursery.....we didn't have a NICU. Later he was diagnosed with birth trauma, whatever that means. He was on phenobarbital for 3 weeks and slowly weaned off and has never had another seizure that we know about.
But backing up a little, my older son was 7 when David was born....I lost a baby to miscarriage 2 years before David was born, then went through the whole fertility thing. (as my mother loves to tell me when he's made me mad, "you know, you took fertility pills to get him.") She just loves to tell me that!!! It did take a while to get pregnant again and then for him to have problems at birth just scared me and tested my faith! I didn't know then that these troubles were refining me to face bigger ones in the years to come.
Happy Birthday David! I love you......mama

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

They made it home!

After many delays and a call to Delta, I finally found out the grands got on an earlier flight in Atlanta. A very excited mama called to tell me they were there! Thank you Maria for being a wonderful daughter to me and for allowing your precious cargo to fly across the country to spend time with their Florida family.

These pictures are of Adam with Uncle David and Ashley with Uncle David...tomorrow 8/9, David will be 30 years old! 30...oh, where do the years go??? I have many prayers for him for this upcoming year, but maybe I'll share those tomorrow! I will say he was very disappointed when I told him I would be out of town tomorrow. I usually make chicken enchiladas for him as they are his favorite! You're 30 now son, maybe I'll cook them another nite.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Into the wild blue yonder!

There is a different sound here tonight. Quiet. The pool floats are empty, no joyful splashing, towels and sheets are waiting to be washed. No gleeful laughing as the dogs lick their faces. Only the small sound of a tear dropping from my eye. I'll miss them.
It was the return trip that almost didn't happen. Ashley and Adam painfully packed their suitcases, cramming in the last few extras they had to take back to California. Their great grandmother went with us to an early lunch then on to the airport. We started the check in process when the airline worker told us one of their bags was overweight......I said what do we do? He said take stuff out of one and put in the other to which I replied.....cannot do! He quoted a price of $25.00 to go overweight and without blinking an eye, I said "this may not sound frugal, but if you open those suitcases, we may never get stuff back in, so I got out the money". We got almost all the way checked in, when it was announced that their flight coming into our town from Atlanta had been delayed due to mechanical problems. They usually don't book children on a later flight in case they don't get to their destination. However, since they are such seasoned flyers, they got them on a plane a little later, but of course that meant they missed their connection and had to be booked on a later flight for the final leg of the trip home. As we were finishing up at the check in desk, the sweet man behind the counter saw a poor pitiful nana sending her babies home and said "You know, we'll just waive that $25.00". Thank you sir!! We all started to the security gate, took our shoes off and all our stuff like backpacks and purses and all managed to get through without problem. Then the thunderstorm started and this nana felt the hair on her neck rising. I didn't want my babies (15 and 11) on a plane in a storm! With our long wait, the storm spent itself, the kids names were called to board first and we tearfully hugged goodbye until we meet again.
After they were safely in the air, I took a deep breath and looked at great gma and said I'm tired! Their leaving always leaves me a bit down, but so grateful and thankful to the Lord that we have such a good relationship with them and that they love coming to see their Florida family!
So goodbye for now sweet ones, we'll see you again soon!

Monday, August 6, 2007

World's Most Beautiful Beaches

Yes, we live on the world's most beautiful beaches! Well, o.k. not exactly ON THEM, but real near. These sweet children are Ashley, Adam (grands) and their cousin Joshua. Uncle Mike and Aunt Pam are camping at the state park, so we went to visit and take a trip over to the jetties. This "kiddie pond" is where I went as a child. I was amazed at how it has changed. The rocks on the jettie side were much higher protecting the kiddie pool from the strong currents in the pass which leads from the bay into the gulf. We were very careful not to let them go far enough to get into those currents.

Joshua and Adam had lots of fun together. They have many common interests, both like skateboarding and remote control anything and of course video games. We limited the game time choosing to do outside stuff that they wouldn't normally do at home.

I will miss them so when they are gone home....even as I know their parents miss them while they are here in Florida!

Time is moving too fast!

I can hardly believe that our time with the grandchildren is almost over! We are having such a good time. We always take the children to church while they are with us....the first picture is actually after church but before we changed clothes...
The second picture is of an event we have made a tradition at nana's house. Grandpa Russell bakes oatmeal, peanut butter cookies with the grandchildren. Grandpa Russell is the greatest cook, and these cookies are a specialty and a favorite with everyone. Alas I must say I have eaten wayyyyy too many! We try not to bake them except for very special ocassions and right before beginning a new diet!
On Tuesday, my little chicks will take to the skies and travel back home! Tomorrow we will be cramming in all our last minute times together. It has been such a pleasure to have them here and we will look forward to our next visit!

Friday, August 3, 2007

I have Issues!

This is just for my sister, she is like my twin only there is a difference in our ages.....I can't say what it is or she will kill me. While she was here visiting with the kids, we talked about our childhood and how I got so many issues.
Then my younger brother's wife said she wrapped his birthday presents in aluminum foil because mama always wrapped his SURPRISES she got him at the store in aluminum foil! Now we both have issues, because we never got any aluminum foil surprises! Rats~!

Too Busy Making those Memories

Not that I really think anyone reads my blog but we have been so busy making memories that we haven't had time to write about making memories...Yesterday my sisters and part of their families came. The picture at the top is one we take every year. The same pose only they get bigger and bigger, and now are almost too big for my bed! The second picture is of my sister, her husband, their son Joshua and Ashley and Adam (grandchildren). For all who don't have grandchildren, when you do, you'll know why they call them GRAND!!!!
Lots of cousins came and they swam and played and ate and ate and ate all day. Housekeeping has to go out the window when company comes to town!
Ashley and Adam get up in the morning and after breakfast get in the pool and are there for most of the day. Ashley reads a lot and is going through my bookcases scouring for books to read.
Last nite some of us gathered at our favorite Mexican restaurant for supper. My grandchildren are fluent in Spanish and Adam had fun ordering his food and his cousin's food in Spanish, but Ashley is "much too old" for that silliness. We are having a good time, a very good time!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Making Memories

Because I don't see my grandchildren very often, when they're here, we try to make happy memories to carry us all through until we meet again. Yesterday was my birthday and thanks to my friend and former mother in law, the grandkids came home with a present and card . Thanks Marilyn, you are indeed a good friend.

We had a nice dinner thanks to my precious husband. I picked up mama and my inlaws came, two sons, my nephew and his girlfriend. We had a really good time. I just wanted to put up some pictures, or memories as we like to call them.
Tomorrow my two sisters and a few of their family members are coming from Tallahassee and Pensacola to visit and see the children. We really excited about that! This is a somewhat a quieter trip than usual, just because I have such a big family and just didn't feel up to having all at once! We usually do that, but not this time....and we're enjoying them more and feeling much less stress! So simple!