Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Santa was busy last night at the Smith house. I didn't even hear him come down the chimney. Bright eyes opened more presents, and eager hands rapidly opened more surprises. My grandson was very happy that Santa delivered more age appropriate gifts than Mimi and Pops. There was much enthusiasm for the grandparent gifts, but Santa always seems to deliver that one gift that each kid thinks is a dream come true.

Dinner was delicious and everyone found at least a couple of dishes they couldn't complain about. Leftovers today seem to taste better, but it may be because it is so quiet in the house. lol My daughter-in-law has taken the kids to see her family for the day. Hopefully, they will get home in time to watch one of the movies I would love to share with my grandson.

It has been a joy having the grandchildren together for a few days. I have been blessed this year with getting to play with all of them at the same time. We made cookies and a gingerbread house. Mimi stuff that will always be remembered each time a Christmas cookie gets eaten. I think the best part about family is the hugging every time we say hello or good-by. I try to get in about 6 months of hugs and kisses, and yep, I'll be remembered for all of the super hugs someday. Not a bad legacy.

I did try to read the Christmas story to the kids, but I think the dog was the only one who paid attention. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, but missed the cupcakes. Mimi forgot to get that one last task done, and why I wondered. Then, I checked my list twice and couldn't find cupcakes. I am at the point in life that lists are an absolute necessity.

Hub was quite amused that he got some miniature marshmallows for one present. Today, stockings revealed the guns for the goodies. He just thought I was off my rocker.....Not true, just not quite as organized as I should have been. A marshmallow did zoom over my head as I sent pictures to my younger son in Afghanistan. We missed him, but Skype helped immensely. Just that moment on screen included him from afar. Holidays are never perfect, but all in all, most of the time was just plain fun and hopefully hold happy memories for everyone.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I remember being a kid and driving around the hometown with my dad looking for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve night. Dad would shout he'd just seen him over a neighbor's roof, and five kids would anxiously look out the windows hoping to catch a glimpse of the jolly old elf. Little did we know that Momma was at home helping Santa deliver our presents while we chased the elusive guy all over town.

It's that feeling I have now. We've decked the halls, wrapped the presents, and started the baking in anticipation of sharing a holiday with all three grandchildren on Christmas Eve day. My older son and wife will come over and my younger son's wife is traveling from North Carolina. At lease I am hoping they began the journey today. My grandson has been sick, and I prayed for a speedy recovery for him. I also prayed that the designated driver remains healthy. My younger son is in Afghanistan, but hopefully we can connect with him through Skype.

When kids don't live in the same town or state, getting together for the holidays on the same day is a special blessing. I am really looking forward to getting a MIMI and POPS and grands picture. Kind of selfish of me, but these moments don't happen too often. We have been together for Easter and that has been nice. Christmas will be the icing on the cake of life.....

For now, I will keep busy making cookies and singing Christmas songs and waiting for our special day.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night

Thanksgiving has become a step into the season for me. We headed south for short family visits while inhaling huge meals. We spent the night with Richard's mom and headed home on Saturday.

Richard left for Israel on Sunday, and I promptly developed a cold. By Wednesday I was calling the doctor and taking any appointment. Antibiotics and two other prescriptions later, I am well enough to have a sleep over with one of my grandchildren.

I wasn't as active as usual, but 3 tea parties and several wagon rides later, we did get to sleep by 10. Blondie woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7 AM and ready for a wagon ride. Breakfast was eaten and the day started off with a bang. It was fun, and she really didn't want to leave that afternoon. Mimi went right to bed. LOL

This Thanksgiving we gave special thanks that our daughter-in-law received good results from her tests, and she is still in remission. She is a really strong woman as she takes care of her two children while her husband is deployed to Aghganistan. I imagine both are feeling the length of time of this deployment. My daughter-in-law was diagnosed during his last deployment and his time away was cut in half. This trek is the real deal and thank God, cancer won't cut it short.

He is occupying his time by taking classes. 12 hour shifts, 3 hour classes, study time, eating, and sleeping just about takes up every second of his time. That is good as time will seem to go by faster for him. We are fortunate to talk to him about every two weeks on Skype. Most of the time he sounds ok, but sometimes he seems like he is really missing home. No matter what diversions there are during service to his country, it just isn't like the routine of doing a job, coming home, and kissing the wife and kids.

We started decorating for Christmas this week. We mostly decorate for the kids and grandkids as we are more into the celebration of the birth of Christ than the tinsel. I never can remember how I decorate from year to year. One year, I will actually label the boxes and the details of how to use the decorations for the following year. I did enjoy putting topper on a real tree this year because the material reminded me of a shopping trip in North Carolina. I enjoyed putting up my ornaments from last year as well. Pictures of family members adorn my tree once again. Richard and I already remember why real trees are not the best idea. We have vacuumed several times already, but I guess the exercise is worth it.

Our outside decorations really need some work, but slowly and surely we will get them to twinkle a little better. I actually bought more lights this year, and again that is for the grandchildren's delight. One of these days we will splurge and have a light company do the honors, but this year it is up to Mimi and Pops to make the house sparkle.

The next week is filled with the end of parties and get togethers with friends. Afterwards, we look forward to many happy hours with our family.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Side of the Fence

Once again, my hub is in Washington fighting the good fight. Frank Dodd (not sure of the spelling or exact name)is the latest opponent. I don't begin to understand what the legal issues of the bill are, but my hub does, and apparently he doesn't agree with the bill and is fighting for his side. Like I said, I don't pretend to understand, but I know my husband understands the business ramifications of it and is willing to have his voice heard.

I got a glimpse of his passion just recently and for once, I actually understood. It involves the language of the DC game. He is quite put out with the language being used in the media concerning just good business practices. It costs money to run a business. These costs are part of the operations of the business. The costs impact the actual profits made and finally the tax liability. Personally, I don't care about the jets of corporate America. The guys who use these aircraft are in the air more than they are at home. If my husband's job is an indication of air time, then I am happy for the flying CEOs. They would never have a family life if they traveled commercially. Hub's concern is with the labels now being carefully interchanged by the news sources of our land. At this time in space they are costs of running companies, not subsidies and not extravagant lifestyles.

Another example is social security. While some are receiving benefits and have never paid this tax, most Americans have paid their fare share based on income for 30 years or more. Most wives of my mother's generation had husbands who paid and paid and paid. This is not a subsidy. Personal taxes paid for this distribution. I don't know the history behind social security, but I know that not all present pension plans are equal. Many have 401K opportunities, but most do not. Many hourly employees social security taxes will someday become their only pension. The social security is the pension that most people paid into and deserve to receive. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. Again, language is confusing the issues. Social Security that has been paid by every participant is their pension, not their subsidy. I even payed Medicare taxes for 40 quarters. So folks, I too, am entitled to this benefit.

I have a disabled sister who receives SSI. This isn't the same as SS. No, she never paid her 40 quarters, but her husband did. She receives SS widow's benefits and an additional SSI benefit. Why? She is learning disabled, has tried for years to just hold a job, any job, and just can't do it. Just like she can't manage her money. My mother does this for her and will pass this torch to her children. Some people have needs that they personally could never meet, ever.

I have a friend who has adopted special needs children. She gets SSI for these children. Why shouldn't she? America should take care of its own first. We are guaranteed certain unalienable rights by our, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness....Just because pursuits do not match our own personal goals, what is the government becoming when it would choose to deny the basics to those in need.

Now, I will get political. I don't pretend to understand business, but I do understand threats. Twice now with this President, senior citizens have been warned that their social security checks might be late if this or if that does or doesn't happen. How dare he and how dare the government of the people and for the people threaten its very contributors.

I know that there are a lot of problems, and many people who should pay taxes (all of them) do not. OK then, fix that. Make company penalties so stiff, that financially it would be only advantageous to report and record all incomes and taxes. My husband and I run a small business on the side in hopes of having an additional income when he finally does retire, if ever. I didn't enjoy learning all of the bookkeeping involved for the business, but I did it. I also reported all income payments to the various workers who put in their time and energy for us. Whether or not these people owed taxes based on their bottom line is between them and the IRS. As an employer, I held up my legal end of the bargain.

To be honest, we hired an accounting company to make sure that we got all of the business deductions the tax laws allow. If that displeases anyone, then work to get the laws changed. We may or may not get a government insurance subsidy based on the drought. It is a subsidy. We bought the natural disaster insurance for crops just like anyone buys for rising water. We payed a little, but may receive at least the chemical costs for this year. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the actual costs to us. If a hurricane floods my house, then we will qualify for that subsidy as well, and why shouldn't we. My tax dollars should go to take care of Americans first. I am an American.

Let's do away with funding foreign governments. Now, that is subsidizing and big time. I'm not talking about humanitarian aid. All modern countries of the world should contribute equally to take care of the third world nations. Even these efforts should be monitored closely. I am sick and tired of American tax dollars being used to support governments that oppress their people. I am sick and tired of our American soldiers being killed for people who will turn their backs on us in an instant. I am sick of the thinking going on in Washington these days. I want to shout take care of Americans first, then use whatever is left over to continue taking care of Americans.

I do know that I am very thankful for a husband who doesn't just sit on the sidelines and gripe. He gets out there and gets heard. The expenses for this are deductible to the company he represents, and why shouldn't it be? It is a tiny part of the business of running America, and these dollars are well spent even if the costs help the bottom line of a major company. Running America costs money, and as long as the tax payers money takes care of us, it is well spent.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Time for a Rest

Richard and I had a great time in Las Vegas. We aren't the late nighters who creep in at the break of day, but our time was well spent. I had my usual spa day, enjoyed the pools, and of course the tables. Would love to tell anyone that I won, but that is never the case, and I never take more than I can afford to lose.

I am all about views, and I must admit that in spite of the casino being geared to the 21+ age groups, our service was excellent. We also got to enjoy the fountains at the Bellagio from our Cosmopolitan balcony. Our casino was very ethereal with emphasis on restaurants and designer label shopping. We did enjoy a variety of foods with very different twists of flavor and my idea of great eating. We actually lost a few pounds probably because we got some walking in every evening.

A couple from our neighborhood was staying at their condo for the week. I joined them one afternoon and enjoyed shooting craps with them Downtown. Again, I would love to tell you I won, but I would lying. I did finally win on roulette later in the evening, and actually played the slots for a while on my winnings. I still love the one armed bandits the most. The video game appeal I think, but one armed bandit is definitely a great nicname.

Met a lovely couple on the way back and discovered that they hit Vegas about 4 times a year. I am just not up to the plane travel to do that. The worst part of traveling is the flying. Flying used to be fun. The jets had more room, and the airlines were there to serve you. Not so anymore. We have all become statistics who are closely monitored each step of the trip. However, the scanners at security do make it less irritating.

I was amazed at a spectacle I saw at the counters. A couple were really yelling and screaming about the baggage fees necessary for the next leg of their journey. If it had been this blond-haired American granny making the complaints, I am sure security would have been called immediately. The angry couple were obviously of eastern descent, so they were placated over and over again. Just made me mad to see it go on. We kiosked, checked our bags, and went for a drink, and the couple were still making complaints. Only in America would this be allowed to go on and on and on.

I wonder if this country is ever going to wake up........

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Waiting is not my best attribute. I have a hard time waiting on meetings that seem to drag on and on. I mentally amuse myself with the lists of things I am going to do as soon as the meeting is over. I have never been patient, and I had hoped that as I got older, I would become more tolerant of any and all situations that don't stick to my time tables. Life just doesn't work that way. In fact, most people are on a much slower time table than I am. I am a fifteen minute rule type of person. I learned a long time ago that the kitchen could be cleared and the dishwasher loaded in almost 15 minutes. I can fold and put away a load of laundry in the same amount of time. I guess that being the oldest of five natually made me an efficient adult. I remember having to hang clothes on a line as a kid and hating it. My mom would remind me that it was just a 15 minute job, and it would take longer to take them down, fold or iron them. I became a fast forward whiz at just about any kind of chores; mainly because I hated doing them. The faster I got chores done, the faster I got to do what I wanted to do. I am still that way.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Prayers for Michele and Justin

I sit here writing my feelings. My head is here, but my heart is elsewhere. My heart is in North Carolina with my son and his wife. After a year of remission, Michele received word that once again the doctors found atypical cells on her cervix. I am stunned, and I know that Michele is feeling lost just about now. I wish I was there to wrap my arms around the whole family. My only recourse is to pray for my sweet daughter-in-law, my son, and the kids.

I am praying that these cells are a result of a need for hormones. It is a hope that I have shared with God. He knows every cell in her body and wants blessings for Michele. In fact He wants her to be abundantly blessed. She is His child. I pray for the will to go forward to be a part of their daily routines. Michele takes great pride in being a wife, homemaker, and mother. I pray that God will bless her every second as she tries to stay busy until this nightmare is over.

I pray for my son to be sensitive and loving as panic tries to creep into his thoughts. I pray for their protection as they keep on keeping on throughout this latest chapter in their lives. I pray for my grandkids. I pray that God will wrap His arms around them each and every day, each and every second. I pray for strength for all of them.

I hope that they can feel the prayers. We love them so much, and it is hard to see any suffering because of the dreaded disease of cancer. I pray that God will squash this enemy of the family, and out of the ashes of fear and uncertainty, raise a family that is stronger and there for each other.

I ask these things in Jesus' name.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cast Your Worries to the Lord

Words of wisdom easily said, but not so easy to do at all times. My younger son and his family just visited, and he told me not to worry, and that he doesn't worry about anything. To be quite honest, he doesn't have to worry. From an earthly perspective he is blessed with parents who support him and love him, warts and all. He is blessed with a wife who loves him and children who are just adorable. He has never known insecurity even during the trials and tribulations of growing up. No matter what, he knew his parents loved him, and what a blessing.

His mother on the other hand grew up completely insecure about so many issues in life. My worry pattern was ingrained at a very young age, and for some reason, it keeps rearing its ugly head no matter how blessed I am. And I am blessed! I have a husband who loves me most of the time because sometimes I am truly unlovable. He's has never missed a paycheck and never even asks about the expenses. I report to him occasionally when the savings account is starting to get too low, and we both curb our spending until we are in the black again. Our retirement is in place, and in five short years we will retire, and more than likely hit the road and travel to places we haven't seen. We are both road warriors and enjoy seeing new sights.

When I asked my son how he doesn't worry, he quickly said that he lets God handle his life. Now, I pray and thank God and let Him handle my life, most of the time. That must be the difference in having a worry free life and a worrisome life. What do I worry about?

Well, my children's happiness, the country's decline, the wars and rumors of war, my son's deployment, the Taliban's revenge, our country's safety, and I could go on and on. I know what the bible says about worry, but it is hard to watch the news and not be horrified at the actions of one human against another. I actually prefer to think of my worry issues as caution in life.

Our world has gotten so complex that it is foolish to just go with the flow. I consider it prudent to guard my heart. God gives me peace when there is no peace. I find joy in the Lord on the days that present no joy. My son says to stop watching the news, but I would rather know what is happening than to be surprised by the bad stuff.

I know I drive my family crazy sometimes, but most of the time, I am the supporting parent who is always there for them. I am just thankful that God is always there for me. I don't know if I will ever be free of worry, but I continue to seek a life free from strife, whether imaginary or not.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Time to learn about God

I continue to enjoy my pastor's study on prophesy. He clarified the difference between Allah and the Yahweh God, whom I worship, during this Sunday's sermon. I admit that at one time before I really began to seek the face of God, I speculated that maybe God did assign different prophets throughout the world and maybe Mohammad was one of them. Maybe Buddha was one of God's prophets, and maybe the fellow who started the Hindu religion was sent by God. As time went by and I continued my search for the truth of just who the real God was, I began to understand the false religious teachings that are just everywhere we look these days.

I began to understand that Satan doesn't care how he gets you, as long as the true God doesn't. So many and probably all of the false religions got their beginnings in cultures with polytheistic beliefs. The more I explored, the more I realized how tiring it must be to have to remember which god does what or handles what issue in life. I am thankful for my one God in three persons. The Father in Heaven, his Son who died for my sins, and the Holy Spirit who now inhabits my soul. I also realized that life today and life at the beginning of creation is the same. From the very beginning God had to search for men who wanted to know Him personally instead of seeking man made idols. Nothing much has changed.

Even the labels for man made idols are the same. In history and yesterday in the news, men are seeking power, wealth, and false idols. We are currently embroiled in wars because one group who follow Allah, want to kill all Jews and Christians. Now, this just make me think. Satan is still deceiving so much of the world just as from the beginning of history. I am thankful that each time I read the bible, something new is revealed to me about how God is in control and I am to cast my worries to Him.
I am constantly reminded of the influence that false idols have on society. I drive by a Buddhist temple, I hear about protests during a Christian worship service, I see the large and small statues in various shops all over America. I've witnessed foolish chants and calls to the goddess of nature. It just makes me sad.

It also lets me understand the passages in the bible that speak of a narrow path to the Lord. I never understood that growing up. Everyone I knew growing up went to some kind of Christian church. Not so anymore. In fact the most prominent cult in America today deals with disbelief. Atheists, agnostics, and other rationalists make up this group. This too makes me sad as I see really nice people miss out on the only real gift in life, and that is life after death made possible by simple belief. By simply believing in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God and accepting Him as a personal Saviour, anyone can approach the very throne of God. The true God of all creation wants to fellowship with all man.

As a Christian it is my responsibility to pray for all man, that their eyes might be opened to the truth of who God really is. The truth of Salvation made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus is the light that will set any man free to live forever in the presence of God. What a blessing!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's Time

Pastor began a study called Prophesy Revealed. It was a good beginning, and because I am interested in the topic, the sermon was over before I knew it. Our pastor is great at including the audience during his sermons, and today was no exception. He asked everyone who was 63 and over to stand. Most of the congregation stood. I'm not quite there, but was amazed at how many people did stand, many not much older than my true age....

His points included what the bible said about Israel and her rebirth in 1948. The passage said that this generation will not pass away before the return of our Lord and Saviour comes for His bride, the church is raptured, and the tribulation of those times will begin. Heavy stuff, prophesy. The most important point was that God is in charge, it is His world, and He will do what He said He would do for Israel. He will make her a great nation. He promised land to Abraham a long time ago, and He will make sure Israel regains the land He promised.

As I listen to news of the attacks against Israel by the Syrians today, I can't help but wonder just how close the rapture of the church is. I feel that it is so near.
I feel it in my bones, deep within my spirit. Sometimes soon, the church will meet Jesus in the clouds, the physical presence of the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth, and literally all hell will break out on the earth. In seven short years, the world as we know it will go from separate governments of varying types to a one world government led by Satan himself. The bible tells us that he walks the earth to and fro seeking whomever he can destroy. He will feast on the world during the tribulation. I thank God that because He is in charge, Satan will be bound, and Jesus will return to reign for a thousand years at the end of the seven years.

As a Christian, I am promised to be saved from the tribulation. I seems, however, that Christians the world over will be witnesses to the birth pains before the tribulation. We see wars and rumors of wars, deaths due to nature's fury, earthquakes, and famines. I fear the famines will increase exponentially in the next few years. So many crops all over the world are being destroyed one way or another.

America has remained prosperous because we haven't as a nation turned our back on God or Israel. Slowly but surely, we see God being taken out of our land. I fear for this great country founded on the premise of freedom of religion. I fear that America is on the verge of becoming just another nation that refuses to acknowledge God and his blessings to us. I know that America will play a part in helping Israel in the next big war, and the bible assures us that a war is imminent. I also know that God will rescue Israel in the final battle at Armageddon.

I am promised that Jesus will win and as a Christian, I find peace in knowing that I will actually be a witness to this victory. Prophesy represents God's plan for the world, and the bible is the instrument that tells us again and again that the world belongs to God. I am truly thankful for that fact.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Resting, resting, resting....

This last month has been busy but oh, so fun. The next two weekends will be just as busy and May will arrive. It is already so hot that I am having a hard time imagining a south Texas summer. My caladiums are coming up, and that is the biggest clue that there won't be any freak cold fronts coming our way.

My eyes are finally to normal size and with a little effort, I can actually see most things with OTC glasses. My prescription glasses should be ready soon. The first round left me fuzzy blind in all aspects, and the company is on its second round. Hopefully, the new pair will adjust for the macular in the right eye. If not, one more round of laser is due to try and correct as much as possible.

Our AC got invaded by a critter of some sort, and we used fans only last night. We survived, and the repairman very efficiently fixed our capacitor that was shorted out due to the demise of a woodland creature.

I am getting my leg strength back slowly but surely. The bursitis in my hips has its moments of pure pain, and then it goes away. The support stocking helps and so does celebrex. Tylenal in between makes the pain tolerable. I really felt the irritation at the casino this past weekend. Even my mom was able to stand longer than I was, so the craps table wasn't an option. Guess the malady ended up saving me money in the long run.

Richard and I are avid readers and we soon found a Walmart offering book selections we both enjoy. I really prefer to hit the antique malls for books, but made do in the meantime. Reading a book and lounging around the indoor pool, again, saved me a few bucks, I am sure.

I have been basically catching up this week and it feels good. Looking forward to my May flowers, but wondering where the April showers are in our part of the country........

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Comedy of Errors

My mom's birthday was a success. She had an afternoon filled with family, friends, and happiness. Family pictures included four generations. Those are memories of a lifetime. I am not sure how all went well, but it did. My brothers and sisters worked on the party for two months now, and we had hoped to get it all decorated and done, so we could really visit with our Seattle relatives and family members we hadn't seen in years. We chose to have the party at my brother's because he has a huge place that allows the kids to explore and play.

Everything would have gone well if the wind would have just died down a little. The one day decorating took two days instead. Every planned and finished project had to be redone and reworked. Even the darn table decorations and balloon bouquets had to be anchored over and over because the wind literally walked them from the middle of the tables to the edges. The head table was beautiful, but it too had to be creatively anchored. We used clips, ribbons, and tape to just keep the table cloths from becoming a sail display. Thank goodness my husband and cousin are tall. They helped us throw stuff up at the last minute. What an effort. I am not sure it was pretty, but it was impressive. Not sure of the degree of impressive either, but it was what it was. My mom did get the feeling of being greatly fussed over, and that is what we all wanted. Mountains of food was consumed and lots of memories created.

I said good-byes and drove home early Monday just to decompress. I am so thankful that my mom has lived so long, but I want my kids to just take me to a spa when I turn 80.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dear Mom

I would love to tell you that this is my original idea, but as usual I am a great copier. Justin called for your address and said that he was going to write you a letter for your birthday. If he were 12, I would have had him read it to me, but since he is grown, I was just thankful that he was thoughtful enough to do this. He did say he was using the computer to write because his penmanship is not too good, and that is OK. It is the thought that counts.

I got to thinking about it and decided to do the same thing for your card. I want to tell you how nice it has been having you as a mom all of these years, and how blessed I feel for you to have been given the gift of life so we can celebrate your 80TH birthday and beyond. It will be but a blink of an eye, and we will be looking at 90 for you.

I want to commend you for a job well done as a mother. I know we haven't always seen eye to eye on all issues of life, and I am sure you were tempted to not claim me as kin at a few points in our journey of love, laughter, and life, but that doesn't mean you didn't do a great job of raising me and my brothers and sisters.

You taught me many important lessons in life and I thank you. I thank you for setting the example of always considering your children first. I look back and know that you always settled for the left overs in life if it meant your children needed something. I think about how hard it is to raise children and you raised five. You persevered every day with diapers (no disposables back then), cooking, cleaning up, washing and hanging clothes day in and day our, ironing every weekend, and always sewing, sewing, sewing. You always took what life dealt you and made the best of it for us. That truly deserves applause. You also fed every stray kid who happened to be at the house at dinner time. I never remember leaving the table hungry.

You put up with our moods and tantrums, likes and dislikes, and the occasional really evil moments we all had. You made sure we went to church and put up with all of the biases that were thrown your way during our young lives. You carefully sewed our clothes so we would look good for Sunday school, and sometimes I still see all of those polished white shoes on the counter in the kitchen. I always knew you were proud of us, no matter what. You were a great style copier, and I remember having the prettiest dresses when I was young and then during high school and college. The patience it must have taken to sew on those beads and pearls just so we would be glamorous for an evening. I remember when you even sewed the boys suits and made sure they were just as handsome as their sisters were pretty.

None of us was ever neglected by you. You wanted everyone to know that we were yours. It's called Agape love, and it is the kind of love that God has for all of his children. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting us see a glimpse of that kind of love. That glimpse got us through the really bad times in life, made us keep on keeping on, and helped us to become strong.

I love you, mom.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Days

My husband and son went turkey hunting this weekend, and I busied myself having a garage sale. My daughter-in-law and grand came to visit Saturday and ended up spending the night. We had such fun.

We shopped and lunched and rode the carousel and pretended to ride the vehicles that use coins, and shopped and went out for breakfast, ate pizza, and played and played and played. By noon on Sunday, Mimi was desperate to get off of her feet. We decided that naps were a necessity for girls of all ages. I put my feet up and rested while reading my latest novel. The other two blonds are still napping and we are waiting for the guys to return from the hunt.

I feel so happy right now. It always amazes me how being around an energetic two year old can just revitalize me. We are going on a field trip tomorrow and will feed the rays at the Aquarium in Kemah. Looking forward to catching those wonder moments on my camera.

The rest of the week will be spent on the finishing touches for my mom's 80Th birthday. I will get to visit with my Seattle relatives, and we will all be wishing we were on the west coast if the weather turns hot. I am praying for cooler April weather this next weekend. The age ranges of happy feelings will probably take its toll on this gal, and the next two weeks will entail some serious down time for recovery, but it will be worth every second. Ah, life and laughter and love.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deja vu...

I made a quick trip to see my older son's family yesterday and to help out after my granddaughter had tubes put into her ears. She was fine, but parents were frazzled, and it so brought back memories. I was totally sympathetic and told my daughter in law to go take a nap. 4:30 mornings are not fun and just irritate the natural trepidations of any kind of surgery on a child. My son went on to work, but would have rather taken a long nap, too.

My younger son had surgeries until he was in the fifth grade, and I am hopeful that my grand will not need them again. Everything was going fine until I changed her diaper. She was scalded from the antibiotics and started screaming, so mommy woke up from a much too short nap.

After checking that her chick was OK, she did get a mental break while we played outside for the rest of the morning. I left her with a reminder to take another nap when her daughter did. I never would have survived the toddler years without regular naps.

As I drove home, I remembered my most traumatic times with my own kids. My older son was pretty healthy, but I remember the anguish of a sprained ankle. He insisted that he was OK and could ride his bike, but I still wonder if I should have taken him to the doctor just to be sure it was "just a sprained ankle." It was much more complicated with the younger son. He had years of tubes, paper implants, and finally at age 10, a tissue implant. He also had his tonsils and adenoids taken out and will always have to stay clear of small ponds and such.

I remember one really hard time when my husband was in Corpus with a hip replacement, and my son was in Victoria with a tubes surgery. I was flying low between Victoria and Rockport when a state trooper pulled me over. He asked if I even knew how fast I was driving, and that was when I broke down. I boohooed that my baby had just had tubes put in and my husband wanted me at his side at 6AM, and I was just concentrating on getting home. He made me promise to use my cruise control, and I dutifully drove home on 55. He didn't ticket me, but I never speed through that little town anymore. I mentally give thanks that God uses state troopers to keep us safe.

As my kids and their kids travel through the challenges of raising children, I am constantly reminded that children are best raised by young parents. The energy it takes to just keep up is a challenge. I was fine as a parent, but I must admit that after playing with grands, a much needed nap always follows. I always leave happy, and am thankful that my kids let me share in the adventures of parenthood. I continue to pray for all members of my family. I pray for their health, happiness, and wellfare. I pray that they get to see the God moments in their lives. God has abundantly blessed us, and I pray that he continues to do so.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Day Is It?

Gosh, time just seems to get away from me. I just reviewed my last two posts, and praise the Lord, my daughter-in-law is in remission for a year now. We visited them about two weeks ago, and I have had two cataract surgeries since I last blogged. I can see the print with OTC glasses now, and reading is once again a pleasure. My next appointment will hook me up with a new prescription, and I will be all set for the next 60 years.

My knee is fine, but bursitis of the hips is showing its ugly head again. Man, sometimes I hate getting old, but most of the time I just keep on trucking. Hubby and I made a trip to Victoria town. I visited and shopped with my mom while the brawn worked the trees. We have hired companies in the area to take care of the fertilizing, spraying, and herbicides. Until my hub retires, the only thing we can handle is the trimming and shaping of the trees. There just aren't enough hours in the year.

Plans and invitations for my mom's 80Th birthday are finished and sent. Relatives and remaining friends are calling, and it should be a fun day for her. She seems to be getting weaker each few months that go by, and I am thankful that she has lived as long as she has. She moved her breathing machine to the bedroom, but still refuses to have home help. Stubborn old gal!

My kids and their families are fine, and I thank God everyday for the blessings that they bring to me. I just smile every time I think about them. Such peace I get even on the bad health days. There are more great days than hard days, thank God.
My younger son will deploy for Afghanistan in September, and every time I hear the withdrawal hype on television I think, "Liars." This world just seems to be getting more complex every day. After this deployment, they are going to try to be stationed in Texas. I pray for his protection and God's blessings on him during this stage of life. He had some issues with random killing of innocents during his last deployment, but was honest enough to talk to us about it. I told him that God uses people in ways that no one can ever understand, and that he is to follow orders. His next deployment will have a job description that won't involve these issues. I just want him safe and for him to come home. Such is the prayer of all military moms.

In the meantime, I grasp to understand the happenings in the world. Satellite makes it convenient to see the devastation happening far away and yet not so far. My cousin's nephew is stationed there. As we watch Japan and pray for God's mercy in this recent catastrophe, I wonder if Japan prayed for us during our times of trouble. Sometimes I wonder how God is working in all of this, but I know that he is in control, and it is not for me to question.

Prophesy tells us that these are but the birth pains of troubles to come. These peeks at the future are scary, but I have determined to make the best of my life each and every day. I pray for these countries as they struggle to understand and hope that the next day will be better. Haiti is still struggling and now Japan. I doubt that these will be the only sad topics in the near years to come. God help us to continue to praise you in these times to come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mixed Feelings

Once again, I am struggling with my frustrations in life. Don't misunderstand, I have a great life 99% of the time, but the one percent always seems to present itself when my husband is gone, and I get to face the aggravations of that 1% by myself.
I have these totally rude neighbors. They live right behind us. Tonight their excuse for rattling my windows with their speakers is supposedly a birthday celebration for a grandmother, 83 today.
I spoke to these 25 year olds about 2:30 when I was awakened from a much needed nap by the first blasts of the cantina music. I was nice, but asked them to just turn their speakers away from my house. Little did I know that my side neighbors paid them a visit and asked them to tone it down. They complied and said that they would turn it up a bit at 7 pm, but the party for granny would be over by 9 PM. Well, it is almost 10, and I have my TV volume turned to its highest notch, I still hear the boom, boom of the base.
It's a good thing that I am a night owl, but I am so ready to move......I want my nice, quiet, gated apartment back. For now, if these ill mannered people don't tone it down by 11PM, I am calling the constable. Maybe the law can shut them down.......

Friday, January 21, 2011

Prayers Answered

Once again, I have been praying for my kids' families. My younger son's wife is now in remission for her 9 month scan. I am praising the Lord for preserving that sweet family which is so precious to me. I can't imagine the anxiety before the tests, feeling good, but wondering if I would be clear. My daughter-in-laws both amaze me with their ability to handle whatever life throws at them.

I rest in the peace I get knowing that both families are in God's hands, I firmly believe if God takes you to it, He will get you through it. So many young women are getting cancer these days, and my prayers and heart goes out to them. I pray that God will bless all the people I know who are being treated for this disease. I pray specifically that God will grant them the peace that comes from faith in God at times like these.

I really don't know how unbelievers make it through the challenges of life and sometimes the life threatening diseases that are so prevalent in today's society. I will pray that all I know will find relief in their darkest hours, and that God will give them a peak at the light at the end of the tunnel.

Good news from my husband about his mom. Her hospital stay isn't over, but it is not life threatening. She will be released on Sunday, and he will come home. He has been down this road so many times with me and my mother. The hospital isn't the most exciting place to be, but our parents receive great comfort when we can be there with them. This decade of our lives will involve many hospital stays, and we have mentally geared up for these times. Many of our friends are in the same circumstances, and all have pretty much accepted the challenge of part time caregivers. In years to come we will be glad that we took the time to be there for our loved ones.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just a Chuckle on Aging

My favorite aunt turned 76 this year, so I sent her a card wishing her a happy 75Th. She informed me last year that she'd had her last birthday. As a baby boomer who turned 60 this year, I completely understand, and I too have endured my last age recognition birth date.

Never ask a women her age used to be the standard rule for good manners, and I am in favor of taking a stand for this rule and applying to my life from this year forward. In twenty years, I think I would rather have people comment that I sure look poorly for a 60 year old instead of commenting you can tell she's 80, bless her heart. I admit that I have a weird way of thinking, but I would rather retort, that's because I am really 80 instead of the polite "and I feel it or and I have earned every one of these gray hairs." I doubt seriously if there will be any gray hairs during this decade either, but one never knows. I might up and decide that I don't mind looking my age and regard my life as a triumph of sorts. I doubt that too.

Writing to Relieve Stress

Once again, I am venting just for my own posterity. It helps. I look back at past posts and think, huh, that is just so unimportant in the real scheme of life. I wonder what triggered my desperation at the time. God is my witness, I am just a worrier. I worry when I don't understand. I worry when no one seems to be able to make me understand. Then, I wonder why I don't understand. I am a fairly intelligent person. I know spiritually that I am not supposed to worry, but I just can't help myself. I tell myself to go on about my business, and do just about anything to distract my thoughts. That results in stupid chest pains that always, always, always have been nothing more than a panic attack in the making. I now curb this anxiety with deep breathing exercises instead of pills. I have finally evolved into an almost in control person I think.

My latest debacle in life has been brought about by a business venture to round out our portfolio. In theory it was supposed to work, and be relatively self sustaining due to income from dividends already in place. The market has dictated otherwise. As a logical person, I know the market will turn in 18 to 24 months, but the trick is to hang on without losing too much of our retirement in the process.

My husband is gainfully employed and always has been. He retired once and is now working in the same capacity, but for more money. The family budget is secure. We have been able to stay even with the investment with our personal funds, but it is tiresome. I am a wizard when it comes to handling the family budget. My husband will willingly give me credit for that. What I am not a genius at is handling large sums of money and the understanding of the interest, what kind of interest, and how that interest affects my pocket book. I am learning. It costs to learn these kinds of lessons. Our accountant says thank you very much with each installment.

The saddest part of this irritation in life is that I had the resources to have avoided it all in the first place. My older son has his Masters in Business, and understands most of the ins and outs of business. It gave me comfort to talk to him last night even when he explained that this wasn't the way we should have invested. He gave me pointers on how to undo the damage, and it will work. He asked if we would be able to handle the work involved until the business was off the ground,and ironically that is the same question I asked myself at the beginning of this venture.

It is possible that I will find relief this week as we talk to bankers about a proper business loan. There is much to be learned ahead, and as long as I don't panic, I will be able to absorb and apply the knowledge.

Yep, just blog to relieve stress.........

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No More Stuff

I Facebooked that there isn't enough Crown in the world for the life collections that are now relocated in our garage. I read that Americans are the only people who store crap in their garages while the 30K+ vehicles sit out in the weather. We are now officially a part of that subculture. It is all I can do to walk into the garage these days.
On one brave trip through, I noticed a box of stuffed animals and huge dinosaur puppets. Just what two, over the hill, almost retired people need for amusement in their golden years!!! Never fear, I think a garage sale is in the future. I hate garage sales, having them verses going to them. I am often sidetracked by a sign or two.
I could also go through each box and then wonder why this or that was saved in the first place. I will just become frustrated if I do that, at least in this busy month.
About February I will tire of getting out in the rain to run errands and begin the job of sorting. Who knows, I might find some treasures........