Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Puppy has a name!

We're naming the puppy Ruth's Sexy Beast!  Our sheltie is Ruth's Texas Ranger so it's a fun theme to follow.  

Josh is really excited and can't wait for me to get the puppy.  He's offered to teach her tricks.  I asked him what tricks he's taught his dogs and he told me that he's taught Shadrach to sit whenever he tells him to lay down.  Sounds like that's a great trick for our family!  Can't you hear it now?  Beast, Lay Down and this itty bitty dog sits!  

When the puppy is old enough, I'm going to have her groomed with a fancy poodle cut.  That way people will think I've invented a shrink ray!  I love all things little!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I like miniatures.  

So, for my birthday, Kevin agreed to a miniature puppy!   I can't pick her up for 2 weeks because she's so small.

She's a teacup (or teeny tiny) poodle.  She's got red hair and is very, very sweet.  She doesn't even weigh 1 lb yet!  And she'll probably only get to 2 1/2 lbs.  I'll have to put her in our pack-n-play until she's bigger!  And I'll have to make sure the cat doesn't mistake her for a mouse!

So, what should I name her?  Suggestions?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the turkeys cheered

When the kids were younger, we would always have a very non-traditional Thanksgiving.  We would have folks come who didn't have close family so we could all hang out together.  And we didn't have a 'normal' Thanksgiving meal.  Some of those things can make a person even more homesick.  So instead, we'd do a theme - Italian - Chinese - Mexican....

I've really missed those meals together with friends.  So this year, after talking with a few people at our church, I think this is the perfect time to bring this tradition back to life.  We'll decide more details later, it's just really neat to know that we're going to pursue it.

I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for all of us and I'm looking forward to seeing who He brings.!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Name Calling

Tonight I was called 'an answer to prayer'.

On Sunday, I met a sweet LeTourneau student who is an exchange student from the university's sister school in Korea.  She asked me about our small groups and in our talking I told her I'd be happy to give her a ride.  She actually called today and wanted to go to our church potluck tonight.  So I picked her up and took her back to the school.

I told her she picked the right person to ask because we've got a loooong history of having college students around.  Her parents are Korean but they are missionaries in Indonesia and live in a very remote village.  One sister lives in Canada, another sister is getting ready to move to Vietnam and her brother is in boarding school in Indonesia.  She really cherishes her local church family.  Even though she'll only be there into December, she wants to jump in with both feet!

Before I dropped her off, she said that she'd asked God to show her if our church was where she was supposed to plug in.  She said when I offered to pick her up and take her home, she knew this was where she was supposed to be.

How encouraging that simply being open to what God brings our way can be a blessing to someone else.

I was an answer to someone's prayer today.  wow.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Theraputic post

I have lots running through my head and maybe this is a good place to write it out and maybe sort it out as I go along.

I don't talk a lot about my father.  I haven't seen him in 27 years.  He has a whole new family and 2 daughters who are younger than my girls and I've never even met them.  It's sad, very sad, but there it is.  My father's brother died a couple days ago and I've been just remembering things in general.

My uncle Paul was the #2 son out of 5 sons.  My dad was #4 son.  My uncle Paul married Doris.  Doris encouraged her sister to write her new brother-in-law (my dad) who was in the Air Force.  So, when my folks got married, it was Paul's brother marrying Doris' sister.  It's actually a very cool thing to have double cousins, where all of our relatives are related, in fact, our family trees are the same., we shared both sets of grandparents.  Uncle Paul's daughter, Susan, once took me to school for show and tell as her double cousin!  My most complete memory of Uncle Paul was that he was a teaser with a twinkle in his eye.  He once told me that the reason he didn't have any hair on the top of his head was because he ate too much peanut butter and it pushed his hair out by the roots.  I was in awe of someone who'd actually eaten that much peanut butter!!!

You'd think, being that much related, that our families would have been close.  But that wasn't the case.  Communication, grace, mercy were not strong traits in my family of origin.  When Uncle Paul married Aunt Doris, he was a divorced man.  My grandfather didn't approve and even went so far as disowning Doris because of the marriage.  Then when my dad married my mom, he was also a divorced man.  For some reason, it was not a problem for my grandfather and that caused a huge amount of friction between the sisters.  I think the brothers tried to stay in the background as much as possible.  For years, the sisters didn't speak to each other.  Even though we were as closely related as was possible, I only remember seeing my aunt and uncle 3 times in my life.  Once, as a little girl, we went to their house for a visit.  Then I saw them at my grandfather's funeral and once here in Texas.  All that bitterness they carried through most of their lives.

Family dynamics are very strange sometimes.  In my mother's family, there were 3 girls.  My mother was the middle daughter and was very much the favored child.  She perpetuated that in our family as my brother was very much the favored child also.  I'm guessing the same awkwardness that my brother and I stuggle with as a result of that were present in my mother's family also.

My dad was 4th of 5 sons.  His mother died of Measles when the youngest son was 6 months old.  My dad was 3 when his mom died.  The youngest son was raised by an aunt and uncle in the same town.  My grandfather brought in a housekeeper who had 2 young daughters of her own.  She eventually married my grandfather but she never wanted to raise those boys.  My dad was the scapegoat in his family.  He was beaten and blamed and he left home as early as he could.

Interestingly, I was the scapegoat in my family.  I was abused and blamed and I left home as early as I could.

I feel sad that the adults from my childhood are now dying.  I feel sad because it's a vivid reminder that the past is over and done, never to be revisited again.  And sad because over time, it is more evident that we are often doomed to repeat the past if we choose not to learn from it the first time.  And sad because the hope for reconciliation is beginning to die out too.  There was no reconciliation in areas of my parents' lives.  And they are perpetuating that with me.  And that is most sad to me.

I refuse to give in to self-pity.  I prefer to turn the hurt into a deep reminder of what NOT to do to my own next generation.  God has so amazingly given Kevin and me the chance to break those chains from the previous generations.  We don't have a favored child in our family and we don't have a scapegoat.  We don't have bitterness or jealousy that rips apart relationships.  Instead, we have acceptance, grace, mercy, unconditional love and acceptance.  

There is a part of me that hurts for what I never experienced in my childhood family.  But more than that hurt, there is a gratitude that Kevin and I were able to give our girls those things we didn't get to experience.  The gratitude outweighs the pain.

This pun's for you

Thanks to Jean for sending these my way.  Believe or not, some of these are new and I truly laughed out loud at them.  If all you can do is groan, that's good enough.  (groaning at puns is for those who are jealous that they didn't think of them first!)

* Police were called to a day care where a 3-year-old was
 resisting a rest.

* To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

* The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

* The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

* Time flies like an arrow; 
fruit flies like a banana.

*  Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft & I'll show you A-flat miner.

* The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

*  A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France
, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

* Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

* Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Talking to myself

So, I've now gone to the fitness center 5 days in a row!  I intend to make it a regular Mon-Fri habit.  I have time to ponder as I sweat so I thought I'd share some ponderings, or in my case, ruminations:

Having control over myself is almost as good as having control over others.

*  I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me.

*  I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain.

* The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do nice things for myself. The third, to find someone to buy me nice things.

* Becoming aware of my character defects leads me naturally to the next step of blaming my parents.

* Before I criticize a man, I walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he's a mile away and barefoot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Going to the gym & losing my clothes

That sounds like an enticing title, doesn't it?  

So, I joined a fitness club and signed up for a laundry service that will wash my workout clothes.  I get a nice locker, 2 clean towels a day and my clean clothes will be folded and put in my locker.  That is, if they don't lose them first.  I was pretty excited to put on fresh work out clothes that I didn't wash except that when I opened the locker, they weren't there.  I went to the front desk and they went searching....and searching....and searching....  I knew they'd find them.  I mean, who wants a t-shirt that says, "Snorkel Kona" and silly looking flowered pants?  They even searched the men's locker room.  

Somehow they ended up in the lost and found and I finally got them back.  It only took an extra hour and luckily, today was the only day I didn't have to pick g'kids up from school.

I observed something today.  There was a time when something like that would've really gotten me upset.  Looking back, I realize that I was usually very intense about life in general and pretty much wanted life to go the way I wanted.  I didn't give people and circumstances much leeway nor grace and mercy.  I'm sorry for that.  I let my schedule become more important than people and people's feelings.

I'm thankful for this time in my life where I can not be as frazzled and I can be more encouraging to others.  After losing my clothes, the folks at the fitness place will probably remember me.  The good thing is that they will remember me for being patient and gracious.  I hope I can make that a habit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Goodbye rain, hello sunshine

It was a long weekend. For the first time in the 26 years that we've lived in Texas, we experienced a tropical storm. Ike came north from Houston straight to Longview before veering east. The rain was constant but not a downpour. It was the soggy ground and wind that contributed to pine trees swaying like palm trees and breaking like toothpicks all over town.

Our power was out for a couple days and the first day we heard a loud crack close by. We went out the back and saw this in our neighbor's yard:
A huge oak tree had fallen onto our neighbor's house.  It fell across the entire house, crushing his kitchen and trapping his car inside his garage.  He had actually been heading to the kitchen when it happened.  This tree is so big that he can't even get a tarp over the roof to protect from further damage.  They first have to get the tree out.  
It looks like this in a lot of places around town.  We spent a long day yesterday picking up debris, mopping up water and raking and raking and raking up pine needles.  The good news is that the front yard is finished and looks great.  And the porch is mopped and cleaned.  All the neighbors were working in their yards yesterday so our street looks back to normal.  That's a nice thing because so many other streets still look like a tropical storm came through.
Kevin and I are sore today!  But we are most grateful that we're all safe and sound. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I confess

I joined a fitness center today. I've been struggling with some strange symptoms this past year. I've had more than just hot flashes and then my heart would start racing and I'd have a hard time breathing. It's been a difficult year health wise. Now that my gallbladder has been removed, most of those strange symptoms have disappeared!

So, now that I'm finally feeling good, it's time to start taking better care of myself. The fitness center has a nursery and the time that I want to go is the quietest time of the day. I'm not a crowd person so that's good and it'll be better for the girls too. Since we got in the habit of going swimming every morning this summer, this will be an easy routine to start. And 5 days a week will make it habit for all of us.

I intend to look as pathetic as possible so that folks will have pity on the old lady.

Oh, and by the way, I finally figured out my problem....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tacky, tacky

Ok, I love these updated lawn ornaments!!

They make me laugh, just looking at the picture!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Julia asked me today,  "Grammy, have you had your last birthday yet?"

I told her, "I hope not" but it certainly makes one think.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...

Julia announced today that she is Ally's big sister.  And Ally is Audrey's big sister and Audrey is Anna-Claire's big sister.  And that makes Anna-Claire the baby.  So Julia and Ally played together telling each other that they were sisters, no matter what.

I think those 2 are on to something there.  Cousins by birth, sisters by choice.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What would you say?

My friend, Patti, posted this on her blog and invited us to do the same.

What would you say if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you?

I've been thinking about this today.  There are three things I'd want everyone to know that I consider most important to me.

1) My Faith.  I am a sinner saved by grace.  I have a Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally and His son, Jesus, died in my place so that I could be reunited with my Father.  I am and have become a different person as a follower of Jesus.  I want people to be able to look back at my life and see Jesus.  And if anyone sees that and wants that for themself, I couldn't ask for more.

2) My Family.  Because God is real, my family is the story of 2 teenagers who married and never should have stayed together, much less prospered in their marriage.  God changes people and Kevin and I are very clear evidence of that truth.  God changed us, then gave us wisdom, grace and mercy to break the chains from our families of origin and instead raise our 3 children in a healthy environment.  Our family was very open and very real.  And now we still like each other.  Our family was a place where you could be accepted and loved unconditionally.  God gives us the chance to love our kids the way He loves us.  And now our kids are putting that into practice in their families.  We have a heritage of grace and mercy.

3) My friends.  I believe we need 3 kinds of friends in our lives: those who need us more than we need them, those who we need more than they need us, and those where there is equal give and take.  The first teaches us to give, the second teaches us to receive and the third teaches us give and take.  All 3 are needed for healthy lives.  Sometimes friends become our chosen family and we have so much to thank God for when He gives us those kinds of friends.

If I didn't have long to live, it would no longer matter how big my house was or how classy my clothes or which car I drove.  It would only matter that I could have the chance to tell my family and friends that I love them.  And then I pray that my last words will be to tell God how much I love Him.

This is a good challenge.  How about you?  Answer this question for yourself and post it here or on your blog.  Your answers may surprise you!

Teaching again

First, the time spent with my friends last night went very, very well.  I give credit to the parents for wanting to do what's best, even when it's way outside their comfort zone.  We'll meet again in January to reassess.

I'm teaching again.  Not really a surprise, I guess.  I'm now teaching 5th and 6th grade Sunday School and I'm really enjoying it.  We're doing it like a pre-youth group so the kids can begin to be friends and connect with each other.  We're using this great curriculum called Grapple that's made for this age group and I am really enjoying it.

Grapple gives the kids their own place on the web.  So this morning I took pictures of 2 of my girls to post on our new website.  These girls are just so sweet.  They were thrilled to be able to have their own place on the web and took turns sending messages to each other.  It's nice to have a very small group.

I'm tired and sore, which is a good reminder that I'm not all the way healed from the surgery yet.  I think I'll take it easy this afternoon and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mediation or running interference?

I've been invited to help mediate a family meeting tonight.  Not my family, but dear friends.    I'm so glad they trust me enough to ask me to help them navigate these unknown waters.  At the same time, I feel a lot more tentative than I used to about these things.  I used to be the first in line to go confront and deal with things and get them resolved.  I'm not like that as much now.  

What's changed?  Is this mellowing with age?  Am I losing some of my own analness?  Am I letting grace and mercy finally flow instead of turning it off and on at will?

One thing that hasn't changed is the knowledge that God is in control and I can do much more good as I keep that in mind.

Starting again

Well, I decided I'd actually give blogging another try.  I don't think I have all that much to say, but I sure do enjoy reading other's blogs about everyday things.  I can do everyday things too, I just hope I can make it interesting enough that folks will want to read it more than just once.

So, here I am.  I'm officially retired from the workforce and ministry.  I'm officially a full time Grammy.  It's been 4 years since I left the outside workforce and 1 year since I retired from ministry.  This year has been filled with trying to bring some kind of order around here.  

Now that the school year has begun, Josh is in morning kindergarten and Julia is in Pre-K on Tues, Wed, and Thurs.  Ally and I have those mornings to ourselves.

I'm not into the new swing of things yet because last week I had unexpected gallbladder surgery.  I had 2 gallbladder attacks in 1 week.  Not pleasant.  The sonogram showed 'more gallstones than could be counted'.  Not pleasant.  Surgery was scheduled for the next day.  Very quick and the surgery itself was in  at 7am and home by 2pm.  However, it was still surgery and I am now missing one of my organs so I've been slowly getting my energy back this week.  It's not as fast as it used to be.  However, I do believe that was the last of my expendable organs.  I'm surprised there isn't an echo when the doc listens to my heartbeat 'cuz it's kinda empty in there these days!

One thing I love about taking care of the grandkids is when I get to see them do something for the first time.  Today Ally (2) tattled on Julia for the first time.  She shyly came up to me and whispered that Julia pushed her.  She had a very impish look on her face.  She'd seen Julia tattle and decided she wanted to do it too.  I told her, 'thanks for telling me, Ally' and she grinned and ran back to the playroom, perfectly content that she'd done something just like Julia!  

At lunch she announced, "I love Julia!" and threw her arms around Julia's neck and squeezed her until their cheeks met, both faces with sweet, sweet smiles.  That was a definite flashback moment to all the times Kylene did the same thing with her friends.  

Life is sweet when it's flavored with granddaughters.

About Me

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Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.