Friday, November 19, 2010

Grown Up!

I finally feel like I have obtained adulthood and passed a milestone!

I remember when our daughter went away to college. She is my neat one. The one who loves to cook and clean and decorate. I think she must have gotten that from my sister. She seems to enjoy doing those types of things. But, anyway, back to the story. My daughter called all excited one day. She was talking so fast that I had to make her back up and slow down. She was exclaiming that she was FINALLY a real woman!!!!!

I was afraid to ask. She very quickly said that she had bought her first vacuum cleaner and was so excited! I was very excited for her then, too! ;)

Well, last night I finally felt like a real woman! (Even though I have had a vacuum cleaner for years.) We went out and bought all new appliances. Yeah... for the first time in my 61 years I had the privilege and honor and responsibility to go out and shop and choose and compare and purchase my very own appliances... all of them.... six... nice ones...

The washer and dryer were delivered Wednesday. Here is a picture of the girls enthralled by the wash cycle. Great entertainment!


I guess you are wondering WHAT is wrong with this picture. Why has this person never had appliances???? I have always had used or hand-me-down or just someone elses. Not that I have not been grateful. I have been blessed by them and very thankful. You see, living in a parsonage most of my adult life, I was at the mercy of what the churches provided. They were always already there and I never did get to be the "first one to use" any of them... or pick them out. That was done for me.

Even after we retired and bought our house, it came with appliances - "okay" ones - old ones, but I did have them and I was very thankful.

So, last night as we were driving home after signing all the papers and scheduling the delivery for Monday, I was very thankful and very emotional. I did not have to settle. I got exactly what I wanted. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

I felt so loved and cared for and so blessed.

God is good to me. My husband is good to me. My children are good to me... but mostly and foremost - GOD IS SO GOOD TO ME!

I'll post more pictures after they are delivered and installed... I am so excited. I can hardly wait... I feel like a REAL woman!

What have you been waiting for?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Naps...

I take naps.

Sometimes I actually plan a nap.

Sometimes I just realize that I've had a nice nap without planning it. Like just now. I was sitting in the chair with 2 precious little ones in my lap watching "Fox and the Hound". Another precious one was on the sofa and the other one was napping in his bed.

I woke up when the mail was delivered and one of them got excited because we had mail.

Yep... it was a good nap. Yeah, it is not wise to not know you are asleep with 4 little ones around. Thankfully, they haven't learned to be quiet and let me sleep.

Okay, now I'm energized and the mail is in and we still have one asleep in his bed.

Life is good.

Hope your surprises turn out as well!

Blessings~

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful?

This morning I put on Christmas music... well, it is offered on satellite tv already. I don't know how long it has been there. I found it the other night and listened for a little while, but turned it off - it just seemed too early!

Now it is on again. But while listening, I was overwhelmed with Thankfulness....

I don't want to miss Thanksgiving. I want to focus on all the things and people and reasons I have for being Thankful. I am blessed beyond measure.

Don't get me wrong. My life is not perfect and I don't have an abundance manifesting in my life in all areas - but I know that I am blessed. My needs are met. I am content. I am thankful!

Sometimes it takes the absence of something to make you realize just how blessed you are!

I have become extremely aware of the importance of family and their impact and love and influence on my life.

To be in the middle of Thanksgiving season should mean to be in the middle of THANKS giving. As I look around me, I'm thankful. I appreciate so much in my life. The answers to prayers is manifest.

How or why I was placed in the family I have and how or why I had my family placed in my life are questions that overwhelm me with God's love and goodness.

A resounding theme in my heart is "thank You! I am blessed beyond measure!" I just don't know of another way to express what my heart is experiencing.

I pray that you, too are blessed beyond measure. If you don't "feel" that way, then look around you and begin to count your blessings and start thanking God for what good you do have.

Blessings upon BLESSINGS to you today~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

My all time favorite cartoon strip is Charlie Brown. It was mama's too... and Aunt Grace's (that's a whole nother post and love!)

One of our family-isms was "good GRIEF!!! Charlie Brown!!!". You see we were not allowed to cuss or use slang. I almost got a whipping (that is Southern for spanking or disciplined) for saying "DARN!" one day when my daddy happened to be home. So we resorted to non-slang outbursts.

One of my most vivid memories is my daddy waking up to receive a call and his response after a short listen was, "MY STARS, Jack!!!". It was the most upset I'd ever seen or heard him (at that time - years later I did my share of upsetting him, but I never got that response!).

I guess I'm especially thinking about grief lately and the process. It is so unpredictable. Is it GOOD or can it be?

I think so.

Over the past 4 years, I've dealt with the loss of my mama. She has been there physically, but not mentally. So, after our visits home I would sob and grieve for the mama I used to have. That was not a good grief. It was an unfinished grief. I was still holding on to the memory of mama and hoping that she would return to that. It was like an open wound that would not heal.

Life changes. Some are good, some are bad. This may sound harsh, but now I can move on and truly grieve the loss of my mama. That is good. The process is not fun. It is not easy. It is unbearable at times. But... we do heal.

I've been thinking of the process that I so glibly shared with people - you know... Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance.

Before, I could do all the steps except "Acceptance". Now, I can complete the cycle.

But, I'm also understanding more. The "Denial" is not denying that they are dead - it can be, but for me it was denying that life had changed and that it affected me. I DOES affect me in the deepest level and eternally. The good part of that is that now mama is in heaven and her prayers are still covering me - but she sees and knows more now how to pray for me and my family... the prayers will never stop.

The "Anger" is not necessarily at the person who died - it can be and often is. But, it is random, frustrated anger that just surfaces without rhyme or reason. It surfaces at odd times in odd ways. This is actually comforting to know if you are not the one grieving and someone has an unexplained outburst of anger.

I haven't experienced the "Bargaining" yet - at least I have not identified it. I don't know how it will manifest itself. I don't know if I'm going to try to bargain with God or a person or myself... or go shopping and try to get a great deal! (LOL)... I think that last would probably be considered "therapy"... as in retail therapy...

Now the depression I understand. The hopelessness and helplessness and just despair. I have been blessed in that I'm not a depressed person. I have experienced depression, but it does not hang around long. I think that now, I just experience a deep sense of loss and sadness. It is easiest to tell if someone is stuck in grief if the depression just hangs on. It is natural and normal to go through it - the key is "go through". It is not healthy or good to hang on to it.

It really is okay to be happy and joyful!

The final stage is acceptance. I expect to get there soon. It is more than accept the death. It is also accepting their life, who they were and what they meant to you. Accepting how they treated you and how they loved you and how they behaved and died.

Part of my acceptance has been to realize that long before we knew mama had alzheimers we did not understand her behavior and wondered why she was acting so strange. We simply discounted her statements and tried to talk her out of it. I wish now that I had been more sensitive and discerning. So, part of the acceptance for me is accepting MY actions and forgiving myself.

Moving on... I truly believe that it is "good grief" because I was blessed with a wonderful good mama and the going through process enables me to appreciate who she was and be thankful.

Thank you for "listening" as I process!
Blessings~

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Daddy



My Sweet Daddy

This picture was taken just a few days after Mama died. It was the day after her funeral. We had gone to visit in his new "home" - the assisted living apartment.

The girls and their children were still in town and wanted to see it and him before they left to go back home. He put his hat on to model it for the grandchildren. How special he is!

Daddy loved mama. They dated four years and were married for 68 years. She served him all those 72 years. She took care of him. She loved him. She took a back seat to him. He had the very public ministry and mission. She never wanted to overshadow or outshine him.

He traveled all over the world in ministry. He worked long hours when he was home. She never complained. He would call from the office and say he was ready to be picked up. (We only had one car.) She would go and sit outside his office in the car while he "finished up" - which could be hours because he might get started on another project or stopped by someone and forget he had called her. She didn't complain. She just waited and read or sang and when he got in the car she would smile and ask how his day had been.

He had a stroke. The only time he was ever really sick. She stayed right with him and took care of him. She nursed him back to complete health.

Years later when she began with the memory problems, he stopped his life to take care of her. He did nothing but make sure she was okay. He made sure she got to the doctor and took her medicine and ate. He worked at entertaining her and loving her. Even when she was unlovable because she didn't know who he was, he loved her.

He gave up his home and his freedom just to be with her. These last few months he just sat and watched her. She had care for bathing and dressing and changing and medicines. She mainly was in the bed, but he just sat and watched her to make sure she didn't fall out of the hospital bed.

It has been a long four years for him. He had purpose. He had a reason. He was motivated by a deep love and commitment. He would not leave her alone to even go to doctors appointments for himself. His dedication and love are something that kept her alive as long as she lived. It also kept him alive.

My prayer now is that he will find another purpose and reason and mission to keep on living. He has so much to share - so much wisdom and knowledge. He is such a special man.

I have been extremely blessed by my parents - and by the example they have set for serving God and each other. I hope you have been, too!

Blessings~

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Story of True Love - A Celebration of Life


My sweet Mama ...

This is post has been written over many days.... it has been a very different couple of weeks for me. I have been in Georgia, Oklahoma and back in Georgia and now home again.

If you are my friend on Facebook or a close friend, you know why.

My sweet little mama has had her last days.

March 19, 1922 began the life of Sarah Elizabeth Bennett Freeman - known as Bess. She was a treasure and a blessing. Her humor is known all over. Her love is felt by thousands - but especially by her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She met Ross (George Ross Freeman, Sr.) when she was 16 and he was 15. He was the handsome 85 pound center of the Tennille football team. She met him on a double date. He had a date with her younger sister, Mae, and she was with someone else. After that night, she informed Mae that she was very interested in Ross (if Mae was not). They began dating then.

After they graduated from high school that year (yes, he was 15 and she was 16), she had to move to Baltimore to live with her sister Connie and Yankie. It was during the depression and she needed a job to help support her family back home. Then she went to Toccoa Bible School in Toccoa, GA. It was there that Ross sent her a letter saying, "come to Macon and marry me!" She threw up her hands and shouted, "HALLELUJAH!!!!". She was on the next bus to Macon.

They married on June 15, 1942. He was going to school at Mercer and was city missionary for the Methodist church.

They were moved to Darien where he pastored 9 churches and had 2 children. Then they moved to Baxley where I was born. They had only 6 churches there. Next they moved to Woodstock where he only had 3 churches. Their career in ministry just moved on and up through many different facets.

Fast forward 64 years.... after many different roles in serving the church by Ross.... and also Bess. She was there with him, helping him, serving him, supporting him.

In December 2006, we began to realize that something was wrong with her. She just sat and cried. She couldn't remember names and places and basic facts. They said she had small vessel disease in the brain - it boiled down to the dread horrible disease of Alzheimers.

Daddy stopped his busy life. He had traveled and preached and ministered and held conferences and seminars all over. He made the decision to stay with her and take care of her. My nephew, Greg, moved in and because he worked at night, he was there during the day to help. He took up the shopping and much care for mama. Because of Greg's sacrifice and love, they were able to stay in their home until last November.

Daddy, who loves peanuts and popcorn - especially while watching sports, had developed diverticulitis. Eating his favorite things irritated this and he began to bleed - and almost bled to death. At this time the decision was made to move them into a home. Mama HAD to have the memory care and daddy needed more help in caring for her. They were moved into a wonderful new place for memory care.

We made the L.O.N.G. trip back and forth to Georgia as often as we could. That was our vacation 4 years. During these visits mama would recognize me at some point. Mostly, I was a stranger and she would talk and love me and be the perfect hostess or guest (depending on where she thought she was). She began to recognize and respond less and less. The last year, she did not know me at all.

Meanwhile, Daddy stayed right with her. We encouraged him to stay home and let the memory care home care for her since they were trained in that. Mama didn't know him anyway most of the time and she became very aggressive and confrontational. At times she bit him and kicked him and pinched him. She did not know him. Yet, he stayed and loved her and would not leave her side.

He gave up all his activities. He quit going to church. He did not want to go to the doctor or barber or anywhere and leave her. Only if my wonderful sister or sister-in-love would stay with mama would daddy leave.

Earlier this summer my brother moved them to a home closer to him. Everyday they would go and check on them. It was determined about 3 weeks ago that mama needed hospice. The staff at the home could not take care of mama's needs. My sister called to let me know that she was on oxygen and declining - her systems were shutting down - she was dying ....

We determined that we needed to go so we made arrangements. Got there and visited and loved on her for a couple of days. Hospice said she could last for weeks. We decided to come home on Sunday. Neither of us wanted to leave, but having been assured we had weeks, we decided that we needed to journey back. About 9 hours into our trip my brother called to tell us they had moved mama to the hospice facility and would be giving her morphine and she was showing all signs of dying.

We came home, washed clothes and repacked, slept a few hours and headed back. We got in Monday night and were able to visit with her and kiss her and love on her awhile. I told her that I loved her and thanked her for waiting for me to come back and said it was okay to go ahead to the other side. She had wanted to go for so long. In fact, about the only thing I had understood her clearly to say in the past year was that she wanted to die.

My nephew stayed with her through the night. We got a call a little after midnight Tuesday that she was going and we should come on. I got ready and by the time we got there she had taken her last breath. It was 2:05 am October 19, 2010.

We all gathered around her and prayed and thanked God for her life. My sister and her husband, my brother and his wife, my nephew and niece and of course, Daddy were all there. We celebrated her life and rejoiced in tears at her release.

She was a good woman. She was a godly woman. She loved her husband and children to a fault! She was shameless in her love for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Everywhere she went, she wore a butterfly to represent her faith - she was a new creation. She loved pink roses. She loved butterflies and took great joy in seeing them.

At her burial butterflies were released just for her - they flew away and then landed on the blanket of roses covering her casket.

Daddy has remained by her side. He has cared for her lovingly and intentionally. The staff at the home talked about the love and devotion he had. One girl, in particular, got so emotional and said that she wished she had someone who loved her so much.

The witness and example of love and devotion shown by both my parents to each other. They could not do enough for each other. Their love was evident to the world.

I have been blessed beyond measure with my family. We walk in love. We walk in unity. We walk in Jesus.

Thank you, for letting me share!

Blessings~

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Friends...

We have lived in our home for a little over 2 years now. We love where we are and we have great neighbors and wonderful children and grandchildren. We have church people and members on the weekend in Oz.

They keep our lives full... and empty at the same time. I don't mean that in a negative way ... it is just that we have not had any friends or social life since we moved here.

Sadly, we have been lonesome. We have wanted someone to share life who is in the same stage we are in. There is much to be said about being surrounded by those older and younger. They keep us balanced and things in perspective. They keep us humble and full of hope for the future!

There is also something about having people to relate to on the same level. If any one of those groups is missing, then life is missing a huge piece!

We were missing part of life and it was beginning to show ...

During the summer Hugsum took me to Branson. I did not want to go. Honestly, it seemed like a huge waste of time and money. The idea of the tourist city was repulsive to me. I admit that I went grudgingly and grumpily.

On the way, I posted of Facebook that we were headed to Branson. Almost immediately, a friend recommended that we see SIX. I casually mentioned that to Hugsum and he jumped on the suggestion.

I began to fret. I did not want to go to some show that was bad and even though my friend had highly recommended it, I was not sure. You see, I had not seen or spoken to her since 1966! We had been best friends in the the 6th and 7th grade. In high school we drifted apart and were not close. I did not know her life in the 44 years after she graduated. I was not sure about trusting her recommendation. I did not know if we had the same standard, likes, dislikes, etc.

We got tickets and went in to the show and sat down next to some nice ladies. They were talking and laughing. One of the four leaned up and said, "I wish our chairs were in a circle so I could hear what everyone is saying." I leaned up and said, "I wish you would ALL speak a little louder because I can't hear a THING you are saying!"

We all laughed and shared and became friends. They included me in their conversation. The funny thing is, they are from the same town we are and we exchanged names and numbers and decided to get together.

Last Sunday night they invited us to their home group that was just starting. We had such a nice time. Hugsum met their husbands and we all became friends. How nice to have friends that share the same stage of life we are experiencing. They are also on the same page we are spiritually. We just seemed to fit. We shared life. We shared Jesus. We shared emotion and experiences.

God is good. He provided exceedingly more than we could have asked or thought.... even though I was grumpy and cantankerous about going to Branson, God had a plan..... WHY do I doubt and fight against what God is doing???

What is God doing in your life these days? Are you fighting it?

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Mind!

The mind.... At times it seems like mine wanders and I can't find it!

The way the day looks, or even the way that LIFE looks is determined by the mind and what it focuses on.

We are instructed to "think on THESE things" ... what is true, just, beautiful, admiral, of good report ...

We also know that where the mind goes the body will follow ...

The words that we speak are a result of the thoughts we think. The actions that we take are also a result of the thoughts we think...

Where we are today is because of what we did, said and thought yesterday!

I am changing! I am becoming! I am headed toward something!

.... and so are you!

Do you want to know what the future holds? Then look at your thoughts of yesterday. If you don't like where you are, then all you have to do is CHANGE those thoughts today!

YEP... it is that simple. (I did not say "easy")

You change your thoughts by renewing your mind.

What do you need to be thinking about today?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Many Things... Celebrating is BIG...

We are celebrating and rejoicing. This week we have three wonderful birthdays and next week we have 2 more.

My two sons-in-law have birthdays this week. Yeah, I'm blessed with them. The first birthday was Tuesday, today is our daughter's (1st sil's wife) and then Saturday is our 2nd sil's birthday.

Next week on Wednesday is our 5th grandchild's birthday. She will be 2 and then on Friday Hugsum turns 65! That one is a biggie.

Not sure how I'm going to celebrate that one. Usually, he likes to just ignore his birthday. He is on a strict diet and so cake and ice cream are out of the question. When I ask what he wants, he says, "don't spend any money"...

Anyway, we are blessed. I love my family and thank God for each one that was either born to us or married in.

How are you celebrating September?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Dozen



1. Do you do garage sales? If so, tell me about one great find. If not, tell me why not.
YES! I love garage sales! Last weekend in Oz they had their annual 100 mile garage sale. It was overwhelming - too much for even me!
The best thing I have gotten lately is a FisherPrice doll house complete with furniture and a family. I think I paid $5 for it. It is so much fun to listen as the grandkids roll play with all the little people. There is even a grandmama and I LOVE to hear them play with her. It is hilarious to listen to "me" talking.

2. Name the last thing you fixed.
Besides a meal? ... a cup of coffee??? Okay, so something that was broken ... I'm struggling here. I know that I'm constantly "fixing" things. Just can't bring it up to the top of my brain right now. More than likely it was a toy. I fix those constantly!

3. Name your A) Favorite item of makeup OR B) Favorite tool
Right now I'm not real fond of any of my makeup and am considering changing from the Bare Minerals type back to a liquid foundation (hoping to cover wrinkles better and fill in the not-so-fine lines). There is one thing that I do love now that I think about it... It is my eyeliner... smudge proof, water proof ... Maybelline, Unstoppable, Espresso. Yeah, I do love that.

4. Which room in your home needs organizing more than any other?
Without a doubt, my laundry room is a disaster and needs organizing. It has become the junk room where I deposit everything that I don't know what else to do with ... It has a small counter refrig for cokes and waters, a water distiller, a large upright freezer, toys, carpet cleaner, all my small appliances, cookbooks, bakers rack, dog food and more toys, diapers, wipes, serving dishes ... and trash can - not to mention the washer and dryer and all the related items.
HELP!!!! Too much stuff is in there!

5. Which room could use re-decorating?
The whole house really, but the guest/grandkids room really needs a new fresh look.

6. Share something unique about your town.
I live here... hehe... okay, so I have lived many places. Ummm It is a suburb of Tulsa, the home of Rhema, I think it is the 2nd or 3rd largest town in our state (even though we consider it small town). Other than those things, I really don't know much... the name means peace... so I'm struggling here.

7. If you could send a one-sentence message to your great-grandchild, what would it be?
Have faith in God and trust Jesus, NOTHING else matters!

8. Do you Facebook?
Yes... yes ... and way too much, yes!

9. Describe your favorite shoes.
Right now, I don't have a pair that I'm super crazy about. My "go to" shoe right now is a flip flop. I'm on the look out for a nice pair of navy flats. I have a feeling when I find them, they will be my favs.

10. Do you listen to more talk radio or more music radio? What kind of station is it?
If I'm in the car w/ hugsum, he turns it to talk radio. If it is just me, then it will be praise and worship music. More often than not I enjoy the complete silence and so don't turn on anything.

11. How far would you travel for a really good (favorite) meal?
We have been known to drive 6 hours to Zaxbys to get the BEST chicken fingers and tater chips ever! (Sorry to my friends who own Chick-fil-A - that is my 2nd all time favorite!) We don't have Zaxbys in our state and if I had enough nickles to my name, I'd change that in a heartbeat!

12. If you were totally honest with yourself (and us) what should you probably be doing right now instead of blogging?
I'd be working on my dissertation... uhhhhh that thing is looming over my head like a huge heavy weight!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today I'm BACK!

I've missed blogging. Same story I've been saying for about a year now. I still miss it. Maybe I'll be able to get back and regularly blog... That's my plan - AGAIN!

My life is full. It is fun! It is active. I'm so incredibly thankful.
I've come a long way in a year. I've got my priorities in order.
I've got so much to share with the world .... I doubt that I share, but I don't have to.

I can just start where I am and don't have to backtrack and live in the past. I'm looking forward to the future with much anticipation.

So, today I had the joy of keeping four grandchildren. ... plus the cutest little grandpuppy. Andy is not that crazy about little Maddie, but that is okay. He will get used to having her around. It is funny because it is payback time for Andy. Maddie just loves Andy and irritates him. Andy used to do that when he was a little puppy...

Today we colored, watched Snow White, played with puzzles and transformers and dolls and balls... we jumped and did forward rolls and sang and tickled.... just to mention a few things...

Yes, life is good. I would love to expand my territory ... I would love to do lots of things. One day I can... I will ...

Meanwhile..... I'm happy and content and satisfied.

Hope your life is good!
Blessings

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Random Dozen and Back to Blogging!

1. What insect are you most afraid of? Feel free to post a picture.
I not afraid of any insects. I don't like any of them, especially those that fly at me or land on me - unless it is a butterfly... I love those!

2. What is the greenest/most organic thing about you or that you do?
This one brings me much condemnation. I try to be green and organic in things, but fail miserably! If money, time and convenience were no object, I would buy all organic food and compost and recycle. However ... money, time and convenience normally supersede my "green side".

3. Tell me about a recurring dream that haunts you.
I have recurring dreams about hair. It is strange hair in strange places... like being by a pool knowing that I just shaved and being horrified to find a huge patch of long dark hair on the back of my leg. I have no idea what it means.

4. Have you ever missed a flight? What were the circumstances?
No. I've been blessed.

5. What do you consider your best feature?
Physically ... At this time of life, I've noticed that my "best" features are not what they used to be. The other day as I was dressing I decided that my back is the "youngest" looking part of my body. I have a nice back.... Having said that, I keep it covered unless I'm in a bathing suit.


6. What was the last concert you went to?
This year we have been to two. This is notable because I can't remember going to one for many many years - in fact, I think the last one was Carmen - in 1990!

In the spring we went to a concert by ____ Mayer (so good I can't remember his name). His group did the Beatles songs. It was okay. We left at intermission.

In June we went to Branson to the SIX concert. Not THAT was great! I highly recommend that one.

7. Describe the most embarrassing church moment you ever experienced.
As a pastor's wife there are way too many! The last time my husband asked me to read the scripture I put so much enthusiasm and emphasis in it that he has never asked me again!

One time I was to sing a special - acapella. In the middle of the song I went completely blank and could not remember the words or tune. I was so embarrassed I ran out the back of the church in tears. That was over 30 years ago and I'm still totally humiliated.

8. Are you a whistler, hummer or singer?
All... it just depends. Sometimes I'll start whistling and then singing and then hum... The difference is whether I remember the words or not. If I start out singing and go blank (which seems to be a trait of mine, see above question) then I will hum or whistle.

9. George Washington Carver said, "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." What is God saying to you through nature today, or this very minute?
ahhhhh... have to get back to this one. Sesame Street is what is tuned in right now - along with 4 precious little ones...

10. On September, 1, 1752, the Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia. What memorable event will take place in your life on September 1, 2010?
Guess I'll have to make sure to make one.

11. Taco Bell or the Liberty Bell? (You must choose.)
Liberty Bell.... uh, what kind of food do they serve?

12. Do you believe men and women can have purely platonic friendships?
I do believe it is possible. However, my husband does not think so. I would say that for women it is and for men it is not... therefore, my answer would be "no"....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Catch-Up

Obviously, I haven't blogged much this summer. I guess it's time to catch up.

We have had a fun summer. Spent time in the pool and traveling and playing with some of our grandkids.

We visited family in southern Florida and also in north Georgia. Then we went to Wisconsin and visited more family.

Lots of different things have happened. I planted a garden and harvested a handful of fruits and veggies. Not sure what happened to my bumper crop. I guess that the extreme heat and lack of rain and interest contributed greatly to the crop I did not have.

We did a good bit of work in the yard in the spring, but our yard is in horrible condition now. The grass is DEAD! Even watering it didn't bring it back to life. I killed 2 lavender plants and a clematis along with many MANY geranium. When I took my lavender plants back to Lowes the guy told me he was going to report me for murder! (LOL)

Last night I went to Walmart. I meandered out to the garden center just to see what clearance plants they had. I figured I could get some half/dead plants to replace the dead ones I have and my yard would look twice as good. Theirs didn't look much better than mine. As I was walking out I heard the girl who was working out there. She had her iPod in her ears and was singing at the top of her lungs - something in Spanish.... she was actually pretty good but would have been really embarrassed if she had known that I was still out there. It made me feel good and happy because I knew she was really enjoying herself and doing what she loved. (and getting paid for it!)

So, nursing school started today. I am playing with grandkids. I had one all summer (except for the trips - and I offered to take him with us then). We have done lots of reading already. Gearing up for the new schedules all around.

Life is good. It is getting better and better. Healing is happening!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Evaluating - ME

Okay, so that is a scary thought...

I have just been faced with myself and parts are not very pretty...

I am a pleaser. I want to please people. I want you to like me. I want things to be smooth and peaceful.

I would venture to say that one of my greatest fears is that you would not be "pleased" with me and you would not like me.

Having said that, I have come to realize that I have sold myself. I have not learned who I am. At age 60 that is a very sad commentary. It took me 25 years to tell my husband, who LOVES submarine sandwiches, that I do NOT like them! Yeah, he was shocked! I ate them without a word for 25 years. I hid my gags... and dislike, just to please him. Then one day, I told him. Every now and then, I can eat one and enjoy it. That is also a shock to him.

Sad ... I know ...

There are other things that bother me. There are many things that I have prayed/asked to receive but after having them, I soon find out that I really don't want them or am disappointed or they have become a bondage.

Then, I become a complainer and murmurer. Neither one is very befitting someone named "merrie"!

I have become my mama... She was good at being nice and sweet to your face, but to everyone else complain about what was going on and how she was being "used"...

Last night I was told that I was acting like a martyr. Pretty painful confrontation - but no offense taken because I was seeking answers.

So, in self reflection (with the help of the Holy Spirit) I have determined that I do not know myself and to my own self have not been true.

I have said one thing and meant another because I was trying to please and not hurt feelings. When the result has been that I have hurt myself.... again, SAD!

Fear of rejection pales in the light that the One who matters, loves me and did not reject me and will not reject me and will never leave me nor forsake me. In the light of that, I have NOTHING to fear!

So, I'm on a quest to become fully me. I am going to stop worrying about pleasing anyone but Jesus. I am going to seek after being all that I was created to be.

I'm sorry if you don't like me anymore. I'm sorry if you aren't pleased. I'm no longer going to seek your approval.

ahhhhhh, peace, joy, contentment!!!!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Good Tweets

I've been really blessed lately by some tweets. I don't normally "tweet" myself, but I do enjoy reading a couple of my tweet friends. They are generations apart in age, but their wisdom is common. One is my age and others are my children's age.

Some of these little bits of wisdom have changed my day and my attitude and hit between the eyes at just the right time.

"I talk to myself. Today it's: I know what to do, what to say, where to go. I'm in the know. God has put within me the ability to produce wealth!" (Beverly)

"Love keeps no record of wrongs, but bitterness keeps detailed accounts." C.Groeschel (Jon)

"People keep God at an arms length so they can pull Him close when they want Him and push Him away when they don't" (Jon)

"When what you are saying makes no sense, talking louder won't clarify your meaning." (Mandy)

"I must realize that my obedience even in the small details has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind ..." (Beverly)

"The fastest way to pass your own expectations is to add passion to your labor." - Mike Litman (Beverly)

"Fear is the 3rd party in most transactions. Salespeople fear rejection, failure. Client fears YOU! Salespeople are viewed as fear creators." (Beverly)

"Everything is sales. My experience is parenting is the most important sales position out there!" - Zig Ziglar (Beverly)

"You don't have to understand everything to believe in something" (Jon)

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him, his own." -Benjamin Disraeli (Beverly)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summe 2010

Well..... hello there.... it's been such a long long time....
How ya doin?
We've been doin' fine!

How's the family?
Please give them our love...

Talk with you later....
Gotta go run and get some stuff done. Ethan is asleep and the yard is calling... the pool looks amazing! Maybe I'll venture in later on today....
Come join me if you'd like...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Random Dozen - One Thing



1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?

My "go-to" meal is a salad. I always have salad stuff and it is fast and healthy and I love them!

2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)

Earrings - I am "naked" without them.

3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?

The BEACH!!!

4. Share one factoid of your family's history.

In the 1800's my great great great grandfather was born in a covered wagon in Tennessee. He then moved to Oklahoma as a Methodist Preacher/Circuit Rider. Now, we live out here. I was so surprised to find that there is a HUGE Bennett Family Reunion in Oklahoma. How neat is that?

5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ...."

.... wanted to be a princess... - wait I STILL do! Okay then .... lived in a land far away where the waves hit the sand and the sun shone brightly and the weather was WARM!

6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be?

The practical thing would be gas for the cars. ... however, not known for practicality, I would choose FRUIT! Yeah... all kinds... yummmmm

7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...."

I enjoy mornings and nights - not so much the middle of the day. I could sleep for hours during the day, wake up real early and love to stay up real late.

8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?

A Cliff bar...

9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...."

My grandkids.. (okay, so that is 7)

10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?

Study Medical Terminology for my ND.

11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?

Smile... actually, pray for them

12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?

Vacation...


Psalm 84:10a: Better is ONE day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekend Battle/Joy

This past weekend I did something that I rarely ever do. I stayed home from Oz alone.

Through the years I have allowed hurts and rejections and just stuff to build up. It was beginning to choke me and drown out my joy. I was to the point that I could not function.

About a month ago Hugsum and I had gone on a date to a concert. I should have been happy and joyful and enjoying it. I was not. I was on the verge of tears. I could hardly hold them in. I finally looked at him and said, "I have to have help".

This past year has been a hard one. I won't go into details, but I'll just say that I have been stripped down to the nubs emotionally and spiritually. I have been beaten up ... There have been so many battles on so many different fronts that I just completely closed up my emotions and did my best to make it through the day. I would fall into bed exhausted at 8.

I did not know how to handle any of what was going on and there was nothing that I could do about the outcome of anything - except pray... which is exactly what I did. I was numb and didn't feel anything, but I prayed.

So last week I just announced that I need to stay home. I needed to get Face to face with God. I HAD to have His touch and His healing.

Thursday night I had a dream/vision of a banner running through my head. It said, "I came to heal the broken hearted". It was in different fonts and colors... continuously changing.

I began to stand on that vision that my heart, which had been broken, would be healed.

I spent all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday in prayer and Bible study. I repented, I forgave, I was forgiven. I talked and prayed and shared with Father all that I could think of... everything that was in my heart and on my heart and He touched it and removed the pain. I was healed from the inside. I was healed from the hurts and pain.

By the time Hugsum got home, I felt free and had a deep joy. He said he felt like he had a new wife. It was wonderful!

I came to the point that if nothing about any of the circumstances changed, it is OK. I can live with it. I HAVE to live with it because it involves other's decisions. But the point is that I can live. I had been so depressed, so broken, so despondent that I didn't really care if I lived or not.

Please don't judge me. I have hope of my salvation. I was not about to take my life. I just did not want to live like I was living with so much grief and pain.

The circumstances did not change. I was changed!

I love that now I know that Jesus is enough. I don't have to worry. I don't have to fret. I don't have to be careful about what I say or do or think. He is enough. He can handle it all. He has restored my hope and my joy and renewed my purpose.

Can I tell you... that is such a relief and such a blessing! I wonder why I didn't do this sooner. Well, actually, I had not come to the end of myself. I had not bottomed out. I was still trying to "hold on" and figure it all out. I had to give up.

How nice it is now to not be burdened with grief and guilt and condemnation and striving to please.

Jesus is truly all I need!

Now... as a side note - I'm still far from perfect. I still blow it (I did yesterday). I still have to work through some issues. However, I am confident in the knowledge that no matter what, I am okay. I am going to be fine. I don't have to worry.... I can get back to that place. I know where it is and how to get there. I know the Answer!

ahhhhhhh, now THAT's the life worth living! I think that I'll enjoy my pool and the sunshine and the grandbabies and their parents that I can.

I love my life!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Because there is LIFE

So, I have felt absent from the world lately. I have not blogged much. I have not posted much on facebook. I rarely look at twitter. I don't even email much. I rarely talk on the phone except to the kids.

WHY?????

Good question. I'm so glad you asked...
I'm living life. I'm developing relationships with the grandkids....

I hope you are having a good life without me... I'm enjoying mine!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Forty-Two

no, not my age.... It might be nice to be 42 again. However, I'm referring to something entirely different.

When I was 18 years old I had been out of high school for one year. (Yes, I graduated at 17)

A friend of mine in college came up with an absolutely WONDERFUL idea! We would not go to school spring quarter and we would get a full time job. Our plans were to save every penny and spend the summer in Europe.

We both got a job in downtown Atlanta in one of the banks. I worked in the vault with all the cds and things like that. My boss was a career lady who walked around with a cigarette in her mouth and dropped ashes all over everyone.

But, I digress....

I have a very wise daddy. He said that if I let him chose the group then he would pay for my trip. Well, I was blond, but I was not DUMB! That meant I could spend the money I was making! So I agreed. Little did I realize ....

I do need to digress now. I don't remember if I ever mentioned that my daddy was Assistant to the Dean of the School of Theology at Candler - Emory University. He had lots of friends. One of the professors took many groups to Europe and the Holy Lands. Sooooooo, daddy worked out a deal with Dr. Gordon Thompson. What a mighty man of God. He and his precious wife were gracious enough to take me with them.

The10 day tour consisted of 98% retired people, most of whom were pastors and their wives. There was one 18 year old girl besides me in the group. She was an extremely unhappy, very overweight and super depressed girl.

Yeah... I didn't know this until I got on the trip. I had visions of world travel and freedom and adventure. Not so much! The rule was that we had to always travel in pairs.... She never wanted to explore on our free time. Again, that is another story for another day. She was grieving the death of her father and the new boyfriends her mother was bringing home... I felt sorry for her, only .... So anyway, I was stuck either with the group or in the room.

It really was a wonderful trip. We traveled all over Europe and the Holy Lands. It was 1968. It was an eye opener and life changer. Things were much different then in the world. One of our stops was in Italy. Our guide and leader had a favorite shop in each country. In Rome it was a cameo "factory". We were able to see them making cameos.

Now, as an 18 year old I was not impressed with the "old lady" typical cameos. However, there was one that caught my eye and heart. I HAD to have it. It was a beautiful graceful full figure girl with long flowing gown and hair blowing in the wind. I splurged and happily packed the ring into my bags.

All along the trip I would pick up different gifts for people back home. At the end of the trip I was feeling so good about everything I had gotten for my family. (none of which I can remember now except the cameo) As I began to unpack and share my trip I realized that I had not gotten anything for mama. HOW COULD I?????? She had sacrificed for me to go. She was my best friend!

I quickly checked out the goodies and made a snap decision to give her my most prized souvenir... the beautiful cameo ring. I should have planned better. I should have thought it through more.

She was not a "ring" person. It was a very large ring and it did not look pretty on her hand. She received it, but to my knowledge never wore it.

I hate to admit it, but I grieved over the ring. I wanted it because it was so different. I wanted it because .... well... I just loved it. Honestly, I felt cheated out of it.

So, after mama began to mentally leave us, I began to look for the ring. I had had a glimpse of it years earlier in her jewelry case. After going through all her jewelry on this last trip I came across what looked exactly like my ring. However, it was not a ring, but a pendant/broach.

I shamelessly brought it home. I took it to the jewelers and had them check it out. YES! It had been changed from ring to pin. (I still had NEVER seen it on her.)

So, I had them transform it back into a ring. I picked it up yesterday. I was so emotional when I put it on my finger. After 42 YEARS I finally could wear my ring.

Here are a couple of pictures of it. They are not good - not sure why I couldn't get a good shot of it. I tried several different angles and settings, but it just didn't show up and do it justice.






Yes, I did a happy dance. I smiled all the way home. I felt like something had been restored to my life that I had allowed to slip through my hands.

I praise the Lord. I know this is just the beginning of things to come....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Flexible Are You?

My friend, Peggy, posted this on Facebook. I couldn't resist putting it here.

These sisters are amazing. This was done in 1944. The first part is a "cute" little song about potatoes... after about the first 45 seconds it gets unbelievable!

Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Dozen



1. Ever had any run-ins with the "library police?"

I have been "shushed" frequently. The library around here is hard to deal with so I don't go. When the kids were young we went often. They were guilty of trying to check out too many books and we had to replace them. Also, the movies were a weakness and example of our "over indulgence".

2. Do you have a special organizational plan and place for wrapping paper, gift bags, etc., or do you just purchase whatever you need as you give gifts?

I do have a nice big long plastic bin that I keep in my hall closet. It is mainly for Christmas paper, but I also have bags and tissue paper there. My bows and ribbon are in a box in the same closet. However, when I really want to be a blessing (as in impress and not embarrass myself) I go buy something new for the gift.

3. Have you ever been in (first-hand witness) a natural disaster?

Depends on your definition of "natural disaster". I have created many disasters in my kitchen. However, I don't remember anything like a flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc happening in my personal presence. I just missed being in a flood by a week because we moved. We have barely missed tornadoes on our trips across country. We found out listening to the news after we got home that just after we passed through a particular town, they were hit by a killer tornado.

I'd say that we have been very blessed!


4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?

I don't have a clue... sorry... I'm sure if I knew something that he sang, I'd love it. I'm a real dud when it comes to knowing those things and keeping up with them. I have a hard enough time remembering the names of my kids and grandkids and their birthdays - forget anything that does not affect my daily life!

5. What's the best costume you've ever worn?

My daughters might say some of my clothes that I wear on a daily basis. I never did do much dressing up in costumes on purpose.
One year our son asked to wear a sheet with holes in it to the Hallelujah Party. He wanted to be the holy ghost... no, we didn't let him....

6. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?

The thesaurus - it is easier to pull up on the computer.

7. What's your favorite breakfast food?

Fruit... without a doubt. I LOVE to eat fruit in the morning. Also a chocolate protein shake. I do not like breakfast foods... The sight and smell of eggs in the morning throws me into gags! My mother used to make me grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast with a glass of sweet tea.

8. Have you ever purchased anything from an infomercial?

Yes. I proudly bought "Body Flex"... the "breathing" videos that bring so much ridicule from REAL exercisers. I did it faithfully (in private). I lost 2 dress sizes and firmed up and felt so much better. In fact, I still do it sometimes. I might just do it in the morning (you have to do it on an empty stomach).

9. Have you ever crawled through a window?

Yes, both ways. I escaped and then I crawled back in... no, I will NOT give details ....

10. Do you believe in love at first sight?

YES! I knew the second I laid eyes on Hugsum that I loved him and wanted marry to him and spend the rest of my life with him. I did and we have been married for almost 37 years - so far!

11. How man pairs of jeans do you own?

That fit and are in style and I wear or that I have hanging in my closet? Anywhere between 2 and 8 - depending on ... well, you know...

12. If someone were going to bake a cake to honor/represent you, what would it be? (Think creatively, like Duff and Crew on "Ace of Cakes.")

If someone knew me and loved me, they would not make me a cake at all. I'd much prefer a cookie. (Okay, so I'd prefer LOTS of cookies!) I would want one with nuts and white chocolate. Something that is crunchy and chewy - something like Cowboy Cookies or Dishpan cookies... Not because I'm a Cowboy or dishpan - I just want EVERYTHING in them that can be put in them. I guess you could say that I want it ALL!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Like "Happy" ...

A fellow pastor's wife posted this on Facebook as her status. I copied it because it is so true and reflects my feelings...

Relationships are so valuable. Thank you Lord for the love that your body gives out. The best feeling in the world is to be loved. May you all know how much I love each of you. Love makes people happy.....I like "happy"......

Thanks Marilyn....

Ever wonder why we can't just "get along"? Ever wonder why we can't be "happy"? Ever wonder???

I'm wondering now...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Story of Resurrection

This is a tree that I see outside my kitchen window.
Everyday as I'm washing dishes or preparing food, I look out and see this tree and the deadness of it. Day after day I stare at it and wonder why my neighbor does not cut down the tree. It is leaning against their house. It is not pretty at all.

It is a crab-apple tree. It makes little hard apples that fall all over our yard and make a mess and stink when they begin to rot. The bees and ants and squirrels love them.

Last week, I noticed some tiny little purple buds on the branches.

Today, when we got home from Oz I looked out my window and saw this....


It is absolutely beautiful! It has been resurrected! It has been renewed and refreshed and beautified!

I realized that at times my life must appear to others as the rotten branch. I'm sure that at times people have complained about my attitude and my actions and my mess.

Jesus came in. Changed me. Made me into "something beautiful". That is the story of the Cross. That is what Jesus did.

I'm so thankful! I'm go grateful! Even with the scars and ugliness in my life, there is still something beautiful that can come out!

Blessings~ May you find the beautiful!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If I Were....

I saw this meme over at Dancing With The Daffodils while visiting with Beverly. I think it's fun and whimsical, while giving you a glimpse into my mind and heart.

(disclaimer... this is not how I AM necessarily ... it is the way I'd LOVE to be!)

If I were a month, I’d be June. (it is warm and sunny - summer and full of anticipated adventures and vacations.)
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Sunday. (relaxed, easy going and worshipping - hopefully with priorities in place.)
If I were a time of day, I’d be 9 am. (time for a snack!)
If I were a planet, I’d be an unnamed one! (not yet discovered and full of surprises)
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a starfish or a sea horse. (they are whimsical)
If I were a direction, I’d be up.
If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a swing or lawn chair. (means outside enjoying the warmth!)
If I were a liquid, I’d be diet cherry Dr. Pepper. (amazingly smooth - LOL!)
If I were a gemstone, I’d be an Alexanderite. (rare and ever changing depending on the light it is reflecting)
If I were a tree, I’d be an pecan tree. (I love it's fruit and it is nice and strong. Makes beautiful furniture. Besides, I'm a little "nutty")
If I were a tool, I’d be an edger. (keeps things neat and groomed and looking pretty! You can tell when it has been used and when it hasn't!)
If I were a flower, I’d be a dahlia . (bright and comes back)
If I were a kind of weather, I’d be warm and sunny.
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a guitar.
If I were a color, I’d be turquoise. (compliments everyone)
If I were an emotion, I’d be happy.

If I were a fruit, I’d be a blueberry.(tart and sweet)
If I were a sound, I’d be a joyful.
If I were an element, I’d be water.
If I were a car, I’d be a Toyota Prius. (practical and sassy)
If I were a food, I’d be chicken. (so many ways to fix it!)
If I were a place, I’d be the beach.

If I were a material, I’d be cotton. (simple)
If I were a taste, I’d be sweet.
If I were a scent, I'd be the smell of fresh-baked cookies.

Feel free to participate in this meme. There are no rules…just the way I like it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome Sweet Springtime!!!

On Friday, March 19, I was outside in the sun! I rolled up my pants legs and took a nap by the pool with the nice warm sun shining on my face, arms and legs. It was heavenly! I enjoyed it so much. I was singing and smiling and loving it.

We went to Oz. It was a beautiful day of 70*. We had dinner there and a meeting. Went home, to bed and woke up this morning to ... 30* and SNOW!!!! The first day of spring welcomed back winter!

Less than 24 hours difference and it is like we traveled far away to another time!

We canceled church, loaded the car and navigated our way back home.

This is the SAME chair where I was enjoying the sun yesterday. Now, it is covered in a blanket of snow... it is still snowing. It is going to snow all day tomorrow....



Need I say, I'm not enjoying spring so far????

Blessings and may your spring days be warm!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Life and Meaning and other things ....

Today we gathered to celebrate Momma's 88th birthday. Her birthday is on Friday, but this is the day that we could all get together for lunch at the Benton House. That is where she now lives. She doesn't really know that is where she lives. She doesn't really know we were celebrating her birthday. She doesn't really know me, or the rest of the family.

We have been staying in their home. I have been cleaning out some things. I have been remembering. It is comforting and healing - as well as VERY emotional! (Now, before you get mad at me for not calling or seeing you while in town, hear me out!)

We never know when we will be able to leave our house, or how long we will be able to stay once we get here. Also, we never really know what our trip will entail. Most of our time is spent catching up with family and helping with Momma and Daddy. The rest is usually spent sleeping and regrouping after our long drive and lack of sleep. Then, we head back home. Rarely is there ever a minute for anything extra.

It isn't that we don't want to see people and catch up with old friends and family. We just are always torn. We are always pulled in so many directions. I find myself in emotional turmoil and dealing with grief and sorrow and floods of memories. The question haunts me, "is this the last time I'll see them????"

So, if we did not let you know we were in town, please forgive me. Just know that I could not handle one more thing.

It is always good to come. We said as we drove in on I-20 and got the first glimpse of Atlanta, that it felt good, comforting, like coming home. I love Atlanta. I love Georgia. My roots go deep here.

It is hard to explain the mishmash of emotions. The sights of my childhood. The floods of memories... the newness of the expanding skyline... the wonderings of where old friends are now living... what are they doing ... HOW are they doing?

The excitement and anticipation of seeing and doing is at the forefront of my mind. Yet, right along side it is the grief that it is not the same. The sadness that loved ones are failing.

I see my parents aging so quickly. They are approaching 90. Daddy is dealing with the loss of his freedom and trying to give up some of his control. He can be bullheaded and grumpy, a little on the negative and complaining side. Momma is sweet and fairly compliant. There are times when her little rebellion comes out. Like the other day when they gave her some yogurt. She did not want it. She knew they had put medicine in it and so she just leaned over the side of her chair and spewed it all over the floor. She sat up and glared at them refusing to open her mouth for another bite.

This visit she did not know me. I never got the slightest glimmer of recognition in her eyes. She came to life when my sister came in. Of course, Joye does visit often and live close and spends lots of time with her. I understand. Momma sees me only a few times a year. She is slipping farther and farther away from us. She is getting more and more non-responsive.

The only thing she said to me was that she wanted to go to heaven, NOW! She also begged God over and over to take her home. I understand. She does not want to be a burden. She does not want to live in a personal care home. She does not like the state of life she is in.

She would be horrified to know how she looks. It is hard not to be able to control your bodily functions. Humiliating to have to have someone take care of you in that way. It is a frightening thing to not know where you are and to not know anyone. She asks to go home. When she was home she asked to go home, so it isn't that she is someplace else. She just does not recognize where she is. At times she thinks her husband (daddy) is her daddy. Then she doesn't know him and fights him when he tries to help her.

I leave here in the morning. I come when I can. I stay as long as I'm able. The toll it takes on me is huge. I love living close to my children and grandchildren. That is a gift from God. It is an answer to my prayers.

The pull to be in both places is unexplainable and at times unbearable.

I trust God to be enough. I trust Him to have me where I need to be when I need to be there. I believe that He is orchestrating my life and ordering my steps.

There is joy in the morning... I will be headed back to play with grandbabies. That is the future! That is the fun, the life, the laughter ...

I am blessed!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Exercise... and 3 is the CHARM??

Last summer at a garage sale I picked up a mini stepper. It was less than $5. When I brought it home certain people in my family rolled their eyes and made fun of me.



You see, I live in a family of athletes. I am the oddball... I HATE to exercise. Well, I should say, I do not enjoy it. It is so hard for me to get dressed in the mornings so even considering changing clothes and redressing again in the middle of the day is just torture to me. I get dressed for the day. If I am going some place at night, I will dress for that in the morning. I just do NOT like to change clothes and go through the process again and again.

But, that is a rabbit trail...
I LOVED my little stepper. It enabled me to "work out" and "exercise" at home while doing what I do... stand at the counter and watch the kids...
I could even take it with me to Oz so I could get some movement going while there...

Well, my trusty stepper worked and worked and worked for MONTHS... I thoroughly enjoyed it. I could feel myself getting into shape and my legs toning up.

THEN... one day, I was stepping away when I heard a crunching noise and it stopped...

I was so sad. I looked for another one online. I couldn't find one...

Then Hugsum surprised me with one for Valentine's Day. I was thrilled. I immediately put it to work. It worked for 6 days... then again the crunching noise and it stopped...

So, he took it back and got another one. I immediately put IT to work. I stepped away to my heart's content.

Sunday night - after 2 weeks of stepping heaven... AGAIN I hear the crunching noise and no more stepper...

If I weighed a huge amount, then I could understand it. ... maybe ....

So, what do I do? Do I get another one? Do I get a different kind? Do I just try to find another used one? Do I just forget it?

We will see... Hugsum has it in his car... I guess I'll wait and see what he comes home with.

So, that's my stepping story...

Blessings~

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent... or Lint!

So yesterday was Ash Wednesday. What exactly does that mean? I'm not trying to cause problems and I certainly don't mean to question your beliefs or practices.... just wondering.

When I was growing up, in a Preacher's family, we never celebrated Lent. My friends that lived across the street were very religious and diligent and did give up something for Lent. The daddy even fasted! WHOA! I remembered being very impressed and confused about the whole thing and tried to ask questions, but no one could explain it well enough that I grasped the principle...

Like WHY did I have to eat my yucky veggies just because there were starving children in Africa. I would have gladly sent them all to them. How did it help THEM if I ate something I didn't want?

So... how does it help if I give up chocolate or Facebook or coffee or cokes for Lent? Again, please don't think I'm judging or being critical - I just am truly not understanding the reasons.

Truthfully, as a child I thought they were all talking about this.... lint...


That really confused me. I for SURE didn't want to give up something important to me for this pile of trash!

Seriously, I do understand now. We are supposed to be connecting to the suffering of Jesus. That He gave up heaven for us. We should be willing to willingly give up something - live the sacrificed life.

Somehow, all this seems to bring me much guilt and condemnation. Almost like broken New Year's resolutions affect me. I've never been able to reach the goal and about 2 days into my "giving up" I forget and do it anyway. Yes, I repent and then start again, only to fall flat again and again. I finally just give up and forget Lent.

I was reading my friend Pam's blog, Lace and Southern Grace, and she was saying that she is not giving UP anything, but she is giving! I love that!!!!

A GREAT idea and concept. I agree with that. I can do that! Our sacrifice should be more about giving, doing for others and concentrating on Jesus and not on ourselves.

The other way I was always concerned with "me" and my religious activity. I think we should live a fasted LIFE, not Lent. It should be a lifestyle and not something we give up for a short time (albeit 40 days can seem like a lifetime). If we are counting the days down until we can eat chocolate or drink coke, then has it really made a difference?

Just sayin....
For me it works to forget Lent - but not forget the principle of living a sacrificial life of praise and giving and serving.

So, for Life this year, I want to give of myself. Give more time to study the Word and in prayer. I want to give love and joy. I want to help where I can. I want to be more thoughtful and kind. I want to live in the Fruit of the Spirit. I think this will glorify Jesus and be more of what He would want more than me failing to keep my word and promise to give up chocolate, etc....

I am not trying to set the standard for what you do or believe... please hear my heart. I'm just sharing what I feel I need to do.

Blessings on you for however you chose to prepare for the Resurrection of our Lord.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympic Random Dozen

My answers to Linda's Olympic Random Dozen

1. If you could compete in one Olympic event (not necessarily winter sports) what would it be?

I would be a gymnast. I used to do gymnastics and dreamed of being that graceful and talented.

2. Do remember a specific Olympic moment from the past?

The year the Olympics were in Atlanta, our 2nd son and his best friend won tickets to the Olympics. They were seniors in high school and on their way off to college.

3. Have you ever known anyone who competed in the Olympics?

Yes, we got to know a track gold medalist when we were students at ORU. I thought it was Jackie Joiner Kersey, but Hugsum said it was not. Anyway, whoever it was, she was a Christian and we were in a Bible study together.

4. If everyday activities were Olympic-worthy, which activity would you have a gold medal in?

Child care and training...

5. Do you know anything about your ethnic heritage?

Yes. My maternal grandmother was mostly Cherokee Indian and Grandaddy was French/English. My Paternal grandparents were Scotch/Irish and French. My great great something grandfather was born in a covered wagon in Tennessee. We have lots of relatives in Oklahoma because one of the "greats" came out here as a circuit riding Methodist preacher.

6. Do you enjoy sleeping late?

I need an interpretation, please. I have no idea. If I get to sleep until 7 then I feel like I've slept late. I have vague memories of sleeping much later than that...

7. Have you ever performed CPR on anyone? Do you know how? (Yes, that's two, I know. Whatevs.)

No... No... except for the fact that one of the grandchildren got choked on a piece of candy this morning and my daughter snatched her up and turned her upside down. I used to do that when mine were little. But, haven't had to do anything like that in a very long time. Don't want to ever have to do it.

8. Name one country you'd like to visit and explain why.

I would love to go to Israel again. It is like coming home. It fits and feels wonderful. It is awe inspiring. It is emotional. It is beautiful and meaningful. I would go back in a heart beat.

9. Have you ever fixed up a couple romantically?

I tried to fix my children up, but it never worked out (thank goodness!). Never was able to fix anyone up.

10. What is the last book you read?

Right now I'm reading "You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes" by Lisa McKay... a GREAT book and I recommend it to everyone.

11. Do you enjoy sleeping late? NO, YOU write the question! How's that for random??

What news shows do you watch and why?
Well, thanks for asking... I watch Fox news... mainly because that is what Hugsum watches. If it were not for him, I probably would never watch news. I don't like to watch news shows because they beat a dead horse to death! Just keep trying to put a new spin on the same ole same ole...
Besides it just gets depressing!

12. What is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?

We just got back from Pei Wei (AGAIN). Right now it is Hugsum's favorite place to eat a good reasonable salad. I got the Vietnamese chicken salad rolls. They were delicious. Most everything there is good.

Now, go on over to Linda's at 2nd Cup of Coffee and see what else people have to say.
Blessings~

Monday, February 15, 2010

A "typical" day at my house...

Here is a shot of my world... The fun, the mess, the activity ....


video

Valentine's and Birthday Wishes...

I'm a little late in posting yet ANOTHER birthday wish! Yikes, I have gotten so bad this year! I missed our 2nd son's birthday on Jan 12, our oldest son's on Jan 31. I did get grandson #1 covered, but then I missed our youngest daughter's birthday on Feb 14. Yep, she was a Valentine baby.

Here is a picture when she came home from the hospital. Stephen had just turned 6, John 3, Rebekah was about 18 months old... Sarah was my gift of love. Now, she has a baby! At the time this picture was taken, I did not dream of my life and how full it would be... nor could I ever imagine that these four would grow up and have children of their own. But, they did!




I hope that you all had a very good Valentine's day. We were in Oz, of course. On Valentine's eve we went to a special dinner given in the "Cowboy Capital" of Lenepah. It was a nice, different night. A local evangelist put on the event. He gave gifts to everyone and lots of prizes and provided the meal. He did not take up an offering or ask for money.

That night there were about 100 people in attendance. A poll was taken and gifts given to the couples married the longest. There were 2 couples there married over 64 years. Also, 8 couples there married over 50 years!!!! Imagine!!! Not only are these people living a long good life in mind, and body, but also in love and marriage! We were so amazed! Lest you think it was only old people, there was also a prize given for a couple married the shortest time ( about a year). There were lots of little kids running around in their cowboy boots and hats. Even the most well coiffed ladies with fancy sweaters, jackets and blouses had on their jeans and boots...

Sunday morning we had a couple in church who celebrated their 65th anniversary! Like I said, these people have a secret to a long and happy life!

About Valentines Day.... We have a long standing tradition of celebrating. Hugsum always out does himself. He loves to give cards and I get many. He has been known to give roses and candy and diamonds. I love them, but have finally told him not to give candy (PLEASE)! Flowers are hard to carry on trips and hide, so I knew they were not an option.

My favorite gifts are normally just cash... just give me money, honey! That way, I can shop and get good deals and have the fun of the hunt....

But, I need to backtrack. During the summer I got a mini stepper at a garage sale. I paid $5. It sat right in front of my computer. I stood on it most of the day. I had really toned up and loved it. The grandkids also really enjoyed playing on it (of course, supervised) and Posey stood on one side and I would do the other side up and down. She learned to say "uuuuuuuppppppp, dnnnnnnn". (so cute!)

Well, one sad day, I was diligently stepping away when a crunching sound occurred along with a sinking feeling. Yeah, it died. I didn't feel so bad because, like I said, I only paid $5.... then I started trying to find another one on Craigslist. I was not able to find one. Well, I did, but it was $40 - used and the person lived out of town.

I had not mentioned to Hugsum that I wanted another one. I just quietly looked for one. I just really REALLY did want one. I missed it. I had begun to gain weight. I am great at "working out" at home. (I say that very loosely - the working out part). The point is, I will not go anywhere to work out. I just don't enjoy changing clothes that much - nor do I enjoy showing off my athletic "ability" in public for others to laugh. I will, however, exercise in the privacy of my home in my own clothes (gown) for no one else to see.

So, I got up Valentines morning and there by my computer in Oz was a box... yep! Hugsum had replaced my mini stepper with a BRAND NEW ONE!!!! He knew! He figured it out! WOW.... he really did score big!



It has found it's home in front of my computer. Fits perfectly. It makes the trip back and forth to Oz. That is the beauty of it. It is light and portable.

What a wonderful day I had... then today we took the day off and just hung out together. We ate lunch at Cosi, went to the movie (finally got to see Blindside) and then stopped at Pei Wei and picked up our supper.

Great day! Great Valentines Day! Great Hugsum!
Blessings~

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Email me...

Please remember that my blog is temporarily "open" to all readers. I go back and forth from "private" to "open". If you will give me your email address, I will invite you and then you can read my words of wisdom (hahahahhhhhaaaaaaa) anytime you'd like.
Thanks!
Blessings~

A New Age...

Today is Noah's 4th birthday! He is so proud and so big! He is my first grandchild!



I can still remember "the" call. We were in the middle of a move. We had thought we were moving closer to our daughter and then found we were moving another 4 hours farther away! Not only from her, but from everyone in the family!

We had our truck loaded and we were staying in a motel until "moving day". We had a couple of days and we were enjoying our time. Hugsum and I were walking around Lake Loretta in Albany when my phone rang. We were about to reach the area that is lined with overhanging trees. My daughter called and we were just nonchalantly talking when she said, "oh, guess who's pregnant!". I innocently asked, "who?". She said, "ME!!!"

I immediately began to cry. Hugsum couldn't figure out what was wrong and so I handed him the phone for her to tell him. We began laughing and crying and jumping around.

It began to rain and we ran under the trees and did the happy dance. We danced and laughed and skipped around the lake talking and dreaming about our wonderful new grandchild.

He changed my life. He rocked my world. He took me to a whole 'nother level... He changed me from just "momma" to GRANDmomma! Yeah... it is a wonderful place to be.

He is a sweet caring, loving grandson. He gets so excited and appreciates everything. What a fun fella he is! What a blessing and joy and pleasure! He is so loved!

He had to grow up quickly because before he was 3, he had 2 little sisters. Now, he is a wonderful help and so sweet and gentle with the little ones. Here he is loving his newest little cousin. Here are my oldest and youngest grandchildren together!



I'm very blessed to have seven grandchildren. I love them all and have been just as excited and blessed by the announcement of each one. They add so much joy and love to our lives!

Happy Happy Birthday to grandson #1!!!

Blessings~

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Dozen and a giveaway from Lid!



1. Are you pleasant when you're ill, or are you a grumpy, fussy patient?

I THINK I'm pleasant. I am normally asleep and don't ask for anything - BUT, I really don't want to be bothered... I mean... just LEAVE ME ALONE!!!! But, I'm sweet about saying, "no thank you, I don' t want/need anything"...

I'm not going to ask anyone in the family, though. I just choose to believe that I'm pleasant. That's my final answer!

2. When you find out that school is canceled (due to inclement weather) what is your gut reaction?

Excitement... It is left over from when I was a little girl and got out of school. Now, the only person in our family who is in school is our daughter, who is in nursing school and I keep her kids... so, I guess I can still get excited.

3. What is one domestic skill you wish you could improve?

Only ONE???? You mean besides cleaning, laundry and cooking??? Maybe gardening...

4. Do you decorate your home for Valentine's Day?

I have in the past, but don't so much now. Really I never did very much because it is our youngest daughter's birthday. We tried to not take away from her special day.

5. What song is on your mind today?

"The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round"... only because that is what is on tv right now and the grandkids are watching it.

6. Do you prefer contemporary movies or classic?

If it is a good love story, then I prefer contemporary. Otherwise, I prefer the classic. I don't care for all the violence and weirdness of many of the contemporary movies today.

7. How well do you "compartmentalize" your feelings? For example, how well can you put aside a really trying moment to deal with the immediate situation which is not related to the trying moment, e.g., putting aside a tiff with your spouse in order to finish wallpapering a room.

I think I do very well. I am good at "stuffing" my feelings. I don't think that is good. It always resurfaces. But, being in the ministry, I usually just don't allow my hurts and pains and anger show and pour myself into whatever else is at hand.

8. What is the first thing that attracted you to your spouse? (Or if you're single, to your best friend.)

Looks... I was totally shallow. My heart jumped and all I could think about was that I wanted to marry him... I feel immediately into lust. But, it has lasted almost 37 years and going strong!

9. When was the last time your heart raced?

At the dentist when they gave me the anesthetic. They warned me, so I was not alarmed so my heart would race even faster!

10. What are your memories of Valentine's Day at school?

We always gave Valentines to every one in the class at school. It was the "rule" so everyone had the same number. You just HAD to give them out - even to the yucky boys! My favorite ones had a sucker with them. I don't remember any Valentine's Days in high school. I was so shy I didn't have a boy friend and we were not allowed to have flowers and candy sent to the school. Well, I don't know if we weren't allowed, or if it just hadn't been thought of yet. We just didn't do it.

11. If you were going to receive candy for Valentine's Day, which would you prefer?

Anything as long as it has NUTS! Don't waste candy on cream filled or nougat. I want that chocolate wrapped around nuts! You can add caramel, but don't forget the nut!

12. Red or pink

RED!


Now, go hook up to Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee. She has a great give away going on and you don't want to miss it!