Friday, May 30, 2008

This week's project

I went to visit my Mom this week for a couple of days. I had planned on getting rid of this while I was down there:

Not the bag, mind you. Isn't it all cute and pink? Our Women's Ministry gave these out at our Women's retreat last year. But I digress. Since The Nester posted today about a project she was looking at in one of her Southern Livings, it reminded me of this bag. Again, not the bag, but what's in it.

This mess actually resulted from my sweet hubby throwing out about 50 or so of my treasured Southern Living magazines. I had been keeping them, intending to go through them and keep the articles and recipes I wanted. I had a huge box of them waiting to go through, and he was "helping" me declutter and threw them out before checking with me. He didn't understand why I stayed mad at him for two days. Now, I should have been happy that he was getting rid of stuff, but why'd it have to be my stuff? (I love you, sweetheart!)

So, here's what I started doing to cut down on the clutter: As I'm reading a magazine I mark which articles I want to keep. After I've finshed the magazine (okay, maybe after I've collected a few) I take out the articles I want to keep and put them in one of several notebooks. Here's my collection of notebooks:

No, they're not pretty. No, they're not neatly organized. But, they are mine and I love them. They have my favorite things in them that inspire me to do things in my house. Not that I've actually done any of the things. But I'm inspired to. I take that back. I think I've done a couple of Christmas ideas. I label them for the areas I collect for: Christmas, Other Holidays and Celebrations, Outside, Inside, and Travel.

Here's the inside of my Inside folder (isn't that clever?):

I don't necessarily want to do everything on each page, but something on the page may catch my eye, like the plates on the wall in the picture above. I realize my house will not ever be in Southern Living, but I can make my home beautiful in my own way.

What does this have to do with that bag? Well, that's where all my magazines were that I wanted to pull articles out. Sigh...and the bag is still full. I went through a couple of them, but I still have a pile left. If there just weren't so many beautiful things I wanted to do...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Did you miss me?

I realized today it's been almost a week since I've posted! Well, I've been out of town for a couple of days, including the day I told you I'd pick a winner for the giveaway. So sorry! However, I have now chosen a winner. Here's how I did it:

I wrote everyone's name down and assigned each one a number. Then I asked my men who are currently on the couch playing GameCube and cannot see my screen, therefore didn't know who was assigned to each number, to choose a number. I asked them to confer and come up with a number together and let me know. They took a minute and decided on #3. Would you like to know who #3 is? Drumroll, please....

Josie! You are the winner of my first giveaway! Woo hoo! Email me at to claim your cute little prize!

Now, the rest of you don't cry. I will post about how I made them in a while. I have to have time to make another one. And the presence of mind to take pictures as I go. Hmm, that may be asking a bit much from my clumsy self. I'll probably drop my camera into the blender.

Thanks for making this so much fun!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More about the giveaway...

I got a live battery last night. was rough not being able to post pics for the past couple of days. Which is why as soon as we got home last night (very late, I might add) I had to plug in the batteries and post those hilarious pics of the bluebird house.

Okay, what I got during my shopping spree the past few days. Like you care, but I'm posting them anyway.

First, I got this reeeeeally pretty fabric at Old Time Pottery for $4.99 a yard. It was a remnant and they had other remnants that were really pretty, but this one just caught my eye. I like plaid, I guess. And no, this is not what I'm giving away.

It is going to cover this ottoman. See, it's so bad Windi is covering it up. "NO, Momma, pleeeeeease don't humiliate yourself like this!"

It's really ugly. But it has great "bones," it's the perfect height for our couch, and is really comfy. So I'm keeping it. So there. And isn't Windi the prettiest dog in the whole world? That's what I tell her, anyway. And no, she isn't what I'm giving away.

Next, I got this cute, cute, cute box from World Market. It's made from recycled handmade paper from cotton remnants. The colors are my favorite, and look, it's got butterflies on it! How perfect!

It snaps together. How neato is that? I cannot come up with any word better than "neato" for the snaps on this box. I need some serious help.

And it had a disclaimer on the label: "Any variations in color and printing are inherent characteristics of this handmade paper and should not be considered defects." That's good to know. And for you to remember, ahem.... And no, this is not what I'm giving away, but it would have been a really good one, because it was on sale for $4.99.

Next, I got the pretty ribbon you see here at Hancock's.

What's that it's attached to, you may ask? Well, if you must know...

THIS is what I'm giving away! Woo hoo! Okay, so it's not that big a deal. But it is handmade from my heart and I think it's adorable. Some of you may already have one of these from me, but I got some cute ribbon to dress it up. Aren't my dishes pretty? Very 90's, but still pretty.

Here's a better picture so you can see the detail. It's made from tissue paper (the kind you stuff in gift bags, not the kind you put in the bathroom!). The design in the middle is a pineapple, the traditional symbol of hospitality. And remember the disclaimer from above. Yeah, that goes for this little thingie too.

I love making these. Next time I make one I'll post pictures and instructions of how I do it. Or not...I may just put some on Etsy and make you buy them from me! Bwahahaha....

Okay, since this post is getting as long as the Magna Carta, I'll finish up by saying if you want to enter the drawing, you must go to this post and leave a comment (by Tuesday, May 27, 11:59 p.m), which I've made easier to do. Please read the post so you'll know why in the world I'm doing this.

So, what do you think? Is it totally cheesy? Totally lame? Please don't tell me if it is. No, wait, do. It's like I told my husband when we first got married, if you don't tell me something I cook is absolutely horrid, I will cook it again. So you'd better tell me if this is totally cheez whiz or I'll make more.

Have a good long weekend, and don't forget to pray for our soldiers!

I am blogging at 12:04 a.m...

...because I am so addicted to blogging and had to wait to post the bird nerd pics until 11:something tonight and realized I needed to tell you something.

For a few days I have changed the way you can comment. I have made it where anyone can comment to be entered into the giveaway contest without having a sign-on and password. So, all of you 40-something people who are lurking but not commenting, de-lurk! :) Be counted! You have until Tuesday, May 27, 11:59 p.m. to comment to be added to the drawing.

Tomorrow, I will let you in on what I'm giving you. Well, one of you. It ain't all that, but it'll be cute. I promise.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What I can't post about

Grrr. Grrr, grrr, grrrrrrrr. Batteries stink. No, let me rephrase that. Dead batteries stink. Dead batteries cause you to not be able to use your digital camera. Dead batteries limit you on what you can post about. Dead batteries won't let you show your new goodies from amazing places, like World Market, Old Time Pottery, and Hancock's. Dead batteries stink.

On a brighter note, let me say that I have decided on a goodie, and while it's nothing along the lines of what The Nester would give away, it's from my heart (hint hint) and each time I make one it makes me smile.

And don't worry about the ones who are not leaving a comment. That just leaves more chances for you wonderful, fantabulous people to win!

I'm still mad about the dead batteries, though.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou (From)?

I, for one, never thought that I'd have 100 people visit my site in an entire year, much less only a month! I pulled the page up tonight and saw that "100" on there and did a little "woo hoo." Not a big "WOO HOO!!!!" like I would have if someone told me I had just won something from The Nester or Pioneer Woman, but still.

Now I want to know where you people are from. I LOVE finding out interesting things about interesting people. I know that everyone who reads this blog does not comment, but I want you to get out of your comfort zones and tell me who you are and where you are. Note: If you don't want to be specific, that's fine. Just tell me what state or region or whatever that you're from. And you don't have to leave your name...your sign-on name will be fine.

Please, please, pleeeeease do this? For me? Sweet little ol' me? Pleeeeease? Because if you do, I'll have a surprise for you later. Oh, wait, that sounds a little creepy. Woah, back up. If I get enough responses in a reasonable time frame, I will do my own version of a giveaway. I've seen so many blogs do giveaways that I want to get into the action. But I don't want to do it if only one or two show up, or it will be sort of anticlimactic.

So, here's what I want you to do. As soon as you finish this, go to the little thing at the bottom of this post where it says "x Fantabulous People said" and click on it. It will take you to the comment section. Now, in order to leave a comment, you do have to have a sign on or sign in or whatever name. But it's no big deal. Make one of those and a password up and you're in.

Then, if you're just here for the party, just put, "I'm from Bucksnort, Tennessee." or, "I'm from the southwest corner of the northeast section of the midwest area of the United States." If you'd like to leave more, that's fine. Don't give too much information, though! I don't want to know all your bidness.

I will wait a week before I'll call "Time!" because I know not everyone is as desperate as I am to feed their addiction to blogs. So, this time next week I will let you know who won.

I'll post more later about the giveaway. That is, when I figure out what it will be. Aw, I'm just kidding...I know what it will be...sort of.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Best Friend

Okay, I've tried, like, three or four times to start this post, but nothing I'm writing is conveying what I really want to say. I'm just so happy that my best girlfriend in the whole ding dang world, Kat, has started her own blog! I knew it was just a matter of time. She was having too much fun seeing me have too much fun.

Kat and I have been friends for over a decade. We went to the same church and when she and her husband started coming to the same small group we were in, I immediately wanted to be closer to her. We were the youngest couples in our group, so we sort of hung out just because we were the only ones not wearing dentures.

Pretty soon it became evident to both of us that we were meant to be friends. We just enjoyed being together, and that hasn't diminished over the course of years, babies, heartaches, losses, joys, canine companions, mothers, mothers-in-law, and homeschooling. Not to mention that our guys enjoy being around each other, too.

I don't know why she loves me. I'm such a goober it's a wonder I have any friends. I know that I love her because she lets me vent when I need to, but she also tells me like it is when she needs to. Her home is beautiful, not just because of her taste, but because she fills it with love for her family as well as the Lord. And the most important reason I love her so much is this: she laughs at my jokes.

There is so much more I could say, but then it would get all mushy and I'm just not in a crying kind of mood today. So, suffice it to say that I love my Kat very much and I'm happy to see her in bloggyland.

So, my blogging friends, please hop on over to A Quiet Life and see my beautiful, bestest friend and her beautiful children.

Just so you know, Kat is no longer blogging...she still visits, but doesn't post. So if you click on her link you won't be able to find her. Her profile does show how beautiful she and her children are, though!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Learning lessons...

A couple of weeks ago our baby robins decided that it was time to grow up. I had noticed that they were just about spilling over the sides of the nest and wondered when they would take their first tentative flights.

My sweet hubby wanted to take one more "from the nest" picture of the little guys before they flew the coop. Or nest, or...oh, you know what I mean. He headed outside with the camera and noticed one of the braver ones perched on the side of the nest. Thinking it was just stretching its wings (did you see how crowded it was in there?), he crept closer.

And yes, those are my dryer sheets hanging out of the bottom of the nest.

Suddenly, the baby bird took the plunge and jumped out of the nest to the grass beneath. My husband had the horrible thought that he was the one who caused the baby to prematurely jump from the protection of the nest, so he started chasing it to put it back. By this time another of the babies was not about to be left out of the action, so he flopped out of the nest, too. My husband was frantic. He imagined all the horrible things that could happen to these little ones and was desperate to get them back to safety.

After attempting to put them back in the nest (and having them subsequently jump right back out), he came in the house looking very dejected. He thought it was his fault. He had caused them to leave the protection of their parents. Wanting to make him feel better, I jumped on the 'net to see if I could find anything about Robin fledgelings.

What I discovered made us both feel a little better. Baby Robins leave the nest before they can fly. Several days before. They get out of the nest to explore their surroundings, still being fed by both parents. This gets them used to their territory, meeting other robins and finding out the best places to hide in case of a cat, hawk, or strange man trying to throw a towel over them.

After I found that out, we were still anxious for them, but knew that it was nature's way of teaching them life's lessons. The parents still fed them and every once in a while we'd see some rebellious behavior when one of the babies didn't want to go where Mom or Dad wanted them to follow. Hopefully they won't learn the hard way that sticking close to them will keep them much safer than on their own.

How easy it is to compare these little birds to ourselves. How often do we leave the protection of our Father's "nest," trying to explore on our terms the world and its answers? We have to do it our way, not remembering that He is our provision, protection, our very life. Hmmm...something to, as my friend Donna said yesterday, "have a think on it."

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Memory Stirs

My favorite musical of all time is Les Miserables. When I was in college I had it memorized, seeing as how I listened to my sound track I got one year for Christmas until my walkman batteries died. At one point Javert, the mean guy, is remembering Jean Valjean, the hero, and sings "...a memory stirs..." in one part of his soliloquy. So that's where I got the title. I told you people I can't write.

The point is, a couple of weeks after I started this blog I remembered something funny. And ironic. When my mother and sister and I would go on road trips (mostly to see my uncle and his family) Momma would have the '70's version of the cell phone in the station wagon...the CB radio. Does anybody know what "CB" stands for? I don't either, but that's beside the point. If you have any experience with CBs, you know you have to have a "handle." It gave you an identity without telling the entire world who you really a sign on name.

This is where it gets ironic. Momma's handle was Madame Butterfly. Carlyn and I were so original that we came up with Caterpillar 1 (Carlyn) and Caterpillar 2 (me). Pretty ironic, huh? Gooby, but ironic.

And I pinky swear that I didn't remember this until after my blog was up and going. I also pinky swear that I didn't find this picture until a few days ago, so it wasn't inspiration, either.

My sister is so gonna kill me...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Confession

I have always been afraid of failure. I started this post with several paragraphs about how from the time I was a child all the way through college I was afraid of failure. But I started sounding really depressing and I am generally not a depressing person. The delete button is my friend. Suffice it to say that I've let fear of failure dictate some pretty major decisions in my life.

Fast forward to today. You'd think that someone who graduated with a major in Home Economics/Emphasis in Interior Design would have a beautifully decorated home, perfectly designed and color coordinated. Well, it's not a pig-sty, but it's not what I want. Why? Why is it not painted and tiled and arranged like I want? Because I'm afraid of messing up. I'm afraid I won't do something perfect and I will have proven my fear of failure was founded. What if I don't spackle correctly? What if there are bumps on the wall? What if I don't sand the cabinets right? What if the paint I pick out doesn't come clean very well? What if, what if, what if? I am paralyzed by fear of messing up in my own home.

Now that I've thrown that on all of you, let me say that I'm not all "gloom, dispair, and agony on me." (name that T.V. show) By reading beautiful women's blogs like The Nester at Nesting Place and Kim at A Soft Place To Land I'm realizing that it doesn't have to be perfect. Like the button on the left side of my blog says, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." That comes from Nester, and slowly but surely I'm letting that seep into my mind.

So last night as I was trying to drift off to sleep I started thinking of things I could just jump in and start. As I attempt to make it beautiful, not perfect, I will keep you abreast of the situation. Who knows what will happen...

Edited Thursday, May 15 10:21 p.m. ~ Did anyone notice that Pioneer Woman quotes the same television show I did? You know what they say, great minds think alike!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Election Day Rant

Today is (yet another) Election Day for our part of the state. We are voting (for the third time) for our Congressman, becuase our former Congressman for our district is now one of our Senators. Yada yada yada, blah blah blah. We had to have a special election to replace him, and over the past two months (or is it three?) we've had a gajillion elections to get where we are today. During all this time, a new development in campaigning has become extremely popular. Popular with candidates, NOT with the voting public. It's called "robo-calling," and it is sooooooooooooooooo not popular with the voting public. I can say that with authority because I am the voting public. We get no less than three calls every day, and I know some people get more.

I hate to tell whoever invented this tool of Satan that no one ever listens to the full message. Well, I say no one, but I'm sure there may be someone out there who is much kinder than I am and, just to make sure it's not a real person, they stay on the line the entire time. Here's the two most popular ways it goes at my house:

Scenario one: Ring, ring! "Hello?" -blank space for a few seconds in which I reeeeeeally should know what's coming but because I really am a nice person and really don't want to hang up on a real person- "Hello, this is Blahdy Blahdy Blah Blah calling on behalf of (insert candidate's name here)..." BEEP. That was me pushing the talk, or in this case, hang up, button.

Scenario two: Ring ring! "Hello?" -blank space that is reeeeeeeally getting on my nerves by now-"Hello, this is Aoicljvoirowoc Eeohg (I just moved my fingers across the keyboard, can you tell?) calling on..." "STOP CALLING ME AND LEAVE ME A.L.O.N.E!!" SLAM! I reallly don't slam the phone down but that got my point across better than the same BEEP that the phone makes whether I'm screaming mad at it or not.

Now, I realize that no one is hearing me on the other end. In fact, that makes me feel okay about yelling in the phone. I would NEVER do that to a real person.

When I started getting excited that today would be the end of the robo-calls, my excitement was doused by the realization that the big election doesn't happen until November.'s going to be a long summer.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day (how original a title)

Since I decided that posting my usual frantic schedule on Sunday mornings was just a little TMI (too much information), suffice it to say that my Sundays are usually pretty hectic. Hectic in a good way, but still. I really do thrive on what I'm privileged to do every week, but sometimes it's soooooo nice to have a day off (or at least half a day). Today my sweet, precious, lovable husband got up, got my sweet precious lovable son up, and took him to church with him. At the crack of dawn. When I don't have to be there until three hours after my husband does, I sleep in and take kiddo with me, dealing with the normal 8 year old stuff like "I don't want to wear those jeeeeans! I want to wear my camo!" and "I've already fixed my hair!" This morning, however, I didn't have to do that. Of course, this would be the day I can't go back to sleep. Figures.

So began my extremely relaxing Mother's Day. Anything that had to do with getting my son where he was supposed to go, or picking him up, or dressing him, or anything, my husband did. This may not seem like a big deal to most of you, but to me it meant so much. My husband is the head sound technician and his schedule on Sunday mornings is much more hectic than mine. Knowing he was doing all that he was doing this morning all because he wanted to spoil me means so much to me. Of course, he spoils me all the time. A girl can get used to it.

After eating out with some friends and laughing our heads off during lunch, we came home and my men gave me my gifts. I cried when I opened my gift from my sweet little boy.

It's called Mother and Son and it's a Willow Tree figurine. I love it. It reminds me that he's not all whine and cheese. Sometimes he'll just come up to me and lean against me and say "I love you, Momma. You're the best Momma in the world." This, usually after we've had one of our knock-down-drag-out discussions over Math. Sniff. Sniff sniff.

My wonderful husband gave me a little purse-sized NLT Bible. I've wanted a smaller Bible I could just tuck in my already-stuffed-to-the-hilt bag. It's burgundy and "light tan" (you people have GOT to watch Nacho Libre. A hundred times, like me, so little things like "My favorite color is light tan..." make you laugh till diet coke comes out your nose).

It's been a good day. Sundays are my favorite day of the week anyway, but when I get spoiled absolutely rotten on my favorite day? Makes it more favoriter. And I can say that because it's still Mother's Day and I can do what I want.

And since my sister threatened me with bodily harm if I posted a picture without her approval, my foreshadowing in yesterday's post will have to go unrequited. Because even though I'm taller and weigh more than she does, she's still older and has more insurance (name that movie). Can I say "unrequited" with a word like "foreshadowing?" Well, I did, because it's still Mother's Day and, well, you know.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Little Levity

Since yesterday's post was such a tear-fest, and my sister and cousin reminded me about a few hilarious things, today's post will be more about my Grandaddy, but it's all about the silly.

My Grandaddy sometimes thought I was too silly. My cousin Scotty and I would often sit at my kitchen table playing Skip-bo, trying not to squirt Coke out our noses from laughing so hard. Grandaddy would come in, mumbling about why we had to be so silly. But I knew better. He most definitely had a silly side.

Often times he would come up to the grandkids and out of the blue say, "Do you live around here or drag a board?" Or, "Which one of you is the 'one' and which one of you is the 'other one'?" Or if something interesting happened he'd say, "I wonder what Sarah 'n the girls would say about that?" We had no relatives named Sarah that I knew of, much less one with girls. And if one of us would attempt humor in his presence, "All these comedians out of work and here you are trying to be funny." Huh?

He was also adept at physical comedy. He (along with most of the Smith men) could clap with one hand. He would take his right hand and shake it to where his fingers slapped his palm. Try as I might, I've never been able to get as much volume out of my one-handed clapping as he and my uncles did.

He also wore dentures, which lends itself to hilarity in and of itself. Every once in a while I would beg him to make his faces with his dentures. First, he'd stick his bottom teeth out, making an awful face, but then he'd take both sets out and squish his face together, making me absolutely scream with laughter.

Of course, not all of his humor was intentional. He mispronounced words every once in while. My favorite was his pronunciation of the word "nonchalant." "I was just standing there, onshallah, when...(insert earth shattering occurance here)." My mother remembers his mispronouncing "saturated." "We've had so much rain here the ground is totally satchuated." And to this day I still mispronounce the name of Arkabutla Lake. I was nineteen before I realized that it wasn't "Arkabutler," and just because Grandaddy said it that way, I refuse to pronounce it correctly. "They went fishin' down at Arkabutler this weekend."

And yet other times he stole his humor from other sources. Like me. He was visiting us one day and some cute boys stopped by our landlord's house (we lived in a large garage "apartment" next to her house before we moved in with Grandaddy) to go fishing. He told me to go talk to them, but being the self-conscious 14-year old that I was, I blurted out, "But my legs aren't even shaved!" Oh, it was over after that. Every time I had to go out, or I wanted to look my best, or whatever, Grandaddy would say, "But are your legs shaved?"

As he got older he grew more mischievous. One day as we sat waiting for our food to arrive at Perkins, Grandaddy trapped an air bubble in the end of his plastic silverware wrapper. With a little grin on his face, he suddenly clapped his hand over the bubble, creating a very loud POP, causing his grandaughter much embarrassment. He just chuckled and acted like he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Thank you for letting me reminisce about my Grandaddy the last two days. And reading about him. I know I can't completely convey how wonderful he was in these words, but maybe I can give you a little glimpse of how much I dearly loved him.

Tomorrow's post will have a bit of humor in it, as sister is going to kill me....

Friday, May 9, 2008


Today would have been my Grandaddy's 99th birthday. When anyone would ask Grandaddy when his birthday was, he'd give them the same answer, "Five Nine Oh Nine," meaning May 9th, 1909. It's hard for me to fathom that had he lived this long, he'd be a year from being a century old.

He passed away in November 1995, just a few months after my sweet hubby and I were married. Even now, 12 1/2 years later, I still miss him so much. Grandaddy and I had a special relationship. I think it may have to do with the fact that he ran over me with a lawn mower. I know, I know, it sounds so awful, and it was, but it really was an accident. Come to think of it, I now believe THAT is when my falling down began. I was five years old, swinging on a post on our back porch, which was about four feet tall, just as my Grandaddy was mowing with the riding lawn mower right up beside the porch. You guessed it, down I fell, right in front of the mower. He didn't have time to stop. I was cut pretty badly, but my wounds didn't compare to the heart wound my Grandaddy suffered by hurting one of his precious grandchildren.

I have so many memories of my sweet Grandaddy. Of his always being tan from working in his garden, the bane of all us grandkids' existence in the summertime (I HATED having purple fingernails from shellin' peas!). Of his sitting at his CB radio, listening to the chatter and joining in if he heard someone he knew. His CB handle was "Mr. President" and Mimmie's was "First Lady." They had a plaque on the wall that said so. I also remember that his CB radio wasn't the only radio he would man. Every time one of us would go out for the evening he would head to his post beside his scanner (the kind that picks up police and fire dispatches), listening for the calamity that he was convinced would befall us one day, and he did not want to be caught off guard.

My sister and I would often laugh at his overprotectiveness. One night as we were headed to the Orpheum to see Harry Connick, Jr, Grandaddy noticed that Carlyn's dress had a "hole" in back. He asked her if she was sure she didn't want to wear a sweater to cover that up. We laughed and shook our heads.

Since Grandaddy lived with us, I got a little impatient with him from time to time. Once, when I was in college, I was preparing to head back to school, and Grandaddy said something to me about making some tea cakes for him. Tea cakes are basically sugar cookies, with just a little bit of fluff to them to make them sooooo good. I loved tea cakes, but I just didn't want to waste the time at home to make them. I told him I really had to get back to school, so I couldn't right then but next time I was home I'd make them. He looked so disappointed I tried to shove my guilt far enough down that it didn't slow down my plans. I dutifully kissed him goodbye and hopped in Bonnie Blue, my '86 Corolla. I got about a mile down the road when the thought popped in my head that I wouldn't have my Grandaddy forever, and I better make sure I make the most of every moment I had with him. Needless to say, I turned ol' Bonnie around and surprised the heck out of my Grandaddy. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I turned around. I wish I had done that a hundred more times.

I have one more precious memory of him that I want to share. A few months before I married my sweet hubby I noticed Grandaddy's wedding ring in Momma's jewelry box. His fingers had gotten so swollen he had to take it off, and my mother was keeping it with her jewelry so it wouldn't get lost. I don't know why I had this thought, but one night as Grandaddy sat in his recliner I sat down in front of him and asked him if it would be okay if I gave my fiance' the same ring that Mimmie had given him more than sixty years before. He had come to love and respect my sweet fiance' as a man that he trusted to take care of me. He agreed with tears in his eyes, and by the end of the conversation we were both crying. That is probably the most precious memory I have of my Grandaddy. Him sitting in his comfortable old recliner, tears rolling down his cheeks, and me, sitting at his feet, holding his hand, crying the same amount of tears that are now spilling over as I type this.

I know that after suffering the agony of lung cancer, heaven was that much sweeter for my Grandaddy. I am so very thankful that I will once again see both of my grandparents one day, but there are days, like today, that I cry for missing them so much. I wish they could have met my son and my nephew.

Had he met them, I'm convinced Grandaddy would have never given his scanner a moment's peace.

Happy birthday, Grandaddy. I love you more.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Falling Down Atlanta

Since yestderday's post and tomorrow's post were/will be on the serious side, I'll slip in today and put a little levity on the board. I have mentioned many times about my trip to Atlanta (or, as Scarlett O'Hara says, "AtLANta") where I fell in the parking lot of North Point Community Church. I've put off explaining it for long enough. You deserve the story. Maybe. Anyway, here goes...

A year ago, we (meaning a bunch of friends from my church and I) were on our way out of one of the sessions of the Thirsty '07 conference being held at North Point. It was the absolute best conference I've ever been to. Such a place for soul rest. Time to drink in the beauty of Jesus. Worship led by the likes of David Crowder, Matt Redman, and my fav-o-rite of all favorites, Chris Tomlin. So as we were leaving that place of worship, rest, and healing, I noticed that part of the parking lot had been cordoned off by little orange traffic cones. They looked a lot like these:

Heading for the vans, we stepped off the sidewalk very close to the traffic cones. I, obviously, a little too close. After seeing the traffic cones and subconsciously telling myself, "Stay away from those things...they are there to let us know not to go near them," I suddenly feel something wrapping itself around my foot. At first, I thought it was my purse, which tends to get in my way (that is another post in and of itself). Then, when I realized it wasn't my bag, I thought, "What in the world? I need to get away from this thing." Then, it was as if time stopped. I realized I had tripped on one of the neon orange traffic cones that were there to keep people off of them. And I began to fall.

I fell forever. I tried to right myself, but just couldn't get my feet right. I kept falling. I noticed the blue of the sky and the green of the trees. I fell some more. I recited the Gettysburg Address. Twice. Ten minutes later (okay, it was really just seven) when I finally landed on the asphalt of the parking lot, I was laughing so hard at myself that all my friends were standing over me wondering if I was okay (and laughing their heads off once they realized I was okay). I was fine, my foot was just a little scraped. And my pride was more than a little bruised.

So there you go. Full disclosure. I feel cleansed.

I have no idea what happened to the little orange traffic cone. It was probably helped back to its post by its little neon buddies. After they finished laughing at it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Showing Jesus

A neighbor down the street lost a loved one this weekend. She ended up on my front porch yesterday morning in tears, just wanting to know if she could sit on my swing. She said her family was just getting on her nerves and needed some time alone. Of course I said yes, and was at a loss to know what else to do.

What do you do in situations like that? My cousin emailed me right after I had talked to my neighbor and I asked her the same question. I loved her response.

"... the best witness I've ever seen was just seeing a person whose life was driven by God. Not bible verses. Or "God has a reason for everything". Just kindness. Love. Strength. And an unwavering faith that makes you wonder, "What do THEY have?" So I suppose just using this opportunity to become friends and show them those things. :)"

So, my son and I headed to the grocery store. It was what I knew to do. I knew there was a need, so I did what I could to take care of it, hoping they would not just see a kind person, but that they would see Jesus's love through me. I got a bunch of sandwich stuff, plates, cups, napkins, a styrofoam cooler, and a huge bag of ice that promptly put a hole in the styrofoam cooler. We had some drinks that we didn't use for small group that I took down to her, too.

She and her family were very appreciative. Once the arrangements for the funeral have been made, I plan on organizing food and stuff from ladies from church. I know they will want to be involved in loving on this family.

But is this enough? Will they see Jesus in our casseroles and covered dishes? I just have to pray that He will open the door later for discussion with her. And pray that I have the willing heart to be open to having a "lost" friend. My comfort zone is exactly that. Comfortable. I don't like being uncomfortable, but then, I don't guess this life we live in Christ is supposed to ever get comfortable, is it?

Monday, May 5, 2008

First Day of Summer Break!

As a homeschool teacher to my son, the rhythym of my day is determined by our schooling. Last year I couldn't wait to get finished with the year. Mostly because I was impatiently awaiting the Atlanta trip that was happening the day after our last day of school. We sort of rushed through those last few days. I was afraid this year would be the same way, just because we both were more than ready for school to be over with. However, I found myself a little sad that school was ending for the year. I honestly can't tell you why. There have been more than a few days when I called my husband in tears, wondering if I really was cut out to be a homeschool mom. He always calmed me down, reminding me that yes, I was not only cut out for it, I was called to it. We both feel very strongly that this is the best option for our family. Our son really does thrive, and ended the year with straight A's. Most of his friends are homeschooled, so he really doesn't know that life could be any different. Sometimes this is a problem, like when he complains about having to start school at 10:00. I quickly remind him that most kids his age had to get up at 6:30 to be at school by 8:00 and will stay there, with few breaks, until 3:00. We, on the other hand, get to sleep later, start later, and end sooner than all those kids. I ask him if he'd like for us to start being more like public school and do school for 6 or so hours, but he quickly straightens up and starts his math worksheet.

So, with these thoughts running in my head, why am I on the melancholy side? I still can't say. Maybe it's just that now I have to figure out how to organize my day for the next three months. Maybe it's that I don't want him to be in fourth grade yet. Maybe I'm sad there's no Atlanta trip to fall down at. Hmm, yeah, that last one. That's the ticket.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I have this habit...

Okay, the banner at the top is the finished product so far. We might tweak it a little more in our spare time in between baseball games and choir practice and band practice and church and praise team and Wednesday practice and spending quality time with each other. So, yeah, next decade maybe.

Sowehneeways (Nacho, remember?), when my sweet hubby was tweaking it this morning he called me, chuckling over the phone, and told me to pull the site up. When I did, the finished product had been enhanced with lovely orange traffic cones. I laughed my tail off. I told you a few days ago that I'd explain my habit of falling down a lot. Here you go.

First, I have to tell you how it all began. Plastic heels. Yep. Most of my friends think it started in Atlanta a year ago. I've kept my secret well, I think. I can't remember the times I've fallen before 6th grade, so it must have been the plastic heels. See, 6th grade graduation was coming up and since I was feeling all grown up, I felt like I needed a pair of heels to wear for graduation. Now, being the clumsy 12 year old I was, I had no business wearing heels, no matter what they were made of. But I must have begged and begged and begged Momma for the white molded plastic heels from K-mart. It didn't matter that I clomped like a horse with a bad shoe. It didn't matter that they had no strap at the ankle to hold them on my clumsy feet. I was maturing into a teenager, dang it, and I needed me some heels.

I decided that for church the Wednesday night before graduation I'd wear my plastic heels, since I was about to be all grown up and stuff. I did fine, clomping around the church's fellowship hall during Wednesday night supper, until I had to take my dishes back to the kitchen. I made it all the way to the hallway between the kitchen serving window and fellowship hall with my dishes before my plastic heels, which by this point had become decidedly perspiratory, decided they wanted to get out from under my 12 year-old clumsy self. Down I went, dishes and all. Oh, it made such a horrible racket. From the plastic heels smacking the concrete, the dishes clattering out of my hands, and the silverware clanging off the dishes, I made a racket. Thankfully, there weren't that many people in the hallway getting their suppers. Just a few, "Are you okay?"s from kind people. Totally embarrassed, I quickly gathered my dishes, put the cursed plastic heels back on and went to sit with my Momma, who was blessedly unaware of what had just happened.

Needless to say, when 6th grade graduation rolled around, I crossed the stage not wearing my molded plastic, white heels. No, my better judgement (or, more likely my wise mother) got the best of me and I wore some very practical, if not fashionable, sandals. Low, low sandals. With pantyhose. Obviously my better judgement has its limits.

More about my dangerous habit later...