Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day.....but reminiscent of the day my mother died!

This is a somber day really!  Today as the television programming is filled with memories and stories of fallen hero's and soldiers who bravely fought for our nation, I am thumbing through old photo albums remembering my mother.

It's been 9 years today since she died.  May 25th.......I received that dreaded phone call that told me she was gone. Sooo...VERY......hard!

So much she has missed - and so many times I wanted to call...but couldn't!

So for today.....I am in reflection.....reminiscence of times gone by!
 I miss her so much.  I always will.
There is coming a day though.... when we will see one another again.
 I think that day is drawing very close!

Perhaps Jesus will come at any time to take us HOME.  I look for Him daily!

Are YOU ready?! I pray you are!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry 2014 Christmas

Dear Family and Friends,

I cannot believe we are here already! To those of you who have Facebook.....this newsy letter will be old news! So bear with me while I recap 2014!

This year can only be marked with the word....CHANGE! There were so many changes in our family....happy, sad, s t r e s s f u l, and the list goes on!

Now....where should I begin?!

We were very excited and happy to welcome our 10th grandchild, little Miss Lydia Claire. She was a whopping 9.2 lbs 21 and 1/2" long born on July 31st.  Due to being a gestational diabetes baby, she had a bit of a rough start, but doing very well now - and just precious! Beautiful pools of glistening eyes and dark hair....with blonde highlights. She lost a lot of weight during her first month - but has since been on a growth spurt.  I cannot believe she is nearly 5 months old already!  She has lots of excited siblings to keep her entertained.

I had mixed emotions as our youngest son Chris moved out, quit his job at a country club here locally, and moved to where he is now attending school at a popular university. His several trips beforehand proved fruitful as he landed a good job working at an even nicer country club. He loves his new job and just finished his last paper for this semester.

On May 10th our son Josh married a lovely girl named Mary, (a long prayed-for union), and shortly after moved out of town.  Josh continues to work for a painting company, which is located close to where they moved, and Mary started a new job. Both their boys, Micah, now 5 and Matthew 7 are growing like little weeds!

Our son Matthew and daughter-in-law Jessie moved (for work purposes) to Georgia in July. Matthew entered into a Management program where he will finish out the remaining required four six-month internships. Their precious Jovi just turned 2 December 1st! Along with Felicity - as they were both born on the same day! I love God's humor! It is delightful watching them grow up!

Our daughter Michelle and family have recently left Nashville and moved several hours away.  Our son-in-law Jay landed a prayed-hard for job where he can now preach at leisure as a Corporate Chaplain. How perfectly suited for him.  He loves the job and they found a very nice 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house which is perfect for their ever-so-growing family. Our oldest granddaughter Rebekah, (soon to be 14),  long awaited the day.... that after 2 long years - she had her braces removed this month. She could barely wait to have popcorn and chew a piece of gum! Ha! Most stories and happenings in their lives can be found on I don't want to fill the pages with funny stories you've already read. It's how I can keep up with them all....especially now that they've moved away.  In the summertime Chloe proved to be quite the soccer champ!  Best one on her team and the one with the most scores! Jay was the soccer coach for her team!  She is one good soccer player. Hannah, Rebekah and Benjamin have been busy with piano lessons this past year.  It was awesome to have a mobile piano instructor who came to their house to do the lessons!  This year Michelle enrolled the kids in Classical Conversations, which has been wonderful for everyone.  Homeschooling has taken on a new way of learning and the kids love it.  They're also learning sign language and Latin in the process....even Felicity, who came in the room to announce, "I sing Latin!" Yep....she sure does! Ha!Ha! 

For other things....Steve continues to work in various states.  It's pretty hard at times with him being gone so much. Our poor dog Libby is weary and in depression from all his travels.  But if Steve could tell you - he'd say he's pretty weary too.  Unfortunately, his plane sustained wind damage to the tune of $28,000.00+, (so very thankful for insurance), while down in Texas and it has been out of commission for months.  It's been difficult with all the necessary travels we have had this past year, but I do love to see the countryside by car!!!

We had a bit of a scare one day while I was driving Steve to the airport to catch a plane back to Texas one morning - and instead I landed in the hospital. Nothing like stirring up a ruckus!  Steve called 9-1-1 and an ambulance ride picked me up from a highway off-ramp! I had not been feeling well for a long while - and even went to the  doctor, and ran tests, but she did not figure out what was wrong. Once in the ER it didn't take long to learn that I had pancreatitis and gallstones blocking my bile duct.  So glad they found something and it wasn't just in my head! The next day I had surgery to remove my gallbladder, and very thankful that I feel soo much better now!

So many things were life-changing events this past year and very heart-wrenching sad ones too.  We lost my niece Candace from a brain aneurism this past spring, and then my sister-in-law Ann lost her long, hard-fought battle with cancer on October 7th.  The same day - my grandson Benjamin was taken to the hospital with pain in his side and abdomen, and later that evening had an emergency appendectomy. A month later Steve's niece, Kristin lost her long battle and she too passed away. A few weeks after that my sister-in-law Stephanie, who recently had 7 strokes, but it was the heart attack that took her life. At the same time it seemed that nearly everyone we knew had lost someone and were in the process of preparing funerals for their loved ones. There were countless, including a long-prayed for pastor at a church we used to attend, who lost his battle with a rare cancer.  Oh how I hate cancer! His funeral was the same day as my sister-in-law Stephanie's! My heart...oh my heart! God is close to the broken hearted! I believe and trust that.  It made me realize more than ever how very short life is, and how much we need to make the most of every opportunity. More than ever this year my mind has been focused and reflected on Heaven, our home to those of us in Christ Jesus. And how long eternity will be without Him - forever separated to those who reject Him!  Are we ready?!  I see so many people today without Him, and the evils of our day becoming more evil by the day, immorality on the rise as I have never seen in my lifetime.....Woe to those who call evil good and good evil....and we are witnesses to just that! Evil and immorality becoming law of the land, but goodness and morality being scrutinized and attacked as if for evil. But God said that there would be lawlessness in the last days. 2 Timothy 3:2 Men will be lovers of pleasure, rude, arrogant, disobedient, ...etc.  I pray that God will open eyes and hearts and draw all men to Himself... so they will come to know Jesus as Savior before it's too late! 

 Ann Graham Lotz, (Billy Graham's daughter) said it well.

 I do love her devotions!. (
            Is there some brokenness in your life? Maybe it’s your heart that’s been broken. And because it’s been broken you are devastated and you think, “This year, I can’t have a meaningful Christmas.” But you can, because the meaning of Christmas is not necessarily in our relationships, in our family,

in the invitations or cards we get or give, in the people that we see or don't see.

 It's in the worship of Christ. 

Christmas means Christ Mass....worship of Christ.

is not necessarily in our relationships, in our family, in the invitations we get or give, in the people that we see or don’t see. It’s in the worship of Christ. Christmas means Christ Mass; worship of Christ.

I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of year.  I love the lights and decorations, the smells of cinnamon and clove, pine and hot apple cider, hot chocolate with marshmallows, family gatherings, the Christmas music playing, children laughing - thrilled with excitement, the singing and music, from churches to school plays and television specials. It would thrill me to no end to have Christmas every day of the year!

We hope for you and your family a joyous Merry Christmas!  God bless you always!

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Forever in our Hearts...

I have no words.......only tears of great sadness!  My sister-in-law Ann died early this morning.  She fought such a hard fight - trying to beat cancer and a multitude of other health issues that she bravely suffered through.

She was loved by so many! 

I will miss her enormously! I loved her dearly!   Rest in peace Ann..... rest now in the arms of Jesus!  I miss you.....always....  Until we meet again...... and we will .... one day soon! When we gather again  at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb!  I am so thankful you are no longer in pain and suffering so!

The weekend we laid her to rest was so difficult! The service was so beautiful. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady who was very loved by so many! The ripple effect of her life will no doubt be felt for years to come! Never have I witnessed such an out pouring of love! Countless flowers and gifts lined the church...everywhere! There were no spaces to park and hour after hour after hour hundreds of people came to pay their respects! She touched many lives...I know she touched mine.....and I will miss her very much. But I know one day.....we will meet again! What a reunion that will be! When we all meet Jesus...what a day of rejoicing that will be!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy 17th Anniversary!

It's hard to imagine that 17 years ago today my daughter and son-in-law married and now are the parents of 7 children! WOW!
Oh recap that day brings back soo many memories...
Where to start???
No wedding goes off without a hitch - but at the end of the day - through all the calamities - they were "Hitched!" Ha ha!
Let's see...The day of the Wedding....Yikes!!!
1) Lucy the dog ATE their wedding license!  Although salvageable - their license still bears the teeth marks and corner eaten off!
2) While carrying wedding things to the church someone mistakenly took my daughter's veil to the church kitchen - and through a frantic search - and many tears - found it....but made her late to her hair appointment at Dillards.
3) Finally arriving for her hair appointment - they could not find their way into the not-yet-opened mall! And once inside - the hair technician refused to do my daughter's hair! (More tears and lots of panicked tears!) Begging them - they found a lady who specialized in weddings! Yeah!
4) In all the ruckus and chaos - the licensed was left at home, to which we sent my dad on the errand of retrieving it - and in the process he set off the house alarm - dispatching the police department!
5) My dad forgot to try on his outfit before traveling from Colorado to Tennessee - and realized the morning of the wedding that he did not have anything to wear. Another yikes! I remember racing to beat the clock to quickly go through the closet and then sewing the sleeves to fit him!
6) Minutes before the wedding we realized that we had not gotten tuling for the candelabras, extra cameras for reception tables, and tuxedo socks for all the guys and sent my husband on a wild goose chase to retrieve it all! That's a story all in itself! Oh! My! Gosh!!!
7) It seem that Murphy's Law was in full steam - because anything and everything that would go wrong - did!
8) Everyone seemed to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off....and I was no exception - when after getting my hair done - realized that I did not have wheels to get to the church and finish things! I some how managed to squeeze in my sister-in-law's car and they dropped me off.
9) While setting up the cake - (which I made), discovered that the fountain we ordered was the wrong one! Ugh! I was so disappointed - but was too late!!! We managed.
10) Forgot the red rose petals for the flower girls and ended up tearing apart a few of the roses in a wedding gift! I still feel horrible after all this time!
11) People started arriving at the church while we were still speed-racing around trying to finish up pew bows, (which were made THAT MORNING! Ugh!...another difficult - crazy story - for another time), and tuling in the candelabras, finishing touches on the reception tables, etc.
12) In all the crazy moments - my poor son-in-law made a plate - to which someone, (unnamed - to protect his identity and embarrassment), ATE his plate of food and he did not get to eat the night of their wedding!
13) Because they had to drive 3 hours or so to Gatlinburg for their honeymoon destination - they arrived way late in the evening - and starving to-boot!
14) During the rehearsal we discovered that several men did not have the right size tux's and so the next morning we ran errands to retrieve the right sizes for them. Thankfully - I worked at the Mitchell's Formal Wear then - and could go straight to the warehouse!!! Yeah!
15) We erroneously had the wrong under slip for my daughter's dress and lifted her gown off the floor. I worked hard to alter it - to make sure it fit just right! Oh show that it was a tad shorter than it should have been!
16) The morning of - I ended up cutting 5 of the men's hair! (Like I had nothing else to do! Ha!) Never again! Next time it will be a day or two ahead of time!!!
17) The flowers and bouquet well....were not put together as we had anticipated. To lengthy to explain - but devastating for my daughter. So my mom and my friend went shopping the night before to get the flowers. That was hard! I guess it could be summed up with miscommunication! No mention of names! I guess we live and learn! Still hits a sad note though!
Okay...I could go one...but I won't. 17 years and 17 crazy calamities! But at the end of the day - they were STILL married! And have beautiful children to show for their beautiful marriage!

Happy Anniversary my daughter and son-in-law!!!  May God bless your lives with countless more blissful years - and maybe more grandchildren?!  Haha! I would not mind!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A new grandbaby! She's here!!!

It was a long time coming...and the wait - well - the wait was excruciating! My daughter gave birth to a dark haired NINE POUND & .6 baby girl. 21 & 1/2" WOW!  Long story...but hospital policy would not help her have this baby before 39 weeks. However, we believe they had the date VERY wrong! Plus added to the fact that she was a gestational diabetes baby - and pretty plump!  Miss Lydia Claire was born on July 31st and had a bit of a rough start. Normal for gestational diabetes babies....her sugars plummeted and they had a hard time stabilizing her. But she is home now and being loved on by her siblings!  All 5 of them!

Lydia is my 10th grandchild...and I could not be more delighted!  Soo different from the others too. Not the normal fair-skinned, red head or blonde...she has a darker complexion and dark brown hair as well.  So funny how waaaay back when - Chloe told everyone she had a dream - and was the only one who said Lydia would be a girl and have black hair!  She wasn't far off!  WOW!

I am so in love with this baby!  I cannot wait until it's my turn to hold her again!  Ha ha!

God's blessings are so awesome!!! :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

False Alarm

It's getting exciting by each passing day!  My daughter is due to have her 6th child, (5th girl), any day now.  Last night we thought, "AT LAST!" But after pulling an all-nighter at the hospital, with intense morning - the contractions subsided....sigh....and there is STILL no baby! Argh!

I should not complain.....It's my daughter who is frustrated and so tired beyond words.

We thought July 27th would be a great day! Shared with my son Matt and daughter-in-law's wedding anniversary, my sister-in-law Kate's birthday, (and Caroline's birthday, Kate's twin, but she sadly died a several years ago), niece Juliette's birthday, and what would have been my niece Candace's birthday. (May she rest in peace! As she died just this past June 24th from an brain aneurism! She is very missed!). we wait....and wait....and wait!  All in God's timing! But it sure is getting hard being patient! Ha! We all want to meet this little wonder!

Meanwhile.....I need to get back to routine...and maybe take a nap!  Since I was up all night long too!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sadness........A Time to weep.....a time to rejoice!

I awoke to the reality of today! Autumn McConnell's funeral service....." A Celebration of Life." Such a beautiful woman...inside and out!!! She, like so many others, lost her battle with cancer!

It brought me to the realization that God is no respecter of persons! Sadness and tears fill my heart...but rejoicing that she is fully alive, in no more pain, in a city with 12 foundations! Her mansion in Heaven a place where there is no darkness! I can only imagine her walking through those pearly gates.....on streets of pure gold!

She lived and love The Lord! Jesus was and is her Savior! Rejoicing that she is now in the awesome presence of God! The One she hoped for, longed for and loved!

Her beautiful spirit impacted and touched countless lives....I know she touched mine! No doubt the ripple effect of her will not soon fade!

Rest in peace Autumn! Until we meet again!!! And we will!!!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy 27th Birthday to my Son Christopher

I can hardly believe that it's been 27 years since the day my youngest son was born! How the days slipped into months... months into years.....and even more years!  Oh my......soo many seasons to many years gone by! If only to capture time and store it in a treasured bottle and revisit those precious - but all too quickly passing moments!  If only!  I f......o n l y!!!!!  I wish sometimes.....we would get a or two or more......but sadly, we do not.  What is done is done - and what we missed - we've missed.  I have to sigh......There is no turning back in time!

What would I change?  I would sit longer and read more bed time stories.....pray more....laugh more! Have pillow fights and tickle fights, play more games, eat ice cream and watch more movies together, outings just to have an ice cream cone, sip hot chocolate with extra marshmellows, build campfires and sing songs, have more picnics and trips to the mountains.....oh how I miss those moments in time.....How I miss such precious innocence! Little voices, sweet embraces, and eyes that dance with excitement and wonderment! I I miss.....

 My sweet little a grown man .........  He towers over me!

I remember once panicked because we could not find him!  We looked everywhere - only to discover that he had put himself to bed for a nap! Ha ha!  I have to laugh! I nearly called the police to file a missing child report!

And always seemingly to open the kitchen drawer to dump its contents so he could sit inside the drawer.....or the dishwasher.....or the cupboard.....or (YIKES) even the toilet! Yuk!  He thought it was a swimming pool! lol

Oh and the memories of the perfect arrow head cut out of his leg after playing around on a sheet metal truck!  I still cringe at the thought of it.....and how my brother-in-law poured alcohol, (YIKES!) onto his leg.  Good gracious! I wasn't quick enough to stop him!!! But nothing like going to the hospital in first class! The doctor that stitched him up -  held him in his arms while I drove us to the hospital! It was the doctors house we were painting at the time. Thank God he lived a few blocks away and came immediately!

All the football games where I froze my toes watching him play from the bleachers in rain, sleet or sunshine!!! #74.....I still have his jersey! The soccer game where he stopped the ball from going into the goal post, but was knocked out in the process!  The boy who used to plead and beg to go play golf with his brothers and could not wait until he was 8 so he could! Oh the tears!!! And once in PeeWee ball hitting a foul ball that landed right smack dab in my dad's forehead! Knocked him silly! I still can't believe he walked after that without passing out! (My dad - that is!) Ha!

And going away to college - only to get hurt in football and needing surgery before the school year actually started! Oh wow! That was such a costly sport.....the surgeries became too numerous - that I cannot recall how many now! Between his back, (the most severe), his arm, wrist and knee! I think I grew to have a strong distaste for school sports!!!  It is far too over-rated!

And the time he was fighting over holding the cat with his brother - and told him if he could figure out how many seconds in a week - he could hold her! Ha!  He DID too!  I had to get the adding machine out just to see if his answer was right too!  He added it in his head in a split second!  Smarty pants!!! :)

From his youth group days at church - and his "accomplishment" of throwing me in the swimming pool IN FRONT of the entire youth group while I was in a DRESS was where I really wished I had a taser or something! Ha! Stinker!

He grew up before I realized it!

There were good days.....and bad days.....

Life - in its all-too quickly passing moments - should not be wasted away in worry or stress or family hardships! Instead -  every moment of every day - should be lived to its fullest.  Have fun, be joyful, be happy!  Because all too quickly - the moments disappear as if a vapor and all that is left are faded memories! And they do fade.... Hopefully though - someone helped to capture those times with pictures! Let's hope! :)

Happy 27th birthday to my precious sweet little boy - now full grown - and balding - to boot!

God has great things in store for him - I've no doubt!  I'm waiting with eager anticipation to see what all the Lord brings into his life.  Hoping some day....maybe a wife?!  Time will tell!

Meanwhile........I love you Chris!  You mean the world to me - and so much more!  Even if you did throw me in the swimming pool in front of EVERYONE! Ahhh!!! lol


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ribbons and Lace - Flowers and Tulle! Wedding Bells are Fast Approaching!

Project pew bows has been the goal this week and I've been buried in silk flowers, tulle, ribbons and lace! My son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law's wedding is in a few short weeks from now! I could not be more excited!

We have prayed so long and so hard for our son to find the perfect who loves The Lord!
I feel as though God has orchestrated this relationship from the start, and while we were were her parents!

Praise God for answered prayers!

Meanwhile.....back to the wedding preparations! It will be here before we know it!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's another girl!!!!

Wow! It has been forever since my last blog post! I need to be better about this!

Today left us all with great anticipation to learn the sex of the new baby my daughter will have in a few short months from now!  Oh my!!! My son-in-law Jay must have a dramatic presentation to announce it......trying to top how we learned that Felicity was a girl! NOTHING will EVER top that ...EVER! A relay race...on my birthday...during a minor league baseball game in front of thousands of people! And the answer revealed on paper tucked inside a balloon that had to be popped! Oh my gosh!!! This time though Jay disappeared upstairs only to return with his face covered in his coat! He would either shave his long growing beard or wear the appropriate color bow in his beard! A pink bow!!! Haha!!!

It's a GIRL!!!!

My grandson Ben....well.....will have yet another sister! And baby makes 5 girls! (I really don't think he minds though!!!)  All I keep thinking about is all those girls and their weddings one day! Unless The Lord returns first! I really need to find that perfect place for a wedding venue! We are going to need it!!! 

Blessed are those who have a quiver full!!!
I'm just happy to be a grandma! Again! :)