Sunday, July 31, 2016

Rhodie's First Sunday At Church

We've had a good weekend.

I'm just letting you might want to skip this post. It's just a random slice of our every day life. Nothing too exciting went on this weekend.

After Rhodie's rough day on Friday...Holly said that Saturday was much better. Rhodie's other grandparents came over yesterday, but then Holly, Aaron, and Rhodie came over to visit us last night. Rhodes was smiley and happy. At one point, Clark was holding him...and he spit up all down Clark's bare back (he wasn't wearing a shirt), all down the back of his shorts, down his left calf...and made a small puddle on the floor.

But he wasn't screaming, and Clark wasn't upset about it at all.

This morning, Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law took Rhodie to church. He went to their Sunday School class with them. Holly said that he got a little fussy, because it was his eatin' time...but he calmed down after that. Apparently, they had to leave their small group twice...once to change a diaper, and once for her to nurse, but I still think it was a success. I mean, they got there on time...and "didn't nobody die."


(Rush Hour)

Anyway, I was already in the choir room when someone said, "hey, I saw your baby out in the lobby."

And that's how I jumped up and ran out of the choir room...HURDLED this speed-bump thing in the hallway...IN A DRESS, MIND YOU...and busted out the door into the lobby area of our church.

This older man from choir was walking behind me, and when I leaped into the air, I heard him say, "WOWWWWW."

Jim commented that it was probably because no one had ever seen me move that fast, and to that I say: PUNCH.

When I got to the lobby, I saw Holly and Aaron surrounded by a bunch of people. They were all "oooing" and "ahhhing" over Rhodie. Holly looked at me and said, "I'm coming!" She was headed to the choir room, so that everyone could see Rhodes.

After church, we came home and ate re-runs (what Joshua calls "left-overs") from the frig. We call it FFYS: Fend For YourSelf. After lunch, Jim settled in with his newspaper, I settled in my chair, Joshua settled upstairs watching a movie, and Clark settled down for a short summer's nap.

After'while, Holly and Aaron came over with the baby...and we had fun hanging out here. Aaron and Clark got in the pool, and when Jim and Joshua got home from the gym...they got in with them. Holly and I stayed inside with Rhodes.

Jim went and got Subway for dinner, and we had a nice, quiet evening. I like it when Sunday nights are kind of gets me ready to start a new week.

And, Rhodie smiled a couple of his biggest smiles at Clark tonight, and it melted all of our hearts. I think it's safe to say that the spit-up incident from yesterday has been forgotten...and forgiven. :)

"The LORD Himself watches over you..." Psalm 121:5

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rhodie's Rough Day & He's 6 Weeks Old

Yesterday, I went over to Holly's house, and stayed most of the day. We always have these big plans that we are going to "do" something in her house: put up pictures, things on the wall, paint something. Instead, we ate lunch, and she fed Rhodes...and then I held him while she took a shower, and we watched two episodes of Downton Abbey.

We are very late to the party, I realize, but for the past TWO summers, we've been saying that we were going to start watching it...but we never did. I finally got out the DVDs I had bought, and we started watching them early in the summer. I thought it might be a good distraction for her while she waited for Rhodie to be born.

I didn't like the first episode at all, but I decided to watch the next one...and the series has grown on me. We just finished Season 2 yesterday, and I'm excited to watch Season 3. There are just SO MANY CHARACTERS to keep up with...and I'm having the hardest time with the accents. Several times I'll look over at Holly, and ask, "what'd they say?" And we'll wind it back until we figure it out.

The funniest thing is that, we started watching these when Holly was big pregnant, and she was exhausted...from being big pregnant. Before the episode would be over, she'd be sound asleep...and so we'd have to rewind it the next time, so she could catch up.

We've figured out that it's the music at the beginning of the show. It lulls her to sleep like a tranquilizer. Even yesterday, she was lying on the couch...looking like she was asleep. She finally said, "I don't know what it is, but I cannot keep my eyes open...but I've been listening to it."

If only that music would have the same effect on Rhodie...then they could play it for him at night before bedtime.

When we got home, we decided to order Chinese food for dinner. We invited Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law over. Aaron doesn't like Chinese food, but Holly LOVES it. He ended up getting his own dinner somewhere, and met her here at our house.

Logan and Morgan came for a visit last night. They were so excited to see the baby, and spend some time with him.

Jim was off today, so I thought we might make our big "Saturday style" breakfast...since Logan and Morgan would be heading down to her parents, to spend tonight and tomorrow with them. He said, "well, I wasn't really planning on cooking a big breakfast today." I asked, "why not?" He said, "because I had eggs yesterday."



Well, we made our big breakfast...and then Jim and I ate together, because everyone else was still asleep. I called and invited Holly and Rhodie to come over...and they did. They stayed over here all day.

Rhodie had a rough day. Not a bad day...he just wasn't himself. He was extremely fussy, which made Holly concerned that something was wrong with him. He didn't feel warm or anything, and he ate and went potty regularly. He was just not content. Holly felt something she had eaten had affected him. I assured her that babies are a lot like us: there are days when we just feel "blah," and we can't really put our finger on WHY.

He is still the sweetest just broke our hearts to see him so upset. Usually, you can hold him a certain way, or do certain things that will calm him down. Not today. Or, not for very long. It was just very uncharacteristic of him, because he's usually pretty happy. He is 6 weeks old today.

I'm sure hoping they all get some rest tonight.

It was a good day. I always love it when all of the kids are here.

"May Your unfailing love be my comfort..." Psalm 119:76

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Painting and Ceiling Fans

Today, two friends from the town-my-kids-call-home came to take me out to lunch for my birthday. I was so excited!

Plus, they wanted to see the baby.

That's probably the REAL reason they came, but whatever. I was so looking forward to seeing them.

I got up early, and did some laundry...stuff like that. I started to get ready. I did my hair and make-up, but kept my pajammies on.

I decided to run upstairs to Clark's room, and do some painting real quick. I've painted all the walls in his room, except for the part that's behind the corner shelves.

Clark has these black shelves that fit in the corner. They go almost up to the ceiling. I took everything off of them, and piled it all on Clark's bed. Then, I carefully pulled the shelves out away from the wall...about 3 feet...and painted the wall behind them.

Then, I thought to myself, "SELF? You've talked about painting those shelves...why don't you slap one coat on them real fast?"

So, I dusted the shelves, and got out all of the gunk...and then I started painting.

I thought I would start at the top...and go to the bottom. Problem is...I'm short, and can't reach the top. And EVEN THO THE LADDER WAS RIGHT THERE IN THE ROOM, I didn't even THINK about using it. Instead, I put one foot on Clark's bed...and then I hopped up to put my other foot on the already rickety shelves...and stood there until I got my balance.

Yeah. Not the smartest thing I've ever done.

All of a sudden, I heard a crack...and I felt searing pain in my head. Apparently I had forgotten that I had turned the ceiling fan on for air-circulation...and it is what hit my head. Hence the CRACK sound.

I fell/almost fainted into the shelves...and they started swaying back and forth...with ME on them. My main concern, besides the throbbing pain in my head, was that I was going to spill the can of paint everywhere.

Never fear. I saved it.

My second concern was that I was gonna die.

I didn't.

My third concern was that I was going to have a concussion.

I didn't.

I came downstairs and I seriously wanted to cry. Like, ugly cry. But two of my friends were coming to take me out for lunch, and they are always all put together...and even tho they wouldn't judge me if I had streaks all down my face, and puffy red eyes...I didn't want them to see me like that.

So, I filled up a Ziplock bag with ice, and sat in my chair...and, despite my best efforts, tears spilled down my cheeks. I took some Motrin. After about 20 minutes, I went and put on my clothes, and then went to take Joshua to stay at Holly's house for a while. And, honestly...and I couldn't believe this, either...but after about 5 minutes of holding my Holly's head felt a LOT better.

I had fun seeing my friends, and I managed to make it through lunch without ever mentioning the "incident." But they came back to Holly's house to see Rhodie, and Holly brought it now they know for sure what they already kind of suspected: I'm a klutz.

Anyway, that's my day in a nutshell...and also why I might not do anymore painting for a while.

"The LORD is my light and my salvation-so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?" Psalm 27:1

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My Birthday: 2016

I have had the best day! It's my birthday!

First of all, I woke up alive...which is good. Altho the alternative would be amazing, but my kids don't like for me to talk that way.

God must not be finished with me yet!

The main thing I had to do today was renew my driver's license. Why they make it due on your birthday...and not at the end of your birthday MONTH, I'll never know.

Joshua went with me. We walked in, and there was only ONE customer in there. I know, right? It's a miracle. Even Joshua goes, "WHOA."

I got a really nice clerk. She asked me if I still wanted to be an organ donor (yes!). She asked me to confirm our address. She asked me how tall I was. BUT THEN...she asked how much I weighed, and y'all? I did not bat an eye as I lied responded, "115 lbs."

She started laughing uncontrollably, and excused herself to the back office. I could hear her howling, even through the closed door.

The clerk next to her had to take over. She asked me what happened to set her friend off, so I told her what I'd said. She looked at me over her glasses, and said, "it don't matter to us what you say you weigh, ma'am, but be prepared...if you go missing, the poh-lice will be looking for a skinny, white girl."

UMMM...think I'll take my chances, lady!

My driver's license has said I weigh 115 lbs, since I was in the 10th grade...and I wasn't really interested in changing it...but I mumbled my true weight under my breath. Glad I did, because then I had to sign a statement saying that all of the information I had provided was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the help me God.

Glad I didn't lie!

I spent almost the whole day with Holly and Rhodie. I love them both so much. And Joshua...can't forget Joshua. He's almost always with me, and he makes every day better. :) And Jim...he came home from work early, to hang out with us.

The BEST thing that happened today was that my sister, Leanne, and her 4 kids, came to see me! Well...actually, they came to see Rhodie...but whatever. It's my birthday! :)

Leanne said they had a rare 3 day window, when all 4 kids were they drove up to see my Dad...and then went to St. Louis for 2 days. One of my niece's friends was in a show up there. On their way back, they stopped to see Logan and Morgan for lunch...and then they drove here. They were all anxious to see the baby.

They only stayed a couple of hours, but it sure was fun!

It was a great day for this not-so-skinny, white girl. :)

"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere..." Psalm 84:10

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's 94 Degrees...Bring Out the Parkas!

Isn't it weird that when it's 80 feels hot. But when it's 90 degrees, 80 feels so much cooler?

That's the way it was today. Only, instead of it being 100 degrees, it was mid-90's, and I could really tell a difference. I mean, bring out the parkas, right?

Joshua and I went over to Holly's house this morning, and we stayed all day. I went to the grocery for both of us...and I picked up lunch. I got to hold and rock the baby...and I helped Holly put some things on her walls.

And, by that I mean that I may of may not have climbed up on a chair, and then stood with my bare feet on my grandmother's order to nail up pictures on her wall. If she could, she would spin in her grave at the thought of me standing on her beloved piano.

We headed home at dinnertime. When we got in my car, which had been parked out in Holly's driveway all day, it was 102 degrees...but that's better than the 109 it was one day last week. Ha.

I worked some in Clark's room today. It is a MESS up there. I started the re-do project while he was on his trip to East Asia. He was gone 3 weeks, and so I had planned to start and finish it in that amount of time. I mean, that seems reasonable, right?

But then Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law bought a new house, and my time was spent packing up things at their house and helping them move. Not complaining at all, but Clark's room re-do was moved to the back-burner. I talked to him about it, because I felt bad. He said, in his best over-exaggerated country drawl, "don't even worry yourself about it, is NOT a big deal."

Just working on it this morning, and then again tonight...has made a huge difference. I just have one small patch of his wall left to paint, and then that part is DONE. I have already bought the bedding and curtains. I plan on painting his shelves and a desk. I have things ordered to go on his walls, but they haven't come in yet.

Just trying to make his room look like the room of a college boy. Man. College young man.

I'm really tired tonight.

Also? This election year is about to I'm about to vote for anyone in any party who will place a term-limit on the amount of campaign time the candidates can have. Like, limit it to 60 days or something. I am over it.


I am so thankful to live in a country where we are free to talk and debate and campaign and VOTE. I used to get all riled up if "my" candidate or "my" party didn't get in the White House, and then my Dad very calmly told me that that was the American Way. And to be thankful.

I'm also thankful that this world is not my home. Presidents and other elected officials will come and go...but it will not change my destiny. My hope is in Jesus, and my HOME is in Heaven.

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weekend Update: IT'S SO HOT


I know it's summer, and I don't really want to complain about it. We usually have 4 distinct seasons in Arkansas...but summer came on with a vengeance. And in JULY, of all times. Makes me kinda scared for August!

I mean, you know it's bad when the meteorologists are saying the temperatures this coming week will be in the mid-to-upper 90's, and everyone is freaking out like it's the firsts snowfall of the season!

Fortunately, we have been able to stay close to home. Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation group is not meeting again until the Fall. Oh, they are having their annual pool party, but that's not til mid-August. Clark's summer job is over, so I don't have to worry about him getting stuck in a traffic jam on the way this heat. We have enjoyed having him here...hanging out here, helping out with the baby.

This week, he is working a church camp at his college. He is so excited about it. We'll see how excited he is after he's with 3rd-6th graders all week. Ha!

I love to see my kids serving God by serving others. Whether it's singing in the choir, helping out in the nursery, being the greeters at church, taking the offering...or working a church camp. it blesses my heart.

We stayed here all weekend. We went out for dinner on Saturday night, and Jim said it was the first time we've been out for dinner as a family in a WHILE. I told him that if he had offered to pick something up for us...I would've been fine with staying at home. The heat just drains us all...and makes us all irritable. So we try to stay NOT-irritable...and just don't get out in it too much if we don't have to. If I have errands, I try to get them all done in the mornings, so we can settle in here for the rest of the day.

We had a good crowd in our small group today. One of the girls in our class brought her TWO WEEK OLD BABY with her this morning. When we got home, I was telling Holly about it. Rhodie is 5 weeks, and still has barely left the house...which is awesome! She couldn't get past the fact that someone would bring a 2 week old baby to church...but I got to hold her, so it's all GOOD. :)

I made chicken'n'dumplin's for dinner tonight, which is not really a "summertime" dish. I typically make it in the Fall and Winter, but it was Clark's request before he leaves for church camp. It was good!

Holly, Aaron-the-son-in-law, and Rhodes...all came over for a short visit to round out the weekend.

Hot, quiet, relaxing, fun.

"It is good to proclaim Your unfailing love in the morning, Your faithfulness in the evening..." Psalm 92:2

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Joshua and the Blender

Joshua has developed a love-hate relationship with our blender.

I noticed it over this last year. When Joshua would unload the dishwasher, there were a lot of things that he just didn't put away. I took it as he either wasn't sure where those things went...or he couldn't reach the shelf where they were supposed to go.

It didn't cross my mind that he was not putting them away...on purpose.

That he was trying to convey a deeper message.

The little stinker.

The boys noticed it first. Because Joshua would leave glasses and bowls out on the counter, but not JUST on the counter. He would stack them ON and AROUND the blender.

One day, I came into our kitchen, and saw that Joshua had built a little "fort" or "wall" around our blender, with the glasses and dishes he'd taken out of the dishwasher.


Finally, after intentional observations, and talks with Joshua, we have figured out that he does not like it when Clark makes smoothies. I don't know if it's Clark getting all the things together for his smoothie, talking about what he's going to put into his smoothie, and then actually loading those things into the blender...because that process would drive the Pope to drink. It's quite long, and Clark is typically quite animated...and the boy can talk the ears off a billy-goat (even if the billy-goat is not in the room)!

We also thought that maybe Joshua just doesn't like the noise the blender makes...because it IS loud...and he doesn't really like loud noises.

Whatever...he hates our blender.


One day, I asked Clark to offer Joshua a small glass of his smoothie...thinking that if Joshua could taste it, and see the yummy goodness that comes from the blender, it might change his behavior. Joshua drank it, and he LOVED it. He said, "I don't know why I don't like the blender...this is GOOD!"

So, I thought we were over it. Typically, if we call Joshua out on a behavior like this, he will see how silly it is...and stop it. And he DID stop it...for a bit.

But then, yesterday morning, there was another barricade in front of the blender...and Clark.had.had.enough.

There were words between them. Joshua saying something about the blender...and Clark saying something about how the dishes Joshua was stacking in front of the blender, were the same dishes I had used to make his dinner the night before.

I didn't go in there...sometimes it's just best to let them hash it out.

Plus, Momma is tired. And old.

I heard the sound of Crocs stomping upstairs, and I knew Joshua was mad.

When I came back into the kitchen, Clark had taken all the dishes that Joshua had stacked in front of the blender...and stacked them ALL on Joshua's place-mat at the table.


Joshua's head about blew off.

Around lunch time, we decided to go over to Holly's, and help out with the baby. Clark got into the car with a large glass of smoothie. He said, "will you hold this for 2 seconds?" Well, I asked Joshua if he wanted to try it, and he said, "yes." And then he proceeded to drink SEVERAL big gulps of it before Clark got back in the car.

He wrote this comment on Facebook, "I might be a blender disliker user, but having a drink of a smoothie is can not be denied."

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" Psalm 133:1

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rhodie Goes To The Doctor, and I Have Some Thoughts

Rhodie turned 1 month a few days ago, and today was his one month appointment at the pediatrician. Aaron-the-son-in-law was going to be out-of-town, so Holly asked if I could go with them.


After lunch, we loaded up the the car-seat, along with not one, but TWO diaper bags, and our purses...and headed out. When we pulled up at the pediatrician's office, I was thankful to see that it did not appear to be crowded.

This particular office has a "WELL BABY" side and a "SICK BABY" side. I love this, except for the fact that when they called Rhodie's name, WE HAD TO WALK THROUGH THE SICK BABY SIDE TO GET TO THE RIGHT DOOR.

Where is the suggestion box, because Grandma has some thoughts...

The first thing they had us do was to strip him down so they could weigh him. Yesterday, Holly and I were guessing how much he would weigh at his appointment today. Holly guessed around 10 pounds, and I guessed 10.8.


Holly put Rhodie up on that scale, and it read: 12.08 lbs!

And Holly and I went nuts. We were squealing, and "OH MY WORD"-ing, and saying, "yay, Rhodie!" We were ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over him, and I was taking pictures of him like he was a Kardashian (bad example, I know...but you get my drift).

First-time Mommy and first-time Grandmommy...don't even TRY to mess with us! :)

The nurse AND the doctor both said, "good job, Momma" to Holly, and gave her a lot of praise for how well she was doing...and that made her feel really good. She's a great little Mom...we all know that...but it was reassuring to her, that all of the time, dedication, and lack-of-sleep...involved in nursing a worth it.

They also measured his length...and the circumference of his head. He's in the 93% in weight, 53% in length...and 98% in head circumference! Holly said, "well, that runs in the family...I have a big head. I always told her it meant she had LOTS OF BRAINS.

We really liked the pediatrician that took care of Rhodes today. Holly saw a different one last time, but this one is a female...and she's a Mom.

'nuff said.

I hope Rhodes can see her every time.

But then, it was time for the dreaded 1 month shot. Holly had worked herself into a frenzy about it. She broke out into a worried about how Rhodie would react...and sad that he would EVER feel pain.
Because she's done her level-best to love, nurture, and protect him from any pain or discomfort...for 10 months of pregnancy, and 1 month of life outside the womb.

We know that these vaccines will protect him from so much more potential pain and suffering, that this short amount of discomfort is worth it (for those of you who don't agree with giving vaccines, and have very strong reasons why, I want to say this in love: save it for Oprah. I'm not gonna get into a big argument about it on here...thank you very much).

The shot was over quickly. Out of the 3 of us, one cried. And the other two? We fought to hold back the tears.

Holly thought it was cute that they put a Spider-Man band-aid on the injection site. Hims is such a big boy with a big boy band-aid.

And then we came home, and spent the afternoon/evening holding and cuddling Rhodes, and trying to erase that memory from his little mind.

I had a lot of thoughts today...thoughts that didn't involve the arrangement of the pediatrician's office.

Things like, how thankful I am for modern medicine; for doctors and tests and monitoring. Holly is a nurse for the sickest, tiniest littles in the NICU. Now that she's a mom herself, I know that, when she goes back to work, she will be even more compassionate to the parents she has to deal with on a daily basis. I am thankful to see her using her gifts to help others.

I am thankful for insurance...for Aaron's job, and Holly's job...which make it possible for them to seek out the very best care for Rhodie, and any other children they may have.

My heart breaks for those who are less fortunate...for the children who have to suffer, or do without, because of the choices their parents make; and for those children and parents, who are living in circumstances that are beyond their control.

I am thankful that all medical resources will be exhausted for Rhodie, should he ever need them.

I thought of the pain he felt with the hard that was for Holly, as his mom, to watch. How hard it was for me to watch.

I thought of how, just a few months earlier, his life could've been terminated...if that had been Holly's an injection.

Or with a sharp instrument.

I thought of how people say that unborn babies are "just a mass of tissue," so they "can't feel pain," when those instruments are used to end their lives.

I thought of a friend of Holly's, who made it to 8 months of pregnancy, and how her baby died in her tummy last year...and how her heart has been broken and stretched and enlarged.

I was so thankful Holly asked me to accompany her to the doctor with Rhodie today. Sometimes it just helps to have that extra pair of hands. I thought of the wife of one of those slain Baton Rouge police officers. That young widow now has a 4 month old baby to raise by herself. Lots of milestones to meet, lots of birthdays...and ballgames, lots of trips to the zoo, lots of "first" days: first tooth, first steps, first day of school...lots of morning snuggles, and lots of doctor's appointments, that she will now have to experience by herself.

I had a lot of thoughts.

So, after we got home, when it was my turn to hold Rhodie, I held him a little tighter...and I thanked God for His plan and provision for bringing him into our lives.

"The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

On How Joshua Likes to Change Things UP Around Here

Ya know, I said when Rhodie was born, that I would not be turning this into a "let me tell you about my grandson" blog.

But, I started this blog to keep my family updated on our lives...mainly our lives with Joshua...and to hopefully leave something for my grandchildren to read, after I'm gone.

So I can't NOT talk about Rhodie, because he's what's going on right now.

Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation group is taking a break until the Fall semester. Honestly, his antics with his group of FRIENDS is where I get a lot of my "material." HA! Just kidding.

It hasn't even been a week since I posted about Joshua saying he was "ready for a break." And yet, last night, I overheard him tell Jenni-the-girlfriend that he was "ready to start back."

Do ya SEE what I'm dealin' with over here?

Joshua is a structure-loving, schedule-making, routine-following kind-of-guy. So, summer kind of freaks him out. We are trying to keep some sort of consistency to each day, while also being flexible. We have a wittle baby in our family now, and we are spending as much time as we can, soaking up the love. We told Holly that we will try to be available to help however we can, with whatever she needs...whether it's holding the baby so that she can take a shower, helping her unpack things in their new house, or picking up things from the store.

Joshua has "chores" he does at our house every day. He is always willing to help's just that sometimes the task is a little overwhelming for him. Today, I washed his sheets. After they were done, I put them on the stairs...intending to take them up later, and put them on his bed.

When "later" came, I looked for the sheets, but couldn't find them. I went upstairs to his room, and he had put them on his bed all by himself! I know he knows HOW to do it...he helps me with that chore each week. It's just that his bed is really difficult to put sheets on...his mattress kind of fits down into a frame. You have to reach your hand down, and lift up each corner. It's hard for me, and I've been doing it for years. Not gonna lie...I was impressed that he could do it all by himself!

One of the other ways Joshua serves our family, is by unloading the dishwasher. He does this consistently, quietly, and without fanfare. I know there's just 3 of us now...4 during the summer...but we sure seem to use a lot of dishes each day! Especially with Clark here. That boy loves to make a mess in the kitchen cook.

ANYWAY, sometimes, Joshua goes rogue with the unloading-of-the-dishwasher.

I don't know how this slips under my radar, because I'm with him pretty much 24/7 when we're at home.

But there are mornings, like this morning, when I stumble into the kitchen, open a cabinet or a drawer...and everything is changed.

Like, the plates are moved to another cabinet...or he has moved all of the silverware to another drawer. Or he's put the silverware in a different order...knives where the spoons go...stuff like that.

This morning, I was trying to find a mixing bowl...AND THEY WERE GONE FROM THE MIXING BOWL SHELF.

What in the world?

What? Why? How? When?

I just want a mixing bowl...and a spoon.


When I asked him about it, he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and very matter-of-factly said, "I just thought I would change things up."

He keeps us on our toes! There's never a dull moment with him!

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;" Philippians 2:3

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rhodie: 1 Month!

We celebrated our grandson's one month birthday yesterday!

And by "celebrated," I mean that we went to church...but he stayed home with his parents. And we came home and had lunch...and he stayed home with his parents. BUT, then they came over, and his dad played in the pool with Joshua and Clark...and Holly and I stayed inside with Rhodie. I got to rock him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...and as I rocked him, I said, "I love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living..."

Never mind.

That book makes me so sad!

It was a great day...except for the fact that Jim missed it, because of work...because of the storms we had last week in our state. In situations like the one we had last Thursday, his company cancels all days off, weekends off, birthday holidays off, etc. It's "all hands on deck, Granger."

(name that movie)

(HARRY POTTER: The Half-Blood Prince)

We are a movie/tv show quoting family.

So Jim missed the whole weekend.

Joshua, Clark, and Aaron-the-son-in-law played outside in the pooah (how Joshua pronounces the word: POOL) for a couple of hours. That's like a world record for Joshua. He is such a planner that he has something scheduled for every minute of every day...even if it's just something like "come downstairs and hang out with Mom." He.plans.everything.

They had a big time out there. I loved hearing all the laughter...and the yelling. The good kind of yelling. :)

Anyway, I sure enjoyed the day. I had signed up to bring food to a new mommy in our small group. I specifically chose Sunday, so that Jim and I could take it together. But Clark filled in JUST FINE. We got to see a teeny-tiny baby girl. Rhodes made two of her...and I think he's wittle!

I can't believe Rhodes is one month old! This month has flown seems like he's been with us forever. He has brought much joy to our family, and we are so thankful for him.

The Lord brought this verse to my mind, and I prayed it over Rhodie on his 1 month birthday:

"Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 17:8

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Storms, Power Outages, & Thankfulness

Well, this has been an eventful week in our State. We had us some STORMS, y'all.

Where we live, we got some wind and rain...but nothing major. But other areas were hit really hard, and sustained a lot of damage. Many are without power, and my heart aches for all of them. We've been there. Oh yes, we have.

My husband works for the largest utility company in our state. He was out-of-town all last week. He came home for a long weekend, but had to leave again in a matter of hours...for work. 

He's not a of those who does the actual physical work involving trucks and ladders and poles and wires. We have great respect for them.

No, the type of work Jim does involves many things, like figuring out who needs power, prioritizing those customers (hospitals, schools, large residential areas go first) and getting it back on as soon as possible. The main part of his job involves customer service, and dealing with customer complaints.

I understand that people are hot and frustrated...I do. Storms rarely happen on a cool Fall day. It's either an ice storm when it's freezing cold...or severe weather in the blazing, hot summer. There's never a convenient time.

But the people who are out working in this weather? They are awesome. Yes, it's their job...but as hot as you are in your home without power, they are even hotter out working in the elements. Or colder, if it's in the winter. 

There are rules and regulations about how much they can work. They can work 16 hours, but then they are REQUIRED to rest 8 hours. Unfortunately, some of these storms happened at the end of a shift, which meant they only had a few more hours they could legally work on that first day.

The utility companies called in help from other states...and they are making good progress. But it's been DAYS, and the frustration is real.

I just can't get over the ANGER that is being directed toward the utility companies and the employees. I'm talking Facebook RANTS. I'm talking people FOLLOWING utility trucks and berating the linemen for not working in their neighborhoods. People counting the number of utility trucks at restaurants.

Ummmm...just like you and me, THEY HAVE TO EAT.

There are even people GOING UP TO THEM IN RESTAURANTS AND ASKING THEM WHY THEIR POWER ISN'T ON YET (they don't make that decision...they have work orders they follow).

There are people asking if the utility companies are going to pay for the loss of their food in their refrigerators...or if they are going to be reimbursed for the hotel room they were forced to get when their power went out.

That would be "no" for both. These storms are considered an "act of God."

People are reporting that they have someone with special needs in their home, and it's hot. Or there's a member of their family who needs oxygen or other equipment to sustain or enhance their lives. The utility companies will tell you that if you have someone with a dire medical need or condition, and your power goes out...if you don't have a generator to help, you need to get them to medical care. Go to the ER if you need to. We can't realistically expect other people/organizations to take care of our loved ones. We have to take care of our own families.

Several years ago, Jim had to go to a town in the southern part of Louisiana. They'd been hit with a tornado, and subsequent flooding. Restoration was more than just hooking up fallen required new poles, because the old ones were snapped in half by the wind. It took a long time, and tempers were flaring. Jim was working at a "customer care center," and they had to call the police to post up in there during the hours of operation, because they were being threatened.


Is this what we are going to?

Are you kidding me?

I don't think everyone understands that the people who are working hard to restore power? They left their own families to serve ours. Their own homes may be without power. They are missing vacations, ballgames, birthday celebrations, and other family order to help out the people of our state. Days off have been canceled until all the power is back on. They are working as hard as they can.'s their job...and NO, it doesn't end until everyone has power restored to their residence or place of business.

Tonight, I am thankful. Some of our family members, and some of our friends, have been without electricity for several days...but we are all okay.

We are safe. 

Today, there have been annoyances, both big and small, for all of us. But today, no one has shot at my children, or tried to run over my family with a truck.

Today, it's time to count our blessings.

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-4

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rhodie's First Outing: Hobby Lobby

Well, today was the day. One day shy of 4 weeks old, and we ventured from the house...with the baby.

I don't even remember those days with Joshua. It's like I told Mom came after he was born, and she stayed 1 week. And then she was gone. And it was just me.

And Jim, of course.

But mainly just me.

But that situation was a little different. Joshua was back in the hospital at 1 week of age...and then at one month of age...and then had his open-heart (open chest) surgery when he was 3 months old. And during that time, and between all of those times, if I needed to go to the store, I just...went.

I didn't really have a choice.

We like to eat at our house.

Holly is a first-time Mom, and she'll have to learn to do it...just like the rest of us all learned to do it. It takes practice, patience, and planning. I told her today, that she also had to be flexible. She had to be able to change her plans at a moment's notice. She had to be willing to walk out of a store...just walk out. Even if she had a full cart of groceries. Even if they were out of milk and bread and diapers. Even if they wouldn't have what they needed for the next day.

Because the baby may be throwing a fit. Or he may be throwing up. Or there may be a disturbance in the force a little further SOUTH. :)

"Clean up on aisle 9!"

Can I get an "AMEN?"

Holly wanted to go to Hobby Lobby. She figured there wouldn't really be too many people there, especially if we went early, and that it would be a good, easy place to go for his first outing. Hobby Lobby is cool, but it's not like Target or The terms of crowds.

She had gotten one of these Ergobaby baby carriers, and thought she could carry him close to her...and he would be happy, and she would be happy, and no nosy people would come up to her, and breathe on the baby.

Which, in

But Rhodie wasn't having it. She put him in that thing, and he was not happy about it AT ALL. He started wailing, and then he got HOT. I told her to just take him out of it and hold him. She did, and he liked it.

We only stayed at Hobby Lobby for about 20 minutes, but I'm calling it a successful trip. Rhodie proved his point, which was: don't put me down in that sweat trap. And Holly proved to herself that she could get out with him.

Holly loves Hobby Lobby, so I told her that we just needed to take Rhodie back once a week until he sees how awesome it is there!

"Rejoice in the LORD always: and again I say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Therapeutic Recreation: Summer Camp 2016

Every summer, Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation group has a "summer camp." It's a day camp for 6 weeks. The "kid" group (ages 8-18) go 5 days/week, but the "adult" group goes 3 days/week...for 6 weeks.

They basically do the same types of things that his regular TR group does, but it's in the that makes it better. I don't know why.

All the FRIENDS look forward to summer camp for the 2-3 weeks they have off between the Spring semester...and when summer day camp starts.

"They" are social creatures, and "they" love seeing their FRIENDS.

Joshua missed the first week of TR summer camp, because he was gone to Camp Barnabas. But then he came back, and jumped right into the TR summer activities. After the very FIRST day back...on the way home in the car...he started the countdown to when it would end: "Uhhh...after this week, I only have 4 weeks of summer camp left."

Same thing the next week. "Uhhh...after THIS week, I only have THREE more weeks of summer camp."

"and so on and SO FOR..." as Joshua would say.

And then, every year, about this the summer program starts winding down, Joshua will say, "I'm gonna miss my friends, but I'm kind of ready for a BREAK."

This line of thought typically lasts 1 week, at the most, until he is saying things like, "uhhh...two more weeks until the pool party." Or asking me, "what day does TR start back for the Fall?"

It's always a countdown for something...because he loves a routine. And because he likes to know what's going on....and what is NEXT.

So, today was the last day of the summer term. Joshua was both excited AND sad. He told me over and over that he was "ready for a break." Maybe he is, but I think it's what he has to tell himself to get him through until the Fall term starts.

Tonight, as he went up to bed, I told him, "DO NOT get up at the crack-of-dawn." And, he replied, "I'm done with TR for the summer, so why would I?"

"Satisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives." Psalm 90:14

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Grandma Names

Let me let you in on something: having a "grandma name" is a 'UUUUUUGE deal. Did you know?

Don't feel bad if you didn't...I didn't, either.

But it is.

And it's no longer "cool" to just be called "Grandma." UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE. Many people tie that name to an older family member, and they don't want to feel like they are "old," just because they have a grandchild. So they, some of my friends, want to be called something else...something "younger" sounding.

Which, here's the thing: even if you call yourself "GLAMMAW," or "SASSY," now, in 20 years? You will be old.

Lord willing.

ANYWAY, after Holly announced her pregnancy, and before we had even found out if she was carrying a boy or a girl, people started asking me, "what's your grandma name?"


Isn't that something the first grandchild kind of comes up with themselves?

Jim's Dad was going to be "Papaw Gene," but Joshua called him, "Papaw GENIE..." And he's been Papaw Genie to this day.

My Mom was going to be "Nammaw Betty." When Joshua was little, she had this stuffed toy parrot that she used when she played with Joshua. She would hide it behind her back, and then pop it out in front of him and say, "ahhhhhhhhhhh...BOO!" And Joshua would lay-uff and lay-uff.

And that's how she became "Abu-Nammaw" to my children...because Joshua associated her with the "ahhhhh-BOO" parrot game.

Our friend, Earl, wanted his grandchildren to call him, "Big E." Well, when the first one came, he would call himself "Big E," but his granddaughter heard, "Piggy," guessed it: his grandfather name is PIGGY!


As time went on, everyone kept asking about what my grandma name was going to be. "Moose" would be the logical choice, because that's what Jim, and the rest of my family call me...but that doesn't sound very "grandmotherly," does it? Holly suggested I could be "MOOSIE," which is adorbs, but I can't imagine my grandson, at 13, telling his friends that he has to go to Sunday lunch with his MOOSIE.


I realllllllllly wanted to be Honey...or Lovie...or Sweetie. Something like that. But, let's be real. When you've been called, "MOOSE" for most of your life, it's gonna be hard to pull off a really "sweet" name.

Joshua tried to help me out. Here are some of his suggestions, "G-Moose644 (NO clue where this came from)," "MooseKENOBI (which is a Star Wars reference)," "Mammaw Moose," and "Moose Maw."


Please, NO, Lord Jesus.

The other day, I was asked about my grandma name again, and, AGAIN. I said that I didn't have one, but that I was "open to suggestions." And then my friends started giving me suggestions. 

"How about, Grammy?" No.
"How about, Mammaw Marty." No. 
"How about Nana? Gigi? Mimi?"

No, No, and HECK No.

(My Dad's Mom was "Mimi," and she was as mean as a snake. I have friends who are "MiMis," and they are very kind...but I can't get past the Mimi from my own family)

Holly said, "sooooooooo...when you say you're open to suggestions, you really aren't?"

I don't know. Nothing seemed to really FIT.

I have a couple of friends named, Amy, and they already have their grandma names...even tho they don't have grandchildren. They are going to be Mayme (pronounced may-mee). Isn't that so, so cute?

I wish my name was Amy.

A couple of months ago, I ran into a friend at The Academy Sports. We started talking about my upcoming "Grandmotherhood," and she started asking me about my grandma name. I told her I didn't have one, and that I didn't realize it was such a huge deal.

She said, "Oh, it IS a huge deal...I've had my grandma name for years, and I don't even have grandchildren."


I said, "what is it?" This girl's name is Martha, just like my "given" name is Martha. I thought she might have THE name for me.

She said, "Marnie is going to be my grandma name."

I said, "OH, that is SOOOO CUTE!"

She said, "you can have it. We can both be Marnies."

And then I said, "nooooooo...that's okaaaay."


Because I had just gushed about how cute her grandma name was, and then she said I could have it, too...and I basically just told her..." keep it. I don't really think it's that cute after all."

Like that scene in "Mean Girls," when Regina George told Cady Heron that she loved her African bracelet...when she really hated it.

I don't hate it. I think it's really cute. It just doesn't feel like ME.

Speaking of ME, Holly suggested the name Emmie, after my initials, M.E. That's cute, right? I was pretty much set to go with Emmie, even tho I don't really FEEL like an Emmie. It's just such a cute name.

I actually had a name rattling around in my mind for a week or more, but I didn't share it...because I wasn't sure.

Then, last weekend, when Logan and Morgan were here...they went over to a friend's house to see some brand-new puppies. Clark went with them.

When they got home, they were gushing about how cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute the puppies were, trying to convince Jim and I that we neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeded one (or two) of them. Clark said, "we got to see the puppy's mother, too, and she was really sweet. Her name was Millie."

And I sat straight up in my chair.

Because that was the name.

I am Millie.

At least for now. :)

"A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth..." Proverbs 22:1

Monday, July 11, 2016

On Holding Babies

We had a good day today.

Not a perfect day...but pretty close. As Joshua would say, "prehh close"

I cleaned out my pantry this morning, which was a HUGE deal. It was a hot mess! I still have more to do, but it looks much better already.

I did a couple of loads of laundry, and I made muffins for breakfast BECAUSE IT'S MONDAY, and because WE MUST HAVE MUFFINS ON MONDAYS.

Or else.

I also put all 6 pair of my super-cute, flannel pajammies away until the weather gets cold enough to wear them again.

And, by "cold enough to wear them again," I mean that, at the first remotely cool-ish Fall day we have, I am busting those babies back out again...even if I have to turn on the a/c.

I have a problem, I realize.

I intended to finish painting up in Clark's room this morning. I just have two small patches left to do, and then I am going to try and put his room all back together. I have some of those Rubbermaid tubs out in the garage, and I was going to take them up to Clark's room, and kind of organize all of his college stuff while he is at work. He sees no need to organize ANYTHING, hence me doing it while he's at work.

But, Jim's kayak is "resting" on top of those plastic tubs, and I couldn't get the kayak off of them, without just shoving it off and letting it hit the floor in the garage...which I may or may not have thought about doing.

I'm so bad.

But, Holly called to say she was coming over with the baby. She said he had been up most of the night. I told her that Joshua and I would come over there and hold him, so she could get a nap...or she could come here. She said she wanted to get out of her house, so she came here. We hung out and talked until it was time for Rhodie to eat.

During all of this, some of the neighborhood kids started poppin' off firecrackers. WHY in the name of all that is good and right, are they playing with fireworks IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY?

Maggie, our geriatric Lab, started pawing at the back door. I went to "talk" to her, to make sure she was okay...and, when I opened the door, she about PLOWED ME OVER getting into the house. I put her out in the garage.

Holly had Marley, her half-a-dog (Yorkie) here with us...and he was about to have a full-blown panic attack. They actually have medicine they give him every July 4th, because he gets so distraught over the fireworks.

Well, he was FREAKING OUT...and shaking like a leaf. Holly was trying to nurse the baby, and Marley was in PTSD mode.

Joshua went out in the garage to check on Maggie, and he said she had yacked everywhere.

Thank you, neighbor-boys. I'm not trying to be a sourpuss or anything. I know about boys. I have 3 of my own...and a husband. I know they like to be loud, and play with fire, and blow things up. I just have one question...

Y'all gonna come clean up my garage?

After Rhodie ate, I got to hold him, so that she could deal with Marley. She finally got him calmed down, and they all 3 took a nap: Holly, Marley, and Rhodes.

And here's what I did not do today:

I did not do anymore laundry. I did not reload my dishwasher, or finish cleaning my kitchen. I did not finish painting in Clark's room. I did not clean any of the bathrooms (altho...let me be real here: that wasn't going to happen today, anyway. Ha!). I did not dust any furniture, or vacuum any floors.

And, even tho it's Monday, I did not wash any sheets.

Nope. Not this afternoon.

This afternoon, I sat in a chair, and I did not move...except to "pat-pat-pat" a little back.

Today, for 3 hours, I held a baby while he slept.


"Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you!" Isaiah 49:15

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Weekend Update 7.10.2016

We've had a good weekend. Our daughter, Holly, and our sweet, baby grandson, Rhodes, came over on Friday afternoon. It was their first "outing," just the two of them, and Holly was exhausted by the time they got here.

They just live around the corner, but it was her first time to drive since having the baby...and it was her first time to get everything ready to leave their house, and load Rhodes AND THE DOG into the car by herself.

She did GREAT. I remember being nervous my first time out with my first baby. But they made it just fine, and I got some serious snuggle time with Rhodie while they were here, which was AWESOME.

After everyone came in from work, we ordered Chinese food for dinner. It was a great night.

On Saturday morning, Jim and Clark took their kayaks out to a lake...or maybe it was a river. I don't know. All I DO know is: Saturday...crack of dawn...crashing around...second weekend in a row. Momma ain't happy.

I AM happy that my husband and our youngest son love to spend time together...but can we be a little quieter?

Mid-morning, Holly texted to see if I would mind coming over to hold Rhodie, while she took a shower. Aaron-the-son-in-law had gone to the grocery. They were hosting 7 of his family members for lunch, and she was a little stressed out.

I told her I was really busy, and couldn't come...and she would have to handle things herself...and just stay in her filth.


I hollered up to Joshua, and the two of us bugged out in 5 minutes FLAT. I got to hold Rhodes, and was able to help her straighten up a little...while Aaron got everything ready to grill. And then, when the first family members got there, Joshua and I left.

We spent the rest of the day here at our house with our family. It was really nice. At one point in the afternoon, everyone was napping, so I spent 30 minutes outside in the pool by myself. It was so relaxing.

Today, we had small group and church. It was an awesome morning. Sundays are my favorite. We came home and had FFYS for lunch. Fend For YourSelf. That means you either MAKE something for your own lunch, or you eat left-overs from the frig. We had some left-over pizza from the night before...and a little bit of Chinese food left from Friday night.

Holly, Aaron and Rhodie came over this evening. We had dinner, and then Aaron put on the UofA vs Ole Miss football game from last year.

I don't know WHY he enjoys watching these old games over and over, but he does. And he has gotten Joshua all "in" to watching them, too. It took for-ev-er for the game to end. I love football, especially Arkansas football...and SEC football...but if I have to watch these games over and over again, I'm gonna hurt somebody.

But, they eventually went home to their own house (unfortunately), and now we are winding down from the weekend, and getting ready to start a new week. Clark has made his breakfast and lunch for the next TWO DAYS...and has it in the frig. He has his clothes and everything ready to go.

We were thankful to have a quiet weekend. After the sad events of last week, it was nice to just be at home with our family. It's something we do not take for granted.

We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Dallas area.

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Friday, July 8, 2016


There are somethings I don't post on social media, because you always have those few people...or even that ONE person...who will troll on there and make some hurtful comment, and, you's disheartening. Because sometimes, no matter what I say, someone will say that I should've said more...or less...or nothing. Or, something different.

Asking why I posted on this when I didn't post on the police officer shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.

I don't know. Those shootings grieved my heart as well. All of this senseless violence is wrong, wrong, wrong...but because this happened in's more personal.

To me.

Because I have family there.

And because I have family members who are married to police officers there.

That's why.

It's not more important, their lives are not more's just more personal to me.

As far as attacking people who are trying to spread peace on social media, I say, "can we please stop?"

Because people are shooting and people are dying...and other people are shooting words behind the screen of a computer or a smart phone...and the ones who read it die a little on the inside.

Very different, I know.

But can we not attack the ones who are just trying to comfort and help?

I may not understand what it's like to be Asian, Black, Hispanic, or Native American. You might not understand what it's like to be White.

But, as civilized and rational people, there are things we can ALL agree on. Like, how targeting, ambushing, and shooting police officers is never okay.


You can't paint people of different races with one brush, and you can't paint people with certain jobs with one brush.

Because, you know, for every bad teacher we hear about on TV, there are thousands of good ones. For every immoral religious leader, there are many who live honorable and trustworthy lives. For every corrupt politician, there are hundreds who are trying to make things better. For every abusive parent, there are a million good ones who do their best every day.

These police officers in Dallas? Their only connection to the shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana...was their job.

There are at least 5 families whose loved ones are not coming home to them. And why?

Because they wore a badge.

This is never, ever okay.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike." Matthew 5:43-45

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happy Heavenly Birthday to My Mom (#77)

I posted this picture of my Mom on my Facebook. She was so pretty.

She would've turned 77 on July 1.

She was everything I am not: beautiful, talented, organized, and driven.

Long before there was a thing called a "bucket list," she had dreams...and one of those dreams was to make a record. Which, she did. The picture I posted was of her album cover. It pretty much depicts how she was every day: feminine, pretty, and always "put together."

I'm sure she looked at her three daughters, and wondered where in the world she went wrong...because the 3 of us? We want to look cute, but COMFORT MUST REIGN SUPREME.

I never saw my Mom in sweat pants, leggings, shorts, a hoodie...or almost anything that is currently in my closet. Never saw her without lipstick. Pretty sure she never, EVER wore flannel...which, if you know me or have read here very long, then you know that I wear my super-cute flannel pajammies 9 months out of the year.


I can count on one hand the number of times I saw my Mom wear a pair of jeans...and when she did? She would wear them with cute, strappy sandles, and she would have a little flower or hair-comb in her hair.

She always, ALWAYS had her nails done.

She liked to stand out...I like to blend in; She liked to be out front...I prefer to be in the back; She liked to lead...I like to serve.

But, with all of our differences, we did have things in common...and one of those things is our family. How she was with us, how she envisioned our family...and her role in it, was very different from me and my surprise there.

But I am very thankful for her, and my Dad, and the choices they made for our family. I might not have chosen her life, but she probably wouldn't have chosen mine, either.

Looking back, I can see the "scarlet thread" of Jesus through it all.

My great-grandparents took their 5 children to church, and taught them about God. My grandmother took my Mom and her brother to church. My Mom's influence over my Dad to attend and join a church after they married, led to his salvation. And their choice to raise us in a Christian home, made an eternal difference in my life...which, in turn, has impacted my marriage, and the lives of our children.

Throughout her life, my Mom used her beautiful voice to share God's love with others...and now she sings in the presence of God.

She lived well...and she died well.

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mom!

This is the verse we put on the headstone of her grave:

"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!" Psalm 104:33

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

God's Timing: Rhodes

Never doubt God's timing.

You might not see it at the time, but when you look back, you will see that He allowed or orchestrated it all.

News of our little grand-baby came around the same time we lost someone special to our family; the same time as health issues with family members seemed to intensify; the same time as job changes, and moves, and new houses...and all of the challenges that come with life and family.

And while our circumstances didn't really get easier, the thought of a new life brought energy and excitement into our family.

I don't think it's right to put hopes and dreams onto an innocent baby, but God has used this time to remind us of His faithfulness; to show us that HE sees, HE hears, HE knows, HE cares; that HE is in control of life; and that HE ALONE is the Source of our joy.

Jesus is the only One Who satisfies. HE is the One Who binds up the broken-hearted. HE turns the darkness into light, and makes our rough places smooth.

HE ALONE gives us hope for the future.

God also gives us many good gifts while we're here on earth...and sometimes the smallest ones make the biggest impact.

We love you, Rhodie!

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Joshua and Rhodie

So many people have congratulated us on the birth of our first grandchild. They want to know all about he's his Mommy is doing...all of that.

But, inevitably, the next question out of their mouths is, "how is Joshua doing with the baby?"

And, let me answer everyone: He is doing GREAT!

Since Joshua is 30 years old, most of his Therapeutic Recreation FRIENDS already have nieces and nephews. I've heard from some of the other moms about their adult children's feelings of jealousy...or sadness, because they feel left out.

I didn't spend one minute thinking about Joshua being jealous of Rhodes. That's just really not his character. Still, you never know. Joshua likes to keep us ALL on our toes!

But he is not jealous at ALL. If anything, he has taken his perceived role as the "dispenser of all the wise words from the older uncle" to a new and borderline obsessive level. He is over the moon with his new nephew. And Joshua sees himself as the "greatest and most furious protector."

He has also been diligent in making sure that Marley, the half-a-dog, doesn't feel left out. Before Rhodie was born, Joshua would hold Marley on his lap and whisper, "I'll never forget about you. You'll always be my furry nephew."

Joshua doesn't really understand teasing. Or sarcasm. For probably the first 20+ years of his life, he would get so upset when anyone would try to "mess" with, his brothers...his sister...Aaron-the-brother-in-law...or Jim's Dad.

He would get upset...or he would just slow-blink you. He didn't "get" it.

But, over the past 5-7 years, Joshua has been cracking some jokes. He's always been super funny...TO US. Like last night, when they were reporting about the winner of a hot-dog eating context. Joshua said, "70 HOT DOGS? He ate 70 HOT DOGS? Hasn't he ever heard about SELF-CONTROL?"

Took a while for me to explain to him that it was a CONTEST...because he is all about not over-eating.

Anyway, it's just been over the past few years, that he has started saying or doing things that are, according to him, "for the humorous."

And, Aaron...bless him. He is SO good with Joshua. He can get him to do things the rest of us can', playing a game of Baggo, after he said he didn't want to. Or, getting him in the pool on a hot day in May, when Joshua had already firmly stated he would NOT be getting into the pool until after he got back from camp...which was at the end of the first week of June.

Aaron will talk sports with him all day long...especially Arkansas Razorbacks sports. And he will listen patiently, as Joshua tells him all about the crazy stories he writes.

Aaron also teases him like none other. Joshua doesn't always know whether to believe him or not (it would be a good bet to go with, "NOT!" Ha!).

Last night, Holly and Aaron were at our house. Rhodie was having his fussy time. Aaron was trying to calm him down, and it was all I could do to not ask him to GIVE ME THAT BABY.

But it's not my baby.


And his parents know him best of best of all...and they are perfectly capable of calming him down.


Finally, Holly went over and got him...and calmed him right down.

Joshua was witnessing all of this. He asked Aaron, "who does Rhodie like or Holly?"

Aaron said, "it depends."

And then...because he was feeling all kinds of sassy...Aaron said, "actually, I take that back. Rhodie likes Holly better because she gives him treats."

Joshua said, "she does?"

Aaron said, "yes. She gives him candy, but I don't."

Joshua looked at him, and said, "I don't believe you, Aaron...HE'S A BABY."

Aaron said, "Awww...I'm just messin' with you."

Joshua stared at him, and gave him the most dead-serious look you have ever seen. He POINTED HIS FINGER AT HIM, and said, "God gave you the gift of fatherhood for a reason, Aaron, and you shouldn't take it lightly."


We are so thankful for baby Rhodie. He is a gift from God for sure...a gift to our WHOLE family. We all love him so much, and everyone is getting along JUST FINE!

"Children are a gift from the LORD..." Psalm 127:3

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4, 2016

We've had a great weekend. Yesterday, we got up and went to Sunday School (small group, for you young'uns)...and then we came home. I told Jim that it doesn't feel like a Sunday, when we don't go to the church service. I don't really like that feeling.

Logan and Morgan came to stay with us on Friday and Saturday. Late Saturday night, I realized that we had not taken ONE family picture...and they were leaving on Sunday before lunch. I know it's not a huge deal, but it's Rhodie's first July 4th...and I wanted to document it. I'm new at this grandmother thing, but I'm pretty sure we should be taking pictures of all of his "first" holidays.

So we came home, and changed our clothes. We went over to Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law's to take pictures. Two grandparents (Jim and I), 4 (adult) kids, 2 "in-laws," 1 grand-baby...annnnnnd a dog. What could go wrong?

And, I'm happy to report, it went as well as you are imagining. Especially if you count that, out of about 25 pictures, we got ONE where all of us are looking at the camera. In two of the pictures, Jim had a small American flag over his face.


And he's 56 years old.


In at least 2 of the pictures, Joshua is looking at Morgan-the-sister-in-law...because he thinks she is beautiful and sweet and he loves her so much. And then, in 90% of the remaining pictures, THE BOYS (Logan and Clark) are doing some sort of weird thing...on purpose.

Oh, well. Rhodes has been born into this crazy family...he might as well get used to it.

After the picture-taking session, we came home. Logan and Morgan packed up their stuff, and left to spend the next 2 days with Morgan's family. We made lunch, and then everyone piled up on the couches in the living room. Holly and Aaron came over with the baby, and I got in some serious snuggles with our little one.

I realize this post is so boring, but it's RHODIE'S FIRST JULY 4!

We couldn't decide what to have for dinner, but ended up making stuff out of what we had in the frig. Joshua calls it, "cleaning up the frig."

We had a fairly quiet Independence Day today. It's great that Holly had the baby when she gives us all a great excuse to not go anywhere. Not that we need one...we love spending time at home with our family...and we love getting to hang out with Rhodie.

Jim and Clark did decide to run down to Little Rock, and run in this Firecreacker they were up and crashing around at 5:15.


Logan and Morgan were already registered to run in it, and that's what got Jim and Clark all pumped to register for it, too. Also, Morgan's mom was running in it, and it was her first ever 5k.

So, Jim and Clark left before 6:15. I tried to go back to sleep...but I couldn't. So, I ended up making the muffins for breakfast. Because it's Monday, and if you know anything about Joshua, you know that he is committed to tradition. And it's a tradition that we have muffins on Monday.

So, holiday or no holiday...there must be muffins. 

The guys had a great time at their race. Logan thinks he ran a personal best. Jim said he didn't run as fast as he wanted to. Morgan did well, as usual. And Clark? He finished before any of my crew, and then went back to find Morgan's mom. And, after running his own 5k, he ran the last leg of her race with her...his brother's wife's mom.

Family, y'all. We don't have to be related by blood...or even related by marriage. We can be neighbors, co-workers...or friends.

Let's take care of each other.

I love July 4. I am so thankful for our country. I am thankful for the courageous men and women who fought and died, defending our country...and for the ones who are currently serving in our military. I am thankful for the freedoms we have in America. As many complaints there are about what is wrong here, I would not want to live anywhere else.

I am not too thankful for fireworks. I love watching, going places to watch them. I don't even mind watching them on a TV show...turning out all the lights in the house, and pretending we are actually there. What I do not love: people shooting off fireworks in our neighborhood. We have a geriatric, Black Lab. She's old, she can barely walk, and she can't take it.


Holly said that she and Aaron-the-son-in-law had to drug their dog, Marley, tonight...because, AND I QUOTE, he was, "acting the FOOL."

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Rhodie: Holding Him Close

We are over the moon with our precious grandson, Rhodes.

This weekend, we've all gotten lots of snuggle time with him.

As I rocked him today, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of wanting to keep him safe.

It's the same feeling I had with my own kids.

I just want to hold Rhodie close, and protect him from all the bad things in the world: from evil, from pain, from sadness, from disappointment, from suffering, from sin, from heartbreak...all the same things I wanted to protect my own kids from when they were little.

All the things I STILL wish I could protect them from.

But I can't.

None of us can.

The best we can do for our kids, for our grand-kids, is to live our lives reflecting the light of point them to a Savior, who will walk with them through all the trials of this life, and who will hold them close when we can't.

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Friday, July 1, 2016

RHODIE IS TWO! (Weeks, that is)

Okay, I promise this isn't going to turn into a "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY GRANDSON" blog.

It's just...

He's so pretty!

No, REALLY. He is.

And sweet.

He is pretty and sweet and squishy.

This week has been great! Clark has taken Joshua to his Therapeutic Recreation and picked up for me...almost every day. It has been such a blessing, especially now that Rhodes is here. I have been able to go over to Holly's house first thing in the morning, after Aaron leaves for work, and I get to stay all day...until Aaron comes home.

On Wednesday, Holly was having her newborn pictures made. I decided that I would take Joshua to TR myself...a little later. We went over to Holly's, and stayed a couple of that she was able to do her hair, make-up, get dressed, etc.

When the photographer got there, we left. I took Joshua...and then came straight back to her house. The photographer was still there. They were in the process of trying to get a picture of Marley, the halfadog, with Rhodes.

Now, keep in mind that this dog has been Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law's fur baby for 9 or 10 years. He has ruled the roost. Over the past month, his world has been turned upside down. First, Holly and Aaron moved to a new house...and then 2 weeks after that, they brought this THING into the house that cries and coughs and hiccups and makes funny noises...and sometimes it doesn't smell that great.

Since the THING has made it's appearance, Marley is not allowed on the bed, on the couch, in the backseat of the car. His sleep and "lounging" time has been completely disrupted. He is kept awake by it's crying at all hours of the day and night. He's not allowed to get too close to the it.

Well, on picture day, Holly told the photographer that she wanted a picture of Rhodes with his "puppy brother."


I arrived at the house during this whole process. They had Rhodie on the couch, on his tummy. He was not too happy, so they were trying to hold his pacifier in his mouth. The photographer said, "see if you can get Marley up on the couch (that he's not allowed on)...and put him behind the baby...and see if he will look down at him, or maybe sniff his head."



Marley acted like Rhodes had the plague or something. Holly would put him up there and position him...and Marley would lean wayyyyyyyyyyyyy away from Rhodes. It was hilarious and frustrating at the same time. Holly and I were both sweating like pigs. I am so anxious to see these pictures. I wonder if any of the ones she took of them turned out.

Logan and Morgan came home last night, and they spent the afternoon at Holly's house with Rhodes. They haven't seen him in nearly 2 weeks, so they are trying to get all of their snuggle time in while they're here!

Tonight, we had all 4 kids grandboy...and two over-the-moon grandparents (Jim and I)....celebrating Rhodie's 2 week birthday. It was the best night.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12