If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Elf in the House

She may not be on the shelf but how about this cute little elf?
Luci Elf

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Spilling the Beans

Our Lillie has always been honest to a fault.  She will confess every time you ask her about something.  Really, when you think about it, that is truly a good way to be.

This past week she was letting her mother know about some conversations she had exchanged with Emily, a girl who sits near her in class.  It seems that Emily's older sisters might have enlightened her on some topics and she felt a need to share the info with Lillie.  So, in pretty typical Lillie-fashion, the info was passed along in conversation with Bridgette.  As soon as she got a chance, Bridgette made a quick call to her mother (me) to get a bit of advice.  As always, I adhere to the honesty and openness is the best course and encouraged such this time as well.

The next morning, after trekking out to feed her horse, Blaze...after preparing her own microwave pancakes for breakfast...she told her mother...

"Another thing Emily told me is that her father is...you know."

Bridgette took a deep breath and swallowed (to make her heart get back down into her chest and out of her throat) before she said, "No, I don't know.  You will have to explain."

"Santa Claus," explained Lillie.

Before another half-heartbeat, Lydia vehemently exclaimed, "Well, Emily is a liar, Lillie!  Ain't she, Mama?"

(...and she kept repeating that statement several times.)

Lillie went on to explain that she looked closely at Emily's ears and, "they did look a little pointy."

Bridgette asked her if she didn't recall what Emily's dad looked like last summer when he coached a softball team and Lillie did remember...

"Emily is a liar, Lillie!" exclaimed Lydia again.

So, Bridgette suggested that maybe Emily was pulling Lillie's leg a bit and off to school they went.

Fast forward to our family Thanksgiving gathering...

We were all feasting at my mother and father's house and the doorbell rang.  Papaw nonchalantly opened the back door and guess who was standing there...

Santa!

Like children do, Lydia came running to the door to see who had arrived and as her eyes widened, Santa said, "Hi, Lydia.  Where is Lillie?"

I think that sealed it.

Emily was confirmed as a liar with no doubts!

Santa came in and knelt down to talk to the children.  Recognizing an old friend when she saw one, Lillie began talking...
Having a serious talk with the man, himself!

She let him know exactly what made her list.  She also requested that he include a halter for Blaze and some treats for him and Benny to share and maybe a few treats for their puppy, Huck.  She explained that they have Chester, an elf-on-the-shelf, who comes to their house and described some of his antics - including when he hung underwear on the mantel.  Santa also listened to Lydia's list and responded that he wasn't so sure about her getting a pony since that is hard for him to transport in his sleigh.  Lydia, who has always been fearful and stand-off-ish toward Santa, gave him, not just one, but two hugs!


Santa asked them to record their lists in his book so that there was no danger of forgetting.  He visited with each of the children there, calling many by name - including Mike and me!  Then, he slipped quietly out the back door and went on his merry way.

I guess you can imagine what the talk for the rest of the evening centered round.  Even on the trip home Santa was the main topic.  Lydia knew Emily was a liar and, "Lillie you need to tell her she's a liar!"

Lillie noticed, "He even knew our names when he walked in!  And, I think he may bring me everything on my list I made him."

Even the next morning the girls were reflecting on the experience with their visitor and Lillie decided, "I gave him a hug...twice.  I think I'm in good shape."

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Grandbabies

I think the greatest rewards of parenting are the grandchildren we get to enjoy!  I have been remiss lately of posting updates and photos of our youngest grandchildren because I have been so busy with my work that I don't want to spend time at a computer when the school bell rings.  Here are a couple of my favorite photos that have been shared of the two little ones lately...

Ladies first, of course:
Little Miss Luci is really a laid-back and happy girl.  She is so patient with her sisters who love her so much that they seem to want to worry her all the time.  I observed her last Saturday as she watched them with rapt attention and grinned like this photo shows and never fussed when they were poking at her or all up in her face.  They will talk to her and mess with her even when she is snoozing and she doesn't seem to be bothered by it.  I guess she knows just how loved she is and absorbs it all.

Now for our little gentleman:
Little Mr. Levi is such a happy and curious little fellow.  This 'tummy-time' shot is one of my favorite and makes me want to get in the floor and have a chat with him or grab him up and squeeze all that sweetness oozing out of him.  I'm sure he is running the store for his mother and father by now and that business is booming because of it!

It is really amazing to me to see the two of them and how they are growing and developing.  Being about a week apart in age, we can see the similar progressions of development and notice the differences... such as foot size!  

We truly are bountifully blessed and Mike and I are ever grateful that our children share these special moments with us via digital photos when we cannot be squeezing them and spoiling them as much as we would like!  (I'm looking forward to a little GrandB time with all of the grands this weekend.)


Friday, November 28, 2014

Informational Text

Reading is probably my most favorite pastime.  I learned to read before I started first grade when I was five years old.  I can never remember not loving books and the written word.

There are all sorts of studies and statistics which confirm that those who read are more successful in school and usually more successful in life.  I'm not so sure I fit those stats but I do love to read and have always been pretty well-informed!

That is a characteristic that at least one of our grandchildren has also developed.  Lillie is a reader.  She loves books and always has.  Some of our earliest photographs of her show her fascination and interest in board books.  She is now a second-grader and is rarely caught without a book to read.

Not long ago her parents were waiting for her to disembark from their vehicle and she was taking what they deemed as too much time.  So, she got a fussing..."Hurry up!  What is taking you so long?  Everytime we have gotten out of the vehicle today it has taken you longer than anybody else..."

Finally, she let her unreasonable parents know that she was simply gathering up her books.  Of course, they didn't understand - after all they are unreasonable.  Their response was, "Why do you have to wag around several books?  Why can't you just take one?"  They don't understand that a girl has to be prepared and sometimes her reading tastes run to fictional material and sometimes those tastes run toward non-fiction.  Really!

Recently, she even got a fussing because she had a light on in the back seat and was distractful to the driver.  She was told to turn off the light and read her story some other time.  To which she responded, "You know, some books have informational text."  (She has heard the educational buzz-words, hasn't she?)

I'm sure you can imagine the reaction she got...groans, an eye-roll, and an order to turn off the light in the back seat.

Her parents think she is a nerd and I think that is quite alright.  She isn't one of those kids who doesn't go outside and play or who doesn't watch television or who doesn't use her imagination and create games when she is with her peers.  Of course, I would like to expand her horizons a little and encourage her to read something that doesn't have a horse involved, but that isn't all bad either.

A couple of weeks ago she checked out a book from the school library that had a horse on the cover.  As it turned out, the entire book wasn't really about horses - only one of the selections in the anthology was about a horse.  She wound up reading a lot more than just that one selection, though.  She had to share with me what she learned about weather and storms by reading another selection in that book.  (I think most of that book was informational text.)

Later in that week, Lillie brought home an assignment that her parents had to sign and within that signature page was a bit more about "informational text."

 (I hope they realize the importance of her reading and can accommodate it a bit more now!)

I hope she never tires of her love of reading!  My experience has been that as long as you have a good book, you will never be bored.  Waiting isn't a pain when you have a good book as a companion and I have sat patiently at the auto-repair place several times with a book.  Reading can take you places that you may never be able to travel physically.  When you read about something, that information can never be taken away from you because it is always stored there in your head somewhere.

Plus, it certainly makes shopping an easy task for grandmother!  I've picked up a couple of good equine reads to tuck into Lillie's stocking but I might have to do a bit more shopping just so I can make sure to also include some of that "informational text."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Simple Things

Isn't it really the simple things that turn out to be the best?

This weekend, Mike and I had the opportunity to be home alone, together, without a particular agenda.

Oh, he ran a couple of errands and made a bacon and sausage delivery.  I zipped over to a fabric store in hopes of finding the perfect companion for my Granny's quilt.

Those were not a part of a formal agenda.  We could have stayed home and told the world where we were and if necessary, it could come to us.

We watched a little television.  We napped.  We ate delicious take-out and home-cooked foods.  We talked.  We just relaxed and enjoyed one another's company or spent time alone while the other was doing.

Truly, it was simple and wonderful!

It was rejuvenating.

I hope you have a simple week...or can handle the bluster of your life simply.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Country come to town...

A month or so ago, my mother lined up a crew of us to help her move the remaining furniture out of my Granny's house.  The crew was a family team.

Time was squared away to help out.  However, some folks missed out on the chance.  My husband, Mike, and my sister, Brenda, and my niece, Rebecca, had to work.  Bless their hearts.

My son, Bryan, and his family had already made reservations with some friends to go on vacation to the beach.  Bless their hearts.

Bridgette and Corey were gearing up to go to the hospital for little Luci's birth.  Corey was mowing grass to get ahead and Bridgette was resting every chance she could.  Bless their hearts.

So, I hooked my truck to Mike's trailer and awaited the call from Mom to let me know when the remainder of the crew were headed to Granny's house.  (I don't know who was more excited that I got it all hooked up and ready to roll... Mike, or me!)
Bev's truck to haul your junk.  I don't work cheap!

The day was one of those where all you had to do is step outside your house and immediately you were sweating.  My brow was dripping before I even got out the drive and had the air conditioner cooling the cab of the truck.

When I pulled up to the curb, both Daddy's pickup trucks were parked in the driveway and the back seat of Mom's car was already full.

In no time, Nathan, (niece Rebecca's husband) Adam, (niece Megan's boyfriend) Megan, my brother-in-law, Dwayne, and niece Madalyn were soon hauling out chairs, end tables, coffee tables, and more onto the front lawn.

Now, bear in mind that this is the neighborhood directly across the street from a ritzy golf course.  So, I'm sure folks were peeking out from behind the drapes in the neighborhood all up and down the street.

I'm sure we looked a bit like the Clampets from the Beverly Hillbillies.  I even teased Madalyn that we could strap one of the rocking chairs to the roof of my truck and she could ride there when we left.

Here is how we looked when we rolled out of that ritzy neighborhood:

We had dressers, mattresses and box springs, headboards and footboards wedged in between, end tables stacked atop one another, coffee tables strapped upside down on top of dressers, and yes, that is a baby bed on end in the bed of my truck.

Daddy's pickup trucks were loaded in a similar manner:
Heirlooms swaddled in quilts.

Bungee cords, pieces of rope and twine, and ratcheted straps holding everything in place.

My Granny's house stands empty now with handymen working to get it spruced up and ready to sell.  All of her beautiful belongings have been disbursed to members of the family who cherish the gifts she left us but more-so we cherish the memories we hold of her and the matriarch she was to our family.

The funny thing is that many of those same furniture pieces were hauled from my Granny and Granddaddy's farm down to this ritzy neighborhood exactly the same way they were hauled away from that house.  Some of them even in that same little red Ford truck shown in the photo above.  I'm sure the neighbors were thinking many thoughts about our family and us loading all our belongings into old pickup trucks.  Probably one of those thoughts went something like, "You can take the folks out of the country but you just cannot take the country out of the folks."  Bless their hearts.

As we rolled down the street, I'm sure there were more folks than me who were humming the tune and mumbling the words,

...so we loaded up the truck and moved to Bev-er-ly...

Bless their hearts.