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

Monday, February 5, 2018

Happy Birthday, Easton!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Beautiful Snowy Sight

Our daughter-in-law, Bonnie sent this photo of one of their Angus heifers that she snapped last week.  Since I got to stay inside and didn't have to venture out to be the caretaker of livestock for once, I thought this was a beautiful sight.  Thanks for sharing, Bonnie!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Practically Perfect In Every Way - More Snow Day Activities

Just in case you don't know my grandchildren, let me tell you that they are practically perfect in every way.  After all, I'm their grandmother and I cannot imagine any grandmother thinking differently about her grands.

This week we learned that one of the grandsons has learned how fun it is to climb stairs.  He is almost two-years-old and seems to be training for quickness at an Olympic rate.  We understand he's gotten quite adept at it and can get up the stairs lickety-split before his parents even realize it.  Isn't that practically perfect? 

I thought you would see it my way.

We also had a Hangout with some of the granddaughters and saw that they calmly sit and watch a classic video and share snacks and play cooperatively with the dollhouse.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.

For some reason, our grandsons - and at times even the granddaughters - have all been described using one word at some point or another and I think it is meant as a compliment of their energy, quick thinking abilities, good health, and vigor.  I know that the official dictionaries use synonyms such as boisterous or rowdy or wild or unruly but I'm still choosing to see the descriptor used as a compliment and reference to their positive character, their enthusiasm for life and learning, their curiosity, their exuberance.  The descriptor Mike and I have heard their parents use is:


See?  Don't you think that is a good thing?  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.

These snow days have been hard on our grandchildren's parents.  They aren't accustomed to staying in one place for very long.  After all, they cart their school-aged children off to the schoolhouse or trek to the store with their toddlers or work outside on their rural homesteads.  They aren't accustomed to having their exuberant children cooped up inside for so long.  After all, those children usually burn energy, running, and playing in a gym at school or practicing basketball with their team or shooting hoops, and riding bicycles, and running through the grass.  They tag along after their parents who run errands and grocery shop and load feed sacks for customers and landscape and build birdhouses and care for livestock and hunt big game and enjoy the great outdoors.  Yet, when these snow days have limited all that activity and left the grandchildren with four walls to contain them.  Well, let's just say it has been hard on their parents.  After all, it isn't a problem with the grandchildren, it is a problem with their parents.  The grandchildren are practically perfect.  Right?

I thought you would see it my way.

We got some photos the other day from part of the grandchildren's parents letting us know that at least one of the grandsons had forced his mother into creating activities for him to enjoy.  She saw it as a way of occupying his time and keeping him focused and a little less - rambunctious.
Look at that concentration.  Look at the finesse.  Look at all the intellect popping out.  I hate that I'm not savvy enough to share this the way it was sent to me in one of those short moving picture sort of thingies on my iPhone.  The seriousness of his work really shone through on it.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.
(Mom also spent a bit of time creating a matching game for our grandson.  Didn't she do a good job?  Can you guess that she has a master's degree in elementary education?) 
The real genius-ness of the matching game was the result, though.  Look at that attention to detail.  Look at the fine motor skills used to accurately line up each little piece.  Look at the enthusiasm used for learning.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.
Luckily, baby sister got in on the act.  After all, I'm sure she is a bit rambunctious at times, too.  Right?  I hate you can't see the moving picture thingy sent via iPhone, she was kicking and cheering her brother on as he crafted an artwork masterpiece.  Isn't that  practically perfect in every way?

I thought you would see it my way.
Of course, the finished product says it all.  Look at the Picasso-like coloring.  Look at that proud smile.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.

I don't know why these practically perfect grandchildren's parents think rambunctious has a negative connotation.  I don't know why they have problems with the energy and exuberance of our grandchildren.  After all, I think they are practically perfect in every way!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Saying Goodbye Too Soon

Our hometown experienced a tragic loss this week.  We lost a young man who had grown up alongside our sons.  Trust me when I say that flu and pneumonia are still serious infections and can be devastating.  Our heart is broken and there truly is a hole left in the fabric of our lives.

Craig Childress was certainly a one-of-a-kind sort of fellow.  I feel extraordinarily honored to have known him and had him touch my life.  Craig came into the life of my family when he was five years old and started to play coach-pitch baseball.  He was on my son, Bryan's team.  They were all such little fellows and had so much to learn.  As it turned out, they all learned baseball together over the years.  Every single year that Bryan played baseball, he and Craig were on the same team.  Most years, Craig's dad, Bo, served as their coach.

One time the boys ran into the dugout from playing defense and Bo began lining up the fellows to get ready to bat.  He asked in his quiet tone a couple of times before he shouted out, "Who's number one?"  The boys were all laughing and messing round but all of them stopped when Bo's voice was so loud.  They all looked at one another and, suddenly, Craig shouted, "We are!"  Guess whose jersey had the number one on the back.  Yep.  Craig's!  Bo rolled his eyes, handed Craig his helmet, sent him out to bat, and the game continued.  That is the type of humor Craig carried with him wherever he went.

There are loads of baseball stories and Craig figures into most of them.  A couple of summers he spent lots of time at our house hanging out with Bryan on days between games.  The boys would just climb into the back seat after the game and I'd throw the extra uniform in the washer when we got home.  They would pile up on the sleeper sofa in the den.  He would pull on some shorts and a t-shirt of Bryan's and Craig would simply follow my children out to the barn the next morning.  We hardly knew he was around because he just fit right in and never minded chores alongside my children.  On the hottest of days they would watch movies during the heat of the day to save their energy for the evening games.  One of the favorites during a summer was "Sandlot."  I wish I had a quarter for every time our VCR played that movie or a nickel for every time one of the guys uttered a quote from the movie.  I'd be wealthy beyond my wildest dreams!  The boys were brothers through baseball.

Throughout his childhood and even after reaching adulthood, Craig was one of the most polite and considerate young men I have ever known.  He always took time to stop and chat and share a memory whenever I bumped into him out and about.  It never mattered where we were, nor what he was doing, he always would pause, give me a hug, and chat.  My father always mentioned when he had seen Craig around town somewhere or at the restaurant where Craig was working.  Daddy was always heartwarmed that Craig would hug him and take time to chat as well.  Daddy also appreciated the courtesy Craig showed by saying yes-sir and no-sir to him as a means of respect and honor for an elder.  He was a young man who respected and earned the respect of others.

As I blink back the tears and see the many memories and times shared with this honorable young man flickering across the screen of my mind, I cannot imagine the void that is left in the world by his passing.  Those of us who had him added to our lives are fortunate and what a sorrow it is that we will no longer be faced with his smile, quick humor, and easy-going manners.

I hope my Daddy was at the gates of heaven to hand Craig a piece of bubble gum when he arrived.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

More Snow Days!

It is always good to watch the wonders of the world through the eyes of a child.  We are fortunate and blessed to get to see things through the eyes of our grandchildren. 

As an educator, I am much like a child and love a snow day!  We got a pretty good snow over the weekend but that didn't give us the opportunity to stay home from school.  So, when we got a couple of inches on Tuesday, I was almost as excited as a child. 

It was good to see photos and do FaceTime and Google Hangouts with the grands to learn of their outdoor fun.
First, we got photos of Levi and Easton.  Their mother bundled them up and they rode on an inflated donut while she  pulled them in the powdery snow.  She said they tried to have a snowball fight but the snow was just powdery and wouldn't pack well to allow for that.
Of course, it was also fun to pull the donut and just tromp around in the snow while it was falling all around.
Easton thought he needed to tromp around and pull the donut as well!
Later in the day we got a video showing where their father had come home from the store and tied the donut to the ATV to give them a ride. 
This one was shouting, "Faster!  Go faster!"

Lillie and Lydia looked like they had a big time in the snow if the amount of snow sticking to them is any indication.  They had some old pool floats that they slid around on a bit.  Mostly, it looks like they just did lots of packing of snow on themselves.
It looks like Luci's anticipation paid off and she did get to make a snow angel.  I wonder how many layers she has on?  She looks like she thought it was quite fun, though!

We also got photos of Harris and Linley in one of our recent snowfalls.  Harris was so excited about it and really wanted to build a snowman.  Sadly, both of the snows we have gotten are really a bit too powdery and I don't think a snowman resulted.  He did get to do some sliding and playing round in it, though.
He was pretty excited that his baby sister, Linley, was getting to see her first snow as well.
He was probably more excited than she was.  She reportedly spent most of her time squinting at it because it was so bright outside that she could hardly see.  She did look cute in all her snow gear, though, didn't she!
Of course, one of the best parts of playing in the snow is sipping on hot chocolate and snacking on a little cake when one returns inside!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow Days!

Welcome to the sunny south!  We woke up Tuesday morning to snow falling steadily down.  It was beautiful as Mike and I sat inside here and watched it falling.  Of course, we didn't have to get out into it and battle it - well, I didn't.  Mike got out to go feed the animals and putter round but I sat right here and watched the snow fall and sipped coffee and caught up on my favorite blog-reading activities.

We talked to the children about the grandchildren.  Lillie sent this photo of Lydia and I think I might not have felt as much excitement as her while I sat in front of the French doors and watched but I was pretty mesmerized.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Wise Words

Today is a holiday to honor a brave and wise man.  He stood up for what he believed was right and encouraged others to do so as well.  As a statesman, he brought about positive change with his words.  He didn't point a finger or call names, he just shared a vision for what is right and what is wrong.  There are so many quotes from this man which could be used today to honor his accomplishments and the foundation he built, the shoulders on which others stand to continue that mission.  Here are the ones I'm choosing today: