Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 Suggestions...

Y’all may remember TLC and I don’t really, seriously make New Year’s Resolutions. But I’ve decided to make two “Suggestions” for myself. And one for TLC (that’ll be fun, right?)

For ELC: 2017 Suggestions


1.      Lose weight. It’s time. I must do something/anything to try to lose the forty (40) pounds I need to lose. I don’t really believe I need to join Weight Watchers. Or go to Jenny Craig (this wouldn’t be convenient as I’d have to go to Fort Worth and that’s at least an hour away). I need to stop putting so much food into my mouth/body. Especially sugar foods and drinks. Period.


2.      Drink more water. I must TRULY attempt to drink less Diet Mountain Dews and Sonic Vanilla Coke Zeroes. Also bottled Coke Zeroes I keep in my fridge at all times. MUST be 75% better about this. Period.

That’s it. Anything else? It would just be a waste of typing. There are SO MANY improvements I need to make to myself. My life. My brain. My body. It’s quite overwhelming. So I’ll be realistic and keep my goals/suggestions simple.


For TLC: 2017 Suggestions


1.      Post more. Please. Dear Lord. PLEASE help ELC/Yo Mama  write more blogposts. I’ve basically given you approximately five years to slack off. I know you currently have a Wild Child under the age of one year (Baby Elle). But she’s getting older each second that passes and Little Leighton (at 4 ½) is almost becoming a piece of cake to raise/care for/handle. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your posts and pictures. Come on: Commit to ELC. I know A LOT of your secrets. (Just sayin'. Teeheehee.)

That’s it! That’s all! My Sweet Hubby and I will probably be asleep in our Great Room by 7:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time) tonight. Max. I’ll say HAPPY NEW YEAR/HAPPY 2017 to each of Y’all now! May it be a GREAT one.

(Drink some champagne for moi and TLC, okay?)

Love and Hugs, always... 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

we sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar...

Can y'all believe Christmas has come and gone? I'm always a bit melancholy on Christmas night. I adore all things Christmas, and I get sad when it's over. I spend a lot of time planning gifts, purchasing gifts, wrapping gifts, decking my halls. By the day after, though, I'm ready for a fresh start. This year, I took all of our Christmas decor down, minus the trees. I decided to leave those up until after New Year's Day. (They just make our house extra sparkly!) I had fun redecorating the house. Little Leighton (LL) was my helper. I think she has quite an eye for design! (She's a hoot. And a toot. All presents for Baby Elle have been deemed presents they both will "share." She also declared, after the last gift was unwrapped, that she would like to open presents every day of the year.)

On Christmas Eve Eve, our Third Annual Baking Extravaganza took place. LL is my sous chef. We bake gingerbread cookies for Santa and a red velvet cake. Both gluten-free, of course. And both DELICIOUS, if I do say so myself. ELC was here that day, being our Grammy Nanny. She took a few photos to commemorate. LL and I also had matching aprons this year, courtesy of Matilda Jane's collaboration with Joanna Gaines. Two of my faves!




Decorating (and eating!) cookies is serious business, y'all. Teeheehee.

We here at LOL hope you and yours had the MERRIEST Christmas! Cheers to 2017!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christms Eve!

So it’s getting close to 10:00 p.m. in North Central Texas.

This has been a wonderful day. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I slept a teensy bit late. Then got a lot of things done. Tomorrow morn we head East for our Celebration and Gift Exchange with TLC, Her Hubby (HH), Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle. We’re bringing a salad and dessert. TLC is doing one of her famous “Pot Roasts with Smashed Taters and Parsnips” lunches. I’ll tell Y’all more details about my dessert some other time. It was an Epic Fail. But MSH and I improvised and will be taking our extraordinary "Chocolate Toffee Crumble Cake." Teeheehee. Gluten-free, of course. With GF whipped topping. We already know it is YUMMO/FANTASTIC. We tasted it. Several times. Yes. Yes, we did.

Late this afternoon, MSH and I made a trip to Fort Worth to attend a Christmas Eve Evensong at a church I used to visit with TLC—when she lived in Fort Worth. Christ Chapel. It was lovely! Just what MSH and I needed to feel the full, true, amazing meaning of Christmas.

TLC and her Gang have been to Her Hubby’s Family’s Christmas. Baby Elle was not a Happy Camper. Pictures to follow soon. Now both Angel Girls are all tucked into bed. TLC and HH are pooped. We’re all quite certain Biscuit will be up at 5:00 a.m. If they’re lucky. This year it has positively hit her: The MAGIC. The FUN. The PRESENTS. She’s been one anxious Little Leighton for weeks! Bless her precious little heart…

We all wish each of you a MAGICAL Christmas, full of love, laughter, happiness, food, fellowship, family, friends and HOPE. The Hope of Our Dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God Bless Everyone—tonight, tomorrow, on Christmas Day, and always…

ELC

p.s.: I follow Franklin Graham on Twitter. This morning I loved this tweet from him:

Make sure that Jesus Christ is at the center of your celebration—and the center of your heart--#Christmas. (He had the cute little Apple Christmas tree emoji at the end. I thought that was too sweet…)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

comfort and joy!

A dear, precious friend of mine (I’m thinking we’ve known each other for over 23 years—at least—I’d have to really work my brain cells on this to be completely accurate.) got together today for a little pre-Christmas cheer.

Her wedding (over 20 years ago) to My Sweet Husband’s (MSH) best friend (GL) was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever attended. Stunning. Exquisite. Unforgettable. We’ve spent a lot of time together since then—made lots of memories.

GL died last year—right before Thanksgiving. He was a bit younger than MSH. They’d been friends for over forty years. When MSH had his heart attacks, Emily’s husband was my second call—after TLC. When MSH was bit by the copperhead snake a year ago this past August, GL beat us to the ER, comforting both MSH and me. Losing GL was shocking. Devastating. Incomprehensible. To Emily. To his children, grandchildren and family. To us. His many, MANY friends. (He would tell MSH he’d make sure TLC and I had his help and support when MSH’s time came. Actually, they’d make lots of jokes about MSH being the “first to go.” Morbid? Yes. Typical of the two of them? YES.)

Emily has been amazing this past year. Strong. Brave. Smart. Wise. AMAZING. Since her life has changed in such a drastic and surprising way, we discovered we were going to have more time to be together. Three months ago, we had our first pedi date. We met for breakfast, first, and then journeyed to my current Spa/Salon. The next month, we changed it to a pedi and lunch. We did that order again today. (But, hey, we can be WILD and CRAZY. We might go back to breakfast. We might make a pedi/dinner date next month. We’re flexible and open to all possibilities! Winky. Wink.)

As we were drying our purty tootsies this morning, I told her I had a surprise for her: MSH was joining us, and, therefore, treating us—teeheehee, for and to lunch. I can’t begin to express his admiration for Emily. He’s constantly impressed by and proud of her courage and determination. The three of us had a great time. She and I did our best to talk MSH into having a pedi with us sometime soon. TLC and I have been working on him to do this for at least five years—with no success. He says: NO. H#LL NO. Silly, SILLY man. First of all—he’d love it. Second—GL would get the biggest kick out of seeing the three of us partake in this (IMPORTANT and necessary) activity. MSH says it ain’t happenin’. Ever. We’ll see…

After saying our goodbyes, I left for Hellmart. MSH left in his truck for home. Emily headed downtown to the office she and GL shared forever. I know it’s hard for her to face her new reality and daily challenges. But she does it with grace and class. I love her, dearly.

TLC grew up with GL as an “Uncle” figure. In fact, GL performed TLC’s wedding to Her Hubby almost seven years ago! He had to be convinced/begged/bribed to do it. It was perfect. Positively perfect. We have the luxury of watching him anytime we want on the wedding video. It’s quite wonderful.

TLC adores Emily, too! We might let her, Little Leighton and Baby Elle join us sometime down the road for a pedi/dining adventure. Emily has several granddaughters that we’d also happily invite!

This was a day of pure JOY—despite us all missing GL terribly. I confidently believe he’s with Emily. His children and grandchildren. And MSH. Watching them. Laughing with and at them. Treasuring them. Guiding them.

Now I must scoot…

Hope Y’all have had a Wonderful Wednesday! Call up a friend you love and tell them how much they mean to you. It’ll be a Christmas gift they’ll always treasure.

Smooches and Hugs…

Sunday, December 18, 2016

the eyes of our hearts...

From Jesus Today, by Sarah Young:


(No. 63 page 146-47)


HOPE FOR WHAT YOU DO NOT SEE; EAGERLY wait for it with perseverance. Among the five senses, sight is often the one that people value the most. I created the world gloriously beautiful, and I want you to appreciate beauty when you see it. However, even more beneficial than sight is hope, which is itself a kind of vision. It enables you to see—through the eyes of your heart—things that are not yet. The most stunning example of this is the hope of heaven. Your ultimate destiny is to share in My Glory! This is my promise to you, secured through My finished work on the cross and My resurrection.

Practice hoping for things you do not see—both for this life and the next. Ask Me to guide you into hopes and dreams that are in line with My will. Train the eyes of your heart to “see” these blessings, while praying for My will to be done fully and only. Discipline yourself to wait eagerly—with your focus on Me and the longed-for outcome. Remain hopeful and expectant as you wait with perseverance.


If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.


            --Romans 8:25 NKIV
“The glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.”


            --John 17:22 NKIV


TLC and I pray to see our many blessings. We pray for each of you that loyally read our Blog each week to be safe, strong, prosperous and HAPPY. Today and always.


Sweet Sunday Hugs and Kisses to Y’all...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

bank grabbers...

Things that happen when My Hubby goes out of town for the week (not necessarily in the order in which they occured--it just happens to be the order in which my exhausted brain is remembering them):

1. Baby Elle learns to say, "Mama!" (VICTORY! It's only fair. Little Leighton's (LL) first word was "Dada.")

2. The freezer (temporarily) breaks. I had to locate our breaker box, too. I knew it was somewhere in the garage. I could not figure out how to open the dang thing. 

3. Little Leighton ROCKS her sweet Christmas Program. She sings with so much expression. It was precious and priceless.

4. The kitchen sink leaks. Everywhere. Because, of course. The plumber has to come two days in a row. Because, of course.

5. Baby Elle sleeps through the night--TWICE. Y'all--this was another VICTORY. The past month (Six weeks? I've lost count.) has been extra rough. Between the never-ending ear infection and teething, we've all had very. little. sleep. 

6. LL wakes up at 2:30 last night. Ready to get up for the day. Because, when one sleeps--the other doesn't. I could not convince her to go back to sleep. Grammy could not convince her to go back to sleep. It took bringing her to my bed to finally get her to doze off at 5:15.

7. My low-tire light comes on. Because, of course. 

8. LL has her class Christmas Party. It was lots of fun. There was Christmas Bingo, an ornament craft and (gluten-free!) sugar cookies. Basically, the best day--ever.

9. During dinner tonight, LL was recounting the rest of her busy day at her Methodist Church Preschool to me and Grammy. It was then that I learned some of the sweet little boys in her class like to play "bank grabbers." (That's in addition to zombies, apparently.) I asked her what that meant. She said they pretend to steal money from the bank. Uh-oh. I kindly reminded LL that her Pa-Pa and Mama were both bankers, and we put our money INTO the bank. We don't take other people's moo-lah out. Grammy nearly died laughing.

10. I visited my dermatologist for my semi-annual skin check. He removed three "suspicious" spots. Lovely. I went to LL's Christmas Program with two big bandaids on my face. I was very "Rudolph-esque," given one spot was right on the bridge of my nose.

11. LL, after much consideration, has decided she'll be ready to use permanent markers and have a cell phone (a purple one from "Grammy and Pa-Pa's Staples," nonetheless) on the weekends when she's 10. She says she'll be much more "good-er" by then and not as "silly." This girl. FUNNY.

So, now I'm headed to bed. At 7:30. No judgement, please. The fact that we've all made it this far calls for some sort of celebration. A Hallmark Christmas movie and comfy pants sound good to moi.

Happy Friday Eve!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

blessed assurance...


From Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young:


December 11th


I AM WORKING ON YOUR BEHALF. Bring me all your concerns, including your dreams. Talk with me about everything, letting the Light of My Presence shine on your hopes and plans. Spend time allowing My Light to infuse your dreams with life, gradually transforming them into reality. This is a very practical way of collaborating with Me. I, the Creator of the universe, have deigned to cocreate with you. Do not try to hurry this process. If you want to work with Me, you have to accept My time frame. Hurry is not in My nature. Abraham and Sarah had to wait many years for the fulfillment of My promise, a son. How their long wait intensified their enjoyment of this child! Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.


PSALM 36:9; GENESIS 21:1-7; HEBREWS 11:1   AMP


Today I head East for a few days. TLC’s Hubby goes out of state for job training. I’m truly looking forward to being with My Girls! The weather here in Texas is cold. Finally. (And, yet, we don’t much like it! Temps in the 50s and 60s are our preference. Of course. Fall. I could love that year round. I'm serious. Well, okay, let’s throw a little Springtime in there, too. For good measure.)

Christmas seems to be approaching FAST—to “big” people. To the “little ones?” The time is crawling. I remember that—don’t y’all? Thinking Santa was taking FOREVER to arrive. Seeing her gifts under their tree, Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) is becoming frustrated. TLC is actually afraid she’s going to peek. Open them up and then try to get them wrapped back! (TLC went through this dilemma. Actually, I believe she’s confessed to succeeding, a few times, at finding out what were in her gifts. Toot. I was too much of a Rule-Follower. If you told me not to do something? I complied. I’m still 98% that way! Teeheehee. Won’t go into the remaining 2% at this point.) It’s like a slow, confusing torture to our tots. I have moments now, as I did when TLC was a child, of feeling a bit guilty about the stories we tell about Santa. Is it our first, significant disappointment? Deception? I don’t know. Mostly I think of it as a part of life. What we all survived for the lessons we were to learn.

I’m wondering if this time, the Christmas season, is actually the beginning of our children’s/grandchildren’s training to have faith. Faith in the goodness of Santa Claus/Generosity/Kindness. Faith in God and Jesus. Faith in Their holy “time frame.”

Y'all remember: I’m not a patient person. Never have been. Don’t think I ever will be. I do try. I pray for patience. Daily. I take deep breaths. I attempt to distract myself with other things. I force myself to stay busy. I’m also a worrier. Both of these traits/issues? Not so good. Not a testament to my personal faith, right? I’ll keep trying to be/do better. I’ll never stop working on it. Today. Every day. I do so love My Dear Lord God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Hope each of you Sweet Peas has a Splendid Sunday and WONDERFUL Week! PLEASE be patient and faithful. Don’t worry. Be HAPPY!


Hugs and BIG Sunday Smooches…

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

oldish...mostly ish...


I went East Sunday morning for one night. TLC, Her Hubby and Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) were going to church and then, after lunch, to LL’s first play! TLC and I’ve been discussing the fact, for at least a year, that we needed to take LL to a play/musical. A little community theater group was putting Elf on very close to TLC’s casa. This seemed like the perfect play to take LL to. (I haven’t seen the movie. I believe I’ve said I'd watch it the past six or seven Christmas seasons. Yep. That' not happened yet.)

The ticket prices were very reasonable and the time was going to work out great. Off they went after lunch! (TLC’s Hubby? He decided, after the two-hour play—including a too-long intermission—that in the future—he’d volunteer to keep Baby Elle and I could go with TLC and Biscuit to all plays and musicals. He enjoyed it—was glad to be with TLC and LL—one time. Teeheehee.)

Baby Elle and I had a happy afternoon. She’s continued to be sick. Ear infections. (These have gone on for five weeks.) She has, however, still been SWEET, cute and downright yummy! At least in Grammy’s opinion.

Monday morning, TLC took Baby Elle back to their pediatrician—for the 4th time in four weeks—and I took LL to her ballet/dance class. After lunch, TLC and LL made a quick run to Hobby Lobby while I watched Baby Elle sleep—on the monitor. Poor, precious Baby Elle—she had to have a HORRIBLE shot yesterday. Another one today. One more tomorrow. If these evil shots don’t clear up her ears, the next step is a visit to a pediatric ENT. Possibly tubes. We’re, obviously, all praying non-stop for healing!!!

I had to head home by 2:15 as I had Bridge Club last night. I missed My Three Girls by the time I hit 121—10 minutes from TLC’s house.

LL and I Facetimed for a few minutes around 4:30 today. Her class—and several other classes—walked over—this morning—to a Senior Citizens’ Home that’s next door to LL’s Church School. The children were “practicing” their Christmas songs for their Christmas Program next week and entertaining the Home’s residents. Two birds (turtle doves, of course...) with one stone!

Here is the conversation LL and I had:

Grammy: So, tell me about the walk to the Senior Citizens’ Home this morning. Did you have fun?

LL: Yes! It was cold, but we had FUN, Grammy. We sang for old people.

Grammy: Right. Well, were they as old as Grammy?

LL: Yes!

(I will remind Y’all, I’m 62. I don’t have plans to live in a retirement home anytime soon. I certainly won’t be opposed to it—if that’s what needs to happen. I’ve told TLC for years: You may have to make a tough decision about me. I may get mad at you. You must do what you must do. I’ll be fine. I’ll love you no matter what happens. She dreads these talks. For many, many reasons.)

Grammy: They were as old as me? Hmmm. Were they as old as Pa-Pa?

(I will remind Y’all, he’s 72. He’s actually 9 years and 11 months older than moi.)

LL (after pausing and thinking for a few seconds): No. They weren’t as old as Pa-Pa.

Oh, Biscuit. What am I going to do with you????????

Hope Y’all are having a wonderful week—and that no one you know thinks you’re older than people that are clearly 15-25 years older than you.

Sheesh. And SMOOCH.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

'Tis The Season!

Happy December, y'all!

Yesterday, I took the girls to go see Santa. I think the pictures speak for themselves:



Priceless!

God love Baby Elle. Apparently she missed the "merry and bright" memo. Santa was so apologetic. He felt terrible she cried. I told him to not think twice about it. The crying pictures are always the most memorable!

Little Leighton had spent a long time working on her letter to Santa. She was excited to hand deliver it to him. Santa was beyond patient and kind, reading every word with her. LL requested an "Elena Guitar," "Barbie Clothes," and a "Purple Bike (with training wheels--she dictated this part to me!)."





There is truly nothing more magical than experiencing Christmas with your child/children. Their wonder and joy is amazing. It is simply "the most wonderful time of the year!" (Well, it will be for Baby Elle--once she recovers. Teeheehee.)

I hope you're all having a Splendid Saturday...Seriously SPLENDID!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

all is calm...now

Thanksgiving at our country casa was GLORIOUS. Gluten free. DELICIOUS. Happy. MARVELOUS.

I do want to point out that by the time TLC, Her Hubby and The Little Princesses left on Saturday morn, I’d put more Steps on my Fitbit in five days than ever before—in the eleven-ish months I’ve worn said Fitbit. I even made it to almost 14,000 Steps by  Thanksgiving Night! Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday, I was pretty much incognito/incapacitated. Back killing me. Knees killing me. Everything hurting. Good pain, though it was! (To put this in perspective for Y’all,  my “Step” goal each day is 7,000. That is SEVEN THOUSAND. Not eight. Not nine. Not fourteen. Trust me—I don’t make that goal more than three days in a typical ELC week.)

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I have missed Our Three Girls (and TLC’s Hubby and Henry the Dog) terribly since they went home. My next visit with them will happen this Sunday. I’ll drive East for one night. About 24 hours. TLC and Her Hubby are taking Little Leighton to a Christmas play and I’ll be Grammy Nanny-ing Baby Elle! Just the two of us. We plan to have us some major FANTASTICNESS.

Now My Confession:

Yesterday was a horrible day for me. From the time I woke up (at 5:00 a.m.) until about 4:00 p.m. Much of what occurred is too long of a story. One I feel confident most of Y’all would not care to read. Let me sum it up as quickly as I can. 

My day was troubled by:



(1)  A jewelry store in Dallas I’ve been dealing with for over SEVEN weeks. They were to resize a ring I got from their designer 5 or 6 years ago and have never been able to wear. It's been living in our safe. Am I sounding too fancy? I'm not meaning to. It is a LOVELY ring (I’ll take a picture of it for Ya’ll—if I EVER get it back.) It’s one of the most expensive gifts I’ve received from MSH in over 39 years. (But not outrageously expensive, 'kay?) This store has been on my last nerve long enough. Period.

(2)  Our Internet Provider—who is not the best and never ever has been. The Customer Service Reps, however, are ALWAYS nice. The issue is primarily the fact that we live out in the sticks and the lines are OLD and awful. That issue is 24/7 and it gets FRUSTRATING.

(3)  My Sweet Hubby. He and I were getting on each other’s nerves for hours. We don’t like that. It happens.


It was the kind of day where you can’t help but feel as though you’re being punished. And, unfortunately, you can think of one thousand reasons why that might be happening. Sigh.

Around 2:00 p.m.—when I hadn’t even taken the time to shower and dress—I went into my closet and prayed. I prayed for forgiveness—for all the things I’d said. (Mostly to myself and/or under my breath. A couple of things I’d rudely said to MSH. Did he deserve my wrath? Possibly. A teensy bit at most, though. He got too much of that wrath. I ADORE him. Y'all know this.) I was NOT sassy to anyone I talked to on the phone. Why is that? Why are we nicer to strangers than we are to ourselves and our family members? WHY?

As I stood in the dark, and in tears, I pictured Jesus looking at me. Shaking His head in sadness—but with His beautiful, kind, sweet face. I asked Him to help me calm down. To remember what really mattered. I told Him I couldn’t even imagine what some people in our country (i.e. Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama and Mississippi—just a few States going through HELL) were experiencing. (And then don’t even get me started on the rest of the World. Sheesh.) Yet I was being terrible about truly unimportant things. Silly situations. I felt some peace come over me. I calmed down. I showered and put some clothes and a teensy bit of makeup on. I felt 97% better the rest of the afternoon and night.

Today has been mucho better. Except I’ve found myself going into significant shock many times when I've realized it’s the last day of November, 2016.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all can wrap your heads around the fact that it is about to be December. DECEMBER. Here’s hoping you’ll handle current and/or future strife better than moi/ELC. Here’s hoping you have MANY Blessings from Our Lord God Almighty and Jesus Christ in the coming days and weeks. Blessings that will help you, comfort you, reward you, surprise you, and calm your souls.

Ta-Ta for now, Dear Friends Everywhere...
p.s.: I failed to mention Baby Elle was/is also sick. Yesterday was quite scary. TLC was beyond worried. I was in panic mode. It was stressful. When you're two hours away from your child and grandchild and you want desperately to be helping, it takes a toll on your general well-being. And anyone in your way. Yikes.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Decking Our Halls...

We've been slowly decorating over the last week. The first thing we put up? Little Leighton (LL) and Baby Elle's Christmas Tree in our Playroom! It's honestly my most favourite. It has ornaments from my childhood and newer ones we've collected along the way (re: Target shopping trips). It was actually ELC's tree she graciously gifted us last year. You can't help but smile when you see it all lit up.



ELC thought we needed to put a couple of presents for our girls under this little tree. (Yep. Totally blaming her.) So, this morning, I wrapped up Baby Elle's present from Little Leighton (she picked it out on Amazon herself--LOL.) and Little Leighton's present "from" Baby Elle (she also "picked out" a Barbie car from Amazon--winky-wink.). As soon as LL discovered said presents, it was all she could think about. She tried EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK to convince me she needed to open up her present. I finally sent her outside with her Daddy to hang twinkle lights in our trees. What are the odds the presents stay under the tree until Christmas? Or do we think I'll just have to put them up to avoid torturing my precious 4-year-old? God love her.

I hope you all had the happiest Thanksgiving! Let's vow to be merry and bright all season long!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

tiny treasures...

From Jesus Calling…by Sarah Young…
November 23rd

AS YOU SIT QUIETLY IN MY PRESENCE, let Me fill your heart and mind with thankfulness. This is the most direct way to achieve a thankful stance. If your mind needs a focal point, gaze at My Love poured out for you on the cross. Remember that nothing in heaven or on earth can separate you from that Love. This remembrance builds a foundation of gratitude in you, a foundation that circumstances cannot shake.

As you go through this day, look for tiny treasures strategically placed along the way. I lovingly go before you and plant little pleasures to brighten your day. Look carefully for them, and pluck them one by one. When you reach the end of the day, you will have gathered a lovely bouquet. Offer it up to Me with a grateful heart. Receive My Peace as you lie down to sleep, with thankful thoughts playing a lullaby in your mind.

ROMANS 8:38-39; PSALM 4:7-8


When I read this first thing this morning, I cherished every single word. It made my heart happy! I did look for “tiny treasures” throughout my day. And I found them!

TLC, Little Leighton, Baby Elle and I all wish you and yours a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving holiday! We pray you find gratitude in your day—your life—your spirit—your soul.

We’ll be catching up soon-ish…

HUGE TURKEY HUGS on this Thanksgiving Eve, Dearest Friends Everywhere…

p.s.: We realize not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving Day. We truly hope you'll remember to Count Your Blessings tomorrow. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Always.

Monday, November 21, 2016

and so it begins...

…The Countdown to My Sweet Hubby’s FAVOURITE holiday: THANKSGIVING.

We’ve shopped and shopped. He’s planned and organized and scheduled. He’s done yardwork. He’s washed windows and cleaned dusty, DUSTY fans. (All while still recovering from whatever it is that has made him sick for weeks. What a guy. Sigh.)

Tomorrow I begin my cleaning. Heavy. Duty. Cleaning. Which, as y’all know, I do NOT enjoy. I must. No choice. Sheesh. Where's my housekeeper? Oh. Right. I don't have one.

My responsibilities for the next five days include: cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning;  laundry; ironing; setting the table, the green bean casserole (Yes. I'm limited to little of the actual cooking/food.), and washing dishes. Also helping with all other meals, i.e. breakfasts and lunches. In addition, I'm in three/quarters charge of Little Leighton and one-half charge of Baby Elle. (The last two duties are MY most FAVOURITE! Duh.)

TLC, Her Hubby, The Little Princess Girls and Henry the Dog will be at our country casa by noon on Thursday. Turkey Day. (Buddy Bear, our chocolate lab, will be a nervous wreck by 4:00 p.m. Bless his sweet puppy heart.) We’re hoping a dear, special college friend of mine—and her husband—will also join us for the most delicious (and 100% gluten-free) Thanksgiving Day Turkey Lunch we’ve ever had. (Since last year. Winky. Wink.)

We’ll catch up as soon as possible, Silly Darlings…

Hope you’ve had a Marvelous Monday!

Smooch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

a sinful snare...

A little mid-week inspiration for us all…(and especially for our special friend, JGD…)

From Jesus Today, by Sarah Young:

I AM TRAINING YOU IN THE DISCIPLINE OF perseverance. You are on a long uphill journey, and sometimes it seems endless to you. Looking back, you can see some times of ease and refreshment. Looking ahead, however, you see only a continuing ascent. The top of the mountain you are climbing is nowhere in sight. I know how hard it is for you to keep going day after day. So I say to you: “Do not become weary and discouraged in your soul.”

You live in a culture dedicated to entertainment and pleasure-seeking. In such a climate, a life of struggle feels alien. If you are not careful, you will succumb to self-pity, a sinful snare. To avoid falling into this trap, remember that I am Sovereign and I am lovingly present with you. Your ongoing struggle is not a mistake or a punishment. Try to view it, instead, as a rich opportunity: Your uphill journey keeps you aware of your neediness, so you look to Me for help. The difficulties in your life make your heavenly home more precious and real to you. Even now, as you trustingly whisper My Name, I embrace you in everlasting Love.



Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. –Hebrews 12:3 NKJV



Have a Wonderful Wednesday, Dearest Friends…Wherever in the World you are...



HUGS… 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

alert! alert! mama down...

TLC=The Mama That's Down. She got sick. Again. Possibly a relapse from her illness of nearly a month ago. It’s not exactly fun to be her—at this point.

I was to go see My Three Girls this past Thursday. Spend one night. Come home late Friday afternoon. To check on my patient here. My Sweet Hubby (MSH). Nurse ELC to the Constant Rescue. Sheesh.

TLC began to get ill on Wednesday. Same basic symptoms as her previous illness. Flu-like-ish. But we knew it was probably a yucky old cold and/or sinus infection. By Thursday morn, she was miserable.

I picked up some soup from Market Street and arrived at her casa by 11:00 a.m. I took over Baby Elle’s care until I had to pick Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) up from school. (She had a “great” day, thank you very much!)

Once we got home and Baby Elle woke from a nap, the three of us sat outside in the pretty Fall weather. Biscuit adores running around their yard—blowing bubbles—chasing butterflies. Dancing. Singing. She was out in the middle of the grass when she made a MAD DASH over to me and Baby Elle. She screamed: “Grammy, there’s something yucky in Henry’s poop out there!” She asked me to come look. I did. I won’t go into any details. Suffice it to say he’d eaten something he shouldn’t have. Since she can now open any door she wants, she went running into the house to tell TLC: “Alert! Henry ate something he shouldn’t have and it’s in his poop, Mama!” TLC assured her there was nothing she could really do about that, but thanked her for the information.

TLC then did her best to get an easy dinner together (pizza!) for all of us—with a simple, but delicious—salad.  She bathed Baby Elle. Put her to bed. Her Hubby (HH) washed dishes—did what TLC needed him to do—helped with LL. I put LL to bed. We all retired for the night.

Said night—from 10:00 p.m. until 6:30 a.m.—was HORRIBLE for TLC. Semi-awful for HH. Not too bad for moi—as my bedroom/the guest bedroom is upstairs away from all the other bedrooms. I was fairly clueless until about 6:00 a.m.

Friday morn, TLC went back to the CareNow near her home. This visit, she got another woman doctor she liked a lot (She was hoping she might have the woman she’d seen a few weeks ago—but this new one was GREAT, too.). She was given a couple of scripts—including a 10-day supply of a second antibiotic. She drug herself home. Got into bed. Grammy Nanny ELC raced to the pharmacy to pick up her scripts and some tissues with lotion and aloe for TLC’s Rudolph nose. Then I took over My Two Little Girls for the next four hours.

By 4:00ish, TLC was beginning to feel human. LL, Baby Elle and I went back outside for a bit. The weather was, once again, FABULOUS. As we talked and sang and soaked in the loveliness, Henry the Dog attacked one of their three (new-ish) magnolia trees. He literally yanked off a branch with his teeth and went running around the yard. Since I was holding Baby Elle—and couldn’t really do much of anything anyway (Henry is quite the defiant dog who really doesn’t respond well to the word “NO!” Unless HH or TLC is the person saying it and even then there's little guarantee he'll mind.), I asked Biscuit to go in and tell her Mom what he’d done. So TLC could attempt to get him back in the house.

LL: Okay, Grammy!

(Runs inside. I can hear her then say…)

LL: Mama! Alert! Alert! Henry is eating one of the magnolia trees! Grammy can’t stop him!

At this point, Henry had run over and pulled another branch off the targeted tree. TLC, in her weakness, did her best to make him stop. He just looked at her and went back to chewing up the doomed branches and leaves. She lured him into the house with the promise of some turkey. (I could then hear her tell him how much trouble he was going to be in with HH. He spent the next fifteen minutes looking at us through the back door glass—with his sad eyes. And with clear frustration about his predicament.)

TLC, HH and I later laughed and laughed at LL’s new “Alert System.” We have no idea where she’s gotten that word. We’re confident there are mucho more ALERTS in all of our futures.

I stayed Friday night—so I could help out Saturday morn while HH went to the grocery store. Sadly, Baby Elle started showing signs of a cold (Her first.) Friday afternoon. By Saturday morning, she was beginning to be clearly distressed. At almost eight months, there’s not much one can do. I kept reminding TLC Baby Elle needed to start building up some immunity. Not surprisingly, my thoughts were of little comfort to My Sick Daughter. Sigh. Sniffy. Sniff.

I headed for home around 11:30 a.m. They had a rough day and another difficult night. I’ve heard from TLC that today hasn’t been as terrible as she expected. Baby Elle has seemed to be a teensy bit better. Has even smiled and laughed some. We’re praying for a better night of ZZZZZZZZs for This Precious Little Family.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all has had a wonderful weekend! This Week: Stay well. Be prepared for any and all ALERTS. Avoid germs! Ready yourself for a Marvelous Monday, okay?

ta-ta for now...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Grammy's Funfetti Puffins

As y’all know, I’m not a cook. Baker. Chef of any kind. I CAN cook. And I can do some dishes that taste pretty dadgum delicious! I simply don’t enjoy cooking. I really never have.

BUT…we discovered something about moi soon after Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) was diagnosed with Celiac disease:

I’m a MEAN Pancake Chef! And I LOVE making what we call  “Gramcakes” for My Biscuit. Gluten-free, of course. My favorite pancake mix is King Arthur. Truly love it and truly treasure making my mini cakes for LL. Because she is ALWAYS extremely sweet about how much she enjoys every bite! Sometimes I put chocolate chips in them. I recently made some with pumpkin, cinnamon and chocolate chips. I package them in bags of 3 and TLC freezes them. She pops them in the microwave 2-3 times a week and serves them with maple syrup (also typically gluten-free) and fresh fruit. Biscuit is in Breakfast Heaven. Fast. Easy. Yummy.

We’ve also used the Hungry Jack Gluten-Free Funfetti Pancake Mix. It’s good. This past weekend, as I was being Nurse ELC to My Sweet Husband and homebound, I decided to make muffins with this mix. I believe they’re going to be a huge success with Biscuit!



The mix calls for water only. I use milk, instead (lactose-free for LL). And I put in an egg. For a denser texture. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 19 minutes. I just had to test them with a toothpick from about 13 minutes.

The Puffins' (pancake+muffin) Plan: TLC will take a couple of these puffins out of the freezer, pop them in the microwave, give Biscuit a side of syrup for dipping and VOILA! Another yummy, easy breakfast option.

I’ve decided to call them Grammy’s Funfetti Puffins! Yes. I’m just too clever for words. (Don't applaud. Just send money. Teeheehee.)

We’ll see what LL thinks soon and I’ll try to remember to report her thoughts…

Gotta scoot…errands!

ttfn, Smooches and Hugs

Sunday, November 6, 2016

beauty from ashes...




a prayer

for when I can’t understand



Dear Father,



Today was one of those days—

You know the ones.

When life just doesn’t make sense.

When the world seems so unfair.

Because it is unfair.

We need You, Lord. I need You.

I need You to wrap your arms around me

And help me understand

That’s it’s a good thing I don’t understand everything.

How can I possibly comprehend Your plan of

intricacy and detail for the entire world?

You are God.

And I am not.

You spoke the world into existence.

You shaped humans from dust.

And only You can create beauty from ashes.

May I anticipate the exquisite work of Your hands

to transform my nothing

into Your everything.

Amen.



                 --Rachel Wojo 






Friday, November 4, 2016

off the hook...


Our landline. As it usually is around 3:00 p.m. every afternoon. Otherwise, we get TOO MANY robocalls. Political, mostly. But also calls for donations to various organizations. We don’t like them. (We donate as much and as often as we can…we don’t really want phone calls requesting money.) We ESPECIALLY abhor the ones that come after 9:00 o’clock PM. Are they kiddin’ us? My Sweet Hubby (MSH) is asleep by 8:30. I’ve fallen dead to the world at least three times, on our couch, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Occasionally, if I feel like having a bit of fun, I’ll answer. I’ll ask them if they know they’re calling North Central Texas and do they know what Time Zone we’re in? And why are they calling ANYONE after 8:30 p.m? I normally get a “Sorry” and a hang up. A fast hang up!

This week has been different for MSH and me. Tuesday morn, we had a joint “surgery” appointment at a dermatologist’s office in Fort Worth. MSH had a squamous cell carcenoma on his shoulder. I had a basal cell on my chin. We had NO IDEA he was going to walk out with 26 stitches and I’d have 16. Sheesh. I’m bruised. Have a lovely “bump/knot” I don’t quite understand. He’s been in pain since his anesthetic wore off. HOWEVER—the pathology is already back and Doc Pat got it all. Yippee!!! (We love this doctor. He is AWESOME. I know he’d like to do some “work” on my wrinkles/sags/scars. I told him , at our first appointment, I am hugely unconcerned about all of that. HUGELY. In fact, I cherish every wrinkle/sag/scar. I’ve earned them all.)

We stayed in hiding all day Wednesday. Yesterday we had to get out to pick up a script for MSH—who’s also been battling the remains of whatever illness we’ve all had. His cough has been H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. So awful, TLC cancelled a trip to our casa today. She could hear his commotion as we talked on the phone Wednesday afternoon and decided she wasn’t interested in getting sick. Again. Or having The Sweet Little Princesses pick something up from Pa-Pa. We’re sad. We knew it was the right decision. Sigh. Our primary care Doc—who he’d seen a week ago this past Monday—gave him an antibiotic and two cough meds by phone. He might be a little better today. He’s tired. With his heart condition, every illness he experiences is a concern for me. (If you have a few seconds, we’d treasure a prayer made on his behalf!)

So now it’s Friday. We needed groceries. We made a quick trip to Hellmart—where we saw three WONDERFUL friends and had, had, HAD to visit! Well, I visited with one beautiful young friend (She actually has four kiddos, the oldest being 21. I cannot even wrap my brain around that one.) and HATED having to end our prolonged chat. In the bandaid/bandages/vitamin aisle! We definitely annoyed a few other shoppers. We tried to get out of everywhere’s way. (I don’t like when people do that to me, don’tchaknow. Winky. Wink.)

The other two valued friends were our Sheriff and his sweet wife. He is THE BEST SHERIFF ON EARTH. Truth. She is a cookie. We adore both of them and were THRILLED to see them.

Got home by 2:00. It’s a little dreary. Cloudy. Not as hot as it’s been (We’ve had record heat for October and November in North Central Texas.). We’ve also had rain—for which we are always DEEPLY grateful. The dreariness? Not such a bad thing when you’re retired. Puny/sick-ish. Lazy. And just basically ready for bed at 4:13 p.m.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all has a WONDERFUL Weekend—Wherever in the World Y’all are! Stay well. Get cozy. Be grateful for all of your Blessings! BE SAFE. BE VERY SAFE.

Smooches and BIG HUGS…

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NO...


NO. NO. NO.



Repeat after me (ELC):



IT IS NOT NOVEMBER. IT IS NOT REALLY NOVEMBER.



I cannot stand it. Time MUST slow down.



That is all.

Friday, October 28, 2016

biscuit's perspective...

Before My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I got sick, we had picked up Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) from her Mama and Baby Elle at a Target store in Colleyville last Friday. (Or Euless. Or Grapevine. I have no clue what the town is—they all run together over there in the Big Metroplex.) We brought her home with us for two nights.

Friday afternoon, I took her into our beauty shop for a trim of her bangs. (We love our Ms. Deb—Biscuit’s Fabulous Hairdesigner!)



After the cut and chat, we went to a FUN store owned by a precious friend of mine (and TLC’s) to purchase a surprise for TLC. She’d commented on FB a couple of days prior that she loved a certain blouse/top this little boutique/shop/salon had pictured. I knew when I saw what she said, LL and I would have to go purchase it for her! (TLC was, by the way, quite surprised when LL gave it to her Sunday! Or, was she? Hmmm…)

Saturday morn, we spent four (4!) hours outside! We stayed in our jammies the entire time. Well, Biscuit and Grammy did. Not Pa-Pa. It drives him NuTs when we do this. We’re on 33 acres out in the country. No one but the buzzards and birds can see us.  We simply don’t care. (Winky. Wink.)

Pa-Pa took LL out to see The Hope Tree (and see my recent post on October 18th to explain this...). He’s holding her because there are lots and lots of weeds and wildflowers in that area—possibly fireants and chiggers. We aren’t allowed, as per TLC, to take any chances with LL, in terms of getting insect bites or poison ivy or oak. I completely get it. (Twice in the past 18 months, LL and her Grammy have been bitten by evil chiggers. We’ve been shocked that it happened and in complete misery for two days each incident. We risk this possibility NO MORE. Period. End of Story.)



After two or three trips in and out of the house, LL put two of her “babies” in a stroller—filled her diaper bag—and brought them out for some good ole’ country fresh air.




Yes. That is LL pulling her babies/her stroller in her wagon. We don’t question her choices. At least, not most of them.

We had a lovely, leisurely lunch outside on the back patio (prepared by our own Chef Pa-Pa). We decided it was time to head in and rest. We watched a little Princess Elena on Disney JR, and then got ready to go to a school “Fall Festival Carnival.”

The school in our little community is for kids from K to Grade 8. I’d guess it’s probably about 150 that attend. It’s a truly charming country school. Great teachers and parents. TLC was too old to go there when we moved out here. She was in 10th grade. But we live less than two miles from it and see it every time we leave our home for our (bigger/close by) town or the Metroplex, etc. We’re proud of it! MSH and I had never been to the Carnival. We felt confident, however, LL would have a great time.

We found a great parking spot in front of the school and the place to buy our tickets (for all of the games). At which point, LL refused to go in. She saw a “Skeleton” at the main door and had a total meltdown. It was quite sad.

Grammy: LL, do you want to go back home?
LL: No. (Said terribly pitifully, through many tears.)
Grammy: Well, then, can we go in?
LL: No.
Pa-Pa: Biscuit, if we aren’t going in, we need to go home.
LL: NO, PA-PA…I don’t want to go home!

Sigh.

This went on for almost twenty minutes. It took us, another grandmother watching what was happening, and a dear friend of mine (whose son is an 8th grader at the school) to finally talk LL into going through a side door. She was super leery. (Okay, maybe we kind of gently dragged her in. Mission Accomplished.)

Here is Pa-Pa and LL playing BINGO! She loved it.  She and I both had cards that won. She'd never played it before. (I think I’ve found me a future partner for Flamingo Bingo!)



There were approximately fifteen different games in the Gym. (And approximately 200 kids/adults.) LL played five of them that were age appropriate for her. Here she is throwing little beanbags into the pumpkin. At each game, one could win more tickets that one could trade for prizes/candy/treasures. LL picked out some GOOD STUFF. (Gluten-free candy, naturally.)



For someone who almost missed said Carnival, we then had a hard time getting LL to leave!

The next three pictures were taken by LL. I call them: “Biscuit’s Perspective of an Amazing October Saturday Morning at our Texas Country Casa.”

The pumpkins over at our Barn Apartment:



Hunter the Cat:



(He adores LL and is always happy when she’s staying with us! You can see my foot as I enjoy my rocking chair on the porch and watch Biscuit in action. I might have had to crop myself out of this picture. Jammies. No makeup. Hair not brushed. I did Y'all a HUGE favor doing that. Trust me.)

I love how she captured Hunter in this last one:



Biscuit/Hunter/Buddy/Pa-Pa: Priceless to this Grammy.

At four years and three months, LL can take the most amazing pictures with my cellphone. She can also send one—by text—to her Mom. With no help from Grammy. Hey, I can barely work this cell I’ve had for almost three years. I realize most kids her age are very familiar with iPads and iPhones. She seems extra brilliant to her grandparents. (Winky Wink and Teeheehee!)

Hope Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend with family and friends you love! Eat outside—weather permitting! Take some pictures! Play some games! Time’s a-Tickin’, Friends…

Smooch...