Thursday, July 28, 2016

Over and Over Again...

I went to TLC’s casa Monday. First, I met My Precious Friend, Mackie, for lunch at our favourite place in Frisco. (She, by the way, should have been a therapist. She is the BEST listener and has the most amazing insights and suggestions...) I think we were in Frisco! Might be Plano. I never actually know where I am when in that area…Sheesh. Fortunately, it doesn't actually matter, right? Right.

Anyway, got to TLC’s around 3:00ish. TLC made the BEST dinner and we had a nice evening.
Tuesday morn, all four of us—TLC, Little Leighton (LL aka Biscuit), Baby Elle and I—went to The Little Gals' pediatrician’s office, bright and early, for checkups. LL’s 4-year and Baby Elle’s 4-month. (I suggested TLC make said future appointments a teensy bit later. It was touch and go whether or not we'd make it on time. We did. By a minute.) Many shots were involved. It wasn’t fun.

The day went downhill from there. Wednesday went even farther down said hill. To the very bottom of a deep, deep pit. I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say that when I left yesterday afternoon around 3:00ish, we were all in tears. ALL. FOUR. OF. US. Not a pretty sight. Not a good feeling.

Biscuit and Baby Elle both slept, however, many hours last night. They were beyond exhaustion. A total of 24 between the two of them! That helped them. Mucho. TLC? Moi? Well, we got some sleep and our attitudes were slightly better today. (Our attitudes could ONLY go up…trust me!)

I keep cute little notebooks full of sayings I see on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I thought this little ditty was perfect for the past four days:

Motherhood…

is a choice you make everyday

to put someone else’s happiness and

  well-being ahead of your own…

to teach the hard lessons…to do the

right thing…even when you’re not sure

  what the right thing is…

and to forgive yourself

  over and over again

for doing everything wrong.


I wish I knew who to give credit to for these awesome words and thoughts. Sadly, it didn’t show the author. It is true. Very. VERY. True.

I hope My Three Gals can/will forgive me for everything I did and said wrong on Tuesday and Wednesday. I love them—with all of my heart and all of my soul.

It’s Friday Eve!!! THANK YOU, LORD GOD. Tomorrow afternoon I drive South to Georgetown for a “Mini College Reunion and Slumber Party” with seven FANTASTIC Friends and WONDERFUL Women. All of us in our 60s. TeeHEEhee. I’ll try to recap our adventures for you next week!

In the meantime…forgive yourself. Over and over again.

smooches and hugs...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Breakfast Bible Study

I’ve shared with Y’all that My Sweet Hubby (MSH) is reading The Bible. From cover to cover. He never had done this before. Not where he read it from beginning to end. He started on January 1st and is making great progress. The Bible he’s reading has explanations/interpretations to each chapter. So it’s taking him some time. He’s still in the Old Testament. He’s found it fascinating. Inspiring. Confusing. Amazing. Shocking. Encouraging. Difficult. Important. He tells me, often, he’s feeling a peace he’s never really had before. Wow. That makes me incredibly happy. (And I need some of that peace—for sure. Today.)

Yesterday morning, as we headed East to celebrate Little Leighton’s (LL aka Biscuit) birthday, I told MSH I follow Anne Graham Lotz on Twitter. She’d posted a tweet that said: Pray like Daniel. I asked him what he thought she meant. Since he’s two books away from Daniel, he said he’d research it for me this morning. He reads every day around 5:30 a.m. For about an hour. He makes me proud.

So, bright and early today, we had Bible Study while eating breakfast. (This is a picture of his plate. Yes. It’s an egg. On scrambled eggs.



The fried egg is a pheasant egg. MSH gets pheasant and quail eggs from Kit—our dear, special friend that is our family hair stylist. She has been for thirty years. She and her Hubby have a marvelous garden and many kinds of birds that lay eggs. She shares their bounty with us and others at her shop. We're all quite lucky. I can’t, though, bring myself to even try a pheasant egg. I can’t explain why. I’ve stated many times to Y’all I am NOT NOT NOT an adventurous eater. I don’t like to be brave and eat things that don’t sound appetizing to me. Pheasant eggs are certainly pretty and cute—I simply don’t want one. MSH, ontheotherhand, will try anything. Anywhere. Any time. Although I do admire this courage, I’ve no intentions of acting outside of the rather-strict-and smallish range of my normal eating/dining preferences. Period. End of story.)

By The Way: I did cook those scrambled eggs. I don’t have a large repertoire of food I cook or prepare, but I have some things I am EXCELLENT at cooking. Scrambled eggs are one of my go-to meals that everyone compliments. It’s kind of embarrassing. I accept graciously, however, all compliments of anything I fix. Simple though most of it is. (I think the key to my prep of scrambled eggs is the fact that I stand and stir them constantly in the frying pan. I do NOT like crunchy eggs. Not even a tiny bit of crunch. I do understand most people don’t have time to do this. Or even want to. It’s my egg thing. What can I say?)

While we ate, MSH told me he’d looked ahead at Daniel. Bible Study commenced. I LOVE to hear his thoughts. I’m truly serious. I’ll now try to sum up his Breakfast Lecture:

Daniel prayed every day. Every day. At a time when the King did not want anyone to pray to God at all—much less every day. When someone told the King Daniel was doing this, the King sent people to spy on Daniel. (He now, at this point, compared the King’s spies to peeps in the leadership of a Home Owner’s Association. HOA. I’m not kidding. I can't make this stuff up.)

MSH: You know—HOA authorities drive around looking for violations of their “rules.” And they give warnings. Then the person breaking the rules is told they’re out of warnings. Daniel was warned. But he, of course, didn’t care. He kept praying. Every day. He was thrown to the lions by the King. Daniel didn’t seem to have even been worried about this—as he had faith that God was going to take care of him. If, in fact, he lost his life to the lions, then that was what God decided had to be his destiny. Of course, Daniel was saved. I think when Anne Lotz says “Pray like Daniel,” she clearly means pray every day. Faithfully. Every day. Don’t ever stop. Don’t let anyone stop you. Believe that God will take care of you.

Of course, I've known the story of Daniel in the Lions' Den since I was a teensy tot. We all know it, right? But I loved MSH's version. He is interesting. Kind. Determined. Loyal. Faithful. And funny. The man is F.U.N.N.Y. (Even though he doesn’t intend to be.)

Hope Y’all are having a Sweet Sunday—wherever in the World you are! Have a Wonderful Week, too!

(Read the Bible. Think. Pray. Discuss. Encourage. Pray some more. For this World. It’s in a big, BIG mess, Y'all. Makes me cry. Too often now.)

p.s.: I could have heard some of this wrong. It was now five hours ago. And I don't have a photographic memory. Forgive me (and MSH) if any of this is not completely accurate. Some of you Bible experts may think we're both a bit off. MSH is still studying/learning. I'm just the lucky person who is honored to listen to his Bible stories and his thoughts and theories.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

different is okay...


My sister-in-law's brother's girlfriend took this wonderful picture of Little Leighton over the weekend. I love it! We were celebrating our sweet niece's first birthday. We made our own ice cream--it was gluten-free and delicious! (My SIL had checked on all of this for us ahead of time. The employees there were great and knowledgable!) Behind her in the photo, you can see a little lunchbox. This is LL's. It travels to all parties with us. LL, though she may not fully understand, will tell you she has Celiac Disease. She asks me, rather frequently, if this or that is gluten-free--right down to the hand soap we use (yes--it can even be in soap). She knows she's different, though we work hard to make sure that doesn't translate negatively. Different is okay. We just don't want that to make her feel lonely. LL has been poked and prodded more in her short little life than I have in my 32 years. She turns four very soon--too soon. On an Instagram post I made a few days ago, I mentioned my emotions regarding this quickly approaching birthday were equal parts disbelief--in how quickly the time has gone--and pride--in what a brave, strong little lady she is. Motherhood is bittersweet. Though I wish she could stay here--in this moment--a bit longer, I'm learning change is one of God's greatest gifts. Little Leighton, and her sister, Baby Elle, will always be my very best gifts. God is good. God's grace is amazing.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Resolve...

O God of love, give me a fresh experience of Your love today. Help me to think about how much You love me with unqualified acceptance and forgiveness. May the tone and tenor of my words to the people in my life be an expression of Your love. You have called me to love as You have loved me. Help me to love those with whom I find it difficult to bear and those who find it a challenge to bear with me.

Show me practical ways to express love in creative ways. May I lift burdens rather than become one; may I add to people’s strength rather than being a source of stress. Place on my agenda the particular people to whom You have called me to communicate Your love. And give me that resolve of which great days are made:

If no one else does, Lord, I will!

Place in my mind loving thoughts and feelings for the people in my life. Show me caring things I can do to enact what’s in my heart. Direct specific acts of caring You have motivated in my heart. Don’t let me forget, Lord. Give me the will to act, to say what I feel.

Through Him who is Your amazing Grace. Amen.


From: Praying Through the Tough Times. By Lloyd John Ogilvie.


I needed this prayer today. (Actually, it’s probably one I could pray every day.)
I hope each of you are happy, healthy and experiencing PEACE on this beautiful Sunday—Wherever in the World you are!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Camp Gram-Pa!

Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) needed a short break. From Baby Elle’s crying. (When Baby Elle is hungry, which is quite often, she lets everyone know. For miles. Plus—she’s been teething for at least a month. And she’s not even four months old yet. Yikes.) So Grammy and Pa-Pa invited LL to their country “Camp."

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH aka Pa-Pa) and I met TLC halfway between our homes last Wednesday morn. Picked up LL and off we went to Camp Gram-Pa.

The first afternoon involved LL playing with her toys at our casa and working in her “Office.” I also took her to town for a quick haircut with her favourite stylist. (At how many camps do they offer that service, Mom?)


Thursday morn, bright and early, LL, MSH and I boarded the Ranger and went to feed the catfish at the Big Tank. The silly things wouldn’t stop swimming around so LL could get an accurate count!



After Ranger Ridin’, we stayed outside for a couple of hours, watering my garden, bubble-blowing, and monitoring the comings and goings of Buddy Bear, Hunter and many, many, MANY birds. Including a Mama bird going in and out of a birdhouse we have near our outdoor kitchen/arbor.

Biscuit’s Advice: Be sure to always have binoculars on hand!

That afternoon, we had to stay inside, out of the EXTREME , evil, oppressive Texas Heat. LL worked on Art Projects…


…watched a few of her favourite shows on television, and played “Library.” She’s the Librarian, of course. MSH, Buddy Bear and I were the visitors who tried to decide which books to checkout. We could only take two. Library Policy, apparently.

Bedtime found all of us completely exhausted from the first full day of non-stop Camp activities!

Friday morn, we headed East to Fort Worth—to their WONDERFUL Children’s Museum. We roamed the exhibits, watched a planetarium show narrated by Big Bird and Elmo, had a picnic with our gluten-free lunch in their Cafe, and thoroughly examined everything in their gift store!




The first picture shows Biscuit in front of a corn snake. We were quite ecstatic he/she was fully contained. Even though we understand she/he is not poisonous. It’s a snake. Nuff said. (Grammy actually saw one of these at her country casa five-ish years back. Near their well/pumphouse. It was three times that size. Grammy promptly ran inside and stayed. For days.) The second picture shows Biscuit in a different outfit. Because who doesn’t change into an Elsa dress halfway through their museum experience? (I used every Grammy trick/argument in my Grammy’s Arsenal of Persuasive Tactics to talk LL out of changing. It was useless. And, Grammy decided, not a big deal.)

A FANTASTIC time was had by all!

After dinner, Biscuit took her bath early, donned her jammies (Grammy donned her jammies, too), and the four of us—Biscuit, MSH, Buddy Bear and Grammy/ELC—walked over to our Barn apartment to spend the night! Hunter already lives over there—in the comfy, enclosed Barn and Loft, where he is to do his mouse-eliminating job.

LL has only spent the night there one other time in her nearly four years on this Earth. When here, she loves to go over, several times, to check things out. Watch a show or two on the television. Help us with Hunter’s water, food and (“Yucky!”) litterbox. I’d tried to remember to record some of her shows on that DVR. I’d forgotten. Sigh.



When we turned on the Disney Jr. channel, they were playing the movie Planes.

LL: Grammy, I can’t watch this.
ELC: Why? (I was quite confused.)
LL: It’s a boys’ movie.
ELC: Well, Miss Biscuit, I think Amelia Earhart and many, many “girl” fighter and airline pilots would be disappointed in you. (Grammy and Mama have some work/educatin' to do on this one. Sheesh.)

I changed the channel to Nick Jr. She watched a “girl” show that just happened to be on and nearly passed out from sheer sleepiness. All of us had a lovely night of ZZZs.

With sadness, MSH and I drove Our Precious Biscuit home Saturday—leaving late morning. We had our “truck” picnic lunch, listened to the music on my iPhone, and relived our adventures. She was sad Camp had ended—but was also tres happy to see her Mom, Dad and Baby Sister. (Who was still crying when we arrived. Baby Sister. Not Mom. Winky. Wink.)

We all pinky-swore we’d do Camp Gram-Pa II in a few weeks!

Hoping each of you has a FABULOUS Friday and WONDERFUL Weekend. Go camping! Watch Planes! Get some fresh air! Do some “art!” Be cool! Be at peace.

ta-ta for now, Sweet Friends Everywhere…smooch.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Passings...

Just when I think we might be able to go a month without some sort of hideous tragedy, Dallas happens. This past Thursday night.

It feels like we can’t pray loud enough, long enough, hard enough, determined enough, optimistic enough to stop the unbelievable violence all over this planet. For us, in America, it is becoming extremely depressing and overwhelming.

After one of my many prayers this morning, I read and loved this:



Passing Through

“When Thou passest through the waters,” deep the

          waves may be, and cold,

But Jehovah is our refuge and His promise is our

          hold;

For the Lord Himself hath said it, He the faithful

          God and true;

When thou comest to the waters, Thou shalt not  go

          down, but through.

Threatening breakers of destruction, doubt’s insidi-         

          ous undertow,

Shall not sink us, shall not drag us out to ocean

          depths of woe;

For His promise shall sustain us, praise the Lord,

          whose word is true!

We shall not go down or under, He hath said: “Thou

          passest through.”



                    Annie Johnson Flint

(From Praying Through the Tough Times, by Lloyd John Ogilvie)

I felt such comfort as I read this. Some peace. If only for a little while.

Please pray for the fallen law enforcement officers and their families. Please pray for America. Please pray for Our World.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

our 4th in FIVE...

...pictures, that is!

We had a fabulous 4th of July! Our weekend started with matching outfits (Don't think I'm not in search of something we all THREE could wear! Unfortunately, these outfits did not come in my size. Boo.) and a yummy lunch at a favorite sandwich shop in our little Downtown. They make their own gluten-free bread, and it would knock your socks off. They even have cute, little GF cookies that come with a sammich, too! Little Leighton loves it. 


The next day, we headed to the lake--waving and wearing as many flags as we could!


The morning of the 4th, we headed back Downtown to watch our Hometown Parade. My American Girl was so proud to be wearing her red, white and blue.


When we got home, I quickly staged a mini photo shoot for Baby Elle. She was decked out in her red, white and blue, too, and I was not going to let the $30 I spent on this outfit (oops and yikes!) go to waste. It at least had to be commemorated via Instagram and this blog! (Her sister had a matching dress, naturally. Unfortunately, the strong will of my nearly four-year-old won that battle--hence the tee and shorts pictured above. As Elsa says, I'm "letting it go." Luckily, I think it will still fit next year. And I'll bribe her with a $1, if I must. It's that precious.)


I cannot tell you how many times this exact thing happens when she wears a headband while in her car seat. Bless her.


Of course my third daughter, Glamour, had to make an appearance, too.

Little Leighton is away at Camp Gram-Pa for the rest of the week, and I miss her terribly! I know ELC will have a fun recap for y'all soon. Until then...

Happy Friday Eve, Friends! 

Monday, July 4, 2016

American Pride

This is one of TLC’s and my all-time most favourite “American” songs. We thought it’d be fun to share the words with Y’all today. July 4th. Our Independence Day!



Proud To Be An American

                               By Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d

    worked for all my life

And I had to start again with just my

    children and my wife

I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here

    today,

‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and

    they can’t take that away.



And I’m proud to be an American where at

    least I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died who

    gave that right to me.

And I’d gladly stand up next to you and

    defend her still today.

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land

    God bless the U.S.A.



From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of

    Tennessee,

Across the plains of Texas, from sea to

    shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and

    New York to L.A.,

Well, there’s pride in every American’s heart,

And it’s time to stand and say:



That I’m proud to be an American where at least

    I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died, who

    gave that right to me.

And I’d gladly stand up next to you and

    defend her still today.

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land…

    GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.


God bless each one of Y’all—Wherever in the World you are…

hotdogSmoochesandapplepieHugs!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Finding Uncranky Texans...

Y’all know I have to say this:

IT IS JULY.

For those of us in Texas? It means we will start being very, very, VERY cranky for the next two to three months. If you’ve never experienced Summer in Texas? Hmmm…I’m not sure what I can even say to this…except Fall in Texas is LOVERLY.

This week has flown by for me.

On Monday morn, I went East to TLC’s Casa for two nights. Tuesday morning, TLC and Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) had a “date” with friends to meet at a movie theater. To view Finding Dory!

This was going to be Biscuit’s second movie in her almost four years on this Earth. (Her first was a date to see Zootopia with TLC and LL's Daddy. We’re still not sure if she liked it, but Grammy Nanny ELC purchased a copy for her home viewing. She seemed semi-thrilled!)

Biscuit was up TOOOOOOOO early that morning. She was excited to see her friends! And Dory. After we all ate breakfast, we got dressed and ready for the day. I got LL’s gluten-free snacks ready for TLC’s purse: popcorn and Skittles.

I then insisted we take some pre-movie pictures:



Off LL and Mom went on their Mom's and Biscuit's Theatre Adventure. At 9:40 a.m. Movie was to begin at 10:15. Ish. Baby Elle and Grammy Nanny had a nice time. (Since she mostly slept!) It’s always different when LL isn’t around. Quieter. A teensy bit more peaceful. Less...frantic. (LL LOVES her new baby sister—so very little of her behavior around Baby Elle is subdued.)

Around noon, I got a text from TLC: This has not been fun. And the movie is still on.

Uh. Oh. UH. OH.

TLC then called me when they left the theater. Her rundown (repeated with a slight edge to her voice):

One of LL's two friends coming had to cancel at the very last minute. Her older sister had gotten sick. Biscuit was disappointed, but still excited about meeting her other friend. She hadn't seen her since pre-school ended for the year. The two Moms and Daughters got to the theater at about the same time. Found some seats. LL started in on her “snacks.” TLC tried to warn her she wouldn’t have any left for the movie—if she ate all of them before it even started. Which is exactly, of course, what happened.

Once the 500 previews were over and Finding Dory FINALLY began, LL asked TLC: “Do I have anything else to eat?” She received the bad news from TLC with sadness. She then told her Mom—at least six times—she missed Grammy Nanny. At first TLC was a teensy bit hurt. Then she apparently got downright annoyed. (The Truth? IMHO? Biscuit hasn’t figured out where to put her “jealous” feelings now that Baby Elle gets lots and lots of attention. She was thinking about me being at her house—by myself—with Baby Elle. I believe it’s too much for this nearly-4-year-old. Sniffy. Sniff. Hopefully, for all of our sakes, these feelings will soon pass.)

TLC had to take LL to the Ladies’ Powder Room twice. During the movie. The second time? They missed the end of Finding Dory.

LL didn’t seem to mind. So there you go.

While we ate our lunch, Biscuit told me she really liked the movie—except it was just a “little long.” She did confirm that Dory was found. TLC and I aren't sure how she knows this.

TLC had a doctor's follow-up Wednesday morn. It didn't last long, so I insisted she treat herself to a pedi before she got back home for lunch. Time to herself. Unfortunately, I did have to text her and beg her to get home ASAP, no dawdling, as Baby Elle thought she was starving and I knew TLC didn't want me to give her another bottle. Biscuit and I did a couple of "crafts" before I had to head West. I loved every second of my visit.

I arrived home Wednesday evening around 6:00 p.m. (Sad to leave My Three Gals. I ALWAYS am.) I never stopped yesterday and have only now sat down from errands done with My Sweet Hubby in Weatherford and home chores today.

I need a vacation. Somewhere cool. Like Wyoming.

Happy Fourth of July to our American Friends! Have some hotdogs, lemonade, apple pie and ice cream! Be safe while driving. (And please, please, PLEASE, do NOT drink and/or text and drive. PLEASE.)

Smooches and Big Hugs, Sillies Everywhere...