Friday, June 23, 2017

no pink ray...


Long-ish week. Good times. Tough Times. FUN times. TLC was lucky enough to have lunch with her special, dear, treasured friend, Taylor. This Marvelous Mom of two PRECIOUS boys, Baker Extraordinaire (She makes the most beautiful, exquisite, amazing iced cookies—they are literally Art!), SMART, gorgeous, FUNNY, KIND and THOUGHTFUL friend brought TLC a decorated sack (She also does incredible calligraphy—this girl is tooooooooo talented for her own good.) full of her (Taylor's) favourite things. Surprised and totally touched TLC’s heart.

Grammy ELC Nanny-ied Little Leighton and Baby Elle while TLC and Taylor ventured to a favourite café in downtown McKinney. TLC DESERVED a  few moments away from her hourly stress, frustration, home-selling-buying challenges! Just seeing Taylor made me cry. (I'm old-ish. Many old-ish women cry about everything. Sigh.) If Y'all don't remember who Taylor is: She and TLC have known each other most of their lives. Although Taylor was a couple of grades ahead of TLC in school, they grew up together.  She was TLC’s Big Sister in their sorority and a Maid of Honor in TLC’s wedding. She is AWESOME. Period. End of story. She left as traffic was about to get horrid. Pretty sure I cried. Again.

I got my 25-lb weight loss “charm” at my local Weight Watchers’ meeting yesterday! I’m collecting key-chain charms (they are adorable) and currently working on the cutest little “sunglasses” charm for Summer. The challenge is to make 11 out of 13 weekly meetings. I’m determined to get it! (I’ve actually lost almost 27 pounds. Eleven-ish to go. I CAN DO THIS.)

Today is a semi-lazy Friday for moi. Home chores. Etc. TLC and Her Little Princesses are looking for their future home! They’re trying to see three this morning. Time’s a tickin’! Their home has a contract. We PRAY it sticks. Pray with us—if you have a few extra seconds and feel inclined. This Precious Family is excited about change and moving upward and onward! They need many details to work out. Too many have floundered/failed. SHEESH.

TLC called me on her way to meet their realtor in their upcoming hometown a couple of hours ago. Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) found out she’s coming to Grammy and Pa-Pa’s casa Sunday. (She doesn’t know she’s going to a play with us that afternoon in Ft. Worth. We save info like this for the day it is happening. Complications can be BRUTAL if something doesn’t actually happen. This will be only her second play in almost five years! We think she’ll love it. A report on that to follow next week!) While she was on Bluetooth/Speaker, I reminded her to bring her Moana DVD.

LL: Trolls, too, Grammy?

ELC: Yes! Trolls, too! (I’ve seen neither movie.)

LL: Well, there are two Rays in that one. One is a Blu Ray, Grammy. No Pink Ray! You can’t play it on a Pink Ray. Do you have a Blu Ray?

At this point, TLC and I were so tickled we simply could not suppress our laughter.

ELC: Yes, Biscuit. Grammy has a Blu Ray!

Little Leighton. We cherish her funny, quirky, silly little brain…it comes up with the darnedest thoughts!

She’ll be staying with us for three to four nights. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I cannot wait. We adore every second we get to be with her. Y’all are too very aware of this fact. We believe she feels our love and devotion. We want her to ALWAYS feel it. We’ll miss Baby Elle. We will! But she deserves some one-on-one time with Mama TLC! The kind of time LL got before Princess Baby Elle arrived to ROCK Our Family’s World. (Plus, Baby Elle is lovingly called Our Wild Child. She’s hard for these two Seniors to keep up with for two nights. Cannot do three to four nights without the possibility of a trip to the ER. And I’m meaning MSH or moi going to the ER. Not Baby Elle.)

Hope each of you out there has a Wonderful Weekend—wherever in the World you are! (Stay away from Pink Rays, ‘k? Winky. Wink.)

Smooch!

ELC 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

please leave my girl be...


It was hard to read TLC’s previous post. Truly hard. I was there. In the midst of some of the chaos and confusion. Frustration and stress.

As a mother—and grandmother—you never, EVER stop wishing you could take away the pain your children and/or grandchildren are suffering. You want their fears, illnesses, exhaustion, worries, concerns, hurts, disappointments to vanish. Immediately. To leave them alone. You’d gladly take all of their challenges on yourself. If you could. You feel like you cannot pray enough—long enough—loud enough—often enough—to help them.

My heart hurts for her. My head? My soul? My spirit? They all know everything is going to be okay. They all (MOSTLY!?!) feel the Peace of Our Lord God waiting to comfort her. Reward her. Release her from her difficult challenges.

I’ve been sending her memes/sayings/quotes I see (and believe) from Facebook and Pinterest. Instagram. (Of course I have no doubt she adores getting them from me. I’m certain of that. Winky. Wink.)

Here are a few she’s had to suffer through as text messages from her Mama this week:

 

Pray when you feel like worrying. Give thanks when you feel like complaining. Keep going when you feel like quitting.

          DaveWillis.org

 

Everything you want is coming. Relax and let the universe pick the timing and the way. You just need to trust that what you want is coming, and to watch how fast it comes.

          Abraham Hicks

 

SMILE, things are going to work out. You may not see it now, but you’re being directed to a much greater HAPPINESS.

          Curiano.com

And the most important one of all?

 

TRUST in the Lord with all your HEART and lean NOT on your own understanding.

          Proverbs 3.5

 
Deep breaths. Take them.

Patience. Faith. Trust. Hope. GRATITUDE. Feel them.

May each of you have a Sweet Saturday—wherever in this World you are!

ta-ta for now…

ELC

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

the altar...

Here's the truth:

I. Am. So. Tired. Tired of cleaning my house. Tired of being grouchy. Tired of inconsiderate people. Tired of being sick. Tired of being tired.

I'm so sorry I've been absent, well, for basically over a year. I still cannot figure out how to parent two children at the same time most days. I'm out numbered. And the little one is FAST. Now we are trying to sell our home and buy another in a new, basically unfamiliar town. It's just a lot. I'm OCD to begin with, and knowing strangers are coming into my house to judge it, makes me extra twitchy.

I'm also fully aware how truly "first world" my problems are. I sincerely try to wake up and start each day with a grateful heart. My "problems" pale in comparison to most. And while I know, in the end, everything will all work out as it's supposed to, I'm still struggling with patience and (lack of) control.

ELC called me last week and told me about a sermon she had just re-listened to on her satellite radio. It was about a woman who struggled for years with infertility. She prayed every second of every day, until she finally, truly, surrendered to God. She told Him she wasn't going to ask Him anymore for a baby. She knew He knew the desires of her heart. She knew He knew those desires would never change. She only asked that He help bring her peace and happiness. She was going to leave it all at His altar. It wasn't long until she and her husband were presented with the opportunity to adopt twins. LOVE.

I know God uses our struggles to draw us nearer to Him. We have been on quite the rollercoaster in just this last week alone. Contract on our house. Contract not on our house. New people want our house. We get excited, only to see the said new people looking at the other house on our street that's for sale. New people no longer want our house. It's hard to NOT take it personally. So, I've done (okay...okay--I'm REALLY TRYING TO DO but still falling short) what that sweet woman did: I've left it all at God's altar. He knows I want nice, fair people to buy our house (and soon). We have been blessed with such sweet neighbors in this current town. I want to leave them with good people. He knows those desires won't change. I know He's working on my behalf and in His time. I have to find peace and comfort in that knowledge. When I feel myself getting overwhelmed, I try and take a deep breath and pray the prayer that never fails: Thy Will Be Done.

I fully contend I need to REALLY "let it all go." And not just "say it," thinking God will believe my words. I know I have to feel it. Live it. And I'm trying. I'll get there!

So, thereyougo. I'm a hot mess. Yet, through my messiness, there have been lots of sweet memories made over the last few weeks, too, and I hope to be back sooner, rather than later, to share lots of pictures!

Until then...and if you're still reading my ramblings--THANK YOU for your patience!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

confession #68...


I said I was going to confess my speeding “violation” last Sunday (Yes. I’m a Violator.)—so here goes:

First: I haven’t been stopped by a policeman, deputy or highway patrol in years. (During these 48 years I’ve had a driver’s license? I’ve had two tickets I had to pay…four warnings…a few minor accidents caused by me—I can think of seven—not all with another vehicle…some I simply tore up my own car—or MSH’s…oops—and I’m naïve enough to think that ain’t bad!). In fact, the last time I was pulled over was eight years ago and only seconds after I pulled out onto the highway. I was less than two miles from our home. I’m referring to the highway to Interstate 20. The highway that begins My Journey to TLC’s Casa or anywhere else I go south, north or east. West? That’s a different road. On that day, I’d known for NINE YEARS what the speed limit was at the exact place I was being pulled over. The woman highway patrol person that stopped me (Why do women highway patrolpeeps dislike little ol’ moi?) said I was going 10 miles over the speed limit.

TRUTH: I will never, EVER, EVER argue with a highway patrolperson, police officer of Sheriff’s Deputy. Ever. Not about something I’ve allegedly done. (I can’t promise I wouldn’t defend one of our children or grandchildren or a relative or dear friend if they were being bullied or mistreated. I pray I’m never in that kind of situation.) I’m not going to be rude. First of all, I don’t believe there’d be much of a reason to argue. There's a process for which we can contest tickets. And I’m a Rule Follower. Have been since the day I was born. So if I am accused of breaking a rule? I’m confident enough in myself to tell you it’d be a very minor break and I'll accept responsibility for my actions. That incident? I apologized and told her if she showed I was going 10 miles over the limit I had not meant to and I wouldn’t do it again. She gave me a warning. (I think she clocked someone near me. I didn’t tell her that. Nope. Not wise. Just sayin' I'm pretty sure that's what occurred. More truth according to ELC.)

Further background: They are doing major construction on this dadgum problem highway. From I-20 south for sixty miles. This highway has become hugely dangerous in the past ten-ish years. Many people have been killed. It’s being widened. As it should be. But the work going on is, of course, VERY ANNOYING. Especially to those of us who must travel the highway daily. The speed limits all along the way are confusing. There are orange signs that are put up by the construction companies and that are, apparently, only “suggestions.” (This was confirmed by the highway patrol woman who stopped me Sunday.) The white Highway Department speed limit signs change every few miles. It’s hard to remember what the speed is supposed to be—especially when 80% of the people in front of or behind you are going anywhere from 10-20 miles over said limit.

Fast forward to last Sunday: I was driving my car to meet TLC at a Target where we exchange her chilluns. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) was in the front passenger seat. (I have a small-ish car.) Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) was in her carseat in the back. Behind MSH. As I got close to the interstate, I passed a highway patrolperson who had been pulled over on the opposite side of the road, heading south. I was going north. I cringed when said vehicle pulled away from the shoulder, turned their lights on and turned into my lane—right behind me. I was shocked. Truly shocked. And it’s the worst feeling. Ever.

ELC to MSH: I could NOT have been speeding. I saw a sign that said 65. I was maybe going 68. (Most of us have always heard a highway patrolperson will give you a few miles over—approximately 10% of the speed limit. So I felt very safe at 68.)

MSH in a quiet voice—as if the lady could hear him: “I knew you were going to get stopped. I’ve been telling you you’re not paying attention to all of those signs.”

SIGH.

She was a beautiful young woman. (I couldn’t help but think about her Mom and/or family wishing she was in any kind of profession other than this one.) And kind. She asked for my license and proof of insurance. She asked me where we were going. I told her. She then said I was going 68 in a 60. That she’d give me a Warning—because she knows all of that construction makes the speed limit confusing. But FIRMLY stated I was to make sure not to go over the speed limit in the future. She walked back to her car and I looked back at Biscuit.

ELC: Biscuit, I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have been driving so fast. I’m sorry. I’ll do better now and always. Are you okay?

LL: Yes, Grammy, I’m okay! Remember when Little Critter’s Daddy got stopped for speeding? This is like that!

Sheesh. Wasn’t wanting a “teaching opportunity” to end our great visit—but you take them when you get them. With an attitude of humility, patience and honesty.

As I shared in my last post, MSH used this as a chance to lecture me NON-STOP for a couple of days. I deserved it. So I did my best to be understanding about his worries.

Now it’s a beautiful, clear, sunny (will be a tidbit hottish) Saturday in North Central Texas. I’ve gotten a lot of rat-killin’ done and a healthy lunch eaten. I have a few more chores to get accomplished before MSH and I go pick Our Precious Frien Emily up for an early dinner in Granbury.

I’m sending each of Y’all a BIG HUG—wherever in this World you are! Be safe. Go the speed limit (but not too far under—that’s annoying, don’tchaknow…). Look for ways to be a GOOD example for any and all children in your midst. BE HAPPY! Be safe. BE KIND.

smooch!

ELC

Monday, June 5, 2017

when a trip to walmart becomes...


entertainment. Yes. Seriously.

Let me back up:

Last Tuesday, TLC and Little Girls were to come stay with me and My Sweet Hubby (MSH) for four nights. TLC was going home, alone, on Friday morn. Then we were going to take Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle (aka Belle) home after lunch on Saturday.

CHANGE OF PLANS. No shock here. What's new?

Belle had been feeling icky for a few days. Not sleeping well. LL had already visited their pediatrician week before last and had one ear infection and pink eye (NOT from Grammy—my pink eye was back in January. Whew.). TLC knew she’d better not drive two hours away from home—to the country—with a sickly baby. She took Belle to the doctor on Tuesday afternoon. Low and behold, she had TWO ear infections and pink eye. Poor Baby.

Loaded up with antibiotics and despite the fact that Belle hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep (therefore TLC had had none, either) in days, TLC and The Little Girls got here Wednesday afternoon. TLC was still going to go home Friday afternoon and we were prepared to keep Our Little Angels until Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday night? ROUGH. Not much sleep happening in Belle’s crib. Thursday night? ROUGHER. Belle was awake from 11:45 until 4:15. TLC had had virtually no sleep in almost two weeks. I insisted she go into her old bedroom and crawl into bed with LL. (LL had no clue TLC was even there. She was surprised when she woke up the next morning.)

Grammy ELC? I got a little less than three hours of sleep Thursday night. I ended up putting Belle in our bed at 4:15. MSH went ahead and got up—sitting quietly in the den, reading his iPad. I was grateful to him. He’d not had a lot of sleep himself, but he gave me his side of the bed so Belle could have mine. Baby Elle was having nothing to do with her crib. I mean NADA. We fear this is going to be a new pattern and we’re not sure what we’re going to do about it during future visits. Sigh. She screamed every time I attempted to put her down in it. Which was a minimum of THIRTY times in those four hours.

TLC woke to learn how bad the night had been and realized Belle would have to go back to the doctor. MSH and I asked if we could keep Biscuit until Sunday or Monday. (Sadly, TLC and Her Hubby were going to have to drag Belle around looking at homes in the town they are going to move to soon…and stay out of their house with her while prospective buyers looked at their home.) TLC and Belle left about 12:30—after lunch. I cried. The weather was scary. It had all become quite stressful and worrisome. I did my best to hide my tears and fears from LL. TLC made it home and to the doctor's office with Baby Elle sleeping the entire time. Two and a half hours. God love and bless her pooped little heart.

The Trip to Walmart (aka Hellmart/aka WallyWorld) happened Saturday morning. In the midst of all of our trials and tribulations, we were having rain. A very acceptable amount! Some quite heavy and with some high winds. (We refuse to allow ourselves to complain about rain. We simply cannot.)

(Friday afternoon, after TLC and Belle had headed to the Metroplex, MSH and I took LL into town for some MoYo--MSH’s name for frozen yogurt—no matter what the yogurt store/business is called—he calls it MoYo. We’d hoped to run into Walmart for some food items. Just a few. I’d also told LL she could get three things. A game. Two little “cars” that she wanted for herself and Baby Elle. Some jellies (plastic shoes). While we were in the MoYo store, a storm came up. Ominous looking. We made the decision to get home as quickly and safely as possible and try to do Walmart Saturday morn.)

Saturday morn it was still rainy, but we were thinking we could get tres bored in the house all day. We went to town soon after breakfast. Our 60-Minute-At-The-Most-Including-The-Trips-Back-And-Forth-Adventure turned into 2 1/2 hours! MSH roamed the Hellmart aisles alone while Biscuit and Grammy slowly perused the toy aisles, clothes 'and shoes' areas, crayons' and stickers' aisle. We had FUN. We didn’t buy too many things not on our list (Truth, TLC. Teeheehee!). We departed for home to enjoy a lovely, gluten-free lunch of beef hot dogs (Oscar Mayer “Natural”—YUMMO), tater chips and a Disney game!

Meanwhile, Baby Elle got a horrid shot late Friday afternoon. She’d had three of them a few months ago—one per day for three days in a row. TLC knew how much it was going to hurt her. Had to be done. She’s gotten better and better with each passing day, thank You, Lord! Belle's doctor told TLC Belle could only have one shot this time. It needed to work.

Saturday evening, Biscuit and Grammy spent the night over at our Barn apartment! She loves it there. Her first time to stay there (It’s never necessary. She’s had her own room at our home since she was born!) was last Summer. She’s bugged us and bugged us to do it again. We’d be sixty yards away from our home, in a quiet/cool apartment, and MSH could work on hunting down an armadillo that was demolishing our yard and gardens. I said: OKAY!

Biscuit and I had a wonderful night of sweet sleep! (The Armadillo Hunt was, sadly, futile.) We packed up her bags after breakfast Sunday morn, made her a car picnic lunch, and took her to meet her Mama and Belle Sunday around noon. (We meet at a Target in Euless or Grapevine. We’re not sure which town it’s actually in. I am sure of this: Until they get the store remodeled, I am NOT going back in. It is a hot mess. Been that way for months.) MSH and I missed Biscuit the moment we drove away. Sniff Sniff.

Note: We (When I see “we” I mostly mean ME.) did have an unfortunate incident on the way to meet TLC. I was driving my car and was stopped by a Highway Patrol Officer. (A beautiful young woman!) For speeding. First stop in about eight years. I’ll cover that debacle in my next post. Suffice it to say I was not proud Little Leighton saw it all go down from the backseat. Sheesh.

MSH and I have a HUGELY big/cRaZy/frantic week coming up. Hope Y’all’s will be smoother and easier than what we’re expecting. Yikes.

It’s JUNE, Y'all! Have a Marvelous Monday and Wonderful Week...wherever in the World you are...

Hugs,

ELC

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

itty-bitty-ish recap...

So I’m looking at the calendar on my iPhone for May, 2017. Out of 30 (I know it has 31 but this is the 30th and tomorrow should be quiet-ish) days? I had six free. On those six days? Pretty sure they were housecleaning, laundry, cooking, errand-running, appointment-attending days. I vaguely recall a couple of lazy afternoons on the davenport. But other than those, it was FULL, FAST and FURIOUS.

Am I complaining? No. Truly. I’m not. I’m grateful My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I are healthy enough to drive and visit and babysit and cook and clean and do yardwork (him). Visit doctors. Etc.

My highlights:

Three (of our seven) grandchildren “graduated” from school. Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) from 4-year-old pre-school. (Y’all saw my thoughts on that. They may have seemed cynical. It was still SWEET and I loved watching her be such a BIG girl!) Our two oldest grandchildren graduated from two different high schools in Houston. (Fortunately they were on two different Friday evenings.) Yes. That meant two LONG driving trips to Houston. Five to five-and-a-half hour trips. Could have been eight-hour trips. Thirty-five-hour trips. Didn’t matter. We were grateful to be able to see Sophia (second oldest grandchild) and W.R. (oldest grandchild by about five weeks!) graduate from their fantastic high schools and get ready to attend The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. Sophia will be a Longhorn. W. R. an Aggie. Both kids’ Dads (our oldest two sons) attended the universities they will now be a part of and that, Friends, is TRES SPECIAL.

We also spent a lovely Saturday evening with MSH’s younger sister in Austin. She’s smart, beautiful, funny, wise and ready for a new man. Winky. Wink. (We’re on the lookout for her!)

As May ends and June appears, I’d like to share four of my favourite photos from this month! (Yep—time to humour moi…)



Baby Elle. In a wagon, with LL, being pulled by MSH/Pa-Pa at our casa. We’d gone to our Barn fridge to get some taters. I adore the way she’s studying the box! She cracks us up. Constantly.





Biscuit. Working at her Mom’s yard sale—attending to the “Children’s Table!” She really got into it! Made $30 for her very own Target money.



Sophia. Our beautiful/oldest granddaughter! SMART. Kind. Sweet. A Dancer Extraordinaire. Ready for college!



W.R. With MSH/GrandPa (MSH has THREE “grandfather” names. He doesn’t much like that—because I only have one. Actually, Baby Elle is calling me Ga-Ga. I think she’ll say Grammy when she can. Time will tell. I may have two names in the future. W.R. calls him GrandPa. Sophia calls him Pa-Dad.)/Grammy. SMART. Handsome. Kind. TALENTED. He’s an actor, singer and amazing pianist. Ready for college!

Come on June! I’m ready for ya!
ta-ta for now…


ELC

Monday, May 29, 2017

wisdom and courage


On this Memorial Day, May 29th, 2017, I share this prayer, from Gini @ DaySpring:

Dear God,

Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness to our nation. We are comforted by the knowledge that You alone are our Savior and Lord, and the ultimate Master of Life. As we face these uncertain times in our nation, we ask You, Lord, to dwell among us. Send Your spirit to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders. Give them the wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it. We trust our nation to Your loving care, Lord. Give us Your light and Your truth to guide us in our ways so that we may see Your will in our lives and impact the world around us for Your Kingdom.

In Jesus’ Name we pray.

Amen.

My deepest gratitude to each and every woman and man who has sacrificed EVERYTHING for our freedoms...THANK YOU to every Veteran of our Armed Services--past and present--and to their families and friends...


Wishing each of you peace, safety, laughter and love...today…and always…God bless you.

ELC

Thursday, May 25, 2017

tangled and darkened...


From Jesus Today, May 25th, by Sarah Young:

 

THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH YOU, My child. Your mind
leaps from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious knots. When you think like that, you leave Me out of your worldview and your mind becomes darkened. Though I yearn to help, I will not violate your freedom. I stand silently in the background of your mind, waiting for you to remember that I am with you.

 

When you turn from your problems to My Presence, your load is immediately lighter. Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your burdens together. Your compulsion to “fix” everything gives way to deep, satisfying connection with Me. Together we can handle whatever this day brings.

ISAIAH 41:10; ZEPHANIAH 3:17;

PSALM 34:19


This is why I adore this daily devotional book. Five out of seven days a week it is truly speaking to ME. To only ME! Well, of course, it’s not just speaking to only ME. But it feels like it. You know? Like the times you’re in church and it truly seems like the message from the pulpit is specifically for YOU?

Manchester, England. TLC’s BIG MOVE coming—although so many things are up in the air for her. My Sweet Hubby’s (MSH) and my future. (We need to sell our place. It’s a lot to care for at our ages. It’s hard to wrap our heads about such a BIG CHANGE.) Anxiety.

So today I’m going to do my best to focus my mind, heart, soul and spirit on Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior.

Happy Friday Eve, Y’all!

smooches and hugs,

ELC 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

mama tried...

Part one.


Part two.


I took these pictures on the morning of Little Leighton's last day of Pre-K. Despite our best efforts, most especially from "Big Sis Extraordinaire," Baby Elle would. not. cooperate. God love her. If only y'all could hear the squeals that accompanied these "poses."

She squeals. A lot.

But, they sure are cute in their matching shark shirts from Target! LOL.

We hope y'all have had a blessed weekend! Happy Sunday!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

maybe i need a chill pill?


So Y’all will be happy to know Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) is a graduate! Yep. Of pre-school.

Hopefully this won’t offend too many of you: TLC and I think it was ridiculous. I did have a “graduation” from kindergarten to first grade. A hundred years ago. I still don't know why. It was a private Episcopalian church school. Until I graduated from high school? That was it. Went to two more ceremonies in my life: One for my Bachelors degree in 1976 and one for my Master’s in 2000. Each of those three celebrations? I cherished. Treasured. Deeply appreciated.

TLC had literally not one “graduation” ceremony until she graduated from high school. Then she attended her college ceremony—3 ½ years later. (Yep. That TLC is a smarty pants! Got out in less time that probably 90% of all college graduates. Made some money from the State of Texas for accomplishing that little feat!)

Now we hear of graduation ceremonies for kindergartens, sixth grades, eighth grades and then high school. I believe a lot of these occur at very small public schools and/or private schools. But public schools will, I’m sure, feel more and more pressure to do these ceremonies. Sigh.

Here’s our issue with any and all of these pre-high school ceremonies: What the HECK do kids have to look forward to if every few years they’re dawning a ridiculous hat and “graduating” from fill-in-the-blank grade? Who exactly are these ceremonies meant to please? The little bitty 4-year-olds? Their parents? Grandparents?

We simply don’t agree with it.

And now, since TLC and Her Hubby are holding LL back a year from Kindergarten (she has a semi-late Summer birthday, don’tchaknow…), LL will attend what is called a “T-K” class next Fall. Transitional Kindergarten. We’re pretty sure she’ll have to go to ANOTHER graduation ceremony. Sheesh.

TLC told me Tuesday night—as we laughed about the cute little kiddos not having a clue what was happening—she will REFUSE to make LL go through another graduation until her high school ceremony. Especially since she’ll more than likely have one at the end of Kindergarten! (People—that would be THREE GRADUATION CEREMONIES in THREE YEARS—for 6-year-old Biscuit. Seriously?) I’m hoping I’m around to see TLC stand by this sworn promise. I say it’s not likely she can even think about sticking to it. Teeheehee.


Do I sound tres cranky? I apologize. But My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I have two REAL high school graduation ceremonies to attend two weekends in a row. In Houston. A place we do NOT enjoy driving. (Our two oldest grandchildren, who are less than two months apart in age, are graduating and attending their parent’s alma maters in the Fall. We’re all VERY VERY VERY excited about these graduations/ceremonies/celebrations! MSH and I cannot even wrap our heads around the fact that these two precious “babies” are grown. Sniffy. Sniff.)

Suffice it to say that as long as MSH and I can walk—drive—function—we’ll be attending every one of our seven grandchildren’s graduations. No matter how silly we think the ones that involve any grade before 12th are! We’ll be there. Smiling and taking pictures and telling each one of them how proud we are of their BRILLIANTNESS.

I will sign off—now that I’ve sounded like The Biggest Grouch Grammy In America!

And I’ll give Y’all my word that the next post will be more civil/kinder/gentler. (That’s your cue to do something upbeat, TLC...purty please with a graduation cap on top...hahahahaha!)

HUGS from Oscar ELC

Monday, May 15, 2017

the battle line...


As I’ve shared, I (try try TRY) to read the Bible every day. And I have 3 special prayer books I pray from. I also read the daily devotional from Jesus Calling and then a page or two from Jesus Today—both of those by Sarah Young.

Yesterday (Mother’s Day), I didn’t read from any of them. I slept late. Late for me. I said my personal prayers when I woke up. Showered. Washed my hair. Got ready for the day. Believing—TRULY BELIEVING—I was going to read from the Bible and my prayer books later in the morning. (That is ALWAYS a mistake. It very rarely happens. Sigh.)

As it turned out, I made some bad choices/decisions yesterday. I won’t go into every one of them. There were several. There were many things I could’ve/should’ve done—including just resting. RESTING. The next two weeks are going to be fairly brutal on/for me and My Sweet Hubby (MSH). They involve family ceremonies/celebrations. Lots of driving. Helping. Organizing. More activity—in a short span of time—than we’ve been used to for quite awhile. Instead of acknowledging that and taking the opportunity to be LAZY—I asked MSH to go to Granbury—to a nursery—to let me pick out some plants to pot on our front porch. The round trip took almost three hours.

S.T.U.P.I.D. Unnecessary. Ridiculous. Nothing went the way I expected. Nothing. Most especially the time it took to get all the work done. Once back home. I ended up being cranky. Rude. Impatient. Ungrateful. To MSH. To myself. (I even said some cuss words I NEVER EVER EVER should say. I didn't say them to anyone in particular. Just out loud. Not loudly. However, very firmly.) I was beyond wrong. And ashamed of my awful, pathetic attitude. Happy Mother’s Day. Happy Sunday. Sheesh.

Of course, I asked God and Jesus, over and over and over, to please forgive me. I did get in a better place. Eventually. Luckily, MSH was more than willing to move on past my "spell." 

I was totally tired and exhausted by 5:00. At 6:00, I’d fallen asleep on the couch. At 8:45, I woke up, washed my face and got into my jammies. I was in bed by 9:00.  (MSH had been sound asleep for over an hour.) I slept until 5:45 this morning. Straight through the night. Very unusual for This Old Gal. Pooped is not good for me. Clearly.

After finishing The Book of Ezra, I picked up my little prayer book entitled: Praying Through the Tough Times. By Lloyd John Ogilvie. Here’s what I read:

 

WHEN I WONDER IF GOD CARES IF I HAVE PROBLEMS


Dear God, years of wrestling with problems have convinced me of a fact of life: I’m like most people in facing one momentous problem—the failure to understand that there is a positive and redemptive purpose to every one of the problems I face. I’m tempted to believe that there is something inherently bad about problems because they often involve me in an inconvenient interruption of my plans for a smooth and successful life.

 

Problems involve me in unpleasant pressures, distressing conflict, or in physical or emotional pain. I think that freedom from problems should be a reward for hard work, careful planning, and clear thinking. I struggle through the stages of life, battling the problems of getting an education, finding a job, developing a career, raising a family, making ends meet, and eventually retiring. At each stage I look forward to the next period as a time when the problems of life will be behind me. Most disturbing is the assumption that if I love You, commit my life to You, and diligently try to serve You, You will work things out so I don’t have problems.

 

In this prayer, I want to separate myself from this crowd of people with these perceptions about problems. Your purposes are not thwarted by problems. I’m certain that when You allow a problem, it’s because You want me to grow as a person. Actually, often problems define the battle line of Your transforming encounter with ignorance, pride, selfishness, laziness, and resistance to growth. Problems help me reach out to You and allow You to help me find a creative solution and take the next step to becoming a more dynamic person. There’s no problem too big for the two of us to solve together! Amen.

 

All I can think, at this point today, is I must have GROWN A LOT yesterday as a person. I sure as heck hope so.

Y’all have a Marvelous Monday—Wherever in this World you are! (Be nice to yourself and others. Please.)

smooches and hugs,

ELC

Thursday, May 11, 2017

twenty-two and counting down...


Y’all remember when I shared that I was beginning Weight Watchers? I’d originally posted “pounds and pounds of love” in February. For whatever WEIRD reason that post is now dated March 17th. (I don’t know what I did and/or why it moved. Sheesh. Sometimes I don’t get you, Blogger.)

Well, today I attended my 8th meeting and have an update!


(Yes. You are supposed to attend meetings on a weekly basis. I’m not able to always do that since my Grammy Nanny “job” often has me out of town/away from home. Yes. I could find a meeting somewhere near TLC’s current place of residence. Honestly? I like our Leader and our meetings and I’m doing okay going every other week. So there you go.)

DRUM ROLLas of this morning, I’ve lost 22.2 pounds! Woo Hoo and YIPPEE ME!

I’m not going to lie. I’m proud. I’m motivated. I’ve changed many (sadly, not all) bad habits in the past 15-ish weeks. (I signed up for the POSITIVELY AWESOME WW App on January 27th. Attended my first meeting on February 2nd.)

I no longer eat at night—after dinner. Or eat for no good reason. I was completely out of control with late-night (and unnecessary) snacking. HORRIBLY out of control. (Not when I was at TLC’s casa. She doesn’t allow anyone to eat after dinner. No one. Up until January 27th, I’d often thought I would bring some candy or chips or crackers in my overnight bag to her house. She’d never have known. I’d have taken my trash back to my house with me. Yep. I absolutely would have. I never did it, TLC. Not once.) Anyway, I’ve had a steady weight loss of over a pound a week since I began this journey. I’ve had not one “official” weigh-in where I’ve gained. I do think that will happen. I’m not being pessimistic. I’m being realistic. I’ll be ready for it if and when it does occur. Trust me. I refuse to let it discourage me or set me off on a binge. I CAN DO THIS.

I have, at this point, and according to WW, twelve pounds to go to reach what they have set as my “lifetime” goal. For the first time in many, many, MANY years, I feel certain I can reach this weight. Heckfire, I might even make it 17 more pounds! WTHeck?

Today I’m grateful for Gunny (Sunny’s sister who inspired Sunny and I to try this new WW program. By the way: Gunny and Sunny are both doing fabulous! We’re all having success, but it was Gunny who got this ride rolling. Love you, Gal. THANK YOU. From the bottom of my thinner heart.); for our FANTASTIC WW Leader and the two lovely women who work the scales, etc., every Thursday for three meetings; the wonderful Church who has allowed Weight Watchers to have their meetings there for years—like well over 30!; My Sweet Hubby (MSH), who has supported me 1000% since the day I started; TLC, who also has been a much-appreciated cheerleader for me; my friend Emily, who also attends WW and cheers me on; new friends I have met there and old friends I had no idea were WW members; and, last, but never, ever, ever least—My Lord God Almighty. I feel His pride in my decision to become healthier.

Oh, OOPS! I cannot forget—OPRAH! (See how I feel about her in my previous “pounds and pounds of love” post!)

Happy Friday Eve, Friends! May I encourage you to do something HEALTHY for yourself this weekend? Drink more water? Eat one less cookie or donut? Eat one more orange or apple! CARE ABOUT YOURSELF. You’ll be glad you did.

smooch…

Monday, May 8, 2017

girl power...

Jen Hatmaker is my spirit animal. She is an amazingly talented writer who always says exactly what I need to hear at exactly the right moment. And she's a Texan to boot! (She lives in Buda, a little town outside of Austin that holds a special place in My Sweet Dad's heart.)

This morning, on her Instagram feed, she posted a picture of herself and her beautiful daughter (taken the night of her prom). Here's what she had to say:

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." ~Agatha Christie~

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When it comes to this girl, all bets are off. There is no path I would not mow down so she can walk upon it. Women, the world we are building is the one in which our daughters and sons will rise up. Let's dare and push and break ceilings and crush all the injustice and hate we can so we might hand off a kinder, safer, lovelier world than the one we inherited. Our mothers did this work before us too. Our grandmothers before them. They won battles we no longer have to fight. They laid pavement in many a wilderness; we are the first generation to walk some of those paths with ease. It is our turn to demand a world worthy of our children. 

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I know this planet feels so harsh and cruel, but it has met its match with a generation of mothers who didn't come to play. We only look sweet.

Look at me with two inspirational posts in a row! Call me ELC! LOL. JK. But, seriously, y'all. ELC is a warrior in every way. A survivor. A defender. I will be this for my girls. I will spend every second trying as hard as I can to raise brave and kind and strong women that love Jesus with all of their hearts.


Thank you, Mama. GIRL POWER.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

sacks...of sacks...


Okay. Perhaps I’m a bit hoarder-ish. I keep sacks. Of all kinds. Well, not so many plastic Hellmart sacks. But department store sacks. Specialty store sacks. If your place of business has a pretty/cool/fun sack? I keep it. If you give me a gift in a pretty sack and you didn’t write my name in it? Yep. It’s recycled. Of course it is!!!

I love sacks. I have complete and total faith I’ll use every last one of them. Eventually. And—I DO!!! I never lack a means of transporting “stuff” to TLC. Or a friend. TLC does return most of my sacks—because she knows that’s the rule. UNLESS—it is a gift sack to her or The Little Angel Girls. Those? She’s allowed to keep.

When I decided to organize and, yes, purge, my collection of sacks a couple of weeks ago, I took a picture of all that I had crammed into three closets. And here they are:


I then went through each sack—of sacks. I divided them up into biggish sacks containing “gift” sacks, Christmas sacks, food/grocery sacks, and sacks that I’ll donate—or use myself—to Tracey’s upcoming move. Folded them neatly. Here is the result of my efforts:


I was quite proud. I don’t think you can truly see, when looking the second picture, that I condensed about twelve sacks into six. TLC? She was not very complimentary of my efforts. She’s at her casa every day now frantically organizing, purging, selling and giving away lots o’ things. (I’m not sure she’ll have much left to move to their new home. It’ll be innerstin’…)

Today, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I are preparing to have Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle (aka Belle) come stay with us for three nights! TLC will bring them tomorrow—spend one night herself—and then she’ll go home. We’ll drive them to their new hometown on Sunday and meet TLC and Her Hubby for lunch.

We’ve not had Belle by herself yet. EVER. And she’s thirteen months old. I’m not ashamed to admit we’re nervous. Our house has never been “baby proof.” (It might have been semi-baby proof when TLC was a baby/toddler.) We’ve always been able to simply watch and protect our grandchildren from any potential dangers. Belle? Yikes. She is WILD. Into everything. Not only walking, now, but actually almost running from room to room.

If you have a moment, would you please say a quick prayer on our behalf? A prayer that we can keep up with this Wild One and still eat? Sleep? Shower? Dress?  

I shall close and wish each of Y’all a WONDERFUL Week! (Find a purty sack—fill it up with something to give away and…GIVE IT AWAY! Winky. Wink.)

smooch,

ELC 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

stories...

As April comes to a close, as well as a sweet season in my life--living in a great town, in a perfect-for-us-house that we brought our precious Baby Elle home to--I thought this excerpt from one of my most favorite devotionals, Shauna Niequist's "Savor," to be oh-so-appropriate and a welcome reminder to thank God for my "story." For chapters written and unwritten. For adventures. And, most especially, for His grace.

The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us slyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that's been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to hear it.

You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.

You are more than dust and bones.

You are spirit and power and image of God.

May the month of May bless each of you with kindness, excitement and hope.

Happy Sunday, Readers!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

jailbird...

Saturday afternoon, Little Leighton and I were sitting outside on the glider in our backyard. She started telling me about how the boys at her private church preschool like to play "jail." (Lovely.) I jokingly told her, "I know people that have been in jail before." Little Leighton, without missing a beat, sweetly asks, "Who? Grammy?"

I just about fell right out of that glider, laughing hysterically. Of course, I then immediately had to call and tell ELC what her precious, innocent granddaughter had just said.

LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL.

P.S. To my knowledge, ELC has NOT been in jail. I made sure Little Leighton understood this so she would not tell her fellow jailbird classmates. HA.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

a place of harmony...


From Prayers with Purpose for Women by Jackie M. Johnson:

 

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

          ACTS 2:46

 

Lord, may our home be a place of harmony. Let gladness and sincerity be hallmarks here as we share meals together, entertain, live, laugh, and play together as a family. I pray against discord and fighting, and I pray for peace. Give each of us an agreeable spirit. When the challenges of life come, help us to love and support each other with empathy, kindness, and love.
In Jesus’ name, I pray.

AMEN.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

mysteries and challenges...


First, some housekeeping (see TLC’s post “movin, shakin’ and organizin’ posted Tuesday night):

Of course, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I are beyond excited that TLC and her Crew will be moving 45 minutes-ish/30 miles-ish closer to us! It’s been about nine years since we’ll be this close—in distance. I’ve put so many miles on my past two cars I cannot even imagine what it’ll be like not to have oil changes/checkups every two months! Woo Hoo and Yippee!!! I’ll be rich! Ha.

Next, I feel like I should make a few comments in regard to TLC’s post:

I loved it! Naturally, I would never have recalled that email I sent to her. I’ve also never talked about my own mother on our blog. Her mother, my Nana? Yes. Y’all know I adored her. I’m sure you’re not surprised I have many reasons why I’ve been silent about this "mother" part of my life. Not happy ones. Not easy ones to understand. But she (my mother) can (totally unintentionally) be very funny. My Nana was often like that. My mother would say it was the “English” in Nana.

Also, I might have seemed shallow/negative/rude when telling TLC to be mysterious and challenging to men she was dating. And then to “find a Bob.” Finding a Bob was a joke. The part about being a challenge? Yep. I was serious. I don't like or promote "games." Truly. But if we have to play them, let's at least figure out some of the secrets to winning. Occasionally. It took me fifty years to even begin to believe I had men figured out. (I still haven’t—I am getting close.) I am certain they like challenges. Most of them, anyway. They cannot and will not ever understand us women, right? Most don’t even want to try. But I’ve learned this: We must, as women, wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, females, catch them off guard. If they expect you to yell? You need to be quiet. If they expect you to be quiet, well, go ahead and yell. With some restraint. It’s ridiculous. Sadly, in my humble opinion, I'm speaking the truth.

Now to my FABULOUS recommendation!

I’ve had bad/yucky/cracky/awful nails for many, many years. I got “sculptured” nails from Kit when TLC was tiny. Two. My previously healthy nails turned hideous after delivering her to this Earth. The problem with the beauty shop nails? My life revolved around them and I couldn’t handle the stress. My next professional manicure happened at age 37. With my FIRST professional pedicure. Could have cared less about the mani. FELL IN LOVE with the pedi.

You’re not surprised: I don’t get many manis. I'm jealous of pretty nails on my friends' fingers. TLC’s are quite lovely. A LOT of the time. I simply don’t have that commitment built into my DNA. However, I don’t like UGLY nails.

About ten years ago, the young lady that gave TLC and me pedis told us about Nail Tek.


I tried it—and KNEW it was good. Yet, I couldn’t even stay committed to this. Fast forward to two months ago when I was in my favourite Walgreens and had some time to browse. I’d bought a Sally Hansen product a couple of years ago and thought it was fairly effective. Now I see Nail Tek and decide to try it again.

IT WORKS! I’m telling y’all—IT WORKS. It’s not going to be perfect. Trust me. But I swear it has made my nails stronger. Better. A tidbit prettier. (Now if I’d just even break down and put polish on them, I might really be proud. Sigh.)

(Doesn’t this kind of make y’all that have been with us for many years want us to go back to Yummies and Yeehaws??? I miss them both, TLC. Boo to you! Killjoy.)

Hope each of you has a great Friday Eve, Friday and weekend! Paint your nails! Browse a drug store! Look at some treasures you’ve kept! Be safe.

smooches,

ELC

p.s.: I take a Biotin supplement every day and I believe that, too, has helped my nails. And hair! Thought I should also mention that...

little leighton and her guys...

(Once again, I accidentally "updated" this post just now because I noticed a typo. It took it out of date order and moved it to today...CRUD...I think I'm eventually going to figure this blog thing out. Seven years later...SHEESH. This was done almost two weeks ago. For clarification.
ELC)


This is probably not going to be what y’all think. Winky. Wink.

Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) has no “guys.” Not the male kind, anyway. (Although, I’ve noticed she seems—at nearly five years old—to be quite intrigued by the opposite sex. I’m saying this based on her stories about the boys in her class. And the way she acts when we’re around any male between the age of 4 and 13.)

Her “guys” are all of her stuffed animals and her “baby” dolls. Actually, all dolls. 98% of them are female. But she calls them ALL her “guys.” It makes me giggle. She brings at least nine of these "guys" when she comes to visit.

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH aka Pa-Pa) and I met TLC and both girls at a mall in Frisco on Friday. For a picnic lunch in the food court and a few rides on the Carousel that LL treasures. This time Baby Belle (aka Belle) got to ride! She wasn’t too sure what was happening—but I believe she enjoyed it.

We said goodbye to TLC and Belle and headed West with LL—to our country casa. We did have to make two unexpected “potty” stops. One happened at a McDonald’s in Euless. Which felt strange, since LL had never been in a McDonald’s. I’m serious. Never. Before her Celiac diagnosis at the age of two, TLC just hadn’t taken her to one. Once she was diagnosed? Bless Biscuit’s SWEET heart…all fast food restaurants became off-limits. We’d tried to locate a decent looking gas station off the highway—with no luck. There didn’t seem to be time to keep looking. So McDonald’s worked. Less than an hour later, we had to make another stop at a gas station right off the Interstate. We were 15 minutes—or less—from our home. LL said she could NOT wait. You do what you gotta do, right? (Sure enough—she was pretty desperate.)

Once home, we had about 46 hours of sheer FUN. There were some tears. Over a bite(s) on her arm. We’d walked over to our Barn Saturday mid-morn and something had caused some unidentifiable bumps. And over some kind of issue on her left knee. When she got in the tub that night, the lukewarm water “burned.” She had a HUGE meltdown.  Extreme drama ensued. Pa-Pa had to carry her to her bedroom. (TLC laughed her you-kn0w-what off at this when I told her about it later that night. I thought that was a bit rude.) LL, MSH and I all had to take deep, deep breaths. We reassured her we didn’t need to race to the ER. (I still have no idea what happened. It was odd looking. Seemed to me like it could be a carpet-type burn. It was—mostly—gone by the time she woke up Sunday morning.)

Biscuit enjoyed a second breakfast of Gramcakes and bacon. She watched some Sofia the First while MSH and I got ready to head East. We packed up all of her guys and talked, in the car, about the amazing time the five of us—(Buddy Bear and Hunter always love Biscuit’s visits!)—had had. We met TLC, Her Hubby and Belle for a second picnic lunch at a wonderful park in a little town called Aledo. We’d not done this before and it worked out perfectly! Of course, I had to wipe away tears as we headed back home. I don’t know why I do this at the end of every visit. Every. Single. One. Sigh.

Hope y’all had as happy a weekend as MSH and I did! Please have a safe and productive/great week…wherever in the world y’all are…

Hugs,

ELC