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~

.
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. 

.
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