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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

splashes of pleasure...

From Jesus Lives. By Sarah Young.


KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON ME--AND ON THE CROWN OF LIFE I HAVE PROMISED TO THOSE WHO LOVE ME. There is a sense in which life on this earth is an endurance contest. It can be helpful to view your life this way, because then you're not shocked or disappointed by the many trials you encounter. Nonetheless, I do provide splashes of pleasure even in the midst of your hardest times. Among the many blessings I have for you, the Joy of My Presence is always available to you.

The crown of Life is similar to the wreath that was rewarded for athletic victory in biblical times. However, those athletes competed to get a perishable crown--a wreath of greenery--and you are receiving a crown that will last forever! Whenever you are feeling battered by life's trials, remember the crown of righteousness that is stored up for you. Because it is My righteousness that saves you, this eternal reward is absolutely guaranteed. I have promised to give it to all those who love Me--who long for My return. When I, the Chief Shepherd, come back for you, you will receive the crown of Glory that will never fade away!

The Leightons and Baby Elle do so love crowns! But life's trials are tough right now. Moving is HARD. (Even when it's not actually you moving! Sigh.) I pray for energy, strength, and patience! I pray to Our Dear Lord God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ, for their love, hope, peace and forgiveness.


Hope each of you has a WONDERFUL Wednesday!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

rainbow bootsy...

Rainy Rainbow Bootsy, that is. The name of Little Leighton’s (aka LL aka Biscuit) new birthday gift!

Backing up:

I’ve spent the past five out of six days with TLC and The Little Girls.

I went to their casa last Sunday. Spent two nights. We parked my car in TLC’s garage and came to our country casa on Tuesday. We stayed here two nights. Thursday, after an early lunch, we went back East to TLC’s home where I spent one night.

I had lunch yesterday with My Sweet Mackie (she is the CUTEST) in Plano—our favourite restaurant—Newk’s—and then stopped for two errands on my way home. One in Ft. Worth and one in Weatherford. I was happy yet POOPED as I drove into my garage.

I slept like a baby last night. (That doesn’t happen too terribly often any more.) Pretty much worn out from chasing Baby Elle (aka Belle) around for five days. (LL is a BREEZE. Seriously. She’s easy to entertain and keep happy.) Belle is fast. Tough. Sneaky. Untrustworthy (You can watch her scheming/thinking/planning—trying to figure out how she’s going to get her hands on something she shouldn’t. She currently drags her little chair around the playroom to stand on in order to reach the toys that are Biscuit’s and, therefore, put out of Belle’s reach.). And, of course, Baby Elle is The Cutest Little Sister EVER. Winky. Wink.

I go East, again, tomorrow afternoon. Stay four more nights and head West. Again. Sheesh and Lawdy and aren’t I just The BEST MOM/GRAMMY Ever??? (Have I mentioned TLC’s is out of state? For two weeks? Hence my willingness to help watch The Little Angel Girls while TLC packs, makes a thousand phone calls, etc. Etc. Etc.)

We’ll be celebrating LL’s (actual) birthday next week. My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH aka Pa-Pa) will be joining LL, TLC, Belle and me at LL’s favourite Mall for lunch, a ride on The Carousel, and visits to The Disney Store and Build-A-Bear Workshop Monday.

LL has received one of her gifts early from Grammy and Pa-Pa. A meowing, purring, head-moving cat named “Bootsy.” LL saw her at our Walmart store a few weeks ago. I told her she couldn’t have it that day—that maybe she’d get it for her birthday. She saw it one more time on a quick trip back into Walmart a couple of weeks ago. Meantime, TLC had ordered it for us from Amazon.

When I retrieved it from the store in town where we have everything shipped, I had to cut a thousand things off of the dadgum cat in order to make it STOP MEOWING. It was simply non-stop. Me, The Deaf-In-My-Right-Ear could hear it constantly. That wasn’t going to work for me. I decided the time to give it to LL was this past Thursday—a couple of hours before the four of us gals were going to go back to TLC’s.

While she took it out of the Super Girl (we do truly love us some Super Girl!) gift sack, this is how our conversation went:

ELC: That’s from Buddy Boo Bear and Hunter the Cat!

LL: Grammy, they went to the store and bought it for me?

ELC: Yep. We drove them to town. Let them out at the front door of Walmart. Hunter found it and took it to the Cashier. Buddy took out his little doggie credit card and paid for it.

LL (looking at me with MAJOR suspicion): Grammy, I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think dogs can have credit cards!

ELC: I know, Biscuit. I was kidding. But if they could buy you a gift—because they both love you SOOO much—this is what they’d get you.

At this point, TLC asked her what she was going to name the kitty. She told Biscuit she was called a “Bootsy” cat.

I think I’ve shared with y’all that LL has ALWAYS named her dolls and stuffed animals quite unique (Oh, poo. Who am I kidding? They’ve been semi-weird, Friends.) names. Most of the time, the doll or animal will actually have three names. Or, at the very least, two. It’s challenging to remember whose names are what. Biscuit always remembers, though.

After thinking about it for a few minutes, LL decided she’d really rather call the cat Rainy. Rainy Rainbow Bootsy. SIGH.

She’s going to be stuffing a bear Monday. It’ll be innerstin’ to see what that one gets named. If only it could be one name that her Grammy could remember.

Hope Y’all are having a Wonderful Weekend! If you’re traveling as much as I am, BE SAFE. Please!

Smooches and Ta-Ta for Now!


Monday, July 17, 2017

surprise! part two...

As ELC mentioned, my precious Aunt and Cousins had a little surprise (early) birthday soiree for Little Leighton last weekend. We had so. much. FUN. LL was shocked!

My Aunt's house had been decorated from top to bottom! It was beautiful.

They played "Pin the Carrot on Olaf!" (At one point, several weeks ago, LL mentioned she would like a My Little Pony/Frozen birthday party. My adorable family took her seriously! It made my heart just SMILE.)

There was even face painting! LL opted for the loveliest little rainbow. We love rainbows!

Time for cupcakes! Grammy ELC made extra yummy gluten-free Funfetti cupcakes. We frosted them with strawberry icing. They were DELISH.

This was a picture of The Leighton Ladies and Baby Elle at my Cousin's play the next morning. We all thought it was AWESOME.

The memories we made are priceless to all of us. We can't wait to see them all again soon!

Okay--back to packing for me, y'all. YUCK. I wish I had one of those cupcakes right about now.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

4th fun...

Howdy, friends!

So, I think I've packed a total of 10 boxes. I move in three-ish weeks. Please send me lots of wine, chocolate and bubble wrap.

I wanted to share a few pictures from our FUN 4th of July! We had the best time at the lake (we actually went down on the 2nd and ended up seeing the most amazing fireworks' display--compliments of our neighbors!) with just Little Leighton. Sweet Grammy ELC kept Baby Elle and Henry for us so we could spend one-on-one time with our oldest girl.

Note: I am NOT a lake lady. I generally am only a fan of clear water where I can see the bottom. I've done my best to not influence LL. Apparently I've done an amazing job because she LOVES the lake. Granted, lake-ing was a HUGE part of my childhood. We spent many a'weekend on our various boats--fishing, tubing, sunbathing. I have wonderful memories. But, as I've aged, I've decided I'd rather stick to pools or the ocean. So be it. However, if anyone can get me in a lake? It's LL. Dadgummit.

Who doesn't love a good dock-selfie?

LL's great-aunt (My Hubby's Mom's Sister) came for a visit. We were extremely happy to spend time with her. We had a blast riding in the boat!

On our way to the lake, we stopped at a fireworks stand and procured sparklers. LL was a bit skeptical but really liked them!

Meanwhile, on the actual 4th, we headed to our Downtown to watch the local parade. It was hot, y'all. And insanely crowded. At least Baby Elle was well-accessorized.

I hope you all had a fabulous 4th, too. Go America!

I'll be back in a few days to share pictures from LL's "surprise early birthday party!"


Tuesday, July 11, 2017


So Baby Elle’s first “vacation” was a GREAT success! And—it was actually an early birthday “SURPRISE” party for Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit)! With her great-aunt, my two nieces, and four cousins! Plus TLC, Baby Elle and moi. Of course.

Once we unloaded our cRaZy number of bags at our hotel, ice chests and paraphernalia, Friday afternoon, we went over to my sister’s townhome. As we parked in front, LL saw a poster on her front door that said:






Biscuit read it out loud. With confusion.

LL: “They know another Biscuit? This is a party?”

ELC: No. That Biscuit is YOU, LL!

LL: But this is not my birthday.

(God love her. She was exactly right. Her birthday is not for two more weeks.)

ELC: Well, that’s why this is such a MARVELOUS SURPRISE, Biscuit! This is your very first “SURPRISE!” party!

Once we got inside and the older cousins started her on two scavenger hunts and pin the tail on My Little Pony, she was in HEAVEN. Pure, SWEET Birthday Heaven! I doubt she’ll ever forget this weekend and that’s what TLC and I prayed would happen!

There were two small blips in our little mini vacay. Sigh. ALWAYS, right?

First, we weren’t able to get into our  hotel room early. Which almost never, ever happens to moi. The (young) clerk at the front desk made a couple of unfortunate mistakes—as I tried to check-in. I won’t go into the entire, sad, STUPID experience. Suffice it to say: I had a little chat with an Assistant Manager and ended up with a reduced bill for the 2-bedroom suite. By the way: The original charges were going to be HUGELY ridiculous. I'm talking borderline highway robbery. But, once the young lady (who, I must believe, learned some valuable “public relations’ lessons” that afternoon) snottily and condescendingly tried to explain to me, a 63-year-old woman who has stayed in literally hundreds of hotels in my life, some of their “policies” and issues, including that "Check-in is 3:00." (She then promptly proceeded to check-in two other families BEFORE 3:00...AARRRGGGGHHHHH...while we quietly sat in the dining room watching the time on our iPhones.) the price for the suite became more than reasonable. The Assistant Manager lowered it to what it should have been all along. Not sure I’ll stay there again. Some time will have to pass for me to mull that one over.

The other blip happened at a play performance one of my great-nieces was in. She’s 9—about to be 10. She’d attended a “drama” camp for three weeks and the play was the kids' performance for their families and friends.

It took place at the CUTEST little theater. Baby Elle, who had slept well Friday night in her hotel crib, would have been a good little angel—had we not had to get to the theater 40 minutes early for our seats. And had two nice, but long-winded, young women not spent almost 20 minutes talking about the camp, their other summer programs and their programs during the school year. An hour in our seats prior to the actual beginning of the play proved to be too much to ask of 15-month-old Baby Elle. Her paci, a snack and water did nothing to keep her quiet. I took her down to the ticket booth/snack bar area and we watched the play on a monitor. (I later got to go back with my sister to see the afternoon performance. It worked out perfectly! My oldest great-niece stayed at the hotel with Biscuit and TLC while Baby Elle napped.)

At the end of the second performance, we all met up at my nephew's and niece-by-marriage's (JDub has three of the six gal cousins and is very VERY outnumbered!) home for more play time and a pizza dinner!

Sunday morn we went back to my sister's for an early lunch. Said our goodbyes with major smooches. Then, so TLC would not have to drive me all the way home (two hours) and then drive to her casa (two more hours), My Sweet Hubby (MSH) met us at a place that was mostly on TLC’s way home. He tried to time it where he wouldn’t have to wait too long on us—but it didn’t work. He was at our rendezvous point almost an hour early. TLC and I hated that. He was patient and kind. As always.

MSH and I arrived home, and I was on my davenport, by 4:30.

Chalk one up to a Fabulous Family Weekend of travel, fun, entertainment,  swimming, laughs, endless pictures and many, many stories!

Hope Y’all have a Wonderful Week—wherever in this World you are! (Use all of your Public Relations' Skills when dealing with family, friends and strangers. Seriously. Be kind. And gentle. And PATIENT.)

Love and BIG Hugs,


Thursday, July 6, 2017

biscuit's surprise...

We’ve failing to re-post “July” blogs from the past. (It is only July 6th, however.) Maybe next week. At this point, TLC and I are just treading water. Life is happening a thousand miles a second—while we try to keep our heads above the roaring rapids. I’m confident it’s that way for each of y’all! Recycling past posts IS happening. Trust me.

But TLC and I have something truly fun planned for Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) this weekend! She and LL and Baby Elle will be here, at our country casa, any moment. In the morning, we’re headed North to Wichita Falls to see my sister, niece, nephew and four great-nieces.

Tomorrow afternoon, Biscuit is in for a SURPRISE!

Look for my follow-up by next Tuesday…ish…

Until then, PLEASE be SAFE. Be HAPPY. Be KIND.





Tuesday, July 4, 2017

America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties,

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

I cherish this song. I’ve known it since I was a tiny tot. I can sing it much better than I can The Star-Spangled Banner. But, sadly, I don’t think children are learning this song today. Actually, I don’t think a lot of them are being taught The Star-Spangled Banner. Which breaks my heart. In half.

Confession: This song has four verses. I’d be hard-pressed to sing the other three for you—without help. Without cheating and looking at the words. In fact, it might prove to be impossible. I do believe, if I could force you to hear me sing it right this very minute, you’d say I did a surprisingly good job! Winky. Wink.

I looked up the song’s history. It was originally written as a poem by Katharine Lee Bates. In 1893. It was put to music, which was composed by Samuel A. Ward, in 1910. I hope they know how much I love them for giving me proud chills every single time I hear it. Sing it. Feel its "majesty."

On this Fourth of July, 2017, I pray to our Dear Lord God Almighty to bless and protect our United States of America. There is way too much to worry about lately. So much hatred. Violence. Conflict. Enough. I fear for our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.

This IS a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL country with wonderful, kind, good, hard-working citizens. I pray to God we can restore our country’s Christianity—with God’s Amazing Grace.

Sending BIG RED, WHITE and BLUE smooches and hugs to each of you this afternoon. Wherever in the World you are!

A Texas Yankee Doodle ELC

Saturday, July 1, 2017

jump and jive!

The first day of July. 2017. Sheesh.

Well, this month is going to be beyond cRaZy.

Soooooooo........recognizing this fact........we're going to go ahead and surrender to the craziness and use this month as a time to reflect back on Julys (Julies? I have no clue how to make this grammatically correct.) in the past seven years.

Now, re-posting past posts will require ELC to depend on TLC. (I have not one clue how to either link from past posts or copy and paste the actual post.) Reliance on TLC is IFFY--at best.

Be patient with us. PLEASE. Our minds will be on vacation. Our bodies, souls, hearts and spirits? In flux. And, as always in Texas, all five of those things will be HOT. Very, very, VERY hot.

Here's hoping each of Y'all will have a Jumpin'/Jivin' July! Wherever in this World Y'all are...