Sunday, August 13, 2017

moment by moment...

From Jesus Lives, by Sarah Young:


CONSIDER IT ALL JOY WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER VARIOUS TRIALS. You can consider something a joyful opportunity even when you are feeling quite joyless. Some definitions of “consider” are: “to think about seriously; to regard as; to believe after deliberation.” You may need to ponder your circumstances at length before you can view them in a positive light. You need to give yourself time for your feelings to settle down. It’s hard to think clearly with high levels of emotions surging through your brain. Once you have calmed down, you will be able to think seriously about your situation. Invite Me into this process of deliberation, and My Presence will improve your perspective: helping you see your trials in the Light of eternity.

As you look at your circumstances from My perspective, you come to understand that these multiple problems are testing your faith. This is both an opportunity (to strengthen your faith) and a temptation (to let your feelings “trump” your faith).

One of the hardest things about trials is the uncertainty about how long they will last. Usually, you can’t predict or control the unpleasant circumstances. You just have to live with them indefinitely. At times you may feel as if you can endure no more, but you can always reach to Me for help. As you cling to Me moment by moment, I enable you to persevere. This produces in you not only endurance but also a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Consider it all joy…when you encounter various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

JAMES 1:2-3

As we entertain and visit with two of our five Houston grandkids this weekend, TLC and Her Hubby continue to unpack boxes. Settle into their new home. Yesterday afternoon, their downstairs air conditioner went out. Lack of cool air in Texas? In August? TOUGH STUFF. Truly CHALLENGING.

She texted me to let me know she and The Little Girls might have to make the trip to our casa and spend a couple of nights. I said: “Come on!” The cousins were missing The Little Girls anyway! They finally found a company to come over and fix it. AND the cost wasn’t as bad as they expected.

Trust me when I confess TLC has come by her negative impatience honestly. Her Mama has too much of it. We both have an excess amount of moments we feel we can “endure no more…” At 63? I’m still working on this terrible trait/habit/albatross. My prayer for my Sweet Daughter today is that she learn to look to Jesus for comfort and strength. That she take deeper breaths. That she lean on her faith and God and Jesus’ past grace.

God bless each of you, Friends, with perspective. Calm in the midst of your personal storms. And, ultimately? JOY. The JOY that only Jesus Christ can give us.

Happy Sunday!

p.s.: My Sweet Hubby and I pray constantly for the anger, hate, and useless violence in America to end. Enough. It must stop. Yesterday.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

in recovery...

We're all in recovery.

Me. My Sweet Hubby (MSH). TLC. Her Hubby. The Little Girls? Buddy Boo Bear and Hunter the Cat? Nope. Henry (aka Bubba)? A tiny bit.

TLC’s BIG MOVE from her (now) former home to her new home (45 miles/minutes closer to me and MSH—YIPPEE!!!) began Friday afternoon. MSH and I had picked up Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle (aka Belle) at 9:30 that morning in Euless. We got here to our country casa by 11:15.

TLC and Her Hubby closed on their home at 10:30 and went back to meet The Movers at their (now) former home. They all worked—in the Texas heat—for hours and hours. Took several loads of “stuff” to the new home. There were blips. Setbacks. Frustrations. Overall? It went well for the first day.

Meanwhile, we played and played and played at Grammy and Pa-Pa’s house! Belle, who has had good and VERY bad nights, in the past sixteen months, in the half-crib we have for her, had a bit of a struggle deciding she was going to sleep Friday evening. She cried. And cried. And SCREAMED. Then, towards the end of the drama, pitifully called out: “Ga-Ga. Ga-Ga. GA-GA!” This all lasted about twenty minutes. Twenty. LONG. Minutes. (FYI: This Mama/Grammy/Ga-Ga does not do well with crying. I didn’t with any baby. Ever. Especially TLC. And Biscuit.) I was about to THINK ABOUT going in to reassure Belle she’d be okay and we were still around when she suddenly stopped. Which was a very good thing. Since TLC had threatened me practically with my life if I gave in to Belle’s tears and antics. Oh. My. Broken. Heart. It was a rough twenty minutes for moi.

Saturday morn we went out early to feed our (pregnant) Mama cows and played on our back patio (bubbles, pulling the wagon, picking up sticks and rocks)—until 10:30. It was surprisingly cool! We’d told LL we’d all load up and go have some “Moyo” (the term MSH uses when he’s referring to frozen yogurt) after Baby Elle woke from her nap.

Northeast of Us: The Moving Saga continued for TLC and Her Hubby.

Us/We? (I swear I have no grammar skills any Country Folks had a fun time “goin’ to town” after Belle’s nap. We hit up Staples—(y’all will recall this is one of Biscuit’s favourite stores and, yes, that still blows our minds…)—before heading to the frozen yogurt store. They’re within a short walking distance. We all enjoyed the deliciousness of the gluten-free flavors we picked. This is truly one of Biscuit’s treasured things to do when she’s staying with us. God love her. Simple pleasures!

Saturday—for all of us—went by fairly fast. At our house, Belle did much better taking her nap and going to bed that night in the crib she doesn’t appreciate.

Minutes after getting Biscuit to sleep, I showered and hurried to get in my bed—the place where MSH was already snoring. I reached to turn off my light—monitors on The Little Girls and my body in total pain—when I received a text from TLC saying one of the movers had stolen her iPhone 6! I felt awful for her. She’d just bought a 7Plus two weeks ago. She was saving the 6 for LL and Belle—so they could look at pictures and watch the videos. She’d left it in her nightstand drawer Saturday morning and had discovered it gone moments before her text.

She was sick. ANGRY. (Mostly at herself for not taking it with her in her car.) STRESSED. Fortunately, we all put passcodes on our phones. She wasn’t too worried about anything getting stolen. She was deeply hurt that one of the movers—and they tipped, generously, all these guys that helped for two days at the end of both days—would steal from her. After talking to a lovely Apple Customer Service Rep, she did her best to sleep and move on.

Sunday came and went a bit slowly for The Grandparents! As Belle napped that afternoon, this Mama listened to The iPhone Theft Story from TLC—as she drove away from her former home forever. It's about an hour drive. Trust me: She could convince Scotland Yard she didn’t lose or misplace it. The woman she talked to at the moving company on Monday morning assured her she’d find it—that her "guys” would never take anything. Here's what this Mama Bear says: The cellphone won’t show up. I’m certain of it. I'm even more positive Scotland Yard would also be certain.)

By Sunday evening after dinner, MSH and I were slowly going downhill. Our bodies were beginning to rebel. Major rebellion. Caring for LL? A piece of cake. Easy. Peasy. Baby Elle? Lordy. That 16-month-old Baby Princess is actually a TORNADO. FAST. Unpredictable. Destructive. TIRING. Sheesh. (And we adore her.)

Monday morning TLC worked on getting Her Girls’ bedrooms ready for them to come see their new digs! They’d seen the downstairs last Thursday—but couldn’t go up to their rooms due to wet carpet. TLC was anxious to get them settled in. MSH and I and The Little Girls spent the first half of the day eating, getting in some last-minute playing, and packing their belongings. (It was alof of stuff for three nights/four days.)

We arrived at The New Casa (new to TLC and Gang) at 2:00 Monday afternoon. I was very impressed and loved it! Yes, it needs some work and tender loving care. Paint in most all of the house/rooms. Carpet in many rooms. But it’s a charming, comfy, wonderful home and I’m sincerely excited for our daughter, granddaughters, son-in-law and Henry the Dog as they adjust to new neighbors, schools, challenges—their new life.

MSH and I got home at 5:00 yesterday evening. I got my jammies on and went straight to our Great Room davenport. I kept falling asleep as I watched the THREE-HOUR conclusion of The Bachelorette. I loved Rachel, by the way. In a big way. I feel like she didn’t get the man her heart truly wanted. I hope and pray she’s happy with the one she got. (She sure did snag a STUNNING 3-carat diamond ring. WOWZER.)

Today has been spent on laundry and cleaning. Putting LL’s room (which was TLC’s and is now our guest room but Biscuit would sweetly inform you it’s HER room!) back together. I must confess: I didn’t finish in there. I did finish our laundry.

I had a haircut in town at 2:00. Left early for some errands. When I got home at 3:30? I might have opted to get back on the davenport. Yep. I’m awful. What can I say? This Old Grammy ain’t what she used to be. I'm old. Saggy. Sluggish. Sigh.

Here’s to Y’all having a Wonderful Wednesday—wherever in the World you are!

Note: If you must move, try to do it in the Spring. Or Fall. Not August. At least not July or August if you live in Texas. And get ready for lots o’ unexpected and unwelcome issues to come up. They happen. Always. ALWAYS.



p.s.: I’m missing My Three Gals tonight. Sniffy. Sniff.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Celine. And Dion.

Y’all might remember how much I love America’s Got Talent. It’s one of my shows that make me cry. EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. (Since The Biggest Loser hasn’t been on in about…oh, I don’t know exactly…two years?...I have all of those tears just waiting to be released from my old, sad eyes.)

If y’all are not watching this season's AGT, my question is this: WHY? I mean, SERIOUSLY…WHY? It has lots of ridiculous acts—at the beginning. But, after the first four shows, it’s ALL TALENT. Some of the acts? I cannot watch. I must fast forward. ICKY ICK ICK. Like contortionists? Uh, no. NO, thank you very much. But the singers? Dancers? Magicians? Comedians/Comediennes? LOVE THEM ALL.

I’m missing Nick Cannon—yet liking (and I’m semi-surprised I’m saying this) Tyra Banks as the Host. Howie? Mel B.? Heidi? Simon? ADORE THEM. Each and every one of them.

This year there is a 9-year-old girl who is INCREDIBLE. Her name is…wait for it...drumroll...Celine. Yep. Named after you-know-who. Her parents LOVE, LOVE, are OBSESSED with Celine Dion. (I can’t blame them.) Her little sister’s name? Yep. Dion. I cannot make this stuff up, Peeps.

I also cannot put into enough words—that are accurately descriptive—how good/talented/cute this little girl is. Last night? She got The Golden Buzzer (if you don't know what this is you're just going to have to watch the show...). From Guest Judge Laverne (spelling?). (I think she’s on Orange is the New Black. I think. I don’t watch that show because we don’t get that channel—but I’m fairly certain that’s her claim to fame. And she was precious. Truth.)

My Suggestion: WATCH America's Got Talent. If you never have—GIVE IT A TRY. On Demand it. Netflix it. Go to their website. You can watch every show from there. I believe. Do whatever you have to do. The contestants (and MANY are from other countries around the world) are full of The American Dream. How can an American not treasure that? At the very least, YouTube Celine’s performances, okay? You’ll fall in complete love with her. Trust me.


p.s.: My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I meet TLC at our rendezvous spot in Euless manana at 9:30 a.m. This is THE WEEKEND! The Big Move will happen beginning tomorrow afternoon. TLC has literally been packing for over a month. She says she's (mostly) ready. Little Leighton and Baby Elle will be staying with us—at our country casa—for 3 nights/4 days. MSH and I could use a prayer or two for our physical stamina, energy and general well-being—if you have some prayers to spare. Baby Elle? WEARS. US. ALL. OUT. Sheesh. She also sleeps in my Boffice. That’s my combo word for our second guest room and my office. Any hope that I can post—or even get on my computer for more than five minutes—is completely dashed by her need to sleep in here. If there’s anything left of me on Monday night? Come back and look for my follow-up post possibly entitled: We Are Officially Pooped. If it's not there? Check back Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Winky. Wink.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In the midst...

of TLC’s move to a new home—second move in a little over two years—and all of the chaos, confusion, and exhaustion—it became August. AUGUST. Oh. My. Lord. The last two weeks of July? Vanished. Completely disappeared in the hot, steamy Texas wind.

This week is cRaZy. Naturally. Could I expect anything else? Sigh. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I will pick up Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle (aka Belle) on Friday morning. We’ll attempt to keep them entertained until Monday morning (Which won’t be easy since it’s virtually impossible to step outside our home after 10:00 a.m. every morning and stay healthy…However, the DFW Weather Peeps are promising cooler temps for the next 5-6 days—which only means low 90s instead of the 100s). Late Monday morn, we’ll take them to their new home! (An hour-and-fifteen-minutes will be our driving opposed to the over-two hour previous drive to their current house. YES!)

Grammy Nanny ELC is missing My Little Angels! I said goodbye to My Three Gals last Thursday after being with them for nine out of twelve days (TLC's Hubby was in Connecticut for almost two weeks). TLC had thought I might need to help her today and/or tomorrow. She is under the impression she has the remaining packing etc. all worked out—or so she believes. I’m here at our country casa. Cleaning. Doing laundry. Getting our groceries and gluten-free menus planned for Our Little Girls’ Visit.

I’m going to be, once again, taking over lolwiththeleightons for a few weeks. Maybe even months. I’ll valiantly attempt to figure out how to post pictures! I’m a bit worried. I rarely save them on this old, outdated desktop computer I use. I try—and then I can’t seem to locate them. I’ll make an extraordinary effort and maybe even get MSH to help me! He can be quite handy. Sometimes. With computers. (He’s HUGELY handy with meals—vacuuming—yardwork—errands. He’s the BEST with all of those things. Not laundry. Not potties. Most everything else. Hey, I’m lucky he does as much as he does. Don’t you worry one itty-bitty bit: I so cherish his help and I mean CHERISH!)

So bear with me, Friends…as always, I have things to say! Y’all have no doubts about that fact, right?

Wishing us all an AWESOME August! Before we can blink, Autumn will be here. It’ll still be hotter-than-you-know-what in Texas. We’ll be pretending it’s cool and crisp while we fix or purchase our pumpkin lattes! (Oh, dear. TLC will drive us all NUTS with her Fall Obsession soon. Sheesh.)

Smooches and BIG Hugs and TA-TA FOR NOW!