Sunday, December 20, 2015


Mamaw had all the family at her house for Christmas when we were growing up. She had five children, nine grandchildren, and later a plethora of great grandchildren. Her house was always full. Not everyone made it to every Christmas, but the doors were always open. We'd always enjoy ourselves, and I miss that. 
When Christmas rolls around now, I think of those times fondly. And yes, I miss her. But really, I'm at peace because she's still here in my heart, in my memories. And I share those memories with my children, who never got to meet her. I'm sure she's arranging celebrations with all the angels right now.

My dad loved Christmas. When we were children, he and Mom would stay up putting together Santa toys and getting things under the tree, only to be awakened too early the next morning to see the gifts left by Santa.  In my adult years, he decorated and went all out for Christmas. Normally, starting Thanksgiving when he'd invariably blow a fuse right while my stepmother was cooking. He's with his dad, his mom, his brother and sister, his great nieces, and many other loved ones. Probably trying to talk God into letting him string Christmas lights all over heaven. He's cancer-free and at peace. 

Grandma and Grandpa (maternal) are watching over their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren on Christmas morning, knowing the gift of learning was passed down to those they never got a chance to hold. 

I miss them all, but I feel a sense of peace, knowing they are watching over us. And that they are free of pain and suffering. And they're my angels, each and every one. 

Thanks for reading. Merry Christmas and God bless. And may you have peace in your heart and know you are loved. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness, Not Violence

My boys and I started making up small bags of food and drinks for the local homeless several years ago.  We'd see them standing with signs asking for help. We'd hand them a bag. So, we know they get something to eat that day. And each time, I say "God bless."

Be kind. Show compassion. Perform one act of kindness. You will be blessed as much as, or more than, those you help. It doesn't cost much. 

We bought a package of brown paper bags (can be used as a campfire starter--yes, many of our local homeless camp out). In those bags, we put a granola bar or cereal bar, a can of Vienna sausages or potted meat, a bottle of water or a small juice box, a plastic spoon to eat the canned meat, and a piece of candy. Each bag we make costs around $1 or so. It's a part of our tithing that directly helps those that are shunned or ignored. 

Blessings and Merry Christmas to each of you. May you be blessed with joy, peace and health. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sweet Potato Pie And Lumber

had sweet potato pie for breakfast in memory of my Mamaw (who made the best ones ever) and Daddy (who loved sweet potato pie as much as me). 
Mamaw died February 2000 and yesterday would have been her 100th birthday. Daddy died November 8, 2010 and tomorrow will be rough for me and my family. I miss them both so much. 

Mamaw was the glue that held our family together. She knew everybody's secrets and never breathed a word to anyone. She taught me to bake biscuits from "scratch" and let me mess up her kitchen experimenting with recipes. 

Daddy was strict and overprotective of his girls, but it was out of love. It took me a long time to realize that. He taught me to love creating, both the process and the end product. He did woodworking and I still love the smell of sawdust and lumber. I can walk through the lumber aisle in Lowe's and be transported to his shop. I still have the first piece of furniture he made for me and hope to pass it on to my oldest son. 

Because of Dad, I can do basic troubleshooting on cars--except for changing a flat, which for some reason I never learned. 

My gift to my children is to teach them the things my mamaw and my dad taught me. And I tell them where every lesson was learned. My dad even started writing a few months before he died. He said I inspired him to do so. They both may be gone from this earthly existence, but they're always in my heart. Memories, both good and bad, are a gift. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Walk The Walk

This post was inspired by an incident that happened a few weeks ago. A person I've known all my life posted a nasty little rant on social media about a young mother with bratty children she wasn't trying to control. This incident happened in a hospital waiting room. When several of us made comments that we wondered why she (the young mother) was in a hospital waiting room and perhaps offering help was a good idea, we were met with nasty comments and/or blocked from her account. This incident disappointed me, because it was so mean spirited. And the woman who posted it was someone I thought highly of. 

So, here is my perspective as the mom of a "brat", as she described these children she saw. The mom who has had to wrangle three active boys, alone much of the time, because we've always lived away from extended family. As I was thinking about all of this, an incident came to mind. Here it is:

My youngest boy has ALWAYS had meltdowns. Until he was diagnosed with ADHD, we did a lot of behavioral conditioning. Ignoring was the
hardest, but the most effective. I had all three with me in Walmart and my youngest started screaming. He wanted something and I said "No". He had screamed through most of the store and I was barely holding it together. My other two had their hands over their ears, begging me to give him what he wanted. I wouldn't give in. 

I received nasty looks and heard snide remarks as I made my way through the store. As I loaded the boys into the van, wrestling my youngest into his seatbelt, a woman approached me. She waited until I was done, put her hand on my arm and said, "Good job. You are a good mother and you did great!"

My eyes filled with tears as I thanked her. I don't know her and never saw her again, but she kept me going that day. Instead of being judgmental, she embodied the Christian spirit. Compassion. Love. Kindness. That's all it took to make one overwhelmed mother feel like going on instead of giving up. 

Thanks for reading and be blessed. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11th, Honor The Fallen

9/11/2001 I was in Mississippi, my new husband was in training several states away. When I heard the news, like everyone else I was stunned. After hours of unsuccessful attempts to call my husband on base, I finally reached him. We were weeks away from a transfer to Norfolk, VA Navy Base. He was waiting to find out whether he needed to fly out or to stay until his scheduled transfer. 

I asked, "What can we do?" (Meaning those of us watching the repeated coverage of the attacks.) 

He said, "Go on with life. Don't feed the media frenzy, don't let it consume you." 

Today, on the 14th anniversary of this horrid tragedy, I will honor the memory of those who were killed, both during the attacks and during search and rescue. I will honor those brave men and women who fight to protect this country. I will NOT give in to the hate and fear of another religion because of a select group of people. I will honor those who lost their lives and their loved ones with my thoughts and prayers. 

Be blessed. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Prayer

This is a post I wrote last year. The sentiments still hold true, only the grade level has changed. 

My prayer the night before a new school year, which I posted on my social media accounts this morning: Teachers, remember that those children, no matter their ages or grade level, are somebody's baby. Treat them accordingly. 

Each year, as millions of us send our children to school for the first day of the new school year, we are letting go. And letting go, in this huge and often unfriendly world, is by far the most difficult thing to do. 

There's that sense of freedom, the "I have my life back." There is that panicked "where is the time going?!" And probably dozens more thoughts race through your head.  I know my thoughts have been all over the place. 

As I dropped of my oldest at (gulp) middle school for the first time, my eyes saw the baby I left with a sitter the first time, the preschooler, the kindergartener, and the Boy Scout who left for a week this summer. He's ready for this; I'm getting there.  Maybe. 

It doesn't get any easier to let go. I know now why my mom smiled an odd smile and sometimes got quiet as we stepped out of the car. She was holding back tears of joy, of pride and of longing to hold on for one more minute before we grew up a little more. 

My twins are in fourth grade this year. They're facing a whole new set of expectations. They, like their big brother, were excited, nervous, ready to go. They walked away, throwing up a hand to say bye and to give the principal a high five. I'd asked if I needed to walk in with them, since the youngest of the twins was a bit nervous. As expected, I got eye rolls and a "Mo-om!" 

My prayer today is that each one of my boys feels loved, safe and accepted.  And if I may, I'll pray the same for yours. 

God bless and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My "Kryptonite"

I've spent the last few a writing slump. I was not quite sure what was/is going on, but I think I have part of it figured out. 

The last few months have been crazy hectic. When I wasn't being pulled in fifty directions, I was too exhausted to move. Yes, I know I'm a parent and that's part of it. Yes, I know I'm lucky  that I'm a stay-at-home-mom (although, contrary to popular belief, that IS a full-time job). 

Here is my revelation. Are you ready? My inability to stop people-pleasing is my nemesis. Yep, it's the fly in the ointment. And then there's the guilt; I say "no" and that guilt gene kicks in. Let me tell you, that freaking guilt gene is relentless! It keeps hammering away until you're ready to agree to any and everything! 

If you're a parent, you know your children are fantastic, gifted even, at triggering that gene. And don't get me started on the spousal ability--sorry honey, intentional or not, it happens. 

Who has the ability to control this? The simple answer is, me. The more complex answer? Still me. I can continue to allow the busyness to take over or I can stop and breathe. It's a choice. 

I choose to breathe.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ribbons And Buttons And Beads, Oh Yeah!

I, the grand poobah of the castle, her majesty of the domicile have declared that no child is allowed to purchase a new toy without donating a toy to charity (or selling said toy). In the spirit of "setting a good example" and being a "positive role model", I started cleaning up my "toys" (AKA crafting supplies, notebooks, etc) and have realized I need to evaluate my supply. 

I have this unique (and by unique, I mean completely common) problem. I hoard crafting supplies. I cannot pass by a clearance rack of, oh let's say ribbon, (hideously horrific ribbon the color of runny yellow baby poop--you parents out there know what I mean). ANYway, if I see the clearance sign on RBPY (runny baby poop yellow) ribbon, my mind churns. This would make a lovely gift for Aunt Lucy's second cousin's brother's girlfriend's pet armadillo! (Hey, work with me people!) So, I buy all 45 cases of the stuff; envisioning all the ooo's and ah's that will occur when the glorious gift is opened. 

I get home and realize what a find this was! There are so many more things I could make with the RBPY ribbon! Perhaps I'll start a RBPY fashion line for armadillos! And make matching assessories for the owners of said armadillos! I'll be the RBPY Armadillo Assessory Queen! Her Majesty of the....Um, yeah, well...(clears throat and smiles maniacally).

So I'm on a mission to organize the craft kingdom. (Queen of the Kingdom of Crafts...has a nice ring, eh?) I'm happy to say I can now see small spaces of floor and that no one will be buried under mountains of craft supplies when walking through the room. My new rule for me? No craft supplies in until one bin is out. (Unless I happen to find a killer sale on RBPY ribbon! I mean, think of all the armadillos I can make happy!)

Love, peace and laughter!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

If You Give Grace a Bead Reamer and Glue

If you give Grace a bead reamer, she'll need a bandage.
She'll trip on her way to get the bandage and knock over the permanent bond glue.
When she knocks over the glue, she'll bend down to pick it up and hit her head.
When she hits her head, she'll fall.
When she falls, she'll land in the glue.
When she lands in the glue, she'll stick to the floor.
When she sticks to the floor, she'll get angry and slam her hand down on her leg.
When she hits her leg, she'll forget she's holding the bead reamer until she sees the blood.
When she sees the blood, she'll remember she needs a bandage.