About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Mom's Birthday

Saturday was Mom’s 83rd birthday. I thought it would be cool if we all showed up at her house with food for dinner and surprised her. Note to self: When planning a surprise birthday party, make sure the person being surprised is going to be home. My brother and I arrived at 3:00 loaded with food to find an empty house. Creston and his family came a little later, then Sandy and her kids showed up. Everybody asked me where the “birthday girl” was and I had to tell them I was clueless. You can imagine as time ticked away, I was teased about my “surprise birthday planning” skills. We all sat around the house wondering where Mom and Dad had gone and how long they would be gone. For two hours we sat, while the food got cold and the kids got hungry. Had it not been for the chips and dip I brought, I doubt there would have been any food left by the time the birthday girl arrived.

Finally Mom and Dad drove up, loaded with Wal-Mart bags. She was surprised all right. The house was full of people sitting around and kids running all over the place. She and Dad had almost stopped to eat on their way home. I’m so glad they didn’t ‘cause I’m sure I would have gotten the third degree from Creston and Jack on that one.

After dinner, we all went outside and let the kids have a water balloon war. The two biggest kids having the most fun were Creston and Jack. No big surprise there. After playing with Silly String, and a game of dodge ball the kids had a blast swimming in the pond. We filled more water balloons and they threw them back and forth in the pond. If the balloons didn’t pop, they would float in the pond. They loved chasing down the floating balloons. Creston held Jonas (my niece's little boy) by his feet over the water so he could pick up the balloons floating near the dock. Since Jonas can't swim he spent most of his time throwing water balloons off the dock. He got pretty sneaky with his attack plan. He would hide a balloon behind his back and call his sister to come close to the dock so he could throw his balloon at her.

I can’t imagine having a better birthday than Mom had. Even more than the nice dinner and yummy chocolate cherry cake and ice cream, she spent the afternoon sitting in a chair on her porch, watching four of her great grandkids laughing and playing. What a perfect place to be in life.

Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary is in April. On my way home from her birthday party, I thought about the phone call I received from her on July 4th. Mom woke up early that morning to go to the bathroom. When she got back in bed, Dad rolled over and said, “Happy Anniversary.” She told him it was the 4th of July, not their anniversary. He said, “Well, I knew we were supposed to be celebrating something.”

Saturday, July 25, 2009

~ Daisy Dukes ~

Ashley and I made plans to meet at the beach Wednesday. I invited Jim, but he turned down my invitation. Besides a doctor's office, the beach is his least favorite place to be. When I was getting ready I called Cade to ask him a question. Assuming Jim was going, Cade said to remind him not to forget the fishing poles. When I gave Jim Cade's message, he said "Well, I guess I’m stuck now and have no option but to go to the beach."

Jim never wears shorts. Before we left for the beach, I made the decision that he needed some cut-offs to wear to the beach. He fought me on this, but I insisted he’d be way more comfortable in shorts, and he finally caved in. He had on an old pair of jeans and told me to cut them off while they were on him. He put his finger on the side of the jeans and told me to cut them right where his finger was. I cut a slit to mark the place and had him take the jeans off, knowing I couldn’t make a straight cut with them on him. I cut them right by his marking. I guess they had fell down some on him when he showed me where to cut. When I finished, they were about six inches long from the crotch to the bottom of the shorts. Thinking they would still look OK on him, I had him try them on. I started ROTFL, it was hysterical. They were super short and his legs were so white. He informed me that he was not going to wear "daisy dukes" to the beach. I swear I cut them right where he said, but he accused me of cutting them shorter. Needless to say those wouldn't work, so he found an old pair of shorts and off we went.

We all loaded up on the sunscreen. All but one of us. Jim turned down my offer of sunscreen. I should have insisted, but didn’t give it a second thought. I decided to grab a bite to eat before swimming and looked for the plastic knives for the mustard and mayo. I could not find them them anywhere. I searched the bags a second time with no success. Thinking I had left them in the car, I treked back to the car. I was shocked when I walked up to my car. Not only was the door unlocked, it wasn't completely closed and my purse was on the front seat. I can honestly not recall a time in my life when I have left my car unlocked and my purse in plain view. What made this worse was that our our was parked on the other side of the boardwalk, completely out of our view. I looked all through the car, but the knives weren't there either. I locked it up and went back to the beach. One more search and I found them in a bag I had already searched. God's ways never cease to amaze me. Had I not overlooked the knives in the bag, my purse would have been easily accessible to anyone passing by my car. A little annoyance became a big blessing.

When we got ready to leave, I looked at Jim sitting in his chair and noticed his knee was bright red and I mean bright! I said "oh no, look at your knee, you are sunburned." To which he replied, "no I’m not, it’s red because I was resting my hand there." He refused to believe that he was sunburned. Funny thing, when we got home, it was still red! Turns out it wasn’t just his knee that was red, His other knee, the front of his legs and his feet are all cooked! The icing on the cake, Cade was more interested in catching critters and little fish in the rocks, than he was fishing with Jim. Jim spent most of his beach time sitting in a chair in pure misery baking in the sun.

Kirby and I had a blast playing and jumping in the waves. We came in for a few minutes, loaded up on sunscreen, grabbed her mask and went back to the waves. On the way she said to me, "I love Molly at the beach." Her bathing suit had stretched and her bottoms kept slipping down when the waves hit. At one point she said, "oh no, I almost lost my drawers." I asked her what we would do if she lost them, thinking she would say something like "have to get mom to bring me a towel to wrap up in." She replied, "Go search for them." She always has the cutest way of expressing herself.

On the way home from the beach we decided to play "Hang Man." Cade went first and hung us quickly. It was a four letter word and the only letter Jim, Kirby and I guessed was "e" and there were two of them in the middle. We kept guessing, even after we hung the man and couldn’t figure the word out. The word? ‘Beer!" So Cade went a second time and it was a five letter word. We tried and tried and hanged the man again. This time his word was "drunk!" So Kirby took a turn and we guessed her word. It was "wine!" Then Cade took a turn and his word was "crazy." All this from two kids who are rarely, if ever around alcohol. I called Ashley to share the "alcohol" hang man words Cade and Kirby used. She said Creston bought them two fizzy drinks the night before and they started saying they were drinking beer and getting drunk. Ashley told them they couldn’t use those words. They substitued the word "crazy" for "drunk." Guess that explains Cade’s "crazy" word on hang man.

Wednesday night was the first night Kirby would stay with us since getting home from Texas. Every time we ask her to spend the night, she says, "only if mommy can come." I had to bribe her with sugar cookies to get her to come, but she did and never once cried or ask for Ashley. Last night She found a website on Disney where you can create your own fairies. She had so much fun designing the size, clothes, hair color, hair style, eyes, accessories, etc. of her fairies. She named her first fairy, "Glory morningflower." After you design your fairy, you can take them to places in the forest and make fairy friends.

The next morning Kirby and I were playing with her fairies on the internet and Cade came in the office to see what we were doing. He had just woke up and was still in his underwear. He sat in my lap and was watching the fairies. All of a sudden with a panicky voice, he asked, "Can those fairies see me in my underwear?" Priceless!

When Jim came downstairs that morning I was shocked as to how bad his sunburn was. Never letting an "I told you so" moment pass me by, I had to remind him that I offered him sunscreen. He never ceases to amaze me in how he tries to turn the blame back on me. He said, "it’s all your fault for insisting I wear shorts to the beach. If you had just left me alone I would have worn my jeans and none of this would have happened." While putting aloe on the sunburn, I commented on how bad it is. He told me that he's "microwaved to the bone.""

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My First Blog!

I have intended to start a blog for a long time, but kept postponing it simply because I did not know where to start. I have stashes of notes, letters and journals that I have wanted to put on a blog. Herein lies the problem. There are so many things I want to blog about that to find a starting point seems overwhelming.

I recently heard an incredible message at Canvas Church by Adam Boudreaux. Adam's spoke about remembering God. He said that we have markers in our lives, moments where God shows Himself strong in our lives. Adam talked about the importance of remembering those markers. They remind us of how God has delivered in our lives and shown up for us. Listening to the message that day I realized I have many of those markers in my life and I need to write them down. Those markers will be invaluable to me on my journey through life. They will be a reminder of God's grace and how He can bring me peace in the storms of my lives. Maybe my markers will be an encouragement to somebody going through a difficult time in their life.

Not only will my blog be about the "markers" in my life, it will be a menagerie of just about everything. There will be blogs taken from journal entries as well as letters, memories, recipes and everyday happenings. Some will be fun and humorous and others won't be, but that's life. I want my blog to reflect every aspect of my life, both the good times and the bad. With my ADD issues, it should be interesting and entertaining.

For my first blog entry I'm going to write about an amazingly fun, yet bittersweet weekend. Jim and I rarely take long road trips. Our road trips consist of short ones to see my parents or the grandkids, and that's only an hour's drive at the most. I always enjoy our road trips, no matter what the distance because we spend the time talking about our lives, our kids, our future, our faith, and anything else we can think of. On June 29 we ended up taking a long road trip that was out of the ordinary compared to our usual road trips.

This particular road trip actually began with a plane trip to Nashville, TN on Friday, June 26. Chance was deploying to Afghanistan and we went to spend the weekend with him and drive his car back to our house. Jami and Matt decided to surprise Chance and drove all the way from Dallas to Nashville with their two kids in tow to spend the weekend. It has been over a year since Jim and Chance has seen Eisley Grace, and they had yet to have the opportunity to meet Beck. Knowing they were coming, it had to be a fun filled weekend, and I was not disappointed in the least.

Jami and Matt arrived in Nashville on Thursday. Jami called Chance to ask if he had plans for the night. He asked why and she asked if he wanted to do something with them since they were in Nashville. Not only was he surprised, he was in awe that they drove that far with two little ones just to spend the time with him.

We had adjoining rooms with Jami and Matt. Every morning Eisley would come into our room and crawl in bed with Jim and me. Then she would ask, "Wake up Uncle Chance?" and go get in his bed. She would pounce on him and say, "Wake up, the sun is shining." Keep in mind that the curtains were closed and the windows of the room faced a brick wall, keeping the room very dark. She would persist, telling him that she sun was shining, until he woke up. He loved every minute of it. It could not have been a more perfect weekend for all of us. Thanks to Eisley Grace, we had plenty of smiles and laughter.

Early the next morning Jim and I drove Chance to Ft. Campbell. We were able to spend the morning watching the guys prepare for their deployment. The five guys who were deploying lined up and their fellow airman told them goodbye and wished them well. Witnessing this exchange made me even more thankful that we had made the trip to Kentucky. After their goodbyes we drove Chance to the airport. He gave me a big long hug. I asked for one more picture and he turned, gave me the biggest smile (unusual for him when it comes to pictures) and walked away.

I have to say taking Chance to the airport is probably number 1 on my top ten list of "difficult mom moments." I got in the car, tears flowing and realized I wasn't the only one in the car crying. Jim and I drove off in silence. Our hearts ached to the point we just couldn't talk. Silence and more silence. There was some small talk when we needed gas or something to eat, but our usual road trip conversation was missing.

About six hours into the trip I received this text message from Chance. "You guys mean more to me than you'll ever know. Couldn't ask for better parents, love you and see you in January." He will never know just how much that text meant to us.

During the trip, I reflected back to the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was December 22, 1995. The doctor told us that I had cancer and the the tumor was deep into my chest wall. Depending on the pathology report, I might not live to February. When we came home from the hospital, Chance and Brandon came running in the house to find out what the doctor had said. We had made the decision to tell them I had cancer and nothing more. They both started crying and I told them it would be OK. I knew in my heart that with God, it would be alright, no matter what the pathology report, and I had to completely trust Him. Chance's deployment is no different, I have to let go, place complete trust in God knowing that it's all going to be alright.