And the sound this week is~

a few of my easy listening favorites~

31 December 2007

It's been such a great day here at our home. With John working 12 hour shifts, our sleep patterns are messed up~again. We sleep until 1:30 am (and while he stays up and works!) I find myself going to bed around 5:30 in the morning and sleeping until noon or after. BUT not anymore!! He's here to stay all night!! What a great way to spend New Year's Eve. He was to have worked, but plans changed as he left to come home this afternoon. So we went to Logan's Roadhouse, had a delicious meal with conversation, laughter, and handholding. I do so love this man~
Afterwards we drove across Cobbs Ford to the Bass Pro Shop and walked around. He shopped while I went and sat in front of the aquarium to watch the fish being fed. The children that gathered were so excited and it was a happy moment for all. You can't help but grin when little ones begin giggling and squealing!
Now we're home watching a close game between the Auburn and Clemson Tigers. However, I think John's ready to tuck himself in and get a good night's rest, so I don't know if he'll stay up to finish the game. (It's not like he's an Auburn fan anyway!) I hear the fireworks beginning to sound in our subdivision and it will soon be a new year.
We have such high expectations for 2008 and have to tell you we're so excited. I grow stronger each day and although there are still days that aren't so good, they are still so much better than some others I can recall! John said tonight he wants to work on being more positive this year and I want to make more time for Bible study.
I hope your year gets off to a good start and that as challenges come, you'll rise to meet them; and when the tears fall, good friends will support you; and when delight brightens your days, may you have loved ones to share it with~
Happy New Year's and may God bless you and yours richly.

29 December 2007

Letting go~Looking ahead

Deborah & I closed our little shoppe at My Kids Attic this afternoon. John came with a trailer and his Bronco to help move out the larger items. We had fun, and had a great location inside, but never made more than rent some months. I honestly don't think many of them do. The shoppe behind us and beside us also closed. We're thinking now, however, that we may open another one here in Prattville. Alison is in the process of moving The Carousel of Shoppes, so we'll wait until she's settled into her new location. It was a bit sad as I hate to fail at something, but we tried our best and gave it our best shot~so we really shouldn't lower our shoulders. I feel excited with the coming of a new year and have no doubt that it will be one of the best ones yet! I hope you are feeling the same; and if you aren't, try to redirect your thoughts and think in a more positive vein. Expect good things to happen; expect your life to get better; you just might be surprised that it does. This is what I plan to do.

27 December 2007

Family, Friends, & Fun

Okay, so we're somewhat bleary eyed, little to no makeup, and combed over the hair but we had the bestest time Wednesday morning!!! Nancy Maddox had never been out the morning after Christmas and I'm so glad she came~we honestly had a blast. Poor Johnny, though, had to come to meet us twice because we couldn't fit all our sale treasures in Jenny's Jetta!!! Up until this year, we either had her Trooper or my Murano. Not this year! But he was a good sport and even took me out to eat before he went to work Wednesday afternoon!!! Gotta love that man~

PS~Noah really did have a good time. He just doesn't look like it here ;) Bless his heart, he ate two breakfast bars, drank some water, and was good to go. Ian stayed with his dad ;)

25 December 2007

It's been a very, nice, quiet Christmas day here at our home and I pray that your day has been just as nice. John let me sleep in and when I woke around 10 this morning he had biscuits baking and coffee made!! It not only smelled good~it was good!!! I buttered the biscuits and got out the grape jelly while he fixed our cups (one of the ways he pampers me is to fix my coffee, and I love it!).

He had to work the 3-11 shift, so I went alone over to Jenny & Brandon's tonight. They began a new tradition tonight by inviting the grandparents over for finger foods and desserts. We all got to play with Brandon's new toy he got from Jen and there were lots of laughter, let me tell you!!!

By the time I got back, the rain picked up and the temp began dropping!!! I love it. Also loved coming back to the computer and finding some Christmas pictures from Stacey!! I want to share them with you naturally and wish all of you a safe and happy week and moments of joy as dreams come true~

23 December 2007

20 December 2007

Colored lights or white lights? I know white is considered elegant and I do use them, but there is just something about colored lights that brings out the childhood excitement in me!
Real tree or fake tree? Fake, they can stay up longer! ~ although I love the smell of real

What is your least favorite thing about the holidays? hoping I've purchased the right gifts

What is the one thing that you would like to see under the tree this year? a golden retriever puppy

What is your favorite thing to do/build in the snow? Ski!!!

What is your favorite holiday drink? plain ole’ hot chocolate

What is your favorite holiday smell? christmas trees or a spicy cinnamon smell

Who is your favorite reindeer? Rudolph, of course

What is your Christmas Eve ritual? My all time favorite is exchanging presents with Jen and Brandon, then heading to Waffle House for a late dinner. Now that we can’t fit in a booth together, we normally get together some time that day and celebrate.

Are you a Friday after Thanksgiving shopper? Normally, but not this year

What is your favorite holiday food? I LOVE finger foods

How did you find out that Santa wasn’t real? What??? He’s not real?!?!?

Who do you want to be under the mistletoe with? my Johan

Have you bought all your presents yet? Haven't even gotten a good start! But we're celebrating in January again this year, so it'll get done.

Do you spend Christmas with a lot of family? Our family has dwindled, but we treasure the time we have with those still here.

Do you still make snowmen and snow angels? I've only done that a few times~central Alabama doesn't get snow :(

Do you still have snow ball fights? Enough with the snow questions.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Home Alone in New York

What do you plan to do for New Year’s Eve? We don't do much for that day :)

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever gotten for Christmas? not sure, Johnny usually surprises me on 'off' days instead of waiting for special times when it's expected! ha ha

How early do you wake up on Christmas morning? now that we're empty nesters, we sleep in

What do you usually get in your stocking? with no children here, we'd gotten out of the habit~this year it's coming back!!!

What is your favorite religious Christmas carol? Mary Did You Know

What is your favorite non-religious Christmas song? Santa Clause is Coming to Town

How long do you leave up your Christmas decorations? I have left it up until the end of February before!!! but normally sometime in January~

Consider yourself tagged!

19 December 2007

I just had to share with you the following picture & a few thoughts. Jenny posted this on her blog yesterday. You see Santa, Jenny, and Noah. Santa is happy! Jenny is happy! And Noah? Well, let's just say if looks could talk, he'd be saying something like, "Okay, man in red, do NOT touch the baby!"

Why are children afraid of Santa? Because they can't see much of his face? Because they only see him once a year? I know Jenny was afraid of him for the first three or four years of her life! We tried everything to get her close enough to capture a picture and when we did, she had this strained "get me out of here" smile. And the Easter Bunny?! Forget it! The child was in grammar school before we got a snapshot of that!

Children weren't afraid of our Lord. History tells us that most likely He had a full beard and probably shoulder length hair. That's how we picture him. Children didn't know Him, but they weren't afraid. I've never fretted that our daughters needed to know there was no Santa. No Easter bunny or tooth fairy. We never worried that it would hinder their belief in God. You know, "How can children believe in what they can't see if what they do see isn't real." That kind of reasoning. A lot like how did the coyote keep chasing the roadrunner when he was always falling off cliffs and having boulders smash his eyes out? Children seem to be able to put fantasy in its place, and God on His throne.

So Noah, just laugh at that silly Santa. He'll bring you some neat toys, puzzles, and books each year for a long time to come. And when it comes to God, His gifts will be so grand and wonderous it'll put all the rest to shame. I still believe~in both the magic of the season and the Gift that began in a stable scene. It makes for a most awesome time of the year!And Noah? one more thing, thanks so much for the giggling this snapshot brings to my heart!

16 December 2007

It's Your Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Ian!
Ian is four years old!
He had a party yesterday at the fire station!
and today we celebrated with him at Applebee's.
Pa had to work, so we'll celebrate again next Sunday!

Ian loves pirates, firetrucks, puzzles, and laughing.
His favorite movie at this time is The Grinch That Stole Christmas!
He likes a little blonde named Karah, and going to Chick Fil A!
and he's real sneaky about getting M&M's when no one is looking!

Happy Birthday, sweet boy~
you are loved so very much!

11 December 2007

It's the Christmas season and I love it when our home takes on a different look for the holidays! Take a look at some of my favorite parts of our home~Merry Christmas! {and think SNOW!!!} One of my favorite views in our home is the one looking into the foyer. John fusses forever about the drapes, but I love the way sunlight comes through them and casts jewel tones in there. It is difficult, however, when you're trying to get in and out :)
A corner of our living room with a favorite picture of mine~it was the year before the accident and I'll always treasure it. The Christmas ornaments in the trifle bowl was Jen's idea! She's a Pampered Chef consultant and I've learned more than cooking ideas from her.
I took this picture of the tree in our living room before making sure the flash was charged. I like the way it turned out. This tree is up off the floor so the little ones won't get to the presents there! Johnny is in the process of making a stocking hanger for me and I'm so excited! I'll have one for our daughters and son-in-laws in the den and one for the grandbabies sitting beside this tree. Yea, John!!
My favorite tree is the au natural one in the den~only pinecones, sleigh bells, and paper Christmas balls~notice that someone forgot to get the stepladder to decorate the top! Hmm, couldn't have been me! And yes, the Christmas train works, with carols! Ian loved the one so much last year, but alas it didn't work anymore. Packing it with batteries still IN is NOT the way to make sure it continues to work! So this year we went on a hunt to find a replacement, not wanting to put a lot of money in it as this item is always handled by little hands! Thanks to Walmart, we found just what we were looking for! Now, if it was just quieter when running!!!
I love our guest bath. And my sweet husband loved what I did with it UNTIL I removed the doors from the linen closet and bathing area while renovating. That idea did NOT go over well. But he's a good sport~most of the time. He still wishes the doors were back on~but I like it this way :) Guess which way it'll stay~at least until I get tired of it :)

07 December 2007

Pride, America, My People

Today is December 7th, a day "which will live in infamy". I've thought of what happened 66 years ago, and I wondered how many Americans younger than me remembered the significance of today. The men in my father's family were military men~the Revolution, the War Between the States, both World Wars, and Korea. Their sacrifice does not go unnoticed nor are they forgotten. I have the utmost regard and appreciation for those serving our country, for our veteran's, and for those that have lost their lives defending her. I would urge you to click on Heartstrings under Favorite Faces and read, once more, those stirring words uttered by our President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial fleet.

06 December 2007

Birthdays & Family, Again!

It's somebody's birthday!! Again!! Our Stacey's celebrating today!! We were to be with her this weekend, BUT, my cute little car is having problems and John needs to take it to the mechanic while it's still acting up. I'm going to miss my snuggles with the Mississippi babies! and eating out with the girls! and shopping! and giggling with Leslie's updates! Even without trying, Leslie Dian can bring out the giggles in me.

Beginning in August and running through December, everyone in our family has a birthday except Leslie and me! Which makes for some partying months all the way through Thanksgiving and Christmas! Today is your day, dear Stacey. We shall so miss being with all of you this weekend but will work toward getting over for a day or two while you're out of school! Here's to you, sweetheart. May the years be kind, your laughter hearty, and your babies healthy. We love you very much~

02 December 2007

Family & Birthday Food

Happy Birthday, Alaina! We'll be seeing her and her family soon and will celebrate in grand style. Stacey has a birthday this week also, so there'll be singing at the dinner table and gifts to open! Maybe a shopping trip for just us girls!

With two grandsons to love, we were all thrilled when Stacey & Brett called to say a little girl was coming. Since we don't live as close as aunt Leslie does, she gets to dress the girly-girl. Although~

Alaina can give her brother, Austin, a run for the money, let me tell you! She's on the go constantly and doesn't mind getting down and dirty. Loves to eat! Anything! and forget the cute bows her mommy tried to keep in her hair. Alaina has no time for them. I keep telling Johnny it's like looking at a junior size Stacey, and he agrees, but says Stace was never that active. ha ha

Happy Birthday, sweetheart. Your Nan and Pa love you and ask God each day to take care of you. We can't wait to see you again!

30 November 2007

Nan is missing you, Austin Brett, and so looking forward to seeing you again. You were the first time we grew giddy as grandparents and you were the one that put us in that great club. I hope that I always remember your Pa's reaction when your mum called and asked if we wanted to know the sex of the child she was carrying. Here's the story~

Our phone rings and it's your mom. After some chitchat with her, Pa turns to me and asks, "Nance, what do we think the baby is?" I don't remember answering, because he's back on the phone listening. Then it's, "Yes! NO, WAIT! I don't know, hold on" and he looks at me with these big excited eyes. "Nance!! do we want to know what it is?" I'm nodding my head and getting to my feet. {Your Pa is already on his feet and pacing like a tiger in a cage!}

"Okay, yes, we wanna know." Then, silence. And I see this big man that I love so dearly turn red in the face, and with tears streaming he actually throws the phone IN the air and drops to his knees. His next words are, "Thank you, God, it's a boy."

I had to go get the phone off the floor. We were all in tears. You see, Austin, your Pa loves your mommy, and your aunt Leslie, and your aunt Jenny so very much. And he wouldn't trade them for any amount of money or treasure. But he wanted a son too, and when he found out you were coming, he felt blessed beyond measure.

Your mom sent these pictures a few days ago and I've had them on my screen. When was it that you became a young lad and not the baby we held so few short years ago. We are so proud of you, Austin, and know that you will grow in love and laughter and with a family that just adores you. Always remember that you were wanted, you are loved, and you were sent from God. Pa & I love you and are so glad to have you in our world.

29 November 2007

Faith, Family & Friends~forever

Today was rough. For awhile. A morning appointment was extremely difficult and I wanted to call it a day and head home to hide. A darkened room, my oh so comfy bed, and no one to bother me. BUT~

I had a brother in town and a daughter running errands and it was lunch time! It really wasn't a hard decision. We grow up with certain responsibilities. One of those is putting others first. And I take that very seriously, sometimes too much so. ANYWAY~

I called and made plans to meet Jenny in Prattville. I found Nelson in Montgomery and we chased each other up I-65. Jenny and her boys were already at Chick Fil A. Ian was having fun with a little friend in the playyard. And Noah? He was wondering where the food was! When it's meal time, that child reminds me of his mother. SO~

there was laughter, love, and promises of a better day. Walking up on my porch later, I realized I needed to change the decor. Fall was put away and Christmas came in its glory. The leaves were hosed off the patio and deck, the driveway swept clean, the furniture dusted off, and my swing relocated to take advantage of the last bits of summer heat. NOW~

my soul is renewed {working outdoors gave me hours of reflection and time with my Lord}; our outdoor rooms are refreshed {and the colors delight me}; and again, I was comforted by the fact that I had spent time with four people that love me dearly. THEN~

Johnny came in and all was right with the world.

{Well, okay. So not all of the spiders are gone, but the web's been taken care of for the moment.}
Just had to share this birthday picture taken at Noah's first party. Everyone looks excited and interested except the birthday boy! And all he wanted was the food sitting around. It was too cute.

Stacey sent family pictures tonight, but due to restrictions on the photographer's site I can't upload any. But they are so good and if there's a way, I'll make sure to have some here to show you just how cute the Mississippi babies are.

A breathing function test today at my pulmonary doc shows good lung improvement!! Yea me!! He urged me to get this hernia fixed, but you-know-who isn't quite ready to be put to sleep again :) wonder why?! It's larger, but still not much of a bother, so I just think I'll wait a bit longer~

We're getting the trees put up here and I think this year I'll have a "How Many Santa's Can You Find?" contest. I did that with the trees once and there was a total of 17. I know there are more Santa's, but I'm not sure just how many. Hmmm, Jenny is competitive, let's see how many YOU can find Jen! I'll post pics as soon as things are decorated and I've cleaned the messes I've made during the pulling out of boxes and bows.

Merry Christmas, dear ones.

25 November 2007

Okay, so~

We lost. We can take it. Enjoy bragging rights and making school history~you won't have it next year.

On the upswing, Tennessee is going to Atlanta!!! What an exciting game! Winning in overtime 52-50, and that was in the fourth overtime period! That game actually had me dancing around the room. Arkansas beat LSU!! and had Johnny crowing at the moon. Brett and Stacey's alma mater, Mississippi State came out ahead over Ole Miss, which has Brett feeling mighty good. This has been a floor walking weekend in college football. Not to mention the coaches that were fired or resigned!

Our own Prattville Lions beat Foley and are getting closer to another championship! Our girls didn't graduate from PHS, but that doesn't mean we can't show our civic pride!! We traveled to Birmingham to a playoff game when Kevin Turner was a senior playing for PHS and we've enjoyed Prattville football ever since. Here's hoping they can take it all the way again~

AND now it's time for Christmas music, scents of pine and cinnamon, bright eyes, crisp mornings, and the Salvation Army outside each Kmart. It's the holiday season! Enjoy!!!

23 November 2007

22 November 2007

But of course!

Stacey posted some pictures tonight of Thanksgiving in Mississippi. The two darlings on the right are our Mississippi babies!! Austin and Alaina are snuggling with their older cousin, Abigail. Alaina will turn two in a couple of weeks and due to John's work schedule we won't be able to make the party, but we plan to celebrate soon with both her and her mother! Stacey has a birthday just a few days after sweet 'Laina.

Stacey also said they have their tree up! It isn't decorated, but the kids got excited with the tree just being there! Santa can't be far off! You can be assured as we go through the season and our girls send pictures I'll be posting some of them here. I have a leather envelope I carry in my purse to show off our babies, but consider this blog a place for me to brag. (I know you grandmothers out there will totally understand. Besides, it IS my blog. wink, wink!)

Thanksgiving & a Birthday!!

It's birthday time in our family again! Not only is today Thanksgiving, but it's also Noah's first birthday. Our youngest grandson is one today. Makes us almost feel like we have no more babies. Hint, hint girls!

Jenny posted this picture of him in his little 'birthday' outfit. If you look closely, there's a cake with one candle on the bodice. There are more on their family site listed to the right. Noah is a love and full of affection and cuddling. I do so enjoy snuggling with him. Today at lunch he was honored with our traditional musical Birthday Mice and wanted to eat them instead of watching them twirl! I took a few pictures but they didn't turn out very well. I'll wait & see how Jen's turn out.

I hope all of you have had a warm and safe holiday. As Christians, we celebrate with thanksgiving every day, but it's nice to have a national holiday set aside to allow families to have some extra time away from work. The weather is much cooler than yesterday and still drizzly here at our house! I love it and intend to spend the rest of the day watching a movie and later I think I'll begin decorating for Christmas!! (Did I tell you it's my favorite time of the year?!)

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Birthday, Noah James~

20 November 2007

Family, Fun, and Fall

Let's play catch-up! John & I drove with my brother and his wife to Gatlinburg last week and had an awesome time. As always. It was snowing as we drove into town and was crisp and cold the whole time we were there. There was more snow in the park and we were able to get some beautiful pictures of the four of us.

The cabin we stayed in provided a million dollar view and although there were a few aggravating moments (nothing beats having everything at hand like home does!) we enjoyed the trip. The guys grilled for us several nights, while we ladies fixed the rest of the meal. I'll let you guess as to who cleaned up. (wink, wink)

The beautiful fall foliage picture was taken near town, while the ones of the snowy Little Pigeon River were taken outside of town. There was much more snow than we expected to see!

If you've never treated yourself to a trip in the Smokies, you're missing out. Do yourself a favor and plan one in the near future. We've been there
each month except during August and have found November through February to be our favorites. The crowds are small, the weather delightfully snowy, and you'll enjoy the winter lights around town. Not to mention the endless shopping outlets in Pigeon Forge!

Johnny said it best years ago when he said, "A bad day in Gatlinburg beats a good day in Alabama!" Here's to our dream of owning a second home there in the near future!

13 November 2007

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

I wanted to wish our Jenny a very happy birthday today!! Actually she won't be 28 until around 10:30 tonight, but today is her day!!

The only time I can remember ever wanting to give her back was during her first five months. She had colic for five solid months!! And what crying there was! For her, as well as for me. But peace came on a visit to her grandparents in Palmetto, Georgia. Jen pulled up in the crib and was able to begin working off that gas in her tummy! She was a happy, smiling little girl after that and is still that way today. So here's heartfelt wishes to a beautiful young woman~

Happy Birthday, sweetheart, and thank you for so many memories. I wouldn't have missed this ride with you for the world~forever and a day, mommy
PS~You know I was only kidding about giving you back. You have always been a dream come true.

08 November 2007

a mother's memories~

Jenny came over this morning with her sons and we worked on getting ready for a yard sale. Before we got started, we took time to visit. While Noah and I snuggled on the loveseat, Jenny and Ian got comfy looking through a Sears Wish Book that had come with today's Advertiser. Watching them look at the toys and listening as Ian told her what he wanted brought back such memories. I remember my little girl doing the very same thing. As much as time marches on, some things never change. Enjoy these moments, Jenny, and let them be written on your heart. One day you'll have the joy of watching Ian show his little girl the Sears Wish Book~

07 November 2007

so I'm curious~

Teale had this on her blog today and I found it interesting. I know there are readers out there because I see the counter changing. But it elicited some neat answers, so I'm going to do it here and see what happens. You do not have to join to leave a comment!

Here goes:
1. What is your name? (not mandatory if you don't want to leave it)

2. How long have you known me and/or read my blog?

3. How did you find my blog?

4. Where are you from? (again, you don't have to say if you don't want.)

5. What is one thing we have in common?

6. Is there something you want to know about me or a question you want to ask? If so, leave it here and I'll answer it.

Have a great Thursday!!!

04 November 2007

Jenny's family didn't make it for lunch, so I spent that time cleaning out our study. My sweet man put shelves in one of the closets for me and I finally took the time to clean out drawers, boxes, cabinets, and get them arranged so nicely in my 'new' space! But~

while doing so, I ran across an old suitcase that I had while growing up. Unlocking it opened a window to the past and I spent time reliving moments that are gone forever. Love notes, drawings, memorabilia, snapshots ~ you know what I'm talking about. Things you don't want to part with, but you wonder if you really need to hang onto them. After thinking about this, I decided~

I wanted to keep them. I carefully, and with love, placed it all back in the suitcase, and snapped it shut. It went on the top shelf in a corner. One day someone will go through it and know that their mother/grandmother was a young girl once with hopes and dreams. And they'll know she loved and was loved. And that yes, her dreams came true.

Ah well~

Yeah, Tigers had elephant meat yesterday. I'm sure, though, that the eagle meat was much tastier! Elephant meat is tougher, although I'm sure for Coach Miles it was much, much sweeter! {wink, wink!!!}

I wasn't able to stay awake for all of the game. It's been such a busy two weeks that I kept falling asleep and Johnny finally had me go to bed around 6 pm! Can you imagine?! And I slept solid until 8 am this morning. Needed that rest~

I have a few more comments to share with you later on, BUT Jenny and her family will be here soon for lunch so I'll finish this later! I must change this music out, too!!

01 November 2007

Family, Fun, Food, and a Funeral

Life never ceases to amaze me. Nor the human beings I am blessed to have in my life. Today was so non-typical I just had to share it with you. I should be sleeping. It's 4 am Thursday morning and I stayed up most of Tuesday night trying to do what I thought I'd have time for Wednesday. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men. {By the way, my dad used to say that a lot.} So much has happened the last 48 hours my brain won't shut off. So, here I am and there you are. And here's how it played out.

Monday we got word there had been a death within our Mississippi family. Very sudden. Very sad. He was ready. No one else was. And it's just not natural for a mother to outlive a child. But Davis went peacefully in his sleep and is rejoicing today in a beautiful realm. Johnny & I wanted to go for the memorial service and to be with our two oldest daughters as they dealt with this loss. To do so meant we'd have to rearrange schedules and get the hurries on. He planned to take the day off from work and I did Tuesday what I'd planned to do Wednesday and Thursday. You know, take one day to do what it was going to take two days to do! That kind of day. {laugh, laugh}

I suggested we pack an overnight bag since I wasn't sure how the girls would be and we may need to stay and pamper them a bit. We managed to get about 4 hours of sleep before getting up Wednesday morning, leaving at 8, and driving to Crystal Springs, Mississippi. We missed a turn, but got there in time to see lots of family.

Let me stop here and tell you that this family knew Johnny long before I ever came on the scene. And it includes the mother of our two oldest daughters. Yes, we're a blended family. A happy one. But to get back to the story,

Everyone was ready to go to the church for the memorial service, so we loaded up and drove down this beautiful heavily wooded narrow road to a small piece of land that's had a church on it for the past 150+ years. A lot of history there. A lot of memories. I knew so few people, but they treated me like a cherished member. I was welcomed. The service was inspiring and included two songs that Davis had written and recorded. Touching and sweet. Stories were traded between friends and family members and I watched and listened as Johnny reconnected with these that were once his family, still his family, and will always be in his heart. Memory-making moments.

Afterwards~if you're from the South~you know that food comes into the house when a loved one passes on! There was plenty of it. Along with more talk, more laughter, and more hugs. I sat on the swing with Dian, his once wife, and thought how blessed Johnny is to have been loved twice. And how blessed I am to be a part of these lives.

Leaving, we followed Stacey and Brett to go see our Mississippi babies. Austin and Alaina needed some snuggling from Nan and Pa and they got it. Here's a couple of shots we took before we left coming home and they left to go trick or treating. They aren't in their costumes yet. Stacey will email us those in the next day or two and I'll share them soon with you.

Austin is four, very focused on handheld computer games, and
giggling. Alaina is almost two, a tad bit shy at first, and always on the go. The only time she slowed down this afternoon was when she was eating. I am so in love with our four grandchildren and love to watch them grow, learn, and explore. You have to have a grandchild to know this feeling. It doesn't come any other way.

John made the decision not to spend the night. Both Stacey and Leslie were okay. A bit sad, a lot tired, but okay. Faith allows one to be okay. Johnny needed
some long sleep, so at dusk we headed back to Alabama. The drive gave us four hours to hash over the visit, his long lost friends, my new found friends, the beauty of life and the power of God. What a day. What a really neat kind of day~

So now, I don't have to do what I'd planned to do Thursday because I got that list completed Tuesday! Looks like now we'll go to Lowe's and buy another front porch light to install before the Open House at 5 PM! The reason we need a new light is a whole 'nother story.

Suffice to say, the emotions of Wednesday, Halloween 2007 defied the simple definition of roller coaster. And I am so glad I was there to experience every moment of it.

Friends, Fun

If you guessed that I was in Florida for sun and surf, you are WRONG! If, however, you guessed that I went with Lynne to help with the new twins, you win the door prize! I don't have pictures yet of our time there together, but here's shots of those sweet little babes in their coming home outfits! I helped the new mother with the 3:30 am feedings and Lynne got up with daddy for the 7:30 ones. Parents and babies are doing well and settling in fine. New grandmother, GiGi, is still there waiting on Papa. Thanks, Susan and Tony, for making my time with you so memorable. And thanks, Lynne, for being such an awesome friend. Next time you want to go to Panama City, call me!! I know the way!

Oh wait!! the rest of you don't know that inside joke, do you?! Well see, Lynne and I love to talk. And talk. And talk some more! And we had lots of catching up to do and with nine hours in a car, we thought we'd run out of conversation. NOT! In fact, we were so busy talking and laughing, we drove right under I-10 and never saw the entrance ramps!! We eventually stopped at a McDonald's to get some water, use the little girls room, and to ask 'just where in the world' we were! The manager informed us we were in Panama City. Yeah!!! Panama City!! And our eyes got just as big as yours just did. And we thought the same thing you just did. "How in the world did we end up in Panama City???" "I don't know", he said, "where did you wanna go?"

"I-10." "Oh, that's 50 miles back the other way." With our jaws still open, water bottles in hand, and a map out!!! we headed north to get on the CORRECT road. Coming home, Johnny called me like every hour to make sure I wasn't in Jacksonville, Pensacola, or Cuba. No wait, Cuba's an island. Hmmm, he really didn't have confidence in me, did he?! Needless to say, it was a blast and I wouldn't have missed it for the world~

29 October 2007


I'm home! I've been away for the weekend, but am home and getting settled in. A bit too tired for details, but I'll fill you in tomorrow~now it's time for some pizza, catch up on reading the papers, a hot shower, and a long nap! {Hope YOUR weekend was as much fun as mine! Can't wait to tell you about it!!} Here's a hint!

22 October 2007

Limes & Smiles

I love baked potatoes. And I love salads! So, about 20 minutes ago I decided to have both for an early supper. Got the potato in the microwave, got the butter and sour cream out. Now, you have to know that it's an unopened container of sour cream. When I popped the lid off, there's always another sealed wrapping to contend with. This particular wrapping, however, was different. It made a nice difference in my life and I hope it does yours~

The wrapping had the words, "When life gives you limes, rearrange the letters and give back a smile". I'm glad someone thought enough of the human race to do this. Someone wanted to pass on a smile. Now I've passed it on to you. It's your turn~

21 October 2007

Family & Fall

It's October and one of my favorite times of the year. Next to Winter, I truly enjoy the days of Fall. In central Alabama, we're blessed with changing colors and temperature changes. It's hard to imagine being happy where the weather is always the same. Now, I wouldn't mind living where you can count on enough snow to make a difference and summer temps that never get above 75 degrees!

I lived in Aurora, Colorado for awhile during the fall/winter season and absolutely loved it! Had conditions been different, I really think I'd have stayed and made a life there. I learned to snow ski and that it was possible to have snow on Mother's Day! And the Rockies ~ wow. If you've never seen them, you've missed a treat. They are so different from our Smokies, the two are not even comparable. It's one of my dreams to take Johnny to Snowbird, Utah one winter to see the view from a condo. Breathtaking view. Great food. Awesome.

Jenny took the picture this afternoon after lunch. A breeze caught my skirt and it looks like the crinolines I used to wear many, many years ago. I think this picture will become one of my very favorites of us. Me, and this man I love.

The week is already looking busy, but fun. The Holiday Market is this week and I have plans for that. Should be lots of fun!! It will be at Garrett Coliseum so parking won't be a problem and there's to be over 100 vendors!! This event just continues to grow. Prattville will have their Mistletoe Market November 2-3 this year at the Doster Center. Jenny and I have a tradition of going each year and then out to lunch. The good Lord willing, we'll do it again this year too!

I'll be posting a few other pictures that were taken today, but wanted to give Jen the chance to post them on her blog first. I hope your week will be filled with laughter and memory making moments. Until another time~

20 October 2007

Oh well~

Whoops, Tigers had eagle meat for supper tonight~can't say Johnny Hood is crying right now.

Need a can?

I like the Vols. Really, I do. But I like the Tide better. And we sure put a can of whupass on 'em today! Wow, I had a feeling Alabama would come out on top, but didn't think we'd be standing on their mountain tops! Now if the Eagle will just soar tonight!

17 October 2007

It's Halloween in Mississippi!

Stacey sent snapshots today of Austin and Alaina in their Halloween costumes. Of course, I have to show them to you! We weren't able to go see them this past weekend but hope to in the near future. It may simply be that we drive over, have pizza when everyone gets to Stacey's home, spend the night with Leslie, and leave coming back to Alabama the next morning. Not so much quantity time, but good quality time~and isn't that what's important? Here's the babes.

On another note, congratulations to a dear friend of mine, Lynne Griffies! Her son and his wife just had the first grandchildren~for both sides! Can you grandmothers out there remember what it felt like when that happened to you! I know that Johnny and I were over the moon when Stacey told us one Christmas trip that their 'junk room' would be a nursery. The following Mother's Day, Jenny gave me a card saying "I'm pregnant!" at the bottom! Christmas 2004 we had two grandsons to shop for, snuggle on, and ooh-and-ah over. Now it's Lynne and Allen's turn. The fun has just begun for them~

I love this time of year. Now, if it would just get cooler. And stay that way! La Nina apparently has a warmer and dryer winter ahead for us. Rats. I much preferred her brother, El Nino. The rest of my week is going to be filled with family, girlfriends, and food. Some of my very favorites! Here's hoping your week is filled with much the same~until,

15 October 2007

I was tagged!

I've been tagged, and THIS is my man~

1. Who is your man? Johnny Hood

2. How long have you been together? February 27th will be 25 years!

3. How long did you date? ONLY 4 months!! Very impulsive but, oh, so right!

4. How old is your man? 57

5. Who eats more? He does in quantity, but I enjoy the flavor of food more!

6. Who said "I love you " first? I did, then was afraid I'd said it too soon in the relationship. I have a habit of saying what I feel before I think. He felt the same, he's just a cautious individual.

7. Who is taller? Johnny is!

8. Who sings better? I think he does.

9. Who is smarter? He says I have book sense, he has common sense :) He also says he thinks with his head and I think with my heart so we compliment each other well.

10. Whose temper is worse? His! It takes more for me to get ugly.

11. Who does the laundry? ME! I don't want him washing our clothes! LOL

12. Who takes out the garbage? He does normally.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Johnny has always liked sleeping closer to the door, but since the recovery period I sleep better if I DON'T sleep in my regular spot. Yeah, I know. I'm working through these OCD's.

14. Who pays the bills? My ex-husband always took care of the bills, Johnny's ex-wife always did, so when we married neither of us was good at it. We manage :)
15. Who is better with a computer? Definitely me

16. Who mows the lawn? NOT ME!

17. Who cooks dinner? I cook, he grills~

18. Who drives when you are together? Johnny does. He's had way more tickets, but he gets critical and nit picky when I drive.

19. Who pays when you go out? Depends on who picks the check up first, usually Johnny.

20. Who is most stubborn? Ummm, I'd have to say me.

21. Who is the 1st to admit when they are wrong? me

22. Whose parents do you see the most? John's parents have both passed on, my dad has also crossed over, and my mother is busy these days.

23. Who kissed who first? It took him four dates, but Johnny kissed me first.

24. Who asked who out? Well, he was working a lot with UPS so our dates consisted of coming over to visit Jenny and me. In fact, we never had a date alone. We were either with his brother and his wife, or Jenny was with us. But he asked if he could come over :)

25. Who proposed? Johnny, after a 35 minute talk telling me what kind of wife he wanted. When he finally quit talking-and pacing around my dad's pool table-I asked, "Does this woman you're looking for have any particular color hair?" He smiled and said, "As a matter of fact, she's a blonde". aawww

26. Who is more sensitive? me, although he'll cry easily where our daughters and grandbabies are concerned

27. Who has more friends? we probably have about the same amount

28. Who has more siblings? we have the same

29. Who wears the pants in the family? Johnny Hood. I have opinions, but he's always worn the pants.

30. Any regrets? None at all. I'd marry him again~

***Kristen, Heather, and Kelly~you've been tagged! ***