And the sound this week is~

a few of my easy listening favorites~

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~