Category Archives: memories

Less to say, more to see…

Since I’ve had my setback, I’ve not been up to having to think much about blogging. I have enjoyed posts of other bloggers, however, my brain seems to be on hold. Therefore, I am going to share a few pictures that I feel are reflective of our week.  After all, who isn’t watching the Olympics.   Enjoy!

Olympic Training Center – Go team USA!



Our son’s first and prayerfully last car accident this past weekend.  Makes all my pains and woes seem insignificant.  Shaken yet not bruised, he and a friend made it out unscathed other than a minor dash burn on the knee (because they both were in kilts after competing in the local regional qualifiers).  The car didn’t fair as well, we will have to see just what they are going to do with it.

Praise the Lord for His almighty mercy on our family.  How can we ask more anything more?  Life is so precious, our children are a gift from the Lord to be loved, praised and cared for.  Instructing in the way of the Lord so that He may be glorified.IMG_0711


Random thoughts of youth…

Teenager… The word for youth between the ages of 13-18. A word that made it’s debut in 1941 in Popular Science Monthly. Although, as early as the 1920’s parents were already beginning to allow their children more time to enjoy their youth before they experienced the challenges of adulthood, yet the word was first used in print in 1941. Honestly, I think there should be more time to be a child before you have the face the challenges of the “teen-age” years. Things change from one generation to the next so significantly that I’m just not sure how society keeps up with itself. Does that make sense? Not sure it does, yet for those over 40 I’m sure you can relate and understand where I’m coming from.

Since I spend a great deal of time with my “teenagers”, I am astounded at how old I feel. I seem to be in a constant state of disbelief at the things they know and the things I don’t. I mean, when in the last 20 years did red stop matching blue, brown shoes not match blue jeans, belts go out of fashion and jeans not fit around the waste. Who are the bands that my children download onto the family iTunes ap? For that matter, what makes it an ap? What is LOL? Is it “lots of love”, “lots of laugh”, “laugh out loud” or “lots of luck”? I just don’t remember things being so difficult to keep straight. Funnier yet is that my teenagers seem to be “in the know” since they understand each LOL. Really????

In November, I learned a new word and thought it was such a fun word with such a fun concept that for about 4 hours I dragged my daughter around Disney acting upon what I had learned. It was all fun & games until she decided her mother was becoming an embarrassment and told me she was done. What was the word? Selfies…taking a picture of yourself with your cell phone. Although, in my case, we did it with a Canon camera. At least most of them. I was shocked at how many people actually knew the word and laughed when we asked them to be in the picture or when we were setting the stage for our next picture perfect moment. What made our 4 hours challenging was the fact that I was in the wheelchair for most of them, so getting the right angle with a Canon was quite time consuming.

I was looking through pictures and thought you may enjoy seeing some of our selfies that we took that day… that is until the 14 year old stopped all the fun. Guess there are some things that don’t change from one generation to the next… Parents can and will embarrass their children! LOL..Just so you know, that means, Laugh out loud!

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3



As the week wore on, under duress, brother and husband joined in the fun with mom.



We All Have A Mary Poppins And A Mr. Banks


Saving Mr. Banks…The name of a movie, that until I saw it, I couldn’t understand it.  I mean, for months as we saw the advertisements I would consider the name and wonder why.  As we sat in the theater yesterday and watched the story of the making of the movie Mary Poppins, emotions stirred within that changed my view of the movie I’ve loved since childhood.  I understood the title and also understood as I never have before, everyone has a Mary Poppins in their life and also a Mr. Banks.

Let me explain the best I can.  As a child  looking around at the world one fantasizes about the unknown,  dreaming about what the world is like beyond the front yard, and considering what is yet to come as one grows older.  Dreams of  homes,  spouses,  education, and careers.

There are adults in our younger years that help to fuel those fantasies and they are admired for their enthusiasm.  There are also those in life that teach about looking beyond the rose colored glasses, to see that in life, there is joy and laughter combined with responsibility…contentment.   As an adult,  grasping the fact that responsibility out weighs fantasy is not always looked upon favorably.  What sometimes is not as transparent, is that through those responsibilities come laughter and blessings that  cannot compare to fantasy.

If, as an adult, one sets aside responsibilities and attempts to live out unrealistic fantasies,  illness and loneliness can and usually do end up taking the vibrant life that was once admired.  Money and time doing the meaningless in hopes of catching a glimpse of that which was dreamt about as a child seems to be what our western culture strives for, bringing forth death and destruction.

Another year older, I looked at the movie as an opportunity to understand my own childhood dreams and fantasies.  An opportunity to also understand adulthood. Considering the difference in my own life of fantasy vs. reality and where I am truly content and joyful.  I saw my own childhood, my own Mr. Banks, and my own Mary Poppins.  I thought about where I’d be today if I had followed fantasy rather than reality.  As I looked at my husband, my children and my mom, I realized that my childhood fantasies could not compare to the blessings that the Lord has bestowed.

Saving Mr. Banks could be the story of many families in our western culture.  With the New Year, it is with great hope and prayer that families will walk out of theaters after seeing the beloved story of Mary Poppins, critiquing their own lives, their own blessings, and learn how to balance joy, happiness, contentment and responsibility.   I also pray for those who try to spend their lives living out fantasy, that they will look around at what they have accomplished, the admiration that once was directed toward them and that they will be able to seek healing for their cultural illness.  As we see in the movie, healing not only for the ill, yet also for those that have felt the effects of loved ones that prefer fantasy rather than reality.

Did I forget to mention that unlike P.L. Traverse, we love as adults, the playfulness of everything Disney!

Our House, Not A Mouse House!



Let’s set the scene:

Usually, mornings begin with two cats meowing in every room until they have woken someone up that will take their plea and feed them.  Because we make them their food “fresh to order”, at 6:00 a.m. it’s at least a 15 minute process to get someone up.  Once they are fed, they go their separate ways and sleep for another 5 hours while the person who fed them is up for the day.

Well, on the morning of the day we were leaving the cottage to go home, everyone was up when I came down the stairs.  To my surprise, I walked into the kitchen to find both cats sitting in front of the sink staring at the cupboard.  Now, this struck me as odd for several reasons.  First, since everyone else was up, I knew they had been fed, so why were they sitting in front of the sink.  Secondly, after 3 years of having the second cat they are learning to like one another, however,  they would rather be separate so why were they sitting next to one another by choice.  Thirdly, when someone walks into a room, they usually get up and come toward that person with affection, however, this time they didn’t move.  They only looked at me as if there was a plot brewing that they didn’t want me to interrupt.  Hmmmm…..

Are you getting a visual yet?  I asked everyone what was up and also whether or not the cats had indeed woken anyone up that morning.  I mean, I had not heard a peep from them.  Everyone looked up and thought about it admitting that they too had not been awaken  by the two felines.  Okay, the plot is thickening.   After about 15 more minutes, the mature cat finally walked away to hide as she realized we were all up, luggage was by the door and we were going to be rounding them up to place them in the crates for the ride home.  The 3 year old cat stayed in the kitchen for at least another hour going from one cupboard to another and then planting himself in the middle of the floor with a visual scope of both cupboards.  At this point, I knew we had a visitor.  I knew there was a trap in one cupboard under the sink, so I looked there first to find it empty.  Okay, strike one.  Then I went to the next cupboard and upon opening it I heard it, scratching in the corner.  With a scream I slammed it shut and told everyone else it was confirmed, then I got the traps.  We left the kitchen quiet for about a 1/2 hour, the cat left and all agreed it must have gone out the way it came in.  Uh huh… yeah… could it be that simple?

We did the dishes, finished packing, and were finishing up packing the cooler when this scene played out for 45 minutes:

“Um, mom…hey guys….I just saw the mouse run past under the windows and he’s behind the wine rack.” said our son.

“What?  Are you sure?” was my first response. Along with my leap from my feet being planted on the floor to now being planted on a chair.  Another shriek came from my mom who, as my son said in his Phil Robertson impersonation, “Was standing on the cooler shaking like a sinner on judgement day.”

Gary walked in the room to find us all yelping, trying to decide what to do as the mouse ran from one side of the corner to the other trying to figure out his next leap of faith.  It was decided to get two pans to try to catch it.

“There he goes…he’s behind the TV. ”

“Oh no, now he’s climbing the fire place.”

“Where did he go? ”

“There he is behind the ice skates.  Oh no, block the front hall so he doesn’t go up the stairs (which is now where I was, after all we needed an eagle’s eye view from the loft…safety). ”

“Move the luggage so he doesn’t go in it otherwise he’ll be in the car.”

“Quick now he’s behind the TV again.”

“Now he’s under the love seat, now the couch.  Hurry, he’s now under the table.”

“Oh no, now he’s in the wine rack.”

Behind each declaration of movement, came a shriek, a yelp or a scream.  Finally, my mom suggested getting the vacuum.  This of course led to debate from the 17 year old, Gary and myself.  I of course am yelling for urgency and the two men debated strategy.  In the mean time the mouse had his own strategy as he darted around the living room trying to escape his possible demise.  I mean, can you only imagine what he was thinking?  “The lady upstairs has the right idea yet she ain’t comin down.  These two aren’t looking at me and they are just standing there debating.  Now’s my chance.”

Now, at this point you could be asking yourself, what about the cats.  Well, one was locked in a bathroom and the other one was hiding under the chair in the living room freaked out over the commotion.  Until that is, the mouse thought he was being smart and ran under the chair only find he ran into a ball of fur.  I laugh at wondering what the cat did when she saw him under the chair with her.  Both ran out and the cat took an interest in the mouse, however, because she wasn’t taught how to mouse, she didn’t quite know what to do.  The mouse realized he had another chance for escape and ran the opposite direction back under the couch.  The cat went and hid behind a table.  Are you picturing this?  I kid you not, 45 minutes of this….

Finally, as the clock now ticked past the departure hour,  strategy turned into urgency and a pan was placed over him and the vacuum shoved under until we saw him in the see through canister.  Vacuum turned off.

“Now what do we do?”

With urgency once again, I screamed “Get the vacuum outside, carry the whole thing down the street before you release him.  Let him be someone else’s house mouse!”

People were walking their dog  and I wonder what they thought as the two men carried that vacuum down the street to the corner.

So much for doctors order of doing nothing.  I exerted more energy in 45 minutes than I had in 10 days combined.  My husband and son thought the little guy was cute, however, I reminded them house rules:

“Leave the animals, spiders, worms, bugs, etc. alone when you are outside.  That is their home.  However, if they are in our home, we have the upper hand and it’s a free for all.”

Newsflash…”Keep all doors shut.  They can slip past you when you are not looking.  When there is 5 feet of snow outside, of course the outdoors is going to want to come in.”


Christmas Memories


As the years slip by and the children grow older, Gary and I laugh at how we have changed our views of the holidays.  We’ve stumbled from our first Griswold Christmas,  of family, obscene decorating and parties, to where we are today.  Quiet Christmases spent with just the four of us.  Every other year we have the pleasure of celebrating with an additional one or two family members, with a tree that has minimal decoration’s and dinners that amount to appetizers.  Though we enjoy the celebration of family and friends, it has become apparent that change is in the air.

Last night we turned on the Christmas Vacation  movie with Chevy Chase and laughed over Clarks decorating of the house.  When Gary and I were first married Gary took it upon himself to see if he could top Clarks display by putting enough lights on the house we could see it lit up from the top of the street.  At our second house, we witnessed him dangling from the ladder over the front door as he tried to hang a huge wreath over the window.  Our third house had the welcome addition of lighted reindeer in the yard and blow up snow globes with the inside of the house looking like a Christmas Museum.  Our current home struggles to keep up with the Christmas fanfare.  Simple professional lights lining the house and one tree outside, and inside has been degraded to just a simple tree with enough decorations to hide the areas where the lights are out.  The snowmen that once adorned the window boxes are still stashed in the basement, the decorative green corner swags sit in their storage bins and the stockings…. we aren’t quite sure where those have ended up.  The soldiers lie still,  sleeping away another year of not being placed on the banister steps and only one Madame Alexander doll makes it on the tree.   As for the parties, those have long since become a thing of the past and our extended family celebrating Christmas together has ended due to distance, death and divorce.   In fact, the last time our entire extended family celebrated Christmas was in 2004 and the last time we celebrated with our parents all together was in 2007.

As we opened up the branches of the artificial tree on Saturday, we shared fun memories of Christmases past and real trees that were freshly cut hanging over cars,  those too big to stand alone and tied to walls, and those that fell during parties.   We talked about movies that make you laugh and cry and got excited looking for them so that we could enjoy watching them in the next few weeks.   After hanging half of the decorations, we started watching the movie Elf.  Laughing at the memory of our son dressing up as Elf and surprising his dad at his office.  Yes, he even had people on the streets laughing as he pretended to pull gum off of the railing of the bridge and considered jumping into the large tree in the lobby.   The memories and laughter had me thinking of A Christmas Carol, considering the past, present and wonderment of the future.


It may sound sad to others, yet to us it has brought new opportunity for the four of us.  We have started out our holiday season the last two years enjoying Disney and the beautiful displays that go up the day after Thanksgiving.  Spending that first week of December driving around the campsites to see all the work put into decorations really is something all four of us enjoy, and hopefully something we can continue.



It makes me wonder how many more Christmases will we have with our children before they move out and marry, having children of their own?  How much longer will we be able to celebrate in our own home before we have to start traveling to theirs? (After all, 17 years ago we started the tradition of not leaving our home on Christmas day, so I hope our children will continue that when they start their families.)   Our senior is taking college classes and is confident he will be leaving as soon as he finishes his degree.  Moving to Scotland is in both kids future plans.  The question of the future remains, will they stay there or will they return to raise their families here?  Will they end up somewhere else?

Do I long for Christmases of the past, with family, parties, decorations and fanfare?  Of course!  However, I embrace what God has done with our family unit and the memories that we are making.  It is with great Joy that He has shown us what is truly important at this time of year.  It’s the reminder that Christmas is not about us at all, it’s about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.  It’s not about shopping, stress, speeding tickets, selfish desires and parties.  Nor is it about the mythical figure of Santa.   It’s about worshipping  the creator of all things and enjoying the simple pleasures of just being together, with smiles and laughter that will be heard in stories for future generations.

“Make sure to have on clean bundies…”



Oh the power of prayer…I marvel at His mercy!

“What?  Are you serious?  We are stopping 35 miles from home?  What are we going to eat for dinner?  I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed!”  Oh out of the mouths of babes… can I still call them that when they are 17 & 14?

We tried with all our might to get home before the snow, however, we delayed slightly by leaving Orlando on Saturday at 10 rather than friday.  Although, if we had left Friday, we would have run into the sleet and ice that hit the mountains on Saturday.  As it was we saw numerous cars on the side of the road and a semi that had spun out in Knoxville when we got that far on Sunday.

Knowing that we were going to hit some snow, I began to pray and sent out texts asking for travel mercy prayers to those whom I knew would actually pray.  By the time we hit Indianapolis, I saw on the local news channels in our home town that there were numerous spin outs with several multi car pileups.  Not excited to see what was coming, I admit my panic level rose slightly.  Gary and I have differing views of snow and what is drivable vs. “stay at home and wait it out”.  Being that I already didn’t feel good and was in quite a bit of pain due to upping one of my meds, I admittedly was even more anxious. When you add in the extras:  that we were in a 40 foot RV made out of plywood placed on a semi chassis, towing a car, riding with your best friend, your two children and two cats, to say the least I was extremely uncomfortable.

Not knowing quite what else to do, I embraced the moment by washing the dishes as Gary drove and put away all sharp projectile objects, cleared off the counters, pulled sheets off of the bed, changed from my pajamas into my clothes and into clean “bundies” and brushed my hair and my teeth.  After all, my mother always joked that you needed to make sure to have on clean underwear just in case you get into a car accident.  I thought that it would be appropriate to brush my teeth as well just in case recessitation would be in order.   Then I sat in the passenger seat with my phone to capture spin outs, hoping that it wouldn’t be ours.

Thank goodness I didn’t capture anything other than snowy roads, which by the way got so bad that we could no longer see any lanes.  After almost two hours of driving trying to guess what was a lane and going at a speed of 30 mph, we crossed the border into our home state and stopped for the night at a rest area.  Yes…. 35 miles from our house!  It wasn’t pretty yet it was necessary.  We did not have to experience any spin outs and we missed all of the fun others were having closer to home.  Rather, we sat on the couch of the RV watching Duck Dynasty reruns, eating cereal and chips for dinner while truckers began to follow our lead and pour into the rest area.

This will be one final mishap memory in the travel journal of our 2013 Thanksgiving road trip to Florida.   Alongside the memories of the glass gallon of milk that fell out of the fridge (for the second time), monster mosquito bites (thanks honey for grilling for us), the toilet that overflowed during the flush out process (note to self: don’t leave the campsite when you are flushing out the black tank), and the cat crap cleanup…trying to forget that one actually!

20 Years Of Bliss…


Bliss? Well, let’s just say it’s been a journey and no it has not always been bliss. Why do I say that? Because I looked up the word bliss in the dictionary and it says “extreme happiness”. Marriage is not always “extremely happy” and I do not know one person that can say that theirs is. In fact, it’s a lot of work, it’s painful at times and the reality of marriage is not as romantic as the movies would like to portray.

Have you seen the statistics? It’s shocking and honestly a bit sad. There are several things lacking in our society today that contribute to the declining of marriage. One being that society thrives on ease. “Bliss” is expected in everything that is done and if it’s not experienced then one walks away and looks for it elsewhere. You know the saying, “The grass is greener on the other side”. Children are growing up in today’s world without having to work for anything. There are trophies for each player even if they are bench warmers, there are gimmicks and commercials glamorizing immoral behavior and acceptance for mediocracy is tolerated. If something is too hard, then rules are changed to make it easier. There is no longer parental respect and the word “no” to a child is nearing child abuse status.

The second issue is that God is no longer a daily figure in the lives of most families or households. Divorce no longer follows biblical application and adultery is as common and accepted as feeding the pet. Getting married is no longer a bond between a man a woman based on God’s design, it’s a romantic idea of a future that just doesn’t exist. Seriously, does anyone stand at the alter and realize that in a few years they will have screaming kids, burning pots on the stove and a stressed out husband that walks in the door to find his once beautiful wife standing at the door with a desperate look on her face that just screams “Help me now, I’m drowning”? The Proverbs 31:10-31 wife is looked at today as a pitiful figure who has no ambition beyond the front door, therefore she must be uneducated or have a controlling husband.

Why do I feel I have the ability to say anything? I feel that 20 years of watching friends and family go through divorces, raising children, and working hard for our marriage warrants at least an opinion. The last 20 years has not been bliss, yet it’s been a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when two people who love one another unconditionally put in the effort and work hard for a common goal. The power of prayer and having God in our marriage has also been an example to our children that will prayerfully carry through many generations yet to come.

As we celebrate 20 years today, it’s been fun to glance through the wedding album and see loved ones who have come and gone in our lives. Looking at how young we once were and how gray we are today. Seeing old friends who age just as well as you… ha ha ha


Gary asked me last weekend if I wanted to plan the next 20 and I told him no. I think we are doing just fine swinging by the seat of our pants. Besides, it’s more fun allowing God to plan out our future. How can we be disappointed when He’s done such a great job thus far.

A few notes and memories to share:

To the husband of my youth, the love of my life, and my forever best friend… I love you and I thank you for all the twists and turns that have made us what we are today. Thank you for the fun dinner… who else could try rattlesnake rabbit sausage on their 20th anniversary. (it really wasn’t very good honey, sorry!)


I thank God also for the strength, wisdom and mercy that has allowed us to come together, stay together and be an example to those who who need encouragement in their marriage. I also thank Him for wonderful God loving God fearing children who have blessed our marriage.


I thank my parents and in law’s for teaching Gary and I to work hard at all we do, never giving up on the hard things of life, and keeping their arms open when we’ve gone astray. Thank you for your support in our marriage the last 20 years.


I thank my and Gary’s grandparents for the wonderful examples of the marital promise, “till death do us part”.




I thank also the friends that stick with us through thick and thin, through moves, illnesses, and loss of family. (what is that on your head?) ha


20 years of bliss? I would rather say:
20 years of educating ourselves on agape love through the eyes of the Lord
20 years of ups and downs twists and turns
20 years of growing gray in wisdom with someone else whose faults are equal to yours
20 years of watching time tick by knowing that you are more fortunate than someone else who doesn’t have what you have
20 years of living with someone that can bring out the best and worst of you, yet who can also love you like no other
20 years of looking forward