Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our Little Bakers

 Our household got a very special treat last weekend!  Everyone was home so we had our house full again.  You see, last week Lucy had watched some play-doh videos on my laptop and stumbled across a really neat cooking site.  So she eagerly asked **daily** to watch more of these baking tutorials ... and we did (with me standing right beside her to make sure they were appropriate for her eyes -- and mine too!).

And here's our version of the My Little Pony cupcakes ...
as prepared by Lucy and Tag:

Lucy mixed ingredients to our white cake mix ...


We then separated the mix into 4 bowls ...
and Tag & Lucy mixed in different
food coloring ...


Of course they added sprinkles ...

 Then they spooned in a bit of each color into each cupcake slot ...

Although these look yummy ... our little bakers were not finished!


 Plain frosting mixed with flavor packets ... and of course their favorites --

cotton candy
pink lemonade

And so ...


I'd say the My Little Pony cupcakes were a success ...



As long as Granny sees smiles on these little faces ...
I will gladly be on clean-up detail!!!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Our "Fourth" Weekend

When you're a military family, holidays are celebrated when everyone is together -- whether it's on the exact day, any time close to that day or just whenever you're together.  And that's how our July 4th weekend was celebrated -- well, minus 'Joe (who wasn't able to get a home pass but has chatted via FaceTime this weekend).

Sweet Lucy had been with us since Wednesday ... she's growing up too fast on her grandparents.  What a kind-hearted and precious young girl she is (and very patriotic)!

So Friday Mommy & Tag were able to come home!  Lucy was so excited to see them -- although this little girl does miss her Daddy.  But, it was priceless to spend the weekend with her Mommy & baby brother {uhhhhmmmm as Lucy would correct me, Tag is her little brother} !!!

And so Friday afternoon was painting time with Grandad ...

Saturday and today (Sunday) were very busy days as well.  Grandad treated everyone to breakfast at Denny's Saturday morning ... and then it was pool time!!! These two little ones are quite the fishies now that they've had a swim class --- and certainly more classes will follow!

These 2 little ones love each other so much & are always so proud of each other! When Lucy swam about half-way the pool to see Tag on the steps, Tag yelled 
"Yay Sissy!!!! You did it!!!!!!" 
He was so genuinely excited for her and proud of her!!

And this morning before church, it was "grands time" ... 
giving Mommy a little break while all 4 "grands" went to breakfast at McDonald's ... 
and who else would the little ones want to sit in a booth with --- 

 -- and he absolutely loved every moment!

And I would say that our July 4th weekend was indeed  

We all are so very thankful for those who laid down their lives so many years ago in order for us to live in the great country of the United States of America 
... and for those who continue to protect our Constitution and 
all of our freedoms.

 May God continue to bless the 
United States of America



Monday, June 30, 2014

Our Semi-Empty Nest Weekends

For the past couple of weekends, Dan and I have been "empty-nesters".  It's a totally new concept for us as we normally have a house filled with 3 generations -- with us being the "oldest" generation.  But, so many positive events have occurred over the past few weeks with the 'Joe family. Not to bore anyone with details {at least not for this post} ... but the 'Joe family is in transition to his next "station" for his medical treatment and then on to medical retirement.  
{If you are a new-ish reader, you can find several of my posts from February 2012 and forward regarding how our son-in-law was wounded in action when our grandson was 11 days old and our granddaughter was not only a new big sister but then suddenly a child of a wounded warrior}.

So, here is a glimpse of some pictures to show how Lucy & Tag are getting accustomed to living on a military post
(other than Walter Reed Hospital) ... 

Within July they will have their permanent housing all situated and we will settle into a routine.  Dan & I are so thankful that they are within driving distance from us and that they will soon be able to begin their own family life.  Lucy will still have her activities close to home -- church and dance -- so she will stay with us for parts of each week ... so we're really hoping to see Tag come back home for sleepovers and time with us too.

And ... for the past couple of weekends as "semi empty-nesters", we have had some time to get some projects done that have been put on hold for a while ...

I know ... I know ... our front and backyards sure don't look very pretty --- and power-washing decks & sidewalks just isn't as exciting as going to the community post pool, but --- Granny & Grandad will have to ease our way into this empty-nest stuff.  And we do have plenty of projects that we really need to catch-up on.  We're learning that we cannot do everything all at once.  So, I do hope to find more time for writing my posts as well as reading my dear friends' posts too. 
It all will come in baby steps for us.

{PS ... Just to let you know, life on the military post isn't all "sunshine and pool days".  As I write this, the little ones have been to a couple of their Daddy's doctors appointments already today.  Sometimes our daughter needs to go with him, so the kids will need to go along as well.  That is one drawback to them being even a couple of hours away from us.  Once they get settled into a permanent housing situation, then I will be able to help out during some of the major appointments.  And I'm sure they will also meet new friends once they are settled too.}

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Flashback" that Shaped Him Today

Normally I don't do pictures of the "flashback Friday" nor "transformation Tuesday" 
(although I have done a few "throwback Thursday" pics) ...

However, this picture has been on my mind lately.  It's the last one of Dan and his step-grandfather "Pappaw Bill". 
It was taken the end of July 1994 ... 
and God called Pappaw Bill to glory that fall.  

Pappaw Bill was the first grandfather I knew ... both of my grandfathers had passed away before I was born.  So when Dan & I were dating, Bill became my Pappaw Bill as well.  

Although he was "step"grandfather, there was nothing "step" about him -- his relationship to Dan was that of grandpa to grandson.  
And so Pappaw Bill was a special man to all of us.  

And this picture of Dan's bloodline grandfather playing with Dan even before I was born ... Dan was 2 years old ... 

I am so very thankful for Dan's grandfathers (although I only knew Pappaw Bill) ... each of these men showed my husband what it means to be a "grand".  Even this little boy of 2 years old knew that his grandfather thought so much of him that the older took his time to get on the floor and play. 

Dan is definitely a hands-on Grandad ... he knows how crucial it is for a child to know that their grandfather thinks enough of them to get down to their level.  

The impact of the "grand" relationship ...

it is time-consuming
it is deliberate
it is priceless

And sometimes -- many times -- these "flashbacks" bring us to where we are today...

and it is simply


Flashbacks truly can shape us into who we are today ...

because life is simply grand


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Shared Pearls

Several weeks ago Dan & I celebrated our 30th anniversary with a trip to O'ahu Hawai'i ... we booked our stay at Disney's Aulani Resort & Spa on the Leeward Coast of the island. It was such an awesome trip!  This was our first "major" trip away from family --- 
just the 2 of us.  

Throughout Aulani are Disney photographers who give guests a photo pass card to use throughout their stay & have the option to purchase pictures at the end of their visit.  And since we had eloped and had no wedding pictures of 30 years ago, we took advantage of the photo pass opportunities. 

As we would chat with photographers we sometimes told "our story" ... 
how we had dated for 8 months, then eloped -- and "now" in Hawaii for our 30th anniversary.  Evidently our story is not "typical" ... 
we would get responses of disbelief, shock and speechless.  
One person asked us if we had any "pearls of wisdom" to share with her since she had "only" been married for 5 years. Dan & I were actually taken aback at that question.  I think that was the first time anyone has ever asked us anything like that.  
{Honestly, we've lost some friends after they find out that we had almost ended our marriage many years ago -- 
so I guess I use the term "friends" very lightly.} 

But we responded with 3 "pearls" ...

Our first pearl is to keep God as center ... we really didn't know if this person has a relationship with God or not, but in our opinion this is the most vital aspect of marriage.  We both will be the first to admit that God has not always been the center of "us".  Sometimes we listened to "counsel" instead of seeking God's truth first ... sometimes we allowed pride to creep in instead of clinging to God's design of marriage ... and sometimes we simply just wanted "my way" -- whether him or me.  But when God became center ... He worked on each of us individually first, then as our married "one" ... everything in our "one life together" was put back into perspective and focus ... with God as center.

Our second pearl is to not take yourself so seriously ... life is too short to always want everything to be "perfect" ... God has so many blessings He truly wants to give each married couple yet sometimes "life" gets in the way. I can speak from my own personal experience on this one as well. I've gotten so frustrated with myself at times when things in life take a turn or a road block or a complete turn around.  Sometimes we just have to give up perfection and just laugh ... even on a bad hair day I can still breathe and enjoy my family & friends.  Life here on earth will never be "perfect" ... but we can lower our blood pressure and anxiety levels by simply accepting ourselves for who we truly are -- 
God's child.

And our third pearl is to never ever give up.  It doesn't matter how dark the clouds may have rolled in ... if it all seems so hopeless ... if you can't find a solution in sight --- Dan & I are living proof to never give up! As I said in my posts
  Once Upon a Time ...     and 
 we thought we had the perfect fairytale marriage ... until less than 4 years we were in divorce court ... all that stood between "til death do us part"  was our final signatures and the final lawyer's payment.  And now ... here we are ... 30 years later. 
 We simply cannot say enough -- never ever give up.  We just cannot imagine what our lives would have been like had we given up.  And again ...

Redemption is beautiful.

Please feel free to comment and leave one (or several) "Pearls of Wisdom" that you would like to share ... we never know what an impact we have on others' lives & even marriages.  There's so many passages of God's Word that tells us how to stand with each other such as 

I Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and edify one another" ---  

Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another daily as long as it is called Today ..."

May you be encouraged in your marriage and your daily relationships through God's Word and 
also through true friends who will always be there 
alongside of you.