Saturday, December 31, 2011

My One-Word

A few years ago Mrs. 'Joe set a challenge she had seen in a book ... write your memoir in six words.  Yes, a six-word memoir.  How can a lifetime be summed up in just six words?  I took her challenge and "discovered" my six-word memoir had actually been a culmination of my entire life.  God actually revealed my memoir to me pretty quickly.  From the various friendships through the years to work environments to ministry involvements ... 
my lifetime was summed up in just six words ...

being where God needs me most

... that's me ... that's my life.

A couple of months ago I started reflecting on the year 2011.  And now I've come up with a challenge of my own: 

Write my year of 2011 in just one word.  

If I could describe my year of 2011 in just one simple word, what would that word be?  Now I'm not talking of words such as:  
blessed, grace, mercy, success ...  
To me there's some words that are obvious that God is active in my life every moment of everyday.

So, I want to dig a bit deeper into myself to find my one-word.  It dawned on me a couple of months ago what my one-word is. 
Life-changing events ... relationships ... health issues ... community ... responsibility ... life-purpose ...  
Yes, I can sum it all up in just one little word ... 
365 days ... 
five letters ... 
my one-word ... 


I know, I know.  It sounds pretty obvious, but to me ... it filters inside my very core.  
I'm aware ... 
I'm aware that my very breath is God-given ... 
I'm aware that each breath is God's gift to me ... 
I'm aware that my next breath is not promised nor guaranteed.  

I'm aware that my family is God's greatest gift to me ... I'm aware that my friendships are God's provision for sharing life's joys & challenges ... I'm aware that health is not to be taken for granted.  Cancer seems to have touched many people within our community just this year.  We are so very thankful that my Mother's surgery in June cleared her from that cancer that was creeping, and that her radiation treatments brought the chances of a return at a minimal. 
I'm aware. 

I'm aware that the tiniest of angels will hold our hearts until we see them again ... I'm aware that life begins at conception no matter when the pregnancy is revealed ... I'm aware that miscarriages affect the whole family & not just the parents.  I'm not quite sure that Grandad & I each had time to grieve the loss of our 6 week old grandchild, but Heaven gained a beautiful angel that we both look forward to meeting one day.  
I'm aware.

I'm aware of expectations ... I'm aware that I may not always know what these expectations are that have been placed on me ... I'm aware that there's times when I fall terribly short from these expectations.  We all do it, and sometimes just don't want to admit it.  But, we set expectations yet do not always inform others of those expectations.  Is it fair to those around us or to ourselves when we set silent expectations on others?  Wouldn't it be best all around to just come right out & say what we expect of others?  We set them up for a downfall in our eyes, and we set ourselves up for frustration over unmet (however *silent* they may be) expectations. 
I'm aware.

I'm aware of my relationships ... I'm aware that my family is the greatest blessing God has entrusted with me ... I'm aware that my grandchildren will grow up before I blink my eyes.  With Lucy 3 years old and our little grandson to make his appearance anytime between now & mid-February, my days go by faster than I have ever imagined.  Time seems to go by at a much faster speed with Lucy than it did with her Mommy (and I worked full-time & had all the activities of school, church & family to keep up with too).  
I'm aware.

I'm aware that some things are more important than others ... I'm aware that when it all comes down to it, some things are just meaningless ... I'm aware that I am the only person who can distinguish between the meaningful and the meaningless to me.  Don't get me wrong, we all have "things" that are important to each of us.  But when we allow something small to get blown out of proportion --- well, maybe that's when we need to take another look at our expectations.  Just a thought for which ... 
I'm aware.

This is just the tip of my awareness of 2011.  My New Year's Resolution for 2012 is simply ...  

to be aware. 

And my priority of awareness is 
to be aware of God ...  
to be aware of His blessings ... 
to be aware of life.

What one-word would you describe for your 2011?  
I encourage you to reflect on your past year ... 
to be reflect on your blessings, your challenges & your very being ... 

to be aware. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Future

With Christmas 2011 drawn to a close, we now look ahead to the beginning of a new year ... the year 2012.  We had a wonderful Christmas at our house this year.  My parents, my sister & her family and all of us.  
Lots of presents and lots of food 
(which of course included G-G's mash-a-tatoes) ...
lots of laughter and lots of eating ... 
lots of wrapping paper and lots of "thank you's".  
It's always good to see everyone having a great time together.  

So this Christmas actually leads into Christmas Future ... 
our kids, grandchildren, niece & nephew ... and traditions.  
Just as I reflect on Christmases of the past, so will my daughter, grandchildren and my sister's children.  There's been other Christmases that everyone has gathered at our house, so our tradition of gathering at my parents' house isn't set in stone (depending on what life event is in family lives at the time).  And this Christmas saw Mrs. 'Joe on complete bed-rest for the next several weeks.  So, everyone came to us.

We opened presents before we ate Christmas dinner, and my nephew headed up the line to get a plate of food.  I love the fact that my family feels "at home" in my home.  I'm not saying anything against those who don't open up their kitchens.  But to me I feel like my family & friends are comfortable enough in my house to be themselves.  My Granny and my Mother always had an open kitchen ... everyone felt comfortable to go and get whatever they wanted at any time they wanted.  And I have their same kitchens.  

Since Christmas I've been wondering ... these kids are our Christmas Future.  They will keep some traditions, and file others away as "when I was younger, we would ______ at Christmas."  And some questions too, such as:  Will they go to church for Christmas Eve services?  Will they open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?  Will Santa be a welcomed visitor on Christmas morning?   
Two things I pray for ... (1) Our Savior Jesus Christ to be the center of Christmas; and (2) the tradition of family continues on for all of our kids.  

Of course, none of us knows what our futures will hold ... and being a military family brings its own set of uncertainties.  One thing that Grandad & I pray for future Christmases is that we will be close enough to continue our tradition of family.  Since Christmas Eve is also the 'Joe's wedding anniversary, Grandad & I have spent that day with Lucy while her parents would celebrate their marriage.  So, I can visualize this being a tradition for Christmas futures to come -- Christmas Eve with our granddaughter & grandson. 

I'm very thankful I can't see into the future.  But I'm thankful that God knows.  One thing for sure, though ... my family's Christmas Future is in goods hands ... 

Lucy with her cousins & her Mommy

I had debated on when to post Christmas Future.  Afterall, one of our "futures" hasn't yet made his grand entrance into our world.  However, we're pretty sure that Little Disney Boy is not going to stay put til February.  But he will undoubtedly add his own personality and gifts to our group of young kids.  
My family is blessed with our Christmas Futures ... for Him we are grateful.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Present

As much as we would love to keep our family traditions ... they do change. Children get older, they marry, they move away from "home", they have children ... loved ones faith becomes sight as they bow singing Holy Holy Holy to The One whom we celebrate on Christmas.  Traditions may eventually become a treasured memory that become oral history to pass down to our future generations.  

My Christmas present actually begins when Grandad & I celebrated our first Christmas as husband & wife ... in 1984.  It was then that we discovered we had a sneaky little mouse in our apartment.  One that would gently lift the tape off of his presents to me, then would re-tape the wrapping paper to the gift as well as it could.  Yes, that little mouse was a sneaky little thing, and got me in trouble more than I care to admit throughout our past 28 Christmases together. (And just for the record ... I will always plead my 5th Amendment rights when it comes to being "interrogated" over Christmas presents ... I have no idea why that little mouse never bothered the gifts that I would give Grandad ... I just do not know why at all.)

Back to traditions ... 

When our daughter (the now Mrs. 'Joe) was younger, the three of us always would go out for a nice Christmas Eve dinner, followed by Christmas Eve church service.  We would then go back home, get out our snacks, and make my Mother's Christmas Eve punch ... and exchange gifts. The Christmas Eve opening gifts tradition stayed with me, and I carried it into my own family's new traditions. 

Then, on Christmas morning ... Santa left his presents for our daughter ... oh yeah, and the elves filled her stocking (Santa wanted to make sure that if he had to work on Christmas Eve, so did his elves:) 
After Santa came, the 3 of us would load up our car to drive to my parents' (at that time they were 3 hours away from us).  My sister & her family would be there, and we would have dinner, open more gifts, and spend the night with them.  The next day (normally) we would head out of state to visit Grandad's family and the rest of my family.  So, Christmas was a celebration that lasted for several days in our household.

Christmas Eve 2005 brought another change in our traditions ... Mr & Mrs 'Joe's wedding day.  They were married Christmas Eve morning and my parents, sister & family, and one of my cousins attended from our family.  It's a challenge to get everyone together these days with some of us away from home & out of state.  But, we actually pulled off a Christmas Eve wedding, and had our traditional Christmas Day celebration at my parents' house (around 1 1/2 hours away now).  It was a different Christmas, but Jesus' birth was still celebrated that weekend.  

My husband walking our daughter down the aisle on Christmas Eve 2005 ...  

The father of the bride singing at his daughter's wedding ... The Day Before You:

The following year brought another change to our traditions.  'Joe was still deployed.  It was a totally different feel and emotion to our celebration of Jesus. The year had passed us by & their first year of marriage was behind them ... Mrs at home and Mr in the sandbox.  But, God was and still is good in His provision of grace and He brought Mr & Mrs 'Joe through it.  And we celebrate Jesus for it.

You know, there is one tradition that has not been broken since its inception December 1964 ... I have always seen my parents on Christmas Day.  I know that may sound a bit trivial to some, but with all the changes in traditions and changes in family ... no matter what the circumstances surrounding each Christmas Day ... I have always seen my parents on Christmas Day.  And to me, that's one of my favorite gifts, and one of my favorite traditions.

So as I prepare for sleep tonight ... and prepare for Santa to leave his presents for Lucy ...
I look forward to spending Christmas Day 2011 with my family ...
and celebrating the Greatest Gift whom has been given to each of us.

Happy Birthday Jesus ~~~ Thank You for being my Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Past

This time of the year always has me reflecting ~~~
childhood memories of Christmases gone by ... 
Christmas family trips with our daughter ... 
Christmas has always been family.  

And family is one of my most treasured Christmas memories.

 When I was a young girl, my parents & I lived with my Granny and my Mother's youngest sister. Every holiday meant a family gathering with cousins, aunts and uncles (along with my parents, Granny & Aunt K).  We always had a house-full in the grocery-store-converted-to-my-grandparents' home-place.  

My parents & me at my Granny's house.
Let's see ... there would be close to 25 of us at Granny's on Christmas Eve.  My Mother would make punch (Canada Dry Ginger Ale, 7-Up, pineapple juice, orange juice & vanilla ice cream or orange sherbet) ... my aunts would bring snacks, desserts ... and there would be laughter, fun and (of course) presents!  We kids had so much fun and never wanted the night to end.  Our celebrations would normally come to a close somewhere before midnight so all of the kids could be in bed to wait for Santa to arrive. 

My sister & me in our "new house" over-looking Granny's house.

And then Christmas Day began ...

Since several of us lived right around my Granny, we cousins would wake up early & go from house to house to see what Santa left for each of us.  I think we enjoyed seeing what the others got for Christmas almost as much as we enjoyed our own presents.  

And then, we all gathered at Granny's for our Christmas Day dinner.  Which meant more good food ... ham, turkey, casseroles, green beans, corn, breads, desserts ... more desserts ... oh yes, and my Mother's famous mashed potatoes.  When my Mother was running late, dinner would be held up until she had her mashed potatoes all ready.  
These mashed potatoes have stood the tradition of time ... 
they were always a favorite of my daughter's and now a favorite of Lucy's. 
(And yes, we still hold dinner until "G-G's mash-a-tatoes" are ready :)

My cousins have always been some of my best friends.

Christmas past brings wonderful memories ...

of laughter ... 

of dinners ...

of family ...

What are some of your favorite memories of Christmas past?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Time Flying By ... and Disney Baby Boy Update

I'm having a hard time believing we're less than TWO weeks from Christmas ~~~  where has
 the year 2011 gone?  Didn't we just give thanks to God for His blessings ... wasn't Thanksgiving just yesterday? It seems like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas pass by faster and faster.  Yes, each day has the same 24 hours but for "some reasons" these past weeks have flown by (at least to Granny).  

So, I'm sitting here this morning try to grasp "what have I done over the past couple of weeks ... where has the time gone ... how am I going to get everything done for Christmas in less than 2 weeks?"  

The first two questions can be answered together.  (I'm still trying to figure out the second answer.)  You know the old saying "time flies when you're having fun" ... well, this is where my time has been spent over the past couple of weeks:

Family room Christmas tree

This is our family room Christmas tree ... 
the one Santa finds on Christmas Eve. 
Mr & Mrs GI Joe were married in front of this tree on Christmas Eve 2005.  We've put it in our family room every year since.

Santa's cutest elf

More decorating with Santa's elf ... oh, how cute this little one is!  She has her "Santa's Little Helper" elf ears on & had a blast wrapping up in her silver garland ... and Grandad was in the background holding her giggly attention!

We have some of the best Christmas lights downtown ... so there's at least one trip a year to see how beautiful the city is decorated.  
And Lucy LOVES the lights!

I think Lucy wanted to take this giant nutcracker home.  Her Daddy collects them, so we try to get him one every year ...

or I should say LUCY collects them ... (she's taken over Daddy's collection now).

Yes, her little wheels were turning as to how we would fit this nutcracker on top of Grandad's truck.

Doesn't Lucy make the cutest center of this wreath?  This was actually in the walkway between buildings.  She loved the wreath & looking over the enclosure to see all the lit-up deer (which she informed me is NOT reindeer ... only Santa has reindeer to pull his sleigh).

 "It's not Good-bye ... just see you later.  I promise I'll be back to see you soon!"

So, we've had a little bit of Christmas already going on in our household.  And I haven't even gotten to our baking parties yet!  I'll save those pictures for another post.  

But now, some Disney-Baby boy news ... 

He's so anxious to make his appearance and enter into our "fun & exciting" household, that he gave us all a big scare over the weekend.  Mrs 'Joe had some complications Saturday night that landed her in Labor & Delivery at the hospital.  Not sure the "whys" but this little guy really wants to come into our world sooner than he should.  Please keep Disney boy in your prayers that he will stay-put for a little bit longer (she's 30 weeks along now), and for Mommy to get some much needed rest before he makes his grand entrance.  And for Daddy who is in and out on assignments (it's a challenge to be away from his wife and daughter during this time ... and now with his son on his little way to rock our world).  

And last but certainly not least ... for Lucy.  This is an unusual Christmas for this little 3 year old.  Yes, children adapt and go along with the flow ... but they do have feelings & adjustments that are very real.  Afterall, God made them flesh and blood with emotions just like we adults have grown from our youngest days.  She is a wonder of fun & enthusiasm ... and knows the TRUE MEANING of Christmas.  Lucy talked non-stop Sunday about how the angels told the shepherd to follow the star to Bethlehem to find Baby Jesus.  
Yes, children pay attention so much more than what we realize.

I hope each of you follow the Wonderment of Christmas as a child ...  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thursdays Get Together Blog Hop

A couple of weeks ago Theresa from Chatter from Texas asked if I would be interested in co-hosting her blog hop. Although I've participated in blog hops, I've never actually been a co-host before.

So, this is my first attempt at co-hosting.

Here's the guidelines for Thursdays Get Together:

Please follow both of your hostesses on facebook and also on their blogs as GFC followers. We only allow family friendly sites. All others will be removed. Also, if someone follows you, please at least visit their site and consider following them back.

You can also find Love, Granny on Networked Blogs on Facebook.

So, click on the link & check out Chatter from Texas ...

It's always nice to meet new friends during these blog hops!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Theraputic Baking

I don't think it's a secret ... but I LOVE to bake!  I started baking with my Granny when I was just a little girl, then as I got older my Mother & I had special recipes that we loved to bake together.  I still remember baking special cakes with my Mother -- oh, and a homemade glaze that would melt in your mouth! 
Ahhhh, I need to get her recipe box!!!!

So, when my daughter came along our tradition continued.  Christmastime was a special baking time in our household.  Every dessert was homemade ... brownies, cakes, breads, candy, fudge, cookies ... 
(I think I'm packing my 25 lbs back on already :)  
Okay, back to today ... 

And now I have Lucy to continue our family baking tradition.  One of mine & Lucy's favorite treats to bake are cinnamon muffins. 

And of course testing the finished product :)  We sure wouldn't want anyone else to eat them if they didn't taste to perfection.

Christmas baking has already begun in our house.  We took some "brownie bites" over to G-G and Grandpa's house on Saturday.  And Lucy even made a special brownie Christmas tree too!

Of course she HAS to sit on the counter so that she can add her special Christmas sprinkles ... 

Lucy is learning to cut with plastic knives, so what better food to "cut" than her Christmas 

And of course, the "Lucy taste test" ... 
I think it "might have" passed!

There's just something about baking to me.  

It's soothing ... relaxing ... calming ... distraction ... stress-buster ... energizing ... thought-provoking ... 

Sometimes when I just need to get away from the cares of my little piece of the world ... 

I bake.

And when Lucy & Granny meet up tomorrow afternoon?
I think ... 
We will bake.  


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Because He is Able

For the past month I have read many "thankful" posts from our blog community, Facebook and Twitter.  From the life-changing to the everyday smallest blessing ...  from life's very breath to the life-changing circumstances ... from the heartfelt to the seemingly mundane.  It seems (to me) that we are becoming evermore aware just how blessed we are from our Abba Father.  I too have a growing list of what I am most thankful for.  But somehow I can't seem to put into words all of my thankfulness. 

Instead, my focus has been on just one aspect of God ... just one of Almighty God's traits ... just one attribute of His all-mighty power.  My heart & soul have been saturated in this one aspect of our Heavenly Father all week.  And it's through this aspect that I have bountiful blessings ... an abundant life ... a life of thanksgiving.  

God is able to bless ... love ... comfort ... transform ... forgive ... encourage ... soothe ... restore ... save ... guide ... heal ... see ... transcend ... revive ... renew ...  God is able.

As I prepare to enter this Thanksgiving season (everyday of my life), I am reminded that it's through my Almighty Abba Father that I am given my bountiful blessings.  And He defeated the grave to give all of us eternal life.  What greater blessing is there?  And I am thankful.

God is able ... He will never fail ... He is Almighty God
Greater than all we seek ... Greater than all we ask ...He has done great things.

Lifted up ... He defeated the grave
Raised to life ... Our God is able
In His name ... We overcome
For the Lord Our God is able.

God is with us ... God is on our side ... He will make a way
Far above all we know ... Far above all we hope ... He has done great things.

Lifted up ... He defeated the grave
Raised to life ... Our God is able
In His name ... We overcome
For the Lord Our God is able.

God is with us ... He will go before
He will never leave us ... He will never leave us
God is for us ... He has open arms
He will never fail us ... He will never fail us.

Lifted up ... He defeated the grave
Raised to life ... Our God is able
In His name ... We overcome
For the Lord Our God is able.

For the Lord Our God is able
For the Lord Our God is able.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My First Giveaway Winner!!!

First, Thank You to all who participated in my first giveaway!  I have been so excited to share MyMemories Digital Scrapbook with someone … and today was the day!!!

Second, I apologize for not having this post up yesterday, but it seems like this was (is) “the” week in our household … Grandad fell off a ladder a week ago this past Sunday (still recovering, but could have been so much worse) … 
then Lucy was sick for a week (it breaks Granny’s heart when my little princess is sick --- she's not 100% yet, but she thinks she is :) … 
then Mrs. ‘Joe has been sick (severe sinus infections are always rough, 
but Disney-Boy has hopefully been resting too:)… 
then our Internet went out for a little … 

Okay, enough of our stuff ... 

When I first started blogging I hadn’t given any thought that anyone else would even read it … 
except for my vision of sitting Lucy down in front of the computer in about 10 years and 
making her read some of my posts! 
So, to even have anyone else remotely interested in it is a bonus to me. 

And I never would have thought that I would have a giveaway either.  That was not my intent for this blog.  However, when MyMemories contacted me, I thought this was a perfect fit. I want to preserve my values, memories, life experiences for my grandchildren and generations that will follow. 
So, I decided to do it.  
Will I be doing more giveaways?  I'm not sure.  
But if another product comes my way that will fit with the overall integrity of my blog, 
then I will consider it. 
So, we will see …

But now …

The number selected by RANDOM.ORG … and the winner of Granny’s first giveaway – 
MyMemories Digital Scrapbook software – 
is …

Comment # 2 !!!

Congratulations Heather!!!  I know you will LOVE this software … 
it’s my favorite hobby in the evenings when everyone is winding down from a full day.

AND … 
if any of my readers are interested in purchasing MyMemories, 
please use my code to
receive $10 off your initial software download 

PLUS another $10 off the MyMemories store.  

My special coupon code is

Thank you ladies, again, for making 
Granny’s first giveaway a success! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Day ... and OPSEC of Today

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the 
First World War, then known as "the Great War." 
Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th 
became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. 
In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, 
a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars. 

Honoring those past & present who served or serve country.  We remember ... and we are thankful.  
My uncle served in the Navy in World War II ... I am thankful for his service & sacrifice for our country.  He really didn't talk about his service when I was a young girl -- he did not want the thought of war or images in the minds of us children.  He was an honorable man.  And my cousin -- his only son -- accepted the American flag at his funeral 7 years ago.  My uncle was a true patriot through and through.

And I think about my son-in-law ... G. I. Joe.  He left just one week after their wedding & spent his first year of marriage on deployment. 'Joe is military through & through.  Even little Lucy will tell you "my Daddy's a soldier" with all the pride her little 3 year old heart & voice can proclaim.  She (along with her Mommy, Grandad & Granny) are very proud of her Daddy's service to our country.  

But honoring our military from years gone by is not the same as honoring our military of today. Years ago there was no information highway ... no Internet with instant information ... and perhaps not as much curiosity as what we face today.  I will be the first to admit that I stayed glued to CNN (at the time) at the end of each day of teaching, and was transfixed on Operation Enduring Freedom. Yes, this was my "relaxation" after a day of teaching.

So, how much information is too much information?  I know that the media plays a huge role in transferring what they classify as "need to know" information ... but what about our role as ordinary citizens (whether 
a military family or a civilian family)?  How much information is too much for us to share about our loved ones who selflessly serve our country?  Or even our own family that holds down the home-front when our loved ones are serving away from our home-base?

This is where OPSEC is its most critical.  If you're not familiar with OPSEC, 
this is a quick definition from Wikipedia:

 Operations security (OPSEC) is a process that identifies critical information to 
determine if friendly actions can be observed by adversary intelligence systems, 
determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them,
and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information.
You can google this and find hundreds of articles on OPSEC.  But here's a few suggestions that Granny can give you just from the top of my head:

Do not give specifics.
Do not talk about timeframes.
Do not talk about deployments.
Do not talk about missions.

Let's face it ... as military families (and civilians as well), we are proud of our military loved ones. 
However, we also need to respect the fact that their jobs are different than what we face in our everyday life here at home. So, instead of possibly putting "too much information" on our loved ones, here is a short list of alternatives that we can possibly participate:

  • Thank all of our military for their service (afterall they sacrifice time with their families - spouses, children, parents, friends -  to serve our country).
  • Get involved with any of your community Veterans Association groups.
  • Adopt a soldier through Soldier's Angels (you'd be surprised at the number of military who do not receive care packages abroad ... SA's motto is "May No Soldier Go Unloved").
  • Recognize the fact the military families are not at liberty to discuss aspects of their loved ones' military jobs. 
  • For the most part, if you know of someone who is serving abroad & you want to send them a care package, encouraging note, etc., give these items to the service member's family & they will be more than happy to include your items in their care packages. You may never know just how much your thoughtfulness means to the one abroad, and also to those holding down the home-front.
  • And it means the world to our military service member if you remember his/her spouse, children, family at home.  G. I. Joe will tell you first that he is "just doing my job", but he is more at ease when he knows that his wife & children are remembered on the home-front.  This is true whether they are husbands, wives, dads, moms, singles ... they just want their loved ones taken care of & remembered.

There's so much more that could be included in these lists.  But, these are just a few things that have come to my mind lately.  A few weeks ago I saw a doctor whose husband retired after 30+ years of military service.  She told me that the information age that we live in today is both beneficial and crucial to today's military & their families.  The world is basically at our fingertips with just the click of a few buttons.  So privacy is the most important in many aspects of holding down the home-front.

When I googled OPSEC, one of the hits gave me this image from Wikipedia ... 

I think it's worth sharing ...

and worth closing this post ... 


Monday, November 7, 2011

My Favorite Photo Topic ...

My favorite photo topic?  Guess who?  You got it ... 

Princess Lucy!

I made a quick scrapbook of Lucy's first few days in our world:  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Second Anniversary ... Our Ft. Hood Heroes

Button designed by Mrs. G.I.Joe

Today is a tough anniversary to get through in the military community.  It marks the second anniversary of the Ft Hood shooting where 13 men & women were gunned down 
and became our heroes. 

And today I recalled a conversation I had several months ago with a sales clerk at one of our department stores. Her son was (at that point) in the military, and I told her about my son-in-law who also serves in our military just in a different branch. She & I chatted for a while as she completed my purchase ... comparing stories -- her's from a mother's view & mine from an "in-law" view. And you know something? There was no difference at all.  I told her that when our daughter said "I do", her husband became our son. And Grandad & I are as proud of him serving our country as she was of her son also serving our country.

I think that's one of the aspects that makes the military community so close-knit.  
We are all in this together ... 
our loved ones voluntarily put their lives on the lines for us every moment of everyday. 
When one of our military lays down their life for our country, 
we all grieve ... 
we all hurt ...
we all cry.

And we all cried on November 5, 2009. 

And we still cry.  

I follow several military family blogs.  My daughter (Mrs. G. I. Joe) has "introduced" me to several families through the blog-world, and I am so thankful to have met them.  I ask that you keep our military & their families in your prayers.  
No matter what branch they serve in ... 
they serve our country ... 
they serve us.  

The families of our Ft. Hood heroes are still serving our country. They continue to serve each moment as they heal from the tragedy that occurred in our own country.  
Just as those who have paid the sacrifice overseas ... 
they all are our heroes.  

Today, we are all Ft. Hood family members ... 
May we never forget those who laid down their lives serving our country on November 5, 2009:

Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55 - Maryland
Maj. Libardo Caraveo, 52 - Virginia
Cpt. John P. Gaffaney, 54 - California
Cpt. Russell Seager, 41 - Wisconsin
Staff Sgt. Justin Decrow, 32 - Indiana
Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29 - Wisconsin
Spc. Jason Hunt, 22 - Oklahoma
Spc. Frederick Greene, 29 - Tennessee
PFC Aaron Nemelka, 19 - Utah
PFC Michael Pearson, 22 - Illinois
PFC Kham Xiong, 23 - Minnesota
Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21 - Illinois
Michael Cahill, 62 - Texas (civilian)

May the God of all comfort bring comfort to these families ... 
and may God continue to bless America.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Computer Glitch ... HTML Fixer to my Rescue

Well, after several weeks of HTML malfunctions (of which I couldn't see on my computers) I think my pictures are finally fixed!

A special shout-out THANK YOU to my beautiful and wonderful daughter 
for taking her time & knowledge in getting this fixed for me today (and Granny had some fun Lucy-time as Mommy wrestled with this).  She actually had to have 2 laptops running at the same time to get it straightened out.  My laptop showed everything normal size, but hers was basically the same as what everybody could see -- humongous!

So, thank you all for your patience in tolerating the huge photos ... I hope to never have this problem again ... 
but, we shall see. 

Please let me know if my pictures show up so huge again & I'll call on my HTML fixer to come to my rescue ... 
again :)

PS -- I hope you stop by (CLICK HERE) my giveaway post & enter ... MyMemories Digital Scrapbook software ... it's well worth the 2 minutes it takes to enter!  Hope to see your entry soon :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Favorite Hobby ... and Giveaway!

I've been so excited using MyMemories Digital Scrapbook software!  
I've downloaded a lot of FREE extras -- pages, embellishments, elements ...
 I really never thought I would get interested in scrapbooking as much as I have ... but just ask Grandad & he will tell you that I do something with it every evening.

It runs through November 15th ... just in time for Christmas presents!  

A Special "Treat"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

MyMemories Suite Scrapbook Software Review & Giveaway

I will admit it … I am a scrapbooker-wanna-be.  Unfortunately I have yet to complete one scrapbook.  Now, don’t get me wrong … I love my pictures, I love my memories and I want to pass my family history down to my next generations.  But, there’s one major obstacle I face …


Granny just really does not have the time to go through these thousands of pictures I have, create a layout for several pages of the hard-copy scrapbook, then copy/edit/design … 
do you get the picture … uh, no pun intended at all :)

Well, just in time to come rescue Granny … 

I received an email from MyMemories Suite -- a digital scrapbooking software company – asking me to try out their scrapbook software and write a review.  I was very excited to do this … especially when I still have a lot of my Mother’s original pictures, 
and I had just gotten about 700 pictures from my mother-in-law to scan … 
and that’s not to mention the hundreds (rather thousands) of pictures that I have of ours here at home. 

So, I downloaded MyMemories digital scrapbook software on my laptop and glanced around the site:  themes, backgrounds, embellishments, templates, shapes, texts/fonts/word art … add-on videos/music/links (I admit that I have not integrated these yet) … adjusting pictures through rotating, scaling, converting color...
               Various ways to share the albums – such as printing, exporting to JPEG,
creating a bound photo album, and more. 
And ... this digital scrapbook software is available in either Windows or Mac!

And I was walked through every step.

What I found was a pleasant surprise and most promising ... MyMemories was all-encompassing! Not only was it chock-full of different designs, themes, backgrounds, extras ... but I can also integrate other projects of mine into the albums.  
I have already completed 2 albums in the past week (which is 2 more than I have completed in … well, you know). 

Here are 2 sample pages from one of my albums ... and my favorite subject of all time … 


For this album I chose a preloaded designer template, picked each picture & “clicked” them into the photo slots.  (Even Granny can “drag and click” a picture) 

I’ve had such a great time working/playing/learning MyMemories.  It’s relaxing in the evenings … it’s easy for anyone to use … it gives a scrapbooking outlet for anyone like Granny (you know, the scrapbooker wanna-be :).   
I’m looking forward to returning to my digital scrapbooking as soon as I give you the details on the giveaway: 

So, here’s the deal …

MyMemories has offered a FREE copy of their software to one of my readers.  
 AND I also have a special promotion code to get a $10 discount off the purchase of 
My Memories Suite Scrapbook software 
PLUS another $10 coupon for
My Memories store.  
Use promotion code STMMMS69350

Now, to enter the giveaway … 
(You must be a public follower of Love, Granny in order to enter, and I will need to email the winner.)  After you have completed the entry step of your choice (or however many you want), make sure you leave me a separate comment for each. 

For one (1) entry … Visit MyMemories and pick out your favorite background or template.  Leave a comment on this post telling me which one is a favorite.  (This step is necessary to enter.)

For one (1) entry … Follow MyMemories blog 

For one (1) entry … Follow MyMemories on Twitter

For one (1) entry … Like MyMemories on Facebook  

For one (1) entry … Follow "Granny" on Twitter
(If you are already a follower, leave me a comment that you already follow Granny.) 

This giveaway will close on November 15th at midnight ... just in time for Christmas gifts!
Giveaway winner will be chosen by

Granny received a complimentary copy of My Memories digital scrapbooking software to try in exchange for a review of my honest opinion.  Granny did not receive any monetary compensation for my review.