Wordless Wednesday: The author is my Niece!

Not really “wordless” today….but wow, what a great day!

The release of my niece’s first novel, Crooked River, and it’s in bookstores everywhere!

Her name is Valerie Geary and I am one proud Auntie!

Check it out!  Better yet…buy yourself a copy and read it!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

We were reminded again this weekend of the much-needed requirement of endurance when spending time with a busy, busy three-year old!

My great-niece came to visit us this week-end, and I’m pretty sure she has more energy in that cute little body of hers than all 3 of my grandchildren combined!

While at the park, she challenged her Great Grandma to go down the slide with her….

GG and A GG and A going down the slide GG and A

Great Grandma will be 79 on October 11th….now that’s what I call endurance! 🙂

Celebrating the moments and enjoying the memories! Way to go Great Grandma!

They told me not to blink

When my kids were little, I would hear it all the time. “Don’t blink, they’ll be gone before you know it!

Well, I have to admit, there were probably some days when my kids were little that I did a few “extra blinks” in hopes to speed the growing up process just a wee bit.  It didn’t happen very often, but the diaper years, and the teen years were probably some of the most challenging for me.

And now…my kids are grown, married and have kids of their own.

My grandkids.

Ahh, what a delight they are to my life.  Two boys and one girl.

Three beautiful little lives!

But apparently some one keeps blinking, because these little ones are growing up way too fast!

It seems as though it was just a couple of months ago the littlest one was born, and yesterday he started pre-school. Really?  I was just there, helping my daughter try to figure this whole “new mom” thing out, and now…well, she’s taking him on like a pro!

photo credit: my daughter

photo credit: my daughter

The oldest one is 8 years old now. He delights in the fact that he can teach me how to play video games with him! He’s still a whole lot better at it than I am.  Guess I need to practice more.

showing off his B'day gifts

And then there is my granddaughter. Oh my, this little girl is like sugar and spice! At 5 years old she is wise beyond her years, loves life, and is eager to share it with the ones she loves. She simply melts my heart on a routine basis.

A at La Jolla

Pure joy, that’s what they are.  I could write until I have no more words, but you will never fully understand the joy of grandchildren, until you have experienced it yourself.

I hope if you haven’t already, someday you will get to experience this special kind of joy.

Now if I can just find that person who keeps blinking, and maybe get them to blink at half-speed.

I love watching them grow up, but maybe they could slow down just a little bit 🙂

A little bit of Christmas

Christmas is slow in coming this year….well, not really.  It’s quickly approaching, and I’m not even close to being ready!

Travel and sickness have given me an extra little challenge this year in preparing for Christmas.  I mean after all, I have family coming to stay, a house to clean, food to cook, presents to buy, presents to wrap, etc….

I’m trying desperately not to let it overwhelm me, stress me, or discourage me.  Of course, there’s still that little bit of me, that wants it to be “the perfect Christmas” for everyone.

I know I can’t make this happen. I can’t make “perfect happen.”  I know I shouldn’t even consider trying.

I know I should just concentrate on the people in my life, and not the things.

I know.

And…I’m trying.

Trying with all my might to keep focused on this…simply.

wooden nativity

Trying with all my might to stay focused on “love” at Christmas…and the giving of love.

Something that is so much better than any gift I could ever buy.

(Oh, I’ll work on getting some gifts too!  I mean after all, I still have a few days left, right?!)

Happy Birthday to my sweet girl!

Today is my daughter’s birthday. Happy Birthday Baby! It seems like it was only a few years a go when I was holding her in my arms and welcoming her to this crazy mixed-up world of ours.

Oh, how quickly the time has gone by…but the memories, they really are very precious.

(I realize this would have been better if I had pictures from her childhood mixed in here, but I’m thousands of miles from home today, so the memories will have to do.)

I remember the days when we would cuddle and read books for hours.reading books
Now…it’s her turn to snuggle with her little guy, and share her love for reading.

I remember when I would squeeze her tight, and absolutely delight in the feel of that little body in my arms.

hugs

Today…she’s experiencing this joy and wonder of holding her precious child, and the feeling of pure delight that comes with it!

I remember those moments when something as simple as a balloon would bring joy to her heart…and mine.

red balloon

And now it’s her turn to experience the little things in life and just how amazingly special those little things and moments can be!

And I remember those times when she would run into my arms, squeeze my neck, and want nothing more than just to be held in my arms.

at the beach

This moment…I know is one that she thoroughly enjoys. I’m so thankful that she is getting to experience this joy and wonder of being a mom.

I am so proud of her and the beautiful young lady she has become!  Her gentle spirit, kind heart, and loving soul, touches my heart in ways that are quite difficult to express.

She is a wonderful person, a loyal friend, a fantastic little momma, and a loving daughter.

I am so very thankful God blessed my life by giving her to me on this day….30 years a go!

Thankful Thursday: This little guy

Today is his special day…he’s celebrating his 8th birthday!

Our grandson!

I am so thankful for him and the joy he has brought to our lives. Can’t imagine a world without him in it!

In honor of his birthday, a list of eight reasons why I am so thankful for this amazing little guy!

1. I am so thankful for his great big smile! Always ready for the camera!

Grandpa & A

2.  The way he loves to look for treasures…always looking for treasures. When you’re 8 years old, the world is a virtual gold mine!
discovery time

3. I’m thankful for the changes in his life, like the milestone of loosing his first tooth!


A looses his 1st tooth

4. I love his thrill of adventure, and how proud he is of himself when he accomplishes something he didn’t think he could do!

in the tree

5. I’m thankful for the opportunities I have to share special moments with him, and that he likes to be with me! (at least for now)

special day

6.  I’m thankful for his ability to learn new things and sometimes he’s even willing to teach me how to play those crazy games!

game time

7. I love the creative side of him, and I’m thankful for the fun times we can have together just being silly!

"super" powers!

8. But most of all…I’m just thankful for him!  Every little detail that makes him who he is.  He is so very special to me. He’s captured my heart, and I love him so very much!

Happy Birthday little man…hope it’s a very special day for you!

I love you!

at the lake

Boys Are Found Everywhere

on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from,

running around or jumping to…A boy is Truth with dirt on its face,

Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair,

and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.

~Alan Marshall Beck

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Today is her day! Her special day for celebrating her life!

A life that hasn’t always been easy. A life that’s knocked her down a few times, but somehow, she has always managed to get back up….with a smile!

Aubrey Rose Tea Room - 10

Thank you for teaching me how to keep smiling through the hard times, and thank you for your unconditional love!

You are amazing, and I love you! Happy Birthday to YOU!

happiness

A little something to make you smile

My 5-year-old granddaughter, is full of life, and likes to “do and say” funny things to make me smile.

Yesterday, she presented me with another one of her amazing jokes.

Are you ready for this?

Her: Why did the duck cross the playground?

Me: To play with the other ducks?

Her: No….to get to the other slide!  Get it?! 🙂

And then she starts laughing at herself, and I can’t help but laugh with her, because, well, she just makes me smile

And you must admit, this really was a pretty good one, now wasn’t it?

She then attempts to tell me another one, but by then she was being very silly, and it just wasn’t as successful, even to her!

In fact, it was so bad she couldn’t even bring herself to laugh at her own joke!

But that didn’t slow her down, she just moved on to some other form of silliness.

Ahhh,… the joy of the life and times of a 5-year-old. Savor the moments, each and every one of them.

“A laugh is a smile that bursts.” ~ Mary H. Waltdrip

Keep looking up!

It’s orientation week at the college where my daughter works. It’s also the same college that she attended and graduated from. (4 yrs in 3!)

Oh my, how I remember that first year of college so very well.

It was a tough one for her.

I think it just might have been even harder for me. Her school was several hours away from home, so I was extremely limited in what I could do to help her.

I hurt for her. I wanted to fix her problems. Make all the bad things go away. Because really, that’s what a good mom is supposed to do, right?

Or so I thought.

But things don’t always work like we think they should. Something we both learned only too well that first year.

I listened to her troubles on almost a daily basis on the phone. My heart ached for her broken heart.

I prayed for her. A lot.

She was just too far away for me to give her a hug when she needed it the most. Wipe the tears from her cheeks and let her know, everything is going to be okay.

It was probably one of the most painful experiences of my life, and it was during this time that my encouragement skills got stretched to the max.

I was constantly telling her to keep looking up, among many, many other things.

Look above

He never fails. Not this time. Not ever!

Yep, we survived that first year of college, and of course she learned a lot of valuable life lessons in the process.

Well…we both did! I knew we would, but the process is oh so painful and just downright uncomfortable at times.

Oh…we also learned a lot about living with an extremely high maintenance personality! 🙂 Whew…her first roommate was a bit of a challenge!

Thankfully, the next year was much better. I’m convinced her roommate was an angel in disguise. Oh how I love that girl!

Today, I am happy to say, my daughter is a well-adjusted, happily married young lady and momma of one delightful little boy!

I am so proud of her!

I often find myself looking at her and wondering “just who is this girl and where did she come from?”

The scared, sad little girl from that first year of college is long gone, and in her place is a very strong, confident young lady!

My beautiful daughter.

Always my baby.

In memory of…

A very special lady…my sister, my friend!

Aug. 7, 1954 - Aug 1, 2002

Aug. 7, 1954 – Aug 1, 2002

Miss you, miss your smile.  I can’t believe it has been 11 years since we last talked on the phone.  It seems like it was just last week.

The time has gone by, and so much has changed, but my memory of you is still the same.  You were my protector, my friend, and my confidant.  We laughed and we cried together, and sometimes, we even laughed so hard, we cried.

Oh how I wish you were here, so that we could share these days together.  The days of our empty nest, and amazing grandchildren. The days we talked about so much, and we were so looking forward to going through together.

Sharing in each others joy and crying on each others shoulder, talking and listening and learning from each other. And don’t forget…laughing too! Lots of laughing I’m sure!

But for reasons I will never understand this side of heaven, it just didn’t work out that way.

So on this day, as well as many others, I remember you and the very special person you were to me and to the world!

You will always be in my memory, and forever in my heart.

Thank you for your unconditional love to me.  I love you!