Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday

I haven't been posting my normal "mindless" posts - which require no thinking. 

It seems that as readers of blogs - we prefer the reading material (posts) which aren't so "heavy duty".

Just daily trivia, pictures, regular stuff - that we can relate to - or at least creative things which inspire - art - tutorials which give us hope that we can be every bit as creative as the one doing the post.  Testimonials regarding what we're dealing with - again - relating - couponing, new babies, parties, pretty stuff, tired days, memories of the past.

Here's the thing - my daily life these days is insanely basic.  It requires not a brilliant mind. 

It does require heart, stamina, endurance, committment - getting out of one's comfort zone....BIG TIME!!

It's the stuff that centuries are made of.  Cultures are built on it. 

Mothers and Grandmothers investing all they have and some more into the daily and evening care of tiny babies and toddlers and preschool age children.  Loving them - investing time and energy and encouragement - building heart and soul into these someday adults.  There's no daycare involved - not a lot of money involved - just time, and patting of baby backs and rocking and shushing and reading small books and saying, "there, there" and "now, then" a whole lot and listening to incessant crying and wiping little bottoms and baths and smiling and laughing at sillies and being silly - it goes on and on.

I'm exhausted.


I'm investing and so is Laura Beth and so is Ann and so is Sarah who lives in this house now.

Laura Beth has been here a bit - the sleepless nights were starting to make her crazy.  So we're doing shift work here at the house.

I mean - we're just passing the baton back and forth - rather, the babies. There's not a whole lot of time for posting on a blog.

I will say this, my computer is probably eaten up with viruses.  It's going nuts and slow as all get out - so - we're looking into a laptop for me.  I just hate losing, once again, so much stuff and it costs a lot to back it up.  Sad.  I paid a bunch to do all of that, get a new clean harddrive and new virus protection recommended by Best Buy.  That was last summer or early fall.  Here I am again in the same predicament.  Oh well - it's just "stuff". 

That's my update and what is happening on my little corner of the world.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


All good things secured by Christ on the cross

“Everything that we know and appreciate and praise God for in all Christian experience both in this life and in the life to come springs from this bloody cross.

Do we have the gift of the Spirit?
Do we enjoy the fellowship of saints?
Does he give us comfort in life and death?
Does he watch over us faithfully, providentially, graciously, and covenantally? 
Do we have hope of a heaven to come?
Do we anticipate resurrection bodies on the last day?
Is there a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness?

Do we now enjoy new identities, so that we are no longer to see ourselves as nothing but failures, moral pariahs, disappointments to our parents—but deeply loved, blood-bought, human beings, redeemed by Christ, declared just by God himself, owing to the fact that God himself presented his Son Jesus as the propitiation for our sins?

 —D.A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 70-71Christ on the cross and granted to those who have faith in him.”

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nothing to Fear, Nothing to Dread

The Lord is my Light.
The Lord is my Salvation.
Shall I fear anyone or anything?

The Lord is the Stronghold of my life.
Shall I be afraid of anyone or anything?

Psalm 27 Verse 1

The Lord is my light and my salvation -
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life -
of whom shall I be afraid?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Hymn Was on My Mind

for a thousand tongues to sing

My Great Redeemer's Praise,
The Glories of my God and King,
The Triumphs of His Grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad, the honors of Thy Name.

Jesus - the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease.
It is music in the sinner's ears.
It is life and health and peace.

He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free.
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

I'm still cleaning - and was wiping down my kitchen counters and this hymn got in my head - and for the life of me I couldn't remember the name of it. I can't believe I couldn't think of the name of it.  I only sung it 10 kazillion times in church, growing up.   I was on the two verses which begin with "Jesus, the name that charms our fears" , followed by "He breaks the power of cancelled sin". 

I love that truth.

He not only cancels our sin, He also breaks the power of it in our lives. 

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

See? It's back - the Sun - and some warmth -

I continue my cleaning today.

And preparation for Palm Sunday Weekend and Easter Weekend.

I really love those two weekends.

Good memory.

Mother always made my Easter Dresses.  Always.  She made all my dresses - all my clothes for the most part. 

So - the year I "joined the church" - didn't have a clue about redemption, rebirth - but I joined the church about the year I was 12 or in the fifth grade - maybe 6th grade.  I'm not sure.  Mother made me a dress for that day - and it was on Palm Sunday that our little class of kids were joining.  The most I remember about that day is the dress I wore and being "sprinkled" because it had not happened as a baby for me.  None of the doctrine - none of the heart issues -  just the external. 

The dress was a lavender gingham, sleeveless, scooped neck, waist, full skirt, just above the knee - length. 
She made a white jacket to go with it - short sleeved and short, just above the waist, length - it had an applique made from the gingham - in the shape of a flower.  I really liked that dress and felt very special that I had a new dress for Palm Sunday and for Easter. 

What that meant to me, after I joined, was that I could now "take communion" when everyone else did - and I could also get my own offering envelopes.  I loved all of that stuff - actually - I retract that.  I had already been able to take communion - as a child.  It was just my getting the envelopes that was added on - I thought that was a big deal.

I know that I had always taken communion because it was something I looked forward to - getting up - going down front - tasting the grapejuice.  My cousin Rachel, when very young, after taking communion, was quoted as whispering to her mom, "I liked the refreshments". 

So - Easter, Palm Sunday - wondering in my head exactly what they meant when they said, "Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins".  That line confused me a lot - because I knew that even though I was a pretty good little girl, and I aspired to be that, still - there was sin - or bad deeds - I recall in the fifth grade - being assigned to do the bulletin board for our class - out in the hall - along with another little boy in our class - it was a cool assignment - because, well, it involved some design elements - and we got to leave the classroom and go out in the hall to work on it.  So - our public school teacher - since it was the Easter Season - gave us a box of Easter Pictures.  There were no bunny rabbits - they were all about the crucifixion and the resurrection.  And some construction paper letters to make the title.  I don't recall the title.  What I recall was having a hard time looking at the pictures of the crucifixion.  Even though I didn't understand His work on the cross - I believed that He did die for  me, in just that way - and even though I had not been redeemed, yet, He had given me a heart for Him.  I loved God a lot - I was drawn to Him in a way that I recognized.  I could hardly look at the pictures and know that He truly suffered that way.  It was hard.  Imagine being in a public school and doing a bulletin board about Christ on the Cross and His resurrection.  Imagine that.

That was in about 1962, I guess.

So - today is today - God revealed His truth about the gospel - to me in 1968.  I understood that He had taken on my sin - so that I could take on His righteousness.  Man!  I said yes and He indwelt me. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  1 Peter 1: 3-5

I really like  Easter.  I like the bunny rabbits and chicks and easter eggs, too - and the flowers and grass - and all in God's creation that looks like His resurrection.  I think it's a great picture/image of His new life and what looks dormant and dead,  isn't - The season is like a rebirth - what happens in our soul when He enters in.  He breathes life into us. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

House Cleaning Tip

It's Monday and I'm cleaning house - because it's Spring and even though there's sleet and cold and a pinch of snow flurries - it's still SPRING!!!  I have daffodils to prove it and the memory of 2 warm nice, somewhat green, days.

and I have company coming and winter is behind us. 

So - today I was dusting.

By the way...  in my dreams I have a team of women I've hired to clean house.  It would take several to dust.  as in...multiples.  2 on the floors for mopping and vacuuming.  Someone for bathrooms.  2 for the kitchen.  What am I leaving out?  Back to the dust, though.  I have so much of it.  And what is disheartening....I'll have dusted and it begins again the next day.  What is that all about and where does it come from?  Is our skin shedding at a very fast rate???  uh, is it the fabric and carpet in our house??  What is it?  I don't think I want to know.

But - do you pay attention to your lamp shades?  Any surface collects dust.  Lamp Shades definitely do.

This is an idea I had today and I DID IT!!!! and I was really pleased with how it worked so well!

A lint brush.  Do you have one?  With the sticky paper.  Roll it over those lamp shades - you have to peel off several times because there's a lot of dust - but it gets it without knocking all that dust around.

I like it.

I have clean lamp shades.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bricks, a Landing, and Savored Memories.

If you happen upon this post or this blog and have been here before, do you remember in January when I posted about traveling to Evergreen because my old High School building was being demolished?  I posted pictures.  I told about what I brought home.  Some of my best treasures are still at my sister's house in Evergreen waiting for me to bring them to Scottsboro.  But my bricks.  Yesterday was warm and sunny and I began this project using my bricks.

I decided to build a small landing at the bottom of the steps to my art studio, using the bricks from the school, plus one brick I already had from the old demolished Evergreen Court House.  We filled in the spaces with some bricks from Ann and Steve's house which they built on Goosepond Island.  For decorative purposes, and for sentimental reasons, I had one paver from Ann and Steve's house in Albuquerque.  It was from their terrace.  I used it also.
I began the project, thinking I could do it without Charlie's help.
Let the digging begin!

But then I reached a point and I needed Charlie's help.  He enjoyed doing it with me and we were quite pleased with the finished product. 
The sand that we used to fill in the spaces, well, we were waiting on a gentle rain to clean it off.
We got a strong rain today and I will now go in and fill in the spaces some more with sand. It's working out well, and I love my little landing.
It doesn't take much.  Simple pleasures, you can't beat them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Trip to the Botanical Gardens, Huntsville, AL

Ann has posted about this trip.  I won't write, I'll just give a few captions.

Ellie and Luke getting a feel for what it's like from a bird's perspective,
in a nest.

Don't really know what the facial expressions are about -
probably thinking it's not that great to be a bird in a nest.

Andrew just taking it all in - hanging out in the stroller.

Moving on to the Giant Flower Pot built around a very large tree.

Climbing Up Another Structure

And back down again.

Moving to the next structure (Tree Houses they call them)

And there it is, in the distance, Ellie knowing this one has a great swing.
She hasn't factored in all the other kids who will already be on this one.

Patiently waiting their turn & this one was a bit daunting,
as children were wanting to move ahead of them,
parents, well,  that's interesting too.

Finally the structure named "The Wizard of Oz"

If you look closely, there's Luke climbing this very steep ladder
and Ann waiting and watching.
Ellie and I watched from a distance. 
Here's what we said, knowing Luke like we do:
Ellie said:  "Near, Luke's climbing that big ladder".
Near said:   "I know, Ellie.  I don't think he's going to like it"

Trust me, that's Luke at the tip top.
You can't see him in this bad photo but he's there.
Ellie and I both said in a sober, amazed voice, "He did it!"

At which point, Ellie jumped up without a word,
but I knew by the way she was walking,
she was determined to climb it, too,  if Luke had done it. 
and she did climb it.
You can see Ann in the right side of the photo
trying to tell Luke where to go to get off of the structure.

Andrew was just so happy to be in the sun and on the grass. 
He loved it and all the people to watch, and grass to pull up,
with Near close by.

And with these 3, Mama, Papa, and Baby Bear,
that's the end of the picture showing of our trip to Botanical Gardens.

(Did I mention how incredibly tired we all 5 were at the end of the day?  It was great to get home.  Charlie grilled steaks when he got home from work.  Andrew napped.  Ellie and Luke enjoyed more outdoor time on my back porch and back yard.  We're all loving these warm days.  Weather forecast has possible snow flurries on Monday or Tuesday. )

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hallalujah Chorus!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you

SUNSHINE - for coming out.

Now, on to posting material.....

Ann and Luke are back from McDonough.

This is Andrew seeing Ellie and Luke on the back porch, after his nap - he was so excited to see them!

Ann put him down and he is crawling toward them on the swing.

Big Hugs!

All four in the swing - Ellie readjusting to "sharing" the spotlight.
Luke's great with it.

Back to Ellie and Luke - Look at those looonnnng legs. 

That was yesterday.

Today is Friday - Ann and I took Ellie, Luke, and Andrew to Botanical Gardens in Huntsville.

That's another post.

This is one tired grandmother.... I mean, "Near".

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Third Post for Today

Third Post Today!  So - please scroll down for this to make sense.

This is really a plug for Steve's blog.

He is in Israel!

That's why I have Andrew and Ellie.

See Ann's blog regarding her trip to McDonough to help out Laura Beth who has the new baby, John!

Per my suggestion - with Steve gone for 10 Freakin' Days! to Israel - yeah - Daddy to Ellie, Luke, and Andrew - well - we have to kill some time.  Andrew doesn't sleep well ANYWHERE!!!  So - I thought Ann could go to McDonough with Luke, her child whom God chose to give the most pleasant disposition ever in the history of humankind - kind beyond all kindness - and Ann could help out LB with newborn John - and Luke could play with Ada who also has a bit of a "spirit" about her - but Luke is great with her.(you'll have to see the post below this one to know what this sentence is referring to in terms of "also has a bit of a 'spirit' about her" ) 

Anyway - I have Ellie and Andrew.  I suggested it.  Ann wouldn't have just assumed this.  It's working.  I am 58.  I do get tired with even the easiest of children - but it's working.  And hopefully, LB is benefiting from it.

Okay - so Steve's blog - Steve who is in Israel.  It's really a good blog regarding Israel and all which that involves.  His blog site is

The reader would still have time to scroll down to get to the first entry and then work yourself up - I'll admit that it's a lot of reading, but there are lots of pictures and if you choose to skim over the serious stuff you can catch some of his humor.  The serious stuff is fascinating!!!!!Instriguing!!!!If you take the time. It's worth it.  Start with the first post and you'll probably be hooked.



Ellie and Andrew are down for a nap - so I have to confess my grandmother indulgences.  I played the role.  But good grief - it could have been so much worse.

Ellie was a trooper.  All that she asked for before we went in to Wal-Mart was some "gum".  I told her right away, "Yes", I could get her gum. I mean - think about it - it's spring break - she has a few days with "NEAR" (that's my name).  One would expect a bit of a treat from the grandmother.  Andrew's with us, too. 

You, the reader, would have to understand how God chose, fore-ordained, to create, to "hardwire" Ellie - it can be a challenge to those whom He also fore-ordained to be her caregivers - well - those biologically related to her.  She's precious, but even Ellie often appears frustrated with her own strong will.  Ann has persevered in teaching her the same obedience and boundaries as Luke and now Andrew - I think that Ellie really really wants this strong will of hers not to get the best of the situation - but yet - it's so strong.  It often does send her into some of the most impossible tyrades with very unpleasant consequences.

I have to say that Andrew, also, was a trooper.  I strapped him into the buggy and he never once pitched a fit to get out.  He was entertained to go rolling through Wal-Mart in the grocery cart.

That doesn't always happen.  He is majorly a "hold me" baby.  To the max.  Whoa. 13 months now.  Fortunately he is not as large a child as Luke was at 13 months.

So - Andrew and Ellie - doing great!

We found ourselves looking for some toiletries and Ellie spotted a cute package of hair accessories - $3.50.  She said, "Look, Near, we could get those and I could fix your hair with them!"  They were pink and purple and really looked like they would suit Ellie's style more than mine - but heck - I heard her say she would fix my hair.  She knows I'm a sucker for that - I love to play hair dresser and she does my hair.  We all love it.  Who doesn't love that?  Ann loves it, Sarah loves it, we all love it.

I put the package in the cart and told her that if we spotted anything else she wanted - that we'd have to put the hair accessories back.  Translation to Ellie - "I have the option of picking out something else".  She said in a very grownup manner that, yeah, if she saw something else, we'd just put back the hair pieces.

She never wanted to "trade out" - but - we did manage to go home with a Dora Plastic Place Mat and some boy placemat for Luke.  I don't even know the Character.  I thought I was done with child plastic place mats - but they were only $2.00 each.  Ellie is genuinely excited about showing Luke his placemat.  She is confident he will LOVE it!

That is absolutely all that Ellie asked for - she hinted - and suggested - which made me sad - because of course I wanted to get her everything that appealed to her - but she never pushed for anything else.  What helped was reminding her of her birthday in April and maybe we would remember those items for her birthday.

I, on my own, did slip some fresh art supplies into my cart, without her seeing me.  Which I could NOT believe she didn't see.  She is one sharp cookie!  But she was doing her own looking and wasn't watching what I was doing.  I got her a pad of white art paper and some washable glittery pastelly marker things that end up 3-D on the paper.  And some fresh crayons that twist, therefore stay "sharp".  She is such a little artist - and being here with Sarah doing her work - well - Ellie wants to be in on it - and all my supplies for her are stale.

Tonight we are going to Buena Vista - where we will all love the cheese dip - I love it and the guacamole.  I'll take something for Andrew to be filled up with.  Big night with the Grandparents/Grandchildren/ & Auntie.

(Ellie did remember the gum at checkout - at the last minute)

Beautiful Things

On my December 31, 2009 Post I wrote about Charlie & me going with the Brattons to celebrate Mary's Birthday - with pictures.

Even as far back as my Wednesday July 16, 2008 Post I wrote about Mary taking me out to lunch for my birthday on July 14 - with a picture.

So - this Saturday - we had another party - celebrating Beth's getting married - her wedding date is May 15, I think.

Here are pictures of the fun we had and the good fellowship and the gorgeous food and the beautiful gifts she received.(Ann took all of these pictures - aren't they so good?)

Beth with her grandmother and aunt

Mary on the right, visiting with Jennifer
How do these girls walk in such high heels?????
Aren't they cute?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Morning

All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye chosen seed of Israel's race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.

Let every kindred, every tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all.

O that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall!
We'll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Didn't We Have Fun?

In a very impromptu visit with the Baldwins -

Beth and Jamie, I mean -

Beth called on Tuesday to say she'd be in town on Thursday -

but maybe, and only maybe,  would be see each other.

Maybe, if it worked out - she and Jamie had dentist appointments and somewhere in Henegar to be - at a church, following the appts.

She called on Wednesday saying, actually, they'd be here around 11:00 because Joy would be meeting them here, with the boys, for a visit - see .  I quickly apologized for not having food to feed them - she said they would pick up something at Wendy's and I insisted they bring it here. 

The chicken I thawed on Wednesday for Wednesday night dinner, well, I didn't cook it for Wednesday night dinner - and my very messy, unclean house -  Charlie and Sarah helped me pull it together - and I cooked the chicken Thursday morning for chicken pie - texted them not to go to Wendy's - that I would have the pie.
Mixed a quick fruit/yogurt thing and had peas and carrots.  And Sweet Tea - of course.  Oh - and Sister Schubert Rolls - below are images of us all over the house with Brennan and Andrew - Sarah was the photographer and sadly - she failed to get pictures of Knox - Joy's six month old little boy - but you can see him on Joy's blog.

Joy and Beth

The Food

Andrew kept wanting Jamie,
whom he'd never met.
Unusual for Andrew.

Brennan and his Mommy

I think Andrew thought this whole family
reminded him of his own.

Brennan in the playroom with the same toy my grandchildren empty salt shaker. 

Andrew looks like he knows something really good
and Brennan is wanting to know what it is.

Jamie sitting outside the playroom.

Let me explain - When I began to have grandchildren, I turned the walkin closet into a "playroom" of sorts - so one has to go through our bathroom to get to it.
Very unusual situation - to take folks through the bedroom, through the bathroom, to the playroom.

We don't usually have multiple sets of grandparents and grandchildren at our house.  But I had a feeling we might end up back there on that day - so I tidied up a bit.

My grandchildren make a beeline for that walkin closet, when they get to my house - it never occurs to them that it's in an odd location for company.

Interested in seeing some gorgeous photography??? or you know Beth and Jamie and would like to see their home/farm in Tallassee???? or you would like to see where we've stayed overnight many many times when we were in Auburn(30 min. from Baldwins' home) - or would like to see the land that Beth is so sentimentally rooted to????
or just see the talent of Joy's husband, Ben, father to Brennan and Knox...
go here:
I hope that works - Scroll down on that post and you can see at the end of the post how to navigate to day 2 and day 1.
Day 3 is actually Christmas Day inside their home.
Day 2 and Day 1 show more of their land and their farm and their dwellings.  I love looking at these pictures.

That is how we spent a big part of our Thursday.
Naturally, the adults didn't get much visiting time in -
Grandchildren take top billing - always.