Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Heard from Kate

She emailed me.  She was in China at 2 AM.....there.  I think it was 2 PM here.  I think.  I was in the middle of having put Andrew down for a nap and getting Ellie & Luke in the inflatable pool outside.  Ann was in H'ville for her 36 week visit to the baby doctor.... or 37th week.  I lose track.

Anyway - I was inside, again, to get something....and to make sure I didn't hear Andrew..... and I checked email - I had a brief email from Kate!!  So - that was it.  She was there.  She was exhausted.  She was going to bed.  She was in a hotel.  That's all I know.  That was enough to know.

This morning I cut hydrangeas.  Mine are luscious....at least I think so.   Let me correct that.  God's hydrangeas are luscious.  His just happen to be growing on this piece of property which He has allowed us to dwell upon. In the house which He has given to us to dwell in.  With the strengths and interests to grow His beautiful hydrangeas which He thought of.

HOW does He know these beautiful blues and purples and anything in between?????  They're gorgeous.  Along with everything else He created - oh, except frogs - and lizards - well - all reptiles - Okay - I admit - they're very very creative. Just not what I enjoy looking at.

Frogs or Hydrangeas - which do you prefer?
Frogs freak me out.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Letting Go, Again.

I have four daughters.  Ann is 30, Laura Beth is 29(almost), Sarah is 25, and Kate is 23.

When Laura Beth started first grade in 1988 she wanted very much to ride the school bus with Ann and the 3 other girls on our street.  It was the cool thing on the street, at the time, to do that.  Ride the school bus.  I wasn't crazy about the idea - their spending so much time on the bus - but it was their version of fellowship, visiting, community before getting to school.  And again in the afternoon, coming home.

Laura Beth did have her fears - not of riding on the bus - but of getting on the wrong bus on that first afternoon, coming home.  Of course, at that young age, the teachers were out there seeing to it that each child got on the correct bus - still - Laura Beth had trust issues.  I knew Laura Beth and I knew that no amount of explaining and talking and tough love could convince her to trust the situation - yet - she equally wanted to ride the bus with Ann and her friends.  I had an idea.  I told her that I would drive up to the school (with Sarah and Kate in tow - ages 2 and 6 months)  and stand in the shadows, but so that she could see me, and watch her get on the right bus.  Mrs. Johnson, her teacher, looked puzzled when I showed up.  I explained what I was doing.  It was a first, but she was okay with it.  She had small children to tend to.  There I was.  There came her line - Laura Beth, little bitty redheaded Laura Beth, cut her eyes over at me but didn't acknowledge knowing me.  I didn't wave.  She didn't want me to.  No acknowledgement that we knew each other - but she got on the correct bus and that was that - she was good after that.

I scooted to the car once she was on the bus and headed home with Sarah and Kate, to be there in the driveway when the bus arrived to drop them off.  We didn't talk much about my being at the school.  Both of us, we all were, glad that first day was done and I heard all their stories - I guess - if they had them to tell - you know how children can be when they get home - they might have things to tell - they might not.

That is some of the stuff mothering consists of - and parenting.  Those tiny things which we know are not a big deal - but that child we love - it's a big deal to them.  Those are the ways we teach.

Today - I'm back home after driving Kate to the airport in Huntsville - Kate is flying today to Raleigh, NC where a friend will meet her.  Tomorrow at 10:30 am EST Kate is flying with 5 other people to China.  She'll be there 4 weeks.

Kate and I left following church - immediately following church.  Grabbed some fast food and headed to the airport.  Kate has been home for about a week.  She arrived last Saturday.  Sarah, who also is never at home, was already here but she left on Wednesday to return to New Orleans.

When Kate and I got into the terminal I took the lane that said parking.  Kate was on her cell phone and motioned to me to get into the right lane, the one that said baggage claim/terminal.  In other words,  I didn't need to park.  I could just drop her off at the curb.  No Way!  She got off the phone and told me, "You don't have to park - you can just drop me off".  I was having none of that.  None of this, "See you later - when you get back from China".

I told her - "I'll see you all the way to security and until you get through it".  I even questioned her if she'd covered her bases - all those glitches that can come up in security - liquids - weird metals in the shoes - or clothing.  She said she had.  Well - she was wrong - security took a while.  Not that long, but a  little bit longer.  There were some liquids they had to do something with.  I'm not sure.  But I had to watch and wait for a long time.  She didn't even know I was doing it.  I was watching from a pretty good distance.  I could almost only see her silhouette.  I moved in as close as I could and could tell it involved some of the ways she packed.   POINT OF THIS STORY - I was watching until I couldn't.  From a distance. The same thing and the same way and with the same inside feelings in my gut - like when I watched Laura Beth in the first grade or the time Ann flew to China - the summer after her freshman year.  It was before 9/11 and we could go all the way to the gates and watch her plane until we couldn't see it anymore.  Her flying far far away.

Mothering never stops.  The other day Sarah left to drive so far back to New Orleans - all those miles all by herself.  I'm so grateful when they get to where they're going - safely.  So very grateful.

Anyway - today, I might as well have had my face pressed against the glass - I would have but I couldn't.  The way I watched from a distance, it made me think of the time LB was getting on the bus in the first grade - and - it made me think of when Ann flew to China.  Laura Beth flew over there the next year.  This is Kate's return trip - and she is thrilled to be going.  I'm thrilled that she's seeking God's will in her life - No more so than Sarah in New Orleans or Ann in Scottsboro or Laura Beth in McDonough.

As long as they're seeking His will and His Kingdom.  That's the safest place to be - in life or in death, in any circumstance - I'm just so grateful they belong to HIM - not because I've given them to Him, as my daughters, but because they have each given themselves to Him as redeemed - Wow - this has gotten more serious than I intended.

Well - that's today.  Big day.  Sarah left on Wednesday - Kate left today - we've had a powerful weekend with our church - our first Missions Conference - Saturday and Sunday.  I wish all could have heard some of the stories I've heard.  Any questions?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ada's Very Pink Book and My Very Pink Project

I love a project.  I love it.  I also love a doable project, one that is possible - quick - I can complete it.  Ada's book.  

Here it is on the book shelf, just like all the other "books".

OH! Someone has pulled it out and it's sitting on top of a stack of "other books".

Let's look at it.
This, obviously, is the cover.

Title:  ADA, Her Very Pink Book

awwwww.  The dedication or inscription or some kind of identification.

Now - some sneak previews, within the book.

That is Ada's book.

Ellie saw it today and asked about it.

Ellie can read perfectly, with correct voice inflections.
She read Ada's book to me, out loud, all in the room listening.

Ellie wants her own book.

I told her I'd make her one.

Why I Named My Blog What I Named It

"Elizabeth, I have to ask...is there a neat 
story behind the name of your blog?"  asks a 
sweet friend in Greenville, AL. 
(she asked in the comments)
Oh, yes, indeed.
In my first post written on this blog, and you can click here,   (or keep reading and I'll tell the story) I told the story of the name of my blog.
I began this blog in June of 2008.  Ellie was 3.  Ellie is my oldest grandchild.  She was smitten with the 3 disney princesses.  Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Little Mermaid.  
You can figure out where this is going.

Yes,  Ellie,  with incredible confidence and clear diction, would pronounce those names, Cinderella, Sleeping Judy and Little Furmaid.  It was incredible the way she would say those and also with two missing front teeth.  I didn't want to forget but even now I forget.  Even with my blog title being those names.  Ellie is now 6 and is reading very very well - with much expression.   And I don't think she even remembers calling them by those names.  We actually let it go on for some time without correcting her.  We, as in her parents and myself.  We called them those names, too, because no one had the heart to tell her when she'd gotten too old to be making the mistake.  I think I was the one who confessed first to her that we had led her astray - letting her believe those were correct pronunciations.  It took us all a while to get it right - we were so used to her version of those names.

Here's the thing - enter - Ada - my second granddaughter.  She, too, began to love those princesses.  She got Cinderella correct and she got Little Mermaid correct - however - her mom has a very good friend named Tutti.  It's a nickname but that's what everyone calls her.  Everyone - friends - family - so when Ada's ears and brain took in the name Sleeping Beauty  she heard "Sleeping Tutti" instead.  Isn't that hilarious.  And she was corrected - by one of her little girlfriends - yet Ada defended it strongly - "No!", she said.  "It's not Sleeping Beauty, it's Sleeping Tutti!"

So - it was too late to change or edit my Blog title - I couldn't add Tutti to what was already Judy.  

There's the story of my blog title.  I am now waiting on my 3rd granddaughter, Abigail.  I wonder what she will name those 3 princesses - or any of the others.  We're all into Rapunzel right now - you know, Rapunzel of "Tangled".  Right now she is the most talked about amongst the two granddaughters.  Luke, the eldest grandson, is into SuperHeroes, in a big way.  So - Andrew tries to follow suit.  John is into his sippy cup and blue blanket.  His Blue Blanket and food are his two super heroes - well - besides his mom's lap.  Those are his 3 super heroes, I guess.  Oh, and he loves to throw things.  His mom repeatedly tells him no no.  It's just such a temptation to put a good toss on some toy - as in fling it hard and vigorously across the room.

P.S.  I have finished the book for Ada.  She requested that it be pink with a really nice button on the cover.  Her first book was predominantly blue with a plain white button on the cover.  I made this second book very pink and it has 3 heart shaped, pink buttons on the cover.  I plan to take pictures and post them soon. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Simple. Fun.

A Spoon & A Cup.
and a very cute Andrew.

Good way to spend Sunday afternoon on the back porch.
Large galvanized tubs are good for so  many things.
So are white enamel tubs.  I inherited both from Mom and Dad.
Sarah took the photos for me.

Have a good Monday.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ahhhh, Friday.

Beautiful Day.
Summer colors.
Mary and I drove to Guntersville yesterday.
We ate lunch at http://www.rockhouseeatery.com/.  Delish!

After that we walked up and down the streets and mostly found ourselves in antique stores and flea markets.  There are a lot of those in Guntersville.

I bought this old window.

I love what I see that some folks do with old windows, but I've never actually bought one.
Only "almost" bought one.  

I bought mine yesterday because this one really got to me.

I really really liked it.

Now - what will I do with it?

Inside or out?  I think I'll start with outside.  I'll put screweyes in the top, and probably get a chain, a small one - and hang it on the wall of my porch.  Actually, I'm not quite sure how I want to hang it.  

Eventually it might go inside.  I'll just start with this.

But while I was taking pictures - well - I took some more of my back porch areas.

This is the birdcage I bought about 2 weeks ago.
but I've yet to get any kind of exclamation from anyone else when I show it to them.

I take them to the birdcage, I say with much animation, "Look at my birdcage I bought!!" and they usually respond very politely and with some amount of approval and like, "Ohhhh, a birdcage!  I like it!".

I'm thinking noone gets it like I do.
I think it has to do with my grandmother, Ella, who had a bird, a canary, named Petey.  And he was in a cage on a stand similar to this one.  Petey had belonged to my great-grandmother, Ada.  Ella told me that.  Petey was very old.  He died of smoke inhalation the night Ella and Elbert's house caught on fire.
I was 7 or 8.

Anyway - my birdcage. 

Okay - other images from the back porch and then I'm done.
As usual, hydrangeas are included.  I am incredibly grateful to have my hydrangeas kindly growing in my yard - cooperating with me and producing beautiful blooms.
Also feel the same way about my magnolia tree.

That's all.
I have to go in and get dressed for the day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Upcoming Book

First, I have to get off that other post.
It was really hard for me to do that, but that song and I wanted to express how I see my life visually.  HECK!  I see everything, visually.  If I want to remember something, I have to concentrate and "picture" it.  Get a visual.

But that song.....

and I don't think I communicated how it expresses my whole life and explains so much to me.

But I'll get off of that and get off of those pictures of me, aging, and when I was very young, and then I got older, and now I am older - but will get even older, which is fine with me.  Of course, the Lord could plan for me to go to my eternal home earlier than my life expectancy  -  so - whatever.

About the title of this post...

upcoming book....

Ada is finally enjoying a book which I made for her  2 years ago.  It was the summer before she turned 2.  

I enjoyed making it.  I even binded it by "sewing the binding".  I wanted to use as little glue as possible.  I wanted it to last.

Here is Ada with her book.  The one I made her when she was two.  I took this picture when I was in McDonough.  Our first morning, Monday, waking up together.  She loves for me to make coffee with her, for her, together.  We look forward to it.  Psst.  I don't think her parents make it with her when I'm away.  I think that when Laura Beth and Scott have grandchildren, their special event will be to drive to Sonic with their grandchildren, while their adult children sleep, and they'll all get diet coke.

It occurred to me, now that Ada really likes this book, that it's time to make another.

All I needed was a little encouragement from her.

I told her I'd make her another book - and with even more encouragement I'll make one for any of my grandchildren.

Ada requested that the next book be pink.  And that it have a really special button on it.
This first one is blue and has a plain white button on the cover.  It was just embellishment.
She now wants pink and fancy.  Her grandmother is a minimalist but deep inside is very pink and very red and very gaudy.  I can do pink with a special button!

The secondary story in the book will be about our trip to Taco Bell.
Here is a sneak preview of one of the photos in the book.

The primary story in the book will be about our making coffee together.

Another sneak picture - a teaser - 

I'll post about the finished book.

I really like making them and I really really really like when the recipient enjoys the book.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Love this Song. It Speaks My Heart.

I have images in my mind of my life and all that I've walked through, the years, and I see Him revealing so much of Him and of my heart. 
He has always known what I didn't.
And still does, certainly.  He's God!

I was born anew, redeemed, given new life in Christ,
in March of 1968.  I was 16.  Even now, at age almost 60, I remember my heart's desire was for Him to have all of me - It was all a classic case of complete rebirth all at once.  I mean, my being fully aware of it all at once.  I knew that my life was no longer my own - I had been bought with the price of the blood of Christ and I gave Him all of me - surrendered all.  I fell deep in love with my Savior.

Unfortunately, I still had this wretched flesh to live with and in these 44 years God has .... well ....
the lyrics to this song help me to undersand 
so many paths in my life -

I've included pictures which illustrate a lifetime of aging.
The pictures don't depict trials, but blessings.
(I mean, aren't our snapshots meant to reveal the best we have?)

I , though, know every stage, and how God "made me feel the hidden evils of my heart".

I asked the Lord that I might grow

In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,

And seek, more earnestly, His face.
Twas He who taught me thus to pray,

And He, I trust, has answered prayer!

But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;

And by His love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.

I wish the reader could hear the song played.
It's from the Indelible Grace album.

it really does take such a lifetime, 
His changing His child into His likeness.

He has answered my prayer for grace and faith.

Until I go home to be with Him,
well, there'll be more of the stripping and of the laying low
and of course all the blessings.  
In Christ, all is a blessing.