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Posts Tagged With: grandchildren

The space between yes and no

Sometimes little nudges come from the most random places.   Today, this popped up in Facebook Memories ~ it was a passage I needed to read again and I thought you might, too:

“In the space between yes and no, there is a lifetime.  It’s the difference between the path you walk and one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; it’s the legroom for the lies you will tell yourself in the future.” ― Jodi Picoult.

5 Things I’m excited about today:

  1.  Road trip – tunes at the ready, coffee up!
  2.  In about a month our baby boy will be married; in < a month my sister arrives for the wedding 😀
  3.  We just got the news that another grandchild is on the way – oldest boy & his wife are expecting a baby in December 🙂
  4.  I’m taking my first golf lesson this week!
  5.  The days are longer, the nights are shorter and I do believe summer will be here soon!

And pie, always say YES to pie~

What lives in your space between yes and no?   What are you excited about today?

 

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Categories: Attitude, Faith, Friendship, Joy, Life, Seasons, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random Five Fire Hose

Good morning, peeps! It’s Friday! (smile) What a week – here are a few random thoughts from mine.

1. I’ve had more meetings, trips and calls the past two weeks than any in recent memory.  It’s like drinking from a fire hose, and I don’t see it slowing anytime soon.

information_hose

2.  On a couple of occasions recently I’ve been in new-to-me situations:  in front of significant, large and somewhat scary audiences waiting to pick me apart hear what I have to say.    Here’s the thing:  I’m getting it.  I’m hitting my stride and, as I do, I hear my Mom’s words in my head, “Growth never comes without growing pains.”

trying vs doing

3. Speaking of Mom, her health is a little more stable but she’s not going home.  She’s been moved to respite care which is kind of like a holding area until a bed opens up in long-term care.  My sisters say she’s adjusting but it’s difficult for her because she’s very bright and many there have dementia.  There are no personal phones there, and we’ve only been able to talk twice in a month.  I miss her.

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me... having a Killian's in Branson, MO

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me… having a Killian’s in Branson, MO

4. Sunday I took the Grands to a movie and an afternoon of fun at the arcades.  We saw the movie “Inside Out,” which was great, but was about a little girl moving and all the emotions that come with it … Well their Mom just moved away from them a few weeks ago and the subject matter might have been too much – but here’s the thing: it allowed them to talk about it.  In the dark littlest one whispered that she’d never see her Mom again and, pushing aside the popcorn and the candies,  I hugged and kissed and reassured her that yes she would and no matter where her Mom was, she would always be hers.  Big brother leaned in and the two of them ended up pasted to/on me as the tears streamed down my face.    As hard as it’s been being away from my own Mom while she’s been sick,  this, this, is even harder.  Why? This is unnecessary.    How do you explain to a 6 and 10-year-old that some adults are selfish and aren’t likely to ever put them first?  You can’t. You remind them of who is here for them and tell them again how much they’re loved and say what they most need to hear: that her leaving is not their fault.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” ~Deuteronomy 31:6

5.   That’s been my week – up, down, all around.  Tiring, taxing, emotional, challenging. But I’m still here.  On a side note, I found this mixed in with the candles at the local housewares store — chance?  Methinks not.

if it doesn't challenge you it won't change you

Amen to that!

And how was your week?  Any up, downs and all-arounds in your world these days?

 

Categories: Faith, Family, fear, Grief, Growth, Life, Mom, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random Five Friday – June

It’s Friday! (whoo hoo) It’s Random!  Let’s go!

friday cat

1.  Tuesday I waited around all day for an appointment that got pushed back four times. By the time the two young men arrived to work on the pool, I had conceded the day.  They were overbooked, stressed yet polite, apologizing over and over and  I just didn’t have it in me to pile a layer of anger onto their day.   Hanging around, being at home yet attentive to work, made me feel a bit like this turtle.

google.images.com

google.images.com

2. Later that night I attended our grandson’s baseball game.  I’ve been sick and so this was the first game we were able to get to — chatting with some of the moms, I could sense they were trying to figure out who I belonged to. I pointed to the tall fellow in the bullpen and said, “Well that’s my boy.”  I saw the confusion when they realized none of the wee ones on the team were mine but I was claiming the man.  Then I explained that #2 at bat was our Grandson  — ahh — funny — and a reminder that even though he’s grown, oldest one remains a boy in a Mother’s heart.

Oldest boy herding the cats at baseball

What the Father did, the son does:  oldest boy herding the cats at baseball.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

3. Weather.   A cool front came through Monday and we’ve had the most luscious weather possible — mild, sunny, and low humidity.  Days like these feel like a reward for the endurance test of this past winter.

Amen! google images

Amen! google images

4. The Belmont Stakes race is tomorrow and a group of us are planning to watch it together.  Reading the Racing Form takes me back to my childhood, being at the track with my parents, and feeling the excitement and the grandeur of it all.  Hoping California Chrome can pull a Triple Crown win — but even if he doesn’t — what a story!

Hello ladies! Aren't I something?  Source: www.dailyrepublic.com

Hello ladies! Aren’t I something?
Source: http://www.dailyrepublic.com

5.  In a world of e-invites and virtual everything, I really love getting a hand-written thank you card.  First of all, it’s polite and second, it’s timeless.  When someone acknowledges a gesture of mine, it makes me want to repeat the gesture all over again! And I always say a silent prayer of thanks to the Mom who taught the importance of doing so.

What’s your random 5 for today?  Are you watching horse racing tomorrow?

 

 

Categories: Animals, Faith, Forgiveness, Growth, Home, Opinion, Personal, Random observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random Five Friday

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Christmas Eve, 2013

This was our tree Christmas Eve;  today it looks like it’s been strip-searched.  Still, I’ll leave it up for a few more days just to enjoy the lights.

Christmas has come and gone and, boy, did it go fast.  What I’ll treasure includes:

1. Looks.  The look on our Grandson’s face when we FINALLY got through to the Santa Tracker hotline Christmas Eve and he could ask the question he’d waited to ask, “Um, when exactly is Santa going to be in Michigan?” And their answer, “Well Santa has just crossed the international date line from the Arctic circle and is entering into Canada now, which you know borders the United States; our trackers estimate {{sounds of calculators, blips and bells}} him to arrive in Michigan in.. approximately 200 minutes.” The speed with which he launched himself to bed was incredible!

the grands readying for bed; Christmas Eve, 2013

the grands readying for bed; Christmas Eve, 2013

2.  Being together.  The boys, me and Hubbs, sitting by the fire and laughing but suddenly hearing small feet padding across the living room above and here came wee MJ, teary-eyed, “But Nana, we forgot to put out the Milk & cookies and Santa is going to be so very hungry after that long trip..”  And so we got cookies deployed and milk poured and off she went to fall asleep in my bed with the biggest smile on her face.

3.  Snow.  Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes swirling down from above.   All my peeps tucked into the nest and here came Christmas snow.  Magical.

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Christmas snow 🙂

4.  Sounds.  Hearing snores from her brother across the hall, I slipped into bed next to a wee one who woke and whispered, “Nana, I love you.”  And as her small hand grabbed mine I smiled and cried in the dark, thanking my lucky stars that these little people know, really know, how much they’re loved.

5. Morning. Waking up to an eyeball and a giggle, a million questions and  exclamations of, “He came! Pops (on the couch) wake up! Santa came! Look at our stockings! He ate the cookies! The milk is gone!” and racing through the house to wake everyone up and share the news.

Hand-made blankies from Nana

Hand-made blankies from Nana

To celebrate Jesus’ birthday with one big party and hearing: “Can I open this next?” “Thank you Uncle H for the gifts” “This one’s from me!” “Nana this is so much fun” “Thank you Daddy, I love you so much” “Thank you Pops” and lastly, “we miss Frankie, too.”

Presents and presents and presents

Presents and presents and presents

Mini-Mousing it

Mini-Mousing it

I think Frankie and others were with us; see the Orbs up the stairs?

I think Frankie and others were with us; see the Orbs up the stairs?

A big breakfast together, a bit of time to play and then came time for clothes & boots, jackets zipped and off to Mommy’s for round two.  A big winter’s nap for the rest of us and what lingered .. was love.

The Hooligans lurking in my kitchen .. waiting for French Toast and sausage, bacon and eggs, ham and juice and ... and ... and

My two Hooligans lurking in the kitchen .. waiting for French Toast and sausage, bacon and eggs, ham and juice and … and … and

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
― Angela Schwindt

Care to share your Random 5 from Christmas 2013?

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Musings on a Monday

Well, here we are.   The night before .. the night before Christmas.

All is calm, all is bright. OK, for the most part :).

Hubbs is happily on vacation already but I’m not until tomorrow afternoon; the boys will be finished with work mid-day, and the wee ones … well the wee ones are SPENDING THE NIGHT!

joyous grand-children, Christmas 2012;  an emjayandthem photo

joyous grand-children, Christmas 2012; an emjayandthem photo

And you need to know .. that right there – THAT– is my Christmas gift.

Don’t need a present. Don’t need the tree. Just need my peeps, here with me.

The wrapping’s done, the fridge is stocked.   Whatever we don’t have, well, we won’t be shocked.

We’re  gonna sniggle in and snuggle up, play cards and laugh, sing Christmas carols and say prayers and watch for red noses and roll — roll in the fact that we’re together – thankfully – again.  It’s been a tough year in many ways; a year of growth and a year of losses, too. But, more than anything, there’s gratitude.

Gratitude for the most precious of gifts:  a babe in a manger, bringing hope to the world.

Gratitude for family and comfort, traditions and joy.

And good friends who will be missed by all.

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and Frankie the fat dog was asleep in his lair .." Christmas 2012; an emjayandthem photo

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and Frankie the old dog was asleep in his lair ..” Christmas 2012; an emjayandthem photo

Merry Christmas, friends.  – MJ

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Random Five Friday

Inspired by Dianna at These Days of Mine, I thought I’d play along – on this Friday after Thanksgiving.

1.  No, not shopping. Wait. My mileage reimbursement just landed in my slush account … hmmm … maybe some online deals today?  I see coffee, pie and Amazon in my future :).

2. The best part of yesterday?  Smiling faces, laughter throughout the house,  a kitchen smelling yummy and no one wanting  the day to end.

Playing in the dress up box!

Playing in the dress up box!

being silly in Nana's kitchen

being silly in Nana’s kitchen

3.  It’s cold today but the fresh snow is beautiful, and every tree looks like they’ve been frosted with icing … a very good day to be tucked inside and cozy.

4.  I’m not one to leave dishes in the sink; no matter how late it is or how tired I am, I take care of them because  I’d rather get up and see a clean, shiny sink than a cruddy one. You?

5.  Before yesterday, I had set aside a stack of Christmas Toy fliers from past Sunday papers.  Why? I remember the joy of skimming through the Sears “Wish Book” and poring over all the neat things we dreamed of.  When Grandson A arrived, the first thing he did was grab that stack and ask if he could start circling… and of course I said, “Yes.”  He circled many items, putting his initial next to his selections, all while touted their merits in adorable detail, but it was his special attention to this section that made me beam with pride.  While some would say that my son is just his StepDad, moments like these let me see that the effort he’s invested in this little boy is coming through loud and clear as L-O-V-E.

with a "D" for Dad

with a “D” for Dad

Care to share your “Random Five?”

Categories: Blogging, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

My summer list

Spring’s come late to Michigan; we had snow as recently as two weeks ago. Not surprisingly, everyone around here is thinking ahead to summer.

Asked, “what’s on your summer list?” I found my list rolling off my tongue as though I’d practiced it for days! (maybe some of that’s true).

Lilacs!

they're gonna bloom this week I think!

they’re gonna bloom this week I think!

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy with me at the grill.

Summer Shandy... ah

Summer Shandy… ah

Hanging in the pool till I’m wrinkly and white; cherries, watermelon, corn on the cob and fresh summer peas.

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Michigan cherries … yum!

Tigers baseball on the radio .. outside; play dates with the grand kids.

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making cookies with the Grands

Summer gatherings, skirts, kitten heels and date nights … all under the light of a summer moon. 

just like this one

just like this one

Lacy sweet peonies that take me back to Grandma’s garden.

"Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the fleurs" - Frankie the wonder dog

peonies!

Fresh peach cobblers and Texas Sheet cakes, just because.

Summertime means peach cobbler!

Rich chocolate nutty icing poured onto a delectable warm cake? Yes please!

Rich chocolate nutty icing poured onto a delectable warm cake? Yes please!

The squeals of children filling the backyard.

cousins and cousins and more!

cousins and cousins and more!

A contented old dog reminding me to take my time in the sun, too.

100_2527

Frankie has the relaxing part down-pat.

That’s what I long for this summer.

What’s on your summer list? 

Thanks to Jessie for the inspiration!

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Life, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Love at the table

It was Easter weekend, only a few weeks ago now. We had oldest boy and the wee ones over, plus Grandpa, youngest boy and, of course, Frankie the dog.  Add in me & Hubbs and we had ourselves a full table.  The kitchen was brimming with the scents of ham and roast turkey, double stuffed potatoes, steamed vegetables, salads and desserts.  The table, loaded with place settings and bunnies, was peppered with talk of egg hunts later on.

As we gathered, little MJ, the youngest of the bunch, leaned over and asked, “Nana, can we pray?”

“Of course we can,” I said.  Seeing her delighted smile, I asked “Would you like to say the blessing, Luvee?”

Shyly she nodded.

Ignoring her brother’s eye roll, she took his hand firmly in hers and watched as he took Pops’ hand. She reached for me and I, in turn, reached for Grandpa who reached for oldest boy who reached for youngest who reached for Hubbs/Pops. Together, we completed a circle.  Even Frankie, lying at Grandpa’s feet, was in on it.

Three and half years old, she waited for everyone to bow their heads before she started to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little to ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong.”

And with that, she clapped, we cheered, and the love at the table was palpable.

The singer with her Easter "Pack-Pack"

The singer with her Easter “Pack-Pack”

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Reach out and touch …

Oldest boy popped in with the grand-kids one night last week.  What a sweet surprise!  There’s nothing lovelier than seeing his beaming face as they wrap their tiny arms around my neck or call out, “Nana!”

Little MJ, now 2, has a mind of her own. She follows big brother around like the shadow she is and wants to try everything he does.  So when he happened to notice my little collection of curio items, she stopped to have a look, too.

Now, it’s not like they’ve never been here. There’s just been other things to play with.. and we’ve been outside a lot.  There’s part of me that probably should have put these items up and away. But .. I haven’t. And I don’t think I will.

See I think it’s important that they learn to how to carefully handle such delicate items as they look at them in wonder. I did. I remember treasures displayed in my grandparents’ houses and I remember being told to be careful. And I was.

Miss M.J. "discovering" Nana's music boxes and trinkets

It’s important that not everything be childproofed because the world .. isn’t. I think it’s just as valuable that they learn how to navigate in it, how to hold something fragile in their tiny hands and how not to be reckless.

Just like my Grandma’s or Nana’s homes, my house is comfortable but lived in.  Our furniture is functional and well used.   There are no obvious dangers, cleaning supplies are up and away. But a few delicate items are on display because they mean something to me and I like to see them.

See that blue porcelain dish she’s examining?  A former boss brought it to me all the way from Russia.  It’s even inscribed in Russian. Neat.

That little tea pot just behind her right hand? That’s from my sappiest of sisters.  The one who sends cards infused with sentimental messages that make me cry, decorated with flowers, kittens and sparkles.

There are tea sets, music boxes and figurines and all of them – every single one  – mean something to me.

But the sweetest one of all is that little metal dish in the lower left corner, see the one with the green ball on the lid?   That’s MJ’s favorite and mine as well.  Why?  Because that – that was my Nana’s and she passed it on to me.  It’s a music box from pre-WW II days and yes it still works.  I don’t know the name of the tiny little song that plays but I do know this … I remember carefully holding it in my hands when I was just a girl. I remember being oh so thrilled to wind the key and the delight that followed when that familiar tune plinked away. I’ve had it with me since she passed away… 39 years now.

And someday, little MJ,  her brother and any future grandchildren will inherit my little collection of music boxes & trinkets.  And they won’t have to wonder what they are or where they came from.  They’ll already know.

How about you? Do you have special treasures that take you back to a certain time & place?  And … do you share them?

 * * *

How will our children know who they are if they do not know that from which they came?


Categories: Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Opinion, Relationships, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Unabashed delight

one of my favorite pics: baby MJ and big brother A .. taken Spring 2010

Grandchildren fill a space in your heart that you never knew was empty.  It’s true.

Being with them is like getting a time travelers ticket back to our boys being little; days of juice boxes, fruit snacks, Legos, Ninja Turtles and trains. Days of Play-doh, fort building and battles with light sabers.  It puts me right in there with “couch beds,” cinnamon toast, sleepovers and marveling at a simple flashlight’s ability to elicit hours of giggles.

Unlike when our boys were tiny, I am not as harried now.  Yes, I still work full-time and maintain our home but today … when the grand babes are with me ….  I completely roll in their being.  Laundry sits and supper waits.  I indulge in conversations, taking note of dimpled hands and how our grandson’s cowlicks swirl up in the back of his hair.  When I coax a smile and a giggle out of wee MJ, I grin like a drunken fool.  When either reaches their arms up to me, I melt and I give in, every time.

I love to let them “help” me water the flowers (and each other), brush the dog, and cook.  They like to measure and stir and, most of all, taste.  I enjoy answering questions, explaining things, and reading to them. Cuddling up on the couch together, and singing along to a favorite theme song, is some of the most cozy time I know.

baby MJ, giggling with her Daddy on my birthday. And that's my bracelet she's got!

I often reflect on who they’ll be one day and if they’ll remember me as fondly as I do my Grandmothers.  I’m lucky for I had two; two that couldn’t be more different.

There was Grandma F, who lived in the big farmhouse less than a mile away.  She, maker of cake donuts, fry-pan burgers, “Aunt Mary’s” cookies and the world’s softest lefse.  She graciously welcomed company and didn’t hesitate to invite me in, sweaty and smelling of horses, to stay for a “bit of” lunch, tea and treats with her and Grandpa.  Grandma was pretty and feminine, shapely and modest. It is from her that I developed not just my love of cooking but an ardent appreciation for … jewelry; over the years, I admired her pendants, brooches and bracelets.  I saw her transform from housewife to “dressy” Grandma and I wanted to emulate her. Lucky me, a few were passed on and yes I wear them.

A. with Frankie, the old dog.

Then there was Nana M, sleek and elegant; Nana wore pantsuits and turtlenecks, got her hair “done” and looked like a movie star.  She favored fragrances like “White Shoulders,”  and “Elizabeth Arden.”  Nana did things like floor workouts and stretches, stuff I’d never seen a Grandmother do;  she was slender and sophisticated, smart and beautiful and died from cancer when I was 9. Her passing marked the first time I ever saw my mother cry.

So every time I am greeted by the eager, excited faces of our grandchildren, I am reminded at how quickly dimples depart those tiny hands, and how swiftly children grow.  It won’t be long before they will be way too cool to hang out with Nana. But here’s the rub … I’m smarter than that. This ole fox has it all figured out:   I am treasuring and savoring every minute and I am … making my mark.

I only have to look at our own two boys filling the doorways to know how quickly it all flies past us.

“Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap.” -Doug Larson

Categories: Attitude, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery | Tags: , | 23 Comments

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