Saturday, August 25, 2007

GREAT Grandparents

I kept my grandchildren this week (Jacob starts preschool on Monday) and my parents have been here the last couple of days. They really helped me out, especially when I had a LONG doctor's appointment on Thursday. Jacob and Lauren don't get to spend much time with these great grandparents, since they live in Canada. But the way they quickly warmed up to them made it hard to believe the visits are rare. When I told Jacob I was leaving to go to the doctor, he just said, "Okay, bye." Lauren immediately pulled a book out of the case and took it straight to Grandpa. I remember having one great grandmother when I was small, but I don't remember much about her. Are we having kids at a younger age? (I don't think so.) Are we just living longer? My kids--ages 29 and 27--just lost their last great grandmother last year! My grandchildren have 8 great grandparents. How wonderful to have so many people that think you are the most precious children in the world! Great grandparents truly are just that...GREAT.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Where is Neal when I need him?

This morning as I was performing my routine chore of emptying the skimmer basket, I was greeted with an unexpected and unwanted visitor. I don't know if he was poisonous or not, and I'll admit he was small, but a snake is a SNAKE. With rubber gloves and LONG tongs, I managed to remove him and promptly cut off his head. I think it surprised my parents (my dad stood by for moral support) and to be honest, I surprised myself. I actually stayed quite calm. My parents reminded me of the time in 5th grade when I was digging up a plant for a science project and found a worm. I freaked out and screamed so loud Mom & Dad thought for sure I was being attacked by an ax murderer. I've come a long way, baby.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jacob's Jargon

Last weekend: while playing in the pillows with Papa, Jacob rubs Neal's head and says, "Nice haircut."

Yesterday: getting ready to go to Papa Hill's, I'm trying to explain to Jacob which Papa we're going to see. He finally lights up and says, "Papa Haircut?" No. The other one.

This morning: putting on his sandals to go out and play, his little toe ends up on the outside of the sandal, to which he says, "What the heck?"

Watching a TV commercial: "I not like girls." "You don't?" "No, I not like girls." "Well, I'm a girl." "Noooooo, you not a girl, you Nana!"

Friday, August 17, 2007

Walking

There's no stopping her now. Lauren has been taking steps since she was 9 months old, and now, at 10 months, crawling is no longer an option. She stayed with me today and her biggest challenge was making the slight step up from the dining room to the kitchen. Her determination was obvious. She approached it slowly and methodically, and each time ended up on her diaper-padded rear end. Standing in the kitchen, next to the slope, she would stare at it and stomp her left foot 7 or 8 times in a row, reminding me of a golfer taking his practice swings. A light bulb finally came on and she resorted to steadying herself with the brick partition. By the end of the day she had successfully stepped up into the kitchen ONCE without falling. Maybe next time she'll conquer the stepping down part. Here she is, still in her jammies. Linda, it's a good thing you gave her the 12-month size--she'll soon grow out of them.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

NaCl


To some of you this is probably old news. But to us country folks, this is a major step in the direction of high technology. If you're a veteran reader of my blog, you know of the frustrations I've had in keeping enough chlorine in my pool. The "once-a-week" shock treatment became a "once-ever-other-day" routine, despite the floater of chlorine tablets that remained in the pool constantly. We've spent close to $800 in chemicals alone during the two and a half months we've lived here. When my sister visited from Canada she asked if I had considered a "salt water pool." Um...never heard of it. So began the investigation. All I really wanted to know was--will it solve my chlorine problem and will I save money? After an indepth chemistry lesson from a pool tech on what elements make up salt and how salt can generate chlorine, blah, blah, blah, I knew more than necessary to make the decision. I NEEDED one of this generators! The systems went on sale last week and they were offering free installation. Woo hooooo! Benefits: (a) salt is cheap! and rarely has to be added (b) need more chlorine?--just turn up the dial! (c) easy on the skin, hair and eyes (d) silky, soft water (e) no faded swimsuits (f) is it my imagination or is the water more sparkly, clear and beautiful?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Thoughts from a 3-year-old

I've decided to try to occasionally post some of the sweet, comical, and sometimes questionable words that come from the mouth of my 3-year-old grandson and the weird conversations we sometimes have. This is more for me...so that I don't forget these precious moments.

While reading a book with Lauren on my lap and Jacob perched on the arm of the chair: "Nana, what's 'at?" "It's my fingernail." "What's it doing?" "It's just laying there, being a fingernail." "Oh."

After reading several books in a row: "Good job, Nana."

While holding up a fish caught in our pond: "Papa...check it out!"

While reading The Rainbow Fish (we read a lot, can you tell?) and looking at all the "under the sea" pictures: "That's wike funbob squarepants!"

Potty training: (Got the pee pee thing down, but working on the poopy thing.) Nana, while removing the poopy diaper: "Jacob, next time let's go poop in the potty. You know, Daddy poops in the potty, momma poops in the potty, Nana poops in the potty, Papa poops in the potty." Jacob, after thoughtful consideration, "No.....Papa not poop in the potty."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Reflections

Tomorrow is my little sister's birthday. If you asked me to describe my sister in one word, I would say, "strong." As much as we would've liked to protect the baby of the family, she has had to face some heart-wrenching adversities. Sandra's first baby was full-term stillborn. As a family, we raced to her side to offer comfort. She ultimately comforted us. God blessed her with two more beautiful children, but when the second of those was born, Sandra was separated from her husband. She grew stronger. Strong enough to patiently wait for her husband to work through his battles and seek forgiveness. She forgave.

When Sandra was a child (9 -12) my older sister and I were teenagers and constantly ridiculed her. We were "cool" and she was "stupid." She couldn't WALK through a room--she had to do cartwheels, or sommersaults, which was totally annoying. On long trips from Canada to Oklahoma we would banish her to the front seat, as far away from us as was physically possible in a 4-door sedan. (Deep down she really preferred the arm rest between Mom and Dad--this was before the seat belt laws, of course.) We made fun of her singing along to the radio. Remember "Love Train" Sandra? Mom even had a little heart-to-heart with us one day and warned that we were going to cause her to have an inferiority complex. I prefer to think that we had a part in making her tough....strong.

I don't get to spend much time with my sister any more. She now lives in Michigan. But there is a bond there that only sisters experience. When we do get together, we become giddy schoolgirls again. It's not unusual for us to get an acute case of the giggles for no apparent reason. Once it starts, it's anyone's guess how long it will last. Our husbands simply look at each other and roll their eyes...."here we go again."

God gives us people in our lives that make us better. People we can look up to and say, "I want to be like her some day." Sandra is one of those people. Happy Birthday Little Sis.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Today

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I receive numerous emails from friends that are the dreaded "forwards." When I'm really busy, which is most of the time, I tend to delete without even opening them. When I do open them, I usually just read them if they're short. The long ones, no matter how touching or how true they are, just don't get a chance. If I have time, I will occasionally read a really long one--maybe not word for word, but I get the idea. I hate to tell those of you who regularly send me these forwards...to be forwarded to my address list...it ain't happenin'. Today I perused a "forward" that was really sweet, but what impacted me most was a little phrase tacked on at the bottom, sort of as an afterthought. It read:

"Learn from yesterday...live for today...hope for tomorrow."

So much wisdom in that little phrase. I personally know people that carry a huge load of guilt for their "yesterdays". Because of this, it's an impossibility to "live for today" or for that matter "hope for tomorrow." I've been through the guilt phase and have finally moved on. My problem seems to be the second and third parts of this saying. My obsession with "hope for tomorrow" doesn't allow me to fully "live for today." Contentment is difficult for me unless I have something big to look forward to. So today, I'm glad I opened that email and perservered to the bottom of the page. This is my pledge. Today I will live---not just exist---but live, knowing I have learned from yesterday and have hope for tomorrow.