Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Spring Snow

Just another blog to document the late Spring snow we experienced yesterday.  The snow began falling soon after breakfast and didn't stop until evening.  My story is the same as every other blogger in northeast Oklahoma.  Our well-laid-out plans for the day were abruptly changed. Neal trekked out to the barn to find some dry wood to build a fire.  We got chores and paperwork done that had been put on the back burner all week.  Supper was chili and cornbread.  We lost electricity for over an hour in the afternoon and were just in the process of discussing dragging out the generator, when the lights (and TV--Yay!) came back on.  The snow was perfect.  Big fat wet flakes that, on top of the rain we had Thursday and Friday, quenched our thirsty ground.  The good kind of snow that makes an excellent snowman like the one in Jacob and Lauren's front yard, complete with gloves and a cowboy hat.  And now, 24 hours later, it's all but gone.  Perfect.

Jeremy and Trista decided to go ahead and attend a wedding last night, so the grandkids spent the night with us.

Lauren -- rocking and reading to her baby.

Neal and Jacob, watching The Incredibles.

Here are some of the noteworthy sound bites from the evening.

Lauren, pretending to be on the phone:  Helllloooooo!  Oh, hi Katie, what you doing?  Tha's cool.

Jacob, perusing the Oriental Trading Company catalog:  I want that, and that and that.  I SOOOO want that!

Lauren, after Jacob had set the table and there was an extra plate left over:  "What's that name? "  Me:  "That's just an extra plate."  Lauren:  "It's Cwampa Smif's?"

Jacob, waking up this morning to be swept immediately off to his house so we can get to church:  "I want some of those crackers shaped like bears."  Me:  "I don't have any, I'll have to buy some."  Jacob:  "Go buy some NOW!"  Me, as I'm putting on his shoes:  "Jacob, let's not start that this morning."  Jacob, sweetly:  "Nana!  I like your lips.  Where did you get them?"  (I guess he doesn't see me wearing lipstick very often.)  

Two milestones were achieved last night.  1) Lauren slept all night WITHOUT her fuzzy pink blanket.  Of course she fell asleep on the pallet we'd made on the floor in front of the fire for all four of us to watch Aladdin, so she was sound asleep when put in her bed. And 2) Jacob slept all night on the pallet at the foot of our bed, never waking up to crawl in bed with us.  Awwwww.  They grow up so fast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reality Check

So as it turns out, shopping for the "prescribed" shoes wasn't NEARLY the fun I had it built up to be.  Of course, when your feet are shaped like this:

you can ill afford to get picky.  

Little did I know that this would be a major pride-swallowing day....gulp!

Do orthotic shoes really have to be this ugly?  Really????  I left the store feeling like I should be on my way to join the circus in my miniature-sized car. was hard not to trip over the ginormous toes of these monstrosities.

My cute, stylish Underarmour shoes next to my new clod-hoppers.

And naturally, I can't wear athletic shoes with every ensemble in my closet so I had to search for at least one pair of dress shoes.

Oh yeah.  These are much more practical than...

say, my favorite "biker boots."

And you won't likely see me sporting these gems this summer:

After such a humiliating experience, I thought I deserved a QT frozen cappuccino.  On second thought, if there's anything worse than a 50+ year old woman in orthotics, it's a CHUBBY 50+ year old woman in orthotics.  No cappuccino for this clown.

I don't know why I'm so upset about this.  Do I think the paparazzi is going to catch me in my orthotics and splash my picture all over People Magazine on the "worst dressed list?"  Is my fear that my friends will shun me...."we would invite Lita, but she'll probably be wearing those grotesque shoes..."  

Oh, I want so badly to have more substance than that.  To not care what other people think.  To prioritize what's best for my body over being in vogue.  Oh Lord, give me strength!  

Maybe I'm just concerned that when I return to the doctor, she'll say, "well that didn't work, guess it's time for surgery."  And I'll have spent $300 on shoes and inserts and 2 months walking around looking like Ronald McDonald.

Until then, when you see me....keep your eyes up.  Please.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesdays with Lauren

It is a beautiful sight to see your son dressing his daughter for the day. The way they anticipate one another's next move, the synchronization of the arms coming out of the pajama sleeves and into the t-shirt sleeves...the peacefulness of seeing her sitting on the bathroom counter while Daddy brushes her hair and sweeps the top into it's tiny rubber band....and the sheer wonder of watching Daddy pick out the bow that best matches today's outfit. Very heart-warming. But it's also a very sad day. My last "Tuesdays with Lauren." My part-time job begins next week and I will be working on Tuesdays. Is that why Lauren sang Jesus Loves Me in her sweetest voice on the way to BSF this morning? I think so. It was sheer torture. Thankfully, I had volunteered to help in the Children's Program this morning (which is why I didn't WORK today), and the 3-yr.-olds kept me very busy and my mind off the fact that it was my last BSF. But when I picked Lauren up from her class and told Miss LeeAnn that it was her last day, we both fell apart. Miss LeeAnn gathered her up in her arms and I didn't think she was ever going to let go. It has been a very special six months and I'm so lucky to have shared Tuesdays with my precious granddaughter.

After lunch, we made a trip to the foot doctor. Lauren was an angel and didn't budge from her chair throughout the entire exam (including x-rays). Granted, she rummaged through every nook and cranny of my purse and exposed every credit card, mini-pad and Preparation-H suppository to the whole medical staff, and wrote out a few checks in my checkbook...but that's okay, it's our last Tuesday.

I was relieved to learn that surgery may not be necessary. We'll start with new shoes. NEW SHOES! I've always known that new shoes could solve many a dilemma, but Neal never believed me. I was given a list of stores that sold shoes that I needed to try and New of my favorite on the list. The doc said that there were stylish, fashionable shoes as well, and I'm looking forward to shopping tomorrow for my "prescription." Of course, I have to keep reminding myself that this is a PODIATRIST not AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, assuring me that I can still wear "cute" shoes. We'll see. Did you every wonder if your feet were still growing? When I got married, I wore a 5-1/2. Now I wear 6-1/2 and sometimes 7. Found out today, that as we get older (cringe) our arches start falling so our foot base takes up more space! Who knew! Probably shouldn't have spent so many summers in flip-flops.

Even though Lauren fell asleep on the drive home, she woke up quickly when we arrived at the house. She had already gotten out the Boggle game and insisted that we "play." I began spelling out her name, looking for the right letters and, more to myself, but still out loud, said, "Let's see...L....A...." and she chimed in "...U...." Coincidence? I think not.

She always refers to her baby as he/him. Seems odd to me. Anyway, she had to take care of him.

You have to squeeze really hard to get the Diaper Rash Cream to come out.

I guess it's not necessary to take off the pj's before applying said Cream.

Feeding time.
Notice the chic blessit (bracelet) that she also wore to the doctor's office.

Shaking the bottle.

Lauren, thank you for making Tuesday the bright spot of my week and for giving me an overabundance of blog material. I love you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Soccer Blues

Yesterday was Jacob's first soccer game.  Oh, the excitement of donning the new uniform, lacing up the new cleats, dribbling the shiny soccer ball to the playing field!  Ah, good times.

Go Jacob!

Run Jacob, run!!!

Whew!  Three minutes into the's time for a drink!

Starting to lose steam.

"Nobody will let me score."

"Piercen, you cover me, and I'll take it in to the net."

"Go tell Baylor to let me score."

"Baylor, here's the plan....."

"Okay, one more time...oops wrong way."

Now, I know that a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, but I would've given anything for my new camera to have audio. Here are some of the clips you would've heard:

"I hate soccer."

Coach:  "Is everyone having fun?"
Jacob:  "I'm not having fun!"

Jeremy:  "You are the only one crying.  Look out there, no one else is crying.  Just you.  Now quit crying or I'll give you something to cry about."

Jacob:  "I'm never playing soccer again."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesdays with Lauren

This week is Spring Break, therefore no Bible Study Fellowship.  I might have gone ahead and taken Lauren for the day if it weren't for two things.  1) I'm starting my training for my new part-time job earlier than anticipated (Thursday) leaving me 637 things I had planned to accomplish before this transition and 2) I had agreed to babysit my friend's foster baby all evening Tuesday night OR as Trista put it "cheat on my grandkids."  So I've decided to recount our "Saturday Evening with Lauren" instead.

As you know from a previous post, Neal and I spent ALL DAY Saturday fighting fires and burning brush (among other things).  I came in at the end of the long day, took a shower, then sat down to rest my aching back and legs, when the phone rang.  Jeremy wanted to know if we would watch Lauren while he and Trista went to the H & G show.  Are you kidding me?  I know the energy it takes to "play" with my granddaughter and the constant relocation from chair to floor to rocking chair to floor to reaching for the play doh, and on and on.  But rather than blurting out my resistance, I deferred to Papa, informing him that she would be HIS for the evening.  He was all up for the challenge.  (Jeff refers to him as the Energizer Bunny.)  I'm glad he agreed, 'cause it turned out to be a most enjoyable and blog-worthy adventure. 

We picked Lauren up and headed to Rib Crib for dinner.  All the way Lauren was singing, "I want to get away....I want to flyyyyyyyy."  I couldn't agree with you more baby girl.

We had a relatively peaceful dinner.  Lauren pleaded a few times to be removed from her high chair, but we held firm.  On Trista's advice, we ordered "sliders" (two very small cheese burgers) and fries.  Papa squeezed a rather ample mound of ketchup on her plate and she started out dipping her fries in the ketchup and ate a few.  Then she reverted to dipping her pinky in the red stuff and licking it off.  Ahhhh.  That was so much better!  We kept coaxing her to eat her burgers and she finally took one of the meat patties and scraped off some of the melted cheese, then dipped IT (the melted cheese) into the ketchup.  I think she finished one of the meat patties and 5 or 6 fries, but the rest of supper totally consisted of ketchup.  Neal was eating ribs and Lauren was quick to let him know when he had sauce on his chin or in the corner of his mouth.  She would point at his face and say, "Papa...wipey."

Our next destination was Academy's in search of a new pair of work boots for Neal.  She was good at the store and was very interested in all the people trying on shoes.  (She LOVES shoes.)  At the checkout, she picked up a KitKat, and not thinking it through, we obliged.  I think most of it ended up in her stomach, but there was still a LOT of melted chocolate on the face and hands.  So, Jeremy & Trista, in case you were wondering...she had ketchup and a KitKat for supper.

All throughout the evening, Lauren kept pushing up her long sleeves.  I was wondering if she was hot, but soon realized that she needed to show off her sparkly bracelet.  Duh, Nana.  As she talked, she was very animated and couldn't stop watching the way the light bounced of her jewels.  Once we were back at home, she took the decorative pillow that hangs on my end table knob and put it over her arm like a purse.  Then she found my old glasses that I'd worn during the big burn and put them on.  She looked hilarious!  But in her mind, she was a princess!  She talked and talked, moving her arm as much as possible to get the full effect of the bracelet.  But the glasses were the funniest.  She looked all around the room, like she was Alice in Wonderland.  Reaching her hand out to touch things that were a foot away, bending down to touch the floor, but not getting within 6" of the floor.  When she started walking, she lifted her leg high in the air, as I'm sure she felt like she was walking uphill.  We laughed til we cried!

Finally, winding down, we started in on the book reading.  She loves books and loves for me to read to her.  But after awhile, she takes over and wants to do the "reading."  One particular book, "How Tall is God?" is a rather large book, in size.  She was reading it to me, and I was trying to help her hold the enormous book.  But she wanted none of that.  Every time the book would start to fall, I would try discreetly to balance it with my finger tips, and she would immediately say, "No, non't hold it!"  Neal and I happened to have the dictionary out while working on our Bible lesson for Sunday.  She decided we needed to read it.  As she turned pages, I randomly picked out words and read the definitions.  When she becomes a Rhodes Scholar, I'll take all the credit.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tulsa Workshop

Getting very pumped about the Tulsa Workshop.

Mark your calendars--Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 26-28.  Can't wait for my annual fix!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Light & Variable Winds

A perfect forecast after the light snow we had on Thursday.  It's that time of year again.  Time to burn!  We did this last year with the help of our neighbor and friend Alan.  Now we're old pros, so yeah, we can handle this ourselves, thank you very much.

The PLAN was to burn this fence row, and be rid of the dried grass and leaves that had taken up residence over the winter.  

This was NOT the plan.

"Light" is good.  "Variable"...not so much.  

Green Acres is the place to be...

Farm livin' is the life for me!

Land spreadin' out so far and wide....

Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.

We were not prepared for the sudden wind shifts and found ourselves in trouble a few times.  Suffice it to say, pretty much our entire farm has been burnt off.  And we managed somehow not to lose any buildings, fences or vehicles.  High five!

However, I think Oliver...I mean, Neal... got a l-i-t-t-l-e close to the garage.

Actually, Jeremy had come over and started helping us.  My ADD kicked in mid-burn and I got side-tracked picking and piling up limbs and brush, and burning the pile.  Then my OCD took over and I couldn't bypass even the smallest twig.  Blast my perfectionism!  Jeremy was trying to keep me focused when Neal was burning the North pasture and the wind changed direction. He was yelling for help, but we were way beyond ear shot.

Even Gracie got in on the act 'cause she couldn't stand to see us out there having all the fun without her.  She proceeded to roll around in the charred fields and completely camoflaged all signs of her beautiful white coat (while I saw the 25 bucks I'd spent on her bath go right up in smoke....pun intended). 

Our marriage survived the day of burning, much like these daffodils.

You may be wondering how I had time to take all these pictures when the fire was out of control much of the day.  Well, let's just say I have my priorities.

Doo doo ta doo doo... bunh bunh
Doo doo ta doo doo... bunh bunh
Doo doo ta doo doo
Doo doo ta doo doo
Doo doo ta doo doo... Bunh Bunh!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March Snow

Just yesterday I scheduled my pool opening.  Just yesterday!  

I'm a very forward-thinking individual.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Highs and Lows

I know, I know, it's Tuesday.  LAUREN's day.  And I promise I will get to that pronto.  Bear with me.

High:  Neal is always repeating to me conversations that he has with Mike (my son's F-I-L) on their drive to and from work each day.  He likes to exaggerate my culinary skills and rub it in about what a good dinner I had lovingly prepared for him the night before, describing each dish in such detail it would make Martha Stewart's mouth water.  Last night he told me that he had bragged to Mike that I had spotted a deer in a tree line on 97 and pointed it out to him.  In fact, not really believing me (I often pretend I see deer, just to watch his reaction) he stopped the truck, turned around and retraced our route, and confirmed there were, in fact, three deer in the brush.  Mike was in disbelief.  Neal's chest swelled in pride.  All these years...if I'd only known....

Low:  I realized last night that I had eaten THREE biscuits yesterday.  An early doctor's appointment left me no time for breakfast, so while waiting on my prescription I made a quick stop at McD's for a sausage, egg & biscuit.  Then made biscuits for supper and after eating one and a half, decided to go ahead and finish off the other half.  And that's all I have to say about that. 

Tuesdays with Lauren

Once Lauren has conned me into letting her do something I NEVER would have let my own kids do, she does not forget it.  Instead, she thinks it the norm to be able to play in my make-up drawer, eat grated cheese from a bowl and play in my purse all the way to Bible study.  Besides wanting to take all my credit cards into class with her, and the fact that "Shake Your Booty" took the place of  "Jesus Loves Me/Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on the morning drive, all was smooth.  Her teachers said she had a great morning, and apparently they weren't lying, because she really wasn't ready to leave.  Miss LeeAnn finished the book she was reading to her while I stood patiently in the hallway.  C'mon sweetie, you're supposed to come running to Nana with your arms held high, ecstatic that I've come to rescue you!

At Janet's office, Lauren was less mischievous than last week (besides the fact that Janet got smart and locked her top drawer in a flash when we arrived) and was content to remove all the paper clips from the tray and line them up in a row...big ones together...little ones together.  She's been watching her OCD brother. ;-)

We made a trip to Atwoods, where I told her that if she was good, we'd get gum.  She preferred the big honkin' orange riding lawn mower.  (No, I didn't buy it for her.  I also forgot to buy gum.)  When we got home, Lauren wanted to give Gracie her "treat" but then quickly showed her back through the gate.  She has little patience for the 45 pound Basset jumping up and knocking her down.

That's enough fun and games, Gracie, now back in the pen you go!

Posing for me while I play with my camera.

After lunch we made a few play-doh aliens before reading our standard 4 to 5 books before nap.

I think the Daylight Savings Time has done a number on her.  She was not her usual, cooperative self when it came to naptime.  And it's not so much crying, it's the looks she can give you!  I blame them on Trista, but sometimes I see a mirror image and I shoot the look right back at her.  Yeah, you got nuttin' on me, girlfriend.

Trista came early, after a conference with Jacob's teacher, and we had to wake Lauren from her nap.  She was none too happy about that either!  After prying my Gap and Express card from her tight little fist (oh, Jeremy, you've got some trying years ahead), they were off.  Another Tuesday with Lauren in the books.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tuesdays with Lauren

Two weeks ago I was in Mexico.  Last week I was coughing uncontrollably and lay on the couch with an ice bag on my head all day.  So after missing two weeks of BSF and Tuesdays with Lauren, it was good to get back into the routine.  When I picked her up this morning, Trista said that all she could talk about all morning was "goin' to Bible."  She sang all the way...a medley of Jesus Loves Me and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  I'm sure it was a symphony to God's ears.  On the way home she said, "Go to Nana's house?"  Yep, goin' to Nana's house.  "See Gwampa Smith?"  Oh, sorry honey, Gwampa and Gwamma went back to Canada today.  Oh yeah, we had a great visit with my parents.  One night, we went to Jeremy 'n Trista's and when we walked through the door, Lauren ignored us all and ran straight for my dad, screaming "Gwampa!!!!"  After that, I don't think Dad even needed the plane to fly high all the way back to Canada.

Before naptime we, as usual, read a few books.  In the middle of "Duck Wants to Swim" (a pop-up book) the dog that should pop up was torn out a long time ago by little Lauren's quick hands.  We always make some comment on that page about how the dog was torn out, and how sad that we can't see the dog anymore.  This time, Lauren said, "Awwwwww, where's the dog?"  To which I said, "Remember, you tore him out."  And she said, "No, YOU did."  Next book--"I Am a Monster."  Now about half-way through this book, part of a page was torn out by little Jacob a long time ago.  It's still readable, but obvious that part of the page is missing.  When we got to that page, Lauren said, "Oh no, is torn."  I said, "Yeah, Jacob tore that when he was just a baby." Lauren replied, "No, YOU tored it."  I'm getting blamed for everything today.  Maybe that explains why after putting puzzles together today, she warned me, "Non't mess it up, Nana."  I'll sure try.

I have a new camera, which I played with today, taking several pictures of Lauren.  NONE of them turned out good.  

My attempt.  (Must keep practicing)

Trista's shot, using my camera the night before.
She's much better at this photography thing than me.