Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You just have to ask...

The other day little Caroline came in asking to see the studio.

So Sam took her up to it (it's above our garage) . . .

 She looks right at home at the sound board, doesn't she?

Why did she want to see it?
Well, she had been listening to a CD Will and Bailey had made for her and her brother and sister of children's songs and she began asking her mother how they made it.
Her mother told her they made it in our studio.
So she wanted to see where it was made.

Talk about a curious, inquisitive mind!

She is always learning!

Oh, and she taught herself how to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star!!"
I mean it.
(The picture I took of her playing it was too blurry to post.)

Caroline just turned 6 in December.

Well, being curious, inquisitive and ever-learning must run in the family.

Every one of the people in this next picture is a ever-learner . . .

That's my cousin Jim (whom we call 'Tennessee Jim'), my mother, Uncle Warren (Mother's little brother and her only living sibling, and father to Tennessee Jim), and my husband Sam.

Uncle Warren is an A&M graduate and an aeronautical engineer (I think that's the title).  He's also an accomplished artist; learning to paint in his later years and winning art contests around Tennessee, AND he sells his artwork for hundreds of dollars!
(I'm sorry I don't have a picture to show you.)

Anyway, he is a true connoisseur of life.

AND of pralines.  

He knows a good praline when he takes a bite of one. 

And he can diligently find recipe for a good one ... and make it.
When he was down couple of weeks ago he found a praline recipe (from my Aunt Ida) in Mother's recipe file (he had a recipe at home, but it was in Tennessee).  He and Mother went to Kroger for the ingredients, and long story short, we've all gained a bit of weight.   

Fortunately I took a picture right before I devoured... 
He'd given each of us (that were sitting at the above table) our own packages of it, in ziplock sandwich bags.
I had never tasted a better praline.
(As Uncle Warren would tell you, every praline isn't created equal.  Some are just sugar.)

I guess I should have made my new poll including pralines. 
Instead it's about whose concert would you rather attend.  
Please vote. (upper left)
(Soon I'll poll one including pralines.)
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In closing, and on a TOTALLY different note, here are some (quirky) quotes I like by Steven Wright....

Sponges grow in the ocean. That just kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn't happen.

I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.

I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, "Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours." He said, "Yes, but not in a row."
Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country.

Those made ME chuckle anyway.

Have a good day.






Saturday, February 23, 2013

On this very day....

... years ago, this little girl was born...
Is she not precious?

Well, she STILL IS!!!

Here she is in more recent days...
(She's the wife and mother in the picture.)

Here's her son decorating the wrapping paper for her gift I gave her yesterday...
Look closely and you can see the rocket he drew, and 'now' he's working on a dinosaur,
or maybe a ship.
(Little Anna did the art work on the upper left side of the package.)

Speaking of Anna, is this next picture not the spitting image of her?

And yet it's not Anna! 
You could have fooled me! 
Her mother found that as a birthday card and brought it to me yesterday. 
 I was amazed.



 Here's the real Anna...
I love it when she puts pretty stickers on my hand.

Today she's helping her mother celebrate a birthday!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELIZABETH!!!

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Speaking of birthdays, this little baby had a birthday today....
Well, that picture was taken three years ago.


This next one was taken this week!... 
He's the one on the left, with aspirations to be the one on the right.

Happy Birthday, Sawyer!!!


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There's another reason today is special (besides the birthdays), and I hope to tell you about that later.

But for now, it's SATURDAY NIGHT!!!
And I'm getting ready to get ready for bed!!!!

(I like getting older.)

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I put up a new poll (upper right) last night.
I know that "None of the above" would be a good choice for this poll,
but I didn't want it to get all the votes.
(That's for you, Bobbie! - Ha!)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

More whimsy...

From LoneStar Antiques (5605 Denton Highway, Haltom City, TX)....










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I'm changing the background of the blog (again).  This time it's because I can't see well how many votes are on my poll.   And I HAVE to see!  I don't want to add them up myself!

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Finally, here is a quote I really like....
"The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them."
- Queen Victoria

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Killing time

I went to Garden Ridge the other day and it was kind of depressing.
Have you been to a Garden Ridge lately?


I think I was the only shopper in that whole huge place. 
And nothing appealed to me, so I left.

Oh, there were lots of pretty things there, but I was really just killing time, and not needing anything, so none of it looked appealing enough to buy... and I didn't feel obligated to buy anything (like I do sometimes, in some places - which is pathetic, I admit.)

Lately I've had some 'killing time' in my life.
Some margin.
Some 'going-to-Garden-Ridge-time'.

It's been sweet.

I remember when I was in the throes of motherhood and wifehood and preacher-wife-hood, and people-pleaser-hood, etc., etc., and I was almost always exhausted.
I remember having headaches, and eyelid twitching, and bad attitudes.

Thankfully I knew enough to know that I needed to stop the world and get off for a while.
And I did.

Oh, with little children, you can't completely stop the world, but you CAN stop some of the madness in it.
I really think so.

You can let your standards down.
You can just sit and play with your kids for a while.... while the house needs vacuumed and the dishes accumulate in the sink.

I vividly remember sitting on the floor in our living room in Chattanooga, Oklahoma and having each child get on my back and let me rock them back and forth. I remember looking at their little hands as I held those hands while we rocked. It somehow made me realize that they were just little tiny tykes who enjoyed rocking back and forth on their mommy's back.
It was so simple. And so fun.
And it made me so happy, their laughing, and their wanting to do it over and over.

It was just play time.
Nobody was learning anything.
Or producing anything.

And it makes me smile to think about it.

My point (not that I need to have one) is that sometimes you (I) just need to kill time.
We need to just spend time on the floor with our kids, or great nieces and nephew.
Or our dog.

Or just sit in the room doing nothing.

We so don't need to fill every moment.

Some moments are just here to BE IN.... and smile.

That's what I think on this Tuesday morning. 
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I have a new poll (upper right).
Thanks for voting!
(Though I know your answer to this particular poll may depend on what kind of day (moment) you're having.)




Saturday, February 16, 2013

Talk about randomness...

(That's the only title for this post I could think of... because it's so RANDOM!)

Here goes:

I have a new favorite food.
It's the chicken fajita taco at Whataburger!
 
  Talk about DELICIOUS!!!

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On a different note, I really like CALGON bath beads..

 Oh my yes...

 .

Talk about relaxing.
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On another different note, I like ELEMENTARY on CBS...
.

I've watched SHERLOCK (from Great Britain), and frankly, the main character is just too crazy for me. Also it's an hour and a half show, and I like shorter TV programs than that.

 

So therefore I prefer the American version - ELEMENTARY (unlike many folks I know). 
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On another TOTALLY different note, I was going through pictures the other day, and look what I found!...
 
 
That is FOUR SOUNDS NOW!!!

I'm sitting with the guitar and in the back row is twin Peggy, Sue Ellen Wicks West, and Laura Runnells Ballew!
Notice the dresses... they're what we wore in the Magic Valley Youth Choir (a Baptist youth choir that met once a month on Sunday afternoons at First Baptist Church, McAllen.   Anyway, the four of us got to sing at different functions throughout the Rio Grande Valley.   We chose the name 'Four Sounds Now' from the Joni Mitchell song 'Both Sides Now'. 
(I don't have ANY pictures of 'The United Nations Congregation', but wish I did.  (That's the group Peggy and I were in before Four Sounds Now.  (We were high school seniors when we did Four Sounds Now (Sue Ellen and Laura were juniors.)

So how did I learn to play the guitar?
Doris Anne Walker!!!
Some of you know her!!
She lived down the street from us and when Daddy brought us a guitar home from a business trip we got Doris Anne to teach us a few chords.   (You can play a lot of songs with 4 to 6 chords!!)

I also want to thank Doris Anne for her expertise on the piano.   She had 'the touch'.
I'm sure you've heard pianists play, who just kind of bang the keys and well, it's not too intuitively emotional.  Well, Doris Anne knew how to do it!!   And I seriously credit her for helping me learn not to bang the notes, but to softly touch them... and go with the 'less is more' idea in music.  ('Course I also credit my teachers, first Miss Claprick (sp?) and then Judy Yancy (whose last name is Suter now, I think.)

Well, I came across this picture of Doris Anne and her little brother Buddy, with Peggy and me.  I think that was our sophomore year (Doris Anne would have been in 8th grade, and Buddy younger.)

 
Anyway, that was ages ago, and Peggy and I must have thought not smiling for the camera was the way to go.  Ha!
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I told you this would be a random post.
Now I must get on Facebook and tag Sue Ellen and Laura... and maybe find Doris Anne!!
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If you haven't taken my poll (upper right), please do - or try to!  Thanks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's is over...

Monday is President's Day.  A holiday?

I think it should be a major holiday.

I love being an American.

I lived in Brazil for close to three years ... where inflation was 300% a year (in the early 80's).
Whoa.

Then we came back to the States... and were thrilled to see the American flag. 

Even to this day when I see the American flag - like at a car dealership's place - I'm proud.... and emotional.

America is amazing.

Don't ever take your freedom for granted.

I pray I don't.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Heaven Came Down...

If you grew up in the Baptist church you know the song "Heaven Came Down (and glory filled my soul)."

That's how I felt Sunday afternoon at Mother's birthday party ... and then the next day (yesterday).. when I was reliving it in my mind all day. (Oh, and today.)

That tells you it was WONDERFUL.


We had about 70 folks come... from every part of her life.  Friends from Canton, Colfax, and former teacher friends from Van, and even folks from Mission (who now live in Dallas) - David Morris and his wife, Bonnie.  And there were friends from her retirement community who came with their walkers and canes, and there were friends from First Baptist Church, Grapevine, and of course, family members - the McElhany gang (my dad's little sister's family (ALL of them came!) and Mother's little brother, Warren, and his son, Jim, came from Tennessee!!
I mean it was glorious!
And Mother was up for it all.
As was the weather!

Right before the actual party commenced we had special guests from Scotland!
Here's Mother doing some Facetime (Skype-thing) on Sam's iPad with Will and Bailey...


Here are Elizabeth and her girls talking to Will and Bailey...
 (That's my cousin, Jim, from Tennessee, sitting in the white chair.)
(We put him to work, at every turn of the party.)
Thanks, Jim!!

And here's Aunt Helen talking to them.. telling them she's jealous that they're there and she's here... but then she likes it here, as you can tell by her smiling...


After the Scotland visit, the friends and family from the States started coming.
Here are some random pics...


Now those last two pictures are important: Those ladies are from Sierra Leone, Africa, and work at Parkwood, Mother's retirement community.   In that last picture Margaret (yes, her name is Margaret!) is singing a soulful rendition of "This is the Day that the Lord Has Made."   After she sang that she sang another Gospel song and both of those songs were BEAUTIFUL!...one of the highlights of the party!

So heaven DID come down and glory DID fill our souls!!
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(Some of you have wondered what birthday Mother was celebrating. .... I'll just say, it was her 39th birthday again ... which makes ME REALLY young!!)
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If you haven't voted in my Valentine's poll (upper right) please do (or try to).  Thanks!