It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Pool's Open-TV is off!

I'm more sure than ever that parents need to turn off their televisions more and take away the games, too. I can prove it!
Most Friday nights are Gammy nights. This means that I pick Jaydon up from his after school program and he spends the night with me. Stephanie usually picks him up around noon on Saturday. Sometimes we do something, and sometimes we just hang out. During the winter we fell into the habit of picking up some fast food and coming home to crash in front of the tv (usually with Cartoon Network). But tonight was different, as we welcomed back the summer nights we enjoy.
After I watered the plants, Jaydon started playing in the water. First he had a bucket he filled with water and before long the pool was coming out of the garage. I caught the quick picture above as he made his first "dive" into the pool. So, the pool is officially open.
We played outside until almost dark. I can't think of a better way to end the day than to play outside until dark. I did it as a child, my children did it, and now Jaydon is doing it. Much better than any cartoon, much better than any computer/electronic game. Let's turn off the television and play outside until dark!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Think of Five Things

I usually have some type of calendar or day planner every year. Most of them will have a daily or weekly thought or quote. Honestly, I usually glance at the thought and think, "oh, that's nice, whatever" and go on. But every now and then one will catch my eye. Several years ago there was one from a well known talk show hostess, who I will not name here, that stated something to the effect that she keeps a grateful journal and each day writes down five things for which she is grateful. So I decided that instead of writing them down that each night before going to sleep I would think of five things for which I was thankful God had given me. I was amazed that when I rested my mind and directed my concentration on thinking of things I was thankful for that my thoughts just overflowed. In fact, usually as I drifted off I was creating major categories with subcategories for the many things for which I thanked God. (Reminds me of the song by Irving Berlin about counting your blessings instead of sheep).

I have found that sometimes when I'm frazzled, tired, or whining to myself about something that I can say, "quick, think of five things you are thankful for right now" and my mood will instantly change. It is also a great way to begin a conversation with God, especially if you are having a hard time getting the conversation started. And, amazingly the list will always extend beyond just five things.

So, here are five things I'm thankful for tonight:

  1. Oak season is over and I feel so much better, even though all the messy pollen is still over most of my yard.
  2. Time this evening to sit outside with the pups and watch them play. It was a quiet, simple time with them.
  3. Having a family to love.
  4. Chips & Salsa
  5. Quilt blocks lined up on the design wall, waiting to be sewn together.

Well, that is the first five things, my list will go on for a while.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Camping Out (and a few other things)

The subject of this post is a camping trip that Jaydon and I took this weekend, but before I start I need to make a short to-do list, mostly for myself but also because if I make a list then it becomes something I have to do. Here are some things I want to do soon:

  1. Start writing a cook book. I already have the title, "Mighty Fine" and will do a post soon on the title and the cook book.
  2. Add a page to this blog with a weekly devotional. While I was the president of my Sunday School Class most Sundays I offered a short devotional at the start of the class. I really enjoyed doing these and in a way is why I started this blog (to catch those quick, fleeting thoughts that run around in my mind), and hmmmI need to do a post on the class sometime, too.
  3. Along the same line, I've been copying my posts into a Word document. I'm not sure what I want to do with these, but will save them electronically and/or print into a paper document like a scrapbook or maybe a book?
  4. Post an update on the pups (yes, they are still cute).
  5. Mow my yard and clean my house (there, I added it to the list and now I have to do it!)

Okay, enough of lists. Jaydon was out of school on Friday so I took off a day and we went camping at the state park at Inks Lake. Friday was a nice warm day, but we had a stormy night (yes, the back of the tent collapsed in the wind and we had to retreat to the car for 30 minutes during the worst of the storm and it was a long night). Saturday morning the rain ended around 5:00 a.m. and we awoke to a cold, but beautiful morning.

Jaydon loved the tent and at first I had to coax him out to do other things.

He really enjoyed climbing the rocks at the Devil's Waterhole and gazing at the fish and moss covered rocks at the edge of the water.

It was a simple trip, nothing complicated. We roasted hotdogs, toasted marshmallows, and did the traditional camping things. I enjoyed my time with Jaydon, and I found myself wondering several times about the memories we were creating. I wonder what he will remember about this trip. We are both looking forward to having Cam be old enough to camp with us. I'm going to try to set up another trip for us before he leaves for the summer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I gave Cam a little red wagon for his first birthday. James sent me this picture and I had an "aaawwww" moment for sure! Then James called me to tell me how much Cam was enjoying the wagon, that he had been for his first ride and that he could climb in and out of the wagon. I was glad that he was already playing with it, I had figured that he would have to grow into it, silly Gammy, of course not, he is a remarkable child! There have been several little red wagons in our family over the years so I thought I would note a few here:

My parents gave James a wagon for his first Christmas. The picture above is of James and his mom on that Christmas morning.

Santa brought Jaydon a wagon for his first Christmas, too. What a cutie!

As I was looking through pictures I also came across one of James on his first birthday with his cousins, Melanie and Ronnie, so I decided that since this is Cameron's birthday week I would put his Daddy at one year on here, too. Unfortunately, this picture was made on a 110 camera and who knows what kind of film, after all it was the 1970's and Kodak was into experimental, modern film that turned red after a few years. I ran it through Photoshop and made it worse (so that will be a future project). But here is James at one year --

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cam's 1st birthday

Today we celebrated Cameron's first birthday! His parents threw him a bash and everyone had a good time. The funniest part was watching him with the cake. I'm posting one of the "cleaner" pictures of his cake eating. He took off his hat, smeared it on his face and when asked, "where's your hair?" smeared it into his hair. Needless to say, he was taken to the bath tub for clean up after we had a good laugh!
James made a wonderful dvd of Cam's first year of life, and gave me a copy. What a treasure! I love digital photography (took 54 pictures today) because you can do so many things with your pictures.
I can't believe he is already a year old, the year has gone by quickly. And once again, the baby time is over and now we have a toddler...each stage is precious, just treasure them all.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Watching It Rain

The last few days we've had some much needed rain. I love the rain, just love it. And I love to watch it rain. Does that sound strange? Not if you grew up spending your summers in Mississippi, sitting under the carport snapping beans or shelling peas while an afternoon rain shower passed over. Or lay in bed scared to death while a southern style "electrical storm" (as my grandparents called them) made more noise than a child could handle, not to mention the flashing lightening! I remember on several occasions sitting in our garage, with the door open, with my father and siblings, just sitting there watching it rain. And I remember the morning after coming home from my father's funeral as I walked into the living room that it began to rain (there was no rain in the forecast) and as I enjoyed the rainy morning I wondered, hmmm, did Daddy have anything to do with sending the rain that day? One evening as Jaydon and I enjoyed a Friday evening playing outside it began to rain and guess what...I let him play in the rain. He had such a good time and it was such a simple thing, playing in the rain while I watched him and the rain.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Lillies of the Field

As I travelled down the access road this morning, preparing to merge onto the freeway, I glanced over to check the traffic flow and as I saw the wildflowers growing between the access road and the freeway I thought of the verses in Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about the lilies of the field that neither toil nor spin but are clothed more resplendently than King Solomon ever was.

Last Friday as I drove to pick up the pups I enjoyed the beautiful crop of Texas wildflowers we are having this spring. Since we actually had rain in the fall (significant rain) we are now enjoying a fairly decent showing of spring flowers, something we missed for several years due to drought. Along the highway the bluebonnets were showing in clusters, although not in massive quantities. But what caught my attention were the fields that were solid blue. I saw people stopping to make pictures, especially in one spot where there was a pond and horses grazing in the field of blue. No, King Solomon couldn't top that! (And on a side note I don't think he could outdo the azaleas I saw in Louisiana either!)

So as I drove to work I marvelled that the seeds for all the different flowers had laid dormant, buried in the dry, parched, hard as nails dirt for a year or more. But when the life giving rain came at just the right season, the seeds rejuvenated and started the process over of forming a tiny plant that would burst into bloom in the spring. And, what fascinates me even more...this plant will wither and die in a few weeks. But if left alone and uncut will produce seeds that will wait in the ground for the fall rains.
The verses in Matthew just after the comment about the lilies of the field remind us not to worry, but to seek the kingdom of God and just focus on today. The wildflowers are beautiful right now, but they will fade and in time be cut down. The cycle will repeat itself again when the seeds are dropped. But we are God's ultimate creation. We are more to him than the flowers of the field; we are his children, our needs are supplied by him and we feel his love all the days of our lives. Matthew 7:25-34

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2 Small Things

No, on second thought this title isn't correct. It should read 2 Small Dogs or really it is 2 Small Babies.

This is Blossom and Sawyer and they are the newest additions to my household. I made a quick trip to Louisiana this weekend to pick them up and spent today just lovin' em. They are 8 weeks old, so they really are babies and they are just precious! They are miniature long haired dachshunds and are supposed to weigh 7-9 pounds when grown, but Mama and Papa looked larger to me. It doesn't really matter as they will make wonderful companions.

They were really good on the way home, only crying a little bit once or twice. And, after crying for a few minutes Saturday night, settled down and were very quiet their first night home. I'm sure it helped to have them together. Today they met their extended family and charmed everyone! Jaydon was so good with them, very careful and gentle and he followed all our instructions. Cameron was fascinated with them, even as young as he is. They are litter mates, but have distinct and different personalities already. It will be fun to watch them grow up, but I'm ready for housebreaking to be over (my house stinks, pee-u).

The cats have been hiding under the bed all day, but their curiosity just got the best of them. While the pups were napping (in my lap of course!) Baxter and Shadow came in and checked them out. I'm sure that after the pups settle down the cats will be like, oh well another animal no big deal!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grumblin', mumblin' and giving thanks

Several weeks ago I was sitting at my desk stuffing letters into envelopes for one of the guys who wanted to do a massive mail out and his assistant was swamped, and I was really complaining to myself about how bored I was and how stupid my job is, etc etc. I've let myself fall into this trap of whining to myself while I'm at work and playing the "I'd rather be..." game with myself. You know the game, I'd rather be home cleaning and organizing my house than here doing this or I'd rather be home working in my yard enjoying the pretty weather. Or on those rainy winter days, I'd rather be home in my sewing room making quilts. Anything but sitting here at this desk, doing boring work that amounts to nothing at the end of the day.

So, there I was stuffing envelopes and grumbling to myself. Then this thought just popped into my head, out of the blue I heard the words, "in all things give thanks". And I knew it was God's gentle way of dealing with my complaining. Just those simple words, nothing else, but it was all I needed. Suddenly those envelopes weren't so bad as I thought of how thankful I was that I had a job, that I was healthy and able to do the job. I thought of the really nice people in my office and especially the very dear friend that I was helping out with the envelope stuffing and I was thankful.

I've thought of those words a lot lately, every time I start to play the "I'd rather be..." game and every time I start to mumble and grumble. I decided to put the full verse at the end of the blog page, just to share it and to remind myself to give thanks in all the things I do.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

What a blessed day! Church in the morning, followed by a potluck lunch at church, then home for Easter Egg hunting and a dessert (Hummingbird cake) and family time.

Our scripture at church this morning was John 20 which focuses on Mary Magdalene. I've always been fascinated with her and was glad to hear it read this morning. She is mentioned 14 times in the New Testament, and we know that Jesus healed her of seven evil demon spirits. She was one of the devoted women that followed Jesus and the disciples around on their travels. Now, yes, our society has tried to make more of this relationship (i.e. Jesus Christ Superstar and the Da Vinci Code) but I really can't believe that there is any truth to those stories.

I've always thought it amazing that Jesus first appeared to her, a woman, rather than to the disciples, the men. But I think Jesus choose her because he knew her heart and that her love for him as her Saviour was true. I also think that he knew how her heart was breaking as she came to the tomb with the other women that morning to prepare his body for a final goodbye. And, he knew she would tell the others that she had seen the risen Lord, just as he told her to do.
I'm glad we know the end of the story and that we are Easter people. He is alive, He is Risen, Rejoice!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wildseed Farm

Today we made a trip to the Wildseed Farm, Jaydon's second favorite place to visit. He was so excited on the way there, chattering away about past visits and the things we had seen and done, including his fall into the cactus patch 2 years ago! I have a feeling this picture will become one of my favorites. I wanted to stop somewhere and make his picture in a patch of bluebonnets but there wasn't a place to do so, mainly because the wildflowers seemed to dwindle as we journeyed north. I told Jaydon that we were probably about two weeks ahead of the crop. So we made several pictures at the Wildseed Farm instead.

It was a beautiful day, but became warm after about 1 o'clock. We took a picnic lunch and enjoyed sitting outside eating and listening to the large wind chime and a little jazz ensemble that started to play while we ate. At first Jaydon was sitting across the table from me, but after I finished eating he just got up and came over and sat down in the chair with me. So we moved his food and drink over with me and we snuggled together while he ate. It was a simple thing, but something that gave both of us a warm, peaceful feeling.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Botanical Garden

When Jaydon recently told me this was his favorite place to go I didn't hesitate to renew my season pass! It really didn't surprise me when he told me because he has always enjoyed the Garden, especially during their Fiesta event and other special events. The first time I took him he was just a baby, I had to prop him up in the stroller since he wasn't big enough to really sit in it. Today we had the opportunity to take Cameron for his first visit, and I have a feeling he will someday feel the same as Jaydon. He loved every minute of the time we were there and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Jaydon did a great job with the stroller, even learning to go up and down short flights of stairs. How wonderful to be able to share something that I enjoy with my grandsons, and even more wonderful to know that they enjoy those same things.

Often I've wondered about the memories I'm creating for Jaydon (and soon for Cam). Of all the things we do together what will he remember? And will his memories of our times together be as cherished as mine are of the times I spent with my grandparents? I certainly hope so.