Tuesday, April 26, 2011

They tolerate me

Group photos of my grandkids is my thing.  It just makes my heart sing to see all of their smiling faces in one place.  It is as simple as pie to get them all looking at the camera without blinking, rolling their eyes, frowning, or making a face.  It is easy I tell you!  Yea, right.  The below photo is my treasure.  My step grandson wasn't with us this year, but he is there in my heart.

Back row:  Travis, Reagan, Emily, Cara
Front row:  Allen, Anna, James, Austin, Dakota

Bloopers are not just for the movies.  Below are two collages that I dub "out takes".  The funny thiing is, out of the 20 or so photos I took, the first one was the best.  Lesson learned.

Easter Photo Shoot - Out-take 2

I love each and every one of those faces - sneers, bug eyes, fake grins, eye rolls and all.  Priceless.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Blessings

"Because He Lives, We, Too, Shall Live
In this restless world of struggle
it is very hard to find
Answers to the questions
that daily come to mind.
We cannot see the future,
what's beyond is still unknown,
For the secret of God's kingdom
still belongs to Him alone.

But He granted us salvation
when His Son was crucified,
For life became immortal
because our Saviour died.
Life is not a transient thing,
It is change but never loss,
For Christ purchased our salvation
When He died upon the Cross.

~Helen Steiner Rice~

Hey Archie, where's that sweet lady been - you know, the one who bores entertains us with photos and stories of her grandkids all the time.  She sure has been quiet lately.

Geeze Edith, whadda ya care?  She was a boring pain in the patootie.  Besides, it ain't my day to watch her.

We've been busy doing yard work and getting ready for Easter.  See how pretty the rose garden looks compared to the photo in the previous post?  It's amazing what can be accomplished with a little work!

The woods are beautiful this time of year with the snow white dogwood tree blooms winking at us from under the towering oak trees.

 Easter Blessings to all of my blog friends!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Roses and more

We decided to turn one of our flower gardens into a rose garden this year.  So we found the sunniest spot in these woods of ours – quite a challenge, I’ll tell you – and planned a rose garden.

We laid things out and figured on the number of bushes needed. 
I went to work and Jim headed to pick up the plants. 
The plan was for one knockout type bush in each corner and the rest tea roses. 
When I got home after dark last night, I couldn’t resist looking at the rose garden. 

Rose Garden
Rose bushes
Can you see all of the rose bushes?  Obviously it is not done, but Jim wanted to get the plants in before last night’s rain.  I’m wondering if it is not a bit of overkill.  But I do love roses!  He went to Aldi’s after receiving a tip form Osage Bluff Quilter that they had knockouts and tea roses fairly inexpensive.  Bloom roses bloom!


We had a wonderful visit with Patti and The Blacksmith.   The Blacksmith dug Bluebells for us to add to our collection of flowers.  I believe they are going to be a great addition to our Hosta garden where Jim planted them.  My only hope is that they turn out as pretty as the ones pictured in Patti's post. 

Angel Hair or Maiden Hair - not sure which it is called
         They also gave us some grass that grows tall and beautiful.  I thought Patti called it Angel Hair, but Jim is sure The Blacksmith called it Maiden Hair.  So we call it Maingel Hair.  Not really.  I’m sure Patti will clear it up in her comments… please….

Beautiful white Dogwood Tree blooms
Our woods are alive with the beauty of Dogwood blooms. 

More Dogwood trees!

It doesn’t get any prettier than this – even if the skies are threatening rain as I scoot back into the house.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Doing the right thing

The phone rings.  Caller ID shows it is school calling - or work, the Dr., or a seldom heard from relative.  My first reaction is to expect something bad.  Something happened at school; there is a problem at work; the lab tests discovered a tumor; or somebody died.  Why do we always think the worst?  The obvious answer is, because it is usually bad news.

I can't remember ever receiving a call from the Dr. with good news.  They send me a post card or letter if all of the tests are normal and only call if something is out of whack.  And a call from one of my few remaining Aunts, immediately makes me hesitate to answer for fear of bad news.

If you are a mother of young children or teenagers, when was the last time school called to tell you that your child did good?  You can't think of any?  That's because it doesn't happen nearly enough.  But when it does happen, a lot of good comes of it.  Grins spread from face, to face, to face as the news spreads.

My daughter received one such phone call from school the other day.  You can read about it here.  The teacher was calling to tell her just how wonderful her 14 year old son, Travis is.  That one call generated a whole lot of smiles.

When I told Travis how proud I am of him, he grinned and then said, "It's no big deal.  If you're proud of me, then you have to be proud of Colin (his best friend), because he does the same thing."  This grandma is button popping proud of both of those boys.  They are spreading kindness and reaping the benefits.

A person doesn't really know how important a kind word, or gentle pat of the hand is, until it happens to them, or they are the ones giving the encouragement or gentle touch - and then benefit from the resulting appreciation.

At Allen's birthday party this weekend, I experienced just how important kindness - and listening - is.  My daughter-in-law's  grandpa was recently diagnosed with throat cancer.  Being a cancer survivor myself, I know what it is like to be the "sick one" and how people don't know what to say.  You are truly the "elephant in the room".  The truth is, they never needed to say anything.  It was enough for them to sit down by me and let me talk if I felt like it.  So that is what I did with Alicia's Grandpa John.  Even though it hurt to talk, talk he did.  We held hands, and we/he talked.  I only had to say an occasional word to encourage him.   He reminded me of my dad when he was trying to be strong.  John talked of giving up and not giving up and everything in between.  Hours later, when we got ready to leave, John gave me a bear hug and thanked me for talking to him.  I don't think it ever occurred to him that all I did was listen.  He gave me a whole lot more from our little talk than I could ever have given him.  But we'll let that be our little secret.

So, what are you going to do tomorrow?  If you have time, share some good news and watch the smiles spread.  Or take time to sit and listen to someone who just needs to talk.  You will be glad you did and the glow you come away with will last for days.  I promise.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Allen

The weather has been downright beautiful here in my little spot of the world. 

Saturday was Grandson Allen's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLEN!  I posted about our birthday shopping trip here.

Greg and Alicia had everyone out to celebrate Sunday.  It was a nice, easy day.  Unhurried and laid back.  Now that is the way to have a party.  Good burgers and brats, potatoe casserole, baked beans, lots of snacks, and of course cake and icecream. 

All eyes are on Allen
 We took time to stroll around and enjoy the pretty weather.  The kids were off playing, or fishing, or doing whatever it is that kids do.  Here is a bit of what we saw:

Crazy kids (James & Austin) on a playhouse roof

Peach tree blossoms

It was definitely a good day.

There is so much going on in our day to day life right now that I find myself gettig blogged down.  I wrote and wrote this morning and discovered I had about 10 topics going.  For goodness sakes, I need to get my thoughts organized better.  I'm hoping to become more consistent in my blogging and then all of my thoughts won't come pouring out into one post!

Later all.  I hope you have a wonderful day and week!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Can you?

Here it is another weekend.  A beautiful, busy one.  Will get back on the blogs soon!

Can you touch your nose with your tongue like our talented Bailey here?  Shoot, I can't even roll mine!

Talented Bailey

Cherry Blossom Time

Monday, April 4, 2011

A this and that weekend

The temperatures climbed to the 90’s yesterday and then plummeted to the 40’s overnight, and finally settling into the 50’s today.  It is definitely Spring in Missouri.
This lonely bloom was way ahead of the many other blooms maturing on our Magnolia Bush.
I greatly appreciate her effort at brightening the landscape.
Anna and James spent the weekend with us and since James turns 6 next week, we did a bit of early birthday shopping and ended up with a Lego castle set.  We seem to have a bit of Legomania going on around here.  Anna was a trooper helping him figure out how to put them together.
Now I’m not going to say I’m into child labor, but the fact is that when you work hard, good things come your way.
We raked leaves (yes, we rake leaves both Fall and Spring in these woods).  And then we they took the leap
and jumped into them.  We did eventually rake them up and haul them away.
The winds and rain, and ice and snow of winter left the ground littered with tree limbs.  The kids picked up sticks and hauled them to the fire pit.  
There was a little bit of incentive added for their hard work.
A wiener roast!  We have a few lessons learned from this wiener roast.  1.  We need stronger poles for roasting BallPark type hotdogs than wire coat hangers; 2. Normal marshmallows work better for S’mores than those humongous ones available in the stores today.  Those great big ones don’t squish down right; and 3. along with the food and paper towels, a wet rag is a must after eating S’mores.
Our weekend with the kids ended a bit sooner than we expected.  Their dad was waiting to take them home when we got home from Church Sunday morning.  Now what?  We had a whole day ahead of us with no plans!  So we hopped into the car and took the winding, ridge running, roads to Osage County and Frankenstein, where we checked out the hard to find Dudenhoeffer’s Nursery.  It is a bit early to put out new plants, but we bought a few plants anyway and have them sitting safely in our garage. 

Now, if the temperatures would just settle into moderate Spring like temperatures.  No more of these crazy highs and lows.  It isn’t healthy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Donna Sharp Quilt

This is my new double wedding ring quilt, purchased at The Quilt Shop in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Looking at this picture, I’m thinking I need new carpet and a different color paint on the walls.  Shhhh let it be our secret that I am thinking along these lines.  Don’t tell Jim!

A Kentucky native and 5th generation quilter, Donna Sharp selects her own fabrics and applies her unique gift for color and design to this traditional American art form making each quilt, handbag and accessory a stunning success.
Our quilts feature twice the normal stitch rate of hand-quilted pieces, adding strength, beauty and value to each item. Superior quality fabrics showcase unique colors and textures blending traditional favorites with innovative styles.
From small piecing to intricately detailed borders and reversible backing, Donna’s gift for design is evident every step of the way. Donna Sharp quilts and quilted items are true heirloom quality from start to finish.    (This information came from Donna Sharp's website)