Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tennessee Has Come To Town!

Well there here. There is nothing like visiting with cousins. Oh, they have had fun. Since the moment of the girls' arrival there has not been one quiet moment. Unless they are sleeping, of course, which hasn't been an issue because they have been exhausted! All of them. They have played, played, played.

Yesterday we went to the Desert Museum. It is just fabulous. It is like a zoo in the middle of the desert. I haven't experienced such nice informative people since I've been here. (They do exist!) It was hot, but we went in the morning so it wasn't so bad. We saw lizards, hummingbirds, and javilinas. Just to name a few. We couldn't see any coyotes at the museum. I guess they were hiding. No worries, because we saw one scouring through the desert on our way to the museum! We all got to experience first hand the wonders of this mysterious place called the desert. It was a fabulous day. That evening we went out to eat at El Charro Cafe. We went to the original one downtown, so we got to see downtown Tucson as well as the University of Arizona. The restaurant was very fun and quaint. We even had dinner in a private room! We all felt very VIP.

Today we plan on doing the parks and pool at my neighborhood. I'm sure we will have another fun filled day. This is what is great about having family visit. Getting to see the desert through their eyes is magnificent, but nothing can compare to all the little impromptu events that take place. We are just having fun being with each other!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Girls are coming! The Girls are coming!

You can hardly contain the excitement at our house. My mother, Mimi, is bringing my three nieces, Conlee, MarySelle, and Elizabeth to visit. They'll be here tomorrow. We can't wait. When we found out they were coming the children were thrilled (as was I). They asked me everyday, "Are the girls coming tomorrow?" Being that it was a few weeks away, I decided to make a paper chain for them so they could tear off a ring each day. This would show them visually how many days and maybe stop the "are they coming yet" questions. They have loved this. Each day Mae or John Russel tears a ring off without reminder. As the chain has grown smaller their excitement has grown to a giggling mass about to burst!

Now it's almost time. Only one link left on the chain! Mae has enjoyed helping me clean and she has placed the toys she says she and the girls will play with in a special spot in her room. John Russel has arranged his dinosaurs neatly on his shelf among his new rock collection. They can't wait to show them their new park, swimming pool, and all the cactus. They are so proud of their new house and surroundings.

Today as we tore the next to last link off the chain Mae proclaimed, "The girls are coming! The girls are coming! (Girls sounding like Gulls) Will ran around in a circle saying, "Mimi, Mimi, Mimi!" We will pick them up at the airport tomorrow morning and we have lots of fun activities for them. The main one being a lot of nothing! The children, I know, will have a blast just being together, as they usually do. I can't wait to hear all the stories of what's going on back home especially in a southern accent!

The thing I'm most looking forward to is just being with family. Although we have been blessed with meeting new good friends, a great neighborhood, and fantastic weather, I can't wait to sit and visit with "kin". This is one thing I didn't know I would learn when we moved here---The importance of a close knit extended family.

So, if you're reading this, and you haven't made your plans to come out west. Get out your calendars and set a date. We'll even make a paper chain!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Coming off a long weekend is always filled with mixed emotions. I'm sad that the fun is over, but then again I look forward to a short week. We had a blast just our family. Memorial day used to mean trips to the river or lake for us filled with family. Not this year. The only thing that we had facing us was the hot desert and, of course, just us. This holiday weekend brought many surprises including fun!

We had such a great time just relaxing with our family. Being lazy isn't much of an option with little kids, but we took it as easy as we could. On Saturday I took Mae and John Russel to our neighborhood club house. They had those bouncy things, face painting, pony rides, and all sorts of games. The kids always love this sort of thing. They got tattoos and Mae rode a pony. Sunday we went to a church that meets around the lake at our clubhouse. The kids had so much fun at Sunday school as they sat under a tree for their lesson and ran around and played. It was kinda cool singing and worshiping outside. Very interesting and different. It felt like an old tent revival. Then on Monday I took John Russel and Mae to our pool and water park. As we pulled into the parking lot Mae started screaming. John Russel cut his eyes over at her and said, "Man, Mom, Mae is so excited!" They had a blast playing in the splash park and slipping and sliding down the water slides. I was so worried about Mae at the bottom of the slide, but I soon realized that I had nothing to worry about. She would just pop out of the slide into the water and come up smiling and paddling to the side. Pink goggles shining in the sun. They were exhausted and starving when we got home. We hung out together playing games and going to the park. It was a great weekend.

Now that it is all over, I see that we didn't have to even leave our neighborhood to have a great time, and I couldn't have picked better company. This Memorial Day weekend, I'm reminded to cherish what is truly important...Family!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

Last night Rusty and I stepped out on our back patio. As soon as I crossed the threshold of the door I could smell it. Rain! You know, that dusty smell that happens right after the rain begins. As we continued to make our way out we could see that the rocks in the yard were damp. How exciting! We just sat under the cover of our upper balcony watching it sprinkle. It was a wonderful night.

I know you must be thinking how crazy this sounds, but it's true. You see, this is only the third time it has rained since we've been here, and the other two times it sprinkled for about 5 minutes total. The locals tell us that monsoon season will come soon and then it will rain almost every evening. They say it's amazing to see. I guess they don't realize the amount of rain I'm used to back home. I guess I'll have to see for myself.

I never thought I would miss the rain, nor did I realize how much I relied on it. Rain washes away the popsicle drips from the patio and the chalk drawings from the driveway. It cleans the dust and pollen from the air and cools things off. This is just another small difference that we've had to get used to. (Watch how your holding that popsicle, Will , and don't go too crazy with the sidewalk chalk, Mae. I know John Russel the dust is killing my eyes, too)

So, as Rusty and I sat watching our rocks glisten with the new fallen rain we also got to listen to the wonderful symphony the drops were performing on our balcony above us. It was mesmerizing. I'm so glad we had this moment to share. I'm also grateful for this opportunity to be so thankful for something so little that I've always taken for granted.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Give Him Something To Talk About

Will has started talking. Now, he has been saying a few words here and there for awhile, but one morning he woke up and decided, "I think I'll talk today." It's so funny to me. Mae and John Russel seemed to mumble forever and then the mumbles just started to become clearer and clearer. Not for Will. The other day he looked at a little Sponge Bob figurine and said, "Bye bye Sponge Bob!" Just as Patrick would. I don't know if it is because he's a little later in the game than the other two were or what, but we find it hilarious.

To avoid the whining I told him to say Help. Within the day he was saying help which sounded more like ha-ulp. (Southern accent coming through) We were taking John Russel to school and there was this huge balloon in the sky advertising new homes. He said, "I see balloon! OOO! Look at that!" The funny part is the 'look at that' segment. He lowers his voice to a deep growl almost. I guess for extra emphasis. He repeats anything Mae tells him to. He adores her and would do anything she asks. Her favorite thing is to tell him to sing. She'll make up funny parts to his favorite songs and he repeats it all with joy. When he drops something he'll say, "Oh, Man!" with so much gusto you wonder what in the world. (this phrase gets the deep growl, too) At dinner or breakfast time, I'll ask him if he is hungry and he'll say, "Yea, breakfast. Eat!" and he'll run as fast as he can to his highchair.

His leap from one word commands to two to even three word sentences happened so fast. It's amazing to see how his little mind takes things in so quickly. Being able to express his feelings or wants is fabulous. We all feel less frustrated. What a wonderful thing to communicate! He also seems to understand things a little better, too. Now when he wants something we can understand him, and if he doesn't need it we can explain why he shouldn't have it. This works sometimes, but he is only 23 months old. He still may cry for it, but it seems to be less and less.

It's wonderful to reach new milestones. I always meet them with bitter sweetness. I'm so glad that my children are growing and learning, but then that means I have to say goodbye to a little part of them. As time goes by, I look back and I'll remember some of the little things they used to say or do and it feels like that they were different people all together. I'll mourn over the little ones I've lost but only for a moment. How quickly I'm reminded of the beautiful creatures they've become!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Owl Award

Transferring to a new place is always hard. I knew it would be hard for me, but I didn't realize the toll it would take on John Russel. The first week or so was exciting for him. The new home and new environment filled with parks and cool wildlife were thrilling. School was good too. He loved the differences and meeting new friends.

Then after a week or two the newness wore off and he realized that he missed his old friends. The new differences weren't cool anymore. They were weird and different. I noticed a change in him and it broke my heart when he said, "Nobody wants to be my friend." I know kids go through this just like we do, but when your normally outgoing child cries and has a hard time adjusting it kills you. I tried consoling him and telling him to just ask the other kids if they want to play. I reminded him to just be himself. We read about the Golden Rule in his little bible story book and I told him to always treat others like he wanted to be treated. He didn't seem to listen or care. I looked at the situation as hopeless. I thought he was just going to have to figure this one out on his own. I felt like the more I said about the issue only made things worse. Then one day I picked him up from school and he was in the best mood goofing off with some boys. He said, "Mom. Today was much better!" That was it. He had snapped out of it. I thought, well that was easy. I guess he did figure it out for himself. He's just as resilient and outgoing as I thought. That was the end of that.

Yesterday as he got in the car after school, I asked him if he had a fun day. He said yes. I asked him what he did, and his reply was "nothing". I took this as a good normal sign. (Information is only shard on his terms) As I was turning out of the parking lot he said, "Oh yeah, I got an Owl Award and two Diamond Back tickets!" He then explained that the award was for being nice and respectful. (His school mascot is, of course, an owl) I told him that was great and then asked him about the other awards his classmates got, assuming that all the children got an award of some kind, being the end of the school year and all. He told me that the others didn't get one. "Just me and Emily," he said. Many questions later and much prying did I find out that the Owl Award is given to students who stand out by displaying good, kind behavior towards teachers and other students. I couldn't contain my happiness. I told him over and over how proud I was of him. When we got home we had to tell everyone who called our good news. He was more excited about the baseball tickets, of course.

I guess he was listening to me after all! Sometimes I talk and talk and feel like the children never hear me. I had assumed that John Russel had found the strength somewhere inside of him and got passed his loneliness. Now I realize that he used that strength along with my loving words and encouragement to turn a difficult situation into something good. He was kind and respectful to others and people noticed. It not only helped him make new friends, he was awarded for doing the right thing. How proud I am of my little "Owl".

Monday, May 19, 2008

Picture Pages

Picture pages, picture pages... time to get your crayons and your pencils!

That's what we've been doing at our house. The kids love to do "art". What kid doesn't. They drag out the play dough, paper, glue, scissors....everything. I let them do whatever they want. They come up with the loveliest creations. I try to steer them away from coloring books. They seem so un-creative, but they still love them. (I have to say, there is something about coloring in the lines that is very comforting.) Mae's latest idea of fun is to color a big segment of a piece of paper with markers and them put a big blob of glue in the middle. I think she likes to watch the glue change colors--at least I do. They all have been making pictures and "letters" for their cousins, too. I have stacks and stacks of these creations. I've mailed a few out. I haven't found a good use for the others, yet I can't seem to bring myself to throw them away.

Early Childhood "people" say that it is good to let children create whatever they want, not necessarily a specific project. "It's the process not the product." is a concept that is important in children's growth they preach. I see this in all of my children's little (or big) creations. Although, I always love the finished masterpieces, I can see that the truly fun part is the process.

Mae is at this very second cutting up junk mail and gluing it on file folders. She told me that her Daddy won't get mad because she is decorating them for him. I know she is right. Rusty is pretty laid back about such things. He used to bring home big landscaping plans and he let the children use the old ones to play with. They usually ended up being a sword or a telescope. Maybe one day we will unroll a few and let them create a treasure map, or a collage of leaves, or let them figure out something else on their own.

I also love to do "art" with the children. I get lost in making chains of paper dolls and cutting out snowflake patterns. I love the smooth way a crayon glides across a piece of construction paper and how markers bleed into one another. To put glue on the back of my hand just to let it dry and see how it will look when I get "old" is pure joy. I guess I like the process more than the end product, too.

I think we could all benefit from this "art" process a little bit. So, go pull out the art supplies and let yourself go. If you don't have them anymore or never have just doodle on a pad while you make your grocery list or talk on the phone. You'll be amazed at how great you feel afterward.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Who Are You? Who? Who?

I was cleaning up the dinner dishes as CSI was coming on. The opening song was playing, "Who are you? Who? Who?" Funny because I was just thinking, Who am I? As the song played on I continued to contemplate who am I, now. I did this exact same thing back in college. I think this is something you just do, especially during big changes in your life.

Before my husband got his new job and we had to move, I was the assistant director at my church preschool. I loved my job. Although it was part time, it was just perfect. I got to do what I loved and be at home a good part of the time with my children. My children also got to go to school with me. What could be better. I was fulfilling the "career" and "mother" parts of me. I worked with all my friends and it was a great environment. So, when we moved I'm just wife and mother. No career. This is fine. I love taking care of my house and family. Some people would die to have the choice, but the sudden removal of all of that has left me wondering, "Who am I?"

I know that I am a wife, mother, daughter, and friend, but being in a new place without a job outside the home makes me think about who I am quite a bit more. Things are different here. The people, the climate, and the surroundings. Others define who I am by what they see. I'm definitely southern, a mom, and a wife, but what else do they see? I hope more than this.

This leads me to realize it's not what's on the outside that matters. I must show love and compassion and kindness. This is what is so important in life. Others must see this and feel this from me. I received the nicest compliment from one of the new moms in my Mom's Group. She thanked me for being so friendly and making her fell welcome. Funny, I guess she didn't realize that I was new too. This made me feel good. She saw confidence and kindness in me.

I must not put too much into what others think about me. It will only lead to disappointment. What I need to focus on is what God thinks of me and how I'm doing. He asks us to show kindness and love to others, to treat others as we would like to be treated. This is what I will do. I may not always see the results, but in my heart I'll know I'm doing the right thing.

So this is "who" I'll be. I guess I've always been this way, but now I'll realize I don't have to have a specific title to be or feel important. I'll just be Me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Girly Tomboy

When I found out that I was having a girl my heart jumped. I couldn't contain my excitement. Yes, I was happy to have a boy. Having healthy children is all any mother wishes, but a girl! Someone to play baby dolls with and to dress up in adorable dresses with big giant hair bows in her hair. I just couldn't wait. The moment she was born I swear she was the most beautiful baby in the world. My boys were beautiful too, but there was just something in the way my little girl looked up at me with her huge blue eyes that screamed I'm gorgeous.
The next few months were filled with sweet dresses, pink bows and eyelet diaper covers. Then she started to talk. Mae talked pretty early. I guess being a girl and the second child, who knows. But as soon as she could express herself it became clear that she didn't like "girly" stuff. I kept trying, though. I would dress her in the most beautiful dresses with maryjanes and a big bow to top it off. She hated it. She wanted to wear her brother's hand-me-down blue jeans with her frog t-shirt and frog boots. I tried buying her baby dolls, but it was no use. She never played with them. They were only good for stripping down and throwing against the wall. For one of her birthdays I told everyone to get her dress up clothes. She didn't like dolls or Barbies so I thought dress up clothes. Yes, that's girly. But no, they wouldn't do.

Now, Mae loves to dress up, but it has to be in old Halloween costumes or an old cowboy hat. She also loves to create her own outfits from her closet. She matches colors very well, but sometimes her outfits come out so crazy. I used to fight this tooth and nail and make her wear what I thought were cute outfits-complete with hair bow of course. She hated it. As soon as she got home she would go to her room and change her clothes to a more appropriate outfit. Something like pink sweatpants and a t-shirt with a sequenced American flag and blue striped socks with pink tennis shoes. (The girly part showing in the sequence.) She loves to dress herself. Not in tu tu's or princess costumes, but in her own clothes or a discarded Halloween costume. So I've given up. I let her dress herself in whatever she wants on the days we stay at home, and I give her choices when we have to go somewhere. This works pretty good as long as my choices meet her standards. We also had to cut her hair in a style that works with no hair bow. I lost that fight, too.

Mae also loves stuffed animals. This has taken the place of baby dolls. She has about 100 of these beloved stuffed toys. They take turns becoming her favorite. The chosen one of the week gets dressed up in diapers or old baby clothes and pushed around in a doll stroller. It also goes everywhere with us-car, grocery store, park, etc. I try to arrange them neatly on her bed or in a basket in her room. This just will not do. They are to be played with, not displayed. She loves animals. She wants a pet so bad, but wasn't so happy to find out that they pooped in the yard (the girly part coming through). So we got a fish.

Mae also loves to play outside. The muddier the better. She loves to dig in the dirt or sand and to find a stick to dig around with or a rock to admire. She is so intrigued with our new surroundings. I have to keep reminding her not to pick up rocks or rustle through bushes or she might find a bug or a snake! I'm worried that she might find the intriguing, but then I realize she is scared of big scary bugs and snakes. (Thank goodness for that girly part!)

She gets as dirty if not dirtier than her brothers as she runs and rips, but she must have scented soap or bubbles in her bath. She loves to paint her toenails and fingernails, but doesn't hesitate to put those painted beauties in an old pair of boots to go play.

People tell me that she may grow out of it, but I'm not so sure. I've come to love my little girly tomboy and all her unique quirks. She's made me realize that life is full of surprises. You see, people don't have to like the exact same things to have something in common, and if you let yourself go a little you might find that "something different" can be really fun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Nite Nites

Nite Nite strings are going to be the death of me. They are all over my house. Just as I have finished vacuuming the entire house, I'll look down and see a nite nite string or two laying in the carpet mocking me. My vacuum cleaner's spinner brush is wrapped with them. I have to clean it out every few months. It drives my crazy! When I had my house for sale back home I was constantly picking up nite nite strings. Someone would call to look at the house and I would have a variety of tasks to check off my list before we could show it. One of these tasks was to go around and pick up nite nite strings. AAAGH the insanity!

What, you may be wondering, is a nite nite? Well John Russel has three of them. They are his security blankets. Why three? Well, I bought three thinking while one was being washed he would always have a beloved nite nite to cuddle. Little did I know that he would insist on having all three at the same time. He became attached to them when he was probably around a year to eighteen months old. Purple Bear was also once a part of the team, but he was dropped sometime along the way. The nite nites are blue and white with fringe along the sides. The fringe is his favorite part. He tickles his ears with it. I love to watch him brush the fringe over his pink ears. It always makes him seem so little.

When he first went off to mother's day out I sewed his name on one of them using blue gingham fabric and blue string. This was to ensure that it wouldn't get lost. Over time his nite nites have grown smaller and smaller, hence the strings all over my house! A year ago I noticed his name tag hanging off so I helped it along and it now resides in my jewelry box along with his first two baby teeth.

John Russel sleeps with his nite nites every night and he loves on them periodically throughout the day. He uses them for capes as he becomes his favorite super hero or wraps them around his head and pretends to go on a safari through the desert. He covers up with them while watching TV and he becomes a mummy by wrapping them all around his arms and legs. They also make great tents and hiding places.

Rusty thinks John Russel is getting too old for his nite nites. To my horror he sometimes asks if he can put them away. I remind him that he will get rid of them soon probably much sooner than we would like. You see, I know because I too had a security blanket. Her name was Baby. She was a soft pink thermal blanket with a satin trim. Oh, she smelled so good and felt so soft. My brother, William, told me I was too old for her and cut her up. I then had to sleep with only a scrap of Baby. But then as I got older the little scrap of baby wasn't needed any longer. I tell Rusty this. I'm not sure if he's convinced, but he'll have to take my word for it.

So the nite nites live on! For now I'll have to continue picking up those little strings that litter my carpet. In a few years I'm sure I will see a random string from an old towel or piece of clothing and be reminded of John Russel's nite nites. I might even miss picking them up!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's day Memories

OK, I admit it. I'm addicted to John and Kate Plus Eight. (For those of you who don't know my new friends, they are a couple who have eight kids and their own reality show on TLC) I don't know what it is about this show. Maybe it's the way the two parents communicate or the admiration I have of watching them raise all these children. Sadly, I think it's simply because I can relate to it. I know, I know, I only have 3 kids (all different ages) and they have a set of twins and sextuplets. What could I possibly have in common with them, you may ask. Well, ALOT. They go through so much just to get out of the door, they can't go anywhere without people turning to see who or what is coming, and the noise level in their home is always at about the same decibel level as a motorcycle starting up. Yes, I can relate to these people. I wish I had a nickel for how many times someone has said, "My! You have your hands full, Honey!"

Now, let me explain something about our new home town. There are quite a few of what the locals like to call "Snow Birds". They are senior citizens that either visit our call this area home. Many are very nice, but I believe a few have moved here to here not only to get away from the cold weather, but from the chaos caused by young children. Anytime we go anywhere I get the feeling that they would rather not have run into us. I've never received such nasty looks. So, every time we must venture out to the grocery store or Wal-Mart (One of the snow-bird's favorite haunts) I have the talk. You know what I mean. The one where I threaten then bribe and then venture in with enough snacks in my bag to satisfy an entire preschool only to have a meltdown by all three because I don't want to push the grocery cart with the car on it. This, all before we've even entered the store.

My children also have the most uncanny ways to embarrass me, like the time Mae asked Don, my stepfather, why he had a hole in his hair, or the time John Russel drew a picture of himself smoking a cigarette for his kindergarten teacher, or like how Will likes to wear underwear on his head even when the neighbors come over. Some of you may think this is funny, and I too chuckle a bit at these stories, but Oh, how they can embarrass me.

Then they do something so sweet and my heart just melts. Like yesterday on Mother's Day they all helped Rusty make me breakfast. They were so sweet bringing it to me. They were so excited. They brought cards that they had signed and Mae gave me the sweetest little gift. It was a picture of me and her that she had drawn and wrapped in a paper towel. She had one of her little hair bows pinned on top with my name written on the package. John Russel and Will just snuggled up to me and gave me the biggest hugs. We all sat in my bed while I ate breakfast. How wonderful! It's these moments that will last forever. They will shine in my memory, and I will treasure them always.

You don't have to have children to appreciate them. You can either enjoy another person's child or remember what it was like when you were a child. I think that's part of the problem. Many of these people either have forgotten what it was like to have young children or have forgotten what it was like to be a child. Jesus said in Mark 10:14 Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

My Grandma Miller had 9 children. She wrote the most beautiful poem that is so appropriate for mother's day about the love she had for her children. She understood the importance of children and to treasure them.


By Emma Haywood Miller

If all the world turned 'gainst me

And my heart was stark and cold,

If all my friends grew distant

And my life grew lone and old,

My heart would yet find warmth

Through the darkness of the night

With thoughts of my dear ones

Pictured 'round the deep firelight.

Dear little children o'mine,

Truly the heart of my heart,

What do I care for the world,

What do I care for its part?

Dear little face in the shadow

Held up for the goodnight kiss,

Where are your worldly riches

To match the sweetness of this?

Keep your jewels so precious,

Hide them in vaults airtight,

But leave unlocked my memories

Of my children framed in the light.

This Mother's Day I'm reminded to treasure the memories of my children good and bad. I'm so blessed to have them in my life and so glad that they can bless others--even in the grocery store!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Hello everyone! I want to introduce the newest Workman. His name is Winston, and we are all so happy to have him. We bought him today at Wal-Mart along with his new home. We are so excited! Will keeps saying, "Fish, Fish, Fish!!! Bite, Bite, Bite!!!!" He thinks Winston will bite him! He's so funny. We finally have a pet. Mae is thrilled!

We also bought some flowers today along with a lemon and orange tree. I hope that they do well and brighten up our yard. I'll post more pictures when we have them all planted.

Rusty and the children also bought me a little vanity stool for Mother's Day. It is just perfect. I can't wait to have a place to sit and put my make-up on. So nice.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Purple Mountain Majesties

I was out in my backyard looking at my "rock garden" contemplating what I could do to make it pretty. I long for something green. I look at my Southern Living magazines and I get so homesick. All the beautiful green grass, tall tall trees, and gorgeous flowers remind me of all that I left behind. So, I'm trying to think of something that is not prickly to plant in my pots to make my back yard look good. My thoughts then drift to my grandmother, Memaw, and all her beautiful plants she had. She loved to work in her yard. It was a showplace! She had mimosa trees lining her driveway, a garden full of vegetables and strawberries, and the most beautiful flowers. She even had a cherry tree, which was so appropriate since her name was Cherry. I would always have so much fun helping her in her yard. We would pick cherries and strawberries. (Nothing tastes better than one of her strawberries strait of the vine!) Even though her yard was her pride and joy, she would always let me drag the water hose out to a patch of fresh dirt and make mud pies! I would have so much fun with my pies lining her driveway to bake in the sun. Those were the days!

I remember one time in particular when Memaw was digging in one of her beds out back. She had on jeans, a long sleeved shirt, and of course a hat. I was sitting by her side "helping". She looked up at one of the trees in her yard and gently held one of the leaves in her hand, and she said to me, "Just look at this. How can people look at this and not believe in God." I looked at the intricate leaf differently, with my new "Memaw" eyes. I saw the differnt shades of green and the little vains feeding the leaf. It was a miricle. I have never looked at a leaf in the same way since. What a gift she gave me that day.

Although Memaw had such a beautiful yard with so many many lovely things. The one thing that definitely screams Memaw to me is lilies. She had so many in her yard. She would dig them up and move them so her yard was full of the most beautiful yellow and orange lilies. As I sit on my back porch I long to plant Lilies along my back fence, but I knew that the harsh desert sun would bake them to a crisp just like my mudpies!

So as I sat feeling very homesick and longing for something green my eyes wandered out of my yard to the mountains in the distance. They were purple! The sun was setting and casting the most beautiful shade of violet over the mountains in the distance. The clouds around them were also a wonderful shade of purple and pink. How Glorious! As I sat there awestruck the song , Oh Beautiful, came to mind. Purple Mountain Majesties..... That's what I was seeing. Then it hit me. If my Memaw had been sent out west she might have missed her green yard, but she would have found contentment in what God was offering her at the moment. This is what I will do. I will find the beauty in my new surroundings and glorify God in all his creations! What another gift Memaw has given me. Thanks Memaw!

Now, I wonder what kind of cactus I should plant?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday May 8, 2008

Hello everyone. I'm just getting started with our family blog. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as we will. Now you can catch up with our latest antics just by checking our blog!