Saturday, March 17, 2018

Grandkids finish reading program...

"The more you read, the more things you know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." -Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with my Eyes Shut

I started teaching my grandkids, Tate and Sawyer, to read this past summer using the book,  Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  (Note: Luke, their dad did about 35% of the lessons as well)

I highly recommend this book.  The lessons take about 15-20 minutes each day.  Not only do they focus on reading, but writing and reading comprehension as well.  There are pictures with each story that my grandkids could not wait to see. (The pictures are to remain covered until after they read the story).  I wanted to get the lessons done before they started kindergarten, but that did not happen due to several issues.  The boys are not on the same reading level.  Tate finished with lesson 100 on March 13, while Sawyer has a few more lessons before he is done.  We had our reading party for both anyway.  Both of them could hardly wait to celebrate.  I decorated the table in Dr. Seuss fashion.

 I made a cake shaped like a book with a bookmarked similar to the one we used in our real book.

 I let them each pick out a gift for completing their lessons, and I wrote and illustrated a book about them that they could read themselves.  Each book had 20 pages...they loved their books.

Before they got to open any gifts, they had to read a lesson...the last one (100) for Tate, and Sawyer lesson 80.
Lesson 100

Lesson 100

Some fun, and gifts...

This is what Tate picked for his gift

It was a fun celebration for all.  We are a reading family.  We want our grandkids to enjoy reading as much as we do...after all, my philosophy is that "if you can read, you can do anything."  I am so proud of these boys.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cat's day...

Today is my Maggie's (my cat) 6th birthday.  According to a cat-age calculator, she is 40 in human years.  Age 2 is equivalent to 24 in human years, then for each year after you add 4 years.  An indoor cat ages slower than an outdoor cat.  Maggie is an indoor cat because there are lots of predators that would like to have her for their lunch.  

Since I have been taking an online calligraphy class, I decided to practice my writing by making her a birthday card.  

Here's how we celebrated her birthday... I took photos of her.  She was not impressed...

Wow...look at that wicked claw...
This cupcake sings Happy Birthday when you squeeze it. Then the candle goes out...and you can hear someone trying to blow out the candle.  Maggie is not sure what to make of this item.

Finally, she got bored with it all, and just ignored the cupcake.  I guess photo time is pretty much over. 

Wow...this picture makes her look very fat... well she is fat, but this makes her look ji-gundo fat.  She is just fat.  What can I say, she's an indoor cat...and we love her anyway.  Happy birthday.  But no cake for you.  You're too fat!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Just for fun...

"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." -Henry David Thoreau

My grandkids seem to think I can do anything.  One of their favorite things to do is make silly photos on the computer...with my help, of course.  I don't mind because, eventually, they will learn some pretty awesome skills using photoshop.  So here are some of their recent creations.  This grandson wanted to be climbing his birthday cake...then he wanted to add the moon (in the upper left), and a galaxy (in orange at the bottom left), and red stars scattered about.

Why they like to be turned into "little" people I do not know, but it is kind of fun.
Here's another one...he had some help with this one...

And now just some fun photos... Always with silly faces...

I have to say, I was inspired, so I did my own spin on a couple of photos to make a collage.

And yes, Life is good.  

Hugs to you.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day...

"Love is a force more formidable than any other.  It is invisible- it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could."-Barbara de Angelis

I got out my camera to take photos in commemoration of Valentine's Day.  I hope everyone will tell those who are important to them, how much they mean and how they have added to the pleasure of your life plus how much you love them.

Fun Day for me with all these photos.  Hugs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


"A lecture might inform someone, but music affects us in a more profound way.  Music can go past the intellect to the intimate, moving us so compellingly.  We are different for having encountered the enriching blend of notes, tones, and ideas." -John Ashcroft

We have hired a personal trainer.  In the beginning, it was to help me get mobility in my ankle and get me walking again.  Chuck (the trainer) made such a difference in my life that I encouraged Warren to give him a try for his back issues.  Chuck has helped us both.  The facility is about a 30 minute drive from our home.  I find that I do not mind the drive at all, because it is a glorious drive.  The hills, mountain side, longhorns, cattle and geese are a pleasure to behold.  Many times I wish I had my camera to take photos of the beauty I see.  (I will remember to take it one of these days).  I, also, like to listen to KLOVE while driving.  In case you're not familiar with KLOVE, it is a Christian radio station (88.3 FM in Hendersonville).  It is my time to be alone...with God.  It is during this alone time that I pay close attention to the lyrics of the songs playing on the radio. So many times the songs touch my soul.  I am moved, and I am not the same.  Have you ever felt like a song was just for you?  It is in the quiet of my car that God ministers to me and takes me to a new level of faith. He takes me to new heights in our relationship.  He restores me.  He encourages me.  He gives me hope.  He makes me new.  He gives me wonderful life.  He makes me grateful for all things.  He blesses me.    I look forward to these drives.  When the drive is over, and I pull into my driveway, my heart is overflowing with the goodness of God.  He has done great things.

The following photos were taken at my friend, Suzanne's house.  

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

This is Us...

"Love is a force more formidable than any other.  It is invisible- it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could." -Barbara deAngelis

I have to say, hands down, the NBC show, "This Is Us",  has become my favorite show.  Love is so on display in this series.  And the show, through the characters, demonstrates how love transforms lives even in the worst of circumstances.  One of my friends recommended that I watch it to pass the time when I was laid up for 2 months recuperating from my broken ankle.  I downloaded the NBC app, and checked it out one day.  At first, I did not like it.  I did not know what was happening as the scenes changed, so I turned it off.  Then after watching  the FEW movies on Netflix and Amazon that did NOT have tons of curse words, or the "F" bomb...which by the way, are hard to find...I went back to check it out again.  I decided to push through at least 2 episodes, and I became hooked.  Since I was starting from the beginning I had all of season one and two to watch.  I did a show marathon, and watched them all in about 3 days.

Characters from left to right: the parents, Rebecca and Jack...middle the twins,  Kate and Kevin,  and Randall the adopted son and his wife that I cannot remember her name.  
If you have not watched it, I would highly recommend it.  I love that this is a family with real problems.  They are honest and earnest about trying to get things right.  Isn't that what we do as parents?...we want to get things right.  Every episode left me feeling good, and encouraged.  Life is hard enough. We need something that will leave us feeling better, and something to which we can relate.  Even in the most perfect family, there is baggage.  We, as parents, have these little lives entrusted to us as clean slates.  We try to sow good seeds into our children, so they will grow up to be productive, healthy individuals.  (Healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually).  No matter how hard we try to be the best parent possible, our parenting is colored by our personality, and our own upbringing.  It is not until our children become adults that we get sneak peeks into our children's lives as they recall certain situations from their childhood through their own story telling.  As parents, we don't always get it right, but as I tell my kids, we did the best we could at the time with what we knew.

That's what this series is all about.  Little peeks into each child's life.  The series goes through separate stories of the kids: Kevin, Kate, and Randall, at different stages of their lives.  We learn their hang ups, strengths, and weakness as a result of their upbringing. I find the stories heart-felt, and true.    We see the parents helping the kids work through the difficulties of life.  As a parent, you will relate. If you have not seen "This Is Us", try one or two episodes.  I think you love it as well.

Main actors...

Saturday, February 3, 2018

So true...

"When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be." -Mandy Hale

When I first broke my ankle, I had expectations of how long I would be incapacitated, and when I'd be up, around, and back to normal.  I thought 6 weeks tops.  Boy was I wrong!  I am well into my 4th month of recovery, and I am just now getting around to walking...sort of normally.  I found these two hilarious truths on the instagram account of "brokenleggirl."  I could so relate.

This is what my recovery looks like...the one on the right.  The reality one.

This next one is called the "adventures of a broken legged girl."  This is totally true.  Pretty adventurous, I know.

I don't have shoes that I can wear with this ankle brace, so my friend let me borrow her shoes.  They are 2 sizes too big for me, but they work.  I wear a thick sock on my good leg, and a thin sock on my bad let.  Nobody can see I have different socks on, and it works.

Slowly, I am getting there!  Hugs.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Just do...

"Don't wait for inspiration.  Take action.  Action generates inspiration." -Frank Tibott

My last blog post was about my accident... truly a crisis in my life, and that of my family.  It changed everything in an instant.  Everybody has known someone whose either been in a "crisis" or has been in one themselves.  We all have heard or said, "Let us know if there's anything we can do for you."  All this is said with the best intentions and biggest heart.  People want to help, but when you are in the thick of a crisis, it is difficult to know or say what you need.  So if I could suggest one thing, it is to "just do" rather than ask "what can I do?"  Here are some things people "just did" for me...for us.

Brought me flowers, and plants. Or sent flowers from out of state through the florist.  So very wonderful.

Planted some of the plants brought to me.

Made us soup, quiche, and chili...all made from scratch no less.  Brought us rotisserie chicken, and guacamole.  (2 of our favorite things to eat).  Not only one time, but multiple every time  they came to visit.

People visited.  Just to BE with me.  So appreciated.

Mailed Starbuck gift cards, and Bath & Body gift cards with a note...we love you.  

Brought magazines and books to read.  Dot-to-dot and coloring magazines.

Bought me socks with the non-slip dots, and cute pajama bottoms.

Let me borrow the best ice packs to help with my swelling ankle.

Many sent cards, letters, emails, or texts.  These were so encouraging and just nice to receive to let me know I was not forgotten, but prayed for and loved.


Gifted me a massage.  This was just divine, and exactly what I needed.

Came by to pick me up, so I could go get coffee or tea with all the girls.

Offered to decorate my house for the holidays, and take the decorations down after the holidays were over.

Taught me how to knit...they brought the yarn, the knitting needles, and the pattern.

Cleaned my house.  Multiple times... Did  laundry.  

Called me just to talk.

Came to stay with me during the times Warren had to be away.  

Made sure to include me in as many activities as I could handle.  Like birthdays!

There were so many kind things people did for us.  I hope this gives you some ideas of how to "just do".   Truly, God never intended for us to do life alone. We need each other... Many thanks to all who helped put me together again.  Hugs!
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