Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Today’s post is a tribute to all of the men and women that serve our country and to the families that are left behind to carry on without them.
To these service people and families, past and present I say Thank You!
Thank you for allowing me to grow up in a country that is free.
Thank you for making it a safe place for me to raise my children.
Thank you for making the sacrifice so that my grandchild will also know the joys of freedom.

My Mother and I were talking last night about Memorial Day. She was commenting that she wished our country would become more patriotic like when she was young. She said she wished we would all treat this holiday with the dignity and reverence that it was intended to have, instead of an excuse for a 3-day weekend. I wanted to agree with her, but as I listened to her I realized that we treat this holiday as just a 3-day weekend because that is all we have been taught.

As I thought back to my own childhood I realized that no one ever taught me what this holiday was about. We did not have classes about Memorial Day in school - probably because it was the end of the school year and the teachers were “done teaching” for the year. My family did not go and decorate graves with flowers. And my Father most certainly did not plant flags all over his perfectly manicured lawn. Instead, our celebration included Dad digging the flag out of the hall closet and putting it out on the front porch and there was usually a BBQ or picnic and some swimming for the first time that season.

So, what is the answer? How do we make this holiday into more than just another 3-day weekend and cause for yet another BBQ? Are we, the post-WW-2 generations, really at fault for not being more patriotic? Yes and no are the answers I came up with. How are we to know if we are not taught? But on the other hand why do we not question?
After my talk with my Mother I thought to myself, what can I do to celebrate this holiday in the manner it was designed for?

This is what I came up with. . .
*I sat down and wrote an email to all of my brother Steve’s shipmates and thanked them for their service to me and my country.
*My prayers last night were of thankfulness for those that have served and are serving us today.
*I went out today and I took photos of the flags that were flying in my community.
*And lastly I decided to use my blog today as a platform to encourage all of you that actually read this, to remember this holiday in some meaningful way yourself.

Here is one of the photos I took today just before sunset - I added my brother’s boot camp photo to it as a tribute.

I would like to challenge each of you to make a list of the Service Men & Women that you know and find some way to honor them. Maybe a note or an email of thanks. Or a phone call just to say hi. Maybe a prayer for their safety. Or maybe they have already passed on, and you will take flowers to their grave. I would also challenge you to include your children in this activity if you have them. This way maybe the next generation will not have the conversation I had with my Mother last night.

God Bless you - and God Bless America!

My List:
Winford Schell - Uncle - Army - WW2
Steve Peterson - Brother - Navy - Vietnam
Gaylord Schell - Cousin - Army - Vietnam
Steve Tiller - Navy - Vietnam
Richard Kramer (aka Grog) - Navy - Vietnam
John F. Winther, Jr. - Navy - Vietnam
Mike Schmidtman - Navy - Vietnam
Peter C. Laustrup - Navy - Vietnam
Bob Jackson - Navy - Vietnam
Steve Sauder - Navy - Vietnam
Rocky Issacson - Navy - Vietnam
Tito Fererra - Army - Present

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just Monkeying Around

Today was just one of those days - you know when you get absolutely NOTHING done! But that is just fine with me. Today was spent with 2 of my favorite girls - Lizzy and Monkey! We headed off tho the pool first thing. Monkey had gotten a new floaty toy and a new swimsuit so we had to go try them both out (plus we needed to pack up our new monkey tote and try it out too). We all swam and splashed and had so much fun! Grandpa even came and played with us on his lunch break.

Monkey got good and tired after almost 2 hours and Lizzy and I got good and hungry for pizza! So while I got Monkey down for a nap Lizzy went to pick up our fav pizza from Streets of New York. It is so seldom that I get to hang out with Liz anymore between her work schedule, school schedule and her social schedule. So I really enjoy our time together. Monkey took a long long nap today and that was great for Lizzy and I.

After we ate our pizza we had a little "adventure" we found a scorpion in the family room!!!! YOu should have seen us two girls trying to get rid of that thing! YUCK!!! I really hate those things. I have lived here my whole life and have never had to deal with them until we bought this house out in the middle of the desert. It is the only downfall to this new house. And it is especially scary with a crawling baby in the house!

When Monkey got up from her nap it was more play time for us 3 girls, then Grandpa showed up and the playtime continued with him. It is so great to see Gary with the baby - he loves kids. So it was just another day in paradise around here. Nothing but fun and play (except for the scorpion) all day! I hope you had just as good of a day!

Here's another short video for you . . .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Grandma's My Name, Spoilin's My Game

You know how they say “if I had known grandchildren were so much fun I would have had them first”? Well, I finally know what they meant by that statement! The past 9 months have just been soooo much FUN for me! It is a joy unlike that of being a parent. It is so much bigger, freer and easier. And it’s not just because you can send her back home at the end of the day. I have had a few people ask me why it is so different and I think I have come up with the answer. . .

I think part of it is the amazing joy and realization that this child has come from your own child. And the love and the pride you have in your own child already is multiplied when you see them love someone so selflessly. You can’t help but love and adore that baby of theirs.
I also think it comes from the fact that you have the opportunity to “make up” as it were, for all of the things you couldn’t do for your own children.

Whatever the reason, I just ADORE this little Monkey that God has placed in my life. And I am thankful each day that I get to be such a big part of her life.

Okay, enough of all of that ‘deep’ stuff. . .

Monkey and I had so much fun today! Lizzy & I gave her a fun bath in the kitchen sink full of bath toys. I got her all dressed in her new flowered shorts outfit I bought her on Mother’s Day. Then she and I went for a nice walk to the park. We saw bunnies, squirrels and lizards as we walked. It was getting a little bit warm so we stopped at one of the ramadas and had a cool drink and played patty-cake (which she is very good at now!). We saw grandpa driving by, heading towards home for lunch so we started back. Bless her little heart she just couldn’t make it home without falling fast asleep. So after a quick hug from grandpa and a nice long nap it was time to eat and play some more! We played with monkeys, and in her walker (aka “the Monkey-Mobile) and then just with each other running around and bouncing on the furniture (something I wouldn’t have let my own kids do). She is just so amazing! I even found tooth #3 in her little mouth today! And if that isn’t enough she is saying two words now!!!! She says MaMa loud and clear and when the dogs come running to play with her she says doggy! Okay it is not a clear “doggy” but it is a “D” word and it is the same “D” word every time she sees the dogs.

Below you will find a very short video of her in her Monkey-Mobile. If you need a smile today, just watch this - you wont be able to help but smile! Be sure to turn on your volume.

Now it is time for me to go tend to dinner. Grilling a whole chicken, fresh corn on the cob and red potatoes tonight. All of it is cooking on the grill so NO dishes tonight! (except for plates) I hope your day was as good as mine.


Quote of the Day:

Grandchildren are spoiled because you can't spank the Grandma!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just Cheecking in. . .

How is everyone doing? Did all of you Mothers have a great Mother's Day yesterday? Mine was quiet for the most part. I was just so tired on Saturday night that I told Bryanna that I was just going to sit in my night gown all day Sunday! And guess what? That is exactly what I did! I felt really bad for not being with her on her 1st Mother’s Day but I woke up with a headache. I decided that a little therapeutic sewing would help. It didn't, and I ended up with a full blown Migraine! I did manage to get an apron done that Bryanna had requested. By 7:00 I had taken a bubble bath and was snuggled up on the couch watching my favorite "tear-jerker" show, Extreme Home Makeover. I did manage to keep my eyes open until the end, but that's about it. I woke up this morning still snuggled up on the couch!

Today was a much better day! I had the good ol' migraine hangover for a few hours, but felt like "me" by noon. Since the sewing machine and all of it's paraphernalia was still out (and strewn about my studio) I decided to do a little more sewing. I have been wanting to make Monkey and I a tote bag/diaper bag for our outings together. Of course it had to be a "monkey bag". I had all of the stuff purchased, just hadn't had the time to get it done. And now that we have been going to the pool, we really needed a tote.

(My Lizzy and My Monkey at the pool Thursday)

It is real similar to the shopping bags I have been making, except for the size and some of the little details. It has lots of pockets inside and out. I got it all done this afternoon and was just so pleased with it! I even made a matching lunch bag to keep in it. We are going to look quite “bright” when we go out monkeying around together! I just love making things for my little Monkey! (did you notice that her bag matches her quilt I made her?)

(My New Monkey Tote & Lunch Bag)

Well, that is about all my news for today. I hope you all are starting off your week well and feeling rested after your weekend. Make it a goal to create some special this week . . .

a craft. . .

a photograph. . .

a yummy dessert. . .

a memory. . .

Quote of the Day:
Passion is the freedom of creativity without the burden of logic.
--Debbie Gisonni

Friday, May 9, 2008

God's Cake

Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why did God have to do this to me?" Here is a wonderful explanation!
A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away. Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."
"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers. "Yuck" says her daughter.
"How about a couple raw eggs?" "Gross, Mom!"
"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?""Mom, those are all yucky!"To which the mother replies:
"Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! "
God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!
God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.
I hope this will encourage you as much as it did me. I just wanted to post it her for everyone to read. Have a SUPER GREAT weekend my friends!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Simple Pleasures. . .

I am so sleepy tonight! We had Monkey all night last night and I am running on 2.5 hours of sleep! But I just had to post a couple of photos from last night and this morning.

When Grampa came home from work last night and found out we were keeping Monkey over night he decided we should take her to the pool for a swim before dinner. This would be her 1st time to actually put on a swimsuit and get in the water. She seemed to really enjoy herself, as did Grampa!

This morning came a little too soon for me but, it was a beautiful morning just the same. A sunny, blue sky, a cool breeze and my 19 year old out on the patio blowing bubbles! What could be better?

So what were your simple pleasures for today??????

Have a great "Hump-Day" tomorrow!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Don't Blink!!!

Seems like just "Yesterday" that my Bryanna was this little! Now my little girl has a little girl of her own! But I have had 25 years to get used to the fact that Bryanna is not a baby anymore. But today I had to face the fact that my little granddaughter is no longer a baby too! She is turning into a little girl way too fast! How on earth did this happen!?!

This past week I realized that I have so few pictures of Bryanna and Monkey together. I have a TON of Monkey all by herself, but very few of them together. So I asked Bryanna if she would give me Sunday to take photos of them together. I told her I did not want posed "studio" types of shots, but ones of them interacting. Try as we would, we could not think of anything fun to do that I could drag my camera along for. So we were just gonna do our typical "hang out at the mall" thing and "lunch thing".

When I woke up this morning I just knew I did not want to hang out at the mall! So I called her up at 7am and told her we were heading up to Prescott! It is still nice and cool up there and it would be a beautiful day. I got dressed and got the car ready and headed over to pick them up. I stopped at the QT on the way and ended up locking my keys in the trunk of my LOCKED car! Of course my cell phone was INSIDE my LOCKED car and so I couldn't call home for an extra set of keys. I finally found enough change to use the BROKEN pay phone!!!! Luckily, the QT clerk was nice enough to let me use thier phone. About 30 min later my Mom showed up with the extra set of keys and I was on my way again.

We loaded Monkey and all of her gear up in the car and headed up the Bradshaw Mountains to one of my favorite towns in AZ. Once there we wondered the shops on Whiskey Row. Made a couple of little purchases and then stumbled into a hat shop. Bryanna and I both walked out the door with a big brimmed "Hotel Del" worthy hat for our upcoming trip to San Diego. Momkey is growing tired of hats and so we didn't get her one. Although I found the cutest monkey hat in there that I would have loved to have bought her, if only she would keep it on her head.

After the hat shop it was time for a picnic in the old Courthouse Square. Okay, so it really wasn't a picnic, but we did feed Monkey her lunch. Then it was just time to play. I stayed out of most of it and just let them do "their thing". I am so glad I did. Bryanna is just adorable with her, and Monkey just loves her Mommy!

After the park we went out to lunch to feed the "Big Girls", and then it was time to head back down the mountain for home. Of course I couldn't just drop them off and leave. I had to go in for an hour or so to play some more. It is so fun to see her in her own house, with her own stuff. She crawled over the place, following Bryanna and I from one place to another. We all ended up in her room and she played and laughed and made us laugh too. But, I couldn't help but wonder what happened to our little baby girl? Now she can just go where ever she wants to and stands up to get the things she wants down off the shelves. Watching her in that room just made me think that at any moment she is just going to take off and walk!

It is amazing how fast they grow and change. It makes me think of that Kenny Chesney song "Don't Blink". It just so true!!!!
I really hope you all had the best day ever today like I did!

And remember. . .