We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Pick an item, any item..."

    The available items are plentiful. The desire to pick all of them, is present. But the gumption to do so is lagging a bit today.
    What am I talking about? Picking an item off of our current "projects in works" list, to work further on today.  A sample of said list:
~ Back yard. Made major strides on that project last evening. To the point that it now REALLY looks like somebody needs to get out there and do something! And yes, I really did do a lot of the work myself. Took a few 'couple of minute sit breaks' when the inner shimming got going too strong. Next step is to borrow a pick up truck to haul all of the cut brush away. Then purchase some chlorine bleach to put on the fresh cuts of the base of the plants we want to finish dieing off. I might be able to conquer those things. The leveling of the one area, the hauling of the scrap metal out of another area, etc. will have to wait for the guys to get to after our upcoming vacation weekend.

~ Kitchen. Made wonderful progress on that one yesterday afternoon! Still have to reorganize the pantry. Catch up the family white board calender and mop the kitchen. Could conquer that today.

~ Cleaning out / sorting through the upstairs 'cram it all room'. I've conquered almost 1/4 of it this week. Have to have it done before the 22nd when the GRAND kids come back, seeings how that is now going to be their room. Byron ended up moving back in again and is now in what was their room. 

~ The laundry room. Enough said. LOADS to do down there. (pun intended ;-p)

~ Finish sorting through the rest of the attic box's stacked around the perimeter of the dining room. 

~ Paperwork. Sorting through the piles of it. Filing away what needs filed. Shredding what needs shredded. Recycling what I don't need to keep. Needs done! Causes tired vertigo eye syndrome. 

~ The front porch. What a project that has turned out to be. Next step is to scrape one end of the porch ceiling. Paint the porch. Put up the new porch light. Make new cushions for one of the porch settees. ...

~ The den. Oh Mercy! 

I won't go on. You get the idea. Everywhere I look, there is a project in process that needs further action taken on it. We didn't intentionally start this many projects at the same time. 'Life' happens. On a regular, unschedualble basis!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Today is Elliot's 2nd Birthday

   HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  Mr. ELLIOT !  I am ever so thankful that God blessed our family with you! You are fun. You make us smile. All of your various laughs are delightful. Your impromptu hugs are wonderful. Your impy pulling back and telling us no when we ask for a kiss or a hug, while your eyes are dancing with delight, eggs us on more too. Still not sure how one little man your size can be everywhere at once, but you sure seem to be at times! Your body strength and coordination are amazing for somebody your age and height. Your hearty appetite requires stocking up ahead. Not sure how you've done it, but somehow you've managed to capture personality traits of all four of my sons (your dad and uncles). It's almost eerie at times how much like them you are. And then there's the oh so strong gene from my side of the family, which shows up in certain male family members, that makes you resemble your uncle Brandon when he was young and look like your great uncle Craig to a 'T'!  WE  LOVE  YOU  ELLIOT!!!!

    Here are some pictures from his birthday party last year. Due to the date for it having been changed a couple of times, Byron, Brian and I were the only ones able to go to Illinois for it. The ride home was even more enjoyable, seeings how we brought the kids back with us ;->

     The birthday boy, after nabbing some of the icing off of his cake -
                                                  3/28/13 - 15

    Yes, he has a scar by his eyebrow. He had full steam gone running into the bathroom to find mommy, slipped and his head had nailed the metal track of the shower doors. An ER visit and several stitches later, his mom called me to inquire how I had survived the frequency of such things with my four boys. ;-p

   Reaching for presents with mommy.
                                                       3/28/13 - 28

     Getting help from Papa B.
                                                              3/28/13 - 32

     the gift was "Vroom Vrooms!"
                                                        3/28/13 - 34

     For the fun of it, we had also taken a gift for Analyse -
                                                     3/28/13 - 31

   The party was at Aunt Cynthia's house. They were all in or by the pool when we pulled into the drive, so they couldn't see us nor us them. As Byron and I walked through the pathway in the bushes, Analyse, who was standing on the deck of the pool, spotted us. The rules about no jumping or running on the deck went floating away as she started yelling "Daddy!!!" and jumping in glee. The deck worked pretty darn good as a temporary trampoline ;-p.
    Later her actions proved that she was pretty thrilled to see me too -
                                                          3/28/13 - 20
                                               That's Aunt Cindy behind us.

    At one point during the day, Byron, Cyndi, Analyse and most of the other family members and guest, were either playing in the pool or taking naps. Brian and I were sitting at a table with Aunt Cindy, Uncle Randy and Elliot. Elliot has this thing for hats. Always has. So he had taken Papa's hat and sat ever so contently in my lap, playing with it. Sometimes he put it on, frontwards, backwards, sideways, even upside down, he was after all only 1. He also enjoys undoing and redoing the sizing part in the back (baseball styled hat). While I was immensely enjoying just holding 'my' little guy, it kept getting better and better every time that of his own accord, he would lean back against me, look up with a smile and sigh. All of this lasted for over 45 minutes. I truly am immensely blessed!

    I just have to include this picture of Cyndi. I love when she bursts out laughing over something!
                                                                  3/28/13 - 30

    The birthday boy with his parents :->
                                                            3/28/13 -  07

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Grandmie, Can I sit with you?"

   One day, as the GRAND children and I were again outside playing, I was taking a "hold still" break and sitting on a chair in the shade. After a bit, Analyse (pronounced Auna-lease) walked over and asked if she could sit with me. "You sure can!" I replied, as I reached over and opened up her little lawn chair. She tipped her head sideways and gave me a somewhat puzzled look, before sitting in her seat. 'Wonder what that was about', I thought.
   We talked. About the orange flowers that were just starting to bloom on their vines, over in the one corner of the yard. About the two white 'butterflies' that visit us in our yard frequently during the day. About how the big squirrel can only go around the yard on the top of the fence, but the little squirrels (which strongly resemble chipmunks in their faces) can go faster, due to being smaller and able to use the support boards around the top of the fence. About how silly and busy Mr. 'Energy Filled Imp' (aka: Elliot) is. About how good the breeze feels when the tree moves it's branches like that.
    About twenty minutes later, after one of those natural pauses in conversation (which comically, are neither natural nor common when conversing with Miss Analyse ;->) she looked me straight in the face and asked, "Grandmie, can't I sit in your lap?"
   "Of course you can!!!" I replied, while inwardly telling my eyes to stop tearing up, because she's sure to spot it and not understand. And my heart to slow down it's swelling and stay inside my chest. And my pride to take a humble pill, because I really didn't want to ruin the moment and fall! (referring to 'pride always cometh before a fall'). And praising and thanking the Lord for this blessing. And, NOW I understood why she had given me the quizzical look, when I had opened her little chair for her.
    I picked her up and sat her in my lap, she snuggled in as close as she could. Such blissfulness!

   A picture of Analyse from a different day this summer -
     June 2013, 023
                                   [dancing with 'June']

   It wasn't long before Mr. Elliot came bounding over wanting to sit in my lap too. He is at the stage where he want to do any and every thing big sister does.  But the gleam in his eyes and the way he too snuggled real close, told me that that was not the only reason he was sitting in my lap. :-D  I am so blessed! ! !

   A picture of Elliot also from a different day this summer -
      June 2013, 030
                   [just playing in and with their stroller]

  Two weeks till they come back.... anticipation....  :->

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4 generations

    So, I took this idea I came across on Pinterest, and with the guys cooperation, did this version of it. 

Started out with this picture Benson had taken for me, of (then) 18 months old Elliot.

then Brian took this picture of Byron, holding the picture of his son Elliot.
    2013/07 - 002

then Benson took this picture of Brian, holding the picture of his son Byron, who was holding the pictue of Brian's GRAND son Elliot.
     2013/07 - 003

and we all love this picture of Grandpa 'Honey' (it so captures 'him' :->), holding the picture of his son Brian, holding the picture of g-pa's GRAND son Byron, holding the picture of G-pa's GREAT GRAND son Elliot.
     2013/07 - 004

Each time we took the pictures to Wal-Mart and had them made into 16 x 20 size prints (available under 'poster size prints') 

The finished framed prints were 'Fathers Day' gifts to all the guys. Cyndi got a copy to hang in her house too.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Chuckles en-route

   Brian had forgotten to nab the 'quick sandwich' off the kitchen counter, to eat before heading to Papa 'Honey's' the other evening. So en-route, he asked me to open the package of cracker 'sandwiches' which had been riding around in the van, for him. "They're peanut butter". "I know, but I have to have something".
    So holding them to my side, so that they could not be viewed from either of the car seats behind us, I ever so silently opened the package and palmed him one. With undetectable stellar moves, he put it in his mouth and ate it. Then another.
    Then from behind me I hear, "Yumma" (Elliot's current name for me), "Food please". Brian and I exchange a quick questioning look as I ask, "What buddy?" "FOOD Please!!"
    Little guy had picked up the faint scent of the peanut butter and wanted some. Brian nodded and I passed one back to Elliot and then one to his sister, who of course wanted in on it.
    "Remind me not to buy that kind again" Brian commented, "they taste horrible to adults and give their existence away to young children".

     Byron was having stomach issues that evening and part way home he announced, that he got to be the first one to use the bathroom, once we arrived home. About fifteen minutes later, out of the blue, Analyse loudly asks, "Daddy, you still doing o-kay holding it?" There is no explaining to a just turned four year old, why that was funny.

    G-pa's pool is now open, the chemicals have been added and Sunday we head back to clean the surrounding patio and swim.