Wednesday, June 11, 2014

4. My Favorite Season

I love the different seasons of the year.

Spring brings newness, freshness.  Green grass, beautiful flowers, baby lambs, little chicks to name a few.

Summer brings much happiness.  Vacations, long day light hours, home made ice cream, fresh veggies, farmers markets.

Winter brings coziness.  Snuggle under a blanket with a warm cup of coffee and a good book. Christmas. New Year.

But my favorite season is Fall.  I love the warm colors of falling leaves and pumpkins.  I love to get in the kitchen and bake.  I love a little nip in the air. I love being able to open the doors and windows and letting the house air out, smells so fresh. I love walking through the park and watching the leaves fall. I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays coming. The shorter days mean I will get my stitching or scrap-booking  out and start making something memorable. You know it will not be long before family will start gathering for a holiday.

And there is nothing on earth that makes me happier than my dear family-John,  John Carol and Stephanie, Kalyn and BJ and Shepherd and Lydia (and any future little ones)  gathering around me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

3. Favorite Foods

I think this topic was definitely chosen by John.  I don't know how entertaining this post will be but here goes.

When I started thinking about this topic the very first thought that came to mind was chocolate cake with fudge frosting and vanilla ice cream all mashed together.  It just does not get any better than that.  But then I started really thinking about my favorite foods and with each thing I would think of I noticed there was more to it that just the food itself.  There was always a memory that went with it that made it one of my favorite foods.  For instance, the chocolate cake with ice cream was one of my mother's favorite desserts.

When I was young I baked many 1-2-3 cakes and for the icing I would use homemade plum jelly.  This was always a favorite of mine. Why?  Because I cooked it for my daddy.  How I wish I could bake one up right now and set and have a conversation with him.

My favorite meal of the day is always breakfast. Why? Because  Mom could fix fried eggs like no other.  Some way she got the whites firm and the yolks just right for her homemade biscuits to be crumbled up in. Nothing better. Or her chocolate gravy and biscuits. Special occasions called for special meals and this was special.

I love, love, love crispy fried pork chops with mashed potatoes, gravy and homemade biscuits. Why? It reminds me of the farm and family setting at the table together.  Dad having a hog butchered and the fresh meat. Delicious.

Homemade ice cream. Why? Dad cranking the freezer and me (or one of my siblings) setting on it to hold it steady. Heavenly.

And oh how I would love to set down right now with a platter of crispy fried salt pork, biscuits, gravy, onion and tomatoes.  Why? Mom would fix this for supper many nights in the summer when she had just picked fresh onion and tomatoes from her garden. Yummy.

My love of potato salad comes from my love for Aunt Dinah. Why? She would make it special for me at noon when I worked in Eden. She knew I loved it and she would make it and have me over for lunch.

John's BBQ brisket. Why? He loves bar-b-quing and that love makes it taste so good.

I could go on and on, but the moral to my story here is:  Good food and good memories go hand in hand.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

#2. Love

When John and I were thinking up these topics to write about we had just left Abilene headed home.  It was so hard telling John Carol and Kalyn good bye and leaving them.  When we mentioned "love" we were both thinking of our love for these two kids. In my eyes I am blessed with the two greatest kids ever and the love for them runs deep. As does my love for my dear husband.

Now several years later I have learned new "loves".  At that time I did not know that when I got "in-laws" I was going to fall so deeply in love with them.  Even though I did not give birth to them or raise them I am very protective of them.  I want to care for them.  I love cooking for them, folding their laundry - just anything to show them I truly love them as my own.

Then came the grand-babies. Wow. Another "love". What I find so special about them is how they love.   They love me just the way I am.  They do not care how I look, how I dress, what kind of house I live in, what kind of car I drive.  They do not care which church building I walk into on Sunday morning or what party I vote for.  They just love me - just the way I am. No wonder Jesus loved children!  And I love them just the way they are.  They are so special.

I love my friends, my church family and my customers at work.  They are all special in one way or another and fill a place in my heart.

It is easy to love.

Or is it?

One day in Bible class we were discussing love and I was really thinking on it.  In church I wrote a note.  I wrote, "I think it is easy to love - love God, love family, love everyone in Menard.  In Bible class I think we tend to think we are really good at loving - but are we?  Do we love our enemies? Do we love others who are different from us? Do we love leaders in office if he/she is not the one we voted for? Could I love someone who hurts/kills one of my family members? I think we have a lot of work to do on loving".

Then I handed  it to my right.  His response was, " we are not good at enacting love to a lot of people, including those we just don't respect (the homeless, the poor) and our enemies. I do not think we have to agree with all of these people, but we should treat them well, not cynically.  When we get "freedom from sin" we are usually selfish, happy to have gotten away with our mistakes. But "freedom of sin" is also freedom from the need to sin.  So, because we will be resurrected, we don't need to worry about what someone may do to us and so we can avoid fearing them and killing them and love them instead".

Matthew 5:44 Jesus says "...Love your enemies".  John 15:17 He says, "This is my command: Love each other".

In looking back, I thought I was really good at loving, but now I know I have a lot of work to do.

John 3: 16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son."

Wow, a lot of work.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

#1. A Life Changing Event

On February 3, 2013 I did a post on a little project John and I had planned to do.  We had decided once again to do this little project.  Today is March 16, 2014 and we are finally getting started! This is my first installment on my list of 50 topics to write on.  Here goes....

When you think of a life changing moment/event I usually think of the day I was baptized, or the day I got married, or the day one of my children were born.  While each of these are truly life changing,  today I am going to tell of a different moment for me.

I had a very happy childhood.  I was blessed with the best parents a child could ask for.  I had wonderful, loving siblings.  We had a family deeply rooted in our faith, so God was a part of my family and my life.  But with all this wonderfulness, I was still a miserable child at times.  I was happy at home with my family, but I hated school.  I was always over weight and you might even say I was a sickly child.  I missed more days of school in second grade than I attended.  It was discussed at the time to fail me, but the teacher decided to let me go on to third grade.  I was called all the "fat" names and the butt of many "fat" jokes - at school and at some family gatherings.

It seemed I cried all the time.

Everything hurt my feelings.

I could not take a joke.

I was miserable.

Then in fifth grade I brought home my school picture.  Mom took one look at it and told Dad "Loveta is sick.  I am going to take her to the doctor".  I was scared and did not want to go.  Mom put her foot down, I was going.  Thank Goodness for that decision!

Dr. Hall did blood work and found that I had low thyroid.  He put me on a balanced diet and gave me a small pink pill - thyroid medicine.  I lost weight and my personality did a complete 360.

I started liking school.  Junior high and high school were so much fun.  My Jr. and Sr. years were my two happiest school years.

I could not only take a joke, but could tell one.

People could speak to me and I would not cry.

I was happy.  Not just at home with my family.

This may not sound like a life changing moment/event to some people, but you have no idea what a big change that one doctor's appointment made.

And for that I am very thankful.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


On January 24, 2013 I stepped out my back door to go to work. I looked down and an iris was blooming.

One of my mother's irises.

I stopped. Looked. Smiled.

She loved her irises.

I loved her. Still do.

I miss her.  Always will.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Listening to Shepherd

We have been with our grand-babies for the past few days and, as always, it has been much fun.  Every time we see them it amazes us how much they have changed.  Lydia is growing, turning over, cooing, smiling, squealing and she is just so sweet and precious.

Shepherd has grown and he is talking up a storm.  It is so much fun to just sit and listen to Shepherd.  He has a lot to say.  One of the funniest things about Shepherd talking is how dramatic he is.  Here are some of my favorite memories of Shepherd talking these past few days:

One day Kalyn was going to church with Cary Gay.  I walked outside to show Cary Gay Lydia.  Pap had Shepherd and Shepherd started whining "Oh no, Mamm and Pap", John said, " Shep, I am right here and Mamm is coming right back".  Then, he noticed his Mommy leaving "OH NO, MOMMY!" Then started crying until we got in the house.

Kalyn:  "Shepherd you need to cooperate."
Shep:  "Can't cop-er-rate now."

We took him down to the park and every time he heard a vehicle cross the bridge he would look up and say what it was - "truck", "truck", "truck", "school bus".  He was right.

We went down to the river and he would climb up the hill to get rocks to throw in the river.  As he would start running back to the river his eyes would get big, a smile come up on his face and he would say "Run in the river!"  He almost made it a couple of times too, before I could catch him.

Lydia was on a pallet and I had given her toys to play with.  He took them away one at a time and each time he would say "no share".

One day he was soooooooooooo sad that he was having to go take a nap.  That bottom lip was out as far as it could go and his eyes were sad.  I said, "Shepherd, Mommy will read you "Ole King Cole" (his favorite book here at Mamm's house). He said in the saddest voice you have ever heard "was a merry ole soul".

Giving him a bath I said "Let's count the froggies.  One, two, three."
Shep:  "Uno, dos, tres". None of us knew he could count in Spanish.

His imagination is amazing.  We were letting him play in the mud.  He was having the best time.  Very happy little boy.  All of a sudden he told me "crock-a-doll-doo".  I said "what? a crocodile?" "A crock-a-doll-doo." Then he saw it's "eye", talked about the "ocean" and "rhinos"!

He informed us that Abby (the cat) has "sharp teeth - like a dragon".

Right before we left to go to Abilene he had this conversation with his Mother:

Kalyn: (looking at a picture)  "Who is that?"
Shep:  "Un Bro. Un Bro is really, really tall.
Kalyn: " He is really tall"
Shep:   "Like a volcano"
Kalyn:  "Volcanos are tall".
Shep:  " Volcanos are really, really hot".

(As Kalyn was telling us this in the car, at the end Shep spoke up and said "and smoky".)

Yes, this little boy kept us busy and laughing.  I could spend all day just listening to him.

Here is a couple of pictures of him in the mud, with his dragon hat  - that he put on himself.  So precious.

What a fun week.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Great Idea - Never Happened; Trying It Again

Several years ago when JC and Kalyn were both in Abilene attending ACU John and I had a great idea.

We were driving home from one of our many trips to Abilene and we started talking about Christmas gifts.  We decided that we were going to think of 50 topics and each of us would write a page pertaining to that topic and then we would put all our stories and writings in a book and give it to the kids for Christmas. As we were driving along we thought of our 50 topics.  The next day I sat at my computer and wrote 50 Titles out on 50 sheets of  paper , two copies of each.  Punched holes, put in binders and we were ready to start writing.  Never happened.

About a month ago I found those two binders so neatly done.  Then I found a spiral where I had written out three stories that I was going to put in the "official" binder. Never happened.

I showed the binder to John today.  We read the titles on all fifty pages and laughed at some of the things we had come up with.  What were we thinking?

We have decided that we are going to make this happen though - just a little differently.  We are going to go ahead and write about the 50 things we had originally decided on, but we are going to put it on our blogs.

I hope this time we actually do it.  I think it will be fun.

Kids, you might even learn a thing or two about your ole parents (in-laws) that you did not know.