Monday, September 28, 2009

The Charm Cabinet

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

While we were on our Texas trip a few weeks ago, I was able to spend some precious time with my grandmother, we call her Nan. I adore my grandmother and find that I take after her in so many things. My visit reminded me of a story she shared with me a few years ago that changed my life. I wanted to share.

At the time this took place, my grandmother was very unhappy with the house they were living in. She was constantly griping and complaining about how small this and that was, not enough room to do what I need to do, etc. On her way out of the house to run errands one day she made it a point yet again to share her unhappiness with my grandfather. Well, with a smirk on his face he decided to call a realtor the minute she left and put the house up for sale. A few hours later she pulled in the driveway with a “For Sale” sign and a big SOLD above it staring her in the face! She walked in the house with a look of shock. You can imagine the following conversation. My grandfather has a priceless sense of humor, and thought it would be a great joke...much to his surprise when the house sold in a few hours! They didn't have any place to go, and would have to rent something until they did...with 4 kids in tow. The next week my grandfather and their oldest son were moving furniture out of the house onto a truck and one of the pieces of furniture was my Nan's charm cabinet that she adored. Well, an accident occurred and the charm cabinet fell off the truck and was in pieces on the ground. She heard the commotion and ran outside. When she saw what happened she tore into my grandfather up one side and down the other, “how could you be so stupid...this is all your stupid...”. My grandfather and uncle got a blanket and gently gathered all of the pieces and took the cabinet to a carpenter to be repaired. A few hours later my uncle came inside, and told my Nan that my grandfather was outside crying while weeding the flower beds. My Nan said she just had a sinking feeling, utter devastation. She said at that moment, she had never felt more low or such disgust due to the pain she had caused my grandfather...and all because of words that came from her mouth.

When the charm cabinet was returned a few weeks later, it had been perfectly pieced back together. However, there was one spot hidden, that only my Nan noticed, that was slightly rough to the touch. She said that over time the wound she had created with her words had healed, but she could never shake the memory of that day. Anytime she was angry or was about to speak words in anger or haste, she would take a minute, walk to the charm cabinet and rub the rough area as a reminder of the pain she caused and how terrible she felt. She had rubbed that spot so much over the years that it is almost completely smooth today.

She shared this story with me a few years ago after I had an argument with Wes (I couldn't remember what it was about to save my life), but it touched me so much because in my lifetime I've never heard my Nan speak an unkind word. She is the picture of love. It changed my life. I realized that she changed her ways as an outcome of her experience. I could either continue to leave a path of destruction with my words or learn from her mistake. Don't get me wrong, I still constantly struggle with needing to watch my tongue...and usually just with those I love and hold dear, like my husband. I am so guilty of it lately, as I find myself so exasperated with my daily life that I lash out without thinking twice....and then I remember this story.

Do you ever wish you could take back something you said the minute you said it? How do you want to be remembered??

Monday, September 21, 2009

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

We went to the County Fair on Saturday. The weather was yucky, but we managed to walk around for about an hour to see the sites (not to disappoint - always great people watching).
Ella on the HUGE tractor

Ella next to the HUGE pumpkins

The baby chicks at the petting zoo

The calf "Baby" - When you ask Ella what a cow says...MOO!!!! Ella saw cows, goats, and sheep in the main animal exhibit. Molly had a meltdown the minute we walked in the building so I didn't catch any pictures. I think it was the smell...ha ha!

And...of course we had to stop by the food area. Ella and I shared a funnel cake and Wes tried eats from a few different establishments. It smelled better than it tasted. Wes and I are accustomed to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The food there is a MAJOR attraction and SOOOO good! I don't know why we thought the Benton Country Fair would be the same?? Oh, well...note to self. I can't wait to take the girls to Houston for the Rodeo in a few years. That was a really big deal when I was young. It was so much fun!!

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Eyes of Texas are upon you..Part 2 and 3

From Lake Livingston our trip continued into Houston to visit my Mom's parents, Nan and Pop. Wes stayed at the lake with his Dad. I was a little anxious about continuing our trip without him, but I knew we could make it work. We arrived at Nan and Pop's at about 6 pm and when I turned the corner there were literally 15 cars parked in the cul-de-sac!! Boy did we have a welcome committee!! I thought everything would be fine, but the minute we walked in the door, the twins melted. It took me 2 hours to get them settled down. I think there was too much commotion. I would get one settled down and hand them off, and it would start all over again. Ella saw her Papa, my Dad, and she was just fine. So, at least she was taken care of. I obviously didn't get any photos of my family that were there to greet me, but I think my Aunt Peggy did, so hopefully I will have some pictures to post of everyone.

The next 2 days I visited with my grandparents and had a few special visitors. I so enjoyed my time here. My Nan and I got to talk a lot. We have a lot in common, despite the age difference. My Mom and Dad both worked during my visit, but ate dinner with us and visited each night.

Nan and Molly
Aunt Donna, my Mom's Sister, and the twins. My Aunt Donna has an amazing story that is way too long to share here, but over the last 20+ years she has undergone 2 kidney transplants (one from my Pop, her dad, and the other from her husband, Tom). She is an inspiration!! When I have a bad day I think of her and her perseverance. She always has an amazing attitude and outlook. She is a walking miracle!
Mom and Ruby
My grandmother has an collection of antique miniature chairs. Ella LOVED this particular chair and would climb in and out of it constantly. Just her size.
Ella with her "Angel Bear". This bear sings "Just call me Angel of the morning...". It was a gift from one of my grandmother's good friends, Carol, at Ella's Baby Shower. Carol actually came for a quick visit this trip and I was so happy we brought the bear with us so she could see how much Ella loves it. This chair is an antique high chair, I remember sitting in this chair when I was young. Ella loved sitting in it.

Come to think of it, I didn't get a lot of pictures, period. I'm not sure why??


Thursday morning, I packed everyone up and we hit the road again. This time we drove about 3 1/2 hours to see my dad's parents, Bobo and Pop. They live in East Texas. My Mom took Thursday and Friday off and she road with me. We picked up Wes on the way. My brother, Grant, and Lisa (my older brother, Jim's, Fiance) arrived Friday afternoon. My dad and Jim arrived late Friday evening.

All of the grandchildren have called Bobo and Pop's place "The Farm" since I can remember...we have always loved going to the farm. They have quite a few acres, so we could basically roam freely with no worries growing up. We would cruise around in old cars, golf carts, 4-wheelers, etc. It's where I learned how to fish and where my brothers learned to hunt. We have countless memories of "The Farm". I hope our girls have just as many memories here. Here is Ella with her Daddy...first 4-wheeling experience. Needless to say I was a little nervous, but Wes just did a few loops. Ella LOVES the outdoors.

Ella saw her first turtle - it was pretty funny!

Bobo and Molly

Mom, Bobo, and Molly
Aunt Vicki with Molly. Aunt Vicki, my dad's sister, came to stay with us for a month when
the twins were about a month old. She was an answered prayer and I will NEVER forget her visit. She cooked, cleaned, fed babies, helped with Ella, and most importantly gave godly advice and counsel. God placed her in my life when I was experiencing MAJOR anxiety about my new responsibilities and she was the perfect answer to my prayers. God knows exactly what we need, all the time!

Pop with Ruby - Pop turned 90 years old this Summer.
Bobo with Molly
It was so good to see my grandparents, and I was so happy they got to hold their 3 great-grandchildren.
Jim and Lisa feeding the twins. I think this was the first morning feed, not sure. Anyway, I think Jim was pretty sure he only wanted one baby at a time, someday. Jim and Lisa will get married in June 2010. We are SOOOO excited! Lisa couldn't be a more perfect addition to the family.

Mom playing with Ruby
I had to end on this picture. This was pretty much the site all weekend...Papa following Ella, Ella in Papa's arms or on his lap. My dad cannot get enough of Ella. Ella adores her Papa. She just lights up when she sees does he.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Eyes of Texas are upon you...Part 1

We pulled in the driveway at about 7 pm Sunday night. Home from our 10 day trek to Texas. HOLY COW am I exhausted!! We had such a good time. It is always such a bummer making the trip home from a vacation and visiting family. Not to mention the MAJOR unpacking and laundry that is still in process!

We spent Labor Day weekend with Wes's family at their Lakehouse in Livingston. Our arrival was quite interesting, to say the least. We got there at about 10 pm on Thursday, a 10 hour drive with a few stops. All the girls were dead asleep and the process of getting everyone inside and unpacked enough to go to sleep. WOW, was that fun! I think Wes and I got probably 3 hours of sleep that night (if that). At one point, all three girls were in bed with us. SUPER FUN!

Wes fished with his Dad and Brother, Jeff, and had a great time. I visited with my Mother-In-Law, Diane, and Niece, Reese. Reese is 6 yrs old and Ella was really taken with her. I knew she would be. She had a great time. Grandma kept quite a few toys from Wes's childhood and Ella adored playing with every one of them. You will notice the toys EVERYWHERE in the pictures. This was also the first time for my Father-In-Law, Rick, to see the twins. I think he enjoyed playing with them.

I don't remember what you call all of these toys, but I remember playing with this house set at my Grandparents when I was young.
Ella wearing her clog slippers. She also really loved this soccer ball.
Ella and Reese eating lunch
Rick playing with Molly

Wes's parents went overseas to visit their Daughter/Ella's Aunt Stephanie, in July and brought back tons of goodies for Ella. Stephanie is in the Peace Corp and is stationed in Albania. Grandma Diane and Grandpa Rick brought back a doll from each of the cities they visited as well as some "clog" slippers from Holland. Ella LOVED them! They also brought back some real wood clogs from Holland, but they are too big for Ella right now. They surprised me with some lovely gifts that I love. They are always so generous!

Ella also had her first swimming experience or rather floating experience. Diane purchased a covered float for Ella so she could get in the lake. Wes and I were both unsure of her reaction, but it turns out she loved being in the lake.
Ella all ready to go swimming
Ella in her floaty
Ella in her travel lounge chair
Ruby napping

I had to catch sweet

Before I took the girls into Houston to see my family we stopped to see Wes's Grandmother, Joan, the girls Great-Grandmother. She is currently in a special care home close to Wes's parents where two wonderful Nurse/Caregivers are attending to her. It's a long story, but last December she moved from Florida to live with Wes's parents and out of nowhere became ill. She has since been on a roller coaster. We did get some good pictures of her with the girls. I hope to post a few soon.

Our trip then continued on to Houston. To be continued....