Friday, June 30, 2017

freshly mowed grass

Is there anything that says summer 
more than a carpet of grass just cut?
And the smell!!
Is there anything better?

We are having those afternoon thundershowers that I love so much.
You can see the dark clouds in the picture above.
There is so much to praise God for just sitting in my back yard.

After almost four years I love our home even more.
I love the color of the bricks
and the big windows that let in all of the sunlight.
What a blessing from God...
Lots of room to enjoy our families and to entertain.

I love this back porch.
Perfect spot to sit and watch a thunderstorm,
to talk to my daughter early in the morning,
to pray and offer thanksgiving
to the God to whom it all belongs.
Love to watch Bubba cook on the grill...
steaks tonight, delicious.

"This Ezra went up from Babylon,
 and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, 
which the Lord God of Israel had given;
 and the king granted him all he requested 
because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him."
Ezra 7:6

I just finished reading the book of Ezra.
God restores.
Love His word!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

tybee lighthouse

Tybee Lighthouse.
Tybee Island.
Savannah, Ga.
North End.
Quiet side.
Amazing vistas.
Home of the dolphins.

Around the bend to the left,
at the top of the picture,
is our condo.

Must be summer.
Long shadows.
Green grass!
I did not take this picture.

Raining now outside my window....
the sun came out.
I ran to see if there was a rainbow.
There was not.

Feeling sad but know my blessings.
They are too numerous to ever count.
God is good all the time.

Thankful for my husband,
a good, good dinner,
the rain, 
my geraniums on the porch.
Thankful for God's word,
His truth.
Thankful for ice cream...I may eat a bit later on.

Thankful that I live near enough to the ocean to get there when I need too...
when I have to walk in the sand and let the water
run over my feet and legs.
Thankful for that swing just a little ways down from the condo,
a place to sit, and watch, and pray.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

every girl should have a ....

....Trader Joe's close by,
if for no other reason than their wonderful array of cut flowers
at more than reasonable prices.

Bubba and I are deciding what beach we want to spend a week at this year.
While doing that we drove down to Jacksonville
for the day yesterday.
I got to do a little shopping.
we ate at PF Changs,
and...we stopped to buy flowers for my island.

About the beach...
Nothing else comes close.
I want to be right in front of it...
in it,
walking by it,
hearing it from my bedroom window.
Nothing else is more relaxing.
Where will it be this year?
We'll see!!

One of my most favorite flowers.
Pale pink...
I have a thing for the color pink.
It's just very feminine...
I add it into my decor in the spring and summer.
I am thinking about purchasing a pink quilt.
I don't think Bubba would mind.

Thank you God for flowers.
You outdid Yourself when you created them.


Monday, June 26, 2017

a gift from my lu

Lucy brought me a beautiful single strand of pearls from China.
I love them and I love her.
Thanking God tonight for my granddaughter
and for theses pearls.
I am blessed!

Friday, June 23, 2017

a very special visit

Tonight was Walt's first visit to his Grammy and Granddaddy's house.
We had a chicken-broccoli casserole 
because while they were on their way home from China, 
they were craving one. 
So I polished the antique high chair,
  got out my Peter Rabbit dishes,
 and Walt had a bowl full.  
So excited!
He loves it too.

I am already "in love" with our seventh grandchild!
At first he just kind of walked around looking at everything.
By the end he was smiling and having a great time.

And wonder of wonders....He loves sword fighting.
We brought back swords from The Pirates of the Caribbean down at Disney.
It was like he had already had lessons.

All I have to say is...
He fits right in with the family.

Thank you for Walter O God of heaven.
"You have been the helper of the orphan."
Psalm 10:14

Thursday, June 22, 2017

being okay with not getting better

After almost four years of constant, nagging depression,
of crying out to the Lord for help,
of being under a doctor's care,
of seeing my once vibrant life get smaller and smaller,
of finding it harder and harder to keep trying,
I have decided that I need to be okay with not getting better.
I need to accept where God has placed me,
be thankful for who I am in Christ,
and do what I can to serve Him in many small ways
while waiting for the glories that await.

Yesterday I was confronted with this truth twice....
once in a quote on Facebook from John MacArthur,
and once in a chapter from the book of Ephesians by Martyn L. Jones
given to me by Bubba who mentors me through this abyss.
I will share both.

"Do you have the ability
to look beyond your present circumstances
 to the glorious realities awaiting you down the road?" 
John MacArthur
7:01 AM

"If we had but some small conception of the glory which awaits us, 
and to which we are going, 
it would transform our view of our life in this world 
and of the things that happen to us in this world."
Martyn Lloyd Jones
Handed to me at about 3:00 PM on the same day by my husband.

This was the truth I needed to hear yesterday.
God never fails to give me what I NEED.
I WANT to be done with depression forever.....
but I need to trust God in my current circumstances.

One day all of the troubles of this world will be lifted.
I will have shed all of my tears.
The weight of sin will be lifted 
and I will be free to be what He made me to be.
Until then...
well, chronic depression physically hurts,
it drains the life from you,
it takes away your joy.
Unless you've been there, there is no way you could possibly know.

I don't know who reads my blog...
I have been counseled to keep writing
 because it fosters thankfulness for all that God has given me.
 You can tell by reading that I am most richly blessed.
Writing this blog is one of my most favorite things.
just so you know....
The joy of the Lord is my strength.

"Do not be grieved,
 for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah 8: 10:b

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

happy birthday amanda

You, my daughter, are the light of my life.
There is no one else like you.
You make me laugh out loud, sometimes hysterically.
You know all my secrets and love me anyway.
You bear with me,
you encourage me,
your love is felt deep in my heart.
You are and always have been a gift from God.

That smile on your face in the picture above is for Mark,
the man in the chair with the cat on his head.
He really wanted to be watching the golf  tournament,
but came to watch you open your presents instead.
That is love!

You guys came through Savannah twice to help us
while we were keeping Harry and Archie
while they were waiting for their brother Walt to get home.
The birthday party and the trip to the airport after the party
caused a level of excitement that was over the top.
Getting home at almost midnight, 
we all found it very hard to fall asleep.
What a happy day!!

During the party a rainbow appeared in the sky.
We all rushed out to see this beautiful symbol of God's promise to us.
We felt God's presence and love 
as the rest of our family was on the airplane
 speeding our loved ones home.

This was my gift to Amanda.
Soft pink sport shoes
wait for it,
When my eyes first landed on these shoes,
 they were shouting Amanda's name.
She loved them!!

Happy Birthday daughter of mine.
I love you!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

walter is home....

Last night at 10:45 the United plane landed that brought Walt home to us.
At the airport was gathered a large crowd of family and friends.
Pictured above are some of them.

The children were wild with excitement and good will.
The Werner family made this sign to welcome Walt home.
Almost everyone had worn their Walter Express T-shirts in solidarity.

Here they come up the concourse from the plane.
Family reunited!!

The family of seven together for the first time ever!

Thank you great God of heaven and earth
 for your watch care and protection over these people that I love so much. 
You are gracious! 
You are kind! 
There is no God but You who made heaven and earth.
You sustain life!
You choose!
You give life in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ!
Thank You!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

happily ever after

We got home from Disney World yesterday afternoon.
The trip was a huge success.
We rode eleven rides,
ate two Dole Whips,
had Mickey Waffles at Captain Cook's Cafe,
saw two bunnies,
fed the wild turkeys from our hotel balcony,
rode the monorails,
wore ourselves out and went back for more.

Granddaddy and the boys rode Thunder Mountain Railroad,
(I don't do roller coasters).
We rode Peter Pan twice because we love the story so much,
and because in the ride we get to fly.
Archie and I rode the race cars and laughed our heads off.
I beat Harry in the Buzz Lightyear shooting Gallery,
but he wouldn't admit it.
The Jungle Cruise did not disappoint.
The People Mover is always a relaxing high point.
And...It's a Small World...Oh the joy of that slow boat through the all the nations.

On the ride home...
one little boy was so tired 
that when we got almost home
 he asked if we were still at Disney World.
It was still living and breathing in his head.

An all time favorite is Pirates of the Caribbean.
The boys got new swords.
Harry is so good he fights with his weak (left) hand.
Archie and I, well we don't measure up.
But we keep trying.

Magic is there all over the place.
You get to be children again.
"Happily Ever After"

*Our friend Sarah Kate invited the boys over today to play.
She has five children of her own.
What a fine thing to do for this Grammy and Granddaddy.
I got All of the clothes washed and took a little nap.
Bubba got his "stuff" done too.
This is grace and mercy dear friend.
It is being like Jesus.
Thank You!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

road trip

Starting week three with the two short guys.
They are happy, healthy, and full of fun.
Tomorrow we embark on an adventure....
as if every day wasn't one.
We are taking them to Disney World,
They are beyond excited,
full of plans,
ready to go.
And thankfully,
I do not have to answer the question,
"When are we leaving for Disney?"
We decided on the movies they'll watch on the trip in the car.
I have Disney songs for them to listen to,
Archie has his Mickey Ears
and they both have their autograph books and pens.
Archie has his sleeping bag because he doesn't want to sleep in the bed with Harry.
I have them mostly packed...
there's a lot to remember.
Now I just hope that we all stay well,
and the two grandparents can be infused with extra energy,
and yes patience,
and that the thundershowers that are predicted will be brief.

Norman the cat will stay here and hold down the fort.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

a picture worth a thousand words

This picture...
these boys!
Been at the beach all afternoon.
A little sunburned.
Just wolfed down some good food at Long Horn.
All of Grammy's decorative pillows on the floor.

Amanda is standing in front of them giving some kind of instructions.
They seem to be paying attention.
They do not seem to be impressed with what she is saying.

Archie looks mildly distressed.
Jake seems to be astonished.
Eli has relaxed to the point of being semi-catatonic.
Harry is showing a spark of interest.

The rest of the evening consisted of...
extremely small ice cream sundaes and
2 episodes of Star Wars Rebels before bed.

The Cleland boys hit the bed and went out like lights.
The Hollingsworth children took a little longer to settle.
The adults were not far behind.

Grammy Life
Salt Life
It makes you like that!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

more helpers came

Amanda and Mark stopped by last night on their way to Virginia
to spend some time with Mark's parents.
They left early this morning
with all of the boys
in the picture.
They ate breakfast at Chick - Fil - A,
Spent the rest of the morning at Oatland Island,
and spent the afternoon at Tybee doing the beach and the pool.
They did all of this while Bubba and I rested at home.
This act of kindness was much appreciated,

We just got back from dinner at Long Horn.
We had a big, noisy, fun, and delicious meal together to end our day.
They will travel on in the morning
without Norman the cat
who is staying here.
Now we have two nine year old boys and a black cat.

It's a zoo here....
I love it!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

the orphanage

This picture was taken at the orphanage.
The crib next to Erika was Walt's.
Harry, Archie, and I were able to talk with Walt this morning on facetime.
What a joy!!
He is warming up to his family.
God is good ALL the time.

I am trying to teach Harry how to play checkers.
He is doing well...
anticipating his next move in the picture.
To the right, watching our game is Puck the Penguin.
To the left is his handmade sword.
He whittled a very sharp point with his pocket knife,
and taped it together with duct tape.
This is the life of a Grammy.
None of the grands can beat me at checkers......yet!
Harry and I have been watching Peter Pan.
We both wish we could fly.
We will one day I'm sure!

This is my truth,
my reality,
my prayer.
When everything else is swirling around me....
the chaos of this world,
the children and their constant wants and needs,
my thoughts that try to derail me,
the frailties of my body,
I have Jesus!
My constant prayer is that His peace will rule in my heart.
When He rules your heart everything is okay!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

a couple of shout outs...

Fourteen years ago on June 7th, 2003,
we put on a wedding. ❤
Amanda married Mark and the rest is history.
Pulling this wedding together was one of the most fun events of my life.
It was a fairy tale and a dream come true.
Happy Anniversary you two!
Love you both and those two great boys that we call our grandsons!

A serious and heartfelt thank you to the Harrell family at our church,
They kept Harry and Archie for us today
so that Bubba and I could have a little break.
Keeping two little boys for almost three weeks is a lot for old folks like us.
Your offer of this kindness was so much appreciated.
I have done pretty much nothing today except rest and read and,
 of course, wash the never ending stack of dirty clothes.

Weddings and grandchildren...
When one happens the other usually follows.
Thankful for ALL of God's blessings!

Monday, June 5, 2017

God's gift to us....Walter Bookman Cleland

We offer up Thanksgiving for this child.
God chose Walt for amazing is that!
David and Erika and Lucy picked him up from the orphanage yesterday (our time).
He is sad and confused but all of that will get better in time.
His little world has changed drastically.
Granddaddy and I met him early this morning via facetime....
so did Arch and Harry.
We were all thrilled and excited.

This thought is from David.
He has been reading Heaven for Children by Randy Alcorn
every night to his children. 
He likened Walt's experience coming to his new family
to our thoughts of going to heaven.
All he knows in his little two year old mind is the orphanage.
He has no idea what joy awaits him when he comes home.
That's like us.
All we know is this sinful world...
we cannot even fathom or imagine what awaits us when we go home to heaven.

Walt's sadness will soon turn to joy.
Same with us!

Get home fast little boy!
Grammy is looking forward to
 holding you close, 
kissing those cheeks, 
seeing your precious face for the first time.
Until then we will all be praying for you!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

what's in your purse?

I just left my three boys and ran down to get a pedicure.
Glancing through a magazine,
I saw that they have a feature every month...
What's In Your Purse?
I decided.."that's my blog for tonight,
I'll do a funny one for a change."
Besides, I don't really know
what's in my purse.
So, I came home and dumped it out on my bed.
This is what I found.

1.  My green leather Kate Spade wallet that I have used for at least twenty years.
2.  Two one dollar bills.
3. My "My Panera" card.
4.  My "Kroger Plus" card to get my cheap gasoline. 
5.  My I Phone 7.
6.  My glasses case that Lucy made for me.
7.  Two pair of red and black framed reading glasses.
8.  A bottle of water.
9.  A Tootsie Roll Pop...been in there forever.
10.  The keys to my 2005 Honda Odyssey which I hope never dies on me because I love it.
11.  Two colors of my "Essie" nail polish for impromptu pedicures like today....
Pink Diamond & Status Symbol.
I chose pink diamond.
12.  Easter Egg Swedish Fish left over from Easter.
13.  Dental floss...cannot be without!
14. Hair clips
15 Neosporin and some Barbie band aides.
16.  And last but not least,
my Chanel lipstick ~ Lip Glow,
the one and only best ever never wear anything else!

Okay....Bubba just left for the first night of his 55th high school reunion.
It's just me and Harry and Archie.
We are having a movie night tonight with ice cream sundaes.

*I wrote this last night but was too tired to finish and post.
@life with boys in the house
@tired grammy ~ just want to fall into bed and relax when I get them to bed.
@mornings are a time to "right my ship."
@pool today?