Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Wishes to Another Princess

Today, the first one of our Fabulous Five is turning 7!
S - E - V - E - N!!
That sounds so old, Campbell Jane!
The whole family--both sides worth--gathered in the waiting room for your arrival. You, like your Aunt Mande who celebrated her birthday only 2 days before you were born, took your own sweet time. You finally made your entrance looking just like your Daddy. Oh, you looked so tiny ~~ would I remember how to hold a baby? Of course, I would and did, even though your Daddy wasn't so sure at first ~~ wonder who took care of him when he was a baby?? Your eyes changed to beautiful clear blue like your mommy's ~ and now you're looking more and more like your cousin, Macie. I love that beautiful dimple of yours ~ it just keeps getting deeper and deeper.

I got to spend a whole week with you after you came home from the hospital, celebrating your first 4th of July with you. Pop and Granddaddy came back to get me that weekend and I cried all the way home because I missed you so. After having 2 great grandsons, Pop was so excited to have a little girl. He just couldn't get enough of you.

Now, you're going into 2nd grade and are playing coach-pitch softball with the 8 & 9 year olds. Whew, 12 hours is a long time for this Mimi at the ball park but it brings back such sweet memories of the times we traveled for your daddy to play. You're an awesome basketball player, too, ~ it's fun to watch your daddy coach you. And, of course, an A student. Congratulations on all your special honors this year! But, so far, the thing Mimi is most proud of is the decision you made at VBS on Wednesday ~~ accepting Jesus into your heart as your Savior. I have no doubt that you completely understand all that means ~ I've listened to your conversations and know you comprehend things well beyond your 7 years. I look forward to seeing how God uses your little life for His Glory! What a birthday present!!
We had so much fun at your's and Cybil's party even if Mimi couldn't dunk your daddy in the dunken booth. So glad we could "blow" that rain storm away right before your party time!
Happy 7th Birthday, Princess #1
We love you all the muches!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Which One Is It?

If you guessed Princess #3 after the previous entry, you're exactly right!!

Ailee Claire, four years ago, on January 31, you came into this world looking just like your Big Unc ~ luckily, you quickly grew more to look like your namesake, Sybil Aileen and your sweet Mommy. You were a much-loved baby sister!
When you "cut" those big black eyes at me when you don't like something I do, you look just like your Great Granny!! I used to tell her not to look at me that way with those black eyes and secretly that's what I'm thinking when you look at me that way because I know I'm in big trouble!

You and your little cousin Cybil (who also carries your Great Granny's name) are quite the little wildfires ~~ do you think that is just a coincidence ~~ I don't--I think Granny is looking down from Heaven laughing because she knows you're both here to keep us on our toes. And that you do, you never meet a stranger, are always VERY dramatic in every thing you do and LOVE to sing and dance to your own little tune . . . kind of like another one who celebrated her birthday on Wednesday. I have a feeling if Aunt Mae were still here, you would be named "Little Mouth #2."

This spring brought a new adventure into your life ~~ soccer!! You were the cutest little player out there and we loved watching you run after the ball. You improved so much from when the season began but you looked so little out there in all that protection gear. Mimi was greatly impressed that you never tried to catch the ball or use your hands ~~ boy that would have been hard for me! We can't wait until next season!

You celebrated turning 4 with a Snowflake Princess Party that you completely designed yourself ~~ all centered around your "Beautiful Winter Dress" you designed for Santa to bring you. The simple fact that all you asked for was a beautiful winter dress that had to be just a certain way out of a certain fabric shows how independant you are. You're also sassy, sweet, loving, full of energy while also being a sleepyhead in the mornings . . . as your big sister calls you now . . . you're just our little "wild child." You keep everything lively ~~ things are always popping when you're here; but it sure does make for an empty house when you're gone. It will be so much fun watching all that God has planned for you as you touch the lives of others with your warmth and exuberance.

Happy 4th Birthday, Ailee Claire!!
We love you all the muches

As Granny used to say, "If the Lord's willing . . . "

. . . your birthday wishes will be on the right date next year . . . until then, just keep us laughing!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blowing Out More Candles!

Thirty-two years ago today (after 15 hours of labor) at 7:31 a.m., our baby girl came screaming into this big ole world. Life was exciting with you right from the start ~~ just before the time the doctor told me you would probably finally arrive, the labor room got very busy and the nurses forgot about me stuck behind the curtain until I finally got one of them to stop long enough to check me. They quickly wheeled me into the delivery room with the doctor flying in right behind us and after just one push, there you were.

Notice the sleeves on the green dress ~ you'll see that again ~ and you & your favorite yellow "blankie"

You know the rest of the hospital story but just to make sure your little ones will know . . .

The delivery nurse listed her as a he complete with a blue name card on the incubator. The mistake wasn't realized until a nurse from the pediatric clinic came in and announced, "Well, you have another little boy." WHAT? After calling the delivery doctor in to verify that I had indeed delivered a SHE, the little pink card went on before any of the family got to see you. But, I mean, did they not even look at you????? Glad I was awake for this birth!!!

Then . . . you were given the name Sarah (after my Granny) Michele; but, the day we were to come home from the hospital your sweet big brother decided you just couldn't be named that -- you had to be named "Miss Kitty" (from Gunsmoke) because he was "Matt Dillion." Tears . . . screams . . . the whole bit!! After all, before you were born, he told everyone he was having a baby named "Festus" so I guess Miss Kitty was better. But your daddy said "No" and we stayed another day in the hospital until we could have a name for the birth certificate. Finally, Danielle convinced him that Miss Kitty's real name was Amanda Blake so we had a name (except he never knew until much later that our Amanda's real name was Amanda Michele).
Your black hair never came out; it just kept getting lighter until one day you were a little strawberry blonde who loved to jabber . . . in fact, so much so that Aunt Mae nicknamed you "Little Mouth." The name stuck and, as you grew, you continued to live up to it. But we loved you so much anyway!! (LOL) You just made life exciting then and still do now.

Can't you just see the "little mess" you were in the picture on the right?

Notice the sleeves in that picture, too?

All the memories of you as a baby, toddler and first grader are being replayed through your precious little ones. One of them will say or do something and it's like it's 25 or 30 years ago all over. Everything about your looks changed so except your Granny's black eyes that each of your girls look like you at different stages. I know, you're thinking "But, they look so different from each other." True, but I still see you in each of them. It was so much fun being your Mommy and watching you grow. But, you grew up on us way too fast it seems ~~ it feels like I'm saying this alot lately ~~ but where did all those years go?? Are you really 32 with a husband, three beautiful girls, and a growing business? It seems like only yesterday you were wearing the little silver sequin costume the girls love to play dress up in now.

Thank you for letting me be the chaperone for all the spring break trips to the beach during high school. I'll never forget the long plane ride to London with cheerleaders from all over the United States. And dance competitions . . . And Junior Miss . . . And Georgettes . . . And Miss Georgia ~~ Whew!!!! . . . no wonder those years passed so quickly!!

We're so proud of the beautiful Godly woman you are today. And you make my head spin with all you do each day!!! As if being a mommy to three little ones isn't enough, you're The Monogram Monkey, too. We love you all the muches and wish you the best birthday ever!!

Happy 32nd Birthday, Monkey!!!

Tomorrow I'm playing a little "catch up" on birthdays so check back to see who's next. Could it be the one who probably most reminds me of her mommy right now . . . . . . . we'll see tomorrow!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

to all the men in our family; but, especially, to my three favs ~ Matt, Jon, and Granddaddy. Wish we could have all celebrated together today but seems each year it gets harder and harder to get all the gang in the same place at the same time. We did throw in a little Father's Day celebration amid the birthday celebrations last weekend and we missed you, Jon.

Matt and his Girls
enjoying the slide at the "C" Girls birthday party!
Jon and his Girls on Father's Day, 2009
Wow, how the "A" Girls have grown in 1 short year!

Granddaddy is enjoying his day doing what he does most Sunday afternoons ~ Golf ~ guess you're not surprised about that, though. He loved hearing the "Happy Father's Day" greetings from all his little princesses today. Maybe they helped his golf game!

Pastor Jeremy based the sermon this morning on Ephesians 6:4:

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

These were his main points:

Godly fathers point their kids to the grace of God and the giver of life by:

  1. Don't make life about following a set of petty religious rules ~ make it about the Grace of God.
  2. Don't live a life inconsistent with what you "say" you believe about the grace of God ~ your life should reflect what your mouth is saying.
  3. Don't be over or under controlling ~ make your home a mirror of the grace of God.

Happy First Father's Day to Pastor Jeremy!!

I praise God daily for the Godly fathers in my life ~~ my Daddy, my father-in-law, my husband and my sons. May God continue to pour His grace on you, Matt and Jon, as you bring up our precious granddaughters in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. May your lives always mirror God's grace so that your girls will want what you have ~ a Father like your Heavenly Father. Thank you, Danny, for being that kind of Daddy to our 2 wonderful children. Pappaw, thank you for being a wonderful example of how to be a "Daddy" to my sweet husband. And last but not least, thank you, Daddy, for being a living example of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for Dan and I. I miss you so much ~ how I would love to feel your hugs again and to hear Mama tell me just once more, "This, too, shall pass." No day passes that I don't thank God for you both and for having you as my parents.

Matt and Jon, I hope you both had a day filled with squeals of delight, slobbery kisses and bear hugs ~~ doing whatever makes you happy with all your girls!

I love you muches!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered . . .

So far, 2010 has held alot of "biggies" for me . . . turning 62 . . . getting my "Uncle Sam" check . . . celebrating 40 years with hubby . . . graduation of the oldest in the 4th generation . . . wedding of the baby of the 3rd generation . . . then, today . . .

My brother and I sold our parents' home -- the place where we grew up -- where we felt safe and loved -- where we played hide & seek; broke lamps; buried beloved animals; wore out spots of grass where the bases were playing ball; had sleep overs (while we watched out the window when the high school neighbor come in from her dates. so sorry "L"); learned to read our Bible and talk to Jesus; learned the words to "In the Garden" as Daddy sang us to sleep while he rocked us in the old green platform rocker; got my arm caught in the wringer washer; brother fell into a neighbor's sewer hole after it had rained when their house was being built--drowned--was brought back to life because of Daddy's training and the sweet grace of our dear Lord. Oh, I could go on and on and on.
But after all the "growing up" memories, came the time we brought home those who were to be our spouses, our new babies, then our grandbabies; finally, where we said "Goodbye" to Mama and where Daddy took his last breath.
This weekend brought the time to finally clean out and move on. As I sat today in the lawyer's office signing all the papers, I was reminded of something Daddy had said to me 2 years after Mama went home ~~ "At the cemetary today, I finally realized that your Mama wasn't coming back and wouldn't if she could. Now, I have to learn to go on without her." I thought after 16 years without Mama and 6 without Daddy, I had learned to go on, too. But, this has been harder than I thought it would be.
We know (and were told often) that it was time ~~ "they're not coming back." We didn't have the time to care for our homes and families and our old home, too. But knowing it and wanting to do it are really two different things when it comes down to actually going through the process. As hard as it is, we, also, know a house setting empty doesn't last. It needs to hear laughter lifting its rafters, feel tears falling on its floors, have hands to clean it and hearts to love it. And I think that is what it got again today ~ someone who seems to love it as much as our parents did and we do. For that I am so grateful ~~ Thank you, dear Jesus, for answered prayers. Thank you, dear "S" family for wanting to make it what it once was . . . a place to come home to . . .

. . . even if my brother and I can't ever "go home" there again.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guess What I Did on Tuesday?

No, I didn't work in my garden or sew for my girls--probably should have been doing both, but I wasn't! I gave myself a special treat . . . a little trip with the "Senior" group from our church. They've gone on several outings, but I was never able to go before.

What fun we had!!

Today's excursion took us to the Cumberland County Playhouse to see . . .

It was wonderful!!

The trip included lunch at the Cumberland Mountain Park Resturant. YUMMY, especially the chocolate cobbler!! Before we went in to eat, I got a pic with two very special ladies in my life -- Miss Janice and Miss Marguerite.
Miss Marguerite was my high school typing teacher and the one responsible for my 31-year career as a business education teacher ~~ my teacher, my mentor, my best friend. Miss Janice taught home ec down the hall from us~~most of my special recipes came from her.
Of course, I had to check out all the flowers around the resturant and even found one I don't have in my garden. Just had to get a picture but now I can't remember the name of it. Oh well, Miss Sara or Mr. Roland probably will know its name.

Our Fearless Pilots

Thanks Pastor Jeremy and Miss Denise for being brave enough to start out with this group. Also, had fun at the little detour ~~ Mary Margaret, Jeremy's shirts look sooooo good on him (was that right, Jeremy?) and he really needed the blue one for the quartet!! Can't wait to hear them sing! The rest of the gang ~ but I think some must been have getting autographs because I don't see them in the pictures.
I believe I just might travel with this group again once my back and knees recover from the van ride. But for now . . . . . . it's back to the sewing room.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Could it Really be 40 Years?

On June 7, 1970 I walked down the aisle on my Daddy’s arm to meet my groom and our journey began. I had married "The Boy Next Door." Now, looking back, it has been a fast 40 years. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s definitely been worth it. Like any great journey . . . rocky some times, smooth sailing others . . . but always worth the effort! After 5 moves in the first 5 years, 2 beautiful babies (not to mention a menagerie of dogs, cats, fish, birds, hamsters, frogs, and some I'm sure I've left out), and now 5 fabulous granddaughters, we’re back where we started—just the two of us trying to put down more roots after our 6th move. Guess it really all started the summer before 9th grade when the "new neighbors" moved across the street. They had 2 sons--one my age and the other a year younger than my brother. Quickly, they became part of the neighborhood gang playing tag football in our front yard and staying out 'til late catching lighting bugs. The neighbor boy and I never dated during the first three years of high school--he was always just there--just a friend. He went away to military school our senior year. He just happened to be home on the weekend of the MCHS senior prom. After the prom, all the "Queens" (that will have to be another post I'm sure) and their dates gathered at our favorite hang out--"the truck stop"--to eat. He came up with some of his friends who had taken their dates home already. Neighbor boy's prom was later than ours and guess what~~ that night he asked me to go with him to his prom . . . A MILITARY PROM . . . I just couldn't turn that down. His friend also invited my best friend to go, so off we went with my future in-laws. That military prom became the first of many dates for us and 4 short years later after graduating from UGA on Saturday, June 6, I married my best friend on Sunday, June 7. Like all best friends, we've had our ups and downs but we're always there for each other ~~ we've always had each other's backs.

Other than moving around so during our early marriage (all within a 5-mile radius), our lives have been rather stable—me same teaching job at same school I graduated from for 31 years while Mr. Green Acre has worked at the same job 39 years after finishing army reserve training, members of the church we grew up in, and now living again next door to my first neighbor, "Mimi Clydene." The distance we've traveled has been small, but the number of miles and all they've contained have been tremendous.

Would I do it all again? Most definitely!! Like most everyone else, if given the chance, I might make a few changes; but, right now, I can't even think what those might be. God has poured many blessings on us during this lifetime together ~~ the greatest two ~~ a handsome son and a beautiful daughter who kept us very busy when they were growing up. But I wouldn't have traded that for anything because all of that "buziness" (not sure that's a word) molded them into the amazing man and woman they are today. They both chose mates that are as wonderful as they are and we're as proud of our other "daughter" and "son" as we are our own. Now, after 9 and 10 years of marriage, they're getting their "payback" through the little beauties they have given back to us ~~ our Fabulous Five! It's harder for Mimi and Granddaddy to keep up the 2nd time around; but it sure is fun trying.
How are we celebrating such a milestone? Dinner out tonight (that sweet man I married said we might go to Krystal) and maybe a little get-a-way for just the 2 of us after the activities of spring slow down and we get into the lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer since we're having our BIG family vacation in the fall. Not super exciting I know, but we're saving that for #50!!! Yes, we do plan on beating the odds and making it to that together. Those ten years will fly by if it's anything like the past 40! But for now . . .
Happy 40th Anniversary to Us!!

What a journey "Through the Years" ~~ and just so you know, I still love you all the muches!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The 75th Graduation

From this to high school graduation in the blink of an eye
Taylor, it seems like only yesterday we were flying to Greenville to wait on you to enter this world. Because your Mommy had always seemed more like a daughter than a niece, you were like my first grandchild. Oh, how I loved you and hated to leave you, your Mommy and Daddy.
But before long, daddy graduated from Furman and ya'll came home ~ oh, happy day for all of us especially Gran and Pop because you were their first GREAT grandchild and did they ever think you were GREAT!! There's just so many memories of you growing up that I'll never forget. One of my most favorite times with you was the trip just you and I took to discover all about Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy when you were 11. It was so much fun to see all our Southern history through your eyes. And I loved picking you and Payton up from school and making pancakes for you every afternoon. Remember, too, when you taught Uncle Man to ski on the first of our many winter vacations? And who are those cute little boys with napkins on their heads? You loved wearing Matt Matt's cowboy boots ~~ you just didn't like to wear anything else!
Those days passed so quickly ~~ before I knew it you were in middle school. Now, you know it couldn't really have been 3 years between middle school and high school--did you skip a grade or did I just blink too many times?
I'm so amazed at your musical talent ~ "hanging with the band" all the way to Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Nashville was so much fun. Ya'll played great and the crowd loved you! I'll also never forget the night you & your mama called so I could hear you play Amazing Grace on the fiddle. When you were selected Drum Major for the Indians, we were so proud of you. During your junior year you also found a very special friend who soon became your date for the prom and that led to many, many more dates.
Then, tonight was graduation ~ too quickly this part of your life has come to an end. As I watched you receive your diploma, I felt that Gran and Pop were there with me watching this very special moment. Tay, they would be thrilled with the wonderful young man you have grown into, just as we all are.

Three Generations ~~ the granddad, the graduate, the mama

Congratulations on the scholarship you won AND how appropriate that our little history buff would be the one who's graduating class celebrated the 75th year of MCHS graduations. You looked great tonight with all that honor gold around your neck!!

But tonight's ending is really only the beginning. Before long, we'll be in Sanford stadium waiting to hear "The REDCOATS are coming" and watching for you and Heather to come running between the hedges ~ you playing Glory, Glory to Ole' Georgia on your trombone while Heather flashes her pompoms as a Georgette.

The old adage is really true ~ "Time flies when you're having fun" and I have had tons of fun being your Aunt Sissy. I love you more than you can imagine!!!!

The little brothers are so proud of their big brother

(even if one's not quite so "little" any more)