Sunday, May 29, 2011

Remembering . . .

. . . our family heros.

On this Decoration Day (as it was originally named), please pause with Mimi during your cookouts, golf tournaments, trips to the lake or pools, or whatever you have planned today to remember those of our own family who have served and fought that we might still be able to enjoy all these fun events.

First . . .

Pvt. Ellis Stroud, my great uncle ~ my Granny Kendrick's baby brother who was killed in Germany leaving behind a wife and two small daughters.

Next . . .

My Uncle Bill ~ my mama's oldest brother ~ who came home from the war, married, and moved to Detroit where he lived until his death in 2005.

Also . . .

My first cousin, Deward D. ~ Doesn't Kirk look just like him?

And . . .

My baby brother ~ your Big Unc ~ who joined the National Guard in 1970. Doesn't he look so young?

Do you recognize this handsome young man in his Army Reserve uniform?

Yes, it's your Granddaddy. This picture was made the weekend he graduated from Boot Camp in Missouri in 1970.

My Daddy ~ your beloved Pop

Yes, we remember and we salute you!

On this Memorial Day, 2011, we thank you for your service and the family legacy you have left behind ~ the legacy that teaches us and our younger generation how to live and give, even if it means our lives, to serve and defend the principles upon which this great nation was founded and, above all, to honor your God and the God of our forefathers . . . the God who still showers us with His amazing grace today.

Dear God, thank you for these men of our family who have sacrificed so much for us. May we always remember that this day means so much more than a day off, a day of fun, a weekend of sales or a day to just decorate with flags. Help us teach future generations why we fly those flags and about the men whose lives are represented by each of those flags. Help us, also, to always remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and to honor their memory by giving of ourselves so that this land will always be the "land of the free and the brave." Amen

I'm Two!

Today, the smallest of all the cousins is celebrating her 2nd birthday!

Wow ~ has it really been 1 1/2 years since you joined our family, sweet Josie Carolyne?

We praise God for blessing us with one of His precious angels! And although we all love you beyond measure, I believe your youngest brother really loves having someone he can play "big" brother to.

Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet girl!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First Place . . . YAHOOOO!!!!!

Another sports weekend with the C girls ~ CJ's regular softball team played Friday night . . .

Leaders of the pack . . . Coach Daddy gets ready to pitch and the new coach . . . uhhmmm . . . Mimi can't remember the Grizzlies' coach's name.

another big win which left you still undefeated in regular league play!

Then bright and early Saturday morning, you and another teammate joined the Grizzlies tournament team (from another town) for a day full of softball (thankfully the tournament was in your hometown).

After a first game loss, you played and played and played and finally played for first place after beating the team that beat ya'll first in the seed play. From 1st baseman in regular play to centerfielder on the tournament team ~ boy, that girl can play!

Champions and it only took 1 game in the finals!!

It sure did feel good to get to move beyond two games in regular tournament play. Thanks, Campbell, for a wonderfully entertaining weekend. You played great and showed real determination when with 2 outs you hit the ball that drove in a run and started the comeback from a 6-2 deficit that allowed your team to win first place.

And, Cybil, Mimi can't leave you out because you entertained me so on the playground before and in between games.

Nothing like swings and slides to help wear out a little one so she'll sit half-way still and watch big sister play . . . well, that and a mountain dew bottle filled with red clay or a cold bottle of water.

Campbell, while you were playing up north, your cousin was playing down south in an 8 & Under tournament of his own . . . and guess what, Kaleb's team won first place, too.

Just look at that cool guy!

Way to go little champions!! Mimi's so proud of both of you!

But the picture etched into my mind is the thing that made me most proud . . . the circle of girls, every other one a member of the opposing team, many holding hands, standing with their coaches, pausing in prayer to give thanks to the One who made it all possible . . .

. . . something we don't see nearly enough of on our playing fields.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Turning Four!!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Cybil!
Mimi's 4th Fabulous Stair Step is turning 4 today!

Just look how much you have grown in one short year! Your pretty blonde hair can now be put in pigtails and sometimes you even wear a bow! But where did that cute little baby face go . . . you're looking like a big girl now . . . talking non stop and never still . . . that part hasn't changed a bit.

You're growing way too fast for Mimi!!

Hope you have fun at your school party today! We can't wait until your "jumping into 4" party. Mimi's working on that surprise birthday present, okay?

Happy Birthday and Mimi loves you all the muches!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Last week . . . Saturday to Sunday . . . whataweekitwas . . . no mistake in typing . . . just no time during the week for spaces or breaths or much of anything but run, run, run!! But as hurried as it was, it was a week of sweet, sweet memories and much celebration! A week when God certainly showed up in a big way in our little town!! And a week of Mother's Day, and Derby Day, and grandbabies, and singing, and graduations, and recitals, and text messaging to keep up with a state basketball tournament we couldn't go watch, and TEAM IMPACT ~ WHEW!!!
It all started on Saturday, the 7th . . . Business Blitz and Derby Day with the A girls ~ Sunday was Mother's Day and "sundown to sundown" fasting (was actually in town this day all day . . . well, if you don't count driving in early that morning!) ~ Monday was the "mile radius walk" (whew, Granddaddy, Mr. Benny and I had much more than a mile!) ~ Tuesday = the prayer chain and dinner with the Lance's (gosh, I got to sit down for a few minutes). Then Wednesday brought . . . sweet, sweet music . . .

AG's class performed "HeeHaw" for their end-of-school program. You were sooo adorable with your braids and painted on freckles. You did great, AG!! Now, it's on to 2nd grade!

Thursday found me at dress rehearsal for "Butterfly Kisses" watching Butterfly Ailee perform with the seniors who had performed to this song in their very first recital. Cutest butterfly Mimi's ever seen!! Guess our "Moe's" dinner gave you all the energy you needed to work hard that late!

Then rush back to my post at the "product table" for TEAM IMPACT's 2nd Night.

Finally, Friday . . . well, good and bad . . . happy and sad . . . another of the Fabulous Five "graduates" from 4-Year Kindergarten ~ they're growing wayyyyyy toooo fast!!

Ailee, you did such a great job on your parts of the program. Mimi is so grateful to God for the healing of your precious little body from your ordeal with the strep infection . . . you're finally back to Mimi's little "beaming beauty!!"

Hope you had fun at your end-of-the-year party . . . wish we could have stayed but Granddaddy has to work sometime!

Day 3 + TEAM IMPACT = more than 150 new believers! Mimi and Granddaddy kept our cell phones on silent and in our pockets (actually mine was on the product table so I could see it) because Campbell was playing in the state AAU basketball tournament and we didn't want to miss the updates. How we wish we could have been there but we couldn't make that trip in a day and get back to church at night to work our posts. Next year, Mimi will have to send the state officials my schedule so they can arrange their state tournament so I can be there. Yeah, right, Mimi!

Saturday and the Neighborhood Yard Sale . . . nope, not this year . . . Mimi's off to a day full of Ballet Recitals.

This year you were in separate recitals ~ Ailee you were in the 12:30 show with your tap and ballet AND, of course, Mimi thought you were the best one -- I mean, just look at that head and pointed toe!

Anna Grace, during the 4:00 show you were the perfect ballerina . . . even Granddaddy commented on how perfect your arms, head and toes were and how you didn't have to look at the teacher this year ~ guess he's learned a little about ballet during all these years after all.

Again, Granddaddy and I had our cell phones on silent in our hands to get updates on the tournament. Way to go Campbell and Team Flight for great playing!!! We're proud of you!

After intermission, it was a flying trip back home for the 4th night of TEAM IMPACT. Glad we could sneak a bite at Appalacian Grill between the shows! I know ya'll aren't going to believe this, especially Matt, but Mimi was in bed by 10:30 or 11:00 each night this week (and we didn't get home from church until 9:30 each night). I can't remember when I have ever been so tired . . . do you think this means Mimi's getting old? Ah, can't be!!

Mimi and the boys of TEAM IMPACT ~ WOW, they're big!!

Sunday morning found Granddaddy and I at church at 8:00 helping with the New Believer's Breakfast ~ totally missed Sunday School with 153 eating but couldn't miss church and all those baptisms and Trey speaking (he's the last one on the right).

Guess what Mimi did after church? Yes, I did . . . I took a little nap, or as Pop would say, I rested my eyes! And it felt good, too. May have to try that more often on Sunday afternoons. Even Granddaddy didn't go to the golf course . . . reckon he's getting old, too?

Then at 6:00 it was time to go back for the final night of TEAM IMPACT. Here's a quote from Pastor Jeremy about the week . . . "I want to praise God . . . 3,269 people have walked through the doors of our church in 5 days. More AWESOME than that . . . 237 have made Christ their KING. God be praised . . . we baptized 32 this morning and had 153 in a new believers breakfast. When God's people FAST and PRAY and have FAITH . . . God has the ability to respond. He is mighty to save . . . we have seen a move of God . . . and the work has just begun."

Yes, praises to our God for an amazing week of memories, salvations (our church and precious Ailee), celebrations and safe travel!

now onto another week that promises to be just as busy ~ hope I can keep up!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Each New Day . . .

brings new things to see in Mimi's garden. Here's what I found on my morning "coffee" walk today ~

I started out the front door and noticed the oak leafs are opening in the side yard; then . . .

as I came around the house I noticed a bright color in the rose bed ~ I wish I could remember the name of this fragrant rose. From the rose bed, I meandered out to the swing set to check on the new gardenia and look ~

it was in full bloom; so I had to cut one for the nightstand in my bedroom ~ see the funny clay "man" hiding behind the bush? don't think any little birds built in him this year because Mimi forgot to hang him up again.

When Mimi was a little girl, Gran planted a gardenia right outside my bedroom window ~ that was before air conditioning, you know, so that wonderful scent of gardenia would fill my room at night through the open window. Hope this bush gets as big as the one beside my childhood bedroom, especially since 2 of the ones in my perennial bed didn't survive last winter!

Thought I would just sit a spell in the newly stained swing and finish my coffee before going in to start sewing on the children's costumes for the play on Sunday. Guess what I smelled there . . .

Yes, the Little Gem is blooming for the first time. Yeah ~ another wonderful southern garden scent!!

I can't go in without showing you this little creature . . . do you have them at your house? They're called cicadas (Brood 19 to be exact) and they sound like machinery running . . . in fact, when they first arrived here, Granddaddy was home one day for lunch and asked if I heard "that" noise to which I responded, "Yes, it's a machine at one of those plants over there." He laughed and found one of these on a bush. Of course, Mimi didn't believe him. But Granddaddy proved me wrong in front of a whole bus load of church people . . . and you know how happy that made him! Silly Granddaddy!! Anyway, these particular orange-eyed beauties only come out every 13 years and supposedly they aren't harmful--just ugly and make an awful racket!!

Good thing is they stop "singing" around 7:00 each night. I didn't hear them this afternoon when I was piddling in the garden . . . maybe it was so dreary they thought it was already 7:00. Several just sit around on the deck and front porch; Gigi has to check them out and swat them around before deciding they aren't worth her time.

Wonder what new flower I'll see in the morning? We'll have to wait and see; but Mimi loves walking in her garden . . . gentle garden breezes are like God's whisperings to me while the wonderful scents bring thoughts of The Garden of Eden before man . . . wonder what plants grew there . . . Mimi's sure there must have been gardenias, magnolias, and hydrangeas. Oh, and how could I leave out the roses?

Good night, little ones ~ it's time to "lay me down to sleep" with the sweet aroma of my gardenia.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring's Sprung . . .

and I'm done!
I've filled the planters . . .

Yes, Mimi does like geraniums!
fluffed the pillows . . . put out the new rug . . .

never mind that there's nothing on these tables ~ Mimi's searching for the right lanterns and/or anything except flowers in small pots because the sun bakes them!

hung a new outdoor chandelier complete with twinkling candles on the lower deck . . .

planted the tomatoes, peppers, and squash (my part of the vegetable garden) . . . stained the swing ya'll gave me for Mother's Day or my birthday when we moved on the city acre . . . planted another gardenia ~ this one by the swing set . . .
ahhhhhh . . . life's wonderful . . .
until Mr. Wayne delivers this . . .

the 3rd installment on 100 bales of pine straw

yuk . . . so much for being done!!