Category Archives: family

Blogs about family life and my family

FAMILY VISIT

Yesterday was a neat day. My daughter took three of her children and me to visit my sister in the next state. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive. We had a nice lunch, then my sister put in a DVD for the kids–Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. We enjoyed the afternoon.

My daughter is not well acquainted with my sister. She has seen her a few times as she was growing up and then as an adult. But there is that connection of family I think she is longing for. I am glad, not only for her desire, but that my sister wants it too. That is nice for me. Some families don’t have that closeness and I am glad that it is there for us.

I remember time spent with aunts and uncles and cousins when I was a child. When I was 12 we left the area where they lived to move several states away, but I never forgot them. I did get to see them from time to time as an adult but they lived in another state a distance away so it wasn’t often. Even at that, I felt a sense of family that went beyond just my parents and my siblings.

Perhaps my grandchildren will feel a connection to family though they are spread far apart. I think that adds to life. It does to mine.

Mama and friends at her 90th birthday celebration
Mama and friends at her 90th birthday celebration

My mama passed away May 14, 2014. I’ve been thinking about that for a few days now; that date is coming fast.  It hardly seems possible it has been almost two years! I am so thankful that I got to repay her in her last days in a small way for her care and love for me throughout my life.

We had an impromptu party for her 90th birthday and many friends came to the donut shop, her favorite place, to wish her happy birthday.  She loved it. She didn’t have the energy to do this the next year when she turned 91. I’m glad we did it when she could enjoy it! Here is a poem to honor this special lady in those last few months.

MAMA’S LAST MONTHS

She walks slower now,
unsteady unless she has her walker.
She forgets to use it;
I watch carefully so she won’t fall;
She talks more quietly,
so it is hard to follow her thoughts.
She doesn’t understand when I ask her
to clarify what she is telling me.
Her attention wanders more easily;
The Waltons doesn’t hold it as well.
Her favorite place to go is the donut shop.
She wants to order two donuts,
even though she doesn’t even finish one,
and only drinks a couple sips of her coffee,
even though they are favorite foods.
Arthritis pain assaults her neck;
it is her constant companion.
Time seems a blur to her–
who came and when, it puzzles her.
It seems it is time for her to go home,
but God hasn’t called her yet.
She feels her life has no purpose now,
I must admit I don’t understand either,
but God has His mysteries, dealt in wisdom.
And in His wisdom, He has me here,
caring for her, teaching me through the pain of love
that He does indeed care for her.

GOD’S GIFT

 

Thanks to Author S B Mazing for her prompt for Blog  Event #19.

Finally everything seemed to fall in places. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt so happy and excited. Finally! She couldn’t stop smiling. What a wonderful day it was.
Please continue…

It couldn’t be more perfect! The doctor had made her world complete that morning. She put her hand on her abdomen. One of these days what the doctor said was inside her would one day be in her arms. It was so fitting that the day was warm—but not too hot—with a cool breeze blowing and the sky was blue with only a few wispy white clouds. She breathed a prayer of thanks. “Thank you, Jesus. If you had left us childless, I would have still loved you. But I am so grateful for this.”FAMILIfinishThe screen door to the patio opened. She looked up and smiled at her husband as he entered the room. He bent over and kissed her, then sat down in the deck chair beside her.

“Beautiful day,” he commented. “Well, my sweet, what did the doctor say?”

Her smile widened. “We are going to be mommy and daddy!”

She waited for his smile, but it was far too small. He shrugged. “I guess life changes, now.”

Lauren’s smile disappeared and she frowned a little. “Jeff, are you unhappy about the baby?”

He patted her hand. “No, Lauren, it is just unexpected. We’ve been married for seven years and I just never expected it to happen.”

“It did seem like it wouldn’t,” she agreed. “The doctor said, ‘will miracles never cease!’ ” Her smile returned. She wasn’t going to let his coolness to the news stifle her joy.

Jeff stood. “Think I’ll tackle that job I started.” He went back into the house.

Lauren looked after him, then turned her attention back to the scene of earth and sky. “Father,” she prayed, “let him get excited about this special gift!”

Lauren was so grateful that she only had a couple days of morning sickness, and then only certain foods made her nauseated. But that turned out good because those were foods she didn’t really need to eat: cakes, pies, cookies, and so forth. Some of her friends had been very sick with their pregnancies.

As the days went by, Jeff helped her set up the nursery. They took birthing classes. Jeff visited the doctor with her. Her tummy grew larger and she felt the butterfly movements under her heart. Later, she was able to have Jeff put his hand on the small elbow or foot that pushed outward. But Jeff seemed a bit distant, as if he was deep in thought. It made her sad, but she knew he was working through the implication of being a daddy and having a family. She reiterated to herself: I won’t let his attitude change mine. Thank you, Jesus, for this beautiful gift!

 

After the church service one Sunday morning, an elderly widow approached them. She was one of Lauren’s favorite people. Their friend hugged her and Jeff.

“Hello, my dears,” she said. “I am so excited for you.” She sighed. “How I wish Marlin and I had not decided we didn’t want to have children. It just seemed so freer for us to be just us. How I miss family now.” She looked at Jeff. “I think Marlin would have been a great father if we had given it a chance.” She smiled at Jeff. “And I think you will make a wonderful father! I often think now of what Pastor Jeffers says—and what the Bible says—children are a gift from the Lord. They are messy and expensive, but what a joy.”

They invited their friend to come to lunch with them, but she had some plans. Lauren was sorry. Their friend was always so encouraging. They talked for a few minutes, though Lauren noticed that Jeff was quiet. Lauren didn’t say anything about it; she had to let Jeff work through the changes that had come and were coming. They went to lunch, but he didn’t say much throughout the meal. When they got home, Lauren decided to take a nap.

When she awoke, Jeff was on the deck. She put her arms around his middle. He put his hands on hers and pulled her tight. She giggled. It was hard to be too close with such a big tummy!

Jeff turned and held her close. “Lauren, I am so sorry I have been so distant. I have been doing a lot of thinking, especially after the conversation with Sue this morning and after Pastor Jeffer’s sermon. Darling, I really do want this child. I do want a family. It has just been such a transition.”

“Oh, darling, I understand,” she said, her head on his chest. A prayer went from her heart, Thank you, Jesus, for helping him through this!

The next days and weeks showed that Jeff’s heart was settled about being a father. She was so glad. It was wonderful to have them on the same page with the coming baby. Soon it was time for the trip to the hospital, time to suffer through labor, but she was grateful that Jeff was there with her. Her labor progressed. And then it was time to push.

After a couple hours, pushing, the doctor said to Jeff that he might have to do a C-section. Lauren heard through her haze of exhaustion, but then she also heard Jeff’s voice of prayer. Suddenly, the doctor said, “Lauren, push once more. Your baby has decided to come see us!”

And then it was over. Their beautiful little daughter was placed in a blanket next to Lauren and they helped her begin to breastfeed. Jeff knelt over her and kissed her forehead. “Lauren, this is the proudest moment of my life. I got frightened there when the doctor suggested a C-section. But praise the Lord, He changed the doctor’s plans! You did great.”

Lauren smiled up at her husband. As she gazed at her baby, she was thankful. “Jeff, I would have loved Jesus even without this little bundle, but I am so thankful that he chose to give her to us. And I am thankful that he has given you to me.”

Jeff smiled. He indeed looked like the new daddy she hoped he would be.

 

A RECIPE FOR FUN

Four children, snow, and a day schools are closed–a recipe for fun!

I remember those days. But now, for me, snow is cold; I would rather sit where it’s warm and look at the beautiful white stuff. But my grandchildren had a ball!

IMG_20150126_142606

IMG_20150126_145044
At first, it is just getting out into it.
IMG_20150126_142332

Then, they decided to dig out their sleds and take advantage of the hill.

IMG_20150126_144851

IMG_20150126_143534
IMG_20150126_150756

I’m glad they didn’t invite Grandma to go down the hill! I was content to take the pictures!

Christmas and Family

 

Merry Christmas greeting
I went to my younger daughter’s place for Christmas–well not quite Christmas. I came back Christmas eve because they were going to my son’s-in-law family for Christmas. His sweet mother invited me to come along and share Christmas with them, but I decided it would be nice to spend Christmas at home with my sister and her husband.

Monday the six of us (daughter and 4 grandchildren and me) went to my older daughter’s house (about 2 hrs away) and visit her and her 3 boys. It was a full house with two sons of a friend of hers visiting for a couple days. Nine children, ages 14, 13, 11, 10, 10, 10, 8, 7, 5, made a full house. We were blessed that God sent a really nice day and all but the 14 year old ran around outside.  What a good day! It  was nice to have my daughters visit and to see their children together!

There was a lot this week to keep my mind off missing my mom this Christmas. It was neat time, though I was glad to get back last night to my own bed and the quiet!

I give thanks for this season.  I am thankful for the fun, good things, like family. But when the times are not good, the Christmas message gives me peace and hope. When someone loves me enough to leave His kingdom to come to earth to die to satisfy His justice and extend mercy, it shows I can trust Him to act in love in my life, even in the “negative” things. And so, as Christmas day winds down, I am left with the Christmas message for all of my days. I hope all my readers are experiencing the joy and peace of this Christmas message!

MESSIAH HAS COME

In the shadows of the night
the heavens burst forth in glorious light.
Angels proclaimed Messiah had come,
peace on earth, death’s power done.
God incarnate, sent from heaven,
gift of love to women, men
to set us free from evil’s hold,
free to live, to sing, rejoice,
free to live beyond myself,
free in peace’s sweet hold to dwell.
©2011

 

“Angel clown”

My youngest grandson just turned five in September. He is the family clown. One morning a couple years ago, after he finished his breakfast, he noticed his sister (who is 15 months older) was still eating. He climbed down from his chair, went over to her, and pleaded, “Share with Bubby.” His sister, according to his mother, was not pleased and did not smile at his antics. However, it is hard for adults to ignore the tactics of this little blond “angel” or use discipline when needed. His preschool teacher told his mom it was hard for her to discipline him because he is really so sweet and his smile so disarming. I’m glad that my daughter can resist–most of the time–his need for discipline. Sometimes, she just has to turn away and smile so she can continue to do what needs doing. Hopefully, she can continue to discipline when the need arises and not be taken in by his disarming smile and sweet hugs.