Tag Archive | family

Love Addie Style

Love Addie Style

When our daughter-in-law asked us a few months back to have Addison (who will turn 6 in another month) come stay with us several days this summer, I thought we were doing their family a favor. Little did I realize that the favor was to us and brought with it unbelievable joy.

For those who follow my Facebook or Instagram account, you saw the numerous pictures I enjoyed posting. Our adventures were varied and so much fun. We made 3-D paper fish origami style, we baked cupcakes from scratch, made pizza from scratch that we cooked outside on the grill, enjoyed a sleepover with the boy cousins, rode bikes, collected numerous snails from the huge amounts eating my hibiscus, played nighttime putt-putt, visited the Clermont splash pad (so much fun), played on the beachfront next to the splashpad, swam every single day for hours, did some shopping with Auntie Kate, visited with Poppy (my dad) where we swam and ate ice cream, played many games of Uno (and may I just say she’s definitely a card shark!), collected palm fronds and painted them to look like boats complete with cardboard smoke stacks, learned tongue twisters…oh, and did I mention many movies including Little Mermaid TWICE!

Every minute of it was precious. Addison is so smart and would amaze us with her conversational skills as well as her understanding of innuendo. She’s funny and could crack jokes with the best of them.

And while I loved it all, most of all I enjoyed making multiple trips into her bedroom each night just to watch her sleep. There’s just something about a sleeping child that warms your heart. You see the complete trust in being able to fall asleep at a place she’s never stayed at by herself. And you look at your granddaughter and see all the promise and possibility of what is to come. Sleep came easily to me those five nights she was here because my heart was so full.

And such a special thank you to my precious daughter who thought to take such a nice picture of me and Addison. I’m usually the one snapping the pics so to have a picture of the two of us, and one that’s just so good…well, that, too, is a gift from the heart.

The Bible reminds us that “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3). Which means with my own grown children and spouses, and my four grands, I’m very richly rewarded indeed.

Mimi

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Grandpa Love

Relationships are fascinating. While most people love their family members equally, at times some of those relationships seem to have a little something extra, something special. It’s hard to explain but precious to see.

Case in point my niece Jacquie and my dad, her grandpa. My dad has six grandkids and he loves them all deeply but there’s always been just a little something extra special with Jacquie. And recently it was so clearly demonstrated by the photo above.

As we prepared to fly home from New York, I was busy in the kitchen making sandwiches for both the lunch and dinner we would be having while flying back. Jacquie joined me in the prep but said she wanted to make the sandwich for her grandpa…a special sandwich. And she certainly did.

My dad loves liverwurst. And while it makes my skin crawl to think about eating it, I’ll happily make him a sandwich with it. But no, Jacquie wanted to do it herself. She wanted to make a special sandwich for her grandpa that would have one of his favorite ingredients on it. So, she did. And to top it off, she labeled the baggie with her pet name for him. And added the heart!

Looking at that photo means a lot to me and it meant a lot to him on our travel day. That labeled bag brings a smile and expresses love. She took the time, chose the right ingredient, made it on the bread he likes with the mayo he likes, and went the extra step to write his name and include the heart. Doesn’t that say love to you?

Such a simple thing really. It didn’t take a lot of time and cost nothing but it was a gift of love, a gift of great value because it came from her heart.

Jacquie’s gift to her Geepa is a great example for us to follow. Sometimes the smallest gesture can have this most impact.

Today’s challenge is to look around and see who you can bless, who you can share your love with. Doesn’t need to be showy or expensive or take a lot of time…just something that comes from your heart.

Mimi

Maybe someone should have told me…

As you know, we recently traveled to New York for our twin nephews’ high school graduation. That travel involved an airplane and rental car.

The plane ride was a piece of cake. Beginning with the special tickets to skip the long security line right down to an uneventful arrival in Albany. Luggage in hand we arrived at the car rental counter to complete paperwork, then off we went on the short walk to get the car.

As we arrived at the kiosk a very nice young person (they all look young to me these days), pointed out my car. She didn’t look at the paperwork and told me not to worry about the inspection when I saw some minor scratches as all they cared about were misplaced bumpers and major damage. There were no instructions, safety check, or review of the car features.

I was driving that day as hubby had left his driver’s license at home. It was a struggle at the airport to get through Security without it so we decided we wouldn’t push our luck by having him do any driving while in New York.

Since the car was a Chrysler 200 which I was quite familiar with as it had been my Dad’s car, I thought “no problem.” Luggage stowed in truck. Check. People loaded in car. Check. Driver in place, engine on, car shifted into gear…check, check, NO CHECK. What?

Where was the gear shift? My hand immediately went to the middle. No shifter sticking up. Then it flew to the steering wheel. No shifter lever there either. Huh? I started looking everywhere and nothing was standing out as a gear shift.

I was about to go get the nice young lady to point it out to me when I looked down at the middle and saw a round knob. Could it be?

Yup, it was. And it had the PRNDL label to prove it. With hesitancy, I turned the knob to D and sure enough the car moved into gear and off I drove.

With such a different set up, I would have thought the car rental rep would have taken a few seconds to point it out to me. And that few seconds would have saved me a few minutes of angst looking for something that to me was anything but obvious. (I have to admit, it was odd to me the entire weekend. It just felt “wrong” to turn a knob to change gears.)

Sometimes life is like that. We’re expecting one thing to happen and something else takes place. We expect things to be normal and events to unfold just like they have been for years until the unexpected steps in and turns our world upside down.

When that happens, we can experience all sorts of possible outcomes. Here are just a few for thought: I can panic as I nearly did in looking for the shifting lever that I knew had to be there but seemed to be hiding; I can call upon someone to help as I was about to do; I can reason my way through which is what I ended up doing as I knew there had to be a way to shift gears.

We will always be confronted with new challenges; it’s just a part of our life experiences. But it’s how we respond to those challenges that will determine whether or not we walk in victory.

My gear shift story was silly but many of our daily challenges are difficult and life-altering. Let’s resolve NOT to panic. It does no good at all.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Is reason a solution? It can be and often it is.

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-6)

And how about asking for help? That’s definitely a good one. Yes, if we ask from godly people. And most definitely YES if we seek God directly.

Listen, Lord, to my prayer; hear my cries for help. I call to you in times of trouble, because you answer my prayers. (Psalm 86:6)

As you can see, needing help isn’t the issue. The problem occurs when we put off seeking help or we don’t know where to find it.

Let’s learn to be quick to rely on God and seek His guidance about all else. Next time you find a gear knob instead of a gear shift, you can smile when you realize though it may have caught you off-guard, it certainly hasn’t caught your Heavenly Father off-guard.

Mimi

Family Love

The hubster, my dad, and I recently enjoyed a trip to beautiful upstate New York to spend time with my brother and his family. The occasion was the high school graduation of my twin nephews Mike and Matt.

They were born the year Greg and I moved to Florida so we’ve missed their whole growing up years other than occasional visits. While that saddens me tremendously, what gives me great joy is that despite that, we enjoy a close, precious relationship with the entire New York family. And for that I’m very grateful.

The best thing about the weekend was simply all the family time. Long talks, sharing laughter, attending the graduation, running errands, and doing some home projects—it didn’t matter what we did, just that we did it together.

What I miss most about not seeing people I care about as often as I would like to, is the everyday stuff. I don’t need a fancy vacation or to be entertained; I just want to do life with them. And that’s just what we did in New York; and it was beautiful indeed!

I’m feeling fulfilled, happy, content, and quite blessed to have had that time with my brother’s family. Maybe I should create a new holiday: I Love My Family Day. Like with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, this day would be about appreciating our families and letting them know how much we love them. What do you think? Are you with me?

Mimi

So Very Thankful

thanksgiving2016craftsJust look at those pictures. Continuing on with our after Thanksgiving tradition, the family gathered in Clermont to enjoy some pre-Christmas fun. Decorating the house, crafting for young and old alike, baking cookies, eating some good food, and mostly just being family. We had a great, great day.

One of our projects was to come up with a decoration for Dad’s apartment door. You’ll remember he won a prize for Most Festive for his decked out fall-theme so we have high hopes for his Christmas door as well.

The result, as you can see, is a large Christmas tree made up of the handprints of each family member who could be here with us in Florida. But whether or not all family members were here, we included them on the tree ornaments so Dad’s Christmas door tree will contain reminders of all his loved ones.

At this time of year, families gather to spend time together, to love one another, and to build lasting memories. This time of year also reminds us of God’s family and His deep love for us. He sent his son to be born on earth, live as our example, and provide the way to eternal relationship with the Father.

So like many of you, I’m very thankful for my wonderful family, near and far. And I’m truly eternally thankful to God for providing a way to Him through His precious son Jesus.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)

Mimi

The Family Tree

Two weeks ago today was my sister’s 62nd birthday. Two weeks ago Monday was Labor Day…the day my sister passed away and her battle with multiple myeloma came to an end.

In the past two weeks I’ve found myself thinking about life…and death…more than I have in the past. Losing someone and coming face to face with the reality of not seeing them again in this lifetime is very sobering.

You take a hard look at what matters. You re-prioritize. You find yourself saying “I love you” much more frequently. You find yourself hoping you’ve said and done things that make a difference. You realize life is so much shorter than you’ve thought in the past. You decide to make changes you’ve been putting off. You determine that moving forward things will be different.

There are probably a million other things I’ve pondered over the past few weeks, especially in the dark of night with the house quiet—the perfect time to reflect. Haven’t necessarily come to any earth-shattering conclusions but this I do know. Family matters.

It’s not the size of the house, the amount in the bank, whether or not you have fancy jewels to wear, or if you’re driving the latest, greatest car. Nope, for me it’s all about the fam.

With my sister in the hospital and very little room for any extras, we came up with a fun idea that would represent the family…something she could hang on the wall and look at to remind her of us. Sadly, that won’t be happening, but the idea is a good one and I think we’ll make it a tradition, perhaps each Christmas. Over time we’ll be able to look back to see how many more “leaves” we’ve added to our family tree as what are now little hands grow into bigger ones.

Welcome to part of our family tree.

Mimi

Kate & Pop Pop work on the family tree.

Kate & Pop Pop work on the family tree.

Mimi adds her own "leaves" to the tree.

Mimi adds her own “leaves” to the tree.

It’s not easy saying goodbye.

Conan-dear friend and family member

Conan: dear friend and family member

Quite unexpectedly my daughter’s family recently had to say goodbye to their dear companion of ten years, Conan.

A family member? Yes. A friend? Yes. A comfort? Yes. A playmate? Yes. A big brother? Yes. And a dog; a miniature dachshund to be specific.

My kids will be married ten years this fall and Conan has been a part of their married lives almost from the beginning. When they got him they were newlyweds, recent college graduates, living in their first apartment, and trying to make a “go” of this thing called life.

Conan brought joy and activity in abundance.

After he arrived the kids made a move, earned advanced degrees, began new careers, bought a house, and best of all had two precious boys.

When someone is a part of your family for a decade and when children grow up only knowing the household with their canine friend in it, losing that friend leaves a deep hole. A wound that takes time to heal.

Was Conan perfect? Of course not, but he perfectly blended with his family, providing years of love to everyone.

So today I’m thinking about him and thinking about my kids and grandkids. And while I can’t take away their sorrow I know hearts will eventually heal. And always, always they will remember their little doxie Conan.

Mimi