Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hope's Haiku

You walk confident
down the path that is your life;
joy spread in your wake!
Before December slips away,
we celebrate you, dear Hope,  
and the month of your birth!
May the
path of your life
be filled with many blessings!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Risk of Loving


“Every time we make the decision to love someone,
we open ourselves to great suffering,
because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain.
 The greatest pain comes from leaving.
The pain of the leaving can tear us apart.

if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving,
we will never experience the joy of loving.
And love is stronger than fear,
hope stronger than despair.
We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”
Dear Jayce,
the joy of loving you will carry us through!
The risk of loving you was so worth taking!
Even though we are not graced with your presence here on earth,
as a friend put it...
"I feel as if I know him - What a precious boy!!"
And Jayce, you are known...
intimately by your parents,
lovingly by your extended family,
gladly by all whose lives you have touched!
And you are so very precious!
We are all willing to go
through the pain of your leaving us so soon
because of the love that you have brought to each of us!
Pain that is tempered by the joy of loving you!
You, dear boy, have made our hearts happy
from the moment we received the news of you
until always and forever!
Love, Nana

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jayce, The Healer and Teacher of Lessons

Today was the day I watched my daughter
 give birth to her son
as her husband lovingly, compassionately and sweetly
coached her through the process.
Their son...
who is already experiencing the
reality of God's kingdom.
And as I lay here tonight,
wanting to commemorate Jayce's life on this blog...
contemplating how to formulate into words
all that he has meant to us to this point,
I decided to check FB one more time
to read the sincere heartfelt messages sent
by so many loved ones.
And there I found the commemoration...
already written so eloquently by Charlie.
So it's only fitting to share his words here also...
"In life most people try and live by a certain set of values,
 codes or another word for guidelines that lead us to how we act,
what we believe in and other choices that often reflect in the way our lives play out.
I know that I have a set I was raised with,
which has grown by being in the military and fine tuned with the great people
I have had the opportunity to work with,
go to church with, or some other way positively impacted my life.
Most of the values are applied in three aspects: God, work and family.
I try to be the same person, (like a great friend and boss once told me) at home, work and Walmart.
I am sure that most of us have similar thoughts.
However, I must say that if I find myself weak in one of these areas, it is often family.
I would like to say I don't know why, but I do.
It's because they are the ones I am most comfortable with.
I have an expectation that they will understand.
I have time to explain and ask for forgiveness when I act in a way I would not otherwise act like.
I don't think this is very often, but it does happen.
Why do I mention this? 
Because I want to encourage you to not take those closest to you for granted.
Hold them close this holiday season.

 I was reminded today how quickly life can change.
 My nephew passed away in delivery. His parents are awesome people.
They would have (and one day will) make amazing parents.
But as I watched this process take place, and the tears flowed,
 I looked at my wife and daughter in a new way.
They are the most important people in my life by far. They do so much for me.
But I at times take them for granted.
This story is not unique to me or whoever is reading this.
We all know of people who are taken from this earth faster then anyone expected.
It is for that reason that I encourage you to let the little things go.
Use the values that guide you through success in the workplace and with friends in your own house. Take the time to love like there is no tomorrow, because you never know.
I pray tonight that God bless each of you this Christmas.
I encourage you to forget the gifts. Put down the turkey leg. Turn off the football game for a second. Grab those true presents in your life around the neck and give them an extended hug and kiss.
Jayce, I love you.
Thank you for teaching me a lesson in love. You will be missed."
Sweet Jayce,
we all love you!
Thank you for teaching us all!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Any Road'll Take You There...

“If you don't know where you're going,
any road'll take you there”
―   George Harrison
This is a road I would happily
 meander down at any time!
And it just so happens to lead to
An added bonus!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The B-Day Haiku Continues...For You!

The early night came,
with it a bright shining light,
Christa Jean was born!

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Month of Jean!

Christa Jean
that is.
Christa believes in celebrating the
instead of the
(Personally, I thought she would grow out of that
as she "matured".... but oh no, on the contrary...sorry, Robert!)
As she said the other day,
"I LOVE November,
it's my favorite month!
The month I was born,
Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday,
and now I felt Jayce move for the first time!"
We found out last Tuesday that
Robert and Christa are having a boy!
[none of us knew until the box was opened if the baby was a boy or girl]
Team Green.
(Sidenote:  I ran in to their apartment to pick up the
decorated box to have it filled with the appropriate color balloons...
lime green for boy. deep purple for girl.
And Robert was frantically ironing his lime green shirt...
"I haven't worn this shirt for years! But I have to represent Team Green!"
Not to let Team Purple go unrepresented, Christa hurried
and put on a purple tank top...lol)

I have a feeling you may
have a new favorite month
in the near future...

The month of
Jayce's birth!
In the meantime,
Happy November!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Hat on a Head

A hat on a head
                          is much more than fun;
                                                               it's style, and fashion,
                                                                                                 and protects from the sun.

Wide brims and short brims,
                                              this matters not;
                                                                        with three heads and three hats,
                                                                                                                           it makes a great shot.

A moment is captured,
                                    smiles frozen in time,
                                                                        a hat on your head,
                                                                                                       simply makes you want to rhyme!
So pull out your hats,
                                   start clicking away;
                                                                   even if one of your subjects,
                                                                                                                decides not to stay...


Monday, September 30, 2013

A Gift To Me

The title to this post has a dual meaning...
one is obvious...
the other, you have to see at the end!
The obvious...
I had a weekend visit from some very special people...

Joey (in from England). Jamie. Katherine. Joanna. Me.

 Jim. Karla. the Twins.
who, even though time and distance keeps us apart,
each time we are together is very, very special...
a gift!

Now these two...
 kept the weekend quite entertaining,
and I should have followed them around with a tape recorder.
Their comments over the weekend could have been
a blog by itself without any other commentary from me.
There was one statement by one of these twins that I was determined to prove false...
Jamie's..."I never smile showing my teeth!"
(and if you scan the pictures...he was holding his ground!)
Joanna, on the other hand, declared...
"I always smile showing me teeth!"
And being true to her word, every time, she sure did.
I even tried to catch Jamie unawares
shooting from the hip...
But he had a sixth sense...
it didn't work.
Joanna had a sense that the camera was pointing her way,
and she was ready!
Then departure time came..
one more shot at the car before loading up.
and then it happened...
....those pearly whites were flashed
just for a moment
just for me.
What a sweet gift!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Animal Planet...Florida Version

Yesterday, I had an encounter with a banana spider's web.

I have a 4' black racer who has taken up residence at the bottom of my stairs.
     (I'll try to get his pic, but he is called "racer" for a reason :)

These two creatures gave me flashbacks to animal encounters over the years...

And once again, I think?, Christa may be the winner with the most encounters. 
 Although Michelle does win in the "Most Snakes Caught" category.  And Rachel has won in the
"Yes, I had Yellowjackets Crawl Up my Jeans" category.  Jessica, of course, wins in the "Looking Most Dignified with Lizards as Earrings" category.  All the girls are equal in the "Had a Paynes Prairie Alligator Hiss at Me" category.   And I, naturally, win in the "Lost-Frantic-Scary Bull Encounter" and the "Stand-Off With a Water Moccasin at the Clothes Line" categories.

But I do believe Christa wins for the most Categories:
 ~"Leapt Over a Rattlesnake on the Path" (not intentionally...thought it was a stick)
~"Leapt Over a Coral Snake in the Garage" (also not intentionally...thought it was a belt)
~"Caught a Wild Bird With Bare Hands"
~"Caught Another Wild Bird With Bare Hands"
      (That's two wild birds... I still don't know how that was possible.)
~"Chased Around a Ford Pick-Up Truck By an Angry Goose"
     (at least 4x's by a very angry goose just inches away... neck outstretched and wings flapping -  both the goose and  
~"Gets Pecked Regularly by an Angry Rooster"
~"Rode a Runaway Horse With No Saddle or Bridle"
~"Swam with Barracudas and Learned That it is Possible to Scream Through a Snorkel."
~"Stung by a Scorpion"
   and, of course, the....
~"Hurry!! Pull Off My Jeans!! I have a Spider Hiding in My Crotch Seam!!"` category!

Between all of us, we have covered quite a few wildlife categories... I think we missed out on our chance of our own reality show!

Hmmmm... maybe not.   We can always recreate the scenes!

Now, just to come up with a good title!!


1st Amendment to this post:
      Jessica thinks she is a contender... along with the Lizard as Earrings win, she did win the following categories:
~"Getting Bucked Off Two Horses Without Even Being in a Rodeo" category.   (one time in the midst of a herd of cows!)
~"Got Bitten by an Angry Goose"  (had a nasty bruise for awhile to earn this award!)

I now declare myself the winner after this encounter...
2nd Amendment to this post:
~"Had a cottonmouth rear back ready to strike, but didn't" category.   Was a guardian angel involved...oh yes, I believe so!  It's a miracle he didn't strike.   I was close enough to literally see down its throat...yep, white as cotton...  So, Christa, I take the title away from you :)


3rd Amendment to this post:
Now I certainly declare myself the official winner as I won the
~"Chased Off an Alligator (Twice) With a Pool Noodle" category!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lucas's Hobby

Lucas has taken up a new hobby,
well, acutally,
maybe his first hobby.
And I couldn't be more impressed...


 Now, here you may think he's taking a pic of the toy on the floor,
but actually he was taking a picture of his arm!
(I love the toes in the background :)


his reflection in the tv screen...lol!

Keep up the good work, Lucas,
Aunt Michelle will put you to
work in the future :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

B-Day Haiku! For You!

One September night
filled with anticipation
the world was enriched!
Happy Birthday, Sweet Jessica!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Basketball Star

During our week-long family time,
there were many memorable moments
that I may be sharing here and there.
But one just came to mind right now
as I was watching a Bon Jovi music video
 and glimpsed a guy playing some streetball...
and it sparked a memory that
made me laugh.
Because on our vacation,
we had a day at Fun Depot 
in Ashville
where alot of tokens were spent at the hoops, and
there was some serious competition going on...
And I'm pleased to announce that the
overall winner that day
with her style and finesse

Christa Jean
Good job, Christa!
Your hard work paid off..
And you get to possess the imaginary b-ball trophy...
at least till next year!
(Do I foresee a REPEAT happening?!?!)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Some Kind of Wonderful...

Beautiful place, wonderful time,
love my family...


Friday, August 2, 2013

Almost Heaven

Instead of a Nana/Hope Day,
we settled for a Nana/Hope Hour...
(any increment of time counts
as a special time when we're together!)

And this hour included
mountains and rivers and woods and horses!
So, I would say...
It Was Almost Heaven!
With Hope on Hildago
and me on Rapunzel...

off we went to explore Cedar Creek...


it was a wonderful ride...
and you're a wonderful girl!
Looking forward to our next