My first two favorite boys!

I have to take a little walk down memory lane because at a recent family party
I was able to capture of picture of my son and nephew smiling.  For those
familiar with these two, getting them both just to have their
picture taken, much less both (kinda) smiling at the same time is quite the feat.

I decided to go back and find old pictures of the two of them as they were growing up.  
(Excuse the poor quality)

18 months

6 years

7 years

11 years

31 years.

thankful for:

541.  smiling boys
542.  needed phone calls
543.  left overs
544.  Created 4 Care conference
545.  my husband getting a much needed nap
546.  Floyd and Ginny arriving home safely.


his favorite food....

his favorite drinks....

his favorite partyware (sorry Bubba but it had to be said)....

his favorite cake.....

his mama's favorite son......

thankful for:

533.  the awesome message at Sunday's service
534.  Melissa's new business doing well
535.  a quite evening with my sweetie tonight
536.  beautiful weather today
537.  my ice-cold diet dr. pepper
538.  lots of phone calls from Brody this week wanting to tell his Nana "hi"
539.  our car with almost 200,000 miles on it still going strong
540.  Melissa's biopsy results coming back clear.

Joining Ann Voskamp 1000 gifts.

                Hope you'll visit. Just click on Multitudes on Mondays picture above.
                    Remembering to be greatful in all things


Thirty one years ago today.

Thirty one years ago today I became a mom, for the second time, with my one and only son.  I can remember laying in the labor room just praying it would be a boy since I already had a girl.  At the time I thought my family would be done.   It was a relatively short  and easy  not extremely painful labor.  These were the days of natural labor and  no epidurals.   He was a happy, easy and calm little guy who was pretty much a mama's boy (and I mean that in a good way) from day one.  I can honestly say that never once in his entire life has he ever raised his voice or talked back to me.  He has always been a sweet heart .

(1 month)

He was a big boy at 9 lbs 3 ounces.  
 "Matthew Ryan"
His extended family calls him Ryan
His sisters' call him Bubba
In school he went by Matt
His girl friend and her son call him Matthew.

(9 months)

He was alway ready with a smile as a baby.

(2 years)

I can't remember a time in his life (and that includes now)  that he didn't have a book in 
his face.   This is how I would find him most evenings.

(3 years)

He had two favorite stuffed animals.  Sunshine Bear and...


(6 years)

My mom got him this camo outfit on his 6th birthday and he tired
to wear it almost everyday until it literally fell apart  a year and-a-half later.
I must of washed it 200 times.  I truly regret not  keeping it because it was such a part 
of him at this age.

His first fishing trip with his Grandpa in Virginia.

7 years

I look at this picture and it seems like yesterday he was this small.  

(9 years)

This was his mullet and soccer phase.  I loved it.

(14 years)

(18 years)

                                     Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy  young man.
                                                  (They never stop being your baby)

                                                                    thankful for:

                                      527.  my brown eyed baby birthday boy.
                                      528.  my nephew coming over to help celebrate.
                                      529.  Floyd and Ginny flying in to spend a few days with us.
                                      530.  the pastry they brought me back from France (Epcot).
                                      531.  a "smiling" picture of my "first" two favorite boys.
                                      532.  the people God gave me to love.




Normally on Mondays I do a "Multitudes on Mondays" post but I've decided to make a change and list my gratitudes each day at the end of my posts.  I wanted to make sure I didn't forget to document what I was thankful for each and every day and to be honest, I would forget by doing it once a week.   Oh the joys of  "maturing".  ha!

There's a blog I like to visit often, Lemonade Makin' Mom.  I'm sure most of you have
heard of her.  If not, you need to visit.   Sasha is funny, inspiring, has created awesome products (which she sells on her Etsy site) and does beautiful photography. 

              She did a really interesting post recently called, Currently.... 
I thought it was such a great idea to post your "currents" so you could look back in a year...or two...or three and see what you were thinking about or doing at this point in time.  Thanks for the great idea Sasha. 

Here goes:

Currently loving... besides my family which I'm "always loving", it would be the
     e-course I'm taking, Creatively Made given by the talented Jeanne Oliver.

Currently reading... Radical (again), the bible and the new HGTV magazine.
Currently waiting... to hear how my daughter's first day on her new job went.
Currently excited about... having all of our toilets replaced.  TMI?  Sorry but I
      hate the toilets we have and just found out we're replacing them all in the
      next couple of weeks.
Currently missing... my Illinois grandkids.  I don't think I'll ever get use to them
      living in another state. 
Currently trying... to eat more healthy.
Currently working at... getting more uninterupted sleep.
Currently enjoying... reruns of The Big Bang comedy show.  We only started watching
      in the last year so all the reruns are new to us.  So funny.
Currently snacking on... leftover Christmas M&M's (that's why I'm trying to
      eat healthier.)
Currently using... philosophy peppermint shower wash.  Yummy.
Currently wearing... black capris, grey blouse and my Valentine present,
       a Brighton bangle bracelet with two pink sparkling beads on it.  (Got it early).
Currently planning... my menu for the week because we'll be having house guests
       for 5 days.
Currently singing... How Great Is Our God, listening to it on my playlist.
Currently needing... new tennis shoes (and socks) because I'm starting back on
      my 1 hour a day walking regement.
Currently learning... how much I need God.
Currently listening to...  inspiring video's of women who have discovered their gifts
      that God has given them through the e-course.
Currently wishing... that I'm able to overcome all the obstacles (such as money and
      my immense fear of flying) so that I'll be going to Ethiopia in November
      on a mission trip.
Currently doing... an art project in mixed media that I feel totally out of my skill
      and element but loving the process.
Currently praying for... my daughter's and son's new jobs, my granddaughter's life
      as she learns to navigate high school, my oldest daughter's new business,
     Muri's life in Ethiopia, ,a clear understanding of God's plan for me, my neighbor
     as she learns to navigate life as a widow, wisdom of the voters as the elections
Currently looking forward to... a Christian Women's conference this March
     in Nashville.  Would love to see you there. Click on the link for more info.

Currently dreaming of... the possibility  of adopting one day.
Currently greatful for... inspiring bloggers like Sasha.

                                                    Thankful for:
                                        519.  the movie "Courageous"
           520.  the main actor in Les Miserables honoring God at the end of the play
                                      521.  Dylan sleep-over on Friday
                                      522.  house guests for the week
                                                523.  Carrie's new job
                                                524.  Ryan's new job
                         525.  spending time with Carrie this weekend shopping
                                  526.  caring and generous big sisters

                                      Joining Ann Voskamp 1000 gifts.

            Hope you'll visit. Just click on Multitudes on Mondays picture above.
                    Remembering to be greatful in all things


Project 2, A Vintage Journal

I completed my second journal project, a vintage journal.  With the theme being "vintage" I decided to honor my maternal grandmother for this project.   She died two weeks after my mom was born so I never knew her but I knew of stories about her.  This picture was taken in 1934 and it's a copy of a copy of a copy ..... so the quality isn't the best.

My grandmother, Grace,  was a very loving women with black curly hair and the most beautiful blue eyes, as the stories go.  My older brother has her eyes and his daughter,
Cindi, resembles her alot.  My grandfather worshiped her and after she died he was never the same.  I know my grandparents were together several years before she was able to have a baby.  She was so very happy to have my mom and it is terribly sad that she died so soon.  To compound that tragedy is that her own mother died in child birth so my mommy was without a mommy or grandmother. 

Grace's legacy:  1 child, 6 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren (to date).  If she had not been able to have my mom, the large group
of people I cherish as family would not exist.  Thank you God for the incredible gift
of my grandmother.  I know she'll be welcoming us home one day.

Thankful for

514.   my grandmother
515.  a sunny cool morning in florida
516.  the people I work for and with
517.  ice-water from my fridge that tastes better than bottled
518.  a gift tickets to see Les Miserables tonight with my hubby (Thank you Nancy)


Wordless Wednesday (almost)

(enjoying the swing in 30 degrees weather with the sun in his face)

Thankful for

511.  my niece's birthday today
512.  a wonderful month of 7 family birthdays
513.  time to work on my art project tonight


I usually try to make all of my grandkids activities so having 2 of them in another state has been hard for me.  I don't want to miss anything.  For those in this same situation,  you know what I mean. 

Everytime I visit Illinois I make sure  to go watch Makenzie at Gymnastics.   She
is one determined little girl and practices over and over again when learning something new.  I'm so proud of my baby granddaughter.  Keep in mind, she's only 4. 
                                                          Sister's got skills.

It always helps when Mommy is your coach.

Her favorite part is a "lolli" for a job well done.

Just love this girl!

Thankful for:

502.  one last peppermint mocha frappuccino
503.  an unexpected gift in  my mail from my bff
504.  my baby girl getting a new job
505.  a cold  cool front coming through tonight
506.  sweetie picking up a repaired sunglass for me today
507.  my bff texting with me at 5:00 am (4:00 am her time)
because I couldn't sleep.
508.  Brody's chest x-ray showing no pneumonia
509.  light traffic on the way to work
510.  frozen pancakes for dinner


Multitudes on Mondays


                             Joining Ann Voskamp 1000 gifts.

                      Hope you'll visit. Just click on Multitudes 
                                on Mondays picture above.

                      Remembering to be greatful in all things

I'm thankful for:

484.   healing after dealing with the flu, feeling better for a few days
          then having a sore throat for 10 days.         
485.  a much needed visit with my Illinois grandkids at Christmas time.

 486.  a wonderful dinner made by my sweetie and it was awesome.

487.  the 4 hours of snow before it melted.

488.  Paige for her thoughtful gift.  I'm loving the e-course "Creatively
489.  my sister-in-law's quick healing from a burst appendix.
490.  blogging "friends".
491.  politicians who don't stoop to attack ads.
492.  long weekends.
493.  Florida days that are sunny and 60 degrees.
494.  journal writing.
495.  walking in his word.
496.  Dylan's movie night/sleep over last Friday.  Toy Story again.

497.  date night this week.
498.  a granddaughter who stays home to study for mid-terms  over the 
         weekend even though that's the last thing she would like to be doing.

499.  unexpected smiles from strangers.
500.  minors car problems when major ones were expected.
501.  God loving me in spite of myself.       


My First Project

I can't say enough about how much I'm enjoying the e-course, Creatively Made.  I just completed my first project.  It's a "Mixed Media Altered Journal".  I'm pretty okay with the finished product although if I were doing it again, I'd do a few things differently.  I guess that's why I need the classes.   I'm still finishing my vintage journal and hope to be done soon.

This is inside the cover. 

 I added a few watercolor pages along with quotes and favorite bible verses for interest throughout the journal.

I'm looking forward to week two of the class for our next projects.  The course is still open until tomorrow night.  Go over and visit Jeannie Oliver's blog.  You're gonna love it.


Creatively Made

The very talented Jeanne Oliver is hosting her very first e-course, Creatively Made.
I was so excited to find out that I was gifted a "place" in this course by Paige of
Simple Thoughts.  Thanks again so much Paige. 

This couldn't have come at a more perfect time as I'm "retiring" from my job of the
last 20 years in a few months.  I've been pondering ideas of what I want to do.  What do I really want to do in this stage of my life?  I love taking pictures, making things, baking, planning and hosting parties.  Basically create.   Even when I was a child whenever I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, besides being a mother, I always aspired to be or do things in the creative fields.  An actress or singer (I definitely don't have the talent for that), a journalist, a children's book author, write for a magazine, party or wedding planner or an artist.   I've always loved those gifts that were homemade with love the most and they've always been my favorite to give so I hoping through this course to find out what my true gifts are in creating.

Even though this is the first week, I am  loving it so much already.  I can't wait to get started on my first project.

I encourage anyone who has been looking for their special gift to take a look at her blog to find out more information about classes.

 Oh, and she also sells really beautiful creations of her own.  She is so talented.

*Jeanne has just extended registration until January 16th *  January 16th*


Word of the Year

My word of the year is "Thankful". (thangk'fel) adj.  Showing or feeling gratitude:
greatful.  To express one's thanks to.  To give credit. 

I really began focusing on this word last year when I began participating in "Multitudes on Mondays".  I'm continuing this year by not only listing my gratitudes my making sure I show how thankful I am specifically to the giver.  Not just the giver of gifts but of kind words, services, a smile, a gesture ....    How many times have I thought back to a kind gesture or services with a smile, yet not spoken or written those words of gratitude to the giver.   A teacher who went out of her way to make you or your children feel
special, a kind neighbor who always has a wave or smile, the brewtista who welcomes you by name, the kind, elderly gentleman who always insists on walking your groceries out to the car.

I'll begin by making sure all my Christmas thank-you cards are mailed (some of mine
are a bit late going out) and my goal is to continue in everyday happenings.

And just because I hate to have a post without a picture, I'm thankful  for this funny sweet face.