A Whole Lotta Love

These two have my heart.

This photo of our children, Jason and Ashley, was taken years ago when both were students at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Ashley arranged for a friend to take pictures of the two of them for a Mother’s Day collage. It’s still one of the very best gifts I’ve ever received.

I love seeing their young faces. Neither had any idea at the time what trials and triumphs awaited them, or the strength they’d need to develop in order to prevail. I’m proud of who they have become, but nostalgic for who they were. My babies.

Peace and love, people.

Love in the Time of February

During the last week of January I had the thought that I should write something about love every day in February. We need a lot of love right now. Love for our family, our friends, ourselves, even for complete strangers. And with Valentines Day sitting smack dab in the middle of the month, it seemed the perfect time to express feelings of love each day.

Somehow, though, I became distracted and forgot about the love theme. Is it okay to begin a month-long theme on the fourth day of the month? Of course it is. The only rule for blogging is: There are no rules.

So, to kick off my month of love, here’s a photo of two people I love:

That’s our beautiful daughter, Ashley, holding her nephew, our youngest grandson, Jackson, on her wedding day. Jackson is now a handsome teenager. This photo makes my heart happy. I love them both so much.

Peace, people.

Midnight Thoughts

From the border lands

We feel the children weeping

Lord, please hear their cries

Agents cold as ICE

Breaking families apart

Following orders

What would Jesus do?

We don’t have to speculate

Lord, hear our prayer

Matthew 19:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Scraps from Their Pasts

For Christmas I put together scrapbooks of their early years for our two children. The idea wasn’t an original one. Studly Doright’s mom, Saint Helen, had given Studly and his four siblings scrapbooks several years ago as Christmas gifts and for him at least, it remains one of his all-time favorite gifts.

I’m not a very crafts minded person, but in preparation for assembling these scrapbooks I made multiple trips to Michael’s (for non-Americans, that’s THE place to go for creative types) in order to purchase the books and to find appropriate decorative touches for each page. I bought tons of stuff and ended up using only a fraction of it. Project ideas, anyone.

I’m so awful at this type of thing that I actually started all this at the beginning of 2016 and had planned on presenting them with their gifts at Christmas that year, but I got bogged down in the minutiae, and it took me almost two years to complete the task. I’m still not sure how my mother-in-law put together five such books without going crazy, because I’m fairly certain some of my sanity was lost in the process.

I’d looked forward to presenting the books to my kids in person when we were all in Nashville that Christmas, but since I was an entire year behind, and we weren’t getting to see them for the holidays this year, I had to put them in the mail.

Now, I’d worked my butt off cropping photos and arranging them with curlicues and doodads. I’d spent countless hours searching through old school pictures and awards. The thought of trusting these works of heart to the mail almost drove me crazy(er). So, before I boxed them up for shipping to Dallas, Texas, where our son lives and to Port Byron, Illinois, where our daughter resides, I documented each and every page with the help of my trusty iPhone camera.

I’ll spare you from viewing all of the pages (you’re welcome). While I wasn’t there when they opened the books they both assured me they’d enjoyed their trips down memory lane. I’m so glad I spent the time creating these, but even more glad that I had only two children.

Peace, people.

Clone?

One of the upsides to the social media site, Facebook, is the way it reminds of us photos and events we might have otherwise forgotten. This morning the following photo popped up in my Facebook memories:

That’s Studly and me with two of our grandchildren, Garrett and McKayla, from nine years ago. At first glance I thought the woman pictured was my mom. Then it dawned on me, that my mother died before ever meeting any of her great grandchildren.

Here’s a photo of Mom with our daughter, Ashley, who is the mother of the children pictured above. I think maybe Ashley was four in this photo.

Again, here’s the photo of me:

Holy cow. People have told me how much I look like mom, but until now I don’t think I fully realized it. Cloning. It’s real and apparently has been since the 1950’s.

Peace, people. (Miss you Mommy)

My Babies

Several years ago my daughter, Ashley, put together this collage of pictures of her and her brother, Jason, and presented it to me on Mother’s Day. It remains one of the best gifts I’ve ever received and makes me feel more than a little nostalgic for the days when they were little. 


I’m so fortunate to be their mom, and they make me incredibly proud every day. I just hope I’m forgiven for sharing their bathtub photo! 

Love you, my babies. 

Kids

Lunch today was at a counter spot in the mall. Normally, I opt for a table, but none of them were open, so I settled for a stool between a young couple and a group of ten-year-olds.

The children were a diverse group. The ones closest to me were, and I kid you not, one African American, one Asian, one Latino, and one white. Three boys and one girl, respectively.

They were having such fun. Seated several spaces away from their adult sponsor they were being silly. One child was pouring Sprite into another child’s ice cream while the other two giggled.

“Drink! Drink!” They urged. The child drank to the simulated gags of his companions. 

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Are you all best friends?” I asked.

“Yes ma’am!” One little boy said. “We do everything together.”

I got a little misty eyed thinking about their innocent friendship. Our future leaders won’t think about race or gender differences if we just leave them alone. Power to the kids. 

Peace, people!