Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Small Things | His Watch

It's Christmas eve.

We returned home from a family service with Husband's parents, dinner, and looking at lights.  Our hearts are light...but we are tired.  We are thankful all is ready for the morning.

Except the stockings.

I quickly located them in a bag.  I counted out seven big boot sacks.  I mention quickly that I am glad I didn't find my dad's thinking it was in a bag in another room.

Then his fell out onto the chair.  I notice it has some heft to it.  I reach in my arm recognizes the small flags that veteran organizations brought to him in hospice.  My hand seizes something metal and a wave of emotion and shock pulsate through my body.  I look at Husband and exclaim, "His watch!" and the fount of tears comes forth.  I cannot control it.  My girls watch in wonder as I hold the watch tight and Husband holds me tighter.  My oldest begins to cry, too.  Later my middle one says, "I'm gunna give you some love, okay?"  Sweet girls.

My dad was kind of obsessed with his watch.  He pretty much went batty when he didn't have it.  It was one of the first things he requested to have when he left the hospital.  However, he only wore it for a time while in hospice because it became too big for him.  However, it was always on his bedside or he would have it in his lap.

Oddly, the watch is still keeping time and the day is still correct.  The date is off but I think that came from the months with only 30 days and my dad would have to change it to the first when it read 31.

While the discovery was quite emotional...it was quite providential. Healing.  Welcome.

Monday, December 16, 2013

These Days are Marked

These days are marked for me.

They are marked with sweet joy of celebrating advent that leads to Christmas celebrations. Birthdays for two of my girls.  Decorations I love. Family Traditions. Family...

This year they are also marked with incredible Heartache. Loss. Memories.

Around this time last year we were celebrating my youngest's first year of life while facing the fact that my dad was finishing his last.

It all takes my breath away like it just happened.  The days... good and bad... play in my mind.  The pictures are blurred by tears that I cannot stop.

I miss my papa.  Every. Day.  Some days are extremely difficult.  Others are not so bad.  Most probably think that I am doing okay.  For the most part I am don't get me wrong.  On a lot of days I just want to sit and cry.  I have three little ones that distract me and need me to keep going.  My two older ones will randomly talk about him when I least expect it.  On some occasions it makes me laugh or smile and on others I fight back tears or they spill out.

Some people ask about him or how I am doing. Most do not. It's awkward for some. It's okay.  It's true...life is but a vapor and the grass remembers us no more.

It has been strange to not ponder over what gift to buy him this year as he seemed to have all that he wanted. Or he would tell me that what was on his list was far too expensive which generally meant that it was some firearm he wanted. HA!

My gift to him last year was a CD of hymns (he was listening to it when he passed.) In all the years I had with him I don't remember him being quite as grateful as he was for this one.  I can still see him mouthing the words "thank you." to me.  Maybe I'll pull it out sometime... maybe

Indeed, these days are marked.  Marked by hope that came as a little baby under the cover of night.  Hope that grew to be a man of stature and character that would pay the ultimate sacrifice of dying on a cross for my sins.  Hope that rose from the dead.  Hope that promises the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. That Hope is Jesus.  A Hope that Papa has...a Hope that I have.  In this I find great comfort...yes... and joy. Even in my tears.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent | 25 Days of Books

The Advent season marks the beginning of the Church Year, and begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Advent means "coming" or "arrival" and refers to the First Advent of Jesus, the Messiah. The Advent season is observed as a time of preparation, not only for Christmas, but also for the Second Advent of Jesus. This is a time of thankfulness and expectation, for we are those who "live between Advents."

I think that the Church calendar is beautiful.  Yes, I do know it's man made but I am not a slave to it nor is it an idol for me. However, I find that it helps me think through ways in which I center my thoughts, heart, and life to Christ... that is what makes it beautiful.

This year, as most years of recent memory, something (whether good or bad) has turned plans upside down for what I thought our Advent and Christmas seasons would look like.  Things were scaled back quite a bit with our assignment here in California being extended.  I still want this season to look very different than other times in our church life and in our home life.  It's an exciting time with so many opportunities to point our girls to Jesus.  I had planned to do the books of Advent this year even if we had been at home this year.  I'll be honest, the travel out here on the first day of Advent has set me back a bit. Here we are on Day 4 and we have yet to open a book and begin.  Okay, okay... the other part is that I just got them wrapped up last night!  It's all about honesty here, people.

I am still working on a few more books to purchase for the end and to help round out our collection.  I am sure that some of them may even change over the years.  And some years we will need to add more because, believe it or not, Advent does NOT start on December 1 like many believe.  It begins on the FOURTH SUNDAY before Christmas.  So, some years there are actually 28 days in Advent.  This year it just happened to coordinate nicely with December 1.  There is your public service announcement for today.

So, while we're being honest here I am kind of a book snob when it comes to relaying the message of Christmas to our children.  We don't do Santa.  Go ahead and get your "awwwwww's" out and the comments about how we are depriving our children of some great thing.  We tell our children about the man who Santa is based and how that man loved Jesus and had a heart to serve people around him.  They are not missing out.  They do think that Santa is fun and sometimes they say, "Let's pretend Santa is real just for a little bit while we play."  So, they do.  I find that Christmas is already tainted by this world with commercialization.  We don't want to cloud their vision with a "person" that can give them anything when the season is about God who came to give them everything.

With that, here are the books that we have in our collection or will be purchasing.  Some of these books are from my childhood, some we have purchased over the years -- both new or used -- your local used book shop is a great place to start!  Yes, I realize that there are only 22 books on the list.  We started late and I am still trying to find more books.  If you have recommendations leave them here!!

1.  Who is Coming to Our House?
2. The Christmas Story
3. What Child is This? (I couldn't find a link)
4. The Most Marvelous Gift
5. Mary's First Christmas
6. A Charlie Brown Christmas
7. The Tale of Three Trees
8. What Sarah Saw
9. Silent Night (It's the song with beautiful illustrations, I have a different cover than the one shown here)
10. Merry Christmas, Strega Nona
11.The Very Special Visitors
12.The Crippled Lamb
14. Song of the Stars
15. The Christmas Story (different than the Golden Book above, but couldn't find a link)
16. Mortimer's Christmas Manger
17. Waiting for Noel
18. The Nativity
19. The 12 Days of Christmas: The Story Behind a Favorite Christmas Song
20. Humphrey's First Christmas
21. God Gave Us Christmas
22. A Child is Born

**Some of these links may lead to Kindle additions or may show really crazy prices.  I provided links mostly so you can see what the book looks like.  Where your procure them from is entirely up to you.  :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Knock, Knock....Housekeeping!

Once upon a time, a long long time ago... okay, okay... the summer of 1999 (yikes! 14 years ago!) I worked in our nation's first national park, Yellowstone.  It was nothing as exciting as being a park ranger but rather I was there to clean rooms at Old Faithful Inn as part of a summer project with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru.)  It was a summer that impacted my life in various ways and apparently is still bearing fruit in other areas still today.

You see, one becomes very familiar with the details and rigors of housekeeping when work is done in one of the busiest hotels in the nation over the summer months.  While I was not the fastest room cleaner in the est I found an appreciation for those who do it day in and day out for years on end.  Not just for the summer, you see.  The solitary work about drove me mad and so management had mercy on me and when they could they moved me into a position of picking up buffalo poop grounds keeping and cleaning public spaces.  I was thankful to be around more people and I LOVED that job.  No, really.

Today I find myself nearing the end of a two month stay at a hotel.  I am always reminded that it is well worth knowing the names of the people around you.  Especially in the service arena.  I'm pretty sure I know everyone who works here from management, to housekeeping, to food service.  They work hard.

However, I will say that our relationships with those in housekeeping are by far the most significant.  We see them just about everyday.  My kids run down the halls in little-girl-screeching-delight when they see Mrs I and Mrs E, the women who run the housekeeping department.  The day that I told Mrs. I  that I had worked in housekeeping for a time she was surprised and asked all sorts of questions.  We talked about the hard work of it all and the difference in how things work here versus what I experienced.  It seemed like that sealed our relationship.  Well, that and the fact that my girls easily endear themselves to almost anyone. HA!  We have had conversations about family, life, church, and other things. We have made great friends here and while we are excited to go home we are sad to leave the people that we have met here.

My girls have this notion that the housekeeping crew will just come home with us.  Yes, I wish.  HA!  We'll take food service with us as well.  My girls even pretend clean after housekeeping leaves and when we come back to the room they do the famous "knock, knock! Housekeeping!" at the the door and then burst into quiet giggles.  If anything it has been a social education for my girls and I think they are doing fabulously.

Fourteen years ago I wondered how on earth my being a housekeeper would have any sort of impact or be of any sort of significance.  I merely thought it was a vehicle to do ministry at that time.  Nope, apparently there would be another reason that would not be fully realized until 14 years later.  I wonder what that summer still has in store for me?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nature Walks

Miss A's Collection
 So, it's hot in Phoenix during the summer.  Right.  Everyone knows that.  You would know then that getting the motivation to go for a fun little walk to explore is utterly...impossible.

However, the last two months or so here in San Diego has afforded us the opportunity to still go on walks around our hotel and other places in the city.  I never realized until this time how much Miss A loves to be outside exploring and looking at every little thing.  She has sharp eyes and finds the oddest things.  Sticks, pine cones, snail shells, acorns, berries, etc.  She loves it.  I also noticed if she is having a hard day if you give her about fifteen minutes to walk around outside, run, and explore she is a much happier person.  Miss L could go either way and she is too finicky to start picking everything up.  It's funny to see their personality differences coming out more.

I recently posted this on Facebook:

"Abby is my outdoor explorer. Today's short expedition yielded acorns to add to her collection of pine cones, snail shells, and leaves."

A friend (Mr. Y) then posted later, "I knew a guy like that..."  Here he was referring to my dad, Miss A's Grandpa T.  I replied, "...maybe that would explain their special bond..."  To which he said, "Amen."

The next morning Miss A was playing with some linking cubes that we use for math.  She put them together and told her daddy, "I'm going out to shoot some birds!"  Yes, a deep bond indeed.  My husband and I just looked at each other in light of previous conversations about Miss A and my dad and busted up laughing. (For those that don't know my dad he was an AVID hunter all of his days.  Even if he didn't get anything he would just say, "Well, I just took my rifle out for a walk.")

Needless to say, I need to work on getting us all out of the house more to places where we can all explore and pick up rocks.  Thankfully, the winter in Phoenix is a perfect time to be doing this.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cherished Conversation | Women & Work

During our stay in California we have had the opportunity to interact with a large variety of people.  My girls make different observations which are never prompted by us.  Although, most observations require some explaining and redirection.  Here is one of those social observations:

The honest truth is if you look at the people that are staying here the majority are men.  There have been a few females, fewer couples are here during the week.  And if there are more we don't see them in the public areas much for the meals that are provided by our hotel.  Granted, this changes on the weekend when we see more families.  But for extended stay there a couple of families, a few couples, a few (travelling single) women, and a bunch of (travelling single) men... of all different nationalities.

One morning Miss L asks, "Why do some women go to work?"

"Because some women need to do that to help their families, or they don't have children to stay home with.  That's the decision some women want or need to make," I replied.

"So, what happens to their children when they go to work?"

I do my best to explain a day care center and the option of a babysitter (which she understands a bit more fully) and that some children are old enough to go to a public school.

Her eyes teared up.  She told me that she was sad that some children didn't get to spend the whole day with their mom or dad.

"I always want you to be my teacher, Mama."

My eyes fought back tears and I was overwhelmed by her love.

I grew up in a single parent home.  My dad did the best he could but that had to include a mix of private day care, "regular" day care, and baby sitters.  I didn't know anything different.  I thought it was a natural part of everyone's childhood.  It wasn't until we moved from Albuquerque to Los Lunas that I met other kids who had a mom that stayed home.  It was AWESOME.  I was jealous for a time but understood that was not at all how it could work in our house.  I understand that for some it just isn't an option.  However, now that my husband has blessed me and our children with the opportunity for me to stay home I do thin kit is the best option.  Many people have made great sacrifices to be at home with their children... while it may indeed be a great sacrifice in some areas it has the best return on the investment by far.   

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today he would have been 73...

I probably won't write something every birthday that rolls around.  But it's the first one.  It seems significant.  At this point last year we had no idea that Papa was sick.  He was in a little pain but we chalked it up to his recent back surgery that was taking longer to recover from than we thought it would.  Over this weekend last year we took the girls to a pumpkin patch north of our home a bit. My dad told   Its to go and have fun and that we would celebrate when we all got home.  I think he secretly wanted the house to himself for a couple of days because he knew that we would be spending the night up north, too.

This year I am missing him.  He used to want to ignore his birthday but I didn't.  I love birthdays.  I don't go all out but I like doing at least something.  This year we mark the day in our hearts, tears are shed, and we take another step forward.

Miss A and I went out to his grave last week to put some flowers. Fall, I think, was his favorite season.  Mostly because it then signified in his mind hunting season.  Because really, let's face it, that was his favorite season. HA!  Miss A helped me clear off his marker and while I cried she was quiet and as we left she just held my hand.  Then in her innocence she asked if she could pick some flowers.  I asked her where she wanted to pick flowers.  She pointed at all the other markers with flowers. It helped to lighten the mood.  Miss A and my dad had a special bond.  Little things that she still remembers that he would do for her at the breakfast table.  When my dad was in hospice she would climb up on his bed and cuddle with him.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cherished Conversations

I never know what will set off a certain line of questioning from my children.  Especially with Miss L.  She is so inquisitive and soaking things up like a sponge.  I am alway so surprised by what she remembers and in what detail.  Here is a conversation we had today right after finishing our school work for the day.

"Mama, can you show me a picture of YOUR grandma and grandpa?"

"Sure, when we get back to Phoenix I will show you a picture of my grandma and grandpa."

"Are they old or young?"

"Well, they were kind of old when they died.  They are gone now like Grandpa Tash is gone."

"Oh.  When did they die?"

"My grandpa died a long time before you were born.  Even before your daddy and I got married.  But my grandma, you got to meet her when you were really little.  And then when she died you went with me to her funeral.  Although, you wouldn't remember that."

"Oh, I remember."

"You do?!"

"Yep, I remember in my heart."

So, there I was choking back tears and off she went to the next thing.  Ugh.  These kids are hard on the heart sometimes... in the best possible way.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Unbroken | A Book

**Disclaimer: Spoiler of sorts below**

I recently read the book Unbroken under the recommendation from my dear friend, Mrs. H.  I found it from our digital library and dove in.  It was a page turner for sure.  I was drawn in by the story.  My mind finding it hard to grasp all that the main character, Louis Zamperini, endured during WWII.  However, I was all to familiar with other stories of such atrocities that I knew such things were not from an overactive or over traumatized imagination. What drew me in even more was the fact that Mr. Zamperini was an Olympic athlete.  I love that connection -- when I was younger (i.e. before children could find me in any hiding spot) I would disappear (or so it seemed) for the two weeks that the Olympic games were on.  Winter or summer I loved them all...

I don't do book reviews.  I am not so eloquent as to sum up a book in such a way as to compel people to read it.  However, I like to write when a deeper connection to the story is made.  This book has stuck with me that I have found it hard to really engage in my next book.  I just keep thinking about it.  So, now that I have some answers and I can write it down maybe I can move on with my next book.  HA!

Toward the end of the book Mr. Zamperini is haunted by a particular experience from his time at war.  He had prayed that if God would save him then he would serve God forever.  He was faced with this flashback while attending a Billy Graham revival in California.  He would eventually receive Christ and his life would see dramatic change.  His story is really quite intense in the testimony of God's faithfulness, love, and redemption.  There is a mention of Hollywood Presbyterian church.  My mind flashed and ran the dates in my head... Dr. & Mrs. Bill Bright (the founders of my former employment, Campus Crusade for Christ, now Cru) attended Hollywood Presbyterian.  I wondered if the paths of Mr & Mrs Bright had crossed that of the Zamperini's?

So, I emailed Mrs. Bright on Monday morning.  I received a reply from Mrs. Bright this morning, here is part of her response,
"Bill and I first met Louis Zamperini at a Billy Graham meeting when he went forward to accept Christ.  We knew them and considered them friends when we attended Hollywood Presbyterian Church in California.  It has been years since we have had any contact with him.  I, too, read his book, Unbroken and found it to be a very powerful story."
AH!!  I love it!  I love an even more personal connection to this story.  Love it.  It has endeared itself to me even more.

While there is a movie slated to come out of this story Christmas 2014 I am not sure that I will be able to stomach going to see.  However, I may just need to see it anyway.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hotel Memories

Obviously things happen for a reason and in just the right season.  My husband has been assigned to work in California for some undetermined amount of time and we are fortunate enough to be here together as a family.  As my husband had been working out here prior to all of us joining him he found a hotel just across the street from his work site.  He told me later that he was pretty sure it was the place we had stayed with my dad when we all went to California in 2009.  Our minds stretched for that trip... we have had two more babies since then... enough said.  The mind and its memories blur.

However, as soon as we pulled off the highway onto our street the memories came flooding back.  There stood the Olive Garden that we had managed a meal with a nine-month-old Miss L.  She made a mess and I am sure she had a fit.  Maybe she had done okay.  I just remember the mess.  The hotel itself was hard to remember... that is until I stepped out back to see Matt and the two older girls swimming.  I had to steady myself and keep composure.  Memories flooded back.  We had taken Miss L swimming a couple of times in the pool here after botched attempts at the beach with a baby.  My dad never got in but he watched, took pictures, and wrapped Baby L up in a towel and kept her warm.  I could see the picture in my minds eye... and I found it... the picture above.

We came out here Labor Day weekend of 2009.  My dad had just moved from New Mexico to Arizona and was living with us for a time until he found his own place.  We persuaded him out come to California with us.  An adventure because California was never on his list of top places to vacation.  We had fun... and we learned a lot about travelling on Labor Day Weekend or just travelling with a little one in general.

It's hard to think that then we only had three more years left with him.  But they were good years.  I am thankful that the Lord brought us here at this time to let me remember these things.  And today I swam in that same pool with Miss L who can now basically swim on her own... and her two sisters.  I could almost see my dad standing in the same spot laughing and shaking his head at the antics of my girls.

Thank you, Jesus, for this time right now.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Honeysuckle, Creosote, and Trainsmoke | A Book

So, I finished my first book since my last post.  Actually, I finished it a few days ago and have started something else.  I find my desire to be on social media, playing games, etc dwindling a bit.  Mostly in the game department... I do like Facebook but I am not there nearly as much.  Good things.

I digress...

I read this book in memory of my dad.  The author was a classmate of his and I have met Mr. Cook on several occasions.  I still remember that Mr. Cook had a book signing in Albuquerque while my dad was out hunting.  My Aunt Dee took me to the store to have a book signed for my dad as a birthday present.  That was in 1990 and I am now the owner of that book.  Just opening the book to that inscription brought back sweet memories.  While there were parts that I didn't laugh at I remembered my dad laughing with tears running down his face, especially in the telling of the funeral story (it is pretty humorous).  However, there were other stories I was totally laughing and rereading to my husband.

The best way to describe this book would be as the roughed up, sometimes crass, but has a soft side uncle of "The Help."  This was a more vivid look into life in a north Louisiana town in the 1940's.  While some things were tragic and heart breaking, I know from stories of my dad's youth they are not far from the truth.

I have heard that Mr. Cook has a second book out and possibly a third in the works.  I will have to work my north Louisiana connections to find out as I cannot seem to find a second one listed online.

Reading this book made me think of stories of my dad's family and how I want to make sure that they are passed down to my girls.  I'll share them here when I have more time.  For now, I'll put a reminder to write about them soon.

On to more books...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bookworm Lost

As we start out on this homeschooling adventure with our children I get a little overwhelmed looking ahead to what could potentially be their high school reading assignments.  I start thinking that maybe I should start now so that I may have most of them completed by the time they are ready for high school.  Then I relax (a little) and realize that I should enjoy books with them now that THEY enjoy.

I had to reflect a little on my reading history...

When I was younger (5th-8th grades) I read all. the. time.  My dad could barely keep up.  For whatever reason he didn't ever take me to the library.  Apparently it was just easier to take me to the local book store at the time and let me pick out a book or two.  This was a weekly or a twice a week visit and I would still find days with nothing new to read.

As I entered high school and assigned more reading and finding new hobbies and activities my desire to read dwindled.  It was also during this time that I realized that reading in a vehicle caused motion sickness.  It was something that I had never experienced before but it cut down the time that I normally had to read.  However, I had some phenomenal teachers in high school and felt that I was fairly well read... more on that later.

The story continues into college.  Reading was assigned and nothing for fun.   At this point in my life reading outside of things assigned did not seem appealing.  Anything but reading.  Sad.

I think later I got caught up in reading a lot of heavy spiritual things for classes that I took while I was on staff with CRU.  It's not that they were bad but reading something light and fun rarely crossed my path.  When I married I was introduced to people that were extremely well read.  I could barely hang with them.  I realized that I had also missed out on some pretty awesome classics - Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, etc.  I wondered why?  Then it hit me that my very liberal, feminist (although I love her dearly) high school teacher would not have approved of some of the story lines that these authors presented.  Again, sad.

More and more I am convicted that while I want to produce readers and see the desire at different levels in my girls... I am no longer a reader.  I must recover what was lost.  I've cut down on the time I waste playing games or dinking around.  I am looking into the lists I have made and would like to tackle them.  I am also wanting to find more interesting books for my girls.  I desire to make the library a habit and familiar place for them.

So, readers... suggest books... classics or otherwise.  I'll let you know if I've read them or not.  However, I cannot do things that are overly violent or overly sexual in content... I'll stop and drop anything that are too much in that area for me.  Just an FYI... and thanks for joining me!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not Missing Grandpa

This evening Husband and I were having a conversation at the dinner table and my papa came up in conversation.  Tears rolled down my face and I had to explain to the girls that I was not upset but the tears were because I missed Grandpa T.  More tears came and Miss A exclaims, "Your eyes are dripping!"  We all laughed.

I then asked Miss L if she missed Grandpa T and she said very simply, "No."  I told her that was okay.  But what she said next grabbed me...

"I can see his face.  And he called me on my hand phone yesterday.  But I was busy and couldn't answer it."

She doesn't miss him because in some way she has created her own connection back to him.

Later Miss A prayed on her own thanking Jesus that Grandpa T was with him and that he felt all better now.

I miss my dad very much.  The reality of what each day for the rest of this marks in relation to last year is painful.  Most days I am doing really well and other days the emotions hit me like a truck.  But I still want to remember these little things.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Proud Mama | Church & Peers

While it's never good that a child is disobedient there is a process of training.  This last Sunday we got to see a glimpse into what is happening in Miss L's heart.

Miss L and her sister lost the privilege to go to the playground at church (they call it the "park") because their behavior was not, shall we say, sweet.  We understand their ages and have grace for that but this was a bit nutty.  We were staying later at church this particular Sunday for a meeting so off the two older ones went to a catechism class.  At the end of their class Miss L came to find me with tears in her eyes asking if she could now go to the playground.  Being Mom I wanted to find out the root of her tears.  She first said nothing and couldn't quite verbalize all that was going on.  I found her teachers and this is what they told me,

"She did really well in class and had no problems.  When we let the other kids out she just watched them and started to cry.  We thought maybe she had hurt herself but she just said she needed to go ask her mom."

I held back the tears.

She knew and she obeyed.

Sweet Miss L knew she was not supposed to go to the playground.  At just over four and a half years old she resisted the urge as she saw ALL the other kids run outside and start playing.  She came to find us to ask permission if she could now join her friends.  We praised her for making a good decision and for coming to ask us first... and of course for doing well in class.

We let her go play... And Miss A, too.

I think Miss L somehow had held Miss A back.  What a good big sister.  I was so, so proud of Miss L on this day.

I write this not to boast but to remember the glimpses of my girls "getting it."  I write mostly for us.  But be encouraged... the seeds you sow will start to grow.  It's beautiful.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bedtime Prayers

During bedtime prayers each girl takes a turn praying for whatever they feel led to pray for and it's also a time of thankfulness.  For the last several months Miss A has diligently given thanks for Grandpa T (my dad) -- many times that is all she would say.  Tonight was the first time that she didn't do that.  I knew it would come but I didn't think it would be as sad as it is.  She may pick it up again but she may not.  I know that Miss L is probably the only one who will remember him but who knows.  I hope that they will always know how much my dad loved them and what joy they all brought to him.

Miss A used to always crawl up into Grandpa T's lap even before he was sick.  She did it without prompting the few times that we took them to see him while he was in hospice.  She would talk about how she laid with Grandpa while he was sick.  Sweet girl.

Friday, April 12, 2013


It's been quiet around here, I know.  Most who follow this blog know that my life was turned upside down with the sudden cancer diagnosis of my dad in December and then his passing away on New Year's Eve.  Usually, writing is very theraputic for me.  While there have been times that I want to write part of me doesn't want to have to "deal."  However, last night I realized that there are things that are happening that I want to remember and cherish.  I have to just deal with the emotions that come and that's okay.  Plus, I remember how much my dad liked reading whatever I wrote.  Even if it was a recipe he never really cared to try. :)

So, this was my moment I wanted to cherish...

Miss L has always found sunsets to be simply amazing.  Beautiful. Fantastic. Wow.  In general, she is enthralled with them.  I have always been the same way.  I think I got it from my dad.  It was one of his favorite parts of the day.  The other would be sunrise in his hunting camp. (ha!)  I grew up in New Mexico which has some of the most beautiful sunsets.  Arizona does a pretty good job, too.  I cannot complain. I didn't realize the rush of life or lack of sunsets until one day (a long time ago) Miss L blurted out how beautiful it was with no prompting from anyone... ever.  I almost cried.  Granted, we are not usually out much in the evening for our little ones to see the sunset I was just in awe at her own observation of the beauty of God's creation.  I always ask her who made it... she knows the answer is God.  Smart girl.

Last night as we were leaving my in law's home the sunset was awesome.  That word is so overused but it was, indeed, awesome.  Miss L immediately let out her words of jubilation at the colors and light dancing in the sky.  It  WAS beautiful.  I thought of my dad and I told Miss L how much her Grandpa T loved sunsets. That made her smile.  It was good for my soul.  I want to remember this.

Of course, I didn't take a picture.  Of course.  However, I remember a long time ago giving up on trying to take pictures of sunsets because a picture never did it justice.  Maybe I will just have to take a photo next time anyway.