Saturday, December 29, 2012

The circle of life.....

ugh, I hate that circle--at least the ending part.  Its no fun for those still here, but we know that our loved ones go to a place that is prepared for us.  They are in heaven.  They have received the ultimate prize in this life and that is to live in eternity with Jesus!  The thought sounds peaceful and wonderful, but also terrifying to me.  Today, a man who was introduced to me as "Granddaddy" passed away.  He was not my blood, but as my mom pointed out just today, I had adopted him in my heart.  Let me back up.....
As a child, I remember seeing this man come every Sunday to church.  He would sit weekly on the same pew to the left side of the church.  Every Sunday he would sit and listen, and afterward go get in his blueish colored car to leave.  I always worried about this sweet seeming man.  He was probably in his mid to late 70's at the time.  I worried that he was going home....alone and it made me so sad.  I didn't know him, but we attended the same church.  Even as a young girl I worried about that "old" man.  (70's just ain't old seeming now!)  
Years later, I met that man.  He and his wife were introduced to me as "Granddaddy and Grand mama " met them in 2001 when my boyfriends' mom (my now mother in law) married his now step dad.  They married in the back yard of "Granddaddy's" yard.  I left work that afternoon as a lifeguard to attend and take pictures for my boyfriend's mom that day.  

I saw that man and realized that he was the man that sat at church all those years before.  I figured at this point he had passed away because he no longer came.  Little did I know that he didn't come because he couldn't hear well enough anymore.  All those Sunday's we left church and the worries I had for this man came flooding to me as I watched him interact with his wife.  He was very happy, not alone and doing well!  I heard stories from my boyfriend's mom about things they had taken Granddaddy and Grand mama to do and thought it seemed really nice of them to take this little couple out. 
 Little did I know the amount of life a mid 90's man and early 90's woman could have in them!!!

Fast forward a few more years.  Grand mama was diagnosed with cancer.  She passed away at age 98 in February of 2007.  We had talked and been around them at birthday's and holidays, but I did not know them very well at this point.  From the first week that Grand mama passed, we began going to visit Granddaddy on Sunday's after church.  Rose (John's mom) would cook a big lunch every Sunday and we would go visit.  We didn't miss a Sunday unless we were out of town.  This became a constant for all of us.  I remember one Sunday about a year into us coming he patted John on the shoulder and said, "I just love you like your my family."  John laughed and said, "you too!"  To John, they had already become family.  It doesn't require blood, ya know!   So, each Sunday would roll around and we would sit in the same spot at the table.  We would get there before anyone else to visit some before lunch as he seemed to talk more then.  He started setting a place for us and putting a chair next to mine for Oscar to sit. 

He got banned from feeding Oscar.  He would give
him massive bites of ANYTHING --cake, chicken, pie, etc.! :)

Rose truly took care of him.  She did anything and everything for him!  As time passed, she began going in the morning to be sure he was up, going at lunch and checking back when she got off work.  Not once a week, but everyday!  As he said many times, "she is just like a daughter to me."  Simple things such as getting his medicine after lunch (which Olivia was now doing) and folding the table cloth and putting it up became the norm for me on Sunday afternoons.  I enjoyed coming over before lunch because Granddaddy would tell great stories.  I love to hear those kind of stories.  I learned a lot about him.  He had lived in this town for many years and watched it grow.  He use to live where our local ford dealership is now.  He raised mules and would tell us stories of going to Nashville and trading.  He would show us pictures of family members and tell us about them.  He told me about his dog, Mutt.  I am so thankful that I spent a couple days of spring break a few years back and sat with all of the pictures we could find as he told me about each one.  I put them in albums and we now have that documentation.  Though I didn't know it, my heart must have adopted this sweet old man at some point in the last 5 years.    
We continued our visits each and every Sunday.  He would laugh as Oscar came barreling in as soon as he opened the door. John would do odd and end jobs at the house to help out, me attempting to help, and Rose doing anything that could possibly be thought of--she did it all!  
He was so excited for us when we told him about adopting Olivia.  He couldn't wait for her to come home and has also been excited about Easton coming home.  Olivia has been there every Sunday since she has been home.  They would take rides in his wheelchair together.  I don't know which of the two enjoyed it more.  He would pull out a small chair for her to sit and color.  He loved to watch her roll across the floor and began placing a small golden spoon for her at the table each week.  He doted on her to say the least! 
Olivia's DOL.  A HOT day in June of 2010.

Olivia's first Easter home.  
Olivia's 2nd birthday.
Olivia's 3rd birthday.
105th birthday --taking a second to love on Olivia.
Weekly we noticed him declining over the last several months.  He wasn't eating much and would sit quietly, normally falling asleep after lunch. (I took a few naps myself!)  Unfortunately, he fell vacuuming a month ago and broke his hip.  His health declined and he passed away this morning.  The whole time he was in the nursing home he would ask if we were all eating at the house on Sunday's.  I told him that we came to see him....not for the food.  Ok, the food was a perk, but we were truly there to visit with him. 
 It will be very different not doing that, but I hope that will soon continue.  He would like that!  I would, too! 

104th birthday directing our singing of 'Happy Birthday.'
 Dang that circle of life.  However, tonight Granddaddy, you don't have to kiss that picture next to your chair of Grand mama are right there with your arm around her, I am sure!  I hope to see you again someday! 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas

This year may have been my favorite Christmas yet!  Christmas Eve was laid back and a good day here at home.  We went to Mom's for dinner and to make cookies.  

We made our annual sugar cookies and then opened our pj's!   
Um....who are you?  Where is my sweet little girl? John took this and said
 she just posed this way--where do they learn this? 

Merry Christmas Eve!
Three cute girls!
Last year John had the stomach bug so our "new tradition" of staying at home for Santa to come instead of spending the night at mom and dad's house started then.
 I loved watching Olivia opening presents and understanding what was going on.  She was a lot of fun this year at Christmas.  However, we did spend an hour in the bed trying to convince her that it was ok to go upstairs, she finally  decided to get up and go check things out.  I explained that Santa had left all the blue packages, and to open those first.  She stared for a minute and then dug in. 
Before Santa
Yay!!  Santa came!!
Trying to find his presents--which he successfully did at each house. 

Oscar liked his gifts, too!

Just climbed on over to reach the next gift.

The look of disappointment because she didn't know what these were.
 This is when she told us "Ho Ho" messed up!

One happy girl!
It took some convincing, but she finally opened the presents from us.

She had opened some games that would go to her "ipad" (leap pad 2) and threw them to the side because she didn't know what they were.  She got down to the last gift, huffed and said, "ho ho brought me the wrong stuff, me no like this!"  She opened her "ipad" and realized that Ho Ho brought her the right stuff!!  (Yes, she can say Santa, but anytime I ask her to she says she would rather call him Ho Ho.) She then started opening gifts from us.  When she opened the clothes she literally threw them to the side.  I think we may need to work on appreciation and attitude. :)  We finished opening presents at home and loaded up to head to Mammy and Buppy's house where they were ready to get started over there.  We worked on opening presents there for a while and then had a yummy lunch.

Harley's first Christmas!  We got him the perfect present!

Annelyn opening her "first long haired American doll."

Where did all the presents go?

The girls watched Tinkerbell before we left. 

She got a tag jr. from my parents and Annelyn got her "1st long haired American doll."  After nap we loaded up and went to Nana's for more presents.  I hated to leave mom and dad's house, but knew we needed to get to Nana's.  Poor Nana is sick with an upper respiratory thing, so I am betting she was ready for bed.  She had a ton of food and cookies.  We opened presents and hung out for a bit and then headed home.  

Olivia decided to help her cousin pass out presents.  She was trying
to convince us that they all said Olivia. 

She made Nana a present.  Can't you tell Nana loved it!! 
We were home early enough to play with some of Olivia's new toys and enjoy some popcorn together.  I always hate to see Christmas day end.  I always feel sad for the day to end.    We are currently all snuggled on the couch in our pjs watching tv (me blogging) and Olivia playing with her new "ipad."  I look around and feel very blessed to have my family.  Merry Christmas to all!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Well, we have some really big news.  I really think it is blog worthy and deserves a fair explanation.  We have decided to move.

Don't get me wrong...I LOVE my house.  I LOVE our builder even more, my dad.  I almost cried when I pulled up today and saw the sign in our yard.  This is a perfect home with a gorgeous back yard.  We, however, are running out of space.  I keep trying to convince myself that this doesn't hurt mom, dad or anyone's feelings, but in truth, my feelings are really sad.  I guess I should say it is a mixture.  I am sad, excited, and nervous all in one.  I hate change.  I look around and I see dad everywhere in this house.  He says his last customer put him out of business.  Ha....that was me!  However, I know I can see him everywhere in a new house too.  I fully intend on him and John building another fence, slat by slat, making a gorgeous mantle, painting, etc.  So dad, aren't you projects!  Seriously, my parents are the two most giving and caring people I know.  We decided to go ahead and put our house on the market for future reasons.  All of our sweet neighbors are passing away, and I am worried about what will come of our little street in the future.  Olivia needs kids her age to play with.  Our family is growing.  If something ever happens to dad, I would NEVER leave here.  You know my parents won't get old and kill over, right?! Well, that's what I say anyway!  Did I mention that I HATE change??    

So... why do I feel an explanation of what our new (potential) home may look like is in order?  Well, it will be larger with features that I never would have dreamed of would be possible for us--especially during an adoption.  Many of you have helped us financially, and no worries, your money is tucked safely in a savings account where it will stay until travel.  This move appears to be a huge jump for us, but is an equal move.  More square footage, but financially the same.  I feel I owe that explanation to those who have or will help us because if it were me looking in, my eyebrow would be raised!  The reason is that since dad built the house, we have equity!  Yay dad!!  Also, interest rates are unbelievably low.  Now, let me remind you, this is all contingent on if  our home sells.  I have kinda given myself a time frame on selling or not, and if it doesn't then it wasn't meant to be.  However, our family knows the builder well, and I have found connections with both our Realtor and loan  application lady.  These two people were simply referred to us.  They live in the Nashville area, but not here.  What are the odds?!  To me, that is a sign to proceed.
Just this week, we decided to do this, got a storage unit, cleared out the house (check out our listing--if you know what it looked like before then you will be impressed!), AND got the house listed.  All of this since Monday night.  As we moved things out, I said, " I have to keep moving because if I stop, I will cry and quit."  I could see the day we moved in.  I kept envisioning that and everything that has happened while living here and it really makes me sad.  PLUS, dad built it!  It is a great quality home, and I know it for a fact!  All of the little details he put into our house are wonderful!  Heck, when I saw the listing I was interested in buying it. :)  I feel so torn.  I have a lump in my throat thinking about turning the key for the last time or envisioning someone else living here.  I don't know that I can do this!  I guess time will tell.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Decorating the tree

Skippy, don't get close to me!  She is still unsure of him.
She wants to like him, I think. 

and she finally smiled--but not too close to Skippy!

A little "stink eyes" for Buppy.
Oh me...this will so not be cute when she is 13.  
 Once we finished at our house, we enjoyed the rest of the day and then went to my parents house the next day.  She seemed had fun decorating, but also needed to enjoy some time on the ipad.  She always loves playing with her cousin, Annelyn.
Mr. Nutcracker, don't come too close!

Moose held her up to put one "way up high!" 

Annelyn also got to go way up!
This actually made me sad.  She chose to play the
 ipad over decorating the tree.
 Choose your battles, I guess.
Merry Christmas!  More fun and holiday spirit from our house coming soon!  I love this time of year!  I love that Olivia falls asleep at night holding her Fisher Price Jesus.  I love that she can tell you who Mary and Joseph are.  It is absolutely amazing to celebrate Christmas when looking at it from a 3 1/2 year olds point of view.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I realized that I have gotten a few pictures of Easton, and I haven't shared them.  I have seriously been slacking on the blog lately.  We got a video and some new pictures just a couple weeks ago due to a scare.  It is never good when we get a phone call from our international social worker.  I knew when she called and had me call her at home that it was something worth worrying about.  His foster mother reported a screaming fit with his eyes rolling back in his head.  No convulsing, but still scary and could be a seizure.  So....I called our adoption clinic at Vanderbilt.  I wasn't overly worried, because it really sounded like a good ole temper tantrum.  After talking to our doctor, she eased my worries by saying she thinks that it sounded like a breath holding fit until he passed out.  We compiled a set of questions and sent them back to our international agency and then sent them to Korea.  I thought it would be a month until we heard back, but within a week we had answers to our questions and pictures.  Within another week, we had a video!!  I think he is ok.  I haven't heard back from the hospital yet, but my gut says he is ok.  What do you think??  I see a cute little fellow there!  This picture was actually taken two days after the scare.
Regardless of ok or mama wants a phone call that something might be wrong with their little guy who is on the other side of the world.  When your little one is sick you simply want to hold them, tell them it is ok.  So ready for him to be home!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

first decoration

Typically, I can pull out our Christmas decorations and have the two trees, mantel, nutcrackers, and nativities thrown up in an hour and a half.  I put away our Thanksgiving things tonight, and decided I didn't want to start on getting Christmas out.  I want to let Olivia help and it was getting too late to start.  I am guessing it will take longer than my normal throw it up and go' style, but it will be much more fun....I hope.
 I did, however, get out the one thing that Olivia hated to see go away last year.  I got out our little people nativity scene and Olivia squealed! She immediately got up in the "baby seat" at the table and got out all the pieces.  We took the batteries out last year, so John asked her to read the instructions to him so she could "help."  Before we knew it, she was "reading" and her words were "Jesus loves me this I know....."  She said, "all done" and John had the batteries in ready to go.  She has played with it the rest of the night.  I LOVE this time of year and even more, I LOVE seeing her and hearing her thoughts about the season.