Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

I love Christmas!! It's my favorite time of the year especially when I stay focused on the real reason for this special day. I absolutely love the songs of Christmas and sing some songs all year long (I know I'm kind of goofy like that)!

I love the sights of Christmas, the smells of Christmas, and the spirit of Christmas. I love the joy of giving at Christmas. And I absolutely love seeing the wonder of Christmas in the eyes of children.

I read this on the girl friends in God website and thought it was a wonderful devotional to help us remember the true spirit of Christmas.

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas-Style
©By Sharon Jaynes

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family - I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family - I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family - It profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of your way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

So to everyone, I wish a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2009!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It Hurts to Laugh...

You know how when it hurts to laugh, everything seems funny. Well anytime I am around Danita & the kids, there's something funny happening. Monday, I had my gall bladder removed (yay--no more gall bladder attacks). Other than having to move slower than usual and some soreness, it hasn't been too bad.

Well we decided to venture to the grocery store to get some necessities. Brie and I were playing this game that we used to play with my kids when they were young. It's called "The Witch is on a Diet' and you go thru the alphabet naming foods that she can eat. Brie hasn't caught on to the concept of going thru the ABC's in order, so we just name any kind of food.

It was Brie's turn, and she said "The witch is on a diet and she can only eat Dublins." I had to work so hard not to laugh, because she meant dumplings. Dublin is where my other kids live--silly girl.

Then we were getting ready to eat, and she insisted on saying the prayer. She said it and then concluded with "A.M." instead of amen. I couldn't help but laugh and it hurts...

No more funny sayings for today, Brie! My tummy cannot take it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Happy Thanksgiving Indeed!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends. My family and I have so much for which to be thankful. This time last year our small fry, Hunter was still at Cooks Children's Hospital weighing less than 4 lbs. Freddie & I spent Thanksgiving with Gabe, Ryan & Dane at Ft. Worth, so they wouldn't be alone.

This year we are at home celebrating with our family and friends. Hunter has made so much progress and is doing so well. Our other grandchildren are all healthy and growing so fast. God has blessed us in so many ways and we are truly grateful.

I even got a wonderful surprise yesterday. Hunter is growing so quickly that he is going to need a new car seat very soon. We thought we might buy him a new one for Christmas. Then last night I checked my email, and I got an email about this:


What a blessing to win this car seat for our little guy!! And what a thrill for my heart that I actually won something.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend!

A couple of weeks ago, the hubby and I went on a road trip to visit our friends, the Burba’s, that live about 3 hours away. Chylene and I have been good friends since Jr. High (which yes that was a long time ago)!! When we started having our children, we really became close and went through the ups and downs of raising babies together.

Chylene has the biggest heart and would do anything for those she loves. She has a knack for spoiling children, and she did an excellent job of doing that to my kids. Some of my kid’s favorite memories involve their annual Christmas cookie baking. She would let all of them make cutout cookes & decorate them. Her kitchen always looked like a disaster when they finished, but they were sure proud of their creations.

Her two boys have a very special place in my heart too--I love them just as if they were my own kids!! Since they moved away several years ago, we don’t get to see each other as much. But our friendship is still such a blessing. We are still always there for each other and communicate through phone calls and email. And whenever we do get together, we always pick up where we last left off. I am so grateful for my lifetime friend with whom I share many wonderful memories!

Anyway back to our trip. We got to do some visiting and a little shopping. We also did a lot of eating—Chylene is the best cook. And that girl knows how to cook on a large scale; there is always lots of delicious food. We had everything from chicken & dumplings to bacon wrapped cabbage. This trip definitely put a kink in my weight loss efforts!!

Not only is she a gifted cook, but she also always has the most beautiful yard. She definitely has a green thumb (which she has passed on to the oldest son). Her porch was so festive in a fall theme. It was a Kodak moment as you will see below. I even got to bring a beautiful plant home to spruce up my front porch. Good friends, great blessings!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Birthday Surprise!!

I have been blessed with some of the most awesome friends. They are a wonderful group of women who enrich my life in so many ways. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am so grateful for these women I consider great blessings in my life.

Let me tell you about Becky (Nahna, to her grandkids & mine)! She and I grew up in the same church, and we have known each other since high school. Even though we didn't run around together, we were in band together and were friends. After high school, we both married and started our families. Our daughters were born within a few days of each other and went to school together. When the girls were in high school, we became close friends. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversaries by going on a cruise to the Carribean and Mexico a couple of years ago.

She and her husband have blessed our lives immensely. They are awesome Christians who love Jesus and are bold in their faith. They are spontaneous and live life as if it is an adventure each day, the complete opposite of me--a methodical and structured planner. I have learned so much from them, and we consider them more like family than friends.

Anyway Becky celebrated a birthday this week, and a surprise party was planned in her honor. It was a wonderful celebration of a special woman who makes this world a brighter place! The only thing that took away from the party was the absence of her son who was ill and her beautiful daughter and her family who live in Minnesota.

The food was spectacular--a combination of potluck and some wonderful desserts prepared by her daughter-in-law. Let me tell you, that Victoria can cook! She prepared some jalapeno potato salad that was wonderful, and her dessert table had a chocolate fountain (which is like heaven on earth) along with some exquisite cheesecake quesadillas and mini pecan bars. I think I gained 5 lbs. at the party!

It was a wonderful get together and the look on her face was priceless!! Happy Birthday Becky!


Beautiful roses--
a gift from her

Becky's hubby
& the youngest

Becky's 4

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Dane!

Well it's another celebration for our family. Dane Andrew is now 3 years old. He is named for his great-grandfather, Dane Clifton. I only wished that he would have gotten to meet his namesake, because Pawpaw Dane would have loved him as much as he loved Brie. He is very special to us, because he is our first born grandson. Spending time with him and watching him grow has brought so much joy to our lives.

Dane is a unique and imaginative little guy with boundless energy. He has bright blue eyes and a smile that lights up the room. He definitely has a mind of his own and inherited a stubborn streak (from his mom or his dad, I will not venture to say-ha)! He is smart and surprised us this weekend by counting to 10 in spanish. He picked that up by watching "Dora the Explorer" on television. Needless to say we were impressed!

Dane loves trains (especially Thomas A Train as he calls it), tractors, and planes. He loves chewing gum and cake with frosting. He loves being outdoors and likes hanging out with his Pops (Ryan's dad). He loves going outside to see the moon and the stars and airplanes and helicopters in the sky. He loves watching 101 Dalmations and Jay-Jay the Jet Plane and playing basketball. He loves playing his guitar like his daddy. And he absolutely adores his little brother, Hunt.

Right now, he is going through a repeating stage. Whatever you say he will say too! It's kind of comical. One of our conversations went like this. I told him you are a silly little boy and he told me you are a silly little boy. I said I'm not a little boy and he told me I'm not a little boy. I told him I love you and he said I love you. I said, "No, I love you more" and he said, "I love you more". I told him "I love you more 'cause I'm bigger", and he told me "I love you more 'cause I'm bigger". And that's where our deep conversation ended!

Happy Birthday, Dane Andrew. We love you to the moon and back!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, Brie!

Today is our granddaughter’s 5th birthday. She is our first grandchild and our only granddaughter. She lived with us for about the first year and a half of her life, so we have a very close bond with her. She usually spends at least one night a week with us and is the most loving little girl.

She is the light of her Poppa’s life. He has a soft spot for her that I have never before seen in him. I love him just that much more for the way that he is with her. She is his little sidekick and likes helping him with his projects

She has the vocabulary of a 10-year old and an attitude of a teenager already. She is smart, witty, bashful, and imaginative. She loves spaghetti, Capri Sun, and chocolate cake. She loves Polly Pockets (thanks to her Poppa), and the color pink. She loves to dance, color, and play dress-up.

Happy Birthday, Brie! We love you to the moon and back!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shopping Trip

My hubby and I spent the day together on Saturday shopping. Yes, I know I said hubby and shopping in one sentence, and lightening didn't strike!!! We even had a good day together.

The main item on my list was a new watch. And we have also been talking about getting a new bed for awhile. I had kind of hoped I would find one at an estate sale, but haven't had any luck so far. Well I'm glad that we waited, 'cause we found something we liked alot at a great price.

We ordered a queen sized bed and matching night stand. It's perfect as I had wanted to go with a rustic look!!

I am so excited and can hardly wait to go pick it up. Now I have to get some touch up painting done in that room and order some new bedding. We also have to hang up some wooden trim, and my hubby is supposed to build a bench to put at the end of the bed. Oh good golly gosh, this is fun, fun, fun...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook #1

FOR TODAY Oct. 14, 2008

Outside My Window...is a cloudy, damp day.

I am thinking...I'm getting hungry; it must be lunchtime!

I am thankful for...the wonderful rain!!

From the kitchen...cabbage soup (in the crockpot).

I am wearing...black print top, black capris, and my comfy black slip-ons.

I am creating...working on pictures to do some scrapbooking!

I am going...to spend a nice evening at home with my husband.

I am reading...Where the Broken Heart Still Beats by C. Meyer (a fiction book based on Cynthia Ann Parker who was abducted by Indians as a young girl).

I am hoping...that I get caught up on my housework this week.

I am hearing...quiet and enjoying it.

Around the house...there are hints of Fall and Halloween!

One of my favorite things...is this Fall weather.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...working, housework, reading, watching "Made of Honor", and going to a kids' consignment sale.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...(some bargains I picked up this weekend)

To participate in daybook, join our hostess, Peggy, at http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

10,000 Day Anniversary

Happy 10,000th Day Anniversary to us!

Man it is a milestone, sounds like a freakin' long time. Actually it is almost 27-1/2 years since we said "I Do" with dreamy visions of a life filled with "happily ever after"! And what a roller coaster ride, this marriage has been. There have been highs, and there have been lows. There have been tears, laughs, screams, rants & raves, moments of silence, giggles, smiles, looks of frustration, and looks of admiration. But through it all, we stuck by those vows we uttered in May of 1981.

Two kids and four grandkids later, we are still going strong. There are still days when this marriage stuff is very hard, but there are more days when it just feels right growing older (and hopefully wiser) with each other. We love each other and enjoy just being together. I can't imagine life without my partner in crime and thank God for allowing us to find each other. I thank God for giving us the strength and determination to not quit when all the odds were against us. I love you, Poppa and I am thankful that you love me!!!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Hunter!!

What a difference a year makes...

Twelve months, 366 days (leap year), 8,784 hours, 527,040 minutes--that is what has passed since one of the most frightening, blessed days of our lives. I can still remember the phone call from Gabe telling us that Ryan was in labor. I remember thinking everything would probably be okay because they would probably stop her labor. She would have to endure months of bed rest, but all would be well. Then came another phone call from Gabe--there was no stopping the labor and Ryan was going to be careflighted.

We were worried about Ryan and the baby. We were worried about Gabe and Kattie getting to Ft. Worth in time. But we prayed and the worry subsided, because we knew God was in control.

He blessed us with a tiny little guy and a healthy mom.

Hunter Brayden Lewis


1 lb. 3 oz. - 11"

It was the beginning of a roller coaster ride with a lot of good and some bad. He remained in the NICU until January which was when he was supposed to be born. He went home on oxygen and a feeding tube and was back in the hospital twice. Just within the last few weeks, he FINALLY was weaned off the oxygen. He has gained weight--up to over 14 lbs. His motor skills are developing well, and he has the most awesome personality of any little guy.

He makes our hearts melt with those big blue eyes and that beautiful smile!!!

Along the way, we have witnessed such growth and determination on the part of his mommy and daddy. I cannot even begin to tell you how proud we are of Gabe and Ryan. They have pulled together and shown remarkle strength. Even when they were beyond exhaustion and despair, they hung in there and helped their little guy pull through. I know that he drew strength from them. Ryan continues to amaze me in loving and working with Hunter. She has endured so much and still has managed to be a wife, mommy to Dane, and student along with a part-time job for much of the time. WOW--can we say God bless Ryan!!

I can honestly say that I have had to learn to trust God like never before during this journey with Hunter. I wanted so much to believe that God was going to bring him through each day, but there was this little part of me that was worried and scared. Had we not had the love, support and prayers of many good friends and local churches, it would have been even more difficult to get through the past year. What a blessing this journey has been and we look forward to seeing what God has in store for Hunter!

Anyway it's a celebration of great blessings. Thank you God for Hunter--our little miracle!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blessings - part 2

Another reason it has been a good week...

Our oldest (and only) granddaughter, Brie, started preschool this week. It is hard to believe that she is 4 years old. She is the most articulate and mature 4 year old I have ever been around. She has spent most of her years hanging around adults. We were excited for her to begin the preschool experience in preparation for school.

When her mommy picked her up and asked her how she liked it, she told her that she didn't like it. There were too many kids in there and that she just wanted to stay with her mommy or with the kids at daycare. Danita and I think realize that she needs time to adjust.

When I asked her later if she liked preschool, she said she liked it. I asked her if she had fun and she said yes. The mind of a 4-year old is a complex thing!!


It's been a good week --a blessed week...

My son (who is my baby even though he probably dislikes that) had his birthday this last week. He is now 24 years old and I can't help but think how quickly time has flown.

I always tell young ladies who have babies to treasure each moment, because in a blink of an eye those years are gone and those babies grow up to be toddlers. Toddlers become school age children and that leads to the joys of teenagers. Then you survive teenagers to begin a new cycle of life with marriage and GRANDbabies.

We're proud of the young man our son has become. He is married to a wonderful young lady and they have two young sons. He works full time, attends school part-time, and fits in a wide variety of activities in between tending to his family and his hobbies of music and guitar. We've seen him become a stronger yet more tender man because of the loves of his life--his family. He has met challenges in his life that have made me fall to my knees in prayer and God has answered those prayers!!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Some of my favorites things... (or people)

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Thought Provoking Phone Call

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
--Ecc 3:1, 4

It's Friday, usually a really good day for me. I look forward to it every week. Why? Because it signifies the end of a work week and the beginning of the weekend. So Fridays are usually a good mood day for me.

Today is not a normal Friday however. One of my best friends called me as I was going to work and left a message that her brother, Tommy had died. I was shocked, surely I misunderstood. Tommy is several years younger than me;
what could have happened? So I returned her call to check on her.

She said that ther was a fire in his home caused by a cat knocking over a candle. Tommy didn't get out and was severely burned. He is on life support now, but there is no brain activity. They are going to donate his organs. I just feel so bad for her and her family. I just pray that God will provide her with strength and courage to get through the next few days. I pray that God will be with her four children who thought a lot of their uncle Tommy.

In a way Tommy will get to LIVE on because he was willing to donate his organs. I hope the recipients are blessed immensely because of his last act of giving. And he will also LIVE on in the lives and hearts of his family and friends.

Life is so hard sometimes and seems unfair. I don't think we are meant to understand why things happen the way they do. Things like this will make you realize how short and precious life is. We are not promised a tomorrow, so live today--I mean really L-I-V-E! Hug someone, smile at someone, tell someone you love them. Enjoy God's beautiful creation all around you, think positive thoughts, encourage someone. Just go out and LIVE !!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

Today I am thankful for:
--cooler weather and rain
--healthy husband, children, and grandchildren
--progress that our grandson, Hunter, has made
--my wonderful friends
--a home with electricity and air conditioning
--a great job & money to pay our bills
--a good vehicle & lower gas prices
--my sight and hearing
--the freedom that I have every day
--God’s love

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day of Reflection

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

This week I celebrated my birth and it was a day of reflection for me. With each passing year, I realize that life is so precious and so brief. Every day I am given is truly a gift from God even though many days I fail to acknowledge this fact. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and an amazing family with the most beautiful grandchildren. I have super friends and a great job.
I am at a stage in life where I am content and am taking it one day at a time. It has taken a long time to get here, but I thank God for allowing me this journey.

Recently I watched a movie called “Bucket List” which was outstanding! It made me think about what my bucket list might look like.

  • Have a husband and a couple of kids – check
  • Have a home – check (twice)
  • See both of my kids find love & happiness (God answered this prayer in 2005)
  • Have grandkids – check (4 times over)
  • Have a good job – check
  • Read the entire Bible (need to do better on this one)
  • Make a difference in someone’s life – (still working on this one)
  • Be debt free (this is a challenge)
  • Finish remodeling my home – (work in progress…)
  • Get my bachelor’s degree – check
  • See my kids get an education – (daughter-check, son-working on it)
  • Travel to at least 10 different states – (been to 6, need 4 more)
  • Go with my husband on a cruise to Alaska – (soon hopefully)
  • Go on a cruise – check
  • Go to Hawaii – (maybe someday)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Musings

Well the last two weeks have been interesting ones to say the least. When we returned from vacation in Tenessee visiting a dear childhood friend of mine, her 10 year old daughter came home with us. Now the questions was what do a couple of empty nesters do to keep a 10 year old young lady entertained for two weeks? She came to Texas on a vacation of sorts –from her everyday life with her older brother and sister and younger brother. She is the quiet child—the little momma of the siblings who cooks and keeps an eye out for little brother to help her mom. Such a sweet girl, and we hardly knew she was around. She watched a lot of television (Nickelodeon & Disney channels) and played with her stuffed animals and feathers. We went to watch Kung Fu Panda with Danita and Brie and went swimming a few times. We also went to the park and went on a couple of short shopping trips and did some crafty activities. Overall all I figured she would get bored and homesick, but the last day before we took her to meet her mom she said she wasn’t ready to go home. I was touched and very surprised! Her stay reminded me of how innocent and fragile childhood is and how there aren’t that many children that get to experience that. (More on that topic another day…)

Anyway we ventured off to Arkansas with a couple of friends (Kay & Ronnie) in tow to drop her off. Afterwards we went to his mother’s house for a quick visit. She is a lovely lady whom we have grown quite fond of and were glad to see her as her health is declining. Reminded of the difficult task of taking care of aging parents and how the roles are reversed—the parent becomes the child and the child becomes the parent. Not an easy task, but one that many people today must face. If I had to do it all again, I would do it again with both of my parents whom I miss greatly!

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 5:16

Sunday, July 6, 2008


We returned from our week long vacation on late Friday night. Traveling on the 4th of July was not as bad as we had thought it might have been. We made the 12 hour trip from Tennessee without too much traffic. We even saw some fireworks as we were traveling in Texas.

All in all it was a good trip and we got to do some neat things. We stayed with one of my good childhood friends, Tammy, who lives about 1-1/2 hours from Nashville. The area where she lives is so beautiful--lots of trees and beautiful homes.

One day we went to a live taping of the Crook & Chase show at a studio in the Grand Ole Opry. We got to see Josh Turner and Mark Chesnutt sing, and the ventroliquist Terry Fator from America's Got Talent. That was an awesome experience.

Another day we took a wagon ride tour to the Amish community in Lawrenceburg, TN. It's amazing how these people still have such traditional lives without modern conveniences such as electricity and telephones. Their handcrafted furniture was very impressive.

Another exciting thing we did was go to a dinner theater called Chaffin's Barn. We ate from a delicious buffet (boy were we S-T-U-F-F-E-D!!) and watched a hilarious comedy, "Alone Together".

It was a great vacation with a lot of sights and activities packed into one week. It was good to get to spend some time with my good friend and her four kids. (One of them even came home with us for a couple of weeks. Hope she isn't too bored with us here in Texas.) It's good to get away, but it's always good to get back home too!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why I am blogging...

Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

In the 27 years that we have been married, we have had many memorable and fun things that I wished I had documented to be able to share with my kids and grandkids.

Since I have entered the world of blogs, I have found so many interesting ones that inform, entertain, and reminisce. I have always enjoyed writing (which I truly believe is becoming a lost art) and thought "why not--I can do this too". So while hoping I have not bit off more than I can chew & digest, here I go.

This blog is dedicated to my family:

My husband, Freddie, who makes my world go round and is my anchor.
My daughter, Danita, who is a beautiful young woman, an awesome mommy, and has a passion for the things she believes.
My son, Gabe, who is a unique young man with dreams and a youth that will not be extinguished (my way of saying he'll always be young at heart).
My step-son, Josh, who has touched my heart in a very special way.
And my 4 beautiful grandchildren, Brie, Dane, Brodie, & Hunter
who hang the moon and the stars...