Friday, July 31, 2009

Taking Down A Tree

Last Summer, Cliff got a little carried away with the weed-whacker & the clippers. One of the victims of this craziness was a little shrub-like tree in the corner of our yard. When he was done, we basically had a small trunk with a few leaves on it. The poor thing never was an attractive tree but after it's "severe pruning," it was hidious. Both Emily & I wanted him to take it fully out but he never quite got back to it. Wouldn't you know it, that tree started to grow again. This time it got quite a bit bigger but because it had no branches on its trunk, it was shaped like a very tall, very ugly umbrella.

Last Friday, the kids & I went out to do some yard work...Jake mowing & Emily & I trimming. I went in to get a drink I the camera. I came back out & couldn't find Emily....that is until I saw that ugly tree shaking. Upon closer inspection, this is what I saw:

That girl went into the garage & got a small saw & was taking down that tree!!
Oh how she reminded me of her grandma!!

The tree didn't stand a chance!! I really had to admire her determination. She sawed & wrestled away at it. She eventually came to the point where she needed some assistance. I sent her brother in (I was too busy photographing this scene). And after a little more wrestling, the ugly tree stand no more in the corner of my yard...and it looks GREAT over there now!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cliff's Black Eye

About 4:30 in the morning, the day Cliff's mom left, he got woken up by a very painful leg cramp. He attempted to stand and flex his toes to relieve the pain and pressure but he put his weight on it instead. When he did this, his leg went out from under him and he fell, all over into the footboard of our bed. The result? A bruised knee and one heck of a shiner!!!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend & Updates

We had a great weekend around here. Cliff works Monday through Thursday so during the summer, Friday is like a bonus weekend day. The weather has been gorgeous lately...moderate temps and low humidity...almost unheard of for late July. We got alot of yard work done and the kids really pitched in and helped. We played our favorite game, Settlers of Catan, several times and just enjoyed spending some time with the kids.
Sunday morning was spent at church as always. It was such a great service and dad has been bringing some awesome messages based on the Lord's Prayer.
Sunday evening we had my parents over for dinner to celebrate their anniversary. We had a classic summer meal. Cliff smoked ribs & grilled chicken. We also had corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes, sliced tomato, beets, and some awesome rolls!! Rhodes, to be exact. They come as frozen balls of dough that you let rise in muffin tins for several hours before baking. First of all I couldn't believe they actually rose as beautifully as they did and no one could believe they tasted as good as they did. Out of the 30 rolls I baked, there were NONE left!!!! We capped the great meal off with a great summer dessert, Chocolate Eclair, made with vanilla pudding, graham crackers, cool whip & chocolate frosting. It's great for summer and after a large meal because its nice and light. (and also so simple to make!)
Quick updates: Cliff's diabetes seems to be well under control. No more issues or problems. Blood sugar levels are nice and low and eyesight back to normal.
I noticed two weeks ago that I seemed to be hearing out of my left ear. (My right ear had cleared up by the early part of June) Sure enough, my hearing has finally returned to normal. It was a long haul (6 months!!) We are both so thankful for all the prayers that went up on our behalf.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's Time

When I was pregnant with Amy, back in 1987, I became HOOKED on diet colas. Pepsi, Coke, Sam's Choice...didn't matter, I like them all (except Diet Rite). I don't like regular colas or fruity drinks. I can tolerate iced tea if I have to. I can drink an occasional lemonade or orange juice. No hot beverages...tea, coffee or cocoa. So what I've done, over the years, is pretty much got my body used to drinking only diet sodas.
Now I've known for years how this is not good at all for me but I really haven't cared. But something clicked inside my head a week ago that its now time to break the addiction and get off of all the soda. I'm trying to be realistic too because I DO NOT like water in a restaurant. I can't explain it but it has a horrible taste so I've decided to limit myself to two per day. Since I don't like most other drinks, I'm pretty much sticking with water. I confess, I'm buying bottled water right now while I make the transition and am hoping to eventually get some sort of water filtration thing.
So, after a week and a half, I'm proud to say I'm doing it!!!!! And, I'm only have one per day instead of two. I'm also finding out that higher quantities of water is helping me get off the soda. It's not agreeing with me like it once did. I don't crave it! I'm hoping to eventually get off it all together!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grandma's Visit

Having Cliff's mom visit was so good for our family. After all these years, I was able to spend some quality time just chatting with her and getting to know her...something I've never really been able to do before.

Something I already knew about my mother-in-law, was that she has not had an easy life. What I didn't know were all the details and exactly how tough it really has been.

When she was a little girl...about 8, she had measles that went terribly wrong. Somehow the infection got into her sinus cavities and impacted. In those days this was a very serious situation and her parents were told there was nothing medically they could do. A young doctor arrived on the scene and talked them into some very risky surgery in an attempt to save her life. It involved drilling 4 holes into her head to remove the infection. She was hospitalized for a year and had to re-learn to walk & talk.

Several years later, she quit school in the 10th grade to marry the love of her life.

They were together for 3 years when he got a job that involved traveling. He was tragically killed in an auto accident. On the rebound, she remarried to Cliff's birth father, who he never knew, as they divorced soon after Cliff was born. When Cliff was 2, God blessed her with the man Cliff knows as his dad, Willie. Willie was a kind and generous man who loved Sarah and loved Cliff. They had 2 more sons together. While Cliff was away at Navy boot camp, 2 weeks away from graduation, Willie had a massive heart attack and was killed instantly.

Not long after Willie's death, their house caught on fire pretty much destroying everything in it.

Sarah then met another kind and generous man named, Jerry. He loved Cliff's brothers (who were still at home) like they were his own sons. Cliff's youngest brother was only 8 at the time and was just plain mean and ugly to Jerry, trying to run him off. But Jerry's meekness and kindness prevailed and Bill was won over. 3 years ago, Cliff's brother, Henry, who is my age, had a massive heart attack and died. And a year later, Sarah lost her beloved Jerry very unexpectedly but very quickly to cancer.

No, her life hasn't been easy but if you met her, you'd never know all the heartache that is behind her warm, very southern personality. I discovered how much I appreciate, admire, and have come to love this woman I am honored to call my mother-in-law.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Something To Celebrate

This past Saturday, our family celebrated the 45th wedding anniversary of my parents, Bob & Diane.

Through the years, I have seen them go through their share of ups and downs. Just like any other family, they have had good times and also not so great times. Through it all, however, the values that guided their lives since the very beginning are the same things that guide their lives today. Through the years their love for God, their family, and the church has remained unchanged. Growing up, I never doubted their love for each other or their love for me.

Congratulations, Mom & Dad!!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A few More Musical Pics

Here's the carrying on that went on after the show.
Cliff & Emily are laughing at my mom who is trying to take the picture. It took a few attempts but she finally got a good one!!

This is what my kids LOVE about their grandma. She is fun!! I'm not sure what she did but it got her hysterical...which got the kids going....

Mom, Ellie & Anna Laughed themselves all the way to the floor!!

Still laughing!!!!!

Getting composure back??????

Finally, got the picture. My dad? Well, as you have read in a previous post, he finds different things funny!!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who Called Them the Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer?????

June passed so quickly! One week mom & I were preparing for a garage sale.
Yep, all the junk is gone!! And, to cap it all off, mom and I did no garage sale shopping. Nope, we stuck to our de-junking ways and got rid of STUFF!!!!!
June 13, Cliff's mom flew from Atlanta for a 3-week visit. To say my husband was excited about his mom coming is to put it mildly. We will be married 25 years this year and in all that time, she has only come to visit once and that was when Josh graduated.
We had planned to try to take her up to visit Josh at Bethel where he is working over the summer. Since school let out for the summer, he's been hard at work on a musical for a large conference that took place in Cleveland. The timing was perfect for us to take her up and see him in this musical.
The musical was "The Upside Down King", and is basically a walk with Christ's followers through the New Testament as they examine his claims that sometimes are so opposite of our human ways of thinking. It was so good and such a treat!! The cast was well-rehearsed and seemed to have so much fun presenting it. I was excited for Joshua because the audience at this conference was between 6000-8000 people. To have to opportunity to perform in that kind of a venue sometimes only comes around once in a lifetime.
The following are some scenes from the musical:
I know I'm biased but this is my very talented, very handsome son!!
Amy couldn't go but still got a picture with Jacob & Emily and cousins, Anna & Ellie who spent a couple weeks with grandma & grandpa.
Josh & his two very proud grandmas. My mom in the yellow, Cliff's mom in black.

I have more pictures and will spread them out over several posts.