Saturday, December 29, 2007
Kate was only about 4 months old when her first Christmas rolled around back in 1994, so I can't remember if I did this that year or not or if it was her second Christmas that we started doing this, but every year, I spend the night at my sister's on Christmas Eve. Kate is now 13 and Grace is 8, so it's been going on for a really long time. It's just tradition and they start asking in early November every year if I'm going to spend the night there on Christmas Eve. I always act like it's a big decision because I want to see what they say, but truthfully, there is nowhere else I'd rather be! If they didn't ask, I'd be disappointed! :-)
Here's my story:
My sister called me last Saturday and asked if I could come get the girls and take them out for a little while that afternoon so she could get all their stuff out and be sure things were 'even.' Of course, I jump at the chance to do that any time she asks, so we went to Blockbuster, Books a Million, Target, then Starbucks. All was well. My sister had things just as she had hoped. I stayed at their house for dinner then left to come home and start wrapping their stuff for Christmas.
While we were out that afternoon/early evening, Grace was talking about the things she wanted for Christmas, what she'd told Santa, etc, just excited about the holiday. After a few minutes, I said, 'Grace, I know you're looking forward to all that, but you know what Christmas is really all about, right?' Her response, 'It's about spending time with friends and family and being nice.' Well, I had to giggle because she KNOWS that Christmas is about Jesus' birth. They go to church every week and she's heard the story since she was little, I guess just in the moment of me asking, that was what came out of her mouth. I said, 'It is about those things sort of, but it's really about it being Jesus' birthday and that's what we need to remember.' We talked about that for a bit then moved on to other things.
I went to our Vespers Service on Monday evening, after that, to a friend's house for a little while, then I left there to come home, gather clothes and gifts and head over to my sister's. I had been there about an hour or so and my sister discovered that she needed more eggs (she was having about 15 people at her house for Christmas dinner, so she was busy into preparations for that....she is a FABULOUS cook!), so Grace and I left to come here to get eggs....I never cook, so it was amazing that I had any to begin with! As we were leaving, Grace and I decided to ride around my neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. My house is the 7th one in at the second entrace to my subdivision, so I don't see what goes on with all the houses behind me unless I drive around to look, but I was pleasantly, and I mean pleasantly, surprised to see that many houses had a nativity scene set up in their front yard! YEA! I was glad to see that, and it provided more of an opportunity for talk with Grace. That was fun and we decided that might be our tradition. As we were heading back to their house about 10:20, she saw Santa several times up in the sky. She was worried that she wasn't in bed and asleep yet, so I told her he was probably up there looking for the babies homes so he could go there first since they had an earlier bedtime and were surely already asleep. She was satisfied with that. Although I know these days will be coming to an end in the next year or two, I love the fact that she still believes in Santa. It is just so much fun and when I say she still believes, I mean she believes HARD. She told my sister that she wanted to marry Santa so she could take care of him. :-) I guess she's afraid Mrs Claus isn't as good to him as she needs to be! :-) Grace leaves him cookies and milk out every year and, this year, she even left him a Starbuck's mug so he could take his drinks to go and they would stay hot! :-) She wanted a bell from his sleigh too, so my sister had found these ornaments that were like sleigh bells, but they had a portion cut out in the side and had a nativity set inside of them. She left two of them out, one for Kate and one for Grace. Grace was absolutely thrilled! You should have heard her screeching and hollering....it was adorable!
Anyway, not long after we got home from getting the eggs and looking at Christmas lights, it got to be about bedtime, so since I was sleeping with Grace that night, I went in there to lay down with her until she fell asleep. While we were laying there, I told her we needed to say our prayers and asked if she wanted to say them or if she wanted me to. Of course, she wanted me to, so I started:
"Dear God, we thank you for today and for the time we have had together to play and have fun....we pray that you will give us a good day tomorrow and help us to remember that Christmas isn't always about the presents, but that it's about Jesus' birth...."
While I am saying this, I hear this sweet little voice, "It's never about the presents," I keep praying, then I hear a little louder, "It's NEVER about the presents," so I just try to fluff over it and keep going thinking that she surely understands that I know that since we had talked about it earlier, but then Grace stops me and says, "AUNT DIANNE, IT IS NEVER ABOUT THE PRESENTS!!!" :-) Of course, I just had to giggle because it was funny that she just kept right on saying that until I got the point, but I had to acknowledge what she was saying....that she was RIGHT and that I was proud of her for correcting me on that. What a sweetie! Not much gets by her, that's for sure.
Not long after that she was snoozin' away and there I was, laying in the dark thinking about how God has blessed me though these two nieces of mine, each in their own way, and that I probably wouldn't experience such sweet times with them if I had kids of my own.
Have I mentioned lately how lucky I am to have the life that I have???
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.
Old Age, I decided, is a gift.
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, or my family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself...I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hi t by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it!)
Monday, December 17, 2007
We were fortunate enough to have the fabulous Babbie Mason at our church yesterday. She sang two songs yesterday morning, then she was in concert last night. After it was over, I bought three CD's....one for me, two for gifts, and a book. There was a line of people waiting to speak with her and since I never know what to say to 'famous' people (and not that I've had many opportunities...some people on Days of Our Lives (who are hardly famous!) many years ago and of course my favorite....Donny Osmond!), I was going to forego that opportunity, BUT as I stood there talking to people, the line kept getting shorter and shorter as others had their turn, got their autographs, pictures, and left. SO, there I was deciding that since she was SO close, I just needed to speak to her. She had mentioned during her concert that they are living in Bowdon now and since I have aunts and uncles there, I thought that might break the ice....big deal, huh? :-) Anyway, I waited my turn, handed her my book to sign, then as that was happening, my friend Pam's husband, Dow (who is also my friend), sidled up next to me and kinda stood there....I was wondering if he wanted to get in on my conversation with Babbie (!!), but imagine my suprise when he leaned in and said, 'They're coming to our house for a little while when they leave here....We have an extra spot, so why don't you come over too?' Babbie said, 'Yeah, come on over!'
I was like, "UH....OKAY!!!" :-) WOW!
So there we were breaking bread together....Pam, Dow, Rick (our Minister of Music--his wife was out of town so that's why they had the open spot), me, Babbie, her husband, Charles, and two people who were helping at the sales table after the program. Babbie had caught wind at lunch that Pam's house is fabulously decorated for Christmas (and it REALLY is!!!), and asked if she could come see it after church last night! Can you imagine....Babbie Mason asking to come see your house?? :-) It was a very nice night and as you would expect, Babbie was as fun, gracious, humble and unpretentious as you would ever want her to be. We all talked and shared things, but she shared about their new ventures, living in a small town where people know her husband more than they know her....as evidenced by her trip to Dollar General one day....her children, her grandchildren, personal prayer requests, etc. It was an amazing night and one that only served to deepen my respect for an incredibly gifted artist and a godly woman.
I told Pam that never in a million years when I left for church last night did I imagine it would end with dinner and fellowship at her house with Babbie Mason! Of course, I'm sure she never dreamed when she woke up yesterday morning that things would transpire like they did either, but it was a fabulous concert and a fun night and once again, I am more than blessed!
But can you believe that I didn't even think to take my camera??? What is UP with that? I thought about that today though and really that may have been best anyway. Babbie may have felt more comfortable since no one 'wanted' anything....just time to relax and talk....no pictures, no expectations....and making it easy to follow Pam's #1 rule for anyone who enters her house...."Make yourself at home." Now THAT is a sweet friend!
But, camera or not, it was definitely a night to remember.....
Monday, December 10, 2007
2. Real or Artificial tree ?
4. When do you take the tree down?
5. Do you like Eggnog?
6. Favorite Gift you received as a child?
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
8. Hardest person to buy for?
11. Christmas Cards...Snail mail or E-mail?
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
14. Have you ever 'recycled' a Christmas present?
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
19. Can you name Santa's Reindeer?
20. Do you have an Angel or a Star on top of your tree?
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
23. Shopping...Mall or online?
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
I had asked Grace earlier in the week about spending the night with me on Friday night and she just jumped at the chance. No other way to say it. So, with that being said, I actually went and bought a pre-lit 6-foot little tree, a skinny one, and we decorated it with snowman ornaments. She loved it and I have to admit, as one who has not had a tree since I moved from my parents house many years ago, it is nice to sit here as I type and see it out of the corner of my eye. Just kind of a cozy feeling. I'm posting a picture, but I'm not totally happy with it yet...I need to re-work the lights and space them better, plus some of them don't work, but Grace wouldn't slow down enough to let me do that, so I just let her decorate knowing I'd go back an fix it later. It was less stress that way for both of us! I have some snowflake garland to add too. Since Grace knew she was going to be spending the night with me, she started calling around 9:30 on Friday morning wondering when I was going to come get her! :-) I had planned to get her in the afternoon sometime, but wound up getting her about 11:30. We really had a busy day and were both tired by the time bedtime rolled around.
After we got the tree done, I had to spend a little time on Friday afternoon finishing putting together the parts to the desk I mentioned above, so after I got that done, Grace helped me sort through all the craft stuff I have around here. It was all just EVERYWHERE, no organization at all, so it's nice now to have all the blank cards in one place, the stickers in one place, the markers in one place, etc. Grace loved that too, then of course she had to sit her sweet self down and do some artwork. I liked having here here.
On Saturday, I took her home about 2:00, then met some friends to see August Rush later in the day, followed by dinner. There are four of us who go out and celebrate each other's birthdays, and Saturday's movie and dinner were for that. The birthday person gets to pick the movie and I wasn't sure about August Rush when I read about it, but I have to admit that I really liked it a lot. I love when that happens!
Sunday was church, a trip to IKEA with my friend Gina, back to church for a bonus rehearsal for our Christmas program, a quick run through of a song we were singing in church, then back downstairs for the service. Just a busy day. I was asleep on the couch an hour after I got home!
It was rainy and dark this morning when my alarm went off and I hated to get out of bed. It's always hard to get back to normal after having a few days off, but especially with the weather like it was today. Rainy and overcast is my very favorite kind of weather, but I LOVE it when I can stay home. It always seems like the holidays go so fast. It seems like I look so foward to being off for a few days, then "BOOM," it's gone!
I'm going to close here with a couple of pictures. The first one is the desk that Grace and I worked on this weekend, and the second is a precious picture she handed me before we left to take her home on Saturday. I am SO emotional when it comes to both her and Kate, especially when the do such sweet things, so when Grace gave me this precious picure she'd drawn, I couldn't even speak. My eyes just filled with tears and all I could do was hug her. She hated to leave and I hated to take her home. Good grief. What would I have done if God had given me children of my own?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random/weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, include links to their blogs. Let each person know by leaving a comment on their blog.
So here goes:
1. I can play the trumpet.
2. Bad grammar in writing and in speech drives me NUTS.
3. I don't care what movie I am watching, I ALWAYS fall asleep....even at a theatre! :-)
4. I've only had two jobs in my whole life. I worked at Chick-Fil-A in our local mall as a teenager and into my college years, then left there for my current job.
5. I failed the test for my learner's license AND my driver's license the first time I took them! :-)
6. I never put up a Christmas tree or decorate for Christmas. I may sit out a few snowmen since I collect them (!!), but that's about the extent of my Christmas decorations! (Should I admit that??)
7. I hate housework....but I do LOVE the feeling of accomplishment when I am motivated to get it done!
I am choosing not to tag anyone, but if you read this and want to play along, please do, just let me know so I can read yours too!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Our guest speaker was Erin Smalley who co-wrote the book 'Grown Up Girlfriends' with her friend, Carrie Oliver. Unfortunately, Carrie died earlier this year, but Erin did a fabulous job in her speech and it is a blessing that Carrie's insight and part in this book is still blessing others. Actually, another touching thing is that my friends Bev and Cindy were supposed to be part of today's program too, but as many of you know, Bev passed away in September, so it really left Erin and Cindy to kind of carry on the message that the four of them were supposed to share. It was a heartfelt day for many of us in our church who knew Bev and we were fortunate enough to honor her a bit as well.
When I learned that Erin was going to be coming to speak back in July, I bought her book and poured over it. Being single, if there is one topic I am interested in and committed to, it is friendship because those relationships are what I rely on in everyday life. It really is a very good book and if any of you need a good book on this topic, this is it. Here's a description from Amazon.com:
Even when life is hectic and harried, every woman has a God-given longing for relationship, and her female friends play an important role in filling that. Oliver and Smalley help women distinguish between self-centered, insecure, childish relationships and other-centered, healthy, "grown-up" relationships. Using personal anecdotes and scriptural principles, they explain ten characteristics of a grown-up friend and offer ideas on how readers can develop these attributes in themselves. Finally, they tackle the tough issues of friendships, such as how to support a friend in crisis, how to work toward forgiveness when a friend has injured you, and how to determine when it is best to let a friendship go.
Below are a few pictures from the day:
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
by Max Lucado
Today I will make a difference.
I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark.
Today I will make a difference.
I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving.
Today I will make a difference.
I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again.
Today I will make a difference.
I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.
Today I will make a difference.
From Shaped by God
Copyright (Tyndale House, 2002)
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I am finally beginning to get over whatever this is that I have had for two weeks. I was somewhat better on Friday and really thought things were on the upswing, but yesterday I woke up with a headache and sinus stuff again that just hung on all day. I also woke with a headache this morning, but after a sweet morning at church, it went away for the most part and only hurts when I cough. Hopefully it's really on the way out. I've had sinus issues before, but this has by far been the worst....two weeks! I also got a doctor recommendation from a friend on Friday when I was at the church (you know who you are, my secret reader friend (!!), and thank you!), so I went online yesterday and figured out how to change my PCP. I spoke with another friend who also uses this doctor and she highly recommended him as well, so I decided to go with him. I'll need to follow up with a phone call tomorrow to be sure all that went through, then my doctor issues should be over for a while. I am thankful.
I haven't mentioned this, but our pastor announced last Sunday night that he's leaving at the end of the month for another church, so we are going to be in a state of transition for a while until we get someone else. I really like our pastor A LOT and hate like everything that he's leaving, but I am also eager to see what God has in store for us. I hate to use the word 'but' in a sentence because I've always heard that saying that negates what was just said prior to the 'but.' While that may be true in some instances, that is not how it is intended here. I would have been happy to have him remain our pastor forever, yet since he feels God is leading him somewhere else, we have to accept that and with that acceptance comes an eagerness to see who God will bring us next. We have great leadership and a great staff and I am sure things will be fine, it's just going to be a period of transition for us. Today he preached about 'Responding to God's Will,' and tonight about the passage from John 15 about the vine and the branches. I really am going to miss his preaching...he's just awesome.
With all that said, there's not much more from here for now I suppose. Thanks for all the well-wishes these last couple of weeks. I'm finally on the upswing and that alone is enough to make me very thankful tonight!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Hope all is well with you!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
I woke up this morning knowing that I needed to go to the doctor before I was stuck over the weekend unable to get in touch with anyone, so I called and made an appointment for 1:15 today. After waiting 2 hours for them to take me back, she said I have an upper respiratory infection and gave me a nasal spray and some cough syrup with codine and said if I wasn't feeling much better by Monday, to give her a call and she'd see about putting me on an antibiotic. Hopefully this will take care of it. My boss changed our insurance company last year and I was reassigned to this new doctor because they went by home addresses and she's about a minute and a half from my house. I'm not really happy with her though because I've been about 4 times (because of other prescriptions: blood pressure, thyroid and cholesterol) and have never gotten out of there in less that about 2.5 hours...and I have had an appointment every time! I can understand running late every once in a while, but that is ridiculous! I think I am going to call Blue Cross Blue Shield tomorrow and see if I can't get reassigned somewhere else. For now though, I am glad to have drugs and am glad today is over!
I went for a little while to Grace's 'Trunk & Treat' thing at her school, all ready to get a picture of her to post here....and can you believe that little stinker would not wear her adorable costume??? She said she was embarassed and too many people knew her! (Of course, she is right about everyone knowing her....I can walk down the hall with her at school and everyone's like, "Hey Grace...," "Grace...hey!," Even parents of kids know who she is...it's CRAZY!) She assured me though that she would wear it at Kate's school on Monday night, so for now, that's the plan and I'll post a picture then. If she doesn't do it then, I'll tell you what it is....no sense in letting a good costume idea go to waste!
That's about all from here for now. I'm off to either watch "Days of Our Lives" that I've recorded this week or a movie titled, "Guess Who" that Jean recommended when I joined Netflix a few months ago.
Hope you've had a great day!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Six days of posting left.....and counting (!!)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Well, sweet Kat gave me this award today and I must say I am grateful and feel exactly the same way. I don't really know how or when it happened, but somehow along this road of blogging, we've developed a friendship that has a real heart to it and is a sweet addition to any day. I would list the same people she did to pass it on to and am just thankful that she thought of me to begin with! This award is "Presented to awesome BLOG owners who keep their readers excited about their posts. Their blog posts are interesting (NOT spammy) and worth reading and keep their subscribers looking forward to each and every post." Funny thing is that I don't know what keeps anyone coming back except commeraderie, friendship and care, but really, those things are hard to find in todays world sometimes, so I am grateful to know they are there! Thanks Kat, it means a lot, and to you other 'B Club charter members,' thanks for all YOU to do enrich my life. Although Kat did it too, I pass this on to you as well.
On another note, I slept great last night and woke up some better this morning. Except for a nagging cough, I was fine for most of the day until I was at children's choir tonight and felt the achiness coming back, so I quickly took some asprin and it went away for now! Lucky for me because we are working on Christmas music in adult choir and I needed to be there for that. Hard to believe that program is only a little over a month away! UGH! Lots to learn before then!
Okay, now.....the BFF Award got me to thinking about the blogging world in general....about how it all just evolves into these great relationships and it got me to thinking about how I started blogging. My friend Tracey started her blog back last summer and sent me a link to it. Next thing you know, we were chatting about me starting one myself....lots of people here were blogging at the time and it was just a fun way to keep up with everyone...with their lives and their humor (and you have to admit Tracey, there were some funny posts in the early days!)....so I fretted over a name and Tracey and I bounced around blog names for me for about a week or two and finally came up with 'Glasses of Grace.' Since then, it's all been history, but I have LOVED the new relationships, the new insight, and the new world that this has been. It's been a fun outlet and I've really loved every minute of it, so thanks to you, Tracey, for getting me started.
So now, that's my story.....how did YOU get into blogging??
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
After that, we all went to dinner and I just got home.
When Gina and I were at the Concord Jubilee over the weekend, on the way down, she said she wasn't feeling so great. She was better during the day, but that night, Sunday and Monday, she said she was achy, etc. Luckily no one else in her family has gotten it yet. She went to the doctor today and they gave her a shot....but guess who's had a lingering headache for two days and started feeling achy with chills tonight herself....UGH! I knew I had a headache while we were at the shelter tonight, but when I went to get in my car and sat down, I was like....'oh man!'
So I am off to take something, get a bath and get in bed early. I really RARELY get sick, so hopefully it's a passing thing.....
...and I have to be better tomorrow....I have an appointment to get my hair cut and that is like my birthday! I LOVE my friend that cuts my hair and I LOVE getting it cut!
Monday, October 22, 2007
The silly poem I posted the other day has gotten more comments than anything else this month. I started this one a while back, probably a month or so ago, and never finished it, so I thought I'd do so tonight. You didn't know what you were signing up for when you commented on the other one, did you??? :-)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer."
"Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
"I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing unto God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do no conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."
and Hebrews 3:13
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Tomorrow is a Pampered Chef party at my sister's at 2:00, so I'll miss out on my dearly loved Sunday afternoon nap since I'll have to be back at church at 5:00. It seems like the weekends just fly by!
I wish we could come up with a way to have a five day weekend and a two day work week, you know? :-)
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
From the time Kate was a little thing, I would go to their house for dinner once a week, usually on Thursday night, then somewhere along the way, it turned into Tuesday nights. It was just something we did. It gave me GREAT time to spend with Kate each week and many times I would even put her to bed (bath, brushing teeth, reading, talking and all that entails) before I left. We had the opportunity to have such a solid base of time together during those years, then in 1999, along came Grace and after a while, things changed somewhat.
Oddly enough, Grace didn't have too much to do with me until she was about 2, so that was still great for me and Kate. I just thought that my relationship with Grace would be different...as indeed it is! I still went over once a week for dinner, after which my sister or brother-in-law would put Grace to bed, and I still had some fabulous time with Kate. As Kate is growing into a thoughtful, considerate, opinionated young woman, it thrills my soul that she still has time for her 'Aunt Dianne.' I can see that our relationship is changing a little, but she never hesitates to hug me, hang on me (although she IS as tall as I am now!), or just say, 'I love you' before we leave each other's company. Do I need to tell you how much I treasure that from a teenager?
Grace is just Grace. She's the funniest child I've ever known and she is a boss from the word 'go.' She is a helper....if you are doing anything at all, she wants to be right there helping you get it done. The days of her not wanting much to do with me are gone and she now just thrives on time with me and wants to spend the night with me all the time. Tonight was special though because this year, we've had to put some distance into my every week dinners at their house because she's got such anxieties about homework, tests, school, etc, that she just can't concentrate and get things done when I am there. I am the one that chose to put some distance there because my sister would get mad (and you know how it is when mama ain't happy!) and it just wasn't fun for anyone, so I've only seen them a little on the weekends when we've had time. It's been a little different, but fortunately, my sister has always allowed me to have as much time with them as we can possibly allow, so my relationships with them are fabulous no matter how much time we have or don't have together.
Actually, my sister had Grace tested a few months ago, maybe even last school year, and that is how they figured out her anxiety issues. She is seeing a counselor (for lack of a better word) every month or so to help give her some coping skills and the funny thing is that she comes away from that time saying, "You seem stressed....want me to tell you some ways to deal with that??" As I said, always a helper! It is so funny to hear advice like that coming from a third grader! :-)
So I say all that to say that tonight was different and fun...time with two girls who are just my heart and soul....and it doesn't get much better than that!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Now, go read about it on Leanne's blog and let her know your thoughts to her question at the end. I'll be checking there to find out your answers.....maybe we can get our own forum going! Wouldn't that be great?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
First of all, let me say thanks for the great ideas to post about and thanks for all the kind words of encouragement! I am sure you will be seeing some of those suggestions put to type before too long, I just need time to think about what to say......
Here's what I'm thinking tonight.....I'm thinking about listening. To God. To ourselves. But most of all, to each other.
I found a quote by Dale Carnegie many years ago that goes like this, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." I was probably in my late teens or early 20's when I found that quote, but I thought I'd try putting it in to practice, and you know what....it really works! It works because we are starving for people we can be honest with, people we can share our heart with without feeling judged and people that we trust will not use what is shared with them at some point against us. And sometimes we just need people to simply listen. To be solid. To be supportive. To be a stable force when we need it.
I have a book in my room titled, "The Lost Art of Listening." I bought it several years ago and read about 1/4 of it back then, but I never finished it. For some reason, I've felt the 'tug' to read it again lately, so that is going to be my attempt. Hopefully it will help me hone my listening skills, and I'll pass on any tidbits that just astound me.
One thing I found just thumbing through it tonight....'There's a big difference between showing interest and taking interest.'
Monday, October 15, 2007
I am kidding with this, of course...I know the pressure is self-imposed, but that's one thing I'm great at! I just wonder how original and interesting I can be for 15 more days! :-)
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Well, let's suffice it to say that I stretched W-A-Y out of my comfort zone tonight! Back in July, our Minister of Music called me one afternoon and said that he was wanting to put together a Sunday night Praise Team and wanted to know if I would be a part of it. After a bit of talking and finding out what he had in mind, I told him I would and he said we'd start practice in September....enough time to finish out any summer plans and get us past Labor Day. So about nine of us (give or take since we've not all been together to practice until tonight) have been practicing each Sunday afternoon before church and tonight was our first time out....UGH! It was really different in my mind when it was a couple of months away (!!), but all in all, although it was a rather large stretch, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and surprisingly enough, my hands weren't even shaky! :-) We did a hymn and a fellowship chorus tonight, but next week, we are supposed to sing one of the songs we've learned....I just hope that goes as smoothly as tonight did! You might mention that for me in your prayers!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am all about NOT being out front. I function better as and 'indian' and not a 'chief,' but since my sister first mentioned moving and I knew she was serious about it, my prayer has been, besides the fact that if it wasn't right for Kate and Grace that it wouldn't work out, that God would bring things into my life to fill the time that will be there once they have moved. He's begun filling these requests in ways I never could have imagined and through people He's brought into my life. He's given me a great opportunity to be involved in Women of Purpose at church and to build some great friendships there, He's gotten me involved in this praise team stuff and I am sure there are other things that will come along with time if I am just open to them.
So I went out of my comfort zone today....and lived to tell about it! :-)
Just thought I'd let you know! :-)
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This award made me giggle. I went to check out Amy's blog and found that she'd given me this one. I had to laugh because hers is such a FUN blog! I've probably posted about this before, but Amy and I share a love for Donny Osmond that evidently can't be topped! :-) I knew we were destined to be buddies from the day I happened upon her blog and she mentioned Donny in her sidebar. Kindred spirits, no doubt! Since then, have identified with her about several things she has shared and her blog is just a fun place. If you haven't been there yet, you need to check her out. I can see why you got this award Amy, you ARE totally fabulous! :-) If you hadn't passed it on to me, I would have passed it on to you! I'm passing this one on to Deedra, Jess, Lynne, Joan, and Tracey. The award title speaks for itself....so pass it on, girls!