Monday, November 13, 2017

He's a mama's boy!

I'll be the first to admit that I fought John against his desire that our next dog be a German Shepherd. I'll also be the first to admit, I'm glad I lost that fight! (technically, I didn't, he's a Belgian Malinois and Shepherd mix, much prettier than a plain old Shepherd)

Solomon has stolen my heart. He's funny, sweet and a bit of a loon. He's also fiercely protective, yet also pretty obedient. Most of all...he loves me!

John or the kids can say, "Go see Mommy." , and this fur-ball runs to find me so I can pet him. If I'm sitting in the chair in the den, I have to be careful. He's been known hoist all 86 pounds of his furry self into my unsuspecting lap.

Mr. S Man is also such a creature of habit. Every night around 11:30 he goes to the door waiting for John to take him on his nightly walk. When they get in and he's unleashed, he goes to the dining room door and looks back at John, basically saying, "Are you coming?" When John makes a move to go upstairs, Solomon races up and waits outside his crate for John to put his bed in. My favorite habit is his morning ritual.  Almost every morning as he's let out of his crate, he comes to me and wraps his forelegs around my arms, propping himself up while I scratch his belly. His ears are flat back and I swear his eyes are saying, "I love you", as he reaches and gives me a lick on the face.

Yep, he's got me wrapped around his big 'ole paws! (literally and figuratively)

Who was that person that didn't want a German Shepherd???


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Summer service

I was looking for something that the kids and I could do to take our eyes off of ourselves and help someone that was less fortunate that we are.  I discovered that the Dream Center has a summer "Read and Feed Program" for underprivileged children every week. I decided that would work perfectly for us.

Elijah jumped right in (read...he has never met a stranger), but Abbey was a bit reluctant. She finally did join in and read to some of the kids.

The kids come in every week and read, or are read to,  and the food bank serves them lunch. During lunch I told them a Bible story. At the last meeting, they were given back packs and I had the privilege of sharing God's plan for them through the Gospel.

It wasn't easy to show up every Monday, when we would have rather gone to the pool, but we were obedient, (not always cheerful, though I hate to admit). In the end, it was edifying for us and I was glad that we participated.


Family Reunion and a night out

My parents and my aunt have been talking about having a family reunion for a couple of years. Finally they settled upon the date of June 11. It was an incredibly big day for my folks, they worked for weeks making sure everything was just so!

We gathered in their backyard to celebrate our family as we are all descendents, or married to descendents of this guy...

Thomas Hansard Raney (my great-grandfather on my Dad's side). This picture was taken when he was 18 yrs old. cc mid 1800's

It was a good day to catch us with some folks I haven't seen in a very long time. Everyone, except for Daniel, in my crew was there. Daniel was moving from Georgia after working at UGA's swim camp.

There was tons of food!

I designed and made this cake.

Lots of family time...

With my cousins Anne and Lewis. My other cousin, Walt, couldn't make it.

We tried to get a picture of my three grandchildren. One of them, (who shall remain nameless is a photo-challenge).

 Not to be outdone, Evie decided taking a picture was a tiring experience.

Finally one where they were all, sort of, looking at the camera!
All three are such bundles of joy. Who cares if they are a photographer's nightmare!

My mom had been begging for Abbey and Elijah to spend the night with her. John and I were invited to a non-child friendly wedding that evening. So, we asked Mom if she'd like to keep the kids. Of course, she said, "Yes!"

Abbey started texting me before I could get on the highway, telling me how much she missed me. It made my heart feel good that she loved me that much, but it also broke my heart a little to leave her. I couldn't help buy think about how far she had come from the little beauty from China who didn't give a hoot nor holler if I left her or not. She knows and returns the love of her Mom and Dad!

Didn't want Dad to leave either.

The wedding was a formal affair. John and I cleaned up pretty well. We had a blast. We ate, drank (not in excess), and danced, danced, and danced some more! It was a really fun night!

 I really liked my $20 dress bargain!

In the end, we picked A and E up in the am and they were just fine, even having enjoyed themselves a bit, I think!


Thursday, November 9, 2017

When her parents take off to discover Spain....May 2017

Evie Claire comes to Mimi's and Papa's house!!

I'm so very grateful to live close enough to keep Evie every now and then so her parents can take vacations. This May Beth and Greg went to Spain.(vacation for Beth, not so much for Greg).

We had the immense pleasure of loving on Miss Evie for 8 days. We packed a lot of living in those 8 days.

We did the park tour through several parks.

Abbey and Elijah participated in Field Day with our homeschool group. Evie didn't miss a beat and joined right in with the preschool group at the park.

 She even got a ribbon!

Anna and the girls came to town and we played at Marbles.

Layne had her dance recital

As a special treat, the princesses made an appearance at the recital.

We introduced Evie to backyard s'mores.

At first, a little wary, she had to give it the "sniff" test that she gives all new foods.

It passed with flying colors and she dug in

Savoring every bite requires finger licking!

Evie loved our pool. We went there regularly.

We ended Evie's grandparent tour at the beach, where her mom joined us.

Abbey got some surfing in....

Such a great uncle!

and a very  handsome boy!

Cameron was visiting his grandparents and spend a bit of time with us, playing with Elijah.

Only Evie would wear an Easter bonnet to the beach...ever the fashionista!

She loves, loves, loves her Papa! (and it's reciprocated)

What a joy this little girl is. She's so full of life and you never know what will come out of her mouth!

I love the memories we made with her this summer!