For goodness snakes no! & things that happen when you buy dirt and containers

My people ready for summer.

My people ready for summer.

Mr. Sweetie Pants ready for summer.

Mr. Sweetie Pants ready for summer & looking all dapper for church.

When it gets to being the hot part of the year, y’all, I have so many things I think back on.  Sipping red Kool-Aid on my Mama Boyce’s car porch ( as she referred to it).  Playing outside in the yard.  Catching lightning bugs.  Eating too many strawberries out of my Papa Clyde’s strawberry patch.  Swimming in the branch at my Mamaw & Papaw’s house.  And going to the garden at both sets of my grandparents’ houses.

My Papaw & Mamaw Austin were very well versed in growing gardens.  They worked so hard to make sure we had our freezers full for winter.  I remember one steamy summer morning, I was about 7 years old.  The daily plans included, going to the garden.  My Papaw had already been to the barn, that morning, to milk the cow, feed the mule Kate,  & other farmish related duties.  When he got back to the house, he perhaps made mention that one of the barn cats had had kittens.  Well, don’t you know that perked my ears up real quick.  Then, y’all I started with the begging to go see them.  Goodness Gracious why would they expect me to wait around whilst there were things at the barn that I needed to be looking at?  Mamaw said it was time to go to the garden anyway, so off we went.

The barn was situated right beside the garden.  So, once we made it down there, it didn’t take long until I had worried Mamaw down to a frazzle & she said I could go in the barn to search for the newly born kittens.  However, she wanted me to wait for Papaw to go inside with me.  Being the obedient & always minding child I was, I started to sneak off to the barn by myself.  Papaw was just taking too long.  I walked up through the dirt rows & when I about got to the end, I heard Mamaw holler.  I turned around & looked & Papaw was beating the ground with his hoe.  Right in the spot where I had been walking.  Well, needless to say, he wasn’t just beating the ground for nothing.  There was a black racer snake that was chasing me up the garden row.  I didn’t even know it.  My Papaw had come in & killed it to protect me.  Even when I was being disobedient.

Now, does that not sound like the Lord?  Even though we may be on a path He told us not to go on, He still watches over us.  Even when we don’t deserve it.  That’s called grace.  The dictionary.com simply gives this definition of grace:

favor or goodwill.

The Lord takes care of us when we have done nothing whatsoever to deserve it.  I have heard it called “unmerited favor”.  That’s what the Lord does for us.  He steps right in & protects His children whether we know it or not.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  NKJV

The Lord is really good at working behind the scenes.  As a matter of fact that’s where He does some of His best work.  So, today, if you feel like you are going through a hard time by yourself, you aren’t.  The Lord is always there watching over us & keeping us from harm.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe. NKJV

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” NKJV

So, we have done our little version of a garden this year.  It’s a container garden on our back deck.  Because who doesn’t want fresh vegetables?   I reckon we do.

We started out planting. This is the peppers.

We started out planting. This is the peppers.

This is just when we got finished planting. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, & herbs.

This is just when we got finished planting. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, & herbs.

This was the cucumbers one day this week. These guys have grown right before our eyes!

This was the cucumbers one day this week. These guys have grown right before our eyes! Don’t that beat all?

And what about these? We may be fancy gardeners, yet.

And what about these? We may be fancy gardeners, yet.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  Summer has come in full force here in northeast Mississippi.  We are going to reach the high 90s this weekend.  Along with that comes humidity & mosquitos!  It will be so hot we won’t be able to let our kids go outside & play.  Y’all, it will be hotter than blue blazes.  There is no wonder there are so many Christians in the South. 🙂

Hope you have a blessed day.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

And here is a random picture of my brother & mama, just because I miss her.

And here is a random picture of my brother & mama, just because I miss her.

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Yesterday she would have been 69 & 5 things it’s changed about me

I texted my brother.  I called my Daddy.  I told Miss Neenee & my sweetie. I went by the cemetery on the way to work. Yesterday, my Mama would have been 69 years old.

Mama, Me, & Mamaw 1990

Mama, Me, & Mamaw 1990

I don’t want to get all weird with this.  Other than, her being gone has changed a lot about me.

  1. It has made me appreciate life & being with my loved ones.
Me, Mama, Mamaw, & Papaw circa 1978

Me, Mama, Mamaw, & Papaw circa 1978

2. It made me realize I am  not the boss of my health & it can falter at any time.

3. It lights a fire under me to accomplish & get done what I need to & want to today.  I’m not promised another minute to get those things done.  Mama was always mindful of the brevity of life.  She would always say before we left home,

“Get this mess up.  What if something was to happen & somebody was to come in this house?”

For shame that someone saw a coaster out of place on the coffee table.  But, that’s just how she was.  And I’m glad.  I wouldn’t have wanted her any other way.

4. Family was so important to her.  She loved & looked forward to all of our get togethers.  I have gotten closer to my family in the past several years, as well.

Mama's baby brother, Mamaw, Mama, Mama's older sister, Mama's middle brother at Christmas circa 1984

Mama’s baby brother, Mamaw, Mama, Mama’s older sister, Mama’s middle brother at Christmas circa 1984

5. She always went to church.  Even when Daddy had to dress her, pick her up & put her in her wheelchair & bring her.  It made me know if she could go to church, in her shape, there was NO reason for me not to be there.  She was a wonderful Christian example.  Because of that I have grown deeper in my faith.

Me & Mama after church circa 1995

Me & Mama after church circa 1995

Here are a couple more pictures of her in my “Mama Shrine” today.

mama young

On the back of this picture if had,"Taken on the day we walked all over the place." She was sitting on the door step washing her feet.

On the back of this picture it had,”Taken on the day we walked all over the country.” She was sitting on the door step washing her feet.

I won’t bore overly inform you with more Mama stories.  For that you can go here. I am just so thankful this ol’ world had her for 55 years.  Now the Lord has her for the rest.

Hope you are having a great day.  You know what’s Thursday!  Bring on the family & turkey.  My favorite.  Until next time , I should be washing clothes.

Easter throwback

 

Easter circa 1976

Easter circa 1976

Easter circa 1976

Easter circa 1977

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know,  I know.  Easter is over.  I had to share this with ya’ll, though.  Because, Easter is always so exciting.  Especially as kids.  The receiving of the proverbial Easter Basket from the Easter Bunny himself.  The Easter Frocks which always were accompanied by white gloves & a hat.  The coloring of the Easter Eggs.  Ahhh.. it was a wonderful time.

On Easter Sunday, we always went to church & then to my grandparents house.  Looking back, I can remember, one particular Easter when the weather was not very agreeable.  All of the grandkids had assembled at my Mamaw & Papaw’s house after church.  We ate our lunch with

Easter circa 1985.  My brother in his Rico Suave phase.  My cousin in her cuteness phase.  Me in my homegirl big bow stage, wearing my Mamaw's dress.  Sadly, not true.

Easter circa 1985. My brother in his Rico Suave phase. My cousin in her cuteness phase. Me in my homegirl big bow phase, wearing my Mamaw’s dress. Sadly, not really.

a heavy heart.  How were we supposed to hunt Easter Eggs with it pouring rain outside?  We must have looked pretty downtrodden.

Because low & behold Easter was not going to be terrible & disappointing!

Somebody suggested we hunt Easter Eggs in the house.  Now, let me remind you, this was the early 80s.  If plastic eggs were popular back then, well, we didn’t have any.  I don’t know what possessed Mamaw to let us hide Easter Eggs in her house.  But ya’ll, she did & we were very delighted to say the least. Because Mamaw had just saved Easter.

We hid & hunted eggs all afternoon.  It wasn’t as fun as being outside, but not much of anything ever was.  Anyway, a good time was had by all & that was that.  Or so we thought.  Fast forward about 6 weeks….my Mamaw was milling around the house & heard something back in the bedroom.  Walking back to her room, she smelled the awfulest smell she had ever smelled.  She got back to her room & started looking around.  She could not, for the life of her, figure out what was going on.  So, she started looking through her dresser, her vanity, her closet, & her chifferobe.  That’s when she realized what had happened.  One of our Easter Eggs had not gotten found & it exploded in her chifferobe.

Oh. My. Word. Ya’ll.

MAMAW’S UNDERWEAR DRAWER HAD A ROTTEN EGG IN IT.

Not just any rotten egg.  An EXPLODED rotten egg.  Needless to say, she washed & washed her unmentionables for no reason.  Because the smell would NOT come out.  In our family, word of Mamaw’s underwear got around pretty quickly.  Each of us grandkids were sternly questioned as to

WHO IN THE WORLD hid the egg in Mamaw’s DRAWERS drawer???”

I don’t readily recall who the final culprit was.  EXCEPT I knew with ALL my heart, this time, I was not to blame for ANY of it.

The guilty party was in this group of Easter Egg hiding kids.

The guilty party was in this group of Easter Egg huntin’ kids.

 

Mamaw was not too thrilled to have to throw away all her undergarments.  And she did declare, no more Easter Egg hiding in the house.  I am QUITE sure my Papaw was laughing to himself, at all of this.  He would have had to of been silently dying inside.  If Mamaw would have thought for an instance this was humorous to Papaw, well, that would have NEVER done.  She did not intend that she ever did anything for him to laugh at her about.  But, sometimes those moments just came.  Especially with us being her grandkids.  So, there you have it.  Reason 27 why we will never hide Easter Eggs in my house.  I know, I am a mean ol’ Grand.

Here are some other thoughts for today:

  Psalms 18: 1 I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.(NKJV)

We should strive to have a rock solid faith of trust & that the Lord will take care of us, no matter what.  We need to remember, no matter what is going on in our lives, at the end of the day God is still in control.  No matter how worthless I may feel or how dim the outlook may be, I need to forever remember I truly matter to the God of love, truth, & hope.  No pain lasts forever.  No evil triumphs in the end.

I hope all of you had a blessed Easter.  It was overcast, for us. However, we still got out & hid eggs.  The grands ran amuck.  They played t-ball, too.  Each of the boys had a new ball & bat.  Which really didn’t matter if it were new or not.  When they started hitting each other in the face & head with them, they didn’t care if that bat were old or new.  It still hurt!  Not much crying.  A lot of “stand back” & “watch out” & “it will be your turn in a minute” was said.  My little Miss Priss grandbaby played in the wagon while we were outside. All & all I would say it was a wonderful day.  My Daddy came to be with us.  He had preached at a local church, Sunday.  He stopped by to eat & watch the kids hunt eggs.  Then, as is his duty, retired home to study his lesson for Sunday night.  Not before he ate a dog’s bait of the scrumptious pork loin my sweetie smoked.  But, he was not by himself.  We all did.  Until next time I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

As much as we try to separate these two, they seem to always end up together.

As much as we try to separate these two, they seem to always end up together.

The best picture of me & the grandboys.  Mr. Sweetie Pants kept trying to run off, thus, the death grip I have on him.

The best picture of me & the grandboys. Mr. Sweetie Pants kept trying to run off, thus, the death grip I have on him.

Pretty sure this one was the same age as the grands, say yesterday.  I love this face.

Pretty sure this one was the same age as the grands, say yesterday. I love this face.

One last Easter throwback with my eldest & his big ol Easter Bunny circa 1999.

One last Easter throwback with my eldest & his big ol Easter Bunny circa 1999.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credits- Our Daily Bread author Philip Yancey

 

The best gift you can give to your kids & how it’s never too late

Santa & Neely

When I think of Christmas, I think of kids.  I don’t know about you, but Christmas was always a special time at our house.  Homemade cookies, candy, parties, toys, & family were the best memories I have.  As a child growing up, I always had the security of a good family.  I never knew what it was like to go to bed hungry or not know I was loved beyond belief.  I was very blessed.  It humbles me to know what a wonderful childhood I had.  It could have very easily been another way.  You don’t pick who you are born to.  Thankfully, I was born to two precious people, who had a way with a feisty little girl.

snowment

At this time of year, I get to thinking about what would be the best presents, for my kids, at Christmas. What special memory can I give them about this time of year?  I came across this article & wanted to share it with you.  It is the best gift you can possibly give your children all year long.

We should conduct our homes so that children will remember:

  • Daddy & Mama were kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Home was a happy place, governed by the law of love (Psalm 119:165).
  • Each child was treated fairly and required to obey his or her parents (Ephesians 6:1-4).
  • Sunday was a day of worship (Acts 20:7).
  • The Bible, God’s law, settled everything (Psalm 33:4).
  • Home was a place where friendships were dear, but truth was dearer (Proverbs 18:24, 23:23).
  • Although mama & daddy worked hard, they took time to read the Bible daily & pray (Hebrews 10:22).

There is still time for many of us to create good memories for our children & grandchildren.  One of the best things I remember growing up, was how special church was to my family.  At the church we went to, my Daddy was the preacher, my Mama a Sunday School teacher, my Papaw a song leader, who they also called on to pray & serve the Lord’s table, my Mamaw cooked for those in need, was at every service (with the rest of us), & loved our church family dearly.  I had aunts, uncles, & cousins that were also serving the congregation.  It’s funny, I never really thought of this being one of my Daddy’s jobs.  It was just my life & I have been so blessed to have lived it.  Me & my brother did have some requirements.  (Some of which were perhaps a smidge challenging to an active/high spirited/could not keep her mouth shut/curious type child).

We were to be attentive. 

We were to be dressed properly (hair combed, teeth brushed, & in our Sunday best). 

We were to be cordial & kind to others. 

And never, ever, ever were we allowed to go to the bathroom close to the end of Daddy’s sermon. 

Doing this would possibly create a need to walk back to our seat while the invitation song was being sung.  That was Daddy’s moment to help those that needed prayer, baptizing, or other spiritual assistance.  My Mama was not going to interfere with one of her kids walking up through there, appearing to come forward. (We sat on the front bench.)  So, she made sure we went to the restroom & got a brief drink from the water fountain in between Sunday School & Worship Service.  I haven’t had to have therapy or counseling due to this, so I’m sure it was just an inconvenience we lived through.  As a matter of fact, it taught us to watch what was going on & be aware of other people’s feelings.  Not just a great memory, but good upbringing.  Sometimes at church, I see kids & adults walking around during the invitation song.  I’m like, “Wow, my Mama would have never had that.”

We may not have had the very best of everything life had to offer.  But we had a stable, loving family.    That’s what I strive to provide for my own kids & grandkids.  Is it perfect?  No, but they know they are loved & we are here to support them in all the ups & downs of life.  That’s more memorable than any Ipad, Dr. Dre’s Beats, or 4 wheeler.***

 

I do hope you were raised with wonderful memories at Christmas.  If not, it’s not too late to be the person who makes special memories for others.  Children are a blessing from God.  We should always treat them as such.  That means not letting them by with everything in the book, teaching them to be respectful, & honest.  However, that starts with us, first.  My prayer today is that you will have the courage & braveness of heart to do right & good.  Not just for others sake, but for your own, as well. I know of some adults, who as children, did not have a regal upbringing.  However, now their parents have come around & taken care of their own problems.  They have become wonderful grandparents & not to mention a great support to their kids.  It’s never too late.

Wall Paper by Thomas Kinkade

 

I hope you are having a wonderful & magical holiday season.  We are ramping up for a big couple of days at our house.  There will be family visiting, kids squealing in delight, & we will be cooking.  A lot.  It goes without saying, my usual New Year’s resolution of losing weight will be on my list.  As for now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Mr. Sweetie Pants having his cake batter & banana, too- in his undies, nonetheless.

Mr. Sweetie Pants having his cake batter & banana, too- in his undies, no less.  That’s how we roll.

 

photo credits: pinterest, Thomas Kincaid collection, & my trusty Iphone

Parts of this was taken from a House to House, Heart to Heart bulletin.

***On a side note, I am not trying to be disrespectful to those who buy expensive gifts for their kids.  I am just saying all those things can break, be stolen, or wear out.  The things you instill in your kids can never be taken away from them.  Just a thought.

 

Singing to the top of my lungs & leaning on the everlasting arms

sing

What would you do if you didn’t know how to sing?  There would be no singing in the shower, no happy noise around the house, no entertainment in the car.  There would be no sayings like,

“He couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.  Bless his heart.”  

 One time we were having a Ladies Day at church & I was asked to lead singing.  I was so excited!  My family was full of people who could sing well.  My uncle is a song leader at his church.

I asked him, “What do I need to do?  Which songs should I pick out?  I can’t even read music.  Is that going to be a big deal?”

He said, “I am going to tell you something a lot of people don’t know.  Our family sings by letter.  We just open up our mouths & let ‘er fly.”

Whew!  I’m so glad I got to carry on my family tradition.  Because that’s exactly what I did.  And I think it worked out ok.  I had a lot of fun, I know that.

We had a missionary come to church Sunday. He gave a report on work he & his wife were doing in Italy & Ukraine.  He showed one picture on Powerpoint & said,

“This is a time we were teaching the people how to sing.  They didn’t know how to sing church hymns.”

Well, don’t that beat all?  Since I have been singing in church since I was a wee thing, I can’t imagine not knowing how to sing church songs.  I remember thinking my job was to sing louder than anyone.  When I was 5 or 6 years old, I can remember my mama telling me she loved hearing me sing, but it was not necessary that I was the loudest in church.  Do tell.

keep-calm-and-sing-out-loud-8

When making trips to town, as a young girl, my grandfather & I would sing Old MacDonald, in his old Corvair pick up truck.  My grandmother used to sing to us kids.  It was mostly songs she had made up.  She would rock us & sing.  It was better than anything you can imagine.  She had such a way to comfort us young’uns.  After church on Sundays, at my Papaw & Mamaw’s house, one of us kids would grab a song book.  We would stand in the den, with my grandparents, mama, daddy, aunts, uncles, cousins, & one of would be the song leader.  All of us would sing our hearts out.  My brother would sing, “Leaning on Jesus Everlasting Arm” just like my Uncle Frank did at church.  Everybody would “request songs” & we would sing them.  Good times.

leaning

At church, there were Sunday singings after our dinner on the ground.  That’s where the men of the congregation would take turns singing songs.  We would go around the room & whoever wanted to lead a song could.  Young, old, it didn’t matter.  We just loved to sing.

Did you know one of the things we will be doing in heaven is singing?  That makes it mine & your responsibility to be a practicin’!

Revelation 15:3

They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! (NKJV)

It’s a known fact that everybody can sing.  Some may read music.  Some may sing like a bird.  Some may make the dogs howl when they commence to singin’.  Like us, some may sing by letter, but it’s all beautiful to God, when we worship the Lord.  Even though my mama thought it not proper to sing to the top of my lungs, when I was a young lass, that didn’t damper my spirit at all.  I still love to sing along with our congregation.  It’s hard to sing & not just feel better. And don’t think I have not taken the opportunity of teaching my kids & grandkids to love singing.  I sing to these babies & Mr. Sweetie Pants sings back to me.  He can belt out, “Jesus Loves Me” or “Rock Me Mama Like a Wagonwheel” in just a split second.

 

Blake & MikeyKade driving

I hope you are having a good week.  We are going to be having some cooler weather closer to the weekend.  Oh yeah!  I got to see all my grandkids this weekend.  We had a big ol’ time.  What fun things have you done lately?  I want to hear all about it.  But for now, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

 

 

photo credits: pinterest, keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk, fumctroy.org