Posts made in February, 2017

A NEW GAME

I love my grandson.  I adore my grandson.  Since he was an infant we have shared our days together (along with other grandmother).  We have enjoyed wonderful days together as I’ve watched him grow.

I’ve watched as the toys have changed  signaling new skills or interests.  We’ve gone from rattles and chewy things to pull toys and toys that easily amuse.  We’ve gone through big fat Legos to millions of teeny tiny ones that hurt like OUCH!!! when you step on them.  We progressed from Play Doh to Mr. Potato Head…along with his missus!  He fell in love with the movie CARS…and we have no less than 75 of the delightful people/cars to inhabit my our studio.  Of course they have an entire city consisting of pastures, and drive ins and car shops and tire stores and a junk yard for Mater!  We have progressed from stuffed animals to the Disney characters to the Monsters, Inc family to the whole gang from the Toy Story conglomerate.  We have colored in books, on paper, on cardboard, on canvas.  We have painted on easels, on canvas on rocks on leaves, on the table.  We have cut reams of paper and glued the results to other reams of paper…only colored.  And, for the last little while..we have been inundated …and converged on…enveloped even, by Star Wars.

1xxx The characters are plentifully bestrewn all across the studio floor.  There are big space ships and little spaceships and teeny tiny space ships.  There are people in war regalia and creatures I did not know existed…but are ready for battle.  There are 268 teeny tiny guns….each of which go to a certain character.  To me a gun is a gun.  To Levi, the character’s correct gun in his or her hands makes all the difference in winning the battle and living another day.

Now the thing about Star Wars is that I’ve already gone through this Invasion twice in my lifetime…about 40 years ago and again 7 years later  with the instigators being boys named Adam (Levi’s daddy) and Alex (Levi’s Uncle).  Alex was actually the more enamored one and when he was 16, insisted that we pack up the brightest and best of his collected dynasty to save for posterity.  And it all sat in a big plastic bag at the top of his closet just waiting for another little man child to have the love and vision for what could be in a galaxy far, far away.  And, one such devotee was birthed into our family.  And, may I just add…the young one plays with those toys for all he’s worth.  The ones from 39 some odd years ago are not even made anymore.  He has some special pieces.  And, they mix together just fine.  He makes sounds for each separate spaceship and people mover.  He engages in battles and wars that extend out of my studio into the foyer and down the hall.  There is nothing…NOTHING…he loves better than for his Uncle Alex, who knows the finest details about Star Wars and has lived with these people for 33 years, to engage in battle warfare with him to save our very existence here on Planet Earth…or some such place.  And, his daddy is becoming about as crazed as he is about collecting the various good guys and bad guys and good space ships and bad space ships…which is great by Levi!

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So, my point her being…that Dear. darling Levi has a plethora of toys and books and art supplies to keep his healthy little mind occupied with plenty to do.  That’s why this was particularly hard to take………

LEVI…Lulu, I’m thinking of another game for us to play.

LULU….OK, I’m a little tired of blowing up planets and sailing spaceships through the universe.  How do you play?

LEVI…First, you go sit on the couch.  But don’t lean on the back of it… sit at the edge of it.

LULU…OK, I can do that.   And so I did!  He proceeded to take himself all the way to the other side of the room.  He then placed his body in a position reminescent of a runner beginning a big race. ” Something is amiss”, my clever brain told me.

LULU...Can you tell me the name of this game before we start?

LEVI…Sure…It’s called KNOCK DOWN THE GRANDMA !!!!????****!!!!

LULU…Well little man, there is one thing I need to tell you before we start.

LEVI…What, LULU?

LULU..You’ve picked up some tragic space sickness and it is lodged in your brain and is making you think about crazy things if you think I’m playing this game.

LEVI…AW, come on Lulu, it will be fun!

LULU…NO!  NO!  just no!

And, I destroyed the light in a little boys eyes who had such high hopes that his new game would be a delightful change of pace for all involved.  But, I’ve seen that particular light in years past…and I never forgot it   Hard history lessons only repeat because some one didn’t remember.

And, because I am a wise and clever grandmother, I was out the door and into the yard before he could blink.  I grabbed the basket ball and threw it into his arms as he rounded the garage door.  And we then spent half an hour shooting baskets.

And, that’s the way I saved my life on 2/22/17!

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REMOTELY CONFUSING

OK…so here I am in a resort hotel room while my husband attends a conference.  He left early and will be back around noon.  Sure is quiet in here….can’t sleep.  So, decided to see what was on TV this morning.

OH! MY! GOODNESS!  This is the first thing I was confronted with…

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Now why on earth do you need 3 remotes to turn on a TV and scroll through the channels.  I’ll be the first to admit, I’m old school…not up with new technology very well.  But, really, now…3 remotes!

But, I was bored…so I gave it a try.  But which button do you push to turn the power on…all 3 have power buttons!  I took a stab at it…and I got lucky!  The TV came on…and it was showing FOX NEWS.  Well, I really like Fox News…but not so much this morning.  So I tried to change the channel.  Well that was a big mistake!  I saw this…

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Obviously, I had done something wrong… so I tried another remote.  Yep…something came through all right…THIS!

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Friends…I went from one remote to another for a good 30 minutes or so.  Never came upon Fox News again…never came upon anything but those creepy crawly bugs scurrying around the screen.

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I mean…how hard would it be to make a remote that just had volume, and channels?  Guess we are too far gone in this tech age of ours.   This grandson had the right idea for his grandma, though…

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And this one…

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Oh, I know It will not get any better.  I would be lost on our TV at home if it wasn’t for Alex bailing me out over and over.  The saddest thing is…when Levi is at my house…he does it!  Boy, has this stuff just passed me by!  Are you as baffled as I am?

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So, I decided to just turn it all off…which took awhile because, you know 3 power buttons!  I’ll just listen to some music on my I PAD.  Great idea, huh?  Not so much!  Couldn’t get the internet to connect to it!  And, it kept shutting down on me.  Now I will have to pat myself on the back a little bit…I  do have my laptop up and running…talking to you on it right now!  So, that’s something, I guess.

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Now…there’s just one more thing that scares the mess out of me!  I just got a new car…and the whole thing is run on an touch screen!  You don’t even have to use a key!   It even stops itself if you get too close to something!  How will I ever learn something else new?  I was just getting the hang of my old car.  “This is improved”…they say.   “This is much easier to use than your old car”…they told me.  Well, we’ll see.

Meantime, I’m glad I have a techno genius living in my house with me…”Help, Alex!!!!!”

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And, this is well worth remembering!  Precious promise!  Bet there won’t be crazy, difficult, un-figure-outable remotes in Heaven!

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HAPPY HEART

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While getting ready to teach my last art class, Levi and I decided to make a sample at home before I taught the project to the children at school.

I taught the children how to draw a valentine heart shape.  Then we covered the back of the drawing with bleeding tissue paper.  This kind of tissue paper oozes lots of color when it is wet.  The children used valentine colors and covered their papers.  We saturated them with water.  The next day, the tissue was dry…and all the lovely color had transferred to the heart.  They then cut them out.

I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of the rest of them, but here is Levi’s.  I love to frame children’s art,  And, it’s quite easy.  I just bought a cheap frame from Michael’s and backed his heart with a piece of scrapbook paper.  Makes such a pretty picture!  And, oh how special a child feels when they see their art framed and put in a place of honor.  Change it up with the seasons….or just start a seasonal grouping of art work through the year!

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I love this…happy heart…happy color…from my happy valentine!  (Another Lulu/Levi project)

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THIS MORNING AT CHURCH…

I have been a member at Southside Baptist Church since I was in the 6th grade.  I have grown up, become a Christian, gotten married, raised children, buried a parent, and worshipped my Lord in this church.  There are so many dear souls here who reside in my heart of hearts.  Some have gone on to Glory with Mom, and some are still here worshiping with us.

This morning, Don was not feeling well, and was not able to attend.  So, I sat with Joy and her family.  As I sat there, between Joy, and Pop, I was overwhelmed with a love for my family.  Sweet Lori and her love were there with us, as well.  And, dear, dear Mrs. Linnie Carpenter, who is for sure one of the Saints was sitting in front of us.  She could probably quote most of the Bible to you, chapter and verse!  Good friends, Pam and Ron Ellis right behind us.

I just had a need to record this morning.  So, I tried to be very discreet with my camera…Lori helped…and we took a few pics of today.  (There have been two deaths in my Pop’s family this week…he lost his younger brother just yesterday.  We are not promised tomorrow…as our pastor pointed out this morning.  When things start falling down around you…you better have already made the decision as to whom you’ll be clinging to!  Tommy also lost his dear brother 2 weeks ago.)

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So here are just a few snaps of today…just an ordinary Sunday…but precious, nonetheless.

Lori and Brad…

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Pop, Lori and Brad…

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Me and Pop…

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Pop, Joy, and me…

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Joy and Tommy…praying…(sorry)

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Mrs. Linnie…singing…

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Our new stained glass above the baptistry…

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My dear friend, Monty Clark.  Her Mom just celebrated her 90th birthday and the flowers in the church today were in her honor…aren’t they beautiful…the flowers and Monty!

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As friends gather at the end of the service to gab a little bit, I found myself with three of the dear girls I have loved for many, many years.  Monty Clark, who grew up here at Southside with me…Pam Ellis, pianist extraordinaire and kindred spirit, and Joy, best sister ever!  Since the camera was out, I decided to take a selfie….but look at our photo bomber!  Our pastor, Stacy Stafford!

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So, we tried again…this time with someone else taking the pic!

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Again, nothing special about this Sunday…just for me, a little celebration of family and friendship and sweet fellowship!

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CONFESSION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did something I said I wouldn’t do.  I even told you on a Facebook post that I would not….back in April.

“These are the things that you should do; speak the truth to one another…”  Zechariah 8:16

I’m talking about shopping at Target.  I made a promise back in April that I would not go back to that store after the stand they took on allowing peoples of all genders to use the restrooms and dressing rooms.  It was just not a place I wanted to be. ( Of course there were lots of folks that didn’t agree with me.  That’s OK, too.  Everyone gets to choose what they can live with or what they can’t.  And, that’s the way it should be!)  One of my biggest fears was having my grandson with me and exposing him to danger.  And, as we have seen in other towns there have been quite a few instances where women and girls were assaulted, spied on or scared while in the bathrooms and dressing rooms.  But, I am not here to rehash all that.

I have missed Target.  I really liked to shop there and they have many things I can’t find in other places.  Until last week I have kept my word.  BUT..

****backstory*** For Christmas, Levi got this great new learning tool called an OSMO!  You may have seen it advertised on TV or internet.  It’s used with an IPad.  Well, we ordered it and he was thrilled to use it.  It is such an excellent product and extremely educational.  It’s really well done.   There are several parts to it that do differing things.  Some you need to draw…some you don’t.  Of, course, my little artist loves the drawing part.  So, he was going through paper like crazy…I’m talking 25-30 pages each time he used it.  There was a white board available separately that I did not order originally, but we decided that it would probably be a good idea to get it.  So, off to order on Amazon and got it 2 days later.  They sent the board and the specific markers and cleaning tools.  Oh, my Levi was happy!  He loves using the white board so much better.  The markers however…were a different kind than I had ever seen.  The brand name was YOOBI.  I knew it would not be long before I needed to replace them….they are small.  So I set about checking where I could order them…and…they ARE available…..at Target and Target only.********

Now, I was faced with a dilemma.  Do I go into the store and get them or order them again and pay the shipping?  Made better sense to go to Target and get them.  And so I did.

Oh, my goodness.  You cannot imagine the dread I felt going into that store.  I do not like to break promises and here I was breaking one to myself.  And, since I had been so vocal about my feelings…I just knew someone was going to see me and then I would feel worse.  I decided to go as early in the morning as I could.  As soon as I dropped Levi at school, I headed there.  I hung my head and went in.  When I walked past the bathrooms, I said to my self, “Well, at least I won’t be going near them today.”

Oh, it was nice to be back in the store.  I could feel the excitement as I walked past my favorite departments.   I went straight to the marker section first, because if they did not have them I could possibly escape before anyone was the wiser.  I had to look on 3 aisles…but I found them.  Bought all they had… 4 boxes!  They are a liquid chalk marker and not just a dry erase type.

And, then, y’all…I lost all my reserve.  “I’m in here and who knows when I’ll be back. so I’m just gonna walk through one more time.”  I mean…it’s not very ‘stick your guns’ and all…but I was just weak.  And, I caved.  And around the store I went.  First to the clothes, I needed some tanks to wear under things and their’s are the best!  Then over to the children’s clothes!  They really do have some cute things.  They make a little v neck shirt that Suzanne and I both love for Levi.  Just a little t shirt, but a little stylish.  I perused the toys, for some of the new Star Wars things Levi wanted.  (I can not tell you if I got anything or not…but if I did…it’s hidden for later).  On to the books and magazines…love their books!  I walked toward the back and almost cried when I realized I had gone a whole Christmas season without seeing their cute collection of ornaments and wrapping and seasonal things.  They had out their valentine candy….and Easter was coming in fast!  In the gardening area, I found some very cute patio and deck things.  Passed those by, though.  Swung back through the housewares and home decor.  Then on to the bed and bath.  Wow!  I could have filled my cart..pillows and rugs and towels!  Oh! My!

As I was walking and reminding myself that this was a one time thing and I would not come again…a feeling came over me.  It was not a good feeling.  I’m sure you have felt it before.  And, I had no trouble interpreting it.  I had to go to the bathroom.  Not I had to go to the bathroom….but I !!!!HAD!!! to go to the bathroom.  I asked myself could I checkout quickly and make it home.  No!! NO, NO, NO!.  I asked myself if I could checkout quickly and make it to Michael’s, next door.  NO!  Not even that.  Actually, myself started talking back to me and said…”Leave your cart and find a bathroom…NOW!”  And, then I moved.  Straight toward the bathrooms.   And, as I was walking, I said to the Lord, “I know this is payback for me coming here.  I vowed not to and I broke my word.  I took a stand and I failed big time. I told Him I knew what a hypocrite was.  But, why do you have to remind me like this?”  And, then I asked Him if he would kindly make any people in the bathroom leave.  And, would He go with me and keep me safe.  And, please, if He didn’t mind, hold the door so no one would come in!

Now you may not pray to God about everything, but I do.  If it concerns and troubles me…I’m gonna share it with Him.  Even though He already knew what a tizzy I was in.  I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for this. And, I made it…to the bathroom area. And, did you know?  Right there by the bathrooms that any gender may share…was another bathroom called the Family Bathroom. It was 1 room…1 toilet…1 sink…and a lock on the door!  And it was empty!

“Thank you, dear Jesus”, I said. ” You can just wait for me out here, I’ll be fine, now.”

And, He did.  I left the room, much relieved, and went to retrieve my cart.  I found it and went straight to the check out.  And, I left.    I had pushed my luck and I got the message loud and clear.

(However, since I love their soft pretzels, I did order one of those and a coke on the way out….but, I ate it in the car!)

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When I picked up Levi, he noticed the bags in the car.  Now he knew very well we did not shop there anymore and he knew why.  His parents don’t either.  He buckled in and calmly said,

“Welllll, Lulu, looks like Target bags back  there.  Did you forget that we don’t go there ?”  

I told him about the markers…and  said  I only went once…and that was it.  And I was not going back.  

Welllllll, you got markers in all those bags?

No, I walked around a little bit and just picked up a few things.  But, I’m not starting to shop there again.

Well, Since you were there…did you go and look at the toys?

I did.  I knew you want to know what was there.  But, I felt bad about being in the store , I just looked quickly.

It’s OK, Lulu.  You know I really don’t mind if my toys come from there.  It really doesn’t matter to me, at all.  So, if you got me something, I will be happy to have it and play with it.  I don’t mind, really! 

Sorry, no toys…just a tray for your art supplies, Little Man.  And the markers.

I could feel the disappointment.

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So, I said one thing…and did another.  I confess that I messed up, and I feel ashamed.  Not that I think it’s a bad thing if you shop there.  That’s your business.  It’s just not right for me.

However, Levi will be happy when his markers run out.   And, he will be happy when his birthday rolls around.   And, he will look cute in his new shirts.  I’m going to stop writing now and read my new book…and the pretzel was delicious!

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13