Beaches are for sunshine and warm breezes and cool drinks and playing in the water…and sunshine.  But, when God sees fit to water his creation, there’s still lots of fun to be had.

First thing…sit in the only spot of sun on the porch and watch as the clouds roll in…


Ask your Mom to go get doughnuts for breakfast…cause doughnuts can make any disappointment so much easier to bear!

While you wait for your Mom and your Lulu to get ready…why not rearrange the toy shelf?  Everything out…and everything back in again.  But better suited to my liking!  Good job, Levi!


Mom… Where would you like to go?

Levi...Wal Mart!  Wal Mart!

Mom…But we are not buying any toys…

Levi…I just want to look and see all the things they have in there!

Mom…OK…here we go!

Lulu...Oh, My!  Wal Mart?  Really?

Thank goodness for umbrellas!


First we look at all the toys…ALL the toys.   Then we find a cooler for our lemonade stand (Coming soon).

Lulu...I need some keys!

And, so we get an up close and personal lesson in key making!


5 keys later..we set off to find something else interesting…Look at this!  A bicycle just for Lulu!


Here and there we go…all over the store.  Suzanne found a great way to keep Levi under control!


Levi and I decide we need some white cheddar popcorn and chocolate chip cookies…you know…rainy day food!

So, we check out and head to the car…popcorn, cookies, m&m’s, and cooler in tow!

Levi...Look!  It’s not raining now!

Suzanne…I think it’s time for a smoothie!

Levi...I think it’s time for McDonald’s.

And, so we go to both.  Suze and I have a smoothie and Levi has a Happy Meal!

We stopped at the paint store and Suzanne did a little touch up painting in the house!  Thanks, Suze!

Back to the Sandcastle to wait for Pa and Uncle Ian…they are dropping in to spend the night on the way to Las Vegas.  Pa likes to fly out of PCB.

And, once we visit a few minutes…it’s off to Boondocks for a great meal!  Levi managed to get Pa’s hat from him and proceeded to wear it all night!  Levi and Uncle Ian having too much fun!





Levi and Pa and Uncle Ian decide to stop at Pier Park and let Levi ride some of the fun rides there…but Suze and Lulu sit it out in the car.  We’ve had a busy day.  We get tired…but Levi never does!

To tie up the night, we stop for ice cream and sno cones!  YUMMY!

Up the next morning, we wash sheets and towels, tidy up,  and hurry home for an important meeting .


A few pics from our first day.   First we went to the Frank Brown Water Park and soaked up lots of sun and fun!  The day was perfect!  Not too hot…cool breeze…a little cloudy.  Just like we ordered.



After a quick shower back at the Sandcastle, we set out on a search for supper.  Every place was crowded.  Somehow…and I’m still not sure how…we ended up at a little local place.  There was live music, folks dancing and having a ball!  There was even a pool the kids could swim in during dinner!  We sat outside…and laughed and laughed and laughed!  We decided that even though the place was not crowded…and we had to wait over an hour for our food…we’d make the best of it and enjoy being together!  And, we did!  When we finally got out food…it was delicious!











And, since no one likes to go to bed on time at the beach…Suze and Levi took a few spins on the go-carts.  Me?  I was safer just watching from the sidelines!

Sweet fun on a quick 45 hours at the beach!  A huge amount of fun in a short amount of time!  Hey…you just gotta cram that fun in  in the time you have!  And, we did!


See you soon, Sancastle!







We talked for over a year and we planned for several months and carefully made reservations.  We read and studied and knew just what we wanted to do…or so we thought!  We waited until we thought Levi was old enough to really enjoy it…we got that part right!  We filled our gas tanks and headed south...DISNEY, HERE WE COME!  Early on the morning of Nov.9, 2016 we began our trip.  A couple of stops along the way…and we were there….in the land of the mouse!

ears  Quickly we checked into our room around lunch time…we had passes for the first ride at 1:45!  And we made it!  Oh! it felt good to walk those streets of the Magic Kingdom again!  All the happy people, the music, the quaint buildings and more smiles than you could count!  Two more passes during the afternoon and then we made our way to dinner!


Pirate beds in our rooms…



New ‘BB8’ pajamas…



The next morning we slept a little longer cause the big Mickey’s Christmas Party was tonight!  We had a nice breakfast and then hit the Magic Kingdom again!

Levi found these funky glasses at breakfast…



Many were the times his feet didn’t touch the ground…



The next morning we had a leisurely breakfast…then headed to the Magic Kingdom!.  Tonight is Mickey’s Christmas Party, so we want to pace ourselves through the day!  HA!  Pace ourselves?  With a 5 year old?  Didn’t happen!





All decorated for Christmas…


Even Levi…



At the Christmas parade was where I saw our Levi the most animated.  With snow falling overhead and a cool chill in the air, it was perfect weather for a parade.  Once it began, it was a continual feast of lights and sounds and singing and lovable characters.  One after the other they came!  Levi would push his little body outside the edge of the crowd to keep us informed.  “Y’all its Goofy and Pluto!  Y’all it’s dancing girls!  Look it’s tin soldiers marching!  Hey!  It’s Mickey and Minnie”  First he climbed up Don’s shoulders, then a while in my lap (the wheelchair raised me up) then on Adam’s shoulders, to finally collapse in Suzanne’s lap when they were all gone!  What a glorious parade!  What Christmas joy it brought to those watching!  Delightful!dw127


  “It is God who has given us these times of joy!”  Psalm 81:4







Day 3 was our big day at Hollywood Studios.  Levi was looking most forward to this!  He is a big StarWars fan (along with his daddy and uncles) and he wanted to do the Jedi training!  They had to be in line at 8:00 to try and get a spot.  But Don and I didn’t.  We rested a while, then ate breakfast and joined them at the park about 11.  Levi was able to meet several of the characters and see so much of the Star Wars paraphernalia they used in the movies.  He was beside himself with excitement!

Levi with Chewbacca… dw37


And a Jawa…





Then the time came for the show and he was picked to participate!  What fun!  He was a ‘young padawan’…boys who will eventually learn to be a Jedi Knight.  He got to fight Darth Vader with his lightsaber!









Oh, what a special treat!  Afterwards he went to the store and got his own costume and made his own lightsaber!  It seems young padawans are exhausted after a fierce battle with the Dark Side!



Day 4 was Epcot Day.  This was not as much fun to any of us because there was a food and wine festival going on and the crowd was shoulder to shoulder…literally.  We couldn’t stop to see anything much in the countries area…we just got swept along with the crowds.






A highlight here was our dinner where the characters come by and speak to all the children.  This made Levi even more excited~



And, we came to Day 5, our last day…back at Magic Kingdom.  We rode lots of rides today.  I had promised Levi that he and I would do “It’s a Small World and “Dumbo” together and we did!    Sweet memories of riding these same rides with my boys 28 years ago on their first Disney trip…and a couple of other times since then.  He rode a few others as well.  One of his favorite seemed to be riding on my electric scooter, though!



 Little boys and their little toys…tiny droids he made…


On the monorail…


With Mama and Daddy…



With Lulu and Pa…



We also rode over to see the cars from the movie “CARS” and “CARS2”.  He loved being able to see these in person…we have about 100 of the small ones in the Studio and at his house…

Good ole Mater…Lightning McQueen…..and Fillmore…









And the end came on Day 6, as we packed up the cars and headed back north to Dothan.  It was a trip full of good times…one Levi and his parents will long remember…as will Don and I.  We talked of the sweetness of having a grandchild as kind and loving as Levi.  He was a trooper…never whined…never complained…even took it with a smile if we could not ride something.  However, he did not like one of the little roller coasters even though his parents were with him.  Don’t blame him a bit!







 As I observed the crowds of folks around me at any given time…I noticed how lovely it really was.  Not just the surroundings, which were exquisite.  But, families spending times together…each making sure the others were happy.  Little ones having their parents full attention.  And parents doting on their kids…each thinking their child is the cutest in the park.  Grandparents tagging along or sitting out while the kids all rode….but remembering when these parents were the little ones  and they were the parents.  It was only a few years ago.  Why, we were all together in this same place…doing the same thing…riding the same rides…and eating mouse shaped ice cream.  Falling into bed exhausted in the evening and bright eyed and bushy tailed by morning…ready to go again!  This time our pace is slower…and some resort to wheelchair and electric scooter.  We try to placate our big children when they get weary and cross with the little ones. Cause we finally learned the secret.  That a child can’t help but be a child.  God built into them a sense of excitement and wonder and joy.  Add that natural exuberance to a place created for just such things…and you have “The Happiest Place on Earth!”  There is so much to see and so much to do (and eat and buy)…that it can be overwhelming!  But such a glorious overwhelm!  Don’t you wonder what is running through their little minds when they finally lay their heads down on their pillows?  What will they remember about such a time when they return to their homes?  (For myself and Levi…I will document our trip with this blog post, and a scrapbook for him to look at and remember)  Its been said that ‘we don’t remember days…we remember moments.’  And I, for sure, saw many moments well worth tucking away and pulling out again and again!  “Thank you, God, for blessing us with this trip!  We acknowledge that “every good and perfect gift comes from you.”  James 1:17



DOTHAN…July 1, 2014

As soon as my foot was released from its hard cast prison after 5 weeks…I progressed to an air cast.  Told to wear it all the time, except to take a bath, I took that to mean that big ole bathtub in the backyard would be fine, as well.  And, first thing Tuesday morning, I donned my swim suit and carefully waded into the pool.  Soon I was joined by the two cutest little boys in town, along with their mother and aunt.  Oh, we had such a great time!  Following are some pics from the day.



















Loving my new camera!




It make pics underwater!  And, it will not break if you drop it!  Camera heaven!  Everyone has had a ball using my camera to make these great pics in the pool.  Today is the first day that I got to use it.  However, these underwater pics are courtesy of Suzanne…I have to practice a little more!  It probably would help if I could open my eyes underwater! 🙂

LAGUNA BEACH…July 2-3,2014

Oh what fun Don and I had with Suzanne and Adam and Levi for 2 days…We crammed as much in as possible!

















Sweet Levi is not a fan of the ocean.  He likes to run in the sand,  and pick up shells, but does not want to touch the water.  However, he loves to swim.  A friend had told us about a wonderful public water park here in PCB.  It is the Frank Brown Recreational Complex on Back Beach Road…just past the ‘Y'” going toward PCB.  There is a website you can go to learn more info.  It is a fantastic park.  Plenty of playground equipment, picnic tables, fishing, and 2 wonderful pools.  One is dedicated for children, but parents are welcome to go in with their little ones…there are all sorts of climbing equipment and sprinklers and slides.  Such fun.  And very well kept up.  $8.00  adults…$5.00 kids.


Joy and I, along with Tara and Lori and John Thomas took a long week-end trip to the Sandcastle.  We all needed a little break from ‘real life’…and the beach seemed to be just what we needed.  We ate out and slept in.












John Thomas and Tara and Lori took in Shipwreck Island, and Wonder Works…while Joy and I took our time on the couch and the front porch!  To each his own!  They all managed a trek down to the beach and some swimming in the ocean…my foot said,” Stay right where you are…on solid ground!”  And, so I did!










John Thomas and I did a little painting.  He painted a ‘goldie fish’ to grace the walls of the SandCastle.





Suzanne and Adam and Levi joined us for the day on Monday.  We all headed back over to the Recreational Complex I mentioned above and had a wonderful day, playing and eating and swimming…with lots of fun and laughter!









Today Levi stayed with Don and I for the day while his parents were busy.  First Pa cooked Levi his favorite, ‘baconeggs’…and then they went to ride the toys.  Finally, a little newspaper reading was in order while they cooled off! 20140716_094116-1










Then I managed to snap some good close-ups of the little man while we played outside waiting for Suzanne to come!






JULY 21-24, 2014

Officially, this isn’t on my list, because I was not there.  But, family was.  And, since this is my blog, I get to make the rules!  Love how that works out!  Anyway, Jackson and Tina were able to spend a few days at the Sand Castle.  Word from them was a great time was had, even amidst the rain.  There was still swimming and fun to be had.  And, fried crab claws, too!  I only wish i could have spent some of the time with them.  They are so dear to me!




10527909_10152170452046510_6835910154409141866_nJuly 29, 2014

Today Suzanne started back to school…crazy, huh?  So I’m back to Levi and Lulu time!  It has been such a fun day.  But, boy is our schedule ever off!  We’ve got some work to do to get back in our groove! Don is out of town, so Levi said he could not eat ‘baconeggs’…so we had bananas, toast and blackberries.  He was too excited to eat, I think.  Cause he knew what I had promised him we would do when he came to stay again.  Paint! art-quoteHe had seen my paints out and had been wanting to paint and I kept putting him off…but today was the day!  First, he donned his new painting apron.  Look!  He wrote his own name!



We started with the watercolors.  He did well for the first time.  It’s not easy to remember to dip the brush into water between each color…but he finally got it.








I title the above finished painting…”Just A Little Brown”. ( The bottom pic in photo below).   After he had finished painting such a pretty mix of blues and greens, he looked at it and said, “Gotta put some brown right here.”  And, so he did.  Wonder what that thought process was.  Maybe he just has an artist’s eye!




His second attempt turned out beautifully, I think.  I think it looks like wet cupcake sprinkles!  Don’t you just love how the colors blend in together…no matter what color is used? Next we moved on to fingerpaint.  He was not quite as sure about this.  After he realized it was just fine to get paint all over his hands, he began to enjoy it.  We eventually moved it to the floor.  And decided the best picture of all was Lulu and Levi’s hand prints all over an old towel!











We decided then that the best way to celebrate our art was with a swim!  And even Uncle Alex and Finn joined us for a while!  Such a beautiful day to be in this glorious world created by the Master Designer!  After all that and a quick lunch, I was ready to rest.    I was just happy to put my feet up!  Well…at least this little man got some dream time in.





And so ends our short journey through the month of July, 2014.  Could life be any sweeter?  God is just so good and gracious to our family.  All is not roses and candlelight…and we go through our tough times.  Things happen that we want to run from.  We are affected by circumstances that we have no control over.  We still deal with illness on a daily basis.  But through it all…God brings the joy!  We are not thankful FOR all things we go through…but we are thankful IN all things.  Because the only way you get to appreciate the joy…is to taste some of the bitter.  The promises of God are always true and always steadfast.  He will never fail.  Thank you God, for allowing me to know this in my heart of hearts!






“You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the lands which you shall possess.”     Deuteronomy 5:33

Pop was born with a sense of adventure and growing up in a family of 6 brothers and 1 sister, he learned to fend for himself early on.  Even though he didn’t always use the best judgement, he always went, with gusto, into the task at hand.

rider 2

Having a love of motorcycles, he seized the opportunity to buy a motorcycle dealership when he was very young.  And, his love for motorcycles and the open road have filled his soul all his life.  He set about to make his dream of seeing the world come true…just he and his motorcycle…and lots of faith in God.

Harley Davidson


His first trips took him north through the Unites States and Canada on the AlCan Highway, to Fairbanks, Alaska. One hundred miles north of Fairbanks is Circle, Alaska…the northernmost point of the Northern America Highway System…The End of the Road. Heading southward, he arrived at the End of the Road once more…40 miles above the Panama Canal.

After he was satisfied that he had seen the End of the road…he set his sights away from the USA and into 15 foreign countries. If he could ride his motorcycle there from Dothan, AL, he did. But, if not, he shipped it in and then picked it up and rode throughout the countries. Many times, he would exit the country the way he came in…and leave the missionary with a newfound and reliable method of transpiration. Kenya, Tanzania, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras are just some of the countries he spent time in. Not speaking Spanish, he quickly learned the most important words to safely navigate his way. A place to sleep, a place to eat, and a safe place for his machine. Many nights he kept it in his motel room with him ! He made a total of 7 trips, 5 solo and 2 with a buddy. Most lasted for 2-3 months. And on every trip, he wore boots….these boots to be exact…

boots 1

These boots were made for riding…and hiking through jungles…and catching alligators in the Amazon River. They were made for wearing while missionaries homes were tinkered with by the ‘missionary man’ from Dothan, AL. He calls himself ‘the missionary to the missionaries’. Always traveling at his own expense and providing his own tools and work gear, he left tiny snatches of his heart throughout South and Central America, and parts of Africa. His work over the years included building radio stations, churches, helping visiting medical teams, traveling with the missionary on the field to remote villages to check on new churches, pray with them and encourage the ‘brothers’. He fixed cabinet doors in missionary residences, repaired washing machines so they wouldn’t scoot across the floor, and built rabbit hutches for a young missionary kid. He patched roofs and fixed doors so they would swing freely. He went to be a friend to those who were called to serve. He befriended missionary kids and made lifelong friends.

[Missionary Dick Greenwood center back in brown jacket…Pop in front gifting this church with a generator…] generator...Honduras

These years were full of close calls, brushes with near death, and an angel visitation. But, for a man who felt a calling on his life…he viewed it as one big adventure. My Mom supported his trips and we daughters were in awe of the man who would pack a few bags of supplies on the back of his Honda, tie them down with several bungee cords and take off for parts unknown.

rider 5


Some called it folly, others a great witness and testimony. But, he calls it “just one little man doing his little part in the great big world.” There are missionaries all over who know today that they were cared for and loved and respected by him and his family. If they had a need and it was in his power, he met it. God’s grace and protection abounded everywhere he went…and the stories he can still tell could fill a book…which I hope to write one day.

This is my Daddy…my Pop… and if you want to know more…just ask him. But, you better be prepared to sit for a mighty long spell! They are as fresh and alive in his 88 year old mind as they were when they happened!



Happy Birthday, Pop! You make me proud!


boots 2   [The pictures of Pop’s boots were done by Adam as a gift for Pop.  They are absolutely beautiful, printed on metallic paper …the copies here do not do them justice.]


I left Laguna Beach this morning heading home after a wonderful  break from routine.  I had only travelled about 15 miles, when the traffic really starting piling up…bumper to bumper…in the pouring, blowing rain!  When it cleared enough for me to see, it looked, for all the world, like a house, with a smoke stack was at the head of the line.  When the wind died down a little I could see that the little house seemed to be sitting in a big pickup truck!  And, honestly…I thought there looked like someone standing outside the house with his hand up…WAVING!  Traffic crept along all the way to Bonifay!  In reality, only about 30 miles or so, but it felt like 100!  Part of the area I was driving in is under construction and the  the lanes kept shifting from one side to the other.  Two lanes…under construction, weaving back and forth to change roads, rain, wind and tired me.  Not the best combination!

Then someone, whose name I won’t share, called me on my car phone and to tell me to “quit poking along!  You gotta pass those cars and go!” 🙂  But that was before she saw the house driving 7 cars in front of us!  Surely she couldn’t expect me to pass a house!

Now why in the world does a person driving something like that not realize there is a line of traffic behind him and pull off the road every 8 or 10 miles to allow other to pass by?  Would that be so hard?  Why, of course not!

Finally the driver pulled off the road at a flea market type place, and as I passed by I saw that it was a PIG, wearing a hat, waving to me from the back.  Written on the side of the house was a big sign that said, SMOKIN’ BUTTS BARBECUE’.  It was one of those vendors that set up at fairs and carnivals.  I had to laugh at the sight of it all!

As I drove on home, still in bad weather, but at least very little traffic, I realized a few things.  I was leaving my little cottage at the beach, where I had enjoyed a marvelous week.  Suzanne and Adam and Levi were there part of the time…and then someone near and dear to me came and spent a day or two. (If I told you her name, you’d know who was nagging me!)  I ate at some great restaurants and shopped and played and talked and laughed and slept late…it was a wonderful vacation.  Why should I let this PIG HOUSE steal my joy?  Well I shouldn’t.

I have been singing a little song to Levi lately that says, “Be patient…Be patient….Don’t be in such a hurry!….When you get…Impatient….You only start to worry…..Remember….Remember…That God is patient, too….And, think of all the times when others have. to. wait. on. you!”  Well!  I should practice what I preach, huh?

And, then I remembered something I learned a long time ago.   God is in control of my life…and I truly believe He is!  Thank Goodness!  So, if I am delayed or detoured or slowed down…it is because I NEED to be delayed or detoured or slowed down!  I know that!  I just forgot for a little bit.  He has a plan for me and it is to bring good things to me.  So, if He needs to ‘slow me down’…that’s fine with me.

The Bible reads in Romans 12:12…..”Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”  That Pig House was my ‘tribulation’ today….but, I failed the patience test.   I thanked Him for slowing me down.  And opening my eyes…and my mind.  And for protecting me and guiding me, even when I get annoyed at my circumstances and forget that He is in control.  Oh! How clear and in focus our hindsight!

 PS…Joy made it safely home, too! 🙂

listen for God

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