Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers

I'm mother to two. Daughter to one. Daughter-in-law to one. Granddaughter to two.

Motherhood is one tough job. It's a job full of love and lots of hard work. Your heart can get torn up and then put back together again. Then torn up again, back together again. It's a viscious cycle.

I suppose motherhood began for me when I was pregnant with Ross. As soon as you see that little baby on a sonogram or feel its body moving around in yours, yep, you know your life is changed forever because you've become a mom.

Being a mom of boys is hard. Different than the difficulties of being a mom to moody girls. Being a mom of boys takes your tender girl heart and places it with those rough and rowdy boys. That causes it to get tossed around quite a bit. And sometimes it gets hurt and you think it's just going to break. And sometimes it becomes so full of love and pride and joy that you feel it just might burst. That's the cycle I was talking about earlier.

I come from a mom who was born and raised in a little town in South Georgia. She grew up on a farm. My MaMa Kimball had four kids, but my mom was her only daughter.

MaMa Kimball was a hard, hard worker. She could work in the field, cook what she brought in from the field, and she did it without complaint. She had a kitchen not even the size of my bathroom, but the food that came out of that kitchen would put to shame any "country cooking" restaurant I've ever been to. She was an excellent seamstress. She sewed most of my mom's clothes. She even held a job outside the home for a little while. When Sunday morning came, my MaMa went to church. No questions asked. She could put on a dress, put on her lipstick and she'd be sitting in a pew at Rosemary Baptist Church in Metter, Georgia. Then after church, they'd sit down and have Sunday dinner, which she would have started before she left for church. She'd serve everyone else before she sat down herself to eat. She could garden and work in the yard as hard as any man could. She always had the prettiest flowers and took a lot of pride in her yard. She died in October of 2003. I miss her. I would love for her to see my life now.

MaMa Howell was one of the strongest, most determined women I've ever known. She raised six kids. One of which was my dad. I know that she prayed over her kids. She had to have, otherwise I doubt my dad would've made it out of his teens. She was an amazing cook, and she truly loved cooking for her family. She'd work in the kitchen, get the food all served, and then she'd go sit on her front porch in her rocking chair and eat Cheetos. She was a devout christian. And there were probably only a handful of Sundays that she wasn't sitting in a pew at St. John Baptist Church every time church was held. She was there the day Crystal and I were saved. My MaMa Howell never got to see all of my dad's grandchildren. She was only able to see Ross. She died in September of 1988. It was a day that she was going to have my mom, me and Ross over for lunch. I miss her, but I KNOW that she's my dad's guardian angel. In some of his encounters with death, he's mentioned seeing her. I know that she's in heaven waiting for all of us. She will probably make some of her yummy fried pies for us when we get there.

My mom is THE strongest woman I've ever known. She raised the three of us girls and taught us how to be who and what we are today. She was stern with disciplining us. But she loved us, and it was evidenced in lots of ways. She sewed lots of our dresses. She took us to church on Sunday mornings. She fed us good, home-cooked meals. Lots of days, she made me tuna sandwiches and sat me down to watch Betwitched when I came home from kindergarten. She gave me guidance and comfort when my heart was broken by a teenage boyfriend and I thought I'd die before my heart would heal. She knows the Bible inside and outside. She is the epitome of dedication. When my mom does something, she does it with all of her heart. I'm blessed that my mom is still here, and I'll see her later today. I'll give her a card and some flowers. She'll say I shouldn't have bought her anything. She's also humble.

And then there's me. I'm mom to Ross and Cameron. I'd have to say that I've been a pretty good mom so far. They won't remember me for my cooking or my sewing or my gardening or for my mild temper and endless patience. I hope they'll remember me for taking them on picnics right in our yard. For reading them books, and playing games. For playing dinosaurs or Matchbox cars with them. For taking them and picking them up from school each day. Helping with homework and even classwork. I especially hope they'll remember me for how much I love them.

I thank God for my grandmothers, for my mom, for my mother-in-law and for my sons.

My bridal shower 1988. Left to right me and my MaMa Howell. Me and Jean, the best mother-in-law ever. Bottom picture is me and my mommy and my MaMa Kimball.

 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Let's Paint

Last night I went to the monthly paint class at Highland. We were doing something called mixed media art. It's where you use different textures, paper and other stuff to complete your painting. We've painted a pumpkin, a Christmas tree and a bird on a snowy branch in the previous classes. Tonight was the hardest yet, but it was also the most fun. I defintely want to try a painting here at home.

We had to make a lot of choices with this painting. What colors, what paper, what textures, etc. I am not good at making choices. So we're given a palette of paint.


And then we get this scary blank canvas.
And then after a couple of hours, I ended up with this. It's nothing great, but I actually like it. Everyone's turned out so good, and some were reeeeeealllly good. I enjoy watching that blank canvas turn into something so pretty.

Alicia has gone with me to all of the classes so far. She and Cam are at Tybee for a little beach weekend getaway. They had a perfect phrase she could've used on her painting. "Don't be afraid to sparkle." She loves sparkly stuff.

I didn't get home until about 9:15, and Jeff had worked outside getting the house and yard spiffed up for Mother's Day, so he hadn't eaten either. We drove down to Freddy's Hamburgers and had the most delicious, sodium-filled cheeseburger ever. And, of course, I had to have a vanilla shake. They do have the best ones, ya know.

I worked in Buckhead, and I had all these fun plans to do when I finished. But there was a terrible plane crash right on 285, so I had to rearrange my plans and really didn't do anything fun at all. Unless you consider spending 3 hours getting a mani/pedi. Which I don't. But my heart and prayers are with the family of the victims of the crash. It killed a father and two of his sons and of the sons' fiancee and a family pet. So sad. Just another reminder how quickly life can change. Not that I need reminding.

Got lots to do today. Farmer's Market, grocery store, planting flowers, helping Jeff finally finish painting the deck. I need some energy. I think all that sodium I ate last night made me sluggish this morning. Oh, well.

Till next time...

 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Twenty-nine Years Celebrated

The County had a retirement celebration for all the County employees that were retiiring this year.

Linda Howell, that's my mommy! It was a very nice party to honor her, and all the other retirees. I saw Ross and Cam's third grade teacher, who is retiring this year. I also saw Cam's 8th grade football/wrestling coach, and he is retiring this year. MY typing teacher and Office Procedures teacher was there, too. At first I thought she was retiring this year. But she would have to have started working when she was like 10 if that was the case. As it turned out, she is a member of the local retired teachers association.

The County did such a nice job. There was good food and the best chocolate covered strawberries. And obviously, cupcakes.

We got her this pretty little corsage to wear. She was the only one with a corsage and I was so proud. She was proud of it, too.

My mom is such a wonderful, dedicated person. She served the County with all she had. She worked on freezing cold mornings, starting that diesel bus about an hour before she had to leave to make sure it would run okay. She drove the bus on the hottest afternoons in August. She drove while my dad was sick. It was, in fact, her early rising that found him a few times with low sugar incidents. What I'm trying to say is that she was a one-of-a-kind employee. And Henry County was lucky to have her.

And I think they knew it, too. Twenty-nine years, some months, plus two years as a substitute bus driver. Can you imagine? I can't.

One of the world's best aunts, Theresa, came to the celebration. She's been retired for several years, and
she hasn't missed it a bit. She's a BellSouth retiree. She was a lot like my mom in her work eithic.

Crystal took the day off to purchase A NEW CAR!!! And to join us in the celbration.

The County gave the retirees a certificate and a nice pen and pencil set. But what they gave them most was respect, appreciation and lots of well wishes.
We were so proud of her!
When we were leaving to go home, there just so happened to be a school bus. Great photo op.

My mom has a great sense of humor and loves a good laugh. I hope she gets to enjoy more laughs! She
deserves it so much. But this is how she really felt about the bus!!!

Crystal, Suz and I got mom a new ipad. She has a tablet that she has been using since Christmas 2012. It was acting up, so we wanted her to have something that was dependablle and easy to use. I hope she loves it. We showed her as many things as we could. You know, the important stuff; Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, of course, my blog, theycallmeganky@blogspot.com, which is my aunt Theresa's blog. My mom is so smart. She'll figure it all out.

So that's what I did yesterday. That and take my dad to his foot doctor. He still can't put any weight on his foot. The ulcer is about the size of an English pea. It's the same size it was last month. It's just a stubborn spot that won't heal. Keep him in your prayers, that the spot would heal so that he can walk on his own a few steps.

Working in Buckhead today. Hopefully, traffic will be light. I like to work in Buckhead. It's close to lots of great shopping. Alicia and Cam are heading to Tybee for the weekend. I hope they won't have bad weather from that tropical storm brewing out there in the Atlantic.

Stilll working on the back deck. Jeff says it will be finish this weekend. EEK. I can't wait to show you all pictures.

Hope you all have a great Friday. Till next time...

 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sunday Night Ice Cream Social

 

Last night the family came over for ice cream cones. It was a special night as it always is when we get together. My house is so quiet now that both Ross and Cam have moved out. I've been surprised that I actually enjoy the peace and quiet. I guess I can enjoy the peacefulness of an empty nest because I know that both my boys are happy. Their happiness fills my heart.

Jeff and I (Jeff mostly) have undertaken a lot of home improvement projects in the recent months. We started by painting Cam's old room and Ross's old room, and their old bathroom. Everything looks so fresh. I admit to sitting in Cam's beloved red and black bedroom and reflecting on things before I could paint over the red and black. As it turned out, we had to hire someone to paint that room. There were 10,967 push pin holes in the walls. We weren't up for spackling all those holes. Plus by the time we got to that room, we were all painted out.

And then over the weekend, we (mostly Jeff) started staining our deck. I did it the last time and it's SOOO much work. Neither of us enjoy painting, but it was a gorgeous weekend and we (mostly Jeff) got a good start. It's going to be so pretty when it's finished.

We are still dealing with my dad's foot problems. But we go to the doctor on Thursday, and I'm praying that the doctor will tell him that he can start putting weight on it. He hasn't walked on his own two feet since late July of last year. I never dreamed that the journey we began almost 10 months ago would last this long. With God's grace and mercy, we have survived it.

My mom actually stopped driving the school bus after 32 years when it became evident that my dad needed her there 24/7. But the county didn't recognize her retirement at that time. They are honoring the county retirees this Thursday. I'm very proud of my mom. She was dedicated to her job. She has been dedicated to my dad. The fact that he's still alive is to her credit. I look forward to honoring her dedication Thursday. And I look forward to honoring her dedication to being my mommy on Mother's Day.

Till next time...

 

Untitled

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

And In Other News...

Ross has been looking at houses. He wants a nice house with lots of land. We have gone through the disappointment of putting the cart before the horse once. He's looking at another place now. It'll work out like it's supposed to, I'm sure of that.

This is the latest picture I have of Ross, Cam and Alicia and me. It was taken on Easter Sunday after church. You'd think now, that Ross is 25 and Cam is 21, that getting a good picture would finally be easy. You'd be so wrong if you thought that. Some things never change. I'm thankful they're not the kind of guys that love to have their pictures taken. That would be weird. But isn't my daughter-in-love gorgeous? I love that girl. And when I tell you what a great catch she is, my daddy told me this morning that Cameron had gotten himself a keeper. He bragged ad bragged on her. And it's all true. I'm so thankful for her.

Tonight they are spending their first night in their new place. It's a barnn apartment. It's just like being in the mountains in a cozy cabin. I am so excited and so, so, so happy for them.
The pretty girl in the green shirt is Ross's girlfriend, Jennifer. If you choose the type of girl you would want Ross with, she's the type you'd choose. They go together like peas and carrots.

 

Daddy has had a restful, calm day. It was what he needed after this weekend. It's a learning curve for all of us. Dealing with him can be challenging when he's feeling perfect, much less when he's sick. Keep us in your prayers. I pray that the beautiful, sunny, warm upcoming week will help his healing process. Tomorrow is May 5th. He plants his garden after May 10th. Let's see how we'll figure this one out.

Till next time... I wish you all a blessed week!

 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

I Can Face Tomorrow Because He Lives

God answered another huge prayer for us last night. My daddy had not been able to sleep in two nights. He was up and down all day and night, fidgety and anxious. It has been terribly exhausting on my mom as well as him. But last night, Crystal went over and visited with them for a few hours. Helped calm the situation down some and gave them both a feeling of security so they could sleep a little while. She left and went home, cried herself to sleep, while Suz and I prayed as hard as we could that sleep would come upon him. We knew that if he slept, my mom could sleep, too. Praise God, he slept. And she slept.
God's beauty and promise that weeping lasts for the night but joy comes in the morning felt so real to me this morning. The birds are singing and the squirrels are all over the place rejoicing in the bright beauty of the morning.
This hydrangea is one that my mom gave me for Valentine's Day. It has a lot of new growth coming up on it. I am curious if anyone who might happen to read my blog has any tips on taking care of it this summer. I may leave it in its pot and see how it fares. Just didn't know if I should plant it in the dirt this year or wait. I want it to live and grow and make pretty pink blooms.
I can face tomorrow just because I know He lives.

Till next time...