About me: I am a child of God, a daughter, a sister, niece, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, an aunt, a mother, a mother-in-law, a grandmother, a teacher, and a friend which is my life in a nutshell.
I did not get a chance to blog on Norman's birthday but I would like to do that now. He is kind, thoughtful and generous, a hard worker, a good provider and a wonderful father to our children. Sometimes he makes me mad and we do not always agree but I would not trade him for anything in this world. It is very comforting to have him by my side through good times and bad. I am blessed to have him as my much better half.
Believe me I know how long it has been since my last blog!!! It is not that I don't want you to know what all I have been doing but it is finding the time to write it all down. I finished school last Friday, December 14 and do not have to return until Jan 2!!! Yes, I love my job!!!!!!!!!! Things around the Norman household have been very exciting with the anticipation of Christmas and four very excited grandchildren under the age of 7, a dog in heat and a 22 year old home from college. I am so blessed to be able to spend this time with them even though it is hectic most of the time. This morning I was able to snuggle with the three boys and read with them for about an hour in my nice warm bed. Boy, their feet are cold when they crawl into my bed!!!! Reading to them is one of my favorite things to do. We did attempt a gingerbread house yesterday. Lets just say ours did not look exactly like the cute picture on the box and I would definitely not want to eat it!!! YUCK!! Samuel arrived yesterday and it is sooooo good to have him home. He always keeps things lively. Sara and Ryan are both finished for this semester and boy am I glad!!!! Norman is on the road this week but we were able to enjoy his office Christmas party on Friday night. They always have the best food! On Saturday I spent the day with Summer and Sara doing our Christmas baking. It was a lot of fun and everything turned out so pretty. I love my girls!!! They are such a team when it comes to stuff like that. Thanks to Norman and Luke for babysitting for us. It really meant alot to me. A special thanks to Josh for bringing us lunch and going back in the rain to the grocery store. We missed Ryan but are so very thankful that his dad is doing so much better. We look forward to them coming this weekend and seeing Luke Baines and Katie. Thanks to Summer for letting us trash her house!!! I want to make this an annual event. I am soooo looking forward to everyone being here for Christmas. I have not sent Christmas cards again this year but I do hope everyone knows how much we love you and hope you and yours have a very wonderful Christmas and a very blessed New Year. Until next year....
Yesterday, December the 8th was a very special day for me. Twenty-nine years ago on that day @ 12:04pm, after 24 hours of labor, I became a mom. When they laid that precious little baby girl in my arms, Norman said a complete peace came over my face. She was beautiful!!! However, there was one problem. She did not come with an instruction manual!!! We had taken Lamaze Classes for weeks and learned the latest and greatest way to get her into this world easily with the use of certain breathing techniques(Yeah right!!!!) but they forgot to tell us what to do with her after she got here. Thank goodness my mom was there with us for two weeks afterwards or she might not have survived. I was going to be the perfect mom and use those soft cloth diapers, make all her baby food and never give her sugary sweets!!!!! Boy, did I have a lot to learn!! The day my mom left to go home I folder diapers for an hour and then promptly sent Norman to the store for a large box of disposal diapers. I boiled her pacifier to the bottom of the pan. And one night when she cried and cried and cried I began to cry right along with her wondering what on earth to do!!!! I had no idea. She was the guinea pig!!!!! The first to cut a tooth, the first to say, "Momma", the first to walk and talk, the first to start to school, the first to become a teenager, the first to drive, the first to have a date, the first to graduate from high school, the first to get married. And despite all my many, many shortcomings she survived all that and has now become a wonderful wife and mother. She has always been very self-motivated. Whenever she made up her mind to do something she did it!!!! She graduated Valedictorian of her class and received numerous scholarships to college. (I think they actually paid her to go). She took 21 hours the semester before her wedding and almost made all A's. She has been on two trips to Ukraine and has found time in her schedule to keep in touch with many of the young people there helping to make a difference in their lives. She is a good big sister to all of her siblings and even manages to keep me focused when I get side-tracked. She is very thoughtful, always wanting to do for others. She will graduate from college in May after much hard work and determination. She is not only my precious first born but my friend. I love her very much. Thank you, Sara for blessing my life in so many, many ways.
Well I am not sure how many post you can have in one day but I do have a lot of catching up to do. Yesterday Norman gave me a GPS Navigation Gadget for my birthday. We had been very busy so we did not get to read the directions before we got in the car to come home from our Thanksgiving Family Reunion. We hooked it up to the charger and attached it to the windshield. I was driving. It was a new experience for me. I had heard about these things but had never had the opportunity to use one. First of all, I thought it would give me a little more warning than it did about turns I needed to make and second of all I thought it would be a little more chatty-sort of like the self-check out at Wal Mart that keeps repeating "Help is on the way!" or the annoying voice at Kroger that shouts "Do you qualify for a "Senior Citizen's Discount?" Anyway, we proceded on our way which was a different way than we usually travel so the territory was very unfamiliar. I knew we were suppose to get on Highway 231 N but we kept passing turns that said Highway 231 N and it still did not say a word about turning. I thought maybe it did not know where we were going. Norman kept telling me I was just going to have to trust it. He assured me that it would let me know when I needed to turn. And sure enough, after a while it spoke and told us to turn onto the right road. Later on I missed a turn and it said it was rerouting us. Once again it came through and directed us to the correct road. As we neared Atlanta the traffic became snarled and we had to make a detour. It was not going to be the shortest way but it turned out to be a beautiful drive back through the country. The fall leaves were gorgeous as they reflected in the ponds along the way. As we were traveling along I got to thinking how much using this GPS was like trusting in God. First of all, had I read the directions for the GPS I would not have had such a difficult time following the information it gave me. The Bible is my directions for life and if I would study it more often than I do I would understand the directions for my life a little better. Secondly, I wasn't sure this GPS thing knew the best way for me to go. It was very hard for me to rely on something I could not see. I wanted to take the other roads that I saw, the roads I thought would be the best way. I wanted to rely on my own knowledge, to do what I thought was best. So many times I do that with God. I know He knows what is best for me but I sometimes want to do things my way. To trust my judgment, to rely on me instead of HIM. Thirdly, just like I made a mistake while I was driving and the GPS put me back on track, God will do that for me in my life. The road we turned down was not the best road and we had to spend some time turning this way and that but eventually by trusting in the GPS we were soon back on our merry way. So goes with God. When I decide to do things my way instead of God's way I have to go through things that are difficult and not very pleasant but He is there always leading me back in the right direction. Fourthly, we were not very excited about taking the detour because we were not sure how long it would take or where it would lead us. We were unsure of the outcome. God sometimes gives us detours in life and we don't understand why or how things will every work out for our good but once again God is there watching over us and helping us through our difficult detours in life. Hopefully, we learn things from our journey, things we might not have learned without the detour. And finally, we arrived home, safe and sound. God will lead us to our final destination to heaven if we just will follow HIM. He is our GPS in life.
On Friday, November 23rd we celebrated our baby's birthday. He was 22!! Oh how quickly time has passed!!! Samuel was born on a Saturday at 7:08 am. He weighed 8lbs 3oz. and was 20 1/2 inches long. He had a head full of black hair and everyone thought he was beautiful! When he was just 5 hours old he watched his first football game with his Daddy. Tennessee beat Kentucky to win the SEC Championship.(How about them VOLS!!! They did it again!!!!) He grew and grew. By the time he was 4 months old he weighed almost 20 lbs. He was everyone's baby...sooooo cute!!! People everywhere were drawn to him and his funny, little personality. He was a HAM from the very beginning!!!! At age 1 he could hum songs with perfect pitch. He learned to swim at 18 months and by age 2 he was talking in complete sentences. Samuel was very inquisitive. He was into everything- he poured out the laundry detergent and the gasoline, he stuck his hands in the oil while Norman was changing it, he pulled out the cassette tapes, dropped a dozen eggs, poured out a gallon of tea, cut himself shaving with his daddy's razor, and pulled the curtains down twice. After a while I just wrote: "No time to write in babybook". He made the "Strong-Willed Child" look like a weakling. Just when I thought I had all my ducks in a row...I began to have a steady diet of "CROW". Yes, Samuel has taught me many things about life...the first being "Never say never when it comes to children!" or "If that were my child I'd..." Believe me I did!!! He questioned everything we did or thought about doing. He could not except, "Because I said so" for an answer. He was the baby of the neighborhood but that did not stop him from trying to hit the ball farther, make that outside shot or score a goal. That just made him want to show them all he could do it!!! And he did. He grew to be 6'3" and went on to be an outstanding basketball and soccer player, leading his teams to many Region Championships. He was voted Most School Spirited and was Valedictorian of his graduating class. He received a soccer scholarship as well as many academic scholarships. At Shorter College he received awards for Best Offensive Player and Best Defensive Player. He was recently inducted to the Alpha Chi Honor Society. I am very proud of Samuel and all of his accomplishments. He is blessed by God to be so gifted academically and physically. And I pray daily that he will use these talents for God's glory. He has truly been a blessing to me. Has the road always been easy for us? Absolutely not!!! Did I yell and scream and cry? You bet I did!!! Has it been a wonderful journey? You bet ya!!! He has taught me humility, laughter and love. I love him dearly and I thank God daily for blessing me with this gift from God, my precious baby, Samuel.
While we were home Sara and I went through some old letters that my Mom had saved from years past. It was like reading a blog of my life. Letter writing is almost none existent today with emails, cell phones and blogs but it was really neat to go back and read the news of long ago. I came across several interesting things. One of which I would like to share with you all. I am not sure of the author but I thought it was definitely worth sharing for those of you that are like myself-who tend to worry. There are two days in the week upon which and about which I never worry. Two carefree days kept sacredly from fear and apprehensions. One of these days is yesterday. Yesterday with its cares and frets and all its pains and aches, all its faults, its mistakes and blunders, has passed forever beyond my recall. It was mine; it is now God's. And the other day that I do not worry about is tomorrow. Tomorrow with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its perils, its large promises and poor performance, its failures and mistakes, is as far beyond my mastery as its dead sister yesterday. Tomorrow is God's day; it will be mine. There is left for myself then, but one day in the week...today. Any man can fight the battles of today. Any woman can carry the burdens of just one day; any man can resist the temptation of today. It is only when we willingly add the burdens of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, such burdens as only the mighty God can sustain, that we breakdown. It isn't the experience of today that drives men mad. It is the remorse of what happened yesterday, and fear of what tomorrow might bring. These are God's days...leave them to HIM.
Sorry it has been so long since my last blog but things have been a little hectic. I will start with our night on the town. Norman and I met another couple at 5:30 at StoneCrest Mall. We were talking and catching up on news and missed our turn where 75/85 split. We could not turn around because 75 south was deadlocked with the evening ATL traffic. Norman thought if we took the next exit we could get over to where we needed to be... well to make a very looooooooong story short we had a nice loooooooooong drive to all parts of ATL. We arrived just as the "Cocktail Hour" was over-thank goodness. The evening was very nice and the dinner was delicious! The next day Sara, the kids and I left for my Mom and Dad's. We had a very nice visit with them except for the fact that my Dad was down in his back again and was not able to be up and about. We stayed in Valparaiso until Wednesday at which time we all (my sister and all of her family, Ryan's mom and dad, my Aunt Sarah and all of my family) of us - I think there were around 38 - met at a lovely beach house at SeaCrest Beach. We had 12 children under 12. Needless to say things were very lively!!!! We made sushi, played soccer, rode bikes, canoed, cooked, made pictures on the beach, did a Tae Bo workout, did a talent show, cooked, swam, walked on the beach, took more pictures, celebrated birthdays, cooked, had a shower of money for a special 22 year old, played games, cooked and ate, and ate, and ate. It was so good to get together with everyone. This is the first time in several years that all of us have been able to get together. I appreciate so much everyone making the effort to be there. I know how hard it is on some of you. It was such a memorable Thanksgiving. Thanks Ma and Papa for providing us with such a great place and thanks to Auntie for all the leg work to make it happen. You are amazing!!!!!!
Hello to all (or none) I am now the proud owner of a "cocktail dress". Norman and I have to attend a dinner/Harvest Celebration for the Georgia AgriBuisness Counsel on Friday. The invitation said "women's attire: cocktail dress"-well beings that I have never had a cocktail in my life, I wasn't exactly sure what to look for in the dress department. My wonderful son-in-law heard of my concerns and quickly located the definition of "cocktail dress"(which is by the way: a dress suitable for formal occasions "a little black dress". I, however, needed to get it big enough to fit over these not so little hips. So thanks to a great sales clerk at Maurice's who help me not only choose an appropriate dress but helped me accessorize as well with matching necklace and earrings (Sara called it "Bling Bling") was set. I then proceeded to Kohls for a new pair of black heels(I opted not to get the red ones) and sheer black panty hose complete with control top and sandlefoot toe. Hopefully this will hold in the tummy and cover the vericose veins in these not so shapely legs. I am now good to go to this "free" dinner that ended up costing Norman ???? Of course when I arrived home with my wears my wonderful son-in-law came through again with a reassuring comment "If it is a cocktail party, it won't really matter what you wear because no one there will remember what you had on anyway!" Well it is late and I need to get to bed as I was up late last night practicing for an upcoming family talent show. Until next time.....
P.S. Look for me in the Sunday addition of the AJC-I am sure to make the Local News with the headlines reading something like this:"Grandmother of Four Knocks 'Em Dead When She Trips and Falls in Her High Heels and Little Black Dress!"Ha Ha
Well sorry I have not posted lately but once I got back from my trip back in time ...it was back to the wild and crazy place that I live!!!!! I am not complaining. I love having everyone near. In fact, there is a HUGE (I mean GIGANTIC!!!) house that is coming up for action in December-one of those foreclosure deals, anyway Norman and I were by there the other day and talking about it being big enough for everybody!! Wouldn't that be GREAT - Samuel, Luke, Josh and Summer????? We got back late Wednesday night. We stopped and had supper with Summer, Josh, Sara and Luke to celebrate Summer's birthday. It was alot of fun but we were late getting home and Thursday was a long day. We are very busy at work getting ready for visit on Tuesday. I went in about 6:30 on Friday to try and get caught up after being gone for a week to Tennessee. Yesterday Sara and I cleaned out summer and outgrown clothes for the boys and Sydney. This is a constant job but one of my favorite things to do. We did get quite alot accomplished. Today Norman and I visited some folks in the hospital and then he left for DC. I came home and put puzzles together with the boys and played with Sydney while Sara took a test online. That is all for now. I do hope everyone has a great week.
Well today is a very special day...27 years ago our family was blessed with another precious baby daughter. At the time we had no idea what a blessing she would be to each of us with her big ole brown eyes that sometimes roll when things don't go her way. She has always had a gift for sensing when someone was hurting and needed a hug. You know how moms are-they always try to act like nothing is wrong or bothering them but Summer could always read right through me and was always there with an encouraging word, smile or hug. As my children can all a test ...back in the old home schooling days I would sometimes get a little stressed out(could we say that was an understatement). Summer would sense it right away!!! She would reassure me that everything was going to be ok. And even though my stresses are different today, she is still right there encouraging me all the way. Summer also has tremendous love and patience with her daddy as well. She is such a great sister!!! She loves her sister and brothers so much and would give them the shirt off her back if they needed it (of course, she has taken many of their shirts in the past-with and without them knowing it). As an aunt, Summer cannot be topped!!!!! She is always there for every special event, ballgame or just for fun. They cannot wait for Aunt Summer to come for a visit and hands down she gives the best birthday presents of anyone(no offense boys). Her compassion, love and respect for her grandparents has built a very special bond between them. She is a good wife and a true friend to all who know her. We have truly been blessed to have her in our life and I thank God everyday for blessing me so abundantly!!! I love you, Summer and hope you have a wonderful birthday!
If all goes well we will be returning home tomorrow. Papa came home today and is still a little weak but overall he is doing pretty good for an 83 year old who has been in the hospital 5 times in the last three weeks-ER visit with chest pains, heart cath, stint placement in right artery, pacemaker placement, and stint placement in left artery. And all he was worried about was forgetting his comb when he got to hospital! He is amazing. Meme rested well last night but still does not have much of an appetite or energy. Hopefully, she will be better soon. Norman and I got some winterizing done today to the house by replacing some outside vents with some solar ones, covering the faucets, bringing in the water hoses and replacing a shutter that had blown off in a storm a couple of weeks back. It was nice to be able to do something to help them after all the help that they have been to us over the years. We look forward to getting back to see the grandbabies and to celebrate our baby daughters 27th birthday!!! Hope all is well with everyone this beautiful fall day. Until next time...
I am not sure that anything I write will be of interest but I guess it really doesn't matter since I will never know who reads or who deletes. Although my life is busy, I am basically a very simple person. I love to laugh and sometimes I cry. I love the Lord with all my heart and I am so very thankful to Him for life itself. This week I am spending time in Tennessee with my in-laws. I don't really like that phrase because it has become so negative. I love my mother and father-in-law as if they were my own parents because they have always loved and treated me as if I were their very own. This place brings back so many fond memories. Memories of my first date with Norman on horseback, shelling peas on the hill, popcorn, homeschooling with the children, Christmases past, fried pies, sweet tea and funerals of special people that I grew to love when I entered this wonderful Norman family-a family rich in hertiage, family values and Christian faith. The lay of the land is absolutely breath-taking in the fall. Coming to Bradford is like stepping into a time machine and traveling back in time when the pace of life was slow, neighbors knew your where abouts and even stopped in for a visit from time to time. I have truly enjoyed this time here. Well stay tuned for another exciting adventure in the life and times of Me! I know you will be waiting on the edge of your seat. Until then...
Well everyone has been after me to start a "blog" so here I am with my very on blog. By definition a blog is "an easy-to-use web site, where you can quickly post thoughts, interact with people, and more. All for FREE."