Monday, March 24, 2014

In Memory...Mamaw

I cannot say how difficult it is for me to return to blogging after the passing of my grandma.  It just is.  She left this earth a little over a month ago on Saturday, February 22nd, and I have been forever changed.  Besides my mom and sister she was the most influential and important woman in my life.  I still wake up and can't believe Mamaw is really gone.  It was only this past fall that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer...leading to her decline from what seemed to be perfect health.  I rejoice in knowing that she is in Heaven, but am left here on earth with an incredible piece of my heart missing.  I can't wait to be reunited with her one day.  The phrase "heaven is so much sweeter" has a whole new meaning to me.  I have decided to include what I read about her at her funeral.  It's hard to sum up what someone so special means to you in just a few words, but this was what I felt inspired to write.


There are many things that I love about my grandma...her spunk and quick wit, her cooking, her artistic abilities, her devotion to Papaw and her family, her passion for God and unwavering faith...but what I will miss the most will hands down be conversations with her.  Anyone that has been around Mamaw, let’s say at least 5 minutes, will tell you she is a talker.  She is the kind of talker that if you were ever disconnected during a phone conversation with her, it would take her a good minute or two for her to realize that she was alone on the line.  THIS is what I loved most about her.  Not the things she would spoil me with or places she would take me, but the talks with her.  As I sat beside her in the bed on Saturday morning...her phrases and her words began to run through my mind.   I am going to share a few with you that she said more than once to me.

  1. I would often get to go with her on her weekly trips to the thrift store. As soon as we would get in the car she would say, “Here is a wet wipe.  Always clean your hands when leaving the thrift store.”
  2. Her driving was always my kind of driving...quick. When pulling out of a parking space she would often say, “Is anything behind me, except a Mac truck?”
  3. “Help me string these beans.”  She taught me how to do this well, although I was never able to work as fast as her. But this is definitely   was one phrase that was on repeat during the summer.  Papaw’s garden kept us busy.
  4. “Did you know there are 31 chapters in Proverbs?  Since most months have 31 days, it would be a good idea to read a chapter/day.”
  5. While discussing a problem of mine with her she would usually interrupt in the middle of the conversation and say, “Let’s pray about it.” 
  6. “Do you want to go to Tom’s for lunch?  They have the best root beer, burgers, and onion rings.”  She was definitely right about that, too.
  7. Anytime I would ask if she could do anything on a Saturday her reply was always, “You know it’s Saturday and this is the day I study for my Sunday School lesson.”  She took her Sunday School class seriously.
  8. After staying all night with her, in the morning she would often say, “Let’s go down to the church.  I am going to pray.”  Although I’m not sure how much praying she accomplished seeing as I was usually attempting to play the piano the entire time.”
  9. “Always honor your family and let your husband be your leader.” She not only said this to me, but she also lived it out in front of me. 
  10. Lastly, the phrase that meant the most to me was the one she told me the most, “Jessica, I am so proud of you.  I am so glad you love the Lord.”  

As I say goodbye to her here on earth I would like to say those words back to her. “Mamaw, I’m so proud of you.  I could not be more proud to call you “my grandma”.  Thank you for your legacy.  Proverbs 31 defines the virtuous woman...which I happen to think you are the epitome of. In verse 28 it says "her children shall rise up and call her blessed." Today i want to honor you by telling you that you were blessed. You challenged my life and I will forever be changed by you. I love you and can’t wait to meet again soon.”

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  We are sending lots of love your way today.  May God bless you and surround you with His love!

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13

 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

God is love. 1 John 4:8

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:8

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines for the Making

With Valentine's Day soon approaching we decided to get our act together this week and make Valentine's cards with Jude.  There's nothing like procrastination to get ya moving.  Actually we bought the supplies for the cards a few weeks ago, but never got around to the fun part of making them.  We decided to go with a homemade Valentine again (you may remember this post from last year's card).  This year's idea was not original.  I honestly can't remember where I saw it...maybe Etsy, Pinterest, or Instagram.  I sure am glad I did though, because Jude loved making these.  He loves balloons especially when he gets to try and blow them up so that made this craft interesting and fun.  Try explaining to a two-year-old why he can't put his mouth on the balloons he is giving away.  Yep, not so easy.  Another thing that is not the easiest...guiding Jude's hand to write his name.  He is as independent as they come, so letting someone help is not the coolest.  Nevertheless, they turned out pretty cute and now we can't wait to deliver them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's Matt's Birthday!

Today is Matt's birthday.  I love celebrating the man I love and get to share my life with.  In order to avoid sounding like a sappy birthday card, I will try to keep the romantic talk to a minimum.  However, I must say that this man is a true blessing to me.  I have not been the easiest woman to live with over the past month (and that's another story for another time), but he has been loving and attentive.  This isn't out of the ordinary either.  And not only is he great to me, but he is so good with our Jude.  I hope Jude realizes what a treasure he has in a dad.  Oh, and if Jude turns out to be like Matt, he certainly will be doing more than alright.  There are many aspects of Matt that I could tell you about (i.e. the intense passion he has for Christ, his mad teaching skills, the out-of-this-world youth pastor he is, his outrageous sneaker collection, his handy dandy DIY abilities), but I need to get back to celebrating with him.  So happy birthday, Matt!  Let's celebrate (and hopefully that includes cake).  ;)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Making Dough in the Snow

Another snow day for us today.  Not that I am complaining.  I mean, I got to spend the entire day with my boys!  But the snow is starting to get to me.  There are only so many things that you can do at your house until you start to get a little bonkers.  Today we tried to thwart that feeling by making Jude some homemade playdough after breakfast.  It was suuuper easy to make and he really enjoyed playing with it...that is, after he licked and realized it was not food.  His favorite was rolling the dough to into "nakes" (aka snakes).  Here is the recipe we used.  However I didn't have vegetable oil and had to use canola oil instead...which didn't seem to make a difference.  Happy playdough making!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Warm Thoughts

As I sit and write this the current temperature is 8 degrees.  Not too bad, right?!?!  Especially considering that that is the highest it's been all day.  Not to mention the wind chill factor! Will we ever break from this frrreeeezing weather?  Sure, I know we will, but until then maybe we should all take a vacation somewhere far south.  Not enough money?  No time off work?  Yep, same thing here.  Sad times.  All may not last, though.  There is an alternative.  Last Tuesday (another day of subzero temps), Matt suggested that we go the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati to see their Spring exhibit.  This man is brilliant, I tell ya, because it was definitely the perfect quick and cheap break from the cold.  Jude had the best time.  He was in the best mood and ran around the place like it was a playground.  If you are needing some reprieve from the cold, we highly suggest a visit.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Getting Out of the House

We've reentered the blogosphere after a quick break.  It started out as just a few days, but then it was kind of nice so we stretched it a little further.  Let's play catch up, shall we?  Not sure how the weather has been where you are from, but that is pretty much all the talk here in the Midwest.  We are experiencing a record breaking winter for snow and cold temperatures.  While most are pretty frustrated at this, Matt & I have had a few two-hour delays and snow days. H O O R A Y for more family time.  We've spent a lot of those days holed up in the house playing trains with Jude.  Even with how great being home is, it can still make you a little stir crazy.  This weekend we didn't let the weather deter us from venturing about.  We got the privilege of watching Blayze for my sister on Monday, so with a one-year-old and two-year-old in tow we made a break for the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.  This activity was definitely a winner.  It was so much better than being a toy referee all day long.  We loved the live native animals, exhibits of history and science, water play area, and Planetarium.  This is a must for a future cold, snowy, or rainy day.