Stop, Stop, Stop! Go, Go, Go!

August 19, 2011


When Hubby was teaching young Gunny to drive, during one of their first lessons Gunny was at the wheel when they approached an intersection where they had a stop sign but the street they were crossing didn’t.

When Gunny didn’t start putting the break on, Hubby started saying, “Stop, Stop, Stop!”  But the new driver didn’t get stopped and was coasting into the middle of the intersection … and there was a car coming on the cross street!  So while Gunny was still trying to follow Hubby’s first instruction, Hubby then began yelling, “Go, Go, Go!”  Luckily, Gunny was able to stop trying to stop and start putting on the gas so that they were able to make it through the intersection without being hit.  While Gunny did learn to drive and drive well, the story still gets a laugh when it comes up occasionally at family gatherings.

But I was reminded of it last week when I was playing golf.  After I putted from way across the green toward the hole, I was worried that I hadn’t hit the ball hard enough and started saying, “Go, Go, Go!”  But then as it skirted the hole and started rolling down the sloping far side of the green, I changed my plea to “Stop, Stop, Stop!”.

Gunny may have wished that Hubby would make up his mind … and the ball may have wished the same of me.


Psycho Mom

June 2, 2011

DD and her girls know a family with eight children who enjoy calling their mom Psycho Mom when she gets a little irate about something they are doing.  So DD’s girls now sometimes call her Psycho Mom when she gets a little irate with something they are doing.

Recently DD and her brother, Gunny, had an interesting phone conversation:

DD:  When I want to warn the girls that I think they are getting wayyyy out of line, I will say something like, “Psycho Mom is on her way and we all know you don’t want that!”

Gunny:  Oh, I can picture that!

DD:  I don’t think so.  You couldn’t possibly imagine what Psycho Mom looks like.

Gunny:  Does she look anything like Psycho Sister?

DD:  Oh, yeah, okay maybe you do know what she looks like.

We raised a couple of really funny kids, when they aren’t being “psycho” of course.

A Long Blink

March 30, 2011

They were sitting in the living room visiting.  The room was fairly dark except for indirect afternoon sunlight coming in through the windows.  He was sitting in front of the windows.  She was sitting on the sofa facing him, so he was backlit by the windows and his face was somewhat shadowed.

It had been a busy, fun but tiring week so she was thinking how nice a nap would feel.  But, gosh, they didn’t get to visit that often and he would be leaving tomorrow.  So, she decided napping would just have to wait until after he was gone.

They were discussing the Count of Monte Cristo — a book he was reading and recommending to her.  Even though she hadn’t read the book, she had seen two movies based on the book, so she was familiar with the main characters and plot.

All of a sudden she noticed he had stopped talking and was just looking at her.  So she said, “Well, it does sound like I would enjoy that book.”  And then she said she needed to go start preparations for supper, so they moved into the kitchen, where they continued to chat as she prepared supper.

Later, he mentioned to Dad that he thought maybe he and the kids had stayed one day too long.  When Dad asked what made him think that.  He said, “Mom fell asleep while I was talking to her this afternoon.”  He said this within Mom’s hearing and then gave her a little knowing smile.  Of course, she immediately denied the idea that she had fallen asleep (although she did remember that when she was talking to him, the light coming in from the windows made her eyes verrrry tired).  She asserted that actually she must have just closed her eyes to better picture the extra points of the story that were in the book but not in the movies.

Hummm, apparently her eyes had been closed too long for that boat to float.  He said, “Well, Mom if that’s the case, that couple minutes was the longest blink known to man.”  Then we all laughed.

The next day they were gone and I took a nap.  But I’m still glad I didn’t waste any of the time while they were here taking naps, notwithstanding that verrrrry long blink.




You might be surprised at what God is preparing you for!

February 27, 2011

Much of the twenty years Gunny served in the Marines, he was managing (and mentoring) young men in a shop that tested and repaired helicopter parts.  And during that time he got his degree in business and finance with the plan to use his degree to get a job after the Marines.  When he retired after 20 years, he took a job as a manager with a roofing manufacturer, and his favorite part of that job was that he did safety training for employee’s at the company’s plants all over the country.   He really enjoyed that job, but he worked long hours, traveled alot, and he spent almost three hours commuting every day.  So, last year he started looking around for what he could do closer to home.  And when he really thought about it, he realized that what he had enjoyed most in the Marines was working with and teaching young Marines.  And in his civilian job, what he had enjoyed most was training people.  So, he contacted Troops to Teachers and they directed him on the path to getting the training and licensing to become a math (a subject he loves) teacher.  He has just become a high school math teacher in Tulsa and is excited about teaching.  I can imagine that if you had said to that young Marine all those years ago that someday he would be a high school math teacher, he would have said, “No way!”  But apparently God had a plan for him to teach teenagers to not be afraid of math and maybe even come to love it as he does.  And God used his other jobs to prepare him for what I think is going to turn out to be his dream job.

DD was downsized from a very good position as VP of Human Resources with a furniture company last year.  And even though she has diligently sent out resumes and done interviews, she still hasn’t found a job.  But we are proud of how she has handled these trying times.  She is trusting in the Lord to show her what her next job will be.  In the meantime, she is coaching club volleyball, and enjoying it.  Who knows what job is in DD’s future.  But we too are trusting that at some point God will show her the perfect job for her, the one He has prepared her for with all the other jobs and experiences she has had up to now.

Fun times go fast!

March 24, 2010


Nikki and Jay were here last week for their spring break, and we had a great time.  We went to Cinema Grille twice! (Alice in Wonderland received good reviews from all of us — Diary of a Wimpy Kid, not so much, but I thought it was cute!  Although, it was typical middle school humor, i.e., gross at times.)

    Hubby and Jay went to the gym every day.

    And Nikki and I went to the gym one day too.

    But then we thought, “Hmmm.  There has to be a way to get our exercise without sweating!”

    Soooo, we came up with a brilliant solution — we got our exercise the rest of the week by shopping! … and getting haircuts and …

   … making cake balls!  I made the balls — she dipped and decorated them.  Didn’t she do a great job?

      At the end of dinner one night, something we talked about reminded Hubby of a couple of  harmonicas he had in the back of a drawer, so he got them out to give to Nikki and Jay.  But while Nikki finished eating, Hubby and Jay teamed up to “serenade” her on the harmonicas.  (Well, when I really think about it, it was more like “dueling banjoes” than a serenade!)

   We all laughed alot.

   But even though Hubby got out the harmonicas as a joke, Jay immediately began to produce some actual music with his!  Hubby has never had music lessons and doesn’t like to sing, but he has always been musical.  He can whistle beautifully and has always been able to sit down at a piano and play or play a tune on a harmonica.  And as fast as Jay took to the harmonica, I would guess he has inherited some of that same ability.

   I took this on the morning we were leaving to take them back for the “hand-off” to Gunny in St. Louis.  They had just gotten up, can you tell?  While Hubby packed the car, I suggested the three of us take a short walk just to give our legs a good stretch before beginning that long ride in the car.

   We walked part way around the lake and there were signs of spring everywhere …

   When we crossed a bridge, we looked down and saw tiny fish passing underneath.

   A couple of ducks were on a roof top, probably looking for a good place to build a nest.  (Oh oh, I think they’re looking toward our house.  There is a spot near our front door where, even when we try to discourage it, a mama duck makes a nest every year!)

   As soon as we returned, it was time for them to go home.   

Just one short week out of a whole year that we spend with just the two of them.  I hope we have given them some good memories, because they have definitely given us many!

Time really does fly when you’re having fun — especially with two people you love very much.

“Today I am a man.”

December 11, 2009


   The three wrestlers about a year ago.  Jay is about 5 inches taller now.

Because we’ve been married 44 years, there aren’t too many things I don’t know about Hubby.  So, it was interesting  last week to be on the phone with him and Gunny and listen to them talking about their wrestling experiences in high school, sparked by the fact that Jay, Gunny’s son and our only grandson, has just started wrestling as a freshman (on varsity! — the proud Nana said).

Gunny said that he remembered his first “pin” (win).  It was a guy who had beaten him the first time they competed.  He said achieving that “first” was almost as much fun as seeing the shocked look on the other kid’s face that Gunny had beaten him this time.

Hubby surprised me when he said he remembered that first win for Gunny too.  Gosh, I think I went to most of Gunny’s wrestling matches, but I honestly don’t remember much about them.  But, I guess it’s okay because apparently Hubby remembers Gunny’s wrestling experience much better than I do.  Probably because I never wrestled!

Then Hubby told us about his first win in wrestling, which I don’t remember ever hearing before.  He said that when he walked back to the team bench, apparently he must have looked pretty proud of himself because the coach smiled at him and said “Today, I am a man.”  A funny but nice tease about his obvious pride but also an acknowledgement of his achievement.  

And now last night Jay called to tell us that he had had his first “pin”!  A milestone in his life that he wanted to share with both of us, but especially Grandpa.

“Today, I am a man.”

Thankful for Family Time

November 8, 2009


Two weekends ago we visited Gunny and his family for a very busy long weekend.  Our goals while we were there were — to see Nikki cheer at a varsity football game — to celebrate her 16th birthday — to attend her and Jays’ confirmation — to see Jay play on the freshman football team — and to squeeze in some visiting time whereever we could.   And we managed to do it all!

On Friday night:

100_5943  Because of the confirmation we didn’t have any flexibility in which weekend we visited, so if we wanted to see Nikki cheer we would have to drive to a game on Friday night two and a half hours away!  But when you live as far away as we do, you have to take opportunities as they present themselves, so we made the trip and were glad we did.

100_5952g  It was an exciting game that our team won in the last few minutes.




100_5965f  Nikki with a close friend who is also a cheerleader.

100_5966f   It was realllly cold and I hadn’t thought to take gloves, so Dilly was kind enough to lend me one of hers.  Not a perfect, solution but at least it helped!  (It’s hard to see, but we had our gloved hands clasped together in the middle.)

On Saturday:

100_5970   We celebrated Nikki’s 16th birthday!

100_5975r   We couldn’t decide on what kind of cake to buy at the fantastic local bakery, so we bought two small ones — one lemon and one red velvet.

100_5969g   But, as her special birthday “cake” Nikki opted for a slice of strawberry cheesecake, and then we bought this humongus candle to go on top that was about the same size as the slice it was sitting on!

100_5972g   I wanted to get a nice family picture of them.  But, Jay was goofing off a little.

100_5971ff   So, he and Gunny “discussed” how he should pose for the picture …

100_5973f   … ahhh, much better.

100_5981f   I love this picture.  Nikki knows how to smile for a picture, but Jay does have trouble deciding how he should pose.  So I like this one because he just looks like him — no pose at all!

100_5982   I don’t know.  Do you think you can tell they’re related? I kind of think so.

100_5983h   And these two look a little alike too.

On Sunday morning:

100_5988g   Nikki and Jay were confirmed into the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  They each had to ask someone to stand with them at the front and read their confirmation bible verse, and they asked Hubby and me.  Hubby for Jay and me for Nikki.  We were very honored that they asked us.




On Monday night:  We enjoyed watching Jay’s freshman football team win their game.  Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as cold as it had been for the varsity game on Friday night!  But, unfortunately I forgot my camera, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that he was very cute (in a “manly” sort of way, of course) in his uniform and played well.

Early Tuesday morning:

100_6014s   Gunny met us for breakfast before we left town.  We had to wait a few minutes for the doors of the restaurant to open at 6 a.m.!

Thank you Father for the wonderful time we got to spend with our loved ones.

Answered Prayer

September 6, 2009


Almost exactly two years after it was first put on the market, Gunny and Dillys’ house in the city they used to live in 16 hours away has sold!  The closing was Friday.  Thank you, God.

They can now move on with their lives.  As Dilly told me several months ago, “We can’t totally live here until we sell that house.  We still have ‘one foot’ there!” 

So, now, Dilly, Gunny, their two teenagers and their two Great Dane dogs, who have all lived “like a can of sardines” in a very small apartment for what seems like a verrrry long time, can finally decide where they want to live permanently in their new city.

As with most challenging events in the lives of those we love, it was hard to see them go through the long wait for that house to sell.  But they have actually been pretty happy in their cramped apartment, and have said that they are coming away from this experience with a very different outlook on what is required for happiness!

It’s wonderful that they are taking away from this experience some great memories and life-lessons learned, but that doesn’t stop any of us from being very, very relieved that the house has finally sold.

Thank you, God, for answered prayer.

Mimi Shares the Spotlight!

July 24, 2009


DD’s daughter, Mimi, is our youngest grandchild.  Consequently, she gets more than her fair share of the attention when she is around.

P1020198(1)  And it doesn’t hurt that Mimi (5), makes photography fun — she’s always doing something photo-worthy.  Don’t worry, the tattoo isn’t real.  She got it at an amusement park the day before.

But, when we were together on the Fourth, our oldest granddaughter was there with her husband and son, JJ (who is almost 2).  So, there was a new “star” … everyone wanted to play with and be around JJ.  And, we weren’t totally sure how that would play with Mimi.  How would she take to suddenly having to share the spotlight?

Well, we needn’t have worried:

P1020269(1)  First of all, she has a photo-worthy sense of style.  She can wear hair pretties and a girly dress, along with a tattoo, and carry it off! 

(btw, as you can see, DD and I sometimes get in each other’s way when taking our pictures.   She has a verrrry nice camera, that I’m hoping she forgets to take with her sometime when she’s leaving after a visit!)

P1020219  Anyway, Mimi is always ready to pose for a picture.  Here, when she paused for a “Kodak moment” before marching off to fish, she caught JJ’s attention.

P1020243(1)  Even though JJ had an appointment for a boat ride with his grandpa, you could tell this “big kid in the red dress” interested him.

P1020282  Their fishing and boat rides over, Mimi, looking a little the worse for wear (did the fish get your hair pretties, Mimi?), was ready to spend some quality time with JJ. 

P1020298(1)   Let’s go see what we can find to play with.

P1020310(1)   She’s using her “big kid” skills to show him the best way to play with his newest toy.

They played together great.

P1020388(1)  And, Mimi’s never going to have to worry about not getting her share of the spotlight as long as she’s such an interesting kid!

It was so much fun to have everyone together.  And, these pictures will always help us remember what it was like.  I am thankful for family … and photography!

The Frosting on the Cake

July 23, 2009


Ever since I became a grandparent lo those many years ago, I have said that having children was “all right”  but that having grandchildren was “the frosting on the cake”! 

In my experience, grandparents and grandchildren have a unique relationship that is like no other.  And, you can’t explain it to someone … they just have to experience it for themselves.

So, there has been a “passing of the torch” … our son is now a grandfather!








P1020279(1)   Our son’s grandson … and a new experience for us too … GREAT-grandparents!

Or, as our sweet daughter-in-law dubbed me, “Nana the Great”.  Thank you, Dilly, I love it!