Monday, March 26, 2012

My Little Sister Turns Fifty

A few years ago, it was MY turn to turn 50 but this year, she gets her turn.  She is my sister - my only blood sister - the one I shared a room with growing up - the one I fussed at and about - the one I was mean to - the one who loves me unconditionally anyway.  She is kind and thoughtful, caring and careful. There is no one else I know quite like her.  We share memories that no one else does since we shared everything since the time she was born...sometimes with me being willing and sometimes not. Ha! She has always stood beside me even when I didn't deserve it.

On the day of her birthday, I called her.  My life had been busy with the Four Sisters Farm renovations and two new grandbabies, so I hadn't even sent her a card yet. 

I waited until the day's end to call - thinking she was probably out to dinner or perhaps at a fun celebration.  Instead, the day had been all too party (hubby was out of town for work) special dinner (grown son had something scheduled, grown daughter lives out of state)...she did have a special lunch date with her daughter-in-law.  The gals at work hadn't done anything either.  Bummer day.  So I began thinking...I need to come up with something really fun to commemorate her 50th.  So here goes...

  1. Easter Bonnets
  2. Big Blue Eyes
  3. Chatty Cathy
  4. Mrs. Beasley
  5. Cats - Especially black ones
  6. Chasing (and catching) a bunny
  7. Play Houses
  8. Bald Babies
  9. Pink Furniture
  10. Sharing a bedroom
  11. Kids Incorporated Football
  12. Black Labradors
  13. Swing Sets
  14. Little Girl Cheerleaders
  15. Glamour Shots
  16. Jewelry
  17. Ceramics
  18. Fasting
  19. Goodwill Store Dressing Rooms
  20. JC Penneys with our children (Meg not so happy)
  21. Shopping Carts in Parking Lots
  22. Not Enough Seatbelts for all the Kids
  23. Las Vegas
  24. The Grand Canyon
  25. Recovering from my third daughter's birth
  26. Cubby Holes
  27. Loud Bump Noises from Upstairs
  28. Saxophones
  29. Etch-A-Sketch
  30. Spirograph
  31. Aunt Mary and Red Hots after Swimming
  32. Brush Rollers
  33. PB and Js After School
  34. Nice People
  35. Grammy's Nail Polish
  36. Exploring Uncle Clif and Aunt Ginny's Attic
  37. Mud Pies
  38. Dandelion Stem Chains
  39. Kids with Broken Arms
  40. Kids with Broken Legs
  41. Ponchos
  42. Swim Towels - the wearable kind :-)
  43. pending Time with Cousins
  44. The Dime Store
  45. Tap Dance
  46. Bike Rides to the City Park and Pool
  47. Ft. Supply, Oklahoma
  48. Mean Big Sisters
  49. Sweet Little Sisters
  50. Childhood Memories shared with my only Sister's to you, little sister.  Happy 50th!  I love you.

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty

Friday, March 23, 2012

Subdue the Earth

sub·due   /səbˈdu, -ˈdyu/ [suhb-doo, -dyoo] - verb (used with object), -dued, -du·ing.

1. to conquer and bring into subjection: Rome subdued Gaul.
2. to overpower by superior force; overcome.
3. to bring under mental or emotional control, as by persuasion or intimidation; render submissive.
4. to repress (feelings, impulses, etc.).
5. to bring (land) under cultivation: to subdue the wilderness.

I was at the store later yesterday afternoon and Pop beat me home.  He took a walk down to the pond before I had been raining most of the day (and several days previous) and he has been keeping tabs on the level of water in the pond since it went dry this past summer.   When the rain stopped, the day turned into a glorious display of sunshine, fluffy clouds, and lush green landscape at Four Sisters Farm and when I drove up the drive, I saw Pop stretched out on a pad of concrete in our side yard that marks a porch of sorts from an era long before we arrived at this address. I rolled down my window with a smile and he called to me to, "Come on!" so I parked the car, grabbed my jacket and ignored the groceries that needed to be carried in.  We laid on the concrete pad and talked about the beauty of the day. Pop said there was a clear "bat signal" cloud earlier that made him think of the grandsons and how they would have thought that was cool. 

Pop works really hard on Four Sisters Farm and he really enjoys being outside working on the land...he sees things that need to be done here that no one else realizes.  Sometimes, he completes a job like that and the Four Sisters Farm family is amazed at how much nicer things look.  Farm Chick and I have both commented how amazing it is that Pop sees these things.

I realized yesterday that the way Pop operates here is scriptural...check this out:  in Genesis 1:28, God addressed the first man and woman (Adam and Eve, of course)...God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

In my way of thinking, Pop fulfills the calling of mankind. He has been fruitful in life, being blessed with four daughters and a dozen (as of this writing) grandchildren. He subdues the earth by trimming trees, cutting grass, moving dirt, and mowing. He seems to instinctively know how to maintain and better our space.  He plans to rule over the fish by stocking our pond once he is certain it is holding water.  He rules over the all the living creatures at Four Sisters Farm.

I love that man.  I love seeing God in him and seeing him fulfill God's calling.  Count me one blessed wife, mother, and grammy.  Thank you, God!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Renovation Progress Update

Master Vanity

Two become one...two vanities trimmed down to fit into the space for one vanity in the master bathroom that is.  It was a crazy plan but it worked.  Pop figured it out...he always seems to be able to take some nutty thing I think up and make it work.  EJ came over and helped us most of one day and our biggest and best accomplishment of the day was the master vanity.  It makes me happy every time I use it.  

We started with inexpensive unfinished vanities that I painted. Then Pop, EJ, and I cut them down and I found something else to do while they put them together on a base they built so the vanity would be taller. I added some really cool paintable wallpaper that looks like beadboard and some furniture legs and we finished it off with a custom built double sink.  Then I "beadboarded" above the back splash and added trim.  Fantastic! Thanks for the help, is that thumb?

I still need the cup pulls and knobs but I could not wait to show it off!

 Bunk Beds - Pop Style!
 Pop came up with plans for a triple bunk bed for the bunk room...he and I gathered up the lumber and supplies and got to work.  We cut, sanded, stained, and partially assembled. Then one day the superheroes came over and helped us complete the bulk of putting together. Little Super Girl made sure we had all the screws we needed. :-) We're pleased with the finished results and plan to build more to accommodate all our grandsons in the bunk room!

Stay tuned...the progress is slow but it is coming!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

And then there was one...

We started out this great baby boom with three pregnant sisters.

We had lots of fun growing our babies and sharing this special time together. 

Even after Pretty Princess delivered our beautiful niece there were still two of us to share pregnancy.  This photo was taken after Rock Star and I enjoyed a pedicure and a tasty lunch at the Olive Garden. 
As time went on something hit me. 
I called Rock Star and said, "I just realized that when you have your baby I am going to be the only one who is big and uncomfortable." 
Rock Star's response, "I look forward to that day."

That day has come and gone.  Rock Star delivered my handsome nephew three weeks ago.

And then there was one...
One is the loneliest number...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Welcoming the Newest Superhero

Rock Star, PhoJo and their family of superheroes just welcomed their newest family member...along with all the Four Sisters Farm family and their friends.

You can see the delight on their faces as they snuggle and hold him.  I would love to display photos of the faces of all the people who have already loved on this little guy in his first days on this earth but the post would be way too long.  You see, before he was even conceived we loved him because we know that children are a blessing.
Rock Star's labor was induced early in the morning.  The Four Sisters Farm family gathered at the hospital in anticipation.  The contractions increased in intensity as more and more pitocin was administered; but the little superhero was apparently not planning to make his entrance according to the plan.  As the day wore on, the strong contractions were putting our little guy into a bit of distress and the resident overseeing the labor was becoming concerned.  So...we "circled the wagons" and gathered around Rock Star to pray over her and ask for God's help.  As the doctor lowered the amount of pitocin and fretted about a possible c-section, God went to work on Rockstar's behalf and we soon welcomed the "li-lul-bay-bee" (that is how his big sister says "little baby").   By the way, Grammy has given big sister the nickname "Kissy Sissy" because she cannot get close to her new little brother without planting a kiss on his head!

Recently, Rock Star wrote a blog post about being asked why they are having more children and how many more they plan to have.  It seems that at some point folks began to believe that children are a burden instead of a blessing.  It seems crystal clear that God's view is the complete opposite.  Check out Psalm 127:3-5, Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

Only God knows what His plan is for the number of superheroes in Rock Star's and PhoJo's family...we will simply welcome each one as they come, knowing that God is never surprised or caught off guard when a baby is conceived.  For now, we will love on the ones here and join our voices with Pop who sang over Rock Star and baby soon after the birth, "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow." Amen, Pop.  Amen.