Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thinking of Jon

The firstborn, on his day, I'm thinking of a little blue-eyed, wonderful baby boy who has grown in to a fine young man.  My husband and I were priviledged to spend a portion of today with him and his lovely family as we celebrated his birthday.  This past weekend I got to spend some one-on-one time with his youngest & even though they say she acts like me, she looks just like him.  They were both precious babies.  As a baby, Jonathan was absolutely wonderful.  I was so young if he hadn't been, I don't know what would have happened.  There definitely would not have been three more.  He made it easy. 

I can remember traveling with him from Alexandria back to see my mom & dad in Swartz.  Jonathan was less than or maybe a little over a year old.  We did not have him in a car seat, he sat on the front seat beside me in our little green station wagon.  I held his hand and sang, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" the whole way.  He would shake his hand and giggle the whole way.  He was EXTREMELY pleasant and easy to please.

When Jonathan was two we were again living in West Monroe.  My parents lived in Swartz and I made weekly visits with the children.  I remember as we were traveling out to their house we passed a  store where Santa was entering.  Jonathan started hollering, "Stop, Stop, I need to talk to him."  I told Jonathan if he was good for the whole day, we'd stop on our way home.  He was excellent!  By this time our second child was six months old and after a full day, both she and I were ready to be at home.  So, sure enough, on the way home I was ready to default on my promise.  Jonathan, the little man, was standing right there up front with his eyes wide open and hunting for that store.  He forgot nothing!  I noticed and tried to divert, I said, "Look those men just stuffed Santa in that car.  I guess we'll have to go another day!"  He looked realllll  SERIOUS at me and said in a quiet voice, "Oh well, I'll just be bad then."  We stopped.

That very winter it snowed one night right before we put Jonathan and Tafta to bed.  I wanted to go out and play in it with Jonathan, but Ken said no.  It was too cold and not a good idea he thought right before bed.  I would have danced all over that hill and probably been sick in the morning.  I had had several bouts with pneumonia.  So instead we put them to bed.  We were in the living room when we heard a crashing sound in the baby's room.  A shelf had fallen, but there in the middle of the white powdered room was the culprit.  Jonathan was holding a large empty cannister of baby powder.  "Look", he said, "I made snow we can play in!"  The room was COVERED and smelled good!

Children are a gift from God, and I'm so glad he sent me Jonathan as my first present!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh Sister, Oh Conscience, Where Art Thou?

Lenora sitting in front row.  Precious girl, wonderful friend!

Sometimes you are able to identify the people that had a huge influence on you and how.  My sister, Lenora, is one of those people.  When we were growing up she was literally my conscience and my compass.  I could dream up a lot of trouble and I was loud about it.  Lenora was the quiet one that let me know I was going too far.  She was the one I called on in school to help me get out of a pickle; she was the one that took the brunt of the most of my shenanigans.  And what did she do?  She pointed me to the Lord.  I saw something in her I did not see in myself, a "peace with herself", a peace with God.  Others may say, "Lenora?  Quiet?"  But I KNOW Lenora.  We shared a room until the day I got married.  She has a quiet nature.  Now I know she can get down & dirty, loud & rowdy, but her "nature" is at peace with herself and she would prefer to be at peace with those around her.  That does not mean she's not STRONG WILLED!  She is, but she's a cross between a MURPHY & an AVANT.  Sorry we all are very strong willed, it's the nature of the beast.  We (M & As) also have OPINIONS and everyone of us could wear the badge a friend of mine bestowed upon me:  "Let's just save time & do it MY way!"  I was at a conference sitting between Ken & Lenora one time and the speaker said, "If we will be successful, we have to get over the 'It's my way or the highway' attitude."  I (being an aggravater) elbowed Ken & Lenora.  Ken grunted; Lenora whispered in my ear, "I don't have that attitude.  It's my way or hit the ditch, GET OFF MY ROAD!"  I laughed aloud and it was a most inappropriate moment in the speaker's speech!  Oh well...these things happen.  Lenora was the maid of honor at my wedding because she deserved and still deserves any "of honor" I can bestow upon her.  I love her and wish for her the best always.  She is a woman of strong heart and mind, to be admired, honored, and loved!  Happy birthday Lenora!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Tafta

Tafta, Ava, Matt, and Audrey Jane
My daughter, my friend!  Tafta is a WONDERFUL person; everyone that knows her will say so.  She is celebrating her birthday tomorrow and I'm very proud of the woman she has become.  Tafta is a great pre-K teacher, wonderful mother to 2 lil darlings, and a fine wife to a fantastic man.  Most importantly, I believe she loves the Lord.  I plan to go and share the day with her.  We won't have to do much, we'll have four children with us, but we'll talk and walk and talk and walk and talk... We will giggle at the things the children say, we'll share a meal with hubby, we'll BUY something, we'll just have a great day.  Ken always writes a poem for her birthday but I don't do that.  He'll make up the perfect poem that she'll keep forever, thus is their tie.  I'll bring her a prize, something she'll (along with Audrey) be looking for and I'll let her pick out something for her birthday when we shop!    Tafta and I have always liked to shop especially if there is a birthday involved.
Tafta is our second born.  Jonathan was not quite 2 (His birthday is next week.) when she was born.  I was still rocking him.  I had gotten so big and so was Jonathan, that Ken didn't want me to rock Jonathan anymore.  But he'd come in from work and there we'd be rocking in the old rocker.  So Ken moved my rocker to the corner of my bedroom and told me not to move it.  Jonathan put his little hands on his hips and said, "Why you put she's rocker in she's bedroom?"  He did not understand.  The very next Saturday, he and I were taking a nap on the couch when the labor pains started.  Neither of us knew what was about to happen!  I did get Ken to come home from work, he took me to the hospital and in just a little while here came Tafta.  The terrible thing was, there was another Evans woman that delivered in the same hospital, the same doctors, just a few minutes after me.  She also gave birth to a daughter.  Several times the nurses brought me the other Evans baby girl to nurse...and I did!  I was even dressing the wrong baby to go home when Ken came in and said, "Debbie, that's not our baby!"  He called the nurses down and made them check bracelets and charts.  I hate to admit it but Ken was right.   Luckily the other Evans woman had not left yet with our precious bundle!  I'm so glad you came into our lives.  So Happy Birthday Little Girl!  I love you so and will be there in the morning.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grandchildren Will Teach You EVERYTHING!!!

Everything I need to know I learned from...

You've heard this line before, but here's the truth.  Grandchildren have a way of putting things straight from their minds and hearts to yours...and that's all a grandparent needs to know!  We've just finished our Third Annual Mammy & Pappy Camp (MP3) and all the knowledge I've gained from them over the years is weighing on my mind.  With that in mind, I thought I'd share!

Joshua, #1 (age 10):  It doesn't matter what name you pick out for yourself as a grandparent, you'll love what they choose.  I was suppose to be Grammy.  I figured that would be the only "Grammy" I'd win, but the first time that baby said Mammy...It was ON!  That was my new name.  It came out of his mouth, straight to my heart and I LOVE it!

Riggs, #2 (age 8):  An eternal optimist cannot be challenged.  He can be staring at a disaster & see the good.  He knows how to point my heart always to the better things.  The scripture says, "Think on these things" and that boy has it down!

Kate, #3 (age 7):  Following the rules is important, even when you are young.  Do your best at all times and do it right.  Kate also has a heart for the elderly, she is an example in this regard for me also!

Sully Mac, #4 (age 6):  A child's heart is a perfect gateway to Christ.  He talked with Jesus all night in a dream and could only remember one question: "How many hairs do I have?"  Sully admitted he'd tried to count them one time, but stopped about half way.  That reminded me of when I was young & actually tried to count the stars.

Anne-Claire, #5 (age 6):  Being quiet is sometimes the best way to go.  She is so very good & quiet, you wonder if she's there.  But she can tell you EVERYTHING going on, who did it, and what is about to happen.  A sweet, kind, quiet person is a rare find.  I'm glad we found one!

Audrey Jane, #6 (age 6):  Being quiet is sometimes the best way to go...but A. J. knows NOTHING about this!!!  She does know creative ingenuity.  The other night for Bible School she had to bring a noise maker.  Her mother said, "Ok, we'll take a empty water bottle, put some rocks in it and you can decorate it."  Audrey replied, "YES!  I can write, 'Jesus Rocks!' on my bottle!"  She has tapped into my creativity & showed me things I didn't even know was there.

Sadee, #7 (age 4):  Big personalities can come is small bodies!  That child is so very small, but is so VERY BIG!  She sings louder than the "BIG" kiddos, she always knows the right answer, she likes to be in front on stage!  And I like her there!  She shows off in just the right way.  Her parents are doing a GREAT job with this GREAT personality!

Bethany, #8 (age 4):  If you smile big enough, you can get away with just about anything.  "Wait a minute, I'm busy!"  B. C. yells at Pappy.  He goes right on.  She shows up in a minute, turns on THE SMILE and says, "What do you want?"  No disrespect meant; she really is busy and shows up when she can.  He understands the smile!

Dez, #9 (age 2):  The youngest in the family really is the Baby!  Everyone takes care of them and even if it's not necessary he can turn on that Baby Charm!

Sophee, #10 (age 2):  The youngest can be the strongest willed child especially if following behind BIG personality!  Sophee runs at you with chubby hands, glowing cheeks, wanting a hug and a kiss.  Your heart warms up immediately!  But then you wonder, "What has she done?"

Kendalynn, #11 (age 1):  "Nosy" will nose its way right into your heart in a BIG way!  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this child is beautiful both inside & out to everyone! 

Ava, #12 (age 1):  Pappy really is EVERYTHING!  No need for anyone else to show up, just send the Pappy!

Love those grandkids and it is true, "Grandchildren will make you throw rocks at your own children."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sam from Wham

I never did understand why Daddy would say his name was Sam except for it rhymed with Wham...  He was a very interesting character, my daddy.  We have a tendency in our culture to "Saint" someone once they've passed on.  Daddy was NO saint.  But he was a "good" man or I think as good as he could be given his "want to".  Which I have to say might have been "off" just a tad.  Today, July 13, was his birthday.  He was born in 1927, 30 years before me!   He died September 16, 2004.  It's hard to believe he's been gone seven years.  The things I do like to remember about Daddy are:

I loved him, and I think he loved me.  He just never said it much while we were growing up.  He always treated me like I was special.  After I was grown and heard my siblings talk, I found out he treated each one of us "special" to some degree.  We NEVER all got the same thing from him.  He did what he wanted to for who he wanted to.  He gave you what he thought you needed or what reminded him of you.

He was a hard working man.  He provided well for his family and gave his job 100%.  I never remember him missing a day of work for missing sake, and I think he passed on to us (along with our mother) a wonderful work ethic. 

He didn't care about spoiling surprises.  I remember when he brought all of our Christmas home in the back end of his pick-up truck with his horn a blaring.  This was way before Christmas Day.  Mama ran out of the house just a hollering, "Frank Murphy you get that stuff back up to your mothers."  She was hot.  Daddy thought the day is a wasting, better get it while you can...

One time we went to visit Uncle Ed, Aunt Lawana and Wendy Jo in Minnesota.  Daddy was driving our new station wagon.  I sat right behind Daddy and my job was to watch the gas tank & let him know when it was getting low.  That was quite a responsibility.  I didn't even doze!  Daddy had all of our luggage and an ice chest filled with his special cokes (beer) and our cokes on the luggage rack.  We were driving down the highway when all of a sudden the whole thing gave way & suitcases and ice chest went flying.  Our clothes were on the highway and so were our beverages.  The ONE thing I remember hearing Daddy say was, "Y'all watch out for the cars and help me get my soda waters." 

Daddy loved to make up words and give people crazy names.  He did it all the time and on purpose just to frustrate those around him.  I loved that!  He also did not mince his words.  One time he'd showed up at my house and I was saying goodbye to a bunch of people across the street at church.  I yelled for him to come over, he ignored me, so I went across the street and said, "Come on over here, I've got some people that I want you to meet."  He replied, "If I meet one more person, I'm gonna be on overload!"  I left him alone.  That made a whole lot of sense to me & I use that phrase still today! 

After I was grown and married to Ken, Daddy got in trouble.  He called for us and we came.  We loved him and tried always to honor him.  He was something.  I tried to talk to him, and you know Ken did, about the Lord and his relationship with Him.  Daddy would listen, nod, and say "Neba (that's suppose to be one of my mixed up crazy names) you got the right idea."  I hope he knew Him.  I'd like to see Daddy again one day and say one more time, "I love you Daddy."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Losing a Pet, Losing a Friend

My cousin, Wendy Jo, contacted me this morning to let me know that she and her husband Randy had lost their pet rabbit during the night.  They were pretty upset.  It is amazing how close we can get to an animal, even though we don't speak their language or have the same needs, wants or perhaps even lives.  The parts we share can really bind our hearts together.  So Wendy & Randy our thoughts are with you.

Ken is always the one in our family that does not want to have an animal as just a pet, and yet Ken is usually the one that draws the closest to them.  Wendy's news reminded me of one particular pet that we lost a few years ago, Waddle.  Waddle was a black and silver dappled miniature dachshund.  He was miniature in size but had maximum personality! 

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Here's part of what he was to our family:

Babysitter:  At the time my nephew Tyler was living with us.  He was under 2 years old.  If ANY visitor came to our house and picked up Tyler, Waddle went crazy.  He did not trust anyone, outside of our family to pick up the baby.  At bedtime, we would all gather in the living room and say our prayers as a family.  At the end of prayers Waddle knew it was time to go to bed.  If Tyler or Ben or Joe stalled on going straight to their bedroom, Waddle would jump and nip them in the butt and run them to bed!  He was better than any cattle dog at herding up the children.

Mouser:  Our house was mouse free, generally, but if one got in it did not stand a chance with Waddle on guard.

"Watch" Dog:  I believe Waddle could tell time.  He knew when the school bus should arrive with the children on board and he would run through the house about five minutes before bus arrival, jump up on an end table in front of the windows and brush the curtain open so he could watch for the children. 

Traveling Companion:  We would take Waddle with us sometime.  But if we left him in the vehicle, it was trouble!  At that time we had a Suburban.  Waddle would sleep on the back of the second seat, where Jonathan sat.  If he woke up and we were out of the vehicle, he would get down into the front seat, raise up on his front paws on the steering wheel and blow the horn.  The first time he did this we were camping.  We thought he would sleep better in the vehicle than in a tent.  We were wrong & at 1:00 in the morning the horn went off!  After he learned to blow the horn, it was over!  He blew it every time we got out, then he would jump back on to the second seat to see if we were coming back for him.  If not, back down to the front he would go and blow the horn again. By the way he slept perfectly in the tent with Jonathan.

Thief:  One of our family favorites at Christmas is chocolate covered cherries.  One year I bought each of the children a box and wrapped them, put them under the tree.  I came home to find a neat pile of paper, plastic, and boxes.  NO CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES!  But we did have a sick little dachshund.  We learned to hide candy, except Jonathan.  He would share his suckers with Waddle.  Jonathan has always been a "sucker" for a sweet dog.

We loved Waddle for many years.  When he died, we lost a lil member of the family...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Delightful and Consternating Thoughts

Jerry Mobley, "Deep Thinker"!

The other day I posted on my FB status:

    "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put your two cents in, where does the other penny go?" 

This was very "taxing" on my brain!

I got back some wonderful comments and that just led me to thinking more...
Joe said, "If I had a dollar for every time I'd heard that!"  Wow!  How rich I'd be, huh... 

Jerry asked a question of me:  "In for a penny, in for a pound..."  Do you know the conversion rate on that?

Well Jerry, I don't really have a conversion rate but your question led to further consternation.  If we're talking about English pounds, we're back to the first one that's "taxing" on our brain.  That conversion rate is for the birds. 
If we're talking about lbs., then all I can say is Wahoo!  In for a penny, in for a pound; I'm a VERY rich woman!

Ken and I saw Jerry & Nina the other day at the Sonic.  We drove up next to them & started talking.  Jerry was talking about being on a "fixed" income, they are both retired.  That of course led me to further consternation and a conclusion:  Ken & I will never retire because our "fixed" income is really "broke"!  Does anyone know where we can take it for repair?