Your friend GiGi...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two Milestones!!!

1. I now have "older posts"!!!

2. I posted a picture in a post!!!

Go me!!!!!

(I do love the exclamation mark or exclamation point!!!!!!!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

What's in a Name?

The Hooten 2's, as we call Bret and his family, were here for the weekend. Ian, who is 4, is constantly dressing up or pretending to be someone else and frequently allows me to be a part of his imaginary play. I love to join in! This weekend he was a ninja, "fireboy", "lavaboy", and a marine, among some things that I didn't recognize. He is my "little buddy". Just ask him!

Sunday morning he saved me by giving me his gun because he remembered he had lava in his hands to shoot. Who needs a gun with hot lava in hand?

Later on as I soaked in a warm Bath and Body Works Wild Honeysuckle bubblebath he yelled through the door that he was leaving me a gun outside the door in case "bad guys" were there when I got out. I thanked him and was able to really enjoy the bubblebath after that with a true sense of relief knowing that I'd be safe as I exited the bathroom. Huge sigh of relief! After all danger is always lurking in my bedroom. A few minutes later he was back informing me that he'd come back to load the gun with rockets to make sure the "bad guys" wouldn't get me. I cannot begin to convey to you how relaxing the rest of my bubblebath was knowing how well cared for I was and am by my precious super-hero grandson!

My grandchildren call me GiGi, as well as our good friend's Noah and Anna Dollar. So when I realized that I had no where to put the gun as I prepared lunch for fifteen people I put it in the back of my jeans. My second granddaughter, Lily, has just started ballet lessons and loves the book Angelina Ballerina. Since Angelina Jolie frequently wears a gun in her violent shooting movies I decided to be Angelina GiGi. Hence new name number one.

You may now call me Angelina GiGi! Beware I AM dangerous!

On another blog I read (and you just have to trust me on this, because I haven't figured out how to link things yet) there's a thing to generate what your name would be if you were Sarah Palin's child. I'd be Rake Trinket Palin. Frankly, I think it has a nice ring to it. As a child of the 60's and 70's who has enough dead brain cells from the misadventures from said bathroom hijinks that you can read about below. I think it fits. I used to have a paisley poncho and bellbottoms to match that would have gone great with the name, don't you think? Thank God His mercies are new every morning and I'm not that girl anymore. But I can still have fun with names!

You may now call me Rake Trinket Palin! Because I am just that cool.

Which one are you planning to call me and why?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Woman Who Fears the Lord from Proverbs 31

10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

When Micah was a little girl she and Dick memorized Proverbs 31:10-31 together. She even got a certificate that marked her accomplishment. I remember how they worked on it saying it back and forth and discussing what it means. Micah was very intent on getting it down. We were very proud of her and her resolve. As a child and a young teen she exhibited many of the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman in waiting.

This week Libby brought the above verses to my mind again in our family Bible study. We're praying them this week for someone we love. Every Monday a member of the family selects either a verse or a passage and we use it daily as a prayer for the next week. This is Lib's week.

This week I'm taking it further and praying it for me and for all of the Hooten women AND for the woman who will someday be Elliott's wife.

Dick and I have been married for 31 years and I have to say that it's hard right now. This last year has been difficult on many levels. The list is long. I won't bore you with it. I'll tell you this. I'm committed to Jesus and to His word. I'm committed to my husband, my marriage, and to my family.

Please pray for me to be an "excellent wife who is trustworthy to Dick so that he won't lack gain, and that I will do him good and not harm all the days of my life". That's so important to me right now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Theme of Three Weeks?

It's been around three weeks since I promised another post in another day. Sad. :-( Well, maybe just pathetic! Maybe I just have too much to say for a blog. I am a talker you know.

Amyway, I fall in love with the books I read. I have a hard time moving on to the next book because I have to sort of "roll" the thoughts around in my head of what happened in the last book before I can move on. I read Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks over the weekend. First of all, The Notebook is one of my favorite books and IS my favorite movie. I don't guess I knew that it was his first novel to sell for publication. WOW!!!!! AND it was based on his wife's grandparents. Real people. Can I just tell you that I love it even more now?

He was selling pharmaceuticals for a living, supporting his wife and two sons, when he got the call that The Notebook had sold for a million dollars!!! I was so excited when I read it (and this happened in 1995) that I wanted to call them and congratulate them. I mean I was so HAPPY for them!!!!! He had just set up a lunch buffet for some doctors to present his "drugs" when he got the call from his agent. How exciting is that?

He talks about where he was in his life when he and his brother, Micah, took a three week trip pretty much around the world. Overwhelmingly busy. In a nutshell, sometimes we can be on a calm stream in a canoe, at other times we may find ourselves in the rapids having to paddle but handling things okay, and then at other times we may be paddling for dear life to keep from going over the waterfall. Leading up to his trip he had been at the waterfall stage for a while. I have felt that I've been there for a while. Emotionally, physically.....sadly enough spiritually. The book reminded me of the things that need to be prioritized in my life. Now I have to work on actually DOING it.

Another of my favorite books that he's written is A Walk to Remember. I love the purity of Jaime Sullivan. Her innocence and love of life. Her sweetness and goodness. Her spunk for what's right and her concern for others. I see it in my daughter Libby. I see it in my daughter-in-law's Delilah and Emily. I see qualities in Jaime that stand out in my daughter's Hallie-Grace and Zoe.

I learned that he based Jaime on his sister Dana who was battling brain cancer when he wrote A Walk to Remember. He talks throughout the book about Dana's sweetness and gentleness. Her deep concern for others. He and his sister even share the same birthday!

So, I guess you've figured out by now that the book I read this past weekend is not only about Nicholas Spark's three week trip with his brother, Micah, but it's also autobiographical. And it's actually written by he and his brother Micah Sparks.

It's an awesome book. I have to get it back to the library before it's overdue and I'm sad. I get really attached to books. Oh, and one more thing. I haven't read Nights in Rodanthe yet, but I've requested it from the library AND the movie comes out this month. Wonder if it's good?

Read any good books lately?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Songs are memories

This blogging thing isn't easy for me. I can talk your ears off, but I struggle with writing. The proof of that is below. How sporadic can you get? Sigh!

So, today I'm just going to throw some thoughts out. Then I'm going to let some friends on Facebook and by email know that I've written this blog. We'll see if that causes some consistency. If I'm capable of consistency. Smile.

Music and God's word get me through struggles and times of crisis. I depend on those two things like a lifeline as well as my family and friends. There are particular verses, people, quotes, books, even tv shows or movies that have helped me through hard times. Right now I'm just going to share a little bit about the way God has ministered to me through a few songs. To do that I need to back up some so just bear with me.

I can pinpoint what was going on in my life by songs. Turning on the oldies station immediately is a trip down memory lane. I didn't accept Christ until I was 19 (in church all of my life, thought I knew Jesus, really found Him at 19!) and have no doubt that if I'd died before then I'd have gone to Hell. I know that's strong but it's true. MANY songs before the Junior Hill revival at First Baptist Church of Boaz in the fall of 1973 have memories that are not Christ centered. That's the nicest way I can put it.

Sometimes I joke around about things that happened in my life, like sweet Mrs. Plunkett, my English teacher Sr year, walking in the girl's restroom while Joanie and I were in there NOT using the restroom and saying in her sweetest purple haired, little lady voice, "Girls ... is the janitor using a new air freshener for the restroom? It smells really nice." She was a precious woman who lived across the street from my grandmother. They were in garden club together in our small town. can't imagine how mortified she would have been, as well as my godly Mama Camp, if she'd known what the smell really was. That memory is still hilarious to me. I don't know why. Seriously! We could have been expelled, arrested. I really WISH I'd never done it. A long list of songs take me back to that time in my life.

Even though that makes me chuckle inwardly so many other memories of before I gave my life to Christ are scary and full of heartbreak. I have a picture in a scrapbook of 3 friends and me after the homecoming football game my senior year. I was so happy because I'd been crowned queen that night! Don, Jeff, and Robert are in the picture with me. Don and Jeff are both dead now. Drug overdoses. I don't know where Robert is. It could have been me without Jesus! There isn't anything funny about that. They got caught alright. Caught by the enemy who comes to kill, destroy and steal. The very enemy of our souls. So much music of my past is tied up in all of that. Some I can separate and enjoy and some I can't.

I'm 54 so I'm going to take a pretty big jump to around 6 1/2 years ago or this will be a novel. Frankly, I don't have the time that Margaret Mitchell or Alex Haley had and I'm guessing you don't either. (If that doesn't make sense you need to sign up for a literature class at your local community college or just Google their names.)

As we were making plans to move to this house I wasn't feeling well. I'll spare the details. I saw a gastro dr and he said, "OUT with the gallbladder and pronto!" I talked him into waiting until after the move and Christmas and when January rolled around I had the little surgery done that is supposed to be no big deal. First of all, I found out that whatever they give you for anesthesia makes me hurl like a drunken sailor. Ouch to the little holes they poked in me to take out the gall bladder! While they were in there they found a tumor on my left ovary. They called my gyn and he asked them to leave it alone and let him handle it later. As I recuperated from that procedure I had to get blood drawn for a CA 125 which is a test to try to determine if you are at high risk for ovarian cancer. Mine came back high. So I had an ovarian tumor and a high CA 125 test. My gyn, who is a godly man, and takes great care of me sent me to a gyn cancer specialist for a consult and scheduled surgery 3 weeks after the gall bladder came out.

My song that God gave me was so simple it was really unreal. Michael W. Smith's Breathe calmed my soul and washed over me with a peace that was straight from the throne of God. Sometimes I'd change and let Rebecca St. James have a turn with the same song. If you've never heard the song please go to project playlist and listen to it. You can google the lyrics and read them, too. At that time I knew that my grown sons would be fine if the Lord chose to take me home, but I had 6 children still at home. They were ages 13 down to 5. I knew I had to have the peace that passes understanding to make it through those 3 weeks and through the surgery recovery time. I was desperate for HIM. I was lost without HIM. He was the air I breathed.
I was honestly so at peace during that time. The morning of the surgery my wonderful dr came in and prayed with me and for me. Peace again flooded me. Reassurance that He was in control. That morning my dr removed a tumor the size of a soccer ball that was more fluid in nature than anything (as I understood it) and benign! I was told that sometimes women have CA 125 tests that are positive and don't have ovarian cancer. Whatever. I saw the huge thing on my ovary from the pictures that were taken while my gall bladder was being removed. It looked nasty and I was happy that it was discovered and gotten rid of post-haste.

Recovery was painful. The incision was long and then stapled back together. In case of male readers I won't be any more descriptive than that but it started at my belly button. Okay two funnies. While I was in the hospital I was on a morphine pump and truly don't remember much. Several months later I looked at Delilah (my second son's wife and my best friend) one day and said, "Hey! You spent the night with me in the hospital! You took me to the bathroom! I had the IV pole and that dumb gown with the back flapping open and it hurt to walk and you helped me and OH I love you for taking such good care of me!" Take into consideration that she was 4 months pregnant with out first grandchild. She's a treasure. I had forgotten until that moment. Then when I got home Emily (who is married to my oldest son, but who wasn't sure if he was *the* one at the time of the surgery, and who I love with all my heart) brought us a meal. Much later her mom said, "my Emily?" Ha! Anyway, she made yummy food that included beef stew, corn, and some kind of bread. The corn is now famous here. It's the kind in the freezer section of the store that's shaped like an ear of corn. It's the one that's white corn. We loved it so much that we have called it "Emily" corn since then. So if you're ever offered "Emily" corn here, that's what it will be! Paula Deen would be proud of us because we use lots of butter!

Okay, I think I'm going to flunk blogging. I have two songs left and I'm saving them. I'll really try to do them tomorrow.

Michael W. Smith closes with, "How many of you are hungry for God?" I am. I truly am.

Friday, July 4, 2008

the longest shortest week

Hannah and Ian are our 2 oldest grandchilden at ages 5 (6 this month!) and 4. I still can't believe how blessed I've been to get to be in the room when they were born and to live about 10 minutes away from them. This past December Bret, their dad and our second son, moved to Mobile to start a new job at the law firm Greene and Phillips. Delilah and the kids stayed here to finish out the school year since she was teaching and Hannah was in K5. The month of May Lilah and the kids lived with us. It was a wild ride having Dick, me, our 5 kiddos, Lilah, H, and I here. Every other weekend Bret was here. The month of June they were in Mobile (or Movile as Ian says)and this past week Bret and Lilah have been in San Francisco. H and I stayed with us.

I wasn't sure how things would go because I have felt awful for the past few months. My physical issues and now the side effects of my medications have left me feeling seriously rotten most of the time. My children have done a lot of taking care of me and I keep thinking someone needs to do something nice for them and not just ask them to do ONE more thing. But we made a committment to do this a good while back and I really WANTED to have them here so we dove in and have done it. It has been wonderful. Exhausting? Yes. Time consuming? Absolutely.

Time spent with these little munchkins can't be replaced. They bring so much joy. Ian said today, " GiGi I like fireworks because of the fire and the works!"

So all in all the week has flown by. Going into the week it looked like a really long time to have them but now it doesn't seem like it was long enough. Next week their little family moves to Dothan to open a new office for Greene and Phillips. If you need an attorney in Dothan look them up!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the Word

I love this passage:

Philippians 1: 9-11 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (from the Message Bible)

I've prayed this for years for the members of our family using the NIV, but today I prayed The Message. It just seemed fitting. We are at a very hard place. My health isn't good. I'm going to write about that soon. My heart just won't seem to heal about Micah. I can't even type her name without crying. I still ache for the relationship that was broken. I miss her. I'm going to write about that soon, too.

I still haven't told anyone my blog address. I asked Jennifer Vines to help me with some blogging tips and she has agreed. We stood in Wal Mart the other day (in the "cold" section and oh it felt soooo good!) and talked and talked and realized that we could actually meet somewhere besides a retail establishment or church to see each other. Fancy that! Hopefully that will happen soon and I'll be telling all sorts of really interesting things that are happening here and I'll be dispensing lots of deep wisdom and spiritual insight. Just wait!