Sunday, October 16, 2011

What's on your list?

"Snuggling" is always #1 on my list!

Of course "quiet time" is a must on any list... some of my favorite quiet times are spent just counting my blessings.

"Learning and exploring" are tops on our "school" list.

Can you imagine a list without "ice cream"?!!

"Capturing precious moments" always seems to make it on my daily to do list.

Riley has "making new friends" on her list wherever she goes.

Dash can cross off "choose a fall pumpkin and visit a farm" from his list.

We all have lists... whether written or not. Lists of things we want to do, goals to achieve, chores to accomplish, places to go... things we need to buy. This past week, Riley really began to grasp this concept. As we walked through Toys R Us one afternoon, she shared what she liked and wanted and asked me to buy her selections for her. My response was that she needed to remember to put them on her Christmas or birthday wish list. Pretty soon, rather than asking for her heart's desires, she began telling me that she needed to put them on her list and was as happy as if I had made the purchases that day.

For several weeks now, she has helped me write our grocery lists. The teacher in me just loves seeing how she already scribbles from left to right and puts one scribble under the other to make a list. On one of our Walmart trips this past week, I decided to empower her (...also wanted to keep her busy and focused) by placing the list and a pen to cross things off the list in her hands. My plan worked perfectly until she turned the tables on me and learned just how powerful the written word can be. We were at the end of our list... all of our items had been crossed off when we found ourselves in the bakery section. Riley spied some orange frosted sugar cookies with fall colored sprinkles on them and asked if we could buy them. Being the clever Grandnanny that I am, I asked her to check our list. Knowing that they weren't on the list, I thought that would be the end of that. Riley had a different idea though... if the cookies weren't on the list, then she'd just add them! She proceeded to plop herself down on the floor of the store and with her all powerful pen wrote, " o r a n g e s u g a r c o o k i e s " What's a Grandnanny to do? Well, of course I gladly bought the cookies and gratefully added another treasured memory to my heart ... truly a moment worth far more than the extra pennies I spent for the added treat to our list.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My "Grandnanny" Diary

"Baby" Brother and "Big" Sister at Houston's Children's Museum

He may be the "Baby" but he carries a big stick

The Princess

I arrived home on my birthday after completing week 1 and 2 of being a "Grandnanny"... precious moments! For the most part, things went smoothly ... thankful for the angels God has watching over us all. My fall down the stairs could have been so much worse, and the wallet I left on top of the car while buckling Sleeping Beauty (R's chosen princess persona for the day) and Mr. D. could have been found by a dishonest opportunist rather than the good Samaritan who brought it to the bank around the corner completely intact! Riley was so thankful that my wallet had been returned because, as she explained to me, " I needed it to buy beautiful dresses for my precious grandchildren," but was disappointed that she'd forgotten to ask for a lolly pop while in the bank... talk about an opportunist!!!

Anyway, by way of an explanation to my readers, it's my plan to do a bit of online journaling each week that I'm with these little ones in order to relive unforgetable moments that I'm sure I'll forget if I don't write them down... like Riley reminding me, "Grandma, don't forget to say your pears," and Vanessa trying to explain the concept of "floating" at the hospital. Riley easily mastered creating AB patterns, "reading" from left to right in the word book she's making, and the proper way to hold scissors during our school time... but floating to her requires floaties which she graciously offered to share with her mommy as she headed off to work :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Best of Both Worlds

Hiking with Sam in Big Spring State Park...

Reading to Riley and Dorian...

4 years ago, I began this blog as a way of sharing our travel adventures. Though we've been home from overseas for over a year now, the adventures continue.

First there was Thailand, then Malaysia, followed by South Africa. Corpus Christi was our next stop, before Sam's job took us to Midland. Keeping up with us has become much like tracking hurricanes in more ways than one!!

As of this past Friday, I'm excited to share that I have the perfect job. For the first time ever in my career, I get to travel! I'll be working (hard to call a labor of love working, but it's my "job") a 7 and 7 schedule and couldn't be more pleased. I'll be spending 7 days in Houston being a "grandnanny" to my 2 precious grandchildren while Vanessa pursues her nursing career working six 12 hour night shifts. Then, I'll fly back to Midland to be with Sam and will fill my days by substituting for Midland ISD.

I'm so blessed to have this opportunity... truly the best of both of my worlds!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dancing With Rainbows!

The Joy of Being One!

Happy Birthday to Dorian Alexander Stone Hoskin

aka DASH, Mr. D., D Man, Prince Charming

Whatever we call him, he's a wonderful blessing!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shower or Bath?

For those of you who know me well, you know that I'm a bath taker. I LOVE the luxury of a long soak in the tub. It has nothing to do with getting clean... it's the experience. Unfortunately, it's an experience I'm having to choose to limit in these drought days. Water, something that I've take advantage of for most of my life, is running out here in west Texas. We need rain... lots of rain, but not the gully washer kind, we need a looong gentle soaking in order for it to make a lasting difference.

Again, for those of you who know me well, you know that this blog isn't about the current weather challenges. During my quiet time a few weeks ago, God placed this object lesson on my heart... just wanted to share.

I love to be showered in the refreshing, life giving word of God. But if that's all I ever do... a quick splash here and there, then before you know it, my heart is at risk. A good visual might be kind of like a dried up sponge. For me to be all that God has purposed me to be, then like the sponge, I must be immersed... making and taking the time for a looong soak in His holy presence. Fortunately when it comes to God's word and His presence, I don't have to choose. He blesses me with momentary glimpses of His being and delights when I choose to stay awhile... soaking in the glorious grace filled gift of His love.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's All About Roots!

It's been a long while since I've posted... life for Sam and me has been crazy hard this past year, but at the same time oh so, so, so, blessed! One of my most special blessings was celebrating 34 years of marriage to my guy. The picture above was taken on our anniversary at Monahan's Sandy Hills State Park...kind of a self portrait of sorts.

As you can see, Monahan's isn't exactly a tropical paradise...lots of beautiful sand, warm breezes...verrrry warm, but NO water. It's a pretty harsh environment, especially this year with the drought and all, yet if you'll notice on the top of the hill, there's a small forest of lush green mesquite. One has to wonder how the mesquite has managed to thrive while the grasses and other bushy vegetation have withered and died.

Of course the answer is it's all about roots! The hardy, drought tolerant mesquite can draw water from the water table with its tap root that, according to Wikipedia, can be as long as 160 feet. Pretty cool! I remember my dad instructing my brothers and me on the fine art of weed pulling, and much to our frustration, always insisting that we get the root along with the weed because he knew that roots were the weed's life link.... Reminds me of the parable Jesus told about the sower. "The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." Matthew 13:20

It was a purposeful choice of words when Jesus said "when" trouble comes... rather than "if" it comes. Trouble, valleys, disappointment, heartbreak... whatever you want to call it... life.... it will come, but praise be to God that He has given us His perfect unconditional love in which to plant and grow the roots of our souls, his Spirit to encourage and counsel us, and brothers and sisters in Christ to walk by our sides. I can't imagine my life without Sam... How blessed I am to love and be loved by a man who is so deeply rooted in the sacrificial love of our Savior that he would lay down his life for Vanessa, Riley, Dorian and me.... Truly, figuratively speaking, he already has.... over and over again.

So very thankful.... for God's love..... for Sam ..........and for the green of mesquite trees!

P.S. I posted this blog a few days ago, but just this morning reread in my journal notes from my study of The Purpose Driven Life and found these verses- Let your roots grow down into Christ and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth. Colossians 2:7 (LB) Blessed are those who trust in the Lord... They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) Love how God gives gifts of affirmation like this!!!