Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hey Mom! Look What I Found!

The government said I couldn't keep him, though, so I had to put him back.

He said he'll see you Saturday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Better Than New

Down the street from Glenna's prep school is a little consignment shop. It's in such a dangerous place for me, and I usually find myself browsing in there while waiting for Glenna to finish her classes. When I got back from New Mexico, however, I had a purpose! I wanted to finish decorating the downstairs guest room, or Grandma Room, as we're calling it. Both Grandmas will be staying there when they come for the wedding!

I absolutely love this store. They find furniture or take it on consignment, then they polish and fix and get everything in working order. Their prices are so reasonable! For the Grandma Room, I wanted some art for the walls and a small table to go between the twin beds. John had painted the room and painted the beds before I left, then assembled them while I was gone. It was ready for the finishing touches!

I found this cute little table. It had magazine racks on both sides. Perfect!

 So many great art pieces to choose from:

I picked up one of these beauties as a welcome home gift for My Kelly:

I also thought this white mirror would be perfect.

Here's the finished project!

From Better Than New I picked up the picture of flowers and the table,

and the mirror was perfect for the other wall.

Matching bedding sets from Goodwill, BRAND NEW, still in original packaging! Decorative pillow from Ikea.
The little chair with the red pillow is from Cast Connection at Disney. It's made of leather and I bought it for only ten dollars!

The art on this wall was found at the Youth Group yard sale to raise money for Kenya:
The bowl between the framed art is one that Himself's brother brought back when he was deployed to Jordan in the 80's. 

I love how it all came together, and I hope the Grandmas love it, too!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chili, Happy Landings, and Gratitude

Our last morning in Albuquerque, we awoke to a box of donuts sitting on the counter. Glenna and I started to assemble items for breakfast when Uncle Norm said, "I think Sandy is about to make some breakfast."

This is how Aunt Sandy makes breakfast:

She'll start pulling stuff out of the fridge, then Uncle takes over.

 Glenna is ready to travel! But first . . . 

Eggs just the way I like them, sausage, fruit, and toast.

Glenna had two eggs and two sausage.

Oh! And we both dove into the last ingredient of a New Mexico breakfast:
Uncle's Chili! Just spicy enough and oh, so good!

As if providing housing, a vehicle, petrol, and delicious food weren't enough, Aunt Sandy also had this bowl of candy sitting out on the table: 

When I complimented her on it, she smiled and said, "Oh, I thought you and Kelly and Glenna would each like to pick one out." 

What the WHAT? Would we???!!!?!

Glenna chose this one.

 I had a little more trouble choosing:
We agonized over which one to give Kelly. The one in its proper place on my ring finger is the one I chose for me. The one on my pinkie is the one we chose for Kelly. She absolutely loves it! 

The rings belonged to my Dad's cousin, Elaine, who passed away a couple of years ago. She left her jewelry to Aunt Sandy to do with as she pleased. All of the rings looked like they were from the 60's or 70's.

I love the Albuquerque airport. Just a few miles from Aunt Sandy and Uncle Norm's, it's full of classic New Mexico art and architecture. This statue is the first thing to greet us when we arrive, and the last thing we see when we leave.

The furniture and rugs immediately tell us that we're in the Southwest:

 "Mom? Did you just take a picture of the floor?"

Oh hush. Do your school.

 My Mom gave me such a gift when she bought a ticket for Glenna to come with me.
 I don't know how I could have made it through everything without her. God knew how much I would need her on this trip. 

By the time we hit Atlanta, however, she was toast. She was so ready to be back to the familiar. I would have carried her in my arms through that airport if I could.

Finally, Florida!
So glad we went. So good to be home! Then, four short days later, My Kelly was home from college for the summer. This, then, is what it means to have a cup overflowing with thankfulness.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Trek Back

It felt like it was just too soon to be leaving and going back to the busyness of everyday life. I must have hugged my Mom and brother a hundred times. I got in the car and then remembered that I wanted pictures of the three of us, so I handed Glenna the iPod.

 Mark took these:

As his sister, it's my duty to give him instructions.

 This is one of my favorites!

 It was heartbreaking to leave. My consolation was knowing that Mom would be here in Florida, in July, for a very special event! I can't wait to see her again, and I wish Mark could come, too. I treasured our time together so much.

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. The last time we were all together was when my step-Dad passed away, and I had thankfully insisted on photos then, as well. I'm so, so thankful I did. They're the last photos we have of Boyd.

I was talking to Mom the other night and she said that she feels the Lord brought Boyd back from his wanderings these past two years so we could all have him for a little while, get to know him again. This would have been even more devastating if we hadn't had these years together.

What I'm about to say does not apply to those who are physically or mentally harmed by someone and need to protect themselves by keeping a safe distance. But are any of you fighting or feuding with your family? Is there someone you haven't talked to in years? I tell you, it's not worth it. Choose love. Love allows God to do His work in others without you having to take it personally. Love allows you to have compassion, gentleness, and understanding from a God's-eye view. Love doesn't care about imperfections. Love speaks truth without hurting because there are no other motives than genuine concern. "Love keeps no record of wrongs." (1 Cor. 13) Forgive and choose love, because NONE of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

Glenna and I began our long drive back to Albuquerque. We stopped in one small town because it was traditional - it's also the place where cell phones begin to work again! (There are NO cell phone towers in Mom's small town.) We stopped at the corner market for some:

. . . and
We thought for sure this beef jerky would be oh, so good because GREEN CHILI! 

It was awful. It had no seasonings or salt. The original was worse! Both required these:

Our disappointed faces:

We stopped just south of Albuquerque to visit with my cousin and his family. Here's one of his grandsons!

Cautuion: Severe cute attack ahead!

How to describe his walk? Drunken sailor, gorilla, and toddler all in one.

My cousin had many dog piles everywhere. Here's one:

And another.

Yet another:

And still another!

My cousin Norm with his granddaughter, Jade. =)

Vicki! She's responsible for the care and keeping of Norm. And the dog piles. And everyone else.

Jacob, their son. =)

Crystal, the daughter-in-law and mother of the cuties!

In New Mexico, in pretty much the entire state, you can wear your guns unconcealed. You can also exercise the right of free speech because, "'MERICA".
 (Sign reads: Worst President Ever)

One more land and sky shot!

Back at Aunt Sandy and Uncle Norm's, my cousin's other daughter-in-law was there with her own couple of cuties. This is Annalece. =)

 And this is DJ.
 Their Daddy, Norm and Vicki's son, is serving in Afghanistan right now. 

 The red-headed wonder, Michelle! Norm and Vicki's daughter.

 Aunt Sandy and Uncle Norm have the most beautiful, peaceful yard. They have a ton of those solar lights in every shape and form, and at night the yard becomes magical.

One more night of New Mexico, then Glenna and I would have to head home.


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