Monday, July 31, 2006

The beautiful sound of late Summer evenings!

It has finally arrived...the wonderful sound of late summer evenings! One can hear the sound of the "Katy-did" (as I have always called it) and/or cicada for some distance! And the sound that they make in the evening is such a beautiful sound! One thing that I love about living on a mountain is that in the Fall one can see the Fall colors creep down the side of the mountain; in the Spring one can see the new green growth crawl up the side of the mountain; and in the very beginning of Summer, one can roll down the car window to hear one or two katy-dids singing at the bottom of the mountain, and at this time of year, one will hear the dense, synchronized chorus that I find so amazingly beautiful! The beautiful sound of late Summer evenings is finally here!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cute, new guy in the neighborhood!

Look at the new guy that just moved into the neighborhood! He's SO cute!
I think that our girls just have a different way of life...somehow our girls have a life with little to no change (for the most part, I think that's a good thing!), so when we do something fun twice, they claim that "We always have to do it!" So after dinner, our tradition has become an evening walk over to feed the white reindeer...their favorites are apples and carrots! And this evening, when we went to feed them, we couldn't find any of them. We couldn't see them anywhere, but then we looked right beside us, and there is the newest member! It is the most beautiful young male reindeer that I've ever seen...and I've seen a lot of reindeer! He's so warm and soft, especially his antlers! I was really surprised at how warm and fuzzy his antlers were! And he loved having his ears, antlers, and neck rubbed! He's absolutely adorable! Now if THIS isn't education, I don't know what is! (However, Annie is still sure that they'll sprout wings to fly....around Christmas time, she says! We may need to work on her reindeer biology a little more, but for now her "knowledge" is cute!)

I love you, Mother Simpson!

101 years ago today (July 24th) my dearest, great-grandmother was born! For some time now, we have relished the fact that we have FIVE, living generations (taking photos of us all together whenever possible)...and in addition to that, my girls and I have been so richly blessed by the Christian heritage set before us!

This evening our little family called her to wish her a happy birthday. It was SO wonderful to hear her voice! The girls sang Happy Birthday to her, and we talked to her for a brief period. I always seem to be in tears when I have leave her or have to end our phone conversations. She has the most beautiful, sing-song voice with the dearest of Southern accents, and her spirit is to be admired forever! She is the most humble, gracious, forgiving, loving, and understanding lady of all ladies that I've ever known! And likewise, she is the most generous person, always willing to share what little she has. If only I could live more like her!

This last weekend, our extended family and friends celebrated her 101st birthday with our traditional, annual birthday party in a small town, which is south of Dothan, Alabama. Sadly, we weren't able to join everyone; however, we are already anxiously awaiting next year's 102nd birthday celebration!

A cute story that I'll always remember about her: for her 100th birthday party, my dad collected and retold some information about her early childhood...he questioned her about the first time that she had ever seen a car. My dad pushed her to get some more information about who owned the car, and she continued to sweetly say, "Oh, some man from up north." Dad pushed further and further to learn that the man had lived up north...Alabama that is! He was from somewhere around Birmingham, Alabama! Of course, to a small town, southern family, Birmingham, AL was a long distance in those days! She is so precious, and she does keep us laughing!

May this next year be another blessed year with our dear Mother Simpson!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy Birthday, my sweet!

Happy Birthday, my sweet!

Today is Eric's birthday, and what a great day he (we) have had! The girls and I joined him at noon for a little lunch/picnic downtown at Miller Plaza for the "Rhythm & Noon" concert, which was pretty nice...acoustic folk and jazz. The music sounded like that of Gordon Lightfoot, which the girls loved and had to dance quite a bit...Eric has made them pretty, big fans of "the man that sings Pony Man"! Then the girls and I ran a couple of errands before we met up with Eric again. For his birthday, he was hoping for some great ribs (which is NOT part of my cooking repertoire!), so he humbly showed me a free birthday rib dinner e-mail that his favorite rib restaurant, Sticky Fingers, had given to him! Could it get better? Yes, it could! As we were leaving to go to the restaurant, the girls discovered in the mailbox 3 $10 gift cards as a prize for an essay that they had secretly submitted (with some help) for a Father's Day essay contest on "Why My Daddy is the Best on the Planet." 1st place was a grill; 2nd place was a year's supply of sauce; and 3rd place was a $10 gift certificate...they only submitted one essay, but they each were given a gift card! Woohoo! So the girls and I were able to take Eric out to dinner for his birthday without actually spending his money! Okay, maybe a little bit of it!
And with an extra special dinner here at home Saturday night and a little birthday party get-together (with a couple of other friends that share the same birthday!) on Sunday night, I would say that this has been a good birthday to let Eric know how much we love and appreciate him!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, my dearest Drew!

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday, dearest Dr-ew!
Happy Birthday to You!

Ya-Ya loves you SOOOO much!

Happy Birthday! We love you!
Ya-Ya, Uncle Ricci,
Macy, Annie & Tressie

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New at Blogging!

Well, I'm beginning to think that I too can't live without blogging! What a great way this is to keep up with friends and family! And to allow friends and family to keep up with us!

I'm not sure just how often I will post; however, I believe that blogging (just as journaling does) will assist me in seeing how truly blessed I am!

I have been given such a wonderful husband, and three, wonderful, little pride & joys (nicknamed the DixieChirps by Aunt K-ren)! Wonderful parents! A dear, wonderful sister and friend! A roof over our heads! Food on our table! Man's best friend, our dog named Brody! And a wonderful group of friends and family to call my own!

Here's to my newest adventure in blogging!

Mamaw's 87th Birthday Party!

Macy and I just returned from a fun trip to Dallas, where we flew to be with my Aunt Losi and Uncle Richard. After struggling to use a ticket that I had "earned" on my last plane trip coming back from Memphis on Northwest (argh!), my sweet Dad bought me, Macy, and my mom tickets using some of his Delta miles...thanks, Daddy! Knowing that meals were in the freezer and that Eric and the girls were going to be okay (with a HUGE special thanks to the Bosshardt family AND Kara and Amelia Crouch!), we packed our bags and headed for the airport! And as we had planned, we flew out of Chattanooga on July 5th and into Atlanta, which is where my mom got on the next plane with us to Dallas. We arrived on time, and my uncle picked us up telling us that our aunt Losi was really ill. As we were planning to follow "our" plan, the Lord had another plan of His own. We spent the evening with my uncle, and we enjoyed an evening out to dinner with him...all the while praying for a quick recovery for Aunt Losi. We then returned to their home, and we spent a wonderful evening on their back porch (equipped with ceiling fans, TV, fridge, etc.) while Macy enjoyed swimming in their pool. And we have to say that Uncle Richard, whom we called "Coco, our Texan houseboy" was so wonderful to spend time with us girls and cater to our every whim!

The next day, we awoke and went straight back out to their wonderful back porch to visit some more and watch Macy swim some more. At a moment when Macy and I were alone, we decided to pray for a miracle...for God to heal Aunt Losi so that she could join us and we could enjoy spending time with each other. As we finished praying, Mom came outside to tell us that Aunt Losi was feeling better and was sitting in their living room...Hooray! Macy and I laughed and said that God does answer our prayers, even miracles! So our trip continued to be wonderful...a time to visit with one another, laugh, swim, etc. And Macy is becoming quite a good swimmer!

The next day, we sadly left Uncle Richard and drove off to Louisiana to celebrate Mamaw's 87th birthday. I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the trip was riding in the back of that fancy, new car with Macy...I'm not sure that anyone had even sat back there before we did! We stopped in Shreveport to have lunch with Great Pawpaw, and it was so wonderful to see him even if it was just for a short while! Then we hurried on to Ruston to get to Mamaw's nursing home in time for Macy to play Bingo with her! They went; they played; they won! Then we checked into our hotel, went and ordered Mamaw's birthday cake, picked up some party favors, and drove back to the nursing home where we spent a fun evening in the lobby with Mamaw and some of her friends.

Going back and forth to Louisiana this Spring and Summer, we have been able to visit with Mamaw more this year than at any other time in my life. So we have gotten to know some of the other ladies and her friends that are also living at Alpine Retirement Home. Well, we have fallen in love with another lady, Claire Rose, that was moved to Alpine last year when she and her husband were evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. Since then her husband has passed away, and sweet Claire Rose is not even aware of it. She speaks with such a heavy, Cajun/French accent that no one can tell what she is saying, but we just absolutely love talking to her. There are a few words that we can distinguich, and she would call Macy "Angel." Aunt Losi and I began to talk to her about music; we asked if she could play this or that instrument, and her face would just light up. She then began to sing some Cajun songs, and we actually danced along to her "music." Mamaw even felt like getting out of her wheel chair to dance a little with us. We had so much fun! Later that evening, we returned to our hotel for a good night's sleep.

The next morning, we ate b'fast at the hotel, visited some with Mamaw, and then we drove out into the country (you've gotta love the beauty of some of those "backroads" of Louisiana) to pick up some newly published geneology books that Mom had ordered. And as we drove back to Ruston, we ran into some great friends/family from Florida that also has family in Ruston, Greg and MaryAnn Waldron! It was wonderful to see them! Then we hurriedly picked up the birthday cake and rushed back to Alpine to quickly decorate the reception hall where we had a wonderful birthday party for Mamaw! Close friends and family and many of the residents joined us to wish her a happy birthday. And as a surpise, my cousin Mike and his family joined us, and his youngest son Luke played the piano for her while we served cake and ice cream. What fun it was!

After the party, Macy and I went with my aunt Lil, my cousin Amy, and her two girls, Melanie and Miranda, to run a few errands and then back to the hotel to let the kids play in the pool while we visited, ate dinner, and played Skip-Bo, which is a favorite Bennett family past time! Amy and I rearranged luggage to accommodate 4 boxes of clothes that she brought for our 3 girls...thanks, Amy! Then we later said goodbye, and we enjoyed another restful night in the hotel talking, laughing and watching a good movie on TV.

The next morning, we quickly ate breakfast at the hotel and went to have Sunday School at Alpine with Mamaw. Of course, I'm always a little late getting places, but this time I had a great excuse....when we walked into the lobby at Alpine, there sat my sweet Claire Rose, so Macy and I offered to take her to SS with us. So Macy took off with her in her wheel chair, and there were two other wheel-chair bound ladies that wished to go too. So I pushed one and pulled the other one. We laughed all the way down the hall...I had them saying, "Weeee!" And then when we got their chairs situated in a jumbled mess in the chapel, the deacon that was there to lead SS said, "My! We have more people in here than ususal!" Well, Macy and I were out of breath, but we still let out a little giggle, knowing that we had literally dragged a few extras into there! SS was wonderful, and our family truly enjoyed getting to hear Miss Nettie get up and sing, "This Little Light of Mine" while she told us that she was a 90 yr. old Christian, loved Jesus, and loved everyone in the room! She sang and danced while most of the residents wheeled themselves out while all were saying, "She does this every, single time!" But we enjoyed it!

After spending more time with Mamaw, we sadly had to say goodbye and drive back to Dallas. Once we arrived back in Dallas, Uncle Richard unloaded his car that had never seen so much stuff! And we all ended up back onto their back porch while Macy (and I) swam a little! Then dinner, some jamming with the drums, congos, etc. and a little game of Phase 10, and we all went to bed...not knowing what we would do tomorrow morning before our flight back home!

The next morning, we awoke, packed our suitcases/bags (at least all that would fit!), and drove off toward "Sam Moon's," which is a store that I will never make it too! Aunt Losi, now being called Lo-Lo, has told me about it for years, so we said goodbye and thank you to Uncle Richard and left for Sam Moon's. And on the way, Lo-Lo drove us through what looked like Mexico for all of the cheap prices, yet "ALL" of the signs were in Chinese! We hit the jackpot! I found the extra luggage that I "greatly-needed" as well as an extreme deal on some jewelry! Mom found the turquoise jewelry that she "greatly needed"! Macy found the "cute, little, pink purse that she greatly needed"! And Lo-Lo couldn't get us back to the car to hurry on to Sam Moon's! So I still didn't make it Sam Moon's, but there is always a next time!

Then an amazing lunch at Los "Something" where we had a great time eating, laughing, and talking. Then we stood in the shade and repacked all of the clothes from Amy and our new purchases into our new luggage, and off to the airport we went! We hated saying goodbye and thank you to Aunt Losi, but we were also excited to get back home! And again, it was fun to fly on the same plane with Mimi as far as Atlanta, and then we separated our paths for us to return to Eric (aka "Macy's" Daddy), Annie, and Tressie and for Mimi to return to Pawaw (aka "my" Daddy)!

As the girls always say, "Home again! Home again! Jiggety-Jig!"

It is SO wonderful to have family to love, be loved, and just to enjoy being with one another! Thank you, dear Lord, for a safe and wonderful trip!