Thursday, September 28, 2006

"Dig Deeper! Dig Deeper!" "You know what we need is a box!"

Well, I was finally able to use that "free" Northwest plane ticket that I "earned" last September 2005 when returning from Europe with Mom and Alal in the Memphis airport and after they flew on to their homes. After months of looking for a weekend that would coordinate with our schedules and planned trips, I was finally able to use my ticket to purchase a flight to Shreveport; and Dad used some of his frequent flier miles to purchase Mom, Aunt Jan, and Macy each a ticket as well. Thanks, Daddy! So early last Wednesday morning, we each flew into Memphis and joined one another and flew on together to Shreveport. After taking a taxi to Alal's home, we visited with Pawpaw for a few minutes before going to get some lunch , and then we began hitting the liquor stores for boxes to begin packing up the treasures in Alal's home.

That evening we began our packing, crying, laughing, etc. Then the next morning, we all awoke early and began working some more. And each time we stepped outside to catch our breath, we would have to smile when we looked across the street and saw a dog that would stay on his owners' rooftop awaiting their return. He was so cute and always brought a smile to everyone's face! Once we were out of boxes, we ran out for some lunch at The Real Pickle (if one is ever in the area, this fun restaurant is a must... just to read the menu...their selections are hysterical! I think that my personal favorite for that day was "Frankly my dear, I don't give a ham!") So we had a great lunch and then began searching for more boxes so that we could get back to work. Knowing that we needed to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy some protective packing boxes for china, we found ourselves behind the stores driving around for some "clean" dumpsters. We found one located behind a party store, so Macy and I watched while Mom & Aunt Jan began their search. While I saw a few "nice and clean" boxes coming out, I saw something else fly out! It was a pair of Bubba Teeth...still in their package! So I ran to assist Jan and encourage her to "Dig deeper; Dig deeper!" We were pulling out more and more toys than we knew what to do with, and we laughed so hard until we could no longer breathe! The funniest thing was when Aunt Jan was able to say, "You know what we need for all of this stuff is a box!" We had completely gotten off track! I never thought that I would find myself leaning into a dumpster and encouraging someone to look deeper (well, with the exception of our sweet Greg W. ;)! So after a little more "shopping", a quick clean-up, some Chinese take-out, we had a relaxing dinner and then got back to work! A what laughter those Bubba teeth gave us...even Pawpaw caught onto our contagious laughter! God knew that we needed some comic relief!

The next morning, we again awoke early and we realized how many new experiences Macy was having when she asked, "Are we going back to the liquor store or dumpster diving to get some new boxes!?! Are we driving or taking a taxi?" Sweet girl! After another long day of packing, the house definitely looked worse before it began to look better! We all hated that Pawpaw had to see it like that, but we did uncover many wonderful treasures! We found many photos; birth, wedding and death announcements; love-letters between our ancestors; baby and bridal clothes; family scrapbooks; etc. It was all so amazing and wonderful to behold!

Then Saturday morning, we were able to visit with two of Alal's dearest friends before Mom, Macy and I drove over to spend the afternoon with Mamaw. What a wonderful time we had seeing Mamaw. We took her out to lunch and then drove her to her home-town where there was a little festival with parade happening. We didn't know what time the parade was to begin, but with the Lord's blessing and perfect timing, we pulled the car up to a stop-sign right as the beginning of the parade approached us. Mamaw enjoyed getting to see many old friends, and we actually found ourselves as a part of the parade as the parade looped its way back out of town...we also found our newest passion...we met some wonderful people that owned a childrens' shelter and raises miniature horses, which we would love to do one day! After a wonderful day with Mamaw we returned to Shreveport, helped Aunt Jan box up a few more boxes before going to get some dinner.

The next morning we said our goodbyes to Aunt Jan as Pawpaw took her back to the airport, and Mimi, Macy and I joined Rachel and Brian Grete and their dear family for church and lunch. Then we returned back to Alal's house for a quiet afternoon and packed up a few last things before packing our suitcases for our trip back home. After such a rushed and busy weekend, we were all very tired and weary (and Macy wasn't feeling well), so we were looking forward to returning home and to be able to sit and relax on the plane-ride back home. The next morning, Pawpaw drove us all back to the airport, and we began our trip back home. Perhaps that plane trip was my breaking point for realization that things would never be the same again, for as our plane lifted off of the ground in Shreveport, I burst into tears and tried to grasp the realization that everything is completely different now. Although we all told her, I'm not sure that Alal would have ever realized how greatly we all loved her and how greatly she will be missed! After a quick lunch with Mimi in the Memphis airport, we headed to our different planes and returned home safely. It was SO good to be home!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Paintin' the town red!

Last night we had an enjoyable participating in Chattanooga's Museum Caper (museum hopping). Our little family began the evening together with dinner downtown followed by a trip to the Aquarium to see the Ocean Journey amazing! There is always something new to learn at the aquarium! Then we walked up the hill/rode a funucular (is that a Hungarian word or an American word?) to the Hunter Museum where we saw beautiful landscapes of Chattanooga from all sides of the building...but especially over the TN River. We then walked through the Hunter Mansion, which the girls really enjoyed. I was personally surprised at all of the history of Chattanooga and the South that we learned! From there we walked over to the Houston Museum where we were given an extremely informative tour of a lady's (named Annie) vast collection of glassware, ceramics, music boxes, tea sets, etc. Then we finished our evening at Rembrandt's for some fine chocolates and coffee...believe it or not, the girls were all asleep before we got home!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A fun evening with Aunt Jan & Uncle Eddie

What a wonderful Saturday afternoon we had. After a busy Saturday morning with soccer and a fun visit with the Scott family, we took the beautiful drive up to Monteagle. I don't know why I'm amazed every time we drive up there, but the scenery is so beautiful! And as we pulled into their driveway, we were greeted by two deer...the immediate set of a magical evening!

After some relaxing time visiting with one another, we enjoyed walking around their property and seeing the renovations to the cabin...the girls and I even gave it our stamp of approval! Any cabin with granite countertops...I will give serious consideration to camping in!

Then we drove to the restaurant Pearl's where we continued our fun just being together! The food was amazing...and we all just had a good time laughing at old times and anticipating our near future with laughter as well! "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!" Thanks again, Uncle Eddie & Aunt Jan, for just being you! We love you so much!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Molinator's Visit

Last night Macy helped Annie put her "lost" tooth in an envelope that she and Macy clearly labeled "To: The Molinator/From: Annie; Subject: Annie's 1st lost tooth." Then they carefully placed it under Annie's pillow! So early this morning, Annie came and climbed up onto our bed with the same envelope and such a sad face. She said that the Molinator had not gotten her envelope. I asked her if she had opened it to see if her tooth was still inside it. Her face lit up... and she opened the envelope to see that her tooth was gone, and instead she found a dollar bill and a dime. After a few minutes of her daddy's explaining to her that "the Molinator" gave her the dime for her tithe on Sunday, she looked at us and said, "Um...I think that I'll just do what y'all do on Sunday and just write it on paper [our checks]."
She does keep us rolling with laughter!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Annie's 1st "lost" tooth!

We've had an eventful afternoon...Annie lost her first baby tooth...and will probably lose the second baby tooth by the time that the day is over! Sadly, root(s) and all!

The girls were in the family room playing while I was preparing supper in the kitchen, and Tressie came running into the kitchen with her little camera and wanted me to know that Annie had been holding the strap in her mouth...then Annie came walking in the kitchen with one hand on her mouth and one hand holding out her little baby tooth...root and all! Can you piece the story together? Thankfully, we've gotten the bleeding to stop, and she's now looking and smiling about it in the mirror! Whew! She does look different!

As I'm sitting her next to her, she just exclaimed with her sweet, happy voice, "I'd been praying that I would have a wiggly tooth, and God does serve you glories [answers to prayer]!" Too funny!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Inverse Logic...guilty or innocent?

Yesterday, as I was chauffeuring the girls around to our appointments, lo and behold...we were a little early! Knowing that Tressie has low blood sugar and that we wouldn't be home before she "crashed," I bought the girls an M&M blizzard to share with one another. SO I passed it to Macy along with a spoon and napkins, and I asked them each to carefully take two bites and pass it on to the next! Simple enough...right? Well, after a minute or two, I overheard Annie excitedly shout, "Hey! Now let's do it in the inverse!" Shocked that she knew that word and actually used it correctly, I continued driving thinking of how proud I was of sweet girls using intelligent words! Then after a few more minutes...and they were still passing it back and forth, it came to me... Annie was sitting in the middle of the passing line! So if they were to share with Macy passing it on to Annie, then Annie passing it on to Tressie, then the inverse! Annie was getting double dibs!!! That weasel! I tried not to laugh; I tried not to accuse (since I can't be absolutely sure that she wasn't innocent...can I?); I tried not to fuss at Macy for not catching Annie in this ice cream heist; and I tried to be the responsible mother and to explain the math and logic of passing it: Macy, Annie, Tressie, Annie, Macy, Annie, Tressie, ...! No one seemed to be following my logic, so thankfully I heard a slurp and the whole thing was tossed out the window...conversation, cup and all! (At an appropriate receptacle!)

"I can't see Jack!"

Today I had to laugh when I overheard Annie today...I had to ask her, "What did you say?" I saw her playing with some building toys in her room in the dark, so I offered to turn her light on for her. And when I turned the light on, the ceiling fan also came on, so I jumped and pulled the string a couple of times...and the fan was spinning SO fast. Then I heard her say, "I can't see Jack!" I asked her to say it again, and she did. She then told me that she had named one of the blades "Jack" and that she couldn't see him when he was spinning around so fast! I cracked up laughing and told her how much I enjoyed being her mommy! I wish that I could catch some other thoughts of hers in that head!