Not My Grandma

Mother’s Day which was also Grandma’s 86th birthday
Gigi, Ella, Tía
Amelia, me, Grandma
Aviana, Brielle, Cora
only woman in our family not pictured, my lovely aunt Barb

Not My Grandma!

Some grandmas sit and stare out the window
hoping forlornly for some company
Not my grandma!
My grandma sits and writes letters
sending her company to us with love

Some grandmas walk with a cane
shuffling along, afraid of falling
Not my grandma!
My grandma hops astraddle a horse
laughing all the while

Some grandmas live in Florida
and play bridge and bingo with old folks
Not my grandma!
My grandma lives with her daughter
and plays Memory with preschoolers even when they cheat

Some grandmas wear ridiculous red hats
with bright red lipstick that doesn’t go, bedazzling the world
Not my grandma!
My grandma wears bright purple butterfly tee shirts
with love that is boundless, lighting up for those who matter

Some grandmas go on cruises around the world
and spend their money on men and gin
Not my grandma!
My grandma comes to my house to be with her family
and buys pizza and fried chicken
and overpriced hamburgers

Some grandmas have wrinkles and crow’s feet
saggy jowls and bulldog frowns
Not my grandma!
My grandma has skin softer than my baby’s bum
feather hands that hold my own
and beautiful brown eyes that crinkle when she laughs

Some grandmas make scratchy sweaters of
hideous colorways and expect
their grandchildren to wear them to school
Not my grandma!
My grandma creates gorgeous quilts of
coordinating colors to snuggle up under and is
amazed when we’re delighted with her work

Some grandmas take their grandchildren to
smoky casinos to play the slots or craft shows with endless booths
Not my grandma!
My grandma takes her children to
the ballpark to watch the game and libraries and
church with stained glass windows to the ceiling

Some grandmas are busy with their work,
in a store, in the house, in the garden, working for their worth
Not my grandma!
My grandma notices. Pauses. Stops. Listens. Prays. Hugs.
Her worth is from her God.

She is small with a heart so big
She laughs easily and loves well.
She gives of herself to those in need, those in want, and to those
who don’t know what they need or want.
She is patient. She is kind.
She is not self serving.
She is love.
She is no longer of this earth,
but she is enduring.
Her faith. Her love. Her hope.
In me.
I hope.

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Daybook –26 October

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Outside my window… dark–I am writing this at one in the morning. Last I checked it was chilly and raining. Again.

I am thinking… how I’d really like to trade lives with someone else…and then feel guilty about it.

I am thankful for… my dear ever lovin’ husband. He loves me at my worst and adores me at my best. And I was not kind to him today.

I am wearing… Grey pants from LLBean, a see-throughish light weight palest pink sweater from Gap, and an Old Navy dove grey sweater coat–bought 2 out of 3 pieces second hand for a song.

I am remembering… I am remembering…

I am going… if all goes as planned, to a children’s museum with my cousin and her kids

I am reading… not pictured: Mind Siege–a must read for anyone wondering what in the world is going on these days. Finished Tears in a Bottle–highly recommend;

I am hoping… Monday will be a much better day than Sunday; Sunday was NOT a good day.

I am creating… a poem to help me grieve my grandmother

On my mind…marriage and all it’s wonderful and dreadful complexities. Today my ever lovin’ husband sternly told me, “It’s SO hard being married to a woman!”

From the learning rooms… the usual–books, and more books and “Please, Mama, can we read the encyclopedia?” “Well, sure we can, darlin’!”

Noticing that… I really need to have a tantrum.

Pondering these words… “In my Father’s house there are many rooms”…I hope I get the one next to my grandma.
From the kitchen… apple sauce, apple crisp; maybe we can eat that the rest of the week, because otherwise, I have no idea
Around the house… Made our family room more hospitable, considerably tidied up the kitchen

One of my favorite things…chocolate.

From my picture journal…

You are greatly missed, treasured woman, but I’m so glad you’ve found His arms.
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Motherhood is not good for my self-esteem

Aviana: You know why I’m just sitting here not doing anything?
Me: Why?
Aviana: I’m practicing to be a mama.

Aviana: Mama, what’s plump?
Me: It means just a little fat.
Aviana: Oh, like you?
Aviana and Brielle were arguing whether or not balloons were made of paper or plastic. Usually, I just let them work it out, but Miss A was not being kind to her sister. I entered in the fray by contending they were made of neither.

Aviana was not about to concede her position, but finally after much patient (on my part) back and forth, she gave up, saying, “Fine. You can’t teach a Sneetch.”

What? Am I a Sneetch in this little scenario?

Bless her little innocent heart; she means well. It just doesn’t come out that way sometimes.

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Daybook 19 October

To see more daybooks or join in, click on the above picture.

Outside my window… beautiful sunny warmish–THIS is what fall should be like

I am thinking… how well behaved my three year old is when I stake her.

I am thankful for… quiet time–especially when it’s quiet
bargains–I had fun yesterday thrifting alone and trying out a new retail store.
Being essentially done with Christmas shopping.

I am wearing… Gap slicky pants, an Iowa State hoodie, and a Cedar Falls Cross-Country long sleeved tee from when I helped coach in college, and yes, I’m actually dressed to the shoes.

I am remembering… fun and laughter with my grandma

I am going… to see all my family this week. Probably. If my grandma dies. She hasn’t eaten or drank for 8 days, I don’t know how she’s still alive. It must be torture for her.

I am reading… A Higher Justice–it’s due tomorrow and I’ve already renewed it! It’s good, but I just can’t seem to focus on it. Going to get started on Spiritual Mothering, and join in on a Bible study late

I am hoping… Kevin gets a lot done this week so he can stop feeling so stressed about harvest. Although, I’m disgusted how yesterday he combined soybeans and today the house if full of Asian beetles.

I am creating… Thanksgiving/Christmas cards. Combined. Unusual, but I like Thanksgiving better than New Year’s.

On my mind…I have no idea–having trouble focusing

From the learning rooms… Weather (they brought one of the books into my bed this morning. First thing of the day, we’re reading! Sheesh. Whose kids are these anyway?)

Noticing that… the more sleep I get, the better mood I am in–wild, I know.

Pondering these words…
Matt Redman – You Never Let Go
From the album Passion 06: Everything GloriousOh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

From the kitchen… Ham balls, mashed potatoes, pumpkin dessert, yogurt
Around the house… putting away clothes–it seems like I am always putting away clothes.

One of my favorite things… when the baby comes tearing toward me as fast as his little legs can rotate, and throws himself at me, knocking me over and then him chortling at his greatness.

From my picture journal…
Hey Cadrian, what are you doing under there? Oh, searching for and subsequently eating, little bits of shredded cheese? Well, that’s ok then. Carry on.

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Not enough

Like my farm fresh cup? You know you’re jealous.

There is not enough caffeine in this world for today.

I tell ya.

Kevin worked until almost ten last night, but when he got in, he was so jazzed about all the work he had gotten done, he wanted to watch a late night movie with me. And me, turn down time with my Handsome Husband? As if!

We watched Panic Room, which is a really good movie as long as you make sure your TV Guardian is working to mute all the naughty words (which it was) and you close your eyes whenever it looks like someone is going to get shot or beat up (which I do).

I wish I had a panic room, just so I could nap in it.

By the time we went to bed, it was apparently time for Cadrian to start his middle of the night cry fest/ fun fest. Arrgh!

Finally, I escaped to the guest room where I couldn’t get back to sleep for what seemed like hours.

I’ve pretty much let the kids run wild today; not doing any organized activities with them, except the forced labor camp I run here once in a while.

My parents called because Grandma was lucid. They wanted us to talk with her for possibly the last time. It just made me cry.

My living room stinks and I think it’s because there is something dead in the duct work.

My camera doesn’t seem to be working right.

I can’t get warm.

I’ve got two kids actually asleep and the other behaving herself quietly, and all I can think of to do is obsessively check my inbox and facebook. Dumb.

Any other day, I would be jumping for joy for the chance to read or scrap or watch a girlie movie alone…

Thank God I have Someone to lean on, because today, I don’t have enough.

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Farm Funnies

I’m the self appointed comedic relief. I’ll call down to the care center where my mom and my aunt are keeping vigil by my grandma’s side a couple times a day with gems like these:

Husband: These socks hurt my feet!

Me: What?

Husband: These socks are killing my feet where the seam that I superglued is rubbing in my boot!

Me: What? Why did you superglue your socks?

Husband: YOU won’t darn them!

Me: Ohhhhh.

Brielle: ‘Wember what the trees wook wike covered in snow?
Me: What?
Brielle: Wike twees covered in snow!


We should CELEBRATE that Grandma Leonard gets to go home to be with God. AND! You’ll get to be with her when you die. And you’ll also get to be with Esther!


Who’s there?
Soup who?

The girls know that I absolutely adore the site Cakewrecks and that it makes me laugh out loud every. single. time. They totally don’t understand why it’s so funny, but they love to laugh. They’ll both crowd onto me and say things like, “Wook at that wedding cake! It’s sooooo funny!” (and it isn’t) or “Oooh, I wike that pwetty butterfly!” (and it very much isn’t!) or “May I have a tea party take?” (ummmm…NO!) And all their commentary makes me laugh all the more.

Today Brielle was tied to her bed having quiet time and heard me in on the computer, cackling to myself. She commenced a fit; “I want to see the pretty wedding takes! I want to see the pwetty wedding takes!!”

Well, I got the better of her. I wasn’t even laughing because I was on Cakewrecks. So there, little three year old. Ha!
Aviana put a blanket over the lid of the toy box which is balanced between the couch and the toy box. She crawls in to her little cave and says, “I just want to be left alone. Just let me be alone in my new claim shanty. This is my new claim shanty.”

As her little brother pulls on the blanket and ruins the house, she says, “Rats. Well, I guess a little girl only five years old can’t be expected to build a very sturdy claim shanty.”

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Daybook October 12

Outside my window… dreary grey chilly

I am thinking… grieving makes me bake

I am thankful for… KNOWING what happens after death

I am wearing… broken in Gap jeans, a favorite long sleeved tee with my MOPS fleece over it

I am remembering… fun and laughter with my grandma

I am going… to get my first knitting project done this week. Or this month. Probably.

I am reading… Puzzle of Ancient Man

I am hoping… to mourn well

I am creating… A new version of this book. It came in the mail as part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It has beautiful illustrations and is multicultural. It is poetic and depicts the lives of eight children from different countries throughout their day. However, it is quite odd in that it “thanks” the sun for waking, the sky for being, the clouds for billowing, the trees for reaching. WHAT?!

How can anyone honestly thank the created inanimate entities for doing what God created them to do?

I wrote a new poem and armed with spray adhesive and my printout, changed all the words.Our new book starts out, “Thank you, God, for the sun, waking me in the morning and coloring the sky. Thank you, God, for the sky, begging me to touch it, when I’m swinging high.” And ends with “Thank you God, for Mama and Dada who’re giving kisses, saying prayers, and tucking me in tight. And thank you, God for nighttime. I know You’re in the shadows and everything’s all right.”

There. That’s better.

On my mind… how the degeneration of this world equals great loss.

From the learning rooms… animal secrets, great improvements (like electricity and running water)

Noticing that… The number of hand towels to bath towels is oddly disproportionate.

Pondering these words…
But in my mind’s eye I can see a place
Where Your glory fills every empty space.
All the cancer is gone,
Every mouth is fed,
And there’s no one left in the orphans’ bed.
Every lonely heart finds their one true love,
And there’s no more goodbye,
And no more not enough,
And there’s no more enemy (no more).

From Steven Curtis Chapman’s gorgeous single Heaven is the Face

From the kitchen… Yeast sweet rolls, apple crisp, baked spaghetti casserole

Around the house… already cleaned up from my baking spurt

One of my favorite things… nursing

From my picture journal…

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A day

It’s funny–I was posting on a forum about my day. My day can be summed up in about 5 sentences. Maybe less, maybe more, depending on who I’m talking to and how well they listen.

Started the day practically head ache free, and if you had any idea how much PAIN the last few days have been, that’s really saying something. Aviana and I went to a historical village and then to McDonald’s Playplace with a friend. We stopped at a store; she’s a great little shopping partner. After picking up the littles from my in-laws’, we had some all together quiet time. We played some card games together, made cookies together, and read together. They went to bed.

I can’t begin to sum up how annoyed I was when I dropped my coffee and it splatter BOTH of the girls all over the backs of their matching shirts before we’d even left the house.

I can’t begin to summarize how enamored I was, holding hands with my five year old as we strolled around the historical village together, talking big girl talk.

I can’t even describe how much I loved having my preschooler run outside barefoot on this chilly day to greet me with a ginormous hug.

I couldn’t tell you the depth of my heartache talking on the phone to my grandma who sounded far past muddled because of all the meds she is on in the hospital.

I can’t fathom how to describe the outpouring of emotion that overcame me reading the heartfelt letter from one of our fellow “Samaritans” in Samaritan’s Ministry, who sent our check back, praising God their medical bills had already been paid!

I can’t begin to tell you how mirthfully sweet it is seeing Aviana in the new coat I got her. She’s an adorably innocent cross between a pimp and a Muppet.

I can’t possibly talk about how amazing it is seeing my toddler rush toward me when a gleam in his eye, and start signing to try and describe all the things he’s seeing and learning.

And still, even after trying to describe this day a little, I still can’t.

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FOR TODAY…5 October 2009

Outside my window… dark, but it was a beautiful day! I can’ t seem to get on the ‘puter during the day any more.

I am thinking…rats–the hubs just came home; no more hogging the ‘puter, and I’m not done yet!

I am thankful for…early bedtimes

I am wearing… purple plaid jammas, and my purple robe

I am remembering…the good times with my Grandma

I am creating…title pages for my albums–I usually just do two page layouts so it’s been fun whipping out the one pagers

I am going…to see some friends this week

I am reading…a James Scott Bell novel–pretty good!

I am hoping…my grandma can get out of the hospital and will live a high quality remainder of life

On my mind…my family

From the learning rooms…oceans, waves, currents

Noticing that…I am getting into these “routines” and my home is better for it.

Pondering these words…He who laughs–lasts. ~Wilfred Peterson

From the kitchen… chili, cornbread, quesadillas

Around the house…general upkeep–getting my fall clothes out of the bin and into the closet (a project I started several days ago)

One of my favorite things…having a lie in

A few plans for the rest of the week…reuniting with my MOPS friends, lunch at a friend’s, Kevin’s band gig, to the movies with my husband IF it rains and IF we can get a babysitter

From my picture journal…

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