what I believe

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind!
~Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Corners of my Mind. . . .

My paternal grandmother, Hazel Taylor,  passed away when I was just a toddler, about 2 years old.  Even though I was a small child, I can still remember bits and pieces of her. . . tucked away in the corners of my mind.

~This is a picture of her holding my uncle, when he was a baby~

~My Grandma, my father on the right, my aunt Lois standing in the middle, Uncle Lorin on the left~

I can remember standing in her kitchen, looking up at her, as she handed me something from the breadboard.  I don't remember her face, but I remember her dress, and her apron, and her kind hands as she handed me some sweet treat that she had made.  I also remember sitting on the arm of a large over-stuffed chair, and having her arm around me...such sweet memories.  She was a wonderful, soft, gentle, woman, who loved her family and was very devoted to them.  She loved her flower garden and vegetable garden, and spent many hours taking care of both.  She was a good cook, and an immaculate house-keeper, who always had something hot on the stove for anyone who might stop by who had not eaten.

My father absolutely adored his mother, and from what my mother tells us, was never the same when she passed away.  When my father was in the Navy, during WWII, he wrote her a letter every week.  My mother still has those letters, all tucked away in an old shoebox, just like grandma left them.  My grandmother passed away at an early age, early 60's, and so did my father, we buried him on his 60th birthday; I am sure that they had a very sweet reunion on the other side when he passed. 

I am the lucky recipient of a few of her belongings, they are tucked away in my china hutch, and in my hope chest, mostly for my eyes only, as they just seem to precious to display.  When I do take them out to clean them, I can feel her near me, loving me as I know she did many, many years ago, and as she still does today.  

Earlier this Spring, my sister and I drove by my grandparent's old home, and low and behold, it was for sale.  We took one of the fliers and when we looked at it, it was unbelievable how the memories of being inside that house just came flooding back, sights and smells, everything! 

Memories . . . ever so sweet!

"What we remember from childhood we remember forever — permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen."
 ~Cynthia Ozick~



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer . . .

I can't believe how quickly this summer has flown by - it has been over a month since my last post!  We have been keeping very busy with all the fun things that summer brings, and all the not so fun things...

We just got back from our annual family camping trip - tons of fun!  Here are a few highlights.

Of course, we were in our usual camping spot, doing our usual fun stuff . . . everyone like to shoot, yes, we are a gun loving family!  These are my two oldest grands and they are really good shots!  

If you want to have a campfire, you need firewood, so grandpa and Christian made quick work of a few dead trees.

 We had really fun times around the campfire, lots of s'mores, lots of laughter and music!

I love to hear Christian play his guitar, and around the campfire - oh my goodness!

Ave had fun in the hammock . . . this is one of her favorite things to do while camping!  You will always see this hammock in my camping pics!

She also loves the swing, she really loved it when Caleb pushed her as high as he could!

Taylor Jo, spending precious time with, Bandit, her puppa,  he loved the swing too!

 Sleeping babies are always a good thing....shhhhhhh.  I wish I had eyelashes like my Tanner baby!

We also had lots of awake time - love those "baby blues"!

Brody was very careful, and always used safety-glasses . . . especially over his own glasses!  Isn't he adorable?!

He also made a pretty good human shield from the air-soft guns . . . shame on you Christian!

All kidding aside, gun safety is really important to our family.  Here's James giving the boys a few tips on gun safety, and these two were all ears.

The kids had fun building, "shanties", little huts made of dead branches.  Don't you think they did a great job?!  I would love to add a few little fairy houses, and maybe some gnome homes to the mix.

This little gnome will do, perfect fit for Nathan!

Emily loved playing, Farkle, with her dad!  I love seeing these grands having fun with their parents . . . making memories . . .

Clara and Nathan, playing a game on the ipad - these two are 3 years old! What will they be able to do when they are 33 years old?  Only time will tell, but I'm sure it will be something incredible!

Clara got away with grandpa's hat . . . and his heart!

Diana took the kids on a hike, and it was so hot!  Emily was trying to cool herself with the spray-fan . . . when . . .

she got the surprise of her life!!  I don't think she knew it would really spray her with water!  What a funny face!  Oh, how I love this girl!

Christian is growing up so fast.  It won't be long and he will be all grown up, hopefully still camping with grandma and grandpa!  I can't wait to tell his children stories about him!

 Taylor is growing up too - I just can't believe how quickly time flies! She is a precious angel!

I love these mountains, and the time that we are so blessed with to spend in them.
I  hope that the time we spend here, will teach us to love nature
and try as hard as we can to help preserve it's beauty!

After six, long and wonderful days, it was time to go home.  The skies started turning grey, and I knew that rain was on the way.  Leaving is always hard, but next year will come very quickly . . . I hope I am ready!

I've really missed everyone, hope to be catching up really soon!



Saturday, June 14, 2014

Something for Saturday . . .

I just love old art prints, especially simple prints with simple colors, and simple subjects.  These cute prints were given to me by my sweet sister.  Her church was up-dating their library, and was giving away all of the out dated pictures.  I just love these simple prints and can't wait to frame them!

This one is going in my downstairs bathroom, don't you just love the old fashioned, vintage feel of this picture!?

 This one is going in my spare bedroom, where my little grands sleep when they stay overnight.  It will remind them to say their prayers before bed. . . so cute!

These prints remind me of my own childhood.  I love to think about the past, and remember the way that I felt when I was young, but I'm glad that time marches on, and makes us who we are today!

"Look not at the days gone by with a forlorn heart. They were simply the dots we can now connect with our present, to help us draw the outline of a beautiful tomorrow."



Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Fun Stuff. . .

You know, it 's not a wonder everyone I know is watching their weight . . . including me!  A few weeks ago, as we were dining out, and I notices how huge hamburgers are these days!  When I was younger, which was a long time ago, hamburgers were just a normal size, french fries came in a little bag, and the drinks were just one size, unless you ordered one for a child.  Now, just get a load of these burgers!!

We really giggled about this burger, my mom could hardly get her hands around it, let alone take a bite!!  She finally cut it in quarters to eat it, and then half of it went home with her.

Then, get a load of this big boy!!  Needless to say, we ended up bringing half of it home too, it was just huge!! And notice the fries, they really fill up the plate!  I guess it's time to start sharing a plate with my husband when we go out to dinner!?

Have a great week-end everyone!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Closure . . .

This is a post I have put off, not really sure whether I wanted to  post about it or not . . . please bear with me on some very personal thoughts.

The last few weeks have been just full of emotion, of thoughts and feelings that I thought had been long buried and forgotten.

My youngest brother, who, for reasons of his own, was not close to our family, was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, about 2 months ago, he was only 52 years old.  He didn't live nearby, so no one really saw him or really knew how serious his condition was, or how sick he was.  In fact, I don't think anyone had seen him for at least 5 maybe 6 years.  After his diagnosis, my older sister would talk to him every other day or so, and we would find out how he was doing.  On May 20th, I received a phone call from my older brother, letting me know that my brother was in the ICU, and that his situation was very serious, and that he was not expected to live through the night, that he and my older sister were going to go and be with him and his daughter at the hospital.  He passed away later that night, his body ravaged with cancer.

I had a very rocky relationship with this brother - he really disliked me!  I won't go into details, because it's not important now, but he felt like I ruined his life, when I was actually trying to help him.  I have not had the same reaction to his death as my other siblings.  I have not felt that "sting" of death, or that deep sadness.   He lived a very sad life, full of bad decisions, and consequences, so for me, his death was a blessing, because I truly feel like there were just things in this life that were holding him back from being the person that he wanted to be - he will be able to progress and heal on the other side, we have been promised that, by a loving Father in Heaven, who knows us, and loves us, and is anxiously waiting for us to return to him.

I have had a chance to examine my feelings for my brother, and my heart has softened somewhat.  I will choose to remember him as a child - full of energy, full of life, full of love.  I will choose to think of him with kind thoughts and good memories, of good times we had together and fun times.

His daughter had him cremated, so my mother, who is unable to travel, did not get a chance to see him for the last time, and find the closure that she so desperately needs and wants. We are having a memorial service for him this coming Saturday, and hopefully my mother can find some peace and closure.  I found closure many years ago.  My faith is strong, and I know that he is in a better place, with family and loved ones who are comforting him and loving him . . . I know that I will see him again, and it will be a happy reunion. Good-bye little brother . . . until we meet again . . .

 Mark Howard Taylor 1962 - 2014

. . . Why should I be out of mind, because I am out of sight?  I am but waiting for you, for an interval.  Somewhere.  Very near.  Just around the corner.  All is well.

~Henry Scott Holland~