Funny Pics

October 22nd, 2017
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duct tape fail
cloths line
alice
crab
Happy face
studen driver
never sleep
polish
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not looking
looking at me
blue berry
mouse
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turtle
swing
coffee kill
hair brush
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swimming
peek a boo

Strings and Retirement

January 25th, 2018

There’s something about retirement age.  I’m not sure what it is.  There is this string that suddenly appears inside of us that seems to be attached like a magnet to bedding.  Or maybe it’s attached to the mattress on a bed.  Whatever it is, when you get near a bed the string from inside you connects with the string on the bed and reels you in.  It doesn’t hold you so tightly you can’t get up but it does give off some kind of hormone – probably not endorphins – but whatever the hormone, it lulls you into a sense of complacency that allows you to just lay there on your own personal sandy beach at peace with the world.

That is if you’re  most retirees.   Then there are those of us who are raising the grandkids and maybe  raising a few other kids as well.  The strings are still there.  The hormones are still trying to be released but the silence from the children in the playroom is deafening!  Other retirees hear the silence as the gentle lapping of waves on the beach.  We hear the silence as a call to arms.  And like dutiful soldiers, we snap to attention.  Some days my little ones try to lull me into a sense of security by silently reading books and playing with toys.  But most days I find the Little Guy perched on the counter surrounded by the cereal he has dumped onto his lap and spread everywhere within reach.  Nature Boy is in the basement trying to figure out how to turn on Grandpa’s power tools and the Princess has disappeared down the street with her friends.  Sigh.  Oh, to be able to enjoy the fruits of old age and lay peacefully on my bed!!!!

The rest of you who are raising grandkids know exactly what I’m saying.  Personally, though, I’ve heard enough about how tough it is to be a do-it-again parent.  I’m not complaining!  You want to know why?  Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.  While I’m cleaning up the cereal, Little Guy has retreated to the playroom where I can hear him singing “I love you.  You love me”.  He has a beautiful voice for an autistic four-year-old who can’t carry on a conversation or even tell us his name.  I love hearing that voice!!!

While I am retrieving Nature Boy from the basement, I am realizing how important it is for him to be just like Grandpa.  Grandpa is the most important person in his life.  Nature Boy can’t tell us that.  He is only just now beginning to speak in three word sentences (and those don’t always make sense).  But he can show us by his devotion to everything Grandpa.  When we return from a half hour trip to the grocery store, he runs to greet us like we’ve been gone a month.  I would never want my life to be without those ‘welcome home’ hugs and kisses.

Then, there is our Princess.  Pre-teen years are a challenge for Grandpa and I.  We may never get her to tell us where she is going and when she will be back.  Somehow she doesn’t get the safety issues there.  She argues and complains about how old fashioned and strict we are but every night before bed, she calls “I love you” as she snuggles down to sleep.

We aren’t living the normal retirement life traveling in motor homes and meeting new people. We don’t really need to.  We know all the people who really matter.  Life is good!  Even when we have to stay far away from the beds so the string can’t reel us in.

 

You Lost the Game for Us!

January 1st, 2018

Teenage years. Or almost teen years. That time in life you are  so painfully embarrassed that you exist and someone might notice.  The coach says ‘good job’ and everybody looks at you.  You miss the shot and peek under your lashes hoping no one is looking. Self-consciousness.  Everything is centered around you.

It takes a lot of years before you realize it really isn’t all about you. That  time you struck out? It really wasn’t you who lost the game for everyone. It was a team effort. Everyone helped get to that spot where you stood determined not to fail.  The fact that you struck out did not lose the game.  It was merely the last thing a team member did that caused the team to lose.  To win or lose takes a whole team.

You’re a parent now and you think you’re over that self-centeredness.  You know that it takes a team to get anything done (or not done).  But do you really?

So your kid is failing at school, hanging around with losers, being a total loser himself.  Maybe even doing drugs, or hanging out at Juvenile Hall at the request of the courts.  And you look at yourself and wonder ‘where did I go wrong? What parenting job did I fail to do? How did I lose the game for my family?’
May I suggest that there were times you struck out. Yes, there where a few balls you didn’t catch. But you did not, singlehandedly, lose the game. I’m not saying you shouldn’t look at yourself and find ways to improve. I’m not saying that getting counseling and working to make yourself a better parent isn’t a good idea.  I am saying that, unless that child has lived in a bubble with only you, there were other team members making themselves known. Other things, other people, other situations beside home impacted where your child stands today.  And most importantly, your  child has made choices that affected the game.

Additionally, let me just say to those of you who are judging your friends because their children are so awful – YOU KNOW THAT CHILD.  You’re a part of the game. Try not to be a part of the reason that game is lost.

So – mom’s and dad’s – get over that self-conscious, ‘it’s all about me’ attitude.  Look at your child and recognize he’s making poor choices.  Look at yourself and see if you have given him reason for those choices.  Look see if he picked up those choices somewhere else.  Focus on teaching him to change those choices in a positive way.  Get help from others.  Build your team. Don’t try going it alone.  You didn’t do it alone and you can’t win this game alone.  Your child is the star of the team.  You are the coach. Be sure you’re giving him all the tools and training he needs so that the crowd can cheer.

Website Hijacking

October 30th, 2017

To all my subscribers, I wish to apologize for the recent problems the site has experienced.  Someone hacked the site and put numerous links into each article along with messing up the format of the site.  Grandpa has had to rebuild the site from scratch and I am slowly making my way through each post to delete the links.  You may have received multiple emails when the sites were updated.  I apologize.

I hope you enjoy the looks of the new site.  Thanks for your patience.

July 19 Daily Quote

September 13th, 2017

Each day provides its own gifts.
Marcus Aurelius

Each day provides its own gifts and today is no different from any other.

Tonight while you lay on your bed discouraged because there have been some failures and some losses, remember to count the gifts as well.  The accomplishments of the little one who means so much to you.  The tasks you were able to complete today.  The laughter of the children as they played.  The joy of new discoveries.  So many gifts have come your way today.  What a wonderful day it has been!

July 20 Daily Quote

September 13th, 2017

A home without books is a body without soul.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Everybody’s soul is little bit different just as everyone’s home is a little different.  In our home mystery and love of children’s literature abound.  Dr. Seuss rhymes here.  Imagination soars with each new book that has been read.

Other homes have a different kind of soul.  There are the homes where the thirst to learn new things is evident in the reading material on the shelves.  There are homes where the love of nature is found.  And there are homes where depravity lives.  It can be seen in the reading material on the coffee tables and under the beds.  What kind of a soul do you want your home to have? Don’t be fooled into thinking that what you put into your mind is just a form of relaxation.  It is also an expression of the soul of your home.

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  • Quote of the Day March 11

    September 11th, 2017

    Hit the high notes!

    Everyday as I drive to the hospital where Grandpa is getting his chemo treatments for cancer,  I pass a sign with the picture of Beethoven and the words “Hit the High Notes!”  Everyday it encourages me to look past the exhaustion, look past all the dozens of things I need to do.  It assures me that,  with a little effort, I can hit that high note.

    Let me encourage you today as well.  Your loved one might not be fighting cancer,  your little ones might not be special needs but you do have battles you fight every day.   You have struggles you go through each and every day.  It can make you feel totally overwhelmed.   When you reach that point – when you think you’re ready to quit, take a deep breath- reach down inside yourself – and HIT that HIGH note!

    Good for Evil

    September 10th, 2017

    God is good. A very present help in times of trouble. You guys have probably heard that before. And you’ve probably wondered why God allows so much bad to happen to so many who, we are told, He loves.

    It’s been on my mind a lot.  After all, it’s been a tough year at our house.   While thinking about it, I came across an old Bible story I’ve read and heard a thousand times before but this time something new struck me.  It was the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. If you want tough times, that would do it. Your own brothers want to get rid of you and do it in the most cruel way possible. Joseph endured some rough patches as a slave. About the time he makes it to the top as a slave and life is improving, he gets thrown into prison for something he didn’t do.  Still, he doesn’t lose faith.  Eventually he is removed from prison and becomes second in command to Pharaoh and saves all Egypt and many others from famine. During the famine, his brothers come to him for food for their family.  After a little give and take over some time, Joseph lets his brothers know who he is and assures them, he isn’t angry.  He told them that what they had meant for evil, God had meant for good. Now that’s amazing insight.  Thousands of people would have starved had Joseph not been in tune with what God was saying. Joseph heard and responded in spite of the fact that he was a slave and in prison.

    I suspect Jesus disciples stood at the foot of the cross and watched Him die unable to see any good in this. But Jesus’ death was necessary to complete God’s plan. The one where Jesus now holds the keys to death and hell.   He came to seek and to save those of us who are lost. His death was necessary to accomplish that goal.  He knew that.

    We are just human. We don’t always understand. Sunday, our pastor spoke of Paul stuck at home under house arrest for two years. I’m sure Paul couldn’t picture how he could carry out God’s command to spread the gospel while he was stuck at home.  But, two thousand years later, we know Paul was writing letters that would eventually become a large part of the New Testament.  He’s been spreading the gospel for better than 2000 years.   He just didn’t know that was  how it would turn out. Bad things happen.  Often to good people.

    God is bigger.  He can make them good.

    August 10th Quote of the Day

    September 27th, 2016

    Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
    St.  Francis of Assisi

    This particular quote can get me through every day of cleaning the playroom. Every night I walk into that room and stare at a carpet of toys.  Boxes of giant Legos are mixed with wooden blocks, alphabet blocks, toy food and dishes, dinosaurs, stuffed animals, balls from the ball pit, books and zoo animals, and the list goes on.

    Before we go on, let’s just get past the part where I should have taught my children to be neater and I should make them clean up after themselves. Let’s just realize that some people call my little ones ‘special needs’.  I just call them special. So Nature Boy can figure out ‘clean up’ when we talk about the ball pit and the Legos but other things confuse him causing him to -literally- tear his hair out. The Little Guy has PIKA which means he eats everything as long as it’s not an actual food so he is too busy eating his toys to put them away.

    Anyway, the job looks insurmountable. Time to break it down into what’s necessary. The empty and mostly empty juice boxes that are attracting bugs have got to go.  So do those sneaky snacks that have made it into the playroom when I wasn’t looking. Then I start tossing toys in the general direction of their allotted containers which usually reminds me that my height is not the only reason basketball should never have been a career choice for me.  Eventually all the toys are in piles close enough to their containers to be scooped up and stored properly. Once they are in their containers, the rocking horse, the little table and chairs, the little trampoline and the books can all be returned to their allotted spots. Bingo! What has seemed impossible has become possible.

    Okay. So the playroom is not an earth shattering accomplishment but it is an accomplishment.  The point is that you should take your life in little pieces.

    Don’t try to fix all the errors of your life and all your shortcomings at once.  Pick one piece.

    Fix that one.  Go on to the next. Work on that for a while.  Keep adding those things one at a time until -wonder of wonders- you are accomplishing the impossible.

    Grandpa – Fix Yourself for Us Now!

    September 22nd, 2016

    Our Grandpa has cancer.  This is the Grandpa who stabilizes our lives. The one who keeps the computers running, fixes the appliances, repairs the leaking bicycle tire. The one who can take a handful of playdoh and make it into a dinosaur for Nature Boy. The one the Little Guy goes to and begs to be spun in a circle until both of them are too dizzy to stand up.

    No cancer is good cancer but this one is particularly nasty.  It’s a highly aggressive lymphoma that made it to Stage IV before we knew he was sick. It’s hanging out not only in his abdomen but in his bone marrow and spinal fluid.  I’m a mommy.  I kiss hurts and make them better.  Won’t help with this hurt.

    When we were told this, I just broke down and cried. Grandpa loves us and promises to not give up. That’s not an easy thing when ports are being inserted in your head to take the chemo; when special IV’s are placed in your chest, when you must spend 5 days of every 21 in the hospital where drugs are being administered to you that you know full well will make you sick.  And all the while you wonder “is this going to work?”.

    I can and have been praying. Our church is praying. The churches of family members are praying along with the family.  I’m coming to you now, my nearly 2000 subscribers. Pray with us.  This Grandpa who fixes everything else for everyone else needs more than just the doctors and determination to get well.  He needs God’s help and the prayers of God’s people.

    He has two little special needs boys and two granddaughters who need him to be there. Life without him is unimaginable.  God is the Giver of Life.  We’ll lean on Him.