Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Honey, we're home!


Yay! We survived to tell the tale!

Kudos to my intrepid daughter, Micah, who drove more miles than I care to remember from Nevis to Minneapolis (four hours) and then from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Angleton, TX which is supposed to be a 4-1/2 hour drive, but took us about six hours. Then she did it again in reverse! The city traffic was horrific and DFW and Houston both had construction with those wonderful cement barriers that hug your lane. She managed it with aplomb and the lazer focus of the black belt she is. I never could have gone by myself, and I'm so glad she and Sully were able to come along. :)

Besides the car portions of our trip Micah experienced her first airplane rides and was a little nervous when we boarded a minuscule Delta plane with only four seats across. It was cozy folks! I felt sorry for the taller guys who kept bumping their heads and had quite a time wedging themselves into the seats. Micah had the added stress of Sully deciding to cry loudly for the first 30 minutes or so. She couldn't take him out of his carseat and nurse him until we were airborne, so it got a little nerve wracking. We did better on the return trip, armed with little melt-in-your-mouth baby snacks. Also, the return trip felt positively luxurious with six seats across, and little TVs to watch, lol.
We got to board first since we had a baby with us. Later the plane was packed!


 After the flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth it took a lot longer than we expected to get to the car rental place and get our car. We had to take a ride on a large bus to the rental car garage (it's like a small city of its own) and then realized we didn't know which company we had rented from. We made arrangements through Orbitz and they had decided to wipe her email from their memory so she couldn't log in and find information. She said all of their emails disappeared from her inbox as well. We called son Josh and he got on the phone with Orbitz customer service and quickly found out that we had a Dollar rental car. Still, as newbies, we managed to take forever getting the car. 

After finally finding our car we headed south from DFW to Angleton (south of Houston) to visit my step-dad, Glenn. We originally planned to also see my brother on the way, but due to car problems he wasn't able to meet us. As it happened, we didn't make it to Angleton until about 10 p.m.! Tired, but glad to have entered a safe harbor.

Micah and Sully, safe at Grandpa's house.
 We visited until midnight and then hit the hay. We had all day Thursday to catch up on each other's lives. Micah had never been to the ocean before, so we made the ten mile drive to Surfside Beach, which is where I played as a child. We combed the beach for shells to bring back for the girls and even managed to see a small jellyfish which had washed up on the beach. A small boy was poking it with a stick and all of us tourists were taking photos of it. We also saw pelicans diving for fish.
Micah, Glenn and me

My girl really enjoyed her ocean experience!
We also spent some time driving around Angleton looking up all of my childhood homes. We lived in about eight different houses in Texas before I turned nine! I'm not sure why and it will remain a mystery. It was so nice just spending the whole day with Glenn, relaxing and being spoiled with his cooking. I hope it won't be so long before the next time I get to visit!

On Friday we planned to head back up to the the Ft. Worth area about noon. I was able to see my cousin Dennis and his mom, my Aunt Dixie, before we left Angleton. Dennis and his wife Eileen were able to meet us at Aunt Dixie's at about 10 so we had a good couple of hours to visit. It's hard to fit 40 years of living into two hours! (It's really been that long since I've seen him in person, though we've visited some via email and Facebook.) Anyway, we did the best we could and enjoyed every minute of it. Dennis is a storyteller by nature and regaled us with many a tale. Micah just loved meeting her older cousin and Dennis was pretty smitten with Sully. He carried him around most of the time. Maybe next time we'll have more time and be able to see more of my cousins. I have some awesome family and I'm so glad we'll be together forever in heaven, even if we are far apart here on earth.
Eileen, Dixie, me, Micah, Sully, Glenn and Dennis on the floor. :)
I would have loved to spend more time with Glenn, but there was a wedding brewing up north, so we headed out a little past noon. Back through the Houston traffic and miles of Texas landscape to southwest Fort Worth where we had a motel waiting. Friday evening we went to a Mexican restaurant called Rosa's and met up with Jordan (Brooke was detained elsewhere on wedding business), Josh and Jess and my oldest step-son, Bob and his wife Tiffany. We had a wonderful meal and such a fun visit. I can't believe nobody thought to take a picture!

On Saturday morning Micah was scheduled to get her nails done with some of the wedding party. Later, Josh and Jess took us to the botanical gardens in Ft. Worth, which was one of their favorite places to go when their family lived in the Ft. Worth area a few years back. Once again, no photos! But here's one of Josh and Jess at the Ft. Worth Zoo on Monday after we flew home. Wish we could have gone! We owe so much to sweet Jess. She took care of Sully throughout the entire wedding and reception. Micah was worried sick about how she was going to pull off being a bridesmaid with Sully to take care of. Jess was a lifesaver!
 Saturday evening there was a family barbecue so that both families could get together and meet each other. Brooke had lots of family from Oregon there, and there were seven of us from Jordan's side of the family. Brooke's parents, Annette and Brian, had rented an AirBNB house in a little Ft. Worth neighborhood. There were lots of guests, so it was amazing that the weather cooperated because there's no way we all could have fit in the house! For an introvert like me these sorts of events can be a little awkward, but with my own family around me, I think I did okay. Her family is really nice and they made me feel welcome. (I know...it's not all about me. I keep telling myself that!)
Jordan and Sully. Notice any resemblance?
Me between the groom and bride.
The Richards brood: Micah, Sully, Tiffany, Bob, Brooke, Jordan, me, Josh and Jess.
The chapel.


Brooke and her dad, Brian. That's son Bob over Brian's right shoulder, and me peeking around his left one. :) This venue was sort of Texas shabby chic. Very pretty!


You may kiss the bride! (The very enthusiastic bride!)



 
After the nuptials Jordan sang to his bride. *sniff*

This wedding wasn't without its drama. After the bride and groom made their way back down the aisle the two mothers were supposed to walk out together. Annette took my hand and  said, "We are mothers together now." And then as we began to walk down the aisle, she slipped and fell very hard. I tried to hold her up, but it all happened so fast. She hurt herself rather badly, I think, though I still don't know all the details of her condition. There was quite a bit of chaos as people tried to help her. Finally, they got her onto a pew where one of her family members, who is a nurse, looked her over and did some first aid. Annette bravely insisted that the wedding celebration continue. Eventually, she was moved to the reception hall where a chaise lounge was arranged for her so she could watch the festivities. She later went to the ER for a proper checkup. So, all of the photos hereafter happened after all of that excitement.

The bride and groom invited everyone back to the chapel for a worship service before the reception.


It was a wonderful time of praise and worship.
 The reception was great, though it started late because of the earlier excitement. The meal was a taco bar along with an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages, followed by wedding cake and cupcakes. It was all arranged so beautifully. I wish I had more pictures. What I've shown here are other people's photos I've nabbed from Facebook. I'm sure a wedding video is forthcoming.
Sully wore his snazzy fedora.  For a few seconds...

One of Brooke's friends, and her maid of honor, enjoyed a dance with Sully. He was quite popular all evening.

Micah was also a bridesmaid (do they still call you that if you're married?). She pushed her way in among the groomsmen, much to everyone's amusement. That comedic moment was planned because there were more girls than guys.


The wedding party's table.

Showing off the toofers and bowtie. :)

Pretty decorations in the trees.
 I must admit, the mother/son dance was awkward for me. Ever the introvert, the last thing I want is to be the center of attention. I don't know how to dance and Jordan assured me, in his humorous way, that he too would be faking his way through the evening. He said, "Just stand there and wobble, Mom." We did. He made me laugh and we tried to make conversation. He knew it would be hard for me, but I wasn't about to miss being "the mom" to dance with my boy!
After the father/daughter and mother/son portion of the dancing was over there was quite a bit of lively line dancing which I enjoyed from the safety of my seat, lol. Jordan and his friends and all the attendees enjoyed dancing and singing and generally having a jolly time. I enjoyed every minute of watching them!

 Another high point of the evening was when Josh did a little speech about his brother.  It was filled with humor and love. Josh, who is studying to be an accountant, in addition to other things, ended by raising a fist in the air and crying, "Married and filing jointly!" A friend (Jedidiah Wicks) leaned over my shoulder and loudly whispered, "Your boys are hilarious! You did a good job!" I agree! Have any of you heard of the Wicks? They sing Christian music and they're good friends of Jordan and Josh. I had never heard of them, but the boys seem to think they're famous. :)


The bride and groom share a moment wearing the sunglasses provided as favors. They have their names and wedding date on the bows.

Posing with little Sam, the ring bearer.



 May God's blessings rest on this sweet couple! They are honeymooning in a little cabin in the woods somewhere in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. They decided to keep it simple and just drive to their honeymoon destination about six hours from their home. They also have a nice little apartment which will make a very pleasant home. I'm so happy for them and look forward to seeing what God will do through them. I know they're excited about the journey. :)

I'm sure I'll be posting more photos as I snag them from Facebook!

Shalom, everyone!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wedding trip!

Micah, Sully and I will be driving down to Minneapolis tomorrow. We'll spend the night there and go to the airport on Wednesday morning to fly to the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. We'll be gone until Tuesday the 27th. It's a long time for Micah to be away from her girls and hubby, but she seems excited to get to go to her big brother's wedding. Hubby Adam seems confident in his ability to wrangle that herd of girls until she returns. :)

Between Wednesday and Friday we'll sneak in a car trip down to Angleton (south of Houston) to visit my step-dad, Glenn. On the way down we'll stop off and visit with my "little" brother, Mark. It will just be a cup of coffee and a short visit, but we couldn't just drive by so close without seeing him. I think it's been about 37 years since I've seen him in person! We keep in touch via email and phone.
Brother Mark. He told me he'd just come out of his chrysalis. :)

Micah wants to see the ocean, so I think we'll spend Thursday at the beach. Maybe we'll go to Galveston. Of course, we'll have Glenn in tow for lots of good visiting and sightseeing. In the evening we'll try to get in a visit with some of the cousins and my Aunt Dixie at Glenn's house. Haven't seen them in a hundred years, either!

Friday we'll head back up to Ft. Worth where we'll catch up with my two boys,  Jordan and Josh, and their respective sweethearts. Josh and Jess are flying in from Kentucky and I think my step-son, Bob, will be there from Colorado. We'll see if his wife, Tiffany, can make it. I think that's all of our family that can make it. Brooke has family coming from Oregon.

Saturday night there will be a family BBQ and time for everyone to visit and get acquainted with Brooke's family. Sunday morning will be the rehearsal, and the wedding will be at 4 in the afternoon.

The happy couple-Brooke and Jordan. I'm SO EXCITED for them! Jordan was raised a country boy, but boy do they love Fort Worth!
We fly back to Minneapolis on Monday morning, then we will spend yet another night there. On Tuesday morning we'll hop across the border into Wisconsin where Sully has an appointment with a pediatric dentist. We suspect he is "tongue-tied" and will need a quick surgery to snip the little membrane under his tongue. This may be why he's been losing weight. He can't nurse properly and get enough milk. Anyway, we'll find out if that's the case. After that, we'll drive home! Whew!

Prayers for safe travel are much appreciated! I'll see you when we get back! :)
Shalom to all!



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Eye doctor and other stuff...

I'm off to the eye doctor in less than an hour. I knew I was due for a checkup, but was putting it off until yesterday morning. I noticed a clear bubble of tissue on the white of my eye. It moves around a little, but is attached. It's a little irritating and concerned me, so I called for an appointment. She was going to schedule me for the 28th, but I said, "Well, what do I do about this bubble on my eye? Go to another eye doctor?" I wasn't going to put up with this for two weeks! She confabbed with someone in the background and they "remembered" they had a 9:30 appointment open this morning. Anyway, pray with me that it's not a big deal. Hopefully they can also make me a pair of glasses that I can actually see out of. I haven't had much luck with that lately. :) (Update: The bubble on my eye is a cyst or sort of a blister. Caused by dry, allergy eyes. She just recommended an allergy drop and an artificial tear drop to use and it should go away. If not, I'll go back. Sounds pretty routine.)

Here's my latest 5x7 canvas for the June swap. This gal had "chickens" listed as one of the themes she likes to receive, so chickens it is! :) I enjoyed painting these two girls.

It looks like we're expecting some severe weather today and tonight. I see via Facebook that my daughter is already making plans to hide out in her father-in-law's basement. Poor kiddo. She has a dread of storms in their trailer house. Something else to pray about.

When I was visiting Micah and the kids yesterday she said I HAD to see a book they got at the library. It's called North Woods Girl and it's about a grandma who lives in the woods. It's written from her granddaughter's viewpoint. She said they just laughed as they read it. The grandma in the story looks just like me! Micah said she reminded her so much of me that she's going to buy me a copy! I will  love having it. There's one place where the grandma and granddaughter are sitting on a log by a little pond in the woods and the girl is talking about how her grandpa dragged that log out of the pond before he died, so they like to sit there. Micah said that sounded so  much like something her dad would have done. Anyway, it's a delightful book and it struck a chord with us. Look it up sometime if you're at the library! :)

Thunder's rumbling so I'd better unplug my computer! Talk to you all later! :)
Shalom.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Feeling like Super Girl!

Okay, so that's an exaggeration. But I did finally (after 5 days of laying around) go to the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that I had an infection in my lungs. So, I'm now on a course of antibiotics and am on the mend. Still not dancing around, but I'm feeling better. Enough about that!

My next art project? I'm going to paint a chicken on this...
What is it and why a chicken? (We'll pretend you asked.) I bought a stack of mulberry papers in different colors. They are full of texture. I glued a green sheet on my canvas and then a lavender one on top of it. I kind of liked the effect. My partner for the 5x7 canvas swap this month mentioned that she likes paintings of chickens, so that's what I'm doing. I'm planning on painting a white chicken and using some green or lavender for the shading. We'll see what happens.

These are ATCs I made for the Ballpoint Pen swap. The art was to be done entirely with a humble ballpoint pen.



 We're having a blustery, warm, humid kind of day. I love windy days!
Enjoy your day wherever you are and thanks for stopping by.
Shalom!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Groan...

Yup, still sick! It's day three. I can feel the slightest bit of improvement, but I had forgotten that I had volunteered to watch the grands tomorrow while Micah works at a garage sale for her MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. I think she'll just take them with her if I don't feel better, but it's a lot of little ones to keep track of.

A random thought ran through my brain, so that's what my post is about, lol. Remember the post a few days back where I showed you the old Catholic cemetery? Well, a few days after that I went for that same walk with my daughter and the grands. We got to that little cemetery and I was talking about it with Micah. She had never really known what it was since it's way off the beaten track. After a few minutes, Hazel came up with two of her classic "whopper questions". First of all, "Grandma, what's a cemetery?" How to explain that without making it sound scary to a four year old. But she seemed satisfied when I told her that after our spirit leaves our body and goes to heaven, our body is put in the cemetery. Someday I'll explain further, but she was on to something else by that time.

Hazel's second question came as we were walking back. "Grandma, do people still have to die on that cross?" I'm weeping as I type this, wondering how often these innocent little folks have such misconceptions but never ask. Bless her heart! I reassured her that, no, nobody will die on that cross. Then I tried to explain that we have crosses to remind us of what Jesus did for us. Again, I hope to have the chance to talk further on that in the future.
I guess this makes me wonder. Yes, we can explain things as questions arise, but how many things are they taught in Sunday School or AWANA that they don't understand and nobody has time to explain because there are so many children standing in line to say their verses. How many misconceptions get planted in their  minds and they don't ask questions? It's a big job being a parent or grandparent, isn't it? We have to be very vigilant and walk alongside them spiritually so they know where they can go for answers. Are we trying to teach them things that are too advanced for them?

My daughter and her hubby have four little ones, nine months up to five years. I know it's difficult even to have time to help the girls memorize their AWANA verse each week without doing any extra, but it needs to be done.  Some of those verses are probably too advanced for their age and explanations are needed. We can't count on AWANA and Sunday School teachers to do this for us. The chaos of the day can wipe out our good intentions, but we'll keep on trying.


Little Miss Hazel sticking out her tongue, lol.
Okay, I'm done! :)
Now I'll go take some aspirin...
Shalom, my friends.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Odds and ends; bits and bobs

I thought I'd compose a quick post while I can. My little grands have been taking turns getting fevers and coughs. Standing in the checkout at Walmart a couple of hours ago I coughed and a little voice inside my head said, "Uh-oh. That didn't feel like a regular cough." You know how you can feel fine and then you feel the crud descending on you? That's what I'm feeling right now, so I'll write this fast, lol!

We had such a wonderful time last Monday getting to meet my sweet future daughter-in-law. It will only be two weeks until daughter Micah, little Sully and I take off for Ft. Worth for the wedding! But last week Jordan and Brooke went to a friend's wedding in Minneapolis, so we arranged to meet up halfway between "the cities" (as we call them here) and our little town. We met in St. Cloud at Red Robins and had lunch and visited for about three hours. The "we" from my end was Micah, Adam, Sully and myself. We left the three girls with "other Grandma Lisa" (Adam's mom) so we would have an easier time visiting and not quite so much chaos. Adam is staying home to watch the kids when Micah and I go to the wedding, so I'm glad he got to see them last Monday. He and Jordan are not only brothers-in-law, but they used to work together. Anyway, Brooke is such a wonderful match for Jordan. They have such similar tastes and they share the same sense of humor. They both love to worship the Lord and have just begun doing this together. Brooke is a middle school teacher and Jordan works at a food distribution business, but their ultimate goal is to have their own independent coffee shop that can be a business and a ministry to people. It will definitely include some music! I love Brooke and I'm so happy Jordan found such a treasure! To paraphrase Pride and Prejudice, I wouldn't have been able to give him up to anyone less.

Here are Jordan and Brooke leading worship together for the first time! :) (Those of you who've been reading my blog for a while know that Jordan's been a worship leader for some years, but this was their first time doing it together.)
Sullivan continues to make us smile!
 And he's starting to crawl around!
Here's one of my dear son, Josh. He and wife Jess were getting in some studying time at Starbucks while the kids were at VBS! :)

I'm simmering a pot of soup, so I think I'll try some. Thanks for stopping by!
Shalom!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

We have a winner!

Just a quick note, since most of you are busy with holiday weekend stuff. Someone correctly identified my little plant as ASTILBE. Yes, I do believe this is what it is, after looking at photos. I don't know the identity of the winner since she signed in anonymously. If you would like to claim that free ATC I offered as a prize please look me up on Facebook under Lisa Foreman Richards and leave me a PM with your name, address and what you would like me to draw on the card. :) I was going to put my email address here, but that might not be a good idea.

I took my customary 2 mile walk yesterday, heading west on the Heartland Trail which runs through our small town.

 Our lilacs are very late this year.
 I took lots of photos of foliage and tree trunks to use as reference photos for painting. I won't bore you with all of them!

 Lake Belletaine-and you can see a little bit of the county road that follows the trail.
An interesting bit of fungus.
 A lot of the chokecherries have this blight on them.
These were taken on Friday, but there were already quite a few people using the trail. Some friendly, some just ignored me. That's humanity for you! I heard a few "on your left"s as bikers came up behind me.
 PI?
 This is the old Catholic cemetery, which is to my right as I'm walking. It's also my turn around point, so I decided to walk in and pay a visit.
 As I walk toward the cross, I glance to my right. This is part of the horse trail that runs parallel to the walking trail. It's a nice green place to walk, and I have taken that route a lot over the years.
 There are only a few headstones behind that little fence. It looks like the cemetery hasn't been used since the '50's. There is another Catholic cemetery closer to town, but I think it's about reached its capacity.




I believe they moved the cemetery after the  '50's because they purchased some lakeside property and moved it there. The Lakeview Cemetery is a very pretty spot, but now I see they have some stakes with flags around the open part of this older property, and I think that means they are going to begin using this old cemetery again.
 This is a nice, cool spot to read on a hot day.
 Yesterday my four little grands and three of their cousins had a fun evening at the park in Walker, which is a lakeside town about 15 miles from home. This was to celebrate the last day of school! Their auntie treated them to ice cream at the local DQ. :) Front to back is Audrey, Cali, Hazel, Damien, Della, Max and Sully. (And Aunt Ashley.)
That was a little longer note than I intended! Everyone have a pleasant Memorial Day weekend!
Shalom!