Little Miss #4

I have always said that the current age of my children and grandchildren are my favorite. When they were newborn I loved the new person smell. Sort of like the new car smell only much better. The little coos and sounds that only babies can make.

Toddlers make me smile. You never can predict the next moment. Each second is a new discovery for them or a new emotion.

Now my Little Man will be 10 tomorrow and Little Miss will turn 8 in October.

We had two weeks with our Little Miss. I waited to write this last piece for her until she left. I wanted it to speak of current things we did.

We had many activities, all different and all enjoyable. My heart is full of new memories and experiences with her.

What continues to run through all encounters with our Little Miss is a zest for life. Her wonder of things around her astonishes me. Her love of nature, her love of all things water, bugs, animals and ice cream. Each thing holds her attention and care.

Although this Grammy is tired, I am filled with an awe of the things I take for granted.

When I see things outside they are just trees, grass, weeds, flowers. With Little Miss here, it was like a curtain was drawn back and once more there was a newness in what I saw. Trees took on personalities. Grass was more than just green, it held and hid discoveries of ants and bugs. The weeds were as beautiful as a florist shop. Flowers were meant to be stopped by and smelled.

Our outdoor cat nipped her. I wanted to get rid of the cat for doing that. Little Miss drew a picture and wrote a note to the cat to say she understood that the cat didn’t mean to nip at her. She attached the picture to a string and let the cat play with the note. Each morning she picked a black-eyed Susan to place in the cat’s water because the cat needed to have a pretty meal.

These are just a few of the adventures this senior had the past couple of weeks. I once more realized I need to see the world through the eyes of a child. What beauty we miss when we don’t do that.

“But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”” Matthew 19:14 (NLT)

A Few Days Off

This week my oldest daughter and her family will be here. I am always saying how important family is to me. I am going to take a few days off from the blog to spend time with these precious people.

May our Lord bless you and keep you. May He cause His face to shine upon you. May you be kept in His peace and calm.

Thank you.

Little Miss #3

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

This scripture has been used in many writings and in prayers. Today I use it in regard for my Little Miss.

She has a heart after God. She is always ready to pray and go to church and even discuss with you what she believes. Which is an interesting thing for a seven year old.

She has never ceased to amaze me. Born early and so small, preemie clothes were big on her. She may have started out small, but nothing has challenged her. She meets challenges head on and smiles when she has passed them.

I know her future is going to be an incredible one. Unlike most little girls who want to be a princess when they grow, or a dancer or any of the little girl dreams, this one wants to be an entomologist. She loves bugs!

I didn’t even know what an entomologist was until I was an adult. Plus, the study of bugs? No, not me. Bugs need to be stomped on, smashed and thrown away. I often wonder why they were created, but I know they have a purpose.

Little Miss loves her bugs. She knows which are beneficial and which aren’t. She will retrieve bugs from the swimming pool, grabbing a net, pulling them out, talking to them and placing them where they will be okay.

She is saddened by those she hasn’t recovered. She intrigues me with her knowledge and love for all things.

Our God gave each of us an innate ability and gift. This child can be all girl, frills, and shoes and jewelry, what you think of with a little girl, but residing deep in her is a respect for God’s creatures. The little ones. The ones we step on without a thought.

I have often been scolded, “Oh, Grammy, you just killed a bug”. I think nothing of it and yet she is thinking of the bug’s family.

Lord, may she grow continually noticing what You have created. Keep her heart pure and open. Let her serve You with a power and might. Use her mightily for Your kingdom. Amen

Little Miss #2

“A garden of love grows in a grandmother’s heart.” ~Author unknown

Having raised two girls, seeing them married and mothers has given me insight that I never thought I would have.

My precious Little Miss is a mixture of both of my girls. She is a mini-me of her mom. The looks, the life she exudes, the go-getting of anything new is all like her mom. On the other side the impishness, the dare-devilness (a bit of her Dad), the impetuousness is all her aunt. I love that she is such a great mixture of my girls.

I often told Dale that I felt like I was an okay Mom, but I had a feeling that I was going to be much better as a grandma.

Our Little Miss wears her heart on her sleeve. She is so kind and gentle. She is compassionate and giving. She loves deeply. She teaches me how to be filled continually with compassion and care. Her love knows no ends.

She has a good word for everyone she meets. Her gentle ways produce smiles on many. In the car line waiting for school to begin, she will often ask for the windows to be down so that she can greet the teachers and staff as she sees them. Wishes for a good day, a great day, or just a good morning from her prompts laughter and smiles in return.

Little Miss sparks in me a desire to be like her. She encourages and gives freely. “Give as freely as you have received!” Matthew 10:8b (NLT)

Each of us has been given great things, we can pride ourselves with our gifts, but, do we give as freely as we have been given? I know a seven year old who can teach us all how to give.

Little Miss #1

(Reworked from an original post October 2019 from dearanonymousfriend)

Little girls come into your life and they nuzzle up and reach in and steal your heart.  They do this easily and quickly.

I always wanted to have five boys.  That was my dream when I was young.  I wanted enough boys to have a pick up basketball team.  I always thought I would have a household full of boys.  They would grow up and look down on me and be in my home to eat all my food and make me laugh.  Yes, if you would have asked me in my early twenties, that is what I would have told you.

Then, near my mid twenties, our first daughter was born.  Suddenly, little girls were my world.  Lots of pink and ruffles and sweet little smiles.   A few years later her sister was born.  Again, lots of ruffles, but, lavender this time.

Finally, years later, our Little Miss came to us.   This little girl, this little gift.  She came a bit early and was really small.  Her size did not deter her personality though, as it was full grown and ready to be presented to the world.

Granddaughters are so much different than daughters.  They melt your heart even sooner than my daughters did.  I saw my husband melt within the first few hours after her birth.  It was different than with Little Man.  With Little Man, he was proud.  I could see his chest popping out in pride.  This was his Grandson.   In a moment he was in the future with him, working on cars and going fishing and doing all the guy stuff he had experienced when he was young.

When Little Miss was born, this man of mine became jello.  He held her and melted.  I watched him do it.  He looked at her and his heart was now in her little fingers.  It has remained so to this day.

She is our Halloween pumpkin.  She is giggles and long stories.   She is a ballerina on her toes, leaping and in the next minute she is chasing her dogs and trying to hug them.   She is wanting to wear frilly dresses but not let her long locks be touched by a hairbrush.  She is a range of emotions like the range of the Appalachian mountains, it just goes on and on.

She is our precious little one.  The one who has her Mom take pictures of her in her church outfit so I can see how she looks.  She poses with one foot out, like a ballet position.  She is a true little girl, the sugar and spice, but also a measure of snips and snails and puppy dog tails…

It continues to amaze me how wonderful our Lord is. He gives us such abundant gifts in our families. He renews the wonder of new born lives. We get to relive the joys of childhood without the stress and strain of parenting. We see our children in these little lives. We remember the stress and tiredness of raising children. But, as grandparents it all seems like golden memories.

“We love each other because he loved us first.” I John 4:19 (NLT)

Cousins

It is said that cousins are your first friends. That may be true in many families, but, in ours the cousins live away from one another and the chance to be together is rare.

It is a joy to me when I get to see them together. Little Man is two years older than our Little Miss. At one time, the age difference was noticeable. Little Man could read and go about being a little boy, while Little Miss was a toddler and kept clinging to her cousin. This proved annoying at times for our grandson, but he was patient with his younger cousin.

There is a difference in the two of them and yet they have so many similarities that you don’t notice the difference.

The last time they were together there was no warm up time to reestablish boundaries or behavior. They saw each other and instantly bonded. The conversations were non stop. The squeals and laughter echoed in the house. The running kept ending with wrestling on the floor. They played their hearts out.

My heart was blessed by seeing this. These two precious gifts of mine filled my heart with such love and peace. Little Man will turn ten at the end of the month. He made me a grandmother. He stole my heart the first look at him. He has grown from being a chubby cheeked toddler to a young man. He knows no end to learning. He loves to learn, to read, to play piano. He researches each new topic and excels in knowledge of it. He continues to amaze me. Yes, I know all grandmothers think this and each of us think ours are unique and the brightest and smartest.

Our precious Little Miss will turn eight on her next birthday. She is also unique and bright and smart. She also has taught me much and the next few days will be concentrated on her.

These children are precious gifts from our Heavenly Father. He knew what our children needed and He knew how they would be as parents. Our Lord also knew Dale’s and my heart. He knew the joy we would feel in these grands. He knew what we would learn from these two.

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NLT)

When the Lord knits us together He takes the best of the parents the grandparents, and so on. There are traits knit deeply in us that reflect those who came before us. The same is true for our grandchildren. They reflect so much of their families. They have Papa’s smile, Mama’s laughter, Nana’s love of details, Oma’s tenacity, Daddy’s love of singing, Mommy’s, well, she is just a mini-me of my daughter. I see the cousins resemblance, you can tell they are family. Our Lord does that for each of us. We are all unique and all a blend of the best traits.

On top of all of this daily our Lord sings a song over us. When I can catch a quiet time with these cousins, I can hear the echo of that song resounding in my heart.

Little Man Lesson #4

(Originally posted in July 2019, on my other blog, dearanonymousfriend)

“And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT)

On the occasion of our Little Man’s seventh birthday, hubby and I traveled to see him and spend time with him.  It was glorious!  I always come away with a lesson learned from him and this time was no exception.

Friday we spent a couple of hours with him in the pool.  It was a fun time with lots of laughter and splashing and rough-housing.  He showed us his jumps into the pool, his cannonball, his karate kick jump, and his vertical alligator jump.   All named appropriately, and each delivered with grace and style.  If they were to be judged by this Grammy, they would all be a 10.

We played cards, and Rock em, Sock em Robots.   It was a tie at the cards, but only because the game was interrupted by dinner and then forgotten for a bit.   I lost the battle of the robots, much to the glee of the seven year old.

The lesson I have learned this past weekend?  To live life with joy.  Embrace the fun that life holds.   Jump into the pool of life instead of gently lowering yourself into the tide and flow.  Most of all, hug, laugh and make funny noises when words fail you.

Don’t forget how wonderful fun is. Keep joy in your heart and let it flow out of you. Be excited with little events and times. All are precious gifts from our Lord.

Little Man Lesson #3

(Originally from September 2013 on my dearanonymousfriend blog.)

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” Psalm 9:10 (NLT)

This morning I took little man for a walk to the local library.  It was a half hour program of music, movement and singing.  My daughter had wanted him to experience this time and so this lovely morning I put him in the stroller and we set out.

It was a great adventure, the weather is fall like and the walk to the library was filled with seeing buses and cars and construction cranes.

Little man was enjoying himself and did not realize he was going on a new adventure.  Grammy did.  There was a part of me that was very hesitant about going.  What would be required of me?  Where should I park the stroller? Would I have to sit someplace other than holding on to my dear little man?

No, I do not take well to new experiences.  I don’t welcome them.  Give me the same routine.  Don’t put me out of my comfort zone.  I don’t like it.

So, my lesson for today?  Go with the flow.  Check out the situation, take a few steps into the thick of things and hold on tight to what you know.  That is exactly what little man did today.  He checked out the surroundings and studied the other toddlers.  He took a few steps out on his own, but did not wander far from Grammy’s reach.  When he needed reassurance he climbed back into my lap and sat watching it all.

I was so very proud of him.  He joined in and smiled.  He was a bit reserved, but he participated.  Lesson learned.  This old grammy saw how he handled this group.  He didn’t kick and scream.  He went in.  He didn’t cry, he let me do the arm motions with him.  He was brave.  He had a new experience.  He got a stamp on his little arm of Mother Goose.  It was his badge of honor.  He made it through his first group experience.

I think I got a bit braver too, but I didn’t get a stamp on my arm.

New experiences are part of each life. For those of us who are leery of any new situation, it takes boldness to step out of our familiar places. When faced with new things, how do we react? Personally, I try to avoid them at all cost. This does not always work for me, so I go to my Father, my protection, my safety and rest in Him.

“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 (NLT)

Little Man Lesson #2

(Original post from September 2013, on dearanonymousfriend, my other blog)

Today my dear daughter started back to teaching pre-school.  She was as organized as much as she could be.  We got up, and she got ready to head out the door.

I even managed to keep our dear little man distracted so he did not see his Momma head off to work.  It was a quiet transition and I was so pleased.   I know it made his Momma a bit relieved that there were no tears or drama at the door.

As we started our morning, my phone rang.  It was my daughter… all organized but, wrong set of keys in hand.  Plus I had the fob to enter the building where they live.  She was outside the apartment building and needed the other set of keys.  So, grabbing our little man, I retrieved the correct keys and headed outside.

Jubilation at seeing his Momma is an understatement.  After all, it had been 20 minutes since the last time he had seen her.  We switched the keys and then she did the unspeakable.  She got back in the car and drove off.  She left little man and me standing beside the parking lot.

No, this did not go well.  Not at all.  Little man expressed his displeasure.  He cried like there was not going to be any happiness ever again on the face of this earth.  My heart broke with him.

We walked back into the apartment, all the time I tried to comfort him.  He was not willing to be consoled.

Once inside I looked at him and said, ‘Do you want to read a book?’   The tears dried and off he toddled to pick out a book to share.  He has many good books to share.

What I learned is this.  Yes, I can be broken-hearted.  I can feel like consolation is nowhere to be found.  I can cry.  It’s alright to do all of this.  But, then I can go and read a Book that is wonderful to share.  I can open this Book and sit with One who loves me and cares for me in my broken state.  My tears will be dried and I will be comforted as I sit in my Creator’s lap reading the words He has spoken.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.  Psalm 34:17-18 (NLT)

A Little Man Lesson #1

“You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to set.” Psalm 104:19(NLT)

(Reposted and reworked from Sept. 2013 on dearanonymousfriend, my other blog)

Last evening, after I had arrived at my precious daughter and son-in-law’s home, we took a walk.  It was a nice evening for a long walk and we covered a nice area.

We ended up at a park that they hadn’t explored.  We played on teeter totters and rocking horse type swings and slides and more swings.  There were gales of laughter and giggles (from me… the baby was laughing also).  We had a wonderful time.

As we were heading back to the stroller the baby bent down and picked up a leaf.  The leaf was starting to turn brown and was at the point of being able to be crunched, if stepped upon.  However this leaf was not meant to be crunched at this time.  My precious little man picked it up gently, and walked over to another tree and tried to put the leaf back onto the tree.

He looked a bit confused when the leaf refused to be put away, and his Momma explained that leaves fall and that is how it is.

I have thought of this all day long today.  First of all, we take for granted leaves on the ground.  Some may grumble that they have to be raked up and disposed of.  Others know that the leaves have abandoned their posts on the trees in preparation for winter.  These leaves are meant to be crunched on as a part of the passage from summer to fall.

“As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Genesis 8:22 (NLT)

But, this leaf was gently picked up and considered.

Then, there was the attempt to put the leaf back onto the tree.  It was a precious gesture.  The baby knew that leaves belong on trees and therefore, it needed to put back onto the branches where the green leaves were hanging.

This is what I got from watching this.  I too often pass situations up, people also.  I see them ‘laying on the ground’ and don’t notice them.  The situations or people don’t vie for attention.  So, they are left to be trodden underfoot and ignored. Quietly suffering alone.

That, in itself, is powerful enough.  But, no, my precious 13 1/2 month teacher went on to show me more.  How often do we try to put things back into place when the time for them there is over?  How many times do we try to keep doing something when the end date is weeks or months ago?

Sometimes it is wiser to let things lie, let them go and move on to a new season of life.  This can be difficult, but there are situations where change is not only necessary, but vital.

Today, my lesson was refreshed, look for the things in others and in situations that may need a gentle pick-up, some attention, some prayer.

 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)