Saturday, November 21, 2009

Little Miss Chatterbox

Molly is at my very favorite age right now. I learn so much about her because she is talking so much. Now that her binky is gone, and temper tantrums don't bother me much (I usually ignore them), I love this stage! She started putting words together three weeks ago around the time my dad died. Ryan thinks it is a neat remembrance of this milestone- for her and for him. (I really believe it is a milestone for dad- he graduated to heaven!)

Some cute things she's said lately:

Yesterday morning, I told Molly that baby Joe and Xander were coming over later in the day. Molly recalled that the previous week Xander had left his toy train here. (I had put it away and hadn't mentioned the train in a week.) She said, "Xander forgot train. I'm sorry!"

A short time later, she was put in time-out. After two minutes were up, I asked her why she had received a time-out. She answered, "Stop touching mama's phone."

My phone was ringing, and she came to tell me, "Hear phone, mama. Go get it."

Molly can be a loud talker, especially when she wishes to say something embarassing. A male grocery employee was stocking a shelf. He had somewhat shaggy hair, but not long. Twice we walked by him as we shopped. Both times she yelled repeatedly, "What's lady doing, mama?" Oops!

A new house is being constructed next to ours. Workers were framing out the first floor. Molly was feeling outgoing and yelled to them, "Hi!" After no response she continued, "Hey! Hey guys!"

Driving today, I began singing "Twist and Shout!" After singing, "Shake it up baby now," Molly challenged me, "Oh, no shaking baby, mama."

At the grocery store, Molly got a free balloon. She played with it some but grew tired of it. When we returned to the car, she became interested in it again. She told me sweetly, "Thank you mama, getting Molly balloon." I love that she can be grateful and polite. It warms my heart.

Country music often reminds me of my dad and makes me cry. Today, Molly heard me and asked, "What's the matter, mama?" I told her. She then made some fake crying sounds and said, "I'm sad, too." It was both sweet and sassy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reminders of Dad

I've had glimpses of beauty lately that make me think of my dad. Of course it brings me to tears, but I'm joyfully remembering the things he loved.

Our neighborhood consists of new subdivisions surrounded by ranchlands and homes with small plots of land sometimes housing horses. Yesterday I noticed an old lone horse in a yard very close to our home. I looked for a minute and was amazed to see an antique bathtub near the fence with a hose poised above it. At our family's home in Michigan, my dad used a nearly identical tub for watering his horses. I smiled as I remembered him filling it.

At a beautiful hilltop, I occasionally see a herd of horses. They are varied in color, healthy and cause me to pause and enjoy. A few days ago, I saw just one shiny black horse running through the field. I thought of my dad, healthy and free in heaven.

A nearby ranch has rolling hills dotted with robust cattle. They are so peaceful, merely grazing and rhythmically swinging their tails. I love that sight. I know that my dad would love it, too. So, I stop and imagine he's standing with me enjoying the beauty.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bye Bye Binky

Monday morning we had Molly throw away her binkies. She complied, but I don't think she understood the permanence of them being gone. I quickly took the trash out to the garage. Sure enough a couple hours later, she was in the kitchen looking in the trash! She has done a great job not whining or throwing temper tantrums about her binkies. At prayer time that night, she asked God for her binky! Cute! She also has been a little sad, crying softly while asking for her binky. I reminded her that her friends don't use binkies anymore, "Xander said, 'Bye bye binky'." "Ella said, 'Bye bye binky'." She seemed pretty content with this.

I'm proud of her, and she seems so grown up. I'm also relieved because the binky battle was becoming a pain! We restricted it to her bedroom, but she'd bring it out often, and we'd have to discipline her for it. I'm very happy to say, "Bye bye binky!"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cooking with Jack Daniels

I recently started reviewing books on my blogs for Thomas Nelson publishers. The first title I chose was The Search for God and Guinness. Fittingly, I selected a Jack Daniel’s cookbook for my next review. My husband is worrying a little about my focus on alcohol… And to think that Thomas Nelson is a Christian publisher!

Having lived mostly in suburban Midwest and Texas, I felt like I was reading about the culture and food of a foreign people when I browsed the pages of the Jack Daniel’s Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook. Scattered among the recipes are stories of people, places and customs. Not to be missed is the history “Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House”, while I wish I had skipped “Possum and Sweet ‘Taters”!

The recipes themselves are a thorough collection of Southern favorites with modern adaptations and creations. While every chapter contains recipes calling for Jack Daniel’s Whisky, like Intoxicated Chicken, there are many dishes that are just representative of the food served in Lynchburg, Tennessee, the home of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. I am eager to try Lynchburg Lemonade (p.20), a spiked citrus drink. I also have dog-eared the page with instructions for Chocolate Souffle Cake (p.160), a flourless cake perfect for my gluten intolerant husband. I think I’ll skip the possum and just make the Tipsy Sweet Potatoes (p.74)!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Sadly, my dad passed away last Friday. On Saturday, we celebrated his life with some close family members. Molly and her second cousin Ella went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Molly was really cute as she said, "Trick-or-treat!" She very politely waited for candy. She wasn't sure what to do next but usually stood still smiling. She would sweetly say, "Thank you!"