Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Party Central at THE OAKS at Richfield

I'm reflecting on this past Sunday, as are all of the members of my family!
My heart is soaring with jubilation and gratitude!
What a glorious way to celebrate a 90th birthday!
Joy.... that family could be together.
Joy.... that some of her long time friends could visit with her.
Joy.... that her new friends at The Oaks were able to attend.
Count it all joy!
En-JOY the following photos, and quotes about JOY!
~~~~~'Party Central at Richfield'~~~~~
"A thing of beauty is a JOY forever."

"JOY is not in things; it is in us"

"Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is JOY enough."

"JOY is the simplest form of gratitude."

Sometimes JOY is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your JOY.

"Make a JOYFUL noise."

 "Resolve to keep happy; your JOY will form an invisible host against difficulties."

"JOY is the infallible sign of the presence of God."

"JOY multiplies when it is shared among friends."

"To get the full value of JOY, you must have someone to divide it with."

"Happiness is part of who we are JOY is the feeling."

"Do good, live in the most positive and JOYful way possible every day."

"To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with JOY."

"A flower blossoms for its own JOY."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy 90th Birthday to My Mom~

Meet my Mom.... Mary Lee Anderson Hamilton.
Many of my friends have known her for years, some for just awhile.
Me? I've known her all of my life!
Today is her special day. SHE IS 90. March 22, 1927.
A nonagenarian.
Can you imagine being 90 years old?
That's 32, 871 days!
That's 788,923 hours!
That's 47,304,000 minutes!
My 3 sisters, Kitty, Nancy, and Judy have known her all of their lives as well! (HAHA). Here are a few photos of the 'girls'... a blast from the past!
Kitty, Nancy, TK, Judy, and flower girl Selena

Dad, Kitty, Nancy, Judy, TK, Mom

Judy, TK, Nancy, Kitty, Dad and Mom

Mom has 4 super-duper son-in-laws --> John, Ron, Grant, and Jim.(Bless their sweet hearts, they've endured/suffered/lived through/withstood/just about everything.... and they keep hanging around!)
John, Ron, Grant, Jim

Mom is blessed with 9 grandchildren---> Walter, Sarah, Lauren, James, Cameron, Carter, Taylor, Kelsey, and Mary Kathryn.

Four of the grandchildren are married. Their spouses are Stephanie, Brian, Andrew, and Jennifer.

Oh, there's more!
She has 5 great-grandchildren---> Ethan, Carson, Landon, Katelyn, and Wyatt.

And she has 1 niece and 2 nephews: Hortense, Craig Jr, Eddie.(OK cousins, go ahead and kill me for posting this, but you have to catch me first!)
Eddie, Kitty, Judy, Hortense, Nancy, TK, Craigie

Pheeeewwww! What a clan! I'm thinking out loud here, that we probably need name tags, birthdates, and email addresses.(Getting this group together is a task, but we manage to do it, BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT!)
Mom weathered through weddings, graduations, surgeries, recitals, birthdays, church activities, and holidays with us.(and she didn't get her drivers licence until I was 18! Let that soak in for a minute.) It will always remain a mystery to me, how she managed to juggle the care of so many other family members, as well as my sisters, and Dad #atthesametime. Did I mention her corn pudding, cole slaw, and stuffing could not be beat? She was always in the kitchen, cooking, serving, cooking, serving....."Mom, would you please sit down and eat!"

Mom not only met our physical needs, she taught us to stand on our own, think for ourselves, and be independent. How could we be anything else!
Seriously.... with 4 girls in the family?
My first clue to becoming independent (I am the oldest), and standing on my own, was meeting my younger sister, Judy. It didn't take long for me to realize that I would never be an only child. Then along came Nancy, then Kitty. By that time, it was sink or swim! Mom cared for my paternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, maternal grandmother, and great aunt (residing in our home for designated amounts of time.

Mom was and still is very excited for our successes and accomplishments.
When we failed, it was "Well, what did you learn? Do better, next time!"
"If you can imagine it, you can have it!"
"Be true to yourself."
"It's not a crime to pamper yourself when life gets too stressful."
"If you girls are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
"You sit there until all that spinach is gone."
"Wait until your Father gets home!"
I will take the liberty to speak for my sisters Judy, Nancy, and Kitty when I write that Mom has always been there for us.
She lived in her home, and drove her car, until September 2015.
Health issues and safety concerns moved Mom to THE OAKS Assisted Living at Richfield.
She has a beautiful room, has reached out to some new friends, and is making her life the best.
Her eye sight is excellent, and her mind is as sharp as a tact.

For all that you've done and everything that you are,

I'll update the photo below after the big celebration this weekend!.... and keeping fingers crossed that the camera lens will include everyone!

"Her children rise up and call her blessed." Proverbs 31:28

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Tribute to my Mother-in-law........

One year ago today, my precious mother-in-law left this earth.
~~~Dorothy Lucille Stanley Sharpley March 17, 2016~~~.
She was 94.
Dot was my "other mother" from the time I got married until the day she died.
How blessed I was to have 2 Moms!
June 6, 1970

Oh, if only I could pack into my life what she managed to do.
Always smiling,
Always doing for others.
Her love and zeal for life was like no one else that I know!
She made the most out of every minute.

Dot and I had a wonderful relationship.
Mother-in-law problems? NEVER!
Honestly, I never understood any of those classic "mother-in-law" stories.
Our children were blessed to know and love their 'GRANNY DOT' (probably as much as they loved us!)

Her 5 great grandchildren were privileged to know and love her as well.

My Mom and Dot were close 'friends' from they time they met!(How unique is that?)

Dot was not your average woman.
She made friends with everyone she met! (I'm not sure inviting the delivery guy inside her home,to taste her home-made soup was a great idea, but non the less, she didn't ask me for permission!)
She was a 'go-getter'.
Dot was a woman who (despite living in a culture and time where women often fade into the background), taught her son to respect women and treat them as equals.
Dot's family was the most important thing to her. She never missed an opportunity to celebrate birthday dinners, holidays, anniversaries, and any other day that she could create, to encourage family to be together.

In her younger, healthier years, Dot had a social life so active it would put college students to shame!
She was the original energizer bunny.
Oh, what I wouldn't give to hug her..... one more time.
Thank you Dot, for everything that you did for me.

Your son Ron, your grandchildren and their mates, your great-grandchildren, and I, pay tribute to you today. You left the world better than you found it.
You were not afraid of life and in the end you were not afraid of leaving your earthly life.
I will be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for the gift of Dot Sharpley----
my kind,
and very wise mother-in-law.

♥ Cherish your family.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Walking on the Greenway

The ROANOKE VALLEY GREENWAY is one of our favorite places to walk.
Because it is near our house (less than 2 miles away), we frequent the greenway often!
You can walk, run, bike, or stroll.
Usually we run into a few friends along the way.
Today we walked  strolled for 5.25 miles (12,109 fitbit steps).
Looks like spring is here... at least for today!

Today I carried my 'big girl camera'....... with NO tripod!
I'm still very much tripod dependent, so this was great practice!
Many shots were taken with me flat out on the ground, holding my camera!

I wonder if this has anything to do with spring allergies????? hahaha

Today was a beautiful day in early March.
Everyday is a good day, when we are outside.
Happy Walking!