Sunday, March 30, 2008

Aunt Ada

Today, I learned that my great Aunt Ada went to be the Lord. She was drawn into His arms late last evening. When the phone rang this morning, I knew it was my Mom and I knew what she was going to tell me. You see, she's been longing to be with her Savior for sometime now and we all knew that it wasn't long away.
My memories of her are very fond. Everyone in her family spoke with great Southern pride and called her AintAder(yes, say it like it's spelled with no pause between the two words). No one, not her Dad, brothers, sisters, nieces, or nephews said it the way it was spelled. I honestly thought that was her name until late in life. You see, when I was small I remember the visits. I remember going to visit my great grandmother and great grandfather at their home. Aunt Polly and Aunt Ada would take turns caring for them. Granny Hayes was bedridden from a tragic accident earlier in her life. Papa Hayes was not bedridden but did need some help with meals and other activities of daily living. Their hearing wasn't good, so the two aunts(whichever one was there) would always speak in a very loud voice, no matter who they were talking to. I think they were so used to talking loud to their Dad that they just carried it over to everyone else all the time. They graciously nursed their Mom and daily cooked fresh, home cooked meals. I remember eating the meals in the kitchen. Huge meals of southern favorites like fried okra, beans, cornbread and fried chicken. Any leftovers were carefully covered and left to sit on the table. They then would cover the whole table (leftovers and all) with a table cloth covering everything on the table. Anyone could go in there and get more if they wanted it as the day progressed. This was long before the warnings of food poisoning and salmonella were rampant...and ya' know what- I don't remember anyone getting sick. Maybe, I just don't remember, but I really don't think they did. I also remember that they always had on hand-soft peppermint sticks and we always got to get one before we left. I remember the vinyl couches and the rocking chair that my Papa Hayes always sat one ever sat in his chair. It wasn't a recliner-just a wooden rocking chair with a pad on it. I think it was similar to the ones that we use on our front porches now. A far cry from the plush, comfy recliners that we all fight over now.
Yesterday my mom and I were talking (before Aunt Ada went to be with the Lord) we were discussing the care she required, the nurse, someone to care for her every need- I then remembered how she spent many years of her life nursing her own parents-caring for their every need. She loved them, nurtured them and always seemed joyful about it. She never seemed condescending towards them, just caring. I don't ever remember a cross face or cross word-only hugs and smiles. She lived her life as a great example to all of us-one of selfless giving. She was a perfect example of caring for others before caring for yourself. I'm sure she gave up quite a lot through the years as she cared for them. Just the time involved was quite a gift.
On a side note, she was a great seamstress. I proudly own a couple of beautiful baby quilts that she made for my children. All put away carefully, to pass on to them when they have children. Who could ask for a better keepsake? They're beautiful and made by her caring hands. Crazy to think about, but when given to my grandchildren-it would be from their great, great, great aunt Ada. I will also tell them what a great lady she that graciously put others before her own desires and needs.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Be Still...

Today, I'm stressed as usual going from one activity to the next with little energy and less pizazz. I've crammed so much into my life that sometimes (often) I forget to "be still" with God. Actually, it's probably a lot less of forgetting and more about my priorities.
At the last Tres Dias Weekend that I worked, the theme was "Be Still". I'm still learning and pondering how to "be still". I guess when you're a mom with a large family, well, any family-you tend to always think about what needs to be done for your don't take the time to stop and focus on God and just listen. I can write in my journal, type, sing, worship, but the actual "being still" part continually remains a mystery to me. I really have to sit and focus to "be still". I had to laugh to myself this morning. Life started off with a bang at 5:45. I'm fixing lunches, doing clothing preparations, making breakfast, making sure antibiotics were taken, hair was fixed, shirts were tucked in, and that socks matched. In the middle of all this, I had to go to the bathroom. I have a quick devotional that I'll read when I'm in there. This morning the title of it was "He renews". How I needed that-I knew what today was going to bring and I was already exhausted. God literally forced me "be still" to remind me that He is the source of my strength. If I don't take time with him then I'm never gonna make it through until the end. I then rushed my family out the door. I was longing for more time with him...more time to "be still." He had just hooked me in for a deeper time. I know that today will be crazy-it never lacks craziness at the Richmond house. But knowing that I took a little extra time to spend with Him, will help me through the craziness. God is the author of my life and I really have to let Him take control.
Mary Beth, I'm still learning to say, "I'd love to, but I can't." You don't know how many times your story has come to mind when others ask for things from me that I wanna give them, but I just can't commit. I simply and graciously HAVE TO say, "I'd love to, but I can't." I'm still learning how to do this. Learning to whittle down my life so that "being still" is not something that I have to work so hard to find the time to do.
I wanna encourage you guys to go to the Source to recharge your batteries. It really has been refreshing today to take time(real time) with my best friend, Jesus. He sees me as I am and loves me more than any other.
love you guys,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Party Extraordinaire

Sigh....I'm soooooo tired. Well, it's 1:30 PM post Friday night slumber party and I feel like I should fill you in on the party.
Let me back this up to Thursday evening before the party. Will gets ready for bed and very graciously lets me know that his throat is really hurting. Bad hurting. No temp. Some congestion. I'm thinking, "oh, it's just sinus drainage causing a sore throat."
You know, my medical background and all... I thought I had it nailed. (just kidding here). We awaken Friday morning pre party to a really, really, sore throat and a temp. I manage to steal an appt. at 9:10 with Dr. Riesco. You guessed it! We're positive for strep. 9 ten year olds are scheduled to arrive in approximately 9 hours and I have a big brother positive for strep. "No worries" says Dr. Riesco. Just quarantine him to his room for the length of the party and make his bathroom off limits. I think this is possible, so I go on with the party plans. Poor Will, banned to video games and movies in his room all night. He's actually pretty happy with the plan. Lysol becomes my best friend for the next 6-7 hours. Ken and I attempt to de-germ the whole house. Not on my "to do" list but it had to be done.
Now, on to the party. We invited 9 girls-every last, stinking one of those precious little girls RSVP'ed and arrived before the party. I was praying for strength and mercy. God must be preparing me for the years to come, because these 10 year olds are pre-puberty but are every bit as emotional and high strung as any teenager. They also had some difficulty with rule following. Remember, the rule about quarantining Will-well, sure enough they had to see what he looked like and if he really was in that room. Don't worry. Mom was on the scene. "Hey, get away from that door. " "Will lock your door." "No, you can't take him a drink."
We made "top your own" pizzas and decorated our own cupcakes. Each of these was cost effective but labor intensive....yikes. They all seemed to have a great time. Choruses of Hannah Montana's "Who said, who said" from the Karoake machine could be heard around the neighborhood until late in the evening. They even subjected themselves to a not so spooky moonlight walk in the woods with Mr. Richmond. Actually, I don't think they made it to the woods. They were back almost as soon as they left. Chickens. He was actually going to share some deep spiritual insight with them, but they just knew he was gonna scare the stuffing out of them.
I guess the real fun did not begin until 3:30 AM when Ken rolled over and said, "Terri, pleeeeasse, make 'em go to bed." I tried to encourage peace(the quiet kind) but peace did not come until about 6:00 AM. Yes, I typed that correctly. Some of these sweet, adorable girls were up until 6:00 AM. I'm thinking, oh now they'll probably not wanna get up tomorrow. They'll sleep in. NOT. They slept until ...are you ready for this...6:30 AM. Yes, thirty minutes of peace.
Ya' know. I'm sure there's some kind of great, spriritual lesson in all of this that I wanna share with you guys. I wanna hear the "Wow, that really spoke to me." OR maybe, "that was really profound." BUT right now-all that I can say is.....hmmmmm.....maybe I shouldn't say that. Well, I guess I better wait until I have a full night's rest before I expound on the spiritual side of our journey.
Here are some pics to leave you with a "think before you do this" moment.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My family, my life, and more

Well, all of you great bloggers that are my friends have really inspired me. I'm gonna try to blog more often about all the cool things that my family does that drive me crazy and make me love them more.
Let's see this week, we are in the midst of finishing up the touches on a belated birthday celebration for Bryn (pictured to the left). Her birthday was March1st, but because so many of her friends were born around her birthday....we've had trouble finding a date. We've been partying like crazy for weeks and it's not been for Bryn. It started Winter Break and I don't think we've had a weekend without a party, yet. The crazy thing is- I think there are still two parties left on this rampage after we finish ours. You have to put in early to find a date.
Anyway, she wants to have...drum roll... a slumber party. Well, that sounds really cool until you start thinking of the 9 pre-teen girls that are all going to be going crazy at my house over High School Musical and Hannah Montana. Thanks goodness for the bonus room....away from my bedroom. Hopefully, I WILL get some sleep Friday night. Let me repeat...I WILL GET SOME SLEEP. That was stated most emphatically with optimism. It will happen
...right? Please, someone-please tell me that I will get some sleep. Please, tell me that there will be no drama. Please, tell me that I will look back on this party with fond memories. Do I sound scared? I am...but don't worry-I won't let them see the fear in my eyes.
Hopefully, I'm pouring love and time into my daughter that she will remember for years. I keep telling myself that this is worth it.
I'll let you guys know how it goes after the dust has cleared.