Happy Birthday, Grace

Yesterday would have been my grandmother’s 129th birthday, so I’m hosting a cousins tea today. It’s themed after all her favorite things and to say excited is a huge understatement.

It would make her smile to see us gathered together around my table today having tea and biscuits.

She loved Spring probably because she loved gardening. We used to be commissioned to gather those ugly giant grasshoppers off her plants and throw them in a coffee can of turpentine. I never did it. I was afraid of a bug big enough to look me in the eyes. Still am!

She made the best chili too. You can find her recipe in the Oklahoma Recipes tab above.

The only thing missing from today’s celebration will be the cousins who couldn’t be here and of course, Grace. Maybe the Lord will let her have a peek and once again give thanks for the blessing of family.

Happy Spring from my table to yours!

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Do You Remember?

Our oldest granddaughters building their first snowman. <3

Our oldest granddaughters building their first snowman. 

This week we’re celebrating Thanksgiving at our cabin in North Carolina. We’re having fun, but missing our daughter and her family. They’ve been battling lots of health issues and aren’t sure if they’ll make it here at all. Disappointing to say the least.

But the rest of us are having fun. We’re expecting a White Thanksgiving in Banner Elk, NC, which is a first for all of us Florida natives. 🙂

One thing I’ve purchased to have at our cabin is an acrylic box of cards with questions called, Table Topics, to use to get conversation going in a group setting. The company offers all sorts of themes, and the one I have is for Family Gatherings. Our oldest granddaughter can read now, and she has had a blast asking us questions on all sorts of topics. One in particular that got me thinking was  this question:

What did your grandparents do for you that you loved?

My grandparents owned 32 acres of orange groves when I was growing up, and I loved everything about life at their home. We would have rotten orange fights, eat ripened fruit from the trees, play hide and go seek after dark and the list goes on. It was  fun place to grow up.

That’s what holidays are made of, making memories that your children will remember fondly when they’re grown up.

What traditions have you established that will be remembered for a lifetime?

UPDATE: Our daughter and her family surprised us two days before Thanksgiving and arrived safe and sound. Shortly after it began snowing, and it hasn’t stopped yet. I have a feeling this is one Thanksgiving even the littlest among us will remember. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

 

My Birthday Is Special…

…because today starts my first ever book sale!

Through The Eyes Of Grace Cover

I’m very excited to tell you that if you order my book through my publisher: CertaPublishing.com or through Amazon.com you will receive a 20% discount starting today through the end of July! All you have to do is use the coupon code – Grace20 – when checking out. It’s that simple! If you’ve already purchased a copy, now is a great time to purchase copies for Christmas presents. It’s closer than you think, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a few gifts already checked off your list–in July?

Also, you may not know that I have a Facebook page and would love it if you clicked over and “liked” it. I’m hosting a birthday giveaway for all those who follow me–but you’ll have to go there to find out how to enter.  🙂

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Thank you for helping to make my birthday special. 

Happy Mother’s Day

My Mom is no longer here for me to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. So to honor her, I decided to make a special Pinterest Board sharing photos, blog posts and songs of all the things she taught me.  I miss her so much, but I’m grateful for the legacy she left behind. Click the photo below to see it. Make the most of Mother’s Day this year by honoring all the Moms who have touched your life.

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Celebrating The Moments That Change Us Forever

There are a few things that happen in the span of your lifetime that changes it forever.

Today represents one of those times for me. It was 32 years ago that I became a mom. My son, Jason Thomas Walter, was born at 7:19a. after a short labor and delivery. I never knew such love. Looking at his tiny hands and feet, I was witnessing a miracle. Our love had become life weighing 7 lbs. 1.5 ozs and 21.5 inches long. I couldn’t contain the love I felt for this tiny person.

When Tom and I brought him home we were young and clueless as to how to best care for a newborn. But we learned, and our love for him and each other grew. I’ll never forget waking in the night just to be sure he was still breathing. Thankfully, he was.

Now our son stands 6′ 2″ tall and has looked down at me for nearly two decades. He has a wife whom we adore and three beautiful children. He has followed in my footsteps in loving words more than numbers. He is a copy-editor for Dave Ramsey’s organization, and it has made this home-schooling mama quite proud. All those years of dissecting sentence structures paid off. Not only is he good at it, he loves it.

On days like these I look back and remember highlights. I remember…

  • Taking him to work with me the first 10 months of his life.
  • When he got an upper-respiratory infection at 10 months and had to be hospitalized.
  • When we took him snow skiing, and he wanted to take something special to his 3-year-old sister because she wasn’t old enough to ski.
  • When he broke his leg that same day snow skiing. We bought him the special gift he wanted to get for Tracy.
  • His love for cars and playing crash on our kitchen floor.
  • His uncanny ability to rig his room with string, so he’d know when someone opened his door.
  • His insatiable love for reading.
  • His ability to remember whatever he read.
  • His love for history.
  • His love for his grandparents.
  • When he bought me my favorite candy bar when I worked in the office at his high school and was having a bad day.
  • When he graduated from high school and we thought my dad was having a heart attack the moment they called his name.
  • When he told us he had found the girl he wanted to marry and how she reminded him of me.
  • When he walked me down the aisle on his wedding day knowing he would never call our home, “home” again.
  • When he brought out his first baby for us to meet in the waiting room.
  • When after 9 years of going to college part-time, he graduated and looked back at us from the sea of graduates with that infectious smile of his.
  • When I get texts or phone calls just to say, “I love you.”

There is a saying that goes, “A son is your son ’til he takes a wife, a daughter is your daughter for the rest of your life.” But this isn’t true in our family. Our daughter-in-love, as we like to call her, has become family. So much so that it feels as if she has always been a part of us.

Four generations of Walter men. From l to r: Jason, Richard (Grandpa), Vito, Tom

Four generations of Walter men. From l to r: Jason, Richard (Grandpa), Vito, Tom

 

I am grateful to God for Jason, as I am for each of my three children. I am grateful for a husband who loves them as much as I do. And I am grateful our love continues to grow and strengthen as our boundaries expand.

Jason, I pray today you sense God’s amazing love for you and that you are confident of this very thing…He who began a good work in you will complete it until Christ comes again. I am blessed to have you call me MOM.

Happy Birthday!

 

 

Orange Groves, Stuffed Celery Sticks and Corn-Bread Stuffing–Thanksgiving Memories

Vintage Postcard from www.cardcow.com

Vintage Postcard from http://www.cardcow.com

Do you remember your Thanksgiving celebrations as a child? I do. Every year we would take the long drive through the country from Orlando to my grandmother’s home in Clermont. In the 60’s Highway 50 was only two-laned and was lined on both sides with orange groves as far as the eye could see. As a kid I thought it was the most boring ride ever taking a whole 30 minutes! Now I would give anything to see those orange groves laden with fall fruit lined up in perfect rows like toy soldiers again. To be the first one in the car to see the Citrus Tower rising above the trees and yell, “I see the tower, I see the tower!” 🙂 To walk into Big Mama’s house and breathe in the aromas. To see all my first cousins and aunt busy in the kitchen helping prepare the family dinner. To take a bite into the crisp celery stalks stuffed with pimento cheese, the only thing we were allowed to eat before dinner. To play hide and go seek with my first cousins, once removed (yes, my Mom finally helped me understand how this works), in her orange groves behind her house. And to finally sit down together, all 25 of us, at one long table to thank God for another year of His blessings and faithfulness in our lives.

But those days are over. Many who sat at that table then, are now feasting at the Table of the Lord in Heaven. In fact this is my Mom’s first Thanksgiving in Heaven where she is reunited with my Dad and her Mama. Ah! To hear the laughter and stories being told there! This is my hope, to one day see and experience the glory of Heaven for myself, but until then, it’s my turn to make Thanksgiving memories for my children and grandchildren. To help them appreciate the reason we give thanks to God on this day each year. To build an excitement in celebrating the blessing it is to be together. To not let this day become Black Friday Eve, as some are trying to call it, but to give it the time and attention it deserves.

It’s good to ask yourself what parts of your current Thanksgiving celebrations will your children and grandchildren remember most when they’re grown? Then, go about creating those memories for them. This is the privilege of growing older–to participate in creating the memories of future generations.

I want to share with you Big Mama’s cornbread stuffing recipe. It’s not her original one, but Mom told me a couple of years ago that my stuffing tasted just like Mama’s. Now that was a compliment I received with a warm heart. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!