For the Love of Graceland

I am simply amazed at the kindness of James, Matthew and Stephen. Over the past couple of years……….and mostly this summer……..these three young ‘men’ have kept the grounds beautiful at my parents house.

~ Graceland~

Lovingly named after our mother by our father

Every weekend these three guys meet at their grandparents house. They ask what needs to be done around the area and then………they simply do it.

They have kept the yard beautiful.

Tulips  by you.

They mow the grass, keep the pool going, till the gardens and try very hard to make things grow.

~ Wonderful Willy ~

They know their grandfather is sick this summer and some days doing the simple things he loves to do like; cutting the grass, weeding the flower beds, keeping the fountain running and cleaning out the pool maybe to much of a chore for him.
I am amazed and delighted at the love and dedication they show for both my parents.
We all know they just want to show how much they love both of their Grandparents and they just want to make these……….sick days…….. as easy as possible for them both.
~ My dad often says ~
“I don’t go out much these days but I love to look out and see all the work being done.”
Although, I admire and love the loyalty, dedication and perseverance James, Matthew and Stephen have shown through out this summer: I admire and simply love the fact they have become teachers to the other children.
I find it all so heart warming to know “THEY” understand the difference between saying I love you Nana and Grandpa and Showing the love they have for their Nana, Grandpa…….. and Graceland.

The BEST Birthday EVER!!!

The month of August has been a very, very busy month for us all. There has been LOTS! going on. It just seems like there is NO time for the things that really matter in life like; posting, catching up on other blogs and up loading pictures.
I realize we all need to take a one day at a time. Enjoy the day and do what we can. I also thought, the memories and these pictures from Anthony’s birthday weekend are just too great not too share. Sooo, as I often think…”Better Later then Sooner“…I am posting in my own time.
((Anthony is Joe’s son, Karen’s grandson and the first Great Grandchild to my parents.))
Anthony lives with his mom and has come down South to spend some of the summer with his dad. They have not seen each other in well over a year due to the accident Joe had last year.

In the summer fun, Anthony met up with Alex and Brian. They all quickly renewed the great friendship they formed years ago. Most importantly, the weekend of August 8th was Anthony’s 10th birthday. We got started planning for the festivities right away.

We went shopping for food, birthday treasures and maybe one or two other things.

Joe prepared a great feast fit for Kings and Queens alike.

We were protected from birthday thiefs!


The gifts and food were just that good! The BEST thing about the weekend was not the gifts, the food…


the friendships and the family bonding that occurred that weekend…

It was declared…


Skin is not always good

Okay, it is the middle of swimsuit season and it was time to find my 12 year old daughter a new one.

Planning very carefully as I often do …I waited until the last minute to jump in the car and run to Target. It was 8 PM when we got there and Kathryn had a pool party to host at my mothers house the very next day.

I figured, like always, how hard could it be???

Target has suits. I have seen them and she could not have grown that much in a year. The old suit still fits her…kind of……okay granted it is a bit baggy, saggy and worn but……..It still fits….Well ….the elastic is going but who’s looking that close?

We have only been swimming at Nana’s…..

As we walk into the store, Kathryn and I went right over to the girls department and I throw 12 maybe 16 suits into the cart and say; “let’s try these ….Yes, all of them. It will be fun.” She gives me this look of disbelief and says, “Mom, I don’t think it will take this many.” I tell her to just “get in there. We have to hurry. I am not sure what time this store closes.”

She tries the first couple on and I realize….We have moved out of the girls department. We have moved up into the Teens. My baby girl is growing up. I tell her to get dressed, we will run over to the teen department and find something there.

As I stood there looking at the suits, I looked around in disbelief and think “Oh Oooo……..this is not good.

There was NOTHING “for us” to choose from………There where one piece bathing suits with plunging necklines, sides cute out, slits at the legs up to the neck line and cleavage…boy did we see cleavage!…..There where bikinis held together with jewelry, string, ties and more cleavage….for teen girls.

Did I say Teen girls?

Yeah, I think I did.

Uggg! I think to myself…….The buyer for this store must hate girls.

Kathryn looked at me with tears in her eyes and said. “Now what Mom?” I don’t want to wear these. I don’t like these. Can I try on more of what we have???

She wanted something she could play in……NOT something to pick up a husband in. I told her to give the other suits a shot and maybe we would come up with something.

I thought

And I thought

And I thought

I went back to the dressing room asked the attendant what time they closed ~ found out with relief it was 10:30


Checked on Kathryn again ~ This time as she opened the door to show me the one suit she said ………… In her words……”fits perfectly….lets get this one.” Only if she rounds her shoulders, sucks in her stomach so much it is hard to talk and stands in the shape of a “C” would it fit…… It was great!

I had to think of something or she was going to be wearing the saggy, baggy suit or worse sitting on the side of the pool not swimming at her party.

I could NOT have that.

I walked the store ………….right past the workout clothes.

I thought maybe….just maybe this might work. Some of the workout tops now are made from the same material as bath suits. Maybe we could use one of those.

I went back to the teen department, found a very cute bathing suit bottom…that matched a very unacceptable and uncomfortable looking, for a growing young woman, top. I headed back over the workout department. I found a long black workout top trimmed in white to match the very cute black and white checked bottoms I held in my hand.

Hoping it would work……..I handed it all to my very unhappy and worried preteen daughter and told her to try it on.

She looked at me and declared……….”This is a workout top! I can’t wear this!”

“Just try it.” I told her…. “It is this or nothing……”

Un-happily……She did it.

Everything fit……….She was adorable.

Yay! ME!!

On the way out ~ I got a big….”Your so smart Mom……Thank you!”


The party was a success. All the girls had a wonderful time……..As I looked around most of the girls wore T-shirts or kept towels over their bathing suits. I also found out the other moms ran into this same problem.

I remember being this age and being very uncomfortable about all the changes my body was going through. I have talked to several mothers and we all feel the same way. Are there any clothes designers out there that cares about the safety and the safe mental health of our children?


Now, here is the question………WHAT??? Are these buyers and clothes designers thinking?

We ,girls and mothers, are having a very difficult time finding age appropriate clothing for our daughters………. never mind bathing suits.

Now, here is my statement…..WHAT???

These are little girls and young woman. These young girls are in training for womanhood not prostitution. They want to learn and play….They want to play safe without being worried about who is looking at them and what they are showing. They want to play with other children, with their pets, ride bikes and read books on hot summer days. The girls I know……..really DO NOT want to dress sexy. They want to dress pretty. They are not even used to the idea of a changing body….never mind show it off.

If we as mothers put sexy clothing on our daughters………What are we saying to them??? What are we saying to our sons? We want our young men to think of woman …. all woman…… as smart, vital beings. We want them to think of woman as the fabric of society, as respectable and reliable vital people.

We want our girls to think of themselves in the same way and as so much more……….Why are we accepting being forced to dress our children Sexy?

It seems to me…….If we as mothers put clothing held together with strings, jewels or anything other then dignity on our 12 year old daughters ….What is okay for them wear at 16?

What is an acceptable way for our boys to respond to all this skin? …..There are many confusing and mixed messages out there today for all our children.

I keep telling my kids…………..”Skin is not always good.” ……