"Take Pictures"

I know.  What can I say? She is the only one I have left that will let me take her picture over and over again.              ~  And yes. . . there is another contest. ~


This one is over at “The Paper Mama“.  The contest is called “your best shot”. This contest is being judged by some of my favorite bloggers. With these woman ~ I feel comfortable enough to give this contest a try. 



You see, I love snapping pictures.  AND. . . I am told I take a lot of pictures.  There are times I think, they might be right: I just may be taking way to many pictures and I should give it a rest.     

That’s when some of the last words my father  said to me creep into my mind:   

He whispered ~ “take pictures.”  With those words always on my mind and the sheer facts that I not only want to please him,  I really want to improve on this photography thing: I snap click. 



The only way to improve is to practice, practice, practice. Right? Oh! yeah, and have fun while your doing it too.  So here is my attempt of my “best shot” of yours truly from last week. We were just about to have a swimming lesson and she couldn’t have been happier . . . dirty face and all. 

The Paper Mama

Sunday Snapshot

The Weavers of the Fabric ~

It has been said that woman are the weavers of the fabric of society. For without woman we would not have the family.  Without woman we would not have the guidance or the  direction of our mothers. 

My father would say, woman are the strength of society and most importantly the strength of the family. He would say, emotionality woman are the stronger sex. He would also say, It is woman who make or break the family. 

In honor of Mothers this week, the theme over at I Heart Faces is Motherhood.   

This photo is of my niece’s daughter and my mother,  the child’s great grandmother. This is the photo that says motherhood to me.  

In this photo I see the  gentle guidance a woman gives to the ones she loves throughout her life. I see how a mother holds a hand dearly when one needs it and then somehow that woman gently points in the right direction, like only a mother can.  

Happy Mothers Day!


Extravagant Love

Is there such a thing as Extravagant Love? 

A love that you spend everything you have on.  A love that takes a life time to build.  A love that you give over the top for. 

I believe LOVE can be Extravagant and Extraordinary and Beautiful all at the same time. 


I cannot let this day go by with out telling you: Today, April 18th,  would have been our parents 58th wedding anniversary.  I can also tell you,  our father would have celebrated this day with his wife extravagantly. Not because he was a show off. No, he was never a show off. He knew he could never buy her love. He wanted to show just how VERY much he loved. 


He would have celebrated this day extraordinarily and freely by giving the love he had for her extravagantly. . . like, only he could. He would have lavished our mother with great gifts, fine dinning and only the best he could offer. He would do this because of the love my parents shared, and, I believe, still share for each other was IS a GREAT love. 

An Extravagant, Extraordinary Love



Getting Her Nana Home

Well! She had enough! 


Her bags were packed for weeks. She was finally on her way. At long last the time had come to see Nana . . .who had escaped to the Sunny Side.


“The Sunny Side” is where the oranges grow,



the skies are always blue, and the ocean is knocking at your back door: 



Jensen Beach, Florida! 



Don’t think for one minute this trip was ALL fun and games. 



She WAS on a mission: 

One . . . To bring Nana back home to South Carolina. 


Two . . .To bring Nana back home to South Carolina.


AND 



 Three . . . Mary Elizabeth wanted to make sure her dear Nana was okay after a fall off of a stability ball and an exercise nightmare. 



And here is another thing . . . Day two of our mother’s trip: The word is Nurse Auntie had to rush up to Nana’s apartment to assist in a sliced foot incident. This was due to an  attack made by shattered glass that cut the top of Nana’s foot rather badly. 



All this made us wonder. . . Is this place safe? 

We did our best to make due in this breathtaking land: 


We woke to the sun peeking over the water, warming our sleepy faces every morning . . . like clock work.  


We saw cousin Beth and her son Micheal. We learned it is not only good to know a nurse, it is good to know a pharmacist when you need one too.  


As Micheal fished, his mom saved the day by assisting with the medications our mother was taking for the pain from “the” fall. 




We went for long walks and suffered through these glorious warm days with the wind blowing through our hair and the smell of the ocean tickling our senses. 

 

On their way home, my sister Margaret and her boys who had also been visiting, stopped by our Father’s old stomping grounds  Kennedy Space Center. Margaret wanted to make sure things were still running smoothly and the final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery would be off on time. 


This was a good thing too, those of us that stayed behind wanted to see a rocket in the sky once again. 


The feeling of watching the rocket take off brought back so many warms memories of years gone past. I could feel our Father’s spirit soring as high as the rocket that was launched. 


It was good to back again in this place that we loved,


 to feel the sand on our finger tips again, 

and watch the sun sink into the bay as it whispered it’s good night. 


To some of us . . .the best part of going to Florida was not playing in the salt water and feeling the warmth of the sun on our back; 


 It was going home and making sure EVERYONE was where they need to be. 


Lungs 4 Life. . .Standing United

Editors Note: Because I have received many e-mails and comments saying the information I have in this post about Lung Cancer is vital to our community, I thought I would keep this post going for the week by playing many memes. I have also had many comments and e-mails telling me people would be putting this post on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for stopping by my little blog and taking the time to read this post.   If you need more information about Lung Cancer and it’s stigmas please go to the Lung Cancer Alliance Link I have on my blog. 

Lisa 
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The Cain Halter run was last week and since it IS a cause we ALL care deeply about, we thought we would get together and give this run our all. 
160,000 Lives in 2009! 

We know this is true because, one of those 160,000 was our father.   I will tell you this,  when you lose just one of those 160,000,  it really does feel like you lost ALL 160,000.  It’s devastating to think. . . HE never smoked. He never lived with smokers. HE always lived a healthy life style. HE exercised everyday, even up to the last weeks of his life. When he couldn’t get up anymore, HE exercised in bed. . .YES! In Bed.  

And still he died. . . of Lung Cancer.  


Just in case you missed that, I want to make sure you heard me; Over 60% of new lung cancer cases are never smokers or former smokers, many of whom quit decades ago.  


Because we really care about Lung Cancer and we have to change the stigma. . . we turned into Team Finnell. . .AGAIN! 

But, this time with shirts.


We hit the road! To walk. To run. To support. 


Friends came out and ran with us.  

Speaking of beautiful friends and woman heres another fact for you:  Lung Cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause for cancer death in women.  Do you know: you don’t have to be a smoker to get lung cancer?  

 
With this in mind, we clung to each other and supported. . .like we always do. 

We made it to the end. . .Like we always do


All of us

We ran on the Faith of our Father. . .We ran with his spirit by our side.  We ran meeting people who were survivors. We ran with people who lost loved ones ,  who were runners. . . 


It effected us deeply as we thought of what was. 

 It effects us deeply as we think of the facts. We stand united AS “Team Finnell” . . . now with shirts.

Even though everyday we remember . . .There are some things none of us will ever understand.   Maybe, just maybe a little family run for Lung Cancer might help us heal, one year at a time. 

Ni Hao Y'all

A Poem by Margaret

On the Eve of the Anniversary of our father’s death, the over cast skies are fitting for our somber moods. Our hearts are heavy but our Spirits are light: for we know the rain falls like  “Pennies From Heaven.” 

AND

We simply miss him.

To pay homage to this occasion, I thought I would post a poem my sister Margaret wrote. It is about beautiful memories that will always be close to her heart. 

Our Parents Home
In my parent’s home where we have grown,
A place that’s special, we’ve all known.
One of many homes our brothers and Father built almost daily,
A place our Mother and He grew, their amazing family.
In their home we learned how to love,
In this home, our Father left with God above.
A home where parental love was very strong,
With their marriage of fifty-eight years, it wasn’t wrong.
I remember it well as a child,
Although I will admit, it ‘s been quite a while.
In the early morn such happiness filled us, we would adorn,
For the five of us, the blessings we felt to be born.
In the late of the eve under a bright moonbeam,
Mother and Father would dance, as if in a dream.
In this home happiness grew for 30 plus years,
Until late evening that day in September, we felt only tears.
We all stood in wonder as the night fell still,
Our Heavenly Father took him, after so long being ill.
Yet today as that anniversary approaches,
We are comforted, by what his spirit possess.
And as we have cried in our own special way,
We are so happy we knew him, especially today.
Now it is our Mother who carries us each through,
As my Dad often stated She is his diamond, his true.
Although He is enormously missed,
Our memories are of the wonders, in a great big list.
How lucky are those who have felt his gentle touch,
A blessing his children, grandchildren and wife miss so much.
Our Father’s love remains in our Mother’s heart and ours,
How lucky are those who have visited, and felt those loving hours.
By: Margaret F. Hoverath

It’s not all about THEM

I don’t think I told you we had a little company this past week.
My Aunts, cousins and cousins daughters came down for a little visit;
Bringing with them lots of joy, laughter and Anthony.
Aunt Joan
These aunts are my father’s “little” sisters and two of triplets.
Among the many things I loved about having Aunt Jean and Aunt Joan here was seeing  
my father’s smile again on my Aunt Joan’s face.
I never realized it before but this time “IT” took my breath away.
Aunt Jean

I again saw Aunt Jean’s kind, gentle nature. But this time we watched as she endured a serious illness. But, she never complained….just like someone else I know. 
In both these woman, I saw their big brother Billy and one of his best qualities….I saw
in them how he would take his time and listen patiently and talk to people from the family no matter the age, size or order of importance.  

I saw how they enjoyed playing in childish games,  
allowing the smallest be the leader of the biggest chains.

I saw how they relaxed and laughed at themselves.
There were songs sung with the greatest emotion followed by dancing in the dining room.
The weekend just flew by.

When it was time for them to leave we were all a little sad to see them go.
Today, as I post and think of these warm, wonderful woman, I think about what makes them so special:  I think what makes these woman the generation of these woman so special is … 
Everything is just not about them.

Punkin It’s Black and White Wednesday

Do you remember these?
The pumpkins…not the little girl…I am sure you remember her.  She is the subject of most of my photography. This is mostly because my older children are getting bored with me always “snapping” while I say “wait…I’m not done…one more”.
This is the picture my cousin Anne took the weekend of “the funeral“.
I think Jen bought 17 small pumpkins and 5 large pumpkins that weekend. I remember she told me she bought that many because of  symbolism….One large pumpkin to represent each of my parent’s children and one small pumpkin to represent the grandchildren. 
I can’t remember how many mums she bought that day or even what the significance of the mums were but I know we she bought a load of mums ……maybe it will come back to me one day.
I do remember, I didn’t want to go with her to the store but she insisted. She convinced me she would be dreadfully lost if I didn’t go and she would never find her way back.  
Which was not true…She had a GPS and she lived in the area for years before she moved to California.
I figured out on the way home that day she would have been fine. I was the one who was in danger of being dreadfully lost …and thankfully she was wise enough to see it.  
Jen filled the house with colors of happiness with warm browns, bright oranges and beautiful yellows…. pumpkins, candles and mums in every room. The house looked beautiful that weekend. Just the way our mother and father loved it. 
Back to the reason for the question…..Do you remember these?
Well?
When it was time to get rid of all those pumpkins our mother didn’t quite know what to do with them: 
 So these guys
Matthew and Stephen

 took these guys

Brian and Alex
with hammers in hand, along with all the pumpkins out into the field by the compost pile.
AND
They smashed them! 
They had a ball!  hitting them, smashing them, throwing them and watching them explode.   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then the bees came.

and the compost pile started to flower.
and you know what happened next…
Look Jen!!!
We’re growen punkins BABY!!!
the long road

Stevie Wonder

Well, it has been awhile since I last sat down to post. Let’s just say I had to take “a little bloggy break”.  I think it was Father’s day that had me all in knots. There were so many things I thought of posting and then I just couldn’t.
You know it has been hard moving on…but we are doing it. We are doing it with his spirit always by our side.
However, those thoughts are still on hold and that is not what I came to talk about with you today:  
Over the past 15 years I have been privileged enough to live with a boy I call my son, Stephen. Stephen is a giver. He is worker. He is a doer. He is smart. He is gentle. He is kind.
Stephen is always fixing things.  
He is always helping, always pleasing.
It has always been the same, since the time Stephen was a just a little guy he would jump right in there and work… side by side anyone who would allow him too.
Grandpa and Stephen working on the pool pump… June 1997
With his green sippy cup tossed to the side, even at two years old, Stephen has always been eager to learn, to study, to help.
With his greatest teacher by his side……He learned.
He studied…He helped.
Now it seems he has the patients that has been past on to him from his teacher. While his little sister takes any opportunity to sit by his side Stephen patiently allows her to help…and he teaches, he waits, he helps, and then like he was taught… he does.
If “it” is broken Stephen will fix it. If you need help Stephen sees it.  Somehow, he just  knows. Standing over 6 feet 4 and still growing, this son of my mine, with the heart of a lion is truly a wonder.
May he never change.

The Thing I Came to Tell You

You know, I just haven’t had much time to post lately. My kids have been busy with term papers, research papers and more papers.

It seems their teacher has really loaded them down with quite a lot of work to do. And being that we are a little one room, one computer school house…….I have to share.
Mother’s Day was grand….my kids shower me gifts! The boys have been unloading trucks at a nursery and got some great Mother’s Day deals.
It warms a mothers heart to see her kids shopping for a bargain.
But, I have to tell you all about that at another time. I have so much to do today and typically the clock is moving faster then I am.
The news of the week! The the thing I came to tell you.
Yesterday was my mothers birthday. One of the many first we have been through this year…..since….well, you know.
We had a little party. Stephen made dinner and I threw together…….THE CAKE!…….which is always home made and never boxed!
Then we where off to the baseball game.
 It was great!
We all went and really enjoyed the night. However, I do think  Auntie’s Jim enjoyed the night the most…
Do you recognize him?
He is Jimmy Cooney’s little boy…the famous baseball player.
Oh! Now you see it. I just had to give you a little hint………That’s all.