Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Anniversary To Us!!!

June 23, 1972
Don't you dig the "dutch boy" hair and the funky glasses on Rick? And my "parted-down-the- middle-shaggy" hair?
Boy, the stories I could tell. There is not enough time in this life to tell you all about us in our 38 years of marriage. But, I will save you the math and the questions - yes, we got married when I was 16 and Rick was 17!
Let me make one thing clear right up front...I did NOT have to get married!! We put ourselves through college (after we finished high school). And, we waited 9 years before having children. That had to be a God-thing. Back then we were just young, in love, ignorant, and stubborn. I have often wondered over the years, why my parents would allow me to do something so ridiculous. To even think about allowing Matt or Sarah to marry at 16 gives me the shivers! So, in my quest for answers, this is what I do know -
God had a plan. My parents had to sign for me before I could marry that young. Who in their right mind does that for their 16 yr old daughter? (unless there's a very big reason) Only God could have orchestrated their hands to move that pen along the line...signing their only daughter away to a young, immature boy.
My parents loved him like a son. He loved them as his parents instead of in-laws. Their passing was almost as hard on him as it was on me. Have our lives always been a bed of roses? Absolutely not! We have had our share of problems, issues, hard times and dark times, but through it all our love has prevailed...God's love has been the glue in our marriage. Without Him, we would not still be together.
God took us 38 yrs ago, and has been patiently teaching us about commitment, devotion, loyalty, forgiveness, perseverance, dedication, trust, and unconditional love. Some lessons we've learned the hard way and some lessons we are still learning. Marriage is a never-ending growing experience. You can never stop "watering your garden" or it will dry up and wither away. You must work at it...all the time. It is to be taken care of, honored and respected, and most definitely held onto - for better or worse. So many young people today go into relationships with the mindset - "If it doesn't work, we'll just get out." That has never been an option. We took our vows very seriously, even though we were young. There have been valleys, pits, hills, and mountains all along the way, and God has intertwined our hands together with His each and every step of the way.
So, Happy Anniversary to us! I love my DH very, very much and he loves me... maybe even spoils me a little too much! He is a wonderful, caring, loving man and a great father and Poo-Paw! Matt and Sarah, I hope you know how blessed you are to have a dad who loves you so!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Before and After

What a difference a few hours can make. One minute here in the "Bermuda Triangle of Arkansas", *have I mentioned the bizarre weather patterns in this little valley?* a gnarly looking storm brews up out of nowhere, drops a gusher for about 10 minutes, clears off, and later produces a canvas of vivid colors in the sky! I love this place!
A Storm is Brewing
God's Canvas
There's an old Gaither song, "Joy Comes in the Morning", which came to mind as I reflected on the strange weather and drastic changes in the sky throughout the day. My mom and dad used to love this song. I still love it because it has such a simple but significant promise - "hold on my child, joy comes in the morning." Even though this storm cleared and the joy came in the evening, the truth was still the same - joy did come.

Just as this atmospheric storm came in unexpectedly, the "storms of life" can hit without warning too. And, just as the sky cleared and later produced such a splendid sunset, life's storms clear and sometimes even without our knowledge, something beautiful comes from it.

If you're being tossed about in a storm right now..."hold on my child, joy comes in the morning."

"...and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." John 16:20

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Journey of a Tadpole

As I've mentioned before, I love to raise tadpoles! The transformation from tad to frog fascinates me and is very fun to watch. Last October I found some tads, which was strange to me because I usually find them in the Spring. I had watched for them all summer with no success, then VOILA...October Tadfest!

Sarah helped me gather a bucketful and I took them home to begin their journey to adulthood. I have no idea how long they had been in the little stream where I found them, but they were about the size of my pinkie fingernail...some smaller.

I've done this whole project before, with the transformation taking about 6-8 weeks and producing the tiniest little frogs you can imagine...I'm talking itty bitty. When December rolled around and the freezing weather hit, you can imagine my dismay and confusion that my tads were still...tads, just bigger. Since I had been keeping them in an aquarium on the back porch, my first thought was - I will have to bring them inside. The hubby put the halt on that right away! He thinks I'm ridiculous anyway, and bringing critters in the house is not on his list of fun things to do. So, I continued to watch over them, feed them, change their water, break the ice on the surface of the water, wrap their tank with a blanket - fearing all the while that they would freeze their little tails off.

I decided to Google tadpoles and see if I could figure out why they weren't changing into frogs yet. Much to my surprise, I found out they were North American Bull Frogs, which can take over a year to transform. Geez! I hadn't really planned on caring for tadpoles that long, but I wasn't going to let the little things die either. I am, in my ninth month of tad care.

But, sayeth the angel, "Behold, I bring good tidings of great joy. For unto you, froggies will emerge and you shall set them free."

Today I set three of my wee ones free into the big world. There are two more almost ready for release and all of them now have legs. I began with 21, had 3 casualties along the way, so I am now the proud mother of 17 froglets!

Need I say that I am releasing them far away from the house? Can you imagine the "music" 17 bull frogs would make??? Thus Rick's orders to take them far away!

I have far too many pictures to put on here, but you can view my Tadpole Album on Facebook at the link below if you are just dying to see the transformation in a little more detail. (I know all 4 of you are just sitting on the edge of your seats) Ha Ha!

Gathering of the TadsTiny Tads in The Tad HiltonGrowing!
I Have Back Legs! I Have Front Legs Overnight!
I'm Looking Like a Frog
I Am a Frog!
Huey, Duey and Luey Go Off to College

Once again, God's world never ceases to amaze me! Oh, that everyone could take such pleasure in the "simpler" things of spending nine months raising tadpoles!! ;-)

Here is the FB link if you're interested:

Enjoy...I know I have!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

Greetings from Texas! Summer grand baby #1 was born on May 17! Rick and I flew down for Sawyer's birth then flew back the same day, as Rick was right in the middle of hay season. He had a "window of good weather" to be cutting, raking and putting up hay, (you farmers know what I mean) so we had to get back to the farm. But Susan's mom and dad stayed for a week then brought Natalie and Parker home to Danville to stay for a week, giving Matt and Susan time with Sawyer. Sanni and PooPaw kept Natalie for a few days, Nana and Papa kept Parker for a few days, then we switched! What a great time we had with the kids! I'll post pics from that week at a later date. My pictures from that adventure are on my computer at home! I am back in Texas for now, meet

Sawyer Linton Millsap!
Sunday I flew with Natalie and Parker back to Texas, which was quite the adventure! Ever seen a "germ-a-phobe" travel with children??? YIKES! Let's just say, we used a lot of Germ-X! I think the funniest moment I had with the kids in the airport was when it was almost time to board the plane. Parker, who is 2 and in the middle of potty training, had not been potty in about 3 hrs and I knew it would be a while before he would be able to go. When I suggested we all go potty before we got on the plane, his response was what it always is - "But, I don't need to go". So my very creative and devious self quickly responded with, "But they won't let us on the plane unless we have all gone tee-tee. When we get to the man who takes our ticket, he's going to ask us, 'Have you gone tee-tee?' And if the answer is no, he will say, 'Then you can't get on the plane until you go.' You should have seen the looks on the people's faces around us! One lady was laughing so hard - she leaned over and said, "Well, I just went tee-tee, so I'm getting on that plane!"

Needless to say, we tried, but Parker still didn't go. He waited until we got to his house...about 2 hrs later! Way to go Parker! **Oh, to have a bladder like that!**

I will be staying here until Wednesday to help Matt and Susan "get their feet on the ground" with all three kids. Then...this Sanni is going home to rest up for Summer Baby #2, Ayla!! She will be here in 5 weeks - give or take a few days! Sarah and Ayla are doing well! Sarah just sent me the link to her maternity pictures - wow! They are so good! I'm sure she will be posting those very soon!

God is so good!