Can’t We Just All Get Along

These last few months have been very trying for me. I have had to adjust to my daughter and granddaughter moving out. This alone could have sent me over the edge a few years ago but now I can honestly say I roll with most of the punches that life swings at me. I have felt blessed to live this life God has given me and am so thankful for my many blessings. I try not to sweat the small stuff. That is unless it concerns my sisters or my mother. I can be overly protective and sometimes very judgmental. I remember being afraid and always working. I expect more from all of us because we have so much knowledge of what can go wrong with life. We know about divorce and poverty. We have experienced child abuse and ridicule. I believe every one of us walk around with something from our past that has a tendency to affect our future and I would like to see that cycle end. When my mom married my last stepdad Ward my life changed. Here he is with Beth on her Bethany and Grandpaconfirmation day. For the first time in my life I was never worried about safety and my mothers love or her judgment. He gave me courage and the will to look at things from the outside. To this day if someone says one word about him not being perfect it makes me sad. I know that quiet man had faults,we all do but because of him and his willingness to change our life is so much better. My mom complains about his transgressions sometimes and I feel like she is angry with him. I could do the same thing about my past but what sense does that make. It is what it is. I try to remember the good times. Granted they were far and few at times but they were there. Linda and I having our babies Linette and Loretta. Seeing Lori when Daddy snuck us up to the hospital after one of her many surgeries and the miracle of baby Lana that we would run off the bus to be the first one to hold her. I hold everyone of those memories so close. They are precious to me. I don’t want those girls to ever be hurt. I don’t want my mom to have bad feelings about any of us and I want us to realize how lucky we are to have each other still walking and breathing when there are so many families that are broken by death way to soon.There is a rift in this family right now and the longer it goes on the easier it is to continue. My mom was only seventeen when she started having kids so a lot of times it is like she is a sister instead of a mother. Then there is the fact we are all women and you know how feelings are with the female species. I can get my feelings hurt with The Work Horse and the poor guy doesn’t even know it.

Al 001Here he is in his Sonny Bono days. The love of my life and sometimes the pain in my neck but always my hero. God help him for putting up with me. Sometimes it isn’t about who is right sometimes it is about who can swallow their pride and remember their blessings.That is what I want for my mom and my sisters. I am not the perfect sister or wife or mother. I have made many mistakes but for quite a few years it has gotten easier and easier to let go of bad feelings. It is exhausting to be hurt and mad. When I leave this earth I want my family to remember me with a smile and know whatever I said was because I loved them and wanted what was best for them never to judge. I don’t care who is the favorite or who does the most. All I want is peace and harmony for a family that so deserves it after everything they have been through. The thing about a disagreement that carries on for too long is people tend to forget about the content and just remember the hurt. How stupid is that when you miss the person and your pride won’t let you move forward. I know as a mom I have been mad at my kids and sometimes haven’t talked to them. I can tell you it is the worst feeling in the world for me and for them. We talk about it now and I am so thankful they accept that I made a mistake. Parents should never close a door on their kids. Siblings should never not use the closeness of their past to render the richness of their future. I want to learn from my mistakes and be a blessing to my family even when I insert my foot in my mouth instead of having someone put theirs in my behind.

Last week Bethany and I had a conversation that left an impact on me. She is in the Navy and married a guy without telling us. After we finally met him her dad and I knew he was not going to work as her husband. He quit his job. He stayed home and played video games and thought of ways to spend her money.She made excuses for him every time we talked to her. We were angry. One night in bed The Work Horse told me we were done worrying and she would come to her senses in her own time. He was right and now they are divorced. It took her a long time to right the wrong but she did it. I hope she learned a hard lesson and is never fooled again. I want her to know that we will always be there for her and will listen when she calls for our help. We might not like what she says but the door of communication will always be open. I need to love that girl with everything in me. She is far away in distance but as close as a heartbeat in my mind. I love her no matter what. That is what I want for all of my sisters and my mom.

Getting along is not easy but it is so worth it. Wouldn’t it be terrible if someone died and you never had the chance to mend a broken fence post. That fence is no good to anyone with a post broke.It lets everything out no matter how strong the other posts are. I don’t want to be the broken post that let all the richness of our hard labor of love out. Do you? Common sense is easy if you let it. I hope my grandkids get the chance to see all of our family at one more gathering before it is too late. When I was little my cousins and my aunts were my saving grace. I want my grandkids to know their nana’s family. I don’t want them to meet at funerals. I want them to play at parties. It can be a reality if we just remember our blessings instead of someone’s faults. There was only one perfect person born on this earth and fortunately He is part of this family and forgives us everyday no matter what we do to Him. He answers the phone when we call and opens the door when we stop in. I hope all of us remember that. Our kids and grandkids are watching and learning from us. We are their compass and they need all of us. I don’t want my little Peyton to think that someone is dying because she hasn’t seen them in church. She told me that is what happened when Grandpa Perkie died (Ward). He got sick and couldn’t come to church and then he died. That is her reality. I don’t want to explain adult things to this smart little girl so don’t make me. Give her peace of mind that her family is ok. Let’s make her fence strong and with boundaries of forgiveness and happiness. This family is a bounty of blessings and I hope all of us know it. Blessings everyone and hope to see you soon. Liz

Pig Roast At Wallace Stone (Or Papa Shows Off His Grandkids)

quarry1My husband Hungarian Work Horse is a quarry man. That means he is one of the few guys at Wallace Stone Quarry that helps harvest stone for many applications. If you live in Michigan you have probably driven on some of that stone. This place is a source of income to our family as my son-in-law Mike and my brother-in-law Arnie also work there. Although the guys sometimes complain about their work the dedication to this place holds me in awe of the work ethics that are instilled working at a place that can be tedious and dangerous at times. I know that The Horse loves that place and he will miss it when he retires. This post is about a pig roast they put on every year for their employees and friends to show appreciation. It also gives this Papa and Daddy an opportunity to show the grandkids the beauty of the stone and some of the equipment that they use.

IMG_1305We had Miss Peaches with us and this is how she looked when we first got there. Charlie and Naked Bath Baby too were along for the ride. Papa and I ate our food sitting in the car waiting for her to wake up to join the fun.

IMG_1309IMG_1316We went inside diggers.

IMG_1310I think this could be an ad for Caterpillar.

IMG_1312Water anyone?

IMG_1314Some of the buildings are the original buildings that started  the quarry. Now I get it when HWH says the shovel building and the horse building. This quarry was a place people lived and worked at like an old miner town.

 

IMG_1318The kids loved it in the tires.

IMG_1320Big dumper.IMG_1315All the kids got on with Papa.

IMG_1322These things are huge.

IMG_1328Then Papa decided to take them to see the gravel train. It was a long walk.

IMG_1329Peach got tired so she hitched a ride.

IMG_1330Made it there.

IMG_1333IMG_1334The girls loved being in the train and Mackenzie as usual got to drive.

IMG_1336Then we started walking to the car because Papa wanted to show us the plant where he crushes the stone. These two our oldest and our youngest granddaughters have him wrapped around their little fingers.

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These are some of the things we saw on the way back.

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Here is the plant where Papa and sometimes Daddy crushes the stone. They walk those catwalks all day long. It’s no wonder Papa is so fit and handsome. He gets a work out here.

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The kids learned that their Dad and Papa are quarry men and they are proud. Little Dude and Minnie had to leave early to go to another party and they were sad. I could see Little Dude’s imagination going crazy as he was getting to go on all of the equipment.

IMG_1363Guess what he was for Halloween? A quarry man of course. He has loved diggers from the time he could dig and now that I think of it why wouldn’t he! It’s in his blood. If I had the money I would buy him that quarry and just bask in his happiness but for now I guess I will just watch his imagination and the girls too as they say proudly to people , “My Papa runs the belt.” That’s quarry talk. If you want to know what it means ask Little Dude or Alexis because they will tell you proudly.

I will carry that day in my heart for the rest of my life. My husband and son-in-law make me proud the way they love these kids. My sisters and I had that for such a short time with my Dad. Today my daughter Brooke and I were talking and I found out how much she loves Mike and The Work Horse like that too. She has had that love all of her life and when she says My Dad it is with unadulterated love. There is nothing more precious than the love of a child and we are so lucky to have had all of this time with them. I know that people think they will have tomorrow but sometimes tomorrow is to late. I don’t think my dad knew that morning he left to go to Saginaw would be the last time he ever saw his little girls here on this earth. This day at the quarry reminded me of that. I am so glad we have every bit of time with these precious precious kids and nothing is more important to us and so today I thank God for time. The time that I hope to use wisely with my loved ones and the courage to know that today could be my last day with them. I know to some people that sounds morbid but not to me. Reality is we only have so much time and we need to use it wisely for the sake of our kids. I wish that I could have had more time with my laughing daddy but it didn’t happen. I learned from that. I hope when my grandkids read this someday they will know how much we loved every minute with them and we never wanted to be anywhere else but with them. I just love them more than anything else on earth.Blessings everyone.

She’s Hot

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I got a phone call from Brooke the other day. She is my oldest daughter and the mother to the bulk of my grandchildren.She had the kids at the park because Alexis had ball practice. I think she was a little taken back as her kids were playing when she over heard a couple of boys make a statement as they looked at Peyton. Two simple words. SHE’S HOT

She is only eight years old and the boys weren’t much more than that I guess. Brooke is a teacher of kindergarten so she pretty much hears everything but this was about Peyton who thank goodness never heard the statement. She needs no more self confidence. She oozes it like water from a crack in a Michigan basement and it drives her big sister Alexis crazy.

I know what that is like. In my eyes my little sisters were always way cuter than me and it took it’s toll on my idea of how I was perceived to other people. Thank God Alexis has two wonderful parents that keep the nobody is better system in place. There are no big heads at their house. They are what my dream family would have been when I was little.

We laughed as we were talking about those wonderful kids and I kept thinking that my love for Brooke just gets stronger and stronger. How is that possible when she has always meant so much to me. She is the mother I always wanted to be. Peyton is kind and loving because of the way Mike and Brooke taught her. She is one lucky little girl and her and all of the kids are fun to be around because of that. Like I said everybody has their heads the right proportion for their age.

I just wish I would have been the one to over hear little boys say something so stupid. I would have replied— Yes,  she always sweats like that.

Two Kids And a Garden Tractor

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Today was one of those days I will hold in my heart forever. I had two strong willed kids that love to pretend at my house. It was a day for plowing and seeing who was going to be the driver of all things that move. McKenzie aka my Little Peaches was doing a lot of button pushing on Little Dude’s tractor and I was OK with that until she figured out how to get it to go. That thing is too dangerous for her to drive herself. Her mother usually hops on the thing and they go around the yard but she had to work today so that was not an option. IMG_1102

They climbed on Papa’s garden tractor and you can see it is always safety first with Peaches.

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There was quite a discussion on who was going to drive. You can see who won. I mean would you argue with that?

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It took her a few minutes to study the controls but after that Little Dude had complete confidence in her. Oh the places they went and the giggles that in sued.

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Just look at her backing up. Now that takes skill.

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Can you tell which one of them had the bath after all that work?

Today I say thank you God for my grandkids and the parents that don’t let them sit in front of a television screen or gaming system. The world is theirs to explore and pretend. Someday Little Dude will tell Peaches about the day he let her drive and she will laugh and laugh. He will say it is because she was spoiled and she will know in her heart he is right.She will always love him for that and he will always love her because she needs him. That is what big boy cousins do.

Blessing everyone.

Time Flies

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Today as I sat in church with my grandkids I had a lump in my throat because my Alexis that beautiful baby in the picture above is almost eleven years old. Gone are her days of being carted around on her Aunt Alisha’s hip but not the connection of their love for each other.Alisha still loves that girl and it is evident because she trusts her with her own baby McKenzie.

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Fast forward nine years later and some things never change. Braces and pajamas and babies getting carted around are still prevalent in this house and I am glad. Being adored when you are ten by a little person is awesome. That look of joy I see on my Lexie’s face is the same look I saw on Alisha’s when she was that age. I savor the innocence like I do my Little Dude’s kisses because I know they will not last forever. I remember loving my cousins like that. There is just something about girls and their cousins. McKenzie will run to Alexis before any of the other kids. They have a bond and I know Alexis loves it and who wouldn’t, just look at those cheeks!

So today I am thankful for the time that went so fast it almost came full circle. It is hard to believe that my baby has a baby and my first granddaughter is old enough to cart a baby around. I wish I could slow this time down but I don’t think I will worry about it, just enjoy it. Thank God for little girls.

For The Love Of McKenzie

IMG_0996This little girl is in the middle of a war and she doesn’t even know it. It about knocks the breath of me to know that she is loved by many and fought over by two families.

About two weeks ago I came home from work with a note on our bar in the kitchen from my daughter. It said, I am here now but McKenzie is not. Alisha left the residence that her and her boyfriend lived in and he wouldn’t let her take her baby. Her heart was broken and she was afraid. After five agonizing days the police picked this little girl up and returned her to her mother. Now through the court system they have to figure out what is best for McKenzie and I can see already it is going to be an uphill climb because these parents cannot talk to each other. There is bitterness and anger and for that I am so sorry. I hate that my daughter has to feel like this. She is such a good little mama and I am proud of the way she takes care of her daughter. Her voice will be forever seared in my brain when she would call and just sob,”Mom, I just want my baby.” I heard this on her way to work and sometimes on her way home from work. She just wanted her baby. It was gut wrenching and I couldn’t sleep just trying to think of ways to console her. I knew that she would get her baby because her baby belongs with her I just didn’t know when. I am so thankful that McKenzie is with us and that she is such a happy little girl.

Through this Alisha has learned many things. She now tells me she wished that she would have listened to her dad and me when she was eighteen. We didn’t want her to live with somebody before she was married and she now knows that sneaking around to meet her now babies father was not the right thing to do. I don’t know if she thought that we wouldn’t  approve of him or if in her heart she knew that he wasn’t good for her but the hard truth is they should never have been a couple. She tells me that she has regrets but she did get a miracle out of the deal and that is McKenzie and I tend to agree with her. I love having the baby here because we hardly see hardly ever saw them when her and the babies father were together. She is a little miracle and I am so glad Alisha has her. McKenzie is Alisha’s hope for the future and her help in the journey back to her family. We have both of them in our hub to stay and there is no doubt in my mind that Alisha feels the same way. I can’t worry about the outcome of this mess but I can enjoy and rejoice in the love my family. I know Alisha’s lesson in this is a hard one, undeniably more than she thinks she can handle but I know she can do it. This family won’t let her down. She is protected by her dad and my love and support no matter what. We have already gotten so many blessings with her coming back home.She talks to me and never seems to tire of it. She wants to do the right thing and she wants to go back to school. Her goals are attainable with her families help and I want her to know that we will help in any way we can. We love her and no matter what she did in her past and we are proud of her. She too is a miracle.

Lessons in life are hard and going through something like this always leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t like conflict and I don’t like to fight. I want the right thing for Alisha and McKenzie to happen and I believe it will. This last week I started thinking about when the girls were in high school and their petty arguments would want me to rip out my hair. How those days look so simple now. I pray that I do the right thing always for my girl and my granddaughter. Alisha if you are reading this right now just know it is going to be alright. Your future is just waiting to spill goodness on you and McKenzie. You will someday look back and this will be a memory not a nightmare like it is now. You now walk the walk of a mother and God loves a good mother. When Jesus was hanging on the cross He loved His mother so much that He gave her another son. That shows me how much compassion God has for a mother suffering. I have thought of this many times and I want you to remember it. Use your lips for kissing your daughter (and your mother wouldn’t mind one once in a while) and good things will happen. God gave you McKenzie and He won’t take her away.

My hope in all of this is that young people really think hard before they make choices. I find it comforting that my daughter now knows that her dad and I always wanted the best for her. Simply put she is ours even if someone called us adopted parents in a document. Blood doesn’t make family. Love does.

Fighting Mad

Collin. Little Dude never made it to church last Sunday and I was telling him how I let another little boy sit by me and play with my Kindle. He got mad about it.

“Nana he betta watch out because I might punch him.”

“Honey, that isn’t very nice. Do you think that Jesus would say something like that?”

“Nana, don’t wowwy I wouldn’t punch Jesus.”