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

Recharging

There was a whole lot of battling going on today after my daughter Alisha left for work. Miss Peaches and the thing we call a dog were at war. She was hollering at him in Chinese (she is trilingual) when he stole a plate she was using to make something that only God and she knew what it was. All I know is it must have been delicious because Peach sounded like an Amish person at a smorgasbord while she was taste testing in her little  kitchen. I was trying to put clothes away when the dog came jumping over the step like a gazelle with the plate in his mouth. I grabbed him and gave the plate back. Disaster averted. One pair of socks put away and he has the stinkin lei she was wearing and it is on again. I was glad I couldn’t understand her at that moment because the German that was coming out of her mouth wasn’t a prayer I can tell you that. She was soooo tricked off. He tore the lei and I had to throw it away and give her another one. Back to the toy room she goes. I think what ever she was cooking was on fire by then. She is working away and I sit and watch her for a minute loving her little ways and listening to her. She can’t say a lot but she is a master when it comes to pretending. It reminds me so much of her mother when she was little. She wasn’t a big talker either at that age. Pretty soon she is immersed in her cooking and so I go to finish putting away the clothes. I am almost done when I hear her bellering TOP TOP TOP CHARWEE. That is English folks. It means stop stop stop he’s got Charlie. This is serious. That dog snuck back upstairs and took Charlie right from her little table where she was entertaining and serving the charred remains of her whatever it was. You don’t mess with Charlie. She is so mad and I am too. The dog is disobeying and it takes me twice as long to get anything done because of it. I finally talk her into going down stairs for a little snack. The phone rings and I am talking maybe five minutes and hang up.

IMG_1181This is what I find in the living room. I knew she was tired. Charlie got left upstairs and Snoopy must have been on the couch.

IMG_1180Guess who else was tired.

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Recharging. I’d say on the seventh day they rested but it’s only Wednesday! Blessings everyone.

The Home Invasion

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I came home to a quiet house yesterday. As I walked into the house imagine how shocked I was when I opened our bathroom door. A robbery must have happened and I never had Little Dude with me to look for clues. He was having a pajama day with his other fake grandma Ronda.

IMG_0835Yes that’s her. I’m not too worried about her taking my place in the highest anarchy grandma department because her fingers get stuck in her ears like that and it sometimes makes playing with the kids difficult. Hopefully with the new Obama Care she can get that problem fixed. But now back to the invasion…

I had a pretty good idea who the bandit was but I needed help. The only thing missing was a roll of toilet paper and a few wash clothes. In the past there have been toilet paper trails and towel lint on the floor but not today. The robber was getting crafty.

IMG_1047Usually when this occurs there is a trail of Fig Newton’s and some strange music coming from the toy area but today it was quiet.

Then I heard noise coming from down our open stair way. My daughter Alisha had the perpetrator in custody and here is what she looks like.

IMG_3709IMG_1033If you see her near any bathroom area make sure the door is closed and locked. Or better yet ask her to close it and she will because she knows if it is open the temptation will over take her sensibilities and she will commit the crime. She can’t help it. She just loves bathroom paraphernalia.

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.”

The Wedding’s Off And I Love My Family

IMG_1012Two weekends ago I had about all of my favorite men at my house. They were working on the foundation of our old farm home so that it doesn’t leak anymore. It was a weekend project that made Hungarian Work Horse miss church and everything. My favorite Little Dude was right in the mix of things. He loves all things machinery and Uncle Greg brought his digger and here Little Dude and his Daddy are digging. I love these two with all my heart. Little Dude was so happy and I was glad the big guys let him help until he ran in the house and I asked him for a quick smooch.

“Nana, I don’t have time right now. I got work to do and I can’t marry you.”

I got kicked to the curb for machinery.

IMG_1009They dug all around the foundation of our house and tarred and put a drain system in it. This is my favorite brother-in-law of the day working. He is the one that my sister Linda dresses up so they can sing like Sonny and Cher every Sunday in church. The Sounds Of Sunday will tell you all about it . That Linda is so lucky to have him with all of his machinery and his kindness. He brought all that equipment and my nephew Josh just to help us.

IMG_1007That’s my other Dude Josh. I love him like my own son. He is the one holding the bottle on my header up there. Yes, he’s come along way from those olden days. It just came to me while I was writing this that he may have gotten his love for starting fires when he was little because he spent so much time at our house. Hungarian Work Horse loves him some fire and Josh probably picked up the trait from him. I am so grateful that he took time away from his family to help his uncle. Read Supper at the Stings on this blog to get to know them better.

IMG_0432Little Dude was filthy all day. I kept my eye on him at all times because I didn’t want him to get hurt. He was going from coffee cup to coffee cup outside sneaking drinks. I just laughed. I finally did get a kiss after a couple of hours when he came in and wanted a sample of the watermelon I was cutting up for the guys lunch. His dad came in a while later and I told him about the coffee caper he was pulling. Mike said he wasn’t stealing any because he gave him a travel mug filled with water so he could pretend that he was drinking coffee like the big guys. I begged to differ because his breath smelled suspiciously Columbian after his kiss.

My heart is full today remembering how my family helped us. A lesson for my grandkids is in here and it isn’t hard to see. They say you can pick your friends but not your family but I say I couldn’t have a better family no matter how I got them. Greg is more than my brother-in-law. He is my friend and he took my Josh under his wing when he married my sister and is better than any dad could ever  be. He is kind and forgiving. Josh has always treated me like a second mother and I love him more than words can express. I am so blessed to have a nephew that still kisses me when he sees me and lets me take his picture when I know he doesn’t want to. If I called him right now he would come and that means something to me. And my son-in-law Mike. He is a son to me in my heart. He is such a good dad to my most prized possession of all, my grandkids. Little Dude has a lot of Mike in him and that is a good thing. I am so glad Brooke married him.

As I sit typing this it makes me realize that men are good. I need to remember these guys and not jerks from my past. I grew up thinking my Hungarian Work Horse was the only man that mattered and that is not true. My sisters and I have many men to be thankful for in our lives. The Little Hahn girls may have had a rough start but we are in good guy heaven now. I love the men in my life. It feels so good to be able to say that. I know we have more good guy plantings coming in the future and I can’t wait. My sister Linette will see to that. My Little Dude has some good examples from men on how to treat his woman some day. He will be loving and kind. He will be a good dad and someday Papa. He will work and he will be a family man because that is where he came from. I just hope the woman he marries likes skidders and diggers because I have a feeling they will be part of his employment. He may be a little stingy with the smooches but if she has a cut up watermelon and a cup of coffee she’ll be all right. One thing I know for sure is that he will love her because he has lots of practice in that department and I plan on giving him many more lessons.

This day I want my grandkids to remember to be a good family member. Don’t grow absent from your aunts and uncles. They are part of who you are and they love you no matter what because you are mine. God put us in this family for a reason and the older I get the clearer it becomes. We are very blessed to have each other and I know if I died today my sisters and their family will keep you all close. You are loved by many and especially me. Today I am thankful for family. Blessings everyone.

Double Digits

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This weekend we celebrated a very special birthday. Our oldest granddaughter turned ten. Here she is the picture of health at nine months old. She was such a blessing and can you tell by looking at her she had a rough start in life? I don’t think so but that picture is a lesson for all of us.I know for sure that God doesn’t make junk and I am proud that my daughter and son-in-law knew it from the start too.

We were so excited to hear that the kids were going to have a baby. Mike and Brooke were starting their life together and all was well.  I as usual even then was fixing something broken on my body.I had an accident with the lawn mower and pulled the socket out of my arm. It broke in several pieces and the big bone of the same arm had to have a rod inserted but that’s another story. I was next door to the doctors office at physical therapy and the receptionist told me someone had been hanging around my car. I went out to a note from Brooke,my daughter, telling me to come over to the doctors office. I still have that note. When I got in the office they let me go in the room with Brooke.She was having a pregnancy test. I was there when they examined her and the excitement for me was almost unbearable. The doctor told us that because she was a tiny girl that we might be able to hear a heart beat so they got that jelly stuff out and the machine and sure enough we had our first introduction to a very special baby. I remember crying as I heard that steady thump thump thump and Brooke giggling. Her smile lit up the room and I will never forget that moment. So Lexie Lou when you read this your Nana was the first person to hear your heartbeat besides your mother.

As the weeks went on we were planning and making way for our little baby. Brooke and Mike were going for an ultrasound and some time later they were going to stop at our house after the appointment. We waited and waited and they never came. I really can’t even remember if we finally went to their house our they came to ours but I do remember the conversation and we were devastated. The ultrasound showed that the baby was a girl but she had a condition called gastroschisis . Basically the baby had intestines and other parts of her body growing on the outside of her body. The doctors told the kids she might only live for two years or she might be fine after surgery. It didn’t matter,Brooke and Mike were in for the challenge and I am so proud that they knew Alexis was perfect from the moment God gave her to them. I believe sometimes God gives you the baby you need not the baby you want and it has been true for us many times over in this family.

baby lex 001Alexis made her grand entrance after a helicopter ride to Ann Arbor in her mama’s belly. Her papa tried to follow the thing and almost got us arrested when he tried to drive out to the take off place when they were hauling Brooke away. Poor Mike had to drive up to the U of M hospital and we waited with Brooke until she was released to the paramedics. I am so thankful he had his sister Amiee with him. I sat white knuckled as Hungarian Work Horse took me on the ride of my life.Who knew he could be so aggressive behind the wheel. When we got to the hospital we found Mike and Aimee and they didn’t know where Brooke was. Because of the HEPA laws the hospital wouldn’t give us any information and we were all about nuts. Apparently they did not know Brooke’s dad. He went on a search and found her. That hospital is lucky and so are we and the quarry where he works because if he wouldn’t have found Brooke we would all be visiting him behind bars. You just can’t mess with his family.

Alexis Elizabeth was born cesarean section in the middle of the night on May fourth. We all loved her intensely from the moment we saw her. Our little girl thrived under the care of her parents and she is loved by many.

100_0047Here she is with her crazy Papa a few months later. Can you tell he likes her?

She is growing up so fast. Gone are the days that she slept with us in our bed when she spent the night. Papa never liked that because she would tell people that he slept naked and he didn’t. Most of the time he would sleep on the couch and she and I would get the bed. I remember one time he snuck up there before we did and when we got upstairs she looked at him and said,”Papa you’re in my spot!”

Another time he had to watch her for about twenty minutes while I ran down to the church.

When I got home he said from the bathroom,”Thank God you’re home because Alexis wouldn’t let me out of the bathroom.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, every time I opened the door to get out she would tell me to get back in here.”

She was two at the time and had him wrapped right around her little finger.

I could go on and on about this little girl that had a horrible start in life but I better end it before I bore you to death. You know how grandparents are.

I guess what I want to leave you with today is this. It doesn’t matter how you start out in life it matters what you do with it. The lesson is from a little girl that has made it into double digits with a zipper. We match now,mine on my knees and hers on her belly. We are a team and she is wonderfully made.

IMG_0319 I love you Alexis Elizabeth.

Name That Body Part

I had the four Merchant grandkids spend the night last Friday.We haven’t had much time together because we have all been sick.Just when you think we would have the creeping crud days behind us the sitting in front of the toilet flu would strike.I think we just passed it back and forth over and over.Finally on Friday we had an all clear so I called to see if we could have a sleep over.I thought I would give Brooke and Mike a surprise and take all four.When I gave Brooke the news I heard ———WOOOOOOO HOOOOOO.

Hungarian Work Horse picked up the kids after supper and they sounded like a herd of buffalo when they came in the back door.They acted like we hadn’t seen each other in a year.I love that feeling of excitement that kids have.I was doing some banking on line when they got here so up to the computer room came Alexis.She wanted to read some of this blog and so I brought it up.Little did I know that it would bring me something I could embarrass my granddaughters  with when they get older.

IMG_0518She is nine now and the sweetest little girl you ever met.She loves to read about herself and her siblings on the blog and was doing that when Miss P came up and was standing beside her.

I thought I miss heard her when she said,”Peyton move over I can feel your penis on my leg.”

IMG_0079This is Peyton and I was the third person to hold her after she was born. I have changed many of her diapers when she was a baby and they were all penis free as far as I can remember.I just let it go thinking that she must have said something else.Then……

“Peyton you are making me uncomfortable I can still feel your penis on me now BACK AWAY.”

OK that was it.I knew then I had to say something.I usually try to keep away from conversations like this with the grandkids because they have wonderful parents that teach them what they need to know but I knew something was really wrong here.

“Alexis what are you talking about,Peyton does not have a penis.”

Then Peyton starts telling me names of her body parts that I never heard of.I am wondering why we can’t use “private parts” like we always have in the past.

Alexis then pipes up with,”Oh,that’s right girls have a ver ginny, Nana.”

I know now I am having a talk with their mother because this is ridiculous.

The next time I was at Brooke’s I brought up that Alexis used the word penis for Peyton’s body part and Brooke started to laugh.She told me they had to have a conversation because one day the girls were playing and one of them told her that the other one accidentally hit her in the nuts.She must have told them the proper anatomy names of boy and girl body parts and they not only got mixed up but they forgot some of the proper names.

I love this little snippet of innocence in my little ladies even if they don’t sound like ladies at times when they speak.They are growing up on me that is for sure,but it is so wonderful to be able to watch them learn things even if it is the name of your body part.I just hope their mother gets that ver ginny thing straightened out!

God bless my Brooke and her wisdom.