"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Home Video Marathon - Part 1

It was a rare day to relax, so I decided to take full advantage of it. I did get dressed because I had an early appointment. But when I returned home, not feeling that well, I decided to put on my jammies and vegetate for the rest of the day.

Sick of the TV, and unable to concentrate on a book, but longing to do something constructive while I was down, I decided I would pull out some old home movies.

I have several movies, on VHS that I had taken of our son with my sister's video camera - the popular and probably only means back then. Honestly, I don't think I have ever watched these videos. I am sure I have never shown them to Matt. I was ready for a marathon. I pulled up and old favorite chair, directly in front of the television, got my blankie, the remote and got ready to put my feet up while I whiled away the hours - at least 8 of them. Life never felt so good.

I started with the videos of Matthew when he had made the local news. They were the shortest ones so it helped me feel like I had a good start on the stack. I remembered two times he was newsworthy, but I found out there were 3 - at least so far. ;-) After viewing those, I watched each birthday party that was recorded. I found that the videos stopped at age 13. I watched age 2, 3, and 4 and then the one I made of him at age 13. This last one also included quite a lot of information about our new acreage - we moved when he was 11- and my husband spraying the fields, complete with my dissertation.

I had been feeling like such a lousy parent of late and truthfully, I feel like this may have been the Lord's prompting to show me I wasn't so bad after all. Don't worry young parents, you will feel like this once in a while too. It is just part of parenting I believe. Especially once it is all over and one has plenty of time to look back.

I found instead of the wicked villain I had perceived myself. I was polite, encouraging and supportive. Truthfully, I was shocked. Now I know there were many times, I was not a fair parent. I yelled too much, I was too strict, I didn't pay attention at times I should have. These were the things that were running through my mind over and over. I knew I had spent too much time on the computer, trying to learn to make web pages with hopes of creating a job from home that would help us financially without me having to work outside the home. I spent too much time talking with friends on the phone, trying to help and minister to them believing that is what a good Christian would do. I regret much of that, now. I regret associations I joined, knowing they ended up in chaos, and mostly all for naught. With all of that, I needed this video. I saw someone I didn't know. And I don't mean to make this about me. It isn't. It is about our loving God, Who is always there to encourage us when we are feeling at our absolute worst. I needed some normalcy to life, to help me remember I didn't do everything wrong, and my day in video land gave it to me.

So with that, I thought it would be fun to write about some of the highlights. You know a mama always LOVES best to be able talk about her child! I laughed and I cried as I watched. I will try to keep this as upbeat as possible.

After viewing a couple hours of Matthew's 3rd birthday...and we are talking 3 days of celebration...I asked Matt what his favorite part of everything. Without any  prompting, he didn't miss a beat when he answered "Jesus." After 3 parties in 3 days, 3 cakes and mounds of presents for a 3 year old, and lots of kids in attendance, that is exactly what a mama wants to hear. It warmed my heart then, and it warms my heart even more now.

Another thing that especially made me laugh was when we were making a birthday cake. It was for his 3rd birthday, I think. He kept asking if he could lick the frosting, and me admonishing him not to put his fingers in it. I promised him a taste when we were done. I finally relented (and I am thankful I did) and gave him a small spoonful, with frosting just at the tip of the spoon. I then continued frosting the cake while telling him to wait until we were done for more. Just then, he fell off the little step-stool he was standing on and while trying to catch himself, his hand went directly into the cake getting frosting all over his fingers. He looked delighted at this turn of events and I laughed so hard! He got to lick his fingers after all.

I guess his 3rd birthday must have been quite a milestone and especially eventful. He had quite a large party with several guests. There were so many gifts, that I didn't want to hold people up or have them get bored by taking so much time opening them. So we carefully opened packages removing the gift wrap, but I didn't allow him to play with the gift or remove the packaging it came in. He was so good about letting me set each gift aside and moving on to the next thing; but it was obvious there were times he just wanted to play with the item he had received. Finally it came time to open one from daddy and mommy. We knew he had wanted this gift and felt confident he would be excited. It was a brand new helmet to go with his new roller skates. He almost had desperation in his eyes, as he tried to get it out of the package after the gift wrap had been removed. I had been side-tracked with conversation but the video kept rolling on him trying to get the helmet out of the box. Now, as I watched this video all these years later and seeing him so desperately wanting to put his new little helmet on, I was scared to death when the camera came back to me I would be telling him to set it aside. Watching gift after gift of me telling him to wait, I was certain that is what I probably had done. But now seeing this, I knew that would have absolutely been the wrong thing to do. I cringed desperate myself to see what happened next. Thank God to my relief, I let him open the packaging on this present and helped him put on his new helmet. THANK GOD!! I reiterate!!! I think God knew I would need that some day. I would have hated myself forever, if I had said no to him on this one. It was time to let him splurge and for guests to understand. I'm sure they did.

When Matthew was a baby, I would hold him in my arms and we would dance in front of the mirror in our living room. He loved seeing himself in the mirror and me swaying to the music. As he got older, we would still do this only now, he would hold onto my hand and steer me the direction he wanted to go by putting pressure on my thumb. For as long as I can remember while growing up, I danced with my son. This was one of the reasons, it was so important for me to have a mother/son dance at his wedding. I felt it would be the last time. And even if it wasn't, I wanted this moment symbolic of something we did in his childhood. I was so pleased to see we had captured some of these moments on tape. I was still lifting him up in my arms  at 4 and 5 years of age and we danced until I could no longer hold him because he had gotten so heavy. Back then, I think I thought he actually enjoyed the dance. Now watching decades later, I realized it was probably most likely that he simply enjoyed making me so dizzy!

Well anyway, you get the idea - our life in video. There are many more videos left and I will use the rest of winter to finish watching them. I can justify it with that New Year's Resolution thing...the one about cleaning out and organizing the chaos in my life. This is a good place to start. And after I have watched for awhile, I am sure there will be more to write. Stay tuned for part two of the Home Video Marathon!


Saturday, March 3, 2018

All The Better

I am just saving some of my favorite country music songs to my blog for my own future enjoyment. If you enjoy them too, all the better.

I love this one! It is Alan Jackson's newest release and it is one of my favorites.

There is a cool story that goes along with this one. It is well known fact that artists can struggle to stay popular as they age. People tend to forget about them and move on to the new stuff. Maybe some of them lose their voice or musical ability. Sometimes, it is just the market. Sometimes, as in Ronnie Dunn's case, the industry fights against them.

Ronnie Dunn was quite vocal about it on his Facebook page. (Yes, it was really him.) He was frustrated with the country music industry and the games played that often left the older artists out in the cold.  I follow Ronnie on Facebook and noticed him lamenting about it quite frequently and very boldly for some time. I believe it was Reba that was instrumental in pulling him out of his doldrums and helped reunite Brooks and Dunn for some shows in Las Vegas. This, after Brooks and Dunn had had a bitter break-up. But then the three of them began entertaining in Vegas - Brooks and Dunn and Reba. I think Ronnie's newest interest in photography also helped him. He has become quite a successful artist in a whole other realm - photography.

Anyway, I mention all of that, because Ronnie made a comment about Alan's song when it first came out. I absolutely loved knowing the back story behind it and then hearing Ronnie say this. The lyrics and sentiment that Alan expresses in this song are the direct opposite of what Ronnie was feeling, before Reba and photography came to his rescue.

When Ronnie heard Alan's song he posted this comment to Facebook along with a video of Alan's song:

"Sometimes I think I’m an “ok”songwriter then here comes Alan Jackson with “The Older I Get” - RD"

I love that! I love Ronnie Dunn (a singer/song writer who is second to no one) for being humble enough to point to another artists work. And I love the lyrics in this song!! All of us who struggle with aging could take it a little more to heart. One more thing, I love Reba's concern for her friends.

Anyway, all of that which I just wrote explains why I absolutely LOVE country music.

Most of the artists are really real in an often times whacked out world.

Here's to country and getting older - all for the better.

I Lived It

So pretty. I lived it.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Forever and Always - Country

I love my country music. I am a bit disappointed in some of the direction it is taking. But that is for another post. I thought I would share this video...mainly just so I can keep it myself and view it from time to time. It was done for the 50th Anniversary of the CMA's and I first saw it back then. It is making the rounds again...maybe in light of a recent controversy involving Mike Huckabee...whom I love...That will be for that other post.

I love that they included Ronnie Milsap - one of the best from the 70's and 80's - as well as a clip of Randy Travis who was disabled from a stroke and no longer able to sing. Ending it with my favorite AJ and the final shot from Dolly is perfect. Kacey Musgrave has got to go and for the most part she has...but that is for that other post, too. :-(

But for now, enjoy this beautiful video.