Granny’s Lullaby

Their eyes are locked in love’s eternal gaze,
As they gently sway to the words of phrase.
Her voice is scratchy due to age,
The meaning is an eternal truth.

Simple words, simple tune
Locked in time past now brought to the present.
Many years have past since she sang the tune,
As she gently swayed her little ones to sleep.

Once again, the memories flow of time past,
And of the love that lasts.
The love of mother to child sealed,
with the love of Jesus within a tune.

Now a new little one hears the words of love,
Sung from her heart like in ages past.
The words roll forth and then repeat;

Beautiful, Beautiful.
Jesus is beautiful.
Jesus makes beautiful things of my life.
Carefully touching me
Causing my eyes to see.
Jesus makes beautiful things of my life.

The gently sway of motion in time with words sung,
The baby falls asleep listening to Granny’s lullaby.



Progress – First Month

April 10, I went and picked up my three grandchildren: Mr. A. a three year old, Mr. M a two year old, and Ms. L a ten month old infant. All three wear diapers, are very vocal, but not verbal. They were upset, unsure, afraid and angry. They did not know what was happening to their world, and a strange person was taking them to someplace they were not sure they knew.

I was not ready for three small children. The spare room was full of items we were storing while working on remodeling the master bedroom and bath. The morning we arrived to Granny’s Farm, we all slept in my bed, crowded but everyone slept, but Granny. The crib was in the storage shed. The house was not childproofed, there were dangerous things at ground level little hands could reach. No high chair for an infant, or safe play area for her to play while taking care of brothers or cooking a meal.

The two oldest children were angry, especially Mr. M. My son told me that they were having problems with Mr. M being angry all the time. Well, considering the mental state of their mother, and what the children must have been experiencing before she tried to commit suicide with them in the car. I could understand the anger.

Mr. M would get angry, lay on the floor screaming and kicking his feet. Or he might run to a room, close the door and start hitting himself with a toy or biting himself on the arm or hand. How does a person handle such anger? I simply picked him up and hugged him close. Not saying a word, just snuggling with him until his screams stopped and he snuggled down quietly.

Mr. A was the opposite. I would call his name, and he would hide under tables, chairs and behind curtains. He wanted to disappear and not be found.

The baby, Ms. L, seamed to enjoy the time she was with me and family. Her play area was made in the center of the living room, the place where we gathered to talk, play and watch television.

Everyone ate at the dinning room table. Meals times are on a set schedule, with everyone at the table including Ms. L in her highchair. Snack times are the same, everyone goes to the table and we eat together.

There is outdoor time of playing in the yards. One in front, after I removed all the things that could hurt a child. And one in the back after I hired some help, and they put up sheep panels around to prevent them from going to the pens of the horses and sheep and getting hurt. Two safe areas of play to explore outside everyday.

Twice a day they go out for chores. Yes, doing chores takes twice as long as little legs do not make large steps as I do. But they enjoy the animals. Running with the puppies when they are let out each morning for all day. And petting the adult dogs when they are let out each evening. Seeing the sheep and petting the muzzles of the horses. Ms. L goes along to as I purchased a stroller wagon. She is able to sit, strapped in, and be pushed along the way to meet the animals and watch the excitement of puppies, with a short visit from them.

The anger has gone away. Mr. M loves the animals and has learned that even though things are different, and he is told “No”, this is not a bad place to be. His waking screaming in the night has stopped, he sleeps through the night, resting from a busy day.

Mr. A is no longer hiding under the table or behind a curtain, he is on the couch to watch the movie, a constant shadow and helper when it is chore time. Laughing hard as he runs with the puppies. He smiles as he loves on our large male Livestock Guard Dog, Bruno. Bruno and Mr. A see each other eye to eye. Bruno and Mr. A, walk around with Mr. A’s hand on Bruno’s shoulder checking out the yard to make sure it is safe for the sheep before the sheep are turned out to graze.

They have learned not to enter the pens unless an adult is with them. There are places and equipment they can not climb on. Not because we do not want them there, but because they understand we do not want them hurt.

Mealtimes are fun times. Each meal starts with pray. The food was very different from what they were used to as Granny cooks differently than their mom. They understand the rule of one bite of everything is required. And there are always seconds and thirds of the things you like. A few times each week, there is dessert that Granny has made, “Yum Yum” as they say. Learning to say words and laughing at Papaw’s words. We take our time to eat, there is no rush. We eat, talk and laugh.

There is more smiles than sadness or tears. We have learned fighting is not allowed, as Granny takes the toys away and they have to sit in chairs. Instead we learn the words “share” and “take turns” to get along during the day.

No more fighting to not go to bed. The run to the bedroom, sometimes they just walk as they are too tired to run. Granny places their toy, special blanket from home, give hugs and kisses, then tucks them into bed with the words, “I love you, sleep well”. Papaw takes his turn with hugs and kisses and “I love you.” They know in the morning Granny will be there to hug them, kiss them, get them breakfast and have a fun day of laughs and giggles. Learning new things, new words and exploring what is around them.

We are family.


Mother’s Day 2023 Musings

Yesterday we went to visit my daughter with the triplets and six year old daughter and husband’s home for a Mother’s Day dinner. There is a lot of planning in taking three small children to a different place for a few hours. Diapers, bottles, baby food, change of clothes as the oldest is working on toilet training. Loading them into the vehicle with three car seats. Stopping half way for the older one who is toilet training to visit the restroom.

After arriving, the boys, Mr. M and Mr. A, were shy and very clinging. I am thinking they were afraid they were going to be left there. Also, seeing three little babies in high chairs being fed their meal, and another child about their age running around, was a shock. The boys acted like typical toddlers going into a strange place. Ms. L, who is eleven months old, was excited to have babies to socialize with. She enjoyed babbling to and spending time on the floor with the triplets who are three months younger.

The adult conversation revolved around children. Diaper sizes – who is wearing what size of diaper. The different thermometers and which works best, diaper rash ointments, lotions, shampoo, and soaps. How the children – Mr. A, Mr. M and Ms. L are adapting. The different methods of discipline, or dealing with anger among small children. Teaching to talk, share and take turns. Age milestones and methods to help the small ones achieve their milestones or catch up. Fun time in the yard climbing up slides or swinging on swings, trying to the older children from accidently hurting the other.

When dinner time arrived, after feeding the four infants, it was what do they eat, how much and food allergies. Mr. M is lactose intolerant. The discussion was not about recipes or how our looking for a place to purchase closer to where my daughter and family live.

The conversations between my daughters and myself have changed since I started caring for and raising my three grandchildren. The conversations are me asking questions on what products are available today for the care of children. Safe sleeping for children based on age. Their opinions on toys for early learning.

Finally today, on driving back from the grocery store, I realized I am once again a “Mom”. Not just their Granny, but the one who feeds them, bathes them, makes a home safe for them to live in, and meets their daily needs emotionally, mentally and physically and well as spiritually. I am being a full-time “Mom” to three of my grandchildren.

When will my daughter-in-law be mentally well to care for her children? Years down the road. How many years? Considering she has panic attacks cleaning the house, overwhelmed by what needs to be done. Or is so depressed she is unable to do anything. Unable to go to a store by herself. A lot of years will pass before if ever she is able to handle caring for her children.

Meanwhile, I will do the work, give the love and support to my grandchildren as if they were my children.


Holiday Traditions

Each family has a set of holiday traditions. What is a tradition?

a belief, principle or way of acting that people in a particular society or group have continued to follow for a long time, or all of these beliefs, etc. in a particular society or group.

Depending on the country where you were born, family heritage, and other factors, we all have different Christmas traditions.

Opening presents vary from family to family. Some open family gifts on Christmas Eve, creating room for the gifts arriving from Santa Claus to be opened on Christmas Day. One family I know open gifts on Christmas Eve with all the family, then feast and games on Christmas Day. My family has always opened gifts on Christmas Day, until everyone left home. The day of opening gifts at our home was scheduled when family members were able to come over to celebrate Christmas.

This year, my husband and I have made another change, we will open gifts on Christmas Day. We are not having a Christmas celebration with other family members at our home. So, we will go back to the original tradition we were both raised with, opening gifts on Christmas Day. Then we will go for a short visit and food at my daughter’s house, provided my husband and I are not sick.

The timing of putting up the Christmas tree. Most of the family put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. I was raised with a Christmas tree being harvested and decorated the day after Thanksgiving. But when I started my own family I changed the date. My birthday is in the first part of December. I was tired of Christmas crowding my birthday. Hence, I decorate the Christmas tree after my birthday. Those of us who had the opportunity of being born in the month of December, have a lifetime of sharing our birthday with Christmas decorations and traditions combined and often over powering our own celebration.

Gingerbread houses, beautiful creations of decorated cookie structures. I do not know the origins of decorating gingerbread houses, but their beauty has always drawn my attention and fascination. As a child, we never decorated gingerbread houses, but on occasion would make gingerbread cookies. When my children were little, we did not decorate gingerbread houses. Not until my youngest daughter was a freshman in college, I purchased a kit, and we decorated gingerbread houses. From that first start, my other children started buying kits to decorate gingerbread houses. Now, every year each of my children’s family as well as myself decorate gingerbread houses for Christmas. A new tradition in our family we all enjoy.

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Hanging the stockings with care. Growing up, we hung our stockings on a bookcase, as we never did have a fireplace. My children when they were small, their stockings were hung on the dining table on Christmas Eve, as I did not have a place to hang stockings. We moved several times, and the place in the different homes changed, sometimes stair banisters, bookcases and a few years from an old piano. What went into the stocking never changed. I would place in each stocking : an apple, an orange, peanuts, then some chocolate Santas and always a peppermint candy cane, a new toothbrush, socks and lastly a penny for good luck in the coming year. I have stopped putting peanuts in the stockings as it is too messy. When family comes to visit for Christmas I add travel size lotion, hand sanitizer, or a loofah into the stocking instead of socks or a toothbrush.

I always make the cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies and church window candy rolls. Some years I bake more. But those three items are always made at Christmas. The years I have the time and energy to bake more, I give the extra cookies and baked goods away to friends and family. With the baking and cooking I do at Christmas, one our New Year’s resolutions is to always lose weight. The first few months of the New Year we are on a diet to lose the weight gained at Christmas.

The way we celebrate our Christmas traditions change with the stages of life we are in. When my children were young we did many more family traditions of playing games, watching certain movies and cooking together. Today, there are only two of us at home. I no long spend three to four days baking and cooking with my children. I cook the standard three recipes that in my heart have to be made for our celebration. Under the Christmas tree looks lean as there are not many gifts compared to when I had four children at home. To fill the emptiness, I decorate under the Christmas tree, with a Christmas town or train or reindeer. The traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings is a little too much food for two people. I have sent invitation to have others join us for Christmas dinner, only they have their families or friends they spend the day celebrating with. Instead of the traditional turkey dinner, I fix something special such as rib eye steaks, or cornish hens, a special dinner for two.

Traditions change as families merge. When my children married, their spouses had family traditions as well. Each family had to merge the family traditions they were raised with and form their own traditions carrying forward some traditions from each.

Regardless if you have passed down through generations traditions or create new ways of celebrating the holidays together, it is important to celebrate with those you love and create memories. Make each day you have be special.


Thankful for Family

November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. A day of celebrating with a feast, family and friends the events and things we are thankful for having in our lives.

I am thankful for family. This year I had a granddaughter born as well as three grandsons, a set of triplets. My children are finished increasing the size of their families. I am blessed and thankful for fifteen living grandchildren.

I am thankful for my spouse, my husband of thirteen years. I am so thankful he was not bothered when I was gone for two months helping my daughter and her family before and after the triplets were born. He took care of the farm and worked his job while I was away. He is always there to talk to and share my thoughts and feelings during the year. He handles my anxiety and quirky was like a pro.

This year my oldest daughter and her children visited us for the first time at the farm. Her children were able to learn some about riding horses from their granny. We made birdhouse and windchimes. The most important thing is we made memories.

Once again I was able to have my grandson, Mr. J, for a few weeks this summer. Mr. J came to live with me for several months when he was two years old. And he has visited me every summer for three to four weeks, except the first year of Covid. Needless to say we have a special relationship. We fish and ride the horses, garden, paint something and do a lot of talking. This year he is thirteen years old. We both realized that the summer visits will eventually come to an end. This year we truly cherished the weeks we had together.

There was sadness this year as well. My husband sister passed away due to cancer. My uncle passed away due to medical issues. Both of them are missed.

I am thankful for family.


“Rub My Back, Please”

Since the end of August I have been at my daughter’s home caring for my granddaughter, then when the babies came home, helping with the babies. While at my daughter’s I slept on the bottom bunk with my granddaughter. She enjoys sleeping with Granny, and Granny rubbing her back until she goes to sleep.

Change is hard for all of us, but especially for those who are little children. When I went to stay at my daughter’s home, my daughter had been admitted into the hospital. The first time my granddaughter had been without her parents. It was a strange time for her, unsettling and insecure. I would lay down with her at night, rub her back and she would go to sleep, in the comfort that Granny was there with her. This soon became a routine.

When the babies came home, I continued with the routine of sleeping with my granddaughter, as well as getting up to help feed babies. Feeding goes much faster if three people are feeding three babies, than if there are two people feeding three babies.

My oldest daughter came down to visit and help with the babies. When I was leaving, my granddaughter made a statement that her aunt could sleep with her and rub her back. Her mom quickly told her that Granny was the only one going to rub her back. It is something that Granny does, not everyone else.

I was told I had spoiled my granddaughter, not a bad thing. She had learned to go to sleep on her own, and that she was of the age she can do so. I am allowed to spoil her, as being a Granny allows for those spoiling moments. Me rubbing her back was a special thing that she shares with Granny and no one else.

Change at times is hard. For my granddaughter being the only child for five years and wanting a sibling, she was eager for the addition. When the three little brothers arrived, small and frail compared to her imagine of siblings she could teach to slide and swing, change was hard. She is not allowed to hold them yet. They are not able to slide or swing. Her words, “They just sleep and eat, they do not go anywhere.” She is happy to have siblings, but misses the attention she once received.

Granny sleeping with her and rubbing her back for comfort and security when mom and dad were in the hospital, transferred to attention and feeling special once the siblings arrived.

The babies are doing well, growing and soon she will be able to interact with them more. In a year or two they will be best friends and constant companions. But now, change is hard being on the sidelines only able to observe and not really participate. Her parents are great, and do help her during this time.

There will always be that special memory of Granny helping, and rubbing her back. Will rubbing her back go away, absolutely not. That is a special bond between Granny and granddaughter that will remain.


Best Made Plans

We make plans for holidays, celebrations and just being together with family and friends. The past months I have been doing things to get ready to be a grandmother to triplets. I have these plans of getting certain jobs done, before I am needed to assist my daughter.

Labor Day weekend I planned on getting all the maintenance tasks done on my sheep. I was going to deworm all the sheep and trim their hooves, a job that takes two days with the number of sheep I currently own. There are two young rams I need to dehorn as well.

Friday arrived, and I had my equipment ready to start the task of deworming and hoof trimming one set of sheep, when a phone call came. My daughter was on her way to the hospital and could I come and get my granddaughter and keep her for the weekend. NO PROBLEM, this grandma is always willing to drop everything to have a grandchild for the weekend.

My best made plans for Labor Day weekend took a mighty shift. There are times we make the plans, but God has a different plan. I do not think my plans were bad or out of time, it was just time for something different.

My granddaughter and I enjoyed the weekend together. We fed the sheep and horses in the morning. Painted and made things in the afternoon. I mowed the front yard so she could play on the trees and swing, without the worry of snakes. Mowing the yard was not in my plans for the weekend, but with her arrival, I mowed the yard. She helped PawPaw with the evening chores of feeding the dogs. On Sunday, my granddaughter and I went to her house.

I did not get the sheep dewormed as I did not want my young granddaughter around the deworming medication for the sheep. I do not take risks with my grandchildren. The sheep hooves did not get trimmed. I will reschedule those tasks for another weekend. Are the sheep going to be hurt by the delay, no they will be fine.

Currently, I am on a “holding pattern” as I call it. I am waiting for the next step or plan to start. My daughter is still in the hospital and will stay until the triplets are born. The date they will be born, sometime between today and September 14. I am taking care of my granddaughter at her house. My granddaughter has school to attend. She will have her meals and daily schedule unchanged, at least until the triplets come home. Then everyone’s schedules and plans are going to change.

Making plans are good, as they give us direction and goals. When those plans have to change, does not mean we made a mistake in our planning. Maybe there was more to the plan, than we included. The extra time to be with my granddaughter taking care of her daily needs at this time allows us to make memories together. None of us can see into the future or down the road a few years. Spending time with her, might be a very important time period in her life.


Happy Labor Day

Labor Day was started to recognize the working people who keep things going for our everyday needs, mostly unions and labor organization would celebrate this day as honoring the working class. In 1893 New York City had the first Labor Day parade. States began recognizing Labor Day as a day of celebration for the working class. In 1994 Labor Day became a federal holiday.

The Bar BQ, picnics, and family get togethers are another common tradition of Labor Day. The last time of gathering for some summer fun and family connection before the school year started. Many still participate sharing Labor Day this way with family.

While the working people may not be recognized by government or the media, they are the gears that keep our economy and life going. Working to provide the products we need, as well as supporting their families. To have a federal holiday for this celebration is a small reward.

I had my first job at age 15, although I helped my father in his business before this. I have worked everyday since then to support myself and my family, almost 50 years. Since I do not have a huge nest egg for retirement, I will continue to work for the rest of my life. I can celebrate Labor Day as my holiday, a day for the common worker.

There are many traditions associated with Labor Day. One well known tradition is not wearing white after Labor Day. This custom was started by the wealthy elite to distinguish themselves from “new money” and the working class. Wearing white while vacationing was a way of showing their wealth off to others. Personally, I wear white as I look good in white, regardless of the time of year.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy celebration this Labor Day weekend.


National Son and Daughter Day

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An unofficial day celebrated in the United States. The National Son and Daughter Day was first recorded in 1936, in Missouri. J Henry Dusenberry came up with the idea after overhearing a young boy asking why there was days to celebrate moms and dads, but not children. Soon Missouri was celebrating National Son and Daughter Day.

In August 1944 the St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette printed an article about J Henry Dusenberry and National Son and Daughter Day. Several clubs and organizations promoted the celebration. In 1972, a Florida congressman presented a bill to congress to create a National Son and Daughter Day as an official holiday, but the bill was not voted on.

People continue to celebrate a day for children. Children are believed to be life’s greatest gift, and the future in many cultures. Some places of employment allow employees to bring their children to work as a celebration of the holiday.

For some parents, it is a day to separate from everything else, and spend time with their children, focusing on them only and creating memories. I think it is important to celebrate a day for sons and daughters. Today, both parents usually work, children are in daycare, school and after school programs, leaving very little time for just family. Having a day that celebrates children, helps parents keep in focus on what family is. Children are with us a short time, then they are adults living a life of their own.

As parents we should slow down, take the time to keep in touch with our children, young or grown. Let our children know they are loved, create or remember memories and events. To connect.


Triplet Update

This week I was honored with the invitation to attend an ultrasound appointment with my daughter who is pregnant with spontaneous triplets. Spontaneous triplets are conceived without any assistance from fertility drugs or treatments. They were wanting another baby, and was blessed with three.

According to the CDC, triplets happen in 1 out of 10,000 pregnancies. Majority of triplets are conceived with the aid of fertility treatments. Becoming pregnant with triplets without the assistant of fertility treatments is more rare.

They are 28 weeks in gestation, the beginning of the third trimester. Being able to view the ultrasound and see my grandchildren was thrilling. They are crowded inside, moving a lot. They are doing very well. Each baby weighs a little over 2 pounds, total is over 7 pounds. I was able to hear the heart beats of each baby. We were also able to see and hear them practice breathing.

As a mother in the 80’s and 90’s, I only had two ultrasounds during my four pregnancies. Being able to see my grandchildren during this visit was a blessing beyond measure. These three grandchildren bring the number to fifteen grandchildren. I am blessed.

Babies and mom are doing well. We are looking forward to their delivery in September. Prayers and positive thinking are appreciated.