Saturday, August 31, 2013

Audrey in August

In a few hours, August will be over. For me, it zipped by. When I wasn't working, I tried to spend as much time as possible with a little bitty girl who has completely stolen my heart.

Of course, I took a jillion pictures of her throughout the month. If I posted each one, this would be the blog that never ends, so I'm posting one from August 1st, and one my daughter snapped today.

As you see, Miss Audrey spent her time wisely. I trust you did, too.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Sisters Do Galveston

In the fall of 2007, I invited my sisters to join me on a road trip to the Smoky Mountains to stay in this little cabin "Absolute Tranquility."

It was a ton of fun, and we agreed that we should continue taking trips together as long as we are healthy and able.

Thankfully, we are still healthy and able, and I do believe our 2013 trip was the best one yet. As Big Sister put it, we've gone further and stayed longer, but we've never had a better time. Honestly. We laughed till we cried, and then laughed some more.
A big thanks to Stan for driving Cloud 9 (his and Dayle's RV) to Galveston and turning us loose in it for a few days. Here are a few pictures (and a long, rambling narrative) for those of you with a spark of interest and some time on your hands.

After the RV was parked and situated, we all piled into the car and headed to one of our favorite seafood spots for a late lunch with the guys before they returned home. It was delicious, as usual.

The next few hours were occupied with settling into our wheels by the gulf, unloading suitcases, setting up camp, etc.

As evening approached, I headed to the beach for a time of sky gazing. The Master Artist knew I'd be there with camera in hand, of course. The colors were majestic in their own subtle way.

Friday started with rain and ended with rain, but we seized the sunshine in between and made it count. A little beach time, a little shopping time.

Dinner was at Fisherman's Wharf...

...and dessert was at Hey Mickey's Ice Cream!

My friend Ann recommended this place, and it was a big hit in a big way. Located near Stewart Beach, the outside was quaint and welcoming (as you can see above), and the moment we stepped inside, the smell of fresh-baked waffle cones had us swooning in the foyer.

Their ice-cream is freshly homemade, and after much tasting on my part, I finally settled on Almond Joy. In fact, we ALL selected Almond Joy. It was scrumptious! Thanks, Ann!

As the sun sank into the west, we returned to our gulf-side abode and decided to do some "sister posing" at the beach.

Our self-portraits are much like uszany and unrehearsedbut we usually come away hee-hawing like crazed donkeys. This day was no exception.

Saturday, we dined at the Mosquito Cafe. I can't vouch for anything else they serve, but the Warm Goat Cheese Salad I ordered (with grilled chicken on top) was totally delectable. The house-made champagne vinaigrette made me smack my lips and ask for more. Oh, yum!

Saturday night, just when we thought things couldn't get any "funner," Matilda popped in for a visit. If you've never met Matilda, you have no idea. If you have met Matilda, then you know how wonderfully wild and woolly Matilda is. Maybe she'll greet her fellow bloggers in a video one day. I'm not holding my breath though. She's very busy.

Sunday morning, I woke at dawn and crept out of the RV, anxious to see the sunrise. Watching the glory of God unfold with the morning leaves me breathless every time. 

How grateful I am that God doesn't dwell in temples made by hand; He dwells in the praises of his people, the Bible says. And as I watched the sun climbing slowly in the east, heralding the start of a brand new day, my heart was filled with uninhibited praise.

I don't know what our next trip holds, but with my sisters, doing anything is fun. ♦

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunday Morning Sunrise ~ Galveston Island ~ August 18, 2013

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalm 19:1

♦ ♦ ♦

Linking to Outdoor Wednesday

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mosaic Monday ~ Audrey Comes Alive

My new granddaughter is growing so fast, and changing almost daily. I didn't think she could get any cuter, but I do believe she has. Every time I look at her tiny face, I marvel at the Giver of Life.

I kept her overnight Saturday, and in the wee hours of Sunday morning, she woke up for a feeding and a diaper change.
While changing her diaper, she wet all over herself, which totally woke her up and required a change of clothes. I wish I would've had my camera in hand when I bent over her and said hello in my inimitable baby-talking way. Her smile was totally priceless.

Here is a sampling of the faces she made while we conversed at 4 o'clock in the morning. I hope they brighten your Monday.

I'm linking to Mosaic Monday.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Sister Can Laugh Louder Than Your Sister Can

Growing up with two sisters, my life was enriched in immeasurable ways. Childhood was sweeter, the teenage years more bearable, and as an adult, their unconditional love has been a source of untold strength. No matter what is going on in my world, they are there beside me, cheering me on, lifting me up or offering a shoulder to cry on.

They've also been my laughing buddies through the years. If nobody else finds it funny, I know my sisters will.

Early on, people learned that if the Allen sisters got tickled, trying to snap them into seriousness was a total waste of timeeven in church, or at funerals.

Once, while singing for a congregation where Daddy was the guest speaker, something went awry during our rendition (I don't recall exactly what) and Elaine started snickering in her signature way. Of course, Dayle and I soon followed suit, and the longer we sang, the more we snickered, and the more we snickered, the less we sang.

Somewhere around the second stanza, Daddy piped up from behind us in his straightforward style and said, "Girls, either sing or sit down." We quickly became sober and finished the song.

I remember Dayle and I singing at a funeral many moons ago. The service was at the funeral home, and their organ had, undoubtedly, come off the ark. To make matters more unorthodox, it was situated in a little curtained alcove, completely hidden from the crowd.

After Dayle took a brief inventory of Noah's cargo, we huddled around the little microphone and commenced singing "The Unclouded Day," (a song we definitely could've used a bit more practice on).

Within a few bars, we realized the organ was more out of tune than we were, and while I snickered, Dayle sang, and while she snickered, I sang, but soon we were both snickering and nobody sang, and that's when "The Unclouded Day" became one clouded royal mess.

Thankfully, the audience couldn't see that our inability to sing had nothing to do with us mourning the dead.

Of course, life hasn't been one endless heehaw for my sisters and me—we've each suffered personal loss and disappointment. But through the tears, the fears and the years, the heaviness in our hearts has never conquered the laughter in our souls. For that, I'm truly grateful.

 Milton Berle once said, "Laughter is an instant vacation." I don't know about you, but I love that description, and I'm pretty sure that my sisters and I "vacation" more than anybody on the planet. And we don't just vacation often, understand, we vacation hard. If you've never heard us cackling like three intoxicated hens, you really have no idea. ♦

"A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22

Friday, August 2, 2013

Me + Faith = Peace

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7 (NIV)

Over the past few weeks, my place of employment has put some cost-cutting measures into place that have resulted in people losing their jobs.
As an HR person, I am generally aware of who is being laid off in advance, and I always pray for those employees scheduled to go. I pray that they find other jobs (even better jobs) really soon. That they will not feel inadequate or unqualified in their fields. That their self-esteem doesn't suffer.

In reality, no private sector job is safe anymore, and I know that my job could easily be next. Occasionally, that thought brings me stress.
But not for long.

My faith isn't in my employer, after all. My faith is in God. One provides a paycheck, the other supplies my need. I might be without employment tomorrow, but I won't ever be without. God is my source, and he will provide. That thought brings me peace. ♦

I'm linking to Spiritual Sundays, where faith lifts are free.