May 31, 2009

Walking With His Jesus

It is said that we wear many hats in our lives. I think that we also wear many shoes.

Some shoes teach us how to walk. The little white Stride-Rite shoes that hold our ankles steady as we learn to take our first steps are precious.

Others, like our Converse or Nike's, help us run faster and jump higher.

There are those that make us fashionable. Or, haunt us because of the fashion failures they were!

The shoes we wear every day are the ones that help us earn our livings. They might be high heels or they might be work boots. Either way, they are part of the job.

Today, as I think back five years ago, I am remembering the last day my dad was with us. I am thinking about how he wore all of these shoes in his lifetime.

He learned to walk in a little, backwoods town in West Virgina. He moved to another little town in Kentucky where he wore his tennis shoes as he played basketball. Actually he was the manager, he wasn't near tall enough to play for the John's Creek Bearcats!

I can remember the dress boots of the 70's that he wore. You know, the kind that zipped up the side and had a square toe.

I also can remember his work boots. They were always right beside the door going out to the garage. He wore those boots for 30 plus years to Chrysler. Then, when he came home in the evenings, he would wear them in his own garage while he worked on cars. He always called them his brogans....go ahead, look it up, see what a brogan is!!

He wore a lot of shoes in his lifetime. They took him to places that many would think as simple or even boring. But the journey that he took in his shoes is what made him the man he was.

He wasn't perfect. He had a temper that would ignite in a moments notice. But he was genuine. He was who he was and he didn't try to be anything different. That is what I remember and admire about him. How he wanted to be the best he could be, but he wasn't going to try to be something he wasn't just to impress others.

He didn't care that the outside of our garage door was multi colored because of the over spray that covered it from the cars he painted. He knew that was just a result of his hard work that provided for his family.

He was just as happy with a fried bologna sandwich as he was with a juicy steak. He enjoyed nice things, but didn't put much stock in them. And the thing is, that even if he was around someone who had more material things or maybe was a little more refined then he was, he didn't care. If it were lunch time, he would offer to make them a fried bologna sandwich right along with his and not even bat an eye.

He walked through his life in his different shoes leaving his footprints where ever he tread. The most permanent one is the print he left on my heart. I miss him. That is why I cherish these shoes of his. They remind me of the kind of man he was. Simple, classic and genuine.

I would never wish that he was still here. No, he fought his battle and now is resting in his reward. But I do wish I had just a few minutes to talk with him.

I want him to know how smart and cute Amber is. I want to see the pride in his face as he looks on Chris, Elizabeth and Stephanie. I want to see him hold his great-grandson and smile at him the way he smiled at my babies. I need for him to snatch Brad up by the collar and tell him how much he loves him and how he knows he can beat his problems.

Yes, I miss him and want him to be here with us. But I will wait. I will wait until I can walk with him in the new shoes he wears now. The ones that he wears as he walks with Jesus. I will tell him all about it then.

May 22, 2009

Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!

Before Baby Emerson burst on to the scene we celebrated MY baby girl's college graduation. Stephanie graduated with honors on Saturday, May 16, from Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

I could not be any more proud of Stephanie. She has worked very hard and deserves every good thing that God has planned for her. I have said that I never thought that Stephanie would move to far from home. She has always been so shy. It wasn't until she was 12 or 13 that she would finally order her own meals instead of leaning over to me and whispering what she wanted so I would tell the waitress her order. But here she is, she currently lives the farthest from us and has become so independent and self sufficient, it sometimes makes me a little sad.

She had a wonderful college experience and has made some lifelong friendships. She will begin her new job as a Registered Nurse at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in the pediatric residency program in July. The way that works is she will work in several different units in pediatric critical care and will then decide which unit she prefers. Then, after she has decided which units are her top choices and requested to work in them, the management will choose which nurses they want to have become part of their team.

Dano and I are absolutely thrilled that for the first time in eleven years we have not had to fill out a FAFSA form!! And Dano is even more excited that come Monday morning, we will not have a high risk driver on our auto insurance!!! Life is good here folks. Life is just darn good!!

Stephanie L. Cantwell, BSN

Being pinned by one of her instructors.

Taking the walk!

Fours years and thousands of dollars for a blue folder with your name embossed on it!

Steph is the one wearing the funny hat!

Two wild and crazy nurses!

And once you have become a college graduate and are now officially on your own what do you do? You go out and buy a car!!! Steph's little red car was less than reliable and had to be replaced. She is now the proud owner of a 2009 Jeep Patriot!!

Signing for her very first loan.

Notice the chrome grill. This was the deal maker when they threw that in at no extra cost!

Bye, Mom!

After you have birthed them, raised them, and graduated them from college, they just leave.
Bye, Steph!
I Love You!!

May 21, 2009

Did I Tell You I Was A New Grandma?

So peaceful in Grandma's lap. I am a new are just going to have to indulge me and look at more precious baby pictures of the most adorable little boy you have ever seen!

These are from yesterday when Steph and I were in Chicago for a visit. And if you are curious as to how many pee pee's or dirty diapers Emerson had, just give Chris a call and he will check his log. He is keeping a detailed time line of anything going in or out of ECLC so that they can make sure that all is well with the digestive system!!

(I have not forgotten about graduation weekend. There will be a post coming soon on that event!!)

That isn't his hair on top of his head, but a brown star.

Our little Baby Burrito.

Something smelled funny to him I guess!

I think he is disagreeing with his Dad's politics here.

So comfy in Grandma's arms. And that IS his hair not a star!

Time for a Grandma's arms.

Time for another nap....on Grandma's shoulder

Yes, this diaper change got duly noted in the in/out book.

Just hanging out with Grandma!

So happy to see Aunt Steph.

May 19, 2009


Emerson Christopher Louie Cantwell

The name Emerson was chosen because it is classic and not widely used. Christopher is of course his fathers name. Choosing the fathers name as the middle name is somewhat of a tradition. My husband father was Elmo Edmund, my husband is Danny Elmo...Chris is Christopher Daniel and Emerson is Emerson Christopher. The Louie is in honor of my dad, Louie Smith. I think that he would be so very proud!!

Baby is doing very well. Mom is doing great and Dad is just soaking it in! The plan is to be home by tomorrow. Kelly's mom is staying with them this week. I am planning on going in tomorrow for a vist and then going in next week to stay for a few days.

Here are a few more pictures. You can also check out Chris and Kelly's blog by clicking here for more pictures and updates.

About 30 minutes old!

Mom, Dad and Emerson

Grandma and Emerson

The Cantwell Men

Grandpa and Emerson

May 18, 2009

A Baby To Be Named Later

He has a name now....
Emerson Christopher Louie Cantwell

He's here! We don't have a name yet, but he is here and he is healthy. He weighed 8lbs 15oz, 21" long. Kelly had a pretty rough go of it and they were just minutes away from a c-section but she rallied in the end and pushed him out with NO pain meds and NO epidurals!!

Thanks for all your prayers, God has blessed beyond belief.

I will update with the name when we know!!

May 17, 2009

Little Man Is On His Way!

I have so much to share about a wonderful graduation weekend, and I will sometime later this week. But for right now, I am sitting at the hospital patiently waiting for my grandson to be born!!!

Yes, that is right! Thanks to all who prayed that Little Man would wait until after Steph's graduation before he made his arrival. God has so abundantly blessed. As we were loading the car this morning in Nashville to come back home, we got a call that Kelly's water had broke. All day long she had just a few and minor contractions. We were able to get here from Nashville and say hi just before they administered the first low dose of pitocin which seems to have done the trick.

Now the pains are coming regularly and should be soon!!

Keep Kelly, Chris and Little Man in your prayers and give HIM praise for all he has done so far!!

I will try to update as I can.

May 11, 2009

Rockton is Gorges!

Well, here is the finished product. Lake Tidy Bowl. Isn't it beautiful? Isn't the sound so serene? Why is so stinking blue?

Here is the story. Dano finished the water pond fall and I was admiring it. And in passing I just happened to mention that it might look nice with a blue tint to the water. Dano, always aiming to please, went straight away and found some pool tint. Dropped about a half gallon (he says it was a half a cap full...I don't believe it) into the small puddle and voile! Tidy Bowl Blue. I am just hoping the many cats and critters that lurk around at night don't piddle in it to make it green. Yuck!

But any way, it is be-a-Utiful. I love it. Go ahead and click on the video above and just close your eyes and you can just feel the burdens of the day wash away. Ahhhhhhh.

So this is what we did all weekend....we went from this:

To This:

We are both sore, but for just a few weeks, our yard will look like a magazine and that makes it worth it. Then it will get hot and I won't want to get out and water cause it will make my hair flat and by the end of July, first of August we have brown sticks all around the yard were buds and blooms used to be. Oh well, what are you gonna do? Just pray for rain I guess!!

May 08, 2009

Welcome To My Home-Living/Family Room Edition

Here we are at week two of the Show Us Where You Live Tour hosted by Kelly at Kelly's Korner.

This week it is Living and Family Rooms. I have both but really only use one. So come on in and take a look. You are always welcome here!

This is the Living Room as looking from the Dining Room.

And this is from the entry way looking to the left.

We were actually looking into having the wall behind the couch knocked out and have it all open with just one great room kind of thing. But, with the economy so uncertain we decided to hold off on that.

This is my favorite piece in the living room.
It is a little glass table that holds lots of little treasures.

This is the family room as looking from the entry way.
The rocking chair to the right of the fireplace was "retrieved"
from the trash by my Dad and refinished.

This a view as standing in the kitchen door.

The wall behind the couch is the wall we want to knock out.

This is my my grandmother's hope chest. My dad found it buried
in a pile of junk while he was cleaning out an old shed and refinished it.

This is an old pie safe my Dad found in someones barn. He pulled it out and refinished it. The tin covers on the front had to be replaced, the tin on the sides are original. The quilts on the floor and on the top are all passed down from family members. There are a few more, but those are on our beds still cause it still chilly here at night!

This is what I keep inside. I don't know if you can see but on the top and middle shelves on the left are some mason jars of canned goods that were put up by my Grandmother. She has been gone now for about 20 years so I don't think I would want to sample them!! I also keep the rest of my cookbooks there along with some other keepsakes and what nots.

Thanks for stopping by and come back next week to find out what room we will be visiting then!

May 04, 2009

What Are The Odds?

This is a true story. It's not my story, but it is way too funny not to tell.

Saturday my two daughters and son-in-law got to go to the Kentucky Derby. Elizabeth lives in Louisville and Steph is three hours away.

As they arrive and enter the track they decided they would stop and go potty before moving on to their seats. The only available option was a Porta-Potty. So Steph steps in and goes about her business. While straightening up her garments she DROPS HER PURSE INTO THE POT. I will wait a few moments while you respond with your yucks and it out? Yes, you read that correctly. Steph dropped her clutch into the only hole in the Porta-Potty. And I quote "Mom, there was a turd floating right next to it."

She said she reacted quick enough to get one little corner of the bag that had not become immersed and fished it out. (the bag, not the turd) She retrieved her debit card, drivers license and cell phone. She said she left everything else, like the bag, her cash and her make up laying there.

After hand sanitizing the heck out of the rescued items. They proceeded to their seats only to realize that the other half of her ticket was needed to enter into their seating area. And of course hers was kind of crappy. She had to humble herself and explain to a security guard what had happened. Fortunately, Elizabeth had seat 52 and Rob had seat 54 so the guard was a little more understanding. She had to be escorted to her seat by security and was told that she could not leave her seat because she would not be allowed to re-enter.

So the moral of this story. If you are ever at Churchill Downs and see a cute clutch just laying on the ground with a $5 bill sticking out of it, LEAVE IT ....just let it alone and walk away.

May 03, 2009

Saturday in Chicago

Well this weekend has certainly been very different from last weekend! I was busy, busy, busy!!

Yesterday we drove into Chicago to take a tour of where my grandson will be born. He should be here within the next 17 days or so and we are very excited.
OK...I know this is selfish but even though I try not to be, I can be that way sometimes, but if you are the praying kind, could you please pray that Little Man will not make his appearance between May 14-17th. You see my youngest daughter is graduating on May 16th in Nashville. That is about an 8-9 hour drive from Chicago. I am so excited to see her graduate and want to enjoy every moment of my last child's graduation weekend. She has worked very hard and deserves a fantastic finale to her undergraduate years. I also do not want to miss one single moment of my first grandchild's birth. I am going to be needed there when my very queasy son comes face to face with the reality of birth. Somebody will need to be there to splash cold water on his face to keep him from fainting and his wife is going to be a little preoccupied, so it needs to be his mama!

Regardless of when he comes, my first prayer is for the health and safety of Little Man and Kelly. But I really, really want to be there.
Back to the tour....the hospital is amazing. It is a women's hospital so it is all about the whole process of labor and delivery and new born care. There are a few of the rooms that have the most amazing view of Lake Michigan. I don't know how much a woman in labor would be able to enjoy that, but they are there if she should get the chance. There are Bose stereo systems and large screen TVs in every room. You can choose to have a tub brought into your room where you can soak during labor and even opt to have a water birth. I tell you something for sure, birthin' babies sure has come a long way from the day when all you were given was a bullet to bite on!

After the hospital visit we made our way back to Chris and Kelly's which by the way included a long walk from the hospital to the train, a train ride, a long walk from the train to the car, a car ride and then back upstairs to the apartment. Oh and Kelly's mom, Grandma Kat as she will soon be known as, was with us too. I guess this was kind of like a mini-grandma training weekend!!

My Mom and Charlie met up with us and we all visited the Lincoln Park Zoo. We went to dinner...twice. What happened was my Mom had a gift card that Chris & Kel had given her a couple years ago for Christmas for a restaurant that was near the apartment that they were living in AT THE TIME. Well, there was a restaurant near the zoo by the same name and we thought we would just go there instead of driving all the way across town to go to the other one. All seven us walked in and sat down, drunk some water and determined that this was NOT the same restaurant. Called and made reservations at the Andersonville restaurant. We all got up...all seven of us, and left to go to the correct restaurant!! I am sure the waitress was more than a little confused. But we made it to the right Ranalli's and had a wonderful dinner. We of course needed a little bite of something sweet and stopped and got some ice cream before we had to leave and head back home in the most northern parts of Illinois!

So that was my Saturday. Today, I am tired and my feet are sore, but I had a great time yesterday. I didn't get any pictures from the hospital but here are a couple from us on Michigan Ave.

Isn't Kelly's belly cute?

I only got half of Grandma Kat in the first picture
so here is all of her with Kelly!

May 01, 2009

Welcome to My Home- Kitchen Edition

Ok, I admit it, I am a peeping tom. Not the naughty kind. But the kind that if you are so inclined to leave your curtains open, then I am so inclined to look inside as I drive by. I am not looking at you! That would be perverted. I am looking at your walls and trying to see your furniture. If it is a large picture window without any kind of a blind or sheer obstructing my view, and I can spy a knick knack or two, I am tickled to death.

But Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner, has made it so much easier. (FYI, this is not MY Kelly, this is a different Kelly.) She is hosting a Show Us Where You Live Friday. Every Friday she will have pictures of a certain room in her house and ask you to link up and show pictures of your home. This week it is kitchens.

So, here ya go. Take a look at my kitchen. And you don't even have to drive by slowly, I will even give you some close up shots!!

When you have peeped into my kitchen, go back up and click on the blue Show Us Where You Live link and it will take you to Kelly's blog. Then at the bottom of her post are almost 200 other kitchens you can look in on. Just think of the gas we are saving by not having to drive around and sneak peeks into these rooms!

This is looking from the dining room.
Sorry, it's kind of dark.

On either side of the sliding glass door that goes out to the deck, there are
two small walls. On one side I made this shadow box that has some of the spoons, forks
and knives that my kids used when they were babies and toddlers.
Each kid had their own special place setting. One was Mickey Mouse, one was
Sesame Street and one was Strawberry Shortcake.

I don't know if you can tell but all of the spoons from those sets are missing.
They all got thrown out when the kids would empty their cereal bowls into the trash,
spoons and all. I lost so many spoons that way.

This is the other side. The bowl with the yellow flowers belonged to my Great Aunt Elfie.
It is sitting on a small bookcase with just a few of my cookbooks.
The three pictures on the small wall on the other side of the sliding glass door are pictures of the three kids in their own kitchens. (I bet they have all THEIR spoons.)

The view from the sliding glass door looking into the dining room.

The chicken is an antique that my dad gave me and it is where I keep my salt.
I like to throw a pinch in here and there, it makes me feel like Rachael Ray!
The salt and pepper shakers were my mother-in-laws.

This is an antique desk and an old crock that my dad found.
He and my brother used to have a small antique business.
Somehow all his good finds managed to find their way into my house!

The sink.

The rolling pin was my mother-in-laws.
The sifter belonged to my grandmother.

I hope you enjoyed the tour. Come back next week and see what room we will be featuring!